Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I survived!

Well, I made it through my first week on Jenny Craig! It wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be. With other "diets" I have tried in the past, I quickly become miserable and I imagine I make my loved ones miserable, too. I'm hungry all of the time...I get light-headed and grouchy...and I start telling myself that it is just not worth the trouble. I have even considered the possibility that God wants me to be fat. I know He loves me, no matter what I look like. But, I also know that I have not been taking care of the body He has given me and that needs to change.

Jenny Craig is definitely helping with that change. I think I have eaten more salads and veggies this week than I have my whole life! Ok, that is a bit of an exaggeration but not by much! I am also amazed at what a "real" portion size looks like. For years, I've heard and read things like "one portion of meat is the size of your palm" or "a cup of rice is the size of your fist", etc. I must have huge hands because, before JC, my portions were a LOT bigger. Ok, so it wasn't necessarily the size of my hands that caused me to eat larger portions...I just used them to put large amounts of food on my plate but I digress....

Seriously, though, when I opened my first JC meal, I thought I was going to be in trouble. There was no way that small amount of food was going to fill me up and keep me satisfied for 3-4 hours! Guess what. It did. Of course, for it to really work, you have to add a large serving of veggies or a salad but it does work! It really is a balanced food plan and I DO get to eat dessert! Talk about feeling sad when I saw that serving size. Normally, I would have inhaled that sliver of cheesecake in about 2 seconds. But, now, I eat my cheesecake slowly, enjoying the cookies and cream flavor, and I drink it with a cup of milk and it is...enough. It is enough to satisfy my sweet-tooth...and it is enough to hold me over until the next day's dessert. After living most of my life wanting more and more, it feels good to be satisfied with "enough".

I am happy to report that I lost 4.6 pounds last week!! I am so happy! I know I won't lose that much every week but it is a great start and I am thrilled. I did have a moment or two of sadness this past week while Mackenzie and I were shopping at Target, though. The Halloween candy is out...enough said. I wondered to myself, "How am I going to NOT sneak some chocolate this year??" Then I saw the sign at Starbucks: "Our Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back!" Those are my favorite! It is a personal tradition that I have at least one pumpkin spice latte to warm myself up with while I go Christmas shopping and I look forward to it every year. I immediately started feeling down and thought I should just do all of my shopping online so that I won't be tempted by the lattes. Then a thought occurred to me: I CAN have of these days, just not today. I am not quite ready to start splurging or substituting "real" food for my JC food but, soon, I will be. I WILL be able to "live" and do it in a healthy way, I promised myself, and I immediately felt better. On a side note, my JC consultant told me there IS a way to fit a Starbucks latte into my diet because she does it every day!

After my weigh-in yesterday, I went to the mall to celebrate. I looked at the windows of all of the stores that I WILL be able to buy clothes from again. Ahhh, to be able to buy Gap jeans....Victoria Secret undies....anything from anywhere that isn't sized with a "W" behind the number..... It will take a while but I WILL get there!

And, don't worry, this blog isn't going to be all about my diet. I just wanted to share my good news! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

An exciting announcement

Good morning! I'd like to introduce to you the new and improving Jennifer!

As most of you know or can guess, I have struggled with my weight all of my life. I can even remember the day I became aware of my size: it was in the kindergarten girls' bathroom and a classmate told me I looked pregnant. I was devastated.

I have always been tall and proud and I used to "carry" my weight pretty well....until I had two kids in two years....and until I turned 35.... I have tried Weight Watchers 3 times and I have started/stopped "diets" more times than I can count. Even still, I don't consider myself a "yo-yo" dieter because the most I have ever lost was 23 pounds and that was just last year! I am a terrible "dieter" because, frankly, eating is fun to me. I like to have fun and I like to eat! Being from Louisiana, I grew up thinking that celebrating and eating go hand-in-hand or, in my case, hand-in-mouth, and it is very hard for me to break that thinking pattern.

So...this past Tuesday night I decided to do something about it; to stop all of the complaining and self-loathing and to simply "pull up my big-girl panties" and do it. I am now the new spokesperson for Jenny Craig! Okay, I'm not really the new spokesperson but I am a client. Some of you may know that my degree is in Food and Nutrition. So, I should know what to do to lose weight and get healthy...but that obviously doesn't mean I do it. I, like many others, simply want to be told what to eat and Jenny Craig does that for me. I just look at my menu for the week, grab my food, and eat it!

Yesterday was my first day on my road to success. I woke up ready to get started and didn't have the usual "ugh, I'm on a diet today...misery, here I come" feeling. And guess what! I didn't have those misery feelings all day! Usually, when I start a diet, I'm ready to quiet by lunchtime. This time, though, it was no big deal. I ate what I was supposed to eat...when I started to feel hungry (which, surprisingly, was about 3 hours later, not 3 minutes later), I ate again, and so on and so on. I felt great all day...I had energy, I didn't need to take a nap, and I was in a good mood! Very impressive for a first day of "dieting." I realize I need to stop using that word because it implies that this is a temporary thing and, Lord, please don't let it be a temporary thing! I truly want this to work. I want this to be a life-style change. I know it won't always be this easy. I will have to face eating out, eating with friends, parties, HOLIDAYS, etc. But I am hoping and seriously praying that I can do this and succeed.

This blog will help me stay accountable, for sure. I thought about keeping my JC client status a secret and then surprising everyone with my new svelte figure later on but, then I realized, that I need your help and support to keep me focused and encouraged. And, if I can help any of you by writing about this, that is awesome, too. In fact, I have 2 coupons for 50% off a JC membership for a family member or friend that expire sometime in October...if you want one, let me know and it is yours!

My goal is to lose 62 pounds but if I get anywhere close to that I will be ecstatic. I realized last night that my 36th birthday is 6 months away. What a great birthday present to myself: to be healthy and happy with myself. I can't wait to see how close to my goal I am in 6 months!

Day #2 is beginning and I need some breakfast! Have a great day, Everyone!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rain and Dogs!

I love the rain. Living in Borger for 3 years made me forget what it is like to have rain on a regular basis. It rained during our first week here in Bville and I remember thinking, "Oh, I can't go to Hobby Lobby, it's raining!" Then, of course, I had to laugh at myself and remember all those times I had to trek all over the campus of McNeese in the rain (because if it is going to rain at all in Lake Charles, LA, it WILL rain at MSU) and I did it without melting!

One of the reasons I love the rain is because it makes me want to be lazy. And I am VERY good at being lazy. I love to curl up on the couch and read or watch a movie when it rains, doesn't everyone? I have to admit, though, right now, the main reason I love the rain is because I don't have to water the lawn or flowers! I am terrible with plants. I wish I wasn't but I am, so there. Because of my brown-thumb trait, I have never had pretty flowers in a garden or flowerbed. But now that I live in a "grown-up house" (that's what Scott and I call our new house), I have to take care of flowers because that's what the previous owners did! In fact, the landscaping is one of the things that first attracted me to this house and now I have to take care of it! I was getting out in the mornings and setting up a sprinkler-thing that rolls along the waterhose but, most of the time, I'd set it up incorrectly and I'd just get frustrated and put the whole thing up. Our yard does not have a sprinkler system and I have not received a call back from the "sprinkler system guy" that everyone in my neighborhood recommends, even though I called about 3 weeks ago. So, I am very thankful for the rain that we have been receiving and so are my plants!

One downside to frequent rain: having to take 2 dogs out through out the day to do their "business." They come back wet and even "stinkier" than usual!

Speaking of dogs, mine are getting on my last nerve! Yesterday, right before church, of course, we discovered where Bella had just finished chewing on some of our wood trim on an archway that separates our kitchen from our living room. Seriously, there was so much slobber on the floor, I thought Harley had hiked his leg there and peed! But, no, it was definitely Bella who had been munching on the wood. Scott had to sand the wood down and re-stain it to make it look almost normal again. The problem was that we didn't catch Bella actually doing it, so we couldn't really punish her for it....until this morning.... I was sitting on the couch and I HEARD her naw on the exact same spot for just a second. I jumped up and she was standing right by the same piece of wood, so I immediately fussed at her, popped her on the butt (like she felt it! HA!), and put her in her kennel. She didn't do much damage but it was still very frustrating. So, now, I have to really keep an eye on her until she earns my trust again. Also, today, Harley (our 12 year old Golden Retriever, who is new to staying inside but loves it very much) was licking one of the pool table legs! I'm telling you, these dogs are driving me crazy! Now, I want to start working just so I don't have to take care of them during the day! How sad is that?!

But, then I look at that precious, smushed-up face with the fangs sticking out, and I melt all over again...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Day We Will Never Forget

What were you doing on this morning 9 years ago? I bet you all can remember like it was yesterday. I know I can.

Mackenzie was 8 months old and I was 3 or 4 months pregnant with Jack. It was a regular morning: Scott was already at work and Mac and I had finished breakfast and were settling in for a quiet morning with the Wiggles. My mother-in-law called to tell me that there had been some kind of explosion at the World Trade Center...she was in a doctor's waiting room and saw the news on the television. I told her that I would put the news on and see what was going on.
To be perfectly honest, I didn't "get it." I remembered that someone had set off a bomb of some sort in one of the buildings a couple years before that and I just assumed this new explosion was more of the same. I didn't understand the seriousness of the situation and I certainly did not expect what was still to come.

I changed the channel to our local news station right before the second tower was hit...then the first tower fell....then the second tower fell... I was in shock, as was everyone else who was watching. I still didn't understand what was happening; I'm not sure anyone did at that moment. I changed the channel for a few minutes and when I changed it back, the Pentagon was hit. By this time, I believe, the news was reporting about the planes that were hitting these American landmarks, saying that the planes had been taken over by terrorists and that the planes were full of innocent passengers who also died.

By this time, I had hit full panic mode. I had spoken with my mom on the phone about it and we wondered if we needed to empty our bank accounts and meet somewhere out in the country to be safe. At this time, we were living in Houston, where most of the major oil companies have their headquarters. Realizing this made me panic even more. I called Scott and he was in a meeting, so I had to leave a message. It went something like this: "I don't know if you know what has been going on this morning but terrorists are taking over planes flying out of the east coast and they are targeting major American places like the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I think they are moving across the country and will hit every major city or landmark that they can and that means they could be headed for Houston! Are they (meaning ConocoPhillips) going to close the offices and evacuate??" A few minutes later he called back was calm, as always. He was aware of what was going on but the offices were going to stay open.

News quickly spread about the plane that, because of some very brave passengers, had crashed, not at the White House like it was speculated to be headed for, but in an empty field in Pennsylvania. After seeing this, I just sat on the couch and waited to hear about the next plane and the next but that news never came. It appeared that the attack was over and now it was time to focus on what had just happened to our powerful and safe country that didn't feel so powerful or safe anymore.

Everyone was glued to the TV for days after that. You couldn't help but watch the repeat showings of the towers falling, the dust and debris falling from the New York sky, people running around, crying and screaming, and the worst part for me: seeing people jump from the windows of the WTC because they didn't know what else to do. Our police officers and firemen, who worked tirelessly to save those who could be saved...when almost every fireman from one particular firehouse was killed after a part of a building collapsed on top of them. The empty field with pieces of the plane thrown all around....the Pentagon that was opened up and torn apart to where you could see the the hallways and offices that were inside from the TV cameras flying overhead. These are just some of the images that will stay in our minds and in our hearts for the rest of our lives.

So, today, please remember all of those that died in the airplanes and in the collapsed buildings. Remember their loved ones, their spouses and their children. Remember all of the rescue workers who worked day and night for weeks to help those in need: police officers, firemen/women, our military, doctors and nurses and all of those who volunteered. Our country was brutally attacked September 11, 2001 but we are still a strong, God-fearing country. Land of the free. Home of the brave. Land that I love.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm baack!

Oh, my goodness, I can't believe it has been a month and a half since my last blog! That is unacceptable and I apologize for my forgetfullness, laziness, and all of the other excuses I can come up with! I don't know if it makes you feel any better or not but, know that I think about my blog and what to blog about all of the time...I just haven't written anything. I keep waiting for THE story or topic to write about and it just never comes...or, if it does, it doesn't seem good enough or long enough or funny get the picture. So I will now take the advice I read yesterday from the brilliant Pioneer Woman and "just do it." Just write!

I've been away from my blog for so long, I guess I need to catch you up on all that has been going on at the Simpson House. Let's, really, something has happended, I'm sure of'll come to me in a sec.... Maybe I should make a list.

1) We have had quite a few visitors in the past month or fact, I think we had more visitors in the 2 months we have been in Bartlesville, than we had the entire 3 years we were in Borger! It was great, though, seeing family (The Dugas Girls and my mom) and friends (DJ and her girls, JLew and Ava, and the "Joshua House in OK" reunion). God has truly blessed us by putting these amazing people in our lives.

2) We did NOT get to see Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers in Tulsa. We found out the DAY of the concert that it had been cancelled....3 days after I bought the tickets! Still a teensy bit bitter about that!

3) School started! The kids LOVE their new school and their new teachers and they are both doing very well in their studies. They have been in school less than a month and Mackenzie has already finished reading the first two Harry Potter books and she started the 3rd last night. She is sooo proud of herself and I am proud, also. In her words, she is "totally geeking out on Harry Potter!" This really isn't a surprise....she started watching the HP movies when she was 2 or 3 years old and, when she was 3, she declared that Harry was her boyfriend. She would even say his name in a British accent because that is how they say it in the movies! In her 3 year-old preschool class, she befriended a boy named Thomas. Her teachers would always tell me how cute Mackenzie and Thomas were together. When I met Thomas for the first time, I couldn't help but laugh to myself. Thomas had black hair, green eyes, and wore glasses....just like Harry Potter! It was too cute! More about HP later...
Jack has been reading up a storm, too. Thank you, Teachers, for making your students read for 25 minutes every night for homework! Most nights, after the timer goes off, my kids want to keep reading and I love it! Our house has never been so quiet! Jack started off reading Bakugan books but is now reading The Hardy Boys and Goosebumps. In fact, he read 12 chapters just last night! I know it's not War and Peace but it is a start!
The kids have also started taking karate lessons. Tonight will be their second class. They love it. What's not to love? Their sensei is an extremely talented and qualified teacher who, in order to teach them how to block a hit above their heads, chased them around the room, hitting them on the head with a soft, mallet-looking, thing used for sparring. I've never heard so many giggles in a karate class before!

4) I am still not working....I don't think I'm being a complete bum, though. I am not sitting on the couch eating bon-bons all day, I can tell you that! Bella, our precious bulldog, would not allow it, I'm fairly sure, unless I shared with her. I spend my days on the the dogs out.....bringing them back in (this happens a lot throughout the day) (groceries)....eating lunch with Scott (but not every day) an hour in the school parking lot to pick up the kids..... You can see that my days are very full indeed. I am loving it but I feel it is time to do more. I still need to take a test to be certified in OK but, before I can do that, I have to find out what test it is, where to take the test, and what to study for the test...all very hard and time-consuming things, I assure you! I also need to start subbing but I am dragging my feet. I'm not sure why...oh, yeah, I LIKE being a lazy bum, that's why! My desire to travel (and being able to afford to travel) is winning out, so I must start making some extra dough. Also, Scott wants to buy a boat in the spring and he says I have to pay for it! As if!

5) We still have not found THE church for us. We visited one last week and it was nice, but I don't think it is the one. There are a lot of churches around here for us to try and I know we will find the right one. I pray that God puts us in the church He wants us to be in and I hope we find it soon. I miss my church family in Borger and I miss my church family in Katy, too. We were fortunate enough to be able to go back to our church in Katy for a memorial service a couple of weeks ago. The service was for Emma Claire Key, the 8 year-old daughter of our friends, Steven and Sherry Key. It was wonderful and terrible all at the same time. It was wonderful seeing how God worked through a young girl like Emma. It was wonderful seeing all of the love and support being poured out on the Key family. It was wonderful being at Kingsland Baptist Church again and seeing our Joshua House family. It was wonderful wearing our red shirts again. (Our Joshua House shirts.) It was terrible seeing our friends grieving. It was wonderful being able to hug my children after the service. It was terrible knowing that Steve and Sherry can't hug Emma right now. It is wonderful knowing that one day soon, they will be able to hug her in Heaven.

6)Back to Harry Potter...When we moved into this house, I told Mackenzie that we would completely redecorate her room when she was old enough to decide on something that she would be happy with for many years. She seems to think that time is now and she wants a Harry Potter room. I am ok with this but I am making her wait until she turns 10, which is only 4 (gasp!) months away. I want to see if she still wants a HP room in 4 months before I change anything. Plus, that will give me time to get all of the "stuff" that will be needed for the room. So, if you have any creative ideas, please send them my way. I've seen some great pictures of HP rooms online but I don't think I am that creative. If any of you can paint, come on over, and I will put you to work! I'm sure I'll be blogging about this process for a while and I need to figure out how to add pictures to my blog, so I can post before and after pics.

Ok, I think I've brought you all up to date. I promise to write more often even if it is pure rubbish!
Love you all!