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To the Cowboy Who Will Never Read This… Joy Dare #111-117

You mended me like a worn out fence.

You took all the tiny, ugly, angry little pieces of my heart and

slowly, perfectly put them back together again.

That is your way.

You fix things.

You have been my Boaz, Hosea, Samuel, Isaac…

You have been like Jesus.

Steady and sure, strong yet tender,

always, always there.

I watch you on the backhoe,

digging and moving and packing and smoothing…

just as you did with my brokenness.

Your love woke me up, made me new again,

gave me hope and home.

To the Cowboy who will never read this because he only reads his Bible and researches farm needs,

who wishes Facebook and social media would collapse into dust…

who deals with everyone exactly the same, never puts on airs, hates the phone and change…

You changed everything that was normal to you just to love me… to love us.

To the man who makes the exact same morning sounds as every other day in the exact same order,

who wears only gray socks and gray t-shirts because clothes are just a necessity,

who looks at me like I’m beautiful, whole, treasured…

You still make knees weak, butterflies stir, voice catch, breath quicken.

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To the Cowboy who doesn’t like Valentine’s Day because it is a silly marketing ploy and thinks holidays are frivolous in general…

There is nothing everyday about your everyday love.

Your life is daily poured out in a Valentine to me.

Actions, not words, speak love from a Cowboy.

And this Cowboy is Mine.

And I…

I am forever, his.

 

Corrie Mims

Joy Dare:

111. My Cowboy Valentine. He came directly from Your hand, Lord. Of this I am sure.

112. TenderHeart’s allergy testing yesterday, that it is over and that we finally have answers and a treatment plan.

113. Kelsey’s willingness to babysit and make busy bags and always come at a moment’s notice. She is a treasure.

114. Cowboy’s mom who took on most every duty of mine she could this week while I have been sick- errands, childcare, running TrueHeart and TenderHeart to activities.

115. The ability to eat real foods, and how they make me feel.

116. SweetHeart’s one success in the little potty. It really was an exciting blessing for this mom of four.

117. The way you have loved me, and shown me, with your Son. I love you, too.

 

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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in 1000 Gifts Joy Dare, Uncategorized

 

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Weeks One Through Four Workout Plan

 

For those who are interested in the way I workout, I will post my plan and update as it changes.  I have 16 weeks worth of training exercises that I printed online years ago which doesn’t exist in that form anymore.  I don’t want to infringe on any copyrights but I have modified things to fit my life anyway so they aren’t the same as the original.  The exercises increase in intensity gradually every 4 weeks, but never take more than 15 minutes.  I will post free links to videos of the exercises in case you don’t already know what they are (but I am NOT posting videos of ME doing the exercises.  Don’t even ask.  It is not a pretty sight when I exercise, but it gets the job done!) Simply click on the name of the exercise to link to the video.

I do the strength training 3 times per week, alternating between workout 1 and workout 2.  So, the first week I would do workout 1 the first exercise day, workout 2 the second day, and workout 1 again the 3rd day… with at least one rest day between each workout.  The second week, I would start with workout 2 the first day, workout 1 the second day, and back to workout 2 the third day.  Follow me?

I workout in super sets of two exercises per set.  You will understand more as I tell you the routine, but just know that the exercises are grouped and you will repeat the super sets of two exercises several times before you move on to another set of two different exercises.  I will give you the repetitions or reps (number of times you complete each exercise) as well as the number of sets (number of times you complete the sequence of two exercises including all the reps before you move on to the next set of different exercises). 

Workout One

A.  8-10 squats followed immediately by 10-12 bench back extensions (I use my ottoman), rest 30 seconds and do them all again and rest 30 seconds. Then, by week 3, you should repeat them all again for the third time.

B.  10-12 hip extensions immediately followed by 10-12 kneeling assisted push ups (a “girl” pushup with hands on an ottoman or bench). Rest and repeat, just like with the first set.  Again, add an extra third set by week 3.

C.  6-8 bird dogs each side followed by a 20 second plank, rest and repeat, adding another repeat by week 3. 

You get the idea?  Okay, so shorthand now for

Workout Two:

A.  6-8 split squats each side, 10-12 stickups, rest and repeat, by week 3 rest and repeat 3rd time

B.  6-8 one-leg hip extensions each side followed by a 20 second side plank, rest and repeat with plank on other side.

C.  8-10 Y squats followed by a 20 second push up plank, rest and repeat, add 3rd set by week 3. 

If you don’t like these exercises, just find some kind of strength training exercise you like, and do it.  That’s the most important thing and the hardest thing… to do it. 

Also, I alternate these strength training workouts with walking briskly on the farm for 30-40 minutes three days per week.  If you don’t like to walk or its raining or whatever- just do something.  Swim, ride a bike, play the Wii Fit, run in place in intervals, or use the Couch to 5K running app on your iPhone… just find something you like to do that gets you moving constantly for 30-40 minutes and DO IT.

That’s all.  It will really speed up your weight fat loss and will make you feel incredible!  You will start seeing waist definition almost immediately, and yes, you will get sore… but the good kind of sore.  And the more muscle you build, the more fat you will burn.  It is an awesome snowball effect that happens.  Get ready for the new you!

Corrie Mims

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized, Weight Loss Journey

 

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Perfect Brown Rice Recipe

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Here is my recipe for the most perfectly nutty, slightly chewy brown rice and the way I serve it in single portions to fit my healthy eating plan.  You may use any brown rice you like as long as it is not quick-cooking rice.  It is so easy and delicious, you will wonder why you have been eating white rice all this time!  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

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First, you need a Tablespoon plus a teaspoon of real butter.  And a 9 x 13 casserole dish.

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Now, you need to pour 4 2/3 cups of water into either a small pot to heat on the stove or a microwaveable bowl.  Add your butter and 1 teaspoon of sea salt.  Use filtered water if you have funky tasting water.  Put it in the microwave or on the stove and heat until just boiling and butter is melted.

 

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While it is heating, pour 3 cups of brown rice into a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  Spread it out evenly over the bottom of the dish.

 

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Give the water/butter/salt mixture a good stir and pour over rice in dish.  (And by all means, turn baby in Maya Wrap away from the hot water.)  Stir the rice gently to settle any displaced rice back into an even layer.

 

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Cover dish wish a DOUBLE layer of foil and seal carefully with your hands all the way around.  Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.

 

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Remove from oven and carefully remove foil.  Fluff rice with fork and cover with a clean kitchen towel. (I know, sounds crazy, but it is important!  Just do it!)  Let rest for 5 minutes.  Set your timer.  Then, uncover rice and fluff again.  Allow to sit for 5 more minutes before serving.  If I am not eating right away, I allow it to sit for 15 more minutes and then begin the packing and freezing process.  This is how I do it:

 

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One heaping 1/3 of a cup spooned into a cheap plastic sandwich bag.  Don’t use the nice thick ones.  Really.

 

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Flatten and seal by patting vigorously with your hand, creating a single layer of rice.  Burp the bag a couple of times to get most of the air out.

 

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Stack the bags of flattened rice (you should have at least 17, up to 20 of them) and store them just like this in your freezer.  When you are ready for a serving, grab one of the bags, poke a few holes in it with a fork, and microwave just until it begins to puff up like the bag is going to explode.  Remove carefully from microwave and pour onto plate.  You may also add it to a hot skillet as an alternative and it will be ready in seconds.

It really is the perfect brown rice!  Try it and let me know what you think.

The pictures are courtesy of TrueHeart who blogs pictures only over at http://www.developedphotography.wordpress.com  She wasn’t happy with the rushed job in poor lighting I was requiring her to do, so check out her regular work.  She will be thrilled to see her blog stats rise with number of views, and I love it when she is happy!  Thanks a bunch.

Corrie Mims

 
 

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Eating Out, Working Out, Reaching Out… Joy Dare #107-110

Please forgive me for not getting this posted the last couple of days.  We have had much sickness at our house which makes it hard for me to find the time to type a post.  I have tried to answer individual questions on Facebook and texts, but know many of you are anxiously waiting for more details!

Let me start with the good stuff!  I weighed Saturday morning because that will be my weekly weigh-in day.  (Oh, that reminds me, you should weigh yourself once a week ONLY, at the same time of day, naked or with very light clothing preferably :-), and before breakfast.  Write your weight down!  I use the Wii Fit because it charts my weight and lets me set my goal weight, shows my BMI, etc.  It is a great tool, but don’t go out and buy it if you don’t already have it.)

From Tuesday when I started the plan until Saturday, I lost 3.3 pounds!  I weigh around 137.5 now.  Something about dropping below 140 made me want to squeal. Which I did.  And so did TenderHeart and TrueHeart.  They are amazing encouragers, always in my corner.  K. has been very, very sick.  I think she has pneumonia after listening to her lungs with my stethoscope, and she it at the doc this morning.  Even with all of that, she stuck to her plan, and has lost a total of almost 8 pounds since her start date!  Her original weight was 214 and she is down to 206.8.  So, so proud of her!  Would you join us in making your weigh-in days on Saturdays?  I promise not to post your actual weight if you do not want me to, but would love to post pounds lost every week and total pounds lost for all those following the plan.  Talk about a boost!  That would certainly be one.

Which brings me to us Reaching Out.  I have created a secret group on Facebook for only those following the plan or who are seriously wanting to start following the plan.  None of the posts will be visible to anyone who is not a member of the group and everything will be completely private to our group.  This will be a great way for us to encourage one another, a place for me to answer questions, and will provide accountability as well (and relationship!  We were made for relationships!) I will have to add you personally to the group because of the nature of its privacy settings, so if you would like to be added, you will need to contact me in some way (Facebook, text, or whatever!) so I can add you.  For those who are not my friend yet on Facebook, here is a link to become my friend:  https://www.facebook.com/corrie.c.mims

Now, for Eating Out, I wanted to give you an idea of what my meals look like when I have to do fast food during the week because I am stuck in town for an appointment or errands.  The truth is that I only eat one of three places:  Chic-fil-A, Zaxby’s, or Wendy’s.  This doesn’t mean you can’t eat other places, but these are my picks and you can decide what to eat at other places based on how I eat at these.  At Chic-fil-A, I order the grilled chicken nuggets (8) with a side salad and a diet lemonade.  I don’t use the croutons or honey-roasted sesame seeds that come with the salad, and I eat hot sauce on it as my dressing (though you could take your own dressing as well).  Sometimes, I get the fruit cup instead of the salad.  Occasionally, I order the grilled chicken sandwich which comes on a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato, but when I do, I don’t get any sides with it because the bun is pretty large and carby.  You could always remove the top to help with that, but what can I say, I like a sandwich now and then and I don’t want to eat it with a fork.  When I eat at Zaxby’s I order the grilled chicken salad and ask them to hold the crunchy topping.  Again, I use their Tongue Torch as dressing or take my own.  It is unfortunate but I haven’t found a dressing in a packet yet that fits my eating plan.  At Wendy’s, I have their chili and a side salad.  You get the idea.

K. is keeping a food journal for me, and she and I sat down Saturday and went over her week of food choices.  It helped us find where there were some questionable (though unintentional) choices and we corrected them for this week.  I am more than willing to help any of you find solutions and possible sabotages in your eating, but to do so, I will need a completely honest account of everything you put in your mouth.  If you try this and don’t lose weight but have no record of what you are eating, I can’t help you find the culprit.  (You can send it in a private message to me and I will answer privately.  I will never share your eating journal without permission.)

I am getting lots of questions by private message, facebook comments, and texts, and I want to address a few today.  The most asked questions involve Working Out.

My workout is very simple because I am not one of those people who love exercising.  I do love the way a workout makes me feel and how it makes me look, however!  The most important part of working out on this plan is strength training.  I don’t go to a gym and I don’t have much time on my hands, so I do a simple 15 minute workout using my body as the resistance.  I printed out a workout years ago that I bought online, but I have modified it somewhat.  I am going to post separately today the first week’s workout plan with free links of how to do the exercises.  The workouts increase in intensity but gradually (thank goodness!) and I will walk you through it step by step.

K. and I also take a 30-40 minute walk on the farm three times per week, but don’t ever skip your strength training in order to walk. If you only have time for one exercise, make it the strength training one. When you walk, don’t use a treadmill if at all possible.  Get outside with sunlight on your face.  Look straight out while you walk instead of at your feet.  You will be amazed at what sunlight can do for you emotionally and mentally, and you definitely need it physically for Vitamin D!  Here’s an offer for my local peeps… You are more than welcome to come take a walk with K. and me on the farm and pick my brain while we walk!  Just message me privately and we will set up a time.

Again, Reaching Out, for those who aren’t close by- maybe you could find a friend on the Facebook group who lives close to you or maybe you know a friend who would partner with you in this challenge.  It does help so much to have the encouragement and accountability of not doing this alone!

I am planning a marathon of posting today, since I am behind… so stay tuned for the first workout post, a question and answer post, and the much-anticipated brown rice recipe post (TrueHeart took pictures of me making it this weekend, so all I have to do is type up the instructions and upload the pics!)  Also, don’t forget to message me if you want to be a member of our secret group.  Oh, and one more thing… Any ideas for a good name for my plan?  I named the group “Corrie’s Health Plan” but surely there is something more creative out there I could be calling it.

Bless you all for reading and taking this journey with us!  I can’t wait to start hearing how many pounds you dropped your first week on the plan.

Now, for more Joy counting…

107. 108. 109. 110. Four Times I Heard Laughter… The text conversation I thought I had with Victoria but was really with Ashley and the hilarity of it when I realized it.  I haven’t belly laughed like that in a long time!  SweetHeart laughing hysterically at Granddaddy’s silliness.  The sudden fall in our hens’ egg production and the discovery by Cowboy of the clutch of 13 eggs hidden by our porch.   We laughed together thinking how our hens needed to be closer to their humans for protection of their eggs! And lastly… how do I say this… a cousin farmer dropped his gorgeous Australian shepherd female dog (who happens to be deaf) off for a “visit” with our male border collie Rocket.  That’s about all I can say here, but the courtship has been hilarious in. every. way.  And whatever you’re imagining, it is funnier than that.  Seriously. 

Corrie Mims

 

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Sample Menu, and a Few More Plan Details… and Joy Dare #104-106

Here is a sample menu of what a typical day might look like for me:

Breakfast:  Coffee with Cream, two whole eggs + one egg white fried in butter and placed on a whole wheat bagel sandwich “Thin” with a little raw baby spinach, dressed with hot sauce and sea salt. 

Morning Snack:  a cup of Chobani Greek yogurt with the fruit on the bottom. (I only mix half of the fruit in, but the protein is so high it helps to counteract the evaporated cane sugar in it… and the probiotics really make a difference in my system.)

Lunch:  I heat up a pan and throw some frozen broccoli and cauliflower and a few carrots in with a little olive oil and sea salt.  I cook them until they are cooked through and begin to brown. I thaw a single piece of tilapia under running cool water, season with spices and sea salt, and quickly cook it in the same hot pan with a little coconut oil or butter.  I pull a bag of brown rice from my freezer, poke holes in it with a fork, and cook it in the microwave just until the bag begins to puff up like it is going to explode and pour it onto my plate with the fish and veggies.

Afternoon snack:  An apple or pear cut into slices with a tablespoon of Smuckers natural peanut butter (has only peanuts and salt in it and must be stirred before storing in fridge) and a small handful of raw, whole walnuts or almonds.  (The walnuts are super high in the omegas you need.  Very, very good for you.  Find them in the baking section- much cheaper than in the snack section- and store them in your freezer to keep them from going rancid.  They thaw in seconds, and I often just eat them frozen. The nuts serve as your fat in this snack as well as your protein).

Supper:  Whatever I would normally cook for my family, slightly modified for me.  For example, I may serve tacos to my family.  I wouldn’t use the packet of taco seasoning because of the sugar in it but season it myself with spices.  (recipe to come later)  Then, I would serve it as usual to my family, but would eat mine on a bed of baby spinach or romaine or roll my taco up in a piece of leaf lettuce instead of a shell.  I sometimes will have one small whole wheat tortilla with my meal, but the rest is on lettuce only.  Easy on the sour cream and make sure the salsa doesn’t have any kind of sugar added.  If I serve spaghetti, I make it extra hearty with meat and make my sauce from scratch (another recipe for the future).  I serve it over pasta for the family but for myself, I eat it in a bowl almost like a chili.  Sometimes I add my homemade chicken broth or beef broth to my bowl to make it more like a soup for me.  Either way, I eat it with a piece of whole wheat garlic toast.  It is delicious.  When I make blackened chicken pasta, I serve the chicken and sauce over angel hair for the family but over a bed of baby spinach for me.

Bedtime snack:  Two little squares of Green & Black’s 85% cacao chocolate bar, eaten very slowly and allowing it to melt in my mouth.  Occasionally, I will have 1/2 cup (not glass) of organic whole milk with it but not every night.

This brings me to dairy items:  You may find that having dairy items slow down your weight loss.  This and eggs are the only areas where I have found organic makes a significant difference-  I don’t buy organic veggies or fruits, only because of the expense.  I do, however, splurge on a small container of organic whole milk and a carton of cage free/free range eggs.  (Well, that is before we had our own chickens.  Now, I just go gather some free range, incredibly healthy and delicious eggs from our nest boxes.)  I have also bought butter directly from the farmer, which was more expensive but incredibly delicious and didn’t have added coloring like most store-bought butter.  It is really up to you on dairy– If you want to have a little cheese as your fat with your meal or snack, go for it, but keep a journal of what you are eating and your weight loss.  If it looks like you aren’t losing 2-3 pounds a week, give up all dairy for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference.  It doesn’t slow my losing enough for me to give it up, frankly.  I would rather lose two pounds instead of three pounds in a week and get to have my butter and cream. 

Concerning condiments:  No ketchup or sauces with sugar or corn syrup in them.  This pretty much limits you to certain mustards and hot sauce unless you get creative and make your own. 

Salad dressings are the same way.  Please don’t buy a “light” dressing!  All they have done is take out the fat and replace it with water and sugar.  On your salads, mix your own dressing with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic or apple cider vinegar, and stone ground mustard or any seasonings you like. 

See, you can totally do this, right?  Have a favorite meal you serve your family that you don’t know how to modify for your meal on the plan?  Post it below or e-mail me and I will reply in a separate blog with how I would modify it.  Challenge me!  This will be fun. 

This is getting too long, so stay tuned for the next blog on eating out- where to go and what to eat!

No kidding, I am one thankful girl…

104. 105. 106.  Three Gifts Found Outside…  11 new baby calves born on our farm last week, our chickens who give us the most delicious eggs I have ever tasted in my life, and the arbor built by Cowboy’s Daddy for our outdoor wedding which still stands in our back yard. 

 

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THE Eating Plan Overview… and Joy Dare #101-103

First, let me say I had more hits on my blog yesterday than any other day since I have been blogging except for one (which was the day I wrote about my funeral– go figure– people really want to lose weight, but more than that, want to see me dead!  Just kidding.)  I have also had so many personal e-mails, comments, and texts about it and I realized just how important this plan really might be if it can help all of us to become healthier.

It has overwhelmed me… in the most glorious way.  And humbled and encouraged me that you would want to take this journey with us.

I am going to give a brief overview of the plan today.  I know some of you are in a hurry to start, but I recommend you wait until Monday so I will have a few more days to write all the information you will need.  (BraveHeart had shots today, so I will write as much as I can as often as I can.  Please be patient with me.)

I also need to give a disclaimer:  This is not intended to diagnose or cure any diseases and may or may not give you the same results it has given me.  Also, I have done years of research, but I didn’t know I would be writing this so I didn’t write down the references.  I will try in the weeks to come to point you to scientific studies which support this plan of eating, but today I am just giving you the framework as simply as I know how.  It can easily be adjusted to fit special diet needs, like gluten-free/dairy free, etc. but my plan is not either of those.

I am going to start with my favorite part about the plan, and K.’s favorite part, too.  This is the core that keeps me committed, though if you are an all or nothing kind of person… you may balk when you read it.  Ready?

You get Saturday supper through Sunday lunch OFF.  Completely.  You eat whatever you want.  I am totally serious!  Pizza, french fries, lasagna, fried cheese sticks.  I know, I know– not healthy eating.  But here’s the thing… if you get those meals off you are more likely to stick with the plan during the week, and believe it or not, after a couple of weeks you will feel so miserable on your day off and realize even more how important the healthy eating during the rest of the week really is!  There is also science behind this, well at least the sudden change in number of calories and kinds of food you are giving your body for one day a week.  It shocks your body somehow and helps you not to plateau and get frustrated.  You don’t have to believe me, you just have to follow the plan and then tell me if it works for you!

Here is my other favorite part (notice I’m starting with the good stuff?)…

Every single night, you get to eat one small piece of very dark chocolate.  Now, now… you may think you don’t like dark chocolate, but once you are eating on the plan I can almost promise you that you will learn to appreciate it.  I eat high quality 85% cacao chocolate (such as Green & Black’s organic chocolate bar) which I buy at WalMart.

Important note:  Everything I eat I buy from WalMart or Aldi.  I don’t generally buy expensive foods.  The chocolate is eaten in very small little blocks over 10 days, so paying 3 dollars for it isn’t a big deal.  Trust me, having this treat slowly melt in your mouth an hour or so before bed will be a huge highlight of your day.  Not only that, the cacao actually helps the body to release belly fat per some study I read recently and is full of antioxidants (the chocolate, not the sugar, hence the darkest of dark chocolates!) Whatever- it just helps me get through my eating plan the rest of the day.

Now, this is when things get a little harder… but completely doable.

You must eat real food from Sunday afternoon until the following Saturday afternoon.  No quick packaged meals or chips or snacks.  The good news about this is that those foods are expensive anyway, and the way I will teach you to eat will be much better for your body.  You will feel the difference at least after 48 hours on the plan… Your system will literally feel clean and your energy level will begin to improve.

You must eat 3 meals and 3 snacks per day, around 2-3 hours apart.  For example, I have to take my thyroid medicine on an empty stomach and wait an hour to eat, so I eat breakfast at 8 am, snack at 10ish, lunch at 12, snack at 3 pm, supper at 6 pm, and have my chocolate bite around 9 pm.

You must eat protein and fat with every meal and every snack (except with your chocolate mini-snack). You are unlimited in which proteins (not how much) you can eat, and forget what you were told in those low-fat diet books.  Chicken skin should be left on your chicken when possible.

You will consume only natural fats.  NO margarine. (Don’t even get me started on that non-food.)  You will use real butter to cook your eggs, coconut oil if you like it (I do!), extra virgin olive oil, and the fats naturally found in meats like salmon filets and chicken thighs.

You will eat carbohydrates, but only certain ones and in small servings (other than some veggies, which are unlimited) along with your protein and fat.  You will eat the carbs that digest more slowly in your system.  Examples include half of a whole wheat bagel (or one whole wheat bagel “Thins”), a slice of 100% whole wheat bread (or other high fiber bread with minimal sugar added), one small whole wheat tortilla, a small sweet potato or 1/3 cup of cooked brown rice (I have the recipe for brown rice that makes it perfect which I will blog about in the next couple of days.  You can make a huge casserole of it and split it into single serving freezer bags, which I will show you how to do.  Then you can have it ready in 45 seconds.  No kidding.)

You will eat as many low-sugar vegetables as you want.  Roast them, steam them, or eat them raw.  Examples include broccoli, cauliflower, baby spinach, turnip greens, green bell peppers.  You may eat a small serving of higher sugar vegetables like red or yellow peppers, carrots, and tomatoes with each meal.

You may eat only lower sugar fruits during the week, and up to two servings per day.  These include an apple, a pear, and any berries.  (Eat your fruit whole, no canned pears or applesauce, even if they are unsweetened!)  Apples will keep an eternity in your fridge and you can buy bags of frozen berries at WalMart– so no excuses here on not being able to get to the grocery store often enough.  (Trust me– I shop as little as possible.  I hate to shop.)

You may drink anything that does not have an artificial sweetener or sugar, corn syrup, or anything that pretends to be that.  There is one exception.  You may have 1-2 packets of stevia per day.  Also, an occasional Splenda (sucralose) sweetened drink is acceptable, but don’t do it more than once a day, and count it as one of your two allowable servings of artificial sweetener.  (Once again, I will give research and explanations in future blogs– but trust me– They will stall your weight loss.  Ever notice so many people who struggle with their weight are addicted to Diet Coke? True story.)

No carbonated, artificially colored drinks during the week.  You can have your coffee with stevia and a splash of cream (real cream, not that artificial flavored stuff they call creamer made from oils and yuck).  You can drink water with a raspberry tea bag thrown in (this is what I do all the time) which adds a hint of fruit with no sweetener or calories.  You can have unsweetened tea (I know– for this Southern girl that was a real challenge at first… but I did get used to it and almost like it.  If I throw a raspberry tea bag in with it, it is even more tolerable. And I drink my sweet tea on Saturday-Sunday.)

Still with me?  I know this is a lot and my hands are cramping… but if I don’t explain the rules, you can’t adapt your own meals to the plan.  I cook almost every night for my family and they don’t need to lose weight nor are they game for big changes in their eating habits.  I had to learn how to cook a protein and vegetable we could all eat, and then a carb for them that they love but that I would not eat.  I just pull a serving of brown rice out of the freezer for me, or bake a small sweet potato alongside their white potatoes, for example.)

My favorite snacks include a handful of almonds, walnuts, or pecans (not roasted and salted, but raw and whole) along with an apple or pear.  However, as long as you have a natural, solid protein with a slower carb at the same time, you will be fine. 

No sugar (except your small piece of chocolate).  Just avoid it.  It wreaks havoc on your body, affecting every organ and system.  (Again, research will follow in the future.)

Okay, I know this is all over the place but I have a very unhappy two month old who can’t take much more of my typing.  Tomorrow I will cover how you need to move and one of my daily menus to give you an idea of what you can do with this.  I will also try to cover meals you can eat out as well. Oh, and dairy items.  Wow… there is still a bit to go.

Please comment below with questions and your own personal challenges/struggles.  I will use your questions to know what I still need to cover in the next few blogs.  I know this plan so well that I may be leaving out important facts!  Let me know where the holes are so I can fill them in…

And then there is the JOY!

101.  All of the special people behind the e-mails, texts, and comments I have received about my eating plan… many of them sharing stories of their lifelong weight struggles.  I am honored they would share with me!

102.  Another set of shots checked off for BraveHeart, and the allergist referral for next week for TenderHeart.

103.  Nana-in-law who is holding BraveHeart and comforting him after his shots while I frantically type this.  She helped me keep my promise to post this today.

Corrie Mims

 

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The Before on the Way to the After… Joy Dare #90-100

I started again today.

After every baby, and between the babies and before the babies, I have struggled with my weight. I have tried every diet out there, it seems, every crazy trick and some non-FDA-approved-mail-order stuff in my distant past that I am not proud of. I have done all the fad-like workouts (for a while) and even tried Christian hypnosis a long time ago. (Again, not proud of this fact. Just being transparent so you can feel the weight of all of this…)

I can’t blame my bad habits on any one thing. Stress, joy, sadness, unfulfilled expectations, wild success… I have had all of these. And all of these have one thing in common, one thing I did during each of these drastically different circumstances…

I ate.

I am a Southern girl with Dixie in my blood and I was raised to see food as love, comfort, celebration, fellowship, and the way to a man’s heart. No one ever told me these things because it wasn’t necessary to say them. It was a way of life. It was shown to me.

I can’t deny it. I love food. It makes me happy when I am down, and even happier when I am happy. Except…

I don’t like being overweight. I don’t like being tired and sluggish and I don’t like being controlled by my addiction to food.

The good news is that about three years ago, I found the plan that worked for me. I began eating a very simple way in an effort to regulate my body so I would be healthy enough to get pregnant. It worked so quickly (just a month of eating this way) that I was pregnant and scratching my head as to how it had influenced my body in such a dramatic way in such a short time. I hadn’t had a cycle in a year, and suddenly my ovaries were working again.

I didn’t stick with the plan for my entire pregnancy, but after SweetHeart was born, I began eating this way again in hopes to lose the baby weight (and before-baby weight). It worked so fast and was so easy it made my head spin. How could it be so simple? I lost down to my goal weight, losing 2-3 pounds a week, and without ever feeling deprived or stressed or hungry.

And to make it even better… I felt AMAZING. Energetic. Fit. Sleeping soundly. Breathing better.

Oh, yeah. That. Breathing better…. until. Until I was diagnosed with the rare lung disease that rocked my entire world and caused me to focus more on what I wanted my children to know before I died and, internally, wondering who Cowboy would marry next and would she love him and our children the way they deserve?

Just being painfully honest here. And the treatment for the disease was crazy high-dose steroids for 6 months (which made me want to eat a house and a cow) and made me swell up like a balloon… and the self-medicated treatment for my emotional pain was what it always had been…

Food.

So I ate. And ate. And gained back 15 pounds. And then was diagnosed with Cancer. (I know. Sounds like I must be making this up. But I’m not.)

What kind of cancer? Oh, just thyroid cancer. Completely treatable! We just have to take out the organ in your body that regulates your metabolism. No biggie.

Ugh. The loss of my thyroid proved to be a huge obstacle in my weight loss. Even with my numbers in the correct range (TSH, T4, T3) the weight would not let go. I tried my eating plan, and though it made me feel much better, the weight did not respond. I scoured the internet for a solution, but I could only find entry after entry of thyroid-less people saying they couldn’t stop gaining weight no matter what they ate or how much they exercised. Clearly, Google was not the encourager I was counting on.

Even so, the eating plan did one thing it had done before. My endocrinologist at The Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC told me she would wait on radiation so I could try to have one more baby, but warned it really wasn’t likely that my cycles would return after losing my thyroid… It had been months and no sign of them. She said this was sometimes a side effect and, of course, I should be thankful for life.

But, I ate on my plan for just a couple of weeks and it woke my ovaries up. Five weeks after going back on my eating plan, I found out I was expecting my fourth and final baby, BraveHeart. It can’t all be attributed to how I ate. He was a miracle sent straight from God, a miracle I had pleaded with the Lord to give us… an heir for Cowboy, a brother for TenderHeart.

I do feel certain this eating plan (designed by me by combining much research, not a plan in a book) was also His leading in my life as I had begged Him to help me find something that actually worked…and it really, really did.

Which brings me to now… the before on the way to the after. BraveHeart was born a little over two months ago and my weight loss has stalled at 141 pounds. I would love to weigh 115 pounds, but could settle joyfully for 120. At my height and build, this is a realistic and healthy BMI to shoot for.

Back on the eating plan I go! I started today. Not only that, but my amazing niece K. is taking the health challenge with me. I am super proud of her commitment as she has been following the plan since last Thursday and has already lost 6 pounds! She has been dealing with some health issues and has gained a great deal of weight. She wanted to find something that could work for her and in our talking, decided she wanted to try my special plan. I told her I would do it with her and coach her through it (while hopefully benefiting from it myself, regardless of my lack of thyroid). Her current weight is 208 lbs (which she told me “You can post my weight cause I’m gonna be proud that I weighed that much and lost it!) We decided I should blog our journey to health and include, along and along, the details of my plan in the hopes it might inspire others to take the challenge while giving us accountability and a record of our progress.

So, what do you think? If I told you an easy way to eat and move that was not crazy expensive and would help you lose weight and feel better and sleep better without feeling deprived or hungry, would you be willing to try it with us?

I know I don’t usually get many comments on my blog that YOU can see, but I have been so shocked and completely touched by the private e-mails I have been getting from so many of you. (I haven’t been able to respond to everyone yet as I read the e-mails from my phone and texting a reply with one hand while holding BraveHeart with the other has proven challenging!) I never would have thought so many of you would take the time to read my writing, and even more so, take the time to write me personally and thank me. I cannot tell you how greatly your words have blessed and encouraged me. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I saved this til the end and still feel sick about posting it. I am doing so, though, because of the inner strength, confidence and bravery of my sweet niece K. who said I could post hers along with mine. So, without further disclaimer and in the spirit of full disclosure… our befores on the way to our afters.. (I even took my makeup off and messed up my hair, and threw spit up all over my shirt to make this more dramatic.  Yeah, right.  This is a regular morning look for me lately. Don’t tell anyone.)

Corrie Before

Corrie Before 2

K. Before

And now for the gratitude…

90. 91. 92. Three Gifts Found On Paper... My Bible.  How I love Your Words to me, my Lord!  It is life.  And letters from friends who take the time to drop a note. And a box I hide under my bed of keepsake cards and very brief notes from my Cowboy who doesn’t like to write but, occasionally, does so just for me. The sacrifice makes it even sweeter.

93. 94. 95. Three Gifts Found When Bent Down… Looking in SweetHeart’s eyes and feeling her arms clasp around my neck; the tuck of a wet nose on my shoulder from our border collie, Rocket, when I take our leftovers outside for him; and dirt.  farm dirt.  our farm dirt. There is nothing that smells like it, nothing that makes me feel more at home and at ease, nothing that gives back as much as it does.  Thankful Cowboy’s Daddy knows how to love it properly and make it grow life over and over and over again.  It is the miracle outside my window and under my feet every single day and it grounds me.  I am a farmer’s daughter and granddaughter, after all.

96. 97. 98. A Gift Stitched, Hammered, Woven… My sewing machine which helped me mend Cowboy’s pajama pants yesterday, TrueHeart’s workshop built next to her little garden thanks to Cowboy and Cowboy’s Daddy, and the beautiful blanket lovingly crocheted by Rhoda for BraveHeart which I use almost daily.

99.  My time with K. The challenge she has taken with me and the encouragement she brings of not doing this alone!  Our long walks on the farm have been very special.

100.  Cowboy’s day job and his commitment to do it.  So thankful for how hard he works for our family.  We missed him like crazy this week while he was on call… so thankful today he should be home at a normal hour.  Home just doesn’t work right when he isn’t here!

Corrie Mims

 

 
 

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