Hello! We here at Five Full Plates are not dead, we are just terribly busy. Doing… things. And also stuff. You know how it is. Joshilyn is busy on book tour; Lydia is busy getting ready for France; Gray is busy getting better, stronger, and faster than before; Kira is busy chasing feral children out of her yard (some of whom then say, “But Mom, I’m hungry!”).
Me, I’ve been busy, too. I’ve had creatures under my house and we went on a family cruise and I got stranded in Philadelphia last week… you know, the usual. Ahem. But even though we’re taking the summer off from our various challenges, I thought it might be interesting to check in—a little bit of Where Is She Now?, if you will—on what’s happening post-challenge on various fronts.
Our first challenge here at Five Full Plates, starting back in January, was to lose 10 pounds or become extremely grumpy in the attempt. Through a combination of South Beach-ish eating and a reluctant commitment to regular exercise, when we concluded the challenge, I’d lost the 10 pounds. But what I really wanted was to lose 12. (Do not ask me why. It seemed like a nice round number.) Lucky (ha) for me, shortly after we concluded the challenge, I got sick and ended up with a grand total loss of 14 pounds.
Where am I now? I am somewhat pleased to report that I’ve spent the recent months bouncing around in the 11-13 pounds lost range. (Even though I went on a cruise where the main activity was eating!) I’ve always said my body seems to cling to a “set point” for dear life, and I think I’ve successfully reprogrammed that set point to a weight I’m happier with. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I’ve all but abandoned exercise, because I am a moron, and I miss having more energy and feeling better about my body, but apparently not enough to, you know, start exercising again. I’m… working on it. Sort of.
Our second challenge, starting back in March, was to clear out the clutter. I went on a veritable cleaning rampage, sorting and tossing with wild abandon. At the end of the challenge my house was in fantastic shape.
Where am I now? The organization we wrought in the kids’ rooms and associated space has held up pretty well, in large part due to the additional storage we got them at Ikea. My bedroom has one again become Crap Repository Central, and no, I don’t know how it happened. Sigh.
Our third challenge, starting back in April, was to step outside of our comfort zones. I found the whole thing sort of terrifying and invigorating, much like a carnival ride. Part of what I ended up doing was really opening up my mind to the idea of homeschooling, even though we ultimately decided not to pursue it for this coming school year.
Where am I now? I am really, really, really enjoying this summer. I am enjoying the everlovin’ snot out of this summer, in large part because this past school year turned out to be so stressful on a number of fronts for our entire family. And although we decided to head back to public school for the upcoming school year, I still feel like the process I went through in the spring was enormously helpful—for one thing, it changed the way I dealt with the schools and how I thought about certain things. There’s a difference between “I have to fix this because there are no other options” and “I would like to fix this, but if we can’t, I have another option.” It’s hard to explain, but I really do believe it changed things. And now I am loving the time away from school, and I think we’ll be ready to face it again when the time comes.
Our fourth challenge, starting back in May, was to learn something new. I decided to focus on getting my family to try new foods, and it was a (mostly) delicious experience.
Where am I now? I have to say, a foodariffic cruise is a great way to get your kids to try new foods. I’m not sure that I had anything completely new while we were gone, but my son—a self-declared pescatarian—eagerly gobbled down lobster, crab, calamari, trout, mussels, grouper, sushi, and even escargot. My vegetarian daughter found herself facing just one vegetarian option each night at dinner, which meant that she, too, had to try some new things. I think the polenta with mushroom ragout was her favorite, even when I explained to her that those “funny mushrooms” are called shiitakes. My garden is starting to explode, and last night I made these zucchini squares (with a gluten-free flour mix), then proceeded to eat them for dinner and breakfast. Mmmm.
In short, I’m kind of missing our weekly assignments, but I’m also digging the downtime.
(Hey, does my butt look big in these pants while I’m cleaning the kitchen and getting ready to try that new recipe? Just wondering.)