Offerings from My Mailbox

A busy week in my inbox, but I think I’ve finally got it together enough to share with you.

Our Help is Needed!!
A Weight Lifted, the blog for Vermont-based Green Mountain at Fox Run (a healthy living and weight loss retreat), needs our help! Yes, US! They’re conducting a survey on factors involving stress, the economy, and weight woes, and they asked if we would take a minute to complete the survey. (Actually, it only takes about half a minute, so you’re saving time already.)

Here’s a link to the survey. With the time you save, you might want to escape for a bit to the Green Mountain photo gallery. I feel calmer just looking at the photos.

New Calorie Counter Tool Available for our Delight
Well, shoot, I already gave away the name of it. The site is NewCalorieCounter, and it’s a fairly extensive searchable database (around 8000 items) of foods and their nutritional make up. While I did (and still do, sort of) count calories, I respect that it’s not everybody’s thing.

What I like about this tool (besides the fact that they said I could have 2,362 calories A DAY), is that it provides a way to look up foods by specific nutritional content. For example, in looking for vegetables I might accidentally like, I asked for the results to be returned in order by their Vitamin A values. (I’m all about Retinol these days.) Sadly, the first result was for spinach souffle, which is NOT going to pass these lips anytime soon, but things turned around with the whole roster of potato choices that followed.

Another thing I like (even though I disagree with some of their assessments) is the “weight loss rating” assigned to each food. I think they’re a bit harsh, and yes, it IS because some of my favorite foods didn’t make the cut, so to speak. :) They also include ratings for many of the popular weight loss plans like WW, Zone Diet, Atkins, etc., but remarkably, they do not have a TippyToeDiet listing. Perhaps in future years. ;) But even if I do disagree, I appreciate a valuable moment to pause and think about my choice.

A couple of areas I haven’t explored are the forum and the recipes. I hope to get there this weekend. Maybe we’ll run into each other. :)

Look into Your Future (and you could if you win this GIVEAWAY)
Ahhh, GIVEAWAY. Our favorite word, right behind “loss” and “splurge meal”. Now, ya’ll know I’m a big proponent of the concept that we need to be eating healthy because it’s the right thing to do for our bodies. I’ve loitered all over your blogs with variations on the theme. But I do understand that a little visual motivation might help pep things up when you’re gnawing on
your oh-so-healthy baked chicken and broccoli and eyeballing the pizza your husband brought home for himself and the little ones. And honestly, if I’d had a picture of my “now” when I was just getting started, my methods would’ve been the same, but there would have been a few early workouts with more sweat and fewer tears.

Enter: PictureYourselfThinner. These fine folks have created a tool that allows you to see what your “after” self might look like, but before you get there. Basically, you send them your “before” photo (and they include handy tips on the sort of photo to send so that you get the best visual motivation possible), and they do some sort of presto-chango magic weight loss reduction imaging that returns to you an image of a thinner, healthier you.

I’m not describing it well, am I? Check out their gallery for some actual “before” and the projected “after” photos. I love that these women all look *healthy*–no cutting of heads and pasting on model-thin bodies. I get goosebumps just imagining how excited they must’ve been to see the possibilities that might be theirs.

Who’s tapping their fingers? I’m getting to the GIVEAWAY. You can’t just jump into these things, you know. Sheesh.

Anyway, for the IHaveThingsToDo crowd, here’s the deal. The super-generous folks at PictureYourselfThinner are offering…not one…not two..notthreenotfour…but FIVE of you the opportunity to receive a F-R-E-E visual representation of the future you! ::wild, happy dancing!::

No kidding, FIVE of you!

The cost of an entry? A comment, of course. :)

Maybe you want to comment on how having a photo of the possible thinner you might inspire you…or not.

Maybe you want to tell us about a Fun!Food!Fact you found on the calorie counter.

Maybe you could comment on the stresses the economy is placing on you and your fitness efforts and what you’re doing about it. (Hint: Double-stuffed Oreos is not a good answer.)

Or all of the above. Your choice.

The contest will remain open through Monday, March 23rd (midnight Central US) and is open to all who visit here, the “beloved familiars” and the brand new faces, too! I’ll post the winners names on Tuesday.

Oh, and just so you know, if you don’t win here, you still have a chance on the PYT site. They have a monthly prize giveaway.

In the interest of disclosure, I received no financial incentives from any of these sites. I just think they’re interesting.

Oh, and Happy SPRING!!!!