Disney Princess Auditions Tonight

I’ve been really out-of-sorts this week. Work has been crazy busy, I didn’t have time to shop so I don’t really have great snacks in the house, and — on a personal level — I haven’t been feeling like “myself.”

I think it’s all the stress (you don’t need my list of things I’m stressing over, do you?), and I’m positive it has a lot to do with me not taking care of *ME* and doing *ME* things. I’m telling you, working from home is nice, but it’s also hard… I don’t socialize with real people in the flesh, so it’s hard for me to do normal things … like interpret feelings through your written words. Or shut my mouth. Or not curse out morons. Or, I don’t know, stop myself from turning that ant hill into Mt. Everest.

It’s a real #firstworld problem. Excuse me while I whine about how privileged I am.

Anyway, I said to hell with my diet while I’m in this whiny, PMS stage. Until I can get to the store tomorrow morning (munchkin in cart)… or maybe Sunday… I’m not mentally capable of caring.

So, little man and I had pancakes for breakfast this morning with borrowed scrambled eggs made with real butter and milk (instead of my standard EVOO) and for lunch he ate chicken, peas and corn, pasta, and fruit. Dinner was a mish-mosh, as per usual, so we were footloose and fancy free with a frozen Bertolli meal. He didn’t eat it, and honestly my stomach can’t handle food like that anymore, so Buddy enjoyed more of it than either of us did.

Now that my mister is asleep, however, I am going to brave the wrath of the stomach gods and open up a bottle of the wine I got for being an A+ bridesmaid. Then I am going to watch a chick flick and feel sorry for myself.

….Oh, isn’t that what everyone does when they feel like crap and don’t care anymore? lol

Enjoy your night, and enjoy your weekend, you crazy kids. I’ll be in the same clothes I’ve been wearing for the last two days, drunk and laughing along with some stupid Hallmark movie. Or maybe I’ll be really cool and watch a Disney movie. The kid’s not interested yet, so someone’s got to keep the magic alive. And I’m just the girl to do it.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMELIA!!!!!

Catching up!

I have been cracking up at myself a lot lately and I want to share.

First, yes, thank you for all the virtual high-fives on my bridesmaid dress situation and the compliments! I liked the way I looked, and I think it’s obvious in recent pictures that I’m losing weight so that’s awesome! I feel really good, too. At last count, I was down 13lbs from my baseline.

I ate bad at the wedding and the Sunday after, so on Monday I felt like someone took my delicate little stomach and squeezed it like a stress ball about a bazillion times. HAHA. I knew it was going to happen! I’m going to go on the record right now and say that food that’s bad for you… like the breads and sugars and carbs… makes your body work way harder and causes it to feel like you just finished a 5K after a cheat day. Our bodies aren’t made to handle this stuff, but you don’t realize how hard you’re making it work because it’s used to working that hard on a daily basis. Give it a rest for 3o days and you’ll be amazed at the difference.

On another note, Mark is now on the bandwagon with me!!!! And my mom and sister are starting a program too (different from what I’m doing, but who cares, we support healthy lifestyles here!) CONGRATS and GOOD LUCK!!!

Summer is only a few short weeks away, and I’ve seen long lines at Rita’s. Get a gelato thingy for me the next time you’re there, they are my favorite! I’m starting to get outside more and doing some exercise. We did Level 1 of the 30-day Shred (snooooze) but I feel a huge difference in my abs today. AND, I did 33 pushups!!

Before you know it, I’m going to be rocking the Marge… LOL! Does anyone else remember that episode?!

Have a great night everyone! Sweet dreams! ❤

 

Michelle and Tom

just married

Well, it’s official! The bride and groom both said “I DO,” and they are heading to Mexico to celebrate their honeymoon.

We can put a check mark next to this in our notes and call it a success. 🙂

It was a gorgeous wedding weekend full of fun things. Michelle and I left my house at 9:30am on Friday to go to Ocean City. Tom and his best man Chris met us there, and we opened up the house, brought things in, and started getting ready! Mrs R and the bride’s brother and sis-in-law worked on programs with me, while the boys completed the centerpieces. Bride & groom went to the venue for some final checks, and I stole the best man and a friend to go to Acme to pick up some last-minute necessities. Swirl, whirl, pop and it was rehearsal time, then the rehearsal dinner at OCNJ’s Manco & Manco’s on 12th street. We ate pizza, watched Michelle and Tom make their own pies, and basically had a blast. Then it was back to the Wedding Frat House for drinks and games.

It was amazing, and I’m still resisting the need to get back to real life. Here are some of my favorite pics from the event… I didn’t take a lot at the actual wedding because, duh, I was in it. But when the photographer gets them back I’ll try to remember to post more.

As you can see… HAHA… I fit into my dress! $180 in alterations later. *headdesk* But hey, I looked good and it fit, so I am not complaining!

So much has happened and I have so much more to share, but I’m going to need to spread it out. This was *obviously* the most exciting, hence the reason it was the news I shared first! Can’t wait to tell you about the rest, though!

Until then… 🙂

My Fascinating Life as a Blogmomstudprofessional

I (apparently) have a fascinating life.

I work full-time, go to school full-time, have a small child, and blog for my own sadistic reasons. I have a husband, a dog, a home, a finished novel, and a new haircut.

On. Fire.

….Or something.

When the kiddo and I run errands, we’re unstoppable. Every time we walk out of a store or complete a task I say, “We’re killing it! KILLING it, Marky!”

I like to imagine that’s true 😉 In reality, though, this is my motto most days…..

winging it

Life is a big juggling act where we keep throwing the same balls up in the air over and over, right? It’s exhausting. And I think we all need to give ourselves a big high-five if we’re taking care of ourselves too in addition to all the other things we’re juggling.

I’ve been eating okay, though not nearly enough, and not “meals” like I need to be. I am dropping my “health” ball a bit because I’m not getting as many veggies, not enough water, etc. I need to step up my game!!!

It’s been exciting over here this week. As I mentioned, the new haircut happened…

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….and also I drove down to DC to visit with my brother while he was recuperating from a serious stomach surgery. It’s ridiculous, because the kid looks like the healthiest person you ever saw. When you say “stomach issues” people aren’t expecting a young athletic man who looks like a GQ model. And yet, here we are…

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He’s doing well though. His recovery will be tough, but he’ll finally be able to get off his meds!

Also, I made some new stuff I want to talk about…

  • Garlic red-skinned mashed potatoes … Instead of dairy, I used coconut milk. So I boiled potatoes, then added salt, pepper, garlic powder, and coco milk. It’s not fat-free or low cal by any means, but I’m not doing that anyway. Plus, who wants low-cal mashed potatoes?! It’s a lie you’re telling yourself. Don’t do it. I ate them with asparagus and the al fresco jalapeno chicken sausage. It is SOOO GOOD! Try it!

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  • I tried this Green Onion Dressing from meatified… seriously, though, soaking the cashews grossed me out so much that I could barely eat it. I tried, but I won’t do that again…. it was weird. I don’t think I’m ready to go “all in” with that.

Trying to think what else happened in my fascinating and amazing life….

OH YEAH! We saw Batman vs Superman!

batman

Wonder Woman was my favorite part of it, except for the part where Henry Cavill peeled off his clothes and jumped into a full bathtub with a naked Amy Adams. It made my romantic heart flutter, and I’m not going to lie when I say I cried TEARS at the end… TEARS, PEOPLE!… when Martha handed Lois that package Clark had mailed to her house.

That’s about all I can think of as far as how cool I am (LMAO). What are you all up to?!

I’m excited to have my “cheat” day, and I’ve managed to justify this by leveraging exercise. If I exercise … and like, really exercise, not just yoga or walking but something sweaty… then I can do this. I can already tell you some of the things I’ve been dying for ….

  • S’mores (obviously)
  • Chocolate peanut butter pie, or other chocolate-type cake from Sweetsboro Bakery
  • Breakfast food… I am a huge fan of creamed chipped beef, and since I want bread….probably in the form of toast… I’m achieving two cheat treats with that one
  • Tea with real sugar

LIVING IT UP over here!

If you have any suggestions or advice, I’m all ears!! Who is beyond excited for Friday?!

 

The Logic Behind “Cheat Days”

In 1996 a study was conducted by psychologist Roy Baumeister about self-control. The experiment was pretty simple. Sixty-seven study hungry participants individually walked into a room that smelled of freshly baked chocolate cookies. The room had one plate of cookies and one plate of radishes on a table. Half of the participants in the trial were told they could only eat the radishes; the other half were told they could have whatever they chose. After their snack, all participants were administered an unsolvable puzzle to complete. The results were undeniable. Those who were forced to eat the radishes made far fewer attempts and devoted less than half the time solving the puzzle compared to the chocolate-eating participants. In other words, those who had to resist the sweets and force themselves to eat radishes could no longer find the will to fully engage in another torturous task. They were already too tired.

Self-control is a resource that can be depleted if you have to constantly refuse things you crave. Willpower is not a skill, and it’s not a matter of having it or not.

I’ve been dieting for as long as I can remember, so I’m a self-proclaimed expert in the field of willpower and cheating. (Anyone else? Hands?) When I was on Atkins like the rest of the world several years ago, Dr. Atkins told you that eating one thing that was on the “bad” list could completely derail your Ketosis and whatnot, meaning that it would take you 2 weeks to get back into that fat-burning mode. So, when I inadvertently ate a restricted item, it was easier to throw up my hands and go insane, “getting in” all the foods that I had been wanting but knew I couldn’t have. Then I’d go back on the diet, and before I knew it, I was finding another excuse to jump off the wagon.

Seriously, dieting sucks. I hate it.

So, knowing this about myself, last summer I implemented something I still think is a stroke of genius. Every two weeks (usually on a weekend), I would give myself a “cheat day” … I could have anything I wanted, guilt-free, for 24 hours. Then straight back on the wagon.

This accomplished several things:

  • It got my brain back in the game. Because I knew that I was going to have a cheat day to eat anything I wanted, I knew I could keep on the straight and narrow until then. It was something to look forward to. And like any good purge, when that day was over I started with a clean slate and began fresh and ready again.
  • Made me realize what a great change I was making. You really don’t understand how tough processed food is on your body until you go without it. The day after Cheat Day, my stomach feels like someone punched me repeatedly. I’m not a doctor, but it was clear to me that my body had to work overtime to process all the crap I was putting into it on that day, and we were beat up and exhausted.
  • Gave me my life back. It’s tough having to constantly tell friends and family that you are watching what you’re eating, so you can’t partake in certain events (birthday cake, pizza at Mack & Manco’s, wine). If I knew something special was coming up, I’d plan my Cheat Day around that event… it might be 3 weeks until a cheat day, or I’d space out the time in advance. Maybe I’d elect on a cheat “meal” if it was too close to a previous cheat day. It gave me the freedom to choose.
  • Took the excuses away. There was no reason to indulge in XYZ today when my cheat day was only 3, 4, 5 days away. If I was still craving it then, I’d have it then. End of story.

So, on this note, I think I need a cheat day. I’ve been doing great eating what I am supposed to, but like my radish-eating friends in the study, I’m starting to get worn down. I see goldfish crackers and stupid snacks my kid eats and I want them, even though I know I don’t really want them…… I want the idea of freedom, of choice, of not having to think or cook or plan meals. I just need a break. Know what I mean?

 

Week 3 Results!

Total weight loss is 5% in 21 days!

And no, before you think I actually know how to do math, I googled it. 🙂

So YEAH! 10lbs down, a bazillion more to go, but hey… progress is progress, especially when I’m barely working for it!!

I only took one walk this past week and I did some push-ups, but I didn’t exercise like I should have. I did, however, make sure to up my water intake. The hardest thing for me has been walking away from temptation. My body no longer craves sweet things or things that are “bad” for me, but my BRAINNN… ugh, my brain remembers how awesome chocolate fudge cake tastes and wants it when it’s sitting in front of me.

Have you heard of the book SWITCH? My company started a book club and once every few months we’d all read and discuss a team-building/corporate novel. SWITCH actually changed the way I feel about impulse control and the things that drive me as a person. If you haven’t checked it out, you need to. This is the amazon link.

switch

SWITCH talks about your logical brain (the Rider) and your impulsive brain (the Elephant). It’s what drives our decision making as people. I’m sure you’ve all experienced this… that irrational need to have something despite the logical reasons why you shouldn’t, and vice versa, doing something because you know it’s the best course of action even if you feel lackluster about it.

It helps if you picture an elephant — strong, massive, and unpredictable — and a person riding this elephant. In comparison, small, but mostly driven by logic and thinking through issues for rational decision making.

SWITCH talks about how, when we try to implement change in our lives or the lives of others, you need to appeal to both the person’s Rider and their Elephant in order to be successful.

Let’s take an example. Ooooh, for giggles, let’s use my example of chocolate cake.

My Elephant (the impulsive side of my brain) loves chocolate and hates being told that I can’t have it anymore. In fact, the Elephant chafes against things like “rules” and “sugar levels”… she’s like EFF THAT, cake is amazing and I want it now.

My Rider, who understands the reasons why we’re not eating cake anymore, is constantly tugging on my Elephant’s reins to direct us to the veggie tray or salad instead of the dessert table.

I’m sure you have all experienced this in one aspect of your life or another. The desire to play outside instead of finishing homework, or the need to discipline your children instead of laughing like a hyena and encouraging bad behavior. What you KNOW you should do, versus what you WANT to do.

So how do you get everyone on the same page?

SWITCH talks about how you need to appeal to a person’s Elephant but validate your argument through facts in order to help your rider steer him in the right direction. If your Elephant gets out of control and your Rider can’t handle him, you’ll end up face-first in chocolate cake, or at the gym going crazy and burn out. If your Rider is the only one who wants to make a change but your Elephant is happy with the status quo, there is only so much muscle/stamina a guy can use to get an Elephant going where he wants him to. Soon he’ll get exhausted and not be able to direct the Elephant.

The book talks about making small changes — for example, get your Elephant inspired by watching a movie like Fed Up or learning about how popular food is created. (Yes, created. Have you heard that oranges in California are watered with oil wastewater?) Once you get motivated, think about a SMART (Specific/Measurable/Achievable/Relevant/Timely) solution. Maybe you won’t eat oranges from California anymore, or maybe there’s an organic alternative.

This is how you make long-lasting change in yourself and in others.

Get SWITCH, it’s a great book! And thank you to everyone who has been so supportive as I continue blogging and posting about my health and wellness. 🙂

We made it!

Why hellooooooo April! Good to see your beautiful face in the form of 71 degree weather here in Jersey.

This week has been a tough one, not going to lie. But WE MADE IT! It’s over! Munchkin and I can stay in our jammies until SUNDAY if we want and no one can say anything about it!!!

Here are 3 interesting things I want to share today to close out your week.

  1. WORLD NEWS: If you don’t know anything about global warming, get informed. This article from NASA is RIDICULOUS and everyone should at least glance at it.climatechange
  2. SOCIAL NEWS: Did you fool or get fooled today? Here is what happened today in CNN’s Best and Worst of April Fools 2016.
  3. YOU NEWS:  Smiling strengths the body on a cellular level. When we smile, we reduce the rigidness of our cells, and this physical relaxation can help combat the risk of stress-induced cell mutations that can lead to the development or persistence of various cancers. Learn more from biochemist Shawn Achor’s awesome study here.

So SMILE! It’s FRIDAY!

See you Monday with my Week 3 results. EEEEK!

 

Image from Stuff Steph Does blog… so relevant! We should be friends!

Emotional Eating

Stressed. Overworked. Upset. Discouraged…..

I could give you a whole list of reasons why I cope with food in my daily life, but these are just the feelings that I have right now as I write this. Emotional eating doesn’t have to be negative… sometimes it’s because you’re happy and having the time of your life — let the good times roll!

For me, though, emotional overeating usually happens when I’m stressed out, upset because I’m on the outs with someone I care about, or because I feel overworked and under-appreciated and I need to “feel better fast.”

We can all say it together if you want. We all know it’s bullshit.

You don’t feel better after you binge on crap. You feel worse, because you know you shouldn’t have done it. And your stomach hurts because bad food does bad things to your body, and you may have physical reactions to food (dairy is NOT my friend, people) … so then there’s all that other bad stuff heaping on top of the original big bad problem.

It’s a no-win situation.

I’ve read all the blogs and help articles about how to tackle this. I always forget them, though, when the time comes and I need the advice. I know one of the things is to call a friend, or to take a walk or do another type of physical activity. I ask you, who feels like unloading on a friend, or doing anything other than wallowing in self pity, when you just want to crawl under a rock because you hate yourself and the situation you’re currently experiencing (ie, whatever made you want to binge in the first place)?

Not me, man. I want to hide under my covers with hot chocolate and a romance novel, or stuff Godiva dark chocolate raspberry bars in my face while I watch a favorite chick flick. I am not someone who wants to reach out and ruin your day with my bad mood.

If you can’t tell, I’m having all of these negative feelings today, yesterday, etc. I’m fighting with people, I feel really low and vulnerable, and I just want to wrap myself in a cocoon of self pity and eat my son’s Dove chocolate bunny that I bought him for Easter. And maybe the Godiva one that my parents got for him, too. And hell with it, while I’m at it, hubs stashed chocolate in the freezer and I think it might still be in there…….

It’s a sick spiral.

BUT. One thing can (and did) change all of that for me.

On my way home from work tonight I stopped by a friend’s house to pick up a piece of furniture she wanted to get rid of. It’s awesome, it’s a bench with drawers and cubbies, and I’m positive I can reupholster the pads on top and sand down the outside and make it shine like a Lara Flea Market Flip find. A few hours pass and I’m deep into my self-loathing, when I get a text from that friend saying how great I look and to keep up the good work.

It worked like a miracle straight from heaven.

I’m down 10lbs now, but it’s still that weird initial weight loss where people aren’t sure if you’re actually skinnier or just dressing right, so they’re afraid to point it out. But to have her say that? It was amazing. It made me throw the bunny idea right out the window along with all of my self-loathing.

Because, yeah, things are far from perfect…. in my life, in my novel I’m writing, at work, at home… but you know what, I’m trying to fix it, I’m working toward something, and I should be damn proud of myself for making an effort to better myself in whatever ways I can. We should all give ourselves a little credit. For me, today, having that friend validate my choices with that compliment was huge, and it stopped me from wanting to go on an all-out binge. I hope that I remember this the next time I want to ruin everything I’ve built and throw a pity party. And I hope you do, too…. know that if you have a friend who’s struggling with a tough time, even just one unprompted kind word could make a huge difference to them.

Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow, I really appreciate the help! 🙂

 

Image from Eat Like a Goddess.