Saturday, December 31, 2011
Due to a few months' crash-and-burn in the middle of 2011, THE SCALE shows me no closer to a healthy weight on the last day of 2011 than on the first. Yet I am honestly celebrating and praising Jesus Christ for amazing transformation in my lifestyle this year. I'm leaving it in list form, as I jotted it down (with my jaw dropped). The changes were so tiny and gradual, I have astonished myself. Truly, if you had told me a year ago that the following things would be true by the end of the year, I would say it could not be possible.
In 2011 by God's grace I . . .
-- enjoyed a party where the main activity was building gingerbread houses, and I did not eat a bite of candy (didn't feel deprived; just not "worth it")
-- served my family radically modified healthy Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner.
-- extinguished after-dinner eating
-- made tracking all food a fixed habit
-- made my food & fitness trackers public (gasp . . . I can still hardly believe this)
-- initiated my photo with a major sports mascot and later with a national fast food icon (my former mantra: "Don't take my picture!")
-- joined in hora folk dancing at a public event
-- did not hide my weight amount from my daughters any more (my sons could not care less)
-- chose some bright colors to wear instead of my years-long norm of blend-into-the background attire
-- often took time to put on a pretty necklace
-- for my birthday selected a very colorful purse and take it everywhere
-- wore bright-colored croc flats even when they weren't exactly matching anything else i had on. Told myself, "These are my fun shoes." . . . Shoes and fun in the same sentence? Radical!
--tried a very different hairstyle.
-- ran my first 5k
-- released my anxieties and let my daughter have 2 rabbits. This has been a great success and enjoyment for all (formerly a fish-and-turtles-only household).
-- saw some healing in working through some profound sorrows, stresses, and distresses the year brought.
-- felt God near in dark days and received grace to do my duty in each moment (what author Elisabeth Elliot calls "the consolation of obedience").
-- lost 20 of the 25 lbs I had regained.
-- gave myself permission to stop punishing & shaming myself over the backsliding weight gain.
-- allowed myself to feel emotional pain.
-- let myself grieve when needed and did not numb myself with food.
-- let myself have joyful times and did not let the crises define my life.
-- became a whiz on iPod touch.
-- went out of my comfort zone to commit to the Game On! Diet. ( Please join our Spark Team; we're starting a new round Jan 2! No cost involved. You can read the book online at www.harpercollins.com/browseinside/i
ndex.aspx?isbn13=9780061718892 or see a list of the rules at www.bookingmama.net/2009/07/review-g
-- learned to like avocado, butternut squash, edamame, talapia, kefir, tofu, coconut oil, and salad-for-breakfast.
-- stopped drinking pop and sweet tea. Stopped thinking about drinking pop and sweet tea.
-- became reliable about taking my morning vitamin.
-- learned to sail a sunfish. Enjoyed it immensely even though many people I know could see my bulkiness and clumsiness.
-- rode a zip line
-- gave a humorous speech about my weight loss journey in front of a group. Did not turn the invitation down even though I am embarrassed about how heavy I still am.
I would never have thought I could change so much in one year. That's why I'm not obssessing about the scale. Yes, I'm definitely committed to a series of small, achievable weight loss goals. I am determined to reach healthy bmi in 2012. But I see growth and transformation in so many ways that the scale doesn't show. That's what's really going to produce good health in 2012!
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. (Ephesians 19:20-21)
Friday, December 23, 2011
Today I meddled with a Traditional Family Recipe. (Gasp!)
We have a smaller group assembled for Christmas this year, so I dared modify my late mother's made-it-this-way-for-fifty-years corn chowder recipe. We usually have corn chowder for supper Christmas Eve, and I've found it tastes better the second day after the flavors mingle, so I made it this afternoon to refrigerate. Plus I wanted less cooking tomorrow!
Mom and I were raised in the deep south, so her corn chowder recipe starts with bacon, and I'll just say not much of the grease goes to waste either. She has gone to God, so I can't explain my recipe changes or tell her it's not personal, but she would be so happy for my renewed health and energy.
We always made corn chowder by "that looks about right," so I can't list an exact recipe, but I'll tell you the way I did it. I sliced celery thin and diced onions and matchstick carrots, then sauteed it all in a bit of coconut oil. Before they were done I added half a red bell pepper, diced very small. Wonderful smell from the skillet. When all was tender, I poured in a can of evaporated milk (NOT the sweetened kind) which deglazed the pan perfectly. The veggies are so pretty and colorful, plus they give the liquid a gorgeous golden glow. I put in diced cooked potatoes and cooked corn (I used frozen, but canned works fine), plus chicken broth to taste (and more milk if you prefer).
I used small gold potatoes and left the skin on for nutrients and fiber. The original recipe has lots of ham in large chunks, but to save calories I used fewer, smaller pieces. I warm the ham separately and let each person put some in his own bowl, but you can add it all in if you want. I did not use any bacon grease, and I did not use flour to thicken the soup. I used chicken broth in place of half the canned milk, and I left off the bacon garnish.
I admit, it does not "taste like Mom used to make," but it is delicious as its own entity. I call mine Confetti Corn Chowder, cause I like all the colorful bits in the soup. Hers was absolutely scrumptious, but it was important to me to make a soup where I cut the fat and calories. My girls are young enough to embrace a new tradition on our menu, and I thank God that my husband is open-minded and welcomes my innovations that make our meals healthier.
I certainly won't be undermining anyone else when they want to make the original version, and I'm sure many will prefer it. But I'm feeling good about blazing a new trail in my kitchen with diet-friendly food, even on an important holiday.
Friday, December 16, 2011
"The first time she performed the role of Dewdrop in “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” with the New York City Ballet, Ashley Bouder was 17 and made a memorable entrance: she fell on her face. Now 27 and a principal dancer for the company, Ms. Bouder is in her eighth season as the Sugarplum Fairy and her 11th as Dewdrop. She will perform that role in a live City Ballet broadcast in movie theaters on Tuesday and on the PBS program “Live From Lincoln Center” on Wednesday." from www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/nyregion/
Today I heard Ashley interviewed by Chelsea Clinton on PBS. She was asked, "How did you get to where you are today, the lead role in the most famous Nutcracker in the world?"
"I JUST KEPT ON DOING THE SAME THING I'M DOING NOW, DAY AFTER DAY."
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Here's an excellent article on strength training---so much clear & practical info in one place!
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
I've gotten used to tracking everything I put in my mouth. It no longer seems burdensome. It's actually a feeling of security, a reassuring ritual. Even when I overeat or make poor choices, I find it valuable to get specifics about exactly how "costly" it was.
All of that simply to introduce the subject of this blog, which is editing my "Favorites" section on the nutrition tracker. I had never gone into my list of favorites and modified it at all. But I've been noticing how long it took to scroll down and find my current true favorites, most commonly eaten items, on that list . . . so I took a deep breath and started to revise the list. [On the Nutrition Tracker page, click the Favorites tab. Then, beside the search box, scroll over the arrow on the bar that says "Favorites Options." Select "Edit List." Click "REMOVE" beside any item you don't want on the list any more.]
Now the CELEBRATE part. I could not believe the items that appeared on my list. Did I really eat those things routinely? It seems like ancient history! As I continued to click Remove, Remove, Remove . . . my heart rose in praise to Jesus Christ. With His help I have baby-stepped to a truly transformed way of eating. Not perfect by any means, inconsistent plenty of times, weak and vulnerable, surely. But MY HABITS HAVE CHANGED and I am so encouraged.
It did not happen through impressive heroic effort, but through tiny incremental choices . . . with backsliding, but NOT GIVING UP. So many on this site have encouraged me. So many have set me an example and described how it can get better a little at a time, day by day. Friends are faithful in praying for me. God's mercies are new each morning.
I am only about a third of the way to my goal weight, but it is happening (okay, like glacial shift, but IT IS HAPPENING!) All I have to do is . . . do what I'm doing now, a little longer. When I eat something stupid . . . when I have a terrible day . . . or even a horrible week . . . I can just start again and inch toward healthy weight.
And there's nothing like black-and-white proof. I could see for myself a couple dozen things that aren't even a temptation for me any more. Certainly I still have problem foods, and junk I can hardly resist, and delectables I never can resist . . . but editing the Favorites list, I saw with my own eyes what has happened to the garbage end of my typical menus. Remove! Remove! Remove! CELEBRATE!!!
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