A blog about my journey through the weight loss jungle, and the all the stuff that goes with it on the way to a healthier me.

Quick Update


A quick update for everyone.  I’ve decided that even though I really don’t like to cook (not a surprise to those that know me) I am going to put my Jenny Craig account on hold.  I have an amazing opportunity to move to a new apartment, which means redoing my finances.  If I get this apartment I need the money I’m spending.  How much are you spending Maureen?

I’m not saying this to knock Jenny Craig – I LOVE Jenny Craig. I LOVE 99% of their food and I LOVE their counselors, most of whom have already gone through the program. Its expensive.  The ad says lose 20lbs for $20 plus the cost of food.  One week – the entire week including syrups, salad dressings etc. is up around $135.00. I think its worth it.  The peace of mind knowing I have exactly what I need to eat healthy is great.  OK I know your jaw dropped, so close it now.

But, I’m moving and I need that cushion of money to move.  Will I go back? I’m not sure.  What I’d like to do is keep weighing weekly and talking with them if they let me.  I’ll let you know if they are willing to do that.

In the meantime wish me luck that I get this new place & that I learn how to cook better!


Week Four – Progress??

I hope everyone survived Halloween.  I did for the most part.  I had to make cake pops, cupcakes and a Pumpkin cake so there was a lot of temptation around. We had cakes, frosting, melted candy etc.  I’ve been doing this so long I don’t really get tempted to eat any of it. Plus it doesn’t stay in my house.

The pumpkin cake on the other hand was a problem.  It stayed. I had no one to give it to and my kids wanted to try it.  I made it out of angel cake and double stacked the cakes, covered it in frosting and decorated it. It was a huge challenge and I called this cake the bane of my existence.  May that is why I had a piece. I couldn’t help it.  The frosting was too sweet but the cake was good.  I threw out the rest of the cake, which was really sad, but necessary.  I feel very guilty for having it because I was doing so well.  I have a tendency to dwell on poor food choices and beat myself up over them, but I’m trying not to do that this time. (sorta)  I hate telling my counselor that I ate things I shouldn’t have.  She’s really nice and trying to help me but I still don’t like admitting it.

It’s a new day and new opportunities to make better choices.  Today has been pretty good except I haven’t had enough veggies.  When I’m cold I tend to not want salads, so I have to just eat them no matter what.  Because I was doing so well I dropped 1.2 lbs.  Not as much as I thought but now I’m back to where I was before I gained.  The scale is moving in the right direction.

Last week I asked for suggestions for getting more movement.  My friend Jonathan emailed me some suggestions.  Some of them I already do but I wanted to share a few with you in case you haven’t thought of them yet.

  • If you bring your lunch, leave it in a cooler in the car so that you have to walk to get it.
  • If you have to pick up the children, try to arrive 5 minutes early and get out of the car and walk up and down the sidewalk, or walk around the car, or walk into the building to greet them.
  • On dry days, park in the furthest spot from work / or the mall / or even picking up the children.  Heck – when you get home, park a few houses away if you don’t have bundles to carry.
  • Take the stairs as much as possible.  I heard walking up is more healthy on your knees than walking down – even though down is a lot easier.
  • Walk around the mall.  Leave your purse in the trunk of the car – so that you can not buy ANYTHING.
  • Try to find a walking buddy – someone to is going to call to organize a walk, and give you structure.  Maybe your oldest child can help you.  Make a spreadsheet of possible walking opportunities, and put a check in the columns that you are successful in completing.  even if its short walk around Crescent.  This way, having someone else involved will be less of an excuse not to go for a walk.

Thanks for those Jonathan!

So I feel like I’ve done the one step forward two steps back dance, but slowing getting the hang of it.  If I want to lose the weight I need to step up my game. Tracking all my steps and food has really helped me see just how I spend my day.  Next week I’ll finally do a review of the BodyMedia band I’ve been wearing.  I hope you find this blog useful! See you next week if not sooner.

I’ve been putting off writing for a couple of reasons. The first is that I haven’t been feeling great lately but the second is because I gained a pound. Now I know a pound is not much, but I haven’t been doing this very long so having a gain this early in kind of threw me.  I could say it’s because I wasn’t feeling good, or I did some extra food (which I didn’t) and give all the emotional reasons I didn’t lose and gained. When it comes down to it, the calories burned was no where near the calories consumed.  I didn’t move enough and hardly at all on Sunday.  Its back to the drawing board and making a plan to get more movement into my week. If anyone knows of a way to burn calories while driving let me know!

I promised you a wall of candy – here it is.

Wall of Halloween Candy This candy isle in Walgreens was taller than me and I’m 5’8″!  I couldn’t believe how much Halloween candy there was here and now in Jumbo bags (green sign on the left).  Halloween is a nightmare at my house (pun intended).  I have two kids who love to trick or treat and then for weeks after there is all the candy hanging around. I try to think of all kinds of ways to not eat it. Last year that didn’t work out well at all.

This year I’m taking a different approach.  I found out how much exercise you have to do in one week to work off some of the bite sized ‘evil things’ that we think aren’t doing any harm.  In my book this means ‘in addition to the exercise I’m already supposed to do.

Here is a short list of candy and their calories & carbs per serving.  It’s very short, my original list was over 2 pages.

  • Hershey Kisses Plain – 26 calories and 8 g carb each kiss
  • M&Ms, plain, Fun size (18 g) – 88 calories and 12 g carb
  • Miniature Bars (MilkyWay, Snickers, 3 Muskateers) – average 38 calories and 5 g carb each
  • Nestle’s Crunch Bars Fun size (10 g) 50 calories and 7 grams carb
  • Tootsie Rolls – Midgee – 23 calories and 7 g carb
  • Almond Joy Snack size (15 g) – 80 calories and 10 g carb
  • Snickers Bars, Fun size (17 g) – 80 calories and 10 g carb
  • Twix, Snack size (10 g) – 50 calories and 7 g carb
  • Laffy Taffy, Chocolate, small bars (8 g each) – 32 calories and 7 g carb
  • Milk Duds Snack size (12 g) – 54 calories and 9 g carb
  • Candy Corn, Brach’s – 11 pieces – 70 calories and 18 g carb

Now, lets say my daughter gave me all her Almond Joys while we were trick or treating, and I ate about four of them.  That is 320 calories I have to burn just from walking around having fun.  I would have to (I meaning for my height and weight)

Walk for an hour at 3 mph
Wash dishes for 1 hour
Ride a bike for 1 hour
Step Aerobics for 40 min
Run at 6 mph for 20 min

You get the idea right?  Temporary satisfaction but lots of work to make up for it. So what are the tips to help us not eat the candy?

  • Chew gum
  • Bring your own snacks with you
  • Walk with Sugar Free Hot Cocoa if cold ( sparkling water if warm)
  • Eat first and brush your teeth before you go.

Ok your turn. What are your tips for not eating or over eating on Halloween?

Spooky Halloween Cake

My Latest Halloween Cake

Week Two Recap

I’ve been trying to decide if I want to write about my last week or write a review of the armband I’m wearing, mostly because it wasn’t a good week.  I decided that I should write about my week because if I didn’t write about the downs as well as the ups what good would it do anyone?

In my last post I wrote about the convention I went to. I forgot to mention what a kick-ass convention it was.  I was  able to see a lot of my mentors in person which was amazing.  I won’t go over the decisions I made about food again, you can read that here.  Even though it was only week two and I had lost weight I kept thinking I could do this without Jenny Craig right?  Why can’t I do this on my own?  Part of this was the jealousy of cooking meals that I couldn’t eat (at least not yet).  Then after a week I finally snapped out of it and realized the following;

a. I joined Jenny Craig because I have no idea how or what I’m eating.
b. I don’t like to cook. I cook but only because I have to. My sister pointed out that its more that I don’t like to prep. She could be right.
c. This is helping me control my calorie intake and portions.

I was just being emotional about food.  Imagine that! Me, emotional about food!

So along with the kid stresses, life stresses and food stresses knowing that I have a meal waiting for me that is healthy and the right size took some pressure off.  I ended up with another 2.4 lb weight loss for the week, which is a huge win in my mind, even if I did have off days. Which of course means, if I can lose weight with the crappy stressful week I had – anyone can!! Woo!

New goal: be better at sticking the food (duh) and get 5,000 steps a day. I’m not sure how I’m going to do that with all the driving around I do, but I’ll figure something out.

Next blog… towering walls of candy!


This week I am a little up and down. Up because of the many amazingly supportive comments on my previous posts – thank you so much! Down because I still have to make dinner for my kids and sometimes I just want what they are having, so there is a little bit of jealousy creeping in. The steak tips my Dad had last night were amazing! *sigh*.

Anyway, I just got back from an excellent Social Media Summit (http://esmboston.eventbrite.com/). It was great. I was actually there to learn for my job and I did! I have lots of ideas to research and hopefully implement.

Something I forgot to plan on – eating at a convention, ugh. I really thought I had a handle on how to do this but I fell right back into my old routine – too much coffee, not enough water and not enough good food.

I obviously couldn’t bring my Jenny Craig food with me. I did eat a great breakfast but that is about it.

At lunch there was a salad (yes I had salad) spinach wraps with lettuce and tomato but only the choice of turkey, ham roast beef or a chicken salad. I don’t trust anything with mayo so I opted for the turkey cold cuts. Not too bad right? Well, then there was minestrone soup (bland) and later chocolate covered strawberries, brownies, and orange slices with shaved chocolate. I tried all of them. 😦

So I’m home and feeling like a failure and I’m being crabby about it. More to come…

Week One…

First of all thank you so much for all the great comments, love them!
Second, one of the comments I received was about the veggie soup – my bad I haven’t made it yet, but I’m posting the recipe below.  Feel free to add other free veggies to the soup that you like. This is actually the original Weight Watchers Veggie Soup. I love this soup and it last a whole week if you want it to.  Here is the link to the soup recipe – this is how I change it; double the recipe and instead of beef I usually just use light low sodium vegetable broth.  

Next, I did have a weigh in yesterday – my first week. I lost 2.4 lbs. Yay! Not bad considering the only exercise I got was the marathon cleaning I did over the weekend and the fact that I had two drinks on Saturday.  Of course I would have loved more but its a rational amount to lose. 1-2lbs should be my goal. Happy? Yes. Think I can do better? Probably.  How? Not sure yet. 
I will say that the armband I’m wearing is really cool and tracks tons of stuff. I’m going to have to do a blog post just on reviewing that neat little gadget.  I love gadgets and this one is easily addicting.
My goal from my counselor (who is really nice) is to really focus on the food and the steps I’m taking.  My goal is 5,000 steps a day.  This is hard to do during the week because I sit at a computer all day.  Would I love a treadmill desk?  Of course but I don’t think my company will reconfigure the office for me. A new adding step hint: stop consolidating tasks.  I’m a HUGE fan of multi-tasking. 

  • How many things can I bring upstairs at the same time? 
  • How many bags of groceries can I bring in at once? 
  • How many of my kid’s toys can I carry? 

Get the picture? Do you do this too?  STOP. Yes it takes more time to do these things, but not really that much more. More steps are key! Take 5-6 trips up and down the stairs, bring in 1-2 bags of groceries and take multiple trips.  On the way in the door do arm curls with each grocery bag!  Park further away from where you are going (bonus – no dings because no one parks there). Get up from your desk and move every hour. It’s all the little things that I hope to build on to get me to those 5,000 steps a day consistently.  Let me know when you do and let me know your Ups and Downs. Let me know how you like the soup and what tips you might have for getting in more steps.  Have a great day!!

Ups and Downs

Thank you to those who read my first blog.  I’m excited about doing this and sharing it with others.  

Yesterday I checked in at Jenny Craig (and on foursquare to make sure everyone knew) and received my new BodyMedia armband.  For new members its pretty pricey so I can see where many may not choose it. For a Lifetime member it was 90% off and since I need all the tracking I can get I took it.
(disclosure – I don’t work for BodyMedia or Jenny Craig and they didn’t ask me to review their products).
So I have to wear this all the time even when I sleep. It will keep track of steps and somehow keep track of calories burned. I enter the food I eat at night and it will give me a summary of Targets vs. Actual.  Once I get used to it I’ll post a screen shot of the summary.  If you want to know more about it – www.bodymedia.com is where to go.  Its very comfy and I don’t even really notice its there.
Even though I didn’t get to the gym yesterday I ended up spending almost 6 hours cleaning my house and getting the summer to fall switch over done.  Lots of lugging things up and down stairs, laundry, dusting, etc. Ladies – it counts!  If you are going to clean, clean hard or vigorously, every little bit helps.
The flaw in my plan was that my sister did come over for drinks, so those will count against me, but hey I drink socially so I’ll have to work them into my plan somehow.
I’m off to go food shopping for the mountains of veggies I need, yogurt and of course kids stuff.  I’m planning on making a free veggie soup that lasts for days and I can have whenever I want.  If you’d like the recipe let me know and I’ll post it here.
As promised – measurements. I’ll do this once a month whether I like it or not.

Upper arm – 11.5
Chest – 42.5
Waist – 43.0
Hips – 48.0
Leg –  22.0

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