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)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Week 38 - Halloween Weekend

So, weigh-in was this morning and I found that I lost 2 pounds from last week and the hubs stayed the same. He is okay with losing slower as he is not staying on plan as much as I am every day. He still is mostly on plan and makes good eating choices, but he needs to go slower and not feel deprived and be able to get in a few more calories. I am so “all or nothing” that I need to stay on plan or I would go off “all the way”. I was very happy to see a loss, and wondered what the scale would say because there was a day I ate one extra medifast meal due to staying up so late and being hungry again... you know, eating every 3 hours so I had to eat. And then yesterday I had a “maintenance” bar even though I’m not on maintenance yet. They are higher calories and SOO yummy - but I was needing some extra energy. Wanna know why?

Here is my son thanking everyone who helped and donated - can you tell who he is dressed up as?


Because last night was the finale of my son’s Eagle Scout Project! In the month of October, he did a Food Drive for the Oregon Food Bank - and had over 1400 pounds of food donated! Then, he ended it with a big “Halloween Bash Reward Party” for all those who donated. We reserved our church building, and he had gotten 12 large pizzas and 6 dozen donuts donated from local businesses, and a DJ company to donate the music (hint - that was us since we own a DJ system) and organize games for the event. I’m happy to say it all went off wonderfully!! We had over 100 people show up. The hubs ran the music for the most part, and even got out to do some crowd involvement. Such a stud man!


Today we celebrated Halloween with an afternoon “Trunk or treat”. My man had to go into work - bummer for a Saturday - but the kids and I went. I can’t remember ever being able to sit Indian style in the back of our car ever! They got their buckets of candy. In years past, the hubs and I ALWAYS stole what we wanted from their Halloween buckets. One year, I even told my kids that they could keep all their candy, but at least give me all their Reese’s pb cups they get. My daughter would say when trick or treating, “Give me anything but a Reese’s because my mom will take it.” Things have really changed this year!! Today, my daughter almost begged me to take a Reese’s because she was excited to share. And although I could think about it and imagine eating it and remember how I loved all that candy... it actually sounds gross to me now!


Today I am thankful for: Kind people who supported my son’s Eagle Project, a husband who is so devoted to his family and the Lord, a cozy home to live in, having two working vehicles with working heaters, a sister who listens to me on the phone for an hour, and for my kiddo’s who can drive me crazy but also are so genuinely good and kind hearted! And I’d like to add: For amazing women (and men) who take the time to read my blog and who offer words of support. Thank you!!

Happy Halloween and God Bless. Life is GOOD!! xox ~Margene

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Super Mom to the rescue!

(From Halloween 2007)


I feel like I’ve been super mom this week... although I’m not sure my kids see it that way. Volleyball games, Eagle Project, Merit Badges, Birthday Party, Halloween Costumes, Pack meeting, Grocery Shopping, Cleaning, Laundry, Errands, more errands, taking kids everywhere, Meetings, more errands.... Ever have those days where it is non-stop running around, putting out fires, and making it all happen? Then, by the end of the day you hit that emotional “reached my limit” point? By the evening time that’s how I’ve been feeling these last few days. It’s all good stuff, though, and I’m trying to remember that.


I have this hole in my heart (metaphorically speaking) that flares up every once in a while. It’s a heartache that comes back to me now and again over certain situations and it brings me so much pain and anguish. I work so hard to “give it to my Savior” and to let it go. But sometimes it nabs me when I least expect it and brings me down. That’s when I get knocked over as everything with it piles on top and then I’m defeated... for a few days it seems. These are the times I really miss my mother being alive (and my dad) - and my family living closer. I have prayed that God would take this from me, as it seems like too much for me at times. But for some reason I need to learn and grow from it. I know it has to do with me not seeing things as they really are - BUT what I do feel seems extremely real to me at the time. I’m so thankful for a patient and loving husband who recognizes when this hits me and immediately softens and comforts me.


My husband was saying that there is usually something we need to learn when we have ongoing struggles like this - like he has with his stress. Sometimes it’s humility, sometimes it’s patience. I was on facebook yesterday and watched a video that was posted that had to do with gratitude. It was so good and it reminded me that I need to reveal His hand in all things and that the only way I offend God is by not showing gratitude for all things. So I am trying to direct my focus on all the huge blessings I have and move past this latest heartache. And really, I have SO much to be thankful for - it truly is astounding! Just finding a program that works for us to lose this weight and change our lives is the hugest thing ever in my life! I know I am so blessed. So my focus is: Have an Attitude of Gratitude.


The other day I had an egg beater scramble with smoked salmon. I used 1 cup of egg beaters and about 3-4 ounces of smoked salmon and scrambled them with peppers and mushrooms. I put it on a 7” plate. It was tasty.


After church last Sunday, the hubs made me these two waffles from 1 packet of our Medifast chocolate chip pancakes. (He added some egg beaters along with the water to make it thicker). Then he drizzled some Walden Farms sugar free syrup. WOW... so yummy! (seems too sinful to be healthy!).


I also got this idea from Lyn at Escape from Obesity about taking a Medifast soup mix and adding just 3 T. water and a squirt of yellow mustard, mixing and spreading it out on parchment paper and microwaving for 2.5 minutes or so, and then cool and break into chips. It was nice to have something to crunch on. I ate mine with a triangle of light laughing cow cheese. Just make sure you don’t microwave it too long as it can start to burn on the bottom. I will be trying this again. They’re called soup chips.


Sticking on plan here and looking forward to weigh in on Saturday. I am dying to see the pics from our photo shoot... hopefully soon!! *Hugs* ~Margene

Monday, October 25, 2010

Featured on a Blog

Our story was just featured in an article written by Nancy B. Kennedy on her blog: Thirty Ways. Feel free to check it out and share with her your story as well, if you're so inclined! :)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fun Discoveries!

Yesterday, the hubs and I went to Fred Meyer late at night to pick something up. I had to run to the bathroom and as I was catching up to him at the self check-out, I just couldn’t get over how great he looked. There was my skinny man!

I had to pull out my camera and snap a few pics.
Here he is just last Christmas time, and here he is when we were engaged.
He looks more like the picture from 22 years ago, I think!
How fun is that!

You wanna know something else so super sweet?

Okay, I was visiting keelie's blog over at Real Fat and commenting on her "Great Escape" from obesity. She has made it under the 30 BMI mark. I was telling her I can't wait until I do that too.

Then I checked my BMI after my weight loss of last week, and [insert drum roll now] ... I am no longer OBESE either!!! My BMI is now 29.9. I can't tell you how free that makes me feel to escape that label! WOOO HOOO! I've kept telling people, "yea, I've lost a lot of weight but I'm still considered obese and have a ways to go." but not now baby! Over 20 years I've been in that label and I have finally escaped with my hubby. I feel like saying as did Martin Luther King Jr. "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty we are free at last."

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Week 37... Oh yeah!

I did NOT see the number 170 this morning.... I saw 169!!!
I am down 5 pounds from last week and the Hubs is down 2 pounds. BOOYA!

I am SO happy to see that number! That makes this weeks challenges seem worth it. I know I shouldn't put everything into a number, and I'm not really, it's just sweet to see that.

This morning my family had a little photo shoot done by a family friend who does excellent work. We went to a nice Estate Park with fall colors and it was drizzling a bit but no big rain. This is the first photo shoot since we've lost weight, so I was feeling a lot more positive about it. I had all of us wearing different browns with denim jeans. I even got a size 16 pair of jeans and they fit! The hubs said that my top was too big on me - I got it over a month ago and it's a 1x. I felt comfortable in it. I will post some of the pics when I get them. Can't wait to see them!!

Well, I am off to a busy Saturday getting house work done and then taking my teens to a youth dance. The hubs is stressing with all that he has to do. It makes life so much less enjoyable for him. I wish I could push a button and take it all away for him. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends! XOX ~Margene

Friday, October 22, 2010

Getting Settled...

Tomorrow is weigh in and I’m hoping it'll say 170... we’ll see. I have been feeling hungry a little more often lately. I don’t know if I’ve had too many carbs in my diet and it’s increasing my hunger. I’ve cut back even my sugar free gum and I’m drinking water like crazy. We are running out of our Medifast food (again) like we do around this time and our order doesn’t come in until next Wednesday. So we are doing without some of our favorites. But it’s all good. I bought some smoked salmon for the first time today... YUM. I’d like to try it in an omelet or egg scramble.


The hubs has had enough of his two hour commute each way to work riding the bus and train (in the cold w/ people blowing smoke in his face, I might add), and so yesterday I found a working car for him for only $340. It’s an older smaller car, but hey, it cuts his commute time by nearly 2 hours each day! I got it insured and registered for him today so we're a go!


We’re still getting settled into our new little place and I need to take more pictures. The kitchen space is good size, although the counter and cupboard area is small. There was no food pantry so the hubs set up 2 big metal shelving units along the kitchen wall where all our food is and some other kitchen items (except our medifast food gets it’s own kitchen cupboard!).

We finally got the dryer and dishwasher working and a ceiling leak fixed so it’s a little easier around here. And we are LOVING our queen size bed! I thought it would be hard to go from a king to a queen but it's wonderful. So many changes going on in our family. So much is completely different and we are so different. Life is still hard and still stressful yet most of these changes are all good and are making our lives better. It’s okay to go without for a while, it’s okay to let go of things, it’s okay to step into the unknown. Trusting in the Lord brings on a whole new meaning sometimes! Life is Good!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

20 TIPS: HOW TO AVOID LOOKING FAT!

How to avoid looking fat!

(aka - how to trick your brain into thinking that you will not appear fat to anyone who is looking at you)... from the ever so professional experts... me and the hubs!


1. Stand in the Back. The people in front of you are the ones who stick out. You will look so skinny all the way in the back!

2. Stand behind your kids - people will see your face and only assume you have a skinny body behind your cute kids. If you don’t have kids, borrow someone else’s!
3. Have the camera angle up high - This is a classic. You always look skinny from above and you can’t see those double chins either!
4. Provide a look of intelligence and distinction - this is for when nothing else is available. Your intelligent look will make people wonder what you know that they don’t and they won’t even notice your humongous girth!
5. Stand with flowers in front of your face - I came up with this ingenious idea. Notice how your eyes are drawn to these sunflowers and I am just kind of blending in with their beauty. No thought whatsoever is given to my double chin. True ingeniousness!
6. Stand in front of something big - You will look ever so tiny when you are next to something big like this huge palm tree.
7. Stand next to the ocean - going along with #6 - what is bigger than the ocean? See how tiny I look next to the vastness of the sea? (you might have to look hard to find me!)
8. Do rabbit ears on someone - This works everytime! Simply put rabbit ears on the person next to you and the attention is drawn to them. Boy, how silly they look. People won’t even notice that you are eating ice cream!
9. Squat behind a couch - my sister and I authored this idea. People will only focus on your beautiful smiles and not even wonder why you are squatting down.
10. Stand cheek to cheek - something about the blending of cheeks seems to reduce mass. And people will only focus on how cute you are together instead of how large you are together!
11. Wear Turtle Necks - Another classic. Who doesn’t do this to hide their chin? This one is a stylish “wrap around”... even inside a store it does not look weird that I am covering up. And who knows but that I have a super model skinny body underneath that poncho? (of course, I’m wearing a big life jacket under there as well, ya see)
12. Hold a cute purse - YES! All you really notice in this picture is that super cute purse I have. Coincidence? NOPE, I did it to distract you. Quite the genius, I know!
13. Hold something cool - going along with #12 - you can also hold something very cool like some Star Trek ships. This distracts people and makes you look amazing!
14. Talk on your Cell Phone - Everyone knows that people who talk on their cell phones in public are very important and successful people. And very important successful people are never thought to be fat. Therefore, you will look skinny when you talk on your cell phone!
15. Wear a Sweet Mask - Especially if it’s someone cool like Nacho Libre. Others only see your total coolness and cool people never look big!
16. Hold a baby - Another classic!! Babies are so cute. You can’t help but look adorable and skinny when you hold a cute little baby!
17. Hold a baby and wear a hat - Everyone knows that a cute hat makes you look thin and add this to holding a baby and you will impress everyone!
18. Wear hat and sunglasses - for the ultimate STELLAR look! Passerby’s will be amazed at your sleek look that it will only register in their brain that you are thin and fit!
19. Fold you arms and look dangerous - This draws attention to your strength. People will assume that your largeness is just your incredible muscle and “big boneness” which adds to your coolness quotient factor!
20. When all else fails - Stare Blankly! This is a last resort and you have a 50/50 chance of coming across extremely intelligent or extremely distracted. Either way, attention is drawn away from your size!

Well.... eventually we ran out of ways to keep ourselves deluded and found a way to try and stop looking fat for reals! Still on that journey!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Week 36... already??

These weeks are flying by. I am always thinking of what I want to blog and before you know it, a week has flown by. Last week I lost 2 pounds! And the hubs lost 1 pound. Woo Hoo... he finally dropped into ONEDERLAND with me!!!


I went to the Great Wolf Lodge last Thursday night with my kids. It is a big indoor water park hotel in Washington. We had these discount tickets for one night that we had booked over a month ago. I found a swim suit on eBay that was size 16, and it fit - maybe even a little bit big on me. (The last swim suit I had was a size 28.) My man could not get work off. I was so bummed!! But he did get off a little early Thursday night, and found a cheap car rental and zoomed up the 2 hours it took to join us! Then, the next morning he left at 5am to rush the 2 hours back to work. Is he awesome or what?


And I am SO glad he could be there for those few hours because it was so Amazing!! There wasn’t a ride, inner tube, pool, or water slide that we could not do!! I myself, haven’t been down a water slide (due to obesity and embarrassment) since I was a teenager. It was so fun!! My man carried me on his back around the wave pool, threw me around, rode with me on on the tubes... it was like we were teenagers. Having lost the weight that we have just opens up the whole world to us. I wonder, why aren’t all “skinny” couples just thriving on life and enjoying each other to the max?? I can not soon forget all the things I couldn’t do and how horrible I felt being bigger. Maybe one has to be obese to truly understand the freedom and joy of escaping it!! And I am still escaping as my BMI is still just over 31, although I started at 49.


I do have to say that it was hard at times to see all the food, pizza, fudge, ice cream, cookies, etc. for sale and everyone eating around me at the lodge. I indulged in a few moments of self-pity again before I got my mind off of it. I was well prepared with ALL our family’s food, though, so we bought no food there. My kids had beef hot dogs, salad, fruit, fiber one bars, and peanut butter cookies. The hubs and I had Morning Star sausages, veggie salad, and cottage cheese. And we worked up an appetite with all our running around! I also had plenty of my yummy knox blox to snack on, and Medifast crackers and laughing cow cheese wedges, as well as my Medifast puddings, bars, pretzels, shakes, and muffins. We were loaded with variety so that really helped not give in to all the junky food around.


Another positive thing this week was just last night. The hubs and I have been starting up our Mobile DJ business again - we used to DJ years ago, in fact, that’s how we met as teenagers when my brother recruited my man (at age 16) to be a DJ for us. We became best friends back then. Last night, pretty much right after getting back from Wolf Lodge, we loaded up and went and did our first [paid] dance together in several years. It was so fun - just like old times. I have to say, the man was looking pretty hot and I was feeling pretty lucky to be married to the DJ! We worked together like when we were younger - choosing the music, announcing, doing the lights. It was nice to get some compliments afterwards. I could really enjoy doing that with the hubs on weekends. I wish I had taken some pictures!! Something about getting the system going and doing that sound check and hearing the base really gets my adrenalin going. Brings back so many fun memories of all the dances we’ve done. You could relate it to the excitement you feel when you go to a concert and you’re waiting for it to begin, maybe some of you can relate. I love it!


Some Lean and Greens I made this last week are:


Teriyaki Chicken with peppers, zuchini and mushrooms. So quick to make too. I used Costco pre-cooked chicken with my favorite “Wok with me” teriyaki glaze, and sauteed the veggies and then mixed it all together. Yum.


I also made this Costco salmon (Wild salmon frozen with a mesquite marinade), with butternut squash. The squash I coated with a little mixture of olive oil, garlic powder, parsley, sea salt & pepper, & parmesean cheese and baked it for around 50 minutes. It was SO good... but I learned that it isn’t a veggie that is recommended for phase 1 - the plan I’m on right now. (Oops) But I will def. make this again when it is on plan!


My health goals are to keep working towards my goal weight, keep myself more active and come up with a CONSISTANT level of activity or exercise, and to drink a minimum of 100 oz of water each day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Week 35

I am down 1 pound from last week and the hubs has stayed the same again.


My daughter begged me to get this top at Walmart so I did. It hugs me and I'm not used to that but I kind of like it!


We have been working our way at getting more settled in to our new house and trying not to have life so crazy. I am anxious to get into a regular schedule and work towards all of our goals!


I have been sticking to my plan-food but sometimes when it’s busy, I do feel sorry for myself that I can’t just give in and eat a ton of pizza with my kids. I mean I could do that, but I would be more upset with myself if I did because I don’t want to change my momentum and it wouldn’t be worth it in the end. That’s part of the emotional eating of my past, but it can creep in when I am stressed or down and just want some quick comfort.


This weekend we worked on cleaning our old house and making repairs as needed. The hubs is feeling a huge amount of stress which is mostly work related. That could be a whole other post in itself... or a whole other blog for that matter. We are working on learning how to let go of stress and work through it so it doesn’t consume us.


It was wonderful to have my sister come up last week (and my niece this week) from Utah. I really miss my family! We snapped some pics of us when they were here... and then I compared them to some pics we had with them just last year.


~ July 2009 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ October 2010 ~


I don’t mean to be obsessed with comparison pics but it really does astound me. I have been big for SO long. Even my husband has seen me obese most of our time together except for maybe 2-3 years after we first met. I feel so different yet I feel exactly the same. It’s weird every time I look in the mirror. I wonder who that woman is.


I have been used to loathing myself for such a long time. It takes time to think and feel differently about myself. I have associated my worth to my weight and appearance too much in my past, but not in an obvious way to myself.


It’s like I would THINK TO MYSELF: “I am a daughter of Heavenly Father and He loves me and I have endless potential. I am lovable and kind and fun to be around”.


Yet my CORE BELIEF REALLY WAS: “I am so fat and homely and have no worth to anyone. It is hard to love me or to be around me unless it’s out of charity. No one would want to hug me. I am only wanted if I do nice things for others - then I might have some worth, although it’s only temporary.”


I wanted to believe the first one, but inside I really felt the second way and it was always depressing. (Doesn’t it just depress you just to read it?) I believed a lie and I lived that lie for over two decades. And every time something negative happened - it reinforced this belief. Because of that belief, I have questioned everyone’s “love” for me - even my family and husbands. It’s SO HARD to break the hold that those thoughts have had over me. My husband knows of my struggles and he’s been such a support to me. He truly has seen me at my worst and my best and still loves me.


Part of shedding this weight is shedding that old past. Sometimes it creeps back in and it’s a battle to fight those lies. But they are lies... from the father of all lies. I refuse to believe anymore. The shackles are COMING OFF!! It does feel like a breaking free and escaping a prison. I’m sure there are many who read this who can relate. I truly appreciate those of you who read this blog and follow our journey. It’s been healing for us to blog about our journey and we appreciate all the support and love we’ve received. It means a lot to us!

Here is a quick lean and green I had right before moving. Cottage Cheese (lean) and sauteed zuchini & peppers (green). Also, my babe took me to Mac. Grill last night and treated me to my favorite: grilled salmon! I savored every bite!!


Happy 10-10-10!! Life is GOOD!!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Week 34 ~ We Moved!

Yesterday was weigh in and I lost 2 pounds last week! The hubs stayed the same.

I will describe the last TWO days in these 4 words:

EXHAUSTING
BLESSED
OVERWHELMING
GRATEFUL

We moved yesterday and slept last night in our new place. We actually are STILL moving but got most of our stuff over there. I am actually at my old place right now since there is still internet here (no internet at our new house yet). Even the night before we moved, we were over at our new place until 3:30 am preparing it for all our stuff. We had to get some shelving in the garage for all our storage. I went and got a loft bed from someone off Craig's List and disassembled it, and carried it down 3 flights of stairs, then over to the new house, and up 1 flight of stairs and reassembled it with the help of two of my kids. I think we've been living on Ibuprofen quite a bit the last few days!

Then yesterday, we picked up my Wonderful sister and brother in law who flew up here for the day JUST TO HELP US!! How lucky a sister am I? I haven't seen her since I first started this lifestyle journey. Shortly after that, several friends and church members came and helped us move. We had 3-4 mini-vans being loaded one after the other, and 2-3 would make a trip to our new house while a group of others would stay to load more. The hubs was at the new house directing and unloading and I was here. They made the job SO much easier and we feel VERY blessed. We were not as prepared as I'd like to have been, but having so many helping hands really lightened our load.

One of my friends who's husband helped, even came over later at my new house with pizza for the kids and helped put stuff away. That meant SO much to me. And to see my sister and brother in law was the best! We took them to the airport early this morning... I only wish we had time to visit and do something fun with them, but their help and support means the world to us.

We have realized that WE HAVE TOO MUCH STUFF! Even with all our recent downsizing. We still have things to bring over and the fact is, it is NOT going to all fit. So I will be selling and giving away more. Even tonight, I'm over here selling our lawn mower and king mattress. It will seriously take some time to get everything put away and functioning at the new house - even to have meals, have showers, or do laundry... I mean, there are boxes everywhere! I really want to SIMPLIFY our lives and stick to the BASICS and what's MOST IMPORTANT. Yet, I do feel watched over and so blessed, even though it has been a hard move. Little things here and there have helped ease our load and I know where those blessings come from. LIFE IS GOOD!