Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Walk the Talk Tuesday

Okay, I've decided it's pointless to try and keep this short!! A week of eating and exercising (hopefully!) is 21 meals, a handful of snacks, and several workouts ~ that's all there is to it! I certainly don't expect you to read through it all, but I appreciate your willingness to hold me accountable if you do!!

Tuesday ("half" day)
Breakfast: nothin' but coffee and skim milk.
Lunch: slice of toast with margarine and Nutella; three chicken fingers with barbecue sauce. (I know, bizarre combination.) One small-ish apple.
Afternoon snack: More coffee and skim milk with Alicia in the afternoon ~ decaf this time!
Supper: one small piece (shared with a daughter) Pork Roast, one small microwave baked potato w/fat-free sour cream and margarine, two large helpings of frozen corn from our last year's garden.

Half-hour of lawn-mowing, followed by a 30-minute, 2-mile walk.

Wednesday ("liquids" day)
Breakfast: skim milk and coffee
Lunch: Kool-Aid-like juice (hotdog lunch at school. Didn't have any hotdogs or ice cream)
Afternoon snack: one leftover chicken finger and half a piece of toast with peanut butter and Nutella. I was DYIN'! Normally, on liquids days I have a lot of fruit juice during the day and a hot tomato juice for lunch, but guess who hasn't gone grocery shopping yet this week?
Supper: 1-1/2 servings EACH of Beefy Jalapeno Corn Bake, Salsa Rice, and cucumber salad. One LARGE glass of ice tea.

Thursday (normal day)
Breakfast: one slice toast with margarine and honey, 1 cup skim milk, coffee
Lunch: 1/2-cup serving of Kraft Dinner macaroni & cheese, 1 cup ice tea

Spent 45 minutes setting up the "pop-up" camper. Which isn't so much popping as it is cranking, pulling, yanking, pushing, hammering, more cranking, straining, more yanking, some ripping and tearing (the canvas has definitely seen better days), and a bit more cranking. And LOTS of sweating. And mumbling under my breath. Cooled off with a large cup of homemade iced coffee.

Supper: Large serving of Chicken Pie and a regular helping of coleslaw. One cup ice tea.

Friday: (fasting day)
Breakfast: coffee, 1 c. skim milk
Lunch: 5 bites of garlic breadstick (the odd bits left after rolling out and cutting them) dipped in meatsauce (It's a fasting day, but I have to mow lawn this afternoon and it's wicked hot again, so I know I can't do that on an empty stomach. Figured that out LAST week and decided not to repeat the experience.)

Mowed lawn for just over an hour. Had a leftover hamburger patty because I was dying again.

Supper: One serving lasagne, 3 breasticks, large serving corn. Two c. ice tea.

Saturday: ("normal" day)
Brunch: sliced nectarines and oranges, one serving Brunch Casserole, one cornmeal muffin with honey, half-cup skim milk, coffee.

Three-mile, 50-minute walk

Afternoon snack: LOTS of celery sticks with a bit of peanut butter
Supper: 1 small barbecued Best Pork Chop, one serving Crispy Potato Cubes, two servings tossed salad (w/crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar, and dressing made with Sundried Tomato and Oregano dressing mixed with Miracle Whip), one serving Frozen Mocha Cheesecake, large glass of iced tea, small glass skim milk
Evening snack: one bowl Creamy Dill chips, one can of coke

Sunday: ("half" day)
Breakfast: Half slice of toast with margarine and Nutella, 1 c. skim milk, COFFEE

Two-mile, 40-minute walk.

Lunch: 1 c. Lemon Chicken & Rice Soup, 2 cheddar biscuits, cucumber slices, 1 c. iced tea, 1 c. skim milk, 1/2 serving Frozen Mocha Cheesecake

Four-mile, 70-minute walk.

Supper: Half-serving lasagne, one garlic cheese biscuit, tall glass ice tea
Evening snack: two bowlfuls of Creamy Dill chips, one can coke

Monday: ("liquids" day)
Breakfast: coffee, skim milk
Lunch: 1/2 c. 5-Alive juice, one large bowl hot V8
Supper: 1 c. Lemon Chicken & Rice soup, one slice cheese toast, two extra pieces of cheddar, 1 c. ice tea, FOUR 2-bite Cinnamon Coffee Bars.

Ugh. My mid-week progress check weigh-in on Sunday morning showed I was down 2 pounds from last Wednesday, but I dunno... I seem to have been in self-destruct mode since my weekend ended and our company went home.

Be interesting to see what the scale says tomorrow.

And by interesting, I mean scary.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Looking Back to Move Forward

Philippians 3:13b-14a ~ But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal..."

How many times have you seen this verse while struggling to change something in your life? Isn't it an awesome and encouraging verse? Up until now, I've kind of always thought Paul was telling us to completely forget the past, but I've kinda changed my mind. Today I want to look at "what is behind" and why we shouldn't necessarily forget all of it.

Recently, I read through some of my past Living Well posts as well as ones written while participating in Tales from the Scales (still online, but no longer operational), and saw something that I knew was there, but had chosen to ignore ~ the broken promises. Do you have those, too? Do you even remember making them? (PLEASE tell me I'm not the only who promises to change and then promptly forgets about it!)

Do you ever look back at your New Years resolutions or the plans for change you've publicly outlined here in the blogosphere? How many of you, like me, read through them (when you stumble on them after several months!), laugh at how unrealistic they were, and then promptly throw them out and/or dismiss them? Does reviewing them make you feel frustrated, discouraged, and embarrassed?

At the end of the book of Deuteronomy, at the end of Moses' life, God taught him a song that he was to teach the Israelites, who were, in turn, to teach to all future generations.

And the song? Basically a summary of past failures, a prediction of future failures, and the resulting punishments. Fun stuff.

But God's song wasn't designed to make the Israelites feel good. It was to serve as a reminder of where they'd been, where they'd come from, in whom they were to place their hope and their trust ~ and the grace, mercy, and all-mighty power of their Heavenly Father. It was a warning of the consequences of heading in the wrong direction. God wanted them to look back and remember so they could learn from their mistakes and move forward, having corrected their course.

Past mistakes, broken promises ~ and even complete failures ~ don't need to be a discouragement. They can remind you instead of the person you once were. Looking back, I learn exactly where I failed. And quite often, I learn the why as well. And I can choose to let this discourage me, or I can choose to use this knowledge and understanding of my behaviours to fuel my resolve to change once again.

I challenge you to look back at your New Years resolutions, old blog posts, and old diary entries. Study them and determine where you went wrong. Then write out a new resolution. Don't promise to make huge changes or even necessarily give yourself a timetable. Simply resolve to be different and take one small step at a time toward your goal.

And most importantly, remind yourself of what you've written!! Put it on your fridge, on the wall beside your computer, or make it into a bookmark that you'll see every time you open your favourite book. Tell a friend and ask her to check up on you every now and again. Join a weekly or monthly blog accountability group or just post regular "keeping my promises" updates.

That way, you'll keep the promises fresh in your mind where you can actually do something about them. And the next time you look back to what you've written in the past, you'll know you learned something; that you SUCCEEDED IN CHANGING. It doesn't matter as much that you've reached the goal yet as that you've started to change. And THAT will put a smile on your face and a new spring in your step.

At the beginning of this post, I quoted Paul's words to the Philippians, but I like to put a little twist on them. I don't think he meant we should completely forget the past, but rather...

"Forgetting the mistakes I've made and the times I've failed, and remembering the promises I've made and the lessons I've learned, no matter how many times I have to re-start,
I press on toward the goal!!"

What about you? Will you look back today and decide you're a failure or will you decide to learn from your mistakes and move forward? I DARE YOU to change this week!


You Go Girl

Friday, June 26, 2009

Growing Self-Discipline

I'll admit it, I kinda failed this week. I'd planned to be able to report a loss. I couldn't.

And as tough as it is to admit it, what it really boils down to is my own lack of self-discipline. And so I had to remind myself by looking through some of my old posts, remembering some of the great advice I'd dished out in the past ~ but not necessarily always practiced. (Dang, why does that seem to happen so often??!!)

Two years ago, an old bloggy friend who doesn't blog much anymore, wrote (on the now-defunct "Bringing Healthy Back" blog):

"Most people think this is the secret to weight loss:

Less food + more exercise = weight loss

Sounds pretty rational, doesn’t it? And, for the most part, I agree that this will get you that weight loss you’ve been desiring.

But, after nearly three decades of “dieting,” I think I’ve discovered that the secret to permanent weight loss is really this:


More self-discipline + less excuses = weight loss


Self-discipline. Willpower. Self-control. Overweight people love to say they “don’t have any of this” and that is why they consistently fail - and they are probably right. If you look back at the formula I put at the beginning of this post, you’ll see that I think self-discipline is a big key to losing the weight and NOT putting it back on again.

So…if we don’t have any, the question then becomes: How do we get it?

And the answer is: We grow it.


Set one goal per day and follow through on it. It doesn’t even have to be weight-loss related. Decide you’re going to sweep the kitchen floor or take down the Christmas lights (don’t get me started!) or fold the clothes in the laundry basket. Something. Pick something each day and commit to doing it for the entire week. It could be one thing you do every day or it could be a different goal you set each day but make it and follow through with it."

And I would go one step further and say, just commit to doing it that day. Don't think about the weeks, months, and years ahead. Just promise to do that one thing today.

Tomorrow morning, make that promise again. Remind yourself that you did it yesterday, it was no big deal, and that you felt great about it afterwards.

Do the same thing the day after tomorrow and the next day and the next... you get the idea. Before you know it, it'll be automatic and then you can add another goal to your daily routine.

For someone like myself, who very quickly loses enthusiasm when it becomes apparent how much work will be involved, this kind of short-term goal setting is crucial to success.

I don't want to think about how I might still be counting points a year from now ~ that's just discouraging. But just for today? I can so totally do that!

How about you?








Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

Moderation, shmoderation...

I BLEW IT this week!!

I'm so unimpressed with myself. I had such a great week the week before, losing two pounds right before "that time of the month" ~ an almost unheard-of accomplishment! ~ and now this: a gain of 0.2.

Now, I know a fifth of a pound is very little. And if I was 15 lbs lighter, I'd be content with how I was maintaining. But I'm not IN the maintenance stage yet! I still want to lose a MINIMUM of 14 lbs before I'm going to be content and accept that weight as my body's "happy place." And even then, it will only be if, after several weeks of sticking with the plan, I notice no real changes anymore.

But I'm not there yet.

And nothing happened last week that hadn't happened the week before. Nothing really out of the ordinary. Just some out-of-control eating, plain and simple. Eating when I shouldn't have because I wasn't hungry.

Dang it.

Well, .2 lbs is not enough to get me depressed. A little disappointed, yes. And DEFINITELY DISGUSTED!!! Which means I've given myself the necessary swift kick in the pants, and I WILL be a success next week, despite the fact that we'll have company for the weekend.

Oh yes I will.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Walk the Talk Tuesday

Okay, I promise I'll try to keep this a little shorter than last week's report!!

Tuesday: ("half" day) Forty-minute fat-burning workout at 5 am. Slice of toast with margarine and Nutella, one cup of skim milk and two mugs of coffee for breakfast.

Let myself go a little in the afternoon and had some salt & vinegar chips and some iced coffee. Craved a slice of cheddar; had slice of cheddar. Felt gross afterwards.

For supper, had 1 small serving Chicken Pie and 2 good-sized servings of Mandarin Almond Salad, two cups iced tea, and one cup skim milk with one piece of Rice Krispie cake for dessert.

Wednesday: ("liquids" day) Skim milk and coffee for breakfast. One cup V8 Splash for lunch. One tall glass iced tea in the afternoon with my weight loss/Bible study partner, Alicia.

Mowed lawn for an hour. (**Note to self: if you're going to push around a lawn-mower for an hour on a sunny, 30-degree day (86F), you might want to make sure it's a day you've EATEN something. Just a thought...)

Ate WAY too much supper. Had a large helping of leftover chicken pie and TWO pieces of Rice Krispie cake. A tall glass of skim milk with dessert and a tall glass of V8 Splash later in the evening.

RE-E-E-EALLY wanted one of the Mars Bars that's still sitting in the cupboard (I can't believe they've been sitting there UNTOUCHED for a week!!), but was too exhausted to get up off the couch to go get it, so I don't know if that's really a victory or not, but I'll take it!

Thursday: ("normal" day) Well, until the meltown happened, it was normal.

Friday: (fasting day) Nothin' but coffee and water. Finished the lawn-mowing that the storm kept me from yesterday. It was a bit cooler and it only took about 20 minutes, so I didn't have the same problem I did on Wednesday!

Afternoon snack: homemade baked egg McMuffin and two pieces of Rice Krispie cake. Dang it, why should fasting days be any harder than "liquids" days??!! I just don't get it.

Sweated in the garden for about an hour, putting in the tomatoes and jalapenos. (after the little storm blew over, it stayed cloudy, but as soon as I got out there, the sun came out and started beating down again. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as I got back inside, it clouded over again!!)

Uh-oh, the Bushman brought Chinese food home for supper... Went for a half-hour, 2-mile walk afterwards.

Saturday: ("normal" day) Three TimBits (Tim Horton's donut holes ~ which The Bushman ALSO brought home last night) and coffee with skim milk for breakfast. Leftover Chinese food for lunch. A hotdog and cucumber slices for supper with popcorn for dessert (movie night with the girls) Two-mile, 30-minute walk in the evening.

Sunday: ("half" day) One homemade egg McMuffin for breakfast. Skim milk and coffee, too! Church was up at the lake today with a potluck picnic lunch afterwards ~ had a burger and taco salad. LOTS of ice tea!

Went for a half-hour, 2-mile walk and then had a bowl of "Mud Soup", three small slices of cheddar cheese, a dollop of fat-free sour cream, and two garlic biscuits.

Not my best "half" day!

Monday: ("liquids" day) Ouch. Stepped on the scale this morning to see how things looked. Still UP from last week, dang it. NO CHEATING TODAY ~ and I might be able to pull off a "no change" weigh-in tomorrow. Nuts. Coffee and skim milk for breakfast.

Mowed lawn for an hour and fifteen minutes. That should help!

One cup skim milk and a bowl of hot V8 for lunch. Two bites of a biscuit Fidget left from her lunch. Followed by two homemade egg McMuffins and TWO Mars bars at 2:30. Ugh. Guess I've had my one meal for the day. Man, I am suckin' it up somethin' fierce today! (Good thing there are no more Mars bars left in the house.)

Wow, I SO don't want to admit this. Wasn't going to eat supper because of the afternoon carnage, but ended up eating a bowl of cereal and polishing off the last half-egg McMuffin in the evening. Dang, talk about crashing and burning!

NOT a great week. I'm a little worried the scale will all-too-readily agree tomorrow morning.

Fat Woman 5

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Swing-set Workout

Found this over at Starling Fitness today. If you're like me, getting to the gym simply involves too much time and gas money, BUT, if you have a swingset in your back yard, you no longer have any excuses!!


I'm not sure I'd be brave enough to do this in a public park playground, but in the privacy of my own backyard, I think it's quite doable!!

Swinging 2

Friday, June 19, 2009

"Oops, I did it again..."

Had one of "those" days again yesterday. It's been a while since I had one of those days, which is a GOOD thing, obviously!

I'm not even sure what triggered it, but somehow, I knew it would be a problem early in the day already.

Come to think of it, maybe there is a pattern here... It seems this kind of thing often happens on my first full day of ridin' the cotton pony. I don't get PMS munchies, but my first full day of ~ well, you know ~ my lower back and legs are quite achey and restless-feeling. You know the feeling you get when you've put in a hard day's work and your muscles aren't stiff, but they ache to the point where you can't seem to get comfortable? Kinda like that. And somehow, that achiness translates to compulsive eating. Which I did.

I did okay until mid-afternoon.

Breakfast was just a small crust of toast with margarine and Nutella, one cup skim milk, and coffee. Fidget wanted an indoor picnic for lunch and chose the menu: a handful of carrot sticks, an apple (I had 1/4 of her apple plus an orange), two slices of cheese, and chips. (I had 5 Rosemary & Olive Oil Triscuits instead) A surprisingly filling lunch!

But the Mars bar I'd been craving since the day before finally wore me down and I ate it in the afternoon. I didn't scarf it like I might have done in the past, but leisurely enjoyed it over a period of about half an hour while I read. I thought, okay, this is still under control.

Supper was a hotdog with a 1/3-plate of nacho chips with melted cheese for supper. Things were definitely on a downhill slide and I was gaining momentum. So much for living my NEW normal.

Once the girls were in bed, the dam burst and the madness truly began. Random leftovers in the fridge, Triscuit crackers coated in melted cheese, another Mars bar... It was ugly, I tell ya.

But you know what's ugliest of all? (besides the toxic fumes I'm releasing today! Sorry, TMI...) The whole time ~ THE WHOLE TIME ~ I kept telling myself, "Tammi, you need to pick up your Bible. You haven't done your Bible reading yet today. Turn off the TV, pick up your Bible and spend some time with God.

...And for the love of Pete, PUT DOWN THE CHEESE!!!!"

But I rebelled. I failed to choose the hard road last night. I chose the path of indulgence and the devil got his party.

I hope he's prepared to endure a weekend of blinding holy fireworks and laser lights because...

I have confessed my sin, I have been forgiven,
and I have been purified from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9)

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day... and I'm feeeeelin' FINE! FREE!"

Good Vs Evil

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well, I was hoping for a LITTLE better, but I'm still quite happy with

TWO MORE POUNDS GONE!!!
Woo-hoo!!

Only once before ~ two brief months back in the spring of '03 ~ have I been this "light" since 1997, The Year of The Wild and Wooly Weight Gain. I'm just 5 lbs away from duplicating that particular achievement, but still only halfway to my final goal.

But I'm HALFWAY!!!!
And in just 10 weeks!

I guess that means I should probably allow for another 20 to lose the second half then, right?

I thought that sounded like a long time, but end of October/beginning of November is pretty much exactly what I'd kinda picked as a time goal in my mind. That'll give me a couple of months in "maintenance mode" before Christmas hits!!

Woo-hoo!! Rock on, Team PURPLE!!!

The Sisterhood - Team PURPLE!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Walk the Talk Tuesday

Tuesday: (liquids day) Had only coffee and skim milk for breakfast and another cup of skim milk with a large bowl of hot V8 for lunch. (Tomato juice totally grosses me out, but I find if I add some herbs and spices and eat it like a hot bowl of soup, it's quite palatable!!)

Had a very reasonable portion of Spaghetti with Tuna and Lemon for supper, with carrot sticks and cucumber salad on the side. Made baked cinnamon tortilla roll-ups (lazy cinnamon buns!) for dessert for myself and the girls, but we each only ate half because I used 10" tortillas.

But then I polished off the last of the Creamy Dill chips once the girls were in bed. There was only 60 g (2 ozs) left in the bag, thank goodness.
Yes, I weighed them. That's how seriously I'm taking this accountability thing.

Then I did two, 10-minute pilates segments. Belly and butt. For serious.

Wednesday: (half day) Kicked off the morning with a 40-minute fat-burning, standing Pilates workout, believe it or not. A slice of toast w/Nutella and skim milk for breakfast with my coffee.

Because we wouldn't be heading back into town tomorrow just for a one-hour Nursery school wind-up picnic, I asked Fidget where she'd like to eat today for a treat and she said KFC, so KFC it was. I ordered the Big Crunch Combo and ate the WHOLE sandwich!!!! None of this "eat half and save the rest to enjoy some other time" nonsense! (This totally came back to bite me in the butt. Earlier in the morning, I'd used that phrase to encourage April to decide ahead of time to control herself on her birthday! Gaaa.) I did order coleslaw instead of fries, but still. Topped it off with my remaining half Cinnamon Roll-up from last night. Guess I've had my one meal of the day.

Two small carrot sticks and one bowl of hot V8 for supper (haha, I love how disgusting HOT V8 sounds!), followed by a handful (15g/1 oz) of low-fat pretzels for a snack.

Did two more 10-minute Pick Your Spot Pilates workouts afterwards. Thighs and belly this time. Man, is my belly ever sore after this morning's workout! And my butt. And my thighs.

All in all, despite having KFC for lunch, I think this "half" day went just fine.

Thursday: ("normal" day) Started the day with another 40-minute Fat-Burning workout at 5:45 am. I'm proud to say I was a little more coordinated today than yesterday! The girls and I each had one piece of the leftover breakfast casserole from the weekend and a small cornmeal muffin with honey. YUM.

Lunch was a bologna sandwich and a half-piece of leftover pumpkin cheesecake (it's quite a thin 9x13 layer cake that serves 12, so a half piece isn't actually very much) on the picnic blanket on the dining room floor.

Supper was on the picnic blanket OUTDOORS because it really was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. I had a third of a tin of beans in tomato sauce, a handful of carrot sticks and cucumber slices, and two garlic breadsticks.

Then I push-mowed the lawn for an hour and a half ~ and I'm still not done! But after the workouts of the last two days, I just couldn't give anymore. (plus, it was the girls' bedtime) I think that's all the work-out I need for today!

Friday: (fasting day) Two, 10-minute Pick Your Spot workouts at 5:45 am. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

Finally ate supper with The Bushman at 8:45 pm! It was nice ~ eating on the couch and watching TV like we always used to before we had kids... Had a moderate serving of spaghetti and meatsauce, a large helping of cooked homegrown corn (from my freezer still!), 3 garlic breadsticks, a tall glass of homemade iced tea (which in Canada automatically contains sugar), and a cup of skim milk with the LAST half-piece of layered pumpkin cheesecake.

Saturday: ("normal" day) The Bushman made breakfast today! I love Saturdays because he usually does. I had one fried egg (cooked on a griddle, so there was no added fat for frying), a 3" piece of leftover barbecued Mennonite farmer sausage, a slice of toast with margarine and honey, and a cup of skim milk. And coffee. ALWAYS coffee.

Half-hour, 2-mile brisk walk, followed by the remainder of the lawn-mowing, which took me another half-hour.

Hubby fried fish for supper ~ YUMMMM! ~ and I ate "several" pieces. Also had a moderate helping of Hashbrown Casserole and cucumber salad. And a hunk of Rice Krispie cake made with MARS BARS instead of marshmallows for dessert. It was a larger meal than normal, but considering we ate only at 7 pm and I hadn't had a single morsel since breakfast, I think I did well once again.

Sunday: ("half" day) Half slice of toast w/margarine and Nutella, half-cup of skim milk and coffee for breakfast.

For lunch, one slice of leftover toast with two slices of cheddar cheese, two cups iced tea, and a forkful of my mom's most delicious pickles, followed by a 2-mile, 30-minute walk in the blistering 29-degree heat ~ woo-hoo!!! (That's 84F for the Celsius-challenged. And don't laugh, that's about as blistering as it gets up here in Manitoba! We're not accustomed to such!)

Were invited out for supper to friends' home ~ had a 3-bone section of barbecued ribs, half a medium-sized baked potato w/a small amount of margarine and real bacon bits, a serving of peas, and two helpings of strawberry spinach salad w/low-fat poppyseed dressing. And a chunk of yummy frozen strawberry/whipping cream kind of dessert!

Had planned on doing two 10-minute workouts after hubby left for the week, but he ended up only getting off the driveway at 10 pm, so I just didn't.

Monday: ("liquids" day) Couldn't quite bring myself to do a 40-minute fat-burning workout this morning, so I opted for "belly" and "butt" 10-minute workouts instead.

Coffee and skim milk for breakfast. Hot V8 in a bowl, cold V8 Splash in a cup for lunch. One slice of cheddar cheese at about 5 pm to keep me from nibbling like crazy while making supper.

For supper, one moderate helping Hashbrown Casserole, two chunks of leftover fish, and the remaining cucumber salad (all from Saturday night). One piece of Mars Bar Rice Krispie Square for dessert.

Two more 10-minute target work-outs before bed ~ "thighs" and "belly."

And with that, I'm pretty confident that I'm lookin' good for weigh-in again tomorrow!!!!

How 'bout you? How did YOU stay accountable and stick with your plan this week?


Scrawny 2

Monday, June 15, 2009

Well, who'da thunk it?!

You know what I realized this weekend? My eating habits really HAVE changed! I guess that's partly why the Bible study is eight weeks long. I've heard it said many times that to form a good habit (or break a bad one) you need 28 days. The Woman of Moderation study gives us twice that ~ 56 days ~ and maybe that's one reason it felt fairly natural to just stick with the recommended eating plan, even after the study was over.

Any diet I've tried in the past has always been a relief when it's "finished." Because then I can go back to enjoying myself.

Clearly, with this eating plan (see more about it on the sidebar) I haven't NOT enjoyed myself. It's easy to stick with because I don't have to deny myself anything. Nothing is "off-limits."

How many of you have "had" to give up fats, sugars, carbs, red meat, etc., in order to follow the rules of some sure-fire, 100% satisfaction-guaranteed-or-your-money-back weight loss method? You know what the apostle Paul has to say to Believers who buy into these kinds of "diets?"

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. {Colossians 2:20-23; emphasis mine}

Abstaining from desserts or pasta completely might sound wise, and it works for a while, but it simply isn't something anyone can do perfectly forever. These methods almost always fail because they are based on one narrow idea.

Sugar, in and of itself, isn't bad. Carbohydrates, in and of themselves, are not bad. It's the OVERINDULGENCE in either where the problems arise.

This weekend, I was in two seperate situations where there was food ~ SNACK food, not just boring healthy stuff! ~ in front of me, and BOTH TIMES, I noticed the conspicuous absence of the impulse to automatically take it. It was there, I saw it, knew it would taste good, but because I wasn't really hungry, I didn't think much of it. And I didn't take any. Not a single morsel.

Obviously, sticking to this eating plan has done more than just lose me some weight. I don't just mindlessly stuff things into my pie-hole anymore. When I eat, it's a conscious decision, not an impulse.

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW WILDLY FREEING AND EMPOWERING THAT REALIZATION WAS???!!!

If you have tried Weight Watchers and failed, if you've tried Atkins and failed, if you've tried South Beach and failed.... if you've tried ANY "diet" and failed, I encourage you to try this Bible study.

You CAN be victorious! You CAN overcome! You CAN say with Paul:

"Everything is permissible" --
but. I. will. not. be. mastered. by. ANYTHING.
{1 Corinthians 6:12b, emphasis mine}




Friday, June 12, 2009

It Pays to Weigh In!

Not only do you look and feel better and increase your own confidence as the numbers get lower and lower (which they ARE, right??!!), but posting your results over at the Sisterhood automatically enters you for prizes each week!!

One of which I won several weeks ago but have thus far neglected to mention.

Bad Tammi.

Isn't it lovely?!!! Thanks so much, Kim! The soak and massage oil are my favourites. Of course, I still haven't committed to buying the Shred DVD, so I don't really have sore muscles to complain about, but having pulled out and dusted off my old workout videos, I feel like this is my reward! The oil has felt wonderful on my permanently tight shoulder muscles and the soak, well... soaking in a yummy-smelling tub is just always delightful!

Thanks for shipping this all the way up to the north country and for donating such a great prize to the Sisterhood's site!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well, wouldja look at that....

Despite the food carnage that was my weekend with the in-laws, I've managed to shed another 1.2 lbs! Yay!!

My goal for the next two weeks is 5 lbs because after that, I will have two weeks where it will be incredibly tough to maintain my weight, let alone continue losing, so I need to "go hard" for the next two weeks. I've even broken out two of my ancient workout videos (remember VHS tapes...?!) ~ The Crunch series' "Fat Burning Pilates" and "Pick Your Spot Pilates." I did two of the "spots" from the latter last night, and the full 40-minute fat-burner this morning. Whew.

My plan is that by the end of summer, I'll actually be able to keep up, complete the work-out with no breaks or cheats, AND never get confused about which direction she's moving. Man, I am so uncoordinated!! I figure I need to commit to something I already have before spending the money on new work-out videos, ie. The 30-Day Shred that everyone's raving wildly about these days. I have a bleak history with any form of exercise other than walking outdoors.

I'm finding though, with this group challenge, that I actually feel like doing an alternative to walking when that's impossible for whatever reason. I kind of enjoyed the extra bit of activity last night and this morning, even though my gut, butt, and thighs feel like jelly now!!

Go, PURPLE!!!

Winky

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Walk the Talk Tuesday

Friday: Was supposed to be a fasting day. And it was...

...until my daughter left some French Toast Casserole on her plate after lunch. Which burst the dam and led to some mid-afternoon burrito madness. Had no supper, but polished off THREE soft, warm, FRESH-FROM-THE-OVEN garlic breadsticks in the evening. Fortunately, they weren't the biggest ones, but still. The in-laws arrived just after 11 pm, bearing gifts of Tim Hortons donuts and I actually managed to just leave them on the kitchen counter until the next day! One tiny bright spot in an otherwise dismal day. No walk either. Ugh.

Saturday: A donut for breakfast (the in-laws always bring a dozen when they come out for a visit), moderate late brunch (Hearty Breakfast Casserole and Cornmeal Biscuits), delicious grilled marinated steak and Herbed Mashed Potato supper with Layered Pumpkin Cheesecake for dessert to celebrate my father-in-law's birthday. Ate moderately all day (which impressed me because they were all favourite foods!). Stepped on the scale for a mid-week check and discovered I was only up 0.2 from last weigh-in and since I weigh in in the mornings and this was just before supper, I was pretty happy. Had a brisk 2-mile walk in the afternoon.

Sunday: Caved a little today. It was supposed to be a "half" day, and I did well at breakfast with only a half-slice of toast, but ate normally at lunch ("Mud soup" and the re-heated garlic breadsticks that I pre-made ~ and "sampled" ~ on Friday.) and a little excessively at supper. Because with hotdogs, one must also serve chips. Creamy Dill chips, to be precise. Which we already know are a HUGE weakness of mine!!

Served the rest of the cheesecake later in the evening. Got in a good walk with my mother-in-law in the afternoon though.

Monday: Ugh. It was a liquid day today, but you'd certainly never have known it. I didn't even think twice about it as I got a light breakfast ready for myself, my girls, and my in-laws. Had TWO pieces of toast, which is MORE than I normally have. And then a big fat burrito for lunch mid-afternoon. No walk. Had a BOLOGNA BURGER, of all things, for supper. Accompanied by chips, of course, because there were two already opened bags in the cupboard. I threw in a handful of cucumber slices for good measure.... {sigh}

I SO badly wanted to finish off the bag of Creamy Dill chips in the evening after the girls were in bed, but for once during the fiasco of a day, I stuck to my convictions and folded laundry for the hour I watched TV, and then came here into the office and caught up on business paperwork before going to bed. MAN, I WANTED THOSE CHIPS!!!!

As good as victory feels,
it's amazing how difficult it is
to actually desire it.

So there you have it. A blow-by-blow account. And tomorrow we'll see how it all affected my weight...

S. C. A. R. Y.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Walkin' the Talk

Okay. New rule.

Walking in repentance requires accountability. Not just to God, but to anyone who will listen. Or read this blog.

I'm not sure of the psychology behind it all (but I'm sure there is some. Or maybe just psychosis...), but ever since making it to the 15# mark, being recognized for my weight loss efforts over at the Sisterhood, and feeling the approaching end of the Becoming a Woman of Moderation Bible study, I've slacked off.

Huge.

In a non-spiritual sense, I know I've reached this point before. I get kinda comfy with my current progress and just get lazy. And before I know it, the weight has come back.

But spiritually, I know it was because I started focusing on ME. I know this will always be a temptation because, physically, it IS me doing all the work, turning down all the second helpings, drinking V8 instead of eating lunch, walking and praying when I feel like snacking.... and so on and so forth.

Quite frankly, I DO look and feel better; my pants and underwear are all too big! I've shrunk 2 inches around my bust and waist and 3 around my hips. It IS my effort.

But it is not my strength.

Physically, I don't DESIRE those choices. (You didn't really think that, did you? Have I completely ruined my reputation now?!) I WANT the second helpings, the delicious desserts, and late-night bags of chips. Believe me, I SO want them!! But it is my conscience, the gentle nudgings of the Holy Spirit that actually spur me to action. If there IS any action.

Lately, I've been ignoring those nudgings.

And so, without further adieu, I present to you...

Walk the Talk Tuesdays.

Beginning tomorrow.

In which I will give a daily account of how I ate and exercised over the previous week. The good, the bad, and the ugly (And you KNOW there will be some ugly!), in an effort to prove I'm really actually attempting all the temptation-fighting I write about here!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Done Like Dinner!

Can you believe it?! We really are finished this Bible study!

It's been hard and challenging and time-consuming, but difficult to believe it's over already. Even harder to believe is that I've stuck with it the entire eight weeks!! I just have to say, if not for my wonderful friend Alicia going through it together with me, I never would have. Man, I hope you guys have someone like her to help you on your journey!

Cyber-friends are awesome and I've become very close with some of mine, but that just doesn't compare to having a friend you can physically get together with on a weekly basis to complain to, comiserate with, and mutually encourage. There's nothing like knowing her stomach is growling on the same days and for the same reasons yours is! (HEARING her stomach growl has been fun, too!!)

I've struggled in the last two weeks with being passionate about this journey, even though it's clearly worked as a weight-loss tool as well as forcing me to examine deeper spiritual issues that I didn't realize were a part of the problem. But now that we're finished, I know I'll miss it. It sometimes felt like a chore (the daily lessons usually took me an hour or so to complete), but I really did learn a lot and I don't think I'll ever be able to comfortably over-eat ever again.

And I don't just mean literally comfortably, but spiritually. Gluttony is a form of idolatry. Idolatry is sin. Sin is slavery. And slavery is, well... BAD!!

God designed my body to be healthier than it is. It's called His temple, for heaven sakes! I've filled it with garbage and treated it like crap over the last 12 years. I can't go back to that. I don't want to be a slave anymore.

Over the course of this study, I've learned to talk to God more. I've never believed He cared much about the logistics and specifics of my life, but rather about who I am and how I handle those specifics.* I think He desires more conversation so that I'm better equipped to handle the details with our relationship in mind. No relationship grows without conversation.

I've decided to stick with the general idea of the eating plan recommended by the study, but to modify it a little to suit me better. I've HATED those stinkin' "half" days with a burning passion since the very beginning, so I'm doing away with them. Kinda sorta.

Instead of trying to decide at each meal what HALF of what I would normally eat is, I'm going to eat my normal breakfast (which is rarely more than a piece of toast anyway), allow nothing but fruit or veggies besides liquids during the day, and then eat a small supper. I'll still only be eating half what I do on "normal" days, but it'll be more of an overall average half rather than a literal, meal-by-meal half.

I'll try that for the next seven weeks anyway, and see how well it works. Right now, it seems like that would work better for me than this nebulous concept of determining half of a "normal" meal. "Half" and "normal" are such relative terms!!

So that's my plan. I'm hoping once the end of July rolls around, Team Purple will agree it's been a success!!

The Sisterhood - Team PURPLE!

* This is not to say I don't think God takes a personal, unique interest in me and you ~ He does! I believe He wants an intimate personal relationship with every person. What I mean is, I don't think He necessarily leads one way or another when it comes to deciding whether I wear green or blue today, whether I choose to hang out with friends or stay home, or even whether I remain a stay-at-home mom or take a job outside the home. There are people who are undoubtedly called in a particular direction in short- and long-term situations, but I believe the larger percentage of us are simply called to follow Him, to bring Him glory, in our current circumstances, whatever they may be. By and large, He leaves the everyday practical details up to us.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Confession

It was time to "go to confession" yesterday, as it were. HIGH time. Not confession like you might be thinking, but a similar idea. I confessed while I walked. Pretty much the whole two miles.

I've read lots of weight-loss "confession" posts through The Sisterhood and they're all good. All people recognizing where they've failed ~ often why they've failed ~ and promising to do better next time. All admitting they've messed up, taking full responsibility for bad moves and destructive eating behaviours. All relying on themselves to fix things.

I had to confess yesterday that I'd been doing the same thing ~ relying on myself.

Physically, yes, I'm the only one who can do anything about changing my bad habits, but I know I can't do it on my own strength. I've proven over and over again that I simply do not have the will-power. I need God's strength, too. Triumph requires MY "try" with the extra "umph" from the Holy Spirit.

And I've been goin' it alone for the last couple of weeks, I realized. Not turning to God for help and, as a result, relaxing the "rules" a little too much. Allowing myself to cave in a little too easily when I'm tempted and tantalized by the very real bag of Creamy Dill chips in the cupboard. (Which, once again, I idiotically allowed myself to buy last week.)

This whole Bible study has been trying to raise awareness of the difference between "soul hunger" and physical hunger, but I'm resistant to the idea that every time I feel like eating, I'm seeking to fill a void, however. I eat for celebratory reasons as easily as for comfort reasons. Maybe I'm in denial, but somehow that doesn't seem like "soul hunger" then, in my mind.

When I discussed this with my friend Alicia, she said it might more appropriately be called "head hunger." When you feel like eating for fun, not because you're craving solace. Like when I'm celebrating because I've got the house to myself or because I'm happy a stressful event is over, etc., all the while knowing full well that I'm not actually physically hungry.

The Psalmists turned to God for any and all reasons. When they were celebrating, they wrote psalms. When they were afraid, they wrote psalms. When they were vengeful, they wrote psalms. When they were depressed.... you get the idea. Me? I eat.

So I confessed. I confessed to not seeking God's help much lately. I confessed to doing this whole weight loss thing simply because I want to look hot. I confessed to shifting my focus from Him back down on me. And rather than promising to do better this week, I begged Him to help me do better. To help me to WANT to do better.

Because as much as I'm looking forward to feeling sexy, this is not about me. It's about being a physical extension of HIM.

When someone comes to me, hurting, I want to emanate HIS peace. When someone comes to me celebrating, I want to emanate HIS joy. When someone comes to me asking for weight loss advice, I want to give HIS wisdom.

I've often heard the phrase "you may be the only Bible someone ever reads" and if that's the case, well, there's little hope for that "someone" when I'm living life focused on myself. MY appearance, MY experience, MY habits...

THIS IS NOT. ABOUT. ME!!!

If I am to be HIM to ANYONE, I need to pursue intimacy with Him; to allow Him to fill me to overflowing; to control my every move.

Including, but in no way limited to, stopping and reversing my path to the chips cupboard.

Chips

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Go, PURPLE!!!

I'm so excited about this new challenge over at the Sisterhood ~ we're kinda doin' a "Biggest Loser" TEAM style! I think this is a great way to light some fires under our butts...

...without having to resort to trash talk!
Well, really nasty trash talk, anyway... ;)

I'm so looking forward to this new dynamic and I think the fact that these other women are essentially perfect strangers puts a little more pressure on MY performance than if we were all good friends.

For myself, anyway, I find it's easier to let my friends down than people I don't know. I guess because friends always tend to be so dang sympathetic and forgiving!! Not that I think I and my teammates WON'T be to each other, but you know what I mean, right? (If not, just smile and nod, okay?!)

Let me introduce you to my wonderful teammates:

The Sisterhood - Team PURPLE!

Priscilla
Mendie
Stesha
Tami B.
and the Sisterhood's own *Lissa* !!!
(whoooo also blogs over here).

I'm so excited about this team! We are so totally ready to kick some
non-purple patooty!!!

Look out, all you other teams!! Winky 2

Of course, I better step up my efforts a notch or two if I want to help my team ~ for the first time in 8 weeks, there was no change in my weight from the previous week. I can blame it on my parents being out here last weekend and all the ensuing festivities, but this coming weekend, my in-laws will be here, so without an extra boost of will-power, I can easily foresee a trend beginning here ~ and heading in the wrong direction!!

I'm weighing in today at 166.2 lbs. My goal for this 7-week challenge is another 10 lbs, which would bring me to my lightest ever since sometime in 1997 (the year I got married) and only 11.2 lbs away from my final goal!!

With this Bible study ending on Friday, I'll be revisiting the recommended eating plan and making a few changes, since I still absolutely HATE those "half" days. I think I'll do away with them completely. More on those plans to come.

For now, just know that ~ as a wonderful friend likes to say ~ IT'S ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!!

GO, PURPLE!!

Step Aerobics

Monday, June 1, 2009

We have us a WINNER!

And the bloggy makeover by

Ruby and Roja Design

goes to...


HEATHER
of
Choosing Simplicity, More Than Survival!!!

Heather not only has a wonderful blog designed to encourage us to successfully simplify our lives, but she also runs a home business where SHE does all your meal-planning and grocery list worrying FOR you!!! It doesn't get any simpler than that, my friends!

I'm so excited to be able to hand this prize to her!