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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My New[est] Apron

I love aprons and wear one every time I cook or am cleaning in the kitchen, so I was tickled when a friend of mine gave me this apron she found.

She's one of my new friends here that I discuss health and exercise with.   We both got a good giggle out of it...and I've already worn it a couple of times.  :)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Motivation - I Did It!

Good morning!  We had a very full, but nice, weekend.  This morning I allowed myself to sleep in a little and it felt good.  Of course, then I was lazy and didn't want to workout after doing my devotions.  

But...I did, and I'm so glad, because during this morning I motivated myself with "THIS is why I keep exercising!!"

I'm on workouts 5 and 6 of the 12 included in the Body Revloution series by Jillian Michaels.  The instructions are to do these twice weekly for two weeks.  I extended this set an extra week because I haven't completed a full week of these workouts in the last two weeks.  

Well, in workout 5 there is this move I haven't been able to do so far.  It's like a pushup off your side using  one arm.  Let's just say when I first saw her do it I was like, "WHAT?!?!?"  Then I thought, "Just try it, Leah." and I...well, I couldn't lift myself up off the ground.  

I was wondering how the heck I could modify it and finally figured out to start at the top and lower myself down (like in push-ups).  So, that's what I would do. 

Well, today I am proud to say I was able to do the move correctly on both sides.  I was so happy I asked my son to take pictures to show you.  (hhmm...I'm checking my form out now too..LOL)

In fact, I asked him to take another picture of a move that I would never have dreamed close to possible 60 pounds ago.  A single leg squat with an arm raise (after you come to standing up straight again.) 

This reminds me of a text a good friend sent me last Thursday night.  She said something like, "Isn't it neat to see how far you've come in your exercise?"  We chatted for a few minutes about how we were both dying when we started exercising and can now do so much more.  Feeling all weepy like I was last week, I was so encouraged by that text.  

Yes, I have come far.  I don't always feel like exercising, and sometimes I have to modify the moves in the beginning, but with consistency comes progress and that is very motivating!

p.s.  These photos show you where I workout...my living room!  The computer that I play workouts on is directly behind where my son was standing.  A real "in-home gym".  :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Weigh-In ... I Stepped Away

Today's Weight:  167.5
Loss/Gain:  + 0.5 lb

With PMS and TOM arriving I'm not surprised one bit by the gain.  It's been a rougher TOM week.

Some months I'm grouchy during "that time" and then I get over it quickly and some times I'm more weepy.  This was a weepier month.  Stinkin' hormones...  I love that this body was able to conceive and bear children, but I could do without the monthly cycles.  :)

Since my moods were a bit weepier I had to step away from being so focused on food and the weight loss world.  I tracked my food, I exercised three days this week so far, but I mentally stepped away from the pressures of needing to lose weight.  

It was overwhelming me with guilty feelings and then tears would come and, folks, I don't want food to have that kind of power in my life.  

So, instead of focusing on me and my weight issues I looked elsewhere and have spent four days (and counting) helping out some friends of ours by watching their four kids all day, every day.  I've worked on a craft project.  I've kept up with daily tasks and gotten good rest nightly.  

And, yes, I've scanned through the weight loss blogs I follow, but only for a few minutes a day and then I went back to things presently going on in my life. 

One of those things, and a non-scale victory of sorts, was as I putting "hang-up" laundry away last night I pulled out a shirt that used to be too tight on me.  Too tight, as in when I bought it I was so vexed because it was supposed to be a 2X and it wouldn't even button...well, that was a good five or six years ago and somehow I've kind of passed it up in fitting into it.  I, um, am now too small for it; as in I can grab a handful of the front of the shirt and it would still fit comfortably.  LOL  oops...  

As I gathered the front of the button-up shirt in my fist and saw the new me that was hiding under there I thought, "See? It's not all that bad."  

So, I am reminded for the umpteenth time to just take it a day at a time.  This is life and a life change, not a diet.  I will keep going. 

Thanks for checking in.  :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Choosing to be Thankful

When one feels PMS'y and TOM has arrived it is not always a good idea to post one's feelings on weight loss...fickle and hormonal as they can be. :) So, I thought instead of coming on here and whining I'd share a really good point I came across today in my devotional reading from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

 Lysa Terkeurst said, "Sometimes I feel more guilty for what I'm not than thankful for what I am."

 So, I've decided to be thankful and enjoy the day.  My kids have friends over and they are all getting along smoothly. The chores are getting done and I'm even finding time to be creative.  It's a good day!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pool Time

I spent a great, hot afternoon at the pool with my kids today. More later...off to bed. :)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weigh-In ... I Am Not a Failure

Today's Weight:  167.0
Loss/Gain: +2.0 

After a strict week of eating last week, and knowing I would allow some indulgence for my birthday, I was afraid of this.  However, I was at least hoping to maintain.  

The days before and after my 1-2 days of celebrating I did great.  In fact, I was super excited Tuesday night when I was right within my calorie budget.  I thought I had it in the bag.  I indulged, but I was back on track and maybe I could even squeak out another pound loss, but at least I could maintain.  

Until Wednesday night after church.  Let's say I did have the yogurt I planned, but then ended up with much more in the way of nachos and a few M&Ms.  *sigh*  

I don't blog what I eat on purpose.  I don't think I can handle the criticisms that would come my way when I'm up two pounds and then people see what I've eaten and feel the need to explain to me that my food choices could be better.  

I know that already.  I knew that when I began trying to lose weight.  Posting my weigh-ins weekly is all the pertinent info I care to offer and it really does say it all.  When you see that two-pound gain you know that two things happened:

  1. I gained a bit back of a very strict week of eating.  (I had a feeling that might happen)
  2. I overate.
Okay, I guess I just had to get that off my chest...back to finishing up this week. 

Last night, I felt like a complete and utter failure.  I won't go into all the gory details, but I had a moment of tears and frustration.  Then I reminded myself, "I am not a failure.  Yes, I failed this week [to follow a healthy eating plan], but I AM NOT A FAILURE."

My husband was very supportive and gave me a big hug when he saw I'd been crying.  I had wanted to keep losing so badly, but those old habits crept in so quickly.  As we crawled into bed I told him my little saying, "I am not a failure.  I failed, but I am not a failure."

He kind of chuckled and then said, "How much weight have you lost so far, Leah??"  

"I know...", I sheepishly replied.  

So, after a good night's sleep and some time in prayer this morning I know I will keep going.   I don't want food to consume my life, in either a good way or a bad way, but I know I feel so much better when I eat right.  

As I always say...I won't quit.  It's not over yet.  :)

Thanks for checking in and have a good weekend! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This past weekend had lots of happy moments in it...

First there was Saturday morning where I enjoyed a delicious breakfast of turkey bacon and an omelet made of 1 egg, 1 egg white,  a few spinach leaves and less than an ounce of cheese for a grand total of 168 calories.  So yummy!!! 

And I finished Saturday staying within my calorie budget.  That's HUGE!!!

I made up for it plenty on Sunday, because we had lunch here...

and then in the afternoon the girls starting putting up these...

...so after our evening church service we could celebrate ....my 36th birthday.

My husband told me a week ago he was thinking of inviting some friends over for my birthday Sunday night because we had plans Monday night (my actual birthday is the 16th).  

It was a blast!! We served nachos with cheese, ground beef and jalapeƱos, a fruit tray and a veggie tray. 

Then we finished off the night with a homemade tres leches cake (thank you, Twin 2) and a Coldstone Creamery peanut butter chocolate cake....

....that was just as delicious Monday for lunch as it was Sunday night.  LOL 

I allowed myself to indulge in birthday treats for a full 24 hours and today I'm back on track.  It was great to have friends over and my husband is grateful that I now have gift cards to spend at Starbucks, Michaels Crafts and Bath and Body Works so he doesn't have to see the money go there for a while.  LOL  

A favorite gift??  Honestly,I liked them all.  I've only lived here a year and my new friends really hit the nail on the head with the gifts.  I must admit though......I was super thrilled to get this Asics shirt with wicking from my family.

It's my first ever "real" workout shirt thus far.  Outside of my running shoes and good bra, all my workout clothes (all um...less than 10 pieces bought in the last three years) have come from Wal-Mart or Target and none of them have wicking.  I've worn it once and can't wait to take it out running.  

My husband also surprised me with a real pearl necklace.  I prefer pearls over diamonds and am tickled he remembered me mentioning one day, "I've always wanted a small pearl necklace some day...".  
(please excuse the crazy face....it was very late...and we were being a little crazy.. LOL)

Oh, and one more thing...yesterday I took the kids swimming, but first we stopped to get a new bathing suit for me because mine had just gotten too big.  When the "support" can't support because the suit hangs loose...well, my girls (No, seriously..."my girls" as in my daughters... BIG LOL) were like, "Mom are you getting a new suit before camp??" LOL  So, I did....

...in a size 14.   

I didn't get a picture of that just yet, but it's a black skirt and then a striped top in corals, pinks with a little black.  It's modest and it's cute ...and I realized when I got home...I'm not one of the biggest moms at the pool anymore.  Another topic for another day, but it's a good feeling.  :)

And the party continues!! :)  

Note:  Thanks Instagram for cool photo effects on the party and cake pics. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Weigh-In ... Good Results

Today's Weight:  165.0
Loss/Gain:  -2.5 lbs

Well, I guess cutting out the sugar and carbs worked; that and cutting calories.  :)
I'd be jumping for joy if I wasn't still feeling dragging.  LOL 

Actually, I'm glad to see results after all my hard work.  Usually after I fast I don't keep that weight off, much less lose more.  

While I haven't enjoyed all the foods this week one thing I have enjoyed is seeing that I am capable of sticking to a plan to lose weight.  It's been fairly strict and I've done it.  It hasn't always been comfortable, but I know getting to my goal is not going to be comfortable.  

So, now I nervously post this wonderful loss and hope, or should I say determine, outside a celebration this week I'll be able to stick to a plan with a few more carbs and still keep losing.  

Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Under These Conditions

Okay..yes, I'm going to whine...

I can not work(out) under these conditions!!!  

Whoo boy!  It's only been three days without sugar and grains and my body is feeling it.  I've been dragging, but then today just getting myself psyched up to do my 30-minute workout was rough.  

I didn't want to do it. 

I was dragging.

I miss carbs...even just fruit...or just the tablespoon of honey in my yogurt.  PLEASE!!  

...and then I told myself, "Leah, only two more days.  You can do this.  Just do your best...and don't forget the one good news...."

The silver lining on this week of "Why-the-heck-did-I-decide-to-do-this???" .....

I haven't been craving sweets at all.  None.  

I'd like the honey back in my yogurt because plain greek yogurt is GROSS to me, and I love it with honey.  Otherwise, I haven't wanted ice cream or anything like that.  

I'm told lowering carbs in the diet will do this and for someone with a sweet tooth like me it's probably a good thing.  So, no sweet cravings give me something positive to look at for this week of no sugar/carbs.

Speaking of the week.  I had originally planned to do this Monday through Friday and then thought I'd tack Saturday on to it.  Well, I'm going back to my original plan of completing it through Friday.  Saturday I'll still eat carefully, but I will add some whole grains and fruit to the day.  

The addition of whole grains and fruits is basically the only difference from the kick start plan I'm doing this week and the regular plan on Body Revolution.  That'll be another post for another day. 

So...while I was feeling whiny this morning (and last night as I choked down more plain yogurt and girls ate ice cream) I did get the workout done and I will keep going.  I'm learning new things, I'm pushing out of my comfort zone and I can do this!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So This is What it Feels Like

For six days this week (Mon - Sat) I am following Jillian's Michaels kickstart meal plan for the Body Revolution to kind of get me on a track to healthier eating.  I have decided if I can fast I can stick to a healthy eating plan.  

So, basically this is a no-sugar, no grains week.  My only "cheat" is that I decided after two days of coffee with no sugar to add my one packet of sweet n low back in to a cup of coffee.  I also use half-n-half, which is not on her plan.  I just decided it's my one thing that won't change, so I'm okay with it.  She does suggest only two mugs of coffee a day and I'm abiding by that.  

It's been interesting so far, but good too.  The meals do not all include favorite foods of mine (I tried brussel sprouts last night), but I decided I could do anything for a week.  :)  

I'm pushing out of my comfort zone and as I'm staying away from sweets, tracking my calories and trying healthier foods I keep thinking, "So this is what it's like to actually stick to a plan!!!" :D  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Motivation & Running Buddies

I have a little time this Sunday and thought I'd share two things I found motivating over the weekend: 

  • A poster quote Liz posted over at Prior Fat Girl

  • Running with my 14-year-old twin daughters.  They want to do a 5K race in the fall, so we have started some training. 

Saturday evening we jogged for a mile, walked for a mile and then I challenged them to jog the last mile home.  They took me up on the challenge and finished strong.  

It was fun and we enjoyed some chatting about how to hydrate to run in hot, muggy weather, how to train for your first race and how to push past lazy and remind ourselves that the feeling of great accomplishment when done is always worth the effort.  

When we finished and they realized they ran two of the three miles we finished they were elated.  It's very motivating to see them embrace a new activity and .... be able to join them in the process.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Weigh-In ... Hope for Freedom

Today's Weight:  167.5
Loss/Gain:  - 4.0 lbs

Before you congratulate me I have to share that I took part in a time of prayer and fasting a few days during this week and the 4 pounds came off during that time.  The part you can congratulate me on is that I mindfully did not overeat the day before the fast, nor the day after just because I knew I would be going without food.  

Usually we feel the need to eat lots and lots the day before the fast because we know we'll be going without food, but this time I told myself that it wasn't necessary.  During the fast I included some prayers about my food issues and why I keep stalling from following what necessary to be at a healthy weight.  

There were no great revelations, no sparks from heaven, but simply a reminder of what is true.   In trying to gather my thoughts for this post I can only say that I know overeating is a sin.  The Bible calls it gluttony.  It's an issue I think everyone faces at some time or another, but those of us with slower metabolisms tend to show we deal with it more obviously than others.  

It's an issue that requires discipline and for some reason I'll never understand it's an area of discipline I seem to only be able to conquer to some extent...until now.  

This discipline issue is something I struggle with in other areas of my life and I've had it "up to here" with the lack of control and the frustrating consequences that always follow.  

Now, I do thank the Lord my areas lacking discipline are not as bad as other peoples, but this isn't about comparing.  (Otherwise I'd be content at 30 pounds overweight, because 'at least I'm not 100 pounds overweight like so-and-so') No, this is about getting out of ruts of nasty thinking and bad habits that have only lead me to tears in the past.  

I don't feel quite ready to share more than that, but suffice it to say that I am so grateful to God for the hope of freedom from the bondage of sins like gluttony, selfishness and lack of discipline.  Because there IS hope in Jesus.  In John 8:32-35 it says: 

"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say,‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. "

I don't have to live like the old Leah and always end up with old Leah results.  

I only have to be willing to surrender my will and remember to take it a day at at time.  

Today I leave you with a quote our pastor shared Sunday morning that I thought could also be applied to my weight loss journey.  

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty"

There is hope for me yet, and with God's help and some vigilance on my part I can break free of old habits.  

Thanks for checking in and have a great weekend!  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mom's "Weird"

Yesterday I wore a new dress to church.  It ends mid-knees which is shorter than what I usually wear and I was worried about my white legs showing so much.  I was also a little out of sorts with regards to my weight ..blah...blah..

Well, as I'm finishing getting ready my son walks in my bedroom and we have this little conversation:

Son:  Mom, that dress makes you look weird.
Me:  Weird?  Like how?  (thinking very white legs or shorter-than-normal dress)
Son:  I dunno...weird......like........SKINNY.
Me:  *laughing* 

As I told this story to a friend I realized my kids haven't seen me this size in the past years that they can remember, so I guess wearing a new dress that shows off my smaller size is a little "weird".   I'll take that kind of weird though.  *giggle*