~my thoughts about life~

Friday, October 11, 2013

I Got Skinny Eating PB&J

A pretty bad pic of me taken in May
'Tis true.  It wasn't the peanut butter and jelly that made me skinny though.  Let me explain...

A couple months ago, I was just plain disgusted with myself.  I was at my heaviest ever, even though it didn't fully show.  My face still appeared thin because all that weight settled right in my middle.  Boy, was my middle ever thick!  Hubby never complained and always told me I looked beautiful.  But I was disgusted.  After all, I was running two to three times a week, several miles, and I was still fat.  That is so not fair.  I decided that, with my age and metabolism, running 10 miles a week alone was not enough to make me lose weight.  I had to quit "rewarding myself" with snacks and buckle down for a mean and nasty diet.

I've tried dieting in the past and have almost always failed.  There was only one other time in my life that I lost a descent amount of weight.  I tried that method again (and even blogged about it), but it didn't stick.  When so much time passed and I didn't see any results, I gave up and threw in the towel.  So, in my frustration, I contacted a cousin of mine who lost a significant amount of weight and looks amazing.  She recommended the app she used.

Me today.  Photo credit:
Baby Girl, the only one home.  :)
It's called My Fitness Pal (myfitnesspal.com) and I decided right then and there that I was fully on board.  I remember her talking about it a while back, but hadn't paid much attention.  This time, however, I was paying some serious attention.  I plugged in my information right away and tried to recall everything I had eaten that day so far.

The first thing about the app that works for me is accountability.  I am a rule follower and will not allow myself to cheat.  I won't put anything in my mouth that I did not enter into the app.  The second thing that makes this program work for me is realization.  I like to enter the food into the app before I actually eat it.  That way, if I realize that particular food has a ridiculous amount of calories, I can pass on it.  It blew my mind how many calories are in some things that I thought weren't that bad.  Another thing that I love is that any calories you burn while exercising are added to your total for the day!  So I can reward myself for working hard!  The combination of those three things were enough to make this work for me.

I have a friend who is a professional dieter.  She's a Weight Watchers fanatic, but has gained and lost hundreds of pounds on that program.  As soon as she quits, she puts it all back on.  I decided to invite her to try this program with me.  It's cool how you can do it with friends.  The competition and public display is another big motivator for me.  My friend is very competitive, so I thought that would be a turn-on for her too.  Right away, she snubbed her nose at it.  On WW, she could eat as many fruits and vegetables she wanted for "free."  On My Fitness Pal, calories were still registered for fruits and veggies.  She didn't like that.  I explained that it's not as scientific as WW, but it's FREE!  No hefty monthly fees to pay....not even a cost to download the program!  How much could you expect?

One thing I hate about dieting is eating disgusting food.  I refuse to do that.  I have to put something in my mouth that tastes good.  Every day for breakfast, I eat two pieces of buttered toast and hot tea with Splenda.  240 calories.  Every day.  Most days for lunch, I eat a PB&J sandwich and one serving of Pringles (as opposed to the multiple servings I ate before).  425 calories.  Almost every day.  Yeah, I'm kind of a boring eater.  It's just easier for me to eat the same thing day in and day out than to worry about what I'm going to have.  That leaves enough calories for a pretty good dinner or a descent dinner and one snack.

Snacks.  That was one major place I had issues.  I ate several snacks a day.  But on this plan, I could no longer "afford" them.  That was so hard for me at first.  At this point, I've gotten used to that.  I no longer require something before bed.  I'm perfectly content being done with food after dinner.  (I never thought I'd say that!)

Desserts.  That was another huge pitfall for me.  But when you realize that one muffin is as many calories as an entire meal, you learn to pass on desserts.  I can have a pretty good snack for the same amount of calories as a sweet tea.  Crazy!

I've changed my ways, changed my habits.  I'm living a new life now and I'm so much happier about it!  I hit the goal I originally set for myself and may possibly go just a few more pounds for safety.  Like I said, I am now accustomed to eating this way.  I just want to maintain where I am right now.  My total as of today is 18 lbs.!

Has anyone else tried this app?  Did you have any success with it or did it not work for you?  I'd love to hear your experiences!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I Heart New York

Hubby and I were supposed to take a couples' trip to New York with some friends of ours.  That didn't quite work out and we ended up going alone.  We made a great trip out of it and had a blast!

We stayed at The Manhattan at Times Square hotel and had a view of the Times Square ball!  I would recommend this hotel to anyone travelling to the Big Apple because of its great location.  It's easily accessible to some of the most popular attractions without the high cost of the most popular hotels.

One thing I wanted to do in New York was spend some serious time photographing the sights.  Last time we were there, I took a small, borrowed camera that I could fit in my purse.  This time, I took The Beast and carried it around my neck for three days.  (If you must know, my back did ache for a few days afterward.  Ridiculous.)  Hubby supports my photography hobby and was more than patient every time I wanted to stop to shoot something.  I've been wanting to hang up some of my own work in our house, and what better than New York photography?  When we fixed up Son #1's room, we decided that black & white urban shots would look perfect in his industrially themed room.  Now I have the photos...I just need to find the frames.

We ate some serious pizza in New York.  The day I craved a bagel, there was not a vendor in sight for blocks.  I finally asked a local what the deal was and he explained that bagel carts are only available Monday through Friday.  Shaft!  We saw and heard Cher sing (very briefly) outside the Today show.  We also ran into some sports guy that I recognized from TV and Hubby went nuts over.  I have no clue what his name is.  He's the sportscaster who wears the crazy suits & ties at basketball games.

We spent lots of time in Central Park.  I love it there!  I enjoy the street musicians, the stunning trees, and the calm, green grass in the middle of that bustling city.  It's really kind of mind blowing.

Every neighborhood you go to has some sort of activity going on.  We enjoyed checking out some of the less touristy sights and getting the feel of what New York really is.  We got lost on the Subway, walked countless miles, did a little shopping, and paid far too much for a bottle of Diet Coke.  It was a fantabulous trip!!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Oh dear, I know it's been a while!  I'm worried that life won't slow down til I die.  Hmmmm....

Many updates to fill you in on.  First and foremost- I ran my half marathon!!!  Well, to say I ran might be an overstatement.  I finished it.  My final time was 2:38.  Yes, that's hours!  I'm not at all ashamed of that time.  I was just striving for completion.  To be honest, my actual goal was to do it in under three hours.

The best part of the whole thing is that Hubby stayed with me throughout the marathon!  Well, at mile 10, he couldn't take my slow pace any longer.  He ran ahead and I lost sight of him for a while.  When I rounded the corner onto the final street, I saw him up ahead on the side of the road, jumping in place and waiting for me.  What a prince!  With his long legs and athletic form, he could have easily finished in under two hours.  But it was more important for him to cross the finish line with me!  The emotion of it actually overcame me and I began sobbing for the last block.  I could see the end in sight and we were about to enter a stadium full of cheering people.  Have you ever tried to cry while totally exhausted?  It's not easy.  It comes out as more of a gasp, like a dying patient taking their last breath.  I got myself under control and was smiling in my final photos (which they watermark with a moving logo so you can't share it at all).  My legs were complete and total jelly when I finished and it was very difficult to stand still.  (You should have seen me trying to use the porta potty...I kept crashing into the disgusting side walls like an intoxicated person!)

The worst part of the story is that I got sick almost immediately after.  I had a sore throat the entire day before.  Then I guess because I wore myself down, I became victim to the attack of all sickie bugs.  I got a horrible cold and a UTI.  I'm just now starting to get some relief from that.

BUT- I have my silver medal and my 13.1 shirt.  I'm one very proud mama.  And if you're wondering....no, I'll never do it again.  It's a bucket list thing and I'm very proud to cross it off.

My second greatest accomplishment since you've last heard from me is that I lost 15 lbs!  I'm so much happier with my current state and feel like I look pretty darn good.  No, I'm nowhere close to looking like those models in the magazines, but for a 37-year old mama of 4....I think I look quite good (not in a haughty, bragging way, of course).  I'll share more later about how I did that.

Baby Girl celebrated her 5th birthday, which blows my mind.  She's not a baby any more and I'm going to have to stop referring to her as one.  We celebrated at Chuck E. Cheese at a joint party with her twin cousin.  They had a great time and I've yet to send out thank you notes.  Ugh!  She always says she's a monkey and requested a monkey cake.  I was relived because it was much easier to design than other things she's asked for in the past!

The kids are back in school and are doing great.  Our district has a new online progress system that is extremely easy to use.  Son #2, who is so very smart with no self-motivation, is doing better than ever.  We check his grades and assignments every day and then Hubby or myself helps him study for any tests.  He currently has one B and the rest are all As and A minuses.  When I know what my kids are capable of, I can't help but demand it.

Hubby has made a big change at work.  Instead of working the inhumane hours he's been accustomed to (leaving before 5 AM and getting home between 6 & 7, or even later during peak season), he's sold his route and truck to the guy who helped him get hired almost 20 years ago.  This guy has been almost like a father to him.  Hubby works directly for him now and does half the work he did before.  He is still leaving early, but after 5 AM.  He gets home most days around 1 PM.  You guys don't understand the difference in his life.  He now has time to do small projects around the house and to be a father and husband to the kids and me.  Yes, his pay went down, but the quality of life he now has is beyond explanation.  He is trying to supplement his lost income by mowing apartment buildings (which he was doing anyhow in his "spare" time).  Come winter time, he might try to get into plowing.  He is also getting a lot more tile cleaning jobs (his other side business) and my photo booth is taking off.  We're going to be OK.  We won't be moving into a mansion anytime soon, but we're OK with that.

Other than those major things, it's just the same old, same old, and some new.
- I'm still doing my teenage girls club at church.
- Son #1 auditioned for, and again was accepted into, the philharmonic orchestra in our area.
- My running buddy got engaged to my "fake" cousin and asked me to be a bridesmaid.  :)
- Some very, very close friends of ours separated due to infidelity and addiction.  It was heartbreaking.  :(
- I still have a messy house most of the time and I'm still saving money couponing.  (Last week, I got all these groceries for $35!  It was my best haul yet!!!)
- My cousin was ordained as pastor of our church over the weekend and my uncle is now the bishop.  It was an exciting weekend and I was able to see a lot of great friends from time past.
- I went to New York City, which was amazing!  (I'll save that for another post.)
- I finished the kids' rooms and realize I still haven't posted Before/After photos.
- I'm still struggling with a mouthy teenager and trying hard to be a firm, consistent mother.
- Son #2 entered the youth group at church, which means he's growing up too.  He seems a lot younger than his brother and I still struggle allowing him to go on outings without me.
- My friend, the designer, finally came over and spruced up my house a bit.  The changes she made make me so happy about how my house looks.  I need her to come over one more time and fancy up one more room.  It's amazing what she can do with very little!
- I'm still taking portraits and even had my first still life photo shoot.  I've never worked with non-humans before and I was out of my element.  My client was very happy with my work, which will be displayed on the website of her brand new business.
- I redid my photo booth website, which is amazing, I must say.  Exercising my design skills has made me improve so much.  I'm really digging graphic design now.

OK, there's lots more, but that's quite enough for now.  That's what happens when a blogger neglects her blog for so long.  I can't make promises that I'll do better.  It's just tough to find the time.  I know all you busy ladies know exactly what I mean.  If you've stuck around- thanks.  I still appreciate you and feel bad I've dropped the ball.  All I can say is I'll blog when I can!  Such is life!  Hope you're all having a very good one!