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Saturday, August 29, 2015

More Changes...

So I am sticking to my salads in a jar.  I need to research some more feasible salad in a jar options, but in the meantime, I just changed the dressing.  I changed from what I was using the last 2 weeks and decided to get 2 dressings and alternate them.  Hoping that will lessen the likelihood of me going off course because of being bored with my salads.  The salads are going well.  I have dressing, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, spinach leaves, cheese and hard boiled eggs... in that order going from bottom to top.  I measure everything out so I don't just dump or add more of the good stuff (cheese...egg....).  The lettuce is still crisp when I get it out unless I managed to dump it over in the bag from my walk to the car and to the office.  I still eat grapes and need more frozen fruit.  I need to find the frozen pineapple.  That is my favorite.

I am also going to make some "healthy" fudge.  Oxymoron, I know as my sister pointed out.  However, it is relatively healthy.  and only 5 ingredients, 6 if I put the Peanut Butter in it.  I can't wait to make it and more importantly, can't wait to try it.

Tomorrow I weigh in.  Not feeling too fantastic about this week but we'll see.

People have asked what I am doing and whether I considered using any products, like itworks.  Now I don't doubt they work, because I have seen all of the pictures of it working....NOW.  My fear is those are temporary fixes and a big part of any weightloss whether with or without products is diet and exercise so until I get that part of my life straightened out, I won't get anywhere using product, or I will temporarily.  So that being said I have decided not to use any products.  I have some and maybe in a few months when I hit that brick wall and get in a rut so I am not going to say I won't use any ever.  Just for now, I am doing it this way.  I may need that extra oomph later, but for now I need to change my lifestyle otherwise I will just go back to the bad habits.  So until then I think I need to change habits and get into a better, healthier mindset.  Because I know those products will only work if I change my diet and exercise.  If I don't, those products will be a waste of money.  I feel like if I start using the products and I am not in a healthy eating habit, I will just go back to eating crap.  I know I need to change my mindset and my ways in order to lose.  Am I going to cheat a little?  Definitely.  Will I get discouraged at times?  Absolutely.  Will I be doing it for the right reasons and giving it my best show?  Positively.  And that's all I can do.

I am not happy with my body.  Haven't been in a while and instead of doing something about it, I keep doing the same thing I have always done and wonder why I weight 203.5 pounds.  I KNOW I can lose it.  I KNOW I NEED to lose it.  Now I NEED to just DO it.  I need to make better choices and work on being healthier, happier and skinnier for me.  No one else wants it, and no one else cares if I am a size 16 or a size 8.  BUT I CARE. And my caring is affecting me, I think because I am not happy, then people around me care about my size.  My husband is supportive and has never complained about my weight. He has complained about me complaining about my weight and how crappy I feel and not doing anything about it to lose it.  So for myself I am putting forth effort to be healthy, happy and skinny.  I NEED THIS FOR ME.

And as far as why I am sharing this with the world wide web.  Mainly, for accountability.  But a huge part is also for motivation.  When I get in my rut, I will come back to these first few posts and remind myself how bad I want and need to lose this weight.

Until the next time....

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


First my thoughts and prayers go out to the two journalists' families and friends who were shot and killed during their morning interview.  My thoughts go out to their coworkers too, especially their significant others who worked at the same station.  Their lives are forever changed and will be forever marked by what happened today.  A person they worked with and saw on a daily basis, not only at home but at work, is gone.  Gone because of someone's senseless act.  The guy was twisted.  Who does that on LIVE tv and films it himself.

On another note, I found out today that a letter I have been waiting on for about 4 weeks is coming in the very near future.  It was mailed today!  It feels like longer than 4 weeks.  Feels like I have been waiting a year for it.

Found out this week serena more than likely has sports induced asthma.  HUGE thank you to the nurse who was the game and walked her through it on the sidelines.  We now have an inhaler and have appts to have tests done to confirm the diagnosis.  She has practice and games between now and the tests so they prescribed an inhaler to use in case it happens again.

Serena is LOVING soccer, other than the 10 minutes she felt like someone was crushing her chest.

Xander is still well Xander.  He likes the idea of soccer and changes his mind daily and whether or not he likes it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

1 week check in

I weighed myself for my Week 1 progress.  So I was at 208.5 last week Sunday.  I weighed myself yesterday and I am at:


That's progress.  That's just changing my diet slightly and a few walks in there.  I need to get more active and make a few more diet changes and I am sure I will see a lot more progress.

That's also what I weighed on Friday when I cheated and checked my weight so I didn't lose any over the weekend BUT more importantly I didn't gain anything. That's with drinking with mom on Friday night, out to get on Saturday night AND ice cream with the kids yesterday.  Yep I was horrible this weekend but I wasn't stressed.  And also I understand I can do things in moderation.  Now I need to work harder this week so the wine, the pork steak and the concrete don't stay with permanently.

So until next week....

Friday, August 21, 2015

Day 5 - counting down

So I stepped on the scale this morning out of curiosity to see how I am doing.  Happy to say I am down 5 pounds.  Not recording that yet until Sunday when I take my official 1 week results (weight).  but I am happy with that progress and realize that I won't lose that every week but it feels pretty good to see the scale go down.

Only 63.5 more pounds to go until my goal weight.

I need to get out there and exercise.  It's been a bad week and I know every week can be a bad week if I let it.  I need to out each night even if it's just for a 20 min.  power walk.  Something to get moving.  I am horrible about going alone.  I hate walking alone.  Maybe I should use my ipod more and go alone.

And I might breakout the just dance this weekend.  That has helped me before.  An hour of just dance and your legs feel like jello, but it's fun so it doesn't feel like a workout.

Wish me luck!

Also going to see a dermatologist for the first time today.  That's kind of scary.  Just for a check because never had my skin checked.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Day 4 -

I am on day 4 of my lifestyle change.  I feel pretty fantastic actually.

I have not exercised much this week, but just changing some of my eating habits I feel 100 times better.

I eat peanut butter toast for breakfast, grapes for mid a.m. snack, salad (in a jar) for lunch and frozen great value fruit for afternoon snack.  I eat a normal dinner with my family.  I drink nothing but water right now.  Trying to increase my water intake.  I really hope to completely give up soda.  I have done it so many times and I always go back to it.

Here's to getting skinnier, healthier and happier.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

new lifestyle

I  am almost leary to put this out there because I don't always follow through.  I have good intentions but get easily distracted by ski and other goodies.  I need to get healthy.  I am over 200 pounds.  Yep 200 pounds.  That about 20 pounds heavier than the day I had xander.  And about 60 Pounds heavier than my weight when I met my husband.  Actually probably 75 pounds from when I met Ryan.  I 2ould love to get back to that.  But first I want to set a realistic goal.  What is realistic though?  Can I relistically lose 60 to 75 pounds in a year?  I know starting off I need to start off smaller but ideally I would love to be back where I was 15 years ago pre kids, prehysterectomy, etc.  So what's the recommended goal for say your first month?

I am cutting out soda (again) as of today.  I want to get back in a routine of walking and bike riding and even some just dance routines (yes those helped me before).

I need this weight gone.  This is for me and no one else.

So here it is people....starting weight:


Goal weight:

Why am I putting these numbers out there?  For accountability.  I hope to be able to post weekly changes in the right direction. And I hope to pick up some encouragement and strength along the way.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

A review...finally and thoughts....

I posted a cliffnotes version of a review from our cruise the day we got back.  Now 3 months later I am going to give a more detailed review.

We stayed at the Jacksonville Plaza Hotel in Jacksonville, FL and would not recommend it to anyone.  The shuttle package was not what it was explained to be over the phone and the front desk person was a snot and that's putting it nicely.  The bed was good, the room was clean but quite frankly hotels that offer the shuttle are a dime a dozen down there so nothing that is really going to draw me back there.

We went to Little Talbot Island and hunted seashells.  Serena found a shark tooth and xander found a jellyfish (quite a few actually).  He wanted to bring one back to his teacher but I talked him into a seashell instead.

We ate at Sticky Fingers which I would give 5 stars.  We arrived there about 15 min before closing so I went in to see if it would be a problem to get food that late.  The hostess said absolutely not so we went in.  Everyone was very pleasant, the food was good, service was great and the price was not outrageous.  I would definitely go back.

Faster to the Fun:  Worth every penny.  It's $50 per cabin.  And gets you onboard faster.  We arrived at 12:30 and were in our room by 1.  It also gets your room available faster.  You get priority guest services.  If you go to tender ports, it gets you priority tender too.

Assigned Time Dining:  We chose the 6 p.m. dining vs. 8:15 because we knew Xander would not last until 8:15.  We did not choose the anytime dining because I wanted the experience of having the same family with us and same waiters.  The dining experience was great.  Food was phenomenal.  Our only complaint was one family at our table showed up late one night so our food was held for 20 min.  we were late getting out of dinner and late to a show we wanted to see and almost missed it entirely because they put up the capacity sign as we were walking in.

Punchliner Comedy Club - This is held in one of the other clubs (so don't look for a club called Punchliner when you board.  On the Fascination, it was held in the Puttin on the Ritz.  We saw one comedian, The Fryman, and he was awesome and from St. Louis.  His humor was kind of crude but funny and we enjoyed it.  He had a pg show but it was borderline.

Bubbles Package:  We did not get this package.  I think it's $6/day/person.  However we brought our soda on and I don't drink Coke products so it was useless.  Not to mention they had water, lemonade and tea accessible.

Cheers Program: $50/day/person for each 21 year old in the cabin.  For us, light (social) drinkers it was not worth it.  We would need to drink at least 8 drinks to break even.  10 in ryan's case.  Neither one of us drink that much in a normal basis so it would have been stupid to try to do it on vacation.  So we did not buy this program.

Sea Sick:  I brought peppermint oil on the ship and applied it to Xander frequently.  I used it the minute I felt queasy and we were both fine.  Ryan never had an issue and well Serena said she felt fine until about 5 min before she got sick so it was too late to apply oil.  Medicine from the front desk was useless but she wouldn't be able to keep it down.  The seabands from the store on the ship worked until the last day (sea day) when the waters were really rough.

Circle C - This is the club for kids serena's age (12-14).  They met usually starting around 4 p.m. each day and had activities planned until 1 a.m. It usually ended each night with pizza and/or ice cream social.  They played board games (apples to apples), had wii dance off, digital scavenger hunts, and regular scavenger hunts.

Camp Carnival - This is the club for Xander's age (2-11, which was split into 2-5 and 6-11).  They met from 9 a.m  to 10 p.m. for free then Nightowl started at 10 p.m. for $7/hour/kid.  Some nights they had special parties starting at 10 that cost $20 a person (glow in the dark).  They did a movie one night in a conference room.  They had two dance parties in a nightclub with soda.  They also would serve the kids dinner in there if you didn't want them in the main dining room with you. The security was great.  They knew our names but still requested to see our sail and sign cards before giving xander to us.  He loved it there.  So much we let him go there instead of off the ship with us in Freeport.

Hasbro Game Show - This was entertaining to watch.  They get audience participation so sit down near the stage and get excited.

Pictures - They take your picture for everything!  Getting onboard, getting off, getting back on, every night in the dining room, at about 8 different backdrops each night before dining, at Carnival excursions, so be prepared to spend a ton or be strong willed and don't even think about trying to take a picture of a picture.  They will catch you.  I didn't try it but saw people who did.

Sail and Sign - This is your ticket to EVERYTHING on the ship.  It gets you in your room.  Pays your bar tab. works on the arcade machines, bought our pictures, etc.  While on the ship we left our cash and cards in the safe in the cabin.  Our sail and signs were on lanyards like these.  I got them from 5 and below.  We had one that didn't have the detachable clip and Xander wore it.  He rarely needed to swipe his (just when boarding and debarking).  These made using your cards easier.  You didn't have to take the whole lanyard off your neck, you unclipped, swiped and clipped.

Information on Sail and Sign cards:  You can fund this with cash  They give a suggested amount and don't recall what that was (I think like $100 per person).  We only put $225 on it and we were fine until we bought our photos the last night.  You can also link your debit or credit card to it, fund it with carnival cash or get carnival gift cards at Lowes and they add that to your account when you board.  You can check your balance at kiosks.  You can also turn off spending for kids and set limits from the kiosk

Things we brought onboard that we were glad we did.  None of these are a necessity and some may some it was pointless to bring.  Just wanted to share what we did, what worked and what didn't.

power strip.  You have to bring one that does not say surge protector on it or have a surge butotn.  However, we used this one and it wasn't taken.  You have an outlet in the bathroom and one by the desk.  The one in the bathroom is not even strong enough for a hair dryer.  We were told by the steward to do our hair by the desk.  Some say this is not necessary to bring one on.  We were glad we did.  While we didn't use our phones as phones for the week I did use mine as a clock, an alarm and a camera.  The battery didn't drain that fast because of being in airplane mode but it was nice to charge every day.  We also had our camera to charge, plus doing hair (dryer, curling iron, etc)

Ski! - Yep we brought ski onboard.  We brought 2 - 12 packs for a 5 day cruise.  We could probably get by with 1 on a 5 day.  I would consider 2 12 packs for a 7 day though.  You are allowed to bring 12 cans per person.  Must be in a sealed box.  They have soda onboard and a bubbles package to make it a bit cheaper if you drink a ton of soda, but they have coke products.  I am not a fan.  I actually drank water, lemonade and tea frequently which are all free.  We also had a case of water sent to our room to avoid lugging that on as well.  Now that is your only option for water because they have banned bringing water or soda bottles on board because of rule breakers (alcohol sneakers).

Over the door shoe hanger - These work perfectly over the bathroom door and are excellent storage.  The rooms are tiny.  These held all of our meds, bathroom supplies, first aid kit, room spray, etc.  This is not my picture.  I stole it from the net.

Room Spray:  Yep.  Your room is the size of a shoe box.  Smells tend to linger so we brought a beachy smelly room mist from BBW.

Norwex Enviro cloth.  I brought a travel size along.  Cabins are known to be germy despite their cleaning between cruises.  So just in case I wiped everything with one of these.  And we were spared any gastro viruses, etc.

Peppermint oil - AWESOME for motion sickness.  Worked for me and X.

water shoes- we used these to walk our first port.  because we were doing the beach that day too.  it's kind of rocky on some beaches.

Thirty One Slingback backpack - This was great on the ship and in ports.  I used this and had camera, phone, first aid, peppermint.  I used a black cross body purse for the dining room at night and our nights on the ship without the kids.

Jamberry wraps.  These are super easy to apply even on a moving ship.  Painting our nails in the room would have been a nightmare.  Between the constant moving and the small confined spaces (again smells).

Cups with lids - These were great for the soda we brought onboard as well as for the water, lemonade and tea on lido.

Quarters if you wish to use the washers/dryers.  I did this to avoid a ton of laundry on mother's day when we returned.  Sea Days it is impossible to get a washer/dryer.

Bring a jacket or sweater.  It's chilly in the dining room and on lido at night.  They have shampoo and bodywash in the showers.  However, we brought conditioner as the shampoo seems to be drying.

We also brought highlighters to mark the fun times with what wanted to do, a dry erase board and marker to communicate in the cabin with each other and the room steward, duct tape (this came in handy a few times).

Other tips would be to take a picture of your luggage.  This helped us track ours down when it didn't show up with other priority luggage.

I brought baby powder (helps get sand off) and wet wipes (kept in bag at port).  We didn't bring  beach towels.  We used the carnival ones.  Just keep track of them because they got like $20 each if not returned.  We also brought Xander's life jacket (puddle jumper), plastic bags for wet stuff and 2-3 swimsuits per person, plus tanks, shorts, etc for during the day and then nicer clothes for dinner.  I wish I could pack lighter but i didn't want to be without anything and be forced to pay triple the price in their shops.  Like for the seabands for Serena, which we didn't bring and will bring next time.

We had trip insurance through travelguard for $116 total.  This covered medical in case something would happen (most US medical insurance is not valid outside the US).

We also prepaid our gratuities so that expense was taken care of.

Bring a "dead" gift card for the older ships that have the swipe type safe.  The newer ships have keypads.  The older ones have a swiper thing for your credit card or sail and sign.  However, saw lots of review about it demagnetizing them so we used a gift card and hid in in the room so that the other person still had access to safe if you were not around.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Why do I Relay

That's a big number.

That's an even bigger number.

What do these numbers mean?  Well it's been 329 days since we lost my dad.  333 days since I last got to see him.

Here's some more numbers.

That's how many Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.

That's how many will die this year from oral cancer.

Not only is that the year my dad was born and how old he was when he died.  It's also the percentage of American's who survive oral cancer for 5 years.

That's how many days from the date of my dad's diagnosis until the day he left us.

That is Serena's goal for this year.

is where we currently are.

That's today's date.  Clinton County Relay is tonight.

That's what time you can see survivors make that victorious lap.

is when the luminaria ceremony is.

Come join us.  Donate to our team if you wish.  Walk for someone you know.  Remember everyone who battles.