Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I'm Having A Rough Day

 I will be getting married in less than 9 months and I'm having an emotional crisis because all I see throughout catalogs and wedding websites are thin brides who are wearing their size tiny dresses... I thought I would get some inspiration by going on to a website I'm a part of and checking out photos of larger brides. Well, I wish I had never done that because I saw a few with bulging hips and thighs, back fat coming over their bodice of the dress, and other sights which made me feel really bad about myself.

If that wasn't enough, I ordered scales to help me along this process and they came in today. Turns out, I weigh more than I thought I did and that sent me crashing down in the moods. I'm so grateful for my fiancee as I know he completely loves me for who I am and patiently listened to me as I moaned and groaned out my complaints today, however no matter how much he loves me for me, I see me for me, and what I see isn't what I want to see in a white dress!

Perhaps I am on the right track to getting this weight off but it hit me today, maybe I'm not doing enough? Maybe I need to be walking more or doing more aerobics. I don't know. I'm having a really hard day today and I'm trying to talk it out, but it's not working. I'm a wreck. My friends want to go try on wedding dresses and bridesmaid dresses, but I dread it! I have my dress picked out already, I know it will fit as they make it in larger sizes, but I know that dress is not going to look the same on me and I'm devastated. I know his eyes will love me in whatever I wear, but when those doors open and I walk down the aisle, all eyes will be on me and I'm having a huge problem with image right now.

I have nine months, every day is a new day, and I will continue to go as I am now. No cheat days, no lazy days, no pills nor surgeries, just keep pushing it and working on my self esteem. Today, I'm having a mini pity party and it's getting me no where fast.

June 18, 2012 -- Food Facts

This morning I woke up hungry! I make a joke when my stomach is growling in the morning that I'm so hungry my stomach is eating itself, hence the sounds it makes. I try to eat no later than an hour when I wake-up, otherwise, I find it hard to get those last few calories in for the night. So this morning, I cooked breakfast for my sweetie as he was over and for my daughter. While they got the biscuits, my plate was simple. 3 slices of Butterball Thin and Crispy Bacon, sausage, and eggs which I squirted some mustard on.

Dinner, I simply had a salad, perhaps what you'd call a chef salad. Details below, of course. This salad, I added one of the hot and spicy 100 calorie packs of guacamole for extra calories and simply because I love that stuff. As you noticed, I'm no where near making my calorie mark at all, so the extra calories, plus the nutrients, it's definitely worth the great taste it added to my plate tonight! 

The past few days, rather than buying bagged salad, I've been using iceberg lettuce. Typically, I don't buy this lettuce as there's no nutrients whatsoever in it, however I get burned out on lettuce so easily that I have to mix them up, so for a few days, this is what we'll see. I'll probably get baby spinach leaves in a few day for a change of taste and texture. It's best for me to rotate them out in order to avoid burnout or to gag on my salad as I've done before!

I see that I had this saved but incomplete, so I'm just posting it and cut/pasting without any further information. This is the night I walked my first mile since being back in gear!

It's Hard to Eat Enough!

I'm sitting here eating my lunch, which is another salad with chicken which I smoked on the grill last night and then entered the information in my LoseIt profile online. I'm finding it very hard to get the calories in that I should eat. You may remember in a previous blog how I mentioned that you can't judge a person by their appearance, let me give you a prime example. Yesterday, I didn't snack again and I even missed breakfast. This is where our metabolism problems come into play and unfortunately with mine, not playing very well at all.

In order to lose weight, you have to eat, you can't skip meals contrarily to belief. In order for our metabolism to properly work, we have to feed it the proper fuels. Does anyone else find this to be a struggle for you? You can eat all the salads you want, you can eat all the healthy foods you desire, however, if you are skipping meals and not snacking on healthy foods, your metabolism goes into a panic mode and your body will again, store fat.

There's no reason I'm not eating enough, because I have the foods available, but I think my mouth gets tired of chewing, my mind gets tired of thinking of food, and I'm just not hungry as my previous meal kept me full. One thing I was explaining to my friends on Facebook last night, I can make a salad of 700 calories, more if I put cheese or guacamole on it and that fills me up. I've made the salads smaller and was hungry within an hour, so I don't want my body becoming dependent on eating every hour.

What are your struggles with your plan? Please share your obstacles and how you overcome them.

Monday, June 18, 2012

June 17, 2012 -- Food Facts

Somehow I missed posting this last night, again, I'm going to work on that so that I'm not late. I slack when it comes to blogging, but it helps me stay on track when I have readers standing behind me. Most of you are my Facebook friends and I definitely appreciate your support.

On we go... I cooked out last night for dinner and as you can see, I skipped lunch. It was Sunday and it was hard enough getting myself to eat breakfast before church. By the time we got home, it was near dinner time, so a meal was skipped. I snacked on some high calorie pepperoni last night, trying to compensate the last calories, but not sure how well that worked out to be honest. I don't like to sleep on calories.

You'll see my "shopping" listed as an exercise. In a previous blog, I mentioned to you about the new app I have on my iPod Touch. I set it to start before as soon as I stepped foot out of my truck and left it on the entire time until I got back to my truck.

Calories: 1,712
Net Calories: 1,538
Carbs: 12.3
Net Carbs: 10.1 (Carbs - Fiber= Net Carbs)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 16, 2012 -- Food Facts

I'm late on getting these posted, but yesterday for breakfast, I made an omelet which consisted of eggs, mushrooms, cheese, and onions and then topped it off with a bit of sour cream.

By lunch time, I wasn't hungry and tried to put it off a bit longer, but it wasn't coming so I went ahead and ate a little something in order to keep my body properly metabolizing.

 Dinner time was the best last night as I was hungry at that time. The Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites and it was also my first time with ocean perch. I usually buy tilapia but my daughter states it doesn't have enough flavor for her, therefore I tried a different whitefish and it's a winner. She loved it and so did I.

Snacking yesterday wasn't as good either and because of my lack of appetite, my entire day didn't come out very well. I need at least 2500 calories a day based on my BMI and I have a very hard time eating that much. My biggest habit in the past was eating only once a day.

I did a 15 minute workout yesterday as I'm still out of shape and then I did a 20 minute walk last night. At this point, burning some calories is better than no calories and I definitely plan on upping the walks and workout gradually over the next couple of weeks. I burned 210 calories yesterday from the walking workout video and the slow walk outside.

Calories: 1,280
Net Calories: 1,070
Carbs: 37.8
Net carbs: 29.6

Saturday, June 16, 2012

E is for Engagement

Friday, June 8, 2012 was a beautiful day outside. I woke up that morning with excitement in my heart as all week, my sweetie was talking about his plans he had for me as it was my birthday weekend. Although it wasn't our date which caused this excitement, I hadn't seen him in ten days, and the anticipation to be in his arms had been eating me up. When I finally did see him, I nearly tackled him as I was so excited to feel his touch, to feel his lips on mine, and to smell his neck which was lightly scented with Polo Black. Oh, to love and to be loved, it is a magical feeling!

After getting settled in the vehicle, he picked up some food, and we ended up at Freedom Park here in our town. Oddly enough, I've been here in this town for almost three years now and not once have I been to the park, other than driving in the lot to turn around and come back out. We situated ourselves under a tree at a picnic table and enjoyed our meal as we talked about missing one another. His phone rang in the middle of the meal and I heard him telling his father he couldn't talk right now as there were ears around, so I'm thinking, okay, he's got secrets. I let it go and thought nothing else of it however.

Once we finished our meal, we walked around a bit, talked, he laughed as I jumped from spiders and fought off sweat gnats, but holding hands and a few snuggles made us feel as if we were in the clouds. It was such a lovely day to be outside with him, hearing the children scream from the ballpark and swings squeaking from the little ones on the playground as they laughed and screamed in delight. Little did he know, my heart was exploding in joy the same as those children on the swings because being with him brings that out in me.

If you're following my blog, I'll admit to you, I've never felt this in my life. I've had what I thought was love, I've been married before, and I've dated plenty but no man has ever swept me off my feet and kept me off them in all my thirty-eight years. As you recall, a recent mention in my "Changes" blog, you'll remember me speaking of God bringing me to my new town for someone special? Well, it's true. Let me give you this story...

When I was on the highway, coming to NC, I prayed a lot over those 500 miles and talked with my daughter as well. In conversation, my daughter and I talked about what our new life would be like and how I wasn't going to be dating once we settled down, but that it would be the two of us planting new roots in our new town. She was still asking questions about what her new life would be like, how school would be if she chose to go as we were homeschooling, etc... I told her I felt it would be best for her to go to school in order to make friends and not be excluded as she didn't know anyone. 

Also, on those 500 miles of highway, I forgave myself for the lifestyle I had lived in for several years after I had split up with my ex-husband and then asked God to forgive me as well. God and I had a long conversation on the way to NC, but I stepped foot in my new yard with peace in my heart. As a matter of fact, those first couple of weeks, it was my daughter and myself, learning our way to Walmart and to the grocery store. It was scary venturing out the first couple of times, but we figured it out rather quickly.

Amid our explorations, I was working from new home with a new call center job I had acquired right after I got to NC, and chatting online via Facebook as well as I changed my zip code to match my new town and immediately, on Tagged, I began receiving friend requests from local men. Mind you, I wasn't here to meet a man and declined all of them. Another day I had logged in, there were more requests, and again, I declined them... all but one. For some reason, one of them, I couldn't delete. I left it sitting there for a couple of days, then went back on the site and checked out the profile. Interesting how this man had a sense of humor, he was handsome, he enjoyed the same types of Gospel music I enjoyed, and he was a Godly man. I wasn't completely sold on accepting his request however, so I logged out.

The very next day, I logged back in and went back to his page. I listened to his playlist for a few moments and thought to myself rather I should email him or not. Finally, I did with a subject which simply said, "Hi neighbor". This simple email with a subject and two lines of saying hello and telling him I was new in town started off a major chain of emails. First they were short containing only a few lines, then into full paragraphs, and before you knew it, our emails blasted into page long conversations. This went on for a couple of days until he asked if we could speak on Yahoo Messenger... and so it started. He intrigued me, his morals were different yet amazing, and his conversations were serious at times, funny at others, and silly at other times and yet, each time a message would come through, I'd sit at the computer with a smile from one ear to the other.

Even though he and I were talking, I had also come in contact with a friend of mine who was living here in NC as well. He wanted to come visit and I saw no problem with him being here, so I allowed him to come over. He stayed a couple of days and the whole time he was here, I was unable to talk to my new friend online as we used the computer to watch movies and surf the internet. By the time he packed his bag out of the living room and headed back to where he came from, I was exhausted from not being able to talk with my new friend! The minute he was gone, I jumped on the computer to talk to him and my smile had returned.

At this time, I had also realized how much time and energy my new friend was taking up and let him know if we planned on meeting, then we needed to do so otherwise, I'm going to have to back off these notions of how we wanted to get together and see where things went. Up to this point, we hadn't talked on the phone either, but we decided we would meet up on a Thursday as he had other obligations. On Wednesday, we talked about being excited to hear one another's voices but he feared I wouldn't like him because he stuttered. I told him I wasn't concerned about his stutter as I know too well about stuttering as I grew up with a stutter and still at times, stutter to this day, so it wasn't going to bother me.

We had our first conversation the night before we met and he wasn't lying about stuttering because the first couple of hours, I wasn't sure he'd be able to get through the conversation! However, the more we talked, the more he was able to talk and we stayed on the phone for nearly seven hours. The next day, I worked as usual, he went to school as usual, and then it was time. Butterflies danced in my belly with excitement of how I'd finally get to meet the man behind the screen. If you've ever danced on a cloud, then you will know how I felt the first night of meeting him. We joked how we would give each other a big bear hug when we met in person and that we did. His hug felt amazing where I almost didn't want to let go of him, but then we sat and talked. I'll admit, I was completely mesmerized by him, in awe of his handsomeness, loved how his silky voice melted me, and to be honest, I wasn't sure I'd come off that cloud.

Apparently, I hadn't. I'm still on that cloud two years and ten months later. Everything hasn't been perfect, we have crossed quite a few hurdles thrown in our way or even hurdles which were purposely encountered. There's been a lot of laughter, moments of joy, and a few tears of sadness and heartbreak, but when you realize you're meant to be with someone, you work through your obstacles and build from it yet you set boundaries and expectations on what you will and will not deal with. From the beginning, it was made known I wouldn't deal with drama, cheating, lies, or ex-girlfriends just as he wasn't one to deal with drama, cheating, or a couple of other unacceptable fouls. After going through storms together and growing stronger through them, we realized just how much in love we were with one another and began to talk about the what-ifs regarding our future and being together eternally.

There are a few things which made me understand my move to NC much better as time went on in this relationship. You may recall my saying that I had a whisper in my ear which told me I was moving to NC. I didn't plan this move here nor did I ever see myself living so far from home, but I'm here and thankful I am. I didn't know my sweetie when I first moved here as I met him almost a month after I got here, but he has told me several times how he spent five years praying to God to send him an angel. Does it all make sense to you now? God brought his angel to him, one which came 500 miles from her life to be placed in his life.

Now that you have a background, back to this perfect Friday evening. We had walked and we had talked. He hugged me up and told me how much he loved me and how he had spent all his life searching for his missing rib and now he felt whole that he had me in his life. He brings tears to my eyes when he talks to me like that, as a matter of fact, I get so filled with emotion at times when we talk about our lives together or how much we love one another! We sat down on the picnic tables and prepared to watch the sunset, then we started talking again. He kept telling me how much he loved me and then reached into his pocket. My first thought was he was getting the keys so we could leave, I looked away for a moment to see the position of the sun, but when I turned around, he said, "Tonya, will you marry me". 

My emotions are crazy at times and I started laughing and choking back the tears, I grabbed a hole of him and hugged him, saying "Yes! Yes! Yes!" repeatedly and said, "It's really real now, isn't it?" And cried my eyes out. When he put the ring on my finger, I cried even harder, saying yes yes over and over, telling him I love him, etc... I sat back to look at him and said to him how when we first met, neither of us wanted marriage in our future, then said to him, "God sure has a way of changing our minds, doesn't it?" and he said, "Our plans aren't always what God wants". Amen to that!

We had talked about marriage back in November, even talked about getting married in March, but after a few months of talk, I had slipped it to the back of my mind as I didn't know if he were just talking or being serious. With a ring on my finger, I know it's real now. We'll hopefully get to talk to the pastor tomorrow about setting the date in stone, but if all goes well, we desire to marry on March 16, 2013.

And here is the beautiful ring in a picture. I can't stop looking at it, sometimes I look at it and just cry all over again. It's beautiful, it's like the kiss of Jesus on my hand! I'm so grateful to God for bringing me so far away and look forward to my future with my sweetheart.

Proverbs 18:22 He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.

A Pedometer that Works!

How many of those clip-on pedometers do you own? I can count for of my own right off but I've always been disappointed with them. I'll use them for a while and toss them off to the side. For a while, I was using the Nike+ sensor with my iPod Touch, but the sensor gave out and I didn't want to get another one, so I was simply winging it without. I'm on a mission to burn as many calories as I can in the next months, so I decided to check out the app store on iTunes. I highly recommend the Arawella pedometer! You can get the free version or the $2.99 version which includes more features. Anyhow, this pedometer accurately tracks your steps as well as your miles walked and calories burned! You can put your current weight as well as your goal weight, your measurements, and your idea measurements. This app tells you what your BMI is even and you can check your pulse rate before and after your walks. The app allows you to create a playlist to use while your walking and it also has it's own screen locking feature as if you use the one on your phone/iPod, then it will shut the program off. I'm quite pleased with it and wanted to share this information with you.

You can click the link above and visit the app store for more information. Or just click here.

June 15, 2012 -- Food Facts

Breakfast can become boring if you eat the same things every day. I try to change it up and sometimes will eat foods that aren't even considered breakfast, such as leftover smoked chicken or something. This morning, I was in the mood for cottage cheese and blueberries.

Today's lunch was one of my favorite dishes, though I'd have to admit, long ago when I was a child, my mom would make this with hot dogs and we'd pile it on top of mashed potatoes. Of course, I try to eat as clean as I possibly can as an adult, so I don't eat mashed potatoes and only time I eat hot dogs is if I  grill them on occasion. For this dish, I saute the onions a bit first, then add in the smoked sausage and let that cook together. While it's cooking, I rinse the sauerkraut as I don't like the taste out of the can and then add it into the pan. It cooks for a bit then I pour in 1/2 cup of chicken broth and let it cook for about 8-10 minutes on low to meld the flavors together. It's one of my favorites!

Dinner was great tonight! My daughter and I were trying to figure out what we wanted and both decided on salads. She didn't want a taco salad however as she prefers hers with ham, but I went ahead and cooked up some ground turkey, added in chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and some cumin for my own version of taco seasoning, then added that to my salad which you'll see below what I added to it. I wanted to put some onion in, but changed my mind as onions aren't so nice to me.

And for the snack list, simple, hardly at all.

Totals for the day:

Calories: 1,740 burned approximately 344 through an aerobics video for 30 minutes.
Calories (net): 1,396
Carbohydrates: 48.6

Tomorrow my goal is to burn 350 calories and to consume less than 40 carbohydrates.

D is for Darkness

The letter "d" is versatile today as many thoughts crossed my mind such as divorce, dieting, deadbeats, and deliverance, but darkness seems fitting as you read through this blog and attempt to connect with me on a deeper basis.

If you sat next to me on a bus, carried on a conversation with me and laughed together until our stops came about, you wouldn't know that I carry I deep, dark past, but I do. Perhaps you caught a glimpse of the darkness as you read my first blog in this challenge in regards to the anger I used to express blindly. If not, looking at me now and thinking of me then, I have to thank God for deliverance! Okay, perhaps to "d" words will fit this blog today, but I'm focusing on darkness.

I'm going to keep my personal writings based on my adult life as to not offend anyone throughout my childhood as I don't feel it would be right to do so. Starting in my adult life, however, I'm going to take you back around the time I was eighteen years old. Things were going really well for me at the time, I was living with my grandparents and paying them rent, buying my own food as I was working two jobs and going to school. I moved into my grandparents after I was forced to leave my childhood home at the age of 18, a few months out on the streets, a couple more months with a friend, and a month with my father... none of which worked out of course, or I wouldn't have moved in with my grandparents. I was enjoying life and having fun. My best friend at the time helped me get my license by using his mother's car so I was able to buy my first car, a 1981 Chevy Chevette (remember those?).

I finished my GED courses and was awarded my "good enough diploma" as I would refer to it as and began to pursue my dreams of going to college to become a music teacher. Everything was working out so well as I had a school offering me a full scholarship based on my music abilities, however, rather than taking this opportunity up, I had met my now ex-husband and threw it all away by moving to Evansville. When you're 19 years old, I've learned, you can't distinguish the difference of being in love with someone, a sense of belonging, lust, or images of running away into the sunset to begin your life in a new direction.

If only I had listened to my grandma as she repeatedly told me not to leave, to stay with them and finish out my schooling, then perhaps my life would've been on a completely different track. Would I go back and change it though, no, because my past made me who I am today and got me where I am today. It's the past, it stays in the past, however I do believe God gives us each our own personal experiences in order to remind people that He never gives up more than we can handle and that we can make it through as He never leaves us.

Life always has it's way of throwing curve balls at you and mine definitely did so. Those first few years with my ex were anything but pleasant. It started off with him not wanting to work but rather lay up and play video games which caused us to live in a rundown motel room for quite some time. I was miserable. I remember when he finally did get a job, I would come in from work into that horrible place and wallow in depression. I was homesick and a part of me wanted to go home to my grandparents, but when I start something, I seek to finish it.

We finally got out of there as I made him get a job and keep it or I was leaving, plus we were pregnant with our daughter, whom was planned in the mind of a 19 year old along with him as I wanted to start a family while I was young. Our first apartment wasn't too hot either as it was a one bedroom furnished apartment with rundown furniture and no a/c. It was also that first apartment of ours that the violence had begun as he had cheated on me while I was away in KY at a baby shower. Now, I don't know about you, but I can definitely remember the pain of that first heartbreak when you learn you've been cheated on. It's the most horrible feeling in the world, it's almost as if you're in mourning for your soul which has been murdered. When I learned of the incident as we all had worked together, I went home and confronted him, leading to what was my first shove into the wall while in my 7th month of pregnancy.

The violence never subsided and I dealt with it for years, eventually gaining my own strength to fight back in a manly way. No, this wasn't any way to live, but it was my survival instinct to make it through.  I knew my life wasn't headed in the right direction. I had married the man when I was 22 years old and our daughter was 2 1/2 although people told me it was the dumbest move I could make. However, again, when I start something, I seek to finish it. We had also had long extensive conversations about how he wanted to change his ways and be a man about his family. Naivety and hope lead me to believe him, so I married him thinking our lives would be different.

Unfortunately, nothing changed. By the summer of my 23rd birthday, I was in the darkness era. I only left the house to go to work, but my depression deepened so much that I left my job to pursue work from home, which at the time was scouring yard sales in order to turn a profit on eBay. I was doing very well as I had later went into purchasing wholesale products and selling those on eBay and then even began to buy bulk loads of closeouts to sell as well. Financially, everything was going great, but violence and depression lingered around the walls of our home, which affected everything I did.

There are some with the mindset that there's only so much you can deal with until you escape. My self-esteem was so low from his words that I believed within I'd never make it on my own if I divorced him, he made me believe I was a terrible mother, and therefore between the emotional and physical abuse, plus a medication I was taking which is now said to cause suicidal thoughts, I attempted to take my own life. I ended up in the hospital for a while, medications were changed, and therapy was administered. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as well after testing and observance.

After leaving the hospital, he had improved his actions for a few months, but there's a honeymoon period in most domestic violence cases and ours had plenty of them. My medications in combination with therapy was improving my day to day life as well... so for once, I thought everything was going to be okay but the darkness came back as he began to cheat on me yet again and this time with someone he forced into our home and I had become friends with, unknowing that they were sleeping together. This time, I wasn't as devastated as before because there were actually a few other instances in between the first one I wrote of and this one I'm writing about now, however, it was a different disappointment. The girl he had cheated with this time was someone he asked if we could take under our wings for Christmas and help provide their children with gifts and I agreed as my charitable heart was for the children to smile at Christmas time.

When I learned of the discrepancies in their relationship, I was crushed for several reasons as things were almost normal at home again, he couldn't handle the stress of two relationships so he became violent at home, and finally, because I had become friends with her and her husband.  I didn't speak to him for weeks although we lived in the same house and I even put him on the couch as I didn't want him anywhere near me, but he knew as well as I knew, it wouldn't be long before I accepted him back into our room and would continue on as if nothing happened. On the outside anyhow, on the inside, I was already dead so there wasn't much more he could do to destroy me.

I began to go to church, learning of my self-worth and value as the pastor had given a sermon of how others will do anything to tear you down when they are full of Satan's spirit. The whole sermon seemed as if it were written for me and our home life. As I began to go back to church on a regular basis, I began to come alive and feel worthy again to the point one spring afternoon, I decided I wasn't going to take my medications anymore and flushed them down the toilet. After three months of cold-turkey symptoms from going off the medication as well as prayer, the darkness around me lifted. I began driving again as I hadn't driven in 4 years up to that point, and even started school. My independence endangered my well-being though because now when he'd become violent, it was worse than ever and even an attempt to knock me down the stairs at one point.

Although the darkness had been lifted, the danger hadn't, and I knew I had to get out of the situation. Eventually, we both admitted that our relationship was over and though we lived in the same home, we went our separate ways. He slept with anything that walked and I was working to get my life together so I could get away and that I did.

There's a bit more to this story, but it would be almost book-length if I were to write it. I'll just say that after several years of dealing with him and his in- and outs after we ended the relationship, he attempted to choke me to death in January of 2008 in my house one night. As I watched my life flash through my eyes, I prayed to God to let me live, to let me out of that situation. I was powerless in the beginning of that struggle that evening but the strength was given to me to get him off of me. It was that point I knew major changes were to be made and I filed for the divorce. Divorce was the only way I would be able to keep him away from me because without it, the police wouldn't do anything to protect me since we were legally bound together. I couldn't even make him leave the house, regardless if he were living there or not because we were legally married and he had mail delivered to my house!

Once that divorce was final however, I was able to fully reclaim my life and to keep him from harming me ever again and at that time was my darkness completely removed from my life. There were several suicide attempts in my life with him as I was so far into despair, I knew no other way out. I survived through it all however as God has a plan with all of us. It wasn't His plan to see me being abused, broken, or destroyed as He never left my side through any of it, but there's a plan for me. Perhaps just sharing this story is part of the plan, one which will let you see your own situation and take that first step of seeing yourself out of the darkness. Pills aren't always the answer, but God is and He can protect you if you allow Him to.

Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Encourage yourself, pray about your situation or your darkness, and He will see you through. I'm thankful today that I'm able to sit here and write bits and pieces of my story as I could've died over the years rather at my own hands or the hands of my ex, but I am a survivor as it's God spirit which enable me to survive.  God bless.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June 14, 2012 -- Food Facts

Breakfast was simple. For those who haven't read before, please remember, I don't follow any diet plan, I do however zero out processed foods as much as possible as well as sugars, potatoes, starches, etc... as I have PCOS and keeping my carbohydrates and sugar intakes low, I'm able to manage the symptoms better. What works for me may not work for you.

Today's lunch consisted of turkey burgers with romaine leaves rather than buns and with Wholly Guacamole's spicy 100 calorie pack as well as a salad with tomatoes, cheese, and ranch dressing. The turkey burgers, it took a while to find a brand I liked, I'll give credit to Philly Gourmet for making the best on the market!

Tonight's dinner was plain and simple, yet delicious. I'm going to look into making my own honey mustard dressing/dipping sauce however as this one has a bit much sugar in it. 

I didn't snack but once today and when I did, it was blueberries and cottage cheese. I sprinkle about a tablespoon of Splenda on the blueberries and shake them up until you can no longer hear the Splenda moving around, then I add in the cottage cheese. My favorite way of eating them.

My totals for today were:

Calories:  1,832  (Goal is approximately 2,500)
Carbohydrates: 45.7 (Goal is 50 or less)
Protein: 125g

C is for Changes

Thank you for stopping through to read today's topic. I'm a few days late as something big has taken place, which I will share in a couple of days. All the excitement and chatter that's been going on, I haven't had a moment to think about topics. But today, I'm writing about changes.

Too often in our lives, we fear change simply because our minds are set upon failure, what-ifs, and the opinions of others. It may be a small change, such as a new hairstyle or a major change, such as a move across the country or a career change. Regardless, we are faced with changes at some point in our lives.

Do you know someone who's done the same thing every day of their life without a single change in their routine? I know a few people this way and when something offsets their day, they become anxious and irritable. Imagine that, every day of your life and performing duties, going to work, and whatever else it may be in your life, but you do the same thing every day as if you're a robot!

Change is inevitable in some situations. One of my most recent changes occurred by no choice of mine and it set me off path as I had become Sim-like. If you ever played the Sims, you'll understand. I was laid off from work as my job had been taken overseas. Over 600 of us went to work every day at the same time, we did the same job repetitively, and then it was gone. When we all met up again about a month later, we had a sense of humor about our situations, such as how we'd get up and go check the mail, some would walk their dogs, and others of us were absentminded and not sure what to do. It took me several months to actual realize my new life included not working, yet receiving unemployment benefits and waiting for our Trade Act benefits to begin so I could go to school. During those few months, I was numb, confused as to where my path would go next, and lazy. It took me a month to actually realize I was home now and that I needed to clean my house. I guess you could say, it was a change which hit me hard and confused me for a bit. To this day, I'm still a bit dazed by my situation, but I'm improving. It's hard to make a change like this when you've been working since you were 12 years old as a babysitter, into a regular job at 14, and haven't quit working since.

It's difficult to make adjustments to changes at times, however, being robotic in your life isn't going to get you anywhere either. A few years back, I moved 500 miles from home to a place I knew nothing about. My friends and family back home ask me why I did it, the only information I can say is that God sent me here. It's not every day someone whispers in your ear, "You're moving to NC", but it happened to me. God knew exactly where He wanted me and why He wanted me there. This was the biggest change I've ever had in my life to this point. When I was 18, I moved from Owensboro, KY, where I was born and raised, but I was forty-five minutes away so it wasn't major. However, being 500 miles from home, I can't get in my car and drive to my mom's house nor can my friends come over to hang out. I was completely independent at this point because I had no one but God and my daughter. The only person I talked to here was my landlord as he'd come by on a regular basis those first couple of weeks to check on us... other than that? I was alone.

My friends back home looked up to me. They saw that I was moved from a terrible situation and into a positive situation, yet these changes were rough on me. I was lonely! I had ended one job and started another and so I was dealing with that change as well. I worked from home as I had done since 1998 and therefore I wasn't going to work to meet new people so it brought me to a point where I simply prayed to God for some friends. He brought a couple of people in my life, one of which I'm still friends with to this day. Had it not been for her, I wouldn't have been able to get on my feet as her generosity and friendship gave me an extra leg when my vehicle broke down. Another person, our personalities clashed, so I pulled away from that one. Then my sweetie was sent to me and changed my life in so many ways. I didn't want a man in my life, but my plans aren't God's plans, are they?

Life has had it's up and downs throughout all the changes I've made or been forced to make. Thankfully, there's always been a way provided when rough times come along and I haven't had my power cut off, my gas has never been cut off, my rent has always been paid, and for the most part, I've been able to have internet. My water got snipped a couple of times but due to the cut-off day being the day before my payday, so it was taken care of right away. There's been a few times my fridge and cabinets were bare, but then something would come through and there would be food in them again. Finally, I made the choice to go to work outside the home where I was able to live a decent life and made some great friends, until the job ended, that is.

Change doesn't scare me anymore, like it used to. Isaiah 41:10 reminds us that God is with us no matter what it is we do or where we go, so I hold my faith and trust in God. There are about to be some major changes coming up in my life in the future, I feared them at first, but then I remember, well, if I have fear, then I don't have faith and my faith is in God so I know all will be fine.

If you feel the urge to make a change, pray about it, and go for it! I encourage you to do so.

Monday, June 4, 2012

B is for Binging

Day two of this challenge and binging is the word which came to mind amongst budgets, boyfriends and babies, neither of which I felt compelled to dive into as a topic today. I could talk about those nonstop, but one of the directions of this blog has to do with weight loss, therefore I choose binging for today.

Our country is getting larger and larger by the day. Statistics are thrown in our faces on a regular basis about the "fattest cities" or "children are fatter today than yesterday" and so on. And it's true. I'm a people watcher although I don't particular enjoy being the subject amongst other people watchers. By paying attention to my surroundings, it's rare to see a slender person anymore and when you do, it's almost as if you're seeing something which isn't real. Average sizes in this country have gone from petite to a size 14, a size which I aim for actually. But also, as a people watcher, I can't look at someone and determine the root of their obesity, just as you can't judge mine. I'll be open with you however and let you know, I'm obese for a number of reasons: PCOS, emotional binge eating, and possibly hereditary although I'm not too sure it falls through a gene line. I say that because although you may see an obese mother with obese children, it doesn't necessarily mean it's hereditary, but perhaps poor education. Unfortunately, my own daughter is overweight and it tears me apart. Although not diagnosed yet, all signs with her are also pointing to PCOS, but this is another story for another day.

In a previous blog, you may remember reading about my previous binges of Cheetos. This particular one stands out the most to me. Yesterday, you learned of my anger issues of the past which also lead to emotional distress. I can't begin to tell you how many times, at that point, that my emotional distress turned me over to binge eating sprees. I acknowledge this today and I avoid binge eating, but wish I could've done that before reaching my near 500lb mark. A few weeks ago, I was joking with my boyfriend, halfheartedly, that I was going to eat a whole cake, and this was in the midst of some stress I was going through. Honestly, had it been three years ago, I probably would have eaten a whole cake if it was within reach while going through this stress.

Stress binges are the worse! After demolishing a bag of chips, you become even more stressed because now you're feeling sluggish from the junk food and you're mad at yourself for eating it in the first place. Instead of doing something about your binge, this binge turns into another binge to cover up the feelings from the previous binge! Or when life is falling apart, comfort foods make you feel better, except when you binge and eat several pieces of fried chicken and a plate full of mashed potatoes, because now you feel bad yet again and you dwell over this too.

It's a cycle. It's a cycle that is extremely hard to break. One of the ways for me to break this cycle was to stop buying it. This doesn't always help because then I would just go out and buy it, so I started leaving my debit cards at home if I were to leave the house. I remember a few years back, I was running an errand during a stressful period and stopped to pick up some fried chicken. My intention was to only eat a couple pieces of this chicken and put the rest away. Before I knew it, my stress demolished that chicken! I also keep very little gas in my gas tank. I am currently unemployed due to company closure, no fault of my own, and therefore I don't need to keep a full tank of gas anymore. This decreases the likelihood of me going out and getting stuff I don't need because if I go, not only do I have to stop to get the items, but I also have to pump gas and I don't always want to go pump gas! Typically, unless it's Sunday, there's 1/4th tank of gas in my truck or close to the point the light will come on.

Recently in church, my pastor touched on a sensitive subject when it comes to overeating and how so many of us eat more than we need, which leads to sinful behavior. All of us do this, rather we are skinny or not. I know a man who is tall and skinny, but can easily put away 3 or 4 plates of food. (Don't you wish you could do that?) However, does this person really NEED that food? Whenever I eat, I try to keep that sermon in mind and remember that my body is a temple and I need to protect it. It's not always easy to do, but I find cooking smaller portions help me eliminate the need to binge.

The first thing we all need to do as binge eaters is find the root of the problem in order to tackle it. I knew mine was stress. After we find the root, we need to figure out solutions. Mine were to stop buying it, keeping the tank low in gas, and leaving debit cards at home. And then, we work on the problem. Easier said than done, but it can be done. I find myself in prayer a lot more these days to help me through it, but if you're a non-believer, you may want to consider therapy to help you through your emotional distress. Binging isn't a choice we make, it's rooted by something much deeper and until you find those roots, binging will continue to be your friend but your body's worse enemy.

(Edited to add a link explaining PCOS. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Day of "A" -- Anger

As you may have read, I was given a challenge to write every day, using the letters of the alphabet, one per day. Yesterday, I was going to write, but I wasn't feeling it but today my finger tips are burning to release the words on my mind.

Today's letter, the first letter of the alphabet, is A. A for anger. For many years, I lived with so much anger in me that I felt I was going to explode. I had anger towards those I grew up with, I had anger toward my exes, and I had anger towards myself because of the person I was becoming. Anger is like a ticking time bomb within you and can literally kill you. There were times when I saw someone or something which would provoke that anger and I wanted to break something or hurt someone! At one point of my life, I was receiving therapy for several years actually for bipolar disorder. This was the name the doctors had tagged on my explosive anger spells. I was treated with psychotherapy as well as medications, but imagine this... nothing was working. Instead, there were times when I didn't even know who I was or that I'd hide within myself, preventing others to know who I was. I became so withdrawn from society that I actually began using a grocery delivery service rather than going to the stores.

It took my years to understand why I was so angry, even angry towards God and shut Him completely out of my life. It was my environments that I was in, situations which made me feel helpless and as if I were trapped, unable to get out of them. These predicaments made me angry! When I wanted to get away, the feelings of entrapment held me back, so instead of praying for God's assistance to get me through, I acted out in fits of rage, lashing out at anyone who was within my reach. When you think of fits of rage, you're probably thinking, "Did she act as if she were a toddler and kick things?". The answer is no, it was worse. There were times my entire house would be torn upside down. Shelves loaded with VHS tapes thrown from their standing positions, couches flipped upside down, pans of food thrown across the house, and a few times, knives stabbed in to the wall. Ironically, although I was angry, I wouldn't ever hurt anyone in those fits, no one but myself. I ended up bruised and battered by my own ways at times from hitting walls or cars. And there were a few times, my anger went further, sliding me deep into depressive stages, stages that at times left me feeling deep in despair and suicidal.

I'm grateful to say, that I've forgiven all those who hurt me in my life, both past and present. I was delivered from the animosity I had towards them and I don't even think of it today, not usually anyhow. If the situations do cross my mind, rather than being angry towards them, I pray for them, praying that one day they will accept the truth of their transgressions and accept forgiveness themselves. They haven't done so yet, one in particular, whenever he gets angry or mad, he brings up the past and rubs it in my face as if I were in the wrong. I brush it off my shoulders as if it's dirt and know it's Satan trying to stir up strife in my life and move forward instead. I don't have time to be angry in this life. We aren't promised tomorrow and therefore life is too short to walk around mad all the time.

If you're carrying anger towards someone, pray about it. Pray about it until you're able to come to that point of forgiveness towards the person who hurt you. You can spend hundreds of dollars on therapy or you can talk to God. He's there for you and wants to deliver you from the anger you have towards your transgressors as well.

God bless!

Friday, June 1, 2012


I'm beginning to realize that I'm not the best at keeping up with tasks when I decide to start them. This blog has so much dust on it that when I opened it, I couldn't stop sneezing. I was talking to a friend about it as she carries on a daily blog about food menus and homeschooling. She has set me up for a challenge and I gratefully accepted it. She suggested that I write 365 days in a roll, but each day starts with a letter of the alphabet, however, to do so in order starting with A. She explained it could be an emotion (A=anger), an object (a=apple), or a person (A= Adam)... but to do it every single day. I believe that's a very neat idea and have accepted this challenge. Today is June 1st although it's still May to me as I haven't gone to bed but I will start posting these blogs. I love to write, I enjoy talking to others as well, so feel free to stop in and leave some thoughts and opinions!

See you later tonight.