Monday, May 18, 2015

Frustration – An Open Vent…

So, yes I have been missing lately from the blog and most of that is due to frustration.  This is an open vent, to which after I will move on and keep going.  But sometimes we I just need to vent.

In all honesty, I haven’t felt as motivated and therefore felt little inspiration to myself, let alone others. 

Yep, falling back into my old mental blocks and ways.

I am disappointed that I am not where I thought I would be.  To date I have lost 24lbs.  This is good, but not where I wanted to be as summer approaches.  I thought I would be at least 10 more pounds lighter.

I get frustrated that for me to lose a few pounds takes so much work, when some people (like my husband!!!) can lose 30 lbs and are still eating fast food and drinking pop and eating sweets, just slightly smaller portions.  I cut ALL of that out of my diet and try to eat clean daily and eat a low calorie diet and it still takes forever to lose weight.  Yeah, I have splurge days, BUT COME ON.  One splurge day where I still eat reasonable and under my daily allowance shouldn’t mean I don’t lose anything all week.  I know everyone is different and I shouldn’t compare, but I am human and do.

I am annoyed about our schedule and finding time to work out to try to help with the weight loss.  Yeah, Henry and I take bike rides and stuff on occasion, but have you ever taken a bike ride with a 3 ½ year old?  The exercise isn’t in biking, it is how well you can balance on your bike going at a near walking speed.   Walks with him mean we stop every 5 feet to pick “beautiful yellow flowers”.   I already get up at 6am with him and finally have me time after he is in bed around 9m.  The last thing I want to do is spend the 30-40 minutes before I go to bed working out, nor do I want to wake up at 5:30!!!  Are you kidding me.   

I hate how my clothes are fitting incorrectly at the moment.  Some are a bit too big but the size down is still too snug.  So most of the things I wear I just feel uncomfortable.  I just don’t feel good in anything I wear.

I am tired of planning so many separate meals so that we can all eat what we want to eat while I also stay on my diet. 

I don’t like seeing any results in over a month, period.

I know I have to suck things up and keep going.  I WANT to keep going. 

I need to find time to workout, even if it means getting up at 5:30am (barf).

I need to stick with this and think of it as a lifestyle change and not a diet.

I know that things have changed, even beside the weight.  I really don’t know the last time I binged.  There have been a few times I have eaten a second portion of snack foods or more than I probably should.  But not a binge.  Nothing close to that.  That is huge for me, nearly 20 years of binge eating regularly and I am learning to recognize, acknowledge it and control it.  So I know I am making improvements.

But lets be honest, the weight loss is what anyone who is overweight wants to see.  YES, I notice the other things and that is great.  But for me, at my weight, I want to see the numbers go down.  I want to put on the new capri pants I bought in a size down to fit comfortably.

Starting today I am trying something new for the next couple months.  I am going to form a new goal.  Pilates 2-3 days a week and try to walk or bike ride 2-3 days a week.  I will see over the next few months if that makes any difference in the weight loss and my overall feeling.

So let me ask, how do you incorporate a healthy lifestyle into your daily life/your busy life?  What do you do when you get discouraged? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Yes Body, I Am Listening

One of (the many) issues I have had with food is listening to my body.

Am I hungry?

Am I full?

Are there things missing that my body needs?

I think this sorta goes hand in hand (or hand to mouth) with binge eating.  Though binge eating has  mental aspects to why I do it, I have also taught myself to ignore my body and what it really needs when it comes to food.

I have been SO FULL and yet I have just kept eating.

I have gone without eating and been so hungry I scream and cry and act a fool.

I have ignored those items my body needs for a craving of something that i don't need.

But now, I am trying really hard to LISTEN to my body.  Know what it needs and what it doesn't need.  I am retraining myself to stop and listen.  

For decades it has been about my desire for food, the love of food, the comfort of food, the taste of food, the way food makes me feel well before learning to respect food and make it one part of my life and not MY life.

I remember a few weeks into this journey, I started going to bed with this feeling that was new to me.  I was satisfied by what I had eaten all day, but i also had this bit of hunger in me.  For years I had gone to bed after eating a full meal and I was always stuffed, so stuffed I could feel it most of the night.  But this new feeling actually felt great.  So this is what it feels like to not feel stuffed.  So this is what it is like to eat ENOUGH and no more.  

Part of this journey is creating a new lifestyle.  It is keeping my love of food but learning to respect and be aware of what I put in my body.

So what I am doing, exactly?

1. Don't Eat on Auto-Pilot (Also known as mindless eating.)

I am an emotional eater.  I tend to go on autopilot when it comes to food.  But now I have started counting out my snacks based on portion size.  So instead of bring the bag of baked cheetos or almonds to the living room and going on auto pilot with the food and 30 minutes later realizing I ate 3 servings, I count everything out.  Bring out my 34 pieces of cheetos in the living room and eat that portion.  Then I wait at least a half an hour.  Am I still hungry?  Then I get more.  But normally I have been satisfied with what I ate and I move on.

2. Eat When I am Hungry

When counting calories I have had guilt when I go over.  But I have had to learn that some days I am just hungrier than others, while other days I barely hit my calorie goal.  Not sure why, but if I am hungry I now eat.  BUT I now know the difference between real hunger, boredom, or eating because I think I should eat.  In fact, I ask myself those questions to see why I am eating.

3. Stop When I am Satisfied and Before I get Too Full

Sometimes I actually WANT to eat more.  Recently I really wanted food, it was one of my emotional/stressed days.  I was eating my meal and noticed I was satisfied and starting to get full.  I actually got angry with myself that I was getting FULL.  I WANTED TO KEEP EATING.  It was my comfort.  What will happen if I just stop.  What about the food I didn't eat, what will happen to it.  I don't want to wait to eat the rest of the food later.  I want it NOW.

I got mad all because I was full but wanted the rest of my meal.  Logic goes out the door for those moments.  In the past I would have kept going because it would comfort me and I would eat to the point of feeling sick.  But I stopped.  I told myself that I can eat the rest for lunch the next day and it would be amazing!  Yeah, I sorta had to reason with myself like I reason with my 3 1/2 year old.  I also told myself that if I was hungry later, really hungry I could have a snack.  You want to know something, I didn't feel I needed the snack later.  Now don't get me wrong, I wanted a snack because I was thinking about it...but I also knew I was fine.  I wasn't feeling hungry.  I then went to bed and felt good all because I stopped when I was satisfied.

4. Enjoy What I am Eating (aka SLOW DOWN)

Being a binge eater you tend to be a fast eater.  Eat as much as you can in a short amount of time.  With that, it takes your stomach and mind awhile to communicate to each other that you are infact DONE eating.  When I am eating now I really try to slow down.  Put my fork down in between bites.  Taste the food and not rush.  This. Is. Hard. and something I am still struggling with every day.  But I am working on it.  I had some cheesecake the other day and it took me 20 minutes to eat it.  I intentionally slowed down.  Anticipated and then enjoyed EACH and EVERY bite.  Snacks, I eat one at a time instead of stuffing a handful in my mouth.  Dinner I sit and eat slowly.  I am respecting the food and savoring what I eat.

5. Eat What Your Body Wants

I still snack.  I still eat some bites of chocolate every day (thank goodness for Hershey kisses!!) I still eat carbs.  I still drink my lattes in moderation.  But I am also eating lots of lean meats, fruits and vegetables.  I am keeping my diet balanced, without giving up those things that make me happy.  Moderation and balance and eating the things my body wants....just in WAY smaller portions and not all the time.

So this is where I am now.  Learning to listen to my body!!!  And on the eve of my 35th birthday, I am finding that now, more than ever, I need to stop and listen!

Monday, April 13, 2015

100 Days - Keep Going (Subtitle Motivation)

I logged into My Fitness Pal on Sunday and was congratulated with logging in 100 days in a row.  Surprisingly (or not so if you know me) I had mixed feelings about this.

Part of me was excited as it meant I have been doing this diet for 100 days and have managed to, at least try, to stay with it for a 100 days.  This is big for me!

But then part of me was disappointed as I thought I would be at least 30 lbs down by this date, instead of 21.  The past month has been tough, I haven't been as strict with my diet and I haven't been working out, so I felt disappointment for not being where I thought I should be and not working as hard as I know I can.

And just when I was feeling bad I woke the next morning to see comments from my mom and friend that made me feel so happy and encouraged me to keep going and not think lightly of how far I have come and what I have done so far.


I have to remember this weight has been put on over the last 10 years, it is going to take awhile and a lifestyle change to get it off.

And then I thought of what my sister told me when I started.  I think of this every time I start to get down.

For me, this is what motivates me and keeps me going.  People.

As I have said before, I have always closed myself off from people in the past because my weight issues are embarrassing and I feel so vulnerable talking about it.  But more than ever I have realized that I need these amazing people and they are truly on myside, and I know they need me too because we are all trying to become healthier and better ourselves. I feel so grateful to have SO much support, and I hope I am able to make others feel motivated as well.

Yes, I have to do this on my own, but I don't have to be alone while I do it.

Now, the hardest part for me is staying motivated.  Those times when you try so hard and do not see any results, it is so frustrating and discouraging.  Those are the times I turn to my friends/family as well as, the other things that motivate refocus me.  Yes, I think that is the best term....refocus.  Sometimes I just need to get out of my own head, step back and refocus.

To help with this I created a Pinterest board of things that keep me going.  It sounds silly and consists of things like quotes, outfits I want to wear, before and after weight loss photos...things that inspire me.  But it works.  Just like texting a friend at 9:30pm when I want to binge, going on this board has also stopped me and allows me to refocus.

I refocus on the clothes I so desperately want to wear some day and not have to pay $60 for a shirt that is so bulky and unflattering.  And I want to wear boots with jeans or leggings like ALL THE TIME!

 (Ok, I will never wear this but I a girl can dream, right?!?!)

I have never worn a little black dress, I want to so bad.


We have a beach trip planned next year and I want to wear a swimsuit and go swimming with Henry and not think twice about.

I want to post my before and after and have people go WOW and feel motivated and encouraged by my transformation.

this is me currently 20 lbs down...don't laugh :-/

I want this little man, my biggest inspiration, to know as he gets older that he can do ANYTHING he sets his mind too.  And even if it seems hard or impossible or takes a long long time, he can do it.  And I can show him this because I DID IT.

So to all of you who are supporting me on this long journey I have to say THANK YOU.  I can't even begin to tell you how much it means to me.  The check-ins, the emails, the "likes" it all means so much.

So what motivates YOU?!?!  What/who are the things that keep you going?  How do you stay motivated??


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stress and Routine

The two biggest issues I tend to have with staying on a diet are stress and routines, or lack there of. 

Currently my stress level is at an all-time high and my routine has been seriously lacking for the entire month of February due to my son being sick a majority of the month.  Which also means most of the food we are buying is geared towards my son, so hello crackers, bread, soup and extra calories.

I need routine to stay on my diet.  When I don’t have the routine I don’t have meals planned, I make last minute decisions on food, I go for easy or convenient which is not always healthy.

And add stress on top of that and I am done for. 

I have always been an emotional eater, so between the emotions caused by life and the emotions and lack of sleep caused from illness in our house, I have not had the best few weeks in regards to my diet.

Sunday t night my 3 year old and I were once again having confrontation after confrontation.  Partly due to the fact he is getting sick…AGAIN.  And partly caused by the fact he is 3 ½ and thinks he knows everything and can do everything, no matter what I tell him.

By bedtime I was almost at the breaking point.  As I sat in the rocking chair and he laid in the bed playing with the toys I told him to stop playing with a half a dozen times and then crying because I took the toys thoughts drifted between frustration and wanting food.

It was weird, like this natural reaction I don’t think I ever noticed I did before…or maybe more accurately, never admitted I did before.  “Nooooo, I am not a stress eater!!  I just like food.” I call bullshit now.  But it was like this urge growing inside of me.  I needed something comforting after having a rough day and that is what I thought about.

I sat in that chair trying to justify the calories and then trying to talk myself out of eating everything anything  when I went downstairs.  “Oh Jenn, you can spare a few calories” (um, have you seen me…no I can’t).  “Jenn, you have come so far and haven’t lost anything the past 2 weeks…DON’T DO IT.”

After he fell asleep I still carried this conversation on with myself.  “DON’T GO IN THE KITCHEN!!  GO TO BED”  “Just have a bowl of cereal or something small.”

I gave in and went to the kitchen and just looked around.  And then this feeling came over me and I grabbed some cheese and crackers (260 calories).  And I ate them.  And I breathed this sigh of relief. It calmed me.  That feeling of eating relaxed me and took away the anxiety that had been building up inside me.   I then had a mini snack bag of dorritos (150calories).

And then as quick as it made me feel better, I felt so sad after.

I have been working so hard, that was 410 calories….almost a 1/3 of what I have been allowing myself each day.  In mere minutes (literally), the food was gone.


Now, in the past that would have just been the appetizer.  The start of a binge that could last an hour.

I did stop, unlike in the past.  Progress?!

But I still felt I needed food.  In that moment of stress, exhaustion, frustration, loneliness…I turned to food.

Obviously I have only been doing this diet for 3 months and I am a work in progress and I am trying not to be too hard on myself.  But it did hit me.  Even though I KNOW and acknowledge now what I am doing, I still went for it.  I haven't decided yet if that is better or worse.

I haven’t lost any weight the past couple weeks.  I haven’t gained.  

I went to bed reaffirming  that tomorrow is a new day and this is just a small bump and I know now I CAN do this and I will get back on track.  I have my food in the fridge again and not just stomach bug kid food.  I calculated everything I would eat for the day and am sticking to it.  I am feeling that hunger again and that is good.

This is a journey, a long journey.  I will not be “fixed” overnight and I accept that.  But I also know, that unlike before, I am not going to get discouraged and fall back into my old routines.  I have already come too far to go back.   I won’t go back…I just have to keep moving forward.

Hopefully in a week I can come back and tell you I am now at 20lbs lost.  That is my goal.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Last week I reached 15 pounds lost, and I have to say this was huge for me for so many reasons.

As I type this, I am officially at 18 pounds lost (WOOHOO!!) but reaching 15 was my first big goal.

For some, 15lbs may not seem that much or a small goal, especially when I have over 100 I want to lose.  But honestly, EVERY pound seems big to me at the moment!  I had decided that instead of setting large goals that can take a while to achieve, I would set my goals in 15 lb increments.   I wanted something to work towards but that wouldn’t take me months and months to achieve.  I wanted to feel success in these “smaller” goals and keep my motivation going.

Part of this weight loss thing is the mental aspect.  Moving past what you have always done.  Making yourself the priority.  Keeping yourself going when all you really want to do is eat those chicken wings with ranch dressing followed by a slice of Edwards Chocolate Crème pie.  

I usually always fail with the mental side of weight loss.  Whether it is the binge eating or setting unrealistic goals (I can lose 50 pounds in 3 months with this fad diet!) or feeling alone or being way too hard on myself, I always have found some excuse reason for a diet failing.

But 15 pounds is now GONE and it feels GREAT!!

Literally, I am feeling different.  Feeling better.  I have more energy, probably because I am eating to keep my body fueled and not eating so much it actually slows me down and feels heavy. 

My clothes are starting to feel different.  One pair of work pants I have are nearly to the point of too big!!  Love that.  And this other pair I would never wear because they had been dried and shrunk a bit and were super snug in the legs and I could barely button them.  Well, I put them on yesterday and BOOM, THEY FIT!  Like perfectly.  And I am wearing a shirt that is actually a little clingy to me…granted, I am still wearing something  over it, but baby steps, no?!

15 pounds also got me past a number I didn’t want to be at, just about the most I have ever weighed.  Breaking past that was a big deal.

The fact that I lost the 15 pounds in 6 weeks was also a great motivation.  It was realistic.  About 2.5 a week.  Slow and steady.  I also think:  “Hey, by the end of March I could be down 30 lbs and maybe by my birthday nearly 40lbs!!  I could get a few new clothing items!”  Yep.  Motivation.  

In the scheme of things, the time it will take to lose another 15lbs doesn’t seem like that far away.  Totally doable.   I mean, I know it will take me a year or more to lose all the weight I want to lose, but these mini goals keep me going!!

It was also the first 15 pounds.  Folks, do you know how long I have tried to lose the first 15lbs?!?!  I am not saying that the next 15 or the next 15 after that will be easier, BUT making the change and sticking with it are the first steps.  Instead of watching the scale slowly move up, I am now excited to watch it go down!

For me, this is becoming a way of life.  For the foreseeable future I need to be aware of my eating habits.  That doesn’t mean that I am totally OK with this all the time or that this weekend I didn’t go over my caloric intake.  But when I did, I was not hard on myself.  I did not feel guilty because even though I did go over, I still kept things healthier than in the past.  It isn’t an “all or nothing” mentality for me right now.  I am learning to live with my love of food and learning healthy alternatives and notice when I am hungry and find a healthy balance between it all.  I have always enjoyed healthy food and overall eaten healthy most of the time, but I would either binge on crap food and/or eat way too much of even the healthier stuff.  Healthy food still has calories, Jenn.

This weekend, I was hungry.  Like ALL. THE. TIME. HUNGRY.  Instead of denying myself and then just eating until I feel sick…I had some little snacks here and there until I felt satisfied.  Ok, some cheese and crackers.  30 minutes later…nope, still hungry.  How about an apple with peanut butter.  Ok.  Getting there.  Maybe 3 hersheys kisses will help that sweet tooth.  Yep.  I am good now.  I recognized what I wanted.  I ate with care, knowing what I was putting in my body and not just blindly eating until I was past the point of satisfied and stuffed.  That a plate of nachos isn't a snack.  I am learning there are days where I will be hungry and want more, and to my surprise there have been days where I am not that hungry and have actually eaten less than my 1300 calorie allowance.  Yeah, I KNOW!!

I am learning to take myself out of situations that have always provided me the opportunity to overeat.  Like after Henry goes to bed and I am downstairs watching TV.  Nope.  Now I either go to bed or go upstairs and read and or watch something on my computer.  By removing myself I am breaking that habit I have created over the years…sit on the couch in the evening and mindlessly eat.  I do miss it.  The other day I wanted so bad to grab the chips and dip and sit and eat and watch TV.  It will all take awhile.  But that day, I said no and guess what, I was OK!  I felt great the next morning.  Huh.  Maybe you don't need to overeat, Jenn....

I allow myself sweets and snacks, but just in smaller and calculated amounts unlike past diets where I removed everything that seemed to be tasty.  So, if I want that fudge bar tonight or popcorn, what do I need to remove from my diet to have that?  I calculate everything I am eating the night before.  At the moment we have oreos, chips, tortilla chips, M&M’s ALL in the house.  Just a few months ago I would have considered that a challenge to eat all that (you know, so it wasn’t in the house anymore).  Now, I am weighing out my options on exactly where my calories go.  Three “knock off” oreos are 150 calories.  Do I have 150 calories to spare?  No, but I have 100 so 2 it is.  Still get my oreos and still within my calories.

For some this thinking is pretty easy.  Basic.  Straight forward.  But for someone who mindlessly eats and has binged as much as I have the past 20 years, it really is this "far-fetched" concept.   I have always taken the “eat until I am full or that void I am feeling is filled with something else” way of eating.  Now I think of EVERYTHING I put into my body.  I am still thinking of food ALL THE TIME, like I was before.  But now it is a more positive way of thinking instead of looking for comfort, or out of boredom or stress.

And don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been easy so far.  I emailed my sister a few weeks ago because for over a week I hadn’t lost and actually gained a pound.  Of course my younger sister wrote me an amazing email and helped me stay focus and kept me on track.  She really is a smart cookie. mmm, cookie.  And a week ago I was crying to Terry because he was eating a big mac and filet of fish and fries (as a "special treat" yuck) and has lost 30 lbs since august and while I am very proud of him and didn’t for a minute want what he was eating, it was the fact that I couldn’t have it that made me cry.  I know, weirdo. 


Yep, this fifteen is FAR more than just the pounds as you can tell by my long winded post.  But this is why I know this will work this time.  I am sharing to keep me going and accountable.  I am sharing to get these feelings out in the open, to say them and acknowledge them.  I am sharing these successes, because as illogical as they may seem to some they are how I have always thought and I cannot do this if I do not acknowledge WHY I overeat.  I am sharing so that when I have a hard day, I can look back at these posts and tell myself to hang in there.  To look at how far you have come.  To keep going because you are worth it!!  That even though today may be hard, tomorrow will be better.

On to the next 15!!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Recipe of the Week – Stuffed Pepper Soup

I must say, this may be my favorite soup right now.   With the bitter cold of -11 in Ohio (WTF?!), a warm and comforting soup is exactly what I need.

And this soup doesn’t disappoint.

I found this on one of my favorite new food sites, Skinnytaste – HERE.

This fits into all my healthy food criteria.  It is easy to make, budget friendly, healthy, tastes great, and I could go back for seconds without feeling guilty!! Winning all around.

About 1 ½ - 1 1/3 cups of soup with ½ cup of rice is about 261 – 275 calories. (My recipe in my fitness pal calculated slightly higher than the recipe on the website.)

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Servings: 6 • Size: about 1 1/2 cups soup, 1/2 cup rice • Old Points: 5 • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 261 • Fat: 5 g • Carb: 37.5 g • Fiber: 5 g • Protein: 17.6 g • Sugar: 6 g
Sodium: 606 g  (without salt)

3 cups cooked brown rice (omit for paleo diet)
1 lb 95% lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (I use 1 whole pepper)
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (I use 1 whole pepper)
1 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz each) cans petite diced tomatoes (i used oregano, basil garlic ones)
1 3/4 cups tomato sauce
2 cups reduced sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and fresh pepper to taste


In a large pot or dutch oven, brown ground meat on high heat and season with salt. Drain fat if any, reduce heat to medium-low, then add peppers, onions and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes on low heat.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, marjoram and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Serve about 1 1/3 cups of soup in each bowl and top with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice.

Makes about 9 1/2 cups.

Seriously.  SO EASY.  For lunch I will even omit the rice and add an extra half a cup of soup and it is still around 200 calories!!

Some notes from when I make it:

I add more peppers than what it calls for.  I add one whole green and one whole red pepper. 

I used lean ground turkey instead of beef.

I added petite diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano in it for added flavor.

I also didn’t add the dried marjoram because, well I don’t own any.

Some Sriracha in your soup for an extra kick is AWESOME!!  I didn’t add to the whole thing, just my individual bowls of soup.

I will say that for me, this makes a lot…but I am the only one eating it.  But if you are feeding a family AND want leftovers, perhaps half or double it.

And if your family isn’t counting their calories, you may want more rice.

Seriously, I am making it this weekend for lunch and for lunches for the next week.  It really has turned into my “go to” soup of choice.

If you try it let me know what you think!!  Did you change anything?!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Henry - This Age Is Awesome

Have I mentioned how awesome my little man is?


Well you (and by you I mean my 3 readers) are going to hear about him again!

Henry is just a few weeks away from 3 ½ (what, huh, when did this happen?!) and boy o’ boy, is this an age.

He is awesome and stubborn. Hilarious and dramatic.  Self-sufficient and needy.  Adventurous and independent.  Goofy and moody. And he is full of all the emotions, good and bad.

the grumps

He always wants to help, but of course on his own terms.
Loves chores

He has his own opinions and not afraid to share them and if you do not like his opinions, then LOOK OUT.

He knows how to make people laugh and is hilarious to be around.   He actually wants to make jokes and make people smile.  His faces are priceless and always with the laughter…well until he doesn’t want you laughing and then you get yelled at for laughing when 1.5 seconds ago we were all laughing.

The things he says.  I try to write them down, but it is hard and I forget or I am laughing so hard I don’t think to remember them.  Or I am too busy getting lawyered by my 3 year old to write them down.

Me: Henry, are you tired?
H: No, I am just laying down to save my energy. 


Me: Henry, go brush your teeth.
H: “UUUUUUUHHHHH. (dramatic turn) FINE MOM.


H: Mom, I am not bad today, I am just pretending to be bad.


H: Mom stupid is not a nice word.  I won’t say stupid anymore.  We shouldn’t say stupid because it is bad.  Like bitch is bad and stupid is bad.


H: Mom, I am going to say stupid today. 
Me: But that is not a nice word. 
H: Yeah, but this is my conversation and I am choosing to say stupid. It is my choice.
Me: Well, then you have to deal with the consequences of using bad language.
H: That’s stupid.


Me: Henry, you are the best.
H: Yes I am.
(Humbleness has yet to be learned yet)


H: Mom, can I have a cookie.
Me: No, after dinner.
H: How about I have a cookie now and then I will eat my dinner.
Me: No, that is not how it works.
H: That is how it works for me!
(and then if no cookie, commence dramatic tears)


H: Ok, mom.  This is your choice.  You either play cars with me or play trucks with me.  That is your choice.  If you do not choose, you will go on yellow and then a time out.


H: Lily is my girlfriend and my best friend and I love her.
Me: Oh really.  What exactly is a girlfriend?
H: someone you do things with and is your best friend and you love.


Terry and I were talking this week how cool he is.  I mean, like really cool.  And fun to be around.  Well, most of the time unless he is hangry. You won’t like Henry when he is hangry!!  HENRY SMASH.

We also said it is funny that T & I are so introverted, especially growing up, and our son is the opposite. He loves talking to people (Henry…stranger danger!!), he loves to be around “his kids” (friends) and he always wants to be outside and NEVER stops moving or climbing.

 (he is standing on my legs)

Can't walk without jumping
You can't tell, but that leg never stops moving, even when he is laying down. 
Oh and notice the destruction!

Seriously.  NEVER. STOPS. MOVING.  We say he has restless leg syndrome.

He is also the sweetest.  I mean the sweetest.  He will come up to me and just give me a kiss on the cheek or mouth “just because I love you”.  He will come up and whisper “I love you mommy.”  Or say “We are best friends”.  He gives out the best and tightest hugs.  “One more hug mom” “Always, my sweet boy.”  And he always  wants to snuggle.  Honestly, I am not sure this kid leaves my lap or side, he always wants to be with me.  I hope the sweetness never ends.

 on my lap & cuddling

He also uses his manners (in between saying poop and fart) but I am impressed at how well he uses please and thank you and excuse me.  Now if we can just work on the name calling and pushing/punching.

My son fits into no single mold, which I not only love but encourage.  I just want him to be himself and happy with who he is and who he wants to be.

He loves to cook, bake, fight, jump, run, and wear my high heels.  He loves princess and avengers. He picked out shoes (size 11!!) the other day that had spider-man on them and another pair with pink sequins and fur.  He loves to “shake his booty” and wants to take dance class and karate.  He loves technology and writing and doing anything adults do.

He loves finding recipes with me on pinterest

This age.

This age really is SO MUCH FUN.  Yes, there are some issues because he is more independent and thinking on his own and making more choices, but he is also so great to be around.  So awesome!!

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Binge

Twenty eight days into my diet.

Ten pounds lost.

And all I want to do tonight is binge eat.

I want to grab a handful of the M&M's sitting so conveniently on the counter and shove them in my mouth.  I want to tear open the chips and salsa that tease me every time I open the cupboard door.  I want to fill the largest soup bowl we have to the brim with cereal and enough milk to make it a challenge to put your spoon in for the first time for fear it may overflow.  I want something chocolate then salty, alternating between the two.

I know, it is hard to understand and it is even harder to explain why I want to do this. Probably disgusts many people out there.  But I have been doing this for 20 years.  For 20 years I have binged my way to my current weight.  In college I would binge and purge, but I soon realized I hated throwing up...and more so I enjoyed food way too much to throw it back up.  I love food.  And I love how I feel while I eat it (just not after).

So I would secretly just binge in moments of weakness. And it isn't all the time.  I have gone months without doing it, many months.  It all depends what is going on in my life, and honestly there has been so much stress the past few years that it isn't surprising that the 35 pounds I lost before Henry have come back on the last 3 years.  I actually weighed more than I did the day I gave birth to him as I only gained about 20 pounds and lost that and then some immediately.

Since high school and days of feeling lonely or stressed I found comfort in binge eating.  I have turned to food to fill that void.  And it isn't even like I plan it with myself, "Hey Jenn, lets binge eat tonight...say around 9pm??" It just takes over and like bad peer pressure I succumb to it for some relief.  Some would find it laughable that I say food is like a drug to me.  Just don't eat!!! You know, I wish it was laughable and some silly joke.  But it isn't and it isn't that easy to let go of something you have been turning to for so long.

For me, my drug is food.  That initial satisfaction you feel when you eat without care, that instant gratification takes away from whatever it is you may be feeling that has made you have this insatiable appetite in the first place.  This need to eat uncontrollably.  You ignore all logic.  Will power is non-existent. And like any drug, you give into it completely and only think about that moment.  No consequences.  You just enjoy every bite and have no other cares or concerns.

But then like any drug, after you have consumed more calories than you care to count or acknowledge, you start to come down from that euphoria you felt.  There is a pain in your stomach as it tries to digest all that food you just piled into yourself in a very short amount of time.  (see you want to eat fast, so you can eat more..otherwise you start to feel full.)  The guilt starts to set in as you look around at the damage in the form of wrappers or dirty dishes that are around you.  That feeling of loneliness or stress or whatever it was you had before is even more intense, but now coupled with a gross feeling and ashamed that you once again gave in to this urge for a temporary fix.

Why do I binge?  I am working on that and that post is not for today.

Today I write.

Today I share this urge I am currently having because I just can't pick up the phone at 10pm and have someone talk me down from eating a plate of nachos.

Today I focus on how far I have come and try to ignore how far I still have to go.

Today I desperately want to eat something, anything because my day sucked and I feel lonely and emotional and I just want to feel better.

Today I cry at the fact that I not only want food in place of expressing my real feelings and emotions, but that I can't have all that food I so desperately want.

Today I think of all the people who can pass up dessert and it doesn't make them angry inside and how I hope some day that can be me.


Today I write.

Today it is now one hour before tomorrow and I know that at least for today, I am not giving in and that is one day closer to where I want to be.  As much as I really want to eat, I also want to change.  I finally want to change.  Through my tears I am realizing that I need to change and I can't keep hiding my feelings in the depth of my stomach.

Today I purge.  Not the food, but my feelings.  I am not closing off to others like I do so many times.  I am putting this out there, even for no one else to read but for me to say.  To finally admit out loud and not just be this voice in the back of my head that I ignore and stuff with more food.

Today i will not binge.  I will go to bed, only having indulged in 10 M&M's and a half of bowl of cereal...because they were in my allotted calorie count.

Today is one day closer to where I want to be.

Today I was strong enough.

"If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started.  And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


"If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started.  And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."  

So, it has been just over three weeks since I started this change in my lifestyle.  We can call it a diet, but it is so much more than that to me.  I have been struggling my whole life with my weight.  From growing up bigger than most kids and having self-esteem issues in high school.  To losing 80 pounds when I went to college but still seeing myself and treating myself as “the fat girl”.  To over the last 10 years slowly gaining all the weight and then some back.  To now having a three year old and trying to find a balance between him, work, family, home, and myself and never putting myself first.

I have tried my fair share of fad diets and they never work for me.  Some I just can’t stay on for more than a few weeks.  Others I lose weight, but then when I start incorporating the foods I once loved I fall back into my old habits and the weight comes back.  And with each fad diet failure comes more frustration and disappointment and I slip back into my old habits to cope. 

The last few years have been a blessing but also extremely rough.   The stress has worn on me and been nothing but one excuse after another why I am not losing weight and putting myself as a priority.

But when I thought back on 2014 at the end of the year and how many missed opportunities to be in a picture or do something fun I had because of my self-esteem and weight, I cried.  I thought of one time when my husband said “Hey, lets just go to the lake for the day to let Henry play on the beach for the first time” and I said NO....I knew something had to change.  Why did I say NO…because like hell I wanted to be somewhere that people will see my body!! And this isn’t the first time I haven’t done stuff because I am too self-conscious about the way I look to go.  I have never taken Henry swimming, or when we go to the park it is not when it is hot because I wear jeans and cover up.  I pretty much hate going anywhere public, though I do move past that at times for Henry.  I avoid pictures from the head down as much as possible.  I hate sitting in chairs in public because they are uncomfortable.  I am just always thinking about the way I look instead of just enjoying the moment.  And perhaps some may think "you are just vain" but, when you are very overweight and go to the grocery store and hear a comment about your butt, you start to think everyone is thinking the same thing.

But Henry is older now.  He is going to want to do more things.  I am going to want to take him to do more things.  Like go to the beach.  Take him to swim class.  Go on bike rides.  Run outside.  Go to amusement parks.

And it isn’t just because of him, it is because of me.  I want to do all those things for ME.  I want to look in the mirror and not focus on everything I think I need to cover up but look in the mirror and be happy.  I want to wear skinny jeans and boots.  I want to up and spend the day at the lake or amusement park and not think twice about it or worry I won't fit.  I don’t want to cry over and over because of the way I look or feel.  I don't want to think everyone is saying I am fat.   I don't want to feel aches and pains.  I don't want to spend twice as much on plus sized clothes (seriously, annoying).   I want to be healthy.  I want to change.  I want to be ME.  And I don’t want to keep saying this over and over again.  I want this part of my life to be over and start a new, healthier chapter.

I have had an unhealthy relationship with food for a long time.  I have always "sneak eaten" and "binged eaten".  I get bored or stressed and I turn to food. Even when I am happy I turn to food.  I enjoy it.  I love cooking it.  And I love eating it.  I love eating too much.  I sometimes just eat, like I have a plate full of food and I have to eat it.  I may start to get full, but it is there so I eat.  This is a whole other topic for another post, but I do use it as a crutch.  Coping mechanism.  Something to make me happy briefly.  Always have.  I need to stop now.

I actually refused to write this post when I first started.  Mainly because, I feel I have written it before and failed. Many times over.   But something is different this time.  I am not sure what it is, but I am ready.  Maybe it is Henry.  Maybe it is the boot trend…seriously, I love boots.  Maybe it is that my body doesn’t feel like I imagine the body of a near 35 year old should look or feel….I feel far older.  Maybe after the last few years I have realized that I AM strong enough.  That life is way too short and that time is not slowing down for any of us.  And that if I want to make a difference in my life I need to do it now because the world is not stopping for me to help me or do it for me.  And every day I choose to live my life the same way I have been living with no change, is another missed day of doing something good for myself and actually making a change.  (my wise sister helped me to see this)  I need to take charge of my life before it gets to the point I no longer can.

This time I am not looking for a quick fix.  No fad diet, shakes, gluten free, carb free, meat free, only nut diets that are out there at the moment.  Nor am I denying myself of all the things I love.  It is a lifestyle change.  

Moderation.  Balance.  Alternatives.  

It is math...counting calories.  Plain and simple.

I know this is going to take a long time, perhaps a year or more.  I am setting a lot of little goals to meet along the way, along with the end result to just be comfortable with my body.  Accepting of my body.  To look at food in a healthy way that is not only enjoyable but a fuel for my body.

I am not there yet, but I am well on my way.

How do I know I am on my way?

Because of this...

"If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started.  And when I started, I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."  

(Again, from my smart sister)

That is how I know I am on my way.  I am 9lbs lighter than I was January 1st.  9lbs may be a small chunk of my chunk I want to lose, but it is a start and I have desperately wanted to be where I am now.  And I hope that in a month I will be another 9lbs and maybe another after that.  Again, time is not stopping, each day will pass and with each passing day I am that much closer.  Stopping doesn't fix anything.

So perhaps by my birthday in April I could be 25lbs lighter (my goal) and buy myself some new jeans for my birthday.  In the scheme of things, that is not that far away.  I am actually surprised I have been doing this for three weeks already!  Again, I am focusing on perspective, slow and steady instead of an instant fix.

So currently I am doing the following:

During the week – calorie intake goal of 1300 - 1400
On the weekend – Calorie intake goal of 1400 - 1500
(This is a significant drop in calories, but totally doable.)

I am using MyFitness Pal to track calories and weight loss.  Using measurements as well.

If you have read some of my previous posts, I am looking for alternatives to some of my favorite foods like Chinese (HERE) and I am testing out cauliflower crust pizza this past weekend and will post results soon!  

I am finding ways to have the foods I love without the extra a 100 calorie Light & Fit fudge bar from Aldi’s!  It is a perfect treat at the end of the day and still makes me feel like I am getting that indulgence without the calories. 

I am finding balance between the things I like and weeding out the things I no longer need to put in my body.  And I am enjoying trying new things and finding a new way of life that works for me and my life style.

So bare with me.  I am sure I am going to have rough days.  Days I do not stick with it.  Days I feel like I can't do it anymore.  Days I am discourages.  But I am also around so many supportive people, and an amazing and energetic son, that I feel inspired every day to do the best I can and keep going day by day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

It Really Is Pretty to Live in Ohio

Just when I am getting to the point when I question our decision to stay in Ohio because it is negative degrees outside and we get a flat tire because of the extreme cold and I have a 3 year old who can't go outside to release all that energy.....the universe gives a morning like this.

It may only be 3 degrees outside, but it is absolutely gorgeous.  These last minute camera phone pictures do not do it justice, but believe really is pretty to live in Ohio and experience all the seasons.  Even the bitter cold ones!!!