55 by 55 Week 5

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photo credit: yogabenefitsinfo.com.

This is how I feel today…..this is how I felt yesterday….but I swear I will NOT feel this way tomorrow!  I was a bad bad girl this week, actually the last 3 days to be exact.  Therefore I graciously accepted the gain of 2 pounds this morning when I weighed in.  I can’t blame anyone but me…..and I realize that I am like an alcoholic when it comes to food.  Once I let my guard down and start eating “no no” foods, it as if something changes in my brain and I crave these foods.  I am way past the point that I would have called it quits in the past.  I would have just said “F*** it! I’m done!” and would have gorged myself with anything within an arms reach and crammed it into mouth.  Ohhhhhhh I get sooooo frustrated with my lack of self-control!  How in the world can some people decide to lose weight and POOF…the weight seems to melt off?  I am envious, that’s for sure 🙂

The way I look at it is that tomorrow is a new day, and a great day to begin again…..baby steps….baby steps…..baby steps….♥

55 by 55: Week One

 FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photo credit:valor.tv

Week one is done!  Since I am going to hold my self accountable in every way along this journey, I will report that I lost ZERO pounds the past 7 days.  NADA…ZILCH….NONE…. Let me be honest here, as a red-blooded human being I considered 2 things this morning…#1. pretend today wasn’t Wednesday, and forget all about Word Press and #2. just to lie and say I lost 1 or 2 pounds.  Then it hit me that I would only be cheating myself by avoiding the fact that this is going to truly be a work in progress.  I can not believe how addicted I am to food, and this didn’t happen overnight, as I well know.  I look at food as a way to comfort myself if I’m sad, or treat myself it I did something good.  Kind of like a dog gets a treat when he’s done some amazing stunt.  When I was younger there was a lot of emphasis placed on my weight.  People who loved me meant well. They knew that as an overweight human being I would have more trouble fitting in, wouldn’t get the “boys” as easily as my thin friends, and the wanted me to begin the race on the same playing level as everyone else.  They were absolutely correct, but as a young teenager I saw eating as a way to have some control over at least one choice in my life.  What a skewed view that was….no body was going to tell me what to eat, for I was in control.  I remember someone in my family telling me what long beautiful legs I had, and what an asset they would be if I could just lose a little around the waist and belly.  OUCH!  Growing up, I associated love with food.  My mom was a wonderful cook, and she always said I was happiest when I sat down to the supper table.  I know she meant no harm because it was true.  I woke up every morning wondering what was for lunch at school and what was going to be for supper.

I remember about 5 years ago I sat in a meeting with a counselor who worked with me and her stomach was growling.  It was 2 in the afternoon, and I asked her it she had eaten lunch yet, and she said “No, I forgot to eat.”  I was in awe that someone had actually forgotten to eat….how was that possible?  Of course I had to ask her how it was that she could forget to eat, which turned into a lengthy conversation about the difference between eating for comfort and eating for survival.  She eats because she needs to survive, not because it’s noon and time for lunch.  To this day I have never forgotten that conversation.  She eats when her body tells her to eat, not when the clock tells her to eat.  Fascinating!  So as week 1 ends, and week 2 begins, I will document some of the positive things I have done this week, not dwell on the negative “loser” weaknesses 🙂  I walked 2 times this week, once with my 13 years old, who complained how the cold hurt her cheeks.  That was a great walk because the more she complained, the more frustrated I became, and the faster I walked.  I was almost in a full trot by the time I arrived home.  I am drinking at least 24 ounces of water daily.  This is BIG for me, as I have always joked that water “gave me gas!”  I have been having McDonalds Fruit and Maple oatmeal  (which is yummy since I didn’t know I liked oatmeal), for breakfast on the days I work instead of a doughnut (s), and I am trying to pare down my evening snacking.

So here’s to week 2, to more challenges and more little successes.  I thought I would take it day by day, but quickly found out that I need to take it hour by hour, or minute by minute if need be.  I am taking little baby steps…over and over…and hoping that each week my blogs will make a slow 100 degree turn to learning to live a healthier lifestyle.  I watched a documentary the other day, and they suggested to post this motivational saying on your bathroom mirror,and look yourself in the eye 2 times a day and repeat: I ACCEPT MYSELF UNCONDITIONALLY RIGHT NOW!!!!  What good advice to anyone going through any type of personal turmoil…not just trying to lose weight.

♥ baby steps baby steps baby steps♥

FOOD FOR THE BODY

ICED OATMEAL APPLESAUCE COOKIES

4 Tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup chunky applesauce

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup golden raisins

Mix on low speed the butter and sugar until combined.

Add egg and applesauce, mix well until blended (2-3 min)

Mix in dry rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden and just set (about 13-15 min)

ICING

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar

3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

3 Tablespoons water

Whick together and drizzle over cooled cookies

I’m Want to be a Salt of the Earth Person Too

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

Aunt Doris, Erna, Grams and cousin Cher

(My aunt Dorrie, Grams, great-aunt Erna and aunt Lois)

       When I sit back and just reminisce about my childhood, most of my fondest memories revolve around my family and extended family.  I count myself blessed that I grew up surrounded by men and women who are what some people would call “salt of the earth” people.  Wikipedia describes salt of the earth people as “humble and unpretentious people.:  The Collins dictionary describes them as “a person or group of people regarded as the finest of their kind.”  They are hard working, uncomplicated, decent, dependable, and add value to those around them.  Wow, how can anyone lose when these people are in your lives as your ego and psyche are being formed?  I grew up in a small town of 1,000 people and most of my extended family lived somewhere on Hickory Street…with some a few blocks away “on the east side” of town.  I find this so funny now that I’ve grown up that we referred to it as the “east side of town” because our town was only about 10 blocks wide in any direction you looked.  Family was very important, and a holiday and vacation never passed without a get together.  As a child, you not only had a mom and dad, you had aunts and uncles who would step in and fill those shoes, especially if we were getting in trouble.  They all took responsibility for each other, and there was nothing that they wouldn’t do for each other.

(My uncle Shelly, Cousin Mosey and some of us “younger kids” banned to the front room)

Looking back, each and every one of my extended family members worked hard for the possessions they owned.  Many times they would share the cost of bigger ticket items, especially if is was something that everyone was going to be able to use.  They lived within their means, and I really think they appreciated the things they had.   The men and women of the family loved to fish, and it made economical sense to purchase an outboard motor to use on our annual family vacations every year.  So they all pitched in and bought that beloved boat motor.  I can vividly remember it all oiled up and wrapped in an old blanket ready to be hauled to Wisconsin for everyone to use every year.  The men would get up at the butt-crack of dawn to fish, and then the ladies would go out in the afternoon or early evening.  As kids we usually didn’t go out in the boat unless it was for a quick “ride around the lake” to look at houses that we knew we would never own.  We would sit on our assigned bench in the fishing boat, snuggly strapped into our moldy smelling orange life jackets, trying to dodge the spray coming up from the boat as it went faster and faster. You were usually soaked by the time you got back, but it didn’t matter, because you had no other worries in the world at that age.

hot game of cards at Christmas

(Aunt Doris, uncle Shelly, Grams, my mom, aunt Lois and great-aunt Erna)

Then there was the tiller that the “men” combined their money to buy.  Everyone had a garden somewhere, and a tiller just made the job so much easier.  So instead of one person buying one to use, they decided it would be easier to buy it together, and each spring everyone got to use it to start their garden.  If I close my eyes I can see it as clear as a bell, big, noisy, and brown and white.  It truly took a strong man to use it, as it was a beast.  But that’s what these salt of the earth people did.  They shared, they loved, they respected each other, and they passed down that respect and strong sense of family values to their children.  My mom and dad have passed away, my grandparents are gone, my great aunts and uncles are no longer here, but rest assured they, and my Aunts and Uncles who remain, have left behind a legacy of what it meant to be a “salt of the earth” person.  I cherish the memories that these people gave to me, even though at the time they were just going thorough the motions of every day life.  Did they know that the actions they displayed would affect so many of the next generation?  They set the bar high for those following them, but out of honor and respect  I will try to be true to my roots.  I will always treasure the things I have, I will try not to covet the things that others have, I will work hard for what I need in life, I will love those people who are close to me in my life, I will not hesitate to help someone in need, I will love God and my country, and  I will always try to  remember that family comes first.  For there would be no greater honor than to be remembered as a “salt of the earth” human being ♥

My Conversation with Jesus

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

photo credit: thebigquestions.comThis morning while waiting for my daughter to get ready for school, I heard a song by Thomas Rhett entitled “Beer With Jesus,” and it really got me thinking.  I know the day will come when I will meet Him face to face, and wondered just what I would say to Him?  We all have had blessings, tragedies, trials and temptations in our lives, some more than others. I was raised in the faith, as a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church member.  Anyone not familiar with this, lets just say they are a close step down from the Catholic religion, but are Lutherans.  I grew up going to church every Sunday, going to Sunday School every week until I graduated from high school, and became a confirmed member when I was in eight grade.  Our family had a bad experience with our minister when my mom died, and one by one we left the church, finding another to take its place.  It was like leaving a good friend, but that friend had disappointed us to the core, so it was time to sever the ties that I had known for my entire life.  I am now considered an Evangelical Lutheran, which is not as strict as our Missouri Synod counterparts. We also raised our children in the faith.  I just think that having a relationship with God make you more accountable for your actions.  As I said before, my moms advise to me before my first date was to not be caught in a “position” with my date that would cause me shame it Jesus appeared at that moment.  I realize what she meant now, but it was really strange advise when you are 16 years old.

So this morning I allowed my mind to reflect on what I would say if I had a conversation with Jesus.  I imagine He and I sitting around my dining room table, deep in discussion about the things that have happened in my life.  I would first apologize for the sins that I have committed, some involving the top 10.  I am not proud of that fact, as I have committed some whoppers in my life, but not without regret and embarrassment.  I want Him to know that  I knew I was veering off the right path, and always held myself responsible for my slip ups.  I won’t blame anyone else for my mistakes.  It was me, and me alone who messed up. Then I would thank  Him for the wonderful blessings He gave to me during my years on this earth.  I have 4 of the most wonderful children that a mother could ask for.  I suffered 3 miscarriages and had a son die seconds after birth, so these 4 children are truly blessings. Perhaps He would explain that these babies were specially chosen to take the “fast track” to heaven, for heaven also needed sweet tiny faces among the rest of the angels?

I would then ask him why my parents were taken away from me before all of their grandchildren were allowed to know and love them as we did?  Why do some people live into their 80’s, and some are taken away at an earlier age?  I will want to ask him how he decides who is the next person to enter heaven?  I want him to know that at times it didn’t seem fair that often times the “good” people seemed to be taken away too soon.  I am pretty sure that at this point he would look at me, shake his head and remind me that it was not my place to judge who was “bad” and who was “good,” and he would be right.

I would then respectfully inquire why I have been  fortunate enough to fall in love several times in my life, but still find myself alone at this point in my life?  Every little girl grow up thinking that she will find that special person, fall in love, have kids, and live happily ever after.  Why does that happen for some, and not for others?  Why put a person in my life, let me fall deeply in love, and then take them away for one reason or another?  Maybe He will then take my hand and tell me that perhaps the best is yet to come, and the heart breaks I suffered will make me appreciate when “the best” enters my life?

After the questions end, and the conversation comes to a close, He will remind me that He was never far from my side during the times of deep and hopeless grief.  He will remind me that during those dark days He placed the appropriated people in my life to help me over the bumps in the road.  For never in my life have I truly been alone, as I have been surrounded by angels for protection and comfort.  He will remind  me to sit quietly and listen to the voices in my head while in deep reflection…for those voices are His, and He is guiding me will surety and truth.  He may also remind me that there are no promises in my life here on earth, as it is a temporary home, and I need to make the best of it, while recognizing that each experience, good or bad, is shaping my soul and strengthening my faith.  I need to remember kindness and compassion for my fellow-man, even when they disappoint me or are cruel.  And above all I hope He will  assure me that even though my life has been fraught with sins, and times of questioning of the faith, He has forgiven my weaknesses.  He will smile and tell me that it doesn’t matter how many times my faith was challenged, but more importantly it was better that I worked it out, and  found myself on the right track again. Then He will leave me with the most wonderful sense of peace and love. With tears in my eyes, and unconditional love in my heart,  I will then thank Him for sitting at my table,  assuring  Him that I await the day I can sit at His forever ♥

FOOD FOR THE SOUL

CREME WAFER COOKIES

 1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
( I always double the recipe)
Beat butter, add whipping cream and mix in flour.  Cover well and refrigerate about 1 hour.
Roll out 1/8 th inch thick on a lightly floured surface.
Cut out in circular shapes (I use the top from one of my McCormick short squatty spice bottles)
Coat each circle with sugar that has been placed on a plate or waxed paper.
Transfer to parchment lined cookie sheet, and pierce each one 4 times with a fork.
Bake at 350 degrees for 7-9 minutes, will be slightly puffed and feel “set” when touched.
(They are better if not allowed to get brown in color)
Cool and put 2 together with your favorite Crisco frosting.
(very pretty if you divide the frosting and tint each with yellow, green and pink)

There are lovingly referred to as the PIA cookies…yes the Pain in the A** cookies, because they involve more steps than I want to do, but they are worth the effort!