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Weigh-In Wednesday; after a month

>> 1.30.2013

Weight today: 208.8 -- not a large loss but I consider it a great success because:

  1. It wasn't up!
  2. We had a crazy weekend that lent itself to all over the board eating due to traveling/late night ER visits, etc. (I still just basically starved myself through those "out to eat" trips, lol-- I think at least SUBWAY should have gluten free bread!)
  3. I added two workout days AND got myself BACK TO THE GYM for my early am group workout.
  4. I had two people comment to me about how I look "are you losing weight" and "your skin looks good"...and I'll take BOTH of those as complete testimonies to what getting off of gluten is doing for me.

Still struggling to find my low-gluten groove...really still need to be completely gluten-free and then I'm working to discover the other foods that give me problems.  I hope you all are making progress with your own goals this year.  Next time I hope to have time to post some of my favorite new recipes!


A Few Of My (Current) Favorite Things

>> 1.23.2013

(And yes, actually, Sound of Music is one of those...but that's not what inspired me to share these today=)

As homeschoolers, we are constantly changing things in our home schools in order to fit the needs of our individual children and their growing educational needs.  One item I found earlier this year that we've started using on a regular basis is called "Logic   Links."  Brain Ware is the maker of these fun cards with 166 "puzzles" that use chips to be arranged in a certain order according to clues.  Even our youngest, 4 now, has started being able to use and think through the answers enough to do the beginning cards.  The box says ages 6+ but as long as you are working on them together and the child knows his right and left, they can be done at a younger age.  (Click here for a more detailed description. Also note: there are leveled workbooks available that contain the same puzzles/concepts. I found the box to contain the same information but rather than purchasing all the levels separately, which cost $12 each themselves, I purchased Logic Links box/game for $12.99 and have all the levels available in one box!)

Another of my favorite things, and always has been but I find myself at a loss without them, are...(drum roll please!) individual white boards!  It may seem like an obvious thing, but if you have elementary students and are NOT using these items just consider purchasing them and see how "boring writing work" can turn into loads of fun.  (Also, lots of fun games can be had quickly and with ease when each student in your home has their own.)  (Here you can see my Pre-K using his white board having JUST written his name for the very. first. time. all. on. his. own!  I was way more excited than he was!)

I've talked about these next "extras" before, but wanted to share with you again another way you can use this EXCELLENT quick, grab and go, fun-adding, tools; Education Cubes.  Using soft baby blocks with see- through pocket sides, Mama Jenn, another homeschooling mom, came up with a creative tool to learn/review just about any topic you can think of!  My kids have done these with math fact, number words, Spanish words, movement commands, and now our very own 50 States and their capitols.  We became members, a one-time low cost fee, at Mama Jenn's Education Cube site, ordered the blocks from Amazon, and then just visit Mama Jenn's Education Cube site when we need our newest review topic and print and go.  I love it because I'm not so good at adding in the "fun" dimension to homeschooling but after awhile even I make myself bored!

 (You can tell we have some SERIOUS Cube players!!!)

Another current "fav" is the iPod.  Although it's a blessing and a curse all rolled into one, I have come to find some really neat ways the iPod can be used during school hours.  One of my favorite ways, besides the plethora of truly educational games that are out there, is being able to use it to memorize Scripture (or play lines!=)  Our kids are a part of the AWANA program which focuses a lot on Scripture memory.  By the time kids are fluent readers they do not need the amount of help memorizing that younger ones need.  In the mean time, though, I find myself up to my neck-- okay, sometimes just plain drowning, in a sea of "to-dos" not only to maintain a house and help in ministry, but to run actual learning school environment (curriculum, grading, etc.) that I simply can not give the younger ones the time they need helping them learn more Scripture-- no matter how important I think it is!  Enter the iPod.  We've started recording the verses that the younger ones need to memorize that week on the iPod and then they are able to play it to themselves over and over throughout the week.  This has proved to be one of the best ways to use an iPod I could ever think up!  (Along with Audio Scripture that can just read the Bible right out loud to me while I fall asleep. =)

My last "fav" I wanted to share is just the good 'ol fashion wipe board books.  I used to think these were a bit of...twaddle, to borrow a certain person's words from the past, but I have come to find these are truly great for learning; a book to use while I read our current Read Aloud to the older ones, etc. and the younger ones enjoy it, learn from it, and feel like they are apart of the school day.  I am no longer feeling guilty about using these!  (I don't know what kind of absurd pressure I was putting on myself before anyway...)  I highly recommend any like this and this and this.

Hopefully this post has given you a few new ideas or sparked your interest in products you hadn't seen before.  I think searching around for new ideas/tools, etc. can get a bit unproductive so I just thought you might all benefit from seeing what we use often in our home educating house!


Wednesday Weigh-In

Happy to report: 209 even this am!  That's almost a 2 lbs loss.

Tummy issues:  have all but subsided on this FODMAPS diet-- only thing is I still have pain every morning upon waking-- so if you have any ideas as to what that could be from, I'd be happy to hear from you! =)

I have received two bits of info that I'm currently "chewing" over and I thought I'd share them with you briefly.  The first is over the debate of "To weigh or NOT to weigh".

TO weigh--

  • It keeps me motivated and knowing that I'm headed in the right direction when I want more of those blasted WONDERFUL Martha Stewart Chocolate Chip cookies the kids and I made the other day (in lieu of formal "math class").
  • It keeps me accountable
NOT to Weigh --
  • If you're losing weight you will begin to see it in your clothes/mirror
  • Weighing keeps the focus on too much that can occasionally fluctuate the WRONG way and then it can upset you to throwing you off/discouraging you away from your previous goals.
  • We are fearfully and wonderfully made-- and focusing on weight can cloud this TRUTH right out! 
I'm currently voting for "weighing" for myself because I know I'm focused on transforming my kitchen into a "Real Foods" kitchen...this IS lifestyle change I'm attempting to do because I WANT to, it's GOD-Honoring to treat my body and train my kids in this eating well way, and my body is depending on it in every daily situation to feel well enough to focus on something other than my tummy pains!  (Pain is ALWAYS the best motivator, right?=)  I also am confident in who God has created me to be.  I look in the mirror and see many good things about myself and praise the Lord for the talents He's given me.  I'm happy to be me (most days anyways, lol) and I'm happy/content with the life He's given me to live.  I feel I am weighing in for good reasons and have the right mind-set not to be dragged down when the scale says someday, as I know it will eventually, that I've gone up .2 pounds.

Second bit of information I'm not "open" enough to sharing, yet at least, but it's been a good book that shares the idea that weak internal muscles can result in IBS-like suffering as well as other symptoms.  I'm working my way through that so, thank you "Reader Friend" for passing that along!

Exercise Goal:  I did NOT complete as much of that as I'd wanted-- but two more days than I had the previous week so I feel good about it.  Next week I'm aiming for two more!

How are YOUR goals coming?  I'd love to hear from you.


Weigh-In (Wednesday) er...Thursday!

>> 1.17.2013

Okay...so I've been gone for awhile...trying to get my life "in order".  I'm sure all of you have, too!  Well, I decided that wasn't going to happen before I ever wrote again (I mean, come on, it's never going to happen anyway, right?!) So, I thought I choose blogging over laundry because this quiet time doesn't come often! (Two boys at b-ball practice, the others on the Wii...yes, my substitute babysitter when I just need a LITTLE quiet=)

I have decided to weigh myself in on Wednesday...and YOU all get to "watch" me. Ha-- i'm glad you really don't but I decided to try this type of accountability.  It's not so much being accountable to you, as it is to me.  To keep this thing going THIS time.  I've never written on weight issues on here, I think some may look down their noses at me for doing so-- and that's okay with me.  In the happen chance that it helps me AND someone else, though, I believe that enough-- even if it just helps me!

For my own "notes" I thought I'd start these posts by remembering from whence I came! (Again, for ME!)

  • 2008-- had 4th and final child, topped off at 248 lbs!!!  (I look at those pictures and can.not.believe. what I'd become)
  • 2009-- started a series of "Biggest Loser" challenges with some of my absolute bestEST friends!
  • 2009-2010 -- dropped 50 lbs with hardly a glance over my shoulder (well, I mean, I worked at it but honestly not that much!)
  • 2011-summer 2012 -- bobbled up and down, got used to living in a new location, mostly muscle went to fat and began struggle with constant belly pain =(
  • Summer 2012 -- still struggling with lots of belly pain, I started a 60 day Challenge at a local small-town gym.  I worked HARD with at least 60 minutes of intensive workout (Insanity-type program) and ate REALLY well (spinach, kale, low-carb,etc.) and dropped-- NOT A SINGLE pound!  And, before you go on saying, but inches count! You have to know that I didn't even drop a pant size!  I dropped fat around my knees-- yes, my knees!-- and a little around my waist-- 1 inch to be exact!
  • Fall 2012-- complete frustration.  LOTS of belly pain, LOTS of tests with drs. shaking their heads in wonder...and I added the old habit of drinking Mountain Dew back in...yeah-- that = LOTS OF INCHES back on...and about 2 more lbs.
  • December 2012--  Completed all the tests with the drs. and I'm as healthy as all get out (minus the weight issue) but still have lots of belly pain.  Decide to "self-diagnosis" myself with IBS and check out of the mirey muck of self-pity and DO something, yet again, about this weight!
CURRENT:  Weigh-In Wednesdays!  (I'm only a day late in posting-- I've weighed every Wed. in January!)I'm hoping to weigh in briefly and post it here to HELP MYSELF with motivation.  I'll also track some of my findings about IBS as I'm just learning about what to do/eliminate to start with a clean slate.

1)  Lose 52 lbs. by December 31, 2013-- TOTALLY doable so long as I keep at it
2)  Figure out how to maintain LOW belly pain, as it seems like something I'll be working on for a long time.

Jan. 2nd Weigh-In:  212.8
Jan. 9th Weigh-In:   211.8
Jan.16th Weigh-In:  210.6

I'm right on track! AND, I've dropped the Mt. Dew again, eating a low FODMAPS diet for elimination purposes (IBS stuff I'll post on later), and began working out this week at home-- aiming for 30 min/day.

What about YOU!?  Do you have any weigh related goals?  Share them with me!


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