"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, December 6, 2016

Minus TEN Pounds [Again]!!

Note:  I've been trying to upload a video I made after my post-Thanksgiving weigh-in, but I'm having issues and I'm impatient.  So, I'll preface this post by sharing I DID NOT gain one ounce during Thanksgiving.  I stepped on the scale to see a happy exact same weight as the week before.  It was thrilling to know I could celebrate a holiday, eating whatever I wanted in moderation, and maintain.  *super contented sigh*

Now...on to today's news:

My honest journey on the scale this year.

This has been my journey since going back to Weight Watchers last spring.  I lost steadily at first, hitting 10 pounds lost around Memorial Day weekend and then I started gaining again.  Within 2 months I had gained back all but about 1.5 pounds of what I had lost.  

It was frustrating, but I was in the middle of moving my daughters to college, so I gave a half-hearted attempt and tried not to let it bother me.  

After they were moved and settled, and we moved in August, I decided I was in a good place to focus on my health again.  

My first goal was to lose those 10 pounds again. 

Well, here I am ... as of today 191.6 -- down -10.2 from my 2016 highest weight.  

Woo Hoo!!

At 202.8 my clothes were really starting to feel tight;  and these were my newly purchased size 16w. Ugh. Now they are fitting better.  Nothing is really loose, but I don't feel as squished in them.

Reaching my first goal of losing these 10 pounds [for the 2nd time this year] gives me hope and motivation to keep going.   Glory!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Not Worried Re: Post-Thanksgiving Scale

I'm doing something a bit different today and blogging before I get on the scale at Weight Watchers today.  Here's why... That number may reflect some extra food I consumed, but that higher number not define how I enjoyed this past week, nor how I feel about the future of my weight loss journey. 

That number may or may not tell how I enjoyed a turkey dinner full of things I don't normally eat, but only one plate full. 

It will not tell how much fun I had eating my warm apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream while watching "It's a Wonderful Life" with my family Thanksgiving night. 
It may or may not tell how I enjoyed a walk with my kids between dinner and our movie, and we giggled and laughed when they got crazy taking selfies.  

It may or may not tell how I decided to get an egg white sandwich with my non-fat flat white instead of a bagel and sweetened cream cheese. 

It may or may not tell how I enjoyed my one glass of egg nog while we decorated our Christmas tree Saturday, because that is our tradition.  

And, most importantly, if that number is up it will only show that I had a few extra things I don't normally eat, but it is not a definition of how my journey will end up.  
Today I am back on plan, and I'm pretty sure my body is ready for less greasy foods as well.  :)  Funny how that happens.  

Now I'm off to finish getting ready for my day and playing my favorite Pandora channel - Hipster Holidays.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Some Thankful Thoughts

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States.  It's a day we love to celebrate things we are thankful for, spending time with family, eating and enjoying some much-needed relaxation and fun.

But first, today I will be tying up some shop ends, preparing some foods for tomorrow and getting laundry done.  

Before I get into the hustle and bustle of my day I want to share a few thankful thoughts I'm having. 
Made using Rhonna|Designs App.
First off, I'm thankful for the mercy of God to never let me go.  I'm in no ways perfect, but I do serve a perfect God who has been there with me and continues to bring guidance, comfort and correction at exactly the times I need it.  Giving my life to Jesus was the best decision I ever made. 
Putting my very newbie lettering skills to work.

I'm also thankful for this man ... my husband of 21 years.  He has loved me literally through thick and thin, financially, physically (ha! Seriously though..) and emotionally.  
I'm thankful for technology, probably more this year than every before.  I'm a computer nerd and have embraced the internet and the world it opened up to me from pretty much the beginning.  

But now having technology to help me stay in touch with my kids while they're away at college....who knew Snap Chat would be considered a 'blessing'?  :D 
Collage of "Snaps" my daughter posted recently.  lol
And I'm grateful for this sill daughter of mine who keeps me laughing even from states away.   
And this one who is only 3.5 hours away!  It's been fun having her come down to visit a couple times this fall. 
When I told him I'm also down the same weight he said, "Let's take a picture!"
And then this kid...my son...who has been working hard at school and on his own health and was super pleased the other day when he realized he has lost 9 pounds since the beginning of school.  He is built more like my family and has been trying to make better choices and stay active.  
This year I'm especially grateful for what may seem a small thing to some, but has been huge for me.  Having two of my three kids leave for college, out of state, sent me into a major transition from full time stay-at-home mom to...well, I didn't really know what.  

I decided to start an Etsy shop -- Dental Floss Lane -- last winter just kind of for fun and I'm pleased with how it has not only helped me learn some new things, but keeps me busy ... oh and I get paid to craft!!  
My happy place ... and college stockings for my girls. 
My Etsy shop isn't my life goal fulfilled, but more of a hobby and I'm thankful and honored that people would actually purchase items I've made.

Lastly, but one of the most important things I'm thankful for is the hope of change.
Having always been overweight I had many moments I never thought I'd be that thin mom, or healthy mom or even a woman who could resist large helpings and tons of dessert.  

Quite honestly, I didn't feel I deserved to be one of those people.  It's sad, but true.

But almost eight years ago I had a spark of "What if?" and I gave it a go.  I started this blog and made two very small changes to my life -- I would only drink real soda with meals and I would walk for 30 minutes three times a week -- and over time I gained control over my health. 

As the weight went down, people began following and encouraging me through my blog and I continued making changes for the better.  Subsequently my emotional health improved as well.  

Even after gaining 35 of the 70 pounds back and having to work on losing that again I have found endless support and encouragement on this journey.  The little spark in me that refuses to quit is fueled by the love and support I have found online and now in Weight Watchers meetings. 

And well, I can't say how grateful I am for the hope of change without sharing how blessed I've been by the support of one specific friend -- a.k.a. Dr. Stephanie.  She has been one of the biggest keys in my journey.  

We've known each other since we were kids and this health journey has brought us to places in our relationship we never really knew we needed each other before.  She is the introvert to my extrovert and the quiet "I know.  I get it, lady." to my "I'm never going to succeed!!"  Even before I took my journey public to my real life friends she was there supporting me and praying for me.  

I'm a blessed woman to have such hope and support in my life and to have a body that is responding well to better changes.  It's not easy, but it's so worth it.

And now... the chores await! 

I wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"So, Why did you come today?"

Mondays are my weigh-in days and a few upsets from the week prior, both with food situations and emotions, had me a bit of a mess as I had my morning coffee and prepared myself for my meeting. 

It was one of those times I really wanted to call someone who is following Weight Watchers and just pour out my heart.  I do have a best friend who I joke is my health therapist, but I didn't want to  bother her.  I finally sat myself down and said, "If the scale is up, then so be it.  It's one week and you can learn from this and move on." 

When I walked into Weight Watchers my [fairly new] leader asked how I was and, glancing around and noticing no one was in earshot, I told her in a few short sentences how my week was a bit of a mess and I had the overwhelming fear-filled thoughts of "I'm never going to get this weight off again.." come back to haunt me Saturday night.

She simply replied, "So, why are you here?" 

I half smiled and said, "Because I'm not quitting." 

She smiled gently and encouraged me in my train of thought.  

I went on to weigh in and was pleasantly surprised to see I was down 0.8 of a pound.  So, I went back and exclaimed to her that apparently I had done something right.*  

To which she exclaimed, "Aren't you glad you came?!?" 

Yes.  Yes, I was.  Weight Watchers meetings for me are a therapy of sorts.  They are my Monday morning time to focus on what I'm doing and how to do it better.  They allow me to share my victories and failures and know that I'm not alone. 

I didn't need this physical contact when I originally lost my weight, but right now I do.

Between her encouragement and your comments on how to plan for Thanksgiving --and losing almost a full pound (let's be real..losing weight is encouraging. lol)  --  I'm encouraged that I can do this again.  

Actually, that I am doing this.  

And if I can, so can you!  Hang in there and just cling with me to that spark of "I'm not quitting.", because that is what is going to get us through to the end.  

*Note:  "...done something right." leads my thoughts to my ongoing beef with points vs. intuitive eating, but I'll share more on that later.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A "Healthy" Thanksgiving - Yay or Nay?

Do you ever find yourself be approached with an idea and rebelling against it, only to find out you already partially planned to follow that idea or you aren't really as upset about it as you portrayed? 

I did just that this past Monday at Weight Watchers when our leader handed this worksheet out and then told us she wanted us to actually fill it out right then. 
(Pardon my pen that wasn't dry when I folded this paper later.)
Um, my plan for Thanksgiving was to eat anything I wanted in moderation, not count any points and enjoy it like I would a vacation.  Same was the plan for my friend sitting next to me, so we joked and uttered comments under our breath about how we weren't going to care that day.  

And then as our group began discussing the caloric cost of our meals I found myself realizing I was already planning to be careful this holiday.  I told my friend as much, adding, "I need to be quiet, because I already think I might pare down the mashed potatoes this year so I can enjoy my once-a-year treat of sweet potato casserole."  (Which you will notice is the highest point value on my menu, before the desserts.  Thank you, sugar. )  

She laughed and said she still didn't care, which is totally fine. 

Will I sit and measure my foods and stay within my points budget during Thanksgiving?  I really don't know.  In the past, eating smaller portions of exactly what I want has worked well for me and that really is my goal this year as well. 

I may make it my goal to track it all, for the sake of being accountable, but I need a few more days to think on that.  I'm not committing to something I won't do. 

My daughter has already agreed to go on a morning 5K walk (possibly a run if I can) that morning, so I'm looking forward to getting movement in prior to the cooking/eating. 

How about you?  Do you cook healthier versions of Thanksgiving traditional favorites or purposefully scale back your portions?  

Whatever you do I hope you are not stressing the holiday and food. And I will try not to stress, or rebel, either.  :)  

Healthy Holidays Challenge -- Update #7

Better late than never... I had a sale in my Etsy shop, am still fighting a cold and so... I'm barely posting this now.  Well, that and the fact that all our challengers are on Instagram, so I only got that far in posting this past Friday. 

But for the record, because I can't stand to skip weeks: 

  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  Yes, despite a cough that started, I got 4 walks in this week and even some weights.      
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Nope.  I had a couple events and I planned well for the, but just got tired and didn't track...and it went downhill from there. 
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Also a no.  With a cough coming on I drank lots of tea, but not sure I got all my water in.
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.   YES!!  We went to a Brazilian steak house for my husband's birthday on the 8th and I ate lighter during the day knowing I'd be eating heavier foods that evening and then I didn't overdo it.  I ate what I wanted, ate til satisfied and I enjoyed myself immensely -- both because I celebrated and because I did not stuff myself.  It was a great time! 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

My 30 Seconds on Politics

Note:  Today I posted this on FaceBook and felt it appropriate to share here as well. 

I'm sure you all know how I voted and I will tell you it was a vote against her, not for him. This election was crazy and I'm sorry it's the one my oldest children had to face as their first opportunity to vote in a presidential election.
I do not feel extreme joy or extreme angst, because when all is said and done, my trust is not in my government but in He who created the heavens and the earth. I do not hide in my faith in Jesus, but I stand firm knowing that I will continue to do what I feel is my calling in life and trust God has allowed these things to happen for a reason.
Our nation has strayed from it's roots, and I have personally been affected in a negative way by some of the change that happened under our current president (military cutbacks, in case you wonder), but I will not allow that to ruin my life or my day.
I will not hate those who do not agree with my way of thinking, but neither will I bow to their views if they contradict the morals and values I embrace. Being allowed to publicly voice our different opinions is one of the greatest blessings our country has to offer.
And finally, I will continue to pray for our leaders and our country.
God Bless the United States of America -- still the greatest nation on earth.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Week #6

The first holiday of our Healthy Holidays Challenge is over and.... I indulged in too much candy.  Maybe if some trick-or-treaters would've actually showed up (as I was told they would by my apartment manager) I wouldn't have felt the need to eat any, but I doubt it. 

Overeating on some Reece PB Cups is why I thought I had an upset stomach on Wednesday.  Unfortunately, the upset stomach hasn't really ended, so I think I caught a bug of some sort.  Geez.  Thankfully, it's just enough to be uncomfortable and irritating, so I can get the basics done daily.  It's so annoying though.  Boo on sicknesses.  :(

On to my challenge results for this week... This is the week wherein I am not a failure, but I've had a few failures: 
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  Only 3 days done this week in part to not feeling well.  Yesterday and today I made it for very slow 30-minute walks and I'm proud I made the effort, but during my walks I wondered a little why I was even doing it.  I'm calling them place saver workouts -- they held the place of exercise in my daily routine.    
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Nope.  Once I started not feeling well I didn't track anything.  I have started up tracking again, but I think I've skipped about 3 days this week.   
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Also a no.  I've had lots of Diet 7Up and some mint tea, but I haven't felt like chugging water.  I did buy some Lime La Croix to replace the soda when it runs out.  
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  One last no.  I did not handle Halloween candy like I had hoped.  Part of me didn't mind that I indulged on Monday, since it was "weigh-in" day and all that.  But when I kept dipping into it on Tuesday and had desserts at a Harvest Dinner Tuesday night knowing I needed to be careful because I'd already eaten some candy...well, that was not the best choice for me.  So, those choices are giving me something to think about how I can handle Thanksgiving;  at the same time I haven't had any chocolate since I haven't been feeling so hot, so that's a good thing.  
Thanks for checking in.  Our weekly blog reading challenger has started an Instagram account and now checks in with the other 16 challengers over there.

The ladies are all doing great and I'm inspired by their updates every week.  I'm giving myself a pass for this week on success.  Rather than be upset, it's like I told them earlier today... this journey is not about consistent wins, it's about averages and one bad week won't ruin everything. 

I'm off to make some tea and rest before my son's football game tonight.  Moroccan Mint Tea by Stash...it's very comforting.  

Friday, October 28, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Week #5

Well, hello!  What a busy, but fruitful week I've had.  

The busy-ness continues, so I'll make this quick.. 
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  Done.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Done.  I am pleased to announce I did not eat all of my weekly points by Wednesday.  :)  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Well...this didn't go as good as I hoped.  I didn't get 32 oz in every day, but I got more than that a couple.  So.. maybe it evens out.  lol
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Done.  On Wednesday I ate more small [almost homemade] flour tortillas than I really needed, but I had the room in my weekly points.  Next time I probably will try and be satisfied with two, but ... this time instead of choosing to beat myself up because I over did it, I chose to track it, be responsible for it and move on.  They were delicious and I enjoyed them.  Yes, I'm entering the weekend with a few less points than I like, but a week ago right now I was entering the weekend in the negative.  So, that's a win in my book.
I hope you have all had good weeks.  I'm off to pick up my son from school.  Tonight is the high school rivalry football game and I'm just thrilled we are the home team, because home team has bleachers with backs on them.  

Yeah...now I feel old.  ROFL :D 

Thanks for checking in!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Week #4

First month of the challenge is in the books!  My weight is the same as a month ago as of last Monday's weigh-in, but I have made great strides in getting my habits back in place.  

This month has really been a time of reflecting on what I want for my health and what I can learn and change from when I started putting weight back on in the last year and a half.  

The facts of my week:
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  Done.  After a month of getting good exercise in four mornings a week I'm feeling really good.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Done.  I had a really calorie-heavy day earlier this week, but I sat down and tracked it all.  Tracking is key for me.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Done. I've switched to water with most meals and that is helping me get more than 32 ounces in.  :)
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Kind of.  I really kind of overate on Monday, which has left me little wiggle room for our meal out this weekend and that has been bothering me.  So far, I'm not in the negative for my plan, but I don't like having to have lighter calorie days on the weekend and I'm having a hard time being okay with this.  

If you have a few minutes I'll expound on goal #4...

The past couple of weeks I've been falling into this kind of thinking:  "I can eat more on weigh-in day and then just stay on track all week til I weigh again."  And, honestly,  I haven't even tracked a Monday's food until this past week for the express purpose of seeing how I do sticking to the plan for 6 days.  

 A week ago I also overate on Monday, stuck to plan the rest of the time and still lost 1.6 lbs.  I kind of justified this new habit of not starting my week until Tuesday by telling myself I don't have to be on track 100% to be a success and I think "cheat days" are necessary to our health sanity.  Because I firmly believe all of that.

However, we always eat out at least once on the weekends, so I need my heavier eating days -- aka "cheat days" --  to be during the weekend.  To stick to my plan this means I need to have a good chunk of my extra points (calories) available for Friday to Sunday, because I don't like having to eat vegetables or a salad for that eating out meal.  

Some people pick their weigh-in day to be Fridays or Saturdays for this very reason, and that's what I did when I was losing weight before.  It's why I balked and hated Monday weigh-ins for the first month.  

However, going to meetings on Mondays really helps me stay on track for the week, and knowing I'm going to weigh in on Monday also helps me be conscious of not throwing my weekends out the window.  Last spring I no problem saving at lest 1/2-2/3 of my extra points for the weekend and it worked great.  

I'm glad I realized I've been doing this and while I'm trying to allow myself to be okay with it it's been bothering me.  But I have not thrown the whole week to heck because of it and I'm proud of that fact.  

I'm learning.  

I am deciding I don't like not having that wiggle room when I know we will be eating out, so I am going to work on it this next week.  

Thanks for checking in and I hope you have a good weekend!  

I'm off to do a little cleaning, get an order shipped from my store and then my daughter and I are going to see The Phantom of the Opera tonight!!!   

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

More Than a 30-Minute Workout

The above photo is a snapshot of my workout yesterday.  It may look like a simple 30 minute elliptical workout, but it was so much more than that. 

Let me go back a few years...

I lost 70 lbs on my own by exercising and eating less/better.  But when days were rough and especially when my mother passed away and my son had a major ski accident 2 1/2 years ago I wouldn't exercise if I didn't "feel like it". 

And the weight began to creep back on.  

Part of skipping exercise was a schedule conflict and I couldn't get to the gym at the same time or leave my house for a run at the same time while my son was home injured from school.  The other part was I think I felt if I couldn't do the same workouts I had been doing, whether due to a schedule conflict or highly stressed/emotional day, I would just do nothing. 

I wish I would've given myself permission to simply go for a walk.  I know my husband would've totally supported me going for walks and/or going to the gym in the evenings.  And I wish I would've told myself I needed to get at least a walk done, but honestly I pretty much just gave up any time I didn't "feel like it". 

Now, I've given myself that permission and I also remind myself I may not feel like doing an intense workout, but I need to get something done.

I never regret a workout and a brisk walk can do wonders for my emotions, but getting started can be hard.

So, yesterday to get out the door and get that 30-minute elliptical workout done was HUGE.  For the second time in two weeks I didn't let an emotional morning stop me from keeping to my exercise commitment. 

And I. Am. So. Happy. About. This. 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Lesson Learned from Social Media

To know my frustration you have to know the story.  Sorry, it will make for a long post, but I feel better [as always] giving you the full story.  My intention is not to offend with my reaction to a social media comment, and if you read to the end you'll see there's a happy ending. 

Weight Watchers offers a social media group "Connect" in their app that you can participate in when you are paying for their program.  People post before/after photos, random thoughts and the like.  It's like FaceBook and Instagram combined.  People can "like" a post and/or comment.  I'm only on there on occasion since I'm very active in  blogging and on Instagram.  

But...Tuesday mid-morning I was upset and didn't want to bombard Instagram with my WW woes.  Instead I decided to reach out to fellow WW'ers and I posted this to Connect: 

Can I just be honest for a minute? 

Yesterday I was up 2.0 lbs for my weigh-in.  I was okay with it, because I'd had a rough PMS week and was expecting a gain.

Even after talking to a fellow loser who was sharing how she doesn't use all her points (and totally not understanding how that is possible, because I always eat my points) I was fine with my gain and confident it will come right back off.  (I also went to the state fair, ate what I wanted, and shared everything and didn't eat til stuffed at all! [celebrating emoji]

But today I am struggling.  Just emotional.

I think I know why.  Here's what happened after my meeting...

My son wanted Wendy's and I thought I'd have a chicken sandwich, but decided it was probably too high in points (deceiving by being chicken, etc.)  So, I orderd the Chicken Apple Salad.

I wanted a warm burger and fries, but was trying to be good and got a salad.  I was driving and couldn't get to checking the points safely while driving. 

A salad which was listed as 21 points!! [shocked emoji, crying profusely emoji]  I could've had the chicken sandwich and a small fry for 15, or just the sandwich for 8 and my WW snack crisps from home for another 2 and been just fine. 

Now, I know it's the sugar involved in that salad.  I only used 1 packet of the dressing (they gave me 2) and I took out the bleu cheese (I don't care for bleu cheese).  So, I calculated it for a few points less, but still ... double the points for eating something I didn't want in the first place! 

It threw my day and I'm finding myself still vexed this morning thinking I'll never get it together.  I know this isn't true, but I just needed to vent. 

I did go workout this morning and I will do my best to get through today..and then through tomorrow.
Thanks for listening.  #itsmyparty #sometimesitshard

Two people commented as I had hoped -- encouraging me that this is not about perfection, but progress and at least I had good intentions.  

And two people gave advice. 

I didn't ask for advice.  And I found myself getting offended at what what said.  

One of them suggested I sit and figure out points for all the fast food places, so I'll be better prepared.  Um yea...I know that.  I'm not new to this rodeo.  I usually check everything before I go, but I didn't have that chance this time. 

The other said this, and I quote, 

"It's happened to me too.  So, I try to check the points before ordering.  I am amazed at what my choices should be if I am committed to the program.  I am committed.  So I check first to not be disappointed."

Um... okay.  So, I'm not committed if I didn't check the points before??

Yeah, I was a little upset at that comment.  It nagged at me for a good 24 hours.  


First of all, you don't know me....I'm a name and profile on social media who needed to vent about a situation. 

Secondly, I made it clear I needed to vent and for you to tell me when you're committed you do x, y or z and then add in "I am committed." just made me feel like I must not be committed to this because I didn't do what you do. 

I wanted to get back on and reply to that last comment in defense of myself.  Instead, I decided to thank the people that were encouraging and then I decided I need to be careful how I comment.  

Then I tucked away the lesson of not giving advice when I'm not asked for it.  I realized that I may think I'm encouraging someone when I tell them what I should do, but I have to be careful or it may come as a put down because they did not do that ... or at least don't say, "Because I am committed." 

Unfortunately I couldn't let it go.  Her comment got under my skin.  It made me think. 

Into the next day I began to really think about whether I was committed or not.  I decided to see if there was any meat out of that comment that could be beneficial for my health.

Truth be told I can be better committed to this losing weight thing.  

Do I think I am not committed because of what happened at Wendy's on Monday?  No. 

Do I think the comment was appropriate for what I posted?  Not really.

Do I think the lady had a good point?  Yes.  As much as it pains me to say so....yeah.  When I am committed I plan ahead and I stop and think about what I am doing.  

So, for as much as her comment came across as self righteous to me, I was able to glean some truth out of it and apply it to my life.  I was also able to see how some "wisdom" can come across wrong and I reminded myself to be careful with the words I speak. 

Thanks for letting me share.  

Once I worked through this situation I was actually surprised how much better my week went.  The post and comment(s) were probably meant to happen all along.  And I guess I can now say I'm glad for it.  :)

End Note:  I double checked the points on that salad later and I think the app has it slightly higher than it really is.  Even with the roasted pecans, which mine didn't have, it came out around 16 points.  So, maybe I got upset for no good reason.  Who knows... LOL :P

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Week 3

Many thoughts have been going through my mind this week with regards to weight loss, but first let me get this update done for you.  I'm going to post separately about a couple sentences that threw me for an emotional loop earlier in the week...and how I was able to get some good from it after all. 

This was my week for the challenge to go a little rougher...
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  Done.  And yesterday I had a great workout wherein I felt more hopeful about this journey than I have in a very long time.  I was all motivated all by myself.  :D
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Um... no.  I think I tracked 100% of only 4 days.  Last weekend was our weekend at the State Fair and the football game (which we won -- Woo Hoo!!) and I was already in negative points for the week.  So, I didn't track all weekend and can't remember if I tracked Monday or not.  My weigh-in is Monday morning, so since I was in the negative by Saturday morning I decided not to take the time to track every bite I ate at the fair.  Had I actually left some points for the weekend I would've just to see where I ended up, but by that morning I didn't care to worry about it anymore.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Only part of the time.  I drink a lot of liquid, but earlier in the week I found myself having more diet soda than actual water.  Seeing as how it was TOM I wasn't too worried about it, and I've been right back on track as the week came to a close. 
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Done.  I was up 2 lbs at my weigh-in Monday morning.  I know I blew it big time the week before and when I realized my cycle was starting it explained all the extra crazy cravings and subsequent eating.  However, even though I didn't save extra points up for the State Fair, like I'd hoped to, I went ahead and enjoyed myself.  
I shared everything I had and did not eat to stuffed.  I was pleasantly satisfied when we made our way home that evening and enjoyed myself immensely.  This is the "best choice for me" that I needed to make and not feel badly about.   And I'm pleased with it.  

This challenge continues to inspire me to do better and I'm grateful to all the ladies that check in weekly on Instagram and for you, Suz, in Virginia, for coming on here to check in.  I look forward to seeing how your week is going.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge - Check In #2

I was an OU wife for 4 years and now I'm an OU mom.
Whew!  What a busy day I've had.  One of my daughters is home for the weekend and we enjoyed lunch after she got here and then chatting has happened between this and that.  

But here I am and here is my check-in report for this past week: 
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  4 days done!  No exercise last Saturday, but I did get 4 solid days done this week.  I'd like to say I might do something tomorrow, but it's the Red River Rivalry game tomorrow and I can only promise enjoying the day with my family cheering our Sooners on. 
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  Done.  Barely.  I almost didn't want to track one day after seeing a hot fudge sundae I was about to eat was 27 points.  What the?!?!  But I committed to tracking everything, so I tracked it and went on.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Done.  Knowing this is one of my goals has made me consciously make sure to get my water in....especially on Sundays.  :)  
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Earlier this week I had a rough day.  Not the rough day I blogged about, but a different one.  Actually, it was simply a rough afternoon...and it's the day I had the sundae.  I went to bed feeling emotionally awful, but the good news is I woke up fine and I didn't allow it to push me to throw the week to the wind.  There's a good chance I won't see a loss on Monday, but I'm okay with that.  
How was your week? 

Even if you're not following along formally in the challenge feel free to share how things are going with Halloween candy and fall baking in full swing.  

I am going to go get myself ready for the high school football game tonight.  We had a lovely rain this morning and it feels chilly and cold out right now -- just like an autumn evening should in my book.  :)

And yeah...we're just a little excited about the game and proud supporters
of our Sooners!!  :D

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

My Emotions Didn't Stop Me

Monday morning I woke up in a bit of an emotional mess.  It was the kind of mess that made me want to drop my son off at school and return home to cry and pray through it.  I went to bed with it and was sad that it was still there when I woke up.  Ugh. 

Instead of giving in to my emotional distress I dressed for the gym, took my son to school and told myself I was going to exercise -- I just had to walk for 30 minutes, but I had to do something.

Why didn't I allow myself a break?  

I know that is necessary sometimes, but as I get back into the groove of losing the 35 pounds I have gained I am trying to see where I made mistakes and learn from them. 

One mistake I believe I made was when times were legitimately rough and stressful I chose to just get through my days and not exercise.  It wasn't always that I couldn't get away for a 30 minute walk, but more like I fell into a place where if I couldn't get to my class of hard core exercise, or get myself to go for a run I wouldn't do anything.  

I recently told a friend I wonder what would've happened if someone would've encouraged me to get just a nice 30-minute walk in. 

Or what if I would've given myself permission to simply go for a walk when I didn't feel like I could perform [current heavy duty exercise regimen]? 

Well, I give myself that permission now.  And I encouraged myself to simply get that walk done so as to keep the place of exercise in my daily routine. 

It wasn't easy.  I had tears even as I pulled up to the Y, but I got on the treadmill, started walking briskly and got it done.  It felt good, and interestingly enough, the advice I was so terribly wishing I could ask my mother (who passed away 2 1/2 years ago) was sort of touched on through a podcast I was listening to.  

So, not only did I feel better for having got my exercise in, but I was encouraged through a randomly selected podcast where two sentences spoke exactly to what I was stressed about.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Healthy Holidays Challenge ... CheckIn #1

This first week of the Healthy Holidays Challenge has been great!  The majority of the participants are on Instagram and there are some great goals posted.  

As for my goals...here's how my week went:

(For those who haven't followed me during a challenge before, I like to color code my update like street lights, red for no, yellow for kinda, and green for yes.  I'm visual like that. :) ) 
  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  4 days done!  I might even get a 5th day in tomorrow.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  This week has been a little harder for me to reign in my "extras", but I have tracked everything.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  Done.  Knowing this is one of my goals has made me consciously make sure to get my water in.  
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  This week doing what was best for me started with setting the goals I needed to get through the holidays and possibly still see a loss on the scale, or at least not see a gain.  I don't encourage striving for weight loss during the holidays, which is why I didn't set it as an actual goal, but I know I do hope to weigh less on January 1st than I do now.  I set goals I needed and I no longer feel upset about it.  1 pt for Team Leah@My New Ending! 
I want to follow up my update with a few thoughts.  

Short Story: 
I asked Instagramers why they keep fighting for their health and it really made me think about why I do.  It's frustrating, but I was reminded again that when my health is in a better place it's a sign my mental and emotional selves are in better places.  Weight loss brought much more change to my life than buying smaller clothes.  And that's why I keep coming back to fight to do better.  (Why couldn't I have summed it up like that the other day...hmmm... lol)

Long Story:
During each week I plan on posting a thought to inspire, encourage or challenge everyone on their journey.  This week I posted this: 
Only a few actually replied and many "liked".  Regardless of whether or not people replied, I hope it made them think.  I know it made me think. 

Sometimes I get very frustrated and wonder why I care about my health "so much"??  (Because that's how some people view it, like it's excessive concern or conceited.)  So, I decided to pick the brains of other's and see what their responses are.  

Replies were varied, but there was a general agreement that we don't want to go "back there".  

It took me a good 30 minutes to figure out my real answer.  Not the pat answer I can share in a few minutes, but my real why.  The real reason deep down that makes me keep coming back to this challenge to healthier living with a desire to do better. 

I finally could sum it up like this, I was a happy overweight lady.  My weight never stopped me from making friends, joining in church and community activities or enjoying life in general.  But when my body began to ache and I knew my weight was the cause it gave me pause to seriously look at my life. 

Over the course of losing 70 pounds I realized my story is more about dealing with emotional struggles than simply calories in versus calories out.  I just felt like "that" -- being thin -- was for "them", along with having lots of money, etc. etc.  It was my lot in life.

And to some extent that is true.  My genetics will never allow me to eat whatever and however much I want. 

But as I began to lose weight I realized I was capable of something more and that I didn't have to turn to food all the time.  I learned when the scale is going up it's a sign there is something else going on inside.  

I've learned whether I'm having too much fun to care or I'm too stressed out to care I need to be aware and not throw my health and better habits to the wayside.  I've learned I'm capable of being aware and enjoying life while eating better and stay active.  And I feel better all around when I do.  

So, why do I care so much?  

Why did I start this challenge? 

Why do I try and share my story with others? 

Because I never thought I deserved anything different, but I was dead wrong.  And if I can help someone else see that they don't have to be content with "less than" and they can have a new ending in their life, then I will.  And on the flip side, if I can help somenoe realize that they NEED to care a little or it will come to bite them in the butt later, I will do that too.

This new ending I've chosen for my life is hard work at times, but it is some of the most rewarding work I've ever done.  So, as always... I will never give up trying. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

This Kid Has Inspired Me

Enjoying National Coffee Day today!
This is my son.  He has just turned 16 and I'll never forget just over a month ago when we were ordering Sonic slushes for the family and he declined.


"How am I supposed to enjoy my treat if he doesn't eat one?", I thought to myself.  I think I even commented to him, half joking and deep down knowing he was doing better with his healthier eating than I was. 

And I was convicted. 

I didn't start losing weight to "be a better mom" like many others do, but I have noticed that my change in eating habits and weight loss have been noticed by my kids.  

When my son began to be a bit vexed about getting a little heavy I encouraged him to eat only when hungry and stop when he's satisfied.  I also encouraged him to stay active.  

He had a bad ski accident 2 1/2 years ago that messed up his knee and hasn't been able to play organized sports since then, but as the manager of the high school football team he has full access to the gym daily.

On his own he began cutting out extra desserts, eating smaller portions and making sure to exercise to the best of his ability.  He is now able to run a mile and works on that and his weights 5 days a week. 

And I'm so proud of him.  I told him he's one of the biggest reasons I was inspired to get with the program in recent weeks.  

Now instead of feeling bad for having a treat when he won't we enjoy talking about the treats we do enjoy once in a while and about how much better we feel when we skip the unnecessary extras.  

Pre-Meeting Panic Thoughts

Since going back to Weight Watchers I've been weighing in on Monday mornings and my routine has been exactly the same every Monday morning. 

  1. Take my son to school.
  2. Come home and do devotions, drinking a cup of coffee and having my breakfast protein bar.
  3. Get dressed, in the same outfit every week, and go to the meeting. 

Well, I'm trying to make it a habit to go to the gym right after taking my son to school at least 4 mornings a week.  Often on Mondays I would go exercise after my meeting before going home again;  or I would skip my workout so I could go straight to running errands before returning home. 

This week I decided to change it up and get my workout done before the meeting so I could shower and be ready to run errands afterwards AND not have to skip exercise.  (I hope that makes sense..)

And let me tell you... it took me a few minutes to decide if I'd be okay exercising and showering before my weigh-in, because..

...What if my muscles swell up from exercising [and it makes me weigh more]?


...What if my hair is halfway damp [and it makes me weigh more]? 

It was pathetic, but the slight panic was so real also.  

I finally opted for going ahead with the exercise.  I decided to not worry too much about what the scale said and make this my new morning habit.  If it had an effect on the scale, then so be it, but it would even out over the coming weeks. 

Of course, my week had gone well and getting in a workout and shower prior to weighing didn't make me gain weight.  My prior week's worth showed up as a 2.8 lb. loss.  

All was fine.  

Before the meeting started I just sat there grinning to myself about how paranoid I was about changing my pre-meeting routine.  

Sometimes those little negative thoughts can be so paralyzing, and I'm grateful I got over it and got the exercise done.  We had a beautiful autumn day and after my WW meeting I loved running my errands and knowing my workout was already done.  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Here We Go! - Healthy Holidays Challenge 2016!! (and why I am hostessing this)

Today marks the beginning of the last 100 days of the year and you know what that means around here... the beginning of the Healthy Holidays Challenge 2016!  Woo Hoo! 

As of a few minutes ago there are now 14 of us signed up for this challenge.  I'm pleased.  It's a little nerve wrecking for me, because I personally know at least half of them.  [insert scared eyes emoji] (I need to figure out where those are for blogs??)

I have no problem sharing my story with perfect strangers, but when people I know or people who know people I know start finding out about my "secret life with weight issues" I get a little nervous.  

I know I can't be the only one who feels like that, but I do. 

Those as slightly embarrassed as I get I also get excited, because I haven't given up.  

There's no need to be ashamed or even embarrassed, because my story hasn't ended.  It's had bumps in the road, but it's not over.  It's become something I'm passionate about, because if I can change anyone can and that's the message I try and share. 

My desire to share this message is why I decided to hostess this challenge and it's what helped me post this photo comparison to Instagram this week.  My type A personality likes to follow rules and be honest, so I decided I would show everyone exactly where I'm at.  If they are going to follow me on a challenge then they deserve to know I'm honest and I'm right there with them on this journey. 

It was hard. 

I didn't like showing that I'm not the girl in the middle photo anymore.  This is silly since most people already know that.  However, it's one thing to have everyone know, and even to know yourself, it's another thing to actually admit to it and be okay with it.

Only really in the last week or two have I finally come to a place where I am okay with the 35-pound gain I'm carrying.  I'm finally able to see that these past 2 1/2 years back have taught me a few things about myself and how I handle stress.  

Funny, but I'm ultimately coming to a place where I am okay with the fact that we will always keep learning as we age.  I didn't realize how hard I fought with being a perfectionist until I faced some struggles and couldn't grasp the fact that "at least I am learning it now".   

Before I go on with that thought, suffice it to say I'm okay with that now.  I'm beginning to feel at peace with what I've gone through, that my way of handling things was how I handle things and whether it was the best way to handle it or not it's okay.  

I've taken note and I'll keep working on it.  

And I will continue to strive to inspire others with my journey and encourage them not to give up on their health during busy seasons or stressful times.  Thus, the challenge.  

But one more thing... even if the challenge ended today, the response I've had to my honesty about where I'm at has been so inspiring back to myself.  I'm challenged to be a hostess/leader that this group deserves, and I am looking forward to sticking to my own goals and seeing what this season brings to all of us. 

Have a good weekend folks!  Thanks for stopping by and thanks for indulging me in my long-winded posts.  [insert heart emoji]  Yeah...gotta go figure that emoji thing out... LOL  :P

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Had to Ignore the Scale

Sunday as I was getting ready for church I was feeling slim.  No bloating going on and just generally feeling good about getting regular exercise in all week and not eating 'til I felt stuffed at any meal.  

Monday morning I felt pretty much the same.  I hadn't tracked my food all week, so I really didn't know if I'd done well on the food front, but I felt like I'd had a good week. 

Then I stepped on the scale at my Weight Watchers meeting.  

+1.4 lbs.


Hhmm... I know I had a little too much food some days, point wise, but I didn't expect a gain after getting regular exercise in.  I even started using weights. 

Oh yeah.  I started using weights.  [lightbulb]

As I gathered up my things and headed to my seat I made a choice.  I chose to ignore the scale and instead be grateful for what I did well. 

I decided I would fix what needed fixing (I need to track consistently again.) and I would keep exercising like I have been.  My exercise has been cardio in a "heart rate zone" for 30 minutes at a time -- nothing drastic -- and I did start adding in weights 3 days a week.   

It wasn't easy to let go of that frustrating "gain", but I know better.  I've been at this long enough to know exercise isn't out to hurt me and I know the benefits will eventually show up on the scale.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Healthy Holidays 2016 Sign-Up

This is the official blog sign-up for the Healthy Holidays Challenge being hosted by myself, Leah, of "My New Ending".  :) 

Information and guidelines for this challenge are on this post:  Introducing ... Healthy Holidays Challenge 2016.  There are a few guidelines since there will be a drawing for a prize box at the end of the challenge.  

If you have signed up on my Instagram account (@mynewnending) you do not have to set your goals here, but you may if you'd like.  I'll have check-in posts every Friday, beginning September 23, both here and on Instagram.  

My goals this season are as follows: 

  1. I will exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-5 days a week.  No specific type, just something intentional that gets my blood moving.  
  2. I will track my food at least 6 days a week.  I am currently following Weight Watchers to help me stick to some boundaries and get this extra weight back off.  However, I originally lost 70 pounds by learning to eat better and eat less of higher calorie foods.  No matter what I ate I just tracked it, and that's my goal for this season.  No matter if I'm over my points (calories) I will track it.  
  3. I will drink at least 32 ounces of pure water a day.  I LOVE coffee, and even hot tea in the winter, and I can easily get sidetracked by diet sodas, but I've been feeling the lack of water hydration lately.  So, this goal needs to be set.  I have a 32-ounce water bottle I love to use and my goal is to empty it at least once daily.  
  4. I will enjoy the holidays, but not forget my new ending in life includes making the best choice for ME -- whether that's having something in moderation or saying no.  Holidays are emotional times and I need to remember to do what's best for me;  and not fall into people-pleasing mode.
The more I think about it, the last goal is probably the most important for me.  I have thoughts I'd like to share another time about why that is so important.  

If you're unsure about what goals to set, or think any goal will seem crazy to someone else...well, check out my previous post on how nervous I was about the goals I set -  Setting My Challenge Goals. 

But if you're ready, comment below and let me know if you'd like to join the challenge and what your goal(s) are for this holiday season. 

Setting My Challenge Goals

Today is the day.  Today I posted my goals for the Healthy Holidays Challenge on my Instagram account.  To be honest, I would have posted them on Monday, but I had to take a minute to seriously think about what I could realistically commit to.  

Interestingly enough, this week's Weight Watchers meeting was about planning for success.  Talk about perfect timing.  I wanted to share with everyone at the meeting about my challenge in case anyone locally wanted to join me, but I didn't have the opportunity, and since it's not promoted by WW it may not have been welcome without prior permission anyway.

Buuut....I digress. 

Setting goals for myself was hard, because I didn't want to (A) set goals I couldn't stick to and/or (B) set goals that might make others think I was being too strict.

Yeah.  Let's repeat that. 

"I didn't want to .... (B) set goals that might make others think I was being too strict." 

What?!  Isn't that crazy?  But it's true. 

I found myself worrying I would set goals that would make others think, "During the holidays??  You want to make sure to track your food?? "  etc. etc. 

But in actuality this completely contradicts the whole reason for this challenge.  

The point of a challenge is to challenge ones self and to work hard; for me it is also about accountability, encouragement and supporting one another.  

So, setting goals to challenge myself and then worrying I would be criticized for said goals is crazy thinking. 

In years past I have observed this challenge, and others before it, challenge myself and others to keep somewhat of a focus on living a healthier life while still enjoying the goodie-laden, full-scheduled holiday season. 

And not once did that support ever include shaming.  

Instead every week was about accountability and encouragement to do better.  That encouragement helped me to keep focus and I look forward to it doing the same this year.  

Maybe on another Instagram post I'll share how I came to set my goals, how I have made the decision that focusing on the basics is what helped me lose weight and maintain it in the past and how I personally can't put off what's best for my body just because Christmas is coming.  Some years I can, but not this time.  

That's probably my people-pleasing self writing the above paragraph.  While editing this post I realized I most likely do not need to write a post explaining why I chose the goals I made, do I? 



I feel challenged, as the hostess of this challenge, to be a leader and set an example.

I want others to know that I'm here to work hard next to them, but also to encourage them to enjoy this season without added guilt.  

So, now that I've gotten over my [apparently still lurking] insecurities about being honest I shall proceed with an official blog sign-up post next.

Oh, and because I know you're probably curious.... 

I hope you can join me in this challenge, but if not... keep checking in here and hopefully you'll find some encouragement from my journey.  

NOTE:  If you don't need/want the pressure to sign-up officially I will be posting a free printable by the end of the week that you can use to write out your goals and check in on them yourself as these final months of 2016 progress.