Saturday, November 1, 2014

Gobble Wobble


Guess what!? I am so excited, because I signed up for my first Gobble Wobble. It has been hard to make running a priority, but I know that signing up for this race will motivate me to get out there and run. I have always wanted to do a Gobble Wobble, but in the past it has not worked out with our schedule. This year, no matter what I am going to complete this run/walk. 

Have you run a Gobble Wobble in the past? If not, you should try to find a Gobble Wobble in your area.


In other news, there are a lot of changes taking place in our family. This year has been one of the hardest years in my life as we have had things come up that we did not anticipate.  However, I am here to testify that even though we have faced impossible circumstances, the Lord is good!!

I have given my notice at work and will no longer have a full-time job by mid-December. Our hope and prayer is that the Lord will continue to make it possible for me to stay at home and focus on taking care of our girls.

We really need your prayers now more than ever as we set out on the new adventure!! We do not know how we will pay for everything, but we are trusting that the Lord will provide.

My precious family

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Life or Death


Recently, I have just been struggling with not caring about eating healthy. I have felt depressed and discouraged and eating whatever makes me happy. I am so close to reaching my goal weight, but I feel like I have just given up.

I have been praying that God would help to give me some encouragement that would help me to care about my weight loss journey again. This morning, during my quiet time, God answered my prayer and show this verse to me.

"Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death."
- James 1:15 [ESV]

It is like a light bulb went off and suddenly I realized that the food choices that I have been making are going to lead to DEATH.

The death of my body, soul, and spirit.

The death of my self-esteem.

The death of my testimony.

We must remember that it is only through the saving power of the GOSPEL that we can find strength!!

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek."
- Romans 1:16 [ESV]

All that being said, I am praying that the Lord helps me to begin to make healthy choices again!! Choices that will lead to an abundant life in Christ!!

How about you? Have your food choices been leading to LIFE or DEATH?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Weekly Weigh In - Healthy Weight Range...again

Monday night is my weigh in day at Weight Watchers.  Last week, I was so disappointed to find out that I had not lost any weight. Every week I want to lose weight and when that doesn't happen I struggle to have a positive attitude. I tried to be thankful that I didn't gain any weight, but it did not seem to help. What I didn't know, is that my bad attitude would stick around most of the week.

As a result of my negative attitude, I began to make poor food choices.

For a few days, I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere. I felt like I was never going to get to my goal, so I should just go ahead and eat whatever I want!

Have you ever had days like this?

Thankfully, towards the end of the week, during my quiet time, the Lord got my attention and gave me some insight on myself.

First, the Lord revealed to me that I have been trying to lose my weight in my own strength. I have trust God to give me the strength that I need on this journey, otherwise I will never be able to reach and maintain my goals.

Second, the Lord showed me that my expectations for myself are too high. God helped me understand that I need to be gracious with myself. When I have a bad weigh in, I need to tell God about it so that He can help me be thankful in the midst of incredible disappointment.

Finally, I've really felt like the Lord wants me to pray about my ultimate weight loss goal. It is not about a number, but trusting that God will show me the perfect weight for my body.

Spending time with the Lord was just what I needed to get myself back on track.

Yesterday, when I went into Weight Watchers to weigh in, I was expecting to gain weight. I knew that it had been a hard week and I wanted to adjust my expectations, so that I could avoid a bad attitude. I am happy to be able to share with you that I lost 0.8 pounds, which put me into my healthy weight range!!

Wow!! I cannot begin to explain how excited I am about being healthy again. This is such a huge victory and I could not have done it with the Lord. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness in my life!!

They are growing up so fast!!
Just for fun, here is a recent picture of my girls, Olivia and Sophie. I cannot believe how fast they are growing up! I am so blessed to be able to be their Momma!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weight Loss Success Story: Carol Bartholomew

Today, I would like you to meet my Mom, Carol!! My Mom is on her own weight loss journey. So far she has lost over 50 pounds and 12 inches. I am proud of my Mom and the lifestyle changes that she has made. She is a constant source of encouragement and inspiration as we watch her reach her goals on day at a time. She hasn't reached her goal yet, but I know that she won't give up until she gets there! 

Me, Olivia, and Mom September 2013

Check out my Mom's story and be inspired!!

I was very thin when I was growing up and once I got married and started having kids the weight came on and it never left. I have 3 daughters and 2 sons plus 7 grandkids. I moved down to Springfield, Oregon from Washington in January of 2013. I weighed about 50 lbs. more than I do now. 


Currently, I am a caregiver for my mother who has Alzheimer’s.  I started walking in March of 2013 and by August I was at 199 and had hit a plateau.  I needed more.  I met a man named Tim from International Fitness and he gave me a free pass to come to the gym.  I went, I joined, and I haven’t looked back since!

I know the weight doesn’t seem like a lot for a year but I have also become very toned and much stronger.  I recently re-measured myself and I have lost 12 inches so far.  That’s a whole foot! How insane is that!


I have a really bad left knee which has hindered me being able to take more classes.  When I found PiYo things just clicked for me.  I love PiYo!! I do it 5 days a week in a live class at the gym and I also have the home version which I do 6 days a week. I am very proud of my accomplishments.


I am changing my life one day at a time. I want to show my kids anything is possible if you put your mind to it and show my grandkids to never give up on your dreams!! I also want to encourage my girls to start getting healthy now while they are young.  It isn’t as easy when you are older like me. But ANYTHING is possible if you want it bad enough and try try try!

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Day on Simply Filling

I get questions from people about what they should eat now that they have started their own weight loss journey. Below is a record of what I ate for one day using the Weight Watchers Simply Filling technique. These healthy foods kept me satisfied throughout the day.  I hope this post gives you some new ideas which you could easily add to your daily routine.

For breakfast I ate...
hot oatmeal (powerfood)
blueberries (powerfood)
1 tbsp agave nectar (2 pointsplus)
1 liter water (0 pointsplus)

delicious blueberries

{Morning Snack}
I was so full from breakfast that I wasn't hungry for a snack. That doesn't always happen, but on this day it did.

For lunch I ate...
1/2 bbq chicken lean cuisine pizza (4 pointsplus)
green salad (powerfood)
2 tbsp fat free zesty italian dressing (0 pointsplus)
1 liter water (0 pointsplus)

water bottle

{Afternoon Snack}
For snack I ate...
1 large banana (powerfood)

  For dinner I ate...
1 slice nature's own 100% whole grain bread (powerfood)
2 egg muffins (powerfood)
1/2 cup roasted tomato, potato, zucchini, and summer squash (powerfood)
1 liter water (0 pointsplus)

roasted tomato, potato, zucchini, and summer squash

 {Late Night Snack}
For snack I ate...
4 cups plain, air-popped popcorn (powerfood)

{Daily Total}
3 liters of water
lots of powerfoods
used 6 pointsplus from my 49 weekly pointsplus allowance

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Simply Filling Technique

Over the past few months I have been eating more "whole foods". Whole foods are foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free from additives or other artificial substances. I feel very strongly about the importance of making wise food choices.


For the past 5 years, I have followed the Weight Watchers program. I have consistently followed the PointsPlus technique and it has worked. I lost 90 pounds in 2009 using the PointsPlus program. 

Recently, I have been conflicted, because I wasn't sure that I could continue to be on the Weight Watchers program with my new convictions about the importance of eating whole foods. Instead of quitting Weight Watchers all together, I have decided to start a new journey using the Simply Filling technique.

On the Simply Filling program you eat foods from the Power Foods list until you are satisfied, not worrying about counting PointsPlus. If you want something that isn’t a Power Food, then you use your Weekly PointsPlus allowance or any Activity PointsPlus you earn. If you want more information, here is what Weight Watchers has to say about it.

My plan is to try Simply Filling for two weeks and see how it goes. I am both nervous and excited at the same time! This morning I was so careful about the food choices that I made, because I wanted to be sure that they were within the Simply Filling guidelines.

I have tried Simply Filling before, but I have always gone back to PointsPlus, because it is what is familiar to me. I don't want that to happen this time around.

I can't wait to give you more feedback in the coming days and weeks about this technique!!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Making Exercise a Routine....again

Ever since I gave birth to Sophie in December, it has been incredibly challenging to get back into a regular exercise routine. I have worked out at home, but I have not gone for an actual run yet.

Yesterday, I put on my workout clothes and laced up my running shoes and went for a run. My goal was to complete two miles. I am very out of shape and had to alternate between running and walking. I was so excited that I did not pass out or give up.

It was hard and I am very sore, but it was worth it!!

I anticipate that it will continue to be challenging to make time for myself and exercise. I know that in the end, this will all be worth it!!

Here's a fun before and after picture below...

I will not be able to go for a run everyday. So on the days when Jon's gone, I will workout at home by using my exercise videos. I do not have very many exercise DVDs so I am currently rotating through "Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred", "Weight Watchers: Punch!", and ":08 min. Abs".

Anyone else struggling to get back into a good exercise routine? What is your favorite exercise routine right now?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bounce Back

In case I haven’t mentioned this earlier, I am leading a local Weight Watchers meeting again!! I am so excited about this opportunity and thankful that God worked out my schedule so that I could be a part of a weekly meeting.

Last night at Weight Watchers, we talked about bouncing back from a slip up. Everyone has had a slip up and we will have them again. The most important thing is that we need to remember that they are not a big deal. We must do whatever we can to forgive ourselves and get back on plan as soon as possible. None of us are proud of our slip ups, but we all have gained a lot of wisdom as we have learned from our mistakes.

Right before the end of the meeting, we wrote down words of encouragement on a Post-It note. We were told to take that note home with us and put it up somewhere in our house where we will see it. This way the next time we mess up our note will be there to help us get back on track.

On my note I wrote, “The scale does NOT define you.”

What would your Post-It note say!?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Looneyspoons Collection: Good Food, Good Health, Good Fun!

I was so excited to receive a copy of "The Looneyspoons Collection: Good Food, Good Health, Good Fun!" by, Janet & Greta Podleski. This cookbook is amazing, because it's funny, easy to read, accessible in cooking techniques, loaded with nutrition fun facts, and brimming with recipes. Yes, there are 325 recipes - almost all of which we actually want to make!

Each recipe includes the nutritional data which includes the quantity of: calories, total fat, saturated fat, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, cholesterol and sodium. These facts would be enough to calculate the pointsplus values for each individual recipe. There are also nutritional and health facts scattered amongst the recipes often pertaining to a particular ingredient used in the recipe or just to inspire exercise or other health-related endeavors.

Surprisingly, this cookbook is hysterical. These sisters have a great sense of humor. The titles of their recipes are great! AND the recipes are delicious. So what's on the list for future dinners? "Chicken Teriwacky", "Livin' on the Vedge", and "Sammy Salsa" and many more!

Make sure you stop by, their website is FULL of amazing info!

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for this review.  I did not get paid for this review.  Receiving a free copy of the book in no way influences the review that I gave.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Notes to Self

Tuesday I went off plan. It wasn't intentional, but it just kind of happened. We were meeting my Dad for lunch and instead of taking the time to make something healthy for myself, I just opted to eat what everyone else was eating for lunch. I had plenty of pointsplus for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. However, instead of adjusting the rest of my day accordingly, I let myself go and ate whatever I wanted throughout the rest of the day.

As a result of my poor food choices, I spent Tuesday evening in a lot of physical pain. There is a good chance that I have some gallbladder stones that tend to act up when I make bad food choices. I have not had an attack like this in a long time. While I was doing everything I could to ease my pain, I decided that I need to begin to write notes of encouragement to myself, so that this won't happen again.

Yesterday, that is exactly what I did!

I wrote two notes to self, "If you feel like going off plan" and "If you feel like overeating". In my note, I described how it felt to eat off plan on Tuesday. I reminded myself of how far I have come and to continue to keep up the good work.  I also mentioned just how awful I feel when I overeat or eat off plan.

I don't want this slip up to keep me from reaching my weight loss goals, but I want to learn from them. The next time I feel like overeating, I can pull out my note to self and be encouraged to make a healthy choice. I am excited to see how well these notes work in the coming months as I continue to lose my baby weight.

As I have more time, I plan to write additional notes to myself. I have a list of ideas below.

- If you feel discouraged
- If you feel like you are ugly
- If you feel defeated
- If you feel like you are having a fat day
- If you feel like going off plan
- If you feel like overeating

Are there notes that you need to write to yourself? What other ideas do you have? What would your note to self say?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Snack Girl to the Rescue


I was so excited to have an opportunity to read, "Snack Girl to the Rescue: A Real-Life Guide to Losing Weight and Getting Healthy with 100 Recipes Under 400 Calories" by, Lisa Cain aka Snack Girl. I was pleasantly surprised to find the first part of Lisa's book, which is just over 100 pages, filled with encouragement and guidance to help people lose weight and get healthy. Lisa is a real person who has struggles with her weight and it's great to know about the changes she had made so that she can lead a healthy lifestyle. Lisa's tips are practical and anyone could use them.

The rest of Lisa's book contains 100 recipes under 400 calories. These low calorie recipes are easy to prepare and tasty enough to enjoy with the whole family. Snack Girl's guilt-free recipes also include nutritional facts which can be applied to any weight loss program. Personally, I cannot wait to make Snack Girl's "Do-It-Yourself Cereal Bars" for my family.

The only downside to this book is that there aren't any pictures. However, if you visit Snack Girl's website, Lisa has many more recipe ideas with pictures.

I would highly recommend "Snack Girl to the Rescue" to anyone who wants to read some true, real information about food and snacking from someone who's been there, done that.

I received a free copy of this book from in exchange for this review.  I did not get paid for this review.  Receiving a free copy of the book in no way influences the review that I gave.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Shift In Focus

I want to thank you all for your encouragement regarding my previous blog post, "Is Weight Watchers Right For Me?"!! Your comments and emails are exactly what I needed to keep going. I guess I didn't realize just how much of a role model I have become to some of you. I'm not perfect, but I will continue to be honest and open about my weight loss struggles.

One of the main reasons that I love Weight Watchers is because I am allowed to eat anything I want. Nothing is off limits, as long as I have enough pointsplus. As I went through my initial weight loss process back in 2009, this was exactly what I needed, because at that time I was not ready to say goodbye to a lot of my favorite foods. Slowly, I began to make better food choices. However, I was still unwilling to give up a lot of the snack food that I enjoy.

Over the past few weeks, I have realized that in order for me to be successful I need make healthier food choices. I want to make the most of my food choices.

What does that mean? I am staying away from food like products and focusing on eating real food. As a result, I have not been eating snack food, chips, granola bars, cereal, desserts, chocolate, etc. My focus has become much more plant-based. I am eating vegetables, grains, legumes and fruit, with little or no animal products (including dairy).

I know that it sounds extreme. Let me tell you that this change in focus has been hard and I have had a few setbacks. However, I strongly believe that a shift in focus is exactly what I need to severe the cords between myself and the typical Western diet.

As I have begun to make healthier foods choices again, my excitement for healthy living has returned! I have even tried new foods like quinoa and chia seeds. I hope that I am able to share some of those new recipes with you in the not to distant future!

Lunch just 6 pointsplus! (black beans, brown rice, salsa, chia seeds)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is Weight Watchers Right For Me?

Ever since I gave birth to my second daughter, Sophie, I have struggled to get back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon. I hate to admit this, but I have contemplated whether or not Weight Watchers is still the right program for me.

For the past few weeks, I have been tracking my Pointsplus and leading my meeting all the while wondering if there is something better out there.

Last night at my weekly Weight Watchers meeting, I met two members who changed everything for me. The first woman was a new member. To my surprise, she already knew who I was, because she has been following my blog. I just love meeting people who follow my weight loss blog!! Next, I was introduced to a woman who has been a Weight Watchers Lifetime member for over 25 years!!

God used these women to speak to my heart about a few things.

First, Weight Watchers isn't just another diet. God has chosen to use Weight Watchers to change my life! I continue to be blessed as the Lord uses my journey to encourage others. I pray that my decisions to begin to lead a healthy lifestyle will trickle down into the hearts and minds of my girls.

Second, I was reminded that Weight Watchers works!! I gained weight throughout my pregnancies, just like I was supposed to do. However, I haven't let myself go and gain back everything I originally lost. I can't wait for God to give me a victory over my baby weight in the coming months. I hope that in 25 years, I can say that I have been able to maintain my goal weight throughout the remained of my life.

I feel silly now admitting that I was uncertain about Weight Watchers. Now there is no doubt in my mind that Weight Watchers is the right lifestyle for me!!

Have you been a Weight Watchers member for a long time? What will it take for you to be excited about the Weight Watchers program again? Do you believe that Weight Watchers (or your weight loss program) is still the right one for you?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Is It Worth It - Power Point Presentation


Back in April, I was one of the guest speakers at a local Weight Watchers event called, "Is It Worth It?". At the event I talked about how to transform your favorite family recipes into more Weight Watchers friendly choices. After all, that is what I do with my Recipe Reviews, here at Living a Changed Life. Let's go through the process together as I share some of my powerpoint slides with you.

First, you find a recipe that you like. It might be a family recipe or a recipe that you found on Pinterest. Either way, it is probably a recipe that isn't Weight Watchers friendly yet.

Next, I open up my Weight Watchers Recipe Builder in eTools, because this really is my secret weapon! I evaluate the original recipe, taking on item at a time. For Example: The recipe might call for whole milk, but you could substitute fat free milk instead.

Also, play around with the portion sizes, because more portions equal less pointsplus per serving.

While you are in Recipe Builder, don't forget to use the "Lighten It Up" tab. Weight Watchers gives you lots of great ideas about other ways to lighten up your recipes. For Example: Instead of using butter, you could use applesauce.

As you can see in the slide above, the original recipes was 6 pointsplus per serving. However, after it was transformed, it was only 4 pointsplus per serving!

Ultimately you must ask yourself, "Is it worth it for you to take the time to transform some of your favorite recipes?"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Powerful Lessons from my Dad

Last week, our prayers were answered and my homeless Dad finally made to East Texas!! It would take too long to tell you about all the many ways that God has been at work in my Dad’s life. In short, it is a joy to know that my Dad is sleeping in a bed each night and getting three meals a day. However, it’s just hard to know how to love and support him during this time. It is safe to say that I have shed a lot of tears!

Dad with Kyle (straight)edit

Over a month ago, God began to ask me to see people as He sees people. Little did I know that God would begin to help me see life through my Dad’s eyes.

There is a negative attitude about homelessness in this country. I am not pointing fingers, because I was one of these people! I never wanted to give a homeless person money, because they might spend it on drugs or alcohol. I never wanted to pick up a homeless person, because they might be some kind of psycho serial killer. In my mind, I would look down on the homeless and just assume that they brought this upon themselves.

I knew God’s word said to “sell everything you have and give to the poor” (Luke 18:22), but the reality is that my heart was cold toward homeless men and women. Seeing life through my Dad’s eyes has shown me that homeless people are just like you and me!!

Let me make myself very clear, not everyone who becomes homeless has a drug and alcohol problem. Unexpectedly, my Dad’s life took a turn for the worst and he has not been able to get back on his feet. He’s not a psycho killer, just my Dad and my girls’ Grandpa and we love him very much!


I am not perfect, but I am thankful that God is changing my heart!! Every homeless person that I see holds a special place in my heart, because when I look at them I see my Dad. I want to help them, because I hope and pray that someone will look past the stereotype and reach out to my Dad.

Finally, I want to say how thankful I am to the men and women who saw my Dad as a real person and reached out to him while he was on his “journey” from Washington to Texas. Thank you for giving him money, food, rides, shoes, backpacks, and so much more!! Your gifts and kindness are making a huge difference in his life!!

So, if you see my Dad (or any other homeless person) around town, please shake their hand and look in them in the eye and ask if there is anyway that you can help them. Sometimes just treating them like a child of God is all they really need!

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”
- James 2:26

Monday, May 26, 2014

Hungry For Change

Occasionally, I have free time to sit down, prop up my feet, and watch something on Netflix. This past weekend I decided to watch a documentary called "Hungry For Change: Your health is in your hands". This documentary really challenged me look at the food choices that I make on a daily basis. They communicated the importance of our need to stop dieting and completely change our lifestyle.


One of my favorite things that they talked about was that we need to begin to transform our minds. Personally, I believe that God's word is the only way to truly renew our minds and we need to fill our minds with scripture. However, I believe that there is value in the quote shown below.

If I tell myself that we can't have something, I feel deprived and want that food more than ever. However, if I recognize that I can eat anything I want, but I choose not to. Well now that gives me power over food, so that I do not have to be controlled by my cravings.

As a result of this movie, I am going to focus on eating more Weight Watchers Power Foods for the next few weeks. I tried the Simply Filling plan when I was pregnant with Sophie, but I didn't do a very good job of staying on plan. This time around, I am really going to focus on making healthy foods choices and being careful about what I put in my body.

How can you begin to make healthier food choices today!?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Missing In Action

Life has really taken its toll on me these past few months. I am not ready to go into all the details, just know that my Dad has been going through some hard times. As a family we have come together to begin to help my Dad, but he has a long road ahead of him.

Me, my Dad, and my brother

All that to say, life's circumstances have been so overwhelming that I have not had time to focus on taking care of myself. I haven't been following Weight Watchers either. In all honesty, there isn't much for me to write about, if I am not focusing on eating healthy.

For a while, I was eating whatever sounded good, which included a lot of sweets! I am doing my best to turn to God and not food. However, I am not perfect, but I am trying.

Last week, I recognized this problem and began to make small changes that should help me to begin to make myself a priority again. Life is never going to allow me the time to completely focus on myself, so I have to fight for it.

Olivia, Sophie, and me enjoying the sunshine

Everyday, I have to make a choice to fully focus on myself and living a healthy lifestyle. My first step toward a healthier me was going on a walk with my girls to the park.

What will be your first step to a healthier you!?

If you think about my Dad, please pray for him and that he will take the necessary steps to get himself some help!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Guest Post: Following in Your Footsteps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you found this encouraging! Please feel free to contact me at or at

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Food Finds: Onion Straws and Fiber One Fruit Snacks

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

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

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

Here are a few of my latest food finds:

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

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Prayers for My Girls

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


In addition, I need to be a Momma on my knees before the Lord, fighting for the souls of my daughters now, before they ever face challenging circumstances. I wish that I could keep my girls from ever feeling emotions like disappointment, hurt, embarrassment, and shame. However, there is absolutely nothing that I can do to prevent Olivia and Sophie from experiencing these harsh realities of life. So, instead of running from hard times, I want to face them head on in prayer trusting that the Lord will use even the ugliest of circumstances to bring glory to Himself through these two precious lives!!
photo 2

When I first started praying, I wasn't even sure what was important. What did I want to pray over/for my daughters? Thankfully, I found some amazing prayers, which come from two articles written by, Lysa TerKeurst, "If we aren't praying boldly for our kids, who is?" and "10 prayers for your daughter".

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

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

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

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

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Weigh In - Small Victories


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

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

My Weight Record

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Being Back On Plan

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

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


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

What do I mean by being "on plan"?

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

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

I hope that you all have an amazing week!!

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

Friday, March 21, 2014

Recent Food Finds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Falling Off The Wagon


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

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

How did this happen?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, March 17, 2014

Help Me Brainstorm

I do not even know where to start this morning.

Let me just begin by telling you that it has always been a dream of mine to write a book. I have had this desire for a long time, but I never knew what I would write about in my book. I think that this is one of the main reasons why I started this blog, because I wanted to be able to practice my writing skills without the pressure of feeling like I needed to get my book finished.

Then, this past weekend, I received an email from one of my Living a Changed Life readers. This woman explained that she would be willing to purchase, "Living a Changed Life" in book form.

How exciting!!

Off of the top of my head, this book would include the story of my weight loss journey, recipes, helpful tips, and more.


So, I guess now I am curious to know what the rest of you think about this idea...

Would you be interested in "Living a Changed Life" the book?

I would really love your feedback, so be sure to leave me a comment with any thoughts that you have about this book idea!

Finally, please pray with me as I consider whether or not to take the time to make "Living a Changed Life" into a book. I will need wisdom from the Lord and patience as I begin to see if this is God's will for me right now. Above all else, pray that the Lord will receive all the glory for any book that I am able to put together. Without Him, I would not have a story to tell.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weight Watchers Event

I would like to invite you all to join me on

April 12th, 2014
from 10:30am-noon.
My local Weight Watchers Longview store will be hosting
a big event called,

"Is it Worth It?"


This event will feature...
food demonstrations for a lighter Easter,
food comparisons,
special guest blogger "Living a Changed Life",
and more!

I am so happy to be one of several people speaking at the "Is it Worth It?" Weight Watchers event in April!! I cannot wait to talk with Weight Watchers members about how to take regular recipes from Pinterest and make them more Weight Watchers friendly. I will also demonstrate how changing a few ingredients can cause a significant drop in PointsPlus values per serving size.

For those of you who cannot make it to this event, I will put my presentation together into a blog post and share the information with you that way.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Recipe Review: Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

While on maternity leave, I had the opportunity to fly home to visit my family for two whole weeks!! I spent most of my time with my youngest sister, Vivian. Olivia, Sophie, and I stayed at Vivian's house along with her husband and two children. The entire time we were there everyone was waiting for the arrival of Vivian's third baby, Elias. Waiting for baby Eli to be born gave us all a lot of time hangout. One of our favorite past times was cooking and baking anything and everything.

During our time together, I came to learn that my sister is an amazing cook. She does not need a recipe, because she can come up with dinner on the fly based on what is in her pantry. I wish I was that talented.

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff is an easy and delicious recipe that my sister came up with on the fly. Thankfully, Vivian let me write down her recipe and modify it, to make it a little more Weight Watchers friendly. As you will see below, I also changed this recipe and made it in my Crockpot instead of on the stove top.

I hope you all enjoy Vivian's recipe as much as I do!!

The ingredents

In your Crockpot mix together your soup, sour cream, milk, salt, black pepper, italian seasoning, and garlic powder.

Brown lean ground beef and add it to your sauce.

Add dry noodles to your crockpot mixture and stir.

Cook on high for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Becareful to not let the noodles overcook!

I served this on Valentine's Day with steamed broccoli and garlic bread.

. . . . . . . . . .
Crockpot Beef Stroganoff
Source: Vivian Eccleston 
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 3/4 cup
Calories: 323
Fat: 7.0 g
Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 20.6 g
Old Points: 6 pt
Points+: 8 pts+ (only 5 pts+ for 1/2 cup)
1 pound lean ground beef
1 box (12 ounces) smart taste rotini pasta
2 cans (21 ounces) 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup fat free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free milk (add more as necessary)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder 

Brown ground beef.

In your Crockpot mix together your soup, sour cream, milk, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Once sauce is thoroughly mixed together, add cooked ground beef and dry pasta.

Cook on high for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. Stirring every 1/2 hour, so everything mixes together. Becareful not to let the noodles overcook!

*Please note the original recipe called for you to make this dish in one pot on the stove top. However, I do not have a pot big enough to make this entire dish in one pot! So, I modified the instructions so that this recipe could be made in my Crockpot.


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