Monday, December 30, 2013

New York

My daughter and I got to go on a trip of a lifetime this past week.  It has been a dream of my daughter's and me to visit New York City.  She saved her money from working at the concession stand for us to go.  Man, did we have a blast. 

We had three days in the city, we got to see some of the things on our list, but of course, we couldn't see it all.  There were three top things on my must see list ...

One being the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center.  It sure didn't let me down.  It was gorgeous with the ice skating rink and everything around it.  We saw the NBC studios and went into the NBC store. 


 Another one was Ground Zero.  I wish I had words for how this effected me.  I remember 9/11 just like it was yesterday but being there was something else.  It was well worth the long wait in line to see the memorial.  Too see the names of the ones that died ... well, I didn't have dry eyes.
And the other one was Central Park.  Oh my ... it was breathe taking to see all the beauty of the park, but then to see the buildings lining the park was spectacular.  I could have stayed there all day.  There were families there; kids playing, people riding bikes, kids playing catch, people walking dogs, people running and walking.  We took the bike tour around the park and got to see lots places that I wanted to see such as:  ice rink (where they filmed part of Home Alone), the fountain (where they filmed several movies including Home Alone 2) and the fountain where they filmed the opening part to Friends and the list goes on and on. 
This trip was such an experience for me and for my daughter.  I was so blessed to have shared this with her.  It will be something I will never ever forget and I will cherish for a lifetime.  We are already planning our return visit.  We want to see more things that we didn't get to see on this visit.  I know that both of us loved New York before going and we are more in love with it after our visit. 
I will share more of our trip and pictures.  I hope you will enjoy seeing the pictures as I did taking them.  Also, of hearing about our visit.  
One thing I learned from this .... Don't ever let a dream go away.  If there is something you are wanting to do or to visit somewhere ... then set your mind to it and DO IT!!  Dreams do come true if you will work at them.  It did for my daughter and I with our visit to New York City.  


Sunday, December 22, 2013

Christmas Memories

I can not believe that it is 3 days until Christmas.  It keeps coming faster and faster each year.  I remember when I was a child it seems like it took forever to get here and now ... way too fast. 

This is the first year with my new sweet granddaughter.  She is too young this year to really know anything, she will be 6 months old.  It is still going to be great.  She is so sweet.  I love being a grandmother.

We went to my sister's yesterday for our family Christmas.  On the drive down, I got to thinking about Christmas past.  I have a lot of fond memories growing up of Christmas.  It was my dad's favorite time of year.  He would always make such a big deal out of it. 

One of my memories was - we would try to see who could get up the earliest.  We had this competition going with the neighbors across the street.  I think it ended with us getting up once at 4:30 am .. we would open presents and all go back to bed.  I am so glad that my kids never started this tradition.  I made sure they didn't ....

Another favorite memory of mine was my grandparents would take all the grand kids every year to look at Christmas lights downtown Chattanooga.  Back then, the businesses would decorate their windows.  We would walk around downtown and eat at Krystal's.  We would always sing Christmas songs.  I still remember it like it was yesterday. 

There are so many more memories of Christmas as a child.  I have tried to make memories for my kids.  As they have grown up our traditions have changed.  One we still love is going on Christmas eve to eat a Waffle House and then looking at lights.  When we get home we always watch a Christmas movie. 

What are some of your childhood Christmas memories?  Do you do any of the same ones with your family? 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What works for you ....

I have found in my journey to lose weight that you have to find a plan that works best for you and your body. 

Over the years, I have tried diet after diet and of course, my weight would yo-yo.  Go figure.  I even remember back in high school trying to diet and boy was that messed up.  I would skip breakfast or have grapefruit juice, then for lunch I would have a diet dr. pepper and by the time I got home from school I was starving.  Now, that I look back, I bet that was the reason I was passing out during band practice.  I wish I had known better back then. 

Lesson learned .....

I truly believe that the Advocare diet (I hate using that word) plan is a really good one.  It is a well balance of carbs, protein and veggies.  However, it isn't for me and my body.  I would lose weight during the 10 day cleanse but I would put it right back on.  So, I got to thinking and doing some reading.  What I found out was .... too many carbs for my body. 

I had done a low carb diet before Advocare and lost the most weight & inches.  In fact, I didn't put back on the pounds until eating their plan.  So, I am now on day  3 of my low carb eating plan.  I have lost 2 pounds.  I truly do feel better.  I am STILL ON my Advocare products and will continue on those forever.  I believe in the products!!!

With eating too many carbs, even good ones, I was finding that I was staying bloated, swelling, horrible gas & heartburn.  I was going back to eating tums like they were nothing.  I haven't had but 2 in the past 3 days.  My swelling is gone & I am not bloated.  YES!!! 

The plan that I am following is the Metabolism Miracle Diet, by Diane Kraus.  It is wonderful.  You cleanse your system for 8 weeks, by eating really low carbs for 3 meals.  Then after 8 weeks  you gradually start adding back in good carbs.  You stay in the range of 11-20 grams of carbs per meal.  I am going to wait and see what happens when I get to that stage.  I may end up cutting those back.  I just really think that my system can't process carbs very well.  I function so much better on the lower carbs. 

Now, is this something I can do for my lifetime?  To be completely honest with you .... I truly don't know the answer to that one.  I am taking it day by day and meal by meal.  I am praying that the Lord will help me each day to stick to the plan. 

I have to look at this long term and how much better I feel.  I want to be healthier than I have ever been.  I want to live life as I get older - go places and do things. 

So, find what works best for you, your body and your life. 

Get started & DON'T QUIT!!!!!  STICK AND STAY!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Perfect Love

What is perfect love? It is a question I have been asking myself this week.  It is in the first lesson of the online Bible study -#perfectlove. 

One thing I have learned and realized while thinking on this question is God is the only one that is perfect love.  We have to depend on Him and not people.  People can hurt us, let us down and leave us but NOT God. 

When I really truly realized this and let it all sink in - this amazing peace just came over me.  I will be putting God first and foremost in my life.  He will not hurt me, let me down or leave me.  He doesn't judge me.  He loves me for who he created!!!  He LOVES me - unconditional love!!   WOW!!!  Don't just think about it, but let it sink into your heart about how awesome this truly is ... 

Another area that I haven't let myself in or anyone else is my past.  There are things in my past that I haven't wanted to face, talk about or let anyone else know what happened.  I was ashamed and didn't want to hurt other people or myself all over again.  However, when you do let yourself go to that dark place it is so freeing!!

I also learned from a friend of mine that God wants to use my past to glorify Him.  He can use my testimony to help others.  This is something I am working on.  It is still hard to say the words out loud.  Some things that happened wasn't my fault, but there are a couple of things that it is because of the choice I made at the time.  This is a journey that I am on and praise God that He is with me each step of the way. 

True happiness comes only from GOD!!!! 

Continuing on my journey ....

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Confident Heart

Like I don't have enough on my plate these days, but I have signed up for an online Bible Study.  This is my first time doing anything like this and I am truly excited to be a newbie. 

The online study is "A Confident Heart".  I have started reading the book already and it is amazing.  God is already speaking to me and working on me in some of the areas I need help with. 

I lack confidence in myself and in so many other areas of my life.  I always thought I had confidence and that I was out going.  However, in the past few years I have noticed that I had started becoming shy.  Not talking in crowds or when I am around a group of people.  Not the case.  I am learning that I lack confidence is why I get really quiet when a group of people are around.  Some situations and groups are different. 

Even though I am extremely busy right now, I chose to do this online study because I want to work on my confidence level.  I want to be a confident woman.  I want to be the woman God intended for me to be.  

There is so much that I hope to gain from this experience, but first and foremost is my confidence in myself and who God has chosen me to be. 

There is still time to sign up .. come along with me on this journey. 

Day 4

I started another Advocare cleanse Monday morning, October 7th.  It is recommended to do one every 90 days and it was time again.  I love doing a cleanse because I always feel so much better. 

I am doing this one not only to cleanse my system but to help me in my journey to lose weight.  I am on day 4 and down 4 lbs.  I am really excited about those pounds gone.  I have been following the eating plan very closely with only a few slip ups.  I really haven't been exercising, really just doing some pilates at night. 

On the 24 day challenge it isn't a diet. It is a lifestyle change.  There is a plan to follow but you get to eat FOOD and every 2-3 hours.  It isn't about starving yourself.  In fact, starving yourself is wrong.  It isn't good for your system and it cause stop your weight loss efforts.  You get to eat fruits, veggies and lean protein. 

You won't believe how hard it is to eat every 2-3 hours.  You think "Yea, right, I can eat all day."  However,  you will be full and find it difficult if not impossible to eat every 2-3 hours.  I thought the same thing at one time. 

I am excited about making these changes in my life.  To finally be able to beat this war with food.  I give all the glory and credit to God.  I have tried many many years to do this on my on, but I can't.  I had to learn to put God first in my eating and learning to do that in other areas of my life. 

This is a journey and I am so glad that I am on it and with God holding my hand ....

Monday, September 23, 2013

60 Day Devotion

I mentioned in my last post about a wonderful book I had read, "Made to Crave."  Well, Lysa has also written a devotion to go along with the book.  So, I have started that today.  "Made to Crave Devotional" - 60 days to craving God, not food. 

I am wanting to read all the way through the book instead of doing each day at a time.  I am kind of crazy that way.  But I am going to work my way through one day at a time. 

Day 1 was today ... Mon, Sept 23rd. - Title "Unsettled"  Hebrews 1:3

Thought for the day:  Unsettle me in the best kind of way.  For when I allow your touch to reach the deepest parts of me - dark and dingy and hidden away too long - suddenly, a fresh wind of life twists and twirls and dances through my soul.

I have never thought about praying for God to unsettle my heart about weight loss.  I hate to admit it but I never thought about praying about me losing weight.  I didn't think God had the time.  That just isn't true.  I am learning that He wants us to yearn for Him and not for food.  That He is wanting us to come to Him first, before anything.  This is all so new to me .. but I am learning. 

Something else she put in today's devotion that really touched me was:

Goodbye to shallow efforts, self-focus and suspicious fears that I'll never find victory in this area of my life.  I am an unsettled woman who no longer wishes to take part in distractions or destructions.
Welcome deeper love for God and the realization I am made for more than this constant battle.  Welcome my unsettled heart.
 There are times when this struggle seems to not be so difficult but then there are times when I give in to that craving monster.  It is at those times that I had that I have given into to those cravings because I always end up with a headache.  I can tell that I am getting better though ...

Just the other day was my birthday and the kids made me some chocolate chip cookies.  I asked for them NOT to bake a cake because that is a hugh weakness of mine.  I ate one cookie - the smallest one - and I could barely eat the whole thing.  It made me so sick & boy at the headache later.  No more for me.  It isn't worth it.

I am still trying to make sure that I make the right decisions each day and each meal.  I am trying to make sure that I am eating every two to three hours.  I of course drink my spark and take my MNS each day. 

I think I am going to order another 24 day challenge and get that going next week.  I think it will help in this journey to lose weight.  I think it will be easier this time to follow the eating plan that goes along with it. 

Now time to go and fix supper .. thinking Mexican tonight.  I can have burritos - using the carb balance wraps, lean ground beef and light cheese.  I have the wheat chips so I can have just a couple.  I can handle that ...

Until later ....



Sunday, September 15, 2013

Losing Weight

I have always wondered why I have had a hard time losing weight and keeping it.  I have tried so many different diets and nothing would last for a long period of time.  I would follow what ever diet plan I was on at the time, lose some weight and then I would get tired of that plan.  I would start eating food again and back comes the weight. 

Yes, I am your classic yo-yo dieter.  Boy, at the excuses I would have too. I had some of the best ones.  My favorite one is my thyroid issues. 

If I believed the excuses then I didn't have to face the real issues.  I didn't really want to look for answers.  Why did I need answers?  I knew what I was doing ... right? 

However, I was miserable deep down.  Every time I ate what I knew I shouldn't eat, I was miserable.  The guilt was horrible.  The more miserable I became the more that I ate wrong.  Those comfort foods was calling my name and very loudly.

Even though I was taking AdvoCare products and feeling so much better, especially with the new found energy level.  I was also finding out that no amount of products was just going to take this weight off.  AdvoCare products are the best around but they are still NO magic pills.  You still have to make the right choices.  Really??? 

But how? 

The answer is in the book I just read ... Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  The answer to all my questions about losing weight, making the right choices and how I could keep it off was in the Bible the whole time.  To be honest, it isn't somewhere I ever thought to look.  The book "Made to Crave" taught me that I was replacing food for the craving I was having to be closer to God.  We have to put God first in our lives, even in the matter to food. 

So, that it what I am working on now ... making sure I am putting God first.  Let God fill my cravings instead of food.  I want to share what I have found and am still finding.  I promise I will be posting more on my blog than I have in the past.  I hope through my experiences with thyroid issues and trying to lose weight, maybe I can help one other person with their struggle. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year!!

2013 is upon us, ready or not.  I am ready for a new year .. new adventure and a new me.  I have been working on a new me starting in 2012 and I looking forward to continue that charge through 2013. 

I can say that change started for me back in March of 2012, when I was introduced to advocare through a friend.  It couldn't have come at a better time in my life.  I was struggling with my thyroid and being tired all the time.  It seemed to be getting harder and harder to just function some days.  I was just going from one nap time to the next.  Cooking dinner for my family was a hugh ordeal.  If it was something quick and easy then we ate out or fixed a sandwich.  Thinking back to this time really makes me want to cry. 

Then it all changed with one drink of Advocare's Spark drink at a ball field.  I had not felt that good in over 25 years.   Could I have finally found something that could help me feel this good and possibly get me through the day?  Seriously?  Yea right ... there is no way.  Well, it was true and I am so glad that I said "yes".  I am now on many of the products, to help with losing weight, feeling better & energy thru the roof. 

I have lost around 30 pounds and 28 inches.  With thyroid issues my weight goes up and down, so it is hard to keep a count on my pounds lost.  I am down 4 pant sizes and these are feeling loose.  I still have so much more to lose and I am working on that this year.  I really want to get the rest of the weight off for good!!!  With Advocare products is makes it easier, but it is still a lifestyle change.  You can't take the products and still eat whatever you want.  I have found that I need to follow a lower carb diet - that is what works best for me.  I have learned that I just dont' process carbs like other people do. 

But there is more to this than just losing the weight.  It is feeling better from the inside out.  It is hard to put into words just how much I have changed over the past six months, but I know that I have grown so much.  I am at a totally different place than I have been before.  I am not where I want to be but thank God I am not where I use to be. 

I am going to come back here to chart my progress with weight lose and changing from the inside out.  My closer walk with God - that I am so loving.  I have realized that it is my purpose to help others with the things that I have gone through in my life; over-weight, thyroid cancer & hypothyroidism, being in debt and anything else that God wants to use from my life.  I am by no means an expert but it is real life experiences.  I just pray that God will use me and the situations from my life to help someone.