Finding a Signature Scent/Investing in Yourself

“The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own.”  ~Fernando Pessoa 

I love perfume.  I especially love it when someone walks by and leaves behind a wonderful, trailing scent that gives me a bit of insight into their personality.  Various scents–like books or music–have the ability to transport you to different times and places.  There is a chic woman who comes into my library and smells of Dior’s “Poison.”  Every single time I smell her, it takes me back to my senior year of high school, as a lot of the girls were wearing that fragrance.  She, of course, is much older and more stylish, but she has taken a perfume and made it her own.  Has she worn it for years?  A few months?  I’m not sure, but she’s made it her signature scent and she smells fantastic.

As a teen, my very first perfumes were trendy.  I wore “Love’s Baby Soft,” “Exclamation,” and “Liz Claiborne.” (I had the matching purse too!)  I think I had some “Giorgio Beverly Hills” thrown in there for good measure.  I had no idea what I really liked.  I just wanted to wear what the other girls at school were wearing.

Then, when I went off to college, I started hanging out with artsy/hippie folks and stopped wearing perfume altogether.  It was all about patchouli and neroli oils.  That ended up being short-lived (thank goodness) and I stumbled upon “Samsara” by Guerlain.  My boyfriend gave a bottle to me on my 20th birthday.  I received so many compliments on that perfume that I went through bottle after bottle.  Eventually, I grew tired of it and stopped wearing it.

Once I reached my mid-twenties I got married and started a family.  Perfume wasn’t in the picture because I was sensitive to smells during my pregnancy and couldn’t wear anything other than a lightly scented lotion.  When my children got a bit older, I decided it was time to start investing in myself again.  I’d put myself on the back burner for far too long.  I even remember the exact moment when I realized I needed a big change in my life:  I was sitting on the floor doing a puzzle with my son, who was 4 or 5 at the time, and we were watching Sesame Street.  I was wearing a pair of old grey sweatpants and a college tee-shirt.  My hair was up in a messy ponytail and I wasn’t wearing any makeup.  I went into the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and realized that I didn’t feel like myself.  I looked as tired as I felt.

I spent so much time being a wife and mother that I put myself last on my to-do list.  I stopped investing in myself and it showed.  Big time.  So, what did I do?  I booked an appointment at my local Aveda salon and had my baby fine hair cut into a shoulder-length, layered bob.  I felt–and looked–immensely better.  It was progress.  Over time, I went back to college and started taking classes.  I began doing my makeup, reading interesting books, and watching French/Italian films. (You know, non-Sesame Street things).

I remember going to class one day and admiring a young freshman girl who reminded me of myself when I was that age.  Same dark brown hair and eyes like mine, but she was, of course, different in her own way.  She always dressed so chic, her nails were perfectly manicured, and her perfume smelled amazing.  I had my cute bobbed haircut, and it was progress, but I realized that I needed a signature scent.  I marched myself to the perfume counter at Macy’s that very afternoon.

I smelled several perfumes, but landed on an old favorite–Samsara by Guerlain.

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Isn’t it funny how scent can transport you to different times and places?  I bought a bottle and went home.  I started wearing it, but it didn’t feel like the new me that I was becoming.  I decided I needed to try something else.  (By the way, I still have that bottle and I like to spray it in the air on occasion, if only to smell it and think of my college days.)

About a month or so later, I went back to the perfume counter.  I spritzed “Juicy” by Juicy Couture onto my wrists and grimaced.  It did not smell the same on me as it did that girl and it smelled too trendy.  I sniffed dozens of perfumes that day, but left empty handed because I couldn’t find one that was “me.”

For Christmas that year I received a bottle of “Guilty” by Gucci.  It was a nice gift and I did like the smell, but I found it to be too strong on me.  It also gave me a headache.  Out of frustration, I gave up trying to find a signature scent for the time being.

A few more years rolled on by (like they always do) and I started wearing scented lotions.  I loved “Ginger Essence” by Origins and “Stella” by Tocca.  I bought the cologne versions of both of those and actually liked the scented lotions better than the perfume.  The “Stella” perfume had too much of a honey scent and it gave me a headache, but the lotion meshed well with my chemistry.  I also tried “Fracas” by Robert Piguet, but grew tired of it after a while.

After years of testing, spritzing and getting frustrated, I finally found a scent that I absolutely loved.

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“Coco” by Chanel.  I find it to be a sophisticated scent and it smells amazing on me.  I wear it often and receive many of compliments.  Currently, it is my autumn/winter scent.

My second favorite  and spring/summer scent is “Rose 4 Reines Eau de Toilette” by L’Occitane.  Oh, my word, it is incredible!  To me, it reminds me of my time in Paris.  It smells like a rose garden in bloom after a spring rain.

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I also love “Orange Blossom” by Jo Malone and “Pure Vanilla” by Lavanila Laboratories.  (My husband loves the latter.  What is it with men and vanilla-based scents?)

 

 

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Now, you may dislike all of the perfumes that I love and that is okay.  Scent is highly personal.  That is why, unless I know that someone truly loves or wears a particular fragrance, I do not buy perfume for them as gifts.

Another idea–make your own perfume oil!  Go to a Whole Foods or other health food store, buy some essential oils, a lotion or oil base and create your own scent.  I buy an unscented lotion base and put 2 drops each of chamomile and lavender oil and it smells amazing.

You can also go to an Aveda salon or their website and create your own personal blend.  I’ve done this and I have Aveda’s Lavender Fleurs Oil singular note scent that I wear on occasion, but I also spray it over my pillow each night.  My 8 year old son also demands that I spray it in his room before he goes to sleep.  He says it keeps the closet monster away.

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What is your signature scent?  Have you found yours?  If not, I suggest taking a trip to the perfume counter or Sephora and sniffing some out.  If you can’t handle perfume or cologne, or have allergies, I suggest you try the lotion or shower/bath gel version of a scent that you like.  That is another good idea if you do not want to invest $80-$100 on a bottle of perfume/cologne.  The lotions and shower/bath gels are often much cheaper.  Some companies even make rollerball versions that are a fraction of the price.

Please take time to invest in yourself.  I know what it’s like to put myself last and it doesn’t feel very good.  You will be a better co-worker, friend, mother, wife, etc.  You will smile more!  You will have an extra pep in your step!

You may, in fact, look and feel so incredibly gorgeous that you begin spinning atop a giant hill and burst immediately into song.  (If this really happens to you, please ignore the people pointing and whispering and call me immediately.   I’ll sing backup!)

Whether or not you decide to seek out the perfect scent, start taking care of yourself today.  Don’t wait.  Do it NOW.

One of my favorite quotes ever is by George Eliot:  “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

He was right.  It’s not too late!

So, get out of those sweatpants and buy a pretty sundress.  Go get a flattering hairstyle that makes YOU smile.  (Remember, we’re doing this for US, not anybody else!)  Give yourself a manicure and a pedicure.  Book a facial or a massage.  If you’re on a budget, hit CVS and check out the latest products from Revlon and L’Oreal.  Worried about wrinkles or fine lines?  Try out a new skin care line.

Want to brighten up your skin tone?  Try a new shade of lipstick that makes you feel sassy.  Read my previous post regarding “Finding Your Color Season” and see which colors look best on you versus what colors wash you out.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money.  Take baby steps and do a little bit at a time.  That is how I did it.  But, I promise you that once you invest in yourself, you will feel better.  You will gain confidence and carry yourself differently.   It’s merely an attitude.  If you feel beautiful inside and project kindness, others will pick up on that.  Trust me.

Please leave a comment below or feel free to send me a PM via my Facebook page.  I don’t currently Tweet or do any other forms of social media, so those are the best ways to get in contact with me.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Xx,

Amanda

 

 

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Delicious Breakfast/Snack Recommendations

I always make sure that I get a good breakfast in every single day.  It must sustain me until lunch and I need it to be filling.  Although, I do love bacon, most mornings I do not want to eat meat and I dislike eggs unless I have them in a quiche.  I tend to stick with what the French call a tartine.  

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When I visited Paris, I remember our hotel maid would wheel in a cart each morning filled with croissants, fresh butter and pain au chocolat, along with assorted beverages:  juice, coffee, hot chocolate and water.  I was raised in the Midwest on cereal and cold milk.  I’d never even heard of a tartine before, but once I tried it, I was hooked.  (Note:  Anne Barone’s book, Chic & Slim, also talks about tartines and having a slim, filling breakfast.  I highly suggest her books.  I have followed Anne for years and she definitely has an inspiring weight loss success story.)  

A French tartine consists of the following:  a chunk of good bread, some butter and honey or jam on top.  They vary this, of course.  Some choose more savory toppings, but this is what I stick with most mornings.  If I get bored, I’ll have some oatmeal with a bit of almond milk and berries, but the tartine, along with some fresh fruit, is my go-to breakfast.  Here is a great blog article on “The Perfect Tartine.”  

Although I do have a wonderful bakery in the town where I live, I am following Weight Watchers and trying to lose weight.  So, I came up with my own Weight Watchers-friendly tartine.  I don’t know about you, but I love a good English muffin.  Thomas makes a wonderful whole grain, light muffin that I love.  I top this with one tablespoon of Smart Balance Light Butter and one tablespoon of my favorite jam, Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves.  The entire breakfast is only 5 Weight Watchers Points +.  

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On the side, I have a piece of fruit such as a nectarine or a cup of fresh berries.  I drink my favorite Moroccan Mint tea and a glass of water with organic lemon.  (I always drink 8 ounces of room temperature water with lemon upon rising to detoxify my system and keep my skin clear.)  

Now, onto a delicious snack options.  I try not to snack often, but when I do reach for a snack it is usually a piece of fruit or some crackers with cheese and raw veggies on the side. 

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Blue Diamond Artisan Nut-Thins with Flax Seeds (3 WW Points+) + 2 wedges of Light Laughing Cow Garlic & Herb cheese wedges (1 WW Points+) + 1 nectarine (0 WW Points+) = 4 WW Points+ total for a delicious snack.  I have herbal tea or water on the side.

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Nestle Fat Free Hot Cocoa (1 WW Points+) + Hostess Greek Yogurt Cakes in Apple Cinnamon Swirl flavor (4 WW Points+) = 5 WW Points+ total.   If I want, I’ll add 1/2 of a banana to the side of this and it’s 0 WW Points+.  I also add 8 oz. of water on the side, as I try to drink 1-1.5 liters of water per day.

Now, the French would balk at the fat free version of hot cocoa, but I actually enjoy it.  Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I enjoy the full-fat version from Starbucks, or make my own using real cocoa, sugar and whipped cream.  My little corner bakery serves the best almond croissants and I will, on occasion, take my daughter for breakfast for croissants and a pot of tea.

It’s all about moderation.  These little tweaks in my diet have helped me lose over 20 pounds since March 2014.  

I am learning to reduce my portion sizes quite a bit.  I can’t believe how I used to eat.  Now I pay attention and I am much more disciplined.  I have no problem telling food pushers “no” when I am not hungry or when I am offered something I know is not good for me.

What do you have for breakfast?  I do hope you will try a tartine or some of the above mentioned snack suggestions and let me know what you think.  Please comment below or on my Facebook page.

Have a wonderful day!

~Amanda

Weekly Update/Afternoon Tea/Books I Love

I hope everyone is having a great week!  It’s been a pretty good one for me thus far.  I have been sticking to portion sizes and drinking tons of water with lemon.  My big goal this week was to fit more veggies into my diet each day.  I have no problem getting all of my fruit in, but I’ve always struggled with eating more vegetables.  I bought celery, carrots, brussels sprouts, broccoli and cucumbers and have been eating them like mad, trying to get them all in.  They’re 0 Weight Watchers Points, so that’s always a good thing.  Plus, I want glowing skin and to get there, I need to increase my water and veggie intake.

I’ve been doing a lot better regarding my cravings issues and not snacking (too much) between meals.  Cravings always hit me between 2-4 p.m.  To curb this, I’ve adjusted my eating schedule and have made it a point to sit down for at least twenty minutes each afternoon at 4 p.m. to have afternoon tea.  I turn off my cell phone, the television and put some classical music on.  (I’m a Chopin girl all the way!)  I make my favorite Moroccan Mint tea and allow myself to have a low-calorie snack, which is usually fresh berries with a dollop of whipped cream.

My favorite teas are chamomile, Earl Grey and Moroccan Mint.  I buy them from different places, but my current favorite tea brand is Numi Tea.  I stumbled upon their teas while on vacation in Whitefish, Montana a few years ago & have been hooked ever since.  I am dying to try their new line of savory teas, Chocolate Earl Grey and Chocolate Mint.  I may have to order their Garden Sampler soon & let you know what I think of their savory line of teas.  I wonder what you eat alongside the savory teas?  Maybe a slice of quiche or a muffin?  Some cheese with a few sliced cucumbers?

Anyway, I think it is important to take time out of our day to just sit with a quiet mind and simply let go.  I am a busy mother, wife and librarian.  Life/work pressures can sometimes be a lot, but since I’ve been carving out time to take tea and shake off my stress, I’ve felt so much better.  Tea also curbs my appetite and I don’t do all of the mindless snacking that I used to do.  Since I do not eat after 7:00 p.m., I have another cup of tea (either mint or chamomile) and that signals to my body that it’s time to get ready for bed and that the kitchen is closed.  I believe it helps me sleep better, too.

Now on to the fun stuff–books!!!  (I’m a librarian.  You didn’t think I’d let a week go by without suggesting something for you to read, did you?)

Today, I am going to suggest some great French/Parisian-inspired books that I own and love.  I am a huge Francophile!  At 17, I visited Paris with my aunt and uncle and voila, my love of this fascinating, wonderful culture developed immediately.  I remember people watching at a busy cafe and paying attention to the way they moved and talked, to what they wore and how they carried themselves.  I grew up in the Midwest and the differences between the two cultures was astonishing.

French was my minor in college and I speak Franglais rather well, merci.  I was going to be a French teacher and it was my major for about a year, but after doing my teaching observations and being told by my mentor teacher that I’d never find a job in that field, I switched to Anthropology.  (Which, ironically, I’m unable to find a job in that field, either.  Oh, you gotta love the things life throws at you!)  That being said, my love of all things Parisian and French is still with me.  You can take the girl out of Paris, but you can’t take Paris out of the girl, right?

Here are a few books that inspire me and feed my inner Coco Chanel.  I keep them on my nightstand and flip through them often.

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Lessons from Madame Chic” by Jennifer L. Scott.  This book is fantastic!  Ms. Scott lived in France and this is where she learned important lessons that would change her life.  She paid attention to those around her and applied their tips to her own life.  She talks about discipline, nutrition, makeup application, fashion/style and generally being a kind person.  She has another book coming out this November 2014, “At Home with Madame Chic” which is available now for pre-order.  Ms. Scott has a great YouTube channel called “The Daily Connoisseur” where she posts videos about makeup tutorials, skin care/cosmetic product suggestions, fashion tips and other various tips to enrich one’s life.  I follow her on Facebook & YouTube and she’s fantastic.

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Parisian Chic” by Ines de la Fressange.  She is a native Parisian, model, business woman and icon in France.  She has such a unique sense of style.  This guide is fantastic and my teenage daughter borrows it on occasion.  This would be a really great gift to give a teenage or college-aged girl who is trying to find her own style.  Ines de la Fressange has all sorts of YouTube videos, so just type her name in and  you should find plenty.

 

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Chic & Slim” by Anne Barone.  This is actually a series of books and I own every single one of them.  They are signed by the author, too.  She has a great website with current events, weight loss tips, recipes, etc.  She used to be 55 pounds heavier, but after incorporating the French way of eating and living into her life, she was able to lose the weight and revamp her life.  To read more about Anne Barone, visit her site here.

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Forever Chic” by Tish Jett.   She did a lot of digging into how French/Parisian women care for themselves and look fantastic at any age.  Great tips on aging, skin care, diet and discipline.  She has a blog “A Femme d’Un Certain Age.”

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My French Life” by Vicki Archer.  Beautiful photos, prose, etc.  Her blog is fantastic too.

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The Parisian Diet” by Jean-Michel Cohen.  Yes, I know this book has the word “diet” in the title, but it’s so much more than that.  And, yes, I am still following Weight Watchers, so don’t worry!  In college, I studied what is called the “French Paradox” and this is something I’ve always been interested in.

How can the French eat croissants, cheese, pastries, fatty foods, and red wine and still stay slim?  In a nutshell, they walk more than we do.  They drink more water (with lemon).  They also eat smaller portions and they do not carry around all of the guilt that we Americans do.  They also do not snack between meals.  Snacking is not chic.  This book takes a common sense approach to weight loss and can be incorporated into any program or lifestyle.  Monsieur Cohen does have a website and you can go there to find your “Right Weight.”  I do believe this would be a program worth trying.

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Words in a French Life” by Kristin Espinasse.  This has nothing to do with diet, fashion or food.  This is just an interesting story of how an American woman ended up living in France, getting married and starting a life in a foreign country.  I own this book and could read it over and over again.  Ms. Espinasse also has a fantastic blog called “French Word-A-Day” that details her adventures in France.

I think that’s it for today.  When I start talking about France/the French, I could go on and on.  I truly hope these books bring you as much joy as they’ve brought me.

Chaleureusement,

~Amanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weigh-In Update/I Scream, You Scream…Weight Watchers Friendly Ice Cream Treats! :)

With the warm weather coming (and even hotter weather headed this way in the Blue Ridge Mountains later this week!), there is one thing that I want…ICE CREAM!!!

Here are a few Weight Watchers-friendly ice cream treats for you to enjoy! 

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Weight Watchers Chocolate Fudge Bars- Snack Size

Get this–a serving size = 2 bars & is only 1 WW Points+

 

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Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches— only 4 WW Points+ for 1 bar

 

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Skinny Cow Cookies ‘n Dough Ice Cream Bars— 1 bar = 4 WW Points+

 

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Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt- 1 bar = 2 WW Points+

The blueberry is my favorite!  🙂

 

So, as you can see, you can enjoy ice cream treats without going over your points!  Now, as for my weigh-in.  I lost 1.5 lbs. last week, bringing me to a grand total of 20.5 pounds lost so far!!!  I have about 60 more to go until I reach my goal.  I am taking it one meal at a time, one day at a time and one pound at a time.  If I can do this, anyone can!

Good luck to you all & I hope you have a great week!

~Amanda

 

Weigh-In Update/Tough Week/Book Recommendations

I wanted to take a few minutes and post an update.  Firstly, last week was tough!  Family came to visit and work was crazy busy.  I ended up overindulging a little bit.  I did continue to track my points during this time though.  It’s important to keep it honest!  Even if you go over your points, track it.  Don’t beat yourself up about it and get back to plan as soon as possible.

Secondly, I twisted my ankle and had to lay low for a few days, so I only got one workout in.  I’m all healed now though and back on track!  🙂

I am following Weight Watchers to track my nutrition.  I did buy the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan and I’d like to start eating cleaner, but I find that Weight Watchers works best for my lifestyle.  I have kids and a husband, a busy career, am involved in my church/community and I have to use what works & for me Weight Watchers truly works!  I am down 19 lbs. since March 14, 2014! My Mom started the online plan two weeks ago and it’s really great to be able to do this with each other, even though we live a few hours apart.

In regards to fitness, I’m following the Tone It Up plan.  I am doing their #100BySummer challenge, which is to walk/jog/run 100 miles by summer.  I am roughly 12.4 miles into my journey and am averaging 2 miles/day.  I’ve decided it is time to kick it up a notch.  As of this week, I’m aiming to do about 4-5 miles/day.  I am breaking it up.  I will do 2 miles in the morning for my #bootycall and about 2-3 miles in the evening to get the rest of my workout in.  (The Tone It Up girls call your morning workout a #bootycall.  I make sure to get mine in every day!)

 

My exercise plan goes something like this:

Monday-Saturday:

*Power walk/jog 2 miles in the morning for my A.M. #bootycall

*Power walk/jog 2-3 miles in the evening

*Strength train 2-3x/week with a rest day in between

Sunday:  Rest!!!

 

Now on to the book recommendations!  

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I have been trying to revamp my wardrobe over the past few months.  Cleaning out my closet has become a cathartic event for me along my weight loss journey.  As I get rid of the bigger-sized clothing that no longer fits me, I look forward to buying new things to integrate into my wardrobe.  (And seeing the label sizes go DOWN has given me something to look forward to as well!)

I’ve noticed a few things as I’ve thrown out old clothing…I’ve been wearing all the wrong colors.  I have way too many pastels and those colors completely wash me out.  They just don’t look good on me, nor do they make me feel good about myself.  And that’s what this journey is all about–making yourself feel good about YOU. I also felt that a lot of others out there are probably doing the same thing that I have been doing and wearing the wrong colors.  Well, hopefully this post will help you out!  🙂

I started doing research on what colors I should be wearing to compliment my natural coloring.  About 25+ years ago, people used to have “Color Me Beautiful” draping parties.  An expert would be at the party with fabric sashes to drape against your face/neck to see what colors best suited your hair, eye and skin color in order to make your features pop.

I have dark ash brown hair, fair skin and dark brown eyes.  I learned that I am a Deep/Dark Winter and should be wearing cool colors and jewel tones.  This made sense to me.  Whenever I wear colors such as charcoal grey, burgundy/cranberry, royal blue, pine green and black, my features come alive.  I frequently get complimented when I wear these colors.  Why haven’t I been wearing them more often?

When I think of winter, I think of icy blues, deep midnight blues (like the night sky), black (like the trees without leaves in the wintertime), winter white (snow/frost) and bright red (like a cardinal in the snow).  Can you picture it?  Try to picture your own best colors/landscape and have fun with it.  🙂

Now, here’s the really fun part–do a Google search & find your own color season!  This site has a great article on how to find your own color season.  Once you find your color season, head to Pinterest and create a board.  Check other boards too.  That is how I found so many great ideas for my own board. You’ll find makeup suggestions, wardrobe suggestions, etc. so you can visualize what colors you should be wearing in order to bring out your best features.

I purchased the book “Color Me Beautiful” by JoAnne Richmond for my Nook over the weekend.  I started reading on Friday night an finished it on Sunday.  What a great resource!  The author gives great suggestions for all four color seasons and gives you a chart to bring with you while clothes shopping.  She also includes skin care and makeup tips.

Per a co-worker’s recommendation, I checked out the book “Color Me Confident” by Veronique Henderson at my library.   This is similar to the above mentioned book and is also another great resource.

It’s never too late to look great.  Don’t wait until you hit that big number on the scale–start now!  In the past, I never bought new clothes because I always thought, “I’ll just wear what I have and buy cute/new/better looking clothes once I reach my goal weight.”  I think that dressing better along the way can make the journey a lot less stressful and it gives you something to look forward to.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money.  Buy basics–solid color shirts/blouses, jeans/pants (all in your color season) and change it up with scarves.  (Scarves and statement necklaces are my secret weapons!)  You can pick up basics everywhere from Target to Coldwater Creek or even at a thrift shop!

If you would like for me to write a post regarding all of the different color seasons, let me know on my Facebook page.  If enough people request it, I’ll do some research and make suggestions for each color season.  🙂

Well, I think that’s all that I have for now.  Have a great day!

~Amanda

 

Weekly Weigh-In/Working Out/WW-Friendly Snacks with Points+ Included

I am down another 0.8 lbs.!  Not too bad.  Of course, I’d like to see more come off, but I know that will happen in time.  I’m not going to let myself get discouraged.  Hey, it’s still moving in the right direction, right?  🙂  Overall, it’s been a really great week!  I even went out for Mexican with my friend & had a tostada, some chips & salsa and still stayed within my daily point allowance.  So, yay!  

My Workout This Week:

I’m still interval training (alternating between jogging/power walking) & doing light free weights.  My cardio is 6x/week for 45-60 minutes.  I absolutely love it and look forward to it every day!  I never, EVER thought I’d say that.  I love how I feel after I do my cardio session & it puts me in a good mood.  As far as my strength training goes, I am doing about 15-20 minutes 2x/week using the Bob Greene Ultimate Body Makeover DVD.  I really like that DVD and he changes up the exercises weekly so your body doesn’t get used to doing the same thing all the time.  I think it’s a great video for beginners.  

Since I started jogging, my arches have been really sore.  So, I broke down and bought a new pair of running shoes.  They are super-cute and so comfortable.  They are Skechers Memory Foam running shoes & they are well-cushioned…it’s like walking on pillows.  

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I hope that they help out with my sore arch problems because I plan to make my workouts a bit harder this week to challenge my body.  

Now, on to my favorite part–snacking!!!  I have a few go-to snacks that I’ve found at the grocery that I really love.  I’ll include the points for you as well. 

 

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Fiber One Lemon Bar = 90 calories/2 WW Points+

 

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Wheat Thins Toasted Chips = 13 chips are only 4 WW Points+

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Laughing Cow Light Creamy Swiss Cheese = 2 wedges for only 1 WW Points+!!!

I pair this up with the Wheat Thins Toasted Chips + 1 cups of grapes (0 WW Points+ for the fruit) & it’s delicious.

If you are really trying to keep it low, spread this on celery or cucumber slices–they are FREE foods & 0 Points+

 

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Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches = 4 WW Points+ and delicious!!!

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Alouette Sundried Tomato & Basil Cheese Spread = only 2 WW Points+ for 2 Tbsp.  

I spread this on celery for a yummy snack.  The celery is a FREE food & 0 Points!!!

 

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Jell-O Mousse Temptations in Dark Chocolate Decadence = 1 pkg is only 4 WW Points+

Add 2 Tbsp. of Rhedi-Whip (0 Points) & you have a really good dessert!

 

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SnackWell’s White Fudge Drizzled Caramel Popcorn = 4 WW Points+

I save these for family movie night & buy extra because my kids like them as well.  

 

I know a lot of this is processed stuff.  I’m not going to pretend that it’s health food, but with Weight Watchers you can indulge and not feel guilty.  It’s all about moderation!  I do eat a lot of raw fruit & veggies with my meals and as snacks.  My main source of hydration is water with lemon.  I’m drinking about 100 ounces of that every day.  

Well, I think that’s it for now!  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!  

~Mrs. E

 

 

Get Moving/Training When Out of Shape/Make A Vision Board or Book

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I am on my second week of Interval Training and I love it!  By the time I’m finished, I’m sweaty and yucky and I feel GREAT!!!  Here is my workout for this week:

Monday-Saturday:

Warm up for 5 minutes on the treadmill @3 mph

Jog 1 minute @4mph

Power Walk 4 minutes @3.3 mph

Repeat cycle until I reach 2 miles or 45 minutes.:

Strength Training on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday using free weights and resistance bands.

Yoga/Pilates on Wednesday & Friday.

Sunday is my Active Rest day = a.k.a., not sitting on the sofa all day long!  Do laundry, mop the floors, make beds, organize closets…do anything to keep moving!  (But it’s okay to chill for a minute and re-watch old Alias DVDs or Downton Abbey!)  🙂

As for today’s workout, I’m really proud of myself for pushing through.  I woke up with a migraine and wasn’t feeling very well at all.  I took my migraine medicine and as soon as it went away, I threw on my workout clothes, drank water and hit the treadmill.  Every time I wanted to slow down or give up, I would tell myself, “Get moving, girl!” & push through.  

You have to understand, I am not an athlete & I’ve never been an athlete.  This whole wanting to run thing is new to me.  I had this very vivid dream last week.  In the dream, I saw myself running down a road & I was wearing a running outfit and a number on the front of my chest.  I woke up and thought, “I’m going to start running and I’m going to sign up for a 5K!”  

So, I wrote it down in my Health & Fitness Journal & made it a goal.  🙂  If I can do this, anybody can.  I am excited to see where my body is at 6 months from now or even a year from now.  Like I’ve said before, I’m not doing this to get super-skinny…I want to be FIT and healthy.  

My Diet This Week:

8-10 glasses of water/day

Lots of lean protein, veggies & fruit

Continue to track my food, water & vitamins online at Weight Watchers!

My Project This Week:

Work on my Vision Board!  Clip out pictures, articles, write out motivational quotes on 3×5 cards…put whatever is inspiring on a cork board & hang it above my treadmill to keep me motivated during workouts.  When I’m finished, I’ll take a photo of it and post it for y’all to see.  I’m really excited to do this.  

Have a great week!

~Mrs. E

Weekly Weigh In/Interval Running

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Today I attempted running for the first time in a long time.  The verdict:  it doesn’t suck.  Much.  I suppose the longer I go at it, I’ll get the famous “runner’s high” everyone speaks of, but for now, all I can think is “Ouch,” and “Dear Lord, take me now!”  I am doing interval training and I really pushed through, so I suppose I’m proud of myself for doing that.  I am doing a Couch to 5K program to get into shape.  Whether or not I actually do a 5K one day, I do not know, but I am going to do my best to get into shape.

For me, it’s not enough to be just thin.  I want to be fit.  I want to go on long hikes with my family.  I want to be able to run with my son without getting out of breath.

The other reason I’ve decided to amp up my fitness routine is because I want this weight OFF and I want it off NOW!!!  I know that if you combine a healthy diet with exercise you lose faster.  There is no magic pill.  (I’ve learned this the hard way!)  In order to lose weight, you need to MOVE.

Here’s my program for Week 1:

Warm-up with a 5 minute power walk @ 3.0 mph on the treadmill

Run for 60 seconds @ 4-5 mph & then power walk @ 3 mph

Repeat this cycle until you hit 30 minutes or until you can’t do it anymore.  (It is OK to go 10-15 minutes at first if you can’t do the whole 30 minutes. Listen to your body!)

Weigh-In:

0.50 (1/2) of a pound

So, it’s not what I’d hoped it’d be, but that’s okay.  I don’t expect big losses every week.  I’ll just keep trucking along.  🙂  I have been sticking to my points overall, but I had that really stressful day this week where I dipped into a lot of my weekly allowance points.  I don’t like doing that & I’m going to try not to do that next week.

Tonight I’m making a really healthy dinner for my family:  Skinny Turkey Chili  

The chili is 5 Points+ for 1 cup.

I’ll also be making sweet cornbread, but that will be for them, not for me.  For dessert tonight, I’m cutting up strawberries, putting a bit of Truvia on them & topping with 2 Tbsp. of Reddi Whip whipped cream (0 Points+ for dessert!!!)

Well, that’s all for now.  I hope everyone has a very Happy Easter!  🙂

Bad Days/Stress Eating/Getting Back on the Horse

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Bad days are inevitable in this whole losing weight game.  Especially if you’re an emotional eater (like me).  Today has been one of those days for me.  The past few days have been really stressful at work.  I don’t know if it’s the full moon or what, but people have been rude and snippy.  I try not to take it personally since that’s part of the deal when you work with the public, but sometimes it’s hard.  I’m only human. 

I wish I would have stuck to my original plan of a healthy lunch–grilled chicken, a salad and some fruit, but I didn’t.  I didn’t eat fast food or anything like that, but I ate more than I originally had planned.   And I dipped into my Weekly Points Allowance (about 15 points worth), which is something I didn’t want to do & now I’m feeling guilty.  When I decided to start a blog about weight loss/getting healthy, I promised myself that I’d share the good, the bad and the ugly.  Well, today it got UGLY. 

Willpower…what willpower? 

I understand that is part of the process, but that doesn’t stop me from being mad at myself.  My weigh-in this week probably won’t be as much as I’d hoped it’d be, but I suppose that’s okay.  I am not throwing in the towel!  My ONLY choice is to push through and get back on the horse.

I’ll be sipping on herbal tea for the remainder of the night and reassessing my goals.  Tomorrow is a new day and I get a fresh set of Points. 

What do you do when you have a bad day?  

~Mrs. E

Obstacles? What Obstacles?/Have Faith in Yourself

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Today I was faced with a big obstacle:  a breakfast buffet.  *cue the Exorcist soundtrack now*

At the library, we had our annual volunteer appreciation breakfast and it was a catered event.  I was actually quite nervous about going. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. in a panic, worried about what I could/could not eat.  I have worked SO hard to get the first 10 lbs off & I am so afraid of putting it back down.  After downing 16 oz. of ice water, I decided I was not going to let food get the best of me!  I mean, I live in the South & we LOVE food.  There were grits, biscuits and butter, 3 different types of quiche, assorted pastries, fruit, coffee, sweet tea & juice.  I made a plan even before I left the house–I was going to have a bit of quiche, a piece of pastry and fruit.  And, I was only going to drink ice water with lemon.  Also, I was going to make sure that I left food on my plate and not finish everything. 

What happened?  Well, I stayed on plan, enjoyed talking with my colleagues, and had a great time.  I don’t know why I was so nervous!  I had to remind myself that it’s okay to indulge a bit if you control your portions and make a plan.  I also realized I needed to have faith in myself.  (I know we all struggle with this one!) 

So, don’t believe for a second that the rest of your day is ruined by eating one splurge meal or snack because it isn’t!  And don’t feel guilty!   Life is to be enjoyed. 

One of my most favorite quotes by Henry David Thoreau is:

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” 

We beat ourselves up about the dumbest things.  If you had a splurge meal and you feel like throwing in the towel for the day, I want you to stop what you are doing, take a moment and reassess your goals.  What do you really want out of all this?  To be healthy for your husband & kids?  To hike to the top of a mountain?  To run a 5K?  To look good in your clothes again?  Really think about what it is that you truly want and GO FOR IT!!!  Then, I want you to immediately get back on plan & say “screw you” to guilt!!!  You’ve got this!

~Mrs. E