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!!

xox

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!

xox

Diet: Am I “fat enough” to lose weight?

(I would like to preface this article by saying first of all that I believe every woman should have some curves in normal places – bust, butt, thighs, whatever – and should not try to be sticks.  I have no intention of becoming a stick and don’t think any other woman should try to be a stick.  I would also like to say that I love my Mama.  Now please read on…)

 

So I have had many loving people express to me that I don’t need to lose weight.  Today yet another lovely lady from church expressed that she could hardly believe I was 200 lbs to begin with and by looking at me would never think I need to lose any weight.  While I appreciate their love and concern I want others to understand what I see that they do not.

Do you know what really made me decide to do this program?  It was partially how bad I felt day-to-day and how little energy I had (at such a young age!!).   But what really opened my eyes was when I realized just how overweight I was.  Last summer I visited my parents in NC.  They live on a large piece of land in the middle of nowhere, Frogsboro (YES, Frogsboro), North Carolina.  Every summer I go visit and let them enjoy their grandchildren while I help around the land doing chores that are more difficult for them which may include mending fences, building stairways, helping in the gardens, house chores or whatever else they have for me to do.  This past summer my Dad said to me very lovingly, “Margaret you are getting fat and if you don’t do something about it now you will be as big as your mom someday. And when you get that overweight it is very hard to go back.”  Now I love my Mama very, very much and would never say or do anything to hurt her but she is no small woman.  There is a lot of her to love, and as much as I love her I would rather Presten have less physical body to love, if you understand what I mean.  After my Dad said that to me I looked at myself very objectively and said, “Am I really getting fat?”.  Well you may think not if you saw me in my usual jeans and a nice shirt, but standing in front of a tall mirror butt naked it is quite evident to me.  Some overweight women have this unattractive problem of having extra fat on the backs of their knees.  When I realized that fat was collecting on the back of my knees (a place where curves should not abound) I knew I needed to lose some weight.

My mother has been overweight since I can remember.  For years as a teenager I remember her trying weight loss program after program trying to get her weight off.  She doesn’t feel good.  Working in her garden is hard for her.  As a teen I told myself that I would avoid that difficulty by never getting overweight.  On the other hand I watched my skinny sister – almost too skinny at one point – go from skinny to quite obese.  She would tell me “I hate myself” referring to the stranger she saw in the mirror once she got fat.  Watching her I told myself I wanted to love the woman looking back at me.  I want to look in the mirror and feel good about the naked body looking back at me, not hate it and wish it were not so big.

I mean no offense.  But I think many of us get so used to just looking at our faces in the mirror that we don’t see the rest of our womanly body.  Sometimes we let our eyes glaze over and ignore our fat.  Or we deny our need for weight loss until we are so far gone that we don’t know how to get the weight off.  I am blessed with a high waist, a long torso and long legs.  All that combines to make a body that hides fat rather well when you put some nice clothes on it.  Shorter women do not hide their weight as well because it has fewer places to hide.

So try this for me: Go to the grocery store and pick up a 10 lb sack of potatoes and carry it around for about 5 minutes – not in the cart but in your arms.  That 10 lbs gets a little heavy after a while.  Those of you with small children who love to or need to be carried know what I mean.  Imagine if you are  just 10 lbs overweight your poor body is lugging that extra weight around all the time.  This is how I feel.  I have too many sacks of fat clinging to me and they gotta go!!

I’m not trying to look like some sickly-skinny super model on the front of some titty magazine! Those women are not only air brushed and not real, but to be so skinny they have to not eat real food and not take care of their health but worry more about image.  This is not about what other people think of me – or even what Presten thinks of me.  Presten loves my body the way it is but he also wants me to be healthyI don’t love my body (or the way it looks right now anyway)!  I want to be healthy, not skinny just healthy.  Plan and simple you shouldn’t have love handles on your derrière and believe me I do, I just hide those handles with very good pants!  Just because you don’t see my fat doesn’t mean its not there!

In addition to all this, that 200 lbs I weighed before all this was pure fat (and bones) but very little muscle.  When I lived on the farm with my parents I worked very hard doing hard labor and weighed a healthy 160 lbs and could carry a large bag of chicken feed over my head for fun. I felt good.  I looked good.  I liked the way I felt and looked.  After my emergency c-section with Serenity (2 years ago) I spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for the pain to go away and the scars to heal.  I felt miserable and I could literally feel my muscles deteriorating.  Where I had nice muscles before now lies fat and flab and little tiny muscles barely enough to lift my 40 lb child up in my arms.

So I want you to understand I may not be morbidly obese but if you could really see me – the real me that hides under my clothes – you would agree that I need this.  Be supportive.  When I’ve lost the fat you will look at me and say, “Wow I didn’t realize how fat you were until you lost it all!!” and man I will look great and feel great about myself.

At the risk of making this extremely long I would like to say that don’t we do this with our spiritual bodies?  Don’t we cover up our sins, our crimes, put our skeletons in our closet and try to make people believe that we are perfect?  We put our best foot forward, our happy shiny face on as if to say, “Love me. I am perfect.”  I’m not saying we lie or anything.  But how many of our “friends” really know us the way God knows us?  God knows every single bad thing we have done and still loves us!  The dirty, ugly, stinky, yucky skeletons we hide from everyone else he sees and still loves our inner being anyway.  To me that makes His love so valuable.  It also makes those few relationships where the person is truly intimate with you – not physically I mean but with who we are – so very, very valuable.  I share all of myself with my husband and my parents.  I hide nothing from them.  When I sin I confess to them.  When I have struggles I share those with them also.  And even knowing my worst mistakes they still love me.  I think it is valuable to have people like that in your life.  People who remind you that you are not the sum of your mistakes.  The you they love is so much more than that. That person is who God loves.

Have you embraced His love and shared you true self with Him lately?

xox

Oh! and P.S.

This diet program is going very well for me. I’m am feeling really good now that I weigh 170 lbs!! Only 20 or so more to go.  Trust me, I need it!!

Dieting is paying off

I am now down to 170 lbs from 200 lbs.  I feel great about how much weight I have worked off and I am really looking forward to working the rest off.

Today went rather well.  I am getting toward the end of my months worth of food but still have quite a bit left.  I’m SO GLAD I didn’t eat the stuff I like first.  Then I would be left with nothing but the stuff I hate now.  Instead I made myself eat the stuff I didn’t prefer more often and I saved the best for last.  So now most of the meals I have left are the good stuff, which makes this long-haul much easier!

I’m ready to start exercising.  I have more energy (YAY!) and have felt pent-up energy that I just want to work out.  I really enjoy doing “aerobic dancing”, especially Carmen Electra’s videos. ;)  Its fun and it works!  I lost 15 lbs rather quickly last time I did the videos on a regular basis.  So I am really hoping adding this in will help.  I intend to talk to my Health Coach about adding it in soon.

It has been a bit tough not cheating but I have stuck to the diet rather well.  I am finding myself craving pizza rather often and cant wait to sink my teeth into a veggie pizza asap.  But working my weight off is well worth waiting to eat pizza.  Imagining being healthy really helps!

Well I’m off to bed soon!

xox

Day Two-ish: Goodbye fat!

Skinny pants here I come!! In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if in the end I am too skinny for my “skinny pants”!

I weighed in today and have lost 5 lbs despite not doing everything perfect.  Can I celebrate with some cake? haha! Just kidding… I’ll celebrate tomorrow with a Chocolate Mint crunch bar instead. :)  But I am totally thrilled even if its only 5 lbs.  If I lose 5 lbs a week I will have lost 20 lbs in four weeks and then 40 lbs in 8 weeks and at that rate (though its bound to slow down at some point) it will only take me three months or less to reach my goal.  I don’t have my hopes too high.  I know weight fluctuates and a plateau happens tot he best of us.  But I am confident in my abilities.  Honey, if I can squeeze an 8 lb baby out with NO DRUGS (and no pain tolerance either) after 20 hrs of labor and 45 minutes of pushing than God sure can help me reach my desired weight! Having a baby was tough.  This is a breeze…  And just think, when all this fat is gone I can finally consider baby number 3.  Cassie continually reminds me that I need to stick to my diet so I can have her another sibling.  In fact, she has been a super mini-coach.  Presten taught her a little bit to say to me if I whine about wanting sugar.  I knew he had so I tested her by saying I wanted sugar and she said in a loving yet firm tone, “Mommy do you love sugar or ME!? You need to stick to your diet so you can be healthy!”  And she sure was right. I do love her way more than sugar and if I don’t stick to my new meal plan than my old on will kill me.  I have no doubt in my mind that the old way of eating so much sugar is detrimental to my health, not to mention that it made me have serious sugar intolerance – or rather something close to diabetes if I wasn’t there already.

I charge you to seriously consider your own health.  I know that I personally would write off every soda because I “needed it” as a pick-me-up and knew I couldn’t survive the day without that bit of caffeine.  But how many things did I know were bad for me but ate them anyway.  I mean, seriously, how many foods do we eat that we know are at least not on the “healthy” list but we eat them any way. 
Consider this list:
ice cream, donuts, pizza, soda, cookies, candy of any kind, coffee, beer, really any alcoholic beverage or any caffeinated beverage, French fries – make that ANYTHING FRIED! – and pretty much anything with “McDonald’s” on it
Would any of those things be considered “healthy”?  I mean would your medical doctor (or any doctor in their right mind) recommend you consume those products on a regular basis?  Yet we do.  I know I personally consumed at least one item a day that I knew was not healthy for me.

Now here’s the real kicker: is that a sin?  Is it a sin to put in your body items that you know are doing them harm?  Isn’t that the whole argument behind not smoking or doing drugs?  We know those things are bad and the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, we should treat our bodies as such, blah, blah, blah (you have probably heard that sermon and if you haven’t I can quote it to you).  I must say this puts me in a situation I would rather not be in.  I LOVE SUGAR.  But if I know it hurts me than would God approve of me putting it in me?  Fill in the blank here: I love ___ but I know it hurts me so would God approve of me consuming it?  I’m not saying God would send me to Hell for eating a candy bar – or even for being obese.  I believe I am saved and my sins are forgiven as long as I am doing my best at all times.  But doing what I know is wrong is not my best.

Consider this Bible verse on the subject:

Romans 5: 17- 6:14 (NIV)
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.  8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.

14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

How does this verse apply?  It is talking about continuing to sin just because we are saved and our sins are covered by Christ’s blood and God’s grace.  We should instead “offer the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness”.  What an awesome visual!  Can an obese person be an instrument of righteousness as much as a skinny person? Of course!  But can their gluttony stand in the way of meeting their full potential?  Yes.  This is true for any sin.  A person who is addicted to anything – be it food, alcohol, drugs, porn, sex, TV, chocolate, whatever! – is prohibited from glorifying God to the maximum by their continued sin.  That does not mean they are worthless to God and do Him no good, for all people have worth to God and if we are saved than we are doing something for Him, and even our afflictions play a part in His will.  It is important to recognize our short comings that prevent us from perfection so that we may eradicate those imperfections and meet our fullest potential for Him and therefore serve Him to an even greater capacity.

Please understand that I am NOT telling you that if you do not quit drinking soda or consuming other such things you are sinning or going to hell.  I am merely questioning the fact that eating poorly has become as normal as washing your hair every day, or brushing your teeth, and that perhaps it is a sin and does separate us from perfection.  We so often set our health aside until it is gone and then we question, “where did it go” or “how do I get it back”.  But how often do we question, “WHY AM I SICK?” or even better, “How do I stay well so I can enjoy life to the fullest until my heart gives up from old age!?”  I want that to be me.  I want to SQUEEZE every drop of goodness out of life.  I want to enjoy every single thing that God has blessed us with that we may not enjoy in Heaven.  But I want to do it all to God’s glory and, honey, believe me this fat body aint glorifying God!  And how much more good things could I do for his glory if my body weren’t so fat and I felt better and was overall more healthy??  As it is I am lucky to survive the day!  You may not feel that miserable now but consider that if you continue to treat your body like a trash can than some day it will catch up with you, if only on the day you die!  I mean this with all the love in the world.  I fed by own body whatever I wanted – which usually was some sugary confection– and now I wish I had treated it better before I felt the discomfort of it.  And by the way, I love donuts and will miss them dearly!

I hope I have made you think or at least made you laugh.

As for my eating today: I ate nothing new today and did my very best.  I ate venison (YUM! Thanks Marlene!) with a side of asparagus, broccoli and cauliflower.  Dinner was super awesome.  I spent the whole morning at Marlene Kelly’s house and had a grand time with her family and in her nice big yard!  They are a blessing to know and I’m so glad we are rapidly becoming close friends.

Whew this was long!  But it was a bit interesting to write if not to read.

xox

Day Four: GIVE ME SUGAR AND GIVE ME DEATH!!

Have you ever really wanted something deep within you?  Not the impulsive “I want this” we often feel randomly and suddenly.  No that deep sense of “I HAVE TO HAVE THIS NOW” feeling; its almost a lustful desire for something, be it love, sex, food, or SUGAR.  I am finding that sugar had more a hold on my body than I realized.

Yesterday (day three) began great. It was tough to wake up but once awake I felt pretty great.  I ate my “meal” and got busy getting ready for my super busy Tuesday.  My Tuesdays are the busiest days of the week.  The day begins with a family breakfast  then everyone parts to get dressed to leave. We leave promptly at 8 (most days) and arrive at Daddy’s office around 8:30 or so.  Ladies Bible class and kiddos play time begins at 9:30 which leaves us an hour to fool around and chat with people at the church building. Ladies Bible class runs until about 11:30 at which point the kids and I eat lunch (almost always something from home).  After lunch Cassie has preschool from 12:30 until 2:45.  Once she is picked up we all have afternoon snack together.  After snack time I have to find something to do until dinner.  This is always something different but it usually includes car waiting time in which Wren is asleep in the car and Cassie and I just sit in the front and talk while the car is parked somewhere, often the grocery store.  At 6:30 Daddy needs to be picked up (since we currently only have one car) and then he and I have to eat dinner at some point.  We all go home, get the kiddos ready for bed and then we eat dinner somewhere around 7:30 or 8.  I try to make it a light dinner since its so late.  We watch T.V. together and cuddle then its off to bed.

But this Tuesday was much different.  The morning was the same except when I arrive at Ladies Bible Class (LBC) there awaited a tantalizing array of temptations.  We always have a nice snack during LBC provided by one of the attendees and its usually something good and often something sweet.  This particular day it was homemade two-layer lemon cake with some sort of gooey filling and creamy icing, honey dew and pineapple and lastly some sort of custard.  Hello, God, this is Maggie calling in extreme distress due to excessive temptation, HELP!!!  Did he answer?  Of course, always!  As everyone else was surrounding me with “mmm” and “ooo” sounds because the food tasted so good, I searched the room for someone to talk to.  My eyes fell upon a familiar wrapping paper that a lady was holding in her hand.  She was unwrapping a bar just like the ones I eat on my program! What a God-send!  I asked her if she was on the Take Shape for Life program and she said she was.  I sat next to her and drowned out the noisy eaters with our conversation.  I told her how tempting this meal was and she shook her head, shrugged and took a bite of her bar then said, “I love lemon cake but its alright.”  I asked her how much she had lost, "57 lbs since September”.  Suddenly the desire for sweets left me.  I remembered why I was on the diet in the first place.  The desire for sweets was replaced by something different: determination, nausea and dizziness. What? Why did I feel so awful?  I had eaten my own bar about on time (2 hrs 30 mins after the previous “meal”) so why did I feel so bad.  In a bit of a panic (I hate throwing up) I called the clinic and explained my symptoms to Leah who has been helping me with the diet.  She said she would talk to Dr. L and then call me back.  Once she called back she explained that it sounded like I was catering because of lack of sugar and if it got worse I need to come in to be checked.  As the day progressed I felt much worse.  By 12:45 I was in the grocery store with Serenity while waiting for Cassie’s class to finish.  I felt nauseous, dizzy, light headed, and felt like passing out.  I called my husband at the office and told him how I felt.  He arranged for me to come in at 1:40 and I finished shopping feeling quite disoriented.  Dr. L examined me during my visit.  He said, due to my symptoms, it sounds like before beginning the diet I was more addicted to sugar than I realized and may have been diabetic or pre-diabetic. He checked me out thoroughly and said I should be fine if I just stick with the diet and make sure to eat a often enough.

When I left the office to go get Cassie I still felt pretty bad.  The rest of the day I felt pretty rotten and didn’t get to sleep until 12:30 AM or so, which is why I didn’t post all this yesterday.

So my lust for sugar has gotten me no where good.  Sure my taste buds have been treated to amazing sugary treats, often made by yours truly, but what has it done to me?  Left me in shambles with my body falling apart at the young age of 27.  Did sugar do this to me?  Mostly yes but I did choose to eat the sugar.  Are you addicted to something?

Meal rundown:

Breakfast:
Swiss Mocha shake – hoping for a pick-me-up

Mid-Morning:
fruit and nut crunch bar

Lunch:
Chocolate shake – YUCK.  It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t something I would want to buy if I weren’t on a diet. It definitely wants as yummy as many of the other products

Mid-Afternoon:
Oatmeal raisin crunch bar

Dinner:
Lean and Green  – I had the same tomato basil pizza patty on salad that I have had before.

Evening snack
Strawberry shake – it was alright but would have been better frozen like ice cream.  Not as bad as the chocolate.

So Tuesday ended with me concluding:
If “Early to bed, Early to rise makes you Healthy, Wealthy and Wise
then
Late to Bed and Late to Rise makes you UNHealthy, Poor and UNWise!”

Hopefully I can master the former rule and leave behind the latter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As for family life:

Serenity is a terrific two year old and I love her dearly.  It is a good thing I do because lately she has been trying my patience by saying “no” to everything I ask of her.  “Come here!” I say, “no” se says.  It is not a matter of her not understanding what no means, nor is it that she loves the way no sounds and just wants to say it.  She turns her head to the side and looks at me sideways with a look in her eye that says, “what are you going to do about it, Lady?”  Don’t try to tell me that kids don’t play mind games because they do! Kids love games and they are way smarter than people give them credit for.  So I am learning more patience and learning to respond lovingly without yelling as I sometimes feel like screaming and ripping all my hair out with about the sixth “no” I hear in the day.  Its alright though because (since well before this diet) I have been losing my hair like an old dead cat!  Hopefully the diet will stop that symptom too.

As for Cassie, she is doing very well.  She was excited about the idea of e-mail but now that she has it she doesn’t want to do the “work” to read them and then reply. She does enjoy typing though and LOVE to “paint” and color on the computer.  I’m hoping to find some inexpensive but valuable computer games for her to play.  I played Reader Rabbit as a kid.  Do you remember that game?? It was AWESOME!!  It was one of those kids games that was so fun I didn’t realize I was learning.  Games like that are the best because kids WANT to play them but they are learning too.  Its like a yummy tasting healthy meal – they are eating healthy but don’t know or care because it tastes good.

Lastly, but not least, Presten: He is doing rather well.  I have been proud of how he’s been reading his Bible nearly every day and doing a blog about “what he learned”.  It has been hard for him to stick with it.  How funny it is that we value the Bible so much yet find it so hard to make ourselves read it daily.  I believe it is similar to eating healthy: we know we should but the idea of doing so is unappealing, even though when I finally do eat healthy I love the taste and enjoy how I feel.

I know these posts are a bit long.  Someone commented that I should write shorter notes because otherwise I lose my readers before the end.  Perhaps this is true but I really don’t write these blogs to rivet my readers.  These blogs are partially for me so that I can look back and see my own words speaking to me instead of someone else’s words.  Also so that someday perhaps my kids can read them and learn a little about my personality and what I went through.  I also do write so that I can teach others what I have learned but this is not so important that I am going to leave things out for fear of lengthiness.  Perhaps my posts are long but they are full of meaning and purpose to me.  If someone cannot find the meaning or purpose then they don’t have to read my blog. Simple.

This concludes my TUESDAY post which I was too busy to pose yesterday.

xox

Day three: from tired to energized!

Well today was GREAT.  I began the day feeling exhausted and grumpy but realized I hadn’t drank any water.  After drinking four or five glasses I felt much better.

I was surprised that I didn’t encounter any foods I didn’t like today, even though I tried several new ones.

I had so much energy in the after noon that I spent at least 4 hours cleaning my house.  How embarrassing that it was so dirty that I could spend 4 hours cleaning it!?  I did spend about half of that time folding clothes though.  I LOVE cleaning!! 😀

So here is my review of the foods:

Breakfast:
fruit and nut crunch bar – this tasted way better than I anticipated.  Most fruit and nut bars are a bit dry and somewhat tasteless with the fruits being mostly apples. However this bar tasted a lot like a marshmallow bar and had much more fruit flavor in the fruit pieces than most bars do.  Loved it!

Mid-Morning Snack:
Oatmeal raisin crunch bar – this also tasted totally different than I expected.  I generally do not like oatmeal raisin things but this was great.  The texture was perfect and the flavor was so much better than any other “oatmeal raisin” flavored things!!

Lunch:
Banana Cream Pudding Shake – I realized that I was eating a lot of the bars and I don’t want to run out of them before the end of the month so I decided to try a new idea.  I mixed HALF a package of banana cream pudding with HALF a package of banana cream shake and blended it with ice to make a thick milky shake.  It wasn’t awesome and definitely did NOT taste like banana cream PIE but it was good.

Mid-Afternoon Snack:
Peanut Butter Crunch bar – I intended to eat less bars but I was REALLY craving sugar so I decided to eat something I knew was sweet.  I made myself savor it and it lasted 30 minutes!  I’m proud of myself for making a four inch bar last 30 minutes.  I prolonged it by cutting the bar into eight pieces and then sucking on them instead of chewing them. YUM!

Dinner: Lean and Green (details below)

Evening Snack:
Swiss Mocha (Shake) “ice cream” – This was super yummy.  I blended the shake ahead of time and tasted it a little at dinner so I knew what it tasted like.  Then I put a lid on the “magic bullet” jar and put it in the freezer.  Three hours later I took it out, ran it under hot water just to loosen it from the sides and then re-blended it to make a sort of ice cream.  It was REALLY good and way better this way.  I was glad I tasted it before and after so I could compare the difference.  Its amazing how much difference it makes when it is cold or frozen.

Lean and Green Details:
I had something similar to the other night with the Tomato Basil Pizza Burger from Morning Star Farms.  I chopped up mushrooms and cooked them a little in garlic and water (no oil or butter).  Then I removed the mushrooms being very careful to leave the water and garlic in the pan.  I then used the left-over yellow pepper from last night (1/2 cup) and cooked it in the same pan to give the pepper a little garlic taste.  The best part about that was that after I was finished there was still water in the pan that tasted like garlic, peppers and mushrooms.  I mixed that water with 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  (I really need to buy more vinegar because that’s the only kind I have right now!  I prefer white or apple cider.)  This made a sort of dressing and after refrigerating it a bit to cool it down I used it as my salad dressing.  It was much better than I expected and I will definitely be experimenting with ways of using a sort of flavored water as a dressing.  It would be less fat, taste good and moisten my lettuce. (I HATE a dry salad!!)
Next I sliced my grape tomatoes and chopped the lettuce and made a salad.  I refrigerated my peppers and mushrooms a bit and later wished I hadn’t but I didn’t want them to wilt my lettuce.  I cooked the patty and chopped it up.  I mixed it all together with the dressing and 1/2 cup of finely shredded cheese.  It was a very good salad but I preferred having a tomato dressing like the last time.  I will have to figure out how to make a sort of tomato vinaigrette using mostly water. hmm…

When I logged the meal it was a little over on the green which was to be expected since I used four veggies instead of three but I was going for variety.  I think next time I may try 1/4 c of peppers and tomatoes instead.  I want to be able to use more types of veggies but smaller amounts.  I wonder if that is allowed…

Well it was a great day and I am so very grateful I started this diet.  I would recommend it to anyone!!  But I imagine the first few days are way harder for people who usually eat more meat and uppers.  I am just missing my sugar a bit…

xox