Tag Archives: 1000 Gifts

How to Eat and Move to Increase Your Metabolism… Joy Dare #153-155

Your genetics only account for about 5% of how fast your metabolism converts food to energy. This means you can influence the other 95% and tell your body, over time, to ramp up your resting metabolic rate. This is your go-to plan to make that happen (and why it will work) in a nutshell:

1. Eat smaller meals, and eat more often. When you go too long between meals or snacks, your body thinks you may be in a famine situation, and it was created to brilliantly “gear down” and conserve energy. Then, because you are dreadfully hungry from waiting so long to eat, you eat a huge meal at the same time your body thinks it is starving and is in a conserve-all-energy state. So, it stores your meal as fat for future famines! When you eat smaller meals/snacks every 2-3 hours, you “rev” your metabolism engines by telling your body there is a wealth of food available and easily accessed. Also, eating any food increases your metabolism, especially the first hour after eating, so eating smaller meals more often means more hours of the day when your metabolism is boosted just by eating!

2. Eat more protein. If you follow my health plan, you are already doing this but may not understand why it is helping. Protein requires 25% more energy to digest than other foods. It also directly “feeds” and repairs your muscles. You’ll see why this is important as you…

3. Build muscle through strength training. You have probably heard that muscle burns more calories than fat, but did you realize just how many more? One pound of fat burns only 2 calories per day, while one pound of muscle burns 35 calories per day! Building more muscle and maintaining it is beneficial to your body in many ways, but where your weight loss efforts are concerned, it is vital! It is more effective longterm than aerobics because it doesn’t just burn calories while you are exercising- it increases your ability to burn calories all the time, even while you are sleeping. (It also makes things easier to pick up, daily tasks feel effortless, and makes you look fabulous instead of flabby… but that isn’t the point of this post.)

4. Increase your calories (feast) one day a week. This tells your body not to gear down and create a set point of metabolism based on your lower caloric intake the rest of the week. In my health plan, this is the “splurge” day from Saturday night through Sunday lunch.

5. Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates (like white bread, pasta, white potatoes, white rice, etc.) most of the time. When you have a blood sugar spike due to your body breaking down these quick carbs, your pancreas releases insulin which transports the excess glucose (sugar) in your blood to your liver and fat cells as storage for future energy requirements. As it does this, your glucose levels fall in your blood and you feel the “blood sugar low” so many talk about… aka HUNGER! You want to eat everything in sight, especially craving those simple sugars to give you relief from the low you are feeling. Do you see the vicious cycle that is created by just one meal that is too high in quick sugars? It is a double whammy, both increasing fat storage and making you crave more of the bad stuff all at the same time.

6. Eat real food. Not the processed-out-of-a-box junk. Not the chemical laden food-look-alikes. Your body knows they are not food, and has to work very hard to figure out what exactly to do with them. Ultimately, it processes them as toxins and stores them often in fat cells to protect your body from them temporarily! Yuck. It is hard on every organ system in your body. Just don’t eat them. Unfortunately, this includes pretty much every food that you don’t make from scratch. There are simple ways to cook real food, though, and it doesn’t have to be hard. Give your body food it recognizes and automatically knows what to do with.

7. Keep things moving at a normal pace. Umm… so I’m a nurse, and talking about things like this doesn’t bother me. Even if it bothers you to read it, the information is important enough for you to read it anyway. Your small intestines are where your body absorbs nutrients from the food you eat. Your large intestines then absorb water as needed, and what is left is what comes out in your toilet. Different people visit the toilet at different intervals, but there is a “normal-and-healthy-for-you.” You may go three times a day, or twice a week, but if your stool is hard and pellet like, things are not moving along as quickly as they should. Likewise, if your stool is liquid-like and unformed, things are probably moving along too quickly! Talk to your doctor, of course, if you have either on a regular basis. Simply changing your diet and sticking to it will go a long way in helping in this area, but when you initially make the change it often shocks your system and things may… well… back up. (Miralax will be your best friend in such a circumstance. FYI.) This doesn’t really speed up your metabolism, but it does assist your metabolism! If your digestion is moving too quickly, your body can’t absorb the many micronutrients available and needed in the real food you are eating. If moving too slowly, your body may store more of the food than it needs just to “deal with it.”

Here is a rude awakening, based on the above facts. If you and your best friend each weigh 150 pounds, but you were 200 pounds and dieted by cutting calories to lose weight and she has never weighed more than 150 pounds, you will have a slower metabolism than she does and will require less calories per day. This is why she can eat pizza and chocolate and you are eating salads and soup, but you weigh the same amount! It seems unfair, I know, but when you understand why your body geared down and the miracle it is that your body was created to be able to do so, you can be thankful for it. You also can, to a great extent, reverse the process and gear up your body by increasing your metabolism in the above ways.

Joy Dare:

153. 154. 155. Three Gifts Hard to Give Thanks For… We haven’t built our house yet even though we are so close to starting; I can’t sing praise anymore in the choir at church due to irreparable damage to my vocal cords during thyroid removal; Our country is quickly becoming more and more in debt while infringing on more and more of our freedoms. Your timing is best, Lord, and none of these things surprise you. You promised to use all things for the good of those who love You, and You are faithful to keep all Your promises. I trust You.

Corrie Mims


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Let’s Talk Fuel Economy…. Joy Dare #147-152


I’m not talking about cars and gas costs, because I don’t know anything about motors. I am talking about the rate at which your body breaks down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to produce the energy required to keep your cells functioning. This is known as “metabolism” (which is an overused word often by those who have little understanding of what the process really involves or how the rate of metabolism is set over time).

Yes, genetics play a factor here, but before you give up and resign yourself to a life of being overweight, I have great news. You have the ability, no matter how old or hormonal, no matter how many great-grandmothers in your family were overweight or obese, to change your metabolism (again, the rate your body breaks down the food you eat and turns it into energy instead of storing it as fat).

I am tempted to go deeply into the science of this here, because it gets me so excited and I love it, but I do realize most of you just want to know how to do it and you don’t care so much why it works. I get it. So, I will put it in the simplest terms I know how, (and if you decide you want the deeper cut, just ask).

First, let me say this is being spurred by a talk I had with K. this week after looking over her food journals from the past thee weeks and doing some investigating as well as interacting with the amazing and brave members of our secret health plan group on Facebook who are sharing their lives with me while we pursue health together. (Join us? Click here, and send me a message or comment that you would like to join.) K. didn’t lose any weight this week, and fell off the wagon a few times with her eating plan. I realized there were some holes in my teaching that needed to be explained to her to help her with her choices, and she is excited and back on track this week. These are the basics of what I taught her…

1. We all have different rates of metabolism.

(No surprise there, right? We have all had that skinny friend who could shovel back pizza and chocolate all day and never gain an ounce while we ate salads and drank chicken broth and gained 5 pounds!) This is why the old teaching of calories in/calories out wasn’t a complete picture. And if you believed it and ate less and less in an attempt to lose weight…

2. You have likely injured your metabolism repeatedly.

There are a number of ways we do this: when we eat, how much we eat, what we eat, how we move, and how often we move. The choices many of you have made over years in these areas have told your body to slow down and store the fuel you give it in the reserve tank. There are complicated and fascinating processes in the body which allow it to do this (and this loves-to-research nurse is struggling to spare you the details…It is just so hard!) Anyway…

3. You can reverse the process, over time, and increase your metabolism.

You do this by increasing your body’s need for energy, because your body will only burn fat stores when it is out of easy-to-access fuel and needs the reserve fuel tank. The great news is that endless hours on the treadmill are not the answer to doing this! So…

4. You can’t base your weight loss on how someone else’s body uses fuel, just like you can’t base your car’s fuel economy on your buddy’s truck and driving habits.

They won’t correlate. However, over the next few days I will be teaching you specific ways (in bite size lessons you can easily digest) to increase the rate your body uses fuel, to encourage your body to access the reserve tanks and drain them, and to give your body the tune-up it is desperately needing.

(You can thank my four children for keeping me so busy that I can’t unload all the information on you at once! It is against my nature to wait and show restraint when there are lessons to teach and learn. Just ask K.)

Joy Dare:

147. 148. 149. A Gift Outside, Inside, on a Plate… The wheat growing beautiful and green in our fields; the scale reporting 9.5 pounds lost in the last 4 weeks; pastured eggs and sourdough whole wheat bread with Stan’s raw honey on my breakfast plate this morning.

150. 151. 152. Three Gifts Heard… Cowboy telling Grandma he loves her, TenderHeart’s declaration of “best in the world” about my homemade chocolate chip cookies, BraveHeart’s baby laugh when Cowboy “gets his sugar.”

Corrie Mims


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The Splurge Effect… and Joy Dare #127-133


A dear friend walked up to me last night at church and held up 3 fingers with a smile.  It took a minute for me to understand, and then I realized… She has lost 3 pounds on my health plan.  I walked away struggling with the lump in my throat.

You see, she is one of 30 members of our secret group who has already started seeing results after just one week.  The reason it is so emotional for me is because I didn’t plan this “health plan” to help anyone except me.  I had tried all the other diets and they didn’t work for me for one reason or another.  I am a researcher by nature and by nurture (thanks, Mama) and I knew there had to be answers out there that would work for MY weight problem.  After tweaking my plan over the process of a year and charting my weight to see what I could and couldn’t do and still lose weight- I finally pieced together the plan that worked for my body.

MY body.  It didn’t occur to me three years ago that this plan could or would ever help anyone else.  Even when I decided to help K. and encourage her in her journey to health, I was so nervous that it wouldn’t work for her.  When I opened it up publicly on this blog to anyone who wanted to try it, I was overwhelmed by the response… and I felt fear that hopes would be raised and then dashed and I would be the cause.

I have prayed myself to sleep at night for these members by name and asked the Lord to honor their efforts to become healthy.  And He has.

I kept telling myself that there is no charge to do this with me and if it doesn’t work for someone (and surely there will be someone it doesn’t work for), it won’t be a great loss for them.  The problem is that I know this isn’t true.

I know firsthand what it is like to want to be the skinny girl who eats whatever she wants and still looks fabulous.  And I know what it is like to get your hopes up that you might actually get to be the skinny girl again, only to find out that the plan is too complicated, too expensive, the recipes too gourmet, too strict, and not sustainable over the long term.  I have bought into more diet plans and subsequently thrown in the towel more times than I can count or would want to admit. 

I just could hardly bear the thought of causing someone else to feel discouraged…. again. This is a lot of weight to carry.

So, as the numbers of pounds lost are beginning to roll in (and off!) for the first members of my health plan, I am feeling excitement, gratitude, shock.

I am shocked because, of any area where I might have considered myself to be the most nominal expert… where I might have felt even a wee bit of pride and thought the Lord might be able to use me one day to help people in that area… yeah, this wasn’t it.

It is just like my God to use my weakness (in an area where I have failed repeatedly) to bless others, and in doing so, to show His strength and bring glory to His Name! 

Having said this, please know I am well aware that I have had nothing to do with this if it works for you.  I am as surprised as you are.  Bless His Name!

This brings me, finally, to the point of my post.  I have come up with a new name for “Corrie’s Health Plan”  because, well, that just wasn’t very creative.  I began thinking about what makes my plan different than all the other ones, and the “splurge” of Saturday night through Sunday lunch is the most defining factor.  (Every other diet plan I have tried had an “all or nothing” approach where you had to give up your favorite foods forever.)

So, we will now call it The Splurge Effect.

And speaking of, I asked a few of the members of the group who completed their first week on the plan…

“For those who started the plan last week and had your first splurge meals Saturday night and Sunday… How did it make you feel? Did you notice a difference in your body when you added back in those processed foods? Was it hard to start back on the plan on Sunday night? Tell me your experience, and then I will share mine…”

These were their answers:

1) [My husband] and I both commented Sunday afternoon that we could tell a huge difference and just felt kind of yucky. Last week when eating on the plan, after a meal we felt full and satisfied. After eating our splurge meals we felt stuffed and like we ate too much. We didn’t eat healthy but we did try to still watch our portion control. It wasn’t too hard for me to start back on the plan because I was ready for something healthy and to not feel that way. I can definitely tell a difference in our thinking about food.

2) I felt so bloated after my bad weekend, no fun!

3) I wasn’t completely on the plan but splurged while out of town. I was so sick by Sunday night. I literally had to go to bed early from the sugar racing through my body. I know it sounds weird but I’ve become so sensitive to an excess of sugar over the years. I regretted it and wondered how I will feel this weekend when splurge time comes. Will I even want to??

4) I was very happy to start back on the plan. I felt extremely tired and sluggish after my splurge.

K. has also told me how bad she feels on splurge day.  I find it interesting because, since I designed this plan for me, I had no way of knowing if everyone would react the same way to the splurge.  I have been known to say out loud after splurging…

“I can hear my cells crying.” 

When you give your body the perfect fuel of real food and do just a few minutes of strength training for several days, it starts running optimally and feeling incredible.  All of your organs start working better and the brain fog lifts.  Then, suddenly, we splurge on processed foods and refined sugars and everything comes to a screeching halt.  You WILL feel the difference in your body.

Which brings me to the big question everyone is thinking…

“So why splurge??!!”

You may think that because you are losing weight on the plan, you should skip the splurge and you will lose even more weight.  You are more than welcome to give it a try.  However, if you are like me, you are doing this plan because you are not the most disciplined person in the world who never ate processed foods anyway and only crave healthy, whole foods.  Let’s face it- you wouldn’t be interested in what I have to say if you were that way.

The Splurge Effect, in my experience, does the following:

1) Allows you to shock your body with excess food which helps keep you from a weight plateau where you seem to hit a brick wall and just can’t lose past it.

2) It allows you to eat the foods you have been craving and helps you have a short-term relief plan for those days when the emotional cravings for foods gets a little out of control.  If you know that in three or four days you can have the food that your mind is obsessing about, it is easier to get through the craving without giving in… but if you had to tell yourself that you could NEVER have that food, you might not make it.

3) It makes you feel miserable, which is great! It is great because you have such a stark contrast that shows you what the processed foods and sugars are doing to your body.  It makes you actually WANT to go back on the plan after Sunday lunch because you will be bloated, sluggish, and in a brain stupor.  (Every other diet plan I have ever done made me feel deprived and made me want to eat anything and everything that wasn’t on the plan.  And if I ever gave in and fell off the diet wagon, nothing made me want to get on it again.)

Over time, you may begin to modify what you eat on the splurge.  These are splurge-related questions I have gotten in the past couple of weeks:

1) Do I have to splurge?  I don’t want to eat sugar and processed foods! 

No, you don’t have to eat sugar and lots of processed foods, but yes, you need to splurge.  You can simply eat MORE food.  Eat double the brown rice serving you usually have, eat pasta, eat white potatoes and corn.  If you make your own yeast rolls or biscuits with white flour, eat them.  (I know white flour is processed, but these are just ideas.)  If you’re like me, though, you will have a Krispy Kreme doughnut.  Just saying.

2) I want to split my three splurge meals up because I am going out with friends in the middle of the week.  I want to eat one splurge then and save the other two meals for Sunday.  Is that okay?

Unfortunately, no.  I have tested this thoroughly and it doesn’t work.  If you must move your splurge, you have to move the full three splurge meals.  It is a 24 hour splurge of an increase in food that shocks your body into releasing more fat.  It isn’t a shock if you spread the meals out, and your body will likely just store that mid-week meal as fat.

3) Do I have to eat like this forever?  Once I reach my goal weight, I don’t have to splurge on the weekends and follow the rules during the week anymore, right?

Sorry, but you [mostly] have to eat this way forever.  But, really, is it that hard?  Yes, you will be able to have an extra splurge meal occasionally during the week as long as you watch the scale closely.  (I have found, however, that once you start taking extra splurges it is easy to keep rationalizing more and more of them until you are no longer on the plan at all.) The weight will come back if you go back to eating like you used to- which is pretty logical and goes without saying, I think.

I hope this helps deepen your understanding of The Splurge Effect and encourages you to take the challenge with us!  If you have further questions, send me a message and I will do my best to help you find the answers.

Corrie Mims


The Joy Dare continues…

127. 128. 129. Three Gifts White…  SweetHeart’s first-thing-in-the-morning smile when she sees me; soft clean sheets on my bed; the brightest, clearest stars that go on for miles over our farm.

130. The 11! third and fourth graders I taught last night at church.

131. Hand-me-down clothes painstakingly sorted and stored by Cowboy’s Mama which bless us over and over again as SweetHeart and BraveHeart move into the-next-bigger sizes.  I can’t remember the last time I bought clothes for either of them.

132. The new church outfits Mama surprised me with for BraveHeart and SweetHeart.  They are precious.

133. TenderHeart’s birthday plans finalized and his good friends who are coming to join him.  I cannot believe he will be ten years old tomorrow!



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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:

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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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…


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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Out of my Mind but… Joy Dare #75-89


Why, oh why, didn’t someone tell me I have gone 10 days without a post? I really haven’t stopped being grateful. I promise.

I have, however, been dreadfully sick. Just a run-of-the-mill “common” cold, but why does “common” make you think it shouldn’t be that bad when in reality it jerks the world out from under you? I haven’t had a voice for a week now. I’m not complaining, just saying it is hard to communicate as homeschooling mom, mom in general, and especially mom to a toddler who


When Mama is sick, she can’t call in. The needs of the Hearts are still teeming and Mama is the only one who can meet most of them.

Well, Mama and Mama’s Mama and Cowboy’s Mama and Daddy Cowboy. I know I would have drowned without backup this week. For real.

Four out of the six of us have had the icky nasty cold at the same time. Thankfully, TrueHeart and BraveHeart were spared. I took an extra hit as the nursing mom when mine turned into mastitis and, somehow, only I have laryngitis. I am special, I tell you.

Cowboy says I have no immune system and doesn’t even want to let me go skating with the family for fear I will break a leg. I can’t deny I seem to be inclined to the unusual ailments.


Consider all of this a preface for this one statement:

I am losing. my. mind.

Yesterday, I left my van running. For two whole hours. I have never, ever done that before. I got all the kids out of the van and in the house, and even all the things done I was supposed to get done after that. Except the one thing. The turning-off-the-van-and-removing-key thing.


Then, I made from-scratch chicken soup and corn muffins for supper. (Even the chicken broth was completely from scratch-a wonderfully rich and perfect bone broth.) Everyone was happy and I was feeling…well… accomplished.

Until I told the story around the table about taking TenderHeart to the hospital for lab work yesterday morning and how I gave the valet a five dollar bill because I didn’t have a three dollar bill.

I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.

BUT... let me tell you how blessed this brain-drained Mama has been in the midst of it all…

(I don’t usually use the #1000Gifts prompts for daily thanks, but today I will use a few.)


75. 76. 77. A Grace Borrowed, Found, Inherited… Beth Moore’s Believing God Bible study borrowed from Kristie for our women’s Bible study group to start in a couple of weeks, my Moby wrap found in the bottom of the baby blanket basket, my love for learning and reading passed down from my Mama.

78. 79. 80. A Gift Before Dawn (Cowboy’s arms), After Noon (the new baby calf born on our farm with a good mother to care for her), at Dark (all the Hearts around our table for supper).

81. 82. 83. A Song Heard, A Soft Word, Light Seen… TrueHeart belting out, while doing chores, this Truth she knows: Oceans will part- nations come, At the whisper of Your call, Hope will rise- glory shown, In my life Your will be done; Cowboy’s “This is good” spoken over supper, an amazing pediatrician who took on TenderHeart’s symptoms and is beginning to shed light with tests and referrals in a place of murky questions for some time.

84. 85. 86. Three Old Things Seen New… Making real bone broth like they used to instead of pouring watered-down from a can, a pinecone still standing on my bookshelf from my outdoor Thanksgiving wedding, our chicken coop built by Cowboy and Cowboy’s Daddy from the slabs of old trees cut on our sawmill.

87. 88. 89. A Gift on Paper, in a Person, in a Picture.. Bills from hospital paid in full, the Mama and Mama-in-law who helped us this week, the pictures TenderHeart took of SweetHeart as a surprise for me.


Corrie Mims








Posted by on February 1, 2013 in 1000 Gifts Joy Dare, homemaking


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Hurt People Hurt People… Joy Dare #69-74

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.

-Psalm 147:3

No matter where you work, the likelihood is that you have to deal with people.  Just because I work from home and have my own business does not mean I am exempt from this.  I love my job because I don’t have to have parties and I don’t have to cold- call people and I make my own hours and work as little or as much as I choose each day… However, there are still difficult moments because… (sigh)… I do have to deal with people.  Most days, these people are highlights of my experience and I have happy conversations to report to Cowboy when he gets home at night.  Today was not one of those days as a very angry man decided to vent his life’s heartache in a tirade of cursing and ugliness… directly at me.

And apparently, the first time wasn’t relieving enough… since he called back and left a scathing voicemail.  It is puzzling because I only call people who have specifically expressed an interest in learning more about this business and who have given their phone number for that purpose.  I had spoken with him several times, taken him completely through the information which is very clear and not in any way secretive or misleading.  (I say this because I worked for a company initially who did not operate with such integrity, and which I subsequently left.) He continued to follow the process and take the next step, but waited until I introduced him to my director/trainer on a conference call (a very, very successful and wise man of God) to…completely… and totally… LOSE IT.

The words he used like rapid fire are still burning in my ears and I just keep thinking how sad it all is… that someone who needs a job, who has an engineering degree but hasn’t worked in 5 years, who lives off of unemployment and cannot get hired in all the places he has tried… refuses to try something different that could change his life forever… all because he is too proud, too angry, and obviously… too wounded.

My director said to me afterwards, “Corrie, hurt people hurt people.”  I cried and cried for him (because my skin is, as always, too thin) but mostly because he told me his story and the depth of his need, but wouldn’t let me help him.  In trying to find the gratitude “in all circumstances,” and in talking to the Lord about it, I came to this conclusion…

He is a lonely, hurting, wounded man.  He kept taking the next step because he needed the interaction and the encouragement and the hope- but once he reached the last step and was faced with making a decision to start his own business… He just couldn’t take the risk of failing AGAIN.  I pray for him- and hope he did find encouragement from me somehow.  Maybe something I said will drive him to look UP where the only TRUE HELP comes from.

It is hard not to take these things personally, but I talk to so many people who are a delight and bring such joy and encouragement to me.  Today I am thankful for the reminder that…

69.  There are hurting people out there who need grace, encouragement, and hope… and I have all those because of You.  Thank you for the chance I have to talk to them, and please use it for Your glory… even when it hurts my heart. 

70.  TrueHeart’s first tumbling class with a new teacher and her favorite friend, and TenderHeart’s first karate class ever, which is also with his favorite friend. Thankful for Lori Ann who took TrueHeart so I could take TenderHeart, and also for my Mama who kept SweetHeart from the long ride and all the waiting (and had her bathed and ready for bed when I came to pick her up!)  All the little acts of kindness

71.  The people on my “team” at work who have spoken such blessing into my life this week.  Thank You for bringing them into my life, and for how they honor You with theirs. 

72.  For my Mama who took TrueHeart to the orthodontist to fix a sharp wire and brought (bought) pretty much everything in the “gluten-free” section at WalMart yesterday for TenderHeart.  She came in with bags and bags of encouragement for the soul who just.wants.a.sandwich.

73.  The emotional parenting crisis I had yesterday, the phone call which brought it into perspective, and the peaceful resolution which followed. 

74.  The decision last night, from total exhaustion, to just lay down (lie? I can never remember) with Cowboy, SweetHeart, and BraveHeart and let us all fall gently asleep together.  There was no wrestling, no crying… just snuggles and peaceful sleep.  SweetHeart reached over and rubbed my arm and I whispered, “I love you.”  She nodded her head, smiling sweetly around the thumb in her mouth, the perfect

Corrie Mims

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in 1000 Gifts Joy Dare, home business


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