Saturday, June 26, 2010


This is a long overdue update on the My Loss/Their Gain journey and fundraiser. As life tends to get, it got complicated and busy, and my updating was put on a back burner. I am so thankful that I serve a God who is never too busy for me, who is never overwhelmed by the complications of life, and who is able to do so much more than I can ever hope to do.

I started this journey hoping to lose at least 30 pounds, and I did not accomplish that. I am disappointed, but I know that God is not. I lost a total of 14.5 lbs, and I have decided to round that up to 15. :) If you signed up to sponsor me at a certain dollar amount per pound of weight lost, please send in your donation to the following address:

4133 Ellwood Road
New Castle, PA. 16101

You can also donate through paypal at LATCOM's website.

Please be sure to mark your check or online donation with the designation that this for the Monte Blanco Water Slide Project. You will get a tax deductible receipt from LATCOM for your donation. You can also mail your donation to me and I will get it to them....just make the check out to LATCOM.

I have been humbled and encouraged by the outpouring of support that I got in this endeavor. I am nowhere near done with my weight-loss journey, and Monte Blanco's water slide is nowhere near completion, but I trust that God will use my heart and your giving to further His Kingdom.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Grace and weight-loss

We have been doing a great study at church. Sunday morning sermons have been a verse by verse study of Romans. And this last week our pastor spoke on grace. This line hit me, "God is not angry with you. He is not ashamed or embarrassed by you." There is nothing we have done, or will do, that can make God love us less or more. He simply loves us. The same yesterday, today, tomorrow. There are times that I, as a parent, am angry at my kids, ashamed by how they act, embarrassed by what they say or do....but God doesn't feel that about us. He already knows everything we will ever do, and He loved us enough to send His own son to die for us. Grace. Once I accepted that gift of grace, I became His child. Forever and always. Grace.

I am flopping at this weight-loss thing. I am still down weight, but have not lost any more. I am struggling to eat right. Struggling to exercise. I know all the reasons why I want to do this. I have the tools I need. Yet I am failing. And for some reason the thought that God sees that too, that He is not ashamed of me in my failings, makes me want to try harder. I am trying to figure out a way to turn this over to turn my food issues over to get His help with this, and I would welcome any advice you may have. Pray before eating? What are some different ways I can look at food? I use food to fill my boredom, to feel better about myself (I know, so backwards....believe me, I know!), to socialize. Continue to pray for me. Please.

I have a million house projects I want to do....I want to switch bedrooms with the kids, turn Landon's old room into an office/craft room for me, paint a bunch of furniture, etc. I'm looking forward to making our home work better for us. Part of that is getting it organized and cleared out. These kinds of projects help me to eat better...less boredom when I'm working! LOL

Few things I am doing right....
I started recycling.
I joined that supported agriculture...and will be getting fresh produce all summer long. Hubs thinks it is a waste of money, but I know it isn't. It is good for us. And good for the earth.
I picked up another weight-loss person to join in on the fundraiser with me. He already has 20 sponsors. Yeah! Pray for him on his journey too. His name is Keith.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


All are a few tips for those of you who are wanting to eat healthier.
  • Rotisserie chicken is a fantastic and easy meal option. You can eat it as is, or you can pull all the chicken off and use it in a number of different recipes. This week I will be making green curry chicken, a chicken salad, and chicken soft tacos. Cheap meal can get rotisserie chicken around here at Walmart or Giant Eagle, and it is under $5.
  • Buy the good-for-you-stuff and have it in the front of your fridge, cupboards, and out on the counter. You are more likely to grab it for a quick snack if it is staring you in the face.
  • It might cost more, but it is saving your life. I just spent $10 on grapes last night. Ten whole dollars! But I realize that it is a better choice for myself and my children than the $1.50 bag of chips.
  • Be prepared. Cut up the veggies right away. Cook ahead of time. Plan out your meals for the week. Don't be caught hungry without a plan.
  • Don't refuse the bag at Subway. You will drop your sub in your driveway, and you will try to catch it, and you will grab the outer edge of the paper and watch it unroll as it heads for the ground, leaving your sandwich gutted on the gravel. Trust me on this one.
  • Thomas not only has the bagel thins, it also has 100 calorie english muffins. Try it with Smuckers simply fruit spreads, or top with turkey bacon.
  • Frozen waffles can be delish when topped with sliced strawberries and a dab of whipped topping. I've tried the lighter whipped topping versions, and find that it is worth the extra calories to have the real kind
  • more to come....

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Week Three Wrap-Up

First timers to blog...please scroll down and read first entries first.

I know I am way behind on this update. Believe me, I got here as quick as I could! A week ago today, I had the amazing opportunity to present my fundraiser at church. I was given 5 minutes of time on stage to talk about the Monte Blanco camp, to talk about the water slide project, and to talk about my weight-loss fundraiser. I was very nervous before speaking (imagine, getting up in front of everyone and telling hundreds of folks that you are working on losing weight!), and kept telling my husband that I couldn't believe I was about to do this. I knew it would take lots of guts (figuratively and literally ha ha) to stand there and have all of those eyes on me. I prayed the whole way to church that God would help me be calm, that He would give me some sign that He was with me. Imagine how thrilled I was to see that the last song the worship team sang before I spoke was "It is Well With My Soul" (that has been God's special song to me during this time of grieving the loss of my baby and my Grandma). What a moment of feeling God reach out and hug me. It helped me calm down before speaking, and the time went very well. Right at the end of the talk I felt like God wanted me to mention the other reason why I wanted to lose weight. How I had lost a baby and wanted to give my pain to God. How I was asking Him to turn my sorrow into joy...the joy of the kids coming down that water slide, the joy that comes when you come to know Christ, the joy of accomplishing something that has been a struggle for me for so long. I struggled a bit to talk about that without crying, but God was with me during that too. Many people stopped by after small group to encourage me, thank me for sharing, etc. A number signed up to sponsor me. A few mentioned that they would like to join the weight-loss part of this fundraiser also. I smiled and praised God the whole way home.

Starting Wednesday night my Dad's family begin to arrive in Grandma's memorial service was Saturday. All together there were about 30 of us here. I mention this because I knew that Thursday through Sunday were going to be difficult diet days...after all, there was a 6 foot long table packed high with cookies, brownies, chips, spinach dip, pecan bars, etc. We ate almost all meals together, and I knew that I had no control over what food would be offered. I chose wisely, ignored the dinner rolls and the chips, and filled up on veggies and fruit. I took my own yogurt/strawberries/granola mix for breakfasts, and stayed away from the donuts, egg casseroles, and crescent rolls. I ate two cookies (thanks Cathy!) and half of one of my sister-in-law's pecan bars. I think that is pretty good considering that there was day after day after day of tempting food in front of me. So what was my weigh-in accomplishment this past week?!?! I am down a total of 11 pounds since my start date. Eleven pounds in 3 weeks. Whoot!

This week has started out a bit rough...I stress ate Monday night after finding out that my Husband was not getting a job we had been counting on. But I dusted myself off the next day and today, and I know that I will just keep moving along on this journey.

A few non-scale successes....I fit into a pair of jeans that I haven't worn in about a year. I even fit in a pair one more size down! I bought a shirt that was a size smaller than I had been wearing when I started this journey three weeks ago. Several people can see the difference in my face already. I feel healthier and more energetic.

Keep praying for me. This still isn't easy for me. Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!!!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Week Two

First time to the blog? Scroll down and read the first entries first. :)

Week much harder than week one. I think I have a few reasons why....I didn't blog about my recipes as much, I didn't talk about the journey much, I didn't have it as a focus. I have a few life stress points going on right now too, so that made it a bit harder. And I had a few events to attend where the food was not under my control. I learned some good things from this week though...I have to keep writing about this journey. I have to keep you informed (whether you are reading or not). I have to keep talking about the reason why I am doing this. I have to plan ahead more. I have to get the exercise in!!

I was thrilled to see a write-up about this weight-loss fundraiser in my church bulletin. And I got a phone call today because of that write-up...people are seeing it! I am also very excited because this week I get to talk about what I'm doing at our Wednesday night small group time. Please be praying that people will jump on board with me!

I only lost half a pound this week. See the first paragraph for all the reasons for that. I ate some great foods, and I ate some not so great foods. Today is a new week. :)

Please keep praying for me to have the commitment to see this through...not only for my own health, but also to benefit that amazing camp in Bolivia. The needs there can feel overwhelming at times, and I hope to be able to contribute enough to relieve one small bit of that need. Pray for me while I work on getting my house in order for the arrival of my dad's family. My grandma's memorial service is this weekend, and I have a lot of things to get done for that. Pray for me as I continue to deal with the loss of my baby. This past week was a hard one, and this coming week will be difficult as well. My cousin's wife is expecting, and she is due around the same time I would have been. I am already aware that it will be painful, but I also rejoice for them.

Thank you so much for your support!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

Day 10....

Truth time. I struggled yesterday. Actually the past two days. Coming off the high of weighing in, it hit me that I have to keep doing this. Not just for one week, but for 3 months (and longer, I have a long way to go to reach my goal). I started out yesterday doing so well....I took my own food to MOPS, knowing how there is usually only scrumptious, but unhealthy food there (sure enough, my BFF brought her to-die-for brownies, and someone else brought bread and spinach dip). I stopped and got a carton of Dannon's Light & Fit vanilla yogurt, a long-time favorite of mine, and a carton of strawberries. I ate that for breakfast at MOPS (not the whole thing, you silly people, I shared!), and when we went for the usual after MOPS playtime at McD's, I stopped at Subway first. But by the time I got home (around 2:00), I was hungry. Usually when I eat my yogurt and strawberries I add a bit of granola to it...making it more I know where I went wrong yesterday. Anyway, I came home and munched on several bad choices. And I see the results on the scale today. So here I am, airing my ugly truth to you, my readers/supporters/sponsors. I want you to know all of my journey, not just the high points. I'm back on track today. Writing down all of my foods, tracking my points, and being accountable to you guys.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Week One wrap-up

First time to my blog? Please scroll down and read the previous entries....

I weighed in this morning, and I am down 7.8 lbs this week! Whoot! I know that the first week will be more than any other week, and I know that this week will be much less, so I am not expecting to see that kind of a number again. But I am thrilled anyway!

Since I am still waiting for my elliptical, I didn't start exercising this week. I just changed the amount and the kind of foods that I am eating. This week I will add in the exercise too. I'll try out the two DVDs I got and I'll do a review of them on here.

I feel so much better already. It shouldn't be shocking to realize that food affects mood, I knew that intellectually already, but to feel it first hand is something else. I have more energy already, and have accomplished more this week in my house than I have in months. I still have my moments of sadness, and my stress points, but overall I feel much better.

Thanks for your prayers and support!!! What an exciting journey we are on.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Last night was nice. Really, really nice. I don't know if anyone else felt the same way, but I loved cooking with my sister, sitting around the table with my parents, my sister, and my brother-in-law, sipping on coffee during a "delightfully bizarre" movie, putting on my Grandma's scarves, skirts, shirts, and hats, and laughing at how we all looked in them, and walking down memory lane while watching a few minutes of "The Boy Who Could Fly" and "Pippi Longstocking". It did my heart good to sit in my clean dining room (except for that one bookcase) and have a plate full of delicious AND nutritious food in front of me, and seeing my family all around me. The kids (my two and my sister's son) had already eaten. I am going to miss my sister so much.

Our menu last night...
Spaghetti squash with sauteed onions, green peppers, olives, tomatoes and feta cheese
Steamed asparagus
Oven baked asparagus with a balsamic and soy drizzle on it
Coconut milk rice
Goat cheese stuffed mushrooms

I said something about meat as a part of another conversation and my dad overheard it...he about jumped out of his skin, looking for the meat on the countertop. He kept saying something about how healthy the meal was...and I don't think he was entirely thrilled with it. LOL

I had the opportunity to buy the Kmart elliptical yesterday (finally in) but a few days ago I went to a local sporting goods store and saw one that they had on the floor. I tried it out, like it much better, and it is similarly priced. I did some internet research on it, and it is ranked one ranking higher than the Kmart I have a raincheck for that one now. Sigh.

I Pandora. Listening to some great worship music right now.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Day Five

First time to my blog? Pleas scroll down and read the first entries...

I don't know if it has been the unusually bright sunny days we've had lately, or the better food I'm eating (I suspect a combination of both!), but I have felt great this week. I think having a purpose other than myself for this weight-loss effort has really made it much easier to commit to. I have often been in my life one of those people who "do" for others and neglect myself, and this is a situation where I am helping my own health, and helping a ministry at the same time. I am so honored to be able to do this for Monte Blanco. I am working on a post about the camp, and about the water slide project, and will update once that is ready. I want to tell you guys about the camp and the wonderful things that God is doing there.

Yesterday I discovered Thomas bagel thins. They are just like a bagel, but thin (duh) and only 110 calories with 5 grams of fiber each! For you Weight Watcher point people, that is right between the 1 and 2 point line! They are good, albeit a bit crunchier than normal bagels. I used neufschatel cheese on it instead of cream cheese, for a filling, yet healthy breakfast. Oh yeah, and I had half a grapefruit ($2.50 EACH!!!).

I've been thinking a lot lately about going more natural with my foods. I read an article the other day about the ingredients in foods that we feed our children, and was convicted with how much junk I've been letting my children put in their bodies. McD's nuggets have 25 different ingredients in them! Why?!?! I can make chicken nuggets here at home with probably 4 ingredients, max, and several of those would be spices. I've been talking to my mom about purchasing half a cow from a local farm this next year, and will be buying my chicken from a farm too. I also plan to talk to my friend about the farm coop that she has mentioned before. I imagine that the costs will be more, but I just can't see feeding myself and my family in the same way that we've been eating up to now. Anyone have good recipes for cereals and kid friendly snack items?

I am up to 25 sponsors. Thank you all so very much! I am praying that I can get a bunch more sponsors, but I want to tell you guys who have already signed up how grateful I am. I have the opportunity to present the fundraiser at my church on the 24th. Please be praying for people to be receptive to the idea!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day Two

First timers to the blog....please scroll down and start at the first entry!

Yesterday was....well, it was interesting. Hubs was home, and wanted to go out to eat. I managed to talk him out of going for breakfast, and I ate some truly yummy oatmeal...the Quaker True Delights Hazelnut Latte kind. Very yummy, and filling. It has chunks of hazelnut in it, so for you people who love crunchy things like I do, it has a great texture! However, he wanted to go to lunch and Perkins was his restaurant of choice. There is no light menu at Perkins. The best I could find was to order the Teriyaki Salmon with broccoli and herb rice, but when I got home and looked up the nutritional information, it was loaded with fat. They cook their broccoli in butter, and they must have oiled that Salmon to death. So head's up all you people who plan to eat out in the New Castle area...avoid Perkins...Bob Evans has many light menu options.

I met with the girls last night to get dessert and go see a movie, and instead of buying dessert, I chomped on a piece of gum. I plan on using that any time I'm sitting and watching or reading. My mouth has a tendency to want to be moving while doing both of those things, and chewing gum helps curb my snacking impulses. I did have the small free popcorn (although it really wasn't very good, so I will have no problem saying no to it in the future) but no butter on it.

For today, I started the day with my coffee....duh...and two slices of Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat bread, at 1 point per slice, with a bit of Brummel and Brown spread on it, and Apricot fruit spread. I used the whole tablespoon of butter, at 1 pt. per tablespoon, but in the future I will use less, I don't need that much butter on it. I plan to get some sugar free jam later today.

Ali posted a fantastic website in my comments yesterday. It is called and has recipes for tons of meals that are under 500 calories a piece. I'm lovin' the page of recipes for under $3!!! I'll be using some of those recipes, and I'll let you know my thoughts on the ones I use.

Still no elliptical. Ugh. My stairs are looking pretty good today, so I will probably do a bunch of up and downs on those. If you hear me yelling, it is because I fell down them and stuck my head through the wall. :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day One

For first timers to this blog, please scroll down and read the first entry!

Today is the start day of My Loss/Their Gain. I weighed in this morning and now have an official start weight. (Do you guys need to know what that is, or can I just post the amounts I have gained/lost over the next three months?) I am excited and ready to do this. I will be doing my own modified version of Weight Watchers point counting, and will be working out 6 days a week. I plan on using an elliptical...I have a rain check for a decent on at Kmart, but it isn't in yet...and will be walking outside until Brad leaves for his truck driving training. I also am planning on adding in some pilates to mix things up a bit. Anyone recommend a good beginner Pilates DVD?

Are you guys interested in a posting of what I eat during the day? Interested in recipes? What would you like to see on here...weight updates over the weeks, or just a grand finale result?

I feel the pressure now that I've committed to doing this, and in such a public way, but I am glad to have that pressure. I have always worked better under it. :) I am thrilled to be able to help Monte Blanco out in this way, and can't wait to lose the weight and get back to Bolivia one of these days to go down that water slide! I will be posting more details about the project itself later on this week.

If anyone has an "in" with a way to help spread the word about this challenge, please let me know! I have 22 sponsors so far, and would ideally love to have over 100. I would also love to have other people who want to lose weight come on board and get their own sponsors for this. What a great way to lose weight and help out other people at the same time!

Please keep me in your prayers, and talk about this challenge to other people!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


For first timers to this blog....please scroll down and read the first entry!!!

I don't know how to add to this blog without having to re-post that initial entry every time. I need people to come to this blog and get that information right off the bat. Anyone know how to make that a permanent top post...or have any other ideas on how I can inform people about the fundraiser without them getting lost in new blog entries?

I'm not sure how many of you coming here may know that I lost a baby in January. When I first found out I was pregnant, I bought a little glass blue bird and had it hanging on my tree. I was calling this baby Bluebird for that idea of a bluebird of happiness. I still call the baby Bluebird...although now the baby lives in Heaven. This is a bit of a post that I had written on another, more personal, blog that I have....

Please pray that I get enough sponsors to make this water slide a reality, pray that I would be motivated and committed to this process, pray that the weight would melt off of me (lol). I realized this morning that this could be something good that could come out of the loss of my baby. I'm not pregnant, so I can lose weight now. I'm not pregnant, so I can go to Bolivia this summer if the finances work out. I can make a change in my life...make the miscarriage a turning point instead of a hole I get sucked down in to. I wish it hadn't happened. I would rather be pregnant now. And I am crying as I write that. But I can try to make something good come of this. And if this weight-loss fundraiser works out...if I can raise enough to build that water can bet that somewhere on it, somehow, I am putting a bluebird. I miss you, Bluebird. So much. So very, very much. I love you and can't wait to hold you one day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I have an idea!!!

My sister says that I need to be more clear on what the time frame for this journey is....
The official start date (first weigh-in) is March 8th, and the end date will be June 7th.

I sat down recently to write down a few goals I had for this year. It wasn't a long list, only a few things made the cut this year, but it was one that had some fairly lofty goals on it. Here is a sampling...
  1. Lose weight
  2. Go back to school
  3. Raise money for Monte Blanco water slide
  4. Make a few quilts
  5. Get house organized
  6. Have a yard sale
Nothing earth shaking, but a few of these are big deal things. The weight loss has been on my list since somewhere around 1999, and every year the amount that I'd like to lose has gone up and up and up as my weight has grown. The water slide project is something that weighs heavy on my heart. Monte Blanco is a fantastic camp and conference center located in Tambo, Bolivia...South America...and has done some amazing things in the past couple of years. The camp came with a water slide when they purchased the facilities, but it was constructed without the proper supports, and has cracked and is no longer able to be used. They used it is a huge selling point for the camp, and if the ministries are to continue on there, they are in desperate need of a new one. The cost for that project would be a little over $5,000....something which I definitely can't scrounge out of my couch cushions or back pockets.
So...I was out walking my dog the other morning (in the bitter, freezing, never-ending winter of Western PA) and an idea popped into my head. Here it is....
I am going to do a weight-loss fundraiser. Yep, you read that right. A weigh-loss one. I am going to get people to sponsor me on a per pound basis. For the next three months I am going to track my weight-loss, and at the end of the time, all the money earned would be donated to LATCOM for the Monte Blanco Water Slide Project. Best part, since LATCOM is a non-profit organization, all money donated would be tax deductible. Here's how it might work...
Example A: a person could commit to sponsor me at $1/lb. I lose 30 lbs in the next three months. At the end of the time, they donate $30 towards the MBWSP (Monte Blanco Water Slide Project....gets too hefty to write it out each time!)

I can cap each donation, in case anyone is afraid that I might lose 100 lbs (ahahahhahahaha), or I can accept a one time donation in lieu of the per pound one.

Oh yeah, and anyone else who wanted to work on losing weight could join and get their own sponsors too. And all of that money would also go to the project.

So, who is with me?!

Are you willing to sponsor me on this journey? Want to make a difference in a child's life in Bolivia? Want to jump on board and work on losing weight while making a difference too? Need some extra incentive to get your weight-loss efforts going?

Leave me a comment if:
You are willing to donate a certain amount per pound of weight-loss
You are wanting to make a one time donation towards the MBWSP
You want to join on the weight-loss journey
You are willing to pray for me, anyone else who joins, and the MBWSP

I will try to figure out how to add a paypal thing to this site. In the meantime, you can check out LATCOM.