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)

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

KNOX BLOX Queen

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!  
We NOW are HOMEOWNERS!


FOR SALE NO MORE
(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!! ~