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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Trim Healthy Mama!

I came across a book recently that has gotten me really excited!  Trim Healthy Mama, written by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett, is an excellent, down to earth, common sense approach to healthy living!  If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you understand my battle with weight loss, and honestly, I had no intention of returning to any type of blogging or creating a buzz around my weight again.  That thought just gives me a stomach ache.

I stumbled across the book through a friend on Facebook, and have really enjoyed reading through it, although I must admit, I was very skeptical.  I read nearly the entire book in one day, and have found a new sense of excitement about taking hold of my health once again.

I hope to just use this blog to post any success I might have by implementing some of the recipes and advice I've gleaned from reading the book.  I'm new to the THM lifestyle, so if any THMama's come across this blog and have any tips or suggestions, please feel free to share!

This morning, I woke up excited to make the THM Pancakes that I've heard so much about!  I LOVE my carbs, so the fact that pancakes are allowed on the plan is so fantastic!

Trim Healthy Pancakes - E (I've been doing an E meal in the morning, and S meals the rest of the day)
The original recipe is found on page 223-224 in the book, Trim Healthy Mama.  To purchase the book, visit

I adapted this recipe from the book.  I'm not entirely sure that I am allowed to post the recipe on my personal blog, so I am just going to post pictures.  I also think that you really need to read the book to understand how the plan works.  It is really very important that you understand the "E" and "S" rules of the book.  Trust me, the $35 investment is SO worth it!

I did not love the sugar free syrup, and I didn't realize it was made with Splenda until I opened it this morning.  It also had a slight after taste that I do not enjoy.  Next time, I would enjoy these yummy pancakes with just the fruit!  I can still enjoy my morning coffee with cream on this plan! This makes for one happy mama..and I hope to be a trim, healthy mama someday! ;)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

404 days

FOUR HUNDRED AND FOUR DAYS have passed since my last post.
Holy Cannoli.
Speaking of cannoli's, unfortunately, I have consumed far too many recently.
So here's the low-down, and I'll keep it brief-

In 404 days, I have -

Gained 40 pounds back
Lost roughly 20 again
Gained 20 back
Lost 20 again

My husband got a new job.
No more self employment struggles.
He went to Spain for 8 weeks.
Things were beyond stressful while my husband was touring Europe.
Taking care of my children and my elderly father in law was almost unbearable on
some days.  But, it is behind us now, and we are extremely grateful for his job.

My father in law passed away on March 10, 2013. He had been sick for quite some time
with Congestive Heart Failure.  He started a steady decline in his health about 6 months before
he passed. So many emotions were felt when he died. Sadness. Relief. Guilt that we felt relief.
Joy that he accepted Jesus as his Savior one week before passing. Thankful for his incredible
generosity even in death.

A few months ago I started having some gallbladder pain. I've had some issues in recent years but nothing like this.  I am not experiencing any severe pain, but enough discomfort that has forced me to change my eating habits. Again. For a few weeks I have been eating completely "clean" again.  Not a drop of sugar. Fruits, veggies, fish, and small amounts of whole grains is all I can tolerate. I am able to use olive oil freely, so I am very thankful for that!  My clothes are loose again, but it's strange because I literally am just trying to stay healthy.  I rarely think about cravings. I have been scared to death of high fat, sugary junk foods.
Do I dare say..hallelujah?!

Feeling great,  and it always amazes me how quickly my body responds to real food.  I have decided not to get my gallbladder removed unless I am in a life threatening situation. If I am responding so well to this diet change, it is evident that choosing the right foods will allow me to keep my gall bladder, for now anyways.

The Lord keeps reminding me of this verse-

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn your statutes.
Psalm 119:71

Sometimes a little discomfort forces change.  I have been struggling with my weight for years, and maybe this is what it's going to take for me to get serious.  Pray for me, friends.  I am feeling wonderful, but my tendency is to go strong for a little while and then the cannoli's begin to scream my name.

Pressing on..

Monday, March 5, 2012

I Do Exist!

Oh my goodness friends. I am so ashamed at how long I have neglected to update this blog! What a sad excuse for a blogger I am!  I just sat here and re-read several earlier posts and couldn't help but laugh at myself and how many apologies were written, pleading for your forgiveness for my lack of consistent blogging. As I was reading, all I could hear in my head was.."blah blah blah blah...BLAH!!"

So I won't bore you with another paragraph of apologies. I'll put it to you plain and simple.

Life happens.
I fell off the wagon.
I've gained 10lbs.
I exercised last week for the first time since December. Yes, I said December.
My mind is reeling with excuses and pardons for my actions, but none seem worthy enough to even try to explain.

I am not a failure, although I have had many, many, MANY days where I certainly felt like one.
I stayed very far from this blog because I just didn't feel like explaining, and then I would reassure myself that I would get right back on the wagon and get back to blogging to report new weight loss..and you all would never know the real truth!! :) HA.
I try to pretend, but it's just not my style. I have always had a very hard time pretending to be someone that I'm not. So I just stayed away. Had good days and had bad days. Some days I ate whatever I wanted and then the very next day I would eat absolutely nothing, somehow convincing myself that all of the calories would even out if I just fast the day after a binge. A very unhealthy cycle for sure. The fast days quickly became less and less and the pounds started to creep back on. TEN total. Ugh.

My scripture cards are collecting dust at the bottom of one of my purses that I'm not even using currently. Sad, but true.  Therein lies the root of my set backs.

Last week I decided to jump back in full force--back to 100% clean eating and exercising. We made it to the gym once last week and I ended up getting sick. Probably all the junk coming out of my system--who knows.  I was sick for almost 3 days, but jumped right back in when I felt better.
My daughter, Ally who is headed for college this fall challenged me to get up with her every single morning and go to the Y to exercise.  My stomach was in knots when she approached me with this challenge.  I have such a hard time disappointing my kids!  My driving force in responding to this challenge was the mere fact that she won't be living with us much longer, and I know I will regret not having this time with her if I didn't agree!  Maybe it's the wrong reason, but it got me out of bed this bitter cold morning at 4:45 am. The temperature read 15 degrees when we pulled out of the driveway.

I sat in silence the entire way.  My poor child.  All I could muster up was, "how did you sleep?" to which she responded way too excitedly, "I slept GREAT! How about you?" My response was not so chipper- "Terrible."

I didn't utter another word until we were on the elliptical for 4 minutes and 40 seconds. I clearly remember looking at the time because I knew I had to say something to this poor little girl who actually loves to spend time with me, and WANTED to be there with me on this day!  I am ashamed to even admit that again, the only words I could even find in my brain were, "At least I'm here." She smiled so sweetly and said, "I know.  I'm glad you are."  For anyone who has ever looked at me and thought what a wonderful mother I is proof that I am no where near wonderful!! Human, yes. A night owl, yes. A morning person? Absolutely not.

Nearing 30 minutes into the workout I started to ease up and by the end we were almost smiling together! Almost.  The weather was horrible and every rotten person decided to sit on my tail on the ride home. By the time we got home I was miserable again! A bowl of fresh fruit and a hot cup of coffee was definitely helpful. :) Far more helpful was watching my daughter skip down the stairs and head off to school with her siblings smiling and happy that we made it to the gym this morning!

And now all I needed was my Bible.  My power.  My ever present Help in time of need.  My source of Life.  My daily bread.

My eyes fell upon this passage as my slump of a body sat on the couch.  Wondering if I'll ever really do this.  Will I ever stick with anything health related?  I know the context of this passage, but God used it to speak into my life today.  To remind me that He is still in control:

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me and when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity."   Jeremiah 29:11-14

I cannot even begin to explain how many days I have felt that I am being held captive by my desire for food.  He will bring me back from captivity. Can I get an Amen?!

So, I'm not even going to waste my breath by promising anything. I don't know when I will write again or add new recipes, and possibly do a video tutorial on some recipes.  All of these are grand ideas, and I have every intention of following through, but as you already know, things don't always go as planned.

Be well my friends, and please continue to pray for me!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hello Friends,

Wow-November was quite a crazy month! I lost no weight. I haven't stepped on the scale. I'm afraid of what it might say!  After cheating with cheesecake and Chinese food on my birthday, it's been extremely difficult for me to stay focused on my healthy eating plan!  I've found myself cheating more than I would like to admit and exercise has dwindled to about once per week, if that.  None of my clothes feel tight, so I may have only gained a couple of pounds, BUT-fact is, I have not lost!  I feel bouts of self hatred and condemnation flooding my thoughts quite often.  I try not to go into that mode, but honestly, I am NOT happy with the choices I have made recently.  I have not been the woman of self-discipline that I know God desires of me.  I know--no condemnation--I know He loves me in spite of myself, but I have been feeling quite discouraged these days.  However, when I awoke this morning, I felt a renewed sense of hope!

My in laws moved out this week, which was a tremendous weight lifted from my life!  I finally feel as if we have somewhat of a normal life back again!  It has taken all week for me to get the house clean again, smells removed and clutter organized.  If you know me at all, you know that I highly despise clutter!  There was much of it when they were living with us.  Real life hoarders were my house guests. Not that my house is always spotless, after all there are five children living here, but for the most part we try to keep it picked up as much as possible.  My sister in law did comment on several occasions that she wanted to clean her house the way I clean mine.  I am hoping that she learned the importance of tossing garbage on a regular basis!  Honestly, I am thankful for the time they spent here.  It was not easy, to say the very least.  It was inconvenient and at times a struggle to keep a smile on my face.  Twice I left the house and drove for several hours while sobbing and asking God why they were living with me!  Twice I lost my temper with them, and had to apologize for hurting their feelings.  The day they moved out, God revealed to me why they were here.  There is a long history of abuse in my husband's family and I have been praying for an open door to share the love of Jesus with my mother and sister in law.  Both were victims of emotional and physical abuse, and both have become extremely bitter.  I'm not sure of their salvation, as they are devout Catholics.  When I asked if they could ever remember a time when they asked Jesus into their hearts or given their lives over to Him, they responded that they "do that all the time".  Not sure how much they understand, but I do know that they love Jesus and that they desire to forgive and live the life God intended.  We had a beautiful conversation on the day they left.  Tears were shed and I received so many hugs - probably more than they gave me during their entire stay!  We talked in length about forgiveness and what that means, and I assured them that it didn't mean that they had to be their abusers "friend", but that God has commanded us to forgive as He has forgiven us.  My sister in law was so sweet when she said, "I want to forgive but I just don't know how" - what a beautiful heart she has!  She then asked me for a Bible!  I felt as if God's grace was so evident that day.  He made it so clear to me why they are in my life.  Relationships can be so difficult, and I am just grateful that they left on good terms and that they left!! :)  I volunteered to pick them up once a week and take them shopping, and I'm actually looking forward to being able to visit them - a much better situation than having them live with me!

So, I said all of that to say that today, on December 1, as I sit in my quiet, clean living room, I am ready to get my brain and butt back in gear!  I have pulled out my armor - the Word of God - and am ready to fight off those temptations!!  I was doing so well on the lots of veggies and lean proteins and no sugar-so that is what I am getting back to!  I don't care if it's the holidays, no more cheating for me!  I haven't reached the point of feeling physically awful from the sugar and white carbs that have made their way back into my body again, but I know that if I continue the way I am going, that I will be right back where I was six months ago, and by the grace of God, I will not go back there ever again!!

"Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:13b-14

Thank you for praying for me!
Love to all of you,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Random Acts of LOVE

"Today is my birthday.  I turn 38, and I have decided to celebrate my birthday by doing 38 random acts of kindness. I want to share God's love and bless you today."  I said a variation of this nearly 30 times today.  It got easier as the day went on, and my cup began to fill up extremely quickly.

I was inspired by another woman who did this very thing on her 38th birthday.  I happened to stumble across her blog yesterday, and in an instant I knew that this is how I wanted to spend my day.  I had planned on doing absolutely nothing on my day.  No housework, cooking, or even answering email.  I wanted a completely lazy day, and no arguing from my kids! (that's my usual request every year) :)  After reading what this woman did, I too, wanted in on this exciting task of making my birthday less about me and more about serving others. My day was far from the "lazy afternoon" I had envisioned, but I will be forever grateful for the gift my Father God prepared for me on this day.

I am a giver. I love to give. I get giddy over the thought of people seeing God shine through me.  It is nothing that I do myself-it is all Him.  My Father God.  He gives through me, He loves through me.
I also know Him well enough to know that when He has a task for me, the joy of obedience far out weighs any fears that may begin to rise up within me.  I also know that although sometimes the task seems scary, His plans are greater--and I don't want to miss out on a single thing that my God has for me!

I began to pray last night. I prayed hard and deeply. I prayed that God would bring people to my heart that He wanted His love shed upon through me. I prayed for the right people to be in the right place at the right time, for me to share His love.  I prayed that everyone I came across today would see Jesus in me. I also began to have a little fear. I worried about rejection.  I worried that I would stumble over my words-and I did at times. But, the best birthday gift ever was knowing that I made even just a tiny impact in more than 38 people's lives today.  Knowing that Jesus used me to love like He loves is such an amazing gift!

This morning started very early, and you will notice in the pictures that my hair is out of control and it appears that I only had a few hours of sleep--wait--I did only have 4 hours of sleep last night! :)

My first task: Bringing flowers and a card to my mother in law and sister in law.  I shared with them that although it hasn't been easy living together over the past 2 months, I am thankful that they are a part of my family. My sister in law cried and hugged me when I told her this. Honestly, this first task was a little difficult for me, but God softened my heart very quickly as I hugged my sister in law and told her that I loved her very much. She asked that I not take a picture of them so early. :)

Next, we headed to our church Webster Bible Church, and school, Webster Christian, to drop off muffins and pass out candy and cards to the staff.  I am so very thankful for the leadership and teachers at our church and school.  It was a joy to bless them in this small way today.
Michael helps carry in the muffins for the staff at our
church and school.

Candy for some teachers and a book for the 1st graders

Explaining why I was there-and received a hug! :) 

small gifts to love on some of our teachers

Julia helping out by leaving candy to surprise a favorite teacher

Note and candy bar for our mailman.  Letters to friends.  A special card
to a special lady I met on an airplane in August of this year. She was
very elderly and we talked through the entire flight, and became instant
friends.  She asked me to keep in touch, but I didn't until today.
I hope she remembers me and I hope she feels loved. 

My amazing, God-given friend, Darci arrives bright and early at my house to begin
our adventures.  This beautiful woman is truly a gift from God in my life.
She packed up her 6 children and picked up Tori and I and we set off to shine
for Jesus! I am honored to wear their family "birthday cake hat" - I truly feel loved by this lady!
Thank You, my sweet Darci, for just being YOU! 

Little did I know that I was in for a HUGE surprise!  Darci had emailed many of
my friends and family - ones she could "find" she said - and asked them to write
me a special note-words of incredible encouragement and love came from
every single page.  Every time I would do one of my random acts of love, she
would hand me an envelope and in turn, bless me.  I can't tell you how many
tears fell today while reading these letters. I will keep every single one forever.
Thank You, my precious family and friends! I am simply in awe of how much
I am loved!

I met this beautiful woman at BJs gas station.  I didn't know it, but Darci spotted
her before me and thought she seemed agitated.  I spotted her and grabbed a package of Panera
cookies and jumped out of the van.
(I gave out store bought baked goods to the random strangers and home-made to the people I know)
I approached her and heard Darci say-"you're thinking what I'm thinking" :) I shared why I
was there and she then shared that she had a horrible start to her day and how blessed
she was that I gave her some cookies!  And then this random stranger hugged me!
It was a beautiful feeling. Her eyes looked a little teary, and as we drove away I knew
that this was certainly going to be a fantastic day!

The whole crew, minus Ving who was our awesome photog for the day! :)
What a beautiful day in the Lord!

Buying flowers for a friend 

Really starting to enjoy this task God had planned for my 38th birthday!

I purchased a gift card at the register and gave it to this man behind me in line.
This was my plan all along. I prayed that God would put the person who was
supposed to receive this blessing behind me.  I have to say that this
was by far the most moving experience for me of the day.  His face seemed
to tell a story of heartache, and I literally almost started to cry when I was
talking to him.  I pray he felt blessed today.

Sharing God's Love is so FUN!

Next stop: the Webster Fire Department.  We thanked them for their service
in our community and brought cookies. The kids were given a full tour
of the place! What a great time! Unfortunately, the only firefighter there was
the chaplain and there was a truck mechanic, but we got to see all the
trucks and left the cookies for the firemen.

this one turned into a field trip!  We spent about half an hour here!

Tori was so excited to see a real fire house!

Thank You, Webster Fire Department!

We then went to several different homes of friends and church family to bless
them with cards, flowers, cookies and even coffee!


We stopped at UNO's where I purchased a Gift Card and then gave it to
a couple eating lunch.  The couple to my right were the ones who received it.
They were extremely grateful. At first they seemed a little skeptical, but
then were all smiles once they realized that I was serious. :)

We also thanked our Police Officers

This sweet little man was adorable. I jumped out of the van and helped him
get the door.  He could barely walk, but he was going in to vote. He was
very grateful and broke my heart when he looked at me and said,
"my legs just don't want to work anymore".  I could tell he may have felt
a little embarrassed and I really felt for him.  I pray he felt God's love today.

We handed out 22 bottles of water in several locations.
We went to a park, offered some to joggers, which we learned
did not appreciate me interrupting their run! Haha-how should I
know that they didn't want to stop for a water break? We got a
serious laugh out of that one! I would welcome the break if I was
running! LOL

We picked up my kids from school and offered water to the parents in the
car loop. Surprisingly, many people refused, and a couple were even slightly
rude. I learned that I don't like it when people don't accept my gifts! :)
The ones who did accept, though were extremely grateful and offered
huge smiles and thanks for our random acts of kindness! 

She was super excited that the water was free! :)

We finished up the day by handing out water in the BJs parking lot

Most here were extremely grateful

This guy seemed extra thrilled about what we were doing.  When he drove
away I noticed a "Jesus is Coming Soon" bumper sticker on his car :)
A young girl was absolutely thrilled when we offered her some water.
She explained that moments before we walked over to her she was thinking
about how thirsty she was and was going to buy herself some water! :)

Enjoying a delicious strawberry, the first solid food I consumed the entire day,
and it was 4pm! Thankful for so many blessings today!
Another blessing was when we gave away one of my favorites books,
Praying God's Word by Beth Moore to a friend who just happened to be
in the same parking lot we were in.  Darci and I had prayed that God would
show us who to give the book to.  It was extremely obvious that this woman
was hand picked by God. That was the most powerful event today.  I'm ever
so thankful that I was obedient today, just because I feel so strongly that
the book was meant to be in this woman's hands today!

When I arrived home tonight, my sister in law had decorated the house for me.
She is such a sweetheart! No doubt-this was the best birthday party ever! Although
I didn't make it to exactly 38 random acts of love-I certainly feel completely fulfilled
and thankful that my Father God chose me for this task today.

A friend shared this today and I find it to be exactly my heart at the close of this
beautiful day.

"As we give, we find that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven.
And in the end, we learn that it was no sacrifice at all."
Spencer W. Kimball

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So....basically I only lost 3 pounds this month, but I am wearing a pair of jeans that I could barely button only two weeks ago. Today they fit perfectly. The scale is beginning to become my enemy.  I'm not stepping on it again for another month, at least.  I've been way too worried about it and then I tend to get incredibly discouraged when it doesn't say what I want it to say!

On a happier note-I have now lost FIFTY pounds since June 1, 2011! That's just 5 months! I definitely feel like a new person! I've changed the plan up just a tiny bit. I've done some research on the Dukan Diet and the 4 Hour Body diet and I'm doing a combination of the two.  Both are high (lean) protein diets with lots of veggies. No fruit while I'm still losing and no grains, not even whole grains for now. I feel absolutely fantastic-I am rarely hungry and feeling very strong!  This is definitely going to be a way of life for me for the rest of my life!  Eventually I will add in the cheat meal once per week. I'm just not so confident that I can handle it yet.

We still have Paul's family living with us and it has been s t r e s s f u l to say the very least.  We are hoping they will be moving out in the next couple of weeks.  My birthday is Nov 8 and I prayed it would be by then, but it's not looking too promising.  My mother in law is only 76 but can barely walk and is extremely weak and frail. She requires constant care. My sister in law has some mental retardation, with the mentality of about 10 - 12 yrs. Sometimes even younger, in my opinion.  I love them and am trying to help as best as I can, but I am plain exhausted at this point.  They've been here since September, so it is definitely time to have some normalcy return to our house!  I definitely see this as another way that God has chosen to build His character in me!! (Will that character building ever stop?!)

So I know that I promised recipes and I feel like the worst blogger ever, but I hope you can forgive me for not posting any yet.  I just can't seem to find the time to sit down and write them out.  I have been taking pictures of different meals with the intention of putting together a recipe page for those who want some ideas!
Hopefully it will be sooner than later!! :) Thank you for your patience! 

Here is a sample of what I ate yesterday:

Breakfast:  2 eggs scrambled with 4 artichoke hearts
                 coffee with real cream and xylitol (a new, healthier sugar substitute I am using)

Lunch:      Roasted Veggies - asparagus, cauliflower, red pepper
(I eat roasted veggies several times a week, it's just my favorite way to eat them, especially when it's cold outside! I do all sorts of different veggies, just no more potatoes, white or sweet. I drizzle olive oil over the veggies, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and bake at 425 for 15-20 min or 450 for 10-15 min)

Snack:    4 slices of turkey breast
Dinner:   1 large 95% lean hamburger patty with a slice of cheddar cheese, mustard, sugar free ketchup and a couple of pickle slices.

I was completely satisfied the rest of the evening after the hamburger.  I ate that at 4:30pm and had no cravings at all the rest of the night! I even served my family pumpkin pancakes with cooked apples and fresh whipped cream, and I had no desire to eat it! The high protein is definitely extremely satisfying!

I thank you all so much for continuing to pray for me! I am looking forward to getting back into a more regular exercise routine, as I have had almost zero time to get my exercise in.  I am only exercising about 2-3 times per week, and some weeks even less.  It could very well be one of the reasons the scale is not moving as quickly as I had hoped.  

I am so very thankful for each person God has placed in my life to encourage, mold, and challenge my daily living!  I read this quote yesterday:

Every experience God gives us, 
Every person He puts into our lives,
Is the perfect preparation for a
Future only He can see.
-Corrie ten Boom

This is so powerful!  I would not have chosen this living situation that I presently find myself in, but I know that God is going to use every experience in my life for His glory, and that just makes getting though another day just a little bit easier. :)  He has also placed incredible family and friends in my life that I am eternally grateful for.  Some are far away and some new friends who are nearby--I am so thankful for you all!

I thank my God every time I remember you.  
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. 
-Philippians 1:3,4

Pressing on in this journey..thanking God for every experience, knowing that He is in full control!  
Love to all of you!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Goodbye 47 pounds!

So this was taken at like 8:00 on Saturday morning, October 1, 2011.  I feel like my face looks
so tired, and I'm not liking the pic very much, BUT, I am wearing size 18 jeans!! (I was wearing size 22 at my heaviest weight)