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)

Friday, July 29, 2011

For the first time...


I made knox blox here in my new house in Utah.  Yay.  I guess that really solidify’s our move; I’ve made my mainstay snack.  Not only that, but there was a women’s church activity last night and I took my knox blox as one of the desserts.  I had peach/banana flavor and raspberry/huckleberry flavor.  They were enjoyed.  My first social function and it wasn’t too bad.  I was mostly by myself smiling at everyone but I did meet a lady who has done a triathlon and who goes running 3x a week.  Bingo!  Possible running partner.  She also goes about 3 miles which is about what I’m at so that might work out good.  I am a little bummed that I can’t find any group that plays basketball.  I am really gonna miss that!!
Yesterday I went running again in the morning.  This time I took some Advil before running and said several prayers that my knee would last a little longer.  I was able to run for 35 minutes!!  My knee was strained but not too bad.  Although, my leg muscles are very sore today, I’m glad I went again. 
My daughter and I went for a bike ride last night again.  I showed her the cool trails that we had discovered the night before.  I think I got her hooked because she kept wanting to go over a series of small dirt hills all rolled together.  Wickedly fun.  She said “Wow, mom, we’re so dangerous!”  It was so fun and the evening air was cool and great smelling!  We rode clear to the foot of one of the mountains and looked back for a great view of the homes in the valley.  
Food wise, I haven’t been keeping strict tract of myself but I have been generally working on eating lots of fruits and veggies.  For snacks I am loving cashews, fresh pineapple, red peppers, celery, bananas and beef jerky.  I am excited to be making some great overall changes to my family’s eating habits.  There is still lots of room for improvement.  We make lots of salads.  I hope to have a garden next year.  


And next on the horizon is getting 1 or 2 kittens!!!  Then in a month or two, we want to get 1 or 2 miniature dachshunds!  How cool is that gonna be!!  We have waited YEARS to get pets.  And who knows... maybe we'll eventually get chickens and goats and who knows what else?
I hope you are having a great on-plan day, making healthy choices and being kind to yourself and those around you.  You are worth it!  Life is good!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I never knew...

That I loved nature SOO much!!  There is something about bringing my eating into harmony with how God would want me to eat and being able to enjoy all of His creations.  When I was heavy, I don’t remember loving the outdoors or smelling that fresh air or noticing the intricate beauty of trees and mountains!  I feel like I can’t get enough of it now!
To rewind back a bit... these last few days have been hard.  Brent has gone back to work and I don’t know a single soul here.  There is so much to do and I find myself sleeping in way late & my kids do too.  I’ve layed in bed early in the mornings thinking to myself that I should go run.  I haven’t run since well before my move and I have been eating extra calories.  I need to get more active!  But I find reasons to lay in bed and rest or think and procrastinate my mornings away.  BUT today, I got up and went running!  Yay me!  I ran for 20 minutes until my knee started hurting.  I will need to build it up again so I’ll take it easy and not push it.  It was a nice run and I enjoy seeing my thin shadow on the pavement.  It still surprises me that it’s my shadow!  Brent and I are thinking about running another 5K in August here in Utah.  That would be our first 5k running together if we do!
Then tonight, my girls had a church activity so me and the boys had a delicious dinner of salad and tai peanut chicken.  There was a loud thundering and lightening storm around dinner time with a major downpour of rain.  After that was all done, we went for a bike ride.  WOW!  Pictures just can’t do justice to the beauty here.  We live in our own valley with surrounding majestic mountain ranges and amazing sunsets.  There are gravel and dirt trails all over along with paved trails.  There are fields of wheat and bushes of mint and all kinds of yummy smells.  

 We had so much fun exploring for several miles around our house and naming the dirt roads our own names so we can refer to them later.  I could explore those trails for hours on end and never get bored!


Today was a good day.  
Next, I hope to get my kids signed up for school and pray that they will find good friends - kindred spirit friends.  And I may slip a few prayers in there that I will find some too!  
Life is good!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Yay... I have internet again!

It’s been two weeks since I last posted and it feels like months!  I write from a new place.  A new home, new state, new climate, a new outlook...  but before I share that, I’ll rewind just a week ago today when Brent flew into Oregon. 
We knew with our move that our work was cut out for us, so we snuck out to the midnight showing of the last Harry Potter movie!  It did not disappoint!
Then the next two days we spent loading and preparing to move.  Not to brag... but... I had everything boxed and even all the shelving in our garage taken down and ready for my man to load.  I was aiming to impress and I did!  We hoped to fit everything into the biggest moving van we could get, and much to our disappointment it did NOT fit.  So I ran off to rent a trailer to tow behind our suburban and then our stuff still did NOT fit.  So we packed our suburban full tilt and still we had to leave stuff behind and just give it away.  Be the end of Saturday night, I was too exhausted to even feel emotional about it.  I left my Dyson vacuum!  (I made such a fuss just to get one a few years ago).  Drat.
Okay... moving on (no pun intended)... after a glorious nights sleeps at our friends home - who had our whole family over for a dinner and relaxing sleep - we left the next evening after last minute details and attending church.  So we drove away from our church parking lot with some of our kid's friends waving us farewell.   What an epic way to leave!
Brent drove that huge moving truck and I followed in our suburban towing the trailer.  Every time he swerved, I was calling him on the cell phone asking him if he was fully awake! I got a little paranoid... oops!  We stopped only for gas and restroom and to down our 5-hour energy drink. 

I went through a whole box of tissues on the way as I felt myself getting sick.  It helped that we (my daughter & I) listened to the Dramatized New Testament on CD the whole way - which was awesome.  We made it to our new home in 16 hours - and on my 43rd birthday.  Happy Birthday Me!  BTW - our new home is in UTAH (sorry I didn't include that before:)
We’ve moved 11 times in our 22 years of marriage... and this was our hardest move ever.  But having said that, this was also the move that I have been up for the most physically!  I even surprised myself that I didn’t run out of energy and could last for as long as I did and do as much as I did!  I know it’s having that weight off that has made the difference.  I am SO thankful for that.  
Every day so far, after unpacking and cleaning, I go out for a bike ride and I am just loving the little paths I’m finding.  There isn’t the green tree’s and foliage from Oregon, but there are amazing mountains and dirt pathways and jumps to explore.  Very cool!  It’s a new start and a new life... and we are finally together as a family again!  Check out this view from last night looking out from my garage.  Amazing!

My list of “to do” things is still huge and the work to do is overwhelming.  I also miss Oregon and our friends there so much!  It’s so much harder to say goodbye and leave for me... it really tears at my heart.  I think I am built differently that way.  It feels like we are already long forgotten!  I know the past is just a memory and the future is not here yet, but the present is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.  So I am enjoying the present!  And being with Brent and my oldest son again is the best!   Life is good!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

TIme Capsule Found

As we were boxing today, we ran across a time capsule that belonged to one of my daughters.  She was excited to open it.  It's from the year 2005 - so it's 6 years old.  Included in the capsule was this picture!  We had won something in our apartment complex at the time of this picture and we went to claim it.


Just thought I'd post this real quick because I was a little shocked to see this picture.  Seems like yesterday yet a lifetime ago!  I should blow it up and put it on my fridge to help me remember that I'm NEVER TO GO BACK!  

Maybe we should make a new time capsule! :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Funnest thing ever...

is RIDING MY BIKE!!
I love it, I love it, I love it!!!

Today we started boxing.  And I don't mean the sport... although it was kind of like a sport in that we got tired and sweaty.  Just my three kiddies and I and we did pretty good.  If I can get a good amount done every day, I'm hoping to not get overwhelmed.  But there is a LOT to do!  :)

Here is our meal together.  I made a family favorite for the first time in over a year:  Tator Tot Casserole.  I used extra lean ground beef and ground turkey breast, and light cheese.  It was delish.  The key is to have a big ol' salad with it.  I will not make this very often, I'm thinking.

So... after all our packing, it's nice to go for a little bike ride.  My thing is to ride without holding the handlebars.  It is so fun.  It freaks out my little guy and he keeps thinking I'll crash.

What is your funnest thing ever?

The Fear of Insignificance

I have a prominent memory of a time when I was 9 years old when on a Sunday afternoon, my older brother Mark, shared with our family a poem he had written.  Now, I am the youngest of 7 children - 5 of whom are boys, and when you have that many siblings, you have to often fight to be heard or noticed.  Or so it seemed to me.  I don’t remember what Mark’s poem was about, but I do remember how much my parents and siblings LOVED his poem and were so impressed with his ability to write.  I remember all the praise and attention he got for it.
So feeling the need for some praise and attention of my own, I headed by to my room and proceeded to write my own poem.  I struggled through my writing and rhyming and after lots of editing, I emerged with a poem.  It was called “The Future”.  My first real poem ever.  I excitedly came out of my room and hurried to my family to share my accomplishment and read my poem to them.   
I smiled and beamed as I read it... and waited for their response, hoping they might think it had merit as I thought it did.  They did think it was good.  The problem was... none of them believed that I actually wrote it!  I tried to convince them that it was my own work but they just smiled that smile that says “That’s nice Margene...  we know you just really want attention.”  
Looking back, this event was a beginning of my belief that those I love don’t truly value me or my talents and that although they care about me somewhat, I am insignificant to them in reality.  
INSIGNIFICANT
It’s 33 years later and it’s amazing how those feelings still haunt me.  It is a very painful thing to believe that!  Beliefs like that have ruled my life, brought me so much sorrow, been the source of an unimaginable amount of tears, kept me feeling alone and unwanted, and fed into my self-loathing.  No doubt a catalyst for my overeating and becoming obese as well.
So yes, my life has changed.  And yes, I am recognizing the big “lies” I’ve believed for so long and I do feel happier in my life than I have in years!   It has taken time, but slowly I’ve been letting go of these beliefs and choosing to believe a positive view.  Those chains have been loosening and are falling away.  It is totally refreshing and like feeling free!
But sometimes that feeling creeps back in... usually at a very inopportune time.  Something is spoken or something happens or something makes me question... and that fear of being insignificant - of being expendable, patronized, or only tolerated by those I love - floods my mind and heart faster than a flash flood!  And it brings an immediate pain to me physically in my heart.  I cannot describe the power it has over me and the power exhorted on my soul to embrace the thought and believe it.  It is so hard NOT to believe it.  Even though I know this is from the Adversary - and he knows my “achilles heel”, it still takes every last drop of effort and prayer for me to overcome.  It’s so easy to surrender and just give in to sorrow and spend a few hours weeping in my bed - which sometimes would turn into days or weeks.  Just like the old days.  But I don’t want to go back to those old days!
I am sick of fearing that I am insignificant!  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  2nd Timothy 1:7
I love the words to the song “Where love is, there God is also.  Where love is, I want to be...”  Those words mean so much!  I don’t want to be in the place where I don’t feel His love!  So I will always have to fight it, when those feelings creep in.  I don’t want to allow satan to steal my joy anymore!
I hope someone reading this can relate to these experiences and benefit from what I’ve learned (and still learning).  I wouldn’t wish this kind of heartache on anyone.  “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  John 14:27

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!!!

Happy 4th of July my friends!!  How wonderful to live in this GREAT country.  I'm feeling blessed today.


We got up early, my 3 kids and I - (Brent and my oldest are in Utah).  And we went to the city center to do the CAT walk/run 5k!!  My daughter was running it with me while my other daughter and son were saving spots along the parade route with friends.

I drove with my friend and her daughters and hooked up with Joy and her daughter there too!  We had a fun little group!


Joy and Margene
The weather was perfect and it was a beautiful sunny morning.  After our little aerobic warm up, the race started.  Immediately I was separated from everyone in my group - because of the crowd and since we all were at different paces.  But I started my pace and just kept it. I didn't think to bring my ipod and without having a partner right beside me, I knew I was in for some mind-games!  About one third the way in, I thought of my parents... and in my mind I dedicated this run to them.  I was also running for my sister who is a cancer survivor.  It became an endearing and emotional run right away.  

Then I thought of Brent and imagined him running next to me.  I sang the words to "Whole Wide World" that I have posted in a previous post... I stared at the road ahead of me and tried my best not to think about how much longer I had.  The last stretch, I lengthened my stride and was really feeling it.  There were parade spectators who seemed to cheer the people in front of me and the people coming after me.  I felt very solo and wished I knew someone along the route I could wave to and who could give me a cheer.  But I imagined it in my head.  I pushed it, hoping to match or beat my record from the Starlight run of 42 minutes.  

When I came up to the finish - it said 34 minutes 14 seconds!!!  

WOWEE!!!  
I crossed alone with no one waiting for me or with me or any cheering... but I felt like I just won the lottery!  It felt awesome!

Soon Joy's daughter, and then Joy came running across.  She ran the whole way too!  What a rockstar!!  And then my daughter and her friends!  So Awesome!  Here I am with my daughter after our run.


Last year this was my FIRST 5K and I just walked it.  I remember it being quite hard to just walk it and I did it in about an hour.  Now I'm here a year later and I ran it in 34 minutes!  I feel so thankful that I could do this!!  Below is a pic with my friend and I from last year and then this year!  

2010 CatWalk
2011 CatWalk

What a difference a year makes.  How many years of my life went by and I did NOTHING to improve myself.  How many years did I feel tied up in doubt and self loathing.  I hope to celebrate every single day of my life and every single blessing I have!  I don't want to waste a single day anymore!

I hope you have a FABULOUS day, my friends and do something to celebrate YOUR life and the lives of those you love!  You are worth it!  Life is good!!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Only 18 days left!

I felt like deleting my last post right after I wrote it... but you know... I’m keeping it real.  I have done better since then!  (thanks for all your encouraging comments!) It’s a learning experience.  I told my kids the other day that our whole family is going to need to be on board with continuing healthy eating!  That we can’t have our old type of foods in the house anymore... like at all.  If we eat like that every once in a blue moon... then it needs to be OUTSIDE the home and NOT brought back into the home.
So... STRESS!  How do you handle it?
How do you handle anxiety?  Disappointment?  Rejection?  Pressure?  Criticism?  Self-criticism?  Worry? Loneliness?  
Can you laugh things off and let them go or do you take things in and absorb it completely?
How do you learn to marinate in the Good, the Positive, and the Hopeful and ignore the other stuff?  
How do you embrace all the positive in life and let go of all the stress and negative?
These are the things I am learning and practicing.  It’s a new way of life for me!  It is taking lots of pratice and letting go of the old ways I used to think and react to things.  
Yes, it used to be that like 10 brownies with milk would be comforting... soothing... heavenly even.  For a short-term fix.  But long term... not so much.
I absolutely LOVE to ride my bike.  It’s like a new love.  I practically dream about pulling it out of the garage and taking off all the time.  I LOVE playing basketball.  I LOVE running WITH a friend.  I used to not love these things but they are new loves now.  I love to sit in my chair and look down and see that there are a few inches on each side of my hips before the sides of the chair.  I love feeling pretty again.  You have no idea how long I have felt SO unattractive... ugly even.  I LOVE feeling like my husband can be proud of me.  I LOVE feeling closer to my girls because of how I feel about myself.  I know I keep saying these things over and over but I keep feeling it over and over.  My life has so changed.  I feel so humbled to have been given another chance.  Another chance to live better, be a better example, be a better wife and mother, a better sister, a better friend, and better to myself.
We are moving in 18 days!!
(Acckkkkk)
(On my B-day even!)
Guess what?  
We FINALLY have a place to move to!  The house that we have an offer on (short sale) that we’re waiting on the bank for - we actually get to move into and rent it from the owners until it closes.  This is a HUGE blessing and an answer to our prayers.  Brent will move into it next week, actually.  He’s been living in my brother’s shed.  So he’ll have time to do some clean up and fix up of our house before we move.  I haven’t packed a single box!!  YET.  But I will.  I did have a yard sale and got rid of some of our stuff.
Life is going to get busy really fast... and it’s all exciting.  It’s also VERY bittersweet to be moving from our friends and family here.  This is going to be a very emotional move for me!  I get a lump in my throat just thinking about it.  I miss Brent so much, though.  I am SO hug deprived... I never realized how much I need and love his hugs every day.  Talking on the phone just doesn’t do that the same!
In trying to enjoy every moment here in Oregon, my daughter and I rode to the farmers market the other day, which we have never gone to.  After exploring all the booths and buying NO junk food, we rode through the town and treated ourselves to panda express.  Notice, I chose the steamed veggies and lower carb sides!  Then we rode home.  Total sweetness.
Life is good!