Thursday, March 8, 2018

Brave

The theme for the Ladies Tea at church this year is Brave.  I had not really thought about the theme while decorating my table, but as I was leaving, I realized I had nailed it. My table represents my brave. I decorated it with a theme of Yosemite National Park--the location of  my Half Marathon.

Five years ago, when I first began the Couch to 5K program, I struggled to run for 60 seconds, and now I am preparing to run for 13.1 miles! I once weighed 306 pounds, and now I am under 170--smaller  than when I was in high school more than 30 years ago. At 48 years old, I am stronger and faster that I have ever been.

This journey to become Half a Julie has required one brave step after another. I am anxious to take those steps in beautiful land I visited often while growing up.

For my table, I tried to capture the large granite formations and the beautiful waterfalls of Yosemite.


I started with chicken wire and added paper mache. I covered it with gesso, and then painted it gray. I added some contrasting metallic gray accents.



For the water, I painted a piece of wax paper various colors of blue and white. I added some moss here and there.


For my tablescape. I added some "boulders" to the top and bottom of the waterfall. I added printed pictures of various scenes from Yosemite (including the one at the top of the post.)



Each of my guests will receive a limited edition, hand painted rock with either waterfall or Half Dome.


Want to join the Half a Julie Road Crew and help me get to Yosemite? You can join my Facebook Fundraiser or send through Paypal to halfajulie@outlook.com.


What is YOUR brave? 


 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Yosemite Bound

In case you are wondering, I did not fall off the face of the earth. About a month and a half ago, my husband finally got his total knee replacement. Recovery was going well, but then he sprained his new knee. We've been busy with doctors appointments.  Plus work has been busy. And my computer has been having problems.

I have been busy working, and I've been training for my half marathon. As you can see from the ticker above, I'm just over 2 months from my Yosemite Half marathon! 

If you are interested in helping me get to California, you can join my Facebook fundraiser at Road to Yosemite or through PayPal (e-mail address: HalfaJulie@outlook.com).



Here are some progress pictures.
Came cross this picture from last Valentine's Day (about 6 weeks into keto).
The second picture is last Saturday's 10k.

Far left senior year of high school 175#
Middle: starting weight 306#
Far right: Today 166#

5 years difference

5 years difference




Saturday, February 24, 2018

Whole Heart (Giveaway)

WHOLE HEART by Passion Music


Since 1997 (wow! That was the year my son was born!) Passion has a released a new album of live worship songs from the Passion Conference.  Some of the great songs to come out of the Passion Conferences include: God's Great Dance Floor; Even So Come; The Heart of Worship; One Thing Remains; and How Great is Our God.  Over the years, many of the Passion songs have been updates of familiar songs, such as Come Thou Fount and Jesus Paid it All. You can read the story of Passion here.

 “Rooted out of the Passion movement, we are committed to leading people towards renewed intimacy with God and fresh encounters of worship. Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for His name.”

I had the opportunity to preview the newest album from Passion, called WHOLE HEART. It did not disappoint! I have loved Passion music from the first album. One thing that I have always enjoyed about the Passion albums is the variety of styles and artists that blend together. It's rare to hear live albums today, but I enjoy singing along with the crowds of people at the Passion Conference. I've never had the opportunity to attend a Passion Conference, but one of my fondest memories will always be the time I volunteered at a Promise Keepers rally. I was able to go to an observation area at the Oakland Coliseum and hear 10s of thousands of men--including my husband, my father, my father-in-law, and a couple of brothers-in-law--worshipping God together.

One song that stood out to me was a classic revisited. God, You're So Good (featuring Kristian Stanfill) brings new life to a chorus we used to sing when I was a kid (40 years ago). "God is so Good'. There was one familiar song, Great Are You Lord (featuring Matt Redman). This song has already become a favorite both for me personally and for our church.
It's Your breath, in our lungs. So we pour out our praise to You only. 
Another favorite that I've been hearing on K-LOVE Radio is the final song, All My Hope.  I've heard Crowder talking about the story behind the song. A man was saved while in prison. When he was released--after many years--his friends threw a prodigal party.
All my hope is in Jesus. Thank God my yesterdays gone. All my sins are forgiven. I've been washed by the blood.

WHOLE HEART is the new live album from Passion, and it was captured at Passion Conference 2018 in Atlanta, GA. The album features Passion Arts such as: Kristian Stanfill, Melodie Malone, Sean Curran, Matt Redman, and Crowder.

The songs on this album are
Whole Heart (featuring Kristian Stanfill)
Almighty God (featuring Sean Curran)
God, You're So Good (featuring Kristian Stanfill and Melodie Malone)
Reckless Love (featuring Melodie Malone0
Heaven (featuring Sean Curran)
More Like Jesus (featuring Kristian Stanfill)
Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (featuring Brett Younker)
Ghost (featuring Crowder)
Every Almighty (featuring Melodie Malone)
Great Are You Lord (featuring Matt Redman)
All My Hope (featuring Crowder and Tauren Wells)



You can buy Whole Heart here.
You can listen to Passion Music on Spotify here.



Giveaway:
I have the chance to give away one copy of WHOLE HEART.

To enter, leave a comment below.  For extra entries, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Pinterest. Share this post on any of these (or your blog) using the links on the post. Let me know in a comment which things you did. Winner will have 24 hours to respond with address or a new winner will be chosen. Open to continental US.
Contest ends February 28th.


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Giveaways are open to continental U.S. residents only.





 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Facing Facts

Throughout my keto journey over the past year, I have not been one to weigh or measure. I count anything. But in December, I had to face some facts. I did not eat stuffing at Thanksgiving, or eat even a single candy cane or cookie at Christmas. And believe me, there were lots of goodies in the office to choose from! (People seem to think social workers need sugar!!) I ate a little bit of sweet potato on Thanksgiving, and I had a couple of pieces of melon at the office Christmas party. But other than those diversion, I only at keto friendly food.

But I gained 5 pounds in December. Yep. 5 pounds.

What happened? I indulged in "keto friendly" treats, but I didn't really pay attention to the carbs. If the keto peanut butter cup had 3 carbs (no added sugar)--as opposed to a Reese Peanut  Butter Cup that has 9 carbs (8 added sugar), I allowed my self to eat a couple. Eventually I had reached my 20 carbs without thinking about it.

I'm not beating myself up over the 5 pounds. I'm celebrating the over 130 pounds that are gone. I'm celebrating the size 12 SKINNY jeans (not super tight 28 jeans!) that I am wearing. I'm recognizing that my body is still adjusting.  I'm going to evaluate and modify.  I'm still not going to log and obsess about food, but I will make adjustment. I also need to cut back on the "keto friendly" sweeteners.


What changes do you need to make this year?

Speaking of new year, here are pictures from three of the past five new years.


 5 years ago (2013) I started walking. At 306 pounds.

1 year ago (2017) I started keto. At 248 pounds.




Yesterday (2018) I started the year At 175 pounds.

This year I will celebrate HALF.
I will reach my goal of Half a Julie (about 20 pounds to go!)
I will run my Yosemite Half Marathon.
But I will live a FULL life!


 

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Progress pictures

I just realized I have not posted any progress pictures on my blog in a while. If you don't follow me on Facebook, check out my Half a Julie page.  Here are pictures from the last couple of months.

If you are on a journey yourself, please take lots of pictures along the way.  The "before" pictures are not a painful reminder to me.  They are simply a part of my history.  Without the "before" the "after" does not have as much meaning.

Let's start with the current one. First picture is size 3XL shirt and 4XL stretchy jeans (because my 28s were too small). Second picture is Large shirt and size 12 skinny jeans.

January 2013 to December 2017
 My husband has been on this journey with me too. This picture was taken on our 30th wedding anniversary in February.  The next picture was taken in November. We've each lost about 80 pounds in 2017--a total of 235 pounds.  What you can't see in the second picture is I am sitting on his knee--and he is not in pain!
Our 30th anniversary in February 2017
November 2017

January 2013 to October 2017
My sister bought this (Large!) Minnie Mouse shirt to celebrate my 100 pounds lost. I found this shirt from our last trip to Disneyland (2011) where I was wearing a men's 3XL.
December 2011 to October 2011

January 2013 to September 2017 (label is wrong in picture)
 This first picture was taken about 2 months before my brother got sick--my catalyst for change.
September 2012 to September 2017




To Track or Not to Track



Many people ask me about what I eat and how I track it. Simply...I don't track it.  When I first started this journey almost 5 years ago, I put every bite I ate into My Fitness Pal (MFP). I had the app on my phone and I could access it the computer. Using my phone I could scan any barcode and instantly know the nutritional breakdown of each item.

I was obsessed with food. I was constantly thinking about food: what I had just ate; what I was about to eat; and what I couldn't eat. MFP kept track of how many days in a row you logged in.  One day I was not able to log in, and my streak reset to zero. (I think I had been tracking for over 300 days at the time). I was devastated.  Nothing had changed in my eating, but I suddenly felt like a failure.  After wallowing in my pity party for a while, I decided I would not let my food log have that power over me again.

When I first started eating keto, I used some apps and websites to learn the amount of carbohydrates in certain foods.  And I still do that when I am looking at new foods. But I do not weigh or measure my food. I don't count how many carbs I'm eating. I just know what kinds of food are safe to eat.  Sometimes I will have a keto-friendly snack, but I might end up eating more servings than I should. But for the most part, I believe my carbs are under 20 net per day.

I encourage someone who is just starting out to use apps or websites to help you get a handle on what carbs/calories/fat/etc. look like for foods you are eating. I know that keto is not for everyone, so if you are counting calories, make sure you stop and measure a portion every now and then just to make sure you are still on track.

Do you track? If so, how do you track? Notebook, computer, app? What works for you?



I just realized I haven't posted pictures in a while. Stay tuned for an update post!



Sunday, December 3, 2017

Giveaway! Adored

Read to the end to learn how you can enter to win a free copy!

I had the opportunity to review Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women. (Click on the link and you can download a sampler).  This beautiful hardback book contains a year's worth of devotionals written for teenage girls. The devotional features a daily reading paired with a Scripture verse. Each day has a few lines for the reader to reflect on the day's words. The topics of the book include bullying, social media, friendship, and dating. The underlying message is to show readers how infinitely precious they are in God's sight. This book is designed for girls ages 13 and up. It retails for $14.99. I noticed it is currently (12/3/17) on sale for $8.49. I don't know how long that price will last. It is also available as an ebook.

This image is available to download and share at Adored

When our book arrived, I sat down with my 14 year old daughter and we looked at the book together The size is nice--about the same size at my iPad mini (but thicker). The pages all have a blue floral border (like those in the picture above and below).  The day, the verse, and reference are all printed in blue. The reading is printed in black. The readings vary in length, but each one fits on one page.  I read one aloud while my daughter timed it. Even reading slowly, it took about a minute and 10 seconds. Most readers would be able to read it in under 5 minutes. Each entry is numbered, but not dated. So the devotional can be started at any time. And if the reader misses a day, she can just continue where she left off.



This image is available to download and share at Adored
My daughter and I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read, but the content was engaging. It is something my daughter could read for herself, or we could read them together. The variety of topics would make for some great conversation starters. I expect to have many great talks over the topics addressed in the this book.

This image is available to download and share at Adored


You can buy this beautiful devotionahere. One of my readers will win a free copy of Adored: 365 Devotions for Young Women.

To enter, leave a comment below.  For extra entries, follow me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or Pinterest. Share this post on any of these (or your blog) using the links on the post. Let me know in a comment which things you did. Winner will have 24 hours to respond with address or a new winner will be chosen. Open to continental US.
Contest ends December 8th.


Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller /FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again.  Winner is subject to eligibility verification.


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