Monday, October 31, 2011

The 3rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

Happy Halloween!

Not this past Saturday, but the Saturday before last (October 22, 2011), Jon and I attended our 3rd Annual Pumpkin Carving Party! Every year our Sunday school class has a pumpkin carving party. This is the 3rd year that Jon and I have attended the party and we always have a great time! Here are so pictures from the party!

{Thing 1 and Thing 2}
Jon and I before we left for the party.

Jon as Thing 1

Me as Thing 2

{Pumpkin Carving}
Our pumpkin before we carved it.

Ben and Kimberly gutting their pumpkin.

Jon working on carving our pumpkin.

Courtney working on her pumpkin.

I'm getting ready to carve our pumpkin.

John and Elise hanging out with baby Memphis.

Jon and Miller

{The Finished Pumpkins}
Ben and Kimberly's pumpkin

Courtney's finished pumpkin!

Our pumpkin!

{The Costumes}
Shane and Courtney

John and Elise

Bob and Janet

Ben and Kimberly

Jon and me

Friday, October 28, 2011

Three Year Anniversary with Weight Watchers

Today is my three year anniversary with Weight Watchers!!

Here is a before and after picture so that you can see just how much I have changed in the last three years!

Before Weight Watchers in July 2008

After Weight Watchers in October 2011

I have changed so much in the last three years both on the inside and out!! I am not the same person I was when I started this journey. This year I have even become a Weight Watchers leader!! Who would have ever thought that I would be able to call myself a Weight Watchers leader!? It is such an honor. 

Normally, in the Weight Watchers meeting that I lead, it is all about my members. I try to let my members share as much as possible. However, because today is my anniversary with Weight Watchers I am going to focus on myself for a little bit! I want to share with you the top three things that I have learned since I joined Weight Watchers.

{#3: I Am A Priority}

I would not have lost 90 pounds if I had never made myself a priority. I was so used to putting others before myself that I did not even know it was a problem! As I began to attend Weight Watchers meetings I learned that in order to be successful I would have to make time for me! I needed an hour each Tuesday evening to come to my Weight Watchers meeting and weigh-in. I needed time to prepare my healthy food. I needed time to exercise. I needed time to relax, so that I could avoid emotional eating. It's might sound selfish, but it's not.

If you do not make yourself a priority you will not achieve your weight loss goals. Here is a blog post that might help you make yourself a priority. Are You, Your #1 Priority?

{#2: It's Not A Diet. It's A Lifestyle Change.}


When I first started my weight loss journey Weight Watchers explained to me that I was not on another diet. They told me that I was making a lifestyle change, which is very different. Weight Watchers explained that in order for the changes to last a life time, I needed to lose my "diet" mentality.

I can honestly say that Weight Watchers has taught me how to change my habits so that I could lead a healthier lifestyle. The education that I received at my Weight Watchers meetings continues to impact the food choices I make even today! I am far from perfect and there are days when I slip up, but overall I lead a much healthier lifestyle than I did three years ago.

{#1: All Things Are Possible with Christ}

"I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." - Philippians 4:12

I am living proof that all things are possible through Christ! I could not have reached my weight loss goal without the Lord. God has put incredible people in my life, like my husband Jon, to be there to encourage me when times got tough. God has reminded me that I am His child! God has showed me that my identity is found in Him and not in the number on the scale.

If you are just starting your weight loss journey I hope that you will invite God to be apart of your journey!

I look forward to being able to celebrate many more anniversaries with Weight Watchers!!

To read previous blog posts about my Weight Watchers anniversaries click the links below.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Candy PointsPlus Values


I will be writing more about Halloween in next week's meeting summary blog post. However, I thought that this list would help you as you prepare for Halloween.

Halloween Candy PointsPlus Values
Almond Joy, Snack Size, 2 PointsPlus value
Baby Ruth, Fun Size, 2 PointsPlus value
Bit-O-Honey, 1 piece, 1 PointsPlus value
Bit-O-Honey, 6 pieces, 4 PointsPlus value
Butterfinger, Fun Size, 3 PointsPlus value
Candy Apple, 5 ounce, 5 PointsPlus value
Candy Corn, 20 pieces (41 grams), 4 PointsPlus value
Caramel Apple, 10 PointsPlus value
Charms Blow Pop, 1 pop, 2 PointsPlus value

Crunch, Fun Size, 2 PointsPlus value
Dots, Fun Size, 2 Points Plus value
Gummi Bears, 14 pieces (38 grams), 3 PointsPlus value
Heath Bar, Snack Size, 7 PointsPlus value
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar, Snack Size, 6 PointsPlus value
Hershey’s Miniatures, (any flavor) 5 pieces, 6 PointsPlus value
Kit-Kat, Snack Size Bar, (three 2-piece bars) 6 PointsPlus value
Lemonhead, Fun Size, 1 pouch (11 grams) 1 PointsPlus value
M&M’s Milk Chocolate, Fun Size, (1 package) 2 PointsPlus value
M&M’s peanut, Fun Size, (1 package) 3 PointsPlus value
Mounds, Fun Size, 3 PointsPlus value
Nerds, 1 box (12.6 grams), 1 PointsPlus value
Oh Henry!, Mini, 2 PointsPlus value

PayDay, Fun Size, 3 PointsPlus value
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (2 cups) 6 PointsPlus value
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Fun Size, 3 PointsPlus value
Reese’s Pieces (51 piece/40 gram bag) 5 PointsPlus value
Skittles, Original Fruit, Fun Size, 2 PointsPlus value
Snickers, Fun Size, 2 PointsPlus value

Take 5, Fun Size, 6 PointsPlus value
Tootsie Roll Midgets, 6 pieces (40 grams), 4 PointsPlus value
Twix, Fun Size, 2 PointsPlus value
Twizzler Twists, Fun Size, 4 PointsPlus value
Whoppers, Fun Size, 2 PointsPlus value
York Peppermint Patty, Fun Size, 1 PointsPlus value

Click the link to read last year's Halloween blog post about Surviving Halloween.

I posted this back in October 2009, but it still applies, so check out the Top 10 Signs You're A Trick Or Treating Weight Watcher!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Discipline

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Small Changes Make a Huge Impact


Hello blogger friends! I'm sorry for not being around yesterday, but I was not feeling well and decided to take the day off from work and blogging. The meeting topic last week was about making small changes that can have a huge impact on your weight loss success!!

Here is the Meeting Summary from Saturday, October 22, 2011.

28 Small Changes That Will Make a Big Difference

Small changes can make a big difference in your weight-loss efforts. Here are some baby steps that will get you far.

Hey, slow down! Weight loss is no sprint, it's a marathon. So abruptly and drastically changing your routine is only going to leave you breathless and worn out. A more realistic approach to weight loss is to take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Little by little, it'll make a big difference.

Do sweat the small stuff.
Making small changes one at a time is a great. It's not overwhelming, and it results in a slower, steadier weight loss. Think of it this way, maybe cutting the cream out of your coffee seems like a small feat to you. But once you've got that down you can add another small feat, then another.

So, we asked people just like you—on the Message Boards and in meetings rooms—what small steps they've taken in order to make their way toward their weight goals. Here's what they had to say:


...About Small Eating Changes
1. Water, water, water, water. (Your skin will look great, too!)

2. Order half portions at restaurants, or share a full portion with somebody. Or ask for a "to-go" container when you order your food, and pack up half the portion before you even start eating.

3. Cut back on butter and mayo.

4. Limit fried foods to once or twice per week.

5. Use less or no sugar in your coffee or tea.

6. Replace ground beef with meatless products or ground turkey.

7. Try at least one new food every week. If you're bored with what you're eating, you're more likely to give up.

8. Eat fresh, raw veggies with sandwiches instead of chips.

9. Measure your portions until you're sure you know what a cup, a half-cup, and a tablespoon look like. This will help you practice portion control, an essential key to weight-loss success.

10. Try not to drink high-calorie beverages.

11. Dip your fork in a side of salad dressing before each bite instead of pouring it directly on your salad. You'll find that you are satisfied with much less than you usually put on.

12. Find healthy alternatives to all your favorite foods.

13. If you don't really love it, don't eat it.

14. Never eat out of a bag or box. Take out a measured/counted quantity of food and put it in a bowl. This way, you know exactly how much you're having.

15. Always eat something for breakfast.

16. Read food labels. Check serving sizes.

17. Add vegetables to everything.

18. Plan meals in advance; use that information to make out a complete shopping list.

19. Give food to guests to take home.

20. Write down everything you eat and drink, without fail.

21. Plan ahead for special occasions by accounting for higher-calorie foods before you eat them.


...About Small Exercise Changes
1. Take the stairs every single time they're an option. No more elevators or escalators.

2. Make exercise a priority, not an inconvenience.

3. Park far from your destination so you're forced to walk. This works at the supermarket, the mall, wherever. (This also helps you waste less time looking for a parking space!)

4. View tiring chores (shoveling snow, cleaning the house, weeding the garden, taking the garbage out, grocery shopping) as a chance to get in some activity.

5. Take the grocery cart back to the store when you're done loading your bags into your car.

6. If you take public transportation, get off one stop early.

7. Work out with a buddy.

Remember even the smallest pebble can make a ripple, small at first and then look how it grows…but someone has to start it. Make the effort this next week to make a small change and to start a ripple in your weight loss journey!

Friday, October 21, 2011

All I Need


Recently, I've been struggling and discouraged by different things in my life. It would take too long to explain everything, but let's just say that I have not been the most joyful person to live with! ...sorry Jon.

I've been praying that God would speak to me and He answered my prayer this week! He used some verses in Romans and a song to speak my heart. I am going to share with you part of my journal entry from earlier this week to explain how God's been speaking to me.

I’m a “should” girl. I am always thinking about what I should be doing, always praying that God would show me what I should do. Recently, I’ve been so discouraged. I’ve been desperate to know what my purpose is in this life! I’ve prayed and thought and been so frustrated, because I feel like God has not given me any guidance or direction in this area.

The truth is that God has probably been trying to speak the truth to me for weeks, but I was too consumed with myself that I was not listening. However, today I was finally able to hear God's still and small voice in the word of God and in song.

“Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” - Romans 4:20-21(NIV) 

My life is going to be hard. There is no doubt about it, but I never have to question my purpose. My purpose is to bring God glory that’s it. I am supposed to worship and glorify God no matter how I feel or don’t feel about the things going on in my life. Then, like it said in the verse from Romans 4:20-21, as I give God glory, He will grow my faith! Amazing! If I don’t worship and glorify God my faith will not grow! I need and want my faith to grow. 

Abba, please help me to lay aside my agenda and everything else that I think I “should” be doing and devote my energy to glorifying you!

This week God reminded me that there is only one thing I need to focus on and that is bringing Him glory!! The song below was introduced to me in choir practice this week. It's been on my mind all week and I slowly take my eyes off of myself and my circumstances and focus on my Lord.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Misunderstood Hunger

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Take Charge of Your Environment


Here is the meeting summary for Saturday 15, 2011.

This week in the meeting room we talked about taking charge of your environment.

Does this sound familiar:
Betty has had a long day. At work she faced a deadline, so she skipped lunch. Now she's home, she's starving, and it's time to make dinner. So she decides to have a snack. She checks the fridge, but it's empty. The pantry is also bare. But in the cupboard she finds an unopened bag of potato chips. She rips it open and digs in.

We have all been there! The best way to handle these types of temptations is to reevaluate your environment. We must learn how to adopt healthy habits.

Keep healthy opportunities close. It helps your efforts when you fill your spaces—your house, your office, your car—with foods that make it easier for you to stay on track.

Managing Your Environment means...
Really looking at your environment: your car, kitchen or desk and remembering the three R's:
Recognizing the foods that will help you—and the ones that won't.
Removing the items that you are sure will get in the way of your weight-loss efforts.
Replacing the foods you've removed with healthy ones like fruit and vegetables.

Considering what changes you can make in your exercise environment that will help, such as tuning up your bike or simply getting out your exercise gear.

Make it easier on yourself: Manage Your Environment
"Don't agonize. Organize." -Florence Kennedy.

We all have our "trigger" foods or places—the snacks and sweets which can destroy our willpower and make us forget all about those weight-loss plans.

But some of us do what we can to minimize our exposure to triggers; managing our environments so we're not always around foods that tempt us. And that makes sense: When the spaces that surround us—our fridge, pantry or car—are crammed with tempting foods, we'll be tempted by them. When it's right there, we'll eat it.

When we stock up on healthy alternatives, though, we'll make healthier choices. And suddenly, our environment is working for us.

Managing Your Environment is a helpful habit because:
• When you take charge of the foods that fill up the spaces that surround you, they'll stop having control over you. Fewer tempting foods = less temptation.
• Looking through those spaces and being able to recognize trigger foods is a great exercise: It means facing and naming your weaknesses, which can only make you stronger.
• Filling your environment with healthy foods is like studying hard for an exam: you're laying the groundwork for your future success.

Bonnie, Baltimore, MD, lost 28.6 pounds and says, "If I don't make changes to the food that's around me, I'm still going to eat what's there—even if its unhealthy."

If you discover you need to Manage Your Environment...
Get on the Message Boards and ask other users what changes they have made to their environments. Some may have "managed" places in ways that may be relevant to you.

Taken from “Habit Guide: Manage Your Environment” Article By: Weight Watchers

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weight Watchers Awards Meeting 2011

Saturday after my morning Weight Watchers meeting, I rushed home to change into something beautiful, because I had to get ready for the annual Weight Watchers Awards Meeting.

The meeting was held at a restaurant called, Traditions. Weight Watchers employees from all over East Texas came together to celebrate our achievements! It was a time to honor those people who have gone above and beyond what is asked of them. It is always nice to get together and visit with other Weight Watchers leaders that I do not see very often.

To become a Weight Watchers employee, you have to lose weight and reach your goal with Weight Watchers. I love this about Weight Watchers! On Saturday, I was reminded of this fact. It was so special to be in a room of people who had so many different weight loss stories to tell. We might all be Weight Watchers leaders and receptionists, but we were members first. I do not ever want to forget that and lose my compassion towards the current members who walk in to my meeting every week.

Here are some pictures from Saturday.

In the car on our way to the annual Weight Watchers Awards ceremony!

Weight Watchers Awards Meeting 2011

Rose, Amanda, Sherry and I waiting for our lunch

Doesn't my lunch look yummy!

The cute table decorations

Jan, my Territory Manager, made all of the announcements!

They made all of the new leaders stand up, which was me!

Amanda got a Superstar award, because she is truly a SUPERSTAR!

I just love this girl!

This is my Weight Watchers team!! I am truly blessed to work with such wonderful women!

These are the ladies that I work with on Tuesday night...Amanda and Rose!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Healthy Hands

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

Tips for pain-free hands
Unnoticed and unsung, healthy hands perform countless small tasks, from pouring your morning coffee to brushing your teeth at night. But aching hands transform even a simple task into a painful ordeal. Beneath the skin, your hands are an intricate architecture of tendons, joints, ligaments, nerves, and bones. Each of these structures is vulnerable to damage from illness or injury.

Your hands may hurt for a variety of reasons, from the mechanical to the neurological. Arthritis — which affects one in five American adults — and other persistent joint problems are by far the most common cause of hand pain and disability. Another common cause of hand pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, affects an estimated 2% to 3% of Americans. Contrary to conventional wisdom, this nerve disorder rarely results from repetitive work-related tasks, as a growing body of research reveals. True work-related musculoskeletal disorders are known as repetitive stress injuries and can be quite debilitating. But there are steps you can take to prevent them.  

Help for office workers’ hands
If you work in an office, it’s a good idea to have an ergonomic evaluation of your workspace to avoid habits that may put you at risk for repetitive strain injuries. If that’s not possible, the following tips may help:
• Keep your wrists in a neutral position, not flexed downward or extended upward, when using your computer. To check, place your wrist, palm facing down, on a flat, hard surface. Put a Band-Aid lengthwise over the top of your wrist, and then move to your keyboard and type. If the Band-Aid stretches or goes slack, your wrists aren’t in a neutral position.
• Get up from your desk and stretch at least once every hour. In between, take shorter breaks to rest your hands, palms up, on your lap or on a wrist rest. You can install software on your computer that reminds you to take micro-pauses or rest breaks and restricts your daily time on the computer.
• Be skeptical about new keyboard configurations (such as split keyboards) or mouse designs claiming to be ergonomic. It will take many years of study to learn whether such changes translate into fewer work-related upper-extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

Customizing your workstation
Ergonomics specialists who design strategies to improve the fit between workers and their jobs suggest the following arrangement for computer workstations: • Keep documents, telephone, keyboard, mouse, and supplies within easy horizontal reach — not more than 16 to 18 inches away.
• Place the computer monitor directly in front of you, at arm’s length, with the top line of the screen at or slightly below eye level (possibly lower for someone with bifocals or trifocals).
• Set your keyboard on an adjustable tray so that your forearms are parallel to the floor, wrists are straight and in line with your forearms, and elbows are relaxed and bent at a 90-degree angle at your waist.
• Keep your mouse close to the keyboard and at the same height, possibly with a padded wrist rest.
• Use an adjustable chair, with a rounded front edge and good lower- and upper-back support, positioned so that the knees are slightly lower than the hips and the feet rest firmly on the floor (or on a footrest).


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