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, March 27, 2011

Week 59 - or should I say Week 1?

It's been 59 weeks since we started our journey to better health and it's also week 1 since meeting my own goal.  I am happy to report that I have maintained my goal for a week now!  Woo Hoo!  Brent has also maintained where he is at as well.
My younger son took this picture yesterday - I actually like this it!  Imagine that!

BUT... yesterday I did go off plan quite a bit for the first time in over a year!  It was sort of planned.  It started out with having a taste of my daughters nacho's.  I had two round corn chips with melted cheese all over them.  Wow, taste explosion for me.... making me want more.  But I was in control.  Next it was the tasting tables at Costco...  I did NOT taste the chocolate cake as that is a huge weakness of mine.  But I did taste several other things that I'm sure racked up 200 or more calories.  But it was fun to be able to do that!

A few hours later, I was at a Young Women church broadcast with my daughters where a dinner was served.  I decided before hand that I would eat whatever was served as my "lean and green".  This is the FIRST time I didn't just prepare before hand.  They served a pasta chicken salad and white dinner rolls.  I haven't had pasta in a LOOOONG time.  There were bits of pineapple in it as well.  It all tasted so good... me not having carbs to that degree in a long time.  They had these little cups of cashew nuts and I was mesmerized by how yummy they were.... AND, they had little Hershey "treasures" chocolate and I had all 3 of mine.  I enjoyed every bit of everything while trying NOT to feel guilty.  It's really hard in some ways to not feel like I am sabotaging myself even though I was in complete control.  I did NOT have the cupcakes that were passed around as dessert, tho.  Yay for me on that.

When I came home, I nibbled on some beef jerky (another fav of mine) for a while until I asked my daughter to hide those Costco size beef jerky bags from me.  I ended my day with some knox blox.  I'm guessing I had somewhere between 1600 to 2000 calories yesterday... hopefully not more.  I wanted to go work out at the gym but didn't get my son to go with me and so I didn't go.  I consider this a little adventure and I'm going back on plan strictly on Monday.  Why Monday?  Because today I am fasting.  I haven't fasted since I started this journey and I really miss my monthly fasts... it's fast sunday and I want to fast with my children and it's a fast and prayer with a purpose.  I really have missed that... so that's another treat for me.

Brent and I are really missing each other... it is way hard to be apart.  I think we miss each others hugs the most!  When he hugs me... it just fills my buckets right up... feels so good when I'm in his arms and he can wrap them around me so easily now.  And I know he is struggling being away from us and from the back rubs I give him to help relieve his stress.  I wish I was there with him right now!  But the Lord is surely blessing us.
Thought I'd post these pics of me and Brent when he was here.  Sure miss my man!  Miss those hugs!

The other day, the tie rod of our suburban "Max" broke off and made Max undriveable.  That is my only means of transportation for me and the kids.  And money is more than tight.  Yet somehow I found an inexpensive tow and was able to get it fixed in just one day with a total cost less than $150 (including the tow).  I KNOW the Lord's hand was at work for us.  He has not abandoned us.  I feel so grateful for that.  So we try to focus on our tasks at hand and serving where we can.  Serving always helps when you feel down!

I haven't posted pics of my food lately so here is a catch up.

Applebee's steak w/ broccoli.   Garlic seasoned baked chicken with salad (I found some frozen pre-seasoned chicken breasts at Win-co - so it was easy to just bake and serve)
Our Cheesecake Factory lunches:
Chicken wraps you make yourself!  So good.  Chicken salad (chicken is underneath you can't see) with a light vinaigrette dressing... this was amazingly so tasty, I ate every last bite!

This is a baked flounder Recipe I got from here... and adjusted is for my lean and green.  I baked it atop of red peppers and mushrooms with light mexican blend cheese.  It was good.
On the left I had a Morningstar garden burger w/ sauteed veggies and 3/4 cup low fat cottage cheese.  On the right is a pre-marinated & seasoned salmon baked (from Costco) and salad.

Take care, my friends!  Life is good!!  XOXO ~Margene

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Week 58 - Did I reach goal YET???

First of all, I want to give my sincerest gratitude to everyone who watched and commented on the video I made (posted below).  I’ve been very touched and overwhelmed with each person’s words of sharing in my joy, relating to my journey, and feeling inspired for their own journey.  I cry every time I watch it still - and when reading your comments!!  Thank you! 

Next big new is:  I reached my goal weight on Sunday!!!  I lost 4 pounds and that is 145 pounds less of me!  I am now 135 pounds!  I’m very excited!  It's quite surreal.  The hubs has maintained his weight this week so that is good.

So what now?   I have a plan already.  I am by no means done.  My plan is to continue the 5 and 1 eating plan through this month.  Then, in April, I will begin the transition plan which will last 4 months.  This plan will have me gradually add in a few food items.  
First Wk:        5 medifast meals
(add veggies)    1 lean & green
1 additional cup vegetables
2nd Wk:          4 medifast meals
(Fruits) 1 lean & green
1 additional cup vegetables
1 medium-size fruit OR 1/2 cup cubed fruit or berries   (WAHOO!!!)
3rd Wk: 4 medifast meals
(Dairy) 1 lean & green
1 additional cup vegetables
1 medium-size fruit OR 1/2 cup cubed fruit or berries   (WAHOO!!!)
1/2 cup low fat or fat free dairy  (COOL!!)
4th Wk +: 3 medifast meals
(Whole Grains)    1 lean & green
1 additional cup vegetables
Additional 4-6 oz. of meat / protein
2 medium-size fruit OR 1 cup cubed fruit or berries   (WAHOO!!!)
1 cup low fat or fat free dairy  (COOL!!)
1 serving of whole grain  (AWESOME!!)


By the end of July, I should be done with my Transition and then I will go into Maintenance.  This is where I will really gauge the calories I need to maintain my weight.  I really like the ideas I’ve gleaned from Suzi at her “My daily Nosh” blog where she posts pics of her meals.  Love it!  Her whole grain waffles look to die for!  And I love how she has berries and nuts.  I’ve learned the key is to have a plan and stick to it!  I also love to get ideas from Karla at “My Daily Thoughts”.  It gives me great visuals for ideas for how I would like to eat when I am out of “weight loss” mode and just wanting to eat good and healthy!  I still am sold on the idea of eating every 3 hours, and I will still suppliment with the Medifast food for meals here and there as it is so healthy, nutritious, and good!

NOW - A Quick recap of the last few days:
Thursday night, I had just finished DJing a wedding and was home at 12:30 am when Brent called.  I totally missed him and was excited to have him fly home the next night.  I was telling him how much I missed his hugs.  We chatted a bit and then he said to come to the front door.  He was THERE at the door!!! He had flown home a day early and surprised me.  BEST SURPRISE EVER!  Kids were in bed... just me and him.  Seriously could NOT stop hugging him.  We spent Friday together.  He made me my medifast waffles all 3 mornings he was home... SO good.  We went shopping and to lunch on Friday and spent the evening home with the kids playing games.
Saturday we went and had a massage together!  How cool is that?  We had a gift card to use which was nice.  My first professional massage ever.  Felt so good.  Then we went roller skating as a family and had invited friends too!  We skated for 3 hours.  (I think angels hang out at skating rinks!!  I don't remember how many falls I avoided)  That was so fun!!  Then later that night, we put on the music and DJ for a church youth dance that our 3 teens attended.  It was a soc hop - we even got them doing the bunny hop!  It was a blast!  We were so tired by the end.
Sunday after church I took him to the airport and dropped him off, only to find later, that all the flights were full (he had a stand by ticket)... so we rented a car and drove all the way straight through to Utah!!  That was last minute random!  Made it in 12 hours.  Good thing it was spring break for the kiddos.  

That did give us one more day together and that was fabulous (although Brent was feeling a little under the weather - hope he gets to recoup!).  I flew home this morning and here I am.  I am so thankful for my life right now... all the hard times and all the sweet times... it’s not so much what happens, it’s more about how we handle it.  I feel more capable and committed to handle obstacles with a smile (if I can) - because Life is So GOOD!!  XOXO ~Margene

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Mid-Week Work Out

I just got back from the gym and it's 12:40 am.  I'm so glad I went.  I walked for 2 miles on the treadmill at an incline of 5 and speed of 3.5, and cycled over 3 miles on the bike over "hills"... that was a killer!  I love the feel of that burn in my legs!  I had a lady take picture so I could prove to Brent I was there (not that he wouldn't have believed me, tho lol)


I've been staying up too late with him gone... but I am trying not to.  Yet I can feel that we are being blessed.  I am feeling so thankful tonight... for my kids, for this time I have with them to bond a little more as a "single" parent.  I'm thankful for the support I feel while my husband is gone, and for the sweet spirit in our home.  I'm thankful for my opportunities to serve that help me think outside myself and bring me joy.  I am thankful for my dear friends... in the real world and in blog land.  My relationships are my driving force in life and what I cherish the most and I am so grateful for loving family and friends!

I am so thankful to those who rejoice with me in coming out of my "prison" of obesity and who listen, tolerate and empathize in all the incredible discoveries of my journey.  The year 2010 up till now has been the most dramatic experiences in my entire 42 years of mortal life!  It's like bringing that Iron Curtain down.  I feel humbled and thankful to have such a blessing and to be working to free myself from the thoughts of self-loathing that have bound me for SO LONG!

I've been listening to a favorite song called "Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone" and it certainly feels like my personal theme song with this journey of losing my weight and gaining my self-worth!  I love the chorus when they sing:  "My chains are gone, I've been set free.  My God, My Savior has ransomed me.  And like a flood, His mercy reins, unending love, Amazing Grace."  It brings tears to my eyes every time.  I feel like I have been ransomed!

Brent comes home this weekend.  I am more than a little excited to see him.  It's only for 2 days... but boy, are we going to make the most of those 2 days!!  Life is GOOD!!   XOXO ~Margene

PS - Wouldn't it be So cool if I reached my goal this weekend??  I am trying SO hard to be strictly on plan... I wavered a little yesterday by eating a little beef jerky but working it out today!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Week 57 - A Little Reflections

Howdy friends!

Well, I have tried to be strict this week.  I struggled w/ cravings this week and I'm pretty sure they were emotionally driven.  I did stay on plan, though, that is mostly.  Yesterday I had a fabulous lunch date with a friend and when they brought out my chicken salad, the chicken wasn't just grilled but was in a sauce.  I know it was carb filled and higher calories than I needed but I ate every last bite!  So, knowing this, I made myself go to the gym last night and did a little work out before weigh in this morning.

I lost 1 pound!!  I'll take that.  Only FOUR pounds until goal!!  I am in the 130's now... and I have NO MEMORY of ever being int the 130's before.  It's very cool and unbelievable.  And my hot lover has reported a loss as well... now it may be because it's a Utah scale but we will take it.  He lost 5 pounds!!!  Woo Hoo.  He's been working out almost every day!

It's been fun to Skype every evening.  Doesn't feel like he's that far away when we do.  I love seeing his smile!  I'm sure no one wants to read the depth of how much I love and miss my man but I'll just say it's quite a bit!
I was thinking yesterday about how Brent is gone and my thought process started to go down that “feel sorry for myself” mode when I stopped for a second and thought “I don’t have to think like this!  Why do I need to focus on this when there is so much good to focus on?”  I can change my emotions by changing my thought process!  So I started repeating to myself all the good things and huge blessings I have.  And you know what?  It was A LOT!!  I have absolutely NO REASON to complain but every reason to REJOICE!  The biggest reason being having lost the weight I have and transforming my life around.  Which is something I never dreamed would happen.  So when a dream comes true, we celebrate it.  We thank God for it.  We never forget it.  We don’t just find something new to feel bad about!!  Unless that is, we are so used to feeling bad that we just want to.  It’s like we get used to nursing “old wounds” even after they are mostly healed... we fuss over them so they don’t quite heal... because what would we do if we couldn’t fuss over them?
I am wanting to keep my life REAL.  If I have a problem or weakness... I don’t want to ignore it or pretend it’s not there.  I want to realize it, attack it, and eradicate it!!  It is and has been my greatest desire to be a happy, positive, energetic person!  I want to be one of those kinds of women and moms who you feel edified and energized to be around.  I love being around people like that.  I won’t get there until I can consistently change my thought process and I know I can do that with my Saviors help.  He has blessed me so much and shown His power in my life already.  

If you are reading this and struggling in your life... Hold on with all your might!  Do not give up!  Know that you are loved EVEN when you don't feel it!  You are!   And you are watched over and tenderly cared for more than you realize.  Smile and count your blessings - it helps you feel better!!!  Life is SO GOOD!!  XOXO ~Margene

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Week 56 - Confessions of an irresponsible mother!!

Yesterday was our first full day without Brent here.  So, according to our pre-arranged plans, we "skyped" our family scripture study with him after dinner.  Okay, this was cool... except as one person was reading - everyone else was making faces through the camera and being completely irreverent... or I should say - Me and Brent were were doing this.  What kind of example were we setting in showing reverence for the "Holy Writ"?  We are bad!  Bad, Bad Bad!!

But if that isn't shocking enough... Last night as the kids were going to bed, I was feeling antsy.  This is the time I usually hang out or do something with my man.  I hadn't even left my house yesterday.  I thought about going to the gym and asked my oldest son to go with me (he has a membership), but he declined.  So, I ended up taking my daughter and we went shopping at Wal-mart (which was the only store open that late).  We left at like 11:30pm and got home just before 2:00 AM... ON A SCHOOL NIGHT! 

((((( Pausing for gasps of horror to subside)))))

What kind of mother takes her almost-straight-A child and keeps her up until ALL HOURS goofing off in a store that is completely deserted except for night stalkers... STALKERS! (see how bad that is)...  This is the kind of mother that people go "tsk tsk..." whilst they shake their heads in disapproval!  This was me!!  Oh where is my sense of respect for a good nights sleep and teaching my children self-discipline?

But dang, we had fun!!


Yes, we feel pretty cool in those ICarly and Tinkerbell sunglasses!

We loaded up a cart FULL of clothes to try on, only to find out the the changing room was closed for the night (it was 12:30 am at the time).  So we pulled our pathetic, sad, little faces while we looked at our cart full of clothes and they let us in to try on anyway.  We tried on like 20 articles of clothes each and then perused the store for other treasures.  I got a couple Blu-ray movies to surprise my son (Mega Mind and Despicable Me).  I totally spent money we didn't have.  I was so irresponsible!!

But at least I didn't binge or eat off plan!!!

Speaking of Plans... BOTH Brent and I STAYED the same weight - no gains or losses from the last week.  So now.... GAME ON.  I've got to get my last 5 pounds off SOON so I can enter that contest...  Oh, and because I just want to reach goal.... BUT I REALLLY want to enter that Medifast "Happy Afters" contest!

So, today is a new day.  Today I will be responsible.  Today I will NOT let my kids or myself get away with murder anymore.  I am the adult!  (I will be repeating this to myself all day).  LIFE IS GOOD!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

If ever I've been in the mood for COMFORT FOOD...

It is right now!!

Just a bit ago, I said goodbye to Brent at the airport before he left for Utah.  I seriously did NOT want to let him go... I have such a lump in my throat.  So much for feeling strong.  I haven't felt as tempted to just curl up with a bunch of high carby foods and eat my way into a forgetful bliss in a long time...



It reminds me of 25 years ago when I said goodbye to him when he left to serve his 2 year mission for our church.  That was the hardest day of my life - and we weren't even married yet!  This won't be two years but.... just a little dejavu feeling.

BUT - we had a wonderful day yesterday at the coast!  Stayed in a fabulous house... and the sky was sunny, the beach beautiful (still cold 'cause it's Oregon), hit the outlet stores, dinner and games with friends, hot tub!  It was pretty wonderful!
 I got a new hat.

AND - I avoided all this junk food at the Beach Retreat!  I'm pretty sure I was the only one... but that's okay, I shared my knox blox and zucchini chips and had a great time!  And I have to give credit to several sisters who DID bring healthy snacks... see the salad and there was a veggie tray and nuts.  It was actually healthier foods than our last retreat!!


Yay me... I stayed on plan.  I don't know if I lost any weight this week, though.  I will weigh in tomorrow.  Got lots to do and focus on... I will try not to be a wimp w/ the hubs not here.  I already miss the guy!!  Will be hugging my pillow tight tonight.  Life is good!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

And for the weekend...

It's going to be an eventful, fun, exciting, and a little heartbreaking weekend!

First of all, there is a "Beach Retreat" this weekend with the ladies from my church.  I am really looking forward to it.  The second night of the retreat, Brent will be bringing the family and we will stay as a family that night.  Then on Sunday, we'll head to church and then straight to the airport where Brent will be flying to Utah to start his job on Monday.  Am I the only one who thinks that is crazy?  I choose not to face Brent leaving yet and I am concentrating on the Beach Retreat.

You see, there is going to be LOTS of junk food there.  Here is the picture from the last retreat in 2009:


I am 5 pounds from goal right now.  What would you do if you faced a table of food like that - AND you hadn't eaten anything like that for over a year?  Would you feel entitled?  Would you feel that you earned a little break?  Would you feel like you could help yourself to celebrate your 140 lbs of weight loss?

Honestly, I have NOT allowed myself to think that while I've been in "weight loss" mode because I am all or nothing here.  So I have got to BE STRONG and NOT GIVE IN to that food.  I will probably be the ONLY ONE out of over 30 women, who will be trying to NOT eat junky, fattening, and sugary snacks.  I've done this before, but it does get tiring to be the ONLY ONE, ya know!  I want a bestie!!! I want a friend who will stand by me and relate to me!!  I feel so alone sometimes!!  (okay, now back to my post...)

BUT - It certainly has paid off and it WILL pay off when I reach goal and enter the Medifast "Happy Afters" contest.  I cannot tell you how badly I really want to win (there will be 10 winners).  It would be the coolest thing ever!!  I am trying not to get too excited or think about it because it will make my disappointment so huge if I don't win.  That's a set back for being as intense and "all or nothing" as I am... huge highs and huge lows!

So my plan at the beach is to have my medifast food and lean and green food available and then LOTS of my sugar free knox blox!  I made several batches.  I've got:

1. Strawberry / Banana / Coconut knox blox
2. Raspberry knox blox
3. Orange / Mango / Coconut knox blox
4. Cherry / Licorice knox blox

I will bring them and share and focus on games and NOT food.  Weigh in is Saturday... maybe I should bring my scale? Oh, and guess what?  There is a HOT TUB there.  I am so excited to sit in it because I've been so cold and dreaming of that.  So of course, I had to go get a new swim suit.  The last new suite I got was back in October - size 16.  Guess what size I fit into now?  Size 8-10!!  Oh my gosh...is that crazy or what?

Seriously... if I had money right now, I could totally become a major shop-a-holic... because now I actually CAN shop in the normal stores. I still freak out and feel like I'm in a dream state. Surely everyone around me will get tired of me and how this is all so new to me.  Life is just so dramatically different and it's so good!!  I want everyone who is suffering w/ weight health-issues and pains - and especially morbid obesity like I have to feel this much better!!  Life can be so much better and it's so good!   XOXOxo ~Margene