Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Back Acher's Practical Guide to Weight Loss

I'm not going to say that I'm an expert, but I've been struggling with my weight long enough to declare myself "superior in the wisdom of what works and what doesn't". I've got a list here, of the tried and true ways that the weight stays off. Or at least it doesn't go UP (much), but whatever. These methods WORK. I should charge for this kind of advice. Or start a fan club.

BIRTHDAYS
  1. When it's time for a birthday, don't spend all day making a cake and frosting. You will consume too many hidden calories when you lick the bowl. The spoon. The spatula. And the beaters. And the front of your blouse. Instead - go out and BUY a cake. It comes with free frosting.
  2. When you share the cake, after a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday to you, You live in a zoo...", you should cut the cake into small pieces. You will be less inclined to eat a large one, and then when you go back for a second piece, you will have eaten less calories and fat by having two small pieces than if you had stuffed in two large ones. You see people? It's just simple math.
  3. The day after a birthday, after you consume a piece of leftover chocolate cake for breakfast, you should throw a clean dish towel over the cake in order to keep it out of sight, and out of mind. This will keep you from downing the same amount of sugar for lunch too. Plus, it will make your dish towels taste better.
MEALS
  1.  The best method for keeping meals healthy, is to eat them on the run. Running (around town in a suburban full of children) + meals = heathy. Right??
  2. Skip dessert. You probably already had some for breakfast anyway, and if you skip dessert after dinner, then you'll save yourself TONS of weight gain. If you feel the urge to have dessert, at least find something with protein in it, like peanut butter.
  3. Sit down to eat with the family at least [fill in the blank] times per week. If you lose your appetite over the dinnertime conversations like I usually do, chances are, you'll not put away so many calories. If you increase the amount of times your entire family is required to eat together, then you will lose lots more weight over the long haul. Eat with your family - it's great for your health!

SNACKS
  1. If you should decide to eat Cheetos for a snack, do yourself a favor and put some in a bowl, instead of hauling the entire bag around with you. This will keep your portion size down (to that of a large bowl of cereal) instead of an entire bag. This has extra benefits, in that you also won't have to explain to your children, who already saw the bag before it was ever opened, why they didn't get a single one. Keep this rule in mind: Your family will love you if you use a bowl, and so will your figure.
  2. Let's say, hypothetically speaking, that the urge for ice cream as an afternoon snack comes into play. The way to avoid this, is to just not eat it. But we know that's not reasonable, so the method that works for me is to bury it in the deep freeze. Do this the second you bring home the ice cream, and then when the urge strikes, you will be less inclined to eat as much ice cream because you can't manage to get any out of the container without a lengthy process that takes entirely too much time and energy. You'll more than likely seek some other source of comfort and calories. Hopefully you will happen upon a carrot or or a stick of celery or something else, and you'll actually talk yourself into it. Good luck with that.
  3. Peanut butter is a good alternative snack to things like chocolate cake and ice cream. But if the ice cream has peanut butter IN it, then you might as well go with the ice cream. Think of all the calories you will burn when you go out to dig it from the bottom of the deep freeze and attempt to chip out what resembles a scoop. Plus I'm sure the particular kind of peanut butter in ice cream packs as much protein and fiber as you'd expect from a jar of Jif anyway. And, to take it one step further, you are consuming a dairy product. Two birds with one stone. That's how I roll.

DRINKS
  1. The best drink is water. Drink lots of it. But don't drink it in the morning if you have lots of errands to run, or you'll be spending all your time running back and forth to the bathrooms at fast food joints along the way. Then, you'll be inclined to order something fattening while you're there - for fear of being judged as one of those people that uses the facilities, but never pays the rent. Also - don't drink water in the afternoons, because you need to save up bladder space for the hours you'll spend sitting and doing homework with your kids. If they catch you getting up and wandering off, chances are they will too. Then nothing will get done. Also, forget drinking water at night. Trust me, getting lots of rest is good for your metabolism, and drinking all sorts of water in the evening will ruin that. So drink water when you can. Which is pretty much never. 
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages. They are loaded with calories and they do nothing to benefit your health. Although, they do make you look more attractive to your husband, so give him drinks. As much as he wants, so that he will do things like take out the trash because he believes you are a hot super model wife. 
  3. Have that cup of coffee. But limit yourself to just a few cups an hour. Caffeine boosts your heart rate, so you can probably get more chores done during the day, and it will help burn off that cake you ate for breakfast. Coffee should actually be listed as a health food. I'm not sure why it isn't yet. Could be all the loads of creamer we like to dump in it. So, the solution for that is to stick with the fat free kind. We all know that fat free means there aren't any calories either, so it's good for you. Stock up on it.
In summary...
Being healthy is an option. I've listed everything I can think of to help you, and if you decide to screw up and have cake for breakfast two days in a row, don't say I didn't warn you. At the very minimum, keep up with your coffee habits, and eat lots of meals with your family. May you have many healthy years to come.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beautiful

It was a beautiful day
About a beautiful woman
Who had four beautiful children
Of those four beautiful children that she loved, three remain
And of those three beautiful children, 
she came to love five beautiful grandchildren
And of those five beautiful grandchildren, 
she came to love seventeen beautiful great-grandchildren
And of those seventeen great-grandchildren, 
was this young boy
who looked upon her grave 
with the utmost amount of stillness and sincerity
And it too, was beautiful



Mostly because it was the only time he stood still
for the entire weekend.
But you know what I'm sayin...

 

Our family had a going away party.
It lasted two days
There were balloons, flowers, and even cake.
There was music
There were heartwarming gifts, and stories about old times.
There were plenty of kids 
and everyone went home with a smile in their heart and a tear on their cheek


And it really was... beautiful

You will be missed Grandma... thanks for the lifetime of memories.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Word Filled Wednesday 2 Peter 3:10

The purpose of Word Filled Wednesday is to share the WORD through a photo and a verse. 
It happens every Wednesday - but apparently I missed the boat. Or the last FEW boats. I haven't posted one in SEVEN months. Yeah, you read that right. Put away the "tsk tsk" sounds and read on...


 

Full sized version HERE

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; the heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 


~Ouch. If you have any doubt about your future or the coming of the Lord, I'd say this is as blunt as it gets. Get right with God. Do it now because tomorrow could just be a bit late. If you want to go to my church, there's plenty of seats. And you can wear jeans.
Or even camo.



This week's Word Filled Wednesday is being hosted by Penny Raine
Click the button below to find more inspiration for the rest of your week!

Monday, March 1, 2010

What words?

I wasn't really sure that after this past week's events, that I would have any words left to say by this morning. And I was right. I can't find my words but I have many thoughts. So I'm just going to let them tumble out and see what happens.


Our trip to California for my Grandfather's funeral service was really, really nice. We left Wednesday, and drove all day and arrived at my Uncle's home in Stockton by 9 p.m. We were made to feel especially comfortable, as usual, by my Aunt and Uncle and we all slept like rocks. Thursday morning we departed for Santa Nella, and the nearby San Joaquin Valley National Cemetary where my Grandfather was laid to rest. His service was just as a military service would be expected... spit shined and regulated. It was such a foreign concept to me, but I took great interest in the method by which they paid respects to every comrade, regardless of beliefs or opinions. I did admire that.
 
The bagpiper was a great touch. My Grandfather was very involved in the tracing his roots and participating in the Scottish Highland Games. This is one part of my heritage that I enjoy, and will be able to share with my kids because it was shared with me.


It was great to see my other relatives again, and pass out hugs (and kisses in this family!). The sun shone so brightly and the scenery was so breathtakingly beautiful, that it was really easy to see that God had wanted us to see and feel his presence wrapped around everything we did. After the service, we went to the top of a hill, where we could look out over the valley and see the plot where my Grandfather's remains were placed. We were not allowed graveside (again, strict regulations) until a couple hours later, but we opted to go back to the nearby town and have a meal as a large group before we all went our separate ways.



It was after the meal, as we were hugging and saying our goodbye's to most of our family that we got the phone call that my Grandma Alice had died during the preceding hour or so. I can't really express the thoughts that squeezed their way through my brains at that point in time. For one, I had a huge sense of relief that now my dear Momma wouldn't have to worry about when her Mother was going to go anymore. But, I also had an overwhelming sense of sadness that all of the sudden I had no living Grandparents and in the space of about a year both of my parents, and all of my Aunts and Uncles had become orphans.


We did know that my Grandma's hours were limited, and in a way we were hoping we could get back home in time to be with her. However, my Mother, always the logical one, had made most of the final arrangements before we even left. I think my Mom mostly worried that nobody would be there for her Mother like they had been for the ones who died before. I remember when my Grandpa Charlie was sick and dying, we couldn't chase off people away from his bedside, but with my Grandma's last weeks it was a lot different. Thankfully, she had loving people with her for her send-off. I know my Mom really appreciated that.

I am grateful that I was able to say my good-bye's on a day that I got both a huge smile and tears from her. I was so sad to let her go, she clung to me like a small child, with tears spilling out and over her frail cheeks and it was utterly heartbreaking to just walk away. Right now I'm pretty sure she's got tears running down her cheeks again, but not because she is sad. It's because she is so overwhelmed with happiness to be hiking the snowy mountains again, swimming in the ocean and running through the tall grass in heaven. Right now she is playing with all the little kids there whose parents haven't arrived yet and they are all calling her "Grandma". She always favored the children, and not just her own, but everyone else's as well. She was quite literally everyone's Grandma - and I'm delighted to have been able to share her with the hundreds of other kids who admired her and enjoyed her playful spirit during the years.

Loss isn't easy, losing loved ones hurts like heck - but in a way, this past year has been such a blessing to my life. It is one that has helped my family learn what loving others and putting each other first really means. It's showed me what being a real friend is all about. It's taught me that there is no one person who can support a whole group, but when everyone supports, the whole group can get through this.