Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How Do I Start?

I very clearly remember the day I said to myself, "I have to do something about this."  I hadn't weighed myself in several years, mostly because seeing the number on the scale made it more real.  I was in a resale shop looking for new jeans because nothing I had fit anymore.  And I had to buy size 24.  When I got back to my van I just started crying.  And crying.  I kept asking myself, "How the hell did I let it get so bad?"

I know now that I let it get so bad because I didn't give a rat's ass that it had gotten that bad.  I was eating whatever I felt like, in whatever quantities I felt like, and I wasn't moving a muscle. I binged on a daily basis.  I CHOSE to let it get that bad.  What is it I tell my 6 year old?  Every one of our actions have consequences, whether good or bad. 

So, with a pocket full of good intentions, I looked into joining our local YMCA.  And I did it!  I was full of smiles, and goodwill and I thought, "This is really it!  I'm going to do this!"  And of course, I didn't.  I kept my gym membership but only went once or twice a week, and didn't put my heart into it.  I watched news for 45 minutes instead while keeping a leisurely pace on the treadmill.  It felt like prison.  My eating still wasn't under control.  The longest I made it "being good" was about a day or  maybe two. I  wasn't really tracking calories, just "controlling" (rrrrrrrrrrrright....) my portion sizes.  And guess what?  Not a damn pound came off.

With a half-hearted attempt, not much changes.  I started my blog some time after that as a means to stay accountable.  But really not much changed for me until I took the plunge and signed up for Weight Watchers online in December of last year.  I hate paying for something I'm not going to use. And yes, technically I was doing that with the membership to the Y, but I guess I chose to ignore that.  Since I'd had some success with Weight Watchers in the past, I dove in head first. 

And it worked. 

I'm not a meetings person (too much social anxiety) but the online program is PERFECT for me.  I love it, and I love the e-tools you get with it.  Once I reigned in my eating a bit (largely in part, to Weight Watchers and the #7daychip crew on Twitter) then the desire to exercise crept up too.  Now I'm faithful - 3 days a week in the gym and I'm becoming faithful to my 2 days of yoga at home, too.

So how should someone start?  We've all got our opinions, but I think this is a good way:

List The Reasons You Want To Lose Weight / Get Healthy
I don't care what your reasons are (they differ for each of us) but you have to be passionate about them or it just won't work.  Want to run a 5k?  Want to provide a healthy example for your children?  Want to fit into a specific dress by your 20th high school reunion? Want to give the finger to the people who say you can't do it?  Whatever your reasons are, make a list to refer back to when the going gets tough. Because the going WILL get tough, and a fresh reminder is always a good thing.

Commit to Those Reasons
I mean really, TRULY commit to the reasons you've chosen.  You have to want it and want it badly.  Because there will be a day when a coworker brings in 2 dozen donuts and you want to eat half of them.  You'll remember your commitment and eat only one.  Or better yet, you pass them up all together.  It's all progress, but without a commitment, you'll get more of what you already have.

Have A Goal and Incentives In Mind
Goals are great.  Incentives are even better.  Look, I love prizes.  I love treats.  When I realized I had 100 pounds to lose, I wanted to just say, "F this."  But my brother suggested I chop that up into 10 pound increments.  That has been so much easier.  So even if you have 30 pounds to lose, or whatever the number - have a "Grand Goal" in mind, but have smaller ones too.  And I totally HIGHLY recommend having incentives for each goal reached.  You can see my incentives in the column to the left.

Formulate a Plan Of Attack
How will lose the weight?  Will you be a calorie tracker with sites like My Fitness Pal or Livestrong? (both of which are really good) Or will you be a meetings / organized structure person with programs like TOPS or Weight Watchers?  And how about movement?  Will you workout at home?  Join a gym?  Hybrid of both?  Formulating your plan will leave no questions in your mind about how you will reach your goal.

Find Some Support
I have "tried" to lose weight approximately 16 bazillion times in the past. And guess what?  I failed.  And I truly think that the reason I've failed in the past is because I didn't set up a successful support system in the past.  My husband has always been a great source of support but he's never had a weight problem or eating issues and I don't think he can identify with my problems.  Once I reached out in the blogging community and now on Twitter, the support from people JUST LIKE ME has been astounding.

Yeah, the rest of that stuff?  That's all the easy part.  Doing the actual work is the hard part.  But seriously, after your initial love affair with losing weight wears off (after the first couple of weeks - this is the time period where you obsess over EVERY. SINGLE. CALORIE and weight loss is all you can seem to think about), and after you mourn the loss of your old lifestyle (the being able to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry's whenever you want), you really do settle into a routine and the watching what you eat and even exercising becomes much easier.  That being said, please understand that there will always be a super-challenging day thrown in here and there.  Stumbling is ok.  Not getting back up after is just not acceptable.

You can do this.  If I can do this (and I'll be doing it for a long while yet), then you can do this.   If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to, please email me anytime at

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

You say you want a revolution?

I've learned a lot in the past few months.  A lot about weight loss and a lot about myself.  Here are some of those things:

Weight Watchers WORKS (for me)
When I follow the program like it's meant to be followed, with no secret and untracked snacking, I have great results.  It doesn't work for everyone, and it's somewhat difficult at times because it's all about the honor system. 

Water is good
I don't really drink anything else anymore.  And on the weeks when I really hit the water intake (at 120oz or higher each day), I lose the most weight.

Starting to exercise is hard.
I am just not coming to a point where I like to exercise.  "Start" being the operative part of that senetnce.  I don't like it every time I do it, but there are a lot of times, more often than not these days, where I end a workout with, "Hot damn!  That was awesome!"

Gum is my friend.
It seems when I am around food, I have a compulsion to eat it.  So when I'm preparing it (and I truly LOVE to cook), I "taste" things a lot.  My daughter (6) says I'm seeing if it's fit to eat.  And so, I felt (especially since she noticed it) that I needed to curb this behavior.  So I buy gum.  And a lot of it.  The sugar-free kind is a godsend.  I pop a stick of it in my mouth before I cook and I don't have the desire to taste test EVERYthing.  ("Taste test," in this sense, means "eat everything in an out of control manner") 

Sometimes, a "treat" can be fruit or something else healthy
I'm the sort of person who likes to have a treat at night after the kiddos go to bed.  There, I said it.  I like to sit and play a boardgame with my husband or watch some tv and have a treat.  Often times, I opt for a Fiber One bar.  They are seriously incredibly delicious.  I eat it slowly and actually do savor each bite.  I also like apple slices with peanut butter, a cold navel orange or two, or more recently - YOGURT.  I have discovered Weight Watchers brand yogurt and they are 2 points plus and they are INCREDIBLE.  I love the key lime and berry versions so far....but love them so much I've not been able to try the other flavors!  I like to scoop the yogurt out into a small bowl and add a couple of tablespoons of whipped cream.  It seriously tastes like way more points than it is.

My oldest really does pay attention
My beautiful 6 year old daughter said the other day, "Momma, your pants are too big!"  I just replied, "Yes, they do seem a bit bigger."  I have not mentioned much of my journey to her.  I don't want her to be hypersensitive about food.  She knows I'm exercising and eating more healthfully so that I can be healthier.  She came back with, sort of quietly, "Are you getting smaller?"  I told her that I had and she said, "I am proud of you, you have been doing a good job."  Kinda makes it all worthwhile, doesn't it?

My husband is more supportive than I could have hoped for.
My main thing when I started this was that I didn't want to have to eat differently than everyone else.  I didn't want to have to make 4 different meals for everyone each day.  So I've been modifying some recipes.  I've been making the food fit MY lifestyle choice, not the other way around (that's a gem, right there).  And he has been helping me along the way, offering suggestions, support, compliments.  He is amazing, and encourages me to continue on.

I seriously understimated Twitter
I honestly could not get the allure of Twitter.  I thought it was "Facebook Lite."  But over the past few months I have truly made some friends there who have either walked this path before me, are walking with me, or who have just started the journey.  And I care very much for each one of them.

Starting a revolution is scary.  There's a lot of work involved and failure along the way.  But the only way for true change is to be revolutionary about it.  Your very core needs to be shaken up.  And when you TRULY commit (you know when you have really done this), revolution become second nature, and you start to LIVE (and love) THE REVOLUTION!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friend Making Monday!

If you've taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you're new, please take a moment to answer this week's question on your own blog then add a link at the bottom of this post so we can all see your post. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Be sure to head back to Kenz's blog - All The Weigh and check out the rest!

 FMM: A Few More Gender-Friendly Questions

1) What is your favorite physical feature? My eyes, I suppose.

2) List three adjectives that describe you. Funny, thoughtful, supportive

3) How old were you when you had your first kiss? However old you are in 7th grade, and it was a mistake.

4) Do you believe in God? I struggle with this, honestly (and no, I'm not looking to debate it).  I believe in something bigger than me but don't know if I'm ready to put a label on it.  I guess the label doesn't matter, though, really.

5) How often do you watch the news? I only really watch the news when it's on at the gym, but I don't listen to it.  I read some news online.  I know I should be more up-to-date on things but it's all just very depressing and can make me a little crazy and paranoid.  So mostly, I stay away from it.

If you participate, please put your link in a comment!  I'd love to see everyone else's answers!

Just For The Record

Last week, I gained 2lbs, remember?  I was not happy about it, but I knew I deserved it.  I vowed this week to stick to my goals, and I did.  And guess what.  Are you ready for this?


I lost the 2 I gained and then some.  Getting back to basics is exactly what I needed.  Onward!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Suck It Up and Do It Sunday! (My goals for the week)

Here I am again for another edition of Suck It Up and Do It Sunday.  Thanks to my good friend FattyBoobaLatty at Fatty Made A Funny, I'm participating each Sunday with her to asses the past week's goals and set new goals for the upcoming week.  Go check out her blog!  Now! (Well, after you read and comment on this post, that is).

So without further ado, here are last week's goals.  I'll discuss how each one went:

1) 120 oz of water DAILY.  No Exceptions (Or FattyBoobaLatty will kick my rear).

This one went AWESOME!  I have this 20 oz Bubba Keg mug that is green and I love it. What I've been doing (since I have the luxury of working from home) is making six check  marks on the dry erase board we have on the refrigerator.  Each time I drink a full 20 oz from the cup and refill, I erase one of the check marks so I know how many cups I have left to drink.  The first few days, I had my water intake done by around 3pm.  It stretched out longer through the week, but at least I got it done (yesterday I didn't get done with it until after 7pm).  I've also told my husband what the checkmarks are for, so he helps me stay accountable with that too.

2) Three days of QUALITY gym workouts.  No phoning it in.  Make the minutes count!
Done and done.  Actually (totally tooting my own horn here) I got in an extra workout yesterday morning at the gym that was really really good!
3)  At least 2 long walks with the kiddos.  Tires them out, gets me some movement.  Everyone wins
This one was a bit of a bust.  But in all fairness (this is not an excuse) we had excellent weather on Monday and Tuesday so I ran around with the kids in the backyard and we played a lot.  Then starting on Wednesday (I think it was Wednesday) it started SNOWING again.  It's been 30 or below ever since.  
4) Stay within my daily Weight Watchers PointsPlus range for the entire week.  
This is a yes.  However, on Friday I did dip into my weekly points.  I still have 34 (of the 49 alloted to me) left.  I still consider this goal met.
5) Blog once a day (because I totally know you guys miss me when I don't HA!!)
This is something I've stuck to every day except for yesterday.  And yesterday, I just didn't have anything to say.  So this is a partial win.  Friday's post kind of revolutionized me a bit, and also made me truly realize that I love blogging.  I never thought I would, but I really and truly do - mostly in part because I love interacting with everyone via the comments.  That's another thing I did this week blog-wise.  I installed the CommentLuv plugin on my blog so that I could reply to your comments.  I love the interaction that provides.
6) Do something nice for myself each day
This one, well....this one's the hardest for me.  I know I did this a few days but then I sort of shoved this one under the rug.  This will definitely be something I will work on again this week.
So overall, I think this past week was a success.  Here are my goals for the coming week:
  1. 120oz + of water consumed each day
  2. Stay within my daily WW PointsPlus range each day (this will not be a week I'll dip into my weekly allotment)
  3. No Secret Snacking
  4. 3 Quality Gym workouts / 2 sessions of Yoga at home
  5. Do something nice for myself each day (and document it to share next week)
Discussion of upcoming goals:

120oz + of water consumed each day
I think this one's self-explanatory

Stay within my daily WW PointsPlus range each day (this will not be a week I'll dip into my weekly allotment)
For the 100daychipquest this is one of my goals.  I allow myself one week out of the month to dip into my weekly points.  This will not be one of those weeks.

No Secret Snacking
This is also one of my 100daychipquest goals.  This means that if I wouldn't eat it in front of my husband, children, or even a stranger, then I don't eat it.  I have a bad habit of "sneaking" food.  My brain somehow things (it's sick, I know) that if someone doesn't see me eat it, then it doesn't count. 

3 Quality Gym workouts / 2 sessions of Yoga at home
This one is also self-explanatory

Do something nice for myself each day (and document it to share next week)
On my to-do list each day, I'll add this and then write it down when I do so that I'll remember it for next week's post.

And there ya have it.  Make me stick to my goals!  If you'd like to participate, just steal the graphic above and make sure to put a link to FattyBoobaLatty's blog - Fatty Made A Funny to give her credit for the idea!!  What are your goals for the week? 

Have a great one!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

I want to write, but.... (contains a small revelation)

I obviously like to write.  And usually I have a  good bit of subject matter floating around in my head. Tonight, eh....well.  Not so much.

I am doing well with my #100daychipquest goals.  120 oz water (barely got that in today) daily, Stay within my daily WW points range (with the exception of one week per month where I'll allow myself to use some of my weekly allotment of points), and no sneaky snacking.

This was my one week in March were I'm going to allow myself some of those points.  I used an extra10 points today and it felt like A LOT.  My daughter requested we go out to dinner tonight and I've got to say in all honesty, I'm glad she did.  I've just felt wiped the past few days.  She picked our favorite local Italian restaurant and I felt like using those extra points.  It's very rare that I do so.  And you know what?  I feel bloated, and wish now that I hadn't.  But wishing won't make it so, so I'll just learn from it.  Even if I have those extra points it doesn't mean I have to use them and it also doesn't mean I'll enjoy a meal more if I eat more of it.

Hold on - maybe that is a little profound

More does not always equal BETTER.  I have been in a mindset of "if a little is good, a lot is better" for so damn long that I have started to believe my own hype.  It's not always so.  In fact, the last time we went to this restaurant, I got their killer lasagna (which is what I had tonight) and I brought half of it home and enjoyed every damn bite of the second half the next day for lunch.  Maybe, just perhaps, a little now and a little later is more enjoyable than a lot now and nothing later.

Yes, by god, I think I learned something today.  And that, my friends, makes for a great day of change.

PS - my hubby's sick with an ear infection and he's feeling poorly.  Send him some positive energy, won't you? He really is a good egg and I hate to see him suffer so.

Checking In

How's everyone starting their day?  I'm starting mine with a POSITIVE attitude.  I no longer care what Dummyhead (my scale) says on days that are not Monday or Thursday.  And hell - I might not even begin to care much what he has to say on Thursdays, either.  I am going to have an awesome day and stick to my guidelines that I've set for myself.

How about you?  What are your goals for today?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Feeling Stout - and Breaking Out Of The Funk

I know I've written about this before, but I know a lot of us have them: Fat Days.  I'm having one today.

Yesterday was AWESOME in every way.  My eating was on track, my personal life was on track, I was tackling things on my to-do list left and right, I was motivated and totally ROCKING the #100daychipquest commitment.  In the back of my  mind I thought, "I'm going to have to pay for this kind of positivity."  Silly thought, really.  But still, that's what I thought.

I started today feeling pretty great.  Then I stepped on the stupid scale.  I have GOT to stop weighing myself every day.  After three consecutive days of eating right, moving more, and drinking a shitload of water (120 oz + every day), Dummyhead (my new name for my scale) told me I had GAINED.  Let me just say that I know that mentally (at least for me anyway), it's not healthy to weigh every day.  I know that a person's body goes through lots of changes in a week including water retention, shifting, blah blah blah.  So I stepped on Dummyhead and he said I'd gained and I wanted to throw the entire day (that I had barely started) in the toilet.

Sane?  Not even a little.

The good news:  I fulfilled my goal of drinking 120+oz of water for the day.  I fulfilled my goal of no secret snacking (though I REALLY wanted 13 of the mini turkey burgers I made for dinner last night - I didn't have ANY).  I even fulfilled my goal of staying within my Weight Watchers points for the day (with one point left over).

The bad news:  I still felt fat.  Sitting in my chair at the table, my belly felt abnormally large.  I felt sluggish.  I felt like a failure.  I felt like I felt a year ago.  I felt ugly and useless.  Consequently, I let that attitude slip over to my LIFE.  Nothing I touched seemed to turn out right.  I even remarked to my husband, "I f*ck up everything I touch." 

The even better news:  After feeling sorry for myself I decided that *I* alone had the power to turn my day around.  I made it better.  I spent some extra time with my 2 year old.  She ALWAYS brightens my day when it seems cloudy ("Hey momma, guess what?  How 'bout one of these? - and a kiss on the cheek :) Then when I went to pick up my 6 year old from Kindergarten, I took her hands in my face and told her, "I missed you so much!"  I got to spend the evening with the three people I love the most in this world.  I am happy, getting healther, and I have a husband and 2 girls who think I'm pretty awesome.  An evening with them and I'm back to feeling like ME. 

Take THAT, Dummyhead.  I no longer give a crap what you say throughout the week.  I am going to limit my visits with you to no more than twice per week, as per my "normal" routine.  My love affair with you is OVER. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days that are near perfect?  That's me today. I  feel strong.  I feel healthier.  I feel like my too-big pants look ridiculous.  It's a wonderful feeling!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I am embarking on a #100daychipquest - wanna join?

You've heard me talk before about the #7daychip group on twitter (for details, go to and I have earned a few of those successfully.  I've never quite gotten to the #30daychip mark, though.  So when Brad announced that he was going to begin a #100daychipquest - well, I was certainly skeptical....about myself. 

I mean, come on.  I haven't had the willpower to make it to 30 days, how would I be able to make it 100 days?  As with the 7 Day Chips (or the 30 Day Chips), you set your own goals. YOU decide what you're going to work on for those for the duration of the time - in this case, 100 days.  The 100 days starts tomorrow and runs through June 30.  Did I mention we have a mini-vacation in there?  To visit family?  Oy.

So, I though - there's strength in numbers, and that is what the chip group on Twitter has been all about.  We share our strengths, we share our weaknesses as well as our triumphs and failures.  It can be emotional at times (I know there have been times I've sat down to tweet to the group and have had tears streaming down my face) but it's real life and the support of people like me has been astounding.  I decided I'm going to do it.

Initially, I'll be honest with you - I thought, "make your goals easy so you'll attain them."  Yeah, that's my old brain talking.  It hasn't fully let my new brain in yet and is sort of hanging on my a thread.  Then new brain said, "Then what would be the point?"  So I REALLY started thinking about my goals for this time frame.  I want to challenge myself but not set myself up for failure.

I have chosen three goals:

  1. Drink (at the minimum) 120 ounces of water per day.
  2. No "secret snacking" 
  3. Stay within my daily allotted Weight Watchers points range each day **

I think all three of these are certainly a challenge but not impossible.  The idea here is to change behaviors, not reinvent the wheel.  A bit more about each goal:

 Drink (at the minimum) 120 ounces of water per day.
This is something I have slacked on lately but I know that I feel better and lose more weight when my water intake is where it should be.  This is going to be tricky on days I will be away from home (not often) but not impossible.

No "Secret Snacking"
This is a real problem area for me.  I am a closet eater and if I binge I don't let other see me because, well, it's embarrassing.  My rule here is that if I wouldn't eat it in front of my husband or other family, then I don't eat it.  That handful of mini marshmallows that I stuff in my mouth before leaving the pantry would qualify as secret snacking.  Those calories count like the others and this is an area in my life that really needs work.  This is the perfect opportunity to address it.

Stay within my daily allotted Weight Watchers points range each day **
** Weight Watchers allows you a certain amount of "points" each day to eat, along with nutritional guidelines that need to be met each day (such as a certain number of servings of water, fruits and vegetables, etc).  You're also allowed 49 points each week to use as you see fit - sometimes for a special occasion, or a planned indulgence or something of that nature.  It gives you a little wiggle room.  My goal is to NOT use these weekly points.  WITH AN EXCEPTION:  I will allow myself, one week per month, to use these points if needed.  That way, if (say, on vacation) I want a little "more" I won't feel like I'm beating myself up if I have more.  It's all about pre planning on this one!

So please, hold me accountable and JOIN US.  Head to Brad's post on the #100daychipquest group and just join us!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Suck It Up & Do It Sunday  I decided to follow FattyBoobaLatty's (click on the orange to head to her FABULOUS blog)  lead and jump on her "Suck It Up & Do It Sunday" bandwagon.  For all you perfectionists out there, yes - technically it's Monday but who cares?  I'm a day late!
Suck It Up Sunday is all about making goals for your week to keep you on track.  I'd say with a 2lb gain and TWO restarts of the 7 Day Chip program, I need some.  So - like to hear about them?  Here they go:

1) 120 oz of water DAILY.  No Exceptions (Or FattyBoobaLatty will kick my rear).
2) Three days of QUALITY gym workouts.  No phoning it in.  Make the minutes count!
3)  At least 2 long walks with the kiddos.  Tires them out, gets me some movement.  Everyone wins
4) Stay within my daily Weight Watchers PointsPlus range for the entire week.  
5) Blog once a day (because I totally know you guys miss me when I don't HA!!)
6) Do something nice for myself each day

These are simple goals, yes.  But I have got to start my weekly goals somewhere, and this is where I choose to start them.  I'll let you know next Sunday how it goes.  Looking forward to this!!

Friend Making Monday

FMM: Giving the Boys A Chance
1. Who is your pick for the Final Four? 
I don't really watch basketball of any kind (I'm more of a hockey person) but I guess I'd root for Illinois (since I live here).  Are they even still in it?

2. What is your favorite workout/fitness activity? 
I love working on the elliptical.  It is nice for my crappy knees and gives me a good workout.

3. Do you have a favorite healthy snack? Something that REALLY hits the
I love really cold navel oranges and really cold apples.  But if I'm looking for something to satisfy my chocolate cravings, I usually turn to a Fiber One bar.  Those things are freaking awesome.

4. What is your dream car? 
I have it - it's a 2008 Toyota Sienna and I LOVE MY SWAGGER WAGON!  I never thought I'd be a minivan mom but I love it and don't know if I could ever go back to driving a small car.

5. Have you set any goals for yourself this month? What are they? 
These are the ones I outlined in a blog post at the beginning of the month.  Updates are in red.
  1. I am starting the month weighing in at 244.4.  I would like to end it at at least 235. I don't realistically think that I'll get there with this week's 2 pound gain.  I'm going to do my best, though.
  2. I will try two new healthy recipes this month.  I have tried Italian Style Stuffed Mushrooms (a WW Cookbook recipe) and we loved them so much that we have had them 2 weeks in a row!
  3. I will get to the gym 3 days per week.  If I have to skip a day due to an unforeseen circumstance, I will make up the "appointment" and go another day. I have been holding myself to this.  Doing great so far
  4. While I am at the gym I will utilize every minute to my advantage.  Doing great on this as well.
  5. I will take time, each day, to set a healthy example for my daughters.  It could me something as simple as reminding them I love them the way they are to having them help me prepare a healthy meal for our family.  This has become a priority and it's going great!!
  6. I will drink at least 64 ounces of water per day - I have been doing this.  Though my one of my goals for my new #7daychip is to drink at least 120 ounces per day.
Please go see Kenz at All The Weigh and leave a comment with a link to YOUR FMM post and thanks to her for Friend Making Monday!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Stopping The Cycle

A friend on Twitter asked the other day, "Moms...Q: are you fearful of passing on your crazy eating issues to your kids? I work so hard not to. Food shouldn't =reward!"

This really hits home with me.  I have two young daughters, aged 6 and 2.  My husband and I work hard every day to make sure they are safe, know that they are loved, and we try to teach them how to be kind, loving, productive members of society.  My parenting confession:  I am terrified my daughters will inherit my food "issues."

My oldest daughter is the classic "picky eater."  She liked traditional kid-friendly food - mac & cheese, chicken nuggets, peanut butter & jelly, etc.  She is not a fan of vegetables, but she does like fruit.  She doesn't really like meat, and isn't really keen on trying new things.  There have been many times in the past where we have argued about food.  I always said I would not be that mom who would make more than one meal for the family, but you know what?  I've come to a place where I don't want to put so much focus on food.  If that means making a little something else for her if she doesn't like what's on the menu, then I will.  I'm not going to force her to eat something just because I think she should eat it. 

My 2 year old - she'll eat just about anything.  She is my adventurous eater and loves spicy and sour flavors.  Vegetables are among her favorite foods and she loves all fruits with the exception of cantaloupe and kiwi.  She loves trying new things and loves to "help" me cook.  She also loves treats, but come on - who doesn't?

I do not make food a reward or a punishment.  It's not a focus of our life.  We explain the nutritional value of food, explain that it fuels our body and leave it at that.  I will not shame my children if they don't like the things I like.  If they don't like it, I'm not going to force them to eat it.  I won't force them to clean their plates, nor do I praise them for cleaning their plates.  I do praise them for trying new things, but that's about as far as it goes.

We make the conversation at the dinner table our focus, not what's on our plates.  And I pray that it works - and they don't end up like me.

And the contest winner is.........


Thanks to all who voted for Josh.  Votes for him are being tabulated now and I'll let you all know how he did!!

Maria, please email me your address to and I'll get your Shakeology out to you right away!!

Thanks again!

Friday, March 18, 2011

CONTEST! updated! Please read & vote for @joshgambit

Ok, folks.  The other day I posted a contest to win a free sample of chocolate flavored Shakeology.  It's good for you and tastes great!  And did I mention it was free?

Since I only got ONE entry (lazy bums!) I've decided to change the parameters of the contest.  Now, all you have to do is VOTE for Josh to win the contest he's a finalist in.  THAT'S IT.  Comment below to tell me you voted and you'll be entered (winner will be picked by random draw tomorrow morning)

Here's the original (modified) contest post:

You heard it right, people!  I'm offering my first contest and giveaway!

Up for grabs is your very own trial of the revolutionary Meal Replacement drink known as Shakeology.  It's loaded with vitamins and minerals and for you Weight Watchers people, it's only THREE PointsPlus.  You can blend it tons of different ways but it makes a fantastic breakfast and keeps you full until lunch time.

I've got one chocolate flavored shake packet up for grabs.  And it's EASY to win!

All you  have to do is

1) Show my buddy Josh, one of my twitter friends, some love.  He's one of the finalists in a contest where he could win lots of cool prizes to help him along in his fitness journey.  Go vote here:  Joshua Kraling - Whip It 180 Challenge You can vote once per day per computer.  Let's vote as much as possible and get Josh those prizes!  Just vote for him and comment below that you voted!!  PLEASE!!

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Subtle Changes

This whole weight loss thing is, to say the least, daunting.  In the beginning, you make your decision to live a healthier lifestyle, diet, lose weight - whatever.  And you're SO gung-ho about it.  You think "If I just lose X amount of weight, I'll be at my goal on such-and-such a date."  And you can almost visualize yourself thinner, healthier, more active.  And you get EXCITED!

Then the next day happens and you're forced to THINK about what you're eating, and you're forced to follow the plan you've set out.  Then you start exercising and you think, "My god, I hate this." 

And that's where it all usually stops for many of us.  Because change is hard.  The easy thing to do is say, "my knees hurt!"  or "I can't do this!"  and quit.  But if you're not willing to put in the effort, you're not going to see the results that you covet so much.

So, this time has been a little different for me.  I'll be completely honest with you:  the above scenario?  With the fat lady on the treadmill coming up with excuses why she CAN'T lose weight?  Yeah, that's been me many, many, many times.  I didn't believe in myself.  I didn't believe I could do this.  But that seems to have changed for me, and after thinking about why this time is different, I think it's because of the subtle changes I've been noticing.

For a few weeks, my workout clothes have been fitting differently.  I have exactly 2 workout "outfits" that I use, and they've both seen better days.  but they're fitting much differently than they did when I started.  Know what I chalked that up to?  Not the 20+ pounds I've lost - I thought, "I must have stretched them out."

A friend of mine who I hadn't physically seen in a while stopped by the other day for coffee.  She said, "Hey!  Your pants are looking baggy!"  I got embarrassed and mentally chalked it up to the fact that I'd stretched them out or something.  But she's right.  They are baggy and I have to hike them up all the time (SO pretty to see me do that!). 

And something else that I can do now that I couldn't do a few months ago?  I can wear my engagement ring.  I haven't been able to wear it comfortably for more than 3 years.  I'm pretty excited about that.

So all these subtle changes I've been noticing have been adding up, and it's really kickstarted me again.

What changes have you noticed in your body?  Or in yourself in general?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CONTEST! WIN FREE STUFF & Help @joshgambit

You heard it right, people!  I'm offering my first contest and giveaway!

Up for grabs is your very own trial of the revolutionary Meal Replacement drink known as Shakeology.  It's loaded with vitamins and minerals and for you Weight Watchers people, it's only THREE PointsPlus.  You can blend it tons of different ways but it makes a fantastic breakfast and keeps you full until lunch time. 

I've got one chocolate flavored shake packet up for grabs.  And it's EASY to win! 

All you  have to do is
1)Post about this contest on your blog (leave a comment with the link to your post)
2) Show my buddy Josh, one of my twitter friends, some love.  He's one of the finalists in a contest where he could win lots of cool prizes to help him along in his fitness journey.  Tell people to go here:  Joshua Kraling - Whip It 180 Challenge You can vote once per day per computer.  Let's vote as much as possible and get Josh those prizes! (Your blog post should include a link back here to the contest as well as a link to Josh's voting site - pretty please with sugar on top!)

The winner will be announced on Friday morning!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friend Making Monday!

I'm participating in Friend Making Mondays - straight from Kenz at All The Weigh!  Go check out her post to see the rules and participate too!  I love surveys and love getting to know my fellow bloggers.  Something like this may be just what I need to get out of my aforementioned funk (and some Excedrin Migraine).

FMM: We Heart Surveys!  

1) What's your favorite brand of make-up? Are you loyal to one brand?  The cold, hard truth is that I have no flippin' idea how to apply make up the right way.  I have never put on foundation IN MY LIFE.  It scares me.  Though I want to learn how, it still scares me.  All I wear are eye shadow and eyeliner, and I'm not brand loyal at all.

2) What is the last thing you drank? Water

3) What's your favorite Girl Scout cookie? The Samoa, which is made from coconut, cookie, chocolate, and pure evil.  I could eat seventeen boxes of them if given the opportunity.  Because of this fact, I'm sort of secretly happy  my 6 year old decided to quit Girl Scouts.

4) French Fries or Onion Rings? I love baked french fries but love fried onion rings even more.  But these days I'll pass up fried onion rings every time.

5) Share something you've done in the last week that makes you proud of yourself. I lost yet again at my weigh in today.  That's becoming a trend and I like it.

6) What is your favorite inexpensive indulgence? Can't say that I have one at the moment.

7) Are you currently reading a book? If so, which one? My husband is picking out something from the library as we speak.  He's looking for "Full Dark, No Stars" by Stephen King for me (he's just begun reading his copy and we want to read it together).  If that's not in he's going to get "Eat, Pray, Love" for me.

8) Do you prefer to text or talk? Depends on the person and how much I've got going on.  I like to talk when I have the time but texting is a good quick fix.  I find I communicate with people more frequently by text.

9) Have you ever performed on stage? No, but I'm thinking that I'll finally do karaoke this year on our cruise.

10) Are you more likely to pick truth or dare? Truth because I always think I'll embarrass myself with a dare.


How do you guys kick the crap out of a funk?
What are three things you do that are guaranteed to blast you out of one?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I received TWO awards!

 I received the Versatile Blogger Award from:
Maria at Maria's Musings
Birchgirl at 42 Is A Magic Number

Thanks to both of these wonderful bloggers for handing out this award to me!!  I truly appreciate it! 

And in keeping with tradition, I will give you 7 little-known facts about me (though that might be hard since I just blab everything about myself as it comes to my head!).

1) I was once kissed on the eye by singer Freddy Fender (google him).  I was 4 or 5 years old and my mother made him do it.
2) Being in complete darkness terrifies me
3) I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
4) I'm not afraid to tell my children I'm sorry if I've acted in a way that warrants an apology.
5) I have a hard time admitting I'm wrong
6) I get scared in the shower because I can't hear what's going on around me, yet I crank my iPod when I workout.
7) My husband still makes me feel all butterfly-ish inside.

I'd like to pass this award on to my friend FattyBoobaLatty at Fatty Made A Funny because I adore her humor and honesty and I have a sneaking suspicion that she and I have a lot in common.  I'm also handing it out to Sandra at Do Life Differently because I adore her witty posts.  She's always got a word of encouragement for me when I need it.

Thanks guys!!

My Week In Review 3/7/11 - 3/13/11

I'm sitting here trying to think of what to write for this week.

I had some real success this week on Friday with my  new favorite Italian restaurant.  I ordered baked lasagna and it was flipping awesome.  But I actually stopped at half and brought the rest home. I didn't even want to eat the other half that night. 

I earned another 7 day chip on Friday and am currently on Day 9 headed toward a 30 Day Chip

I've had a rather "blah" day weight-loss wise.  I don't feel on top of the world about everything but I know this will pass.  It's a small spot of depression and those come and go.  In bright news my oldest daughter had her first soccer practice on Saturday and loved it.  And I got to spend the whole weekend with the three people I love the most on this planet and for that I am so thankful.

For those of you who have been asking - my MIL is resting at her home and continuing to get better.  She has some specialists to see to help her recover fully (we are hoping) and we'll see how things go from there.  Thank you all for the outpouring of emotional support while she was in the hospital.  Your comments and emails have meant a great deal to me.

I'll have a bit more wit about me tomorrow, I promise! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Product Review - Hellman's (Best Foods) Light Mayonnaise

Some people don't like mayonnaise.  Let me tell you something about those people:  I just don't understand them.  I have ALWAYS loved mayonnaise.  My family will attest to the fact that I used to eat (brace yourself for it....) mayonnaise sandwiches.  What's not to love, right?  Creamy, fatty, yummy......

And I'm a bit of a mayonnaise snob, too.  I only eat Hellman's brand (Best Foods brand to you people west of the rockies - why it has to be different I will never understand).  And pretty please, with sugar on top - NEVER EVER call Miracle Whip mayonnaise.  You may refer to it as "Abomination."

So for the first few months of doing the Weight Watchers plan this time around I just figured (like all other times) that my love affair with mayonnaise was over and I'd never be eating it again.  After all, regular full-fat mayonnaise is THREE PointsPlus PER TABLESPOON.  That's a lot for just a tablespoon of anything, even mayonnaise.  At first I lived with it. I 'd use the full fat mayonnaise on my sandiwiches and just cut calories/points elsewhere.

And then the skies opened up and the heavens sang to me.  "Try the light version," I heard.  I fought with the voice in my head.  "But it'll taste like ass," I said to the heavenly voice.  "Just try it."

So I tried it.  And guess what. IT FREAKING ROCKS.  At the risk of sounding like a Diet Dr. Pepper commercial, it really does taste much more like the original version than I thought it would.  And for only ONE points plus per tablespoon, it works with anything.

I VERYHIGHLYEXTREMLEYMUCH recommend giving it a try if you're a mayonnaise person like me. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

30 Days of Pictures - Day 30 (Someone I Miss)

Day 30 - "A picture of someone you miss"

I started this "30 Days of Pictures" in mid-January.  It obviously took longer than 30 days, but that's ok.

This one I've been putting off for a while because I knew it would be emotional for me.  The person I miss the most is my father. 

He was an incredible father.  He was not without his faults, but he loved us, and he made sure we knew that.  He died in 2001 at the age of 77.  I often say, "He lived a long life" as if that makes it all ok.  It doesn't.  I still miss my dad.  I miss holding his hand and talking to him on the phone.  I miss his voice.  I miss him telling stories to me.  I realized some time after he died that I'd never get another story from him.  Ever.  And that hurt just as much as the actual realization that he was really gone.  Forever.

Growing up I knew I would be lucky to have my father into my adulthood.  He was 52 when I was born.  He always stayed busy and always had a project going.  When I was younger he did a lot of things outside - he LOVED to be outside.  He would tinker in his workshop (which we just called "The Building") all day long after he retired, and often well into the evening.  Later, when his health started to falter, he did more things inside and became an accomplished jewelry maker and was also very good at making Dreamcatchers as well.

He was fiercly proud of his Native American (Apache) heritage and read a lot about it.  He was convinced he was a direct descendant of Geronimo.  But then again he also tried to convince us that he was there when the raised the flag at Iwo Jima, too. He was always telling stories trying to be someone's hero.  And I wish to this day that I had told him that he was (and continues to be) mine.

I wish my girls had been able to know their grandfather and that he wasn't just an idea or photograph to them.  He was a kind grandfather to my sister's son and I have a feeling that he would have been a pretty dynamite grandfather to my kids as well.

So....I miss my papa.  And I always will.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dear Fat Tuesday

I have something I need to say loud and clear to Fat Tuesday, if it's listening:


Look, it's nothing personal.  I've just made this deal with myself.  And I know that next year at this time, I just can't be the person I am now.  It's about transformation, don't you see?  This go around, with each pound lost, I feel transformed. Not just thinner or healthier but completely different.  So I just don't see myself being fat on Fat Tuesday ever again.

I'll admire you from afar with your King Cake and Beignets and all sorts of wonderful yummies.  But I will not, cannot, ever go back.

Sorry, Fat Tuesday.  Looks like you better take a good look at me today, because I just ain't going to be this way when you stop back around again.

Monday, March 7, 2011

20 Pounds GONE!

I'm about me some motivation.  That's why I created my motivation incentives (which is fancy-speak for PRIZES!).  I had some trouble with the 10lbs lost prize.  I awarded it to myself and then promptly gained back almost all of those 10 pounds.

THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT!  I earned back that 10 pound loss (but did not give myself more flowers - see motivation incentives in the column to the left), plus ANOTHER 10 pounds.  That's right, folks - for those of you who aren't good at math (like me - totally had to rock the calculator on that one), that TWENTY pounds I've lost.  And I'm proud of every single one.

This step in the PRIZE schedule is a magazine subscription. But I went one better ('cause that's just how I roll).  I got the new Weight Watchers Cookbook (with all kinds of rockin' recipes all with PointsPlus values) which INCLUDED a magazine subscription for Weight Watchers magazine.  So I figure the cookbook was just a technicality and I got the intended prize.

I'm really excited about both.  I've already been eying over the cookbook and have plans for several of the recipes in it.  I think that every cookbook ever made from here on in should at least have all nutritional values listed for the recipes.  It makes life so much easier!

So, yay me!  I'm very proud of coming this far and am looking forward to telling you all about my next motivation incentive - at 30 pounds lost, Aron and I get a date night out.  Just us!

Thanks to everyone for their awesome support!



I'm totally copying this from Trisha at Crazy Little Thing Called Life (which you should read, by the way).

ABC's of ME

Age: 35
Bed size: Queen
Chore you hate: Washing dishes
Dogs: Eh - don't want one.
Essential start of your day: Special K Protein Bar (Chocolatey Chip)
Fave color: Green
Gold or silver: White gold or platinum
Height: 5'6''
Instruments I play: I used to play bass guitar, but that seems like a lifetime ago
Job title: Full time mommy / Licensed Childcare Provider
Live: in the middle of the country
Mom’s name: Ellen
Nicknames: Momma, Cavity Creep (I had such wonderful siblings!)
Overnight hospital stays: 2 - for the birth of my chidlren
Pet peeve: People not using their turn signals
Quote from a movie: "I don't tip just because society tells me I have to."
Right or left handed: Right.
Siblings: 2 sisters, 1 brother, 1 half-brother, 1 half-sister
Time you wake up: Usually 5am
Underwear: Yes
Veg you dislike: raw onions, peppers, red tomatoes, okra
What makes you run late: I blame it on my children, but really it's me not managing my time wisely enough
X-rays you have had done: ankle, tailbone
Yummy food you make: Any kind of pasta
Zoo Animal, favorite: Giraffes, penguins

Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Week In Review

This past week I've had some success, and I've had some struggles.

Monday brought with it a failed attempt at a gym workout (the previous night's storm rendered the Y without power) and my MIL was admitted to the hospital (thank you for all the well wishes - she is still in but we are hopeful she'll be released tomorrow).  The desire to binge was huge.  But I held off.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were ok-ish.  Still wanted to binge, but didn't.  I had awesome workouts at the gym on Wednesday and Thursday and am growing to love the stationary bike and the change of pace of it. 

Friday's well-documented off-trackedness (another made up word!!) and subsequent Soul Searching / Soul Cleansing was both good and bad. I learned a lot about myself that day.  That seems to be the way it goes.

Saturday was Day 1 (again) for me on my quest for a #7daychip with my Twitter group and after having changed my goals for the 7Day Chip, I had the strongest and most successful Day 1 ever for me.  Today has been much the same. 

Overall it's been a week of learning for me - and a good week at that.  I honestly can't wait for weigh-in in the morning!!

30 Days of Pictures - Day 29 Daddy/Daughter

 Day 29 - "A picture that can always make you smile"

This is a picture from a morning we spent at the park last spring.  It's my husband, taking a moment to tie our youngest daughter's shoe.  I love it and it makes me smile because it shows the tenderness he feels toward her, and it shows the awe she feels toward him.

Lenna, from day 1, has been a Daddy's girl.  For her, the sun rises and sets with him.  And thought at times I'll admit feeling a little jealousy about that, I think it's fantastic.  A girl should be in awe of their father - that means that daddy's doing precisely the job he's supposed to.  I absolutely and positively love the relationship that he has with our daughters.

Still to come:
30. A picture of someone you miss

Friday, March 4, 2011

Soul Searching / Soul Cleansing

I've been going on and on about being positive, taking risks, and just doing what you need to do to attain your goals.  But what good is me talking about it if I don't walk the walk?

It's been a stressful week in a lot of ways.  My mother-in-law, who is an ideal mother-in-law, and whom I love very much, has been sick and in the hospital since Monday.  I get a little panicky when I think about it.  Without going into details about the struggles she's been facing, let's just say she had a very serious medical condition and nearly didn't make it.  Words cannot express what this woman means to me.  When I moved half a country away from my home, family, and friends to be with the man I eventually married (her son), she welcomed me into their family with open arms and love and hasn't stopped since.  I've had the type of mother-daughter relationship with her that I'd always wished I could have with my own mother.  She has been the best grandmother a person could wish to have for their children.  And the thought of having nearly lost her scares me to no end.

And so, I kept it together, mostly.  I had controlled eating habits most of the week.  I'd find myself start to slip and I'd stop.  I can't even start to tell you how badly I wanted to binge.  It was like I was going out of my skull with the need to.  I'd find myself in the pantry just staring at the shelves of food, getting those sweaty palms, my heart racing....plotting.  And although I wanted with every fiber of my being to give into my urges, I didn't.

Until today.

It's not just having my mother-in-law sick that pushed me over the edge.  My children have been sick off and  on the past few days.  I felt my organization of my home begin to slip (which has become very important to me).  I've just felt mentally on edge.  Today, although I *knew* it wasn't a good idea, I suggested that my husband and I take our youngest daughter (oldest daughter was at school) and the one daycare child I had with me today out to lunch.  They chose a pizza buffet (which, lord help me, I knew they would pick - which is why I suggested it).  Before we even got there I knew I shouldn't have suggested it.  I knew it wouldn't turn out pretty.  And it didn't.  It wasn't a horrible binge in any stretch of the word.  I could have gone way further (and would have if I had been there with the girls by myself).  But the shame I felt the entire time was just too much.

Later in the afternoon my wonderful husband asked me what was bothering me.  My normal response? "Nothing."  (We know it drives you guys crazy when we say that, but's just easier.)  This time, though, I confessed.  I cried.  I told him how I was feeling.

When it comes to food / binges / etc - I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS BEFORE.

And he asked me - Did you go over your points? (WW points)  I told him I hadn't. 

He didn't say, "It's ok."  And I love him for that.  He just said, it's tough sometimes.....and offered to help me make a plan for the rest of the evening that he would help me follow.  I don't know if I can express to him what that means to not feel like I'm all alone in this house with these feelings. 

After dinner, though - Lilly, my incredible 6 year old daughter, drew me a picture.  It was a picture of her and I.  She drew me as she sees me.  You'll notice that her drawing of me isn't even a little overweight.  And I'm even dancing.

This is how she sees me and it is really quite astounding to me.  It made me cry.  It was my "snap" point to the day.  I have a wonderful, loving husband willing to do whatever he can to help me succeed.  I have children who love me and don't see me as I see myself.  I have a great network of blogger and Twitter friends who are here to support me.

There's no way I can't win at this.  I gave into my urge to eat my feelings.  But at least I thought about it this time.  Maybe next time I can take that a step further.  I STILL refuse to lay down and die.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Socks and Shoes

How do you put your socks and shoes on?  Is it sock/sock, shoe/shoe?  Or are you a sock/shoe, sock/shoe person?  Watch this before I make my point:

So which are you?  Me, I'm more like Meathead - I'm a sock /shoe, sock/shoe person.  What's this say about me?

I think that people who are sock/shoe, sock/shoe people are risk takers.  Can I get everything done (socks and shoes both) in the time allotted before getting interrupted?  I think sock/sock, shoe/shoe people are more conventional and want their bases covered. 

How does this relate to weight loss?  I think to have even a marginal amount of success you have to take some sort of risk.  Look, starting to exercise SUCKS.  When you're overweight you feel like a complete ass there on the treadmill next to Miss 100 Pounds (as in that's what she weighs, not what she has to lose) and Mr. Hardbody.  I know I did.  My first few times at the gym were EXCRUCIATING.  I felt that everyone was thinking "It's about time fatty got her fat self in here." 

But I took that risk.  I decided I didn't give a flying F what Miss 100 and Mr. Hardbody thought of me.  I wasn't doing this for them.  And each day that I went back, I gained confidence. I owned that time.  That time was / is for ME.  And who knows? Maybe they started out like ME once.

There's nothing wrong with sock/sock, shoe/shoe people.  And seriously, it's all a mindset and not how you actually put on your socks and shoes, people.  For me, sock/sock, shoe/shoe just represents me taking the easy and conventional way out.  The way I was SUPPOSED to be.  Now, I just do things the way they work for ME. 

So how about you?  Ready for the risk?

And you know what else?  Ever since I first watched this clip from All In The Family, I think about it EVERY time I put on socks and shoes.  Every.  Single. Time. 
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