Time For Changes

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday!  It is time for some major changes in my life.  I mean weight loss changes, and improving my health. I am so over the size that I am, so I have to change.

I have to change what and how much I eat, and I have to change my exercise or lack thereof.  Time to eat better, time to exercise, and time to stop making excuses.

In recent pictures of myself, I don’t like how I look. “Where did that double chin come from?” I asked myself.  And, “how did I get to be this size?” Or “Is it my clothes that make me look fat?” Sadly no, it’s not the clothes.  So, it is the time I realized that and moved on with weight loss 2.0.

I can no longer deny that something needs to be done.  But isn’t it funny that we make excuses to ourselves until we are truly ready to make the changes that are necessary in our lives?  I have been making them for a while.  In order to get better, I have to stop that. Starting today.

Several times in my life I have had to work hard to lose weight.  I am not a person who can do it easily and that in itself is frustrating.  I am on several medications for health issues and would like to stop taking those. My doctor has told me that losing weight will help. He also said that exercise is important, but it boils down to what you put in your mouth.

I have a great appetite and love to eat.  Sometimes I just eat entirely too much food.  My cousin gave me a great idea of using smaller plates and that if the food isn’t in the house, it won’t be a temptation.  She is right.

Before getting pregnant with Ian, I was very successful with losing weight and then maintained it for quite a while.  I was careful with my salt intake and exercised every day.  Knowing that I have had success in the past is very helpful and something I will pat myself on the back about.  And I can draw on that for strength.

My cousin also said it is in your mind.  If I determine and decide to do this, I can.  I have to take care of myself and realize that my health is important.  So, I will schedule exercise time on my calendar and plan the meals carefully. Even though these seem like little things, they are big and very important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  That is the key – not to think of this as a diet but my new lifestyle.

Here is an interesting quote on losing weight: Elizabeth Berg said, “Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.”  I am not quite there since I truly love food.  And, I still want to have some treats so I am not feeling deprived.  I just have to figure out healthier ways to eat those favorite items.  And, each day, I need to be active and exercise.

I am fortunate that my hubby and other family members love me no matter what size I am.  And, my son thinks I am beautiful, which means the world to me.  And, they all want me to be healthy, so here’s to the journey.  I will keep you posted on how things are going.

Any ideas or words of encouragement would be greatly appreciated!  And, if you are on this journey, I’d love to hear from you so I can support you too. After all, we are in this together!

August 17 – Exercise

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAAhh.., A lazy Saturday!  I do enjoy a lazy day.  We have needed it after the busy week we’ve had.  And next week will be even busier since it is the first full week of school.

Ironically with my lazy day, today’s photo challenge is exercise.

Exercise is something that I am working on doing more of.  I have to admit that it is something that has slipped for me for a while.

My favorite exercise is walking — preferably outside at the beach.  But, since I don’t live near the beach, walking around my neighborhood is great!!

I am now walking more so that is helping.  We also have some exercise equipment and I am working with that as well.

Here is Ian trying out his bicycle that we bought for him in the spring.  My husband is helping him. As you can see, he was ready to go!  And, so excited to get his first bike.

It has training wheels ,which is wonderful, a great design that Ian likes.  We just need a helmet for him.

He was dressed up since he got the bike on a Sunday afternoon after church.  He didn’t want to wait to go and change his clothes.

Ian loves being active and doing stuff.  I love that and am trying to keep up with him.

I wonder what opportunities I will have to exercise in the next week?  Plenty with walking Ian to and from school and hopefully a chance to walk in the afternoon with a friend of mine!

Weight Loss Update – 5 Pounds Lost!

scaleHi and Happy Wednesday!

Hope you are having a great week.  Mine has been good so far.

When I weighed myself most recently, I had lost 5 pounds!  Yeah!  I still have a long way to go but I am getting there!

I guess it’s the little steps that make the most difference.  And, I have been making them.  I am eating better and making more sensible choices, and have been walking more.

Still there are many pounds to go and many miles to walk or bike.  I won’t let myself get overwhelmed by it — or it would be an uphill battle.

I have lost weight before and know I can do it again.  Here I am pictured at a really good weight 6 years ago with my nephew Aiden. We were at the San Diego airport for a beach vacation.

Vacation 2006 070This was taken before I got pregnant with Ian.  I gained quite a bit of weight during my pregnancy.  Then about a year ago, I gained some more and realized I weighed more than when Ian was born.   That was quite depressing to discover. ARG!!

The size in this picture wasn’t the smallest that I have been but I felt good, was comfortable in my skin and my clothes.  And, my blood pressure was under control.

Now I keep photos like this and others as motivation and inspiration to stay on the journey.

My downfall continues to be too little exercise and stress eating.  Right now, I am super busy and life is quite stressful.  At night, I eat for comfort and that isn’t good.  I don’t do this every night, but it’s enough to make a problem for me.

I am working to change this and find a way to exercise, which always helps me with stress.  I also try to have time to relax and do a few activities that I really love — like reading, word finds, taking photos, writing, walking around the neighborhood, shopping at discount stores and book stores, listening to music and/or dancing and singing, and spending time with Ian and Kirk and friends and family.

In a few months, there will be some changes so hopefully all of this will be easier for me.

I’d love to hear from friends, family, and followers who are also on a weight loss journey or some other journey.  It is always helpful to have others in your corner.

During my journey, I have been learning a lot about myself and what my triggers are.  That has been helpful in making some lasting changes.

I wonder if I will lose more weight this week.  I also wonder what new things I will learn that will help me.  I look forward to the adventure.

Changes Week 1

scaleHi to all of you!  Hope you are enjoying this spring!

If you are in the path of the snow or thunderstorms and other crazy weather, may you be safe!!  This afternoon and evening, we are supposed to get some heavy rain.  I just hope and pray that is all we get.

I wanted to write about a few of the changes that I have started this week in my weight loss quest.  Care to join me?

Last weekend, Kirk, Ian, and I went on a long walk around the neighborhood and that was fun.  I am trying to work in more exercise so that is a start.  Then over the last few days, I have taken short walks and have tried to be more active.

Also as I mentioned in yesterday’s post about cutting my rings, I am working on cutting out late night snacks that aren’t healthy.  Yesterday evening, I had a big bowl of strawberries and a small scoop of light vanilla ice cream.  It was delicious and low on points!  The strawberries were no points at all!!

When I was a teenager I was allergic to chocolate so this was my favorite dessert treat.  It was great to have it last night.  I stayed on track and yet had some comfort food!

Speaking of points, I have started tracking my food again on Weight Watchers Online.  I love that there are so many fruits and veggies that are no points.  So I can eat salads either as their own meal or supplement them with something I really want.

As the commercials say, you can eat everything, just have to be careful about the portion size.  This is something that I can do!!  And, I am ready to do it!!  It is time for my lifestyle change.

Tonight I have a date with my son.  We are going to make dinner together — pigs in a blanket which he loves to help with, broccoli, and mashed potatoes.  And, we will watch some episodes of Busytown Mysteries.  Sounds like fun, don’t you think?

Since I have planned and tracked my day, I can enjoy this meal with him without stressing about it!  Isn’t that cool?  I sure think so.

I know that all weeks won’t be easy but taking the time to think about my food and exercising will make a difference.  These are things I haven’t been doing for a while.

I wonder what new low-point food I will find this weekend.  I look forward to finding out.

Cutting My Rings

ringsOn Friday afternoon of last week, I had to do something that I never thought I would.  I had to have my engagement ring and wedding band cut off my finger at a jeweler.

Thankfully the jeweler was very nice so I didn’t feel too bad while I was there.  That wasn’t until afterwards.

He said, “We’ve seen worse than this.   Give your finger about three weeks to a month to return to normal and the swelling to go down.  Then we can resize your rings for you.”

“Thank you,” I said.  “I will be in touch.”  I left with a sore and naked finger, and wanted to cry.  I couldn’t help but think, how did it come to this?

My finger had swollen quite a bit and since the rings together go almost to the first knuckle, it all was becoming way too tight and starting to be bad for my finger.

Now my ring finger is bare and healing again.   It looks very strange without a ring since I have been wearing one or both of them for 15 years.  This fall will be our 15th anniversary.

The only other time that I couldn’t wear my rings was when I was pregnant and when Ian was first born.  Clearly now, it’s because of my weight and that is upsetting.

I am trying to look at this as the sign that I needed that yes, it is time for some major changes.  And, since I haven’t liked how I look in recent pictures, I want to and am ready to change and finally lose this weight.

After all my son is 5 years old so I can no longer can blame it on the baby weight.   It is a lack of exercise, too much stress, and the need for a better diet.  I need to be eating more fruits and veggies, and a healthier overall diet, and being active each day.

When I was active each day, I felt better and was better able to deal with life’s stressors.  But as I can attest, it is so easy to get into bad habits and stay there.  Time to bring on the good habits again.

I have had success before with losing weight.  Weight Watchers has worked for me as well as 45 minutes per day of cardio activity.  I will be incorporating both of those again.

When I was a senior in college, it was much easier to lose weight than it is now.  Back then I lived on the third floor of the dorm with no stairs, walked all over campus for classes, and took a weight class three times a week.

I was in the best shape of my life.  I looked great and never thought twice about what I ate or what I was doing.  I was just living and since I was so active, my body could more easily process what was going in.

I probably won’t be back to that size again, but I can certainly make some major changes.  I want to get into the size I was when I got pregnant with Ian.  I will be happy with that!

My goal is to make one change each week and try to incorporate that into the overall plan.  I am realistic enough to understand that it took time to get to where I am, so I need time to make the changes.

This week is to work on cutting out the late-night unhealthy snacks which are often a result of stress eating.  It is calming but not the best idea.  Part of my problem is that I love food and love to eat.  I will be working on what I eat and how much.  As a friend of mine mentioned, it is a lifestyle change, not a diet.

I wonder if I can truly make one of these changes each week?  I think that since I am motivated that I will be able to do so.  One week at a time and one day at a time!

With Spring Comes Change

springWith spring, comes new life and changes for me as well.

I have pain in my lower back, am overweight and stressed out and am getting no exercise or activity.  I realize that it is time for some major changes.

My diet needs to change, I need to exercise each day for both my heart and to lose weight, and I need to get away from the stressors and stressful people in my life.

I wanted to put this out there so I would in fact make these changes.

I appreciate your comments, suggestions, and support.   Who is with me?

I will keep you posted through blogs and the 90 Days of Exercise Page.

I wonder if I can truly make these changes and have them stick this time.  I am going to do my best to do just that!!

A Week Of Words

calendarHello and Happy Friday! Are you as happy as I am that it’s Friday?  I am so ready for the weekend.

This week I heard and read a lot of things that I have been thinking about.  I decided today I would publish some of those random thoughts, ideas, and quotes.

Some of these items are from my journal that I re-read this week and some are new items.

***”Dear Jesus, I love you God and love all in the world, except those who are bad,”  Ian said in a prayer.  I wrote this in my journal since it was one I wanted to remember.

He is at the age of learning the difference between right and wrong and there is no compromise or in between for him.  I told him that we still should love the bad people too, since that is something that God tells us to do.  They need love too, I told him.

***Another prayer of his that touched me was — “Dear Jesus, please don’t take me up to Heaven for a long time.”  This prayer made me cry, to be honest.  The fact that he is thinking about Heaven and leaving the earth already is amazing to me.  Also, it is amazing that he already can believe that there is a Heaven.  Jesus did say to have faith like a child and Ian certainly has that faith.

I wrote it down since it was such a beautiful prayer.  Little did I know the next day, there would be a death in the family.  As they say, from the mouths of babes.  He is such a sensitive little soul.

***At some point in the Super Bowl, there was a boy doing an activity who represented children who have taken a pledge to get one hour of activity per day.  At first this struck me as a great idea.  However, the more I thought about it, the more I though oh brother and how sad that things have changed so much.

We have truly changed in this country when a child has to plan to be active.  I remember growing up this was never an issue.  Since television was limited and we didn’t have our own phones, iPods, iPads or even computers, we had lots of time to play both inside and outside.  We didn’t know any differently and often had to be dragged in at dark from playing outside.  I remember Mom yelling at us to come in for dinner.  “But, we aren’t finished playing yet, Mom.”  But she insisted.

It is sad that we no longer can safely have our kids play outside on their own but instead have to be constantly watching them.  The innocence has gone, I guess and that is very telling.  In my family, I have noticed how much happier and better Ian can sleep at night when has been active during the day.  He loves to run outside around our neighborhood and also play at the playground.  I do my best to let him be active each day.  After all, I need it too!

***Here are some house rules that I saw a while ago and re-read again this week.  They are ideas of truly what I want to have in my family.  We try each day to live like this:

  • In this house, we do second chances
  • We do grace
  • We do mistakes
  • We do real
  • We do I’m sorry’s
  • We do loud really well
  • We do hugs
  • We do love
  • We do family

Isn’t this cool?  I mean, who wouldn’t want to grow up in a house like that?  Teaching and showing Ian that we do love him, we do say we are sorry when we make a mistake, and that it’s okay to make mistakes is very important!

We also have been teaching him that as part of a family, there are jobs for him and all of us to do and others to think about.  He is a great help in the kitchen and with laundry.  He’ll tell me, “Mommy, I want to cook with you.”  I say, “Okay Ian.”  Even though it’s often a messier kitchen, I so think it’s worth it.

***Books A Million posted a picture on their Facebook page this week about the birth date of Laura Ingalls Wilder.   She wrote a series of books that I loved as a young teenager — starting with “Little House on the Prairie.”  This series was a fascinating look at her growing up years.

I especially remember how excited Laura and Mary were one Christmas at getting a doll, an apple, and a peppermint stick.  That was all they received and they were thrilled and over the moon with excitement.  It was a good reminder that having a few gifts of real value are much better than a load of stuff that you don’t really appreciate or even remember a few weeks after you receive them.

This Christmas my motto was “It’s not the presents, but the presence.”  We in my family took this to heart.  It was great to spend a lot of hours together and visit, have a few gifts for the children to open, and raise money and help some needy and worthy causes.  You know what?  We all enjoyed it, including Ian who was thrilled with the items he did get!

*****What are some of your words of inspiration, thought, or appreciation from the week?  I’d love to hear from you and I am sure the other readers would like to as well!  Have a great weekend and God Bless!!!*****

Some Random Thoughts

Hi to you!  Hope you are having a great first official day of summer!

Looks like it will be hot in a large part of the country today!  Try and stay and cool.

Our first day is so far so good.  This morning we watched a show about the Duggar family (which had 16 kids at the time of this special) as they went on a road trip to Disneyland.

It was amazing to see the stuff they took with them — just food and clothing overfilled their motor home.  They had to move some items to a separate trailer just so the motor home could go up the hill.

Ian was fascinated watching their adventures and trying to understand that many people in a family.  We’ll be enjoying a family reunion this summer with nearly that number in a small house.  So, we’ll see what it’s like.  Should be fun!!

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As you know I have been working on losing weight.  This week my sister-in-law gave me a great suggestion for an exercise video.  I am going to see if I can find it.  I like being able to exercise at home or in my neighborhood so this will fit in nicely!

Over the last few weeks, I haven’t been losing very much weight, but I have noticed that my body’s shape is changing.  And for that I am happy.  Some of my clothes are fitting better and are more comfortable.

I have to remember that the changes aren’t only on the scale.  In addition, the exercise is getting easier and I can do things for a longer period of time.  My baby steps seem to be working!

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This week, my husband has made Ian a house out of a cardboard box.  They added a mailbox, doorknob, hook for a jacket inside, and a lock.  And, Ian has keys.

He is having a great time with his house.  And, learning the responsibility of keeping up with his keys is really important.  He has drawn a few pictures on the walls — one of a big truck and the other of clouds in the sky — including frames.

The guy time has been great for them and also for me.

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Hope you have a great rest of the week!  Please share some of what you are doing this summer!  I would love to hear from you!

Here is a fun quote for you: “A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.”  ~James Dent

Thank You Lord

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And in the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” — Phil 4:6

This verse has very special meaning for this week!  It was helpful and the perfect  scripture verse for me after a very difficult night at the emergency room.  Thanks to my dear sister for sending it to me.

On Sunday, my son and I went to have dinner with my parents after dropping off my hubby who had a quick business trip.  During dinner, I started having chest pains — right in the center.  These followed a few days of pain on either side of my chest/stomach area.

Needless to say, I was worried and anxious since my grandfather had passed away of a massive heart attack at my age.  So my mother took me to the hospital to be checked out.  The hardest part was the what-ifs and the not-knowing.  It is amazing what your mind can drum up when you are worried about something.

And, as we got to the room and started the waiting game, my mother got on the phone and called friends, family, my siblings and my hubby to let them know what was happening.  She asked everyone for prayers and few of us had much sleep that night.

Prayers started immediately and I must say that as I was lying there waiting for answers, I felt calm — which is not what I expected to feel.  The love of God and all of my prayer warriors helped me from going totally crazy and worrying the entire time.  I truly had a blanket of love and protection around me.

For those who prayed, I cannot thank you enough!  I am truly honored and humbled that you lifted me up to the Lord!  I am so appreciative of your love and friendship.  You are awesome and I love all of you so very much!!!  It meant the world to me to hear of your love, concern, and prayers!

The amazing news is that after a long and sleepless night and many, many tests (EKGs, blood work, a stress test, a CT scan, and an ultra-sound), I was told my heart is healthy.  THANK YOU LORD!!!  What an amazing answer to prayer!!!!

And, as I was being discharged on Monday morning, the ER doctor told me that there are many causes of chest pain, but that I had none of the big causes.  Can I just tell you what joy and relief I felt?  I felt a weight had been truly lifted and an amazing gift was given to me by the Lord!!!

I still have to follow-up with my regular doctor to determine the cause of the pain.  I am frustrated not to know yet what is going on, but feel certain that I will find out.  And, hopefully very soon.  I had some additional pain last night but nothing like what made me want to go to the er.  I will keep you posted on what I find out.

Thanks so much to the emergency room staff — nurses, techs, doctors, and others — as well as food services and the chest center.  All of you were so kind and gracious and truly took your time with me.  I had a good experience despite the circumstances.  It went as well as could be expected.

I know some other friends who also had chest pain and went in and it ended up being acid reflux.  And another person at 29 years old, went in since he didn’t feel like himself and found out that he had to have triple bypass surgery.  And, after his legs were bothering him, my cousin found out he had blood clots in his legs.   It was good that all of these people went to the hospital to see what was the matter since you never know.

Before all of this happened, I was already on blood pressure medicine and will continue to take that.  And, I am trying to lose weight as well and eat a more healthy diet.  That too will help with the BP and make for a healthier heart.

Again, thank you dear Lord for your mercies and love for me.  And, for the work of the physicians and many others, and the outstretched prayer support that I felt. AMEN!!

“Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above!” 

Time to Lose, 90 Days Exercise

Hi again to you!

As I am in the middle of my 11th week of the weight loss journey, I realized that I haven’t been making any progress the last two weeks.  That is why I haven’t been posting any blogs. Also, my son and I have both been sick so there wasn’t much to share on this journey.

My food intake has been quite a bit better over the past month. Well, except for while I have been sick.  That is always a challenge!  But the better choices seem to be getting easier and much more routine!  So that is good.

But, I realized that I am getting nowhere fast on the exercise front.  And, that is what really needs my attention.

So, I have decided that starting April 1st, I am going to start 90 days of exercise.  I have added a new page to this blog in order to track what I do each day.

Nothing like being accountable to yourself and others to get you motivated!

I so need to do this for my own health.  I hope to make this a new habit. By scheduling it each day, I think that it will truly happen.

I am waiting until the 1st of April because I want to get over as much of the sinus infection as I can and be ready to go with the exercise.  I will probably start out slowly and then increase my time as I go.

Please share with me your journey as well.  Let’s be a support system to each other!!

I wonder if I can truly do this.  I will take it one day at a time and hope to see major changes!