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Halloween Candy Has No Calories

I've decided. Halloween will be a night off, where I can blissfully indulge in all the sugar I want! So there. Just try and stop me (translation - stay out of the way to avoid injury).

I'm back to calorie counting, and although I haven't been updating my daily counts on the side column of this blog, it's been going fairly well. According to my lovely scale I've even lost 2 pounds, which although it's not as much as I'd like, is better than nothing :) I'll take it!

If you (from the title of this post) were looking for some kind of magic that deletes the calories in Halloween candy, I apologize. I could spin something about how having a day full of sugar maybe shakes up your metabolism and makes it speed up (is that plausible? We can pretend!), but without research to support this theory I don't know how credible it would be. Hmmm.

Instead, let's just say this: Halloween Candy Has No Calories In My Head (because there's plenty of research to support that ;)

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Dr. Phil's Weight Loss Book: The Ultimate Weight Solution

This is the book that I'm currently reading.

While I haven't lost any weight yet (I'm only on page 73), what I do appreciate about this book is that he examines the psychological and behavioural mechanisms behind weight before he starts in on the diet advice. It's like he's prepping you mentally first, which I believe in: I think all that we are and do begins with how we think.

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Mmmm POP!

Yummy, sugary, and having no nutritional benefit whatsoever: pop!! At anywhere from 130-180 calories per can, it can find it's way to your waistline pretty quick.

The best solution is to simply not buy it, which, if I lived alone, would be my answer. However my husband is a Pepsi-aholic, and we're the house that hosts the family parties, which usually include a flat of mixed pop for the kids (mine are normally only allowed 1/4 can two or three times a week as a treat).

I could:

a) Torture myself and not drink any, and end up eating or drinking something else just as bad,


b) Give in and just chug the stuff,


(drum roll)

c) Crack open a can, have a few sips, and leave the can in the fridge. I periodically come back and have a sip or two, but usually I'll forget it's there. The next day it's flat (and disgusting), and it gets dumped down the drain.

Wasteful? Sure. (Keep in mind that I don't live alone and therefor share in the decisions about what comes into the house.) Waist expanding? No.

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Tasty Tummy Filler

I'm struggling with perpetual hunger (as I usually do when I calorie count) and I just discovered yet another low-cal void filler:

1 can green beans (about 50 cal.)
1/4 cup salsa (about 25 cal.)

Heat the beans, drain the water, mix in the salsa. Presto: hot, tasty, somewhat filling, and only 75 calories :)

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Resuming Calorie Counting

Today I started calorie counting again. I was trying a few other things (smaller portions, exercise, etc.) but not really having much success. It occurred to me that even though I had the right intentions, unless my calories burned exceed my calories consumed, I'm not going to lose weight. How do I ensure this happens? Eat fewer calories. How do I do this? Count the flippin' things.

I'm an unconscious snacker. I eat all day long, PLUS eat full meals. In theory snacking often can speed up your metabolism, but you still won't lose weight if you consume more calories than you burn.

Today my count was 2,030. I was STARVING, which will give you a glimpse of what I would have eaten had I not restricted my intake. Yeesh.
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Finding New Ways To Exercise

I walk everywhere, kids in tow. This is great for many reasons, including health, financial and environmental. I'm finding that I'm not getting as much of a workout as I used to though.

A couple of years ago the kids rode everywhere in our Graco DuoGlider. I was pushing close to 100 lbs (not sure how much the stroller weighs but the kids were about 35-37 lbs each), AND I was walking briskly. Since my time wasn't eaten away by dawdling toddlers, I'd schedule us a little tighter and walk faster to reach our destinations. So when you combine brisk walking with weight pushing, you get calories burned! All my exercise needs were basically met.

Now, at the ages of 5 and 6 1/2, my kids walk everywhere too. This means we don't walk as quickly, and we stop to look at flowers and bugs and anything else you can imagine would interest a couple of curious kids. I still take the stroller to carry our stuff, but as you can guess, it's much lighter.

As a result, I'm having to be more creative as far as incorporating exercise into my day. One of the changes I've made is to remove a laundry basket from the main floor of our house. Now instead of tossing items into this basket and making one trip downstairs when the basket is full, I run each laundry item downstairs in individual trips (sometimes I wish my kids still rode in the stroller ;)

What are some interesting ways that you sneak exercise into your day? I'd love some new ideas!

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Dr. Rhonda Low, And What Happens To You Body When You Eat A High Fat Meal

I saw this Dr. Rhonda Low segment last night on the news that analyzed the blood of two volunteers before and after they ate a 6,000+ calorie high fat meal. I can't find the segment on line to share the link with you (but I did manage to find her twitter address! @doctorrhonda )

Anyway, the segment on the fatty food was quite shocking. Even after one meal, the volunteers' blood when from clear to cloudy, and the heart rates when from comfortable to struggling. Worth noting is that both volunteers where deemed healthy prior to the test.


It crossed my mind to save the taped segment and replay it every time I get an ice cream craving...

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Weight Loss With One Change At A Time

Yet again I'm trying to ditch the ice cream at midnight habit! So far so good. I'm on day 3 now.

Last night I caved a bit and had a couple of cheese strings (2 x 60 cals) and a chocolate covered chewy granola bar (150) for a total of 270 calories. This is still better than the ice cream, though, which I estimate to be near 1,000 (did I mention I dump chocolate chips, peanut butter, and chocolate syrup all over it? yeeesh. SO yummy though).

Wish me luck tonight! At the moment I'm strong, but anytime after 10:00 pm or so, I stop caring about the calories and I just want the ice cream!! Ahhhh... lol

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Are Salads Really Diet Food?

Are salads really diet food?...

I'm addressing the misconception that just because something is called a "salad", it must be good for weight loss.

It comes down to common sense. If you order something with "salad" in the name at a restaurant and your plate arrives containing cheese, egg, and processed ham along with some lettuce, it's more than likely going to sabotage your diet efforts.

On the other hand, if it truly is light and low cal (greens & veggies with no dressing), it can't be ALL that you eat or your metabolism will shut down.

Two of my own friends have complained in the past about being unable to lose weight even though they "eat mostly salads". I wonder if they were focusing on the name and not content (what was IN those salads), or if they were not seeing the big picture (what else were they eating). In any case, the whole salad thing warrants a closer look...

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Renewed Weight Loss Efforts

Ok, I think I'm ready to try again. The thing that tipped the scales (pun intended ;) was when I sat down at the table last night and my tummy bumped the table. Um, sigh. Not what I want for myself.

I managed to NOT eat ice cream before bed last night, which is a really good sign. Normally my ice cream cravings completely override any good sense I may have left at the end of the day, but not last night! I kept thinking about that annoying tummy bump.


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Still Here!!

I'll be back on track again soon... Meanwhile, I haven't gained any more weight! Yippee (lol)


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The Upside and the Downside

Upside: I'm down ten pounds from mid-March :)
Downside: I've gained five of them back :(

I hopped off the calorie counting wagon (as you can tell by my record on the right hand column), so now is the time I need to put on the brakes to my current snacking before I gain all TEN back. I need to take the five pounds I'm down, pat myself on the back, and make this my new "maximum".

OK! Here's to a fresh start, and renewed optimism :)

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4 Ways To Curb Late Night Snacking

I am once again struggling with late night snacking. Yesterday, for example, I inhaled about 600 calories worth of crap after midnight (toyed with the idea of adding it to today's calorie count, then thought the better of it ;)

If it's late enough at night, my resolve weakens and I simply don't care. I want the bleepin' cookies, and nothing will stop me from eating them! So there ;) Last night it was Oreos, as well as a couple of chewy chocolate covered caramel granola bars (blissful sigh).


Ok. Here's what I need to do:

1) Go to bed earlier, before the madness has a chance to start.

2) Hide the crap. DH buys it for the kids as treats, but telling me to keep my hands off it is like telling him he can't smoke, and leaving a pack with a lighter on the counter in plain view. Ya right.

3) Brush my teeth earlier (like, when I'm finished eating dinner, as opposed to right before bed).

4) Chew more gum. Gum gum gum. Gum.

That might help. Tonight I think I'll start with #1 (yaaaawn :)

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I'm Baaaack... Or Should I Say My APPETITE Is

Don't you love it when a post title tells it all? I pretty much don't have to write anything else at this point ;)

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Caught Me A Bug

I'm soooo dedicated that I even counted my calories in the midst of illness. Ha ha.

I've caught some kind of intestinal bug, complete with fever and headache and an intense dislike of anything edible!! (This is not how you want to lose weight, but hey, let me have my silver lining ;) I'm still not 100% better, but hopefully I'll feel normal again soon.

I have even challenged myself to a cup of coffee today (my favourite thing in the WHOLE WILD WORLD), but so far haven't had the nerve to grind the beans. The thought of the smell kind of scares me a bit.

This is also the first time I've gone near my laptop in about 72 hours - that alone speaks volumes about how crappy I've felt. Even now as I type, my fingers feel kind of strange.

I did a Wii Fit body test this morning (I felt like I could stand up long enough ;) and while I won't tell you how much weight I've lost 'cause "illness weight loss" doesn't count, I will say that my Wii Fit age was 12 years less than my actual age! Too funny. I should get sick more often ;)

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The Cookies Chased Me

They did!!! I ran as fast as I could, but they trapped me in the kitchen.

Lesson: put them away somewhere where they're harder to reach.

Last night I was ending the day at about 1,900 calories, when I dozed off on the couch. I woke up half asleep and wandered through the kitchen, and you guessed it - found the cookies (600 calories may be a bit more than what I actually ate - these were homemade cookies and I had four or five, but they had almond slices, so who knows).

I could say that I was half asleep so my resolve was not there, but that would just be an excuse. I'm the one who put the cookies on an easy to reach pantry shelf. I could put them up high so that I need a chair to get them, or I could put them in the basement, or... you get the idea.

Bottom line is, if you have moments when will power alone will not suffice, changing your environment can work.

On a good note - I lost another pound! That's 2 pounds in just shy of 2 weeks, and that's with an average of about 2,200 calories per day. I'll take that :)

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Should I Lower My Caloric Target?


It's a tough call, because on the one hand, having a flexible, reasonably easy target makes me more likely to want to continue long term, but on the other hand, I tend to not take it as seriously.

If I lowered my calorie target range to, say, 1,200-1,700 would I continually be demoralized and give up all together, or would I start losing weight a little faster? 2,000 calories is a lot for someone trying to lose a few pounds.


I did :45 on Wii Fit today, which is good. I usually try and put in at least an hour, but I was short on time today. I did a :10 run instead of :20, and I skipped some of the Yoga and strength exercises, as well as shortening some of them from the maximum reps that I usually do. I have to fit in the exercise whenever I can, otherwise if I wait until I have "enough time to do a full workout", I'll never work out.


I'm contemplating a new daily target of 1,400-1,900 calories. I'll let you know what I decide...

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Calorie Shifting

Hmmm... it appears as though my inability to stick to below 2,000 calories for any length of time has a name: calorie shifting!! lol

I've heard of the merits of this before: basically it refers to changing your daily intake levels to trick your metabolism. If you eat low cal for too long, your metabolic rate eventually slows to match the level of incoming calories.

I honestly think my calorie levels are a bit to high for this though. The bottom line is that calories consumed have to be processed by your body, and at my current rate (see top left side bar of blog for my daily counts) I'm averaging about 2,227 (I took the last 7 days, added them up with a value of 3,000 for the jujube and Easter days, and then divided by 7). In the past my weight maintenance level has been between 2,500 - 2,700, so I can still lose weight if I continue this way, but it will be extremely slow.

That being said, I firmly believe that calorie shifting, if done properly, can really work. Here are some links for further reading:

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Wii Fitastic :)

I haven't really lost that much weight since getting Wii Fit (maybe a pound) but I feel like I'm getting fit. Watching my 6 year old do yoga has been fun too :)

This is how my Wii Fit work out typically goes:

1) I start with a run (today it was a 20 minute "free run", in which I broke the 4 mile mark, wahoo!! :) Ironically I only got 3 stars for that, while in previous runs I've gotten four. I think it's because my speed was inconsistent because I was too caught up in the "miles" thing.

2) I then work my way through all the strength exercises, only once each, maximum reps that I have open.

3) Then I do all the Yoga poses, again once each, maximum reps that I have open.

4) Today I ended with Lotus Focus, mainly because it involved sitting reeeeally still, which is perfect when I'm tired!!

It's interesting how some things are easier than others. The push-up side plank exercise is sheer torture for me, and I quite often skip it. The plank, on the other hand, is not that bad. I guess they're not as similar as they seem to be. My Yoga "Warrior" pose always gets me 4 stars, but the "Triangle" pose is brutally hard. I can never seem to match the on screen trainer, so I fake that one to get a good score ;)

I find the strength ones are easier once you're warmed up from a run, and the Yoga is a wonderful way to stretch and cool down. The balance exercises are fun, but I don't think I get much out of them (other than fun) so I invest less of my precious time doing them. (My four year old, on the other hand, is obsessed by Table Tilt... I swear I hear its music in my sleep.)

What about you - if you have Wii Fit, how do you typically use it?

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Why I Love Wii Fit

Wii fit is fabulous, because most of the activities involve using the balance board, which means you have to be standing up, or at the very least, off the couch. Anyone who has Wii Sport has no doubt figured out that the majority of those games can be played while seated.

My husband is about 6'2", and you wouldn't think of him as being overweight. He's getting a bit thick in the middle, but not so much that you would estimate his BMI as being too high (he hides it well).

To use Wii Fit, you have to set up a user profile (you can't just pick a Mii and go for it). Your user profile involves an age, height and weight analysis that gives you your BMI and your "Wii Fit Age".

DD was playing the tightrope walk game (under balance training), and wanted her Daddy to have a turn. Rather than simply using her profile (which would have resulted in "your weight is quite a bit different than last time! Do you want to continue?"), he set up his own profile. Guess what he got? "Overweight" BMI!! Wake up call? (How nice for him to have this awareness before it gets out of hand! FYI he's 6'2" 227 lbs, which is not too out of range).

Later that night we had beef dip sandwiches, and he had only one, instead of his usual two ;)

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Wii Fit

I LOVE it so far, partly because it says I'm about 3 pounds lighter than my bathroom scale does.


I got it on April 9th, set up my profile, and went to The Keg for dinner that night with DH and friends. The next day when I stepped on the Wii Fit balance board, it told me I was +2 pounds.


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3 Ways To Make Running Easier

I love running, and it's an effective calorie burner, but man oh man is it hard work if you're not in shape!! Here are 3 simple things you can do to make it less painful if you're just starting out:

1) Stretch before and after. It doesn't have to be for very long, or be very involved, but a quick minute or so of gentle stretching before and after you run will go a long way in maintaining flexibility and reducing soreness.

2) Ease in and out of your run slowly. Once you've stretched, start running slowly and gradually increase your speed, but only to the level you're comfortable with. If you experience discomfort, ease up a bit. (Don't hesitate to walk for a bit if you need to.) Near the end of your run, slow your speed down, and allow some distance at the end for a walking cool down period. This will allow your heart rate to gradually reduce to a normal level. Remember, it takes time to get fit enough to run non-stop at a significant speed.

3) Use slow, controlled breathing. Resist the urge to pant in time to your pounding feet! Take long, slow breaths. If you feel yourself getting overworked, slow your breathing down.

The health impacts of running are many, and if done properly, it can be as enjoyable as it is beneficial.

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Counting KFC Calories


I don't really believe that a KFC drumstick is only 160 calories... I called it 300 just to be on the safe side. DH went out and grabbed some KFC, with strict instructions from me to not get any extras. No salads, or deserts of any kind. And only ONE drumstick for me.

Ok I ate one fry too. Just one. So I figure that 300 calories is a fair, safe guess. Oh, here's the website that the screen shot below is from. Since it clearly says "Kfc", am I to assume their calorie count includes the deep fried batter? To me a plain drumstick would be 160. Oh well.

The fact remains, whether the 160 is right or wrong, that if it weren't for the calorie counting, I would have eaten 4 or 5 pieces, and not just one. It all works out for the better, even if the count is slightly off...

(LOL notice the nutritional grade? Lucky I had that banana this morning ;)

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Yesterday: 1,655

Hmmm, not much healthy stuff yesterday, other than a Greek salad and a banana.

I had two cookies, two candies, birthday cake, pizza, Bailey's in my coffee, to name some... yeesh. Good thing for the multivitamin ;) The one drawback to calorie counting is that if you indulge in treats like I did yesterday, you don't really have room for healthy calories. This is one of the reasons that I count raw veggies as zero cals. You have to have treats every now and then, because if you don't, you won't want to continue dieting.

Of course, that being said, I didn't eat any raw veggies yesterday!! LOL. What the heck - it all balances out :)

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6 Pounds Down!

I haven't been weighing myself regularly because my scale is a little unreliable for small changes. However when I stepped on it several times this morning and each time it showed my weight to be just shy of 140 (as opposed to lingering around 145 a short while ago), it seems pretty clear that some weight has legitimately come off.


Must keep going... 15 more to go!

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Yesterday: 1,670

Being busy definitely helps! I eat so much more when I'm bored. Yesterday we had stuff going on with the kids so I was out of the house quite a bit.

I usually recap healthy stuff I've eaten but yesterday there wasn't much. I suppose it depends on your standards. Some people might think that frozen pepperoni pizza includes enough of the food groups to be healthy ;)

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April Fools: 3,195

Except I'm not fooling. It started off as "oh I might be a bit high in my count today" and ended up more than a bit high!!

In the past I've had trouble rebounding after slips, and the ability to do so is crucial for an effective weight loss plan. You have to get back on track.

The interesting thing about yesterday, though, is that I found myself deliberately eating more, with the intent of testing myself on April 2 (as in, can I get back on track). I know how to count and measure calories, I know how to log what I eat, I know how to make healthy choices, I just don't know how to motivate myself to continue. So yesterday it was almost as if I was trying to push myself off track to teach myself how to get back on. The difference? Control.

Irony being what it is, I stepped on my slightly wacky and unreliable scale this morning and it looks as though I've lost two pounds. Yippee :)

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Today: 1,710

I was out for two hours in the evening, so that really helped. If I'd been home, I no doubt would have eaten more.

Healthy stuff included:
  • whole grain toast
  • yogurt & blueberries
  • banana
  • apple sauce
  • cheese

Hmmm. Not sure if I'm logging on tomorrow, with this April 1st virus business going on... it may be just a hoax, but I'm the kind to err on the side of caution. Soooo... hopefully on Thursday I'll have two good counts to report, one for Wednesday and one for Thursday.

I'm trying to decide if (so far, this time, at least) this blog and my public record of my calories has made a difference. Not sure. I haven't really had a day yet where I've thought about eating a lot and then not done it because I wouldn't want to admit to it. Not yet, anyway ;)

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Today: 1,855

It would have been 1,655, 'cept for the 200 cals worth of Bailey's in my hot cocoa ;) What the heck. It's still within my target.

I ended up calling the ribs 600 cals - I'm not sure how close that is. I had four (each about 3 inches long). They were cooked on a rack so that the fat could drip, and they were seasoned with garlic, salt and pepper (so they were dry ribs). I had nothing else on my plate. My six year old asked me why I wasn't having rice, and that was a bit tricky to explain! She and her brother are both pretty lean. I told her that I didn't need the energy from the rice since I'm already grown, but that she and her brother need it to help them grow. I hope that was good enough.

Healthy stuff today:
  • whole grain toast with peanut butter
  • banana
  • apple
  • carrot

Not quite as much as usual, but not every day is perfect. So far now I've had three days within my target range, which I'll take!! My challenge comes when I have an off day - I have a hard time getting back in the swing of things the next day. It's almost as if overeating makes you hungrier.

I'm off to walk the dog... have a great night everyone :)

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Calories In Baby Back Pork Ribs

Yowza. They're, um, not diet food, that's for sure. I'm making them for my husband and kids tonight and am trying to figure out how many I can eat!

I've surfed and found everything from 234 for 2, to 477 each. (I like the first one best ;) This is the one I'm going with:

I'm cooking DH's in barbecue sauce, but mine I'll do on a rack so the fat can drip off, and I won't add any sauce, just season with spices. I'm going to make myself four :)

Hmmm. Speaking of, I should get that started....

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Yesterday: 1,765

We had Chinese take out, and when I googled caloric values for pot stickers, it said 200 for six steamed pieces. Hmm. These were not steamed, although there were only five. I didn't put any sauce on them, but I did eat one garlic boneless pork bite and one battered shrimp. I called the whole thing 500.

The benefit of calorie counting (for me, anyway), is that even if you don't get the count right, it still puts the breaks on your eating. I had no sweet & sour pork, and no chow mien. If I hadn't been counting calories, I would have heaped it all on my plate and dove in! lol. My daily goal of 1,500-2,000 may seem high to anyone on an accelerated plan at, say, 1,200... but oh my gosh you have no idea how much I normally eat!

Healthy stuff from yesterday includes:
  • banana
  • yogurt & blueberries
  • broccoli
  • carrot
  • egg
  • apple sauce

I even limited myself to one piece of pizza (265) at lunch. I did this by covering the plate with foil so that I couldn't see it.

Whatever works ;)

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Yesterday: 1,510

The first day of calorie counting is always easy because at that point I'm pretty motivated. Yesterday I finished the day at 1,510 which definitely meets my daily goal of between 1,500-2,000.

In all honesty it may have been a bit higher, because I'm not sure of the size of the steak I ate last night. It was a New York, and it was kind of medium sized. I called it 550, and ate nothing else with it. This wasn't a huge sacrifice, since I'm a big steak fan and wasn't really interested in the side dish (pasta), so it was easy to skip. Mmmm... steak!!! Yum :)

Healthy stuff from yesterday include:
  • banana
  • egg
  • carrots
  • yogurt
  • blueberries

Does the cream in my coffee count as dairy? lol. I have 4 tbsp per cup, for 80 calories (no sugar). For those of you who can't imagine coffee without sugar, I can relate. I used to be like that as well, until I started paying careful attention to improving the quality of the brew itself. It makes a big difference! I still can't drink restaurant coffee without sugar. Blech.

Speaking of, I'm only at 360 calories so far today, so I might just go have another cup!

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7 Tips For Making Calorie Counting Easier

Aw, it's not that bad! And it works, providing you can stick to it long enough. Here are some tricks I've learned along the way:

1) When you record your calories, use four columns:
  1. time eaten (this is handy if you want to compare your progress to previous days)
  2. food item (this makes you more aware of the type of calories you've eaten, and more inclined to make healthy choices, especially if other people will see your log ;)
  3. serving calories (this is useful for reviewing what you can cut back on if you're having trouble making your target)
  4. running daily total calories (shows you where you are in relation to your daily goal)

2) Set flexible goals. You are more likely to want to continue the next day if your target is somewhat forgiving. For example, "between 1,300 and 1,700" is better than a target of "1,500" because if you eat 1,600 you'll feel as though you've failed with a target of 1,500 (whereas that would have been success with a target of 1,300-1,700). If you feel as though you've failed, getting motivated to try again the next day is much harder.

3) Designate a handy spot to keep the tools you need:
  • log book & pen
  • measuring spoon
  • measuring cup
  • calculator (for accurate portion values, if you're eating an amount that isn't the same as indicated on a label)
  • calorie reference book, or shortcut on your desktop to a site that gives food caloric values
If you can't find the measuring spoon, for example, you're more likely to free-pour the cream for your coffee. Free pour = over pour = miscount.

4) Eat protein - it's very filling, and satisfies your hunger longer. I was/am a carboholic, and my most successful calorie counting stints have been when I've incorporated some lean protein into my day (tuna, chicken).

5) Make unprocessed and raw veggies "free". This is an easy way to incorporate some valuable nutrients into your day, and veggies are relatively low in calories. Write them down in your log, with a zero next to them. That way you have the positive reinforcement of a written record of having eaten them.

If you're concerned that the small amount of calories will add up, consider this: hunger is often not about calories, it's more about your body seeking nutrients. If you eat lots of raw veggies you'll get more of those nutrients, and may not be as hungry for extra calories. Note: they must be unprocessed and raw. Canned veggies, for instance, don't count.

6) Drink water blah blah blah but water's borrring... Try this: use a fancy glass (wine glass, etc.), add ice cubes and slices of citrus (or something). Getting water in me is a struggle, until I take a tall, unmarked beer sleeve, add two slices each of lemon and lime, and about four ice cubes. Then it follows me everywhere and I refill it several times.

7) Have sugar free gum handy. Sometimes you just wanna chew something!

To be continued...

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3 Weight Loss Goals For Today

I need to remain focused!!

Sometimes I think having a relatively small amount to lose is harder (not that I'm complaining, by any means!). I take my hat off to those who have more to lose, who in a matter of mere weeks, lose the pounds that I just can't seem to shed. It's inspiring.

Anyway (speaking of focus ;) here are my three goals for today:

1) Resume calorie counting (I actually like doing this - my problem is that I'll have two or three bad days in a row and then just give up).

2) Write down what I eat (this goes hand in hand with the counting, but if you record the details, it helps you stick to healthier calories).

3) Spend a bit of time on the stationary bike (it's in the living room, in front of the TV! No excuses!)

There ya go! I have only about three months or so before bathing suit weather. Think I can actually do it this time?


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Grocery List

Tsk tsk. DH has a big heart, and bought a box of Froot Loops for the kids. No biggie. It's sitting on the top pantry shelf, next to their treat bags. It's all good.

I asked him (begged him!) not to buy me vanilla ice cream. I can walk away from the tub of chocolate (not sure why), but the vanilla is my Achilles heel. Seriously, if there was a bowl of chocolate ice cream sitting next to a bowl of vanilla yogurt, I'd pick the yogurt. Yet I adore chocolates. Weird, huh?

So no ice cream for me. Phew. He did get me more yogurt, though, and a HUGE bag of frozen blueberries. Plus some canned tuna, bananas, and plums :)

I guess I'll keep him!

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0 Cal Sweetener? New SoBe World Product Promotion

I posted this on my Cha-Ching blog as well ('cause it's in reference to a free product ;), but thought it was relevant here as well.

Today SoBe World is giving away free bottles of their 0 Cal Lifewater (U.S. only). Here's the link to find out more:

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Not Me Monday

I'm a new Meme addict. I found this one:

"Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week."

...and thought, oh yeah, that's one I can participate in ;)


It was NOT ME who ate so many of DH's Valentines chocolates that I snuck out to the store today to buy more (same brand, different box) to replace the missing ones from his heart shaped box... (hee hee)

Oh yes, and it was also not me who sat typing this post with a sink full of dishes and nothing taken out of the freezer for dinner...

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Book Review - Thin For Life, Anne M. Fletcher

"Thin For Life" by Anne M. Fletcher

This is the book that helped me lose 18 pounds two years ago. (What happened, you ask? Well, let's just say I stopped reading the book and gained it all back). ARGGH.

Anyway, what I love about this book is that the author interviewed people who had not just lost the weight, but who kept it off for a number of years (so in other words, she wouldn't have interviewed me because I failed to keep it off). Bottom line, the advice you are reading comes from those who have truly been successful long term.

She then analyzes the habits that these people have in common, such as exercising and keeping food logs, to provide a clear picture of what strategies consistently work.

At the end of the book she outlines some diet strategies, including the "Jump Start Diet". This worked like MAGIC for me. The reason it did, I believe, is because the calories are counted by food groups, with protein being the highest group. Previously I've counted calories and failed to keep them down because of my excessive appetite, but I was eating mostly carbs which can increase hunger. The Jump Start diet includes carbs, but has slightly more protein, and it was enough to calm my food cravings.

I discovered for myself that to lose weight I could average about 1,500 calories per day, and to maintain my weight loss, I could consistently eat about 2,500-2,700 per day. (This is plenty, btw.) What happened to make me gain it all back? I started eating more. Just a little at first, and then gradually more. I stopped paying attention, and started eating for the wrong reasons (boredom, etc.). I was averaging, I'd guess, between 3-4,500 calories per day (keep in mind that I'm quite active, which is why I'm not obese).

In other words, I stopped employing the strategies outlined in the book for keeping weight off, which include keeping track of what you eat, being aware of why you eat, and weighing yourself regularly.

What does this mean? All my hard work was "for nothing", because if I discipline myself to stay at 2,700 calories per day now, I'll simply maintain the too-heavy weight that I am (which, btw, is 140 lbs, and I'm 5'5"). Now, in order to get back to the 122 lbs that I was, I'd have to once again cut back to about 1,500 calories per day).

Anyway, I highly recommend this book for those of you who haven't read it and are looking for new inspiration, and something else to try.

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Laptop Holder For Treadmill Or Exercise Bike

I need one of these things! Omg, that's too funny. I'm eyeballing our poor sad lonely exercise bike in the corner of the room, wondering how this laptop holder would attach. (The question is, would I pedal, I would I just sit there?) Hey now, of course I'd pedal!! Sometimes. I mean wouldn't it be hard to pedal and type at the same time? Who knows...

Do any of you have one already and can tell me if they're any good? Like, how do they attach to your bike, and is your laptop stable?

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Waddya Mean Am I Still Counting Calories?

Soooo... it's been awhile since the last blog post, Jeanne... howya doin'? Still countin' those calories? Huh? Huh?

(and there was a day when I swore I'd never ever refer to myself in the third person)

The good news is that I haven't gained any weight. The annoying thing is that if I'd stuck with the calorie reduction that I started a few weeks ago, I could be a few pounds lighter by now.

Ah yes, no one to blame but myself...

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My Weird Scale Euphoria Has Passed

So I went to the local health unit to use one of their "accurate" scales, and got the strangest result. It's kind of funny, actually...

In my last post I described how our home scale is less accurate as more weight is added on. However... check this out: on the health unit scale I weighed myself and my four year old.

I weighed EXACTLY the same as on my home scale (137 lbs). My son, however, weighed about 5 pounds LESS (40 1/2 on the health unit scale and about 45 at home). Hmmm. At home, he weighs 45 pounds when he steps on the scale himself, and 50 pounds when I weigh him by holding him and subtracting my weight.

So... my home scale ADDS five pounds to very light things, then gradually gets accurate, then as the weight increases it ADDS even more weight.

Sure... makes perfect sense. Why not? (Are you as confused as I am?)

I think I might just ditch the scale and switch to a measuring tape ;)
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What's Wrong With My Scale, Anyway

Have you ever tried weighing a child, or a pet, by first stepping on the scale alone and taking note of the weight, then stepping on it again with the child/pet in your arms and calculating the difference?

For example (drum roll).

Let's say I weigh 120 lbs.

(I'm pausing here to allow sufficient time for the laughter to fade, and for all involved to recompose ourselves.)

No seriously, let's just say. (Why not?) One hundred and twenty pounds (grin). If I step on the scale holding my cat, and the scale says I now weight 135 pounds, that means my cat weighs 15 pounds.

I did said exercise with each of my kids. I then had each child step on the scale by themselves. What I discovered was interesting:

The weights they were, while being held in my arms, were about 5 pounds MORE than the weights they were when they stood on the scale alone.

I didn't think much of it, until my husband mentioned it later: "That scale is junk. The more you weigh, the more pounds it adds on."

(what?) ....Ah HA!

I can see you all now, shaking your heads. "Jeanne, Jeanne, Jeanne. The number on the scale is SO not important."

(Yes but... but... imagine!!! Finding out, all of a sudden, that you actually weigh five pounds less!!)

I'll take it any way I can ;)
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Ice Cream Alert

I think I'm doomed until the tub is empty.

I caved last night, and had a nice biiiiig (1,000? cal) bowl of vanilla+ ice cream (I say vanilla+ because I add stuff, like chocolate chips, various syrups, peanut butter... you get the picture).

It's a friend's fault (yeah! that's it ;) - ever since she introduced me to Baskin Robbins' peanut butter chocolate ice cream (not sure if that's the official name), I have been trying to recreate the magic myself in my own kitchen.


OK, but...

Today I walked a total of... (doing the math)... 46 blocks!! Weeeeee. I don't dawdle, either - I walk briskly. Pump up my heart rate. Work up a sweat. I figure that must cancel out last night's indulgence and entitle me to more tonight, right?

(Seriously - 46!!!)
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My Calorie Count So Far Today

Hey, I have a chance today! It's after 3:00 and I'm only at 910 calories so far. The fact that I'm at home with my kids and not at some Superbowl party/pub event definitely helps.

By this time yesterday I was well over 1,400. All I have to do is keep things to moderation tonight, and stay away from the ice cream. Hmmm. I better type that again (for my benefit).


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8 Ways To NOT Lose Ten Pounds

1) Make lasagna. Extra Mozza. Mmmmm....

2) Eat the chocolate your husband brings home for the kids (I am a good parent, darn it! That stuff is not good for them).

3) Don't include the kids' leftovers in your calorie count, and eat it. (leftovers, not calorie count).

4) Eat ice cream while watching Oprah episode about obese teens.

5) Put chocolate chips, chocolate syrup, and peanut butter on your ice cream.

6) Wine and Baileys (whaaat?)

7) Hang towels on the exercise bike.

8) Sit at your computer writing blog posts and using Twitter (instead of taking the towels off the exercise bike and using it ;)
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My 5,237,846 Calorie Snack

This is why you should ALWAYS measure, and never ever ever ever free-pour Flaxseed:

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Pure Evil

Because I love him dearly, I feel I am allowed to call my husband EVIL. What for? Buying these:


Yesterday's Calorie Count

Yippee - 1,600!! Back on track.

It might have been slightly higher, but I don't think so. The only reason I say this is because I had a personal sized Greek pizza, which I estimated at being 550 calories.

A single slice of M&M rising crust pepperoni is approx. 275 (this depends on how many pieces you cut the pizza into, of course - on the box they just give the count for the entire pizza). My guess is that the four small (palm sized) pieces of my personal sized pizza were roughly equal to two M&M pepperoni slices.

Who knows. I'm sure it's within 100 calories, anyway, and the important thing is that I didn't order a large and eat it all!!

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My Crazy Scale

I didn't count any calories yesterday, 'cause I kinda, uh, indulged in some treats (lasagna, ice cream, Bailey's in my coffee, etc.). I'm going to call it my own "Canadian party for the US inauguration" and just leave it at that (and congrats, Mr. President! What an historic day that was :-)

I'm pretty sure I've lost a couple of pounds though. Pretty sure. Not entirely sure, because my scale changes by about 3-4 pounds depending on where you stand. To say that this is a little frustrating is the understatement of the century.

However, being an optimistic person, I choose to see the upside. For example, this morning, after yesterdays binge fest, I can stand a little farther up (towards the numbers dial) to make my weight lower. Hmmm.

This might be my favourite scale, now that I think about it...
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Coulda Been Worse ;-)

Yesterday: 1,976 calories.

This is still above my weight loss goal of 1,200-1,700 per day, but you know what? I'm happy with it. We had tacos for dinner last night, and I had only one, for 250 calories.

Had I not been counting, I would have had at least four!! (lol, omg can you say oink oink ;-) That would have meant that dinner alone would have been at least 1,000 calories (and that is how I was averaging 3,000-4,000 calories per day!!) Yeesh.

Anyhoo, at the rate I'm going, the weight WILL come off.
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So So Day

Not awful, but a bit above my target (1,700 and under):


Hmmm. (It was that blasted candy again! Plus I had some ice cream ;-)

I did have some banana and apple, cheese and yogurt, so there was some healthy stuff in there as well, at least. It certainly could have been worse...
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Diet Back On Track

Yippee!!! 1,488 calories today :-)

The fact that I was able to sleep in (if you can call it that) until about 8:30 helped, because I started eating a bit later than I normally do.

I ate dinner with DH and the kids, which is tough when you're counting calories. It worked out OK, though:

1/2 cup mashed potatoes = 118
1/2 cup corn = 90
3 Half chicken wings = 180

(Luckily it wasn't my favourite meal ;-)

Plus I walked twice today: once for 16 blocks, to and from the store, and then again to walk the dog (this time about 7-8 blocks).

Overall I'm feeling pretty good about how things are going these days, and am expecting to see some results soon...
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Oops, Off The Wagon I Go!

What the heck. We have to embrace our flaws too if we're truly going to accept ourselves (blah blah blah ;-)

For some reason today I could NOT stay away from the candy.

So far I'm at about 1,300 calories, and I haven't had dinner yet, which is pork roast. I think that meal alone will be about 1,000 calories, although I'm lucky I'm not a huge gravy fan, so that will help. I'm guessing today will end at about 3,000 calories. I may continue to count them, or I may simply let it go for today.

Not a big deal. I read somewhere that you have to have the occasional high calorie day or your metabolism will slow down. Works for me.

Fresh start tomorrow!
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Yesterday's Calorie Count (And Some Popcorn Info)

...was 1,410!!

It was the best day yet in terms of nutrient composition. There were very few wasted calories on things like candy or cream for my coffee, and I ate fruit, veggies, dairy, grains, and lean protein.

My secret to yesterday's success: popcorn!! It was air popped, with nothing on it, so it was about 30 calories per cup.

I had only about 60 calories worth of popcorn (2 cups), and it did a great job of filling me up, which helped me resist the urge to snack.

Here's a look at the nutritional breakdown of plain popcorn:

It's a source of fibre, and contains nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and omega-6 fatty acids. It even has a small amount of protein. Hey, a low cal filler with some added benefits!
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Wheat Germ, Flax And All Those Calories...

OUCH! Just made myself some yogurt with blueberries, wheat germ and flax, and looked at the calories involved. Per 1/4 cup, here's a comparison:

Yogurt: 50
Blueberries: 16
Wheat Germ: 120
Flax: 146

YOWZA. Who knew? The wheat germ and flax have enough nutrients to make the calories worth while, so I went ahead with my snack. Here's what I ate:

1/2 cup yogurt = 100 cal.
1/4 cup blueberries = 16 cal.
Approx. 1/2 tbsp each of wheat germ and flax, which I guessed at about 30 each, so in my calorie journal I gave it a grand total of 175.

I'm not sure why I'm surprised - nuts are really high in calories, so why not seeds and grains? It just goes to show, you learn something new every day.
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Oops, Went For Dinner With The Inlaws!

...but, with my calorie counting experience I estimate that the dinner was 1,500 or less, which puts the day's total around 2,300. This is still at least 1,000 less that what I was eating a few days ago (I ate a lot ;-)

DH bought me an air popper tonight so I can make fresh popcorn with nothing on it, as another option for a low cal snack, so that should save me tomorrow (after I higher calorie day is when I usually lose my momentum!).

I'm off to walk the dog!
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Day 2 Of My Diet

Yesterday`s final tally: 1,543 Calories :-)

So far so good! It's easy to string two or three good days together, but making them the rule instead of the exception is the real challenge.

Why I was able to succeed:
  • Dry Cheerios: sometimes I just need something to put in my mouth, and these are relatively low cal., and a good source of several essential nutrients.
  • Tuna mixed with green beans: I love green beans because they're filling but have so few calories! The tuna was for some protein, which is very filling and helps keep hunger at bay.
  • Yogurt: filling and satisfying, and a good source of probiotics and calcium.
  • Fresh fruit: nutrient dense and filling.
The above is only some of what I ate of course (just to be clear). Day 2 is under my belt - onto day 3!
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Calorie Count

Yesterday`s final tally: 1,618 Calories :-)

That works for me! You can lose weight faster if you get a bit lower (closer to 1,200), but for me at 1,600 the weight will still come off.

Why I was able to succeed:
  • I chewed a lot of sugar free gum!! lol.
  • I ate fresh fruit, which gives your body nutrients, thereby reducing your hunger.
  • For dinner I had a can of chicken noodle soup, which is filling, but only about 150 calories. (I wouldn`t eat canned soup every day because of the sodium - sometime this week I`ll probably make some homemade veggie soup - but in a pinch it`s quick and easy, and the calorie count is right there on the label).
  • I did have 100 calories worth of candy, but I made it last by sucking on the candy rather than chewing it.
  • I drank green tea (clear with no sweetener) in the evening, when I usually get the urge to snack.
So far so good! Today will be just as successful :-)
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Overeating Solutions

While will power is an essential component in any successful diet outcome, there are ways to make things easier on yourself. For me this can be done with a three step process. Consider the following:

Step 1: Figure out what the problem is
Step 2: Figure out why the problem happens
Step 3: Figure out an alternative that eliminates the problem

Insert your own stuff and apply. For example, here are some of mine:

Step 1: I eat too much at once.
Step 2: The food is in front of me!!
Step 3: Smaller portions. For example, last night DH and I ordered pizza. He ordered a small, and I ordered a personal size (which is the equivalent of about two medium sized slices). I ate it all and was satisfied, whereas if I had ordered a small, I would have eaten it all and been too full.

Step 1: I eat all the time.
Step 2: Bored, restless, flavour craving, you name it.
Step 3: brush my teeth more and chew gum.

Anyway, you get the idea. Instead of waking up one morning and thinking "I'm going to lose weight - ahhhh!!! I can't eat anything!!" and then being overwhelmed and giving up, if you break it down into small pieces and address one at a time, it's so much easier!
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Diet Start Date


I mean literally January 12th, not tomorrow as in some random day in the future (lol, lol). I looked at the calendar on Friday and thought, "Hmmm. Monday would be good, I think."

My best option will be to count calories. This has worked for me in the past, and so this is what I'm going to do again.

(Sadly I've gained weight since starting this blog, so now I'm on a mission to lose 20! Yowsa.)

Starting Weight: 140 lbs
Goal Range: 120-125 lbs

I've found in the past that setting a goal "range" instead of a goal weight makes it much easier to maintain your success, because the normal daily fluctuations in weight (from retained water, etc.) don't bump you off your goal weight and make you feel like you've failed.

Why I gained it all back: two years ago, I lost 18 pounds and kept it off for over a year. To lose it I ate about 1500-1700 calories per day, and to maintain, I ate about 2500-2700.

Somewhere in that second year I started eating more. You know, grazing, indulging, snacking on bad things, eating entire pizzas, entire boxes of KD... you get the picture. Plain and simple, I was cocky and thought I'd never gain the weight back. I'd gain a pound, then two, and think "oh that's easy for me. I can lose that in a week. I'll start tomorrow."

Fyi, when I was in high school I was one of those lean girls that could eat an entire fridge a day and not gain a pound. This changed after pregnancy, sorry to say (although my babies are definitely worth it :-)

Step 1: Set up my new 2009 calorie counting journal!!

I'm off to do that... 'bye for now!
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Interesting Diet Tip

The appearance of your food shouldn't matter if you want to lose weight, according to a recent study in Japan, as well as weight loss guru Paul McKenna: results have shown that when people eat blindfolded, they eat less.

Reasons for this are varied, including the fact that when diners don't see their food, they're more likely to savour the flavour and eat more slowly. Also, if there is no visual impetus to eat more, one is more likely to stop when actually full, as opposed to when the food is all eaten.

Hmm. Eating blindfolded. In theory it makes sense and might be worth trying (unless you live with a practical joker - yikes).
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Day 2 Of My 2009 New Year's Resolution!!


Day one was easy, because there's nothing like waking up tired and, uh, overindulged from New Year's Eve to curb your appetite. Now here we are on jolly ol' Day 2, with me being rested and feeling like my old self - my old piggly wiggly self!!!

I've not done too badly. For instance, instead of diving head first into the left over chocolate covered almonds (even I, with all my pigout prowess, failed to eradicate them by January 1st), I instead sucked on two brazil nut flavoured toffees. That's right - only two!!!! Yay me.

Sucked - as in, no chewing allowed!!! My new diet strategy: whatever treat I pop into my mouth has to last as long as takes for it to dissolve on my tongue (because asking me to NOT have treats at all is like asking the dog to not bark at his ball).

Hey why not? It's worth a try.
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