The Sassy Pear

Finding my way through my forties

Puzzle Pieces — February 25, 2014

Puzzle Pieces

Working with a personal coach has been an eye opener for me. She calls me out on things I need to improve on, and she encourages me when I don’t give myself enough credit for the things I am doing well. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to have someone holding your hand and helping you cross over obstacles. I’m figuring out all the pieces that I need to put together in my weight loss puzzle.

Because all of this losing weight business really is just a puzzle with its pieces needing to be put together. I feel like I have all the pieces laid out, face up, and ready to go, now I’m just trying to make them all fit together. When you can make all the pieces fit snugly together, that’s when the magic happens.

My pieces are close together, I just don’t seem to be able to snug them up. My food piece is pretty good (always room for improvement though – grazing is my biggest issue), my exercise piece is getting there – just still a bit inconsistent, and my water piece is usually pretty good. If I could just get all the pieces working together at the same time, I have no doubt I would be successful. As it is, I feel that I am really close, but I just have to make the commitment to make all those pieces come together.

As I said, my food piece is pretty good right now – lots of lean protein, lots of fruits and vegetables (working on eating more veggies than fruit) and a few grains. I have a few treats that I like to save for the weekends. The food issue is pretty good, just need to tighten it up a bit more and I’ll be golden.

The water piece is good IF I have my 32oz Sonic cup full of water at my desk (I usually can drink at least 2 of these during my work day) and IF I remember to get another big cup of water filled when I get home from work. I stay pretty well hydrated during the week, but on the weekends I slack off just because I’m usually busy running errands and forget to drink.

I think the exercise piece is what I’m struggling most with. In reality, if I am going to achieve 10,000 steps per day, then I need to commit to an hour each day of dedicated exercise. That means that if I were to walk or jog on the treadmill for an hour each day, plus adding normal activity steps during the day, I could achieve 10,000 steps each day and I think that would give my weight loss some serious steam. The question is: am I willing to do that? Am I willing to be THAT committed to losing weight? Because to work out an hour EACH DAY would take some serious finagling on my part but I’ve been thinking about some ways I could make that happen.

  • Zumba. It’s Tuesdays, Thursdays, and I believe there is a Saturday class as well. It’s fun, I enjoy it, but it’s a chunk of time out of my evenings. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, this doesn’t feel as much as a hassle, but right now it’s just getting the momentum going that is hard. I would really like to go to yoga, but I think at this point, I need to be sweaty more than I need to be bendy.
  • Get up extra early before work and get it done. I think I’m most consistent when I do this, but oh lawd some days it’s just so hard to get up!! And if I get to bed late the night before, I tend to blow off my morning workout.
  • Work out in the evenings. I’ve been doing this and while it works, I tend to wait until the last minute to do it -and  I have to talk myself into doing it. My husband has been running on the treadmill in the evenings, so it’s nice to have that little push from him when he says “okay now it’s your turn”, but I still find it hard to get motivated. Last night I feel asleep after dinner and slept for over an hour, and even after I woke up I still didn’t want to move. So last night’s workout didn’t happen.
  • Split it up between mornings and evenings. Somehow I can see myself not following through with this. I would rather workout ONCE and have it over and done with.

If I’m being totally honest, it’s all going to come down to what I’m WILLING to do. It doesn’t matter when or where I decide to do it, it’s just a matter of WILL I do it and WILL I keep doing it? It’s not even a question of how bad I want it, because I want it bad, but I can want it badly enough but still not act on it (that’s been the story of my life for a long time now).

Anyone want to offer me a $1000 to workout every day for a month?… No?… Darn. Guess it’s all up to me then. 🙂

So the puzzle still sits on my table just waiting to be joined together to make one awesomesauce picture. It’ll get there, I know it will, I just have to be patient and work through it. (ARGH!!!)

Where’s a hippie when you need one? — February 18, 2014

Where’s a hippie when you need one?

I took this quiz this morning and the result is that I am the Hulk, which pretty much sums up my mood for the last, oh I’d say, 6 months. Yes, most of the time I feel like a big green Rage Machine. It’s lovely to be me. I used to be full of optimism and light-heartedness, but now I feel snarky and judgy and basically unpleasant most of the time. I noticed yesterday in the parking lot of Walmart that I verbally abused (in my mind) an elderly gentleman for driving too slow. Then when I actually got in the store, the amount of snark I (again, silently) directed at the other shoppers was astonishing. I have turned into a very unpleasant person.

It just takes so much effort to be positive. I’m tired already…why does being pleasant have to be so hard? And when did this grumpy old woman take the place of the sweet young thing I used to be? And the real question is…can I get her back?

I need an app that will send me reminders to be nice and think nice thoughts. Is there such a thing? If not, there should be (Dear Smart People, get on this.)

And lest you think “hey Jill, I hear exercise increases those feel good endorphins”, well let me  tell you that I HAVE been exercising. I’ve been doing walking intervals on the treadmill (I even ran a few intervals yesterday) so apparently all this snarkiness is me WITH endorphins – can you imagine the level of crank I’d be without all the exercising?! Scary!

My mood is probably due to a lot of things: allergies (there’s been a strong south wind blowing in which has brought warmer temperatures along with lots of other things that make one sneeze), ovulation, not enough quality sleep, and just the general Rat Race of Life. I’ve cleaned up my diet a lot, but over the weekend I got a little lazy with the grazing and I didn’t track any of my food (Hi Amanda* – lots for us to talk about today!) and I am now of course regretting it. All of these things have me in a less-than-sunshiney mood.

I don’t want to be the Angry Overweight Woman. I used to read a blogger who was SUPER snarky all the time and wore her bitchiness like a crown. After just a few weeks, I stopped reading her because who wants to fill their mind and spirit with that??? And yet I feel that I am in danger of becoming a woman with that same crown.


I need a peace-loving hippie to follow me around and throw daisies at me so I’ll remember to be kind. Know anyone who would be interested?


SheHulk ♥


*Amanda is my personal coach with Selvera. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to talk about on our weekly call this afternoon. 




I have issues. — February 12, 2014

I have issues.

The Powers That Be at my job decided that all locations need a giant bulletin board prominently displayed where we can hang a bunch of reports that no one but me will ever see. My boss decided the perfect place to hang this giant bulletin board is on the wall just a few feet from my desk. Yay.

So he gets the little clippy bulletin-board-holder-thingies (technical term) in the wall, then proceeds to hang said bulletin board. As he was wrangling the board into place, I noticed that the bulletin was upside down and was in danger of remaining upside down for the life of the board or the remainder of my time here (which will probably be the same amount of time, knowing my luck). I cannot clearly explain the tide of anxiety that built up in me as I noticed this board going onto the wall upside down. I knew that if I had to sit here and look at this board in all its upside down glory for the next 25 years (God help me), I would at some point go ballistic and lose my ever lovin’ mind. Just as he was about the hang the board in place, I heard the panic in my voice rise as I calmly informed him,

“It’s upside down.

It’s upside down!!


My boss stopped and said “is it really? I thought you were joking?!”

Um… no. Not joking at all.

He honestly hadn’t noticed that there was a “way” for the bulletin board to go. He was just going to throw it up there, willy nilly, with no regard for the laws of design or physics or whatever. Seriously, some people!!

My blood pressure came back down when he righted his wrong and turned the board right side up. Ahhh, now I can relax. Then it hit me: I have apparently inherited some of my mother’s OCD. I’ve never been one that had to have things a certain way, in fact I’ve always prided myself on being able to say “good enough” when it comes to…well, anything. I am not a perfectionist in the least, except apparently when it comes to bulletin boards. Who knew?  Am I really becoming my mother?!? (that’s a post for another day)

Want to see the panic-inducing board?

bulletin board

You may be looking at that and thinking, “Well how can you even tell if a bulletin board is upside down anyway???” Glad you asked! If you look on the bottom right hand corner of the  bulletin board, you can see a little black tag. See it? Look closer. Squint your eyes if you have to…

THERE. SEE IT?? That little black tag says a word on it and THAT’S how I know which way is up and which way is upside down.

And now we can all agree that I have issues and clearly need help.


Zzzzzzz — February 11, 2014


So…I went to bed at 8:30 last night. I haven’t done that in…well, a lot of years.

I don’t know if I’m trying to get sick or just dog-tired, but I didn’t even try to fight it last night. After work yesterday, I went to my daughter’s basketball game, came home and cooked up some grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner (because I hadn’t set anything out to thaw yesterday morning), ate said sandwich, then told my husband “I feel like I could go to bed right now.” This was approximately 7:45 pm. At 8:00 I thought “I’m just going to lie down for a minute…”

Twenty minutes later, I snored myself awake* and finally just decided to give in to the warm sweet arms of my bed.  When I went to kiss my kids goodnight, my daughter said “seriously? Mom it’s only 8:30!” and my son said “wow, okay Old Lady, goodnight!” (Note to self: significantly decrease son’s share of inheritance.)

Interesting to note, my 8 year old daughter had crashed out on the couch about the same time I did. Something must have been in the air last night.

I crawled into bed and of course I kept thinking to myself “I’m in bed at 8:30. That’s so weird. I’m so sleepy. Why am I not asleep yet? Probably because it’s only 8:30.” This tape played in my head for quite awhile until I made myself do some deep breathing exercises and finally drifted off. I woke up a couple of times but mostly I slept okay. I feel a little better today, but I’ll admit I do still feel somewhat tired.

I will not get sick. I will NOT get sick. I refuse to be sick.

I’ve mentioned before that being tired is usually a big food trigger for me. I did okay yesterday, but I found that I craved salty foods. I had some mini cheddar rice cakes and it hit the spot. That was probably the worst thing I ate yesterday. I know you’re thinking, well hey what about that grilled cheese sandwich? Well let me tell you about that toasty little mound of deliciousness: whole wheat bread, low sodium shaved turkey breast, a slice of provolone cheese, all toasted in a wee bit of coconut oil. OH MY SWEET TEA, it was good. Warm and gooey and perfectly toasted, it was just what I needed. Absolutely delightful!

I feel like I’m going to be fighting this tired-trigger all day. Trying to fight it off with lots of water and protein, I hope it works.

*okay, the snoring thing: lately, I have been told, that I snore. This is a new thing apparently and yet one more thing my husband likes to tease me about. I keep my bedroom pretty cool at night, but I’m wondering if it isn’t because of the super dry air. Maybe a humidifier would help, I don’t know? But yeah, I snore myself awake at least once a night. Super attractive, no?

Two are better than one. — February 5, 2014

Two are better than one.

A few months ago after an annual health evaluation, my husband discovered he has hypertension and high cholesterol. He’s been working with our family doctor to lower these numbers and for several weeks he made a half-hearted attempt at eating better to avoid going on medication. It didn’t work. He is now on medication for both high blood pressure and high cholesterol…and he is not a happy camper about this.

To look at my husband you wouldn’t think he would suffer from these issues, even though I realize someone can look healthy without actually being healthy. He certainly thought he was healthy enough, but according to the numbers, he’s not exactly the picture of health. I can see why he thought he didn’t have to worry: he’s very active and even though he might be a few pounds overweight (15 -20 maybe?) he wears it well.

The problem is in his diet. He eats out for lunch every day – burgers, bbq, fried chicken, Mexican food…the typical American diet. He also has an addiction  fondness for sunflower seeds and sweet tea. In the past when I had suggested that we need to clean up our eating, he honestly thought we were doing okay. He didn’t see anything wrong with the things we were eating.

That is, until he got a good look at those health evaluation numbers.

Since he’s been put on the medication, he has become interested in eating better, which HALLELUJAH it’s about time!

Suddenly he’s Googling things like “foods that lower high blood pressure” and “what to eat to lower cholesterol”. He’s doing research on statins (that one scared him, and for good reason) and becoming very interested in the nutrient content of the cereal I buy. He’s reading labels and asking me to buy more nuts and steam more vegetables at dinner. He’s eschewing his favorite desserts (Oreo cookies) in favor of a juicy piece of fruit after dinner.

I’m not happy that he has to take medications, but can I just tell you what a relief it is to have him on the same page as me????  The burden on my shoulders to try and convince my family to eat better has been lifted and I finally know what it means to have total support. Not that he didn’t support me before, but I don’t think he understood WHY I wanted us to eat better. He understands now. So much so that he’s taken to lecturing our kids about how they need to take care of their bodies now or else it will catch up to them later.

He’s had slip-ups, like the rest of us, but he’s making an honest effort and I love that. I’m so proud of him.

My hope is that he’ll keep up with this healthy lifestyle and that maybe it will be easier for me to get healthy as well, knowing we are in this together.

*fingers crossed*

Selvera check-in — February 4, 2014

Selvera check-in


For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working with a new weight loss company called Selvera (which means “True Self” for anyone who is curious). Here is their website (they’re also on Facebook and Twitter) and you can read all about their philosophy and the details of the program. (Full disclosure, they offered to let me work with a personal coach free of charge in exchange for my honest ongoing review of their program)

I’ve been working with my personal coach, Amanda, for a little over a month now and that first month was mostly focused on getting to know each other and the plan, and getting comfortable counting the Keys (kind of like WW Points, but simpler). I really like the Key system – it’s plain and simple. You have a Protein Keys, Fiber Keys, and Fat Keys, with a few discretionary keys and alcohol keys to use as you see fit through the week. There is a Key Tracker that I log all of my food on and then I email my tracker to Amanda each day and she gives me feedback. Once a week we talk by phone and go over what I did well and what I can improve on, and she usually gives me a couple of challenges for the coming week.

I have to admit, I love love love this. The accountability and instant feedback are really helping me see what my strengths and weaknesses are. I have made huge changes in my diet, but there is still a lot of room for improvement (cake is still my nemesis). I find that I’m drawn to sweets, but only if it’s in my direct line of sight. I don’t tend to think about eating those things until I see them, but that’s an improvement because I used to think about it all the time!  I’m also starting to think outside the typical Standard American Diet food box (I mean I ate SALAD as an afternoon snack…still cannot get over that!) and I’m expanding my ideas of what “healthy” means to me.

This program is all about the slow and steady. Making changes that will last forever, not just a season. Amanda has had to talk me off the ledge a time or two when I’ve gotten discouraged by my slow loss (I bounce around between 0 to 3 pounds lost) and remind me of all the changes taking place inside my body that aren’t visible on the outside. I had gotten into a Weight Watchers weigh-in mentality: if you don’t lose weight every week, then you are doing something wrong (at least that’s how I always felt doing WW).  Amanda has assured me that I’m moving in the right direction and with a little more time and effort, the fat will melt off soon. I just have to be patient, which admittedly, is not one of my strengths but I’m working on it.

My biggest challenges right now are saying NO to sweets and getting my activity level up. I’ll admit, this cold weather makes it hard to want to get up and work out, but if I want to see more progress, that is what I have to do. Amanda gave me this little wake up call this morning:

You are wavering between maintenance and weight loss zone as far as total calories each day. Getting in that activity everyday (a couple hundred calories) will be the difference of staying where you are and seeing the number on the scale continue to go down.

The good thing about this is that I am going to be awesome at Maintenance when I do finally lose the weight. I can maintain like a boss! I just have to push a little bit harder and get my activity up and I should start cruising down the scale soon enough.  Being strong enough to say NO to any sweets that come my way is my personal Mt. Everest…I just need a few successes to get the momentum going. It’s hard to say NO, but it’s hard being fat too so…I know, “choose your hard”.

I’ll do another check in in another month or sooner if I think about it. Have any questions for me about what I’m doing? Comment below or feel free to email me, and put “Selvera Questions” in the subject line.

Have a great week!



It feels weird. — January 22, 2014

It feels weird.

Back in the day, an afternoon snack for me meant anything of the sugary/fatty/cardiac-arresty variety. 

You know, fun foods. 

Today I had a salad for my afternoon snack. 

A salad.

I had a salad…

…for my afternoon snack, y’all. 

 I don’t know how to feel about this. 

I feel so…responsible.





Note to Self — January 21, 2014

Note to Self

Dear Jill,

I realize that according to the fashion industry, you might be considered “petite” in stature. You are 5’3″ and according to said fashion industry, the cut off to be considered a petite is 5’4″ so technically, yes, you are a petite. How many times Jill, HOW MANY TIMES, have you gone into a dressing room with a “petite” pair of pants and thought “Oh! These are the perfect length!”? Yes, I know….many. But let’s not forget what happens when you take these pants home and wash them…they shrink. THEY SHRINK JILL. THEY ALWAYS SHRINK. They shrink juuuuust enough so that when you go to wear them again the next time, they are a little too short. Then you end up walking around looking like you are ready to go play Bingo with Gladys and the rest of your nursing home group. 

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS GOOD AND PERFECT, STOP BUYING THE PETITE SIZE!!!! You will never be happy with the length of petite pants…ever. 

Seriously Jill. Get this sh*t sorted out. 






I just want to take a little nap. On my desk. For the rest of the day. — January 20, 2014

I just want to take a little nap. On my desk. For the rest of the day.

Hey gang! 

I don’t know about you all, but I am TIRED today. I was busy all weekend long and then I didn’t get to bed until 11:30 last night so of course I’m tired. And you know what happens when I’m tired? I want to compensate my lack of energy with food, so I’m going to have to be extra careful today to not go off into the ditch. 

I had planned on getting up early this morning to walk on the treadmill but when the alarm went off at 5 am I said “NOPE” and reset my alarm for 6 am and went back to sleep. I just couldn’t do it. I’ll try to get my walk in this evening, but I’m not making any promises. After work I have to go get a few groceries, then by the time I get home and make dinner and clean up…who knows.

Is it bad that I’m already ready for bed? 

The reason I wanted to get on the treadmill this morning is so I can start training for Kyra’s virtual 5k race series. She has put together a series of monthly 5ks that you do on your own one weekend a month, starting in March. If you want more info, go HERE. You can still sign up and check out the dates of the races. There is no fee, but there will be prizes along the way and you can even order a tshirt if you want (but you are not obligated to get one, only if you just really really want one. I’m totally getting one though. :)). Here’s the logo for the series:

Cool, huh?! 

Food news: still chugging along. I have to be careful of using too many Discretionary keys (these are like treat foods) – the plan allows for 3 per week and I think I’ve been using 3 per day – oops!! I just need to be a little more vigilant about saying NO to these kinds of foods – it’s more about breaking the habit than craving the taste. Most of the foods I used to drool over just don’t taste that good to me anymore. Could it be that my taste buds are evolving? Can old tastebud dogs indeed learn new tricks??? 

That’s about it for me. I have a boatload of work to do today and absolutely zero energy or desire to do any of it. I’ll muddle through it somehow, and hope for the best! 

Check ya later,



Pictures of the Past — January 16, 2014

Pictures of the Past

This horse is not impressed with me.

I found this photo whilst cleaning out from under my bed (oh mercy, the dust bunnies…so many dust bunnies) and I honestly do not remember this picture being taken. This was from a weekend getaway my husband and I took to celebrate our 10 year anniversary back in 2006 when we decided to go horseback riding (apparently I thought I was appropriately dressed for the occasion). I don’t know  my exact weight here, but I’m guessing it was around 165-170. This was a year before I started this blog, too. I do remember feeling confident and happy, so maybe I had recently lost weight – actually I know I had recently lost weight because I had my last baby a little over a year before in May of 2005.  

I weighed 198 when I went into the hospital to give birth. Of course I’m puffy in this picture because having a baby is HARD WORK and makes you swollen all over, at least it did for me.

I also remember feeling that even though I had lost weight, I still “needed” to lose more. Do you know what I would pay to wake up tomorrow and be that weight? The woman in that first picture was having a great time – look at that hand on that cocked hip being all sassy! She looks pretty good to me – I mean yeah, she could still lose a few, but she looks alright. 

Right now I’m closer to the weight in the second picture than I am to the first, but I’m working on it. I’ve lost 2.5 pounds in the last 3 weeks – chugging along slowly but at least I’m moving! I’ve decided to use the first picture as my goal weight picture for now. I’d like to feel sassy like that again, and I will (and some days I still do), so it’s nice to have visual reminder of why I’m doing what I’m doing. 

Do you all realize that 2006 was EIGHT years ago? Does anyone else feel like 2006 was like, three years ago? Where has the time gone? 



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