About Me

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I am a small town girl living the big city life with my superhero hubby and our superhero- in-training son! I love Jesus and junior mints and have a secret addiction to Neil Diamond and Cat Steven's music. I love a good theme party, the smell of pretty stationary, a good book and a glass of ice tea with an orange slice in it. I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Back in the saddle again!

I was just whining to my hubby and a best friend yesterday that my scale is stuck at 177.6.  My husband gently reminded me that I've been eating candy corn the last few weeks and enjoying my birthday.  My friend reminded me that the scale will start to move again.

I have maintained my weight by remaining faithful to my workouts and in an effort to step it up a notch or two I started a Baby Boot Camp class last week that is kicking my rear.   I've been lazy the past several weeks about logging all my food intake (I'm a mom, a busy one so it's getting more difficult to stay disciplined and get on the computer to enter what I'm eating) but last week I buckled back down and have once again been logging what I eat which always, always helps me.

So here it is!





It's moving! I've lost 2 pounds and am .6 away from a 25 pound loss! This is just the motivation I needed this morning.  I only have about 10 pounds before I should be able to wear my wedding rings and that's my next goal...to be able to wear them for the holiday season!

Let's do this thing!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I hate my scale!

I got up this morning and weighed in and the scale read 177 which meant a one pound loss.  I walked through the house to get my camera which took all of 30 seconds, got back on the scale and it said 177.6! What? I weighed with and without the camera and the result was the same.  How in the world does one gain .6 of a pound in less than a minute? I'm ticked off but my superhero hubby says at least I lost and didn't gain.  Cheery lemonade maker.

Regardless, .4 pounds lost in a 2 week span isn't great.  I told a friend yesterday I think I'm stalling out again and it's time to kick start the next 10 pound loss.  I work out every other day and my schedule really doesn't allow me to do more than that plus I truly hate exercise so I need to look at my food intake closely this week and see what adjustments I can make.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Facing the scale after vacation

I couldn't find my camera this morning! Probably still in luggage somewhere but I did weigh and I can promise you I'm telling the truth.  I lost a pound! The scale reads 178 pounds so despite several eat outs and a slight binge on some delicious zuchinni fries I am really happy with that number! For the first time in my life I used the hotel's fitness center and for the most part made good choices when we dined out opting for things like salad greens with grilled chicken and eating half of what was on my plate.  I like to think that even on my worst food days that I'm still doing better than I was several months ago. 

I would like to share with you a little moment I had while on our trip.  I was coming out of the fitness room which happened to be by the elevators where a couple was waiting.  As I came out of the room the guy actually said to his wife, "looks like she needs to go back in there and get back on".  I turned around because I honestly couldn't believe an adult would say something so cruel and as I turned they both giggled and got on the elevator.  Man, that stung! But I have been a little compelled to think about the areas in my life where my words can deliver a stinging blow.  I would never of course intentionally want to hurt anyone but I know there have been times where my pride and arrogance take root and I speak when I should not.  I've been praying that the comment would not bog me down and I know that the God of the universe created me and loves me and therefore it doesn't matter what redneck elevator man and his wife think of me, what matters is what God thinks of me.  But I've asked Him to let me see this as an opportunity for growth to remember that words can wound.  And I will keep "getting back on" the workout equipment not because of any pressure I feel from others but because I am fiercely determined to get healthy...inside and out!

XOXO,
Steph

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday weigh in

When I'm not scrubbing red paint from walls or crayon marks off of carpets or riding up and down elevators to satisfy a little boy's longing for adventure I am a woman who is trying to get healthy and get the weight off! That's not easy people.  Most nights I'd much rather just play with my family or clean the house instead I get in the car and drive to the rec center where I watch re-runs of Law & Order or Seinfeld while sweating off calories.

It's paying off. I keep telling myself that.  I lost .6 pounds last week for a grand total loss to date of 21 pounds. 

I'd love to stay and gloat and listen to your jokes about my feet or my grubby scale but my son's latest obsession is slamming doors which usually results in things falling off walls and smashed little fingers.  I hear him now...bam! I'm off!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I've lost 20 pounds this summer!

It's a big morning of celebration for me because I've met my first goal of losing 20 pounds!!!

Wahoooo!!! We're in the groovy decade of the 70's and I couldn't be more thrilled right now.  Of course I have a long way to go but I must admit, I'm really proud of the changes I've made and habits broken this summer.

My next goal is another 20 pounds and I'm hoping, fingers crossed that I'll be able to get my wedding and engagement rings back on by holiday time (end of November)!!! Thanks for all your continuing support and kind words!

love,
Steph

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I don't have a thing to wear!

Y'all, I had the shopping blues on Saturday night...bad.  My superhero hubby is taking me to Dragonfly at Hotel Za Za (my favorite restaurant in this city) and I have shrunk (is shrunk a word?) out of my dressier outfits.  What woman wouldn't jump at the chance to go shop? This one. I've honestly never been much of a shoppy (is shoppy a word?) type gal, I don't take great pleasure in spending all day at a mall but when I was smaller I could at least walk in a store, snag a top and pants and check out without having to try anything on.  But I have to try things on now.

After looking in two of my favorite usual shopping spots I came out empty handed and on the verge of tears in public. The thing is I wasn't even feeling defeated about my size or how I looked so much as I couldn't even find something I wanted to try on!  I feel like a lot of the clothes in the stores are geared towards the super young and no offense, look hoochie (is hoochie a word?) OR they are geared towards older ladies and I'm just not ready for all elastic pants and matching velour outfits. I'm also not willing to spend a massive amount of my hubby's hard earned money on an outfit that I will shrink (shrink is definately a word!) out of in another 2 months so that also limits me to where I look.  And did y'all know that southwest prints are in? Apparently they are and I totally missed the memo but I saw them everywhere I went and I feel like I could just drape a saddleblanket on myself and call it a day.

After some extremely encouraging words from girlfriends I took a deep breath and tried again this afternoon. SCORE! I'm actually completely stoked now about Friday night, I found something that is classy and sparkly and I was thrilled that the pants I bought are a size 14! I was a size 18/20 at the beginning of this journey so my hard work is definately paying off. 

And so, I no longer have the shopping blues and cannot tell my hubby that I have absolutely nothing to wear and I'm happy about that.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mommy moments

I'm almost embarrassed to write any of this but I just feel in the depths of my soul that I'm not alone and that all or most of my other mom friends have experienced moments so sitcom inspired we just have to laugh at it all or we'll lock ourselves in a bathroom with a bag of miniature butterfingers and cry.

This morning started off.  And by that I mean just that, off.  W woke up at 5:40 am crying for his pacifier that had rolled underneath his bed at some point in the night (yes, I still give my son a pacifier at 29 months after we tried really hard for one whole evening to break him of the habit).  I never got back to sleep but was happy that W did so I got up and enjoyed the quiet morning hours with my coffee, breakfast and prayer time.  I felt great and ready to face the day.  I guess God knew I would need that prayer time because from the minute W woke up again he's been well, 2. And sometimes 2 is rotten. Thankfully, we had a sweet friend over for the morning to play with and distract us from our foul 2 year old mood and once our friend left we loaded up in the "big red car" as W. refers to it and we drove to Rockwall to visit another friend.

On our way back home with a car full of previously loved toys that our Rockwall friend gifted us we pulled into a Sonic to get an ice cream for the boy and some apples and caramel dip for momma.  At this point we are both in great moods because we love driving around and are very excited about our inherited loot piled high in the car.  For whatever sleep deprived reason, I went with the ice cream cone for W because the ice cream cup was 29 cents more.  What? Yeah, I'm a moron.  Cone in his little paw, apples and caramel sauce in my lap we get back on the highway and head back home over the "water bridge" to look for "boats"! 

W. with his mammoth sized ice cream cone at the Sonic parking lot.

You do know what's coming right? Total chaos, that's right.  About 13 minutes later W. yells "no more" and I turn to see that is he done with his cone but the cone is nowhere near being completely eaten.  Now, if  I'd gotten the cup I could have just taken it and set it in a cup holder but noooooo, I wanted to save 29 big whopping cents! I turn quickly, grab the cone before he hurls it to the floorboard and toss my caramel sauce packet onto the seat next to me...you got it, right onto my phone.  I'm maneuvering my way over the bridge while my son who is covered in ice cream attempts to start digging in bags of toys and get them all yucked up.  I've got a melting cone in one hand, caramel sauce on my phone when I hear bzzzz. bzzzzz. I turn to see a ginormous bumble bee flying around the inside of our car! Ahhhh! So I somehow get the window rolled down in the back, the bee flies out and I start eyeing the cars all around me to see when the best time would be to toss, yes toss the melting cone out the window (I'm trying to lose weight remember? And it's completely gross to me to eat my son's slobbery cone, sorry, it just is).  Seconds later I got my chance and there's some vanilla splatter on the side of my car to prove it.  It's at this moment W asks if he can have some tots. Really? *sigh*.

We made it home, everyone has napped and the phone has been cleaned up. I just keep repeating to myself, " I will always get a cup, I will always get a cup.".

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sights of summer

It really is so much fun to watch him PLAY!


He was very proud of the "e" he wrote!

We discovered the salt shaker at dinner
My little guy loves his motorcycle!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday weigh in

It's not a huge loss but considering last week was super busy so I didn't work out as much plus we ate out a couple of times I am very happy with a loss at all!

.6 lbs lost for a total loss to date of 17.6 lbs! I've got to work twice as hard the next couple of months because I really do intend to wear my wedding and engagement rings during the holiday season!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Grocery Game

We took W. to the Ft. Worth Museum of Science and History on Saturday and had a wonderful day there.  Inspired by the mock grocery store they have set up for littles and how much fun he had playing in it I came home with my wheels turning.
Having fun at the museum!


As we were coming home from church on Sunday I spotted a neighbor having a yard sale so I stopped by.  For $5 I bought a wooden 2 drawer filing cabinet that I knew would make a fabulous little grocery checkout for my boy.

I took out the drawers, turned it on its front, got some red and black paint and got to work.  Here is our finished product!




We still need a cash register and I'm in the process of making some currency with our faces on it but he has already had so much fun bagging his little groceries and talking about the different fruits and veggies.  We already had some plastic food and a shopping cart but I made a trip to our Dollar Tree for a few more play food items as well as some bright red bins to hold our groceries.  I also thought that their little green craft bags make the perfect grocery bags for our Super "W" Market! We also asked friends to donate any boxes or jars they were going to toss so we could stock our shelves and he loves looking at the different pictures on the boxes.


Half of our garage is dedicated to W's sensory activities so I just cleared the space some, put some fabric I had over his long art table for our market shelves and he has plenty of space to play! 






Well, I've got to get back to work.  I'm both checker and bagger at the Super W Market and my customer gets a little upset when I'm not at my post!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sticks of Butter & Celebrating Non-Scale Victories

I'm beyond thrilled at 17 pounds gone from my body.  That's 68 sticks of butter people! Yeehaw!! And while I know that I have a long way to go, if I think about how much more I need to lose I will get depressed so this week I've focused on my non-scale victories which include but are not limited to the following:

1.  When I started my weight loss journey I was wearing a size XL in t shirts and blouses.  I am now sporting size large with wiggle room to spare!

2.  My bath towel now completely fits around my frame! This is kind of a big deal for me and I cannot express how huge I have felt that I can't even get my bath towel wrapped around me.  Do you know how cold your rear end can get when stepping out of the shower? Not anymore!!

3.  I have so much more energy and am less irritable.  This is fabulous since I stay home with a 2 year old boy whose mood can change at the drop of a Lego...one of us needs to be stable!

4.  I don't crave sugar as much.  This is HUGE for me.  I've gone from popping 2-3 fatty desserts a day into my mouth to maybe 1 a day and they are always low fat options like Vitatop muffins, yogurt, low fat puddings or fruit. 

5.  I'm enjoying people more, food less.  We've had a lot of cookouts and get-togethers this summer and I notice that I'm not the first one in the food line anymore.  I am enjoying my friends and the moments we celebrate more and I don't even think about the pie or the plate of chocolate chip cookies.  Life should be celebrated!

I weighed in this week at 183 which is the same as last week so no loss, no gain! I'm so close to my first goal of losing 10% of my initial starting weight!!! Hope you'll be seeing less of me next week!

Friday, July 27, 2012

No turning back


I will persevere.  I do not give up based on emotions and hormones.  I have a son I'm training up and what example would I be setting if I did not carry on even the most difficult of times? Oh, I have my days, we all do but despite that crazy scale number on Wednesday I did not stay in bed all day eating Hershey bars.  I just carried on as usual. 

Despite the fact that I had 2 different dreams last night that involved chocolate chip cookies from Tiff's Treats, when I got on the scale this morning I was quite thrilled to weigh in at 183 pounds! That's 17 pounds lost to date!

I've gotten a lot of calls, emails, texts, posts, etc about Wednesday which really means the world to me.  Two things that people said really hit home for me the first being I am "more than a number on a scale".  I have clung to that truth the past couple of days.  So true.  God created me (and all of you) in His image and my worth is not found on that scale.  The second was that I am "too hung up on the scale".  I've reevaluated this and I think that person is right.  The scale is my friend and my enemy.  It helps me gage how I am doing but at the same time I do not want to be a slave to it.  For my own sanity I'm going to just weigh in randomly from here on out and post results every other week so that you can see my progress.  One of the reasons I haven't been writing as much is we're out playing and enjoying our summer and there's just not a lot to say.  I'm not struggling as much with my snacking in the afternoons and my sweet cravings have diminished so much that they're almost non-existent.  Eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains has become second nature and I enjoy trying new recipes (which I'll be posting later). 

I hope everyone has a fabulous Friday.  The boy and I are headed out to swim again this morning...my swimsuit is getting so loose I am tempted to purchase another one!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

About to call it a day....

I can barely see through the tears to type this and quite honestly this may be the last time I weigh in and post for a while.  I weighed in yesterday at 184.8 but this morning for whatever reason I was greeted with this horrible number:

really? I find it hard to believe I gained over 2 pounds of fat in a day.  What really angers me is the fact I went out to eat last night with friends at a Mexican food restaurant where I ate shrimp and squash and one tiny tortilla chip.  If I knew I was going to gain over 2 pounds in a night I would have eaten the basket of dadgum chips!

Angry, defeated, frustrated, sad, completely HUMILIATED in front of all of y'all right now.

ugh.

P.S. If I thought it wouldn't wake up my husband and son I'd hurl this scale through a window out onto the street for someone to run over.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday weigh in

Unfortunately, there's not a lot to report here...


I'm up by .2 of a pound but I'm still counting calories, carbs and fat and after working out every single day last week except for one, I really believe that's water weight.  The women out there will believe me and know exactly why it is so.

I'm clearly approaching my plateau which is a little discouraging because I have soooooo many more pounds to go.  Any tips you have on how you have personally battled a plateau and won are greatly welcomed! In the meantime, I will just keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully that number will go down next week!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weight loss to a "tea"

I recently watched an episode of Dr. Oz where he was answering audience health issues/questions from "A to Z".  During the course of the show he discussed weight loss issues and techniques and one of the things that caught my attention was the claim that drinking certain types of teas can help boost the metabolism and  help in the weight loss process.  I've done some more online research on the Dr. Oz website and last night made a trip to Central Market to purchase a few boxes of some of the teas that are suggested.

That tea is so light! It almost looks like water!

I am Texan which is almost southern which means we drink a lot of tea.  Since starting my weight loss journey I've given up sweet tea, artificial sweeteners and use either agave or honey if I need some sweet to my tea.  But I don't drink herbal teas so I'm making the switch just to see if there's any truth to the claim that drinking certain teas at certain times of day will help boost my metabolism.  I don't see that it can hurt and if nothing else I'm getting plenty of fluids and enjoying some really great glasses of tea...warm and iced! Here is a link to one of the articles I was reading along with tea suggestions:  Metabolism boosting teas

I decided to start simple with Oolong, White and Green teas but am thinking of also trying the Pu-erh tea because it is apparently a great weight loss tea.   I would love to hear from my friends and the types of tea you drink or recommend or any types of fat burning foods that have helped you so feel free to share.  In the meantime, I need another glass of tea because my son decided he wasn't interested in a nap today and I need a cool sip of happiness right about now.

Wednesday Weigh In


I keep telling myself that slow and steady wins the race and a .6 pound weight loss is really slow.  But I'll take it! Overall to date I've lost 14.8 pounds....I'm getting so close to my first goal of a 10% weight loss...only 5.2 pounds to lose to meet my first goal!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday morning confessions

I'm not proud of this but I had a moment yesterday afternoon where I almost got into my son's jelly bean jar (his incentive/reward for when he uses the potty).  I had to stop myself from shoveling all those beautiful sweet colorful chewy candies into my mouth.



I am in the process of making major changes to my lifestyle including the way I eat but that doesn't mean it comes easy to me.   Mindless munching happens to me all the time in fact it is my biggest obstacle to overcome.  Combine that with the fact that I really do not like exercise (it's inconvenient and it involves sweating) it just seems as though I was destined to carry extra pounds.  I guess what I'm trying to say is while I am glad the last few months have brought healthy changes to our home and my body it is not easy and I struggle daily to make better choices than I did the day before.
Sometimes my heart just isn't in it and I let my stomach guide my choices.  The past week has been what I'd call an "off" or "junk food" week.  We've had a lot going on so it was easy to pick up Sonic burgers one night so I wouldn't have to cook or clean up a mess afterwards.  We hosted 36 people in our home for a hot dog cookout on Saturday evening and I had to be ok with the fact that I only ate 3 brownie bites and a slice of watermelon  for dessert instead of what I typically would have eaten which would have been a slice of pie, cake and 5 brownie bites. This of course meant saying no to people and what they made and brought and at the end of the party I delivered leftover cupcakes and cookies to the neighbors on both sides of us so that I wouldn't be haunted by temptations. I honestly call that progress for me because I'm just not to the point where I cannot eat a brownie bite at a cookout.

I still tend to lean into food for comfort even when I'm eating a healthy food like fruit.  Being a homemaker and stay at home mom can be a very lonely job, fulfilling and fun...but lonely.  Sometimes it's nice to sit down with grapes and cheese or a cookie because it makes me feel better.  These are the things that I am working on.  Learning to lean into God when I am lonely, calling the friends I have been blessed with to talk things out and to sometimes just walk away from the food when I know I am not really hungry are all things that I am trying to do.

I have loved having this blog to write out what is on my heart, my triumphs and shortcomings.  It's hard but it's been good and as always I thank you for your continued support and encouraging words.  Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go scrub the marker ink off my son's face and arms.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Swimming, bbq and the scale

We had a great 4th of July and hope you did too! I did weigh myself yesterday but there wasn't a camera handy and since it was a holiday I just wasn't as motivated for my first picture of the day to be my scale! I am happy to report that I stayed the same weight, no loss, no gain.  I weighed this morning for picture's sake and am even happier to report after some bbq, wine and s'mores yesterday I am still 185.8...no loss, no gain! (Please, do not judge my floors, my toes, or the fact that I really need to wipe the scale clean!).



I really am great with that weight.  I have some clothes that are starting to fall off of me and a couple of t-shirts that I haven't been able to fit in for a couple of years that now fit perfectly!

We went swimming yesterday morning and when I woke up this morning every single part of me aches.  I didn't know I did that many laps pushing the boy around the pool!




Enjoy your day! I'm off to eat some breakfast and no, I won't be eating leftover s'mores ;)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Snack attacks!!!

Some people struggle with mindless munching late at night.  They roll out of bed and head to the fridge to snack while watching midnight infomercials about gym equipment.  I can honestly say I rarely eat after dark, it's always kind of been a rule for me personally.  Other than getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom (thanks to giving birth) I never wake up feeling hungry. 

3 o'clock in the afternoon however, is quite a different story.  Am I bored? tired? honestly have an appetite? is it hormonal? Every single day it's the same thing. It's like my stomach wakes up and says, "I'd love some cheese, crackers and ice cream please!".  Before I started on my journey to shed the weight and get healthy 3 o'clock was my zone out in front of The Food Network channel and eat any contents of the fridge or pantry...cheese, crackers, cookies and even those little fruit juice snacks that "W" likes.   Now that I am on the road to success, when I get hungry for my snack I opt for things like yogurt with nuts, berries, or low fat cheese spread and tomato slices on a whole grain cracker.  I also try to stop first and ask myself if I am really hungry or just bored and want to zone out with food.  This may sound silly to you but it has really helped me to see my bad habits and eating patterns.  I find if I drink a glass of water first and am still hungry I then proceed to indulge in a snack.  There's also the old carrot test that I learned when I was in Weight Watchers 7 year ago and that is to ask myself, am I really hungry and if I am I should be willing to eat a carrot or other veggie first that's on hand.  If I am not willing to eat a veggie then I'm probably not really hungry. 

I would love to hear what healthy snacks you eat so feel free to share them with me.  I like to have a wide variety of options not just for myself but my whole family!!!

 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nah, nah, nah, nah...hey, hey,hey....goodbye!

Oh yes, another weekly cheesy anthem weight loss song! One friend told me last week she couldn't stop singing my throwback to New Kids on the Block...sorry!

Here's some scale lovin!


I lost 2 pounds last week!!! 14.2 pounds has evaporated from my body!! That's like a two month old baby or a small dog!

Wahhoooooooo!!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

I've got t-shirts yes I do, I've got t-shirts how bout you?

I've already shared some of my goals and desires for wanting to lose weight like being able to wear my wedding rings again, chase my son around and just be healthier.  But there's something lurking in my my closet that I haven't told you.  Another reason I would really like to get this weight off....

these t-shirts!



Oh there are a lot more than that but for the sake of not creating more laundry I just grabbed a handful.  Before my sweet "W" came into our lives my hubby and I traveled quite often taking awesome trips all over the great U S of A and everywhere we visited one of our "things" was to snag a t-shirt from that city as a souvenir.  It sounds so corny I know but everytime I'd pull on one of those soft cotton tees from Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles or whatever city I was instantly transported back and we'd say things like,  "remember when we saw the live minutemen reinactment outside of Lexington? or "remember the flying fish at Pike Place Market?".  Those tshirts were for me better than any scrapbook or photo album that we never look at.  Those shirts were every single great memory wrapped up in a trip with my sweetheart.  And I cannot fit in them...yet.



I'm hoping by next spring you'll see me sporting one of them and I'll tell you some random crazy story about the city we visited and how there was this one time in Tennessee we got lost and ended up in a different state on accident (N. Carolina) at a Biker Bar/Resort and had great burgers before finding our way back where we belonged (very true story).

Until then, I will just keep on running, walking, kickboxing, ab crunching towards my goals!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Step by step....ooooh baby!

Sorry for the cheesy 80's boy band reference but I could just hear New Kids on the Block singing "Step by Step" as I got off the scale this morning! Step by little step I am making progress!!


That's 1.8 pounds lost for a grand total of 12.2 pounds lost to date! Wahoooo! Feeling good y'all, as always thanks for the encouragement and support---it truly keeps me motivated on days where I just want to sit in my closet and eat Whataburger and mint chocolate ice cream.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Treats

We've done laundry, scrubbed bathrooms, watched the garbage trucks roll by outside and read every alphabet book we have.  It's been a busy morning so after lunch I thought I'd make us a "treat" to munch on.  I've had my eye on a recipe from Happy Herbivore called Honey Roasted "Nuts" (Chickpeas) and today we tried them!

I thought they came out beautiful, crunchy and cinnamon sugary...



Of course, it doesn't matter if I like them. I'm not 2.  Does "W" like them?



YES! Score!!! He ate an entire little bowl of them and while they taste yummy I can feel good about the fiber and protein he unknowingly just devoured.  Check out the recipe here and give them a try too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meatless Monday


As I type this I'm watching Master Chef,  completely covered in bug bites and cannot stop scratching.  The chefs on the show are making apple pies and I just want to reach in the screen and swipe a piece right off Gordon Ramsay's plate.  I'd also like to stick my legs in a calamine lotion bath to relieve the mosquito bite damage!

Despite the fact I have no itching relief and am not eating pie, today was a really great Monday.  We spent the morning playing with our best friends out in the big Texas sunshine full of slip n slides and fish sticks.  While fish sticks were a staple for me growing up I was very thankful that my friend Kali at Being the Baileys  served us mommies a fabulous quinoa salad! It was colorful, cool and very filling.  Kali is a big fan of the blog, Our Best Bites so visit them if you'd like to see pictures of our lunch and the recipe that she used (she altered it slightly by using peaches vs. mango and adding avocado).   Don't you just love it when friends share their favorite food sites? I feel like I learn something new daily! 

After the boy and I came home and crashed for a couple of hours I realized I hadn't "planned" anything for our dinner tonight.  We do have some meals tucked away in the freezer but I was in the mood for something else and thanks to one of my favorite sites, Peas and Thank You I found my winner, winner chickpea dinner! Tonight we dined on Teriyaki Chickpea Stirfry over brown rice and it was perfect.  I'm a huge fan of the sweet chunks of pineapple and since we didn't have most of the ingredients she lists on hand it was a total improv dish.  No broccoli? No problem.  We used steamed green beans.  No carrots, no celery either? I was not about to load up a 2 year old crazy child to go get carrots and a celery stick so I chopped up tomatoes and some mini sweet red and yellow peppers and it worked great.  I would have taken a picture of our finished product but "W" was running around the backyard wearing nothing but a plastic fireman's hat saying "to the rescue!" and I just get distracted by such things.

Hope you look up those recipes and give them a try.  If you have any low fat apple pie recipes or remedies for itchy bug bites feel free to send them my way!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I get by with a LOT of help from my friends

It's kind of a scary age of social media and I'll be the first to admit that the avenues we use in which to vent our frustrations for the world to see can often backfire.  But I will tell you that starting this blog and using facebook has allowed me to hear from others across the country who struggle as I do with weight loss as well as gain insight into healthy changes, recipes and exercise tips.   I love that!

Recently, a friend from college pointed me towards a site I had never heard of called My Fitness Pal and it allows me to profile what my daily calories, fat, carbs, etc should be as well as journal my food and it's FREE! It's been a wonderful tool for me this week and I have found it much more helpful than my Weight Watcher's calculator where I just count my points and subtract them daily as I go and often I'm like, "what did I even eat today"?  The fitness pal program is great because it's online, fast and all the work is done for me in terms of tabulating the calories and fat for the foods that I have eaten once I plug them in my journal.  According to this website I'm actually not eating enough calories which could be one of the reasons I am just hovering at the 190 mark.  Another concern is my carb intake which I didn't realize was so high but thanks to this program I can see that being under calories and over on carbs isn't a good thing.

Another friend also added me to a facebook page group geared towards healthy weight loss and in just 2 days I have felt such encouragement from people I don't even know.  I've enjoyed seeing what they eat since everyone shares their meals and fitness regimens and it's also motivated me to just keep on with the exercise which is something I really don't like most days.

I enjoy all the people who take time to send me their favorite healthy recipes or websites that have helped them like a sweet church friend who told me about Peas and Thank You or an old Young Life friend from high school who told me about Happy Herbivore.  I wouldn't know these sites existed if awesome friends didn't take the time to say, "hey, let me show you something that I love".   A very busy teacher friend of mine actually made me a beautiful "points" bracelet and mailed it to me so I can wear it and keep track of my points throughout the day.  I get letters in the mail and sweet email messages almost daily from people I've known since preschool or just met 2 weeks ago and it's so uplifting.  Last night at a mom's night out in Frisco I got to catch up with a church friend who was so sweet and supportive and even encouraged me to "eat a cupcake" and enjoy the night.  I didn't eat the cupcake of course but rather just enjoyed chatting with her for an hour about life and kids.

I get by with a lot of help from my friends.  I am inspired daily so, thank you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One time pass

When I joined Weight Watchers 7 years ago they gave me (and all members) a one time "no weigh in pass".  Today, I'm taking my own personal 'one time pass' from the scale.   We all have weeks where we know we didn't do well and in my case, have had a little breakdown and am carrying some defeat on my shoulders and just don't want to get on the scale.  I've also realized that by inviting so many people along on my personal journey and into my eating struggles it adds a whole other element of pressure and stress for me.  I honestly feel good about where I am this morning without weighing in.   I worked out every single day last week...some days I worked out twice! I also recognize my continuing struggles with making wise snack choices as well as asking myself "am I really hungry? or am I just bored and want to eat?".  

In my morning devotional time today I was reminded that when I am out of control, God is in control and so my prayer for the next week is for a calm spirit, strength and self-control.  I am weak, but He is strong and I lose sight of that sometimes by trying to do everything myself.  Thanks for your continued support and kind words and I hope you'll see less of me next week!

Monday, June 11, 2012

This is hard!

I kind of had a little breakdown yesterday and this morning.  Feeling disheartened and discouraged I very calmly and with great poise went to my superhero hubby for some insight and encouragement.  The conversation went something very close to this:

Me (in a high pitched whiny tone of desperation):  "I just want to live and enjoy my food and eat a hamburger with our friends when we grill out.  Do you know what it's like to watch everyone eat a hearty meal with desserts and sides and I'm ingesting a salad and fruit? DO YOU? I'm not getting anywhere! I have a huge rear end (I did not say rear end by the way) and I go to the gym every day and these pounds are just sticking to me! WHY?!?? Why can I not lose weight?? Why is this so hard and why can't I have a cookie for goodness sakes?!? I'm tired of counting these stupid points.  What's a point anyway? What does that mean? I am so depressed I just can't stand it.  I think about every morsel that enters my mouth and am starving the more I exercise.  I do not want to eat another cucumber sandwich when I've done a big workout, I want something else! ARGH! Tell me! What am I doing wrong?


Scott (very kindly and tenderly): "You are lovely just the way you are.  I would rather have difficulties losing weight than be in chronic pain (my hubby has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and is in pain most of the time during the day and in his sleep).  But you keep doing what you are doing and you will see results".

He went on to encourage me and remind me of my age (blech), that I've had a child and that my body is different than it was ten years ago.  We discussed the ways I have improved and how this is a lifestyle choice and a healthy one for all of us and that the weight will come off over time but that it does take time. 

This is a difficult journey for me.  I feel like I've been in weight loss mode for 18 months now but the reality is it's just been a little over a month and I am trying to be proud of ten pounds lost instead of what seems like the bazillion I need to lose.  I had a great weekend full of friends, a burger and yes, peanut butter cookies.  But I have to be OK with the occasional splurge or I will lose my mind like I did this morning.  I've been working out every day (twice today) and my clothes are starting to fit differently.  So I soldier on with my superhero hubby at my side, my son dive bombing into all our bed pillows and you.  Thank you for always being there with encouragement, great recipes and sometimes the little smack to my forehead saying "Snap out of it!".

XOXO
Steph

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Simple Saturday

"Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless".  ~Bill Watterson


While I love going on day trip adventures, backyard bbqs or a date with my hubby sometimes the greatest Saturdays are the ones spent doing absolutely nothing.   No planning.  No thinking.  Just enjoying my home with my little family.  Today is one of those days.  I got up early so I went to the gym and then came home to my bright eyed son jumping in piles and piles of all our bed pillows.  We've watched some Blues Clues, checked the mail, eaten California rolls and homemade popsicles and spent the morning laughing.  I decided I wanted some produce so I got in the car, turned the music up and drove to downtown Plano to this little gem...



I've passed Georgia's a million times, heck, we got married in the park across the street but I've never gone in until today.  It was fabulous.  I was the youngest person in there and some of the old rusty decor on the shelves made me happy I'd had a tetanus shot a few years ago (no, I didn't plan on touching anything but I'm slightly odd, remember?).  I roamed the aisles thinking of what I wanted to go with our grilled chicken tonight, loaded up with goodies and headed back home.  We read some books to "W" before his nap and then I took a nap.  Isn't that great? It's not even 3 o'clock yet and we have so much day left to do nothing with! No doubt we'll be in the backyard for the rest of the evening grilling, swimming and chatting with neighbors.  I hope you are enjoying your Saturday and I hope you find some lazy time in there somewhere too!




Thursday, June 7, 2012

Funny fitness

It's raining today and with my recent gym debacle still fresh I just didn't have it in me to lug my son to go workout and face possible rejection again from the kid's area.   Since he was playing quite passionately in his room with jet planes and alphabet cards I decided it was a great time to do a video workout in the living room.  The following is a true account of what occurred.   None of the names or events have been changed to protect anyone and it's also not a complaint as I find the whole thing endearing.

When I began my workout the living room was completely picked up and therefore I had plenty of room to jump, kick and move around.   I was all of 7 minutes in when a sweet faced little boy came running in to hug my leg.  I hugged him back and got back to work.  "W" then decided to pour his water out onto the coffee table and smear it into a "beautiful rainbow" so I paused the video, got a rag and cleaned up the mess then I got back to work.  In the next 10 minutes he built a house out of blocks (in the same area that I was in) so I moved to the opposite side of the living room.  He then moved to that side and began hammering and drilling with one of his toys, threw all the Boggle letters from a game underneath my feet,  went and pulled a cookbook from a shelf (causing the other books to fall of course) and began reading it, then he decided that the cars would be best raced underneath my feet.  Going with the flow I just kept moving back and forth like a ping pong ball all over the living room along with him for a 30 minute workout.  Oh I talked to him and we counted our kicks and reached for the sky and I'm not sure I've ever laughed so hard.  He's hilarious.  We have 1600 square feet in this house and he wants to be in the 4 to 6 feet that I am occupying. 

He is currently watching Blues Clues in his upside down chair because he had a really exhausting workout!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The weight of the world



This morning I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and maybe that's why I am up .8 lbs.  I am frustrated, tired and feel like eating a couple of s'mores for breakfast because what's the point?  I am busting my butt, eating right, counting my points (Weight Watchers)-- which by the way is really difficult with a toddler I don't know why but it is hard to calculate food and journal it when you live with a monkey.  My body aches from exercise and my stomach keeps asking "where's the beef?".

But I refuse to let .8 be the reason I throw in the towel.  Maybe it's water, salt or time to step up the exercise (I really hope it's not that last one).  Hey, maybe it's a muscle?!?   It's a slooooooooooow process and I honestly don't know why you guys are still reading this stuff--aren't you tired of me yet?


Monday, June 4, 2012

How's that for using our noodle?


Have you ever tried spaghetti squash?  I admit, until this weekend I had never so much glanced at one in the grocery store let alone eaten it but when I found the following recipe on my new favorite blog, Peas and Thank You I had to try it.

Ingredients (6 servings)
  • 1 large spaghetti squash (approximately 7-8 c. of squash strands)
  • 2 c. marinara sauce
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 c. non-dairy (i.e. Tofutti) or organic cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. nutritional yeast or grated organic Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 c. lightly steamed broccoli florets
  • 1 c. non-dairy (i.e. Daiya) or organic mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  • Do your best not to try to lose a finger while cutting your squash in two lengthwise.
  • I insert the blade an inch or two into the squash and then force the blade away from me while exerting some force. I do this all the way around, up to but not including the stem, and then I essentially “crack” the squash open.
  • Using a large spoon, scoop the seeds and guts from the squash.
  • Brush the cut side of the squash with olive oil and place it face down in a microwave safe dish that has a fitted lid.
  • Microwave for 10-12 minutes, until the squash has softened and you can do this with a fork.
  • For the casserole, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large saucepan, combine marinara sauce, oregano, basil, cream cheese and nutritional yeast or Parmesan. Heat over low to medium heat until cream cheese has melted into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add spaghetti squash and broccoli to the saucepan and toss to coat evenly.
  • Transfer mixture to a large casserole dish (2 qt. or larger) that has been lightly spritzed with olive oil or cooking spray.
  • Top casserole with grated cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  • To brown the top of the casserole, you can switch the oven over to the broil setting for the last several minutes.
  • Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
This dinner was easy to prepare and the sauce is killer good y'all.  I used low fat cream cheese and lower fat mozzarella instead of her non-dairy suggestions (hey, a girl can only cut out so much at a time ok?) and used a bag of steamable broccoli florets and microwaved the squash to save time.  I typically cannot get "W" to eat spaghetti so I didn't have high expectations of him eating this meal.  He cleaned his plate...except for the "trees" also known as broccoli (Go figure, the kid will stick any leaf, stick, rock, shoe or bug in his mouth but hide broccoli in a gooey cheese sauce and he will sniff it out a mile away like an old hound dog and flick it off his plate). This casserole had all the richness of an cheesy delicious Italian meal but knowing that my family was scarfing down squash had me grinning from ear to ear.

I paired this meal with the best salad I've probably ever eaten which included another first for me, kale.  The dressing on this was so perfect we were literally licking the bottom of the salad bowl fighting over drops.  I also got this recipe over at Peas and Thank You:

Magic Kale Salad with Pistachios and Apples
Makes 2 servings
  • 1 bunch of dinosaur or lacinato kale
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 t. sesame oil
  • 2 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 t. honey or agave
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/4 c. pistachio kernels, roasted and salted
Wash and dry kale and remove stems with a sharp knife of by tearing.  Cut or tear leaves into large, bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl.
In a small bowl or shaker bottle, combine lemon juice, oils, mustard, honey or agave and salt.  Whisk or shake until fully combined.
Pour dressing over kale and massage it over and into the leaves of kale for a two or three minutes.  Refrigerate and allow kale to soften for several more minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare apple by peeling and dicing and pistachios by eating them by the handful.
Add diced apples to the kale and toss.  Plate each serving and top with remaining pistachios.


I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we did! I am adding it to our regular meal rotation of pure yummy!

Sweating the small stuff

*Warning* The following contains some whining but it's either write it all out for the "world" to see or go eat a dozen chocolate chip cookies.  I chose to whine online.

This morning was difficult.  It wasn't a bad morning by any means, we were all just worn out from hosting a party last night and getting in bed later than normal.  I wasn't in the mood to do anything other than eat my yogurt and zone out while "W" watched his morning Wiggles episode.  There was however that little tiny voice whispering to me that I needed to work out, not only for weight loss goals but because it would definately wake me up and help me function the rest of the day.  So I wrestled pants and a shirt on my son, got our waters and snacks together and pulled out of the garage singing "This Old Man".

We park at the gym, I get us unloaded and inside where I proceed to sign in while holding our waters, my purse and 30 pounds of "W".  Signing in at the gym is like something out of Mission Impossible for me.  Once I have accepted the mission to work out and arrive at the gym I must enter a code, scan a finger and remember to get a towel which doesn't sound challenging but try holding a monkey the next time you do this and you'll see my point. What's that? Put him down while I sign in? *laughs uncontrollably at that ridiculous statement*  Moving on.  Since I'm holding ice waters my hands are always wet and it usually takes a couple of tries for my finger to scan.  Once I pass that zone I then have to take "W" to the kid's area and sign in using 31 forms of identification (not really, just 1 but it's hard to dig in a wallet for the license while holding a wiggly toddler who doesn't want to be dropped off in the first place) and then sign in.

Oh but we didn't even make it into the kid's area today.  As I round the corner excited about 30 minutes of precious me time I notice a line of moms and kids outside the kid's area.  Completely full.  No room.  They are bringing in another teacher but it would be several minutes and there were already quite a few ahead of us which meant no guarantee we'd be in anytime soon.  Shoulders slumped, tears forming quickly I turned on my heel and headed back to our car.  I couldn't even get him buckled in his seat before I just started sobbing.  I'm not talking about a little cry of frustration, I'm talking about the kind of crying where you can't breathe and have to call your husband at work in order to calm you down (SO SORRY, HONEY!!).  I'm not sure why I reacted that way other than just having my heart set on something and it not working out.  I realize that is life and I know I can even work out later tonight...but I don't want to.  I want to spend time with my husband and eat dinner as a family not go back up to the smelly gym to work out. 

I took my son to the park.  We played in the mud, climbed hills and laughed.  We're at home now, playing in the yard and eating watermelon.  I guess there are worse things than not being able to work out this morning. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Ham's Orchard

It was a beautiful morning with a great breeze and lower temperatures and there was no better way to say hello to the sunshine than by heading on a big Saturday adventure to Ham Orchards! If you live in the Dallas area and have not visited Ham's you need to make plans to go because they have amazing peaches as well as other fresh produce and it is so much fun to pick blackberries with your children.  I did a write up for the Dallas Moms Blog last year about Ham's if you want check it out here

Today we met up with our pals the Baileys and had an easy and slow morning picking blackberries, eating ice cream, playing chase and watching big trains roll by. We rocked in rocking chairs and spent the morning laughing together which is the best kind of Saturday.

Thanks to my friend Kali at Being the Baileys for all the great photos..I hate it when my camera batteries die!





I hope you are having a wonderful Saturday; time for naps now!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rainy days don't get us down

It was a pretty dreary morning here in the Dallas area with lots of rain which meant we couldn't play outside.  We spent the morning in our pj's blowing bubbles in the living room, watching Blue's Clues and reading books before we set out for a little excursion to the local library...





I think we were there a grand total of 33 minutes because "W" kept wanting to climb a giant "choo choo" sculpture, pull down a ginormous stuffed Clifford (the thing was bigger than my bathroom) and run through the security gates at the exit but we did have a fun time visiting a library we'd never been to before.  Would love to hear what your favorite rainy day activities are!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let's dish dinner

Have I mentioned that I have a 2 year old son before? I think I have but in case you don't have one of those around or your memory has failed you on what it's like to cook dinner with a toddler underfoot let me give you some insight on the matter.  Trying to cook dinner with "W" requires extreme survival skills as well as the ability to maneuver over tiny trucks, broken crayons and whatever toy he decides is absolutely necessary to place on the kitchen floor during mealtime preparation.
  •  I sweat--the oven does not have to be on to do this by the way as it's just caused by wrangling the monkey that wants to be held while I stir, assemble, chop, etc.  I never hear "hold you mommy" more than I do between 4:30-5pm each and every day.
  • There's blood because I have never been able to slice and dice while doing other things like oh keeping my son from pulling all the condiments out of the fridge or banging on the wine cabinet glass front with one of the pole components to my vacuum.  Also, remember the toy trucks I mentioned? Yeah, those suckers hurt and my husband and I have had to bust out some bandaids before because we just weren't looking down. 
  • There's also plenty of tears because by the time my hubby walks joyfully through the back door from work with a banner greeting of "how was your day? I missed y'all!" I literally want to just sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and sob while eating an entire carton of chocolate icing...no cake necessary, just give me a spoon and the icing.

All this to say (and I realize it was a lot), dinner has to be easy as well as meet my standards of delicious and healthy.  That's not always the easiest thing but tonight's Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas hit the mark! It was a pantry raid kind of night so I pulled a can of black beans, some corn tortillas I had in the freezer, some pureed sweet potatoes that I had in the freezer, salsa, low fat cheese and a jar of green chile sauce that we picked up when we were on vacation in Ruidoso, New Mexico back in April.  I then proceeded to Google my ingredients (don't roll your eyes, you know you Google) and found a great recipe on the Five Dollar Dinners site that you can find here.  I literally dumped the potatoes and salsa in a bowl and mixed in my rinsed and drained beans and sprinkled in some cinnamon and cumin. 
Assembly took 10 minutes so after throwing them in the oven while holding "W" back with one foot I got ambitious and decided to grill some zuchinni outside so he could play! I think even Bobby Flay might have been impressed with those grill marks.  I just brushed with olive oil and sprinkled some steak seasoning on top---soooo good.




And while I grilled, "W" ran around with great glee.

In the end, I had a wonderful meal that was easy to prepare and walk away from while it cooked so I could spend my time in more important ways like blowing bubbles and chasing that sweet faced boy around the back yard.