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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Fall is in the Air

Fall is in the Air. I love fall. With the exception of the ragweed pollen, fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler temperatures; I adore the fall colors; and I crave the fall food. That worries me a little. I LOVE all of these seasonal treats. Just today, I heard someone talking about a carrot cake Krispy Kreme doughnut! HELLO! It is calling my name. I'll just have to use my cheat days for these treats, and hope I don't make many blunders. I now sit at 38 lbs lost. I was hoping to be down by 40 by my doctor's appointment next week. Maybe if I get some more exercise in...I must find the time! Honestly, my job is something pretty new to me. Pish...I haven't worked outside my home in over 15 this is an adjustment. I am hoping that eventually I will manage my time better. It is hard to plan interesting lessons and interesting, tasty meals for my family. I'll get the hang of  it though.
I have to admit that even though I have said I'm okay losing weight at this slower pace, I do get a little jealous when I see people say things like, "I've been at this for 3 months, and I've lost 30 lbs!" Geez! I have been at this since the end of February! I guess I need some encouragement. :)
Pressing on!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I'm Still Here

I'm still here! And I haven't fallen off the wagon! :) A lot has happened since I posted last. I started a new job this month. I am the new K4 teacher at Aldersgate UM Church Preschool. It is so different from what I've done before, but I think I will like it. The kids don't start there until the 25th. Speaking of starting school, my two boys started today. My younger son is a seventh grader! My older son is a SENIOR! Hope this year doesn't go by too fast. :(

I turned 50...yep, the BIG 5...0! I had an awesome birthday! My hubby took me out to eat at a wonderful Italian Restaurant, called Travinia. Then the following weekend, he threw me a 50th birthday cook-out, complete with burgers, hot dogs, birthday cake and ice cream! Oh, and don't forget the swimming and the wonderful friends who showed up to celebrate with me! In case you are wondering...YES, I did eat the birthday cake, the hamburgers, the hot dogs, and the ice cream. I gained less than 2 pounds over the weekend, but I got it right back off! So happy about that!

 I even ate well on vacation. In July, we went to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island, Tampa, Florida. We stayed in St. Petersburg where we enjoyed St. Pete's Beach too. We all had a great time and enjoyed different aspects of the trip. I enjoyed the beautiful beach and not having to cook! The boys enjoyed all the roller coasters, and my hubby, well...he enjoyed just being away from work with the family! 

I have been eating well lately. I LOVE veggies in season. I have consumed many tomatoes, peaches, and watermelon! :) And ya know what? I've lost 36 pounds!  So happy about that!

Oh....before I sign off, I just have to share my son's amazing senior pictures...or at least a couple of them. What a bittersweet time of life! I am so proud of him, yet so sad that he will only be with us a little while longer! :(

Pressing on!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

What Are You Doing?

This is the burning question. Whenever I post my weight loss progress on Facebook or other places, I am always asked at least a couple of times, "What are you doing to lose the weight?" Well, here it weight loss process!
Back in February of this year, I don't even remember why now, but something clicked in my head. I somehow found the desire to just get started. I really wasn't that concerned with the pounds or how fast or slow it would come off. I just wanted to eat healthier, hoping I would feel better and perhaps some time in the future...look better. I was really inspired by Gina Neely's (Food Network star) weight loss success while doing the George Foreman Weight Loss Challenge. I started incorporating that plan, and my diet has evolved from there. I have read just about every healthy eating and weight loss article I could get my hands on. I have tried to pull together the common denominators. With all the research out there, it's hard to know what to do. Is it low fat, low carb, Paleo, vegetarian, vegan, or something in between? Do I count calories, fat grams, sugar and carb grams? There's so much conflicting information out there. So I have just tried what works for me. And when I say, "works for me," I am not saying I have it down to a science, or that I have seen super quick success, but I have seen changes in me that make it all worth it.
At breakfast, I always have some protein, some fruit, and maybe a vegetable. If I have bread, like an English muffin, it is whole grain. I do try to limit my bread, mainly because it's a weakness. Cereal doesn't do it for me. My favorite breakfast is one scrambled egg with scallions and sometimes some sauteed spinach inside a whole wheat English muffin smeared with Laughing Cow onion and chive spreadable cheese. On the side, I will always have fruit. The protein and the fiber keep me full, and I never snack before lunch. I don't need to.
For lunch, I will do a whole wheat tortilla smeared with a dab of fat free sour cream, with salsa, grilled chicken, and about a tablespoon of shredded cheese (2% cheddar). I will have a peach or grapes on the side. I drink lots of homemade lemonade sweetened with Stevia. Finally, for dinner, I will grill chicken or fish, served with steamed veggies. Sometimes, I will make a salad with ground turkey, black beans, corn, salsa, and fat free sour cream on top of Romaine. Sometimes, I'll eat whatever I've cooked for my family, but I will adapt it for me...for example, I will have brown rice instead of mac n cheese.
One thing is for sure, we buy a lot more fruit. At Costco this weekend, I bought 8 lbs of grapes. read that right! Eight lbs of grapes. We froze half and put the other half in the fridge. They are terrific snacks or a side with lunch, instead of chips, etc...I have bought peaches, mandarin oranges, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries....and I've enjoyed it all!

 I have learned during this last few months that I definitely have trigger foods....foods that can cause me to eat out of control. For me, it's definitely the carbs like garlic bread,  biscuits, and pancakes; sweets like creamy icing on sugar cookies, and also pasta salads. Just writing those words makes me drool. Seriously!
NOT a cake! This is watermelon "iced" in FF Cool Whip!
I have not totally said no to any food. I think moderation is the most doable for long term success. I define success as healthier, not just skinnier. So every Friday night (sometimes Saturday instead), I have a cheat meal, as I call it. Usually it is something I have been craving. My latest one was a burger, fries and shake from Steak N Shake. My granny asked me, "Can you lose weight eating stuff like that?" I said, "As long as it's just once per week...not every day." This coming weekend, I have a friend coming over to swim and scrapbook. We are having pizza and a couple of cupcakes. This method keeps me on target because I have a treat to look forward to, and I am told it also shocks my metabolism into gear again.
And exercise?'s so important. In fact, my asthma doctor told me that even if I didn't diet, that I should get about a half hour of exercise in each day. Well.....I have surely fallen short of that. Some days I just can't make myself do that walking or get on that bike, but I have noticed that as the weight has come off,  29 lbs to date, I am generally more active. I am trying new things! For example, I actually went kayaking with the family yesterday. It was so much fun! Talk about an arm/shoulder workout!  We have been searching out places to walk and bike as a family too.

I'm excited for the future. I know there will be challenges ahead, but I have more confidence....and I will need it. In August, I start a new job (Yikes)!  I am a little nervous, but I am excited at that same time. Looking forward to what lies ahead. Pressing on!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

I Think I Can....I Think I Can....

Simply stated, it has been a rough day. First of all, I had a yard sale, most of which was trying to sell my mom's wardrobe....clothes, shoes, purses, the whole shabang!! Well, guess how much money we made? A whopping thirty dollars! Yep...that's right, a pitiful 30 dollars. Before anyone tells me I should be thankful for the thirty dollars I didn't have before, believe me when I say that I am thankful!  It was just rather disappointing after all of the preparation and work I had put into it. The day just continued to go down hill. It consisted of bickering between the boys, between me and my husband, a friend hurting my feelings....and I could go on and on. Do you know what I wanted to do? I wanted to eat! I wanted to eat carbs! But the difference this time is that I realized that was not the fuel I needed in my body. Yes, I was tempted to scrape the remaining noodles off my son's plate and finish them, but after one bite, I threw it in the trash. It's the small victories, I suppose, that have gotten me slowly and steadily to a 25 pound weight loss! I am proud of that, but I have many lessons yet to learn.
By the way, I will have another yard sale. There were two reasons why it was a flop. One, I didn't advertise, except by signs at the road. Second, it was just too dog-gone hot today! But I digress. Since I was pretty good today, I am going to go make myself Dr. Ian's Chocolate Razzy Smoothie. 

I got this from Rachael Ray's website.

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
4 tbsp fat free vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup of skim milk
3 ice cubes
Blend until smooth!  

Sounds yummy, huh? Pressing on!

Dinner last night...Hungry Girl Taco Salad!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Through the Struggle

Obviously I haven't blogged in about a month....and what a difficult month it has been. As far as my weight goes, I am exactly where I was a month ago. I have maintained, but not lost. Part of this is because of my struggle with emotional eating. My mom passed away on the 23rd of May. Even though she had been sick for a couple of years, and I'm glad that she is no longer suffering, nothing could have prepared me for the pain. She is in heaven with Jesus, and I know I will see her again one day.
But I tell you, despite having been on a healthy eating journey since February, I have not gotten a handle on the "grab something to eat" feeling whenever I get stressed or upset. Granted, the things I have been eating are generally healthier, but I have eaten too much of it. Oh, and for the sake of being honest and transparent, I have eaten off plan. Let's see, there was that cheesecake at the Beta Club induction, the bread from the table at Outback, the cake that all the nice ladies from my dad's church brought after the funeral, and I could go on. It's sad that I remember all those things so vividly! I really don't want to obsess about food. I just want to get healthier!
One step I have taken is to become more active. I have even gotten my family involved. Within the last week, we have taken our bikes to North Augusta's Greenway, on two different days, and we have had so much fun! Here are some photo highlights from today, when we also took Subway subs on a picnic.
This place is so beautiful!
Notice the red face! This happens every time I exert myself and get hot!

I have also been riding my bike and walking around my neighbor hood. We have a really good place to exercise. It just gets boring doing it alone sometimes. Thankfully, my family has been joining me more and more.

I have also been trying to make our meals more healthy. This is a salad I enjoyed this past week. I used Romaine and spinach, red onion, corn and edamame, Tyson's Grill ready Southwestern flavored chicken, and a sprinkle of 2% Mexican cheese. With a couple of tablespoons of lite ranch dressing, it was fabulous!

Oh, and my husband has helped me plant a potted herb garden on my back porch. I love that when I need parsley or cilantro, I can just got get some right outside my door. :)

So I guess I will keep trying, and eventually it will become second nature, right? I keep telling myself this food I'm eating is fuel, and I want to put the best stuff in so that my family gets the best out of me! Pressing on!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Staying on a Healthy Path

What a busy and stressful two weeks (this week and next). I have so many things going on and so many people depending on me. I think the schools are trying to cram everything in these two weeks of May. lol
I did have a wonderful Mother's Day. My two boys painted terra-cotta pots and put beautiful flowers in them. Ed cooked breakfast (of heart healthy pancakes with sugar free syrup). I must admit, since paying more attention to what I am eating, I am discovering what things I may have to give up eating. My trigger foods are definitely biscuits and pancakes (those carb laden type things). Once I start, I have a hard time stopping. He then got us KFC roasted chicken for lunch with green beans and potato wedges. Well, I made corn instead of eating the potato wedges, but I did eat one biscuit (VERY hard to eat just one)!
Then supper was leftovers. I was worried about gaining, because I haven't gotten a lot of exercise in due to the business lately. I didn't though. As of mid morning today, I have lost 21 pounds! :) Really happy. I am enjoying eating healthy because not only do I have more energy and feel better, I like finding healthy dishes to try in the kitchen. This morning, I had one egg scrambled with spinach and green onion (YUM), along with a chicken sausage patty (about 60 calories) on a whole wheat English muffin. So what if I have been doing this since March and have only lost 21 lbs.
Photos taken by Wes Hennings at Stevens Creek Church
Mother's Day 2014
If I am in it for the long haul, I have to stop focusing on the number. I genuinely want to be healthier. One of the things I don't mention much is that I have asthma. Less than a year ago, my allergist sent me to a pulmonologist because she suspected that I may have COPD. Well, that scared me, especially considering I'll be the big 50 in August. He said, though, that my breathing AND snoring would improve if I would just lose some weight. He was right, of course. I hope to improve my asthma symptoms as well as lower my blood pressure meds.
Oh...I took prom pictures of these two gorgeous people this weekend. I was pretty happy with the way they turned out. Not bad for an amateur! 

Pressing on!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Second Goal Met

Things are crazy busy here with prom tonight, band stuff going on, etc... Just got back from visiting with my mom for Mother's Day. But I wanted to take a minute and let you know that I did in fact, hit my second goal of 20 pounds lost! SOOO happy! I plan to keep pressing on!