Monday, March 28, 2011

The Long and the Short of It

My preteen has decided that he likes to wear his hair long. You know, like the skaters do. I try to gently remind him that he rides a scooter instead of a skateboard. Minor, trivial details. He likes the skater look. Fine.

Really, I'm okay with that. As long as he keeps his hair clean and neat, I really don't care how long his hair is - within reason. Because he has several cowlicks, his hair needs to be completely buzzed or it has to be a little longer so that the cowlicks have a chance to lay flat. Truth be told, he doesn't look that good with short hair, and personally, I'm not a big fan of the obvious DIY home haircut buzz cut.

In parenting, like other areas of life, it's wise to remember the phrase "Choose your battles." Not every thing is worth a fight or a raised voice. I'm more concerned with how he treats other people than I am with the length of his hair. His fashion sense, on the other hand, is a different story.

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Letting Go

I'm down 27lbs and I am so close to my goal - only 3lbs to go. But as usual, that time of the month interfered, so I'm forced to be patient, focus on my eating habits, and keep up with my exercising all the while ignoring the scale for a few days.

I decided that what I needed was some cheering up in the form of spring cleaning, starting with my closet. The picture is of a pile of pants (all size 18) that no longer fit me...because they're too big! That's right, those clothes are no longer wearable in public, or private, because they are too big. What a good feeling. I'm off to the Goodwill this morning to donate these clothes, but strangely enough, I'm feeling apprehensive. I know, one could easily say, "Shut up, I would love to have that problem." However, letting go of clothing is not always as easy as it seems.

You see, I've been where I am before. I've lost 30lbs before and have gotten to the size I am now; in fact, I still have three pairs of pants from that time. Thanks goodness I saved them, otherwise I wouldn't have anything to wear now. When I look at the pile of clothes, I'm reminded of how I failed to keep off the weight. I begin to wonder if I should save one or two pairs of pants just in case. All of my doubts and past failures swirl around me reminding me that this has been a lifelong struggle.

Thank goodness, I have reminders of what I'm doing differently this time. This time, I've asked for God's help. This time, I'm not doing a severely restricted diet; I'm eating real food in controlled portions. This time, I'm not saving the bigger sized pants like I did last time. So, it's off to the Goodwill I go; letting go of clothing and habits that no longer fit.

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

BFD - March '11

My oldest son has been asking for pancakes, and to tell you the truth, pancakes sounded good. It's been a looong time since I made pancakes, so when I came across a recipe for chocolate peanut butter pancakes, I thought, "Perfect! That is sheer genius!" Of course, in keeping with the chocolate theme, I wanted to have some Hershey's chocolate syrup. Unfortunately, I'm way too cheap to buy it. Fortunately, there is an easy, frugal recipe. I kept this month's BFD menu limited to pancakes only. They tend to be very filling and I didn't want to overdo it. So, this month's BFD menu consisted of:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Pancakes
Va-Nana Strawberry Smoothie
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

Peanut butter w/chocolate swirl
I love the peanut butter and chocolate combo. When I think of peanut butter and chocolate, I automatically think of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Salty. Sweet. Yum. When I found this recipe, the first thing I noticed was that the batter did not contain sugar. Hmm. That's odd, I thought to myself. I mixed up the batter as the directions indicated. Then I taste tested the batter. You see, long ago I learned that if I didn't like the way the batter tasted, I wouldn't like the way the finished product tasted. Sure enough, I did not like the way the batter tasted. Sugar to the rescue! I added one tablespoon of sugar to the chocolate batter and one tablespoon of sugar to the peanut butter batter. Much better.

Chocolate w/peanut butter swirl
I think this recipe has alot going for it and I love the concept of pb and chocolate mixed together in pancake form. The directions mentioned that if you wanted a thinner batter, then add more liquid. In my opinion, I don't think this is optional. I added an extra 1/2 cup of water to the chocolate batter and an extra 1/2 cup of water to the peanut butter batter. The next time I make these - and there will be a next time - I'm going to double the amount of peanut butter as well. All in all, with a little tweaking, this was a terrific idea. Combined with the homemade chocolate syrup, these pancakes were perfectly able to satisfy a sweet tooth and a hungry tummy.

The link for the smoothies doesn't really have a recipe for Va-Nana (Vanilla/Banana) Strawberry smoothies. I simply took one of the recipes that called for yogurt and I used a cup of Tillamook Vanilla Bean yogurt, frozen strawberries, a very ripe banana, added a cup of milk and a teaspoon of vanilla. Blend it all together and serve. Very low key and easy this month.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In Perspective

It's been very difficult these past few days to think of anything else besides the tsunami tragedy that occurred in Japan. What can I possibly say to that? My problems are trivial compared to what the people of Japan are going through. Losing unwanted weight, balancing a one-income budget, raising a disabled child, and dealing with a preteen is nothing compared to dealing with the devastating aftermath of a tsunami.

It's absolutely heartbreaking to think how dramatically their lives changed in the span of a few hours. If that's not a wake-up call for the rest of us to realize that all we have is the present moment, that life is precious, and our time here is short, then I don't know what is. If this doesn't jolt some of us out of our complacency and compel us to live and love one another as Jesus lived and loved us, then I shudder to think what it would take for us to do that.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Friday, March 11, 2011

The 4-1-1 on the Last Two Weeks

So, it's been a challenging two weeks as far as my weight loss is concerned. First, it was that time of the month, which always makes me feel bloated. Next, I decided to increase my fiber intake and I overdid it. I won't even spill the gory details, but suffice to say, I highly recommend following the advice to increase fiber intake slowly.  Another example of how I screw myself over by not paying attention. Live and learn; or apparently not.

My digestive system has been in recovery mode and my weight has been at a standstill. I've been fluctuating between 187 and 186. Instead of freaking out, I've decided to relax. That's right, you heard me: I've decided to relax. I am so close to reaching my first goal of losing 30lbs and I know it will happen. But, I've also had to remind myself that my original intent was to change my eating habits and to develop a healthy attitude toward food. It's working. As you may know, I use this calorie calculator to help me zig zag my calories so that I eat at or near maintenance level (high calorie days) a couple of times per week and below maintenance (low calorie days) the rest of the week. My current calorie range is between 1488 and 2100 with 2100 being the maintenance level. On those high calorie days I think, “Wow, that's a lot of food.” Believe me, I never would have said such a thing in the past.

I am learning to trust in the process. I am learning that lasting change does not happen overnight. I am also learning to relax and to enjoy my progress.

Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Proverbs 3:7-8

Monday, March 7, 2011

Ditch the Scale?

Since I started losing weight, I've been reading more and more blogs and articles about others who have lost weight. I've also inevitably run across advice columns, some of which have this piece of advice: ditch the bathroom scale and just go by how your clothes fit. Really? I'd like to offer a different opinion or perhaps try to clarify this advice.

Before I rain on this parade, let me make one caveat:

If you are trying to overcome an eating disorder or you have a medical condition, and your doctor or therapist tells you to ditch the scale, then absolutely follow their advice.

If, however, you are like the vast majority of Americans like myself who are overweight due to overconsumption and lack of exercise, then I'm sorry, but telling us to ditch the scale is bad advice. One of the reasons for this is that the scale matters at the doctor's office. If I went to the doctor and told her that I don't do scales because I only go by how my clothes fit, she would probably laugh. You see, I'm trying to lose several clothing sizes so "going by how my clothes fit" just doesn't make sense. For the record, I'm down from a size 18 to a size 16.

Another reason why I don't like this advice as it's usually presented is that the numbers don't lie. Sure, you can question the accuracy between different scales; but, if you use your same bathroom scale on a regular basis, and you are cutting back on portions and/or exercising, you will see the numbers go down. I have used my scale every day since December 28th, and it tells me that I have lost 23lbs so far. I also step on the scale first thing every morning. Because body weight can fluctuate throughout the day, I think it's important to weigh yourself at the same time of day each time.

The only situations I can think of when it's safe to ditch the scale are:

  1. You have reached your goal weight and you are trying to maintain it. Then, obviously, you can go by how your clothes fit because you've reached your desired clothing size.
  2. You have reached your goal weight and you are now working on toning and building muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat the scale might go up, but your body will get leaner because muscle is leaner than fat.

Otherwise, if you have a lot to lose like I do, then seeing the numbers on the scale can be proof that you are on the right track...or not. I'm not saying everyone should weigh themselves every day like I do, but for me, stepping on the scale offers me proof and motivation.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Improved But Not New

It's been about six months since my cat, Henry, got the lion cut. You may have doubled over in laughter like I did, or maybe you were mildly amused. At any rate, I thought I would provide an update on how he looks today after six months of humiliation. Poor thing. Here he is back in late August with the lion cut (snicker):

Henry with The Lion Cut
And here he is today with most of his fur having grown back:

Perfect Pose
Henry Almost Back to Normal

I don't know why his eyes are closed but it's kind of charming. Hopefully he's learned his lesson, otherwise, you know what's going to happen this summer. BWAHAHAHA!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...