Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finally Finding Rhubarb

Ever since we moved to Texas, almost four years ago, Jon has had yearning for some Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

Several years ago while we were grocery shopping at Wal-mart Jon decided that he wanted to find rhubarb to make himself a pie. We search high and low looking for rhubarb, but there was none to be found. We even asked the woman, who was our cashier if she knew when they would have rhubarb. She looked at us as if we were from another planet! Jon and I left the store stunned that this woman knew nothing about rhubarb.

We tried to reason it out in our heads and the conclusion that we came to is that rhubarb must not be a southern thing. This seemed so odd to us, because southerners are know for the expertise with food of all kinds. Yet they apparently possessed little to know knowledge about rhubarb. I am certain that if we asked Paula Deen about rhubarb she would know what we were talking about.

So I guess you could say that we had give up hope. To be honest we had never looked for rhubarb again, because we just assumed that we could not get it. Oh how wrong we were...

On our way home from church on Sunday we needed basil, because Jon was making bruschetta. Instead of driving to Wal-mart, like we always do, we decided to go to Super 1 Foods. It is another grocery store that we rarely go to, however this time we were on a little bit of an adventure. After finding the basil we were looking for we began to browse through the fruits and veggies, just to check out what they had.

We were shocked when we stumbled upon rhubarb! It was right there with the other vegetables. We could not believe it. I googled Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, so that we could find out what ingredients we would need for this pie. I was so happy for Jon! Finally he would be able to have the pie of his dreams!

This afternoon I got off work early. I had a few errands to run, but after those were finished I came home and made Jon's pie. It's a surprise so don't tell him, but I can't wait to enjoy this dessert with him tonight after dinner. I am not sure if he is going to want dinner after he finds out what is for dessert!

Recipe Review: Chili Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta

Jon and I have been so busy the last few weeks that I really have cooked much. I try to make one big casserole each week that feeds us. I have not had time cook and I really miss it. So, when my friend Gail (who is known for her incredible recipes) gave me this recipe it was the perfect excuse for me to get back in the kitchen!

I could not wait to try this. I was so excited, but I could not wait to go to the store for the correct ingredients.

The night I made this for dinner was not the most ideal, because it was a crazy day at work. I also had a meeting at church and Jon was late coming home from a flight. However, I refused to let that stop me. I was a woman on a mission! I am proud to say that I accomplished my mission and successfully made dinner.

For the complete/original recipe, click the link.

Here are the ingredients I used to make this dish. Some of these ingredients are different then those listed in the original recipe, but I was trying to use what I had in my pantry and freezer.

I did not have any shrimp, so I decided to make this recipe with chicken instead. It was very good!

I really wish that we would have had angel hair pasta, because that is my pasta of choice. However, I decided to use what I had sitting in my pantry...penne pasta.

I should have added another 1/2 cup of salsa or tomato sauce, because with this much pasta it was a little dry.

The serving size was a little more then a cup, but always be sure to measure out the serving size yourself so that you are accurately counting your points each day. Jon and I both liked this recipe. It was very flavorful. I will definitely be making this dish again, hopefully next time with the original ingredients!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: A Childlike Faith

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Far from Perfect

My job is extremely detailed and it is required that I work to a very high standard when it comes to entering information into our databases. Even more so, when I send out notices to students. The information I send them should be correct. For this reason I do my best to double check everything I send and work slowly so that I do not mess up.

However, this morning I was reminded just how far from perfect I really am. I had received an email from my boss last night and I knew that I had messed up. I tried not to think about it while I was at Bible study. When I got to work this morning and began to look into the issue further and discovered that I had sent out the incorrect information to about 15 students. Almost instantly I was irritated with my mistake. Shortly after that, I found out I had done something else wrong!

I wanted to close my office door and cry. I HATE making mistakes, especially when other people are involved. It’s embarrassing and extremely humbling. I started in with all the negative thoughts, put downs, and flat out lies. I stopped what I was doing, bowed my head and talked to God. I told Him that I did not want to have this kind of attitude today. I hate messing up, but this attitude could have caused me to mess up even more.

Thankfully, God listened to me and reminded me of this devotional I read yesterday from Proverbs 31 Ministries. I can honestly say that God has changed my attitude. I sent corrected notices to each student and feel better that I was honest about my mistake instead of trying to cover it up.

If you have time, please read this devotional below. I hope it encourages you, like it did me.

God wants us to come to Him just as we are.

. . . . . . . . . .
Being Perfect
27 Sep 2010
Rachel Olsen

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence." 1 Peter 1:3 (ESV)

There's a moment I dread when going to the doctor for a check-up. It's not putting on that tissue paper rectangle they mistakenly call a "gown." It's not having my finger pricked for blood tests - though I'm really squeamish about that. It's the moment right after the nurse finishes her questions, grabs her clip board, and announces the doctor will be in to see me shortly. Pulling the door closed behind her, she leaves me alone with it.

I already know what it's going to say about me; I've read it before. It's going to say that I don't measure up. That I'm not reaching my potential. That I don't equal my ideal. It's the height/weight chart that declares the perfect weight for my height – and I'm several pounds away.

It extends no mercy. It offers no grace. It makes no allowances for how old I am, how many babies I've birthed, or the fact that my husband can eat three plates of food every night without gaining an ounce. It demands perfection.

A few years ago I heard a verse that seemed to be the scriptural equivalent of the height/weight chart. A single verse to measure my worth against, and feed my expectations for perfection: "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:48, NIV)

I figured this verse justified dressing my family in matching sweaters, in the middle of July, to take the Christmas card photo because I'd just gotten the perfect haircut. I figured it warranted pricey tooth whitening treatments because I drink coffee and tea, and it shows. And I figured it would be my defense when I drove my family nuts about deep-cleaning the entire house because my new friend said she might stop by.

While the verse came in handy when I needed to justify my quest for perfect teeth, perfect photos or a perfectly clean house, it added to my disappointment, guilt and occasional loathing when my life, body or family didn't match the ideal notions in my head. Rather than fostering perfection, it fueled my self-criticism. Surely this is not what Jesus intended!

In the years since hearing that verse, I've embraced a core conviction that goes like this: If God created life, He alone gets to define it . This conviction drove me to find out what exactly Jesus meant by "be perfect."

Matthew wrote this verse. And the word he used in the ancient Greek language means something a little different than Mr. Webster's English definition. The Greek word here is teleos and it means "complete, full grown, developing."

The first two pieces of that definition indicate something already accomplished, while the third indicates an ongoing process. So this perfection Jesus prescribes for us is already complete and yet still developing. Complete in Him; still at work in us. We're allowed to be a work-in-progress!

All parts of this definition, however, refer to maturity of character, rather than a flawless figure, immaculate home, or the faultless execution of a task. Jesus just doesn't care so much if there's dust on our mantle, a stain on our teeth, or a scratch on our car. He isn't interested in how well our bedspread matches our curtains; He's interested in our spiritual maturity. Jesus teaches I will not find my worth in my ability to reach my perfect weight or accomplish my to-do list flawlessly, but in the fact that I am learning to reflect His character. To graciously give and receive love.

That's good news for a recovering perfectionist. Plus, as John writes in 1 John 3:18-19 of The Message: "My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it."

Dear Lord, thank You for grace! Thank You for mercy! Thank You for empowering me to be like You as I submit to Your Word. And thank You for not caring about dust bunnies or stained shirts. Help me to care less about those things as well and focus my heart more on You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

One Lovely, Versatile, Blog with Substance Award

Happy Tuesday! Things at work continue to be very busy and as a result I find myself drained of energy to do anything. I should probably exercise, because I know that will help. However, so far I have not gone out to do that.

This morning I wanted to share with you my blog awards. You're not gonna believe it, but I have received four blog awards in the last few weeks. I have been so blessed by each an everyone of you that I have met through my blog. Your willingness to share your own struggles about your weight is humbling.

I am so thankful to each of you who have chosen me for a blog award! I am completely overwhelmed by your love and support of my blog. You ladies are amazing!! If you have not visited these blogs below you need to do so.

I am acknowledging and accepting four blog awards. Therefore, I am going to make my own version of this and it is going to be a blend of a few of these awards put together.

1. Thank and link back to the people who gave you the awards.
Thank you Jane at Me 'N My Monkeys for One Lovely Blog Award.

Thank you Patti over at A Moment of Simplicity for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Thank you Melissa over at An American Girl in Bristol for A Blog with Substance Award.

Thank you Losing Brownies at Losing the Baby brownie at a time for The Versatile Blogger award.

2. Explain My Blogging Philosophy, Motivation, and Experience in Five Words.
I have looked at all of the blog award requirements and I thought that this one was the most interesting. I am supposed to explain my blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience in five words. For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I talk a lot. But I know that I can keep it to five words, so here goes nothing.
Transformed and writing about it!

3. Award 7 Other Bloggers
Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers who you have recently discovered and think are fabulous. Be sure to contact the bloggers you chose and let them know about the award.
1. La Blondie Peruana
2. The Day's I'll Remember
3. I'm Totally the Turtle
4. Weightless
5. Just Call Me Grace
6. Healthy Life Deals
7. Enjoying Life One Cup at a Time

To those 7 bloggers: I want you to be able to pick which blog award you want. So choose from any of the awards above and pass it on!

There are a lot of blogs listed and represented here so please take the time to go a visit them. Thanks again for all of the blog awards. These awards really help motivate me to keep blogging!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sucess Stories

I have a Helpful Tips page on my blog. I have tried to put some of the most important tips I have learned along the way and put them all in one easy place for you to find. Today, I am adding a new tip to that page, Success Stories. Let me elaborate.

I relied heavily on other people who had already been through this process to help motivate me to keep going. On the Weight Watchers website their are weekly success stories posted for people to read. I need to read those stories, especially while I was losing weight. I found several stories on women about my height who had lost about as much as I needed to lose. I would tell myself if they did it so can I!

It you do not have a success story to motivate you, I would encourage you to find one.

On February 23, 2009 I emailed this success story to myself, so that I would not forget it. I hope you are able to take some time and read it. Who knows maybe it will become the story that motivates you as well.

. . . . . . . . . .

Name Ellen
Age 55
Height 5'4"
Was 197 lbs
Lost 64.2 lbs*
Weight 132.8 lbs
As of 7/23/2009

I started Weight Watchers more for my ego than my health. I was young enough that I didn’t feel my mortality, so I wasn’t seeing any health consequences. However, what I was seeing was a fat old lady staring back at me in the mirror, and a woman who looked decidedly unlike the person in my wedding pictures, a short five years earlier. It was more psychological than anything else. The toll my looks took on me when I dressed for work, or for special occasions – I was always depressed about my image.

One more time
The day I joined for my third and final time, I’d just changed jobs, going from a very staid corporate environment at a Wall Street investment bank to a much more laid back bank. I needed a casual wardrobe to match the corporate culture I was moving to, so that I’d fit in more readily. Because I hated the way I looked, I couldn’t face going to a department store so I ordered new clothes from catalogues and online. The size I ordered was what I thought I actually was. When all the boxes arrived I ripped them open with abandon only to realize that pants wouldn’t pass my hips; jackets wouldn’t meet in the middle. I think I wore a garbage bag to work the first day, making do with what I had.

On day one at the new job, I heard that they were starting an At Work Weight Watchers series. I wrote the check for the 10-week series, while eating a donut hole. The deal I made with myself was, “There is no timeframe in which you have to accomplish this. You are a remedial Weight Watchers member. You’ve had to repeat the course before, and this time, you’ll graduate.”

Private affair
I didn’t share my decision to join Weight Watchers meetings and follow the POINTS® Weight-Loss System with anyone. I had to do it entirely on my own since I’d been unsuccessful before. I was a three-time loser, a fallen angel, so to speak. I knew if I blabbed about it, I’d be getting judgmental comments all day long, “Are you allowed to eat that?” and “Should you be having that?” So I thought, let this be my battle and when the change becomes obvious — if it ever did — I’d be able to address it.

The weight loss was slow and steady. My Leader, Michael, was instrumental in getting me to see the road clearly and to be patient with the process which, incidentally, involved a four-month plateau when I was only two glorious pounds from goal. Quitting, however, was never considered. Being in the meetings every week, regardless of how I felt, made the difference. Those who helped most were other members, unbeknownst to them. I didn’t miss one meeting. I even went one time when I had the flu.

Once I got to goal I knew I wanted to be a Leader. Today I have even left my full-time work at the bank to pursue helping others change their lives full time! The joy and fulfillment that I get being a Leader is immeasurable. I get the rare opportunity to stand by and watch as people take the reins in their lives and uncover great things about themselves. It is miraculous.

Show up
The main thing I stress to my members is to show up to your meetings. You don’t have to talk, but if you’re there, that one thing you hear might be the thing that turns your life around. Also, have fun with the process. If you make a game of it, and realize that the more of it you do, the better adept you become. So much of it, like tracking, becomes a background habit, like brushing your teeth. Things end up being easier and more pleasant with time.

Ellen’s Tips
• Make peace with tracking. Consider that what you don’t write down on paper is going to get written down on a body part where it can’t be erased as easily.
• Use the Web site for the Recipe Builder, recipe ideas and to be inspired by others.
• Use your 35 weekly POINTS Allowance. I eat butter and chocolate, and have a weekend martini. That’s where my “pleasure” allowance goes!
• A food scale is indispensable
• Love your accomplishment, and love yourself, no matter how much you lose each week. Use the gains (and there will be some) as a learning tool.

Ellen Before

Ellen After

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chili Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta

Chili Shrimp with Angel Hair Pasta
By, Gail M

1 1/2-2 pounds of deveined shrimp, tails removed**
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp of cumin
1 Tbsp honey
2-3 tsp of chili powder
2 cup +/- salsa (I used Pace Picante'- Medium)

1 box Angel hair pasta. Cooked and drained.

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the salsa, honey, 1/2 tsp. cumin and 1/2 tsp. chili powder and sit aside.

2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the shrimp and 1/2 tsp. of cumin and 1/2 tsp. chili powder. Continue to saute on low to med heat until the shrimp is pink and hot. Once the pasta is done, drain and stir into the shrimp w/butter sauce- toss. Add the salsa mixture and toss.

** if you use the frozen shrimp that is already cooked, follow directions above on heat on low just to heat the shrimp and flavor.

Serves: 8, 8 PointsPlus+, 6 points

For Recipe Review, click here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Asking for Help

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting September 21, 2010.

This week in the meeting room we talked about being able to ask for help with our weight loss from the people around us.

Asking for help means:
• Involving the people close to you in your efforts to lose weight.
• Deciding what your friends and family can do to help you achieve your goals, and asking for their assistance. Maybe you want them to fill your wine glass with a diet soft drink or put food in serving dishes rather than piling up your plate.
• Anticipating how your loved ones will feel about you trying to lose weight, and negotiating with people who are unable or unwilling to help.
• Being flexible, and if you're not getting what you need, being proactive enough to look for motivation elsewhere.
•Posting and reading topics on the Message Boards at Weight

Successful people do what it takes to get the help they need.
Some simply ask—people with great motivation systems are often in the habit of asking for the help they need, and the people around them are used to being asked.
Others, whose immediate family and friends aren’t as helpful, expand their networks to include more of the kinds of people who understand.

Those of us who aren’t used to asking the people in our lives for help with anything (much less something as big as weight loss), may feel tempted to just go it alone. But it doesn’t have to happen that way.

The encouragement that comes just by asking for help can be a big boost.

Asking for Help is useful because…
• Research shows that ongoing social motivation from family and friends, as well as other sources, may help to sustain weight-loss efforts.
• When you make an effort to ask for what you need, you’re more actively thinking about what you need.
• When you involve people who are willing to help you, and negotiate with people who aren’t, you’re nurturing healthy relationships.
• When you recognize the gaps in your network, and seek help because of it, you’re taking a great step toward success (not to mention your self confidence).

Remember if you ask for help, the answer is sometimes “No”, but if you don’t ask, the answer is always “No”!

1. Decide what kind of help you need and from whom.
2. Ask for the help you need in a stern, assertive way and be sure that the other person understands.
3. Explain why you need the help and what kind of a difference it will make in your weight loss efforts.
4. Accept that not everyone is willing to help you.
5. Be flexible and willing to compromise.
6. Always say “Thank You!”

Maybe you need to tell your coworkers that leaving a doughnut on your desk isn’t helping. Maybe you need to speak to your grocery store manager and ask that certain food items are kept in stock. Maybe you need to ask your grandmother to stop making you homemade pies each week. Maybe you need to ask your friends to go to a restaurant where you can make healthier choices.

Essentially, we are the only ones that will make this weight finally come off…but it sure would be nice to have some help along the way!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Flashback Friday: Senior Pictures

I had such a hard time trying to decide to write about this week for Flashback Friday! To be completely honest, it has been a very long week at work and I am so exhausted. Next week is going to be busy as well. Normally I have so many words to wire that I have to hold back, but today I am overwhelmed with fatigue. I hope that the weekend comes quickly and so that I can get some much needed rest.

I want you you to know that I have always struggled with my weight. But I want to take you back to a time when I was on the smaller side. These are my Senior pictures, taken in the Spring of 2002. Looking back, I cannot believe how good I looked in these pictures! If only I had known just how pretty I was back then.

Visit Tia for more flashbacks.

Flashback Friday Button

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Recipe Review: Cake Mix Chip Cookies

My husband and I have been hosting Couple's Bible study in our home for the last several weeks. This week it was my turn to make dinner and dessert. One of my favorite desserts of all time are cookies, so that is what I decided to bake one of my favorite cookie recipes. I love the variety that is offered in this recipe. There are so many different flavors you could choose to make these cookies!

I was introduced to this recipe several years ago. It was in a small cookbook my Mom gave me in college called, "5 Ingredients or Less". It really was the perfect cookbook for me, because I lived in the dorms and did not have a kitchen to bake recipes with lots of ingredients.

For the complete recipe, click the link Cake Mix Chip Cookies.

The Ingredients

I used my Haitian vanilla, because it really does make everything taste better.

Cookie Dough!! I do not even need to bake cookies, because I enjoy eating just the cookie dough. However, this time I knew that I needed to go ahead and bake the entire batch before I made myself sick with cookie dough. I was good and only ate two spoonfuls of dough.

The finished product...COOKIES!! Yummy!! This time I added 1/2 cup butterscotch chips and 1/2 chocolate chips. They were so good. I hope that you try them and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: My Nephew

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Date Night

For almost four years Jon has faithfully worked at the Olive Garden every Friday night. Two weeks ago Jon turned in his notice and informed them that he would no longer be working there. Here is a picture of Jon headed to his last night of work at the Olive Garden (09.11.2010).

I am sure that you can imagine how excited I was to know that I would actually be able to go on a date with my husband on a Friday night!

Our plan was to go to dinner at Genghis Grill on Friday, September 17, 2010. Little did we know that my sister would be in labor that same day! However, because we do not live close to my family we decided to go out anyway.

Dinner was so good! I did not exactly make mine Weight Watchers friendly, because I failed to research the nutritional facts before I went. I ate the entire bowl and it was delicious. It was so nice to just have an evening away with my husband. Here are some pictures from our evening.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Healthy Snacking

Here is the latest Get Fit email from Dr. Jacobs.

How to Snack Without Getting Huge
By RealAge

Sneaking a snack now and then is a recipe for waistline disaster, right? Maybe not. A new study suggests a snack strategy that might help you avoid ending up five sizes bigger.

In the study -- involving healthy, normal-weight people -- the participants ate three snacks a day for 8 weeks and didn't pack on any extra pounds. The magic secret? Eat what you know. The researchers think that this snacking strategy may have helped the study subjects avoid calorie surprises and allowed them to better compensate for the snacks later on.

Sneaky Snack Approach
When you know how many calories are in your snack of choice, you're in a better position to adjust your calorie intake of other foods later, so your total caloric intake for the day stays on target. That's right -- you can't snack away without cutting back somewhere else. But knowing how many calories your chosen noshes contain -- be they fruit, veggies, and yogurt or higher-calorie snacks like cereal and savory crackers -- will help you modulate at mealtime.

Listen to Your Belly
More research is needed to determine whether the study results apply to other groups, such as overweight people or people prone to weight gain. But it probably helped that the lean, healthy study participants were in touch with internal hunger cues and knew exactly when they'd had their fill. And best of all, they didn't have to add any extra physical activity to compensate for the snacks.

Weigh-In Weekly

At the beginning of my weight loss journey I was overly obsessed with my weight. I was so concerned about my weight that I would weigh myself everyday, sometimes twice or three times a day just to make sure that I was losing weight. I was so frustrated and discouraged if I gain even the smallest amount of weight.

This lasted for about three months. At one of my weekly Weight Watchers meetings, in January 2009, a woman shared that she struggled with weighing herself too much. Her solution was to only weigh herself at our weekly meeting. Naturally, I went home and researched this woman's theory. What I found has changed how many times I weigh myself a week. I found this article that I have posted below.

I came to a point where I realized that I was not doing myself any good. The stress of hoping that every time I weighed myself I would be lighter was too much. As a result I decided that I would ONLY weigh myself ONE time per week at my Weight Watchers meeting.

Some of you might think I am crazy, but it has been one of the most liberating decisions I could have ever made for myself. This has helped me to shift my eyes from focusing on a number to thinking about the daily food choices I make. I need to eat well on Friday, because I want it to show in my weight loss on Tuesday.

If weighing everyday works for you and does not stress you out I congratulate you. But for those of you who are a little more like me, you might give this a try for a week or two and see how it works for you.

. . . . . . . . . .
Why the Scale Lies
By, Renee Cloe, ACE Certified Personal Trainer

We’ve been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it’s readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body’s water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don’t understand what’s happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it’s water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it’s easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn’t have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts. The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That’s why, when it comes to eating, it’s wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it’s packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it’s stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates. As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it’s associated water. It’s normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you’re prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it’s wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you’ve had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It’s the actual weight of everything you’ve had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you’ve finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it’s not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it’s likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in. Generally, it’s only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it’s physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you’re really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale’s sneakiest attribute. It doesn’t just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you’ve lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you’re just sitting around. That’s one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn’t differentiate between the two. It can’t tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat. There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn’t appeal to you, don’t worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride. It’s a matter of mind over scale.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

The Lose for good week 2 went great!

Here is a summary of my Weight Watchers meeting September 14, 2010.


I cannot tell you how many times I overhear that awful word “ONLY” in the meeting room! “I only lost .4 this week

Well I am fed up with it! When you think of .2 pounds I want you to think of that as a stick of butter! Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take a stick of butter off of our bodies? Plus if you “ONLY” lost .2 pounds a week, in a year’s time you would have lost 10.4 pounds! That is nothing to scoff at. When you think of .4 pounds, imagine a bar of soap! If you “ONLY” lost .4 pounds each week, after a year you would have lost a total of 20.8 pounds! When you think of .6 pounds imagine a tube of toothpaste gone from your body! After a year of .6 a week, your total would be 31.2 pounds! And imagine .8 as a coffee mug. Overtime that coffee mug gets heavy huh! .8 pounds each week for a year would be 41.6 pounds gone.

How about we find a way to stay positive at the scale. One member suggested that each time you jump on that scale have in your mind your original weight when you joined. That way when you look at the number in your pocket guide you can really appreciate each and every .2 pounds that you’ve lost along the way! What a great concept!

Here are the key steps to SUCCESS:
STAY POSITIVE! Remember that you are coming to weight watchers for a reason. Just think of how big you would be if you weren’t on program. Instead of saying “I did not do good this week” you could say something more specific and positive…such as “I did not track my points this week but I WILL carry my tracker with me and track faithfully starting immediately!”

UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS! We all know that there is not just one factor that goes into weight loss. We also know that just eating right isn’t enough. Just tracking isn’t enough. In order for us to be successful we must realize that there are a many number of components that can reflect on that scale.

CONTINUE TO DO THE BEST YOU CAN! If you mess up, big deal start over. Baby steps are how we will accomplish our goals. We can’t just jump into running a mile. We must first start to walk. You may not be able to run 10 miles but maybe you can get in your Good Healthy Guidelines.

CONCENTRATE ON YOUR STRENGTHS! You may not be a marathon runner but hot dog maybe you are an expert at the good healthy guidelines. Maybe you don’t eat all your veggies but maybe you are an excellent tracker. Keep rewarding yourself for the parts that you are good at and build off of your strengths.

EMBRACE A VISION OF YOURSELF! When you first walked into that meeting room you had an idea of where you wanted to be. Picture it, don’t you look fantastic! What is it going to take in order to get there? Maybe you have already noticed steps in the right direction with feeling better in your clothes or discovering bones you didn’t know you had (ribs, hips, collar bones, cheekbones). Could it be that you can make it around the block a couple of times without getting winded?

SET REALISTIC, SMALL GOALS! Don’t just focus on that big goal. Break it down into smaller goals that are easier to reach. Plus each time you make it to a goal your confidence will boost, giving you more motivation to reach your next one. Focus on 5 pound increments, or 1 mile at a time.

STAY IN THE MEETINGS! You know as well as I do what happens once you start missing the meetings. Remember that on Tuesdays at 6:00 you are in a support group with 60 people going through the exact same things as you. If you are struggling, that room is where you are going to find the knowledge, motivation, and encouragement that you need.

. . . . . . . . . .
Just for fun, here are a few pictures from the Lose for Good Campaign Week 1 Meeting

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kenneth Thomas

I would like to introduce you all to my nephew, Kenneth Thomas!!

Isn't he beautiful!?

He is 7 pounds 4 ounces.

He was born on September 17, 2010.

Thank you all for your prayers throughout my sister's pregnancy. I will post more details later on after I have gotten some sleep. My sister Vivian and baby Kenneth are both healthy!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday: Traveling in China

It seems like just yesterday that I met and fell in love with my husband. One of the things I love most about him is that Jon lived in China from the time he was 13 on until 18 when he returned for college. It is apart of who he is and I was so excited that I was able to visit his hometown before we got married. Here are some pictures of you trip to China four years ago in July 2006.

This is me at a restaurant in China eating REAL Chinese food!! It was so good!!

This is a close up of the Kung Pao Chicken. Do you see all the oil on that plate?

This is a fruit stand. We got Cantaloupe on a stick!

Jon and I hanging out with his friend Sam.

This is Jon and I after we made it onto the Great Wall of China. I had sprained my ankle just a few days before. I had to climb up the wall using crutches.

Visit Tia for more flashbacks.

Flashback Friday Button

Thursday, September 16, 2010

We've Got Some Catching Up To Do...

There is some much that I want to share with you so hold onto your hats, because we are hitting the ground running.

Weight Watchers Update:
My weigh in day is Tuesday, like normal I left work and went to my weekly Weight Watchers meeting. When I arrived at my meeting, I weighed in and realized that this week is my 40th week at Lifetime with Weight Watchers! For the past 40 weeks, I have weighed in anywhere from 140-135!! I do not think I have ever maintain my weight this well in my whole life. I am so excited and to have had so much support throughout this process. Thank you!!

Baby Update:
My youngest sister, Vivian is still pregnant. Today, she is 41 weeks so hopefully the doctor will decide to induce her when she goes to her appointment this afternoon. As soon as I get baby pictures I will share them with you. Please pray for her and that her baby arrives safely.

My other sister, Bobbi had her first ultrasound on Tuesday (09.14.2010). She was 8 weeks and 5 days along on Tuesday. Her due date is April 21st, 2011. I cannot wait to continue to watch her and the baby grow over the next 7 months. Here is her first ultrasound picture.

Another Blog Award:
Finally, I need to thank Julia over at Keeping up with Goliath for giving me a blog award. This is my second blog award this month and I am so excited! It is humbling to have such overwhelming support from all of you as I continue to blog about my weight loss maintenance.

With blogging award comes a few rules so here they are:

The Rules:
1 - Post who gave you this award. Thanks so much Julia from Keeping up with Goliath for this award. She is a fellow runner and I enjoy following her blog. If you have not checked it out you should!

2 - Name 10 things you like:
1. Google. I seriously Google everything.
2. Sleeping In
3. Family
4. Blogging
5. Purses and Shoes
6. Country Music. Don't judge me. :)
7. Baking
8. Making Lists
9. Traveling
10. Rain

3 - Give this award to 10 other people and notify them with a comment.
1. Our Little Blessings
2. Diets and Sweat
3. Bits and Pieces
4. The Cutest Chaos
5. Marlene’s Many Hats
6. A Whisk and a Prayer
7. Starving Artist’s Wife
8. The Adventures of a Greek/Italian Girl
9. She's in there Somewhere
10. Let Them Eat Lettuce
These are all blogs that I follow regularly and suggest if you have a minute to go by and check them out. And just one more thanks to Julia!!

If you are reading this it means that you made it to the end of this post. Congrats!! Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy blog post.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Beauty Defined

You are

Have you ever had someone tell you that? Is it a hard compliment for you to receive? You are not alone.

When I started my weight loss journey I did not know how to accept a compliment at all! Someone would tell me that I looked nice and I would shrug it off, because I did not believe what they were saying was true. Since I have reached my weight loss goals with Weight Watchers I have received many compliments from others around me. Throughout this process I have gotten better at receiving compliments from others. When I am given a compliment, I kindly say thank you and smile.

However, I want you to know that I still struggle to believe that I am beautiful!!

Why do we as women have the worst opinion of ourselves? Why are we so quick to believe the lies the Satan whispers in our ears?

Friend, the only one who is qualified to define who we are is the one who created us….God.

We need to begin to speak the truth of God’s word to ourselves, believe what He tells us, and then live in the freedom that the truth of God’s word brings to our lives.

Speaking from experience, this is a matter of the heart and you cannot do this without God’s help. Even if you are able to accomplish your weight loss goal, you might be like me and continue to struggle with this. It takes time. I am getting better at believing that I am beautiful and so can you.

If you think that you will only be beautiful when you reach your weight loss goals, you are wrong. Do not want you to stop pursuing a healthy lifestyle. However, we need to begin to trust God and believe His words when He says, "Right now, just the way you are, You Are BEAUTIFUL!"

Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.

Women of all shapes and sizes, please take the time to read today’s Proverbs 31 devotional below.

. . . . . . . . . .
Defined By God
15 Sep 2010
Shari Braendel

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." Psalm 45:11 (NIV)

One word. Flabbergasted.

That was the emotion I had coursing through my body as I sat at the coffee shop discussing my weight issues with a friend.

I told her I had recently cut out certain foods from my diet, but was continuing to maintain my "happy weight," that number the scale just seems extremely happy to faithfully report whether I have eaten healthy and exercised that week or not. We had a good laugh as she described how sometimes she locks her scale away so she's not tempted to jump on it every day just to find out if she's still her same "happy" self.

As a result of this conversation I realized that if I am not careful I can easily al low the scale, or the mirror, to become a compass that shifts my focus and points me in the wrong direction. It seems illogical, yet at times I look to this digital device, or this earthly reflection to gauge my emotional status and essentially define me.

The Bible tells us that the God of the universe is enthralled with our beauty. Seriously? Yes, indeed! He thinks we are amazing and wonderful. Unfortunately, more often than not, we look in the mirror and only see our flaws; hair that's just a mite too frizzy; a tummy that's a bit too fluffy; and thighs that have a few too many dimples on them. My friend Renee likes to call her cellulite "the fingerprints of God." One time I shared that with a group of women, and one of them said, "Well then He must have REALLY big hands!"

So, what would life look like if we accepted God workmanship? Can you imagine how different we would feel about ourselves if we glanced in the mirror and told God "thank You for making me so wonderfully"? If you listen closely, I bet you would hear Him respond, "All beautiful, you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you" (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV).

No matter your size or shape, the number on your clothes tag or your scale, you are beautiful! Let's embrace that we are fine just the way we are because if God says so, then it's true!

Dear God, thank You for making me the way I am. Please help me to have more confidence. I will practice defining myself through Your eyes and not my own. I am grateful, and humbled to be Your beautiful daughter, and I can feel Your approving gaze upon me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

I have sung the praises of the Proverbs 31 Ministry team before and I want to do it again today. Thank you Proverbs 31 Ministry team for being sensitive to share the heart of God with women following your ministry and beyond.

Wordless Wednesday: Weight Watchers Greeting Card

Just in case you cannot read it. It says...
"Carol? It's Marge. I just ate an entire batch of cookie dough and blew all my Weight Watchers points for the week. Can I borrow come of yours and pay you back Monday?"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rockin Friend

Rockin' Friends

I added two new buttons to my blog last week and I wanted to take the time to tell you about them. One was my blog award.

The second button is from The Redhead Riter. Last week, she choose me as one of nine of her rockin friends.


Recipe Review: Easy Lemon Bars

The best low point recipes that I have discovered have come from the Weight Watchers Message Boards. Weight Watchers members on the Recipe Review message board are so helpful to tell you which recipes they have tried and loved. They are helpful to give tips and pointers to new people. They are also honest enough to tell you which recipes are not worth your time.

This is another recipe that I found on the Weight Watchers Message Boards and for that I am thankful!

Here is the recipe for Easy Lemon Bars.

These bars are quick, easy, and very tasty. I know that often I describe my favorite recipes as ones that are quick and easy, but it is true. I am a semi-homemade girl! I work 40 hours a week. So when I cook and bake I need something that is not going to take too much time.

Here are the ingredients: Angel Food Cake, Lemon Curd, and water. Lemon has never been my favorite ingredient, but it is growing on me. I get in moods where I am craving lemon. When that happens I make these lemon bars!

When I went to Wal-mart the first time to buy Lemon Curd, I started by looking in the jam and jelly isle. However, that is not where I finally found this. It was near the mincemeat. If you do not shop at Wal-mart that does not help you, so wherever you are just make sure to ask for help if you cannot find what you are looking for.

I did not grease the pan, but you can depending on what type of pan you are using.

Let the bars cool and then top with powdered sugar.

I hope you enjoy these!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...