Monday, March 17, 2014

Advocare 24-Day Challenge Update #2

Alright... before I get started, these posts are mostly for:
a. me to read back whenever I consider doing this challenge again.
b. to monitor my own progress as I engage in the battle with food and cravings.
c. for those of you interested in me during this particular journey
d. for those considering trying the product.

I have made it (almost) to Day 10. Which ends the first phase. Sigh. What a 10 days!!!

First of all, I ended up with stomach bug if you have kept up with me the past week or so. Which... is not fun. My eating became really thrown off. 98% clean turned into 80% clean. (maybe even 75%?) which made a huge difference in how I felt. But other than that, here are the Pros, the Cons, and the in betweens.

Keeping in mind my scale is 4-5 pounds heavier, I am actually a little lighter than these number... but for constancy sake:

Day 1: 182.8
Day 10: 177.2

Weight loss: 5.6 pounds
Total weight loss (since Jan 20): 11.8 pounds
I am literally dying to get to 175 by the end of the week.

14 more days to go!!! (of the challenge) the journey for me will never end.

I feel better. Some days I wonder if it's worth it. And then I give in and eat something I once enjoyed. And then I immediately am reminded that it's NOT worth it. So, small cheat meals, or moderate cheat days are helpful for my amnesic mind when I start to believe that I am spinning my meals or what I eat doesn't matter. IT MATTERS!!!! When I over eat I feel it most in my belly. And in my chin area. I mean, I LITERALLY FEEL IT. It's awful and I do not like it. It's amazing I actually like a chin more than a burger.

Advocare is help. It is a healthy help. The cleanse has improved the health of my insides. It has given me a "clean" slate so that I can continue with healthful eating. I said I would never do this again, but, I probably will at least do the cleanse phase once every year or once every 6 months. I feel better on the inside. Everyone else talks about higher energy levels and better concentration. I cannot say that is true for me because I am not a great Spark drinker. I only get the morning one in, not the second one. So, I could have improved on this.
Catalyst is supposed to be awesome. Because I am taking this with the cleanse pills I am not sure what I am feeling specifically due to the spark.

THE PILLS! I hate it. BUT........ I have learned that if I hold my breath when I take it I can get them down with ease. It's not because they smell, I don't know why. Another major con for me is the scheduling. In the morning you have to take this and drink that, wait 30 minutes take this and drink that, and then 30 minutes later eat breakfast, and then have a snack, and then take this and that, wait thirty minutes and eat lunch. I am literally TIRED of having to think about what I am putting in my mouth every moment. AND... I hate that I feel like I can't just LISTEN to my body. I am not feeling hungry as often as it says to eat. And I have honestly cut that corner.  Probably to my detriment.

Thanks for reading.

Am I sticking to my resolutions?

In January, I made a list of a few things I wanted to be sure I improved on in the new year. I have a few resolution hater friends out there. You know who you are. And for the record, I wanted to report on how I am doing.

To refresh memories, these were my resolutions:

1. To be more mindful about sending "Thank You" notes to my friends and family who have blessed us.
2. To blog more often. Last year, I only blogged 15 times in the year total. I can't even believe how sad I am about this! :(
3. To make healthier food choices (the typical resolution)
4. To print more pictures of us
5. To have family pictures taken
6. To stay more organized.


how am I doing?

1. Thank You's: I am sending Thank you notes out about every 3-4 weeks. In my planner I write down in the margin each person who needs a thank you note, and at the end of the month, I write them out, and send them! I am learning through this that we are truly blessed and loved on by so many.

2. Blogging: Already in mid-March I have made 20 posts, up 5 from my total from last year. I am doing much better! An improvement for sure!

3. Healthier food choices: Yes, that is definitely improving as you know. I am making swaps every day. The other day for lunch my aunt and I went to Applebee's and instead of my typical "Broccoli and Chicken Fettucine Bowl" or the awesome double cheeseburger and fries I chose to get a grilled chicken breast over peppers and onions with red rice and shrimp. I agonized a little bit over the rice and then I reminded myself that this is most definitely an improvement for my health over my past choices. I have cut my soda intake by 98%!!!! I have increased my water consumption by 50% (I still need to drink more!) I am sleeping better, and feeling better too.

4. Pictures: I have printed more pictures, but I need to display them somewhere!

5. Family Pictures: I am on the calendar with a wonderful photographer in June! I can't wait.

6. Organization: This is the most beneficial progression of them all, I can attribute the improvements to:

1. an Emily Ley life binder. It has multiple sections:
- Financial Planning: Where I list what is coming up that needs financial attention, what money is coming in, and where the money will go.
-Meal Planning: Meal planning sheets, grocery lists, healthy food ideas, etc.
-Calendar (Weekly & Monthly views) I write down everything! It helps me remember when I am not near my planner, and it helps me remember when I can't remember.. :)

2. Coupon Binder
I can thank my dear friend Kristin for this gem. She created a small binder categorized by: Coupons, Reward Cards, Punch Cards, and Misc.
I put all of my store related cards here. It keeps my wallet thin and neat, and easy to see when I am looking.

3. Cute zipper pouches: My purse can be an endless sea of junk. So, I have put 4 zipper pouches inside my purse. 1 small one holds my hair ties, bobby pins, chapstick, etc. 1 medium size holds my feminine products, pens, binder clips, etc. 1 medium sized holds a small camera, and sunglasses, and 1 large holds my wallet and binder.
Although my purse still gets cluttered, the clutter is usually kept out of these pouches which means everything else I can grab and usually toss.

4. My bathroom drawer and cabinet has been organized so that my everyday uses are separated from my occasional needs such as earrings, clippers, etc. I am happier. This makes a big difference.

5. My car. This is a harder one for me, but I am trying. I am doing ok. :) I try to just bring what I can inside.

What still needs help:
-my laundry room
-my pantry (kitchen)
-Daniel's dresser drawers
-My dresser drawers
-Homeschool Room closet

Maybe I will be able to tackle these during a Spring Cleaning.

A Daniel Update

I have got to admit that the blog looks so boring with all of my me-focused eating posts. I needed to make a good old fashioned Daniel post anyway! 

He is such a FUN, SWEET, little boy.

As I am typing this post, Daniel ran to me and said: "That's Daniel playing outside!!!!!!" In his best excited squeaky voice. Right now, there is some snow on the ground and needless to say, Daniel loves our warm days that he can play outside until it's dark! I love that about him.

More things I love:

- The things that he says! This morning he looks outside and he turns to me and says: "Mom, I am disappointed" and I smile a little at the this impressive word out of a 3-year olds mouth and I say "why honey..?" He replies "That daddy took mommy's car" (Dennis took my car to work instead of his) He likes things to be very predictable! Another cute thing he says is "PPS" to describe "UPS"

-He talks so much and I feel like he understands and communicates very well. He has his frequent moments of whining, and I am very diligent about him speaking clearly and calmly when expressing his desires. (We are also working on him accepting the answer "no" but that is a little slower progressing)

-He enjoys two television shows "Thomas & Friends" and "Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood"

-He will say "Okay, mommy" "yes ma'am" "thanks mom" and seems to be using his manners in prompt and appropriate ways. I am hoping he will always be mindful of others and appreciative of others when they do something for him. I think it's admirable and rare in children and growing adults.

In other news:

He had a well check appointment and he is a healthy 3-year old. Weighing 32 pounds and falling in the 50th percentile for weight and height. Rising from the previous 20th % range. We are thankful there weren't any "red flags" or "concerns."

He used to be picky. Now he is not! He will try most anything and if he doesn't like it, I don't push the issue. His favorite breakfast food is his cereal bar. He loves it and it's been his favorite for a long time now.  A lunch food  favorite is "peanut jelly" :) And as mentioned for dinner, he eats whatever we eat. He really hates brussel sprouts, and for that I can't say I blame him.

9pm- 8am. Nap usually from 1:30-3:30/4.
He naps like a champ.
Going to bed has been a rough go. (He gets out of his bed, mostly our fault because we are relaxed about it) but it seems to be getting easier.

What he likes to do:
He loves to play with his trains
He loves his trucks and tractor trailers.
He likes to be read to.
and anything outside related in his absolute favorite.

I am a very blessed and thankful mom. We have one of the sweetest and agreeable little boys I know. :)


In 2010, I went short. And after that, I swore I would never do it again. 

And three years later, I did. 

The story of how I got this short is really funny. Kind of. 

But for all documenting purposes, I would like to go on the record. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Life Happens

The beginning of the week was a great time for a positive, hopeful, energized, determined Shannon. I was so excited about my healthy eating, so excited to be thinking differently about food, and was just ON MY A GAME! 

And then.............

I went down. 

I have the stomach bug. And to be frank, a stomach bug ON TOP of 10-day cleanse. 


I need not say more. 


I had to stop taking my supplements for two half days- (1 24-hour period) AND.... the thought of food just turned my stomach. Broccoli? No thank you. 

So, I have had Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup for my last two meals, and crackers. Yep, classic ol' saltines. Oh, and ginger ale. 

These three magical ingredients make me feel better. Whether it's because that is what you eat when you are sick, or because it actually does make you feel better, I don't know. But it is what it is. 

So, am I panicking a little bit because I am off of my track? To be honest: yes. Should I be? No. People get sick. And they eat soup, with a... noodle... in it. 

I am afraid of losing momentum on the scale. Fearful of seeing the number go up, instead of down. These things don't really matter. It really doesn't. 

What matters is that I get better. I get rest. And I wake up tomorrow morning feeling stupendous and ready to take back on life, and the broccoli. 

Because, to be truthful, the LAST time I was sick, I had two McDonalds cheeseburgers. and it was FANTASTIC. As wonderful as I know that will taste, I am going to be thankful for chicken noodle soup instead. It's gotta be healthier. Right? 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

3 Weeks of Groceries for $121 post

A few weeks ago I posted a very INNOCENT post about how I went to Kroger and got groceries for 17 nights and spent $121. I received a HUGE response from a lot of my friends and I thought it MIGHT HELP if I posted my meal plan, and a few disclaimers. 


First of all, a few disclaimers to keep in mind. 

#1 I am cooking for 3 mouths- 1 of which is a 3 year old mouth which barely counts at this point. So, please don't compare my bill to your large families grocery needs. Also, we are on no special limitations like gluten free, wheat free, or dairy free, which helps my bill. 
#2 My meals are whole, fully home cooked meals. I do not cook with Stouffers's or frozen meals that you put in the oven. My husband doesn't like it. (And it's not good for you!) So, you will have to actually... cook. 
#3 I had a good portion of chicken and hamburger that I had bought the week before. So, not all of my meals had to have a meat purchased. 
#4 I buy 2-3 gallons of milk at at time- costing around $3.50 a gallon!!!! :o 
#5 I bought Kroger brand seasonings ($1 each) 
#6 I was able to buy Kraft brand cheese this time, but I ALWAYS buy what's on sale. Usually, Kroger out beats Kraft, but this trip I was able to get 3 packages for $1.99 each. 
#7 I had to buy a few "staples" like peanut butter, jelly, 

I used 7 coupons. That is all. This is not a coupon menu plan. (for the most part) 

A few tips when I am planning: 
#1 to be sure to use all of my ingredients. For example, I will not buy a tub of sour cream and only plan on meal using using it. I plan multiple meals that use sour cream as a topping or call for it in the recipe or sauce. I bought brown rice. 
#2 I used to prepare way more food than I knew I needed and it either was stored in the fridge and thrown out a week later or we just threw it away that night right away. Now, I only make enough of the main portion that I know we will eat and just a little more for an unexpected dinner guest (which happens pretty often) or for one or both of our lunches the next day. 

Here is a picture of a meal I made this week. 

As you can see, eating frugally does not mean you have to eat unhealthy food. We have baked flounder baked over fresh lemon juice, parmesan cheese (for Dennis and Daniel's portions) and Italian Seasoning. Paired with Steamed Broccoli with Olive Oil drizzled atop with kosher salt and Brown rice. 

Instead of buying my broccoli fresh, I buy the huge bag in the frozen section so that I can make plenty of meals with the frozen broccoli. I use a pampered chef steamer to make it. I also buy the Normandy Blend that has carrots, zucchini, squash, broccoli, cauliflower and more. I use that to steam or to put on the grill. Very yummy. It's not FRESH, but it's healthy on a budget. 

Also, here is a look at some Kashi cereal. We typically buy this at Sam's because you can get TWO bags for the price of one, but I didn't have Sams in my plan that week, so I just bought a box at the store. Kroger was selling it for $1.50 a box when it typically sells for close to $3 a box. It was a steal. 

Now. The picture below is a leg quarter. (thigh and leg) I know. This type of meat skeeves out plenty of people, including me. I HATE to handle it because it's bloody has a bone in it. BUT, you can buy a whole bag at Kroger for $6.90 a bag! That will feed our family 3 times. So, I went for it. I used several seasoning on top and baked it in the oven for 1.5 hours with a few onions. I also sliced some sweet potato and baked that along side it in a separate dish. This tasted very good! I enjoyed it! 

I bought a bag of lemons to go in my unsweet tea. I am telling you about the lemons to show you that I was even able to get an "extra" for $3.49 which was one of my more expensive things.

Now, here is my plan for three weeks: 

Across the board, for breakfast we had either kashi cereal, or eggs. 
and for lunch we had left over dinner, eliminating something extra to purchase. 

So, dinners: 

Chopped Beef Steak with Onions
Baked Potato 
Green Beans 

Corn Chowder 
(this was really good, but I didn't eat much because the main ingredient was corn) 

Taco Salad with Tortilla Chips and Salsa 
(tortilla chips, fresh green lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, rice, black beans, and sour cream)
**I didn't buy the taco kit, instead just the taco seasoning packet)

Manwich on a Bun and Frenh Fries. 
(name brand Manwich and generic fries) 
This was for a night I needed dinner fast- small group or a Wednesday night) 

I planned a leftover dinner night to be sure that ate everything left for the week. 

Chili with Corn Bread 
I used a "Darn Good Chili" kit and added in kidney beans, crushed tomatoes, all generic) 

Spaghetti with Salad 
generic spagetti, Del Monte sauce with browned beef, and added seasonings. Fresh made salad. 

Pork loin BBQ, baked beans and coleslaw.
I made a Kroger brand loin in the crockpot, added in Sweet Baby Rays sauce, with some vinegar. 
Slaw was shredded and I added mayo and vinegar, and sugar. 
I bought the Campbells Pork and Beans. 
We had company this night because we had plenty of food. 

Huervos Rancheros
(I haven't made this yet) 
but basically, it was going to be eggs in a wrap, with salsa and such. 

(I already had skewers) 
Chicken, red and yellow peppers, onions, and tomatoes. 
I also baked the Normandy Blend veggies with this on the grill. 
It was YUMMY! 

Chicken Enchilada Pasta 
(I haven't made it yet) 

Burgers with Sweet Potatoes. 
(I split the Sweet Potatoes with the chicken thigh dinner, and the buns with the BBQ)

Chicken and Dumplings 
(I haven't made it yet) 

Tuna Noodle Casserole 
(I haven't made this yet- and may not) 

Pork Chops 
Green Beans
(I will bake the pork chops) 

Bean and cheese Burritos 
(wrap, refried beans, cheese)
a quick, some what unhealthy, meal)

Chicken Parmesan 
(Fried then Baked Chicken, tomato meat sauce on top with mozzarella cheese)
Spaghetti with sauce 

I hope this is helpful for you, let me know if you have any questions. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Advocare 24-Day Challenge Update #1

Hey friends,

It's Day 3 of my Advocare 24 day challenge. I wanted to blog a little bit about how I am doing these first 3 days.

First, I will include the "plan" and then my thoughts about how I am feeling, and how I am doing.

Upon Rising: Drink a Spark, 3 capsules of Catalyst, Drink the Fiber Drink
20-30 minutes later: eat breakfast (protein or fruit)
30 minutes before lunch take Catalyst; drink a second Spark (optional) 
With Lunch or Dinner Take 4-6 Omega Plex and Catalyst
Before Bedtime Take the Herbal Cleanse Packet 

(If you are interested in what these products are and what they do, you can find that information using a simple Google search. I am not interested in providing those details here.)

So... how is it going for me? 

Well, first of all I can say: I.HATE.TAKING.PILLS. And not only that, I am bad at it. Pills get stuck in my throat- they get caught going sideways, etc. It makes me gag. But by day 3, I have learned the art of swallowing pills. I have this down. Which is good news if I ever wanted to survive days 11-24. (WAY MORE PILLS those days) 

Second, a lot of people have talked to me about how great Spark is. How awful the fiber drink is. And well, to be honest, I don't love either one, but it is tolerable to drink. I can do it. Days 1-2 I didn't want to eat breakfast because I felt full on liquid! But by day 3, I was actually ready to eat a hearty bowl of oatmeal and loved every bite. Even though it was simple, plain, quick oats. 
I have the Mandarin Orange Spark, and I am using the Peaches and Cream Fiber Drink. I would recommend the Peaches and Cream fiber drink of all of the available choices, but I have heard there are more flavorful options of the Spark. (Spark is a coffee/tea/soda replacement which provides you with caffeine and it also helps you focus.) 

Third, I have experienced a MASSIVE headache last night into this morning. I wanted to cut my head off. :) But, I used a natural remedy Tei-Fu on my head and neck and thankfully, it went away. I don't know if the headache was just over or the remedy helped, but I was ok today. I think the headache was attributed to the fact that I have cut ALL unnecessary unnatural sugars out of my diet including carbs of the potato, pasta and bread families. So, maybe my body is just fussing back at me. 

Fourth. Exercise. I was able to take a nice brisk walk today at the park, and it felt so so so so good. I would really love it if winter decided to go away for good and provide us with plenty of opportunities for cooking fresh food on the grill and walking opportunities. 

Fifth. I am feeling not much different internally. I feel good about the choices I am making as far as resisting foods that I usually enjoy. I am thankful for the food that I do get to enjoy, and I am really not bothered at this point about the foods I have had to avoid. I am doing really good with being strong and resolved. 

These past three days have given me plenty of opportunities to avoid normal every day temptations. I have resisted at least 3 hamburger type buns, two opportunities for dessert, and countless opportunities for carbs: bread, potatoes, etc. I do it and feel victorious. 

The food literally sits on my tongue long enough to chew it, and then my body has to deal with the consequences. Totally not worth it for me. So, I might as well make good choices, right? 

So, all of this to day, in three days, I am faring well. I am taking the supplements with little to no trouble, making great food choices, and losing weight. Which is always a bonus. 

On Day 1, I weighed 182.7
and the morning of day 3 I weighed 178.8

Which is amazing. 

Also, I should probably note that my scale reportedly weighs about 5 pounds too heavy, so my weight on a typical, correctly calibrated scale would be about 174. Which is great. But because I use my off scale, I am keeping the weight that I see what I report on to keep the confusion less. 

On day 24, I will weigh on my scale, and then a correct scale to give my final ending weight. My short short term goal is to land in the 160's by mid-April. I think I can do it! My long long term goal is to be in the 140's, but that could take SEVERAL months- perhaps 8-10 if I work hard. Let's hope for the best. 

I plan to keep you updated again on day 7. And to talk about some food choices in between. Thanks for reading. :) 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Weight Loss Journey

Hey Friends.

I am writing a post that I have not looked forward to writing. Something that puts me out there on an uncomfortable level, something that I would have liked to have ignored in the past (and did!) But now, it's time to come out of the closet. :)

Not THAT closet, but, the one where I admit that that I LOVE to eat food. I love it. It is something that I look forward to, live for. I LOVE celebrations NOT because of the celebratory event, but because of the FOOD served. :) It's true. And, this habit has made me unhealthy and fat. And once you are heavy, overweight, thick, obese, morbidly obese, the task of losing the weight, of reversing the consequence of your addiction feels like an unattainable goal. It's the thing that you think about almost every other thought. It consumes your mind, thoughts and you assume EVERYONE else, also, is constantly thinking about how you have "put on the pounds" or "let yourself go" or "gained a little weight" OR.... you even wonder laying beside your husband "Does he think I would be prettier if I lost weight?" "Would he love me MORE if I lost weight?"

It's truly SLAVERY. You are a slave to the food you love, and then it enslaves you back by making you constantly think about it, and how awful you look because of it.

I am DONE with food being my master. Please don't skim over these next passages like they don't matter, but read them and consider what it is saying in regards to living for food. Ive underlined the parts that speak directly to me regarding how I view food, not God.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth
where ymoth and rust5 destroy and where thieves zbreak in and steal, 20 
but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither 
moth nor rust destroys and where thieves 
do not break in and steal. 21 For where 
your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 a“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, 
your whole body will be full of light,
 23 abut if byour eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. 
If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24 c“No one can serve two masters, for either he will 
hate the one and love the other, 
or he will be devoted to the one and despise
 the other. You cannot serve God and dmoney.6 - Matthew 6:19-24

I know that this passage talks about money, but I also know I have lived my life not so 
much as concerned about money, but concerned about what I will eat. If I had to choose between being in the word or having lunch, I would choose lunch. If I had to choose between prayer and having a nighttime snack, I would choose the snack. See? 

For the elephant in the room: 

I am not saying that you do not need food, and just more prayer, that is silly. God created us to eat food to nourish and sustain our bodies. I am also not saying that it is SIN for you to eat, or to have snacks, or to enjoy a meal. I am saying that FOR ME, my particular "thorn" is that I LOVE food more than I love God. I LOVE food more than I love most things. SO, for ME, I must use self control, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to say "no" and be filled with HIM, instead of 38g of carbs in 1 sitting. 

So, the point of the post: 

How am I fighting this: 
#1. I am in the WORD OF GOD. 
I am asking daily for prayer for myself and another sister to engage in this fight with full force. Doing war with idols that satisfy my soul. When I am not reading and prayer, those "cravings" or "wants" devour my body and I am weak. Again, please consider this scripture found in Philippians 4. This is where I draw strength. Underlines are the parts especially important to me in my fight. 

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything 
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your 
requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, 
which surpasses all understanding, will guard your 
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever 
is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, 
whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there 
is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.9 What you have
 learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these 
things, and the God of peace will be with you.
God's Provision
#2 I am giving thought to WHAT I put into my mouth and HOW MUCH I am putting in my mouth, and asking myself often "Am I still hungry or am I just enjoying the taste of the food?" 

10 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length 
you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed 
concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking 
of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation
 I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I 
know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, 
I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, 
abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The answers to these questions equip me with practical ways for me to know when to stop. If it's BENEFICIAL for my body: fruits, vegetables, complex carbs, protein, etc. than I know it's BENEFICIAL for me to eat. Of course, we know that God says that all things are PERMISSIBLE  Meaning, it is OK to eat a cookie, it's ok to have a slice of cake, and it's ok to have chips. But for me, IT IS NOT BENEFICIAL, and so I will FOR NOW, abstain. With that said, Dennis and I have changed a lifestyle habit that does INCLUDE 1, 1!!! cookie at night IMMEDIATELY after eating dinner. Our old lifestyle would be to eat dinner. and 2-3 hours later, I would eat an ENTIRE bowl of popcorn and he would pour a glass of milk, and eat 3 cookies or a cake, or something sweet before bed. We no longer do that, and we will no longer EVER do that on a regular or even semi-regular basis. It's not that it's sin, it's that it is NOT BENEFICIAL for our bodies. We allow ourselves 1 cookie, because that is well within moderation, and the BENEFIT for both of us is that we satisfy any sweet tooth we may have and we do not want anything extra for the rest of the night. That my friends, is a work of the Lord because that would have NEVER gone down here before, ever! 

After I evaluate the what, I then evaluate the HOW much. two trips are now 1. Large portions are now smaller. The corn AND potatoes co-existing on our plates now calls for just one of them. And it's not a large spoonful, it's half. Instead of putting 8 unnecessary ingredients into my food, I am minimizing to the least possible. Mashed potatoes no longer gets a block of cream cheese, a stick of butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and whole milk. It gets: a half stick of butter, skim milk, salt and pepper. And guess what? I still like it! :) 

And finally, "Am I still hungry or eating because it's good?" Big question. And one in which I failed at last night. Dennis took me to this HOLE IN THE WALL, tiny place in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, somewhere between Ironto and Blacksburg, on a tiny, curvy, car sick, two lane road called "Mountain View Italian Restaurant." It beat Olive Garden, Carabbas, and Mama Maria's by a long shot. The food was DELICIOUS. I mean, AMAZING. For our Friday night dinner, I ordered my usual: Chicken Parmesan and I LOVE IT. and I. ate. every. bite. (a little sauce was left) and I left MISERABLE. I mean, my RIBS were bending it felt like. And guess what? I HATED that feeling. (Yay!!!) I used to LOVE that feeling. LOVE IT. And too, which is why we should avoid eating out as much as possible. I knew that I spent $16 for the plate, and by goodness, I BETTER eat it. I knew that come today I could not make a provision for that in my diet. ;) Silly huh? So, I made myself miserable. And guess what else? When I woke up this morning, I felt bogged down, tired, sluggish, and I didn't want to step on the scales. But I did. And guess what? I increased my weight by one pound. A pound that will most likely disappear again pretty quickly, but still, it didn't BENEFIT my efforts to eat like that. To eat past the point of being full, is not wise. 
I did a simple search on Wikipedia on gluttony, and this is what I found: 
If you are interested, read it on your own time. 

#3 Evaluating myself at night'
I go through the day and I find areas or patterns that are constantly tripping me up. I try to find areas where I have made rationalization or excuses, or created loopholes in my moments of weaknesses. And I find a bunch EVERY day. And when I wake up, I try to bathe those patterns in prayer by asking for help and discernment. Also asking for wisdom to change. Often times, I am unsuccessful. But thankful for plenty of grace, and brand new days, I am given the opportunity to fight.  


#4 I have support 
I am blessed to have a sister in Christ who prays for me, texts me, and calls me and uplifts me in the battle. I am grateful. I also have other sisters, (not biological for those of you that may not know what I mean) that I can talk to openly, freely, and honestly about this with. I know that they love me and that they are cheering me on, not letting me give up. 


Q: "Don't you think that by concentrating on all of this food related stuff so much that you are putting your diet as an idol?" 

A: "No! No, because this is a SIN issue for me. It's never an idol to fight sin, it's an idol when you ignore it. And this may not be true for you, but it is for me, that food can serve as an idol, a passion, and it's not ok." 

Q: "Are you more concerned about how you look instead of just being healthy?" 

A: "I care about how I look. I care about how I feel. I care about how attractive my husband is to me. But finally, I care about these things MORE than I care about feeding my belly. I care about these things more than I care about eating garbage. So, yes, I do care about how I look! I want to be slimmer and more fit. And yes, I do want to be healthy. Thankfully, health changes the way your body looks. It's a connection that should not be separated. 


Dennis and I both turned from our old habits starting in January. The late part of January. 

Dennis has lost 15 pounds. 
I have lost 8-10 depending on the day. 

Dennis was approaching 260 pounds. I had gained up to 188! :o The heaviest I have ever been without a 6 pound baby inside of me. So, this a definite eye opener for me! 

In the past, I would have been BEYOND frustrated with only a 8-10 pound weight loss while staying at this for over a month, but this time, it's about longevity, the long term fight. I will never WIN the battle, I will ALWAYS be fighting. 

So, even in March, hovering at 10 (mostly unnoticeable pounds to most people) I am still going for it. 

And starting today, I am embarking on the Advocare 24-day challenge. I plan to talk about my progress and experience in this in these next 3 weeks. 

Thanks for reading. :) 


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Big Snow of 2014

As most of you know, we had a HUGE SNOW a couple of weeks ago!!!! I am talking like 22" of snow!!!!! We had a LOT of fun!!

 Daniel looks a little undressed for this weather, because he was!!!!! I never thought it would be necessary for legitimate snow attire.

I have a fun loving husband that LOVES to be in it and PLAY all day!!! 

More posts soon!!!!

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