Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It works if you work it!

So I weighed a day late, and it was to my advantage. I'm down 11 pounds this morning! It feels great to shed some more pounds, and even better because people are already noticing. I never in a million years thought I'd be able to notice losing just 11 pounds. I wore white stretch capris to work today, and they are actually jeggings, but they fit well and I felt good in them! It's a long shot, but I think I'd really faint if I lost 4 pounds this week and made it to 15 by next Monday. I don't want to be disappointed so I have not set that as a goal, just a thought in the back of my head.

I was worried about how I would do with last week being spring break, but I stayed on the program and counted points every day. It has paid off! School has started back this week, and my life has gone from lazy to crazy in the blink of an eye! I took my lunch both days so far, and have found that since my daily points target is slowly shrinking (I've already lost 2 points per day that I can have, I am thankful for the 5 extra points I get for nursing ;-) I am able to do with less "expensive" snacks. One piece of fruit (which is free) or a stick of string cheese (just 1 point) are enough to tide me over. Plus I've been so busy at school, that helps keep me from snacking.

I cooked a lot last week while I was off, and really enjoyed that. My most favorite thing I made as a Weight Watcher's recipe for Chocolate Chip Cheese Cake. It. was. AMAZING! It uses almond flavoring. That paired with the sweetness of the cheesecake (which also has cottage cheese) and the chocolate is so delicious, and really satisfies my sweet tooth. The recipe makes 12 servings. One serving is 7 points, but 1/2 a piece actually calculates to 3 points. I ate 1/2 piece a couple times, and let me tell you, even being a small piece, it is totally worth 3 points. The regular serving is definitely worth 7!

Here is the recipe:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Making Progress!

2 weeks under my belt on Weight Watchers, and I've lost 8.6 lbs!! I'm so happy that it's going well and I'm losing! I've had a few people tell me that I look like I've lost, but it's hard for me to believe them when I haven't even lost 10 lbs yet, however, when I put on my Northface jacket to take down the trash since my hubby forgot, I noticed it was fitting maybe just a tee tiny bit looser. Could be my imagination though. LOL!

I think the biggest change I've made is increasing the amount of vegetables I've been eating, especially salads, and trying to eat snacks in between meals so that when I sit down for a meal I'm not starving to death, which leads to overeating for me. My eyes get bigger than my stomach when I fix my plate, and I also suffer from "clean my plate" syndrome. I think that I have to eat every morsel on my plate because I can't stand to waste food! I still clean my plate, but I only put what has been measured and counted towards my daily points allowance. I don't go back for seconds, unless I account for the points.

Some foods I've eaten that I absolutely can't live without right now:
1. Briana's Poppyseed Dressing. It's creamy and sweet with a hint of onion. I love it on a mixed green salad bed with strawberries as a side salad, or I'll add grilled chicken and make it a main dish. I also will make chicken salad and use this dressing instead of mayo. It is NOT low fat or low cal. But it is so good, I just make sure that I measure out a serving (2 tbsp = 4 points) and use it wisely. My theory is I'd rather have less salad toppings (cheese, croutons, bacon bits, etc) but a really good dressing.

2. Vitacakes chocolate cake. These are in the freezer section at Wal-Mart near the frozen breakfast items. I'm sure if they catch wind that I like these, they'll stop carrying them. That's what happened with my frozen FiberOne Banana chocolate chip muffins I loved at one time. These little cakes are only 1 point on Weight Watchers. 50 calories, 1 gram fat, and 5 grams of fiber! They will satisfy your craving for a brownie. I'll put it in the microwave and put 1/4-1/3 cup of regular icecream on top of it, and it's so yummy!

3. Mission Carb Balance tortilla wraps. They're a great all-purpose wrap, I like to eat them with deli meat, lettuce, strawberries, and you guessed it, that poppy seed dressing. Sometimes I use light mayo instead. It's a good alternative to a regular sandwich which I get bored with very easily!

4. Nature's Own Oatmeal Toasters in Cranberry Orange flavor. These little things are like a square bagel without a hole in the middle. They are very thin but dense. They are 4 points each. As the name implies, I put it in the toaster and put 1 tsp of peanut butter on each slice for a total of 6 points. It's great with coffee in the morning for breakfast. I don't know why they call them oatmeal toasters, they aren't very oatmeal-y.

I still have not started exercising. It's been cold and yucky this past week, and honestly, I'd rather eat dirt. I have a friend that is moving just around the corner from us soon that is also doing WW and we plan on starting walking soon. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Back in the Saddle!

Well folks, it's been a long time coming. I'm trying really hard to make some changes, and lose this extra weight I've found! I am so tired of feeling like I am living in someone else's body. I'm tired of being disgusted almost to the point of tears when I try to buy any new clothes, or when I have one of those morning that nothings fits right or looks right or feels right on. I'm maxed out, topped out, fed up, you get the picture. I have hesitated at first to say anything about trying to lose weight either here or on facebook because I kept thinking "What if I fail, again? What if I can't do it?" But maybe if I get on here and write, it will be another way of holding myself accountable.

I told Lacey night before last that mommy was going on a diet; those words came out of my mouth before I thought. She asked what a diet was, and I told her it meant that I wanted to be healthy like her. She really is an inspiration to me. The child loves cherry tomatoes and will eat them like candy. She already at 4 years old knows that "too much sugar is not healthy and will make you have black spots on your teef." She's not perfect, she loves an oreo as much as the next kid, but she is very impressionable right now, and I want her to see me making some better food choices and being more active. She begs to play outside even when it's raining and 30 degrees. She would go out if I would let her. So with the weather warming up, we have been spending more time outside, working in the flower beds, and just playing. I hope too that maybe Holt will pick up on a little bit of the healthiness and maybe learn to try a few new things. He is not my best eater. He would live on PB&J, eat it 3 times a day if I would let him!

So I started yesterday on Weight Watchers. I love this program because it is flexible and personal. If I want an oreo, I eat one. I just have to make sure I count the points. I can eat out on this plan, cook at home, whatever. My first goal is to lose 5% of my starting weight, which is about 9.3lbs. I have a number in my mind of what I want to weigh/how much I want to lose, but it is so daunting. I am going to try to just meet smaller goals first. When I lose my 5%, I'm going to treat myself with something like a pedicure!

I am impressed with how yesterday went, I packed my breakfast and lunch for school, and was anticipating eating out at the Teacher's Appreciation Banquet our church was having at the SawMeal Restaurant in Adamsville. When I signed up for the banquet, I was not making healthy choices, so of course I chose the hamburger steak. I asked when I got there if I could change to chicken, and it was kind of a big deal because the food was pre-ordered. I didn't get to stay however, Colby Jane got sick and started throwing up, so I was able to get my food to go. I ended up with a big hamburger steak, a small serving of green beans, and a huge baked potato. When I sat down to eat at home, I cut my meat and potato in half, and put them in the fridge for lunch the next day. On my potato, I just put salt, 2 tablespoons of light sour cream, and a little drizzle of A1 steak sauce. It was good! I ate the salad that came with my meal before she got sick at the restaurant. So the salad (with 2tbsp ranch), steak, potato, & green beans ended up being about 14 points. I have 35 each day. Colby Jane ended up being up sick most of the night, and I had eaten supper at about 7:30pm. So by 3am this morning, I was starving! I resisted the urge to eat the left over birthday cake from this weekend that was in the microwave and still fabulous I'm sure, and I measured out 3/4 c of Lucky Charms and 1/2 c milk. That was all I needed. I love cereal at bedtime or in the middle of the night as a snack, so that satisfied my craving without breaking the bank. Yes I would have liked to have eaten more, but what I ate was enough. I put the points on my tracker (I'm doing online by the way, using my iPhone) and was glad I didn't crumble under the pressure.

I had my friend Andrea make a "before" picture of me at school yesterday. I can hardly bring myself to look at it. When I've made some visible progress, I will post that with my first of what I hope is MANY "after" pictures!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hot Weather, Cool Food

I had the best summer supper the other night! The temps that day were well over 100 degrees, and this just hit the spot. I had a green salad that was green leaf lettuce and romaine, the MOST wonderful dressing (Brianna's Homestyle Asiago Caesar dressing, that my friend Jana Raye got me hooked on), real bacon bits, shredded parm cheese, and croutons. With that I had creamy dill potato salad & chicken salad. I don't really have a recipe for either of these, some have asked, but I will tell you how I make them.
First the potato salad. I dice up potatoes, and just do as much as I think we will eat. It keeps well in the fridge for several days however if you want to make a lot. Boil them in water until tender. Drain them, and if you're going to eat right away, rinse in cold water for several minutes. Put them in a bowl, and I do equal parts of mayonnaise and sour cream. I add dill (fresh or dried) to taste, start with 1/2 tsp. And also salt. I do about 1/4 cup real bacon bits you buy in the package. That's it! It is so simple but so yummy.
For the chicken salad, I baked 4 good-sized chicken breasts seasoned with poultry seasoning and garlic salt. I baked them for about 45 minutes on 300 degrees, or until cooked through. I let them cool for a while sitting in the juices to keep them from drying out. When they were cool enough to handle, I diced them up, trimming and discarding any fat. In a bowl, I mixed the diced chicken, mayonnaise, dried cranberries, and pecan pieces. I used a small package of each of those, probably about 1/2 cup each. Mix it up and eat it like I did with a green salad or it's wonderful on a croissant!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sweet Summertime

Well, I don't really have any new recipes or profound parenting experience to share. It's just been a while since I posted! This is a picture I took last Sunday of Holt, Lacey, & Colby Jane after church. The girls are wearing new outfits made by Sadie (my mom!). Aren't they adorable?! I love having all 3 matching, too.
We finally have the pool open and ready for fun and sun! We have already been enjoying it a lot this past week and had several friends over. I knew I was going to enjoy having a "teacher" schedule, but until we got the pool open I didn't know HOW much I would enjoy it! I cannot begin to tell you how awesome it is to plan playdates and summer holidays without having to check my work schedule, swap shifts with someone, or request certain days off and hope that it is approved!
Holt does remember how to swim, thank goodness! He was worried that he would not. The first couple of days we swam he insisted on wearing his life jacket in the pool. Yesterday, he was jumping off the diving board and swimming in the deep end without anything! I am so proud of him.
I think I can really say that Lacey is potty trained! She may have one accident a week now, and the last two accidents I can remember her having, she pee peed in the floor because she couldn't get the potty seat up in time, and the other time she couldn't get through the door at church in time but she was trying to get there. It really upsets her to have an accident now, before she could have cared less. If you want to know what I did to get her to turn the corner, email me or ask me in person!
We are having Colby Jane's baby dedication here on Sunday, which also happens to be Father's Day. I was raised Southern Baptist, and baby dedications are a common thing in the Baptist church. It is a time where parents can publicly declare to raise their children in a Christian home, and receive prayers and support from their family/church family in raising their new baby to one day hopefully receive the Lord as their personal Savior. I am now a member of the Church of Christ, and this is not a common practice. When Holt was born, I really wanted some occasion to celebrate his birth and pray for our family. And honestly, I like pomp and circumstance! A new baby IS something to celebrate, commemorate, and pray about! So, we began a tradition that we have kept with each of our children, and we have made it our own.
The first two children were dedicated at my aunt and uncle's home, Swan Song, in Shiloh, TN. Ryan and I also had our wedding reception there. We have our own home now that is big enough to entertain a lot of guests, so we are looking forward to having Colby Jane's dedication here. She will wear the Christening gown my aunt Patricia made for me that I wore when I was christened (I know, I said I was raised southern baptist, but we were Methodist when I was a baby). 7 out of 10 of my parents' grandchildren will have worn it for their christening/dedications, including all 3 of my children!
Our minister will do the "ceremony." He will just say a few words about parenting and raising children in a Christian home. Then we will pray. We will have a little reception afterwards. I am looking forward to having my tables set and fresh flowers and candles. I am also having a cake made. We have the most adorable lamb cake pan that we used to make a "lamb cake" for Holt & Lacey's dedications. A friend of mine at church that has baked cakes professionally is doing the cake for Colby Jane's dedication. I can't wait to see it!
I will try to take and post lots of pictures this Sunday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

My New Favorite Recipe: Zucchnini Squares

All I can say is that I will probably eat this whole pan of zucchini squares before Ryan gets home from work. My aunt Patricia turned me on to this dish. They had it along with a salad one night for dinner and it sounded SO good. She gave me some fresh zucchini and squash from her garden, and I couldn't wait to try it! It will probably be my new go-to thing to take for parties, church events, etc. I am cooking tonight and made this in place of cornbread. It is a wonderfully tasty savory dish that is great to accompany a meal or stand alone! Packed with veggies and protein (the recipe has FOUR eggs), it will satisfy.
1 cup biscuit/baking mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
3 medium zucchini grated (*I did 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash!)
Combine all ingredients and spread into a 9x13 baking dish that has been greased. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until set and golden brown.
I used a stand-up box grater to grate my veggies, including onion. It took NO time.
The original recipe called for vegetable oil. I LOVE the combination of rosemary & olive oil, so I substituted, with wonderful results.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our Family's Memorial Day

I know most of my posts so far have been funny and/or informative and mostly related to being a mommy, and this is not really one of those posts. While a lot of us were memorializing soldiers and their sacrifices for our freedom, our family was remembering Christopher.
Christopher was one of the quirkiest kids I've ever known. I can remember "babysitting" him when my brother, Michael, and Sherry, Christopher's mother, would come visit us with him. I was barely 10 and they pretty much let me have my way with him. As he grew and became a young boy and then a tweenager, he went through that awkward, annoying stage most boys go through. I can remember each time I would bring a new boyfried to a family function, Christopher would usually make me mad by calling that boyfriend by the previous boyfriend's name. He met his match though when I brought Ryan, who would become my husband, to Christmas when they met for the first time. They both had a very similar warped sense of humor and could frequently been seen giggling about something that I'm sure had to do with a bodily function.
Christopher's life was in Mississippi. We didn't get to see eachother a lot throughout the year, but they came up to mom and dad's often. What I miss is the times he and I would be on facebook at the same time and he would pop up unexpectedly and chat with me. We'd talk about music we liked, how fun it was to be in the band, band competitions, etc. Music is what we had in common. He liked a lot of music I wasn't familiar with, so he would "school" me on things he liked to listen to. Not only did we have music in common, but we were drummers. I was a percussionist when I was in band. We are special people. If you're in band, you can pretty much guess within a few minutes of meeting another band person what instrument they play just by their personalities. People that play the trumpet (these are the easiest to guess, they are so cocky, LOL), flute, clarinet, saxophone, percussion, etc., they all have a personality you can peg almost everytime. And Christopher was a drummer, through and through!!
So as I write this, I can remember at this time, exactly one year ago on this day I got one of the worst phone calls of my life. My dad called, and in a strangely calm voice he said, "There's been an accident. Christopher's gone, Sherry's gone, they're all gone. That's all we know right now." We hung up the phone. Ryan and I were outside having some meaningless conversation, and he watched as my emotions exploded. I threw up, and sat down, and sobbed. It took me forever to get the words out to tell him what had happened. We sat down together and both cried and held eachother for several minutes. I couldn't think or even string enough words together to make a coherent sentence. How could this have happened? Surely someone did not have all the facts and this was just a big misunderstanding. As the details of the tragedy unfolded over the next 24 hours, it was just more than anyone should have to comprehend. Christopher, his mom, his 3 siblings by his mom (Carlie, Jake, and Macy), his step-sister Michaela, and their families' 2 exchange students, Albin and Flavia had been on vacation in Florida. They were on their way home and Christopher was driving. They had a blowout on the interstate and had a one-vehicle crash. Christopher, Sherry, Macy, and Flavia were all killed instantly. The other 4 were injured but not fatally, and were able to attend the funeral.
Sherry was a nurse, like me. She loved children, she made them her life. She even took in not one but 2 exchange students, and from what I understand, did everything she could to treat them as her own and show them everything she could about American life. She and Christopher went together to China to adopt Macy, who was born with a cleft lip. While they were there, I remember seeing pictures Sherry posted of I think about 60 pairs of shoes she bought her while there because they were so cheap. That is so something I would have done! I admired Sherry for her love of children. I think Christopher and Macy had a special bond because he went with his mom to get her. Macy was the same age as my son Holt.
Flavia was due to go home the very next day after the wreck. She had not seen her parents in a year. She was flown home in a casket.
Christopher had just graduated high school, and had a scholarship to Ole Miss. He had the brightest future. We all knew he was a good, Christian young man, but I don't think any of us really knew the extent of his Christian witness to others. It has been unreal the number of stories we have been told from people he loved, comforted, encouraged, and humored in service to the Lord.
A complete year of firsts has now passed since Christopher went home to be with God. Each and every one of those occasions has been difficult. We've all tried to be open and talk, laugh, cry, shout, be silent, and remember as we have encountered different situations surrounding his death. It's pretty amazing to see how our family has pulled together to comfort each other. See, my mom and my dad's ex-wife (Michael's mother; Michael & I share a Dad) now lovingly refer to eachother as "BFFs," talk on the phone, and comment on eachother's facebook posts. When God is at the center of your life, it is amazing what it can do for a family. I am so grateful for mine.