Anders Ruff Workshop

Pineville and Davidson, NC

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Stroller Edition

Adventure Air

Rock Hill, SC

Monday, September 30, 2013

Saying 'Goodbye' To My Deepest Darkest Secret - With The Help Of Weight Watchers

I’m not a dieter – I’ve never liked diets. I’ve always believed that dieting meant major limiting and deprivation – and I’m a more the merrier kind of gal. As a result I’ve always shopped in the plus sized department typically rocking a 14/16 – and while I certainly didn’t have my ideal body I was comfortable in my own skin, had plenty of dates, a great job, played sports and I didn’t feel limited by my dress size.

Fast forward to baby number 1, I went up a dress size. Fast forward to baby number 2, I still hadn’t lost the weight from baby number 1 and I was up another dress size. Sigh.

Now I’m going to share my deepest darkest secret…. My son is 14 months old and I’m still wearing my maternity pants. If I’m not wearing maternity pants I’m wearing loose fitting yoga pants. I hate getting dressed every morning. None of my cute outfits fit anymore. I don’t really recognize myself in pictures. I don’t feel like my usually confident sexy self. I’m not me.

The problem is – I LOVE to eat.

Sadly, this LOVE has left me feeling ick about my body and it’s just making me unhealthy. I’m feeling limited, uncomfortable, tired all the time and desperately in need of a change – but I didn’t know where to start, after all – I’m not a dieter.

Then fate intervened, I was offered an opportunity to try Weight Watchers Online for 3 months and write about my experience on my blog and Katie’s blog I felt very hopeful, but nervous that I’d fail. Ultimately I told myself that I had nothing to lose – but the weight.

My goal is simple – to feel good in my skin again and to feel healthy. I’ve also made a goal to run a road race or obstacle course for my 35th birthday in March 2014. I had to sit on the sidelines as my husband did the Ridiculous Obstacle Course last month, and this year I will become a participant instead of an out-of-shape onlooker. First things first – I’m going to get out of these maternity pants. Here is my story.

Week 1
I’ve downloaded the Weight Watchers app and Weight Watchers scanner. It all seems pretty intuitive. Each food has a point number (2 points for an egg, 4 points for a yogurt, 0 points for fruit and vegetables etc.). I’m given 43 points each day, and that number will decrease as I lose weight. I’m spending lots of time in my pantry scanning food items to get a sense of each food’s point value.
I have spent $40 on fruits and veggies at the farmers market and I’m ready to get started. As the week progresses I’m amazed by how much I’m not shoving into my mouth because I have to account for it. I’m not eating an extra piece of cheese as I’m making lunch for the kids, and I’m not stopping for an ice cream just ‘because it’s summer’. I’m also realizing how few fruits and veggies I was eating, because now I’m eating them non-stop. I forgot how much I actually enjoy them.I purchased a food scale and I have measuring spoons and cups at the ready. I honestly had no idea  what 3 ounces of chicken looked like. Now I know.

This week my husband wanted to go out for BBQ, and it’s the first real challenge about living life on a diet – will I be able to eat out? The answer was unequivocally – YES! I was even able to get a pulled pork sandwich for dinner. Instead of eating 2 biscuits I didn’t eat any. I had my pulled pork sandwich and 1/2 of the portion of mashed potatoes. I was able to find the point value for the menu items because Weight Watchers has hundreds of restaurant menus listed on their app. I didn’t even have to break into my weeklies. I’m starting to think I can really do this.

The hardest part? I’m going through a mental depression about all the foods I can’t eat on a whim. Not because I’m hungry, but because I’m mentally hungry. This is the biggest hurdle – my mental addiction to foods and the wave of satisfaction that pours over me after I’ve had exactly what I’ve wanted to eat. I step on the scale – week 1 weight loss is 6 pounds! This is giving me hope.

Week 2
I’m looking up recipes on Pinterest for Weight Watchers friendly dinners and also using the Weight Watchers app to search for recipes. I’m really loving this app. I’m finding myself doing more meal planning in advance.

 I always make sure I have 2 pieces of fruit with me when I leave the house, or a bag of baby carrots. This way I won’t be tempted to make high point choices if I get hungry – and since veggies and fruits are 0 points I feel like I’m ‘getting away’ with something!

We have a date night this week that I’ve had planned for a while, and we’re going to my favorite restaurant. I’ve hoarded my daily and weekly points for this night and I’ve researched the menu to see what I will be able to order. I am even going to get a martini.

I spent another $40 on produce this week, and am trying veggies I’ve never tried before like okra.

The hardest thing? Trying a new creamer for my coffee because I don’t want to waste 3 points on the full fat kind! Luckily it’s fall and there is some fat free pumpkin creamer that has a low point value and tastes good.

I’ve ordered new sneakers because I want to start exercising as well to help with my energy level and weight loss goals. My first goal was set by the Weight Watchers app, and that is to lose 10% of my body weight. It seems feasible.

This week (according to the new scale) I’ve lost 1 pound. It’s not as much as I was hoping but it could be because of the new scale. Either way, a loss is a loss.

Week 3
This is starting to feel easier and more like simply eating and living my life versus dieting. I’ve also decided that I’m not going to eat anything after 7 PM if I can help it. I’m saying no to foods that people offer me. This week I’ve said no to french fries and birthday cake. This is big – birthday cake is my favorite. But I don’t feel sad about it because I know I’m going to see the results on the scale. I also have purchased some low point chocolate treats so I can get my chocolate fix when I want to.

The portion control is starting to work for me, now that I’m measuring food I know what a ‘serving’ is. I’m also not feeling hungry, and what I really love is that there is ALWAYS something I can eat for 0 points – any veggie and any fruit.

We had a moms night out and I had to bring an appetizer to share. I opted for fresh made salsa which was 0 points and baked Tostitos Tortilla Chips, 14 chips for 3 points. I ate the heck out of that salsa and loved every bite of it.

I’ve made it to a work out class and I’m feeling the pain of how out of shape I am!

I’ve made another trip to the farmers market and purchased an eggplant and made a low point egg plant parmigiana that was delicious and a hit with the hubby and the kids. We’re eating a lot of veggie full meals.

This week I have lost 4.4 pounds. Yeay!

The hardest thing? I’ve lost almost 12 pounds so far but I’m not really able to feel it in my clothes quite yet. Maternity pants allow too much sin to be unaccounted for, and they will be donated to Goodwill as soon as I’m able to comfortably fit into non-maternity pants.

Week 4
I’ve joined a Weight Watchers Facebook page and it helps to hear other people’s stories. I like to know that I’m not alone – and it’s a great place to turn to for support or suggestions. Weight Watchers also offers support forums through their website.

This week I find myself moving more, and feeling a little lighter on my feet. I’ve also been taking the kids out for short walks whenever I can. I’m not getting my heart rate up too much, but any moving is a step in the right direction. I was chasing my daughter around the couch as we played duck duck goose and I felt more able to move and get down on the ground.

I’m able to wear some of my largest-sized non-maternity non-yoga pants. They’re still not 100% comfortable but at least I’m able to fit in them and wear them. This is progress.

The hardest thing? All things pumpkin are starting to come out in the stores and saying no to them is SO hard! I’ve used the Weight Watchers app and Pinterest and I’m going to make some low point pumpkin muffins and pancakes. After all – pumpkin is 0 points!

Being prepared with low point options from the store has been my biggest help. Keeping the house stocked with produce ensures that I always have something to eat and that I won’t be hungry.

My husband’s support has been constant – he told me that he loves me at whatever my dress size is, but that he will help in any way I need so I can reach my own personal goals. He’s the BEST.

This week I step on the scale and have lost a total of 15 lbs in 4 weeks. I’m really proud of myself.

Next week my goal is to start exercising and getting my heart rate up.

Stay tuned for the next 2 months of my progress as I work my way out of maternity pants and into a healthier, happier me.

Weight Watchers Disclosure: People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week. Disclosure: I have received a free 3-month pass to experience Weight Watchers online. I am not being paid to use or endorse Weight Watchers and thoughts are my own.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

New Park Uptown - Romare Bareden Park

I've been trying to avoid the construction area uptown near the new Knights stadium because it's a total cluster. However, in doing so, I completely overlooked a beautiful new park that has emerged from the dust. Romare Bareden Park is now open, and although not completely finished, offers blooming gardens and lush green lawns for family fun. They also have a cascading waterfall spray ground and misting area for the kids to cool off in. There are other kid friendly elements to play, crawl and climb on. The location can't be beat right in the heart of Charlotte just a block from Tryon Street and opposite of the Atrium.

There are many areas to sit and relax or have lunch near the arbor and trellis. There is a list of activities planned for the new park including a music series, music box lunch series, party in the park series, art and photography classes, art shows, fitness programs including yoga and tai chi classes, and holiday activities and festivals.

Parking uptown can be frustrating, but if you're visiting on the weekend or before or after rush hour on street parking is generally available. There are many parking garages around the city and listed on their website. The park is mostly stroller friendly and offers a public bathrooms and a small eatery.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Free Art Class Demo at The Art Room

I love free, and the kids love art so the The Art Room's free class demo THIS Monday 9.9.13 and Thursday 9.12.13 are a perfect match. Classes are offered for kids ages 1.5-7. 

Check out the Art Room to let your kids imaginations run wild! Space is limited - so you need to RSVP's by emailing

Free demo class time/dates are as follows:

Monday 9.9.13
9:30 - 11:00 AM - Messy Marvins Ages: 2-3

Thursday 9.12.13
9:00 - 10:30 AM - Messy Marvins: Ages 2-3
10:45 - 11:30 AM - Adult/Child Class: Ages 1.5-7
3:00 - 4:30 PM - Themed Class: Ages 3-5
4:30- 6:00 PM - Themed Class: Ages 5-7

The Art Room is located in the fun and funky South End, close to Price's Chicken Coop at 118 East Kingston Ave  Suite 11 Charlotte, NC 28203. Check out their website at or call 704-651-8040 for more info.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Charlotte Knights Baseball

I'll come clean - I'm not a sports fan (in general). My hubby on the other hand, is a lover of all things football and baseball. For his birthday my mom and step dad got the family tickets to go see the Charlotte Knights. It just so happened to be the second to last game in their old stadium in Fort Mill - in the spring of 2014 they will be playing uptown in the new BB&T Ballpark.

The clouds had gathered around game time so we were worried the experience would be a wash out. Luckily the weather passed and the game started - at 7:50. It ended up being a beautiful night - but let me share that our kids bed times are between 8 and 8:30 so we were expecting to leave early following an inevitable melt down, probably long before the 7th inning stretch. Then a miracle for daddy happened - our kids were happy, content and amused the ENTIRE game. I was speechless. Our son whose favorite past time is high shrill whining and wanting to roll around on a dirty floor was the picture of a baseball fan - sitting on our laps and watching the 'business' gleeful until 11:30PM when the game ended. The game was more than just baseball, they had ongoing games and activities on the field to keep the kids (and me!) interested.

I think our daughter's highlight of the evening was the monumental sized cotton candy I let her pick out. My hubby was in his bliss, watching a live baseball game, Old Mecklenberg Brewery Copper in hand and cooperative kids. It was a really fun experience at the ballpark and even I (a self acclaimed sports Grinch) joined in the hooting and hollering as we supported our home team. Unfortunately they didn't win, but it was a great game.

Immediately following the game's conclusion they shut off the stadium lights and began one of the most beautiful fire works displays I've seen in my 34 years. This was a big time success in the family night out category and we are excited to check out some games in the new uptown stadium.

The venue isn't stroller friendly, so I brought my moby wrap that E hung out in for a little while. I also brought several kid friendly snacks and sippy cups to keep them happy. The tickets range from $7-$14 per person, and kids under 2 are free. The Knights usually have afternoon games throughout their season, which might be more conducive for small kids.