Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Big 50

Phew!  I did it! 50 lbs since starting to blog about my weight loss!  I'm starting out this post with my latest FB status, that sums up how I was feeling yesterday...then some quick thoughts on how I've made it here. I have to be quick because I'm actually up before the kids and want to squeeze in a workout! LOL

It is REALLY hard for me to share this because, honestly, I don't like a lot of attention. But my fear of looking arrogant is overcome by my love to prove the media wrong, encourage others and hopefully help at least one person stick with their goals! I've lost another 10 lbs by sticking to MY daily goal of eating more fruits and vegetables. Do I stray from that? Totally. smile emoticon Do I get back on track though? Yes. It's hard to make that positive statement about myself, but I should! Also, I try to do some kind of exercise 6 days a week, even if it's just going for a walk with my kids, or jumping on the trampoline with them- yes, I can comfortably do that now! smile emoticon 50 lbs later (and 65 lbs less after i left the hospital with our 3rd baby) I can honestly say this change in my life has been more than worth it, even though there have been a LOT of ups and downs over the years. Don't give up on yourself and your health! You are too valuable to this world! There are things you are meant to do! You don't have to go to extremes to make this happen. The time, the months and years, will pass either way. It's up to you if you want to see personal progress during that progression of time. If you really do and are willing to make some changes, I know you can do it too!! heart emoticon

OK, so how did this kind of weight loss happen without fad diets, special diet foods or a gym membership?  I've been thinking about it and I've noticed 4 changes I made over time that seemed to make a big difference.  Even though I've been blogging on and off during my journey, I don't think I ever spelled out these steps.  I hope you find them helpful in your efforts!

1) EAT EVERY 3 HOURS- I know what you're thinking.  "But I'm hungry before then." "But I'm not hungry by then." Whatever!  Your body needs fuel, but sometimes not as soon as it thinks it does.  I find that waiting until 9 to have breakfast is a good time for me, and then eat about every 3 hours after that for 4-5 eating times.  Just think, the fewer times and properly spaced out times you have to eat, the less likely you are to over do it.  When I started doing this my portion sizes were still much too large, so doing this eliminated having as many opportunities for over-indulging.  I generally get "hungry" again an hour and a half after eating.  Yup.  So for that next hour or so it's my Water Time- and that's super important!  I try to make sure I get enough of that necessary fluid and if I just ate when I was hungry then that wouldn't happen.  On days when I didn't think I could do it, I reminded myself I had done it before, so I could do it again. ;)

Eating at similar times every day also put my body on a much needed schedule.  Our bodies are machines, and they will adapt.  They like structure.  Now that I eat at more regular times it's like my body knows not be hungry yet, or when to get ready to digest.  It also makes it a lot easier to get a workout in the morning before eating because I'm not hungry so early in the morning.  When I ate an early breakfast I felt like I had to wait before exercising and then by the time I was ready other life's responsibilities were up and out of bed (i.e. kids) and the work out wouldn't even happen.  This eating schedule helps me not get too hungry between meals, drink enough water and make the most of my day!

2) NUTRITIOUS SNACKS (ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT)- If by after 2 and a half hours of having a meal I'm REALLY hungry, then I have a piece of fruit or some cut up veggies.  BE SURE YOU HAVE THESE ON HAND!  I guess I should make healthy shopping a step too.  LOL Same thing goes for eating after dinner or dessert.  Is that always what I'm in the mood for eating when I'm about to watch a late night movie?No.  But I try to stick to it and tell myself what I tell my kids when they don't feel like eating their veggies: "If you're really hungry, you'll want it." And want to know what the truth is anyway?  Your pallet changes.  The more you have the good stuff, the more you start to crave it.  Soon your body is trained and can't even handle the greasy stuff, or as much of it.  Trust me.  Good choices lead to more good choice, especially when you start seeing the numbers on the scale go down!

For me, bad choices also lead to more bad choices.  I have to be very careful if I want a little junk food, and there are some I know I just can't even have one bite of- stay away Cheetos!  Even though I don't even like how it tastes that much, once I have some I just want more and more.  I know it's a chemical reaction and I try to just not even go there or have it around.  "Will power is overrated." -Jillian Michaels

3) SMALLER PORTION SIZES-  AFTER I had steps 1 and 2 down I worked on shrinking my portion sizes.  This was hard for me.  I think my binge eating came from my college dorm days, when I knew the cafeteria would close and the free food would be gone.  I was on a tight budget and it made me nervous.  I had trained myself to eat as much as I could to get me to the next meal comfortably.  So this step was more mental for me.  I would try to slow down and listen to my body.  I would try to use things I learned from reading "Intuitive Eating" and stop when I felt comfortable and not stuffed.  I had to trust that in 15 minutes my stomach would catch up with my mind and feel full.  If I wasn't sure, again I would focus on having seconds on the veggies.  Veggies NOT covered with butter either ;) If I started worrying I would get hungry between meals I would tell myself to calm down, that I wasn't going to starve to death and I had done this all yesterday so I could do again.  Little by little I came to trust the recommended portion sizes of meat and carbs, and be OK and HAPPIER when I stuck to it.

THIS IS THE BEST STEP!!! :) Seriously.  It makes me want to draw happy faces all over the place!  Let me tell you why it's so great before I explain how I implemented it.  First, it keeps things flowing.  I thought I had blogged about this before, but after looking through some older posts I couldn't find anything about it so I will say it here.  Staying regular is SO IMPORTANT.  It keeps you feeling light and ready to move, and more motivated to exercise than when you are bloated!  It prevents toxins from being released into your system, which (for me) cause major depression and irritability.  Meat and dairy have NO fiber, and just clog you up.  Changing to a more plant based diet led to great improvements in my digestive and emotional health.  SO worth it just for that.  Now when people ask me how I've battled my previously sever depression this is the first step I mention.  Changing your thoughts isn't very effective if you aren't getting to the root of the problem, and seriously, physically, constipation plays a big part in that.

Second, you are getting SO MANY NUTRIENTS in real, plant based food.  There's a reason the Garden of Eden was a Garden of Eden...good, God-given food!  Enough said.

Third, your body was MADE to digest this type of food.  It recognizes it.  It's from the earth.  Processed foods, no matter how low-calorie they promised to be, just left my stomach feeling empty and my pipes clogged up.  There weren't enough real foods to keep my body satisfied or give it enough nutrients.  Once I made the change my body knew it and welcomed the "real" foods, as opposed to fake, factory made substitutes.

But HOW do you do it?  I'm still working on maximizing my efforts in this area, but this is what has helped me so far...

Take things one meal at a time.  I started with breakfast and still find this the easiest meal to be successful as far as plant based meals go.  I started with actual fruit- an orange, apple and banana.  But now I love a smoothie!  It took time to get used to this because before I always wanted toast.  But I told myself if I could focus on fruits and veggies before 12 o'clock, that would be so great for my body (and Christie Brinkley recommends it too so it can't be a bad idea- right?)  I didn't do a lot of green smoothies at first but now I love knowing I'm getting some spinach and flax seed for protein in my breakfasts.  There are tons of recipes online, but I will be posting some of my own favorites soon.

After mastering a plant based breakfast, I went on to lunch.  I try to have a variety of go-to options.  Some days it's a loaded salad, lots of beans and whatever dressing I want to treat myself with.  Some days it's a veggie wrap or sandwich on whole grain bread.  Sometimes I grill the veggies on the George Foreman grill and other days it's raw.  I experiment with spices and condiments, but have a few favorites so I don't have to reinvent the wheel every day.  I love chili!  I even enjoy a veggie omelet with egg whites sometimes.  There are so many options if you are willing to try something new and go out of the box.

The same thing goes for dinner, as little by little I sneak more veggies into dinner.  When we have Taco Tuesday, I try to skip the ground beef all together and just deliciously season the beans and tomatoes.  I did veggie enchiladas for the family for the first time this week.  There are so many ways to be sneaky and fill up on good stuff- you just gotta do it!  More of my own easy tried and true recipes coming... ;)

To be completely honest, there is one other step I've neglected to list.  NEVER GIVE UP.  Even if you gain back weight (I did) NEVER GIVE UP.  Even if your "cheat" meal turns into a "cheat" day, NEVER GIVE UP.  Even if you miss 2 weeks of working out, NEVER GIVE UP.  I didn't even list exercising tips yet because those were less important to me than getting my eating habits under control.  For me, this is about health.  It's about giving my children a framework that will set them up for success.  Even though at the beginning it seemed like it was going to take FOREVER, I didn't give up.

I don't think believing in yourself ever gets too much easier.  I look back on previous weigh-ins and see numbers 40 lbs bigger than I am now and still can't believe I've dropped that much.  But I have.  And really, the hardest part was just NEVER GIVING UP on myself.  That was harder than any work out or change in diet.  And the funny thing is, that is also what is most rewarding and what I take with me into other goals I am working on now. Anyone who has this much weight to lose knows it's not really about losing the weight.  That's a bonus.  It's about learning to believe in yourself.


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Saturday, January 3, 2015

3 Happy, 1 Crappy ;)

So, many years ago I had a counselor that was really helpful.  I asked my husband to come along because, frankly, at that point I wasn't doing a whole lot of talking.  I was just too depressed.  I didn't feel like saying a whole lot or processing very much.  Doesn't sound a lot like me, does it? LOL

My counselor suggested we, my husband and I, make sure we talk more and notice some good things and harder moments of each day.  He suggested 3 of each.  Well, my husband doesn't talk a whole lot usually and I wasn't talking a lot but we decided to try it out.  I quickly learned I didn't like pointing out 3 things that went wrong that day.  But I did like recognizing the 3 good things, as well as ONE thing that went wrong.  That was partly because seeing the good makes you feel good, and who doesn't like that?  And the challenging part of the day often wasn't so bad in hind sight or was something my husband could comment on and help me see in a different light.

Best of all, it got us talking and finding common ground we both shared.  He would tell me about a good moment he had with the kids and I could think, "Yeah, I liked that moment too."  Then I added it to my mental list of good parts of the day.  When something was hard I could think "Yeah, that's hard for me too" or "That's not so bad to me.  I guess that's one of my strengths."  It was like a team brainstorm of the good stuff that had happened and trouble spots we were both getting through together!

I thought I would apply this to my nutrition and exercise choices this past year, and invite anyone who wants to to add their reflections.  My counselor called it 3 Good Things, 3 Bad Things, but since I like the 3 to 1 ratio more and wanted something that rhymed, I'm calling it 3 Happy, 1 Crappy. :)

So here are mine from 2014...

1- I liked that I stopped inhaling all the kids' left overs.  I didn't want to waste food and it wasn't usually much.  But if I already ate till I was past full, then stuffing more in me wasn't too smart.  I am more important than that.  I deserve to reach my goals and feel healthy.  Now I make the kids deal with their leftovers.  They wrap them up and put them in the fridge.  If I do nibble on some leftovers at the end it's OCCASIONAL and after a veggie-full meal and just the little bit Sammy didn't touch.  MUCH better than all 3 kids' plates AND the serving dish.  Seriously...and I wondered why I wasn't losing weight! ;)
2- I am happy that I eat so many more veggies and fruits and nuts and grains.  It's really fun to have more variety in my diet and feel in control of it.  I like being a good example to my kids.  I love how I feel.  I know I'm going to have a higher quality of life and probably live longer too.  How can that not be HAPPY?!
3- I liked that I made daily exercise do-able!  Working out used to feel like this big, long ordeal.  Now I know that I can get my heart beat up doing a fast walk while I watch a favorite show.  I can do my favorite Pilates and Yoga exercises in 30 mins too.  If I don't have time for an intense session, I just do what I can and feel proud of myself for doing something and keeping the habit.  I am really proud of that.

My "crappy" memory of last year is that I think LOTS of times I thought I was on track as far as diet or exercising and then I would realize I was WAY off!  I would look at the calender and realize "It's been 3 weeks since I've done any sort of exercising."  I would think back and realize that through out the weekend I ate the whole box of doughnut holes.  Whoops!

So, instead of having the same not-so-good memory for this year...I'm changing things!!  Behold, my cute food journal!

It's been really fun to write in the great meals I'm eating and recognize my "cheating" is under control.  It's also a reality check when I think I didn't cheat much and then can see I did. ;)  I also write down when I wanted to eat something but didn't really need to and decided not to so I can pat myself on the back.  BEST of all is that I can look in here to remember recipes I enjoyed!!!  I look at this as a resource for growth.  Not a chore.  At the end of the day I sit down and jot down the day's foods.  Easy as that.  

For my exercise I actually like to write it on the squares of a hanging calender.  I guess I like being able to see the boxes filling up, or maybe the empty row of squares is a clear reminder to get moving!  Anyway, I hope this is helpful!  I would love to hear about the good choices that helped you on your journey to better health last year, as well as one thing that wasn't so great.  It might help me see some more good and also realize I have the same things to work on as someone else...which is great!  Because we can work on them together. -Eva

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Engine 2 Diet

Want to get more whole-based plant foods into your diet?  I highly recommend watching Forks Over Knives Presents: The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue on Netflix.  LOTS of practical help for cleaning out your pantry or fridge ( i have some work to do! LOL,) grocery shopping and then walking through how to make delicious every day foods.  He actually walks two families through the whole process. My goal is balance, but I've noticed I'm not there yet from my food diary lately.  I'm really excited to add some variety to our family meals and to start getting us all regular, healthy and happy.  Here are some recipes from their website... bon appetit!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

40 LBs LOST!!!

A lot of great things happened this week, but one that I am especially proud of is hitting the 40 lb MARK on my WEIGHT LOSS! I haven't "dieted" or used diet foods. I haven't counted calories or points. All I've done is changed my eating habits so I eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. I still eat about one animal product a day, but that's it and then I'm free to eat many more nutrient-rich foods. It has been such a blessing in my life to move more easily and be healthier. I've reached my goal of teaching dance and enjoy yoga at night before bed, things I used to dream about but didn't enjoy. With an eating disorder in my history i worried my efforts might trigger a relapse. But i believed i could lose weight in a healthy way, and i did! If you want to lose weight but can't afford diet foods or weight loss programs, don't worry. You can still do it! It will be gradual-it's taken me about 2 years! There were weeks I gained weight back. Then i would get discouraged and want to binge and give up. But I stuck with it. And in the end it made a difference. And actually, this isn't the's the beginning of a new, healthier chapter in life.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why Am I Waiting For Tomorrow?

I'll confess...I don't support myself enough in my own goals.  Like many people, I will sacrifice and give up things in order to give more to someone else.  I will go without so others can have their needs fulfilled.  And yet, I won't do it for myself.  And this is something I want to change.  Because I deserve something more.  And the Lord does.  And I can't be the best servant I can be to Him unless I'm willing to try harder and be better.

I've been struggling to eat right.  Since I don't get a lot of exercise in, making sure I eat well is crucial.  Foods also REALLY affect my mood, so staying on track is important for the well-being of my whole family.  I will do well most of the day and then start to make "exceptions."  Before I know it, I'm tired and cranky and disappointed in myself.  Not a good place to be!  Especially when you are a wife and mother!

While I was driving the other day though I head some lyrics (well, A LOT) that really hit me.  This is the one I remembered today to that stopped me from continuing to eat "exceptions."

Maybe tomorrow I'll start over
Maybe tomorrow I will finally change my ways
Said the same thing yesterday
Don't know why I'm so afraid
To let you in
To let you win
To let you have all of me

(From Mandisa's song, "Waiting for Tomorrow")

I want to let the Lord have "all of me."  I want to put off that Natural Man and become the woman I'm meant to be,  I don't want to be saying the same things every day...that I will finally change tomorrow.  Personally, being in shape and not feeling helpless against food is really important.  I hope to sing, dance & perform professionally again.  That means I need to be comfortable in my body, strong and have high being healthy is important.  I also love that I am more active when I play with my kids, and I want to continue that too.  They are worth it!  Finally, eating until I'm uncomfortable or in pain is not the best use of my time! LOL I know practicing moderation brings peace and I want peace in my life.

So tonight, I remembered these words: To let you in To let you win To let you have all of me.  And I was able to turn away from that food.  15 minutes later I had to tell myself those words again.  I had already eaten, and was NOT hungry.  But if leftovers are still out or the Halloween candy is on the counter, it's just so easy to graze!  But again, I don't have to.  I know that.  And it feels so good to have the Savior as a partner in this goal towards overcoming the Natural Man and improving the quality of my life.  I always want to be in control of myself, not matter the situation.  And that is a personal goal worth achieving!

The first step of the 12 step Addiction Recovery program is Honesty.

KEY PRINCIPLE: Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addictions and that your life has become unmanageable.

From I found these awesome scriptures that explain what I'm trying to say...along with a lot more support and inspiring quotes.  I know I can't take care of and treat my body like the temple it is on my own.  But with God, I can do ALL THINGS!!  Good luck on your journeys!!  Love, Eva :) 

“I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.
“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things” (Alma 26:11–12).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Color Run! 2014 in Memory of Daddy

It occurred to me yesterday that I never shared my pics from the Color Run here!  And considering I jogged it with my mom and 3 kids (3 GENERATIONS of family!!) and in memory of my Father, it is definitely an achievement I want to share.  So here are the album pages that share quite a bit of how I felt and how we looked on that special day.  Love, Eva

Friday, October 17, 2014

Our Birthright...A Healthy Body

Has it really been that long since I've written here? CRAZY!  But it's true.  It's also a true that it's always a good time to get restarted again...

I had a spiritual "aha" moment today about nutrition.  As I tucked my kids into bed I told them a Bible story, like I often do.  Tonight I taught them the story of Jacob and Esau.  If you remember, Esau was older and meant to have the birthright from his father, Isaac.  But he did not value it.  And one day, after a long hunting journey, he came home tired and hungry.  Jacob had food ready and Esau wanted it.  He wanted it so much he willingly traded his birthright for it.  In the end, Jacob received and valued the birthright and Esau was angry and bitter, and lost a wonderful gift.

I explained Esau was in the position to receive an eternal blessing, one that would affect generations of his family.  Instead, he valued something else more.  In this moment, he valued food more.  He didn't see the bigger value of the birthright and what he could do with it, but instead gave in to the Natural Man.

I was having an "I'll start eating right tomorrow again" night.  I had been planning on having some yummy Costco taquitos after the kids were in bed.  But after remembering this story and really feeling it in my heart I new I didn't need to do that.  I was full enough and didn't need to splurge.  I wanted to value the gift I've been given.

I don't want to be like Esau.  I don't want to give up my birthright, a right to a healthy, happy body to use in this life. My body is a temple.  Would I give up a healthy body for some salty, savory foods?  Would I trade my right to physical and spiritual happiness for a plate of food the Natural Man would tempt me with?  I have before.  I don't want to anymore.  I'm trying not to.  I'm trying to stay balanced and not give in to eating for comfort or because of boredom.  I'm worth more than that.
It's not easy, but it is MORE than worth it.  And with the help of the Holy Ghost and trust in my Savior, I can do it.