Stacy's Weight Loss Journey

one bite at a time…..

Goals for the remainder of 2012

I have kind of stalled with my weight loss and I’ve been discouraged, but after giving myself a pep talk last week, I’m feeling much better. I realized that I had not really set up any goals for myself and that could be one of the reasons for the plateau (that, and the severe pain I’ve been in. :/). So my two goals for the remainder of 2012 are these:

I will not drink any soda until 2013. This is not really something I have a big problem with, but when I am not feeling well and in pain, I will drink root beer to comfort myself (wild woman, I know!) and I don’t need the extra calories.

I will walk a total of 40 miles for exercise before Jan 1, 2012. I am trying to walk 1.5 miles 5 days a week.

I am hoping having these goals in the forefront of my mind, that I will get closer to my ultimate weight loss goal. That’s all for now. 🙂

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Southwest Quinoa Salad with Mango

Southwest Quinoa Salad with Mango

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I buy mine in bulk, here are the cooking directions- http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-cook-quinoa-63344)
  • 1 cup corn (I used canned)
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mango
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced (you can use more if you like it spicy!)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoonchili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt to taste

Directions:

1. Mix together the beans, quinoa, corn, bell pepper, mango, onion, cilantro, and jalapeño in a mixing bowl.

2. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil,  cumin, chili powder, and turmeric in a small bowl.

3. Drizzle over the mixture and toss. Refrigerate until ready to serve. (I ate it at room temperature.)

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Cutting Myself Some Slack

I am notorious for being hard on myself; and on this weight loss journey I am no different. I am not only working on losing weight but also modifying my diet to help with my chronic pain. It seems that everyday I make a mistake and eat something I’m not supposed to, or I start a new medication and I have to eat more food when I take it so I don’t get sick. Plus, the fact that I’m in constant pain and planning and cooking can be close to impossible with a toddler; I get so discouraged. I am so hard on myself. I feel like a failure.

I have a tendency to not focus on the good things I have accomplished. I have lost 40 pounds in the last year, I walk a mile and a half 3-4 times a week, I make really great choices with my food most of the time. I have not given into the pain or depression fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease causes. I am a great mom, wife, sister, daughter and friend.

I need to cut myself some slack. This is a journey, a life long one, not only with my weight, but with my chronic illnesses. And as long as I don’t give up, I’m doing just fine.

*insert sigh of relief here.*

Thanks for reading my morning thoughts, friends.

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Now, Why Did I Do That??

I weighed myself this morning. I’m not sure if I did it because I woke of feeling fat, or that I didn’t want to take my walk today. I know I really shouldn’t have, considering Mike took me to Chili’s last night to celebrate our anniversary (again :)) and I ate chips and salsa, fajitas and half of a chocolate chip paradise pie and I’m a few days from that time of the month. I weighed 161.6. Up 1.6 pounds from the first of the month. :/

Am I surprised? Not even a little. I’ve been letting myself slip, getting a little too comfortable using those extra flex points I get each week. Using a little more creamer in my coffee. Grabbing a handful of chocolate chips to snack on. I think it’s mostly because I’m bored during the day. Samuel is in this stage where he doesn’t quite get “activities”. He takes bites of the Play-doh. He tries nibbling on the crayons. I get through the first sentence or two of a book and he’s over it. So, he plays. All. Day. Long.

I am thankful he is independent, but that really leaves me with nothing to do but housework, and with my Fibromyalgia and back pain, I don’t last long and I need frequent rest. I am so tired of watching TV and as soon as I grab a book, Samuel thinks it’s the most fascinating thing in the world! So it’s easier to stand in the kitchen and snack. I am looking forward to cooler weather so I can take him to the park during the day, but even that is hard on my body. Having to chase him and bend down to pick him up is so difficult and painful on most days.

I’ve been leading an online Bible study, going through The Power Of A Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian, which has been awesome, but I’ve been neglecting my prayer time for my healthy eating and exercise. The exercising has been going really well. I’ve already walked three days this week, a mile and a half each. So I know the weight gain is not from lack of exercise. It’s from the extra calories I’ve been putting in my mouth.

I wish all of this was not such a struggle! I wish I didn’t crave yummy food, but I do, so I need the Lord’s help every moment of every day to overcome this. I need to remember why I want to lose weight – to feel better physically (even this is iffy because I may feel just as crummy if I lose the weight, I may have just as much pain, so this reason doesn’t really keep me motivated), to feel attractive and sexy for my husband, to fit into my old clothes, and ultimately, to please the Lord.

It’s so hard when I start to feel like I’m looking pretty good…that’s when I start to slip. My clothes don’t feel tight (Although I’m sure trying to get my size 10 jeans on would be a reality check!) and I feel comfortable, not having to always suck my stomach in. I think this is why, for most people, losing the last 10 or 15 pounds is the hardest. But I don’t want to stay here. I want to reach my goal. I think I need to re-read Made To Crave, or at least reference it when I’m feeling discouraged about this whole weight loss journey. I need to know I’m not alone, that i’m not the only one who thinks this is really really hard. I treasure your prayers, friends! I’m praying for you too! Let’s do this!

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10 Pounds To Go!

As I have mentioned before I read the book Made To Crave, by Lysa Terkeurst, and it has completely changed my way of thinking about food, exercise, and health in general. In September, I weighed myself on the first of the month and decided not to weigh myself again until the end of the month. Well, here we are at the beginning of October so I thought I would share a little bit of my September with you. I weighed myself on September 30th, a day early, but I just couldn’t resist! I was so curious to see if I had lost any weight. I felt lighter, my clothes fit well, even some of my jeans are doing that baggy butt thing. Before I stepped on the scale, I thought about all the times during the month that I had to resist checking my weight. Before reading the book, I weighed myself every morning and every night. I sort of gauged my worth by what the scale said. If I was down a pound I was a success, if I was up a pound I was a failure. I realize now that was not a healthy way to live.

I chose to gauge my success by the choices I made every hour. Before I ate something, I would pray and ask the Lord if that choice pleased Him. Most of the time I felt good to take a bite, but sometimes I knew I could make a better choice and I found something else to eat, or I decided not to eat anything at all and have another glass of water. If I went to bed knowing that I had sought the Lord about my food choices and my exercise, then I knew I was successful. I did mess up once, where I chose to just enjoy my day and not worry about food (read: not include the Lord in my choices…ouch). I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing until that night when I got home from an awesome beach day and started feeling convicted…it wasn’t guilt, I didn’t feel the need to berate myself or make up for my choices by only eating veggies the next day, but I did feel convicted. I repented and the next morning I text messaged my accountability partner and told her what had happened. She responded with a sweet text of encouragement. I made awesome choices from then on, not feeling bad about myself, but feeling refreshed and focused, feeling thankful for the Lord’s guidance and my friend’s encouragement.

That is the way a mess up should go!

So back to the scale.

I stared down at the scale, a little nervous. What if the scale did not move? Would I feel completely defeated? Would I want to give up? What if I only lost one pound the whole month? I asked the Lord to prepare my mind and heart for whatever the scale said, and stepped on…..160.0.

I lost 7 pounds! I was ecstatic about the weight loss, but I was just as excited about how I lost the weight. It wasn’t by my sweat and tears (at least not those alone!), but by the leading of the Holy Spirit and His strength working through me. I have 10 pounds left to go until I reach my goal of 150. I can’t wait to see what October holds.

 

Blessing to all of you and if you have not had a chance to pick up Made To Crave, go get it today and start reading!!!

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Walk, Daughter

“The more I made exercise about spiritual growth and discipline, the less I focused on the weight. Each lost pound was not a quest to get skinny but the evidence of obedience to God.”

I woke up this morning, did some stretches in bed, sat up, did a few more stretches. Ouch. This is my first thing in the morning routine. The following is pretty much Mike’s and my conversation most mornings too.

“How are you?”

“I feel like I’ve been ran over. My days would be so much easier if I wasn’t in so much pain.”

“I’m sorry, Babe.”

“It’s ok.”

And you know what? Most days I really mean it. “It’s ok.” I have come to accept the pain that I live in, and although it’s uncomfortable and makes everything more difficult, it keeps me close to the Lord, and because of that, I’m ok with it. Today was not one of those days. The pain has been really bad the last couple days and Samuel has not been sleeping well, so those late night snuggles take a toll on my body. He did sleep through the night last night, which is probably why I was so irritated that I felt so bad. I thought I had slept well, I should be feeling good. Not the case.

I got up and got my coffee going, got Mike’s iced coffee in his hand and kissed him goodbye. I went to the couch to drink my coffee and grabbed the remote and turned on the TV. Before the picture even came up, the Lord reminded me that I had not spent time with Him and that my day would be worse off if I was in pain and running on my own strength. I turned off the TV and grabbed my Bible. The Psalms have been ministering to me so much the last couple days. As my focus has been obedience and reliance on God about my food issues, the Scriptures are coming to life. I had my quiet time, prayed for my family, thanked the Lord for the work He is doing in me and for my health (ironic, huh? I know though that I could be a lot worse off than I am and I am thankful for every step I can take, even if they are painful) and asked God to give me the strength I need for today.

Samuel woke up and fussed and I just wanted to stay on the couch. But that’s not what being a mama is all about! I got up and gave Samuel breakfast. Then the inner dialogue started.

“I’m in pain, I don’t need to walk today.”

“WALK, DAUGHTER.”

“I can probably only do a half mile…Is it even worth it?”

“WALK, DAUGHTER, IN YOUR WEAKNESS, I AM MADE STRONG.”

“Ok, Lord, I’ll walk. I don’t want to and I’m not even sure how far I’ll make it, but I will be obedient.”

Samuel and I made our way around the half mile loop in our neighborhood. It was such a sweet time of prayer and fellowship with the Lord, and fun for me to watch Samuel point to the trees, sky, grass, plants and dog dogs when I said the words. I walked 2 miles today. I never thought I would be able to do it, but each lap I prayed and asked the Lord for wisdom. I didn’t want to push myself too hard, that is not good for my health. I really sought the Lord to see if I should keep walking. I have never been so in tune with Him while I walked. Have you ever sought the Lord about what exercise He wanted you to do and for how long? Does God even care? Oh, I believe He does! When we are physically out of shape, I truly believe we are hindered spiritually. Let me give you an example. Samuel is my most important ministry during the day (Mike is my most important ministry overall, but he’s at work. :0) and if I am too overweight to get on the floor and play with him, or keep up with him at the park, or too exhausted and sluggish to really engage mentally with him, then I am letting my lack of physical health interfere with my ministry and God cares very much about that.

Let me remind you of the Made To Crave quote I typed above-

“The more I made exercise about spiritual growth and discipline, the less I focused on the weight. Each lost pound was not a quest to get skinny but the evidence of obedience to God.”

I have not thought about how much I weigh in 3 days. And for me, that is monumental. My success is not about what the scale says (I’m not even weighing myself for a month); my success is measured by the choices I make out of obedience to what the Lord is asking me to do.

I challenge you to pray about not only what you should be eating and how much, but what the Lord would have you to do to improve your health with exercise.

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I Was Made For More Than This

Last post I told you Mike bought me the book Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, and I finished it in less than two days! What an amazing book! Here is an excerpt that really spoke to my soul-

“A whole lifetime could be spent making excuses, giving in, feeling guilty, resolving to do better, mentally beating myself up for not sticking to my resolve, feeling like a failure, and then resigning myself to the fact that things can’t change. And I don’t want to spend a lifetime in this cycle. I suspect you don’t either.”

Can I get an AMEN????

Here is another-

“God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make he choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them. Getting healthy isn’t just about losing weight. It’s not limited to adjusting our diet and hoping to good physical results. It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change – spiritually, physically, and mentally. And the battle really is in all three areas.”

Did you catch that?

“It’s about recalibrating our souls so that we want to change.”

I want to change…until I see the brownie. Or the cookie. Or the cake. Or the chocolate. (Can you tell I crave sweets?!) I have never found the want to. With the exception of when I got down to my goal weight about 2 years ago. We had been trying to get pregnant for 2 years and I had accepted that the Lord was not going to bless us with a child, so if I couldn’t have a baby, I would be thin and well dressed. (Can you hear my attitude in that statement? Frustration, anger and sass, coming right up!) I spent lots of money on new clothes and put all of my energy into losing weight. New clothes that may not even fit this mama body when I get back down to that goal weight. You see, although God took a little longer than I wanted, He did give us the ultimate blessing of our son Samuel. I got pregnant about a month after I hit my goal weight. LOL! Looking back, His timing was perfect and I am so thankful!

Now that I have this mama body, stretch marks, cellulite and misshapen belly (Samuel just LOVED the right side of my belly!), it’s easy to make excuses about my weight. “I’ve already lost most of my baby weight.” “I’m disabled, I just can’t lose the weight.” “My husband loves me just the way I am.” (This may be true, but I don’t love my body just the way it is and that can be a huge hindrance to our love life.)

Here is the last excerpt from the book I will leave you with today-

“Honestly, I am made for more than a vicious cycle of eating, gaining, stressing- eating, gaining, stressing…I am made to rise up, do battle with my issues and, using the Lord’s strength in me, defeat them- spiritually, physically, and mentally – to the glory of God.”

(Uhh, can I mention all of these excerpts are all before chapter one?!?!?!) Pray about why you are overweight, stop making excuses or rationalizations and ask the Lord to reveal to you why you overeat (for comfort? because you feel like you deserve it after a hard day?) and let Him work in your heart like He has worked in mine. I am ready to take this journey, and honestly I can say it is more about being obedient to my Lord than it is about losing weight. I found my want to! I weighed myself yesterday and I won’t be doing it again for a month. This is a big deal for the girl who weighs herself daily, sometimes even more than once a day. I am done with the vicious cycle of eating, gaining, stressing, shame. I was made for more than this. So were you!

 

 

 

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Made To Crave

The last month or so has been difficult in regards to losing weight. I have felt motivated to lose weight, right up until the moment I feel stress – normal mommy stress, stress from being in pain, stress from not knowing whether I should have my tooth pulled, stress from not having the money to replace said tooth with a bridge or implant, stress from my hubby going back to work after having the summer off….. nothing life changing, just normal day to day stress. When I start to feel the stress I go straight to the freezer for the chocolate chips (I bought the dark chocolate chips, healthier for me, ya know.) and I can eat a few hundred calories without even realizing it. It makes me feel better for the moment, but then the guilt kicks in. Then I feel even worse and go back the freezer. It’s a terrible cycle that I have been feeling convicted of.

I wasn’t sure if the conviction I was feeling was self-imposed or if it was really the Holy Spirit prompting me to stop this behavior. I committed it to prayer. I also ordered a book entitled, Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It was recommended to me by a friend and it’s about learning to satisfy your deepest desire with God, not food. Awesome, right? Well I ordered the book two days ago with two day shipping and I have not received it. I checked my order status only to find out that it has not shipped yet and isn’t supposed to be here until next Tuesday (a whole week after I ordered it!) Not cool! I started a live online chat with an Amazon representative and she said she wasn’t sure what happened and that she switched it to one day shipping and I would receive it by September 4th. Ummm, September 4th is the original estimated delivery date. She wasn’t sure why, but that’s the best she could do. I canceled the order and Mike is going to pick it up for me at Berean tomorrow, even though it will cost a few bucks more. 😡

I am not exactly sure why this made me so upset I cried, but it did. I am trying to get my emotional eating under control and this whole situation with the book just makes me want to go into the kitchen and eat. I suppose that it is confirmation that I do have a problem with letting my emotions and stress control my eating habits and I have realized that instead of going to the Lord when I feel stressed or upset, I go to food. That is not healthy. The conviction I was feeling was from the Holy Spirit.

I am hoping that I not only lose weight as I get this under control, but that I grow in my relationship with the Lord, seeing myself as He sees me, becoming the wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend I should be. I am glad tomorrow is the last day of the month. I am looking forward to September and the healthy changes I plan on making.

Today I was very conscious about why I was eating. I ate when I was hungry and when I wanted a treat, I made sure there was no stress behind my eating. A treat is fine every once in a while, bingeing on chocolate chips because I feel stressed is not. I am thankful for the gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit and His grace.

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I Stopped Trying

I’ve been slacking. There, I said it. I can make all the excuses I want, but the reality is, losing weight is hard and I stopped trying. I have lost a total of twenty pounds; I still have 16 left to go. It’s time to refocus and get it done! I had a root canal done yesterday and I’m still really sore and swollen from that, plus my back has been really bad the last couple day, so walking will have to wait until I’m healed up, but I can make wise food choices. Here’s to getting back on the wagon!

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Weight Loss Challenge Part 2

Why does losing weight have to be so hard? Well, for me it’s because food tastes so darn good and I can’t exercise the way I want to.  I went through my pre-pregnancy clothes (what I call my “skinny clothes”) again the other night and I was so surprised at how small they were! Then I tried a pair of jeans on and realized how big I am (I do realize size is relative). So I texted my sister. The text read “I’m huge.” After many texts back and forth she made me feel better, motivated and encouraged me to keep at it. Keep getting healthy. So I decided to start another Weight Loss Challenge (WLC). I hosted one back in January and lost about 17 pounds in three months. I have gained about 5 pounds back. There were 26 of us trying to lose weight and we all did really great. This time we are closer to 18 people, I think, but I am feeling so excited about it and I can’t wait to start…actually I didn’t wait to start! I started last week and have walked 8 days in a row. I am feeling really proud of myself and I am looking forward to be able to encourage people to reach their goals. This time I am going to take my measurements as well as record my weight so I can see how many inches I have lost. Here are my beginning pictures for this time around. These are my “1st goal” jeans. I can technically get them on, but not without a muffin top and not without having a hard time walking! LOL! I will post progress pictures at the end of June in these same jeans. 🙂

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