You know you’ve raised em’ right when… ~By:Steph

21448388b155887fd5d72692cee4f539Hope you all enjoyed your Mother’s Day weekend.  I had a really nice weekend and it actually felt like a real weekend.  That doesn’t happen often.  Saturday we did some shopping and my husband took me to Ulta to ahem…grab a Mother’s Day gift for myself.  I did use the proper mom etiquette and tell the kids, “Thank you.” when I walked in with my gift.  Hey, at least I don’t have to sit around thinking, “Really? This is what they thought I’d like?” 😉  Don’t judge me… you know you’ve been there!

My eating has pretty much been right on track this past week. This is a nice change.  I decided to keep myself focused on Mother’s Day.  Saturday evening I made a Strawberry Cream Cheese Delight on an almond crust & a lemon cheesecake on that same almond crust.  Both low carb, both had no added sugars and both had really nice calorie counts of less than 200 cals per serving.  It always freaks me out when I read “low carb” recipes with 5000 calories per serving.  My Noodle and I cut up a ton of fruit and made a fruit plate for Mother’s Day and one for home.

I figured the kitchen was already messy from all that baking nonsense so I may as well try another recipe out.  I’m pretty glad I did.  I tried cloud bread.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, I will put a link.  I found one recipe that called for sour cream instead of cream cheese and decided that’s what I’d try.  I’d already blown through a lot of cream cheese by this time.  I was a little worried about the whipping of the egg whites but, no disasters occurred and we had stiff peaks! I am NOT a baker.  Too many rules, too many bowls and measuring cups, dirtied. All in all the cloud bread was a success and pretty tasty.  I do need to use a flat baking sheet next time rather than, the 15 year old misshapen one that I chose to use. Although, it would make for less interesting shapes. I’m willing to sacrifice my art. I expected these little breads to be pretty gross and not at all bread like.  I was very surprised.  They browned up nicely, had good flavor and had a mouth feel that was very similar to bread. http://pin.it/x2ChXmY

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Low Carb Cloud Bread Top and bottom views.

 

Sunday the Big Guy and I headed to church early, to serve.  We were actually on time. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that Noodle brought Wild Bee and Monster Boy with her later.  They walked into church with some very pretty flowers and on time.  I was a happy mama!  Don’t you love that book “Llama Llama mad at Mama?”  Oops…sidetracked.  My mom and I showed up at church looking like we were trying to be matchy-matchy.  Totally cool, right?  So, a lovely friend, insisted on snapping a picture.  My Mom-mom attended service, it’s always nice to have her visit the church.  Even had a surprise text from my Lucy who informed me that she and her Ricky were playing hookie from their church and visiting ours.  So I had a lot of people I love to pieces, worshiping in one building.

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Me and my Mommy

Headed over to my Mom’s with the food and decided that the girls needed to take a field trip to Ulta and browse the makeup.  Found some fun stuff  got our “free gift with purchase” which is why we went there in the first place and then headed to Dutch Bros. while the men folk bbq’d for us.  Dutch Bros. on a normal day is insane.  Dutch Bros. on Mother’s Day when moms get $1.00 drinks…COMPLETE AND UTTER INSANITY.  We did not help this situation by ordering 9 drinks while we were there.  WHAT? We had to be nice and take the guys something!  Headed back to Mom’s with my sf strawberry/coconut iced green tea and we seriously got out of there for only $18.00.  Plus they made one of our drinks twice and gave it to us with a smile and a “Happy Mother’s Day”!  WOO HOO, extra sf green tea for Mom and me!  Well, maybe…I’m pretty sure I drank them both. It’s good to get all your fluids in. I wasn’t selfish, I was health conscious!

After dinner which was delicious and full of some really healthy choices, we headed to the other room and did makeovers on my Mom and Mom-mom.  The girls and I had fun playing with makeup and they got pampered. End result gave us a very nice picture with 4 generations in it.  My Mom even put on her “fancy hair”!

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I have to say that by far the most interesting part of my Mother’s Day was my Monster Boy’s gift. A little background…my son hates to draw or color and has questionable handwriting.  When we got home on Sunday evening he pulled a paper out of his backpack.  I stared at it for a bit and then said, “Thank you, it’s beautiful.”  I was holding a very neatly handwritten paper with my name on it (spelled incorrectly), tulips drawn on it and colored. He smiles and says, “The teacher gave us time to make our moms a card.  I had my friend ‘A’ write it for me, ‘B’ draws cool things and I picked the design for him to draw and then, ‘C’ colored it because, she had colored pencils.”  I guess you know you’ve raised em’ right when they contract out your Mother’s Day gift in the 5th grade! My little CEO in the making. 😉

 

A fun weekend, had my dessert and stayed on track, got presents…I like presents, and spent time with my crazy butt family!  Wins all around 🙂

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Chile Verde…yum ~By: Steph

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Chile Verde, only healthy carbs

Last Friday at the supermarket, I decided I was buying tomatillos.  I have never even unwrapped a tomatillo before.  I knew they went into homemade chile verde sauce.  Yep there’s my expertise in a tomatillo husk. Is it called a husk? Hmm…

I realized on Tuesday that I had forgotten about the tomatillos and they were going to end up going to dead vegetable land. More commonly known around these parts as, the trash bin.  Alas, many a vegetable has met this terrible fate in my home.  I decided to stop the madness and do something with these little green, wrinkle wrapped thingys. I went to…wait for it…Pinterest, and found a recipe that sounded pretty yummy/pretty easy (once again…I do not really follow recipes as much as I look at them to see what should go into something.) and I got to work.

Tomatillos are sticky little suckers under that covering.  It was weird and I got great satisfaction at washing their stickiness away before quartering them.  I threw the tomatillos, some chunked up green peppers (yep, chunked up), a couple of halved jalapenos, a rough chopped onion, and an entire head of peeled garlic, on a baking sheet.  Coated everything in roasted garlic olive oil and seasoned with chipotle chile powder, salt, pepper, and cumin.  Took about 15 mins to prep and get into the oven.  I roasted this until the house smelled phenomenal…that means about an hour.  They were so pretty but, I forgot to take a picture of their slightly charred gorgeousness.

After the veggies cooled down a bit I threw them into my Cuisinart with about 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of cilantro leaves.  Whirled it until it looked Chile Verde sauce-ish and set it aside.  It was at this point when I realized it made enough for two recipes.  I threw half into a jar to be popped into the freezer.  After it got it’s picture taken, of course!

I cubed up a pork tip roast that I had quick thawed in a pan of water, while the veggies roasted.  They are very lean and I definitely prefer them with some kind of sauce to keep them moist. I seasoned the cubed roast up and popped it into a hot cast iron skillet to brown up. I contemplated throwing the meal into my slow cooker. Which is where I usually make my cheater chile verde with the jarred salsa and canned green sauce.  I thought better of using the slow cooker when I realized it was already after 12:45 and I wasn’t positive the meat would get tender enough before dinner.  I almost put it all away to make the next day and then GENIUS STRUCK.  Okay not really but, I did remember that I had some of those Reynold’s oven bags in the drawer.  I grabbed one out, added the meat, covered it with the sauce, sealed it up, stabbed the bag a couple of times so the steam could escape, and cooked it at 325 for about 2 1/2 hours.  The result was a really ugly looking bag that sort of scared me when I opened the oven. That’s why I included it in the picture.  I was totally convinced I had cooked dinner into an incinerated oblivion.

When I opened the bag up, there was bubbly, green, deliciousness! That’s not a phrase you use often.  I was totally ready to mash up some pinto beans and chow down for dinner that night.  NOPE, Big Guy had an errand to run so I went with him.  Ended up eating the kids meal of grilled chicken nuggets and fruit salad at Chik-fil-a. I LOVE that place.

Wednesday I made some Mexican riced cauliflower.  It was pretty delicious yet, still cauliflower and not rice.  I am not going to lie and say I like it as well as carby, delicious, rice but, I do think it was a nice substitute.   Mashed up and seasoned some pinto beans for fat free “refried” beans. Shredded up a little lettuce and diced a tomato because, I like the fresh crispness with Mexican food. Warmed up the Chile Verde in the oven and ta-da dinner!

I’d say that I spent about 40 mins of prep time on the meal.  There was a lot of waiting patiently (I’m so very good at that…) for the oven.  The end result was definitely worth the time it took.

Healthy carbs, veggies, lean pork, homemade sauce, and some new favorites.  I call this meal a win.

Everyone ate this meal except for My Monster Boy. Well, The Bee didn’t eat the cauli rice.  As I have said before, my son would think I was trying to kill him if I served him something other than pizza with any kind of sauce on it.  Took out a Flatout, coated it very lightly with Ranch dressing, threw on a bit of shredded cheese, and added some turkey pepperoni (shh…don’t tell him), and put it in the toaster over until it was crisp and melty.  That and a bowl of fresh fruit with some cucumber spears, and he was a happy kid with a fairly healthy meal. I love that he enjoys Flatout’s and they have great fiber and protein.

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For my wls friends, I know this looks like a lot of food. I am very near, 4 years out of surgery and can eat a decent portion of food.  This is a salad plate with 2 TBL of beans, 1/4 cup of cauli. rice, 3 oz. of chile verde, and maybe a quarter cup of lettuce with 3 pieces of diced tomato on top. There isn’t even a TBL of cheese on top of the meat.  Maybe 1 1/2 cups of food total. The lettuce and cauli. rice don’t really take up a lot of space for me.  If this plate contained all solid foods, I could do about a cup.  If this plate was a bag of popcorn, chips, cookies, or something else carby and easily digested, I could unfortunately probably do closer to 50 cups.  Okay that may be an exaggeration but, I can do way more of something that breaks down easily like those off limit foods. That is why they are off limit foods for me.


P.S.  I like to grab a few head of cauliflower at the store, and forget them in the fridge until I panic about them going bad.  Then and only then do I drag out the food processer and make cauliflower rice.  I never actually want to use it that night because, honestly I hadn’t planned on using it that night and only touched it because, I was afraid I’d have to throw it away if I waited any longer. So it gets bagged up and put into the freezer for when I actually do want to use it and have absolutely no fresh cauliflower in the house.

 

Do You Ever Ask Yourself, “Who am I?” ~By: Steph

Today I am in the zone.  Well, my own zone which is not for everyone.  I caught myself in the midst of doing something strange and thought, “Who does this stuff?” I know I’m quirky.  I know I come across as closed off until, you get to know me.  I know I have my struggles.  I know I’m a smart ass like my Papa before me.  I know that I’m a fairly decent wife…YES Big Guy I am! I know that I’m the Meanest Mom in Fresno (M.M.I.F.), just ask my Noodle. I know I am a child of God and that I’m incredibly blessed to be His.

What didn’t I know? Technically I knew these things but, never really thought much of them.  I’m weird, thrifty, totally irrational at times, overly emotional in good and bad ways, and I know that my mind often is like a canoe stuck in a whirlpool. I think in circles and often talk in them too.  Often during a conversation, the worst possible responses pop into my head at extremely inappropriate times and I have to shove them away. I’m pretty sure I get THAT from my Papa too.  He was the sort of guy who said things like, “You’re a good ole hefer.” to the lady who spent an hour dealing with us and hooking my electric account up. Leaving her giggling and blushing.  Anyone else who said it would have probably gotten punched in the nose!  I at least usually have the good sense to think but, not say these things. I’m not as adorable as Papa was so I’m pretty sure I’d get punched.

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Yesterday my Big Guy informed me that the container that grinds the Himalayan pink salt, had melted.  I checked the store for a salt grinder to transfer it to.  Totally refused to pay $12 for a new one.  This morning I was staring down that salt grinder and wishing it ill. Ten minutes later I had the electrical tape out and was “fixing” it.  Who tapes a salt grinder back together? Especially when it’s one of those cheapo ones that comes with the salt! Me, that’s who.  Hey, it matched!  You never would have noticed if I hadn’t pointed it out.  I’m fairly certain of that because, most of you wouldn’t have been in my kitchen.

I can not say that without saying this.  Today wasn’t my first rodeo with tape.  Two full years ago, Bailey our sweet little pit mix decided that she was going to help me decorate the house. She decided to eat the back off of BOTH leather end table/storage cubes. You guessed it.  I contemplated buying new ones and ended up breaking out the duct tape.  Taped the entire back of both of them and then to top off my awesome ingenuity…I spray painted the duct tape brown to match the cubes.  We still have them.  I still roll my eyes every time I see the fraying edges of that tape masterpiece.  The couch now has electrical tape on the back of it to close the seam in the leather that the daycare kids were dropping toys into.  I’m the kind of person who really wants new furniture but then I think, “It’s just going to look the same way as the old furniture if I allow the kids to even breathe by it.”  No Big Guy, that does not mean I don’t want to get new furniture! I would prefer it if the Furniture Fairy would drop off some indestructible, free, furniture one night.  Not holding my breath.

I am scatterbrained to the point that I think if you look hard enough you can see my brain jumping around.  In my mind there are always about 15,000 things running around.  Kind of like ants. No not like ants, they are pretty organized.  More like bees buzzing around a hive.  I am also busy.  Who isn’t though?  This is why, I will now confess that this blog was started TWO days ago.  So when I say that I taped the salt grinder, “this morning”, what I really mean is 2 days ago. If my blogs jump around, it’s partly due to the fact that I rarely write more than one paragraph at a time.  More like one paragraph an hour or, six hours, or 48 hours…whatever.

I come across as closed off because, I’m trying to take in all of my surroundings and still speak coherently.  I have a hard time with crowds, windows, background noise, or any other distraction that may be taking place during a conversation.  My co-crazy Becky, likes to shout, SQUIRREL, at me when this happens. I don’t mean to seem standoffish, it’s just that there are so many things happening and that makes it hard for me to focus.  Call it ADD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, whatever you want.  I call it life.  My Monster Boy was lucky enough to get this from me.

If you’ve ever read my blog you know the “struggles” I have.  I am pretty blessed that God helps me to manage them.  I did not say they are under control. If they were under control, they wouldn’t be struggles, Silly.

I’m over emotional.  Enough said or else, I’ll get mad and cry.

All in all, I like who I am.  That isn’t something I could have said a few years ago.  I am learning to embrace my quirks, my struggles, and my ability to live a joyful life, with them. I have my days, and sometimes they feel overwhelming but, I get through them.  I wouldn’t change them if it meant losing the lessons I’ve learned, the family I have, or my faith in God.

I hope you enjoy your quirks and embrace who you are and where you are.  It kind of stinks to always be looking for something better, or more “normal”, than who you are.

Hugs and go tape something up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta-less Pasta salad~By:Steph

I pinned a recipe for Low Carb Pasta Salad, a while back. I meant to make it and just totally forgot.  A few weeks ago a friend posted a similar recipe on Facebook.  I meant to make it and just totally forgot.  Today, I didn’t forget!

I think I’ve mentioned before that unless I’m baking I don’t like recipes.  I will use them as a guideline but, it drives me crazy following “rules”.  (Sorry kids, you get that from me.  We’ll still blame Dad though.)  So I grabbed a bunch of stuff from the fridge and pantry and set off to make my own version of pasta-less pasta salad.  I didn’t really “set off”, my kitchen is really small so it’s more like I stretched out my arms and put stuff on the counter.  In my mind it was a trek.

I grabbed my hand dandy Veggeti (stupid name but, it works well) and 2 medium zucchini.  Spiralized them and then removed all of the parts with seeds.  They tend to get mushy and no one wants mushy pasta-less pasta salad.  I may have eaten the seed part because, I hadn’t had breakfast and it looked tasty.  I put out a double layer of paper towels and spread zoodles out on them.  Lightly salt them, cover with another set of paper towels then, roll it up like a cinnamon roll.  Okay I know! Who talks about cinnamon rolls while they are blogging about zucchini? Anyhow, I leave them on a cutting board for about an hour.  The salt and paper towels draw out the excess moisture and you get slime-less zucchini noodles.  NOW EVERYONE will want some with that description.

I chopped up everything that sounded yummy to me.  Banana peppers, red onion, 1 oz of light salami, 2 oz of light mozzarella, a couple of marinated artichoke hearts, a few heirloom baby tomatoes halved/seeded, and some yellow onion.  Added a  small can of sliced black olives and the wet ingredients to a sieve and waited patiently.  Okay actually I stood there resisting the urge to smash it all down to make the liquids come out faster.  That is sorta patient.

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When the zoodles were ready, I unrolled them from the paper towels, and put them in a serving bowl.  Added all of the now dry and patiently non-smashed goodies to the bowl and mixed it all up.  Made a quick dressing of 1 tsp Dijon, 1 TBL roasted garlic olive oil, 2 TBL white wine vinegar and some seasonings. Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, garlic, and a teeny pinch of crushed red peppers.  Shook the mixture up and topped the zoodle mix with it.  Tossed it with the dressing and ta-da…pasta-less pasta salad.  Well as pasta salady as you can get without pasta. You get where I’m going. Don’t act like you can’t follow.

Pasta-less pasta salad is a fun little phrase.

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My salad came out to 7 protein, 6 carbs, and 141 cals per cup.  Yours will depend on what you like and how much of everything you add to the bowl.  My Fitness Pal has a handy online recipe calculator.

Hope you play with your zoodles soon 😉

 

Fat head? ~ By: Stephanie

If you’re anything like me, you think that weight loss will change your thinking.   In my case it has and it hasn’t. My mind is not so friendly to me some days.

I used to sit and obsess over what I was going to eat at a restaurant.  Imagining every yummy bite of food and the big plates. Now I sit down in a restaurant and imagine all of the money I’m going to pay in comparison to what I will eat. I grocery shop for the ingredients in my head and curse the markup!

I used to get into a car and pull the seatbelt all of the way out and say a prayer it would buckle. I now get into the car without a second thought to the seatbelt.

I used to cringe at the thought of my husband or kids, friends meeting me.  I worried about how people would judge them because, of my size. I now am more open to these introductions.

I used to eye a chair or booth with skepticism, wondering if I’d fit into it or if it was strong enough to hold me. Wondering if it would look like the table was a shelf for my boobs to rest on.  I now don’t even have these thoughts or much of those things called, “boobs” without an amazing bra!  All hail underwire.

I used to avoid turnstiles like the plague. I would have happily army crawled under them if it was allowed.  When I had to go through one, I’d turn sideways and suck in my tummy. Or have to endure the shame when the person working the turnstile took pity on me and directed me to the little gate off to the side.  I now still turn sideways and have that moment of panic before going through a turnstile. Why? Who knows old habit???

I used to walk into a room and look to see if I was the biggest one there. I now walk into a room and look to see if I’m the biggest one there. SIGH…My Big Guy LOVES when I say, “Am I her size? Would I be her size if I were 4 inches taller and had hips?” these are a few of his faaaavorite things…

I used to have to do contortions to paint my toenails without passing out. I now can easily paint my toes like a normal person. I can also now see my toenails when I glance down.  That’s a pretty nifty accomplishment.

I used to look in the mirror and see someone a little smaller than I actually was.  I now look in the mirror and see someone larger than I  am. Yeah, gotta love it. I’d get rid of this mind if I wasn’t so attached to the slivers I have left of it.  I’m a mom, I lost most of that thing, years ago.

I used to wear capri pants and flip flops in the middle of winter. I didn’t own a jacket.  I now wear thermals under my jeans, topped by snow pants and 6 pair of socks, while trying to fight the urge to climb into the oven, if the temperature drops below 70.  Btw, my mind tells me I wouldn’t fit in the oven. It may actually be right this time.

I used to hate shopping for clothes, dreaded having to try them on and see myself in those evil, tri-fold mirrors. I now love shopping for clothes and trying them on.  I just wish I had a little fashion elf in my pocket, that would put it’s itty bitty hand on it’s hip and say, “Girl, don’t you even THINK about going there.” when I pick something strange.

I used to think that everything would be magically different if I just lost weight.  I now know that while many things change, we still have the same struggles as before. Only now we must learn to deal with them WITHOUT food.  I think that was one of the toughest lessons I learned in this process.  Weight loss isn’t like rubbing a genie’s lamp. If it was, I’d ask that genie to shrink and iron my birthday suit. It is a physical, and emotional process.  Relationships will be affected.  Your coping skills are affected.  The way you view yourself will be affected.

My Big Guy and I went through some serious struggles in the first 1 1/2 years after my wls. After a lifetime of being big, it felt strange to be “normal” size. I allowed people to cross boundaries because, I didn’t know how to respond to compliments.  On the outside I seemed more confident and willing to step out of my comfort zone. On the inside I was falling apart.  Dealing with life is hard when you lose the one thing that always gave you comfort…FOOD.  We had kind of split up but, like any tumultuous relationship, food kept pulling me back in.  I still was attracted to food.  I couldn’t just give food up.  We had too many years and memories together. There was a constant battle between my mind and my tummy. I was becoming very depressed. Putting on an act so that my outside seemed perfectly together.  It’s an exhausting way to live.  I pushed my husband away.  Doubted his sincerity when he complimented me.  It took a toll on our marriage.  I was trying to figure out who I was becoming and Big Guy was forced to adjust each time something changed.  I am grateful to God for holding us together and I am grateful to my husband for his willingness to go to counseling with me.  It strengthened our relationship in every way.  It definitely didn’t happen over night but, it was worth every bit of effort we put into it. We are both very aware of the fact that God worked on our marriage and our hearts.

Another hurdle I am still trying to clear is, the way I view myself.  I still see myself as larger than I am. I don’t see myself up near my highest weight but, about 40 pounds heavier than I am.  I can go to a store, try clothes on (Usually grabbing sizes too big for me before admitting I need the smaller ones.) and buy them.  Bring them home hang them up and then the panic sets in.  I look at the clothes on the hanger and can’t really grasp that they fit me.  I start to doubt myself and talk myself out of wearing them because, of how I’ll look.  Case in point, my Easter dress.  I loved it in the store.  Tried it on, got opinions, came home tried it on again and got compliments on it. Then as days went by I started freaking out about wearing it.  I was going to return it.  I’m so glad I didn’t.  I actually felt put together and pretty in it after I saw the pictures.

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You see, I don’t know what I look like aside from pictures. The person I see in the mirror and the person I see in a picture of myself are NOT the same size.  For me to truly see myself, I have to see a photograph.  I still have weight to lose and I’m okay with that. I will never have a perfectly flat tummy and I’m okay with that. We will not even talk about my arms and thighs but, I’m okay with them.  The one thing I pray will change, is my view of myself.  It’s something I am willing to work towards.

What are your non-scale related struggles, relating to your weight loss?  I think we all must have some.  Maybe not, it could just be me.  I could be unique like the majestic platypus.

 

 

 

 

 

I DID IT!!! C25K Week 5 Day 3 my first 20 minute run! By: Steph

This pose is an homage to my pal Clint. I know he caught a little flack for copying one of my poses so I thought I’d copy one of his 🙂

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Crappiest picture ever and I am so, So, SO excited to post it! I don’t even care. I did it!!!! I finished my first 20 minute run without stopping and 911 did not have to be called or anything. I really did not believe I would make it when I started out this morning. I procrastinated and tried to come up with excuses as to why I would fail but, finally just gave in and started. You know what? It wasn’t awful and I feel amazing having completed it. I have never in my life even as a child been able to run 20 minutes straight. It’s sort of an unreal feeling to be honest.

Thank you to those who have supported me along the way and told me I could do it when I didn’t believe I could. I want to specifically thank Clint my co-blogger and friend for pushing me to get back to C25K after I quit on it the first time. He has continually told me I would do it and I have pretty much considered him full of bologna. Who knew, he was right? Joe thanks for getting me out there that first day and starting me off. I know I would have made excuses and found a reason to not start if you hadn’t gone with me that first time.

I feel like I won an Oscar 🙂

I know that the changes God has allowed me to make in my life are the only reason I am where I am now. I am so grateful for a total transformation of my life and a chance to be healthy and a good role model to my kids.