October 27, 2010

Weigh In: 2 lb. Loss

172.5 lbs. Me and Norma, my workout buddy. Everybody needs a Norma :)

It feels so good to have the scale moving again!

For those who may be new to this blog, it has been a while since I have had steady losses. Like 6 months!!! In May I reached the 50 lb. lost mark. I was averaging about 7 lbs. a month leading up to that milestone. Since then I have only lost 7 pounds! (Which averages about 1 pound per month.) However--the over all average is about 4 pounds per month which equals to about 1 pound per week. That is super and right on target.

It is so hard to look at the big picture when we are in the middle of a really difficult time or if we are not getting the immediate gratification that our human nature desires. But looking at the big picture is mandatory! Although I whined and had a few melt-downs, I knew that if I kept moving in the right direction, it was inevitable that I would make progress...and I was right!

There did come a point where I realized I needed to change it up a bit, in addition to keeping steady on my course. That is when I evaluated what I had been doing, asked for help, figured out a plan and then executed it. For me that was adding 20 minutes of a different type of exercise daily (The Shred) and eating 100-200 calories less per day.

Pic on left is before starting The Shred, pic on right is 7 workouts later.

If you are losing heart and thinking this is not worth it--STOP! It is worth it and you can do it. Stay the course! Reevaluate if needed, but stay the course. The best advice I can give is to let go of the idea that there is a finish line. There is no finish line for healthy living. You just keeping living this way, everyday, for the rest of your life. The results will come.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23.

October 25, 2010

Alive at 30

When I was little, I remember thinking that I would surely not live past the age of 30. I know that is weird. I was. I am. Weird, that is. But I really thought that something horrible would happen to me and that I would never make it into adulthood. I lived in fear all the time.

Switching gears for a minute...

Housekeeping has never been my strong suit and I will blame that fact on many of the same traits that contributed to my former obesity--perfectionism, anxiety, laziness. And then there's the pure hatred for cleaning in general. But the Lord has been working on me.

This morning as I was doing a seemingly menial task--putting clothes in the washer--I had an "aha" moment. I had already made a bed, washed a toilet and sink, loaded a dishwasher, done my Bible Study and dressed down to the shoes (Thank you, Fly Lady!)

Standing in front of my washer, I began to sort through dirty and torn little-boy clothes, pink and ruffled little-girl clothes, the work gear of my firefighter husband and my stinky workout clothes. I realized that each of these things represented something huge that was a direct result of God's mighty hand of protection and provision in my life.

With tears streaming down my face, I tossed clothes in the wash and found myself perfectly happy and content to be doing what I was doing. I felt like I was engaged in the most important task in the world simply because it is what I know I am purposed to do. I felt more alive than ever in my tiny, cramped utility room that used to be too small for me to even fit inside (No, really!)

I stood there and thought... Now THIS! This is living.

How interesting that I spent my first 30 years believing that life was about to end. When God knew all along that my life was really just about to begin! Leave it to the witty and eloquent Author of Life to write me a story like this. The attention to detail is impeccable.

He truly does give us the desires of our heart, if we are willing to first lay them at His feet.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4,5

Feeling mighty blessed today! My cup runneth over...

October 23, 2010

The Great Escape

Before I began to learn about health I had no idea how scary obesity really is. It causes all of the major diseases that have the potential to kill people. Once I became aware of that, I felt a very strong sense of urgency. I felt like I needed to escape.

Me, last year. This is what obesity looks like. Scary.

Drum roll please......................................................

As of today, I can officially say that I have made the great escape from obesity!

What an emotional milestone this is! Up to this point I have been able to see and feel the changes but this seems so monumental. I am relieved, I am proud, and I am humble all at the same time...if that is possible. My BMI is now below 30 which moves me into the overweight bracket and out of the obese bracket. I know I still have a ways to go. I mean, I'm not going to stay overweight forever, but today, being "overweight" seems pretty okay to me.

A while back, a reader asked if I had ever thought about the question Where Would I Be? As in, where would I be right now if I had not made all of these positive changes in my life. I mentioned that I hadn't given the question much thought, and yet it as I began writing about it I realized that the question actually seemed very familiar to me.

The reason is because I actually have thought about that question a lot in my life. Where would I be? Only when I was thinking about it, I was OBESE and being held captive by my previous failures and defeat. Wallowing in the aftermath of diet after diet, I was always left asking myself...

Where would I be if I had just kept going?

Where would I be if I hadn't let the scale get me down?

Where would I be if I had relied on God more and myself less?

Where would I be if I had chosen to do what seemed impossible?

Where would I be if I hadn't given up?"

Where would I be?

This is it, BABY! I'm here.

October 21, 2010

Weigh In: 1 lb. Loss

174.5 lbs

Scale moving = :o)

I have become highly aware that the scale has WAY to much power over my state of mind. I am very close to packing the scale away for a few weeks, but I'm not quite there yet. In the past, when I had been slacking off, I thought about hiding the scale as a way to avoid reality. At this point in time, I'm beyond that. But I have realized that seeing something I don't like on the scale in the morning has the potential to sway my whole day. Good sway or bad sway, that is wrong. So, if I can't get rid of this unhealthy relationship with the scale, I may have to crush it to smithereens get rid of it.

But for today--the scale remains. (Probably because I liked what I saw this morning. LOL)

I have been doing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. Today will be day 7 for me. I really love it. A 20 minute workout--you get cardio, strength and abs-- and the results are fast! I can already see a difference in my arms and waist. It is hard, I won't lie. But like Jillian reminds me, you can't workout for 20 minutes and expect results without working hard! It's worth it.

¡Vale la pena!

A friend of mine uses this phrase often. It means "It's worth the pain" in Spanish. There is so much that is painful about weight loss. If you approach it in a comprehensive way, one in which you are dealing with the mental, emotional and spiritual fronts as well as the physical, it can be nearly debilitating.

Fact: Change is painful.

Facing our weaknesses, our mistakes and our failures hurts! But we can not truly change with out doing these things. Pushing through the pain is the victory and it is THE ONLY WAY to get where you want to go. You and I have to understand and accept that.

I did a vlog in February in which I predicted that I would be to goal by now. Well, I'm not. I was thinking about that a lot this week and the Lord pointed out something to me. I may not be at the weight goal I set for myself, but this lifestyle? It's not really one I am trying to adapt anymore. It IS my lifestyle. I am a different person. I am a new person in Christ.

So here's what I'm thinking--I am at "goal". It's not the goal I set for myself; it's not even a goal I knew I wanted to reach. In the beginning I didn't really want to give up my lifestyle--I just wanted to be skinny. The goal God had for me (and has for you) is beyond anything I could have wanted or imagined. I will spend the rest of my life telling the world...

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:4-9

Oh, how He loves us! And this is also makes me = :0)

October 13, 2010

Weigh In: 1 lb. Loss

175.5 lbs

Thanks for the wonderful help in trying to get me over my hump. Much, much food for thought! (Pun intended)

To address a few of the specific things that were suggested...

Sugar--Cutting down on sugar would certainly be beneficial. However, I don't really eat sugar. Every once in a while I have a piece of cake or something like that, maybe a couple of times a month, but there isn't really any sugar that I can cut back on a regular basis. I was kind of proud of myself because I didn't realize this until I began to analyze it.

Interval Training--I am going to do this! I am making sure I do 3-4 days of Couch to 10K training in which you run in short spurts with walking in between. Sometimes I do bleachers with jogging or walking in between. I have in the past done weight training/running/elliptical intervals. I am not working out at a gym right now, though that did seem to be effective. I know interval training works so I am definitely doing this.

Carbs--cutting down on carbs...cutting out carbs, grains etc. The jury is still out on this one. I am leaning toward a "not gonna do it" but we'll see. I am totally open to finding out the truth. I suspect that there are so many differing opinions about eating grains out there because everyone is so different and different things work for different people. It is just hard for me to overlook the health benefits that grains provide, long term. If ALL I ate were grains, that would be cause for concern as I'm sure I would be dead by now. Ha! I'm just not ready to give up on weight loss with a diet rich in healthy Whole Grains. This article pretty much expresses my views on eating grains.

Salt--I'm switching to only Sea Salt and lots of Mrs. Dash. This is not really going to help me lose weight long term, but will be healthier than iodized salt and I will feel better.

Moving More--I am definitely going to try to focus on being more active all throughout the day, in addition to adding at least 20 minutes of exercise to my daily routine. Right now I have started The 30 Day Shred and LOVE it. I am doing this on top of the Couch to 10K training I mentioned above. This is another type of interval training. And did I mention it only takes 20 minutes!? Thanks for the suggestion, Molly. A group of us are doing the 30 Day Shred ($10 DVD at Wal Mart) and supporting each other on REAL FAT Facebook page. Feel free to join in!

Water--Gah! How do I always forget this one. Been using Great Value sugar-free Fruit Punch powder a lot this week!

Calories--Some said to lower calories, some said to up them. For now I am going to stick with what I know to be true from past experience, and lower my calories. It is going to take a couple of weeks for me to figure out the right amount. In general, I think the foods I am eating are appropriate, I am just eating a little too much to lose weight. On the bright side--I have mastered maintenance, which is enouraging!

So there you go. I have made changes and I feel pretty confident that they are going to help get the weight loss going again. I continue to be encouraged day after day through this blog, my FP4H group, my family,my friends and even stuff like this:

A jacket I couldn't even zip up last year is now actually too big for me! I love it!

Ain't no scale gonna keep me down!

October 10, 2010

Roller Coaster! I Want Off

I feel like I am on a roller coaster. Several days ago I was posting about how I felt like I was "back." Then I had a week of gaining. So then I started thinking how lame it was that I said I was "back." Then I thought--Who cares? You ARE back! Then I again felt lame for even using the term "I'm back," like I'm a terminator or something.

I don't know people. I just don't know. This is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. In. My. Life.

Giving up is nowhere in the vicinity, but I am at a point now where I have decided something has to change or I risk going insane. (Not really!) (Okay, maybe.) The only thing I am not open to changing is my eating plan. I believe in my eating plan 100% as far as the actual types of foods being important for my overall health. I believe that I need some of all that God created including fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains, milk, and healthy oils. I will not leave any of these things out.

Here are few things I have thought about changing:

1) Amount food and/or calories. I am at 1500-1600 calories right now. This seems like a lot but I never really worried about it because I was consistently losing in the beginning. But now??

2) Amount of exercise. Ugh. I know I need to up my exercise. I fear burn-out. I am at about 30 minutes per day right now. An hour of exercise per day is probably the best solution for my plateau but I don't want to get so sick of exercise and then start slacking off. An hour seems sooooooooooo long. I know, suck it up, right?

3) Cut out salt. A while back I said that once I got to a plateau I would cut out salt. Well, I haven't. I eat ALOT of salt because it makes up for the lack of fat and other flavors missing from "healthier" foods. It's kind of like my saving grace. But I know it's bad for me. What do they call it--the silent killer?! What if salt is my culprit?

So there are a few ideas I've had. I know you, my blog buddies, will have suggestions to weigh in with as well. So let 'er rip! I'm ready to finish this thing up and head to the house, if you know what I mean.

Before I go--Mamma needs to brag. Here are my babies at the Pumpkin Patch this weekend.


October 6, 2010

Weigh In: 1 lb Gain

176.5 lbs

Holy Whack-a-mole, I am tired of this crap. Sorry. I'm moving on but I still have the right to be angry at the stupid scale. Ugh.

Just for balance I have a super-duper long list of NSVs I would like to share:
  • I bought a size Large jacket in the juniors section (juniors fit my short arms and narrow shoulders better) The jacket is pictured above.
  • I took my first guitar lesson last night. I love to sing and this seems like a natural accompaniment to that hobby.

  • I hurt my knee and had to take a couple days off from strenuous exercise, but it is already feeling better!
  • The weather is great right now so my family and I are spending lots of time outside being active!
  • Did some interval training today and my low impact interval was JOGGING! Can't believe it. I can't get my heart rate really up there just by jogging anymore. I did 3 sets of bleachers, 15 incline push-ups and a lap around the track 4 times. Felt great!
  • I am about to register for my final 2 5Ks of 2010. Can't wait to see what 2011 has in store!


October 4, 2010


When I first began trying to lose weight, I knew that for this time to be different I was going to have to act differently. I have heard the definition of insanity explained as doing the same thing but expecting different results. Quite simply, I was tired of insanity.

So I tried to pin point the one thing that all of my previous failed attempts at weight loss had in common--the goal being to avoid whatever that might be, this time. After much contemplation I arrived at this very simple truth: I am a quitter.

Ouch. That hurt. Because I really wanted the reason I couldn't lose weight to be the fault of someone or something else. I would have liked it to be due to genetics, or a chemical imbalance. I would have liked to place the blame and responsibility anywhere else besides right where it landed--in my lap.

I won't even take credit for the ability I was given to face and accept this truth. I know that God was all over it. But facing the truth--that I was a quitter--was the turning point. The neat thing is, once you are honest with yourself and God about something of this magnitude, then He has something to work with. He helped me realize that if I would just keep going, no matter what, then we could really do this.

Today I consider myself a woman of perseverance. Although I started this blog in January, I began my weight loss journey in October of last year. I think 12 months of consistently moving in the right direction earns me the right to say: "I have persevered!" When the scale isn't moving, I still am. When stress comes along, food remains "just food." When running begins to seem difficult, I keep running.

God has revealed to me what this really means:

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

For the first time in my life, I get that. When the pain or difficult situation comes, I feel a strange sense of excitement. Understand, I'm not necessarily throwing a party to celebrate or laughing about it. I still get upset and sad and mad. But in these moments I am allowing my fears, my pain, my anger and any other emotion I feel to be tempered by the anticipation of seeing and knowing what God is working out in me. I don't want to pass up anything that He wants to give me.

Looking back over my last 30 years, I can't tell you how many times I literally CRIED out to God to make me thin. He never did. I might have gotten bitter about it. Might have ;) But let me tell you, from where I stand now, there is no way that I would ever trade 30 years of worldly beauty for this one year of His glorious revelation in my life. I kept asking for God to make me skinny, but the plans He had for me were so far deeper and more precious that my wimpy request. Only my God can take a quitter and make make her a woman of perseverance.

I could tell you about all the in between stuff. The little things I have done and haven't done, the foods I have eaten and haven't eaten, and so on... But we really know those aren't the things that matter. Not really.

What matters is that you keep going. That may not be what you want to hear ( I know I never did!) because "keeping on going" isn't easy and we want stuff to be easy. I am truly sorry. This isn't easy. But I would stake my life on the claim that it is worth it.

October 1, 2010

Tacos, Good Tacos

These tacos taste similar to Chili's Chicken Soft Tacos. They are so easy because all you need is 3 ingredients and a slow cooker. You can set it, but I promise you won't forget it. You will be thinking about how awesome they are going to be all day long!


1 pkg. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 pkg taco seasoning (I used Old El Paso, reduced sodium)

1 small jar Pace picante sauce

I put the chicken in first, then the seasoning, then the Pace. I doubt it matters what order. On high this could be ready in a few hours, on low probably 5 hrs. would do. Whenever you can easily shred the chicken with two forks, then it is ready.

Serve on corn tortillas (a whole grain food) with nutritional extras such as plain Greek yogurt, more salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce, a low fat cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, lime, etc.

You could change up the recipe by using a pork roast or a lean cut of beef. You could also vary the type of salsa used in cooking such as a tomatillo salsa or a peach salsa for the pork. Let me know if you come up with a creative version!