Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Wagon? Oh, yeah. I fell off that....

Yeah, I did. I fell RIGHT off. Whoop! Plop.

I'm getting back on though. And this BLOG is going to help me stay accountable. I gained 5 lbs. NO MORE. NOT GOING BACK. Gotta eat healthy.

You see, financially, I'm in hell. We don't make ends meet. I've cut every corner there is to cut and we don't have any more corners to cut. We simply have more bills than we have income. And over 55% of it is our mortgage. We could sell, but it's an underwater mortgage. And where would be end up? Paying $1000 in rent each month? So we save $400, but it all goes into the toilet so some other shmuck can pay HIS mortgage? Don't get me wrong. If you gotta rent, you gotta rent, but I would eat raman, dried beans, and potatoes every meal before I'd go backwards.

And that's pretty much what we're doing. I use beef bones to flavor food. I use bulk grain mixed in with ground beef to extend what we have when we actually use beef. I use dried beans and lentils to make soup and then freeze 6 servings to use later. I buy potatoes when they're on sale and we eat potato soup, baked potatoes, and home-made "fries." I buy pasta when it's 99 cents for the box. We have our grocery bill (including everything - not just food, so paper towels, cat food, dog food, shampoo, etc. You get it) down to $300 a month. That's incredible.

Anyway, all the financial stress is getting to me and I've let the diet go....Not anymore. I'm back and I'm gonna kick this body's butt.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Whoa! Full-time Job and Preschool!

For those not following along, my son is autistic. He just turned three on the 14th of this month and so could start preschool after his birthday. This last week was CRAZY. I couldn't have picked a more insane time to start my Mary Kay business, I tell ya.

So, let me start off by saying that I've been SUPER naughty. I've pretty much eaten whatever (but I TRY to keep it within reason) and haven't been good about tracking my food. That needs to STOP. Joshua's birthday was no exception. Veggies, hummus, pita bread wedges, and tzatziki along with loads of cookies instead of cake, were a recipe for overeating. Everything but the cookies were SO good for you, but hummus adds up quickly, and GAWD knows what the tzatziki adds up to be. Nevermind the 4 cookies I ate. Ridiculous.

So wipe that off the schedule and I received my Mary Kay business supplies, ie. the starter kit and my QuickBooks software and some basic filing supplies. Tack on the fact that 50 pounds gone means NOT A SINGLE THING FITS anymore. And, I mean, that's a good thing, right? But Mary Kay would like us to be feminine and wear skirts. I wore my ONLY pants suit to my first meeting and that's when I was told that that was okay, mostly, but skirts were preferred. In fact, I've found that many woman believe that as long as there's a skirt, they can be mostly casual. That's another story...

Anyway, I hit up thrift stores. I'm not ashamed to admit that beggars cannot be choosers. I have SO little cash, that I'm starting up Mary Kay. Hello?! Yeah, I don't have hundreds of bucks to spend on clothes that I HOPE TO GAWD don't fit me in 6 months. So, I hit up Value Village and Goodwill. Less than $90 later, I came home with 4-6 skirts, 3 suit jackets, 1 dress suit, and 2 pairs of really nice shoes. And, all of that is a write-off for my business. And you darn well better know I'm keepin' track. Thank you QuickBooks. OH, that reminds me. Hafta add the QuickBook expense to the Office Supplies Expense Account. Whoops.

So, once again, how about the weight?! I lost another pound. Maybe I'm selfish, but I SO wanna see that number get bigger. But, I don't really deserve it at all. I've been SO BAD. Why should I even have lost a pound?! I should be grateful (and I really kinda am), but I find myself getting all bent outta shape about the whole thing. I want more....Sheesh. I'm being such a baby, right? At least it's a loss.

Anyway, more preschool tomorrow morning where Joshua will spend at least 15 minutes with 3 different therapists and 30 minutes with a speech therapist and then the rest of what's left of two hours playing and having a good time. My day starts at 5:40 am tomorrow, so I'd better head off to bed. I feel a cold coming on and I know that means I'd BETTER get to BED NOW! Mom's can't be sick. We're too amazing to be sick.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Preschool, Mary Kay, and Other New Developments

Well, if I thought this last week was hectic, I had NO idea what I was going to be doing THIS week.

Last week, in addition to all of the many tasks I juggle and getting to the gym and making sure we have a meal plan in place, my son had his evaluation at our local school with the important departments at our school district. I hadn't heard anything as of the 4th of September and I'd expected to hear something from the district on the 2nd, so I emailed my contact. I immediately got a response back thanking me for emailing and asking me to meet for my son's evaluation TOMORROW (the 5th). I'm flexible. I have to be in order to ensure my autistic son gets the support he needs. At the drop of a hat, I have to be willing to stop whatever I'm doing and meet with staff anywhere at any time. But, more on that to come.

So, I attended his evaluation and they assessed him and took notes. I'd filled out the 40+ pages of my own evaluations so they could review it later. I filled out more while we were there with Joshua bouncing off the walls as a team of experts attempted him to jump through hoop after hoop.

At the end, they had all they could get and I'd be coming back in one week for the "report." Basically, they would sit down and discuss what their findings were and IF my son was eligible for special assistance and schooling through the school district.

Being a mother of an autistic child is challenging in general. My son is what the medical folks call "non-verbal." Mostly. He can't talk. Mostly. The "mostly" is what puts him into the "high-functioning" category on the spectrum. He's only, you know, a LITTLE autistic. Anyway, it's enough to make MY life essentially about my son. What is he doing? Where is he? What is he eating or not eating? What does he need?

I think I need to back up a bit. When my husband and I decided to have our first child, I was working a great job which I loved. He was making a decent wage as a truck driver. One month before I was due, my husband was laid off from his job. Actually, he was fired, without cause in order to keep a large customer happy. That much was proven true. While I was on maternity leave, I received a letter from the company I was working for letting me know that I didn't need to come back. They no longer had a place for me.

So, in two months, we went from having a comfortable living, safe and secure to having virtually NO security whatsoever. And now, we had a baby to deal with. And a mortgage.

Fast forward to today - my son is autistic, my husband is working again in the new economy meaning he works just as hard for less money. In order to survive, we've cut our budget to virtually nothing and refinanced in order to prevent foreclosure on our home. All this and I STILL NEED TO WORK. I just CAN'T.

The most flexible jobs are RETAIL jobs. What retailer is going to be okay with me saying, "Hey, I can only work two hours a day from 9 -11 am, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. MAYBE Saturday, but only Sunday afternoons. Oh, and if my son's teacher/babysitter/dad calls me, I will have to be free to go at any time. And, occasionally, I might have to go to appointments to meet with my son's special care team nevermind his dentist or pediatrician. So, when can I start?"

Not. Going. To. Happen. I can't think of a job in the WORLD okay with those restrictions. That leaves me starting my own business. I'm scared. In this economy, even the well managed businesses fail. So, what business is easy to start with relatively NO capital that doesn't require me to put in 14-18 hour or MORE days?! Avon. Pampered Chef. PartyLight. Mary Kay.

What is my passion? Cooking. Make-up/Skin Care. What do I have experience in and knowledge about? The latter. I've been doing my makeup since I was a dancer at 6 years old. I've been experimenting with makeup techniques practically my whole life. One of my favorite things to do is have an extremely LONG RELAXING facial system set up so I can pamper my friends. I love love love GIRL'S NIGHTS. It was just a no brainer that I should chose Avon or Mary Kay.

I've always thought Avon products were inferior to other products. I've always felt that they were fairly hit and miss on what was good and what was suitable for Walmart-level quality. And their stuff isn't as expensive. They sell it for less. AND, like you almost always DO - you get what you PAY for.

Anyway, this might not be the place to brag about Mary Kay and frankly, why should you believe me? I just started selling it as of LAST NIGHT. But, I will say, I've been using Dermalogica which is sold by professional aestheticians and I've switched to using Mary Kay. Mary Kay is less expensive AND SO SIMILAR that I hardly notice the swap. I'm thrilled to work for a company that can deliver that quality.

Okay, spiel over. So WHAT ABOUT THE WEIGHT?! Right?! What did I lose? A pound. Just a lonely pound. But, I'm one pound lighter than last week and that is a WIN! I'll take it over the previous week's ZERO loss, that's for sure!

In other news, I've had to stop using the patch. I ended up with very severe side-effects including sore/extremely tender breasts, chest heaviness, heart palpitations, nausea. It was BAD. So, I have an appointment on Friday to see about getting the pill, even though I really really wanted the patch to work out. :( Oh well. Hopefully, this will be the end of the insatiable need to feed. I've been SO hungry. I'll be glad to have that AND the HORRID acne I was developing gone. It was SO out of hand. Wish me luck.

And, on that note, good luck to you all. I wish you a light and healthy week. When you see me again, Joshua will have started school, I will have my MK starter kit and be on my way to making a few dollars, we will have had Josh's 3rd birthday bash, and hopefully I'll be on track to get a few moments of peace and quiet just to myself.

Blessings to everyone!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Apples - Fruit from Hell

That probably got your attention. Apples. Not. A. Fan. Actually, I like their flavor. I like how easy they are to grab and go. I love slicing them and packing them for snacks.

Unfortunately, they HATE ME. Every single time I eat an apple, shortly after eating it, my stomach begins to cramp up like I'm hungry again. Within minutes, my stomach hurts so bad that I can barely focus on what I'm doing. It's really very uncomfortable.

As you can imagine, this makes the prospect of grabbing an apple on my way out the door, well, less than appealing. I actually have anxiety about eating apples thanks to my adverse reaction.

Okay, so why don't I just NOT eat them?! Why do I keep trying to eat something that tears my stomach apart?! Because I really really like them. I like how they're easy to grab, don't bruise as easy as the other grab and go fruits like bananas and pears. They're sweet and filling. They're fiber rich and SO good for you. Yeah, I love apples. But we're going to have to break off our rather destructive and unhealthy relationship.

Okay, enough apple talk.

What about the weight? I lost ZERO pounds. Nothin'. Nada. I'm wondering if it has something to do with my going on the birth control patch. I have been "snackier" than normal and generally uncomfortable. I haven't really been able to control my appetite this last week and this week isn't shaping up to be much better.

I said that this blog would be honest. I would share the good and the bad, the successes and failures. This week sucked. Losing nothing sucks. I won't pretend to be just fine about seeing no change on the scale. The difference between then (when I've tried diets before) and now (Weight Watchers) is that I'm not going to let this get me down. I'm going to get on track again. I'm going to adjust. I'm going to lose weight again. Maybe not this week or next week, but as long as I don't quit, I'll keep losing. Quitting now would be like quitting a team because I missed one goal, but made the last 40. That would be ridiculous.

So, onward and upward. Off to next week. See you all soon.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Birthday Gift - Get to Goal

This week, I celebrated my 32nd birthday. I still managed to lose just over a pound despite the food, the drink, and the lack of working out thanks to much celebration.

I also had a break from my son, some respite, thanks to my parents who watched him for almost 4 days. He had a blast going to two baseballs games (my parents hold season tickets) and playing with my parents several cats and three dogs. Mommy and Daddy got some fun in with a friend from out of town and actually got some serious plumbing done in our bathroom which we have gutted and are remodeling. Until it's finished, we have ZERO shower/bath. We have ONE toilet and ONE sink. Life kinda, well, stinks right now. I feel perpetually filthy.

So, I'm doing okay this week. Managed to lose some weight. I'm feeling a little sweet-tooth-ish. I'm having a hard time NOT grubbing on ice cream and cookies. Those things aren't even in my house and I'm having a hard time avoiding them. It's been tough, but I've handled it okay. 

It was TOM this week and so cramps and bloating was my birthday gift to myself this year. Oh, well. That's life, right? 

Anyway, next year, I think I'd like to give myself a better gift. I think next year, I'd like to reach my goal weight before my birthday. I don't think it's completely unreasonable. If I'd like to lose about 60 pounds, figuring about a pound and a half per week, that's 40 weeks. That puts me in July? I think... Anyway, it's still before my birthday by, like, a month or so. Like I said, I don't think it's totally unreasonable. It doesn't take plateaus into account, but it doesn't take the occasional two or two and a half pound loss weeks into account either. For now, that's my LONG RANGE target. I have a much closer goal to focus on right now.

My next goal is to get under 175 pounds. I haven't been 175 pounds in almost 10 years. Before that, I was that weight my junior year of high school. It's a mental weight loss hurtle I intend to get over.

Okay, so, I'm pooped guys. I'm going to run. See you all next week. Until then, stay healthy, eat right, and move your body!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stuffing Face

Okay, so last week, I never posted. I'm REALLY sorry. I had a crazy week. I ate too much. I know I did. I kept snacking and I didn't track EVERYTHING I ate.

As a result, I dropped only .8 pounds. Less than 1 pound. But I'll take it because it's a loss, right? Sure, I'd liked to have had more, but I can't be ungrateful for the loss. After all, I know I didn't do that well.

This week isn't shaping up much better. This weekend is my birthday weekend and all this week has been a blur of family get togethers and the like. It doesn't help that I've been RAVENOUS this week. Again, I can't stop eating and exercise has been hard to fit in with all the family stuff and appointments. I'm feeling pretty gross this week and I expect a gain.

When I lost the .8 pounds, I finally went over the 50 pounds lost mark! Yay! I was really excited. I'll be shocked though, if I manage to keep it. I think I'll gain and then I'll just have to do better to get back to that "50 pounds lost " mark again.

I'm also feeling sick. I feel like I have a cold or something, which could just be my period coming. A lot of times, I end up getting stuffed up and feeling sick in my PMS week. I liken it to the symptoms pregnant women feel when they get pregnant. Their mucus production increases and they can feel like they have a cold. I think my body must do something similar. I have no idea. I'm SO not a doctor.

Anyway, so this is my PMS week. I'm in the hell that is before TOM shows up. And when TOM or Aunt Flo get here, I'll be very happy. I'm also looking forward to using the birth control patch. I've never used it before. I've always been on the pill, although I'm not on anything at the moment. I chose the patch because I just don't think I can remember to take my birth control pill every day at the same time. I can't even get here to blog once a week!! I end up forgetting that! I'll forget the pill.

Okay guys, it's 9 o'clock here. I'm pooped. I'm gonna wrap this up. Wish me luck this Sunday, but I'll accept whatever that scale says.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Losing TOO Fast?!

Happy Wednesday everyone! Well, this has been one crazy week. For starters, last Wednesday marked the first day we were going to have our friend from Canada come stay with us for about a week. Delayed for various reasons, he actually arrived two days late. Nevertheless, our routine was changed and this can mean serious trouble for diet and exercise. I've been on high-alert this week, for sure. I'm glad I'm in charge of the meal plans! :)

On Sunday, I weighed in at 189.6 pounds. That was a 2.8 pound drop from the previous week and it put me into the 180's and right out of the 190's! It's really something to celebrate, right? I was excited for sure.
NOT SO FAST! Almost three pounds a week is cause for concern! In order to lose weight safely, you should only lose 1-2 pounds a week. There are very good reasons for this, but I'm no expert. Instead of me telling you, I thought I'd post a video of an EXPERT telling you WHY you should lose slowly.


 I didn't post "Part 2" because it's only about 38 seconds long, has similar information that's covered in Part 1, and you can certainly find it yourself, if you're very curious.

I know losing weight slowly is important. Weight Watchers doesn't let you forget it, either. This week, when I lost 2.8 pounds and made my second high-loss week in a row, a warning popped up saying I was losing at an unhealthy rate. Sometimes though, I think my body just decides to drop weight. I cannot predict sometimes, what it is going to do. 

I didn't eat very little or exercise very much this last week. I ate far more than my daily Weight Watchers points every day. Some weeks, I lose very little. I've had plenty of 1/2 pound or less lost weeks. I think it evens out; at least I hope so.

On the Weight Watchers website, I see many people losing 3-5 pounds EVERY week. I'm sure they're excited about dropping the weight fast and not ever dipping into their Weekly Points. I'm certain they are ignoring the warnings thinking that saying they're losing too fast is CRAZY. However, losing this fast is setting them up for failure. It can potentially (and most likely) mean they will gain the weight back and possibly be one of the many Weight Watchers repeat customers.

I don't want to be a repeat customer. I want to get to my goal and STAY there. Who DOESN'T want that for themselves?! I refuse to yo-yo diet EVER AGAIN!

If this Sunday, I get on that scale and see another large number, I will adjust what I'm eating to slow my loss. I seriously doubt I will see another big number, however. I typically do NOT sustain the large loss weeks and, like the contestants on The Biggest Loser, which I'm currently only on Season 5, I have a "not so good week" after a "great week." So, I am anticipating a small loss as my body hangs onto the weight. We'll see. 

If I have a low number, I won't change a thing until I have a streak of low numbers. If I change my tactics every time I have high numbers or low numbers, I'll never do the same thing one week to another. Unless my body PROVES to me that something is NOT working, I won't change it. I like to cut my body some slack to adjust itself to the drastic changes I'm forcing it through.

Well, everyone, I've done fairly well with the rest of the time we had guests. Now, our house is back to normal and we can re-focus a bit. We'll have to wait and see how my body reacts this Sunday! I'll update you next Wednesday! Until then, stay stress free, get moving, and eat well!