Monday, December 17, 2012

Accountability Monday Week 2

How did I do this week???

I can proudly say, not bad!

On Thursday my book club had their Christmas party and cookie exchange. And while that brunch was a complete crossover meal, I managed to keep my mitts off the cookies. That, to me, was total success. In the past, these types of events did me in, as I took liberty to gorge myself on all the sweet treats. The other day, I took a more sensible approach as I enjoyed the meal, while passing on the cookies.

The rest of the week, I ended up with one full E day and several full S days with a few Fuel Pull snacks and meals thrown in for more weight loss. I don't know about any of you, but I find it much easier on S days than E days. I may try to have more E and Fuel Pull breakfasts and lunches and my family meals will be primarily S. This way, I don't have to try to devote full days to E style meals, yet I'll still keep that good ol' metabolism guessing away.

As for exercising, I didn't fare quite so well. I got off my booty 2 times this week and worked that SPEW and Body Resistance Max. A far cry from my goal of 5 times. I. Will. Exercise. Over. Christmas. Yes. I. Will.

Now for the good stuff. Let's get a visual on my progress.

Last Week

This Week

So, the angle is a bit different in these photos, but hey, I can tell a difference in my stomach, especially in the way my pants fit! 

Here are my stats:

Weight: 177 (4 more pounds, for a grand total of 15 pounds!)

BMI: 30.4 I've added this because it gives a better picture of my body composition than just the weight number. I'm almost out of the obese category! 

Jeans size: 14. Yep. Still a 14. I've noticed a lot of loss around my midsection, but my hips and thighs haven't budged. Until those hips fall in the weight loss line, I'll keep tightening the belt around those 14's.

Next week I may not be able to post on my progress as I will be celebrating Christmas on the farm with my family, about 30 minutes away from any sign of urbanization. My goal over these next two weeks will be to exercise 4 times each week. I do plan to cheat Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I hope I'm not a total rebel in this. I can almost see Serene giving me a glare, but I hope she's not! :) There is just too much to celebrate and so many food traditions that I don't foresee myself passing up, even as my lifestyle continues to improve.

With all that said, I hope everyone has a very blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our most wonderful Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Calgon...Take Me Away! And Creamy Spiced Chai!

Have you ever found yourself remembering that old commercial slogan? Calgon! Take me away! Stressful moments get the better of me more often than I'd like to admit and I find myself wishing my day away on some imaginary solitary island. Or at the very least, I fantasize about locking myself in the bathroom while the children go mad in the house and I soak in a warm, relaxing tub with some of this:

Ok, back to reality! While my husband regularly helps me make time for relaxing moments, it's just not possible in the heat of the day, when the toddler is begging for a snack and the baby has figured out how to eat the paper that the preschooler put in his face.

But today, I enjoyed an S snack, right at that 11:00 hour when the pre-nap crazies ensue, that truly took me away to foreign seas. No need for locking doors and aromatherapy! I paired the Rustic Eggplant Dip, page 404 Trim Healthy Mama, and Joseph's Crackers with an adapted recipe of Green Chai Tea to fit within S guidelines. Oh, wow, was it amazing! 

I felt as if I was enjoying my meal in an outdoor cafe on the Mediterranean coast. While the dip and crackers were truly wonderful, what sent this meal over the top was the creamy Green Chai Tea I adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. If you get around to making this dip, you really must spend a few extra moments making this chai. It's super easy! 

Creamy Green Chai Tea

  1. Boil 3/4 C water and add 2 tea bags. Remove from heat and steep 5 minutes.
  2. Add a small pinch each of Cardamom, Ginger and Nutmeg. Return to low heat and simmer for a couple minutes.
  3. Add 1/4 C Unsweetened Almond Milk and a generous splash of Heavy Cream. Add plan approved sweetener to taste (I added 2t Truvia and 2 shakes Nunaturals because I like my tea really sweet).
  4. While simmering, whisk in just a small pinch of Glucomannan Powder to make this tea delectably creamy. But, not too much or you'll turn your creamy tea into chai sauce!
  5. Top with stevia sweetened whipped cream and Nutmeg if desired. 
Now, sit back and enjoy your tea, dip and crackers. With this treat it won't matter what kind of havoc your lovely children may be wreaking in the background, because you'll be basking in salty Mediterranean breezes! 

So, I had to include this photo of my three adorable boys. To look at them it is easy to wonder how I could possibly find myself longing for reprieve! Thankfully, I was able to enjoy my moment in their company...and those are the BEST moments of all!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Accountability Monday

As painful as it is, I'm just going to let the cat out of the bag in a very straight forward way...

I did NOT fare well while out of town. There. I confessed. I feel better now.

I don't know if it was the grief that clouded my resolve. Or if it was the over abundance of food that was delivered to my aunt's house at every meal. Or perhaps it was because Southern cuisine is notoriously lacking of much that isn't breaded or sweetened or thrown into a casserole that contains who knows what. Seriously, for those of you who may be unaware of the culture down there, sipping sweet tea is a regional past time!

I spent the entire plane ride home devising excuses and reasoning with myself as to why I allowed this crazy time to get the better of me. And then I got back to my internet. And I visited the THM fan page. And I read Serene's encouragement, "How to Choose Health When Life is Crazy". Her words, "mute the excuses and take action" truly touched my heart and I knew exactly what I had to do. And so, in spite of an illness, I made my next meal "on plan". I am neither excusing myself nor beating myself up, I am determinedly moving forward.

Now that I've cleared the air, I can get on with.....


Every Monday I will post a photo of my progress, my weight and my jeans size. I will also give an account as to what days I exercised and whether or not I went off plan during the week. The accountability of our community is so key for me!

Here goes nothing!

When I began Trim Healthy Mama about six weeks ago, my stats were:
Weight - 192
Jeans Size - 14 ... ok, so maybe I should've been wearing a 16. Those 14's were awfully tight, but I would rather have died than have to go shopping for size 16 clothes. The snug jeans were a good reminder as to why I was starting this plan in the first place!

Unfortunately I don't have a good picture of myself from then. So here are my first progress shots, taken last night:

Today my stats are:
Weight - 181
Jeans Size - 14 ... but a much looser 14. I'm almost a 12!

Last week, I did not exercise at all. This coming week my goal is to do the SPEW and Body Resistance Max 5 times.

Would anyone else like to share their progress? Let's encourage each other to stay the course!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Muffin Mishaps

It was one of those mornings. You know the kind. The one where everything goes wrong. The hubs and I slept in, which means I had to bust booty to fix his breakfast and lunch before he rushed out the door. I hadn't cleaned the kitchen the night before, so all food prep had to be worked around dirty dishes and cluttered counter tops. By the time I got him on his way to work, fully belly and lunch in hand, I thought the best way to unwind after this morning of stress would be a delicious, hot buttered muffin with rich coffee and cream. 

So I embarked on my very first Trim Healthy baking attempt, Easy Peazy Cinnamon Muffins, p. 262 THM, with its inclusion of the "weird" ingredient, golden flax meal. I'll be honest, flax meal smells quite a bit different that the whole wheat flour I am used to baking with, so I really had to put my faith in Pearl's story on page 263 about how even her children gobbled these up.

But nothing can go right in a dirty kitchen...

First I measured 1 1/4 C of water into my eggs, when the recipe only calls for 3/4 C (remember, I'm still flustered from the morning rush). Not being one to waste good eggs, and determined to press on with my muffins, I poured out 1 C of the liquid from the egg/water mixture and moved forward. After combining all the ingredients, the mixture was thick and weird. But I had already used 6 eggs, a good amount of my precious Truvia reserve, and the last of my cinnamon. There was no starting over! I had to at least try baking them. So I threw them in the oven and crossed my fingers.

Unfortunately, the night before I had made Baked Chicken Thighs, p. 322 THM. Delicious! But my oven was still set to broil, so after about 15 minutes of baking, I smelled something burning. Yep, the tops of my muffins were crispy.

At this point, under different circumstances, I would have thrown in the towel and those babies would be in the trash. But there was no way I was chucking 6 eggs, 4T Truvia, 3 T coconut oil and the last of my cinnamon! Not on your life! I continued to *bake* them and when I pulled them out of the oven and removed the burnt tops, what do you know? I had something edible!

So they were a bit dense, but overall, a pretty tasty little muffin mishap. Perfectly excellent with my coffee (to FINALLY clear my head) and a bowl of 0% Greek yogurt. Perhaps it was a little too tasty.

I ate two with reckless abandon, and my two hungry little boys each ate three! I say "reckless abandon" because somewhere in the book, I remembered a warning that golden flax meal affects everyone differently. And boy did my children and I feel the burn. My oldest son, Joel, and I spent the entire day cracking each other up with noises and rumblings from the nether regions. We were no worse for the wear however, and I enjoyed that 4-year-old boy's giggles all day long, toot after toot. I am confident that these will become common breakfast fare at our house, but we may have a 1 muffin limit until our bodies grow accustomed to the flax!

Has anyone else experienced crazy kitchen mishaps with all the new recipes we've been trying these days?

Chub of Love

Recently Serene posted a picture of her sweet baby Haven's roly poly legs on the THM's Facebook fan page. I was inspired to post a picture of my own, affectionately nicknamed, Chub of Love.

If you read in my previous post about my second son, who also has a nickname, Sweet Siah, then you know I had struggles while breastfeeding him to maintain his growth curve. Granted that he has a much more lanky build than my other guys, it was none the less disheartening to hear that dreaded word from the doctor, "supplement". While I can't be sure that his weight had anything to do with my fat and calorie restricted diet, my heart tells me that it's a possibility.

In the last month of following Trim Healthy Mama, my little Chub of Love has gained a little over 5 pounds of the sweetest little rolls you ever did see. I attribute his thriving health and my creamy milk to the ample amounts of healthy fats I eat on the plan. Here he is in all his chubby glory.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Bit of History

In nearly every woman's heart, there lies a shadowy place that is home to her feelings and experiences about her weight, appearance and health. For many of us, this place is one we visit with hopeless feelings of self-loathing. Or perhaps we go there with a sense of hope and expectation as we embark on the newest diet. Or maybe we go there to punish ourselves with brutal amounts of exercise or to deprive  our bodies of much needed nourishment. It is unfortunate that we women must be thrown through the gamut of conflicting messages when it comes to our bodies. From the runway to Dove's "real woman" campaign, to magazine covers and the olympics. From low fat to no fat to low calorie to low carb. I don't know how any of us enter our 30's and 40's, with their newfound hormone concerns thrown into the mix, and come out of them healthy and thriving into our 50's and 60's.

My heart was, and still is a pretty shadowy place in the weight and appearance department. Thankfully, I feel as though I am beginning to break free from the bondage of obsession, apathy, disdain and hopelessness. Here is my story.

I've always been a stocky girl. I remember being a size the 7th grade! But, I was a cheerleader and active and managed to keep a lot of weight gain at bay in my youth. It wasn't until High School, when I quit cheerleading to become more active in choir and theater that my weight began to creep up. By my Freshman year of college I was 5' 4" and 170 lbs. I wouldn't have been considered "fat" by an onlooker's definition, but I most definitely was above my healthy BMI. While I inwardly struggled with the fact that I was "fat" by my own definition, I did nothing about it due to the demands of working and  attending school full time. 

When I got engaged at age 23, I did what every bride-to-be does. I went on my first diet and began to exercise regularly. I had lost 30 lbs, and was running about 20 miles a week by the time my wedding rolled around. I felt great and maintained this new and lovely body quite well for a while.

Then I got hit with the (amazing, yet fearful) bomb of pregnancy and motherhood. I stopped running and began indulging my every craving and whim. I gained 60 lbs that first pregnancy. Soon after my first son's birth, I resumed my running and counted every last calorie that entered my mouth. Thanks to the calorie counting and breastfeeding, my weight dropped. 

But it was short lived, as my weight gain was worse with my second pregnancy. A whopping 70 lbs! After my second son's birth, I suffered horrible PPD and went back to my running and calorie counting with an almost obsessive vigor as a way to cope with my depression. I dropped the entire 70 lbs in 8 months. I was down to 1350 calories a day, and exercising 5 days a week with Spin classes and running. Even with all this grief and obsession, I was never satisfied with my appearance or my athletic performance. I believe that my restrictive diet and demanding exercise were to blame for my beautiful baby boy falling off his growth chart at 9 months. His doctor suggested I begin supplementing formula to compensate. Thankfully, it wasn't necessary, however it was a close call to my commitment to breastfeeding!

After a miscarriage and continuing struggles with depression, I became pregnant with my third (fourth) sweet baby. My wonderful midwife suggested that I eat more protein, reduce my carbohydrate intake and monitor my blood sugar from time to time. I gained 50 lbs with this pregnancy. Unfortunately I was strongly addicted to carbs and sugar and had an extremely difficult time denying my pregnant self when it came to cravings! 

After my third beautiful baby boy was born, I felt pretty helpless about my diet. I knew I didn't want to go to the extremes I had before with my diet and exercise. I knew that with three small children, I wouldn't have the time for calorie counting and long bouts of running. I knew I wouldn't be able to stick to a low carbohydrate diet very long (though it proved effective) due to my sweet tooth and carb cravings. And with four year old and two year old boys, our family meals now needed to consist of more than just a lean protein and salad. I had seen an advertisement for the book, Trim Healthy Mama, which came with the promises of "sanity" and "peace" and "no more fads" and WOW, that is just what I needed! 

After one month of following the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating, I can say that I am no longer addicted to sugar. Carbs no longer have the stronghold they had before. I am no longer counting calories obsessively nor am I running 20 miles a week (insane for a mother of 3!) I do not feel the crazy ups and downs of depressive mood swings (probably sugar related!) I feel at peace about the way I am feeding my family. AND I've lost 10 lbs! But the best part of it all? I feel a real hope and true peace about the direction I'm going with my health. This book and I had a true Divine appointment! Serene and Pearl give biblically sound advice on matters of diet, sex and overall health that give PEACE and not a mandate that can't be upheld. 

I can't wait to share the next several months with you as I share my journey towards forever healthy!

Who I Am and What I'm Doing

My name is Kelly Hugger. I am a 29 year old homemaker with a fabulous husband and three amazing, rambunctious boys ages 4, 2 and 4 months. I am a housekeeper, a teacher, a lover, a friend, a seamstress, a singer, and so many other things that it would take a whole new post just for my detailed job description! Among my many duties, I am the caretaker of my health and the health of the four people whose lives are entrusted to my care. I do not take this responsibility lightly and I've spent a lot of time in trial and error in order to feed myself and my family well. Unfortunately, there are so many conflicting studies and opinions, it's enough to make you go mad!

Enter: Trim Healthy Mama to the rescue! I had heard of this book several years ago not long after the birth of my first son, and when it came out a few months ago, I knew I had to check it out. What I didn't know is that for the first time, all the conflicting information about health, weight and wellness would be settled into a very scientifically sound and very sane way to eat and exercise. I began the plan one month ago and decided to write this blog to show my success, to encourage others currently using the plan, and to offer a ray of hope to those who are out there wondering if they'll ever be healthy.

In this blog, I will give tips, some recipes, photos of the delicious food (and some of my mishaps too for laughs) and chronicle my progress towards forever healthy. However, this blog is, in no way, a substitution for the information that is found in the book, Trim Healthy Mama. This book is the 5 year effort of Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. They poured their hearts into making this information accessible to even the busiest and budget-crunched mothers. Their approach to eating and the science behind it are explained in detail in the first part of the book. This is a MUST read for anyone, even if you aren't a "mama"!