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)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Video - Dr. Anderson on News Talk

This is a video of Dr. Wayne Anderson who is the author of the book "Habits of Health" and co-founder of the Take Shape For Life using Medifast - the program my man and I are on. I've had a lot of people ask me what we're doing - and this explains it very generally. I really LOVE his book!


This is from Dr. A's Web Site (under blog tab on the right) which I have a link to under "Helpful Links" on my sidebar. Great stuff!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

More Comparison Pics - The Good, The Bad, The HORRIFIC

MY MAN:

This on the left was taken in July of 2009 (300 lbs) - just over a year ago. Although he is smiling, he is miserable and in constant pain. My young son won't even look at this pic of his dad because it really bothers him. It was a time of survival, not living.
The pic on the right was taken last week and reminds me of how he looked when we got married over two decades ago. You can see more of the real him in his eyes... he is a very compassionate man!

June 2007 is when the pic on the left was taken. Always looking for a place to sit down then!
On the right was taken today after church. I LOVE the way he looks in his suit. I keep starring at how good he looks and how much younger and how I want to... I could say more, but this is a family blog!!


MYSELF:

The left pic here was taken on my birthday in 2006. I allowed my picture to be taken as a record for my children, you know, in case I died... since I would probably die young (I was keeping it real for myself) they needed something to remember me by. I hated my picture taken and cringed looking at any picture of myself. I saw no beauty and only absolute disgust and could only imagine that is what everyone else saw. I also butchered my eyebrows pretty much daily and always had red marks on them. It is SO hard for us women to see the beauty in ourselves, isn't it? We are way too hard on ourselves!
The pic on the right was taken this month after my daughter put my hair into a side pony tail. I don't always realize myself how my face has changed because I am the one behind it! And sometimes I don't even recognize it. But I do like it much better and I am still learning to find the beauty within.

The left hand picture is me exactly 9 years ago at a family members wedding. I would have the video camera because really, what else is there for me to do? I was the "fat aunt" who needed something to do to feel useful and taking pictures or video kept me from being in them! I do love videoing, though, but I missed the socializing a lot because I didn't feel like anyone would want to socialize with the fat lady (silly, but I did believe that). That was a size 28 dress that I have worn up until a few months ago!
And the pic on the right is me just yesterday. This is the dress that my friend gave me... the size 14 dress mentioned in a previous post. I am SO happy to have something else to wear other than my one skirt to church and I love it. My kids were oohhing and aahhing when they saw me in it. My young son called me "sexy" which is a word I don't like him to be using (yes, I am old school), but it was sweet none the less.

Yes, it is very embarrassing to post these pics of ourselves. We are not proud of how we let ourselves go and ate ourselves into obesity. When you are heavy, there is a lot of shame involved, which causes you to turn to food for comfort and it becomes a vicious cycle. Change can happen, but it is a process and a continual journey. For us, it's been a change that has involved not only what we eat or how active we are, but how we view and handle our trials and our perspective - and letting go of the past. I never thought at the beginning of 2010 that we'd be moving or selling so much of our stuff. It's like this change has brought on a bigger "purging" than I thought it would. We both sometimes "freak out" but overall, I think we're moving forward steady and full of faith for a positive future.
LIFE IS GOOD, and WORTH CHERISHING EVERY MOMENT!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Week 33: ** MOMENTOUS **

This is a momentous week for us. As of TODAY, the hubs and I have BOTH LOST 100 POUNDS EACH!!! So 200 pounds between us, that's like we shed a BABY ELEPHANT! I lost 3 pounds last week and my super hunka lovin' man lost 1 pound! (even with his wavering at the restaurant!). I haven't been in the 170's since my teen years! Woo Hoo!

Here we are 200 pounds ago - just last December 2009

Here we are TODAY, 200 pounds LESS of us. Awwww... feels GOOOOOOD!


I remember years ago trying to plan out my weight loss and I was hoping to lose 100 pounds in a year and half, or maybe even in just one year. I never got past losing 20 pounds... and then it came back on with extra. People who lost big amounts of weight were like amazing people who I could NEVER be like! Even my coach, LaTrease lost a lot of weight, and although she gained some, I felt I couldn't ever lose that much. And then she lost over 100 pounds on this program and infused ME with the belief that I could too. I held on to that belief like a life jacket!

To sit here today and realize what I just accomplished BLOWS MY MIND! And we did this in a little over 7 MONTHS!! You know how I feel right now? My greatest desire would be to infuse HOPE in anyone overweight and unhealthy, especially in the obese category who feels hopeless and miserable.... and tell you that YOU CAN DO IT! It might as well be YOU posting this too, it is JUST AS POSSIBLE!! My heart goes out to those who suffer, who struggle, who loath themselves and their body, who feel worthless at times, who doubt they could have real change in their lives, because I have been there and I'm digging my way out and so can you!

There is still work ahead of us. I am determined to reach my goal weight and then to maintain and it won't all be roses. But I am so thankful to have my life back and to have my husband back. We are on that path and although it isn't easy, it feels good.

Here is to NEVER GIVING UP on ourselves, and to PERSEVERING through life's obstacles! We can do it! The only one who can stop us is ourselves. LIFE IS GOOD! God Bless!! xoxo ~Margene

Friday, September 24, 2010

We are Moving

Well... we have a house to move to, and I can't tell you how many times we have gone back and forth between these two homes, but we've now made a decision and should be signing a lease today or tomorrow and moving in 1 or 2 weeks. We have been selling furniture like crazy and had no time to do any boxing. We've sold my girls beds, our bedroom set, sectional and sofa sleeper; and we have my beautiful dining set and hutch listed, as well as my favorite red leather chair, sofa table, and coffee and end table. We have to downsize to fit in a place that is 1/2 the size. I have felt okay about selling these things, having faith that down the road when we purchase a home we will buy new furniture to fill it. But as the items go and I see my girls sleeping on the floor, I feel a twinge of heartache. In the act of all this "simplifying", we need to replace all that we're taking away with fun stuff and quality family time! Yet we are too busy and stressed for fun right now. And that can lead to discouragement.

Yesterday was a pretty low day. Amid everything going on, I learned something that was so very hurtful - another situation where I feel personally betrayed. As I was inquiring about this situation on the phone with a church friend, I really lost control and could not stop sobbing and I lost my ability to speak. I had to hang up - I was so embarrassed for that display. Even after I got off the phone, I couldn't stop - and tried to shower and move on as I had a lot to do. It really was too much for me right now and I am fighting the urge to socially retreat. I had to immediately leave because I had a few sisters in my church to visit and on one of those visits, my friend had a gift for me. She and another sister had actually gone shopping and purchased me a dress! It was a short dress (not the kind or style I would ever buy) and they bought some tights or leggings to go with it. It is size 14. When my man saw it, he said "Oh baby!" It fits too! How sweet was that?! I was very touched that they thought of me and did that. Now I just need to decide when to wear it.... ;)

Then last night as I shared with my husband the earlier hurtful news I had experienced. We decided that we needed to all just get out and do something other sit home working on moving tasks. We needed to celebrate and so we took all the kids and went out to eat. It wasn't the wisest thing to do financially, but emotionally it did wonders. Our kids cheered up and off we went. We sang songs in the van together. My daughter loves to do this with me... I've even made little song books I hand out when in the car and we choose a song and go to that page. Among some favorites we sang: Battle hymn of the republic, Skip to my Lou, She'll be coming round the mountain, True to the Faith, Grand ol' Flag, and many others. It was so fun.

My husband told me as we reached the restaurant (which was a buffet - kids choice) that he was going to go off plan a little. I stayed ON PLAN, though... I am TOO close to hitting that 100 pound off mark.

So here are our plates:
Mine is on the left. I had steak with a little taste of fish, salad w/ low cal dressing, and some cabbage. All of this was on plan! On the right, my man had salad, pizza, melon, raisins,carrots, and meatloaf (all off plan except the salad). And what I'm not showing is the 2nd and 3rd plates my man enjoyed... all smaller portions, but things off plan. He even had a little of the dessert. So I was the only one in the family who didn't have dessert and who stayed on plan. I DID have dessert later at home with my Medifast soft serve ice cream which was yummy. I think it was good practice for when we're maintaining. We can have more items but I hope to learn moderation and smaller portions! I am not ready myself to go down that road and even tempt myself. I felt satisfied and enjoyed what I got. Going off plan wasn't that satisfying for my husband and he is anxious to get right back on plan from now on.
Tomorrow is weigh in and I hope it says 180 or less. There is so much work ahead of us, I am trying not to think of it all. It seems that's all we've been doing for 2 months now. But we are blessed to find a home with lower rent, and I know we are being watched over. LIFE IS GOOD!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Week 32 - Quick Results Post

So..... last week I lost 2 pounds and the hubs lost 3 pounds!! Very good but not the 4 lbs I wanted. So hopefully NEXT week will be the big benchmark we're hoping for! I stuck to plan and drank a TON of water but I didn't get any exercise in and I think if I did, I may have had a 4 pound loss.

We are still waiting to hear about the rental house we applied for... BUT.... we found another rental house that was even a little cheaper and now we want that one (and we applied for it too - first ones to apply). So between either of these homes, we are pretty sure we will be moving. So sure, in fact, that we dropped off our 30 day notice to our current landlords. SO... either way, we will be out of here. I am already starting to enjoy every moment in this gorgeous dream home that is nestled back in the trees and has the vaulted ceilings and a wonderful Master Bedroom, bathroom with soaker tub, a huge kitchen with tons of cabinets, etc. And we will move to a home with only 1/2 the square footage, no vaults, with a tiny little kitchen, one less bathroom, and no back yard... BUT we will love it because it gives us a chance to SIMPLIFY, Be CLOSER as a family, and it's only TEMPORARY until we do BUY our "Dream" home!

I have been thinking a lot lately of the song by Carrie Underwood called "Temporary Home". Seems fitting somewhat. Change can be terrifying as well as exciting, and yesterday, after the initial excitement, I did have a "freak out" time where I panicked and thought "What are we doing? This is crazy?"... but I am back to full faith right now. LIFE IS GOOD.

We are still making our Lifestyle change... We are still sticking to plan... We are going to Keep Moving Forward and hope that a little sacrifice now will lead us to greater blessings in the future. Sending positive thoughts to all those reading this who may be struggling with your own battles. God bless!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Keep Moving Forward...

...just like Lewis on “Meet the Robinson’s” says and that’s what we’re doing. My poor man is really battling the stress lately and sometimes he is just not himself. I wish there was a magic button you could push that would eliminate all stress for a few days (or weeks or years).


We found another rental house that we’ve applied for. There was another family looking at it at the same time we were and both of us wanted it. It is priced so low. So we applied and now we are waiting for the landlord to decide who he will rent it to. I’ve been making plans and mapped out the rooms and have been deciding what furniture would go where. Making lists & planning... that’s what I do, and I do it well. Then in an email today, my hubby says that he still thinks and feels that we need to stay where we are at.


I responded and said “But... we still may be accepted [into this rental]. Will that be an answer to?”


His replied email said: “There can be more than one answer. Our path does not need to be on an exact specific course as long as we arrive in the same place. Bottom line is that we will be blessed for our efforts and our obedience. Do not fear, all will be and is well.”


I choked up reading his words and wished he was right here to hug. I needed to hear that. So basically, if we don’t get this house, then we will stop looking for now and just focus on staying here. That will be our answer.


A couple days ago I had to go to Fred Meyer to pick up some prescriptions and since I had to wait a while, I thought I’d go ahead and try on some clothes. So I did. I found that I fit into size 18 pants now! Woo hoo! I can’t wait to go on a shopping spree in the future. I took some pics in the dressing room... I couldn't believe how much less of me there was. I tried sucking it in too... you know, I used to not be able to suck it in!

I did get a nice mauve sweater that was only $10. which will be nice for the cold season coming. I seriously have very few clothes to wear!! It’s a problem I don’t mind... to get that weight off me! I wore that sweater today and it was cozy!


I realized that I have lost over 1/3 of myself!!! Yay! I am working SO hard this week to lose 4 pounds and make that big milestone of 100 pounds lost. Will I be able to do it?

One of my FAVORITE last medifast meals of the day is the new soft serve. Below is the Peanut Butter soft serve that my man makes for me and I savor every bite. Also here is some marinated salmon from Costco (frozen) that I baked up and had some sauteed mushrooms that I added a little peanut sauce to. Maybe that's a weird combo but I loved it.

I also picked up one of those rotisserie chickens at Costco just last night and had a slice of the chicken breast with a salad. SOOO good! And on the right there is an egg white scramble I made for my man last night with 7 egg whites, 2 sliced up turkey sausages, 1 wedge of light laughing cow cheese, celery and peppers. He put some salsa on it and loved it.

Here is some rotissery chicken again with mushroom & peanut sauce. So good! And then a simple shrimp salad with Walden Farm honey mustard dressing. Again, I don't know if that goes with shrimp normally or not, but I enjoyed it.
Well, in just a few days we will know two things: if we will be moving soon, and if I will have lost 4 pounds this week and reach my big benchmark. Either way life is GOOD. *Hugs*

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Week 31

I lost 3 lbs last week and my super hot man lost 1 pound! As of right now, we BOTH have LOST 96 POUNDS. SOOO close to that 100 pounds gone. I can hardly believe it!! Thought this would never happen. I feel like we are taking our lives back. And now it's not just what we're losing but what really matters is if we will MAINTAIN this loss in a year, two, five, ten... and we are DETERMINED that we WILL. Who would want to go back to prison? Is any food really worth prison? NO!

We are still on a journey of SIMPLIFYING our house and items. Today we are prepping our King Bedroom set to be listed on Craig's List. This is the last of our furniture that really does have any significant re-sale value.

This week, we thought we'd found a rental house for sure. It was in the right area, price was really good, and I was the first to call the landlord and to have a scheduled appointment to see it. She promised me that I was the first. I even told her on the phone that we wanted it. I had my 30 day notice in hand to deliver to our current landlords. Then, when I showed up (with application in hand), she had JUST SIGNED up someone else who showed up 30 min. before me unscheduled! Hello? Is there sense of what is ethical here? Is there any value to giving someone your word? Apparently not to her!

But, I believe NOTHING happens by coincidence and so I really believe we just weren't meant to live there. We love the house we're in right now anyway! Maybe.... maybe.... we somehow won't have to move or maybe... just maybe... somehow we'll be able to BUY a home in the near future! I don't know how or if and I don't know what the Lord has in store for us, but my husband keeps telling me that he's felt a prompting for us to be "patient". Maybe not getting that other rental house is just another answer for us to be patient. It's hard to be patient when you feel enormous pressure and stress; yet the Lord has ALWAYS come through for us, how can I not continue in faith even when I cannot see the road in front of me? I know my Savior is holding us in His Hands! I know He is holding YOU in His Hands... None of us are forgotten or insignificant to Him. We are carved in His palms!

And it's with that note that also think of today, Sept. 11th, in honor of the many souls who lost their lives and who gave their lives to try and save others. No greater love! I pray for the families of those who lost loved ones. We will never forget!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy 101 Award!! Woo Hoo!

I'd like to thank Polor's Mom for this Award!! I LOVE sweet friends!!!
(I can have them, but I don't eat them!)
So, I must share 10 things I like and then present this award to 10 other bloggers.

10 Things I Like:
1. Scrapbooking
2. Writing
3. Reading
4. Time w/ my Man
5. Hugs from the kiddos
6. Vacations
7. Salmon
8. Laughing
9. Bike Riding
10. Time w/ Friends

10 Bloggers I share this award with:
3. Ali
8. Cara
10. Ann

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pain!!

I realized that I am a wimp. I like to think I'm not, but I am. And I'm okay with that.

My back has often been hurting somewhat while I've been losing weight, not too bad though, I always thought it was because I needed better posture. And I'm sure that has something to do with it. But yesterday I woke up to a very sore back. A specific point in my back around the middle just to the right that really hurt. I found myself reaching my arm around and trying to massage it. It would hurt when I was sitting (like right now) but then even standing and lying down didn't help. I took some Extra Strength Tylenol and it didn't phase it. Last night I took 600 mg Ibuprofen and it didn't seem to do much. I lay in bed and could NOT get comfortable. It was like a banana pushed into my back at that spot... a dull throb that was painful enough to NOT let me sleep.

My man rubbed my back for a bit and distracted me until he drifted off to sleep. Then I turned and tried every position and every pillow, I prayed over and over for the pain to lesson or go away, I tried to ignore it and breath through it like a labor pain, I even lay there and silently cried. Finally, I went downstairs and tried laying on a recliner... it was a lONG and TORMENTING night. I imagined it would be better to pass away than to live through this constant pain (pain gets to your brain). Before I knew it, my kids were getting up - first day of school. I was a not a cheerful mom. I did manage to take one picture of them before they left - I'm so glad they are old enough to feed themselves. I just wasn't there for them. :(

I managed to get an appointment with my doctor this morning. It was miserable driving the 25 minutes it took to get there! Before he came in, I said a prayer for him to be inspired and give me the help I needed. For that moment while I waited, I felt like a small child again, sitting there without any support or parents... my eyes got all teared up and then the doctor came in.

I greeted him with a big smile, hoping he wouldn't see that my eyes were all teary. I felt pathetic! After examining and listening to all my woes, the doctor said it was a sore and inflamed muscle (not my bones) and that I needed to ice it (not massage it), and have better support for my back when I sit and a firmer mattress. He gave me a prescription for percocet and told me I would sleep better tonight.

Good News.... My blood pressure has dropped. Last time I was in there it was 134/90. Today it was 113/65.

I'm still in pain right now... I haven't taken it yet. Still on Ibuprofen. I've got to drive my daughter to seminary and then water polo and have a Court of Honor tonight for my son... too much to do to worry about getting drowsy. I don't know how people who suffer from chronic pain survive! I'm glad for the blessings of having a doctor and pain reliever that will hopefully work great. Next, I think we'll be looking into getting a new mattress... or at least it will go on our list of things we gotta do. :)

Life is still grand!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cherry On Top


Thank you Tori for presenting me with this Cherry On Top award. I love your blog and reading your uplifting comments to my posts! So I get to...

1. Answer the question: If you had one chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you and what would it be?

I don't know if I would go back. If I did, I guess I would be a more loving daughter to my mother. I would do the dishes for her more, complain less, tell her I loved and appreciated her more, and not be so self-absorbed. Knowing that my time with her would be limited, I would cherish every moment with her. But I guess, that would defeat the purpose of what I've learned by losing her. Life is so precious.

2. Pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have been selected for the award.

2. Lucy at Lucy's Own Blog
3. Diane at It's Time
5. Juli from Juli's Journey
6. Deb from Deb Will be Free

3. You have to thank the person (people) who gave you the award.

Thanks again Tori!! You are an inspiration and I totally respect your efforts with your running and "shreds".

Week 30!! Wow, has it been that long already?

Good Morning! I am eating my Butterscotch Pudding for breakfast right now and happy to report that I had a 3 pound loss last week! My hubs has stayed the same (probably due to stress and lack of sleep - because he has stayed on plan).


Here are some of the things that have gone on just the last 10 days - starting from the MOST recent:

  1. Celebrated my daughters 14th birthday at local amusement park. The hubs and I went roller skating again and snogged a bit on the spider ride. Had a blast. (Much need break).
  2. Switched our kid’s rooms around. We moved beds, dressers, desks, cleaned, & organized. I disassembled and reassembled a big heavy bunk bed mostly by myself!
  3. We cleaned & organized our garage - put up a bunch of our items for sale - took boxes of stuff to charity.
  4. We looked at a possible home to rent. (It was trash... UG). We’ve been majorly considering a quick move into a smaller place (less rent) as a temporary solution to our financial pressure. But we’re having a hard time finding a decent place that is within the area that we feel is best for our family (school boundaries, etc.). Looks like we may just try to stay put for now - or who knows... ?
  5. My 16 year old daughter played her first Water Polo game.
  6. My 10 year old earned his Webelos Badge at Pack Meeting.
  7. We did a run around getting signatures for my 17 year old’s Eagle Project to be approved so he can begin. Still trying to get it approved at Council and get all the merit badges he has earned, and counselors for the ones he still needs to earn. My son would easily give up on this, if we as parent didn’t encourage and help... and I feel it’s SO important for him that he earn his Eagle Rank, he only has 2 months left so the crunch is on!
  8. We sold our only vehicle (which didn’t even fit all of us) and the next day bought a van that now fits us all... for the exact amount we sold our car for even (blessing). Interestingly, we sold our car while our daughter was at water polo practice, so we had no way of picking her up. My daughter has a disability and is prone to panic in new or uncertain situations, and a neighbor I asked for a quick ride from turned me down. I was so thankful that a mother of my daughters team mate brought her home for us. That meant a lot to me! You know, I hope I never turn someone down who needs a simple favor like that! The next day, My friend and coach, LaTrease drove me into the city to look at the van and help me test drive and negotiate to buy it. I am SO thankful for good friends!
  9. One of my children started school, on-line, called “Connections Academy”. The rest don’t start school until next week. I have not gotten a single school supply yet!
  10. We had a big yard sale and made more than we’ve ever made at a yard sale before, which was so helpful. We were selling prime stuff that we never considered selling before because we are trying to simplify our lives and become less dependent on “stuff”.

Overall, I think the theme we’re feeling that we need to learn is: Patience. I notice sometimes I slip into focussing on the glass being half-empty - but I try to catch myself and focus on the half-full part because we are so extremely blessed! I tell ya, I am not a fan of stress!! :) Even though we’re making a lot of changes in our lives - our healthier lifestyle change is HIGH PRIORITY and we will NOT go back. So, other things do get sacrificed, but we are sticking to our plan and we WILL get the rest of our weight off. I am so excited as I approach that 100 pound off mark. I only have 7 more pounds to go to reach that goal. My coach did it in 6 months, so it’s taking me a little longer but I will get there and even reach my end goal weight. (and I will be so tiny then!)


I stood in front of the mirror last night and pulled up my fat tummy from a side view and got a glimpse of what I’d look like with all that tummy fat gone. It was looking good. And I will get there... it’s already shrunk a ton.


Food wise... here are some lean and greens I've had recently.

Teriyaki grilled Mahi Mahi with Mushroom salad & honey mustard dressing. Also Beef strip salad w/ ranch dressing and 1/2 cup of cottage cheese. Yummo!

Egg White scramble with Beef & mushrooms & some low fat cheese (doesn't look great but tasted delish!). I also made my peanut butter balls different by mixing the Medifast Hot Cocoa packets with 1/2 water and 1/2 sugar free Peanut Butter syrup until fudge like consistency and formed balls out of them; then I mixed the PB2 (powdered peanut butter) separate and put it on top of the balls. I froze them and then put 4 balls in a bag. 1 bag of 4 = 1 medifast meal. WE LOVE THEM!! Such a great treat. We often have this as our last Medifast meal of the day.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Life is Crazy

Our lives are a little crazy right now with so much up in the air and school starting next week. We are sticking to our eating plan, though, although we are lacking in sleep. My poor man is only getting about 3-4 hours some nights... not good. Sleep is so important for good health.

I thought I would inject a little health humor into our crazy lives right now. Enjoy!


ITALIAN PASTA DIET - FINALLY A DIET THAT REALLY WORKS !!
1) You walka pasta da bakery.
2) You walka pasta da candy store.
3) You walka pasta da ice cream shop.
4) You walka pasta da table and fridge.


STUDIES SHOW:

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
CONCLUSION:
Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.