Wednesday, December 11, 2013

There's a lot of eating ahead ... my strategy to stick to the diet

So, you all know I'm on a diet and I'm counting my calories and it has been going well. I've lost 3 lbs so far, just under halfway of my goal. Yes, I know, it was not a huge goal to begin with, but it's still taking effort to get there.

I'm just reflecting on my coming month and I think that my dieting might be a little challenged in the coming weeks and month.

This Saturday, we are heading to a wine masterclass where we will be tasting wine and having that paired with chocolate. I estimate that there will be about one small glass worth of wine to be had and several pieces of chocolate, so I estimate that I will clock up about 300 calories there.

Then we are going out with friends for dinner and we are planning on 2.5 bottles of wine between the 4 of us, plus likely a 3 course meal. I can't even begin to count how many calories there will be there.

Following that, in the next week we are having a big managers get together over two days and there will be a fancy lunch in a very nice restaurant on the first day, which will be 2 courses - starter and main or main and dessert, and a really, really fancy dinner in the evening. That will be 3 courses and a whole bunch of wine. Again, the calorie counting is going to be challenged.

Then the next day, we are having a catered 2 course lunch in the office, cooked by a friend of ours who is a Masterchef. The food will be awesome and again, many, many calories.

After all that, a week later, we have signed up for 2 degustation wine tasting dinners which are both I think 4 or 5 courses each of meals with matching wines. Lots of food, lots of wine, calorie count indeterminate.

Honestly, I don't even know how to begin counting the calories in a fancy meal.

I don't want to not eat and be a total downer for everyone, but I also don't want to blow my diet.

I am thinking hard about what to do so that I can enjoy the evening but also not set myself back after all the hard work I've put in to lose the weight and be able to keep it off.

I think that I will probably be leaving a lot of food on the plate, just eating part of the meals and where I have choices of what to order, I will do my best to order meat and vegetable dishes, staying away from any carb laden meals or meals with lots of creamy sauces.

With the wine, one small glass, which is 120ml is 82 calories. If I sip, and only taste, I can space out my drinking and stick to just one or two small glasses.

Another strategy I will employ too is when there's going to be one big, fancy meal in the day, I will make sure that any other meal I have will be very, very low in calories, such as perhaps an apple and a slice of cheese and keep the calories under 150 for the meal, so that I have a lot more calories to "spend" when I am at the fancy meal. That would, of course, be hard when I have the day where we are having two fancy meals, lunch and dinner, but I will try to be careful.

I guess the point that I am trying to make here is that life happens and there will be events that can throw a spanner in the diet works. The trick is not to deny or deprive yourself, but to work out how to best enjoy yourself, enjoy the event and not totally blow the diet.

I don't think it will be easy, and I'm pretty sure that there will be times when I am going to be over the calorie count for the day (and many times when I just won't even know how to count the calories since I didn't prepare the food myself!).

I'm thinking watching portion sizes is going to be key and in a lot of instances, just "tasting" rather than consuming everything.

All that said, I don't want to be a party pooper either, so I will do my best to order wisely, eat what is put in front of me and be as gracious about it as possible. I definitely will not be reciting calorie counts to everyone at the table and spoiling their enjoyment of a very nice meal.

And when it is all over ... hope and pray that I have not put back on any of the weight I have lost.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

A 300 calorie day ... what !?!?!

I think I might have hit a new low yesterday!!

I woke up in the morning yesterday not feeling very well and my stomach was bothering me. Now, when it comes to not feeling well, I'm a complete wuss. A lot of people soldier on. Not me, I curl up in bed, sleep and maybe feel a little sorry for myself, but mostly, I curl up in bed and rest.

Since it was a work day, I went to work, upset stomach and all but I could tell as the morning progressed that I would not make it through the day at work.

I left work about midday and went home. Stomach was still not my friend.

It was lunchtime and I wasn't feeling particularly hungry, but I felt I needed something and decided to have something rather bland, so had some basic crackers and some packet soup.

My lunch totaled just under 300 calories.

That was all I had for the day!!

It was not intentional. I didn't feel well, I was stressed out from somethings that happened in the evening, I was not feeling hungry and ended up not cooking dinner. Then I went to bed early.

This morning, I woke up on an empty stomach. A very empty stomach, actually.

Did a sneaky weigh in but weight stayed the same - that is not unexpected, but I found I felt really, really good waking up on an empty stomach.

I did not feel hungry at all and felt quite energetic.

Now, I'm not saying have 300 calorie days all the time, but once in a while, it won't hurt.

I'm back to a normal calorie count diet today, which is my 1300 calories, and hoping to come in just under.

One day of a very low calorie count does help with the diet occasionally, just don't ever, ever starve yourself. That's not healthy.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Portion control is really important

It's been slow going but I'm into week 3 of the dieting process. I feel like I'm getting better at the impulse control where food is concerned and I am not so obsessed about the whole food and eating thing. I still think about it, but it's not ruling my life quite as much as when I started out.

One thing that I have learned recently though ... portion control.

A few nights ago I cooked a really yummy pasta dish for dinner and I was careful with the amount of food I put on my plate and ended up with a reasonable portion but still enough to make me feel full after eating. That was about 1.5 cups of cooked pasta plus assorted stuff mixed into it, and about 550-ish calories, which is very respectable for a dinner portion.

However, we had a whole heap of leftovers which is often the case when I cook pasta. The beloved likes to take leftovers to work for lunch and they make a quick, easy and tasty dinner for a night or two during the week.

This time, we had three large size portions leftover and they were all about 2, perhaps 2.5 cups worth of pasta.

I decided that I would just eat one portion that was packed away instead of just eating part of it and having bits of leftovers on top of leftovers in containers in the fridge.

Well, that was a mistake. One large leftover portion was 850+ freakin' calories!!! That totally blew my calorie count for the day. Fortunately for me, it was not huge in terms of blowing the calorie count for the day since my day time calorie consumption was quite low and I had plenty to spare, but I still ended up 100+ calories over. Of course, I didn't realise this until after I ate the meal and I calculated the calorie count, although I had an inkling when I saw that it was a lot more food on the plate that the first night when I had good portion control going on.

Over the course of the week, I did eat all the leftovers, and each night, I blew my calorie count for the day, by just a little bit. Not a lot, but just enough to make me feel somewhat guilty, so I am so glad that all the leftovers are now finally gone.

Would I have been better off just tossing out the extra food? Perhaps, but I find it hard to do that and I also find it hard to leave food on my plate, though I'm getting better with practice, particularly while eating out, and they serve very large portions.

A little update, so far, I have lost 3 lbs. I was quite pleased a couple of days ago when I did my weekly weigh in and found that I had dropped another 1 lb taking my total to 3. I think I've mentioned that it's slow going, but I'm pleased with the downward progress.

The beloved is doing really well too. He's been at it about 10 days and he has lost 7 lbs. He went away on a business trip and business trips are always awful when it comes to diet and exercise, but while away he managed to lose 1 lb rather than put on weight. I'm so proud of him, and also a little jealous that the weight is falling off him a lot faster. That said, he has a higher weight loss goal than I do.

A few things that we have changed that is helping - no more chocolate after dinner, and if we do have it, we only have one small piece that is the equivalent of 75 calories. That's one Lindt ball. We've been having an apple for dessert after dinner, because we do like something sweet after dinner. An apple is a fabulous dessert, only 45 calories for an apple.

I can't remember if I have told this story or not, but at the very beginning of my diet, I had an apple for dessert and the beloved had a whole Kit Kat bar. My apple was 45 calories and his Kit Kat bar was 900+ calories. He was appalled and I was feeling pretty damn righteous. :-) But for the beloved, knowing how many calories that Kit Kat bar had in it, has really helped him to watch what he puts into his mouth.

We are both continuing to watch out diet. I've got 4 more lbs left to go, but once I reach that, I might stretch myself and see if I can't go a little further. I'm pretty sure that would make my doctor very happy as it reduces my risk of diabetes greatly.

If you're doing something similar, I wish you all the best. Be encouraged and be patient.

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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Progress is slow, but I keep going

This post was written a while ago and I'm just now posting it. I am still on my diet, or rather I am getting back into my diet, so all of this is still relevant. And also, I'm sorry for not posting for such a long time. I realise that I have neglected my blog.

Progress has been slow this week but I continue to persevere, which at times is hard, because I am not seeing quick, immediate results.

I keep having to remind myself that I need to be patient and this is a slow process.

I thought I'd provide a recap of my week so far, it's only Thursday, so I only have 4 days of a recap for you, but to be honest, I'm doing this more as a reminder to myself than anything else.

I have a 1300 calorie a day allotment that I can consume each day. It goes up a little bit with the walking I do, but not by much.

Monday: Calories left = 119
Tuesday: Calories left = 470 - this is a particularly good night. We had steamed vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner and that's a very low calorie count.
Wednesday: Calories left = 276 calories - I was a little naughty here. I had a piece of coconut covered, toasted marshmallow and a chocolate covered marshmallow as a treat. That was about 150 or so calories.
Thursday: Calories left = 276 - I had a glass of wine with dinner here and we also had pasta.

Looking back, I have to say that I am pretty pleased about the fact that I've been coming in under my calorie count each day, some days more than others.

I remember reading once that you need to not consume 1000 calories in order to lose 1 lb. So all the leftover calories are a good thing, because the more leftover calories there are, the more it will add up to the 1000 calories to equal my 1 lb of weight lost. Of course, I have to put in a small disclaimer here to say that I do not remember where I read this, so don't quote me on it.

Another thing that I've noticed, which I talked about previously is the hunger pangs, here and here.

I am getting to the point now where I am not that hungry throughout the day, though that is not the case everyday, since today I felt a bit more peckish that other days and felt like I needed an earlier breakfast.

I used to get quite hungry by the time dinner rocked round, but I have noticed in the last 2 or 3 days that that has subsided. I get home and I am quite comfortable until dinner time. I am not starving, as I was in the beginning, nor am I hungry, as I was a week in. Now, I feel just fine, which is a very good thing.

My boss, who has been on a rather crazy, strict diet says that after a while, you just don't need food anymore and you start to feel rather righteous about not eating and scoff at people who do. I don't know that I will ever get to that point since I'm not doing it crazy like he did.

In the beginning, I was also constantly thinking about food and when I could eat next. That has also passed and I am not doing that anymore too. That's a very good thing, because I feel a lot less like I am obsessing about food all the time.

So that's it for now. The journey continues and I press on ....

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

An update on Plexus Slim, a continuing weight loss journey

As you may have read from my previous post, I tried Plexus Slim. The process did not go great for me.

I've read people claiming to have lost 40 lbs in 2 weeks or something crazy like that, but that did not happen for me.

This is what happened:

For the first 15 days, you can read in detail here.

After that, I continued to take it daily and while I did not lose any weight, in general, I noticed a general slimming in my overall body shape. I did write a small, follow up update here too.

That's all.

I have considered taking it further and getting another 30 or 60 days supply to see if the weight does come off, but I started calorie counting and that's been a different journey.

I ultimately decided not to spend the money in getting more Plexus Slim because it is expensive and I did not want to spend that much on a diet drink.

If I had more funds available to me and if I had different priorities, I would probably spend the money and give it a few more months, but right now, I'm not wanting to spend the money.

I'm continuing on my weight loss journey without Plexus Slim.

I guess the point of this post is to say that weight loss is a journey and most often, it is a slow journey.

There is no quick fix.

There is no miracle cure.

You eat less.

You exercise more.

You work at it, and you work HARD at it.

It's continuous work.

It's persistence, and yes, sometimes it gets tiring.

For those of you looking to lose weight, do what is right for you. There are tons of process, methods, fads, out there.

Pick one that fits with your lifestyle.

Pick one that you can do and more importantly, you can STICK to.

All the best with your weight loss journey.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Windows Movie Maker not working on Window 7 64-bit - SOLVED!!!

First of all, I apologise, this is not the right forum for an IT related blog post, but I do not have anywhere else to put it and I felt that after 2 days of struggling, I ought to write this up somewhere, to help others who have this problem.

I have recently upgraded my operating system to Window 7 64-bit Ultimate Edition. I was running on the 32-bit version previously and everything was hunky dory until my hard drive died and I needed a new hard drive and a re-build (another long story!!).

Since then, I have been progressively reinstalling software that I use regularly back onto the computer.

One of the programs (which is where this is sort of relevant to this blog) is Windows Movie Maker, which I use to edit my videos to upload to my youtube channel.

I know it's not the greatest program out there for movie editing, but it does what I need it to do and for my limited editing needs, it is sufficient.

Since I could not get Movie Maker to work, I tried buying Pinnacle (cost me $59.95) and instead of working, after I installed it, it wanted me to buy more software in order for it to even begin editing. Bah! I am going to return the software and get my money back!! Plus, it was complicated to use and I'm not prepared right now to invest in the program and the learning curve.

Then I found another free video editing software which was more advanced than Movie Maker, but when I tried to use it, the video and sound would not sync up and play seamlessly and it was not going well.

So, I persisted in trying to get Movie Maker working.

Originally, I had installed Movie Maker from Windows Essentials 2012.

I was getting this error message:

 "Sorry, Movie Maker can't start. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements before trying to start Movie maker again, and then try to update the driver for your video card if Movie Maker still doesn't start." 

I then troubleshooted (is this a real word?) it and tried:

1. Updating drivers (but it looked like my drivers were up to date)
2. Installing Windows Movie Maker 6 (which didn't do what I wanted)

Then I found this forum which after reading through many posts and 3 pages of back and forth, claimed to have solved the problem.

The two things that I took away from the post was:

1. Install DriverMax to update all your drivers
2. Roll back to Windows Essentials 2011 for Movie Maker.

I bought DriverMax 30 day pro version for $10USD and used it to update about 20 out of date drivers on my computer. My computer is from 2006 and quite old, even though it has new RAM and a new HDD. I'm resisting spending $1500 on a brand new computer right now. Tyres on the car just cost $1250!!

After I updated the drivers, I rebooted the computer.

Then, I uninstalled Windows Essentials 2012 along with Movie Maker, and restarted the computer.

After that, I installed Windows Essentials 2011 Movie Maker. Movie Maker was the only program I selected to install.

Once it had installed, I launched Movie Maker, all the while holding my breath and lo and behold, instead of the error message, IT WORKED!!!

Happily, I've now got Movie Maker working back on my computer again. It's not the best movie editing software out there, but it's enough for my needs.

I sincerely hope this post helps others who have this problem as well.

ps. The only drawback from using 2011 instead of 2012 is that the videos save as WMV files instead of MP4 files, which means the file sizes are larger. It will take longer for my videos to upload, but I think I can live with that.

pps. I edited a video that I had previously edited in 2012 (I forgot I had done it before) and the result was - 2011 = 1.39Gb in a WMV file, 2012 = 400Gb in a MP4 file. That's a huge trade off in size. This will take me at least 5 times longer to upload to youtube.

I tried installing 2012 again on top of 2011, but 2012 would not work. Got the same error message, so it looks like I am stuck with 2011. :-( and :-) at the same time. 

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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Weekend naughtiness, counting the cost and paying the price

This post is about my weight loss journey ... what *did* you think it was about? Naugthy! Naughty! :-)

I just spent my first weekend with my new diet and let me tell you, it was not good.

First of all, as I had mentioned earlier, I had that frozen yogurt treat. That was yummy but full of calories.

Then on Sunday, I had scrambled eggs for breakfast, which actually was pretty good. Not that many calories. Eggs are good for you.

But then, I made this incredible mushroom soup for dinner that night and I think that the soup had way more calories than I counted. I'm fairly certain of it ... maybe. I don't actually know since it's hard to actually calculate the calories ... okay, so I just did some math, and the soup was actually pretty good. It only had 331 calories per serve in it. That was a lot less than I thought. I guess it's because it was entirely a vegetable soup, so even a big bowl like the one I had, did not have a lot of calories in it.

Anyway, I was over my calorie count on Saturday because of the frozen yogurt, and I was just under on Sunday.

Either way, this morning I woke up at 138 lbs, which is 1 lb higher than when I started this whole thing.

I'm hoping that it's just the whole swing up, swing down, that happens to our weight based on food intake, etc., over a few days rather than actual weight that I have put on. I guess I won't know until I check myself a few days on.

The few things that I have learned though, because of the weekend, is that:

  • I have to be extra careful about my food intake over the weekend.
  • It's not possible to relax while on a diet. Seriously, the moment you take your eye off the ball, the whole thing falls apart.
  • It's necessary to be patient, there will be ups and downs.
  • It's also necessary, to continue to be really OCD about everything.
  • Everything matters. Everything thing you put into your mouth no matter how insignificant it may seem counts. For example, I love coconut water, and I would think nothing of a can or two a day for a refreshing drink. Do you know that darned drink is 161 calories? When you're only allowed 1300 calories a day, that's a whole lot of calories to give up for just one drink!!

So, I'm back on the wagon and so far have only consumed 210 calories today.

Plus what I've heard is right, after the first 3 or 5 days, you don't feel hungry anymore. At least, I don't throughout the day, but I do still get very hungry by the time dinner rocks round, if I haven't eaten by 7pm or so.

The journey continues ... wish me luck ... :-)

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Feeding my foundation fixation with Findation - color matching without testing

I'm talking about foundation again - just because I love the stuff!!

This time, I want to talk about this fab site I've found that matches foundation shades for you. It is called Findation. It's a very clever website, and if you do like your foundation or are just trying to find a color match for a particular foundation, use this site.

What this site does is that is asks you for foundation color matches that you know already works for you and matches you.

You enter the brand of the foundation, the type of foundation and the color that is correct for you.

It asks you to enter as many as possible, stating that the more you enter, the better the match would be.

Once you have entered all the foundations you know works for you, you click on the button that tells it to "find match" and it goes off and does its thing.

When the search comes back, it spits out a very long list of foundation color matches for you. You can then scroll through the matches and also have the list emailed to you. Just be careful, it will only email to one email address, one list, once. If you plan on doing this more than once, you might need to use a few different email addresses or just copy and paste the results from the website to your computer and save the list.

I've tested this several times (and have run out of email addresses to use) and the results are quite accurate.

I am not saying that the results are 100% accurate because it did spit out one foundation that did not match me and I know this because I had tried that exact foundation in the exact color it recommended and it was a shade or two too dark for me. That said, it was one foundation out of something 20 or 30 that they recommended and matched.

It's a fun site to play with and it's a great tool.

This is particularly useful if you are planning on ordering a foundation online and have no way to color match because you are not going to a store, or even if there just is not a store near you that sells the particular foundation that you are after.

It's a good tool to use, that I would say is about 90% to 95% accurate if you enter the right number and range of foundations for it to work from.

If nothing else, it's just fun to have a play.

Good luck finding your foundation match.

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Some progress and holy frack! that's a lot of calories

So, I'm on day 5 of my calorie controlled diet and I'm doing well. I've lost 2 lbs so far and it seems to have stayed off for the last 2 days. Hooray!!

The calorie watching is continuing well and I am becoming very aware of how many calories there are in food and making conscious choices about that I eat. I have also been fairly good about coming in under my calorie ration for the day and being good. That has made me feel really happy and kinda proud of myself.

Except ...

Today, I decided to skip breakfast and lunch and allocate all my calories to a favorite treat - Yogurberry, which is frozen yogurt with some yummy toppings.

ZOMG!!! Frozen yogurt has a TON of calories!!!

I didn't check before I went to have my treat, I was so focused on the treat itself, but then I came home to update my diary and discovered that between the frozen yogurt treat and a normal dinner, I have blown my calorie ration for the day by 158 calories.

I feel awful about it.

I also feel guilty. Really, really guilty.

This has taught me a valuable lesson on being very careful about my treats. This much beloved frozen yogurt treat is going to need to be one that is allowed in few and far between instances.

On a more positive note, the first few days of my calorie counting, I was starving by the end of the day. Now, I'm feeling much more stable, and while I get hungry by dinner time, I am not STARVING and wanting to just shove a whole bunch of junk into my mouth. I find that if I eat by a reasonable time, say between 7pm and 7:30pm, I'm fine. If I'm really desperate, a snack of a slice of roast turkey just fine, which is a mere 25 calories.

The long and short of it is that I'm happy with how it's progressing. In the long run, this is a lifestyle change. I'll get over the frozen yogurt blip and be wiser about that choice from now on. I even managed to avoid the temptation of fresh macaroons which I love and didn't buy a box to eat during the week, which is something I would have done before I started my diet. By the way, a macaroon is 58 calories. Eat with caution!!

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

How I color match foundation at the drugstore

Those of you who know my makeup habits (and watch my videos - shameless plug here!!) will know that I am a bit of a foundation junkie.

I love me some foundation and smooth even colored skin.

The hardest thing about foundation is finding the right shade, I always find.

A lot of stores are not very helpful and do not offer samples or testers. Some places that do, have poor lighting so it's hard to find a match and often standing in a drugstore and testing foundation on the back of your hand is just not ideal.

Then, there are the department stores that have sales assistants to match you - I have found that does not always work out right either. Helpful tip: most department store makeup counters will give you samples to take home and test, so get color matched and ask for a sample to try at home. You never know how the foundation will work on a normal day of wear - how long does it last, does the color really match, do you like the way it feels, will it oxidise ... the questions are endless and only a full day road test under your normal day to day circumstances will answer them.

But I digress ...

I have become pretty good at testing and finding my foundation color in a drugstore. I have a foundation color that is my "go-to" base color that I know works for me. It's a commonly available foundation at the drugstore - for me, it's Revlon Colorstay Stay Natural Makeup Foundation in 03 Nude. This is what I call my "baseline" foundation color. It could be anything for you, but I find that this Revlon one works for me as the basis of comparison for all other foundation colors.

What I do, is, I pump a small amount of the baseline color on the back of my hand - do not blend it out. Then, I move onto the color that I want to try or buy, and I squeeze a small amount right next to my baseline color until they are both touching, and I look at the colors of the two foundations. I compare the colors and try to come up with a shade that is as close to my baseline as possible. Some might be a bit more yellow, a bit more pink or a bit more neutral, or some might be an exact match. I pick the color that is the closest match to my baseline.

This method has worked very, very well for me, and I have never picked a wrong foundation color using this method. Of course, this method only works when the drugstore offers testers for you to try.

I never try the foundation on my face / skin when I'm at the drugstore as I do not want to mess up my makeup, especially since I usually go to the drugstore to test foundations and shop in the middle of the work day and I still need to go back to work at the end of my lunch hour.

Anyway, this is what I do. I hope it helps you, if you do decide to try it out yourself. I might even film a video on this and demo the method that I'm talking about here.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dieting sucks but I press on

I'm on the third day of my diet and well, it's not that much fun.

I am finding myself totally focused on food and what I eat and what I put in my mouth. I keep thinking about food and eating. It's almost an obsession. Very odd. I think the calorie counting and tracking everything I eat will do that to me.

I have weighed myself two days in a row and I really should not do that. It only recommends that I weigh myself once a week. Of course, after two days, there was no change. Color me disappointed. :-(

That said, I know this is a slow process.

When I had to lost quite a bit of weight about 4 years ago, it took about 18 months to lose 17 lbs. That was a long time. I was only losing about 0.5 lbs or 1 lb a month, but the weight stayed off for quite a long time after that.

So, slow is good. I just need to be patient.

Last night, after dinner, the beloved had a Kit Kat bar, which we worked out was about 900+ calories. I had an apple, which was 45 calories. I was feeling rather righteous about that. :-)

I also had about 295 calories leftover which I didn't consume yesterday. I could have had a small dessert or a piece of chocolate, but I didn't. Need to pat myself on the back about that. It's so easy to succumb to naughty eating.

This weekend we're going to the fresh food market and stocking up on apples.

Right now, I've just had my 11am breakfast bar and a large cup of black coffee. The breakfast bar has 226 calories and black coffee has no calories (hooray!!!).

I wonder how long I have to go before I start to see some progress? Progress is good. Progress is encouraging. I'm looking forward to progress.

If I fall off the wagon, remind me that I need to get back on it. :-)

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Getting serious about weight loss, calorie counting and a small Plexus Slim update

So I'm onto about Day 18 or 19 of the Plexus Slim and it hasn't done a lick of good for me. I have started taking it more consistently, every morning, rather than the way I was taking it earlier and hoping that would help, but so far I am not seeing any results.

I am not willing to invest more than a month into it, and if someone tells me I'm doing it wrong and hence why I've not seen results after a month, well, I'm not willing to shell out more money to try it for another month to see if it works.

I also really think that it only works well if you use the Accelerator, but that's a stimulant and has a ton of caffeine in it and makes you very twitchy and jumpy and not sleep, which I've read online about. I'm not willing to risk that as I'm very sensitive to caffeine.

Onto other weight loss stuff, I've started a calorie controlled diet to help me lose weight. I have found in the past that only watching what I eat has been particularly effective in helping me to lose weight so I'm back on that.

I'm determined to lose weight again since I've gained some weight since I reached a healthy, comfortable weight level. It's a constant battle and it's necessary to stay vigilant all the time (I confess it gets tiring after a while, hence the up and down battle!).

I downloaded a calorie counter app to my phone from Calorie King, which is specifically Australian. It has all the Australian brands of food in it and is updated regularly, so it's easy to find things that I eat on a regular basis on it and also allows me to customize and add things that are not on there by adding up the various ingredients. I'm on day 2 of this.

I'm learning a lot from this experience, in particular, how things add up really, really quickly in terms of calories.

First impressions so far is that calories add up quick. There's not a lot you can eat at 1300 calories a day and it is going to take a few days before I stop feeling constantly hungry.

So far, my routine has been as follows and it seems to be working:

  • Vitamins and a big glass of water first thing in the morning
  • A cup of black coffee about 10am
  • An Optifast meal replacement bar at between 11am and 11:30am
  • A cup of tea between 1pm and 2pm
  • Another Optifast meal replacement bar at between 3pm and 4pm
  • Lots and lots of water in between
  • Normal dinner (still keeping under what's left of my calorie count for the day) in the evening when I get home
  • A small dessert treat if I am under my calorie count and there's room left. I don't want to entirely deprive myself, that would be unhealthy and non motivational

This seems to be working and I'm not starving at any point of the day, though I am feeling quite hungry just before dinner. That said this is only day 2!!!

At the end of the first day, I was quite pleased with myself because I had 143 calories left over, which meant I could have 2 Lindt chocolate balls if I wanted to. Bonus! I have learned over the years to always leave room for the treat without feeling guilty.

I don't have huge aims as I am not grossly overweight.

I am 137 lbs and I am hoping to get to 130 lbs over the next few months. That's the weight that my doctor is happy with me at to keep my pre-diabetic condition and other health conditions at bay and be at a healthy happy weight.

Ideally, I'd like to get to my post-marriage low weight which was a happy 123 lbs but that might be very hard work. I remember a lot of dry soda crackers and plain steamed vegetables in my diet to achieve that and that gets pretty boring along the way, plus that was 15 years ago and I'm fairly certain my body and metabolism has changed over the years.

I don't plan on anything crazy or drastic and I want to take this slow, because slow is the only way this whole thing will remain sustainable, without me going crazy, and without it being too onerous and me quitting along the way.

I don't want to deprive myself, because depriving myself will just make me be rebellious and not so what I'm supposed to.

I will keep up with the exercise too, which to be honest is not much, but it's what I can do so far. I walk about 30 minutes each day, 15 minutes each way to work and back, and that's a nice routine. On top of that we get 1 or 2 hours of walking in over the weekend to supplement that. I don't know if I will do better than that just because of the work schedule and working it into my lifestyle. More just might not fit into my lifestyle right now.

So that's it for my first overview of my weight loss journey.

I'll try to blog about it semi-regularly to keep a regular update going on how I'm progressing.

Right now, I just need to get to the point where I stop thinking about food all the time.

The Plexus Slim is going to be a bust, I'm pretty sure of it.

Find me around SOCIAL MEDIA:
Youtube channel:
Makeup and beauty blog:
Facebook: (this is the best way to reach me, I will always respond to this the fastest).
Twitter: @langshipley
Instagram: @langshipley
Cooking blog:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plexus Slim experience - my first 16 days of taking Plexus Slim

I decided to try Plexus Slim after hearing some really good things about it for weight loss.

For those of you who do not know what Plexus Slim is, it's a "pink drink" that supposed to help with weight loss. You're supposed to take it daily and it is to help with losing weight.

I tend to be rather skeptical about these things but I read enough good things about it that I decided to let myself be suckered into trying it.

This is my journey.

Day 1: Was surprised to find that the Accelerator has caffeine in it. I'm very sensitive to caffeine, so I'm a bit concerned about what this will do to me.
Took the Accelerator in the morning with my breakfast. Been drinking the Plexus Slim drink throughout the day. About midway through the day, I noticed that my mouth got really dry, like all the moisture has been sucked out of it. I do not know if that I supposed to happen, I have emailed the person I am in touch with to check but have not heard back from her. I have been drinking a lot of water, but no amount of water seems to help.
It's about 3pm and I'm kinda lightheaded and dizzy. I'm not twitchy or jittery from the caffeine, which is probably a good thing, but I am feeling rather lightheaded. Wish I could lie down, but I'm at work.
Is it weird that I feel like I'm extra sensitive to my perfume because of the Plexus I've taken. I feel like my perfume is getting to my head on top of everything else. Either my perfume is making me lightheaded or it's compounding the fact that I'm lightheaded from the Plexus.
This Plexus thing is making me extremely dry mouthed, not thirsty, dry mouthed. It's making me drink a lot of water. Probably not a bad thing.
I'll give it a few days, but I'm not sure I like this and I'm not sure I want to continue this, given the way I feel.
Ugh, really hating the way my mouth feels and the way I am feeling. Don't know if I can do this another day. What possessed me to try this fool thing?
It's about 4pm. I'm no longer lightheaded but the whole dry mouth thing is driving me crazy.
I've made a decision that because of the caffeine and the way I feel, I'm going to return this product for a refund. I'm not willing to put up with the side effects and the way I feel to lose the weight. I will find other ways to lose weight.
It's a little past 5pm, the crazy dry mouth feeling is starting to pass. I am considering just using the Plexus Slim and not the Accelerator tomorrow. See how that works. I have emailed Customer Service about a return and a refund. I will wait to see what happens with them too. If they do not respond and I lose my money, it will be a lesson well and painfully learned about weight loss stuff.
7pm - finally feeling back to normal and that weird dry mouth thing is gone. It has not been an easy day with all the side effects from taking the Plexus products.

Day 2: My stomach is very bloated and a bit sore. I don't know if it has anything to do with the Plexus Slim from yesterday or not, but I know I did not eat anything last night that would have caused this. I have made up the Plexus Slim pink drink but haven't started drinking it yet since my stomach is not happy.
I have not heard from Plexus customer support or the "Ambassador" that I was in contact with yet. It's been 24 hours.
Only halfway through the pink drink. I have no appetite at all. Haven't eaten all day except for a few bites of toast and that held no appeal.
At some cheezels late afternoon even though I was not really very hungry.
Had dinner as normal.

Day 3: Got up and weighed myself this morning. I have lost 2 lbs. That is very encouraging. I will continue with the pink drink.
11:20am just about to start my pink drink for the day. Will take a slug and then have some toast.
This drink thing is awesome for controlling hunger. Usually I'm hungry by now. I'm not hungry at all and it's still leftover from yesterday. 
I'm still not sure how this drink makes me feel. I keep feeling like I am slightly off but not really. I haven't figured it out yet. I'm hoping it would normalize over a few days.
I'm also wondering, if the 2 lbs I lost is because of the Accelerator or just the pink drink. I've stopped taking the Accelerator because of the caffeine in it and I don't like the way it makes me feel.
12pm I just had one slice of bread with orange marmalade. I feel really full and slightly nauseous.
I think the pink drink makes me feel slightly off. I don't know how to describe it, except that I just don't feel quite right. I can't think of anything else that would make me feel off right now. The pink drink is the only thing that I am doing different.
1pm It could be that I was hungry and was feeling faint from it and did not know it because I did not have an appetite and was not feeling hungry. It could also be that I was not feeling great cos it is absolutely freezing in the office today. Either way, I just had a hot cup-a-soup and I'm feeling much better. My equilibrium has been restored.
I am definitely feeling much better after a cup of hot soup.
The pink drink has a rather vile taste. It tastes like plastic sugar.
3:25pm My appetite has returned. I'm feeling rather hungry now. I would like toast.
Had toast. That definitely helped with the hunger. Maybe it has taken that long for all of the Accelerator to get out of my system? I'm looking forward to dinner tonight.

Day 4: Nothing much going on today. Took the pink drink through the day. Feeling pretty normal.
That's unusual for me.

Day 5: Finally heard back from the pink drink ambassador and customer support. I am going to return the Accelerator for a refund.

Day 9: Skipped 2 days of the pink drink as I was away and didn't get a chance to mix it up to drink. Weight back to what it was at the start. Put back on the 2 lbs I thought I had lost after the 2 days of being on the drink. Will see how getting back to a normal routine goes.
Back to feeling normal though.

Day 10: Completely forgot about the pink drink till about 2pm. Weight back to what it was before the start of the pink drink. I think the Accelerator makes a huge difference in the weight loss, unfortunately, I get too many adverse effects from it to take it.

Day 15: I have not been weighing myself, so I do not know if this is working or not, but I don't *feel* any lighter. LOL. I have 18 packets of the pink drink left, so as you can see, I've been skipping a few times. Not a lot, but I have skipped a few times. I will weight myself tomorrow and see if there is any progress. If there is not any noticeable progress by about day 25 or so, I don't think that I will re-order it and chalk it up to a failed experiment. It's too expensive to keep trying it to see if it will work. I'm not expecting much, I'd like to see about 3 or so lbs of weight loss. 5 lbs would make me very happy.
If you've stuck with me this long, you might want to know that I drink my pink drink in two blocks. I put it into a 600ml bottle of water and shake it up, then drink 1/2 of it about mid morning, before lunch and then the rest about 3pm.

Day 16: Well, this is not going well ... I actually Put. On. Weight!! So far, I'm up 2 lbs. Some serious dieting is now necessary, which when you read the Plexus literature, doesn't not mention anything about dieting. They just say, drink the drink.
I missed taking the pink drink today, BTW, since I was in an all day meeting and just didn't have the opportunity to mix up the drink and drink it.
I have to say, that the fact that I'm missing days might not be helping much either. I expect consistent day to day drinking might be needed for it to work? I don't know. Nothing I've read has ever provided a realistic commentary on the experience. I've just seen people rave about losing 40 lbs in two weeks which just seems crazy.
As an aside, about 4 years ago, I went through losing about 17 lbs which took me about 18 months to do with controlled eating and exercise. It was a slow and difficult journey, but the weight stayed off for a good 4 years. It's a slow process and I guess I'm just hoping for a short cut this time and I don't think this is it. More thoughts as this continues.

... this post is getting very long, so I'm going to cut it off here and continue with another post for the next 15 days, until I'm done with all my pink drinks.

Find me around SOCIAL MEDIA:
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Facebook: (this is the best way to reach me, I will always respond to this the fastest).
Twitter: @langshipley
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Cooking blog:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

My experience with the Clarisonic Mia - initial reaction and breakouts

I bought the Clarisonic Mia 2 weeks ago because I've heard so much about it and so many people have raved about it. I've got friends who have them and love them. They say it's the reason their skin is clear, acne free, etc.

I have generally, really clear skin. It's super unusual for me to ever get a zit or a pimple or a blemish or anything like that. I might get 3 zits in a year if that, and usually they are tiny and clear up overnight with some zit cream.

I thought that getting the Clarisonic would be good for me because I did want cleaner skin. I mean, who doesn't want cleaner skin, right? And I'm very big about keeping my skin in good condition.

Now, I know that it's possible to get breakouts from using the Clarisonic initially, they call it the purging phase, which happens during the first two weeks or so of use. I did not think that it would happen to me because I have really, really clear skin but boy, was I wrong.

Here's what happened to me:

The first time I used the Clarisonic, I broke out the very next morning. It was a mild breakout, along my jawline. The breakouts cleared overnight.

The second time I used the Clarisonic, which was about 3 or 4 days later (I had decided to use the Clarisonic 2 or 3 times a week, mostly 2 times a week), I used a new moisturizer as well, and I thought but was not sure if it was the moisturizer that broke me out, or not. This time I had a few more breakouts along my jawline and cheek and again they cleared up relatively quickly with the use of some zit cream. I also used the Clarisonic on my neck for the first time.

The third time I used the Clarisonic, I also used the same moisturizer again and this time I was convinced that it was the moisturizer that broke me out, and I had a few more breakouts along my jaw line and a zinger of a zit (you know, those horrible painful ones that last forever and leave a scar) on my chin. I chucked out the rest of the moisturizer since it was just a small sample.

I was still thinking that it was the moisturizer, but then after a few days, my neck broke out and I have NEVER EVER had a breakout on my neck before ... NEVER! There was only one zit, and with some zit cream it cleared out overnight, but then today, during the day, I noticed fresh and more breakouts on my cheek (which I thought was attributed to a new foundation) but then also more breakouts on my neck.

Now if the breakouts were only on my face, I'd attribute it to the moisturizer or the foundation, since those things *can* cause breakouts even though I very rarely react to ingredients in products like that. It is rare for me to breakout due to products I put on my face. However, I broke out in my neck and since I NEVER breakout in my neck, I now know for a fact that it is the Clarisonic that is breaking me out, because that is the ONLY thing different that I have done in the recent times (over the last week) that has changed in my skincare routine around my neck area.

So, yes, the Clarisonic breaks me out. I am going to clean my face again tonight (for the fourth time) with the Clarisonic, treat it with zit cream and persevere with the Clarisonic and hope my skin clears up over the next couple of weeks. I've read, watched videos and heard reviews that say that you need to ride out the purge period and let the Clarisonic do it's work. Since I paid good money for this product, and also I've heard so much good about it, I want to give it a shot and I'll ride it out for another 2 weeks. That said, seriously, I've never had so many pimples on my face before.

I will check back in again in a few weeks time and update with another blog post on how the Clarisonic is treating me and whether it's going to be a go or no go for me moving forward.

*** UPDATE ***
Thought I'd jot down a quick update ... I'm 5 days after my last Clarisonic use and there have been no breakouts. Maybe it was the first breakout was due to the moisturizer I used, and the second one was due to a new foundation? ... but that still does not explain the breakouts on my neck.

I do really, really like how squeaky clean my face feels after I use the Clarisonic to wash it. Makes me want to use it all the time.

Find me around SOCIAL MEDIA:
Youtube channel:
Makeup and beauty blog:
Facebook: (this is the best way to reach me, I will always respond to this the fastest).
Twitter: @langshipley
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Cooking blog:

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Welcome to Deanna's World

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Hello there!!

This is my beauty, makeup, health and general blog.

It will focus on all things beauty and makeup related, as well as some health / diet related stuff as I try new things and want to talk about my experience.

There might be some general posts too, book reviews, raves about things that I love that are random, but I expect those will be few and far between.

I do not plan on posting very much right now, only when there's a particular thing that I'd like to blog about or talk about, so this won't be updated very often but I will be updating it from time to time.

I will always post to my facebook page when I have updated this blog with a new entry.

In general though, here's where you can find me:

Youtube channel: (makeup and beauty)

Facebook: (this is the best way to reach me, I will always respond to this the fastest).

Instagram: langshipley

And of course, my cooking blog:

See you around.