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)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

I got my first award!! Thanks to Diane from "It's Time"!!

The rules that go along with this award are as follows:
1. Give this award to 7 bloggers.
2. Share 7 things about myself you do not know.

I would like to give this award to the following in random order:
1. Lynn - I don't know if you have a blog but you've been a great blog supporter, thank you!
2. Lindsay @ Healthy Stride
6. Juli @ Juli's Journey

7 Things about me you don't know:
1. I've been a DJ for dances since I was 14. (Family Business) - and we're doing it again!
2. Both my husband and I are the youngest of large families (we pretend to be mature).
3. I have a bad habit of cracking my knuckles (since 2nd grade)
4. When I was young, my family raised and bred dachsunds - my favorite kind of dog!
5. 2 of my kids have Autism, and 1 of my kids has ADD (young motherhood was interesting)
6. I am a picture taker nut! I love taking pics of family & friends - I'm on my 6th digital camera!
7. I am a big fan of Little House on the Prairie. I loved Albert and even got a signed picture!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Week 16!!

Weigh in this morning showed me having lost 5 pounds, and my man lost 6 pounds! WOW!! I have lost 61 pounds so far! My man has lost 66 pounds! We thought we had a slow week (too much checking the scales), BUT we both made efforts to drink LOTS of water and were pleasantly surprised this morning!
We checked our BMI today. My STARTING BMI was 49.6 and today it's at 38.8. My man's STARTING BMI was 41.8 and today it's at 31.7. He is so close to getting under 30 BMI and then he will be officially downgraded from "Obese fat" to just "fat". My man is more than 1/2 way to his goal!!!

I have a new Favorite Snack/Meal this week. I had ordered some powdered peanut butter (PB2) from Bell Plantation and it's been on backorder for like 2 months, but it came last week! I LOVE PB2!! For 2 T of Peanut Butter, it's only 45 calories and 1.5 g. fat. Compare that to normal pb which is more like 200 calories! And it tastes great and doesn't have the preservatives and hydrogenated oils as even the low fat pb do. I am SOLD!

I have the chocolate kind too and I LOVE to dip my medifast pretzels in the chocolate PB2. I've also mixed it with the Medifast hot cocoa and formed peanut butter cup balls! Love 'em! I need to order more of this stuff immediately!

This week I made an egg scramble for one of our L & G meals. I used 1 cup of egg whites (in "real eggs" carton), chopped peppers & mushrooms & celery, and some low fast cheese and scrambled it all together. SO yummy!

I also made this taco salad with ground turkey and lean ground beef with some taco seasoning, low fat cheese on top - all on a bed of romaine lettuce and some cucumbers. Delicious.
This week I have connected with several other people's blogs on their weight loss journeys. I have LOVED looking through their blogs and connecting. It's been SO inspiring. Lindsay, from Utah, on her blog "Healthy Stride" has already lost well over 100 pounds and is training for a 1/2 marathon. THAT is where I hope to be in less than a year.
SO inspiring.
I also was given a "Beautiful Blogger" award from Diane at her awesome blog "It's Time" who herself is also a great inspiration. Thank you Diane - I am truly honored! I will have to blog about the award and follow the rules for receiving it and awarding it to 7 others. Now to choose...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Guess What?

Bad News: about a year and half ago, I went through my clothes and sold or gave away all my tops and dresses that were smaller because I had pretty much given up that I'd ever fit into them again. Now that I KNOW I will be smaller and I've lost some weight.... I don't have smaller clothes to go into. So....

I was out yesterday running an errand with my man when we were right next to a "Fashion Bug" and decided out of the blue to just go in and try some things on. I haven't shopped there for like over 20 years. I have been wearing size 4x - 5x blouses. I like my blouses loose so they don't show my bulges. But lately all my blouses are quite roomy... "tents" my hubby calls them.

So I tried on a ton of clothes and realized that I have lost 2-3 blouse sizes! I now wear 1x-2x. And I used to wear size 28 pants, and now I fit into 24, so I lost 2 pant sizes. That is pretty cool. Can't wait to get even lower! I walked out of there with this new outfit.

I am so excited to actually go clothes shopping with a friend someday! I have NEVER done that, even as a youth, and I've always wanted to. That is one thing on my "Skinny bucket list" - to have a clothes shopping spree with a friend!

UPDATE!! (May 28th, 2010)
Went through the closet quickly this morning and pulled out 34 tents (oops, I mean tops) that are size 4x-5x and that wasn't even all of them. I mean, I have to leave a few to actually wear until I can get some more clothes! I am NOT sentimental about getting rid of these tops either, even though a few of them have been in my closet for over 10 years! IDIOS old clothes and old size!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week 15 and still going!

We have reached week 15 on our Quest to Change our Lives! It's been bumpy at times but we're STILL GOING! This week I lost 2 pounds and my man stayed the same. I just realized that I am the weight I was when I became pregnant with my first child which was 18 years ago. I haven't been this "skinny" for 18 years! That is huge to me! But I'm still too big have a ways to go.

My man found a suit at the Goodwill in Lincoln City when we were out at the beach and it fit him perfectly. He hasn't worn a suit for over 20 years! He looks SO fabulous! The picture does not do him justice! My man is SO HOT!!
We have lost a few inches since we started!!
My man: Me:
Neck 2" lost 1" lost
Bust 5" lost 1" lost
Waist 7.5" lost 7.5" lost
Hips 7" lost 7" lost
Thigh 1.5" lost 4" lost
Knee 2" lost 2.5" lost
Arm 3" lost 2.5" lost

I made this shrimp and fried yellow squash dish this week and used some fat free tartar sauce as my condiment. I prefer tartar sauce over cocktail sauce but my coach has an easy recipe for cocktail sauce I haven't tried yet.
This was a yummy meal. I broiled salmon in my oven and basted it with that mango orange bbq sauce that I've shown in a previous post. Then with the fried yellow squash it was quite satisfying!
My coach gave me the newest Medifast recipe book a few days ago and I tried my first recipe from it: Spicy Garlic Lime Shrimp. I used a red pepper since I didn't have a green one, and I used the spaghetti tofu noodles instead of angel hair because that's all I could find. It was pretty good and my man ate it too. Next time I think I'll use fresh shrimp instead of pre-cooked frozen shrimp. The noodles tasted totally like regular noodles.
I'm excited for these changes in our lives and I also feel a lot of opposition at times. I know the adversary does not want us making positive changes - he wants to keep us down. And sometimes I succumb to old feelings and past heartaches that bring me so much pain. But I work so hard to put those things behind me. That is my biggest battle and I fight it every day! I realized from a lesson today in church that patience is directly tied to our faith. Being patient in my heartaches and trials is being grateful for what the Lord has given me and serving Him and my family while KNOWING that all these things will work towards our good.

My Mantra for this week: Seek to do His will and Trust in Him.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My Mini Everest

Week 14 marked our first vacation since starting our lifestyle change. I am down 2 pounds - 54 pounds total and my man is down 5 more pounds for a total of 60 pounds!

In Pacific City this last week, we stayed right next to "Cape Kiwanda", or actually there are 3 peaks called "Cape Mears", "Cape Look out", and "Cape Kiwanda". I don't know which one was the largest one but I assumed it was Kiwanda and so that is what I refer to. I had to attempt to climb it myself after my hubby and most of my kids did. So the 3rd day, which was the most sunny and beautiful, I set out to climb this beast of a sand mountain. Any of you who have climbed a sand mountain know that for every 5 steps you take going up hill, you only advance about 1 step because you just sink in that sand and slide down with every step. There is no work out machine at the gym to simulate this and it is VERY tiring.

Here is my video journey:
(If it doesn't play then reload the page and try again)
After leaving our vacation house and trekking up part way:

Facing the steepest incline:

Almost to the top:

Finally making it there:

Here I am posing with my man at the top. My legs felt like rubber! What a feeling of accomplishment! I tell you, 4 months ago I could NEVER have done this and I doubt I would have even tried. This really was like a mini Mount Everest climb for me!

Later on that day, we enjoyed the north side of the beach. We took our water and medifast bars with us. It is SO important to eat every 2.5 to 3 hours when on this plan. I can be feeling great and then when my body needs to eat and if I wait, I can get weak and feel yucky very fast. It is so important to eat BEFORE you get to feeling yucky. Then, after eating a quick medifast meal, I feel good and full of energy again. Here I am with my bar and water having my little meal while on the beach. It was a perfect day!

I made salmon again the last night at the beach and I tried this "paradise Pineapple Teriyaki" sauce that I found at the local store. I grilled it on my George Foreman and added a little sauce to my mushrooms and peppers when I stir fried them (in pam spray). It was quite delish!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

At the Coast

We are taking a family vacation for a few days for the first time in 3 years. So we got a cool vacation house on the Oregon Coast, Pacific City - right on Cape Kiwanda to be precise and it is GEORGOUS! Here we are out on the deck. We can see the Pacific on both sides of Cape Kiwanda.
Our shadow family... see how tall and skinny we are!
Hot tubbing after dinner. I've never sat in a hot tub overlooking the ocean... it was like a dream and to share it with my family was the best! I am not ready to show a picture of us in our swimsuits because we still look so huge... BUT when I came out of my room in my swim suit and my kids saw me (they haven't even seen me in a swim suit like ever!) they all were "ooohhhing" and "aaahhing" saying I looked so much "thinner". That made my day!! Still along way to go, though.
I've planned out all our meals. The first night I had tator-tot casserole (a family favorite) with corn on the cob and salad.... for the kids.
And this is what me and my hubby had. I grilled this salmon on my George Forman adding some s/p and dill weed, and then included some steamed asparagus. My man had his mainstay favorite - morningstar sausages and salad. It was all yummy.
Here is our lunch the second day... Chicken noodle soup and crackers. We ate while we overlooked the ocean. Kids had sandwiches, left over corn, pretzels and pudding cups.
Okay, here is our second nights meal. We had diet soda with our meal. My guy is not a chicken fan so he preferred his MS sausages to my Chicken. This is that Ranch Chicken Kabob that I made before and posted... I was craving it again. I made it on my George Foreman and tried not to over cook it. It was still yummy and tender but not as good as doing it on the grill. I made a TON but couldn't eat all of it. See how much is on that plate. I was so excited to eat it, but my eyes were bigger than my mouth. This was another chance to practice portion control.
Just last night we trekked out to the north beach of Cape Kiwanda where we had the whole beach to ourselves. We explored the rocks and incoming tide. There was this hang glider above us that we enjoyed watching... he was within a stones throw and he was amazing to watch. This is the view from our deck when we got back to our house.
We will have to come back here when we're at our goal weight. It made a huge difference to be somewhat lighter... but scaling those STEEP dunes still wore us out and we were pretty sore. Cape Kiwanda itself was 550 steps (according to my man). But it felt good and we both want to be more active and do more hiking and exploring.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is this all worth it?

We started this life-changing journey just 4 months ago, yet it seems like a lifetime, and we're still on our path. We have sacrificed our fast foods trips, big bowls of popcorn, heaping late night bowls of ice cream, overstuffing ourselves with large food portions, helping ourselves to seconds or thirds of desserts, and even just socializing with food or eating when we're down. Yet We felt sick and aweful most of the time, not to mention how embarrassed we were at how big we got.

We've traded all that in to make a choice to LIVE LONGER and be HEALTHIER and FEEL BETTER.

Has it been worth it so far?


My man didn't need to see these picture to know that he already feels SO much better. This time he says he's NOT stopping. He's already made this lifestyle change and he's not going backwards. Goodbye lazyboy and hello Nike!

I can finally see a difference now that I put these pics together. I'm not stopping for ANYTHING. I found something that works and that I KNOW I can do. I'm so excited for our future. ANYONE can DO this!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

week 13 - and more kabobs!

Week 13 - I'm down 3 pounds for a total of 52 pounds gone.
I hit the 50 pound loss mark! WOO HOO! My man stayed the same this week so he is steady at 55 pounds gone. (He's had a very stressful week at work - and he says he's NOT discouraged about not losing any this week, he says it doesn't phase him and that he knew this would happen at times.)

In fact, My man had a "Father & Son" campout this last weekend, and as he was heading down to the beach, he actually heard from our younger son "Wait up, Dad." Those were sweet words since it has usually been the other way around.

Another fun thing with my youngest for me was the other day he was giving me a hug before school and he suddenly pulled away and said, "Mom, you are getting skinnier! I usually feel your tummy way more out to here!" I love those little affirmations when we don't always see it ourselves, ya know?

I made a TON of muffins this week and have tried different variation of the basic recipe (*See muffin recipe on side panel). I make them 1 meal per muffin now so they are bigger and fluffier.

Here is what I've tried:
1. Maple & Brown sugar Oatmeal + Chocolate pudding + Sugar free chocolate chip cookie doe Syrup. (yum)
2. Apple & Cinnamon Oatmeal + Vanilla pudding + Sugar free Caramel syrup.
3 Apple & Cinnamon Oatmeal + Chocolate pudding + Sugar free Peanut Butter syrup. (My hubby's FAVORITE - he loves peanut butter)
I'm not a huge fan of the regular Boca or Morningstar farms burgers, BUT I found one I really LOVED. This is the Morningstar Pizza style/flavor burger. It is a bit more calories and carbs than the regular, but not compared to the Boca speciality burgers which are WAY more.
My man had two of these burgers with his salad and I had two with these vegetables stir fried in the left over sauce from my pork kabobs (see recipe in previous post). This was SO delish! I couldn't find the Morningstar Pizza burgers (I also like their mushroom lovers) at Win-co or Fred Meyer but I did find them at Trader Joes.

And now for a NEW and FANTASTIC recipe I tried:
Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs (found on line & had great reviews)
1/2 cup olive oil [I actually use only 1/2 of this and used the other 1/2 rice vinegar]
1/2 cup ranch (I used Bolthouse which is way lower fat & cal)
3 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. Minced fresh Rosemary
2 t. Salt
1 t. lemon juice
1 t. white vinegar
1/4 t. ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 T. white sugar (optional) - [I used a couple spenda packets]
5 skinless, boneless Chicken breat halves - cut into 1" cubes

In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar/spenda. Let stand for 5 minutes. Place chicken in the bowl and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes [I marinated the chicken for a whole day]
Pre-heat grill for med-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers and discard marinade. (If they are wooden skewers than soak them in water for 5-10 minutes beforehand) Lightly oil the grill grate and grill skewers for about 4-5 minutes per side (so about 10 minutes total).

Here they are all grilled and they were SO tender and juice and tasty. I like these even better than the pork kabobs I did (and I loved those). I didn't even baste them while cooking, but I did baste the veggie kabobs (I made extra marinade and kept it separate to baste and use as a dip)

I tried grilling these on a George Foreman grill, but I think I cooked them too long because although they were tasty, they weren't as tender. The next night, we did them on our outside grill and I did them 4-5 minutes then turned them, than another 4-5 minutes and they were SO YUMMY and TENDER. (okay, I get excited about food, especially my lean and greens)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Week 12 ~ Pork Kabobs!

This week I'm down 3 pounds for a total of 49 pounds!
My guy is down 4 pounds for a total of 55 pound!

I had a pap smear appointment this week (don't worry, I won't share any details) but I was excited for the doctor to notice my weight loss. What ensued was probably the most positive doctor visit I've ever had. I DIDN'T feel GUILTY because I AM EATING better and doing something about my health. It changed the whole feel of the exam and my visit with the doctor (she was female). I feel so good that I am taking better care of myself now. I even got my blood drawn for a baseline... which I should have done before I started but I'm happy it's done now. With my brothers heart attack lingering on my mind... I really need to be aware of how my cholesterol is.

This week I had a Costco size portion of pork chops that were defrosted so I decided to make some Pork Kabobs. I found this recipe on line and LOVED it. I did the veggies on different kabobs than the pork since they don't need to cook as long. For veggies, I used yellow squash, mushrooms, peppers and cherrie tomatoes. Here is the recipe:

BBQ Teriyaki Pork Kabobs
Marinade 1 lb raw pork (cut up into 1"cubes) for at least 3 hours in:
3 T. low sodium soy sauce
2 T. Olive Oil
2 T. Rice Vinegar
1 Clove Garlic minced

Remaining Ingredients:
1 can low sodium beef broth
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. low sodium soy sauce
1 T. brown sugar (or 2 T. Splenda - which is what I used)
2 Cloves garlic minced
1/4 t. ground ginger

Veggies for kabobs:
3 portobello mushrooms, cut into squares (I used white mushrooms)
1 large green pepper cut into chunks
12 cherry tomatoes
12 chunks fresh pineapple (I did NOT use fruit... not on my plan yet)
1 yellow summer squash cut into cubes (I added this veggie)

1. In sauce pan, combine beef broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, brown sugar/spenda, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
2. Preheat your outdoor grill for high heat (I suggest Med to High) and lightly oil grate. Thread pork cubes onto skewers, alternating with veggies... or do separate skewers for veggies.
3. Cook on grill for 15 minutes (We timed them and cooked them about 6 minutes each side), or until meat is cooked through. Turn skewers and baste often with sauce during cooking.
As you can see, I always make double/triple recipes... enough for an army!!
We basted the pork and the veggies every few minutes. The sauce was really good. Even my kids really liked that sauce!
Pork all done. Oooh... good!
This was my plate. I didn't weigh the pork, but I suspect it was over the 5 ounce amount for pork... but I really needed extra protein for that night especially! :)

I took them off their skewers and dug in. I must have sounded like Bob in "What about Bob" the way I was eating! I liked the way the squash tasted with the sauce glaze grilled on it. So yummy!

One thing I am very grateful for with my new lifestyle is how I don't have the cravings like I used to. I smell a fast food place and I may briefly think about it, but the pull on me is minimal. I crave much more healthy foods. The thought of eating french fries almost makes me feel sick when I think about it, even though I have loved them. This is the FIRST diet/lifestyle change that I have felt that I CAN stick to and enjoy it. I don't feel deprived and I really enjoy the food I eat. I have my favorite medifast foods too, and look forward to what I will choose. I love the variety. I just need to start a regular exercise program now that is consistent. Can you believe I've lost 49 pounds WITHOUT exercising????? I LOVE that this program is not based on killing yourself at the gym. I want to go to the gym because I want to and not out of forcing myself.

I'm SO thankful for the positive support I've received too. I've shared this blog on the TSFL support boards, yet only with a with a couple people who actually know me... because it is so personal, but I want to help and support others who are in my same boat. Loosing weight and changing your lifestyle is a HUGE task and we all need to be supportive of each other no matter where on that path we are. :)