Play Time Everyday, Let the Fun Begin

The day my baby brother came home from the hospital, my parents brought me a toy iron and ironing board. They brought my other brother something, too, but I don’t remember what. Mom said she had heard that siblings feel less jealous of the new baby if it’s not all about the new baby, and gifts would make us feel special, too.

When I was in kindergarten, Mom picked up toy clothes lines and toy clothespins to give to the little girl whose name I drew.

Were we being programmed even back when we were three or four to become good homemakers? Nowadays I don’t think any of us would be thrilled if our husbands gave us a package of clothespins or an iron for Christmas, and, in fact, most of them know better than to pull a stunt like that.

When I could barely toddle around on my second Christmas Santa brought me a toy dining table with a faux marble top and chairs and a pink play kitchen set. Later on there was a miniature working sewing machine and perhaps an Easy Bake Oven, too; at least I remember a cousin having one of those.

What occurred to me a couple of days ago is all the hours we piddled away, pretending to work! Work was play in those days. What happened?

When we come home in the afternoon to a sink full of dirty dishes, a full-size working refrigerator full of real food and cabinets filled with real canned goods, and a working stove and dishwasher right there at our fingertips to be “played with” whenever we want (we don’t even have to share with our brothers and sisters!), why aren’t we having fun?

Other ladies do have fun in their kitchens. Me, not so much. The dishwasher makes things easier for me, but loading and unloading is still a chore–not a huge chore, but still an inconvenience when I would much rather be doing other things.

And cooking. Where do I begin? I’d much rather load everyone up in the car and go out to dinner. It’s not that I can’t cook: I just don’t like it. It isn’t fun for me.

We always had Christmas and Thanksgiving at my parents’ house until they passed away, so until then I was never responsible for the entire Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. Helping my sister or sitting at the kitchen table with Dad while he taught me to make rolls was one thing, but to be almost entirely responsible for pulling the whole meal together was foreign to me and a little stressful the first year or two.

Now, of course, I’m almost a pro at it. My daughter helps me by doing the cole slaw and the deviled eggs, but everything else I put together myself. I’m still a little amazed.

“Isn’t anyone else as shocked as I am that I can put this whole meal together by myself now?” I asked at Christmas.

They’re all nonchalant like “You’re Mom and you can do anything.” After all, this is what moms do. Meanwhile, I’m feeling like a five-year-old with an Easy Bake Oven, extremely proud that my concoctions are edible, let alone worthy of having seconds.

Boy, I’d like to get that joy and wonder back. In the eyes of a child, how fun it would be to wipe off a counter with a real dishcloth and real soapy water and mop the floor with a real mop and have the buttons on my dishwasher actually work!

Real clothes baskets and a real washer and dryer with buttons that really work and a dryer that really dries clothes! Shopping in a real store with a real full-size shopping cart and paying at a real cash register with real money!

When I was in fourth grade, at recess a teacher taught a bunch of us girls how to use a mini loom to knit. She showed us how to use a wooden spool, with four finishing nails driven in a circle around the hole at the top, and a bobby pin to pull the yarn over the yarn of the previous round. My dad was more than happy to make one for me, and I went to town with a variegated skein of purple yarn. Every long car trip, I had my yarn, spool and bobby pin with me. The variegated yarn helped me keep track of how much “knitting” I was able to accomplish during any given road trip. What I ended up with was a long knitted rope, and I have no idea whatever became of it. I had dreams of having it coiled together to make a rug or something, but that never came to pass.

To this day, yarn work is still one thing I rather enjoy. It feels like play still–once I get into it. When I was taking orders for my crochet business, I had so much business I was able to fund an entire church ministry for a whole year just by my crochet orders. I kept the money in a glass jar, and every time we went out to buy picture frames, ink for the printer, paper, ink pens or Gospel tracts we had funds available, thanks to the gift God had given me to crochet.

I don’t crochet for hire anymore. In 2013 I kind of lost my mojo. I’ve picked up my hook again, but I’ve laid aside the business aspect of it.

I think maybe if I could look at cooking as being creative it would be another story. To me, cooking is something that is a never-ending responsibility. If I make dinner now, even if it’s a masterpiece, the family will be hungry again in three or four hours. The same goes with cleaning and laundry.

When I make a hat, the hat is finished. It’s complete. Done. And I don’t have to keep working on it. Housework is never totally complete, or, if it is, it doesn’t stay that way.

The good news is, everyday we get to get out of bed and play some more! We can cook another breakfast using our real cookware and our real ovens! I just wish I could keep that mindset.

Stats for 1/26/2016:
Exercise: a mile on the treadmill with hills
Pre-breakfast snack (E) 5:30: one orange and 1/2 cup of 1% cottage cheese
Breakfast (E) 9:15: chocolate peanut butter shake and two pieces of Ezekiel toast with Happy Farms cheese and peach Polaner all-fruit
Lunch (S) 12:30: tuna salad (tuna, mayo, eggs, celery and onion) wrap with lettuce and a handful of cashews with sea salt
Afternoon snack (S) 4:00: blueberry muffin in a mug
Dinner (crossover) 7:30: chili

Don’t Care What Anybody Else Thinks

“Let me ask you something. Who is the all-time love of your life?”

Wonder Woman.”

Okay… let’s say Wonder Woman falls in love with you. And everyone else in the world didn’t find her attractive.”

It wouldn’t matter. Because I know they’d be wrong.”

See! That’s what I had with Rosemary! I saw a knockout, I don’t care what anybody else saw!”

Remember this scene from Shallow Hal? I was thinking about it this morning when my Ezekiel toast popped up out of the toaster.

You may wonder how Ezekiel bread prompted me to think about Shallow Hal. Well, the other day in the THM Beginners group I saw some disparaging remarks about Ezekiel bread. The ladies in there were dissing my bread! One or two of them likened it to eating cardboard.

Because I haven’t eaten regular bread in so long, Ezekiel tastes wonderful to me. In fact, Ezekiel bread was a godsend. I’ve had it as toast and I’ve also made sandwiches with lean deli turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mustard and Laughing Cow cheese.

I love my Ezekiel bread now and look forward to spreading a little Laughing Cow cheese and Polaner all-fruit on my toast in the mornings–or at lunch or whenever I decide to have it.

I thought back to my first taste of a Wasa cracker. Whoa–and I had thought Triscuits were bad! Now, though, I appreciate Wasa crackers, and with a little Laughing Cow cheese and Polaner all-fruit they make a delightfully sweet and crunchy snack.

I won’t let ladies’ negative comments about the bread, sweeteners and desserts on Trim Healthy Mama deter me. What’s important is that I like them.

A friend who started Trim Healthy Mama before I did told me to hold off on making the desserts for a while because I would not like them. Allowing taste buds time to adjust to the new sweeteners is crucial, and, of course, getting off the “hard stuff” (sugar) also helps.

I’m reminded of the comedian who was talking about how wearing contacts felt like pins and needles in his eyes and how people would tell him, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.”

He said, “Excuse me, but I don’t want to get used to having pins and needles in my eyes!”

People may say the same thing about Ezekiel bread: “I don’t want to get used to eating cardboard!” They may also say about the stevia-sweetened treats, “I don’t want to get used to eating those nasty desserts!”

Changing your mind about something is a good thing, especially if it will improve your health and possibly keep you alive longer for your family.

“Life is too short not to have all the ice cream, cake and cookies that you want!” Have you heard anyone say something similar to this–or live similar to this? I used to be one of these people. When I was in high school I kept family size bags of M&Ms in my vanity in my bedroom. I would eat them by the handful as I put my makeup on. (I didn’t have a significant weight problem back then, but it surely caught up with me as I got older and started having my children.)

I loved when my classmates had those huge-candy-bar-selling fundraisers. I was one of their best customers!

The truth is that life is probably shorter when you have all the ice cream, cake and cookies that you want, and I realize, probably more than a lot of people, that the time we think about that the least or try the hardest to keep that thought out of our minds is when we are about to indulge in those things.

Restraint and self-discipline are two of the toughest character traits to develop.

“There’s just two choices on the shelf:
Serving God or serving self.”

We are wired to serve ourselves. From birth, we learn to look out for number one. If it feels good, do it. If it tastes good, eat it. Me, me, me. My wants, my desires.

While eating a hot fudge sundae isn’t necessarily sin in and of itself, not exercising self-control is, and not being a good steward of the vessel that God has given me is also a sin.

The last thing in the world I wanted to do this morning was get on the treadmill. I trudged out to drive my morning route in what felt like the frozen tundra, and when I got home I just wanted to snuggle under the plush, warm blanket that my daughter got me for Christmas. I wanted to pull it up over my head and take a nice snooze in my recliner. That’s what I wanted to do..

It’s cold and dreary and the thought of a post-breakfast nap was tantalizing. I got on the treadmill, anyway, though. Admittedly, part of the reason I got on the treadmill is because I had about an hour to kill before it was time to eat breakfast, but I still got it done, no matter what the reason.

It’s easy to have self-defeating thoughts. It’s easy to think that, in the whole scheme of things, this one mile on the treadmill is not going to add more years to my life. But stack a whole bunch of those miles up together and it’s another story. Getting slack on my exercise is an easy rut for me to fall into. It got even easier to make excuses when I somehow injured my knee and it was painful to walk for a while. I got out of the habit of doing my treadmill, and, just as I suspected, it was even more difficult once I got out of the habit.

I’m doing better now, but the struggle is still there. I don’t want to walk on the treadmill.

I think the trick is to get my mile out of the way early in the day. If I can get a mile in first thing in the morning, then any additional walking I do during the day is gravy, and I have found that the more walking I do the more I’m motivated to do even more.

As someone who was so easily influenced by my mother’s dislikes as I was growing up, I can understand how I might take others’ opinions to heart, yet it hasn’t happened. To this day, I still don’t eat most seafood or the dark meat of chickens, just because of the horrible faces my mom used to make when such things were mentioned, but I am owning Trim Healthy Mama.

What works for me works for me, even if other women turn their noses up at it. The Ezekiel, the Wasa, the Truvia, the tubs and tubs of Piping Rock Whey Protein powder. I wish I had known earlier in my life that I could have lots and lots of shakes and still lose weight. It’s a dream come true.

I wish I had known that I could get by without potatoes, rice, bread, and milk. I can’t go back in time, but I’m just glad I know it now.

It’s been a good week, and I’m getting ready for a great on-plan weekend, as well!

Here’s my Trim Healthy Mama affiliate link in case you’re running low on supplies and would like to consider sending a small commission in my direction: Thanks!

Life change


Put Down Your Fork and Pick Up the Beat!

One thing I have gleaned from Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet is that you should put down your fork in between bites. This will do two things, although I can’t remember if he mentions them both in his book. The first is that it will help you to enjoy your meal and aid in digestion (wait, I guess that’s two things combined). If enjoying our food is the goal why wouldn’t we want each bite to last as long as possible? Why not spend more time chewing so that the food spends optimum time in our mouths? Why cheat our taste buds by swallowing prematurely? Aren’t we robbing ourselves of flavor when we wolf down our food?

The second thing we do when we put down our fork is give our stomachs time to realize we’ve had enough food. Did you know that it takes your stomach twenty minutes to register that it’s had enough to eat? That means, if you scarf down your dinner, by the time your stomach realizes it’s full, it may be, in fact, over full. Haven’t we all experienced that problem? I know I have!

A third blessing that comes from putting your fork down between bites is the social aspect of the meal. Are you celebrating family and relationships or are you celebrating food? Ideally, we should be talking more and eating less, not the other way around.

This is an area in which I need improvement. It’s easy to read the words on a page, but quite another to actually remember what I’ve read when I’m sitting down to eat.

Something else I read in his book is that, if you listen to music while you walk, you walk longer. I can vouch for this, only maybe not specifically longer, but better. When I’m rocking out to my tunes on my MP3 player while I’m on the treadmill I notice myself wanting to get my shoulders in on the action, too! I kind of “dance-walk” if there is such a thing. Hey, the more movement the better, I say!

Today, while I was on the treadmill, I noticed that the beat was faster than my gait, so I clicked up the speed of the treadmill .4 miles per hour. It felt good!

There are a couple more songs I wish I had on my MP3 player, but I don’t know which site to join to be able to download them. I have an older MP3 player and I don’t know if I-tunes is the same format as the songs I have on my player now. I haven’t had any new songs for years and years. I’m not a techie and have no idea what I’m doing. I tried to join a music site once, but my credit card company stopped my activity from going through. Ha! Coming from me, my credit card company probably thought it was a fraud for sure! She would never do anything as crazy as this! So, there you have it, I’m basically inept at downloading music or knowing which site is legal and cheap to do so!

Here is my desire: to be able to hook up our X-Box to the TV in our family room so I can learn this routine from the YouTube video.  The funny thing is, when I’m on the treadmill and the music is playing, I forget that I’m 56 years old and that my body has limitations! I’m just happy I haven’t thrown anything out of place, yet!

Let’s not forget that exercise is a proven tool to combat depression and fatigue. Even if you don’t feel like it, do it, anyway. Don’t let yourself be drawn into a defeating mentality regarding how tired you feel and a negative attitude toward exercise. I promise, you won’t feel worse; you’ll feel better. Trust me on this one.

We had a nice weekend, celebrating Chuck’s birthday. He got to donate at BioLife on Saturday while I picked up a couple of things I needed at Costco (four boxes of Truvia at $8.49 a box!). Then we went to Sam’s Club, picked up some Popeye’s chicken for Chuck, a burger in a box at Five Guys for me, and made it home in time to watch the Chiefs lose to the New England Patriots.

Chuck is a big Chiefs fan, but it didn’t ruin his birthday or anything. He knew going in that we would probably lose. We were playing against Tom Brady, after all, and Tom Brady is Tom Brady. Winning in the playoffs is what he does. This year he could be going for his fifth Super Bowl ring. He deserves it.

Here I am in my Chiefs Maclin shirt. I will never get tired of being able to wear an extra-large after wearing all the 3, 4 and 5Xs for so long!

Before and AFter Chiefs

I’ve added two 550 mg. ginger root capsules to my daily vitamin regimen, starting today.  I’m getting plenty of ACV with my cider pop, but I don’t drink many Good Girl Moonshines because I’m not a big fan of the ginger floaties.

Stats for 1/18/16:
Exercise: a mile on the treadmill
Blood sugar: 117 (12:15 p.m.), 100 (9:40 p.m.)
Breakfast (E) 8:30: chocolate peanut butter shake (now I leave out the glucomannan and put in between a fourth and a half cup of 1% cottage cheese) and two slices of Ezekiel toast with Happy Farms cheese and Polaner all-fruit (strawberry)
Lunch (E) 12:00: Blueberry Yogurt Baked Oatmeal
Afternoon snack 4:00: Either (E) sour cream apple pie smoothie or (S) chocolate muffin in a mug (haven’t decided, yet)
Dinner (S) 7:45: taco salad on Missions Carb Balance tortilla

Don’t forget! If you’re running low on Trim Healthy Mama supplies, I would appreciate your considering ordering through my affiliate link:!  Thank you!

Happy Martin Luther King Day, everyone! Don’t forget to have a dream!

Jam Up and Jelly Tight

Remember a few months ago when I shared this guy’s story with you?

Well, Brian is going to be on a new series called Skin Tight that started on January 7 on The Discovery Channel. The series chronicles the stories of people who need skin removal following a massive amount of weight loss. Brian’s episode will air on January 27, and I’m excited to see it.

Brian Flemming has a page, My 383lb weight loss story, on Facebook and has inspired many.

If the thought of anything surgical makes you squeamish, don’t watch the following video. It doesn’t bother me, but it bothers my husband a little bit. I don’t know if it’s the excess skin that makes him squeamish or the surgery, but he didn’t seem to enjoy watching it as much as I did. (I don’t know what he’ll do if I ever get closer to my goal weight–which I’m not even sure I have at this point.)

On the first episode, one of the patients, Tim, wondered if the excess skin was because he had lost two hundred pounds over the course of one year. He thought maybe he had lost the weight too fast. The doctor said, no, that anytime there was a substantial weight loss there was going to be excess skin. Of course, the younger the person is when they lose their weight the greater the chance is that the skin will spring back somewhat. As we age we lose collagen and the elasticity that collagen furnishes.

Possibly this is one of the reasons I’m in no great hurry to lose all my weight. One of the patients said before her surgery that she would almost be a little bit chubby than to have all the hanging skin. She said that she had never been happy with her body when it was larger, but that this was the first time she was actually ashamed of her body.

I’m not going to worry about this now–because who knows if it will ever be applicable to me–but many times insurance companies will not pay for skin removal surgeries because they consider them cosmetic. I know that Brian got some of his surgery funded through a GoFundMe page, and Discovery Channel helped with some with it, too, I think–or at least maybe the series did.

I already have some loose skin around my neck area, my upper arms and upper thighs, and my abdomen, but, what to do, it is what it is. It’s a small price to pay, I suppose, to gain some health into my life. Probably I’ll not be able to afford surgery (but I’ll examine that bridge when I come to it), but I may be investing in some compression shorts and undershirts!  Haha!  I already bought a couple of pair of cooling sleeves for my upper arms.

Life is not all puppies and roses, and sometimes there is bad that accompanies the good. Weight loss=good. Excess skin=bad. But hanging skin is not an adequate reason to not do anything about your weight problem or be around longer for your family, right? I guess we just have to suck it up and deal.

Speaking of deals, Costco is running an incredible sTruvia picale on the 400-count boxes of Truvia this month. The ad runs through January 29. Truvia generally runs $14.98 in my Costco, but I just picked up seven boxes for $8.49 each! I am stocking up. What a savings!

I’ve had a good THM week and I’m looking forward to another!


He Stole My Heart

In the afternoon I have a couple of new preschoolers. They’re not regular bus riders, but I pick them up as a favor to someone (either the babysitter or the parents) because I have another little boy that I drop off where they go, anyway.

My bus is small and twelve kids would be over capacity, especially since I also have to have room for my adult aide and especially if any of the kids are of the large variety (and a couple of them are), but, because I drop off three (now five) of my kids before I pick up the middle school, that means that all the kids won’t be taking up space at the same time and I could take on a couple more. I only have them on my bus for about ten minutes from the time they step onto my bus at the preschool to the time I pull up in front of the babysitter’s house.

One of the little boys had been absent from my bus for a few days, and I’ve only had him on my route since Christmas break. When he stepped up on my bus, his eyes grew wide and I didn’t understand his expression at first. Was he just happy to see me after not having seen me for a few days?

“Hi, Carter,” I said.

“You’re wearing makeup!” he responded.

My makeup-wearing comes in spurts. Earlier this year I wore it more frequently, but sometimes I only wear it to church. Apparently Carter hadn’t seen me in makeup before.

As he walked past me on his way off the bus he pressed in close for a hug. I gave him a couple of pats on the shoulder and said, “Have a good afternoon, Carter.”

He stepped down onto the sidewalk, and then he turned to look at me. “I like your lipstick!” he said, smiling brightly.

He stole my heart! Or did I steal his?

You know, compliments feel just as good coming from pint-size people. They feel more genuine. Kind of makes me want to wear makeup again.

Yesterday I wrote about my memory problems–or was that the day before? (See what I mean?) Sometimes when I make my chocolate muffin in a mug I almost forget to put in the baking powder. Then I feel like smacking my forehead when I say “Good grief, Dirinda, how can you forget to put baking powder in a baked item?” (I “bake” mine in the microwave for a minute and twenty seconds, but you get my point: it would look pretty sad without the baking powder in it to make it puff up.)

This morning I decided to make me one of my famous sour cream apple pie smoothies before my morning route. I’d had my shower, but I was still in the halfway-between-sleep-and-wakefulness morning fog. I stood at the cabinet, assessing which ingredient to put in next, when the thought hit me, “Oops! Better go ahead and put the baking powder in next before you forget it!” And so I did. I realized my mistake just as I flipped the teaspoon upside down in my cup.

Oh, no! What an idiot! I already had my apple, the Greek yogurt, the almond milk and the Truvia in my cup. Should I throw everything out, rinse off the apple and start again? Then I happened to think about the recipe I had seen on Pinterest for the birthday cake batter smoothie (or something like that) that actually called for baking powder (or was it baking soda? Who knows?).

Okay, I decided, this might turn out to be good, anyway. After all, it is a sour cream apple pie smoothie, and cakes and pies are both baked, right? I put in my apple pie spice and cinnamon and vanilla and then blended it up to pulverize my apple before adding the whey protein powder and crushed ice.

I’m hesitant to say it was better (because I already thought my recipe was perfect), but I kind of think it was!

Chuck and I went to Richmond after my morning route to pick up his wedding ring at the jeweler’s. He had lost a set out of it and wanted to replace it. As we drove by the bank, I admired again their “Royal” Christmas tree. It had royal blue garland around it, moose antlers near the top (for Mike Moustakas), and the tree topper was a crown. Hanging on the bottom branches all around the tree were white round ornaments (like baseballs). Oh, how I wish I had had my camera with me so I could share that image with you. I’m guessing the president of the bank (or maybe even the entire staff) is a big Royals fan.

Now I will share with you something I shared on the THM Beginners page last night:

“Facebook just won’t leave me alone with the fat photos! I just got another mortified glimpse into my embarrassing past, courtesy of “Facebook memories.” The photo on the left was taken four years ago today, apparently, according to Facebook. At the time, I was crocheting beards (not for me, but to SELL, silly mamas!). I just happened to be the only one in the room available to model! Haha!

Looking at that photo on the left, I’m thinking I could have actually used the beard to hide my fat face and chin so I wouldn’t be recognized in public! As you can see, though, it didn’t hide much! My fat face was spilling over the top of the beard. Oh, my, I looked like a burly lumberjack.

The photo on the right was taken by my daughter sometime last week, I think, to show off my new necklace (a necklace that would NOT have fit the lumberjack, by the way!).

I love looking through pretty jewelry now and appreciate that I can buy whatever I want without having to consider whether or not it will go around my over-sized neck!

With Trim Healthy Mama I have turned a corner. I feel more feminine these days, and, even though I’m still plugging away at a stall (but in no real hurry to finish the “race to skinny”), I see actual curves in the mirror now, as opposed to a round ball of blubber, and definitely less face and chin!

I wish I had been given the gift of Trim Healthy Mama when I was in my thirties: then Facebook wouldn’t be able to haunt me with all these pesky memories!”

Trim Healthy Mama before and after


Oops, I Did It Again

Two days in a row on the treadmill. I was dreading the tread. Haha. It doesn’t make sense that the second day would be worse than the first, but it was. Oh, I hated it. Again, I tried talking myself into getting back off, and again I denied myself the option of quitting. In fact, for the first half of my 7% incline hill I bumped up the speed to 3.3. That’ll teach me to whine and complain.

I feel good now. A little sweaty, but good. Let’s see if I can feel “good” again tomorrow.

I used up my last Fuji apple a few days ago, so I went to Piggly Wiggly a couple of days ago to buy more. What I ended up with was a huge bag of the most delightful-looking Red Delicious apples I’ve ever seen. So delightful, in fact, that they could pass for the evil queen’s props in Once Upon a Time.

I bought them for three reasons: 1) the whole bag was only $4.99. 2) I bought them for sour cream apple pie smoothies so the lack of crunch (if there is one) isn’t a factor. 3) Dr. Phil specifically names Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith in his 20/20 Diet book.

I don’t know why Dr. Phil says “the apple of your choice” and then puts only those three in parentheses. That’s like saying, “Have whatever you want, so long as you have what I tell you to have.”

Could it be that Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith have more properties conducive to good health than all the other apples? It doesn’t make sense, does it? But I will say that when I googled apples once, trying to find out the nutritional value, the information I found pertained to Red Delicious and Granny Smith.

I found this: “A study published in October, 2014, did show that compounds in Granny Smith apples may help prevent disorders associated with obesity, but did not find that eating the apples themselves had an effect on weight loss. Researchers at Washington State University set out to learn whether non-digestible compounds in apples – specifically fiber and polyphenols (health protective antioxidants) – could help prevent obesity-related disorders such as diabetes. They tested Granny Smith, Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious varieties for the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain, and found that Granny Smith contained the most.” –>HERE

More interesting stuff about apples I found HERE.

I had a great on-plan day yesterday and intend to do the same today. I hope you are likewise finding success with Trim Healthy Mama. Enjoy your Thursday!


So It Has Come Down to This

When you get older sometimes you need to compensate for not being able to move as well or remember as clearly. This is what it has come down to for me.

What is completely maddening is not being able to remember if I took my vitamins, yet, or not. Even if I hapill holderve them all lined up and am in the process of taking them, I sometimes have to stop and think, “Did I take my Vitamin C already?” or “Did I take my folic acid?” The only vitamin I have no trouble remembering is the Vitamin B Complex. It is the mother of all nasty pills. Once I’ve taken that one, it’s hard to forget. I almost have to hold my nose while unscrewing the lid to the bottle.

What has helped tremendously is a labeled pill organizer. All I have to do is load it once a week, and it saves me the time of getting out all my bottles and doling out a vitamin from each one. It also saves me the headache of having to remember if I took my vitamins yet or not. Yep, that’s what happens when you get old.

The Vitamin B Complex and folic acid I take twice a day, per my podiatrist’s instructions, but the C, E, and cinnamon I only take in the mornings. My two magnesium and my Lipitor I take at night.

Don’t worry, I’ve not ever forgotten to eat. Things haven’t gotten that bad, yet! I had a cousin who used to do this. I could never understand it. Every hour or so my mind naturally wanders to food, and these days I can add exercise to that, too. Now I don’t eat every hour, and sometimes I don’t get on my treadmill (at least here of late) for a week or so at a time, but forget about it?  Never!

Do you remember when I used to say that not doing my treadmill will just make it that much harder when I get back on it? I wasn’t lying. Instead of napping before my preschool route today (I really, really wanted to), I got on the treadmill instead. I had to push myself pretty hard the last seventeen minutes because I wanted to quit! All kinds of thoughts were going through my head, like “Maybe I could just start out with five and then do five more later on.” I’m happy to say that I wouldn’t let myself off that easy.

Remember when I used to spring along at a pretty good clip? Remember when 3.3 m.p.h. was my norm? Well, I don’t think I could do that right now. The good news is that I still kept my speed up to three miles per hour and did my hills, too. That seven incline kicked my tail today, but, as I have said many times before, it’s only two minutes. I can do anything for two minutes, right?

I have to add here that nothing is heavier than a treadmill not being used. It’s dead weight that I carry around with me all day long–until I get it out of the way. As much as I hate sweating, what I hate more is not having sweated. Who needs that kind of guilt?

Oh, here’s a non-scale victory. Last night Chuck and I went to Rib Crib. It’s all-you-can-eat ribs every Tuesday night. One of my favorite parts of the meal had been the piece of toast served with it. In fact it was such a favorite that most times I asked for a second one. After I started Trim Healthy Mama, I “evolved” when it came to my Rib Crib toast.

I went from “One piece of bread every once in a while won’t hurt me” to “I can get by with just eating half a piece” to “I just want to take one bite” to “Please hold the toast and the crunchy things on the salad.” Now that is a non-scale victory!

Yes! I asked the waitress not to bring me any toast, and I didn’t sit there looking longingly at my husband’s as he ate his! I don’t care about toast, anymore. The same went with the rolls at Christmas and Thanksgiving. I ended up having to throw a zip-lock baggie full of them away! Seriously.

Trim Healthy Mama has changed my taste buds. I now look forward to my Ezekiel toast with Happy Farms (or Laughing Cow) cheese and Polaner all-fruit, but regular toasted white bread tastes like cardboard to me. It has lost all appeal.

When I started Trim Healthy Mama a friend had told me to hold off on trying the desserts because I would not like them. It is true that, to a person who is used to eating sugar–and lots of it–desserts made from stevia and Truvia seem lackluster, if not downright nasty.

Not anymore! I had a chocolate muffin in a mug for breakfast and I felt like I was eating a big ol’ piece of chocolate cake. Because I love coconut (and because coconut flour is cheaper than almond flour) I used coconut flour to make it. I had to add a little water since coconut flour is so absorbent, but it was delicious. Most times I also add about a tablespoon of unsweetened coconut to it and maybe ten sugar-free chocolate chips. I just sprinkle the chocolate chips on top after I get everything mixed together. In the microwave the batter rises up over the chocolate chips.

When it comes out of the microwave I finish it off with a dollop of light generic Redi Whip. I would buy fat-free Redi Whip if I could find it. The chocolate muffin in a mug has found its way into my regular rotation, along with shakes and smoothies and baked oatmeal.

I found out that my A1C has dropped to a 5.7. Yay! My cholesterol was up, but that was only because I ran out of Lipitor and procrastinated getting another prescription called in.

Procrastination has been my nemesis for as long as I can remember, but finally, finally, finally I got the sweater I was making for Cameron (that I started two years ago) near completion! (I got into a real crochet funk during Chelsea’s hospital stays and didn’t even pick up a hook for months and months and months. I didn’t care if I crocheted ever again. I just lost all interest.) All I have to do is weave in all my loose ends and sew the KC Chiefs patch on the chest. I intend to have it completely finished by Saturday’s game. Maybe it will bring our Chiefs some good luck, eh? Saturday is Chuck’s birthday, and Chuck said the last time they played on his birthday they won–so we’ve at least got that going for us. Wouldn’t it be great if the Royals won the World Series and the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in the same year?!

In other news, Chelsea got a Netflix subscription for Christmas, so she and I (and Chuck and Cameron) have been watching all kinds of fun and exciting things. I finished Making a Murderer, and Chuck is almost finished with that one, too. I would tell you about it, but I don’t want to get myself mad and ruin my day.  LOL  The guy is innocent. I’m sorry, but he was wrongfully imprisoned, not just once but twice. As we can see from the O.J. Simpson trial and the Casey Anthony trial, our court system doesn’t always work–but it’s far better to let a guilty person go free than to falsely convict an innocent man (or, in the case of Making a Murderer, a man and a mentally compromised child).

I’m also watching Once Upon a Time. It’s a little out of my norm, but I must say the writing is very good. It’s a lively story line interwoven with fairy tale characters, of all things, all somehow connected in very imaginative ways. Chelsea got me started on it. I’ve not had much time for blogging or Facebook, either, for that matter, but I did get a sweater almost finished!

Thanks for stopping by to visit! Hope you have a wonderful rest of the week!

Remember, if you’re running low on Trim Healthy Mama supplies, I would be most appreciative if you would consider ordering through my affiliate link. I won’t cost you even a penny more.  Thanks!  My link: 





From Frumpy to Fashionable

There was a time in my life when fashion just wasn’t an option. Even the best clothes in my closet made me look frumpy, and, honestly, I didn’t have many “best” clothes. My clothes were not fashionable. They just don’t make very many fashionable clothes in gargantuan sizes–so I didn’t have a lot of choices. If it was my size, I grabbed it, no matter what it looked like on me: I was just happy to find something in my size.

Enter Trim Healthy Mama. Now, I am having the time of my life shopping for new clothes! I can actually be picky now! I don’t have to buy the first thing I find just because it’s in my size.

Granted, I’m still having a hard time understanding that I don’t need to look at the larger sizes first! I gravitate toward those larger sizes automatically! LOL I’ve spent so much of my life being grotesquely overweight that it’s unbelievable I can now fit into a 2X or even an extra-large instead of a 32W.

Recently my husband had me go through my closet and weed out all the clothes that were now too big for me so that we could donate them. Those clothes had been a part of who I was for so long that it was difficult to let them go. I did it, though, and it was very freeing. I’m ready to keep evolving into a trimmer, healthier me.

I have a ways to go, and the journey has slowed. That’s fine with me. However long it takes is however long it takes. I’m still a lot further than I was when I started, amen? I’m not discouraged. I’m EXCITED to be where I am, especially when I remember where I USED to be. ‪#‎findjoyinthejourney‬

THM Before and After (Frumpy to Fashionable)

Impulse Buying

Sometimes I am weak (and apparently not very bright). I go into the store without a list and then try to remember (by looking at everything) what exactly it was that I needed to buy.

Listen to me: this is dangerous. If you use this method of shopping, it is likely you will arrive home with items you shouldn’t have bought–unless you scarf them down in the car, as I have done before.

  1. Always have a list. Even if you only have four items to purchase, make a list anyway. This will keep you from forgetting what you needed and will keep your eyes from wandering. Keep your eyes on your list, and checking off the items as you put them in your cart will also give you something else to do to distract you from all those packages of goodies that may be calling your name.

2. Walk fast and with purpose. Don’t meander through the grocery store. Don’t dawdle. You know what you’re there for; get at it! Spending more time in the grocery store than you need to will give your resolve more time to weaken (or completely disappear!).

3. Know your grocery store and what aisles to avoid. Even if you have to walk two aisles over and backtrack, that’s better than taking a shortcut through the cookie or chip aisle. If you’re not there your eyes won’t be drawn to a sale ad. Pay attention here: it doesn’t matter what kind of fantastic sale is running if you don’t need it! Poison is poison even if it’s free.

Sometimes I don’t trust myself. Sometimes I’d rather not go to the store at all because that’s how weak I feel.

4. Be accountable. If you need a grocery buddy, get one. Ask a friend to go with you to keep you on track, or always go with your hubby. Tell them you’re struggling and you need an accountability partner. Listen, recovering alcoholics don’t ever have to go into a liquor store–ever again–but a food addict can’t just stop buying food cold turkey.

5. Find out whether larger grocery stores have delivery service. My husband’s niece does this. The Hy-Vee near her offers free delivery on orders over $100. She can shop the ads online and avoid seeing any cookies or chips and the candy bars at the checkout.

Free grocery delivery is also a bonus if you have small children that you have to corral or entertain during long shopping trips.

The only drawback that I can see to shopping online and having your groceries delivered is missing out on all the walking at the grocery store (and the reaching and bending and squatting). Our niece says grocery delivery frees up enough time for her to get in a workout at the gym. Just make sure you do something. Walk around your house a few times or down the street or around the block.

(Dr. Phil says if you’ve been sitting for an hour, make sure you get up and walk around for a while. Coming home after work and zombie-ing out in your chair after dinner from seven to bedtime is not a good way to burn calories.)

Intentional shopping is what we need to be doing. Have a plan. Know what you’re buying. Don’t go to the grocery store hoping to get an idea of what to fix for dinner. You better get that settled beforehand! If you go to the store hungry everything will look good–not just for dinner, but for a snack to devour on your way home! Don’t let this happen to you. Been there, done that, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. There’s nothing worse than having a 100% on-plan day until 5:30 p.m. when a package of only-a-dollar cookies hijacks your grocery cart. You’re in the car and stuffing them into your face before you ever knew what hit you or where you went wrong. You can’t understand it. You were doing so well. Did you completely lose your brain? What were you thinking? Oh, does this sound familiar! It’s because you didn’t have a plan.

With these tips we can do better. With a little smart shopping we can have the best THM year ever.

Blessings When We Need Them

Chelsea is waiting for the battery in her power chair to be replaced. Apparently batteries (along with everything else) aren’t what they used to be and need to be replaced every year or so. When Chelsea called about her battery she was told that going out in temperatures below 32 or above 85 (those are estimates: I’d have to check with her on the exact numbers they gave her) would deplete her battery more than if she went out in pleasant weather.

It’s a little over a mile to town, anyway, so when it’s cold and snowy or icy and the sidewalk isn’t cleared all the way to town, either Chuck or I take her in her wheelchair van. The girls at the salon even told Chelsea they wouldn’t mind coming to pick up her van (and her) so that she can make it in to work on days when the weather is less than favorable.

The wheelchair van has been a blessing beyond our wildest dreams, and in His wisdom God held back on this blessing until we needed it most. Chelsea had been in and out (mostly in) of the hospital for two years. When a friend of mine noticed that some friends of hers were giving away their son’s wheelchair accessible van to any individual or family who could use it, she shared the post with me and I jumped on it immediately.

The story was that someone had given it to this family’s son, but he had moved into an apartment where transportation was provided for him and he no longer needed it. Because it had been given to him, they wanted to pay it forward and bless another family in the same way they had been blessed.

What perfect timing for this to come about! Chelsea was in the hospital at the time, probably wondering if she would ever get out. She underwent lots of trying times, including hyperbaric oxygen treatments. With her claustrophobia, they were very stressful for her, and the real kick in the gut was that there was little to no improvement after weeks and weeks of treatment. Her prealbumin (protein level) was at rock bottom despite all her efforts to raise it, and her strength was severely diminished from being so sick.

When we tried to sneak family mini vacations in between hospital stays to elevate her spirits and get some family time in, she was devastated when Chuck had to lift her in and out of the car when her legs failed her. Having to have Chuck to help her brought her to tears on more than a few occasions. Of course, he’s her dad and he insisted that he was happy to do it, but she felt bad, anyway, knowing how much trouble he has with his shoulders.

The gift of a wheelchair van meant no more worrying about losing her pad or wound dressing in the middle of a parking lot while trying to transfer into her chair. It meant no more having to depend on another person to lift her out of the car and possibly a second person to make sure the wheelchair didn’t move as she was being placed into it. It meant no longer having to carry towels to place over the ice and snow to give her better footing as she pivoted out of the car and into her chair. It meant not having to worry about a leaking catheter or having to make sure it didn’t get pulled as she maneuvered into her chair.

The timing, though, was just as much of a blessing. It gave her something to look forward to when she got out. It gave her something to be excited about, and it lifted a load of concern off her shoulders.

One of her friends was instrumental in setting up a gofundme page so that we could get the van fixed up. A bungee cord was holding the door shut, the tires were old and worn, and it needed a tune up.

Because of the severity of her surgical wound she also needed a hospital mattress to go with the hospital bed that had been ordered for her, and this type of alternating low air-loss mattress did not come cheap. With the funds we raised with the gofundme page and a Pizza Hut benefit that a friend set up for her and a raffle that another friend set up for her, we were able to completely finance the new mattress and van repairs. We even had money left over to get things like mattress pads and a hospital table so that she could eat in bed if she had to or use her laptop.

The hospital table has been a godsend. I don’t even know how we got by without it. The mattress, too, I have to believe has helped in the overall healing of her wound and prevented other pressure wounds from forming.

One of her friends had told her that the hospital bed people had been right there to reclaim the bed after her mom had passed away. We didn’t know how all that worked. We thought the bed was Chelsea’s. One thing for sure, the mattress was hers because we had paid for it with the proceeds from the fundraisers.

Chelsea called the people she got the hospital bed from, and they said if she had it over a year it would be hers, but that most people passed away within a year after the hospital bed was ordered.

“That is not going to be me,” she said to reassure me, possibly to counter whatever look may have passed over my face at the time.

We drive the van to church nearly every Sunday, and we’ve taken it shopping a few times, too. Mostly we just use it for church and to take Chelsea to work: Chuck doesn’t like to have it on the interstate. Even though it has had repairs, it’s still an older vehicle and he doesn’t trust it for long ventures. Not only that, he’s not used to driving anything bigger than a car, and it makes him a little nervous–not to mention that it uses more gas than a regular car.

I’m still waiting for my labs. They’re in; I just haven’t gotten them in the mail, yet. The doctor’s office called yesterday and said they look fine except for my cholesterol. They said they wanted to increase the dosage of my medication.

I said, “That won’t be necessary. It was high because I hadn’t been taking my medication. My prescription ran out, but now that I’ve seen Haley I have another prescription and can take it again.”

Probably this has nothing to do with it, but I wonder if having high cholesterol interferes with having a successful plasma donation.

The last time I tried to donate plasma my machine beeped almost the entire time, and I only ended up donating half a bag. I was deferred from donating for eight weeks.

That was discouraging because the next week was another bonus week. The second donation was worth $50. I hated missing out on that $80, particularly since Chuck and I were both off work and could go donate together, making it a 160-dollar week.

To offset that disappointment, God sent me a blessing! The following is what I posted on my Facebook blogger page a few days ago:

“Every time those wonderful words ‘Woo hoo! Commissions!’ pop up in my email, I feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs! Such sweet words for my eyes to fall upon!

Each time, I hurry over to check to see that one of my fabulous blog readers has clicked onto my link to order their Trim Healthy Mama supplies.

Usually I see an increase of one to ten dollars in my account, but today? Oh, no, not TODAY!!! Today what do I see? I had to look two or three times to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me! In one purchase I made $157.07 in commissions!

Just SEE how God provides for me!! You know, I was feeling all bummed out about not being able to donate plasma this week since it would have meant $80 for my pocket. Something went ‘wrong’ the last time I donated, and the plasma center said I would have to wait eight weeks before donating again.

I don’t know if it was a machine error or if the technician somehow missed my vein, but the machine beeped almost the entire time after I had donated half a bag of plasma. I was especially disappointed because of the $80 week. Normally it’s $60 per week. But NOW!! Oh, NOW, because one of you sweet ladies bought a boatload of THM products using my affiliate link (are you stocking up for the year? are you opening up a THM store? did you use my link to join a membership on their website? Whatever you did, THANK YOU!!!) As you know, it didn’t cost you a cent more than if you hadn’t used my link, but your using my affiliate link really melted my heart. Thank you. I am so, SO grateful! That’s almost DOUBLE what I would have made by donating plasma! Wow, that’s all I can say. Just wow.”

This is my link if you ever want to bless me by purchasing Trim Healthy Mama products through my affiliate link:

So far today has been a good THM day: chocolate muffin in a mug at 5:30, chocolate peanut butter shake and Ezekiel toast at 9:00 and baked blueberry yogurt oatmeal at 12:15. Tonight I plan to fix a big skillet scramble omelet with ham, cheese, mushrooms, green and red peppers and green onions.

I know that is one thing that is gentle on my hubby’s blood sugar. Last night I fixed him steak and green beans and mushrooms. He told me later that at least he knows steak and green beans are on the “safe list.”

I’m going to try to take a nap before afternoon route. It seems no matter how I try I never get more than five or five and a half hours of sleep at night.