Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guest Post: Following in Your Footsteps

 I am thrilled to have Toni Hammer with us this morning! Toni is an amazing Mom who is trying her best to lead a healthy lifestyle and be a positive influence for her family. I hope you enjoy what Toni has to share with us this morning!

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I am so excited to be writing this post for all of you! Jen and I met in college and it has been such a joy to watch her lose weight, be healthy, and become an incredible mom to her two little girls. 

I have two little ones myself. My daughter is almost two and my son is almost one. I was lucky enough to have been blessed with two children only 355 days apart. Talk about a challenge! 

My daughter is completely on solid foods, and can sometimes even navigate those foods with a fork, and my son is slowly entering the world of more solids and less nursing. It’s a struggle to find foods that they both like, and it’s even harder to make sure those foods are healthy. The challenge is made even more difficult when I’m faced with my choices at the grocery store. 

You see, I’m beginning to realize that what I eat is what my children eat. So if I have a piece of cake for breakfast—hypothetically speaking of course—it’s likely they will too. Okay, that wouldn’t actually happen, but it’s that principle I want to talk about. 

If I want my children to eat healthy, then I need to lead them into that by eating healthy myself. If I want my children to enjoy slices of bell pepper with hummus as a snack instead of gummy bears, I need to lead by example and provide those snacks to them. 

My daughter is in a picky phase and would rather have candy than broccoli. Who wouldn’t? However, she does like green beans and peas so I always make sure those are easy options available to me at dinner. She’ll also eat just about any type of fruit because it’s sweet. Another trick I’ve learned is to offer her food off of my plate. For some reason, she’s much more likely to try something if I’m eating it than if I just put it on her plate. It’s one more reason to make sure I’m eating healthy so my children will follow in my footsteps. 

I hope you found this encouraging! Please feel free to contact me at tonileah.hammer@gmail.com or at http://tonihammer.com.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Food Finds: Onion Straws and Fiber One Fruit Snacks

I am so thankful when my husband is home from work, because he is willing to stay home with our two daughters so that I can go grocery shopping alone. Jon knows how much I love grocery shopping and he is more than willing to give me that time to myself.

Some of my favorite memories as a child include going grocery shopping with my Mom, which is probably why I love it so much.

I welcome the challenge of trying to find good food on sale, so that we can continue to stay within our budget. I also enjoy finding new low pointsplus foods that I have never tried before.

Here are a few of my latest food finds:

{Sensible Portions Onion Straws Southwestern}
Serving Size: 38 straws
  3 pointsplus+
I have enjoyed Veggie Straws for years. Onion Straws might not be "new", but they are new to me, because I have never bought them. I was secretly hoping that these Onion Straws would taste like Funyuns. Instead, they have a bold and slightly spicy flavor which kept me wanting more.


{Fiber One Mixed Berry Fruit Flavored Snacks}
Serving Size: 1 package
2 pointsplus+
I am a huge fan of everything Fiber One and enjoy all of their products. I was completely surprised, to find out that Fiber One had created their own fruit snack. What!? I never expected that from them, but I am so glad that they did. These fruit snacks are so good that it will be hard to enjoy them myself, because my family will want some too!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Prayers for My Girls

I have two precious baby girls, Olivia (19 months) and Sophie (3 months). I have prayed for both of these girls many times throughout the last few years, especially during my pregnancies. However, the Lord has shown me that, as their mother, it is my responsibility to be an example to my girls and show them what it looks like to be a follower of Christ. God is calling me to follow His lead as He breaks through generational sins that have been in my family for years. Praise the Lord!

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In addition, I need to be a Momma on my knees before the Lord, fighting for the souls of my daughters now, before they ever face challenging circumstances. I wish that I could keep my girls from ever feeling emotions like disappointment, hurt, embarrassment, and shame. However, there is absolutely nothing that I can do to prevent Olivia and Sophie from experiencing these harsh realities of life. So, instead of running from hard times, I want to face them head on in prayer trusting that the Lord will use even the ugliest of circumstances to bring glory to Himself through these two precious lives!!
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When I first started praying, I wasn't even sure what was important. What did I want to pray over/for my daughters? Thankfully, I found some amazing prayers, which come from two articles written by, Lysa TerKeurst, "If we aren't praying boldly for our kids, who is?" and "10 prayers for your daughter".

10 Powerful Prayers to Help You Fight for the Heart of Your Daughter:
1. Give my daughter a deep desire to listen to You, Lord, and pray often, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” (Joshua 5:14b).
2. Let her learn early in life that to obey You, God, is the best way to the life her heart truly desires, (1 Samuel 15:22).
3. May she find comfort in Your ability, God, to reach her, hold her, and rescue her, (2 Samuel 22:17-18).
4. May she please You, Lord, by desiring, asking for, and utilizing a discerning heart full of wisdom, (1 Kings 3:9-12).
5. Let her find confidence in You, God, even when hard times come and she doesn’t know what to do, by keeping her eyes fixed on You, (2 Chronicles 20:12).
6. Give her a great desire to accept Your word, God, and store up Your commands within her so her ears will turn to Your wisdom, (Proverbs 2:1-2).
7. May she keep herself under control and not give full vent to people and situations that anger her, (Proverbs 29:11).
8. Give her the ability to rise above the traps of people pleasing so she can be kept safe by trusting You, Lord, (Proverbs 29:25).
9. Let her walk in the security of Your assigned worth to her. Give her a strong work ethic and health to accomplish all her tasks. Give her a heart that desires to extend her hand to those in need. Protect her for the right husband, a man of respect and godly honor. And let her be a woman of joy and laughter whose Christ-centered character is what makes her most beautiful, (Proverbs chapter 31).
10. And every time you, Jesus, whisper, “Follow me” she does so with great grace, (Matthew 4:19).

3 Things I Pray Over My Kids Everyday: 
1. I pray they grow up to be some of the most godly people in their sphere of influence.
2. I pray that they would be caught when they make wrong choices.
3. I pray that God would save them from the wrong friends and save them for the right friends.  And that goes for their future spouses as well.

I know that this is a long list of things to pray for your children and if you are just starting out, this could be overwhelming. That's okay! I have chosen a few things to focus on praying for my girls and written them on 3x5 cards. Throughout the day, I take these cards with me and pray for Olivia and Sophie. It really is just that easy.

"But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind."
- James 1:6

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Weigh In - Small Victories

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I have changed my weigh in day back to Tuesday night, because I am no longer leading the Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting. Evenings are not my ideal time to weigh in, but it works perfectly with my schedule so for now that's what I am going to be doing.  I prefer for my weigh in time to be in the morning when there is nothing in my belly. However, weighing in Tuesday evening helps me to stay on track throughout the day, because I know that I have to weigh in eventually.

I am excited to share with you that in spite the fact that I changed my weigh in day...I still lost weight this week! In total, I lost 1.2 pounds, which puts me at 169.4 pounds!! For over a month I have not been losing weight, because I have not been seriously committed to the Weight Watchers plan.

My Weight Record

Now that I am back on track, I am using this small victory to help strengthen me as I continue on in my new weight loss journey. I have written Bible verses on 3x5 note cards. These verses help me to remember that my strength comes from the Lord. These verses paired with small weight loss victories like this, help to motivate me to continue on in my weight loss journey.

We do not walk into Weight Watchers with all the motivation we need to get to our goal weight. I believe that God gives us motivation and strength to achieve small goals. These small victories help to motivate us to continue on in our weight loss journey one step at a time, so that we will remember that God is our source of STRENGTH.

What small victories can you celebrate that will help to motivate you to reach your weight loss goals? How can you meet with God and read His word today and ask Him to strengthen you when you need it most?

 "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." 
- Psalm 73:26

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Being Back On Plan

I just wanted to check in with you all really quickly...

Last week, I opened up with all of you about my struggle to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon. If you missed that blog post, click here to check it out.

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I am excited to share that every day since I wrote that blog post, I have been on plan with Weight Watchers.

What do I mean by being "on plan"?

For me, being on plan with Weight Watchers means...
1. Keeping track of the food that I eat on my Weight Watchers mobile app.
2. Weighing and measuring the food that I eat.
3. Sticking to my Daily PointsPlus Target and using my Weekly PointsPlus when necessary.
4. Making healthy food choices and focusing on choosing Power Foods.
5. Being aware of my Good Health Guidelines and trying to get them in throughout the day.

My weigh in is tonight and I am excited to see how it goes! Even if I gained, as a result of being off plan at the beginning of the week, that's okay.

I hope that you all have an amazing week!!


"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." 
- Psalm 73:26

Friday, March 21, 2014

Recent Food Finds

I just realized that I have not posted any new food finds in a long time! Here are some new snacks that are now available in stores near you. I also posted the various serving sizes and pointsplus+ values for each food item.

{Rold Gold Pretzel Thins Garlic Parmesan or Three Cheese}
Serving Size:  1 pouch or 1 ounce / 13 pretzel thins
3 pointsplus+


{Weight Watchers Peanut Butter Cookie Explosion Mini Bars}
Serving Size: 1 mini bar
2 pointsplus+


{Special K Moments Caramel Pretzel Bites}
Serving Size: 1 indulgent snack bite
2 pointsplus+


{Ole Mexican Foods Xtreme Wellness! Spinach & Herb Tortilla Wraps}
Serving Size: 1 tortilla wrap
1 pointsplus+

Be sure to follow me, because all of the new foods that I find get posted to my Instagram (@JenNewsham) and/or my Twitter (@JenNewsham).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Falling Off The Wagon

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I need you to know that I have completely lost my mind and fallen off the weight loss wagon. That's right, for exactly 20 days aka the entire month of March I have been eating whatever I want!

I have not been tracking what I eat. I have not been looking up the pointsplus values of foods. I have not been weighing and measuring my foods. I have not been paying attention to my portions. I have not been eating "Weight Watchers friendly" foods.

How did this happen?

First, our church had a women's conference 20 days ago. This was an incredible event, but it caused my normal routine to be interrupted. I got off plan that weekend and instead I getting right back on plan the next morning, I continued to come up with excuses about why I did not have to get back on plan right away.

Second, last weekend, I turned 30 years old, I mean young. This was a much harder birthday to celebrate than I anticipated. I had such a bad attitude about my birthday and my older age that it spilled into other areas of my life. It was frustrating to celebrate such a significant birthday overweight. I kept thinking that I might as well just eat whatever I want, because I'm never going to get back to my goal weight.

I want my blog to be a place where I can share both my weight loss victories and struggles. I hate admitting the fact that I am not perfect. However, I know that there are many of you out there struggling to reach your weight loss goals, just like me, and you need to know that you will have your own hardships along the way.

What I am here to tell you is that it is in the hard times when we need to turn to God the most! God is there when life is great. But what we often forget is that God wants to carry us through the hard times when we don't feel like we have any strength to continue on.

So, last night, I went before the Lord and confessed my sins and told Him that I need His strength to reach my weight loss goals. Do you know what the Lord gave me in return? Hope. Knowing that God is my source of strength, gives me hope to take it one day at a time to reach my weight loss goals.

Finally, I'm excited to share that I have had a good day on plan! I'm not going to say that I will never fall off the wagon again. However, I hope next time I quickly run to the Lord for His help, because I know that I cannot do this alone.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." - James 1:2-4

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