I CAN quit you!

Last November I read a book called “Never Binge Again: Reprogram Yourself to Think Like a Permanently Thin Person” that turned out to be life-changing (however, not as immediately and dramatically as the author claims it to be). After reading the book I added some foods to my “never eat again” list. This went against the old, “everything in moderation,” idea we’ve always been taught.

I never ate Sour Patch Kids or Reduced Fat Cheezits again. Those 2 foods joined fountain diet Pepsi, and my ex-husband, in the Historical Museum of Bad Past Relationships.

 

HOWEVER…. for many months, I cheated. My Reduced Fat Cheezits became Goldfish crackers or Cheddar Combos and my Sour Patch Kids became Skittles. I quikly became so known for skittles, my coworkers brought me them as treats and came to expect and look forward to my “leftover (disgusting) greens.”  It slowly dawned on me that I had not “quit” anything. I still was meeting my emotional needs with a cheesy crunchy snack and a sweet-sour chewy snack. So I stopped. I did so by proclaiming to myself, my coworkers (to turn down their generous candy gifts), and my family that I no longer ate skittles. There is literally NO GOOD REASON for me to ever eat Skittles. None. Think of one. I dare you (and “Cuz they’re gud” isn’t a reason. I’m sure cocaine is gud too).

So now Skittles have a cute little shelf in the museum.

Guess what!? I’m FINE! I miss NONE of the things I decided to stop eating.

I did make a choice not put Goldfish in the museum because, well, I don’t want to and I am the boss of my own self. Also because I have a propensity for motion-sickness when traveling and Goldfish are my cure. Sometimes I AM eating them for an emotional reason, usually work busy busy busy-ness.  The key is to know what I am doing and why. I’m not just ‘cookie-monstering’ my way through life, gobbling up my emotions like snickerdoodles.

Results? YES! I ‘ve lot more than 20 pounds! BUT, I attribute the weight loss more to using Myfitnesspal (diet AND exercise). The REAL results of embracing the philosophy were changes in my MIND and ATTITUDE. I really thought I *NEEDED* those things. My life is better because I am not a slave to cravings. Being on the Myfitnesspal program has been a CINCH this time around, and I completely credit my embracing the spirit of that book for paving the way to have success this time around. My BODY is not the problem, it’s my MIND that needed tweaking.

If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT. I have LITERALLY written blogs about my love of (and trying to quit ) fountain soda and how I felt like it helped identify me as a person LOL

If you are so inclined, you can read my blog post I wrote when I finished the book last year, by clicking here!

Back in the saddle again

Screenshot_20170925-141542Bro, I was KILLING it before my vacation with diet and exercise. I was exercising at least 5 days a week and had lost 10ish pounds using MyFitnesspal.  I had planned to keep on slaying the game while in Nashville. Hahahahaha, I love it when I am delusional! I DID exercise (once), and I did a LOT of walking, and a LOT of chores (since the whole point of the trip was to help my mom get some big stuff done around her house), but I also ate cupcakes, a giant bag of my beloved Trader Joes white cheddar corn puffs, ALL the saltines …and a whole lot more!

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If I could marry a food.

 

It’s SO HARD to get back “on it” when you fall off. After several “tomorrows,” Lonnie and I committed to Monday. <—no air quotes because it actually happened! It feels great to be back in control of myself. I need to remember this feeling next time I want to go off the rails. There is that stupid saying, “Nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” and while this is just the shittiest, judgemental,  dumb phrase… there is a hint of truth hidden in there as none of the stuff I have OVEReaten since returning home from vacation (note the “since returning home— I regret NOTHING I did while I was away on vacation!! Not even stopping at Krispy Kreme en route to the waffle house, LOL) tasted as good as it feels to have control over my mind and body.

So HEY! If you want to be “ON IT” with me… hit me up on My Fitness Pal. My username is colleenj74…. (shit… I should probably change that “j” out… Can I even do that??). I even keep my food diary public on there for FULL TRANSPARENCY!! Fair warning: I eat a LOT of marshmallows that I roast over the stovetop 😉

P.S. You CAN change your username ONCE, so my name is now Colleend74!

Fall Bucket List

 

 

We totally blew summer.  And not in a good way. Between the wet, chilly weather that seemed to intentionally time itself to occur on my weekends off, and general laziness, we just did not get in an approved amount of adventures. You know what? It wasn’t laziness, it was chaos. Our house was in disarray for months with Jessi and all her stuff preparing for her big move to Portland, Lonnie’s daily exhaustion doing the work of 10 men every day, grad school stuff, general life stuff. I just let it all clutter my mind and I think I felt like I couldn’t do fun stuff while so much needed to be done… yet I didn’t do the other stuff either, so ended up doing nothing. Super productive. Way to go, Colleen.

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This is not to say we did NOTHING… I mean we camped one night, got some kayaking in, took at trip to Boston… ok now I sound stupid whining that we blew summer, but we really did.

MOVING RIGHT ALONG……………

Jessi is happily living in an apartment complex (that looks like it should be hosting Medieval Times dinner shows, lol) in South Portland. Sean is back to school. I am taking a break from grad school and attempting to transfer to UMaine. They hired another guy to take some of the load of Lonnie’s shoulders. My house is CLEAN. Gonna say that one more time. MY. HOUSE. IS. CLEAN!

IT’S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!! We are going to make up for any HINT of a wasted summer with an EPIC AUTUMN OF AWESOMENESS!!!!!

We even got a head start this past weekend by checking “climb a mountain” off the fall bucket list. Sean really wants to climb Mt Katahdin, but after doing Mt Megunticook this weekend, we had to break it to him that we are NOT EVEN IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD of being in physical condition for Katahdin. Hopefully next year we can make it happen for him! I shouldn’t say “hopefully.” NEXT YEAR WE WILL MAKE IT HAPPEN FOR HIM!

 

Bullet Journal- LIFE. CHANGING!

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I am suddenly organized AF. For 2 whole weeks now!  That HAS to be some kind of record.

I KNOW ALL THE THINGS!

  • I know about our cash flow and upcoming bills.
  • I know about our upcoming plans and schedules.
  • I know what we are having for dinner next Tuesday.
  • I know I have only missed 2 days of exercise out of the past 2 weeks (and why I missed them, and what to do about it!).
  • I know I need to work harder on my water intake goals.
  • I know I have been a rockstar at keeping up with My Fitness Pal.
  • I know I have to buy a present today for a birthday party tomorrow and won’t need to do my usual, “grab something on the way and wrap it in the car.”

I AM SAVING MONEY!  We are meal planning based on sales, and not needing to get takeout while working. We are not spending needlessly because we didn’t plan it in our weekly meeting. I am not spending money on gift bags and tissue paper on the way to parties when I have LOTS at home!

I AM HAVING SOME FUN! Some people like to keep their BuJos simple and for informational purposes only. Aw HELL NO!! I am loving having a little daily creative outlet that allows me to be creative if I want to, but basic if I don’t! I have even found myself snacking less at night because I am playing around with my journal (or saving ideas on Pinterest).

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Probably one of the BEST things that has happened as a result of the BuJo is our weekly meetings. I dedicate a page at the beginning of the week for Lonnie and I to sit down and meal plan, discuss the weeks cash flow/bills/stuff we need-slash-want, go over everyone’s schedule, and make a grocery list. WE ARE SO SYCHROZIED, IT’S SCARY!!!

Man, I hope this new habit sticks because this is freaking fantastic!!

Leave the light on when I’m gone…

20170718_172717I don’t usually listen to David Cook, but when I do, I have deep thoughts.

Nobody leaves the light on anymore.

Remember the days when you gave someone directions and then said, “I’ll leave the light on for ya!”? I can’t even think of a time that would happen now. Our world has become so weird. People are genuinely put off and annoyed at having to give someone directions. “Don’t you have google maps!?”

We are spending so much time in silence. Having silent, superficial, “conversations.”

I hardly EVER have to speak to my ex because the kids have phones and their communication can be direct (And trust me, this is NOT a complaint, HOWEVER, perhaps were we forced to interact more often, things would be better?). It’s a freaking PROCESS to find out parent’s info when kids go to each other’s houses because there are no house phones anymore! And when there are kids at our house, all of a sudden they are just walking out the door leaving because they have been texting with their parents making plans to go home never said a word to me.

For all the “social” media we are connected to, we are less social than ever. We used to call our moms and dads and talk about how to change a tire, make that recipe from our childhood, unclog a drain. Now we just watch a YouTube video. We used to ask strangers to take our photo on vacation, now we take selfies.

We have forgotten that those interactions had TWO purposes, one was to learn the thing. The other was THE INTERACTION ITSELF!  Say with me kids, Innnnnnnterrrrrrrrraaaaaactioooooooon.

I am completely guilty of this and I need to stop! Sometimes my 21-year-old daughter will ask me something (usually something I unreasonably think she should already know), and with a tone of annoyance, I say, “FREAKING GOOOOOGLE IT!”

I am done with that.

Yesterday, Sean (15) asked me, with actual words out of his mouth, if we could get steaks and teach him to cook them. As I hadn’t written this blog and had my revelation yet, fortunately, a precedent for cooking lessons had already been set as Lonnie has been teaching him “the basics” (omelettes, burgers, etc), and I have been teaching him his favorite recipes (pasta salad, lasagna, sticky spicy chicken), and Lonnie picked up steaks right away and I got a text at work that Sean is now a pro steak maker!  There will be lots more of this. I want him to know that he can ask me something, and our connection is important enough to take the time to teach him, or learn with him!

CALL TO ACTION!

Next time you don’t know how to do something, STEP AWAY FROM THE GOOGLE! Think about someone who you think would know about it, use your words, and ASK THEM!

 

Parenting: We’re doing it wrong

20170703_141203I cannot recall my mother ever telling me or my brothers what to do with ourselves during our summer vacation; especially not at age 15. My mother never made me a daily list of things to do. She never required proof they had been done.  Hell… she never even knew where we WERE most of the time, And we all turned out JUST FINE!

Yet somehow, as I sit here watching my son clock in another hour of ps4, I feel guilty, like somehow it’s MY fault that he is wasting his summer.

Why has my generation of parents decided that it’s our job to make sure our children’s lives are a never-ending amusement park of memories? Why do we now label parents as bad or lazy if they are actually letting their kids figure shit out on their own?  Every time something negative happens that involves a kid, the world swiftly responds with, “WELL WHERE WERE THE PARENTS!?” We have completely absolved our children from any sense of responsibility, autonomy, or morality, and yet expect them to magically become responsible, autonomous, moral adults when they turn 18. When I was growing up, summertime was me out and about in the neighborhood learning life lessons until the street lights came on. If I did something wrong (and I certainly did!), blame wasn’t placed on my mother, it was placed on me; where it belonged!

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“My Summer Vacation” by Sean J

In truth, WE are the bad parents. We have created children that have no idea what to do with themselves when left to their own devices. We are creating kids that leave home at 18…19….29….. and are immediately reduced to puddles of anxiety because we haven’t let them figure anything out on their own!

The solution? Hell if I know!? If I knew the magic answers, I probably wouldn’t be getting angry side-eye right now because I told my kid to turn off his ps4 to do a french lesson and some laundry.

It’s not so easy to be cruelty free

 

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Check out my Marshall’s haul! I was just browsing around killing time the other day and came across an endcap FULL of cruelty-free cleaning, and not only was it not expensive, some of it was cheaper than the stuff we usually buy! Success! Sorta. 

I am writing this blog because my bff just commented on my instagram post (the above pic), “What are you using for dishwashing detergent?”  WHAT AM I USING FOR DISHWASHING DETERGENT!!?? I DIDN’T EVEN THINK OF THAT!!!! This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. And we keep coming across things that I didn’t think of!

 

I have learned over the past several days what I am willing, and not willing, to do in the quest to be cruelty-free.

I WILL change the products I use to clean my house, wash my body, and put makeup on my face.

I will NOT be stinky and sweaty. And apparently, all mainstream anti-perspirant/deodorant companies test on animals.

I will NOT go broke in this quest. I am willing to spend a little more.

I am not sure yet about how I feel about changing a few things I am pretty attached to like my Crest Cinnamon toothpaste, and my aromatic array of laundry products that make our clothes and entire upstairs smell like happiness. All the major laundry brands test on animals, and that sucks.

Lonnie, aka Mr. Black & White, is all, “You shouldn’t have talked to me about this if you weren’t ready to make changes, it’s all or nothing.”

But IS it?? Does it HAVE to be? I have always touted myself as the Queen of Half-Assed. Why should this be any different? 😉