Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

I will overcome…..

**Please note, this post does contain affiliate links, if you purchase from these links I will receive a percentage of the sale. This will help my children and I with meeting monthly bills and financial obligations.**

If you search my blog you’ll see I’ve worked at and been successful at losing weight before – I’m also type 2 diabetic and being treated for high blood pressure (which may be genetic). So I decided to go back to Trim Healthy Mama and bought the new, updated and “less chatty” book, Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline as well as the new cookbook, Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes. THM has worked before for me and so I started back in May or June, my memory fails me as to when I started back exactly and I’m not 100% on plan – meaning I still get my S’s and E’s mixed up but I’m losing. I’m down 20+ pounds – 4 pants sizes and 2 shirt sizes.

Although my goal is no longer just about losing weight, as I said in another post, it’s about health – and since I’m a widow and needing to be healthy for my children it’s all that more important to me and them. Granted losing weight and looking nicer, being able to wear smaller sizes is a great thing but getting the word from the doctor office that your A1C is down is almost better. Having post meal numbers within normal range is awesome, still not quite figuring out why my fasting is so high though – guess it will come in time.

This is a dress I haven’t worn in years, yes, years and I can now wear it and it’s almost too big!

Many people have heard, especially moms in the homeschooling community, of Trim Healthy Mama and while there is good and bad with everything it’s actually a very lifestyle friendly way of eating and you can still enjoy eating – restaurants, gatherings, etc. I will be the first to admit that some people, take it too far, some not EVER wanting to stray from the plan, and that is okay but don’t make it seem like those of us who aren’t going to turn away a cooked dinner from a friend that isn’t on plan as somehow less dedicated. Of course, it’s not just THM that some people make feel cultist, that can happen in anything that us humans mess up.

It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Learning HOW and WHAT to eat. Yummy pancakes with a bit of all fruit spread, three slices of Canadian bacon and coffee – just one breakfast I get to enjoy.

As I look for ways to improve my life, such as maybe pursuing college and looking for part time employment to supplement our survivor benefits – I need to make sure my health is optimum, even just getting my children to all their activities each week, homeschooling and caring for the house means I need to be in tip-top shape. Back in 2013, I lost almost 30 pounds with counting calories and carbs – that wasn’t bad but there wasn’t any change regarding my blood sugars and it was because I was still eating carbs and mixing foods with others that shouldn’t go together. Then when my oldest had her surgery and we almost lost her and then my hubby began to have issues with his heart – I just ate what I could, when I could and it didn’t matter what it was, all that weight and more piled back on.

My son and I at Bob Evan’s, yes I can eat out and enjoy myself – steak, steamed broccoli, side salad w/ranch and water to drink. Do you notice a difference in this face and the one on my side bar?

Normally, the last couple years I dread September and October as it seems I usually get pneumonia but right now I’m looking forward to enjoying the fall again – because I believe with my health being restored I can remain healthy and pneumonia free. I’m gaining confidence – oh if I had only had this confidence when hubby was still here, he’d be delighted! So back in February or March my A1C was 7.1 and now……it’s 6.6 so it’s going DOWN which is the right direction. I’d love to see it go down another 1.5 so it’s normal and my doctor will be apt to take me off the oral medication I’m on. Also of note my blood pressure was normal at the doctor office visit yesterday, that hasn’t happened in years either. I don’t know if it was a combo of the weight loss or the BP meds or what but it was normal – so I’d like to hope that I can eventually come off the BP med as well.

Yummy, dinner! Meatloaf, faux mashed potatoes w/chives, and home canned green beans. Yes, even my children love faux mashed taters!

I really hope that these small victories keep me going – even the pants I bought two weeks ago seem a bit too big now – so, we’ll see……but I highly recommend whether your diabetic or just wanting to lose a few pounds, prevent diseases like type 2 diabetes, or just get healthy and heal your body check out Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline. I’m getting excited as the new books release on the 15th, actually I got an email saying my copies should be in my hands on the 15th including the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook: Eat Up and Slim Down with More Than 350 Healthy Recipes. Also of note, and I didn’t realize it till just recently Serene and Pearl also have One Hundred Days of Inspiration: Devotional for Women of All Ages & Stages (Trim Healthy Mama)which I’m considering purchasing once I can afford to do so.

(c) 2015, Sarah Bailey/Growing for Christ, All Rights Reserved, Unauthorized Duplication is a Violation of Applicable Laws


Inches gone.

WooHoo!  I just got up the nerve to measure myself since I hadn’t measured myself since I did the Shapely Girl group back in September of 2012.  You can click that link or search for ShapelyGirl on my blog and the posts will come up.  So drum roll please…….


My hips measured at 50 inches (a loss of 4 inches)

My waist is 40 1/2 inches (a loss of 5 inches)

My arms are are 15 1/2 inches (a loss of  2 inches)


I wore a skort my husband bought for me about 1 to 1 1/2 years ago yesterday and I was shocked to see an almost 2 inch gap between my waist and the waist band. I’m going to have to get a belt!


I’ve been using an exercise ball and hand weights and while I’m not doing it everyday but I aim to be active everyday.  My husband has gotten inspired and told me to finish reading my copy of Trim Healthy Mama so we can start it in full.  I did make dinner and my breakfast last night from the book and both were yummy.


Alfredo Beef and Broccoli from Trim Healthy Mama with a Stevia sweetened iced tea.


Scrambled egg whites with frozen chopped veggies (onions, red and yellow bell peppers), a little salt and pepper. 1 piece of toasted Ezekiel bread with a dab of butter. Coffee sweetened with Stevia and So Delicious coconut milk creamer.


For lunch I have some frozen meals I’d like to use up so I’m have one of those and I hope in the next few weeks to slowly build up what we need to implement the THM lifestyle.  While I don’t mind carb and calorie counting it can be hard and almost nerve wracking if you’re at a restaurant.  I’m not to my ideal weight yet but I’m still working on it and I will finish the race.


I did do a 2 mile fun walk last weekend to raise money for the local Women’s Center ($283.00 is what I raised! thanks to my sponsors) and was able to complete it in 34 minutes – a 17 minute mile – that is improvement.  Now, I’m trying to decide if I should do the literacy 5K that is happening next month – which scares me because even if my migraines have gotten better I don’t know if I want to push it with the heat and humidity we’ve already had this month.


I want to start training to run a 5K and do a couple of those then work up to running a 10K and eventually get to where I’m doing a marathon.  Baby steps though and I’d love to lose these granny arms – the inches are shrinking but I’m still flabby.  So that is all for now.



I’m sorry I haven’t given an update lately on my exercising and such – it’s been going well.  I went to the Dr last week and hope to have a call tomorrow or at the latest by Wednesday.  She told me based on my weight loss that the chances are good we can at least decrease my metformin.  The plan is if my A1C is in the low 6’s I can off of it completely but if it’s in the high 6’s she’ll keep me on the pill 1X a day versus two.  If that is the case I’ll get rechecked in a couple months.  My last A1C in July last year was 7.0 – not good.  Now I weigh 20+ pounds less, exercising daily and limiting calories and carbs.


Remember my post on Some Honesty and Progress?  You might want to take a look at those pictures BEFORE you look at the newest one.  Here is some more honesty – the skirt in the first post that my daughter took on 2/4/13 is a size 22W.  The other skirt in the post for Progress is a 2X.  They are both too big on me.  Not in a fall down around the ankles but definitely much looser!  So my hubby took us to Goodwill and here is my new skirt –


This is me, today 3/24/13, 12 weeks AFTER the first picture taken on February 4!


The skirt is a size 18!  I’ve never been a single digit girl, even when I was in the Navy I always ran between a 10 and 12 depending on the maker and cut.  The last time I wore single digits I was probably a single digit age.  My new blouse is still a 3X because I need to have my shirts larger.  I still have a bit of a mommy pouch but it’s getting smaller.  I’m so excited about my size 18 – I’ll still be wearing my 22 and my 2X skirts – who has money to replace a whole wardrobe but maybe soon I’ll be needing to purchase a belt!


I’m still measuring my food – I actually find it kind of fun – yeah, I know I’m weird.  I like knowing what exactly and how much is going in my body.  I’m now at only 1,410 calories a day.  My BP at the Dr the other day was 122/78 – it’s usually elevated in the office due to ‘white coat syndrome’ but she was getting worried – now she’s happy.  Me too.  My heart doesn’t feel like it’s coming out of my chest when I walk up a flight of stairs.  I’ve also submitted my registration for my first ever 5K!!!  I’m looking forward to walking this come April 20th – I’m EXCITED!!!  I’ve told hubby, next up is an ironman, well someday.


I have added in a daily multi-vitamin and I’m awaiting the results to find out if I need to add more Vitamin D and I recently read an article where people who exercise need more Vitamin C than usual because of the free radicals released from the physical activity.


Also, I’ve got to give credit where credit is due – the Lord!  Seriously, while others may see it as me being the one to exercise, watch my food intake, etc – it’s all the Lord.  He is the One who gives me the strength on the mornings that I don’t feel like working out or the days I just want to eat a whole pizza on my own.  He keeps me going and I know my temple is becoming the better for it.  I also want to say thank you to those who are continuing to encourage me, my husband, my children, my mom (my dad hasn’t seen me yet!) as well as all my friends on Facebook that I know IRL and virtually who build me up and give me encouragement.  I also love to hear that others are considering doing a 5K or getting moving in some way because of my story.


It may sound cliche but it’s hard – I didn’t put this weight on overnight or in a month or several months and it’s not going to be easy.  I haven’t hit that plateau yet – it’ll come – the Lord will get me over it and through it.  I cannot begin to convey through this blog post how GREAT I feel!!!!!  I feel like my mind works better, the winter blues I usually get have not been as bad as in the past, I just feel good.  The decision has to be yours and listen to the Lord – He is the one who ultimately woke me up in February and said, get moving!  He knew I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, He is guiding me and He will guide you too – we don’t have to be a prisoner to food, to our overweight bodies – that is a lie from Satan!



I’ve had many tell me I’m an inspiration and ask me what I’m doing to lose weight.  Honestly I don’t feel inspiring – I’m doing what I should have been doing all along – taking care of myself.  I’m thankful though that there are those who are reading my story and are finding it inspiring – I truly think it’s God working through me so that others can see it does work.  The picture below isn’t the best but you can compare it somewhat by looking at my post “Some Honesty”

Don’t mind the crocs LOL this is a picture I took of myself last week. I really need to have my oldest DD take a better one.

My goal isn’t to lose weight, it’s a nice side effect, but really my ultimate goal is to be off my diabetic medication.  That was my goal last year but I got sick and quit working out.  It’s now been a month, or close to it of 6 days a week working out and eating 1,550 calories or less a day.  My goal just got lowered to 1,430 calories a day since I’ve lost 10 pounds.  I use MyFitnessPal to track my food, exercise, water, etc and it does work.  As of 7:30p.m. on 2/27/13 I still have 815 calories remaining – it’s hard for me to eat all the allotted calories for the day – I’m not getting hunger pains like I used to as I keep up with drinking my water and that helps to relieve any fake hunger pains I may feel.

I’ve been asked what am I eating or not eating?  Quite truthfully my diet hasn’t changed, yes, I’ve cut out soda (I will drink Zevia when it’s on sale), no more snacking on potato chips, etc but honestly I’m still eating what I’ve always ate.  The difference is the fact that I’m not having three bowls of soup, or two plates full of food – I’m measuring everything – if it can’t be measured I won’t eat it.  Some may think that’s extreme but I’m only a month into this so I need that visual – there will come a time I can let the crutch of measuring go but for now I need that.

A soup I made the other night.

Do I still have ice cream?  Yep.  I found some ice cream bars that are low calorie and low carb and no bad artificial sweeteners so I can still enjoy a treat every now and then – of course gone are the days of having three in one sitting.  I now enjoy and savor each little bite so that when I’m done I feel satisfied, the same with my meals.  I made spaghetti bolognese last night and I could have 1 cup of whole wheat pasta and 3/4 cup of the sauce – out came the measuring cups.  Once I ate and let my brain and stomach catch up to one another (it’s really not a cliche) I felt full with just that.

I’ve also been asked if I take any supplements.  No, the only thing besides my metformin (for now) is a pro-biotic called Florajen – and while it doesn’t help you lose weight it has curbed my cravings for all things sweet.  I used to look at chocolate and not resist and now I’m okay if I don’t have it but if I do,  I no longer desire the whole bar.  I didn’t start taking Florajen for this reason though, it was another health issue that led to me taking it, but this is just a wonderful ‘side effect’ of the pro-biotic.

I’ve been using a variety of methods for exercising – specifically my Wii Fit Plus, Leslie Sansone Walk DVD’s, Shapely Girl DVD and also adding in hand weights.  I’ll add in hand weights whenever it’s feasible and that helps burn more calories as well as produce muscle so I can tone.  I aim for between 20 to 30 minutes a day at this point and want to work up to an hour a day.  I also have a kettlebell but haven’t started implementing that yet, I’m going slow and steady so I don’t burn myself out.  I do want to invest in some heavier women’s weights, a rebounder and an exercise ball to add in more variety to cause muscle confusion.

I served my meal on a salad plate, which is tinier, it also made me think I was getting more compared to had it been on a large plate I would have thought I’m not getting much. This was quite filling at its portion size.

I know what I’m doing is working – I had a yearly check up today and the dr told me I had lost 20 pounds since I was in last year!  That is huge, for me!  I go in on March to have my A1C re-checked and I believe that it will be normal or very close to it – my blood sugars after meals have been great, even lower than recommended, while my fasting is a bit high for my liking.  I chalk it up to not checking within 8 hours of taking my metformin which means I’d need to wake at 3 or 4 in the morning to check my fasting.  So far the effects of exercise and diet change have been a tremendous amount of energy!  To read a book takes more concentration because I want to be moving, to write this blog post is taking me longer than normal because I could be up and doing the dishes.  Physically I feel better, mentally I feel better and just feel much more happier.


Some honesty

I’ve posted before on losing weight, watching what I eat and usually I just fall flat on my face.  I’m working on things again and I really am working towards my weight loss goal – but not just weight loss but health.  Even though I was never obese in my younger days – I may have carried around a few extra pounds but I wasn’t obese, like I am today.  I don’t hate myself but I do hate looking at pictures of myself – which is a shame because I’ve missed out on plenty of photo ops with my children and husband.

I’m continuing to use my ShapelyGirl DVD’s as well as my Wii Fit – which is a fun way to lose weight but my legs will tell you it’s not all just games!  I also don’t want to see my children go down my path.  I’m using MyFitnessPal to track my calories of which I’m allowing myself to have 1,550 a day – if in a couple weeks I’m not losing I may restrict even more, we’ll see.  If you want to follow me on MyFitnessPal feel free to send me a request.  I also started using Nexercise which seems like fun.

So without further ado – I took a picture of myself (well my 8 year old did) to show you what I look like today:

Me, taken by my 8 year old via my iPod on 2/4/13



Okay, this post isn’t really going to be about food but rather my response to food.  I’ve always struggled with my weight, I love sugar and I really, really enjoy bread products!  I’ve never been one to be active, I’d much rather sit on the couch and read all day because hard workouts trigger migraines (don’t ask how I made it through boot camp).  I became a mom and with my first pregnancy was never told I was borderline gestational diabetic and then being full blown GD with my next two pregnancies I knew things had to change.  I lost 40 pounds during my second pregnancy, I counted carbs like a maniac and had almost no sugar.  I felt and looked great and my dr was happy – my numbers were excellent too.  My third pregnancy I was on insulin injections as I became GD at only 4 weeks pregnant!  I wasn’t nearly as good at controlling things as I was with my second, but things were still going smoothly.

I was later diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic.  I’ve been blessed that I have no effects of diabetes like foot neuropathy or macular degeneration – which my drs are always surprised at.  Have I watched what I eat?  Not so much and this is terrible.   It’s obvious the Lord has been watching over and protecting me from my own stupidity.

I decided at the end of 2010 that I was done.

Done being overweight.

Done being on high cholesterol medication.

Done being on diabetic medication.  No insulin, praise the Lord!

I’m done feeling bad and tired all day, everyday.

My first step in reaching this goal was to cut out soda.  January 4 was my last day without soda.  Hard?  Yes.  Paying off?  Definitely.  As of today, the 27th, I’ve gone 22 days without soda.  I don’t miss it.  My husband will bring some home and I don’t miss it – would I still like a glass of ice cold Coca Cola with pizza, sure (more of an emotional reaction than any desire physically to have it).  I know though in an hour I’ll be sluggish and it’ll put some weight back on.  I have made it a habit to drink at least 64 ounces of water everyday, some days I may get only 60 and others I’ve gotten 70.  I have a water bottle I refill using my Brita filter in the fridge.  Since getting my iPod for Christmas I’m using the Waterlogged and the MyFitnessPal app which is helping.

I’m not drinking only water though, that would get boring.  I still have my cup of morning coffee with 2 to 4 tablespoons of creamer but no sugar – you’ll see why I mention the tbsp. later one.  I drink one 8 oz. cup of milk in the mornings sometimes with my fiber therapy and one 8 oz cup of milk in the evening.  I may be adding tea as I’ve had some recommended to me and I may try them – it’s hard to buy tea because I usually end up not liking it then my husband has wasted that money.

My next step was to start watching my calories and carbs and adding in exercise.  This is what this week has been, adding in these addtions to my life.  I’ve been using the EA Active for Wii and it’s been giving me a great work out – my thighs, calves and biceps all have some amount of ache in them.  I’ve alloted myself 2,060 calories a day in order to loose 1 pound a week and I haven’t been using them all!  I usually end up with 250 to 500 calories left over at the end of the day with the exception of Sunday the 23rd where I went -100 as I didn’t realize how many calories were in buffalo chicken wings!!! 

I’ve had my A1C and cholesterol checked yesterday and while I know it’s too soon to see any big results I’m hoping that maybe my A1C has dropped again.  I’ve been adding steal cut oatmeal, olive oil and coconut oil instead of butter, canola oil, veggie oil, etc.  I’ve even been adding coconut oil to pasta dishes we eat and to the children’s macaroni and cheese instead of using butter and margarine and they like it!  I’ve even been eating fish!  I pan fry it in olive oil and use a little garlic, oregano and salt – just enough to flavor it.

I’m measuring everything and paying strict attention to serving sizes.  If the package says 1/2 cup of pasta then that is what I eat unless I have enough calories left but then I also know if I eat one cup then there is no snack before bed.  I try to eat something before bed so as not to awake hungry or with low blood sugar in the night.  Thankfully my husband knows my goals and is very supportive, even though me measuring everything is creating more dirty dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher) he knows that I’m striving to get healthy.

I’m getting the children involved with this as well.  When we go shopping if we buy crackers I immediately am checking the serving size and counting them out into baggies.  Myself and the children are eating small meals every two hours – a great thing for diabetics or those who are predisposed to it – this regulates blood sugar and controls calories especially if you’re paying attention to serving sizes.  If something says 16 crackers that’s what is in the bag. 

So with the Lord’s guidance and support as well as my family’s I hope to be a healthier me – it’s not so much weight loss as it is being off medication that isn’t needed, but weight loss can also be a good way for me to reach my goals and get fit so I can one day hopefully be blessed to see my grandchildren and great grandchildren.


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