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What I Learned This Week – 5/4/14

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I am not a positive person by nature.  But I am trying.

Hard.  It is sooo very hard.  But this week I learned that I am improving.

My husband had been working overtime for months, which recently ended.  I reduced my days per week at work due to the fact that I thought all the babysitting was killing my elderly mother.  Plus, my husband bought a new (used) car last month.

The sudden reduction in income and increase in expenses has led us to what I used to refer to as “living poor” (i.e. lots of spaghetti and boxes of macaroni and cheese for dinner).  We can pay all our bills, but that leaves very little money left for groceries for a family of three, plus dog food for two large dogs.

But, instead, I found myself referring to it as “living within our means”.  Instead of using our credit card to buy extra food and gasoline, we will just have to live on the cash we have.  That isn’t necessarily super positive, but it definitely doesn’t have as negative a connotation as “living poor”.

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The book “The Secret” talks about telling the universe what you want and not to tell it what you want to avoid.  For instance, I would thank the universe for my red Jeep Wrangler.  I do not actually have a Jeep Wrangler.  Yet.  But the universe does not know that.  And by putting my energy into being thankful for it, I may just manifest one.*

This week I also realized I need to eat less food.  Which works out well with being able to buy less food, I guess.  But that still doesn’t stop me from being hungry and wanting to eat.  My asbestos friend used a phrase that I thought was very apt.  She said she needed to “reign in” her eating.  She didn’t call it a diet or trying to lose weight.  It wasn’t implied that she would suffer or lack anything.  She was just going to have less.  Plus, it has a royal ring to it.  “Reign it in”.

So, my two new mottos to live by this week are “live within my means” and “reign it in”.

Hmmm.  While they do not seem negative, why am I still left with the nagging feeling of being hungry and poor?

Hershey's chocolate syrup

Hershey’s chocolate syrup

I miss my daily chocolate already.  Time to lick some Hershey’s syrup off a spoon.

*  At work yesterday I was thinking a lot about how I am more productive when I work by myself, and also how an extra $25 would come in handy.  One of my co-workers pulled a no-show, and I had to stay later to cover her. :-/  Be careful what you wish for.

What I Learned This Week – 8/18/13

I learned that while both my husband and I being employed reduces financial stress (a little), a constantly changing schedule causes an increase in planning stress.

I realized I need to quit eating so much chocolate and move more.

I decided that when I reach my goal of getting my first book self-published by the end of the year, I am going to reward myself with a bitchin’ new tattoo.

And now I am off to eat a spoonful or two of Nutella and watch a romantic movie. Night-night everyone.

Tattoo writer lowercase

Candy Bar Diet

NOTE: My original idea. All rights reserved.

If you steal my idea and make millions from it, I will sue your ass. And that will probably be easier than if I just tried to make millions off my idea myself.

A few years ago, I created a Candy Bar Diet. I think it is a brilliant idea. Most people don’t understand it.

The core of the diet is to track the calories you eat in a day using the magnetic, dry-erase Handy Dandy Candy Board, featured in the back of the book that explains the diet. The Handy Dandy Candy Board uses adorable candy bar magnets to track the calories you eat in a day. I created a mock up that I used myself. It was much more fun than keeping a food diary.

The following are the excerpts from the book and pictures of the mock-up.

Handy Dandy Candy Board – Daily calorie tracker and goal  © not-quite-a-diet 2010


Candy Bar Calorie Counter

It’s “not-quite-a-diet”

How It Works

Candy bars (the normal sized ones here, no cheating with King-sized) are generally average out to be 230 calories. No matter what you eat in a day, you know you are always thinking: Can I still squeak in a candy bar?  Of course you can!  Especially if you think of all your calorie counting in terms of candy bars!

Start off with the maximum number of calories you want to collect in your flabby body in a day.  Let’s say 1600 calories.  Divide that by the average calories in a candy bar: 230 calories.  That would mean you could eat calories equal to 7 candy bars in a day.  And now with the dry erase, magnetic Handy Dandy Candy Board, it is easy to track to your daily goal.


That 20oz of Coke you just drank with 240 calories?  That equals a candy bar.  The honey bun you ate for breakfast at 460 calories—sorry, that’s 2 candy bars.  Ate out for lunch & don’t know the calories?  Be honest with yourself & give it your best guess.  A cheddar bacon cheeseburger would probably be at least 3 candy bars.  No complicated math. No tracking every tiny Pez candy.  Feel free to round, but be honest with yourself.  If you cheat, it will only harm yourself.  I don’t care how much you eat in a day.  I just want you to appreciate my adorable candy bar magnets, which I was inspired to create while squandering my life & my creativity in a cubicle.

Your Tools

Decide on your calorie/candy bar daily goal.  Write it on the dry erase, magnetic Handy Dandy Candy Board .  Place a candy bar magnet on the board every time you consume 230 calories in your day.  The magnets are kept in a convenient storage pocket until you need them.  Where do those calories come from?  That is entirely up to you!

There is also a handy journal included to track your progress, if you are into that sort of thing.  There is a Calories-to-Candy Bar Conversion Chart.  Once the day is done, clear your candy slate & start over again!  Conveniently sized to travel with you throughout the day as you rack up the candy bars, er, the calories:)

Why Count in Candy Bars?

This just happens to be how my brain works!  And I AM guilty of eating multiple candy bars in a day.  Whenever I tried to keep a journal of what I ate, I never made it through one day.  I never made it through more than ONE MEAL!  It was boring & tedious.  But I realized that I was finding myself saying “well, these 2 toaster pastries equal 2 candy bars…maybe I should just eat the candy instead?!”

If you tried a strict dieting plan & became discouraged, this might be a good place to start over.  By making it easier to track what you are eating, you are more likely to actually keep it up!  Try the calorie counter with sweet indulgences figured right in!

Sometimes just keeping track of what you eat can encourage you to eat less.  If your board is filling up, and it’s a choice between cheesecake or dinner, you might just choose dinner.  If it’s a Friday night after a long week of work, you might choose cheesecake. But you will be educated & know that by eating both, you could be packing on the pounds.

The Facts

Typically a person needs 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day.  To maintain your weight, you would want to eat around 2,000 calories (9 magnetic candy bars worth a day), depending on how active you are.  If you want to lose weight, you would want to eat less.

Your best bet for an accurate calorie count is on the “Nutrition Facts” label on your food packaging, or in some cases on the company’s website.  MAKE SURE you read the Serving Size, and be sure to multiply your servings by the Calories per Serving.  Once you have that number, it is easy to use the Calories-to-Candy Bar Conversion Chart to add the appropriate candy bar magnets to your candy bar board.

And FYI…Eating 9 candy bars in a day is not recommended & will definitely result in a tremendous stomach ache.

Also, more than just calories go into making you fat, such as, well, FAT.  This is a highly simplified system, therefore we only track calories.  Consider yourself warned!

©  not-quite-a-diet 2010

Calories-to-Candy Bar Conversion Chart

© not-quite-a-diet 2010

Candy Bar Log

© not-quite-a-diet 2010

Storage pocket for Handy Dandy Candy Board candy bar magnets. © not-quite-a-diet 2010

That is the Candy Bar Diet. Do you think it would work for you?

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