Monday, November 11, 2013

Slowing Down


"You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight."
- Jim Rohn
I am a very faster eater. Maybe it's because I am the oldest of five siblings and in my family food went quickly. You had to get what you wanted or you didn't get anything at all. However, I am beginning to learn that even though I could win a food eating contest, this is not the best habit to help me maintain my healthy lifestyle.

When I went to visit my family, I spent some time with my Mom and Grandma. While at my Grandma's house, I noticed how slowly she eats her food. You can't blame it on her age, because as long as I can remember she has always been a very slow eater. I couldn't help but think that I would like to be just like her, but don't know how.

Thankfully, the Weight Watchers routine of the month for November is to Slow Down! More specifically, you are to "put your fork down and sip water in between bites". I am so excited to begin to try this routine and to learn to eat my food more slowly.

Some of you might hesitate to try this new routine, but let's look at some of the benefits you get when you slow down your eating.

1. Research shows that "people ate 10% fewer calories when they dialed down their pace than when they scarfed down their food". Who would be sad about consuming fewer calories? Not very many of you. In the long run, eating more slowly can help you achieve your weight loss goals!

2. You will have a happier digestive tract! Eating too quickly can lead to gas and heartburn. People who spend more time eating their meals are less likely to suffer from issues like those.

3. Feeling more satisfied is another good reason to slow down your eating habits.

Finally, here are a few tips to help you slow down when dining.

1. Take it all in. Engage all your sense. How does the food look and smell? Anticipate that first taste and really savor each mouthful as you go.

2. Eat frequently. Don't let me than four hours go by between meals, so you aren't famished when you sit down to eat.

3. Reflect on what you would do differently next time. How could you better prepare?

What will it take for you to slow down this week?
Commit to trying this for just one meal and see what kind of difference it makes for you!
For more tips, please visit the Weight Watchers website.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Learning to Accept Help


A few weeks back, my friend's Mom, Diane, offered to help me clean my house. Diane said that she would be willing to clean my house every other week and help me with whatever needed to be done around my house.

I'm not going to lie to you that it took me several weeks to warm up to the idea. I am such a proud and it is hard for me to accept help from others, especially when I know that I could clean my house on my own. After wavering back and forth over what I would do, I finally talked to Jon and he encouraged me to contact Diane and accept her offer.

So, reluctantly I texted Diane and asked if her offer was still good. Almost immediately, Diane called me back. She was thrilled that I had gotten a hold of her in order to take her up on her offer. We talked and decided that yesterday would be the perfect day for her to come by and deep clean my house.

I was so nervous all morning waiting for Diane to arrive at my house. It was raining pretty hard and I wanted to call her to try to back out of all of this. Then after Diane arrive, it was so hard to sit in my house and focus on my work while someone else cleaned up my mess.

Do you know what? I survived. It did not kill me to accept help from another person. To be perfectly honest, I felt so blessed yesterday, after Diane left my house. I am so thankful to this woman for being willing to serve me and my family in this incredible way.

Do you know what else? Diane will be back in two weeks to help me again! I hope and pray that every time she comes to my house, I will become more willing to accept help from others.

What about you? Do you willingly accept help from others? What areas in your life you need to begin to accept help from those around you?

For me, it was all about my dirty floors, but maybe for you it's regarding your weight loss journey. Or maybe you need to accept someone's offer to be your workout buddy. Or maybe you need to ask your family to begin to help support your new healthier lifestyle.

So let's not wait any long!! The time to learn to accept help from those around us is now!!

As my husband said, "Praise God there are people our there willing to help stubborn people like us".

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Stepping Down


Some of you might follow my Twitter @jennewsham. If so, you saw me tweet this over the weekend, "Made an announcement at my #weightwatchers meeting today. More details to come....". If you've been waiting for "more details to come..." that time is now!!

For several months now, I've been feeling the Lord laying it upon my heart to give up a few things at this time. With the upcoming arrival of my second child, I have been forced to reevaluate my schedule to see what needs to go and what can stay.

When all was said and done, my husband and I decided that it would be best for me to step down from leading my Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting. I am sad to say that I will lead my last Weight Watchers meeting on November 23rd.

I have had the most incredible Weight Watchers members come through my meetings!! I am thankful for each and everyone of them!!

This is not the end for me and Weight Watchers.

I will continue to work for Weight Watchers as a receptionist and as a leader if ladies need a sub.

I hope and pray that this is not something that I have to give up forever. I love being a Weight Watchers leader and hope that I will be able to have the honor of leading my own meeting again in the future.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My New Favorite...Greek Yogurt

I went to my doctor's appointment yesterday. I am excited to share that both myself and Sophie are healthy and doing well! Today, I am 32 weeks pregnant and time just keeps slipping away from us as this time of year tends to do.

One of the greatest discoveries that I have made throughout my pregnancy has been my new found love for...

Greek Yogurt

I'm sure it will shock many of you to hear me admit that up until two months ago I did not like Greek yogurt at all. My go to yogurt has always been Yoplait Light Yogurt, because it is delicious and just 2 pointsplus+.


Everything changed for me this past September when I went to visit my Mom, who is on her own weight loss journey, and found out that she enjoys Greek yogurt almost everyday! After I arrived home from my trip, I was determined to give Greek yogurt another chance. I bought three different brands and three different flavors of Greek yogurt to try. I also got some Special K granola to add to my yogurt, because I thought that might help me like it a little bit better than if it was just plain.

To my surprise and delight, I feel head of heels for Greek yogurt. It is a wonderful source of protein that really helps me to stay full for hours. I've tried all different flavors in the last few months, but I have to say that right now the Chobani Apple Cinnamon is my favorite.


Do you like Greek yogurt? What are your favorite brands and flavors?

If you have never tried Greek yogurt, I would encourage you to give it a chance. It is always nice to have a wide variety of healthy food choices that we enjoy, so we do not get bored with the foods that we are eating.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Home vs. Hospital Birth

Today, I am 31 weeks pregnant that means I only have 9 weeks left until I get to meet my baby girl, Sophie Joye!!

Earlier this week, I shared this blog post on my family blog. I wanted to re-share this post with all of you, because someone might need encouragement from the Lord this week on this particular topic.

For months I’ve been going back and forth between a home birth and a hospital birth. I’ve been praying that the Lord would show me which one He wants me to do. What would be best for our family? What would bring the Lord the most glory?

Last night, God gently whispered in my ear, “I am with you.”

I thought to myself that this was very nice, but what I really needed to know from the Lord is whether or not I should have Sophie at home or in the hospital.

Again, the Lord said to me, “I am with you.”

Even as I read the story of Noah to Olivia out of her, “The Jesus Storybook Bible“, the Lord reminded me that He will always be with me.

This really seemed to be the theme of the evening, but I’m not sure that I was connecting the dots to understand what the Lord was really trying to teach me. However, with the Lord’s help, the verse below came to mind to share with you in connection with the lesson that I’ve been learning. Are you ready for the cool part? Keep reading.

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).”- Matthew 1:23 ESV
Did you see it!? The Lord is trying to teach me that He is with me and this verse specifically tells us that Jesus’s name was Immanuel – God with us!!

God is with me, I mean He is really with me!! Wow, what a perfect time of year to learn this lesson!!
All along I’ve been seeking the “right” answer from the Lord about Sophie’s birth and in this situation, I believe that God will bless us no matter where we deliver our new baby girl. God’s decided to leave this choice up to us. However, no matter what we decide God wants me to always remember that He is with me!!

For now, my plan is to have Sophie in the hospital, just like I did with Olivia. However, in the coming weeks, I cannot wait to see how Sophie’s birth story unfolds!!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Missing You

My dear bloggy friends, it has been too long since the last time that I wrote a blog post. Life has been so busy, but I would love to take time to just catch up with you all!!

If you follow our family blog, you know that my husband recently got a new job with American Eagle Airlines. Jon was gone for almost two months straight training for his new position as a first officer.

As a result, Jon's job has left me home alone as a "single" Mom taking care of Olivia by myself. So, you can see why I haven't had a lot of time or energy for blogging. Being a pregnant woman who works full-time and takes care of a 13 month old little girl, doesn't leave room for much else.

It is hard to believe that I am the mother of a 13 month old!! Olivia has grown up so quickly. I really wish that you all could meet her, because she is the most amazing little girl that I know!! Olivia is very independent, so naturally she is already walking on her own. She also has a very tender heart and spirit. She is extremely observant and a very good judge of character. Olivia loves listening to music and reading books, when she is not busy exploring.

I am very blessed to tell you that my second pregnancy is going really well!! I am already 27 weeks along with our 2nd baby girl, Sophie Joye. Sophie's due date is December 31st, 2013. We cannot wait for Sophie to arrive. It will be fun to be able to kick off the new year with a new family member. So far, I have had another very healthy pregnancy. I found out that I am anemic, so I am taking iron pills and modifying my diet appropriately to bring up my iron levels.

With Jon being gone, it's been easy for me to turn to emotional eating to make myself feel better when I am alone. I haven't always made the best choices. However, under the circumstances I am trying to be gracious with myself. After Sophie arrives, I will be jumping back on the weight loss bandwagon again.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Baby #2 is a GIRL

Sophie Joye
The Lord has been so good to our family!! After our awful ultrasound last week, a friend of ours was willing to fit us into her schedule for an ultrasound yesterday!!

Our second ultrasound was a million times better than the one we had been at just a week earlier. We were able to see our new baby so much more than we had the week before.

It took the ultrasound techs a little while to try to persuade the new baby to reveal his or her gender. In the end, Jon had to give the baby one final pep talk before she finally moved into the perfect position so that we could see that she was in fact a baby GIRL!!

We are so thankful that the Lord allowed us to share this experience together before Jon leaves for his new job!! We cannot wait for Sophie Joye to join our family at the end of this year!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Simply Filling and Pregnancy #2

 . . . . . . . . . .
I want to make it very clear that what I am going to write is my opinion. It is NOT the opinion of Weight Watchers or anyone else. I am writing from my own personal perspective and opinion. I am not a professional nutritionist, just a woman trying to lead the healthiest lifestyle possible while I am pregnant.

With that being said, I think I should share with you that OFFICIALLY you cannot follow the Weight Watchers program while you are pregnant. A portion of the Weight Watchers health notice states, "Weight Watchers prohibits participation in its weight loss plan for children under the age of 10, those individuals with an active medical diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, those whose weight is less than 5 pounds above the minimum weight of the Weight Watchers Weight Ranges, and during pregnancy." To read the entire Weight Watchers health notice, please click here.
. . . . . . . . . .

Last time I was pregnant, I continued to count my pointsplus values throughout the first half of my pregnancy and tried to modify the program to meet my needs. Unfortunately, during the later half of my pregnancy, I really let myself eat whatever I wanted causing my 45 pound weight gain. To read more about what I did throughout my first pregnancy with Olivia, please click here.

Since I learned that I was pregnant again, back in April, I have not been tracking my pointsplus values. I have been trying to listen to my hunger signals and make healthy choices.

Now that I have finally reached my 12th week of pregnancy and am almost done with my first trimester, I feel like it is time to come up with a gameplan for this pregnancy. Please don't judge me, I'm a planner and this is just what I do. It is important for me to decide how to continue to make healthy choices throughout my pregnancy, because if I don't come up with a game plan now, I won't do it at all!

As I have considered my options, I have become more and more convinced that I should follow the Simply Filling plan throughout my pregnancy. In all honesty, the entire time I have been on the Weight Watchers program (since 2008) I have never followed the Simply Filling plan. However, I think it might be very helpful as I continue to try and make healthy choices throughout pregnancy #2.

For those of you who might be wondering, here is a breakdown of how to use the Simply Filling Technique.

1.  Focus on Power Foods/Simply Filling Foods ~ lean proteins, fat free dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, your 2 tsp of healthy oil, reduced calorie breads and broth based soups. 

2.  Use your Weekly PointsPlus Allowance (49 pointsplus+) for any foods that do not fit in the above categories or do not fit into a category on this Simply Filling Food Lists.  You do not have to track the pointsplus+ for any of the Simply Filling Foods you eat.  You only track the non-Simply Filling Foods. 

3.  Eat just until satisfied making sure you eat slowly, listen to your body and stop/rest/assess as you are eating.  The goal is to not feel too full or too hungry, but, to feel “just right”.

I think this is a great fit for me for many reasons!! First, Simply Filling will allow me to eat as much food as I need until I am full/satisfied. Second, Simply Filling will help me to make healthy choices all day long, because I can eat them for free. Finally, following Simply Filling will also allow me some wiggle room as I crave foods that are not on the Simply Filling lists.

I am so excited about this change that I've been on Pinterest looking for Simply Filling recipe ideas and I cannot wait to make them!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Newsham Baby Number Two

I have been DYING to let you in on a secret for weeks!! I am pregnant!! Baby Newsham number two is on the way!!

Jon and I wanted our babies to be close in age, but not quite this close. We were both surprised by how quickly we became pregnant with our second child. This is different from what we had planned, but we are thankful for how the Lord is blessing our family!! Honestly, God's plans are always better than mine!!

One week ago, Jon, Olivia, and me headed to the first doctor's appointment for baby #2. We saw our precious child on the ultrasound screen and were overwhelmed with thankfulness at the new life growing inside me. We also heard our baby's heartbeat, which was very strong.

Overall, I have been doing well. I have not thrown up, but been queasy when I do not eat or when I let my stomach get too empty. I have also been very tired. With work, Olivia, moving, unpacking, and all of my other daily tasks, I have not had energy to do much of anything these days. (This also explains my lack of blog posts.) We put Olivia to bed and I head to bed shortly after she has gone down. My doctor said that once I get past my 1st trimester it should get better, so I am hopeful that I will feel like myself again soon.

In case you are wondering, I was just 9 pounds away from my goal weight when I found out that I was pregnant. This is so frustrating! However, I am confident that I will be able to continue to maintain a healthy lifestyle while pregnant with this baby and will be able to lose all of my weight after our new baby arrives in late December.

Jen + Olivia + Jon + December 2013 = Family of FOUR

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weight Loss Success Story: Susan Davis

Today, I would like to share Susan's success story with you all. Susan joined Weight Watchers in June 2012 and she has been a member in my Saturday morning meeting ever since.

Susan before she joined Weight Watchers.

In less than one year after Susan started Weight Watchers, she has lost a total of 57.2 pounds on the Weight Watchers program!!

Me and Susan the day she reached her goal weight!

Not only has she lost 57 pounds, but she has also been taken off one of her blood pressure medicines and her cholesterol medicine that she had been taking for the past 5 years.

Check out Susan's story and be inspired!!

Tell us a little about yourself, your family, your job, etc. 
I am married to Jerry for nearly 5 years. I have two wonderful sons, Preston and Patrick. Jerry has 2
wonderful sons and 1 beautiful daughter and we have 1 grandson. I work for Gregg Industrial Insulators as assistant warehouse manager. I have been with the company 19 years. I love to read, work in the yard and am beginning to love walking.

How long did it take you to get to your idea weight? Are you there now? 
I started the program June 30, 2012. It took me 9-1/2 months to reach goal. 

What made you decide to start you weight loss journey?
I started the program because I wanted to do it for myself, for health issues and I had a wedding coming up and did not like the way I looked in all the previous wedding pictures of our children. I looked through the past wedding pictures of our children and saw that in each one I was getting bigger and bigger. I wanted to have at least one set of wedding pictures that I looked decent in. When they set the date for April of 2013, I decided I had to do something. I had been looking into Weight Watchers and thinking about it. I had talked to a neighbor about it since she was doing it at the time. I just decided one Friday night that I was getting up the next morning and going to a meeting. I joined and it has been a blessing ever since.

What kept you on track losing weight?
I stayed on track by tracking my food everyday on my phone and the main thing that kept me on track was after losing 25 lbs., I could really feel a difference. I had more energy and just liked myself better. When I went for a yearly physical in January, the results were proven. The doctor took me off one of my blood pressure medicines and my cholesterol medicine that I had been taking for the past 5 years. That was even more motivation.

Tell us about a typical day in terms of eating and exercise. 
When I first started the program, I just focused on the food part of the program. I tracked everything
I ate and was constantly looking for more alternatives. I have tried to add a new food or recipe every
week that I have never tried before. I signed up for Hungry Girl emails so I could find better ways to eat what I wanted. I revamped my own favorite recipes so they are healthier on the recipe builder on etools. I did not exercise at first just focused on following the food. When that became second nature, I started working out on my WII Fit Plus 3 or 4 times a week and in January I bought an elliptical machine that I use when the weather is bad and I cannot get outside. I now try to walk at least 3 or 4 days a week. I use the active link monitor to fit in activity. Towards the end of the day if it is not close to 100% of the goal I have set, I think of ways to do activity.

What is the biggest difference you have noticed because of your weight loss? 
The biggest difference I have noticed because of my weight loss is that I have been taken off 2 of my
prescriptions and I have a lot more energy. I now feel like being active and moving more.

What advice can you give to others struggling to lose weight?
My advice to others struggling to lose weight is join weight watchers, follow the program, work all the etools that are available and if you have a slip on one day just pick it back up on the next day. Never get discouraged even if you have a weight gain one week because if you follow the program the next week it will probably come off plus some more. I have learned that a .2 weight loss is a weight loss and is better than a gain. Never give up and get discouraged. If you do give up, you are hurting yourself and no one else. Always think of yourself and make it easier by using every tool available.

How do you keep the weight off in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle? 
I am at the part of the weight loss journey now that is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I plan to continue using the tools available and become even more active. I plan to walk in the Starlight 5k Night coming up in June. I have never done anything like this before so it will be a new adventure. I have learned that for motivation I need to accept new challenges that I make for myself. I am still learning on the maintaining.

Give us a quote or a motto that you have used to keep you focused.
My quote that I am known for in our meeting is one that I found on Pinterest shortly after I started
the program. I printed in on several sizes of paper and have it on the refrigerator in the house, the
refrigerator in the garage, and taped to several mirrors so that I see it quite often. It is


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Long Time No See

I have some great news to share with all of you! This past weekend my family moved out of our apartment into a small home! Our new home has two bedrooms, an office, a big backyard, hardwood floors and more! God provided this home to us at just the right price for our budget. We are so thankful for the way the Lord is taking care of us during this season of our lives!

Our new home

It's been so hard to eat on plan while we've been moving!

We have not had much food, because I have not gone to the grocery store. What can I say, I did not want to move a bunch of food! On top of that, I went ahead and packed up all of our dishes, so we ate out more than normal last week.

This past Saturday was my weigh in day, I was so nervous that I had gained that I didn't even weigh in! However, yesterday while I worked my Tuesday night Weight Watchers meeting, I weighed in so that I could know where I stood. To my surprise, I only gained one pound throughout this move!

I am proud of most of the food choices I have made. I know that I could have done a better job, but I can learn from this experience and apply it to my life the next time we move.

Please pray for us as we settle into our new home. 

Olivia loves our new home!

What's been going on in your lives? Have you been following the plan? How's it going?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Heels and Hills, My First Half Marathon

Preface: This is a much longer post than I thought it would be, but I hope you will take time to read it.

Yesterday, I ran and finished my very first half marathon a total of 13.1 miles!! It truly is one of the greatest accomplishments on my life!!

Our journey to my half marathon started on Saturday, where nothing went according to plan. I worked my Weight Watchers meeting, graduation, and finally got home after 3:00pm. I ate some lunch and Jon packed the car, so that we could get on the road. We had to drive to Irving, Texas, where we had a room for the night, before my half marathon.

We made it into the city of Irving without any problems. We were all tired, hungry, and had to pee, but we didn't want to stop until we got to our hotel room. We accidentally took the wrong exit, which is when everything went wrong! We heard an awful noise and Jon told me that the tire was flat. He took to very next exit and pulled over on the off ramp. As it turned out, we hit/ran over something that blew out our rear left tire and damaged the front left tire.

Jon, Olivia, and I waited on the side of the road for over an hour. The gentlemen from AAA finally showed up to tow our car to a tire shop. Two AAA guys came to help us so that we would not have to call and pay for a cab. Praise the Lord for their kindness!

We were taken to a sketchy looking tire shop, where we got two new tires put on our car. The manager was a man from Pakistan and he kept saying what a nice family we were. I hope and pray that the Lord helps his wife to get pregnant so that they can have a baby of their own someday.

We finally got to our hotel, had dinner, and got Olivia to bed.

As I said before, none of this was apart of my plan, but God took care of us! He was with us on the side of the road with a flat and He will provide the money that we need for tires. I had been so nervous about my half marathon, but it all faded in the light of our flat tire situation.

I was so tired from our flat tire ordeal that I slept better than I thought I would that night.

Sunday morning, I woke up about 6:00am, so that I could eat a little something before heading down to the race to get my packet. I ate my 1/2 bagel with peanut butter breakfast and spent time reading my Bible and in prayer. I prayed for each part of my body by name, my feet, ankles, legs, etc. I knew that I could not finish this half marathon without the Lord's help, so in that hotel room I called on Him to be my strength where I was weak!

We headed down to the race site, got a parking spot, and walked to the race start line. I picked up my packet and shirt, then attached my bib to my shirt. I had about a 20 minute wait before my race began at 7:30am.

Me before my race began at 7:15am

While I was running my race, Jon and Olivia hung out at the race site and car waiting for me to get back. They truly are my biggest fans and I could not have finished this race without their love and support!!

Jon and Olivia waiting at the start line cheering me on!

My only goal for this half marathon was to try to finish without stopping to walk. Before the race began, Jon told me to join a pace group, because the guys would help me to stay on track throughout the race. I choose the 3 hour group, because I knew that I could not run much faster than that for 13.1 miles. This was the best decision I made that morning!

The race started and the excitement of it all was overwhelming! I was able to keep up with the 3 hour group and actually run a little bit ahead of them. For most of the race, I was in between the 2 hour 50 minute group and my own 3 hour group.

The first 11 miles or so went really well! Of course my feet would hurt a little bit here and there, but because I have been training for the last 8 weeks, I was able to run the first 11 miles with little to no problem. The longest run that I had completed in training was 10 miles, so I was confident that the beginning part of my race would go really well.

All throughout my run, as a part of my body would begin to hurt, I would pray to the Lord that He would touch my body and take away the pain. I called on Him for strength more times than I can count! However, during my 11th mile I got a side cramp! I had to stop and walk for about a 1/4 mile. The entire time I was praying that God would touch my cramp and help the pain to subside until I finished my race.

Thankfully, my pain went away and I started to run again. I jogged very slowly, because I was nervous about my side pain would come back.

By this time, I was in my 12th and final mile! I cannot tell you how many times I wanted to stop and just walk the rest of the way.

Mentally, I was trying to stay focused and not get discouraged. I kept thinking about Jon and Olivia waiting for me at the finish line. I thought about my Weight Watchers members and blog friends. I thought about how far I have come, since before I joined Weight Watchers! Who would have ever thought that I would be running 13.1 miles! I also thought about wearing my finishers medal around my neck and how good that would feel!

However, the 3 hour pace group caught up to me, because I had slowed down so much. They were the motivation I needed to keep going! I joined their group and ran my heart out! They said we only had about a 1/2 mile left. I thought about how many times I had run a 1/2 mile in the last 8 weeks and I knew that I could do it!

My side started to hurt again, so I prayed and pushed through it!

We had one final hill before we were back on the street and headed for the finish line! I was tired, worn out, and wanted to stop and lay down, but I kept going putting one foot in front of the other.

I turned the corner and only had 0.1 miles left! When I caught sight of Jon and Olivia waiting for me the full weight of all the I have accomplished hit me. I wanted to stop and cry, but I knew that I needed to get across the finish line first!

I crossed the finished line, just behind my 3 hour pace friends!

My official time 02:59:30 that is 13:42 minutes per mile!! Wow!!

Me after I crossed the finish line and received my first finishers medal.

This is my finishers medal! Isn't it beautiful!? I am so thankful to have this as a reminder of all that I have accomplished!! I have changed my life and am changing my legacy, so that as Olivia grows up and walks in my footsteps they will be healthy ones!!

My Heels and Hills Half Marathon Finishers Medal!

Before, I joined Weight Watchers I never once dreamed that I would become a runner! I loved to sit on the couch, watch movies, and eat. Who knew that there was an athlete hiding under all that fat, shame, and hopelessness. 

I want you all to know that you should never ever give up on yourselves, because you can do it! You can lose your weight, run your own marathon, or whatever else you dream about! Remember that When things get hard, pray and call on the Lord, like I did, and He will be your source of strength during those hard times! You are worth so much more than you realize!

Me sporting my new shirt and medal!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Renewing Our Minds


In these last few days before my Heels and Hills half marathon, I've learned a very important lesson...what I think about myself matters!!

Honestly, I am nervous about my half marathon and Satan has used my nerves to flood my mind with doubts about myself and my abilities to finish this race. I have worried more this week than I have the entire time that I've been training!

Thankfully, the Lord reminded me of this truth in scripture!

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:1-2

Dwelling on negative thoughts, will not help me up to be successful. As this verse said I need to "renew" my mind! I need to stop focusing on the negative and focus on the truths of God that can be found in His word. As a result, I have started to fight back by filling my mind with scripture such as...

"I can do all things through him who strengths me." - Philippians 4:13

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him." - Psalm 37:13

These verses and Christian music fill my mind with truth about the Lord and His promises. They remind me of God's great love for me and that He will be with me no matter what!! They also help to encourage me that I am not alone.

I think that this truth applies to your weight loss journey as well!! 

What do you say to yourself when no one else is listening? Are you filling your mind with truth or lies? Find some Bible verses that you can memorize that apply to your specific situation. Then when Satan comes to attack you, you will be armed with the Word of God!

I cannot run this half marathon in my own strength, but through Christ all things are possible! You cannot reach your weight loss goals on your own, but with Christ all things are possible!


Don't let one more day go by before you ask the Lord to be your strength and help you reach your weight loss goals!!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Half Marathon Training Coming to an End

For the last two weeks, my best friend Michelle has been visiting us. She came down to meet Olivia and spend some time with my family! For that reason, I have not had a lot of time to write blog posts! I'm sorry for just disappearing like I did! Honestly, I did not think life was going to be that busy while she was here, but I was wrong.

Olivia, Michelle, Jon, and me
. . . . . . . . . .
In other news, I am so excited that my Heels and Hills Half Marathon is in just 5 days!!

It's hard to believe that I have almost made it through my 8 week half marathon training program! I have worked so hard over these last 8 weeks and I know that it will be worth it in the end!

For me, I'm not focused on how fast I can run this race. My goal is to run/jog my half marathon without stopping to walk. If that means I have to run slower to accomplish that goal then I will do whatever it takes to keep going. Trust me, it hurts more to stop and walk then it does to just keep going.

This coming Saturday is going to be very busy with my Weight Watchers meeting, graduation, and traveling 2 1/2 hours to get to our motel, the night before the race. Please keep me and my family in your prayers as we travel to the race. Pray that Olivia will be a good traveler and not get too cranky with the lack of naps she is going to get this coming weekend! Pray that I will have the endurance needed to complete this race. Pray that I won't compare myself to anyone else and just go at my own pace!

Next week, I look forward to having lots of pictures to share with with you from my very first half marathon!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weekly Weigh In - Slow and Steady

I'm so excited, because my very best friend is in town! Michelle has been living and working in Okinawa, Japan for over two years. She's finally come back to the States and traveled all the way to Texas, so that she could meet Olivia and spend time with our family! Our time is short and we are trying to enjoy every minute that we have together!

This past Saturday, I weighed in at Weight Watchers and was excited to see that I had lost 3.2 pounds! On top of that, I am finally back in the 140's after gaining weight over the Easter holiday!

As I continue to try to lose my baby weight, I am reminded that losing weight takes time. It is hard to be patient with the weight loss process, trust me I know! Remember that I am losing weight too!

Here are a few things to keep in mind...quick fixes don't work! If a weight loss program sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Healthy weight loss with Weight Watchers is defined as 1/2 pound to 2 pounds per week.

The first time around, I lost 90 pounds in 13 months. However, I was only 24 years old and didn't have any kids! I had more time to focus on myself and my weight loss journey. This time around with my baby weight, I have lost 30.2 pounds in about 7 1/2 months. I am 29 years old and taking care of a new baby! Life is different now and it is harder to lose weight.

Does that mean that I should quit? Absolutely not! It's even more important that I reach my weight loss goals, so that I can be a healthy example to my daughter!

I know that it's hard, but don't rush through this process. Please take time to learn about yourself and your body. If you don't do this, you will never learn how to keep it off for good!

You probably already know these things, but maybe today you are like me and needed this kind of reminder!

Slow and steady wins the race!


Friday, April 12, 2013

Running is Hard Work

I am training hard for the Heels and Hills half marathon. I have about 3 weeks until Race Day and I cannot wait!!


Most days I get up early in the morning and go for a run before Jon leaves for work. This is the best time for me, because I can run while Jon is home with Olivia. It's nice to be able to get out and spend some time by myself, before the rest of my day begins. It is ideal, but please understand that there are some mornings when I'm tired, sore, and just do not feel like getting out of bed to go for a run!

This morning, was one of those mornings, when I didn't feel like going for a I didn't.

I'm training for a half marathon, so I cannot skip my runs. Each run is important to get my body ready for Race Day. So, just because I did not get up early to run doesn't mean that I was going to forget my run all together. Instead it meant that I had to rearrange my schedule so that I could get my run in before the end of the day. On top of that, Jon's going to be home really late tonight, so I knew I would need to take Olivia running with me.

After Olivia ate breakfast, we left the house to go for a run.

Honestly, it is so hard for me to run with Olivia! I'm not a strong runner and I use my arms a lot when I run, so trying to run and push Olivia in the stroller at the same time is extremely difficult!

Training for my half marathon has been hard work, but it is worth it! I have more energy. I sleep better at night. I feel better about myself, because I am getting in shape. I am also giving my body the extra boost it needs to lose those last few pounds of baby weight that I gained with Olivia.

Don't be afraid of some hard work! Maybe you don't exercise at all, so start small. Just remember that any kind of movement is better for you than none at all!


How are you going to be active today!?

If you want to see the running schedule that I am following, please click here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Weekly Weigh In - Recapturing Your Enthusiasm

I am proud to say that after my almost 5 pound Easter weekend gain, I was able to lose 1.4 of it last week! It took a lot of hard work and determination, but it feels so good to be back on plan! It also helps that I did some meal planning (which I will write more about later), went to the grocery store and stocked up on pointsplus friendly foods. I'm also getting in lots of activity pointsplus as I train for my half marathon.

I love being a Weight Watchers leader! I enjoy being able to encourage my members throughout their weight loss journies and help them reach their goals! My favorite part about being a Weight Watchers leader is being able to continue to be enthusiastic about the Weight Watchers program and weight loss in general.

Why is that important?

After you've been on Weight Watchers for a while, or any weight loss program, everything starts to become familiar, routine, and maybe even boring. This can be very discouraging as you are trying to lose weight and stay on plan!

The best part about being a Weight Watchers member and attending a weekly meeting is that for 30 minutes a week you are in a room filled with people just like you! Some people are already at goal or almost there, other people have been coming for a while, and then you have the new members that are scared and excited all at the same time! Those new members usually bring so much enthusiasm that it overflows into everyone else each week. It reminds members of how it first felt to follow the plan and helps keep them going throughout the next week.

My Mom did this for me this past week, as I was fighting to get back on plan after Easter.

If you follow my blog's Facebook page, Living a Changed Life, you have seen me post this picture of my Mom's weight loss progress. Isn't my Mom doing great? She is losing weight with good old fashioned diet and exercise!

Everything is new and exciting for my Mom, because she is just starting her weight loss journey! Her enthusiastic attitude overflowed into my life this week to help encourage me to go back on plan and get back to basics. Normally, Mom's asking me for advice, but this week I tried a few things that she suggested, because they have helped her stay on plan!

My Mommy's weight loss progress
Have you lost your enthusiasm and excitement for your weight loss program? Maybe you need to talk with someone that is just starting their weight loss journey, read success stories, or read your old journal entries. Do whatever you have to in order to recapture some of the enthusiasm that you have lost along the way!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Half Size Me Podcast

Happy Monday! I hope that you all had a great weekend. Yesterday, I ran over 8 miles as part of my half marathon training! I am proud to say that I finished my run without stopping to walk. However, I'm even more excited to share with you that I earned a total of 16 Activity PointsPlus! I'm still sore today, but it's worth it!

My before and after pictures

Today, we are going to do something a little different! A few months back, Heather from Half Size Me contacted me and wanted to know if she could interview me about my weight loss. Of course, I said yes!! During my interview, I had such a great time talking with Heather about my weight loss journey and the lifestyle changes that I have been able to make and maintain. She was such an encouragement to me!

My interview is being featured, as a podcast, today on Heather's site.

Please head over there now to check out my Half Size Me podcast and feel free to share it with your friends!

If you have a chance to listen to it, leave me a comment and tell me what you liked about it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My Half Marathon Playlist


I have just 4 short weeks until I participate in my first half marathon!! Training for this Half Marathon has been hard work!! Honestly, there have been many days where I just didn't feel like running, so I made excuses and hit the snooze button. However, overall I've been able to make running and exercise a priority in my life again. It feels so good!!

I love this playlist, because Jon helped me put it together!! My playlist is full of fast and upbeat songs. It has been so important for me to have an awesome playlist to listen to while I am running, because it helps keep me motivated. When I want to quit, God always provides the perfect song to help keep me going!

As you will see, most of these people are Christian artists, because that's the kind of music I listen to on a daily basis. God has convicted me about my music on more than one occasion. The Lord has asked that the majority of the music I listen to, be music that glorifies Him. These songs get stuck in my head all the time, because I listen to them so often, and I want to make sure that what's going into my mind is not going to get in between me and my Lord!

13.1 Running Mix

1. Alligator Sky by, Owl City
2. Awake My Soul (with Lecrae) by, Chris Tomlin
3. Barlow Girls by, Superchick
4. Beautiful by, Group 1 Crew
5. Beautifully Broken by, This Beautiful Republic
6. Born Again by, Newsboys
7. Born Again by, Third Day
8. The Comeback Kid by, B. Reith
9. The Devil Is Bad by, The W's
10. Ever Ever After by, Giulia Ottonello
11. Eye On It by, TobyMac
12. The Flame In All of Us by, Thousand Foot Krutch
13. Funky Jesus Music by, TobyMac
14. God's Great Dance Floor by, Chris Tomlin
15. God's Not Dead (Like a Lion) by, Newsboys
16. He Said by, Chris August
17. Hello, My Name Is by, Matthew West
18. His Kind of Love by, Group 1 Crew
19. Hold Me by, Jamie Grace
20. How You Live (Turn Up the Music) by, Point of Grace
21. I Need a Miracle by, Third Day
22. I Will Not Be Moved by, Natalie Grant
23. I'm For You by, TobyMac
24. Ignite by, Fireflight
25. Keep Me Breathing by, Ashes Remain
26. Lay Me Down by, Chris Tomlin
27. Let's Go by, Group 1 Crew
28. Me Without You by, TobyMac
29. Mighty Fortress by, Jesus Culture
30. My Brain Says Stop, But My Heart Says Go by, FM Static
31. My Stereo by, FM Static
32. No One Like You by, David Crowder Band
33. One Girl Revolution by, Superchick
34. Ooh Ahh by, Grits
35. Perfect People by, Natalie Grant
36. Procrasinating by, Stellar Kart
37. Ready or Not by, Brit Nicole
38. The Real World by, Owl City
39. Reckless by, Jeremy Camp
40. Run To You by, Third Day
41. She Walked Away by, Barlow Girl
42. Shooting Star by, Owl City
43. Showstopper by, TobyMac
44. Sometimes You Can Forget Who You Are by, FM Static
45. Speed Of Love by, Owl City
46. Stronger by, Mandisa
47. Stuck Like Glue by, Sugarland
48. Suitcases by, Dara Maclean
49. Touch The Sky by, Julie Fowlis
50. True Love's Kiss by, Giulia Ottonello
51. Twenty Seven Million by, Matt Redman & LZ7
52. U Don't Know Me Like That by, FM Static
53. Waiting for Tomorrow by, Mandisa
54. We Are The Free by, Matt Redman
55. A Whole New World by, Stellar Kart
56. Noise by, Colton Dixon 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Learning from a Bad Weekend

I finally have internet again! All weekend we were at a lake house without any internet and yesterday, the internet was down at my house, which was so frustrating. It feels good to finally be back! I really hope that you all had an amazing Easter weekend!! Let me tell you a little bit about mine...

Orginally, me, Jon, and Olivia were going to go camping over Easter weekend. However, that didn't work out. Instead, we went away with our friends to a lake house for the long holiday weekend. Like I said, there wasn't any internet or cell phone service. It was the perfect change that we needed from our normal day to day routine, so that we could relax.

I am sad to say that I didn't do a very good job of staying on plan while we were gone.

I should have, because I planned the menu! However, Pinterest got the best of me and I made a lot of recipes that were not Weight Watchers friendly. In addition, as soon as I left my apartment, my vacation mindset kicked in. I felt like I deserved a break from making healthy choices.

I brought healthy snacks for myself, but I did not choose those foods to eat! Instead, I ate what everyone else was eating.

Also, being gone all weekend meant that I was not able to weigh in at Weight Watchers. It always throws me off when I am not able to have an official weigh in with Weight Watchers. Not knowing what I weigh makes me eat like crazy, because I assume the worst (that I have gained weight). Those negative emotions then drive me to eat more than I ever wanted to in the first place!

By the end of the weekend I felt awful! I felt sick to my stomach, because I am not used to stuffing my face like I did. I also felt shame, because I know how to make better choices than I did.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that I am not perfect! I am struggling to lose my baby weight just like the rest of you. I had only been 9 pounds away from my goal weight, but after this weekend, I'm pretty sure I will have more than that to lose.

Now what? I'm going to forgive myself and move on. I'm going back to the basics of the Weight Watchers program: tracking what I eat, drinking water, and exercising. These are just little things, but they will make all the difference for me!

Do you need to get back on track? Did you have a bad Easter? Christmas? Thanksgiving? How much longer will you wait before you start to make healthy choices again?

On a happier note, here are some pictures of my family that were taken on Easter Sunday!

Jon and Olivia after church on Easter Sunday

Me and my baby girl

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recipe Review: Healthy Cookies

I enjoy eating bananas, but they always get too ripe before I am ready to eat them! Thanks to the tin foil solution, I haven't had that problem much any more. However, I still have a bunch of bananas in the freezer that I need to use. My husband prefers that I make Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, but recently I have been looking for a healthier ways to use those ripe bananas.

When I found these Healthy Cookies on Pinterest I thought that they were too good to be true. I was excited, because they did not have many ingredients and were low in pointsplus values.

I'm excited to share this new recipe review with you and hope that you enjoy it!

Ingredients: bananas, quick oats, and walnuts

Crush, mash, and mix all the ingredients together.

Place a tablespoon of each on cookie sheet.

The finished product!

. . . . . . . . . .
Healthy Cookies
Serving Size: 2 cookies
Calories: 93
Fat: 3.5 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 2 g
Old Points: 2 pt
Points+: 2 pts+
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup uncooked quick oats
  1/4 cup crushed walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spray a non-stick cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Combine the mashed bananas and oats in a bowl. Fold in the walnuts and place a tablespoon of each on the cookie sheet.
Bake 15 minutes. Makes 16 cookies.

 *If you don't like nuts, add in chocolate chips or coconut instead. Just make sure you adjust the pointsplus values.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Giveaway Winner Announced - Weight Watchers Bathroom Scale

The winner of the Weight Watchers Bathroom Scale giveaway is.... 

Heather R.

Please send me an email at with your information, so I can get this scale to you! You have 48 hours to respond!

Thank you to everyone who entered!!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

8 Week Half Marathon Schedule

Today I completed my very first day of half marathon training!! If you missed my blog post yesterday, I am currently training for my very first half marathon the Heels & Hills Half Marathon on May 5, 2013!!

Last night, Jon stayed up late with me looking for fast and upbeat music that I could put on my "13.1 play list". Thankfully, Jon likes a wider variety of music than I do, which was so helpful as we put music together for my new play list. Before going to bed, I set out my running shoes, yoga pants, Denver Broncos tee, running socks, fleece jacket, and my knee brace.

Getting everything ready the night before helps me to have less excuses in the morning when I get up to run!!

This morning I woke up early, I'm talking before daylight, to go for a 3 mile run. I got ready and headed out the door. It was so quiet and peaceful to be out and running around the neighborhood before anyone else got up. As I ran, I spent time in prayer talking to the Lord and just simply enjoying time with Him before my day began.

I am so glad that I signed up for this Half Marathon! Already it is providing that motivation that I've been looking for since Olivia was born.

For those of you who might be wondering, I used the Smart Coach at Runner's World to create my very own 8 Week Half Marathon Schedule.
8 Week Half Marathon Schedule

Have you been looking for a way to motivate yourself!? Maybe it's time for you to sign up for your first 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, or Full Marathon!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My "New" Hobby

I have been searching for a new hobby and I think I finally decided what it is going to be...


It's been a while since I was interested in running. It was back in August 2009, I ran in my first 5K. Honestly, since I had Olivia, I have not been in to running/jogging or exercise of any kind. I have convinced myself that I do not have time for exercise right now and I have made a lot of excuses. However, I am here to tell you that the excuses stop today, because I signed myself up for the Heels & Hills Half Marathon!!

What was I thinking!?

I mean, I am so excited! There are just about 8 weeks until my half marathon!

Ideally, you need 12 weeks to complete all of your training and prepare your body for a half marathon. However, my goal is to finish this half-marathon...that's it. So, even if it means that I have to walk part of the way that is fine with me, because I just want to know that I can do this and be excited about exercising again!!


When I was new to running back in 2009, I found a book that really helped me called, "Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide" by, Hal Higdon. I will be using this book and Hal's Half Marathon Training Guide - Novice 1 Program that can be found online.

I am looking forward to blogging more about this over the next few weeks and months!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Weight Watchers Bathroom Scale - Giveaway [Closed]

 I shared with you the great things about the Weight Watchers Bathroom Scale by Conair. They have generously offered to give away one scale to one of my readers. That's right one of you will win a new Weight Watchers Bathroom Scale! You will get it just in time for swim suit season.
. . . . . . . . . .
 Here's What You Need To Do To Win:
1. Leave me a comment on this blog post.

For Extra Entries (separate comments)
2. Follow my blog. If you do already, let me know!
3. Blog or Tweet or Facebook about the giveaway and post the link in your comment.
I will choose one winner via Random on March 3 and the winner will have 48 hours to contact me to claim their prize!

Comments will be closed this Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:00pm!

(Click here to find out it you won!)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Meal Planning on a Budget


This evening, me and Jon are spending our date night going to the grocery store. Don't judge. We love spending time together, no matter what we are doing. Not to mention, it's easier to get groceries when it's just the two of us.

As you might know, Jon and I live on a very tight budget, because most of the money we make goes to pay off our student loans. Eating healthy and living on a budget are two hard things to do! However, we have learned to make sacrifices in other areas, so that we can live a healthier lifestyle.

The most important way that I have learned to stay on budget and eat healthy is meal planning. Not only does meal planning help us to stay on budget, but it helps me to know that I have healthy/on plan meals to enjoy throughout the week! When life gets busy and I do not take time to plan out our meals we always end up spending more money than we planned. The hour or two that it takes me to plan out our weekly meals is worth it!

Here are the steps that I go through each week to plan out our meals.

1. PRAY. Before you do anything else, make sure that you get on your knees before the Lord in prayer over your weekly menu. I always pray that God will bless our food, so we will have enough to use the next week. I pray that God will help me to make wise choices at the store and find things on sale, so that we can stay under budget. As God answers my prayers I thank Him for His goodness in our lives!!

2. Make a Weekly Menu. There are so many wonderful resources available to help you decide what you want to eat throughout the week! The three websites I use each week are Pinterest, Skinnytaste, and my own Living a Changed Life Recipe Collection. Take some time each week to look at these different websites to decide what you would like to make for dinner.

3. Make a Grocery List. Once I have decided what I want to eat throughout the week, I begin to create a grocery list. I list out all the ingredients from my recipes that I will need for the upcoming week. I also list out healthy snacks, food for lunches, and anything else I think we might need. Then I go throughout my house and see what I already have in the pantry. I cross off the items I already have at home, so that I am only buying exactly what I need for the next week.

4. Go Shopping and Stick to the List. There are so many wonderful new items at the store all the time. In order to stay on budget, I stick to the list. I'm telling you this is the best thing, but please know that this is such a hard thing for me to do! I am still working on it. For the most part, I stick to my list. However, there have been times where I have found new low pointsplus foods items that I did not have on my list, but buy any way to try.

5. Portion Out Your Food. As soon as I get home or the very next day, if I do my shopping at night. I portion out all of my meat, fruit, veggies, crackers, chips, and more into individual Ziploc bags. This helps me to not waste the food I buy and help it to avoid going bad in my fridge before I decide to eat it. Throughout the week it is easier for me to make wise choices, when my food is already cut, wash, and waiting for me in a little cute bag!

 I hope this information is helpful to you! Like I said, this is what works for us. However, if this will not work for you that's okay! Just try to find a way that will work for you.


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