Chasing (reading) Maria Menounos

A couple of months ago I ordered Maria Menounos’ book for only $2.99 on Amazon.  You can find it on Amazon here!

M Men

It was a quick read and I mostly read it on the treadmill.  If you read it you will quickly learn and hear quite often how she interviewed the Obamas (okay we got it).  Also, she does everything herself (yeah, sure).

Besides those annoying things I think it is worth the three bucks.  It’s similar to a blog but it’s a pretty, rich girl’s blog who is an overachiever so there are a lot of good tips.  Here are my favorite:

  • Getting organized in every way is so important.  Especially in your closet.
  • There is such a thing called a face primer for makeup.  Who knew?
  • Use handtowels to wash your face.
  • Keep an inspiration board in your closet.
  • A Thai massage incorporates stretching (I totally want to try one now).
  • Use a hot water bottle, wrap it in a towel and place on your chest to calm you.  (still need to try this)
  • Create a life and career plan.
  • Have a back up plan to help you be more courageous and confident.

I always considered myself organized but when you have to start over and buy everything new then a laundry sorter is low on the list.  I lived for almost a year without a laundry sorter.  Our clothes just hit the closet floor which made my cats very happy.  Seriously, why do they love laying on stinky clothes and shoes?

Here’s the closet before.  There is a huge pile of dirty clothes that Sadie is enjoying.


After I finished the book I finally broke down and spent $50 on the Seville laundry sorter from Amazon.  It was so worth it.  It’s now on sale for $41.53 here.


Tag, our ragdoll cat, of course had to check out the new sorter.  This is a great model.  I looked at a couple of stores before choosing this.  It has a shelf under the bags to support it when the bags are full.  It’s on wheels so it’s easy to move to vacuum.

Another great tip she had was to use towels to wash your face.  I read that and thought DUH!  Why am I washing my face and splashing water all over the bathroom?  So I immediately headed to (yes you guessed it) Amazon and found these beauties.  I got a pack of 6 for $9 and they are now on sale for $8 here.


I keep the towels next to my sink and rolled up in a basket that I found at Target.


I had never heard of a face primer but I love this stuff.  She recommended this brand and of course Amazon had it for $25.  I ordered the tinted one with bronzer which next time I will go with the non tinted primer because this one is orangy.  I love the way it feels and the smell is amazing too.


It actually went up in price to $35 on Amazon here.

There is a lot of good advice in the book and I’m glad I have it on my kindle.  I highlighted my favorite things so I can go back and read it.  I really enjoyed the section on a life and career plan.  I’m still working on mine.  It’s in my life plan file.

She has a new book coming out about diet and exercise.  I’ll probably buy it when it is on sale next year.  She covered diet and exercise in this book so I can’t imagine how much more she is adding.  Although seeing her in a bikini makes me reconsider.


Maybe I should pay the $10 to see what she has to say on the subject.  Although I will not be following her advice on belly bling.


Happy New Years!

Hi Everyone!  I’ll be back blogging soon!  It’s been almost 2 years and I’ll update you with what has been going on.  (A lot is the answer.  We have moved four times in that period with 2 months living in a hotel)

More to come but in the meantime check out my New Years post 2 years ago about goals:

8 week 5k Training

Yesterday I finished an 8 week 5K app that I downloaded on my iPhone.  The guy is apparently a huge deal in the marathon running world.  (of which I have no clue)  His name is Jeff Galloway & he teaches running in intervals and taking lots of walking breaks to train injury free.  It works well for me as I have had 2 knee surgeries for my ACL & meniscus.

I really like the app and I had a lot of fun trying to reach the end as a goal.  I took it easy and paced myself at 14 min miles on avg with the walking and running & I had it set at 1 min run/1 min walk intervals.  Tomorrow, I’m going to start from the beginning & try to improve my time with 12 min miles & 2 min run/1 min walk intervals.  He also has an app to train for a 10K but I think that’s too much right now.  I do feel stronger in both mind & body.  I’ve always HATED running but with the intervals it’s helped me to enjoy it.  I really love to walk.

Here’s a screen shot of the app:

What I like about the app:

  • Jeff Galloway talks you through the run with tips about your posture & stride.  Also, he gives you positive affirmations like “You are getting stronger”
  • There is a lot of information on the screen.  You can see the time & the distance elapsed & remaining.  Also, there’s a visual for the intervals.  I use this on a treadmill so it’s in front of me & easy to track all of the information.
  • There is music that is set to your pace.  You can upload your own music to the app.
  • It keeps track of your history of each running session.
  • Oh, he also has a cute southern accent!

My 2012 goal – $1050 for 21 pounds


Wow, it’s been almost a year since I started Cinch and started this blog.  It’s been an amazing year that just flew by.  I lost about 20 lbs on Cinch and I’ve gained back about 8 since Thanksgiving.

My husband & I had an overindulgent Thanksgiving, then we went on vacation the first week of December & then we had an overindulgent Christmas.  In between all of this fun and deliciousness I did hit the treadmill and try to keep my meals Cinchy.  If not for that I would have gained 15 pounds for sure.

So, my husband and I did our budget last night for the next 6 months.  I explained to him how I need to invest in a new wardrobe.  For the past 3 years I’ve, for the most part, been buying clothes from Target.  When I splurge I get out of season clothes with a ton of coupons from Macy’s.  I originally proposed a $5000 shopping spree (like they give on TLC’s What Not to Wear) but that was negotiated down to $1000 (updated to $1050).  I have a new goal this year to start me off right.  I lose 20 lbs (updated to 21 lbs) and hit my goal weight) and I get to go indulge in a shopping bonanza!!!

Visual Motivation-My plan is to print out some of my favorite outfits from Nordstrom. I love me some BCBG too.  I will tape them to the fridge and next to my treadmill.  This will be my motivation.

Eating Plan-I’m skipping the 5 day fast forward and just starting the Cinch diet on Monday Jan 2nd.  The first week I am going to cut out whole grains from my meals as much as possible so I get great results.  I’m thinking soups, salads, yogurt smoothies & yogurt parfaits.

Exercise Plan-A couple of months ago I downloaded a running app on my iPhone.  It’s Jeff Galloway’s Easy 5K.  It’s interval running 3 times a week without pushing yourself too hard.  I’m on week 4 and I love it.  It’s like having a personal coach with you and having a plan with a goal keeps my mind active which helps keep me motivated.

So, that’s it!  Easy enough & it just requires discipline.  Just like a budget, you have to keep your spending under control so you don’t go into debt & can save money.  With an eating plan I’m hoping to keep my eating under control so I don’t gain weight & I can actually lose weight.

The first weigh in begins Monday…

Some inspiration…

I just watched Just Go With It last night.  Look at Jennifer Aniston’s body.

If that’s not inspiration I don’t know what is.  SHE’S 42!!!

I love resort wear & anything nautical:

The math behind weight loss

I saw an article on weight loss on the Mayo Clinic’s website.  It had great advice but what stood out was the math of how to lose 1 or 2 lbs a week. 

Below is my calculation on Cinch without any exercise:

  • 1600 calories of eating
  • -2000 calories burned through daily activity
  • = -400 calories/day

So just doing the Cinch diet and no exercise I would lose almost 1 lb a week.  To lose 2 lbs a week I’d need to burn another 600 calories a day or cut 600 calories.  With my body type I can burn approx. 100 calories for every mile I briskly walk (3.8mph) or jog.  So that is 6 miles a day to burn an overall extra 1000 calories per day and a loss of 2 lbs a week.

Below is my calculation on Cinch with exercise:

  • 1600 calories of eating
  • -2000 calories burned through daily activity
  • -600 calories burned through exercise
  • =  -1000 calories/day

Here is a calculator to figure out how many calories you burn a day through regular activity.  I figured on average I burn 2000 calories a day.  Also, I believe that the Cinch diet is around 1600 calories a day so that is what I based my calculation on.

Below is my calculation for Cindy who is on the HCG diet with no exercise:

  •  500 calories of eating
  • -2110 calories burned through daily activity
  • = -1610 calories/day

1610 * 7 = 11,270 extra calories burned a week

11,270/3500 = 3.22 lbs a week lost

She lost 7 lbs last week even after splurging which is about double for what the calculation predicts.  She is just beginning this diet and for some reason you lose a lot of weight when you first start a diet.  I have no idea why that is and google was no help on this one.

Some more calculations:

  • One pound=3500 calories
  • 3500 calories/7 days= 500 calories/day  If you burn an extra 500 calories a day you can lose one pound in a week
  • 7000 calories/7days=1000 calories/day.  Here’s how to lose 2 lbs in a week.

I’m a left brain type of thinker which uses logic & analyzes information.  So this calculation helps me visualize what I’m doing to my body every day.  Right brainers are random, intuitive and look at things on the whole.  So you guys might want to have an end goal in mind while intuitively feeling if you have eaten enough or exercised enough.

Tuesday Weekly Weigh In

Here we go, our weight loss journey begins… My sisters and I are weighing in every week to keep each other motivated.

Weight Loss Results-Week 1:

  • Laura   -1.8 lbs    (Goal: 2 lb/week)
  • Kerry   +3.0 lbs   (Goal: 2.5 lb/week)
  • Cindy   -7.0 lbs    (Goal: 5 lb/week)

Somehow I didn’t realize that it was Memorial Day weekend when I started this.  Kerry texted me this picture of her cake from her weekend:



It may explain why she was off track this week. That and she is a single mother of 3, she just moved into a new house & she just started a new job.  Today is a new day and she is going to recommit to eating right and losing the weight.  We have a bikini to get into!


I also got off track & had McDonald’s french fries. I hadn’t had them in a year or so and my husband wanted to go through the drive thru on our way home from frisbee golf.  I asked for small fries and my hubby (sabotaging) decided I needed large fries. I got home and looked it up and I ate 500 calories of greasy food. Yuck. I actually felt sick to my stomach after. The next day I worked out for 2 hours & almost got to my 2 lb weight loss goal this week.  I’m slowly realizing that clean eating not only will help me get to my goal but I feel much better when I avoid greasy & sugary foods.  Click here to see calories at McD’s.


Cindy did awesome this week.  She is still on the HCG diet and lost 2 lbs more than her goal.  Her clothes are hanging and loose on her and I think that helps in motivating her to keep going.  She was craving Friendly’s sundaes last week and I suggested a Cinch tip to her.  A square of dark chocolate.  She loved the idea but I just got off the phone with her.  She had a very weak moment and feasted on Taco Bell & a chocolate cake.  She felt the same way (if not more) as I did about the fries.  She felt physically disgusted after and it seems her body does not take in sugar & salt like it used to.  When you go through a period of eating out a lot it seems as though you become addicted to all the added sugar and salt that restaurants add to food.  It’s important to recognize how great you feel eating clean.

How did my fellow Cinchers do?  Did the holiday weekend mess up your weight loss goal?  On to week 2…

Spring has Sprung and I’m motivated!

 I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.  -Joan Rivers

Last week it was in the 70’s in Kansas City and spring has sprung.  I’m saying goodbye to the winter blues and hello to sandals, shorts and sundresses!  The idea of getting into summer clothes has me motivated and I’ve stepped up my cardio.  I started last week with a goal of walking (with a little running) 4 miles a day at least 4 times a week.  It’s working and I see a big difference in weight loss and energy. 

I do have a great partner while I am on my treadmill for an hour or so, a big flat screen TV.

This is our guest room and previously on the treadmill I’ve been listening to my iPod while walking and found myself bored after 20 minutes.  Last week, we set up a TV with a DVR and I can watch my shows.  My favorite has been the Celebrity apprentice and Real Housewives.  There’s a lot of drama in the reality shows and it keeps me glued and time flies while exercising.  A few times, I’ve even gone much longer and I have done over 5 miles because I’m into the show and I have extra energy from walking for so long. 

The only downside I see to this is our guests may not want to leave.  They have their own room, with a nice TV with unlimited channels and their own bathroom on their own floor.  Uh-oh.  Maybe I’ll unplug the TV and tell them it is broken when they visit.  What’s that saying about fish and guests?

I thought I would see a difference in my hunger but the Cinch meals have kept me full even after burning an extra 400-500 calories.  Yay!  The fat better melt off with this much working out.  If not, I’ll have to ask my husband to start putting diamonds on the floor.