Our New Lifestyle

Over the last two months I have really struggled with posting recipes and my kitchen musings, but this morning I woke up and was determined to share what has truly been on my heart and mind.
{Please bear with me, because this is as real as I get.}
For years I have heard “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  A month after Audley and I started dating I began applying this philosophy; first fixing him an elaborate taco salad with Fritos.  I also cooked for him and carried him supper at work in the evenings.
I won his heart, and seven months after our first date, we were married.
While I am sure that I won him over in more ways than through my cooking (after all we are approaching our 17th wedding anniversary), my cooking has played a large role in our marriage.  So large that it has contributed to Audley’s health issues and my own obesity.
{I said it.}
I am overweight.  Fat.  Unhealthy.  And setting a very bad example for my family.
It didn’t happen overnight.  It didn’t even happen in a year or two.  It happened because 12 years ago after my youngest child was born I quit taking care of myself.
I quit exercising.  I quit walking.  I took shortcuts.  And instead of dealing with the roller coaster of emotions from moving with Audley’s job, I ate to find comfort.  I ate sweets.  I drank diet coke like a drug.  And I would walk through my kitchen grazing like a cow.
At the end of March I woke up one day, looked at myself in the mirror and cried at what I had become.  I was 269 pounds.  A size 24.   I hated clothes.  I had grown an shoe size because my fat feet wouldn’t fit in my shoes, because guess what?  Your feet get fat, too!
  I was so embarrassed and ashamed.  Immediately I decided to start changing my life.  I got my fat bum off the couch and started walking.  I quit Diet Coke (I thought I was going to die!), I ate more salad, more fruit and cut out junk food.  And within two weeks began to feel better.
 Just a couple a weeks later Audley began having chest pains.  After all the tests and heart cath the doctor looked at him and said you are out of shape.  You are fat.  And you are going to die of heart disease.
Together Audley and I decided some things were going to change for the entire family, effective immediately.

I have been down this road so many times.  I have talked about losing weight an even attempted for a week or two, but this time it’s different.

Truly Different.

Since my revelation at the end of March, I have lost 35 pounds.  I am back into clothes I have not worn in three years.  I am happy.  I am no longer napping during the day.  I am busy.  And I am on a mission!
My dear Audley?  For the first time since he was 19 years old is off of his blood pressure meds (all four of them!) and it is holding steady.
{Yeah, we are doing this!!}
So where did I start?  
**Lean meats (chicken breast,  London Broil, fish, etc….) Not the frozen kind, but fresh.
**We have cut our sodium intake to almost none.  I season with fresh herbs, Mrs. Dash and vinegars.
**No more canned veggies.  They are full of sodium!  Instead I shop the produce aisle.  Fresh green beans, squash, zucchini, asparagus, spinach, lettuce….. It takes your taste buds to a whole other level.
**We drink water, unsweetened tea, and coffee.  No Sugar, but I do use stevia.
{A Southern girl just can’t let go of that sweet tea!}
**Little to no dairy.  Cheese?  Full of salt!  Butter?  Full of fat!
**No salad dressings.  Why?  Store bought dressings are full of sugar and sodium.  It doesn’t matter if it’s light or not.  Instead make you own fabulous dressings.
** I sautee’ in the smallest amount of Olive Oil, but mostly I use PAM spray.
**Do you want me to get started on bread?  Full of sugar & salt.  While Audley doesn’t care for it, I have developed a taste for low-sodium Eziekal bread.
**Balance your carbs and proteins.  You need to be working out, so your body needs fuel.  Fill it up.
**No cereals or other heavily processed foods.
**Keep a journal of your meals.  Go a week and write down everything you put into your body.  You’ll be amazed at how much you are eating!!  Take a little extra time to read packaging while shopping.  You will be amazed what you are putting into your body!  Did you know that just 2 tablespoons of soy sauce has nearly half of your sodium intake (according to USDA guidelines) for an entire day?  That means by the time you have salted foods that were already preserved with sodium and had ketchup, or steak sauce, or BBQ sauce, etc…, that you have seriously passed your dietary needs for the day.  Not to mention piling up the calories and sugar; do measure servings or just dump?
**Quit going out to eat!  It’s going to kill you!!  One meal at Olive Garden, Chili’s or another restaurant has enough sodium and sugar to meet your guidelines for nearly three days!
**WORK OUT!!  Walk through you neighborhood, buy a fitness video, do Pilates, Yoga or Zumba.  Lift weights.
{Get off your bum and MOVE IT!}
I want you to join me on this journey to get fit!   I want to share some of my healthier recipes and my progress along the way.  Don’t say it’s too expensive.  That is an excuse!  Cut out the junk food and processed foods and you will spend about the same at the grocery store.  Go to the Farmers Market where produce is in season.  Get your whole family healthy!!
{Don’t make excuses!!}
This is not a temporary fix.  This is a true lifestyle change.
I am not ready to share my pictures yet.  But I do have a cute new pair of shoes that fit my nearly back to normal sized feet.
My next goal is to wear my wedding rings that have not been on my fingers in nearly five years.  My plans are to be at that point in August, just in time for our anniversary.  Seems like a silly goal, but one that is very important to me.
It’s never to late to change your life.  Even if you aren’t overweight, take this opportunity to get healthy.  We are all pretty special people and deserve to take care of ourselves.  My Mother has always reminded me that “my body is the temple of God”.  I have taken that a little further by reminding myself that I’m not supposed to look like a temple!!

4 thoughts on “Our New Lifestyle

  1. Not sure that I'm ready, but I know that it would be good to change. Both John and I have been gaining weight. Stress, I think. We know what to do, we're just not doing it. Wishing you all the best and I hope that you'll share some of your new recipes.


  2. Hi!

    I have slipped over to see you from Vee's blog, and I think you are an amazing woman!! What a wonderful lifestyle to adopt, congratulations on your weight loss!! I am going to print a copy of your rules and use them as a guild line for myself and my husband, if you do not mind. Two years ago, I lost 50 pounds – I felt wonderful! I have gained back about 20 and I would love to get it off . . . and keep it off! Thanks for the tips and encouragement! I agree with Vee – please post recipes!

    Blessings to you!


  3. Pingback: The Biggest Loser… & Winner | Fiddle Dee Dee

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