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

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

Tomorrow is Easter, and dear blogland friends I would be remiss if I did not share that it is one of my favorite holidays.  As a born again Christian I rejoice knowing my sins are forgiven, paid for by the blood Jesus shed on the cross.  His resurrection on the third day proved his power over hell and the grave. 
When I accepted Him into my life he forgave my sins and almost four years ago when I asked Him to help me with my weight issues He also began to prove to me that I could be free from the bondage of overeating.  One of the biggest keys to my weight loss success is surrendering my weight issues to Jesus and allowing Him to guide me on how to change.  

I pray you all have a nice Easter Sunday and that you will take a minute to ponder all that Christ has done for you.  The freedom from sin that he has given to me is available for you too, if you will only but ask.   As one local church has on display, "The tomb is empty so you don't have to be.

Every Sincerely Yours,

Friday, March 29, 2013

Weigh-In ... Decisions Can Make or Break You

Today's Weight:  164.0
Loss/Gain:  - 0.5 lb

There is no school today, so I was able to sleep in.  As I was laying in bed thinking about my day ahead and knowing I was going to weigh in this morning I reminded myself that no matter what the scale said I would keep going.  The scale is a tool and I would have earned the number on there.  

Yes, there are weeks we do our best and for some reason the scale doesn't seem to cooperate and show a number reflective of our hard work, but this week I screwed up and knew it would be my decisions that would be reflecting on that scale.  

And my decisions did indeed reflect. 

My decisions to overeat last weekend, giving no thought to my plan, but also my decision not to throw the entire week just because I ate all my extra points within two days were all reflected in that half-pound loss.   

Which leads me to being thankful for some other decisions I'm glad I've made recently.  And a photo post run yesterday because I was so thankful.  :) 

First, I'm really glad I joined up with Weight Watchers Online.  Basically the points I'm given to eat every day (and the extra for the week if I choose to use them) are calories for my protein, carbs/sweets and fats.  Watching those points go down as I track my food helps me make better choices throughout the days.  

I'm also glad I chose to be completely honest with my tracking last weekend.  It was sad and very humbling to admit how badly I ate and yet looking at my tracker all week and seeing I was actually in the negative with regards to my extra weekly points helped keep me in check most times.  Not having those extra points also reminded me that I needed to exercise.  I needed to work on burning some of the calories to make up for my overeating.  

So, I also chose to exercise.  I made the decision that I had to get back to good, sweaty workouts -- namely at least 30 minutes of something that would push me.  I love walking, and my lifelong fitness goal is to be able to go for daily walks when I'm old and gray, but for now I can do more.  So, I made the decision to do Jillian workouts and get at least one run in. 

The DVDs are an easy choice, because I get to stay inside.  :)  

I'll be honest with you.  Our days were still cold and I'm tired of being cold already.  I didn't want to bundle up and go running in 40 degree weather.  I know it's still March, but we had some really nice 60'ish degree days and feeling those nice days made me not want to run until it was nice like that again.  

Then I read an article in Runner's World wherein the author made a comment about at least getting in a quick run just to keep your body used to running.  They said even if all you can do it 10-15 minutes it's better than nothing.  So, I made the decision to go for a run and not worry about the time or distance.  I decided that I would just wait until a little later in the afternoon when the temperature was supposed to get up around 53 degrees.  

Waiting until later in the day meant I had to pause a conversation with a friend I hadn't talked to in months telling her I needed to go run and could I please call her back?  (Another decision)  We had talked for almost an hour already and she was fine with it.  Then about 10 minutes into the run I got a phone call, but told the lady I was running and she offered to call back later.  (Another decision..yay!) 

This run turned out to be a great one.  However, it was great for very different reasons. 

While it was a beautiful sunshiny day it was still chilly.  It was also windy.  I realized about two thirds of the way through my run I had paused my Map My Run app, so I wasn't going to get a decent reading.  (argh..) My side was aching most of the run, which I know was because I went out too fast.  But I kept telling myself this was a great run...because I was doing it. 

Because I was doing it.  

With every decision I made this week I have proved once again that I can be successful, not because I'm the one losing the most pounds each week or working out the most hours, but because no matter what I keep going.  I keep making those decisions to keep at it.  

And this week may only show half a pound gone, but it shows that I made the decision to keep fighting after a less-than-stellar weekend.  That, my friends, is success!  

*insert small happy dance* 

Now, please wish me luck with Easter weekend.  oh my .. I don't always do well around holidays and company and we're having a lot on Sunday.  BUT...I am determined to track everything and do my best to make conscious decisions for the better.  

Happy Friday, and if you made it through this extremely long post...thank you!!!  Sometimes there is no simple way of putting things, because I want to record everything about my journey.  :) 

Monday, March 25, 2013

WW Confession Time

Well, my friend wants to know how Weight Watchers is going for me...




It's going great, except I allowed myself a free day or two over the weekend and then decided I would be bluntly honest and track e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  and oh my....

I ate all my extra weekly points in two days.  

How embarrassing and how enlightening all at the same time.  

The reason I chose to follow Weight Watchers was to make me think about the kinds of foods I was eating.  As I track my points daily I see them go down and know I have to make better decisions for the rest of the day, or in this case week, to have any hope of seeing a loss.  

It's different to see I've lost all those weekly points instead of just saying, "Oh, I had a high calorie day.  Tomorrow is a new day!"  

Tomorrow is a new day, but without exercise that day doesn't have room to go off plan.  

It's a good thing I used a lot of those calories on my favorite candies, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup minis, and a brownie or two, but still .... what an eye opener.  

But as I told a fellow blogger...I will not throw the entire week just because of an over-point weekend.  

I'm definitely learning some things here and I guess that is good.  :)  

Now if it could please warm up a bit I'd be much more into running...another blah moment for another time.  

Bye for now!  :)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Weigh-In ... Joining WW

Today's Weight:  164.5
Loss/Gain: -1.5 lbs

Yay!  I was a little worried about the scale because it heading down and then yesterday was an off day.  It's good to know I didn't ruin the entire week's worth of work with my carbolicious snacking.  *rolling eyes* Needless to say that's a post for another day, because I think I was snacking away some feelings.

But, I know I earned this loss, because I did indeed work at it this week.  In fact, after much thought over the last couple of weeks I made a decision last Saturday night.  

Short Story:  

Long Story:
Over the last month or so I've been perusing various diet plans.  I know what to do to lose weight, but I needed a little more structure.  Some plans make your food for you, some tell you eat only specific foods and others just tell you to stay within a certain calorie budget.  

I have a friend who asked what I thought Weight Watchers and I was reminded I've followed Weight Watchers in the past and I feel it's well-balanced and teaches a person how to eat correctly.   When I ran into a mom who was sharing with me her weight loss story and we were discussing eating and she mentioned she is doing Weight Watchers also, I was like..hhmm...maybe I should look into that again.

So, I got online, read about it and argued with myself about whether or not I wanted to spend money on another weight loss plan.  I also knew I didn't need the meetings.  Noticing the 3-month online plan only was $20 a month I figured, "You know what?  I'm going to probably end up spending that money on something, so why not a tool to help me finish my weight loss."  So, I chose that plan and agreed with myself that if I don't see progress during that time I will quit using their program and go back to doing it on my own.  

For those that don't know...here's a quick view of what it's about and why I like the plan. 

Weight Watchers follows a points plan that gives point values to foods based on their fat, carbohydrate, fiber and protein amounts.  Fruits and veggies are "free" foods with a value of 0 pts.  I've followed the old points program before, so it's not too hard to get used to. 

For my 5' 4", 36-year-old female self these are my points allowances:


I was already in the habit of using a calorie tracker on my new iPhone, so switching to their tracker was easy.  They also have a barcode scanner, like My Fitness Pal does, so that's handy too in case there is a food item that isn't in their log already. 

** shamelessly inserting that I LOVE my smartphone so much for things like my food and exercise trackers -- SO EASY!!!!  Thank you, Luv.**

Following their points plus plan this past week I've been reminded that not all calories are equal.  It's exactly what I needed to help me make better choices.  

For example, as I texted a young friend of mine who also recently joined WW... 

So..there it is.  I am following a "diet" now to get to my goal.  However, I think of it as more like just tracking my food like normal, but with some guidelines to help me stay away from the added sugars and fats I don't really need. 

Me thinks this could be the ticket to helping me stay focused to finish up what I've started.  :)  I also am one of those who enjoys these little encouragements:

Now for a little fun photo I found when looking for some pictures for a military appreciation display I'm putting together for a coffee house opening up in our town.  

This is my husband and I before we had kids.  I'm guessing we were married about a year here, which means we'd have been about 20 and 22 years old respectively.  :)  He looks 15 and I look 25.  *giggle* 

I hope you all have a nice weekend and I'm off to get to work on cooking and preparing my house for a bridal shower tonight.  Whee!!  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Goal is to Finish

I haven't run but maybe twice in the last almost four weeks. 

Saturday I got a new pair of running shoes and this morning I took them out for a short run.  

It was rough.  I told myself I wasn't out to break any time records, just slow and easy.  The best part of the run was looking down at my cool new shoes.  Their hot pink with neon trim was the only bright spot on the chilly overcast morning. 

Then I reminded myself, or maybe I decided once again ...  I'm just out to finish this.  

I'm planning on running a 10K in May and then a half marathon in September.  This break from running had scared me a bit because it was getting so easy to not exercise, or go for a brisk walk.  Yes, walking is great and when you usually run it's like an "easy" workout.  But I knew I wanted to run.  I knew that I would get my new shoes and I would head out again, because when I run I feel strong and capable.  I feel like I can conquer anything. 

And while I enjoy seeing my pace speed up as I run more and as the pounds come off, really the only thing I'm looking for in either of my races this year is to finish.  To finish strong and know I didn't give up.  

There is always going to be someone more dedicated than me, more fit, faster, etc. etc., but I only need push myself and do my best.  And if it means taking is slower when getting back into running, then that's okay.  If it means not PR'ing a 10K because I took a month off of the training plan, then that's okay.

This is life and the goal is simply to finish.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Winner

Thank you to all who entered to win a copy of Miracles and Moments of Grace:  Inspiring Stories from Moms.  

The winner chosen randomly through Draw Straws! is ... 

Syl from LiveSmileRun

Syl, leave me a comment with your email and I'll get your mailing info to have the book sent out to you.  :)  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weigh-In ... Feeling Better

Today's Weight:  166.0
Loss/Gain: -2.5

Good-bye 2.5 lbs!  I knew you weren't here to stay.  :)

I thought of posting a couple times since Tuesday, but life is happening.  Imagine that.  I'm feeling much better than earlier in the week.  I have still been a little sleepy during the day, but I think it's partly due to my body catching up after some stressful weeks.  

Today I woke up feeling so much better than I have in a few mornings.  Hooray!  The sun is shining, birds are chirping and I'm going to go do some more spring cleaning I started yesterday.  Yes, I do find great joy in a clean house..especially when I haven't washed down my baseboards in almost a year.  yikes.  lol 

Here's a few fun NSVs that happened the past couple of days:

  • After much pondering at the store yesterday I put back down the Snickers bar and decided I didn't need it for lunch.  I came home and had some graham crackers and PB instead with my coffee.  It was actually more for a snack than lunch and I was proud of myself. 
  • Yesterday evening I went for a walk with my girls while my son was at soccer practice and wore my husband's Adidas workout pants, because it was cold and I don't have long workout pants ... and because it always thrills me to know I can wear his pants now.  *HUGE GRIN*
  • Earlier in the week I had a chat with my kids and we decided we are going to limit our sweets to one a day AS A FAMILY.  They agreed to help me finish up my weight loss and are willing to make some changes in their habits as well.  They agreed eating healthier is good, even if you don't need to lose weight.  My husband isn't much of a sweets person, so this is easy for him.  

I hope you have a good Friday.  Don't forget you still have time to enter my give away here

Have a good weekend and I will be back Monday with a winner of the book.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Oldie But Goodie

Just popping in to say I'm glad that old workouts still work.  :)  

My head is still a tad stuffy, but I knew I had to do some form of exercise today.  After almost two weeks of no regular exercise I am trying to just get back into the habit of it, even if the workouts aren't as intense as they were due to my cold. 

It's been raining steadily all morning, so I pulled out a Leslie Sansone Walk at Home DVD to do instead.  Forty five minutes of side steps, knee lifts, walking/marching in place, grape vines and ham string curls and I feel great!

*contented sigh*

Don't forget to enter for my book giveaway if you haven't already.  Comments must be made on Monday's post to be entered in the drawing.  

Have a good day! 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Inspiring Moms Book Giveaway

Well, it's Monday and despite a sore throat and stuffy head I'm happy to share some exciting news with you. 
Last August I was contacted by one of my blog readers, author Nancy B. Kennedy, asking if she could interview me about my weight loss journey for a book of short stories she was writing.  I was honored when she said she found my story inspiring.  We spoke on the phone for almost two hours discussing weight, motherhood and how my weight loss affected my role as a mother of three.  

After much hard work on Nancy's behalf, collecting more inspiring stories and doing all that is necessary to publish a book, it is finally out. 

Along with sending me a copy of the book Leafwood Publishers is offering to send a copy to one of my blog readers.  I've begun reading through the book and there are some very touching moments shared in there from everyday women like myself.  

Leave me a comment below to enter and I will randomly choose a winner on Sunday, March 17th.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Weigh-In ... What What I Thinking?

Today's Weight:  168.5
Loss/Gain:  +2.5 lbs.

Oh my.  I saw that number and declared quietly, "I'm not posting my weight today." and I started planning how I would either write about some exciting news, or skip posting entirely.

However, within an hour of weighing myself, and now two hours later, I decided I need to post the weight.  While I'm embarrassed to death of my behavior this past week I want to be honest.  In order to appreciate the efforts of getting back on track one needs to see just how bad it got. 

So here it is.  And here's why...

Short Story:  
I used a slightly stressful week as a ticket to eat in eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die[t] mode. 

Long Story:
Remember when you decided to lose weight?  Did you ever do the eat-everything-now-because-tomorrow-I'm-starting-my-diet kind of eating?  I've done it multiple times in my life and always kind of giggled, because the first big loss of the new diet was probably losing most of what I ate the night/week before I started the diet.  

Well, that's kind of what I did this past week.  Yes, *hanging head in shamed embarrassment* I even said out loud a couple of times, "Well, mommy is having this because after Friday (or "after the weekend"..I changed it up a couple of times) that's it.  It's back on plan for me!"  

Goodness gracious.  What was I thinking?  

I know what I was thinking.  I was thinking this week is rough, so I'm going to just not care, indulge in those things I don't allow myself very often and then I'll really start over and get back on track this weekend.  Or maybe on Monday..yea, that'll give me the weekend to continue indulging.  

Again...I'm so embarrassed to have to say that, but that's exactly where my brain was at most of this week.  

The good side is I wasn't in rebellion mode.  I wasn't like "I hate eating healthy, so I'm gonna eat junk and not care!!!"  I was just enjoying my chocolate Edy's ice cream with peanut butter mixed in and my Reese's eggs (not that monster one...though I came REALLY close to eating one), not tracking any of it and telling myself to enjoy it now because I'm starting back with healthier eating next week.  

And as much as I did enjoy those treats while they were on my tongue...my tummy has been angry at me.  As my weight today will confirm I wasn't just eating one treat a day.  I was eating them more than once a day and often when I wasn't hungry.  Sheesh. 

I know better than that.  

Which is why when twice this week I was praised for being such an inspiration "with your weight loss" I felt embarrassed.  "Oh, if only they knew what I was eating now."  I even ate snacks and wondered if my children noticed and were wondering what the heck is going on with mom?  They never acted like they noticed, but I still wondered because I knew I wasn't acting like my new self.

I can't say I necessarily felt bad though.  I just felt dumb, childish.

But you know what?  I'm not the only dummy in the weight loss world!!  Woot! 

As I read through various bloggers' posts this week I realized, for the umpteenth comforting time, I am normal.  For most of us who struggle with our weight it's because we love food and have a hard time enjoying it in a healthy way.  Plus, many of us are cursed with slower metabolisms...pausing for effect...because we all know there are people who eat worse than us and never gain a pound (I just had to get that off my chest because it's true.  Thank you, I feel better now.  lol)  

But I digress...

Slow metabolism or not, this week I've rediscovered something I need to work on with regards to my weight:  Not allowing life's rough patches to throw me from my healthier habits. 

So, that's what I leave you with today.  I am normal.  I still have issues with food.  And while I am rolling my eyes at how dumb I acted this past week I know it was not with a quitting attitude.  One of my deepest desires in losing weight was to break the addiction to food, to enjoy food in a healthy way;     maybe not always the healthiest choices, but always in moderation.  

Losing 60+ pounds so far has given me the gift of seeing I can be a different Leah and I want to keep that.  This past week has taught me that I will need to work on keeping to my new healthier eating habits even when life gets stressful.  And I will work on it, because....

I will never give up.  :)

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have a nice weekend.  Come back Monday for some exciting news and my first ever giveaway!  

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Still Learning and AIM

Let me start by saying I've not been eating or acting like I care about weight loss lately.  Last week it was mainly TOM, but it has dragged on as I've been dealing with a family issue.  No one is dying or in serious health, but still life is happening and I've not stuck to healthier eating along the way.  

I feel the need to share that because in the last couple of days two different people told me how inspired they are by me and I'm like, "Um, thanks!" while inside I know I've not lived an exemplary healthy life this week.  It's brought me to thinking about how I still need work.  I know through this moment in my life I am not going to quit, start eating tons of food, put back on the weight and give up.  

Giving up is not an option.  

I don't ever want to go back to 232 pounds.  Ever.  I don't even want to go back to 180 pounds.  

And I know I won't.  

Life issues are just bumps in the road and I need to work on getting my food and exercise choices to a point where those bumps don't become excuses to overeat and be lazy.  Not that I've been lazy, because it really has been busy around here, but I have used recent circumstances as an excuse to overeat. 

But you know what??  I'm not alone!!! :)

Hooray!!  I'm normal, and human, and I'm a common everyday lady who is figuring this out and fighting just hard enough to keep from going back, and with a hope that I can still reach my goal. 

How do I know this?  

Well, a group of women who having been in weight loss maintenance for a couple of years have gotten together and began a once a month series of posts on their Adventures in Maintenance.  

They will each be posting on the first Monday each month on various topics.  Today I took some time to read their posts and was so encouraged by the things they had to say.  

One of the things that really stands out in my mind about these women is how they are regular everyday ladies like myself.  They know what it is to struggle with overeating and they have each found what works for them to maintain their losses.  They are honest about the ups and downs and.... most importantly...they all understand that it's a daily choice to eat better and move more that works.  

It's so encouraging and this months posts on "What's Different Now?" came at a perfect time in my life.   (I could write more later on what I learned through my reading today.)

If you have a minute you can start by reading Lori's post here.  At the bottom of her post she has links to the other ladies' posts.  

I think everyone can glean something from what these ladies have to say, no matter where you're at in your healthiness journey.  

Enjoy and be encouraged!  I know I am.  :)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Sweet Moment

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were talking and he said something to this effect: 

I feel bad because I haven't been to the gym much in the past month, but I know you've been running and working out....and I get to reap the benefits.  You know I never loved you any different when you were bigger (true!), but now I see how confident you are since you've lost weight and I'm blessed by that. 


This is coming from a man who rarely says something he doesn't mean, nor does he compliment every little thing.  So, when he compliments something I know he means it.  

Add to that the fact that I wasn't fishing for a compliment and it meant all the more to me.  

Oh, yes I have no problem throwing out a hook, "Look at what size I bought today!!" or "Do you see my run time??"  It works every time.  :)

However, this evening he made the comment out of the blue and I was so touched.  

He noticed!!  *contented sigh*  Such a sweet moment in my new ending. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Weigh-In ... TOM

Today's Weight:  166.0
Loss/Gain: + 2.0

Honestly, the only real negative about this gain is having to post it today.  TOM has arrived, so I'm not surprised at all.  It happens.  

As I told one of my children who got in trouble this week, "This [situation] doesn't make you a bad person.  You're a good kid who let [it] get the better of you.  You learn from the mistake and move on."

Although, I'm not even considering this a mistake.  Yesterday I explained how my week was going and I'm really okay with that.  This is a lifelong journey and I know the scale will go back down soon enough.  

Besides, I'm quite proud of a choice I made this morning...

On a quick trip to the grocery store this morning I saw this new Easter goodie out:

6 oz. of Reese's Peanut Butter Egg.  It's huge.

My TOM'y self said, "OH!!! That looks delicious!!".  But my new ending self said, "You don't need that much.  It really is too big." and I grabbed a regular sized pack of peanut butter cups instead ... just in case I really get the craving for some.  It's already tucked away in a drawer for later.  

Don't judge..I know myself and I'd rather have the one regular pack during this time than sound all self righteous that I skipped it, and end up eating other chocolate today wishing I had just bought the darned candy.  

Thanks for checking in folks!  I do have a sweet NSV to share with you and maybe I'll get around to posting it later today.  

In the meantime... TGIF!