Our Quest to change our lives began in Feb. 2010 and we lost 224 lbs. We slowly gained a lot of that weight back and we're now on another journey for weight loss and better health using Bright Line Eating. This is the story of our continuing Journey. .
(For the fullest effect, begin at the beginning in Feb. 2010 using our Blog Archive on sidebar)

Monday, September 24, 2018

Day 7 on Bright Line Eating - We Have Results!

It's been a week of Bright Line Eating for me and Brent. I didn't stray even once. I didn't take any bites, licks or tastes while I prepared food and I didn't eat anything in between our three meals. Brent didn't stray either. I'm sure it helps that I am preparing all the food and all he does is sit down and eat. (He would do more if he could but the effects of his stroke make his left hand mostly unusable, and his balance isn't quite there.)

We talked to our doctor this week and he gave us the thumbs up for eliminating sugar and flour from our diets.

We both experienced hunger in between meals at times. But the hunger did not last for long and it wasn't bad. It helps knowing that we will eat again in a certain time frame so it's not like we need to fear hunger. Usually drinking some water and keeping busy is enough to have it go away.

The best thing is that the food is so delicious! Brent says that he loves every meal. He compliments the food all the time saying it the best he's ever had. If you've seen the movie "What About Bob" you might remember the scene where Bob is eating and savoring the food vocally in an exaggerated way showing how he loves it.  This is Brent when he's eating our Bright Line Meals. True Story.

Truth be told, I haven't cooked consistently so just having meals on a consistent basis is nice for both of us.

And... we weighed in this morning



That is a great start. Wahoo!

Breakfasts this week:

 Tuesday: 2 Scrambled Eggs, Nectarine, and Oatmeal
Scrambled eggs are my FAVORITE. I have them for dinner sometimes too. 

 Wednesday: Oatmeal (w/ Cinnamon), 4 oz Cottage Cheese,  6 oz of Berries and Pineapple
I'm not a fan of PB in my oatmeal, so this time I had cottage cheese on the side instead. 

 Thursday: Oatmeal, 2 Scrambled Eggs, 6 oz Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries
So Yummy!

 Friday: 3 Rice Cakes, 2 oz Peanut Butter, 1 Banana
This was a fun break from oatmeal. Brent loved the PB, but I think next time I'll have cheese instead of PB. Yum.

 Saturday: 2 Scrambled Eggs, 4 oz Potatoes, 1 Pear
This was so delicious. Those potatoes are my own home-canned ones. Brent is in love with pears now.

Sunday: 1 oz Triscuits, 2 oz. Cheese, 1 Nectarine
This was perfect for Sunday and a quick breakfast before heading to church. I loved the crunch of the Triscuits, but I think I should limit this to once a week. 

Lunches this week:

 Tuesday: Taco Salad (4 oz Chicken Taco Meat, 6 oz Spinach, Romaine, Peppers, & Cucumbers), 1 T Bolthouse Dressing, 6 oz. Grapes.
This was a WINNER. I love taco salad and will be making more. 

 Wednesday: 6 oz Salad w/ 1 oz. Shredded Cheese, 6 oz Pinto Bean (I put in the salad), 1 Pear
We weren't big fans of the beans, but it was still delicious.

 Thursday: 2 oz. Hummus, 2 oz. Turkey, 6 oz. Peppers, 6 oz. Grapes, 1 Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge.
For us this is great variety. Brent had the same thing but instead of turkey, he had 3 oz all beef hot dogs.

 Friday: Taco Salad (4 oz Taco Chicken Meat, 6 oz Lettuce, Cucumbers and Peppers, 1 oz Cheese), 1 Nectarine.
An awesome lunch!!

 Saturday: 2 oz Hummus and 2 oz Turkey, 6 oz Carrots and Celery, 6 oz Pineapple and Strawberries,  and Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge

Sunday: Taco Salad like Friday's lunch, with 2 plums

Dinners this week:

 Tuesday: 4 oz Rotisserie Chicken, 13 oz Roasted Veggies (Broccoli, Asparagus, Yellow Squash, Onions, and Carrots), 1 oz Cucumber.
The hubs LOVES roasted veggies and said I can make them anytime. I added a little olive oil and some seasonings. They were so delish!

Wednesday: 2 Scrambled Eggs w/ 1 oz Cheese, 14 oz Sauteed Veggies (Yellow Squash, Cabbage, Peppers, and Onions) I used Pam spray to saute them in.
Such a scrumptious dinner!

 Thursday: 4 oz Rotisserie Chicken, 14 oz. Roasted Veggies (Broccoli, Carrots, Onions, and Asparagus), 1 oz Cheese.
It feels like we're eating better than any restaurant!

Friday:  2 Veggie Burgers (4 oz total), 9 oz Salad, 5 oz Sauteed Mushrooms and Peppers, 1 oz Bolthouse Dressing.
Brent loves the veggie burgers. This was another tasty meal.

Saturday:  4 oz Grilled Angus Beef Burger, 1 oz cheese melted on top, 6 oz total of Steamed Asparagus, Red Pepper, Red Onion, Tomato Slices
We tried using the pepper like the "bun" for the burger but it fit awkwardly. So we ended up just eating it however we could. We needed lots of napkin but it was so tasty!

Sunday: 2 Scrambled Eggs w/ 1 oz. Cheese, 14 oz Sauted Veggies: Cabbage, Onions, and Mushrooms.
A great final meal for the week. Very satisfying. I still love the eggs the most.

We are both very pleased with this first week. I'm amazed how quickly I've gotten used to eating at specific times and NOT snacking. Even at Costco, I don't go near the tasting tables. It feels good that we are doing something for our health. I don't let my mind go off on thinking about food and that helps. I have so much to do to take care of Brent, my family while also being the main bread winner right now. How my life has changed could be a completely other blog altogether. 

Believe me, I have my food obsessions and bad habits. I don't want to talk about them or list them because I'm keeping my mind on different things - like all the food I am now making! So I'm truly thankful that changing our eating so far seems to be a smooth transition. 7 pounds released and just 105 pounds to go.  

Life is good!!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Four Years Later – Starting Over

It’s been over four years since my last blog post and so much has happened.

Sadly, both Brent and I slowly gained a lot of  our weight back these last five years…   I’ve been dreading writing in my blog here because I’ve been so disappointed with myself. Many many times I tried going back on the Medifast plan that helped me lose that 145 lbs. originally, but I could not stay on plan for more than a few weeks.

For a while, back in 2014 we got into juicing and did lose some weight, but we couldn’t live off juicing and eventually we were back in our same boat. I jumped on several other bandwagons including Plexus drink and supplements and Pruvit Ketone drinks. I don’t want to even confess how much money I threw at these programs (money we don’t have) and it just didn’t pay off for us. I’m glad they are effective for some people, just not for our needs.


Then last March something happened that changed everything.  Brent suffered from a cerebral stroke (actually two). It came out of the blue. It originally seemed like vertigo because he was losing his balance and tossing his cookies all that morning. It wasn’t until he stopped being able to talk coherently that I realized it was something more serious than vertigo. He ended up being rushed into emergency surgery to stop the swelling of his brain. 

After 3 weeks in the intensive care and another 12+ weeks in the hospital and rehab, he was able to come home. That was just over two months ago. He is still in recovery, and needs some assistance to walk, but he’s come a long way and he is a living miracle!  He is only 50. We just dodged a bullet. I am forever grateful that the Lord saved his life and he's still with me. :)

He did loose over 30 pounds while he was in the hospital, so that was a perk.

Again… it is time to get our health under better control. We both want to be around for grandkids when we eventually get some!  I have a married child now so grandparenthood is on the horizon! 😊


I had a good friend on Facebook post all these success stories of people using Bright Line Eating. So I contacted her to learn more about it. I felt so good about it as she shared it with me.

First off, I liked that someone wasn’t trying to get me in their network business.  Yes, I did TSFL Medifast (now Optavia) for several years myself – being a “health coach” and helping clients that bought from me. But I’ve never personally been motivated by making money from something like this.  And I just don’t like being bombarded by programs where financial gain is the main drive. (Yes, they say it’s to help people, but take the money out of it and usually they don’t talk to you anymore).

I know every program is pretty much set up to make money, but I don’t want to lose weight by having to spend hundreds of dollars each month on products! That’s a huge reason why it’s so hard to maintain weight after losing it on programs like Optavia and others… because eventually you have to transition off the product and maintain a healthy eating lifestyle. Then you mess up and must go back on the product. And really, do they mind getting more of your money?

What I liked about Bright Line Eating is that you START OFF making your own meals to help you lose weight. You are not locked into products. And I have no “upline” person hounding me to get clients or sell product. The success rate seems much greater than other programs I’ve tried and researched like the Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Paleo diet, and yes, even Medifast/Optavia. 

So I bought the book: Bright Line Eating and I read most of the book in one night. I was sold.  Here is what I like about BLE (Bright Line Eating).

  • ·         No Food Products to buy
  • ·         No “Upline” to buy membership into
  • ·         Program scientifically grounded – all detailed in her book
  • ·         Huge online support system
  • ·         Huge rate of people maintaining weight loss for years
  • ·         Helps me better understand Will Power and Sugar/Flour addictions
  • ·         Makes the most sense to me!

What is Bright Line Eating?:

In a nutshell, it is a program that teaches you a process for breaking food addictions in your brain. “Bright Lines” represent firm standards of eating:

  • ·         No Sugar (or sugar substitutes).
  • ·         No Flour.
  • ·         Eat 3 Meals a day - No Snacking in-between.
  • ·         Eat at a table, at a specified time, with measured portions.

Seem rigid? I certainly thought so when I first heard it. But as I read her book, I saw how smart this program is and I started to BELIEVE IT’S POSSIBLE once again that I can lose this weight and keep it off.  


I got my digital food scale, researched recipes I want to make, connected with some online support and TODAY Brent and I started this new path!

MY GOAL: 145 lbs           HIS GOAL: 170 lbs

Okay, I'm laying it all out there! It's embarrassing to show these pictures but I'm being real. I hate that I got this big again... but I'm moving forward now. 

Here are our FIRST BLE meals today:

Breakfast: (1 Protein, 1 Grain, 1 Fruit)

P= Peanut butter (2 T in Oatmeal)
G= Oatmeal (1 oz before adding water) cooked
F= Strawberries and Blueberries (6 oz)

Lunch: (1 Protein, 6 oz Vegetables, 1 Fruit, 1 Fat)

P= Turkey & Hummus
V= Sugar snap peas & Carrots (6 oz)
F= Pineapple & Banana (6 oz)
F= Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge

My Dinner: (1 Protein, 6 oz vegetables, 8 oz Salad, 1 Fat)

P= Rotisserie Chicken
V & S= Sauteed Squash, Asparagus, Pepper, Mushrooms, & Onions (14 oz)
F= Olive oil (for the cooking)

Brent's Dinner: (1 Protein, 6 oz vegetables, 8 oz Salad, 1 Fat)

P= All beef natural hot dogs (made sure that no kind of sugar was in the first 3 ingred)
V= Sauteed Squash, Asparagus, Pepper, Mushrooms, & Onions (10 oz)
S= Cucumbers (4 oz)
F= Olive oil (for the cooking)

So far, each meal felt very satisfying and we both felt full. Knowing that I've lost a significant amount of weight before by being committed to a plan helps me KNOW I can stick to this. I know what it takes to stick to a program, and now I feel like I've found one that will enable us to attain a healthy weight!


I welcome you to follow our journey. If you are on your own journey, I’d love to follow and support you as well. If you have a BLE blog please let me know in the comments and I’d love to follow it. I can use all the ideas I can get for meals and staying focused.

Life is Good!
XOX ~Margene

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Juicing, Karaoke & Armor of God

Thanks for the comment, Julie... I need to keep up with my blog here!!  We are still juicing and loving it.  Brent says that the green juices REALLY help him feel better.  Since it is digested quickly, it becomes a great energy booster.  We did a de-tox for 10 days and now we have about 1 meal a day with 3-4 juices (one being a smoothie).  Works great.

Here is a picture of my counter and how it gets filled with fruits.  Veggies are mostly in the fridge.  I get a big bag of carrots and keep them in the garage.  We have fruits and veggies all over the place now! ;)

My favorite juices have carrots in them... but I'm getting to like so many of them!
In the morning, we usually start out with a green juice like this one.
I often add to recipes I find.  This one has:  1 cucumber, 1 fist-full of kale, one fist-full of spinach, 3 stalks of celery, 1 huge broccoli stem, 1 green apple & 1/2 peeled lemon.  Feels good first thing in the morning.

Here is a smoothie before and after I blended it
 I put baby kale on the bottom, with 2 or 3 bananas, some frozen pitted cherries, fresh blueberries, 2 t. of chia-seeds and some almond milk (I never measure but just pour it in - maybe 1 cup)
And Voila!!  Two yummy good size smoothies!!

Here is another favorite juice (there are so many)
Orange Pom Juice with pomegranate seeds, oranges, apples and carrots

So, this last week I did something COMPLETELY NEW:  
I went to a Karaoke place and totally sang my heart out with some friends.  My hubs was there to cheer me on.  I have NEVER done this and here I am a 45 year old mama... but I rocked "Ice Ice Baby", I knew all the words from all those years DJing.  In-fact, I knew the words to most of the songs that weren't the most current.  Someone posted a little video from our karaoke night and dang, I looked so dorky... stupid even!!  But hey, I so don't care.  I choose not to cringe but to laugh!  It was so much fun.  I'm glad I didn't let fear of how I look stop me from just having fun!  We were a bunch of older white women rocking the place.  The DJ even came up with us once and sang with us.  She told us that we were one of the funnest groups that have come.  Most people try to sing ballads and are all so serious.  We proved that you don't need alcohol to have a good time!!

I was also asked to teach a class to some of our church women last Saturday.  My theme was on arming ourselves and our families.  I had to teach the same class three times to over 100 women.  I was nervous because I wanted to have something meaningful to teach and impact these wonderful sisters, that would actually help them in their daily lives.  I focused on putting on the armor of God, and I had a real sword and pretty impressive homemade shield there.  And one of my students from my Sunday School class drew this picture for me.  I asked him to draw a women in armor with her children behind her - facing a mean intimidating dragon - and also showing angels above ready to help.  
Here is what he drew (it was like 14" by 16" in actual size)

Isn't that A-MAY-ZING!!!!????
This young man has such talent!!

I talked about how our enemy attacks us in our minds - trying to get us to doubt or think badly of ourselves and others, and I shared ways to combat that.  

It was powerful for me because that has been MY struggle and is STILL often my biggest struggle.  

Our biggest battles are in our MINDS 
and how we PERCEIVE things. 

It takes WORK and effort to see the best in ourselves and in others and in situations... especially in difficult or hurtful situations where it is easy to become discouraged or bitter or overwhelmed.  But we don't HAVE to give in to those thoughts or feelings.  We do have a choice!  

For me, it involves LOTS of PRAYER to help me overcome my dragons!  

Just these last two days have been so seriously hard for me, and I have been fighting a sore battle that only my hubs truly knows about.  The thoughts and solutions that I was thinking to rid myself of the sorrow and torture I felt - I shudder to think.  I'm so thankful for prayer!  I'm so thankful for gentle guidance from above.  My prayers aren't answered in the way that I want or ask for... but I KNOW there is something I MUST need to learn.  I've got to BELIEVE that there is a higher purpose to heartache and trials that what I can see.

So here is to a POSITIVE NEW YEAR.  
No matter how this year has started - it can BE our BEST YEAR YET.


xoxOXoXOO ~Margene

Saturday, January 4, 2014

One Week of Juicing and Smoothies Now

So today marks the end of a full week of juicing.  
We not only juiced, but we've added in smoothies too.  

For the basic smoothies we do:
* Banana
* Ice
* Other Fruit
* Veggie
* Almond Milk
* Agave (if needed for sweetening)

I usually add 3-4 bananas, and blueberries.  Yesterday I tried fresh pineapple with strawberries and bananas, that was a yummy tart (yet still sweet).  We've limited smoothies to 1 a day.  

And if we've felt a strong urge to munch, we've allowed ourselves a small amount of almonds or cashews.  

So for 1 week we've only been eating fresh vegetables, fruits, and some nuts!  
No processed foods.
Nothing else but fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts.    

Results so far:

* Brent has lost 12 pounds !
* I have lost 8 pounds !
* Our hunger level has gone down 
* My taste buds are being revived
I can taste subtleties and enjoy them
* More energy in general
* It's easier to feel positive
* Our kids are showing interest in eating better
* My daughter is making smoothies regularly now 

(mind you, she works at a fast food place and 
was always bringing home free shakes and eating them - so now they've been replaced!)

Here is some of what we've done this week:



I used these fruits and veggies: 
Seeds from 2 Pomegranates, 5 peeled oranges, 2 granny smith apples, and 2 carrots

Here it all is ready for the juicer.  It made three 16-20 oz. servings
Wow - it was so yummy!!  


Here is one of the first smoothies we made with bananas and blueberries and almond milk

Brent made me this EPIC smoothie and is was SO good!!! 

(4 bananas, handful of blueberries, a few frozen pitted dark cherries, 1 big Kale leaf, some ice, some almond milk, and a tsp of Agave sweetener) - made 2 smoothies!



I just made this juice this morning.  It has 1 big head of broccoli, 4 apples, and a bunch of carrots (8 maybe?)  Simple!  And it tasted great!  I was surprised at how it tasted, actually.  

Not everything I've made I've liked.  I made some juice that called for tomatoes and had garlic in it.  I put way too much garlic.  It wasn't so good.  Brent couldn't drink it.  But for the most part, we've enjoyed all the juices we've made, which I'm grateful for.

We'll I'm off to be productive today.  Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!
xoXoXOxo ~Margene

Monday, December 30, 2013

Powering Up Our Lives: JUICING

Thank you to all those who read and / or commented on my last post.  
Your words gave me energy!  
I have been learning about energy recently and how everything has energy.  
Our thoughts and our words have energy.  
I FELT the energy from your comments and felt invigorated.  So Thank you!

Okay, we decided NOT to wait until 2014 to begin our juicing fast / detox.  So we went to our grocer and picked up some fruits and veggies.  I think this was the first time that that is all we had in our shopping cart! It looked like this when we got home.  

We started last Saturday, so today is our 3rd day!  
I'm so glad we did because already today, I feel less bloated.  Even my fingers feel skinnier.  

That first day was kinda hard for me, I'll admit.  My thoughts raced from "What have I got myself into?", to "I'm not sure I can do this for very long."  I got a little moody and down.
But I held out and did NOT let those thoughts determine my choices. :)

Today, both Brent and I feel more energy!  
We didn't sleep in as long and feel more alert and focused!  
I feel committed and excited!

Our first juice was called "Mean Green"

It had apples, cucumbers, celery, kale, lemon and ginger in it.  And it wasn't bad at all.  We liked it.
One time I added in more veggies than was listed - It was okay, but Brent prefers I stick to actual recipes for now. :p

Other ones we've had are:
Can't BEET it Juice and Sunset Passion Juice

Our Favorite was just this morning:  
Jolt Juice with apples, oranges, cucumber, lemon and kale.  That was pretty tasty!

We have been watching all kinds of health and food videos and reading lots of articles.  With cancer and heart disease in both our families, it's time to get more serious about our eating and help our children as well.

  Avoiding cancer and heart disease with a healthy diet is our TOP PRIORITY.
Along with feeling better and doing all that we want to do!  
I want to eat foods that BOLSTER our immune system 
rather than weaken it!

One video we liked was called "Forks over Knives".  Following that documentary, we got this food chart above (a simple version of a more detailed chart) that we are going to incorporate into our family's food and eating.  Eating so much less meat and dairy may be hard at first, but the statistics are powerful and I'm ready to do what I need to do to take that risk of cancer and heart disease way way down!  There is a lot of information here, from one of the doctors on that documentary.  Very interesting.

And really, there are so many great documentaries to open our eyes to what is going on in our food industry. We can't afford to ignore it anymore!

2014 looks AWESOME!  Life is good!!
XoxOXoxOXO ~Margene

Thursday, December 26, 2013

For Things To Change...

Any readers still reading this blog?

Yes, I have been absent and yes I have been avoiding my blog. 

Some quick things that have gone on lately:
1. My oldest turned 21!  (Amazing since I don't seem to have aged!  lol)
2. My daughter won state champs in her marching band!
3. Brent and I celebrated our 25th Wedding anniversary!  (See what cool thing I did - I pinned it here)

Okay, Keeping it REAL.

I have had same huge ups and downs in my life since moving here to Utah two years ago.  Slowly, I've let my own health slip down in priority as the challenges have crept in.  My knee injury  has set me back from basketball and running.  As I've missed out on those fun things, I've also slipped into some old negative thinking, and slowly packed on some weight.  Grrr.  

Here's a clue that my body has been growing.  After driving errands and shopping one day, I got home to realize I had a little tear in my pants... like a gaping rip tear.   Dang!

How did I not notice this?  How did someone not tell me?  Maybe they thought it was a fashion statement.  Maybe I'm glad no one told me, actually.  And I did get a big laugh from this, um... I'm realizing that although  I've made several attempts to jump back into a healthier eating and exercising regime with some success, overall  I'm finding it difficult to keep it consistent.

So, the hubs and I have decided that 2014 is our year again!  

Our year to get back our health 
(before it gets away from us),
and to get back our 
and our MOJO.  

It is now our biggest priority again!

I'm so grateful for the success that we've already had, and knowing that IT CAN HAPPEN.  Believing it's possible is really half the battle.  It's about wanting it bad enough.  It's about focusing on the GOAL and not the reasons or excuses.

To jump start us, we are going on a minimum 10-day Juicing fast (or feast as some call it).  This will help clean out our bodies of toxins and help re-set our cravings. 

We got inspired by this video "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead" a documentary by Joe Cross.  Have you seen this?

I've also been concerned about our cancer risks.  My neighbor friend just passed away after a hard battle with cancer.  Also my dad died of lymphoma cancer at age 64, and his mom died from breast cancer.  My own sister is a breast cancer survivor. 

I know that the way we eat can put us at more risk for getting cancer. What we eat affects our moods, our health, our looks, and our ability to think and focus.

I watched this video about cancer which I found very interesting - they do try to have you buy an info kit, but just watching the video is very enlightening.  It comes down to what we eat and several foods contribute to cancer and several foods help prevent cancer.  Why don't our doctors focus on what we eat?  Why do they always go to prescribing meds?  Okay, that's another topic!!

I got a juicer for Christmas! 

So, after our 10-day (or longer) jump start juicing jamboree, we plan on continuing on with organic fresh/raw veggies and fruit, smaller portion meals, and adding in some Medifast meals as well.  We still love the Medifast products and the 5:1 Take Shape For Life weight loss system that has saved our lives already.

Who's with me for big changes in 2014?  

What are your plans and goals?

I want to go ROCK CLIMBING again, I want to get my knee healed and enjoy BASKETBALL again.  And I want to NOT have my pants rip again.  lol

Here's my motto:  
For things to change, I must change.  
For things to get better, I must get better!!