Friday, November 18, 2011

Because I hate the 6:00 stare.

You know the one.  It's that time of day when you stand in front of the open fridge trying to decide what to make for dinner.  I know this feeling well, which is why I'm a big fan of e-mealz and I try to use the ideas from there faithfully every week.  But sometimes, I still get a little rushed in the morning and forget to do all the prep work for that night's planned meal.  I also only subscribe to 5 meals a week so I need some other ideas for the off days. 

Today I stumbled onto this blog post (thank you Pinterest) and I'm definitely going to give it a try. 
Soon.  Probably this weekend.   

Look at all those veggies! 

176 Days until...

I become a Mrs.  That's right, for those of you behind in the news of my world, I'm getting married to Wrangler - my own Price Charming - on May 12, 2012. 
Pinned Image
So that means aside from the usual weekend schedule of cleaning and football I will be:
  • Getting ready for Thanksgiving.  No, we're not hosting a dinner, but I do need to plan out what I'm bringing to my future sister-in-law's house. 
  • Hammering out the to-do list.  The top of which is to select and send Save the Dates.  Is it too late for those?  On the flip side, is it too early for Christmas cards?  Cause this year it may be both.
  • And of course - finding time for that all important time at the gym.  Body Combat tonight!
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Waiting for the world to change...

I seem to be waiting on the world. 
I want things to be different.

It's time to let go of wanting things to be different.
It's time to rejoice in the way things are.
It's time to look down and see my foundation.
My faith
My family
The strength learned in every valley I've walked through
It's time to look beside me and see my support.
My church
My friends
A journey toward better health
It's time to look up and find my wings.
Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
   they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Tomorrow I hope to be back with an answer to the SITs challenge about finding the best in yourself.

Perspectives on a Corn Crib (Photo Challenge)

Spring Into Action Photo Challenge
Day One:
Photograph a subject using a variety of compositions and perspectives. (Don’t move it. Move yourself.) Take at least 20 photos, more is fine.

I photographed an old corn crib in the back yard in late afternoon:


I did take at least 20, but didn't add them all.  Soemtimes, you just gotta hit delete! 

Now for Day Two:
Edit your photos. Pick your best 3 photos, each showing a unique composition and/or perspective. If you want to apply any correction or creative editing via software or an online tool, go ahead.
Blog Your Photos. Use your photos in a blog post to enhance a story you’re telling. You can post the photos individually or in a collage.

Here are a few of the edits, I'll pick the top three and post a second time...

All edits done with Photoshop Express

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This Blog is...

#1.  This blog is having a mid-life crisis.
I love the original concept of this blog.  It was to read advice and tips from various sources, try them out and share them with you.  Except that I don't seem to have time to even read them anymore, let alone try them.  I do enjoy writing about my weight loss journey.  I do enjoy structure.  I feel the need to take some time to decide what I really want this blog to be.  Which brings me to:

#2.  This blog is taking a (semi) break. 
The only blogging I will be doing in the month of April will be answers to SITs activities.  All of my "weight loss journy" posts lately have been dry and only about weight watchers challenges/activities.  I have found other outlets for that type of sharing that seem to be a better fit.  Until I know what this blog wants to be, I don't feel like posting about weight loss just for the sake of posting.  Plus the current activities at SITs have been great ideas!

#3.  This blog is feeling violated.
Until recently, I felt pretty secure about how personal this blog was.  If you "knew me" knew me, you would recognize my face, my name and probably knew who I was referring to in the stories I told.  If you only knew me as Marcy from Better Jeans, or if our connection was purely cyber in nature, you didn't really have any sensitive information about me.  And then I found out I have at least one anonymous reader.  Let me tell you, the experience was not as gratifying as I might have thought.  In fact, now everytime I think of a topic for a post I feel judged by this person.  I shouldn't feel that way.  A week ago I didn't care what I told you.  I still don't care what I tell 95% of you.  This one (or more) reader has me questioning what to share and suddenly I can't write a single sentence of substance.  That's not what I want from a blog.  I love sharing the real life issues of weight loss, healthy living and all the side-stuff that goes along with it to make up my life. 

In the meantime readers (especially you, ms-anonymous-lurker), her are some other bloggers I think you'll enjoy:

Get some daily reality from Rachel at The Lazy Christian.  I especially liked her post about this topic we all struggle with.
Let Netters from A Full Place ~ A Happy Life inspire you with her menu planning.  Here's one from around this time last year to get you in the right season.
Let Crystal at moneysavingmom help you in your spring cleaning (and follow her for all her deals and great ideas, too!)

And when all other blogs fail to keep me entertained, I like to go to this blog and read the rants and raves of other women who are just as annoyed as I am.

P.S.  This is the only time I will bother addressing you, miss-anonymous-lurker.  In the future, please feel free to direct your feedback to me and it will be addressed in a timely manner.

Spring Into Action Challenges

Seems like everyone enjoys a little play on the word Spring.  Especially when creating a challenge.

From Weight Watchers, we have the 4 week SIA Challenge to gear us up for summer.  It is currently week two and I have four new assignments.  The theme for this week is DIG IN

Each week the challenge has four parts:  Eat smarter | Move More | Build Helpful Habits | Find Support

Today I'll answer the "Eat Smarter" Challenge, which is to list 10 guilt-free and portable snacks that I can use during the week..  Mine are:
  • Almonds
  • String Cheese
  • Apples
  • Yogurt
  • WW Mini Bars
  • PB2 Sandwich
  • Carrot or Celery Sticks
  • Bananas
  • Dry Cereal
  • Grapes
Now I know I chose some items hat have to be refrigerated, but I generally have access to one each day. 

Challenge #2 is the one from SITs  which I'm behind on.

Guess who's going to be taking pictures after work today?  Which is fine since my dumb knee wants to be super swollen.  I'm guessing a leisurely walk with a dog and a camera will be gentler to said knee than 40 minutes at the gym.  Or maybe it will just be gentler on me?  :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Because I need something else to do...

(sense the sarcasm?)

But this looks like fun!  So I'm diving in.

sits springphotobadge Join the SITS Spring into Action Photo Challenge!

*blows dust of neglect off the camera*

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring into Action

Okay, I did go to my meeting today.  I didn’t want to go.  I hated going.  I hated weighing in even more.  I knew I hadn’t followed plan and even worse I overindulged last night.  But I took my medicine and weighed
in anyway. 

And gained 1.6. 

And so here we go...


Today I opened up my trusty weight watchers web page and found the following challenging words:
With just a few short weeks until Memorial Day the season of reawakening is upon us. As we spring back to life we realize that the season of short sleeves and bathing suits fast approaches. This year we challenge you to take a step outside of your comfort zone, clean out the cobwebs and set some serious goals
Well, Weight Watchers, bring it on. 

  • Eat Smarter - by planning a week's worth of meals and snacks.  I have been slacking in this area, so I will get this done for the rest of this week, and go back to planning a whole week on Sundays.  Today I didn't even accept excuses from myself when my lunch hour was completely hicked and I had to eat on the run.  (I chose a half a smoked turkey sandwich from the deli with a side of veggies and hummus.  Yum!)
  • Move More - The challenge ants me to get ready for the Walk-It Challenge and complete a 5k.  I don't know if my knee can handle it this year.  I have already set my own fitness goals, so I know I have a plan!
  • Build Helpful Habits - building awareness?  Sounds boring.  They want me to turn off the TV and computer (even my new iPad?!) and focus on my feelings of fullness and satisfaction.  Tell ya what, I'll compromise - I'll sit down to eat every snack and meal, but I'm bringing a magazine to lunch with me. 
  • Find Support - okay, if giving up TV during dinner was hard, reacing out for help is near impossible.  I tend to be fairly private about my weight loss.  The irony is not lost on me.  This blog is about my weight loss.  But you see I have the bliss of semi-anonymity here.  I don't have to see you guys if I had a bad week and gained back a couple of pounds.  You're not watching me sneak into that bag of chips or pour a second glass of wine.  So I am going to seek support two ways:
    • Online:  between my readers here and the friends I’ve found on the Weight Watchers website, I know I have people I can go to for advice and motivation.  I want to blog about this journey in the good times and bad.  Feel free to call me out on it, or ask me what my status is, or check in any old way if I seem to be avoiding this place. I need people who can provide the virtual kick in the butt.  Step up and kick harder people! 
    • Offline:  And I will reach out to a couple of friends I’ve identified and of course Wrangler, the closest person in my life, to help me and keep me accountable when I'm offline.  I need to know I can call someone to “talk me off the ledge” when I’m grocery shopping and make the mistake of wandering the chip aisle and find myself stopped in front of those purely evil Tomato Basil Chips! 
What can you do this week to excuse proof your weight loss?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Back at it...

...the gym that is. So that qualifies for my "tried it" of the week, right?

Last night I went back to my favorite class at the gym:  Body Attack.  I can only do the extremely low option, i.e. both my feet never leave the ground at the same time. 

On one hand, the low option is a lot easier.  It's a great way to ease back into things.

On the other hand, I wanted to work harder!  It sucks being limited. 

I have decided that I will continue to be kind to my joints though, and here's how:
  1. I will only go to Body Attack twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays)
  2. I will supplement that cardio with the elliptical, bike, or a low impact workout at home. 
  3. I will complete 2 sessions a week of weight training, either on my own or in Body Pump.
  4. I will not return to high impact until I have lost 10% of my current weight.
Them's my goals and I'm stickin' to 'em!

Monday, March 21, 2011

My weekend = Sabotage

Who hasn't had that kind of weekend?  A hectic schedule, a bump in the road and some added stress and suddenly your healthy eating plan is right out the window.  (Along with all of my other plans, I might say!)  So this Monday morning I needed a little advice, and a little motivation. 

The advice I found at with a 3 Day Diet Recovery Plan.  The great part is, I'm already using many of the ideas.  Plus, since the plan doesn't include any crazy fasting or food preparation I know it will be easy to stick to. 

I also found a great quote this morning by Ralph Marston:
Your goals, minus your doubts, equal your reality.

It's already posted on my computer!  Now to plan this week's menu...  Hopefully I will get it posted later today.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What a Week, What a Weigh-In!

This week I:
Gave up alcohol for Lent. 
Tracked everything I ate.
Made healthy choices when dining out
(with family and at a church dinner)
Treated myself to TWO cupcakes.
Still tracked everything I ate.
Played with and walked my new puppy (Cosmo)

And lost over 5 pounds! 

First of all, let me tell you that having no wine or beer probably had a lot to do with that.  Second, let me just say I was a bit bloated last week at weight in, if you know what I mean.  Nonetheless, I feel like the reset button has been hit and I'm heading in the right direction again. 

Now as for this week's meeting topic...
The one that encourages us to allow ourselves a splurge now and then,
I'll just say DONE!

Can you say

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Ides of March

1.  Meaning - the middle of March.

2.  Closely associated with the assassination of Julius Caesar.

3.  Immortalized by William Shakespeare when he penned "Beware the ides of March" in his play named for the slain leader. 

4.  Immortalized for me in two things:  basketball and "young love".  (No, not basketball as in that NCAA tournament that's got everyone filling out brackets instead of working today in my office.  Including me.)

Every year, when the 15th of March rolls around, I am taken back to Veteran's Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa, where my high school was playing in the boys state basketball tournament.  I think that was the day that my love for watching Red Oak basketball was born.  It compelled me to first be a cheerleader in junior high and then later for our varsity boys.  Eventually I found more joy in cheering from the crowd.  During my senior year in high school, I think I made it to nearly every game, always sitting with my friends in the front row.  And always following traditions that most certainly determined the outcome of the game.  I've often tried to get that same passion for basketball while watching another team, or even during March Madness, but the same magic is just not there.  And while I could go on for an entire post about how basketball took over my high school experience, that's just not what this day is about. 

You see, even though I remember being at the state basketball tournament this day, I don't remember much about the game.  I had a good reason, though. 

It was the day I got my first boyfriend.

If you think about the Subway commercial that features a fully grown adult woman talking in a very childish voice to a fully grown adult man who sounds equally juvenile you'll have the basic idea of how the conversation went. 

Of course I was sure that day I had found the love that would take me from "will you be my boyfriend" to happily ever after.  Instead I got a few of months of sitting together on the bus and talking on the phone at night until mom picked up to tell me to go to bed (and then talking ten more minutes before she told me again). 

Eventually this boy and I grew up and realized we were better friends than anything else.  Now he's grown and married with a family and I realize what a special person he was then and is now.  I was lucky to be sitting next to him at that tournament 21 years ago.  So maybe it's not so strange that I think of him every March 15th.  Maybe some people just touch us in a way that we never forget. 

By the way, my team lost 77-42. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

My Menu 3/14 - 3/20

Grilled Brie & Apple Sandwiches w/ Potatoes & Peas
Lamb & Feta Burgers w/ Tossed Salad
Church Supper
Corned Beef, Cabbage & Potatoes
Stuffed Salmon Rolls, Rice & Steamed Veggies
Out for Date Night
Pork Loin, Skinny Mashed Potatoes & Veggies

Monday, March 7, 2011

This is what...

my new doggie looks like. 

We found this 4 month old Great Pyrenees pup at a shelter.

He came to live with us last week.

Now he needs a name and we can't settle on one.

The short list is:

Who does he look like to you?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Cooking for One - Flat Bread Bakes

A few weeks ago, my friend Netters mentioned that she was having flat bread bakes with her family.  And then she mentioned it again about a couple of days later and included recipes.  So of course I had to try them.  Last night was the perfect opportunity for me because I was home alone and cooking for myself alone.  I went the easy route and bought premade flat bread, but it was still delicious!  My favorite way to top flat bread (homemade or otherwise) is to brush it with olive oil (garlic flavored is even better) then top with capocollo (or prosciutto if it's on sale) sauteed mushrooms, asparagus and feta cheese crumbles and a sprinkling of of ground mustard.  Delish!  By the way, it goes really great with a slightly chilled red wine like a Beaujolais.

Do you do flatbread bakes?  What are your favorite toppings?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Kitchen Gadget Bingo

It's time for another installment of Thrifty Thursday.  The day of the week when I take all of the advice I've gleaned during the week , reduce it to only the finest, and share it with all of you.

Better For You Fruits (
One of my favorite things about coming back to Weight Watchers and joining the new program is the fact that fruits are free.  But which fruits are the better choice?  So here's a short list of juicy fruits that give a lot of satisfaction and not a lot of calories.  And the ideas for squeezing more in are wonderful!  Think frozen berries in your iced tea or grapefruit sections in stir fry. 

Bust Out of Your Workout Rut (
When I was running, jumping, bouncing and sweating in a room full of 20 or 30 people, I never got bored.  The energy was intense, the music was pumping and the motivation was constant.  Now that I'm recovering and taking it easy, all of that has been gone.  This slideshow gave me some advice, ideas and even some short phrases that may become mantras as I hit the cardio equipment solo.  First up:  Setting mini goals at the gym. 

Snap Decisions tat Save You Big Pounds (
At first, the name of this article seems a little off.  Most of the tips involve me planning ahead of time, like knowing my coffee order before I get to the counter at 8 am!  Then I realized that all of this planning results in being able to make better decisions in an instant.  Sure, deciding how many glasses of wine I can have before I meet my girlfriends may sound like a chore, but who wants to interrupt a good night out to count calories/points/carbs?

I love office supplies.  I like iPhone accessories.  In short, I like gadgets.  This little article, about
Kitchen Tools That Keep You Thin ( was created for me.
I've printed all the slides on one page and I'm now playing a sort of Bingo game involving which gadgets I have (steamer, apple divider, kitchen scissors, small glasses and a muffin tin).  I only need a few more to win! 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Being Honest With Myself

My Weigh In
Today I faced my enemy.  He was cold, hard, completely unbending and brutally honest. 

Today I got on the scale. 

Honestly, I don't usually dread it.  But last week I hauled myself back to Weight Watchers after being depressed/angry/bored because of my knee injury.  I realized that there was nothing about my leg that was keeping me from making healthy decisions.  I was doing that all by myself.  So I went to my meeting, weighed in and found out I'd only gained a little.  So I was back in the game, right?  Except this past week I was absolutely not in the game.  I knew I hadn't been horrible, but I hadn't been on program either.  I almost talked myself out of going to the meeting.  And then I was going but wouldn't weigh in. 

And then I realized I needed to know what a week of not really trying looked like.  It could have been worse , but I did gain 0.8.  Sure, that doesn't seem like a lot, but a year of not really trying would be a gain of 41.6 pounds!

Besides, I definitely needed to listen to this week's meeting topic.  Two sometimes ugly words that really do make all the difference:  PORTION CONTROL.  This week I'm going to focus on measuring my food.  Everything from my morning cereal to my glass of wine at dinner.  I recently read something from jennifer Hudson who pointed out that measuring our food allows us to have those things we would otherwise fear were taboo.  Pizza is only "bad" when we don't account for how much we eat, and how much we can afford nutritionally.  When we measure it and know its value we are in control. 

I am taking back control!

Your turn to weigh in...
Tell me about your portions.  Do you have certain foods that you would avoid because they feel too dangerous?  How would measuring those foods and knowing their nutritional value change that feeling?  Do you measure the food you eat at home? in restaurants?  What tools do you use to measure?


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Deliciously Dirty

Do you know what today is? 

If you said Tuesday, you'd be right, but kinda boring.

If you said "Tried-It Tuesday" I'd accuse you of being a mind reader, because I haven't branded that name for my Tuesday Blog entries all that well. 

But if you said it was National Margarita Day then you would hear ding-ding-ding of a bell telling you you're absolutely right. 

So in honor of such an important observance, I'd like to share with you a delicious recipe that you can make by the batch (and ahead of time).  So the next time you're playing host for a girls' night, bachelorette party or Cinco de Mayo fiesta you'll have more time to play with your friends and less time at the blender. 

Dirty Margaritas
1 can frozen limeade
1 can tequila
1 (12 oz) bottle Corona
2 L Diet Lemon-Lime Soda (I use Sprite Zero)

Mix together and enjoy!* 

Serves 6.  Yields approx. 12 oz per serving.

*Now by enjoy, I mean cut yourself some lime wedges, use one to wet the top of a nice tall glass and dip the glass in salt before adding ice.  Pour the delicious concoction over those thirsty ice cubes and then enjoy. 

One great thing about these Dirty Margaritas is that they are a Points Plus compared to traditional ones.  According to the Weight Watchers website, twelve ounces of a regular margarita will run you 26 points plus values whereas my little substitution weighs in at only 6. 

Now, who has a "skinny" Mexican dish I can serve with it?

Also - on a completely UNskinny note, this weekend I tried a creation from Jocelyn at Inside BruCrew Life

Let me tell you; anytime you tire of hearing about points values, exercise, weight loss or any of my usual topics, head over to her blog and take in the endless goodies she has on display.  Her cupcakes make my cupcakes want to be better people.  She even inspires me to frost them.  Nicely.  You should understand, I'd rather avoid frosting cupcakes if at all possible.  In fact, if I make you cupcakes, I'll probably try to convince you that frosting them yourself is half the fun. 

Now enter Nutter Butter Truffle Cupcakes.  Wow.  I don't know what else to say.    I saw, I baked and then I even broke out the bags and tips and did the fancy swirly thing (prompting one of my coworkers to compare the finished product to something unattractive a dog might leave behind) and transport them the the nifty divided carrier.  One thing about the recipe was that it didn't indicate how many balls the cookie/cream cheese/pb mixture should make.  I got 12 per batch, but wish I had made them a little smaller - probably a yield of about 18 per batch.  I actually still have 12 (now smaller) balls in my freezer to either be made into the next batch or simply dipped in chocolate and eaten devoured.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

This is what...

bird-watching looks like. 

For my cat.

By the way - she told me spring is coming because she was "talking" to robins in this shot.

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