Checking In

Let me start off by saying, this is a way for me to get it out, a way of journaling. By sharing it here I feel like I might help someone else know they aren’t alone in feeling the way that I do. I talked about this last night with my husband and he listened – but I really think he just doesn’t understand all the emotions (or lack there of) that I’m experiencing. So if you aren’t into reading about all my current woes then here’s your chance to bail.

When we started “stay home, stay safe” for COVID back in March, I thought it would be fine – temporary. I figured I was home most of the time anyway. How hard could it be. Then weeks turned into months and shit just kept getting weirder in the world. All of the things I enjoyed doing – grocery shopping, regular shopping, visiting state parks, geocaching- the list goes on, became an unpleasant experience. Grocery Shopping felt like the Hunger Games and only now feel slightly better. Shopping at Target or Walmart is depressing – shelves are bare and everyone looks sad. I haven’t even tried to go to one of my favorite places – IKEA – because I just don’t want to ruin it for myself. I just don’t find it to be an enjoyable experience anymore – now I only go to the store for purpose or necessity. State Parks are busy and limited capacity – when before some of my favorite places were near empty. I haven’t even gone to some of my favorite nearby places to visit for the same reason – not wanting to ruin the memory of it. I miss my summer trips to Newport, Salem and Mystic.

We’ve also had some crazy family stuff happen during all this and there’s all sorts of emotions that happen with that. I only mention them to add to “where I’m at”, but haven’t really shared much outside of my house. There are some things that are meant to stay in house. It’s just been… emotional.

I’ve been trying to keep my boys out of the general public during all of this too. I hate seeing them wearing masks. Yes, I know the importance for wearing a mask – so don’t come at me for that. That’s why I just keep them home as much as possible. I don’t take them out for errands if at all possible and we are keeping them home this fall to continue distance learning for this same reason. I think the mask wearing and social distancing will be more detrimental than keeping them home with me. I am hopeful it’s short term. Most of my friends are sending their kids back in person. I respect them for that. It’s a tough decision either way. I wish I could do it too, but I also think my anxiety would be in high gear all the time. Keeping them home with me if for my mental health too. Hopefully I won’t have to fight with them as much this time around to do the work!

So after all of that, I completely lost my mojo about a month ago. I took a week off from working out, that turned into two and now I’m pushing four. I’m sleeping late and can barely find the motivation to do the simple day to day stuff. Yesterday was the eye opener for me that I am on depression’s doorstep y’all. I’m about to knock to have her let me in to join in her misery. I’ve got all the classic signs. I know them well. I’ve travelled this road a few times, it’s been a while since my last visit and I’m really wanting to bypass this stay. By classic signs – for me – I mean – no joy in the things that used to make me happy, not working at my fun job (my Etsy shop) as much as I would like, feeling empty, stopping working out, getting up late, going to bed early, not wanting to socialize with friends as much, not wanting to leave the house, eating…a lot, but then not wanting to cook dinner. There’s some of the things I’ve noticed. There’s also a lot of negative self talk happening and constant jealousy of anyone experiencing success-in anything- I have no limits on that one. It’s an awful trait that I tend to have. Comparison to others is a toxic trail to take. I need to pull a u-turn and come back to home base on that. It makes me feel ugly and pulls me deeper into where I don’t want to be.

I’m hoping that by writing this and sharing what I’m trying to do will help me climb out and get back to “normal”. I want to workout (weirdo right?) because my awful body issues are also rearing too. I keep thinking – “if I lose 10, 20, blah blah pounds I’ll for sure feel better” – then I eat two snickers ice cream cones – yep that happened yesterday. Here’s the thing, my brain knows that working out provides endorphins. Those endorphins after 30/60 minutes of exercise can be similar to taking an antidepressant. It’s proven to work if you can get your depressed ass moving. BUT THAT’S THE STUPID CRAZY PART! You’re so deep in your head that you talk yourself out of getting those endorphins!

I committed myself to a 18.9 mile virtual race this month. That I told myself I would complete by the last day of September. That means I have to move at least the amount of time it takes me to complete those nearly 19 miles. If I walk for 15 minutes a day I’ll hit my goal. I have to do something to motivate myself because the idea of being uncomfortable in my skin isn’t quite enough right now.

At the same time I’ve been trying to eat a little better. But that’s truly laughable, because who eats right when they’re stressed and feeling miserable. I’m trying to track what I eat and I even signed up for a nutrition webinar in about a week. We’ll see how that goes.

If you’re still with me-thank you. I’d like (to try again) to update more regularly. I mean I pay for this freaking blog, you’d think I’d publish more. (Facepalm) My kids are heading back to school (in my office) on the 10th – so wish me luck. I need to find that “me” time quickly in order to manage having them here all day again. Just sitting in the office with me from 7:30 to 3 every day. At least the first two days are early release?

Boost Awareness

Tracking gives you insights, keeps you focused and helps you succeed.

The evidence is clear!  Tracking helps you lose weight by making you aware of what and how much you’re eating,  BUT…it’s up to you on when and how to track!  Some people pre-track all their meals, using it as a guide for the day so they won’t stray.  Others prefer to track as they go.  I know I vary between the two.  Some weeks I’ve sat down on a Sunday and planned my whole upcoming week.  Other weeks, like this week, I’m playing catch up on my tracking.  It’s not about being perfect, its using that mindful piece and using your tracker as a tool to help reach those goals.

How it helps- when you’re tracking, it helps you stick to your calorie or point goals and you are able to budget on if something is “worth” eating. This is especially important at certain times in your journey, like when you’re just starting, after a vacation or when you haven’ t been to a meeting in  awhile and you want to get back on track.

The infamous “BLUE DOT” and Weight Watchers Weekly’s Tips on how to get them-
We consistently talk about the blue dot in the meeting room and there are still so many people who aren’t sure what they even are!
To help you better understand how the blue dot works, it’s based on your healthy eating range. The healthy eating range is considered to be up to 3 points below to 7 points above your daily SmartPoints target. Each day that you track within your healthy eating range you earn a blue dot.
There were mixed feelings about these blue dots in the meeting room this past weekend. Some people love them and use them as a challenge to see how many blue dots they can get each week or each month. Others hate the blue dot because when they don’t see one it represents failure for them. So obviously you have to do what’s best for you when it comes to this. No one needs to add any additional stress to the already stressful process of losing weight.

How to Save More Than 900 Calories A Week

Is your kitchen filled with more restaurant menus than actual food? Welcome to the club: The average American orders takeout three days a week, according to a recent survey conducted by

For the online poll, researchers asked 2,503 participants about their takeout habits. Most of the people surveyed said they didn’t have time to prepare entire meals from scratch, while others said they had no interest in cooking (a few said they didn’t even know how to cook). So it’s no surprise that people ordered out so often—but indulging in takeout too frequently can wreak havoc on your waistline.

Previous research has found thatrestaurant meals typically contain two to three times the calories you shouldbe taking in at each meal—which may be why 72 percent of people in the survey said they were overweight.

Many restaurants serve huge portions, says Brooke Alpert, RD, founder of B Nutritious, who was not part of the survey. That means you end up consuming more salt, sugar, fat, and calories—basically everything you need for a diet disaster.

Totally bummed right about now? You don’t have to give up your takeout favorites altogether. By making at-home versions, you’ll have complete control over what you put into your meals and how much you serve yourself—so you save a ton of calories. Bonus: Cooking often takes the same amount of time—or sometimes even less time—than waiting around for delivery to get to your door.

The next time you’re craving one of these foods—the top five that people in the survey said they ordered—whip up something healthier instead. These recipes slash an average of 315 calories per meal—which comes to 945 calories a week if you’re ditching a three-times-a-week takeout habit.

The No. 1 Takeout Food: Pizza

Try This Instead: Veggie Pizza

You’ll Save: 126 calories, 10.8 g of fat, and 15 mg of sodium

*Compared to one slice of Pizza Hut’s veggie 14” large pan pizza


The No. 2 Takeout Food: Burgers

You’ll Save: 770 calories, 56 g of fat, and 1,300 mg of sodium

*Compared to the Guacamole Bacon Six-Dollar Burger at Carl’s Jr.


The No. 3 Takeout Food: Asian Food

You’ll Save: 468 calories, 20 g of fat, and 635 mg of sodium

*Compared to an order of Orange Chicken and Steamed Brown Rice from Panda Express


The No. 4 Takeout Food: Fried Chicken

Try This Instead: Baked Chicken Fingers

You’ll Save: 46 calories, 14.5 g of fat, and 208 mg of sodium

*Compared to three Extra Crispy Tenders from KFC.


The No. 5 Takeout Food: Sandwiches

Try This Instead: Mediterranean Tuna Sandwich

You’ll Save: 167 calories, 6 g of fat, and 552 mg of sodium

*Compared to a Tuna Salad Sandwich on Honey Wheat from Panera Bread.

photo: iStockphoto/Shutterstock

Published on July 26th, 2013
Women’s Health Magazine