Monday, January 16, 2012

Loss after loss

The last few days I have had a very heavy heart.  Dear friends of mine lost their 31 year old daughter in a tragic car accident.

We are very close, almost like family, so I grieve for and with them.

This wonderful couple has opened their home to 10 children, all adopted as older children or from disrupted/dissolved adoptions.  This means that the child was already adopted by another family and that adoption didn't work, for whatever reason.

That means that these children have already suffered great losses in their lives.  There are abuse and neglect histories, loss of birth family, loss of adoptive family or families, and now the loss of a sibling.

I know this family well, so I know the personalities of the children.  I see one that is withdrawing slightly and another who is going between lashing out and pulling in.  This loss has hit them hard.

Their sister was a beautiful young woman and her loss with be felt by many, but mostly by this family.  

I will do my absolute best to help them through this time of loss, and to be open to ALL of the children.  I have a pretty good relationship with the teens (I think) and we have talked through other issues before.  They know how to find me if they need someone to talk to.  

This is the best I can do. I cannot take away their pain, and for that my heart remains heavy.  I will be there for the parents who try to figure out how to deal with life without their beautiful daughter.  

Sometimes the best we can do is just BE.  That means just sit with someone.  Maybe offer a shoulder to cry on or lean on.  

Whatever is needed, I will do my best to be a good friend.  This is not something a parent/family should ever have to go through.  

One of the nieces of the young woman summed it up so beautifully today.  

"Do you know Roni can see the rainbow? Cuz Roni's in heaven and in heaven you can see everything." 

Enjoy the rainbows Roni.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


One of the hardest things for me with weight loss is not giving in to cravings.  I have a horrible sweet tooth, and it's so much easier to grab junk food when you are hungry.  Fortunately I love fruit and most vegetables.

However, I find it helpful to make up a list of snacks that are healthy, buy the groceries for those snacks, and keep the list where I can see it, like on the refrigerator! Here's a list I compiled.  Maybe it will help you too.  Feel free to suggest other ones!

Rice cake w/ PB (peanut butter), nutella, berries

Yogurt and fruit

Laughing cow cheese & crackers

Cottage cheese

Celery sticks or apple w/pb

Sugar free pudding or jello w/fruit

Fruit salad

Baked tortilla chips and salsa

Trifle made w/angel food cake, pudding, berries

Whole wheat hot dog bun spread w/pb, almond butter or nutella and topped with a banana

Trail mix – fiber cereal combined with nuts and raisins

Top a vanilla wafer with light cream cheese or readymade cheesecake filling and strawberry slices

Make mini cookies or ice cream sandwiches by putting cream cheese or ice cream between cookies from a 100 calorie snack pack

Hardboiled egg

Fruit & light cheese kabobs

Mini ice cream sandwich or skinny cow ice cream sandwich

Microwave popcorn

Cereal w/fruit

Protein bar

Cocoa Wheat cereal

Monday, January 2, 2012

New Year - New Me

The new year is a common time to make resolutions.  4 years ago I did just that and lost a bunch of weight, and I needed to.  2 years ago I was wearing size 8 jeans and was feeling pretty good about myself.  Then I had emergency gall bladder surgery and things went downhill.

Obviously, I couldn’t exercise post surgery and I got out of the habit.  It was easier to not exercise than to get back on the wagon.  I don’t like exercise at all, so it’s easy for me to make excuses not to do it.  Weight gain after surgery is not uncommon.  The weight came on, my motivation went down and now I’m back into the size 14 jeans.  Still down from where I started, but not where I want to be.

So, it’s time for a massive lifestyle change again.  No, it’s not a diet, it’s a whole change.  Many things need to change and for anyone who battles with their weight it is overwhelming.  So, I start with one change at a time, or try to.  I’m kind of an “all or nothing” person, so it’s hard not to jump in full force, but I find it easier to make small changes and develop good habits.  Making a change a week seems to work best.

So, what are the major changes I need to make?  Well, they’re pretty simple, but hard at the same time.

-       Drink more water.  I drink too much Diet Coke and not enough water.  In the past I have started my morning with my soda (I don’t drink coffee) and then don’t allow myself another one until I have consumed my 8 glasses.
    Exercise.  I hate exercise, so I have to force myself to do it.  Starting with a goal of exercising every day is too overwhelming, especially when starting from nothing.  Week 1 goal is exercise 1 day a week, week 2 – 2 days a week and so on. 
    Healthier eating.  The last few months have been busy so it’s easier to eat take out or drive through.  These foods are not friendly on the waist line.  Now is a good time to stock up on healthy good.  Grocery stores aren’t stupid.  They know that people make resolutions to lose weight, so they put healthy food on sale at the new year.  Stock up on what you can now!
    Portion control.  Most of us do not know what a portion really is.  A serving of pasta is about the size of a tennis ball.  A serving of cereal is about the size of a tea cup – yes.  Really! Read packages and find out exactly what a portion size is.  A pint of ice cream is NOT a single serving.
     Keep a food journal.  Most of us don’t realize how many calories a day we consume.  There is a website that I love that is free (remember, I’m frugal) that allows you to input what you eat and calculates your calories for you and keeps track of them through the day.  It also calculates fat, protein, carbs, sodium, etc.  Check out  You can also join support groups online.  It’s a fantastic website.

“They” (I’ve read this in several places, but can’t give the sources off the top of my head) say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. 
Another thing I’ve done is to set goals and rewards.  It keeps me motivated when I want to grab a soda or skip exercise.  I start with small goals like drinking the 8 glasses of water, or 7 days of exercise, but I don’t make them consistent days.  It would become discouraging having to start over again each time I “fell” so I just make it 7 days or 30 days or whatever.  I make short term and long term goals for each habit I need to change.

The rewards start small and get larger.  A new nail polish, a new water bottle, building up to things like a massage, a new pair of shoes.  Do what motivates YOU.  The more days I miss my marks, the longer it takes me to get to my rewards. 

In a few months there will be a new me.  A healthier and happier me, and a thinner me.  If you need support to reach your goals, post or message me.  Knowing that you have support or an accountability person can make a huge difference in achieving your goal.