Friday, March 30, 2012


All in all this health kick has been going really well.....until last night that is....

So I worked both jobs last night...something I've done a lot in the past. I hate working at Applebees. I really do. I really enjoy about 35% of the people I work with....the other 65% I would like to shoot in the foot for being so.....argh!!!!  Bring on the bitch-it-out moment. If you don't want to read my rantings, stop now. You have been warned, this is a ranting post.

#1. Serving is NOT that hard. Yes, when you get busy and everything needs to be done at once, it sucks. Especially when guests don't understand and don't see you running your butt off and only see that their fricken water isn't completely full. But, it's really not that difficult. You greet your guest, you get their drinks, you take their order and punch it in. You get refills, run their food and give them their check....but then you get the guests that you feel as though they come in just to make your life crappier....the ones who say their food is bad but won't let you do anything to fix it, and the ones that wait until the very end of the damn meal, after they have eaten most of their food, to tell you there was something wrong with it even though you checked on them more than once! ARGH!!!!! And then when something goes wrong with their food in the kitchen and it was not your fault at all, they still blame you and tip you crappy. I don't think guests realize that as a server, we don't even make $5 an hour...we work there for the tips, not the wage.
(Ok...that was a really long #1....)
#2. If you go to a sit down restaurant and have to ask how much the drinks are, don't ask and just get water like all the other cheap people. Don't go to a restaurant unless you plan on spending some money. Yeah, alcoholic drinks are expensive, you know they don't put the prices in the menu because they want to trick you into spending more money. If you are doing water for health reasons, good on you. But don't ask me how much a pepsi or a coffee is going to be....
#3. Learn how to tip appropriately. If you get your refills, your food is on time, you get checked on and the server is friendly and you have no problems, tip them well! 10% is not how we tip anymore these days!!! If your service is crappy, a bad tip is expected, but not if the service is really good. Writing on the check that it was the best service you've ever had and then leaving a $2-3 tip is not telling us that it's the best service you've ever had.... Just because I said being a server wasn't hard, doesn't mean it isn't hard work....a bit contradictory sounding, but true. Being on your feet and moving around constantly for the amount of time most of us do, just plain sucks. It's not so bad if you have "good" tables, but when you start getting the crappy tables that you just can't seem to please or that need constant attention...your night is just that much worse.
#4. If you are a NOT make everyone else's job around you harder! Do your shit, do it right the first time and don't expect everyone to pick up your slack. If you're in the weeds, fine, ask for help. Don't complain about how busy you are but never ask for help from the servers that have extra time on their hands.

I think I'm better now...if you've made it this far, thanks for letting me vent!

Now because of the way my night went and the mood I was in, I completely gave in and had an extremely greasy/high-calorie supper last night.....boneless wings, mozzarella sticks and spinach and artichoke dip.....I know...I know...I almost regret it now...but last night....totally worth it!!! I'll go to the gym and work extra hard today to make up for it. And no, this will not happen all the time. Certain issues just pushed me into "emotional" eating and I gave in very easily last night. Today is all healthy though!!

Here's to hoping my next serving shift on Saturday night is better than last night was!!

Hoping all is well!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Weekend Struggles

Well, it was my first weekend on the new health kick. It went...ok. I knew the whole restaurant thing would be hard with eating healthy, so I was "prepared".

Friday night, Drew and I went out to eat at Ground Round for a mini date night. I did ok by having the two cajun chicken breast dinner. I got two sides so I got a caesar salad and mashed potatoes. The salad was the healthy part, potatoes obviously not so much. Better than fries, but it's still restaurant potatoes. We also went out on a date and so I had a couple martinis which I'm quite positive were not the most healthy either, haha! But Friday during the day I had done well. I ate healthier earlier in the day and made it to the gym for almost an hour so that helped at least a bit.
Then Saturday I hung around the house all day. I had a really bad back ache so I didn't do much. I didn't eat the most healthy, but not the worst either. Then I worked that night from 4-12:30 so I was moving around and on my feet the rest of the night. I ate 1/2 a chicken fajita roll up from the Bees and broke down and had some french fries..couldn't help myself! Haha!!
Sunday I did much better. I worked at the Bees again from 11:30-4:30. I brought my pre-packed strawberries with me for breakfast, then got a plain chicken breast and salad with just lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes for lunch. I did dip my chicken breast in wing sauce and my salad I dipped in mexi ranch, but dipping my salad in the dressing definitely helped me to not eat so much dressing! I had a couple beers that night and a cup of hot chocolate, so Sunday wasn't too horrible.
The entire weekend my water bottle was almost always with me and I drank at least one full bottle each day, sometimes two.  For me that's pretty good considering I used to almost never drink water except for during dance practice or something like that.
Since I was working Saturday and Sunday at Applebees I didn't do any other working out. I probably should have done some toning exercises, like crunches or leg lifts or something, but after working for so long, I'm just tired and simply don't want to on the days I work at Applebees I'm willing to give myself a bit of a break since I'm not just sitting on my butt all day.

I've definitely learned that it's much easier for me to keep a "schedule" during the week. At my main job at CMI it's easy to bring healthy snacks (like the strawberries or yogurt or my veggie snack packs). I've been trying to eat breakfast (Usually a mini bagel with some cream cheese or a yogurt or fruit smoothie) and then have a snack around 10:30 ish (usually strawberries or some other kind of fruit) to keep me from being so hungry when lunch time rolls around.

I know I won't be able to keep myself on a real schedule for working out because I don't always have time to make it to the gym and it isn't always nice enough to go for a walk/jog outside, but I do have some workout DVDs at home and I can do something things at home as well on those days I can't make it to the gym for a big work out. So far I've been doing alright with doing some type of exercise every day, even if I am counting working at Applebees as my workout for those days. That just also helps because if I work during the week, I work at CMI from 8-5 and then have to get to Applebees right after since the shifts start at 5 but they let me come a bit late since I work my full time job til then. So working from 8 a.m. to usually about 11:30 p.m. makes for one tired Farren!!!

I did try the detox tea once and it didn't taste too bad but it didn't have the best after taste I guess....I dunno...I'm going to try it again tonight I think. I think it would be good for my body to have a natural detox like that so I'm going to try to do it for two weeks straight and see how I feel after that. Even if I have to make a mug of it, let it cool off and just chug it down, haha!

Other than that, no other changes. I'm trying really hard to keep using the Spark People calorie counter to just keep watch of how much I'm taking in every day. It's frustrating to use sometimes to find the correct thing, but in reality it does help to show you where most of your calories are coming from and where you could cut some calories...

Hope everyone is doing well!! Thanks again for all the support!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Healthy Day #1

Yesterday actually went much easier than I thought it would. At lunch I did try the spinach/mozzarella/tomato concoction things....I added a small dollop of italian dressing to each one.
They were actually pretty good, except the texture. I'm such a texture person...the texture of the cheese with the texture of the tomatoes and spinach just didn't mix for me. So I think next time I will just cut up slices of cucumbers and replace the cheese with those. Makes it even a little bit healthier.

Aside from that my food choices were pretty easy and delicious. However the next "road block" I instantly ran into was working at Applebee's last night. I only had to work a volume shift so I was home before 9:00 p.m. which allowed me to make something at home to eat for supper.
Spinach, lettuce, one roma tomato, half a cucumber (peeled and sliced), and 10 slices of turkey pepperoni. I dipped it in ranch instead of pouring (drowning) it in ranch before eating it. I would have put chicken on it or something other than the pepperoni, but I didn't have anything prepared and it was already 9...let's just face it, I was lazy haha! I also didn't want to eat anything too "heavy" before going to be either. 

The one thing I realized I am most definitely going to have to do on the days I work at Applebees is either bring something from home, pre-made, to eat, or alter something I can order off the menu. I could even just order a plain chicken breast with a side of rice or a side salad. 

I also had a really easy time drinking lots of water. Since I have already (for about the past 9 months to a year) been carrying around a water bottle with me almost everywhere I go. It also helps when I'm racing around at work and start sweating my butt off to be more likely to re-hydrate, haha! The one thing I did give in to was a beer after work. But I already knew that one was coming. As much as I "love" my serving job because it's cash now and if you do your job right you can make a lot in one shift! It's's being on your feet constantly, dealing with crabby and picky people, and trying to please everyone around you while dealing with all the crabby people you work with. Trust me...not exactly a "glamorous" job in the least bit. But like I said, good, fast, "easy" money. 

Also, about a year or so ago, I got onto  (Notice how about a year or so ago I tried to get healthy too? :P I'm doing better already this time!) Well I quit using SparkPeople because I didn't have "constant" access to a computer and I didn't want to write down what I ate and try to find it and figure out calories and all that junk. I don't believe getting into a healthy lifestyle should be about counting calories. But my friend, Kathie, told me that they have an app! So I downloaded it. It's actually quite easy to use and since I have my phone with me almost 24/7 it made it even easier to keep track of everything. It basically just gives me an idea of the amount of calories I'm putting into my body everything and some of the things that would be easier to cut out to avoid some calories. In just the two days I have used it I can easily see the two biggest things a person should try to take out of their diet to avoid unnecessary calories: liquids and dressings!!!
Dressings for me are the worst!!! I've let myself get so used to using ranch, ketchup, mexi ranch, sour cream, italian dressing, mayo and other things to "flavor" my foods with that I'm not actually tasting the food I'm eating. I'm basically looking for a way to get the taste of the dressing without just sticking my finger into it and licking it off! Hahahaha!!!! So I'm starting by downsizing dressings. For me, it's something hard to give up on completely. Like pop for other people. So I have officially found my "weakness" I think! That and I know it will be hard to resist fried food sooner or later!! Right now, I'm just trying to avoid it all together! a first far so good!!! I'm like this.'s only been 1 1/2 days since I made the "big" choice to change my life in such ways, but this is the first time I'm actually feeling really good about it and wanting to blog about it and such. Since I was walking all night at work and was able to avoid the tempting food, I got in some good exercise last night! Tonight I'm planning on going for a 30-40 minute walk/jog after I get home from work! Tomorrow I will be done with work at noon so I am planning on heading to the gym before going home for lunch. 

I did get supper on in the crock pot while at lunch today. I'm making chili, and I just used the ingredients I already had so I know it won't be the most healthy thing I could choose, but it's definitely better than going out to a restaurant or something like that!!! I have also for yesterday and today been trying to snack throughout the day on fruits and veggies or this afternoon I had a mini whole wheat bagel with peanut butter on it so that I'm not "starving" when I go to lunch or supper and just want to grab something from McDonald's or something so I can just eat now and not be hungry! So I'm hoping that helps a lot!

And just wanted to say one big THANK YOU!!! to everyone who has commented and offered their support! I really didn't expect a big response from this so it is so nice to know that I have support through all of this!! Thanks again everyone!!! And again, anyone with questions, tips, advice or wanting to do this with me just let me know!! I would be happy to share what I have learned so far and ready to learn more if I can!!

Hoping all is well!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Healthy Organization

Recently my mom and I went to AZ for a mini vaca/check out possible retirement for my parents. While there we both enjoyed the sun by basking in it by the pool of our hotel. Upon doing such, I realized something....I'm not the fit little 18 year old I used to be. Let's just say I'm glad the only person I knew was my mom so I didn't overly care what I looked like in my bikini, but I would much rather not see the sight again, haha! Now I have of course realized after larger jean sizes and needing a new bra fitting that I have, obviously, gained weight since high school. No, it isn't like as though I will cross paths with someone from high school and they can't recognize me because of the amount of fat I've obtained, but I have become much to comfortable in flowy, comfy clothes. Not to say that I should be skipping around the office in a body hugging tank top and shorts! But it would definitely be nice to feel comfortable again in my swimsuit. However much I do fully believe that I would much rather be 140 and enjoying a good ol' bud light clamato and some mild boneless wings with ranch...I would also like to be 120 enjoying those things once a week instead of every night, haha! So I have finally decided to actually buckle down and try actually making it to the gym and eating healthier. I want to not only switch up the chips and chocolate for veggies and frozen yogurt, but I want to actually start cooking supper on a regular basis, instead of once every two weeks haha!

The biggest thing I have come to realize with this change I'm wanting to make and after doing "research" (or more so just taking in information for the past year or so from watching the biggest loser and such) is that this will take some work. This isn't a diet. This is a lifestyle change. This isn't eating fruits and veggies for a month to lose some weight and then going right back to the way things were and "expecting" to keep the weight off. So first things first, I went grocery shopping last night. I went with the intent of buying groceries because we were basically down to ramen, ketchup and a couple cans of soup in the house.  (Ok, so it wasn't THAT bad...but you get the picture :P)  Now before I went to the grocery store last night I had already decided in my mind that I wanted to get lots of fruits and vegetables and I had looked up a bunch of healthy recipes that I would like (I'm really picky :S) and decided to try to get some of the ingredients for those recipes. Once I got to the grocery store I decided I would avoid the chip aisle all together and do my darndest to only get "healthy" things. Now, of course, I am not willing to give up my delicious, fatty foods all together. I am willing to make changes, but I know I am not about to quit fattening foods all together and beer and I just get along too well for me to quit drinking it, haha!  The other thing that I have realized is going to be really hard for me, is the fact that my boyfriend, Drew, is not overly about eating healthy. He would be totally fine with a bologna and heavy-on-the-mayo sandwich. So it will kind of be like shopping for two people. He is all about supporting me in this and will eat some of the healthier things I cook, but he's just not going to be as into it as I am and getting him into the gym would be worse than pulling teeth. But, he is at least supporting me and ok with all this.

So after getting groceries last night, I got them all home and completely over-hauled my fridge. I literally took everything out of it and did a spring cleaning on it. Since I had recently gone through it and gotten rid of anything that had expired, there wasn't much to throw out, but it gave me the chance to get it all cleaned and organized.  (And let me tell you, after a couple years of not being fully cleaned, it was ready for it!) So this is what it looked like after I cleaned it out.

All the drinks I kept to the left, where they have been kept, but all the fruits and veggies I just bought I kept in easy access on the top two shelves. I used to put them in the bottom drawer, but then would forget about them and they would go bad before I had even attempted to eat them. So with them now in plain sight I will be much more likely to go for those as a snack instead of other not as healthy things. The bottom remained condiments and such and the only thing I'm not sure of at the moment is where left overs are going to go, haha! I do want to go to the dollar store or walmart and get some rectangle/square shaped bins to keep fruits and veggies in. I just put them in a couple bowls I had on hand, but the bowls take up too much room. So that will be on of my next purchases. The bottom drawers ended up being "drinks". The left one is where Drew keeps his pop and the right one has liquor in it. I'm lucky enough that I so rarely drink pop it will be easy for me to just not drink it at all anymore. 

After having purchased all those fruits and veggies, I decided to make them even more easily eaten by putting them into their own little "snack packs".  I am a very lazy girl. Yes, very lazy. If it isn't easy to grab and go, I may choose not to eat it. Yup, that lazy sometimes. Also, with such a busy lifestyle, sometimes I just don't have the time to make something. Working two jobs in which the first goes from 8-5 and the second starts at 5:15 doesn't leave time for me to get something to eat in between. Working at Applebees as a server you would think I would be walking around all night so I would be burning calories. Well as much as that may be true, I would usually turn around and eat something from Applebees. And that something would usually be wings or fries or a salad. And I mean I would eat some lettuce with my dressing. Yeah...not good!! 

A good thing to remember about salads. Just because you're eating a salad doesn't mean it's healthy for you!!! Look at the ingredients in the salad. Is the meat on your salad fried? How much dressing did you put on it? How much cheese is on your salad? Does it contain anything that is fried? Some salads contain tortilla strips which are basically deep fried chip strips. Not healthy!!! Also, ask for your dressing on the side and just dip each bite in a little bit of dressing. Then you aren't over doing it. If your salad comes with sour cream or any other additive, get it without. You would be amazed at how fattening a salad can really be!!

Now...back to my "snack packs"..
I bought sugar snap peas and baby carrots and put a few of each in these little plastic baggies. This makes it so easy for me to just grab it and take it with me. If you are one of those people who absolutely can't eat veggies without dipping them in something, put a light dressing in a small container to grab and take with you as well. With the sugar snap peas and carrots, they are full of enough flavor for me to not need anything to dip them in. 

I then took the strawberries I bought and I washed them and cut them up right away and put them in containers like this so I could easily grab them and go. My mom told me also that to preserve any berry longer, rinse them in a rinse of 10 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Rinse, not soak. I haven't actually tried this yet, but my mom is a pretty smart cookie and I trust her judgement. :) So I will definitely be trying that later!!

One other thing I tried is mini snack/salad idea I found on Pinterest (imagine that, haha!). I did alter it to my liking and haven't tried it yet, but I made them last night and put them in my fridge for when I'm ready for them! Here's what they look like.
I will add a bit of Italian dressing to them when I'm ready to eat them, but they are just a spinach leaf, grape tomato and chunk of mozzarella cheese. Here's how I made them.

You'll need spinach leaves, toothpicks, grape/cherry tomatoes and a string cheese stick.

You can use pre-made cheese balls too, but I thought it was easier and cheaper to just cut up a stick of mozzarella string cheese.

Stick the toothpick through the end of the spinach leaf (I had to dig a bit to try to find the bigger spinach leaves), then through the cheese, then through a tomato and through the other side of the spinach leaf and voila!!! They look so delicious!!! And they were really easy to make! I think they would be good for party appetizers as well! 

On this journey will also be the lifestyle change of more activity. Whether it be going outside for a walk, going to the gym, playing volleyball or softball with friends, doing a workout DVD at home, anything!!! I just need to actually start doing things every day! I have had a gym membership for about 2 years now and I rarely use it. I cannot count the number of times I have paid $30 a month for nothing because I never even went to the gym. But now, that's going to change! Even if I just go to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes or something like that, it's better than what I was doing!! The one thing I am lucky in with this is that I have many friends that I know will be willing to do things with me like this. Especially my best friend of whom got a gym membership at the same gym I'm at so we could go together, haha!

Next is drinks. I have already stated that I am very lucky in the fact that I don't like pop very much. The only time I ever get it is when I go to a fast food place.  I have already started a while ago to drink more water, but I will be drinking even more so I can actually try to get my 8 glasses a day at least. The only other thing I usually drink is milk, of which I drink skim because it's a bit healthier, and beer. Yes, that delicious golden (well red for me haha!) beer. This is something that I have had the hardest time with because after a long day of work or after anything stressful, I instantly want a beer to take the edge off. Well that has to stop. No, I'm not going to give it up. I just want to drink less often. Instead of having a beer every night I want to just drink on the weekends or for special occasions or something. This one will be the hardest for me because it's become such a "nightly" thing. But I'm bound and determined to change that!! And I guess one a night isn't the worst thing ever, but still. The last thing for this category is a tea I found that I want to try. I have become much more of a tea drinker lately and when I found this I figured it was worth a try.
Doing a detox for your body is (personally) never a bad idea. No, I don't think it should be over-done or anything, but its usually good to do it once a month or so, in my eyes. The first detox I found on Pinterest was a three day detox... Day one, nothing but water. Day two, 5-6 servings of fruits and water. Day 3, 5-6 servings of vegetables and water.
Are you kidding me!!! Not eating for a day! I know that is probably good for a detox, but I'm hungry by 9 in the morning!!! Haha!!! So when I went grocery shopping and happened to find this I thought it would be a good try!
Here's the info on the other side of the box.
And the other side says:
Get the Most Out of Every Cup
Bring water to boiling and steep 5 to 10 minutes. For a stronger effect, use 2 tea bags. Drink 1 to 3 cups any time during the day, up to 10 tea bags a day. Because it has no harsh laxatives or diuretics, Peach DeTox is mild enough to be used every day for up to 30 days.

So I guess we will see how it goes...Again I haven't tried this yet, but I figured it would be worth a shot since I am trying hard to eat healthier and such. The last drink I usually have is one cup of coffee in the morning during the week at my job. So I am going to start having a cup of this tea instead and see if it works for me. After I have used all the tea bags (16) and I'm doing ok with it, I will just switch to a different tea in the morning and maybe buy this every other month or something if I like it. Time will tell on this journey!!

My goal weight is 120. Now I don't expect to lose this in a couple months or anything and I also am under the knowledge that gaining muscle (if I even do) could change that weight as well to be higher. All I know is that I don't want to be a "fat" slob anymore. I want to feel energetic and I know a lot of the reason I don't lately is because of my eating/drinking/not working out habits. 

So, here's to a new start, to not waiting for a certain time to start, and to a new lifestyle!
Wish me luck!!! And if anyone else wants in on this journey just let me know! Haha! I'd be happy to share ideas and keep on track with people! And anyone that ever wants to go for a walk or do something active get ahold of me! I'm so excited that it's summer time! I'm so excited to get outside and get active!!! Thanks in advance for all the support and any feedback I can get! :D

Wishing everyone well!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Revlon Lip Butters

So these Revlon Lip Butters have been all the rage and what not lately in the makeup world. They have basically been described as an in between of lipstick and tinted lip balm. They are supposed to give your lips a nice hint of color while moisturizing like a lip balm.  After seeing many reviews on them, I decided I "had" to have one of my very own. I ended up buying two of them from Wal-Mart for six dollars and some odd cents in change.

The reviews I saw all said the lip butters were pretty sheer and that if you were looking for a more matte looking lip color, these were NOT the way to go. They are glossy almost like a lip gloss but not as intense of a gloss.

The two that I purchased were # 070 Cherry Tart and #010 Raspberry Pie.

After hearing that the coloring was quite sheer, I tried the Raspberry Pie first and just slapped it on like a lip balm more than a lipstick...bad idea. This one is not sheer at all!! It is a much more matte color and is much more like a lipstick. After having worn this one all day, after wearing off a bit it looked like I had put on a lip stain and like my lips were just an off color instead of looking like I had applied a lip stick or lip balm for that matter. It was much more pink than I expected it to be. Not a bad color, just not the best of the lip butters.

The red one is much much better!! This one is more sheer as I had heard described and does not look funny or like I stained my lips as it wears off. For me it is perfect if I'm feeling a red lip but not a bold red lip.  It is shiny like a lip gloss but not so much so that it looks like my lips are caked in glossy, juicy, sticky yuckiness. It has the perfect amount of shine for me.

The top swatch is of the Cherry Tart and the bottom is of the Raspberry Pie. You can imagine my surprise when I put the latter on my lips expecting a nice pink tint and ended up with that color! Still a pretty color, just highly unexpected!

The lip butters out of their cases

And a close up. You can even tell once you look at them like this that the pink one is a more matte color and the red one even seems to have small gold flecks in it, which I like. It doesn't make it look glittery on the lips, just a nice hint of shimmer.

All in all, I like the lip butters. They definitely don't leave my lips feeling dried out. I don't really think they work as well as a lip balm, but they are much more moisturizing than a lip stick and a great alternative to non-lipstick wearers who want a little color!! I would most definitely repurchase the Cherry Tart, but will most likely hardly use the Raspberry Pie.

Maybe a slightly boring post, but had to get my input out there on the lip butters I had tried so far!

Hope all is well!