Monday, December 31, 2012

No Drink December Results/Review

Well guys. No Drink December has wrapped up, thank goodness.

If you aren't aware of what I'm talking about, here's a recap:
It was the end of November, and I was wondering what I could challenge myself with in the next month to maybe prevent a few lbs from packing on. I wondered if I could go an entire month without drinking. So I decided to try it.  I announced it in a special little facebook group I'm in, and I got a lot of "girl you crazy" and "not a chance" responses.  There were a few people that attempted it with me I think, but we didn't text/email/fb each other about it or anything. I was on my own I guess!

Before I give you the cold hard facts, I'd like to point out that neither my husband or myself work at places that have alcohol-type Christmas parties, and our families don't drink during the holidays either--because we live in the Bible Belt and that's life here in the south. 

I'd also like to point out that there wasn't a get-rid-of-all-the-alcohol day before this started.  We went out to eat still and my husband still had beer/whiskey in the house. So there was still temptation.  The night of November 30 I had a few sips of a Bud Light my husband was drinking, and until Christmas Eve that was all I had.  

(In case you missed that post, I realized that we started a tradition when we got married to have a certain kind of red wine while we open presents Christmas Eve, and we had only been married for one Christmas when I thought up this challenge, so I sort of forgot...therefore, No Drink December got changed to: No Drink December Until Christmas Eve and Then Not Again Until New Year's Eve..which was still challenge enough, I promise!) 

So here are the results:
  • I did not drink ONE DROP from December 1-23
    (which I feel is an accomplishment...that's the longest I've gone ever maybe.)
  • Christmas Eve we split a bottle of red wine, and then Christmas morning I had one mini Bailey's in my coffee (100 ml -see picture).   
  • From Christmas afternoon onto December 30 I did not drink a drop. 
Bailey's Mini, comes in a 4 pack!

Now, it is New Year's Eve (6:30 ish p.m.) and I am drinking my favorite $4 bottle of wine. Yep. Classy!
Tisdale Merlot, $3.99 

And here's the stats:
  • December 1, 2012 I weighed  159-160 ish, depending on the time of day. Ha. 
  • December 31, I weighed 155.8.  (WHICH IS MY 30 POUND MARK, HOLLA!) 

So during the course of this experiment I lost 4-5 pounds over 4 weeks.  This is a TAD more than I've been losing (it has slowed down the closer I've gotten to 30 pounds lost). Was it worth it? No. Not in my opinion.  Even though I got to eat more of my calories instead of budgeting for drinking part of them, it isn't something I will do again.  I do feel better! That is one benefit. But that could be because I've been killing it in the gym, and not because I haven't drank lately. In the future, I will probably watch just how MUCH I drink as usual, but I will not be avoiding it like the plague again. 

The things in my daily life I have changed to be able to lose thirty pounds and still enjoy life have been manageable.  I enjoy this lifestyle. I'm not looking to make myself miserable or to try to make changes I can't stick with only to fall off the wagon completely. 

At least now I know that a glass of wine or a couple of beers are not major set backs and I can enjoy it without my conscience being a little bitch in the background. 

There you have it guys, I did the grunt work for you.  Thanks for reading--really! And I hope you have a safe and happy new years! 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Photo Overload: Christmas/Blizzard

As you all probably remember from my bitching and complaining, BJ had to work Christmas Eve. So what did I do? Here's a complete photo recap:

I went to the vacant gym--where me and a 60 year old man held down the fort-- while the rest of the world had family time. On the bright side, I burned over 600 calories. That's what happens when you don't really have any reason to rush home. You stay at the gym and get into beast mode.

Instagram is the reason this photo looks so nice. Definitely not because of my mad photography skills.

Another thing I did while waiting on BJ to get home--I got this plate of goodies ready. If you're wondering, that's a goat cheese log covered in pistachios and dried cranberries (thanks Pinterest) and it was amazing. That kind of wine (Casillero del Diablo- Merlot) is the brand we try to get every year for Christmas Eve to drink while we open presents. Yes we do presents Christmas Eve! I love it! Not sure if  I could have waited any longer anyway...

(Side note, No Drink December update... I REALLY sincerely enjoyed that wine, since I haven't drank anything since November 30! And I did really well--had just the wine that night, and then a mini Baileys in my coffee the next morning. Thats all! I was proud. Now to wait until New Year's Eve! I can do this!)

Back to the night's agenda. Next I facetimed my dad. He was trying to describe to me what was going on at their house. Adorbs. At the time my mom was hanging up stockings. Since I was home alone I immediately got homesick

Here's a few pictures of Jeff waiting for BJ to get there. Wearing a Christmas bandanna. Ah! He literally waits for the garage door sound and then flips out when he knows BJ is home.

Finally BJ got home and we opened some presents! I gave Jeffery his stocking stuff first so he would be occupied.

And here's some stuff BJ got me! I was so happy!!!!


And here's a few pictures I took of his stuff.

(Top) My Instagram photos from our vacation this past summer turned into magnets, and (bottom) mini whiskeys were some of the stuff in his stocking.

Man stuff.

Me and Jeff in the car heading to my parents house! BJ drove because I'm a spaz when it comes to driving in heavy rain/snow/ice. Complete spaz.

And BJ had this waiting on me there! An extra surprise present!

My sister's dog Beck and Jeff hoping for my dad to drop some ham. They got more than enough bites that "accidentally" hit the floor. Tim is their BFF.

We ended up having to eat and run, because the weather was getting pretty bad in central Arkansas (where we had to travel through to get back home). I was disappointed, I didn't want to leave yet!

Me and Beej Christmas night, after all the traveling was done and we were finally home!

Little did we know in a few hours things would get miserable. Our power went out at 1 in the morning and when we woke up, we had to clear the driveway of 8-9" of snow so that BJ could get to work. Because if you work at a hospital it doesn't matter how much snow is on the ground, they're open and you better find a way to get your ass to work.

Let me remind you that I live in ARKANSAS. And ANY AMOUNT of snow is startling and overwhelming --causing panic to the entire state. We are not equipped to deal with this sort of crap. Me and Beej don't even own a shovel, much less a snow shovel.  The one my husband is using in the picture below was loaned to us by our neighbor after he got finished with his driveway, and before that BJ was using an old plastic laundry hamper (as a bucket, scooping up snow and throwing it off to the side) that was in our garage. Seriously.

December 26, 2012

To his left is the hamper. He cleared 3/4 of the driveway with that thing. I came behind him and scraped up the slush.

He is a machine. (I mean I helped, but he did most of it) And while we're on the subject of my husband, let me tell you something he did.

I stayed home on my last day of Christmas vacation (Dec. 26) with no power, not able to drive anywhere where there is power, and in our house that was slowly but surely getting colder. My mom was about to cry worrying over me, because I didn't expect THAT MUCH SNOW so I wasn't really prepared to live without electricity (food that didn't need to be heated, batteries, etc). Plus I guess I'm just a little spoiled and was having a hard time dealing with the situation.  I went and sat in my car to get warm and charge my phone.  I had clif bars and candy to eat. I cried. I'll admit it.

Back to my husband. Want to know what he did?  He left work early, got me a cheeseburger and curly fries from the hospital, and when he got home he went outside on our deck and stood in a shit ton of snow and heated it up on our grill in a skillet. Then? Then he brought it to me--I was still in bed because it was COLD outside of the covers-- and I got to eat a hot meal in a warm bed.

I am clearly a lucky girl.

Our deck. The black thing is the grill/grill cover.

On Thursday I brought an overnight bag with me to work, with the intentions of staying at my parents that night. I was gonna take a shower and blow dry my hair and I was looking forward to it. Ha. But before BJ went into work our power came back on, so I went home after I got off work that day. After starting the dishwasher and the clothes dryer I just went to sleep. In a warm house. And I was thankful that I had a safe happy house to live in and a husband that would do just about anything to take good care of me.

Needless to say I haven't tried out my new running shoes or my makeup or anything fun, because this week has been hellacious and I'm worn the eff out.

Thanks for reading y'all. I hope your week was way better than mine!!
Working on a new year's post now. How is it 2013? Seems like it was 2006 last week.

Jeffery HATES THE SNOW. It's like he expects me to move it so that he can go potty. Diva.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Just a laugh

Sitting at home alone, waiting on BJ to get home from work...and of course I'm on Pinterest.

This couldn't be more true. Between my boot camp adventure this month and No Drink December.

Merry Christmas guys. I hope it's a good one!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

beginning/during photos and No Drink December

I kinda can't believe I'm posting comparison pictures on the Internet. I've done this type of photo comparison for myself, as encouragement. I've shown my husband all of them, and shown my parents/sister/BFF Amy some of them (I try not to be annoying). But if posting these helps someone else get/stay motivated... then my slight embarrassment will be worth it. (below are just 2 of maybe 10 on my phone...)

Please note that I've never lost weight in my life. The point of me saying that, is for you to understand I had no idea what I was in for or where to start. I was a healthy weight in high school (115-120 ish) Once I got to the end of my college years and into grad school I packed on the pounds.

This past May (May 2 to be really exact--2012) I went to the doctor for a physical because I hadn't been to a real doctor in a few years (other than gyno). My lipids were high--she put me on fish oil. And she recommended I lose weight. I was 185 (I was 25 and 5'2"). I was livid. With myself. And kind of scared. Was this crap starting already? At 25? My 56 year old dad takes fish oil. Not me! Not til then I guess.

Anyway, I got my ass in gear. I started counting calories, exercising and drinking water. I started to THINK about what I was eating. To be mindful. That was the key I think. That, and portion sizes. I ran my first 5K. I did my first boot camp.

Pounds lost started adding up, as of today (12/18/12) I am 27.8 pounds down, and no longer considered obese on a BMI chart. I have a little ways to go, that's why these are beginning/during photos.

Face photos.
I think the photo on the left was actually from April, but I'm not exactly sure...

Body photos.
I needed sunglasses on the right. My mother told me so.
I put my blog address on these because I'm hoping no one steals them for random weight loss advertisements like I've seen with Mama L. Not because I think I'm a hot shot weight loss model.

On to real life these days, here's a photo of my and my hubs (below) before we went to look at Christmas lights last week. I was so happy to have him home every night!! SO HAPPY. I love that man :) he's good to me.

And below is a picture of the kick ass pasta he made us for dinner one night, off of the low-fat emeals recipe list mentioned in this post. The kalamatas were a late addition just because we love olives.

And Susan--from Susan Today. You asked about the French toast souffle! Here it is!! And OMG. It was SO GOOD. I was in heaven. I'm making it for Christmas morning actually, if that tells you how good it was.

Lastly, a No Drink December update. I have not even taken a SIP of alcohol this month! No wine with my pasta, no beer with my husband. And he's been buying dark beer. JEEZ. My favorite. I've had to think about it. Like make an effort to keep myself out of those situations and prepare myself.

But sadly, I will not make it to New Year's Eve as originally planned. But wait, I have a good reason.

The reason is because my husband and I started a tradition last year to have a bottle of red wine (the same brand every year is what we're trying for) on Christmas Eve while we open our presents.  The reason I forgot is because we've only been married for one Christmas so far ....and so it's not a normal thing for me to expect yet. Hopefully this will continue until there are babies!!

Soooo....I'll have a No Drink December up until Christmas Eve--red wine only, hopefully, I'll do my best-- and then not drink again until New Year's Eve. It's not a perfect month, but it's EXTREMELY BETTER than I've done in years. Years y'all.
Saw this drink idea on pinterest. I think I"m going to try it New Year's Eve. Or maybe with Bailey's instead of the frappuccino.
That's all the news I have for now y'all.  I hope you've got your Christmas shopping wrapped up and that there's no family spats getting in the way of your Christmas joy. Hug your little ones... And thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

yummy food and workout music

Last night's emeals recipe was Greek pizza and cucumber salad. I can't decide which was better, but since the salad was lower in calories and required less ingredients (=less $$) I'll go with the salad.

For the pizza I used a whole wheat pillsbury refrigerated crust and topped it with: roasted garlic, feta, mozzarella, kalamatas, Roma tomatoes, artichoke hearts, dill and red onion. SO YUMMY. But not exactly I had to budget my calories during the day to be able to eat it and not feel guilty. [1/6 of the pizza was around 312 calories..and lets face it...who wants one piece of pizza?]

The salad had chopped cucumber, feta, and Greek dressing. I put a couple olives in there (only because I love them) and ground some pepper on top. It was so good. I was really surprised since it was so simple/inexpensive. [this salad was around 140 calories..awesome!]

I had BJ update my music on my shuffle since he's off work this week. It's always nerve wracking for me to send him a music list, because we grew up listening to different kinds of music. He's a classic rock kind of guy, and I grew up watching Britney Spears and N*Sync... Holla!

So I emailed him a song list....

Some of these songs I heard at Bootcamp yesterday and was reminded of them. Like the Fergie songs. I remember those from college. Emily, my roomate, went through a London Bridge phase. They're good workout songs!!
He's never made fun of me really. I guess I just always expect him to be like, "Really? Another Nicki Minaj song? Ke$ha, Samantha?" But not a word from him. Music without judgement, that's all I ask for... and that's what I get! So far. I bet if I had any N*sync on a list I'd get a comment or a laugh. I still have all of their cd's though. So I don't need to buy any of their music.

I'm looking for more playlist ideas if you've got any you can't live without...let me know.

Thanks for reading homies!!

P.S. I drank 80 ounces of water yesterday y'all! Gonna try again today.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Just a little update for you guys.

I have an accountability buddy, Lindsay, and so far it's been a great help. Just having someone ask you if you're going to work out makes you snap back to reality (eminem?) and get your act together. I might slack off on my own, but I ain't gonna lie to Lindsay!

Made my first emeal of the week last night. It was awesome. I cleaned my plate. Which is rare when it comes to homemade Chinese food... Ask my hubs--he ends up eating most of mine. It was chicken stir fry with rice (see pic). I used: asparagus blend stir fry (great value brand), 1/2 a package of chicken tenderloins cut into small pieces and cooked in 1 teaspoon of sesame oil with some crushed red pepper, and some general tsao sauce because we didn't have any teriyaki sauce. Then I cooked a cup of brown rice (instant, great value). So yummy. So low-calorie. (like 309 for that entire plate...)

Lastly, I made a little boys birthday cake over the weekend with the help of my momma. (Someone had to show me how to use a grass cake tip!) From what I hear, it was a success!

Emeal for tonight is Greek pizza with cucumber salad. Can't wait to get home to hang out with my husband! I went to Bootcamp at 5 am this morning so I don't have to worry about working out tonight. Also down to 158 this morning. Winning!!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

meal plan for next week!

BJ is off work all of next week on vacation! He took off for finals. Although I still have to work, do you know what this means?!? HE’LL BE HOME EVERY NIGHT!!! Holla!
This does mean that my dinners and my exercising will probably be different…but for a good reason!
I’ll have boot camp at 5am so the exercise part I’m not really worried about. Eating however, will be different because I’ll actually cook! When I’m home alone (the joy of having no children) I eat whatever there is—usually a Smartones brand mini cheeseburger with whatever I can find as a side (sweet potato fries are a new favorite), cereal (bran flakes), a Lean Cuisine, or a lunch/dinner I prepped earlier in the week. Seems silly to mess up the kitchen just for me!
But since my lovely husband will be home I’ll get to eat real food and I’ll have help cleaning up afterwards.  Winning!
Last year when we were home together after work every day we were always wondering what to have for supper…so we signed up for emeals. If you haven’t heard of it you need to look into it. They will send you a weekly email with a menu and a shopping list. After BJ started working nights again I just banked them in a folder in my email, and didn’t renew our subscription. When we’re back on the same schedule I will probably do it again!
You can choose: What kind of diet you want (like vegetarian, gluten free, low fat, low carb, paleo, classic, simple gourmet…), how many people (2 or a family), what store you shop at (Walmart, “other” (like Kroger…) and Whole Foods, etc.) and it creates the menu and shopping list (with price estimates) for you.
shopping list with approximate prices for each ingredient

We do the Walmart low fat plan for two. I got the emails on Wednesday mornings. You pay for a chunk of months in advance (we did 6 I think) so there’s no monthly drafting from your account to remember. And it was reasonable. Or we wouldn't have done it. ha.
Anyway, that’s what I’m doing next week since we’ll be home together! And the week I chose has a 30 minute meal AND a Crock Pot meal in the schedule. Since I don’t eat sea food I substituted a Greek pizza recipe from another week’s menu in for one of the meals on the schedule pictured.  I literally cut and glued it onto the menu. Like a boss.
Next week's menu!

If you haven’t looked into emeals you should. And no they didn’t pay me to write this. (I wish they did.)
Our menu next week: Greek pizza with cucumber salad, mexi-stuffed peppers with corn muffins and green salad, creamy chicken and bacon pasta with broccoli and hot bread, Dijon peppered chops with crispy green salad and hot bread (crock pot meal), turkey chili with tortilla chips, Szechuan Chicken and vegetables with steamed rice (30 minute meal), and French toast soufflé with bacon and fruit (prepare night before).
Updates: Bootcamp is kicking my ass, it’s wonderful. No-Drink-December is still a success so far, and I think I’m going to jump in on this squat challenge (see pic below). Time to get past this plateau!!


Random photo, my desk today. Yes that's a mannequin in the background. The joys of working at a history museum.

Monday, December 3, 2012

No drink December and some home improvement

First things first- NO DRINK DECEMBER.
I know. Oh god. 
This came to me when I was trying to decide what new obstacle to put in front of myself for the month of December. I've been a little worried that I'd gain a few lbs this month, and obviously I don't want a setback if I can prevent it. Well, I was texting my husband while he was at work to see what he wanted from the liquor store ...because I was gonna stop off there on my way home. And then I wondered if I would drop some weight if I stayed away from any kind of alcohol for a little while. And that's when I decide to try having a December with no alcohol.(Until New Year's Eve)
Honestly, I'm nervous. Ima have to take it day by day, because it's just the norm around my house. We don't binge drink or anything, but beer/wine and sometimes whiskey is the norm around here. So far it's December 3 and I've done okay. Haha.

If you wanna keep up with us gals that are not partaking in liquor this month, email me at samsmithgriffin (at) gmail (dot) com or comment below!

Next announcement, my 5-6 am boot camp starts this week! Holy hell. It's Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Hopefully I won't regret it. I need a boost right now in the workout department. My enthusiasm is failing me. Just like my holiday spirit. (80* in December?!?)

Home Improvement: 

Lastly, we painted our bathroom and we made a magnetic makeup board to hold SOME of my makeup. Ha. There's still shit tons in various places in the bathroom....but on the board are my most favorites. I was nervous about my naked 2 palette falling, so I basically plastered the back of that baby with magnetic strips so keep it safe (see pic below).


(Tried the paint sample out on that wall....normally I don't profess my love on the walls of our home...Normally.)

Husband got the mirror taped up for safe removal (stuff on the bathroom counter was being rearranged too. It's not always that junky. Swear! Too ocd for that)

Took the mirror down. Yes, the builders put a smiley face in glue.

Here's a close up. I think that's an eye brow. ...? 


Behind the bathroom door.  This is how I store my jewelry right now. 

Magnets I used from Walmart. Got out my trusty hot glue gun and started sticking magnets to stuff! Way fun. Hubs was busy with his PA school application so I was at least entertained. 

Had to makes sure it would stick! I'd probably cry if it fell and broke. 

All that's missing now are our mirrors (will be in the same frame as my makeup board). That'll be happening in a week or so, until then we're gonna use that improvised floor length mirror you see propped up all ghetto-like on the counter. So excited it's starting to look like a girl lives in this house now!!!

Thanks to my parents for driving up Saturday night to help with getting the huge-A mirror down. My dad and BJ got it down safely and only ripped one huge (fixable) hole in the dry wall. :) thanks boys!

Thanks for reading homies. If you're not a follower yet, just do it already. :)