Friday, November 25, 2011

Before Thanksgiving is over...

I have 6 minutes in the day left...and I couldn't let it go without giving thanks for all I have.

I am thankful for my many blessings. My Heavenly Father has blessed me abundantly with a beautiful family, a home, a free country to live in, safety and many friends who support me and share my joys and my pains.

I am grateful for each of my children and their very unique personalities and the things that make them wonderful. I am also grateful for those things that have been hard that have brought us closer together.

I have profound gratitude for the man I love. He is my rock and I could never imagine my life without him. He is my very best friend, my soul mate, the one who I drive crazy and vice versa. We dream together, plan together, play together, love together. He has blessed my life and our children's lives a thousand fold.

I am grateful to just be me. For the good and the bad and all the in betweens...I am grateful the Lord made me who I am. I will change what I can, and embrace what I can't.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Story Of The Oak Tree...Well, my story any way....

My Katie and I were driving today and she told me that she was doing a special project for school. This project would include taking some pictures of me doing things that I love. She also said that for another project she was going to ask me some very personal, "thought provoking questions". We kind of laughed together when she reminded me that it was hard to believe that almost 30 years ago, I was where she is now. She said, that is like one of the questions I might ask you about. "What did you dream about when you were 16?" "What did you see yourself as?" we turned in to the grocery store parking lot that brought us to the subject that a picture of me shopping should make a great picture of me. Since I am there all the time anyway and I love shopping. Then we began to talk about the dreams that her Dad and I have for our "someday". I told her that I dream of oak trees, and wrap around porches. I dream of fire pits and grand children screaming through the yard. I dream of herb gardens and wild flowers. I dream of the shadows that race across the stones of the Hill country. I dream of always being with my sweetheart with his pockets filled with acorns.

I have always loved Oak Trees. They have been a love of mine since I was a little girl. I guess I am drawn to them because they seem to reach deep down into to the earth as if they have always been there. It's as if the roots go so far down that they could come out on the other side of the world. They seem as if they existed forever. It's as if they have always "been". They represent strength to me. The whirey, bended branches that twist in so many different directions over years of weather and time don't weaken but make the oak stronger. To me, the oak tree represents family.

I had no idea when I met my husband that I'd find a man who'd always reach for acorns. As a little boy he did this, planted them in the ground in Mississippi and blessed his Mama with unsuspecting oak trees where she might not have wanted them. I have washed clothes and found acorns in the dryer. When we walk, he has always found the places with the acorns on the ground and of course they are tucked away in his pocket, or crushed up in a napkin to be planted on our land...someday. If we are blessed to live long lives, and he gets to plant the many acorns I have ever watched him pick up, we will be surrounded by a canopy of Oak Trees.

He has taught Justin to love acorns now, and I see his little pockets bulging as he fills them with his treasures he finds at the park or on walks. He is excited to go to Grandma's in Mississippi once again and plant some more in hopes that some unexpected trees will pop up much to his Grandmother's surprise and he can have all the credit.

Someday, I hope Kent and I can be laid down under an Oak Tree so the roots can wrap themselves around us and make us part of the earth. I told Katie if he was to ever to go before me. I am going to fill his casket with acorns. (smile) He'd miss them if he didn't have them. Besides...a tree might just pop up, and knowing him, it wouldn't surprise me. Perhaps he'll remember to tuck one in my pocket as well.

The end of the week, and Turkey Day on the Horizon...

I survived the week. I don't think my kitchen did. I could take a picture of it but it might not have the same affect without the horrific scream in the background and the flash of the black and white camera shot of the woman holding her face in terror! Yeah, it's that bad. I have to finish this blog post, take a shower and as we say here in the south "get after it!" No, wait...I do have to make some pumpkin bread today! Jeepers! I thought the oven was going to get a break! That's okay! Maybe it will tomorrow.

So my confessions of the night I ate pizza because after a day of baking ALL day...I just couldn't bring myself to COOK! I also ate crackers...and I put BUTTER on them. Yep, I did! Buttered crackers. Remember good! I won't lie. They were that good and yeah, well, I enjoyed every buttery saltine and I haven't for one moment thought it was the end of the world. How cool is that? That is WHAT it is finally about. Living and doing and being and rolling along. We do what is right and best for us, best for our bodies, and we do as much as we can that is right and when we have those moments that we have something that is not good, it's a big ol' "so what"! It's when it's a constant, never ending, swimming in a pool of chocolate pudding and drinking it with a styrofoam "floaty" size straw that we have an issue! I believe I am out of the pool of pudding. I am pretty sure I am. Does that sound confident? I am working on it.

Last night...I had Whataburger. That is the best Hamburger for us Texans. I will miss those when we move away. I had every intention of grilling out and had some great asparagus to roast but we went to test drive a car and at 7:30 I was getting text messages from hungry kids. So there was little choice. Again, I don't feel sad, nor worthless. I move along and touch the creases of my mouth with my napkin and say..."that was sure yummy" and I keep on trucking!

I am happy! I am really happy. I guess I am happy in a weird kind of way because though I have so many worries that pull at me...I have an inner peace that all will be all right. I just know this. The more I strive to do what is right for me in all areas in my life, the more that will spill over in to the lives of my family. I just know that to be true. Does that sound confident? That I am not working on. I KNOW THAT IS TRUE BEYOND ANY DOUBT.

I love my family, and I am learning to love me and I am learning to accept me and the way I am little by little. As I slowly "creep down"...if I continue to accept me, I hope that will be the key to my lasting success.

With Thanksgiving next week I must say that I have so much to be profoundly grateful for. There is no need for a list. I am blessed, my family is blessed.

I will eat turkey, I will eat dressing, I will eat pie! So there! It's Thanksgiving Day! And then the next day isn't and I get right back to it. That's how it rolls! Besides, I am eating at a restaurant so there won't be any leftovers here. Good plan, huh?

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's been a few days...thought I ought to check in...

I didn't want to lose track of me...and think I forgot to post.

I have been meaning to get on here and do a quick "check in" but things get hectic between playing taxi, and doing all that I need to. This weekend I probably ate many things I shouldn't have but fortunately they haven't really affected my weight...they did however affect my stomach. I found myself sucking on "Gas X" which is never a good thing. I am sure it was an even a less attractive matter to those who had to be anywhere near me but that is a consequence of going from eating sensibly to eating foods that are not so sensible. The stomach doesn't like it so much and it basically says..."Gross" don't do that.

So this morning I was back to a scrambled egg with some low fat ham, on a high fiber, low fat tortilla which carries me a long time. I do need to grab a snack though, just to keep my blood sugar on an even keel. Even though I am not really hungry...I still need to eat something so my metabolism works right.

I have a ton to do this week and need lots of energy to get it all done. I have two pies to bake for my husband, plus a sweet potato casserole...a big one. He needs all this for work on Thursday. I have cupcakes to make for my "Ladybug" on Wednesday night. There is laundry, and dishes and cleaning, and taxi-ing, OH MY! Thank goodness my energy is returning! Three cheers for eating better and finding renewed strength AND jeans that are looser! That is a HUGE plus!

Here's to a good week...with many prayers of strength to forge ahead to do all I need to do! I will keep all of those trying in them as well! Never one second believe this can't be done...because I know that nothing is impossible. You have to surrender! Don't hold back!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am His daughter

The Tortoise And The Hare...

I was thinking about that story this morning. Who would I rather be? The tortoise or the hare? Two years ago, I would have been the one ready to be first to the goal line. The faster I got there, the better. Now I believe in pacing myself. I believe now that a slow, steady finish will help me win this race ultimately. So I suppose I shall be that giant, slow, tortoise plotting my way through this. If you think about it though, people who are slower, tend to be more thoughtful and careful about what they are doing so I suppose there is something to be said for that? Agreed?

When I speak of how much I lost in the past in my blog 2 years ago, and how quickly...I want to say right now that I don't recommend that. If I did, I'd still be that tiny thing I was when I lost it and would have never stopped. It was too much, too fast and though my ideas where right and methods were probably wasn't healthy to lose it at that rate. I just don't want anyone to feel like I would ever encourage anyone to want to move at that speed. It sounds good, the immediate gratification is good but the lasting affects? Pshhh...well, here I am!

Now on to dinner last night. I was in a quandary as to what to fix. I wanted something I knew they would all eat and it had been a chicken dish the night before, turkey burgers (for me) and hamburgers for them the night before that, and the night before that is escaping me but I am sure it involved chicken, or turkey. LOL

So, after thinking about it I thought of a favorite thing my husband and kids really like. That is taco bowl salads. I have discovered that if you buy the giant flour tortillas and spray both sides with cooking spray and lay them over a balled up pieced of foil on a cookie sheet on 400 for about 7 minutes or so, they make "bowls". I made these but made one of the smaller ones for me using a low fat, high fiber tortilla from Mission. (Called "Life Balance) Anyway, I took some chicken breasts and coated them in a seasoning mixture I made with chili powder, garlic salt, cumin,sea salt and pepper, some olive oil and lemon juice and let that sit for an hour or so and grilled them. I also grilled two ears of fresh corn on the cob. Then I cut up fresh red peppers, avocado,cilantro, had black beans, tomatoes, fresh spring salad mix, some lower fat cheese, salsa, etc. I cut the corn off the cob and cut up the chicken and put all the stuff on the table and everyone made their own "salads" in a taco bowl. As my kids would say..."easy peasy lemon squeezey"! I have a low fat red pepper vinaigrette I put on mine that is really good.

I took all the left over veg's and cilantro, minus the lettuce and mixed them with the chicken and put them in a pyrex bowl for me to have for lunch today. So it should be good and HEALTHY which is what I am going for!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I love days like today....

I hope I can handle month after month of days like today in Seattle. It's breezy and overcast and just a misty kind of day. I ran some errands this morning and even checked out possibilities for something to wear for a "holiday party" I may go to with my sweetheart in December. If I feel so inclined...I just may jump in with both feet and go. It's been forever since I have been willing to attend such an event but perhaps this year I will.

So in between running to and fro I have started dinner which I hope will turn out yummy. I will report back. I bought some of the high fiber english muffins and cut them up in to cubes and used the tiniest bit of olive oil, italian seasoning, garlic powder, sea salt and cracked pepper. I tossed these together and baked them on 400 until dry and crispy. I am going to put these in a mill for "bread crumbs". I bought some thinly sliced chicken breasts that I will brown in a pan sprayed with olive oil spray and then lay these in a dish that has some spaghetti sauce in it. I will sprinkle my homemade high fiber breadcrumbs on top, shave a small amount of parmesan cheese on there, then top with more sauce and then sprinkle top with part skim mozzarella. (not too much though) I have discovered that the canned sauces like Del Monte and Hunt's Traditional have a lot less fat than the jarred sauces and that is what I use. Unless it's summer and I have fresh tomatoes and can make my own to control the fat. Anyway, this will be my lowest fat version I can think of..."chicken parmesan". I am going to serve it with spaghetti squash for me and some pasta for the rest of the family. They can eat some garlic bread...that doesn't interest me. (smile)

I hope it turns out. I figure it will be one of those things I can put together and bake later. At least I hope it works out that way. So far my day is shaping up to be another one of racing around again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

There are moments...

That I just sit and look at the pictures that scroll on the screen of this blog and remember. I have pride and I have sadness. It's hard not to have both. It's kind of like looking back on my life and seeing my individual accomplishments and thinking about how proud of myself I am for those great things I have done. I can also look back on my life and think of the things I have screwed up and wish I hadn't and emotionally beat myself up a bit about it but I cannot turn back the hands of time. I have to learn from those experiences and keep asking myself "what led me to that"?

In the grand scheme of things all I want is to be free from some of the discouragement I feel. My husband is about to be advanced to a rank that I don't know even expected before retiring but it is a great honor and huge responsibility. The last time he advanced I wasn't there to watch him get his "stars" or even help pin them on him because I was embarrassed to be seen. I didn't want anyone to know I was his wife because "I was fat!" I didn't want to embarrass him. Now there is this huge advancement and this is as high as it gets for him and I don't want to miss it. I don't this time...I will not let my esteem and discouragement prevent me from sharing that moment. I am SO proud of him.

I feel in many ways I let my family down. I visualize it as a huge basketball game with the fans cheering and the team winning and everyone feeling awesome because they know their team is going to win. The "underdog" is finally gonna do it! Then in the last seconds of the game...then underdog stops trying and gives up on the game and they lose. And the underdog gives up and never tries again. It's a huge disappoint for everyone who believed they could win! They knew that they could. My family believed in me and cheered me on...and showed their love and support for me like crazy. People say in my pictures that as I shrunk my smile got bigger. I think it was because as my face was getting smaller it just made my mouth more noticeable. LOL. No, I am sure I smiled more. As I look though...they smiled more because I was happy.

So I have to now take all these moments and thoughts and put them in a giant mixing bowl and construct a plan that helps me learn from these experiences. What can I do to overcome obstacles and rather than tell myself I can't do it again...know that I indeed can. I can, there is no reason why I can't. I definitely have seen myself accomplish this on my own, I have the knowledge and I know it can be done.

I also feel very drawn to rely on my Savior at this time. I think so much of that is because of the influences that have been raging in my home lately. I should have always turned to him but right now...I need "Mommy Power" not just physically but spiritually. As I have heard my entire life...I need to put on the "whole armor of God" and fight like I have never before.

If you read my blog at all...eventually they will get to the meat and potatoes of how I am doing this and my progress. I will say that since I have really gotten going in the last two weeks I have lost about 9.5 pounds. So I am making progress. It feels to know my goal is attainable.

Off to eat some high fiber oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast! Here is to a day filled with prayer, study and then picking up toys, vacuuming, dishwashing, playing Mom taxi, planning dinner, etc,etc,etc. Sounds so familiar to many I am sure.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I am exhausted...

I have been working on a wedding cake for my niece this entire week. I am happy to announce that I got all the cakes baked and frosting finished. Now all I have to do is transport it and get it put together for Saturday. I froze the layers for easy travel.

I haven't eaten much at all the last two days but I have eaten what I should. Just grabbing what I can running out the door. It has been a crazy week. If I am not baking I am running out the door running errands. I will be so happy when things settle back down. I want to walk, I want to shut out the world and have moments of peace.

At least I am still trying hard and happy that I am. I am not giving up on me. This weekend I will be away and so I will have to make good choices about what I eat. I doubt rehearsal dinners and weddings are the best places for that but I can make an effort. Portions will be my best friend I think in this scenario.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Survival of the fittest! That is what I call Halloween!

I survived every bit of it! No going through the candy to find an almond joy, reeses peanut butter cup, nothing. I just stayed away from it!

I made some low fat red beans and brown rice for dinner last night. My husband said the smoked turkey sausage had "no flavor"! Oh well! I tried!

Yesterday I almost...almost signed up for a weight loss challenge on one of the boards I participate in. It has been so long since I did that. I chose not to though. My reasoning is because I am afraid to worry so much about how much I am losing and though I have chosen a an amount by a certain date, it's really,really reasonable. It is like 6.5 pounds a month. I am now talking 47 pounds in 7 months. Before I lost 114 pounds in 9 months approx. HUGE difference there. Even when I lose 47 I won't be quite as small as I was but I will be close...close enough that if I wanted to I could get there. I just didn't feel comfortable there, so why go there? Or maybe I lost it so super fast that I never gave myself the time to feel comfortable there and that is why it was such a shock to me and that is why I was like..."Hey, this is not me, and this is all wrong." I honestly have no idea and don't pretend to know. It was my own sabotage.

The rest of it...I have to chase those demon numbers out of my head because they seriously mess with me BAD. I am already starting that horrendous cycle of climbing on the scale daily and that is not cool. Yes, it is moving...DOWN. When it does that I start this spinning thought process that is harmful so I have to check and recheck my thinking. What is my goal here spend my entire life doing this over and over and over? Honestly, I really don't. In fact I need to be super careful what I do because if it is too won't last. Maybe I need to take all that in to consideration.

I don't want my family to just hate my guts. Of course they didn't hate me before. In fact for a while they have asked me "when are we going to start eating healthy again"? That says something to me.

Anyway, off to make a good breakfast. Egg whites, some mushrooms,red peppers and spinach all wrapped up in a whole grain, low carb tortilla with hot sauce. I try sometimes to get lots of veg's in the morning to make sure I get them in. Last nights dinner for instance though I in protein and fiber had no veg's. So I try to fit them in where I can. This kind of breakfast will fill me up and I can eat a very light lunch of yogurt and fruit and call it good.