Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In My Day

As it's been brought up lately that I am not a cool mom, I decided to reflect on just how un-cool I am. 

It's not pretty, folks. 

I have not watched that show with all the tanned Italian kids, which name truly does escape me right now.  You know the one, one of the girls is pregnant right now with what I'm sure will be the next president of the United States of America or a brain surgeon.  I haven't watched MTV in years, but I hear rumours that they no longer play music videos and instead have shows like 'Teen Moms' that pretty much exploit young girls who are living with unplanned pregnancies.

I have not read, nor watched any of the Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Lord of the Rings series.  Oh, nor have I watched the Twilight trilogy, but I think it's about vampires and werewolves??  No, seriously, I know what it's about.  I've heard about the wars between the Jacob fans and the uh, uh...Edward (is that right?) fans.  I don't get punny, or otherwise, references to any of the movies.   And Dr. Who is evidently making a comeback.  I used to watch Dr. Who when I was babysitting late on Saturday nights after Saturday Night Live was over and there was absolutely nothing else to watch.  And that was 20 years ago.  I sure hope they're not watching those ones...they were horrid.

I kind of wanted to watch the Hunger Games (so funny, I just wrote Hungry Games...haha) until I realized it's about a society where children from different tribes are chosen to kill each other until there is only one standing.  I get that it's a statement about our society and blah, blah, blah...but come on, what adult wants to support anything that has children killing other children with spectators watching on?  Especially when there are horrible events happening in the REAL WORLD where children are killing other children.  It breaks our hearts when it happens for real, but where do they get the ideas from??   

Hey...Jersey Shore!!  That's the show with the tanned Italians.  The memory goes when you get older and you're not cool.

I am always looking for an amazing literary find.  If I could get paid to read crazy awesome books for a living, I would so be early for work every single day.  I heard about this one book called "50 Shades of Grey".  Maybe you've heard of it, too??  I really don't consider myself to be a prude.  I am quite non-prudish.  I wear shirts that bear some cleavage.  I swear (hopefully when Q is not in the room) once in a while.  I watched Sex in the City.  I do not understand, however, how grown (married)  women are reading a series about a man who is totally into kinky stuff (and I think I'm putting that reallllly mildly).   Here's my thing...how offended would we be if men were walking around with a playboy magazine...on the bus, in the lunch room?  There would be an uproar.  There would be mother's shielding their children's eyes.  But when the tables are turned, it's okay for women??  It's porn for the housewife.

I don't know, I guess I'm not cool.

What has happened to the good ol' days with the good literature, and the good movies.  Like 'The Dead Poet's Society'.  That movie told a story, that movie showed how important it was to find something you believe in, something worth fighting for, and surrounding yourself with people who care just as much as you. 

Don't even get me started on clothes.  Skinny jeans, on a man?  Totally not attractive.  I want a man, a manly man, not a man with skinny legs.  And neon is everywhere.  I already went through the early to mid-80's, I don't need to wear them again.  I hated it the first time around!

I found myself at work this past week chatting with a couple other adults (around my age) and we were talking about this new generation of kids that have no work ethic.  They've never had to work for anything, they've been given everything on a silver platter.  They don't respect authority, and they take things like a *job* for granted.  We were talking about these kids like we were old.  We are old.  We're like our parents.

It was a real nice touch when one of the guys threw in, "Why, in my day we had to walk 2 miles to school up hill both ways, in 4 feet of snow..."

When did this happen?  How do I stop it?  Either I have to accept it or I have to start spending a hour a week with JWOWW and Snooki.  Between you and me, I think acceptance will be easier.  Cuz I think I might pull something if I try putting on skinny jeans...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pinterest Fail

My obsession right now is Pinterest.  I can spend hours and hours and hours wasting time scrolling through pictures upon pictures upon crafts upon crafts upon recipes upon a million different things that creative, crafty people have done and then posted on this amazing website.  Every once in a while I feel these creative juices flowing and I just want to create something, so yesterday I took on a project that looked fail proof. 

It would have been less frustrating for me to take a fifty dollar bill and tear it up into a million pieces, set it on fire, and flush it down the toilet.  Cheaper too, because the toilet wouldn't have charged any taxes. 

I started with this idea, to paint a chair with specialized fabric paint from a blog called Pinterest Addict.  So, this woman takes ideas from Pinterest and beyond and actually makes them work...successfully.  Look how fabulous this is...

...it looks amazing, doesn't it?  Well, we have a chair that is old and dirty and I thought "what a great weekend project this will be!!"  (seeing this picture now, I realize that I missed step one which is...buy the correct product...I used a different one that did not produce the same results.)

Here is my ugly old chair...

Here we are during the transformation process.  I would like to point out the blotchy colours even though I was careful to follow the directions, having a paintbrush handy to even out the paint.  Even though it's an aerosol, it's flow is not consistent enough to evenly distribute itself.    And this is two bottles worth of paint.  At $9.99 a pop, this was proving to be an expensive afternoon.

After another trip to Michael's to pick up 3 more bottles of spray paint, plus 24 hours left to dry...and this is how the project turned out.  If you notice, it is still blotchy.  It's hard.  It's sticky and there's a 6 inch by 18 inch *patch* at the back that is not yet done.  This is because I refuse to spend another $9.99 seeing as how I'm totally ditching this chair first chance I get.  

And if you look reeeeeeeealllllly close, you will see that a slug left a nice little surprise for us while I let it dry over night.  At least I hope it's a slug and not a gift from a bird's rear end.  Either way, it's rather poetic, wouldn't you say?

My tips for making this a successful project:

1.  Use the proper paint product.  I used the aerosol stencil paint, when I should have used the non-aerosol fabric paint.  I recommend following the directions and testing the product on a small piece of fabric beforehand.

2.  Pick a colour that is close to the colour you're starting with.  I went from light tan to black, which probably accounts for the blotchiness.  Unfortunately, the colour choices were like Green Apple and Poppy Red.  Black was as neutral as I could find. 

3.  The paint brush was super helpful for getting into all the little nooks and crannies of the chair.  The sponge brush was even better.

4.  Don't let it dry outside OR wrap it with plastic or something, so a bird doesn't decide to use it as a port-a-potty.

5.  Wear gloves and long pants.  I have paint all over my hands and feet and I cannot get it off for the life of me.  It's not that bad, but it looks like I haven't shaved in a week, which I wouldn't mind if I hadn't, but I did shave yesterday.  And now, I ain't gonna get no credit for it.

6.  Don't do it.  Take the $50.00 and go to a movie or out for dinner instead.  Wayyyy less stressful!

Have you done any Pinterest crafts?  Have they worked?  Share your ideas, share your tips, share your disasters! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Q-isms - What A Man (boy) Wants

Watching The Bachelorette with Q is probably not one of my finer parenting moments, I'll agree.  Is there even a defense?  Mondays he's with me and Monday is Bachelorette day, and I kind of thought he wasn't even paying attention.  Except when he'd be all, Is Ryan still on the show?"  But we'd both look away and gag and make "ewwwwwwww" noises when ever she kissed someone...does that count as bonding time??  No, no, you're right, I don't think so either. 

So, we're watching the finale...

Q:  I would never marry her.

Me:  Why?  Because she's like 20 years older than you?

Q:  No, because she knows nothing about hockey.

Ladies beware - if you want to marry my son, you had better know your hockey!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Things I Do Not Know

Maybe I should be embarrassed to admit such things in an open forum, but my goodness, you guys already know so much about me, it seems silly to hide this. 

There are things I do not know.  Things I cannot comprehend.  Things I've not learned.  Things I may never, ever know. 

We were at Science World on Monday where they had this amazing Leonardo da Vinci exhibit.  Foolishly, I expected a whole bunch of art paintings on the wall, and was kind of thinking, "hmpf, we've all seen art..."  Now, I did (thankfully) know that Leo painted this...

image via wikipedia
...but I had absolutely no idea that he was a genius, years and years beyond his time.  His drawings show that he understood concepts that were completely unheard of in his day.  He essentially invented the first helicopter, scuba diving suit, and army tanks on paper hundreds of years before they were put into use.  I walked through the gallery in absolute awe.

Math, I will never understand.  I spent years and years learning it, of course, but I have never had to use cos or sine, and I've never had to find X or Y.  Anything I cannot add with my fingers or in my head, I pull out my trusty iPhone and mutter to myself about wasted years in high school giving myself a headache trying to learn nonsense in Mrs. Brooks class.  This...
...is gibberish to me.  It makes my head hurt just trying to figure out what they're trying to do there, let alone determine the answer. 

The Hubble Telescope blows my mind.  I mean, how is it even possible that they've been able to use a telescope to look back in time?  Or look lite (light??) years ahead in time?  That is crazy right there, crazy in a telescope. 

They have found scrolls from thousands of years ago.  This makes me question two things...1) how could they have been preserved all these years so we can read and piece together accurate historical data as though we were there and 2) who's job is it now to write down everything that's happening for people 2000 years from now?  And how well does that job pay?  Because I might be interested...

One final thing for today...as you can see my blog has been once again changed.  I get bored so easily and I'm looking for something simple, yet bold.  Chic, yet cool.  I found this awesome website, called wwwblogskins.com where they create these amazing blog templates that you can *cut and paste* into your blog.  *Cut and paste* makes it sound easy, but it's really not.  I couldn't even figure out how to add my blog title to the dang thing.  And I will never know how a whole bunch of << >>'s put together will ever make an amazing blog.  WTF is a HTML anyway?  If you think you're a smarty pants and can figure it out, I highly recommend this site.  It is crazy awesome! I have settled for a design that blogger provides and it's not so bad, but it doesn't have those clicky tag things that take you to other fabulous corners of my blog world.  If anyone out there wants to design me a website for free, well...that is something I can understand.  Until then, this is what we are left with.

Oh, wait...there is one more thing I don't understand.  I mean, I can't even touch my toes with my knees bent.

image via pinterest

Thursday, July 26, 2012

26 successful people who failed at first

I think this story is my favourite

Need a little inspiration on a Thursday (well, my Wednesday...but don't even get me started!)  Here are 26 people who know failure by heart.  Gratefully, they also know success...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Parenting Advice - Single Mommy Style

I have a wonderful, beautiful, amazing friend who has a daughter who is predisposed to learning languages.  By the time she was one, she was spouting full sentences and saying words like, "Stethoscope".  She is now almost eight and she speaks fluent English, Croatian, and French.  Her next language will be German, she says, because it's so useful.  My beautiful, amazing friend and her husband would smile to themselves and think, "Ahhhhh, we know how to teach our children languages!" and then they had a boy.  Now, I'm not saying it's because he's a boy...but Q was slow with his words too.  Anyways, my friend and her husband now realize their daughter is amazing with languages and they had something to do with it, because they are her parents after all, but she had the most to do with it.  I tell this little story because I have a brilliant little boy (and yes, I am a little biased, but hear me out...)  I can list on one hand the number of times he has had a temper tantrum in 8 years.  You know when they have to do something by the count to 3, well I have never, ever reached 3 - neither Q nor I know what happens when I get there.  He tells me when he does something wrong before I find out, because he has a conscience.  He has such a gentle demeanor with other children who are either less fortunate or who have special needs.  While I think I'm a great mom, I also know that a lot of these qualities are *just* Q.  He most likely would be exactly as he is, whether I was his mommy or not. 

However, I am going to take some of the credit because I have spent the last 8 years with him, and it's not always a walk in the park.  Without further ado, here is my advice for how to raise a little boy as a single mommy...

1.  Tell him you love him.  Like, every single time you think of it, say it.  This might mean that you say it 20 times a day, and that's okay.  One of the many reasons my relationship with his dad didn't work out was that he couldn't say (nor show, really) that he loved me.  His response to my question would always be, "Well, I'm here, aren't I?"  Knowing you're loved is one of the most amazing feelings in the world.  It makes you feel safe, secure and well...loved, for lack of a better word.  And, you never, ever, ever know when may be the last time you get to say it.  So say it, and say it often.

2.  Cuddle.  If you have a cuddler, take advantage of every single minute.  One day they won't want to cuddle anymore (and that makes my heart ache), but as my child turns 8, I see there is no way to stop  him from growing.

3.  Tell him you're proud of him.  Yes, of course, when he brings home a test that he did really well on, by all means tell him then...but I'm talking about when he's standing there and he remembers to say please or thank you or he does something the first time you ask or when he tells the truth when a lie would have been easier.  Tell him you're proud of the person he's becoming.

4.  Let them talk.  And talk, and talk and talk and talk.  Q went on a road trip with my brother and sister in law last month and I laughed out loud when A said he talked the whole 5 hours it took to get there.  First, it means he's comfortable, because he doesn't do that with everyone, but secondly...it might not seem like anything important to you, but it sure is important to him.  If you listen, really listen, to all their little *nothings* they'll come to you with all their *somethings*.  

5.  Give them choices.  This sometimes bites me in the butt, because it takes patience, and sometimes one of the choices doesn't end up working, but for the most part, giving him two choices works really well.  It works because he feels involved, but it also works because when he has the choice to do the good thing or the bad thing, he recognizes it as a choice.  For instance:  You can put your toys away where they belong, or I can put your toys away in the garbage.  It's your choice.  

6.  Encourage alone time.  This is actually also 'Have a sibling', but like me, not always feasible.  It's exhausting trying to entertain him all the time and get everything else done around the house.  He's going through a you're-not-entertaining-me-so-I'm-bored phase right now, so I really understand how important it is for him to be able to entertain himself.  What is he going to do when he's 20 if he needs me to entertain him???

7.  Let them use technology.  Our children are going to have jobs that we don't even know exist yet.  Technology, whether we like it or not, is not going away.  I have a co-worker who always jokes that he never thought computers were going to catch on, as he types with his two index fingers.  Oh, it's caught on.  My child can use my iPhone just as well as I.  He knows how to record series on our PVR and I don't.  He can log onto my computer and access his websites.  And these are basic skills that a whole lot of children his age do not have.  When I volunteered in his class, some children didn't know how to even hold the mouse.  These children will be left behind.  Give your child a head start now.  Give them a time limit, monitor what sites they're seeing, obviously, but do not kid yourself by thinking computers aren't going to "catch on".

8.  Sports, sports, sports.  I have a couple of friends with teenage boys and these kids are really, really good kids.  Of course, it's the parenting (!) but it's also because these kids have been involved in sports from an early age.  They're too busy playing sports to get into any trouble.  Their friends are too busy playing sports to get into any trouble.  They're having fun, they're busy and they have positive roll models.  Win-Win-Win.

9.  Make memories.  One day, my son will be a man with smelly, hairy feet.  Ugh, it makes me shudder.  But I want him to have memories with me now, that make him the man he is to become.  I was thinking the other day of all the opportunities my son has had that many are not as fortunate.  We've been to Hawaii, the Dominican Republic, DisneyLand, Science World, The Aquarium, the Capilano suspension bridge, fireworks, the beach, zoos, day trips to Seattle, movie date nights.  My heart swells with joy when he says, "Mommy, remember when we...."    

10.  This is my favourite...

I tried it the other day, and it was awesome.  It really worked.  It even freaked me out a little bit!

Oh, and I have more...but 10 is such a nice, even number.  Maybe I'll do a part 2.  Any parenting tips, either for boys or for single mothers or girls or not single mothers that I should include???

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Read Yourself Thin? Fat Chance...

In 3 1/2 weeks, I lost 15 pounds.  It was awesome.

Then it stopped. 

I kept with my diet of low carbs, no sugar and 1200 calories.

Nothing happened. 

Okay I should be a little bit happy, I mean I didn't gain any weight. 

But it was like all of the sudden my body went, "heeeeyyyyyyy, wait a minute here.  I know what you're trying to do.  Haha.  Good Luck, fattie."  Cuz my body can be mean like that. 

It's really upsetting that I hit a plateau soooooo soon.  I really thought I had at least another 10 pounds before that happened.  My weekly weigh in became a daily weigh in because I went out and bought a scale so I didn't have to disrobe on the cargo scales at work anymore.  I became a little bit of a hmmmmm, what's the word when you weigh yourself before and after you go pee, before and after you shower, with and without your socks, just to see how much of a difference it really makes?  Fanatical?  Is that the right word?  Crazy?  Ya, that sounds about right.

I began to feel really silly, because here I was blogging about how super easy it was to modify my diet and lose weight, without any gimmicks or fad diets and then all of the sudden I hit a wall and nothing was happening.  I was still in my fat clothes, still dreaming about chocolate, and still drinking coffee without sugar (blech).

We all know what this means, right?  This means I'm going to have to start (insert super scary music track here, then pause for effect) working out.

I feel defeated already.

In High School, I went to a gym with a girlfriend who had a free pass.  It was a Spa lady, I felt very grown up.  It was after school, about 2:00pm and I had not eaten anything yet.  I also hadn't really expected to *work out*, thinking because it was my first time, a quick tour of the facility and the locker room amenities was really about all the excitement I could handle.  Of course, I was wrong.  A woman, I called her Goliath, with thighs the size twice of mine, took me through all the machines, showed me how they worked and also wrote down how many (or few) reps I could do of each. 

I was doing fairly well for myself when we went to this contraption that you stand under and push up with your shoulders.  I was half way up when all of the sudden I heard this buzzing in my ears, my vision went dark and I woke up with Goliath standing over me asking if I was alright.  It was the one and only time I have ever passed out in my entire life.  It was horrible.  Embarrassing.  I've never been to a gym since. 

Remember that line that Tom Hanks' character says to Rosie O'Donnell and Madonna?  "Are you crying?  There's no crying in Baseball!!"  Oh ya, Tom Hanks?  Let me tell you there most definitely was always crying when I was playing Baseball.  If it wasn't from the sheer frustration of not being able to hit the damn ball with the damn bat, it was from the pain of being hit by the ball.  There was also crying in Football, when in grade 9 I tripped over NOTHING and tore all the tendons in my ankle.  There was crying in Gymnastics from humiliation when I didn't have the upper body strength to lift myself onto the uneven bars.  Running seems like a great idea, except my bladder doesn't have the strength it used to have before I birthed a 10 1/2 pound baby.  I remember failing swimming after they asked me to jump up and down in the water.  Seriously?  Is that really a good indication of whether I can swim or not?  I can't even jump right?  C'mon.

Do I really have to go on?  Working out, sports, walking, never seem to work out for me the way the work out for others.  If I could lose weight by reading, I'd be super svelte right now, let me tell you.  If I could write myself fit, I'd possess the body of Jennifer Lopez.  Those are my strengths.  Working out...ya, not so much.

But evidently, it is a necessary evil because reading and writing and watching T.V. does not seem to be doing anything for my figure.  I've been looking for a few *lazy* options, but the best I've come up with is running up and down the stairs with laundry...

I've tossed around the idea of swimming because I think that will be the least shock to my body, but it does take a whole lot more prep time (ooooh, does shaving my bikini line count as exercise??).  Riding a bike is out of the question until they make a bicycle seat that is as comfortable (and as large) as a Lazy Boy.  This poor arse is big  and it just might swallow up the *standard issue* seats.  Don't even get me started on my visit to the *spinning class* which is nowhere near as fun as it sounds.  Spinning, let's go spinning.  It sounds fun.  But that is where the fun stops.  Unless bruises on your ass are considered to be fun.  Walking just seems so lazy...

Hmmmmmm, maybe we have a winner.  Low impact, no prep, cute running shoes...

Any ideas, folks??

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Haters Gonna Hate

It always surprises me when people don't like me.  It doesn't bother me, because I'm confident in who I am and I like me, so it's all good, but it does surprise me.  And I'm not even saying all this just so everyone will tell me how fabulous I am.  I am not fishing for compliments.  It's just this crazy observation that really made me wonder...

I mean,
I don't stand for anything offensive.

I'm not offensive, rude, or indignant.

I'm not loud, my voice isn't super whiny.

I'm not lazy, nor do I shirk my responsibilities.

I'm fricken hilarious! 

I'm kind.  (I have determined that this is one of the most undervalued qualities we possess.  nothing is more powerful than kindness)

I have a strong work ethic. 

I hate conflict, so I avoid it at all costs.  It's not like I'm busting into rooms, starting fights all over the place.

And when people don't like me, the don't just dislike me...they loathe me.  They despise me.  It's not like they say, "Oh that girl.  She's super annoying." with an eye roll.  No, they're like planning my demise. 

It's true.

One such person actually applied for the same job I did, and in the interview told them specifically she was applying for it solely so I didn't get it.  She ended up getting it because her seniority was higher, but seriously?  You dislike me that much...to go for a job you don't even want, just so I don't get it?!?!  How am I so offensive that you would try to sabotage my career?

Another person actually really, truly believed that I was out to get them - like I was trying to get them fired.  She started writing down every conversation we had and then getting witnesses to sign them, so she could prove I was mean and nasty and picking on her.  

It got so bad with a co-worker, that I had to stop talking to them, just because everything I said was being turned around into something mean and horrible.  Nothing says, "Awkward" like sitting in 4 x 8 room with someone for 8 hours and not speaking to them at all.  She even unfriended me on facebook.  Can you imagine someone doing something so drastic?  (insert sarcasm here...)

Again, I can't seem to wrap my mind around what makes me so vile.  I've even been called the *B* word, on more than one occasion!!

Long ago, I decided that I wanted to be the person who was kind to everyone.  It has been said that everyone is fighting a hard battle, and it became apparent to me that it is so simple to have an impact on someone, whether negative or positive.  Just think about how you feel when someone cuts you off in traffic, or alternately, how you feel when a stranger smiles at you as you pass on the street.  These things do make a difference.  I'm convinced of it.  So I try, when I'm not pms-ing of course, to hold open doors, smile to strangers, help people reach things off shelves, let people in in traffic, ask how some one's day is, listen to the answer.  

Funny enough, it had more of an impact on my life than I ever really expected.  I found that when I was nice to people, I felt better too. The smile that was hard to fake suddenly became real and a permanent fixture on my face.  Being shy took second place to being friendly.  Being in a hurry subsided and my patience became stronger.  As a result, I became less rushed, I became less anxious. 

Of course, it's always a little shocking when my kindness is not returned. 

And don't even get me started on how I feel when I'm pms-ing.  Maybe that's when I have made those who were my friends, my enemies.  But come on, that cannot be held against me.  It's not my fault.  I cannot control the angry uterus.  It controls me.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Cheat Goes On

I'm feeling really guilty this week.

Nothing says, "LET'S CHEAT!!!" like hot, hot summer weather and PMS. 

Monday, I was craving a DQ chocolate dipped cone so bad, my mouth was watering the whole way there.  I totally caved.  It was like 30 degrees out, and I had been in the pool for at least an hour.  Granted I wasn't like, swimming laps or anything crazy like that, but I was technically in. a. pool. which has to count for some sort of calorie burn, right??  Then yesterday, one of my employees brought in Ice Cream sandwiches and I didn't want to be rude.  AND everyone else was doing it...so I guess I could say the peer pressure got to me.  Weigh in this week is gonna suck, big time.

Then, it turns out, I was cheating even when I thought I was being healthy. 

 Mmmmmmm, this looks good, doesn't it?  And for a mere 110 calories, it can be in your tummy.  Low fat yogurt, fresh fruit, it seems like the perfect low fat snack.  It's even kosher for crying out loud.  I mean, I'm not Jewish or anything, but anything blessed by a rabbi has to be good for you, right?  Ya well it's not that good for you if you're trying to eliminate sugar.  In a small...32 grams of sugar.  32!!  On my plan, I should be consuming no more than 28 grams of sugar in a day.  This was really very, very disappointing for me.

Starbucks made me all happy because they have a *Skinny* latte made with sugar free syrup and non fat milk.  It's only 120 calories for a Grande, so that's awesome, right?  Riiiiiight...what really scared me when I looked at their nutritional guides on line is that it didn't even include sugars on their list.  They have to be hiding something!!  I wonder if the moral of this story is, "If you don't know, don't eat it..."  Probably...

And the list goes on.  Everything I thought was a good, healthy snack is jam packed with sugar.  Don't even get me started on what I found out about McDonald's food.  One of their "Fruit Smoothies" has over 500 calories and 80g of sugar.  Can you even imagine that?  Not to mention, a Big Mac meal means you're consuming more calories in one meal than you should in a whole day.  Their "low fat" muffins are almost 400 calories.  Bubble tea!  Each tapioca pearl is 7-15 calories.  Each little one.  How many are in there???  Easily 100.  My math isn't very good, but you're consuming roughly 700-1500 calories without even giving it a second thought!  (and yes, I did have to use my calculator...I can't be a literary genius AND a math whiz....)  Kernels popcorn?  What you're not consuming in calories, you're consuming in sugar and what you're not consuming in sugar, you're consuming in salt!!!

All is not lost, my friends, all is not lost. There is one *treat* that fits the bill, as far as I'm concerned...and we'd all agree I'm far from an expert on the field, but I have done a little research.  Booster Juice offers low fat, low calorie, low sugar options that are super yummy.  A snack size is roughly 200 calories, loaded with fresh (or maybe frozen) fruit, little to no sugar added.  Just to be extra sure, I ask for the drink to be made without the low-fat yogurt, because it's become obvious that they pack the yogurt with sugar to make it taste less low-fatty...

What are your cheat options?  How do you feed your sweet tooth on a bad, pms-y day?  Do you just give in to the cravings?  Do you have some trusty stand ins?  Come on, dish the goods!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Double Dare Y'all


Losing weight started as a way to prove my brother wrong.  One of my most awesome qualities is that I'm like always right.  Unfortunately, this seems to run in the family, because my brother also happens to be always right.  Sometimes this gets us in heated discussions because our *rights* are never, ever the same.

So a while back, he decided that he needed to lose a couple of pounds.  Almost effortlessly, it seemed, the pounds just kept falling off.  It was like he was losing weight by blinking and breathing.  He would boast about his weight loss (as he should) and I would roll my eyes and say, "Ya.  But it's easier for you."

Evidently, this was the wrong thing to say.

My argument:  He is and always has been super athletic.  He has muscles.  He has the foundation.  He's a he.  These all seemed to me to be things he had going for him.  Muscle mass makes it easier to burn fat because well....I think I read it somewhere - something about your metabolism, I think.  I don't know, I kind of zone out when people start talking about cars or sports.  I'm a she.  My body, by design, stores more fat so that I may house and birth many babies and serve my purpose as a woman.  I have little to no muscle.  I have (had) little to no will power.  I'm not athletic and running to the end of the street would probably kill me.  It's harder for a woman to lose weight. 

His argument:  Bullshit.  He'd get really quite offended when I said that.  I think particularly because I was discrediting his will power and all the hard work he had put into it.  He was adament that if I cut out (unnatural, processed) sugar completely, cut my carbs down, and went for a brisk walk every day for 30 minutes, I would see a difference too.

But it seemed so easy.  There was no gimic.  There was no Jenny Craig or Weight Watcher's points or South Beach Diet.  I didn't believe him.  I was still right.  So, we made a bet (it was a win-win for me, but shhhhhh, don't tell him that...) that if I tried what he said, I would lose 15-20lbs in a month and if I didn't lose that much, he would take me out for a super yummy, high calorie dinner where ever I wanted.  Right.  So I either lose 15lbs or I get a free meal.  See?  Win-Win...

Nothing spells determination like *I'm gonna prove you wrong*.

I've lost 15lbs in 3 1/2 weeks.  In one week alone, I lost 1 1/2 inches of my waist.  One Week!!!

I know, right? 

No dinner for me.

But, wait.  What?  He was right? 

All I really needed was will power, a little (lot) support, and a meal plan.  No sugar, low carbs, and 1200 calories a day.  That's it.  No fad diet.  No weird pills.  No tapeworm.  No sugar, low carbs, and 1200 calories.  Nothing else.  Truthfully, I haven't even been doing the brisk walks every day, although I do walk around a lot more while at work and have started taking stairs instead of elevators and small things like that.  I will say I had a super embarrassing gym moment (s) when I was younger and the thought of actually paying money for torture like that goes totally against everything within me. 

My stomach is flatter, my face is thinner.  Rings I haven't been able to wear for a year or more are fitting on my fingers.  People (other than my mom!!) are starting to notice the difference.  I have more energy.  I have less bloating (this is huge for me!!!!  I seriously think I've been permanently bloated for years!!!)  The change is amazing. 

And it's addictive.  How can I eat healthier?  How can I feel better?  Can't wait to fit into my *skinny* clothes!!  In a month, I've lost a third of my weight loss goal!  Amazing!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Q-isms: A Wife's Responsibility

Friday will go down in history as the first time my son said, "Mommy, stop.  You're embarrassing me."  I think I'm a super cool mom, so I was totally offended by this remark.  What is so embarrassing about rocking out to Pitbull on the radio while driving?  Hmmmm?  Tell me, please.  Because I thought my moves were awesome.  And when did I get old enough to be embarrassing?  I don't wear *mom* jeans, I don't yell at him from across the school yard, I don't lick my finger and then clean the food from his cheek.  However, now that I know I'm in the *embarrasing mom zone* it is open season.  Q had better watch his back.

Friday was also my cheat day, a.k.a the day I get to eat what ever I want.  Sadly, I have learned that even on my cheat day there must be a limit or else I find myself super ill the next day, but it was super hot out and nothing screams summer like a slurpee! Of course, you can't have a slurpee without some potato chips...anyways, so not the point.  So Q has his hands full with a slurpee, a pack of chips and a soccer ball (what can I say? He's a boy...) and can't open the car door.  Determined to ensure I'm not his slave well into the next decade, I decided he needed to figure out how to open that car door on his own.  A full five - very frustrating - minutes later, and we were both in the car (sans seat belt...as he had difficulty figuring that one out too...). 

Q:  Mommy you could have just opened the door for me, you know.

Me:  I probably could have.  But my hands were full too, and I managed to do it.

Q:  But I needed your help.  It would have been easier.

Me:  Yup.  But part of my job as a mommy is to give you tools that you can use when you're an adult.  Imagine I didn't teach you how to open the car door with your hands full.  You'd be a 40 year old man with a brief case in one hand, a coffee and car keys in the other and you'd have no idea how to open the door.  Then I've failed as a mommy.

He laugh, thinks about it a bit...

Q:  No.  I'll just get my wife to do it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Lazy, Sugar Loving Girl's Guide to Losing Weight

Now that I've been eating healthy for three weeks now, I consider myself to be somewhat of an expert.  Of course.  And because I'm such a wonderful person, I want to pass my knowledge (and super wise-ness) onto all of you who don't know where to start.  After seeing results and losing 7lbs, my methods are obviously fool proof and successful.  Totally tongue in cheek if you cannot tell.  

I call this "The Lazy, Sugar-loving Girl's Guide to Losing Weight." A little long, but completely accurate.  

To say that I love sugar is an understatement. People joke that I like a little coffee with my sugar.  It's true.  I cannot lie.  I have a few sweet teeth.  This always seems to be my downfall when I try to diet.  So the very first thing I did was eliminate ALL unnatural sugars.  I tend to be a cold-turkey kinda gal.  It's all or nothing with me.  A bit of chocolate is just a tease. I can never have just one.  It was the same with smoking.  I'm not gonna lie.  It was effing hard.  I went through a week of withdrawal, but totally worth it.  How do I get through a sugar craving?  

1. Fruit.  Lots and lots of fruit.  For the first few days the only thing that got me through were yummy, yummy fruit smoothies.  Berries are very sweet, but also very low in carbs and so they fit in perfectly.  I'd put in some coconut water (aids in weight loss and adds a yummy taste), some spinach (verrrrry high in vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium folate, iron, calcium, vitamin C, B2, B6 E, and potassium....just to name a few).  Like shut the front door, right?  Throw in a little non fat yogurt and bananas as fillers and it's a super satisfying 
treat.  Or a meal.  Less than 200 calories.  Calories from fruit, I decided, were good fuel and so I'm okay with going over my 1200 calories a day if it's because I am eating more fruits and veggies.

2. Water.  I hate water.  Hate it.  It makes me gag.  I usually get my liquids from coffee, coffee, and Pepsi.  If I was feeling overly healthy, I would have a glass of juice or some tea (also with a fair amount of sugar).  This is probably why I have started developing kidney stones recently. So consuming 8 glasses of water a day was probably the most daunting part of this whole thing.  My brother made it explicit that vitamin waters or crystal lite were completely out of the question.  Years ago, my girlfriends husband started this bottled water company that was infused with vitamins and flavour (although, no high sugars or salts like most of the vitamin waters out there now) and my favourite one was the cucumber lime.  So, I thought it would be super easy to make my own.  Cucumber makes the water sweet, naturally, and I can easily down at least 8 glasses of water a day, sometimes more.  In a crazy twist of fate, I find myself craving it.  To shake things up, I'll use a lemon or lime instead, but cucumber is, by far, my favourite.

3.  No sugar substitutes.  No aspartame (which I have read actually fools your body into craving more sugar), no stevia, nothing.  If I am really craving something sweet, honey is a great natural option.  Maple syrup is also.  

4.  One meal with carbs per day:  Usually breakfast because it gives me energy for the day, and because I eat it in the morning, I have all day to burn them off.  A piece of Squirrelly bread (organic, whole grains, organic) with some natural (read: no added sugar, no added salt) peanut butter.  Or steel cut oats, with almond milk and fresh berries.  Oh, try this super yummy recipe.  It feels like I'm cheating, but it's totally healthy...this morning, I tried it with some fat free vanilla yogurt and it was paradise!!! 

5.  Plan ahead.  I'm lazy.  If I don't have healthy food around, I'm going to start eating the crappy food.  I know that.  And if I'm home, I'm definitely not putting a bra on to go back out and get some fruit.  So I make sure I have it all in stock.  And I've purged the cupboards of unhealthy, processed foods.  If I'm really adventurous, I'll wash and prepare all the fruit ahead of time so all I have to do is eat it.  Just as easy as opening a pack of chips.

6.  Count your calories.  I know this sounds really daunting.  Math never has been my strong suit, and how do you know how many calories are in each thing you eat without intensive research and calculations?  You get this super amazing app that does it all for you.  It's called MyFitnessPal, or if you've been living under a rock and don't have a smart phone, you can go to www.myfitnesspal.com, and it's free. It calculates all your calories, carbs, sugars, fat and has millions of foods already entered into it.  Even for restaurants, so if I have any questions about what to eat, I just plug it in there and it tells me everything I ever needed (or never really cared) to know.  

7.  Eat often.  Don't let yourself get too hungry that you feel the need to binge.  I try to eat 6 small meals a day

8.  Take vitamins.  Because I don't eat red meat, I started taking Iron and B12 supplements to help my energy.  Turns out B12 actually helps your body metabolize fat.  Woot woot, I'm losing weight without even trying there!  Ha ha!

9.  Eat natural.  Canned fruits and apple sauces can be loaded with added sugar and salts.  Eat a real peach instead of a can of peaches.  Sauces on chicken breasts add unnecessary calories.  Nutella is not actually healthy for you, even though it's made with skim milk.  Popcorn is okay as a snack, without butter and salt.  Deli meats contain fillers to make them taste better.  I was fooling myself by eating things like rice cakes and 100 calorie snack packs, thinking this was healthy.  But really I was eating processed food, and gaining weight.  Moral of the story - eat healthy.  I walk around the perimeter of the grocery store and rarely go down the middle anymore.

10.  Give yourself a cheat day.  I get one per week, where I can eat what ever I want all day long.  My first cheat day I totally over ate and woke up the next day with a horrible sugar hangover, so I now cheat in moderation.  Of course, chocolate is my weakness so cheat day always includes some chocolate!  

Wow.  That's pretty impressive, isn't it?  It takes 3 weeks to create a habit, so I'm hoping (as tomorrow is day 21!!!!) that I'll succeed.  Well, my fingers are crossed, anyways.  And if I can quit smoking, I can do anything.  So. Can. You!

Any helpful suggestions or tips that you use to eat healthy and lose weight???