Sunday, June 28, 2015

What I Learned When I Lost

Since March, I've been working on a special project which I'm now ready to reveal in greater detail.

I lost 30 pounds in two months, and am still losing.

No, I am not selling anything, nor do I have a special pill, formula, recipe, or bean. If it turns you off that I don't have a magical answer, then please move on, this post is not for you. I simply want to share a bit about my no-nonsense weight loss journey in hopes that it will inspire others to take control and find a nutrition plan that works for them.

I think diets need to be individually designed so that they are effective, affordable, and sustainable for long term weight loss and management. While I have seen many a friend gravitate from the tired-hungry mama plan over to weight loss drink du jour, what I've witnessed is a lot of initial optimism in the face of a one-size-must-fit-all plan that cannot work for everybody. It doesn't work that way. We're all different. I think that is why it's so hard to lose weight. We try to fit ourselves into a sharply defined box. One size fitting all is a myth in the world of dieting as much as it is in anything else.

Here are three things I did that moved me toward a successful diet:

1) I had blood work done to make sure I was in good, working order. Without going into great detail about my health, my doctor was very supportive of me starting a diet. He's a direct man who doesn't care which diet I did, "Just do something," he said. He also suggested a FitBit, but being someone who is already on their feet for 14 hours a day, I couldn't see where the extra steps were going to come from and I wasn't excited about spending a hundred dollars on something that told me that I take the same amount of steps every day. As it turned out, my instincts were right and it didn't matter. Most importantly, once I was able to see my blood work and check that my thyroid is working correctly, I had no excuses. If I failed, it would be my fault.

2) I created a calorie deficit. I already knew that 3,500 calories = one pound. I also knew that if you multiplied the number you want to see on the scale by ten, and you eat that many calories, that is the number you will weigh. For instance, If you want to weigh 150 pounds, you need to more or less, eat 1,500 calories per day. I used these two formulas in creating a daily meal schedule that fit my lifestyle without feeling like a tremendous sacrifice. For myself, I found that eating a lower calorie breakfast and lunch allowed me to have a normal supper featuring our usual favorites with my family. That has worked well.

3)  I gave myself one day a week to eat whatever I want, and this was important. There's always one day out of the week where it's a party and someone is handing you a cupcake, or you really really REALLY want pizza. So, I put aside one day where that is okay. It's not always the same day, and believe it or not, sometimes I skip it and forget about it! Not to mention, I can't eat nearly as much as I could thirty pounds ago, so that one day is a day of freedom, but not a free for all. 

The last picture I could find of myself pre-diet was from last Thanksgiving. Not a full length shot, but you can see I'm carrying some upper body weight, and my face looks fuller.


Here I am today. Excuse the blur, I never take selfies and my hand shakes. Plus, I'm having fit issues with all of my clothing. No surprise there. My old stuff will be coming to a ReUzit shop near you.  

 I'm celebrating summer in my usual way, with my favorite quick and easy Tomato Bruschetta topping. It's been posted before with an inferior picture that doesn't do it justice.

 2 cups of tomatoes (cherry tomatoes 
cut into quarters work best!)
1/2 of a medium red onion
2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
chopped fresh basil
Season with slat, pepper and 
Don't skip the seasoning!

We eat this as a dip for bread, pita chips, and even as a topping 
on hamburgers. It's very versatile 
and healthy. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Praise Report: A Glimpse of Grace

Ideally, I like to post twice a month but it looks like May got away from me. It was a very demanding month in both good and not so good ways, so my thoughts were disorganized. One thing that was on my mind was to give an update on the progress Little Mister has made in the past six months, because it has been big. Bigger even, than a realization I had about how God has been working on this moment before our son was even born. 

When Little Mister turned three, he entered into a preschool program at a local school where he could continue to receive therapy. It's been amazing on two counts. Six months ago he was almost completely non-verbal, and his Apraxia was considered so significant that we had no idea what the future might look like for his ability to communicate. Once entering this school, the changes were so rapid that he now speaks in complete sentences and never stops talking. Although understanding his words are a big challenge because there are many sounds he cannot yet pronounce, we can actually have simple conversations. It's amazing. I remember when I thought he would never say the word "mom." Now I want to change my name.

The second reason this is so profound is because I believe God planned for this opportunity a long time ago. When we were planning our wedding and looking for a house, we were looking everywhere but here. We wanted one closer to my family farther north, but couldn't close a deal on the house we found there. We talked about moving out of state. It was only after we exhausted all other options that we found and purchased our little fixer upper. To be honest, I wasn't always thankful for it. It's been a huge project that siphoned off time and money. I sometimes despised living in a small outreach community where it feels far from the action. I could do a whole post on that one, alone. Finally, I didn't care about what schools were nearby because we would probably home school anyway. 

Now, eight years later, I can stand at our back property line and look across a field where I can actually see the wonderful school that has helped my son so much. A school with a program so coveted by other  parents that they tell me how badly they want to move to our town so their child can be guaranteed a placement in the program. I could have never imagined this. I could have never planned this. I deserve no glory for this. Aren't you glad we don't always get what we deserve?

White mulberries

At times when I'm feeling surly and unthankful, (-Yes, those moments still happen! What is wrong with me? If you know, write me and tell me.) I think of the school. I think of how for years it sat there across the field like a latent blessing I never knew we would need, to be revealed at the right time.

Long before we meet our own children, the One who calls each star by name knew the name by which we would call them.


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