Seriously, this time

Growing up, I was one of those skinny kids that never gave a second thought to what I was eating.  I loved my vegetables, but from a young age I learned to like them best the southern way--fried okra, fried squash, and mashed potatoes being at the top of the list.  For most of my life, right up until the last six or seven years, it was no big deal.  I could eat all my favorite things without worry.  Even more than that, I could take exercise (in the form of sports or walking, usually...nothing too strenuous!) or leave it, without a difference in my body or weight.

When Jeremy and I met in 2002, I was at one of the lower points of my college weight, just under 100 lbs.  (Yes, I spent most of high school and some of my college years being just plain skinny.)  While that weight is under where I need, or want, to be, it is far past time for the pounds that have crept on over the years to GO.

As I have aged and my metabolism has slowed, my habits--or lack thereof--have caught up with me.  My weight has settled between 140-145 lbs (yep, just putting it out there!)...which seems to be where I stay without working to do anything about it.  I was at this point when I got pregnant with the girls, then dropped down to about 128 after they were born.  Obviously, over the last four years I didn't change much and it added up again.

So what to do about it?  I am finally at the point where I am really, really ready to change my habits and take control of my weight and my health.

My eating habits are already so much better than they used to be, and they continue to improve.  I am still running on a fairly regular basis, with plans to continue that and finally get to a regular three times a week schedule.  Now it's time to put the two together...and I have a plan.

Some friends at work and I started the Weight Watchers plan in the last week.  (I confess:  we are cheating and not signing up for the actual program.  All of them except me have done it before, so we have the guidelines and food values we need, just not the monthly fee.)  I have also joined an online group, the Biggest Blogging Loser, coordinated by the fabulous Jennie.  It's just an encouragement/competition sort of thing, with each of us doing our own method.

Having never tried the Weight Watchers program, I was pretty excited to start.  It has gone well so far (admittedly, it's only been a few days...but I'm on track to lose at least four pounds this week!), and it feels very manageable.  I make my choices and technically eat whatever I want, as long as I fit the points in to my daily allowance.  I realize just how much mindless snacking I was doing, and I'm learning to let myself be hungry for mealtime, instead of shoving tortilla chips in my face while I'm cooking because I feel like I'm starving.  I managed to eat out over the weekend and enjoyed my meals, while still making pretty good choices overall.

The key to my progress so far seems to be the combination of the diet changes with my running.  Instead of the 170 calories I burn on my evening run cancelling out the brownie I ate in the afternoon, it's coming off my much more reasonable daily intake.  And it's actually making a difference!  Who would have thought?  Seeing progress is a huge motivator for me, so I hope I can keep up the enthusiasm.  Then, by the time I meet my goal weight (around 125, I think), the idea is that my habits will have changed enough that I no longer feel like I'm "dieting".  This will just be how I eat and how I exercise, forever and ever, amen.  (We've all heard the "it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle" spill, which I know is true.)

One more thing that's making all this feel much more manageable...  As of this week, Jeremy is home in the evenings!!  Yes, for the first time in our nearly seven-year marriage, he is now working normal daytime hours, at least most of the time.  It couldn't have happened at a better time, as it's just been in the last few weeks that it has gotten absolutely too hot to run after work.  And the idea of me getting up before work to exercise is just laughable.  Give me 9:00 at night over 6:00 in the morning anytime.  Not only can I make the workout happen, I can actually cook a meal for someone besides myself.  The girls are good to eat most of the things we do, but sometimes it's just so much easier to throw down a bowl of cereal and call it dinner.  I am just thrilled in general to have him home at night, in case you can't tell.  (We'll see if that holds true after a few weeks of losing my evening alone time and having to share the remote....)

So there's what's going on around here.  Lots of salads, skinny ranch, and grilled chicken, basically!  But it will all be worth it, I am confident.

What's going on with you this week??


The State of Affairs: May 2013

How on earth can it possibly be JUNE already?  It seems like May absolutely flew by, but looking back at everything we did during the month, I shouldn't be all that surprised that it passed so quickly.

A sampling of the things we did this month:

  • Jeremy and I went to Nashville with friends and ran the 5k Foam Fest.

  • I went to a work meeting in Prattville and spent the night in a hotel room ALL TO MYSELF.  It was pretty glorious.  Plus, I got to eat at a few different restaurants with two work buddies.  It was a nice little getaway for the middle of the week.

  • Jeremy, my sister, and I went to our first Braves game of the year.
Gotta throw the husband in for good measure #lovehimtoo

We take a lot of selfies when we're together #sisters #loveher

  • We surprised the girls with a trip to see Disney on Ice.  They LOVED it.  It helped that it was the princess-themed show, so they were familiar with most of the stories.  We let them wear their princess dresses, which added a touch of fancy to the occasion.
A surprise trip to Disney on Ice!
  • After Disney on Ice, we went to dinner to celebrate Jeremy's birthday.  We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, but it felt a little more special because we actually remembered to make a reservation this time.  (Making dinner reservations is something we have done only very rarely, so it still makes me feel all grown up and stuff!)

  • At the end of the month, J and I surprised the girls (again!) with a return trip to our favorite amusement park.  We told them that morning that we were going somewhere fun, but told them no more than that.  They were surprisingly okay with our keeping it a secret and didn't really ask for many details.  When we pulled in the parking lot and asked if they knew where we were, Mackenzie said, "No, but I see a fair over there that looks like fun!"  Ha!
It's a beautiful day at Lake Winnie!

These three love the Tilt a Whirl. None for me, thanks!

We had an absolutely fantastic day once again, and my little daredevils were up for any ride we let them get on, including the ferris wheel, the sky lift, and the tilt-a-whirl (!!).  They may be little roller-coaster fans like their daddy...this mama will happily watch from the ground, thankyouverymuch.

  • Finally, we wrapped up the month with the year's first trip to Huntsville's Thursday evening Farmer's Market.  There is music, food, lots of people, and of course, free samples.  Win!
Fun at the Greene Street Market this evening

Books Read:  3.5

I finished the second half of A Dual Inheritance from April.  Excellent book!  Reviewed here. 

The Silver Star--This one is by Jeannette Walls, who I've heard wrote a fantastic memoir.  This was fiction, but with somewhat of a dark undertone.

 Eleanor & Park--Oh, you guys...please read this book.  I loved it; every single stinkin' word.

Flora--All the action was concentrated in the last 15% of the book.  The rest was pretty slow at times.  

A & M had their four-year doctor visit at the beginning of May.  All is well with my petite little girls (both were 29 lbs. and 37 1/2 inches tall).  They had to get four shots each, which was pretty miserable.  Addison cried for her sister before she even took her own turn.  As soon as she was done, Mackenzie declared, through her tears, "I am NEVER doing that again!"  Luckily, she doesn't have to for a very long time. 

When J and I were in Nashville, the girls spent their first night with someone other than grandparents.  They stayed the night with our cousin Lindsey and had a blast.  Lindsey has a waterbed, which A & M have long thought is the coolest thing ever, and they finally got the chance to sleep in it...along with the two dogs (poor Lindsey nearly smothered with all that body heat!).  They all stayed up far too late watching movies, then slept until 10:30 the next morning!

Jeremy turned 31 on May 22, and my sister was home for a nice long visit before heading to Tampa for the summer.  All in all, May was a pretty great month.


He's Gone, by Deb Caletti

"The Sunday morning starts like any other, aside from the slight hangover. Dani Keller wakes up on her Seattle houseboat, a headache building behind her eyes from the wine she drank at a party the night before. But on this particular Sunday morning, she’s surprised to see that her husband, Ian, is not home. As the hours pass, Dani fills her day with small things. But still, Ian does not return. Irritation shifts to worry, worry slides almost imperceptibly into panic. And then, like a relentless blackness, the terrible realization hits Dani: He’s gone."  (From the book description)

He's Gone is, I believe, the first adult fiction book from Deb Caletti, who has previously published several YA titles.  She made a good jump here, and this novel didn't have any leftover YA elements at all.  What I mean is, Caletti captured the tone and spirit of her adult characters just as well as she does in her teenage characters in the YA books I've read.  This isn't a "good first attempt at adult literary fiction", it's just a good adult literary fiction novel, period.

That's not to say I didn't have my qualms with this book.  It felt very slow-moving at times, which was also a complaint I had with another book I read by this author.  But at the same time, I don't think the plot and the mystery are really the central elements of this story when all is said and done.  It's a very character-driven, introspective book, mainly focused on Dani and her thought process as she struggles to uncover and understand what happened to her husband. 

Dani and Ian's story, their adulterous beginnings and less-than-picture-perfect relationship, is revealed to the reader in bits at a time, through flashbacks as Dani processes her current situation.  She reflects on their history and the psychology of their relationship to try to piece together what might have happened to Ian--did he leave her as he left his first wife?  Did he choose to just disappear without a trace?  Was there a side to him she knew nothing about?  Or was he a victim, did something horrible actually happen to him?  I found Dani's thought process--her fears, worries, and insecurities--pretty fascinating.  He's Gone definitely doesn't make light of the issues that linger in a relationship with such tumultuous beginnings. 

And the answer to the mystery?  Well, I wasn't blown away, but again, I'm not sure that was meant to be the real focus of the book anyway. 

Give this book a chance when you're ready to dig into something a little more 


I received a copy of this book for review via TLC Book Tours and the publisher.  All opinions expressed are entirely my own.  For more reviews, check out the full tour post.