Monday, April 29, 2013

How are you losing weight?

I posted my weight loss on my Facebook status today.   For those of you wondering, it's 14.6 pounds in the last five weeks.   As expected, someone asked how I am doing "it".  The bottom line is eating better and moving more, but I know that's not the answer they wanted, they wanted something a little more in depth.

Today I'm going to talk about my morning routine and breakfast.

When I get up, I weigh myself.  I want to have an idea what is fluid retention and what is weight gain. I actually count my weight loss one day a week, but I want to know what my body is doing in the meantime.  (This doesn't work well for everyone, but because of some fluid retention problems in the past, a doctor suggested I do this.)

I start on making breakfast.  A few years back I found a crust-less quiche recipe that I have cut in half and often make for breakfast now.  I take 1/4 cup milk, 3 eggs, spinach (it's low in calories, so I don't skimp on it) and a pinch of shredded cheese plus pepper and garlic powder.  It tastes better with cheese baked in, but sometimes leave this out.   I mix this together, pour in a silicone muffin pan which I have prepared with a non-stick spray.  It bakes for 35 minutes at 380 degrees.  The original recipe was a little different, and it called for 30 minutes at 375, but I like my food very cooked, and just this side of burnt.

When I stick them in the oven depends on what exercise I'm doing that day.  I really like Walk Away the Pounds, and if I'm doing Walk Away the Pounds (High Calorie Burn 2 Miles) then I'll stick the eggs in the oven right before I start because the two mile section on this takes approximately 30 minutes.  (This morning I had five extra minutes before breakfast was ready.)  If I'm doing Walk Away The Pounds Express 3 miles, I pause the DVD player after one mile, and stick the eggs in then, and once again, when I'm finished, breakfast is ready.

This is what the eggs look like when I get them out of the oven:

Then I cut them in half, take a slice of 2% cheese and divide it among the 10 halves.  (Again, it's not much cheese but the cheddar peps up the taste and only adds 45 calories!)  Finally, I'm a West Virginia girl, so I grew up always eating ketchup on my eggs.  When I went to college in Tennessee,  some of my friends had NEVER heard of this.  To cut down on calories, I have switched from ketchup to salsa.  Plus it gives it added flavor.  I love spicy food at any time, so this is a great substitution for me.

In the coming days I'll discuss things like what I eat for dinner, eating out (and you'd be amazed how much more often I'm eating out now than before!  There are some healthy options out there!)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Keep Doing What You're Doing.

"Keep doing what you're doing."  Those are great words to hear from the doctor.

I've lost 13 pounds since I last saw the doctor, (I have myself down as losing less than that, but last time I went I was likely wearing a sweatshirt, and we're into t-shirt weather now, so that could account for a little of it.)

My blood work has improved (although there's still room for improvement) and he gave me the information I needed for Faith and Fitness Week.  I can't believe how quickly that is approaching -- in less than a month I'll be home from that!

It was nice to finally hear a GOOD report from the doctor, and I'm hoping this is just the first of many!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Don't Call It Fat Camp"

In my journey to lose weight, I decided to sign up for the Retrofit Ministries "Faith and Fitness Week".  In junior high someone called one of those ads in the back of Teen Magazine to have a brochure sent to me about a fat camp.  I was nicknamed "Short, Fat, and Ugly" in junior high and I never requested the information, so I know it had to be a fellow classmate.  Truth be told, I always wanted to go to a fat camp, so when I signed up for this, I kept thinking, "I'm headed to fat camp."

Last night Austin Andrews called me to finalize my payment for the week.  He was on Season 11 of Biggest Loser, so he totally understands what it's like to be the one made fun of in junior high. 

The moment I told him I posted on my Facebook status that I was headed to Fat Camp, he said, "Don't call it fat camp" and told me they were trying to get away from that image.  Instead, we're going to learn things like nutrition, how to deal with issues that caused us to become overweight, and work with personal trainers to find exercise we enjoy doing.  Instead of a last chance work out we'll be going on a last chance prayer walk.  Sounds like I can do it right?  Well, I know I can.

In February of last year I was tweeting during an episode of Biggest Loser, and Austin tweeted the following to me:

Believe me, you can! It will be the HARDEST THING you have ever done, but you can do this.

I wrote that down on a piece of paper and hung it on the wall of my bedroom.  I saw it daily.  Finally the day came where I hadn't lost anything, and I took the paper down and ripped it into pieces.

Last year was a bad year for me, I was in the hospital for 9 days on IV antibiotics and then on oral antibiotics from February through December.  I didn't feel like exercising or eating right.  Who feels like exercise when you are on antibiotics?  As for food, it's so much easier to stick a frozen pizza in the oven when you aren't feeling well than to chop up a salad.

But I'm ready to do this.  In fact, I am doing it!  Check out my weight loss ticker from the last month!

I also decided it was time to add something back to my wall. It has been months, so I decided it was time to make another.  This time since I'm doing the hardest thing I've ever done, I'll look at it as encouragement instead of guilt because I'm not doing something I should because I'm doing this and I CAN DO THIS!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Fill These Hearts Book review

FTC disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Have you ever read a book that was so profound you couldn't put into words what you just read?  That happened to me with  Fill These Hearts: God, Sex, and the Universal LongingNormally this wouldn't be a problem, but considering I was to write a review, the thoughts of what to write swam in my head because how do I decide an area in which to focus, and in fact I've stalled in writing this review because I kept hoping I could write a review worthy of this book, but I doubt that is possible.  With three sections of this book, Desire, Design, and Destiny, Christopher West takes us through a journey of what it means to have desires as a Christian.  The desires aren't limited to just those of a sexual nature, but ultimately whatever we desire -- fortune, fame, love, is satisfied when we are content with God alone.

The author has made a project of making Pope John Paul II's "Theology of The Body" accessible to a wider audience as he takes the hefty theological issues and explains them to the layman.  Not only is he gifted at doing this, his writing is beautiful, giving hope as well as strengthening faith.  His illustrations are ones that the average person can understand, using pop culture as examples to sometimes make his point.  It's rare I've seen a book have references to the Peter Gabriel, Switchfoot, and Saint Therese of Lisieux.

One of my favorite parts of the book was where Christopher West  discusses grace verses license.  Just because we CAN do something, does that mean we SHOULD?  Sometimes that's a hard line to differentiate.  An example of this is a couple decades ago I attended a Christian college where we were not to go to movies.  Yet, there was a 99 cent theater down the road.  I heard every argument as to why it was okay to watch a movie -- from "We are allowed to watch them once they are on VHS" to "I'm not a member of this denomination so I don't have to follow that rule."  I admit, I saw a Disney flick at the theater, and yes, I would have been in trouble if caught.  Yet, for all of us who broke this rule, I remember eating pizza with the yearbook staff and our editor who was already ordained in another denomination saying, "Just because I can walk into a theater doesn't mean I will. I signed a statement like every other student, and while enrolled, I will not go to a movie."  That man may have been young, but he understood the difference between grace and license as well as what the honor of his word meant.  Just because we are able to do something doesn't mean it's the best thing for everyone involved.  Twenty years have passed and I still think about him and the fact that he chose what was best based on that situation.  

This book was excellent, and even while reading it the first time I knew it would be a book I would keep and reread.  I rarely read a book more than once, so that alone tells the quality of the content and writing of this book.  It's something I'd recommend all Christians read.  While it's geared towards Catholics, I am Protestant and can't say enough about how great this book is.

FTC disclaimer:  I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did it affect my opinion of the product.

Watch the book trailer:


Monday, April 15, 2013

"This is Our Time" DVD review and giveaway

FTC disclosure:  I received a free copy of this DVD to give an honest review of this movie.


This Is Our Time is a Christian movie about five recent college graduates.  Two head off to India to work with lepers, one joins a prestigious finanical institution, another gets a great job in social media, and the fifth feels left behind as the rest of this close knit group of friends are pursing their dreams -- and he's left making sandwiches in a coffee shop since he didn't get into grad school.

I enjoyed the movie, however, I found it a little preachy at times.  I prefer Christian movies where the message is subtle, but I know that doesn't bother everyone.  This would make a fantastic movie for a church outreach as it does discuss things like God's will for our lives, God's plans, and death as one of the main characters dies in the movie.   Of course, the others deal with grief the best way they can.  As in real life they blame themselves, "If only I was with her" and "If only I hadn't called".  

As suddenly as life ends for one character, there's changes for three others.  Life isn't easy and this movie doesn't sugar coat things and even highlights the fact that just because we are Christians doesn't mean we are immune to pain and tragedy.

This would also be a good movie to show to a college aged church group as the focus is the future, what the future holds, and how God's plan for us might not be what we had in mind.  I think back to my final night at our campus ministry.  The seniors stood before the rest of the group and there was prayer, our campus ministry leader said he hoped in ten or twenty years he'd get great reports about what we were doing for God.  We had some do some seemingly great things from that group.  One is working with a ministry serving the poorest of the poor in Africa.  There's a fair share of stay at home moms raising children in a Christian environment.  But also, we have had our fare share of things not going as planned.  One followed his planned career path for a year, then went back to school for a different degree.  A girl had nearly died her junior year so we experienced knowing that we were not immortal even before our diplomas were in hand.  Of course, at least one of those twenty is divorced.  Life isn't easy and doesn't always go as planned, and this movie highlights that.  I enjoyed this movie and I think others will as well.

Connect with This Is Our Time:

"Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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Sunday, April 7, 2013

The year of (What?)

I did a "Year of Me" where I focused on myself.  Now I'm not sure what I'm in the middle of, but I feel like I'm in the middle of SOMETHING.

I'm decluttering.  That's a huge undertaking.  Most eBay sellers have a huge amount of stuff, and I'm no exception.  I want to decide what to sell, what to put in a garage sale, and what to just toss.  Not to mention the eBay stuff, I have papers from years back.  Recently I found my placemat from Kindergarten.  (Which I must add had the knife backwards.  The knife should face the plate.  Way to teach us how to set a table incorrectly!)

I'm trying to get to bed no later than 2:00.  Since I don't have a job with normal hours, I can set my own schedule.  This means in the past, especially in the days of dial-up, I often worked nights as Internet connections were faster then.

I'm also trying to lose weight.  I have tried so many times on this it's crazy.  I lose 60 pounds in 2006 but gained it back because of stress.  I want to lose it again, and more.  (Plus I want to keep it off this time.)

I have no idea what this project is I'm embarking on, but it's a huge one. 

In the meantime,  stop by my eBay auctions stop by my eBay auctions.  You might find something you can't live without and it will get it out of my house!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Book Review: Not Guilty

Not GuiltyNot Guilty by Teresa Pollard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Engaged.  Then raped by a masked man, and pregnant with his child.  This is the situation Carrie Shephard finds herself in back in 1974.  Her parents, knowing something is wrong, don’t push for details.  This seems a bit unbelievable because if I had a twenty-one year old daughter and her behavior changed so radically, I would want to know why!  Also unbelievable to me is the fact that the Christian university she attends doesn’t expel her for being pregnant.  I don’t say this lightly.  The Christian college I attended in the 1980s made a girl quit after being raped when she was pregnant, so for a school to be that open minded in 1974 seemed a stretch for me.

The story was great, but the dialogue didn’t seem true to life, nor did the fact that everyone seemed to be evangelizing every time they turned around.  Yes, Christians are called to make disciples, but it is rare that people actually share their faith.  I wasn’t also sure if I could believe a man would behave in the situation the way Joe, Carrie’s fiancé, did.  While we are called to forgive, he went above and beyond that.  I’m not saying a man couldn’t do that, but I question how many would do what he did.

True to what I believe would happen if this situation were real, there was a lot of gossip and lies spread in the church Carrie’s father pastored.  Given one of the main settings is a church, there will be a number of characters, but there seemed to be too many, and I was left just trying to figure out who was who.  In fact there were so many that after 189 pages of text, there were twenty seven  characters listed in the “Where are they now” epilogue.  I think the book would have flowed better if the main characters were cut in about half!  (Also unbelievable was when the rapist asked for a stronger sentence to show his remorse!) 

I did enjoy this book for what it is -- a work of fiction.  Usually I like my fiction a little more believable as I know I wouldn’t have responded as such), but it was still a good read and left me wondering what I would have done -- or what my friends would have done -- given the same situation.  There is a discussion guide at the back if you want to use it as a reading group selection.   If you are looking for a book with a unique situation, this is sure to fit that criterion.  I’ve not seen much historical fiction set in this era, nor with this subject theme.

Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I was cut by a public toilet seat!

On Tuesday I went to the dentist, and before my appointment, I went to the bathroom.  I sat down and felt a hard pinch.  I yelled "Ouch" but the friend with me didn't ask what happened.  I didn't realize until later the toilet seat cut me at that time.  What happened was it was one of those business seats with the front cut out.  It was on crooked, and it slid when I sat down.  My skin was pulled between the toilet seat and bowl, resulting in a laceration caused by the pinch.  I went on to my dental appointment

I went to the bathroom later and found there was both fresh and dried blood.  I wondered where it came from found the gash on me! 

I had another dentist appointment that afternoon, and had to cancel it as I was told I needed to make a report saying what happened with the facilities manager.  Then I had to see a doctor to see what vaccines / immunizations they might recommend for someone who was cut by a toilet seat.  (I had to have a tetnus shot and was given some antibacterial ointment.)

It is still sore, and I'm hoping I can prevent it from getting infected!

I have another dentist appointment later this month.  Next time I will NOT go to the bathroom there.