Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Making an effort

As you know I loosely started THM around May 20th. In my first week and a half of just drinking the Good Girl Moonshine and adding some salads to my meals I dropped 9 lbs like a rock. However, as we neared the end of the two weeks between paychecks the plan friendly food began to wear out, and I had to go back to eating the off-plan foods I still had in pantry. I couldn't afford to just chuck everything and start over with all on-plan foods. Over that weekend I gained back about 2 or 3 lbs. That was disappointing, but totally understandable given the food I was eating. 

Here's the exciting part of this. Over the course of the two weeks, I had been noticing my mobility increasing almost daily. One day I was just walking and suddenly realized that I was swinging my hips again. I have been "toddling" holding my body as stiff as I could to minimize the constant pain in my legs and lower back. I work in a church and I have to walk to through the sanctuary to the front of the building several times a week. Its a very average sized Methodist no mega church 5K stride needed. I would be in so much pain by the time I made it back to my desk that I would be pale and sweating and having to do breathing exercises just to keep from throwing up. This was daily pain. People that were around when I would get back to my office were always concerned for me because I looked as bad as I felt. In that two weeks, while I still dealt with pain, I wasn't having to hold myself still and I wasn't sick by the time I got back to my desk. 

After paychecks, with this "new" mobility in my back pocket so to speak, we went grocery shopping. I made it through Sam's no problem. A little sore, but okay to go to another store. This just doesn't happen. I am usually so worn out from the stress and pain that the shopping trip gets cut short and I can't even think about another store. This time, we went on to Walmart and Publix! Three stores in one night. Unheard of! LOL- I was in SO. MUCH. PAIN. the next two days. I really overdid it, but it was fun while it happened. 

When we went shopping we restocked the house with on-plan foods and Stefani and I decided it was time to take it to the next level and eat fully on-plan. We started right away Tuesday, June 3rd. By the time I woke up on the third day from the shopping trip, the pain that would have crippled me for at least a week was totally gone. As a matter of fact, we had to stop by Winn Dixie on the way home from an evening out Saturday to pick up more cottage cheese and I walked through the entire store without having to get a cart to lean on. Triumph!! (One of my short-term goals accomplished!!) My energy is way up and I only deal with flare-ups about every other day now. Usually in my knees and hips, not so much my back. I think that my body was really storing up some toxins that are starting to break down now...and it wants to rebel. Anyway, we have been completely on plan for 8 days and it's getting easier and easier to do. 

In the last couple of days I went through my ovulation period. Yesterday I was so bloated I couldn't stand myself, and last night I had a complete hormonal meltdown. Not emotional...just cravings. (I think my emotional state has been pretty even keeled, and I notice my crabby moods faster.) Yesterday my tongue would accept nothing but "real" chocolate. I said "to heck with it" and ate a handful of chocolate chips melted with sugar free peanut butter and raw walnuts. It was good, but not as good as my brain remembered it being. Then, later last night I ate about 20 or so more chocolate chips. In my mind...this was it. This was the end. I had officially fallen off the wagon and there was no going back. After the way I felt yesterday (as big as a house), and after eating all. that. sugar. I figured I was destined to spend the rest of my life gaining weight. 

Oh, thank you God for your grace that covers my life. 

I woke up this morning to a 2lb weight loss. My jeans fresh out of the dryer, who had always been snug in the tummy but not the waist, were loose on me and are currently sliding down my body as I walk because I don't own a belt. My new shirt that I bought a couple weeks ago that was cute, but still snug around the middle...fits me perfectly and I. Feel. Cute. Today!

With that little pick me up..I realized that I needed to start making an effort. I had given up styling my hair because it never helped anyway. I just pulled it back into an unattractive pony tail. I didn't wear makeup because that didn't help either, and I would sweat it off in the midst of all my pain. Today, I styled my hair and applied a tiny bit of makeup (baby steps ya know). It's time to show on the outside what I feel is happening on the inside. 

This is me this morning. ^^^

Nest is me almost 4 weeks ago. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Taking baby steps with Good Girl Moonshine!

Good Girl Moonshine is something created by Pearl and Serene (authors of Trim Healthy Mama) as an all-day sipper to help you when you need something with some flavor, but has so many health benefits to it as well. It incorporates Raw-Unpasteurized Apple Cider Vinegar (like Bragg's with the "Mother" in it) and ginger with other flavors. Here's a link to the original version. Follow the links --> to learn about the health benefits of the ACV and ginger

Stefani and I tried the original version. It was a little too strong for us, so I made some adjustments that turned out fantastic. I just went crazy with the extracts that I had on hand. 

"Pina Colada" version: 

Quart Ball Jar filled with ice and water
1/2 Lime squeezed in the jar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Truvia or Stevia with erythritol
1-2 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp coconut extract

Mix well and enjoy.

"Buttered Rum" version. (Yes, it tastes like a buttered rum Lifesaver): Not pictured, but looks very similar to the Pina Colada ^^ version.

Quart Ball Jar filled with ice and water
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Truvia or Stevia with erythritol
1-2 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp rum extract
1/2 tsp butter flavor extract

Mix well and enjoy.

"Cherry Limeade" version
Quart Ball Jar filled with ice and water
1/2 Lime squeezed and sliced into the jar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Truvia or Stevia with erythritol
1-2 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
3/4 tsp cherry extract

Mix well and enjoy.

This is one of my favorites. :)

My most favorite flavor, so far, is this one- The Lemon-Lime Version:

Quart Ball Jar filled with ice and water
1/2 Lime squeezed and thrown in the jar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp Truvia or Stevia with erythritol
1-2 Tbl Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon extract

Mix well and enjoy.

SO refreshing!! I liked this one better with 2 Tbl of the ACV. It just seemed to give it a nicer kick. I'm not an alcohol drinker, but I imagine this is the way a "hard" lemonade would taste. 

Of course, you can use less sweetener if you don't like yours as sweet. You can use more apple cider vinegar if you like it to have more kick. I'm still getting used to the whole GGMS thing. The vinegar can be hard to take in large amounts. I find, though, that the more I drink it...the more I like it...hence, the more I add to my moonshine! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Today, I'm going to talk about goals. Specifically, my goals concerning Trim Healthy Mama, and what I plan to get out of this. Every new "diet" scares the bejeebers out of me. Failure has been my modus operandi for so long I don't know what success feels like in weight loss. I'll be completely honest, I'm more scared of succeeding than failing. Mostly, because if I succeed, then I have to keep it up. And keeping up a successful endeavor can be exhausting. Everything I've read about THM gives me the idea that it is easy to do and easy to succeed with. My inner man cries out, "Oh please, let this be true!!!" I fear that if I fail at this...I will never try again and I will live the rest of my days fat and disabled. 

One of the several good things I walked away from college with is a new way of looking at goal setting. It's not just this abstract thing...

....there is a way to systematically achieve them!

Take an honest look at your goal. 

Is it specific...or is it abstract? Specific says, "I want to lose 20 pounds", abstract says, "I want to lose weight". 

Is it measurable? 20 pounds is a measurement. Losing weight is not. How will you know when you've reached your goal? 

Is it attainable? Can you actually lose weight, much less 20 pounds? Is there a plan in place to help you? 

Is it relevant? Do you need to lose weight? Do you need to lose 20 pounds? Can you lose weight?

Is there a time limit? How long are you going to give yourself to lose 20 pounds? Do you have a wedding you want to go to? Do you have enough time to achieve your goal in a healthy manner? 

All of these questions help put together the bridge that will take you from where you are to achieving your goal. 

With this formula for addressing my goals, here is what I have come up with for long-term goals: 

1) I want to lose 100 pounds by this time next year. (May 2015) I think I will be under or at my wedding weight. (I never weighed myself at that time)

2) I want to be able to walk a 5K by this time next year. (May 2015) I am currently unable to stand for more than 5 minutes at a time, much less walk any distance, without assistance.

3) I want to fit in a size 12 by this time next year. (May 2015)

Here is my list of short-term goals: 

1) I want to eliminate sugar from my diet completely by June 30th.

2) I want to join a Zumba class by August.

3) I want to be able to walk through a store without assistance by August. 

In all of this goal-setting and "worrying", I have to remember that it is God who has made me able to do any and all things I need to do through the strength of Jesus Christ. (Phil 4:13) and that MY GOD shall supply my every need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:19)

He is going to turn the Possible. This will be another lesson in, not only, #faithfulness but also in trusting and letting go. 

I'm so thankful he has put several beautiful women in my life that are going to help me through this journey by living it out in their own lives. 

Stefani, Jenn, and Misty....we will do this. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Update Post

It was almost like the minute after I started this blog, I found any reason to not write in it. I spent a little while encouraging myself...and then just quit. But, I'm back. I have some changes I am making in my life and I need somewhere to document it for myself. I have much more time to be on the computer doing my own thing now, instead of school, so let's hope it sticks. 

I have decided to try the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. The book comes Monday, so I haven't actually started it yet. But, I have been following a group on Facebook for a week, and started learning lots of new things. I have been encouraged by the success stories of so many women with the same health issues and challenges I face. I feel like this is my last, desperate effort to get healthy. I am to the point where weight finds me whether I eat or don't eat. Whether I drink a soda or only water. It doesn't matter. My knees are so bad I can barely walk. My back hurts so bad I can barely stand. My legs will literally give out from beneath me if I stand for more than 5 minutes. 

I am only 42. I will be 43 in November. I told myself that I was going to be healthy for the second phase of my life. That was when I was 39. I was going really great at it..and then I just wasn't anymore. I feel like I have seriously hurt my children physically because my daughter is almost as big as I am at the tender age of 19. She wants to meet someone and marry and have children someday, but she doesn't think any of that will happen because of her size. We are so unhealthy. 

So, today is just a day to get me back into logging into this blog. My next entry I will talk more about what my specific health issues are, and what my goals are. I want to be all that I can be to the glory of God....and right now, I am so far from that. 

This is me every time I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror:

I don't want to feel like this anymore. I told my husband today that I know my body will get healthy as I stop eating processed foods and sugar, and that is really good. But, I think the greatest gift of all will be looking at myself in a mirror and being happy with what I see. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Coming Out

Coming out of a disheartened place is like coming out of depression. It requires you to choose to look at 'things' and 'situations' differently. Not look only for the negative, but for the silver lining as well. Sometimes we have to dig, because the lining is buried beneath our perceptions. 

One baby step after another. Keep moving forward. Only death lay behind you. There's nothing to go back to, or for. 

Monday, August 26, 2013


2 Cor 1:8b-10 NLT 

".....We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.  In fact, we expected to die. 

But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.  

And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. 

We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us."

Exactly everything I wanted to say. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013


The first two images are how the world views submission. Whether we like to admit it or not, those images have influenced how Christians view submission. How I view submission. But I don't think that's what God intends....

Here's why:

This morning, as I was scrolling through the Facebook feed on my phone, I came across a scripture that sort of stopped me in my tracks. Normally, with the "really long" ones I'll just keep scrolling. Always thinking to myself, "I'll go back and read that later", knowing full well that I won't, or "I don't have time for that right now". Am I the only one that does that? Probably not. This morning, however, this one caught my eye and I expanded it to read the whole thing. It had to be the Holy Spirit (but thanks for posting it Gerri). 

Job 22:21-30 NLT “Submit to God, and you will have peace; then things will go well for you. Listen to his instructions, and store them in your heart. If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored— so clean up your life. If you give up your lust for money and throw your precious gold into the river, the Almighty himself will be your treasure. He will be your precious silver! Then you will take delight in the Almighty and look up to God. You will pray to him, and he will hear you, and you will fulfill your vows to him. You will succeed in whatever you choose to do, and light will shine on the road ahead of you. If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’ God will save them. Even sinners will be rescued; they will be rescued because your hands are pure.” (my underlines)

Right out of the gate it says "Submit to God and you will have peace". After the day that I had studying college algebra yesterday, I am feeling a lack of peace. 

At one point my phone died and I had to stop because it was my calculator, and I was to the point of physically felling ill from the brain strain. Then, later on in the day I experienced losing my equilibrium, and literally fell flat on my face. I couldn't have stood if I wanted to. All day yesterday I was lacking in peace. When I got up in the morning I had simply gone through my routine with God. I knew there wasn't a great deal of conviction in anything I was doing. None of the scriptures I read really spoke to my heart, and I felt hindered in my prayers. Almost like I couldn't remember what it was that I prayed for every day. My focus was not on God. It was on "doing my morning set". 

This morning is different. I can't get "Submit to God" out of my head. The words just keep rolling through my head like ticker tape. I find it so interesting that Holy Spirit is helping me focus on the real message of the scripture. The real message isn't "You'll have peace", or "You will be rich". It's "Submit to God", "Listen", "Return", "Give up". All the rest of those scriptures follow that first action. They are merely the by-product of an act of obedience. 

Matt 6:33 KJV "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."

It says "Seek Ye first...". THEN "all these things shall be added..." 

I have come to firmly believe that all the richness of a relationship with God follows an obedience to Him and His Word. Too many times we spout off scriptures that we know we are supposed to confess, because "Faith comes by hearing...and hearing by the word of God". (Romans 10:17 KJV "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.")
We need to hear the Word of God coming out of our mouths to build our faith, consequently we are confessing the right things over our lives. 

But, let's explore that for a second. What if you/we are just saying words? I was raised in church. I know how to speak church. I know how to 'do' church. I think I have always 'believed' the Word coming out of my mouth. But, it wasn't coupled with an absolute submission. 

When we moved to Florida, I struggled terribly with depression. Nothing was going the way we thought it was going to. I couldn't find a job. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month just so we could save up enough money to buy a ham and all the trimmings for our first Easter on our own. I became pretty disillusioned with God. I didn't stop loving him, just let my 'faith' waver. Then, we ended up leaving the church we thought was going to be home, and started attending a different church that didn't work for us either. However, while we were attending this church, God started speaking to my spirit about Matt 6:33, and about learning how to focus my attention on the first part of the scripture instead of the "...and all these things.." portion. 

It's been almost two years now that "Seek Ye first...." has been on my mind. I'm not a fast mover when it comes to change. For me, it's always a slow growth. I always ask the Holy Spirit to never leave my children alone. To just keep picking at them until their lives are totally submitted to God. Then, I tack on "me too" to the end of the prayer. I just  don't stop to think about the fact that I asked for the 'fire' to cleanse me when I'm going through periods of trial. 

"Seek Ye first" is not an ooey-gooey, sloppy agape thing between me and God. My seeking is always followed by a removal of things that are harmful for me, and to me. Sometimes, I make it painful by fighting to keep what is being removed, because it disturbs my comfort zone. I tend to look like the first picture when I'm learning to submit.

"Seek Ye first" always has a promise of "and all these things" following it. If I stopped fighting God about the things He removes from my life, and really submitted my heart to His will without the fight.....I wonder if I would have a greater understanding of "all these things" right away. 

You know..."all these things" that don't have the stench of burnt flesh and battle scars covering them. 

I think God wants our submission to look like surrender.