My Postpartum Weight Loss Journey – Week 1

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Can I still call it a postpartum weight loss journey if my baby is 21 months? 🙂 I’m on a journey and it’s one I’m excited about. I started January 1st to be super serious about losing this baby weight. The first year with a new baby I never work on losing weight, because I’m nursing. Normally my weight comes off fairly easily, but not this time around. I’ve been so overwhelmed with a screaming baby that it’s not been until recently that I felt I could focus on this!

I thought I would give weekly updates here, to keep myself accountable and also to share with you what is and is not working for me.

To start out – my ouch moment of the week. A friend of my daughter’s from church asked if I was pregnant, and then wanted to know why I look the way I do. If I feel tempted to give up, I’ll remember that comment. I know I have a diastasis problem, (meaning my stomach muscles are separated), which can lead to me looking pregnant when I’m not.

Still. Never fun to hear. 

Here is my story so far. A warning first – this is my story. Everyone has their own personal story, and they have to decide what works for them. I tried Trim Healthy Mama a few months ago for a week. I was totally committed that week and lost 5 pounds. Then I chatted with a friend who had lost weight through Trim Healthy Mama, and she said that it was hard to keep the weight off if you don’t stay on that way of wearing forever. I got discouraged and decided to just stop and see if the weight would stay off.

Amazingly, it stayed off…until Christmas. 🙂

We didn’t go crazy with treats, but we had a baking day with family like usual and by the time Christmas was over I had gained some of that weight back.

January 1st came, and I decided to really tackle this. It’s easy to use excuses, it’s a lot of hard work and takes a great deal of discipline and focus for me. If I don’t see results in 3 days I tend to just give up. That’s not how weight loss works!

So what am I doing exactly?

I’m not doing any one plan. I decided that Trim Healthy Mama is a wonderful plan, but long term it’s not for me. I’m using some of the concepts and recipes, and even some of their own line of products, but I’m not committed to just that way of eating.

So far I’ve found it works best to have a goal of eating great all week long, and then having a treat Friday night or on Saturday. I don’t want to become so extreme that I don’t enjoy relationships and date nights and time with friends. It’s been working well so far!

Here is what my meal plan has looked like this week.

Breakfast 

2 eggs and turkey bacon

Smoothie made with greek yogurt, protein powder, mixed berries, collagen powder and sweetened with Gentle Sweet (this is similar).

Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Lunch 

Salad with tuna or chicken on top. I get the large tub of organic salad mix from Costco and put carrots and shredded red cabbage on top, and peppers when I have them. I get my chicken breast from Zaycon and LOVE getting my chicken there! Lately I’ve cooked some chicken breast on a skillet with coconut oil and a meat seasoning from Costco. It’s super yummy!

I keep the cheese off of it and go light on the dressing.

If I don’t have a salad for lunch, I eat leftovers from dinner. Normally we don’t have any leftovers, but I have been making certain meals for myself, so I end up having some left.

Dinner

Creamy Bacon Swiss Chicken – My husband asked what he did to deserve this. LOL He loved it!

Burritos – I used a whole wheat wrap that was lower carb.

Sausage and cabbage – I cooked up sausage and roasted potatoes and mixed those together for my family. I held back some of the sausage and cooked cabbage in it for myself. It was delicious!

Brown rice, chicken and veggies

More salad with chicken on it!

Cheeseburger wrapped in lettuce (more info on this below!)

Snacks

Apples and Peanut butter

Skinny Popcorn

Veggies (carrots and peppers)

Skinny chocolate – recipe found in the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook.

Cheese sticks

Failures for the week 

I didn’t make wise choices twice, Carrianna wanted to make cookies and I ended up eating cookie dough and a cookie. Bad choice! I love cookie dough. I’m just not strong enough yet to have them in the house.

Another night we had cheeseburgers at home. It was a fun night for the children, they had earned ice cream so I picked some up at the grocery store. I ended up eating tater tots and ice cream, when I told myself I shouldn’t!

Victories for the week 

We have chocolate chips in the freezer, and I see them constantly when I’m cooking. I’m not eating them though! I love chocolate, and grabbing a few chocolate chips was an easy treat, but I really wanted to break this habit.

Sean just got done making a Fitness Planner (it’s available on his Etsy store), and I love using this to track my progress! I took my initial measurements, and will be using this to track my exercises, food,  and the pounds I lose.

So far I’ve lost 4 pounds, which is encouraging!

Next week I’ll share with you what I’m doing for exercising!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Health Goals For The New Year

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I’ve had it. I gained a lot more weight than I normally do when I was pregnant with Sophia. I know it had to be from all the progesterone shots and for how long I was in bed during her pregnancy. It’s been very difficult to get off, and I tend to get easily discouraged and give up after not seeing results right away. My husband is so sweet and encourages me to stick with it, but every mom out there knows how hard it is to make time for yourself!

This is the year. I’m determined. And I have hope of it working if I can just stick with it.

Here is why I actually have hope.

I faithfully did Trim Healthy Mama for one week a few months ago and lost 5 pounds. There were several reasons why I didn’t keep going, but I know it’s possible to do. Starting today I’m ditching the sugar and getting back to eating healthy.

Here are my thoughts on what I’m going to do to try and lose the baby weight.

Food

Trim Healthy Mama will definitely be something I get back to doing. But I’m not one of those loyal THM ladies who stick with the plan 100%. I struggled waiting every 3 hours to eat, and felt like my blood sugar was wanting to drop low the entire week I was doing the program, no matter how much protein I ate. I’m not crazy about using lots of stevia, so will also occasionally use honey and maple syrup.

I’ll be doing a whole foods approach, lots of salad with protein on top, brown rice, I’ll try quinoa yet again (someone please share a yummy recipe?!), and I’ll be using the 100 Days of Real Food cookbook as well.

I love chocolate, but it needs to be the very occasional treat. Yes, I’ve tried the Trim Healthy mama skinny chocolate recipe and the cake recipe, but it’s just not the same. 🙂

In summary, my plan is lots of fruit and vegetables, do a basic form of Trim Healthy Mama, think fresh, whole foods whenever I cook, and drink lots of water with lemon!

It sounds so simple, right? It’s just sticking with it that is always the difficult part.

Exercise

5 minutes is better than zero. Anything is better than nothing.

This is something I have to get through my head!

Being consistent will bring results. Doing crazy workouts for a week and then giving up from exhaustion brings about nothing.

See the key word here? Consistent. It’s the same word that Sean talks a lot about over at Character Badges! Everything in life goes better if we are just consistent with what we pick to do.

Sean totally spoiled me this Christmas and gave me a bike and an Apple Watch. The watch is on backorder, so I’ll be getting it early next year. He has had an Apple Watch for a year now, and loves it. The fitness apps really motivate him, plus he uses his phone less now that he has his watch. I’m excited about both of those things!

I’ve been using the Nike Training Club App on my phone for different workouts. I love the 15 minute workouts! It’s a free app, and offers so many different workouts.

Overall, my plan is to get out to the gym with my husband 1-2 times a week, ride my bike whenever the weather is nice in the next few months, and do workouts at home. People tell me I get enough exercise chasing after six children, but I really don’t. I sit down to homeschool and I sit down to blog.

Rest

Rest is not something everyone includes in health goals, but it’s vital for my health! Since I’ve had pretty bad adrenal fatigue issues in the past, I can only stay up super late for so long without it starting to affect my adrenals.

I’ve been horrible at getting to bed lately! Midnight is my normal bedtime. I can’t seem to make myself go to bed, after the children go to bed that quiet time is so wonderful. However it’s really messing up my adrenals. I barely made it through the Christmas weekend, I kept hitting a certain point of the day and I would crash and just want to go home.

My goal is to be in bed by 10:00 every night (still not perfect, but much better).

I also plan on resting more in other ways. I have some pretty exciting new things planned for my business, but they have to be contained. I can only allow myself a few things to focus on this year, and just pour my energy into those few things. Right now that looks like this blog, Deborah & Co. and a new project coming in January!

Sean is also wanting me to help him with our Character Badge business more. We have some big projects planned for that this new year.

Supplements

I recently went and saw my doctor (who I just love!!!), and had bloodwork done. For the first time ever, my thyroid is finally under control. I take Armour Thyroid medicine, Adapten-All for my adrenals, a Vitamin D supplement for my MTHFR, and the Probiotic from Plexus.

My plan is just to continue taking these supplements and be, you guessed it, consistent every day.

15 Days To A Healthier You Course

And finally….I’m going to be going through a brand new course that Crystal Paine just put out, called 15 Days To A Healthier You. I just finished going through a blog course with Crystal, and she went way above and beyond in being present in the Facebook group for the course, and sharing so much information in her live videos. So I have every confidence that this new group will be just as good!

In 15 Days to a Healthier You, Crystal will be covering more than just eating right and exercising (though, that is  overed as well!). Holistic health is about making the whole person healthy, and that’s exactly why Crystal  created 15 Days to a Healthier You.

In 15 Days to a Healthier You, Crystal is going to cover aspects of health that people really don’t connect with their overall well-being, like how to set (and meet!) important goals, what self-care really is (and what it isn’t), loving your life, and so much more. Day-by-day she will redefine self-care and give you the tools you need to boost and maintain your health — permanently.

There will be a private Facebook group to join, where Crystal will do a live Facebook video every night, plus you receive a 79 page study guide.

Here are the topics for the 15 days.

Day 1– It’s time to take care of YOU: Why it’s Important to Take Care of Yourself & How Self-Care Looks Different for Everyone

Day 2– What Self-Care Really Is (and What it Isn’t!)

Day 3– Love Your Life

Day 4– Overcoming Negativity

Day 5– Realistic, Attainable Goal-Setting (Part 1)

Day 6– Realistic, Attainable Goal-Setting (Part 2)

Day 7– Cutting Calendar Clutter: What Should Go On Your To-Do List (and What Shouldn’t!)

Day 8– Cutting Physical Clutter: Why Clearing Clutter is Good for your Health

Day 9– Setting up an Evening Routine

Day 10– Building Good Sleep Habits

Day 11– The Importance of Hydration

Day 12– Falling in Love with Fitness

Day 13– Redefining Healthy Eating (for the Already Overwhelmed!)

Day 14– Nutritional Supplements

Day 15– Why Your Mindset Matters

The course is only available to purchase until January 3rd, and the program starts January 9th.

The course is only $15.00, so everyone can afford it!

I loved the focus on rest. It’s something I definitely need to be reminded of right now. Crystal has a lot of good references in the course, I went through the entire study guide and requested all the books she recommended from my library!

All of these intentions are good, but I can only do so much in my own strength. I’m thankful that I can continually ask God to help me stay focused, and trust in His strength!

Do you have health goals for the New Year? I would love to hear what you have planned! Are you still trying to plan your goals? Check out the 2017 Goal Planner that my husband made! It’s really great for actually getting your goals on paper, and helping you evaluate how 2016 went for you. 

 

 

How We Saved Thousands With Christian Healthcare Ministries

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Sean wrote this post to share about our healthcare plan with you all. We waited until we had personal experiences to share, because we wanted to be able to recommend this program 100%. I can’t stop raving about how wonderful this program is, and we are so thankful to have it! Enjoy the review, and let us know if you have any questions! ~ Caroline 

Healthcare – what a terribly distressing topic.

Whether you’re talking about the many things that could potentially put you in the hospital, how shockingly expensive such visits have become, or the increasingly convoluted ways in which our government has become involved the whole process, it’s not anybody’s idea of fun to talk about healthcare.

How you can save thousands of dollars with a Christian Healthcare Insurance plan! It's been such a blessing to our family.

However, it’s not an issue we can, or should, avoid. Everyone is more or less concerned about their health. Much as we would like to, none of us can peer into the future at will and foresee the injuries or illnesses that will or will not befall us. Even if we could and we knew ahead of time that we would break a bone or contract a serious ailment, there would still be questions to answer, like, “How will I pay for this?”

I’ll admit that I hadn’t put a lot of thought into the issue of healthcare until the past two or three years. Two things changed that. One – Obamacare; and two: unforeseen illnesses and injuries (never saw ’em coming).

For all of our married life, whether I’ve worked for other individuals or run my own businesses I’ve received about the same amount of healthcare benefits, as in none. Yes, this has raised some eyebrows and we may have been called crazy a once or twice, but during that time our family was blessed to avoid many of the incidents that incur substantial medical costs.

Then came Obamacare and for us and every other uninsured self-employed family in America, it was no longer a matter of ‘if’ we were getting healthcare but when.

There were a lot of people running around then (or simply running – know what I mean?) who wanted us to sleep easy on this one. “Don’t worry,” they said, “we’ve got you covered.” They promised just about everything to just about everyone but given their track record on so many other issues, and since our health was (and is) important to us, we weren’t comfortable turning this area of our lives over to them.

Obamacare mandated that we purchase healthcare for our family by a certain date or pay a fine. From the beginning we knew we’d eventually have to purchase health insurance, but the fine was manageable the first year so we paid it. Finally our accountant told us that the fines could be so large that we figured we might as well go ahead and spread that amount over an entire year and buy insurance.

We had been researching various options during that time. We knew we didn’t want to go with government provided healthcare, so we looked at some Christian based alternatives and finally decided on Christian Healthcare Ministries.

We don’t regret it for a minute.

Actually, we couldn’t have joined at a better time. We hadn’t been members with Christian Healthcare Ministries for very long when Caroline was hit with a strange illness earlier this year. She had a very high fever and became incredibly weak, so much so that she couldn’t walk or even stand on her own. It came on in the middle of the day and by 5:00 that afternoon we were in the ER.

As you can imagine, they ran all sorts of tests and eventually had to perform a spinal tap in order to rule out meningitis (even after all that they still weren’t entirely sure what caused her symptoms). All told, we were only there for 5 or 6 hours but that was enough to rack up a bill that would have wiped out our savings had we attempted to cover it on our own. Thankfully we didn’t have to.

We worked to reduce the overall cost of the ER stay and then filled out all the necessary forms to turn over to Christian Healthcare Ministries in order to receive reimbursement. In about 3 months they sent us a check in the mail to cover the all of the medical expenses associated with Caroline’s stay in the ER. We didn’t end up paying one penny of the bills, and we were so relieved!

But our story doesn’t end there. A few months later I was riding my bike to go pick up our van from the repair shop about 4 miles from our house. I was heading down hill and going at a pretty good rate when I attempted to make my way onto the sidewalk and somehow lost control of my bike. (I say “somehow” because I have no recollection of exactly how I lost control). The next thing I know I’m waking up on the sidewalk with a bad gash on the side of my head and a broken wrist, not to mention a bunch of other bad scrapes. Apparently I knocked myself out when I hit the concrete. I still don’t know how it all happened (the last thought I remember having before blacking out was, “This is going to be bad,”) but needless to say we ended up in the ER again.

We’re in the process of filling all the required paperwork with Christian Healthcare Ministries, but given our last experience with them we have every confidence of receiving our money back for this hospital bill as well.

If you are headed into the new year looking for an insurance plan, I would highly recommend Christian Healthcare Ministries! It is a great deal cheaper than many other plans, and definitely worth looking into, especially if you are not dealing with a lot of health issues.

If you are curious, our family is on the Silver plan right now. That means we have a $1000 deductible, but if we can lower a bill down $1000 or more, we don’t have to pay that deductible. What an awesome concept, and it motivates you to call the hospital or doctor and see what you can work out! A husband, wife, and then all the children are each a unit. So you could have the wife on the gold plan if she is childbearing years, and have a cheaper deductible, and keep the husband and children on a higher deductible plan if you want. I love how it’s all flexible!

Christian Healthcare Ministries has a really awesome referral program.

If you recommend the program to someone and they join, after three months you receive a free month!

We have been members for a year now, but I have waited to write a post sharing about this program until we had a personal testimony to share.

If you do join, you can use our Bring A Friend Link, or when filling out your application, simply put Sean and Caroline Allen, member #211899 down as a referral. Thanks! 

 

How Badly Do You Want To Have A Healthy Family?

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Every family has their own version of what being healthy looks like. For some, it just means you don’t drink pop, but eat white bread and donuts. For others, it means you grind your own flour, buy everything organic, and wouldn’t be caught letting your children eat a piece of candy.

Here is the honest truth.

It’s super hard to be healthy.

Suger is all around us, calling our name. Boxed food is promoted as the ultimate convenience food. Snacks are loaded in carbs.

Choosing healthy food like green smoothies, veggies, yummy salads, good sources of protein, takes a lot of time and energy for a mom. That’s why I’m so excited to tell you about the Healthy living Event of the year!

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is a huge resource of practical tools and bonus offers to help you have a healthy family!

 

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle includes:

A comprehensive collection of 83 eBooks and eCourses covering almost everything you could want to know on how to keep yourself and your family in the best of health, including how to…

    • use essential oils and natural remedies,
    • cook real food your family will love,
    • breathe new life into your exercise habits,
    • raise exceptionally healthy kids in an unhealthy world,
    • and so much more…
  • A unique Getting Started Guide to help you pinpoint exactly which resources are right for you right now, so you can take action immediately.

Mrs. Meyer's detergent as a bonus offer.

  • Over $250 worth of incredible (and mostly physical) bonus offers from healthy living companies I’m so excited about, including supplements, herbal tinctures, natural beauty and skincare products, maca powder, mineral makeup and more.
  • Full money-back, happiness guarantee, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

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But the bundle is so much more than the sum of its parts.

If you feel stuck in a rut, you can get out of it.

If you struggle with chronic health issues, there is hope.

If you’ve wanted to learn from the best but couldn’t afford their books and resources, you can now.

If you’ve been on the “diet yo-yo” for years, you can get off that string.

And you can do it all starting today when you pick up your copy of the bundle for just $29.97 – that’s 98% off the combined value of the resources!

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is a huge resource for those wanting to have a healthy, happy family!

One thing you can’t do? Wait.

That’s because the The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (2016 Edition) goes away on Monday at 11:59 PM Eastern Time. Don’t put off ordering because you get a free e-reader upgrade (a $10 value!) if you order Wednesday or Thursday!

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