Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cheat Days?

A common question I hear among people who are dieting is "What about cheat days?" I've heard this a lot with the holiday season approaching. Some people swear that one cheat day (or meal) a week (or month) resets their body and helps them get past a stall. I have no idea if there is any science to back this up. Others say that knowing they have a cheat meal or cheat day coming up helps them to stay focused on the hard days.

I am not planning to have an all out cheat on Thanksgiving next week, but I might choose to eat something I don't normally eat. I won't gorge on chocolate pie and stuffing. I don't want to have to go through sugar withdrawals again.  

A couple of things to consider when deciding to cheat or go off your plan:
  1. Will you be able to easily get back on your plan?
  2. What will you do if you can't stop?
  3. How often are you going to cheat?

I was thinking, in the 10 ½ months since I went keto, I have had a lot of opportunity to "just have one piece".

6 family birthdays
25 birthday cakes at work
9 monthly staff meetings with donuts
6 classes at church with meals
4 parties at work (baby showers, goodbye)
1 30th wedding anniversary
10 overnight business trips 

And this list doesn't include donuts and bagels every Sunday morning at church or the random announcements over the intercom at work such as, "The burrito lady is here" or "There are ice cream sundaes in the lunch room". 

For the most part, I have stayed on plan. On my 30th wedding anniversary (6 weeks into keto) I made the decision to celebrate. I ate bread, beans, and chocolate. I drank wine. And I felt very sick that night. I've had some popcorn a couple of times during family movie night. Lately, I've "cheated" not with chocolate but with fruit--such as apple slices or veggies--such as sweet potato fries.

I definitely do not want to cheat with bread and sugar. I'm getting close to my initial goal (about 20 pounds!). Once I reach it, I may make some adjustments. I might even, on a occasion, have "just one piece" of cake or bread. But I don't want to go back.

I'm not saying don't cheat. That is your decision to make. But be careful if you allow "just one" because you may find it difficult to stop there.

If you do choose to cheat--even if you overdo it. Don't stop there. Dust yourself off and start over. Immediately. Don't want until tomorrow. Or Monday. Or January 1st. Start over the minute you come to your senses.
What are your thoughts? Are cheat days helpful to you? Do they set you back?


Sunday, October 22, 2017

I'm still here

I know I've been quiet lately, and when I started blogging I promised I would not apologize for gaps in blogging. I blog when I can. 

Life has been busy. Work has been overwhelming.  But, I have stayed on plan.  Here is what's been happening.

  • I'm in the 170's!! As of today I am down 128 pounds (in 5 years--75 pounds this year).
  • My husband in in the 300's. He is down over 92 pounds (in a year).
  • That is a total of 220 pounds between us!
  • We are looking at a knee replacement for John in January!
  • I have a couple of product review/giveaways coming up in the next month.
  • I'm looking for products to review/endorse.
  • I haven't been out for a run in about a month, and I'm on call this week.
This journey is a marathon not a sprint. Some days will be moving forward. Other days will be staying in place As long as I don't go backwards, I'm okay with that.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Glory Song (Giveaway)

Just in time for my birthday, I'm giving away a copy of Matt Redman's new CD Glory Song. About a year ago, Matt Redman came to our church. It was an amazing concert. I love Matt's songs. "10,000 Reasons" and "Blessed Be Your Name" have been favorites for a long time. I was thrilled when I was given a chance to preview and review the new album.

Matt Redman, Grace Community Church, Roswell, NM July 2016.
So far, my favorite song is One Day (When We All Get to Heaven). I love hymns AND I love modern worship songs. The chorus of one of a favorite hymn was added to a new song. "When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!" I think I will be adding Still I Will Sing to my workout play list. The song Place of Praise includes the statement King David made (2 Samuel 24:24), "I will not bring that which costs me nothing".  I expect to be singing many of these songs in church soon. 

One thing I really like about the album is the variety. The album features an assortment of tempos and styles. Some of the songs have a single voice and piano (Hope is Marching On) and others have a more electronic instrumentation (Still I Will Sing). 

On this album Matt Redman teamed up with several of his worship-artist friends for this album including the track “Gracefully Broken (feat. Tasha Cobbs Leonard).” Watch the live version below.

The album also features Kierra Sheard, Guvna B, Madison Cunningham, and Kim Walker-Smith. 

You can buy Glory Song here

#GlorySong & #FlyBy

Contest ends on my birthday, October 8th. To enter, leave comment below. Simple as that.  

If you want to give me some extra love, I'll take it! 

Share any of my blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or whatever social media you use. Comment on another post. Tell somebody about my blog. Leave me one comment stating what you did.

1. Visit my Facebook page and like, comment, or share any of my posts.
2.  Like my Facebook page.
3. Follow me on TwitterInstagram, or Pinterest.

What is your favorite worship song?

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.

Friday, September 22, 2017

What Not to Say

I have got to admit, I love compliments. And since I've lost 123 pounds, I hear them often. I asked some of my friends about the comments they've heard.  Here are some things not to say to someone who is transforming her life.

1. You are too skinny!

  • Umm...I am still overweight--not as much as I used to be, but I am still a work in progress.

2. You are going to disappear! (or fade away).

  • Thanks for noticing, but it's not likely to happen! 
  • One friend responds, "I'm not disappearing. Actually I'm reappearing. This is me without the extra weight."

3. You are smaller than me!

  • What is wrong with me being smaller than you? I'm not the fat girl any more!

4. Stop losing weight! or When are you going to stop losing? or You've lost enough weight!

  • Don't worry. I'm working with my doctor. He is monitoring my progress, and I will consult him about when to slow things down.

5. I could never give up....

  • Umm...I didn't ask you to give up anything. You asked me how I've lost weight. I didn't take away your tortillas or pasta!

6. How much do you weigh?

  • This one doesn't bother me. I have publicly shared my weight many times. But some people are not comfortable with this. A better option would be "How much weight have you lost?"

7. Where do I buy this product?

  • I know there are people who are selling something.  And some are successfully losing weight. But sometimes it is just hard work.

8. Did you have surgery?

  • Surgery is one way to lose weight. If I did have surgery and wanted to share it, I would have.

9. This diet can't be healthy!!

  • Being morbidly obese wasn't healthy.
  • My doctor approves it.

10. My friend lost X amount of weight--but she gained it back.

  • I know many people regain the weight they lost, but this isn't helpful.

11. The extra weight looked good on you.

  • Okay. But I am healthier now.

12. Have you tried......

  • Whether it's a pill, a program, or a Plexus....I've probably already tried it. I have friends who have head success with each of them.

13. You can cheat this one time. It's your birthday...or Christmas...or National Donut Day!

  • This is a way of life. There is always going to be something to celebrate. I'm learning to celebrate in a healthy way.

What kind of comments have you heard? How do you react?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I Could Never Give Up....

When I tell people I am on a ketogenic diet--and what that means, the first response I usually get is, "I  could never give up ______" (insert, bread, tortillas, sugar, etc).  It's funny how we can change over time.  Several years ago my sister-in-law was mis-diagnosed with celiac disease.  Since that time I have met many other people who eat a gluten free diet.  I knew there was no way I could ever give up gluten--it's in everything!  I heard about various "sugar buster" programs that would break a sugar addition. But I knew there was no way I could ever give up all sugar. When I was diagnosed with diabetes and my nutritionist told me to avoid potatoes because the starches turn to sugar. I knew there was no way I could give up french fries and potato chips.

And now I am following a ketogenic diet.

  • I don't eat gluten (or any breads or grains)
  • I don't eat sugar--of any sort
  • I don't eat potatoes
And I'm loving it. I'm satisfied. I'm full. And I'm losing weight.
I love cheese!

Some people can't losing weight on a ketogenic diet while eating dairy ad using artificial sweeteners. So far, it's working for me.  Honestly, cheese and Diet Coke are what make this way of eating work for me.  If I could not eat cheese, I probably would have given up a long time ago. Yes. I like cheese that much! 

Not sure that I would go this far!

I have tried to give up my Diet Coke--and I've been successful for 6-8 weeks. But so far, I have not successfully kicked that habit.  And I'm okay with that. At some point, I may have re-evaluate both cheese and Diet Coke and determine if they belong in my diet. But for now, I will continue to enjoy them.

If Mama ain't happy--bring her a Diet Coke!

I know that a ketogenic diet is not for everyone. But the key to health is to find the right plan for you. And ultimately, the right plan for you is the one you will stick with.  

Sunday, September 10, 2017


Some of you have been wondering and were too polite to ask....

John and I became grandparents just like we became parents the first time--with a phone call.  Almost 20 years ago, we got a phone call from a friend that started with, "How would you like a brand new baby boy?"  48 hours later we brought Cameron home from the hospital, and one year later the judge made it official. (If you haven't heard that story, hit me up some time and I'd be happy to tell you!!)

Last month, I got a Facebook message from an old friend. The friendship is old; we aren't! We were neighbors in marriage student housing at Central Bible College almost 30 years ago. Carol asked me to call her. When I did, she explained that their daughter and granddaughter were living in our town and she was looking for a church. Tim and Carol are pastors in a church about 3 hours away. Carol asked to meet up with me when she came to visit the next day. We met and I was able to give their daughter some resources for local community supports, and we arranged to pick them up on Sunday for church. Turns out they lived just around the corner from us. All through the songs, John held Sweet Pea. I got to hold her through the sermon. We invited Mom and Sweet Pea to come with us for lunch. John offered to watch Sweet Pea any time.
The first time John held Sweet Pea, she curled up in a ball just like Heather did. 

Cameron not only held Sweet Pea, but allowed me to take a picture. He holds her and feeds her, but he won't change diapers!

After they left, John looked and me and said, "Now I know how my parents felt waiting so long to be grandparents."  Then he kept waiting for Mom to call to ask him to babysit.  Soon, John became Sweet Pea's  regular babysitter. 

Cuddle time after a long day of work!

Happy baby!

After a few times of watching Sweet Pea, John started calling himself "Papaw" when talking to her.  He checked with Mom to see if she minded us calling ourselves grandparents.  She didn't.  We didn't think Tim and Carol would mind, and last week we got the green light from them. We figure every little girl needs lots of people who love her. And since her grandparents live so far away, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to love on her in their stead. 

Papaw and Sweet Pea have lots of conversations!

Papaw continues to hold Sweet Pea during worship, and I get her during the sermon. Today, she decided she wanted to look around.  But she fell asleep before Papaw handed her off.  Heather enjoys having Sweet Pea around, but she likes to make sure she is still Daddy's baby girl. 
Sweet Pea is holding Papaw's hand.
Heather likes to cuddle with Daddy while he holds Sweet Pea.
And with Momma!
Auntie likes to hold Sweet Pea, but only while she sleeps. 

I'm still not sure what to call myself. I've tried Mamaw, Grandma, Meme.  I'm not sure which one we'll settle on. 

Making time to run

I was a guest blogger over at Femme Fatale Fit Club last week. Swing by and comment on the post!

After a month of consistently running three times a week--even while out of town for training, I hit a brick wall. I have not run--or even been to the gym--in more than two weeks. The week after training was just very busy--and I covered on-call for a co-worker a couple of nights. The following week I was on call.

Habits take time to develop, and they take no time to fade away.  I have a half marathon to train for. I have got to make time to run.  I started thinking about why I run.

  • I run because I can. For most of my life I believed I was too fat or too slow to run. I now know I can run. And so many people cannot. So I run.

  • I run because it helped me lose a lot of weight. Running was one of the activities--along with walking and Zumba--that has helped me lose 120 pound.
  • I run because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Crossing the finish line after a 5K or a 10K reminds me that I can whatever I put my mind to.
  • I run because it helps me clear my mind. When I run I don't worry about bills or work or my kids. I just run. I focus on the next step.

This morning I received an announcement about a new book from an author I had never heard of: Karianne Wood of Thistlewood Farms. It looked interesting, so I followed the link. WOW! Her words spoke to me. She was discussing how difficult it was to start writing her book.  But it resonated with my journey to lose half my body weight. It has not been easy, and, honestly, I often doubted I could do it. But now I look back and see how far I've come. It is especially poignant since I'm training to run the Yosemite Half Marathon--in the mountains.  Here is how Karianne explained it.

When I first started thinking about the book and planning for the book and hoping and dreaming about the book it was like standing at the bottom and looking up a giant mountain.  I looked up at the crevices and steep cliffs and layers of sedimentary rock and sharp jagged outcroppings….
….and thought I’ll never make it.
(total aside:  can you tell my father was a geologist?)
I can’t climb a mountain.
I can’t scale those heights.
I can’t find a foothold.
I wanted to dive back into bed and pull the covers over my head and go all ostrich on myself and my book dreams.

But instead?
I took a step—a tiny, tentative, minuscule step up the mountain.  I remember that first step.  It didn’t feel like much.  It felt like I was still standing on the ground.  It didn’t feel overwhelming.  It didn’t feel scary.
So I took another step.  And another.  And another.
Until I looked down.

That’s the thing about mountains.
That’s the thing about dreams.
That’s the thing about journeys….
….they all begin with one tiny step.