Monday, October 1, 2012

Recipes of Late

I have been  getting many request lately for some of the things I've been making.
I have a hard time keeping up with you asked for what, so I am going to try and start posting recipes on my blog again.
I am not one to stick straight to a recipe. I usually tweak things to my own ways and likings, but I will always site the source from which I got the recipe.  (Blog etiquette and all that jazz :)

Also, all of my recipes are Gluten Free, unless otherwise stated.  If you don't eat Gluten Free, don't be afraid, the men in my house don't "eat" gluten free either, and yet they never complain about my cooking and eat good pretty much every night.  Gluten Free doesn't have to be a bad thing!

I am bad at including pictures on my blog.  I know that is what you want is pictures.
Sorry.  I am a slacker.

Here is a funny Zumba picture.  It has nothing to do with recipes, but it was on my computer and I want you to have something to look at.  And I want you to laugh.  And I want everybody to do Zumba because it is fun.

I stole this picture from my own blog from a couple years ago.  It is food.

Up first, Zucchini Lasagna!


Here is the original link:
Zucchini Lasagna

Here is my version:

1 lb lean ground turkey
spoonful of minced garlic
S & P to taste
15oz part skim ricotta
1 egg
Sprinkle of Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, S & P  (This is the annoying part because Missy doesn't measure.  Sorry!)
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce- you will probably want to jazz it up with some extra seasonings.  I don't care how good they advertise, spaghetti sauce is never good enough on its own.
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
3- medium to large whole zucchinis

First you will want to cut off the ends of the zucchinis. Slice them fairly thin.  Do not worry if they are not perfect.  Perfection is overrated.
Place your zucchinis on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt.
The salt helps to absorb the moisture of the zucchini.
Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes per side.
Remove to a plate and absorb excess liquid with paper towels.
This will probably have to be done on 2 cookie sheets.
* The reason for this step is because zucchini has a lot of water in it and if you don't cook out some of the moisture first, your lasagna will be watery.  If you like watery lasagna (don't share it with me) you can skip this step.

For the rest, it is basic lasagna 101.
Cook your ground turkey with the garlic and S & P.
Please drain your meat.
Meat that is not drained is gross.

Mix your ricotta cheese,parmesan cheese, a beaten egg, and the other seasonings.

To assemble:
Put a little bit of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.
Put a layer of zucchini.
Put a layer of sauce.
Put a layer of Ricotta cheese mixture.
Put a layer of zucchini.
Put a layer of sauce.
Put a layer of Ricotta cheese mixture.
Put a layer of thought I was going to say zucchini?
Nope!  Put a last layer of sauce, then top with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes - an hour.  Put foil on it for the last 15 minutes if it is browning too much.
If you care about such facts, you can cut it into 9 servings and each serving is only 324 calories of goodness.
Also, if you like leftovers, these are the best leftovers!  I ate this for about 4 days in a row, and the 3rd day it was perfect!
Don't judge me.

Next up, Chicken Pot Pie

I have no original link for this as I got it out of a magazine and tweaked it so much, its really not the same as the magazine anyways.

2 chicken breast, cooked and diced into small pieces
2 cans veg-all (the kind with the potatoes)
2 cups of chicken broth
3 TBLS cornstarch
S & P to taste
1 cup shredded cheese ( I use the pizza blend)
Bisquick ( I use GF)

Make a gravy with the chicken broth and cornstarch.  Add S & P to taste.
Add 2 cans of drained veg all, the chicken, and the cheese.  Let simmer until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are mixed well together.

Pour into a greased 9x11 dish.

Make a crust with your Bisquick.  You can follow the directions on the box for biscuits.
The directions on the box will yeield more topping, or do it the following way:
1 cup bisquick
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk ( I use almond milk)
Mix together. Spoon over top of chicken mixture.
Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, or until top is done and mixture is bubbling on the sides.

Calorie Info: (This is figured with the crust mix as I wrote above)
6 servings at 303 calories per serving.
Comfort food at its best!
I will warn you, this is much better hot and fresh out of the oven.  It was not as good for leftovers the next day.  The biscuits absorbed all the liquid.

Moving on to Squash and Zucchini Casserole

The original link
Squash and Zucchini Casserole

What I did:
2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini- Sliced thin
1 onion
Spoonful of minced garlic
1 package of mushrooms ( small package)
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 TBLS egg beaters (or 2 eggs if you wish)
2 TBLS light sour cream
1/4 cup Shredded parmesan cheese

In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms with some cooking spray.
I added the squash and zucchini after the onions had sauteed some.
Add salt and papper to taste.  Let this all saute together for about 15 minutes.
Use the lid to your pot and drain off the excess liquid, or pour into a strainer.
Use a paper towel to absorb excess liquid.

Mix together the ricotta, cheddar, egg beaters, sour cream.  You may also want to add some salt and pepper and I just decided maybe a little chilli powder would be good in that too.  Yep, I need to make it again to be sure of that fact.  Darn.

Now combine your cheese mixture with your veggie mixture and pour into a greased casserole dish.
I use my large round corning wear.  In case you wanted to know.
Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.
Top with the parmesan cheese and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Serves 8 ( those are big servings!)
Calories per serving: 127 yummy calories.

A few notes:
The original recipe calls for layering all of these things.
I just combined them all and thought it was just fine.
The original recipe also has you boil the squash and zucchini.  Too many steps for me.  I thought combining it with the other veggies and then draining it was the way to go.
I am a food pioneer.

Another winner is Chicken Lettuce Wraps. 
Oh my.  Chicken Lettuce wraps are such a winner.  Winner winner chicken lettuce wraps dinner.

There are many variations out there, but this is how I do it.

1 Lb of chicken- cut into bite sized pieces
Small package of fresh mushrooms-sliced 
Handful of baby carrots-sliced
Small can of water chestnuts-diced 
Garlic powder, red pepper flakes, a couple teaspoons of soy sauce.
Teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce
Head of Ice Burg Lettuce
Rice Stick Noodles

Sautee all of the above in EVOO until chicken is cooked through.   
Then take this mixture and in small batches ( unless you have a big food processor) process down til its all small and shredded together.
Put back on the stove and add some teriyaki sauce and let simmer on low while you cook the noodles.
Sorry again, I don't measure really.  But you don't need a lot of sauce.  1 or 2 Tablespoons at the most.

For the noodles:
1 bag of rice stick noodles.  Basically follow the directions, but here are some tips.
I did it in a 2 quart pot.  You put oil at least 2 inches high into it and let it heat over medium high heat.  
The key is making sure it’s hot enough but not too hot.  Break of about 1/8th of the noodles and put into oil and they should immedietly curl and puff up.  Let it cook like that for about 20-30 seconds and then remove with tongs and put on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt.  I cooked the whole package but should have only cooked about a quarter of it. 
What was leftover though made a nice snack for the kids.  I may just make some more of those and add different seasonings for a nice crunchy GF snack for everybody.

Then you just use iceberg lettuce pieces as a wrap.  Put the chicken mixture in it, top with some of the noodles, and then we also had some thai peanut sauce that was fabulous on top!  
Low calorie too...Around 200 calories for 3 full wraps!
This should be enough for 12 wraps.
You will never want to go to PF Changs again.  
OK, I lie.
I want to go to PF Changs, right now. 

I'm feeling extra nice today,  so I am going to share with you a recipe I made up the other day.
I say made up, but there are a kazillion recipes for White Chicken Chili out there.
This just so happens to be how I roll with it.

White Chicken Chili 

3 Chicken breast
32 oz Chicken Broth (or 4 cups)

2 cans Great northern beans
1 small can Green chillies
1 can Corn
S & P to taste
Chili Powder ( Um, to taste? Sorry, I don't measure.  I should start measuring so I can be a better sharer)

Put chicken in crock pot ( you can do this with frozen chicken)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and some garlic powder if you'd like.
Cook on low for around 4 hours.
When chicken is cooked, shred with a fork and knife into small pieces.
Add remaining ingredients.  Do not drain any of your cans, just open them up and throw them in.
Do not throw in the can.  Nobody likes to eat cans.
Cook until heated through in your crock pot.

If you want to do this quickly, skip the crock pot and put it all in a pot on your stove and have a quick fix dinner.
This is muy bueno ( I am a good spanish speaker) topped with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and eaten with tortilla chips.

As for servings and calories, you can get 8 big ole bowls of soup out of this or 10-12 small balls.
But lets go with 8 big bowls for purposes of calories...
Grand total: 168 (Without all the topping stuff.  Don't be a cheater and think you can eat cheese and sour cream and chips AND Soup for only 168 calories!)

I will now be nice, and I will give you some dessert.
Who doesn't love dessert right?!

First up, Pumpkin Chocolate Blondies.
This is the original recipe. I made up my own recipe, but since it is loosely based on this recipe, I thought I would include the link ( blog etiquette :) plus, the original looks really good, so I may want to try it that way sometime too.

You are about to love me or hate me.
I am about to introduce you to a concept that is either going to blow your mind, or send you running for the hills.
Are you ready for this?

Using beans instead of flour.

I know what you are thinking.
Stop thinking that.
Open your mind.
Don't be hatin on the beans.

I have made brownies several times using black beans instead of flour.
My friend Kim Hill makes the most awesome chocolate cake with black beans instead of flour.

I made this recipe with chic peas/garbanzo beans.

2 cans of Chic peas/garbanzo beans
1 can of Pumpkin
3 TBLS Coconut Oil
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup of Hersheys dark chocolate chips

Now listen very closely.  This is easy to make, but you can't cut steps.

Step 1: Rinse and drain  your beans.
Put them in a strainer and rinse and take out the little bad pieces.
I also pat dry with some paper towels.

Step 2: Put the beans in a food processor and process down til its not chunky.  It will have the look of thick flour.  I have a small food chopper type thing so I have to do it in several batches.  Its all good.

Step 3.  Place all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) into your mixer and mix.
( I have a kitchenaid stand up mixer and so I let it mix up for a couple minutes)

Step 4:  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Step 5: Here you have to make a decision.
Make thick, deep dish slices, or make thinner (but still thick) brownie type slices.
I chose deep dish and poured it into a  greased 10" springform pan (like in the link above).
You could also pour it into a greased 9x13 dish.

Some helpful hints from me to you.
Because I added a whole can of pumpkin, it made these very mushy.
I liked it mushy, but if you don't want it to be mushy, then only add half the can.
We ate them hot out of the oven,  mush and all, they were amazing.
We also ate them the next day, cold out of the fridge, and they were really good after they had firmed up some in the fridge.
Either way, it. is. good.

Some calorie and serving info for you my friends.
10" springform pan makes about 12 thinish slices at 254 calories a piece
                          10 thicker slices at 304 calories per piece.

In a 9x13 you could get 16 small bars for 190 calories a piece
                                          12 bigger bars at 254 calories a piece.

Who says you can't have dessert?  Not me!

Can you handle one more?
I think you can.

Enter, Chocolate Caramel Cake.

Here it  comes in its original form.

And here it comes in my form.

1 box of Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix ( if you are not a GF person, just use regular...but then you can't share it with your GF friends, and shame on you!)
1/4 cup Hershey Cocoa
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer
1 cup Brown sugar
2 TBLS Earth Balance coconut butter spread ( You can use butter if you want to.  I didn't want to.)
8 Oz tub of Cool Whip

Betty Crocker has made me happy with their Gluten Free yellow cake mix.  Yes, it does cost me over $4 per box.
But it has a box top....


It is just versatile!  I make so many things with this box mix, and I have never, not even once, used the eggs and oil that it calls for.

I can never find the chocolate cake mix, so I just add 1/4 cup Hershey cocoa to make it chocolate.
Who has 2 thumbs and is a problem solver?  This girl!
I then stir in 2 cups of applesauce until its all stirred together.  (Thumb user ;)
Bake at 350 for around 30-35 minutes.

While that bakes, whip up your "caramel" sauce.  I say "caramel" in quotations because it doesn't really look like caramel, but I like the flavor that happens with this french vanilla creamer.
I do.
The original recipe for the caramel sauce came from here. 

But since I don't stick to recipes, here is what I did.
I just can't stress to you enough how much I loved the SoDelicious French Vanilla Coconut milk creamer.
Get some!
I melted 2 TBLS of the butter spread in the pan, then added 1 cup of brown sugar.
I like using all brown sugar.
Its a personal thing.
Then pour in the creamer and stir until the sugar melts.  Keep stirring until it all thickens up a bit and you want to lick the hot pan.  Except you don't really want to lick the hot pan, cause that would burn your tongue.  You just want to lick the sauce, but unfortuantly the sauce is IN the hot pan.

I digress.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, use a fork and poke holes all through your cake.
Poke Poke.Poke.
Then, and this step is going to make you giggle while you work...
Pour that vanilla flavored caramel sauce all over that poke poke poked cake.
Put that cake in the fridge and let the caramel do its work in the poke poke poked holes.
After a couple of hours, spread that thawed cool whip over the top, and then serve it.
Serve it with reckless abandon to your friends, neighbors, strangers on the street that will now want to be your friends...just serve it up!

You could serve 9 friends, neighbors, strangers at 404 calories a piece.
Of you could serve 12 of them a much smaller piece at 304 calories a piece.

P.S.  This only makes an 8x8 pan.  A shame.

Here we come to the end of this fiesta of recipes, but I feel like I would be amiss if I didn't share one more with you.
Did I already say that?


Its another variation of this Chocolate Caramel Cake, but we are going to call this one...
are you ready?

Pumpkin Caramel Cake Bars

Use that Yellow Cake mix, and instead of adding chocolate and applesauce, you will want to add a can of pumpkin, and some pumpkin pie spice instead.
Oh. Yes.
Follow the same steps with the  recipe above.
With this one though, it makes better gooey bars, so you can pour it into a 9x13 dish.

This will make about 12-15 bars at around 250 calories a piece.
And I will tell you a secret.
Cool Whip started making frosting.
And it is good.
And it goes reallllly well with these bars instead of plain cool whip.
You are welcome.

I will try, try, to post more recipes.
If you have a request, let me know.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Wild and Wacky World of Weight Loss

There seem to be moments in life when you decide you are "done".  Sometimes its a moment of frustration, like being "done" with potty training or "done" with people leaving clothes all over the bathroom floor.
This kind of "done" is usually for a fleeting second as the potty training must continue, and in reality, the people you live with are still going to leave clothes on the bathroom floor.
Other times you decide you are done with bad habits and cut something out of your life...coke, sugar, staying up to late.  This kind of "done" you can make stick and it usually works ( at least temporarily) because you are just "done" with one thing.  One thing is attainable.  Easy. Takes a couple days, maybe a week to get it out of your life.  Quick fix.  Rip of the band aid. It will only sting for a minute.

Then there is the big "W" word.


Weight is a lot harder to be done with.
I mean, its easy to be "done" with it, but its not easy to do something about it and really be done with it.
"Done" in quotation marks is a lot different than done-no quotations.
"Done" in quotations is fleeting, very "in the moment", and more about a few minutes of uncomfortableness.
Done-no quotations is a quite literal interpretation and requires lots of change, work, and dedication.

I love the dictionary explanation:
Carried out, or treated in a particular way:
(in response to an offer) Accepted.
Synonyms:made - finished

Being done with weight means you have to accept and carry out the mission of a more disciplined and healthy the finish.

As a Christian, I am called to finish this race.

Phillipians 3:14
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

I do not want to over spiritualize the issue of weight loss, but I do believe there is a very spiritual aspect to it.
At least for me.
In the past I have used many excuses to not do what it takes to be a healthier version of me.
When it comes right down to it, all of those excuses amount to sin.
Selfishness- Choosing what I want over what I need.
Gluttony- Eating well past the time of being full just because it tastes so good and I WANT it.
Laziness- Not wanting to exercise because it might be hard and it might hurt.
Pride- Thinking that I can keep eating and not exercising and be just fine.
Anger- At people that work hard at being healthy.  (How misplaced is that!)
Envy- At people that work hard at being healthy.

You get the picture. Lack of discipline, lack of dependence on God, dependence on food, self, emotions, living in the flesh instead of dying to it...those are the reasons that on January 1st and many years preceding, I was 5 feet tall and obese.

9 months later I am still five feet tall but instead of obese, I am just overweight and well on my way to that healthy weight and learning to die to my flesh daily as I depend on God through this journey.
Everyday I am thankful that God has given me and continues to give me His grace to achieve my health related goals.  Everyday I pray and ask God to please not remove His grace from me in this area.
God has been faithful to encourage me in this journey and I have been faithful to see it through thus far and hopefully, to the end.
I've also kicked myself a lot and repented of the time I wasted to get here.

How & What?
How have you done it and what are you doing?  
We are quick fix people.  We want to do something and we want it to be done now.  I get impatient when my text doesn't send immediately.  I want that instant communication, I can't wait for 20 seconds while it sends!  Lucky for us, we live in a day and age when we can do many things easily and with a quick fix.
Weight loss is not one of those things.
Its just not.
Gosh how many times do we tire of hearing the whole
"You didn't get fat over night and you're not going to get skinny that way either."
Its cliche yes, but its true.  The quick fix doesn't work here.
It might work temporarily, but not in the long run.
I have done several things over the past few years that have granted me a 20 pound weight loss, but without changing my mindset, those 20, and more, came back pretty quickly.

I have made the statement in the past that "Weight Watchers" works for me.
Not a true statement.
It doesn't work if you don't stick to it and you fall back into the same old traps and patterns.
What works is a reset.
A mindset change and a lifestyle change.
That is what works and what sticks.

I bucked counting calories for a looooong time. I felt like it would be to hard (so what!),
would require too much work (Oh no!),
and I would starve (gasp!).
Guess what?!  None of those things were true.
Is it easy?
Not easy perse', but not hard either.
Is it work?
It is, but its not hard work.
And what is wrong with a little work anyways?
Who says I need to take the easy and most convenient way out of everything I do?
Have I starved?
Not one single day.

What I have done is signed up for a great and free service and logged in to that great and free service everyday since January 6th. has been an amazing help and tool in weight loss.
The key for me at the beginning was doing it with friends.
There were a few of us that sat around a table one evening talking about this myfitnesspal that we all had signed up for and hadn't really done anything with.
I had already talked to one friend about us holding each other accountable to not eating sugar, but this myfitnesspal thing, well that just seemed like to much work to set up.
Gosh the me of January 5th was afraid of work.
But for some reason on January 6th, something inside of me clicked and I logged into the program, added my friends for support, and haven't looked back to January 5th since then.
In the beginning there were days that I would feel so frustrated by this whole weight loss thing, and balancing your calories, and what? I need to exercise too?!
But the encouragement I got from my friends on myfitnesspal was invaluable and kept me going.
Even if it was just an acknowledgement that "Yay, good job on walking for 20 minutes"..or "Woohoo, you've logged in for 10 days in a row!", it made me feel like I was not alone in what I was doing.

Several times friends wrote me nice messages about what I was doing and I kept them because they encouraged my heart and made me remember why I was doing this in the first place.
Other friends were so faithful and encouraging in noticing when 15 pounds, then 20 pounds, then 25 pounds came off.  It meant a lot to know I had the support of people who loved me, not because I was losing weight, but just because they are my friends and love me no matter what.

I really cannot say enough for the myfitnesspal website and app.
I used to think calorie counting was hard and too restrictive.  I can't tell you now how much freedom I have found in the boundary of counting my calories.
I give plenty of boundaries to my kids, we as a society have certain boundaries we live by to maintain order, we as Christians live with in a certain boundary.
None of these boundaries are to make life miserable and no fun, but to make it easier, safer, even more full!  So why can't calorie counting be the same thing?
Instead of looking at it as what I can't eat, I look at what I can eat.
I wake up every morning and set my boundaries for the day.
I log in what I will eat for the day.  Sometimes that changes a little and I have to tweak, but for the most part, I know first thing in the morning, what I can eat for the day.
That is freeing!
The great thing about it is, if something changes, I change it, within my boundaries, and move on.  The phone app makes it all super easy.
Does it require work?
But it really, in the grand scheme of things, is easy.

The thing for me about the calorie counting has been to be proactive.  I can't just sit back and wait for calories to put themselves in or play guessing games on food in the house or even away from the house.
I have to plan ahead, and in planning ahead I need to prepare ahead of time the things I have planned.
I can tell you this, I have not for one day starved.
At the beginning there were days when my stomach was growling so hard and I thought I was starving, and then I saw a great quote
..."Hunger pains is your body eating its own fat..."
That helped me.
It made me realize I didn't have to be afraid of the hunger pains.
I didn't have to be afraid of being hungry.
Myfitnesspal has set me up on a daily calories allowance that is designed to help me have all the nutrients I need for the day and burn fat at the same time.  No way I can starve!
I learned pretty early on that being hungry is ok!  You can lose weight and be hungry.  You can be hungry and satisfy that hunger with a healthy snack and a glass of water and stay within the boundary of your calories for the day.
That was and still is, a good feeling.

Give me an E!
Oh that word that I used to me afraid of.
I've always been the outdoorsy type.  I like to hike, play tennis, play golf, be out in the great outdoors.
I thought that made me a "healthy" person.
It didn't.
When it came to actual exercise, well I was just down right opposed.
Not all the time opposed.
I mean I would try every now and again.
I might walk for a couple days in a row, but my legs hurt, and my knee hurt, and my calves hurt, and well I need a day off...or 287.
That was me and exercise.
I was afraid of the pain. I wanted, deep down, to be an exerciser.
But the truth of the matter was that I didn't discipline myself enough to actually do it. I didn't want to endure the discomfort it would cause.

So I didn't.

In January, when something clicked and I knew what I needed to do as far as the eating goes, I also knew that just getting my eating under control was not enough.
I wanted it to be. I really really wanted it to be.
I even researched the matter to back up my theory that calories in- calories out, was all that mattered.
Well, yeah, that is true too and for a certain extent. And honestly, at the beginning it was enough for me to just focus on the eating part. I felt like I needed to get that under control and focus solely on that.
I don't think that was a bad plan for me to start off with.  I was in bad shape as far as the eating went, and a month to focus on disciplining my hand to my mouth, was a good thing.
But I couldn't go on with just getting the eating under control forever.

In February a friend of mine invited me to her Zumba class.
I went.
I sucked at it.
I left in pain.
I went again.
I sucked some more.
I left in more pain.
I went again.
We laughed a lot because I, some people just can't dance.
I left in pain.
I went again.
And the pain got less and less.
And the feeling of accomplishment got more and more.
And the pounds started really coming off.
And the sweat didn't bother me so much.
And I felt really good when I left.
And I logged it into myfitnesspal and liked seeing that I had burned 600 calories in one hour of fun.
I was finding exercise fun?

Zumba literally changed the way I view exercise. I will forever be grateful to my friend for inviting me, and for our instructor who does not judge, does not laugh, does not degrade.
Zumba made me realize it was ok to be in pain and to sweat and to work hard.
When I first started, I was going 4 days a week.  From February - May I went 4 days a week.
And I lost weight and inches and gained this new sense of myself and what I could do.
It felt good. It still feels good. The class is only 2 days a week, and here of late because of schedules I have only been able to go 1 day a week. But I will, for the rest of my life if I can, go at least once a week, because Zumba is fun and it taught me that I can work hard, and have fun, and sweat.
Those things are all ok!

I wish I could do Zumba 4 days a week, but alas, life gets in the way and you have to learn to do other things that you can fit into your schedule.
Enter running.


I never.  Ever. Ever. In my life. Ever. Thought that I would run.

I am not a fast walker. It has always hurt my shins and my calves and instead of fixing it, I just let it be another excuse not to walk or run or do anything that would be uncomfortable.
Last year when Logan broke his leg, I talked to the nurse about my pains. I saw the Dr, and I started physical therapy for Achilles tendinitis, the source of most of those pains.
I've had to put in a lot of stretches, and endure some painful walks and runs, but FINALLY, I am starting to see the pay off.
Sometimes, I am learning, you have to endure the pain while your muscles build and stretch and get used.

No pain no gain.
So cliche.
And yet so true.

I started walking in February.  I would walk around a little lake near us with a nice path.
Its .83 miles around. It would take me 22 minutes.
2 days ago I RAN around it twice in 22 minutes!
Who knows what I will be able to do in another 7 months?!
Maybe my time for twice around will still be 22 minutes, but the important thing will be that I am still going around.
I can't emphasis enough the fact that I never thought I could do the things I can do now.

Phillipians 4:13 
"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength".

There is no limit on that. I am not over spiritualizing or making this verse a cliche when I say that "I CAN do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
As a believer, when I can do everything, when He is the one giving me the strength to do it, He is the one being glorified through my life.  I give Him the glory for the "everything" and for the strength.
Do I feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when I accomplish something I didn't think I could do?
But the glory goes to Him for without Him, I can do nothing.

So to summarize this wild and wacky world of weight loss, I died to myself.
By Gods grace, something clicked inside of me and I knew what needed to be done and what it was going to take to do it.
I'm not done. And quite frankly, sometimes I get discouraged and a little frustrated by that.
I've never been tempted to quit, and for that I am thankful.
I've had to do things a little differently at times. I've had to push harder at times, and I've had to cut myself some slack at times too.
But I haven't and won't quit until I have met the goals that I know needed to be set for my body and my short little height. I will see this thing through, even if it takes another year.
I will still be me.
I will just be a healthier version of me.
I will be able to keep up with my soon to be teenagers.
I will be a more disciplined person.
I will be closer in my walk with the Lord because it is by Him and through Him that I can do this in the first place.

When people ask me "Wow, how do you lose weight?"...the answer is quite simply,
You have to be done.