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)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Twelve Days...

Merry Christmas!!

I am bowing my head in shame for taking so long to update my blog. 

Wanted to note - for financial reasons, we've had to put our return to the 5:1 plan on hold temporarily, but I am excited the second we can do another order and get back On Plan… there are so many newer Medifast foods now too. For now, we watch what we eat as always and stay active!

I am giving you 12 days of Our Christmas 
(in no significant order) - Enjoy!!

1. First Day of Christmas:   We got to be involved in an Extreme Makeover of a teen girl's bedroom here in our neighborhood, after they suffered a horrible break-in robbery and vandalizing of their home.  Over 70 people came together to do this.  Can I just say AMAZING!!

2. Second Day of Christmas:  We were blessed to spend some time with a sweet widow in our neighborhood, which is cool since my kids have no living grandmother.  I just love the attention she showed my kids and feeling her sweet spirit.

3. Third Day of Christmas:  I got to see so many in our neighborhood come together gathering gifts for some that are less fortunate.  So many acts of love and service, it just restores my hope and belief in the goodness of people and in the Goodness of our God!

4. Fourth Day of Christmas:  We enjoyed our church Christmas Breakfast!  We all came in our PJ's and had a yummy breakfast and hot chocolate and enjoyed some live Christmas Music.

5. Fifth Day of Christmas:  We threw a neighborhood party at our home and had over 40 guests.  It was so fun!  So cool that people actually came and we had a fun white elephant game!

6. Sixth Day of Christmas:  Got to host a family party at our home with all my local siblings & their kids.  How fun to have family here and see everyone.  We ended with a special Christmas story and sang some Christmas songs!

7. Seventh Day of Christmas:  A neighbor friend randomly brought me flowers!  How sweet it that?

8. Eighth Day of Christmas:  My daughter and I made our own wreath!  I'm pretty pleased with it!

9. Ninth Day of Christmas:  We celebrated my oldest turning 20 years old (silent scream!)  Good times!

10. Tenth Day of Christmas:  Simple Christmas at home with my family… new PJ's for kids.  We have good health, warm place to stay, and love of our family and friends.  So richly blessed!! 

11. Eleventh Day of Christmas:  Special Surprise box from a friend who started her weight loss journey just 13 weeks ago and has lost almost 35 pounds.  Her determination and energy is contagious.    

12. Twelfth Day of Christmas:  Lastly, Brent and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary!!!  Wahoooooo!!  I can't say enough about my man and best friend!  Truly!  He supports me so well, and often gets overlooked because he puts me first.  I get a lump in my throat just thinking about him and how grateful I am for him.  Such a good man!  He stays in the shadow (where he likes it) but he makes all the difference in my life!!  I love him tons and tons!
Holding up our "2" and  "4" - at our Anniversary Dinner at Texas BBQ
I truly believe that if you are feeling down and want to feel better… then get up and do something for someone else!  It's amazing to see the difference you can make right around you, and how that makes your own problems so much smaller and easier to bear!!  Sitting and pondering about your problems only makes them bigger.  It really is about "forgetting yourself" in helping someone else with theirs!  And if you don't think you are needed or make a difference… I'm here to tell you that is just NOT true!!  Pray to know who you can help and then keep your eyes open.  I am learning this lesson first hand and feel humbled to learn!

Love to you this Season!! 
xoXoXO ~Margene

Monday, November 19, 2012

Skipping... I can do that!

It's Week 5 Back... and we are both skipping weigh in!  We had a couple days off plan and I don't want to step on my scale and feel sick or bad, so we both decided to give ourselves another week.  Plus we need to order more food as we're running out of our favs!

This last week, as per our tradition, my girls and I went to see the new Twilight Movie "Breaking Dawn Part 2".  We liked it better than Part 1.  Pretty cool.  
This was my first day off plan (Friday).  It started with me having lunch with a friend... and I knew it was a place that wasn't 100% on plan, but the time with my friend meant a lot so I "planned" to go off a little.  Then later on, I "planned" to have some off plan appetizers at my sisters house when we went over there... but even though I planned to have some, I did over-do it and had way too much.  So then later at the theater, I didn't have ice cream with my girls, but I did have a small popcorn and some other munchies. (sigh) 

Then the next day, Brent wanted to go out to eat since I did the day before, so that seemed only fair.  That made Saturday pretty much off plan for both of us.  Looking back, I don't regret going to lunch on Friday  but I can see that I have to be careful what I allow myself because I DO have a sugar addiction.  Once I said yes at my sisters house, I was gone!  I slipped in frozen yogurts both days too!

By Sunday morning I was SICK!  My body had way too much sugar.  Now, in my obese days, I didn't get sick from too much sugar.  But now that I'm used to eating healthier, my body does not like when I eat much sugar.  I missed choir practice on Sunday and almost missed church due to my bad choices!  

In fact, since I started my journey... I practically NEVER get sick. And the ONLY times I have gotten sick since reaching goal, have been times I have splurged on the higher carb, fatty foods.  I did this on my Girls Oregon Trip last March... indulged in 2 greasy pieces of pizza and some choc. covered pomegranits and I was SICK for 24 hours!  

When our friend from Australia came last year and brought us the rich Aussie chocolates which I totally ate way too much of, I got sick again for 24 hours.  I missed spending the next day with our friend giving him a tour of the Utah sites cuz I was out sick.   

I've even gotten sick once when I ate TOO much watermelon... and I mean I ate way too much!!  That time I missed my daughter performing her first flute solo in church... cuz I was home sick from what I ate!!

So... I am still learning!!  I'm glad I get sick, actually.  Then I remind myself that it wasn't worth it!!

On a fun note, I tried a fun new thing on Pinterest.  It involves jello!!!  
I made these jello orange slices.  So cool and fun!!

Well, that is my report for this week.  I'm looking forward to a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and I do feel so thankful for the blessings that I have - especially my family and friends!!

Much love!! XoxOxo ~Margene

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Week 4 - Back

Happy Tuesday!!!

So Sunday was our weigh-in:
I lost 2 pounds
Hubs lost 1 pound  
(almost 2, but  he'd rather count is as just 1)

Slowly but surely!  
Brent knows he needs to get his water in.  I know he's working on that!

One of my favorite lunches have been my Medifast Chicken & Wild Rice Soup with crackers in it and ground pepper & dill seasoning.  Yum.
We also went out to a Hibachi grill for a date night last week and I had hibachi chicken and salmon with veggies.  It was okay - I enjoyed it.  Brent was feeling like Hibachi chicken but I'd probably have preferred a steak somewhere.  Heck, I'd prefer some Cafe Rio pork nacho's... but that's not on plan right now so I will enjoy what I gots!!  ;)

The weather has been getting COLD and I have not been running, but I am keeping up with basketball which I love.  Lots of running there.  I hope I can find ways to keep active this winter.  I'm SOO ready for Christmas Music but I'm also trying to enjoy the Thanksgiving time as well.  Life is going SOOOO fast right now.  November just started and It's almost half way through.  

I saw this quote on Facebook and it kind of emulates where I need to be and want to be right now:

turns what we 

I love that and it's so true.  When I find myself feeling upset and frustrated, I know I need to humble myself and truly be thankful for all I do have, which is so much!  I know this is true, yet I still find myself feeling bad about this or that.  So it's a daily vigilance for me to be thankful!!
Thanks for stopping by!!
Life is GOOOOD!!
XoxoXO ~Margene

Monday, November 5, 2012

Week 3 Back :)

Today marked our WEEK 3 Back on plan.

Me - Lost 5 Pounds
Brent - Lost 2 Pounds

For the kind of crazy non-stop week its been, I'd say that's a huge success!  

Some of my quick lean and green meals this week:

Stuffed peppers (lean beef & turkey & light cheese)... the meat shrunk a little.  Lightly breaded chicken salad with light yogurt-based dressing
Thin herb tilapia with broccoli - YUM

I can't believe it's November already!  It's like October just flew by.  Our Halloween was nice and low-key. We hung out at home and watched a movie and let our older daughter answer the constant trick-or-treaters.  Our two youngest still went out trick or treating themselves and we just chilled.  Not even one bite of candy... I didn't even want to see what my kids got.  It pretty much stayed out of my mind, so that was nice.  I love it when I can just spend some relaxed time with the hubs. :)

Now on to this wonderful month of Thanksgiving.  I got my "Give Thanks" wall hanging up to write down something we're thankful for each day!  I love it!!  Life is GOOOOD!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Hallo's and Week 2 Back

Happy Halloween!!!

Week 2 on plan again resulted in NO Loss and No gain… we both maintained.  I anticipated that with fasting one of the days and a planned enjoyment of a birthday dessert with a friend another day.  So we are both back to being strict on plan and getting back to losing!

I went to a most inspiring and uplifting women's conference this last weekend called "Time out For Women".  It was such a nice needed break.  It was fun and edifying.  I got to listen to and meet some of my favorite people:   
 Among them Sheri Dew (2nd time meeting her), and the performing group  "Mercy River" who sang the song Love Never Fails which I made a video for and posted on here a few months ago... and they have a ton of great songs.  Epic!

This is a crazy week for me (it seems like I think that about every week now).  Although today is one of my low days.  It's one of those days that moving here feels hard.  I know how I feel isn't necessarily based on fact or truth, and that it's just a rough patch again… but dang, I miss being around people who know me.  People who know when I mess up that it doesn't reflect who I really am. 

Days like today, I feel that the sacrifice to move here feels huge, even tho we've been so blessed.  I gave up a harvest of friends and an amazing church family in Oregon.  And it's been a good move for my kids and we finally own a home again.  It's all good.  But at times I feel like a mis-fit and so completely isolated.  It's like the Lord dropped me off and said "Now, go do some good" and I'm trying.  My motivation is lacking.  I didn't go to basketball yesterday for no reason except it just didn't seem fun anymore.  And that's the one thing I do for me!

I emailed a dear friend in Oregon several days ago… telling her some of my struggles and heartaches.  She is someone who I've known for years and greatly admire.  She's been with me through my weight loss journey as well.  She wrote back to me and shared a description of me in a way I've never heard or thought of before.  It explains so much of why I struggle.  I wept while reading it because I know she understands.  Not only that, but it was overwhelming to hear her say such positive things about me.  I didn't realize how much I needed to hear that.  Here is an excerpt from her email:

"You my dear are blessed to be able to feel deeply. Actually it’s a blessing and a curse – opposition in all things. Not everyone feels deeply. More of us are light in that department. That is why so many can flit from friend to friend but you fall in love and feel the attachment in your very soul. It is a good thing, but it means that you are more prone to the pain of unreturned deep feelings from the flitterers that are out there. They love you . . . truly . . . but not quite the same depth. It’s a different perception/reality/paradigm . . . whatever you want to call it. The majority of us are shallow when it comes to feelings. You are a rare gem of the deep feeling kind. You need to accept your gift, it is so similar to the love the Savior felt for his friends when he was here on earth, but look at the pain he suffered because he loved so much. There were even those moments when HIS friends were just simply shallow and uncommitted. Accept that along with the joy of loving deeply there comes great pain and sorrow because we who flit simply are not blessed to feel as wonderfully deep as you.
It’s actually a spiritual blessing too. You also feel things spiritually deeper than a lot of people. This is what makes you an amazing servant of the Lord. You put your whole self into everything you do and others are blessed by your commitment, your own family, your ward family and your friends.
Like all things in life, there is an upside and a downside. You find what you look for. Stay positive my friend. All these trials work for your own good . . . even though you may not see it now or even for a very long time."

I know there are many out there who struggle with HUGE things, who have deep wounds to heal, who suffer every day and every hour.  I pray for you.  My heart goes out to anyone who suffers.  My own trials are but trivial compared to many others. 

Today, I'm going to count my blessings and try to do some good!  I've got 4 amazing kids that need me and who I absolutely adore & a husband who is the bomb diggety!!  There are others who need me too, and I pray I can be there and make a difference where I can.

Have a wonderful Halloween, my friends, 
and don't touch that candy!!!
Life is good!

~Margene xoxOXO

Monday, October 22, 2012

Weigh In / Week ONE back on plan

Yesterday was weigh in from our first week.
Me - Lost 5 pounds
Brent - Lost 9 pounds

BOOYA for my man!

I am hoping to have another good loss this week.  

However, today I am doing a 24 hour fast.  I am excited to participate in a special "40 day fast" with my church sisters where we are praying for some specific things and each of us gets to sign up for one of the 40 days.  How cool is that?  The only problem is this will probably kick me out of fat burning.  Then it will take 3-4 days to get back on.  So, I may just maintain for this week but I'm still hoping!  Something about fasting with a purpose brings the Spirit into my life, though, which I really need and appreciate.  

It's going to be a crazy busy week full of some great opportunities.

I did already buy some candy for Halloween, but I made sure it was NONE of the stuff I like very much.  NO chocolate.  So I haven't even been thinking about it.

Who's with me for NO CANDY this Halloween? 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Cup Cake RUN

Good Day Friends!!

This morning I got up way early and went to run a Cup Cake 5K.
(And no, I didn't eat any cup cakes! :)

I didn't really train much for this run and boy was it cold this morning.  And of course I had a way late night because I'm smart like that! ;)  With my most awesome hubs there supporting me, I started off at a faster pace than what I normally run... but I slowed down into a pace that was good for me and didn't pressure myself to go faster than I should.

It was a nice, cold run and I finished at 36:12 and 5th in my age group which I'm way happy with, 
especially for not training much!

Tomorrow will be the end of WEEK 1, back on plan.  
So weigh-in will be fun for both me and Brent.  It feels good to be back on plan!  

One of my new fav Medifast foods is the Cereal Crunch!  
They didn't have these back the first time around.  Yum!  And I love the choc. chip pancake!

A couple lean and greens I made this last week was an egg beaters scramble and a taco salad with light ranch dressing.  I always love my lean and greens!
I've had some dealings this week that have also been VERY HUMBLING concerning the specific personal struggles I've been going through.  Sufficient to say, I've been sufficiently reprimanded which I'm sure I probably needed but wasn't easy. :(  

So I got my work cut out for me and I know the direction I need to go.  I know I'm being vague, but just wanted to express that I am grateful for opportunities to do better, even though the means can be painful.  I know I can do hard things!  Just thinking how much I've changed my life in the last two years shows me that I can overcome way difficult situations in my life, especially with the help of my Savior.

Life is GOOOOOD!  
Seize the day, life is short too!

Much love, 
~Margene XoxOxoX

Monday, October 15, 2012

Day TWO - back on plan! :)

I feel good.  
No problems.  
Getting my water in.  
That is key. 
I know this drill all too well.  I've got all the sugar things out of my house as that is what triggers me.  Right now I'm sitting down with my Medifast chicken and wild rice soup. J

I feel in control.  
At least with my eating ;)

I went running again this morning and went up the mountain road.  It was slightly easier today and the view of the valley was gorgeous.  I wish I had my camera on me but it's kind hard to run with my camera.  It was a great run!

During my run, I reflected on my life and current things going on.  There are situations that cause me a lot of turmoil and heart ache.  I am the one who needs to "fix" myself.  But fixing myself means sucking up and enduring MORE heartache, loneliness, and accepting things I don't understand.

I still have a lot of growing and becoming to do with the help of my Savior.  And I will add that I KNOW I am so richly blessed with a loving husband and great kids and a new lease on life!  I know it's the adversary trying to distract and slow me down from making a difference where I can.  He won't win!

Like that video I recently made with my daughter that I included in a previous post below.  I hope one day, He will pick me up and I will be a little smoother in His hands.  And I know that It is a painful process to be made smooth!

How about you?  Do you feel you are being made smooth right now?  How do you cope with heartache and disappointments?


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Night Out... New Goals

Tonight I got a night out with my man!  We went to a "Witchfest" at a place called Gardner Village.  MOST people there were dressed as witches!  There were some pretty kewl witches too!  It was fun to see all the decorations, shops, and atmosphere.  Reminds me of "Wicked" which is a favorite musical of mine.  It was Wicked Fun!

Then we decided to go to this new Mega Sporting Goods Store that's opened up called:  Scheels.  There was a big ferris wheel right in the middle of the store and all kinds of games and activities all around the store.  It was crowded too!  Pretty massive and awesome!

It's a gigantic Ferris Wheel!!

I found the basketball section.  Pretty sweet! 

This is an actual NBA ball for $70.  

We perused through the running, biking, and rock climbing sections.  I found myself thinking of all my dreams again.  I wanna learn to rock climb OUTSIDE and I wanna get a real dirt bike and really explore some trails around here, and I totally need new running shoes.  My hubs is interested in street bicycles and he'd love to get into that.  We checked out some pretty sweet bikes.  It was fun to look at all the cool sporting stuff since lately, we've been so busy and even gotten a little lazier with our "dreams" and ambitions as thinner folks!

Sooooo.....  we set some new goals!

 We've had a crazy busy summer and we've let some pounds slip on.  I am up from my goal weight to an unacceptable amount right now!  I think it wasn't bothering me much because my lifestyle hasn't changed really... I'm still so active and enjoying my life out of my obesity prison... BUT, I've noticed my clothes are getting way tighter and I'm thicker in my middle.

It is NOT ACCEPTABLE to go in this direction any longer!  

My husband feels the same way.  He struggles with more aches and pains and of course, his never ending stress.

So starting tomorrow, we're BOTH going back on our 5:1 Medifast plan to reel our summer weight gains back in... and then we'll transition back into maintenance.  I felt SO good after we made this decision.  It feels good to have a direction and we somehow brainstormed a way to juggle some other expenses to be able to do this.

I know rock climbing will get much easier when I get some of this weight back off.  And I should get even faster at basketball right when the season hits.  Not to mention that it just feels better to be on plan and feel like I am in control more.  It's easier for me to feel positive and think better about myself and others.  It's amazing how it all connects for me.

Also, I signed up to run a 5k this next Saturday.  I realize that I need to keep signing up for some kind of running or I am too tempted to not go out running at all!  Gotta have something to be training for!  Lately, I've been going without a running buddy, so it makes it so easy to just not go.  Yesterday, I forced myself out and ran up the mountain road again.  I hadn't run that in at least a month or maybe even two.  Dang... was it HARD!  But I pushed through it and ran it even in the rain.  It felt so good.  I remember when I was first running and just building up to that, and was first able to do it.  So inside I know I have it in me, even when I haven't done it in a while.

I still tell myself: "You can do hard things".  It's always the journey... not the destination that counts, it seems!

Well... better head off to bed here.  

ENJOY the season, my friends!  
PONDER all the blessings and positive things in your life!  
Life is GOOOOOD!!

XoxoXoxo ~Margene

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's about the Journey

My journey is ever on-going.  It's always changing and moving and twisting and turning.  And I struggle through similar things over and over and then I get new struggles.  I know it's all about LEARNING and OVERCOMING.

I have made SO many new friends on this journey of health.  Dear Cyber-friends that I get the priveleage to connect with.  I can't name them all, but I am thankful to have met Kath, Alaki, Cindy, and Joyce.  I feel blessed and grateful to be able to meet and make new friends, even if it is only on-line.  :)  Each one touches me in a heart-warming way.

Today, I got an email from my wonderful friend Alaki, who shared some insights she's learned and I wanted to share them.

"Ya know I've heard people say that when you are unhealthy or overweight it makes it difficult to live a healthy spiritual life.  I didn't believe that for such a long time, but after much trial and tribulation I have finally come to a point where I must confess that this is SO TRUE!  Being healthy is so vital to our spiritual growth!  Being unhealthy as I have learned clouds our true reality and perspective of life!  It has prevent me from becoming my very best ME!  I know I have a long and difficult road ahead me but it is so worth it!!  I am worth it!!"

As I read her words, I couldn't help but feel them myself as I have learned this as well.  To say those words to yourself "I am worth it!!" and to truly believe it, is so humbling and amazing and joyful and empowering all at the same time!

Today, I made a video of a song that I've been listening to called "River God".  It is sung by Mindy Gledhill.  I love the message of this song... it's been powerful in my life.  I am like that stone and hoping that through my adversity and trials, one day I can become smoother in God's hands.  My beautiful daughter, Jami was kind enough to pose in this video for me.

I hope you enjoy it.

Much love XoxOxo

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Negative Thinking

I was thinking this week, how detrimental negative thinking can be.  It starts out so small, just something tiny and then it can so easily build from there and before you know it, you have this whole scenario or view that is NOT based on truth or reality - but just what you negatively THOUGHT it was.  It is so easy when you are stressed or feeling bad, to assume negative intentions in things that other people do or say.

I can see how this has been a hinderence in my life.  It's like there is this catalyst that happens and affects how I think, how I feel, how I handle situations, and choices I make.  Then when I made unhealthy food choices, it draws me farther away from positive energy, truth, and self-confidence.

I believe for me this boils down to staying close to God.  To having His Spirit in my daily life.  

I had a situation recently that took me from my fun, happy self, to a very low, dark place.  After a while, the situation did get resolved and sweet peace did come.  Sweet relief and thankfulness!!  Yet, as I reflect back on this, I can see how I separated myself from HIS help.  This is how it was for me:

Lack of His Spirit --> Hurt Feelings and/or Feeling Offended --> Negative Thinking --> Bad Choices

Bad choices in food, seem to keep me more away from having God's Spirit with me.  It's like it separates me further.  Everything about our health is connected spiritually as well, I truly believe.  So I make some bad food choices and before I know it, I start thinking things like:  I can't control this, Things are too hard, I feel so yucky, I don't want to do this, I don't feel like doing any work, I feel so ugly, I have no friends, no one likes me, I feel alone, I can't help my situation, There's no way to change things, etc.

The TRUTH is...

I CAN Control my life.  

It's like the first things that goes in this situation is the faith that I have a choice... it's like the adversary wants me to feel that I am helpless and it's too hard for me to control. 
 THIS Is what kept me obese for so many years.

I am grateful that I can recognize this in my life.  And when those thoughts tempt me, I remind myself that:

I AM in Charge of my Life 

I ALWAYS Have a Choice!

I CAN Make Better Choices

This Moment Does NOT Define Me

I Decide What Defines Me

For me, what is MOST important is that I stay close to my Heavenly Father 
and rely on Him EVERY SINGLE DAY.

This is what helps me stay positive and endure the trials that I face.  

For me, it about prayer, scripture study, and service.
THEN making good choices is easier, and I feel better and I can overcome!  
So this is how I aim to be:

Seek His Spirit --> Be Grateful --> Think Positively & Assume the Best --> Good Choices

That's my thought for the day.  Life is GOOD!!  
Blessings to you, my reader.
XoXOXo ~Margene

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Oh how I love Roasted Veggies!

I learned to love roasted veggies while on the 5:1 TSFL plan.  Of course then, I didn't add potatoes and onions as they are higher carb veggies.  But most veggies taste delish this way.  Broccoli, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, cauliflower, asparagus, cabbage... it's so good!

 Just chop up your veggies and toss with a little olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and garlic seasoning (or whatever spices you want - it even tastes good with just s/p)
 Line a cookie sheet with foil and a little non-stick cook spray.  
Roast in the oven at 425 for about an hour (possibly less if you don't have potatoes in the mix), and...
Voila!  Yummy roasted veggies.  I also usually sprinkle a little balsamic vinegar afterwards and it really makes it so tasty!!  My kids gobble this up too.


Friday, August 24, 2012

What Limits? Be Inspired

I ran across this video through Megans Half my size challenge blog and just had to post this.
This is worth the watch!!

What Limits do you have?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Back To School TIPS

Back to school time and back to a regular schedule time.  YES!!  I need this!    I found these tips from Dr. Anderson very helpful:

1. Do as much as possible the night before. This will ensure you are not rushed in the morning.  Breakfast is the one thing you don’t want to cut out of your schedule to make up time. Eat something that is easy to prepare for breakfast. Starting your day with a healthy choice will help you stay on track all day long. A hard boiled egg and a 1/2 whole wheat English muffin can be a great on the go breakfast. Also, a meal replacement shake or bar make great on the go companions
2. Pack healthy snacks in your purse, briefcase or car. Healthy options you can bring from home can include almonds, fruit, meal replacement shakes and bars.  Fueling between meals helps to prevent getting hungry and over eating at a later meal. If you have access to a refrigerator during the day bring yogurt, cheese cubes, baby carrots, celery sticks and all natural peanut butter.
3. Stock your house with nothing but healthy foods and snacks for kids. When you have junk food around it can be too tempting for little one who want an after school snack. Fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, seeds, and veggies are all great options.
4. Plan meals and grocery shop ahead of time. Include a couple good old standbys on your weekly menu. Your family doesn’t expect a gourmet meal every night. Pick 3 easy to prepare, healthy meals that you can cook in under 30 minutes such as Mesquite Grilled Shrimp and Sirloin & Vegetable Kabobs.
5. Delegate…assign children age appropriate tasks to keep them involved and help get dinner started. Ask your teen to start chopping the veggies, your pre-teen to help gather needed ingredients and place them on the counter and get the little ones involved in setting the table and folding napkins. Children take pride in being a part of a meal and will be more likely to eat what is in front of them if they feel invested.
6. Turn off the TV during dinner. This acts as a two for one benefit for your family. Not only do you tend to eat less when you are mindful of your plate but you also have the opportunity to find out how your children are adjusting to the school year. Don’t forget if teens  and pre-teens aren’t as open as you would like them to be, don’t pressure them to talk, watch for non-verbal cues and trust your instincts, after all you have known them their whole lives.
7. Don’t over book…by keeping one weekday afternoon free it gives your children time to relax and recharge. It can also provide time to catch up or get ahead on school work which can help keep stress levels down.

You can go directly to his article here  

Life is still way busy but I'm getting some order to it.  My kids are in school and I actually miss them! :)  Life is FULL of good things we're doing.  The other day, the hubs was volunteering at my daughters school and my son was working and everyone was gone... so I went for a bike ride by myself and it was fabulous.  Miss  those  times!  

Also caught this sun hanging in the sky the other night.  Wow, It's a beautiful time of year!  What are you finding in your life that is beautiful?  Life is SOOO good.  I love it!  It's dang hard sometimes and I struggle like every other day, but I am SOOOO blessed.

SOOOOOO.... I have let my eating get way off plan and now it's time to rein it in!!! My goal is to AVOID sugar and deserts and FOCUS on Fruits / Veggies / Lean meats & proteins.   Who's with me?
~Margene XoxoXO

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's how it is

This is me right now!
Life is good,  yes, 
but sometimes that IRON MAN suit has to come on.  
Talk to the hand!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Not My Own


Well, I'm back from Girls Camp which was amazing.  It was 4 days of Amazingness.  We had 35 girls and 6 leaders plus our Bishop and his counselors.  A lot of Incredible people!!

While we were there we did a confidence course which included a climbing wall.  I got to be at the top and would help the girls that needed help to reach the top by grabbing their arms or hands and pulling them up.  It was an amazing experience to cheer them on and watch them struggle and then to make it.  It felt so symbolic of my life any my struggles.  I also felt such love for each of those girls and I could feel how much Heavenly Father loves them!

Another day, we did a zip line.  That was pretty epic as well.  Some girls were very scared and overcame their fear and went anyway.  That took a lot of courage.  I also got to go on the zip line and it was majorly cool.  Another day we were out on canoes.  We had canoe races that were fun.   We also had crafts, secret sister gifts, mail time, challenges, flag ceremonies, camp songs and so much all around great FUN.  The camp ended with a special fireside hosted by our Bishop where we all wrote a bad habit or obstacle we want to get over on a balloon and then let our balloons go.  It was all about "Arising and Shining Forth".

Then we each had an opportunity to share our feelings about each other and about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Most of us were in tears after that (happy tears), and then we ended with a "Hug Line".  Overall, it was an amazing experience that I will always treasure.  It was fun to be there with my daughter too!

I went to girls camp as a youth and I've gone as an adult in Oregon to help with crafts, but this was my first year going as the actual Camp Director who planned it and helped run it.  The other leaders were incredible and we met the goals we had set for it.  I am so thankful that I could go and be involved in this!  I'm thankful that I was physically up to the challenge as well.  I feel such love for each of those girls!

I came home utterly exhausted... emotionally and physically.  My body involuntarily crashed and went unconscious for 14 hours!  I did not stay on plan during camp and I feel bloated and yucky.  I do not like how I feel physically.  I can't wait to get back into a better eating and exercising schedule.  I really missed my basketball too.

And this next week is also not my own week.  Right now, my life is NOT MY OWN.  I have so much computer work, prep for our after camp party on Wednesday, Relief Society work, meetings, family things, house cleaning, and Thursday through Saturday I'm gone on another camping trip for youth conference - this time in actual costumes the whole time.  I have not a moment for myself.

I am so blessed, I know... but today I am missing my mother.  I miss having that soft place to fall.  Being "new" here wears on me.  I don't have the roots of friendships that so many around me do of people who really "know" me and truly care for me.  I know that all I really need is my Savior and so I seek to feel His love.  And today I just feel depleted.  I feel like I have given all I have lately... and many of my church friends I work with also have full plates - yet THEY have friends and family who notice that and uplift them.  They have incredible support systems.  I feel so alone!  I am very alone, it's just how it is.  The other week I tried opening up to a friend about how hard it really was for me here and it totally backfired.  I have to be careful what I say and to whom I share, I guess.  But I know that I am known to my Savior!  I have been pleading to feel His love and acceptance today.

And with that I bid you Adieu!  
Life is good.  Stay on Plan.  Focus on the Positive.  :)
Much love, 
~Margene  XoxOxO