Debt Reduction, Keto Update, et cetera

Countdown to Zero Debt

I know I’ve mentioned that I’m the financial manager of the house. When I tell this to others, my husband usually pipes up and says, “Thank god, because it would be a disaster if I did it!”

And while I don’t think he would be that bad at it, I have found that I really enjoy it. There’s something in seeing the numbers, month after month, year after year, that makes me feel as if I’m zeroing in on the pulse of our future. And more than anything, I want us debt-free and accruing savings as we ease into our 50s. My husband will hit the big five-oh in a few months, with me just 16 months behind him.

This year stands out as a banner year for debt reduction. We will come close to reducing our overall debt by almost $30,000 this year. Just typing that number, it feels unbelievable! I think we will slide in at around $29,000 – we have some car repairs that need to be made, and there could be a few bumps in November and December (Christmas presents, property taxes due, the typical stuff), but right now my figures indicate we will have reduced our debt from December 2017 to December 2018 to the tune of $30, 181.48.

I am so excited!

If we kept up this rate, we would be 100% debt free in six years. Instead, it will take closer to nine years, because we also will be raising our renovation budget as we pay certain debts off. Raising our renovation budget means getting the properties (Cottage West, Cottage East, and our Airstream) done quicker, which in turn means they will be earning money faster.

You will find more about our Airbnb progress here.

Keto Update

Ten days on the diet…mostly. I know, I know, all of you keto fanatics out there don’t need to tell me it’s an all or nothing lifestyle change. I underestimated the sheer amount of “bad” food in my cupboards, fridge and freezer.

Yesterday I spent several hours going through each of those places and cleaning them out. Except for those things dependent upon refrigeration, I put two large boxes of items out on the curb and our neighbors took everything – only the empty boxes remained!

I started at 211, and ten days later I am at 207. Yesterday I actually hit 206.5, but then we went a Halloween party! That’s okay, I’m still making progress and so far, my body hasn’t been freaking out, feeling starved, or any other issues. I feel full of energy, especially now after going to physical therapy (more on that later) for six weeks.

We are having friends over for dinner next Friday. They are also on the keto diet and we will be picking our favorite meal from the past couple of weeks to share with them. Heck, I might even make some keto ice cream! [mmmm, ice cream].

I’m hoping to make it to below 200 by the time my kiddo returns, but that’s a stretch. The reality is, this is hopefully a long-term change. In other words, a lifestyle, not a fad. I’m also delving into an excellent book that arrived today, Keto by Maria Emmerich. I want to do this right, not half-assed.

Physical Therapy, Who Knew?!

Two months ago, I was battling back, hip and leg pain on a daily basis. It felt like nothing I did (yoga, stretches, walking, nothing) made it better. I asked the doctor to get me to physical therapy, hoping against hope that they might be able to do something.

The last time I had gone to physical therapy, it had involved the use of a TENS unit (electrical stimuli) and massage, so I wasn’t holding my breath that this would be any better. Don’t get me wrong, the massages were nice, but they weren’t solving the problems. Nor were the visits to the chiropractor, and I had begun to fear getting a deep-tissue massage which felt amazing but then loosened up some areas, causing my back to snap into a dysfunctional state directly after causing me low back pain, leg cramps, and sometimes it was so bad I couldn’t even work!

This physical therapy was different, however. They did massage me twice at first, but after that the honeymoon was over and it was all exercises, posture correction, and exercise homework.

For the longest time I have been complaining that everything in my body feels like I’m turning into a turtle. Or maybe the shape of a ‘C’ – and it has been painful. The PTs showed me how to access the inner muscles, the heavy lifters in my groin and buttocks, my shoulder blades and more, the ones that are supposed to be doing the work and are made for work. Not only did I learn how to access them, but how to tone them and work them out. From glut crunches and Kegel-like exercises (I do them in the car now whenever I drive around), to better positioning of my spine and neck, my pain has been disappearing.

In the middle of my therapy appointments, which were spread out at twice per week for six full weeks, I slipped and fell down my front stairs. Normally this would mean weeks, even months of issues as my body recovered first from the initial bruising and then later snapping into a contorted spasmed position and sending me to bed for days in agony.

But while my ass has a truly epic bruise, I’ve managed, thanks to the physical therapists, to be able to continue to work with just a couple of days down instead a week or longer.

Basically, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I see my body improving, my posture is straighter, my pain has lessened, and the muscles that are supposed to be doing the work are back at it. My flexibility has improved and I know it will continue to improve as long as I continue to do the exercises I was assigned.

Since I fell and damaged my back at the age of 18, I’ve just assumed I had a bad back. Whenever it’s bound up, or given me problems, I would say, “Well, I’ve got a bad back.”

Now I question that. What if, instead of using it as an excuse, I instead did the specific exercises necessary to strengthen those vital muscles in charge of everything? Would I still have a bad back? I don’t think so.

So I guess you could say that they changed my entire viewpoint of my body’s capabilities to heal and what my role is in it. A huge thank you to College Park Physical Therapy, you may very well have changed my life!

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