Success tips for my journey #TheHow

I have found some tips that make my journey more successful and I would like to share them today.

Menu Planning

As a family we sit down weekly to plan out our menu for the week. This helps with out food budget as well as eating more healthy. We write out what evens are happening during the week so we can plan our schedule and meals. Then we work on meals that are healthy and sometimes quick. We like to have our  children involved in this weekly planning so they help choose meals and also understand that there will be meals they may not like or that we want to try. Menu planning is a valuable part of my journey.

Fruits & Veggies

We try to use more vegetables and I try to fill my plate with  good veggies. We love to substitute spaghetti squash for pasta! Also, keeping more fruit in the house and available helps me from going after any junk food that may be found around the house.


I love to walk! My family and I go for walks outside when it is nice but I also joined a local gym. I try to get every day and get some miles in on the treadmill. I also try to push my comfort zone, the only way to make a difference is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. It never hurts to try and afterwards it feels good.  I keep trying to change things up and I see nice results from that.

Eat Mindfully

I have mentioned mindfulness several times in these posts. I really believe that makes a huge difference. Being mindful and in the moment keeps you focused.

Mindful eating is not a diet. It’s about experiencing food more intensely and really enjoying what you eat. – from The How

My success tips above are basic, I think most people would know them already. But there are so many more. I find that reading The How gives me ideas and also helps me plan out each of the tips to be more successful.

What tips do you have? I would love to hear them.

DISCLOSURE: I do NOT receive any compensation for my posts. I participate with these companies because I believe in them and they are helping me.

It’s a journey. Keep trying. #TheHow

I don’t usually post twice in a day, but I had to write this additional post after thinking about my weigh in.

I am on a journey to lead a healthy lifestyle.  A journey has failures and successes.  Don’t worry about the failures, just learn from them and move on the journey.

Looking at my weigh in today I was upset.  I know I ate bad the last few days.  Hospitals and stress does that.  I gained back even though I had a great exercise yesterday!
I looked at my weight a different way and see I am quickly removing my last goal.  
Looking a little further I see that this is a small bump in the my journey, not even visible.  I have to stay focused and keep pushing my comfort zone and being mindful of what I am consuming.  

Don’t stop, address the roadblocks and continue on your Journey. It’s not a failure unless your quit. Look at The How for help on continuing your journey.


#TheHow – Exercise Guides – Helping my Move Goal

LoseIt is publishing fitness guides that are easy to follow and help with meeting my “Move” goals. I am trying very hard to get more active and the guides are very helpful.


Currehtly I am trying “Rise and Shine Workouts“, this routine only requires minimal equipment:

  • 2 – 10lb dumbbells
  • sturdy chair
  • Small sturdy table or bench

The idea of these workouts is to get a workout in every day even if you have very little time. Check out to find out more about The How.

I also want to work on burpees, there is a article/video on LoseIt that breaks down the burpee.

In this 4-week program with video demonstrations, we break the burpee into bite-sized pieces that build the strength, mobility, and endurance needed to help you either do your first burpee or become a burpee machine.

I usually just walk the treadmill, but I want to kick it up a notch. I am making a point of doing the Rise and Shine Workouts and also fit in a class at the gym I belong to.

I attended a Kettlebell class and it totally kicked by butt! But… It felt great, I know I didn’t do well, but I tried and just kept trying. The instructor and other members of the class are supportive and motivating. For me to achieve my goal I have to change things up and push my comfort zone. Pushing the zone and getting more exercises vital to my goals. 

Just as I am trying to be mindful of what I am eating, also being  mindful of getting my “Move” up is very important.  

Join me on my Journery to go from fat to fit. We can do this and LoseIt is one of the tools that are helping me. 

#TheHow – 3rd Goal Achieved!!! #LouLoss


I weigh in twice a week. When I weighed in this week and reached an all time low for me! I am so excited and proud.


I am actually “.1” away from my goal. I am calling it met!

I started my journey in November with the purchase of Loseit Premium. I log everything that I eat. I walk as much as I can. Mindfulness is the key. I watch what I consume, making me think about my food. I was ready to binge this week and held off. I ate some fresh fruit and vegetables instead.

Last Sunday I joined The Gym, a local gym that is close. I have been trying to get there every day and walk 2 miles on the treadmill. I missed one day so far which was unavoidable. I am changing my lifestyle, not going on a diet. I slip sometimes but now my slips are NOT full binges, like I used to do. I am eating less and have increased my activity level.

Since The How was released on LoseIt, I read it regularly and learn new tips and menu ideas. I have found some very good recipes, two of them pictured below. I bought the groceries last week but we modified the recipes and made some very good and healthy meals.

weekly-menu-400-calories-I am watching my carbs. I am eating a lot more vegetables (FIBER) and lean protein.





I will be adjusting my goal to my fourth goal, which is another 10 pounds. I find that setting small achievable goals is very helpful. Each ten pounds I celebrate how I am doing.

Join me on my journey as I continue towards my final goal of a total loss of 50 pounds. But, the important part of the goal is maintenance. I am changing my lifestyle and LoseIt and The Gym are key parts of my change.

#TheHow – Changing My Lifestyle

I have been trying to change my lifestyle since October 19, 2015. I am proud of how I am progressing. I am currently down 26 pounds and am still working on another 20 pounds. It has been very hard at times, I started this during the holiday season and was surprised at how well I did.


I purchased LoseIt Premium and installed it on my phone. I use it daily to log 11624435666_1cf54451f8_keverything that I eat. Mindful eating. Knowing what you are eating and not just eating all the time without thinking about it. Mindfulness, being in the moment is very important to changing your lifestyle. I find that logging my food and being mindful helps me stay on track. As you can see from the picture I was not always mindful. I struggle with overeating and binge eating. LoseIt has been helping me control this by logging my intake and being mindful of what I consume.

I have been saying “change my lifestyle“. This is important because I don’t just want to go on a diet. I want to change how I am living and maintain the goals that I achieve.

I was excited to see that LoseIt has released a new feature to this site/program. It’s call “The How“.


The How provides meal plans, shopping lists, recipes, workouts and actionable advice to fuel your transformation. As an official member of the Premium Club you automatically receive exclusive access to new guided content right in your Lose It! app.

I switched from Weight Watchers to LoseIt. The pricing is much better and the technology is AMAZING. LoseIt has a nice community that I can access anytime and now they have “The How“.

To help me continue and hopefully help others change their lifestyle I am going to write regular posts on my journey. I will start with my use of “The How” and give you my thoughts on it. I will also write about behaviors that I am changing or trying to change and how they are working for me.



Why Do I Do What I Do?

An administrator at a school board meeting talked about “Why do I do what I do?“. This talk really made me think. It was a challenge from the superintendent and I wanted to take this challenge as well.

Why do I do what I do? Family. I have a very close family and I take pride in that. I like to do things that make my family happy. I do what I do for my family; to bring them happiness (sometimes), to help them and be with them. Family is not just the people that are related to you but the people you love as family.

Why do I do what I do? My children. I want to my children to be caring, helpful and motivated people. I want them to accept challenges and have confidence to try anything they desire. I want my children to help others without expecting anything in return.

Why do I do what I do? To help others. We all can help someone, smiling at a person can sometimes make a difference in their life. Listening to someone can bring them peace. You never know what a person is dealing with, try to bring them a piece of happiness.

As a I think more about this question. I try to think deep inside to the why’s. I try to live true to my heart. I try to be caring and show people love. I try to be there when people need me. I am only human though and I don’t succeed at all the times. I make mistakes, sometimes a lot of mistakes. We all do. I try to ask for forgiveness and correct my wrongs.

I want to change the world. Sound big. I can change the world a little bit. By helping others in need, I can change the world. If everyone would try to help another person the world can be changed.

Why do I do what I do? Love. Love is so important in life., There is no reason to live without love. Love for a person must be true and shared. I don’t use the word love freely. Love comes from my heart and soul.



Journaling with Day One My Way

I have been keeping a journal for a long time. I find it very therapeutic to write my thoughts down and reflect on them. I started with pen and paper, writing entries in notebooks. The last few years I started to use Day One on my iPhone. I wanted to have a way of having my journal with me so I could record my thoughts whenever and wherever I was. I tried a few other applications on my phone, I really wanted something that I could use on my computer and iPhone. Day One currently works on Apple products but the intuitive user interface and stability of the application is well worth it. I have used it on my iPhone and also used it on an iPad and found it to be a clean interface. I am able to just write what I am thinking and move on to what I am doing. I record simple thoughts throughout the day. I have tried other apps several times but keep coming back to Day One because I find this system to be so well put together and it lets me focus on my thoughts.

I use a Windows laptop which was a limitation with Day One until very recently. I have tried using the third party apps but didn’t really like working with a Windows app. I wanted something that was web based and can be used anywhere but have a full keyboard. Most of my entries are created using an iPhone but at times I like to write more detail and prefer to type on a full computer. If you are a Mac user, Day One has a Mac app which I have used on my kid’s Mac Book Air. This works wonderful, but I use Windows most of the time (for now).

This month Day One released an update that includes a channel on IFTT which makes it possible to use other platforms to record your entries. I was very excited about this release and quickly looked into how I could use this to better record my thoughts.

If you’re not familiar with IFTTT (If This Then That), it’s a free web-based service that allows users to create chains of simple conditional statements, called “recipes”, which are triggered based on changes to other web services. IFTTT is a great way to automatically add content from many web services including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. You can even set up an SMS trigger to create a journal entry via text message!



I am an avid Evernote user, but keep my journal separate from my notes. With the addition of IFTTT I create a “recipe” that will take a note that I tag with #DayOne and save it to my journal in Day One. This is huge for me, I can very easily type on any computer with a web browser using Evernote and tag it with #DayOne and it is saved to DayOne. I love this feature and was excited to have it available. (I know, I am a geek).

25895524062_467bbe0f75_oI also have an Apple Watch and have the Day One app installed on it as well. When I first heard that Day One released an Apple Watch app I was not thrilled but after using it I have to say it is amazing. A large amount of my entries come through my Apple Watch now. I simple dictate into the watch and the entry is saved. I also have shortcuts that I used on the Apple Watch. I have a shortcut that I used to record when I take my medicine so I don’t forget if I have taken it already. I will use it to “check in” at a place, so I can very easily without saying anything check in to the location using GPS and an entry is recorded and I can go back later to fill in details.

As you can see in the above image I have reminders set to prompt me for creating journal entries. I like to have this prompt to think of what I am grateful for each day and the reminder is set to add the tag “grateful” to the entry.

25387520583_921d29dc23_oI have a separate journal for different types of entries. I have one for just personal thoughts, one for work and now have one for ideas on blogging about. They are easily separated and can be “tagged” with more information if I wish.

Picture logging is another feature I use often, I don’t always want to share the pics, sometimes I just want to record them for myself or my family to later see. I will take a few pictures and add them to a journal entry, add some text if I wish or come back and add the text later.

If you have questions about how I use it or suggestions on other uses I would love to hear them. Reach out to me at @LJRAIN or here in the comments.


First Goal Met!

This morning I weighed in and realized I beat my first goal! Next week is Thanksgiving and I will splurge a little but still be mindful of what I am consuming. I will also still log everything I eat to keep myself mindful.

I have been struggling with my weight for several years now and have tried different strategies. My most successful is always counting calories. Just being mindful of what I am eating and drinking, knowing and thinking about what I am consuming. I try to avoid foods that are not healthy and go for foods that will help with my weight loss.

Last month I decided to try the app LoseIt to help me monitor my food. I purchased the premium service after thinking about the comparison to other weight loss programs I have tried and paid for. I have the LoseIt app on my phone and connected with my Fitbit.

Before I signed up for LoseIt I also decided to increase my walking and work on reaching my step goal. Lunchtime at work invovles a light lunch and a walk. I walk with a group of people and we are averaging 2 miles each day. The walk is not slow but not speed walking, we can talk but still walk briskly. We have some inclines to make us work and the group keeps us all going and pushing each other.

The combination of increased activity and mindful eating with the help of LoseIt has helped me achieve my first goal. I have set my goals to be milestones that are achievable and then I set a new goal to work towards. As you see see from the “Insights” chart, I am keeping a deficit of calories throughout this month.

I have now set a new goal to lose another 10 pounds. I have also increased my step goal by 1,000 to 8,000. I know I should be getting 10,000 steps a day but I am a computer programmer and sit a lot at work. I want to make the goals achievable but still work to get them. Now that it is colder this goal will also be more work as I walk outside and not on a treadmill.


The following two charts from the Insights option in LoseIt show my calories that I am consuming and the calories that I am earning with my activity. This combination is what is making it possible.

My long term goal is to get to a healthy weight and lead a better lifestyle with healthy eating and activity.



Trying Again #LouLoss

Changing your lifestyle is very hard, it takes a lot of commitment and continual review. I have been trying to lose weight like many other people for a long time. Over the past month I begin to log my food again, this time using LoseIt. The web app and phone app are both very easy to use and provide great information about what you are doing. I will talk more about the tool in a later post, but I did pay for the premium edition for year.
I like to log my food and monitor my calories and what I eat. This keeps me mindful of what I am putting into my system and also keep me accountable to myself. I can see what I am doing wrong, what my weak points are and work on developing them.
I have owned a Fitbit since 2011 and have worn it and joked that it shows me how lazy I am. Since I restarted my goal to get healthy I have increased my activity level, trying very hard to meet my 7,000 step goal every day and trying to make it to 10,000 a day. Achieving 10,000 a day is hard with my having a job where I sit all day, but I go out and walk at lunch almost every day and try to walk a lot.
Below is the best I have been with my activity in a long time, I will be increasing my goal after I maintain this goal for a few more weeks.
How do you stay healthy and active. I was a coach potatoe for so long and need to change this for my health and to be a better role model for my children. Changing my eating patterns and increasing my activity are a great way to start.


All Day Breakfast

22562314266_dba26950ec_kAll Day Breakfast isn’t something new, but last Month it became part of the McDonald’s menu. You can now order your Egg McMuffins any time of day and it will be served up to you.

My wife and I received an invitation to an event that took us behind the counter at a local Pittsburgh McDonald’s. We toured the restaurant while it was open and serving food. Witnessing first hand the stringent rules in regards to cleanliness that McDonald’s mandates for their employees. Working with food we expect that washing hands is happening and McDonald’s does also.

So, Egg McMuffin…

The Egg McMuffin was introducing through McDonald’s in 1972 and was a huge success. During the tour, one thing stood out to me and I don’t know if it is just me but I was shocked when I saw cases of real eggs! I didn’t expect to see real eggs in McDonald’s but that is how they make Egg McMuffins, they start with a real egg.

21965167274_ee22629999_kWe watched, well really one of us actually made the Egg McMuffin. The egg was cracked into a special grill with six circle cylinders, the yolk was pinched and grill closed. Water was poured on in a container built into the grill to help poach the egg. Two minutes later a perfectly formed round egg was ready for building an Egg McMuffin. McDonald’s uses 2 billion USDA eggs a year, they working towards all cage free eggs within 10 years. Other egg products are supplied in liquid form, still starting with a real egg not imitation.

I would like to know, have you tried McDonald’s All Day Breakfast yet? Please let me know, I will be trying it again soon.

FULL DISCLOSURE: In the interest of full disclosure my wife and I both where provided complimentary meals at this event.