Sunday, February 24, 2013

Nutrisystem Week 3: I'm siiiiiiiick.

Not sick of Nutrisystem.  Sick, like, cold sick.  Our whole house is sick which means that in addition to being sick, I can't take my kids anywhere to play while I watch while sitting and sipping a beverage.

But!  I did lose a pound this week and so I am happy about that at least.  Maybe it would have been more because I feel like I'm storing at least a pound of something really gross inside of my sinuses.

Week 1: -2.4
Week 2: -3.8
Week 3: -1

Total so far: 7.2 pounds lost.  And that's a decent amount for a 5'1" little shortie like me! 

In general, everyone is really supportive of me using Nutrisystem to lose weight.  There seems to be an overarching attitude of, "what will you do when you get back to real life?" 

I see why people say that, I guess, but really?  This IS real life!  I've been eating giant portions of whatever I want when ever I want for the past two years.  I need to get it under control and I am clearly not capable of doing it without assistance because if I was, I would have by now.  I can 100% guarantee that I would have restricted my portions for two weeks, lost 1 pound total, and then would be completely frustrated.  And then I'd eat whatever.  A lot of whatever.  Because I'm never going to lose this weight and blah blah blah woe annoying the end.

That's just me.  Maybe you are different or maybe you like a different method of weight loss or eating or whatever.  Good.  Do what works for you.  Nutrisystem is working for me and I love it!  Any weight loss plan requires some behavior changes so that you don't gain weight back.  The success I've had so far is definitely motivating me to make changes in my eating habits long term!

Today for lunch I ate Vegetable Beef Soup with seven whole grain crackers as my Smart Carb snack.  The soup was delicious and I ate it all and then started on the crackers.  I ate four of them and thought, "I'm full."  I even mentioned it to Mark, because the usual for me would be to eat a giant bowl of soup and a bunch of crackers and then feel stuffed after.  It would have never occurred to me that a small cup would be plenty to make me full.

Vegetable Beef Stew
And, since I have gotten a few emails from people who are new to Nutrisystem, I'll post my newest favorite food find!  I was so excited to get my March pantry order so that I could try the new things I ordered.  I tried the Chocolate Chip Scone for the first time today and it was a total WIN!!!! 

I keep track of the foods I like in my Daily Planner, which is provided as part of your plan.  You can use it to track every meal and snack, as well as your weight, exercise, water, and veggies.  And it has a reorder reminder page when it is time to pick your next pantry order.  I love filling it out each day because it is just like marking off items on a To Do list, which makes me all hot and bothered.  I love lists more than is normal.  I also use it to rate each food item by a very fancy scale:

No: Not a fan, do not reorder!
Meh: It was fine.
YUM!!!: Reorder for sure!

This is my Nutrisystem Daily Planner

So anyway, the Chocolate Chip Scone got a YUM rating from me this week.  I will definitely order a few in April!

I must confess that, again, I suck at drinking water and getting all 4 veggie servings daily.  Exercise is out because of my ongoing drama post-nobigdeal-surgery.  My incision reopened and there is seriously a gaping wound on my back that needs to heal (which is also supposedly no big deal and I'm trying not to think about it all the time because, you guys?  It looks SoGrossOMG.).  No exercise for me and I am going to stop whining about it and just get over it. 

I can't believe I'm almost done with the first of my four months!  I'm planning a vacation for August and I'm hopeful that I won't strike anyone blind at the beach.  Fingers crossed.

If you'd like to join me in using Nutrisystem to lose weight and start a healthier way of eating, follow this link: Join Nutrisystem or call 1-888-853-4689.

Disclosure: I am being provided the Nutrisystem Women's SUCCESS Select as a part of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Program, in exchange for writing about my experience with the program. All opinions are mine and have not been influenced in any way.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Nutrisystem Nation Week 2: Better than the first!

Week two of Nutrisystem has been better than week one and I will totally admit that I can't believe it.  I'm just feeling so encouraged that I can lose the weight I'd like to lose without being miserable.

This was Olivia's birthday week and I was nervous about all of the yumminess I would encounter and possibly want to shove into my face.  Cupcakes, chocolates, ice cream...nervous.  I somehow made it through the week, including two parties, without cheating at all. 

And really I wasn't tempted at all.  I think that there is something to the whole Dessert Every Night thing.  Not going to lie - I look forward to my dessert every day but I always feel like I'm getting a treat at the end of the day and so I don't feel bad passing on cupcakes or ice cream.

On the last post, someone asked what foods I did and didn't like.  Let me tell you!  My favorites so far have been these foods:

Harvest Nut Bar
Banana Nut Muffin
Chocolate Donut (I could eat this every day!)
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Breakfast Burrito
Cinnamon Roll (the frozen one, so delicious.)

Chocolate Frosted Donut
My favorite food item so far.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Bar
Fettuccine Bar
Double Chocolate Caramel Bar
Chicken Noodle Soup
Margherita Pizza (I could eat this every day, too!)

Margherita Pizza
Looks exactly like this cooked, too.
I add spinach to get a serving of veggies.

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Lasagna with Meat
Roast Beef and Gravy with Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Beef and Wedged Potatoes
Beef, Cheese, and Bean Burrito
Mac and Cheese with Beef
Vegetable Fajita Mix (SO YUM)

Mac & Cheese with Beef
This one surprised me by being delicious.

Dessert (Could eat any of these every day!):
Peppermint Cookie Pattie
Fudge Brownie
White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Nougat Bar
Thin Mint Crisp Bar
Ice Cream Sandwich

Thin Mint Crisp Bar
Because it is GS Cookie season!
Requested 5 of these in my March food order.

There are things I don't like, which is inevitable when eating the Nutrisystem food for every meal every day.  Mostly it was because of texture.  I still ate them but won't order them again.  They were:  Loaded Mashed Potatoes (texture), Chicken and Dumplings (texture), Mushroom Risotto (too spicy for me), and Wedding Soup (texture).  I'm sure those things fall on the favorites list of other people and are worth a try!  They are pretty highly rated by other members, but they just weren't for me.  I've been eating Nutrisystem four times a day for two weeks, and out of 56 meals I didn't like four things.  I'm surprised by how much I really do like the food. 

- Lost another 3.8 pounds this week!  Crazy!  I'm down 6.4 so far in two weeks.  When I lose 10 pounds I get my first Nutribear - a little bear that you get from Nutrisystem to celebrate each 10 pound loss.  I would be so excited to lose 10 pounds in February! 

- This weight is the lowest I've been since I had Ainsley and Evelyn in December 2010.

- I had a job interview and no suit to wear.  Or, no suit to wear except one that made me look like a nicely accessorized sausage.  So I bought a suit to wear a few weeks ago and it was snug but fit.  Then this week I went back to the same store and they had a dress to match the jacket and pants I bought before, and I was able to buy one size smaller.  I have no idea if the dress just fit different or whatever but I'm going to just go ahead and be happy about it.

(I'm not in the running for the job, by the way.  It would've been a career change for me and it didn't work out.  But at least it was interviewing experience because I haven't interviewed for jobs in about 10 years.)

(God...10 years?  I'm OLD.)

- I was a mess this week.  Didn't drink all of my water or eat all of my snacks and didn't exercise at all because the incision on my back still hurts for my surgery last week.  Boo.  I hate taking a break from exercise because I will no doubt have super sore muscles to deal with.  And nobody is surprised to hear that I am a complete baby about sore muscles, right?

If you have any questions about Nutrisystem, please email me or leave it in the comments.  I still have a few questions to answer from last week but Olivia's birthday took up all my extra time this week. 

If you'd like to join me in using Nutrisystem to lose weight and start a healthier way of eating, follow this link: Join Nutrisystem or call 1-888-853-4689.

Disclosure: I am being provided the Nutrisystem Women's SUCCESS Select as a part of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Program, in exchange for writing about my experience with the program. All opinions are mine and have not been influenced in any way.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Nintendo, it's for breakfast now!

I used to have a tiny little bump in my back that felt like a marble.  A doctor told me it was a fatty tumor and was no big deal.  And it wasn't until recently when it became so huge that it started to hurt and keep me up at night and could be seen sticking out of my back.  So then the doctor told me it had to be removed.

When I was in middle school I was part of this medical explorer group.  I don't know why, maybe I was entertaining ideas of being a doctor or something?  Maybe I wanted to get out of school.  I can't remember.  But I watched an open heart surgery and watched gross videos of medical procedures and thought they were super cool and did not suffer from near barfarooney at all.

Now that I am an old lady with a big lump in her back, I have turned into a giant baby.  The doctor was explaining the incision to me (ew) and how they will cut it out (gross) and how, if it was big enough, they may have to pack the area...(gag from the depths of my soul, omg).  I had to ask her to stop before I harfed.  Such a baby.  She assured me that the whole thing was  no big deal.

And then, the night before this no big deal surgery I couldn't sleep and when I did I had weird stress dreams.  Like, I got a job and Mitt Romney was my boss.  Or that they removed it and it was full of hair and teeth and turns out I ate my twin in utero which I'm pretty sure I saw on Grey's Anatomy a few years ago so it must be totally a real thing that will happen to me.  And when I woke up I had an 80's (90's?) commercial for Nintendo cereal stuck in my head.  "Nin-ten-do, it's for breakfast now!  Nin-ten-do, it's a cereal, wow!"  All day.  And that was the only part I knew so I just kept Rain Man repeating it to myself over and over.

(You can find anything on YouTube, I swear.  Here is the commercial that burst forth from the vaults of my damaged brain.)

(Also, if you are thinking of trying to buy some of this 20 year old cereal, be prepared to pony up at least $200. ) 

So after my surgery my incision was covered up and the doctor told Mark it was Pretty Big.  They sent the giant wad of fat and skin and other unknown grossness to pathology, although it is most likely just a cyst so I'm not trying to lead up to any kind of drama or anything.  Two days later when I could remove the dressing I was greeted with this beaut:

My promising career as a back model:

And since nobody wants to hear you complain less then your kids, Olivia wanted me to acknowledge her horrible boo boo, here it is for your pity party participation:

Her feet look jacked, too.
Needs manicure at age 3.97
A fun discovery after this minor surgery is that Vicodin makes me want to barf and then pass out and then just kill me OMG.  I spent a good amount of time laying on the floor whimpering.  It was pathetic.  I think I even said, "this is worse than my c-sections."  I'm a joy to be with.

No boo boos to report.
She pretty much claps YAY for everything.

I'm feeling pretty OK now though.  It is still sore but I don't need any pain medication.  It turns out that I will likely survive this very minor outpatient surgery after all.  Now I need to stop blaming my recovery for my complete lack of effort in preparing for Olivia's birthday parties on Thursday (at school) and Saturday (at a bounce house) this week.

MY KID IS FOUR THIS WEEK.  Plus there is the situation of this other baby who is crawling and standing and cruising and getting into everything she shouldn't because, hey, that's what babies do.  I found Adelle in the kitchen poking the electrical outlet with her finger in apparent irritation at the childproofing she has to deal with.  Olivia was like, "emergency!  We have a situation here!" 

It's rough around here, guys.  And by rough I mean pretty cute and fun despite lack of sleep or ambition to party plan.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nutrisystem Week 1: YUM and YAY

The thing I hate about sponsored posts is that they may come across as insincere.  I'm not sure if people know how these things work and since I'm doing Nutrisystem for four months and plan to do sixteen update posts, I feel the need to explain.

No sponsored post is forced on a blogger.  You choose to do one or not.  You get money sometimes, or free stuff, in exchange for your opinion.  I don't know how other people do it, but I only say yes to things I think I will like.  I've gotten comments on my review posts in the past that suggested that I've been falsely positive in my review of something.  Not true!  And I've never, ever been pressured to say anything I didn't want to say - the opinions are truly mine.

Now what I'm leading to is a crazy positive review of my first week of Nutrisystem.  Which I am getting for free in exchange for blogging my experience as part of their Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Program.

So anyway, my first week of Nutrisystem has been completely and totally fantastic!  I was, admittedly, very overwhelmed when my first order of food arrived.  It was a lot of food and I had no idea where to put it or what to start with!

Giant box of pantry food!!!!

You get the whole month at once so it definitely requires some shelf shuffling.  My method of organization was to divide by meal, and then choose the first week from each category to keep in the pantry.  The rest is all sorted out and in a box in our spare bedroom.  You also get frozen food, which I sorted by meal in the freezer so I could quickly grab whatever I wanted.  It is easy because each type of meal is labeled and color coded and so you can keep track of what you have left.

The food is really, really good.  Day one, I saw what I was going to eat and thought, "this is tiny.  I am going to be starving."  NO.  I am full all the time and have to remind myself to eat snacks between meals.   You eat all the time - breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, dessert.  Unlimited non starchy veggies.

Week 1 on the books and I am IN LOVE with Nutrisystem!!!  I am full and the food is good so I don't feel deprived at all.  I haven't felt jealous of Mark's dinner at all which was a big worry of mine.  One night, I tried to coordinate so that we would all have the same thing to eat - pizza.  Mark and Olivia made their own pizzas with store-bought crusts, and I ate my Nutrisystem pizza.  It was perfect!  My pizza was smaller than theirs by almost half.  When I was finished I was perfectly full and satisfied.  I know that I would have eaten the bigger portion if I had it in front of me.  A big part of this program will be opening my eyes to realistic portions and the feeling of being satisfied and not stuffed full.

My first official day was February 1 and so my one week date would actually be tomorrow.  But I have a minor surgery today and need to fast for most of the day before that, so I am going to share my weigh-in and week one post today:

Week one on Nutrisystem: - 2.4 POUNDS!!!!

(I'm not going to post my weight here.  Every person has a weight that is good for them, and I don't want to say how horrible I feel at my current weight because maybe someone weighs that same weight and looks and feels great.  I've been in that position before, and I wouldn't want to do that to someone else.)


1. Lost 2.4 pounds, obviously.

2. Discovered some favorite foods that I will reorder and some not favorites that I won't.

3. No cheating at all.  Not even tempted to cheat - this is big for me.   I am an emotional eater and this week was stressful.  I am so encouraged by this!!

4. By day three I understood completely what I was supposed to eat and had a really easy time planning out my day without constantly checking my reference material. 

5. Realized that I was eating way way way too large portions of...everything.  At every meal.  I am full on a normal portion of food. 


1. This week has been absolutely nuts for us.  There were so many things going on (non sleeping baby, broken furnace, social calendar, etc.) that I did not get to do my 30 minutes of exercise every day.  I did two, one hour workouts so I figure that equals four, half hour workouts.  I need to be better about this for sure!  I've been working out since before Christmas and have started to notice a difference - I cannot get out of the groove!

2. I missed snacks a few of the days because I was busy and forgot to eat them.  I know that is a bad idea. I'm thinking of setting a phone alarm reminder.  I'm scanning and tracking all of my foods and I was still above 1200 calories so I don't think I hurt myself at all, but I don't want to get in the habit of skipping healthy snacks.

3.  I also did not drink all of my water requirement every day for similar reasons.  I'm supposed to drink 64 ounces a day and 3 days I just couldn't do it.

One week down, fifteen more to go!  Hoping to lose a total of 20-25 pounds.  If you have any questions about Nutrisystem, feel free to email me!

Want to join me in being more healthy by taking control of your weight loss? Join Nutrisystem today by calling 1-888-853-4689 or by clicking here.

Disclosure: I am being provided the Nutrisystem Women's SUCCESS Select as a part of the Nutrisystem Nation Blogger Program, in exchange for writing about my experience with the program. All opinions are mine and have not been influenced in any way.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My #1 Tip For New Moms: Master The Swaddle!

The first couple of weeks after your baby is born, she is a delicious-smelling adorable little bundle of sleepiness.  You go around telling people, "oh, she is such a good baby!  She never cries unless she is hungry!  Must be because we have such gentle temperaments and stellar genes!  Best.parents.ever!"
Sleepy newborn goodness.
It isn't your gestation skills.
Being born is exhausting.
And then?  She turns, like, three or four weeks old.  And suddenly she is a delicious-smelling adorable bundle of intermittent screaming and pooping and you are all, "my genes are tainted and my temperament is obviously flawed and woe! Copious amounts of woe!"
Please, go on about how you had a calm baby
because you are a calm person.
I've had the pleasure of nurturing three adorable yet stubborn bundles of joy, and the key to calming all of them was a perfectly executed swaddle.  I am a swaddle master at this point.  I swaddled by reflux grouch, my trach/vent dependent drama queen, and my colicky scream queen.
Sure, there are lots of useful tips for new moms.  People love to cram "useful" tips down your throat in the final weeks of lugging around your watermelon uterus.  (Sleep when the baby sleeps!  Worst.advice.ever.)  
My favorite thing to cram down the new mom throat is this:  Master the art of the swaddle.  
Take care of every need that you can think of: feed that baby!  Diaper that baby!  Burp and give that baby some gas drops!  If you are new to using gas drops, you should try St. Joseph Infants' Gas Relief drops.  They help to break down gas bubbles that add to the cryfest extravaganza, and you can use them at every feeding. (Want a $3 coupon? Click here!)
Once you feel confident that you've done all that you can do to make your baby happy, then wrap that little glob of nomable fatness up as tight as you can. 
Now.  I know that swaddling can be hard, especially if you gestate tiny little swaddle ninjas.  All of my babies have been little escape artists who could undo the most magnificent swaddle using magic and sheer will to scream.  If the traditional swaddle doesn't work for you because you give birth to swaddle escape ninjas, there are a bunch of swaddle blankets out there. 
Here are my top three tips for a good swaddle:
1. Make sure that your baby's arms are straight when you start the swaddle. 
You want the blanket to be tightly wrapped!  If the baby can wiggle those arms, the baby can get out of the swaddle, and the baby will scream, and then there is a good chance that you will scream too.  You will feel like you are being mean as your baby screams and wiggles and fights the swaddle but DO NOT GIVE UP.  Your baby craves the security of the swaddle as much as you crave the silence of a calm baby.
2. Legs in or legs out - it doesn't matter!
If your swaddle ninja appears to use her legs to push the swaddle off, leave her legs unwrapped.  The arms matter the most because of the super fun startle reflex that takes your baby from peacefully sleeping to scared out of their mind screaming. 
3. Don't let temperature freak you out.
Usually, overheating isn't a concern in the winter since it is chilly anyway.  But in the summer, you may worry that your baby will overheat.  If you need to, swaddle your baby in only a diaper to keep her cool.  Or you can swaddle with a lightweight blanket.  I used muslin swaddling blankets for my summer baby and she was always cool and comfortable, even when it was hotter than hades outside.

Tell me, friends, what is your #1 tip for new moms? Answer this question in the comment section below for a chance to win 3 packages of St. Joseph Infants' Gas Relief Drops. That's one for you and two to share with friends!
Also, you can follow this link to print a $3.00 coupon.

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This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
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Monday, February 4, 2013


Trying to get a picture of our matching manicures, and Adelle has to photobomb because that is SO Adelle.