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This is a personal post that by no means is meant to offend anyone.  This is my story and I’m sharing it in hopes that if you too would like to get healthier, maybe some of my tips can help.  I am a firm believer that your weight does not define who you are.  One of my biggest pet peeves in both my family and my hubby’s family is how some folks greet one another after months, years, of not seeing one another with, “Have you lost weight? You look great!”  Or the secret conversations about who has gained.  I’m not innocent by any means, but I have learned that these comments hurt, and take a toll.  I talk to my girls about weight issues and I teach them to love their body that God has blessed them with.  I stress eating healthy, rather than losing weight.  I try to set an example by exercising regularly in front of them.  These things have taken a back seat since blogging began.  Time for them to get in the drivers seat.  It’s all about being healthy and happy.
Last weekend I got out of the shower and I caught a glimpse of the scale I keep under our vanity.  It hides under there because our bathroom has no room for it.  I thought, “Hmmmm…I haven’t weighed myself in quite a long time.  I wonder what I’m at?”  I pulled it out, dusted it off with a tissue, made sure the door was shut, threw off the towel (avoided looking in the mirror), and stepped on it.  It’s one of those glass ones.  Man does that thing creek when you step on it, but I am so thankful for him.
The next few minutes were not pretty.  I went into temporary state of denial thinking the scale MUST need batteries.  Then I remembered we had another scale upstairs so I quickly grabbed the towel and snuck passed my children like a dashing flasher in the family room (luckily they know I’m always up to something) and brought the “other” scale into my bathroom.  I held my breath, even took off the towel on my head thinking that might help.  It was slightly better, so I slowly drifted out of my oblivious state, and looked at myself in the mirror.  I knew it was time for a change.  I know I don’t have a lot to lose, but I truly think I better nip this in the bud.  I am 5′ 4″ and fairly small framed.  My comfortable weight is 135.  Mr. Scale told me I am now at 148.  Some hate using the scale.  I find using it as a huge motivator.  Helps with maintaining too.
After I got over the fact that I need to start eating better and moving more, everything started making sense.  I’ve been receiving small signals telling me that I am gaining, but I’ve been ignoring them and blaming them on other reasons.  For example, joint pain.  I’ve noticed an increase in pain in my ankles, and knees, especially when going up and down stairs.  The other thing is my ice skating accident.  Could I have possibly fell because I am off balance from the weight gain?  We all have a comfortable weight.  That weight where we can fit into our favorite jeans, and we feel good about how we look in the mirror.  I’m determined to get there again, and it’s not for anyone else, but me (okay maybe Rick too).  I feel much older than I am with this extra weight, and there is no way I’m ready to give up yet.  I want a healthy heart, and I want to look good in my Levi’s-those things make Red happy.   This is how I will do it, and have done it before.

Exercise!

No big revelation here.  We all know that we have to move to lose.  I’ve always been athletic.  I played soccer and softball in high school, was in ski club, and rode my bike all over my home town, Grand Island, as a kid.  As an adult I drifted away from exercising while beginning my career.  I started walking/running in my late 20’s after my first high cholesterol test results.  After I had the girls I turned to DVD’s because it was convenient to do when they napped.  I did the jogging stroller too, that was great.  Especially the double one.  I’ve tried the gym scene, but it was so time consuming getting there.  The children’s daycare was horrible.  The daycare providers were more concerned about vacuuming the floor than watching the children.  That’s when I quit the gym, got my money back,  and went back to DVD’s for good.  Here’s my favorite:
Leslie is my buddy.  She has so much energy, and pep.  This DVD is only 30 minutes long and I usually stop after the interval part and do some butt lifts instead (3 times a week).  Did you know after 40 you start loosing muscle all over but especially in your BEHIND!  I also do butt squeezes when I’m doing dishes, blow drying my hair, anywhere I can.  It really works.  SQUEEZE!!!!!  Here’s Leslie and I burning some calories yesterday:
Next…you guessed it, EAT HEALTHIER, AND CUT CALORIES

It’s no secret, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain. You should ask your Dr. how many calories you should be consuming to lose weight because it’s different for everyone.  My golden number is 1300 per day to lose.  Here are some tips I use to help me reduce my caloric intake:

Use lean meats.  I generally use a lot of chicken and shrimp, but occasionally we enjoy a steak.  My go to meals when trying to lose usually consist of a lean protein, lots and lots of veggies, and a small carbohydrate.  Veggies are wonderful for adding volume to any dish.  For example, I love fresh mushrooms, so I slice them big and add them to scrambled eggs, tomato sauce, chili.  They take on the flavor of whatever it is that you’re making, but they have almost no calories.  Last night I made a 400 calorie lo mein noodle dish with 300 calories of noodles, sautéed mushrooms, ginger, garlic and soy sauce and it was so yummy.

One of my favorite carbs while watching calories are these tortillas that are only 100 calories each and loaded with fiber that helps keep you feeling full.
Here are some favorite ways to try these (they are found in the bread & tortilla section):

  • Breakfast- I throw one on a griddle with nothing, add scrambled egg beaters, diced ham, sprinkle a little reduced fat cheddar-roll it up and add a side of fruit.
  • Lunch- I whip one in the microwave for 25 seconds, add a dab of canola Hellman’s mayo, 2 slices of turkey, a pickle-roll it up and add a side of fruit.
  • Dinner-use these for low fat chicken fajita’s made with lots of lean meat and veggies.  Also great as pizza dough.  I add 1/4 C. tomato sauce, low fat cheese, and turkey pepperoni.  Bake at 350 for 8 minutes.

Here are more of my favorites.  I love dipping carrots and celery in fat free ranch for a snack.  I mentioned egg beater above…they rock.  This pasta does not taste like normal fiber rich pasta.  It tastes just like normal white pasta.  There are less calories in it too.  That pasta rocks people.  Just remember to keep those carb portions small.

If interested I have plenty more low calorie dishes in my “Redhead Can Cook” gallery found “here“.

Here is one of my best kept secrets.  I LOVE chocolate.  Chocolate chip cookies are my favorite treat.  While trying to get back on track, I still allow myself a treat daily.  Here is my favorite:

1 Tablespoon (I do heaping) of semi sweet chocolate chips.  They have only 70 calories, and they say dark chocolate is good for you.  I find this very satisfying.

Another huge factor in being successful in my journey to a healthier me, is the support of my husband.  The other night I decided to skip my treat because I knew my calories would be too high for the day.  He skipped too with out me even asking.  He’s also on a healthy plan and now lifting weights and doing yoga.  He’s really looking fine!

I will be keeping my pink “Blog Bulge” button on my sidebar as a motivator for me.  Some may think it’s nuts to advertise my weight, but I feel if I can inspire others while helping myself at the same time…totally worth it.  Be sure to come back and see if I’ve lost.  I’m going to up date it daily.

Time for me to work out!  XO
~ Julie

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