Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Resurrection Day!

Isn't it so good to know that there is salvation in the Kingdom of God? Isn't good to know that there is a way for you and I to have everlasting life?

God's greatest gift to his children....JESUS!

Love you all,

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I Cheated!

So tonight I went out and completely cheated on this 1200 calorie per day weight loss plan that I am on. I never allow myself specific "cheat days" but it does get difficult from time to time to always eat healthy and low calorie. So I went to my old favorite, Chili's, and ate whatever it was that I felt like eating. I did not check or care jkb bbhow many calories were in what I consumed.

Like I said in my last weight loss update that I posted on YouTube, it is not about what you do for one day or one weekend. It is what you do the majority of the time over a course of some months that will determine if you will lose weight or not. In other words, I don't feel bad for eating bad for one night. I will pick right back up where I left off tomorrow and I am sure I will still have decent results at my next weight loss update.

Everyone needs a day to just be free, right? LOL

Friday, March 29, 2013

Maintaining My Weight Loss Long Term

As I approach the 40 lbs lost mark, I am giving some heavy thought as to how I am going to maintain this weight loss and keep it off permanently. This is not the first time I have lost a significant amount of weight. This is the third time. The first and second time, once I reached my goal weight, I stopped doing all the things I had been doing to lose weight and went back to my old habits. Of course, the weight gradually came back. This time I know better. I know I have to make some permanent lifestyle changes.

So this is my plan, I will tweak it as needed: 

1. Exercise 6 days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes (goal is 45-60 mins)

2. Keep caloric intake to 2000 calories per day

3. Limit beverages to only water

4. Drink at least 70 ounces of water a day (140 lbs/2 = 70 ounces of water)

5. Weigh myself once a week on the same day to track possible weight gain

6. If weight fluctuates outside of the 135-140 lbs range, make adjustments as necessary

7. If weight increases beyond 140lbs, reduce caloric intake to 1200 calories per day and increase exercise in order to drop back into 135-140 range

8. Stay positive

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Thief of Joy

I read this quote yesterday and it really spoke to me. Have you ever gotten caught up in what someone was doing or what that person has that you overlook all the wonderful things that you have going for yourself? Maybe you are comparing your accomplishments with theirs as far as academics, career, finances, etc. Maybe you are comparing your appearance as far as weight, beauty, shape, size, etc. You may even go so far as to compare your children with someone else’s.

STOP! The quote above is so real. Comparing yourself or your life to someone else’s will steal your joy. It will make you realize all the things you do not have instead of appreciating the many things you do have. It will breed jealously and envy in your heart, both of which are destructive and counterproductive emotions. They are useless emotions. They do nothing to help you to grow into the person you were meant to be.

We have all been blessed with different gifts. You will never be the smartest, the most beautiful, the best athlete, the best singer, and on and on. There will always be some now or later who comes along that is better. Just because you are not the best, does not mean you are not great in your own right. Just because you may not be the smartest does not mean you are not smart and should not be thankful for your level of intelligence. Do you see my point? Comparison leads one to focus on the negative. In order to live in a state of peace and happiness, you must focus on the positive….even if it’s very small things, they are still blessings. 

Instead of comparing yourself to others, if there is something you do not like, try to change it! If it is something that would be physically impossible to change, for example, if it is something you were born with (the way God created you and there is nothing you can do to change it) pray to God for the ability to accept whatever it may be and the ability to turn what could be a negative into a positive. 

I’ll end it here before this post gets too long. These are my thoughts right now. I remember in my early twenties I always felt the need to be the best. I was always comparing myself to others and the end result was always the same….there would always be a few areas that I did not measure up. I would feel really down thinking about it. Some things were my fault, I could just do better. Other things were just a product of the life I was born into. I stopped that way of thinking because it was mentally toxic. I now focus my attention on being the best Ebonee, and if there is someone out there who is better in certain areas of their life than I am, may God continue to bless them. I won’t let jealousy, envy or comparison keep me from becoming my best self.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What's For Lunch & Snack? | Carribean Fish Soup & Odwalla Bar

For lunch I had another delicious soup that sent my taste buds on a trip. It is called Caribbean Fish soup. It was made of shrimp, clam and whitefish simmered with peppers, tomato, carrots and celery. The soup was seasoned with lime, allspice and cilantro. For a 16oz bowl, only 190 calories!! I really enjoyed it.  
Below is one of my favorite snacks right now. Made with fruit and whole grain cereals. The package says --- Nourish yourself with the delicious taste of raisins, rolled oats and bananas. It’s a super-concoction with nourishing benefits – from calcium, folic acid, and iron to antioxidant Vitamins C, E and Beta Carotene. One bar is 200 calories. It looks like poop, lol, but tastes really good.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Beyonce - Bow Down/I Been On

Beyonce has come out with a new song, or a mesh of two new songs. It seems as if with each new album, Beyonce is pushing the envelope more and more. I think with this song she has gone too far. If you have not heard the song, do a search for it on YouTube and listen to it just once so you will have an understanding of what I am talking about. Not that I want to encourage anyone to support this song, but I think people need to be aware of the reality that we are living in today. That is, music is not music anymore. Music used to make you feel good. I would attach a song to a certain memory so that when I heard the song, all the wonderful feelings associated with  that memory would come flooding back. Music no longer has that feel good vibe. You know that feeling that makes you want to love someone hard, makes you want to help someone, makes you want to appreciate the small things about someone. 

So the song is supposed to be addressing Beyonce’s haters, telling them to “bow down” to the Queen Bey, Mrs. Carter.  Bow Down as in worship? Bow Down as in show respect? I am still  trying to understand why someone would make a song asking a person or people to bow down to them. What happened to humility? What happened to being the best at something but never saying it because your work, your art, your earnings, your fan base, your business ventures, etc., all speak for themselves? If you are one of the greatest, please believe people will know without you broadcasting how great you are in a song and reminding people about how when they were young they wanted the life you live now.

Some people really love the song and that is fine. We are all entitled to our own opinion. I just personally believe there are more creative ways to reinvent yourself besides losing your humility and class and replacing it with pride and arrogance. This is the world we live in and my prayer is that things with take a turn for the better for the sake of our children and their children.

"It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels." -Saint Augustine

"Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real." -Thomas Merton

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ASP Light-Less Gel Kit

Now that spring it here, I really want to get back into polishing my nails. I have TONS of beautiful nail polishes that have just been sitting for most of the winter because I have not felt like polishing my nails. The maintenance is what really turns me off because even if I use an awesome topcoat, within about three days my nails start to chip. It doesn't help that I am mother and I braid my three daughters' hair, wash dishes, scrub tubs, etc. All are added stress to my nails destroying any pretty manicure I may have done.
Anyway, I have found a solution. This Light-Less Gel Kit from ASP. I used it to do my nails above and it was super easy. Put the gel on and smooth it out, spray it with the gel cure spray, buff it out so that it is smooth, apply your polish and top coat. I did not use the tips that came in the kit because I like to keep my nails short. It is just easier for me to braid hair with short nails. So I am going to give this a go and see how long my polish lasts before it needs to be redone. I really think I am going to love this.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What's for Lunch? | Chicken Tortilla Soup

As you can probably tell by now, I eat a lot of soups for lunch. The reason being that they are very inexpensive in my cafeteria at work compared to the other offerings and they are normally low in calories for a 16oz cup of soup. Today I had chicken tortilla soup. This soup is made with a rich tomato and ancho chili with stock, with chunks of chicken and cilantro. It is served with fried tortilla strips and cheddar cheese but I decided to forgo those two things for the sake of saving calories.

I like eating in the cafeteria at work for lunch because I can easily go online and get all the nutritional information for the foods that were served during the week. It is an easy way for me to plan my meals that I eat at work ahead of time so that I already have a low calorie option in mind. This soup was 300 calories for 16 ounces. The calories included the tortilla strips and cheddar cheese, which I did not have, so I probably ended up eating less than 300 calories. I paired the soup with a piece of fruit and that was lunch.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

People Are Noticing

So yesterday, while I was walking to the printer at work, a co-worker who I do not talk to or see on a daily basis stopped me and asked me, “So, how much is it now?”  At first I did not understand the question, and so he rephrased it, "I noticed you are losing a lot of weight, how much have you lost so far?" Honestly surprised I replied, “Can you tell I’ve lost weight?” A stupid response given the fact that he just said that he noticed but I was genuinely surprised.

That made my day! I have gotten to the point where it is obviously noticeable that I have been losing weight. I cannot tell so much by looking in the mirror, I guess because I see myself every day, but if others can see a difference, then my hard work is paying off. That makes me feel good. Every hour of every day at least a thought or two goes towards “what will I eat” or “when will I exercise” or “how much weight am I losing” and even “how much weight am I gaining.” A weight loss journey can be very physically and mentally exhausting but the rewards are worth it. When the weight comes off, it is all worth it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's For Lunch? | Grilled Chicken Parmesan w/ Whole Wheat Spaghetti & Roasted Vegetables


The grilled chicken parmesan on whole wheat spaghetti totaled 230 calories. I had a side of roasted vegetables containing squash, zucchini, onion, red peppers and green bell peppers. The vegetables were only 10 calories for a 4 ounces servings. Total calories for lunch equaled 240!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Recent Health Evaulation Indicated I'm Overweight

I did a post a while back about BMI. I calculated that I needed to be 136 pounds to be in a normal BMI range but even at that weight, I would be borderline overweight as far as BMI. Although I know BMI an important indication of a healthy weight, it just feels like the way it is calculated, I have to be super skinny in order to be in the normal (not overweight or obese) BMI range.

I recently had a health assessment done where they tested a lot of things including total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose levels, blood pressure, height and weight, and BMI. As you can see on my results sheet below, at 156 (what I weighed in at that day) I am overweight as far as BMI. Luckily, all of my other tests indicated a healthy/optimal score.

As a black woman, I’ve experience that black people tend view fuller figures as more attractive and “healthy.” If someone gets too skinny, you can hear friends and family ask “what is wrong, are you sick, are you stressed, you need to eat, etc.” I sometimes think the same things when I see that someone has thinned out significantly. So do you have to have a normal range BMI to truly be healthy? That is the question.

What's For Breakfast? | Bacon & Egg Taco and Banana

So this was breakfast today:

Chopped Bacon and Egg Taco on a Flour Tortilla – 260 calories
I medium sized banana – 105 calories
Large 32oz cup of water – 0 calories
Total calories for breakfast - 365 calories

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's For Lunch? | Roasted Pork, Cauliflower Mash, Carrots & Parsnips

Hi everyone, here is what I ate today for lunch. Yummy and low calories.
Cauliflower Mash – 50 calories for ½ cup
Roasted Carrots w/ Parsnips and Herbs – 140 calories for 5 ounces
Herb Roasted Pork Loin w/ Pan Gravy – 180 calories for 1 entrĂ©e
Total Calories for Lunch – 370 calories!

Monday, March 4, 2013

What's for Lunch? | Asian Peanut Noodles

This made my taste buds do jumping jacks and somersaults. It was so good! I am learning that lowering your daily caloric intakes and trying to lose weight does not me you have to sacrifice things that taste good. You just have to sacrifice the things that taste good and are bad for you, lol. But there are plenty of things that taste good but are not high in calories or fat.

This dish consisted of fresh lo mein noodles combined with red peppers, scallions, and cilantro, tossed with an Asian peanut dressing. It reminded me of Paht Thai with crushed peanuts but kicked up a few notches. For those of you who don't know, Paht Thai is one of my all time favorite foods. The serving size was 1 oz. at 60 calories. I had about 5 ounces so about 300 calories.

Friday, March 1, 2013

What's For Lunch? | Coconut Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup has just made it to my list of most flavorful and delicious soups of all time. Unfortunately, since I did not cook it, I do not know what all went into making this soup except for what I can see and gather from its name. The soup contained chicken, spinach, peas and thin noodles. The broth was curry flavored and from the name, I am assuming coconut went into the broth too but I could not taste coconut per se, rather just a unique combination of flavors. This is one of those soups that you'd probably never think to combine all these ingredients together, but whoever did, created something super delicious. This 16oz cup of soup was 320 calories. Definitely good for my 1200 calorie daily limit.