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Thursday, July 19, 2018

From Fezzik to Buttercup: Starting My Second Week

Finally had the energy to cut up these vegetables I bought last week! This is literally the first time I've done this in 7 years. I always had my kids do it because I was too tired.
 Today starts the first day of the second week of my quest for better health! Other than our anniversary dinner and dessert yesterday (which was a planned "cheat"---ended up throwing away more than I ate!) I've stayed totally on my plan for one week. That is a miracle of epic proportions! (Remember when I said I didn't know if I could do it for even one day?) God has been so faithful to allow me to experience so many changes this week and I'm so encouraged! I had some trepidation when I decided to "go public" with this weight struggle, but I truly believe it was God-lead. 

Here are just some of the things I'm experiencing after my first week on Trim Healthy Mama:



  • A LOT of energy. I am a napper...or WAS a napper. I've not been able to take a nap in a week. I've tried. I've begged and pleaded---nuthin'. Can't sleep. But I'm getting great sleep at night! Instead, I'm getting housework done that I usually put off on one of the kids. I'm also making everyone crazy by dancing around the house and singing silly made up songs all. day. long.
  • Regular sleep schedule. I'm going to sleep about 11:00 pm and waking about 6:00. Much better than the 2am-7:30am schedule that exhausted me in the mornings and caused me to sleep three hours in the afternoons.
  • Looser fitting clothing. A lot of this is due to a huge decrease in inflammation, but I'm probably going to be tossing some shirts by next weekend!
  • Far less pain. I'm able to sit down, stand up, Fight! Fight! Fight! much easier. 
  • I waddle a little less. That's always nice.
  • NO SUGAR CRAVINGS! I didn't really even have much of a crazy sugar detox episode. There was one night when I was unexplainably sad for the evening....but, other than that, I've been only happy and headache-free! I think I can attribute this to eating mainly "S" meals. I've heard that helps with the sugar cravings and it seems to be true in my case!
  • Hope. I feel hopeful that I can conquer this giant. I feel God working in my life, I know he's anointed me to do this good thing. I'm excited!
I'm feeling good and happy and motivated and all that great stuff! Hope this blesses you, as well!


Monday, July 16, 2018

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: Friendships, Mentors, and Cans of Worms


"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken." ~Ecclesiastes 4:9-2

My Bible titles this passage, "The Value of a Friend."

Recently, I attended a women's event where the theme was mentoring. It reawakened some things in me that had been dormant for too long. I made some commitments to God regarding using more of my time on other people and I came away feeling energized in my calling to women's ministry. 

Shortly after, God tested me in those commitments---as is often his way! I was in a room with many women chatting and laughing and getting to know one another. I had visited with a few friends and was wandering around looking at decorations. (These kinds of events always make me feel awkward. I struggle with small talk---always want to get to the nitty-gritty!) I was just hanging out when God told me to start looking at the people more closely. 

I noticed a woman standing off to the side a bit, not talking with anyone. I'd only chatted with her briefly in the past and didn't know her well, so I went up to say hello again and see if I could bumble my way awkwardly through my normal kind of 50/50 introvert/extrovert conversation. 

I took her hand and said, "Hey (Friend), how's it goin' tonight?" 

She smiled and said, "Oh fine!" 

I could have stopped right there. I mean, right? That's the ultimate Sunday morning Christianese phrase: "I'm fine!" 

Sometimes it means, "I've got a lot of stuff going on but don't have the time/desire/interest/strength to discuss it with you." 

More often it means, "I'm struggling and I really do actually want to tell you but you're just making small talk and I don't sense I can trust you with my heart."

For a split second I thought about giving her the pat Christian response, "Oh great! I'm glad. Well, have a good night!" But, thank God, he spoke stronger to me than he had in a long time. So, I pulled out my can opener, looked her straight in the eye, and opened up that can of worms. 

"No really, Friend, how are you?"

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When I read Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 this morning, I thought about all the lonely people out there. There's a lot of them, you know. I read, "For if they fall, one will lift up his companion," and thought, "Who will lift up the one without a friend?"

I've had a saying for a long time that I once thought was clever---maybe it was, for its time. I used to say, "I've only got enough emotional energy to spend on a couple of friends."  Wifing/mothering/homeschooling 10 people is tough, y'all, and there was a brief time there when it was absolutely all I could handle. God allowed my outside-the-home ministry to go dormant for awhile so I could put my focus in the right place. I think I allowed it to go on a little longer than he would have liked, though. I got comfortable in my solitude. I also got selfish.

However, now I think of that phrase and know that time is over. I feel so driven to speak God's truth and encouragement to all those lonely women---cans of worms popping open all over the place! (Gummy worms, please. Preferably stevia-sweetened.)

I want to be that friend that sticks close enough to lift someone up when they fall and point them to help and healing in Christ. I'm praying God will help me become more and more usable in this way, and that he will bring just the right relationships along. Who has time for small talk? Not this girl. But I've got lots of time---all the time God's given me---for cans of worms. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

From Fezzik to Buttercup: Making This Work with My Lifestyle


One difficulty I've encountered with dieting in the past is the time and money it takes to do something different than the rest of my family. We are a homeschooling family of 11---I don't really have the time to make a separate meal for myself that fits the stringent rules of many of the fad diets out there; and on one income, I can't really justify special ingredients or program fees. That's why I like doing Trim Healthy Mama. I can make many of the things I would normally make my family, with a little tweak for myself to make them "on plan". That's what I did with Thursday night's taco casserole and it allowed me to warm up leftovers for a frugal Friday lunch.

I'm also practicing anticipating pitfalls and finding ways to overcome them. For instance, Thursday night some friends invited me to a restaurant for dinner. Initially, I said no because we were already planning on a family night at home. However, once I thought about it awhile, I realized that I didn't feel ready to navigate a restaurant menu and find things that would fit with my plan. I mean, it's doable...I think it's more that I didn't trust myself not to give in to the "off plan" things. I ended up being proud of myself for waiting and staying within the safe boundaries I'd set for myself---having already planned on my taco casserole dinner. There will be more opportunities to go out with friends in the future and, hopefully, I'll be stronger and better able to stay on plan at that time. Tonight I wanted to make a treat to celebrate the girls coming home from summer camp so I made brownies. I served everyone but me and there were three left in the pan. I "assigned" them to the older guys and said, "these had better be gone in the next hour or so." Ha! I'll have my own on-plan chocolate treat later tonight.

One thing that's important on THM is to make sure you are happily satisfied after every meal. You need to wait 3-4 hours in between meals; so you'll want to get full each time so you don't find yourself snacking and messing up your weight loss. On the menu below, you'll see that my lunch was kind of weird. That's because there wasn't enough taco casserole left to fill me up so I warmed up some seasoned chicken and melted pepper jack cheese on top. It seems weird to have two "main dishes" at a meal, but you gotta do what you gotta do! Always shoot for high protein in every meal, but only what makes sense for your own eating style. I don't actually eat a whole lot of food in one sitting---but I try to eat something every 3-4 hours.


This was my meal plan for Friday:

Breakfast: Muffin in a Mug topped with 1/2 container Oikos Triple Zero yogurt, bacon, strawberries, blueberries

Lunch: small bit of taco casserole leftovers, seasoned chicken topped with melted pepper jack cheese

Dinner: shredded zucchini "noodles" with sauteed tomatoes, seasoned chicken, pesto, and Parmesan cheese


Today I had the same breakfast but lunch was my first big temptation. This morning something really really really really really REALLY stressed me out. The discussion went on for two hours and, in the back of my mind, I kept thinking how this stressful situation was the perfect excuse to go to Taco Bell and splurge on the stuff I love. I even started hinting to Jamie, hoping he'd suggest it and sort of give me his approval or enabling or whatever. He didn't. So I went to my room to sulk for a minute, then I went to the kitchen and made this nice plate of  THM "S" foods. Big victory today---I can't let my emotions control my health!
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