January 28, 2013

Weigh-In: 1.3 lb. Loss

197 lbs.

Another week moving in the right direction...progress.


January 23, 2013

80 Calorie Cupcakes

This recipe is easy as a piece of cake. Or cupcake in this instance.

Box cake mix (I used strawberry)
Can of soda (I used regular Sprite, use caramel colored drinks for chocolate cake)
Beat together. Pour in cupcake pan. Bake according to box directions.

Box of jello pudding (I used strawberries and cream)
Carton Cool Whip Free
Splash of milk
Beat together. Let sit in bowl in fridge until grittiness from pudding mix is gone. About 5 minutes.
Frost cupcakes. Optional: Top with sprinkles  (adds 15 calories)

These were gobbled up by my hubby, children and some students at church tonight. No one was complaining about taste and hubby said they were good. (He is usually honest about this type of thing). Of course you could reduce the calories even more by using a sugar-free"Splenda" Cake mix, a diet drink and sugar free-fat free pudding mix. But I thought 80 calories was pretty good. :)

The flavor combos with the cake, pudding and sodas are endless. Have fun and let me know what you come up with!


January 20, 2013

17 Things

Just a few things I have been re-learning over the past few weeks:
  • I have to go to bed hungry sometimes.
  • I always need to measure/weigh my food.
  • Eating out is too much trouble to be worth it, 85% of the time.
  • I'm not always excited about what I am about to eat--because it's what my body needs, not necessarily what it wants.
  • Drinking a lot of water does help tremendously.
  • I can survive temptation moments (and they often come in bulk over the course of an entire day.)
  • Finding motivation and actually working out is HARD.

A few things I am learning for the first time:
  • There are still plenty of lies I am believing that need to be up-rooted and replaced with the truth of God's word.
  • This is a lifetime process. This is a lifetime process. This is a lifetime process.
  • Falling off the wagon was not such a bad thing, though I wish to never fall that far or that hard again.
  • It is pretty clear to my inner-me when it is okay to eat something and when it is not okay, as long as I am sober-minded.
  • I have trigger foods that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, under any circumstances, will cause problems if I consume them. I MUST NOT eat these items. Regardless of situation or circumstance.
  • If there is a question in my mind as to whether or not I should eat an item, I MUST NOT eat the item.
  • I still believe that I will be free in this area of bondage eventually, Lord willing, but freedom will most likely not look like what I imagined.
  • This is more a spiritual issue than a physical/mental/emotional one, though it encompasses all of those. This is a SIN problem.
  • Sin can not be taken lightly. It is okay to fight with everything I have against it. In fact, I am commanded to and my life depends on it. (Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live)
  • The battle plan I have settled on might seem too harsh or like deprivation. However, deprivation is exactly my intent. To deprive my sinful nature, in effect starving it so that it no longer has power over me.

"Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you." John Owen

Yes, I am a compulsive over-eater with an addiction...but God has rescued me by his grace. He has forgiven me and given me His Spirit with which to put sin to death in my life. I'm not helpless. I'm not hopeless. The fact that I have the ability to fight effectively through Christ--It's such good news.

Love to all!

January 17, 2013

My Chuck E. Cheese Moment

I literally felt convulsions pulsing through my body this afternoon as we sat at Chuck E. Cheese and the pizza arrived. Immediately I was afraid of what I might do. I think Chuck E. Cheese pizza is nasty, but that smell was so intoxicating. This was the moment. The moment of truth...

I have been thinking about this moment for several days now. I knew it would come sooner than later. There is always this honeymoon period when I get serious about eating well, etc. and then, dang if  "that old feeling" doesn't hit me. And I mean it hits hard. The one that just. won't. quit. Not until I make it go away with some chocolaty concoction or crunchy salty carb. I despise that feeling.

But I didn't want to be afraid of it this time--I wanted to be ready. So I made a decision a few days ago that I'm going to be brutally honest with myself and admit that under no circumstances can I budge from what I have planned to eat. That leads down a road I no longer wish to travel. And, if I have doubts about eating a certain food, under no circumstances, will I eat it. NO matter how rude, illogical, or strange it may seem to myself or others, this is the decision I made. Seems a little extreme, yes I concede to that. But as I have said before (&conveniently tend to forget) extreme problems like mine call for extreme measures.

Although my defensive plan may seem extreme, it really isn't and this is why: What I am choosing to put to death through hardcore, relentless denial is just a feeling. A feeling that, for me, can easily lead to sinful actions. When I feel all fidgety and panicky and it seems like eating a package of...anything is the only thing that will help, then I know. When I am not hungry at all and the minute I turn on the TV the Pavlovian craving for a big bowl of...something...is unbearable, then I know. When a pizza that I consider to be nasty is placed before me and the smell alone is sending me into convulsions, then I know. It's like a trick my mind is playing on me. It's just a feeling. Nothing bad will happen if I don't eat the pizza or...whatever. I just won't have eaten it.

Sometimes I will give-in to the feeling. I didn't today, thank you Jesus, but I might. And then I will be tempted to dream up an excuse cleverly disguised as logic or self-forgiveness. See, I know that pizza is not a "bad" food. Well, actually, it is kinda a bad food but anyways...I realize that a person could ingest C.C. pizza in moderation from time to time (although I know not why you would actually want to do this) and still be an extremely healthy and fit individual. The reason it was so important for me to not eat the pizza today was completely an issue of the mind. Not an issue of being flexible or living in the moment or being able to forgive myself because I had a slip-up. It's really not about any of that now. I've learned all of those lessons--in the most difficult of ways. But now I know how to forgive myself and move on. Perhaps even now a bit too quickly, too frequently. And I've learned how to be flexible. With meal planning and changing things last minute because of certain situations, I can do that and still stay afloat. I've also learned that being in the moment with my family has nearly nothing to do with eating food with them and everything about just being there. Really being there.

What I'm saying is that in the past I might have just eaten a piece or two of that pizza (even though I knew I was about to go eat a salad at Chick-fil-a) and chalked it up to living in the moment with my kids, or because I can be flexible and just track that instead of what was planned. Or because "tomorrow is a new day."

I can't keep doing that. I can't use any of those handy little ideas as a scape goat anymore. I had a plan for the day in place. I had made a decision. And I needed to stick to it. THE END.

Was it easy? No. Will it be easier next time? Yes. And am I wishing I had eaten the pizza as I sit here writing that I didn't eat it? All together now: "NO!"

This moment will come again all too soon. For me and for you. We have to be ready and we have to be honest. We have to do the hard work of resisting and saying no--over and over and over again. If we really want to change, that's just the way it is. That's the cold hard truth.


January 14, 2013

Weigh-In: 2.6 Loss

199.8 lbs

Yay for a loss!

Book excerpt taken from Love to Eat, Hate to Eat, by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

January 12, 2013


It's been a rough week. I'm reminded that just because I have decided to make changes, and have said I am going to make changes and I have even made PLANS to make changes...all that doesn't necessarily mean changes are going to happen. Doing hard stuff is hard. I guess I was kinda hoping since I've been through all of this once before it would be easier this time. No such luck.

It took me a really long time to get to a place where healthy living was the norm. It didn't happen overnight. I am being constantly reminded of that along with the fact that I'm back to square one. It's almost painful. No, actually it is painful. I hope that I will never forget the way I feel right now and that feeling will keep me from straying away from healthy habits. Even a little bit. How exactly am I feeling? I am frustrated, and somewhat angry. A little bit lost. I was feeling sorry for myself but now I have moved out of that and into fight mode. That's a good thing.

Just a few minutes ago I came face to face with a ginormous pack of Cheez Its (not on my eating plan). You couldn't find a more tempting food for me to want to OD on. I ate two and then I glared at the sack. I was infuriated. It was almost as if I was looking at Satan himself. (I know that is dramatic.) I thought about throwing them away. Instead I folded the sack over a couple of times and placed it back on the table. Then I started muttering to myself, between clinched teeth, something like "No! I'm not doing this. I'm ready to fight. I'm not falling for this..." My kids just looked at me like I was a weirdo. Which I am. I think this was the defining moment of my week. I remembered that doing this requires fighting. It's also a process of learning when and how to be still. My prayer is for God to hold me up safely in the tension of those two things. He alone can do that.

Last week I came up with a plan that included several new recipes and different meals everyday. That was not a good route for me. Several of the recipes were not my favorite and that just led to feeling deprived. Feeling deprived + feeling sorry for myself = binge. One night I ended up in an ugly crunchy carb fiasco. I did not post a tracker that day. Disdain toward tracking and sharing what is going on in my head is never a good sign for me. But like I said, I am now in fight mode...

I have a new plan for the upcoming week. Goal is to basically eat the same meals everyday. There is room for some variation especially at dinner, but for the most part I want to keep a tight ship. The idea is for me to not have to think about food every waking moment and hopefully shift focus to other important matters such as exercise. I feel like this is a pretty good tracker as far as quality of food. The quantity is appropriate considering my activity has been hit or miss. Hoping to get that regulated soon and when I do I may add more calories.

That's all for now.


January 9, 2013

"Life happened..."

When we talk about why we gain weight sometimes we say that "life happened."  I've said it before, to others and to myself. I've heard lots of people use the term. It's a very common explanation.  What does this really mean though?

Life happened...

Honestly, this is a way of saying things didn't go according to my plan. Right?

About a year and a half ago, life happened to me. It wasn't anything bad, per-se. but it was change. Huge change. Some of the major planning I had done, some major protective walls that had been built in my life to keep me on track were basically removed. Indeed, life happened. I spent a while pouting about this and then I spent some time being scared. Ultimately, I ditched everything that I had learned about staying healthy simply because it didn't look the same way it had before. And because it was going to be really difficult.

This happens on a micro level as well. Take for instance, a stressful evening at home. The kids aren't doing their homework, the husband is going to be home later than expected, you have a headache, the meal you prepared was not well-received. Finally everyone is asleep so you sit down to watch your favorite show only to find out the President is speaking or something like that. Not really what you had in mind. Things did not go as planned tonight. Can I salvage it? No, but maybe that poorly hidden pack of powdered donuts can.

This is life happening on the most basic level. And there's not a darn thing you, me or a powdered donut can do about it. There is no question that life is going to happen to me this year. It will happen to you. What are we going to do about it? Are we going to toss the goals we are so focused on right now? Are we going to wrap our arms around the refrigerator and expect it to comforts us? I know better than that. It stabs me in the back every time. Are we going to believe the lie that healthy living is optional and something that must take a backseat when "life happens?"

In an earlier post I talked about planning. Planning is so hugely important.  For long-term success, I think planning has to go beyond what we are eating and when we exercise. What I'm saying is that I...you...we need a plan for when life happens. Because I know it will. Life happening is a constant in our lives. Another constant is me. I am always part of my life. The only variable is my reaction to life and it happening to me.

Choosing a correct posture for how we live when "life happens"...well that could be a game changer. For the long haul. It sounds absurd to say, "Hey, if life just never happens to me, then this plan will work!" Ridiculous! But isn't that what we are banking on most of the time? We have to dig deeper than that.

Life happens. Yes. It happens when I am living. Thank God I am alive. Unexpected illness, new commitments, job stress, conflict, over-full schedule, getting pregnant, the holidays....these are the things that equal "life happening" and when we experience them that simply means that we are alive. That we feel pain, frustration, anger, fear--all of that points to the fact that we are living, breathing. Life is happening to us. Life happening to us should be, even when it is difficult, an encouragement to keep going. Not a green light to lay down.

I want to quit giving up on things because it gets too hard...because life happens. It's a cop out, plain and simple.

I think a better way of looking at this life happened thing is to expect it, anticipate it and plan for it. Continuing to live healthfully through the nitty-gritty--can we plan for this? I think so. I think we have to.

January 8, 2013

Meal Planning & New Recipes

I designated this morning as official meal planning time. I did some searching on Cooking Light to come up with a few new recipes. Also went to Pinterest and plan to actually prepare some of the healthy recipes I have pinned! What a novel idea.

Trying new recipes is something I hope will help me not get bored with the foods that I am eating. I know that portion control will be super important for me to enjoy some of these casseroles and potatoes cooked with real butter. (slurp) And I will have to exercise much restraint in "sprinkling the cheese on top of them before baking. The recipe never seems like it calls for enough cheese on top to me. :)

Here are some of the new things I'm going to try. Looks like a major carb-fest but I will be eating these things with lots of leafy greens. I think I can...I think I can....

Baked Pasta w/ Spinach & Lemon 

Ham & Gruyere Gratin 

Baked Cheese Sticks

BBQ Potatoes  Super excited to try these!
Potatoes baked in Chicken Broth, Garlic and Butter, SO GOOD! They get crispy on the bottom but stay fluffy inside. Chocked full of flavor.
Baked Chicken Tacos 
Baked Chicken Taquitos with Guacamole

Here's my tentative meal plan for the rest of the week. Hope this helps me stay on track. I'm headed to the grocery store today. Planning, planning, planning!

grilled chicken salad
bbq pork on wheat bun, cowboy potatoes

bbq pork pizza/salad

egg muffin
baked pasta with spinach/grilled chicken

leftover pasta
Ham Gruyere Gratin/salad

egg muffin
lettuce wraps
grilled chicken, salad, baked cheese sticks

Au Gratin/salad
chicken taquitos/chili (take to Lifeline group)

lettuce wraps (leftover)
grilled chicken salad

This is the week to return to my beloved tracker. I haven't decided if I am going to post it on my blog or in Facebook page yet, but posting it somewhere everyday will definitely keep me accountable.

That's all for now...


January 7, 2013

Weigh-In: .6 lb. Loss


Honestly, I expected to be out of the twos today but, alas, it wasn't to be.

No. What I weigh does not define me. But it is important for my health and well being. At this point, my weight needs to be moving in a downward direction. No need for analysis, no "buts" about it. It is what it is. I've had to learn the hard way that having expectations about weigh-in is a bad idea. I have tried so many different approaches with weighing-in:

-have someone else write it down but I don't look (denial)
-weigh-in every day (obsession)
-get rid of my scale (avoidance)

A weigh-in, if we allow it to, can be one of those dramatic mountain top or valley experiences. But a weigh-in shouldn't be that. It is more of a mundane little moment that we can learn from. We can simply take what it gives us, accept it for what it is...not much. But something.

One weigh in on it's own never really amounted to much. But a whole bunch of them together is what amounts to something. And I've never heard of it being weight gain.

On we go...


January 6, 2013

Come Awake

This video is pretty poor quality--I didn't know what I was doing.


I always thought I would make a something kind of like this when I got to my "goal weight" but today just seemed like as good a day as any. Warning: there is music.


Banana-Nut Pancakes

My mom and I LOVE the Harvest Grain N' Nut pancakes from I Hop. When I saw this recipe it seemed like it could be a tremendous help in getting me close to a recreation. I was right! A couple of additions and tweaks produced a deliciously similar representation of the popular pancake house version. While they are not low calorie, I feel good about the ingredients and as with anything, moderation is key. Each pancake is approximately 150 calories. Bonus: they are gluten free.

Banana-Oat-Nut Pancakes 

  • 3 small bananas (9.5 ounces), mashed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 small lemon, juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans

  1. In a small-ish bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, butter, lemon juice and honey and vanilla. Beat in the eggs.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add pecans.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a big spoon, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix or you’ll get tough pancakes!
  4. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes. 
  5. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet (or nonstick griddle) over medium-low heat. If necessary, lightly oil the surface with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  6. Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan. Batter is thick, so you may have to gently spread out around edges for desired thickness. Let the pancake cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake.
  7. When the pan is just beginning to set, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
  8. Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven if you like. I topped with sliced banana, drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of pecans.
  • Adapted from Cookie + Kate recipe
  • Yields about 8 pancakes.
  • These pancakes are gluten-free, so long as you buy oat flour or old-fashioned oats that have not been contaminated with wheat.
  • *To make oat flour out of old-fashioned oats, simply pour one cup of oats into a food processor and process until it is ground well. One cup before and after grinding measures just about the same.
  • This whole grain batter is thicker than most, so it’s more difficult to gauge when the pancakes are ready to flip. Set timer for for 3 minutes for the first side, then flip and wait another 90 seconds for the other side to finish. The time will vary depending on your temperature setting, but that’s about the time it should take for pancakes that are fully cooked and golden on each side.


January 3, 2013

Therapy Thursday

Why are you overweight?
What a loaded question! The obvious answer is that I eat too much food. I am a compulsive over-eater. I actually worship food. (Hard to think of that way but it's true) Food is the thing I turn to when I am...anything. Emotions play a part, messed-up mentality plays a part and lack of self-discipline plays a part. The REAL reason I am overweight is that I have a worship disorder. I put food in the place of God. As the popular book title suggests, I have been made to crave. But nothing in this world can satisfy the craving that I have. Not money, not beauty, not love and certainly not food. For some reason, all to often, I believe the lie that food can.

Why do you want to lose weight?
So I can sleep better, so I can tie my shoes without grunting, so I can feel confident, so I look "normal", so I will have more energy, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment, it makes me feel alive and like the "real me," for my family, so that I can serve the Lord and others with all that I am meant to be, so getting dressed to go somewhere isn't dreadful. I want my body to look and function as the Lord intended it to.

Losing weight is actually only a bi-product of the thing that I really want which is sobriety. For me that means, at first, yielding to self-control by God's grace. What I want most, eventually, is to get to a place of self-control that is not so hard-fought. Self-control that feels almost natural. I know what that feels like and it is so good.  It hasn't always, but at this point sobriety means even more to me than losing weight. Redemption from this addiction just happens to mean weight loss.

Why have you regained weight lost?
Because I'm a rebel, I'm selfish and I just plain quit. I turned away from a perfectly wonderful way of life  because I thought I could come up with a better plan.  I had grown weary. I wanted a break.  I wanted to be free.

What I didn't realize or perhaps forgot is that I was free.

January 2, 2013

Weigh-In & Planning

I wish we could talk about this over coffee. (Sigh). I weighed in yesterday at 203. It's kind of weird to think about how long ago it was that I was writing about making it into "Onederland." I vowed to never go back. Never say never, huh?

There is a verse of scripture from the book of James: But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (James 5:12 ESV) 

Interestingly, the few verses before this instruct believers to be patient, establish our hearts before the Lord,  not grumble, to be steadfast... compassionate... merciful. I have lost patience many times with this process. Usually when I realize I'm not in control or when things aren't going the way I think they should be. Then I think that if I make new promises, bigger vows that will somehow put me back in control. But really it just sets me up for condemnation--from myself.

How many of us have condemned ourselves for not keeping our vows, for not reaching the lofty goals that we set? And then what happens? Well, I get grouchy. A real pain in the butt, I tell ya. I might even begin to compare myself to others and look for anything in someone else that could make me feel better about me. Enter the grumbling. Exit mercy and compassion. It's such an ugly cycle.

But above all, says James, just let your yes be yes. And your no be no. Just do what you know is right. Don't talk about it all day and night--of which I am guilty--but just do it. Just DO IT. If we get this part right, then everything else sort of falls into place. We are content, free to think of ourselves much, much less. Now that's the way to truly live.

So I know what to do. And I know that if I do what I know I need to do the result is generally really good. So what's the problem?

 I think the problem is that there is an oft overlooked key element between the recognition of what must be done and the doing of what must be done. And that, my friends, we call planning. These are some things that I know I must PLAN for or they will not happen in a good way:

*Weekly meal & snack planning
*Semi-weekly Grocery Store trip
*Quiet/Bible study time
*Prayer time

Know what to do > Make plans to do it > Do it >Keep doing it, steadfastly

Need breakfast plans? Here's a great idea!

"Many good things do not happen in our lives for the simple lack of planning." John Piper

January 1, 2013

New Day's Resolutions

I don't think there is anything at all wrong with resolutions. To resolve to do a thing is perfectly respectable and people do it successfully all the time. But one thing I've observed is that it is much more easy, fun and exciting to make a resolution than it is to keep it.

At the heart of most resolution making, I believe, is the hope that this time we will find a solution. To whatever things we struggle with, whatever bothers us about ourselves, whatever is wrong with us...don't we just want to be fixed?

And so we run the risk, with resolution making, of finding out that in fact there is no amount of resolve in all of the world to fix ourselves...to finally, once and for all, correct the problem of us. This fact has found me. But grace has found me more.

I find myself wanting more than ever to resolve to work hard and devote myself fully to each day that will lie before me in the coming year. I've never been able to handle a collective 365. Perhaps just one?

First resolution of many in 2013--laundry. Lots of laundry.

Happy New Year, dear friends!

"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." Abraham Lincoln