Stitch Fix to the Rescue – AGAIN!

Well, unfortunately, I have had to contact Stitch Fix customer service again.  My gorgeous THML Southgate top from my last Fix SHRUNK!   Every so slightly, you barely even notice. . .except you do.  Here are the before and after pictures – I wore the top 1 time, washed in the hand wash cycle of my washing machine, then pulled out immediately to line dry.

BEFORE

SF 18

AFTER

StitchFix test

I wore the same pair of short in both pictures and as you can see, in the After, the lining of the top is now showing at the bottom of the shirt because the top layer is a tad bit smaller.  Here is a picture of the back:

Stitch Fix Test 2

I seriously thought about keeping it the way it was – it is still cute but something about it just bothered me.  This shirt retails at $58 and even though I got it at 25% off, I still think I never would have been happy with it this way now. The final straw was posting on my Facebook page and every, single person who commented agreed it needed to go back.

So, I E-mailed customer service right away and posted a picture on Stitch Fix’s Facebook page.  Within a couple of hours, they responded to both, apologizing, saying this shirt did not meet their high quality assurance standards and offered me either 1) a 15% credit on my account if I wanted to keep the shirt as is or 2) I could return it for a full refund because unfortunately, they did not have a replacement shirt available (tells you how unique some of these items really are!).

I decided for a full refund.  As much as I love the shirt, I could put that money towards something else which means, I am back to 1 for 8 out of all of the shirts they have sent me so far.

I have to admit, I am questioning Stitch Fix a little bit at this point but I am going to press on, mostly because of their wonderful, prompt and responsive customer service.  Also, I have read so many blogs with people on their 20th, 25th, 30th Fix and they still are getting unique items they love.  So, I press on and wait for my next Fix to arrive next week!

Interested in trying Stitch Fix for yourself?  Please click my link below to sign up and I will get a $25 credit on your first shipment.  Thanks so much for reading!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5229780

Put DOWN that Fork!

How many out there have any clue how many calories they should be eating every day to maintain their current weight?  Show of hands – anyone?  How about if you actually wanted to try and lose weight?

It is SO easy to overeat in our society – portion sizes are atrocious and even when we are cooking at home, which sometimes, I think is even WORSE because we usually focus on efforts at home on food we adore, whatever that happens to be.  We fill out plates, shovel it in and don’t stop and think about what we are doing to ourselves.

Let’s throw what type of calories we are eating out the window right now, which is very important too.  I am just talking about sheer numbers.  Wanna know why you are overweight?  For many people, it is pretty simple.

There are a million calorie calculators online so let’s look at one from Mayo Clinic.  We all have heard of them, right, so let’s see what they come up with for someone my size.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/calorie-calculator/itt-20084939

Age:  41 (42 shortly – AHHH!)

Height:  5 feet, 0 inches

Weight:  110 pounds (damn you big meals!)

Sex: Female

Activity Level:  Somewhat active.  Yes, I work out but I also sit at a desk all day too.  And lately, I haven’t been doing much working out either.

So, to maintain my current weight, Mayo Clinic says I can eat 1,600 calories a day.

1,600 calories. . .does anyone know just how LITTLE that is?  3 – 400 calorie meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, leaves ONLY 400 calories for snacks, drinks or anything else.  And that’s if I want to keep my current weight!  If you want to lose, it gets worse.

This handy little Weight Loss Calculator from caloriecount.com will help you figure out how to change this daily calorie goal if you want to lose weight.  Let’s give it a try:

http://www.caloriecount.com/tools/calories-goal

Current Weight:  110

Goal Weight:  I would like to maintain 107 consistently

Gender:  Female

Age:  41

Height:  5 feet, 0 inches

Activity Level:  Light Activity

Goal Date:  I am going to leave this blank to see what it comes up with for me.

Results
You should consume about 1,200 calories a day to reach your goal weight of 107 lbs . This is at a reasonable weight loss average of 0.58 lbs per week, which should be reached by September 02, 2015.

Experts recommend weight loss at the rate of 0.5-2 lbs/week. Remember that this estimate is based on your body weight, height, age, gender, and activity level. It may vary slightly depending on other factors.

Generally, women should not consume any less than 1,200 calories per day, and men should not consume less than 1,500 calories per day.

1,200 calories???  1,200!!  Take that math I did on meals above – 3 – 300 calories meals a day and that only leaves. . .300 calories for the rest of the day for snacks, drinks or anything else.

So, now does it make sense why we all have such a tough time losing weight or better stated, keep gaining weight?

Food these days is SO good these days and so available at any time.  We have so many great restaurants, Farmer’s Markets, grocery stores – we can find what we want to eat virtually at any time.  The key to all of this is portion size!

In my diet and workout adventures over the past 3 years, I have learned pretty quickly that you cannot survive on 1,200 calories.  It just ain’t gonna happen.  You will be angry, irritable and most likely, not getting all of the nutrition you need in a day.  Sure, you can do it for a finite period of time but what do you think is going to happen once you start eating “normal” again?  It is going to come right back on.

So, I have been striving for a more reasonable goal – using Fitbit, I track my food and activity level and do my best to end the day 200 calories or more under my total burned calories in a day.  Some days it can be 1,500, 1,700, even 1,900 calories – just depends on my activity level for the day.

For example, yesterday was just plain awful –  I didn’t work out, did no physical activity of any kind and just sitting around and breathing, my body burned 1,575 calories.  So, in order to meet my goal of trying to lose weight (you need to burn 250 more calories than you consume a day, in order to lose 1/2 pound in a week), I would need to eat only 1,225 calories.  Yeah, like that’s gonna happen, especially when we had adelicious foodie dinner last night.

See?  Double whammy.  And insanely over my 400 calorie meal limit on a 1,600 calorie a day meal plan.

BUT, then you have this past Sunday – I did a lot of housework, cooking, went grocery shopping AND got 40 minutes in on the treadmill so I burned 1,906 calories that day and only ate 1,729.  So, not quite 250 calories but I had 177 leftover for the day.  Not too bad, especially since I was able to have a piece of delicious, homemade blueberry pie.

So, why am I explaining this all?  Because some people have NEVER given this math a second thought, never typed in their numbers to find out what they should be eating and have never considered their activity level in terms of how many calories they burn and how many calories they can eat.

Yes, it is a pain in the ass to think about this every day, all day, 24/7 and obviously, I don’t stick to it either or I would be at my goal weight.  Am I far off?  No, I recognize that but I try really hard to work out at least 4 to 5 times a week, to make up for all of that extra, yummy food I eat.  If you don’t?  You WILL gain weight.  Simple as that.  Maybe you don’t care but maybe you do and I hope if you do, you will give this post some thought and think about making some simple changes in your life.  Just get started, change one thing – go for a short walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator, don’t order dessert or that 2nd drink, take the stairs, play with your friends kids, anything different than you normally do to help yourself out of the calorie hole and start putting yourself in the positive.
I think more and more about this as I get older because I recognize as we get older, this gets harder and harder.  All those years of thinking and worrying and planning and working out – you get sick of it, I have no doubt and when those pounds start creeping on, you just want to throw it all out the window and say screw it, for once, I want to eat whatever I want and not worry about it.  It is so easy to do.  Maybe you have ALWAYS been like this and never worried about it.  It is NEVER too late to start and it is so worth it in the long run.  I won’t want to get too tired to do stuff, I don’t want to be in and out of the doctor with health problems, I don’t want to be on a ton of medications, I don’t want to have a heart attack.  That is what motivates me, that is what scares me and every time I start to stray from my plan, it’s what brings me back.

Stitch Fix Fridays and Yogurt Can Be Bad for You!

I can’t decide which topic to focus on so going to touch on both!  First, if you use Stitch Fix, have you heard of Stitch Fix Fridays?  If you post a picture of yourself on Fridays in your Stitch Fix goodies with the hashtag #stitchfixfriday, it will enter you for a chance to win a $250 credit to your account!  They choose the winner on the final Friday of the month then it starts all over again.   So far, I have remembered about 2 out of 4 Fridays a month but hey, it is still a chance, right?  Who wouldn’t want to get $250 of clothes for FREE??

Haven’t signed up for Stitch Fix yet?  It is tons of fun – you can learn more about it at this link below:

https://support.stitchfix.com/hc/en-us/articles/204222994-FAQ

If you are interested, please use my link below and I will get a $25 credit on your first shipment!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5229780

Next up, yogurt.  My hubby and I are addicted to it.  We stick with Greek yogurt to get the extra protein in our diet but I have been searching high and low for a brand with less sugar.  Unfortunately, no matter where I look, unless you do with plain yogurt, it all has added sugar of some kind.  BOO!

So, I found this Eat This, Not That online article, talked with my husband and we are finally kicking our Chobani to the curb (evaporated cane sugar good for you, my ass!).  It is gonna be tough, I imagine for a bit, we are going to have to add a touch of honey, cinnamon or something to sweeten it up a tad, as well as adding fresh, local organic fruit from our local farmer’s market.  Hope this info helps you as much as it helped me!

http://www.eatthis.com/11-best-worst-greek-yogurts-weight-loss

Wish us luck!!

Perfect Time of Year to Get Out and MOVE THAT ASS!

My workouts have been suffering, I ain’t gonna lie because summer time is SO busy (and so is Thanksgiving and Christmas and Memorial Day and Flag Day . . .)!  So, I have been doing my best to figure out other ways to get off my rear end and keep myself moving, even if it isn’t an official workout.

Yesterday was a prime example.  Stuck in the office for 9 hours on one of the most gorgeous days of the year – what’s a girl to do?  Well, luckily, my company is very passionate about employee wellness, I even serve on the local office committee and encourages our employees to participate in on site fitness classes as well as a lunch time walking group twice a week.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure what has happened to everyone – maybe vacation days, work load, who knows but our group has slowly dwindled from about 6 or 7 regulars to . . .well, me.  BUT, if the weather is nice and I don’t have any meetings, I strap on my tennis shoes for 20-30 minutes and get outside for some sunshine and fresh air.  Yesterday was truly amazing.

River walk

Next up, we are blessed to have a delicious, organic, local blueberry farm just down the street from our house where we pick a year’s supply for us, every year.  July is prime blueberry time and the days are slowly getting away from us.  Next thing you know, the month will be here and gone and they will be closing down for the season.  Once again, as I mentioned, the weather was just perfect yesterday and oh, as luck would have it, they are open for picking until 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  So, instead of my normal workout, I spent an hour or so walking through a huge field and crouching and stretching to pick big, juicy blueberries instead.  Not to mention bringing 15 pounds of berries home, cleaning them all, bagging them and maybe having a little blueberry fight with hubby while we did it.  We are crazy like that.

Blueberry picking

To balance my lack of workouts, I picked us up a sushi dinner on the way home from work – yes, the rice does make your normal sushi rolls very carb-y but they are low in fat, as long as you stay away from the cream cheese rolls and do have a decent amount of protein. It was a delicious, light dinner to offset lack of cardio intensity yesterday.

I hope to get back to it soon – the next couple of weeks are just nuts with foodie dinners and events, a trip to Chicago to Anthony Bourdain (I seriously cannot WAIT), which will of course, include visiting some of the amazing Chicago restaurants.  Luckily, we can offset THAT indulgence with a lot of city walking.  Let’s just hope it isn’t 90+ degrees or raining during our visit.

Tonight, hubby and I are going to be treated to an amazing experience – a local, soon to open restaurant in our town has asked our foodie group to taste test some of their dishes before they open.  They are coming into my partner’s house and cooking for an intimate group of 15 of us, just like they would if they were taking orders from us in the restaurant.  How cool is that??  Of course, that means, once again, no workout tonight.  Hmmm. . .wonder if I can squeeze in 30 minutes of treadmill at lunch today??

Discouragement is Creeping In. . .

Not sure why but I am feeling rather negative today.

Sure, I stuffed my face last night at this awesome Venezuelan restaurant but I still managed to come in only 97 calories over my daily goal, so how can I have gained SO much weight over the past week?  I have been consistently coming in UNDER my daily calories for weeks and only  have a day or 2 I go over, but no more than once a week?  I have always told myself with my lifestyle change that I would NOT deprive myself but eat healthy 90% of the time and give myself a break the other 10%.

Speaking of healthy, haven’t been doing too great there either so I am sure this is a cumulative effect.  I have no idea why it is so tough for me to regularly incorporate fruits and veggies into my diet, especially this time of year when they are so plentiful and delicious!  It has been a couple of weeks since my regular piece or serving of fruit a day and adding more veggies to my plate than meat. Does turning peaches into crisp or cherries into pie count?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Cherry Pie

I try not to be so hard on myself – I have kept up regular workouts, 5 or 6 times a week, getting back into boot camp has been fabulous (my legs and butt are STILL sore from Wednesdays workout!) and even started back at our Thursday lunch time walking group (which consisted of ME this week).  But it isn’t enough to enjoy the foods I want and not keep that scale creeping up slowly but surely.

I’m also feeling rather lazy, not as ambitious as maybe I should be.  I stumbled across this blog on my Pinterest page and cannot believe what this girl has turned her blog into – a money making machine with all kinds of sponsors and products.  I’m a good writer, I could do something like this, right?  And it isn’t like she has some amazing talent like fashion design, home decorating, baking or mommy tips – she is just a 29 year old girl, whose interests and passions sound so incredibly similar to mine yet here I sit, 41 years old, typing away on this keyboard for mostly my own amusement.  Did I go into this with the intention of getting paid?  Of course not, I just like to write and help others in the process, if I can – to share my experiences to give others ideas, isn’t that what social media is pretty much all about?

I don’t know – feeling overwhelmed with all the events on my plate for the rest of July too.  They are all fun stuff – gatherings and dinner with great friends, trying delicious food, drinking wonderful wine, laughing, talking but a nagging little voice keeps popping up telling me how selfish and lazy that is.  “Your parents are going to be here less than a month and this house is a PIT!  Your dad is going to freak out when he sees the cat hair floating around the corners, the crazy dirty coffee pot and kitty litter crumbs on the basement area rug.”

I had a glorious Friday night planned out for myself. . .I looked back on my calendar and realized I haven’t spent a Friday night at home alone in over TWELVE WEEKS!  How the hell did that happen??  How does any of it happen?  I am incredibly blessed with amazing friends and family that love to get together and do things so when they ask, I do.  But tonight, I kept it wide open just for me.  I was going to get some errands run (out of chap stick for over a week!), get some take out and a good girly movie and curl up with a glass of wine but then I remember – I am busy pretty much all day Saturday and most of the evening Sunday, times when I get a lot of my weekly chores done.  No time for the grocery store or cooking this week, not time for cleaning, laundry will get done, if I’m lucky but I will be heading into the work week with this house looking pretty much the way it does right now, if I don’t take tonight and clean.  So, instead, I will be starting laundry, changing sheets and towels, paying bills and getting a few things ready for a baby shower tomorrow.

It’s OK, it’s all good.  First world problems, right?  I can’t even pretend like I don’t have a fabulous, incredibly blessed life but doesn’t mean that the little things don’t get you down, every now and again.  I have said it before and I will say it again, this blog isn’t called “Struggles of a Healthy Foodie” for nothing.  I am a Virgo, I will always be hard on myself, I will always expect more, I will always strive for perfection.  Luckily, I have many people around me to remind me I am far from perfect and that’s OK.  In fact, you need to relish in that sometimes.  We are all human and despite our best intentions, things don’t always go how we expect.  I will continue my daily workouts with a hard incline on the treadmill at lunch today, I will get back on the healthy food bandwagon next week after 2 indulgent days this weekend and life will go on.

I will wrap up by saying I may have overindulged last night on this delicious food pictured below but it was a soul cleansing evening, catching up with one of my best friends.  One of those conversations where you both talk at break neck speed, having so much to say and wanting to know what the other thinks as quickly as humanly possible.  We probably could have sat there for another hour and still had plenty to say.  I think evenings like that are worth a few extra calories, so thanks for that, Jen!

Spot Pork Loin arepa

Spot Pabellon

Spot pudding

Stitch Fix Customer Service ROCKS!

Still on the fence about trying Stitch Fix? Well, I have to share how credit their customer service and interaction is!  First off, Like their Facebook page.  NOW.  They post suggestions, outfit ideas and share fun pieces that you can pin on your Pinterest page for your stylist.  They also interact with you quickly so if you have a question about an item, they respond directly to your comment. For instance, I saw this fabulous top on their page yesterday and asked – is this available in petite?  Within 5 minutes, I found out it was!

Next Fix 1

Then, if you share less than delightful experiences with them, they encourage you to contact their customer service at hello@stitchfix.com to let them know what happened.  I have done this twice now – once when my very first Fix was totally unwearable and then just this last time, complaining about the giant, long tops they keep sending me.  Within 24-48 hours, someone personally E-mails you back and addresses your concerns.  For instance, this last time, they offered to cover the $20 styling fee on my next Fix, since they recognized they have missed the mark with a lot of items they have sent me.  How cool is that??

You also get a chance to interact with other Stitch Fix users on their Facebook page and learn all kinds of cool things.  For instance, someone commented that a shirt she got from Stitch Fix got 2 little holes in it after wearing it twice and they sent her a brand new shirt, no questions asked!  I also got a nice little conversation going Sunday night with another woman who is only 5’1″ and shared all of the items I have received that have fit me really well (like that super cool maxi skirt!).

Am I obsessed?  Maybe a little.  I did a little inventory of my closest Sunday and after trying on a few things, discovered I have 12. . .yes, 12 dresses I can wear for work or going out with friends, so think I will lay off the dresses for a little while.  LOL  To me, they are just so easy to throw on with a pair of shoes and a necklace and just GO.  So, after thinking about it a little, I added this detailed note to my stylist for my next Fix:

“Need a pair of jean shorts, see my Pinterest page for ideas. Still need more tops, can we shoot for some petites? Feel like they would be more suited to my frame. I have 3 pinned I think are adorable! Also love the Loveappella Tilly Lace Overlay Knit Tank and statement necklace, have shoes that would match perfectly. Finally, some bright colored pants, capris or jeans. Look so fun!”

I am wild about this tank and necklace I saw on Box Queen’s blog and have a pair of flowery wedges that would be fab with them!

Next Fix 2

Unfortunately, financially, I don’t think I can swing a Fix more than once a month, especially if they send me an entire box full of stuff I want to buy.  So, I have my next Fix scheduled for August 7th and so far, it usually arrives a few days before the date they give.  So, I will just have to wile away my time on Pinterest, checking out new, pretty, fun pieces to dream about until then!  Don’t worry, I will still be blogging about my healthy food efforts and suggestions for YOUR Stitch Fix closet, if you are interested in joining.

Speaking of, want to try Stitch Fix?  If so, please use my link below and I will get a $25 credit on your first shipment!  Thanks for reading!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5229780

Fix Re-Mix – Let Me Break It Down for You

So, after my post yesterday, I decided to break down the price of all the items and decide what was worth keeping and what wasn’t.  I quickly discovered, as you can imagine, it is a great financial advantage to keep all the items in your Fix to get that 25% discount.  Here is how the numbers break down:

Mint Green Dress – $48 regular price, $36 discounted

Maxi Skirt – $58 regular price, $43.50 discounted

Crocheted Detailed Top – $48 regular price, $36 discounted

Blue & White Embroidered Top – $54 regular price, $40.50 discounted

Gray T-shirt – $44 regular price, $33 discounted.

Total for regular price for 3 items I planned to buy – $144.45 (with $25 credit)

Total for all 5 discounted items – $164.00 (with $25 credit)

For a mere $19.55 more, I could have all 5 items – but could I make it work?

My plan was two-fold – first, find someone who might like that larger patterned top I received.  I LOVE the colors, it obviously just isn’t my size.  I took the top over to my aunt, she tried it on and fell in love with it!  So, I sold it to her for a mere $20.  Why?  Because basically, now I get the gray t-shirt for FREE rather than if I had just bought the 3 original items I wanted.

So, now what to do with this gray T-shirt?  I thought about putting together a whole outfit around it – pink short, a pink statement necklace but thought, that really defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?  Spending even MORE money?  And what top am I going to put with that maxi skirt?

The stylist suggested wearing the 2 together but how?  Well, I got on Stitch Fix’s Pinterest page and came across this picture:

howtowearmaxiskirt4

The shirt is almost identical to the one I have and look how cute it is!  I quickly checked out You Tube for the techniques for knotting T-shirts and lo and behold, I think I have a winner!  I am including my face here, for the 1st time so you can get an idea of how the outfit actually looks on me, personally.  Sometimes I think it can be tough to tell but other times, I think my face can detract from the clothes, which is why I don’t normally include it.

SF #2 1

SF #2 2

Since the t-shirt is rather thin, I put a navy tank I already owned underneath.  My hubby loves the look, even says he thinks it looks kind of dressy, though that’s not really what I am going for.  Really just want a casual, hanging out on a Saturday afternoon kind of look. . .and it is SO comfortable!  Like you are wearing your PJs.  I absolutely love it and looks completely different than when I tried this same thing on yesterday (look at yesterday’s post to see how hideous it was!)  A whole new outfit and I didn’t have to buy anything extra!

So, now I will be keeping everything in this month’s Fix after all!  I am going to put off checking out – you actually have three business days to check out online,which for me, is Tuesday, the 14th and I figure, why have them charge my account any sooner than they have to?  I wore the white and blue shirt last night and loved the look BUT, I washed it today and I swear, I think the shirt shrunk a little bit because the lining is now hanging below the shirt!  I hope that isn’t the case and once it dries, it will look totally normal again but we shall see.

I won’t sign up for my next Fix until I check out but think I will shoot for 3 weeks rather than 2 or 4.  I think this will be a happy medium since I am averaging about $130-$140 a  shipment.  And it will give me plenty of time to figure out what I want for my next Fix!

Interested in signing up for Stitch Fix yourself?  If so, please use my link below and I will receive a $25 credit on your first shipment!  Thanks for reading!

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/5229780