Then and now

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Nearly a year ago , I wrote these words:

I really think that if I could learn to live without sugar, I’d be golden. But the thought of giving up sugar sends me into a near panic. I’m serious – whenever I read literature about giving up sugar entirely I can feel the anxiety rising in my chest and my pulse quickens. Cutting out sugar and sweets and junk food is almost a foreign concept to me – I can’t quite wrap my brain around it, and I’m not sure I really want to. This sounds weird to say, but I feel like sugar is part of my identity. Being a sugar-holic is a big part of who I am. Other people may not see it, but I know it. Sweets bring me more joy than I would care to admit. Isn’t that sad?

Yes, it is sad. But I think know that I am moving forward because I am ready to cut back on the sugar. I AM READY. I’ve downloaded this ebook and I’ve been keeping a log of sugar triggers.  I wrote about it over on iChange and this is what I wrote:

I’ve been keeping a log of things that trigger my sweet tooth and things that don’t. It’s interesting because I’ve discovered that regardless of how much sugar is in something, it’s the TASTE of sweetness that seems to affect me. For example, milk chocolate sends me straight into sugar orbit, but I’m totally fine with one piece of dark chocolate.  Peanut M&M’s make me want to dive into the bag and live there forever, but graham crackers are pretty safe for me.  The sweeter something tastes, the more I want it. This is one reason I don’t think artificial sweeteners work for me – the high level of sweet taste for me is the trigger.  I’m still working on my list, but I thought it was interesting that I’ve learned this already after just a few days of tracking.

This is really helping me also with learning to live in a balance. I’m such an all-or-nothing person – either I will eat all the sugar in the world, or I will let myself have none of it EVER!!  I’m such an extremist!! I think this is going to be a good exercise in moderation and learning to trust my body with what it can handle and what it can’t.

I’ve been laying the ground work for going sugarless (not sure if I need to be sugar-free yet) for awhile by doing the 10 Day Challenge last month and keeping this trigger log. I feel completely calm and really okay with letting go of the sugar, not like I felt last year at this time.  I think that’s a big step forward. Trying to take things slowly, and not jumping in with both feet I hope will make this change stick.  I’m ready to move forward.

Best. Birthday. Ever!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes guys!! I really appreciate it. 🙂

So yesterday was awesome.  Massage, manicure, pedicure, lunch at a tea room, shopping…what more could a girly-girl want??  I spent the whole day by myself doing the things that I wanted to do. It was bliss!  A few years ago, it would not have occured to me to spend my day alone, but yesterday I didn’t really want anyone with me. I think what made this birthday so much fun is that for the probably the first time ever in my life, I wasn’t depending on someone else to make it a special day.  I didn’t expect anything from anybody, so really there were no expectations of how I thought the day should go. And whaddya know, it was one of the best days I’ve ever had!  I even went to the little tea room and had lunch alone (my spa day ran late, and Shawn had already had lunch by the time I was finished) but it was lovely anyway. I loved every minute of it!

Oh, and I stopped by Goodwill and picked up two very cute, very still-had-the-store-tags-on-them new summer dresses. They need to be altered and taken in a bit, but they are easy fixes that I can do myself this weekend.  I can’t wait for warmer weather so I can show them off!  I also bought myself (not at Goodwill, just various random stores) new flip flops, a stainless steele water bottle, and a toe ring.  I know!! A toe ring!! I have always wanted one, and plus I needed something to draw attention to my lovely newly pedicured toes, so when I saw the rack of toe rings, I found one I liked and I bought it for a whole $5.  It is sterling silver, so I don’t have to worry about it turning my toe green. It’s the little things in life that please me so! 🙂

I had a piece of cake, of course, but I didn’t go nuts with it or anything. Had my peice and I was done. Back to the no-sweets thing again today. I also didn’t get any formal exercise in yesteday, but with all the shopping I did, I think that counts right?  So back to the workout challenge again today. I’m tired, but I’ll muster up the energy to get it done. Somehow. Between dinner, laundry, my iChange conference call, and more laundry, I’ll fit it in.

How’s the iChange thing going, you ask? Hey thanks for asking! I’ll tell you – my group is…how do I put this? Frankly it’s floundering. I had one group member and she hasn’t been on the site in about 6 days, so I’m afraid I have lost her. I think the other group leaders are having a hard time as well.  We are going to talk tonight about some different things we can do, but I feel like the wind has been let out of my sails. Just FYI, anyone can join iChange for free and use the trackers – you don’t have to sign up for one of the groups. If you are the type that likes to do things on your own, you can totally do that too, or you can join my group (the funnest option, I think), or you can join one of the experts’ groups.  There are a lot of ways to use the site, if you feel so inclined. Just thought I’d throw that out there in case you were wondering.

As far as my success with iChange, I had a little melt down and decided that I absolutely hate counting calories. I can’t see the forest for the trees when I’m counting things (calories, points, etc), and I get really obsessive about food. It brings out The Crazy, and it took me a long time to shut her down… I don’t want her making a reapperance. So I decided that I”m just going to focus on eating the best food I possibly can, not too much, but just enough and use the trackers without the calorie info.   I breathed a sigh of relief and two days later, I lost 2 pounds.  My head really can get in the way of my weight loss if I let it.  I’ve been doing this whole weight loss thing long enough to know what works and what doesn’t. So all that, plus my no-sweets challenge, and my work out challenge hopefully will blast me through the 155 wall that I’ve been sitting at for awhile.  154 will be a sweet victory!

Speaking of sweets, Diane wrote about SugarStacks in her post today.  It’s a website that uses sugar cubes to visually represent the amount of sugar in everyday foods.  Very interesting, and very relevant for me. Oh, and there’s a blog too, cause we all love a blog, don’t we?!  Go check it out! 

Have a good day! 😉

Team SassyPear is a go!

Hi guys! Did you have a good weekend?

Okay, I just got word that my group on iChange is up and running!! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!!  Here’s who I think would benefit most from this program:

  • You know what you need to do, you just need a little guidance
  • You want to eat better, but you’re not really sure what that means exactly
  • You want someone to be right along side you to help you make the best choices
  • You sometimes need a gentle kick in the pants to get going
  • You really want to make a change that will stick
  • You want to have fun while doing it
  • You want to find other people who understand your struggles with weight loss

You know who you are – if this describes you, then I would love for you to join my group!  Here are the deets:

  • It is a 30 Day Challenge.  Even though it doesn’t feel like it, summer will be here before you know it. Wouldn’t you like to feel like you are making some progress by the time you have to break out the shorts and sundresses? Me too!
  • You will get a GUIDED meal plan designed by a registered dietician- that does not mean that you will not be required to eat salmon on Tuesday night. It means you will be encouraged to eat a lean protein. You get to choose the specific foods within the guidelines, so it is easy to fit the plan into your budget and personal tastes.
  • You will be with a group of like-minded individuals, with me as the head cheerleader. And trust me, people, I’m in the trenches right along with you – I’m still working on my goals.
  • The first 7 days are free, then it’s just $4.99 per week after that (so $15 for the 30 day program) and you can stop whenever you like. Really. You won’t hurt my feelings if it’s just not your thing, but I encourage you to give it a shot. After the 30 Day program, if you like you can continue with the group and move on to the next phase.

Let me be straight with you here – this is not a “get skinny in 30 days” type of program. This is to jump start your new way of eating healthy and living life well. I will show you the ropes, and you’ve got an expert to help you with any questions. 

As for my own personal stats, here’s what I’ve accomplished so far (I’m digging the bullet points today!)

  • I’ve lost 5 pounds in 6 weeks. That might not sound like much, but believe me for me it is HUGE!!  Normally this time of year I have gained 5 pounds, so I am really excited about this!
  • I have lost 5.25 inches from my body. I’ve lost an 1.5 inches from my hips and 1.25 inches from my thighs – this has me very excited!! 
  • I’m exercising more
  • I’m more aware of the foods I’m eating
  • I’m drinking more water
  • I feel really good. I’m listening to my body and  paying attention to what it is telling me.

If you think you might be interested but have some more questions, you can email me (see sidebar) and I will answer them as best as I can. Like I said, the first 7 days are free, and you can stop at anytime. 

Oh! Here’s the link to sign up page (that’s kind of important!).  I would love to see some familiar faces in my group!! 🙂

Something to do this weekend

Hey all!!  Oh those crazy kids at iChange!!  Can you believe they are giving me my own group?!  I’m anxiously awaiting  the go-ahead from the powers that be to let you all in on it. It’s going to be the same 30 day program that I just did – Diana Young is the Head Honcho for the group, and I will be the cheerleader/guide/encourager for the 30 day program!! How exciting is that?! I know I’m super excited and I can’t wait to get started. As soon as I get the link to the sign up page, I’ll post it here and if you want to be in my group you can sign up and get started! Woot!  I’ll post some more details as soon as I get them!!

My sweets-free-zone challenge is going well so far!  Nary a cookie has passed these lips, and I’m really proud of myself so far.  The weekend is going to be a challenge because it’s always a challenge no matter what, but I’m confident I can get through it. I just gotta have the Eye of the Tiger, baby!!

Don’t you miss the 80’s???

Another thing I wanted to share with you is an interesting video series about HFCS.  It’s a 9-part series, but each video is only about 10 minutes long. I encourage you to watch it – you’ll think twice about drinking that soda pop this weekend!!  It’s really interesting, and eye opening! Here’s the link:
I think it will be worth your time to take a look at this.

Okay, well I think that’s all I’ve got for today. I hope you all have a wonderful, stress-free, relaxing weekend!!

BuhBye Funkytown, hello body image talk

I’m feeling much better today. I drank 6 glasses of water yesterday, which is lower than my planned goal, but also more than I had been drinking over the weekend, plus I got in 23 minutes on the elliptical last night. Woohoo!! I really needed that cardio last night, and I was bound and determined that I would NOT bring Jillian into the picture, so I got in as many minutes on the elliptical as I could and I claimed those 23 minutes as a Small Personal Victory.  Yay!

This was me after my workout!

Those crazy folks over at iChange are doing some experimenting and I offered to be a lab rat.  They are letting me have my own group on iChange!!  I’ll get more details later, but in a couple of weeks you can join me on iChange and I will hold your hand and help you get a jump start on eating better/losing weight.  It’s a simple program, but it will be tons of fun – so keep it in mind and when I know more, I’ll let you know more. 🙂

My kitchen is 90% finished – we just have to do tile the kitchen floor. I had planned on showing you all pictures on Monday, but “the funk that would not die” kind of overtook anything I wanted to do. I’ll get my kitchen tidied up and take some pics and hopefully post them on Friday. Hopefully.

 We had a good discussion on the iChange forums yesterday about body image (started by me). I don’t know why, but it amazes me that we as women are still so hard on ourselves.  It’s taken me 3 years of exploring and trial and error, but I finally feel like I’m mostly over my body-hate.  Sure, there are still days when I wish I had Cindy Crawford’s legs, but really, I’m fine with what I’ve got. I think it’s because now I’m working from a place of health and strength, and not so much from vanity.  I’ve still got 20 pounds to go, and I might decide once I get there, that I want to go for another 10 (I doubt it, but who knows?), but if I didn’t lose another pound, I think I’d be okay as long as I was building up and toning up my muscles. Maybe it’s just a part of getting older, but whatever it is, it’s a nice place to be. I spent WAY too much time bashing my body and filling my head and heart with thoughts of self-hatred.  I just don’t have the time or the energy to do that anymore, and I’m much happier for it. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just flip a switch and turn all the negative thoughts off – it took me a long time to get to this place. I took an online course about emotional eating ( that really turned on some lightbulbs for me. Then I started dabbling in Intuitive Eating and reading Body Image blogs – although I personally don’t think IE is a viable way to lose weight, the IE blogs and community really helped me see that I am more than my weight. Then when I started this blog, and people started reading and actually commenting (!), I saw myself through their eyes – I was funny, I was insightful, I was real, all things that I hadn’t been for many, many years. The more I wrote, the more I realized that I have so much more to offer this world than just my looks (which are pretty average if you ask me). Then I started reading running blogs and realized that there are a whole group of people who exercise FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF IT. That was contrary to everything I believed about working out, but I kept reading and I realized the tremendous health benefits of exercising and eating well.  Slowly but surely, I have come to a place where I see how it all fits together. If I eat well, and move my body, I feel better about myself, which in turn makes me not so dependant on food to heal my wounds, which makes losing weight so much easier, which then makes moving my body easier, etc etc etc.  See how it all works?  Isn’t it awesome?!

So if you are one of those who still struggles with a bad body image, do something about it! You don’t have to live with these thoughts – they are not who you are.  Do some research – read books, read blogs, talk to other women whom you admire – and start to heal yourself.  If you need professional counseling, then by all means, GO!  Do whatever you have to do to be satisfied with yourself.

Okay, I’m going to get off my soapbox now, but really, this is something I wish I could make every woman understand – YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN YOUR WEIGHT.  How many of you still struggle with body image, and do you think it gets easier or harder as you get older? Chime in and tell me your story! 🙂

The times, they are iChangin’.

So I’ve been trying to write a wrap-up post of my experience with iChange for about 3 days now and I just can’t seem to get it right. 

The reason I can’t get it right is because I”m not finished with iChange and it’s not finished with me. You see, we have developed a little bit of a relationship, and our mutual fondness for each other has grown into something…more.  Oh, I know it’s crazy to have feelings for a whole entire website, but I can’t help it. If loving iChange is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!

Seriously,  I like iChange. A lot.  Have you ever walked into a party full of people you don’t know, and by the end of the night they have made you feel like one of their own? That’s how I feel with iChange – they have embraced my crazy self and let me jump right in the ding-dang middle of them. What started out as “explore the site and tell us what you think” has morphed into a “hey Jill, come on in and put your feet up!” kind of thing.  My experience with them has been fun and exciting and just all around good. 

I’ve lost 4 pounds and 5 inches since I started with iChange just over a month ago. That may not sound like much, but when you consider I dealt with 2 Lady Times, a kitchen remodel, and my son’s birthday cake within those 30 days  I think  that’s pretty amazing actually.  And I am learning things about my body that I hadn’t put together before, like how drinking water affects my energy, and exercise is like taking medication – it works great if you do it regularly, but not doing it makes you feel “off”. 

The iChange website it easy to use, easy to navigate, and they love hearing feedback about how to improve it.  The experts are super nice and helpful, and the community there is so encouraging. I’m in a new group called the Emotional Eating Group (I know! Right up my alley) and then there is going to be a Maintenace Group as well.  The experts are there to hold your hand while you go through this weight loss business – they really are good at helping you stay on track. 

iChange’s future looks very bright and I’m excited to be a part of something that has the promise of taking off very quickly.  I think you’ll be hearing a lot about it in the days and months to come, and you can say you heard about it here first!  I’m going to be involved in some new things happening there (more on that later!!), and yes just like a teenager with a dreamy new boyfriend, I’ll probably be talking about iChange a lot around here, so if you get sick of hearing me talk about it,  just email me and tell me to knock it off.  I can’t promise I will, but hey, you can try!!

So that’s it I guess. Like I said, this won’t be the last time you hear about iChange from me, and I hope don’t come across as an Overzealous Makeup Salesperson (I know you all know what I’m talking about!), and if I do, you have my permission to NOT make eye contact with me  when you see me at the store (cause I know that’s what you all do too, when you see those women coming!!) 

I hope you all have a great weekend – it’s a long weekend for me – YAY!!!!!!!  🙂

The 3 W’s of Weight Loss

Hi!  I’m here, just been busy.  For the six of you who read this blog, have you missed me? Were you concerned when I didn’t post on Friday or Saturday or Sunday or Monday?  What do you mean, “oh, you were gone?” 

Anyway, the ice storm wasn’t quite as bad as first thought, thank goodness, and we only lost power for a couple of hours Sunday afternoon.  Shawn and I worked on the kitchen all weekend long (okay he worked, and I stood behind him cheering him on) and it is thisclose to being finished. I’m excited about the changes, but I’m ready to get my kitchen back in order – I can’t find anything!  It takes me twice as long to do anything in there because I have to spend time going out the garage to get my spices, or to the laundry room to find my toaster, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Bob would be so proud!


I’m in my last week of the 30 day program at iChange, and I have learned a lot so far.  Here’s what I know about losing weight (and remember this applies to ME. Your mileage may vary.)

The Three W’s of Weight Loss by Me

  • Work out:  the key for me to shed the poundage is working out consistantly.  And by consistantly, I mean 30/5. Thirty minutes per day, 5 days per week.  This seems to be my magical formula – whenever I do this, I drop pounds.  If I let too many days go between workouts, the fat clings tighter to my thighs and it takes a boatload of effort to get it to loosen its grip. So 30 minutes of cardio, five days per week. And unfortunately it’s easier for me to do this early in the morning. I hate getting up early to work out, but when I do I feel rather superior to the me that wants to sleep in.  When I don’t get up and work out, I feel like a slug for the rest of the day. So I ask myself, “do you want to be smug, or a slug?”  I don’t like slime trails, so I make myself get up.
  • Watch the intake:  logging food and keeping my calories around 1200 seems to be the best way for me to keep my food intake low.  I make better choices (usually) when I’m logging my food, so it’s easier to pass up desserts or whatever when I know that I’m already at 900 calories and I haven’t had dinner yet. Yes, logging every bite I take is a pain in the ass, but so is being overweight. So I make myself get over it and just do it.
  • Water:  When I get in 8-10 glasses of water per day, the number on the scale goes down. I don’t care if it is just water weight, weight is weight and the lower, the better right now.  Also water helps “move” things along, which helps my stomach look flatter and my pants fit better. TMI? Maybe, but still important.

So, I know, right? Nothing earth-shattering here, but sometimes we make it so complicated. At the end of the day, it all comes down the basics.  Next week, I’ll do a wrap-up post of iChange and give you my opinion of the site. Because I know all six of you are on the edges of your seats just waiting to hear my ramblings, right?


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