Stampin’ Up! No Card For You!

Good morning, y’all!  Well – here we are.  The last day in Palmdale, CA for me.  Today I’ll be finishing up packing and getting myself down to LA for my oh-so-early flight tomorrow.  What the heck was in my head when I said “oh yes – a 7:30am flight will be lovely”!?  Sheesh.  It makes ma heid hurt doing the backwards planning to figure out when I have to get up to be there 2 hours ahead.  Might actually be less painful to just not go to bed…

I ask again – what the heck?!?

Given my early get-up, I suspect I’ll “watch a movie” on the way home – hopefully it’ll be one I only sorta care about, since I bet I watch my eyelids more than anything! 😉

So – I’ve told y’all over these past few months that I’ve lost a lot of weight in the past year.  I’ve had many requests for an account of that journey – and I thought I’d take today to go ahead and share it.  Which means – this is not a card post nor is it even card-post-adjacent!  And that means…if you’re not interested please click the little “x” in the corner – and I hope you’ll come back tomorrow when the post WILL be card related!

A lot of folks have asked how I lost the weight I have – it’s 123-125 pounds, by the way (depending on the day!) – since about May 2017.  What I did was pretty no-brainer:  Put fewer calories in my mouth than I burned each day.


Can someone tell me why such a freakin’ easy thing to type is just SO.  DARNED.  HARD.  TO.  DO?!?


I’ve pretty much struggled with my weight for most of my life – at least the parts I can remember.  High School.  College.  My whole time in the military – where that was a “BIG DEAL”.  A seriously big deal.

I dreaded going to the doctor cuz…they feel an unreasonable need to put every patient on the scale.  EVERY time – not matter why you go there.

“Hi – I’m here because my elbow hurts”.

“So good to see you – hop right up on the scale”.

“So – came in to see if I should take a vitamin for old people or…”

“We’ll be happy to see you – hop right up on the scale”.

It’s a bit of an obsession for them.

I dreaded cameras.  10 pounds?  Well…maybe.  Or maybe I have TWENTY cameras aimed at me.  Ever notice how few pictures you’d see of me on the blog?  Yep.  That’s why.  It put the awful truth smack in my face and all my chins.  So…I avoided it.

Yes – being fat was definitely a thing for me.  And a cause of much stress and worry.  And embarrassment.  NOTE:  If you struggle with YOUR weight, please know I’m not judging in any way, shape or form.  You should NOT be embarrassed.  That was just a ME thing, okay?? For me – it seemed like it should be easy to lose (like flying or card making or riding my horses) – so I judged MYSELF.

But – it was, apparently, never enough of a thing for me to do something serious and permanent about it.  I’d always go on a diet “one day”.  Start exercising “one of these days”.  It’s HARD to exercise when you’re fat.

Just sayin’.

Even when my Mom lost all her weight – not enough.

So…what was the tipping point?

Well – in the spring of last year – 2017 – I had a physical.  The full monty (literally) with the scale and the blood-work.

Before the labs came back, my mom asked me – as we were talking about health and such – if I knew what my A1C number was.  I had to confess I didn’t and she suggested I should find out cuz I didn’t want to get into the realm of diabetes.

About a week later – the labs returned and I went back to the doc for the follow-up.

She never said a word about it – but…at the top of the lab results sheet it said: “Pre-diabetic”.

I pretty much don’t want to be diabetic, y’all.  Really.  Seriously.

Which meant it was time to do something about it, right?

About the same time, I was getting really really close to having gathered up the points I needed to earn the Alaskan cruise.  I knew I was going to hit it – and that I’d be on a cruise this summer.

And I wanted to look good on the cruise.

Or…at least thin! 😉

So.  That was it.  I decided to get on the stick and do something!

Now – here’s where I stick in the caveat/legal-ese.  I am NOT a doctor.  Nor am I a nutritionist.  So – what worked for me may not work for you.  May not even be healthy for you.  And I’m not telling you this is what you should do.  Check with your doctor.  I am not him/her! Questions??


I considered Weight Watchers (decided not to pay to be told what I already suspected – and…I like to do my weigh-ins under the cover of darkness, not in front of anyone!).

I thought about Nutrisystem or some other special purchase food program – but…no.   Money again.  And also – how would I learn how to eat “regular” food if I’m eating packaged meals the whole time?  Would I have to eat that stuff forever to keep it off?  That didn’t seem right for me, either.

My mom lost her weight by going regularly to a nutritionist and keeping a daily food log/journal.

So…I figured I’d try the same idea.

Without the nutritionist part.

And I wasn’t excited about writing everything down in a little book.  So being at least quasi-technically savvy – I did what all smart phone owners do.  I headed for the Apple App Store.  My search resulted in several hits – but the one that I thought looked the best (and was free) is one called Lose It.


This is a digital food log.  I gave it my current weight and stats like age and height and it told me my target weight.  Which turned out to be pretty close to what the doc wanted me to weigh.  Then it asked me when I wanted to get to that weight.  I used the cruise as my goal date and backed that up a month – just in case I was less successful than I hoped.

The resulting daily calorie allotment appeared – and a place to log my food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  This app is great – it’s got a ginormous data base and that makes it pretty easy to enter what you eat.

And there’s the rub.  I entered everything I ate.  EVERYTHING.  I got brutally honest with myself. No sneaking – no “that doesn’t count cuz I ate it standing up at the counter”.  If I stuck it in my mouth – I logged it.  And I quickly started making decisions based on how many calories I had left for the day.  Which is another cool feature of the app – it logs the food – and does a running tally.  Then it also provides a “how many have you got left” number.

So.  Easy, right?

Well – it actually wasn’t awful.

Not great – but not awful.

I bought a digital scale to begin weighing myself.  I used the weight on my “old” scale as a starting point (it was pretty close to what the doctor’s office weight had been).  Then, I began my bi-weekly weigh in about a month after I started.  I was scared to do it quicker than that – what if I’d gained?  Hadn’t lost a thing after being good for a week?  Two weeks?

I finally decided to pull up my big girl panties and see what was going on.

And – I’d lost 2 or 3 pounds!!  I was amazed.

The app lets you enter your weight – which I did.  And then I did that every two weeks.  I picked Sunday morning – and always weighed myself at the same time – in the same clothes (I picked nekkid, since that was an outfit I could remember! 😉 ).

Once I started to see the weight come off – it got easier to stick to what I was doing.  As I logged lower and lower weights, the Lose It App decremented the number of calories per day I could have and still keep losing (that HAS to happen or…you don’t lose.  The less you weigh, the fewer calories it takes to sustain…so…got to eat fewer).

And a year-and-change later – here we are.

That’s it.  The secret?  Put fewer calories in than you burn.  Done.


For the first 85 pounds or so, I didn’t “exercise”.  Oh – I took care of the horses and played with Finn (but not excessively and not for “exercise”).  I tried to park a little farther out at the grocery store – take the stairs as it got easier – those kinds of things.  But no “exercise”.

As I started to get lighter – and feel better – I added walking to the agenda.  I purchased an iWatch (a FitBit would do the same) and became competitive with it – I wanted those rings closed every day!  It tracks your movement (translated as calories burned), exercise (based on a number of things like heart rate, etc) – and amount of standing I do.   I even bought a portable stand-up desk thingy so that I could stand up to work at my computer.  Wanting those rings to close each day helped to motivate me to move more.  “Type A much, Mare??”

Also – as I lost weight – things started to get a little (a lot!) saggy in places that I wasn’t loving.  So I figured maybe moving would help.

I dug out my old Suzanne Sommers Thigh Master from the closet – and started using it when I sat in my recliner.  For legs AND for my arms.  No – don’t laugh – it actually does work.  I didn’t count reps – I’d just sit there and squeeze it with my legs or arms while I watched tv.  Unless the cat was in my lap and then I had to stop so I wouldn’t disturb his nap.

Priorities, people, it’s all about priorities! 😉

Do I want that Biscotti in the morning (170 calories) with my coffee or do I want to eat something more filling later?

Do I need chips/taco shells with the mexican dinner?  Or…could I have a little more meat which will fill me up better and for longer?

Do I want a bag of M&Ms – or is buying that pair of jeans two sizes smaller a good enough trade?

Making “right” choices got easier and easier.  And, the more I tracked myself and learned that “I can do this” – I realized that, if I decided to buy the new jeans AND eat the bag of M&M’s, I had the “tools in my kit bag” to get back on track the next day! 🙂


As I started to get thinner – I had to buy new clothes.  It was a powerful motivator, not gonna lie.  I’m now in a size 12.  Which may seem big to many of you reading this – but…it’s a good size for me.  I am happy at the weight I’m at right now.  Any less – and I think maybe I wouldn’t be so pleased with the reflection in the mirror.

I LIKE going to buy clothes!  Heck – I’ve even bought leggings.  To do laundry in, sure – but…I didn’t turn to stone when I looked at myself in the mirror.  And, with the right shirt – I’ve even worn them down to get breakfast or dinner in the lobby.  Where people SEE me!

I do not cringe when I see a picture of myself.  I actually kind of like it – it’s smack in my face what I’ve managed to do!  And I’m pretty proud of that.

EVERYTHING is easier now – standing, walking, taking the stairs.  Here at the hotel I’m on the third floor.  I take the stairs pretty much every single time – even carrying my computer bag.  It adds to my calorie burn each day.  Yesterday morning, I even jogged on the treadmill.  I can’t even tell you what a feat that is for me.  I haven’t comfortably run or jogged since before I broke my leg the first time back in 2004.

And it makes me feel a tad smug! 🙂

I’m actually looking FORWARD to going to the doctor for this year’s physical.  I want to see “good” numbers on the labs.  And my nemesis (the scale) can just pound sand!

I LIKE being thin.  Can’t help it.  For me – it’s just better than the alternative.  And I hope to heaven that helps me keep doing what I need to do to stay here.

So.  That’s the Why and the How.  What follows is a list of random tips.

  • Highly recommend that you get Lose It – or an equivalent.  If you don’t have a Smart Phone – do it online (that picture up above is a handy link for you!).  If none of that appeals – pull out a notebook and a calorie counter and get to logging.  Lose It was a key factor in my weight loss and it will remain on my phone as long as I do – it’s now letting me log to maintain my weight.  If a weigh-in shows a slight gain (ala after the cruise!) – then I log that and it bounces my daily calories down to get back to my goal.  So my plan is to keep logging.  It makes me much more mindful of what (and how much!) I am eating!  Do I get hett if I go over for a day?  Nope.  But I don’t let myself do that EVERY day.  And tracking it helps me to…well…keep track!
  • Buy a food scale.  Keep it out ALWAYS.  I had an old Pampered Chef scale that I pulled out and it stays on my counter.  No more guessing.  “An ounce of cheese is the size of two dice”.  Uhm…I must have big old fuzzy dice!  Deck of cards for meat?  Nope.  Doesn’t work for me. I was dismayed to see what amount of all sorts of food is a “serving” – and how many calories that serving has.  I even bought a new digital scale when I came out to CA.  That’s it weighing my morning yoghurt (vanilla, doctored with freeze-dried coffee and unsweetened cocoa!).

  • Pull out the measuring spoons and measuring cup.  See #1 – it’s the same principal.  You can’t know WHAT food to add to your log without knowing (FOR SURE) how MUCH of it you have.  I even use a measuring spoon for my creamer in my morning coffee.
  • Get familiar with cauliflower rice.  It has become my secret weapon – along with Lean Cuisines Frozen Meals.  The cauli rice doesn’t taste like rice – hello?  It’s cauliflower! But – it ends up adding a similar texture to food as white rice.  And the calorie difference is crazy.  1 cup of cauliflower rice is about 20 calories.  Same cup of cooked white rice…206.  You can do the math.  So…a Lean Cuisine with roughly 300 calories – add 1 – 2 cups of cauliflower rice (almost every LC has more sauce than is really necessary!) – stir it up.  You’ve got a filling meal – that takes a minute to eat (and chew!) – for around 340 calories.  I buy the rice in the steamer packages in the frozen section – cook the whole bag in the microwave and refrigerate half for another meal.

  • Steamed broccoli.  Again – microwave steamer bags – I keep them in my freezer all the time.  When I was/am hungry, I’d steam and eat the whole bag.  Sprinkle some grilling spice or just salt and pepper on the broccoli.  Maybe add a teaspoon of grated parmesan…again, it takes a minute to eat a ginormous plate of broccoli and it makes, and helps to keep, you full!  Might take a Beano or two before eating it…just sayin’.
  • Don’t try to weigh every day.  At least – that didn’t work for me.  Weight fluctuates up and down.  If you have a down day and then weigh the next day and you’re up – then…probably just a normal fluctuation.  But – that had a negative effect on me.  So I did every two weeks – on the same day – at the same time – in the same clothes (or lack thereof!).
  • I ate a lot (and still do!) of shredded iceberg lettuce.  One 8 ounce bag is 35 calories – I buy the packages by the handful at the grocery.  Add some thinly sliced turkey (I get the Oscar Meyer or Hillshire Farm kind – 50 cal for 2 ounces.  Don’t forget to WEIGH the meat!!), a kosher dill pickle, maybe some pickled gardiniere and okra, and low/no calorie salad dressing.  Cut it and mix it all up and it’s a pretty good salad.  I’ll also use the salad as a base for a “taco salad” and mix one of the mexican (Fiesta Giller Chicken, Unwrapped Burrito Bowl, etc – from Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice) into it.  When it’s all stirred up, I’ll add a little salsa – green or red – for some kick.  No cheese – I didn’t need it and didn’t want to “spend” the calories!  Yum!
  • Fiber One Lemon Bars, Cinnamon Coffee Cake and Brownies are nice little 90 calorie treats.  Do NOT be fooled – not each kind of Fiber One bar is only 90 calories.  Some are 150.  Watch out for “Health” food.  It may have lots of wholesome goodness – but the calorie counts can be shockingly high.  Like…granola.  Yikes!  Remember – I was doing straight up calories.  And – that might not be for you.  But…it worked for me! 🙂
  • I like a bedtime snack.  I know – not supposed to eat after 7.  Or is it 5?  I don’t know.  What I DO know is that if I do NOT have my little bedtime snack, I wake up around 2 and I’m hungry.  Too hungry to go back to sleep.  So…I am more than tempted (I usually follow thru!) to go to the kitchen and get a snack.  And it’s likely not all that well weighed/measured/thought out.  So.  I have 6 – 9 Reduced Fat Triscuit crackers (110-165 cal) and a slice of Sharp Cheese (90 cal).  I actually put it in my Lose It in the morning so that I am planning ahead for those calories.  The crunch and slight saltiness of the crackers makes me feel like I’m getting something and the protein in the cheese helps me not wake up hungry.  Again – this is what worked for me!

So – I think that about gets it.  I hope that this helps you some if you’re looking for help in this department.  If you’re one of the lucky folks out there who never has to worry about their weight – my envy level is very high indeed!  The idea of being able to eat whatever I want whenever I want it is….intoxicating.

But, I doubt that will ever be the case.  I’ve seen the result of that sort of food plan for me – and it’s not okay.  I will always and forever have to think about what I eat.  But the things I’ve learned in the year+ that it took me to lose it will (I most fervently hope!!) help me to stay very close to my goal weight forever!

If this is your journey – I wish you luck and Happy Calorie Counting!






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Finn Fan Fix


No FFF’s for a minute – cuz…once again, I’m here and he’s home with his Dad!



Categories: Shares, Special Promotions, Uncategorized | 74 Comments

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74 thoughts on “Stampin’ Up! No Card For You!

  1. Joanie Otte

    Mary, great post today, thanks for sharing your journey with your weight and congrats on reaching your goal!. I plan to use some or maybe all of your tips and my story is very similar to yours and what you did might work for me also. Thanks again for sharing 😍

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks very much, Joanie! And good luck with your journey. I can’t promise that everything I wrote will work for you – but I CAN promise that when you lose your weight – you’ll be very very happy that you did!! 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your food journey! Love that you’re in a happy place with your weight and have a plan to make sure that you stay there. And jogging on the treadmill…woohooo!! Next thing that you know, you’ll be signing up for your first 5K. 🙂

    • stampsnlingers

      Uhm….no. Anything that starts with a number and ends with a “k” is likely not going to happen! But – I was stupid excited to be able to jog!! Thanks so much, Amy! 🙂

  3. jo ann DeHeer

    your weight loss story was fascinating!!! such perseverance. such determination. i have never had a weight problem but i still read your whole story. overweight is such an issue in this country. and so many overweight people seem to see it as nothing to get upset about. thanks so much for sharing!!!
    jo ann.

    • stampsnlingers

      Thank you for reading my ramblings, JoAnn (and know I’m feeling a tad bit envious of your never having a weight problem!). 🙂

  4. Phyllis

    What an amazing journey! Thank you for sharing it with us I need to lose a few pounds so I am going to get that app a try. I wish you all the best in your continued journey. Were able to do this so I’m sure you’ll succeed!

    • stampsnlingers

      Thank you so much, Phyllis!! I do think that App will help you – it was a Godsend for me. And I appreciate the vote of confidence!! 🙂 Good luck to you! 🙂

  5. You know I love to see your cards, but this was so much better. I am going to talk with my daughter about your success and how you did it. She and I share a love for food and wine and a distaste for exercise. The app may be a starting point! Thanks so much for sharing your journey…I read every word.

    • stampsnlingers

      Oh, good, Karen! I’m so glad. I really debated over the post. The App will help – I truly believe that. The hardest part will be determining calories in the food you eat – but you can do it! And measuring and weighing! It’ll mean you can still eat the food you love (I have a similar problem – I LOVE food!!) but in smaller portions. I discovered portion control was by biggest weakness. As in…I simply didn’t control the portions AT ALL! LOL!! Good luck! 🙂

  6. Carol

    I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed the newsletter on your journey to weight loss. I have always had to watch my weight. I’ve recently given up sweets due to medical problems, I can’t exercise a lot due to a heart condition. I’m only 10 to 15 lbs, overweight now, but it has been a struggle. You are an inspiration to all of us. I feel the same way about Nutrisystem and all of the other weight loss programs that have pre-packaged food. I have had success with Weight Watchers in the past and would have tried it again if we had one close by. Thanks for all the information you have given us!

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks so much, Carol – I am glad that you enjoyed it. I’m always hesitant to do non-card posts, but…I HAVE been asked for it, so…I took the risk! Those 10-15 can feel as insurmountable as 100! Do try the app – it really does help. Also – if you can just add some walking every day….that helps a lot!! Best of luck to you, Carol!! And kudos to you for giving up the sweets! That would be incredibly hard for me! 😳

  7. Toni s

    A great idea to share your story… congratulations to you for finding a plan and sticking to it

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks very much, Toni! Hopefully I’ll REALLY stick to it now that I’m in maintenance mode! 🙂

  8. Cindy

    Mary, I love this post! Being a fellow life-long battler of the bulge, I congratulate you! I second the recommendation of LOSE it. My dad, 83, has lost over 85 pounds using that app this year. He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure last December and was told by his doc that my mom would be a widow before this year was out if he didn’t lose. To say that was eye-opening, is a vast understatement! He looks great and feels better than he has in years.
    Concerning the Thigh-Master, I was watching your latest video just last night and was thinking “All that weight loss and her arms aren’t even flabby!” Now I know why! Guess I need to scour Ebay for an old Thigh-Master!
    Congrats again!

    • stampsnlingers

      I KNOW! I can’t believe that such a gimmicky fitness device actually works as well as it does! Find you a Thigh Master!! 🙂 I’m happy to hear that your dad has had such success. And that he did it in a healthy way! Thanks so much, Cindy! 🙂

  9. Eileen McClean

    Thank you so much for sharing this, I am going to check out the app lose it. Thanks for all of the hints,congratulations from Canada

    • stampsnlingers

      Do! It helps a TON! Thanks very much, Eileen! 🙂

  10. Mary, I have been following you since you got Finn. And I had just stumbled upon you on maybe Pinterest or it might have been a blog hop. Either way, I fell in love with Finn, and the bonus was also, I loved your cards! I am a hobby SU! Demonstrator. I CASE a lot of your cards for the many classes I have with my lady friends. I love reading all your posts and your humor. Your daily posts have become a part of my routine each day, like my morning cup of coffee! Anyways, I did not click the “x” this morning. I read every line. I knew from previous posts that you had lost some weight. But had not realized just how much! WOW, Lady!! Congratulations !!! You are very inspiring! I plan on looking up LOSE IT on my phone now! I had been on of those lucky people in life that never worried about my weight, nor had to ever “diet”. BUT, as age has creep into my life, I’ve packed on maybe 30 extra pounds. I had the word diet, I hate exercise, and in retirement I have found that food is a very big part of it. Going out to dinner with friends, getting together and “munching” while playing cards, etc. have done me in. Eating healthy has always been easy, I don’t care for chocolate, (yup, that’s correct!), but I love rice and pasta in any shape and form! Veggies?? love all of them! BUT I know my biggest problem is not what I eat, but HOW MUCH of it I eat. And the older you get, the less you seem to burn off!

    So, I know this is a long reply, but I just had to write and tell you just how inspiring you are to me!! With Finn, with your cards and with your personal journey! And congratulations !!! You GO Girl!!!

    P.S. I am very anxiously waiting to see Finn again!!!

    Hugs, Kathelyn Bush
    Retired to Sunny South Carolina from New Hampshire
    SU! Demonstrator for 6 years

    • stampsnlingers

      Well, thank you so much, Kathelyn! However you found me, I’m so glad – and it tickles me to know that I’m part of your daily routine! 🙂 Rice. White, sticky rice under beautiful Thai or Chinese food. Yes, ma’am. Could eat it by the bucketful. I miss “Real” rice. My Cauliflower rice is a suitable substitute for most things – but not for eating Thai curry. And yes. Portion control is the DOWNfall of us all! Hence – my new love-affair with the food scale and my measuring instruments. That was a CRITICAL piece of the puzzle for me. And – sadly – I suspect they will be part of my life for…ever. Bleh! I appreciate you taking the time to write! 🙂

  11. Robbie Miller

    Mary, Thanks for sharing your story … very very proud of you for taking control and sticking with the plan ! By the way you look amazing !

    I want you to know that you inspired me to lose 20 lbs. I am a breast cancer survivor (3 years out) and between the steroids they gave me with the chemo treatments and food tasting soooo good when I was done with treatments, I gained about 20 lbs. I would see myself in the mirror and think is that really me … UGH !! Not happy, but not unhappy enough to do anything about it.

    Awhile back you posted about losing 105 Lbs by using the Lose It! App, so I thought why not give it a try ….
    “Low and Behold” it works (sarcasm) … when you eat less and exercise you lose weight !!
    Thanks to you for sharing, I now weigh what I did 3 years ago … and when I see myself in the mirror, it looks like me again 🙂 !!!


    • stampsnlingers

      YEAH YEAH YEAH!!! I am SOO proud of you, Robbie – and tickled to death that anything I said helped you in any way! Many many congrats! It’s an amazing thing to look in the mirror and LIKE what you see, isn’t it?!? So happy for you, my friend! 🙂

  12. Lin Hense

    CONGRATULATIONS. ….very inspiring. I’ve been following you and Finn for over a year. Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey. Hugs to you and Finn.

  13. Kate

    I am SO proud of you, Mary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I know well what perseverance is required. Your Han-Daddy would say “patience and perseverance” and that is indeed what is required. But, as you mentioned, it pales in contrast to blood sugar checks and insulin injections and the sequelae thereof. And that shopping size component is a great motivator. Maintenance kinda sucks, without the reinforcement of loss, but what choice is there? Be glad you can add the exercise component!
    Your account is well said, and I know will inspire others…as your purpose and carry through does me!

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks, Mom – you inspired me! Well – on top of the pre-diabetic dx… 😉 I’m glad I’ve been able to add the exercise, too – and gobsmacked that I’ve kept it up! 😉

  14. Kathy Beaver

    I read every word and will get my DH to read it to. Both of us are pre-existing diabetics and at my doc appointment this week he threatened me with the dreaded finger prick thing. Your success will hopefully inspire us. Thanks for sharing. Now get your narrow buns home and do the Finn fix for us fanatics!

    • stampsnlingers

      I was pretty shocked that my doc didn’t even mention the “pre-diabetic” words. Glad – but shocked. And the needle-prick threat would also work for me, zero doubt about that! Good luck – I know you guys can do it! Thanks so much! 🙂

  15. Pat C

    Such an inspiring post, Mary! I’ve been struggling with weight gain and I think your tips may be of help to me. Congrats to you! 👍👏🏻

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks, Pat – and good luck! Try the Cauliflower Rice – it’s a life-saver! 🙂

  16. Karen L.

    Thanks so much for the ideas that you used for your weight loss. I have recently lost about 15 lbs w/o trying…..I’ve had a family situation that made eating & keeping food in me difficult. I like my new weight & things fit better & tasks are easier. The family crisis has become better & now i don’t want to gain my weight back…..matter of fact I would like to loose a little more. So the suggestions & plan that you described just might be the ticket for me. Thank you so very much for sharing. Congratulations on the great success & so many people have told me that maintenance is the difficult part….so I wish you the very best in the future. Sounds like you have a good attitude towards your goal & you look GREAT!! Thanks again for the inspirations……….weight loss & card making!!

    • stampsnlingers

      Thank you so much, Karen! I’ve always wishes that – if I couldn’t be one of those folks that can eat and eat and never gain an ounce, that I could at least be one of those folks who can’t eat when they’re stressed. But no – I eat my stress, for sure! I am so sorry that you’ve had family troubles – and hope that, with them resolved, you can keep that weight off if that’s your goal! Try some of my ideas – the worst that could likely happen is…nothing! Thank you! 🙂

  17. Angie McKenzie

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey, Mary! I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!! It was just what I needed to be reminded of… I’ve been on a roller coaster all my life, too, with the weight thingy. Having lots of trouble with osteoarthritis in my ankle and now small twinges in my lower back adding to my aches not to mention bifocals and hearing aids – part of getting older, right?!? My daily walks became monthly walks due to allergies and HUMIDITY (my cold-induced asthma can’t handle it)… so thanks for the kick-butt motivation. Starting today at LUNCH I’m logging my food, etc., AGAIN. I’ve always done this but stopped last year and guess what?!? Gained the weight back that I worked so hard to get off… GEEZ!!!!!!! Gotta get in shape for Maui! 😉 (((HUGS))) across the miles

    • stampsnlingers

      Maui or bust! I have cold-induced asthma, too – fortunately Singulair and Asthmanex control it quite well for me! And – I am getting another treadmill. THIS one will be used – unlike the one from 4 years ago that did nothing but hold clothes! I NEED to be able to do my walking without the freakin’ humidity and cold. That’s ma story and I’m stickin’ to it! See you in November! Thanks, Angie! 🙂

  18. Susan Murphy

    This is awesome Mary! Congratulations on your success! It is never easy to stay on track with a diet. I have an android phone. I am going to search for a good app on my phone and start logging to see how much I am eating. I’m sure I’ll be surprised! Thank you for this post. I especially like the tip about the cauliflower rice added to the Lean Cuisine meals. Great idea!

    • stampsnlingers

      Cauliflower Rice has saved me! I am such a huge fan, I can’t even tell you! Bags and bags of it are in my freezer ALL the time now!! Also look for Cualiflower Tots – even Wayne likes them! 😉 I do believe Lose It will also work for Android! Good luck to you, Susan! And thank you! 🙂

  19. I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! Thanks so much for the kick-butt motivation!!! I’ve been on the weight rollercoaster all my life, too!!! Was feeling great until I started taking Singulair last fall… weight has packed back on that I took months/years to loose. Lost my mojo. You’ve motivated and reminded me to get off my bum and start logging my food/water again… I stopped doing that when I started Singulair, too. Gotta quit letting that be my excuse. 😉 So as of LUNCH today, I’m back to journaling… it’s definitely the way to hold oneself accountable (learned that for years with WW)!!! I just need to come up with an escape route as the DH will be complaining about my phone use 25/7 now instead of 24/7. 😉 I gotta get myself ready for Maui!!!!! 🙂 (((HUGS))) across the miles

    • stampsnlingers

      Right?!? I saw Maui and all I could think was…well, kid, now you gotta keep this weight off for TWO more years! Pull that journal (LoseIt) out and get busy, girl! And I’ll see you in November! 🙂

  20. Maryanne Willequer

    Mary, congratulations on both the awesome weight loss and the courage share it publically with all of us. I, too, struggle with my weight. Glad your system worked for you. I am not too crazy with calorie counting, hence, not a big fan of Weight Watchers. But I will take a look at the program you talked about. Heck, if it worked so spectacularly for you, I even might lose a few pounds! Keep up the great work, and enjoy your flight home to your hubby and fir baby!

    • stampsnlingers

      Yep. I tried every which way from Sunday to avoid counting calories. And every once in a while it worked. And then it didn’t. So. I saw it work for my Mom and finally…well. You know. The inevitability of it is kind of overwhelming! Give it a shot – it wasn’t near as hard as I THOUGHT it would be! Thanks, Maryanne!! 🙂

  21. Valerie Barker

    Thank you for sharing your story Mary. I had not realized the magnitude of your weight loss and the journey towards it – just saw some references to it over the posts and wondered. I admire your dedication! I started with the app in January, lost some weight, felt virtuous, then gained .2 lb next weigh in and that sent me back to eating “whatever I want”. I know, silly, but so easy to regress. So good to know it works with perseverance- motivating me to try again. Thank you!

    • stampsnlingers

      Yep – all the folks who say tomorrow is a new start…are right. Dang it! I had to tell myself over and over…just keep doing it again tomorrow! I know how stinky that scale can be when it doesn’t show us what we want. I pretty much hate scales… even now! Thanks for the kind words, Valerie – and best of luck to you! 🙂

  22. Karen Ksenzakovic

    Thank you Mary for this great post. I loved hearing about your journey and I am so envious of you. I’m hoping to be able to have the same success as you. Like you I’ve struggled most of my life with my weight and it’s getting harder as I get older. They told me it was downhill once I hit 30, they weren’t kidding and it got worse when I hit 40. I’m definitely saving this post to look back at it. Thanks for all your great inspiration, with this and card making. Looking forward to meeting you in November.

    • stampsnlingers

      Hey karen – you’re very welcome – and thank you! Yea – it’s harder when we get to the expedited over-night shipping phase, isn’t it? But it’s still doable! So best of luck to you! I’m going to make this post into a page that folks can click on so they can see it when they want to get a look-see. So…that’ll make it easier for you. Can’t wait to meet you in November – OnStage is going to be so awesome! 🙂

  23. Ronnie Graeme

    Thank you so much for sharing. I’m going to give it a try. You look great and a real inspiration.

    • stampsnlingers

      You can do it, Ronnie! I promise – if I can – YOU can! The trick is that there are no tricks. And by taking the time it takes, I learned how to eat so (hopefully!) I can keep it off! Thank you so much! 🙂

  24. Sue Floyd

    Hi Mary! I love your rambling as much as your creativity! Don’t stop! I feel so inspired with your ideas and your joy is contagious. Thanks for all you share.

    • stampsnlingers

      Oh, thank you, Sue! I appreciate hearing that – very much! 🙂

  25. Paula Poindexter

    Hi Mary.
    Thank you so much for sharing with us.
    My journey is into my 3rd year now but finally have a total of 100 pounds gone. Still have about 60 to go.
    I will using some of your advice in the future.
    Thanks again for sharing.
    Oh. One extra hug to wiggle but from me please.

    • stampsnlingers

      LOL – you got it, Paula! I am so excited to see him I can hardly tell you! Congrats on that 100 pounds – that’s a HUGE number!! And good luck with the last 60 – I KNOW you’ll get ‘er done! 🙂

  26. Kristi Gray

    Mary, thank you for sharing today. I understand and can relate to each and every word. I get the struggle and understand your journey. I’m so proud and happy for you. I think the thing that I love the most is you did it the way it should be done ( in my book anyways). No gimmicks, just eating less calories. I’ve been on a similar path with a 50 pound loss several years ago. No matter how much you lose when you reach goal, well it’s hard to describe, down right exciting!!! I am doing things too I never thought possible or wanted to do. I started Stampin after my weight loss, hiking the PCT ( well unti last week when I broke my leg) Start crossing off those bucket list dreams because you can do anything you put your mind too. I’m giddy with happiness for you. Thanks again for being vulnerable and sharing your journey.

    • stampsnlingers

      Thank you so much, Kristi! And you’re right – reaching goals on something as hard as losing weight really is – is exciting as it can be! I love love love feeling better. I love that taking the stairs is easy. I LOVE that I can (apparently!) run again! Do you know I dreamed about being able to do that? And I HATE running!! 😉 So – congrats on YOUR goals reached. And…so sorry that you broke that paw! 🙁

  27. Debra Anderson

    Congratulations and kudos to you for having the determination to prevent diabetes.

    My husband was “prediabetic” for several years till one day he wasn’t! I was always overweight but my numbers were always good so I wasn’t concerned. Not happy, but not concerned. When he was diagnosed I was adamant we were going to fight this together. We went low carb to avoid the sugars. He and I have lost pounds but more importantly his A1C is in the normal range. They have reduced his medication from 2 pills per day to 1. Our goal is to get him totally medication free. All that being said and good as it is, why did it take HIS health scare to make me want to finally do something to lose weight? I am 61 years old and weight has affected so many areas of my life. There were many things I didn’t do because of my weight. I wanted to join the military at 18, (I come from a strong military family), but I knew it would be a constant struggle to make the weight requirements. That will always be a regret for me, although I was a military wife for 20 years. So many things I didn’t do with my kids b/c I was ashamed of how I looked.

    Enough rambling! I applaud you for having the courage to achieve your goal and to knowing when to stop losing.

    Ladies, lets start realizing we are important to a lot of people. We need to take our health seriously. It has nothing to do with fitting into “skinny” jeans or feeling good at the beach. Those are just added benefits to a fit and healthy body! Above all, lets support each other in our journey. Life is hard! Too hard to do alone!

    Thanks for listening!

    Safe travels!

    • stampsnlingers

      Hey Debra – Thanks for sharing your story! And yes – you’re right. We women-folk are important to a lot of other folk – and so we need to be healthy! Whatever it took for you to decide to do that – I’m happy for it. And glad that you are your husband are on a path that’s working for you! Thank you for the kind words 🙂

  28. Karren Olaveson

    Hi Mary,

    Thank you for sharing your story of weight loss. I have struggled with weight since I was about twenty five. I have lost the weight of about four people, only to gain it back. At my age, I have given up, and I have just thought what the heck. My mom was a blind diabetic, and I took care of her for six years. Two years ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes that is controlled with pills, so no Insulin as yet. I really do take that seriously, but the weight just sticks hard and tight (well maybe not so tight). Thanks, Mary, You have made me want to try harder, but at age 76, my brain keeps telling me, in six or so years, Karren, you will be dead anyway, and so what does a few extra pounds matter. Thanks so much, and I am so happy for you and your success. Keep on keeping on, Mary. You look fantastic, and I know you feel that way too.
    Best wishes,

    • stampsnlingers

      Aww Karren – don’t be writing yourself off at 76! 🙁 We don’t know what lies ahead, do we? Only one Guy really knows that. And I bet He’d want you to feel better! And yes – I do feel tons better – both physically and emotionally. I don’t wake up in the night worried about being fat anymore! I hope you’ll decide to give it a try – I feel pretty confident that if I can do this… 😉 Thank you so much, Karren! 🙂

  29. Rita

    Mary, you made the right choice in sharing your weight-loss journey with your readers!! You’re VERY inspiring and your tips were very helpful; I greatly enjoyed reading all that you shared! I think you approached your journey with lots of common sense and determination and just look at what you’ve accomplished! Congratulations!

    • stampsnlingers

      Thank you so much, Rita, those are really kind words! I really was torn about doing the post – so it’s nice to know that it was well received. 🙂

  30. Kathy Fennell

    Hey Mary,
    Wow Lady your are amazing! You are such a wonderful inspiration to everyone in so many ways. Thank you for sharing your weight loss journey with all of us, no easy task. Another accomplishment in life to add to your list of many and more to come. I will be checking out the lose it app and the riced cauliflower. Glad your going to put this post where we can all reference it, I know that I personally will be many times in the near future! Congratulations Mary, so happy and proud of you!
    Safe travels home to your wonderful family! 🙂

    • stampsnlingers

      Thank you so much, Kathy! I appreciate the kind words very much indeed! Enjoy that Cauliflower rice! 🙂

  31. Susan K

    I had an emotional day (still mourning the loss of my sister, hard job cleaning out her house), but always try to check your blog before I call it a day. I not only read all your blog post, I’ve read every word of the responses and your replies. My tears now are of joy for you. What an accomplishment–you have every right and more to be proud of yourself and I’m proud of you too. Thank you for sharing. I wish for even one ounce of your willpower! You are inspiring in addition to being highly creative! You rock, Mary!

    • stampsnlingers

      You are too kind, Susan – and I thank you for the kind words in the midst of your family upheaval and sadness. 🙁 Thank you thank you!

  32. Jeffie Kopp

    Thank you so much for being such an inspiration! I love to read your blog, watch your videos, and of course get my Finn fix, but seeing your journey is going to help me make mine. Hugs from Colorado

    • stampsnlingers

      Good luck to you, Jeffie – I know it’s hard! But – I also know it’s doable, so…I have faith you’ll get it done. Thanks very much for the kinds words! 🙂

  33. Gale S.

    Thank you Mary for sharing your journey with us. Congrats on everything that has happened. I have used the Lose It app in the past and really liked how easy it was. I need to start again. I have 2 questions: how much cocoa and coffee do you add to your yogurt (I assume it is plain vanilla), and what did your husband do for his eating? Like did you you make two meals or did he cook for himself or what? That is the biggest factor that holds me back from doing something like that. Thanks again.

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks so much, Gale! Yes – that’s vanilla yoghurt. It’s the chobani one – not the Light & Fit or other more “diet-y” versions. I tried those and it seemed like I could taste the sweetner. That may just be me, though. I used quite a bit of the coffee and then added the cocoa to tone the coffee flavor down a bit. I’m not sure I could say how much of either – but I am pretty generous with them! I would typically make something for Wayne – he’s not too worried about whether I’m making a full up “meal” – he likes fish and beans, bean burritos, pizzas (frozen), etc. I’d typically make him something and then put together my salad or my Lean Cuisine and Cauliflower rice. Sometimes I ate what he was eating – just measured it good! That help? Best of luck, Gale! 🙂

  34. Barbara Corum

    Congratulations on your weight loss. Very proud of your success. You are not alone in the struggle. Keep up the good work. You are a wonderful inspiration for the rest of us. I tend to weigh every day so will give once a week or two weeks a try. I got off track and gained back some of my 85 pound loss so thanks for the motivation to get back on track. Glad you’re back home. Miss seeing you on Sunday night. Barbara

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks so much, Barbara – I know you can get back down where you want to be. You did it once! 🙂 I’ll be back in gear next week, I promise! 🙂

  35. Sherry

    Mary, Thank you for sharing! Last time I saw you I knew you had lost a lot of weight and I didn’t want to be nosy so I didn’t say anything. I hoped that your loss was intentional and not that you were sick. I’m so happy for your success, Congrats! I love all the tips you shared and especially the cauliflower tots, where do you get those? I gain 6-8 lbs every summer. My immune system has a hard time with heat, so I pretty much stay inside and munch….A Lot! It always comes off once the weather cools down but as I’ve gotten older it takes a little longer than it used too. Your dedication and powerful example will help me get started early and not wait till the weather starts to cool down! Thanks and I’m so excited for you! See you soon! Hugs! Sherry

    • stampsnlingers

      Thanks, Sherry! Definitely “on purpose”! 🙂 I get the cauliflower tots in the frozen vegetable section – the ones I’ve got are Green Giant – and there’s a whole section of Cauliflower Specialty stuff – riced and sauced and tot’ed! Good luck! 🙂

  36. Sherry

    Thanks! We like cauliflower and i’ve made a copycat recipe of Chipotle’s cilantro lime cauliflower rice. If you are interested just google it. There are simple recipes with spices and then there are recipes that involve more time with more fresh ingredients. We like it! I can’t wait to get the tots though! I got an air fryer on Prime Day and we’ve had fun trying different things in it and it’s begging me right now for those tots! See you in several weeks! Sherry

    • stampsnlingers

      Oh yummo – I’m going to google that for sure! We LOVE their rice – so I’d love to have a copycat with cauliflower rice! Thanks, Sherry – and enjoy those tots. See you in a couple! 😉

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