Friday, February 25, 2011

Red Envelope

I love Red Envelope at all times of the year, but they're really going all-out this year for Valentine's Day. They've teamed up with a ton of different bloggers to host giveaways all over the blogosphere! They've created a catalog of their suggested Valentine's Day gifts, if you're not sure what to get that special someone. Me personally, I've picked out a couple of things that I liked:

Here's a listing of the giveaways I've found so far - I've noted what the giveaway is for, but please refer to each specific blog for their entry requirements. Each blogger handles their giveaways differently :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I've finally made the commitment to lose weight

I've finally decided it's time to actively work at losing weight. To that end, I'm now seeing a nutrionist monthly who has given me diet and exercise goals - I met her for the first time today. I also have to keep a food journal (UGH!) detailing everything I eat, along with calorie counts, fat and sugar grams, and how I was feeling. It's a total PITA (did you know a Dot has 12 calories? Or that a slice of pepperoni has 10 calories?) but it has been enlightening.

The hardest part is that I LOVE to cook, so it's tough figuring out calorie counts when I make a pot of spaghetti and meat sauce for example (whole wheat pasta, and 3/4 ground turkey to 1/4 ground beef, with tons of veggies in the sauce, so don't start with me!).

I've thought about doing something easier like NutriSystem for a loooong time now, but I just don't know. I'm not a terribly picky eater but I do have several foods I hate (any type of pea or bean for example), so I wonder how it'll work for me. Since I can't pick up their food at the local store I've never tried it, so I wonder about the taste.

One Savvy Mom! is trying NutriSystem for the next 16 weeks and blogging about it, and in conjunction with that she's offering one lucky reader a full MONTH of NutriSystem food! I envy her that she only needs to lose 25-30 pounds. She'll be blogging about her progress weekly, and then selecting a winner on Friday February 25, 2011. Entries will be combined from all her weekly posts.

If I lost half my body weight, I'd still be technically overweight. It's sobering. I just have to keep in mind that it went on 1 pound at a time, so it has to come off that way, too. I'd love to drop 50 (or 100!!) pounds overnight but that won't happen.

Update 11/30 - I got weighed, and I've lost 3.84% of my body weight since I started on 10/25. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The hardest thing for me is eating breakfast every day - I generally don't. I've been cheating a bit by drinking a Boost on the mornings where I'm rushed (which is most weekday mornings) which the nutritionist is OK with. Plus it boosts my fiber intake for the day (which I don't really have a problem with, but it doesn't hurt).

I actually think I lost more than that before Thanksgiving, but that weekend I indulged a little (ham, mashed potatoes, red velvet cake). No where near as much as I used to eat, but I definitely exceeded my 1600 calories/day for that 4-day weekend.

Update 2/1 - I got weighed again today, and I'm down almost 10% from when I started. I still really struggle with portion control and meal composition though - which is why I'm REALLY hoping I win One Savvy Mom's giveaway!

You can read her updates over the last 4 months and find out more about Nutrisystem and their food/plan by checking out the posts below:

Week 1 - she's down 1.5 pounds!
Week 5 - another 11 pounds gone (and this was over Thanksgiving!)
Week 8 - a New Year, another pound gone
Week 10 - another pound gone... but more importantly she's learning healthy eating habits!
Week 12 - yet another pound gone!
Week 13 - buttered popcorn? Sign me up!
Week 15 - another 3 pounds gone!

Update 2/27 - YAYAY I won, I won, I won! I'm so excited I can't even tell you. I can't wait to try this for myself :)

YAY! I got a new office chair :)

I've posted before about how much I needed a new office chair - well, I broke down last week and ordered one from Office Depot, and I LOVE it! This is the one I got:

I has a $30 gift card I'd won in an IWG (my son had one too that he gave to me), plus it was on sale and I had a coupon, so it made this chair VERY affordable. I figured that even though I'd only need a B&T chair for a few more months, it would still be comfortable after I lost weight so why not? Plus the price was comparable to "regular" office chairs, which was a pleasant surprise. As much time as I spend in this chair, I wanted to get something that would be comfortable, well-made and last... so if it's made to support 350#, it should hold me no problem :)

It took me awhile to put it together - holy moly, this sucker is HEAVY! - but it was pretty straightfoward. My only complaint? I ordered the black, but got the expresso brown (when I called they were out of black). The stitching is a contrasting tan color, which makes the chair feel cheap (to me). Other than that, I'm thrilled with my purchase!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Recumbent Bike giveaway at Girl Gone Mom

I've been shopping for a recumbent bike for a few months now - not only would it help me with my weight loss, but my orthopedist recommends it for my knee for strength/flexibility/mobility. Imagine my delight when I saw that Girl Gone Mom is hosting a giveaway (sponsored by Hayneedle's store) for a Stamina 4825 Magnetic Recumbent Exercise Bike which would be PERFECT for what I need!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Edy’s Slow Churned Shakes & Smoothies

Edy’s Slow Churned Shakes & Smoothies are a new single-serve product (found in the freezer section) that you just add milk to, stir, and drink! I first learned about them because of some giveaways I saw posted. On my last trip to Walmart, I found the Vanilla shake, and the Tropical smoothie (mango, passion fruit and pineapple) varieties.

My son claimed the Tropical smoothie (and declared it delicious!) and drank it so fast I didn't get a chance to snap a photo. I did ask him to take a picture of me drinking the Vanilla, and this was the best of the bunch (I didn't have any straws so I just drank it out of the cup).

The Vanilla tasted great, and it was very easy to blend. I'm thinking next time I might add some of my sugar-free syrups (caramel, or raspberry, or lemon) to change up the flavor.

I like that these are relatively low in calories (~200 each after you add milk) and are great for having on hand for that time when you want a shake or smoothie. This is definitely something I can work into my diet and not feel guilty. I also love that they're self-contained... no blender needed!

There's currently 4 Shake flavors (Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Cookies n'Cream) and 4 Smoothie flavors (Strawberry Banana, Mixed Berry, Tropical and Sunrise Blend (peach, orange, banana)). I found them at Walmart for $1.50 each which is very reasonable. There's also a coupon I found for Buy 2, Get 1 Free which brings the price down to $1 each.

To get the word out about their product, Edys has teamed up with several bloggers to offer Walmart gift cards to purchase their product to try for yourself! You can enter to win on the following blogs (check each blog for their specific terms and entry requirements):

3 Kids and Us - ends 2/21
Consumer Queen - ends 2/21
MomDot - ends 2/21
Mommy Goggles - ends 2/21
Outnumbered Mama - ends 2/21
What's That Smell? - ends 2/21