Pieces of Me

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Made to Crave—Chapter 7 “I’m Not Defined by the Numbers”

  1. When I feel like I don’t measure up, I either kick into withdrawal mode or “I have to prove myself” mode.
  2. If I could clearly hear God’s words to me throughout the day, I hope I would hear things like: “You are worth this Rose.  You are worth the pain and struggle that you are going through to get your body and mind healthy again.  You are worth every minute of time you spend.  No matter what though, I love you.  You’re not alone in this journey.  I am with you every step of the way, just remember to lean on me.”  As far as food and weight issues are concerned, it would be nice if I could hear him say, “Put down that soda and grab your water.  You don’t need that chocolate.  How about some fruit?  It’s okay that you are stressed, but why don’t we have a talk instead of you reaching for that junk?”
  3. I know that I have everything I need from God in order to overcome my struggles with food.  I know that with all my heart.  But I don’t always believe it.  I’m still learning to completely and totally depend on Him during even my biggest struggles.  If I could completely embrace this truth, I know that my relationship with food would not be the struggle it is every day.  And little by little, I know that changes will be made and I will win this battle.
  4. How do the numbers on the scale impact my self-worth?  In all honesty, even though I tell myself it’s not a big deal, I am devastated when the scale doesn’t move in the direction I am working for.  It breaks my heart to work so hard for something and not experience the results.  Often times I forget that regardless of the scale, as long as I am really committing to the changes I am making, I will eventually be at a healthy weight.  It’s not going to happen overnight.  I cannot yet make the statement, “I am a Jesus girl who can step on the scale and see the number as an indication of how much by body weighs and not as an indication of my worth.”  I know that my perspective is changing daily.
  5. Self-defeating thoughts or hurtful comments from others that routinely run through my mind when it comes to food and my weight:   This is a very personal and difficult question for me to answer.  Mainly because although I have a lot of support around me, some of those same people are also enablers or constantly trying to get me to take a break in one area or another regarding this journey.  Some don't accept that I have finally decided to completely give this journey over to God.  I know that when I turn to Him, He's going to lift me up and help me do what may seem to be the impossible.

I've made it all week without a single ounce of caffeine.  I've drank water, caffeine free unsweetened tea and a little diet lemonade.  I've survived mostly on water.  I'm proud of myself, but each day, I have had to actually pray to God to help me grab a bottle of water or actually help me walk to the fridge and get a glass of water instead heading out to get a soda.  The one thing I learned is to constantly have a bottle of water next to me.  First thing in the morning I fill up a bottle of water and start drinking.  Anytime I head to the kitchen, I take that bottle with me and refill it.  #1 it's too hot to drink anything but water, and #2 water is going to help me with my progress.  And it's going to help me stay hydrated.

But I digress, these same people who encourage me some days, try and get me to take a break, cheat, not worry about it on other days when it is convenient for them.  And at this very point in my life, it's not okay.  I'm finally sticking up for myself.  I'm NOT going to go to a Happy Hour right now.  I don't need it.  I probably won't do it once I've lost the weight.  I don't like the way alcohol makes me feel.  I choose to go to certain places at lunch during the week because I have my children with me.  With a 5 and a 7 year old, it is not going to be any fun or enjoyable for me to go hang out at a restaurant.  They are going to whine and complain about having to sit still, and I'm going to be miserable because I'm worried about how my kids are behaving.  I make these choices because I know they are what's best for me right now.  In a few years, my kids may be able to just chill out at a restaurant and not drive me and everyone around me crazy.  But right now, they aren't.  And I want to enjoy my time with whomever I am spending it and so I choose to take them to a kid friendly place.  I may wise choices when eating out.  Probably better when it's somewhere where I have to order my food and take it back to the table with me.  And right now, it’s even better if I just stay home and cook my meals! Smile 

When it comes down to it, now that I want this.  And want to turn to my God to help me achieve this huge goal in my life, I’m going to have to make sacrifices and block out things that make me uncomfortable.  I’m also going to have to face the discomfort.  I can’t face it alone, but with the Lord’s help, I will certainly be able to make it through.

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Made to Crave—Chapter 6 “Growing Closer to God”

    1. I know for a face that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something permissible but not beneficial.  Last year, I fasted for the first time in my life.   It was for 72 hours. It was the first several days of Lent.  I had never done anything so extreme before, but now I am thankful that I did because the spiritual growth I experienced over the time period in which I fasted was amazing.  Instead of food, I turned to the Lord.  Whenever I was hungry, I turned to the Lord.  There were some times when I was physically experiencing hunger pains, I cried out in agony to the Lord.  Sometimes I would sit down with my bible and just pray that it take my mind off of the food that I wanted so badly.  It was not easy, but after the 72 hours, I felt like a completely different person.  I had relied on the Lord’s strength, not my own, to get me through a few difficult days.  Looking back over this fast, I know that if I would turn to the Lord whenever I feel desperate for something to eat that is not good for me, I can totally not eat it.  Denying myself chocolate or ice cream or sodas is something that would not be the easiest thing for me since I have turned to it during my struggles with emotional eating.  If I could just turn to the Lord when I have those emotional meltdowns instead, I’m sure that my entire self would reap the benefits.   Of course, this is easier said than done.  I’m really going to work on it this week.  My kids were stressing me out and instead of praying for a little patience a whole lot of peace, I went straight for a soda.  Not my best moment.
    2. Self-control – an area in my life where I experience self-control?  It’s 7:30 in the morning so that may be the reason I cannot think of one.  I’m so tired and exhausted from a fun filled evening with friends.  I have really good self-control regarding finances, when I want to have it.  And I have great self-control with time management.  With regards to eating, I do really well with portion control and am not one to over eat, but I fully believe that no matter the control one has over portions, if you are eating junk, you’re not doing anything good for your body.  Regarding food and growing in self-control, I know very well that I have to plan out my meals – every day, each week, all month long.  This way I am in control of what I eat, when I eat it and where.  Planning leaves little room for change and makes it easier for me to say no to going out for dinner or grabbing something on the go.  I know that it’s the baby steps I need to get back to.  Also journaling everything eat.  And lately, I have been writing anything I put in my mouth down.  Which isn’t always easy, but it gets the job done. 
    3. I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced the Holy Spirit nudging me in connection with food choices.  Sometimes I have that voice in the back of my head telling me that I could choose something healthier.  I’m guess that was the Holy Spirit.  In time, I need to pay attention and have a two way conversation with the Lord and actually listen for his response. 
    4. I’m sure that food has consumed my thoughts at time more than it should causing me to miss opportunities to receive spiritual nourishment.  As I continue to walk along this new journey of turning myself toward Him in times of what I feel are desperation, I know that the Lord will bless my life.  He forgives me for the times I’ve turned to food instead of Him.  And He wants to change me.  And I want to be changed. Change my heart of oh God.  Make it ever true.  Change my heart oh, I want to be like you.  You are the potter, I am the clay.  Mold me and make me this is what I pray.  Change my heart oh God.  Make it every true.  Change my heart oh God.  I want to be like you.
    5. I am convinced that I am somewhere between spiritually well fed and spiritually malnourished.  I have never intentionally turned to food over God.  I don’t think I’ve ever really put the two together.  I know that the Bible says, "Faith comes by hearing the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) Just as you need physical food for your body, you need spiritual FOOD for your faith to grow.  Yet I’ve never thought that I might turn to food in times where I should be turning to God. 
    6. There are certain foods that are very difficult for me to walk away from.  And this is a clue that I am being ruled by food on some level.  I’m doing my best to make healthier choices instead of eating junk. Like I’ve said before, chocolate is my big issue.  And sweets.  I’m trying to turn to fruit instead of the sugary treats that have no health benefits.  Coca-cola is another one.  We don’t have it in our home.  I don’t allow it because I would drink it all day.  I’m going to do my best to keep water with me at all times and in the moment I feel my weakest, I’m going to drink some water.  If I continue to make these choices and then turn to the Lord in my moments of weakness, I know that I can beat this battle.  It’s no longer about just my physical self.  It’s time to put on my spiritual warfare and turn to the Lord to help me win the battle of the bulge.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Made to Crave–Chapter 5 “Made for More”

    1. 1. “I was made for more” is a spiritual truth that unlocks great power for Christians.”  In light of my past failures and current struggles with food, this truth is incredibly empowering.  It really is a reminder that I was not made to sit on the couch, watch TV, and eat junk. I was not made to constantly worry about everyone else.  I was made in his glory, to share his love with others and be a reflection of that love in my day to day life.  I’ve been so caught up in loving others that I have forgotten to love myself.  Now don’t get me wrong, I am a Jesus loving gal.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do to share that love with others.  Even my friends who choose to not believe in Him as their Savior.  Even those who question His love.  I still love them.  That love never changes.  And I still pray for them daily.  My prayer is that they will experience His love the way I experience it.  But I cannot always concentrate on everyone else.  I have to take time to love myself as He loves me.  How fair is it to beat myself up every day because I didn’t exercise or I forgot to track my points or I ate too many pieces of chocolate?  Just like Christ wants us to love others and accept them where they are at in their lives, he wants me to love myself.  I was created in his image and for his glory.  I just have to keep reminding myself of it.
    2. When I introduce myself to someone I don’t know, I usually say, “Hi, I’m Rose.. . .” and then proceed to define myself depending on who I’m with or what I’m involved in -  “I’m Cayden’s mom.  I’m Stephen’s wife.  I’m the Music teacher at Preschool.”  Sometimes I just say, “Hi, I’m Rose,” and leave it at that.   Apparently, most of the time I feel like I need to identify myself with my circumstances.  Of course, I don’t ever say, “Hi, I’m Rose, the girl who needs to lose 50 lbs. and is tired of being so unhappy with my body.”  But sometimes, that’s exactly who I believe I am.
    3. Defining myself based on past or current circumstances: Rose, the one constantly compared to her sister while growing up.  Rose, the smart one.  Rose, the girl who can’t do anything fun because she believes in God.  <—All my identity growing up.  Now –> Rose, the girl who lost the weight before but can’t seem to today.
    4. A new identity – I don’t have to be that girl anymore.  I am set free!
        • Rose, the forgiven child of God. (Romans 3:24)
        • Rose, the set-free child of God. (Romans 8:1-2)
        • Rose, the accepted child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:2)
        • Rose, the holy child of God. (1 Corinthians 1:30)
        • Rose, the made-new child of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
        • Rose, the loved child of God. (Ephesians 1:4)
        • Rose, the close child of God. (Ephesians 2:13)
        • Rose, the confident child of God. (Ephesians 3:12)
        • Rose, the victorious child of God. (Romans 8:37)

                      5.  Ephesians 1:17-20

      • Be persistent: “I keep asking.”  I have absolutely no reservations about asking God for wisdom and power each day to help me through this new journey.  Persistent prayer will be a constant reminder of how much I really do need to rely on Him.  I cannot do this alone.
      • Embrace a true identity: “Glorious Father.”  Untruths about my identity I have struggled with – I can’t do this alone.  I will always be overweight.  I’m not supposed to be the thin one.  If I can embrace the truth of my identity as a child of God – really embrace it – I know that my life will change completely.  My heavenly father loves me and want me to be a fit and healthy person both physically as well as spiritually.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, I this life is just waiting for me.
      • Find deeper reason: “So that you know him better.”  The Lord will use my journey towards healthy eating as a way I get to know Him better because my strength will rely on Him.  In times of weakness, he will make me strong.  And the Holy Spirit will help me to live my life according to the fruit of the spirit – especially in regards to self control.
      • Discover s hope and power like no other: “That the eyes of your heart might be enlightened.”  In the past I have felt that everything depended on me – my willpower and determination – completely on me.  As I’ve read this book, I’ve realized that the power isn’t going to come from within me.  It will come as I rely on the Lord – the same power that raised Jesus from the dead will help me through this.  I just have to be still and trust.  It won’t always be easy, but as I go through this journey, I know that my relationship with the Lord will strengthen and grow as my waistline gets smaller!

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Made to Crave–Chapter 4 “Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat before Thinking”

    1. When a friend experiences success with healthy food choices and losing weight, I usually feel encouraged and inspired by her example.  I guess somewhere deep down I feel a tad envious, but for the most part I am super excited for her!  And I don’t think I’m envious as in jealous, if I do have those feelings.  I’m pretty sure I’m angry at myself for not sticking with something and getting the same results.  I am always super happy and encouraged by others doing well.  It helps me to remember that this is real life, and every day people are successful at losing weight and eating healthy.  It’s a lifestyle change that is exactly that, a LIFESTYLE change.  Not some diet that I can follow 1/2 the time and the other 1/2 expect to get the same results.  It’s about changing within, not just changing my body. 
    2. Complete this sentence “I do/do not want to invite a friend to help me on my journey to healthy eating because two are always better than one when it comes to this type of situation.  It’s important to have someone to rely on and call on when frustrated.  It’s always important to have someone to share joys and success!
    3. I have always thought that accountability was crucial to my weight loss success.  I’ve always had friends to lean on when I would hit my lowest point emotionally.  Of course, those people have changed due to circumstances, relationships, etc.  It’s really hard to have an accountability buddy who although she’s been your best friend since high school, she’s already gone down this road and is still at a healthy and ideal weight.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the support she gives me.  It’s me that feels like she doesn’t understand where I’m at anymore.  And in all honesty, she doesn’t, because she’s not right there with me.  But I still count on her.  I still love her and accept her support.  And I know it’s completely genuine.  As far as making accountability part of my eating plan, I love the fact that at the end of the week, once I’ve weighed in, I can contact C, my cousin who I have decided lives way to far away from me, and just cry out to her in anguish because I really struggled or in celebration because I’m finally understanding.  And the same goes with her.  If she’s had a bad week, it’s much easier for me to say, “Ok, what did you do differently this week?  Where can you make changes?” And the realization come from exactly that – (hypothetically) eating out 4 days of the week and not exercising at all.  Having 2 drinks at happy hour.  Not drinking any water throughout the week.  These choices will cause the scale to fluctuate.  But since this journey began – and I know the end result is to be a fit and healthy person – right now it’s a spiritual journey – and I have to have peace regardless of what the scale says.  And thankfully, I have His grace, because the small gain on the scale, isn’t going to be a huge deal in the long run – as long as I remember to continue to turn to him for strength.
    4. I have accountability buddies, weight loss buddies, and friends.  Their support is what keeps me from just giving up all together.  There are some who are more supportive.  Others who think they are supportive, but they really aren’t, and then even others who are walking right along with me, who come to me when they need encouragement and I know I can continue to come to them as well.  I’m very blessed. What kind of person do I want to be accountable to?  It needs to be someone who will be a consistent rock in my life.  On my good days or bad days, not just someone who want to build me up and say, “Who cares what the scale did this week?  You haven’t really been following the program all that well.”  I need someone (and have someone) who will say, “Okay, so you gained some this week.  Look back at your journal over the week.  What did you do differently?  Did you eat out more?  What did you eat when you ate out?  Were you making good choices?  How about exercise?  Did you find time for that?”  That’s the kind of person I need.  And someone to remember me that I’m not in it alone at all.  And in fact, I cannot do this without Christ.  He’s my rock, my salvation, and will carry me in times when I don’t think I can go any further (like during Sunday’s 5K).  I just have to have open communication lines with Him.  I can’t try and block him out.

    Made to Crave–Day 3 “Getting a Plan”

    Okay for the record, I started reading this book on Tuesday.  That was the only day that Stephen was actually off work (for Cayden’s PreK Graduation) and able to run to the store to pick it up for me.  In a week, I have ready a ton of chapters.  There may be double posts from me because I am lending the book to a friend once I’m through, but I want to get done with the reflection questions as well before I give it to her.  Of course, my blog may seem a little crazy as I reflect since I’m not copying the questions (pretty sure that’s not allowed, even if I site the source), but all in all, I think everyone will get the gist of what’s going on.  And I’m trying to write in complete sentences reflecting the question like we all learned in school back in the day.

    Before I reflect on chapter three, I wanted to share that on Monday I started tracking my food again.  On Tuesday I started reading the book.  And from that day forward I have really paid attention to what I’m putting in my mouth – liquid or solid – and haven’t had a soda all week.  I’m drinking tea, water, and lattes (yes, lattes, but not every day, and it’s the only way I’ll drink coffee, which does give me a couple milk servings).  I’m also stopping to think and/or pray whenever I get a craving.  I haven’t been able to stop eating chocolate completely, but I’m not gorging on it.  In fact, I’ve had a couple chocolate covered almonds in the past few days and that craving seems to subside.  And that is only if I don’t stop to say a prayer.  When I’ve prayed for some self control, the Lord has always just given me something else to worry about or do instead of eating crap.  I have not, however, had a soda at all this week Smile 

    And so this week, although I had been up from my lowest weight (this time around), I have managed to bring it back down to where I was when I got the tattoo (which is now a total of 16 lbs.).  And I re-lost 2.9 lbs.  I’m ready for the number to be lower, but I’m not freaking out about it.  I’m not stressing and freaking out about it anymore.  There’s no reason to allow satan to ruin my progress and my plan. 

    And that brings me to the reflection questions for Chapter 3.

    1. When I hear the word plan, I immediately think of a list, a calendar, or a chart.  I’m not really a planner.  I’m learning to be one, but when I hear the word plan, I don’t really get all excited and start to create this amazing outline of things to do to get it done.  I’m not really a go with the flow sort of gal, but having a fine tuned plan isn’t something I dig much either.
    2. There are areas in my life where planning does work well for me.  It helps me to plan out our weekly meals.  When I don’t, we tend to overeat or eat all the bad stuff.  It also helps to have a calendar to help me plan for the week.  Plans regarding my particular eating habits are exactly what I need to help me get through each day.
    3. Is there a relationship between food and secrets?  For me, not really.  I don’t really hide my eating habits.  Everyone knows that I’m addicting to Coke and Chocolate.  One day I hope to say I’m addicted to carrots and celery, but that’s doubtful.  As long as I recognize the areas that I need help, I think that I am going to do well. 
    4. I know what eating plan works for me.  I’ve done Weight Watchers in the past and had amazing success.  Of course, I was 100% committed to following the plan to my benefit.  I’m going to continue to follow the WW plan and really stay on top of things.  I know it won’t always be easy, but I do know it will be worth it.
    5. I am 100% certain that if I continue to follow the WW program, and I mean really and truly follow the program, including exercise, I will be successful.  I know it won’t happen right away.  I won’t be at a healthy weight immediately, but I will get there in God’s time.

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    Made to Crave–Day 2 “Replacing My Cravings”

    1. 1.  Vicious cycles.  In the past, I have to admit that I used to follow the WW program, weigh in, have a loss, follow the WW program, weigh in have a loss, kind of follow the WW program, weigh in, have a gain, not follow the WW program, weigh in, have a gain, follow the WW program, weigh in, have a loss, etc, etc.  Or I would weigh myself every day.  One day I’d have a loss, so I’d go ahead and have that extra cookie.  Weigh the next day and have gained.  Be really strict.  Weigh the next day, lose.  Stray a little.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  And I’d get frustrated with myself.  I wouldn’t understand.  I just would get angry.  Like I’ve mentioned before, I have mastered the art of maintaining.  Unfortunately, it’s at the wrong weight.  And obviously, I wasn’t 100% committed.  I didn’t have the I WANT to.  I just had the I don’t want to be here anymore.   I certainly don’t fall into those practices anymore.  I know how badly they make me feel.  Now, I really get into an exercise routine and do really well.  But then I get sick, or someone gets sick, or I get busy.  There’s no excuse for my excuses.  I do have to say that I’m trying.  The biggest cycle I get into is not going to the grocery store enough so therefore we don’t have any food and instead of going to the grocery store, we eat out.  That really has to stop.  When I cook at home, I eat better, I feel better, I live better.  I need to get over the convenience of fast food – or eating out.  I just need to plan better, get more organized, and learn to freeze meals!
    2. What reasons motivate me to eat healthier?  Well, for one, I really want to be healthy.  I want to be happy.  And I want to be a role model to my children.  But the truth in the matter?  I’ve decided it’s vanity.  I really want to know that I am at a healthy weight and look good.  Tough words to type.  But it’s true.  I’ve been that fit and healthy person who has a kid and still wears a size 6.  I’ve been that mom.  How do I respond to the statement, “I had to see the purpose of my struggle as something more than wearing smaller sizes and getting compliments from others….It had to be about something more than just me” ?  Well, it certainly makes me think.  And it makes me realize that I really do need to rethink my wanting to lose weight.  It’s not just about me.  It can’t be. 
    3. In the past few weeks have I turned to food for any of these reasons?  Comfort – yes, Reward – yes, Joy – no, Stress – yes, Sadness – yes, Happiness – no.  If I had relied on God instead of turning to food, I know that I’d probably have more peace in my life.  And I’d certainly weigh less Smile 
    4. I think it is a spectacular idea to use my cravings to prompt me to pray.  Never once have I been let down by praying to the Lord.  No matter what the circumstance, I always feel better after I pray. 
    5. I would really like my quick approaches to work when it comes to weight loss, but I know deep in my heart, and because I’ve been there, that slow and steady is the way to go.  This is the beginning of dismantling my “tower of impossibility” one craving at a time.  Time to turn away from food and get on my knees.

    Made to Crave–Day 1 “What’s Really Going On Here?”

    Personal Reflections

    1.  One weight loss company (HMMM, I wonder what company that could be.  This book is a little dated.  LOL  Since they don’t use the Hungry anymore) personifies craving as a little orange monster that chases us around, tempting us to eat unhealthy foods.  Take a moment to reflect on your own experience of craving, recently and over time.

    • My craving isn’t a little orange monster.  I think my craving is a huge can of Coca-Cola and a huge Hershey’s Kiss.  You know, like in the commercials?  I remember a commercial of a can of something that used to run around.  I cannot even remember what the commercial was for. I think it was recycling or not littering, but regardless, that’s what I see whenever I get a craving for a Coke.  As for Chocolate, a human size Hershey Kiss, pretty much doing the same thing the Coke does.  Miming.  Playing Charades with me.   Taunting me.  It runs around and hides behind trees and things, peeking around corners, sneaking around, just trying to get me to give in.
    • If I could talk to my craving, what would the conversation sound like?  Well, I don’t think that the craving would every say anything.  It would just sneak around and say “Come here” with it’s little finger.  If I could ask it questions, they would be, “Why is it so hard for me to say no?”  “How is it that I can go for days, if not weeks without touching you, but then once I have a taste, I just can’t seem to stop?”  I’ve never thought of it as a drug before since I’ve never used drugs, but I am nearly convinced that the feeling I get when I have a taste of Coke or Chocolate is the same feeling someone who is addicted to crack/or whatever gets when they just have a “taste.”  My entire body starts to tingle.  And the tingle feels good.  And I want more. 

    2. & 3. I do find myself agreeing with the idea that “God made us to crave.”  In my past, my cravings have been teaching children – whether they be teenagers or three year olds.  And not just teach them, but teach them about the love of Jesus.  I remember being so passionate when I taught religion to my 5th grade students.  I remember being led to tears when leading youth.  And still today, I know how much doing so through song or music makes me tingle all over just like the feeling I get when I have a Coke or eat a piece of Chocolate.  I had never thought of that before.  Or put the two together.  Whenever I share the love of Jesus with people (children in specific), my heart is full of joy.  And when I hear children then telling others about how much Jesus loves them (even three year olds), it makes my heart overflow.   Of course, my heart doesn’t overflow with joy when I have a Coke or eat a piece of Chocolate.  It just leaves me with wanting more.  I am never satisfied completely.

    4.  The fourth reflection questions for this chapter are very, very personal.  I feel I can share, but I’m certainly not an open book for all to read.  But I’ll at least share the gist of the questions with you.The Bible describes three ways satan tries to lure us away from loving God: cravings, lust of the eyes, and boasting (1 John 2:15-16).  How over the past 24 hours or few days have you been tempted in similar ways (as Eve and Jesus)?  Of these temptations, which is most difficult to resist?  Which is easiest?  And why?

    5.  I have used Scripture before to defeat temptations.  I used it all through high school.  I guarded my heart and mind with the Word and was able to resist many things.  I have never thought to use it to address my unhealthy eating patterns, but I do think it would work.  The concept is a lot like fasting.  When you fast, you are supposed to take the time you would use to do whatever you are fasting from and turn to the Lord.  Turning to the Lord instead of giving in to my craving is probably one of the most brilliant ideas out there.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Journey to Goal–Week ???

    Well, I fell off the wagon.  I don’t know if I'd call it a wagon, per say, but I certainly did stop tracking my points, exercising regularly and eating better.  I didn’t however, stop going to my WW meetings.  And the scale has gone up and down and up and down, well you get the picture.  It hasn’t got up by much.  It hasn’t gone down by much.  I’ve pretty much mastered the art of maintaining, again.  Which isn’t a bad thing, except my goal is to lose the weight, right?  At least I know that when I do lose the weight, I will be able to keep it off.

    It all started with a little tattoo.  It’s on my ankle/foot.  It signifies my losing 15 lbs.  At least I’m still down 15 lbs.  After I got the tattoo, we had Easter and then a boy’s birthday, and the Mother’s Day, and then….the excuses could go on and on.   For a week and a half, I actually did Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, and by the end of the the 1st week, I felt stronger, thinner, and empowered.  But then, I started to feel bad, and I mean bad.  My entire body hurt.  My head hurt.  If anyone touched me, I felt it 1,000 times.  I went to the doctor.  I had strep.  STREP!  I know I’m a preschool teacher and when little ones in my classroom have strep, it’s possible that I will get it, but I don’t think I’ve had strep since Hannah was born.  Since before, really.  But I had it, and it brought me down.  I was in bed for days.  And I still haven’t gotten the strength to work out again.  I’m hoping by this weekend.  Because I am bound and determined to do that 30 Day Shred Video for 30 days.  I’m actually excited about it.

    But my little illness reminded me of how much food (chocolate and coca-cola to be specific) are still my source of comfort.  I haven’t gotten over that hump yet.  And it’s so frustrating.  I had gone a significant amount of time without a coke, but the moment I get sick, I need one.  I physically ache for one.  I crave one.  And the chocolate?  Well, doesn’t chocolate make everyone feel better?  And since we still have leftover chocolate from Easter, I just couldn’t not eat it, right?  (Go ahead, roll your eyes).  But that’s me.

    This entire scenario got me talking to my fabulous cousin, Cara, who has been struggling with her own weight loss journey.  Except, she’s not struggling anymore.  She’s a ROCKSTAR, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.  In our conversations, she recommended a book she’s been reading to me.  And that got me thinking, and wanting to read it.  I’ve been doing some light frivolous reading of The Vampire Diaries.  As suspenseful as they are (which is hard for me to ready) they are really proving to me that I need to be reading.  In a week I’ve read two and a half of them.   My brain CRAVES it.  And it really is exercise, right?  I’ve also been reading on my Kindle App another book, It Happens Every Spring by Gary Chapman and Catherine Palmer (which is free at the moment on Amazon – for the kindle).  Talk about completely different from The Vampire Diaries.  But I am enjoying it as well.  And it makes for waiting things a bit easier – when I can pull up the app and just read. 

    Anyway, Cara recommended a book to me – Made to Crave.  I had Stephen pick it up for me yesterday, and let me tell you, it’s amazing.  I’m already starting to look at things differently. 

    Each chapter has reflection questions, and I’ve decided to keep track of them on my blog instead of writing them down in a journal.  I don’t have a journal – I’ve never kept one.  But now I see my blog as a journal (be it public) and I think it’s a good place to start. 

    The premise of the blog will be the same.  I’m journeying to goal.  But the blog titles will be different – Made to Crave Week 1, etc. 

    I’m excited to begin this journey and change my life (both physically and spiritually)!

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    Journey to Goal – Weeks 9 & 10

    Pardon me for not blogging last week.  I woke up early Saturday morning with the stomach bug from you know where and I wasn’t able to do much of anything but lie in bed or puke.  Sorry for all the details, but I don’t think I’ve been that sick since I was #1 pregnant or #2 a kid.  Needless to say, I’m not pregnant – that’s been verified by a doctor, and now I’m still recovering from that super bug.  It’s been day 8, and I am still not eating a proper diet.  The BRAT diet and I have become fast friends, and I’m really getting tired of eating bananas and white bread. 

    I did not make my weigh in last week, but I did get on the scale at the doctor’s office on my weigh in day and was down 2.8 lbs and at my 1st Weight Watchers starting weight.  I hit a goal, even being as sick as I was.  This week, I made myself got to my meeting this morning even though I haven’t followed program in a week due to this little bug I seen to have.  I’m not getting sick anymore, but I still can’t eat anything but bananas, crackers, and toast.  When I do, I get very nauseated, and life gets interesting, to say the least.  The meeting was awesome.  This week I lost another 1.2 lbs so my total weight loss is 16.2 lbs.  I’m so close to MY 10% it’s crazy.  And then only a few more lbs until my Weight Watchers 10% (remember, I went back to Weight Watchers after I had lost 3 lbs on my own.  Regardless, at some point this next week, I am headed out to get the first three daisies of my tattoo.

    Hoping that my stomach will cooperate so I can get back on following the good heath guidelines.  I’m very excited about the Weight Watchers Walk It Challenge.  I will be signing up on pay day to participate in this event and making fitness a priority as well as eating healthily.  I hope you’ll join, too!

    Sunday, March 27, 2011

    Journey to Goal – Week 8

    At the meeting this week, we got our little “Weight Watchers Weekly” Pamphlet.  On the back on these are ideas, challenges, tips for us to use throughout the week.  This week we are supposed to find a photo of ourselves at a weight we loved and think back.  This isn’t hard for me to do at all.  I can vividly remember being at a fit and healthy weight back in 2005 because becoming pregnant with Cayden.  And I’m so ready to be there again. 


    I’m supposed to reflect on what I was doing, how I was eating, my activity, and lessons learned from experience. 

    1. I was faithfully following the WW Program at the time.
    2. I was eating well.
    3. I was swimming nearly every day (so yes, I was more active)
    4. Lessons learned? Below we will explore some of those lessons, but it all comes back to Weight Watchers Works (I’ve been saying it for years).

    It’s been 8 weeks since I started attending Weight Watchers meetings again.  In 8 weeks I have been really inconsistent in the weight loss area.  I lose a few, gain a few, lose a few, gain a few.  I’m praying that the cycle has ended for me.  This week I weighed in and lost 1 of the 2.2 lbs I gained last week.  In 8 weeks, I’ve lost 4 lbs.  That’s not very impressive, is it?  But it shows me that when I follow the program, I lose weight.  When I pretend to follow the program, I don’t lose weight and possibly gain.  It’s that easy.

    The meeting this week was really good.  There was a member there who was struggling with her journey download.  She has hit a point in her journey where she is now the lightest she’s been in her adult life and she’s afraid of the next phase.  And she’s been at .5 – 1 lb from her first 10% goal for a few weeks now. 

    What does that tell me?  It tells me that she hasn’t been on program for the past few weeks.  And it reminds me that I have not been following the program as I should.  I am so known for following program, having a good loss, pretending to follow, gaining, following program, having a loss, etc.  But this week, I’ve realized that in order for my weight loss to be consistent and real, I have to follow the program.  I can’t pretend I’m following the program and expect results. 

    The past week wasn’t difficult by any means.  In fact, I planned out my week in writing, planned out our meals, and actually stuck to it.  Two days were a little off, but only because #1 – Hannah got her cast off on a day that I worked so so getting dinner ready was nearly impossible.  We ordered pizza on that day.  And #2 was a day we ate leftovers.  I stayed within my Points Plus target, and saw a nice loss on Saturday.  I cannot wait to do it again this week. 

    My menu is as follows for the week.  And this time I remembered to plan for things like meetings, etc.  I’m not usually a calendar, planning person.  But seeing how much easier it made life has made me a believer.  I’m sticking with Hungry Girl meals this week and one from Green Lite Bites. 

    Sunday Meal: Leftovers – Taco Meatloaf

    Monday: Hungry Girl’s Chicken la Fea w/ Green Beans (2nd Recipe on the Page)

    Tuesday: GLB’s Pasta Pumpkin, Sausage & Spinach (Didn’t get a change to make this last week)

    Wednesday: Hungry Girl’s Not-Your-Mom’s Tater Tot Casserole (I made add some cheese to this in some way)

    Thursday: Work all Day, Hannah has piano, I have a PTA Board Meeting, and Cayden’s Pre-K Performance.  We will be eating out today.

    Friday: Hungry Girl’s Loaded Hot Dog Casserole – I’m not too thrilled about this one, but it’s worth a shot and I know the kids will eat it.

    Saturday: Weigh In Day :)  Joslin’s Art Auction Spaghetti Dinner

    So there you have it!  I have a feeling that all this planning is what is going to make me stick to THE Plan.  I know I can do it.  And I’m happy to be here for anyone who needs meal ideas and a little inspiration :)

    It’s also time for me to step up my activity level, even if it is just going for a brisk walk in the evenings for 30 minutes.  My goal this week is to do it at least 3 times this week (although I’d love for more). 

    I am thankful for those in my life who are actively pushing me to continue on my journey.  I have several friends and family members who are absolutely amazing.  Although I know I could do this on my own, it’s so much easier with those who love me.

    Monday, March 21, 2011

    Journey to Goal – Week 7 – Weekly Dinner Menu

    Spring Break is over, and so is my week of eating poorly - heavy on the junk.  I just couldn’t get focused this week and it totally showed on the scale with a gain of 2.2.  But I’m not going to let that define me.  In fact, it has me even more determined to make it up this week on the scale.   But although I knew I was going to have a gain, I made myself face the scale at my weekly weigh in (although I totally slept through the meeting and got there late).

    I’m 3.6 lbs from a 15 lb weight loss and I am bound and determine to hit it by the end of next week.  I’d like to say this week, but I don’t want to disappoint myself if I don’t hit it.  But I’d really like to be down another 8 lbs by Easter.  That gives me a little over a month – if I lose consistently and actually stick to the program, I could find myself 20 lbs. lighter (over all) by Easter!! 

    Thankful for my girl, M who has the same goal as me.  We want to treat ourselves to new outfits by the end of April.  It’s totally doable.  Now it’s just time to hold one another accountable.  Glad she has my back!  Excited about keeping in touch with cousin C as she begins her journey to goal.  I’m glad she knows she can call/text at anytime.  I just want to be an encouragement to others.  That is what keeps me on track!

    I bought an awesome weekly fill in the blank calendar by Mead.  Filled it out for the week, and am fairly certain that life may actually be easier now that it’s all out on paper.  I have my 1st photo shoot of the Spring this Saturday, and a week full of new “chores” for the kids to try out.  Along with a new rewards system.  Should be a great week!!

    My breakfast and lunches are pretty much the same all week – Weight Watcher Smoothie with 1 cup of milk and a banana and then a Lean Cuisine or Smart Ones.

    Dinners look good for the week:

    Monday - Hungry Girl’s Kickin’ Chicken Pot Pie

    Tuesday – Hungry Girl’s Fiber-ific Nacho-rific Stuff Chicken (I use all bran instead of Fiber One and omit Taco Sauce <—especially because I don’t know exactly what that means)

    Wednesday – Hungry Girl’s Crazy Good Taco Meatloaf <-- This is LOADED with veggies

    Thursday – The Simplest Slow Cooker Beef Ever (with Quinoa Noodles and a Veggie)

    Friday - Pasta with Pumpkin Sausage and Spinach

    So there’s my menu.  Not sure if I can post the HG recipes so I’m not.  But I have her first book, although I’m about to send it off to C because I believe she’ll get more use out of it than I am.

    Have a great week!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    ABC’s of Me

    Joining the blog world and completing this meme just for fun.  On a gloomy overcast day with a pounding headache and still a couple loads of laundry left, I needed something to make me smile.

    ABC’s of me

    A: Age: 33

    B: Bed size: Queen

    C. Chore you hate: Dishes and Putting away laundry

    D. Dogs: Three – Pokey, Buster, Sesi

    E. Essential start to your day: Breakfast

    F. Favorite color: Purple and Yellow

    G. Gold or silver: Silver

    H: Height: 5’4”

    I: Instruments that you can play: Guitar, Piano, Clarinet

    J: Job title: Mom, Preschool Teacher

    K: Kids: Hannah (7) and Cayden (4)

    L: Live: Austin, Texas

    M: Mom’s name:  Eileen

    N: Nicknames: Rosie, Ro, Sweetie

    O: Overnight hospital stays: Both Kiddos, Gall Bladder Surgery in 1997

    P: Pet peeve: Laundry soap drips on the washer

    Q: Quote from a movie: “Actually, I've always had a rather extensive vocabulary, not to mention a phenomenal grasp of grammar and a superlative command of syntax. I simply chose not to employ them.” Uh-Huh, little Rascals

    R: Righty or lefty: Right handed

    S: Sibling: Little Sister, Heather

    T: Time you wake up: Between 6:15 and 6:45 am

    U: Underwear: Yes ?? Bikini ??

    V: Vegetables you dislike: I don’t think I dislike any vegetable that I can think of

    W: What makes you run late: Not getting up early enough

    X: X-rays: I’ve had many from foot to teeth

    Y: Yummy food you make: Chicken and Dumplings

    Z: Zoo favorite animal: Elephants

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Too Much Chocolate

    Never fails, I take the kids to the movies and I eat 500 calories in chocolate (not sure that’s quite accurate, but it was so much that all I want to eat for the rest of the day is fruit and veggies).  There was peanut butter involved as well – so at least there was some protein, right?

    I’m still on the try 10 new foods kick.  I was supposed to do it in a week, but it didn’t happen.  I think I got 3 of the 10 I wanted to try.  Tonight I made Butternut Squash Fries.  So yummy.  I didn’t use as much cooking spray as it says to use, so I’m calling it 0 points instead of 1.  And I ate the entire batch all by myself.  Of course, due to my lovely chocolate indulgence, all I have available left to eat is fruits and veggies. 

    Tomorrow I am making Pork Cutlets and Roasted Beets for dinner.  So thankful for GreenLiteBites.

    I’m done with my weekly points and it’s only Tuesday.  My goal for the remainder of the week is to actually track everything I put in my mouth.  I’ve really been slacking and I know that the scale will reflect that if it continues.

    Made it through the entire week without a soda!  Yay!!!

    Saturday, March 12, 2011

    Journey to Goal – Week 6

    This week was a good week for me, personally – in more depth, spiritually.  The Lenten Season started this week and although as a child, I dreaded the 6 weeks before celebrating Easter, now I long for it all year.  I love this time of year – the time for reflection and remembrance of the amazing sacrifice He made for us all.  Not that I don’t remember it all year long, but seeing others around me reflect and doing it together is just uplifting to me.

    This week my weight stayed the same.  Although I’m a little bummed, I know why I stayed the same and am quite frankly, shocked, that I didn’t gain any weight this week.  I ate horribly.  And now it is out there for all to see – including my Weight Watchers Leader.  Shame on me!

    But that’s okay, about midweek I realized that I was sabotaging all I’m working for and all I am struggling to accomplish.  Early in the week, I was having a “woe is me” moment, and I let it really get to me – emotionally – which leads to me making poor eating choices. 

    But a sweet friend, Modesty, swooped in and helped me see that my life isn’t about feeling sorry for myself.  I’m not going into the details, but it involves something I have been trying to change for years and have finally come to the realization that it’s never going to change and it’s not worth my time and energy anymore.  God knows the situation and if it is His will, maybe one day it will be different.  But He certainly doesn’t want me living my life centered around it and the negativity it brings me.  He wants to be the center of my life.  So he sent me an amazing friend who came in and helped me schedule a few days worth of meals (until payday to which we will attempt a week at a time) and show me that I am worth it and there are those around me who think it!

    But I digress. I got my week turned around and what could have been a gain, turned into a maintain, and I know I’ll lose next week! But this week, I am determined to not focus on the scale and celebrate the non scale victories in my life:

    • It’s Lent – and for Lent I’m giving up two things – sodas and gossip.  I’ve gone three days without a soda (and three days without gossip).  That’s a big deal for me.  I am addicted to Coca-Cola.  I pray in 40 days, it will be out of my life.
    • It’s Lent – and Stephen has decided to give up fried foods for Lent.  This means that our family will not be eating out or eating as poorly as we have in the past.  And I’m thankful because Stephen is on board to try anything and making a lifestyle change himself.
    • I tried three new foods this week.  I still have several more, but I’m not giving up.  I will get those 10 in!
    • I have officially retried my favorite pair of denim capris and am wearing the smaller size pair all the time!!  Maybe they will become my favorites!!
    • My kids have begun to choose things like apples and bananas for snack over chips, crackers, and granola bars.  This means that I must be making the right choices – because children mimic their parents.

    I began a new Bible Study this week – Breaking Free.  I am doing it on my own, but I’m still spending some time in prayer and study each day.  My relationship with the Lord is growing deeper, and this is causing my friendships with others to blossom and grow.  And I am blessed to have those special people in my life!

    Excited for life this week.  Planning on getting more active – it’s been a couple of months, but I’m ready to start running/walking again.  And this time, as a family!  It’s time to refocus and remember, if I act the way I want to be, soon I’ll be the way I act. (Thanks, Pam!)  So join me and “show your strengths; shout your successes; you’re braver than you think!”

    My Weight Watcher Weekly challenges us to try a little Positive Self Talking this week.  Say to yourself  “I have the tools I need to lose weight.” 

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Austin Swimming Lessons

    If you haven't signed your kiddos up for Swimming Lessons yet this summer, then this is the post for you.

    For the past two years, Cayden has taken swimming lessons with Ms. Cathy of Ms. Cathy Swim Austin.  She is utterly amazing.  When Cayden was just three years old, she had him swimming across the pool UNDERWATER in just 4 lessons.  Last year, we enrolled him in a refresher course, and he was swimming by the end of the 1st lesson.  Now, he just loves to swim!  We will put him in another refresher course, for safety reasons, but he's actually looking forward to swimming lessons with Ms. Cathy.

    She teaches a Safety-First Survival Swim Program and swim lessons, which means that any child that can crawl should be able to swim to the side and get out of a pool if they fall in.

    Check out her site and sign your kiddos up - if for nothing else, to save their lives in the case of a water emergency!

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Journey to Goal – New Food #1

    This week’s WW challenge (I guess it’s technically last week’s, but I go to a Saturday meeting) is to try 10 new foods.  I went to the store with this in mind and picked up some Brussels sprouts, some Orzo, Israeli Couscous, some Mango that is what I would call a “hybrid” a mix of a Mango and something else, and whole fresh beets.  I know that’s not 10 things, but it’s a good start.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with 1/2 of the stuff, but whenever I’m desperate for a healthy recipe, I head over to GreenLiteBites, a web site with the goal of posting healthy recipes that not just kiddos will love but also a “picky” husband.  Now, I wouldn’t say that I’m married to a picky eater, but there are some things that he isn’t crazy about and therefore, my kiddos aren’t crazy about.  Of course, there are some things the kids will eat that he won’t touch.  Regardless, my sweet hubby has always been willing to try anything I’ve cooked. 

    Tonight we’re having Pork Chops with a Simple Mushroom Gravy and Simply Roasted Brussels Sprouts.  I cannot remember the last time I had Brussels sprouts, but I’m convinced it’s when I was a child, so as an adult, I am accounting this as one of my new things to try this week.  Both of these recipes are husband and kid approved so I’m hoping that Stephen and the kids will look past the mushrooms or the stigma behind Brussel sprouts and be pleasantly surprised with the results.

    I was hoping to make it to tonight’s WW Meeting with my dear friend, Stephanie (it’s her 1st weigh in!!!), but it’s just not going to happen.  There’s no way I can get Hannah to piano, cook dinner, pick up Stephen, truck over to the meeting (with kids and hubby in tow since we only have one car) and come home for a new daily tradition of a family devotion and have the kids in bed by 7:00 pm.  So unfortunately, Stephanie and I will have to compare notes on another day (maybe over coffee/tea on Friday??? ) Just let me know!

    I’ve very proud of myself yesterday who ate one piece of cake and a 1/2 cup of ice cream at our nephew’s birthday party.  I had salad for lunch w/ grilled chicken, and for dinner (with our small group) we had grilled pork with AMAZING green beans (green beans, peanut oil, garlic, salt and pepper – cooked on High heat [Thanks Shannon and Luke] and fruit and a baby croissant.  I think the only problem I had with anything yesterday was soda.  I drank way too much of it.  But that’s okay because I’ve decided that I’m giving up two things for lent – one personal and one physical thing – and the physical thing is soda.  The personal thing is for another blog.  Ash Wednesday is in two days! 

    Saturday, March 5, 2011

    Journey to Goal – Week 5

    After several weeks of gain and  minimal loss last week, I’m happy to say that when staying on plan all photo(6)week long (that that includes eating every one of my 49 Weekly Points Plus) I have had a loss of 1.6 making my grand total of 13.4 lbs.  I’m getting closer and closer to my first trip to the tattoo parlor.  And although the thought of that makes me nervous, knowing that I am so close to losing 15 lbs. makes me ecstatic.   And I did have my new leader give me a 5 lb. star for my book since my first leader didn’t bother to acknowledge that I had lost 11 lbs.  Technically, according to WW, I’ve lost 11 lbs total.  They have my starting weight at less than what I weighed when I started going to the gym.  So my numbers will be a little off (by 2 lbs) in my booklet, but I set it up online to be at my highest weight so that my weight loss includes all weight.  These are the little things that probably don’t matter in the end, but right now at the beginning, are very important to this girl who is doing her best to follow the program.  So I was rewarded today with a 5 lb. star and my booklet feels more complete to me.  LOL

    I don’t feel guilty for switching meetings.  I’m actually going to try and go on Monday evenings with my friend, Stephanie, who just joined WW, but for some reason I refuse to weigh in at night so I’ll continue to go on Saturday mornings, bright and early.  If anyone wants to join me, just let me know :)  Those who are close to me get a text at 7:30 am with my WI results.  I’m sure they are thrilled about that.  Hehehe

    I’m adding a few pages to the blog – my goals and eventually a pictorial progression of my weight loss.  I did this before on my little free webs page, but I need to do it for current pictures.  I’m also going to add a Weight Loss Progress Page with just my Weigh In information.  Anything that will hold me accountable to you all!

    This week’s meeting was all about mixing up your menu  - and the challenge for the week is to eat 10 things you’ve never eaten before.  What do you think I should try?

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Journey to Goal - Weeks 1-4

    On January 21, I made my way back to a Weight Watchers meeting.  Since October, I have been working really hard on eating well and exercising.  I even joined a gym.  I lost a total of 7 lbs on my own in three months.  Sounds like a lot, but in reality, it wasn't enough for me.  I heard about the new PointsPlus plan, talked to my doctor about nutrition, and decided to give the new plan a try.  I have done something to my left elbow (it's either tennis elbow or a torn/injured radial something or another).  After a couple weeks on Celebrex, several trips to the doctor, and a shot of cortizone, it's still bothering me.  But I was told to only do aerobic activity.  That being said, I love to run outside (not that I have done so recently), so I put my gym membership on a 6 month medical hold, and headed back to WW (with best friend in tow - thanks, Crystal).  Although I'm not crazy about my leader, the Friday morning meeting is the only one that works for my scheduled.  And in the past month I have lost a net of 4.8 lbs (it was 6.8 but I gained a little after not tracking 100% or following the good health guidelines).  But I'm back on track now.  With a total weight loss so far since October of 11.6 lbs, I am 3.4 lbs away from going and getting the first part of a tattoo I have been wanting for a while.

    At WW meetings, you get a little goal star sticker for every 5 lbs you lose.  I decided many years ago that I want to get a small daisy tattoo for every 5 lbs I lose.  I'm going to go every 15 lbs and get three added until I have 12.  My ultimate goal is to lose a total of 60 lbs - possibly more, but I want my weight to be back to what I was before I got pregnant with Cayden.  I was at goal and remember being so happy with life because I was healthy.

    They also have "rewards" they give you based on goals they set for you.  The first time I did this, you got a key chain at 10% (which I carried all these years until it broken this past november), a magnet at 25, 50, 75, 100 lbs, and little charms for 16 weeks, goal, life time.  This time around, I'm not sure what all the rewards are, but you do get a different sticker for different things.  And at my 2nd WI, I hit my 5% goal and got a special sticker to put in my reward booklet.  Let's celebrate!!

    I have outside support from my meetings, my hubby (who will probably also reap the benefits of WW eating), and two of my best friends, Modesty and Crystal.  I know I can do this.  I watched myself lose 6.8 lbs before thinking I could work the system.  Matter of fact is, you can't work eating healthy.  You either do it, or don't.

    Thankfully, I have 29 points a day and 49 weekly points (I'm sure I'm not using the correct WW terms, I'm still learning this new plan).

    Here's to an awesome week!  I'm looking forward to checking in on Friday!