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Tuesday, May 1, 2012


(from WW Cookbook, "Five Ingredient 15 Minute Recipes", ISBN 978-0-8487-3498-5)

Serves:  4
Points+:  6

1/2 c. light sesame-ginger dressing (I used Kens Steakhouse Light Asian Sesame Dressing)
2 navel oranges
4 C. chopped romaine lettuce
3 c. shredded, cooked chicken
2 C. chopped napa cabbage
1 c. thinly sliced snow peas (optional)
1/2 c. matchstick-cut carrots (optional)
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted

Place dressing in a large bowl.  Zest the rind from one orange to measure 1 tsp.; stir into the dressing.  Peel oranges, and place segments in the bowl along with the lettuce, and next four ingredients; toss well.  Sprinkle with almonds right before serving.


"Surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it."  --Jeffery R. Holland

FOOD FOR THE SPIRIT--Tips for Losing Weight

Wow!  My life is crazy!  I must apologize for my recent absence from blogland, but I assure you...I've not been lying around eating bon bons all day!  Tyler is knee deep in school and writing papers for his ESL classes has become our hobby.  He is still working full-time at Triumph Youth Services on the graveyard shift.  I am also still working as a producer for Allstate insurance and as a fill-in receptionist for a local counseling office.  As if this schedule wasn't crazy enough, let's just add four kids and a big dog to the mix!  Somehow, though, we are making it!  Life is crazy, but usually, it's crazy good.  I wouldn't trade my life for anyone else's.  Period.

On the weight-loss front, I have seen my results really slow down, but I'm still maintaining my newfound healthy lifestyle and I'm down nearly 65 pounds since joining Weight Watchers and nearly 75 since beginning to lose weight last year.  I am so happy with my results.  I feel more confident, poised, grateful, humble, energetic, hopeful, etc. than I have for a long, long time.

As people are starting to notice that "holy cow...you've lost a lot of weight!", I am often asked what I'm doing to shed the pounds.  As I mentioned, I am a member of Weight Watchers, but I can translate some of what I'm learning there and elsewhere into some more generic, unbranded advice:

1.  Write down everything you eat.
This is paramount.  If you don't know what you're eating and how much of it, you can't possibly hope to see results on the scale.  Research has proven in many studies that those who keep food journals are much more likely to lose weight.

2.  Move more.
I work out six days a week.  I have found that if I stick with six days a week, it's very hard to talk myself out of working out.  Before, when I was only working out four or five days a week, it was too easy to say to myself, "I don't feel like it.  I'll exercise tomorrow."  With the six-days-a-week plan, the excuse-making is virtually gone.  If it's not Sunday, I work out.  Period.  What do I do?  Anything and everything.  It's really important to me that I don't get bored with my workouts.  Here are some of the many, many activities I enojoy:  walking, jogging, sprinting, elliptical machine, DVD workouts, yoga, Zumba, pilates, kickboxing, circuit training, aerobics, tennis, basketball, soccer, bike-riding, dancing, cleaning (yes, cleaning counts!), hiking, snowshoeing, etc.  As you can see, the possibilities are endless.  Truthfully, getting my work out every day is sometimes really hard.  On the days when I just do NOT want to exercise, I set my kitchen time for 10 minutes and just go up and down the stairs until it goes off.  It's a great workout, and in ten minutes, I'm done, I've stayed in the habit, and I can live with myself.

3.  Be compassionate with yourself.
Losing weight is hard.  It is time-consuming.  It is tricky.  It is an art.  It is a skill.  It will take time for you (and me!) to change bad habits.  That's ok.  Find something each day that you did right.  Don't focus on your failures.  The only real failure is to give up on yourself or to lose hope that God can and will help you become healthier.  He loves you.  You should also love yourself and be patient with yourself.  And when you stumble, just try again.  And again. And again.  Give yourself permission now to make mistakes along the way.  You will.  And it's ok.  It's all part of the transformation...the reinvention of you!

4.  Explore the psychology behind your unhealthy habits.
There's a reason for your overeating, bingeing, skipping meals, emotional eating, or unhealthy eating.  It's important to look at whether or not you're "medicating" yourself with food.  Are you hurting?  Are you struggling with depression?  Loneliness?  Stress?  Boredom?  Are you feeling unloved?  I have recently started recording my binges.  I record the time of day, what I ate (and how much), what I was feeling at the time, who I was with, what was said, what was felt, etc.  This has helped me to recognize when my eating was emotional, and recognize certain situations, feelings, and relationships that are triggers for me.  Now, going into these situations, I can feel a little more prepared.

5.  Don't eat less, eat smart!
Losing weight should never be about eating less.  It's about quality, not quantity.  On the days when I am living my eating plan perfectly, I eat a TON of food.  What do I eat?  Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and treats!  I make it a point to have a sugary, ooey gooey chocolaty goodie here and there.  If I start feeling deprived, I'll stop trying, so it's important for me to have a little fun here and there.  The thing I love about WW, is that I can really eat whatever I want, as long as I write everything down and stay within my points.  This flexibility has been awesome on the days when being a saint simply isn't in my cards.

6.  Pray for help.
What would I do without prayer?  Prayer has gotten me here and will carry me to the finish line.  I try to pray specifically.  I ask God to maximize my desire and my results.  I ask Him to magnify my ability.  I ask Him for guidance as to what aspect of my lifestyle to focus on next.  The Savior is my Personal Trainer.  For anyone who has tried to lose weight before unsuccessfully, I would recommend allowing Heavenly Father and His Son to share your journey with you next time.  Their love makes all the difference.

7.  Give thanks.  Always.  No matter what happens.
Sometimes I don't get what I pray for.  Sometimes I pray for a loss on the scale and I get a lesson instead.  I have learned that it's ok, either way.  I have learned to thank God for whatever He gives me.  I know that all I have, all I am, and all that I have the potential to become are gifts from Him.

Hopefully this little list will help someone.  As you begin or continue on your own journey, I know your list will probably be a little different, but these are just some of the many, many lessons that I am learning.  The key is to find joy in the journey.  Always choose joy.