Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Apple Never Falls Far... HEALTHY KIDS, PART I

You know that moment when you open your mouth, and your mother's voice comes out?  I had that un-cool experience the other day.  I can remember vowing to become the "cool mom" when I grew up, but clearly, although cool, I'm also my awesome mother's daughter, and a disciplinarian, at that.

It's funny to me, that no matter how hard we fight it, some part of us will take on the traits of our parents- both good and bad.  

Whitney Zaino writes, in her healthy kids book, 
"Parents are a huge influence. As leaders in the home, we must practice what we preach. How could you possibly expect your child to live a healthy lifestyle but they see you eating donuts, cookies and fast food? The same goes for what you complain about. If you turn your nose to anything green and make negative comments about healthy food, you can bet they will play copycat. We can all agree that how you are raised impacts how you will live when you are an adult. Let's give our children a running start with their health and teach them healthy habits so that when they are older they will not depart from it...." 
Whitney makes some great points here. I love how she challenges us as parents to make wise choices and become who we want our children to be.  I've noticed the "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy really doesn't seem to work out all too well in our house... or anywhere, for that matter,  So when we committed to eating healthier, we knew we were responsible for trying new things, and doing it with the same attitude we expected from our children (you'd be surprised how well I've managed to master pushing past my gag reflex with a smile on my face...  just sayin'.).  And my supplier, (my husband) had to stop sneaking junky candy snacks in his car and at night when he thought no one was looking, because we learned that it was really sending the wrong message to the kids, who ALWAYS seem to find out about these things (they're spies, I tell ya).

But there are days when I just don't FEEL like eating clean (and my scale reminds me of this).  On those days, I might cook something really healthy for the kids and pretend to be busy, so as to avoid said nutritious food, or I'll completely have the wrong attitude when I sit down to eat with them.  And apparently monkey see-monkey do in our house, so when the minis see momma with her poor attitude, they quickly adjust their thinking to mirror my poor attitude, and meal time turns in to war time- where nobody wins.

Even still- when I have a wonderful attitude, I come up against opposition at times.  Whitney writes:

"There will be some children that will inevitably rebel against the new changes around the house.  Who buys the food? You do, of course. Only buy the food you want your child to eat. Parents be parents! Give them choices or nothing to eat! I haven't heard of to many cases of starvation from a child refusing to eat food in the house. Don’t be a short ordered cook. Make the family meal and refuse to make something special for one of the kids that is not eating their food. This is sending the wrong message to the family and especially to this child. They will not starve. When they are hungry, they will eat. As long as it is a healthy meal, it should be what everyone else had for dinner. This is another great opportunity for discipline!"

Thanks Whitney.  I so needed that.  Especially on an evening where spinach and kale are a certainty.  As I was preparing our menu for the week, I went through a mental checklist of everything my kids might say and, knowing that I have a lot on my plate this week, I found myself planning a menu that was more conducive to pleasant attitudes.  You know- the easy stuff that you know they will eat quickly and without complaint.  I have been doing better about eating healthy my self (for the most part) but have found myself giving in more and more here and there to simple temptations

This week, I also entered myself in to a new contest.  This is a summer transformation contest, and I couldn't be more excited.  Unfortunately, I cannot eat all of the things my kids want to eat.  I had to think back to last summer when we first started eating healthy and I had to remember how much my persistence with the kids paid off.  I can remember weeks of tears and fighting and eventually my kids were begging for asparagus, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, spinach, etc.  Although my kids still enjoy those foods, I have found myself more willing to make exceptions for the sake of simplicity.  If I'm really honest with myself, I'm making exceptions in the kitchen so that I can afford to be a little more lazy as a mom.  Truth.

Sometimes the truth hurts, but it's always necessary.  I don't want to raise kids who are spoiled.  I don't want to raise kids who have no respect for the hard work of others, or for their authority.

So what do I do?  I buck up.  Period. I plan the menu that will bring us all success, I prepare ONLY THAT FOOD, and I take a stand.  I refuse to be a short order cook, and I remind them, in the words of my beloved Momma "You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit."

Yeah, this apple didn't fall far from that tree... and I couldn't be more thankful to come from such a wise tree.

Love you Mom,

The Fat Girl,

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Okay, so I keep giving you tons of tips and ideas.  I even shared with you my own faults and failures when it comes to the whole weight loss journey.

But one thing I've neglected to do is to share with you all of the information that originally triggered the start of this blog- the information from my friend Whitney Zaino that sparked the loss of over 60 pounds in a ten month period.

I realized, as I was looking back over the past months, that I have taken you through several key points in this journey, but there is such tremendous information that Whitney has shared with me, and I feel as if I'm doing a disservice by not sharing it.  So this week, I'll be sharing pieces of Whitney's book each day that I am able to write.  I hope and pray they bless you as you continue on your journey towards health and wellness.

Thanks for keeping up with us on this journey.  There is so much more to share, so I hope you'll stay tuned!

God bless!

The Fat Girl,

Monday, May 20, 2013

Plan Ahead. Menus... check!

So, remember how I was talking about planning ahead and being prepared?

A huge part of that comes from planning your weekly menu.  Have you done this?

I used to walk through the grocery aisles and piece together meals that sounded good to me... until I realized (whilst checking out with tons of food that I absolutely didn't need) that was so NOT the way to go.

And then, when I was learning to eat healthy, I'd write down exactly what we'd be eating for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and a possible evening snack.  But eventually, I realized my control issues, and  that became a pain in my backside... so I came up with a generic menu that I can rotate and change as needed.

It's all about flexibility, folks.

The bare bones of the menu are the same.  For instance, I know in any given week, we will have chicken, spinach, Brussels Sprouts, asparagus, apples, and tons more, but you get the idea.  We try to mix it up, but the core of the menu doesn't change enough to require tremendous planning.  This allows for easier shopping trips, and gives room for when things come up and you can't cook that five course meal you had planned.

That being said, last week when my mom went in to the hospital, I had not completed my menu planning and had only purchased parts of meals.  I was frustrated when I came home and had to plan and prepare meals, and attempted to balance a level of cleanliness (which didn't actually happen) with caring for my family, and cooking.    We didn't totally junk out last week, but the meals weren't what I normally would have prepared, so everyone in the house was cranky and exhausted... and hungry.

So when I went to the store this week, I had a full menu in mind.  I left no room for "what if"s in the menu.  I planned so that no matter what happened this week, we'd be prepared and my husband (who loves to cook) could select something from our menu and prepare it in my absence (if need be).

So that's my tip for today:  Plan your menu.

Plan for quick and easy, or plan for meals that take more time if you'd like (and if you know you have the time to spare).  The key is to plan ahead BEFORE you get to the store, and pick up foods that will nourish and build you up rather than deplete your nutrient supply.

We'll file this one under lessons learned... the hard way.

That's it for now.  I'm off to sleep.

But check back soon, for more from

The Fat Girl

Monday, May 13, 2013


You know the saying "Never go grocery shopping while you're hungry"?


Don't do it.

It's somewhat like sending an alcoholic in to a bar to get a glass of water, or sending a kid into a candy store to grab some celery.

It won't end well.

I have a little secret- you know those sweet people strategically placed throughout the store?  You know the ones I'm talking about...  They are over-eager diet saboteurs.  That's what they are.

First, they prepare some yummy tidbit of something that you know (in good conscious) that you should not consume.  Then they lure you in by tempting your children... first.  And then they've got you.  Because who the heck would deny their "starving" children of a sample (or 12) of something that good?  Right?


I'm THAT mom.

You know the one...

When we walk by "Sample Lady", my kids rarely even ask any more, because I know what will happen.  If I say yes, the kids get a sample, and then she practically shoves it down my throat...  or perhaps I'm exaggerating a wee bit.  But you get the picture.  It's rude to say no at that point, right?  I mean, this IS the South, and we do have a certain level of hospitality to maintain, right?

*sigh*  Okay, perhaps not.  But it was really good justification for a time.

But here's the deal- I know that once I sample something, inevitably I'll (accidentally, on purpose) forget something else that I "NEED" and be forced to walk by that sweet sample-lady again on the way to the front of the store... and then sample-lady will give us more, because she, too, is weakened to the "starving children" stare my kids offer as we walk by.  And THEN...

In my weakness, I'll give in and not only take another sample, but (gasp) I'll buy the "yummy snack" that we don't actually want or need.  And then maybe I'll justify that purchase so I'll feel better about it, and I'll think to myself "Heck.  You've already gone this far... just pick up a few more..."  And so it continues.

Don't judge.  You know you do it, too...

So here's the challenge.  Plan ahead... again.

Make a menu, and from that menu, make your grocery list.

Check it twice.

And, ho, ho, ho... stick to it!

I'm such a nerd that I actually know the layout of my favorite stores.  As I'm preparing my list, I will write the items in order of where they can be found in the store.  The completely eliminates the need for back-tracking, AND if it's not on the list, I'm not allowed to buy it.  (says me)  This also eliminates the need for 7652872 shopping trips every week.

In addition, this opens up the door for the kids to have a fun time in the store.  How can grocery shopping be fun (you ask)?  Turn your shopping trip in to a scavenger hunt.  Seriously...  It works, and it's a dual-purpose activity.  Not only does it promote a little family fun, but if I go to pick up something and my little readers see that it's not on the list, they hold me accountable.

So we're walking down the frozen foods aisle to pick up our favorite bread (Ezekiel bread) and I pass by the  "frozen yummy awesome crap".  I am tempted by the crap but my kids are uber-competitive, so they don't allow me to stop.

They're like little drill sergeants:  "Eyes forward, ma'am....  focus on the goal- finding the next item on the list."

So we go through the store, aisle by aisle, and we don't kill each other, we don't melt down, and we don't leave with things we don't need.  I set the expectation before we even go in to the store, so my kids know not to ask for things that aren't on the list.  And... I try to plan my shopping trips AFTER a meal so that there is no unnecessary temptation.

Does it always work this way?  No.

Do I ever leave with things that are not on my list?  Occasionally.

But by planning my weekly menu, I am twenty times less likely to grab a quick pizza during the week or "frozen yummy awesome crap"- especially if I've already grabbed all of the necessary items from the store.

Please do not misunderstand me.  I have treats.  I love my treat days, and they sometimes include frozen yummy awesome crap.  And then I pay the price... which is why I'm trying to help you (us) reach your (our) goals in a way that is practical and, at times, very gratifying.  So consider these challenges to be more like the ideal plans to help you (us) avoid temptation.

Speaking of, I better run and prepare my "emergency fund" snacks for the week (Click here for more on that).  Have a good one!

And join us again for more from

The Fat Girl,

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Challenge # 2: PLAN AHEAD

Have you ever been through Dave Ramsey's FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY?

"Amazing" would, indeed, be an understatement.

A wealth of information that every human needs to know- no matter your age, race, financial status...

It's just an amazing class.

So in the class, one of Dave's first challenges to us, was to build an emergency fund.  He reminds us that emergencies wouldn't necessarily be emergencies if we were prepared.  So he encourages everyone to begin with a $1000 emergency fund, and build from there.

He says "When your car breaks down and you need $950 worth of repairs, if you have $950 in an emergency fund, you'll have what you need to cover it, and you no longer have an emergency on your hands.  You have wisdom, maturity, and preparedness."

As I was thinking through a list of ideas to help with this challenge, Dave's ideas came to mind.

No, I'm not saying start a savings account for your healthy lifestyle.  I'm saying this:


Going to a party Friday night?  Plan ahead.  Pack some healthy option snacks (a handful of raw nuts or seeds, some organic fruit, a raw food bar) in your purse.  Perhaps enjoy a protein shake or eat a healthy meal before you go, so that when you are there, you are less tempted.  BUT if you should decide that you have an "emergency" (meaning, the cake is calling out to you....)  What do you do?  Where do you go?  

You go to your "emergency fund"- your snacks that are waiting for your in your purse.  

You don't like that idea?

Here's another option-  Plan to eat before you leave, and drink only water while you are there.

Nah.  I don't love that option either.

If you err on the side of stubbornness like yours, truly, and you feel as if you MUST have a snack while you are there... and you INSIST on trying some of the food they are offering, limit yourself to a portion the size of your palm and NO RETURN TRIPS.

Parties do not have to be all-you-can-eat buffets. 

But remember this- not all "emergencies" occur at parties.  

Not for me, anyway.  

Most of mine actually occur at my house.  And if we have junk in the house, I'll consume it during my "emergency", so I took a cue from Dave.

I try to keep my "emergency fund" stocked and ready to go on a moment's notice.  If I have healthy option snacks in my car or in my house waiting for me, I am twice as likely to make the healthy choice and pull from the emergency fund, than I am to go on a binge.

So there it is.  Challenge # 2:  PLAN AHEAD.

Get to it, and come back tomorrow for more helpful tips from

The Fat Girl,

See ya tomorrow!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Challenge # 1- Take Notes!

On again.

Off again.

On again.

Off again....


This is the story of my life.

(Insert loud, obnoxious, ear piercing scream)





I probably didn't take time to write and share this with you because I was too over-committed to do any one thing truly well... but guess what?  I did it.  I reached that goal of losing 100 pounds.  I think I was even down to between 203 and 205 (a total of 102-104 pounds lost).  I was excited and I was doing great.

And then, as always, life happened.  

And I fell off the wagon.  I'd like to attribute this to one specific instance, but I cannot.  Between a flurry of baby showers, weddings, women's retreat, birthdays, and more birthdays, I fell off of the wagon.

And it sucks.

I feel like I've gained a bazillion pounds.  And, truth be told, there are probably 5 extra pounds of fluid hanging out where they don't belong.  But I refuse to accept this as MY lot in life.  

Several of you have e-mailed or sent messages to let me know you are in this with me- you are struggling right along side of me, and I want to encourage you.  

I'm super-bloated.  I'm super-tired.  I'm super-disappointed, but I'm not giving up!  And neither should you.

We ARE in this together.  I will commit to writing as often as I can (especially now that most of my commitments are on hold for the summer).  I'll keep it real and I'll be honest when I'm struggling, and I'll share milestones as I reach them.

I promise- I won't abandon you again (intentionally).  

I'm really going to do this.  Heck.  I AM doing this.  And this weekend, when the pool opens, I am going to strut my stuff... under the water... away from the kids with goggles.  (Baby steps, folks.)

And you can too!

How, you ask?

Great question!  I've come up with a list of challenges to all of us.  Ready?

Okay- as I'm fighting off my food-hangover-migraine, here is my first challenge to you:


That's right.

Step away from the chips and queso.  Opt for the celery and the guac.  ;)  Step away from the birthday cake, the baby shower cupcakes that just seem to call out to you, and instead, pull out a piece of paper (even a sticky note or an index card will do) and write down your number one reason for re-gaining control of your health.  Re-read this as many times as it takes to kill that temptation.  

I'm looking forward to hearing from you about how this helps with temptation this week.

I have another challenge already in the works.  So check back tomorrow for some more tips on getting on this wagon and staying on- for good!  

I appreciate you, friends!  

Off again,

On again,

The Fat Girl, Slim