I bought a house!!!

I have great news! Great Great News!! I bought a house!!!!

Well I’m in the process of buying a house. My first one. It’s been a very long process. I started saving over 2 years ago, I started looking, casually, about a year ago and more seriously the beginning of the year.

There were so many houses. Some that were obvious no go’s. Some that were real contenders but someone got to them first. Oh this happened a lot. For those of you who might not know there were a few months over the winter and spring where people were going over the asking price (by a lot!), paying their own closing costs and some even took the house AS IS just to win the bid. I did not want to do this. Although I’m not going to lie, I did put an offer on a house where there were at least 2 other bids. I went over asking and only asked for partial closing.

I didn’t get the house. I was hoping my going over as much as I did would offset me asking for the partial closing costs. I guess I’ll never know. It doesn’t really matter now anyway. It was in the perfect location though. However, there is no comparison between that house and my house. I love saying that…my house. =)

Part of what took so long for me to find the right one was because of the housing market. Houses were going so fast. Some were selling in hours. Hours! But part was due to my budget. I’m not going to list my budget on here, understandably so, let’s just say it’s not in the millions. Not even close. Trying to get everything you want in a house on a non-million dollar budget isn’t easy.

I also couldn’t decide, not fully at least, on a location. I would focus in one area then switch to another. At one point I could see myself living in 3 completely different areas of town. People told me not to focus on the location. Yes, location is important. But when I find the right house, the location will be right for me too. I’m not sure I agree with this 100%. There were a few houses that I liked quite a bit but the location just didn’t work for me.

Busy streets. I had a thing about busy streets. I just didn’t want to be on or even near one. I worried that my cat would get out of the house and run in to the street. I feared that my nephew would chase after a ball and a car would be coming by. I’m not normally a worrier but man do I around busy streets.

This house, my house, isn’t exactly where I wanted to be but I do like the neighborhood. It’s close to both my Mom and one of my brother’s. My stepdad’s cousin even lives a few streets away. It’s not as far south as I had hoped to be but it’s not too far north either. The house itself makes up for the location. It has just about everything I was looking for. I can move in and not have to worry about fixing anything. Sure there are a few projects I already want to do but they are wants, not needs, and they don’t have to be done right away. Yay!

I looked at the house twice. Once with my agent, who is also my sister. And again the next day with my Mom and stepdad. Everyone liked it. My sister even said, “You’re going to leave me aren’t you?”. Currently we live less than a mile from each other. The new house is also about 25-ish minutes away from where I am now. It took me a little while to get the nerve to say yes to the house. Get it? Say yes to the dress. Say yes to the house. No? Ok, well I’m sure some of you will. hehe It’s a big step. Did I mention this is my first house??

I’m so afraid of making mistakes and this would be a huge one. I had to think about it. Could I really see myself living in this house? Does it have what I’m looking for? Am I ok with the location? Is it too big? And the big one, can I afford it? I’m also one to reach out to friends and family for advice. I do it all the time. This was no exception. I must have reached out to 10-15 people. Everyone liked it, even loved it!

There was one thing that I kept thinking of. This might seem silly and no, it’s not the reason why I chose to put an offer on this house. But it was on mind as I was making my decision. At the base of one of the deck posts was a rose bush. On this rose bush there was a single rose growing. My Grandma loved roses and had rose bushes of her own. Seeing this rose made me think of her. I feel as if she was trying to tell me that this was the one. My search was over. I had finally found the house I was going to buy.

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Man, I’m getting teary eyed writing this. I wish that she was able to see the house that I have chose. To help me decorate, watch TV together, make apple butter together, play rummy on the deck, etc… I could go on and on. I miss her so much and wish that she was enjoying this with me. I know that she would be so happy. She is with me though in my memories and so many other things. I have a few pieces of furniture from her house that will now go in my house. Her pictures will be spread throughout. I will make apple butter, banana nut bread and even pecan tassies (my favorite of hers!) in her memory. Sitting on the back deck, more so on the lower deck area, will bring back memories of my Grandpa. So much of this house, mainly the back yard, made me think of their house. They were both on my mind so much this last weekend.

I feel I have somewhat gotten off topic. Sorry!

Bring it back Bettina…so I put an offer on the house and it was accepted! Yay! Technically the seller countered and I accepted their offer. But still yay!

That’s where I am at the moment. It’s still very early in the process. My inspection is in a couple days. Fingers crossed everything goes well. Nothing to do but wait until then. Stay tuned. I’ll try to post throughout the process and of course through the first few months of being a new homeowner. =)

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WW Week 20 Recap

I’m finally past the 30 lb mark! This last 5 lbs came off slower than any other. But you know what? They came off! I’ve noticed that my weigh-ins seem to be smaller and smaller numbers. I just need to keep telling myself that as long as the weight is still coming off, I am heading in the right direction. I’m getting to where I want to be. =)

This week’s weight loss may have been less than a lb, .8 lbs to be exact, but it put me over the 30 lb mark and I received my 6th 5 lb star. It was something to celebrate. It also got me past that last hurdle I was talking about a few weeks ago. The last time I lost weight I feel off the wagon literally before I reached 30 lbs. Not this time though. This time I kept going. I am still on track. This time I am going all the way!

Last week I set 2 goals. I would like to make an amendment to 1 of them. During Sunday’s meeting, our leader asked us how we were doing on our goals. One lady said that she set 2 specific goals for herself including that she wanted to lose this much by this time and this much by that time. I got to thinking, “why didn’t I do that?’. Sure I said that I wanted to reach goal by the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And I calculated that in order to do so I would need to lose this much each month in order to get there. But I can make clearer goals. Yes I can.

Goal 1 Amendment:

There are 11 weeks until the Sunday after Thanksgiving, November 26th. I am 16.8 lbs away from goal. this averages to roughly 1.5 lbs a week.

Side note, if you take my total weight loss and divide it over the 20 weeks that I have been doing Weight Watchers, I am currently averaging 1.5 lbs a week. Yes, I realize that I started out averaging a little over 2 lbs a week. Yes this number has lowered. But if I can maintain, then I will meet my goal. I believe I can make my goal.

There are 3 weeks remaining in September then 4 weeks each for October and November. Using the 1.5 average, I have calculated the following to be my clear, specific goals.

Sept 30th – 144.2 (lose another 4.6 lbs)

Oct 28th – 138.1 (lose another 6.1 lbs)

Nov 26th – 132 (lose another 6.1 lbs)

It’s not going to be easy. I will need to make a few changes for this to happen. But as I said last week I am hoping that Goal 2 will help in achieving Goal 1.

What was Goal 2 again? To work out at least 3 times a week and to not skip Monday. So how did week 1 go with this goal? Well…not as good as it could have. I started off really good. Last Monday was Labor Day. I went to a trail that I used to love but hadn’t visited in a long time. Maybe over a year. A looooong time. But I went. I ran 2 miles and walk about a 1/4 mile before and after. My first mile I started off really well. Finished it in 11:34 seconds. The second mile though I walked more than I should have. Total time was 26:33 which is still good. For me. And my average pace was 13:15 which is what I have been averaging at the gym. My problem is that I start off too strong and it wears me out. Makes any mile past the first one hard and less likely for me to do more. I need to work on pacing myself that first mile. One good thing about the gym is that I go at the same pace the entire work out.

Tuesday was good too. I went for a walk with a coworker over our lunch. We walked for 1.79 miles. Our pace wasn’t the fastest but we did it. After work, my book club was meeting close by. So I decided to walk to the meeting and back, .9 miles each way. All in all I got 3.59 miles in that day. Not bad.

This is where it all kinda stopped. The rest of the week was busy. This is just an excuse though. I still could have made it to the gym one more time. I simply wasn’t making it a priority. Saturday, however, I did walk around the Plaza with my Mom. I started off keeping track of how far we walked but soon tired of pausing and starting each time we went in a store. And the app was draining the battery on my phone. I do estimate that we walked at least a mile. I suppose this can count as my 3rd day of working out for week 1 but it wasn’t quite the work out I had anticipated.

I’m not making any amendments to my second goal. I think it is fine just the way it is. For both goals though I am going to type something up to display both at work and at home as motivation to stay strong, keep my goals front and center and help me stay on track!

WW Week 19 Recap

I weighed in back to back this week. Interesting but I did show a loss each day. Woohoo! Of course it wasn’t a huge loss and I did not meet my own personal goal of losing 2 lbs to put me at a total loss of 30 lbs. But a loss is a loss and I’ll take it!

I thought it would be so easy too. But no.

I think this is why…One, I allowed myself a cheat meal. Last Thursday was my nephew’s first soccer game of the season. My sister and her boyfriend are both coaches on his team and my brother and myself went to cheer them all on. Afterwards, we decided to do a family dinner and went out for Chinese. Apparently my nephew loves sushi. Who knew?!

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I was feeling quite happy to be around everyone and to be at a Chinese buffet that I declared to myself and everyone that I wasn’t going to count points. This is only the second time that I have done this since starting the program with the other time being my birthday. So this was a big deal for me. I didn’t go all crazy and pile up my plate. I toned it down quite a bit from what I normally would have eaten.

I usually fill my bowl up with Egg Drop Soup but this time only filled it about half way. In the past I would have piled up my plate and made a second trip with a not so full plate but still a second trip. This time I only ate the one plate and didn’t pile it up high. I even passed on the rice and noodles. What? Yes! Crazy talk I know! For dessert I had to get a doughnut (you don’t even know how much I love these things) but filled the rest of my plate up with fruit. Oh and I shared my doughnut with my nephew.

This is big actually!

 

Ok the story behind these doughnuts. One time in my early 20’s my sister, myself and a couple others were at a Chinese buffet. I was on guard waiting for fresh “sugar puffs” err…doughnuts to be brought out. When they did I filled up an entire plate. Yes I did. I even put my arms around the plate so that others couldn’t get to them. My fork was ready to stab and may have once or twice if someone tried to steal some. This was a one time thing. I was being silly. But still I do love them. For me to share one, especially when I was only allowing myself one, is huge!

So there was this night of not counting points and not knowing if I went over or not that probably didn’t help me reach goal. And then with it being Labor Day weekend…and eating this huge ass breakfast with one of my best friends.

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Yikes!

But I did lose 1.8 lbs between the two weigh-ins and only need to lose .2 more to be down a total of 30 lbs. Yay!

I’ll get there. =)

In Saturday’s meeting, I met a leader that I had heard about but had never met. She is full of energy! Let me tell you. Wow! I liked her though. I may have to pop back in every once in a while for a burst of energetic motivation. So each leader does their own special little things. My leader does the perky pencils. This lady passes out charms for each time you walk or run a 5K. Now she doesn’t make or purchase the charms, at least I don’t believe so. They each have the legendary WW imprinted on them. But prior to Saturday I had never heard or seen them before. I feel that 5K’s had been mentioned in my normal meetings but perhaps they hadn’t.

Anyways last week the topic was “Get Happy”. Kim, I think her name was Kim, asked for a few people to share 3 things that made them happy the previous week. A couple people mentioned 1 but not 2 or 3. So I raised my hand and decided to share 3 as she had requested. Always the teacher’s pet. lol I started with saying that I ran a 5K last Sunday. The entire room, and it was a rather full room, was in awe and I think I even heard a few wow’s. I was taken back. I really was. But what really floored me was “Kim” ran out of the room hollering as she went “Keep going. Talk louder. I still want to hear you.”. I didn’t know what she was doing, these were not my normal peeps. I felt a little awkward. But I gave it a go and said 2) I reconnected with an old friend and 3) I went to my nephew’s 1st soccer game.  She even had me repeat the last one because she didn’t hear it. This made me feel like she was really listening, which I liked.

When she came back to the room, she offered me 1 of 2 charms for completing a 5K. The first was a running man and the second was literally a 5 and a K. I chose the running man but now wish I would have chosen the 5K since that is why i was receiving the charm.

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She said that anyone who walked or ran a 5K and told her would receive one. She said that it is a big accomplishment and she wants to recognize it. Love it! Love it even more that when I told her this was my first of the year but that I was planning on doing 1 each month for the rest of the year, she said she would give me a charm for each race. What?! I told her I might have to take her up on her offer so that I can at least get the other charm but that I didn’t need that many of the same charm. How cool is that though? So neat!

I’ve made a deal with myself that once I have completed the remaining 4 5K’s that I have planned this year, I will go back and get the other charm. It will act as a reward for having completed 5 in 5 months. =)

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Oh and when she told everyone that doing a 5K was a huge accomplishment, she looked at me and said, “Well maybe not for you.”. At first I was like what?? But then I took it as a compliment that I must have looked “skinny”, “fit” or “athletic” enough for her to say it. Oh yeah!

Sunday’s meeting was all about setting Fall Goals. We talked about the importance of setting seasonal goals. How the holidays are right around the corner and it can be so tempting to give up and say that you will start back up in the new year. How Fall and Winter may lead to you being less active due to the shorter days. And most importantly what we can do to help with both of these.

Prior to leaving the meeting, our leader wanted us to write down at least 1 goal that we wanted to work toward this Fall. I have two.

Goal 1: To make it to my Lifetime Goal by the holidays.

This is completely doable. As of today, I am 17.6 lbs away from Lifetime. That’s right, I’m a little over 2/3 the way there. Woot! Woot! Since it’s the beginning of Sept, I essentially have 3 full months to lose this. It can be done. It isn’t going to be easy because I’m slowing down. In the first month, I lost a total of 8 lbs. The second month was 6.6 lbs. And the third month, 6.4 lbs. Last month though was only 4.2 lbs. I have 1 more week until I officially complete 5 months. We’ll see what my total weight loss for this month will be but right now I am at a total of 4.6 lbs. So far a little better than last month. Thank goodness!

 

For me to lose 17.6 lbs in 3 months I would need to average 5.87 lbs each month. Can it be done? Yes. Will it be easy? Not necessarily.

Hopefully my second goal will help me with this.

Goal 2: To create and maintain a regular fitness routine.

Yes, I go to the gym. But not on a regular basis. I’d like to go at least 3 times a week. Right now I might go 5 or so times a week for a couple weeks and then nothing for a week or so. This is not regular and will not help me in the long run.

I’ve seen this Pin on Pinterest many, many times and am using it as my inspiration for this.

I needed this!

So there you have it. Week 19 and week 20 are in the books!

Here’s to making goal by Week 31. Though technically I’m ok with Week 32 because the weigh in for Week 31 will be the beginning of the last week before the holidays hit. And if I can somehow not make it Week 31 but do make it Week 32 with Thanksgiving in between…I mean that deserves a High 5!!

Weight Loss Tools

I think one of the biggest things with eating and losing weight is portion control. Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and we continue to eat even after we are full. We do it all of the time.

Quite often we don’t know how to gauge how much a cup is, a tablespoon, etc. I measure pretty much everything I eat. I try my best to be as accurate as I can.

These are my tools.

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Without them I would probably not be where I am today. I’m being honest, not trying to be dramatic. No, they didn’t necessarily make me lose weight. I lost the weight by making good, healthy decisions. But using the measuring tools definitely aided in that process. I would have lost weight but I don’t know that I would have lost as much as I have.

Why do I say this?

Because they help me not take in additional points without realizing so.

I use my dry measuring cups and my measuring spoons just about every time that I cook.

Love my owls!

My food scale and my liquid measuring cups come in as a close second. I use my scale mainly when measuring how much meat I’m eating. Meat and cheese. Not that I eat a lot of cheese. Cheese is a lot of points! But occasionally you gotta give in. You just have to.

I’m also always looking online to see how many tablespoons in this or teaspoons in that. So when I came across this beauty I couldn’t pass it up. It comes in quite handy.

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And when I drink I always measure how many oz I’m drinking. So this little guy helps with that.

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Use your friends. Yes, my tools are my friends. lol They will help you!

WW Week 18 Recap

I wasn’t able to make it to this week’s meeting. I had a good excuse though. I promise! Remember that race that I was training for? Well it took place at 8am this morning and my meetings are at 9am. Yeah, there was no way I was going to make it in time. I just don’t run that fast. lol

One of my old college friends, Heather, and I met up for dinner last month. The first time we had seen each other in more than 10 years. It was a really good time. While we were there she was telling me about a race that her and one of her friends was thinking of doing. They needed a team of 4 people so my friend, Becky, and I joined her. 4-Nados!

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I’ve been in the gym for the last 2-3 training for this race. You see my friend is a runner. Oh yes she is. She did 2 races this weekend, including the race we both ran this morning. Well technically all of my teammates ran 2 races this weekend. They crazy! Just kidding. lol

Heather ran yesterday’s race in 28 minutes. 28 minutes! I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with her. I’m not kidding myself. But I didn’t want her to have to wait for me long. So I trained.

It wasn’t all for her though. I wanted to do well. This was MY first race of the year and I wanted to do be proud of my time. So I trained for me too.

At the gym I had been running a mile in 13 minutes 20 seconds. I figured 3 miles I could finish in 40 minutes. So that was my goal. I wanted to finish this mornings race in 40 minutes.

I was close. So close! I started off strong with my first mile only taking me 11:37. It may have been a little too strong though because I got progressively slower as the race went on. My second mile was 12:40 seconds and my third mile was 13:15 seconds. Not bad though. Technically I ran 3 miles in 37 minutes and 32 seconds. Awesome, right?!

Except a 5K is not just 3 miles. It’s 3.1 miles and today’s was closer to 3.19 miles. That extra little bit killed me and my total time was 41:12. I’m happy though!

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BTW the distance and time on MapMyRun was inaccurate because I didn’t hit STOP right when I finished. Oops!

We all had a really good time and that’s all you can ask. =)

So no weigh in today but I feel good. Really good! I even got 10 Fitness Points in today due to the race. Woohoo!

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I’ll go next Saturday. It’s the next morning class. Then I’ll get back to my normal meeting time the very next day. =)

Last week I was down a total of 28 lbs. Surely in 2 weeks time…err, 1 week 6 days…I can lose 2 lbs and get past that 30 lb mark. Fingers crossed!

Motivation Day 6

3 more days.

3 days until the Run Like A Girl Race this Sunday morning.

My hope was to work out all of the 8 days prior to the race. This did not happen unfortunately because I did not make it to the gym last night. Yep. My last minute attempt at motivating myself last night did not work.

I will go today though. That is guaranteed. Ok, it’s not. But I’m very confident that I will make it there tonight.

7 out of 8 days is quite good I feel.

It's a work in progress. You just keep going. Don't quit. Even on your toughest days. Even when you feel tired. Even when you didn't give it your all. Giving it something is getting you to your goal. One step at a time.