Helpful Tools

My Fitness Pal

Posted on

A long time ago in a far away galaxy I visited a dietician who helped me discover My Fitness Pal It’s a free tool that you can access online or from an app on your phone. You can search their database when adding food or you can even scan the barcode and most times it brings it up for you. I’ve always liked that!

When you first sign up you enter your current weight and your goal and it calculates how many calories you can eat each day to reach that goal. You can add how many ounces of water you drank and what exercises you did that day. It will calculate how many calories you burned doing it and add those calories back into your bank.

My dietician had me do this for a month as a discovery tool to see what I was putting into my mouth. Wow it was quite a shocker! I believe it was somewhere near 2,500 calories a day with no exercise.  When it was all said and done I was put on a 1500 calorie plan. I say plan because this isn’t a diet, this is a way of life from now on. That’s important to understand. I was super shocked to learn that liquor and wine has calories. WHAT??? It’s a drink for crying out loud! Drinks aren’t supposed to have calories!! But she made a place for it in my plan and I loved her for it.

I’m not sure if you can see the details of this picture but it gives you an idea of what a daily tally of the food you’ve eaten for the day looks like. I like how at the bottom you can see if you went over, or came in under the recommended amounts of things like fat and protein. Looks like I had too much fat and protein today. Eeeek!

After using the tool for years I’ve learned how many calories each food I typically eat each day and have a good idea what I can and can’t eat (I choose to ignore this knowledge sometimes) so I will enter my food in for about a week as a refresher and reminder to behave.

Check it out. It’s easy and even better it’s FREE!!!



This is Why You’re Fat

Posted on Updated on

While walking through the virtual aisles of the Amazon bookstore I found this title, This is Why You’re Fat (And how to get thin forever) by Jackie Warner. The title got my attention because… well… honestly it’s quite rude, but also speaks of tough sugarless love. I pulled it off the shelf and scrolled through the sample pages and decided to buy the book. Why not? I think I need some tough love.

I’ve read a lot of fitness and weight loss books, worked with a trainer and a nutritionist before, and as I read through some of the book it all rang true. She adds the science behind why you should or should not eat certain foods, and she has you follow a plan that has you eating more food that you can eat. After I went through the plan for two weeks I was eating healthy and had actually quit sugar! That’s huge for me because that’s one of my vices.

Each day you have to eat all of these healthy foods like veggies, protein, fruit, grains etc. She says you can eat all the bad food you normally eat but you have to add all of these foods as well. That’s a lot of food. For me I wanted to achieve the goal and found that it was hard to eat all of my bad food AND what she wanted me to eat. By the end of the second week I wasn’t craving sugar and actually wanted to eat the healthy stuff.

It’s been a while since I’ve read it and plan to go back and read it again soon. With any plan, it doesn’t work unless you actually do it. Reading, being told by others (trainers, nutritionists, healthy friends) doesn’t do a bit of good unless you DO it. That’s one of my problems. I’m armed with the knowledge but I have to CHOOSE to do it. So I choose YES!

Check the book out. It’s very worth it.

Spinning Love

Posted on Updated on

People who love spinning are insane. I remember thinking that, watching from the safety of my elliptical, as my fellow gym members walked into the spinning room dry, and came out drenched, like they had gone to a swimming class instead. What was even stranger was they always had smiles on their faces. After taking a beating like that? What gives?

Of course I had to solve the mystery so I tried it out and fell into spinning love. I was training for the MS150 at the time and figured the extra training would help, and it really did. The trainer was so upbeat, had us cheering, laughing and sweating rivers. When it was over I felt like I had really accomplished something, and after a few classes, I was stronger. My butt wasn’t happy with me though. It’s true the seats are butt killers, but with some padded cycling shorts, some time out of the saddle during class, and experience it’s not so bad.

Recently I’ve decided to give home workouts a try. I haven’t been going to the gym, and it’s largely due to lack of time, but if I’m being honest with myself I just don’t like the atmosphere of public gyms. If I’m there with a trainer or a gym buddy it’s a little bit better, but I’m just not being consistent so I’m giving this a try.

With that little bee buried in my bonnet I decided to get myself an affordable spinning bike for home and follow some online classes. Years ago I had purchased one from amazon but it came with a warped flywheel. It came with a one year warranty so I called the support number and they said we could ship the bike back and get a replacement. Sounded nice at first, but when I realized I had to pay for shipping, and that price was almost as much as the bike cost me, I decided to stash it away in the house. I tried to use it, and you still can it’s just very loud and feels wobbly as you ride it, but it’s not going to work if I’m serious about this.

After some searching I found the Bladez Fitness Stratum GS II from Sears. After taxes it came out to a little bit over $300. It was important for me to get it locally so if it breaks I don’t have to ship it back. I wish I could give it a review but it’s still in the box. It arrived at my local sears and I picked it up, but then got really sick and have been sick with bronchitis for two weeks. I’m starting to feel a bit better so I hope to assemble it this weekend and give it a brief little spin. Once I do, I’ll be back with a review. I’m super excited about trying this baby out!

My 600-LB Life

Posted on

Reality shows aren’t my thing, but my daughter kept asking me to watch the show My 600-lb Life. I kept resisting, feeling bad about watching a show where someone was making money off of these people in agony. Finally I gave in and was so surprised and what I found. Yes they were in agony, many were at a point where they were faced with losing the weight or dying. I hated the doctor at first because he was so mean with his tough love but I can see how it was necessary.  Many times the people around them were enabling them to gain the weight so someone needed to say something. I haven’t been watching them in any order so I’m not sure which season I’m in but I’ve been inspired by it. The things they go through, the amount of weight they have to lose, and that sometimes there isn’t always a happy ending, as real life is. I hear them say on the show all the time, “If I don’t get approved for the surgery, then it’s all for nothing.” After they have lost the required 40 pounds in a month to qualify for the surgery. Wow. I’m still processing that every time I hear it. I want to shout at the TV, “It is for something! You will get to live and be healthy!” And then I turn it back on myself and realize I need to listen to myself. I think that’s one of the things I like about the show. I find myself having to reject some of the untrue crap I tell myself sometimes.

One show sticks out with me the most though because it’s relevant to what my husband and I are going through. It had twin sisters named Brandi and Kandi who lived together and were both over 600 pounds. They were enabling each other and when they went to see the doctor he told them that because they are twins, its going to be hard to break the dynamic of the two in order to do this. And it make me think, my husband and I do that too. If he decides to eat a candy bar then I will do it too. If we go out to dinner and I see him eat the second half of his food, which we both know we should put half in a to-go container, I will do the same. We both have to break the cycle, but as the twins had to do, I have to make my choices on my own, without looking to him, and to be strong for me.

The show has made a difference in how we think about our health and I feel that it’s a good tool and inspirational to watch. They have so much courage.

Lunch Kit Dream

Posted on Updated on

A few weeks back I found a lunch kit that has me super exited. You can find it on Amazon and search for  EDC Meal Prep Bag by Evolutionize. I’ve been looking for a better one to replace mine which does a horrible job at retaining the cold and I can’t get much in there. While I was checking in on Butters one day I found a link to her blog and on there was another link that led me to the containers she uses for her meals. And after I found the container, I was led to this lunch kit somehow through link following voodoo. I ordered one in mint color and started using it right away. It comes with three of the containers so I loaded them up with breakfast, lunch and snacks, using recipes from and they all fit! The top has an extra compartment to store another container if you want, or like me I put utensils and a plate in there. One day I put a snack up there and the ice pack even cooled the top too. Ha! I’m impressed. It also has a pocket for your drink containers in the back and it fits my huge mug and has a divider if you have to smaller cups. I’ve even put my phone in that pocket like in the picture. The only negatives are the ice pack that comes with it busted this first week but no biggie, I just got another one, and its kind of big but you know what? I don’t care. I’m working to be healthy and if this is what it takes then so be it.

Lunch Kit