Category Archives: Madness with Meli

Madness with Meli is all about the madness of daily life from my crazy nutty perspective. Everything from daily stresses to nightly funnies! Stay tuned and enjoy!

A letter From a Struggling Survivor

Over the last few months of my life, I have done some MAJOR biting of my tongue when people say some pretty dumb things to me after they found out I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in early November 2014. I am writing this not out of anger (although at times there was definite anger in my bones when people said some of these things.) but I write this to try and help you understand what these questions make you feel like when you are on the other side of them & what you should be saying instead.

  Here are my top 4 things to never say to a thyroid cancer survivor:

♥ Well if you had to get cancer, you got the good kind with Thyroid Cancer.

This is by far the stupidest statement I have ever heard and yes there is some bitterness to this statement. NO CANCER IS A GOOD CANCER! Yes MOST thyroid cancer has a good prognosis and can be treated. But the after effects of this disease are life long, unlike many other types of cancer which are treated and then you go back to normal living after recovery. Survivors are now dependent on medication that has to be taken everyday in order to regulate their body, they deal with nerve pain, hair loss, poor immune system, lack of energy, brain fog, and depression. It can take years before doctors are able to regulate hormone levels in their body and get them back to functioning. You live with Thyroid cancer for the rest of your life. You have to go for scans, and live with a fear that one day 70% of survivors will have a recurrence 5-10 years from initial treatment.  No part of this is good, not one bit of it. SO please stop saying it to people, it is demeaning to the battle they are fighting and minimizes everything they are going through in their life and the things that they don’t even know are coming. ALL CANCER IS BAD, it all has LIFE long consequences that survivors will deal with forever, let just all agree on that now Ok?

♥It will get better, just don’t be so negative.

My inner eternal optimist has been semi-permanently silenced for a while. Getting the news of cancer has put duct tape over her mouth and told her to sit in the corner, because there is NO upside to cancer. You see; when you can’t remember what it felt like to wake up and feel good sometimes you just don’t know that it will get better. So you start learning to not hope for it, and you teach yourself how to accept where you are and how to deal with what you have now, the good, the bad, and the awful. You whine and complain, (a lot more that you used to) but you also appreciate the days that you do feel good a lot more than you used too also.  Someday I hope my inner eternal optimist will break free and start shining again, until then could you just love me for where I am and deal with the negativity for a while?

♥ Well now that you got the all clear from your doctor why are you still so sad?

My body & mind just went through major trauma. In my case I went from being the healthiest I have ever been to the absolute sickest I have ever been to being “all clear” in a matter of 9 weeks. It is a lot to process, and there was no second opinions, no time to stop and think or process any of it. I am still in survival mode, and am trying to dig my way out, so please understand that I want to feel relieved and happy—I just don’t remember how.

♥ When are you going to be back to Normal you again?

If I knew the answer to this question I would be counting down the days. The truth is after listening to many survivors I will never be the old normal again. That is a loss that I am grieving so please just doesn’t expect me to be who I used to be. I will eventually get to a person who might resemble the person I used to be, I hope that I will come out on that side an even more awesome version of myself but at this point I just don’t know.

 

Here are my top 5 things that you should be saying instead.

  • Thyroid cancer SUCKS! Let’s talk about how much it sucks!
  • I will be positive enough for both of us for now, hoping to someday show you the silver lining in life again and set your inner eternal optimist free.
  • I am sorry you went through all of this, and understand that you are still sad and processing, I am here with tissues and ice cream ready to listen any time you need me.
  • You are still you and I love you for what you are now and who you will become.
  • What can I do to help you through this?

 

I cried while writing all of this afraid to be hurting those who I love so much, sometimes you have to tell the truth even when you know it will hurt.  I hope this helps someone out there to know you aren’t the only one struggling through recovery, and I hope it helps a loved one know how they can better help.

With love~ <3 a struggling survivor.thyroid_cancer_survivor_womens_tank_top

Happy One Year Trimaversary!

Sistersphoto 2What a difference a year makes! I can’t believe that it has been a year since I started Trim Healthy mama! For 6 months before I started my Sister Diana had been hounding me (yes Diana you hounded me!) She even gave me the used car salesman speech “Melissa what can I do to help you get into this life style change?” For 6 month I made excuse after excuse, about why I couldn’t do this… I was too busy, too broke, too whatever to change. The bottom line is I wasn’t ready to take a leap and try again to lose weight. After 15 years of trying, and failing I had truly in my heart of hearts given up all hope that I would ever get bellow a size 24. That is until I finally sat down, and READ the book. I remember sitting in my parent’s living room with tears streaming down my face as I read this book that for the first time in my adult life gave me a hope of health, and weight loss.

The day before I started this journey my sister and I had taken a road trip to Austin and spent 90% of the time talking about this lifestyle, about how I could do it. We laughed and planned together for 4 hours down to Austin and 4 hours back. The next day I jumped 100% whole heartedly and never looked back, I attended my first North Texas Meeting of Trim Healthy Mama’s, and met some amazing ladies, who have supported me every step of this last year. I have to say a quick thank you to Teri, Cynthia, and Teresa. You ladies have encouraged and cheered me on this past year and I am so thankful for you! In my first week I ate! I actually was able to eat and eat well – all the while LOSING weight! I remember my mom actually calling my sister and asking her “Diana is Melissa supposed to be eating this much?” Diana Laughed and replied “Yes mom, she is supposed to eat and be satisfied!”

I lost 30 Pounds that first month and a half, and then another 30 by summer time, and then another 20 by my birthday! And by years end I had lost an accumulative 80 POUNDS! I started the year at a size 24 in clothes and ended in a 14/16! This wasn’t an easy year for me, there were times when I was frustrated, and would look at the scale and wonder why it wasn’t moving, I would feel sorry for myself and then remember where I started! I would look in the mirror or at a picture at times and think to myself “who is that person” I remember walking by a glass window and seeing my reflection and stopping and looking at myself. For the first time in my life I wasn’t ashamed of my reflection. I started the year pre-diabetic, hypertensive, and morbidly obese- I ended the year with perfect blood glucose levels, perfect blood pressure, and obese not MORBIDLY obese. I can run, and play with my son! I can clean my house and not be exhausted. I can stand for 8 hour shift at work and then come home and still stand and be a mom! I have so much energy it is amazing. After battling with thyroid cancer at the end of the year I made a decision: if I never lost another pound, I would still stay a trim healthy mama for life. Why? Because the HEALTH I have gained in this LIFESTYLE change is far more priceless and more valuable to me than ever losing another pound. I was able to undergo MAJOR surgery, and recover in a week, why? Because my body was healthy! This wouldn’t have been possible without Trim Healthy Mama. I am still recovering from surgery and cancer treatments right now and my energy levels are not where they were, I am positive that without my Trim Healthy Life, I would be leaps and bounds behind where I am right now. This isn’t a lose weight quick scheme, or an overnight change. This is a LIFESTYLE change. It takes time to learn this way of life, to cut out old bad habits and create new healthy ones. It took me a good couple of months before this life style became second nature. Not I can truly say Trim Healthy Mama for Life!

 

Here are my 10 favorite tips for success:

1) Read the book! I thought that this was way more complicated and difficult than it actually is, once I read the book it was exactly what it claims to be: “A common sense guide” to a healthy life! Pinterest, Bloggers & the Facebook groups are a great SUPPLEMENT to the TRIM HEALTHY MAMA book, but just like any supplement they will only get you so far! You have to go to the source if you want to TRULY be successful in this lifestyle.

2) Start making small changes as you read the book, cut out sugar & white flour, buy more fresh veggies, and start labeling your foods

3) Give recipes from the book a second try if you don’t like them the first time or a first try if you are like me and think to yourself “really cottage cheese?” I promise your taste buds change!

4) Take a before Picture and Measurements! The weeks that the scale wasn’t moving, looking at pictures of the day I started really helped me to see the change. Looking at my measurements also really helped encourage me also!

5) Pick a mini goal to achieve, when you achieve that pick a new one. I buy a super cute outfit in my next goal size, and hang it up in my room so that when I look at it every day I say to myself, I can’t wait to be able to wear that outfit! When you try it on and it fits, that feeling is priceless!

6) Make a list of things you want to be able to do, things that have NOTHING to do with a scale, or measurements! Here are a couple of mine: I want to walk to the park without using my inhaler, I want to wear a skirt without my thighs chaffing, I want to come home from a 12 hour shift and not have my back & knees hurt, I want to come home from work and have enough energy to play with my son.

7) Be kind to yourself! This is a learning process; it isn’t an overnight change for everyone. You didn’t form unhealthy habits in a day, or gain excess weight overnight… It is going to take time to break those habits! So be kind to yourself!

8) Plan what you are going to eat until it becomes second nature! I plan my Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and two snacks a day. It makes it easier because I don’t have to think when I am hungry- I just look at my menu! You can down load my blank menu plan here. Or here is a link to 3 weeks of completed menus to get your started.

9) Find a friend to do it with you & hold you accountable in the beginning! I couldn’t have done this without my sister there cheering me on and answering my four billion questions.

10) See one, Do one, Teach one… You’ve read the testimonies– you have learned to live this lifestyle—now teach someone else how to do it! Give someone a book, and help them to learn to be a Trim Healthy Mama or Man!

 

photo 5 photo 3side front

New Year, New Plan

He-Who-Fails-to-Plan-is-Planning-to-Fail

Happy New Year from my home to yours! I am so excited to start a new year, but we can’t start something new with out reviewing the old right? As I look back over 2014 I see a year full of opposites! I went from Full time Nursing Student to Full Time Nurse! From living under my parents roof, to Living under my own roof! From being as unhealthy as possible, to being more healthy than I have ever been in my whole life! I lost 80 lbs in 2014, I also lost 6 Dress sizes and 2 shoe sizes. This is such an accomplishment after spending my whole life (both as a child, and adult) overweight and desperate to lose weight! I began my Trim Healthy Lifestyle on January 18, 2014. I planned every meal, and snack! I worked day and night on my weight loss and health. Boy oh boy did it pay off! 

Looking over this year made me realize there is still more to be done! I recently had a full thyroidectomy, and have just finished radiation therapy to treat the thyroid cancer that was diagnosed in November.  I have to get back to my most optimal health now, regain the health, energy, and stamina that I have recently lost. 

I think everyone starts their year with resolutions, it is a tradition is it not? This year i am resolute in the following: Improve my health by staying Trim & Healthy on plan. Meal Plan each week and follow my meal plan  Improve my spiritual life through mining the word of God daily & journaling on a daily basis.

I am writing these here so that I can look back at them, also to encourage others to do the same. We cannot hope to improve with out setting a standard to strive for. I may not be achieve perfection in these areas, but I know what I am striving for! 

 To that end I have created 3 weeks worth of Menu’s. Some of the recipes are my own, some are from my fellow THM Blogging Friends, and some are from the book. 

 Click here to down load: MENU

How to keep your hope through the storm

The last month has been the most trying time of my life so far. I was diagnosed with cancer, my car broke down, and my finances have been so tight I couldn’t squeeze a penny more out of it. I have felt, discouraged, and dismayed. I went from being on top of the mountain, doing well at work, buying a home, and my baby starting Kindergarten to the lowest I have felt in years. Yet through all of what seemed like absolute chaos I can see God’s hands right there with me gently guiding me and holding me up through this time. I have felt His peace all around me. I have felt so supported by my friends and family through all of this. We were able to schedule the surgery to remove the cancer quickly, Dec 17th to be exact. God is so good to schedule this so quickly! At 5 days before the surgery I received the phone call from both my surgeon’s office and the hospital regarding my financial responsibility before they would perform the surgery. The total was over $2200! I was reeling, how could I possibly come up with that kind of money in just 5 days? The answer was clear, I couldn’t come up with that kind of money. Me little ole me couldn’t do it, but My God could do it for me! I posted this status on my Facebook “There will be no doubt when this happens, it will be God’s doing and not my own. Even with every discouraging piece of news I have received in the last month, He is there holding me up with His right hand telling me everything WILL be OK. This time will be no different!”

My sister and I set up a “ Go Fund me account and shared it on Facebook, to see if we could raise some of the money, thinking small we thought we would possible raise a quarter to half of the amount. By the end of the first day we had raised $745! By the end of the second day we had raised the FULL AMOUNT!!I have been in absolute amazement all weekend. Every time my phone buzzed with a new notification that there was a donation made, my heart leapt from my chest! I want to say a special Thank You to all of my close family and friends who not only shared my Go Fund Me page, but also donated! I would also like to Thank Jennifer GriffinAmanda Coer’s, Sarah Criddle, and  huge thank you to all of my Trim Healthy Blogging Buddies that shared my page and asked your readers for help. Your support is priceless and  without it I dont know that this would have been accomplished. Within 48 hours of what seemed to be an insurmountable problem, EVERY single penny was raised! God provided in a miraculous way. This situation reminded me of an old lesson I have learned over and over again.

                A few years ago I spoke at a ladies retreat. I shared a simple truth that I have held onto in my life. The power of speaking God’s word over our life. The bible is filled with HIS wisdom, His promises and His Love for us. During this David and Goliath moment I began to once again pray God’s promises over my life. I held on tight to my life verses of hope. This is a discipline that takes work; it isn’t always easier to do. I have a small scrapbook at home that I have written many verses on. I love to flip through it, and read those scriptures. I want to encourage you to find your own life scriptures, to draw your strength from. Here are a few of my anchor verses that I have written on post it notes and stuck to the bottom of my computer monitor at work to remind me every day:

For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans for good and not Evil, to give you a future and a hope.                                                                                                                 Jeremiah 29:11

Come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest, for my burden is light.

Matthew 9:23

Despite all these things, OVERWHELMING VICTORY is ours through Christ who loved us.

Romans 8:37

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!                              Philipians 4:13

Even there your hand will guide me your right hand will hold me fast.     Psalm 139:10

Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you, I will hold you up with my Righteous right hand.                                                   Isaiah 41:10

                When we pray the word of God over our lives, there is a sense of peace that surpasses all human understanding. When a friend of mine who doesn’t believe in God asked me “Melissa with all the bad things that have happened to you and now having cancer, how can you still praise a God who would let this happen?” I smiled to her and gave her a hug and replied “When I CHOOSE to be believe in God it is not because he promised me that it would be easy, in fact His word says the opposite and guarantee’s that by following Him I am in for trials and tribulation. The difference is that I have faith that my Savior is holding me up through the storm and a hope that when the storm is over I will come out stronger and better than ever “thyroid

The C word

Two weeks ago I went for a routine exam with my endocrinologist. I have been doing this about once a year for the past 5 years. It has become routine to me. I go in, talk about all the things that I should change and how my weight is seriously affecting my health and the longevity of my life. At the end of each of these visits the doctor sends me for a sonogram of my thyroid, and usually for a biopsy of the 3 nodules that I have been living there for several years.

                This visit was different. Having lost 83 pounds to date my doctor was extremely impressed! He raved about what a great life change I had made, how wonderful it was that I am no longer pre-diabetic. In his words “You have literally just added 5 years to your life.” When I asked if he felt I needed to have the thyroid removed, or what we would do for treatment he replied simply, “you have treated it, with your weight loss. You are not having any symptoms of thyroid disease and your numbers look better than they have in years. Just keep up with the weight loss and I don’t think we will need to do anything. Just to be on the safe side I want you to go for your sonogram today and we will revisit after.” I scheduled the test for later that day. Being a medical professional can sometimes not be to your own benefit. Especially when you can talk a sono-tech into letting you see the screen while they work. As she scanned my Thyroid I knew something was different. There were two new black nodules showing on the screen and the largest of them was dark, dense and had grown nearly 1.5 inches since my last sonogram. <insert the ominous music here>

                A week later I received the phone call from my Doctors nurse. As she read the doctors findings back to me I felt my heart drop into my stomach and I couldn’t breathe. “Your thyroid and the nodules have enlarged at an alarming rate. The largest nodule as well as the two new nodules appears to be malignant, and we want you to go for a full body scan as soon as possible.” I felt my entire world falling apart. I was reeling, and spinning. I almost felt like I was drowning. I have felt this way nearly every minute since this phone call.

                I have spent the last year of my life at the peak of health, I have lost the weight I was told I would never lose, I have had more energy, had two horrible diagnosis wiped off my problem list and have conquered some major demons in my life! I have pushed and pulled and worked so hard to gain my health. Only to hear the C word, to have someone tell me I have Cancer. Just one little word with a huge scary meaning that made me feel as if all of my progress, all of my hard work was for nothing. Frankly I was mad. I haven’t given in to comfort eating or stress eating for 10 months! I have been dedicated to my health and well-being… and yet CANCER! With the anger came an overwhelming sense that I was being ridiculous. As I began to tell those closest to me about this diagnosis, I began to hear all of the concern and love they have for me. They have given so much support , and so much hope. I can hear them with my ears, and process it with my mind, and part of me could believe it yet I still felt myself falling, drowning, falling further and further from the health I felt I had just a week earlier. Hadn’t my doctor just told me that I had added years to my life… But CANCER?! What about my son? What will happen to him how will this news affect my sweet innocent child? How do I explain this to him?

                I have not handled this news very well, in fact I have pretty much been an absolute wreck. I wish I could say like many have that I have been unafraid, that I have known every minute that all would be well and that this was no big deal. Well I can’t say that… I haven’t been able to get to that point yet. There is part of me that believes that to my core, I know that it WILL be ok. I know that I have a huge support network, and loving family and friends that will see me through this. Above all else I know I have a beautiful savior who took 30 lashes so that I would be healed from this… But guess what? My flesh has been winning this fight so far. I have even reached out for the old comfort I used to feel in food, my former idol my comfort. I have eaten so poorly in the last 4 days, Mexican food, funnel cake, Oreos, hoping to find the comfort I used to feel when I ate this type of food… Only to find myself so sick I could barely walk. I haven’t really been honest with anyone so far. When they ask how I am doing I shrug and say “I’m doing OK” when really I have been doing the opposite of OK… I text messaged my sister this morning, not having been honest with anyone about how bad I have been feeling. I was honest with her, she lovingly reminded me that God gave me this plan, Trim Healthy Mama. He sent this to me to experience food freedom and health. She reminded me that I can’t allow this circumstance to steal of that away from me, I can’t be a victim.

 

                I have debated on writing this post, being so transparent to those who don’t know me and especially to those who do. I have gone back and forth, because I don’t like to show the vulnerable, weak side of me to anyone. Showing this side of me makes me look weak, and well no one wants to look like that. Right? WRONG! I need to admit that I can’t handle this on my own; I can’t just suck it up and keep going. I need to dig in to my support system, and allow those who love me to be there. Most of all I need to open myself up to my Lord. He has a plan for my life, a plan of hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) so today I build my house on the solid rock for my foundation. I chose to believe in Romans 8:28 All things work together for the GOOD of those who believe.

While my life is about more than the way I eat, the Trim Healthy lifestyle has become a huge part of my life. It has given me so much, and helped me to overcome so much. Now more than ever I believe that in order to conquer this battle to win the fight with thyroid cancer I need to be even more dedicated to the Trim Healthy Lifestyle. There is healing in the recipes, and there is healthy in this way of eating. I will conquer this epic battle. I will survive.

 

thyroid-cancer-ribbon

Winning Game Plan

Recently I have begun to see a stall out in my weight loss, it is coming off still just MUCH slower than it was in the beginning of this THM Journey of mine. This is to partially be expected when one has lost 66 LBS in 6 months, however being the overly analytical type A personality I am… I began to evaluate my life now as opposed to my life when I was just beginning THM. One very major change has been that I am now a full time working outside the home THM, as opposed to a part time working outside the home THM. When I was home part time I was able to do much more scratch cooking during the week and make sure I got in my breakfast, second breakfast, lunch, snack, supper, and dessert everyday exactly 3 hours apart just like a good little THM! My weight was literally melting off of me at a rapid pace, because I was constantly keeping my metabolism boosted and my body satisfied.

As a full time pediatric nurse I sometimes find it difficult these days to find the time for my morning and afternoon snacks right at the 2.5- 3 hour marks. This is not always optimal for my weight loss during the week! As you know when we don’t feed our metabolism regularly it begins to slow down and our weight loss can stall out. Wait a minute did I just say we all need to eat MORE frequently to continue our weight loss? Yes Ma’am I did (that is part of what I love about THM I get to feed my inner “fat girl” constantly and keep her quiet and satisfied… or energized depending on the meal ) when I skip meals and snacks or go WAAAAYYYYY to long in between them two things happen; my metabolism slows and my concentration suffers, and second my blood glucose drops to a hypo glycemic state which is not good for my weight loss but especially not good for my health!

Once I discovered my issue I knew I had to come up with a winning game plan to conquer this challenge. This is a tool that I use in my life anytime I have a challenge, or I want to make a change. I found this amazing book “Performance Intellegence” and it’s follow up book “Renewed” when I heard the author, Dr. Julie Bell speak at a ladies retreat a few years ago. Just like THM her book completely shifted my thought process. In this book she gives you step by step tools on how to be successful at just about anything you want to put your mind to. First you have to set your goal, then you have to set up your winning game plan on how to get to your goal, lastly you now have the freedom to say no to anything and everything that is not going to get you to your goal. It is very simple in my terms here, her book goes into much more detail, and is truly a “game” changer. If you are looking for more direction in your life and how to change things to get there I would definitely encourage you to pick up a copy of this book!

My winning game plan for Snacking:

  1. Come up with a list of easy, quick prep, snacks I can keep in my drawer or scrub pocket in order to eat quickly between office visits. (My List is below to give you some ideas)
  2. Plan ahead. I committed to making and following my menu weekly. I plan for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and two snacks a day as well as my drinks and desserts. (You can download a blank template Here, as well as see a couple examples of my menus)
  3. Prep, Prep, Prep! I spend my Saturday and often Sundays prepping my food and snacks for the week, so that then when my busy week comes I can simply grab and go, without having to think or stress.

Here is my list of Easy Prep, go to snacks throughout the week. Divided by food Type:

S (Satisfying)

  • Trimachino Rich with any of the following snacks:
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 4 pieces celery with 1 TBS PB (I buy the precut & washed because we don’t use this for anything else, so the pieces are 1 stalk cut in 3rds I would guess)
  • OS Trim Meat Sticks with 1 cheddar cheese stick
  • Full fat cheese stick & cucumbers
  • Skinny Chocolate ( All different varieties & I always add protein powder when I make mine)
  • Just like Wheat thins with Greek Yogurt spinach dip
  • 2 chocolate chip cookies
  • 1 special agent brownie (recipe found on page )
  • Deli meat Roll up
  • Protein Latte in a blender bottle(8 oz. almond milk 4 oz. coffee ½ scoop whey protein powder 1-2 tsp. Truvia 1 TBSMCT oil)
  • Almonds, Peanuts, Cashews, or other nuts ( individual packs)
  • 1 Joseph’s pita with 2 TBS of Peanut Butter and 1 tsp. of slim belly jelly (My version of a PB&J)

FP (Fuel Pull)

  • Trimachino Light with any of the following snacks
  • OS Trim Meat sticks (Not an affiliate just a link so you can find them!)
  • ½ Cup of Fresh sugar snap peas and Greek Yogurt ranch dip
  • 1 part Skim cheese stick and cucumber spears and Grape tomatoes
  • Light Babybel with handful of grape tomatoes
  • ½ cucumber with 2 Light Rye Wasa and 1 Lite Laughing cow
  • Lean Deli Meat 2 Light Rye Wasa and 1 Lite Laughing cow
  • 1 Low carb tortilla with 1 lite laughing cow sprinkled with cinnamon and Truvia
  • Churro Protein shake (12 Oz almond milk, ½ scoop vanilla whey, splash vanilla extract, few shakes cinnamon, sweetener to taste Shake well)
  • 1 light Babybel with ½ cucumber
  • ½ Baked Josephs Lavash with 0% Greek Yogurt sweetened with Stevia
  • FP Brownies
  • 2 Light Rye Wasa Crackers with a wedge of light Laughing cow (I love the jalapeño or French onion)

E (Energizing)

  • Trimachino light with any of the following snacks
  • OS Trim Meat stick with ½ -1 apple
  • 1 C cherries with ½ C 0% Greek Yogurt sweetened with Stevia
  • 2 slices sprouted grain bread with 1 wedge light laughing cow
  • 1 Apple with 1 fat free cheese stick
  • Oatmeal cookies
  • Blueberry Breakfast cake
  • Handful of grapes and a light Babybel
  • 1 unsweetened applesauce pouch with 1/3 cup of pistachio
  • Air Popped Popcorn with Almond milk protein drink (8 oz. Unsweetened Almond milk ½ scoop whey protein and flavoring of choice in a blender bottle)

 

THM Sipper Concentrates:

  • GGMS (I love the original but I also make the Carmel Apple frequently)
  • Singing Canary
  • The Shrinker

I hope this will encourage you in your Trim Healthy journey, learning to keep on plan can be challenging, but it is so worth it!!

 

 

MyTrim Healthy Journey So Far…

Today I would like to tell you a little bit more about my story, my testimony to God’s unwavering faithfulness. I have had a good life for the most part, I have followed the Lord since I was 5 years old, holding true to His promises and while I have had some times that I have stepped out from under His covering, I know that He has always been faithful to bring me back to Him.

I have struggled with my weight and my self-esteem my entire life. I remember going to school and always feeling left out, feeling like the odd man out. I remember going shopping at the mall with my friends and going into the only store I could find clothes that fit me which everyone at school referred to as “The Fat Girl Store”. I remember how much it hurt to always look like I was 10 years older than I was because I was wearing clothing that my mom wore. These scars ran deep in my life. Being rejected, and made fun of by others even my own friends. I can remember all the way back to sixth grade being called a school bus because we had to wear these awful yellow t-shirts for gym class… to this day I won’t wear the color yellow.

I had lost all hope of ever being truly attractive and of worth when I was 18 and my doctor told me “Melissa you just need to accept that you will always be overweight. Between your PCOS and Thryoid issues you will never be able to lose the weight you need to. So just accept it and be comfortable with who you are.” My doctor didn’t know that he had just shattered my world with that statement. So I set out to prove him wrong… I tried every diet out there; Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Adkins, South Beach, Master Cleanse, and so many more I can’t even remember them! I would have some measure of success on each one usually about 25-30 pounds, and then the plateau would kick in and I would give up and gain what I had lost plus 4-5 pounds. So at 27 years old nearly ten years after that earth shattering day in the doctor’s office I gave up. I decided to accept myself as “the fat girl” I decided that I would just love who I was and anyone who had a problem with it could take a flying leap! (Can you sense the anger.) At this time I had just lost 3 babies to miscarriage(due to my health issues and weight), my marriage, my Job, my best friend, and my house, Most of all I had lost my hope for the future. I was in a very dark place and was ready to give up on everything when God brought my son into my life, He needed a mommy and lots of love, and I needed him to teach me how to be whole again. We cried together and laughed together, and grew together. My son saved my life in every way possible. Our adoption was finalized 9 months to the day after I brought him home to my parents’ house and told them that he was going to be my son. (You can only imagine their shock most people bring home puppies I bring home a baby! But that is another story)

Let’s fast forward two years, I was a now a mom with a renewed joy in life. God has already begun a work of restoration in my life and I was serving the Him faithfully once again. At this time decided that it was time to begin another new chapter in my life and return to my education! I began nursing school in the fall of 2012 and my life would literally never be the same! I can’t even begin to give you a list of all the wonderful things becoming a nurse has brought into my life, I met one of my best friends in nursing school and we became like sisters. She has truly been one of my biggest cheerleaders in life sincere day I met  her.

It was during nursing school that my beautiful sister Diana began her Trim healthy journey. A friend of hers gave her the book Trim healthy Mama and she started following the plan. It was a true life style change. Not only was she losing weight and inches but she was gaining confidence, energy, and stamina like I had never seen in her. She kept telling me “Melissa you need to read this book! You just have to, it will change your life”. I wasn’t ready to change my life yet at this point , so I made excuse after excuse! I was too busy with school to read another book, it was going to be too confusing for me to grasp, too expensive, it wouldn’t work for me just as none of the other plans in my life hadn’t worked for me… It wasn’t until 6 months after hearing about Trim Healthy Mama that I finally did the unthinkable, I READ THE BOOK!! Within minutes of finishing the Drive Thru Sue chapter I realized that this woman and Farm Fresh Tess were my soul mates. They were me in a book. With in hours of pouring over the pages of the Satisfying & Energizing Chapters I was in tears because for the first time in my entire adult life, I FOUND HOPE FOR WEIGHT LOSS. I had given up on the remote idea of being healthy or being thinner, but I found my hope again in this plan. I found a community of women who were dedicated to encouraging each other! I cannot emphasize enough how vital reading the book is, i had looked at  the Pinterest recipes and  Facebook boards for months prior to reading the book. Everything seemed like a bunch of granola crunchy mumbo jumbo… UNTIL I sat down and read the book. Then it all clicked! It was a light bulb moment probably in my top 5 life changing moments.

My Trim Healthy Journey began on January 18, 2014 I went full force, there was no looking back for me! I began at a weight of 326 lbs and a size 24. My first week I lost 12 lbs! and then a month and a half later I reached 30 lbs. It was at this point that old fears began to creep in… I had mad it this far before… would I be able to keep going? Could I actually be successful at this weight loss and Trim healthy journey? The answer to that question is YES! Month after month week after week I kept going kept losing pounds, and if I wasn’t losing pounds I was losing inches. I was gaining energy like I had never had even when I was a child. My aches and pains we gone. I no longer required sleep aid medication to fall asleep! The list goes on and on with the many miles stones that have come along with starting Trim Healthy Mama.

As of my last weigh in I have lost 66 lbs, and 4 dress sizes and 1 ½ shoe sizes! I will never go back to where I began, because it would be going backward! This journey has changed my life in so many different ways, on the surface I don’t cringe when i walk by windows that will show my reflection anymore. I can run and play with my son! I can go shopping and not be confined to one shelf of clothing. I am in control of my food intake! I am no longer controlled by sugar and potato chips! When people ask me (and they do ask frequently) when are you going to start eating normal again? I simply smile at them and say “this is my normal!”

I have gone from Hopeless to full of hope! God has brought me full circle, He has changed my life in so many ways that I am sure I can’t even see yet! I have to say thank you to Serene & Pearl for this Heaven inspired plan, thank you for taking time away from your family and friends to minister to women like myself who have lost hope! God has used your plan to change so many people.

Trim Healthy Mama is a commitment, it is long term and it is a LIFESTYLE change. I would like to share a couple of pieces of advice that have helped me along the way:

  1. Find a THM Buddy. Having someone to walk through this journey, bounce ideas off of, and cry and whine to on days that aren’t easy is priceless! I could not have made this change and been successful without my sister’s guiding hand and loving help.
  2. Be prepared! Make a plan even just a loose idea of what meals and snacks you will have for the week if you don’t want to be detailed. IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!! You can find a printable menu plan here: Blank Menu Plan.
  3. Be open to new ideas and new foods. Just because you didn’t like a recipe the first time you tried it doesn’t mean the next time you try it you won’t love it!
  4. Buy multiple sets of measuring spoons and cups Jit really comes in handy when you have more than one set in your kitchen!
  5. Become involved with the THM community. Get on the FB Boards and be an encourager! J never in all my years of weight loss have I found a more encouraging, loving, and honest group of women to lift me up on my bad days, or call me and encourage me when I feel like cheating & giving up.

Here are some before pictures: Top right: I was 17 years old Top Left I was 19 Bottom Right: I was 27 Bottom left I was 29

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Next are the Pictures from the day I began THM:

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These are during my journey  of the last 6 months! my favorite was being able to ride the carousel with my son at the zoo and not breaking it!

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Steak Lettuce Wraps {S}

steak wraps

As I was planning my menu for the week I knew I was craving lettuce wraps from one of my favorite local restaurants. I sat at the table slightly perplexed and disappointed because their sauce is sugar laden and filled with ingredients that do not fit into my Trim Healthy Lifestyle. I began thinking “I bet I could make that myself and tweak it to be Trim & Healthy. So I put my brain went to work on a plan to create my own mouthwatering lettuce wraps. Here is what I came up with:

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Steak Lettuce Wraps with a Ginger Teriyaki Sauce. {S}

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 Heads of Romaine Lettuce (Butter Lettuce works great too I just happened to have Romaine in the fridge)
  • 1TBS EVCO (Extra virgin Coconut Oil)
  • 1 TBS Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp. Truvia
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce Or Braggs Liquid Amino’s (I used Soy Sauce)
  • 1 Onion Diced
  • 2 tsp. minced or finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 TBS minced garlic (Divided)
  • 1-2 tsp. red cracked chili pepper flakes. (Optional if you don’t like spicy.)
  • 1/8 tsp. glucomannan
  • 2 LBS Chuck Steaks- Cut into 1-2 in Strips
  • 1 Large Zucchini thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Yellow summer squash thinly sliced
  • 4-5 mixed sweet peppers thinly sliced
  • 8-10 Button Mushrooms thinly sliced

Rinse the Lettuce and separate leaves onto a plate. Place in the fridge to chill while you start the filling.

Filling Cooking Instructions: I started by sautéing the chopped onion in 1 TBS EVCO when they began to turn translucent I added the steak strips and sautéed them until they were browned on all sides. Then I added all of my peppers and mushrooms. After about 4 min I added the rest of my veggies and allowed those to cook covered for about 3 min. Next I added the soy sauce, ½ TBS minced ginger, and garlic and Toasted Sesame oil. Stirred together well and covered. I allowed this to cook until all the veggies were tender and the meat was cooked thoroughly.

Sauce instructions: Strain the liquid from your pan into a sauce pan and add: ½ TBS minced ginger, Truvia, and red cracked chili flakes stir all ingredients together over a medium heat until it begins to simmer and then lower your heat to a Low heat. Continue to stir and add 1/8 tsp.

of glucomannan (used to thicken the sauce). Stir vigorously to avoid clumping. (I use a salt shaker to evenly distribute the gluccie)

Allow to simmer another couple of minutes and then remove. The Sauce will thicken as it cools.

 Assemble your components and Enjoy.

We got to eat out on the patio this evening it was a rare cool night in Texas. We enjoyed this with some Iced Tea and watched the kiddo’s play in the sprinkler. It was a night for the record book! My favorite part of this meal, is that it is delicious & filling but it doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down and heavy. We were still able to go on our evening walk and enjoy time together after a steak dinner!

P.S. You will need extra napkins as these can be finger licking good but slightly messy!

For More information on Trim Healthy Mama Visit Http://www.trimhealthymama.com

 

Trim healthy ME!

I have been on Trim Healthy Mama for about 12 weeks now, and I have NEVER experienced so much success, support, and energy on any other eating plan. It has been a complete shock to my system and a complete lifestyle change. I eat all of my favorite foods, pizza, cheesecake, steak, salmon, CHOCOLATE. Every week, I also now eat quinoa, brown rice, and so much coconut oil I should take out stock in a coconut oil company. (Haha) I wanted to share my story with you, how I got to where I am today, my testimony about finding hope fire healthiness when I had absolutely given up hope that I would ever experience weight loss of any kind.
When I was 18 years old I was diagnosed with PCOS & Hashimoto’s Thyrioditis. The combination of these two disorders makes the idea of weightloss nearly impossible. My doctor made sure I knew this too. I will never forget our conversation. “Miss Chavez you should accept who you are and just love your life. You will probably get diabetes by the time you are 35 and hypertension sometime between now and then.” Well I am not one to just roll over and give up. I set out to prove him wrong! I tried Weight Watchers, South Beach, Adkins, The Zone, and experience a measure of success with each, losing and gaining the same 25-30 LBS over and over. All the while giving up my favorite foods, depriving myself of enjoyment and telling myself “if you just had more discipline,more will power you would be able to do this!”. I cried and fret over my weight, always thinking I was just meant to be “fat”. I decided that maybe surgery was the option for success so I pursued Gastric bypass, I had a date set for the surgery. When it fell through because of insurance, I was devastated! I spend weeks beating myself up and becoming absolutely depressed. The doctor was right, is the conclusion I came to and I just accepted who I am. I walked with confidence. I figured out how to just be me and love myself. Now fast forward about 5 years: One year ago April of 2013 my beautiful sister began her journey on THM and has found amazing success. She tried and tried to convince me to begin THM. I refused, And refused, all the while researching this new dangled way of eating. The voice in my head telling me that I would just fail at this just as I had so many other times so why bother? Then I finally after much coaxing, I read the book- more like devoured the book. It was like a lightbulb turned on, and all of a sudden it all made sense. I realized that I could do this, especially after reading all of the success stories of Gwen & Jennifer, and so many others on the THM Facebook Page! I took the leap of faith and went all in with this lifestyle change. This was January 18,2014. Here I am 3 months later, 42 pounds lighter, 3 dress sizes smaller and am continuing to melt always nearly effortlessly. By following Serene & Pearl’s plan. This plan is God inspired and just makes so much sense! I thank God everyday for a sister that wouldn’t give up on me, that has supported me everyday in this journey, and for Serene & Pearl’s book. If you are wanting to live a healthier more energetic life then I truly encourage you to click on the Trim Healthy Mama link and take a step toward a healthier life! It isn’t an easy change to make but I can promise you it is SO very worth it! You will not find a more supportive group of women, or a more hope-filled journey than this one.

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The Great Fauxtato Search of 2014

Hi everyone I am Melissa and I am a potato addict. That is to say that I love them, I need them, mashed, Fried, hashed, baked, puréed, in soup, with roast, or just all alone on their own. Potato’s are this perfect, delectable, mouth watering side dish that I have eaten all my life. Which wasn’t a problem, until I started this amazing journey in January. Potato’s are a high glycemic starchy food 🙁 which does not fit into my new lifestyle plan! Trim Healthy Mama is a Low Glycemic Lifestyle in which I separate eating carbs and fats, which is our bodies two main fuel sources. I love every single day on THM, there is so much freedom, and I have received so much from this lifestyle and given up very little; refined white flours, sugar, and you guessed it POTATOS. Thus I am need to find a good, delicious, mouthwatering substitute for my potato’s.
My search began with Mashed potato my very favorite side dish buttery, creamy, and yummy. Amazingly, cauliflower was the answer here. I steamed a 16 oz bag of frozen cauliflower ( because that is what I had on hand fresh works great too) until they were tender, I threw them in my blender a handful at a time and blended until smooth then added 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic powder and blended again until combined…They were lip smacking good!! My four year old LOVED them and asked for seconds. They receive a 4 out of 5 stars in my book. One point taken off for texture they weren’t as creamy as potato’s, but they were a delicious alternative and help chase the pounds always so they are a keeper.
Next up in the search are roasted potato’s. Radishes work really well here!! Radishes have about 1 net carb per half cup! Super low carb and great on the glycemic scale. The first time I made them it was an epic fail… But I learn from my mistakes, they let here is boiling in lightly salted water. It takes away the parsnip-y flavor. I pan roasted them with butter, minced garlic , S &P, and a 1/4 of an onion until Caramelized and yummy ( about 20 min). OMGoodness they were yummy. 5 out of 5 stars for me they were flavorful, and had a great texture! These will be repeated in my house hold. ** side note Radishes are also great with a roast in the crock pot! They absorb all the beef or pork flavor and are super yummy**
Last but certainly not least the French fry, oh My sweet love of French fries! I did a little digging for this one, and discovered a recipe for baked Jimica fries! In case you don’t know Jimica is a fruit and it has a sweet citrusy flavor it is usually eaten raw. 1 whole Jimica is about 4g Net carbs (8g Carbs – 4g fiber=4g net carbs) so here is what I did to this yummy fruit I didn’t even really know existed until last week. I peeled it (with some difficulty) then cut it into 1/4 inch width pieces. I tossed it with some EVOO, seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 min then flipped and baked an additional 25 min. Holy potato fake out batman they are yummy!! 5 out of 5 stars for a French fry replacement!
I hope you find your perfect potato replacement! Let me know your ideas in the comments! I love trying new recipes and ideas. Happy eating!!
Love Mel!
Here are my roasted Radishes

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And my Jimica French Fries

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