Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Advocare - Day 22

I haven't mentioned this, but I have actually been doing well with working out every day. I have been trying to do a total body tone each day. I've walked hills on my treadmill while working on my pilates/ballet arms poses. I then do some abs and lunges/squats to get everything a little more toned. Austin mentioned yesterday that he is really starting to see a difference in how I am looking.. wow!! That is good news!! I am sitting at a almost 7lb loss at this point... I only have 2 more official days on the challenge, but I am going to carry it out until Saturday, when we go to Las Vegas... We leave from Las Vegas to go to Mexico to an all-inclusive resort with some friends on Tuesday, so I'll have 10 days of diet-free living. I am still going to try to reign it in so I don't ruin all of the progress I have done so far.

Today I woke up pretty late, so I just had some fiber cereal with my MNS packs and Spark. I ate fruit for lunch with MNS packs. I'm going to eat scrambled eggs in a whole wheat tortilla for dinner with some fresh salsa. I have to bake some brownies for small group tonight, so I better get going to do that... I WILL NOT eat the brownies though!!! :) See you tomorrow!

Advocare - Day 21

Monday.... ahhhh.... This is the first Monday I have loved for a LONG time!! I didn't have to go to work! ahhhhhhhhh....

21/black jack is fitting for this week because Austin and I are getting to go to Las Vegas this Saturday! I am excited to go because I have never been!! Austin has a conference to go to for work, but I get to just lay at the pool and soak in the atmosphere. I'm not a big gambler, but I am planning on playing some penny slot machines for fun! I think it'll be pretty cool! We have tickets to Jersey Boys on Sunday Night! Yay! I can't wait!!

I followed my diet pretty well! I did my whole morning thing like the last week... MNS, shake.... I ate fruit for lunch with a few nuts. For dinner, my book club went to Olive Garden. Instead of ordering some crazy pasta dish, like I usually would, or eating 10 breadsticks, like I usually would, I ate a grilled chicken flat-bread appetizer with a salad to start. I only ate one breadstick... which was a true test of self-control! ha. I know I broke the diet some, but it definitely wasn't as bad as it could have been!!! I would say I consumed about 600-700 calories instead of my usual 1200 at Olive Garden... baby steps, right?! :)


Mother's Day. Ouch. (Advocare - Day 20)

Happy mother's day!!

I was a mess on Sunday!! I woke up in just enough time to get ready for church and get out the door! I drank my spark and took my MNS packs. I didn't have a chance to drink my meal replacement shake though.. :-\ We met Austin's parents at the Amarillo Club for brunch at 11. I actually did pretty well for this place! It's an open buffet of all comfort foods in the world... biscuits and gravy, fried chicken, macaroni and lobster, etc... I opted for a healthy egg-white omelet and a salad! However, I did eat a few bites of Austin's oreo pie... I couldn't help it!! It was right there!!! ha. Oh well.

Today was a day of mixed emotions for me. It is a day when I have a special time to think about how blessed I am to have the mother I do. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever met, and she is constantly concerned with bringing lost souls to Christ. She has never fallen short on uplifting, encouraging, and challenging me in my daily walk with the Lord. She is kind, patient, sweet, funny, quirky, intelligent, and she has suffered a lot and allowed it to make her stronger and more humble instead of bitter. Short story: my mother is INCREDIBLE!!

On the other hand, I feel it deeper today that I am still not a mother. At brunch, they passed out chocolate boxes to all mothers as the entered the restaurant... They asked if I was a mother, and I had to say "no", so they passed by me and gave the chocolates to the next person. Now, I am glad I didn't have to face the temptation of eating the chocolates, but it was a bitter moment for me that I was passed over. It was a physical picture of what my heart feels like constantly... That I am being passed over... That I am, most certainly, not a mother. It's hard. My sweet mom called me today to wish me a "happy future mother's day" in faith that God is preparing our own baby in His perfect timing. It was very sweet of her. Just a hard day. I deserved the few bites of pie.

My sweet mom:

Advocare - Day 19

Saturday seemed like a total blur... It was the first day of my summer break, and I actually stuck to the diet!! MNS packs, Meal Replacement shake, Fruit and turkey for lunch with MNS packs, and out for a friend's birthday Saturday night, and I DIDN'T get my favorite chicken green-chile farfale dish.. Instead, I got rainbow trout and wild rice with asparagus. I WIN! No wine, no candy at the movie afterwards... I am the picture of self-control! haha. JK. We went to see the Great Gatsby after dinner with our friends, and it was AWESOME!!!  I highly recommend it! I loved it!

Advocare - Day 18

Friday was a wack-o day all together. I didn't go in to work until 10:30 because it was the last day of the semester. (yay!!!) But I did everything I was supposed to in the morning... MNS packs, Meal replacement shake... At lunch, I had a meeting for the end of the semester at one of my favorite local restaurants. I tried to be strategic about what I ate! I ate some of the hummus with a little cheese and a few pieces of pita. I also ate half of a jalapeno turkey sandwich - leaving most of the bread - with a side salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Friday night was graduation for my nursing students.. again, YAY!! I was so proud and happy to see them finish their educations. I ended up just eating half of a sweet potato for dinner... I wasn't super hungry after the big lunch. Sweet potatoes are awesome sources of fiber and stimulate the good hormones for women, so it was a good, comforting and healthy choice!

Yay, Graduates!! YAY, SUMMER!!!!

Advocare - Day 17 - Seventeen... It's like strawberry wi-iiiine...

Haha. So I haven't thought about that song in FOREVER!! I LOVED that song!! I used to sing it all over the place... Of course, I had NO idea what that song was about. You should look it up on iTunes or Pandora and have yourself a little bit of nostalgia! ;)

So, I haven't "blogged" the last few days, but I've been keeping my notes up and I am catching up on the online documentation NOW!

Thursday I did the same thing I've done the last several days... MNS packs, meal replacement shake, salad for lunch... yada, yada... Except, I sort of cheated a little at dinner... I had a meeting for our Junior League, here in Amarillo, and they always serve dinner at the meetings. Usually they are pretty health conscious... I mean, it's a bunch of beautiful women trying to keep their figures. But this night, they served lasagna! YUMMMM... I ate a small piece and had a lot of the salad. I skipped the bread and only ate a bite of the dessert, but lasagna definitely did not fit the challenge plan!

Weight loss today: 6 lbs (still)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Advocare - Day 16

I woke up pretty late this morning since I didn't have much to do at work today. I took my MNS packs and drank my spark and meal replacement... I am meeting friends for lunch today, so I need to think hard about what is more important to me: losing weight or eating something comforting. I need to make the right choice. I don't have more weight I can sacrifice on food. It's not worth it!!

I think the thing that has killed me with the weight loss is that I haven't had time to exercise like I should be. I have had work every day and then commitments every evening... Some days I have had time in between work and my evening commitments, but I have chosen not to exercise because I don't want to shower again and dry my hair again and apply make-up again.... etc. ugh. I need to get over it and realize that it is worth it!!! After Friday, I will not have any commitments for the last week of the challenge, and I plan to exercise every day.

I am planning on eating a salad and a lean meat for lunch, and I will cook chicken and veggies for dinner tonight.

I think I can lose another 2-3 lbs by the end of this - which will bring my total weight loss to 8-9 lbs... which I think is a good number. I was hoping for 10, but I need to own up to my own short-comings and be proud of the weight I have lost!

To reach my goal weight, I will have another 14-15 lbs to lose. I am going to try to keep blogging and hold myself accountable until I reach my goal. It's time to stop letting that weight be a fantasy... It's time to make it a reality. There is no excuse!!

Advocare - Day 15

Yesterday was pretty much a bust. I started out good. I took my MNS packs and my meal replacement shake... and then I had a very frustrating meeting... and then I had our pinning ceremony for our graduating nursing students (which is fun and special, but rather stressful on all of us who are trying to plan it and execute it)... Soooo.... I ate a schlotzky's sandwich, a cookie, a large cup of yogurt with chocolate chips in it, and I ate a piece of garlic bread before my chicken caesar salad last night at Napoli's. ARGH!!! Why am I such an emotional eater?!?! This is something that NEEDS to be broken!!! This morning, I paid for it on the scale and felt like such a failure... I have worked so hard, and I threw away some of it all in one day!! I gained half of a pound... ugh. It's not worth it to just eat whatever I want!!! I HAVE to think about it and work hard on developing self-control and better ways of coping with stress.

I told y'all I would be honest about this! I'm a little ashamed, but I need to be honest about it... So, my total weight loss is down to 6.2lbs instead of nearly 7. ugh. I need to really work hard for the next 7 days!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Advocare Day 14

Day 14!! Only 10 more days to go! I've been doing this for 2 whole weeks! Not too bad, huh? Still sitting at a 6.8lb loss... I'm still hoping for at least 8 lbs... I think it can happen!!

This morning is like the last few... MNS pack, shake with second pack, will eat a grilled chicken salad with MNS packs before and during, for dinner, I'm going to eat left-over honey chicken and rice with steamed broccoli this time. Snacks include fruit and almonds.

This is my last Monday for this semester!! I am so excited about summer break! I need the rest and the break from the stress and responsibilities. I'll be ready to do this job again on August 20th, but for now, I am happy to step away!

This is nurses week and teacher appreciation week! I guess I should be appreciated for both of my roles! haha. To all of my fellow nurses and teachers out there, I appreciate you!! :)

Advocare - Day 13

Sunday was great! I took my MNS packs as directed - one before meal replacement shake, on with shake, one before lunch, and one with lunch. Lunch was a grilled chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread with guacamole on it. For dinner, I made homemade honey-chicken with rice and steamed green beans. It was relatively fat free and very low-calorie, but delicious!!! I drank tons of water all day as well.

Church was great and very challenging. We are still going through the "Don't Judge Me" series... This week centered on some of the hot-button issues within churches on things that are negotiable. For example, drinking alcohol. The Bible never says not to drink alcohol. It says not to get drunk on alcohol. However, we need to individually search our hearts and be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit on what we should do. We also should not judge someone for their decision to partake or avoid. - He talked about a lot of other issues as well, but this is one of the most common and the principles hold up with each issue. I invite you all to listen to the sermon... Even if you don't agree with every point, it might spark an interest in researching further.


Advocare - Day 12

Half-way through!!!
total lbs lost: 6.8 (round up to 7lbs? Sure... why not!)

Saturday mornings are the most beautiful things on the planet when you don't have anything on your schedule! I woke up late, so I got started a little late on the MNS vitamin packs, but that's ok. I just took the first pack at 10am and drank my meal replacement shake at 10:30. I didn't eat lunch until 2pm, so I took my 3rd pack at 1:30pm and ate a turkey sandwich on whole wheat flat-bread for lunch with two cutie oranges. For dinner, we went out to eat with Austin's parents, and I ordered salmon with green beans. I allowed myself to cave a little and I ate 4 bites of Austin's molten chocolate cake.... soooo worth it!!! yummmm

I'm so glad this is half-way over, but I have to say, it isn't as hard as it was at the beginning! It becomes part of the new normal...

Friday, May 3, 2013

Advocare - Day 11

I am so glad the "cleanse" portion of the challenge is over! I was ready for something new! Even though I was ready, it is hard to develop a new routine! Today I started the MNS vitamin packs and had a meal replacement shake for breakfast. With the MNS packs, you have to take them exactly as directed in order for them to work the way they were intended to work! I took the first "color" pack 30 minutes before breakfast. With breakfast, I took the first "white" pack. 30 minutes before lunch, I took the last "color" pack, then with lunch, the last "white" pack. The different packs are explained below.

Before Breakfast Color Packet
Calcium Plus 2 caplets
ActoTherm SR 1 caplet
ProBiotic Restore 1 capsule

White Packet - with breakfast
OmegaPlex 2 softgels
Amplify A.T. 1 softgel

Before Lunch Color Packet
Calcium Plus 2 caplets
BioTherm 2 capsules
White Packet - with lunch
CorePlex 3 caplets

For breakfast, I already explained that I had the meal replacement shake - It was pretty good and kept me full all morning, but I am READY for lunch now! I live love to eat!! Shakes are hard for me because I feel deprived of the joy of eating and chewing! haha. I will eat a salad with chicken again today for lunch, but I will add cottage cheese to it - because I CAN!! I LOVE cheese. Oh, yeah, we've already covered that! :) For dinner, Austin and I will order a lean steak and sweet potatoes from Outback... They have an AWESOME special for 9.99 with a 6oz. steak with two sides. It's our favorite Friday meal. I'm looking forward to having a night in and enjoying one of my favorite meals! I'm so glad it still fits on the 24 day challenge diet! :) yay!! Tonight, I'll still take my omegaplex vitamins and I'll keep drinking TONS of water all day. For my snacks, I'm eating a handful of almonds for one, and an apple for the other. See you tomorrow!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Advocare - Day 10

This is the last day of the Cleanse portion of the 24 day challenge! And someone brought DONUTS to work!!!!! DONUTS!! Talk about torture!!!! I want to marry and have babies with LOVE donuts.

Instead, I ate my oatmeal and drank my fiber drink. I took my probiotics and drank my spark like a good girl. Damn those donuts and their delicious, tantalizing smell!!!

For lunch I am meeting some friends at a cool place downtown, but I am planning on just ordering soup and salad. For my snack, I brought an apple and some peanut butter. For dinner, I am at the mercy of the service organization I have been volunteering for. I go straight from work to the organization, and I will be there until at least 8pm. They serve us dinner every week, but sometimes it's not necessarily cleanse worthy. I will just have to wait and see what they serve before I make a decision about picking around the unhealthy parts or waiting until I get home to eat something healthier! I'll let you know what happens!

Tomorrow, I'll start the next phase of the challenge! I will start the MNS vitamin packs and start drinking meal replacement shakes for breakfast. I'm sure you are probably as sick of the same old thing every day as I am! haha. I can actually add in a little bit of dairy for the next 14 days, too! I am pretty excited about cheese! :)

I've got a lot to do at work today, but I'll see you tomorrow!

MNS Vitamin packs and meal replacement shakes

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Follow-up on "Thoughts on Infertility" (Advocare - Day 9)

Spark & probiotic
Fiber drink
two eggs scrambled
salad with chicken and balsamic dressing
No idea what to do for dinner yet! I meant to lay something out to thaw before I left for work, but I completely forgot!

Weighed this morning... 5 lbs down! I was hoping for 6, but I'll take 5, gladly!!

So, I wanted to apologize for my raw emotions yesterday. I think sometimes it is cathartic and healing to be able to put your feelings and thoughts "out there" for others to know. Other times, it might be less than fruitful. I pray that you all find either encouragement or compassion from my words, but if you feel otherwise about it, please let me know! My intention is never to offend or harm.

A follow-up from yesterday: 
Our small group has been working through a study by John Piper called "Future Grace". There is an excellent video seminar series that we have been watching every week, and it has been such a convicting, amazing study. Last night, the subject was on Grace in Anxiety and Covetousness. Piper gave so many incredible scriptures and spoke directly to the heart of why we are covetous and anxious.

His definitions of the words:
The loss of a confident sense of security in God with feelings of foreboding that something bad will happen
Intense desire for something that is not for God's glory - to the point where the desire takes away your contentment in the Lord

The whole time he was speaking, I kept thinking about my anxiety about my strong desire for a baby. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't believe that desiring a baby is "not for God's glory", BUT I do think that when that desire takes away my contentment in the Lord, I am absolutely not glorifying God through that desire. It struck me so intensely that we, as humans, can turn something OF GOD into something that tears our hearts AWAY FROM God. How twisted are we?! I have absolutely been feeling anxious about this because I feel that God is withholding something GOOD from ME! I have lost my sense of security in God and I have resigned myself to the idea that God is no longer FOR ME and doesn't want me to have good things! THIS IS NOT TRUE!!! I have coveted my way out of security in GOD?! wow. Austin and I discussed in depth how to fight against this in our hearts. We have decided to start memorizing scripture again. We need weapons to fight! And Scripture is our Sword of the Spirit! We need to have it close so we can use it often! Here is a list of scriptures that Piper pointed out to combat this!

For Anxiety:

Matthew 6:25-33
 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Romans 8:28-39
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Lamentations 3:22-26
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
    to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.
(And My personal favorite in dealing with Anxiety) 
Isaiah 46:3-4
“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob,
    all the remnant of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,
    and have carried since you were born.
Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you 
For Covetousness: 
Hebrews 13:5-6 
Keep your lives free from the love of money [babies?] and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”[a]
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”[b] 
 Philippians 4:19
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. 
Philippians 4:11-13   
11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
 Luke 12:15
15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
 Mark 4:19
19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful
 1 Timothy 6:9-10
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 
Our plan is to start memorizing a scripture a week... I love this list... Just transposing it onto this blog and reading through them again gives me so much peace and such a strong sense of strength to combat and win! 
I'll see you all tomorrow!