January 31, 2012

Tracker 31 & Food Photos

Dinner was amazing tonight. Just under 500 calories.

This is the eggplant pizza and sweet potato fries I had last night.
I still want a real camera!!!

Making & Breaking Habits

In the month of January I ended up making a new habit and breaking one also. I didn't really set out to do that but it is what happened. And I was thinking that there are many other habits I would like to add to my life and several I could do without as well. So I've decided to do a monthly focus on one habit to make and one to break.

January Habits Results
Make: Keep and post a daily food tracker.Today will mark 31 days of posting my tracker (actually I don't know if I did it on Jan 1) and they say that 21 days of doing something makes it a habit. I feel confident that I will continue using the tracker and making it a priority to post daily. It has been just the kind of structure that I am inclined to run from but is exactly what I need. It is restrictive in the fact that I am tethered to this tracker all day long and I am committed to doing a blog post every single day but there has been great freedom in creating this as a habit. It is no longer drudgery for me but actually something I look forward to doing and something that I appreciate very much.

Break: Posting and commenting on my personal Facebook account. I mentioned in an earlier post about time management that I constantly assess how I spend my time to keep it manageable. Through these repeated assessments it has been made clear to me that I am capable of spending a large potion of time each day on Facebook. Rather than totally deleting my account, I decided that I would change the way I use FB. I still check out my news feed from time to time, mainly because we serve in the student ministry of our church and this helps me keep tabs on what is going on in their world. But I no long make posts/comments. Therefor, I am not inclined to go back every 5 minutes and see how people are responding and I do not have the obligation to continue interacting. I also have found that now when I read something that is convicting or inspiring, or experience a special moment, rather than running to FB to make sure everyone else knows about it, it really sinks into my heart and mind. It convicts me. I thought that breaking this habit was just going to free up some time but it has actually produced a special season of gratitude, personal conviction and introspection.

* For now it seems that I am able to keep my time on the REAL FAT page to a minimum but if that were to change, I would likely delete that page.

February Habits to Make & Break
Make: Daily Quiet Time. I try to do this. But try is the key word. If I am being totally honest, this is not a priority for me. It is just something that I would like to happen in my day and if it does that's a bonus. But my relationship with Jesus is not a "bonus" in my life--He is my life. I can not live or move or breath apart from his grace. Things need to change so that I am actually living out my faith in this area. I remember doing a lesson with my FP4H group about having a quiet time with God. As I was preparing for it the Lord impressed upon me the many practices of my everyday life that I would not dream of going without: brushing my teeth, bathing, feeding myself and family, watching my favorite shows, etc. Yet, spending quality, uninterrupted time with Him was optional? I'm not really talking about doing Bible study workbook or studying for a lesson but having actual quiet time to be still before Him.  There was a time on this journey that I literally could not function until I had that kind of time with God. I want that back. Not that everyone reading has to understand this, but I would like for you to--I want this to be a habit because I believe it is key to abundant living, or living life to the full. I know that without it I am daily trying to live on my own strength and eventually that is going to fail me.  How arrogant of me to think that I could even go a day without needing Him in this way!

If possible I would like it to be in the morning but the main goal is to have it each day, period. I am considering adding an extra space on my tracker, perhaps just for this month, to detail what takes place during my QT. This will be mainly for me to see a record of God moving and just some extra accountability. I am going to take an ABC approach to making this habit.
  • Plan A: 5:30 am
  • Plan B: During Nap time
  • Plan C: 8:30 pm
I will continue to focus on this as my "make habit" every month until it is, in fact, a habit.

Break: Sugar in my coffee. Ha! The other one is so serious and this seems so trivial. It may seem like an easy one but for me this will be difficult. I was just drinking my coffee with the hazelnut creamer and realized this is yet another example of something I have said "I will NOT give that up" and at this point in my life I feel like I should not be that obstinate about anything food-related. I am trying to take power away from the food-stuff in my life. So bye-bye sugar in my coffee. And yes, this includes my beloved Hazelnut creamer.

January 30, 2012

Tracker 30 and Goal Updates

I was pretty consistent with my goals today. As in--I did not quite reach any of them. But somehow I still feel like the day was great! Not sure what this says about me.

I went 60 calories over my 1200 calorie day goal. If I could just go one doggone day without my coffee and coffee condiments...

I also did not have a "Meatless Monday" as was listed as one of my goals for this week. I forgot and ate turkey right out of the gate this morning.  It could be considered a "Less-Meat Monday" though. Close enough.

I also did not exercise even though I set a goal to do 15 minutes every day. The day was pretty packed and it just didn't happen. I guess I could go do 15 minutes worth of sit-ups and jumping jacks right now but I don't want to. Tomorrow=5 miles. That should make up for it.

I have added a "My Tracker" page and the link is now just under the header of my blog. If you are interested in a copy of this tracker or some other tracker options, as well as my thoughts on tracking...go check it out. or Click here

January 29, 2012

Tracker 29 & Habakkuk

I did a quick study of the book Habakkuk this morning. I'm thinking about doing a pretty intensive study on it because it is a very special book to me. Anyway, I found out several interesting things re: Habakkuk. Thought someone might be interested:
  • Habakkuk is one of 3 books sandwiched together (Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah) that each address a different way God deals with mankind.
  • Habakkuk, the writer, is like the "Doubting Thomas" of the Old Testament...or perhaps more accurately Doubting Thomas is the "Habakkuk" of the New Testament. :)
  • Habakkuk asks the question that is one I have asked God many times: Why? And he answers.
  • The book starts in a question mark and ends in an exclamation point.
  • Habakkuk 2:4 is referenced in 3 books of the New Testament: Romans 1:17 (memory verse for this week), Galatians 3:11 and Hebrews 10:38 Over-arching theme: The righteous will live by faith.
And for some reason now I have this in my head:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God who loves me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God for if righteousness could be gained by the law, Christ died for nothing. Galatians 2:20-21

So, faith--apparently a pretty big deal! :) Expresses itself through love. (Gal 5:6)

What did you learn in the word of God this morning? Please share!

Week in Review No. 4

Start weight: 228
Current Weight: 172.4
Total Loss: -55.6
Weekly Loss/Gain: -1.4

Exercise was optional this week. Wonder what the loss might have been if the exercise was made mandatory!? This week will be different. I am going to focus on the quality of foods I am choosing. The tracker has helped me get a feel for eating the right amounts of each food but I will have better results if I focus on quality this week. Overall I am good with physical progress this week, The jeans are getting comfortable again:)

There are definitely moments that my mind slips back into old patterns of thinking. But for the most part things are going good. For my birthday meal which was under 500 calories I could have easily chosen a dessert. The restaurant serves small desserts in shot glasses that looked amazing. I might have used the (strange) logic that because I had stayed under 500 calories for dinner (which I normally would anyway) and since it was my birthday I could splurge and have dessert. But I actually recognized that I was full and I also finally put into practice this post where I already decided I didn't want that. Used the same mentality to say no to cupcakes and pie yesterday.

I really think my relationship with the scale is improving. When I hopped on there this morning and saw 172.4 I thought that was only a .2 loss from last week. I was definitely bummed. But I stayed focused on the facts that I really did the best I could this week, besides maybe a little more effort with the exercise (but I did run 5 miles on Monday!) So I basically just swallowed that bitter pill, fixed my regular bowl of cereal, and thought about what I could work on this week. But when I came to do this post I looked up last week's weight and realized that in fact I had lost nearly a pound and a half! That was fun. And I'm still focused on what I can do better next week.

Had such fun yesterday breaking down a passage in Romans Ch. 9. I have missed my morning quiet time so much. Our kids are waking up extremely early these days so in order for me to get the uninterrupted quiet time first thing in the morning like I prefer I would have to get up at like 4:30! I just don't know about that. I know other people do it. I'm praying about it. The Lord will help me figure it out. I really want to make February a month to focus on having a quiet time every day like January was a time for getting in the habit of tracking.

  • wonderful birthday
  • 5 mile run
  • Birthday week and no sweets :)
Goals for next week
  • at least 15 minutes of exercise daily
  • Meatless Monday
  • 1200 calorie days on Monday &Thursday

January 28, 2012

Tracker 28

Okay. I think I may need to stop having all the creamer. :( I would probably be fine after a few weeks. Thinking about it...For the month of February I am going to pick a habit to make and a habit to break so this could be the habit to break. Stay tuned for the habit I want to make.

January has been successful as the month of the TRACKER! I feel like this is definitely a habit now.


January 27, 2012

Thirty-two Gifts

Yesterday was my birthday. Here are just a few of my gifts; 32 to be exact.
1. Waking up
2. Breakfast prepared by my sweet husband. (Egg white in a basket!!!)
3. Bacon :)
4. A little lotion rub from this gal-love her lipstick!
5. Sweet hugs from my 6 year old who is pretty stingy with them these days.
6. Neat opportunity to share (in person) with others what the Lord is doing in my life .
7. Beautiful new granite top for my island!
8. Freedom of choosing a salad at Chick-fila.
9. Ridiculously easy time getting lost drivers licence replaced at the DMV.
10. A pretty great photo on my new DL.
11. Hot shower.
12. A 3 mile walk/run on a warm January day.
13. Babbling brook created by recent rain showers
14. New electric blue Under Armour fleece pullover.
15. Free cup of coffee at the bookstore.
16. Great deal on an awesome book.
17. Visit to Sprouts--awesome produce store.
18. Easy parking spot in a very busy shopping center.
19. Dinner with this girl. Womb-to-Tomb BFFs. Our Story
20. Realizing how far she's come.
21. Enjoying grilled lamb chops (for the first time), mashed potatoes with garlic and truffles & asparagus--entire meal under 475 calories!
22. Saying no to dessert without feeling sorry for myself.
23. Quiet time in the car.
24. Many many super sweet birthday wishes.
25. A pretty good hair day.
26. A really good daydream.
27. Satisfaction of posting 26th tracker in a row.
28. Son's backpack and lunch prepared by DH for following school day.
29. Plans made for a some fun outings in the coming weeks.
30. Climbing into the perfect bed with a warm body to snuggle up to.
31. Precious little {healthy} bodies sprawled over me before sunrise.
32. Vernon McGee on the radio teaching that Jesus is praying for me.

Tracker 27

One of the things I love most about the way I've lost weight is that I have never really counted calories. I probably should have been, but I haven't. I just focus on getting the correct amounts of every food group and as long as I choose wisely (ex: whole grains over white enriched stuff or lean meats over fatty ones) MOST of the time then theoretically I should automatically stay within my calorie range. I think I will keep track of my calories for the next week or so and see if I am on target. Just to be safe. Today was good.

January 25, 2012

Tracker 25


Gall-lly! That Hurt

So if you read my tracker post from yesterday you know that I ate a lot. It was not good for me. No really--it was BAD for me. Physically bad as in I hurt. After I ate the last thing I ate last night (and how sad is it that I can't remember what that was?) it was like something inside of me clicked. It clicked and I finally felt how full I was. The expression "to the gills"? That really made a lot of sense right then.

It felt like a balloon inside of me had been inflated so much that it was beginning to put pressure on my rib cage from inside the rib cage. The closer it got to bedtime, the feeling intensified until it was pretty painful and more so on the right side. I knew what this was from my last pregnancy. Every time I would eat high fat foods this area would hurt and my doctor told me that was my gallbladder. Her amazing prescription for this condition? Don't eat high fat foods. Genius.

Anyway, I somehow managed to fall asleep and when I woke up this morning I felt pretty good. I was relieved that the pain was gone. It had lasted longer than any other time I experienced this. So I got up and started to get breakfast and school stuff ready for the kids and then it suddenly hit me. The inflated balloon was being inflated even more. It felt like my rib cage was going to explode. I could not catch my breath and I broke out into a cold sweat. It would have been scary except I had read up on gallbladder attacks and this fit the bill. I laid down thinking...wishing...praying it would help. But it didn't. I was completely debilitated.

This lasted for about 15 minutes I think. The horrible pain finally let up. Now I just have a slight tightness on my right side at the bottom of the rib cage. It's whispering I will do it again...I will do it again...Creepy.

I know that there are probably many reasons for a gallbladder that acts up like this. Sometimes people probably don't even know why it does. But I know why mine did. Is it enough for me to know that I ate so much unhealthy food yesterday that my body literally did not know what to do with itself? Is it enough to keep me from ever doing that again? I have abused my body for many, many years and she has always been pretty forgiving. Maybe this is her idea of some tough love? Dang. I think it worked.

January 24, 2012

REAL Challenge & Tracker 24

Like carbs much?

I'm pretty sure days like these are the whole reason trackers MUST exist. If I only track what I eat on the good days, what's the point? Yes, it would have been so much easier to say that this was a horrible day...I won't even bother writing it down...tomorrow I'll do better... yada yada yada... And believe me, I seriously considered it.

But, um, that don't work.

Face the music.

Call it like it is.

Own up to it.

The cold hard facts.

Swallow my pride.

Admit I have a problem...Not just one time in the beginning, but everyday.

Admit it every single day.

Over. And over. And over. And over again.

I will do this because I can't move forward until I do.

And I can't move FORWARD without moving forward.

The challenge of this blog has always been (and will always be) to be real. To be brutally honest. And let me tell you, posting a tracker like this one is brutal. But I will continue to challenge myself and I challenge anyone in this same boat with me: be real.

On the surface it may seem like the hard part is eating less and moving more but in reality the hard part is messing up but not stopping.

If you fall off the wagon for a weekend, keep writing on your blog right through the big middle of it. Let the disgusting nacho cheese on your fingers stain the keys of your computer. Live in that moment.

If you know you gained weight that week and you have a meeting to go to--be there. Talk about it. Because the person sitting beside you might be ready to quit because they think they're the only one.

If you keep a tracker and your spaces aren't big enough to fit all the food you ate that day--write it in the margin. Because that's what tracking is for. To get all up in your business. And make you squirm.

At the end of the day (yes, even days like this)...

Be REAL. Otherwise, what's the point?

January 23, 2012

Tracker 23

I wasn't really prepared for my inaugural "Meatless Monday" attempt. I didn't think about protein until mid-day when I started entering my food into the tracker. Oops. That will be different next week. I really like doing things differently and I think it's mainly to prove to myself that I can. So here's to Mondays without meat and doing things differently!

In other news--5 miles today! HOLLA! Feels so good to get those miles in. Beautiful spring-like January days here in the great state of Texas sure have me baffled but I will keep taking them!


My Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a food that I have developed a taste for since I changed my eating habits. I first learned to appreciate it for the nutritional value and then came up with a way to thoroughly enjoy the heck out of it, which is always a bonus! I found a blog that helped me see oatmeal in a completely different light. I began using her method and continued to tweak and tweak until I arrived at the perfect oatmeal for me. In this post I will share "my oatmeal" with you. It's easy.

What you need for one serving of oatmeal:
1/3 c. Quaker Old Fashioned Oats (not quick oats!)
1/8 tsp. salt (important)
1/3 c. water
1/3 c. skim milk
1/2 banana chopped into little bitty pieces, preferably good and ripe
1/4 c. dried cherries
1 tsp. (or more!) vanilla extract

1 T Naturally More peanut butter
1-2 T apple butter

First dump the oatmeal, salt, water and milk into a saucepan. Turn it on Med-high heat.

Then go find your star player for this game--the whisk!

The whisk is a requirement for this to be "whipped" oatmeal. Which is way more awesome than "non-whipped" oatmeal. Whole different league.

Okay. After about 5 minutes or so the oatmeal will begin to bubble around the edges. At this point, whip it. You literally have to whip it. And whip it good. When it starts to resemble muffin batter then add the banana and cherries. Whip some more. If it begins to get too thick add a little more milk. Whip it until the bananas have magically melted into the oatmeal. This is your "sugar." The cherries also have time to rehydrate and they get very yummy.

Turn off the heat and add our other game changer--the vanilla!
Always add vanilla. It makes things taste good. Stir it in. Then find a bowl...

Ah-ha! This will do.
It just makes me happy. When there is only 1 T. of peanut butter left in the jar it gets to be my bowl for the morning (or evening in this case). The moment I look down into the jar and realize {This is the day!} it feels like I just won the lottery.

Pour the oatmeal into the jar or bowl and enjoy.
Oh wait. One more thing...

Apple butter. I know, I know. It's got sugar in it. 2 tablespoons for 60 calories. It's just applesauce on steroids. Now eat it.

I didn't like mine very much. :)

Some random kitchen shots....
Love the chalkboard all over my kitchen.

It serves us well.

Doing this post really makes me want a good camera!

January 22, 2012

NSVs & Tracker 22

I know this sounds weird but I feel like I had a REALLY successful day today even though I hardly hit any of my food group targets. I knew my day wasn't going to be perfect pretty early on but I still kept it under control.

Also, I thought of 2 huge NSVs for this week that I didn't share in the Highlights section of my earlier post. Here they are:
  1. I spent the evening/overnight at my parents' house and did not eat any sweets or any food besides what I tracked. That has hardly ever, ever happened! I always find candy or cookies or something to graze on, usually after everyone else is asleep. This is the home I grew up in and for some reason it is a "trigger" location for me. Maybe it's not anymore? I didn't even realize this victory from last night until just a while ago. I did not struggle with temptation while I was there!
  2. I made two dessert-y type things for other people this week and did not eat batter on either one! On one of the cakes I usually leave a good 1/2 c. of frosting in the bowl to "lick" (right, it's more like drink!) but this week I filled my sink with hot soapy water and tossed all the bowls, spoons, beaters, etc. in there before I could do any damage.

Week in Review No.3

Weight 173.8

Loss/Gain -.2 lbs.

Truckin' along. Really should have exercised yesterday but didn't. No excuses.

Conditioned response to a .2 loss after a meticulous week of tracking--Are you kidding me? But then I took a step back and thought it through. This is a loss so that is good. This is not a gain so that is really good. I ate right this week and that is good. I did exercise so that is also good. All the indicators point to the fact that no matter what it is, the number on the scale is the result of many, many very good things that are happening. I have to accept that and be satisfied with it. In reality, I'm not reaching a calorie deficit that should result in much more weight lost than that anyway. In other words--I shouldn't be surprised.

The emotion I experienced this morning when I saw the number on the scale was disappointment. And I really think that's okay. Disappointment in and of itself is not a bad thing. It becomes a problem when I allow the disappointment to spill into all areas of my life in a negative way (being short with my family, eating whatever I want because I'm so upset, etc.) Instead, I am choosing to use that emotion in a positive way. If I am hoping for bigger losses every week, which my emotions have indicated that apparently I am, then I definitely need to make some changes. Which I have already been thinking about. Just gotta do it, or be content with fraction of a pound losses every week. Pretty simple. No need to eat my weight in chips today:)

This week I had a pretty big spiritual breakthrough regarding something I had been praying about for a while. It meant having to admit that I was wrong about some things. Never fun but always necessary. A while back I began to pray for humility and let's just say the Lord is definitely answering that prayer far beyond anything I could have ever imagined ;) Jesus is all to me.

This Week's Highlights
  • The way the weigh-in was handled today.
  • Working out with my FP4H buddies. I miss them :(
Next Week's Goals
  • Aim for a lower calorie range(1300-1400) 2-3 days
  • Get my long run in (5 miles)

January 21, 2012

Tracker 21

Another week posting all my trackers! YAY! I don't hit the targets every single day but it's really okay. Tracking is definitely doing it's job regardless of my daily totals. The whole point is mindfulness. I am starting to be okay with the fact that I may have to do this for a very long time. Like forever. I used to say that I would NOT but now I wonder...and I'm okay with it.

I decided to start making use of the blank left-hand corners to record my water intake at each meal...

Staying Ahead of the Game

I have a few ideas floating around in my head that might help change things up a little bit. I am notorious for jumping the gun on "great ideas" so I have decided to think about all of these for a while before I decide to do anything different. What I am doing seems to be working for now...

But I know am pretty certain the day will come when I have to alter something that I am doing to continue bringing the weight down. I'm getting close to the lowest weight I've been and if history repeats itself, that will likely produce some type of plateau. I'm not trying to be pessimistic here, just proactive. I would rather ease myself into some changes now and keep things moving along rather than get to the plateau and freak out.

Here are some of the things I am considering, along with my thoughts on each. I could do one or more of these things. None are drastic and all would be a positive change that I probably need to adapt at some point anyway.

Eat only "Choose Often" foods
"Choose Oftens" are the foods that offer the best bang for your nutritional buck. I haven't done it in a long time but weeks that I choose foods exclusively from this list I lose considerable amounts of weight. I have also seen members from my FP4H group have great losses by choosing foods exclusively from this list. It reminds me of the "core plan" on WW. Not sure if they still do that? The problem is that it feels too restrictive to me at times if I am only allowing myself to eat those foods. Maybe if I did it every other week? Here is a more in-depth look at the Choose Oftens list if you are interested: http://wearelosingitblog.blogspot.com/p/choose-oftens.html The main things I would be giving up in this are: coffee creamer, sugar, Lean Cuisine meals, regular salad dressing (which I love), canned veggies (easy-factor), saltine crackers, Apple Butter :(...Yes I think it would definitely have to be every other week.

Lower calorie range twice a week.
The calorie range I try to hit (1500-1600) is based on me working out at least 30 minutes each day. But I don't do any physical activity 2 days a week. (I have found these rest days help prevent burn-out for me.) So if I dropped down to the next lower calorie range (1300-1400) I would basically be consuming a half cup less of milk, fruits & veggies, 1 serving less grain and protein, and one tsp less oil. I think that would be very doable and hardly noticeable. Especially if it's only a couple days a week. I can definitely see myself needing to drop down to this calorie range to get the final few pounds off anyway. I feel like the amount I eat now is what I will need to eat forever to maintain a healthy weight...just not sure if it will be the right amount to get all the weight off.

"Protein as side" mentality
I grew up here in the south, where macaroni and cheese is considered a vegetable and if you don't have a huge hunk of meat on your plate it must just be a snack that you're eating. "Meat is a Must" has been my mentality. I think it would be wise to change this mentality to "Meat as a Side" and emphasize *healthy* vegetables and grains as the main parts of my meals and meat would be more like the side dish. I only eat 5 oz. of meat a day anyway so in some ways that has already happened. Example: If I have a full serving of peanut butter for breakfast (2T), then I only have 3 oz. of protein left for that day. Most chicken breasts weigh more than 3 oz.! Before I changed my diet I was probably eating anywhere from 10 to 15 oz. of meat a day. Definitely the star of every meal. Anyway, my point is that I know I am capable of reducing my meat intake. I did some reading on the Meatless Monday website today. Really interesting stuff there. Perhaps I could try that too.

So those are my ideas. Thoughts?

January 20, 2012

Tracker 20

Just noticed I didn't change the total on vegetables..it should actually be .5 serving that I had today. If anyone cares. Hahaha.

January 19, 2012

What I Love

There once was a famous writer who, when asked if he loved writing, replied, "No. But I love having written."

I don't love fighting for my health and freedom over food.

But I love having fought.