Thursday, May 26, 2011

9 Years

Our Wedding Day, May 25, 2002

Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our 9th Anniversary.

Todd and I sometime last year.

I can't believe it has been 9 years since that wonderful and amazing day. My parents went all out and made my wedding the wedding of my dreams. It was amazing! Then we spent the next two weeks in Hawaii. I have such wonderful memories. I wish I could relive them. :)

To celebrate our 9 year Anniversary we decided to go away without the kids. We are doing one of our favorite things. We are going camping! I can't wait to bike, hike and relax around a beautiful fire without any children to take care of.

This will be the first time that we have gone away without the kids and I am so excited! You all know that I love my kids but sometimes we just need a break and since we haven't taken one in almost 7 years I think it is about time. I wish we could have done this before but it is so hard to ask someone to watch your kids overnight when one of them doesn't sleep through the night or is still in diapers. It is finally our time. The girls sleep through the night. No more diapers and they will have a ton of fun with their grandparents.

I think it is going to be good for our marriage to get away and spend some time just the two of us. I'm very excited! It will be so wonderful to relax. I probably won't know what to do with myself.

I plan to get a lot of exercise while we are away. The campground we are going to has tons of hiking trails. I haven't been to this campground since I was 7 or 8 years old. It was one of my favorite campgrounds as a child. I met one of the sweetest people I know their. I can't wait to go back and see it again and walk the trails I walked as a child. I still remember my Dad lifting me over big trees that had fallen on the path during a tornado. Such good memories. :)

The only part I am not looking forward to is the drive. The campground is a few hours away. I hope it goes by quickly. I am definitely going to watch what I eat this weekend. Imagine how much weight I could lose if I hiked and biked and ate healthy. Of course I am going to eat a few S'mores and hot dogs over the fire. I did buy fat free hot dogs and Sara Lee high fiber rolls. I just need to be careful that I don't eat two many of them. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eating Healthy On A Budget

I'm sure a lot of you know how hard it is to eat healthy on a budget. Now that I have my motivation back I am finding it just as hard as it used to be to stay on my budget and still eat healthy. It's hard to remember many of the little things I used to do to eat healthy inexpensively. I plan to go back to some of my older posts and find some ideas that will help me out. Maybe I should check out some of my old recipes.

I have noticed a few things that have been helpful the past few weeks. When I go to the grocery store I buy mostly meat, fruit and veggies. It definitely saves money when you stick with the basics. I try to buy meat that is marked down or on sale that week and the same with the fruit and veggies. This covers me for dinner and some snacks and sometimes even breakfast if we are in the mood for fruit.

Then I find things for lunches. My husband eats leftovers for lunch, my oldest eats at school and my little one eats sandwiches, hot dogs, mac and cheese or whatever I am eating. It all depends on her mood. :) I mostly just focus on myself for lunches. What I have been doing to save money and eat healthy is make sandwiches for lunch. I buy high fiber hamburger rolls (this week I found Fiber One buns on sale). Then I choose two to three different types of things to put on the sandwiches. I like tuna with light mayo, egg salad with light mayo, chicken with light mayo, or even lean ham and 2% cheese. I also eat fresh veggies (usually cucumbers and carrots) and light ranch dip and fresh fruit (usually watermelon or strawberries). And that is what keeps me going for the week for lunch. Sometimes I mix it up with a little Pirate's Booty!

Breakfasts are of course smoothies and sometimes egg beaters (store brand) and mushrooms. I am not a breakfast person unless it is donuts, cupcakes or pizza so I don't really have much that I feel like eating in the mornings. For some (absolutely wonderful) reason I am able to do the healthy smoothie thing in the mornings. I am very grateful that I found something that works and something that I love.

This is how I have been sticking to my budget. I hope it makes sense and maybe even helps some of you. :)

I would love to hear some of your budget friendly tips!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

And The Number Is.....

I have been so excited to write this post! It is the first time in months that I have actually lost weight. I had planned to write it on Thursday morning but my sister asked me to come over and help her bake and decorate cookies and make dinosaur shaped Rice Krispie treats with her. They turned out so cute!

Then yesterday I spent the day catching up on house work that I had been putting off all week and making pasta salad for two Birthday parties this weekend. After that we spent the evening at my daughter's school carnival. It was really cute and the girls had a blast.

Back to my weigh in. When I weighed in on Thursday I weighed 185.6 pounds! Yay!!! That's a 2.4 pound loss. It may not sound like much but I have been trying to lose for so long that I am thrilled with any amount. It feels so good to be motivated to lose weight again. I really missed feeling this way.

I surprised myself by exercising almost every day this week. I went on a 2 hour walk with my daughter on Saturday, walked around the track with my husband on Sunday and walked on the treadmill almost every other day. It feels great to be active again.

I ate great this week. I honestly have not eaten this well in a good year. I forgot how much I love veggies and grilled chicken and of course watermelon. I ate a huge watermelon all by myself this week. Okay, maybe not completely by myself but probably 90% of it. It was a really good watermelon. :)

I drank smoothies for breakfast most mornings and if I didn't have a smoothie I had egg beaters with mushrooms. Yummy! I prefer something sweet for breakfast most mornings but I have to admit that mushrooms make eggs taste wonderful.

For lunches I ate either tuna or egg salad on a low fat, high fiber bun, veggies and light ranch dip, and watermelon. I usually snacked on light cheese sticks, watermelon and pears. I really haven't snacked much lately.

Dinner has been the usual. I have just been better about portions and eat more veggies. I made grilled chicken, baked potatoes, and veggies one night. I love chicken on the grill! We also had soup and sandwiches one night just to eat quickly before we went out. I made a great casserole on Thursday night. Lean hamburger, veggies, cheese and waffle mix on top. My family loved it. I have been creative with my meals this week because I have been trying to use up what is in my freezer.

All in all it has been a really good week. I love how I feel right now. I have so much more energy and I am so much happier. I am looking forward to my nephew's birthday party today at our local amusement park. It's going to be so much fun! It is going to be my first time around all of the yummy temptations that I have been trying to stay away from. I am going to do well because I don't want to ruin all of my hard work. That and I really want to fit back into last years summer clothes. It's going to be hard but I can do it!

Then tomorrow we are going to my best friend's house for her son's Birthday party. I am so excited to see them! Again, I am going to have so many temptations. This is my first weekend of many temptations since I have been back on track. I have a feeling my whole summer is going to be full of many picnic temptations.

I am going to remember that food is meant to be nutrition. It's not something that I need to overindulge in. I want to be healthy. I want to feel healthy. That is why I am not going to pig out on food this weekend. I will enjoy small portions of the healthiest food I can find. It will be okay and I know I really won't feel deprived if I don't eat everything I see. It is so much better to feel healthy and happy then to enjoy ten minutes of eating my favorite food. It sounds easy but when the smells hit my nose it seems to get so much harder to think clear. I am not going to go hungry. Hopefully that will help.

I will be strong! I will not overeat! I will have fun!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Excited About Tomorrow's Weigh In!

Tomorrow will be my first official weigh in since I have been feeling better and I am so excited! Last Wednesday I wrote that I weighed 188 pounds. I can tell you that tomorrow I will weigh less then that. :) I can't wait!

Usually I dread weighing myself but the past week has just been amazing. I am not saying it hasn't been hard to get back into eating healthy. It really has been hard and has taken quite a bit of prep work but now that I have my motivation back it just seems so much easier. I really want to eat healthy again. I am realizing how much better my mind and body feel when I eat healthy foods. It's great to feel like me again! :)

I have had trouble with sugar withdrawal this week. I am pretty sure I haven't had any sugar since last Monday or Tuesday. Maybe I shouldn't say that I haven't had any but rather I have had very little sugar. I have been very careful about it. I am not against sugar at all. It is just that I know that if I give in to one sugar craving right now I won't be able to stop. So for me right now it is easier to do without and I am okay with that.

I have had a few moments this week where I was tired and craved sugar so badly but once I had a healthy snack I seemed to perk right back up. I think it may take me a little while for my body to adjust to no sugar and stop craving it so much.

This morning I tried a new smoothie. I will share the recipe below. It tasted awesome and was super healthy and filling. I love my smoothies!!!

The Pudget Peanut Butter Cheesecake Power Smoothie
Jessica Brown

1 cup of Almond Breeze
1 1/2 cups of spinach
1 medium organic carrot
1 medium banana
3/4 tbsp of peanut butter
2 tbsp of fat free/sugar free Cheesecake Pudding mix
3 packets of Stevia
6 ice cubes

Mix all ingredients in a blender or Vita-Mix and blend. Enjoy!

This will hold me over until lunch and then I will probably have either a tuna melt or an egg salad sandwich, some veggies and dip and of course some wonderful watermelon. I love watermelon!

I am going to be putting together a list of foods that I want to have in my house this summer that will make my life easier and healthier. Of course fresh veggies and dip and watermelon are three of my favorites but I want to come up with a "go to list" that I can always look at when I am busy and need some ideas.

What do you like to keep in your fridge at all times as a go-to food? I will post the complete list in the next week or so.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Please Vote For Me

Please click here and vote for my blog (click on recently added tab to find me), Pudget: Losing Weight On A Budget, on Circle Of Moms Top 25 Health and Fitness Mom Blogs.

Thanks! :)

I Have My Life Back!!!

I am realizing that all of my problems this past 9 or 10 months have been caused by one of my medicines. I am so excited to have figured it out. I wish it wouldn't have taken me this long but I am so grateful to feel like me again.

About 9 or 10 months ago I lost my ambition to lose weight and pretty much any ambition at all. I thought it was just part of the Fibromyalgia until it was getting to the point of being unbearable. I was always tired and I lost all of my ambition for everything. I didn't get excited about vacations, Birthday parties, or pretty much anything.

If you know me personally you know that this just isn't me. I am the person that is excited about everything. I love to get out and do things and even more I love thinking about what I will do in the future. I love being ambitious and doing my best at everything I do. I also love to do new things. So for me to not care anymore just wasn't normal.

At first I thought I was depressed. I wrote about this several months ago. It was a short time after I was featured in Woman's World Magazine. I was in the magazine, on the news and on the front page of my local paper. It was huge yet I seemed to have a hard time enjoying it.

Back then my husband and both daughters were sick with pneumonia and I was exhausted from caring for them. I thought that was why I couldn't be as excited as I wanted to be. Then it got worse. I stopped going to bootcamp at Fuel Fitness. I loved bootcamp and it was so nice of Marc Nespoli to let me go for free. It really was awesome but then one day I lost all motivation to go. It seems stupid now but back then I just couldn't do it. I also turned down interviews with radio stations because I just didn't care anymore. Again, this is just not me.

After going to a psychologist a few months ago I was told that I didn't need depression medicine. She said I was just stressed and needed some "me time". Of course that is easier said then done.

The past few weeks it has been getting nice outside and I really wanted to feel good. I wanted my motivation back. I wanted to have dreams again. I wanted to look forward to the future. I didn't want everything to seem so "blah".

I have really been trying to figure out what went wrong. Two weeks ago I was thinking about time frames and when I actually started feeling this way. Then I realized that it was about the time that my Doctor doubled my medicine. So of course I immediately decided to cut back on it. I considered going off of it completely but last time I did that I couldn't sleep at night.

Last Monday I stopped taking my morning pill and only continued to take my nightly one. By Wednesday I was started to feel the difference. I was more awake, happier yet still had some withdrawal side effects. Today I can officially say that I am me again! I wake up around 6 am happy and awake. I don't feel tired and groggy all day and my motivation for my entire life is back. I am able to focus on eating healthy again, planning my future and just enjoy life.

It feels amazing to have finally solved the problem.
I am finally me again and ready to get my life back on track. The past 5 days I have exercised every single day and enjoyed it. It just feels so good to not feel tired and miserable all the time. It feels so good to dream about my future again, to actually care. You don't realize how great you feel until all of that is taken away from you.

I am just so grateful that God showed me what the problem was. I am so happy to just be me again!

Monday, May 16, 2011

And The Winner Is....

And the winner of the Big G cereal contest is .... AngieG2000!!! Congrats, Angie! Please email me your name and address and I will forward it on.

A big thanks to everyone who entered the Big G cereal contest!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Paying But Not Using!

I'm sitting here thinking about the fact that I am paying for Weight Watchers online and not using it. Why? I'm not quite sure. Of course I know that I should be using it but I honestly haven't touched it in weeks.

I'm not ready to cancel it because that would be like giving up to me. I know I still need to lose this extra weight I gained this winter. An extra 20 pounds makes a huge difference in the way I feel. For one thing I don't want to buy a whole new summer wardrobe in size 14's.

What am I going to do about it? That's what I keep asking myself. I really need to get myself back on track. I am at 188 pounds right now and seem to be holding steady at that weight. My body must like it. I realize that all I have to do is make an effort in the area of exercise and the weight will come off easily. Why is it to difficult to get started?

I wake up early every morning full of energy but by the end of the day I feel so exhausted. I have felt like this for awhile so yesterday I decided to cut back on one of my meds. My doctor doubled it last Aug. or Sept. and I really haven't felt the same since. I am wondering if it is just a bit too much and it is causing me too much fatigue. Not only does it cause fatigue but it also causes an increased appetite. It's not a fun combination but I don't. I am hoping that half of the dose will work the same on me with less side effects.

Today is a new day
. I woke up at 7am feeling very energized. I can't wait to get outside and get a little exercise. I will probably let my 3 year old take out her new motor scooter. It was her birthday present and she loves it. We got it at Walmart and you can't beat the price for a motorized scooter. She rode and I walked around town for almost and hour and a half one day last week. It doesn't go very fast but it is still nice exercise for me.

I also need to get my eating under control. Ever since the stomach bug I have only wanted to eat carbs. Sweets and breads to be more specific. My stomach just doesn't seem to have bounced back to normal. Maybe it is more in my head then anything. I may just need to force myself to start eating more veggies and fruits again.

I really want to lose 10 pounds in the next four weeks or so. I know it is possible if I really work hard. I just need to keep my energy up. Probably if I start eating more protein and veggies I will have more energy. I have a lot to work on this week. Now that I have it all in writing it should be easier for me to do it.

I will try to keep you updated throughout the week on my progress. Have a great day!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

3 Weeks Without Splenda!

Don't forget to enter my General Mills Cereal Giveaway!!! The winner will receive free cereal and a great book on weight loss. Click here to check it out!

Can you believe that I have not touched Splenda since I wrote this post a few weeks ago? It still amazes me. I am so thrilled that it was so easy to stop using Splenda and that I was able to find a great natural substitute.

In the past few weeks I have tried Organic Raw Blue Agave, Stevia, and Truvia in place of Splenda in my coffee and my smoothies. I was quite pleased with the taste of all of them. At first I could definitely notice a difference in the taste. None of them tasted quite as sweet as Splenda but by the second day it tasted fine and I never gave it a second thought.

I tried the Truvia first. I had planned on buying Stevia but accidentally bought Truvia. I'm still not completely convinced that they are exactly the same thing. The wording on the Truvia box sounded a little confusing which made me question whether or not it is as natural as Stevia. I did use the Truvia for a few weeks because I bought two boxes of it. The taste is great! I used it in my coffee every morning and my smoothies. The price is also appealing. It seemed to be about half of the price of Stevia. I think I payed around $2.00 for 40 packets.

Next I tried Organic Raw Blue Agave. The first thing I noticed is that it is very, very sweet. Not the same sweet as Splenda but still very sweet. I really enjoyed the taste of the Blue Agave but one tablespoon is 2 Weight Watchers points. I am just not ready to use two points in my coffee each morning. I decided that I will use it in my daughter's smoothies and smoothie pops. They did not notice that I substituted the Blue Agave in place of the Splenda that I normally used.

Last but not least I tried Stevia. I found it at Aldi on the clearance rack for $2.23 a box. Each box had 50 packets. It was such a great price that I bought four boxes. The taste of Stevia is very similar to Truvia except that I have to put 4 packets in my coffee each morning compared to 3 packets of Truvia. I do like my coffee sweet. :)

Out of all three sugar substitutes Stevia is definitely my number one choice. It tastes great and I know for sure that it is completely natural and calorie-free. I'm not sure if I am going to like the price once I run out of the boxes I bought at Aldi. I will have to price it at Wal-mart.


What sugar substitutes do you use (if any)? Why?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Big G Cereal and Giveaway!

A few weeks ago General Mills asked me to review their cereal. They sent me a coupon for a free box of cereal and also a book,“The Belly Fat Prescription,” by Dr. Travis Stork, MD.

I was very excited when I received both gifts in the mail. I love General Mills cereal and the coupon was for MultiGrain Cheerios. I find them the most filling of all of the Big G cereals. I am not much of a cereal person but when I do eat cereal I want something that is going to keep me full for a few hours. This stuff seems to do the trick.

Cheerios also make a great snack for kids and adults. I remember when my girls first started eating. I would give them Cheerios to eat and they just loved them. I also like to keep a little baggy in my purse in case I am out and I get hungry and need a little snack.

This is a great article that I found on whole grains on Big G's website.

5 Ways Whole Grain Can change your life

Scientific evidence that whole grain is good for your body.
1.Heart health. Heart-healthy diets rich in whole grain foods can reduce the risk of heart disease.
2.Reduce cancer risk. Low fat diets rich in fiber-containing grain products, fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer, particularly of the stomach and colon.
3.Manage diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends whole grain as part of a diabetic diet.
4.Keep you regular. Fiber from whole grains promotes regularity and keeps the intestines working smoothly to help maintain good digestive health.
5.Weight management. A growing body of evidence supports that people who eat more whole grain tend to have healthier body weights and gain less weight over time than those who don’t.


If you are anything like me you probably love anything whole grain because it seems to keep you full longer then foods without whole grains. I am very thankful that there are companies like General Mills that make this type of product for us. Thanks General Mills!!!

General Mills was also generous enough to offer a Giveaway on my blog!

There Are Five Ways To Enter to win the Big G Gift Pack (cereal coupon and book, “The Belly Fat Prescription,” by Dr. Travis Stork, MD ):
(List all entries as separate comments.)

1. Leave a comment sharing your favorite Big G cereal.

2. For a second entry post on your blog about this contest and include a link to my blog and post the link in the comment section.

3. For a third entry become a follower. If you are already a follower just leave that in the comment section.

4. For a fourth entry add my button to your blog and post the link in a comment below.

5. For a fifth entry add me as a friend on Facebook by clicking here and then leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The Winner will be chosen using a random number generator. All entries must be received by Friday, May 13, 2011 at 11:59 CST. The winner will be announced Saturday, May 14, 2011. For U.S Addresses Only. MyBlogSpark is responsible for sending the prize.

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