Monday, July 29, 2013

Hansel and Gretel?

We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel. Two kids get lost in the woods and are led to a possible doom by a house made of sweets. The old witch appearing to be helpful give them all the goodies they can eat with the intent to eat the kids later. My personal moral to the story is that no matter how lost and alone I feel, sweets and goodies will lead me to my doom.

I was doing well until last weekend. There was a birthday party at the end of church and I had one of the treats and it was too sweet! Normally, I would have a couple because I just loooove chocolate. Then on Monday my DH thought he'd be sweet and got me a "happy hour" drink from Sonic. That was my downfall. The rest of the week was full of desserts, sodas and bread.

Through this life change, I have indulged my family in the things that they enjoy and I have had to try to abstain from the temptation. Now, I have given in and the nasty sweetness has me forgetting what I set out to do. Each day I have said no, I will not give in today. Moments later I have a plate of pancakes in heavy syrup!

I feel gross, bloated and carry a load of guilt. It's the cage that Hansel was put in. I can see what the sugar is doing to me and I don't like it. I hope that this blog can be my Gretel and help me escape the wicked sugar.

It's a new week, so I am going to make a new start!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Does Size Matter?

I have worked in retail management for over 15 years and I spent part of that time as a bridal consultant.  When you work with brides, you must convince them that the size that they usually wear is not their gown size.  My job was to provide them a dress that fit their body regardless of the number printed on the label.  In the end, they looked beautiful and no one knew what size they were wearing on their big day, except me.

This week my husband gave me an evening away from my kids, the kitchen and from household stress.  I got to go shopping without two preschoolers in tow!  So I found a few things and then spotted the clearance rack.  I found this cute two-piece swimsuit, in my size, for only $6.  Okay, ladies you know the frustration of swimsuit shopping!  I was actually somewhat excited because the suit was cute, all black and cut in a way that would flatter my body.

In the dressing room, I found myself in an awkward situation.  I got the top over my head, but the built in bra was snug.  I wiggled and squirmed until it was on.  Hmmm, well, let’s just say it was tight.  The breasts spilled out of the top and bottom of the bra, not good.  Then I went to take it off.  I couldn’t!!  I yanked it down to my waist and it scraped my skin.  There was no way it was going to stretch over my bum.  It had to go back the way it came.  I jumped and contorted and it refused to come off over my shoulders.  I looked at myself in the mirror there was the black tourniquet stuck to my armpits with my breasts sitting underneath.  What on earth was I to do?  Get help?  Ask the person down the way to get this swimsuit off of my fat body?  Holler for help from the teenager at the register and scar her for life?  I gave it one more try.  Pulled one arm through and at last the blasted thing popped off!

Even though the tag said it was my size and no matter how much I wanted it to fit, clearly, the suit wasn’t going to fit me.  Right now I don’t happen to like the number on the tag of my clothes, but they fit me.  I don’t pretend that I am still a size 10 when I am clearly not.  We all know those people who can’t admit that they have outgrown their pants and suffer from done-laps disease (their belly has done lapped their belt).  No matter how pretty your face is, a muffin top, back breasts or camel toe ruins your beauty.

In the end, the body that I see in the mirror or in pictures does not fit the me that I feel inside.  When I imagine how an outfit will look, I don’t see the outfit on my size 20 body.  I see the clothes on the size 10 version of me.  I want to shed these layers and get to the person that has hidden behind the comfort cushion for too long.  So when it comes down to it size matters to each of us in our view of ourselves.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Heidi and the Battle of a Sugar Free Week!

Sugar is far easier to look at than smell!!!  Holy Cow I had no idea what a great nose I had! I found a bag of chocolate chips in the pantry as I was looking for more ingredients to add to dinner.  Immediately I handed it to my husband and told him to hide it and I left the kitchen.  He was searching for a place to put the chocolaty intruder when I smelled my healthy dinner on the brink of burning so back in to the kitchen I went.  He had yet to hide the chocolate and said he needed another minute mildly exasperated I said I was fine I just needed to finish cooking dinner. 

My husband looks at me, smiles and from across the room the traitor opened Pandora’s Box in the resurrected form of a bag of chocolate… You know how they say a smell can hit you like a brick wall, well it did!  My nose was practically making love to the bag of chocolate.  I had to grab the counter to steady myself from the impact.   I regret to say I literally moaned.  I was in trouble, the cave woman in me screamed…“Chocolate Must Have Now”. I braced again for another impact, was there wind in the kitchen cruelly wafting the smell to me? The rational side of me was in a fierce battle with the cave woman side and in a tragic turn of events they both turned against me! 

The rational side spoke sweetly, almost a whisper at first, “one chocolate chip is ok…one chocolate chip one calorie right?”  Wrong, I replied with as much fierceness as I could muster.  Faintly from somewhere deep within my soul I heard a soft murmuring something about loosing battles wining wars.  My strength increased with the realization that each battle I won was one victory closer to my life long war of being overweight.  Though I may loose battles in the future, that night I had firmed up my standing and greatly increased my will to win.  With a smile of victory I gently asked my husband again to go hide the dang chocolate.

Sugar is a great deceiver!  When I eat foods with sugar, I feel temporally extra happy.  The sweetness brings me joy and comfort.  But that sweet seduction is a lie and a lure to captivity.  Though there is a temporary high the low can be far more long lasting.  The long effects of sugar I realize are not worth the temporary high.  Consuming sugar increase body fat which increases certain hormones in that fat that are linked to depression causing one to want more sugar.  It’s a sick addictive cycle. Curse you sugar!  A cloud of evil powder sugar is lifting and logic is taking its place.  For long term happiness with myself I need a healthy body and that’s what I want.  Goodbye temporary highs and comforts I want a lifetime of highs and happiness!  And no people that does not mean I am going to hook myself up to an IV of chocolate as tempting as it may be… I will just stick to my current diet plan of healthy eating and one serving of a ‘sweet’ once a week.  To see more of Shantal's and my diet plan click on 'Our Weight loss Plan' in the upper right corner of the screen.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lost in Snow Canyon

Saturday I woke up with the need to hike. Part of this journey is finding ourselves and I want find my fun side! We as a family like to hike on the weekends about twice a month and I have decided its time to make it a Saturday thing each week.  We sleep in most Saturdays and waste the nice cool morning to get out and play.  That's a big deal when its usually around 105 degrees daytime and 80 degrees for a low.

So we headed for the beautiful Snow Canyon...don't let the name fool you it gets extremely hot!  We decided to do 2 hikes.  The first was the beautiful Jenny's Canyon, it's a nice short warm up hike totaling half a mile.  The second we were going to do was 3 Ponds totaling 3.5 miles I figured there wasn't an extreme elevation climb so it could be fun especially with water at the end.  Well we had rain that night and in the desert rain can completely change the landscape in one storm. 

Let me tell you it did...the trail was washed out in several areas.  We ended up hiking a huge loop away from the trail and back to it finally. This unintentional detour took an hour and a half of really rough hiking up and down large boulders and rough terrain.  We didn't realize that we had gone off the trail so when I crossed another hiker I asked her if we were really close to the end.  She looked at me rather funny and said oh no you just started and pointed the way we should go and the way we should have come from.  Well that's when we headed back to the car it was hot and we had already hiked 3 miles.  The funny part is when we took the right path it took us only 10 minutes to get back to our maybe we will give 3 Ponds a try next weekend.  :) 

As for the diet...its been going ok considering this is my true battlefield. I find that without sugar I really want to eat high carb foods such as breads and fruits.  But I'm not going to be too hard on myself because a long journey starts with a single step and I feel a commitment in my core.  Its soo interesting how often sugar presents itself to me from other people...I constantly have to prepare myself for temptation. Fresh baked cookies at my moms...the guy at the drive thru trying to give me free ice-cream because he messed up my kids order...that's just in two days.

I've been trying to look at food as a nourishment for my physical body, NOT for my emotions or boredom.  Desserts = Stressed spelled backwards and I find it to be true.  As a culture we celebrate with food.  I love to cook, it brings me joy so I am working on cooking healthy only.  This is a bit rough because sweets are some of the most fun things to bake...and 99.9% of the time they turn out great because well its hard to screw up sugar baby!


My stress and my guilt...

As an army wife, you would think I would be used to deployments, trainings and the weekends away, BUT I am NOT. My DH's first deployment was when we were dating and he was gone for one year. The second one came when we had been married for just 6 months and he was gone for 18 months. The last deployment with the training leading up to it lasted about 15 months and left me with an almost 3 year old and an 18 month old. During these years I didn't know when I would hear from my husband and I couldn't ever call him.

Those separations take a toll on the family. For my husband and I we seem to fall right back into our relationship almost as if no time has past, but there are subtle changes.One thing that has changed from our pre-deployment era is how my DH and I handle stress. We both internalize more than we should. He has his vices and I have my chocolate.

I share this with you so that the guilt of my confession today makes sense. My DH is at training this weekend and my stress level is through the roof! Emotionally, I get sent back to deployment mode and get really depressed. I can't call him and know he can't call until he is on his way home.

SOOOO....I broke down, had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a tall glass of chocolate milk. Now I feel guilty, but I want to be honest. This journey isn't going to be easy for me, yet I know that if I keep at it, it will be worth it!)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My first two meals...

I decided to dive right into this life change today. I got up and made eggs, sausage and cheese burritos and cantaloupe for breakfast. And a big glass of H2O.
Yummy! When I went to make this meal I went straight to my fridge and pulled out the sausage. My all natural, msg and nitrite free sausage. Which led me to think about reading labels...
If you don't read all the labels on your food, start now! You will be amazed at how much sodium, sugars or unpronounceable chemicals are put into the food you eat. Through lots of research, health classes and the myriad of diets I have been on, the one thing that seems to be the same is know what is in your food and where it comes from. If you can't pronounce the ingredient, don't know what it is and know that where it's grown they don't have an FDA, then for the love of all things holy or just for the love of your own health, DO NOT put it into your body!!!
As we go through this journey, we will give the research and  provide links where you can get informed on what the ingredients are in your food. Eating healthy and knowing what you eat is key to a healthy life. As GI Joe says, "knowledge is power!"
Here's my "cheat" with a chocolate flavored protein shake for my mid-morning snack. I think the bendy straw makes it taste even better!
A GNC powder protein shake w/ tsp cocoa powder, 2 cups ice and 3/4 cup almond milk. Give me just under 230 calories.

You Are What You Eat

 I just read this great article on yahoo about probiotics found in yogurt and other fermented foods and the great effects they have on your mental state.  These fascinating "mind-altering microbes" could according to the article be used to help treat depression and cool is that?  In the article women were given 2 servings of yogurt with probiotics a day for 2 months and had decreased activity in regions of the brain linked with anxiety/depression/fear.

Here is a link to the article-

Considering most yogurt has a crazy amount of sugar in it I am going to try and add plain greek yogurt into my diet because its high in protein...maybe in protein shakes...I'm open to ideas... :)  Also many yogurts don't have live probiotics in them so make sure to check!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Shantal, a new beginning...

So, I had a doctor once tell me that sugar is my worst enemy. He said, "you are basically an alcoholic." What!?! My body craves sugar as much as an alcoholic's body craves vodka! 20 years later and I haven't listened to that advice.

As Heidi and I were talking about this challenge today, it made me think about how refined sugar has invaded and just about conquered my life. Through my DH's deployments I struggled with depression and the first thing I turned to for support was chocolate. My "battle buddies" would get together and we'd eat more heavy foods and more chocolate. As much as I hate being fat, chocolate has been a comforting friend that I will struggle to cut loose.

At the start of the this endeavor I am asking for extra help and guidance from my Heavenly Father. I know that I am a pretty weak in the will-power department and I need all the help I can get. A scripture comes to mind...

"Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
-Matthew 26:41  

Heidi's Day 1

All right here we go 0 down 100 to go.  It makes my head spin a little to be honest, but every journey started with a single step so here is my first.  I love sugar, I decorate cakes, and I love to bake. Is it a shocker I got this way,
more to love right??? :)  Well my goal this week is to replace sugar with sex, yes ladies I just said it. So any time I feel a craving for something sweet I am going to ask my hubby for a little well 'help'  (and yes my husband has been warned and no surprise loves the idea!).  Keep in mind as I typed this I munched on the amazing chocolate cake in the fridge, so I've had my serving of sugar for the week.  Healthy eating  and happy hmm hmm hmm here we go!