Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Own Cheering Section!

I have my own in-home encouraging cheerleader!

She lays on whatever project I'm working on, or on the back of the recliner, and snoozes while I do the walking DVD's.  She gets annoyed when I bounce around and wake her up.

Her name is Shadow, but we call her "Little", as she's really rather small (but heavy!)  She's 3.

She is a Korat, and fits the breed's nature perfectly.

Take note:  she's laying on my quilt in progress, and that's a no no--and she knows it!! LOL

She believes she is queen, and my quilt is her throne...for now. :)

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Weight Loss Challenge Week 15--the LONG Update!

Wow, we're going into week 15 of weight loss challenge!  Those of you following along with your own journey, how are you doing??

It has most definitely been a challenge in the past week.  Many of you know (from reading our "about" page), that we have special needs children, all of whom are near or into the teens.  All three are on the autism spectrum at varying levels, one also has MR and bi polar disorder, one has severe combined ADHD (and no, absence of sugar or glutien doesn't phase it), and one has ADD.  Life is not boring here.  Middle child, with autism/MR/bi polar disorder, had some changes at his non-custodial dad's house that broke his heart around Thanksgiving (his stepmom of 10 years walked away for good without saying anything to him and his dad moved on to another girlfriend), and then this week had more news that really changes his world there.  When he has changes that big, he doesn't handle it well.  He has meltdowns, refuses to go to school on the bus (school for him is 15 miles away at a program that really works great for him), refuses his showers and meds, and so on.  Thankfully, he is maturing, nearing 13 years old, and after a while I can get through to him that it's ok to be sad and upset, but it's not ok to hurt people or other people's property.  He is old enough and mature enough to understand consequences for actions, even those done in anger, and those have helped him learn to contain his aggression as well.  We understand he hurts, he's angry, and he has frustration, but we also can't let him get by with hurting us, others, himself, or destroying the home, or refusing to go to school.  That would be more hurtful to him to let him get by with the actions than to teach him appropriate responses to upsets.  It's also a chance to teach him that we love him no matter what, and that we're here to provide the boundaries and stability he needs and hugs he needs when he doesn't think he needs them.

There's a sector of people out there who believe in the idea of not holding children with autism accountable for their actions.  We're not in that group.  We as parents are supposed to teach our kids right from wrong, prepare them to be able to function in the world around them, and at some point be able to live without us.  If we let them beat up people when they're mad or upset, tear apart a house on a whim, in essence hold us hostage and let them get away with murder, then we've failed at our job.  It *IS* ok to say no to a special needs child, to teach them appropriate behavior, teach them manners, and treat them like you would other kids who may or may not have the same special needs. It's not easy to teach them like that, there's definitely challenges, but it's better to do it while they are younger, before they reach adulthood, than to try to teach it after they've made into the legal system or into group homes or institutions!

Anyway, I'll get off that soap box now.  This week has been stressful in dealing with the issues that popped up with middle child's dad.  Remember, oldest and youngest are my stepchildren, middle is my biological child.  We are a blended family that's been together for 8 years.  Holidays are harder with kids on the spectrum, most definitely.  You know how we as adults feel frazzled and harried and so busy keeping up amidst the holiday festivities, presents, decorating, and so on--imagine what it's like for kids like ours, who going into the shorter days, longer nights, changes in schedules, the lights and music, noises and so on.  So far, ours have handled all the holiday things rather well, and I'm proud of them.

We've had other minor stressors this week, with septic system backing up, vehicle maintenance, and some workman's comp things for hubby (that went smoothly, but initially hubby had a concussion due to his young client--hubby works with children much like ours part time.  He is great with kids, especially special needs ones).  God provided for all of those issues, even went above and beyond on them!  For instance, the vehicle maintenance was for brakes on hubby's little Dodge Dakota he bought off the wholesale lot.  He believed the brakes were going out.  So despite little money in the bank he put it in the shop and had it looked at.  All they needed were cleaned, and lo and behold--the brakes were brand new and in great shape!  Praise the Lord!  We've also went over a week with almost all gloom and clouds, I think the sun peeked out for a few hours one day, and we have a week ahead of the same--that also affects each of us and puts us in a less than cheerful mood if we don't really fight it, especially the kids.

Weight wise, I didn't weigh in, and probably won't until my next appointment in early January.  But, there are positive changes.  I've met the walking 3 miles a day 6 days a week goal, and even went above it a little by adding another mile or two before bed some nights.  This is probably the best I've slept on the days/evenings I did a combined 4 to 5 miles.  I've been out walking with a buddy around the town square on mornings that work out for both of us--between sickies with kids, us, gloomy/drizzle weather and the cold, it's been trying to get out there first thing in the morning before my buddy goes to work and I have my household things to do.  The walking with her has been therapeutic, we chat and work out problems in our lives and so on--it's rewarding!  We average about 45 minutes circling the courthouse square, when it's still rather empty and before the staff and courts start their day.  At home, I'm putting in the DVD's and doing 3 miles or so on the days I don't get to walk the square, and then in the evening another mile or two.  I admit it, I don't always want to get started and do it.  I'd rather do other things.  But at the end, I'm glad I did.

Body wise, the hard to lose fat on the upper legs, from knees up, and in the belly where it hangs, is going down.  Yay!!  I'm learning that the only way to really get rid of the belly fat and leg flab is to keep on walking, keep on doing aerobic work, keep using the muscles, and keep on with the eating healthy idea.  It's not going as fast as I'd like--I'd be happy if by some miracle it'd all leave today--but it's going down, and that's what matters.  I can get the knees way up now in the knee lifts, the kickbacks are much easier and don't hurt, side steps are stronger and wider.  In the dvd's, Leslie Sansone and her walkers in the background clap on side steps.  Not me--my hands don't do the clapping, my thighs do!  That just tells me I need to do more of them to keep working them!  I really like seeing the overall body fat going down, it tells me I'm on the right track, and that all that walking daily is helping.

Eating wise, still doing soups daily (most days anyway), fruits, baked chicken, veggies, and overall behaving.  We had my stepdaughter's birthday this last week, and I made her a cherry chocolate cake from a box mix with coordinating frosting to take to church, as it was Wednesday.  The leftovers came home, and didn't last long.  It. was. awesome!  I took into account the calorie intake from the Red Baron pizzas we had for supper and the cake intake, and been mindful of any sweets and looking at the calorie count and weighing if I reallllllly want that or not.  I've stayed out of the Christmas candy aisles, and did sugar up on Friday with the trip to deliver son to his dad's, with a salted caramel cappuccino and a Snickers to enjoy on the hour and a half trip back home.  Thankfully this isn't an every day occasion!  If I did this daily, I'd gain a lot back, and it's not worth it.  But a once in a while thing isn't bad, especially when you have been really craving it--it beats eating everything in sight and still not being satisfied but way over your calorie limit.  I did try a regular Coke this week, and it wasn't satisfying at all.  Honestly, none of the carbonated drinks seem satisfying anymore, whether full sugar or sugar-free.  Now a good cup of coffee or tea, those hit the spot!  I still can't stand the taste of our city's bleach tasting water, so still doing coffee and herbal teas to fill the void, along with skim milk and "diet" juices--I believe it's Ocean Spray that does "diet" cranberry and blueberry juices at 5 calories a serving.  They taste good and have much less sugar!

I have to say that all the veggies and fruits and good for you things I've been eating on regularly has been beneficial beyond weight loss.  We're in the sickie season, and the kids are all sharing the yucks by way of sneezles and wheezles and coughs and snots.  They love sharing.  Until last evening and this morning, I've been able to fight off the direct attacks from the sickies, and even what I have now is a sinus/ear thing that with rest and meds I'm able to keep under control.  The main thing is rest, which doesn't seem to happen much with the high energy of the kids and the needs of the household and so on.  So I took the day off of church to get the huge head pain under control and rest, and recoup to be able to function through the week and be back in service again Wednesday.  I seriously think that with all the flu and stuff going around, the veggies in soups and raw, and all the fresh fruits have been a major player in keeping the nasty stuff at bay.  And for that, I thank the Lord!

This coming week I'm preparing to make homemade peanut brittle and caramels to send out to family and friends.  I also plan on baking some goodies to give to son's bus driver and others who are local.  I wouldn't be a good cook if I didn't sample the quality, now would I?  I will have to be more careful in what I do, as yesterday when I attempted to slice some bread loaves I'd made and left sit to harden the crust a little, the serrated knife tried to go through my thumb.  Did you know bread knives will go through finger nails and into the nail bed??  Trust me they do.

I've started alterations on my clothing, as I ran out of skirts that fit, and I had my cape dresses sitting needing work.  I took my 34/36 skirts and added darts to make them fit at the waist and flare a bit.  Right now I have a cape dress that was sewn to fit the body size I was, torn apart and prepared for new darts and having the side seams taken in from sleeve hem to where the bodice meets the skirt.  The skirt will have to be gathered tighter too at the seam to fit.  This is a good thing!  There's 2 of those to do, and then there are 2 that are still in the cut but not sewn position from the summer that will have to be re-cut and trimmed down.  I'm having to make use of my little book on alterations to do this, as it's easier to me to just make garments from scratch than alter ones already made.  This weekend I pulled out all my larger clothing and went through them, and many are going into a trashbag to go off to the thrift shop for donations.  Very little fit anymore or are really fit for alterations.  I'm so grateful for the large amount of clothing that the Lord provided a few weeks ago--they've more than filled my side of the closet and provide inspiration to keep going, and it's awesome feeling some of the clothes feel a little looser than they were when they first arrived!  They have really been helpful too in filling the gap between old body size and current, and it's also nice to exercise in yoga type pants and capris, that don't flap around or get under foot and get in the way.  And as it gets colder I can wear them under dresses and long skirts for extra warmth!

I hope you all are having a great week, and I keep you all in my prayers!  I may not know all of you who read Sunny Patch by name, but the Lord does, and that's what matters!

You all have a great week, and I'll see you again soon!

Shared at:  Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth , A Proverbs 31 Wife, Darling Downs Diary, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

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 The weekly update is being pushed back a day or two due to sickies.  It's that time of year, and the kids are sharing as much as they can with us and each other and all their friends.

I hope you all are having a great week!  I'll be back very soon!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tips for Making It Through The Christmas (Candy) Season

Christmas candy--it's everywhere!!  Little trees, snowmen, elves, you name it, it's there just calling your name.  It echoes mine across the store, and has beacons up just waiting for me to come visit.

It's a conspiracy I tell you!

This year, I refuse to be drawn in to the Christmas sabotage in those little brightly wrapped pieces of yummy chocolate goodness.  I've had my allotment I'm allowing myself for the season.

Instead, I've invested some money into something else.  Fresh fruit!

Right now, at least in our area, apples, bananas, and oranges are on sale.  I have a love for large seedless oranges.  I only get them during the Christmas season, and each year I look forward to another bin full of them.

This year, the sweet of the fruits are taking the place of the cane sugar sweetness of the candy.

Now, I'm just like any other red blooded American who loves candy.  I really really really enjoy Christmas candy, especially the hard pieces with soft gooey middle that are more old fashioned.  They are even more alluring in that they only come out once a year.  This is not easy.  In fact, it's very hard to say no, to walk away from the candy, to stay out of the chocolates.

Another tip to make it through the candy season--exercise!

Think about it:  if you've hoofed it through a 45 minute walking/jogging session, do you *really* want to eat all those calories just burned up in a handful of Reece's?  I've had to stop and ask myself that one.  Also, exercise really does make you feel better, you work hard and enjoy the benefits of it.  You get a lift that chocolate can't simulate (at least not as well).

Tip #3:  if you really want to indulge, take a look at the serving size, calories per serving, and keep track of what you take in.  A piece of candy here and there won't crash anyone's plans.  It's a whole bag here and there that really causes problems.  I am capable of eating the entire bag of M&M's or Reece's, so this is something I must watch.  I don't know if you do, but these are stumbling blocks bigger than the Rocky Mountains.

You can make it through the Christmas season and not put on 20 pounds!  I know you can!

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Weight Loss Challenge Week 14

It's been another great week so far!

I went to the clinic where I keep track of diabetes and weight and hopped on the scale.  Not only did I not gain anything (which I'm glad!) but I lost a pound.  Yay!!


53 pounds down, even with Thanksgiving feasting!

So, I'm back on track now, with soups and fruits and veggies and lots of exercise.  I'm shooting for at least 2 miles a day power walking with dvd, if not more.  In the coming week I believe I have a walking buddy to go out and walk around the town here once or twice a week as well!

We also took updated pictures to document.  The below pic in the orange/black is current, with clothing mentioned in the last post that I received and has been a blessing!  I'm enjoying the yoga pants feeling!

This is a size 22/24.  I was bigger than this in high school!  At this point in time, hubby can feel my ribs on either side.  Can you believe that--at this weight/size??  There's still a long ways to go, but made it a long ways too!  This week I tried on (and purchased) a size 18/20 top and it fits!  I was *very* happy!  I haven't seen that size in YEARS!

Here's the "before" pic at a 32 top and 34/36 bottom and 53 pounds heavier:

For what it's worth, I'm not doing the pictures for vanity.  I absolutely hate taking my own picture, and am embarrassed by what I look like in them.  I'm quite content hiding behind the camera.  But, if this helps anyone out there find the encouragement they need to jump on board and work on getting healthier and losing extra weight and size if needed, then I'll keep on doing this.

Thank you all so much for your encouragement!  It means a lot to me--much more than you think!

 During previous weight loss endeavors, I never had the cheerleaders, but instead the pessimists reminding me that I can't do it, that every time before had failed.  That's the last thing an obese person needs!!

I hope you all are having a great week!  If you're following along and doing your own challenge, how are you doing?

Lots of hugs from southern Kansas!!

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Weight Loss Challenge Week 13--After Thanksgiving!

It is now week 13 of the weight loss challenge!

This past week was Thanksgiving week, and it was a definite challenge to stay pretty close to on track as possible.

The food was awesome!  We partook in flan, pan de maiz, black beans and rice, garbanzos (made very flavorful), and Cuban candies, as well as all kinds of tropical fruits you just don't find in southern Kansas.  Then, we feasted on the homemade traditional Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, green beans with bacon, green bean casserole, corn casserole, made from scratch apple pie and pumpkin pie, deer roast, gravy, you name it.

I tried hard, and kept it to one plate with a small serving of most of the goods.  Then dessert was a small piece of flan (a sniff is about 100 calories, so a small piece is more than sufficient) and a small piece of apple pie.  The breakfast and supper was for me a banana for each, in order to help keep the calories down to be able to enjoy the feasting meal.

Throughout the week there were other opportunities to fall off track.  I worked at staying on the wagon.  I survived a trip to Golden Corral too--the first buffet I've been to in a long long while.  I made it through a lettuce salad with tuna salad on top and pears on the side, then half of a chicken breast piece of fried chicken and half of a serving of pasta and meaty sauce.  It was awesome!  This was an impromptu date night after hubby and I dropped the kids off for a visit with their biological mom (my son was with his biological dad) and hadn't left the city yet to head back to our little town.  It was worth the calorie rush to enjoy tuna salad--it is my favorite food, outranking pizza and ice cream.  I don't make it often since I can plow through a huge bowl of it in a day or two and not bat an eye.  Hubby enjoyed what I couldn't finish, so it didn't go to waste.  I don't like wasting, even if it's at a buffet, it just doesn't seem right.

I kept up with my goals on exercise, with a goal of at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.  Most days I really try to go above that.  I averaged at least 2 miles a day, often going to 3, and once up to 5.  This is via the Leslie Sansone walk at home dvd's that add a lot more to the walking--it's a good cardio workout!  This week I picked up the "Radio Remixes" dvd Leslie has out, and have enjoyed walking quite fast to "I Like To Move It", among other songs.  I've enjoyed the music, as at least 2 of the songs are featured on kid movies we have--the Madagascar movie series--King Julien dances to "I Like To Move It" in each of the movies.  The other I really like is also the intro song to Cats and Dogs 2 featuring Kitty Galore.  So in walking to those songs, I get the mental image of King Julien and the lemurs dancing, and then the cats and dogs in Kitty Galore movie.

It's fun to walk and dance to a fast beat and end up laughing at yourself at the same time!  LOL  It  makes exercising all the more enjoyable!

This past week I also had an amazing blessing that I have to share.  You see, my wardrobe has become much too big due to all the weight I've shed so far.  I'd thinned out quite a bit of the clothing.  Money has been very tight, our budget doesn't usually allow for me to buy new clothing, let alone enough to make up for what I had to remove from the closet.  Then, God moved immensely, and using a wonderful lady (who is also our insurance agent and a member of our church), He provided a whole new wardrobe!  She contacted me about some clothes she had and asked if I was interested, if not she would take them to the local thrift shop.  I gladly accepted, figuring they were for the kids.  I had no idea they were adult plus sizes.  She stopped by with 3 large, very stuffed trashbags full of nice women's clothing!  As I sorted them, I cried--they were nearly all in the sizes I am currently in, and a few pieces in the next size down--my next goal!  I bawled for at least a half hour, and still get teary eyed--God provided a new wardrobe in the sizes I am at right now, with plenty of sweaters and warm clothing that are needed for winter months.  And get this--I'd not told a soul that I wanted to make myself a flannel nightgown to wear during the cold months.  A red plaid flannel nightgown was in the bag, in my size!  Isn't is awesome how God works???  I'm able to get into a non-stretchy 22/24 pants now, according to what was in the bags!  The knees really need work on my part, but I can get a 22/24 over my rear end and wear them with no problems, and very close to getting a 22 by itself fastened and zipped.  Last month I was painting on size 26 stretch jeans in the fitting room.  The tag on the largest skirts I have from Woman Within are 34/36 and need darts and such to keep from falling off my hips.  So in 3 months time I've went from a 34/36 bottom to a 22/24, and God provided the clothing to keep up!

Isn't God good???

Doesn't the Bible tell us not to worry about our clothing and food, that God takes care of all our needs?

I can't give up!  This has been the biggest encouragement, the big boost to keep on going, now that my closet is overflowing with much smaller clothing than what I started out in.  During the holidays I'm determined not to over do it and let go, not with the blessings God bestowed!!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and have a great week ahead!  If you all are joining in on the weight loss, how are you doing in your journey?

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