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)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's about Perspective


Isn't perspective everything?  The same situations in my life change depending on my perspective of them.  People change before my eyes, depending on my perspective.  It's my own perspective that changes how I see myself.  What I think is really my choice!  I either feel rich in blessings and see miracles around me OR I feel empty and lacking and full of heartache.  Even if circumstances change, we can gravitate to either way of viewing it.

I remember listening to marriage talk tape once where the author was saying that no matter what your spouse ever does… you can find something to praise about him.  She gave the example of someone who said all their husband does is sit on the couch and watch football (while drinking and cursing).  She said that you can admire his appreciation of sports. 

You can ALWAYS find SOMETHING positive if you look for it. 

Thankfully, it's not a struggle for me to find the good in my husband.  But there are other areas of my life that I am continually working on my perspective. 

Like even moving here to Utah.  It was our most difficult move and required many sacrifices.  But we have also gained many blessings and opportunities as well.    

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I've had this thought that because of our sacrifice in moving here, the Lord would bless me in a specific area that I wanted.  So my perspective starts to mold around whether I feel this blessing will be answered or not. 

Doesn't it seem true that our pain, disappointment and sorrow is often attached to the fact that there is something we WANT? 

And is it wrong to want something good?  Is it wrong to have righteous desires?  A good marriage? To have children? To mend family relations? For better health?  Etc.

But why must wanting and praying for good things bring such heartache?

Perhaps it is our PERSPECTIVE. 

In my own perspective of looking for a specific blessing, am I not seeing all the other blessings that have been showered upon me?  Am I not enjoying what I already have?  And really, am I lacking anything? 

Is it possible that the feeling of "lacking" something or the sense of "loss" is really a deception?  After all, doesn't God provide for our every need? 

If we don't have something we want right now, is it possible that we don't really "need" it like we think we do?  Or maybe we aren't ready to have it yet?

In my goals for this year, I not only want to EAT HEALTHY, KEEP ACTIVE, and SERVE OUTSIDE MYSELF… I have also written down my greatest blessings and also the answers to my longings (as if they are realized) in sentence form, and will repeat these sentences to myself every day.  Because it's about my PERSPECTIVE and I want to keep it as real as possible. 

I know there is an Adversary trying to manipulate my perspective and distract me from truth.  For me, keeping close to the Lord is the ONLY thing that helps me overcome some of this very strong manipulation.

Here are some yummy meals I've had this last month when out on a date with my man:
The one on the left was some beef kabobs, and the right was prime rib with cole-slaw - which I haven't had in years (I cut the fat off it, of course)

Our waffle iron got dropped and broke, so Brent made me these Medifast Pancakes in the sandwich maker with sugar free syrup to dip.  I thought that was clever!
That is all for now.  I hope to do better at updating my blog this year!  I appreciate all my wonderful blogger Peeps!  Thank you for reading and for your positive encouragement.  :)

Much love, XOxoXo ~Margene

Saturday, January 26, 2013

EXTREME THINKING and TOXIC PEOPLE


~ I believe this is one of my most important posts ~

I am learning so much about how our journey changes as it goes.
I started this blog to show myself that this time I believed that I could make the changes I wanted to.  

But not only has it been a journey of dropping the number on the scale, but more importantly, for me, it's been the changing of the way I perceive my life and handle life's challenges.  For the first time, I truly believed I could move a mountain in my life.  And with the Lord's help, I did.  My chains are gone, I have been set free!!

I reached my weight loss goal almost a year and a half ago.  My life is completely different today.
Those who know me and have seen me (then and now), can see and feel a difference in me in so many ways, not just physically!  Soon after reaching goal, both Brent and my doctor felt that my goal weight was too low for me.  I settled into a weight about 15 pounds higher than my goal.  Since then, I have worked to find a balance with how I eat and exercise to maintain my goals.  I have admitted that I've gained weight and wanted to shed some pounds.  Yet I have maintained the majority of my weight loss since I reached goal.  Although now, I do not emphasize the number on the scale, because I have the tendency to become too obsessed with that number and then my focus gets off balance.  

Maintenance is about moderation and BALANCE for me.  My blog has changed along with my journey.  I now blog more about what I am learning not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually as well.    
Here on my blog, readers have complete access to all 58 weeks of my journey in phase 1 of TSFL.  I have a wealth of information of what I went through and what meals I made for my lean and greens and so forth.  And hopefully those in maintenance can find some helpful things from what I am going through now.  Or just follow along for the ride!

I have unfortunately, joined the ranks of some of the finest weight-loss bloggers I know who have had very cruel judgments pointed against them by certain readers.   

I have put my story out in a public blog to be helpful for some, and sometimes that means being criticized by others.   But when my family is attacked, that is crossing the line with me.    

Some people in your life can be Toxic to your overall health. 

It is OKAY to set boundaries for yourself. 

It doesn't mean that a person is bad; 

it means that you need to set a "fence" 

for your own safety and that of your family.

The fact is, most people do not get overweight or obese being emotionally healthy!  
Usually, there are even bigger issues with our emotional health than with our physical health.
Our inside thoughts eventually get manifest by our outward appearance.
This comes through with what we think, turning into what we feel,
turning into how we act and the choices we make.  

Life is NOT black or white. 

People are NOT black or white. 

Extreme thinking is NOT healthy thinking. 

I myself struggled with severe self-loathing.  I thought in the extreme.
Everything that someone said that was remotely negative was seen by me as extremely negative
 and added to my extreme thinking of what a horrible person I was.
It sounds absurd, and it is absurd, but it is a REAL struggle
when you are trapped in this way of thinking.
For me, it's been like climbing out of a deep muddy pit.

It requires one to make NEW PATHWAYS of thought.  

It requires one to HANDLE SITUATIONS differently.  

For me, it's been a lot about trusting in God more.  
It is hard work to change the way you think!
I have come a LONG way. (Just ask my hubs!)
 I don’t handle things the same way I did a few years ago.  

I have learned and I'm still learning: 
* To not get offended so easily. 
* To give the benefit of the doubt more. 

I notice that many people, who judge harsh, 
do so while they remain in their "safe" area 
(not having revealed their own vulnerabilities), 
where those they judge are out in the open.

The problem with our extreme perceptions of people is that eventually we will be disappointed.
And if we don't realize that it was our own PERCEPTION,
we may in fact BLAME the person for our disappointment
instead of acknowledging our own mistake. 

When we have no stewardship over someone (like being their parent)
yet we feel we are in a position to judge someone
and tell them what we think they "need to hear",
(especially when we have such little knowledge of their lives
or haven't even met them in person),
we are inappropriately putting ourselves in a position of too much power.  

We are not here to judge each other

We are ALL in this TOGETHER!  

We need to SUPPORT each other!  

We need to be each other's CHEERLEADERS!  

I think we all are doing the best with what we have.
I am thankful that I have a new lease on life! 
I can run!
I can rock climb!
I can play basketball!
I am 10+ years older than all the ladies I play with,
but I have a lot of lost time to make up for!
And even though I've damaged my knees from all those years of obesity,
right now I can still use them, and I'm so thankful for that.
My planters fasciitis is gone now!
I sleep SOOO much better than I ever did. 

If I have offended anyone who read this blog or this post, I sincerely apologize.
If my blog or story doesn't relate to you --
find blogs or books or whatever it is you need that does motivate you --
and then go for it!
Life is TOO SHORT to wait any longer!
Life is TOO SHORT to worry about what others are doing.
Make YOUR life worth LIVING!

That is all.  Peace out!
~Margene

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The ART of drinking water!


There really needs to be an art to drinking water when you aren't thirsty.  
Because really, to get in the minimum of 64 ounces of water a day, 
it means you are chugging the H2O when you're not necessarily thirsty.  

I think this is one reason I was never a good water drinker.  I didn't crave gulping it down.  
And, whenever I drank very much, I always had to pee a lot.  
It's a pain to keep running to the bathroom.  
I think that was my biggest obstacle.  

But now, I am a major water drinker.  
Usually over 100 ounces a day.  
But it takes conscious effort since it doesn't come naturally to drink when you're not thirsty.  
Here are some ways that have helped me:

1. Have some good water bottles that are easy to re-fill 
and drink from always available 
and get used to taking a water bottle 
with you wherever you go.  
I personally like the kind with a trigger spout 
that I tip to drink from.  
But I've also used the kinds with straws in them.

2. When I first get up in the morning, I've gotten in the habit of drinking a glass of water right off.  
This is before I've eaten or even showered.  
That first 8 oz is easy to get in first thing when I wake up.

3. It is my goal to try and drink one of my 24 oz water bottles 
with each of my six meals.  
So, before each meal, I take several swallows of water 
and then in between bites I keep taking sips here and there, 
so by the time I'm eating my last bite, 
my water bottle is pretty much empty.  
By this time, I'm feeling quite full and satisfied. 

4. I always try to quickly fill 
my water bottle back up once it is empty.

5. If I want a piece of gum, 
I always chug some water before I pop a piece in. 

6. I keep my water bottle with me in the car, 
and when I stop at a stop lights, 
I get a few swallows in each time.

7. To keep my water bottle full when I'm out and about, 
I take it in stores and eating places 
so that I can easily fill it up at a soda fountain 
where there is water 
or at a drinking fountain.  
I keep it in the cart when grocery shopping 
and chug a bit here and there.

8. To switch it up sometimes, I add in some crystal light 
or other low/no calorie flavoring into my water bottle.  
I try to do this only once a day 
because I don't want to become dependent 
on needing that flavor to drink my water.  
It's more of a little treat once in a while.

YES, I do have to use the bathroom quite a bit.  But, I feel better when I drink a lot of water!   It flushes out the toxins in my body.  I don't get headaches when my water is good.  I can just tell that my body feels and responds better when I'm getting my water in.  This is probably the biggest thing I've learned on my journey. Up until about 2.5 years ago, I barely had 1 or 2 glasses of water a day!  I think I've amazed myself that I've become such a water guru!

Do you have any tips or ways that help you get your goal amount of water in each day?

LIFE IS GOOD 
(especially with yummy water!)
XoXoxO ~Margene

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Video (Yikes, but happy)

Happy New Year!!!!  Wahooo!!!

Okay, my daughter made this video for a school project in her video production class.  She chose to interview me.  It was a busy day and I did NOT prepare for the interview, so I wasn't even wearing make-up or did my hair or anything... which, now I wish I did!!  She edited it all herself and I thought she did fantastic.  I just don't like the way I look... why do I have this crease in my forehead the whole time?

Anyway... to brag on my daughters video skills, I am posting it here on my blog!  


Life is GOOD
~Margene