Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turning Disappointment Into Success

Well, Monday was weigh-in day and after all my planning and counting points and avoiding all the foods I absolutely love, I was UP .2lbs. UP!! Not even, not down which I really expected, but UP!! I know it was only .2lbs, that’s not much, but down .2 would have been huge. I had stepped up on that scale with such confidence; I just knew that I was going to see 1-2lbs down. I mean, I only had turkey, ham and a little broccoli casserole for Thanksgiving. I didn’t eat anything that I dearly loved. The stuffing, the noodles, the deviled eggs—the chocolate cake, I walked away from it all!! I was committed to losing this weight and I was going to be the example that if you eat smart and work hard that you can actually lose weight during the holidays. I failed. I was so disappointed in myself, I was humiliated that I had been so confident in this process and my confidence flew right out the window. It took all I had to fight the tears. I could hardly speak the rest of the night. I had decided that I was not ever going to lose weight and that it was the last time I was going to Weight Watchers.

Well, I got home, ate dinner (yes, I counted the points) and went upstairs and took a hot bath. As I lay there, I started thinking about all the times I had let my disappointment get the best of me. How I allowed disappointment to always strip a little bit of my confidence away, like I wasn’t worth whatever it was I was trying to obtain (relationships, jobs, weight, etc.). I allowed an emotion to control me and what I wanted to obtain. I allowed it. And right then I realized I was not going to ever allow an emotion to control me ever again. For me, sharing (blogging) about my weight-loss journey is therapeutic. I mean, what use would I be to anyone that reads my blog, if I gave up after gaining weight? How could I maybe help that one person that is struggling with the same thing? How would I ever be an example to my son if I gave up after every disappointment?

When Quinn strikes out one day, I will not tell him to quit the team because he was disappointed in the way he played. When Quinn doesn’t score that A that he studied so hard for, I won’t tell him to give up on learning. When Quinn’s heart is broken by his first love, I won’t tell him to ever give up on love. What I will tell him is that life is full of disappointment. That what we do with that disappointment is what makes us successful. Practice more, study more and love more. That is what I will tell him. Never give up. One of my favorite quotes is from Michael Jordan “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Success comes from never giving into your emotions”.

So I gained a little weight. The good thing is I didn’t gain a lot of weight. If I had of eaten all the foods that I dearly loved, I would have most definitely gained a lot more!! According to www.well.blogs.nytimes.com the average overweight person gains apx.5lbs during the holidays. If you take Thanksgiving week to New Years week, that is about 1lb per week. So, being up .2lbs is actually really amazing!! I am an overweight person, actually, I am considered obese, so not gaining that 1lb during Thanksgiving is really good. In the big scheme of things I was actually very successful. My overall weight-loss in 3 weeks is still 8.8lbs!!
So as we approach these upcoming holiday weeks and the holiday treats starting popping up at work and the cookies start being baked at home, I will allow myself to have a treat every now and then but I will continue to focus on a cleaner, healthier food intake. I will start focusing more on my daily activity and I will continue to log and blog. I encourage you to do the same. Focus on what you’re eating and what you’re doing. Replace that candybar with an apple and take a quick walk around the block, or head the mall and walk around. Every little bit will help. Here are a few suggestions that I will use these next few weeks and maybe they will help you too.

• Put your disappointment behind you and use what you learned to try to reach your goal next time.
• Recognize the things you accomplished during the experience, even if you see it as a failure. Remind yourself that your hard work paid off, even if it was not in the way you were expecting.
• Acknowledge your mistakes. Consider the reasons why you didn’t reach your goal, and make an effort to avoid the same mistakes in the future.
• Eliminate unrealistic goals. Sit down and reevaluate your wants and abilities, and formulate a goal that is challenging, rewarding, and attainable.

Just remember, you can’t be disappointed if you didn’t try.
And if you tried that means that you took an action to better yourself.
If you took an action that means that you have it in you
And if you have it in you then you can do it again
And if you do it again, you will succeed!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turkey and Broccoli and Pie....OH MY!!!

Well the holidays are upon us and for those of use that are really trying to watch what we eat and lose the weight, this time of year is a tough one. Let’s admit it, we can say that were going to only get a little taste of everything, but after that first bite your taste buds go into overdrive and it’s all you can do to to get back in line and start filling your plate with your favorite foods; broccoli casserole, stuffing (the real thing), oyster casserole, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, caramel cake!! So many good foods end in casserole have you ever realized that that? I just did. *sigh* Anyway, I have been preplanning my Thanksgiving plate in my head for a week now. That may sound crazy, but the only way I am going to continue my weight loss is to be prepared. I prepare my foods daily; for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I know what I am going to eat for every meal of the day. So why should Thanksgiving be any different.

First and foremost, let me say I am so blessed and thankful this holiday season. I will be spending the holidays with a loving husband, an amazing little boy, my mom, stepdad, sisters, brother’s-in-law and my nieces and nephews. I will get to hug my aunts, uncles, cousins and even my grandmother. This day is truly so much more than food. It is a day to be thankful for all the prayers that have been answered, the memories made and to remember those that are no longer with us. It is about being thankful. It is about family. Now, with that said, you should know, when my family gathers, there will be food—LOTS OF FOOD!!!

For me, I know the main foods that will be in my Grannys kitchen this Thursday. For that matter, I already pretty much know who is making what. We plan. We assign foods and paper goods and drinks. We want to make sure we have plenty for the numerous people that will be around our Thanksgiving table, and trust me, we always have plenty!! So I am already calculating points. I am already envisioning my plate and what will be on it. If you struggle with something, you have to preplan, you have to think it out, and you have to know what your weaknesses are and what you need to do to overcome that weakness. I know my weaknesses. I know the foods that I will want to pile on my plate. And I do mean pile. I love the broccoli casserole, I love the REAL mashed potatoes, the real mac and cheese, I love the dressing and the caramel cake. There are so many things that will be in my Granny’s kitchen this Thursday afternoon that my mouth is salivating right now just thinking about it. So, knowing these weaknesses, I have preplanned my plate.

I am also being responsible for bringing foods that have 0 points. The healthy food if you will. I am bringing a veggie tray with a fat free veggie dip (1 point per serving) and a fruit tray with a very low calorie yet very tasty cheesecake fruit dip (1 point per serving). This is what I plan to munch on. This is what I plan to eat when I want to go back for seconds. I have compiled a few points below for some of our favorite things on Thanksgiving. Keep in mind, a person at a healthy weight would have like 26 points per day to eat. If your over weight, you obviously get more, but just look at these points and decide yourself, is it really worth eating if you’re really trying to lose the weight?

Turkey: white meat, no skin, 4 points
Green Bean casserole, ¾ cup, 5 points
Mashed potatoes, 1 cup, 8 points
Cranberry sauce, 1/3 cup, 8 points
Stuffing, 1 cup, 9 points
Broccoli Casserole, 1 cup, 6 points
Pecan Pie, 1 slice, 14 points
Pumpkin pie, 1 slice (no whip), 8 points

Know your portions. (WeightWatchers.com)
Use your hand to measure the actual amount of food on your plate. Here's how:
•Your fist is equal to one medium fruit or one measured cup
•Your palm minus the fingers is a 3 ounce portion of cooked meat
•Your thumb (whole thumb, from tip to base) is equal to one ounce of meat or cheese
•Your thumb from the tip to the first joint is about 1 tablespoon
•Your index finger from the tip to the first joint is about 1 teaspoon

These are just a few things I could find. My plan this year is to eat more veggies (cooked and raw) and less of the “good” stuff. I will have a “taste” of the broccoli, and the stuffing and the mashed potatoes, but I am looking forward to proving to myself that I can make smarter choices. I have the power over what I eat and what I don’t. I have the will and the desire to lose this weight that has taken me 25+ years to gain. I will get healthy and I hope that you will join me.

Weight loss update: I lost 5.4lbs last week so my grand total weight loss is 9lbs in 2 weeks. This has not been an easy 2 weeks, I won’t lie. But it has been two of the most rewarding in regard to my confidence and will power. I only worked out 1 day during this 2 week stint, so I wonder where I would be with activity?? My focus, however, is getting my head right. Making myself realize that I don’t need all the junk and that I actually like the good!! I will get back to the gym very soon. I actually miss going. I have a great workout partner that makes working out fun. But until then, I will log my food. ALL my food!! It’s the only way to stay on track!!

Thank you for reading Eat.Drink.Play and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Fifth Commandment

Last night we attended our last bible study with our friends at Northeast Christian Church (NCC). James and I have come too really like this church and the people there. While it was a really hard adjustment for me to go from a 15 people population on Sunday mornings (yes I said 15!!) to an 800-1000 people population, I made the change. I had attended Bethel Presbyterian Church since I was about 5 years old. It is home to me, the members are like my family and to walk away was hard. But since becoming parents, James and I both longed for more and NCC is where we have landed, for now. 

One of the things that we have truly enjoyed these past 9 weeks has been the bible studies, they call them Connection Wednesdays. They have child care during these classes, so James and I are both able to attend and Quinn gets a little more bible study (play) time of his own!! We just finished up a class for parenting that was called House or Home Parenting edition, and is led by Chip Ingram. It was great studies that lead to some even great conversation with parents. Chip gives us a blueprint for raising our children to be Christians and to build a foundation of morals and values. He points out the harsh realities that make you want to cry at times because you can see where you are going wrong, but yet he lifts you up and makes you realize that you’re not alone and that the path you’re on can be changed in a matter of days and weeks. I highly recommend this study for anyone that wants to change the way they are raising their children and want to become a better example themselves to them.

But last night, I got something out of the meeting that I never expected. Everyone was stating what they got from the past 9 weeks, some was spending more time with their children, some it was being more strict by enforcing what they say when they say it. But one lady said something that nearly brought me to my knees. She said that the week we discussed a verse out of Ephesians 6:2 “Honor thy father and mother “, the Fifth Commandment, was a huge turning point for her. For most of us, we took this verse as we were to raise our children to honor us. Chip even says, if we don’t raise our children to honor us, someone they can see, how will we ever raise our children to honor something they don’t see? Well, this young lady took a different perspective on it. She said that she was an only child and once she was married and had children she assumed that her parents would always make time to come see their grandchildren. She said she was angry a lot because they were not making the effort. They were always too busy. After that night of class, she stepped back and realized that it wasn’t her parents place to necessarily make time for us, but she was to make time for them. “We” were to honor “them”, our parents. She said she had realized that they were busy, daily, taking care of, honoring, their elderly parents (her grandparents) and that her place was to go see them and take her kids to them.

This hit me like a ton of bricks. For those who know me, you know that I come from a divorced family. My mom and dad separated when I was young. I’m not sure at what age, but I think 4 or 5. My mother raised me. She did a great job. But my dad was in and out of my life always. When I turned 16 and was able to drive, I would go see him often, but as years went on, our relationship (if that’s what you want to call it) drifted. There would be days, months, and years of no communication. I cried many a night wondering why he didn’t want to be my dad. Why he couldn’t call me, why he couldn’t put forth the effort. Fast forward to today, I have come to peace with the way things are and decided that it had nothing to do with love, but that it was just “who he was”. I tell myself that if he died today that I am ok with where our relationship is/was. That I put forth the effort and he knows I love him. Well, until last night, I believed that. Until last night, I thought I was ok with where our relationship stood. I was wrong.

The Lord commands us, first and foremost, to Honor our Mother and Father. He doesn’t say, try a little and see what happens. He doesn’t say, if they don’t call you then don’t call them. He doesn’t say, if they are mean to you to be mean back. He says Honor!! Honor means giving respect to someone. It is a high moral standard of behavior. I realized last night, that I was not honoring my Father by ignoring him. I was not honoring my Father by living my life and not being a part of his. I was not Honoring my Father by allowing our relationship to be go stale. I was not honoring my Father as the Lord commanded that I do. And at that moment I wept.

Now, this is my story. Everyone who has a complicated relationship with their parents has their own reason. My Father didn’t technically abandon me. He was there, sometimes. He made me promises that he never kept. He acknowledged my birthday, sometimes. I was angry at him. I allowed myself to be hurt by his actions one to many times. I really thought that the way things were is the way things would be.

Today I reached out to him. I sent a text. It’s a small step. He hasn’t responded-yet. I am not even sure that he has phone that receives texts. Haha If I don’t hear back, I will call him tonight. I plan to make an effort, weekly, monthly, to go see him; to call him; to let him know that I love him. My dad is a great guy. My dad deserves to be honored.

I want to teach my son, by my example that you never give up on your parents. You never disrespect your parents. You never speak harshly about or to your parents. I want to know that if the day comes and I must take my time to care for my mother and/or my father that he will know how to be there for me and his dad, becasue of the example that I set. He is to honor his parents. Honoring a parent is giving selfless love. It’s a rewarding love. Starting today, I will honor both my mother and my father just as the Lord has commanded me to do.

I need to add, while this post was primarily about my dad, my mother has been my rock my entire life. There are times I feel bad for the days and phases in my life where I wasnt the child/adult that showed honor to my mother. Thankfully, sometimes, we learn with age. I pray that each day going forward, I honor her, in any way that I can. None of us are perfect, and there will be days that I will say something or do something that may negate what I am saying today, but the fact is, I will make my purpose to not only honor my father, but to ensure that my mother knows that I love and respect her in all ways and that I honor them both, all the days of our lives. Thank you Marlene and Sonny, for being my parents. I am truly blessed!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 1 down, a Lifetime to go!!

Well, I finished my first week of Weight Watchers (WW). I will not lie: it was hard, it was challenging and I was hungry at times. (Well, at least I thought I was!!) This was a rough week, as we started WW on a Monday night. We had no healthy, low fat foods prepared and of course, that looming thought of “is this really going to work this time?” was in the back of our minds as we left the meeting. Later in the week we had a family member get drastically ill and we ended up at the hospital several days, lots of worrying and of course, a challenge to eat better. My family had a planned trip to Indiana to go on the Polar Express this weekend, and not only was there horrible storms with tornados predicted; the train ride was cancelled once we got up there. GREAT!! I am an emotional eater. I know this, so anything that throws a wrench in my day or week, I tend to eat (happy or sad, good or bad). So this past week was a big challenge for me to not eat my through my stress!!

I feel it is very important to know when and why you eat. Just like a person that is addicted to alcohol, nicotine or drugs; overeating (or under eating) is an addiction/condition that needs to be dealt with. Now, let me state that I have never gone to professional counseling or searched out actual clinical help for my eating habits. I have been to WW in the past and I have had Weight loss Surgery, but neither offers(ed) professionally trained counseling or therapy as to why I have eaten the way I do over the years. WW, however, does help by offering tools to make you more aware and definitely gives you other options to think about rather than eat a cookie!  I know why I eat. Besides the fact that I LOVE food, I love to eat when I am happy, when I am sad, when there are times to rejoice and when there are times to mourn. I eat. My family eats. Everything that is around me, on most occasions, involves food.

What has helped me this past week is blogging and logging. This is my new favorite phrase. I have held myself accountable by blogging. I have put my weight out there for all to see. Weight, like age, is sometimes (ok, most times) a very touchy subject for most women. My age doesn’t bother me. It never has (well once, when I turned 30, but that’s another story). I am proud of my age. I celebrate birthdays!! I am thankful for each day that God is allowing me to be on this earth. However, weight is a different story. I like to lie to myself most days about how much I weigh. So putting my weight out here, for whomever to see, is a big step. But it’s real. And if I want to lose weight, get healthy and maybe, motivate others, I have to be real. That’s the first step, I think, of making a change. At least it’s my first step.

I highly recommend logging your foods. I was amazed last week, as I stood in our gift shop at work, searching for a snack that wouldn’t eat up my points. I calculated every chip, candy bar, Cheez-it and peanut in that place. I walked out empty handed. I almost felt defeated! Now, I could have gotten any of them, and eat half the bag (as most were 2 servings) but I know me, I have no control. I would have eaten the entire bag. That’s what I do!! So I found a single serving bag of baked lays BBQ chips, they were 4 points, they did the job. I am actually sickened about the foods that I was putting in my body. Logging has kept it real, it’s not always pretty, but it’s real!! Log your foods; I think you might be amazed!!

So, my big news is I lost 3.6lbs this past week!! Not a huge loss, but for the first time in months, I didn’t gain—and that is HUGE!! A healthy weight loss is 1-2lbs per week for someone who wants to lose it and keep it off. This week was full of sacrifices, changes, logging and blogging. It was full of fruits and vegetables and much less of chips and chocolate. I wasn’t as active as I would have liked to be but I was more active than I was in the past. It’s a step, in the right direction, in the permanent lifestyle change that I want for myself. I am excited for the weeks, months and years to come. I hope you are too.

Here is a list of Food with Principles that I read on the back of my WW meal today. I thought they were a great way to start looking at the way we eat and the foods we eat. I hope this list helps you:

1. Portion control so you can eat the foods you love
2. Breakfast is crucial, because it starts your day right & helps control hunger
3. Smart Eating includes a variety of foods with protein
4. Whole grains, fruit and vegetables can keep you fuller, longer!
5. Smart deserts and snacks can help you stay on track
6. Support and knowledge are critical to making smart food choices.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Prayer /pre(ə)r/ noun
noun: prayer; plural noun: prayers1. a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship.

For most people, the word prayer is a common word. They understand the meaning of what one is going to do when they say they are going to pray. While we often still think of prayer primarily as asking God for something, prayer, properly understood, is a conversation with God. When we speak or have a conversation with someone, we are implying that there is someone there, listening to us. So as we speak to God, we are acknowledging that he is there, listening to our every word. Communicating with God forms a bond, a relationship to speak, that grows with every word, every sentence, and every prayer.

Our minister at Bethel Presbyterian Church, just did a sermon on prayer this past week and he talked about prayer. He reminded us that God answers prayers, sometimes not the way we want him to answer, but in the way he sees fit too. Many of us pray for healing, good health, employment and sometimes financial security (not rich, but being able to pay our bills). We pray for our loved ones, for our friends and for nations facing mass destructions.

I am not a knee prayer. I don’t think you have to pray a certain way or at a certain time of day. I pray in my car, in the shower, while I am walking down the hallways at work. I pray quietly. I converse with God. I am building a relationship of trust and love and friendship. I think that is what we are supposed to do when we pray. We should pray like Jesus though. We should take time to be quiet and speak and more importantly, to listen. We should pray selflessly. I am learning to have selfless prayers. There was a time where I was very selfish in my prayers. A few years ago, when I wanted a baby more than anything, and I couldn’t have one naturally. I prayed. I cursed. I cried. I asked why on so many occasions. What I wasn’t thinking of was if/when he answered my prayer that meant that there would be a woman, who would make the ultimate sacrifice, by letting her child go and to be raised by another woman. God did answer my prayer. In his time, and it was beautiful. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t believe that he heard my cries and my pleas, but he knew when I was to become the mother of a precious little baby. My prayer was answered and I am grateful. However, there have been many times I prayed for something and it didnt happen. I had to accept that and thank him and move on. Occasionally, hours, days or sometimes even years down the road I have realized why or how God answered my prayer. Sometimes it was becasue he had someting better in store for me. Sometimes it was because he needed to know that I was faithful and would follow him even in times of despair.

Recently I have been faced with illness and death of so many that are young. I have family fighting cancer, one going in for surgery as I write this and dear friend fighting for his life while he awaits a liver transplant. I pray daily for these people. Each one is at a different stage in their illness. Some are weaker than others; some will heal faster than others. Some may lose their fight. So what I pray for is that God gives them comfort. Of course I want them healed, but more than anything I don’t want suffering. I pray that God gives them the strength to fight, the courage to face their battles and the acceptance for what is to come. I pray for the families, their caretakers that are walking next to their loved ones and at times carrying them. Deuteronomy 31:8 says that “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

So today, right now, I ask that you say a little prayer for someone in your life, or maybe someone in my life, or maybe for someone you don’t even know like those in the Philippines that have lost so much. Pray for their comfort and their strength and their understanding. Pray for healing and hope and rebuilding. But more importantly, pray for acceptance that whatever happens, God is with us. God doesn’t want us to suffer or die, but he has promised us a place in heaven if we believe and have faith and accept him as our Lord and Savior. A place where there will never be anymore suffering or illness or destruction. A place, where we will be happy and healthy every day. So just pray. Pray when you want and how you want, but pray. God is listening. God wants to talk to you and with you. You may not hear or feel his answer, but he is there.

Please note. I am learning to be a better Christian and better follower of Jesus and above all, I am learning to have a relationship with God. These posts are my thoughts and my impressions. They may not be right according to scripture, but it’s what I feel and what I gain from my lessons. Regardless, I think we have to start somewhere, and this is where I am starting. There are many that are more versed in what the bible says and there are many that have a much stronger relationship with God. But I’m getting there and I hope you are too. So with that said, if there are loved ones that you would like lifted up in prayer, please feel free to comment with their name, or initials, below and I will pray for them (in the way that I pray) as well as others that may read this post. Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying. May God bless you and keep you safe.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Counting Points--One Point at a Time

Well, last night my mom and I went to a Weight Watchers meeting. We joined and we went home motivated (sorta) to start this process. I think we both had this gloom of the monthly price and then the cost of eating healthy and then, that large dark cloud of “Will it work this time”. I had looked at my budget going into this and I knew that it was going to be a hiccup in our already tight bank account. But as I went back and looked at the money we (James and I) were spending monthly at fast food and the daily purchases at the hospital cafeteria (mostly me!!), we were spending way more than the $40 a month fee for WW. I think sometimes we have to spend to get results. I spend $20 a month to go to the gym. I will spend $40 a month to go to WW. I, personally, like the group therapy type meetings. I love hearing others trials and struggles but more importantly, I love hearing their successes. It gives me hope and encourages me to not give up. And if you speak to those that succeed, that keep the weight off, they go to meetings!! So, as long as I can afford to go, I will attend the meetings.

I weighed in last night at 265lbs. I convinced myself that I had not gained weight since my last blog (as I promised myself), I had on clothes and boots and it was late in the day (6pm). The lady said that most weigh in with their shoes on the first visit so that the second visit you may “lose” weight (hint, no shoes=less weight) LOL. My 5% goal is 13lbs. I would love to have that off by Christmas. That is my goal. We shall see. One day at a time!!
 Today has been a struggle with points. I have not had a chance to go to the store and get the fruits and veggies that I need to fill the “voids” of my day. I logged my food and it was scary the point values that the foods I was eating daily actually have. A simple granola bar is 5points. Really?? Its organic and healthy, so I thought. I put it in my desk drawer for an emergency one day, but not today!! WW has changed the way they do their points. It’s not just fat and calories anymore. Its fat, carbs, protein and fiber. It’s more balanced. I like it. It’s making me really plan out these meals. I get 39 points a day. Sounds like a lot, but trust me, it isn’t.  You do get 49 extra points during the week and you get points for activity. I am not going to count my activity points. It will help me to lose more in the long run that way. Weight Watchers allows you to live life, eat every day foods, but makes you think more about what goes in your mouth and when!!

So, tonight, I have date night. We are heading to the theater to see Thor and I will get a small popcorn and my one diet drink a day allotment (I am drinking water through the day so I can have my soda tonight). I have added the points in already. Without butter, the popcorn is actually not bad. We are then heading to the grocery and stocking up on lots of fruits, veggies and frozen WW meals (for lunch). Dinners will be lean meats, veggies and some whole grain pastas and or rice. I am searching daily for ideas and meal plans that we all will love and can be simple. What are your favorite meals and how do you make them healthy and tasty at the same time?

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