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, December 29, 2010

I think I'm turning COUNTRY!!!

I have been loving my new ipod play list that I have listened to through most of our Utah trip.  Now I can't stop listening!  
Some of the groups I've been enjoying are:  Sugarland, Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband, Rascal Flats, Carrie Underwood,  Billy Gillman, Alison Krauss, Steve Wariner, Alan Jackson, Shania Twain,  Collin Raye, Diamon Rio, Brad Paisley, Dixie Chicks, and Kenny Chesney.  

Who knew I'd love this music?

And best of all:  I got me some cowboy boots from my wonderful sister-in-law.  Yee Haw!!

Hey... I think I'm country now!  Don't I totally look like a cowgirl?
(or ... sort of - I need a cowboy hat!)

I also made a yummy new veggie last night for my lean and green.  Here is my plate:

I had my chicken patty (caramelized onion chicken burger) I love from Costco and 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese.  Those items were my "lean" and the "green" was 1 cup of sauteed red cabbage, and 1/2 cup mashed cauliflower.  Wow, was it so delish!!

The only fresh veggie I had was the red cabbage - which I actually only had on hand for a science experiment for my daughter - but I found this recipe on line from Rachel Ray and I loved it!  (note - I used 2 T spenda instead of the sugar in the recipe) I love red cabbage now!!  It was so flavorful.  The hubs even liked it, although I gave him more of the cauliflower and I put some light laughing cow cheese on his cauliflower.
Hey, maybe country folks love red cabbage?!!  I bet that's it!  (tee hee)

I am working on my 2011 goals - BOTH of us are.  I will be posting it soon.  I'm excited for the new year!    We have some set backs (again) but we are charging forward and gonna make it rock.  Who is with me?   Life is good!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hug your family!! (and 12 days Christmas update)

We are home today from our trip to Utah that easily could have ended with one or more of us not home with us.  On our way home late late Saturday night, a large deer popped up in the middle the road while we were going 75 mph (that was the speed limit) through northern Utah.  My husband began to slow down and veer to the right to avoid it, and that deer jumped more in our way and we hit it head on... BAM at about 65 mph.  
Our lights went out immediately and we pulled over to find our front end badly damaged.  I could barely even open my passenger door.  It was 1 am, completely dark (like no traffic) and freezing temperatures.  After what seemed like hours, we got towed to the nearest little motel and the guy agreed to accept our van as payment for the towing.  It felt so good to be in a warm room again.  Then, my brother called to say that he and my sister-in-law were driving out to pick us up and take us all the way back home to Oregon.  Now that’s brotherly love!  We feel SO blessed to all be safe.  All we really lost was our van, and we can eventually replace our van - but we can’t replace each other.  We were being watched over, that is for sure!

Other than the deer incident and the fact that we don’t have a family vehicle anymore... we are doing great and we had a fabulous time!  
I was looking at these comparison family pics and thought I’d share them on here.  

2003

2007

2010
The obvious difference is that my kids are a lot taller but I also think that the hubs and I look like completely different people!  Don’t ya think?  I was just thinking after the deer incident that life is too short to wait to make a change.  Life is too precious to not live it joyfully and to love others fully.  Life is too amazing to spend a single second holding a grudge or loathing oneself.  Life is so good.  I haven’t wanted to wait until it was over before I really feel and believe that!  LIFE IS GOOD, so let’s live, love and laugh and make it all count!

______________________________________________________________________

The 7th Day of Christmas - a hard case wallet :)
I also enjoyed a wonderful 12 days of Christmas swap with Melissa over at The Fat Mom (aka the Fabulous Mom).  Here are the pics of the rest of the gifts:


The 8th Day of Christmas - a hard case picture holder :)
The 9th Day of Christmas - Matching earrings & necklace :)


The 10th Day of Christmas - Scarf & gloves :)

The 11th Day of Christmas - Hand Painted ornament :)

The 12th Day of Christmas - Willowtree  "Surrounded by Love" figure


































I LOVED all these gifts from Melissa.  It's like she knew me so well!  So fun!  Isn't she truly Fabulous?!!  I definitely feel "surrounded by love" this Christmas and I hope each of those reading this feel that too.  XOXO ~Margene


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Week 46 - Merry Christmas!!

Weigh-in was Christmas Morning and we are here in Utah, so it’s a different scale, but I like this scale.  It shows that I lost 3 pounds!  And the man lost 3 pounds!  WOO HOO!  Maybe when we get home we’ll find it’s not the same as our scale but for now we’ll take it!
Earlier this week, we had the pleasure of meeting one of my blogger friends in person for the first time.  Lesia from “Here we go... Hold on Tight”.  

It was so awesome to meet her and visit with her and her hubby.  She is a total hoot and way cool woman!  That was a real thrill for us.  :)
It’s been a wonderful week here with our extended family.  And it has NOT been easy to stay on plan.  I think of all the comments my blogging friends have said to “be strong” and I have tried to do so.  Out at dinner at a pizza place two nights ago, we both ordered grilled chicken and salad.  We avoided the garlic bread all over the table.  
Christmas Eve dinner was ham, potatoes, green been casserole... the hubs and I had  chicken patties and roasted veggies.  After the Christmas Eve Program.... all the kids had Christmas Cake that my sister made special.  We had knox blox.  My brother in law gave us a box of his famous chocolate toffee... Oh my.  I have memories of eating this delicious treat in years past. I would eat almost the entire box.  I have let myself be tempted to sneak a bite or two... it’s sitting on the table about 20 feet away from me right now.  Is this hard?   HECK YES!!  I do feel a tad deprived, ya know!  But you know what.  I AM IN CONTROL NOW!  I will choose and right now, I choose to keep losing this weight.  
I absolutely LOVE being thinner.  I love how I feel inside.  I love that I am not a slave to food.  I love that I don’t feel ashamed of how I look anymore.  And I am sure that next Christmas, I will allow myself a little treat here or there in complete moderation.  I will not be in “weight loss” mode forever.
December 1988
It was 22 years ago this month that my man and I were married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.  Every time we are here, I like to get a picture of us and our family because this is where our family really began.  

July 2007

December 2010
There is nothing like visiting Temple Square around Christmas Time!!

We send each of you our warmest wishes this Christmas and New Year.  Remember to Stay Strong, be gentle with yourself, and that LIFE IS GOOD so celebrate it!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Week 45 and the 4th-6th days of Christmas

On the 4th day of Christmas my new friend gave to me: 4 packs of gum

On the 5th day of Christmas my new friend gave to me: 5 yummy lotions

On the 6th day of Christmas my new friend gave to me: Personalized country music cd

It’s like Melissa (aka the Fabulous Mom) knows me perfectly!  I am so into gum and love having my new 4 packs!  These new "Dessert Delights" are so good.  My fav is the Chocolate Mint.  I also LOVE stuff from bath and body works (my girl and I love to go there and splurge when we can) and she got me these 5 lotions.  LOVE IT!  And I am way excited about having a personalized country CD!  I told her I am beginning to like country now so she put this fabulous collection together for me.  How thoughtful was that?  I already recognize some of the songs and I look forward to listening to the rest. Thanks Melissa!!  You are awesome, girl!
So right now we are in UTAH!  It’s fun to be here and our kids are having fun with their cousins and their cute mini-doxie, Ellie.  I SO want to get pets for my kids and myself.  That gives me even more motivation to get our own house!!
Isn't she the CUTEST DOG?  Dachshunds are my favorite - my family used to breed and raise them when I was a wee lassie and I've always been fond of them.  Plus we had them as our pets growing up.  I could totally steal little Ellie and bring her home with us.  She is so mild mannered and fun!

So it's the end of WEEK 45!!!  We weighed in this morning (Sunday) since we were on the road all day yesterday.  I lost 3 pounds!  That is 3 weeks in a row that I've lost 3 pounds each week.  However, my gorgeous hubby has a 3 pound gain.... :(  He said some of that is due to lack of drinking his water.  He’s been drinking a lot of soda lately, especially while driving to Utah.  I KNOW he will get his gains turned around here... he has already come so far.  We are not going to let this get us down and we are focussing on the positive.  He has quite a few obstacles to tackle but I am right here with him cheering him on!  I so love this guy!  
I have so many blogs to catch up on and so much to share as well... It is so nice to be here with my family, to see my sister again, and my brother.  We also get to see my hubby’s brother and his Dad while we’re here too, and I hope to be able to see some friends as well.  I am trying to squeeze everything in and make it a most memorable time for my kids and us while at the same time, staying ON PLAN.  I brought a lot of our own food with me, just in case the choices available are not on plan.  Life is good!  What are your plans for this week?  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

On the 3rd Day of Christmas...

My new friend gave to me:

3 fluffy socks
2 scented candles
And a cookbook with delicious recipes
And I LOVE my new pink and black fluffy socks.  I will enjoy wearing these around the house and to keep my feet warm.  Thank you Fabulous Mom!

And for some food pics.  This was my dinner (lean and green) last night:
Salad (romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, peppers & tomatos) with Bacon Ranch Walden Farms dressing (fat free/sugar free/calorie free) and some baked "marinated wild Alaskan salmon" from Costco.  Salmon took 30 minutes to cook - no preparing other than that.  Salad was already made.  This is like "fast food" to me, yet look how much more delcious and healthy it is?  Loved it!



Today for my lunch, I had the Medifast Beef Stew.  I have soup at least once a day and my favorites are the chicken noodle, Chicken and rice, and beef stew.

So my meals each day go something like:

8am -   Pudding (fav is coconut banana & chocolate cake pudding)
11am - Soup (often with crackers & light laughing cow cheese)
1:30pm - Chocolate Mint Bar (my favorite!)
4pm -   Honey Mustard Pretzels
6:30pm -  (lean and green) - lean meat (or protein) & 3 veggie servings
                     (favs are  chicken or salmon with salad or roasted veggies)
9:30pm - Hot Chocolate.

I drink about 24 oz. water with each meal and chew gum often in between meals as well as nibble on my yummy knox blox.  I love to have my knox blox at the end of the day with my hot chocolate too.  Hubby loves the Medifast muffins I make as well as the Medifast brownies and the shakes.  On Sunday mornings, the hubs makes us both waffles from the Medifast pancake mix.  That is our special Sunday Morning Breakfast drizzled with Walden Farms sugar free/fat free/calorie free syrup! 

I also slipped on something new today.
Who is wearing size 12 jeans?  Yup, that would be ME!  (okay, they are stretchy somewhat but they fit and they are size 12).  Can you believe just 10 months ago I wore size 28/30?  I tell ya, no cookies or fudge can possibly taste as good as size 12 feels!! My final goal will be size 8.  I think that's where I'll be my most healthy, fit self.  And I will be there sometime next year... stay tuned.  Life is good!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

On the 2nd day of Christmas...

My new friend gave to me...
2 scented candles and a cookbook with delicious recipes!

I love candles and I don't have these scents yet (spiced cider and cinnamon), they will be lit today.  Thank you Fabulous Mom!!

Yesterday was the Eagle board of review for my son and we were all so nervous.  He had practiced answering a variety of questions and going over his whole scouting career and merit badges and every time he showed leadership.  Several prayers were said  to help him do his best and for it to go well.  And, I have to tell you it could not have gone better.

They "grilled" him for 40 minutes with just him and his scout leader, and then they asked to speak to me and the hubs for a few minutes.  They were so impressed with him and spent the whole time telling us their impressions of his complete honesty and integrity.  He is a very genuine person and it was so wonderful to have the board see that.  It was one of those "mom is gonna start crying now" moments!  So they eagerly recommended him as a candidate for the Eagle Rank and now it just has to go to National and then it will be official.  Here he is posing with us after the review.  We couldn't be prouder of our "miracle" son.  I know when we actually have his Eagle Court of Honor, I will probably lose it, and that's okay. :)  And as a side note, I LOVE that we're not the ginormous parents in this picture anymore!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

12 Days of Christmas...

I got my box of 12 gifts from my new friend and swap buddy over at The Fat Mom blog.  (BTW, I think it should be "The Beautiful Mom" blog or "The Marvelous Mom" blog because those are more fitting word, imho).  I was so excited to take them all out of the box and here they are:


 How cute and fun is that???  When my kiddo's got home from school, they were like "Awe.... I want to do that too!"  (I know, right?  How fun for me, right?  Now stay away from my gifty's... Okay, I didn't really say that but I thought it!)

So I had to sing the 12 days of Christmas and open the first gift today and here it is - this cool recipe book:
I'm already eyeing some recipes in here to try like the chicken nuggets and spaghetti pie.  Sounds fun to make things that are healthy and trick my kids.  I am all for subterfuge and trickery!  he he he...

And I have some more fabulous news... The hubs got next week off and we are going to Utah for Christmas!!  I am so thrilled.  For those of you who follow my blog, you may recall that we were going to Utah a few months ago for a reunion but BOTH our vehicles died and forced us to cancel our trip.  I really miss my sister and brother that live there and we are way excited to go.  I've got so much to do until we leave but it's all happy, fun stuff.  And now, I need to put a plan in motion to stay ON PLAN for this trip and be prepared.  I think I'll be making a ton of my knox blox to get me through the tempting sweets... that's been working really good for me.

I would also like to express my gratitude for those who read and have commented on our blog.  I am always touched by the kind words of encouragement and how you so often share my joy as well.  I have not always felt open to give hugs because I felt that no one would want to hug a heavy person... but I love to hug and would give you each a big hug if I could.  Stay Strong!  Stay focussed.  Be Prepared! (gotta stick that Boy Scout motto in).  Life is Good!   XOXO ~Margene

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Week 44 - I stepped on the scale...

And I saw what I wanted to see.... BOOOYA.  158 pounds!  That is 3 pounds down from last week.  SAWEET!  I can’t remember being in the 150’s.  Feels GOOOOOD!
 Look!  I'm not the family Christmas Tree anymore!
My hubs, on the other hand, has has his first gain since we started.... pausing for big frowny face....   :(
He gained 2 pounds and is at 199.  But you know... he worked so hard this week staying on plan.  He hasn’t been sneaking the PB as much.  He has had some soda’s so maybe it’s just water retention.  Also, he deals with so much stress.  And he has been having issues with his ADD meds where he kept needed higher doses because they didn’t last as long, but the side effects weren’t good.  So a couple weeks ago, he tried going off of them completely and he doesn’t miss the side effects.  But it messes with his mood and emotions... poor guy.  He still rocks and is hotter than anyone I know and always will be!
And tonight we celebrated our 22 years of marriage.  I have to say that my husband is a very kind, compassionate and patient person.  He can see the good in the most annoying person (hmm.... guess that’s why he married me!  lol).  But I seriously don’t know a more gentle or loving person on this earth!  I am SO blessed to have him and I love him so much!  Our anniversary isn’t for a few days but this was the best day to do something.  We went and saw the 3D version of the 3rd Narnia movie.  Loved it!  I love just spending time with my bud.  We were snuggling and talking in the theater before the movie started about our journey and he leaned in and said “We have a completely new life now.”  And he is right.  It is completely different and new. 
Note - I have a jaw line now!  Woa... me!  And that’s not all... I have a collar bone!  When I lay down flat, my ribs poke out!  I never really ever felt my ribs before!  It’s a strange thing!  My coach and friend told me a week or so ago (she’s known me for 10 years) that she never knew I was so petite and that I have such delicate features!  How many years did I wish I was “petite”, I cannot even tell you!  I feel so humbled and like weeping every time I think of where I have been and where I am right now.
I am so happy!  I am so happy to have lost 122 pounds!  I have a new life!  It is a new start for me in every way.  I am still amazed, it’s like a dream come true.  You know that scene in the original Superman movie when Superman takes Lois on her first time flying in the sky?  She is just so amazed and in awe and she looks at him while they are flying and says those words to the song in her mind?  (“Can you read my mind?...)  Anyway... I kind of feel like THAT about losing my weight.  I say these words in my mind... Do you know what it is, that this has done for me?  Here I am so totally blessed, this quirky girl given another chance, to let go of the shackles that have bound me.  Yes, I know... corny is me!
I could list some amazing treats and foods that I have encountered this past week.  Treats brought into my home even (by my kids).  I don’t even want to list it and tempt your thoughts, but I can tell you right now, that I don’t feel deprived in any way that I didn’t take ONE BITE of any of it.  Because #1 - I have yummy foods I can eat including chocolate that is on my plan, and #2 - Nothing compares to feeling good in my own skin... NOTHING!  I will let that plate of ____ pass me by and others may feel sorry for me and think I am so deprived and feel they could never do that themselves... but I am smiling when I get in my PJ’s at night and thanking my Heavenly Father for this new life.  I feel so blessed.  Life is good!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Decemburrrrrrr....

I am always SO COLD (literally, not figuratively).  Yes, having more weight on me helped me not feel as cold, but it feels SO good to not hate my body and be disgusted with it like I used to.  I love the way I feel.  I LOVE being less of me.  I feel SO thankful that the Lord has showed us this program and lifestyle that is working for us and I pray to continue a healthy lifestyle throughout the rest of our lives.  I stepped on the scale this morning for a sneak peak before weigh-in on Saturday, and it's so close to the 150's.... I am hoping to reach the 150's by Saturday!.  I cannot even remember when I was there last.  I already weigh less than when I was married!  I remember my wedding dress was a size 20.

Speaking of marriage.  Our 22nd anniversary is coming up this month.  I am trying to find a fun, yet inexpensive way to celebrate.  I think it would be fabulous if it involved a hot tub since that is literally all I think about since I'm so cold!!!

Here are a couple of my lean and greens lately:
Roasted Veggies with Alaskan Mesquite Salmon (from Costco in the frozen section) ~ 2 Morningstar Pizza patties w/ tomatoes & sauteed mushrooms.

I've also been experimenting more with my Knox Blox (you can find the recipe at the top of my blog under "Recipes Medifast" tab).  I've added some Anise (black licorice) flavoring to the Black Cherry jello.  I love it.  It feels like I'm eating licorice but it's a firm jello.  (It may be an acquired taste).
I also tried some Pina Colada  (Capella flavor drops) to the Strawberry Banana Jello and I LOVE that combination.  And the classic coconut sf syrup added to the Orange jello makes for yummy knox blox too!  (All jello I use is sugar free, of course).  Knox blox is awesome because it's fun, yummy, and so flippin' low in calories.  It really helps satisfy my sweet tooth with absolutely NO GUILT.

My goal is to drink one of my 24 ounce water bottles per meal.  Since I'm having 6 meals a day (5 medifast & 1 Lean & Green) that is 144 ounces of water.  I've pretty much been doing that and I know it totally helps with the weight loss.  That is one thing that has changed a lot this last year... I can down water so easily than when I first started!  It's the potty breaks... that's a whole other story that I won't go into right now... but it IS worth it!

So we are shooting to stay ON PLAN this month which should be easy since we have no extended family get-togethers.  Just us.  Making our own healthy, fun traditions!  Life is GOOD.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Week 43...

I lost 3 pounds last week.  NICE!!  My man has stayed the same weight.  Slightly Frustrating!!  But at least it's not a gain!  He will get losing again.  I know he will... and he's already lost so much and beside that, he's just so hot!

We went to a Christmas party last night where dinner was being catered.  There was rich soups, breads, veggies, thick brownies and creme brulee.  Did we falter?  Did we pig out? Not on your britches!  I called ahead and inquired about the menu and we decided to have our "lean" before going and then had our "green" aka salad there.  We brought our own "dessert" (knox blox) as well.  And it turned out fabulous.  I didn't even worry or think about the food because there was a plan in place.  And today I was rewarded with a 3 pound loss and a super hot man.  Good thing he's hot because I am always a Popsicle these days!  Brrrrrrr... never been this cold so much of the time before!.  It has me dreaming of sitting in a hot tub like all the time.

Today I got the name of my blogger buddy for the 12 Days of Christmas!!  She is the gal over at "The Fat Mom Blog".  I've been having fun reading her blog and sharing info. via email so we can get to know each other.  I even went shopping today and have some great ideas.  So fun!

Friday, December 3, 2010

BFF for an hour and 12 Days of Christmas Swap

I’ve joined a 12 days of Christmas Swap hosted here.

Check it out. You have until Friday night to join if you want to. I’m excited!


Today something fun happened. I went shopping, alone as usual, and found myself wandering into a nearby Fashion Bug store. I have shrunk out of my thrift store pants and I’m down to two pairs of pants that fit me (size 16). So I thought I’d just see if any pants were on sale. So I grabbed several size 14/16 pants to try on and an associate of the store offered to take my clothes into the changing room, and she added “you do not look like you wear size 14’s or 16’s”... I patted my belly and nodded a ‘yes I do’. So as I was trying on the pants, I found that the 16’s were quite roomy. The same associate came by and asked me how I was doing and she ended up running and grabbing me some size 14 and size 12 pants. She was so nice and helpful and interested in my weight loss, and oohed over my before and after pics that I keep in my purse. She got even more enthused and brought me all kinds of stuff to try on, camisoles & sweaters & pants, which was so awesome since I really have no fashion sense. She told me what tops would look good with leggings and what pants are best for my body shape. She was like my BFF for the hour I was in the store. I loved it! She made me feel so good and seemed to genuinely be excited for me in my journey. And guess what? I totally fit into size 12 now!!! Yes, they are tight, but they fit! I was smilin’ so big in that changing room - I even did a little Margene Happy Dance which I’m sure the angels watching got a giggle from! And I walked out with 2 new pairs of pants (yes, I paid for them first). She even ran to me as I left the store to share something else with me. To her I’m sure I was one of her many customers but to me, she made my day!


Also, another NSV happened yesterday was when I ran into my old HS Life Skills class I used to work with just a few months ago. As I was approaching one of the teachers I had worked closely with, she looked at me with confusion. She was like... “I know you somehow...” Then she recognized me and she went on to be astounded at my weight loss. She really made a big deal about how much thinner I look. I haven’t had anyone notice to the extent that she did... it was so cool because all the teachers I worked with there knew I was on a weight loss program, and then to run into her after having dropped over 115 pounds just amazed her. It’s fun to be successful... finally!


I have been making Roasted Veggies again. Dang, these are so good!

This batch I have chopped up cauliflower, broccoli, zuchini, yellow squash, red and green peppers, and mushrooms. Then I drizzled some olive oil, salt, and a dash of garlic powder and mixed it up well. They smelled and tasted so good before I even put them in the oven. I roasted them at 425 for 12 minutes, then turned and another 5-10 minutes. I shake just a bit of balsamic vinegar on them after they are out of the oven. Soo good!

Here’s a couple of my Lean and Green’s lately. Using a mixture of ground turkey breast and lean ground beef, I made these patties on the left with some Walden Farms sugar free BBQ sauce and a dash of grilling spices. They were tasty without needing any condiments. I had them with roasted veggies.


Upon finding that the only vegetable I had left were tomatoes, I made the meal on the right with left over turkey and 3 Roma tomatoes and a wedge of light laughing cow cheese (tomato and basil flavored). Very satisfying actually!


Here's to making healthy food choices even when temptation is all around us. I learned today in that changing room that feeling good about myself and my body feels SO MUCH BETTER than giving in to eating a ton of cookies or fast food or other foods that really aren't healthy for me. Life is GOOD.