Monday, January 12, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!! I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. Like most of you, I indulged myself during the time-frame of mid-November (cruise time!) through Christmas. The end result was a weight regain of 7 lbs. The old me would have been very distressed about this, but I now take these things in stride. EVERYONE gains some weight around the holidays. The true test is what happens afterwards.

At the end of December, I began my low-carb eating again, and I’m happy to report that I’ve lost 3 lbs since then. It wasn’t easy, but I never really gave up my low-carb mentality (even when I was eating more carbs during the holidays). I’ve remained true to my turkey bacon-and-cheese breakfasts the whole way through. My husband said I was to blame if there were not enough turkeys for everyone else for Thanksgiving and Christmas! 

I’ve had my struggles over the last few days and wanted to “stress eat” very badly. I actually prayed while driving home one evening, after a particularly stressful day, for the Lord to help me not to turn into McDonalds for an ice cream cone. He came through, of course. The line at McDonald’s was LONG, so I drove by easily. 

I also asked the Lord to provide me with a sign that He was with me now, and especially over the next few days as we have an upcoming bariatric Center of Excellence survey. I returned to my office after lunch to find a note on my desk with a header of “Jesus Calling.” A Hug From Heaven! Can you believe that? It contained a beautiful verse announcing “Whenever you feel inadequate, remember that I am your ever-present Help.” I was so moved, I actually had tears. Thank you Lord for the reminder. 

Whether my struggle is with weight regain or just the day-to-day operations of the office, God is with me. He is with you as well. Turn to Him, lean on Him, let Him guide you and help you remain at peace. As I begin 2015, I know all will be well. I will continue to keep you informed of my progress and my tips along the way as I continue my weight-loss journey. I ask that you keep me in your prayers, because we all need prayer.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Goal for the Holiday Season

Hi everyone. I hope you enjoyed your recent Halloween evening. My husband and I love the holidays and it starts with Halloween for us. We are big “kids” at heart and decorate our home for all the young children in our neighborhood.

As far as my weight loss goes, I’m down 20 lbs. It has been slow going and I’ll admit that I have had a few more carbs in my diet in the last month. My goal during holiday times is to hold on to my current weight loss. This is not a race for me. I’ll lose the other 20 lbs after the first of the year. I have a vacation planned in the near future and Thanksgiving/Christmas is right around the corner. 

I remain in faith with the Lord knowing he will strengthen me during times of weakness….and we all have times of weakness. One of my weaknesses is that I love to bake this time of year. I modify the recipes as I can…but I’m not the “Food Police” during the holidays. I will continue to do the best I can and you should as well. Don’t worry if you overeat during a party, etc. Just try to do better the next day. 

I’m thankful for the 20 lbs I lost in 4 months and I know God helped me to find my path. He will continue to grant me grace day after day for as long as I need it. That’s the wonderful thing about the Lord….his love and help are limitless.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season this year. I look forward to all new possibilities in 2015…and you should too!  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Change forever!

Well hello everyone! I apologize for taking so long to update my blog. It’s been very hectic of late.  Please know that I’m still persevering in my weight loss efforts. It’s been about 3 months and I have now lost 18 pounds. I’m very happy about the loss but also happy that I’ve found a way of life that I can live with daily. 

I’ve tried new products from the Linda’s Diet Delites website, but have not found anything that I like better than the original brownie and blueberry muffin that I first tried. I’m able to buy lunch at Subway and Wendy’s, but I bring my lunch most of the time. If I eat at Subway or Wendy’s, I do not eat the bread. I found low carb (3 net carbs each) tortillas at Walmart (Carb Smart makes them), and I have been thrilled. I use them as my “bread” instead of the Subway bread, etc. I use two of them to make chicken quesadillas (one of my favorite meals). I really haven’t missed the sugar or high-carb foods too much. Once a week, I eat one high-carb meal. It makes me happy and my body seems to respond with some additional weight loss since I started this. I have heard of carb-cycling…maybe this is part of that…but for whatever reason, it works for me. 

I’m still exercising but had to throw in some cardio as well. I use a workout DVD several times a week. 

I thank God daily for the support He provides me. Things are still stressful, but leaning on God is easier than trying to manage everything myself. My self-management led to 40 extra pounds…God’s management has led to an 18 pound weight loss. It’s not hard to tell Who is the better leader!

My daily mantra is:  Believe in God; Trust the progress; Change forever! (from Bob Harper and Jan Carlo). Take care everyone.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Daily Reminders

I’m back with another update on my journey. The last time I told everyone about the lower carbohydrate and low sugar diet I was following. Well… works! I’m down 11 pounds in 5 weeks. I’m still exercising daily…either in my pool or on my recumbent bicycle. I try to do at least 20 minutes per day. Some days I break it up and am able to do 30-40 minutes. The main thing is to be consistent. 

I went to Everman’s to see if I could find less expensive lower carb products. I did find soybean pasta….have not cooked it yet. I will report back on it after I get in the mood for spaghetti. The bagels I could not find at Everman’s. Nor could I find the blueberry muffins and brownies that I like. So, I will continue to order from Linda Diet Delites website as I mentioned in a previous blog. The bagels are only 50 calories (for ½ bagel); the blueberry muffins are 40 calories each; and the brownies are 45 calories each. All are low in carbohydrates which make them perfect for snacks. The muffins are heavier than regular muffins but that’s because they have 8 grams of fiber.

Throughout this journey, there are some things that I remind myself on a daily basis:
  1. Nobody is perfect. God did not create us to be perfect. He created us to be whole. Slip ups are bound to happen.
  2. Position myself for good things to happen --- surround myself with positive people; products that help me stay on course; learning more about how the body processes foods, etc.
  3. Be flexible with my goals --- I don’t need to be a specific size. I just need to be healthy and happy. Healthy is reflected through good lab results and overall radiance. Happy is reflected in my mind and through my spirit. I truly believe happiness is a choice. We can’t move forward if we are always looking back and dwelling on past failures. God doesn’t dwell in the past. He is God of our present and of our future.
  4. Dream big, but focus small ---  I know that losing 40 lbs will keep me healthy as I continue to age but that number can seem overwhelming. I break it down into 5 pound increments.  Small steps in the right direction will achieve a goal just the same as a large leap….plus I get more positive feelings along the way just from achieving my smaller goals. 
  5. Be patient but persistent --- I didn’t regain the weight overnight and it won’t come off overnight. The main thing is to not be discouraged on the weeks that weight loss does not show up despite doing everything right.
  6. Be grateful ---  Every morning I thank God that I’m awake, I’m alive, and I have another chance to help others and fulfill my own goals (i.e. personal goals and professional work goals). I always try to remember that someone, somewhere, passed away the night before and would love to be in my shoes. That puts my day in perspective pretty darn quickly.
  7. Make “my mess my message”. I heard that quote from ABC news anchor woman, Robin Roberts (she is currently battling cancer).  I am doing that with this blog….I just never thought of putting it like that. My struggle (or mess) has become my message to others.
  8. And finally, God has 3 answers for prayer: yes; no; and I have something even better in mind. Despite my weight struggles, I believe the best is yet to come. God’s dreams for me are so much more than this….but this struggle is preparing me for his future plans. 
So until my next posting, I hope everyone is dreaming big dreams but achieving their goals one small step at a time! Stay positive; choose happiness; and stay in faith. Until next time….

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Back to Basics

Hello everyone. I’m recently back from a trip to Nevada, and it’s time to check in again. I’m happy to report that I have lost 6 pounds over the last 10 days. In the beginning, I was trying to follow a lower calorie diet with exercise, but I’ve struggled with it. I’m sure many of you know what I mean. You do well for a few weeks, and then you give in to temptation. I was resistant to the one way that I knew I could lose weight because I would have to give up carbs. I finally took a real assessment of my situation and realized I was getting nowhere fast. So I made up my mind (after praying for God’s support) to go back to basics – meaning I gave up sugar and restricted my carbohydrate intake to 40-45 grams per day. That’s how I lost the 6 pounds. I’m sure my body is in shock. I know I am, now that I’m finally seeing significant weight loss.

I won’t say it’s been easy, but it hasn’t been as hard as I thought. I checked out some low-carb food sites online and found one that has really helped me. It’s I found some zero-net-carb bagels, which taste good! They delivered the product quickly. Per the site’s instructions, you put the bagels in the freezer until you are ready to slice and defrost one. Once defrosted, you can place it in the toaster. I toasted it and then put 2 tbsp of peanut butter on it for a snack. I just ordered another batch (cinnamon), and I’m going to give them a try. The bagel has 7 grams of carbohydrate and 7 grams of fiber (which totals out to a net of zero carbs). It’s not quite as chewy as a regular bagel, but I’m thrilled to have bread at all on a low-carb diet.

I also ordered their fettuccini pasta. I cooked it for 14 minutes (I like mine soft and not al dente), then I placed a previously cooked and sliced-up chicken breast in a Tbs of olive oil and heated it. I mixed it with the pasta and presto! What a great dinner! In the past, I really missed bread and pasta on a low-carb diet. Now that I have found these products, I can have it a couple of times a week.

The bagel and pasta become a bit pricey once you add tax and shipping/handling. I’m going to check out Everman’s this weekend to see if they have something comparable.

I have been exercising in my pool, as well as following a lower-carb diet. Sometimes I really miss the crackers and chips, but I’m not going to cave when I’ve found things to help me on my journey. Looking back, I realize that this is how we tell our patients to eat after they have had their weight-loss surgery. Looks like the tried-and-true method is the best method after all. So wish me well, and I’ll continue to share any new finds that help me along the way. Until next time, blessings to all J

Monday, June 16, 2014

Open Your Heart and Mind

Well, hello everyone :). It’s been a while since I last wrote. Things have been really busy for me.  I have not lost more weight since I last wrote. I’m still holding steady at 7.5 lbs lost. I know it should have been more by now. My daughter started at the same time as me and she has lost 38 lbs. That shows me that it can be done!  I’m very proud of her. :) 

I heard on comment on K-Love, our local radio station, yesterday morning. The DJ asked if we had ever seen a fly caught in a spider’s web and, of course, we have all seen this. He said that every time the fly tried to break free, there was another sticky situation that caught it in the trap. The DJ reminded me that our problems in life are like that. We can’t always find the right path to break free, but God can. 

My struggles with weight regain may not be your struggles, but it doesn’t matter. The answer is the same: God. I’m relying on myself to lose weight, with an occasional  prayer thrown in, when it should be just the opposite. I should pray, rely on God and then do the practical work to help me achieve my goal. God won’t do that part for me (sigh!), but He will be there to support me through my struggles. Being constant and following the path He has laid out for me is the answer to my problems and, along the way, I’ll learn the lessons He wants to teach.

Just last week I had proof of how quickly God can turn things around when you’re on the right path. The miracle happened to a patient I had been emailing. She needed a door to open and God did just that – in a very big way. She wondered whether having surgery was the right thing – especially since she would be paying for it without insurance. Within minutes of e-mailing me this concern, she received a cash offer for a vehicle she was selling. Both she and I were astounded, to say the least! We both believe God was directing her and making a way for her to make the right decision.

So, until I write again, if you are mired down in troubles and can’t see the way, close your eyes and open your heart and mind to God’s voice. He gives perfect directions every time. The only questions is, will you follow them?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Discipline: Easier Said than Done

Hello dear friends - lovely weather for the last week. I’ve been enjoying getting outside in the sunshine.  Since my last message, I’ve lost 2 lbs. The key to weight loss is perseverance. There will always be obstacles and things that will take you off track…but success comes as long as you stay focused on the long-term goal and don’t let short-term issues discourage you. I have to remind myself of that daily.

I also have to remind myself that transformation comes from training, not trying. Trying to do something is vague and without a true plan. Training requires patience, discipline, and a willingness to “stick with it.” To lose weight, there must be more than a desire to change. There must be a willingness to change, and a process is required. My process is minor changes in my diet; increasing my exercise; getting more sleep; decreasing stress; and prayer. I know that God is eager to help in times of need and that I can do nothing apart from Him. I also know that God wants me to be strong physically, as well as spiritually. All of this requires discipline.

Discipline is easy to say, but hard to put into practice for food addicts. But discipline will enable me to be the person God wants me to be so that I can fulfill his vision for my life. So I must step outside of my comfort zone and take on the challenges that are required to live my life at a healthy weight…with exercise being my hardest challenge. However, on the days that I fit extra exercise into my schedule, my body feels good; my mind knows I have the strength I need for tougher challenges in the future; and my soul feels more alive, energized and joyful knowing that I’m becoming the person I’m meant to be!

Treat Tip: I found a new no-sugar-added popsicle, Budget Saver Monster Pops, at Walmart this past week. It has 40 calories and is very refreshing. It’s a combo of strawberry, orange, and banana and the package states it’s a “slushed” popsicle….the only thing I know is that it tastes good and is refreshing. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments! J