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Friday, November 28, 2014

So Thankful

I try to have a thankful heart all the time, but I’d be lying if there weren’t days when I’m so consumed with all that’s happening in life and in the world that I forget to just stop and say thanks to those who have been such an important part of my life.  Though yesterday was Thanksgiving, I want this blog entry to be a thank you and a reflection of what I’m most thankful for on any given day. 

First, I am so incredibly thankful for CME.  He has been my biggest supporter – not just through this weight loss surgery, but in every day life.   He works so incredibly hard to provide for our family – taking on two jobs, working long hours (sometimes up 24+ hours with no sleep) and holidays when the rest of us are enjoying time off with family and friends.  I probably don’t tell him often enough, “Thank you.”  I probably don’t tell him often enough, “I am so proud of you.”  I probably don’t tell him often enough, “You are a great husband and father.”  I probably don’t tell him often enough how thankful I am to be his wife.  I truly am incredibly thankful to be Mrs. CME! 

I am thankful for my daughters and sons.  When I had my firstborn back in 1984, I had no idea how to be a parent.  I was just a kid myself.  I made many mistakes in how I raised my daughters, yet they have turned out to be amazing and successful young women.  They bless me with affirmation that even though I could have done things differently, I raised them to be respectful and loving adults.  I am thankful for their love and the relationships we have as mom/daughters. I'm thankful for sons-in-law that truly care about and love my daughters. I'm thankful for my g-baby and all the joy and laughter she brings to our family!  For my boys?  I’m still making mistakes, but hopefully not the same ones.  I’m thankful that I have the kind of relationship with each of them that I can have very frank conversations and know that they love me, even if they’re not too happy with me.  But as with my girls, they are kind and generous and loving.  As I guide them through this last stretch of their teen years, I pray that I can be a parent that gives them the shepherding they need while at the same time let them flourish and become their own person.  For all my children, I pray they continue to seek God’s best for their lives and that they fully understand and accept the love that Jesus has for each of them. 

I am thankful for my parents and my sister and her family along with my extended family (in-laws).  Too often I can take it too lightly that I have another day with both my parents.  As we all age, I look and see that each and every day with them is a blessing to not take lightly.  Yesterday as I was praying for our meal and time together, God spoke very clearly to me about His blessing of family.  My brother-in-law survived a massive heart attack.  My mom’s thyroid nodules were benign.  My father-in-law’s seizures weren’t caused by a cancerous brain tumor!  No major issues with my Dad or sister; though general health could be better for both.  I have a GREAT relationship with my mother-in-law, which is truly a gift from God! CME’s Grampa and Gramma are still relatively healthy and it’s great to see pictures of them even if we can’t get up to visit often.  We don’t see much of our Michigan family, but I am thankful for ALL of them (aunts/uncles/sisters/nieces/cousins included.)  We also spent the afternoon with a family friend who just buried her husband on Tuesday.  Her Thanksgiving was hard.  Her grief, though hidden most of the time, was real.  I was reminded that Jesus understands grief.  He wept when He saw the pain and sadness of Lazarus’ family and friends – even though He knew that He was going to bring Lazarus back from the dead.  He understood what the family was feeling.  He understood that the family unit is to be a blessing and a reason to give thanks.  I am thankful for family.

I am thankful for the friends (sisters and brothers in Christ) who have poured into my life and spiritual growth over the years…too many of them to name, but you know who you are!  THANK YOU!  I praise God every time I think of you! (MB – this includes you!!!) 

I am thankful for the International Students I get the honor and privilege of being around on a semi-regular basis!  They bring a new understanding to me about people and culture and family.  I feel like God has blessed me with the opportunity to see the world through their eyes!  I love them all and am thankful that I get to be a small part of their lives. 

I am thankful for the staff at bariatric center who guided me through the process - to help me not only lose weight, but to learn about taking care of my body and health.  Yesterday my oldest daughter, oldest son and I spent our morning at the Turkey Day 5K.  I like this new tradition that started last year because it is a way to keep me thankful that I can participate in these.  Three years ago, I’m not sure if I could have even finished.  But because of God giving me the courage and strength and help from bariatric center, I can…and I do.  And I am thankful for this blessing…no matter how sore my legs are the next day!

Most of all, I am thankful for what Jesus did on the cross for me.  I am not worthy of His sacrifice.  I could never do enough to earn the grace He so freely gives me.  May I NEVER forget to be thankful for that! 

So yes, I have a lot to be thankful for.  A lot to reflect on.  I will continue to have a thankful heart and I hope everyone who is a part of my life knows that you are important to me.  YOU are the blessings I am most thankful for on this earth! 






Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's Your Sign?

No, I don't mean zodiac...I mean, what is a telltale sign that your body is full? I have an "indicator" and a full out "yep! I'm done!"

My indicator is that the more food I eat the more my nose runs. Gross? Yes. True though. And my telltale sign? A hiccup. Even if I have eaten too fast and don't feel full yet, my body will hiccup when it's had enough.  Sometimes I don't feel full, but realize that proportionally I should be done...so I wait. I wait for the inevitable hiccup. It comes!  It always does!

It's funny how God wires us, isn't it?  And then when we re-wire our bodies through RNY, He still uses His design to speak to us. I still struggle with listening some days, but I am thankful I've been able to figure out this signal. 

So, what's your sign?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Can I Claim it as a Sabbatical?


Yes, I know. It has been a long time since I've been here. I've actually had a couple of people even mentioned to me that I need to blog again…(Hi Milford!)

As with everyone, life has been extremely busy and I haven't made the time to declutter my brain.  But here's a snippet of these past three months:

- School started for our sophomore and eighth grade sons
- Went to GenCon with CME and the boys 
- Unexpected trip to Grand Rapids for a family emergency - father-in-law had major seizures due to a benign (Praise God!) brain tumor
- Side trip to Traverse City with CME
- Girls weekend in Bloomington IN/Brown County with my daughters and g-baby
- Had out of town visitors over (people we met via Instagram!)
- Got to spend time with some of my international children 
- Helped friends prepare for a moving sale
- Taught a new section of a class at church 
- Traveled to Denver for a conference
- Attended a wedding my g-baby was in
- Had family photos taken
- Moved my friends 8 hours away. (So glad CME can drive a box truck!)

Add in every day work/life events with active kids and my self-named sabbatical doesn't seem like one at all!  Just from blogging, I suppose. 

Other than all that, life is good.  I need to buy a good scale to keep my weight in perspective and under control. I am responsible for maintaining the healthy life I've been given!  Gauging my weight by how I think I look in clothes or if they seem loose/tight won't cut it. I need to see a number. End of story. 

Anyway, here's a re-start...and I'll try to do better going forward. 

Til next time...May God bless you and guide you in your journey!  He will if you let Him!!






Saturday, August 2, 2014

August Already?

I can't believe it's already August. My sons start back to school in just a few days.  I suppose when the summer is packed with activities and travel, it really does fly by, but my goodness!!!

One thing I do look forward to though is getting back into more of a routine. Routines work well for me. Including the routine of eating. Seems like such a simple concept, but truly if I don't plan I don't do well. That being said, since my last post, I do have some victories to claim:

  • I visited "31derful flavors" with my hubby and son and didn't even have the no sugar added ice cream. Best part of this victory...I didn't want it. 
  • I've not randomly grabbed a handful of anything to snack on.
  • On three separate occasions at work, I've passed on my normal 10:30 a.m. snack. Why? Because I wasn't hungry. Why eat if you're not hungry?
  • I've cooked healthier foods again for the whole family.
  • I've stopped at Sonic for a diet green tea...and only got the tea.
  • I successfully avoided having one of the No Bake cookies that were brought in to work. (my fav cookie, by the way)
  • I've got cash in my purse and I've not used it. (I'll explain below why this is a victory.)
  • One of my very best friends moved away and I didn't console myself with food.
  • I've dropped a couple of those added pounds.
  • I've sat out by our backyard fire pit and didn't have a marshmallow.
  • I shared our new hammock with CME. I've never enjoyed a hammock before...I was always too scared that I'd fall out and look like a fool. Snuggling on a hammock with the hubby is awesome!  :)

I did have to say a couple of time, "Get behind me Satan! You will NOT win this battle!"  I'm sure if someone had overheard me they would have given me a strange look.  But seriously...it is a battle that Satan wants me to lose.  He isn't happy that God is getting glory in my journey.  But God is bigger and better and victorious and therefore so am I!  YES!!!


Now to explain the victory I claimed about cash. In past, if I had cash on hand I could buy something to eat and no one would know it. I mean, if I stopped by Donut Bank (or DQ or McD's or wherever) and used my debit card then there was evidence. Paying by cash makes it so I'm not accountable, I could lie (yes...I did this) about how I spent it. This, friends, is a tale-tale sign of an addict. So for me, this is a HUGE victory! THANK YOU GOD!!!

So though I say, "Where has the time gone this summer?" I am actually looking forward to some normalcy.  Some routine.  

Next step: more intentional exercise.  (Still my nemesis!)



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"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Monday, July 21, 2014

If I'm Being Completely Honest

If I'm being completely honest and transparent then I need to admit that I've let some of those bad behaviors back in my life and I need to daily surrender my addiction to God. Daily

The result of my addiction? Self-doubt, self-loathing, self-bullying and self-consciousness. Oh...and weight gain. Yup...that's happened. I've gained weight. It's not a huge amount, but 6 lbs is a big deal!

What habits have invaded my life again?  Well, here's a quick list off the top of my head:

- licking the spoon/bowl after fixing something tasty or when clearing the dinner table. 
- taking a nibble of this, a bite of that (unplanned/unconscious/unhealthy eating)
- lack of portion control
- eating too fast
- eating in the car (fast food on the go)
- lack of weighing regularly
- bread
- dessert
- chips/snacks
- taking the elevator and not the stairs
- not getting in all my water
- not walking (exercising) like I was 

So today I prayed and I asked for prayer. I have not been "cured" of my addiction like I had hoped. But that doesn't mean God isn't working in my life. For me it means He wants me to rely on Him minute by minute for every part of this. I am the branch and He is the vine...apart from Him I can do nothing. 

Friends, if you believe that weightloss surgery is the easy way out, you couldn't be more mistaken. This is hard...especially if you're addicted to food like I am.  It's a daily struggle, but one that is worth the fight! 

Before everyone gets worried about the "results" listed above, I'm at a good place. I know that the enemy wants me to believe I'm a failure. But I am not. I am redeemed. I am clay in the Potter's hand and He is Victorious!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Live Well, Evansville!

I've tried to be sensitive about posting information on my bariatric center or any of the staff.  But I've been given the thumbs up to share the blog that my awesome RD, Corey Filbert, and another dietician maintain for the hospital where I had my RNY surgery.  Again, I can't say enough positive about Corey, the other staff or the center.  I truly believe they were the exact place I was to go for this procedure.

It's a great blog and one that I'll be linking on the side.  But until I get that done, why not check them out at the link below:

Live Well Evansville
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"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes

I really didn't want this blog to become a recipe blog, but then I figured if someone was wondering what a gastric bypass patient eats a few recipes here and there isn't bad.  Right?!?  (C'mon...make me feel better about posting recipes here!)

This week I've ventured out in my cooking endeavors. Found this recipe and not only was it totally delicious, it's healthy!!  Win/win!!

So thanks for understanding the recipes are for me to share some fun foods I get to enjoy!

CURRIED CHICKPEAS WITH SPINACH AND TOMATOES

(4 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red jalapeño or Fresno chile, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 pound fresh flat-leaf spinach, tough stems trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 24-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • Flatbread or steamed white rice, for serving

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

1 serving contains:
  • Calories (kcal) 340
  • Fat (g) 10
  • Saturated Fat (g) 1
  • Cholesterol (mg) 0
  • Carbohydrates (g) 53
  • Dietary Fiber (g) 16
  • Total Sugars (g) 14
  • Protein (g) 15
  • Sodium (mg) 1330

PREPARATION:

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chile, and ginger; cook until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Working in batches, add spinach by the handful, tossing to wilt between additions. Cook until fully wilted and bright green, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper; reserve. 

  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add curry powder and chili powder and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas and tomatoes with juices, squeezing tomatoes with your hand as you add, and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until tomatoes are broken down and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Fold in spinach purée. Serve with flatbread or steamed white rice.