May 31, 2011

Neck Shots

I was just thinking it's been a while since I took pictures. Like maybe a week or so ;) This is my summer look. I found these hair bands at Old Navy. They tie in the back and you can make the band really wide or really thin. I have been wearing them when I run and pretty much all the time. Love them!

Confession: Sometimes I just stare at my neck in the mirror. I turn my head all different directions and simply admire the lines that never used to be visible. I know, weird. Weird, but fascinating.

Here are my trackers from the last 3 days:

I'm glad this challenge is starting tomorrow! Tonight--I toss the zucchini bread.


Ready for a Challenge?

Okay. I thought I had learned my lesson about doing month-long challenges. Lesson (I thought I) learned: I never finish them. Well, that's true. But does that mean I should quit trying to do them? I guess I don't think so because I am going to do a June challenge and I'm inviting everyone reading to join!

I read along as Josie did a challenge for the month of May: 30 for 30 (30 minutes of exercise, everyday, for 30 days) I decided to sit out on that one because it is very difficult for me to workout EVERY single day with my husband's schedule and my lack of will-power to do a video or treadmill with the kids at home.  So, I didn't do it.

But I think the eating well challenge will be great for me. Yes it is a pretty big deal to commit to 30 days of this. Not "most days of the week" but 30 days! But I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation to set for myself. After all, that is the ultimate goal for me--to make eating well, everyday, the norm. I love the terms of the challenge, basically whatever "eating well" is for you, that is what you are challenged to do for 30 days. For me that will mean:

1. Posting a tracker for every day in June
2. No more than one 'up' or 'down' arrow per tracker
3. Only choosing foods of my "Choose Often" list

Wow. That is really raising the bar for me. But I am ready to commit to this challenge. I have been doing the tracker faithfully for the past few weeks. That's been like a warm-up. Now it's time to focus even more on the content of the tracker and really strive to hit all of the elements precisely.

So that's what 30 days of Eating Well is going to look like for me. What would it look like for you? Would you like to join the challenge? Read about it in more detail here.

I think a challenge like this is good for two reasons:

1) Accountability: We can check-in every week at Josie's blog. We can post about the terms of our challenge on our blog. We can lay it all out there and then BAM! Instant accountability. (Knowing that I am going to have to post my tracker has saved me from several binges!) Accountability is something that we all need to be successful.

2) Encouragement: If accountability is the chocolate cookie part of an Oreo, encouragement is the white stuff. They just go together. Josie is a great encourager, has always been to me, so you can be sure to find that on her blog throughout the challenge. We will also have the opportunity to encourage others who are committing to the challenge. There is something special and helpful about encouraging others. We are made to give as well as receive encouragement.

Tomorrow is June 1st. Thirty days later it will be July 1st. I challenge you to make those thirty days count. Head on over to Finding It and accept the challenge! And please pray for me--I really want to succeed at this challenge! I will do the same for you :)

May 29, 2011

Stop and Pull the Onions

Another weekend...come and gone. Well, almost. Most of us still have a tough day tomorrow to get through. But I was just thinking, it's kind of silly and sad that every holiday (which usually exists to honor or celebrate something wonderful) has to be such an obstacle. I'm always talking about how I'm going to "get through" it. Tomorrow I am going to an all-afternoon party and plan to take a big salad to contribute. I'm going to stay away from the snack table and enjoy the celebration.

"Do or do not...there is no try." -Yoda

The past two days have been pretty funny on the tracker. I have eaten a lot of "extra calories" but I have exercised every day and I'm feeling great. I'm sorry to keep bringing up the tracker BUT...It is helping me stay in control. When I write down what I ate after each meal, even the really bad ones, it helps me adjust what I eat for the following meals. I think because I see that it's actually not as bad as it seems, that  I'm less likely to blow it the rest of the day. I see that it's salvageable and I salvage.

Here are Saturday and Sunday tracker:

As you can read in the notes section of the Sunday tracker--the church potluck got me! I don't really regret it though. I haven't had a piece of the real-deal fried chicken in a couple years and let me tell ya, it was finger lickin' good. I went and ran it all off and finished with a gigantic smoothie. No more food tonight!

Something happened on my run that I thought was really funny. To preface, yesterday I had been to my aunt's garden where I was gifted with a huge sack of fresh veggies. YAY! But when I was standing in the garden I noticed the onion plants looked very much like some weeds I always see on a particular route that I run. So this afternoon I went that route and when I got to the weeds I stopped and tried to pull one. It took a while but finally it came up. Low and behold! It was an onion! The whole road is lined with them and it's out in the country so they are just wild onions. They were there last year, too, I just didn't know what they were. I thought that was so cool.

Happy Memorial Day. Buckle up!

May 27, 2011

Shopping, Snake & Shower


I made these tonight since I was cooking for one! No one else in my family would eat them :( So filling and delicious. 

Had a great run this morning, did some marathon shopping with my 2 year-old, found a snake in the chicken coop and took one of my epic "big showers" (where I do everything: shave, wash and condition hair, exfoliate, scrub feet, moisturize...and more!) Now I am watching episode 17 of Glee on Netflicks and about to hit the hay.

Tomorrow presents the challenge of lunch out. I will survive...


May 26, 2011

Small Change, Big Difference

I have to say, I was really scared of making the decision to post my tracker everyday. I thought I would have a very difficult time making myself do it. While there have been a couple of days I really didn't want to, for the most part I am actually enjoying it.

I know from my experience in the education field that we all learn in different ways. Every person processes information uniquely and in order to maximize student potential, it is best to be sensitive to each unique style. Herein lies the challenge of being a great teacher.

In the case with the tracker, my brain needed a different layout to record and track what I am eating throughout the day for me to want to use it. The tracker I created has nearly the exact same content as the one I have been using for so long but it is simply arranged differently. Simple--make it work for you!

When someone asks "What is the best kind of exercise for me to do?" The answer is so easy. Do the exercise that you WILL do. Same here--arrange your tracker so that you WILL use it. I never would have guessed such a small change could make such a big difference.


What is just not working for you right now? What small change could you make? Small change could = a BIG difference. Think about it and let us know!

Weigh In: 2.4 lb. Loss

    162 lbs.

I am so happy to report a 2.4 lb. loss this week! I haven't seen a number like that (on a week I didn't gain the week before) in quite some time. It proves what I know is true--it takes a LOT of focus to lose that amount in one week.

Focus can easily hop over the line into obsession. It's a very blurry line. My Bible study last week was about doing everything with all of our heart as unto the Lord, not men. The Lord wants me to give 100% in all that I do, when I am doing it for Him. Which means I have to examine my motives in all that I do and make sure that my overarching purpose--in all that I do--is to bring Glory to His name. If it's not, a 100% effort can easily turn into an unhealthy obsession.

I know it's His grace that keeps me going. I'm so thankful for that grace and thankful that I was reminded of it again this morning with this verse:

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16

Rejoice my friends; we are ALIVE! Live your life 100% today, and if you know the Lord, live it for Him.

May 24, 2011

Reevaluating Goal Weight

Last week in my First Place Bible Study book we were asked to look back at the goals we set during one of the early weeks. We were at a halfway point and it was time to reevaluate.(These are goals to be reached in a 12 week period) There were 4 labels from which to pick for each goal:

1. Right on track, I'm going to make it!
2. Can do it, but I'll have to work harder.
3. Met my goal and I need a new one!
4. Adjust my goal to something more doable for me right now.

Well, I did that with all of my short term goals and it was very helpful. I highly recommend doing it. But then I turned to my long term goal. THE goal. I couldn't exactly use the 1-4 from above because I had not put a time limit on my goal but it was just good to really think about how my goal originated, the purpose of it and how it fits into the picture now.

In case you didn't know, my goal is to lose 100 pounds. I weighed 229lbs. when I began. The healthy weight range is from 115-145 ish. Losing 100 pounds would put me right in the middle of that range at 129. Which would be fabulous. But when I really thought hard about how I set that goal I remembered that it wasn't the first goal I wrote down.

The first goal I wrote down was 140. I chose 140 because it was several pounds under the top of the range--enough wiggle room to stay healthy even after a rough weekend ;) . I knew that when I had weighed 140 before I looked and felt great. I wore about a size 6 which seems like a dream now. It was the perfect goal weight.

Why did I change it? Well. This little blog is more than just a journal for me. It is an artistic outlet. Whether people realize it or not, much thought goes into each and every little item that I put on here. I like everything to work together, to be appealing, and to be nifty. So when I typed that I wanted to lose 89 lbs, something seemed off. I wrestled with it for a few days. Eighty-nine pounds? That just didn't fit. But 100 pounds! Yes, that fit. That sounded nifty. It also sounded awesome that one day I would be able to say I lost 100 lbs. So, I changed it to 100 lbs.

Now here I am, 64.6 pounds down and I'm starting to think eighty-nine lbs sounds a little more nifty than it used to! I think I had solid reasons for choosing that goal in the beginning and so I've been thinking about changing my goal back to 140 lbs. Actually, it's pretty much a done deal. Yes, I admit I am changing it because I am ready to reach THE goal. That's not to say I can't reevaluate again when I get to 140...heck, maybe I'll decide to go for 115! Who knows?

But as of today I am 24.4 lbs away from my GOAL WEIGHT. Doesn't that have a nice ring to it? I recently set a kind of short term/long term goal of losing one pound every week. If I stay on top of this (lofty, in my opinion) goal I will reach my goal weight before the end of 2011. I will be at my goal weight when I take my trip to NYC (which we booked today, by the way!) I will have lost 89 pounds.
Eighty nine might not be as "ideal" as the one hundred, but in the end what I've concluded is that 100 pounds is so NOT the goal that fits with this blog and who I am. I mean, if at some point I have lost exactly 100 pounds that will be fine, but I am not going to go for the "perfect" number just because it has a nice ring to it and sounds more impressive. Could anything be more superficial?

Yippee for goal reevaluation! Try it.


Yes, that is Miley.

And no, I'm not really a fan. Just had to clarify that...I put some music on the blog for your motivational listening pleasure. It's way down at the bottom if you want to mute.

I created a new playlist last week for my half marathon training and it was so refreshing to have new music. I didn't realize how redundant my old play list had become. I highly recommend updating.

I chose to include the song The Climb because I need to be reminded (even if it's from Hannah Montana) that there is always going to be another mountain. No matter how far I get in life the mountains are just going to keep coming.

I think that is basically what I was writing last night, in a whiny, round-about kind of way. It never stops. But that is the essence of life. And to be aware of that, even painfully aware, means that I am truly living.

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"You'll never reach it"
Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb

Here's to the climb! We're doing it.

Have a great week...

May 23, 2011


So I spent the day licking my wounds from the weekend. Poor, pitiful me. Don't get me wrong--the weekend was great! We had a super time camping and riding a real train, spending time with the family. It truly was a wonderful time for making memories and getting away.

I just hate that for me, every single thing has to revolve around food.

Every moment is a battle in my head...

Am I going to eat that granola bar? Well, no I think that might be one too many grains and then I'll want more sweets...well, but if you don't eat it now then you might want candy later. Okay yeah, let's just have this apple. Oh wait the kids are having goldfish. Oh my gosh those have never looked so good to me in my life! Apple, apple, apple. Must. Eat. Apple. Okay, good. Disaster averted. Now what about dinner? What if I get too hungry before it's done? What if it doesn't fill me up. What am I going to eat on the way home tomorrow? What if we have to eat out?It's okay. You can do it. just come up with a plan. Stick to it. Like you tell everyone else. Ahhhhhhhhhh!

And I try so hard! I really do. But then one little mistake and it's like all that work is totally negated. The mental toll this takes on me and I'm sure countless others, is just too much sometimes. I'm not kidding. It's like you need a break sometimes. I read Kimberlynn's writing about this once (she said: I truly love this journey and all the amazing changes that have taken place over the past year, but at times it can also be exhausting. It's tiring always being on top of everything...thinking ahead and working through every problem that comes my way. read moreand it was the first time it ever really hit me. You just have to be so "on" mentally, emotionally, and physically all the time to fight what we are fighting. And I never thought about it like that.

After all this time you would think I could do a better job of dealing with this stuff, but one thing that is made more evident to me with each passing day is that is that it doesn't get any easier. The mess-ups happen less and the rebounding comes quicker but it's not any easier. None of it is.

What am I talking about exactly? Going off a plan. Walking into the trap. And then the aftermath. I can't explain it, either you understand what I'm talking about or you don't. If you do understand then you're shaking your head going "Yeah, it's frustrating as heck!" and if you don't, you're shaking your head the other way going "This is ridiculous."

Does ANYONE know what I am talking about?
Is ANYONE wallowing with me right now?

Well, at any rate, it is what it is. Sorry, I don't mean to be all Debbie Downer here if you're reading for the first time and just getting started trying to lose weight. Maybe you want to hear that it does finally get easier and everything just falls into place and you just have the mind of a skinny person all of a sudden. Well, sorry. I love you too much to tell you that. This is not easy. Ever.

But there is hope.
As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. Psalm 70:14

And that's how and why I keep going.

These are some photos (that I took photos of--sorry for the poor quality) from a few years ago when we went on the same camping trip we went on this weekend.

When I get frustrated...
When I'm fighting back the tears...
When I just want to throw in the towel and hide under a big pile of Chick-fil-a nuggets...

I remember what the Lord has done. He has carried me from there to here and he's still carrying me. When I'm tired, he's there. When I"m crying, he's there. When I'm falling a part, he's there...picking up the pieces and putting them back together better than they were before. Stronger. More interesting. More beautiful. He's there and he's carrying me.

Where are we going? I'm really not sure. I know where I think we're going and where I want to be going and that's pretty great. But that's only what my silly, ridiculous mind can come up with. (You know the one that wants me to OD on fried yard bird because I ate a few too many handfuls of goldfish) I am certain the destination is far better than anything that mind can dream of.  

So hope. Everything rides on hope.


Weekend War

The weekend seems to always bring with it multiple challenges to staying on plan. Routines are interrupted, occasions are celebrated and food is always involved...on the weekend.

While we should do our best to avoid temptation all together, sometimes it's just not possible. You can't NOT go camping with your family. You can't NOT have dinner where your husband wants to for his birthday. You can't NOT attend events that mean a great deal to you. There are always going to be instances where we have to face temptation head on.

In those instances, one of two things is going to happen. 1) Plan stays in tact; no harm, no foul. On track. or 2) Slip-ups occur and damage control becomes the focus. Bounce back. Of course the first option is ideal, but the second is more likely, given the nature of most of our problems.

So whatever the weekend brought your way, remember that today has come! A new beginning. I, for one, will not dwell on the fact I ate my weight in goldfish on Saturday night, went over my "extra calories" every day of the wknd, and did not like the number I saw on the scale this morning. I can't dwell on it and neither can you.

Pray for Joplin!

May 19, 2011

Never Forget

        ...where you came from

     ...or where you are going.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil 1:3-6

FYI: I created this tracker in Microsoft Publisher. I use the "Snipping Tool" (a program that came with my computer) to take a screen shot of the completed tracker every day. I am happy to share the tracker in PDF form. Feel free to email me at

Stop the Insanity!

  • (of someone suffering from a disease) Suffer deterioration after a period of improvement
  • A deterioration in someone's state of health after a temporary improvement
    Return to (a less active or a worse state)
  • go back to bad behavior
  • backsliding: a failure to maintain a higher state
I think we would be hard pressed to find someone who has attempted to lose weight and not, at some point, experienced relapse. It is a HUGE deal and it must be addressed. Because if we can beat relapse, we can win at losing!

There are clear-cut steps that can be taken to prevent a relapse. Here they are:
  1. Recognize
  2. Accept
  3. Avoid
Learn to Recognize Our Vulnerability
This is the "work" part of it. We have to be on the constant lookout for traps and temptations. At first this will be tough because it might take a relapse actually happening in order to recognize it. But when it does, write it down. The most effective way I have found to identify the root of temptation is to find patterns. Is the stumble always happening at the same place? With the same people? At the same time? Under the same circumstances? It's probably not about the food at all, but rather a situational trigger.

One pattern that I recognized early on is that every time I go to my parents' house (where I grew up) I am tempted. It is a conditioned response for me--every time I walk in the door I go straight to the pantry and then to the fridge. Rinse and repeat until I leave...And when I finally leave I am a mess because of everything I ate.

Accept Our Vulnerability
Was it easy to accept that going to my childhood home was going to be a problem for me? No. Was is easy to accept that restaurants cause me major problems? No. Was it easy to accept that one of my all time favorite things to do, Christmastime baking, leads me down a very dark path? No. Was it easy to accept that watching TV breeds inactivity and hinders my ability to care for the people I love? No. This is the hardest part. I love going to my parents' house and I thoroughly enjoy eating out. Baking brings joy to my soul and watching TV is relaxing. I could easily say that these things are part of "who I am" and I'm not willing to give them up or compromise where they are concerned. Indeed, I did just that for many years. But look where that got me. It wasn't until I chose to ACCEPT my vulnerabilities that I could deal with them.

Avoid Our Vulnerability
This is the part that is hard to swallow. This may mean completely avoiding certain acquaintances, places, and events because of the overwhelming temptation that accompanies them. Being alone at my parents' house is one thing I never do anymore. There was a period of time that I never went to a restaurant. Family's going? Not me. (I have developed some more self-control in this area now, so I do eat out more, but I still struggle) Eliminating something that has been a huge part of our life is difficult.

However, it doesn't always have to be an elimination. Perhaps rehearsing the way you'd like to see things play out would help. Or choosing a place to eat that has a healthy option you like. Maybe you could find a new route home that doesn't go past the Taco Bell. It takes some thought, some time and some determination, but we can save ourselves from falling back into the pit. We have to take responsibility and ownership of this process and make it work for us!

This little saying has meant so much to me: "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got!" In other words, you can't keep living life the exact same way and expect to see different results. This is INSANITY!

Stop it.
Some ideas expressed in this post are adapted from the First Place 4 Health book, Simple Ideas for Healthy Living, article entitled "Relapse Prevention."

May 18, 2011

Big Weigh-In

     164.4 (lowest in over 10 years!)

So this is one of the weeks where I actually want to do a Weigh-In post! Yay! That means I lost weight, obviously...

The challenges of blogging (staying accountable) when I am not losing? Hard to write an upbeat, cheery, encouraging post when you feel like crap. Hard to tell other people I messed up. Hard to face the fact that I am working to lose weight and I, in fact, have not. Those are the challenges.

But there are benefits. Posting when things aren't rosey (even if it's not a post complete with bathroom photo) reminds me that life is not always upbeat, cheery or encouraging, nor does it need to be. Telling other people that I have messed up keeps me grounded, reminds me that I am not the rock star I sometimes make myself out to be in my head. =] It lets other people know that they are not abnormal or alone. It represents the fact that even when I have not lost weight I am still, in fact, working at it. I have not given up.

I will never give up.


May 16, 2011

Another Half!

Today was a great day. I began training for my second half marathon! I have a running partner for this time and it went super this morning. I can tell having a partner who is like-minded as far as goals go (not speed but just getting it done) is really going to be a great thing. We are doing the same plan I used last time, but since the race I am doing is not until October we are staying on each week for two weeks. It is going to be great! We already met and scheduled at least 3 runs per week together through the summer. I love planning ahead!

In tracker news: No, I did not quit on the tracker posting that fast!!! Just was a busy weekend. Here are the past three days of eating. You will see I had a little slip up on Sunday but a full rebound today. Love bouncing back. The more you do it the "bouncier" you become. :)


May 13, 2011

A Sure Bet

Several years ago I went to the horse races with my family. I didn't do much betting the entire time we were there, just enjoyed watching the beautiful horses and chatting with everyone. I'm not really proficient at "horse racing." But on the very last race, something incredible happened. My dad gave me some money and told me to go make a bet. Yay!

Like I mentioned, I didn't really know anything about betting on horses, just what I had picked up here and there listening to everyone else talk. But I gave it my best shot. I walked up to the little window and sheepishly told the lady I wanted a "trifecta box" (that is where you pick three horses to come in 1st, 2nd, 3rd but it doesn't matter which horse comes in which place, as long as the three you pick are the first three). I had picked horses with cool names, beyond that I had no idea what I had just done!

So I folded up the ticket and walked back to our table. I chatted until the final race began. I was watching and cheering when the horses took off but I didn't even know which ones were my picks. Winning wasn't even in the back of my mind. BUT...

When the horses crossed the finish line (and someone else examined my ticket for me) I was shocked to find out I had won! And it was a sizable amount because I had picked some really long shots, apparently! It was thrilling! I was so excited. I decided then and there that I LOVE horse races. LOL.

Every time I have been back to horse races (which I can count on one hand, before anyone begins to think I am a compulsive gambler also!) I have tried to recreate that happening. I bet the same thing, I pick horses by how cool the name is and then I just wait to hoot and holler when I win. But the only thing is--I don't win. Ever. Ever again.

We all know that gambling is an industry, right? They have things like horse races and casinos to make money. And they make money off of the people who give it to them and lose it. Yeah, sure, there will be that one time you win big (that's what draws you in) but for the most part you are giving your money away or at best, swapping dollar bills.

The only sure bet is to not bet at all.

The sure bet is to just hold on to those pretty little dollars that your daddy gives you and go get a pedicure the next day. Pedicures are a sure bet, right? That's difficult though. Because what happens is, that little taste of winning is enough to bring you back. For some people it's every weekend, others every day. It is enough to captivate a person, ruin lives, ruin families....

What the heck does any of this have to do with weight loss? If you are still reading (ha!) allow me to answer that: I'm afraid we, okay I am betting on the trifecta long-shot way too often where my weight-loss efforts are concerned. There has been a time or two that I have bet the farm by eating like a lunatic for a week straight, stepped on the scale with my tail between my legs only to find that I have lost something like...10 lbs!!! Yes, I'm exaggerating, but you know what I mean? It's crazy. But once in a very long while, it happens. And we remember it. Oh boy--do we remember it! So then every time a temptation comes along, instead of being realistic, we think maybe, just maybe, we can beat the odds again. The thrill of possibly "beating the system" creeps into the back of our minds and we place our bet. Unfortunately, the big pay-off rarely comes.

I'm writing about this because it just dawned on me how STUPID this is. Because in the context of weight loss, in contrast to the horse-racing illustration, every time we don't "wager" with our choices, when we stick to our guns, it's kind of like we draw interest on what we held onto. It comes in the form of feeling better about ourselves, seeing steady losses when we step on the scales, the incomparable feeling of being on track....the list goes on and on.

When I cut straight to the heart of this, I realize that I have more considered it a gamble to make the right choices and risk not feeling comforted or not seeing results, even though I am "working so hard." That is a big fear of mine. I am afraid to trust what I know to be true of weight loss and how it happens for fear that it, all of a sudden, will not be true. That I will give up something my flesh desires and I will not be satisfied and I will be deprived. The bottom line is that, in my messed up mind, doing the next right thing seems like a big gamble to me.

But what is the truth? Doing the next right thing is always a sure bet. We will always win when we make the best choice at hand. There is no luck, coincidence or serendipity involved. It may take time, tears, a lot of prayer and unfortunately, sometimes, just sheer willpower--but we should do the next right thing at all costs. It's a sure bet.



Have a great weekend everyone!