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)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week 55 - Back Home & Landmark Week!

I lost ONE POUND last week!  Brent stayed the same (hey no gain!!).
This is a landmark week.  Wanna know why?  Because.....

I have now lost ONE HALF of MYSELF!!!
I started at 280 just last Feb. and now I am at 140 - one half of what I used to be.
WOW!  It's just too much fun!!

We drove to Utah this week.  We started late at night and ended up having to get a hotel just an hour or so in because it was snowing too bad to even see.  I was eating some beef jerky which is off plan for me.  When we got to the hotel, for some reason I downed some cottage cheese "dip" with celery even though I'd already had my 6 meals for the day.  I freaked out a little at the hotel thinking I had just thwarted my effort and I was like jogging in place and stretching and trying to burn calories.  Kind of funny, actually.  Something about traveling makes me feel like I can eat a little different.  For the most part, I did NOT eat any different EXCEPT for adding in some beef jerky and eating a bit MORE cottage cheese than was planned.  So I did down water like crazy and really kept my meals up every 3 hours.  I was very happy to see a loss!

In Utah, I went to Costco to see if I could find my "Amylou Caramelized Chicken Onion Burger" which have been discontinued at our Oregon Costco.  I did not find them but I found these:


These are Spinach Cheddar Chicken Patties and they were WAY delish!!  They were in the refrigerator section and are pre-cooked (low carb & high protein).  When we move there, I will be buying some of these.  Brent loved them too!  We ate two patties for our "lean" and a salad for our "green".

We flew home just this morning.  It's my first time on a plane since loosing the bulk of my weight.  You know what?  I didn't have to stretch the seat belt clear to it's end OR ask for an extension.  I even had extra room on my seat belt!  Do you know how amazing and happy that makes me feel?   It is Indescribable, my friends!!!  SO very blessed.  Things like this, make it so worth it to make this change in our lives.

God bless you on your daily journey!  Don't give up, Think Positive, Keep that end result in mind!  Life is GOOD 
xoxoXO ~Margene

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We can finally do this...

It only took 22 years of marriage and now Brent can pick me up like this.

It's so funny because he grabs me now when I least expect it and picks me up and we just laugh.  I love all the new found attention I get from my hubs.  I don't care if we look like immature dorks... I mean, that's what we are so why fight it?  At least we amuse our kids.

It really is a CRAZY week.  Our front room is torn up, and we're leaving for a quick trip to Utah and flying home on Sunday.  Then it's one more week until my hubs is flying out there for work.  We've never been apart for that long.  I feel a little heartache for him already and he's not even gone yet.  And the list of "to do" is so astronomically long.

We had a quick date night last Saturday and went to Panda Express and then a movie.  Here is what we ate:  We both had the steamed veggies, and I had mushroom chicken (on right) and Brent had two other entree's that I can't remember the name of... beef something and spicy chicken.  It was so good.  Higher in calories, I'm sure than our regular lean and greens.
  

A couple other lean and greens this week was:
Costco salmon and salad with Bolthouse Farms yogurt dressing (left).  And 1 Costco chicken patty cut up on salad w/ 2 ounces low fast shredded cheese and Walden Farms dressing (right).
(The lean was split between the cheese and chicken - my hubs loves that)
I LOVE my lean and greens!

We got new Android phones on our T-mobile account and I was up until 4am adding contacts and getting it all set up.  Sheesh... that doesn't help my weight loss!  It's all going to be good and work out.  It'll be fun having all the options and apps on our phones, tho.  I can even post from my phone!   I'm trying not to sweat the small stuff but right now, nothing looks small.  Life is good.  Sending my love and prayers to all my blogger friends!!  XOXO ~Margene

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Week 54 (1 year and 2 weeks into Lifestyle Change)

I lost 3 pounds!!  I am now at 141... so close to the 130's.  Feels SOOO good!!  I remember thinking I'd be happy to just lose 50 pounds or even 100 but to think I've lost 139 just floors me!  I've almost lost 1/2 of myself!  It's so great to know and feel that I can set my ultimate goal and reach it!  I am 6 pounds away from my original goal.

Now, for the frustrating part.  Brent has really been on plan this week, stayed away from soda, worked out at the gym, and even downed 144 ounces a water a day and still he showed a 2 pound gain!  I am really stumped.  I know he is discouraged.  My thought is that it must be his STRESS that is sabotaging his weight loss.  There's no reason his weight shouldn't be falling off him.  When we first started, his stress wasn't as bad as it is right now.  It's like his body reacts to stress without him even thinking stressful thoughts.  Somehow, he is internalizing it maybe.  We are still praying and searching for an answer to this... daily!

 
Wearing my "big" jacket which just a few months ago barely fit! 
The countdown is on until he's gone and today we've been going through our boxes and storage again and downsizing.  Brent has our front room all set up for labeling and organizing.  It is more laborious than I thought.  I hope I don't regret throwing away some of the stuff I am but it's all part of the process.  Boy, have we downsized a ton in the last 2-3 years.  It's all good, though.  It's about prioritizing and realizing what is most important.  I've enjoyed reading so many other blogs on healthy journeys and I actually enjoyed the opportunity to pray for my fellow travelers.  So many of you are going through hard times and really difficult situations.  My heart truly goes out to each of you.  We've got to hang on and know that we are watched over and loved.  Life is good and we CAN do this!!  Much love XOXO ~ Margene

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday!!

Today, Brent has work off!! Yay, it was a "flex week".  Last night after the kids went to bed, we slipped off to the gym together for a small work out.  It felt good.  I was using weights while I walked on the treadmill working my arms... I've got a lot of flab on them to tighten up.  Working out with some great tunes on the Ipod makes all the difference!  I was walking and dancing and closing my eyes while lip syncing... so glad it was late and not many people were there!  I really want to try a Zumba class sometime.

I feel like every moment with my man is precious right now.  In just a couple weeks, he will be gone to start work in Utah.  We watched "Red" last night all cuddled up.  I am going to miss that.  We'll have Skype and unlimited cell phone minutes between us but.... nothing beats physical contact!  I am also trying to get his "lean and green" meals easy for him to make himself and have him set up for success.  He's excited to take his bike and hit the gym there in Utah.  He'll be able focus on his own health more and maybe this is what will help him conquer his stress (as long as he doesn't spend all the time worrying about me!).

This whole new adventure seemed so right, but as it gets closer and we realize everything involved and what all we're leaving behind, we sure hope we're doing the right thing!  Taking that leap of Faith.... again!  I have a friend who has told me more than once that we can still change our minds... that we've already uprooted our kids in our move last October... do we really want to uproot again and to another state?  Her words have actually brought me down a bit.  It's not that she even seeks out my friendship or would miss me but she is just responding to her own kids who will miss our kids.  She is responding as a mom.  We are doing what we feel would be best for our kids.  This whole move is more about our kids future than us.  They are everything to us!  The Lord knows what's best and He knows the future so we are trying to put our Trust in Him.  It is scary... as I'll be moving to an area where I'll know no one and be starting literally from scratch!  But we do have family in Utah and there are a lot of things we are looking forward to.

Anyways... enough rambling this morning.  I am hoping for a good weigh-in tomorrow.  We've been on plan all week... except for making some more Zucchini chips last night and we just couldn't stop.  They are so addictive and yummy.  Way better than potato chips!  Hope our work out helped... how much can zucchini hurt anyway?  :)  Life is good!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Renewed Effort

Brent has really been making a renewed effort these last few days stickin' to plan and downing water like a maniac.  He's really been kicking it up.  We went to the gym last night and he worked it good.  I hope he see's a loss on Saturday morning for all his hard work.

I made him his favorite yesterday:
Cauliflower breadsticks again.  SOOO good!

Today, when Brent came home from work, he loved my outfit and wanted to take some pics.  I love it most when he notices, ya know!  I look like I have a weird expression and I'm standing weird but this is the first time I'm wearing layers.  Still strange to realize this is me!
Sticking ON PLAN and drinking the H2O!!
Who's with me?  Let's make it a great weekend!!
Life is good!!  XOX ~Margene

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet Valentine's

Happy Valentine's Day!!
I hope you are feeling loved.
Brent gave me a stuffed bear, feather rose, and red blanket and nice card for Valentine's day.  It was sitting on my desk when I got home from my meeting last night.  Sweetie!  I noticed that he chose the exact same bear he got for me last year!  I looked at this pic from last year and it seems like a lifetime ago.

Valentine's 2010

Valentine's 2011

My Eagle Son (love saying that) surprised me today as well with a big bear and a bouquet of flowers.  How sweet was that?  I feel very blessed with the men in my life.  Sending my love to you as well... XOXO ~Margene

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 53 - I survived!

I literally have not had two minutes to myself until just this moment since I last posted!  It's been crazy.  Mostly good crazy.  I lost 3 pounds!!!  Brent gained 2 pounds.  (bummer).  So net loss is 1 pound, I guess. I am less than 10 pounds from goal!  Woo Hoo!

First of all, my son's Eagle Court of Honor was FANTASTIC!  Over 130 people showed up to support him.  Wow!  Two of Brent's three brothers were in town and came, as well as his father - who is my son's only living grandparent.  That was pretty sweet.  And also Brent's sister from Arizona was in town and my oldest brother came as well as my nephew and his family from Washington.  We had wonderful family support there.  I even gave a mothers tribute speech!  I tell ya, I prayed long and hard not to be nervous, and I wasn't.  I was able to just focus on what I wanted to say about and to my son.  I got to put his Eagle pin on his scout shirt and it felt pretty good.  So proud of him because I know what it took for him to earn that!  After we got it all cleaned up - my girls and I even got to run to a late movie with some friends.  That was nice to relax and let the boys take everything home and unload.

Then last night, Brent and I DJ'd  an adult valentine's dance.

As you can see by the picture, I brought our lean and green and we stayed ON PLAN even when working.  It was Hawaiian theme and they were serving pulled pork and haystacks with white rice and lots of cake and fondue.  We didn't touch any of it but enjoyed our own food.  Felt good, ya know!


Here's a lean and green I had this week.  A Morningstar Garden burger with sauteed mushrooms and red peppers and 3/4 cup cottage cheese (my lean was split between the cottage cheese and garden burger).  And on the right are zucchini chips!!  Wow, I love these even MORE than Kale Chips.  So good!  I got the recipe from Sandy's Blog here!  I took them with me to the movie as my snack and loved them!

Thanks for the wonderful comments on my last post.  I really appreciated every single one of them.  It's weird because I know we have such wonderful support (like at the court of honor)... but so often I struggle feeling completely alone and friendless.  I struggle with how I perceive things and really wish I could get a break from it.  I am so thankful that Brent is there to stick by me and comfort me in all my fluctuating emotions.  Life is so good, ya know?!!  Take care my friends XOXO ~Margene

Friday, February 11, 2011

Big Weekend

Today is the night of my son's Eagle Court of Honor and there is SO much to do and set up.  There is even family that will happen to be in town which will be SO fabulous to have there.  I think I have everything ready... and I know it will turn out wonderful.  I finished the video presentation of his scouting life complete with the audio comments of many of his scout leaders through the years.  I've got his items to display, refreshments arranged, decorations ready to load, sound system already there, people hopefully scheduled to help, my own outfit picked out with eagle earrings, boys scout shirts washed & pressed, etc.  I am just feeling a little down right now.  I am plagued with painful thoughts... I don't even want to write them down or acknowledge them because they are probably not true, but it feels true.  I know I've said it before, but I am missing my mom and dad today.  Today is one of those days I would love to share with them and have them see their grandson.  I can be honest I wish I could feel their love as well.

In a few months we will be moving from here.  My hubs will even start sooner than that and be gone from us for a while.  It's going to be a crazy 6 months or more.  People are starting to learn that we are moving and pretty soon it'll be like "You're still here?  I thought you were moving?"  Anyway... I've got to get my head in the game right now... no time for emotional blog posts, even though that is how I'm feeling.

Tomorrow is weigh-in and I'm hoping for a big loss.... we'll see.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Today... food and shopping!

Today I treated myself to a little shopping.  In anticipation of our tax return in a few days and with the fact that I don't have many clothes my actual size I slipped out today to a couple of stores and got a few things to wear.  How fun!  I found a size 10 denim skirt on sale.  My only other skirt is size 16 and I've been wearing it for a few months.  And I finally got a few size 10 pants!  I am going to get rid of all my size 14 and up - many I've only worn once, but since I'm not going to ever go that direction, I might as well get them out of my house.
My shopping haul!
I also got a couple pair of leggings - which I love wearing around the house or even to bed.  I find that I like pants that are more like skinny jeans all the way to the ankle.  They just are so comfy.  Whenever I try on the flared jeans, I just can't stand them.  It's fun for me to even realize that I have likes and dislikes in clothes.  I have been subject for so many years to whatever the huge plus size styles were and mostly just stretchy pants.  I love jeans!  I even tried on a couple dresses that I liked but I was trying not to splurge too much.  This is so much fun!!


Tonight, Brent and I had the same thing we had last night... taco salad.  I used extra lean ground beef and ground turkey breast simmered in a light taco seasoning (and sprinkled with some low fat cheese) on a crunchy salad with some Walden Farms bacon & ranch dressing.  Very satisfying.  I really want to drop some pounds this month so let's see if I can be strictly on plan and increase my exercise!  Gotta do it!  So many of my blogger friends just haul butt and really get their work outs in.  I need to step it up and at least get some consistent walking in.  Thanks for all your inspiration and encouragement.  Let's do this!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Year - Pictures!!!








These pictures say a thousand words!  Others may forget how big I was, but I will ALWAYS remember and NEVER go back!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Week 52 ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Weigh-in today showed that I got 1 pound off my body this last week and Brent stayed the same.

This week marks our one year anniversary since starting this lifestyle change  Wow, a whole year and it's like our lives have changed 10 years worth!  Just think if we would have put off this change... how crappy and miserable we'd still be feeling.  Life is hard enough with out weight and health issues!

And NOW....  another big change is happening this year, as if 2010 didn't bring us enough changes (albeit good but you know how change can be hard).  We are going to be buying a home. Yay!  Huge Blessing! That is one of our goals this year.  AND... We will be MOVING - again!  But this time it's not just a couple miles away but a couple states away.  We are moving to UTAH!!  (this summer)  It's like I've had constant butterflies in my stomach the last few days (since the job situation fell into place and this became a reality) as I've been thinking about all we need to do and the impact of leaving our beloved Oregon and friends!  Yes, it is an adventure and it's exciting... and I need to get over my fear of the craziness and just embrace it!  I need to NOT feel like I'm losing everything we have here, and that's so hard for me!

It's all good (right?) ... Yes, it is!!

And, this week we are having our son's Eagle Court of Honor.  This apparently is no small event.  It almost compares to planning a small wedding reception in it's time and complexity.  I'm excited for him.  He worked so hard and It will be wonderful to see him "pinned" with his Eagle badge.  Another treat for mom.

So the test is to stay on plan and still reach our goal by the end of February.  I can see when I am not as strict on plan because my weight loss goes to zero or 1 pound.  When I follow the plan, it's always 2-4 pound a week gone.  I need to kick it up a notch!  Especially if I want to go for that Medifast "Happy After" contest!!

The Lords Hand has been apparent in our lives as we have been seeking direction.  I know it requires me to be patient and TRUST HIM.  I am learning... slowing... but learning.  Above all I feel so happy and so thankful to have lost the weight I have.  Every SINGLE day, I find things that are easier and I feel SO much better!  I never thought I would do this or lose all this weight.  I really never imagined I'd be where I am now in size 10.  It's unreal.  I feel SO humbled and thankful!!  Here I am 42 years old and I am finally ready for life!  I'm ready to let go of all the bad and just embrace the good.  Why has it taken me so long?  Better late than never, I suppose.  Life is good, my friends!  Take care XOXOX ~Margene

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

17 years ago...

...Today was when my father passed away... peacefully in our home from cancer.  He was an amazing man and left a legacy of strength, faith, and obedience.  I miss him.  It would have been fun for him to be alive and see me now.  I am the baby of 7 children and my dad always called me his "little one".  Funny that I got obese and did not feel like his little one... but now, I wouldn't mind hearing him call me that!

Brent is really going through some big time stress these last few days... to where he is in survival mode and not really keeping up with his eating every 3 hours like he should.  He's living on his diet soda for coping.  I have faith that we WILL find the answer to conquering his stress... just wish it would be sooner than later.

Last night was a little hard for me emotionally.  I see that I go through the same patterns in my thoughts and  I work SO HARD to overcome them.  Only God knows how hard it is for me and how hard I work at it.  I was telling Brent how cool it would be right now if my mom was alive... how I would love to hang out with her, call her on the phone, go shopping with her, learn from her... how I miss her and that unconditional love!

We have so many opportunities for growth and there are exciting things on our horizon... it's still a trek to get there.  I am fighting thoughts of feeling alone.  So many situations in my life have led me to believe that I am too much for people... that they only want me in small doses.  But I know that may be a lie and that my Savior loves me and He misses me - and He's the creator of this earth so that says something.

Sticking on plan, praying for the hubs, and looking at a bright future.  Life is good!
My Dad & Me when I was 11 at a "Daddy Daughter Date"