Little Mama On The Prairie

A life and weight-loss journey.

On deprivation…

You’ve just made a decision. No more french fries, or no more Pepsi, or no more carbs… what’s probably the first thing you crave and can’t get out of your mind because you want it so bad? Probably french fries. Or Pepsi. Or carbs. Or am I the only one with this problem? And then you eat everything in your house except the french fries, pepsi or carbs trying to avoid eating the french fries, pepsi or carbs and in the end, you eat the french fries, pepsi AND carbs all in one sitting. Again, maybe its just me…but I’m betting its not.

The problem with extreme dieting and depriving yourself of foods (and drinks) you actually eat for enjoyment is that it can make life miserable and you set yourself up for failure. I completely, honestly, truly believe that God created us to enjoy food. If eating was meant to be nothing but for the nourishment and survival of our bodies, why would He have placed taste buds on our tongues? Why would He have allowed us to differentiate flavours through our sense of smell? Ever noticed how boring and pointless eating seems when you’ve had a bad cold and can’t taste or smell a thing?

Then there is the documented fact that when you try to avoid something, it will be on your mind that much more. I’ve never been a huge bread eater. If there were dinner rolls served at a meal, I could take or leave them, no big deal. BUT, when I started Atkins (low/no carb, high protein) years and years ago, the only thing I wanted in my mouth was bread and butter. I could have given up every slice of bacon, every perfectly grilled steak for one stale bun with a slab of butter on it. What gives?

I know for myself, to be successful on this long journey to lose 100lbs, there HAS to be moderation. I have to be able to have a bit of chocolate now and then. I have to be able to eat a french fry every once in a while. I have to be allowed to drink a regular, full of sugar, ice cold Coca-Cola Classic or Pepsi with a slice of pepperoni pizza here and there. If I tell myself I can’t have these for a year, chances are I’ll have failed by the end of the week. And I have to be able to have at least one coffee a day, prepared just the way I like it, which includes sugar.

On the other side, when making healthier choices day to day, if I simply ask myself, “can I avoid the french fries today? Just today?” I usually can, knowing that maybe next week, I’ll have the opportunity again and if I really want them, I can have them. Or, maybe if I’m having a day where I really can’t see living without a single french fry, I order a small. And you know what? It’s enough, sometimes just having a few of my hubby’s fries is enough. Sometimes, I just need the taste and I’m satisfied. But every once in a while, I need the fries to myself. With the cheeseburger. And the coke. And if its really just “every once in a while”, that’s ok.

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

Approach treats and indulgences with maturity, not excuses. If you find yourself saying “It’s just [insert excuse].” to justify what you’re about to put in your mouth – you probably should toss it in the garbage can instead. Or work your butt off for an extra hour. On the other hand, if you’ve just had an awesome week, you’re on track for the day and you see some wiggle room available, go ahead, you deserve a treat. Just don’t over-do it to the point of ruining all the hard work you just accomplished.

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Q & A Day

You know, some days I am just stumped as to what to write about. Today is one of those days, so I’m declaring a Q & A day. Please feel free to use the comment section to ask any questions about me, weight loss, what’s up with the Easter Bunny laying eggs…you name it. Or leave a comment with a suggestion for a post topic and we’ll see if that greases some wheels.

It’s Tuesday, I’m on track, waiting for little dude to fall asleep so I can get on my bike.

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

Don’t deprive yourself. My daily “must-have” that I can’t live without? A travel mug full of freshly ground, brewed coffee, complete with a spoonful of homemade caramel and some milk. I did cut back to one mug from the two I was enjoying previously. I can’t live without coffee, and I love my coffee sweet.

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25 days and counting…

We’ve been travelling together on this blog for 25 days now. I can honestly say I am feeling better, clothes are fitting better than they did on February 1st. 6.5 lb. doesn’t sound like a huge loss but its a loss and that means I’m heading in the right direction. Having this blog in place and knowing many of you read on a regular basis has actually been super helpful in keeping me on track and I love it. I know writing about your personal life is not for everyone, but I can recommend this as a form of accountability to anyone who is looking for one.

I hope I haven’t been coming across as a “know-it-all” –  I have simply been sharing things I have learned from my own experience and sharing, obviously, my own opinions on things. I am open to hearing tips, tricks and facts if you have any to share. I invite you to use the comment sections of each post to share things that work for you, corrections to any facts I may have wrong, or whatever else you’d like to share. Consider this “our” blog, not just my blog.

I suppose one of these days, before I wake up skinny, I should take some “before” shots. I really hate those. I’m not sure I want to remember but I know people like to see the before and afters. What do you think, should I post some “before” profile shots and update along the journey? Do you REALLY want to see that? I’ll think about it…

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

Keep on keeping on. You can do this.

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Weigh-in Day

It’s Saturday! Today I am down just half a block of butter. But its still down!

This week I have been switching up my exercising which I believe has led to an increase in muscle, hence, not as big a victory on the scale even though I feel I’ve lost more. My clothes are fitting looser for one. What I did instead of working out at a moderate speed for a full 30-45 minutes every day, about midweek I started doing two 15-minute workouts at a more intense level. This came about somewhat by accident when I had a day that I knew would not allow me to spend an hour in the basement and I had to break it up into smaller chunks of time. I found I could “feel the burn” throughout the day longer when I worked out harder and multiple times and I kinda got hooked on the feeling. I was also strength training every other day.

This coming week I think I may try an alternating approach, 1 day a moderate 30+ minute bike ride, the next 2 intense short and so on.

By the way, if you haven’t noticed, you can now subscribe to get an e-mail notification from my blog. I think it sends it out a specific time, not necessarily right after I write a post but if you’re looking for something to remind you to come back and read, it’s above my little profile picture on the right.

Happy Saturday everyone and have a wonderful weekend!

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To spend or not to spend…

There is no question, the weight-loss market is a lucrative one. Pills for this, juice for that, shake it up here, shake it off there. Knowing when and what to spend money on when you’re looking to lose weight, especially a significant amount, can be very challenging. I hate that there is such a huge market for this stuff. I hate that I have fallen prey to it in the past.

First rule of thumb in the “Sara’s Bible of Weight-loss”, if it sounds too good to be true…it is. No gimmick will give you lasting results. Ever. If you have lasting results after using a gimmick, its probably because you made overall healthy changes to your eating and activity over the same period of time and that is actually what helped you lose the real weight in the first place. If something promises that you can “eat whatever you want and not exercise” and lose weight, it’s either a lie or not healthy for you. Think about that next time you’re tempted to try one.

Shakes are good for 2 things, in my opinion. A boost when you’re on the go and don’t have time to eat something healthy or to help break a plateau. That’s it, that’s all. Not a long term solution for losing weight and keeping it off. Be careful though, not all shakes are created equal. Of the ones I’ve tried, I currently like Visalus the best. Blended with frozen fruit.

What about a gym membership or exercise equipment? This is one area I DO believe in spending a little bit of money. I would go for either a gym membership if you live close to one, or a single piece of heart-pumping equipment to have in your home. I own a recumbent bike that I purchased through a Sears Outlet years ago. It has served me well. It is no where near top of the line and I think I paid somewhere between $150-$200 for it. Some people prefer a treadmill, others the elliptical. Try some out and find out which one you like best, then bring it home. This is to prevent days of inactivity when its raining outside or if you live in the land of perpetual winter like I do. I love to park my bike in front of a screen and watch something intense and interesting while I bike, the more intense the show, the harder I bike without realizing it. Kinda cool.

Another area I can honestly say is a worthy investment is a program that teaches you to eat well and journal food intake. For me, that’s Weight Watchers. There may be others out there but I have found Weight Watcher’s very simple and effective in teaching me to eat a healthy, balanced diet without any weird supplements. The online enrolment is relatively inexpensive but lacks the accountability factor of meetings so I recommend doing this with a friend…or write about it for the whole world to see on the internet. I love that Weight Watcher’s shows you how to eat real food, in a real world. Yes, I can still have a cheeseburger. No, I can’t have 3 cheeseburgers a meal, 3 meals a day, but I CAN have a cheeseburger when I want a cheeseburger. Which if I’m pregnant, is all the time for the first and last trimesters. It’s no wonder we called our daughter our “Nine-and-a-quarter-pounder-with-cheese” when she was born.

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

Make big EFFORT investments in your weight loss. Make small monetary investments. Here’s a general rule of thumb to keep in mind: If I pay for it, will I have either a product or information that I can keep for life? Or will I have to pay again for a re-fill in 30 days? Avoid paying for things that disappear and you have to refill…unless its prescribed by your doctor of course…or belongs in the produce drawer of your fridge.

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Two things I MUST share…

OK, so I have discovered (and fallen in love with) two recipes that I just have to share with you. One I discovered online, the other was shared with me after my Red Velvet Mug Cake confession.

So first, how about a 2-point version of mug cake as compared to the 22 I consumed a couple of weeks ago? Yes please! A friend shared this recipe with me over on Facebook and it is quite good. I have to admit, its not quite as rich and decadent as the Red Velvet I made but its definitely a worthy substitute and much easier on the waistline. You simply mix 1 box of Angel Food Cake mix with 1 box of any other cake flavour mix (I used chocolate fudge) and store the combined mixes in a ziploc bag or airtight container. Whenever you’re in the mood for some cake, place 3 Tbsp mix + 2 Tbsp water (or coffee like I did) in a coffee mug, microwave for 1 minute and you have cake! Top with some frozen yogurt or fat free cool whip and you’ve got yourself a treat. I made this last night for my family as well as my sister-in-law and her girls and everyone loved it. I dropped a few chocolate chips in the kids cakes. And some of my leftover homemade truffles from Christmas in the adult ones. I’ve also heard you can drop a few Tbsp of pre-made pudding on the top, don’t stir, microwave as directed and it will turn into a lava cake. I love recipes like this.

The other recipe I discovered is Whipped Oatmeal, which I found over at Can You Stay for Dinner?  I thought I was in love with oatmeal before! Fluffy, creamy and packed with protein without a ton of fat, this stuff was sooo good. Add the banana and peanut butter I mentioned previously and its just this luxurious bowl of steaming comfort first thing in the morning. Oh my grits and gravy.

Speaking of grits and gravy…I could really go for some Cracker Barrel right about now…good thing they’re all thousands of miles away.

oatmeal-19

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

It’s usually not too hard to lighten up your favourite recipes with a few tips and tricks. Using less fat to cook, switching to lower fat versions of items, adding higher fibre ingredients in exchange for low fibre. Bulking a recipe up with chopped or grated veggies. Take a look at how you usually prepare certain foods and figure out ways you can lighten it up. Or, send me your original recipe and I’ll send you a lightened version that I promise will be equally as tasty, if not better.

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Can I do it?

First of all, I apologize to anyone who was waiting for a post yesterday, it turned out to be an extremely busy day, most of which I was not home for. First we went to the auction mart to watch our calves sell that we shipped yesterday. We arrived too late to see ours but stayed a while to watch some others, kids seemed to like that. After that it was errands, lunch and hurry home to accomplish a few things before abandoning my family to see a movie with my sister-in-law. We saw Les Mis. At the Roxy. If you live in/near Saskatoon and have never been to The Roxy Theatre…go! What an amazing, beautiful experience. Oh, and I thought the movie was pretty good too.

So the other night, I was lying in bed thinking about this whole weight loss journey thing and whether or not I’ll really make it to my goal or if I’m just kidding myself. I thought of the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” From Phillipians 4. My thoughts then led to me thinking I really can’t do this, but God can do it….which led to thinking that, wait a minute, I think I’ve got that wrong. Now, don’t tune out because it sounded like I just said God couldn’t do something, hear me out.

When God formed me in my mother’s womb, he created me complete with a mind and a will, as well as a body that pretty much works the same as yours. For some reason, I chose to trash my body through the years, creating the weight problem I now deal with. God didn’t do that. I did. He didn’t make me fat. I did. But now that I have decided its time to lose weight, I want to cop out of the struggle by saying I can’t do it, but GOD can!

As these thoughts went through my head, I came to realize something. I CAN lose weight. I CAN make the choices I need to, to get myself back on the right path. God gave me the ability to lose weight, just as He gave me the freedom to gain weight in the first place. The choice is completely mine. Then I looked at Phillipians 4:13 again, “I can do all things through Christ who GIVES ME STRENGTH.” It doesn’t say anything in that verse about “I can’t – but God can”, it says that God will provide the strength so that I CAN! But I have to take the first step and decide that I will.

I’m glad I took that step a few weeks ago, and I’m continuing on, just step by step.

 

I just had to share this with you. We are Nacho Libre fans and couldn't resist the opportunity our son gave us for this photo.

I just had to share this with you. We are Nacho Libre fans and couldn’t resist the opportunity our son gave us for this photo.

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

Have you come to realize yet, that it has been your own choices in your life that have gotten you where you are? If that means a weight problem for you, then maybe its also time to realize that you have the ability to make the choice to reverse your situation. IF you want to.

 

 

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Monday mornings…

Anyone else find the weekends the hardest to stay on track? I know I do. That’s the time we typically manage to socialize with people…during the week we tend to just socialize with our babies and cattle.

Saturday was a “big” day for me. I wrote my first exam for the medical transcription course I’m taking. I was told by other students to expect it to take 5 hours…it took me just under 2. Hey, I guess we can’t all be as smart as me. Anyway, I took the extra 3 hours of alone time to do a little shopping and I even treated myself a tiny bit. By the time I got home from the city lets just say I couldn’t eat anything but vegetables for the rest of the day. Thankfully the day was mostly gone so it was no problem. I actually managed to go no more than a few points into my weekly bonus budget.

Then yesterday my brother-in-law cooked us supper. He’s a trained chef…need I say more? However, since I knew this was coming, I also managed to keep my points during the day quite low so I had a little wiggle room and again managed to just dip into the weekly bonus by a few points. Feeling pretty good this monday morning.

Now for a new-to-me job, helping my hubby with the cattle/calf sorting to prepare for last years’ calves shipping out this afternoon.

If I get the chance, I will be back later today to update with a tip…Happy Family Day everyone!

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Now that’s better…

I am pleased to inform you that the scale showed a 2 lb. weight loss this week! In spite of how I felt midweek, I guess this shows when you stick with something, you will get results.

Now off to take my first Medical Transcription exam!

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Visualizing the fat…

I have no idea why, but when I visualize the weight I lose, I visualize in pounds of butter.

Butter

When I think of losing 1 lb., it seems so small. Just one measly pound. BUT if I visualize a block of butter missing from my hip, somehow, the pound seems so much more significant. Now when I think of a pile of 100 blocks of butter…well, I wonder how I ever fit that many under my skin! I think once I’ve lost 100, I will buy 100 lb. of butter and take an interesting picture…or maybe I should just take my camera to the grocery store and not buy 100 lb. of butter.

On the topic of butter, by the way, I DO use butter, not margarine. Margarine is a [disgusting, tasteless] man-made, one-molecule-away-from-being-plastic fat, butter is a natural fat. I’m all for natural. 🙂

On a completely different note, I am totally on an oatmeal kick these days. Who knew you could make oatmeal in so many different ways? I was actually staying away from oatmeal for a while because I thought the only way I liked it was loaded up with brown sugar and milk. My latest addiction? Rolled oats cooked the old fashioned way on the stove-top (did you know instant oatmeal, even plain, is loaded with sodium?), stir in 1/2 a mashed banana, 1 tbsp peanut butter and a bit of milk. Slice the other half of the banana on top. Mmmm, and so filling its ridiculous. I’ve seen ideas for carrot cake oatmeal floating around…I just might try that next.

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with the week’s results!

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

Try oatmeal! It’s good for your heart, cholesterol, that sort of thing and keeps you feeling full and satisfied.

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