Response Time

With COVID-19 taking breath away across the country – literally – I feel a need to respond.

I might as well chime in.

If you are not aware of what COVID-19 is, consider an internet search for some true facts. There is a lot of hysteria out there. While COVID is scary – and people are in fact dying – panic, fear, and hysteria are no helpers in this matter.

My humble opinion is this: Be serious. Be concerned. Be smart. Be kind. Above all, show love in a kind, yet distant, way. Because really, this is a true test of character and integrity. All this messed up stuff – people getting sick, dying, fear – all of it will show what is within me. I heard an interesting thought from a mentor. He said something along the lines of this, “When trials come and things are tough, it is as if a person is a sponge being squeezed. What comes out is what is truly inside. You cannot hide the truth when life squeezes you.” That’s my version of his truth.

Thanks, Scott Black, for this lesson, among many others.

The truth of it all is that since things are so tough, many people are having a strong response to God at this time. Not everyone is on board with the idea that God has anything to do with this, though. In my view, God cannot be taken out of the picture. Since God created the world and since God loves, why is all this happening? Why is rarely a question that is answered. And when I have gotten the answer it brought little hope, happiness or peace. No. “What now” is the question to ask.

What do I do now?
Now is a prime time to draw near to God. Study the Bible. Stop just reading the Bible and actually study it. Pick a topic, such as peace, and study that topic. Before all this started I began a study of James. I am still working on James chapter 1, which starts with:

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.

James 1:2James 1:2

“Troubles of any kind” So death? Illness? Depression? These are what?

“opportunity for great joy” How do any of these things bring joy?

This begs the question, “What is JOY?”
I can tell you what joy is NOT. Joy is NOT happiness. They are not one in the same at all. Happiness is Christmas presents. Joy is the reason I celebrate Christmas in the first place – Christ.

So all these things are an opportunity for not just joy, but in this version is says “great joy?” Yes.

Tune in next time as I discuss how that is even possible. GREAT JOY in a time like this.

In all this, have a virtual HUG!

Be blessed in this time of trial.
Maggie A. ‘Spoon

Food Lies

You cannot see a movie without popcorn… and a drink… and CANDY! Especially, if you are under the age of 99, must have candy! But what if food lies?

You cannot see a movie without popcorn… and a drink… and CANDY! Especially, if you are under the age of 99, must have candy!


Oh! And when you are out, make sure you notice that “HOT FRESH” sign at the Krispy Kreme Donut shop, and you must pick some up (and eat at least half a dozen while they are still hot and fresh)! Perhaps afterward, grab a quick bite at your favorite fast-food (or should I say fat-food) restaurant — with a soda of course!

Food is everywhere and one must have it with everyone it seems. When I go to a get-together it seems we must surround ourselves with food (or at least a somewhat overpriced hot beverage). Why must food be involved with my social life?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I am the only one who feels like my life revolves around food, but I doubt I am alone. When I am almost finished eating a meal, I find myself thinking about the next meal. What will I eat? Where will I find this delicious food? What type of food do I want anyway? Mexican? Asian? American? Home cooked or eat out? So many choices and rarely do I make the best ones. I often find myself sitting in front of something I will regret eating later.

The hardest part of it all is


I actually think “love” is the right word there. No, I would not equate my love for food with my love for God or my family, but I might say, “I love food as much as I love my dog.” And I really love my dog!

Why is this that my taste buds rule my life? Why? Am I a victim of my taste buds? Do I cause my taste buds to control me? Or do I allow them to control me? Obviously, I allow it, but it makes me a victim of my harsh reality that food rules my life. Thinking about food, then eating food, then thinking about more food… it is a never-ending, viscous cycle of food and it has made me fat!

I admit, my choices have caused my body to be overweight. I know you wouldn’t believe me if I told you my secret, but it’s true. I am 100 lbs overweight. People hear me when I say that, but when they look at me, they don’t believe me. In the spring of 2010, when I was 27, I weighed 155 lbs and felt amazing. I could hike miles and miles without trouble. I could climb what I would call mountains (to a Texan anyway) but they were just really, really big hills and it was tough, but I did it. I did an event called Wild Canyon Games and it was a totally awesome experience!! We didn’t win *grumble grumble* but I had fun and I COULD TOTALLY DO IT! Now? I will be transparent. I weigh 260 lbs, feel miserable, and do not like what I see in the mirror.

The fact is that food lies! Food tells us it is yummy, edible and worth eating, no matter what we are considering. Our own taste buds and brains lie to us. After I eat more than enough food I still feel “hungry” for more. I have learned my taste buds and brain love food as much as I do and they are more than willing to keep eating more and more! Eating food makes us feel good. I think the worst part of food is what we eat will possibly love us forever, and ever, and ever by sticking to our hips, our waist, our gut, and anywhere else the fat and food desire to stick!

I should perhaps have said this sooner but I would like to say it now. Being “fluffy,” “chunky,” or whatever you wish to call it can be fine if you feel comfortable with your body. Some people come to peace with the way they are shaped, built, or sized. But I know me. I know my body’s abilities and once you know what you are capable of, is it easy to live with what you have become?

Now that I know I can hike, climb, and run fast, far and have a lot of fun doing all those things, I want it all back! I miss that life. I miss that me. And the only difference between she and me is that she ate healthy. No popcorn or soda or candy at movies. No hot fresh donuts. No junk!


That may sound like hell to you – going without the foods you enjoy. But for me, I choose health and wellness (and therefore small boobs – yeah I said it!) over food! I CHOOSE the me I want to be!

May you ever choose wisely and flick that demon off the one shoulder while listening to the so-called angel on the other! Live smart.

Be blessed!

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

Life Style Changes to Create Long-term Health

Many have heard that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this is true.  Not only does it jump start my metabolism, but it also sets the stage for healthy blood sugar levels all day – as long as sugary breakfast foods are avoided of course!

Exercise Regularly
There are two forms of exercise.  Generally people think of the first form: scheduled work out sessions on a regular basis (either anaerobic or aerobic exercise).  While it is important to work up to frequently scheduled workout sessions, there is another important form of exercise: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT.  NEAT is made up of all the movements your body makes outside of planned exercise.  This is movements such as walking, talking, toe tapping, guitar playing, dancing, singing, shopping, gum chewing, fidgeting and pretty much any movement not specifically intended to improve fitness.  One way to add exercise to our lives without jumping into the gym is by increasing our NEAT points. 
There are many easy ways to do this.

  • Have an elevator you frequent?  Try taking the stairs instead, at least for floor or two.
  • Usually look for the perfect parking spot right near the front door?  Park farther away from the entrance and work towards parking “way out there”.
  • Do you have a seated job? Perhaps stand up occasionally to work, or pace your work space while you work.  A good headset can enable you to move while you talk on the phone.
  • Think of some other ways you could improve your daily movement and prevent your day from being most sedentary.  A lack of movement is a perfect environment for obesity!

Consider if you have weight to lose and work specifically on weight loss before beginning a rigorous exercise plan.

Research shows that people who begin a weight loss plan without support are more likely to either quit their weight loss program or regain the weight quickly.  Have you ever tried to start walking consistently and found yourself forgetting or lacking motivation?  Perhaps you then asked a friend to be your walking partner, asking them to remind and encourage you to walk and you would do the same for them. It is likely you then found it much easier to walk consistently.  This is precisely what I am referring to.  Without support it is difficult for most people to stick with a weight loss plan and even more importantly avoid regaining weight.  It is vital to have friends and family who actively support your health goals.  If you find yourself frustrated by a particular friend or family member who is unsupportive, address the issue with them and explain your plan and purpose for your health changes.  Most of the time our friends and family love us and just want what is best for us and discussing it will solve the support issue.

Find at least one partner who you tag as your support buddy and fully explain your intentions, reasons and plans with them and ask them to hold you accountable.  Knowing that someone is going to ask, “are you making wise choices” can make a big difference in the choices you make.

Low-fat snacks every three hours
It is common for Americans to eat three large meals a day, likely far apart from each other and filled with over-sized portions and unhealthy foods.  I found that, before my health changes, not only was I overeating but I was also making very poor choices on a regular basis.  So overeating unhealthy foods!

Change not only what you eat, but also how much and how often.  Research shows that eating several smaller “meals” a day is much healthier.  Make certain these meals include healthy choices such as carrot sticks, celery, or yogurt.  I have many healthy snack ideas if you are interested.

It is best to eat 2 1/2 to three hours apart.  This sounds like a lot but consider that most of these “meals” are more like snacks rather than a huge meal you cook.  It is still important to consume three larger meals a day but not the traditional definition of large.

Individual Plan
It is important to formulate your health goals around your activities and life-style.  Get a notebook and every evening jot down what you did that day.  Do this every day for at least a week and then look back at where you had dead spaces – gaps of time you were doing little or nothing – or wasted time, time where you did something that could be replaced with something more constructive.  A “soccer mom” for example who is very busy would use this to determine when she can fit in an exercise plan.

Take the same or a different note book and keep track of every morsel of food you put in your mouth for at least a week.  Some people are heavy snackers.  A cookie here and a handful of chips there adds up to a heaping dose of bad calories and eventually an unhealthy, overweight body.  Keeping a food journal will help you determine the poor health habits you need to eliminate.

It is essential to monitor  your weight and health to insure you are on a path to long-term health.  Without looking at the signs on the road how can you be certain you are still going the correct direction?

Set up a regular schedule for weighing a measuring your body.  Women tend to fluctuate more in inches rather than pounds and it is important to keep track of that fluctuation.

A good pair of “skinny jeans” is a great way to tell if you are gaining or losing weight.  Notice how tight or loose your clothes are.  If you find your clothes getting too tight perhaps you need to check the other areas I’ve mentioned to determine why your clothes are tight, rather than replacing your clothes! 😀

In Conclusion
It is extremely important to live a life conscious of my health.  Ignore it and it will go away!  Changing things in these areas is certain to improve your health!

All information taken from Dr. A’s Habits of Health by Dr. Wayne Andersen

Being healthy IS NOT a number game.

Being healthy does not require your scale to have a certain number on it.  Otherwise it could be said that if all males were 185 lbs and all females were 135 lbs they are perfectly healthy.  HEALTH has little to do with your weight.  It does, however, somewhat have to do with how much fat you have verses how much muscle mass you have.  Your weight is merely a guideline of how much fat you do or do not have. 

But once you are the “proper weight” and have the best possible muscles to fat ratio are you then healthy? Possibly not.  Being healthy is not just about how much fat you have, either.  I have known unhealthy lean people who you might look at and say they don’t have a pound to loose and you would, in fact, be correct.  This is because your health is much like many other things in life: it is a complete compilation of many factors. 

The factors that most strongly affect your health include:

  • How much water you drink (that is WATER, not liquid!)
  • How much and how often you move your body (not just exercise but literally MOVE IT!)
  • What foods you eat on a regular basis and the amount of NUTRITION therein (Let’s face it; it is not healthy to eat chocolate cake and drink soda for every meal every day!)
  • How much rest you get on a regular basis (Nope. Those 4 hours of sleep were NOT enough!)
  • The quality of air you breathe
  • The quality of your thought processes

Now that last one may have you going “huh”!?  Haven’t you ever known someone who was negative and they pulled you down?  When I worked at Wal-mart there was this lady who was always in a funk.  No matter how happy I was when I went to work she would inevitably bring me down.  Try as I may to remain positive, her negative attitude was no good for me and frequently got the best of me in the end.  Your thoughts are no different.  If your thoughts are negative – focusing on the glass being half-empty instead of half-full, for example – then they will inevitably bring you down.  God says it better in Philippians 4:4-9 (my personal favorite verse):

4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

So according to that if we let our anxiety go, give it to God in prayer and think happy thoughts then we will have peace.

So my whole scatter-brained point is this: Health cannot be judged by the number on the scale or how lean your body may appear to be.  We must work on our whole-body health – mind included – before we can honestly claim to be completely healthy.

May God bless your health endeavors.  Let me know if I can help! Smile

X ❤ X

Super Mom

Doing pretty super, most of the time.

So here I am at a 165 lbs feeling pretty good about myself but not as good as I thought I would.  I started at 200 lbs and felt completely miserable all the time.  I am feeling much better now but when I look in the mirror I don’t feel 165.  I think part of it is that I did not replace my fat with muscle so instead of looking lean and fit I just look lean a bit flabby – mostly my legs.  So I plan to start exercising again and hopefully will tone up a bit. 🙂

So health and weight aside Life is pretty sweet.  Cassie started kindergarten (already??) and is loving it.  Meanwhile back at the castle the little princess and I are really enjoying some one-on-one time, when she’s not throwing tantrums.  Her tantrums have gotten much better though, mainly I think because not only am I with her alone more to work on it but also that Mommy’s temper has gotten better. 😛

Presten and me are taking a marriage class at church on Sunday nights.  Its a good one and we’ve both improved in important areas.  I wont say much more than that. 😉

As some might know I am now a health coach.  I’m finding it much harder to locate people who would like my help working on their health than I anticipated.  Presten is my first client and he is seeing a lot of improvement.  I have a couple of leads and I’m excited about the prospect.  I just want to help people achieve the success in their health that I have seen so many others achieve! I’ll just keep praying and searching!

Other than that life is pretty busy!  We moved across the street from the congregation we attend and are loving it – despite all the jokes. :P  We have saved a huge bundle on gas, which is good because my car is great except on gas mileage! Its nice to be involved at our congregation so much.  I am really enjoying getting to know people.  It seems like we have something going on almost every day which is both good and bad.  It does lead to late evenings and by the time we get the kids in bed we are beat and just want to relax.

The biggest thing my mind keeps coming back to is how much peace I feel this year.  As some of you are aware it is October – the saddest month of the year for me – and in past years have found it hard to make it through the month without cake, ice cream and several good movies.  This year, however, I am finding myself feeling much more at peace with the death of my sister.  Its not that I dont miss her or feel sad she left before me, but its more that I just feel at peace.  I must attribute it all to my daily bible reading – or should I say listening – because before then I did feel the ache in my heart and often found myself crying in sorrow.  Almost 3 weeks ago I realized that I was letting life happen to me, rather than taking control of my choices and living life with intention, up to and including my relationship with God — reactionally praying when I felt a need rather than reaching out to Him by choice.  One of the steps I knew were necessary to get my life back on track was daily Bible reading.  I have never read the whole Bible through and have never been an avid reader, and that needed to change.  I committed to reading one chapter of Proverbs every weekday until finished just so I could get used to reading.  I downloaded an application to my phone so it would read the Bible to me.  Every morning when I take Cassie to school I listen to the Bible in the car. It only takes about 5 minutes or less but I am learning so much! I have also noticed that I feel happier every day overall.

If you arent reading your Bible every day consider downloading an app to your smart phone if you have one.  Go to for the one I use.  Its free! 🙂 It isnt fancy but it works and I like that it can read the Bible to me when Im in the car.

Keep striving to be Super. 🙂

Back on the wagon

Well I fell off the wagon when I got sick.  I went back to eating unhealthy food on a regular basis and now I feel as horrible as I did before the diet.  I am back up to 170 lbs – that means a 10 lb weight gain.  Before you think that perhaps it’s impossible to keep this weight off please hear me out.  I have been off the diet for almost a month and have eaten the following:

  • Several pizzas – usually half a large pizza by myself
  • nearly half a DQ ice cream sheet cake by myself
  • nearly no veggies
  • an amazingly disgusting amount of sweets
  • rarely any breakfast and certainly not 6 meals a day

So as you can see it would be tough for anyone to keep the weight off if they abused their body like that.  I wasn’t really trying to keep the weight off.  At first I was just trying to keep food down and ate almost nothing for nearly two weeks! It was terrible!  Then once I felt better my birthday was only 2 days away and I didn’t see the point in beginning my diet so close to my birthday.  I enjoyed eating out and having cake.  I suppose it was worth the 10 lbs… maybe.

The point is once I lose all the weight I intend to lose then I will take care of myself.  I wont buy a huge ice cream cake and eat nearly half of it myself.  I wont overeat.  I wont eat half a large pizza – just a slice or two.  I will watch what I eat.  I will enjoy food and even eat sweets sometimes but I wont abuse myself with food.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying good food but food can be like anything else: abused.  “Too much of a good thing” is debatable, but when it comes to something that can hurt you too much is a bad thing.  Think of alcohol, or illegal drugs – too much of those can kill you.  Food is no different.  Too much unhealthy food – fried, sweet, or fattening – will kill you!  Numerous studies have proven that true.  An obese person lives a shorter life.  You might say, “Well you have to die of something.” or “Its better to enjoy life and die young than to not have any fun.”  While you will “die of something” and perhaps even have fun obese people tend to die a slow painful death.

I don’t say these things to hurt or offend anyone.  I was facing a choice: continue eating tasty, rich foods or stop and work on my health.  Many of us face this choice but choose to ignore our health.  Why?  Is good food really worth your life?  Having a husband and kids that I love and having hope that I will eventually enjoy grandkids makes me say a resounding “NO!  Food is not worth my life or my health!”.  So despite the past week or two of stupidity that would say otherwise, I do care about my health and I do want it to improve further.

I already feel better than I did at 200 lbs.  But since I jumped off the diet I have felt horrible.  I’m sure it has to do with the poor quality of the food I have been consuming!!  I am eager to lose the rest of my weight.

Current weight: 170
Target weight: roughly 145
Amount left to lose: 25 lbs

I am aiming for a size more than a weight.  Weight is so relative and not really my relative!!  My goal is really to work off these flabby thighs and tighten my derrière!  Once my body is more firm and much less flabby I will be happy no matter what weight I am.  Frankly if I were the size and tone I wanted to be I wouldn’t care if I weighed 175 lbs!! I just don’t want to feel awful anymore or be flabby.

How I will feel when I am healthy!!
I wake up early in the morning and spring out of bed. I feel energetic, alert and excited about starting my day. As the day progresses, my energy stays constant as I run about and do my chores, take care of my kiddos and even get out in the fresh air and enjoy the day. I am physically active: I take walks, go hiking, and even occasionally mountain climb and I FEEL GREAT while I do these things. My emotional state is contented and when troubles arise I handle them with grace and peace, and when troubled I return to emotional contentedness quickly and easily.

My life is filled with fun, pleasure, sunshine, order and organization. I look around and am pleased with my actions and achievements. I feel GREAT!

Keep me and my goals in your prayers.  Thanks! 😀

X ❤ X
Super Mom

Weigh in day! YAY ME!!

I weighed in today at 165 lbs – that is the lightest I have been since I married Presten nearly 6 years ago.  In addition, I have lost more inches all over.  I never did get to exercise yesterday or today and both nights (thursday night and friday night) I did not sleep well.  I was up until 4 a.m. this morning unable to sleep.  Perhaps I should work on finishing one of my books when I cant sleep??

So I am thrilled but not yet done.  I want to work on toning my muscles in my flabby areas.  Once I have completed that task I will be satisfied.

I tell you, though, since I started this diet I have noticed overweight women more.  Every time I see a woman waddling because she is so overweight I want to run over to her and give her a card.  I just know how it feel to be unsatisfied with your body and feel trapped.  I have known so many overweight women that wish they had a quick and easy way to get healthy and skinny.  I just say a prayer that God answers that wish when it is there.

Thanks for all the encouragement.

X ❤ X

Hey! How’s that diet going??

So I have now been on this meal plan/diet for almost 2 months.  I expected that by now I would be at my target weight; however I am not.  I am not working toward a weight as much as I am working toward health.  Really I am working on myself until my thighs, upper arms, and abs are so toned that they have more muscle than fat.  I realize that this transition may make me weigh more because muscle weighs more than fat.

So I am trying my best to eat what I should, when I should and have now begun to exercise.  I love to exercise!!  I am really looking forward to exercising at nap time today!! 😀

So far I have lost 30 lbs and have not lost any more weight in 2 weeks but I have lost inches here and there.  I am down a couple pant sizes and I have finally lost most of my “mommy belly”.  I am thrilled.  I haven’t dug out my “skinny clothes” yet because I want to wait until I know I will fit into some of them.  How depressing to work on this diet and then not yet fit; so I am just being patient.

Keep me in your prayers.  This has been a rough trip but already my body is much healthier than it was.  At my last check-up the doctor said my gallbladder is doing great and so is my liver.  Very good!  I feel much better most of the time.  I would feel even better if I could make myself go to bed earlier.  I am just addicted to the quiet house after the kids go to bed.

I would recommend this meal plan to almost anyone.  It has been very good for me.

Thanks for the encouragement.  Now its time for me to go exercise!! 😀 YAY! 🙂

x ❤ x

What are you doing?

So I have realized that I haven’t shared much about WHAT I am doing, just that I am doing a sort of diet.

Currently I am doing the “Take Shape FOR LIFE” (TSFL) program.   This is a meal plan program including foods you purchase from the company, creating goals to be met, and changing your focus.  It is a very good program for weight loss but it is not intended to be continued once you have lost your weight.  One thing I like about TSFL is that it teaches you to have long-term goals and consistently ask yourself, “Will this choice interfere with my goals?”.

The foods are properly fortified with the right vitamins and minerals, as well as the perfect amount of fat, carbs, sugars and calories.  I am on the 5 & 1 program which means I eat 5 program meals and 1 “Lean and Green” (L&G) meal.  The L&G meal I prepare myself and it includes one serving of three different veggies (3 servings total) and one small serving of meat (between 5 and 7 oz, determined by the type of meat).  There are charts to help you understand the best choices based on carbs, fat, calories and sugar content of possible meat and veggie choices.

While the diet may seem a bit complicated it is not.  For 5 of the meals you just open a package and eat something.  Most of the foods are very good, things like pudding, milk shakes, soups, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bars and more.  Out of all the foods I have tasted about 10% of them have not tasted good, which is not bad.  I do NOT like the oatmeal.  The shakes are not my favorite but they are not nasty like some meal-replacement shakes (I especially like to freeze these and make a sort of ice creamy stuff).  Some of the bars are very good and others are pretty good but I did not think any of them were gross.  The soups were pretty good, but I think they taste great when I add a chicken bouillon cube!  As for the one L&G meal you don’t have to do any more work than with any meal you would prepare for your family, unless of course you usually prepare something out of a box.  But I really look forward to my L&G meal!

So far, for those of you who haven’t been keeping up with it all, I have lost 30 lbs.  I lost 17 lbs before starting the diet just by increasing my water intake to the actual amount I need every day.  Then my weight loss stopped for a few weeks before I began the diet.  I have lost 13 lbs on the diet so far.  I would have lost more if I had stuck with it completely, but have found temptation rather difficult to overcome.

That is one thing about this diet: consistency.  You HAVE TO stick with this diet and eat only what they tell you to.  The whole point of the diet is to get you into the same “fat burning mode” you are in naturally when you wake up in the morning.  When we all wake up we are in this sort of state because we haven’t eaten any food for several hours.  This meal plan (TSFL) is made to put you in that same “fat burning mode” which means you burn a LOT of fat very fast!!  A bonus is that you have much, much more energy!!  This really appealed to me.  But the down side is that if you cheat or do not stick totally on the diet (i.e., regularly eat some foods that are not on plan) then you will not be as effective!  If you do stick with it, I have seen several people lose 6 or more lbs a week!  I haven’t experienced that level of success because I have consistently cheated.  This past week I ate out a lot and found it very hard to stick perfectly on the diet.  I did not lose any weight but I did not gain any back either, which I was very happy about.

One fear that others have expressed to me is that once you reach your goal and finish the program you might gain all the weight back.  Now that depends on YOU.  If you are doing “Take shape for life” it teaches you to change yourself, the way you eat, the way you think about food and what you eat.  That does not mean you can never eat pizza, ice cream, donuts, or other yummy but fattening treats ever again.  It does mean that you have to stop overeating.  So you cannot eat a whole pizza, a whole container of ice cream, a whole box of donuts or large amounts of yummy yet fattening foods!  But should we really eat that poorly anyway??  (I have eaten that poorly in the past and while my taste buds greatly enjoyed the pleasurable experience, the love handles on my butt tell me that it was a BAD IDEA!)

Most people focus on dieting with a negative goal, such as “I want to avoid heart disease” or “I want to avoid diabetes”.  OR, they set goals with a “nebulous” point of view, i.e. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to feel better” or “I want to look sexier”.  All of those are a result of weight loss, but none of them are SPECIFIC enough to inspire you past losing a few pounds.  You really need that inspiration!! It is important to have goals that ignite passion in you and encourage you to reach toward something tangable rather than run away from something you fear or head towards something that you can never define when you reach it. (Like “I want to lose weight” but never specifying to yourself how much.)  Proper goals are SMARTO – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Oriented.  Most people do not have goals that meet these criteria, and therefore they do not have anything pulling them toward their desires once they achieve a little weight loss, or feel a little better or look a little sexier. You want something that pulls you like a strong magnet. Since I have not quite worked through it all I have been struggling more than I should. I have been feeling “a little better” and I do look “sexier” so I find myself wishing I could go back to eating a whole pizza.  But in reality, my rear end still has love handles that I would seriously like to see removed!! So AM NOT the healthiest I could be and I know it!!  I feel it, I see it and I am certain of that fact!  But I really need to work on the Take Shape FOR LIFE process which includes coaching videos, a book to read and a work book to make sure you get it all. (The coaching videos are provided by my husband’s clinic, which happens to be my health coach.) It is a valuable process to help you learn how to be healthy and think healthier.

One thing some people do not understand is the anatomy of a fat cell.  Fat cells are there for several purposes.  According to Dr. Presten Witherspoon, DC (my husband):

“ Fat cells have served humans since the dawn of creation.  Long ago, when our ancestors hunted and harvested a large amount of food, they overate and stored much of it as fat.  This often would happen at harvest time – shortly before winter.  The extra fat not only gave them more padding to help stay warm, but also provided nutrients throughout the lean times.  As time has progressed,  it has become much easier to consume large amounts of unnecessary calories and fat.  However, just like our ancestors, our body is wired to store fat whenever we overeat.  One major problem with fat today is that many foods that we tend to overeat are nutrient-poor and junk-dense, meaning the things stored in our fat are bad for us (such as chemicals, hormones, preservatives, and other non-nutritive products found in our foods today).  And as we lose weight these toxic products are released from our fat into our bodies.  Our body must then work hard to eliminate these toxic products.”

So fat cells do serve a purpose, but they are not just sitting there doing no harm.  An overweight person is lugging around extra weight that their body does not need.  If you have any kids you know what it is like to lug around weight for a while. (With my kids being 45 lbs and 25 lbs I know what its like!)   Also, fat cells are filled with blood vessels, so the heart of an overweight person has to work much harder to pump blood through all that fat.  This is one of the many reasons that obese people die younger.  Another major problem is when you have too much fat (way more than your body needs) and/or your fat is filled with toxic products that have been consumed in excess.  This is why dieting can often be a difficult process.  But that is a discussion for another day…

So now you know what I am doing and from previous posts you know why.  Now my main focus is to work off those blasted love handles on my butt!!


Slow Going

So last week I didn’t post much because Presten’s dad was in town.  I am so used to posting at night or mid-day and both time were being spent with him.  We got in late every night and I just felt exhausted.

Last week was a bit of a rough week. The days went so slow and we didn’t get home until 9 and then we needed time to just be together after the kids went to bed so almost every night we were awake until 12 or 1.  It led us to committing to go to bed early this week.  We need the rest and sleep.  It’s not the insomnia – thank God that is pretty much gone – but it was a self-induced insomnia, created by a need for time together.

So I think my biggest lesson learned last week was, “its not worth it”.  I spent a bit of time explaining this meal plan I am on and how it works to Presten’s Dad, Henry.  I’m not sure he got it or would ever want to do it despite his need, but to each his own…  I learned though that it isn’t worth it to cheat on this diet all for the sake of a moments taste.

When you put food in your mouth the flavor and taste lasts mere minutes and then your food is mush and you must swallow.  In order to feel enjoy your food again you must take another bite.  This, I believe, is what leads to obesity.  Lets take me for example:  I love sweets – and not just any; I am quite picky.  I love to bake my own goods.  When I take a bite of a fresh-baked cookie it tastes so good in my mouth as I chew it.  It is warm and sweet gooey goodness.  Then I finish chewing and it is swallowed and gone.  How then can I re-live this amazing yummy goodness?  More cookies, more bites, more chewing and unfortunately more swallowing!  So I keep eating, soon consuming the entire batch of 24 or more cookies and of course more than a days worth of sugar, fat and calories.  But are my taste buds satisfied? Nope.  I want more.  Then the choice: bake more cookies now or wait until later or tomorrow.  Well fortunately my stomach comes into play and tells my brain that it has had enough sugar and is considering giving some of it back, my stomach churns and I feel nauseous.  Then the choices change: throw up or lay down.  As the sugar digests my blood sugar becomes a rapid roller coaster – first spiking up with the cookies and then flying down with the digestion.  I feel sick and for what?  Happy taste buds?

Now I don’t always allow myself to lose control this badly but I must admit that before beginning this diet I always over-ate.  I would eat two or more servings of whatever we were having, especially if it was pasta (yum!), and it was somewhat often that I would indulge in the above ritual of taste bud pleasing cookie eating.  I never ate “just enough” and rarely ate as I should.  Sure I ate a bit healthier than some – eating more veggies and less junk food.  You would rarely find chips or soda in our house and it was once every 2 weeks or so that I would buy ice cream.  I didn’t buy junk food so we didn’t eat it.  We didn’t eat much pizza – maybe once a week or less – and I tried to evaluate the nutritional value of every food I bought.  However, unless you eat nothing but fresh veggies all the time, more than one serving will likely make you fat.  Even veggie pizza is pizza and fattening!  But my taste buds are never satisfied and some part of my brain was always hungry.

So back to my lesson: its not worth it.  Recently I purchased “goldfish” in an attempt to have a not-so-bad quick and easy snack for my kiddos.  I never realized how good they smell until I had gone so long without them.  Now along with sweets I love bread, crackers and especially crackers with cheese. (Cheese, Grommit!!)  I never realized how tempting a large box of goldfish could be.  Sure I ate them sometimes with the kids before but was never overly tempted to eat the whole box.  But now, full into this diet and far removed from the last time I ate goldfish, cheese, crackers or bread, I am finding myself desiring to cheat.  I imagine myself running off with the box of goldfish during nap time, locking myself in a closet and eating the whole box.  What a sad picture indeed!  But my self control kicks in and I give them crackers without eating too many.  Yes, too many.  Each time I have served the kids – well almost every time – I have given in to the wonderful smell of cheese crackers.  This may not seem like a big deal to you and for you it would not be a big deal.  But being on a meal plan that is so strict in fat, sugar, carbs and calorie intake I must be careful to not go overboard.  Well goldfish aren’t exactly low-fat, low-sugar or low-carb.  And goldfish aren’t the only way I have been cheating lately.

Henry (Presten’s dad) took us out to eat several times while he was here.  It was a nice break from cooking as I am the only grown-up chef in our house.  But alas there are very few restaurants that pay any attention to calories, fat, sugar or carbs.  They just don’t care.  Even the restaurants who serve “low carb” options aren’t paying any attention to the other factors.  One restaurant served “under 550 calories” but did not mention how much fat, sugar or carbs they had.  Most of their choices were served with white rice or pasta, both of which are high carb and high sugar (not so good for a diabetic!).  So we had a very tough time finding places to eat.  Poor Henry ended up eating at Chipotle’s with us most of the time.  I could get a salad with a bit of meat and have my “Lean and Green” meal out.  The only problem is that they didn’t have many options for veggies so I ended up getting lots of lettuce, pico de gallo, and avocado (of course I also got sour cream and cheese too, shhhh).  So I broke my diet a bit all week long with the avocado, sour cream, cheese, oh and the honey-chipotle dressing, too.  But the salad was oh so good.  I could eat it every day, I think, and not get tired of it!!

So last week with all the eating out, cheating with goldfish, and staying up late my diet was very thrown off.  So yet again I have a new beginning.  I bet other people don’t have as much trouble as me on this diet.  I’m learning a lot about myself though and as my physical body is shrinking the rest of me is growing.  Hopefully it wont take me too long to get down to where I want to be.  My humongo hips and thighs are still too big and they are what I am working on now.  It’ll take a lot of resisting temptation, exercise, water and eating right. God help me!