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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

12-Week Challenge - DAY 17

Today marks two months since Mom's fall the night after Christmas.  She broke her left shoulder.  It was not a serious break, but it was a complete game changer on her care, her independence and the roles of all her six children.  Bob and I are here in Virginia pretty much alone with her as my siblings are scattered all over the country with varying abilities and circumstances to pitch in.   It has been especially difficult on every level as she has lost so much independence.  For 2 weeks, she truly thought she had come to the end of her life, and had 6 separate out of body experiences that lasted for several hours.  And during those weeks chose to be alone with no contact other than me and Bob ... It's been a very spiritual time of solitude for her!  In the end, however, her body rallied, and the plan we'd made before Christmas to move her to my sister's in Texas, is happening this weekend.  We will fly with her there on Friday and return on Sunday.

I won't try to describe all the emotions ... all I can say is that if this had happened before October, I would have GAINED 10 pounds, eaten everything in sight, my skin would be a mess, and I'd be an emotional train wreck.  And sad and embarrassed that nothing fits.

As it is, I'm just tired.  I can get over that :0) My slacks fit, my skin looks great, and with all the emotions of the situation, I know that they haven't been mucked up with sugar highs and lows. Those strong emotions are the real deal.  How I love my Mom, but most of all my husband.  What amazing people they both are.  But it's time for us to be on our own.

I think the highlight of my day was my 20 minute aerobic session!  I looked forward to it, and worked up to my 4 cycles with greater intensity on each one!  I didn't have to stop at all until I hit the last "all-out" push for level 10 intensity.  I haven't felt pushed and exhilarated like that since I did timed runnings for physical fitness tests in middle school and high school.

How good it is to have this exciting new challenge, even if the timing coincides with so many immediate family needs.

One week from today Cooper will be home from his mission in Brazil!  We are SOOO excited!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

12-Week Challenge: DAY 16

(For New Readers looking for the October Beat Sugar entries, please click on "Older Posts"  They were done throughout October 2013.)

I continue to just get excited everyday by the messages and before/after pictures from the Success Journal!  (Available at Amazon CLICK HERE  It's kind of pricey ($22.00) for how I usually live on the thrifty side of life, but is 100% helping me stay enthused and committed.  When I think of how much a Weight Watchers meeting cost, this is very affordable ... and I deserve and need it!

What if the real me, turning 60 in May, is a whole lot stronger physically and mentally, than I had originally thought was possible?  I love the growing vision in my heart of the last 30 years of my life being in peak physical form ... for doctors and family and whoever to say, "You look terrific!  How'd you do that?  And for it all to reflect how STRONG my bones and muscles are.

Bill Phillips has a quote in one of his books that a healthy spirit deserves to live and thrive in a healthy body.  I like that a LOT.

Lots of new people joining the 10 week challenge, and to you I say, "Woo-hoo!  Welcome!"

It seems crazy to me that I am taking this challenge on when my family life is as busy as it has ever been with 1) preparing to take/move my 92 year old Mom to Texas on Friday afternoon with Bob and spend a day with our grandkids in Austin as well; 2) Returning on Sunday afternoon to Virginia; 3)  then cleaning and preparing for family to start arriving on Monday afternoon all to celebrate; 4)Cooper's return from Brazil on Wednesday afternoon.  The rest of the week is schedule in much of the same way ... with things that everybody wants to do while they're home.

Could the timing be any tighter?  I don't think so, and was totally out of our control on this crazy situation since Mom's fall on December 26.  

So!  You know what?  Life will ALWAYS be busy (maybe not THIS busy, but always things happening.)  That's how it is!

I loved a Neal Maxwell quote -- something to the extent that  "You should definitely plant shade trees.  You may not find much  time to sit under them, but they're lovely to look at ... and think about."

So --

1)  Will there EVERY be a BETTER time to do this challenge? No. 
2) Do I feel SO much better on top of my game when I'm eating and exercising? Yes.
3) When did eating out of control and sugar when under pressure and stress EVER help?  Never.4)When does eating right and exercising help with stress?  Always!

'Nuf said.  Carry on, my dear.
Tonight Mom, who dearly loves her treats, and I went through her dresser where her stash is.  Before October, that was always a good place for me to find/snitch candy.  It still is, although now I don't care and didn't give ANY of it a second thought as we scooped it up to send with her:  Chocolate marshmallows, Gourmet Canadian toffee and caramels, suckers, peanut butter cups, chocolate-orange sticks, a box of licorice all-sorts that I used to just love ... Hershey's kisses.  Imagine all of that JUST SITTING THERE and it not even being a temptation anymore. 

I fixed dinner for the missionaries tonight as well -- and how odd to be able to scoop out chocolate chip cookies from the tub we keep for that very purpose, and not need to eat the dough as I went along.  It's strange, I remember years ago as a freshman at BYU baking cookies with a gorgeous girl named Ruby with a beautiful figure.  We made the whole batch and she didn't lick a spoon, scrape a bowl for tastes, eat the dough in any way at all.  Why should I remember that from 1972 ... 40 years ago?  But I do.  And now I'm turning into that.

It feels WONDERFUL! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 15

I am just 2 weeks into this 12 week journey.  Woke up overhwelmed with all there is to do to get ready to take Mom to Texas on Friday, return home and get our home ready for Cooper's return, and all the other family.  Do I have time to exercise and think about eating?  Do I even want to?

Cooper, our 4th child, comes home from his LDS mission in Brazil next week!  We're so very excited.  All of my e-mails to him have had a title from the hymn book: Today's was "Does The Journey Seem Long" ... his 2 years are nearly over. 
Feeling somewhat burdened, I headed downstairs and opened my B4L Success Journal.  There was the before-after story for the day, a busy airline pilot.  What a difference in his smile and the shape of his body.  That did it for me.

I got on that trampoline and did it with INTENSITY. It felt so good to let my concerns and stress of all that is happening be thrown into my energy there.  (LIstening, as always, to my classical music.)  I was SO much stronger today!  Only had to stop about 2 times on the last two intense level 9s, instead of every 10 seconds.

I felt so much better I did a weigh-in and was shocked to see I'm down a bit over 4 pounds since starting, and over an inch and a half from my waist.  So encouraging. 

And what a great way to launch the day ... so different than how I woke up.  All in about 45 minutes from just "doing it."  right out of bed. 

The more I drink water, the more I need drink, and that is great too :0)  Did 2 of my meals together, and I don't think I want to do that again.  But all in all ... not too bad for how intense the day was in many ways. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

12 Week Challenge DAYS 13-14

I am thrilled to see so many new readers at the blog, and new people joining the 10-in-10 Challenge!  I so hope (and have it in my prayers) that it will be a rewarding and wonderful experience for all. 

When my children were all home,  weekends were difficult times to eat wisely.  Teenagers and kids coming and going and all their activities always meant lots of food that wasn't what I really wanted to eat, but in the name of convenience and going along (and the time element) ... it was difficult to follow any kind of plan.  Gotta say that being just adults at home makes healthy eating a lot simpler!

Today is my Mom's last Sunday with us.  (For new readers: She has been with us for a full 18-months -- bed-ridden for nearly all things but getting to the bathroom, and had a fall the day after Christmas that completely changed our game.  We love her very much.  She is 92, very alert and a spiritual giant, but has become completely handicapped due to osteoporosis, curvature of the spine, and complications from lower-body injuries earlier in life.)

We will take her (Bob and I) to Texas and my sister who lives there next Friday. (Flying -- very carefully and with a lot of planning!) So, today was our last home-sacrament meeting with her.  Spencer and Cydney (my son and his wife) came and joined us for the day. They are cute and fun ... Spencer is a big cookie guy.  I'm not going to not have the things he is used to for snacks and hanging here, but we've more than figured it out:  A tub of Costco Chocolate Chip cookie dough, that we keep frozen in the outside freezer.  And some leftover candy from different things/Christmas on a shelf that I forget about and cannot reach.
BUT:  That tub of cookie dough was a huge problem for me for years!!! We bought it often for the exact purpose of being able to make cookies in a hurry for whatever.  Why did we need it often? Because I ate the dough.

 I'm embarrassed to admit how often I'd just plain eat most of it.  Quietly on my own.  I am humbled to realized that those days are gone! It's hard to even believe myself that I forget about that tub until he comes, then grateful I have it for Spencer.

Today was my "FREE DAY" on the B4L program, and I thought I might eat a taste of the cookie.  I put it in my mouth --- and within seconds realized it didn't even taste very good.  I remembered, too, a week ago waking up with that awful feeling in my stomach after bread late in the day.  So I didn't eat it.  Just spit it out.  And that was that.  Wow.  I don't know that I'll ever eat chocolate chip cookies again.

We cooked a turkey dinner -- one of Mom's favorites and Bob's too -- for her last Sunday here.  Everybody dearly loves cranberry sauce, but another shocker:  I didn't even want any.  The turkey (we always just cook a breast in the crock pot til it falls apart... SO SCRUMPTIOUS) was so perfect without any-any-anything!  I did have a small portion of potatoes and gravy.  Skipped the rolls.  We steamed some broccoli, and had sugar-free jello with fruit.

I was really too full at the end, though my portions were small. I think I'm REALLY getting used to the smaller, more-often meals.  And finding that's how I'm just plain the most comfortable. 

It seems that as the days go by, more than I had ever thought possible, food is becoming a pleasant interlude, but not the dominating part of my thoughts, as it has been most my life.

Humbled IS the word.  Seeing my mom's frail little body ... oh what inspiration she continues to provide for me to be as strong and healthy as possible!  To take whatever preventative measures are possible to build bone and muscle to ward off the further deterioration of osteoporosis in my spine, hips and to the strength and agility to catch/support myself in the event of a fall.

YAY -- SO excited to start Week 3 tomorrow!

Friday, February 21, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 11-12

I am so excited.  Scot has agreed to allow me to share what I am doing with Meridian ... will there ever be enough words of gratitude for them and their marvelous publication?  It brings so much good to this world, so lovely -- yet so difficult!  Even when you have the truths of the gospel.

And why is it that food is such an easy place to run to when things get scary or tough?

There will also never be enough words for the depths of gratitude I feel for being free from sugar.  I blogged about it through October, and now that it's four months later, what a relief to have been able to help my mom, the changes in her life and ours over the past 2 months -- WITHOUT SUGAR! Without gaining weight! Without the sugar blues.  Whatever I have felt and said, has been from the heart and not from the distortions to mood and spirit that sugar brings.

Today was very busy.  Maggie, our accountant spent the day with us for our tea business.  Oh, my.  I do wear a lot of hats.  Most of them are very fun, and I love every aspect of our business.  Including the jigsaw puzzle of bookkeeping.  But the end of the year business matters, and meeting up with all the local and federal government requirements are not for the faint of heart.

Thank goodness for the extra soup from night before last:

A long time family favorite. 

1 Jar of spaghetti sauce
1 Jar of water
1 Bouillon cube
1 large chopped onion
1 box of frozen spinach.

Bring all but spinach to a gentle boil.  Add the box of frozen spinach.  Lower the heat and cover.  Cook gently until the spinach is well cooked.  Serve over pasta, or our favorite:  ravioli squares.

Today, as it was reheated, I added TOFU.  YUM! It is basically flavorless, but turns into whatever you need it to be and is INSTANT protein!  A piece of whole wheat toast on the side.

Well, in a bowl of soup is peace and happiness, and solace.

And with Body for Life -- you can eat again in just a few hours.

What's not to love?

And NOW I GET TO SHARE IT ALL with my Meridian FRIENDS!!!!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAYS 9-10

Lots happening with getting ready to move my Mother to Texas a week from now.  I could go on and on about her, my love for her, how I admire her, how none of us ever expected her to live so long ... but I'll just leave it as a great deal of gratitude for all the good she brings and the strength she possesses and shares with the world.  And what it all inspires for our family and far beyond.  She practiced sitting in her wheel chair for a couple of hours today, getting ready for sitting a long time at the airport and on the plane. Good for her!

I think I could live this program forever.  Eating 6 times a day, knowing that there's a day you can take off ... Although quite truthfully, my Freebie day will never be based on mindlessly eating sugar, cookies, cookie-dough, dessert or "whatever comes along".  If I have it, it will be a CHOICE, and for something very special.  It is very different know than back in October when I thought about it all the time.  I just don't think about it the same.

As I chatted with my sister about it (who had read through the blog here) I voiced again the social elements that are involved.  I'm working my way through them.  But 98%, quite honestly, are not big enough at this point to get too twitter-pated.  Lots of people don't drink alcohol or soda, smoke, eat certain foods, wear certain items of clothing, etc., etc.  I don't do sugar.  As a matter of choice. 
"Ain't no big thing" -- as they used to say in Hawaii. 

But it was until 5 months ago.

Tonight as we were watching the Olympics, I ate the rest of the green salad from dinner with my fat-free Italian dressing.  It lasted ever so much longer than a cookie or a bowl of ice cream.  And totally satisfied that need for "something to crunch on". 

To not be done eating ... but quite honestly with those 6 little meals a day, I'm often eating, and even well into the evening, which is a lovely change of pace!

I think the biggest thing happening is my increased stamina.  I'm getting excited about being able to lift more, and last a little longer with my workout sessions.

As we watched the gorgeous women figure skaters tonight, just little wisps -- dancers really -- yet so incredibly athletic, I refuse to get involved in any kind of judgment on my own lack of athletic prowess.   Or really any athletic interest, to be honest.  My sons Spencer and Justin got it all for the whole family.

But the lifting is REWARDING, and my classical music on WETA radio is just perfect for it.

Can't wait for my upper body workout tomorrow morning.  Ben (my neighbor/trainer) is going to come over at 7:00 a.m., and he's so fit and such a fun contrast age-wise and every-wise that it's just plain FUN.  It all (including his company) gives me a lift that lasts all day.  I love to see  how he has taken his work/talent as a gymnast and professional clown seriously.  He's got some great abs exercises, and is patient with me just finding my wings with all of this.  It's like having one of my kids root for me.

YAY for today.  Yay for tomorrow.  Yay for how 10 glasses of water a day is blessing my SKIN. YAY for how comfortable it is quickly becoming as a way of LIVING. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

12-Week Challenge Day 8

A full week of living the program, journaling, blogging, and looking at my 12-month planner.  Can I REALLY do this for 12 weeks.  The answer is:  YES.  I'm doing it, having an OK time, and this morning my workout left me energized after working so hard.  Love that feeling!  I think I'll continue to get better as time goes by.

Am really glad again, that I bought the journal, as there are messages that I need to hear ... and those before/after pictures are really inspiring.  If even a small percentage of those blessings came my way, I'd be thrilled.

Perhaps the most important part of the day was helping mom to bed last night, and she said, "If I'd known I was going to live so long and get so old, I would have taken much better care of myself."


The truth is, this taking care of yourself takes TIME.  What you spend exercising and chopping veggies cannot be used elsewhere.  As far as mom, I KNOW she used her time so well and so beautifully in serving others constantly!  Perhaps she could have eaten better, but here she is at 92 and very alive.  Too bad her lower body didn't really work for the kind of exercising I'm doing now due to her accidents and injuries ... so I'm surely not blaming her.

But  message was heard, even so.  (She also put off carpel tunnel surgery until it was entirely too late ... that was a shame, as she really has so little use of her hands now.)

SHE IS INSPIRATION to me, in so many, many priceless ways. 

 (Tomorrow I'll write about Scot Proctor's mom, and what she's doing at 95 ....)

The part I'm struggling with is wanting more carbs to eat, since my beans/legumes AND fruit are considered complex carbs on this program.  But overall ... doing GOOD and feelin' the luv.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 7

I am writing this, actually on Day 8 ... A Sunday.

Yesterday was a great day. I did the aerobics session, the full 20 minutes, and made it my best intensity possible.  That really feels good.

The anniversary celebration for our friends turned out to be an 80th birthday party actually.  Same difference.  I KNEW there would be a full array of easy fruits and vegetables.  And it was.  Subway sandwiches.  Easy to choose a section, and get rid of all that bread.  Ate the turkey, and a bit of the cheese, along with all they yummy red and yellow peppers on the veggies tray along.  They had the heavenly mango salsa from Costco, and I loaded up. 

I'm finding that MUSTARD is my friend ... stretches everything out, like salad dressing, with 0 calories and lots of flavor.

There were 2 enormous Costco cakes, that ordinarily would have had me all abuzz, all over the place.  But my inner being knows now that that is not part of my deal, as in the same way that we show up at parties where alcohol is being served.  No alarms, because it's just not part of my true identity. 

Wow.  If this is not the "change in heart" that the gospel and the scriptures speak of, I don't know what is.

Today's sacrament meeting was on "The Power of The Atonement -- Beyond Repentence" and for me, yesterday and the cake was a true manifestation of that change in my own life, peace and overall spiritual identity.

I am finding more and more how much I NEED and ENJOY these mini-meals every 2-3 hours.

Ended the day in great shape with burritos, my Mom's favorite, for dinner.  But I just put my beans on top of a big bowl of spinach leaves, put in all the other veggies, added a bit of cooked chicken, and lots of salsa, and was JUST FINE.  I know I could have added that whole wheat tortilla, but counted the beans as my carb instead.


Saturday, February 15, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 6

So, yesterday was Valentines.  A day filled with chocolate and desserts, frosted cookies with sprinkles, pink & red M&Ms, not to mention the Russel Stover cream-filled chocolate hearts, right????!!!!

WRONG:  To tell you the truth, I didn't even THINK about it.  What's that all about.  A bag of little foil-wrapped chocolates that we got to send with our kids valentines has SAT on the kitchen table all week. I don't know what I was going to do with it -- maybe give some to a neighbor, or "decorate" a little corner with some.  I don't know. The point is ... they're still sitting there an I have absolutele zero interest in them.

All other years, I was eating (make that gobbling) those little things.  Getting sick on them. By the end of Valentines my stomach was churning and my head ached from the chocolate.

As it is, I DID get up with a stomach ache. But not from chocolate.

I think my body has changed/aged. 

We went to the Afghan Kabob for dinner.  I used my "FREE" Day for our dinner.  We had an order of the delicious NAN bread, and we ate it all.  We had our veggie dumpling thingies that are SO delicious and just the right amount of spicy.

FOR DESSERT: We went to McDonalds and had their teensy-weensie (how did that get so small???) fruit parfait, and finished reading our hysterically funny JUNIE B. JONES book, "Mushy Gushy Valentine."  I know it sounds like a lame thing, but we had SO fun.  Not really time for a movie, and it was a super fun date.

When I came home and helped mom, I had a little of the leftover Chinese fried rice from the night before as part of my "Free" Day.

And went to bed.  And WOKE UP WITH A STOMACH ACHE and that sweet taste in my mouth as if I'd eaten nothing but Costco Chocolate cake all day.

In thinking about it, it must have been the extra bread at dinner, and that rice, because there surely wasn't enough in the yogurt parfait to make a difference.

THE POINT IS:  Wow.  The pleasure is SO gone from eating sweets. 

I'm still not 100% sure how I feel about that, as you need some treates every now and then on Valentines. But it's clear, my body is moving on, and so must my mind ... and Heart.

Thus, 'twas Valentines.  Today is a special lunch for an anniversary celebration ... but  I know I'm going to be able to find some veggies, some fruit for a carb and a little protein and call it good.

YAY B4L. You are my friend.

I did the 20 minute aerobics workout this morning, and you just feel SO good after exerting that 100% effort!

Friday, February 14, 2014

12 Week Challenge DAY 5

Yesterday and Today Are Snow Days!  Something we all look forward to.  I remember that Emily would always make a coffee cake.  We'd make scones (fried bread dough).  Even when I was a Weight Watcher leader, I can remember my supervisor saying, "Snow Days are all about the food!"

Well, I wrote down in my journal as the day started that I would eat right and stick to my plan. And I DID.  All day. Both yesterday and today.

My sister Susan was cute and called to say she was arranging Chinese food for dinner as a Valentines Day present for us all.  I chose, instead, to have another bowl of Bob's delicious lentil soup.

The workout is harder than anything I've done before.  A good challenge.  Today I did the 20 minute aerobic session again, the full amount of time.  Pooped when it was done, but still a GREAT feeling.

I read in the Body For Life book today that much of the change that people experience is from the head and heart first .... isn't it funny.  That's what I've taught in all my sessions too, and I'm very excited to see if the effort will make any visible difference.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 4

I did my aerobic exercise yesterday, and thanks to the success journal that requires you to write down the exact time spent, I wondered why I was 4-5 minutes short on the 20 minute workout.  I HAD totally miscounted the number of times you work your way up in intensity from minute to minute.  It's 4 cycles, rather than 3.  No wonder!

Gotta say again, I'm glad I bought the journal.

Even with the snow forecast, I forced myself out and over to the one store in town that has the body fat calipers.  I am committed to do this according to THE BOOK.  Whether I lose a pound, or an inch or change my body/muscle percentage is not nearly as important as doing the for 84 days, and jumpstarting the state of my bones and muscles.

I had known from the beginning of my October Beat Sugar Cravings month that I was eating too many carbs -- even healthy carbs i.e. whole wheat -- but that was way better than candy.

: With this, the program outlines the truth that FRUIT is a complex carb in the same way WHOLE WHEAT IS.  They both count as a carb. Same for legumes. All carbs, and you get ONE portion per meal.   So it's weird to see myself choosing to NOT eat fruit if I've got my lentils or barley going, as in the delicious lentil/barley soup we had tonight. (Bob's recipe.  A gem.)   For years I have  always had my fruit right along with the legumes (in the soup), and a piece of whole wheat toast -- AND THE SOUP as well.  Hmmmm.  Wow.

TOFU:  YAY!  I added it to my carb of choice (Oatmeal) today to make it a complete meal.  You don't even taste it.  It's just a healthy easy protein.  I actually added a scoop of canned pumpkin to it as well, along with my Truvia and some cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg.  ... More like a dessert than a meal.  But YUMMY, and so filling, and a big portion.  I just need my big portions.  I JUST DO.

WATER: Emily (my daughter) uses an amazing program for helping her babies sleep enough called "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child." It's counter-intuitive that putting your child down for a nap or the night BEFORE they are tired is the ticket and that "sleep begets more sleep." 

I am finding the exact same thing true for me.  The more water I drink, the thirstier I am.  10 glasses of water seems to be a lot, but whereas 6 glasses has been a struggle for forever, now 10 is no big deal at all.  Go figure.

The real point is that I am DOING THIS FOR 84 Days, and we'll see where we are at the end, how I feel and what tweaking I need to do to make this right for me.

I am excited, learning and getting comfortable with the whole up- leveling involved with this.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 3

As I was reading my scriptures this morning, I read the story of Mary and Martha when the Savior came for dinner.  (Luke 11:38-42)  I'm a Martha.  So BUSY and involved with SO many things, it's hard to know what to cut out so that I can be more like Mary, got her work done, then sat down to listen and receive.

One thing I know:  it is my pattern to get too busy to exercise.

It's interesting.  My mom, a spiritual giant and totally confined to bed now, said she's going to contact my brother, who is not at all interested in religion.  He's very diligent, however about taking care of his body.  She wants to share with him that he's got his investments reversed.  The care of the body will not take him very far into the next life. 

How am I putting this all together?  That I want and need to take care of BOTH.  I want my physical body to be in the best shape possible so that it will be a clean, strong vessel to allow me time and energy to study and serve my Heavenly Father and family WELL.  I want someday to hear those words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

My mom can only serve from bed now.  And she's coming to terms with that.  Right now for me her service is an example of good cheer and enduring faithfully.

I bought the plane tickets yesterday for us to take her to Susan's (my sister) in Texas.  This is a huge deal on every level for her and for all the families.  She had SO wanted to have returned to the other side before she became this dependent on family.

It will be quite the undertaking to get there.  She needs to strengthen her body and practice sitting in a wheelchair.  We will need two cars to get to the airport, as she cannot get into anything higher than a compact, low-car, and there won't be room in that car for all our luggage ... The same for the pick-up at the other end of the trip. 

God bless her heart -- none of us ever imagined that she would get to this point. 

DAY 2:  I found it amazing that mid-afternoon on ONLY DAY 2 that the thought came into my mind, "This isn't going to work.  Why are you going to this much effort?  Nothing's going to change."

I was glad for all the examples and lessons of endurance that came to mind .... YES.  It's all to easy to just say, "Why am I doing this?  I'm at a fairly healthy weight."

BUT ... I have made a commitment.  I WILL DO THIS for 84 days and see where I am at the end.  I WILL DO THIS as I have made a public commitment on Meridian, and a private one with myself and the Lord -- and equally important to my darling Kelly.

A-HA MOMENT Yesterday:  At work one of the gals had brought in (I don't know why) a gorgeous white and chocolate layer cake with lots of buttercream frosting.  If this had been pre-October, I would have eaten a piece then (at 10:30 in the morning when we take our break) and again as often as I could snitch ... and thought about it the whole time.

As it was, I looked at it and remembered my obsession with these things for most of my life and felt relieved that I didn't have to get involved with that stupid cake.

When they asked me and got out my plate, I just quietly said, "Oh, I'm not a cake eater."

AND IT'S TRUE.  I'm NOT A CAKE EATER anymore.  And the weird thing is ... it's not big deal.
It' just a piece of cake.

I wonder what Mary and Martha served the Lord for dessert when he came for dinner?  I've a feeling it wasn't a cake with buttercream frosting.  But I'll bet there was a little indulgence of some kind.  Maybe some special fruit or other natural delicacies.

.... HIS word and HIS company in your home .... can you imagine?  Now Who would EVER need dessert with the sweet experience of having the Savior in your home for dinner?

It's a lovely thought, and I'm going to pretend that he's eating with me today as I focus on DAY 3,  and my 6 lovely little meals!

I am focusing on CHANGES THAT I CANNOT SEE that I know are happening as I am wise ... to my bones and muscles.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 2

Day 1 was wonderful. 

I am already thankful I spent the $20 at Amazon for the B4L Success Journal.  It allows you to record everything in a nice spiral book.  The B4L motivation and before/after picture and story on each page is exceptional as well.

Ben:  This marvelous young man in our neighborhood has been a favorite of mine since he was in elementary school.  He is the same age as my own sons, and brilliant in his talents and so many skills.  He has performed as a clown at Ringling Brothers Circus, and an acrobat, and martial arts ... he says he's not in top shape.  But it feels that way to me.  He is coming on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to help me kind of like a Personal Trainer.  He knows the cable machine well, so he does a mini-work out with me.  He says I'm helping him too, in other ways.  At this time I feel like he's an angel from heaven to help me. 

A-HA Moments:  Could it be that as soon as you start exercising and taking control, other things snap into focus as well?  I know I was directly inspired during my scripture study yesterday (after exercising) with a challenging relationship.  I was able to implement my inspiration, that left me feeling much better about things and a new way to approach this relationship.

It's interesting that my daughter ALSOS had a huge A-Ha moment with her own challenging relationship.  Is this a coincidence????  B4L IS more than just for you body, it's for LIFE itself, and as always, when we're in  control of our bodies, our Heavenly Father's spirit can be heard so much more clearly!

I did get my 6 meals in -- it is such a joy to have a real little "meal" that many times a day, and not just "snacks" -- which leaves me on the prowl for more.  The 10 glasses of water too!
The Before & After Photo: Progress

This has been trickier than it seems.

I followed through on my goal of working on those before pictures as well.  In the B4L challenge, everyone is wearing a 2-piece swimsuit.  That, of course, is not my style or standard. So what to do about that.  I went to Modell's last night and bought a pair of shorts and a sports bra.  This will do. 

In trying them on I decided (way-way-way) ahead of time not to get hung up on how I looked.  These are for documentation purposes only.  Even so, it's a window into why my clothes are not fitting the way I'd like for them too.

Aging is a funny thing ... I'm not more than 2-3 pounds heavier than when I was a Weight Watcher leader wearing a size 4 or 6 .... but everything has dropped and spread.  Will B4L change that?  I don't know ... and as long as it strengthens my bones and my muscles, that's what matters most.

I could go on and on, and may make a post, about coming to terms with a 4 foot 11 inch (well maybe even a bit less than that) body, with a medium bone structure ... I think the term as well is
"Endomorph" ...

As I shopped at Modell's last night among all the fitness attire, it was fun to imagine myself being a WHOLE LOT MORE FIT.

After all, I write a health column, have published a meaningful book about weight management, and we are operating a very successful business with a health product that makes a huge difference in people's lives.

Is there any reason why I SHOULDN'T look like fitness matters a lot to me?   I'd like to look like one of those professional women who are trim and athletic, but where it's not something they obsess about .... Yes.  I'm developing and adding that image for myself.  In addition to being a loving wife, darling mother, mother-in-law and fun, energetic GRANDMA :0)

Yes ... It's TRUE:  I've been at a healthy weight for a very, very, very long time thanks to Weight Watchers, for which I'm so grateful. 

Now it's time to take on more than just a healthy weight, but healthier bones and muscles, and any side benefits that may come along are most welcome. 

By tomorrow, I'll have my pictures.  I'll be using the self-timer and a wall downstairs, because this is MY BABY and I'm surely not ready to share it with anyone.

Day 2! Let me open the door and invite you right on in!

Monday, February 10, 2014

12-Week Challenge DAY 1

I am so excited ... a little nervous too.  I have watched people blog on these things before, and watch them peter out about 3 weeks into it.  After having done the full month of October, with the sugar-free cravings month, however, I know I can do this.  I have made a spiritual, emotional commitment filled with integrity and commitment.

DAY 1.

It's amazing how this book has sat there for all those years.  Then surfaced when I needed some motivation and guidance so badly.  I think prayers can be answered by books just as much as they can by people.

I've spent the past 2 weeks studying, and preparing ... "testing the waters" and finding I like them very much with the 6 small meals.  Somehow or another, a quest on Craigslist for more weight equipment turned into a trip over to a neighbor's to see what they were using, and them GIVING me a fantastic cable machine that I fully plan to MAKE THE MOST OF.  It's looking like a full-fledged gym down there.  The weight bench and dumb bells I've been using will still play a part, but OH MY GOODNESS ... that machine puts everything into a completely different place.

I've purchased the Body For Life (from hereon shortened to B4L) success journal to record everything.

As big as the commitment is to do it ... an even bigger one is to FINISH the full 12 weeks, with my darling Kelly.

THIS MORNING I did get up at 5:15, and after the other morning things I do, spent the time on the upper body workout.  It's not gonna happen without scheduling the time.

My Mom's incredibly frail little body, and the predicament we're in at this time is my incredible motivation.  She's been with us for 18 months ... we love her with all our hearts but for ever so many important and good reasons, it is time for her to move to another sibling's home.  Unfortunately, no one lives close.  The plan -- in theory -- is for her to spend some time now with a sister in Texas. A 3 hour plane flight.  But getting her there is terrifying.  She has not sat in a chair for longer than 20 minutes since her fall the day after Christmas.  She cannot do any steps at all.  She can now get herself in a standing position by herself and walk about 50-100 feet, which is huge progress from a month ago.  Her little body is completely bent over from the waist ... She is in pain when not lying down.   Today we will investigate with the doctor and the airlines if a first class seat would get the job done ... but we worry about the up and downing, and long sitting at the airport beforehand, and in and out of the car, security, etc., etc., etc.  It will all work out, but it's a big concern to all of us.

She is inspiration in a thousand ways, but oh, if there is ANY WAY for me to avoid this situation for myself (and my family who would be caregivers if I were to become so disabled) it HAS TO BE THE HIGHEST PRIORITY NOW. 

I'm turning 60 in May and want to spend the last third of my life in the best shape ever.  No one is going to do this for me.  No one CAN do this for me. 

She was so excited when the new cable machine came in ... saying "You HAVE to do what you have to do, and SPEND whatever money is required to get yourself and keep yourself in TOP SHAPE."

YAY for DAY 1.  I'm going to go fix my protein green smoothie.  I've loved this for years.  No changes here:  Protein powder, lots of spinach, a few berries and frozen bananas. A little TRUVIA for sweetening.    Some flax seed and I've added CHIA SEED for protein.  YUMMY.  I make it for me and Bob almost every morning.