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losing weight

Blog, Fitness, prayer, Speaking, Writing

Bacon wrapped pizza? Make a new good habit each week

I watched a webinar this week on losing weight and fitness. One of the things the instructor David said was the only way to lose weight was to make small changes at the right pace. We must change our HABITS.

Let’s face it, most of us would love to eat a piece of¬†yellow or white cake with chocolate frosting – maybe¬†SEVERAL BIG PIECES. The instructor David said you CAN control¬†your thoughts, emotions, and desires.

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting

Yellow cake with chocolate frosting

Will that piece (or pieces) of chocolate cake help me with my goals and dreams Рor hinder them? An occasional helping of chocolate cake might not hurt. Chocolate cake every single day, or even several times a week, might.

If you’re thinking, “But I’m addicted to chocolate. I love¬†cake. I could eat chocolate cake every day for breakfast!¬†I just can’t help myself,” well, I love it too, and could¬†easily eat it every day for breakfast, too. But we have to¬†challenge our false beliefs and views that lead to ¬†disruptive behaviors – like eating chocolate cake a lot,¬†not eating raw veggies and salads, and not exercising!

David said people fail at diets because they are just that Рdiets, not lifestyle changes. You have to change your habits. He encouraged the audience to make one habit change a week. For example, this week you could focus on having a healthy breakfast every day.

What's ahead for you in 2015?

What’s ahead for you in 2015?

He gave 5 pillars to establish new healthy, fitness habits:

1. Breakfast
2. Dinner
3. Lunch
4. Exercise
5. Snack

These look simple, and we’ve seen it before, right? But do¬†you skip breakfast? I know I constantly did, before last year¬†and especially this year. Your body has been fasting through¬†the night and needs fuel for the day.

Some healthy breakfast options are:

*2 scrambled eggs or an omelette with spinach or kale, garlic, onion or 2 eggs prepared any way Рwith a small piece of fruit (not a banana!), a handful of almonds or a couple slices of bacon, sausage, or ham

*oatmeal (without the sugar Рyou can make your own healthy oatmeal with blueberries or other berries, a tiny bit of raw honey, wheat germ and/or flaxseed 

*low carb, low-sugar pancakes with low-carb, low-sugar syrup

The instructor suggested that for your main heavier meal, such as supper (dinner), you can eat salmon (or other fish) or chicken with veggies, and you can even include a little wine because it has heart and health benefits.

Foreman's grill

Foreman’s grill

One delightful new gadget I just bought is¬†a Foreman’s Grill.

It’s compact, I don’t have to cook a long time over a hot stove¬†with hot grease, and it cuts fat and calories. And the meats are tasty! It takes¬†10 minutes from grill to plate!

For lunches, you can choose healthy options instead of pizza, cheeseburgers and fries, or other fast or unhealthy, starchy, sugary foods, such as:

  • salads with raw veggies
  • a vegetable plate with hummus
  • low-carb wraps¬†with meat and veggies
  • cottage cheese and fruit
  • leftovers from the night before, etc.

What is your favorite lunch? What are some ideas you have for lunches for your kids/teens/young adults? I’d love to hear them! It’s not always easy to think of healthy¬†lunch ideas.

Eating healthy is so important, but what about exercise? I know, I hate the word, too!¬†It’s SO hard not to be lazy and to be a couch potato (or a desk potato, in my case…sitting for hours at the laptop, working!).

David said a lot of people will buy a new¬†exercise DVD and do it a couple of weeks, and then quit because they are bored or discouraged with the lack of “results.” They want to lose 20 pounds in the next 2 weeks¬†and it just ain’t happenin’!

Bacon-wrapped deep dish pizza Little Caesar's Pizza photo

Bacon-wrapped deep dish pizza
Little Caesar’s Pizza photo

Or they will say, “Next week I’m starting to exercise!”¬†as they gulp down fast food with a 42 oz. sugary drink, brownie drizzled with chocolate and Rocky Road chocolate ice cream, or the new Little Caesar’s 450-calories-a-slice, bacon-wrapped, heart-attack deep dish pizza.

I heard about it on KLove Radio. It has pepperoni,¬†3 1/2 feet of bacon wrapped around it, and bacon sprinkled on top!I’m sure it’s delicious¬†(I LOVE bacon, one of the few pork things I do like), but OMGosh! 450 calories! And you¬†know nobody will eat just one slice!



David encouraged the audience to do 10 minutes of¬†cardio exercise three times a week, such as walking, aerobics, etc. If you want faster results, do more and for a longer period of time – but just don’t overdo it! (Medical Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor! Check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program!)

You can also do¬†strengthening exercises with your own body such as sit-ups, push-ups, etc. (I currently do the modified push-up and not that many!) You don’t have¬†to get complicated – just do these exercises in your own home.

I’m still walking daily and on the days where it’s just too cold (it was 7 degrees this¬†week – uh, NO, I am not walking in THAT cold of weather), I have a backup plan – a¬†kickboxing video on Netflix that I do downstairs.



No excuses this year! It’s all about¬†being healthy and fit so I can fulfill the purpose God has for me – to go where He wants¬†me to speak and write, to minister, to do the mission He has called me (Ray and our family)¬†to do.

What new habit do you need to do this week? Leave your comments below.


It’s time to pivot

My new haircut/color

My new haircut/color

“You’re wonderful just the way you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be liked, loved, or looked up to. You don’t have to be perfect to take a first step, the next step, or a giant step toward your future. You don’t have to be perfect for your dreams to come true. You just have to be you!” – A Moment for You, Woman’s World magazine, January 12, 2015 issue

How are you doing with this year’s goals? I don’t make new year’s resolutions anymore, but pray and ask God for a “word or phrase” and a Scripture for the year, that acts as my compass for the entire year.

My word for 2015 is pivot/pivotal and my Scripture is John 20:16, The Message.  

So far, so good.  [Forbes magazine says that a study shows only 8% of people achieve their resolutions, so keep your list short and your goals specific.]

Health Goals

Smoothies: adding green veggies to your family’s diet

One of the changes I’m making this year¬†(the way I am pivoting)¬†is to aim for drinking a lot more water each day and adding green smoothies to my diet.

I use a blender, adding a little water after putting all the ingredients into the blender (you also can use a food processor). 



 I found the smoothie recipe online. Here it is:

  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
  • 2 large cucumbers
  • 1 bunch kale without stems (4 cups chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon squeezed
  • 1/4 inch ginger
  • 1 bunch mint (1/2 cup)

You can substitute spinach or other greens for the kale and add or substitute blueberries (or any berries) and other fruit like bananas or mango. If you’re just starting out, you can add less greens until you get more used to the taste.¬†

I halve the ingredients of the above recipe, and save 1/2 of that for the next morning. I like to add a little cinnamon to it, too. Cinnamon has amazing benefits.

The smoothie is a pretty Irish-green color once well-blended, and to my surprise it tasted okay. Not coke or coffee good, but still okay! Leah thought it was okay, too. And it is so healthy for you!

Smoothie with greens

Smoothie with greens

Wildtree Meals: Not having to cook over a hot stove! Love it!

I’m still making healthy Wildtree slow-cooker meals, prepping and freezing them when I buy groceries. Here is our daughter Heather’s Wildtree Facebook page if you’d like to check out the products. ¬†They are organic:

¬†‚Äʬ†¬†No GMOs
‚Äʬ†¬†No Insecticides
‚Äʬ†¬†No Pesticides
‚Äʬ†¬†No Irradiation
‚Äʬ†¬†No Preservatives
‚Äʬ†¬†No Food Dye

When shopping, you read labels, too (sugar and salt are in so many things!). I warn you, reading labels like this at the grocery store can add an hour to your shopping trip! But it gets easier.

People are killing themselves with the way they are eating. (I’ve been so guilty of not eating healthy until the last few years!) Remember that the closer we get to nature in our eating (and less processed foods we buy), the better for us. We need to be healthy in order to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives!

Yes, it’s a lot of work in one day, but so worth it!

As I was sharing with a coaching client this week, it prevents that freak-out occurrence of “What’s for supper tonight?” ¬†You know, not thawing anything out and after I work all day, then realize at 5 or 6 p.m. that I don’t have anything planned for supper – so we order pizza or eat fast food! NOT a good choice!¬†The Wildtree meals have been a life-safer for our family…I just wish I’d found it so much sooner!

Donna Partow’s book¬†– Becoming the woman you want to be!

Last January, I joined Donna Partow’s program, the 90-Day Renewal. I lost 20 pounds in the program and have maintained it (I’m still working on losing more weight!).

But the best thing about the program was how it shifted my perspective in so many ways. I realized that despite God’s deep¬†healing in my life from childhood abuse, abortions, and adulterous relationships, basically, my life was still not in order! This was showing up in my marriage, extra weight (gluttony!), emotional meltdowns from stress, and financial struggles.

All the areas of my life are interrelated and impact each other: spirit, soul, and body. 

  • God’s Word and presence need ¬†to be first place every day in my life;
  • My marriage needs restoration and to be more of a priority -it isn’t going to heal itself;
  • My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, not a trash can;
  • I need to live a life of self-discipline spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

Donna Partow book

Donna is a best-selling author and international speaker, and she walks her talk. She shares what she has learned in this book to improve your life in just a matter of 90 days – renewing you from the inside out.

I was especially interested in the health tips, and am now including this regimen in my daily life (besides the increased water, which she strongly emphasizes in this book, and the green smoothies):

  • Warm water with lemon juice first thing in the morning (Lemon juice detoxifies your body, helps with weight loss, adds Vitamin C that boosts your immune system, gives energy,¬†and¬†fights viruses);
  • 2 eggs a day (The eggs help with weight loss, raise HDL (good) cholesterol, add antioxidants good for eye health, and add protein);
  • Essential Fatty Acids (capsules or liquid – EFA’s assist in brain and nervous system function, and regulate¬†thyroid, adrenal activity, and blood pressure);
  • Psyllium husk (Psyllium helps¬†with weight loss, heart health, and regularity);
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 teaspoon *raw* honey in 8 oz. glass of water (helps with weight loss, blood sugar control, and is good for heart health. Vinegar also whitens teeth, removing stains. Honey¬†has¬†anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungus properties. It stabilizes blood pressure, balances blood sugar, relieves pain, calms nerves.

Donna also recommends:

  • 64 oz of water (this is a LOT of water – I’m still working on achieving 8 glasses!);
  • a multivitamin;
  • Ester-C (I have this on order at the herb store now);
  • as many fresh vegetables as you can consume a week (I am doing this now with Wildtree meals, salads, and smoothies);
  • a low-carb brand protein shake mix;
  • ¬†healthy proteins (our Wildtree meals include this);
  • apples and/or grapefruit;
  • a rebounder (mini-trampoline for daily bouncing);
  • and an 8-minute workout video of your choice (dumbbells optional) or exercise¬†of your choice.

Some of these I’m doing, and some I’m not. (It’s been 22 degrees Fahrenheit lately here. Too freezing cold to walk outside! I need to break out the exercise videos, right?)

I have been taking new steps since the last quarter of 2014 to enhance my health.

Try one or two of these a week, adding them to your health regimen for 2015. Remember the expression, “Eat the elephant one bite at a time.”¬†

What health goals have you set for this year? Leave your comments below. 

fat woman/thin woman
Blog, Coaching, Faith, Parenting, prayer

Take Shape For Life program

fat woman/thin womanYou know how you make New Year’s resolutions and they never seem to work? Me, too. I decided to take a different perspective this year regarding losing weight; for 2013, I’d like to become healthier and more fit (losing weight would be really nice, too!).

Our daughter Leah and I want to become fitter and began a new program this week called Take Shape for Life. You can learn more about it by clicking here. If you do decide to use this program and hire my new friend and¬†coach, Tina Cochran, please let her know I referred you as I can get a $50 credit! ūüôā

I know several people who have¬†used it¬†with great success.¬†Tina decided to do something about her weight when her very honest son told her she needed to go on The Biggest Loser.¬†She lost over 100 pounds on it and now is a health coach with the company! Better yet, she’s maintained her weight for four years!

No one has told me to go on The Biggest Loser yet, and I certainly want to avoid that happening. A full-length mirror and shopping expeditions tell me plenty: it’s past time to do something!

What I like about this program is that you¬†don’t have to starve yourself (I LOVE to eat!) or do hours of aerobics or painful floor exercises to lose the weight (I do NOT like to exercise!)! Studies show the average weight loss for the first two weeks is 2-5 lbs and 1-2 lbs per week after with the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan.¬† You lose weight safely and quickly, using their products in conjunction with healthy foods, exercise and health coaching – without having to get extreme!

The shipment of food that I ordered arrived today. Of course, I had to immediately test the chocolate brownies, lol. Leah’s response was a little less than enthusiastic: “They don’t taste like brownies.” I thought they were good (chocolate anything is good!).

Leah’s dry response to the program is a good reminder for us all, no matter what program or plan we use:

“If you just buy and cook¬†healthy foods and exercise,¬†instead of eating junk, you’ll lose weight and get in shape.”

So simple. Why don’t we do it?

Because we’re slackers. It’s a discipline issue. Healthy food? Exercise? What fun is there in that?

“We don’t enjoy being disciplined. It always seems to cause more pain than joy. But later on, those who learn from that discipline have peace that comes from doing what is right.” Hebrews 12:11, God’s Word Translation

There’s also huge mindset issues surrounding food. We eat because:

  • We’re depressed.
  • We’re lonely.
  • We’re worried.
  • We’re angry.
  • We’re bored.
  • We’re addicted to food – often foods that aren’t healthy for us. Who do you know of who has a problem eating too many asparagus tips or too much cauliflower?

And don’t forget GUILT about food. Have you heard any of these before?

  • You should be thankful for those vegetables. There’s starving children in Africa (China, Haiti, America…).
  • Don’t waste that food. Do you know how much money we paid for that?
  • Food is meant to be enjoyed, like life. Eat!
  • What’s wrong with you? Are you sick or something? Why don’t you want any seconds?
  • I don’t want to eat alone. It won’t kill you just this once to have the cheesecake. Come on, join me!

We eat, we feel guilty, we diet,  we lose a little weight, we slip, the guilt continues.

This is so hard to believe, but as a child I was so thin. I was the shortest, thinnest person in my class throughout school. In junior high school, I was nicknamed “Little Bit” because of it. Other than during my first pregnancy (my daughter Heather)¬†at age 18, I remained a size 3 from 9th grade until I was in my early 30’s.

Over the last 20 years, my weight has gone up and down like a yo yo.¬†When I married Ray over 20 years ago, I was still a size 3. THREE!¬† (I won’t tell you my size now, but let’s just say it’s way past a 3!)

Then I became pregnant. During my pregnancy with Leah, I quickly gained 60 pounds. Yes, 60. (Pre-eclampsia. I was put on strict bed rest and gained even more.)

After I gave birth, I lost it using a doctor-prescribed weight loss pill and by walking daily. Heather and I would walk every day around town, pushing Leah in the stroller. In a couple of months, I got down to a size 7. Not a 3, but I felt so much better about myself.

After I went off the pill, I gained weight back.

This blog post is my confessional: I’m addicted to coke.

Like confessing sins to a priest, it’s now confession time to my faithful readers. Through the years, I’ve lost and gained, lost and gained. Almost always in conjunction with whether or not¬†I’m on coke. No, not cocaine. ūüôā Coke the drink. Will I be sued¬†by the company if I put the real name on here? When I was on the prescription weight-loss pill Redux after I had Leah, I also stopped drinking coke. CLUE – it makes you gain weight!

I love coke! I’ve drank it since I was a child. I’ve stopped drinking it several times, but always go back to it, much like a drug addict on crack or an alcoholic back to alcohol.

I’m not physically addicted to it. I can stop and only have a “withdrawal” headache for a day or so. It’s more like an emotional comfort food, the way some people comfort themselves with cakes, pies, ice cream, chocolate,¬†bread, pasta¬†– only mine is coke.¬† Does anyone relate to this?

I LOVE the taste of it.

I LOVE Sonic happy hour Р99 cent large cokes. What a great deal, like libraries. Leah is so humiliated because I now know some of the Sonic employees by face and by name. They know my face and my black car and they say hi with a smile. They know I want a large coke with a long straw. They know I actually do the TalktoSonic surveys online to be able to get another coke Рthis time a free Route 44 coke. I love driving around with the radio up and drinking a cold, iced, big coke.

My family and friends tell me to stop drinking it. Even on Facebook, right out in public, a friend posted on my wall this week to drink more water and stop drinking coke.

When I babysat my friends’ kids a couple of years ago, their son asked me every day, “Did you have a coke today? WHY? It’s bad for you! Why don’t you JUST STOP?!” Why indeed?

My last health coach couldn’t help me kick the habit. Only I can make the choice to stop.

Yes, I know how horrible and awful it is for you. Please don’t email me or leave comments telling me how the commercial trucks have to place hazardous materials on their trucks when transporting it. Just pray for me to overcome this¬†terrible habit! Pray hard. I can’t do this without God’s help!

Coke makes you gain weight – and keep it on.

When my weight is lower, I feel good about myself.¬†But usually hungry because I’ve been starving myself, taking prescription Redux, sucking on cokes for energy¬†all day without eating, or forgetting to eat because I’m working hard on my laptop, busy on a project.

When my weight goes up, I feel bad about myself. Fat. Unattractive. Not enough. Less than. Envious, jealous. I look at¬†those¬†5’8″, thin, sexy women gracing the covers of Cosmopolitan at the Walmart check-out line; skinny, tan teens or 20-somethings girls in tank tops, short shorts and flip flops around town; even women my age who are model-beautiful and thin, and I feel shame about my belly and thighs.

I hate being fat. I’m thankful for my relatively healthy body, and I know God and my family and friends love me anyway, but I hate being so big. I hate not feeling sexy for my husband because I’m fat.

Yes, it’s time to do something.

I’m so done with the mindset issues and the guilt and the envy.

I’m done with people in my life making me feel guilty for enjoying eating.

I’m done with beating myself up for enjoying a chocolate bar.

I’m done with worrying if I’ll get health-related illnesses from being so overweight.

I’m done with feeling physically uncomfortable because of the weight.

I’m done with going shopping and having a hard time finding something I really like because of my size.

Instead, today I’m embracing good food, good water, good health, good feeling exercise like walking and swimming, good fitting, smaller clothes soon. I’m encouraging Leah to embrace these things, too. I’m excited about health coaching with Tina! She has inspired me!

I met recently with her and was relieved to hear her say that she will not call and hound me, being my food mommy or verbally beating me up for what I ate that day. I do that to myself enough!

However, she will help me dig deeper with emotional issues surrounding food, such as why do I (or others) sabotage my fitness success? Why do I eat or drink things that I know are unhealthy, cause me to gain weight, or have no nutritional value whatsoever? Why don’t I consider myself valuable enough or worthy enough to take care of me?

Most importantly, don’t I realize that I can’t fulfill the great purpose God has for my life if I don’t take care of this holy temple that God created and belongs to Him? I can’t achieve the things God wants for me if I’m not feeling well, unhealthy, sick, or even just plain sluggish and tired. I have big dreams in my heart. I believe God put them there. But those dreams can’t come to pass if I’m too fat to do them, if I become sick and unhealthy.

God also doesn’t want me to feel bad about myself when I look in the mirror.

And what are options to fast food or ordering a pizza on the nights I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking, or don’t want to cook?

I’d appreciate your prayers as Leah and I embark on this new, exciting adventure. Taking charge of our health and our fitness.¬† Losing weight in a healthy way.

Meanwhile, be sure to check out Take Shape For Life, too. Just click here. I will let you know how it goes. It can’t hurt!