Thursday, November 19, 2009

Skimming the fat with Lose It!

I'm grateful for a size four.


I've lost 23 pounds.

3 pants sizes.

I didn't think it was possible. I never would have thought, frankly, that I had that much to lose.

This summer I came home from camping and put new batteries in my scale. It hadn't worked in months, but my clothes were getting tighter and I knew that I was heading in the wrong direction. The scale just showed me how much.

I decided it was time to get serious. I lost 5 pounds before heading off to a week in Cabo, during which I gained 2 of those pounds back. I wasn't too discouraged, though, I expected that.

Then I discovered Lose It!, a free iphone application that helped me track calories. I programmed the app with my height and weight, and my goal weight. I decided how many pounds I wanted to lose each week, and it told me how many calories I could eat each day. I put in everything I ate, and most of the time the application actually had the numbers. Occasionally I would do a google search and use the function that allowed me to put in my own numbers and create a new food.

Having the numbers in front of me made decisions pretty easy. Hmmm... 12 chips at 140 calories or countless carrots for 40?

I soon realized that the app assumes you sit around on your butt all day. I started putting in all my activity, like housecleaning. It motivated me to be more active... cleaning for an hour could literally afford me a glass of wine in the evening.

And not so slowly, but definitely surely, the weight came off. I didn't exercise per se, because I didn't have time, although I did look to add activity whenever possible. Every other time I've tried to lose weight I tried through exercise and a slightly restricted diet.

Nothing worked like this. Calorie counting. Simple math.

And Lose It! made it so easy. Less guess work. And serious results. The results became the motivation.

When I hit my "dream goal" of 18 pounds, I decided to keep going.

23 pounds.

I still can't believe it.

But all those new pants I bought today? They make it pretty real.

There is one serious downside, though. Care to guess how many companies I've found that make pants in a size four LONG? Here's a hint... you'll only need one appendage.

(I'm slightly nervous about posting this. Let me be clear that I know I was not fat before. I am lucky enough to say that I have never been what a doctor would call overweight. I was on the higher end of a healthy weight, and decided I finally wanted to get serious about seeing if I could get it back down. I am proud of myself, and so share this with you. But I also know that I was born with tall, skinny genes that I inherited from my father. I am, and
almost always have been, grateful for that. I have many, many friends who have struggled for years and years with their weight, and I have not had to deal with it in the same way they have. Weight is a touchy issue among women. I know. For this very reason I rarely discuss it with my friends. Or on this blog.

also... this is in no way a sponsored review. I am simply sharing something that worked for me. Cross posted from my main blog)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tickled Clean Teeth

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Sonicare for Kids.

My husband and were starting to worry that perhaps our daughter, "The May Queen," (who just turned 7!) wasn't doing a good enough job brushing her teeth. She would rush through her brushing, and we were concerned that she wasn't giving all areas of her mouth equal time. My husband had just been to the dentist and suggested that when I went the next week I should check out this electronic toothbrush they were advertising. Sonicare. He thought it might help our May Queen get her teeth cleaner without us having to be the brushing police.

But before I even had the chance to make it to the dentist myself I was offered the chance to test out Sonicare's new toothbrush designed specifically for kids. Kismet, no? I eagerly signed us up.

When the toothbrush arrived we got it charging right away. The May Queen was delighted that she got to choose from three different stick-on faces to decorate the toothbrush. She chose blue. That evening, the brush was ready to use. The May Queen was so excited.

Upon first putting the brush up to her teeth she giggled. GIGGLED! A lot. The vibrating motion was tickling her teeth. She loved it.

The brush gives off a fun musical sound indicating when it's time to switch to a different section of the mouth. It took a bit of instruction for her to understand that rather than moving her wrist she just had to slowly movie the brush over one area until it was time to switch places, but by the second use she was a pro.

And it works. The May Queen LOVES using it. The tickling sensation, as promised in the directions, lessens with each use as your mouth gets accustomed to the motion of the brush. The May Queen looks forward to using it, and undoubtedly spends more time brushing than she did before. The timer on it is fantastic, it keeps her from rushing like she did with her regular brushing routine. About a week after she began using it SHE visited the dentist. He was pleased to hear she was using Sonicare, and told her to keep up the good work.

I would recommend the product on the sheer fact that our 7 year old now enjoys brushing her teeth and spends more time doing so. But I also feel confident saying that it does a better job of cleaning her teeth than she ever did on her own. She has a lot of her permanent teeth already, and I want her to keep them cavity free. I am confident that Sonicare will help us reach that cavity-free goal.

as an aside: Sonicare was kind enough to provide us with an adult version of their toothbrush as well, and I can personally say that it DOES tickle at first (I giggled, too!), you DO get used to it, and my teeth feel VERY clean when I am done. I didn't get to choose a fun stick-on faceplate, but I'll keep using it anyways.

Wanna check it out for yourself? Blogher and Sonicare are having a sweepstakes! You have a total of 10 chances to win a $100 Visa gift card from BlogHer Reviewers, plus the chance to win a Sonicare prize pack on the special offers page! To enter, leave me a comment below and tell me How do you handle your kids' dental hygiene? - or you may write a post about your kid's dental hygiene on your own blog leave a link to that post in the comments below. The contest will begin at 9:00 a.m. (PST) 10/15/2009 and will end 5:00 p.m. (PST) 11/15/2009. Make sure that you leave a correct e-mail address so I can contact you if you win!

Here's the Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.

You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.

This giveaway is open to US-residents, 18 years of age or older.

Winners will be selected via random draw (via the Random Number Generator), and will notified by e-mail.

You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Please see the official rules here: Official rules.

For more information on Sonicare for Kids check out their Official site.