Sunday, January 7, 2018

I Have Lost It

Some of you may have seen the title and thought "We already knew that!" And, to some extent I can agree with you, though it is never easy to take an honest look at one's self in the mirror, metaphorically speaking.

And, sometimes it is hard to look at one's self in an actual mirror.

Easter 2017

No, this is not a New Year's Resolution post about losing weight... but it kinda is... sort of. I'm not writing about what I want to do but rather what we have done... and a bit about what we want to do.

I've tried several kinds of diets. I can't say I've tried all the diets out there because, honestly, I give up if it's too hard. I did learn that any diet, if followed, will produce results. Progress was always slow and steady and sometimes kept me motivated.... for a while. I hate the idea of spending money to loose weight. Sadly, I did spend money and told myself it would help to keep me motivated-the fact that I'd spent money on it. All the different diets produced some results but not lasting results. Dieting, alone, was not the answer.

Exercise! That's what I need, I resigned myself to this thought. I signed myself up at one of the $10 per month gyms and committed to going three days a week. I spent an hour walking on the treadmill and 15 minutes doing weights in the girl's room. I did this for over a year. All of this produced no, zilch, nada, zippo, nil results. I would waiver back and forth in a 5-10 pound range but nothing lasting and nothing motivating. I was 52 years old and not getting anywhere in my attempts to loose weight and had grown tired of fighting for it. Maybe I was supposed to be fluffy! My doctor did not agree. She said my cholesterol was borerline, put me on blood pressure meds and counseled me to start the DASH diet. Bleck!

Mister stumbled across some diet information with scientific explanations as to why it worked. We were watching videos and wrestling with the changes it would mean for us and trying to decide whether or not it would work for us. Meanwhile; I was watching a friend of mine loosing weight and fast. She and her husband had set their minds to loosing some weight for an upcoming family event. When I asked her what it was she told us it was the same program we had been looking at. Hmmm....

So, "what is it" are you asking? Keto. Have you heard of this? Essentially it is a low carb/high protein diet but we added a bit of a twist. We threw in intermittant fasting with it. You eat dinner and then do not eat again until 16 hours later. So, finish dinner at 6PM and your next meal is 10AM. It is important to read about this if you are a woman of child bearing age!

Intermittent fasting allows for your morning coffee (necessary for the survival of my family members) but no sugar and if you're using cream make sure you are not consuming more than 50 calories during that fasting period.

We, Read. A. Lot. Ruled Me is a great source! If you are considering this diet read everything you can. Information is your friend in all this.

After several days of detoxifying our bodies from sugars (carbohydrates) we both felt a bit sluggish and like we were walking around in a fog. This is affectionately known as the Keto Flu. It lasted 2-3 days. Zucchini noodles replaced spaghetti, cheese and high fat cream replaced traditional low-fat products. Veggies baked and roasted in butter and covered in parmesan replaced steamed broccoli and carrot sticks. The high fat content and protein leaves you walking away from the table satisfied.

For us, getting started, we had to determine how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fat we needed to be taking in to optimize weight loss and I set a goal for myself to weigh 145 pounds. We used this calculator. We knew we had no clue about what the numbers were on the foods we ate or how to judge it by eye so we took advantage of free online counters. I used My Fitness Pal. Mister used an app called Stupid Simple. These are vital! Do not skip this part! You need to weigh your food and keep track! On My Fitness Pal you can also monitor your water intake, exercise and progress. For me, absolutely necessary. I also continued to attend my gym three days per week.

What was the results of all this, you may ask. Well, I started my program with a starting weight of 178 pounds for my 5'4" frame. We started the beginning of May 2017. By October 1st, 2017 I was down to 145 ponds! I reached my goal! That is 32 pounds in 5 months!!!! I went from an Large to a Medium; a size 16 to a size 10/12 (depending on the clothing).  Mister lost 45lbs! (In my opinion, men always loose faster than women-frustrating!) I am not taking blood pressure medications any longer and I did not have to succumb to the tasteless diets. My doctor said "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it." Yippee!

Not gonna lie, giving up carbs was hard. Mister is way better at it than I am. I need a piece of chocolate now and then. You can do that with Keto; the higher cocoa content the better- seriously! Just make sure you document it in your tracker. Christmas and the holidays were hard. I really had to pick and choose the things that were "worth it". I didn't count anything for the last two months but was mindful of my choices. All in all I did put on a couple pounds over the holidays.

Now we are past all that and Mister and I are back on the keto wagon. I have a new goal set. If I reach it I will actually weigh less than I did after my first child was born 32 years ago. It's not a crazy goal; we're talking another 12-15lbs. I know it means I have to recommit and maybe use the tracker again for a while. Hopefully, letting you all know will help keep me accountable, too.

We have come to realization that in order to keep a handle on this we will need to keep a keto frame of mind as a lifestyle-not a temporal diet. And so, not a resolution but committed. I will keep you posted on my progress.

I have pinned recipes, calculators, ect on my Pinterest page. You can visit there and find help and info. Yes, I have lost it. I have lost weight, I have lost a dependency on sugar that so much of our American diet incorporates. I have lost inflammation in my knee joints. I have lost a few clothing sizes! I have lost my old wardrobe and it is so much fun shopping for new clothing. I am actually looking forward to swimsuit shopping this summer! How long has it been since I said that?!''

Oh, and just as a side note: my friend who was doing this five months before us has lost over 100 pounds!

August 2017

** We are not doctors, we are NOT endorsing this officially or suggesting you should jump on the band-wagon. I am just saying this is what we have done and it has worked for us. If you think you may want to try this please do your homework.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas 2017-

Merry Christmas, friends!

I know I have been relatively absent from my blog for the past few months. There are reasons for this but for now I just want to focus on how our family is celebrating this season of Christmas. Come in from the cold and grab a cup of tea or cocoa. You are always welcome here.

My small but treasured collection of Rae Dunn cups find their place in the cocoa/coffee/tea bar. This year they are in the tiered tray. Last year's tiered tray was recently featured on Life On Summer Hill.

Our Christmas tree was decorated in a red and white theme this year. It was my youngest's idea and I conceded since this is her senior year of high school and our world will be very different next year.

I was tempted to stop here and leave it minimal. Hmm....

 If you look close enough you will see the rooster and hen made their way back in tree along with some other favorites. No matter the theme, it would not be Christmas without them.

The hutch this year looks a bit different from last year when I turned it around backwards. I brought my chalkboard from the kitchen into the living room.

Birch logs wrapped with a ribbon and lights makes for a cozy display.

From our living room you can see the dining room. I love the new color on the walls in this room and the tray I bought at the Pro.found Vintage Market this fall.

After dinner we curl up on the couch to watch one of our favorite Christmas movies. Yes, that is the tv that caused us so much trouble earlier in the year!

When the day is done we head to bed. I try to make my bed everyday. I feel that at the end of the day I can at least look at the bed and feel like I have accomplished something today. This room begs for me to curl up under those Cuddle Duds sheets (I am recommending these to everybody!!) and snuggle in for a long winter's nap.

Visions of sugar plums?

I don't know about that but I do know that this is where I do much of my praying and reading. This is where, at the end of the day, I talk with God; confessing my sins, finding mercy. This is where, more than anywhere else in my home, I meet with my Lord. In this room I pray and plead, confess and find comfort, reveal the ugly parts and find a rest that is bigger than anything imaginable. Why? Why would I do this? In this post-modern world doesn't it seem silly? No.

 Prayer is essential. It is a soul feeding, life saving, peace-inducing necessity. I need this time. I need the Lord to be real and active. I need fellowship with the Lord of all creation. I need the God-Man who came as a baby, just like me. This Man knows my sorrows, he knows my heart, he knows my frailties and my faults and in spite of them all he loved me. He gave to me that which was his;  obedience and righteousness. And, he took from me the things I could not bear; my sin and guilt. I am resting in that truth this Christmas.

The last few months have been filled with much hurt and sorrow in our home. I am reminded that Jesus, the babe in the manger, knew sorrow in his earthly life. He knew the feeling of abandonment and the pain of betrayal. He personally experienced the trials we face in this life. There is nothing that escapes his gaze and it is in this Jesus that my Christmas joy is founded, grounded and celebrated. I can decorate my home, shop and give gifts, sing in choir, bake cookies, and find quiet time to remember Jesus was so much more than a little baby- all because my joy is not contingent on my circumstances. It is contingent on my status and no matter what this world throws at me I am Christ's and that is my status, secured.

I pray that if you are struggling this Christmas season that you find rest in the One who knows our sorrows, intimately. I pray that in spite of the struggles of this life you will experience the joy of being known by God, the Father, because the Son has called you friend, brother, sister, beloved.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Fall Fairs 2017

With the cooler weather comes fall fairs! In our neck of the woods the weather wasn't all that cool but the fairs were better than ever. I got to meet some bloggers and artists I stalk  follow as well as shop owners and ladies who have become friends as I have shopped, photographed and shared here. You will find links to the various artists throughout this post.

The first fair was the Pro.found Vintage Market. If that sounds vaguely familiar I did a ticket giveaway a while back and one lucky-ducky reader won the tickets. Three business collaborated to pull this off: The Purple Rose, Laurel Grove and The Vintage Prairie Home.

Ready? Let's go!

I am such a fan of this couple's work. This is felted wool that the wife works on and the husband does the wood work!


These rusty metal cut work pieces would be a perfect gift for any man cave! Grab Our Junk


This was a truck that had been turned into a traveling flower shop! The blooms were beautiful and the perfect accent for those new purchases. Wildflower Truck

Some vendors I visited here: Found Things, Violet and Sage Vintage, Vintage Anthropology, The Belmont Ranch, The Cozy Cottage, White Cottage, Captiva, The Boxwood Garden and the list goes on. You can find more vendors here with contact information.

Next up was The Market Place At Adams Farm, fun by the ladies at The Vintage Thymes. I've written about this one before and this year did not disappoint! These are some of the things I spied:

Some of the vendors I visited here are Driftwood Lake Cottage, Cerulean, NBJ Shabby Chic, Vintage Haven, and Mary Ellen and Sandy's Vintage Home. Again, not an exhaustive list. You'll just have to make it a point to attend next year to make sure you see them all!