5 Questions About My Weight Loss Answered

5 Questions About My Weight Loss Answered

I haven’t mentioned my health journey for a while.  I’m doing great.  I am down 81 pounds since last summer.  Believe me, no one is more surprised about that than I am.

James and I went shopping on Wednesday and since I am on a search for warm weather clothes, I tried on a few things while we were out.  He asked me, “Did you think at this point last year that you would be able to wear these sizes today?”

I surely didn’t!  In fact, I felt hopeless about it.  Then one day last summer I just stopped feeling hopeless and took charge.  Now I’m running (still a shocker to me every single time) and losing weight and not eating junk…craziness.  You can do it too; I know that for sure.

I get a lot of questions about my weight loss, so I thought I’d answer a few here.

After losing 80 pounds, I'm answering the top 5 questions I get -- The Pennington Point

1. How far do you walk/run every day?
I go between 4 and 5 miles.  I take about an hour so if I go faster I can go further.  I listen to inspirational music and pray and breathe in the outside and the time to myself.  I really look forward to it every day.  For the month of April my Facebook group is challenging each other to push ourselves for 15 minutes, so I am running for at least that long.  It’s unbelievable to me.  I share a picture every day from my morning walk on Instagram….come see!

2. What do you eat?
I eat basically protein and veggies.  I don’t eat any grains, dairy (except yogurt) or sugar (including artificial).  I wrote a post about what I eat for breakfast and lunch.

3. How do you find time for exercise with all of those kids?!Well, it can be a challenge!  In my life now I can leave my kids so it’s easy to get in some morning exercises.  But even so, I still try to get it done extra early so I can be home by the time they are up and going.  If I couldn’t leave them I would find things to do at home, like DVDs, and I would sometimes take them with me and I would just have to figure it out.  You can always try to do half an hour after the hubs gets home.

4. Can you tell me more about the Lift Caps that you take?I still am crazy about my Lift Caps!  I get a lot of questions about the caffeine in them.  I am very sensitive to caffeine and I don’t drink coffee or black tea at all.  But the Lift Caps don’t bother me.  The people that sell them explained to me that the caffeine in it is different than what’s in coffee, more purely processed.  I do have one friend that is so sensitive to caffeine that she did notice it, but she loved them so much that she makes them into half pills (by pulling them open and pouring half into an empty capsule) and takes one half pill every day with success.  I take 2 every morning and they help me so much with my energy.  But if you ever have questions the great people at Life Priority are happy to answer them for you!

5. What essential oils have you used to help you lose weight?
I have enjoyed one called Slique.  It’s for adding to your water and not only does it give great flavor, but it helps your metabolism and curbs cravings.  I also love Citrus Fresh or Lemon in my water.  They balance my acidity and taste great!  Overall though, I think the oils have helped me maintain my own emotional balance which has helped me stick to the diet and exercise routine.

I also shared a bit of my health journey HERE at Hip Homeschool Moms.  I’ll be writing there once a month about various subjects.  It’s a great site if you’re looking for some homeschool encouragement!

And if you would like to join my Facebook group for women trying to get healthy, leave me a comment here or message me on Facebook and I would love to add you!  We pray for one another, share ideas and encourage each other to stay the course.

Have a great weekend!

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

The Last Cold Front and Cheesecake

Here in Texas we are having some kind of cold front, which I am loving.  I know that in a month I will be wishing for the days to be cooler so I am pretending it’s May and enjoying the crisp breeze.  I am also enjoying my last few opportunities to wear my cold weather clothing.  Long sleeves will cause me to sweat profusely in a matter of weeks and I am having a love affair with the anthropolgie shirt I bought myself in February.  We don’t want to part.  We are soul mates.

On Saturday we cleaned the house all morning like a little army.  I barked orders and handed out supplies while the kids scrubbed and swept.  I didn’t make them wear a uniform or anything, but after each task was complete I would inspect the work.  It sounds kind of  miserable, but it was actually kind of fun.  It’s nice to work hard together to take care of our home.  In the afternoon we rested, except for two of the boys who had a Lego disaster in their room and took the whole day to get it straightened out.  Legos are the bane of my existence.

This morning I am in Houston for a quick, fun, visit with my aunt.  She had a couple of spare days and I couldn’t resist driving the 4 hours to see her.  She pampers me and tells me I’m pretty and let’s face it….I’m not getting much of that at home since we are just over a week from tax season being over.

On the good side….we are just over a week from tax season being over!  See?  I can be an optimist when pressed, although it’s not my natural gift.

Tonight my aunt and I are going to eat at The Cheesecake Factory, my favorite restaurant to which I don’t have easy access back home.  I have been saving all of my calories for this meal and, while it will probably make me ill, I plan to eat a few bites of cheesecake.  This will be my first rich food in months so I don’t know how my tummy will take it.  I may have to settle for eating just a teeny bit.

This makes me wonder if we weren’t really meant to eat 1200 calories for dessert.  Food for thought.

In the meantime my kids are home eating scrambled eggs or spaghetti, which only makes me feel 1/100th guilty.  But not enough to skip the cheesecake.

I will go home tomorrow and go back to normal old grilled chicken salads and non rich foods and probably warm weather.

The word for the week is: EMBRACE

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April Acoustic Playlist

April Acoustic Playlist

I can’t believe I let the whole month of March get past me without sharing some new tunes.  Since I listen to music when I go for my walk every morning, I am always needing something fresh to keep it interesting.

It all depends on my mood, you know?  One day I’m all TobyMac and the next I just want to chill out.  So this time I am gonna share some of my favorite acoustic songs.  In case you’re in the mood for something lighter than a full band.

  A great playlist for when you're in the mood for more mellow and simple music.  -- The Pennington Point

1. Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been by Relient K
2. Be My Escape by Relient K
3. Forgiven by Sanctus Real
4.  If We Are the Body by Casting Crowns
5. Only You by Casting Crowns
6. Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns
7. Where the Spirit if the Lord is by Chris Tomlin
8. Our God by Chris Tomlin
9. Stand Amazed by 33 Miles (this link goes to the album because you can only get the acoustic songs if you buy the album…but it’s good!)

I will look for more to share another time.  It isn’t easy to find really good ones.  I’d love to hear what your favorite songs are!

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7 Days of Lunch Ideas for Losing Weight

7 Days of Lunch Ideas for Losing Weight

7 lunch ideas for losing weight! -- The Pennington Point

While I am going to share what I eat for lunch, I must warn you that I am not a wiz-kid in the kitchen and I don’t have a talent for making delicious meals and drumming up a variety.  I like it plain and easy.  I’d basically eat Chick-fil-A for lunch every day if that was an option (salad, of course!).

But since there isn’t a Chick-fil-A within an hour from me I am forced to come up with food I can make at home.  Sad, right?

My diet is based on a book called, Diet Evolution, and once I got over the shock of making so many changes, I found it pretty easy to follow.  It took me a little time to get used to not eating chips and bread with lunch but it’s normal to me now.  Click HERE to read what I originally wrote about the diet.

Also, there are a lot of things you can do with almond flour and coconut oil and various other tricks, but I’m just not good at that stuff.  I’m sure you will have great ideas for these ingredients, but I’ve made it work for me without them.

I do this for a week then kind of mix it up, but eat basically the same thing each week:

1. Tuna mixed with a teeny bit of mayo over lettuce with chopped carrots, hard-boiled egg, chives, almonds, pumpkin seeds and broccoli (I don’t like tomatoes but if I did I would add them).  I use sugar snap peas instead of crackers.

2. Burger patty (turkey or beef) with avocado slices on top, on the side is carrots, broccoli and blue berries.

3. Grilled chicken (I love my George Foreman Grill for this and the burger patty!), fresh green beans cooked with almonds and onions, kale chips.

4. Huge Mexican salad with spinach, spring greens, carrots, broccoli, chives, ground beef (cooked with taco seasoning), avocados, sprouts, pumpkin seeds, grated hard cheese (like fresh Parmesan) and salsa.

5. Shrimp salad (boiled shrimp mixed with a teeny bit of mayo, onions and celery) over lettuce, side of snap peas and carrots (again, insert tomatoes if you like them!).

6. Nuts and Fruit.  If I’m really in a hurry I grab a handful of various nuts and some berries.

7. Egg salad over spring mix with broccoli

I don’t always need salad dressing anymore.  I have developed a taste for salad without it.  But if I want dressing I usually mix these in the blender: pumpkin seeds, crushed garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, olive oil, salt & pepper.

That’s it….pretty easy, right?  And I usually feel like I had a nice lunch and I’m very satisfied.

In case you missed it, here’s what I am eating for breakfast.  Click HERE to read what I originally wrote about the diet.

Happy lunching!!!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for fun pictures of my daily exercise!


Birthday Week

Birthday Week

I would tell you about my weekend, but it would be pretty much a reprint of last weekend.  Fill Shop24 orders, clean house, then add in some packing for my husband since he left yesterday to be gone all week.  He is taking the Bar Exam in California and it’s an intense 3 day test.  This is the grand finale of his 4.5 years in law school.  I am so excited to have my husband back after all of this.

When I write my memoirs the chapter about these past 4.5 years will be titled, “I Know I’m Married, but Where’s My Husband?!”.

So I will instead tell you about my upcoming week because it’s much more interesting.

First of all….this is my birthday.  Yes, I still like to celebrate despite being old.  If I could get away with having a princess party complete with pony rides I would do it.  My birth certificate may make it seem like I am mature, but on the inside I’m one sparkly tiara and a bowl of Captain Crunch Peanut Butter Cereal away from elementary school.

Then tomorrow is my son’s birthday.  So it’s birthday-palooza around here!

I’m gonna have a week long party.  From today until my husband gets home I will be in celebration mode.  I have many plans including a bowl of the best chocolate frozen yogurt on Wednesday night.

Why Wednesday?  I’m glad you asked.  I have had so many inquiries about using essential oils that I decided to host a class on Wednesday night.  I’ll be talking about how I got started and ways to use them; let’s end the mystery.  If you’re in the San Antonio area and want to pop by, I will be at Sweet CeCe’s at 1604 & Blanco at 7PM with some fun oils info and a 20% discount on your yogurt.  Bring on the birthday treat!

An essential oils class in San Antonio....come join us!!  -- The Pennington Point

In addition to that fun, I decided to build myself something for my birthday.  My parents sent me $100, so I decided to use it to build a jewelry holder/full length mirror in my bathroom.  The only problem is that the supplies cost double what I expected.  So I spent Sunday afternoon picking through piles of old scraps and putting some of my purchases back in my van to return.  As God is my witness I will make this project fall within the birthday money budget.

Before I get struck by lightening I will give myself the out that I bought the mirrors a few weeks ago at IKEA and those won’t fall in that amount.  But after that if I have to make hooks out of rusty farm tools I am gonna do it.  I will not exceed this money.

I promise you will be the first to see it when I am finished (hopefully later this week) and I will give you a full financial report.

Have a great week and be sure to stop by and see me on Wednesday night!

How I am Changing from Fred to Wilma

How I am Changing from Fred to Wilma

Everywhere I go people look at me with surprise because of my weight loss.  I have had several people, who I know pretty well, not recognize me since I lost weight.

It cracks me up because while I know I look different, I’m still just little ol’ me inside.  I actually forget about it until someone comments.

While I still have quite a bit of weight left to lose, I am starting to work on my shape.  I am still large around the midsection.  I guess having babies did that to me.  So I blame the children.  I will point to my stomach and say, “See this?  You did this.” while talking to my 10 year old son.  He loves it.  Makes his day complete.

I’d like to be shaped less like Fred Flintsone…..

fred01

And more like Wilma….

wilma01

And it’s happening!  Wanna know how?  I’m doing T-Tapp!  It’s a 15 minute workout DVD that I have been doing 3X a week and I can’t believe how much my shape is changing.

What I have is the Basic Workout Plus DVD.  I already had this in my cabinet, waayyyy in the back, when Charlotte Siems reminded me of it while we were hanging out at the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit.  She is my new best friend by the way, although she isn’t completely aware of this occurrence.  It may be more of a friendly-stalker situation.  Tomato-tomahto.  You really should read her testimony, it’s inspiring!

I really think T-Tapp is good for anyone no matter where you are on your health journey or what your limitations are.  The testimonies on the video are amazing.  It opens up the spine and helps your core.  (technical words make me sound so informed)  And you never have to get on the floor or bounce around.  I am surprised every time how good I feel afterward.

And don’t forget your Lift Caps!  They have made so much difference in getting me up and going every morning!

How I changed my body shape though an easy 15 minute workout!  -- The Pennington Point

This post contains affiliate links.

February’s Christian Workout Playlist

February’s Christian Workout Playlist

Even though the freezing weather is keeping me inside with a workout DVD or stretch or use the treadmill, it isn’t stopping me from my praise music.  I love getting my day started with some uplifting tunes that draw my focus toward Christ.

I'm always looking for great music that will uplift AND get me through my routine!

Here are 12 of my latest faves.  I hope you like ‘em too!

1. Overcomer by Mandisa (every good workout should start with this song)
2. Let Go by Holly Starr (This gets my juices flowing!)
3. Make a Move by Royal Taylor
4. These Days by Mandisa (I have a general rule that there have to be 2 Mandisa songs on all workout playlists)
5. Friend of Sinners by Laura Story (she moves me)
6. Love Comes to Life by Big Daddy Weave (every time this comes up in my playlist I think, “I have got to share this song on the blog!”)
7. I Refuse by Josh Wilson
8. For Your Glory by Matt Redman
9. Change by Group 1 Crew (a little hip hop to pick you up)
10. Hold Me by Jamie Grace & TobyMac (there has to be TobyMac on the list or my kids will be upset)
11. Awake My Soul by Chris Tomlin
12. Run by Addison Road (I have a rule that I have to run while this song is on)

Enjoy!

And be sure to checkout January’s great playlist too!

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My Weight Loss Journey: What I Eat for Breakfast

My Weight Loss Journey: What I Eat for Breakfast

I told you last week that I have lost 75 pounds so far on this weight loss journey that I started last summer.  It’s been a great experience and I have learned so much about myself and my body, but I still have a long way to go.

Truthfully, I think it’s a lifelong journey.  There’s always a new layer of experience waiting to be had.

Can I get an amen?

Lately I have stalled a bit.  I’m still eating what I am supposed to and doing my daily exercising.  But I have traveled a lot and not been home as much and it’s been harder to really know what is going into my food.  Eating out can be a killer on the diet.  And I think travel does weird things to my metabolism.

Anyway, I am still at about 75#, alright maybe 75 1/2# lost.  But that’s OK because I am still doing everything I am supposed to.  I haven’t lost my drive to stick with it.

One of the things I notice makes a huge difference is what I eat for breakfast.  When I eat a good, protein rich breakfast I get a better start, have less cravings the rest of the day and more energy.

what I eat for breakfast

Before this diet I would eat cereal or toast for breakfast.  I always had a slight stomach ache and I never knew why.  Well now I know it was the breakfast I was eating because as soon as I started eating just protein and berries that stopped.  And I used to drag, but now I have energy to last me well into the rest of the day.

I have several quick options for breakfast.

1. Omelet and blueberries (I put a little chopped up turkey bacon and some grated parmesan cheese, maybe spinach or and mushroom, in my omelet)
2. Hard boiled eggs with slices of turkey bacon and strawberries
3. Plain yogurt with blueberries and cinnamon (this took some getting used to but I like it now)
4. Protein shake (if I’m in a hurry I drink a powdered protein shake mix with almond milk and a little PB2)
5. Scrambled eggs with sprouts and chives

I really don’t need a huge variety of options.  I’m a simple girl and I’m happy with a variation of any of these.  My diet doesn’t allow dairy (except a tiny bit of dry cheese) except yogurt or fruit except berries.  That makes my choices limited, but still tasty and satisfying.

I notice if I skip breakfast I am more likely to have out of control cravings and be more fussy.  So even though I generally don’t feel hungry in the mornings I always get some protein in.

Like my momma always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Be sure to follow me along on Instagram where I share daily updates on my exercise and meals.

10 Things I Can Do Since I Have Lost 75 Pounds

10 Things I Can Do Since I Have Lost 75 Pounds

January is wrapping up and I notice people falling away from their New Year’s Resolutions.  It’s the natural course of life….make a resolution, hit it hard for about 3 days then spend the rest of January wondering how you will make it through the rest of the year without guilt.

It’s very similar to Monday, when we all say we are going to start our diet.  Eat all you can on Sunday because come Monday the diet starts, as if it’s got magical powers.  Wouldn’t that me nice, magi Monday? The truth is, no matter when you change your life, it’s just God and plain old determination that will carry you to the finish line.

(what is it about a sports metaphor that makes me feel like I can do anything?)

And so I decided to change my life one Thursday last summer.  No fanfare or Facebook frenzy.  I just put down the french fries and never looked back.

No more diet soda, no more cookies, no more mac ‘n cheese.  I could write a sad, I-miss-my-baby, kind of country song about it.  Except I don’t really miss it all that much.  I know.  It surprises me too.

And I surely don’t miss having my stomach in my way when I need to pick something up off the floor or not being able to go up a flight of stairs.  In fact, I made a list of things I can now do that I couldn’t do then.

1. Cross my legs
2. Wear clothes from the regular section of the store
3. Wear a belt
4. Run 2 miles
5. Keep up with my kids’ activities
6. See the sunrise every morning (which is about my exercise of course, not really the weight)
7. Be glad to have my picture taken
8. Not feel guilty because I don’t take care of myself
9. Ride roller coasters (although I haven’t tested this one yet)
10. Bless others with my journey

Since last July I have lost 75 pounds.  No one is more shocked than I am that this has happened. It felt impossible, but here I am.  And I am telling you YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!!

And it’s not even Monday.

Here are a few of my posts on my journey:

Join Me in my Journey Toward Great Health!

How These Supplements Have Changed my Life

A Day in the Life with my Oils

Great Christian Workout Playlist

I Lost 60 Pounds…Here’s my Secret

Getting Healthy…You Already Have What You Need

I’m Halfway There

Lessons from Lisa: Don’t Take Off Your Shirt in the Middle of the Street

I’m Getting my Sparkle Back

More About What I Am Eating

Let’s Get Fit Together

 Be sure to follow me on Facebook to follow along!

What I’m Wearin’ for January

What I’m Wearin’ for January

Even though I’m finished with my modesty series, I will still be sharing what I wear from time to time.  Since I’m losing weight, it’s fun to try to put together something to wear with what I can find in my very sparse closet.  Most of what I have is way too big for me.  I took in a bunch of skirts so they fit better, but they’re still a little large so I have to work to find ways to wear them.

This first look is my no make-up, no hair fix, hanging out at home but I put on a necklace anyway look.

I got the skirt and sweater at Target and the long sleeved tshirt at JCPenney.

This next little number is something I found in a thrift store.  It a vintage style dress which got me so excited!  Especially since it’s a little longer than usual.  It’s sleeveless, so I put a sweater from Target over it (the same one as above but in a different color) and some of my fave colored tights.  I felt so dolled up.

Here’s a cute skirt I got on clearance at Dillard’s.  It’s kind of blankety and it hangs nicely.  The sweater is the same one from above (I wear that thing to death) and the tshirt is JCPenney.  My daughter made me the fabulous necklace.

And here’s a day when I was shopping and having lunch with a friend.  It’s the same black tshirt from above.  The lace vest is 100 years old, like I have no idea where I got it.  The lace overskirt is from Forever 21 a couple of years ago.  I also wear it under things sometimes.  Under that I have on a pair of really full black pants.  They are very skirt looking, but I stood for this picture with my leg bent so you can see that it’s actually pants.  Just something different.

That’s it for my January fashion show.  Thanks for stopping by!