Wednesday, June 19, 2019

My weight loss in 60 seconds: Preparation

This is week 10 since I've been back to WW. My short-term goal is in sight.

We celebrated my daughter's birthday and Father's Day last week. Talk about having challenges to overcome when it comes to food! We're also in the full swing of summer. I decided to prepare well for the week. Here's what I did to succeed this week:
  • I prepared my clothes to exercise early in the morning. 
  • I prepared my food, I packed it and took it to work.
  • I prepared my mind to succeed.
  • I tracked all my food daily.
I found out that I not only lost weight this week but I also reached by 10% weight loss goal with WW. I was thrilled! I knew I was going to hit my 10% goal at some point but achieving it this week was very encouraging.

One of my favorite quotes is by Juma Ikangaa. It says "the will do win means nothing without the will to prepare."

Preparation is the only way I can fit all my goals within my schedule. I can lie to myself and say I have not time to do all I do. I choose to truthfully prepare to succeed. My goal is this week is to hit my first goal and beyond if I can. I am positive that preparation will get me there.

There is nothing easy about shopping, preparing food, cooking and taking my food to work. It is way more difficult to remain overweight. With that in mind, I prepped a few protein and fruit "boxes" on Saturday and they have helped me a lot this week. I just added boiled eggs, fresh fruit and light cheese. I also packed a few whole grain crackers to eat along with them.

Outside of vacation, I don't know what it is to have "slow weeks." I have to prepare if I want to succeed. I do want to succeed.

What happens when I can't prep my food? I resort to making the best choices I can with what I have.

I'll stop for now. Here is my question: how can you prepare this week to succeed? Thank you for joining me in my health journey.

WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 152 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• First week of WW
WW Speak
• Premeditated Portion Control 
• Weights and Measures
• Time
• Carbs & WW
• Proof of Weight Loss
Why I started

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Life Changing Information

People have different reactions when they see a mother and all their children in the story. On Saturday, I was told:

"I will tell you something that will change your life."

"You have my attention," I told the older gentleman.

He proceeded to tell me about me about a great sports program for kids. He told me if the kids liked and stuck with it, advancement in the sport could mean college scholarships.

I'm all for scholarships, I never thought about them coming through sports as a possibility for us.

I thanked the gentleman and proceeded to check out.

His initial words stayed with me. How many times does anyone tells you "I will tell you something that will change your life?"

I know marketers do it all the time because they want your money. How many times, someone wholeheartedly tells you "I will tell you something that will change your life" and means it?

I want to propose that you and I can say those words because we do have something that can change someone else's life.

I was in desperate need for childcare once a week for my three kids. I asked a few church friends for help and they basically told me forget about it, no one will help you with that.

One day, after I had a hearty Mexican meal with a non-Christian friend, I told her about my search. She thought about my request for a little while and suggested a place 3 doors down from where we were sitting.

She had information that changed my life and she passed it on. She could have sat on it. She could have ignored my plea for help or like my Christian friend, should could have said "forget about it."

I choose to believe that God in His infinite mercy, can use us to pass on information that can change someone's life.

Life changing information can be big like the chance of winning a scholarship or small such as my friend's tip for a childcare provider.

Life changing information only comes from generous, open hearts. I don't know negative, self-absorbed people to share life-changing information often.

Generosity and an open heart is a must.

I don't know if my kids will play the sport that was suggested to me. I don't know if they will love it and decide to pursue it with all their hearts. What I do know is that there are generous people out there who are selfless and generous enough to notice someone like me.

I want to be like that. I want to notice the other. I don't want to do it just so I can brag about it. I don't want to do it to score charity points. I want to share life changing information because it is the very heart of God.

He is in the business of transforming our lives. I want to be just like Him.

Reflect and Respond:
• Do I have a tendency to sit on life-changing information?
• What is the real reason I don't share life-changing information with others?
• Do I listen to what people say and what they do not say?
• Do I look for Godly guidance in being generous with the  life-changing information entrusted to me?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Change can be positive

The first major change in my life happened when I moved from my beloved Brazil to the U.S. 21 years ago.

College life was a change I welcomed gladly. Things were nothing but predictable in the course of those years. Each summer I was in a different State. By the time graduate school started, I moved cities and started over. 

I was engaged to Zeke when I moved and started my first job. We got married 6 months later and  changed came again. Zeke and I learned a lot of what it means to be one. We continue to learn as we continue to embrace change. 

Motherhood has been a great catalyst for change. To put it simply, when you think you have something down, things change. Naps, schedules, kids' stages... everything changes all the time, except for the love we give.

My friendships during my motherhood years also changed. I mistook lifetime friendships for seasonal friendships. I was dismissed like a person who doesn't want to do jury duty.

I held on to some of those friendships longer than I should have. After a certain club or activity (or church membership) was finished, so was the friendship. I was often the only person with illusions of lifelong connection and mutual respect. Why can't I learn my lesson?

Change is a constant. Why can't I constantly learn from all of these experiences? Or, why can't I learn faster?

Today, I reminded myself that change can be a positive thing. I can let go of the illusion of lifelong friendships. I can let go of what was so I can enjoy where I am.

Change can be positive if I embrace it that way.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

My weight loss in 60 seconds: Why I started

Knowing my "why" has given me endurance for my health race. I wrote about it almost two years ago when I restarted WW:

"I joined Weight Watchers recently and I am looking forward to going after my goal of having a normal BMI. I know my "Why." I found out I had to quickly spit it out this morning as I was speaking to my doctor about my health goals. I told her my reason to lose weight is to lower the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and ensure that longevity with quality of life. She told me was happy about me taking care of myself.
This is my second time with Weight Watchers." 
November of 2017  

What I didn't know then was that this journey would take longer than one year. 
I didn't know I was going to have to leave the program and keep going on my own. 
I didn't know I was going to come back three months later ready to succeed and start what I finished. 

This past week I was out of town. I was determined to succeed. Often, I exercise out of town. This time, I decided rest was best. 
I also decided to keep up with my WW tracking. I packed healthy food for the road. I made the intentional choice to track everything I ate. 

Every day was a learning experience, all with the hope of reaching my health goal. 

I haven't changed my "why." I want a normal BMI. I want to lower my risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and other preventable diseases. Quality of life is what I'm after and this is the year to achieve it. 

While I don't reach my goal, I enjoy where I am on the way to where I am going. God has been so good to give me a second chance at living a healthy life. 

The journey is full of ups and downs. I know that I am determined to keep learning. Good health is the ultimate treat. 

Last week we were out of town. I tracked everything. I didn't eat a lot of treats and it worked for me. I didn't exercise so I was super focused on making sure the food part was on point. This week we are back in town and loving it. We have both a birthday and Father's Day this weekend. My goal is to track everything. I also want to remember my short-term Goal.

Thank you for joining me in this journey! 

WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 153 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• First week of WW
WW Speak
• Premeditated Portion Control 
• Weights and Measures
• Time
• Carbs & WW
Proof of Weight Loss

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Top 10 Mom Hacks

Road trips:

Pack your food - I pack all our snacks as well as a light meal. I also pack all the supplies I need for the trip. I've taken a box of diapers on a trip just so I didn't have to buy it when I got to my destination. When kids are not hungry they are happier. When I'm not hangry, everyone is happier :)

Potty at Cracker Barrel - you will find clean bathrooms with great changing tables. The kids and I take a break from the road by sitting in the rocking chairs and playing their giant checkers game.

Daily life: 

Simplify transitions - when all my kids were tiny, I noticed that the TV was making our transitions difficult. They would be watching it and it would be time to go somewhere. It was challenging to get their attention from the TV to our next activity. I decided to simplify our transition by turning off the TV. Obviously, the kids still watch TV. It was smart to simplify our transitions instead of being frustrated with their natural tendency to linger.

5-minute pick up - I used to be extremely frustrated with toy mess until we started implementing the 5-minute pick up. We work together for 5 minutes. I set my cell phone timer so it feels like a game. The kids love it thus far and everything is back in order quickly.


Find your staples - and love them hard! My staples are rice and black beans. I also make banana bread muffins often. Finding my staples has simplified life quite a bit. I can cook large batches and freeze my staples for busy nights (like last night). I can also come up with multiple uses for them.

Do what works for you - there will always be an internet celebrity trying to sell you the latest and greatest food gadget, item, you name it. It is important to do what works for you. Fads come and go. Your own family will determine what works for you. Follow their lead and save yourself some major frustration.


Go to the Public Library - I tell my kids that readers are leaders and leaders are readers. We've been visiting the public library since the kids were toddlers. I enjoy their programs, the summer reading challenge and the variety of resources available for families.

Read out loud - a few years ago, I was convinced of the benefits of reading out loud to kids who can read for themselves. Reading out load allows us to bond around a storyline. It gives us topics to talk about as well as inside jokes. It is fun when the kids bring up the books when we're out and about doing other things. I'm a fan of reading. I also know everyone is busy. I might spend between 5-15 minutes reading out loud on a regular basis. It is worth every precious minute. I allow the kids to be kids (wiggly, playing with other things) when I'm reading to them. The older ones are now stopping and listening attentively. I also have one who crochets while she listens. Whatever it takes, we're reading together.


No secret agents needed - my faith in Christ is very important. So important that I don't allow myself to be a "secret agent for Jesus." I live my faith out loud during the week (cause Sunday is the easiest day to be a Christian). I make sure the kids see me reading the Bible, praying, etc. I actively look for opportunities to encourage them to seek God for themselves. You bet I already told them what my end goal with all of this is. I want them to know God, to walk with Him and to teach their next generations about Jesus.

Bible study - I'm not a fan of going through studies with my kids. I teach the Bible using the Bible itself. Everyone holds the Bible and we take turns reading and studying. I'm not trying to make them scholars or "super kid Christians." My goal is for them to know and love the God of the Bible. I tell them the best way to know the God of the Bible is to read His book. We are very organic in our study. The kids tell me what they're interested in and we focus on that. Sometimes it is a topic, sometimes a book. I don't make them memorize Scripture simply because that's not the way I was taught the Bible as a child. Memorization came as a result of my exposure to the words of truth. Until this day, I'm not the best with "addresses."As it turns out, in the marketplace, I'm not quizzed on my Bible knowledge. What matters outside of the church is the life I live. Studying the Bible with kids is organic. It is interesting and it is a normal part of life. So normal, one of my kids volunteered to take their Bible on a family trip. I pray they will love God and His word always.