This Week's Challenge: Healthy Eating is the Secret to Painless Dieting!

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This Week's Challenge: Healthy Eating is the Secret to Painless Dieting!

Hi Friends,

It seems like forever since I last got to actually visit bloggy land. I scheduled all the posts last Monday and have had rare and very short opportunities to do or say anything since then. As it is, I've got mail everywhere and a mess to unpack and put away before I can really spend some time catching up on everyone's posts and comments. Hopefully, I'll see you tonight!

I don't have a Monday challenge that has to do with cleaning...but how about a healthy living challenge?! Ok, so that doesn't sound like much fun either...but the results sure are!!  I feel like life has turned around 180 degrees for me as a homemaker! I've been feeling tired,  sluggish, scatter-brained and not really able to be the homemaker, wife, and mom that I wanted to be, but I never guessed what the real culprit (besides my own lack of effort) really was. I thought it was hormones, lack of self-discipline, getting old...etc. But I've been getting really tired of being the frumpy housewife! Not only that, but I want to have fun with my teenagers and keep up with them! And I want Tim and I to have a great time when the kids are finally out of the 'nest'. So I have taken stock and decided that the picture, in terms of my health, is looking pretty bleak.  My physical condition has really been the result of a 'domino' effect and what was bad was that I never knew which domino it was that knocked down all the others--until this last week and a half!

The Secret to Painless Dieting!! I'm going to share with you today the post that I put up yesterday on my weight loss support blog (really it belongs to all our members) which I only started three weeks ago. I've lost nine pounds and changed my eating style...and now even my activity level, dramatically since then. But the biggest change started the Thursday before last.

See if this isn't challenge enough for anyone's week!!.....

 Yesterday before the Honor Society Induction Ceremony for Jacob.
(PS. I made the trumpet style skirt myself but didn't use a pattern. Good style for pear shapes!)

I just had to tell you about an incredible change that has taken place for me since we started our  weight loss group, "Gettin' Thin Together. three weeks ago.  I have not ever had to go hungry or have felt any cravings of any kind!! I never knew that my battle was caused by the ups and down caused by my body craving bad sources of carbohydrates and the sugar and insulin rush that results.  Except for the first day, I have not had to fight cravings any more. The only battle I fight now is the battle of the 'mind'--the mental desire for foods that don't help my body stay healthy but actually harm me.  I never wanted to admit to myself that junk food hurts us, just like alcohol, drugs, and cigarettes.  If I hadn't eaten tons of it in the past, I could probably 'indulge' now and then without it hurting me. But after years of junk, my body just can't handle it any more without knocking my body's systems out of whack.

I almost entitled this post...thing I didn't eat this last two weeks, but didn't mind!  I had to eat healthy through  Mother's Day dinner, Pizza night with friends, dinner at Saltgrass Steakhouse with hubby's boss, a four day speech and debate tournament, went to Chick-fil-A with friends, and attended a church potluck all in the space of a week and half. My daughter, who knows how much I have struggled with food and that I have never stuck out any kind of diet since she was old enough to remember, told me, "I keep pinching myself, thinking I'm going to wake up and Mom will be back to her old comfortable ways."  She's so happy to finally have a partner in her efforts to stay thin and healthy! Together, we are going to help the whole family get on a better track before it is too late for the guys!

Here is what I didn't eat in the last week and a half...lasagna, ice cream bars, shakes, Starbucks' vanilla coffee in a bottle, sausage pizza, ice cream, cookies, deep dish brownies (warm), chili frito pie, chicken fried steak, and Chick-filet's famous chicken sandwich with fries, chicken quesadillas, fajitas with cheese and sourcream.....should I go on? I never, in my whole life, could have imagined being able to turn down these opportunities to treat myself. And I never thought I'd buy a bottle of water as long as I live, but I've done so three times now!

This is basically a list of all my favorite foods!  It was as if the Lord was trying to show me, that nothing was going to derail me as long as I was willing to give these yummy things up for as long as it takes. I've not only lost three more pounds, but at least three inches in my stomach, the lumps on my hips are gone, my extra chin is gone--I'm losing weight everywhere!

I look fantastic compared to two weeks ago and feel so much energy that I'm always amazed that I can fall asleep at night! And I do sleep a log!   I  could hardly believe that I NEVER got tired at our tournament like I normally do and I drove straight to Austin (from Houston) on Wed. and straight home afterward on Sunday without any tiredness. I even cooked Mother's day dinner because everyone else was too tired to help...but I felt fine. (Tim did cook the steaks though.:o)

My husband is so amazed about my energy that, as skinny as he is, he wants to follow my diet so he can have my energy. He just can't get over it! I'm quickly getting into old clothes too--thank goodness!. Five friends have started doing what I'm doing just to look and feel as I do right now. I haven't been able to wear this black and white blouse in a year or the capris either!

Now, before I tell you what I'm eating and not eating, I have to tell you that at 47 I have been on every diet imaginable and every one was either really strange and not good for my health, or very hard to stay on because I was always fighting the urge to eat something yummy. It was a constant battle not to 'cheat' and I was always hungry. For years, I weighed 125lb. (after losing from 185 after my second baby) but although I maintained that weight even through three more pregnancies (minus the normal gain of a pregnancy which I quickly lost), I was still miserable the whole time! Until seven years ago, I pretty much kept it under 140.   It was worth 'starving' to stay thin but it was never easy. I never felt FREE of the battle between what I wanted to eat and what I ought to eat to maintain my weight. And I never felt good...but rather kind of tired or irritable.

I never knew why I started slowly gaining again unless it was simply that I grew tired of the battle and began giving in to the cravings even as my metabolism slowed down--kind of normal for 40 I guess. But it was so discouraging, because I hated getting bigger and not looking pretty any more. I also had no idea, at the time, that as I ate more junk food and processed foods, that they were the reason I started feeling less energetic and even scatter-brained. I thought it was just the normal results of middle age creeping up on me.

Am I the only one who has noticed that almost EVERYONE is overweight?? It wasn't so ten years ago, but it is now. Even teenagers and children are overweight! Well, although it was you guys who inspired me to try ONE LAST TIME....I was still getting absolutely no where. The old ways of losing weight were just not working or I just couldn't bear to try them again.  I couldn't stand the thought of getting on our weight loss group's Linky List the third week and have to tell them that I lost nothing, but I was afraid that is what I was going to have to do. I guess the Lord knew that I was now desperate enough to try something I never had before--stop eating junk food regardless of how many calories it had or didn't have. I wanted diets that allowed me to keep indulging in sweets and salty snacks, processed foods, bread and cheese and diet coke and fake candy bars and especially fried foods. I felt like as long as I kept it under 1300 calories a day, that it didn't matter 'what' I ate.

In no way am I telling you that you can't lose weight eating those things, or that you have to stop eating those things. I'm only telling you why I not only dropped three little pounds but several inches in all the right places!!   Mike Huckabee who lost over a hundred pounds, wrote a book that describes it in the most simple terms, Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork.   I read the book a year ago, but at the time...

I wasn't desperate enough to give up the foods I loved for the sake of feeling wonderful and looking ten years younger!

 I literally wanted to "Have my Cake, and Eat it Too!"  You know what I mean. We want to eat whatever we like, even if it isn't in the quantities we like and lose weight at the same time. 

Here is what Mike Huckabee suggested and it summarizes perfectly how I've been eating the last week and a half.  He talks about the TEN THINGS HE STOPPED DOING which caused him to lose weight so easily without craving.          

The first day was the hardest! I was filled with cravings the first day, and couldn't think of anything to eat that wasn't on the 12 stops list.  My nutritionist also told me that  I needed to eat NO MILK, MILK PRODUCTS OR CHEESE right now due to my allergies. Was she out of her mind?!  All I could think of was SO WHAT WAS LEFT TO EAT?

I had never wanted an apple, orange, or raw vege, and only included cooked veges because I ought to. The main part of the meal always had plenty of carbs and the most important part of the meal, was the carb part. Our normal dinner was casserole with pasta or main meat and potatos, pasta, or corn...a starch on the side. The vege was an 'extra'.Veges and fruit never made it to lunch very often and rarely at breakfast. Certainly my snacks were never healthy and special occasion meals were the worst of all!. It's amazing how many special occasions we have in our lives...or excuses to indulge.

But starting the Thursday before last, when several of my friends and I were discussing a yeast free diet that was helping several of them lose weight very easily while gaining energy, I have stopped eating all the things on the list!

So what do I eat? The general rule is piece of meat the size of  deck of cards, two fists of veges, and one fist of fruit and a mall quantity of good fat. (olive oil, coconut oil, real butter), PLUS 1/2 cup whole grain bread (homemade or health food store) oatmeal, or brown rice per day. 
Snacks should be smaller versions of meals with the same balance so that you don't get food cravings. You know you have eaten too much of one food group if you find yourself hungry before four hours or craving something or sleepy in the middle of the day.

Dinner made from leftovers on the banquet table at the tournament plus my own nuts and an orange.

At home:
Breakfast (a good protein shake with greens plus (lots of vitaimins and fiber) or
(1/2 cup oatmeal if no brown rice in the evening)
Protein: Eggs and turkey bacon,
Small fat: butter or coconut oil
Vege: sliced tomatoes or sauteed spinach, or low salt V8 juice
Fruit: apple, orange, strawberries, pineapple or melon (no grapes or bananas--too much sugar)

Canned Tuna or Chicken, or natural (no nitrates added) lunch meat: turkey breast, ham, or roast beef
Salad with lots of fresh broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, green onion, bell pepper (no carrots--insulin)
Fruit: same as above
Salad dressing: homemade mayo or salad dressing with no sugar or chemicals added

Lean meat of any kind except (No sausage or hot dogs)
Steamed veges with butter or olive oil (no potatoes, carrots, corn, peas, or starchy stuff)
1/2 cup brown rice (if no oatmeal in the morning)
Fruit salad or frozen fruit with a little Soy or Almond milk poured on top w/ stevia.
sauces like : Salsa, homemade spaghetti sauce, healthy sweet and sour sauce.

Snacks...any time I'm hungry....1/2 a fruit or vege and 1/4 cups nuts or couple slices avacado, and a slice of lunch meat (healthy)
Salsa and Bell Pepper slices, with avocado.

Drink water most of the day and before every meal. Also can have tea or coffee. Use lactose free milk sparingly. Lemon juice, water, and stevia for lemonade.

ON THE ROAD--Eating at SIX RESTAURANTS and Four Day Tournament/'s what I ate....

I bought a little cooler like Mike Huckabee does. I planned ahead of time what to eat at the tournament and restaurants. I brought my own little bottle of olive oil which I could sprinkle on any veges available. I also sprinkled the veges with lemon juice and salt and pepper.   I didn't touch any salad dressings provided.

At Steak House
Steak or Grilled Chicken Breast
Veges or Salad on the Side
Water or tea with sweetner I brought myself
No cheese, or dessert, or bread

At the Buffet at tournament :
Meatballs or lunchmeat, fajita meat  (when it was a casserole I ate tuna that I brought from home, straight from the can!)
Veges trays doctored up with lemon juice and olive oil. Ate raw sometimes before I got the olive oil.
Lots of fruit! Ate a lot that I brought myself.
Nuts on occasion.
Drank water and hot tea.

At Mexican Restaurant:  Fajitas with bell pepper and onions without the tortilla. No cheese, rice, beans etc. Taco Salad with salsa on top. No dressing, taco shell, sour cream, or cheese., Fruit from home.

At Whataburger: Grilled chicken sandwich with no bun. Ate apple I had in the car.
At Wendy's: Side salad, and Hamburger with no dressings, cheese, or bun. They put it in a salad container. Fruit from home.
AT Chick Filet-  Banana...ate the rest of my lunch at the tournament (canned tuna, fresh veges, nuts)
At Starbucks -  Iced Caffe Latte with Soy Milk and my own stevia from home.

That's it and three pounds later my friends were shocked at my energy, enthusiasm, lack of sleepiness after 16-18 hours days judging... on the last day from 7:00am to 2:00am!  Woke up at 10:00am the next morning feeling great. Drove all the way home and made Mother's day dinner and watched a movie with hubby.  NO CRASH!! for the first time ever in three years of tournaments! I also lost most of my bulging stomach and my lumpy hips and double chin. It was amazing!

If you would like to feel ten years younger...try these 12 Stops. If you want to understand the nutritional theory behind this approach and why processed foods are making everyone, regardless of age and background, gain weight (and get some great recipes) Your Fat is Not Your Fault!

Read about it here:

Be sure to try this at least a week before you decide it isn't for you! I don't think you will ever go back to the way you ate before!   Happy Eating!

At Chick-Filet about four days ago..


Caroline said...

You look marvelous in the first picture!! Congratulations. We are dairy, peanut and gluten free over here ... dairy and peanut due to significant allergies for my son, gluten for me (I also have autoimmune thyroid disease) -- allergies have been a blessing as they have made us so much more aware of what we are eating and made us make just about everything from scratch ... I will peruse your outline again - energy is an issue I could work on. Would love to have all day energy. And sleep - though much better than it was when my thyroid condition was undiagnosed it can sometimes be an issue .... Keep it up!

Anna said...

Excellent! I too have been trying to eat healthier. I've been successful before, but gave up. My goal is to reduce the processed foods and boxed foods, "bad sugars", sodium, "bad fats", etc.

I try to have home cooked meals and more fruits and veggies. It's a slow process right now as I also have hubby and 2 teenagers to "convert" too. I've been averaging about a pound a week.

Beautifully Veiled said...


GlorV1 said...

Good for you Donna. I am basically moderating and also trying to cut back on processed foods. Keep it up, before long you will be back at 125. :D Take care.

Geetha Srinivasan said...

Dear Donna,
I'm glad i read through this post today. When i was pregnant i was so conscious of what i eat, i even maintained a small journal to keep track of my protein intake everyday.

But nowadays i've been busy with the baby, i'm only able to make sure i get a balanced diet during lunch. My breakfast has been quite the same milk, cereal, fruit. My dinners have been really bad. I'm just lazy to fix a proper meal.

Now that i confessed about my bad dinner habits it does not mean i'm going to go change it overnight. But i'm telling myself that i'll start reviewing it alteast once a week. And i'm sure i'll get better at it because you know what there are times when i wake up in the middle of the night and go get myself a big glass of warm milk. As i'm still nursing Sripathi i sometimes feel guilty if i don't eat a balanced meal.

And now after i post this comment i'm going back into that kitchen to get that milk.

Good night and thanks for being there Donna.

BTW i liked ALL your pictures on the post and tell Rebekah she looks pretty in purple.

- Geetha

Anonymous said...

It looks like you have found the hidden secret! It's not about starving, eating cardboard-like foods or elf sized's about trying new foods, improving old recipes and thinking before you eat. I'm so proud of you!

Shona Cole said...

great job Donna!

you know we have been carb free for a while now too, Mark has lost 25lb, and I am down 16lb, but more than that I am not falling asleep in the day and not having the ups and downs. I truly believe that carbs are BAD NEWS. I don't think I will even eat a potato again and sugar! no way. We are using SOuth Beach as the recipes are SO GOOD and the reason we often fell off good eating before is that we missed yummy food. Now we have options.
You know the Muchas and Frank Baumann have also lost a ton not eating carbs! perhaps the rest of our church will catch on, GCC buffet will never be the same!

so glad you are on this journey too.

Laura said...

Dear Donna,
What an inspiration you are for mothers and wives everywhere. I especially like your honesty and simplicity. Thanks for being such a terrific role model...and keep up the good work!
Blessings to you and your family,

Maria Killam said...

9 pounds, yaay! Donna you rock, and what a great long post to teach us how to have your results!!

Trudy said...

Donna, this is some good stuff you have written here is quite an accomplishment. The way you are now eating is the way I have been eating for years, overall. I have times of splurging. I may splurge at church or other places sometimes, not always, only because the majority of the time, especially at home, I eat well. I don't bring junk into my home, and I always have lots of fruits, veges and nuts for snacks. Our beverage of choice is water. We rarely drink juice, and we don't drink milk. I do drink, tea, though. Yumm! I hope you will change your menu plan you post on your blog to reflect your new way of eating so that we can all benefit. I love having plans laid out for me.

You are looking really great. I love the way you look in the photo of the floral skirt and white top.

Levon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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