One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident


No Trace! Well… Except When it Motivates Me

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Trying to keep the house clean with kids it’s a constant battle.

Who am I kidding?

It’s probably just as hard without kids – – I just don’t remember those days. Now I’m buried by Legos and Matchbox cars. There always seems to be something on the counters — mail, papers, bills, CRUMBS! And the Nerf bullets, oh my word, don’t even get me started. They are EVERYWHERE!

Our house is proudly “lived in” and normally I don’t mind the mess but I also know how much better I feel when things are simple and tidy.

So I enacted a new rule, well… guideline as I’m just as guilty of this as the kids. We call it “No Trace” and it’s been coming in handy these past couple weeks.

The idea hit me one afternoon while picking up blocks from the living room floor… again. I looked at the 10-Year-Old and said,

“Do you remember what the rule was when we went camping?”

“No trace?” He said.

“YES!” I said. “It’s time we enact the ‘No Trace Rule’ at home.”

Why haven’t I thought of this before?!  Now every time someone walks away from a mess (myself included), I say aloud, “NO TRACE!”

Of course they let out a big sigh but they also immediately clean up. It’s  genius! (And very #wycwyc, I may add.) And it’s working, kind of. The house is remaining much cleaner than it normally does.

One huge benefit is coming down to a clean kitchen at 5 a.m. before heading to the gym. It always puts a smile on my face and it’s refreshing to start the day without the extra weight of yesterday’s mess.

This morning when I came down there was an empty bag of grapes that wasn’t there the night before.

Grapes left on the counter.

I noticed because I particularly yelled “NO TRACE!” while cleaning the kitchen before bed.

See, The Husband has a nighttime snacking habit even worse than mine. I swear, some days he consumes more calories between 8 and midnight then he does the rest of the day. I’m not going to lie, it’s a challenge to be around him sometimes.

However, he’s been making an effort, and a few months ago he started cutting back on his evening snacks and trying to make better choices. He stopped buying the chocolate cupcakes and Twix (the two things he’d eat the most of when the kids went to bed) and started to take advantage of my fruit salad making.

He’s not known for pulling fruit out on his own, so I was impressed to see the empty bag near the sink. He actually dug them out of the fridge and washed them. Pretty impressive for someone who normally digs in the pantry and opens a bag of chips or Oreos when he’s hungry.

It inspired me.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little out of control in the food department. From Whole30 to Eat to Perform, I’m finding myself preoccupied and overwhelmed with what I should be eating. This has never served me well.

When I changed my diet and lifestyle nearly 11 years ago resulting in a 70-pound weight loss I did it NOT by making some absurd rules about what I could and could not eat. Actually the opposite was true, I didn’t make anything off limits. I was just really smart about portions and balanced everything in a paper food journal.

I make the best choices when I simply try to stay conscious about my food choices. No calorie limits or macros to hit. Those constraints have always backfired. Getting that detailed about my diet makes me feel as if I have something to rebel against.

Instead, all I need is a good old fashioned food journal to help me stay accountable. Yes, after all these years I still need to keep myself accountable because I have a problem with overeating. And it doesn’t matter how much I workout or lift, my overeating will catch up with me if I don’t get it under control.

And I’m starting to feel out of control.

So here goes nothing…

Thursday Food Journal

  • Fresh pineapple — I brought some to the gym to snack on after my workout.
  • Quinoa, Pineapple and Mango Salad With Avocado – Grabbed it for breakfast while getting the kids off to school.
  • Yogurt with apple, cinnamon, nutmeg and walnuts — Late morning snack.
  • Leftover baked chicken strips dipped in homemade hot sauce and an ear of corn — I’m really getting into making hot sauces lately. The husband is ecstatic as he’s a wing fanatic.
  • Ham and cheese roll ups – I made sure to weigh the cheese as I’ve been going overboard with it lately. I had 1.5 ounces, and if I don’t watch I can easily eat 5 times that. It’s just one of those foods I struggle with portionwise.
  • Steak, 1/2 baked potato and roasted Brussel sprouts with coconut oil — SO good! And satisfying. No snacks after this one!
    grill whore!

It’s crazy to think that an empty bag of grapes on the counter inspired me to start food journaling again but it did. If The Husband can make the positive changes, then I can surely continue on the path I started on all those years ago.

He doesn’t know it, but he gave me the kick in the pants I needed.

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There are 16 comments so far.


    May 12, 2016

    Hi Roni. I LOVE that your hubs was able to inspire you out of your blahs. And I’d bet he’d be amazed, and kinda proud, since I’m sure your efforts and dedication have inspired his changes. Awesome how you’re both making healthy changes and inspiring each other.

    Maybe someday it’ll work that way in my household too :-)

    Keep on keeping on and WYCWYCing it (and I miss your podcasts :-(


      May 16, 2016

      I miss them too! I’m trying to get them back.


    May 12, 2016

    Exactly what I needed to read. For some time now I have been struggling with food rules – low carb, low fat, vegetarian – you name it, I’ve tried it. And like you mentioned, it always backfires. Finally last Monday I had enough. I just started tracking (currently using My Fitness Pal). I haven’t felt this at peace in years and I lost 4 lbs!!!


      May 16, 2016

      YES! It’s too many details. Intuitive is the way to go for me.


    May 12, 2016

    How’s he doing w the soda consumption?! I’m struggling trying to quit Diet Coke…..


      May 16, 2016

      It’s going ok.. we still don’t buy any for the house but he orders it when we go out. Honestly, I think that’s why he wan’t to eat out so much!


    May 13, 2016

    So funny you should mention your husband eating more calories overnight than during the day since my husband is the exact same way. I often will tease him that he is like a newborn baby since he cannot go all night without waking up for a feeding.
    Me, I could never ever go back to bed after eating a snack in the middle of the night. I can’t even imagine trying to.
    I love the No Trace rule at home, especially since I am a backpacker and camper….good job!


      May 16, 2016


    Tracy Hansen

    May 13, 2016

    I hear you on the Nerf bullets. I finally got Dane to clean his up by threatening to tear in half, any I found on the floor. He didn’t believe me until I tore about 10 up. Now all I have to say is…Oh a bullet” and he comes running!


      May 16, 2016

      I may have to make that my next move. lol


    May 13, 2016

    My Hubs gave me a shot of inspiration today, too, and in the kitchen no less! he was up early for no reason, and DECIDED TO TAKE THE DOGS FOR A WALK – this is unheard of! This bit of action woke me enough to realize I wasn’t going back to sleep, and I remembered the dishes that I’d meant to do last night. We’ve both been fighting a cold this week and last night I really used that as an excuse because I didn’t feel motivated to clean that sh!t up. So at 5:45am, I took 20 minutes and got it done. Dogs walked, dishes done, and I was still on time to work? MORE, PLEASE…


      May 16, 2016

      Love when they step it up! :)


    May 13, 2016

    I find the same thing when I try to hit certain macros…I end up frustrated by the limitations and forcing myself to eat more of certain things (protein) than I naturally care to. My attitude is much better if I have guidelines I shoot for…such as protein at every meal, a fruit and/or veggie at every meal, using small amounts of healthy fats as a garnish rather than the main attraction, etc. I find I naturally end up in the neighborhood of 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat if I do this a lot of days.


      May 16, 2016

      Yup, when I’m just tracking I’m pretty clothes to my goals anymore but the extra pressure just backfires for me. I’m so tried of the details. It makes it not fun.

    Sherri D

    May 14, 2016

    How did my Mom keep her house so clean? OH, I know, she had THREE girls that all were expected to help keep it clean. lol
    I hate food journaling. -.- That is my “I am not amused” look. Why does it work so blasted well? I started back on mine a couple weeks ago. It is a tool that I will have to use now and then, for the rest of my life, unless I want to just get fat again. I don’t. So please pass the pencil so I can write it down. hahaha
    Thanks for your blogging Roni! You help more than you know. :)


      May 16, 2016

      You are so welcome and so right. Food journaling is the key! So simple too if you think about it.