Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just Maintain

After reaching my first goal, my plan was to take a month off from losing weight and just try to maintain the weight loss and to lull my body into a false sense of comfort. I hate it when I override my original plans because I think I know better after putting more thought into it. I need to remember that my first instinct is usually the right one.

Part of the problem is that when I'm on a roll I want to go, go, go. I'm on a roll dammit, why stop now? I had lost three additional pounds when the little voice said, "Maintain". Noooooooooooo!! Against my better judgement, which isn't always better, I continued with my original plan to give my body a rest and to focus on maintaining my 30lb weight loss. I enjoyed myself over spring break and indulged on Easter Sunday. (Oh See's Candies get thee behind me Satan. Or not.) I still continued to count calories and to exercise.

The four weeks will be up on May 1st and then it's time to start working toward Goal 2. Believe it or not, I'm actually excited to see how close I can get to my goal by the first week of August. We're going back to Yosemite then and I want to get a picture of me at Yosemite this year and compare it to last year. I know, I need a life. But, honestly, sometimes it's the little things that keep me going.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Just This Once

Ordinarily, I don't post photos of my children. It's not that I'm completely paranoid, it's just that I think they are entitled to their privacy until a time of their choosing. I think this is especially important for my youngest son as he's not able to speak for himself. Nevertheless, I've decided just this once to post a photo of my youngest son, albeit an altered photo with his face blocked out.

Today we went to a Beeping Egg Hunt for blind and visually impaired children. We've been going for several years, and this was the first year where he actually knew what to do right away...without complaining. For each beeping egg that a participant finds, a volunteer will exchange it for two plastic, candy-filled eggs. Yum. He's not too thrilled with the eggs containing jelly beans, but he loves the eggs containing Hershey's Kisses.

While I don't believe that Easter eggs and the Easter bunny are symbols of Easter, I have no problem associating them with springtime. I am also overjoyed that someone somewhere took the time to think creatively about how to include blind/visually impaired children in this springtime event.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Chunks of Spring Break

So, the kids are on spring break this week and that means I have to get them out of the house at least once a day until they go back to school on the 25th. OK, I don't have to get them out of the house, but it makes vacation time go alot smoother. Getting out of the house can be something simple like going to the library (which we did on Monday) or going to Target (which we'll do today). I need to do something to break up our long days.

While we are at home, my time is divided into chunks- 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Occasionally, there is a 20 minute stretch. You see, while my oldest son can entertain himself with Legos, or by drawing, or playing his DS, my youngest son needs a bit more help to go from one activity to another. He will happily listen to his CDs one after the other; however, I need to change the CDs for him otherwise he might chew on them or use them as a makeshift hammer. He has several alphabet toys and loves to press the buttons to listen to each letter sound. On a couple of these toys, I used 3D fabric paint to create raised alphabet Braille dots on each letter button; however, he still wants me to help him find the right letter.

I don't mind any of this, much. Admittedly, there are days when my chore list seems far too long and my chunks of time are not enough to complete them. It can be frustrating to start a task and then be continually interrupted. I've had to learn to go with the flow; to do what I can within those chunks of time. That might mean it takes a half hour to fold laundry or that I need to prepare dinner a little at a time starting at 3:00. Or...oops. Time to change a CD. :-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

BFD - April '11

April has been a busy month so far, and I totally cannot believe that it's half gone. Imagine my surprise when April 12th rolled around and I thought, "OMG! What am I gonna do for BFD?" Talk about scrambling. This month's BFD was literally cobbled together at the last minute.  My mind went into overdrive trying to think of what to make at the last minute that would be a crowd pleaser. Almost immediately I thought, "Coffee cake". You really can't go wrong with coffee cake. And potatoes. Potatoes with cheese. In spite of this poor planning on my part, I think it turned out pretty well. This month's BFD consisted of:

Lemon and Cheese Coffee Cake
Sour Cream and Cheddar/Potato Casserole
Fresh Strawberries with Leftover Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

Batter with cream cheese mixture 
For being thrown together at the last minute, everything turned out yummy. I did not make the coffee cake exactly as directed. Instead of using loaf pans and sandwiching the cream cheese mixture between the batter, I used a 9x13 pan, poured the batter in, then I spread the cream cheese mixture on top. I tried to swirl the cream cheese mixture into the batter (think swirl brownies), but it didn't swirl too much.

Coffee cake w/icing
After baking, I let it cool and then drizzled it with a simple powdered sugar icing. The end result was a very moist coffee cake (did I mention that it's a sour cream coffee cake?) with just a hint of lemon. If you're looking for more lemon flavor, you might want to double the amount of lemon juice called for in the recipe. This was a big hit with the kids!

I forgot to take a picture of the potatoes in their baking dish, but you can see them in the first picture. These were soooooooo good! And if I sound pleasantly surprised, it's because I am. The recipe only calls for five ingredients. Out of those five, I substituted three of them: margarine for butter, garlic salt for the onions, and Costco shredded cheddar/jack cheese for the cheddar. So simple and tasty. The hardest part was shredding the potatoes, and even then, I used my handy dandy KitchenAid Slicer/Shredder Accessory. The potatoes were a big hit with the grown-ups.

I guess I better start planning now for May's BFD. Although, I guess this experience can be a good example of what one can accomplish when the proverbial fire is lit under the proverbial butt. Still.

Monday, April 11, 2011

'Tis the Season...IEP Season

It's springtime! And along with the birds and the bees, and the flowers and the trees, there are IEPs - the Individualized Education Program for special education students. Since both of my boys have IEPs that means I have to attend two meetings and that's why I only posted one time last week. This year, the IEPs were back to back and each one took at least two hours. My youngest son's IEP has gone for close to three hours; oh the joy.

Preparing for an IEP is time consuming and emotionally draining. Because it was the triennial for both of them, there were numerous assessments to pore over. As the name suggests, the triennial occurs every three years in order to determine continued eligibility for special ed. For my youngest son, it's merely a formality as it's obvious that he will need special education for his entire school career. For my oldest son, it is a necessity because although he needs accommodations to be made in order to help him be successful, he's doing fine academically in a regular classroom.

Reading over the assessments can be difficult, especially for my youngest son. While reading the assessments, it's very difficult for me to separate my emotions from my intellect. In other words, it's hard to be objective.  As I'm reading, I think, "OK, he can't do this, or this, or this..." If I allow myself to go down that road, it can be very heartbreaking and demoralizing. While I'm reading, I have to make a conscious effort to remind myself that regardless of what he can or can't do, he's still my sweet little boy. Assessments are important in helping parents and teachers determine which skills a child has, and which skills a child needs to develop. However, assessments don't measure a child's worth; parents especially need to remember this.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Goal 2

So, I updated the Weight Loss Journal page with a new weight loss ticker. I've decided that for Goal 2 I'd like to lose 34.5lbs and get down to 145lbs. My target date is 10/31/11, but really, it will take as long as it takes. Onward and downward.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Celebrate: Goal 1 Achieved

As of this morning, I am down to 179.5 and have reached my first goal of losing 30lbs. Yay!!!! Happy dance, happy dance, happy dance! I'm actually in shock. I know that's not a normal reaction to accomplishing a goal, but I was in absolute shock when I saw the numbers on the scale this morning. I want to jump up and down and shout, "I did it, I did it!" but I'm not kidding myself; God gets all the glory for this.

Now it's time to think about Goal 2. I'm not sure if I want to lose another 30 or 35. I'm leaning toward the low to mid 140s, say 145. It's something I'll have to think about and in a day or two I'll post another weight loss ticker for Goal 2 in the Weight Loss Journal. If you've been praying for me, I want to say "Thank you", and I'd like to ask you to lift up a prayer of thanks and praise. If you're on a similar weight loss journey, know that nothing is impossible for God. Have a great day. My day has started out fantastic so far.

I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. Psalm 71:22

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lest You Think It's Easy

I hope I'm not giving the impression that losing weight has been easy for me. I am not sailing or skating through weight loss. True, as of today, I've lost 28.5lbs; but, it's taken me three months to do it. Progress has been slow and steady as I've been unlearning old bad habits and learning new good habits. Whoever compared losing weight to a journey was right on.

In the picture you can see most of the tools that I use to help me make it through this journey. I also read nutrition labels and use online tools such as daily calorie intake calculators. About two weeks ago I started using Calorie Count. It's taken some getting used to, but I've come to love the fact that I can log my daily foods and activity and determine how many calories I've burned each day. It's not perfect, but it's definitely helpful. How does the Bible help me lose weight? It provides encouragement, wisdom, and a reminder that I'm not doing this alone.

Why go through all of this trouble? Why measure and weigh food, step on the scale every morning, and log calories? The short answer is because I have to. Some people are good at estimating weights and measures. I am not one of those people; I never have been. Some people can eyeball their food and know that it's enough. I've been trying to do that for 20 years and obviously it's not working for me. So, rather than try and be something I'm not, I've decided to use the gifts and abilities that I've been given: the abilities to plan, to organize and to persevere. I think God is trying to tell me, "Use what you've been given." There's nothing wrong with trying to develop new skills. However, sometimes I think we (meaning I) spend too much time focusing on overcoming our weaknesses rather than developing and honing our strengths.

Perseverance pays off. Three months may seem like a long time, but actually it's not. On New Year's Day, I was mad at myself for being overweight. Three months later, I'm 28lbs lighter and I feel better. Three months from now who knows how much less I will weigh. In three months I have learned to be content with eating less and to enjoy the weekly splurge. I have seen my clothing size decrease while watching my activity level increase. When I got my pedometer in early January, I was only able to burn 289 calories in 44 minutes. Today, I walked 4.6 miles and burned 535 calories in 73 minutes. Woo hoo! And to celebrate, I'm going to have a corn dog for lunch. Hey, it's only 240 calories. :-)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17


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