Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Personal Victory

That was us a few months ago. . .

I finally did it! In the last 5 1/2 months, since January 1, 2012, I have lost 50 pounds. In 2007, I read a Woman's World Magazine article that changed that part of my life, that gave me the tools I needed to succeed. I ended that year looking like this:

Ame and me at Bethel Temple in Evansville, IN.

I think I looked pretty good. But, I went and had three babies in two years, and I gained it all back . . . and about 10 pounds more. I felt like the girl in that picture with Ame, but when I looked in the mirror, really looked, I knew that wasn't who everyone else saw anymore. She got away from me, and I had to get her back. So, I returned to the University of Kentucky Shake Diet from that 2007 issue of Woman's World Magazine. It's a grocery store version of a clinical program called HMR (Health Management Resources). The plan is simple, but you have to be hard core. Here's how it goes:

Breakfast: 190 calorie or less shake (like Slim Fast), plus 1 fruit or veggie serving (4 oz)
Morning Snack: 190 calorie or less shake (like Slim Fast)
Lunch: 180 calorie or less prepackaged meal, plus 2 fruit or veggie servings (8 oz)
Afternoon Snack: 190 calorie or less shake (like Slim Fast)
Dinner:  180 calorie or less prepackaged meal, plus 2 fruit or veggie servings (8 oz)

Exercise: walk 45 minutes every day

Follow this plan exactly, and the magazine promises a 40 lb weight loss in 12 weeks. I took a little longer, because I didn't always follow it exactly. I don't always walk 45 minutes a day because I have a full time job and a baby. Occasionally, I have a 250 calorie dinner. I have a cupcake blog with my baby. I go out to eat. So, no, I didn't lose 40 lbs in 12 weeks. It actually took me 16 weeks. Not too shabby. The biggest thing I've learned is that if I make a "mistake" on my diet, that doesn't mean I've blown it for the entire day so I can just pig out and start again tomorrow (I know plenty of you know exactly what I'm talking about.). If I do that, I'll always be waiting for tomorrow. If I make a "mistake," it isn't really a mistake. I just adjust my calories for the rest of the day. Sometimes, I just have to be hardcore for several days in a row and follow the program exactly. 

Actually, the biggest contributor to my success has nothing to do with the UK Shake Diet at all. I believe I was successful because I keep a food journal. I weigh myself every day and write down everything I eat every day and total the calories. If I eat something without nutrition information, I just make my best guess. I won't get it exactly, but I'll be close enough to stay in control and keep myself from having that "I've blown it" mentality.

I don't quite fit back into those jeans that I was wearing in that picture with Ame, but this 50 lbs marks a milestone for me. I now weigh what I weighed before I got pregnant with Gabriel. Cassidy has a mommy who exercises and plays with her. We talk about her healthy food choices and mine. These past few years will never be erased from my heart, but it's good to know I shucked them from my body!

. . . and this is us now!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Memorial Day at Mesker Park Zoo

We spent Memorial Day 2012 taking Cassidy to Mesker Park Zoo for the first time. You know what I love? I love that the animals that wouldn't have caught our attention before now give us the most excitement and opportunities to stop and marvel. Our baby girl turns the mundane things of every day life into reasons to celebrate and thank God. No wonder we love her so much!

Mommy and Cassidy in Amazonia

Daddy and Cassidy are bird watching.

Daddy and Cassidy in the jungle

Pink birds are awesome!


Cassidy checks out the huge fish!

Who's this guy?

Our new duck friend

A heck of a time to be without bread

Our big girl