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As I said last week, I’m getting back on track. My goal is to lose 30 pounds before my birthday on July 7.

I can do it! [positive thinking never hurts!]

I’m more determined than ever to get these final 30 pounds off and keep it off. Last week everything just clicked and I realized… my goal is within reach!

Maybe it was the Biggest Loser marathon I watched or maybe it was the hours I spent on Pintrest playing with the weight loss simulator and pinning exercise routines… whatever it was I’m glad I’m back in weight loss mode!


On the left is a virtual representation of me at my heaviest (300 pounds) and on the right is a virtual representation of me at my goal weight.

I’ve devised a workout plan and nutrition plan that I believe will help me lose the last of the weight in a healthy and timely manner.

Here’s my plan:

Exercise — Go back on my regular exercise routine of two hours of cardio five times a week and one hour of weight training three times
a week.

Since moving to Beacon,
I cancelled my membership at my gym in Carmel. I’m joining Planet Fitness later this month and until then I’ll go for runs around my apartment complex (even if it’s snowing).

Nutrition —Every morning I’m making a mad dash out the door in order to get to the office on time, so I need something I can make the night before and just grab on my way out the door (I’m sure you moms and dads out there can relate). So for breakfast I’m going to alternate between a hard-boiled egg one day and a protein shake the next.

Oh lunch… I always seem to forget my lunch at home. So my co-workers and I tend to eat out a lot. Besides being bad for my health, eating out [almost] daily is killing my budget! So, I actually went to Shoprite during their can-can sell and bought a half a million cans of tuna (okay, not literally, but pretty close). Then I bought rye bread (the mini square loaf used for appetizers) and some fruit. So for lunch I’ll be having tuna on rye with an orange.

The big thing for me is kicking my soda habit. I used to bring a bottle of soda to work every day (in place of coffee). I’d only have one soda, but one a day really adds up! I’ve stopped drinking soda for a week now and already feel less bloated!

Now comes the really hard part… DINNER!

I admit it… when I get home from work, my laziness can only compare to that of an over privileged  teenager. If Bill didn’t beg me to make dinner, I’d go to bed without eating each night. I’d rather lounge around in my pajamas pinning items for my dream home on Pintrest or cheering on Ryan Callahan and the New York Rangers (I’m so happy the lock out is over)! Poor Bill, I eventually make him a big bowl of pasta or order out. The only problem: Pasta makes me sick!  I’ve tried whole wheat options, but nevertheless, I end up getting sick for hours after I eat pasta. So, I’ve decided for dinner I’ll start making a healthy protein like chicken or fish and serving it with a salad or some veggies on the side.

Bill will just have to get over his opposition to veggies! He’ll thank me later!

I bet you’re wondering why this blog is titled “Tonight is the night!”  Well, here goes… I’m going to trick Bill into eating and actually liking vegetables! I’m going to show him veggies can be just as delicious as pasta! I’ve searched high and low (on Pintrest obviously) for  pasta substitute recipes. I’ve seen so many recipes for pasta dishes that use spaghetti squash in place of the regular spaghetti. I asked my co-worker, Laura (our resident health food know-it-all) and she said it would be a hard sell since the squash is “mushier” than regular pasta. I decided I’d try to trick him anyway and record his reaction for all of you to see tomorrow!

Here’s hoping I can trick Bill into eating healthier with me!

Don’t you just hate those people that can eat anything and not gain an ounce? I know I do.

After losing 130 pounds, I’ve gotten off the health nut bandwagon a little bit (thanks to the holidays). I still have 35 pounds to lose, so I’m determined to lose it before my 25th birthday in July.

I’ve decided the best way to keep myself in check is to keep a video diary and share it with the Hudson Valley! So starting next Wednesday I’ll begin posting weekly video updates to my blog. I’ll share healthy recipes, exercise tips, my triumphs and set backs. I’m going to put it all out there. 

If you’re looking to get healthy this year, I welcome you to join me on my journey!

Read the book aloud and have a good time.

Read the book aloud and have a good time.

The comedy of Abbott & Castello lives on in a new children’s book

Maybe you at too young to remember the comedy team of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. Or maybe you weren’t even born yet. They were a popular duo during the 40s and the 50s. But I am sure that if even if you haven’t seen Abbot and Costello you are familiar with their comedy routines.

Do you remember the sketch of “Who’s on First?” If not, here’s the beginning of my version:

  • Guy one:  I would like you to meet some of my baseball players.
    WHO’S on first
    WHAT’S on second
    I DON’T KNOW’S on third
  • Guy two:  That’s what I want to find out…the guy’s names
  • Guy one: I told you.
    WHO’S on first
    WHAT’S on second
    I DON’T KNOW’S on third

At this point I am sure you get the rest. My staff had a blast reading the book based on the Abbott & Costello baseball comedy skit. John Martz, a cartoonist and illustrator from Toronto, presents delightful illustrations that just “pop off” the page.

Who’s On First? is published by Quirk Books and will be available February 19, 2013.

My mom, me and dad playing in the snow!

My mom, me and dad playing in the snow!

I don’t want to brag or anything, but I was the nicest kid anyone could ever meet… until (DUH DUH DUH) middle school. In middle school, I think  the devil possessed my body (not literally, but my parents may disagree). If there was an argument to be had… oh boy did we have it.

When high school rolled around, I stopped fighting with my parents so much and started focusing on sports and my education, but couldn’t wait to get out of the house! Then it was time to go to college. I chose a University that was two hours away and planned on living on campus, but by the second week of classes I was a full blown commuting student. I missed my parents!

I love my life here in the Hudson Valley, but I’m not going to lie, I had a very difficult time when I first moved here. I would cry at least once a day because I felt guilty for leaving my family and because I just needed a “Morgan Hug” from my parents. Honestly, sometimes I just wanted to hear someone else say “y’all.”

I was making all these major life changes at one time (life-changing weight loss, moving away, renting my first apartment, getting my first real world job) it was difficult. Not a day goes by that I don’t speak to them either by text, phone, email or skype. I’m a true only child! My parents really do mean everything to me and although we talk constantly… nothing can compare to seeing them in person.

So, over the holidays I was lucky enough to be able to travel back to my hometown of Monroe, North Carolina to visit my family.  I haven’t seen my family in almost a year, so my mini family vacation was just what the doctor ordered! It’s so  funny… no matter how old I get, when I’m with my parents I still feel like a kid. It seems I’ll always be my daddy’s “sweet pea” and my mom’s “Velcro baby.”

I invited my parents and aunt to come back to New York to see my new place. They ended up staying for two weeks. We had a blast! We explored the Hudson Valley and even went to NYC on New Years’ eve…  We ended up in White Plains to see their ball drop because all the streets in Manhattan were closed by the time we got there, but we still had fun! Being snowed in a couple days and the close quarters didn’t help with a little bout of cabin fever, but in the end we all enjoyed ourselves.

I can’t wait for them to come back so we can go exploring the Hudson Valley again. Homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday courtesy of my mom doesn’t hurt either!

I guess the purpose of this blog is to let all you parents out there know that even if you’re going through tough times with your teens, tween or even toddlers, it will get better. In my case, mother and father know best. It just takes time for us to all figure that out.

I’ve never really been one to make New Year’s resolutions. Mostly I don’t bother with them because as almost anyone who has ever made one of these promises knows it’s really hard to keep them past January. I think one of the reasons why it’s so hard is that our goals are a bit unrealistic so I’ve decided instead of making resolutions to live my life differently, I’m going to make over my expectations in an effort to make 2013 a better year. Here are my Made Over Resolutions to myself.

1. Screw the skinny jeans and vow to love your body instead. Yes you heard right, screw that pair of pants that everyone keeps at the back of her closet in the hopes that one day we can wiggle our way back into them. So many of us make a resolution to lose weight instead of one to live healthier.  Health does not equate to your weight. When I was younger I was super skinny, to the point of being teased in high school about it. Back then I was more focused on my other flaws like my braces and lack of any curves to speak of. Today, I think I’ve made peace with the size my body likes to be. I may gain or lose about 10 pounds based on the season but my body seems to really settle on the weight I am right now and you know what, that’s fine with me. I actually gave up the “ideal” skinny jeans in favor of ones that fit and flatter my body. We moms have forgotten that our bodies have given us some amazing little people so you know I think we should cut our bodies a little slack. Instead of focusing on losing weight I have decided to be more active with my kids, drink more water and be happy with my body just the way it is. Despite what TV trends would like us to believe, sexy comes in all shapes and sizes.

2. Water my OWN lawn more (for those of you that haven’t guessed yet – I am extremely metaphorical.) What I mean is I’m going to stop as much as humanly possible comparing my life to others because the grass will always be greener on the other side if I’ve stopped watering my own lawn. It’s totally easier said than done, but I think it’s so easy to get caught up in admiring what other people have that we tend to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do. This year, I will try to focus on the many blessings in my life. My hope is that if I do, I’ll be happier with everything just the way it is because I am a frugal person and there’s no easier way to save money then to love what you’ve already got.

3. Make debt my mortal enemy. I’ve already whittled my budget by a little more than $500 a month (yes, I’m bragging a little), but the pile of debt is far from defeated. Now in 2013 I am making it my mission in life to get rid of all my credit card debt and to not incur any new debt. Whenever I need a morale boost to stay on budget I look at my debt repayment plan and see how I could pay off my house in 13 years if I stay on track and snow ball all my savings from each repaid debt toward the biggest of them all – my mortgage. So I’ll forgive my clunky minivan for its latest round of issues instead of wishing for a new one because I’m looking way past 2013 to the bigger picture.

4. Cook from scratch more. There’s a reason it was always a joy to eat over grandma’s house. They grew up in a time when all our meals didn’t come out of a little box or can. They used real food, recipes and took the time to actually cook instead of just reheat. I’m far from Betty Crocker, but I can read and follow directions so that’s what I’m going to try to keep up in 2013. It is far cheaper and more delicious to cook from scratch. Sure it’s a little more work, but at least I’ll end up with leftovers people will actually eat (a money saver in and of itself). I’ve noticed that nobody ever wants to reheat the hamburger helper type meals in my house anyway so in the garbage it goes.

5. Last but not least – Get Happy! I find that happiness is a concept that evolves and so it bears re-evaluating a lot. I literally stop and ask myself “What’s it going to take to make me happy?” So for 2013 I’m going to keep on writing till I figure it out.

I wonder if the reason so many New Year’s resolutions fail is because we aim too small with our goals. Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Did you keep last year’s? Feel free to share your tips on what keeps you on track cause it sure doesn’t hurt to share the motivation.

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