New Year. New blog

2016It’s now 2016. Welcome to the new year and yes, it’s been a while since I blogged. I guess one of my biggest problems is finding the motivation to get writing. I know I need to journal daily and while I know that, doing it is a whole other subject. So here we go on January 2nd. I’m just updating the blog again and I will do my best to do a post a day.

So what’s been up? Work, work and more work. The one thing I’m finding as I get older is I tend to go to work and then come home and the exciting portions of my life that I used to have now seem rather vacant. I don’t go out as much. I don’t take pictures as much. I don’t update as much because I don’t do much.

Stagnation is the name of the game but no longer. I need to move. I need to get out. I need to live so let’s get to doing that.

One thing I am doing these days is bullet journaling. I love writing in books and this gives me not only a planner, a calendar but also a creative outlet. Something to help me do something as dumb as doodle and draw or practice my handwriting, one of the things I really need to improve on. I’ll post some pictures of the planner very soon along with some other stuff I’m working on.

So things I want to get accomplished in 2016. Let’s make some goals.

  1. Clear out the vast amount of 20 years of clutter from my house. I’ve lived in my house since 1995. I do clean and I’m nowhere near hoarding where I have a clean path around mountains of trash and old newspapers. I just have a ton of junk and it needs to go. So I will be finding ways to make cleaning a priority but not a huge weekend chore.
  2. Budget more. I am HORRIBLE with money. I’ll admit it. I’ve made some very small steps to get financially stable and I will work on it every month rather than just guessing how everything is going.
  3. Get out of credit card debt. Who doesn’t want better credit scores and needs to take care of themselves financially. I am not in too deep a hole but I’m not comfortable with the hole I’m in. It’s time to get rid of some of the debt I’ve made to save up for a rainy day. Too much cash flow going out to bills means no saving and that bothers me.
  4. Communicate more. I have been a bit of a recluse in the last few years. If you are one of my friends or family and have felt me pull back from you, it was nothing you did. I am sorry about that. I am going to make a bigger and better effort to be with you more. I miss my friends and family. I miss going out. I miss seeing you and being part of your life. So expect emails, facebook messages, twitter messages and calls.
  5. I’m also going to try to read more. I miss reading and I don’t know why I suddenly assumed my life was so busy that I couldn’t pick up a book. So, new bedtime ritual will be a cup of tea (thank you for the Chamomile, Eric,Teri, and Talia) and at least 10 minutes of reading.
  6. Workout. My weight isn’t ridiculous but just like the money thing, it’s gotten to the point I’m not happy with things. I’m not happy with my blood sugars. I’m not happy with how I feel so I’ve got to change that. I still have my Planet fitness membership. I could change. I would just have to find a reason to change.
  7. Give more. I actually want to start volunteering or getting involved in something. I might even try joining a church. That may be an experience.
  8. Vacation. I am actually going to budget and plan a vacation out-of-town.
  9. I am planning a podcast and I’d like to find a second source of income. How? I have no clue. I have a clue how to podcast but I don’t know if anyone wants to hear my ramble on about my love of the Walking Dead, Woodwick candles or why you really shouldn’t pick your zits.
  10. Last but not least, take care of myself. Being a little selfish this year and really deciding for me is “whatever” something I really want. It’s part of the decluttering and the self-improvement. It’s time for us all to basically say “what about me? What do I want?” and just go for it.

So there’s a small list of the goals I have for this new year. We’ll check back and see how well I did at keeping them.

 

Fitness Friday

The Fitness Friday 30 Ab & Squat Challenge by 30 Day Fitness Challenges.com

For Fitness Friday I thought I’d also start a challenge and a new part of the challenges section. For this Friday, I’m going to try a Pin It – Try it and I found a 30 day abs and squat challenge that I think I want to start. You can find a lot of my fitness pins on my Pinterest page and I’m always adding more. Please feel free to send me some you think would be interesting too. So the  challenge is posted below and you can always join the challenge and let me know how you’re doing.

Meal Planning

breakfast list
Meal planning is as simple as making a list for the store

Believe me, when I started writing this blog and much less, this post, meal planning was due to come up sometime but I dreaded it. I dislike planning meals but if you want to lose weight, meal planning is essential. Cooking your own meal means you control the portions, you control what goes into the meal and you also control the leftovers if there are any. In the long run, it’s more budget friendly because you get more bang for your buck. So do you need to prep for months in advance and buy a deep freezer to stock up your bulk chicken and meat for months on end? No. Do you need to plan to vacuum seal crock pot recipes for three months from now? You can but you don’t have to.

For me, meal planning is a simple as taking stock of what’s in my pantry, what I have in my fridge and planning for the week, or two weeks. It all depends on how much I want to go to the store. For you and for me, the process should be enjoyable and effective, and for me a list and a lot of cookbooks is what helps me. Plus, knowing you enjoy cooking and trying new things is always fun. So here’s my tips for meal planning that you could try to see if that works for you. I was looking at theKitchn.com and their 15 tips for Better Weekly Meal Planning and I love some of the ideas.

A list at the store is essential. I try to always go to the store with a list. The list helps me stay on track and if I don’t go with a list, I end up buying egg roll wrappers but nothing to go into the egg roll wrappers. Having the list helps you know your ingredients, what you need to have and it keeps you out of just randomly shopping. It’s saved me when I’ve shopped hungry too.

Recipes are so good. I pin a lot of recipes and I’ll admit, they are not good recipes. Sometimes you need a recipe for deep-fried cheesecake egg rolls. You can find some good stuff too. I like to mix something new with my standards. If you’re not into cooking, you can still do this. Try to remember the standard stuff you ate as a child and learn how to cook those. That will give you a good base and then add new things.

Another thing I liked from this list was try the Farmer’s Market. I love our farmer’s market and I plan on blogging from there soon because you can get the freshest stuff there. You can also try new things, learn about new fruits, vegetables and more. Ask the vendor if you can try something if you’ve never tasted it. Ask people for their recipes and how to cook whatever new thing you are trying.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard. You can make it simple and easy to work with your life.

Why I love my Garmin VivoFit

One of the best and easiest ways to get more active is to get an activity tracker. You basically wear the tracker all the time and find out a semi accurate number of how active you are.  There are many on the market and all of them do a multitude of things but when I did my research on which one I wanted to get, I chose a Garmin VivoFit for several reasons. Full disclosure, I’m not affiliated with Garmin and they aren’t paying me to talk about their product. I did the research on the fit on my own and purchased it a little over a month ago at Wal-Mart.com for 79.99 with a 2 year warranty. Mine looks like this!

IMG_1401
And there is also my pale freckles.

You can buy extra bands in a ton of colors and designs but so far, I’ve just got my teal green one.

So the pros.

I love that its also a watch. I used to never wear a watch and now that I have this, I don’t mind so much. I also love that it’s a Garmin and Garmin is a local company here in Kansas City so supporting the home team is never a bad thing. I like that it is like a watch that it never needs to be charged. I just wear it all the time and don’t need to plug it into my computer to have it do it’s job. When it does run down, I replace a small watch battery.

Another thing I love about my VivoFit is it’s waterproof up to five meters, so you can swim with it and the newer ones come with a protective band that helps it stay on. I found out a lot of the older designs do not have that item. So far, it’s worked very well. I’ve never had it pop off my wrist unless I take it off.

Having had a fitness tracker from Phillips via Weight Watchers. I was rather excited to see what this could do since you can sync it via your computer with the Garmin Connect app. It also works with the MyFitnessPal App so you can track your movement and track water, food and weight in one app. It does almost everything the Weight Watchers App does, without the monthly fees which helps me in saving money.

I do like that it has a sleep feature that monitors your movement while you sleep and there is a pulse application so track your heart rate but only if you have the Garmin pulse monitor that goes around your chest. I do not have this so I don’t use. it. It tracks your steps, helps keep a goal for you and changes based on your activity the day before, how many miles you’ve walked, how many calories you’ve burned and of course, time and date.

Now, there’s always going to be some cons and the Vivofit is not without its cons. As you can see in my picture, the red bar and dashes are to let you know you’ve been sitting for longer than an hour. The long dash means I’ve been sitting for more than an hour and every tick after that is 15 minute increments. This is a nice feature but that’s all it does. There are not beeps, no bells, no whistles, no buzzes, no vibrations to let you know “Hey, get up.” This doesn’t truly bother me but I know some people like some kind of indication.

The other thing that I’ve found that is not exactly good is that while it’s a pretty good activity tracker, I found out it doesn’t have an altimeter so your steps are not totally accurate. For example, if I’m walking on the treadmill and keep my hand on the heart monitor, it doesn’t pick up my movement unless I move my arm. If I’m walking around the grocery store, my hand needs to be at my side to monitor my steps, not holding on to the cart. It also can at times over count steps due to misjudging your stride. I haven’t heard of similar problems with other trackers but I have found this one to be a little problem.

One thing I would like to change is there is no light. The watch is not backlit at all. So you are in bed, ready to sleep and go to push the Fit to “sleep” mode and have to turn over, turn the light back on and then do it as you can’t see it. It would be nice to have a small light

All in all, I do like it and it has made me more active, working on trying to move more just to get my step number up and over my goal. So hopefully there will be some improvements in the new designs and I hope you find a tracker that works for you!

Weekly Weigh In

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So how did I do last week, including the holiday weekend? Let’s see, shall we? This was my Sunday check in. Sorry for the delay.

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From My Fitness Pal App

Yep I gained 6 pounds in a few days. Granted, it was a holiday weekend and I was also getting a visit from Aunt Flo. I’ll admit the one thing I am not doing is tracking my food. So truly, I have no idea what I’m putting into my mouth every day.

On a good note, I did have a great check up with the doctor. My A1C is 6.6 and it’s down from before. He’s very pleased with my numbers and technically I’ve lost 15 pounds since I saw him in December. So I’ll be trying a few new things this week and we’ll see how the weight is on Sunday.
Hopefully with more accurate posts.

Healthy 4th of July!

Salsa10

Holidays are always a tough time when you’re trying to get healthy. It’s very easy to overeat simply because most of us have some sort of party to go to or family event we’re attending that surrounds us with food and drink. It’s easy to just simply forget how much food you’ve put in your face. At least it is for me to forget I may or may not have eaten and drank more than my daily allowance of food.

Luckily for us, Fourth of July tends to be a bit healthier than other celebrations. You can easily make your holiday much healthier by choosing things like fruit and vegetables for dips and salads rather than more unhealthy picks.

Patriotic it may not be, one of my favorite recipes is salsa. It’s an easy thing to make, it makes for a healthy snack and it can also add a ton of flavor to other things you are cooking. I like this on baked or grilled fish. It also mixes well with rice, couscous or quinoa. You can also change the salsa to fruit rather than tomatoes and make a great fruity dip for sweet chips or to be topped with some light cool whip.

To make my pico de gallo salsa, you need a big bowl, a cutting board, a sharp knife and a spoon.

Salsa1Incidentally, that bowl has been in my family since I was little. It’s one of my favorite bowls. So once you assemble your team, you need your ingredients. I like Roma tomatoes or plum tomatoes. They look like this.

Salsa2 As you can see, I use about 8 tomatoes but you can use more or less. I cut these babies in half and scoop out the insides. For me, the use of the seeds and inside of the tomato makes the salsa too soupy. You can keep it if you like. Then you need a nice sized green pepper, a lime and some green onions.

PicMonkey CollageDice these up into small tiny squares. If you need help learning how to dice, check out Sean Symon’s video on dicing a tomato. Remember to throw out your seeds in your green pepper! You can change the green pepper to Jalapeno if you like but I’m a wimp and I like green pepper. Cut up your onion, your pepper and place it all in the bowl with the tomatoes. Then cut your lime in half and squeeze the juice into the salsa.

Salsa6Next you need garlic! Yes, Garlic. It gives your salsa a very nice flavor and trust me, it most people won’t notice the flavor. I use the pre-minced garlic that you can find in your grocery store’s produce section.

Salsa9I use maybe an 1/8 of a teaspoon. A little dab will do you. Place all your chopped up veg in a bowl and add your garlic, give it a stir. Now you’re ready for Salt!

Salsa7I use Kosher Salt. You can find this usually in your baking section of your local supermarket but if not, you can always find it in your Kosher section. Kosher Salt is bigger than table salt and I like it because it gives you a better feel for how much salt you are putting into your food. I go by taste. Start with a spoonful and add salt to taste. Let the Salsa sit for a bit. The salt will draw out the natural juices of the tomatoes, peppers and onions. Give it a mix and eat till happy!

Salsa10Have any other ideas for healthy recipes and ideas to try for a great 4th? Let us know in the comments!

My Weight Loss Story

Bright eyed and bushy tailed!
Bright eyed and bushy-tailed!

Hi, my name is Megan. Welcome to Radiovixen.com. Radiovixen.com started in 2003 and in that many years, I’ve had this site for a lot of things. It’s been my blog, my podcast site, my weird rants and stories but now, It’s going to become my confessional. My confession is that I am morbidly obese.

You would think those two words would scare most people into doing something about their weight but it doesn’t. I’m living proof that you can be morbidly obese and live with it for many years. In fact, I’ve been bigger. My highest known weight was in 2012. I know for a fact I was hovering at around 370 pounds. I remember this because I went out to get a scale that I could weigh myself with and was a bit upset that I had to buy a Biggest Loser scale that went to 440 pounds. The reason I remember this is we had a scale that worked great in our house but at over 300 pounds, it would not read my weight. I needed one that could weigh me. I also remember thinking when I first stepped on it that I would never be close to needing to a scale that would read over 400 pounds. Still I watched my weight steadily climb closer and closer to that magic number.

My highest weight in 2012
My highest weight in 2012

I can’t always say I’ve been overweight. I have been big according to pictures of myself as a kid but I can say the earliest diet I’ve tried was at 8 years old. It was a doctor’s plan of a very low-calorie low-fat diet that I bet even the most well-disciplined adult would have a hard time following. No snacks. No treats. It lasted less than a month even with some dedication of my parents. They tried. I wasn’t a super fat child but according to my doctor, I didn’t fit into this magical percentage that would be “healthy’.  Diets? I’ve tried them. Weight watchers at 10. Jenny Craig at 12. You name it, I’ve done it. The only thing that’s ever worked it eat less junk and move more.

Translate that to my teen years when instead of losing weight, I gained due to the fact that all the teasing and self-hatred became wrecking my metabolism by not eating. Or when I did eat, I’d binge on crap. It was nothing to eat a large pepperoni pizza all by myself. Even when I tried to eat well, I’d eat well and I’d eat a lot. Eventually, at 27, I’d hit over 300 pounds and I’d become a type 2 diabetic.

I don’t mean as a sob story or place the blame anywhere but myself. Sure, other factors got me where I am. As of this writing, I am 310 pounds, according to that Biggest Loser scale.

What this story and this blog is now is not about the past. It’s the future. Enough excuses. Enough looking back. I think of the Serenity Prayer a lot these days.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

Right now, I can not change my past. I can not change all the things I did to my body back then. I can’t.

What I can change is what I am doing now. I can change the way I move my body to make it a more efficient fat burning machine. I can learn how to eat right. I can learn how to work out and I’m taking you along with me so we can learn the wisdom together.

So I’m changing the purpose of my blog to my weight loss journal, confessional, my accountability and my place to talk about how to change my life. This is it. My first confessional. Today is a new day. I hope you enjoy the journey and come along with me.

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