Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | May 30, 2011

Better Me – Week 1

In case you missed it, I’ve been struggling to find my footing again.  Something’s amis and I’ve been scrambling to “get better”.  I think I’ve found a way to guide me through that.  This blog, Sometimes Sweet, is running an 8-week program to self-improvement.  Hence the first image – 8 weeks to a better me!  I’m a bit behind on her schedule but I thought I’d jump in with my own version.  Each week I will have 3 goals.  Something for my health, something for my home, and something for my family.  All of these are really for me, so no worries on being selfless ;D

  1.  Health: Start with a low carb diet.  I’ve been reading a ton about Paleo and the new Atkins.  This was spurred by watching Fat Head….and HILARIOUS documentary countering Super Size Me.  Basically it seems we’ve been duped by our “trusty” Department of Agriculture and their Food Pyramid.  Not that we all didn’t know this, but lots of carbs tend to make us fat.  What most don’t know is that low-fat doesn’t make us thin.  Seriously watch the movie!
  2. Home: Take better care of my clothes.  I will be more mindful when doing my laundry.  As silly as that sounds I’m lazy about it.  While I separate my colors and whatnot, and rarely pre-treat and I often toss things into the dryer that should be hung or laid flat.  I would also LOVE to get a clothes line, though that may have to wait until after this week is over.
  3. Family: Spend more quality time together.   I will shut my computer off after Alexa goes to bed and actually hang out with Peter.  We can watch movies, we can talk, we can do nothing…but it needs to be without our laptops in our faces (smart phones too!).

So, tune in next week to hear how week-1 went and to find out what my next goals will be :-)

Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | May 6, 2011

Non Scale Victories

I’ve been thinking a lot about my scale, about how it’s not moving and how frustrated I’ve become with my diet game.  I’m supposed to lose 1% of my body weight each week to get the full points.  I haven’t done that in 2 weeks now…though the first week I thought it was due to PMS bloating.  Then I got my period and the scale STILL hasn’t moved.

People have mentioned that I might just be building muscle.  I’ve been working out like crazy (maybe a little to hard honestly) but I just didn’t pay attention to the amount of muscle work is involved in Spin classes.  Running has always made me drop weight crazy fast, but I’ve never really done any bike work before.  At my last class I tried to stay focused on what my body was feeling, and my goodness…yes it’s a ton of muscle involvement.

I know my jeans have been fitting looser, but I’ve chalked that up to them just stretching out between washes.  Then I tried on an old pair of “skinny” pants and they almost fit.  Pants that I wore with ease before my pregnancy.  SCORE!  I also went shopping for new tee’s last week and bought mediums instead of large.  SCORE!  Just last night I went shopping for some dressier outfits and bought a dress, it was a size smaller than the last dress I bought.  SCORE!  I’m actually just 2 sizes away from the “thin” version of myself.

So I guess my friends were right, I’m building up muscle (which takes up less space than fat) so I’m not seeing a difference on the scale, but the difference is in my closet.  That said, I still need to lose some poundage.  I gained about 40 with my pregnancy and I’m still 15lbs from my pre-baby weight.

We have a little over a week left with this game (one I’m losing badly, but that’s ok…sorta).  I’m going to try to end with a positive spin on things.  Then I’m taking a week off just because!  I won’t go crazy with junk foods, I just don’t want to be on a diet for a week.  I’ll still work out because I’m actually starting to like it and don’t want to lose momentum.  Once my break is over I want to give the 6-Day Body Makeover a try.  I already have the book, and maybe with the that set of instructions I’ll get over my hump.  In the end I will continue on with my Weight Watchers program so I can log my foods and hopefully get back to the old me by summer’s end.

Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | May 1, 2011

Couponing

I’ve always sucked at bargain hunting. I just lacked the patience or the drive to care. I would save coupons to stores I frequented, but would forget to bring them on my shopping trips. Basically I was just saving these scraps of paper till the date said they were too old..then I would toss them.

I come from a home that used coupons. My mother loves them! She’s a huge fan of rebates. My goodness the amount of FREE toothpaste we stocked up on. It was somewhat crazy at times, be she often got paid to take these items home after double (sometimes triple) coupons and mail in rebates.

Not me…I pay full price. I have no clue why I avoided saving money for so long. The boy loves his tech toy rebates and hunts down deals on computer related items all the time. I never buy electronics myself because he gets a better price for a better item EVERY.SINGLE.TIME. I even yell at my dad when he shops at Best Buy or Sears because I know the boy could get him a bargain.

When I started play my diet game my “bad habit” to give up was to stop wasting money at the grocery store. To combat that issue I vowed to spend at least 10 minutes a day looking for coupons or doing something related to couponing. The organizer in me took over from there. I got myself a binder and sheet protectors (ala Couponing 101).

This new habit is turning into an outright hobby. I love the hunt and then the sorting. I have so many things I want to do with my coupon binder. I’ve yet to really sort my existing coupons out, and I’m learning NOT to print things I don’t need yet…but it’s pretty cool. Oh gawd I’m a dork!

The best part is, I’ve saved about $200 in 2 weeks. Our grocery bills have been larger than normal because of the diet (but we’re saving money because we’re not ordering out for lunch and dinner)…but with coupons and sale shopping in the circulars I’ve kept the bill at what it was before all the added food. I do need to start tracking how much I’ve spent each week vs. how much we would have spent on take-out and random food shopping. One of the coolest things is seeing my fridge stocked with TONS of healthy food that I bought for a discount and that we actually eat (instead of throwing out and wasting!).

p.s. I’m not only learning to save in the grocery..but I’m saving in other stores as well. Used a “buy one get one 1/2 off sale” along with a 20% total purchase discount to save almost $200 on new clothes at Old Navy!!!!! This is getting serious now ;D

Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | April 27, 2011

I Quit!

I’ve been a smoker most of my adult life. I kinda sorta smoked as a teen, then started for real when I was 18. I wanted to lose weight HA! Somewhere along the line I got hooked and smoked up until I found out I was pregnant. Sure I’d quit once in a while. I’d only smoke a few a day, or sometimes just one….but I don’t think I ever quit for more than a few days.

When I got pregnant I couldn’t stand the smell. I couldn’t really stand the smell of anything, but cigarette smoke was terrible! I was convinced that since it was so easy to quit that time that I would be able to do it for good. When the babe came 10 weeks early and spent the first month and change of her life in the NICU there was no way I would smoke. I had to go visit her every day. I didn’t even think about starting, no matter how stressful, it just didn’t come up. It was like I was still pregnant, I was still her lifeline, she needed me to be smoke free. Even when she came home and it was tough; no sleep, constant pumping or nursing, new parent syndrome…all that jazz…still no smoking.

It wasn’t until a few months after we brought the babe home that I caved. You see my mother was visiting…hahaha…you see where this is going. I love my mom, but she drives me batty. I’m sure most people can say that. I was also dealing with some delayed onset PPD and my shrink was making me feel worse about myself. That, with all the other stress, did me in. I demanded that a pack of cigarettes find their way back to our house on the boy’s way home from work. I had no idea that would be the end of things….the long spiral back to addiction.

When I did smoke I always made sure to be as careful as possible (and as hidden….it was a pretty dark secret I tried to keep from many people). I didn’t want any kind of secondhand smoke around my daughter…or 3rd. I would wear a “smoking jacket” even if it was 100 degrees out. I sometimes even a glove LOL. I tied my hair back and tried to keep the smoke away from me, errr? Hands were scrubbed as soon as I was done, mouth was rinsed out with Listerine, and face was washed. I had this whole procedure down…and it stayed that way for 2 years. I never smoked anywhere near my daughter and I was always paranoid that I wasn’t doing enough to keep her safe (ya know, other than just quitting). It was all too much.

I’d also become a smoker that despised the smell of it. I’m sure I still smelled, at least a little bit, but people who did nothing to clean or mask the stench drove me up the wall. If someone was visiting that smelled like a freshly smoked cigarette I wanted to vomit. Worse were the ones that smelled like stale ones. I couldn’t deal with the idea that I smelled like that. It was time to quit.

When I quit for my baby it was out of love and necessity. This time I’m doing it for me…because I made the decision it was time. No one had to talk me into it, no one had to push or harass, I just wanted to be done. I decided to try Chantix. I’ve had friends who had great success with it and found out my insurance covered the Rx 100% so there was nothing to lose. Hell, even if I had to pay for it…it would have saved me money in the long run if it worked. And it DID work. My first prep week of smoking and taking the meds were riddled with weird dreams and the feeling that smoking was now a chore. I didn’t feel like I was getting a break from life…standing outside with my cigarette…it felt like work. My brain was no longer being flooded with dopamine every time I enhaled…there was nothing pleasurable about the action.

Since my quit date of April 1st (NOT an April Fools joke LOL) I haven’t had a cigarette. Not a puff! Sure, there have been cravings but they passed. The first few days were the hardest as the nicotine worked its way out of my system. It’s been almost a month and I’m absolutely thrilled. I’ve saved a little over $100 already and can’t wait to celebrate with a Spa Day. My skin feels better so now it’s time to pamper it :-)

I hope I never smoke again. Sure I’m a little sad to think I can never have a cigarette ever again. I’ve had my little stinky buddies around for most of the past 14 years. That said, I want to live a long healthy life with my family and I want to be a good example for my daughter. I also don’t want to stink like that ever again!

Posted by: Amber @ NotMommy | April 26, 2011

Game On

I’ve been playing a new game. It’s a diet based on this book. You play for 4 weeks in teams. It’s hard! You have to drink a ton of water, eat a healthy diet, workout 6 times a week, adjust your habits (one bad, one good), and sleep more. As you can see, it’s not really just a diet. Sure there’s a weight lose component for most playing, but it can just as easily suit someone trying to get healthier…or someone training for a sporting event. It’s really a whole lifestyle upheaval.

They say it takes 28 days for anything to become a habit…so the timing of this game is not an accident. Hopefully by the time this round is up I will be accustomed to eating healthy. I’m trying to curb my sweet tooth, and end my terrible sugar addiction. I could seriously be happy with a bag of mini Reese’s cups instead of a real dinner. Not good. I know it sounds hard to only eat “real” food…and it is certainly a lot of prep-work and cooking, but it’s the foods we’re SUPPOSED to be eating.

So far we’re a week in and everyone has lost weight. Sadly the other team is winning. I honestly don’t care about who gets the prize…I’m just trying to jump-start my metabolism and reboot my health :-) I’m thrilled with the non-scale results as well. I’ve started to enjoy cooking for my family again, running is getting easier, and I’ve discovered a love of Spinning!

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