Category: Real Life

So What Happened with Noom?

You might recall that way back on April 15th I made a pledge to try ‘Noom’ which is a weight loss program. I was going to try their 2 week ‘free’ trial before making a decision as to whether or not this would be the program for me. I had never paid for a weight loss program before, but I wasn’t against the idea.

Well. That idea lasted maybe four days before I gave up. I found it did not pertain to me and my lifestyle, their coaches were automated bots that didn’t respond when I mentioned thoughts of suicide, and their philosophy wasn’t sustainable for me. They had little daily tasks for you to complete, surveys to read, and were a very hands off approach to things.

I did continue with my weight loss journey. I’ve lost 60lbs before just after having my son, and I know I can do it again despite being diagnosed with MS and living in the far North where a head of lettuce runs $20. Between April 15th and now (May 3rd) I’ve lost 9 pounds. What am I doing?

I’m doing a keto-type of diet (not long term, I’m doing this for a month or two), where I cut out almost all carbohydrates as much as I can (if I have a no carb alternative that’s what I go with) and I’ve reduced portion sizes by a huge amount. I’m eating eggs, cheese, meats, heavy cream, oil, nuts, and a few vegetables like cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. I’m not completely carb free because it’s an impossible task given where I live, but I’m feeling pretty confident about things. Note, this is NOT a sustainable way to live life, and I know that. What my issue was/is is portion sizes combined with a lot of unhealthy snacking. I’m looking to reduce those portion sizes (keto makes me feel very full) and get them under control before returning to a ‘regular’ healthier diet. I can’t add a lot of exercise in my routines yet due to my MS, some days I can’t stand because I have vertigo, some days I can’t walk, some days my hands don’t function properly. On days I don’t have those issues I have started doing resistance training with different weights of bands – exercises like squats. I also have resistance training for my fingers and arms to help build muscle because on a bad day my MS prevents me from doing simple things like carrying a cup of coffee across a room without dropping it. My muscles just don’t have the strength.

I have a lot of weight to lose, but I’m feeling confident. Cooking is an issue for me some days so it was convenient to grab whatever carb loaded item was in the house, but my husband has been cooking for us, so there’s less pressure on me. I find keto meals simple, and I’m not the sort of person who gets easily bored of things which tends to work out well. One of my favourite things is a veggie burger on lettuce with a sriracha mayo – I could probably eat that every single day, and it fills me up for a good while. At night I have 45g of salted nuts, and I have some keto supplies coming in a few days. There’s some dark chocolate (if you get the stuff that’s 85% it’s pretty keto friendly), some sriracha chickpeas, some sugar free coffee syrup, and even some sort of flour mix that you can use for pizza crust that’s apparently keto friendly which I picked up to try. I find that this is something that’s a lot easier for me to stick with, and that is honestly the most important thing. My goal is to be below 200lbs by Christmas. I’m confident I can do that. I’ll keep checking in now and again to post some updates for anyone interested, and if you’ve any questions just give me a nudge.

Happy Corner (5)

There’s just a little bit of work left to be done on my Happy Corner miniature kit! It’s so tiny, and I’ve really enjoyed the process. I set up the wiring and everything works!

Bistro Progress

I was working on my Bistro cross stitch (something I pull out every few years to continue with) and I noticed that one of the symbols charted didn’t have a corresponding thread to go with it. I knew it was one of the blue colours, but I couldn’t be sure which one it was. Thankfully we live in an age of online everything, so a quick google search brought up others who had the exact same issue, and reading through the replies I was able to figure out exactly what colour this symbol is supposed to be. There must have been a printing error with this particular pattern back when it was made (some time in the early 2000’s) that was never corrected. I still hold dreams of completing this piece ‘one day’ but it’s going to take a bit of time, especially since my eyes can’t see the little cross stitch holes as well as they used to.

On that note, I did order a bunch of floss and a few more pieces of aida cloth – I found some absolutely precious patterns that I wanted to stitch, something smaller that might inspire me to continue working on the larger piece. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to just look at this one giant massive piece. Hopefully the floss and all the rest gets here soon.

Happy Corner (4)

The coffee house and the book store are completed (minus trimmings along the outside) and the glue just needs to dry before I move on to the bakery and the flower shop! I’m pretty excited to get these completed. It will take a few more sessions, but I can’t wait to see it all wired and lit up.

Organizing Hobbies

I enjoy a lot of craft related hobbies, but I rarely have time to dedicate to all of them, and I tend to binge craft and then forget about everything else for months at a time. Other times I’m so tired that without a clear idea and path of what to work on I’ll just sit at my desk and do nothing. Then it’s bed time. So I set out a schedule for my crafts and then organized them according to whether I can do them when the kids are awake / around or if I need to wait until they’re asleep (ie: using needles in cross stitch means I need to wait until they’re asleep).

Anyway, I’ve been using this schedule for almost a week and so far it’s going very well.

  • Knitting: Tuesdays
  • Cross Stitch: Monday/Friday
  • Miniatures: Saturday/Sunday
  • Spinning: Wednesday
  • Drawing: Thursday

I figure that this way at least my crafts / items are being used, and over time projects will get completed even if I don’t binge on them. I also made mini goals for each craft so I know what I’m working on. Now, this may seem counterproductive to a creative mind but this method works for me and actually has me feeling better about things than I have in a while. If I’m not feeling up to working on something I just don’t. No big deal, these are not hard set rules or anything like that, it’s just a bit of direction.

Maybe when I have a bit more free time than 2 hours in the evenings I’ll be able to open this up a bit more but for now, I’m just going to keep doing what works.

Happy Corner (3)

Last night was another miniatures night (Saturday & Sunday are the two evenings I’ve set aside for this hobby) and I built myself a little cash (complete with menu) and a shelf unit – I also glued together two chairs and a table, but they have to dry before I install them into the small tiny coffee cafe. My glue work needs .. some work, but at least it dries clear and shouldn’t show up quite as much.

I’ve been having fun working on this little project. It’s a trial in patience, which is pretty rare for me (as in I have no patience). I’m eager to get this place wired properly and have the lights working, it’s really going to look swell then. I also need to find a better way to photograph the thing.

Happy Corner (2)

I recently created a schedule for myself to organize my hobbies – I know, it sounds a bit silly, but I have a lot of hobbies and I wanted to make sure I worked on them a little bit each week, so that at the end of the month I could see some actual progress. I can assess the hobbies any time and they’re not in stone or anything like that, it’s more to do with the fact that in the events I tend to sit at my desk and think about all the things I could be doing instead of actually doing any of the things I could be doing (if that makes sense).

Last night was miniatures night (and so is tonight). The schedule is organized so that activities that HAVE to be done at night (ie: after the minions are sleeping) get a little more time than hobbies I could potentially do while they’re awake, or when it’s the weekend. Since this hobby uses knives and glue, it’s something I don’t want to do with the 2 and 4 year old poking into everything.

I’ve been working on my first miniatures kit. I bought it some years ago from Wish, which is pretty hit and miss if you’ve ever ordered from them before. I think I spent a total of $15 per kit, and I bought three of them. They are TINY scale, much smaller than 1:12, and that makes it awkward but I’m having a lot of fun slowly working on it. This kit is called ‘Happy Corner’ and is a bunch of little shops and some cute accessories on the street. I had to build the balcony from scratch, and you can see my glue is drying (it will turn clear once it dries) but I still love it so far. I also had to add lights, do the wiring for that, and there are a billion other little small details and pieces I’ll work on. I can’t wait to see it done and get it all wired so that it works.

Checking out Noom

Yesterday was my 40th birthday, and I decided it was the perfect day to start making some changes.

I’ve never paid for any sort of weight loss program before in my life, despite the fact that I’ve had to lose weight for many years now, and even successfully lost 60lbs after my son was born – sadly, I gained it all back (and then some) when my daughter was born. Here in the far North of Canada I’m finding things difficult. A head of regular iceberg lettuce is $20 and can go bad in a single afternoon. There might not be any fast food available, but there’s also very little fresh healthy food. Most of what’s affordable is frozen, and filled with carbs.

I wanted to try keto but that’s just not sustainable for me, especially up here. I have other real life factors to take into consideration as well. My son is autistic and requires a LOT of my energy. I have multiple sclerosis and that means I can’t always do a lot. My motor skills have slowed down significantly, I have issues opening jars, picking up utensils, some days even walking is a problem.

That means doing exercises required and suggested by about 99% of the plans I’ve seen out there is simply out of the question for me. I can’t commit. What I CAN commit to, is my diet. What I put into my mouth. Maybe not always with the ‘what’ of it – but at least with the portions of it.

So I’ve decided to try out the 2 week trial of Noom, and see how it goes. The trial is an affordable ‘pay what you can’ plan which I selected $1. I know that most of these types of programs are a very simple food logging read a bunch of not-relative-to-you articles. The thing is I simply don’t have the energy to create an entire program for myself. I KNOW I can lose weight, I’ve done it before, but circumstances have changed so much since that time, and what I can dedicate energy on has changed.

What I’m hoping is that the psychological part of their program works to keep me mindful throughout the day – almost every day (I am hoping). I’m hoping their motivation works. Since I have never paid for a program before I have a LOT of caution going into it. If I continue with it, their ‘plan’ is roughly $220 for 8 months. That’s not bad – if it works for me. It certainly won’t work for everyone. Not every plan out there is made for every person and if it was we’d all be healthier and no one would be browsing through 101 different weight loss plans at 1am on a Thursday.

I did purchase some body weight equipment to help me with some strength training. Mostly for my fingers, arms, legs. MS affects my fingers to the point where some days they just sort of rest in a claw formation and I can’t even hold a cup of coffee. I’ve bought some stress ball type things, and those tension bands you might have seen before. They should arrive in a few days, and while right now things like exercise bikes are too high impact for me, maybe as I get healthier they’re something I can look to. Walking around the neighbourhood is also not an option here where we live, but again I’m going to focus on my diet and portions more than exercise, for now.

Let’s see how this goes.

  • -1.5lbs from previous day

(Yet Another) Hobby

I have always been fascinated with miniatures. Everything from those travel sized shampoo bottles, to miniature toys, and food. I recently was gifted some polymer clay and tools – so I decided to try my hand at making miniature bread! It’s air dry clay, with chalk pastels for the colour. There are numerous ways of achieving the texture and colour of bread, you can wait until the piece dries, or in my case, you can apply the pigment right to the fresh clay. Unfortunately if you do it that way you lose a little of the detail because of the brush. Still, for my very first attempt, I’m quite excited!

I also bought two smaller shadow boxes and I have plans of creating some scenes inside of them. One will be quails (naturally) since they’re amazing, and the second one I think I’m going to turn into some sort of book nook. I might just turn it into a yarn / knitting / spinning scene instead though. I haven’t decided.

One day Spring Will Come…

But today is just not that day. There’s still over four feet of snow in the backyard, and we got a fresh storm this AM that took care of the lovely chair I placed out on our once clear deck.

Ah well.