Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Making life a little sweeter: Sugar and Spice

Well. since I have been MIA in the blogging for over 9 months, I figured I would try to at least get it going again. It felt a little out of place to be writing in a blog about weight loss, when I felt I was getting bigger by the day and there wasn't a whole lot I could do about it. That is what pregnancy does. My cute husband (I am sure he feels really manly when I refer to him as "cute" but he is) did point out to me hat this blog was about being healthy AND happy. One thing I noticed over the course of this pregnancy, with all it's ups and downs, is how much spiritual strength and physical strength go hand in hand. One thing I prayed for during this pregnancy is that my body would be healthy and that I would crave healthy things. I wanted to be healthy for me and the baby, and honestly, with how hard I worked, I was scared of the weight gain. The amazing thing was, I did crave healthy things! I wanted more fruits and vegetables than sugary, fattening things (well, aside from the beginning when I was sick all the time,where I wanted anything high in calories I could get my hands on because those are the only things that sounded good) I also was able to keep exercising up until about 30 weeks. So, having this baby finally here has been a sweet thing. She is a little angel baby that hardly ever complains. Aside from the fact I've got about 20 pounds to lose, I am grateful it isn't more than that and that she is healthy. I really do believe when we are obedient and have faith, heavenly father will give us the things we need. So, that is my metaphor on the sweet things in life.

Now, I'd like to share another discovery of sweetness in the literal sense. Yes, I know it is kind of a stretch, but I am really excited about my latest sweet find. For me, it is all about finding healthy substitutions instead of giving up things all together. When I was at the Good Earth a few weeks ago, they had samples of a sweetener called Truvia, it is all natural and has no calories. So, I took a few samples. I decided to try it mixed with my other latest favorite, greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is also all natural and contains protein as well. Truvia I have discovered, although it is a sweetener, it doesn't have that fake taste like Splenda or equal. It tastes good and the taste is very similar to actual sugar. Today I tried it in a whole wheat pancake recipe, and I couldn't even tell any difference. My 3 year old loved the pancakes too! Next, I think I will try adding some Truvia to my sugar free cocoa. The best part is it tastes good and you don't get that sugar headache or energy crash you experience after a "sugar high." I have also seen recipes for things like pies and cookies where Truvia can be used in place of sugar. It not only cuts down on the calories, but is much better for you too. That doesn't mean it will work for everyone, and I know there probably some crazy side effects that someone out there will say they have experienced, but I have read much more good than negative about it.
Life has gotten a lot crazier with two little girls. Although, they are as sweet as they can be, I need all the help I can get. I need to keep finding sweet substitutes that work for me and I can feel good about. The journey starts again, I know it won't be easy, but I am grateful for the help I had throughout this pregnancy and the help I continue to receive every day. It's much easier to do hard things when I find the things that work for me. I need to remember it is all a process that continues and we must keep at it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Little Extra Boost

Well, needless to say, after all the goals I set not to get caught up in the vicious holiday weight gain cycle, after the Christmas goodies and vacation, my jeans do feel a little tighter. The frustrating part is that I tried, for the most part, to be good. I was diligent in working out and did fine eating healthy during the day, but then the evenings came. . . and so did the pumpkin cake, cadbury chocolates and egg nog . It's not that I went crazy with it, but I did have my share of treats. The hard thing I have realized is that even falling back into old habits for a short amount of time, can have adverse effects. How do I not fall into that trap and still enjoy the holidays? It's so annoying! Now is one of those times that I wish I was one of those girls with a ridiculously high metabolisms, born with that perfect body shape. As Jillian Michaels says to one of the girls in her DVD, when complimenting her toned legs and butt, "You better not be born this way, or I'm gonna have to kill you. I'll have to jump you in the parking lot later." The good news is, I think with the good habits I've learned and put into practice, it won't take too long to get back to where I was. It's only a few pounds, but I want to catch it now so I can fix it. It isn't just about how my jeans fit, but in how I feel in general. It's the lack of energy, not feeling good and feeling down that is getting to me. So, this week I have started alternating a few "carb deplete" days with just low calorie days. My sister said that is what she was going to try after her holiday downs, so I thought I would try that with my own little spin on it as well. (Thanks Em for the idea) So, a carb deplete day is one that comes from the "Crack the Fat Loss Code" book, it is basically very little to almost no carbs. The problem is, I hate doing it as much as I always have, I am not happy doing it, I'm starving, but it is only for a short period of time to get back on track. (Wait why am I doing this to myself again?) It definitely takes some discipline and an extra "boost" of inner strength. Gaining and losing, it's a vicious cycle that I wish I could find a permanent solution for.

For Christmas, I got another Jillian Michael's DVD called,"Banish Fat and Boost Metabolism." (From which I quoted earlier) It's another awesome, awesome workout that focuses mainly on cardio. It's got kickboxing moves and strength training as well. I love it! Just like the other DVDs, it's tough. But as Jillian has said, we are all capable of working out hard and seeing our full potential.

Unfortunately, as I know I have said before,there really is no end to the weight loss and maintenance process, it is constant and you have to keep at it, even when it gets hard. It's hard, but it has also motivated me to ask for help spiritually, to find that extra strength to keep going. Whatever the struggle is, it is a motivating means to an end.

I hope you can bear with me as I dig a little deeper into the more profound things that have hit me lately. It isn't just about the weight loss highs and lows, but it is definitely connected to it. This week I started reading my scriptures again, which I am not very good at doing consistently. I also started reading a book about the Atonement. I actually just grabbed it, because I didn't have another library book out. It is one by a really good friend of mine, (The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox) that I have been meaning to read,but just hadn't done it. Even though it has only been a few days, the cool thing is, seeking help is giving me strength both spiritually and physically. It's giving me the "boost" I need. It's giving me a stronger desire for spiritual knowledge as well. Seeking spiritual strength in my goals has helped me before, I was just starting to lose sight of that. I am feeling better and happier. I think in so many ways, our struggles are a blessing in disguise. When we are searching for help in whatever it may be, he is there to help us and lift some of that burden. Even though these weight loss struggles are tiny when you look at the big picture, real change takes constant work no matter what it is you want to change. I won't get too much into the spiritual side, and make this too much like a talk in church. I will try to keep the rambling to a minimum. (I hope this all makes sense). However, I will leave you with this thought. From the book is a quote I really liked, it is actually talking about repentance and bringing others to Christ, but I think it applies to any aspect of life. "It isn't easy. No one ever said that it would be. The question for us to consider is, Is It Worth it?" -M. Russell Ballard

Yes, it is worth it, to be happy and healthy in every aspect of life.