Ultimate Guide To Portion Control

Portion Control Is Not The Enemy…

although I would like to believe it is.  If you think that having too much of anything, no matter how few the calories is a good thing, you are wrong.

If you are trying to lose weight, and keep it off, portion control is going to be a big part of your solution. You might think that considering the portions you eat at every meal is too much work. When I started exercising portion control, I thought I would be overwhelmed by it. The truth is, some people take it to a whole new level by weighing everything they eat, and counting each calorie. Who has time for that?

Google is my new best friend.

Just Google “A Guide To Serving Sizes”
Now, click on images.
You won’t believe your eyes! Seriously, there are so many infographics available that make it super easy to decipher the right serving sizes for everything!

If that isn’t easy enough, there are awesome products you can buy that measure your food for you so you never have to question portions.  Below are 5 great sets (of which I have 2)!

portioncontrol

/1. Beachbody Portion Control 7 Piece Container Kit  /2. Fit and Fresh Perfect Portion Kit with Breakfast Chiller and Snacker, Green  /3. PortionMate – Meal Portion Control Rings and Nutrition Tool  /4. Portion Cups  /5. 4 Go Healthy Nutrition & Portion Control Travel Pack for Weight Loss, Dieting and Healthy Living, Microwave Safe, BPA Free (Set of 4)

So here’s the skinny on portion control for those of you who have not tried it yet…

Your Stomach… The Bottomless Pit

It’s not going to be easy at first.  You might be very hungry at the beginning.  That’s normal though.  Stomachs have been known to EXPAND.  That’s right, if you continue to overeat, your belly will grow, eventually becoming a bottomless pit that never feels satiated!

Here’s a little snippet from an article I read called Shrink Your Stomach:

“The more you eat, the more you can eat–and the more you need to feel full,” says nutrition and diet therapist Robyn Flipse, R.D. Like a rubber band, your stomach can expand or contract according to the amount of food you consume. The good news: In just one month’s time you can shrink your stomach–which will reduce the amount of food you feel comfortable eating at one sitting and help you shed pounds.

That said, what are you waiting for?  Get too it and stop stuffing your face (even if it’s the good stuff)!

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Exercise: Getting Immediate Results

There is nothing more emotionally trying than exercising your pretty little heart out, then looking in the mirror and seeing exactly what you saw the day before. Here’s the deal though, you can’t get discouraged!

finishedworkout

We all love this thing called immediate gratification! I get it, trust me… I am an only child and have lived a lifestyle filled with immediate gratification. The problem is, when you let your body go for a few years, you can’t expect to get it back in days. It’s also going to take a lot of hard work, and I don’t mean the sit on a bike for 30 minutes pedaling at the lowest level kind. I mean really pushing yourself.

I’ve been back at the gym for 3 weeks now. Last week was a bit of a bust because I was sick, but when Monday came around again, I went back, and let me tell you this…

No matter how hard it is, it get’s easier every time you go.

I’m not saying there are days that I don’t want to go, but I am saying that it really does get easier every time. Even looking at myself in the mirror while I work out isn’t as heart-wrenching as it was the first day I went back to the gym (and not much has changed). I know that it’s going to take time. As far as the immediate gratification and seeing immediate results stuff…

I might not be able to see a ton of results, but here are some things I benefit from both during and after my workout:

Feeling accomplished
I sleep better
I have more energy
♥ Most of all though, I feel happy!  Yes, it’s true, working out releases endorphins which naturally make you happier. No Lie: Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. You can read more about it here.

I’m pushing 40 (which is hard enough to swallow), and never thought I’d have to start fresh all over again to get my health back.  It’s hard, it sucks, it’s definitely not as easy as it was when I was younger, but hey, I’m doing it and so should you!

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My Baby Has Anxiety

How do you tell the most beautiful little person you know that everything will be ok, when you don’t know if it really will?

You just do it.  You tell them, “it will be alright.”  No matter how hard it is, you don’t stop giving them hope.  No matter what anyone else says or does, you keep that faith knowing in your heart that you will do whatever it takes to help everything be alright… even when the odds are stacked against you.  That’s what you do.

I have a daughter whose heart is gold.  She fills our lives with love, and she has more compassion than anyone I know.  She also has anxiety.  It’s the debilitating kind.  It kicks in when you least expect it and it reaches it’s highs in ways no parent wants to see.  It hurts her so much and there are days where there is nothing I can do to help her but hold her and love her.  

People are quick to give advice on how to help her, and how to “fix” it… but unless you live it, you don’t understand.  There is no “specific” answer to helping her.  It changes daily.  Something that works today could be the least effective tomorrow.  I know in my heart that she will grow out of some of these struggles, but for now, helping her cope and work through her stresses are so hard, and so heartbreaking.  

Tonight, I will go to bed with a pit in my stomach.  I will lift my hands up to God and beg for his support through these times.  I will pray for my baby, and for myself to have the strength to get through all of this, and I will keep my faith, and never lose hope, because that’s just what I need to do.

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What Muffin Top?

This was the last thing I wanted to write about… As funny as I knew this post could be, the more I wrote, the more morbid it became…

muffin-top-w724

3 years ago: I spent an afternoon in a little coffee shop that sold unique gifts, like the muffin holders in the picture above.  I laughed when I saw them… but I’m not laughing any more.

More about 3 years ago: I was in great shape.

Fast forward to today: My muffin top is overflowing.  I’m in terrible shape and can’t believe how far I let myself go.  For the past year, I contemplated joining a gym and working out, but I was lazy and had every excuse not to.  The problem was that my excuses were lame.  I don’t have a full-time job and honestly, being consistent about my blog hadn’t been a priority.  Again, I was just being lazy.

Last Week – Day 1: I signed up for a 14-day free trial at a gym, and went.  At first, I only did cardio.  It was a bike.  Did I mention that I have always hated cardio?  But, I was scared.  I used to love free weights!  The free-weight room at my gym was one of my happy places.

Day 2: I did venture into the free-weight room, but it was filled with young kids and I Just. Couldn’t. Do. It.  I wasn’t ready.  I did do more cardio though.  I tried a different bike.

This Week – Monday: Yup, I did cardio again, but that was AFTER I spent some quality time in the free-weight room.  Monday I decided to work my lats and bi’s (I am all about getting back to my old routine).  I struggled, almost broke a machine, couldn’t lift a quarter of what I used to and even had to stop mid-stream during one of my reps because I had no juice left.  Instead of quitting though, I tucked my tail between my legs, put the weights I was using back on the rack and picked up lighter ones so I could finish. I was embarrassed!  It was hard… but really, nobody cared, and they weren’t even paying attention to me.

Today – Tuesday: Back to the gym I went.  This morning, I got to the gym extra early, saw that it was crowded, and sat in my car.  Yup, I sat there for a good 15 minutes before I went in.  I hated how I felt.  I despise the fear I have.  My emotions were sucking the life out of me, but then I remembered a TEDx talk by Angela Lee Duckworth about GRIT.  Her words:

Grit

She talked about how GRIT is how success is measured.  It’s not necessarily your IQ, or how well you do in school.  It’s your GRIT that counts.  I’m not sure if it was thinking about her talk that helped or simply the word GRIT because it sounds so raw and makes me kind of want to dig in!  At that moment though, it didn’t matter.  I did it.  I got out of my car and went in.  I started in the women’s area today because I wanted to focus on my legs and I have never been comfortable with myself during a full leg work out.  There was a mirror in front of me during my workout (my muffin top was in full-force).  It sucked to look at myself, and how much I let my body go, but that also made me a little stronger, and more sure of what I want.  I want my body back and refuse to let anything get in the way.  After finishing my leg workout, I went back to my trusty bike.  It broke in the middle of my training but at least I got 14 minutes in.

Tomorrow: I’ll be back at the gym for chest and tri’s.  I know all of this is going to get easier.  Each day… a little easier… I have faith.

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Moms On Social Media

My kids are not on social media… yet.  Some of their friends are though… and some of them follow me.

momsocialmediaIt’s a catch 22 when your kids friends follow you on social media.  It can also make for some uncomfortable situations.  With blogging being a profession of mine, using social media is an absolute must.  I have to use it if I want to make money.  I also have to allow people (even strangers) to view my profiles, and follow me if they want.  If I didn’t, I would not have the social media reach that I do, which is part of how I earn a living.

My girls have a few older friends who are allowed to use social media.  Some of their friends follow me on social media, which can make things a little uncomfortable.

My dilemma…

I want to follow them back, and I don’t…  I like knowing who my kids are spending time with.  I want to protect my girls however I can and I know that social media will open my eyes to what they are into and what’s going on in their world.  I also know that I might have a hard time keeping my mouth shut if I see things I don’t want to see.  If I happened to stumble across something on-line that I don’t think should be traveling through cyberspace, or I see that the child of a friend of mine is doing something wrong, as a parent, I would have to let their parents know.  It’s not a place anyone wants to be in.

It’s nice being known as a mom that your kids friends like, but the reality is, I am a mom first.  If that means protecting my own daughters or any other child, I will always pick that over being a mom that kids like.

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Best Website For Parents

Trust Me… You Cannot Live Without This

bestwebsiteforparentsHave you ever wondered if your kids are watching age-appropriate TV shows or movies? What about the books they read? How often do you personally screen these things or do you assume they are ok for your kids because someone else said so?  Fortunately, you don’t have to wonder any more, thanks to Common Sense Media.

I wish I had more time in the day to screen everything for my girls, but the reality is I don’t. I found Common Sense Media through a friend of mine and it has saved me a lot of time and worry.

As their tagline states… They rate, educate, and advocate for kids, families, and schools.

CSM

WHAT YOU GET:

Reviews for Movies, TV Shows, Games, Apps, Books, Websites and Music.

Reviews Include:

  • Whether the content is age-appropriate for your child or not,
  • What the learning potential is,
  • Information about the content like… positive role models, consumerism, ease of play and more,
  • What parents need to know,
  • What the story is about,
  • What you can explore or discuss,
  • Subject and skills,
  • How kids can learn,
  • How parents can help.

Did I mention that there is also a Common Sense Media App?

To sum it up, it’s amazing and takes the guesswork out of common parenting questions about kids and media.

commonsense

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My New Venture

bareboneswriter

I am so excited to share this!

This website has transformed from a mommy technology blog, to a mixture of all things me… and now it’s time. I have finally conceded that it is time to monetize. I always knew it was the right thing to do, so when I was approached to do just that, I jumped!

Going forward, I am excited to share that “This Blog” will still be my blog, but…

It’s a big project, but a great one!  Through years of writing, I have compiled lists of tools I wish I had when I started my career.  I spent hours searching for things on the internet and now, I want to make it easy for you so you don’t have to go through the same things I did.  This is going to be so much more than just tools for you…

It’s going to be ABOUT YOU, THE WRITER!

If there is anything you would love to see on a website dedicated to writers (and I mean all sorts), drop me a comment.  Let me know what YOU need to make your career goals a reality.

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Why People Don’t Read Your Blog

It’s not good enough any more if you simply love to write.  Like everything in life, “just” writing, or doing “just” about anything, is never good enough.

You need to do more… and more.

Your words are only 25% of the equation. Now, to make it in the writing business on-line, you “have to” include images, and of course, you cannot forget about publicizing to all of your social media outlets, and then there is this whole concept of using the perfect keywords and hashtags to get remotely noticed… and the list goes on…

There are days I love it, and days I am sick of it. There are more websites telling you what you should and shouldn’t do, and there are more tools out there, to help you navigate the social media labyrinth we live in, yet, none actually make it easy for you. In fact, they not only complicate matters, but in order for you to be able to use these tools to their fullest potential, you have to pay… and it’s not always cheap.

So here are my thoughts… WRITE. JUST WRITE because you love it. Don’t feel like you always need to comply with the “What You Need To Do To Be Successful” rules the cyber-world tells you about.

Just write because it feels right. Write because you love it. Write without barriers.

… And if, today, you decide not to include an image, or hashtags, or submitting your work to all of your social media outlets, don’t feel bad about it. Don’t give it a second thought. You wrote! That’s what you need to do!

In the past, there were many nights that I didn’t blog because I didn’t feel like putting an image together, or didn’t feel like adding more than what I really wanted to write. I was an idiot. I love my readers, but you are not the only ones I write for. I write for myself too. So, as much as I love to give my readers what makes you happy, I need to give myself a little something that makes me happy too… and sometimes, it’s simply in black and white.

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Bare Bone Writing

nataliegoldbergI kept a notebook because she told me to.
I kept writing, even when I had nothing to write about.
I jotted down thoughts as they came to me (even the totally random ones), because of her.
I just wrote, and wrote, and although a lot of what I wrote I am still not ready to publish, I kept on writing… because Natalie Goldberg told me to in her book.

Its authenticity and honesty on paper is not what I expected, but the good stuff didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it took a long time to get here.  I still struggle on-line, but my notebooks… well, those are another story.

When I started my new writing process, thanks to Natalie Goldberg’s book, Writing Down The Bones, I censored everything I wrote. My writing was inhibited… especially in my private journal/notebooks. I was petrified of what other people would think… BUT NOBODY WAS GOING TO READ ANY OF IT! What’s the worst that could happen anyway? Say I died and someone read them… Who gives a shiitake anyway (sorry Marie Forleo, but I totally stole that from you for this post)! I’d be dead!

I kept thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me!” But nothing was wrong with me. I was like a lot of other people. We all live with this awful fear of being judged for who we are. It’s such a tough battle! I struggle with it every day and it absolutely SUCKS! It’s something we are conditioned to do. As a writer, the last thing you want to do is hold back your thoughts, but sometimes, expressing them seems harder. Writing freely only gets easier if you keep doing it. When you do, your authentic voice starts to shine. Only then will you be noticed for you. Even the criticism you get may not be as bad as you expect… Trust me, there are enough lame writers out there without a voice of their own. I was one of them.

If you are a writer, and you haven’t read Writing Down The Bones, do yourself a favor and get the book here. It’s awesome!

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The Best Calendar App

apppocketinf3Do you always feel like you are forgetting something?  Are you always searching for a better way to organize you life?  Do you have trouble deciding between using a day planner or a virtual calendar?  

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are in the right place… and a lot like me!  I have been a planner junkie for years.  I may never get rid of my paper planners/journals, but have found a great solution to A LOT of my organizing problems. It’s a little app called Pocket Informant and it is my saviour!  As stated in the app description:

“Spend less time managing your schedule, and more time living it!  Informant keeps your entire schedule task list and notes collection all in one easy to use place.”  They aren’t kidding!

I love this app because…

  • It syncs with both my Google calendar and my built-in calendar.
  • I needed an app that would sync with Evernote since it’s where I hold every one of my important life-tidbits.
  • Pocket Informant lets me email and message my tasks, notes and events.
  • I can tag anything I add to the app which makes things even more convenient when I need to find something in a pinch.
  • The Rich Notes allow me to use the app as a daily journal too.
  • It allows you to color code… need I say more?
  • I can even toggle between different calendar views based on my preference (my favorite being the week view shown below):

pocket12

… and of course, because it is so easy to add events, tasks, notes, and it’s seamless!  Did I mention that they are working on a release for your Desktop too?!?

Pocket Informant is the first app that I have consistently used for a long time and actually helps organize my life.

 

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