Friday, April 30, 2010

Points, points, points
Isn't it just great when we're out with friends, and one says, "Oh, I can't have THAT. It has SOOOO many POINTS!" Simultaneously, we hate the person talking (who has just ruined our piece of cheesecake) and we wonder, "What are points anyways?" I do TRY not to be annoying. If you're dieting, do try not to be annoying. If you're headed to a baby shower where the CAKE awaits, cut back a little the week before to accommodate that piece. Otherwise, someone WILL notice, and instead of focusing on baby and mom, the conversation dissolves into diet stuff, making the mom-to-be feel like a cow. (Just my humble opinion, people) Like I said, let's not be jerks.

Weight Watchers points are the backbone of their weight-loss/maintenance plans. You can google it online and find out how many points you should be getting to lose weight if you're curious. I get 20 a day, plus 35 extra to play around with during the week. Points are calculated by looking at calorie content, fat gms, and fiber. Here's the problem. I have been told: Well, diet coke has 0 points, and orange juice has 2. Don't drink orange juice!!! Well, that's just ridiculous. Diet coke is nutritionally zip, zilch, nada (and did I mention, I LOVE IT?! Especially with Sonic's vanilla add-in and extra ice????!!!!) Back on track. It's always better to use your points in the most nutritious way possible.

Example: (not exact- since I'm not actually looking up the points for this)

Let's say we want to spend no more than 5 points on breakfast.

Option A: One bowl of Froot-Loops with 1% milk

Option B: One bowl of blueberries (1 point), one Tbsp. of delish creamer in my coffee (1 point), one Thomas Multi-grain Better Start Light (said as quickly as possible)english muffin (1 point), toasted, with all-natural peanut butter (1) and local honey (1), Fiber one yogurt (0)

Now! As you might have guessed by the specifics, Option B is one of my favorite breakfasts- yum! Both options give you 5 points. My guess is Option A will dissolve mid-esophagus, leaving me ravenously hungry by say, 8:06. Option B is much more filling, not to mention nutritious.

Can I lose weight on WW and be a junk food lover? Oh, yes. But you're going to be very hungry and not very healthy if that's all you eat. I save my 35 extra points for that night we have Papa John's (drool) or the a.m. we grab a Krispy Kreme on the way back from the pediatrician. Our the baby shower. I enjoy real food. Leading me to the next point.

Real food (in my oh-so-humble-opinion): does not come from a microwaved freezer package. Blessings on all who survive on such airplane food. Ew. Blech. With all due respect, I do not purchase Smart Ones. Nor do I pay someone to separate my chips into 100 calorie bags, or shred my carrots. (Please, please- it's ok if you do- I'm just very, very, very cheap).

Cheap. Very cheap. Leading me to the $ involved in WW. WW costs about $30 a month. That's right (a month!!!) I find this exorbitant. However, what hits your pocketbook, hits your heart (at least mine). It's easier to follow the plan and lose weight when you're paying that kind of money for the privilege. Once you hit goal weight, you can go free for life (aka true happiness).

The average person on WW loses 2-5 lbs per week the first few weeks. After that, 1-2 lbs a week is normal. That can give you some idea of how long it would take you to lose weight on WW.

WW is a great program, but not everyone likes it. My suggestion is if you're thinking about joining, follow these tips:

1. Try writing down everything (every bite, lick, taste - as they say in WW) you eat. Not just what, but how much. Leave off the points, or calories. Just record.
2. Try saving the 30 bucks from avoiding take-out or other convenience foods. Hit for great recipes instead.

If you join, work the plan. If you work it religiously, the lbs. DO come off! Good luck, gals!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Does God Lead You?

This post is simply to recommend to you a new audio series. Nathan is putting on his website, his latest series at our church, Fairview Wesleyan. If you're in the Tuscaloosa area, you're more than welcome to join us each Sunday night, as he moves through some topics requested by the congregation. However, everyone out there can enjoy the lessons, as they're available in the audio section of his webpage. The only thing you'll really miss is snacks at the end. Lemonade is not yet available in MP3 format.

This series on understanding how God leads us is so interesting. It's given me a completely new way of looking at the subject, and I can say, I'm already much encouraged. I hope you give it a listen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cartoon used with permission by Randy Glasbergen
Losing It (With Weight Watchers)

Note to all readers: This blogpost is specifically about losing weight with Weight Watchers- in case the title didn't fill you in ;o) Please refrain from the common sneers of "Ha! You're skinny!" Or "I wish I had YOUR problem." Believe me, I've heard it all before. All such comments will be deleted, as this is a post designed to pass along information, not fish for personal compliments.

That being said, I can now take my "mean" hat off and talk to you, dear reader. I've been going to Weight Watchers since November of last year. In fact, I started the week before Thanksgiving (stupid, I know). Why did I go? Well, to be honest, I gained a good chunk of weight with Alex (46 lbs. to be exact) and found myself plateaued about 15 lbs above where I wanted to be. I did the whole nursing thing, and ate like mad. It was fabulous, since nursing burns up to 500 calories a day! Woohoo! And then I weaned him. The female body loves extra fat. The little cells cling to us, yelling "Noooooo!" as we try to peel them away. I promise you, Nathan will say, "I need to lose 5 lbs. No supper this week, please. I'll just take a yogurt." And in a week, voila! Ugh! It takes me approximately 20.4 days to lose 1/2 lb. (or at least it feels that way). Chant with me now: "It's just not fair! It's just not fair!" Ah- cathartic!!!

I am 3 lbs. above my ultimate goal thanks to WW. I wanted to pass along the pros and cons of the system and some tips I've picked up along the way, along with my own personal journey.

1. (Let's get the worst one out of the way first) I believe that because our husbands are wired by God to be visual, we ladies should make an effort to be visually appealing. Like it or not, that includes weight. I've heard people say, "It shouldn't matter." Sorry, gals. Maybe not. Plus it can hinder our testimony if we are out of control.

2. I am admittedly an emotional eater. And I am afraid of others' opinions (and proud, too). So I'll sneak around chomping on sweets when I feel bad, and then hop on the treadmill so no one will ever be able to tell. Habits are super-hard to break. Addictions are even harder.

3. I believe eating food is a pleasure. It is never an inconvenience, or a burden to me. I know a few people who resent having to stop and eat, as it hinders their productivity, but they are few and far between ;o)

4. When I see an overweight person, I no longer pat myself on the back for a job well done. Just because my struggles may not be visible to others, does NOT mean that I don't have any. I am weak in so many areas. God, help me to be sensitive to each other's struggles. Turning to food to solve my problems, and being too proud to admit it to others aren't exactly great personal characteristics. Yep, I need to write this blog.

5. It does no good to me to compare myself to others with a better or worse metabolism. I have fat in my family genes. That's just all there is to it. My mother was heavy as a teenager, and she fights it all the time. When I was a teenager, I used to see the other girls pigging out and then waltzing off in their teeny-tiny shorts, and think "Ugh! How can that be?" Turns out I have a redundant colon. That means my long intestine got growth-happy during development, and I have a 1/3 more than everyone else. That FORCES me to exercise and eat a high-fiber diet. Well, it doesn't FORCE me, but I'd rather not be in the hospital.

6. I love feeling healthy. I hate feeling sickly. Eating nutritiously and exercising are the most effective way to feel great. (Bummer- since I hated phys. ed. and anything that involved sweat. I was the only kid in the public school gym class who wore a skirt, and I got ragged about that a good bit, too. I also had a strong fear of humiliation. Not a natural athlete, I usually chose to walk track or something.) When the kids ask me why I exercise, I tell them it makes me a stronger mommy to take care of them.

So, now you know my background. Go get honest with someone about how you view food and weight issues in your life. Surprise, surprise! You'll find out that people of all sizes struggle with this stuff.

Next post: the specifics of WW, points, etc. and my opinion (of course ;o)
p.s. check out to see the above cartoon's artist's hilarious works!!!! Thanks to Mr. Glasbergen for permission to use above cartoon.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Kathryn is FIVE!

Yesterday we belatedly celebrated our firstborn's 5th birthday (April 2nd). She had requested a Narnia birthday with a Cair Paravel cake. I found a few cute touches (a beaver, a teapot). The lovely unicorn's hoof was covering a PG-13 Lewis cover- the unicorn had blood dripping off its horn. Gross. Anyways, she was quite blown away by all the fun. Because the kids were so little, our main together activity was sidewalk chalk art. But it was a blast. Enjoy the pics. BTW, if you frequent my lovely sister-in-law's cake decorating site, realize if we lived closer, she would have made the cake, for sure!!! Oh, well. None of the kids complained about the unprofessional look, and it still tasted good.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Posing and Paella
Alex has started the inevitable hilarious attempts to smile for the camera. Let's just say some are naturals and others are NOT! I think we're looking at one of the Have-nots here ;o)

And for those lucky few who will be in my Spanish I Class tomorrow, here's what's on the menu:

OK, I tasted it. It is fabuloso, if I do say so myself. The recipe is here. I traded the seasonings in for Goya brand Sazon con Azafran (available at Mexican groceries). Gotta have that SAFFRON! I did keep the fresh garlic, though.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Lost in Thought

No, I've not quit blogging. I'm just in one of those pensive phases, from which usually comes a flurry of blogs. Ever feel just like "receiving" data, instead of putting it out there? Just reading others' thoughts, rather than producing your own? Specifically, that means I've been hanging out with my "book friends." Hopefully, you also have some authors that you feel connected to. The kind that would seem normal sitting in your kitchen, sharing your morning cup of coffee, mostly because they've been present so many times in your thoughts. The kind that lift you up, edify your spirit, bring focus to your day's walk.

I've been walking up the Strela Pass with Gail MacDonald in her book Keep Climbing. I've been lighting candles, listening to Mozart, walking in botanical gardens, taking communion. That's where I feel like being just now- quiet. Of course, reality adds to my days Sonic Happy Hour, grocery shopping, cleaning up poopy accidents, finding a possum on my back porch eating the cat food, sweating my way through my workout- real life.

We're lying if we tell ourselves there is no pain or inconvenience in losing weight, getting fit, having a clean home, potty training or grocery shopping. At a certain point, we just have to do it. Truth be told, the discipline of quietness before the Lord is often inconvenient and painful (especially since sleeping in is OUT- for me, that is). Just do it. And ah! What a fabulous place for the mind to rest. As MacDonald says, it's a safe place for our doubts to surface. A place to enjoy.

Here are a few of my book friends: Edith Schaeffer, Gail MacDonald, Jan Karon, Elizabeth George, Teresa de Avila, C.S. Lewis, just to name a few. Reintroduce yourself to an old friend, grab a cup of coffee (with lots and lots of yummy flavored creamer), and unplug. Facebook will wait.