Go Back, Go Back, Go Back

((This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases you make through my links will provide me with a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for your support!  See my Disclosure Policy.)

One of the main things I had wanted to buy at Super Center was my foil star stickers, and what do you think I forgot when I went there with Chuck yesterday? Yep. The stickers.

On a positive note we were able to add seventeen gallons of water to Chelsea’s aquarium. The sad news is that it could probably use a couple more gallons, too. It really got low. Now I only wish we could do something about the flickering lights. If there were a way to unscrew the light panel it would be easy enough to replace them, but there are no screws. I don’t know what those little flat pieces are that attach the light panel to the hood, but they are not screws. Maybe the best thing to do is take the whole hood into Pet Smart and let them look at it. I think it will be hard to find a hood exactly like this one because it is kind of divided on top. Instead of having one large opening at the top of the aquarium, there are two.

I have had a couple of good days on Trim Healthy Mama. I went back to what I knew: oatmeal and smoothies, and I know the longer I go without caving to bad habits the easier it will get for me. When in doubt, go back, go back, go back to what worked before and then build from there.

I know the treadmill is what worked before, but, man, my foot! That piercing jabbing pain on the bridge of my foot keeps me from wanting to be on it for long. I shouldn’t complain. Even if it hurts, at least I have a foot to walk on.

To make matters worse, I have no one to blame but myself. It’s my own fault that it got this bad. If I had stayed active, if only I had kept doing my treadmill every day, my joints and muscles would not have gotten stiffer.

Oh, how easily I forgot my famous last words: I’m not ever going back to where I was. Friends, I’m here to say that it’s easier to fall back into old mindsets and patterns than I had thought, so, even if it’s a teeny, tiny step, that step has to be forward and not backward.

Find encouragement where you can. If you can’t find it within yourself or with your spouse or immediate family unit, then find it elsewhere, but find that kind, gentle voice that lets you know you can do this, that you’re not wasting your time, that you and your family are worth the effort to be healthy. Put the naysayers behind you: leave them in the dust and soldier on to that healthier, happier life that is within your grasp.

Chuck tightened the belt of the treadmill yesterday. I think it may have done the trick. We shall see. We hope so, because the new motor would have cost us a pretty penny. It’s not surprising, though, I suppose, that the motor on a $1,300 treadmill would cost in excess of $300. Still, even if it is the motor, that would be cheaper to replace than the whole treadmill–unless, of course, I could find a steal at a garage sale. That’s always in the realm of possibilities. People make extravagant purchases, with every intention in the world of following through and getting healthy. Six months later they sadly realize that the treadmill they spent a month’s salary on has done nothing more than provide another place to hang their clothes.

He was afraid that wasn’t the problem because one side already felt like it was pretty tight. He found the right kind of wrench out in the garage and got it done. Both of us are going to start using it, he says.

I’m blessed to have the husband I have. He’s been a trooper about Trim Healthy Mama, and he has made several changes to his own diet. What I’m about to type is something that four years ago would have been foreign to me: we haven’t had a baked potato for more than three years. In fact, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I don’t even buy potatoes, anymore.

A Facebook memory appeared on Chuck’s timeline yesterday, and he said, “I just saw an old picture of you from 2011, and there’s no way you have gained all your weight back. You still look a lot better than you did.”

Okay, there has to be truth in that because yesterday I wore a 2X top that I got off of Ebay. It isn’t even stretchy, but it still looks nice on me. It doesn’t flatten my chest or cut the circulation off in my arms. I’m not too far gone. It is indeed possible to pick right up after my “glitch” and find success again.

I can’t wait to get my new book! I even found a video of the author, after I purchased the book and was instantly engaged with her personality. It was hard to believe that the sweet, young, pretty thing on the video had ever experienced an epic battle with a birthday cake like the one she described on her daughter’s first birthday, but that account let me know I am definitely not alone in this food addiction thing.

Next year is my 40th class reunion (wow, that’s a big number!). Wouldn’t it be great if I can kick this sugar addiction to the curb and get down to a respectable weight before then?

Tempted by My Dreams

Last night was a rough one. As I was watching a movie on Lifetime, I got a craving for dark-chocolate covered caramels with sea salt, the kind that Costco has. I think they’re made by Sanders.

The fact is, there was no one to talk me down from the ledge, because I didn’t want to be talked down–so I didn’t tell anyone about my struggle. In my mind, it was a done deal: I was going to have my caramels. I decided on a number. Two. The number used to be three, but the last couple of times I had cravings I had cut myself back to two pieces of candy. Maybe a time will come when one will suffice, but that will be when I’m normal; and that may be a long time coming.

Right now I’m a binge-eater. I can’t be trusted with certain foods. My restrainer is busted. I know starting off that the first bite is going to be dangerous. That first bite is just flirting with disaster. So, the trick then is to keep from taking that first bite, because no matter how strong the urge is for that first piece of candy, the second piece is like a runaway train.

The brain is a funny thing. The first piece is justified with “One won’t hurt you” or “You’ve had a great day: you deserve this.” The second piece is justified with “Well, you’ve already blown it now: you may as well have two or three. Or polish off what’s left in the container.”

But then I did something crazy. I actually reached back in the corner of my mind for something–anything–that could save me. I remembered in Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet book that he suggested brushing your teeth to head off a cheat. His reasoning is that no one feels like eating when they have a minty, fresh sensation in their mouth. Basically what it does is deal with both the mental and the physical elements of the situation.

How many times have you heard this in your childhood: “You can’t eat that now: you’ve already brushed your teeth”? Brushing your teeth has kind of a finality to it. It signals the end of a meal or bedtime.

The other thing brushing your teeth does is ruin the enjoyment of whatever you pop into your mouth. Truth be told, caramel and toothpaste is not a good flavor combo.

So I got up from my chair and went into the bathroom and brushed my teeth. Then I brushed my tongue. I wanted that minty fresh feeling all over my mouth. And it worked. Toothpaste – one, caramels – zero.

I made it to bed without a single caramel.

After I fell asleep, though, all heck broke loose. I had two cinnamon rolls and there may have been a container of biscuits and gravy involved or a sugar cookie (at least lustful thoughts of a sugar cookie).

All I remember from my dreams is that my old boss brought in Casey’s containers of biscuits and gravy for the whole gang. I wasn’t too interested in them, but it seems like one of them may have come open and I got some on my hand or something. I may have had a taste or two. In my dreams.

Then there was a big box of cinnamon rolls. Some had clear sugar glaze on them, and some had thick cream cheese icing. There were only two or three of that kind in the box, so I had to immediately grab one before someone else got them all instead.

The cinnamon roll was bigger than my hand. I remember meeting the gaze of one of my coworkers. He raised his eyebrows and his mouth kind of fell open as he caught a glimpse of the giant roll in my hand. I couldn’t tell if he was thinking, “Whoa, Dirinda, I didn’t think you ate stuff like that, anymore” or “Be sure and save some for the rest of us.”

To escape further scrutinization, I went out to pre-trip my bus. There was going to be nothing dainty, delicate or glamorous about the consumption of that cinnamon roll and I didn’t want people gawking at me as I tore into it.

I glanced up to see the car of a coworker drive past my bus, so I climbed behind my steering wheel and shut my door so she wouldn’t notice me stuffing my face with the massive delicacy.

In the next “scene,” Chuck and I were somewhere where there were lots of pastries. Two pastry shops side by side, actually. And, again with the cinnamon rolls. They were absolutely huge. There were thinly glazed ones with lots of butter and there were the ones with the thick white icing. Apparently the one I got from my boss wasn’t enormous enough, so I had another.

Then I noticed that Chuck was finishing off his second one, so I asked if I could have another, also. “That’s not fair. You got two,” I said.

“We have to leave now,” he responded.

“Well, can’t I at least have a sugar cookie, then?” I asked.

Whoever said you don’t dream in color should have been in my dream last night because those sugar cookies were absolutely glorious with their pink and blue frosting.

It was one of those nights where I woke up feeling guilty–as if I had really eaten two of the most gigantic cinnamon rolls I had ever seen in my life. No calories consumed, yet I still woke up feeling ashamed and guilty, just as I used to (and still do sometimes) after I quit smoking. In my mind I wake up to thoughts of “Why would you do that, Dirinda? After thirty-four years of not smoking, why would you want to throw that all away and light up again?”

The treadmill stopped on me yesterday morning after only two and a half minutes. I may have been able to coax it along for a few minutes at a time until I got my twenty minutes in, but I wasn’t patient enough–and I was more than willing to use it as a good excuse not to continue.

Yesterday evening, though, Chelsea came into the living room and asked if I wanted to go for a walk to Willow Creek and back. When we got outside, we opted to just walk the streets of our neighborhood under the shelter of the shade trees.

It wasn’t the most strenuous exercise I had ever gotten, but, by the time I was through panting and sweating, my Fitbit registered twenty-two minutes of rigorous activity.

When Chuck got home from work last night, he mentioned that we were going to have to order a motor for our treadmill and both start using it. It is no fun getting old and becoming stiff due to lack of activity.

Let me just say that first day in Mall of America was excruciating: at least it was when it was time to walk to the car. I had decided that my feet would hurt no more if I took big steps as opposed to small steps and I would arrive faster–until my knee started hurting, too, and then I could hardly move at all. I couldn’t bend my left leg, so there I was hobbling stiff-legged through the rest of the mall.

People were looking at me. No doubt they were thinking, “Look at that poor fat lady. She can barely move.”

Right across the bridge of my foot–is that what you call it?–where my toes connect to my feet was quite painful. I was telling a friend about it on Friday, and she said her feet are the same way. She told her husband that it felt like she was being crucified, like there was a big nail going through her feet.

I told Chuck it feels like the blood vessels that lead to my toes are clamped off.

He said, “But we know that’s not true, because your toes are still pink and healthy-looking.” Even if they are numb and feel like blocks of wood in my shoes, at least they still look pretty good.

I didn’t buy my stars for my progress chart yesterday, but, thanks to the recommendation of a dear reader, I did order the book, Full: Food, Jesus and the Battle for Satisfaction on Amazon yesterday. Amazon lets you begin reading your book right away, so I started right in. So far, I’ve loved what I’ve read and can’t wait for it to arrive.

I will keep you posted! Thanks to everyone else who left a comment or recommended a book that was helpful to you! I plan to check them all out!

I hope everyone had a better day yesterday and is having a better one today! Thanks for stopping by for a visit!


Whatever Works

I hope my quest for knowledge starts to knock out my compulsion for food. Today I will hit Amazon and buy a book or two more on food addiction.

I was let down by It Was Me All Along. The writing was good, but the author had had weight-loss surgery. My goal is to find someone who has conquered food without invasive surgeries. Or yoga.

The book I am currently reading I had to put down last night because the author started talking about guided meditations. She said she had grown up in a religious (I’m taking that to mean “Christian” household) where anything not related to God or Jesus was considered questionable or even evil. I would concur with that. Eastern spirituality has no place in my life. I’m not going to start anything that sends up red flags just to lose a little weight.

There has to be another way. My feet still hurt this morning, from my vacation and all that time cooped up in a car, but I took some ibuprofen and plan to get on the treadmill in just a few minutes.

Just as a bunch of small steps in the right direction add up in a good way, so do a bunch of small steps off the beaten path take you somewhere you really don’t want to be. My joints are stiffer and my knee and feet hurt more. It’s movement that keeps your joints and muscles looser. Use them or lose them.

I have a few tops that I bought after I lost my sixty-five pounds that don’t fit me, anymore, and I’m catching glimpses of someone in the mirror who horrifies me. I told Chelsea the other day that I’m starting to collect a new batch of “before” pictures. When someone takes my picture I catch myself cringing.

But today is a new day. I’m starting off with journaling/blogging. When the ibuprofen kicks in I will get on the treadmill. Then I will have a plan-approved breakfast.

At Dollar Tree yesterday I bought myself a composition book. Today I will buy some colored foil stars. Each day, whenever I do my treadmill, I will give myself a gold star. Whenever I go a day eating clean I will give myself a silver star. Each day I blog/journal/spend time reading about food addiction I will give myself a green star (for growing and learning). Each day I put three hours between each snack or meal I will give myself either a blue star or a red star. Okay, I haven’t worked out all the colors, yet, or even what other thing–oh, YES, I have!!! It just came to me! A blue star will be each day that I drink all my water. That leaves the red star for making it three hours between snacks and meals.

I should weigh myself. That is the logical next step. But I’m afraid. I need someone to hold my hand. I don’t think I can face that number alone. I won’t face that number alone, and, yet, I find myself in a precarious situation because I don’t want anyone else to know what it is, either.

Whatever it takes, whatever works, that’s what I will do. If I have to take my Trim Healthy Mama book down off the shelf and read it again, I will do that. If I have to start back at the beginning of my blog and try to catch some of my old enthusiasm I will do that, too.

After my treadmill and breakfast I will buy my foil stars and get started–back to where I was. Wherever I found success the first time I will find it again. Without weight loss surgery, without yoga or any other Eastern religion transcendental meditation.

I want to accomplish better health and weight loss without any foreign agents. I welcome all prayer, and, of course, the help of my Lord. I wish I could learn what it is in me that is getting in my way.

Today I’m feeling overwhelmed but optimistic. Let’s do this thing.

Into Her Clothes and into Her Head

I was standing in line at Bio Life yesterday afternoon, waiting to get my finger pricked and my blood pressure and temperature taken, when my eyes landed on a young miss who was probably five foot nothing with a tiny frame. I glanced around at the other attendants and determined that her lab coat was a mere fraction of the size of the others. Was it a small or maybe even an extra small? I wouldn’t have been surprised. Her slender body made the perfect clothes hanger for the lab coat that hung crisply down the sides of her body, unlike some of the wrinkled lab coats of her coworkers that tucked into fat rolls and stretched across girthy backs and bosoms.

Every woman in there would probably love to be able to get into her clothes, but, at that moment in time, there at Bio Life on that Saturday afternoon, I wanted to be able to get into her head. What did she think about? What was her relationship with food?

When ten or ten-thirty rolled around, did she start thinking about what she was going to have for lunch? Was she counting the minutes until her lunch break or was she one of those that others had to prompt to head back to the break room because food was the last thing on her mind?

What would she think if someone told her that a coworker had brought in a box of Lamar’s donuts for the rest of the employees? Would her mind wander to that box of donuts all morning long until she was finally able to partake of one? Would she worry that all the chocolate ones or coconut ones or glazed ones would be gone by the time she got to them?

What would be her first thought if coworkers asked her to join them for Blizzards at Dairy Queen after work to beat the summer heat? Would she relish in the thought or would she politely decline because she had determined not to fill her body with junk like that or would she go and order something else without even being tempted?

I can’t help but wonder if there are people in the world who contemplate what the bare minimum is that they have to eat to still be able to sustain life. Are there people like that? Are there people who don’t enjoy eating or, at the very least, don’t spend as much time thinking about it as I do?

I once had a skinny cousin who would forget to eat. How is it possible to forget to eat? For most of my life, my thoughts have been consumed with food. My whole family was that way, and probably my parents’ families were, too. It’s a cycle that’s difficult to break.

When you’re raised by a mom or dad who equates food with love, you carry that with you your whole life. I’m not saying that my parents didn’t tell me they loved me or that they didn’t give me kisses and hugs and spend time and play games with me because they did, but food was such a big part of our lives and when my dad made a big freezer full of burnt sugar ice cream or a triple-layer German chocolate cake with coconut and pecan frosting I felt love.

My parents were excellent cooks, and mostly our meals were wonderfully nutritious–except for the rolls, biscuits and potatoes and the eight or nine varieties of pies we had for Thanksgiving and Christmas–not to mention the cakes, bread and rice puddings and Jell-o salads.

My parents were reared in a different era. While they were growing up, there wasn’t money for extras. During my mom’s childhood, even a common food like an orange was a rare treat for her. I think my mom vowed that that would never be the case for us. Whenever there was a trip to the grocery store, there was always a treat in the sack for us kids: Slow Pokes, Black Cows, Snickers, Reese’s or Sweet Tarts.

My parents raised a big garden. They canned lots of stuff: green beans, tomatoes, carrots, beets, chili sauce, pear honey, and I don’t even know what else. In the summer, we had a salad with every meal with lots of veggies cut up in there: green onions, radishes, tomatoes, celery and cucumbers. We had fried green tomatoes and fried okra. We had okra and tomatoes. We also had big bowls of cucumbers and onions with a vinegar marinade.

We didn’t have meat at every meal, but we never starved. Sometimes we had beans and cornbread with the homemade chili sauce they had canned. Sometimes we had fried potatoes on homemade biscuits with Velveeta cheese and Miracle Whip and sliced tomatoes, but always there was a big fresh garden salad to go along with it.

I don’t remember there ever being a shortage of apples or other fruit in our house, and we had every sugary cereal imaginable: Quisp, Quake, Sugar Smacks, Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops. When we were little, Dad also made us lots of hot cereal, too: Ralston Purina, Malto-Meal, Cream of Wheat, oatmeal and big bowls of steaming white rice with milk and sugar. We were well-cared for. I mean, we really were well-cared for, but probably my parents weren’t as educated about nutrition as I am becoming right now.

We always had potatoes, pasta, and bread in the house and we always had milk. Now, I have none of those–except for Ezekiel bread and almond milk, and my family insists that those are not the same thing. I also keep plenty of our new bread, Santa Fe flax tortillas in the house. My husband takes those to work with his tuna salad, and I use them for our sirloin burgers and personal thin-crust pizzas.

We are getting by quite nicely without milk and bread and hotdog buns and hamburger buns.

I remember the spread my parents used to put out for our Fourth of July cookouts: big, thick BBQ burgers with hamburger buns and hotdogs with grill marks on hotdog buns, huge bowls of my mom’s potato salad and macaroni salad, a big plate of sliced homegrown tomatoes and onions, a couple of bags of potato chips and nacho cheese Doritos, a freezer of homemade banana ice cream and a cooler of pop, none of it diet.

I get a little discouraged sometimes because I know I can’t replicate what that meal looked like, smelled like, tasted like and felt like. I feel like it would take too much effort on my part to try to find good THM substitutes for all the comfort foods with which I grew up. There’s a definite learning curve, and I am a lazy person. I’m not using the term lightly. I really am lazy and, for the most part, hugely unmotivated.

Unlike many other ladies, I hate the time it takes to look through cookbooks and Pinterest files. I find it boring and time-consuming.

That being confessed, I am happy with the small changes we have made in our diets: no chips, no white bread or buns, no potatoes, no milk, but I feel that I’m limited now with what I make for dinner. When I was growing up, dinner was colorful and balanced. My mom would plan for some type of meat, generally (except for when we had beans and cornbread or fried potatoes and biscuits), some type of starch (either some type of potato or pasta), but she would also try to offer as many different colored veggies and other foods as she could to make meal time pleasantly appealing to the eye.

I can do that now with our pizzas, omelets and salads. I put as many colored peppers and other veggies as I can in them, but I am limited by my husband’s reluctant acceptance of veggies like celery, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower. To be frank, he doesn’t like most vegetables, but I hope he will grow to appreciate them more and more as I have over the course of the past couple of years. I didn’t like Brussels sprouts and wouldn’t have wasted my time on cooked zucchini at buffets, but now those are the foods that I seek out and I pass by my old favorites of mashed potatoes and brown gravy, mac and cheese and fluffy, buttery, yeasty rolls without so much as blinking an eye or even looking in that direction.

As of late, after reading the section in the Trim Healthy Mama Plan book about okra–two or three times!–okra has become the new additive to my shakes (and hubby’s shakes, but–shhh!–don’t tell him!).  I don’t think it’s my imagination that the okra seems to make the shakes more creamy. The cottage cheese also helps, but don’t mention that to my husband, either. He would insist that nothing belongs in shakes except ice cream.

Sometimes I miss my old life and the foods I used to eat, but mostly I think it’s the childhood memories I had that just happened to revolve around the foods we ate.

I can say with 100% certainty that I don’t miss hamburger buns or white bread. I don’t miss milk. I don’t miss mashed potatoes or french fries or baked potatoes or hash browns.

If little by little by little we can become accustomed to doing without those things that are poison to our bodies, not only may we live longer but the quality of the years we have left will be significantly improved.

If we have more energy, if we can sleep better at night, if our joints feel better, those are all good things. If I put hamburger buns on one side of the scale and all the health benefits I get from not eating them on the other side, I know which side of the scale I would choose. Every time.

Are those the kinds of things that Miss Skinny Minny at Bio Life thinks about? Maybe she had a different upbringing than I did, or maybe she knows the same struggles I do. It would be interesting to get inside her head–and wonderful beyond my wildest imagination to be able to fit inside her clothes!

Thank you for coming by for a chat and thank you for supporting my blog by using my affiliate link to order all your Trim Healthy Mama supplies!  God bless!  My THM affiliate link –>https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

Retrain Your Brain

The other day there was a marathon of My 600-lb. Life. There were also a few episodes of My 600-lb. Life: Where Are They Now? One show featured the most successful weight-loss story from that show. She had gone from 600 something to only 137 pounds. She became a motivational speaker for others who were about to embark on the journey she had taken. Because of her obesity she had been unable to conceive, but, after her weight loss, she became pregnant four times, although the first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage: the baby had no heartbeat after just a few months.

As happens many times with these weight loss stories, the process took a toll on her marriage. A lot of times, the spouse/caregiver feels less and less needed as his wife becomes thinner and more independent. There are times even when the spouse has some kind of fetish for heavy women, as in the case of one woman in particular, and her husband said that if she were to lose a lot of weight, not only would he lose his attraction to her, but she would actually be repulsive to him–and he wasn’t just talking about loose skin.

The loose skin makes me a little fearful that I may become less attractive to my husband, although he assures me that will not be an issue, but it’s hard to wrap my head around men being repulsed by women who are within the normal range for weight.

The lady I mentioned in the first paragraph gained over a hundred pounds of her weight back. She had two toddlers to care for and had just found out at forty years of age that she was pregnant again. She began going to a support group, the same type of support group that she had led at one point when she had gotten down to 137 pounds.

What I got from that program was something she told the members of the group. She was explaining how it was that she had started gaining her weight back after finding success with Dr. Now’s program. She placed her hand on her stomach and said, “The problem is that I had surgery here”–and then moving her hand up to her head she said–“not here.”

There is no magic pill, no magic surgery, no magic plan or program. You still have to do the work and you still have to guard yourself against old mindsets and old destructive patterns. You’ve lived a whole lifetime with negative self-talk and bad coping mechanisms. It won’t change overnight. Finding a little success with whatever program or plan you use does not mean you won’t ever feel yourself slipping back to what you knew for so many years.

You have to “retrain your brain.” Just keep doing what you’ve been doing over and over and over and over again, and never say “die.” Never quit. Never, never, never. Take it from me. I watch these shows and I see what happens. A little laxity here, a little negligence there, and you’re right back where you started, and it’s harder to put the brakes on once you’ve lost your momentum.

The same goes with exercise. You can’t just stop. It’s just as easy to slip back into old sedentary habits as it was to build healthy habits of using the treadmill everyday.

If you feel yourself slipping, just do five minutes of walking. Then in an hour do five more minutes. Do three things before you sit down: clear a counter, empty the dishwasher, clean your mirrors in your bathroom or dust above your door frames. Little things like this will not only keep you off your bottom for a few more minutes, but they will also make you feel better about yourself and kick-start your metabolism.

Get out your THM book. Re-read another chapter. Review your food lists. It doesn’t hurt to review. It never hurts to review. Get your passion back.

The same kind of self-destructive behaviors that got you into the mess you were in with your weight can get you headed back in the same direction if you’re not diligent in keeping it from happening. Take a lesson from My 600-lb. Life.

Ask for support from your family. One young lady on Extreme Weight Loss came home from boot camp to find sugar-laden Easter treats on the counter and sugary cereals in the cupboard. She pulled her family aside and said, “This isn’t going to work. I can’t have things like this in the house. I know you can eat cereal, but, if I eat cereal like this, I’ll have half a box.” Boy, have I been there! I can’t even count the times I’ve had two or three bowls of Cocoa Crispies or Cap’n Crunch. When you’re an addict, that’s what you do. You can’t find it within yourself to just say no.

Today is a day that God has given you to make healthful choices for your body and family. You owe it to God, and you owe it to your family. Only God knows how many years you have left on this earth. Don’t you want your remaining time to be filled with mobility and good health? I do. Retrain your brain.

Today another photo memory came across my Facebook news feed. There was a time when I was so ashamed of my fat face and neck that I used only my eye as a profile picture. One of my political like-minded friends thought my profile photo was some kind of profound political statement that he applauded wholeheartedly. Nope, I just didn’t want anyone seeing my fat face and neck.

One of my very favorite bonuses from eating the Trim Healthy Mama way has been losing my neck and being able to see my ears from the front view. I don’t ever want to go back to that sad individual that I was before when I was so ashamed of who I was that I didn’t even want a profile picture.

I’m ordering THM Collagen today! It’s on sale, and I’ve heard lots of ladies raving about its health benefits!  If you want to take advantage of the sale, please consider using my affiliate link! It won’t cost you a penny more, but it will bless me tremendously!  Thank you!  https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

After THM Don't lose heart

Sweet Words Last a Lifetime

I couldn’t sleep last night because I was freezing. I couldn’t understand how it could be so cold in our room. I mean, it felt like our bedroom in the summertime–back when we first moved into our house and kept our thermostat at sixty-nine, since it was our first time with central air. Back then our bedroom was like the Arctic Circle, but it was a welcome change after suffering through sweltering summers with nothing but window fans. (Of course, that changed in a big hurry, just as soon as we got our first electric bill! Hi-yah!)

Chuck had told me before bed that he had turned on the heat, but he said he only set the thermostat to sixty-six. Okay, then why did our bedroom feel like a walk-in cooler? It felt more like forty-six, not sixty-six!

After shivering and shuddering under the blankets for fifteen minutes or so, I finally mustered the courage to expose my bare shoulders to the frigid air outside our comforter and jumped up to put on some warm, fuzzy socks. As I walked past the window to the dresser I discovered my window was open! I quickly shut the window and scurried back to the bed.

I put on my socks and scrambled back under the covers, still shaking and shivering. “No w-wonder it’s so c-c-c-cold!” I said to Chuck who had turned toward me to put his arm around me as he felt me get back into bed. “D-d-did you know you had th-th-the window open?” He was half-asleep and merely muttered something incoherent in response.

You would have thought that closing the window would have helped, but, no, I had trouble getting warm all night! Yet, I found if I covered my head, I got too warm and felt suffocated, so I arranged the cover over my face so that I would breathe in cool air through my nose and exhale warm air through my mouth under the covers.

When I got up this morning, I hurriedly turned off the fan (I know, I know, why did I have the fan on if I was so cold, right? The simple answer is because I can’t sleep without the noise now. I’ve become accustomed to it and if the fan isn’t running it’s too quiet to sleep–if that makes any sense! Ha!) I went to the bathroom and weighed myself.

Then, as I was standing in front of my closet to select something to wear, I heard the birds chirping outside Chuck’s window!!! And that, my friends, is why I was still cold even after shutting my window last night! His window had been open all night! Can you imagine the cross breeze we must have had blowing through that room before I shut my window?  Yikes!  B-b-b-brr-rrrr-rrrr!!

On to good news: after stringing together several good, on-plan days in a row I stepped on the scale this morning to discover that I have lost seven pounds in the course of the last two weeks! Yes! That makes me more determined than ever to keep doing as I’ve been doing. Part of that has been just drinking more water.

I am ‘fessing up right now, though, that I’ve been slacking off on my treadmill. That makes me wonder how much I would have lost had I been doing my treadmill every day!

Chuck is working this weekend, so I went to BioLife by myself to donate plasma this morning. When I’m driving by myself, I get a chance to think about all kinds of things. Today I was thinking about words of affirmation and compliments. It turns out that words of affirmation is one of my love languages. It’s my son’s, too. My husband’s love language is acts of service.

Let me just interject right here that there is no right or wrong love language: God made us all different, and we all came from different backgrounds.

Even though I’m a person who craves verbal affirmation, that’s not the kind of thing my husband is comfortable giving. He does all kinds of stuff for me (everything from cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, washing my car, getting any little problem that I happen to mention taken care of)–and he buys me stuff, too–but he’s not a gushy poetic kind of guy and he feels uncomfortable holding my hand–if anyone is looking–and kissing me or putting his arm around me in public is out of the question. You can understand how that would be a problem when one spouse is always reaching for the hand of the other spouse or trying to put her/his arms around her/his spouse’s waist when she/he’s in line at the checkout, while the other spouse squirms uncomfortably and tries to wriggle away. It bothers him that I do these things, and it bothers me that he doesn’t.

I was thinking, on my solo journey to the city today, about how timely, sincere compliments do a heart good. Every so often I will think of something someone said to me months or even years ago and marvel that I have always held those words close to my heart and revisit them time and time again over the years. And then I feel good, affirmed, all over again.

Do you know what I’m talking about? How many of you do this same thing? I have even saved special thank-you cards so that I may find them, tucked away in a drawer or in a book or in a box of Christmas decorations, and read them year after year after year. It makes me feel good.

Examples of things I have saved in my heart through the years: Once a girl I sat by in study hall told me if she had a smile like mine she would smile all the time.

Can you think of a cooler compliment than this? That’s the kind of compliment that songs are made of. It completely made my day. Well, it did more than make my day because thirty-seven or thirty-eight years later I still remember it!

I corresponded by snail mail with a coworker who was in my brother’s class while I was going to college. She told me that I wrote just like I talked. That may not sound like a compliment, but, to me, it was. I was reading Dr. Phil’s book, 20/20 Diet, and the thought struck me that he writes like he talks! When I was reading his book, I felt like I was sitting in a chair right up beside him on stage during one of his shows. He’s an entertaining writer. He engages his readers and makes them feel like he’s right there having a conversation with them. Granted, it’s kind of a one-way conversation (haha!), but you know what I mean.

When I was in college, on one of our many walks across campus, my roommate told me I had more natural beauty than any of the rest of them could ever hope to get from any bottle. Now that is almost poetic. What a great compliment to give to a young woman! I don’t even know what possessed her to say such a thing–it seemed so out-of-the-blue and took me completely by surprise–but I’m glad she did because I have kept it in my heart, even all these years later, and I pull it out to affirm myself when I’m not feeling very lovely.

Another one came from a boy (now a man) that I graduated with. Just recently we connected again through Facebook. He wrote (and I quote), “I swear Dirinda! You just keep getting better and brighter like a third generation rose!” I don’t even know what a third-generation rose is, but it was music to my soul to hear it (or read it, rather)! Now, where was he with that compliment when I had a crush on him back in the fourth grade?!!  Haha!

If ever you are prompted in your spirit to compliment someone–a genuine, heartfelt compliment–do it! It may be something that she (or he) will carry with her for the rest of her life! It may be something that she holds in her heart and pulls out to comfort her when she’s having trouble even making it through the day. Words have more power than we may think, and we want to use our words for good and not evil. As unfortunate as it may be, people will also carry the ugly things we say to the end of their lives, too. May we endeavor to build up with our words and not destroy.

Hey! I made something pretty good last night. As you know, I’m not much of a Betty Crocker, so generally my rule of thumb is “make it fast and make it easy.”

I had those magnificent low-carb Santa Fe wraps (otherwise known as “our new bread”) from Sam’s Club  on hand and wondered what new spin I could put on dinner that would incorporate using those.

I remembered Vicki Cogan, a high school classmate, saying that she enjoyed the pre-made pesto about as much as the homemade so I picked some up in the produce section, right where she said it would be, when I was in Piggly Wiggly yesterday afternoon.

My first thought was to make pizzas, but we’ve been having a lot of those lately, so I started thinking outside the box a little. I had also bought three packages of deli meat: ham, roast beef, and roast turkey, and I wondered if I could make “pizza” out of those–or, really, they would be open-faced hoagies, made out of wraps instead of bread.

I put my wraps in the oven at 425 for a few minutes on each side, so that they would be more crispy than floppy. Then I spread a thin layer of pesto on each wrap and laid two slices of roast beef across the top to cover the whole surface of the wrap. Then I put the ham and roast turkey on top of the roast beef. I covered the top with mozzarella cheese, a sprinkle of sharp cheddar, mushrooms and sliced grape tomatoes (I saw this pesto-instead-of-pizza-sauce-and-sliced-tomato-topping pizza thing on Extreme Weight Loss). 

When they came out of the oven I loaded the tops with shredded lettuce. Chelsea and I split one, but Chuck ate a whole one by himself. They weren’t bad at all, and–you know what?–I liked the pesto! It was the first time I had ever tasted it!

Chuck commented that if he’s going to have pizza he would like hamburger on his pizza, thank you very much, but he didn’t even mention the pesto, so either he liked it or he didn’t even notice the difference. It was my first time ever making “pizza” without pizza sauce. It was also my first time ever making “pizza” with roast beef, ham and turkey, and, even though it was out of the ordinary, it was a nice change.

Tonight we’re having taco salad wraps, instead of having those very-very-bad-for-you tortilla chips. I know that I could make my own chips with lavash, but I have yet to find it! I’ve looked in Super Center, and we don’t have any health food stores or Trader Joe’s around here.

Tomorrow we’re having an international dinner at church. I know this isn’t really an international dish, but I’m taking the Fakertot Casserole from the Coers family (Amanda Coers…thank you, Amanda!!). I’ve made this a couple of times already, and Chelsea and I just love it.

One thing I do, though, is use fresh cauliflower, instead of the frozen, and I steam it first to make sure it will be fully tender when it comes out of the oven. I also salt and pepper the cauliflower before I put all the toppings on. This dish is just as good a day or two or three after it is first served.

Thanks for dropping by for a visit! Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Remember, if you need Trim Healthy Mama supplies, I would appreciate your considering using my affiliate link! It won’t cost you even a penny more, and I get a little commission from your purchase! Thank you! https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df


Nobody Makes Fruits and Vegetables Like God

I’m having another fantastic, on-plan week. My fatigue seems to have gone by the wayside, although I never did get around to trying the Singing Canary. I’m too lazy to make a special trip to get the ingredients; then, when I am at the store, I forget. Story of my life.

I have been making me a mocha frappe every morning, however. Maybe it’s the instant coffee in that that is giving me that extra kick to get through my day.

Something else I’ve been doing is tossing in three large globe grapes that I picked up at Sam’s Club last week, not realizing that they had seeds in them. My kids turn their noses up at grapes with seeds–and they’re not my favorite, either–so I thought, “Why not pop a few of them into my shakes and smoothies?” They add natural sweetness without bumping up the carb count too much.

To go with my mocha frappe I have been eating an orange every morning before my route. I have to give a shout out to the Florida Sun Pacific people because their oranges were at least 75% juicier and more flavorful than the box of Sunkist I had picked up the time before. I think they were cheaper, too. I wonder how much of the Sunkist price went toward the sturdy cardboard box in which they were packed. The plastic bag with the Sun Pacific oranges was probably more economical, and it worked for me.

I went to Sam’s Club last week, hoping to get more Sun Pacific oranges, but the only ones I could find were California navel oranges. I don’t even think there was a brand name on the bag. I was skeptical, but they were almost as good as Florida’s.

Sunkist really surprised me because I always associated that name with the best there is in oranges. Apparently that is not always the case. As with everything else, I’m sure there are good batches and bad batches.

I’m glad I came up with the grape idea for my shakes and smoothies because they have been out-of-this-world delicious. Don’t get me wrong, I still put in my ten packets of Truvia, but I think the grapes make the shakes extra-tasty!

You may think that coffee and grapes don’t sound like they would go together, but, guess what, you can’t really taste the grapes–just like you can’t taste the spinach leaves in shamrock shakes!

I was thinking this morning, as I made my mocha frappe, just how thankful I am for my Piping Rock whey protein isolate. I feel like I’m cheating every time I drink a frappe, shake or smoothie. Who says I can’t have ice cream for breakfast–every day if I want it?

I’m glad I bought so many of the Piping Rock the last time I ordered it! It appears it has gone up considerably–five dollars a tub! If this keeps up, it may be more economical to buy the Trim Healthy Mama brand! You get 1/5 of a pound more with the Piping Rock, but right now it costs two dollars more than THM’s. I guess you just have to do the math.

I’ve been eating lots of those low-carb wraps from Sam’s Club for lunch when I make my very own “personal size pDSCF3206izzas.” They’re only five carbs per wrap, but they do contain a little soy. I’ve seen mamas say they are not on-plan, but then I’ve seen other mamas say that they are. My suggestion is to grab an admin in the THM Beginners  group and ask her.  I will say one thing, though, they surely are delicious!


I’m building my inventory for my new Paparazzi jewelry side business and preparing to start throwing jewelry parties! I am having the time of my life! I’m snagging up pieces for myself, too, and really enhancing my new wardrobe with lots of glitz and glamour! You can’t beat the five-dollar price! Yay!

We’re gearing up for a three-day weekend here due to parent-teacher conferences. I’m excited about finishing the week strong and on-plan! Be blessed, friends!


What Goes Up Must Come Down

What goes up must come down. Amen and hallelujah. Last Sunday, as you know, my son urged me to weigh and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had gained twenty pounds since–whenever it was that I got down to my lowest Trim Healthy Mama weight.

That prompted me to eat clean for the whole past week. Even though I was dragging a couple of those days and didn’t hit the treadmill, I got my exercise in the rest of the days. Yesterday I even walked to Walmart and back with Chelsea. I wasn’t nearly as red in the face as I was the last time I walked to Walmart with Chuck. The more I make that trek, the easier it will become.

This morning I stepped on the scale and found that I had lost over five pounds since last Sunday! I told Chuck last night, “I better have lost at least two pounds or I’m not going to be happy. If I step on that scale and find out I have gained, I don’t even know what I will do. I have done so well this week: I had to have lost weight.”

Maybe it was the coffee shake I had for breakfast yesterday morning–or maybe it was the excitement of my new business–but I was buzzing all day long. Not once did I feel sleepy.Paparazzi kit

I’ve sold a lot of Paparazzi jewelry over the past couple of days! Never did I imagine I would become a consultant–for anything!–but here I am, having the time of my life. I have been impressed with the pieces I’ve seen so far, and the jewelry basically sells itself and–did I mention?–it’s only five dollars!



I still have lots to learn, but there are training videos to watch, when I’m not so tired from being in the city all day!

I saw something on Extreme Weight Loss a couple of weeks ago that made sense. In truth, I see quite a bit on there that makes sense, but sometimes I actually retain some of it! Ha! The client was a guy who had a weakness for pizza. The nutritionist taught him to make pizza with pesto, instead of tomato sauce; then she put on some fresh, sliced tomatoes and then slices of low-fat buffalo mozzarella cheese on top of the tomatoes. She said that stuff like sausage and pepperoni and other cured meats have been directly linked to heart disease. She told him he didn’t need to put meat on the pizza at all because there is enough protein in just the cheese. We all knew that, didn’t we?  But the pesto was an interesting idea. The client gave the pizza two-thumbs up: he said it was delicious.

Here’s just one example I found on YouTube that shows how to make pesto sauce.

There are others, too, but this is one example. You can learn to do anything by watching YouTube videos. My sister had a couple of friends who taught themselves how to crochet by watching YouTube videos. Chuck learned how to repair our garbage disposal by watching YouTube videos. He saved us the cost of a new garbage disposal and the cost of having a repairman come out to the house.

Thank you for your kind notes of support on my last post. Sometimes I think we all need a friendly reminder or a swift kick in the rear. This weight loss business isn’t for the weak and wimpy!

I had to share with you, though. Five pounds!!  Yay!  Here’s to kicking off another good week tomorrow!

Thanks for supporting me through my Trim Healthy Mama affiliate link!  https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df



It Wasn’t Heaven

A couple of nights ago I had a dream. While it wasn’t exactly a nightmare, it wasn’t heaven, either. In my dream I was eating a big open-faced sandwich of big steak fries on white bread. It wasn’t just a sandwich, either; they were spilling off the sides. It was a steak fry sandwich with a side of steak fries. Yuck.

I remember looking at it in bewilderment. It was not any kind of source of enjoyment. It was something almost completely foreign to me. I don’t remember in my dream if I actually took a bite or was getting ready to take a bite, but, really, what does it matter? It was only a dream so it wouldn’t have hurt me if I had eaten the whole thing! I wonder if I would have woken up feeling sick.  Ha!

My son coaxed me into getting on the scale yesterday morning. I figured I hadn’t been doing too badly sticking to plan, so, even if I wasn’t back down to my lowest weight on Trim Healthy Mama, maybe I would have at least lost five of the eleven that I gained during the holidays. I would be happy with that.

I’m glad I weighed, but not in a good way. Not only had I not lost any of the eleven pounds I had gained, but I have gained nine more!  WHAT?!!! How is that even possible? I know how it is possible; who am I fooling? It’s by not doing my treadmill every day or any outside walking. It’s by having a couple of butter mints from my nightstand at bedtime or a couple of Dove dark chocolate or a ring pop or two while watching TV with Chuck or by eating half of a bag of cheddar popcorn that he brings me when he buys himself one.

I strongly believe that part of my weight gain has to do with the fact that I haven’t been trying as hard to actively lose weight. After watching several episodes of Skin Tight, I told Chuck I would be happy just to maintain where I was because I did not want to have lots of hanging skin and I also did not want to have skin removal surgery. The surgery is not only very expensive–even if insurance will pay for most of it–it’s also a difficult surgery from which to rebound. Recovery is very painful and takes months. I don’t know if I’m up for that.

Before I continue, let me just interject here that I know a lot of you are going to recommend dry brushing to me. I even bought one and used it a few times, but I’m not disciplined enough to make it part of my daily routine, especially since I’m not convinced it will totally do the trick. The doctors on Skin Tight said it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to lose your weight or the method by which you lose it or the muscle-toning workouts you put yourself through: if you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, there will be loose skin at the end of your journey, especially if you’ve carried that extra weight around as long as I have (my late twenties).

Although I’ll be quite content if I never see “one-der-land” (because of the skin thing) I don’t want to regress, either. There’s a difference in maintaining and backsliding.

Today all that changes. My husband is going to help me. Hopefully he will not only stop bringing me a bags of popcorn, but stop getting himself any, too. He’s going to encourage me to do my treadmill every day and go walking with me outside. It will get even better when Chelsea gets her motors replaced on her power chair (her left one has almost gone completely out and her right one has to compensate for it, so it’s on the way to needing to be replaced also) so she can go with me, too, when Chuck doesn’t.

He’s also going to buy us both bicycles, after Chelsea gets her motors, so that we can go riding in Confederate Park.

I’m back on track today. I got my treadmill out of the way before I left for my morning route, and I did more inclines. Instead of doing 2, 3, 5, 7, 5, 3, 2, I did 2, 5, 5, 7, 5, 3, 3. When I accidentally hit the “5” button instead of the “3” button after my first five minutes at “2,” I decided to just go for it and bypass “3” altogether on my way up. Then I stayed on “3” for my last five minutes, instead of bumping it back down to “2.” And I feel good. So good.

Chuck wants me to go back to weighing every week so I can see my progress, and he’s convinced I’ll see progress. “We know you can do it,” he said, “because you did it before.”

I’ll be so happy to get this winter over and done. Bright, sunny days are bound to do wonders for my spirits.

Watching Fit to Fat to Fit may help me in my particular situation, too. I’ve seen how easy it is for these trainers to pack on forty extra pounds just so they are able to empathize better with their clients: going out with their friends and doing bacon cheeseburger challenges, pizza fests, lounging around like a couch potatoes. One of the trainers went to an almost entirely sedentary lifestyle, after having worked out for eight hours a day.  Can you even imagine that?  Working out for eight hours a day?

After a while, the push to gain weight starts taking an emotional toll, however. They miss their workouts. They get used to the taste of sugar and probably even start craving it–because that’s the kind of monster that sugar is–but they hate that they can’t exercise. See, that’s the point that I want to get to. Again. Remember when I hurt my knee and walking on the treadmill was painful? I had tried a few times to walk on the treadmill, but had given up after only a minute or so because I didn’t want to hurt my knee even more. I knew that being out of commission would hurt me in the long run, and it did.

Getting back to any kind of exercise after a long sabbatical is just short of torture. Of course, the trainers on Fit to Fat to Fit feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven because they missed it so much. “Oh, this feels so good,” moaned one trainer, as she started doing her push-ups or crunches or whatever it was she was doing. It definitely isn’t heaven to me, but I’m hoping it will eventually feel like it.

Today is going to be a good day. I can feel it. By 6:00 I already had a mile in. With any luck, I’ll be able to do another one at some point. Maybe I’ll go to the walking track with Chuck later. The weather is perfect. It’s a little windy, but I left for my morning route without so much as a jacket.

My friend, Rachel, is starting Trim Healthy Mama today, after having a heart attack and even a mini stroke or two, I think. She’s hoping to get her A1c down with THM. Her books are due to arrive today, so, if you think of it, please pray that she will be able to latch on to this plan, that she doesn’t get overwhelmed and that she will find success. Thank you!

Woo hoo!  Post edit* Chelsea just called and her new motors have been approved by her insurance and she should be getting them on Thursday, the 10th!  Happy, happy news!

Stats for today:
Exercise: a mile on the treadmill
Breakfast (6:00) E: an orange and a Triple Zero yogurt
Mid-morning snack (9:00) E: chocolate peanut butter shake and two pieces of Ezekiel toast with Happy Farms cheese and Polaner all-fruit
Lunch (12:15) S: hamburger pizza with onions, peppers and mushrooms on flax tortilla
Afternoon snack (4:00) E: Fuji apple and Triple Zero yogurt
Dinner (7:30) S: zucchini spaghetti with meat sauce and a garden salad with Italian dressing

As always, I appreciate so much those of you who order your Trim Healthy Mama supplies through my affiliate link!  Thank you!  https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

Fight or Flight

“Fight or flight” is a phrase I’ve become familiar with on Extreme Weight Loss. It’s generally that one-week period of time right after the initial weigh-in when the client hits the gym floor for the first time. Having quite a few extra pounds to carry, the workouts are quite intense, and many times the client feels that he just can’t go on. He’s ready to quit. Chris Powell, the show’s professional trainer, calls this the “fight-or-flight” moment.

As I watch the show, I wonder often what I would do. Actually, I know what I would probably do because it’s basically the pattern of my life. I don’t “do” hard. I don’t like sweating, and these workouts Chris puts his clients through are not just leisurely strolls on the treadmill. They are running! And they are squatting and rising and throwing a weighted ball up in the air and squatting again.

The only thing that would keep me going is the fear of completely embarrassing myself on national TV by being a quitter. Being half-naked in my sports bra and yoga pants would be quite enough embarrassment for me without adding being a quitter on top of that. In fact, they couldn’t pay me enough to show that much skin in public. Ain’t nobody gonna see me in my sports bra!

Chris Powell seems to have a 100% success rate with his clients, so I have to think that it’s a pretty thorough retraining of not only the body, but the mind, as well. He’s with them 24/7 for the whole first week, and there’s only so much of that time they can show on a two-hour TV show. I come away from the show, completely awestruck at the people’s transformations and feeling that I must not be able to measure up, that surely I’m lacking some of what they have, because I’m still pretty sure I couldn’t do what they are doing.

Fight or flight? Just watch me run for the door. I don’t want my muscles to hurt–or even feel tired! I hate sweating, I hate breathing hard, I hate being red in the face, I hate my side hurting. As you can tell I’m pretty much of a wimp.

When I do my treadmill I start out promising myself that if it seems too hard I don’t do the hills today. It’s almost like I’m telling myself, “It’s okay. I promise I won’t be the drill sergeant that I have been in the past. If you want to stop at five minutes, we can do that.” But then, when I get on there, I change my mind and refuse to cut myself any slack. Having said that, never do I break into a run–or anything like that–so I’m not nearly as strict on myself as Chris Powell is on his clients. That could be how they’re losing over a hundred pounds in one year and I’m not.

One of the aides on my bus said she’s been watching Fit to Fat to Fit. I watched my first episode of that yesterday. It’s a program where the personal trainer gains weight to gain some insight to how the unfit person feels when they are working out and how difficult it is for them.

My aide said that one trainer said that he now had a fatty liver and the kidneys of an alcoholic. She said, “I didn’t like that. I mean, I’m obese, but I don’t feel like I have the liver of an alcoholic.”

I thought about that for a little while and remembered something I had read in The Sugar Solution. Do you know what happens to strawberries when you dump a bunch of sugar on them and then stick them in the fridge to marinate in that for a while? The strawberries begin to break down. What they do is turn into sheer heaven. But let’s get back to the point. What that sugar does to the strawberries is the same thing that sugar does to your internal organs. You can imagine, then, that diabetics have all kinds of breakdown going on with their internal organs. It doesn’t matter that the strawberries turn to mush, but our bodies are another story.

Chelsea and I got to go shopping today. We had a wonderful time and added several pieces to our wardrobes.

Oh! Before I forget, I have to tell you that this was our first time shopping with our new color charts. This is based on the Color Me Beautiful book from back in the 80s. I’m a winter, and this is my color fan. Chelsea is an autumn, and this one is hers. They are so handy to go shopping with! We had an absolute blast.

Also, let me tell you about my new side business. Today wPaparazzi profile pictureas my first day: that’s how new it is.  I haven’t even received my starter kit, yet, but I’m excited. Meet your new Paparazzi jewelry consultant!  Yep, that’s me! I’ve been to a couple of Facebook parties and picked up several pieces of jewelry. I decided that I love this stuff, and each piece is only five dollars!! So I’m giving you the link to my Facebook Paparazzi page in case you want to check it out. Here I am, with some of my Paparazzi jewelry and a new Maggie Barnes jacket/tunic that I found on Ebay! It goes perfectly with the Old Navy shimmery blouse that I also found on Ebay! What did we do without the Internet?

One of the things I like about Paparazzi is, if you want to look for a specific color to match an outfit you have, you can click on the corresponding color circle on the web site and it will show you everything they have available in that color. You can also click on necklaces or bracelets or earrings and they will show you just what they have available in that category. They add new stuff daily, so it never gets boring.

I have a page –>HERE<– that has a “shop now” button that takes you directly to my web site and a group –>HERE<– where I will also post photos of pieces as I get them and offer games and giveaways, etc. You can choose to “like” the page and get notifications or “join” the group and get notifications. I like the idea of the page just because it has the handy “shop now” button.

Chelsea and I have had so much fun today, putting together what we’re wearing to church tomorrow, from our new outfits to our new jewelry that we just got in the mail from our last Paparazzi party!

We ate at Corner Cafe today, and I could have done better. We hadn’t eaten there, though, since the day before Chelsea was admitted to Kindred over a year ago, I think, so she and I both ordered something we wouldn’t normally consider. The great thing about Trim Healthy Mama is that we can have special occasions like today without completely blowing our “diet” out of the water. Hey, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle, amen? I did a lot of walking today and drank a lot of water, and I’m actually pretty proud of the day I had other than my one indiscretion.

I donated at BioLife today to help pay for my shopping trip. All in all, it was a fantastic Saturday, complete with outstanding weather!