finally…the budget discussion

Okay, friends. Here we go.

I’ve avoided the budget discussion thus far for one simple reason: I wanted to start at the beginning of the month. Well, two reasons. I didn’t want to do the math necessary to write this post. But mostly because I wanted to have a clean slate to start July with.

My commitment to budgets swings something serious. I’ll be 100% focused for a few months, and then all it takes is one weekend off track for me to forget all about it for months and months. But I’m feeling very grown up right now. And I figure that if I’m going to get my life together, I might was well go all in. Besides, if my long-term goal is relocation, I need to have our finances in order.

I’m using Mint to keep track of our expenses and spending. It is a very simple program that connects to all of my accounts to show exactly where we are. I can see where we are under or over budget. It tells me which bills have been paid and which bills are coming up. Mint is my friend.

I also like little charts like these. That I took amounts out of, of course.

I struggled to figure out how to share our goals here but still keeping our actual numbers private. And then it hit me – percentages!

I took the budget that I created in Mint this spring and looked at where our spending goes. Don’t do the math too closely, though. It only adds up to 99%. I figure 1% is enough to play with.

This is how I have our income budgeted:

40% -> mortgage, utilities, HOA, insurance

20% -> student loans, credit card debt

16% -> car, auto insurance, gas

13% -> groceries, eating out, sundries

6% -> savings

2% -> charity

2% -> personal allowance

Some of these numbers are minimal payments and some are goals. The mortgage category is pretty fixed. However, the debt category is well over the minimum payments, so it is a goal. I think I’ll share more of that with you when I report on our progress for July. Probably be some fun numbers there when I’m done with the month.

Of course, there are changes I’d like to see. As we pay down our debt, we’ll increase our charity and savings.

July will have a few diversions. Our anniversary is in July and we already have plans to spend the night in Louisville. So I’ll see where I can squeeze that in.

Okay. There’s my accountability. Bring on July!

 

why I’m Team Bob

I’m still following Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules. And I’m still loving it. I’ve mentioned before about the rules that I have struggled with, but I don’t think I’ve discussed the plan overall. I’ll get to that.

First, let me tell you why I am so impressed with this plan.

RESULTS.

I don’t know why it works for me. I don’t know how it works. I just know that it does.

In the past 3 weeks, I’ve lost 10.2 pounds. I don’t know why. But following his plan, it happened. And I needed this plan.

Over the past 3.5 years, I’d lost a total of about 60 pounds. It was a crazy roller coaster. At times, I’d gained as much as 20 of that back that I had to lose again. But I had settled around 178. And I was stuck for 10 months. I’d lose and gain the same 5 pounds over and over and over. I felt like I was putting a lot of effort in and not going anywhere. I was running. Keeping within my calorie allowance most days. My weight just wasn’t going anywhere.

I needed a shake-up.

Keep in mind that I have been anti-diet. I’ve had some attitude in the past about diets. I eat pretty clean. I run like a crazy woman. I had decided that if I wasn’t losing weight, then my body was just happy where it was. It was the lot I had been dealt.

As much as I think that is a fine attitude to have, I’ve learned that I felt that way for a few different reasons.

  • I just wasn’t ready to put in the work. I was content with the way I was eating. My food choices were healthy enough, but I wasn’t willing to give up my splurges. I wanted to still split a pint of ice cream with Nathan after a long run. I wanted the occasional martini or beer. I wanted frozen coffee drinks once a week or so. I felt that if I had the calories left over after eating a pretty balanced day, I could spend them on whatever I wanted.
  • I was discouraged. I seriously thought I had found my body’s happy weight. I just kept repeating the behaviors that led to successful weight loss in the past. It was easier for me to be content with where my body was than to get frustrated and beat myself up because my efforts weren’t getting me anywhere. My behaviors and choices were consistent with the prior year, but the results had stopped. I had kinda given up hope that I really could get the rest of my weight off.
  • I didn’t know what else to do. I was eating a very healthy diet 90% of the time. Any weight-loss plan that I came across seemed radical, illogical, or gimmick-y. And those three things create immediate rejection in my mind. I didn’t know how to find a way of eating that was different than what I was already doing that didn’t seem ridiculous.

Those reasons exactly are why I love Bob’s plan. There is nothing radical there. Nothing I haven’t heard before. Yes, a few of the rules don’t seem to make a lot of sense to me, but they aren’t illogical. I may not understand the “why,” but none of them really put me off. So much so, that I almost didn’t buy the book. Because there isn’t anything new. Because I know most of this already. And what I didn’t already know didn’t seem like it would really make that much of a difference.

But I bought it. And I realized that on their own, each rule seems manageable. I think the commitment and radical parts of this plan comes in when I decided to go all in. I think it becomes hard core and difficult when I put all of them into play at the same time.

(image lovingly lifted from Cassie’s post yesterday)

It became radical when I really committed. It was huge for me to cut out carbs after lunch. Huge. I had no idea how often I relied on pasta or rice to round out a meal. I am eating berries and apples every day, no fail. I am cooking more vegetables on their own. I have given up the complicated recipes for the standard protein + veggie for dinner. I’m turning down (free) alcohol (twice). I’m not eating after dinner. I’ve cut sugar completely out of my diet, other than fruit. I’m snacking on boiled eggs and peanuts. Other than my coffee (which is really mostly milk), I’m 100%. And I even had trouble justifying keeping it. But it was non-negotiable. And I wasn’t willing to not try this because I love my 1 1/3 cup of milk every morning.

This plan has given me exactly what I needed. I needed someone else to tell me what to eat because what I was choosing to eat wasn’t working anymore. I know how to maintain, but my body needed a shake-up to start losing again. I am the first to acknowledge that different things work for different people. That what works for me may not work for you. But I have enjoyed learning what works for me. It is like I just took off a pair of sunglasses I didn’t even know I was wearing. I found something that works. It isn’t easy all the time. Sometimes I am genuinely hungry in the evenings. But I know that I am in weight loss mode. It won’t last forever. And I want to lose weight enough to do this for a while.

I’m not going to tell you to go out and buy this book. I’m not going to tell you that it will work for you. And I’m not telling you that it is easy. All I’m saying is that it is really working for me. And don’t judge a book by the cliff notes summary on the back page.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to send them my way. But be warned that they may be answered here on the blog!

how I want to feel

Two weeks ago, I had a little epiphany. It was this line from Danielle LaPorte:

Yesterday was that day. I just kept thinking, “This. THIS. This is what I love. This is what makes me feel alive and in my element. This is what I need to figure out how to make in a career.”

I was able to take an early lunch to attend an exciting press conference here in Lexington. Our beloved Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon is becoming the Rock ‘n’ Roll Lexington Half Marathon. I am very excited about what this means for our race and our city. Very excited.

I walked into the room and immediately felt at home. I know these people. I belong here. It truly was a great feeling. It was electric in that room. I was in a room of familiar people. I belong in this room of movers and shakers and runners. I felt the way I want to feel.

Last night was also the inaugural running of the West Sixth Brewery Run Club.

No one really knew what to expect with it being the first meeting of the group. I’m pretty sure that no one expected this.

(photo from the West Sixth Running Club FB page)

This is what Lexington brings to a brewery to run. On a summer night. To celebrate the race. To meet new people. To just get out there and run. There are lots of LexRunLadies and their Dudes in this picture.

But just as exciting as the group picture is this one. This is my dearest buddy Kent and his wife, Melanie. They have started to run. With us. I cannot tell you how much I love seeing them at our group runs. There’s something encouraging about having people from my pre-run life getting involved in my running life.

The run was great. A nice downtown loop. Running with others often increases my pace quite a bit, and this run was no different. I had a blast.

And then I gave my beer away. Because I’m really focused on my weight right now. I was very proud of that.

So I don’t know where this will lead. But I’m going to keep doing things that make me feel like yesterday. I’m going to keep meeting people. Continue looking for events like these to be a part of and help with. Introduce myself and offer my assistance to the organizers.

And have faith that I will figure this out. Faith that I’ll be in the right place to take an opportunity that is unknown at this point. Faith that I’m working toward some undetermined goal.

And faith that it will present itself.

run to remember

In September, I am doing something crazy awesome. I’m running in the Bourbon Chase. Myself, along with 11 other people (and only one that I have met) will run 200 miles over the course of 2 days. Overnight included. I am excited and nervous, but so thankful that I have been offered this opportunity.

We aren’t just running, though. We’re running for a reason. For a cause. I was honored when I was approached to run with Run to Remember for Hospice. It wasn’t that long ago that Hospice provided care for my grandfather and our family. In a time that was incredibly painful for us, we were all treated with dignity and respect. We were given peace even though we brought chaos into their center. Hospice holds a very special place in my heart. Because of what they did for this man.

This is where I need your help. This is a charity team. I need to raise money. And I’m asking you for a favor.

Can you make a donation to my team? Can you spare your daily coffee? Pack a lunch tomorrow? Maybe more?

We have one donation page for the entire team. If you are able to donate, please make sure to include my name so that I can carry your support and/or the memory of your loved one with me. In the space that asks “Please make my gift in memory/honor of:” fill in whatever you choose, but please put my name (Krissie) at the end. I want to make sure that I’m able to thank each of you.

Thank you in advance. I know money is tight, but I also know that this cause is very near to my heart. And I’m sure it for a lot of you all as well.

Feel free to leave extended comments here if there is someone you want me to run in memory of. I’d be happy to.

Team Bob Week 3 – eats

When I packed up my food last night, I was really excited for my food today. Really excited. Only after looking at last week’s post did I notice that my eats were very similar to last week’s. So I guess I don’t miss variety!

Breakfast: Via. Ezekiel bread/peanut butter/smashed banana

Snack 1: Fage and blueberries

Lunch: Quinoa with edamame, pineapple, red pepper and soy (this is FANTASTIC)

Snack 2: 1/2 avocado and some baby sweet peppers

Pre-Zumba snack: tall iced latte, baby cheese, apple

Dinner: about 3/4 of this awesome white wine turkey sausage and lots of squash

Total calories: 1361.

Zumba/Butts and gutts: 632 burned.

I’ll call that a great day.

I’m still following Bob’s Skinny Rules pretty closely. Tonight was a little off. I didn’t get home from Zumba until 7:30 and still had to cook, so dinner was a little late. That’s okay, though. It’ll be fine.

I’m absolutely loving this plan. The first three days were rough, but I’ve really fallen into a pattern. I know my loss won’t be as big this week, but I lost 9 pounds in the first 2 weeks.

I was really surprised today about how tempted I didn’t feel. There was birthday cake at work and no less than 10 people told me that there was cake in the break room. And when I got my tiny little latte at Starbucks? I glanced at the cake pops, but didn’t have the draw to them. And when I checked out at the grocery, I almost went to the Ghiradelli bucket out of habit. But I remembered that they aren’t on the plan, and that was that. No draw. No frustration that I couldn’t have one. Just an easy decision.

So have you read Bob’s book? Are you trying the plan? What do you think?

peace

I’m not going to lie, friends. I am in a weird patch. I’m in a place that is amazing in some ways and very challenging in others.

A report on the amazing will come soon enough, I’m sure.

But I’m finding myself in a place where I am focusing on the challenging more than I would like. Where I’m letting it get to me more than I’d like. Where my sense of entitlement is getting in the way of my gratitude and contentment.

Today, I will approach my challenges with grace. With patience. With peace.

inspired and encouraged

I had a very hard day yesterday (for reasons that I am too professional to write about). Let’s just say it was a hard day.

And then I saw a tweet that sums up everything I want my life to be. My goal is not to be a successful businesswoman. My goal isn’t to make a certain salary. In my heart of hearts, I don’t care about that at all. I have the same calling in my heart that Angie does.

So I’m taking her quote and my self-portrait from one of the happiest places in Lexington (yes, that is the bathroom at Morris Book Shop) and I’m going to stay focused. On what is important. On what I really want. On who I want to be when I get really really honest.

And I just trust that everything else will fall into place when I am true to myself.

So thank you, Angie. For tweeting my truth yesterday. For inspiring me to be honest with myself. For comforting me in a way you didn’t know I need.

(And while I’m talking about Angie, go check her beautiful song “Blue Skies” on YouTube. It currently has me in tears. You might recognize the mandolin player!)