Our Quest to change our lives began in Feb. 2010 and we lost 224 lbs. We slowly gained a lot of that weight back and we're now on another journey for weight loss and better health using Bright Line Eating. This is the story of our continuing Journey. .
(For the fullest effect, begin at the beginning in Feb. 2010 using our Blog Archive on sidebar)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Twas the Day(s) after Christmas....

We had a wonderful, cozy Christmas as a family in our new home.  Brent had a couple days off and we goofed off and even went to a new frozen yogurt place and all splurged on our own concoctions!

I have to say, that this Christmas time, I gave myself permission to indulge a little with some of the sweets and yummy treats that were around.  Last year I was in "weight loss" mode and stayed true to the plan, so this year I decided to allow myself some freedoms.

BUT... I have learned that I am apt to take TOO much freedom and I have the tendency to become like a child left alone in a candy store.

I am now back ON PLAN and it's amazing how I suddenly feel more in control and even more of a sense of security of knowing the path that I'm on.  It really is like hopping onto another path.  I already feel more energy from eating better and even more cheerful.  In the past, I would have ignored those feelings of over-indulgence and rationalized them away and continued to overeat.  I'm so grateful for what I've learned!!

I really like this poem I read and it seems to fit perfectly:

T’was The Day After Christmas
(By Delia McLaughlin)

T’was the day after Christmas, I had put on 10 lbs
By eating the food that was always around.
My stockings were tight, the seams they were busting,
From the constant barrage of food I was lusting.

My husband and children whose clothes were snug too
Pleaded with me to try something new.
The only thing that fit was my stretch stocking cap
And between my shirt and my pants there was a huge gap.

I had endlessly and repeatedly licked every platter
And never before had it really even mattered.
I avoided all mirrors, ran by them in a dash
So I just couldn’t see the tight fitting sash.

Tired of wearing those triple X sizes,
I had to do something as the scale number rises.
When a friend offered to help me, I shouted
“GIVE ME RELIEF from the munchies” resounded.

When relief came, it was so incredibly quick,
And now I no longer feel lethargic and sick.
I began losing the weight without all the strife
Because my health coach introduced me to Take Shape For Life!

Now pancakes and brownies, chili and eggs,
I’m beginning to see the bones in my legs!
Oatmeal, sloppy Joes, nacho cheese puffs
That health coach of mine really knows her stuff!

This eating small meals every 3 hours
Has helped me lose weight and now I encounter
Compliments from everywhere imaginable
It’s so unreal – almost unfathomable!

The fat is melting – it seems to go POOF!
And the energy I’ve gained has gone through the roof!
The sizes get smaller as the scale shows less
And now my health is no longer a mess.

My eating is healthier; I’ve changed the bad habits
And the weight I’ve lost won’t be recounted!
For my lifestyle is changing – my food choices now healthy
And used for refueling, not making me like jelly.

My eyes now twinkle and I’m truly so happy
That I want all my friends to join me real snappy
So we will all reach that healthy goal weight
And enjoy this new feeling I’m having today.

For the first time in decades, I like my new self
And breathing is easier when I put on my belt.
Mirrors are now my next new best friend
Admiring the new shape and curves that extend.

Try as I did for too many years
Without much success and a whole lot of tears
Losing weight has been easy
With a program that teaches.

Now I’m teaching others so they can lose too
And get slim and healthy in Twenty One Two.
Let’s journey together to a thinner new you
So next year you will be happier too.

I'm Excited for 2012!  I'm excited to do NEW things!  Life is good!
Just 3 more days left of 2011.  What kind of year has it been for you?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What YOU gonna do in 2012?

Hi friends!  So our party last Saturday went GREAT!  We had over 30 people come and had just enough seating for everyone. (whew!)
The White Elephant Game was a riot!  
For some people, hosting a party is stressful, but for me, it's like a "fun energy" that I love!  I'm SO THANKFUL we have a home that can accommodate a get-together like that.  
I think it really helped us to have this party to get to know our neighbors around here... they all knew each other and it was us that got to see their personalities more in a laid back setting.  It was good!

So have you thought about what you want to accomplish or do in 2012?

I have been thinking about it.  First, we live in this great little valley, and every day I see this mountain.  You can see our group of home down there at the bottom of it. 

The other day I decided that I want to climb that mountain!  I don't know the name of it, but next summer when it's warmer, I'm gonna climb it!  You wanna come climb it with me?
 I can't wait to see the other side and take pictures.  I want to look at that mountain and know that I conquered it!

Next, I did a crazy thing!  
I signed up to run a 1/2 marathon next May in Oregon!!!
 AAAAAHHHHHKKKKK!!!  I feel so crazy.  Alive and Crazy!
I've only run a 5k and that's like 3 miles.  A half marathon is 13 miles.  I am striving to be a rockstar like my friend, Jennifer, who just ran a half marathon not that long ago.  I haven't even been running for a while so I have tons of training to do!

Also, I am going to do some indoor rock climbing!  I have only tried it once several months ago but loved it.  I posted a video of me climbing here.  

I recently got a groupon deal to go unlimited for 2 weeks and I plan to do that sometime early next year.  How fun is that!!

Another thing I want to do sometime in 2012 is to ride a horse!  I never have done that and even if I wanted to, I was always too heavy.  I want to do everything I couldn't do before due to my weight.  

And of course, I want to maintain my weight and keep a healthy lifestyle.  I look forward to biking when it gets warmer too.  And boy do I miss playing basketball like I was with some awesome women back in Oregon.  Maybe I can find some here that would want to play with me.  It can be hard to get people out of their comfort zones... I already tried to get someone to rock climb with me.  But I'm not going to let that stop me from doing those things I'd like to do!  I'm going to defy gravity!!

I still feel so blessed and so thankful to be out of my prison.  I cry when I hear the song on my video below... I don't want to ever forget where I've been.  Freedom from the bondage of obesity is the most liberating and joyful feeling ever for me!  No going back!!
It's NEVER too late to change for the better. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's December!

Happy December!!
It’s happy because we make it happy, right?  
My friend from Oregon sent me a book after a phone conversation we had where I shared how lonely I felt here... 
I had to laugh when I read the title:

It’s by an author that I’ve even met!  She’s fun and witty and it has been a nice little read... reminding me that I have the power to overcome and that I can be happy despite my circumstances.  
So Brent and I decided to throw a Christmas Party here.  It’s this saturday and so far we have about 30 people rsvp that they are coming.  Should be way fun!  I love party’s and this one includes white elephants and some fun games.  I hope to get to know more people and laugh a whole lot in the process!  (But not laugh at them, mind you - I’ll laugh next to them!)
I had a dream the other night that I went majorly off plan and ate a bunch of stuff I shouldn’t and was feeling so bad... then I woke up and realized it was a dream!  Yay!!!  I didn’t even have to go there because it didn’t happen.  
Don’t you just LOVE the feeling this time of year?  The smiles from friends, the Christmas Music, the good-feeling shows on TV.  I am determined to NOT make it about merchandise and shopping.  I told my kids that we’re going to have a service auction in our family and to be thinking about acts of service they will want to contribute.  They seem upbeat about this.  My goal is to really bring in the Spirit of Christ and make it about Him.  I am feeling anti-santa this year.  Too much Santa... maybe it’s just me but  I just don’t see how encouraging my kids to think of everything they want helps them be kind, unselfish people...  I still love gift giving, it's just I get tired of seeing and hearing about Santa more than who's birth we're really celebrating!
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox.  I am also determined to stay ON PLAN through the holiday’s.  I’ve done this before.  I know it’s about focussing on loved ones and not the food.  I will give myself options and not be so rigid that I encourage a binge, but mostly I need to keep away from high sugar foods.  Hello knox blox!!  lol  How do you plan to handle your eating choices this month?
Here are some Really Good Tips from Dr. Anderson (co-founder of Take Shape For Life) that I thought were valuable to share.  Note the 3 possible ways of dealing with weight loss this season - #3 is NOT an option for me:
Here are some tips to help you. Just think of the Habits of Health!
  • Work closely with your Health Coach. Contact them at least once a week.
  • Get clear on what you want: read chapter 4 in “Dr A’s Habits of Health” 
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Schedule your time: before you go to sleep each night, make a list of things to do for tomorrow. Don’t forget to schedule some quiet time for yourself, even if it is just a 15 minute walk or reading time! Also, get some exercise time in. Again, it can be as simple as a 15 or 30 minute walk.
  • Be aware of your financial budget and stick to it.
  • Decrease stress and your exposure to disease: practice good health hygiene such as good hand washing and being aware of people around you. Try to decrease your exposure to sick people!
Weight Loss During This Time
You have 3 possible ways of dealing with your weight goals during this busy time.
  1. Stay on program. Whether on the 5 & 1 weight loss program, transition or maintenance, follow the outlined protocols. This can bring a sense of control to you during this sometimes busy, chaotic time. If you are on the 5 & 1 weight loss phase, you will continue fat burning. This can enable you to have increased energy, positive weight loss results, and level blood sugars and hormone levels through the holidays!
  2. Decide to drop out of fat burn and use a 3 & 3 program, more of a maintenance program. This can help prevent binge eating and major weight gain. You may lose the increased energy of fat burn, but if you are eating healthy choices and portions every 2-3 hours and getting adequate nutrition as well as sleep, you should have enough energy to get through your schedule. Remember, if you have any weight loss, it will be slow. (Read chapters 8, 9, & 10 in “Dr A’s Habits of Health” and do Lesson 9 in “Living a Longer, Healthier Life.”)
  3. Practice “no control, no focus”: you will most likely experience weight gain and many other symptoms of an un-healthy eating plan. Most likely you will have decrease energy and feelings of lethargy or tiredness. If prone, you may experience headaches and may have stomach discomfort. Your body will be exposed to greater stress and inflammation. Your blood sugar levels may have major swings. You will not be in a fat burning state.
What are your plans for the holidays?  I’d love to hear your ideas.
Life is GOOD.  XOXox ~Margene

Friday, December 2, 2011

Check Out My New Video

What a GREAT time to change your life!  Where will you be next year?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Being a Mother - Having a Mother

I love being a mom!  I love it that my kids are older now and I can have meaningful conversations with them and do fun stuff together.  Last Friday, my daughters and I went and saw the new Twilight movie (Breaking Dawn part 1).  I do have to say, that there was some parts I had them cover their eyes... poor planning on my part for not researching before we went.  However, we did have a fabulous gals night out together... shopping at the thrift store and running through the falling snow to the theater. 
Which brings me to say...
We had our first SNOW here since we have moved to Utah.  Here was the view Saturday morning out our back door.  
It has been another one of those hard weeks for me.  We were excited to have an OPEN HOUSE now that we own this home and invite all our relatives here from Utah to come.  It was just last Saturday.  We did a lot of little fix ups and work on the house to get ready.  We painted, fixed walls, installed a door, changed out some appliances, fixed a toilet, cleaned.... it was nice to have a reason to get stuff done.  And I made a bunch of little appetizers.
A delicious veggie tray with low fat dips, little smokies in a blanket from my own homemade garlic/parmesan dough, muddy buddies (that my daughter made), and this majorly scrumptious pumpkin chocolate chip cake with cream cheese frosting!
We had over 40 people committed to come, yet half way through it - only 2 had shown up.  Although, we did have a few more trickle in - (and even well after the time it was supposed to be over) - it was an emotional let down for me which I didn’t expect.
It really boils down to missing my own mother.   A mother shares in your joys and in your heartaches like no one else can.  Sometimes it feels like such a huge hole in my life to not have my parents here!   My kids could sure blossom with their attention and love.  It’s hard for anyone to understand unless their parents are gone.  I’ve had a relative tell me before to “get over it”... interestingly enough, this person still has their parents closeby.  So, it does leave me hesitant to share how it really feels.  Most people prefer to stay consumed in their own lives and problems.
Moving here to Utah and working to make a difference here, fit it, contribute at church and school, reach out and show an interest in others and in my extended family... 
I really do feel emotionally DRAINED and a bit depleted this week!  I need to work on filling my own bucket.  I miss my friends in Oregon.... but I can’t lean on them when I am feeling lonely and un-included here.  They have all moved on.
So today, although my heart is heavy and low.... I’ve recommitted myself to being STRICTLY on plan (which this past week I was not) and to drink lots of water.  Both Brent and I have committed to stay ON PLAN over Thanksgiving.  I refuse to turn to food for comfort.  I’m  having my kids eat the rest of that pumpkin cake... it’s just too good to be left alone with me.  :)  It’s time to focus on all my blessings which are MANY!  

I feel blessed to change the course of my life so that I will be here for my children... I don't want them to suffer the loss of their mother!
How do you plan to spend your Thanksgiving?
XoxoXO ~Margene

Thursday, November 10, 2011


That's me!  I love the stuff!  I really wish I could mass market these little delights!

Here is my set up in making my next couple batches.  Above I have my ingredients ready to make my Strawberry/Banana/Coconut  (I am a sucker for coconut) and peach/Mango/Pineapple (a favorite of my daughters).  I have my syups and flavorings, sugar free jello, knox unflavored gelatin.

The recipe is simple:

* 6 cups boiling water (if you use sf syrup just minus the amount from the water like 5 cups water + 1 cup sf syrup)
* 6 packets knox gelatin
* 2 big boxes (or 4 smaller boxes) sf jello

Mix together thoroughly - pour into brownie dish and refrigerate for several hours.  Cut up and put into little snack baggies if you want.  It's about 40 calories per little baggie.

A big hit with my son and his friend who could NOT stop eating my Lime/Banana/Coconut blox.  
I love having these low calories, tasty little treats around!

Also, I don't know what it is means, but I just love making kabobs!  I didn't ever have them growing up so it's like a special thing.  
 This was our dinner tonight for just  our family.  
I know, I know... I made enough for an ARMY!!  (lots of yummy left overs)

These are BBQ Teriyaki Pork Kabobs which I made early on in week 12 of my journey and posted about them as well.  I don't have a BBQ grill anymore so I just baked them in my oven.   I had these pork pieces marinating for 24 hours and skewered them today.  I was loving them.  My kids liked them.  I love the sauce for dipping as well.  Yum!

Here's another quick lean and green I did a couple nights ago.  
I just sauteed my zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes with some Mrs. Dash tomato basil seasoning and added my shrimp.  I love that added flavor of the tomatoes.  For Brent, I made his standard salad with a sprinkle of low fat cheese & Walden Farms Ranch dressing and his 3 Morning Star sausage patties.  He loves those patties!

In the next couple days I will be hosting my FIRST GIVEAWAY!  I'm excited.  Some lucky winner will win some exciting Scrapbooking software.  What a way to perserve all those memories and pictures.

Life is Good!!  XOXO ~Margene

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Let's Purchase a Home Today"

That was what Brent texted me this morning!
And we did just that!  

(This blasted "For Sale" sign has been in front of this house since we moved here in July!)  I was thrilled to have Brent pull it out tonight!  Yee haw!

We signed in the early afternoon and then went to "Lonestar" for an early dinner to celebrate!

Brent has a mesquite grilled chicken salad that he surprisingly enjoyed quite a bit.  I had the sirloin and mesquite salmon combo.  Wow, I haven't had a steak for over 6 months (and I'm a steak lover).  They cooked it a perfect medium which I like, and the salmon was so delicious.  I chose a simple salad and steamed broccoli for my "green".  We said "no" to the bread and dessert menu and left feeling completely satisfied!

It was 7 years ago that our business went under and we lost our employment, our house, our cars and basically our whole future that we had moved to Oregon for.  We moved our family of 6 into an apartment and started over.  It was scary and we never felt more alone.

So driving to the Title Company today was quite exciting because of the path we've been on to finally get here.  To finally own a home again - and one that gives us some elbow room for our 4 kids and 4 pets.  And to finally have pets!  No more getting screwed out of our deposits.  No more worries about if I put a nail in a wall.  No more renting!!!

Our 14 years in Oregon taught us so much!  Not only have we come full circle (we started out in Utah), but we have come back with more energy than we left!  We are healthier, our bodies are leaner, and our outlook is more positive. 

Isn't it ironic how we have to suffer major trials just to learn gratitude?  To learn to Trust in God.  To learn that we have more power within our beings to make changes than we realize.  That we can overcome more than we ever thought possible!  Believing it's possible is truly half the battle!

And how much MORE you appreciate a gift when you have gone through so much to get it. 

Life is Good.  Tonight feels WONDERFUL!
Love to you all! ~Margene

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stand behind me...

... Temptation!!

Brent and I went on a date last night which included a movie.  Upon entering the theater, the smell of that buttered popcorn was so tantalizing.  And being that we are closing on our home on Monday, it felt like we should celebrate.  We had already just eaten a healthy dinner, so what would be so bad with splurging for some popcorn?  I asked Brent and he was like "You want some?", then I was like "I'm having a  hard time deciding, what should we do?"  Then he just said, "Nope, we don't need that"  and it was over!  Once that decision was made, the conflict inside was gone!

During the movie, we enjoyed the knox blox I had smuggled in my purse.  And upon leaving, I felt so empowered that I didn't give in!

Then today, chocolate chip cookies were made for our kids.  Really?  Are you going to do this to me?  Just smelling them made me start to wonder if I could rationalize eating any.  But Brent had the kids gobble them down very quickly and the temptation was gone!  I had enjoyed some other wonderful more healthy food!

It really is true, that the more you make good choices and resist unhealthy food, the EASIER it becomes.  It's like you empower yourself when you can make that choice NOT to give in!  You become in control of your thoughts and actions.  And after all, isn't that the biggest obstacle to conquer?  It definitely is for me!

The other day, I made this very quick lean and green:

I sliced up a yellow squash in little strips and sautéed it in some light cooking spray and seasoned it with my favorite grinder:  Rosemary garlic blend.  Then I  threw in a caramelized onion chicken burger (from Costco).  Quick and satisfying.

Tomorrow is a momentous day... and it's been a Loooooooong time coming.  God Bless!!  ~Margene

Friday, November 4, 2011

I like to pretend...

...that we are normal!  But it's not true!  We are a wacky family mainly due to me and Brent.  But I'm okay with that.  Some people will see us as immature and they'd be right.  My girls alone tell me how weird I am and sometimes their friends don't "get me".  But hey, we each march to our own drummer, right?

I mean, both Brent and I are the babies of large families... we have that "baby" perspective.  I am growing to like who we are, now.  Where for years, I felt... well.... LESS.  Funny how losing my weight can help me feel like I am... MORE.

The other day, I got a great deal on some pre-cooked frozen shrimp.  So I made this stir-fry dinner (using cooking spray) with some veggies, 7 ounces of shrimp, and my "Wok with Me" orange glaze (which I can't find in Utah - only in Oregon) for my own "Orange Shrimp".  Yum.

Lastly, I wanted to post this picture I took from my back porch last night.  

We close on this house on Monday!!!  We had to take the leaning pergola down from our back porch and now we have this view of the mountain range at night.  The pic doesn't do justice to the colors that were there.  It was breathtaking!  I'm feeling very blessed.  
Take care, my friends.  Life is Good!!! XoxO ~Margene

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How Did I Do?

We didn't have a single piece of candy or food item off plan through all of Halloween!!!  And you know what?  I didn't even miss it.  I think it helped that I already had decided NOT to so I didn't spend any time pondering the candy, looking at my kids' buckets of treats, or staring at the little cupcakes brought to us.... NOPE.  

In the past I would sometimes just "try" to stay on plan yet I still allow myself to think about the food I shouldn't eat or tempt myself until I finally snitched.  I just needed to STOP TEMPTING MYSELF.  That totally works!  I stop allowing the thought of eating it in my mind!  Get busy with other fabulous things!

And we did have something FABULOUS:  Yesterday we had a family over for a Halloween dinner of my Rosemary Ranch Chicken kabobs which was FABULOUS!  (I found the perfect timing to broil them:  5 minutes on one side, then 3 on the other and they come out so tender and moist!) 
The guests and kids all LOVED it!  Then we played Band Hero and Pit while the kids went trick or treating.  It was great focussing on fun instead of the candy and goodies.  Plus the lime/banana/coconut knox blox were a HIT to snack on!!

I'm choosing my LIFE over unhealthy foods!
 ~ Life is GOOD!! ~

Monday, October 31, 2011

NO Candy today - Who's with me?

Hi friends,

Okay, today is the big day... Halloween.  Happy Halloween to ya'll.  Today and building up to today, I have promised myself that I would NOT give in to Halloween Candy.  NOPE.

It wasn't that long ago that I was snitching more high calorie desserts here and there and was telling Brent how hard it is to NOT eat that stuff.  I told him I needed something to help me "take control".

He said something to me that made SO much sense.  He said "When you were on plan before you just did it!  You simply made that choice."  And he is right!  The truth is, when I really want to stick to my eating plan, then I DO!

So, it wasn't any certain thing, pill, therapy, etc. that I need to avoid my off plan foods, I simply need to get my head in gear and CHOOSE BEFOREHAND that it is NOT an option.  (See previous rationalizing post).  So far, no pieces of candy has passed my lips.

But I have enjoyed some awesome new knox blox flavors:  Lime/Banana/Coconut, and Raspberry/Mango!  I'm enjoying the food I do have, and then not focussing on food at all!

Below are some tips I liked from Dr. Anderson (co-founder of Take Shape For Life):

Well, there are a few helpful tips to remember when your sweet tooth is twitching…..
  1. DO NOT buy any Halloween candy! Or, buy candy that you do not like. It is better to give out small packets of pretzels or play-do or fruit roll ups.
  2. Keep in your mind that there will always be candy, but you are choosing to improve your health right now, and candy will not help you reach your goal!
  3. Make your own fudge cycles by freezing the chocolate shakes.
  4. Freeze crystal light for a fruity, candy-like desert.
  5. Sugar free jell-o is a great candy-like snack (KNOX BLOX!!)
  6. Do not stay at home on Halloween handing out your treats.  Instead, grab a bottle of water and take a nighttime walk around the neighborhood to take in all the ghoulish sights!
  7. Bring healthy snacks to work (see Healthy Snack list) to keep from being tempted by candy in the office.
  8. Cut up a Medifast bar and put it in a baggie.  Freeze it for a sweet treat later!
  9. A great idea to help keep the piles of candy from going into your children’s body…Have them pick out 5 pieces of candy out of their bag and “buy” the rest of the bag from them for 10 dollars and then take them to the toy store to get a prize! Remember to throw the bags of candy away or give to a shelter!!!!!!
  10. Stay in touch with your Health Coach, he or she can help you stay strong
Remember, a great analogy is the concert pianist… If you were a child, and you wanted to be a concert pianist (primary goal) you would need to practice every day (secondary goal), and make choices that may not be your favorite (not get to play with friends, travel, lessons, miss parties, miss play dates, etc…) But… you would perform these secondary goals if it helps you to reach your primary goal.

Well, we are doing the same thing… our primary goal is to lose weight and get healthy.  Some secondary goals are…exercise daily, drink water, stay away from extra carbohydrates and starches, do not drink alcohol, possibly decide not to go to some parties, and do not eat Halloween candy!  And we will make these secondary choices because it will help us to reach what is most important to us right now… to lose weight, feel great, and to look and be healthy!!
Halloween 2007 and then 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

Three P's...

 A new favorite snack or mini-meal I've been enjoying has been to take my low fat cottage cheese and add a little dill weed & garlic powder and then use it as a dip for my favorite veggies, like red peppers.  I love it!

I tried a yummy meal the other night.  I took some slices of tomatoes and put them in a pan on the stove and sprinkled some light cheddar cheese on them and then grilled them on both sides.  I added them to my simple chicken salad here and I was amazed at how TASTY it made it  The cheese and chicken were my lean -  and then salad, cucumbers and tomatoes my green.  The hubs loved it too.

 Our doggies are having fun whenever I fire up the treadmill in our room.  They love to walk on there with me and sometimes we get it going really fast and offer treats when they keep up the pace.  It makes us laugh our heads off to see these cute little wiener dogs just cruising it.

 One of our kitty’s (Tommy) got sick and had to be put down.  (A very sad story... deserves a separate post, really).  But Today we brought home a new kitty from the animal shelter and we named him Mango.  So we have Tango & Mango kitties, and Chloe and Zoey doggies.  Mango is so mild and has adjusted quickly.  Mango is on the left here and Tango is just meeting him and feeling a little apprehensive to have a new kitty in his territory.

It’s amazing how our pets have added to our lives so much and just a little over 3 months ago, we were in another state and had no pets.  Our lives have changed so much.  We really do love it here in Utah.  And..... we are actually set to close on our house within 2 weeks!  It’s taken endless months and countless prayers but it looks like it’s going to really happen.  
I’ve been thinking lately of three “P’s”. 
When I am struggling in any certain area, I usually need to pick up the slack in one of those 3 P’s.  It is extremely applicable to making decisions that affect my health as well.   I am well aware that the adversary is always trying to bring back my old habits, and to get me into negative thinking.  Sometimes we just have to look at how far we’ve come instead of only seeing little progress in the short range.  That is where persistence pays off.
I pray for my blogging friends who may be struggling and discouraged.  I pray that you will find the strength to be persistent and also to be patient with yourself and the results you are going for.
Smile!!  Life is good.  XOXO ~Margene

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Heaven from Down Under!

This week we had a friend visit us from Australia!  It was his first time in America and we were thrilled to show him around.  He also brought gifts:  Cadbury chocolate and other chocolate treats from the land Down Under!!

I looked at Brent and we decided that we'd try a little of this rare treat.  And I have to tell you that I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!!  The choice to eat a bite or two (or three or four) was a conscious decision yet there ARE times when it's overwhelmingly tempting to eat some high calorie unhealthy food placed in front of me without thinking about it.

Here is what I found from my "Habits of Health" that I've adopted.  
It's the STOP, CHALLENGE, and CHOOSE method.

STOP - and think about your goal
CHALLENGE - yourself as to what is more important
CHOOSE - the choice that supports your goal.

This is what I do when I attach a mental picture of myself to every food choice.  One picture is of the morbidly obese me, the other is of the me at my goal weight.  I choose the food that supports that "goal" of my mental picture.  Makes it an easy choice.  (It's hard to rationalize when it's a blatant choice like that)

Dr. Anderson also has these steps to follow:
  1. Identify the foods, situations, and feelings that trigger your bad habits.  Write them down.
  2. Decide that you are going to learn to control them. Only work on one trigger at a time.
  3. Stop, Challenge, Choose
Be conscious that there are always moments of temptation and then the decision will be made. And the decision maker is you.  The choice is yours to make.  It is a great feeling to be in charge of your self and your choices.

This week I made Broiled Tilapia Parmesan and it was pretty good.  I substituted olive oil for the butter and used less and my family enjoyed it.  

Then with our Australian guest, we made taco salad.  I used 93% fat free ground beef mixed with ground turkey for the taco meat.  While our kids used whole grain tortilla shells - we used iceburg lettuce to wrap our taco's in.  Another time we just put it on our bed of lettuce and added some salsa.  Delicious!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weight Loss Story Highlighted on blog

I was recently contacted by Tiffany at Half Their Size and asked to answer some questions about my journey.  She is using this blog to document her own journey as well as highlight stories of those who've lost weight.  I thought that was a great idea for inspiration and encouragement and I was honored that she wanted my story.

Hop on over and check it out and maybe even share your own story!  :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Making Meals

I am actually enjoying getting the hubs back on plan and how it helps me plan the meals and stay on plan myself.  We already know what our parameters are so it's not about tempting ourselves into eating certain foods.  I love that!

Today we did a Costco run and loaded up on lots of great lean meats and healthy veggies.  Our fridge and freezer is stocked and I have several meals I can plan.  I love that I only need to worry about the one meal.

The other day I made a huge batch of our Medifast muffins (that I actually do in a brownie pan) and have them all ready for the hubs.  And I pre-made my puddings (chocolate w/ sf PB syrup and banana w/ sf coconut syrup).  Not that the food need sf syrups, I just have gotten to where I love to explore new flavors. 

Then I made or chocolate peanut butter balls out of the Medifast hot cocoa and using pb2.  Then I freeze them and we pull them out and defrost when we want to eat them.  YUM.  I have that recipe posted in the "Medifast Recipe" tab above.  I love getting all prepared!

Two days ago, I made these egg, cheese and veggie frittatas.  Can you believe one whole pie pan of his is one complete "Lean and Green"?  So yummy, especially with salsa, and so filling.  I made them with 1.5 cups eggbeaters,  small sprinkle of low-fat cheese (1-2 ounces), 1/2 cup zucchini, 1/2 cup mushrooms, garlic powder, s/p -- mix altogether and pour into dish and bake for about 17 minutes at 350.  Eat with salsa.  (Beware, you may not be able to finish it!)

Last night I made Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs from this recipe and it was SOO delish!  I've made this before and was excited to make it again.  I like to use my yogurt based bolthouse ranch dressing because it's so creamy and low in calories and fat.  That rosemary ranch sauce in this recipe is SO good.  I only had zucchini and one bell pepper on hand so those were the veggies I used.  I usually skewer the meats and veggies on different sticks because the meat often takes longer to cook.

     Before baking (we have no grill right now)                      After baking

Today I am happy with myself.  You see, we don't watch TV but we do have Netflix and so I've started watching the "Lost" series.  When I take a break or eat a meal, I'll sit in next to my bed and watch it on our Google TV.  Sometimes I'll sit for 2 episodes - long after my meal is done!  I've been tellling myself that this is not acceptable, so I procured this free used treadmill today and had Brent move the chair next to my bed and  put that treadmill there!  Now, if I want to sit and watch my little TV series, then I've got be walking on that treadmill.  If I want to watch 2 episodes, that's fine, as long as I'm walking on that treadmill!  Yes, it takes up more room and isn't the most decorative, but hey, it gets me moving!  I feel so genius!

So now its Brent who has a chair on his side.  Maybe I should find him a good used Gazelle somewhere and surprise him!!  (tee hee)

And now I leave you with a couple pics of our newest in-house super heroes!  These are our little doxies, Zoey and Chloe, and they really add so much fun and spark to our home! 
Chloe is a little more hesitant about being a hero if you can tell on her face, though.  :)

Have a fabulous, on plan, positive, lots of water drinking weekend!!  XOXO ~Margene
PS - Life is GOOOOOOD!