Tuesday, January 03, 2012
A SparkFriend and long-time encourager is in a new competition at the gym. They're offering prizes, but I promised my own virtual reward, so here's my concept of a new shirt for a healthier, stronger Spark Friend to wear to Australia.
Tuesday, January 03, 2012
I don't like the way I feel today, and I'm recording it so I'll remember (and avoid it next time).
There's a horrible taste in my mouth that I can't wash out.
My weight is up 1.3 pounds even though I stayed in calorie range the last two days. (New Year's Eve was out of calorie range, but not much.)
I felt more sluggish and draggy than I have in weeks.
Sounds like PMS, right? Sure, right, I'm going to voluntarily put something in my mouth that makes me feel like I have PMS.
Thanks be to God that I figured it out. I've been eating so consistently that I knew immediately the cause. Sodium. Good old salt.
Bad old salt!
When we finished Thanksgiving dinner I had put the leftover cornbread dressing in a casserole dish, mixed cut-up turkey with gravy and spread it on top. Then I froze it immediately. I figured we would enjoy it much more a few weeks later.
And we did! I sneaked a small portion for breakfast yesterday and then I had a nice bowlful for supper. I did notice it being salty, but the "comfort food" coma overcame my judgment, I guess. Looking back, I should have stopped eating and put it aside halfway through, recognizing the sodium landmine.
If it's already prepared, eat a SMALL portion. (Good thing I'm on this 12-glasses-of-water regimen, or I'd be feeling even crummier!)
Be more salt-conscious while cooking. Many recipes I do alter, and I did radically transform our menu that day, but I proceeded robot-like making the dressing and gravy!
I think the straw that broke the camel's back was . . . red-faced confession . . . I added crumbled Ritz crackers to the cornbread dressing. I haven't bought those in a year, and we never eat them any more, so . . . you guessed it, I was "not letting them go to waste." They weren't out of date, and yes, it made a delicious dressing. Well, delicious for the 5 seconds it took to glop around in my mouth and slime down my throat! Note to self: if an item has VISIBLE salt stuck to the top, NOTICE THE SALT!!!
Cleaning up my food is an ongoing journey!
Sunday, January 01, 2012
"Driven by Faith" Spark Team asked us to post January goals. I'm repeating them here for accountability.
- Lose 4 more pounds by Jan 23 to reach that 10-pound increment set last month.
- Continue to set 10-pound goal dates on the Wii Fit, which does a great job of weighing me, graphing my progress, and nagging me!
- Meet each 10-pound goal, adjusting expectations if wise. Never give up!
- Pursue active fun by doing Wii Fit 20 minutes daily when I am not traveling or ill.
- Attend strength training class at church on each scheduled date (normally 3 times per week). Work my hardest there.
- Continue tracking all food on SparkPeople.
- Report weekly on SparkPeople concerning accountability to these goals, favorable or not.
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.
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