weight loss update.

It’s time for another weight loss update.  If you missed before, here’s the run down.  I hit my breaking point, I started trying to lose weight, I got really serious about my exercising and my food intake, and here I am.

 

I am really happy to share that I have lost 3 pounds since my starting weight.  Since my last update, that is a healthy weight loss.  Not an awesome or impressive weight loss, but it equates to about a pound a week.  However, from the point I started I went up and have been coming back down.  So I’ve lost 6 pounds total — but gained 3 before losing any.  Yikes.  It feels good to be actually losing weight now.  I feel like I’m making steps in the right direction.  And that definitely helps fuel the fire and keeps me going on my weight loss adventure.

 

A few things that have been helping me:

1.  A food journal.  So super important!  I didn’t start doing this at first because I thought I knew what I was eating.  But once I wasn’t losing weight, I started keeping a journal of what I was eating — and WOW!  Since I started this is when I started losing weight.  I always told patients and clients how important it was, but I am definitely learning for myself now.

 

2.  Cutting out Coke.  I love Coke.  Confessions of a dietitian.  I just do.  I know it’s bad for me.  I know all the stuff.  But it’s sweet, sugary taste is my favorite.  I cut it out and am just drinking Diet Coke.  It’s not the same, but it’s 0 calories.  I cannot lose weight while drinking an empty calorie beverage on a regular basis.

 

3.  Making water taste better.  I plan to expand on this one in a post soon.  But drinking water is so important, and I like when it has good flavor.

 

4.  Not being too strict.  I don’t do well when on a super strict diet.  That’s why I am always an advocate or having a healthy lifestyle, as opposed to dieting.  Part of a healthy lifestyle for me means chocolate.  I love chocolate, so if I deny myself of it, I go crazy catching up.  I have to allow it in small amounts on a regular basis.

 

5.  Pedometer.  I’m wearing a pedometer as much as I can to track how much I’m moving.  I’m aiming for 10,000 steps a day.  Wearing a pedometer motivates me to keep moving and be less lazy.  It also makes me appreciate chores like vacuuming — which can me to take lots of steps!

pedometer

 

I will touch up on some of these things in more detail to come.  Just happy to see changes happening in my body.  I feel so much better, my muscles are getting stronger, and I am a much healthier person now than I was 2 1/2 months ago.  And that’s the whole idea!

 

Hope you’re having a good week and it’s going by quickly — can’t believe it’s Thursday already!

 

pedometer reading

 

making the most of summer.

It is summer.  School is out.  The air is heavy and warm.  Fireflies are starting to light our yard.  It stays light until late in the day and the sun is up early to greet us.  It is summer.

 

I am not a summer person.  In fact, out of the 4 seasons, it ranks in 4th place — and that’s only because there isn’t a 5th season.  Spring and fall are beautiful in East Tennessee.  It is hard to beat those seasons in this gorgeous part of the country.  I’ve always liked winter as well.  I love snow, I like bundling up and all things cold and associated with it make me happy and snuggly.  I hate being hot.  I hate sweating — which I do a lot of.  I don’t tend to tan, I usually burn.  Mosquitos eat me like I eat chocolate cake.  Summer is just not my season.

 

But it’s funny how having kids really does change everything.  Jack is changing how I feel about summer.  Over the past several years I have realized what a precious time this season is with my boy, and I’m kind of starting to love it.  I’m not a natural at this summer thing, and I’m not a naturally fun person so having a fun, intentional, and adventurous summer is out of my comfort zone and a stretch for me.  But I’m going to do it.  You see, I realized the other day that I only get 18 of these summers with my boy, Lord willing.  And I’m coming up on my 4th summer with him.  How is that even possible??  This realization made me catch my breath and hold back tears a little bit as I thought about how quickly time is passing.  I don’t want summer days with Jack to be wasted.  I want to teach him valuable skills, I want to show him amazing things, I want him to have a spirit for adventure, and I want him to look forward to an exciting time of year where our family shifts our focus into fun and adventure for a season.

summer park picnic

summer fun

 

In order for me to do that I have to set some goals + make some lists [because even if I am going to be adventurous, let’s face it — I’m still type A and need a good list to be adventurous 🙂 ].  So we have made up a family summer adventure list with the goal of crossing each thing off the list.  The first week of summer for us was last week, and it went really well.  I watched my friend’s son while she took care of her other son who was sick.  So we got to have some fun adventures with Jack’s buddy, too.  They had Icees and a picnic at the park to start the week.  Then the next day a Chick-fil-A picnic in Nan and Pops incredible back yard.  Jack has run errands with me and spent time outside blowing bubbles.  The first week of summer was a success!

 

Here is our list:

 

Family Summer Adventure List 2014

1. Get Icees and go swing at Bluegrass

2. Picnic at the park

3. Play in the sprinklers

4. Picnics at Nan and Pops

5. Play out in the backyard at Nan and Pops house

6. 69 cent Icees over and over

7. Anni-Jack-a-birthday week to kick off summer!

8. Celebrate Jack’s 3rd birthday!

9. Celebrate our 5th anniversary!

10. My birthday on Memorial Day this year

11. Go to the mountains

12. Go to the library

13. Go for walks

14. Play bubbles

15. Water gun fight

16. Slip-n-slide

17. 4th of July

18. Catch fireflies

19. Go to the zoo

Go to Dollywood

20. Ride bikes

21. Go to the park

22. Go fishing

23. Go hiking

24. Order pizza

25. Camp in backyard

26. Lay on driveway and watch the stars

27. Find our Gabriel star

28. Visit the cemetery lots

29. Go to Smokies game

30. Go to the beach

31. Go swimming

32. Pick blueberries

33. Make strawberry jam

34. Make blueberry jam

35. Get strawberries from Tidwells

36. Visit Daddy at work

37. Find a special place to serve

38. Go to Kingsport

39. See cows + visit Mamaw’s barns

40. Paint on the driveway

41. Paint on the fence

42. Take the dogs for walks

43. Jack’s birthday party at the farm!

44. Remember and celebrate Gabriel

45. Plant flowers

46. Fix up backyard

47. Grill out lots

48. Eat popsicles

49. Play with chalk outside

50. Rent a canoe

51.  Make homemade popsicles

52.  Swim in blow up pools in our yard

 

 

 

memorial day 2014.

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day yesterday!  We are very thankful for everyone who has served our country and is serving our country, protecting us and our freedom.

memorial day2014

 

This year I’ve been thinking about it a little more as Tommy’s sister’s husband is now serving in the Air Force.  They are newlyweds and have been separated since February.  Thankful for him and her and what all families go through with spouses in the armed forces.  We also got to spend some time yesterday with my Grandfather, who served in the Air Force.  His generation has served our country so well, and I know I definitely take it for granted.  Thankful for a day yesterday to remember these things and not to take it for granted — freedom doesn’t come cheap.

 

I’m a day late on this post, but I was too busy celebrating my birthday yesterday to post 🙂

 

 

memorial day G's grave 2014

 

he’s 3!

I meant to post this on Sunday but got caught up in the celebrating!

 

Today is Jack’s birthday!  He is 3 years old!  We’ve been busy celebrating this boy and having so much fun!  It’s hard to believe how quickly 3 years can go by.  They’ve been the best 3 years of my life.

 

 

Morgan family jack kissesMorgan family softball

Morgan family maternitynaptime smiles

FamilyPicturesFall2013006_thumb.jpgg day 18 Jack and mommy.adventures.jpg first night without paci

 

Jack's birthday hayride

birthday hayride!   

 

 

 

Happy birthday to my sweet, sweet boy!  He has the most tender heart I’ve ever seen.  He is sensitive but not soft.  He’s a rough and tumble boy with a heart for others and a heart that God uses to bring healing to those around him.  He’s the most precious human I’ve ever known, and I still can’t get over how blessed I am to be his mama.

5 years of marriage.

Five years ago we were married.  It was a beautiful day in East Tennessee and we had such a sweet wedding day.  I know that neither of us imagined what our future would hold just 5 years down the road.  As we stood up together in front of our family and friends we made promises and committed to each other forever.  In sickness and health, in good and bad, in rich and poor, for better or worse.  Those words were dear to my heart, but I had no clue how deep they would become and run in our marriage.  We were happy and started our life of bliss together.

morgan wedding

 

 

morgans

 

A mere 2 weeks after we got married we moved to Maryland.  It was when we finally got there after a 12 hour drive that should have taken only 9 hours and pulled off into our new apartment, that I first realized life wasn’t always going to be what I had imagined.  The very nice apartment I thought we were moving into, wasn’t so very nice.  I had never lived outside of Tennessee before.  I had never seen so many of the things we saw in DC.  I had never been so far away from my family.  I had never lived in 600 square feet with anyone before.  I had never taken the Metro to get around.  Never ridden buses to get places.  We had never bought a house before or worked with a crooked realtor in the past.  These were all things that Tommy and I had to adjust to and work through together.  These were all things that helped to form the foundation for our marriage.  These were all really, really good things.  Some moments were tough, some were scary, some were fun, and some were just down right hilarious.  Most of these things are things we look back on so fondly of our first year of marriage.  Most of them are things we look back on and laugh about and appreciate so much.

 

I think being able to handle the little twists and turns that happened in the first year or two we were married, really helped pave the way for how we would handle the real stuff next.  While we wouldn’t have imagined having Jack the day after our 2nd anniversary, having him in our lives is far better than any plan we had.  We didn’t think we would end up back in Tennessee for a long time, if ever, but we got to come back home when Jack was just over 5 months old.  Just when we felt like we were back on the track of planning our life out again, we decided to have kids 2 years apart.  And as you all know, we learned how to let go of planning and control.  We certainly never would have imagined having a baby with a fatal chromosomal syndrome.  We never would have thought we would lose a child.  While being a parent is hard in general, losing a child is the worst thing parents could go through.  But the amazing thing is that I didn’t have to go through it alone.  I have always had my husband by my side.  The man God chose for me — knowing he would be my best match to go through all of these things in life.

 

When I reflect on our marriage and our 5 years married, I am blown away by how loving and wonderful Tommy is.  He has always stood by me, supported me, loved me well, and the same for our boys, too.  He is one of the kindest, most loving people I’ve ever known, and I’m so thankful I get him.

 

Now when I think about our future, I don’t plan or really imagine what things will be like.  I’ve learned in these 5 years that I just can’t even imagine.  And while we’ve been through some really, really bad, worse, sickness, and death stuff, we’ve also been through some really precious, sweet, lovely, hopeful, joyful, and life stuff too.  Five years feels big and while I’m celebrating that time together, I also look at it and just celebrate that we’ve survived all of this stuff that we have.

5 year anniversary

 

I am so very thankful for this man, my husband.  I love you, Tommy!  Happy anniversary!

Project Gabriel support group meeting #2.

Monday night was our second peer support group meeting for Project Gabriel.  It was another really special night  — just like the first one.  I am so thankful to the ladies who came to be open, to love, to support, and to share.  There were wonderful women sitting in that room, and I am so thankful to know them.  I am truly so honored to be a part of this!  It is amazing.

 

The next meeting will be on Monday, June 16th at 7 pm.  Please spread the word for anyone you know who could benefit from this meeting or enjoy the support and community.

 

 

On a Morgan family note, Anni-Jack-a-birthday week has kicked off and is in full swing!  We started off the weekend of festivities by taking Jack to his first baseball game last night.  It was so fun and Tommy caught a ball!  There’s a lot more fun to come, too.

a little weight encouragement + it’s the weekend baby we’re about to have us some fun.

I mentioned the other day that I was so frustrated that I haven’t lost any weight.  Then I saw this article on Twitter which reminded me why I always told clients not to pay too much attention to the scale.  Yesterday morning I woke up and put my jeans on and they felt great.  They pulled up easily and buttoned smoothly for the first time in awhile.  It felt great.  Then I stepped on the scale an hour later and weighed the same — still.  And I felt bad, when just an hour before I had felt so good about my health and progress.  It was such a good reminder to me that the numbers aren’t as important as your overall health.

 

We are settling in for a fun weekend — I’m all about the cooler weather we are going to have.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

 

If you are in the Knoxville area and know anyone who would be interested in this group, please spread the word.  We are meeting on Monday evening — any woman who has been impacted by miscarriage, perinatal, or infant loss — we would love to see!

 

Peer support group meeting

 

 

 

 

happy weekend!

 

 

weight loss + healthy living.

I opened up about my weight fluctuation, gain, and struggles sharing that I started on a weight loss adventure.  It has been and is a huge learning process for me.  In my favor are that I love to eat healthy — I just got way off base.  As an honest dietitian, I would never say it’s easy to change your lifestyle or choose to eat healthy.  It seems like those choices are harder and harder to make these days in this fast-food loving, on the go, processed food world we are in.  I am super middle of the road when it comes to convenience vs. super healthy.  I shop at a regular ol’ grocery store — nowhere fancy, nowhere with all-natural foods.  I buy Goldfish for my kid and regular person yogurt.  And I also make the best choices that I can make every time I go to the store [except for all those times I bring home ice cream].  I think you can be convenient and be healthy, but it takes work and focus.  It never happens by accident.  Here’s an example.

 

We went to the zoo recently and some friends came with us.  Our plan was to grab lunch for them at Chick-fil-A and take it there for a picnic.  What Jack eats at CFA is healthy — grilled chicken and fruit, so I don’t mind that for him at all.  Right now because of my Sjogren’s Syndrome [my autoimmune disease] I can’t eat the grilled chicken, and I don’t eat the fried because of the peanut oil [and that obviously wouldn’t be a healthy choice for weight loss].  So all I can eat at CFA right now is salad smothered in Ranch dressing and fries.  The easiest thing would have been to drive thru and get food for Jack and food for me, but I knew that would add a lot of extra calories that I didn’t need.  So I made a better choice.  It took planning and it took more work, but I’m so glad I did it because I really didn’t want to waste calories because I was being lazy.  So I packed a turkey sandwich on whole wheat for myself along with carrots, and at CFA I got a fruit cup and Diet Coke for myself.  I was happy with my lunch and even happier to not add calories and fat when I wasn’t passionate about it.  If I’m adding calories and fat, I better really want those fries!

zoo picnic

 

 

I give this example as one of success with planning and weight loss.  I have plenty of examples where I didn’t plan ahead and I ate more calories.  Being on the go makes it hard to always be healthy, but taking the time to plan your day and what foods you need makes a big difference when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.

 

zoo picnic fun

nutrition, weight loss, + not losing weight.

Y’all this weight loss business is hard.  It has been one month since I posted that I was going to lose weight, and truth be told at that point I thought my one month update would look a lot different.  I was pretty certain that after one month of exercise and being mindful about losing weight, that I would be telling you I was half way to my weight loss goal.  Seriously.  I may not be the brightest crayon in the box.  So here is where I’m at 1 month later:

 

No weight loss.  But my weight hasn’t just stayed the same; it has fluctuated a lot.  Between water retention, poor eating choices, and exercise, I have been up and down — but mostly up.  I started this goal 5 weeks ago.  I started exercising.  I made some changes in the way I was eating.  And I was hoping to see some changes.  I haven’t.  I have stepped on the scale about 6 times in 5 weeks and have been disappointed every single one of them.  If I’m trying hard, why am I not losing weight?  Yesterday when I weighed myself I was up 3 pounds.  I have gained three pounds WHILE I’M TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT.

 

jack and ice cream.jpg Me to Jack :  I’ve gained 3 pounds.  Jack’s face says it all — yikes!!

 

 

To be totally open about this, I have got to share my before diet with you.  I generally eat pretty healthy.  I love to.  But February, March, and early April were rough for me.  I was getting lazy, I started on steroids, and I had crazy cravings for food all the time.  I drove through Chickfila a lot — eating a side salad with a lot of Ranch dressing on it and a large fry and a large Coke.  Or driving through for breakfast eating biscuits and hashbrowns and Coke.  I ate a lot of ice cream during that time.  Ben and Jerry’s — some nights by the pint.  Um… pints of ice cream by myself.  Steroids or not, that is not healthy!

 

So when I had that moment where I stepped on the scale and realized I had gained a bunch of weight, I knew I had to make some changes.  Funny thing is that the weight sure does go on fast and come off slow.  Real slow.  So I was super frustrated with myself and my weight gain and took some time to evaluate where I was at.

–  My exercise is good.  I’m in better shape now and stronger than I have been in nearly 2 years — when I was running a lot and very active keeping up with our 1 year old, at the time.  And I love how great my body feels now.  I have been doing Barre 3 workouts mostly — online at $15 a month and on my own time at my home works really well for me.  I have become a huge barre and really Barre3 fan.  It is helping my body feel stronger, my mind feel calmer, and my back to feel a lot better.  And I love doing it.  It’s challenging and I sweat like crazy, but I’m not miserable during it.

 

–  I thought my diet was good but when I looked further into it I realized that it wasn’t very good.  It’s better than it was.  I haven’t bought any ice cream in awhile and have cut back on the desserts and the eating out.  But my diet still isn’t impressive.  I analyzed my diet after weighing myself the other day, and it stunk!  That day wasn’t typical — it did happen to be a very bad day, but I was at 2800 calories with at least 1500 of them empty calories.  And I drank close to 1000 calories.  Not good at all.  Very eye opening.

 

–  I need to drink more water and I need to get more sleep.
So I have my goals and I have things I need to work on.  I’m hoping that I can update soon letting you know that I’ve actually lost a pound or 2.  Or maybe that I’m at least back down to my starting weight.  We’ll see.  Just keeping it real over here at Adventures of Jack and Me.

 

Anyone else in my boat?  Trying to lose weight and succeeding or not really?  Would love to hear your advice!

jack and icecream.jpg

food allergy awareness week.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and a special Mother’s Day.  It’s a hard day for me, like I know it is for so many of you.  I never realized before how hard this day was for people, but now I’ve met so many people who have a hard day for so many different reasons.  Life isn’t like I always imagined it would be.  Anyone else feel that way?  It’s so much richer and so much harder than I ever thought possible.  It really is beautiful.

 

So this week is food allergy awareness week.  Back in my practicing days as a Registered Dietitian, I would take this week as an opportunity to educate others about food allergies.  One of my favorite things was working with the kitchen staff at hospitals to help them get how serious it is.  I would assign a food allergy — one of the big 8 — to each person and they had to act like they had that allergy for a day.  That meant reading labels, asking questions, being cautious eating out, and so on.  It was always really eye opening to people, and I always appreciate when people are really sensitive to food allergies.

 

I’m sharing a little more about food allergies today on the Knoxville Moms Blog.  Head over there and show me some food allergy love 🙂

 

 

happy Monday friends!