Our Quest to change our lives began in Feb. 2010 and we lost 224 lbs. This is the story of our continuing Journey through the ups and downs of maintenance.
(For the fullest effect, begin at the beginning in Feb. 2010 using our Blog Archive on sidebar)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

** Total ECLIPSE of my fat (almost!)

Last November, my girls and I went and saw the Premier of Twilight's NEW MOON. Here we are posing with the book right before we left for the movie. We all became big fans of Jacob that night.
And just today - 7 Month Later - we went and saw the premier of Twilight's ECLIPSE. And I have to say that although my girls are Team Jacob girls... I'm kind of a Team Jasper girl!! He reminds me the most of my guy when he was a teen.
I was comparing these pics and I can really see (for myself) a difference from 7 months ago! :)

We were all dressed in black and I was wearing my new "Vamp it Up" T-shirt that I got especially for this movie. It's a short sleeve and hugs me tighter than most shirts do but it fits! It was wonderful seeing this with my girls.. I LOVE that they are teens now!

My daughters have been so positive to me about my losing weight. My 13 year old came up to me at the park just yesterday and said "Mom, I couldn't find you... I didn't recognize you from behind - you're so skinny!" That was So awesome to hear! I am not skinny ~ yet... but I am on my way there and it feels good.

Often I feel very emotional about this journey that my husband and I are on. It is so life changing and SO many good things are happening, not just the losing weight, but changes in our family in the way we are with our children. We are getting closer to the kind of parents I want to be and I feel SO grateful for these good changes... it brings me to tears quite often when I ponder it. I wish I could share this all with my mother - who I know would be more than thrilled, and we would have a long sweet talk, but that will have to wait...

I wonder, how has your journey affected your homelife and the way you handle things?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

WEEK 20 ~ Almost 5 Months of our LIFESTYLE Change!!

Last week I lost 4 pounds... OH YEAH!!! I have reached the 70 pound loss mark today. Oh my gosh, that feels GOOD! I caught up to my guy - I totally want to CELEBRATE!! My man stayed the same but he is LOOKING SO HOT! Even his new suit from just a few posts ago is getting smaller on him.


I really drank tons of water this week and “Aunt Flo” left from her stay so that’s why I think I lost more than previously... and I’ve stayed totally on plan (as always... because I don’t even want to think of going off plan and sabotaging myself!)


I grilled some salmon again with that same yummy recipe since I had some left over marinade and I also made these “Sweet and Sour Crimini Mushrooms” to go with them. I found the recipe here at the La Fuji Mama. If you like mushrooms, you should check it out. I really enjoyed them.


One evening my hubby came home ravenous and so I hurried and scrambled him this L&G:

1 cup egg beaters, green peppers, sprinkles of low-fat cheese with 3 turkey sausages. He loved it and said it was very delicious (I love the simple stuff I can make quick).


I tried a couple Medifast meal recipes that I really liked:


Vanilla Spice Cookies! and Crunch Cookies!

Vanilla Spice Cookies

1 Vanilla Shake mix

1/4 t. Baking Powder

1 T. sugar free caramel syrup in a 1/4 cup measure, then fil the rest of the way w/ water.

1/4 t. Vanilla

1/2 t. Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 T. Cinnamon

1 Packet Spenda

Mix all the dry ingredients and we ingredients seperately. Add wet to dry and mix it up. Scoop out 5 cookies onto a Pam sprayed pan and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Counts as 1 Medifast Meal.

[I quadrupled the recipe using 4 vanilla shakes and the batter wasn't thick enough so I added a scrambled eggs packet and then made 25 cookies for 5 meals; every 5 cookies equaled 1 medifast meal.]


Crunch Cookies (found on the Medifast Facebook Discussion Boards)

1 Crunch Bar (I used Chocolate, but you can use Caramel, PB, Smores or whatever)

2 Brownie Packets

4 T. Water

Soften crunch bar in microwave for 15-20 seconds then mix all the ingredients together very thoroughly. Spray plate with Pam & divide mixture into 3 equal portion cookies. Microwave for 2-2.5 minutes. Let cool. One cookie = One Medifast meal. YUM. This is a great way for me to help my crunch bars last longer & the cookie is really good and filling!


Freedom Challenge!

I have decided to join Deb's Freedom Challenge and it starts on July 5th and goes for 4 weeks. I am still planning out what my goals will be since one of those weeks I will actually be at girls camp with both my daughters... and I'll be bringing up all my food too... I will NOT go off plan, even for girls camp. :) So I will be posting my goals soon. I'm excited! This is my first challenge!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ride like the Wind...

I woke up sick today. Swollen glands, sneezing, and aches greeted me and I went right back to bed. So basically, I got very little done, except I enjoyed some sweet cuddling with my 10 year old. :)

But when my Man got home, he tuned up our yard-sale bikes and make-shifted a helmet and coaxed me to go try out our bikes together. Mind you, I hadn't even ridden it except down our driveway and that killed my behind!

But we rode it around our neighborhood for a bit and then he suggested we go over to our Coach, LaTrease's house and say hello. So we did! She wasn't home but with all our riding we rode at least a five miles! I can't believe I did that! It felt SO great to feel the wind on such a cool summer night. Made me remember the summer days of my childhood.



I was wearing these size 1x SKIN TIGHT work out pants... really... it was like my own skin just black, I can't believe I wore them out in public! I did wear an oversized shirt to compensate. I could really feel the burn in my abdomen and legs and arms. Seems like an even better work out than at the gym and it was twice as fun. I do think I need a bigger bike seat though, as my tushie is feeling it now!

Not bad for a gal who was sick and got nothin' else done today ~ AND who hasn't even riddin' in years! I think I will be adding this to my list of goals now!! I want to be a mommy cyclist too!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week 19 Down!

Week 19 is celebrated with a 2 pound loss for me and a 1 pound loss for my man!

School got out last week, and we treated ourselves to a yummy family bbq. But before we could do that, the kids and I had to clear our back yard from from it's jungle theme to presentable.

BEFORE PICTURES:
(Okay, these are not really the before pics but the closest I could find ;)

AFTER PICTURES:
I normally am NOT a good landscaper, gardener, planter kind of person (anything living given to me usually dies) but we spent several HOURS out there and transformed that back yard and totally surprised my hubby when he got home. I was AMAZED that I could bend over and work for so long!!! In the past, I would not have lasted even 10 minutes! I even went out for another hour after lunch. I could actually enjoy this. There was a whole section of weeds half as tall as me, many overgrown bushes, and TONS of sticker weeds that pierced me through my gloves and towels... I have the pokes and scrapes all over my arms as souvenirs. But I got such a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, along with feeling SO SORE two days later. I was thinking of the song by Garth Brooks called "Friends in Low Places" and these new words to the chorus came to mind just today as I groaned from my upper leg and arm pains:

Cause I got aches in new places

Where I didn’t know

I could even move in such a way,

But I’ll be okay,

Now I may groan & moan & walk real stiff

Think I’ll slather on some ‘ol Ben Gay

Oh I got aches,

In new places!

We bbq'd some turkey sausage dogs, cheese hamberger patties (extra lean beef w/ low fat cheese chunks blended in), and Salmon. I used an AWESOME new recipe for the salmon you can find here.
This was really good salmon!!
We also had a watermelon fruit bowl filled with melon balls, cantaloupe balls & strawberries, fresh tossed salad, and homemade ice cream sandwiches made with choc. chip cookies. We were actually prepared for some guests to join us but alas, no one was available.
This week, I also tried a new Medifast meal: Melted Cheese Sandwich!
I mixed one Medifast soup packed (I used broccoli but you can use cream of chicken or tomato as well), with 1/4 t. baking powder, at little less of 1/4 cup egg beaters. After mixing, I poured onto a sprayed plate and microwaved it for 90 seconds.
I sliced it in half and toasted each half in the toaster.. watching it so that it doesn't burn.

Then I spread a wedge of Light Laughing Cow cheese on it and put the two slices together for my melted cheese sandwich! I made it again the next day with Cream of Chicken and Tomato soup and put 1/2 laughing cow cheese and 1/2 fat free cheddar cheese. My man and I loved them! They are a little dry, but yummy - and my hubby used some Walden Farms ketchup on his. (Note - the protein from this meal would need to be deducted from your lean and green.)

I also tried this Fettuccini Alfredo recipe using Shirataki (tofu) noodles.
I made it with chicken for my man and shrimp for myself.
Here is the Recipe:
7 ounces shrimp or 6 ounces cubed chicken
1 cup of Shirataki fettuccine noodles (rinse very well and boil for 3 minutes & rinse again)
2 T. fat free (or low fat) cream cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T. parmesan cheese
1 t. fat free (or low fat) sour cream
Spray skillet w/ cooking spray & add shrimp (or chicken) & cook. Once shrimp turns pink, add garlic, cream cheese, parmesan & sour cream. Once the cream cheese is all melted, add the Shirataki Noodles and toss well. Cook for 5 minutes and serve.
This was good, but needed additional seasoning in my opinion. :)

Sam from Believe in Yourself gave a challenge to set a personal goal to meet by July 21st. I know it might set me up for disappointment but I would really LOVE to get UNDER 200 lbs by then!! (or at least by the end of July). That will be such a milestep for me and I would like to treat myself to something fun when I do reach that goal - maybe a gals night out, spa trip, ... anyone got any cool ideas?

Lastly - it has been a challenging week with opposition really hitting hard, especially with our teens. Could I possibly go in a coma until they grow out of this? My kids are good kids... it's just the contention that creeps in and we're trying to keep our home positive. It puts so much pressure on us as parents when we are tempted to be negative and down ourselves. So it really is a daily relying on the Lord and daily prayer that is sustaining us. And the Lord doesn't take away our trials or change people (drat!)... but He helps us endure longer and see the bigger picture.

Sometimes I really do feel like a wimp... because how I feel inside is so different from what I show on the outside. I feel so much more tender, sensitive, loving, sentimental, and vulnerable that I ever show. I am working on being my true self more... I've just been burned so horribly in the past, but I know that my Savior can heal EVERY heartache and sorrow and THATS how I can do it. Wow, is this ever the journey full of discouraging lows yet sprinkled with the most Amazing highs!

Friday, June 18, 2010

And now... His Own Words

(I have to say that his transformation has been so emotional for me because I was so worried about my husband and I knew if we kept on our same path... I would eventually lose him.) My man finished his "post" so here are his words about his journey:

I have been meaning to post an entry for a long time. I have had many things I have wanted to share; unfortunately I did not record my thoughts along the way. I will try to recall some of them at this time.


I remember being 300lbs and miserable. I was overweight, on antidepressant pills to help with my stress and anxiety and was not really living. I was going through the motions to get through each day. I was a mess. I was a poor of an excuse for a father and a very non supportive husband. I would wake up at 4:30-5:00 am every day and would not be able to go back to sleep. Rather than sit around and stress myself out, I would get ready and leave for work. I would sleep in my car until it was time to go in. I was not performing well at work and was worried about being let go. I did not think I could get another job or would have any other way to support my family. When work started my goal was to get to lunch. I would work hard until lunch and then go back to my car for a nap. This isolated me from the other coworkers. After lunch was crunch time. It is always very busy in the afternoon so it would go by quickly. My supervisor would often receive complaints from my clients. I was always behind in my work, sometimes months behind.


It was the highlight of my day to leave work and to come home. I could finally escape the stress of my life and the day. I would come home and eat and eat and eat. I sat in my big black leather recliner and either watch TV or play video games. I did this until around 10:30-11:00 pm and then would go straight to bed.


What a nightmare for my wife. She had to handle all of the evening duties with the children and with the house. This was a house hold with 5 children and one adult. This was my life, or lack of one. I was so concerned about me, me and me that my family was not receiving the attention and support it so desperately needed. Ok, that’s enough of the negative. I can't take it anymore. It's time to move forward. Part of this lifestyle change is forgetting the past. It's finally time to move forward!


When Margene told me about this weight management program I could not wait to start. There was something about it that I latched on to. I felt as if this program was a direct answer to so many prayers. I was ready to go, ready for a change. This program is only a tool and only a piece of the lifestyle change we were going to make. I had no idea at the time just how much my life would change. We needed to wait until we received our tax return to start. I asked my wife several times a week, "Can we start now?"


This was not going to be another diet. Another diet where my wife works tirelessly in the kitchen making tasteless and unsavory meals that we have to force ourselves to eat. No, this was going to be different. This was not going to be a diet. For me the word diet belongs within the same category as those other four letter words. This time I (We) were going to make a lifestyle change. The goal was not to just lose weight, but to change our lives. Change the way we think, the way we interact and react to each other.


The day finally came. We had the food and were ready to start. We weighed and measured every part of our bodies we could think of. I first noticed a change after about 3 to 4 days. I noticed that I was not getting as tired, that I had more energy. Shortly after that I started sleeping all night. My daily schedule completely changed. One Saturday I got up and… worked on things that needed to be done in our home. This was the most productive day I've had for as long as I can remember. I stopped snoring. My respiratory issues stopped. My aches and pains went away. My desire to escape into TV and Video games stopped. I sold my beautiful black leather recliner. My desires to get away from the pressures of the day are gone. I stopped taking my anti depressant pills. I started performing better at work. I started spending more time with my family. I started taking more responsibility for my family. I am a better husband to my wife and a better father to my children.


After about 2 months, I encountered a problem. I had lost so much weight that my clothes no longer fit. My pants were falling off, my shirts were baggy and even my shoes seemed too big. It was difficult shopping for clothes. I had no idea what size I should be looking for. To date my pant size has gone from a 50 to a 40. My shirt size has gone from 4x to Large. I can shop in normal stores. No more "big and large" clothes. There are so many options to choose from, I cannot make up my mind what I want. I started playing basketball. I am attempting to get with some people to start playing soccer. Something I have not done in over 25 years. I now have a bicycle. I cannot make up my mind on what sport to do. I want to do them all. I want to water ski, snow ski, go hiking, run track, run a marathon, Play basketball, football, baseball. I want to do them all.

I am so grateful for my wife. She is my life and my inspiration. She is my forever companion, my best friend and my lover. I have known her and been with her since the summer of 1984. I look forward to spending the rest of eternity with her. I Love you Margene.


December 2009


May 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

W.I.D.T.H.

I got posted on Jack Fit's blog. I have gotten such a hoot out of reading his blog and I sent a pic in for the W.I.D.T.H. (Why I Do This Here) with a note card saying why I want to make this change. See it HERE. (I am the 9th pic down) I love looking at all the other WIDTH entries he has sprinkled in there. It really hits home to read everyone's responses... very motivational for me!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Week 18 ~ Time for Some NEW...

Weigh In this morning revealed a 2 pound loss for EACH of us for last week. That brings my total loss in 18 weeks to 64 pounds, and my mans total loss in 18 weeks is 70 pounds!! Together we have lost 134 pounds - the equivalent of one of our teenagers (actually, more than one of our teens).


It is time for some NEW UNDIES. I’ve been pulling up my big underwear clear up to my bra line and it still slips down. Seriously... it’s been ridiculous! So today, I finally broke down and went and bought a few pairs just so I can be more comfortable. I wanted to wait until I lost more but ya know, when you need it - you need it. I found that I now fit into undies that are 4 sizes smaller! Cool. Wow, and how good it feels to wear underclothes that fit, I tell ya!


On my travels today, I thought I’d stop by a clothes store again, you know - for fun! I saw a cute dress first off and tried on size 22 = too loose; then size 18 = a tad too snug; so size 20 was just right. I remember the dress I wore on the way to my wedding was a size 20. Let’s see, that was 21 years ago. BOOYA!

I’ve been wearing my size 28 skirt to church and using safety pins to keep it from falling off me. I found a cute jean skit on the clearance rack and tried it on... it fit. What size was it? Size 18!! I haven’t worn a size 18 since BEFORE I had my kids. This is all so awesome. But why do I still FEEL like I’m so huge? Because, I still am huge, really... just not AS huge. Drat! I really want to be TINY Tiny tiny! All in time, I suppose...


Some L&G’s I made this week: Chicken Tender kabobs (so I didn’t have to cut them as small) that I just broiled in my oven. Yum (Rosemary Ranch)

Spaghetti Squash with teriyaki glazed chicken. This sounded better and faster than trying to fry up some ground turkey to imitate a spaghetti dish. Spaghetti squash reminds me of sweet potatoes! Yum.

Smokehouse Maple broiled salmon and sautéed mushrooms. Very delish! I am a big lover of salmon.

Last night, the mister and I went to the gym again. This time we did some weight lifting and worked on our arms and chest muscles. I have such huge lose fat upper arms... how do I get rid of those? Then we went on the elliptical. That machine nearly licked me and I had to push my way through just to get 10 minutes in. At least that is double my last time but it just kills my legs. I guess I really need to build up my strength and endurance. Then we walked on the treadmill for a mile or so. I walk on about 3.2 speed; then, towards the end, I pushed it to 4.5 and tried a little run/jog. I could only do it for seconds.... less than a minute. It wasted me! I see people weighing more than me who are running 1/2 marathons and I wonder why can’t I run? I feel impatient with myself and I’m thinking it’s going to be long and grueling to get myself in shape not to mention to become a runner. It would be a huge MIRACLE if I ever was able to run a 1/2 marathon. I’d also love to bike, and we even bought one for me at a yard sale. I need to be in better shape and lose way more weight. I tell ya, the mountain before me still seems undaunting!! But I am still determined!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Getting on schedule

My man and I have finally decided on a weekly schedule to get more work out time in. With 3 teens and a 10 year old, life is SO busy! So we have 2 nights a week that we'll go to the gym together and other days where we'll do our own thing. Last night we went to the gym after the kids were in bed and I walked a mile and then tried the elliptical machine. I was able to be on it for 5 minutes. When I was bigger, I could only handle like 30 seconds max! I am excited to build up my endurance for that and to eventually be on that machine for a whole work out!

I threw this meal together the other day. I sauteed some cabbage, tomatoes, and mushrooms in cooking spray and sprinkled them with "Mrs. Dash tomato, basil, & garlic". Then I threw in some pre-cooked chicken and sauteed a little longer and voila! It was a scrumptious lean and green! I am attempting to try more kinds of veggies and cabbage is one of them.


Some fun things I've noticed:
1. I am starting to get a lap again!!!! (I didn't have to rest my hymn book on my belly at church!). I like this!
2. I don't have to sit down as often when I'm shopping or standing for a period of time! I have to get used to the fact that I don't always have to search for a place to sit!
3. When hugging my man, we can get so much closer without our huge bellies in the way. I have missed that so much! I love being inside his hug!

One other thing I am noticing too, is different pains in my body. I think that as weight comes off, my body has to adjust to the difference of pressures and I find some aches in new places. I used to get very bad lower back pain, but now I get pains in my shoulder blade area, and even in my elbow joints. Yet I am excited for all these changes. I love these positive changes in our bodies and in our lives. I feel SO blessed to finally be having some success with weight loss... it is so humbling and brings me to tears often when I ponder the positive affect it has on our lives and in how we feel.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week 17 - PIZZA!!

Today marks the end of week 17 with our lifestyle change and I lost 1 pound last week while my guy lost 2 pounds. Okay, that was my slowest week ever on this plan.... BUT it's STILL GOOD! (My goal was to lose 4 pounds, so I'm trying not to feel dis-heartened - AND I drank water like a maniac last week - but it's still a loss so that's good).
I was doing some comparing with past pictures and this is what I came up with:
These are embarrassing pictures, I tell ya, and just looking at our faces, I KNOW how horrible we felt. But the pics from today look SO much better. I can even see that I have somewhat of a neck now! I missed that! We still have a ways to go and we are determined to get there.
Look at the Dec. 2009 of my man... he was so miserable and just trying to endure life at that time. I am SO thankful that he is feeling better now. He has had a dramatic change in his life with this and he is currently writing about his experience which I will post when he finishes. (It's taking him weeks to write this).

Last week, we tried a pizza recipe that I found first on "Break free from Obesity blog", and then again on "Escape From Obesity blog".
This is Cauliflower Pizza!!
The Crust is made from 1 cup of mashed cauliflower, 1/2 cup egg beaters, and 1/2 cup low fat shredded cheese. You spread it out on a pan or pie tin that is sprayed VERY GOOD with cooking spray and pop in the oven at 450 degrees for 15-20 min. until the edges are crisp and dark. The first batch I did, the pie tins were smaller so the "crust" was thicker. The next time I just spread it out on a cookie sheet.
After the crust is done, let it cool a little, then flip them over and dress your pizza. I used 1/4 cup peppers, 1/4 cup mushrooms, and 1/4 cup meatless crumbles. The second time, I added a few spoons of tomato sauce with itallian seasonings (which has less calories than using pizza sauce).
Then you sprinkle the top with another 1/2 cup low fat cheese and bake at 350 until cheese is all melted... about 5 minutes or so.
The picture below shows the finished pizzas (without any tomato sauce even). My 10 year old son tasted it and loved it and wanted us to make some for him. They were SOOO good!
A couple days later, I tried it again making my "crust" even thinner and using the tomato sauce as part of my veggie and it was the most delish L&G I've had SO far. I realize that I have to be VERY careful when portioning out the cheese and all the ingredients as going over here and there will really add up the calories on this meal.

So for Medifast eaters it goes like this:
Veggies = 1/4 cup green peppers, 1/4 cup mushrooms, 1 cup cauliflower (and possible few spoonfuls of tomato sauce w/Italian seasoning).
Lean meat = 1/2 cup Egg beaters, 1 cup low fat cheese, 1/4 cup meatless crumbles

My goals for this week are to get my body MOVING more. At the gym, going for walks, lifting weights, etc. I really need to get in a set routine. And I need to be careful not to get relaxed about adding extra calories in my L&G meals. My hubby told me that our meals seem to be getting bigger and bigger as I "guess" on measurements of the veggies. No more! They are good enough meals without needing to overstuff ourselves with them!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sharing with my Family

This is me and my siblings in 1969 (Believe it or not, we all look a lot different today!) I am the baby of the family.

On memorial day, I sent this blog address to my siblings for the first time (I have 6 siblings & their spouses). I am finally ready to share our journey with them.

Growing up I felt that I was viewed in a negative way, so I hid my true, sensitive self behind a huge wall - even with my siblings, because I couldn't risk being hurt and that was my defense mechanism. It's not that my siblings & their spouses are mean, they are actually outstanding people! It's just that I am so sensitive - more than they know - and I've worked so hard to overcome and not let negative things bring me down.

I appreciate SO MUCH the positive support I've received from my siblings so far. It is very healing for me. I would rather be viewed as the real me and not as a negative image of past events. This is another strength in helping me put the past behind me like I talked about in a previous post called "Sunday Musings".

Last night, my man went with our girls to an activity (I sent his L&G meal with him) so I was home with my boys and we all ate a Lean and Green meal: Teriyaki Chicken and veggies. SO good. I always feel so satisfied after my L&G meals.

My NEW TOTALLY FAVORITE TREAT (medifast meal) right now is: Peanut Butter balls.
I use 6 packets of my Medifast hot cocoa, mixed with 6 heaping T. of PB2 (powdered Peanut butter than is WAY low in calories and fat), and then 4 oz. sugar free Peanut Butter Syrup and 4 oz. water. I mix it all up and form them into 24 balls and freeze them. Then I put them in baggies - 4 balls a bag - each bag representing 1 medifast meal and I keep them in the fridge. I have at least one of these meals a day and I savor every little bite. They are SO good, especially being a fan of peanut butter and chocolate!
I am very motivated to NOT eat off plan and ruin my momentum. I have NEVER in my life lost weight like this and it is so exciting to see myself get thinner!!! I've never lost more than 20 pounds! Sometimes when I look in the mirror, I don't recognize that person! But it's me!

Where I do struggle is in feeling alone and longing for a good friend I can call and talk to. Someone who knows me and will laugh and cry with me (and vice versa). I wish I had a best friend (girlfriend) who valued me in return and enjoyed spending time with me (and not just vice versa) - that is the greatest longing of my heart and my biggest heartache. I am grateful that my man is my best friend and he has always been there for me. He may not 'get' all my emotions but he loves me. And he's getting skinnier with me... how cool is that?