"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~ Anonymous

Monday, October 31, 2011

Is It The Jeans?

So, Saturday night I was at a church function in some jeans, a "stylish" t-shirt and cute cardigan from Target with some decorative trim. Towards the end of the evening a girl started gushing about how good I was looking. She was so sweet and asked if I've lost weight since I moved here.

"Well, let me tell you....." I said...

Just kidding.

I told her I've only lost a few pound since moving here, but I've lost 49 pounds over the last 2 - 2 . 5 years.

One girl said she would like to see a before picture because she couldn't imagine me at 231 pounds. The rest ooh'd and ah'd and I felt great.

What felt even better was knowing that I'm really learning to get control over my eating, finding my niche in exercise and the result is seeing the scale move downwards again.

I can't imagine the 3.5 pound loss I saw last week made a big difference... so it must've been my new cutie jeans from Kohls... LOL

Friday, October 28, 2011

Weigh-In ... Hot 100 Update #4

Today's weight: 182 . 0
Loss/Gain: - 3 . 5 lbs

I haven't seen this number on the scale since before we moved, so I'm just a little excited about it. :)

This week has been a trial of sorts for me. As I mentioned earlier in the week I've changed my workouts to walking instead of more intense workouts at the gym - spin class/elliptical etc. I know I am capable of doing more intense exercise, but it seems to mess with me with regards to my body retaining water, gaining muscle and so not seeing weight loss and I think I'm even a little more hungry due to the exertion.

Don't get me wrong, I know I feel great when I workout hard and see the toning in my body. I also know plenty of people lose weight while doing more intense exercise, but I want to see that scale go down and it's been vexing that it hasn't moved. So, I decided to cut back a little on the intensity of exercise and focus more on my food.

One week of good loss isn't proof that doing this is necessarily better, but for now it's good for me. I'm telling you...my stress level has been way down since I'm not worried about water retention and whether or not to take step class on Thursday because I'll retain water and the scale won't be down on Friday, yada yada. And I think I'm noticing that it's a little easier to not overeat because I'm not as hungry throughout the day.

This is definitely a trial period for me and if I can see weight loss while sticking with walking, then that's what I'll continue to do. I think I might add something for my upper body strength, like some toning with hand weights and maybe planks for core strength.

I also still want to run someday and do definitely see myself getting more into that, but I'm thinking it might be better to work on being a runner after I've lost a little more weight. We'll see ...

In the meantime, I've had a great week, possibly the best week in my healthiness journey since we moved, and I happily share with you my Hot 100 Update for this week:

4 . 5 down
15 . 5 to go

Have a great weekend and please be safe if you're taking part in Halloween activities this weekend!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Check Our Her Homemade Chicken Broth

I grew up in a home where whole chickens were cooked often for their meat. I'm pretty sure it's because it was cheaper. It also gives a great smell to the house, and so I love to cook a whole chicken once in a while for that very reason.

I bring that up because today Diane over at Fit to the Finish shared how she makes homemade chicken broth. Click here to read it and try it yourself sometime. You won't regret it and your family will love the way the house smells!!

Note: My only addition is to add some onions and celery to the pot while simmering. Yum!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm Walking

Someone asked at the close of a post earlier this week, "What will you do to be good to yourself this week?" My instant reply was I will do what is best for me on my weight loss journey and not worry about pleasing others with how I exercise.

I say that because of late I've been walking daily for exercise. I feel that I need to focus on the eating and not stressing so much about pushing myself with regards to exercise.

I'm loving this, especially with regards to the time saved in travel to and from the gym (20 mins minimum each way). Yes, I know I am capable of more, so if time allows I'll take a class here and there. I also want to continue in my running aspirations, so I will run when I feel like it. My tentative long term plan is to definitely get back into running as my weight lowers.

In the meantime, we are having some absolutely beautiful fall weather and I'm loving my beautiful morning walks. Have a great day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weigh-In ... Hot 100 Update #3

Today's Weight: 185 . 5
Loss/Gain: 0

Yes, zero, zip, zilch.

Considering that a week ago I wanted to quit this weight loss thing entirely, was sick of being a person who has to consider what she eats and how much she exercises and was basically only hanging on by a thread of desire somewhere deep within to press forward no matter what...I'm okay with this maintain.

It doesn't help my Hot 100 Challenge, except that I'm not back where I started. But I've really been working through some non-weight related issues lately and it stresses me out at times. I can see how it is affecting my weight loss journey and I'm working things out.

In the meantime, I'm plugging on ahead. I keep posting my exercise as I complete it and I've begun using My Fitness Pal online to track my food since I managed to kill my iPod touch earlier this week (yea, I'll have to journal about that later...it's funny in a small way...) .

Just please know I haven't given up. TOM has come and I think PMS is tapering off now because I'm eating better and not feeling quite as snacky as earlier in the week/end of last week.

In the meantime, for the record...

1 . 0 pound down
19 . 0 pounds to go

Thursday, October 20, 2011

In My Spare Time

Just in case you ever wonder what I do when I'm not being a wife, mother, blogger, exerciser...

Here's a few things I like to do in my spare time:
  • Make felt ornament crafts - usually around the holidays. I made this pumpkin one for a friend of mine that does not live in the south. I've seen that phrase and thought it'd be a cute "touch of the south" gift for her. All done by hand.

  • Try new recipes. Like Lori's pumpkin custard oats, which were delicious..though I had to add more splenda to sweeten it up for me.

  • Create digital scrapped creations like this cutie owl card I made today for fun...and because I have recently purchased two adorable owls for my house and was in the mood to be creative.
  • Oh, and shop, of course, especially when I have gift cards from my birthday (in July) like the one I was able to use today at Pier 1 to buy this adorable little owl. We've named her "Miss Picket" since her apron (I'm also in love with aprons) looks a little like a picket fence

So, that's my interesting post for today, which means things are going pretty good and I've nothing else to report. I'm exercising, eating better and hoping for good things to continue on the scale.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, October 17, 2011

I Caught Myself

Today I had a physical exam. As the nurse was doing the pre-exam routine she asked me to step on the scale. I removed my shoes, stepped up there and automatically began to say....

"You can move the big one to the 200."

I no sooner thought this, and began to say it, when I caught myself. I don't weigh 200 anything and I haven't in over a year.

Isn't that interesting? My instinct was to think I was large, but then I realized I'm not that big anymore.

It was a very small, yet great big wonderful feeling. Somehow I felt thin, or thinner at least. Because I wasn't even close to 200.

Even better was seeing that my weight at the doctor's office in the middle of the afternoon was a clean 186 . 0 lbs. I seriously expected it to be a lot more than my home scale and it wasn't at all. whew!

Anyway, I thought that was an interesting reaction to the scale after all this time. G'nite!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

My Favorite Breast Cancer Survivor

Most of you know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In times past I've donated to co-workers doing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, or clicked on a blog button like Lori has to support free mammograms, but otherwise I've never given it much thought.

Until last year.

Last year my mother went through her own fight with breast cancer and I was suddenly faced with the realities of what a diagnosis like that can do to a person and family.

Thankfully, my mother is now a breast cancer survivor and still with us today. I've asked her to share a few words with you about her story. I'm very proud of how she fought and thankful to the Lord that she made it through safe and sound.
How to start? I must start out expressing my gratefulness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for His love and faithfulness to keep His promises.

I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in April of 2010. This came as quite a shock as it must have to many others with the same diagnosis. I had some pain in my breast since Sept. of '09. The pain had gone away and there no lump that I could find. But, I did have a "dimple" on the bottom left side.

I had never heard of a dimple being a sign of cancer. I pretty much ignored it until it was time for me to go for a physical and my doctor saw the dimple and ordered a mammogram. What had hindered me from going in sooner was the lack of insurance and my husband had lost his job in '08 and was now working 30 hrs. a week at less than half his former wages. I had applied to a local place who provide help to low income but this was a long time coming. I finally got help with Medicaid a month or so before I was diagnosed.

By May 20th I was in surgery having a mastectomy on one side. Chemo started on June 21 and radiation on Nov. 30. Wow! What a wild ride. I had so many family and friends in support of me during this time it blew me away. Every person I ran into during all the doctor visits, chemo, nurses, receptionists and such were the kindest people at all times. I believe God put them there for me. Since I had so much down time I thought I would take this time to read the Bible more and pray. God was there for me as He is for all. I know that Jesus was there for me through all the fear, sadness and the "poor me's". He has been my Rock and Strength.
My husband was everything I'd hope he would be during a crisis! He picked up all the slack while keeping up at his job. He cooked, cleaned and bought the groceries. We were able to schedule most of the doctor visits so he could be there with me. We have been married 37 years and our marriage has been tested in all the vows now!

On Feb. 1, 2011 I was announced as "Cancer Free!" I give God all the praise and glory for I know His hand guided us all through this trial of life.

Don't be afraid of cancer. Trust in Jesus and He will be there for you. In the end, we win!

Kathy Garfield, October 8, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weigh-In ... Hot 100 Update #2

Today's Weight: 185 . 5
Loss/Gain: + 1 . 5

All I can say is that letting myself go for an evening and one day was not conducive to staying on track the rest of the week. *sigh* Last Friday night I went out for a girls night and ate too much dessert. Then Saturday we went to a local pizza parlor to watch the OU vs TX game (Boomer Sooner!!) and though my husband shared some antipasto salad with me I also ate pizza, and crusts, and more crusts and more pizza.

Unfortunately, I planned thought I would get back on track the next day and chalk it up to one calorie-heavy 24 hours, but that didn't happen.

Jodie asked earlier this week why we fail after success and I told her for me it's over confidence in my abilities to stick with my plan. I should add that I think I have weight loss ADD - I don't stay focused for long periods of time.

This is why I put myself in this challenge for the end of the year...to make myself stay focused for more than a day on my weight loss. I've now had one good week and one bad week...time to realize I really have to focus every meal. every day.

Lori also mentioned that losing the weight is only 1/4 of the battle - Oh my!! I'm in so much trouble if that's the case... Just kidding, Lori...kind of. I think for me, it will be half, because I'm seeing what it requires to lose the weight and keeping it off will require continuing the healthy lifestyle. I seem to be able to maintain just fine this year though. *sigh*

I did exercise 3 days and am on my way to the gym this morning for the 4th this week, all 50-60 minutes of cardio, so that is good.

But needless to say, my challenge update isn't positive this week:

1 pound down
19 pounds to go

11 weeks left...argh...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

No posting because...

...well I realized later today why I haven't blogged about anything since Tuesday (like it's really been that long, huh - LOL) and it's because....

I've been working on designing our Christmas card. I love to do digital scrapbooking and realized I needed to get our card together.

I'd love to show you what I've come up with, because my 4th design (after making 5) is the one I think we've decided on....BUT...you'll have to wait until Christmastime. :) It's nothing hugely spectacular, but I like it a lot and I'm excited!

Now I am going to go work on a shadow box/board for a wedding at our church this Sunday. It's to welcome the guests and such - this is paper scrapping style. Whee!!

Nothin New

I'm alive, but there's really nothing new to report. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trouble Commenting?

Does anyone have trouble commenting on my blog? I guess I might not know if you can't....I just can't seem to reply to comments on my own blog and am curious how to fix it. Any ideas?

Today is going fine. I had major hair drama (highlights that looked more like bad bleach job ALL OVER) , but the nice people at Ulta fixed it at no charge (by adding in nice low lights) and so I'm very pleased with that. Now I can go on with my day in peace.... Thank you, Ulta!!

Oh, and spin class kicked my butt again today. Shortly after starting class I thought, "WHY DO I DO THIS?????" It's hard. I do my best, and saw it already being better than the first class, and just plug my way through it. She changes things up enough that the time does eventually pass. It's definitely the hardest thing I do in the week of workouts.

Anyway...back to my original question. If you have any ideas how to fix the commenting situation I'd appreciate it. I've had a friend tell me she can't comment on my blog either, so it's not just me.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Big Weekend

As I told my friend yesterday in a text....

If I had Twitter I'd have to tweet "Too much food this weekend. Time to get back on track tomorrow!!"

How to know you've eaten too much:
  • Rarely felt hungry all weekend, after I started with salad and pizza for lunch on Saturday.
  • Didn't track food at all. Naughty. Naughty.
  • And finally this morning I wasn't even hungry for breakfast.
I had to make myself eat a Zone bar for breakfast just to make sure I ate something before working out, but I really didn't feel hungry until after the workout.

However, today has been good so far, so yay for that! :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weigh-In ... Hot 100 Update #1

Today's Weight: 184 . 0
Loss/Gain: - 2 . 5 lbs.
Hot 100 Challenge Update:
2 .5 lbs down ...... 17 . 5 to go :)

Okay...insert *sheepish grin* here. I guess the scale evened out after all.

Though I have to say that my cynical mind, and a bit of seeing how my body works, thinks that it would've been up a little had I done the step class yesterday instead of a good, long walk. I still think this is due to the muscles retaining water when I do heavier exercise.

But...I am very happy with this loss. It's a good start to my end-of-the-year challenge and I know I worked hard for it.

Last night I took the kids for Subway and opted for a salad with dressing on the side (I used half the dressing). It was another moment of "Look ma! I'm doing this!" as I was very content with my meal and even more that it helped me stay within my calorie budget after having a large lunch.

This morning I met a friend to do walk/jog intervals at a nearby neighborhood walking path. She said it's about 2 . 5 miles around, and I would've double checked but my garmin died about 2 minutes into it. *sigh*

Then I had to use the restroom from, oh..pretty much the beginning.

Folks, there is nothing that will ruin a workout more for me than the urge to pee. I will stop what I'm doing and go to the bathroom without giving another thought to time records, losing my place on a machine at the gym etc.. Unfortunately that wasn't an option today.

So, needless to say having the urge to pee every time we'd run ruined the entire experience for me. Yes, seriously. I was so mad.

However, when we finished and she told me that we completed it in approximately 34 minutes...I was happy. While the last few running intervals were hard for me (and I had to pee worse than when we started, like seriously thought Depends might be my best option when running) I was pleased to hear her say, "That's a pretty good time. My fastest is doing that in 32 minutes."

And I wasn't exhausted when it was over.

Anyway, I'm rambling now, so I should stop. I'm happy with the loss. I'm happy that I did the running. I'm happy that I have a toilet.. LOL and I'm happy that when I stopped at Starbucks on the way home to get some coffee I had this little conversation with myself:

"- oooh...a pumpkin something sounds good, or even a non-fat, sugar-free latte.
- No, I don't really want that.
- We used to feel like we earned something special after a hard workout, or just on a bright sunny day like today when the birds are singing and it's brisk and cool out.
- There might be cake at the birthday party tonight, or higher cal foods...so I don't need anything "special" right now. Plus, we're going to be eating out tomorrow while watching the game. and....I don't really want it...just some food, which I can have at home.
- okay. You're right. ...we don't really want it do we? Weird, but cool! "

And that is how I'm going to get these 20 pounds off. Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Getting It Off My Chest

Yesterday morning I got up and weighed myself like I do every morning. The scale hadn't budged hardly any since Friday, and it was very upsetting to me.

My thoughts were this:
"I've stayed within my calorie budget every day, worked myself so hard that my legs are still aching, haven't had hardly any time to just rest and read (due to busy schedule and fitting in trips to the gym daily) and for that?!?! I'm never going to lose 20 pounds if this is how my body is going to react to heavy workouts and eating well."

Yes, I know that last part doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's how I felt. I proceeded to go ahead and indulge throughout the day adding probably an extra 150-250 extra calories to my day.

I know this is only the first week.

I know I have to keep going.

I also know that when my legs are hurting like that and I'm drinking at least 96 oz. of water a day it's vexing to not see miracles on the scale.

I also know the scale is only a number, not a complete depiction of how well my body is feeling these days.

But I also know I was vexed...and while I was nervous to post this because people who know me personally will think I over challenged myself on the Hot 100 or think I'm just the same old emotional Leah, I decided I had to post it.

Because I had a crappy day.

The silver lining on my day consists of the following threaded together:
  • I was asleep by 10:15 pm, which lead to a good nights rest.
  • I did not eat an extra 1,000 calories as I could have.
  • I still did a 30 minute workout on the arc though I was sore and vexed (is that where "sorely vexed" comes from ??)
Anyway...there it is folks. It's off my chest and I'm going to choose to leave it here. On the blog. And no longer heavy upon my heart. And for those of you rolling your eyes because it hasn't even been a week...well...please stop.

I keep remembering Galations 6:9
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Awesome Weekend

I had an awesome weekend!! (Monday was a very full laundry day w/a baby shower etc., so I'm barely getting a chance to blog about it today.) Besides the fact that I tracked all my eats and stayed within my calorie budget (a small miracle for me) it was full of good choices and strong decisions like these...

When the family was having this late Saturday night:

I was eating this:

A whole wheat waffle with a kids size Chobani greek yogurt on top. (Thanks to Jillian Michaels for that food combination idea.)

I did NOT eat even ONE, NOT ONE french fry. This is huge for me!!

Then on Sunday we had company for lunch and my husband grilled some marinated beef loins and vegetable kabobs.

While I had also prepared some twice baked potatoes with all the yummy goodness of sour cream, cheese and ranch inside...I chose to only eat about two cups of the vegetables and the meat, which I measured on my kitchen scale to make sure I only ate one serving. No potatoes made it on my plate. (yes, I tasted a small bite to make sure they were okay, but that was it. - and yes I could've made them healthier, but I didn't want to for everyone else.)

That's not all...

After church Sunday evening we went to a fast food joint called Cookout which is known for lots of fried stuff and yummy shakes of many flavors. I usually get my food and then steal bites of my son's shake.

But instead I chose to have their grilled chicken sandwich with no dressing/sauces and a 1/4 - 1/2 c. serving of cole slaw which seemed to be prepared in vinegar, because there was no white sauce on it resembling mayo.

Again, I did not take one bite of anything fried off my kids' plates, nor did I have even one bite of my son's shake. I even made myself fill my medium-sized soda cup with water and drank that before having any soda.

What's crazy to me is that this hasn't been all that hard. The choices feel better and I know it's going to help me in the long run. It is a tad nerve wracking, like "Will I be able to stick with this??", but I know God is helping me and with His help and just taking it a day at a time I think I'll finally see reaching my goal weight become a reality.

Finally! :)