Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 56
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 205 (I’m breaking my dependency on the number on the scale. Last weigh-in 11/29/12)
Total weight loss: 15 pounds!

Last week's dream focus: Continue eating healthy and making great choices when dining out; keep up the great workout momentum; do NOT allow Satan to use obstacles to keep me from trying to make my dream become a reality.  If God intends it, nothing can prevent it!  If God has other plans for me, I want to see them through! 
What went well: Since last Wednesday I've eaten healthy foods, reasonable portions, and have managed to come in way under my caloric budget for the week.  It started out by making good choices, but Mr. Norovirus left me with no other choice.  I never want to be that far under budget, but I'm considering last week a "cleanse of nature".   I definitely lost weight, although I'm not sure how much.  I'm feeling better each day and I'm ready to get back to the gym and normal life!
Challenges: The Norovirus. Nuff' said.
The dream dilemma I shared last Wednesday is something I'm still wrestling with.  I feel like I'm physically wrestling internally and externally with this dream, so I know the outcome will be really good.  I received a lot of clarity today and I felt a big weight lift off my shoulders, but I still have details to work out and decisions to make.  I'm thrilled about the possibilities! 
This week's dream focus: Stay on the road to feeling better and regaining strength; get back to the gym when I can finally physically handle it; as I regain my appetite, continue eating healthy; and don't make poor choices when dining out!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Is It Over Yet?

Oh my.  Where do I start? 

Last Wednesday night I struggled with a headache.  It slowly turned into a migraine which lasted two full days.  It got me down and kept me out of work, the gym, praise team practice, and my Zumba class. 

Friday night I started feeling weak, my body ached, and I was chilled to the bone.  By early Saturday morning I was in full-blown Norovirus mode and the terror didn't end until last night.  I've been feeling pretty weak all day but I'm finally on the mend.

While I absolutely did NOT enjoy being that ill, it did help with my caloric intake for the week.  I definitely lost weight, but in a way I would never desire to lose it again.  :)   Just look at the amount of calories I've consumed from Friday through today.  Not ideal...

Every bite of food was a big mistake, especially the grilled cheese I ate one-third of.  Most of my calories were from liquids that went in and right out.  SOOO not a fun way to spend your days.  I wasn't able to sleep much but I did watch 'You've Got Mail' three times.  What a great, make ya feel-better movie!

So there's my update, kids.  It's not much but I wanted to ease back into blogging tonight (this one has taken me over an hour... seriously... I'm obviously not back to normal!).  I'm going to rest and relax this evening, but I'll be back tomorrow with my next Wednesday Wow Factor (it feels like I JUST posted one)!  Until then...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 55
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 205 (I’m breaking my dependency on the number on the scale. Last weigh-in 11/29/12)
Total weight loss: 15 pounds!

Last week's dream focus: Continue eating healthy and making great choices when dining out; keep that positive outlook and spirit thriving within – letting it spill out to others; increase my workouts each time I go to the gym.

What went well: I rocked this week harder and better than last week!  My workouts have been terrific - pushing myself harder each time.  My food intake is so much healthier and smarter.  I’ve been doing great with my workouts and even better in my eating habits!  I’m enjoying a lot of green smoothies and having fun experimenting with different flavors and ingredients.  I still can't believe how much I like the taste of something that sounds so gross (leafy greens blended to a liquid and consumed... really?).  Blended kale is my next attempt.  I hear it's just as good, you can hardly taste it, and it's considered a super food.  I have to give that a try!
Last night's Zumba class was AMAZING.  I mean a total blast!  I worked out SO hard and was really sore that night and this morning.  Do any of you remember when I was struggling to "enjoy" that sore feeling after the gym?  Remember how I wanted a simple fix to keep me from feeling uncomfortable all the time after working out?  Well I'll admit it... I'm starting to kind of "like" it now!  I feel like I've really done something awesome with myself.  YAY!

The BEST part of this week was that I'm really starting to see the weight loss in my face.  I don't even care if anyone else can tell or not, I'm loving what I see.

Challenges: Eating out is getting better for me but it definitely remains a challenge that I have to continue to overcome!

My main struggle this week is to not give up on a dream I'm pursuing because the odds are totally STACKED against me.  I really feel like quitting.  I feel like not continuing to put in the effort to even try to make it happen when it just "seems" like it will never work.  They'll never buy in.  They'll NEVER go for it.  "It's a waste of time."  

I have this dream to make a huge, positive impact on a lot of lives and help change an environment that isn't currently conducive to a lot of happiness, reward, and fulfillment.  There are a lot of haters.  It's a really hard sell for the majority of people involved.  Most people will think I'm flighty or crazy for even suggesting it.  Most people feel it's "in the clouds".

The odds aren't really in my favor and I'm not usually the gamblin' kind.

If I give up now, the dream will certainly never come true.  If I keep pressing on and I give it a shot, I might be shut down... and then I'll have a clear answer that helps me move on.  But what if, by some miracle, they buy in and give me a chance?  Will I be thrilled that I didn't give up on my dream?  I think so... 

This week's dream focus: Continue eating healthy and making great choices when dining out; keep up the great workout momentum; do NOT allow Satan to use obstacles to keep me from trying to make my dream become a reality.  If God intends it, nothing can prevent it!  If God has other plans for me, I want to see them through!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My First Liebster Award!

Woot Woot!  I received a Liebster Award!

Thanks so much to Aanika of ‘The Active Mum’ for nominating me for the Liebster Award!  How exciting!  Everyone, please check out her blog and like her page on Facebook!  

Here’s how the Liebster Award works: 

The Rules

1. Each blogger posts 11 random facts about themselves.

2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you, then create 11 new questions for the bloggers you pass the award to.

3. Choose 11 new bloggers to pass the award to and link them in your post.

4. Go to their page and tell them about the award.
5. No tag backs.

11 Random Facts About Me

1. I've been the worship leader at my church for 14 years.  I love to sing and worship God!

2. During my pre-teen years I would come home from school and record Kids Incorporated and The Mickey Mouse Club (pre-Britney, Christina, and Justin), learning the words and dance moves to every song.  I would practice them and dream of being on those shows!  One day I was busted when I didn’t hear my mom come home and she saw me in full concert mode.  I was mortified!

3. I do some fun accents and would love to do voice-over acting.

4. As an only child, I found myself having no one to play with many times.  I had (and still have) a very active imagination.  Thus, our dog Dixie has her own “voice” and personality.  She even interacts with us when she’s not around (if that made sense.  It probably didn’t.  People think I’m crazy.  They might be right.)

5. I dislike math more than I dislike any subject or chore or task in life.  I’d rather shovel manure with a fork for 5 hours in the middle of the day in August than to attempt one math problem, let alone have a job that involves caring about math.  Math is for other people.  Math is not for me. :)

6. New Kids on the Block?  Oh yes!  I was a big fan and have never really forgiven my parents for not allowing me to go to even ONE concert, even though all my friends were going.  When New Kids did a comeback tour a few years ago and I could make my own decisions about going, I didn’t.  I suppose I should forgive my parents and move on!

7. I love to hunt waterfowl with my husband.  Most people look at me and would never imagine me hunting ducks and geese… or hunting for anything other than a good bargain.

8. I love baking and making home-cooked meals.  I’m currently working on eating less of what I make!  My favorite type of food OF ALL TIME is Cajun!  I can never get enough.

9. I was in show choir and on the flag team in high school and LOVED IT!  It wasn’t Glee-style show choir but it was still fun.

10. I still struggle to stop trying to please others.  I’m much better than I used to be but I certainly need some improvement.

11. Instagram is my favorite iPhone app!

11 Questions

Here are my answers to the questions from Aanika!

1. Why did you begin blogging? 
I needed a way to keep myself accountable in my weight loss journey, so I decided to start a blog.  My passion is to help others become the best version of themselves, so I figured I would share with the world my struggles and victories of overcoming adversity!  This means the good, the bad, and the super-ugly!

2. Do you have more than one blog? If so give your other blogs a spruke!
I do have another blog!  It’s on an intranet site for my Dare to Dream group at work.  It’s focused on recognizing and achieving your dreams, making choices that will get you closer to your dreams, and other inspirational and motivational topics!

3. What is your favorite thing to snack on?
I’m really into smoothies right now.  I have a mean sweet tooth and a tall, cold, frosty smoothie hits the spot.  AND it’s healthy!  My current favorite is a green smoothie with spinach, a banana, peanut butter, 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, ice, and water.  Oh my goodness… it’s DEEEEEE-LISH!

4. What is your favorite type of exercise?
Zumba!  Hands down Zumba is my all-time favorite.  It’s so fun and rarely ever feels like exercise!  It’s such a party and one day I will become a Zumba instructor!  (It’s on my dream list!)

5. Tic Tacs: Do you chew them?

6. If you could describe yourself in only 3 words what would they be?
Compassionate, caring, and engaging

7. Is there a single person that has influenced your life in a big way (family or celebrity)?
I can’t choose between two so I’m listing them both.  My parents have influenced me to be the way I am today.  They’ve helped me to see that I can overcome all adversity that’s thrown my way and rely on God through it all.  They’ve both led by example to teach me that God can use any situation to help others, if you are willing to share your story and be transparent.  They are AMAZING and I can’t imagine what my life would be now had things been any different.

8. How many hours sleep a night do you average? Is it enough?
Between 7 and 8 hours… it must be enough because I’m not dragging all day, but I never feel like getting out of bed and always want to continue sleeping!

9. What are your 3 main goals for 2013?
Continue losing weight and creating new, healthy habits; transition into my dream career role; and inspire others to pursue their dreams and overcome!

10. What is your biggest vice?
I started a habit sometime in 1998 or 1999 of trying to mask my emotions with food.  When I felt stressed, anxious, depressed, happy, (or any emotion really) I used it as a reason to eat, whether I was truly hungry or not.  It never worked for me.  I never left me feeling happy or fulfilled.  It’s only led to more struggles.  Breaking this habit is the hardest part of my journey to health – and it’s the reason it’s taking me longer than I’d like - but once I overcome this vice (and I WILL) I truly believe I will be able to live a healthy life where I turn to God, not food, to get me through.

11. What is your favorite book and why?
The Bible is my favorite book because it’s God’s Living Word!  Other favorites are 48 Days to the Work You Love, The Dream Manager, and Extravagant Worship – they inspire me to follow my dreams.

My Questions for my Nominees:

1. Why did you begin blogging? 
2. What advice would you give to someone who’s about to begin pursuing their dreams?
3. What’s your favorite healthy lunch?
4. What’s your favorite type of exercise?
5. You’re alone in your car and an awesome song comes on.  Do you belt it out, full-on concert mode?
6. If you could describe yourself in only 3 words what would they be?
7. Who has influenced your life in a big way?
8. What is one thing you would tell the 18 year-old you?
9. What are your 3 main dreams for 2013?
10. What is your biggest challenge; that one thing you really want to overcome?
11. What song really inspires you and helps you to move towards your dreams?

Thanks again, Aanika, for the nomination! It was such a blast. Nominees, I hope you have fun with this, too!

My Second Guest Post at Natural, Fit & Frugal


Good morning, everyone!  

When you have a few moments, be sure to check out my second guest blog post at Natural, Fit & Frugal where I talk about overcoming.  A big thanks to Haley for the amazing opportunity!


Friday, January 18, 2013

My Own Hero


If this is the definition of a hero, I truly desire to be one.

Not to seek attention from others or to "be a big deal"... I want to be my own hero.  I want to make myself proud and feel the joy of accomplishing another dream, achieving another goal, doing something I never thought I could - all while faced with adversity.  

If being my own hero inspires others to overcome great challenges and obstacles, that would beat any material gift I could receive.   

Sometimes I don't feel like fighting battles or continuing to climb the mountains before me, but I know it's only temporary.  I know it will lead to something better, something amazing!  

I want to keep moving forward.

I want to keep trying.  

I want to trust that God is in control of all of this and He will never let me down.

I want to admit to myself that my dreams are more important that what my flesh wants right now.  

I want to talk myself out of doing what I shouldn't and talk myself into doing what I should.

I want to see my dreams come true.

I want to be okay with failing.

I want to learn from my mistakes.

I want to pick myself up when I fall.

I want to change.

I want to get better.

I want all of these things and I can have them... but only if my desire to change is greater than my desire to stay the same.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

We Choose

In our Dare to Dream session today, someone gave me a piece of paper with an illustration of a 'Choice Map'; a supplement from a book called 'Change Your Questions, Change Your Life' by Marilee Adams.  The tag line is "We choose moment by moment."

Take a look at the choice map illustration (by clicking the 'Choice Map' link above) and continue reading.

"Imagine it's you who's standing at the crossroads on the left side of the Choice Map.  Something has just happened.  Now you have to solve a problem or make a decision.  Maybe it's related to an important goal in some area in your life.  Perhaps it's your business or career.  Maybe it's in a relationship with family, friends, or colleagues.  It's about your health, finances, or plans for the future.

Do this experiment while you think about that situation.  First, ask yourself Judger questions (see below) and notice how they affect your mood and confidence.  Now, breathe, switch, and instead ask yourself Learner questions (see below).  What was it like the second time?  What about your mood and confidence?  What solutions and possibilities can you see now?

You really can change your questions and change your life.  When you find yourself in Judger and want to be in Learner, ask yourself Switching questions and "reset" to Learner, including: Am I in Judger?  Is this how I want to feel?  Where would I rather be?  and How else can I think about this?"

Judger Questions include:
  • What's wrong with me?
  • Whose fault is it?
  • Why are they so stupid?
  • How can I prove that I'm right?
  • Haven't we been there, done that?
  • Why bother?
Results of Judger Questions:
  • A mood of pessimism, stress, and limitation
  • A mindset that's judgemental, reactive, inflexible
  • Relating with "attack or defensive" behaviors

Learner Questions include:
  • What do I want?
  • What works?
  • What are the facts and what can I learn?
  • What are my choices?
  • What action steps make sense?
  • What's possible?
  Results of Learner Questions:
  • A mood of optimism, hope, and possibilities
  • A mindset that's thoughtful, understanding, flexible
  • Relating that is connected and collaborative

*We all ask both kinds of questions and we have the capacity to choose which ones to ask - moment by moment by moment.

This applies to every part of our life's journey.  

How would your life change if you began asking more Learner questions and eliminating Judger questions?  Would you see more dreams coming true?  Would you improve relationships?  Would you feel hopeful about the future?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 54
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 205 (I’m breaking my dependency on the number on the scale. Last weigh-in 11/29/12)
Total weight loss: 15 pounds!

Last week's dream focus: Listen for God's voice in which path I should take... I DON'T want to do anything that's outside God's plan for me. I will keep my outlook positive, continue eating healthy, and increase my workouts each time I go to the gym. I will not give up! 

What went well: This week totally ROCKED!  I’ve been doing great with my workouts and even better in my eating habits!  I’m snacking less, eating MUCH healthier, and making wise choices when I go out to eat.  I’m hearing God’s voice loud and clear and it’s making everything better.  It feels terrific!
Last night was our first Tuesday night Zumba class with our new instructor.  She was different, fun, super animated with a hip-hop style, and there were new songs.  I loved it!  I still get to take a class with the original instructor on Fridays, so that will be exciting, too.  (I hear she learned The Wobble for me and did it on Friday night – BUT I MISSED IT!)  I love keeping it fresh and fun! 

Challenges: The gym is still PACKED… like all the time.  Each evening I’ve parked further and further away from the building in a lot without lights.  Every time I see the sea of cars I instantly want to go home… but I never do.  I make it happen! 

Sunday, I felt so much anxiety all day long and it seemed to get worse as the afternoon went by. I watched a Lifetime movie hoping it would take my mind off it but my stomach was still in knots and I wanted to throw up. My husband felt bad for me and wanted to make it better. He asked "Would you like to get out of the house and grab some ice cream from Sonic?"

In the past that would have sounded like beautiful, sweet music to my ears. And, as much as I understood he was trying to help and make the anxiety go away, I finally realized that getting ice cream "to make me feel better" would only add to my problems. FINALLY! This response came over me naturally because I've been working for a year to change that habit - I haven't given up - and it's starting to make an impact! I had the choice to get ice cream or do something productive and good to work through that anxiety. So instead of eating, we went to Home Depot to get a product we needed! And I was so proud of myself! My anxiety got better and I didn't go over my caloric budget for the day! The cognitive therapy I've learned from The Beck Diet Solution book is working! I need to read it multiple times for it to really sink in, but that instance is proof that there's something to it!

This week's dream focus: Continue eating healthy and making great choices when dining out; keep that positive outlook and spirit thriving within –letting it spill out to others; increase my workouts each time I go to the gym.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Green Smoothies & Roasted Veggies

When it comes to eating this week, I've rocked it!  I was 1,358 calories under my budget for the week and I feel so great about it.  AWESOME!  I hope to do as well - or better - this week!  I love the feeling of being back on my "A" game and making better progress towards my dream.  I hope you experience that... it thrills your soul!

I wanted to share a trick I learned on Pinterest to help with making green smoothies, such as the Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie I shared last week.  This spinach bunch was $2.  I could have bought the pre-packaged, stemless kind for a two additional dollars, but I'm saving money any way I can... AND I kind of enjoy taking the time to work with healthy, good-for-you food.  It's like a bonding moment and it makes me want to keep eating healthy!  (If it's crazy, I'm okay with that.  It's working!)

I washed and dried the spinach, then removed all the stems.  I put the spinach leafs in the blender... the entire bunch when in my blender at once!  I added water, maybe a cup or a cup and a half, and blended well.

The entire bunch was reduced to about 25 ounces of green goodness!  

I couldn't find any ice trays because we have an automatic ice maker, but I plan to purchase one or two soon!  I had six of these little Tupperware containers on hand so I poured the spinach into them, put the lids on, and popped them in the freezer.

* These containers were slightly difficult to work with when in a rush.  Getting the lid off while frozen took some time, then I had to use a quick defrost in the microwave to get the spinach ice cube out of the container.  No biggie and I can certainly deal with it, but ice cube trays would be much easier!

A healthy meal I made - and LOVED - is roasted mixed vegetables.  It's an easy, budget-friendly dish and is totally delicious!  I would have added a red onion but didn't have one on hand.

I used one red, orange, yellow, and green pepper, one summer squash, and one zucchini squash, and cut them, removing the seeds from the peppers.  I sprayed the sheet with olive oil spray and seasoned the veggies with Mrs. Dash Original blend, Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, and black pepper.

Once roasted, I ate some for dinner and put the rest in containers for lunches at work!  Super easy, super cheap, super flavorful, and super healthy!

Roasted Vegetables

  • olive oil flavored cooking spray
  • medium bell peppers (1 each: red, green, yellow, and orange), seeded and quartered
  • summer squash, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • zucchini, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning, to taste
  • Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.  Coat large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange peppers, squash, zucchini, and onion on prepared baking sheets, lightly coat vegetables with cooking spray; sprinkle with seasoning.
  3. Roast until vegetables are tender and golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. 

    * One serving equals 3/4 cup at 40 calories.  8 servings total.  0 points for those of you who do Weight Watchers!