Category Archives: Family

Still hanging in there Week 10

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Good Morning lovely people,

Oh, I must say, it’s been a long time since I blogged. But, fortunately, I haven’t been off raiding donut shops or binge-eating on pizza and ice cream. I have actually been working out like I’m supposed to and I’m still eating right. My weigh-in for February shows that I’ve lost a total of 14.2 pounds, and yes I’m going to count that 0.2 pounds. So, that’s great. I’m looking at the weight loss as “I remember what I was doing or what year it was when I was that weight”. So I haven’t been this weight in 8-10 months. So, over this year, hopefully I can turn back the hands of time and get back to the weight I was in 2000 when I was 140 and I thought I was fat then, lol. Really at 140 and size 8, I thought I was fat, such a shame, and now I would kill or seriously maim someone to be that size again. I will have to admit that I broke my rule of monthly weigh-ins, and I had been weighing myself every week in February and that backfired on me. One week I lost 3 pounds and then last week I only lost 1.4 pounds, and I had a little meltdown. I was so upset, because I wanted to know so badly what I had done wrong that week. I mean I was flipping out asking myself, “What did I eat that made me not lose as much weight?”, “Did I not workout hard enough?”. Yeah, I was inconsolable, my poor daughter tried to talk me off the ledge (sorry Ess) but I wasn’t having it. I was so frustrated.

Well I got over it soon enough and had to tell myself, that at least I lost weight and didn’t gain any. I had to remember that I’m not on “Biggest Loser”. I do have a job and kids and a life and I can’t workout 8-10 hours a day, so I can’t expect to lose 6-10 pounds a week. So get over it, Valencia. At least I didn’t completely freak out and run to a donut shop or go through a whole bag of Chips Ahoy, lol. I recovered and I’m still eating healthy, I’m still working out, and I didn’t give up. And that folks, is a major accomplishment on my part. So I remain steadfast and diligent about my “Lifestyle Change 2014”.
“Never give up, never surrender.”- Galaxy Quest.

I have also started running again, last week was my first week to use the app on my IPhone, 5K Runner. I’ll try to become a runner, and when I say try, I mean do it grudgingly because I hate distance running. I might have the wrong attitude, but bear with me. I broke my leg a couple of years ago and I didn’t just break it, I shattered it like a chicken bone. I have a plate and 8 screws in my leg and ankle and I was told by my physical therapist that I would never run again, HA! Yes, it took me awhile but I’m running a little on the treadmill. I had attempted to run over the summer outside on pavement but that didn’t go so well. My ankle was swollen for days. But, I can definitely run on a treadmill, granted with my ankle wrapped, but it’s all good. It still hurts most of the time after I run, but I think I can work through the pain. I’m determined to work it out. I would like to do a 5k in April, so we’ll see how this training goes.

I’ve been working on my “Lifestyle Change 2014” for 10 weeks now and here’s a little recap. I have lost 14.2 pounds and my blood pressure is now 117/69. I’m off of all sleeping pills and anti-depressants. I workout 3 times a week. I’m down to one blood pressure med. I eat mostly all fruits and vegetables and I cut out fried foods. I eat a low cholesterol, low sodium, low-fat (keeping the good fat) diet. I read all my food labels and cut out all processed sugars. I cut out all caffeine, no soda at all, and I drink only water and the juice that I make from my juicer, no sugar added. And yes I still have cravings every once in awhile, so I’ll drink a glass of organic soy milk with a little Hershey’s chocolate syrup, that is my one indulgence, but I think one glass once a week is not that bad. I’m not falling off the wagon.

And so it continues, the journey of my life to a better, healthier, happier me.

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:2 ESV)

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Calling All Dreamers

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Good morning lovely people,

I’m coming to you live from Indianapolis, here on the Westside, at my job, at my desk…Yep, it’s as boring as it sounds, lol. Such a shame that I’m here in the middle of my work day, daydreaming about what I want to be when I grow up. Yes, never mind the fact that I’m 41 years old, I have two almost adult children, I’ve been married and divorced, and I work a full-time job as a pharmacy technician. But that’s not my dream job, I mean it pays the bills, barely, but I have a dream of being my own boss one day. Seriously, I know that sounds like most Americans, but really folks, I think I deserve it after all of these years. I mean considering that I didn’t finish college and I’ve been a single mom for years before I got married. I have worked hard all my adult life starting at 14 and I’ve been in so many different lines of work I can’t even count all of the jobs I’ve had. I mean I could try but it would be hilarious and a bit embarrassing. Too bad I couldn’t get college credit for every different job I’ve had. I’ve worked as a waitress, in clothing stores, in hospitals, in drugstores, in the manufacturing field (making airplane engines and the automobile industry believe or not). I mean, I’m not flighty or unable to hold down a job, but I’m a jack-of-all-trades, really, if you teach me something once, I’ll pick it up quickly and I’ll be the best at it. But, with being a single mom for so many years, I went wherever the best paying job with the best health insurance would have me.

So with that being said, I’ve learned over the years, that I’m very creative and I can learn just about anything. I would like to take that gift and use it to my own advantage. I love baking, sewing, and quilting, and I would love to own my own rustic little shop where I can do all of these things all day and get paid for it. Sounds great!!! One day, I’ll make it happen. Don’t mind me, just rambling on, hoping and wishing, and dreaming.

You all have a great day,

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:9, 10 ESV)

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God is able! Gym Daze 11-14!!!

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Good afternoon lovely people,

Wow, it’s been awhile since I’ve reported in. Never fear, I have still been working out and sticking to my healthy eating. I have T-minus 6 days for my first weigh-in. I don’t know what to hope for but I know that since I’ve been working out I feel much better. I’m hoping that my blood pressure has went down and I would like to see the percentage of body fat go down as well. I’ve worked up to 30 minutes on the elliptical, which I’m sure most of you don’t think that’s much, but I’m going much faster and I totally feel the burn. I wear one of those sweat bands around my tummy and a sweatshirt every workout. Yes, I’m convinced the tummy band works, but if it doesn’t, eh, what’s it gonna hurt, right? So, I’m going full force on my cardio and I left weights after every workout. I workout with the mindset that, what if I don’t workout tomorrow, so I go as hard as I can. I’m also trying to move up my workouts to 4 days a week, instead of 3, so I’m going today and tomorrow as well. I believe yesterday would have been my 14th gym day. Whew, I had to go through myfitnesspal app to double check I was right on that count. Yep, it’s been that long since I wrote.

I don’t have too much to update you on, here at “Lifestyle Change 2014” headquarters. I am a geek though and I did order a t-shirt and a bumper sticker with my motto for the year #GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow, yep, I’m that serious. I hope they turn out like I designed them, because I’ll be sporting that shirt at the gym for motivation. I’ve been keeping up with my Bible reading, eating healthy, paying bills (a little), and keeping my mind on greater things. So, all’s well.

Have a blessed one,

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. (Galatians 5:16, 17 ESV)

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#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow Gym day 9&10

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#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow Gym day 9&10

Good Morning Lovely People,

Well, I’ve been busy and tired at the same time, so in between going to the gym Friday and Monday, I’ve been resting. I’m not sure if I’m tired from working out or if it’s still the winter weather wreaking havoc on my energy level. I have come to the realization that I have been slacking on one of my other, dare say, the most important resolution for “Lifestyle Change 2014”. That resolution was to seek God first in all of my decisions, in all of my activities, and in all of my life. I have been all gung-ho about loosing weight, eating healthy, and saving money, that I forgot to seek God and all of his infinite wisdom, first and foremost. Shame, I know, but in dealing in this secular world of always striving for happiness and gratification, I sometimes forget my main objective as a Christian is to seek God first. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

I must get up in the morning and seek God. I must go to work and seek God. I must parent my children while seeking God. I must interact with coworkers, family, and strangers, while seeking God. I must eat healthy while seeking God. I must exercise while seeking God. I must try to save money and get out of debt while seeking God. Before I lay my head down at night I shall seek God. All of these things and more I should do while seeking God. You get the picture and I hope you strive to do the same as well.

Some of the tools that I use to reach God and listen to his voice, are the Bible App from YouVersion, on my IPhone. I use this app to start a plan and use it to listen through the Bible while I’m at work. Don’t worry, my desk job is quite repetitive and we’re allowed to listen to our headphones while working. I have become the queen of multi-tasking. I listen to music, sermons, the Bible, audio books, all while keeping up my production. And I’m sure some of you are thinking that listening to the Bible is not the same as reading it, yes I know, but I’d rather listen to the Bible and follow along with it then listen to some of the conversations that take place here at work. And if I feel like I’ve missed something or I don’t understand a certain passage, I just mark my spot in the app and go over it at home. I also say a prayer right before I start to listen that God will grant me the wisdom to understand His word and give me the strength to live out his word everyday. I also listen to some sermons on my phone, like John MacArthur on ‘Grace to You’ app, and Mark Driscoll on ‘Mars Hill’ church app. I can listen to my pastor’s sermons from Lakeview Church as well. My daughter bought me some nice Christian literature that specifically pertain to my particular situation and I’m getting to those soon.

So, yes, I’ve been a little discouraged about not seeing immediate results on my weight loss, but I know that’s just the Devil talking. So I need to continually seek God to keep that demon out of my thoughts. So, there you have it, my ultimate New Year’s Resolution; Seek God first.

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

My motto for LIFESTYLE CHANGE 2014, I think I’m going to get me a shirt made with that on it, and a bumper sticker, and a car window decal, and anything else I could put my motto on so that I’ll remember GOD FIRST.

Have a blessed one!!

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

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God is patient, Gym day 7&8

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Good afternoon lovely people,

Well here it is week 3 of “Lifestyle Change 2014” and I worked out on Wednesday and Thursday, so that makes gym day 7 & 8!!!! I’m going to work out today as well because I’m so excited that the streets here in Indy are finally clear enough to make it to your destination without having a panic attack. Part of the reason I went to workout after work is I thought if I can make it to work in this blizzard aftermath, then I can definitely make it to the gym. But I will say that Wednesday and Thursday I have been in some serious funk emotionally and I can’t really put my finger on it. I was even at my desk crying thinking about my father who passed away last year and that really brought me down. I don’t know if it’s the weather, the challenge of trying to keep to my resolution and not seeing immediate results, or I’m just plain tired. I know that I’m going to have a lot of those days when I don’t feel like I’m doing enough to lose this weight and seeing immediate results, that’ll make me want to give up, but I’ll push through. I’m determined to pick myself up enough to get over the hump. I know all of the common “pick me-ups” like; you didn’t become overweight overnight so don’t expect to see results immediately, and you’re doing this for the benefit of your health in the long-run, not just to lose weight. I know, I know, I know, but when I look into the mirror after each workout, I just want to see some smidgen of weight loss. And yes I know it’s only been 3 weeks, but what can I say, my self-loathing has defeated me in the past many times, but I’m really trying hard for it not to get me now. So, bear with me. I’ll get it together.

In further news, I’m still having trouble eating the appropriate amount to stay healthy and lose weight. I’m eating all of the right things, but I can’t manage to take in enough calories. These smaller meals just get me over the pang of hunger and I’m not hungry anymore, so therefore I don’t eat as much. But I know that if I go the other route of eating 3 regular meals I’ll overeat. So, I have to do some more research and find more healthier options so that I can get my calories in to sustain the energy for my workouts.

So, there you have it. The struggle continues and I’m pushing on, moving forward, and all that jazz.

Carry on

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 KJV)

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God’s grace is sufficient Gym day 6 again!

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Good evening lovely people,

If you didn’t catch that, I didn’t make it to the gym yesterday. Yes, I was all ready to go and then I got a flat tire in our wonderful Indiana snow. Due to my brilliant driving skills in inclement weather I ran into a curb, but thankfully, the air slowly released from the tire and it didn’t completely go flat until I got off of the highway. So after waiting almost 3 hours for AAA who they were too busy to show up, my wonderful stepfather and brother had my tire changed and had me back on the road, but far too late to go to the gym. But, I definitely made it today. And it felt good. Me and the kiddo got our cardio and strength training end. Then I went home and made another delicious smoothie.
Mango/Strawberry Smoothie:

1 cup of Oatmeal
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of sliced strawberries
1 cup of sliced mango
1 cup organic 2% milk
1/2 cup organic plain low fat yogurt
1 whole banana
Honey to taste, about 1 Tbs

I tasted it first without the banana and it was very bland, so since I love banana I threw it end and it was delish!

You really can throw any fruit or vegetable in a blender and mix it with healthy stuff like oatmeal or whey powder, or I’ve heard people use chia seeds, but I haven’t tried that yet. It’s on my list to try and I’ll let you know.

I’m also doing this #30DYC (yoga challenge) on Instagram. You can find me @ValleyDlights. It’s just each day a group of yogis post one pose a day and you copy that pose and snap a pic and post it. It’s pretty cool, because I really wanted to take some yoga classes, so I’ll see how this challenge works out.

So, goodnight, I’m exhausted, you know, end of the week, and all that.

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFollow

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (Mark 12:30 KJV)

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God willing, gym day 6

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Good morning lovely people,

I hope you all had a wonderful New Years!!! I mentioned that me and my daughter went to the casino NYE, it wasn’t too bad. After we got lost getting there (totally my fault), we made it there by 11:50pm so we got a few turns on the slots before the countdown. We went to Indiana Casino Live in Shelbyville and it was PACKED!! My daughter is 22 and she’s never been before and she thought it would be neat to go on NYE. So, I took her straight to the penny slots, so she could get a feel of what they were like. A few of the machines I had to make her get away from because she just started pushing buttons, ie. MAX BET, lol. Well, at any rate, all’s well that ends well, we both broke even. No loss, no gain, no big deal.

Since my mission in 2014 is a “Lifestyle Change” I wanted to share a few of the ideas I’ve picked up from Pinterest, @Mankofit, @dashmalove, @stacie_thetrainer (all from Instagram) and of course my daughter and some googling here and there. I follow them on their blogs or through Instagram for their exercise, eating healthy habits, and motivational advice.

I think one of the hardest obstacles for me and most of us slackers out here is eating healthy. Most suggest eating 5-6 small meals a day and that is the hardest for me. Last year and numerous years of depression and sickness I had just figured that in order for me to loose weight I’ll just skip meals and not eat as much and my body got used to that. WRONG!!! I have been on several diets and yes I have even starved myself more times than I care to admit. Seriously I’m willing to share the good and the bad, so that maybe I can, not only grow from sharing my experience and maybe let someone see that they are not alone in all of the incorrect thinking that some of us do from time-to-time. I mean I’ve tried cleanses, diet pills, fasting (starving not the correct fasting), cutting out this or that from my diet, and it was all wrong. And the bad part about it, is that I knew all of it was wrong, but I figured that “ok, I’ll just do this for a short period of time and then I’ll start doing it the correct way after I see IMMEDIATE results.”
SOOO WRONG!! I know how stupid it sounds, but when you’re depressed and desperate, you think that you’re thinking logically and rationally, when you know deep down that it’s just plain destructive. Not only have I dieted a million times but I’ve also been on several different anti-depressants as well. I mean I’ve suffered from depression, migraines, anxiety, PTS, insomnia, sleep-apnea, and anything else that comes along with depression and obesity. I have high blood pressure and the ever increasing “belly fat” that us, ahem “older/middle-aged” women suffer from. But, it’s all good, because “Lifestyle Change 2014” is going to change all of that J. NO JOKE.

Yeah, that sounds like such a lofty idea, you say, just think you’re going to change and it’s going to magically happen overnight…No, I don’t think it’s going to magically happen overnight, because all of this fat and total mind destruction, that’s been going on for years, didn’t just happen overnight, not even just last year. I mean this has been going for decades (NO LIE). I’ve been fighting this battle for YEARSSSSSS! I’m getting teary-eyed thinking of all those years wasted being unhappy and putting on a brave, happy face for my kids, when deep down inside I’ve been dragging around this ball-and-chain just in the background. BLAHHHH, it makes me angry even thinking about it. I can tell you, that the ball-and-chain has reeked havoc in my life, many lost relationships and many lost opportunities. I’m going to use this little mental image of me just sweeping the old crap out of my mind and out of the door, instead of under the rug, for me to stumble over later on.

Moving on, back to a few eating tidbits. I started taking a multivitamin every morning. I bought ONE-A-DAY Energy, that has caffeine added. I will tell you that most things I’m going to recommend will be because they’re a trusted brand or because I caught it on sale, lol. I am a penny-pincher for sure and I probably won’t buy it if I don’t have a coupon or if it’s not on sale. Remember, I’m trying to save money and pay off debt this year as well. The ONE-A-DAY does make me a little jittery though, but I’m hoping I get used to it. I’ll start my morning with either a smoothie that I made the night before or protein/nutrition bar. And to make sure I get all of the 64 ounces of water a day, that is recommended to drink, I drink water between every bite that I eat, nerdy, but it works. I pack a my lunch bag with several snacks that I eat on all through the day. I like Yoplait’s Greek yogurt, blueberry is my fav. I’ve tried the Dannon’s Greek low-fat, and bleccckkkkk, it’s way too sweet for my liking. And it has aspartame in it, and I avoid that and any other “fake sweetener” because I’m one of those people that thinks they cause cancer. Please don’t take anything I say as the gospel truth because I won’t quote you some scientifically proven fact, just my opinion. I also keep my desk drawer packed with the protein/nutrition bars in case I don’t like what they’re serving upstairs in the cafeteria. I’m currently eating Simple Truth Peanut Butter Extreme and it’s very good, if you like peanut butter, and you guessed it, they were on sale at Kroger for 89 cents apiece. Anywho, I also eat, Planter’s NutTrition energy mix with my yogurt, because I love the combo, it tastes like a parfait and “Everybody loves parfait”-Donkey from Shrek, hahahaha. Gotta love it. I also pack fruit, Brownberry sandwich thins (wholegrain), and Natural Jiff peanut butter. From what the experts recommend, I read labels and I’m looking for low-fat, low-sodium, high fiber, high protein, low calorie per serving, and good carbs. But, don’t quote me, because you can’t believe everything you read on the internet and definitely not in this blog, lol.

I’m going to go workout today when I get off of work and get my cardio and strength training in. I’m going to strive for 4 workouts a week, Monday & Tuesday, and Thursday & Friday, I mean why not, I don’t have a social life so I can go to the gym whenever I want practically. So, there you have it, just a little more explanation on my goals for this blog this year and my “LIFESTYLE CHANGE 2014”. Every time you read that I want you to hear it in a ‘movie announcer’s’ voice and imagine the little minions saying “DUN…DUN…DUN!!!” afterwards, hahahahaha. That will make me laugh every time.

#GodFirstAllGoodThingsWillFolow

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1 KJV)

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