Little Mama On The Prairie

A life and weight-loss journey.

Swago July Referral Bonus!

It’s summertime, and Swagbucks has brought a $5 bonus! Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash. When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $5 bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before 8/1/17. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. If you spend at least $25 through Swagbucks Shop* you’ll get another $2 (200 SB) bonus on top of the cash back you’ll get from shopping. If you have some shopping to do online, just go to Swagbucks first and visit the store through them. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but you’ll get SB points for every dollar you spend (on top of the bonus)! That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I’ve earned over $300! *You must receive your shopping SB before September 1st

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Swago: Winter Wonderland

It’s time for you to get a big SB bonus this Winter season courtesy of Swagbucks. This month’s Winter themed Swago board offers a possible 200 SB Bonus!

What is SWAGO you ask? It’s a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. When you complete a task, watch that square change colors like a twinkling Christmas light. You can then redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you’ve never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great way to learn how to use the site, and it’s a lot of fun!

Here’s what you need to know to get your 200 SB Bonus:

  • Swago will begin on Monday, January 16th at 12:01pm EST, make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Monday, January 26th at 3pm EST. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.
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$215 and counting!

Hey folks! My blog is switching gears temporarily. I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of our 4th (and final!) baby in April and hope to return to my weight loss adventure sometime after c-section recovery.

In the meantime, I’ve been spending a bit of my time earning a little spending money through a sweet little site called Swagbucks. I joined in mid-October and to date have already cashed out over $200 (you can choose to take gift cards to a huge variety of stores or straight up cold hard cash through Paypal). It’s just a cool way to earn a few dollars here and there on the side, maybe to save up for a vacation or an item you’ve been eyeing without touching the home budget. Take surveys, “watch” videos (I say watch cause I usually have my phone or laptop on silent and the videos running in the background while I do other things), earn cash back through online shopping, etc. There are a variety of ways to get your Swagbacks.

Feel free to click here if you want to give it a try!


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Still At It!

With three little ones underfoot, spare time is scarce and hard to find these days but just an update to say I’m still at my efforts to keep at regular workouts and mindful, healthy eating. I am now down 21 pounds since re-boarding this bandwagon and I am happy with how things are going. Slow but steady and heading in the right direction. In 15 pounds I will be down to the lowest weight I reached before becoming pregnant the last time. Seems like a good goal to reach before setting my sights on the next one.

I had a conversation with my kids at lunch yesterday. We often talk about foods and whether they are healthy, not at all healthy, or okay to consume in moderation and still be somewhat healthy. This time we talked about sugar and butter. How our body uses both and why “fat” is good for us in the right forms and amounts and isn’t what actually makes us fat but how sugar really is never good for us except for our enjoyment sometimes and how our body converts sugar to fat. The fact that my son also has poor teeth, our sugar conversations serve a two-fold purpose! Helping them to understand that treats occasionally are fun but are purely for the sake of a sensory enjoyment, not nutritional in any sense of the word and that is why we don’t have dessert or sugar drinks with every meal. I am still completely honest with my kids about how my poor choices and lack of understanding of healthy eating led to my obesity and why it is important, health wise, that I now treat my condition with proper nutrition and exercise. Whether or not I ever get “skinny” is not the point.

Remember way back when I said my daughter didn’t notice I was overweight yet, I was just her mom and it was just the way things were? I know, that was ages ago. My baby girl is almost 6 years old now and let’s just say, she’s not so oblivious anymore but it has led to some great conversations about health and body image. I am already noticing the negative influence of peers and media and the emphasis on being skinny but hopefully the messages I’m sending her on healthfulness and how our value is not rooted in our weight or what we look like will take root and overpower the negative messages she’s already hearing.

After this conversation, I made sure to repeat to my kids, it doesn’t matter what size any person is though, everyone is special and everyone is beautiful. To see if they grasped the concept, I asked if God loved skinny people most or “fat” people the most? Who was most special to God? I am so thankful that both of my kids answered that God loves both the same!

Hopefully, so will they.

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Guess What I’ve Been Up To?

I’ve been a little sneaky lately. Losing weight behind your back. I’m really not all that sorry for it either.

I’m happy to say I have a new accountability partner in place as well as a plan to keep on track. I am using my resources from Weight Watchers though I am not currently an active subscriber, along with my trusty old bike until my knees are ready to handle more vigorous exercising.

So far I’m down 10 pounds in the last 4 weeks. Not too shabby I say.

Here’s to getting back in gear and to great accountability partners!

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Hey! So I’ve done a couple of weigh-ins since my last post and I have not lost nor gained…but I also have not gone hardcore in making positive changes yet, working on small steps at the moment as I figure this 3 kids thing out. I have become more active, managing to get a workout in on some days and beginning the yard work on others. My back and leg muscles are telling me that they are getting used more and not very sure they like it yet. They don’t have much choice. I have also been making more of an attempt to put healthier food on the table than I had been for a while. Lots of room for improvement there too.

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Time To Come Back!

Hey! It’s been a while! Like a long while. Like long enough to have had a baby while. I admit, I’m disappointed I let myself get this far off track before coming back (stress + pregnancy will do that to you sometimes) but I am coming back and in the end, I think that is what matters.

Since I last posted, we have added a cuddly, cute little boy to our family. He has been a sweet addition and we love him to bits. Our daughter has almost completed a year of Pre-K in our local public school and the big boy keeps us on our toes at all times.

My three cutie-pies.

My three cutie-pies.

Today, I started my morning with my first official workout of the year and wow, yeah, out of shape doesn’t begin to describe it but that’s okay, a blob is sort of a shape and I’m committed to working on un-blobbing myself.

I have been mulling over the idea of gastric bypass surgery sometime in the next year or two, I’m still gathering information on this and welcome any feedback from any of you who have gone this route. I don’t relish the thought of another surgery (3 c-sections has been plenty in the surgical procedure department) but as I was working so hard to lose weight before giving in to the stress I was going through at the time, I had a few talks with my doctor and others about the lack of results from my efforts and this kept coming up as the possibly needed element in order to both reach my weight loss goals and keep them once I reach there. My genes are just not wired to get rid of weight once I have it, so my doctor tells me, hence I typically am rewarded half the results for twice the effort of my fellow weight-losers. So this is something I am thinking about, considering and might do after I am done breastfeeding the little man, so not for at least another 8 months or so – plenty of time to do what I can with the strength and willpower God has already given me.

So here I am, April 21, 2015, almost 3 months post c-section, back at 260 pounds (thankfully still 30 pounds away from my all-time high!) and wanting to get back into the jeans I was in before this pregnancy among other things, like having my lower back pain under control.

So who’s ready to cheer me on? Better yet, who’s ready to join me and get back into health? See you on the journey!

The three that make me "Mom"

The three that make me “Mom”

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Can obese parents raise healthy children?

My children are so precious to me. Yes, they drive me to the brink of insanity, occasionally make me contemplate becoming an alcoholic, and constantly have me second guessing what the heck it is I am doing being a mother. But I still love them. I want the best life possible for them. I want them to have the chance to live their lives to the fullest potential both spiritually and physically.

The most important thing I want my children to learn in this life, is to have a real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ. To know Him the way I have gotten to know Him and possibly even better than I have. To have an eternal perspective that things in this life are just things, they’re not worth holding onto with every fibre of our being but that we can live so much freer when we realize the things that are worth holding onto and the things to let go.

The second most important thing I want my children to learn in life is to look after their bodies. To take care of themselves so they can better use what God has given them to serve the people around them. Children do not possess the knowledge or experience to intrinsically know what is good for them and what is not. They need to be guided, they need to be taught. And the people they are going to learn from the most are their parents.

One thing that really, deeply saddens me is seeing my obese peers raise obese children. Every time I see this I hold back the urge to cry out that they do not have to be this way. Do they not remember what it was like to be the overweight kid at school? Do they not remember what it was like to have all the older relatives make they’re “clever” jokes of “do you get better food than your siblings or why are you so much bigger?” (Yes, many older folks have said that to me, usually in the romantic language of low german). Do they not remember the self-consciousness that came through the teen years when all their friends were wearing all the cute clothes and they were left in frumpy, baggy clothes to hide their figure? Do they not remember the nights of crying because they felt like no one was ever going to fall in love with THEM? DO THEY NOT REMEMBER??? And if they do, what on earth are they doing putting their own children through the same misery! Wake up people! Just because you and I struggle with obesity DOES NOT MEAN OUR CHILDREN HAVE TO!

When I started this blog, my daughter was still young enough to not really notice or care what the shape of my body was. She has grown up a little since then. She has asked why my tummy is so big. She has asked why my bum is so big. She has asked why my arms are so big. I chose to be completely honest with her and it has been beautiful. I told my daughter the truth. Mommy is so big because mommy did not eat enough healthy food and ate too much junky food like french fries, chicken nuggets, candy and cookies. Mommy also did not exercise enough when she was young. We then have had great talks about why we say no to too much sugary foods, why I tell the kids to turn off the TV and play outside, why we need to eat our fruits and vegetables, etc. I also always focus these conversations with my kids on health. Not beauty. Not self worth. Health. Obesity is a health issue. I have said it before and I will continue stressing, obesity is NOT a beauty issue. It is NOT a self worth issue. I think if as a society we could finally wrap our heads around this, people may have a lot more success at managing not only their obesity, but their issues with how they perceive their worth as a person. But that’s a whole different topic.

So how can obese parents still raise healthy children? Well, in my opinion, it starts with getting used to the word “no.” First saying no to yourself and the unhealthy choices you feel like making because, well, you’ve been in the habit of making them for years and it is hard to break old habits. Secondly, learning to say no to your child/ren. Children are experts at instant gratification. They want the things they want and they want them now. They want potato chips NOW. They want candy every second of the day. They want to eat meals that consist of fries, deep fried chicken nuggets and hotdogs. Every meal. They do not possess the ability to know that these foods CAN be eaten in moderation, on occasion and it not have a longterm effect on their overall health but that they cannot be eaten on a daily basis and not affect how their bodies function. When you say no to your child for the things they want, they very well may hate you for a moment (I know mine have) but they will love you for a lifetime. When you are tempted to give in to their screams (or whines) of “I want,” ask yourself this question, would you rather have a child momentarily angry with you now, or would you rather have an adult daughter/son who resents you for not teaching them to make healthy choices and giving them the chance to be the kind of person they could have been if they didn’t struggle with obesity?  Kids get over disappointment pretty quick. Adults tend to hold their resentments for life. What kind of relationship do you want to have with your children long term? What kind of life do you want them to live?

The flip-side of learning to say no to bad foods and habits, is teaching your children the healthy alternative to the things they want. Keep your fridge and fruit basket stocked with fruits and veggies that you know they like and occasionally introduce new ones. Most of the time (I’m not a drill sergeant, I do let our kids have “normal” snacks on occasion too), if the kids want a snack, they have to choose a fruit or vegetable. If they say no, the consensus is they are not really hungry and don’t need a snack. If they are truly hungry, they’ll go grab that banana and get over it. My kids hate cooked veggies. It’s a texture thing for them mostly. So if I am making cooked carrots for supper, I will save a few raw ones and allow them this alternative to the meal. They still have to eat a vegetable. They don’t get the option of not eating it when it is served. On the other hand, sometimes my kids eat so many fruits and vegetables from breakfast until afternoon that I don’t prepare a vegetable with the evening meal. I’m a busy mom too, I don’t like to make extra work for myself if I don’t have to either.

Sometimes, even healthy weight parents have children on the verge of obesity. I have the same message for you, especially if you’ve never struggled with weight and the associated health issues, please learn to say no to your child. Please teach them how to take care of their bodies while they are still young and forgiving. Please give them the best possible chance to live a full and healthy life. Remember to do it from a health perspective, not an image perspective. I have no idea if my son or daughter will struggle with obesity by the choices they make as adults, but you can bet your bottom dollar they will not struggle with obesity as long as they have me and their father to guide them through their growing years and that we will be watching carefully to nip in the bud any habits that would lead them down the road of a weight gain spiral.

I still struggle with obesity. I likely will my entire life. But I will not give up the fight to regain my health nor will I allow my children to follow in the footsteps that got me here, I will never wish that kind of struggle and pain on any child of mine.

One last side-note for anyone who has been curious of my long silence. It has mostly been related to not having the time or peace and quiet to be able to get my thoughts written down. I’ve written dozens of posts in my head over the past months but can never seem to find the time to get them out of my head. That, and weight loss is currently on hold as we are 24 weeks pregnant with baby #3! I hope to find time to share a few other of my thoughts in the coming months but the tracking and weight loss version of me is on hold until sometime next year, depending on how quick I recover from my c-section.

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Remember Me?

Wow, the New Year came and went a little fast. I didn’t intend to take quite this long of a break from blogging. In fact, I often “write” blog posts in my mind as I’m cooking, driving, washing dishes, etc. but they never seem to make it into type. The life journey is moving along. The weight loss journey is a long journey and it feels like I’ve been in a massive uphill battle for too long. The thing is, I’m still struggling with priorities. I’m still struggling to find balance and most days, it just comes down to the needs of the family, or my boss, coming before my own. I am struggling to stay on a regular exercise schedule though I’ve been trying to squeeze it in where I can…often a late night bike ride in the basement just before heading to bed.

Other areas of my life journey have moved forward like crazy. Thanks to our wonderful church ladies Bible study group and the Beth Moore study on David, along with our small group study on “Too Busy Not to Pray” by Bill Hybels, my spiritual journey has reached a new level. I am so thankful the Lord never stops calling us into closer fellowship with Him!

I have also discovered that I am a recovering postpartum depression victim. Right around my son’s second birthday, I noticed my depression begin to leave and that’s the point when I realized how very depressed I had become. Looking back, I wish I had sought medical attention for it more than just the once (my Doc convinced me I was not depressed at the time, just needed “better coping skills”.)  but I have also become thankful for the experience because it has taught me something about grace that I never fully realized before. I have now  experienced some of the exact things I was so judgemental to others about and let me tell ya, there is nothing like experiencing something firsthand to teach you a good deal about being compassionate to others. I hope I will never look at the mother of a screaming child with anything but understanding and compassion for the rest of my life! One of these days I will post about my depression in detail because I know there are many young mothers in the throws of PPD and you are not alone!

So that’s where things are at for now. I apologize for my long hiatus. I do not know how faithfully I’ll be able to keep up with blogging this year but as the Lord brings topics to mind, I will do my best to find time to share them with you.


I’ll be back…

Hey folks, just a note to say I’m taking a break from blogging, probably until the New Year.

I wish you all a happy and HEALTHY holiday season. Let’s all do our best to keep up with as much exercise as we’re able to cram in, and purpose to choose our foods wisely in the onslaught coming up. We don’t have to (or want to) meet back here with an additional 15 pounds in the New Year!

For anyone curious, I am still maintaining my weight, needing to find a way to make more time for exercise so it doesn’t start to creep back on me.

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