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)

Monday, November 5, 2018

Day 50 on Bright Line Eating - Going on 8 Weeks with No Sugar and No Flour

We finished our 7th week using Bright Line Eating and we weighed in this morning and the results are:

Week 7:

I have released 5 pounds!

Brent has released 3 pounds!


I have released 22 pounds since we started!

Brent has released 15 pounds since we started!

It felt awesome to weigh in today and see that 5 pound drop! And Brent with 3 pounds gone! It makes me want to keep sticking to this plan and keep my lines BRIGHT! 

We stayed bright through Halloween!  The kids gave out candy. My daughter even organized and ran a cake walk on our driveway with cupcakes.  There were certain candy bars that would have been huge triggers in the past. I didn't even look because it wasn't an option for me. It's like I had no interest and I kept my mind on other things. 

And it paid off with a great release of pounds this week!!

We tried some new foods this week. I will detail them in the images below. 

Week 7 Day 2 BREAKFAST
 Waffle (4 oz shredded potatoes, 1 egg, 1 oz cheese) and Strawberries.  This was pretty yummy. I used frozen shredded potatoes. It wasn't really a "batter", I just clumped them on the waffle iron and made sure to pre-spray the iron. I added salt and pepper. Yummy breakfast.

Week 7 Day 3 BREAKFAST
 (NEW) 1 oz. Shredded Wheat Cereal with 4 oz unsweetened Almond Milk, 3 sausages, 3 oz Frozen Blueberries and 3 oz. Banana.  This was fun to have cereal again.  Only, next time I will make sure the blueberries are defrosted!  Yummy!

Week 7 Day 3 LUNCH
 2 oz Cashew Nuts, Celery & Dill Pickle, 2 Clementines & Cheese.
This was a fast lunch. I didn't have any protein prepared at the time so I went with the nuts (almonds for Brent) and it was a very satisfying lunch!

Week 7 Day 4 BREAKFAST
2 Scrambled Eggs, 4 Sausages, Strawberries and Clementine Wedges. 
OKAY - I accidentally had TWO proteins this meal and forgot my grain - so for lunch I just omitted the protein and had my grain so it all worked out!  

Week 7 Day 4 LUNCH
1 oz Sweet Potato Crackers (Grain I should have had at Breakfast), Steamed Cabbage and some Salad, Cheese. We sure love these organic sweet potato crackers from Costco! 

Week 7 Day 4 DINNER
 2 Organic Grass Fed Beef Hot Dogs, Spaghetti Squash and Tomatoes. Super yummy.

Week 7 Day 5 BREAKFAST
Waffle (1 oz Oatmeal, 1 egg, 3 oz Banana), 3 Sausage Links, and 3 oz Berries.  One of our favorite breakfasts!

Week 7 Day 5 LUNCH
(NEW) 3 oz Cheese / Salami Pack from Costco, Celery, Cucumbers, & Tomatoes, 2 Clementines.  We saw this pack of snack salami/cheese at Costco and after checking the ingredients, thought we'd try it for a meal. It was okay. Brent liked it more than I did so I will let him have these. :) 

Week 7 Day 6 BREAKFAST
(NEW) Waffle (4 oz of my home canned potatoes - mashed, 2 oz cheese) and 6 oz grapes.  I decided to try my potato waffle with all cheese instead of the egg and cheese and I LOVED it!  I also added some "Everything Seasoning for Bagels & More" along with ground sea salt and pepper. I had to let it cook for 9 minutes in waffle iron for it to come out in one piece. But I definitely will be making this more. I loved the crisp cheese flavor. Savory. :)

Most of my other meals were similar to what I've already posted.  I like to buy 6 lbs of lean ground turkey and cook it on the stove, drain and add in taco seasoning (Checking the ingredients for no sugar). Then I weigh it and portion it into containers for our taco salad meals. We also are enjoying more squash and zucchini for fall. 

I've never enjoyed veggies so much before!

We tried Bok Choy recently and enjoyed that. We try to get organic fruits and vegetable as much as we can. 

Our veggie staples seem to be:
  • Peppers (red, orange & yellow)
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Yellow Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Onions
  • Dill Pickles (for me - I just love them!)

Our fruit staples seem to be:
  • Bananas
  • Pears
  • Clementines
  • Seedless Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple

I'm trying to diversify when I can to change it up. Overall, I feel we eat so much better than we ever have. I'm finding it easier to be on top of meals. Sometimes I do stress when I need to get and prepare my food, because it seems like a lot.  But I'm thankful when my kids help me. 

Earlier this week, my youngest son helped me cook all my ground turkey while I worked on making my oatmeal waffles for the week. I like to make 6-8 waffles and then freeze them.  Then the night before I just pull two out of the freezer and it defrosts overnight.  The next morning I warm them up in the microwave and add the other half of the protein and fruit and breakfast is done!

What takes a little more planning is when I'm cooking a squash in the oven, or a salmon patty, or roasting veggies. I can saute veggies on my stove pretty quickly. I usually just chop up whatever I have and blend them together and just cook 'em! Adding some freshly ground sea salt and pepper is enough to bring out their flavor. I do add dill weed to many items too, as I just love that flavor. 

For Thanksgiving, we plan to keep our lines bright. No slices of sugar filled pies, or huge portions of mashed potatoes and what not. I don't want to stall or slow down our weight loss. I feel satisfied and cravings are under control.  Eating off plan is just an invitation for trouble and it's just not worth it to me. 

Life is good!  
~Margene xoxoOOXX

Monday, October 29, 2018

Day 43 on Bright Line Eating - Traveling While on Plan

We finished our 6th week using Bright Line Eating and we weighed in this morning and the results are:

Week 6:

I have released 1 pound!

Brent has regained 1 pound!

We stayed on plan MOST the week, even while we were traveling and staying in a new place EXCEPT for 3 meals where we weren't able / or didn't make arrangements to weigh our food AND where we allowed a little bit of off plan food AND where we snacked a couple times on dehydrated cheese (Moon Cheese) and popcorn. 

We kept to the No Sugar and No Flour Bright Line this week.

So since I allowed myself to snack while we were away from home (on a 'kind of' vacation), I have to be very wary NOT to slip into thinking I can do that. It was probably NOT good to do that because for the first time since being on plan, it started to feel hard and I felt longings for off plan foods.

Going in to the Food Mart at gas stations and seeing all the food and snacks was a little tempting, and being out in public places and smelling foods made me long to have an off plan day. 

But I KNEW I didn't really want that.

I DID pack all our meals and prepared things beforehand so that was super convenient to have in the car while driving and at the place we stayed. 

Here are the only pictures I took of meals this week:

WEEK 6 Meals

 Day 2 DINNER: Salmon patty, Spaghetti Squash, Dill Pickles, Cheese

 Day 3 LUNCH: 2 Sausage Patties, Spaghetti Squash, Cheese, Honeydew

Day 4 BREAKFAST: Organic Sweet Potato Crackers, Cheese, and 2 Clementines 

Overall, I feel like we did really good this week. When we did eat out, we chose healthy foods and foods with no sugar or flour. It feels good that we are making these changes which will benefit our health.

We got to go in a pool, the first time since Brent's stroke. He used his motorized scooter and then walker to get to the pool rail and then down in the pool, and it was awesome for him to have more control and range of motion in the pool. We had fun practicing all he could do and now we want to go swimming more often. :)

We attended a couple marching band state and region competitions, and at one point, Brent wanted to stand and lean on the rail. I snapped this picture of him talking with his dad. I am so blessed to have my best friend still with me. I could so easily be a widow right now if it weren't for the answered prayers of my Heavenly Father. 

 Brent standing by his dad at the Dixie Stadium for the Bands of America Regional Championship

Me and Brent visiting the St. George Temple (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). It is a beautiful and very historical temple!

This was our first trip we've taken where we've had to worry about needing to find places that are accessible for Brent's disability. It worked out well, and I'm SO glad we got Brent a motorized scooter so he can have some independence of where he goes. 

On to Week 7!! 
It's starting to become second nature to eat with Bright Lines!
Life is good.
~Margene xoxoOOX

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Day 36 on Bright Line Eating - Eating Out

We finished our 5th week using Bright Line Eating and we weighed in yesterday morning and the results are:
Week 5:
I have released 1 pound!
Brent has released 3 pounds!

I have released 16 pounds since we started!
Brent has released 13 pounds since we started!

It's starting to become second nature now to eat with these bright lines. I'm sure it helps that I work from home and Brent is home so we are not out in an environment that is constantly tempting us. But even if we did, I think that having our meals planned and being prepared is majorly helpful!  

I don't feel hungry hardly ever. 
I don't worry about food except when I need to get it prepared. :)
I don't have cravings!!!

This week I had a time where I went out to dinner with some friends. Kneaders was the chosen place. I looked at the menu online before going and I knew exactly what I would order: The Thia Chicken Salad. Everything on it I approved of eating, and when I was there I asked for a dressing that had no sugar in it and they gave me some ranch. It worked out great. 

Here are my meals this week:

Week 5 - Day 1
 BREAKFAST: Waffle (Oatmeal, egg & 1/2 banana), Sausage, Strawberries

LUNCH: Lentil Tortillas w/ Turkey Taco meat, cheese, Lettuce, Cucumbers and Tomatoes

DINNER: Salmon Patty, Steamed Cabbage, Dill Pickle, Sauteed Asparagus, Peppers and Mushrooms, Cheese.

Week 5 - Day 2
BREAKFAST: Brents on the left is Rice Cakes w/ Almond Butter and Banana, Margene's on the Right is Triscuits with Cheese and Grapes.

LUNCH: Ham and Hummus, Peppers & Celery, Cheese, Pear

DINNER: Taco Peppers! Pepper with Turkey Taco Meat and Mushrooms, Cheese, Tomatoes, Dill Pickle. This was new and I just tried it last minute. I Cooked the peppers at 350 for about 30 minutes. They were yummy to just pick up and eat. Not all the meat fit in the pepper so I baked it in a glass dish next tot he peppers like it shows below: 

Week 5 - Day 3
BREAKFAST: Scrambled eggs, Potatoes, Pear - YUM

LUNCH: Cottage Cheese, Cucumbers & Peppers, Pear, Cheese

DINNER: Salmon Patty, 2 Dill Pickles, Steamed Cabbage.

Week 5 - Day 4
BREAKFAST: Scrambled eggs, Potatoes, Pear - YUM

LUNCH: Shredded Pork & Cheese, Celery, Grapes & Cantaloupe

DINNER at KNEADERS: Thai Chicken Salad with Ranch Dressing. There was so much here I couldn't eat it all!

Week 5 - Day 5
 BREAKFAST: Waffle (Oatmeal, egg & 1/2 banana), Sausage, Grapes, Clementine & Strawberries

LUNCH: Cottage Cheese (with Dill Weed Sprinkled on top), 2 Dill Pickles, Grapes & Cantaloupe, Cheese.

DINNER: Pulled Pork, Sauteed Asparagus, Onions, Bok Choy, and Peppers, Tomatoes

Week 5 - Day 6

BREAKFAST: Cottage Cheese, Triscuits, Pineapple and 1/2 Plum

LUNCH: Taco Salad with ground turkey, Romaine Lettuce, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, and Cheese, Strawberries

(Forgot Picture of Dinner)

Week 5 - Day 7

(Forgot Picture of Breakfast)

LUNCH: Cottage Cheese, Tomatoes & Dill Pickle, Raspberries and Pineapple. (This was a really delicious lunch to me) 
 (Forgot Picture of Dinner - but it was prime rib steak again and oh so good!)

As week 6 is commencing, I'm not taking as many pictures of my meals because they are all beginning to look similar. You can easily tell the foods that we use often and in different ways. I will post when it's something a little different or new for us. 

I can show you my supper from last night 
Week 6 Day 1
 DINNER: Left over Prime Rib Steak, Veggies Sauteed in Butter: Yellow Squash and Zucchini, 2 Dill Pickles. We love zucchini and squash sauteed in butter so this was a treat!

This morning I tried something NEW. 
Week 6 Day 2:
 BREAKFAST: Waffle (Potato Shreds, Egg, Cheese - Salt and Pepper) with Strawberries.  This was fun to try! The waffle is bigger than it looks in this picture and quite filling. It was pretty tasty!

LUNCH: Pulled Pork, Cucumbers and Peppers and Honeydew Melon.
First time having honeydew and it was crisp and sweet.

This week I'm also adding in some Jimaca which I have already cut into crunch sticks. We will get the chance in a future time to try eating our Bright Lines while traveling and staying somewhere other than home! I'm sure with planning and preparing it will all work out. 

I have to say that I've noticed as I compare my old charts that I kept from 2010 when we started Medifast that we lost weight a little quicker then.

Week 5 Medifast: 25 pounds gone
Week 5 Bright Line Eating: 16 pound gone

Week 5 Medifast: 28 pounds gone
Week 5 Bright Line Eating: 13 pounds gone 

Here is a little comparison chart I made showing the difference so far with when we lost weight using Medifast / Take Shape For Life - (aka now Optavia) and how we are currently losing weight with Bright Line Eating.

Anyways... I'm off!  Have a fantastic week and remember that LIFE IS GOOD!!
~Margene xoOXX

Monday, October 15, 2018

Day 28 on Bright Line Eating - It Takes Faith to Change

We finished our 4th week using Bright Line Eating and we weighed in this morning and the results are:

Week 4:
I have released 2 pounds!
Brent has released 3 pounds!

I have released 14 pounds since we started!
Brent has released 10 pounds since we started!

So Brent have now released more pounds than me last week! Yay! I can't believe it's already been 4 weeks. As we've been going on this it seems to go by faster.  However, I am BUSY in the kitchen much more. 

Things That Have Changed

I was originally planning to PRE-MAKE all my food on Sunday, but that hasn't happened. And it's okay, as long as I have the needed food and often I pre-make some of it. Like I will take 5 to 6 lbs of ground turkey and cook it up and add in the taco seasonings. Then I portion it out in 10 oz. containers and store in the fridge. Then, when I make our taco salads, I weigh 6 oz. on to Brent's plate and I already know the rest is 4 oz for me. That makes taco salads easy to make for me.

I sometimes chop up salad or veggies, but often I do it before the meal. It seems to be all working out good. 

In the past I wasn't making many meals for my family. My kids are all 18 and older and they all have jobs so they prepare their own meals and lunches for work. I've just tried to keep the food in the house for them.  

I hate to admit this, but I was often very tired and I struggled with my moods. So I sometimes relied on my kids to bring me food while I sat on my recliner. They are all such loving children, and didn't complain to bring me food and often cleaned up afterwards. 

That has totally changed! I never eat in our media room, or anywhere else but our kitchen table! And now, I am the one making meals more often for my kids! When they are home and I'm making me and Brent's breakfast, lunch or dinner, I make portions for them too. I will often just add in something more for them like a breaded chicken patty, extra fruit and so forth. Now that they are older, they actually love my roasted veggies and salads. They have been thanking me for the meals I make and I feel like a better mom. And I don't just leave all the clean up to them, I find myself having more energy and desire to clean up in the kitchen. My son told me that every night after dinner, he will always do the dishes for me! How sweet is that?

I've had to CHANGE how I do things. Some of these changes have been initially difficult. Like:
  • Staying on a schedule of eating
  • Writing down beforehand all our meals
  • Shopping often and keeping the foods we eat fresh and on hand
  • Not thinking about off-plan eating or certain food triggers
Yet it has gotten progressively easier. I think the HOPE of getting all my weight off is my driving force. And because I know this will work, and I've seeing evidence of that, I have no desire to mess it up. 

Effective Change Requires Faith

I also have to admit that I know the Lord's Hand has been involved in this. I know this because for the last 4 years I've been trying various things and I got to the point where I felt there was no hope. I had been praying to be shown a way that I could get my weight off and that Brent and I could get healthier. I truly felt defeated... for a long time. I had given up inside and was not monitoring my eating much, because I felt like it wasn't making a difference when I did.

When I was introduced to Bright Line Eating through my friend and it was explained to me, it felt different. As I saw all the results of others on FB who have used this program, and how so many have kept the weight off - I began to believe that this would work for us. More than that, I felt a confirming feeling that THIS was my answer.  

This is the same feeling I felt back in 2010 when I first found TSFL/Medifast program. I knew it would work. That was my answer in 2010 and in 2018, BLE in our answer.

The main factors involved aren't just solely the design, science and genius of the program, the main factor is FAITH. And specifically (for me), faith in my Savior Jesus Christ, that HE will bless our efforts with success. I KNOW it is through His mercy and grace that we can do this, after doing all in our power. He makes up the rest. 

For change to be effective, there must be Faith or Belief that it can happen. Then it takes Work to make it happen. If I am willing to put in the work, I pray that my Savior will ensure that my work yields my desired results. For me, my physical state and spiritual state are completely interconnected. I learned this my first time around and I'm re-learning it again!

Another bit of honesty here for anyone who actually does read this, is I feel that timing is not coincidence. I feel like there are tribulations close ahead, and the Lord is giving me a time to get my weight down (and Brent), so that we can be in a better place physically to handle all that is coming.

Meal in the Theater

Last week we tried something. We tried eating our day 2 dinner at a theater during a movie. I brought our protein, and some of our veggies, and we used theater popcorn and butter as the rest of our veggies and the fat. This was pre-planned, and it went really well. I had pre-weighed our popcorn tub to ensure the amount of popcorn we could eat. 

What we learned from this was:
  • Eating popcorn at the theater wasn't near as enjoyable as I thought!
  • It was nice, but not "filling" like our meals at home.
  • I realized that going without popcorn at the theater is fine, and not a big loss!

Here are our meals for week 4:

Week 4 - Day 1:
 BREAKFAST: 4 oz Cottage Cheese, Pineapple, Oatmeal and Berries

 LUNCH: 4 oz Turkey Leg Meat, 6 oz Squash, Pear, Cheese

DINNER: 4 oz Pork, Sauteed Peppers, Mushrooms and Onions, Salad, Cheese

Week 4 - Day 2:
 BREAKFAST: Oatmeal/Egg/.5 Banana Waffle, Sausage, Berries

LUNCH: 4 oz Cottage Cheese, Pineapple, Squash, 2 Dill Pickles
(I am loving squash more than I ever did!)

DINNER: (No image, at the theater: Salmon Patty (veggie Burgers for Brent), Cucumbers, Popcorn and Butter

Week 4 - Day 3:
 BREAKFAST: 2 Scrambled Eggs, Clementine and Berries, Oatmeal

 LUNCH (Brent): 1 oz Almond Butter, Cheese, Celery, Apple

 LUNCH (Margene): 4 oz Cottage Cheese, Pineapple, Squash, Cheese

DINNER (at a relative's home): Pork, Salad, Cabbage, & Sauteed Onions, Peppers, and Mushrooms
We were able to keep our bright lines when eating at my sister's house. I brought my mobile scale and measured it all. It was yummy!

Week 4 - Day 4:
 BREAKFAST: 2 Scrambled Eggs, 4 oz Pan Fried Potatoes, Pear

LUNCH: Taco Salad (4 oz Ground Taco Seasoned Turkey), Romaine Lettuce, Peppers, Tomatoes, Shredded Cheese) Grapes

DINNER: 4 oz Shredded Pork, Tomatoes, Sauteed Asparagus, Peppers and Onions, Dill Pickle, Cheese

Week 4 - Day 5:
 BREAKFAST: 1 oz Triscuits (7), Cheese, Netcarine

 LUNCH (Margene): 4 oz Cottage Cheese, Pineapple, Strawberries, Celery, Yellow Pepper, Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge

 LUNCH (Brent): Hot Dogs, Hummus, Celery, Cantaloupe, Pineapple, Strawberries, Cheese

DINNER: Salmon Patty & Cheese, Tomatoes, Sauteed Peppers and Mushrooms, Dill Pickle

Week 4 - Day 6:
 BREAKFAST: Oatmeal/Egg/Banana Waffle, Strawberries, Sausage

 LUNCH: 4 oz Turkey Leg Meat, Celery, Dill Pickle, Cheese, Grapes and Cantaloupe

DINNER: Taco Salad (Ground Taco Seasoned Turkey, Romaine Lettuce, Peppers, Tomatoes, Cheese)

Week 4 - Day 7:
We Fasted Breakfast and Lunch
(Brent couldn't fast completely so he had a small piece of fruit and slice of cheese for these meals)

DINNER: Prime Rib (I didn't weigh because I was using my lunch and dinner protein for this), Steamed Cabbage, Tomatoes, and Dill Pickle
This was the BEST prime rib I've ever had. I marinated it with a big of olive oil and a herbal rub, the black char is not burnt - it was very tasty! I cooked it Medium - Using Olive Oil on my Iron Skillet, and after turning it over, I then popped it in my 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. It was perfect!

We are pressing forward on Week 5! Today I tried making tortillas out of lentils! A one ingredient tortilla. I will share next week how that worked out.

Onward and upward. Life is good
~Margene XoxO