Friday, May 30, 2008

Chocolate Anyone?

Okay, I admit it. I love chocolate. Yes, I am the "losing weight after baby" website lady and I do encourage moms to make healthy choices. But I DO love chocolate ever-so-much!

Now by loving chocolate, I don't mean I eat a big bowl of chocolate chip ice cream everyday. I try to keep my treats in moderation (like a 100 calorie chunk of dark chocolate).
I'm in maintenance mode right now, which means I want to eat enough calories to maintain my current weight. When the scale begins to creep up, I know it's time to kiss the chocolates goodbye for a few days.

If you've just had a baby, you're probably in "weight loss" mode. When I wanted to lose weight after my last pregnancy, I saved treats like chocolate to enjoy every 2 weeks or so.

Does it sound too radical to pass up chocolate for 2 weeks? Then do what my friend did. Only eat chocolate (or other favorite treats) every other day. That will cut your chocolate consumption in half if you're nibbling on something sweet everyday. The beauty of every other day is when you feel like you really want a treat, you just tell yourself, "Oh, I can eat that tomorrow," and that seems really doable.

Once you are comfortable with treats every other day, you can move to treats twice a week. And then graduate to once a week. Just remember the beauty of delayed gratification. It may be hard to say no to chocolate, but you'll be thrilled when you can put on your old jeans again. When you see the scale moving in the right direction, you'll know it was worth it to skip a treat or two.

The fruit of the Spirit is...self-control. - Galatians 5:22-23

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Your child's friends

It's so nice when your kids are babies.  Their friends are people you hand pick.  Whoever you hang out with, their kids are your kid's friends.  Then they go to school and everything changes.  For my little girl  it's been a tough road thus far.  She has a couple friends we wish she didn't.  I can see bad things down the road for them.  And I'd rather she didn't experience the world they are exposed to.  She's in third grade and has a few friends who watch MTV and aren't supervised by adults very often, fun things of that nature.  She has one friend who can be found wandering our streets on any given day at any given time.  One of her friends dresses like she's 25 and anxious to catch a man.  But what do you do?  Seriously, what do you do?  If you know, please write me!!  These things can stress me out sometimes.  More often than not she is the good influence on them.   But their bad influence, even once in awhile, can be devastating.  It can take months to recover from bad choices and experiences.  

So here's what I do know.   We can pray for our kids.  We can love our kids.  We can guide and direct them according to God's principles.  We can directly tell them words of wisdom from scripture.  We can teach them how to make good decisions and pick good friends.  The rest we can leave up to God Almighty.  And may I suggest we put the fear of God in them?  I don't know if we can really do that but modeling for them that fear...that would be powerful.

Pray for your kids.  Pray for their friends.  And pray they pick some wonderful ones along the way.

Proverbs 17:7
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 17:27
The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death.

Be lifted!


Monday, May 26, 2008


Hey Everybody,

I have a special shirt that I wear just for traveling home from a weekend conference. It's especially comfortable after being in my "dress-up" clothes for several days. It's just a brown T-shirt, but it has a great message: NO WHINING!

Now, if you're going to wear a shirt like that, that means you better be ready to take it seriously! But when everyone is feeling tired and cranky and ready to be home, my T-shirt is a great reminder for our family that whining is an issue of self-control, no matter how old or young you are!

Whining can be a serious problem for young families. If you've heard your share of whining, then you know what I mean! That nasally tone accompanied by a sense of childish urgency can send a mom running in the other direction! Your best line of discipline, however, is in helping your child understand that whining is an issue of self-control. My friend Ginger Plowman has come up with an absolutely inspired solution: a No More Whining kit for families. It includes a parent's manual, a children's book, and a No More Whining watch! I'd love for you to check it out at my website and get all the details! A whiny two-year-old quickly becomes a whiny ten-year-old, and you can only blame it on teething for so long! :)

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless
and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in
which you shine like stars in the universe. . . (Philippians 2: 14-15)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Is There Recreational Fun after Baby?

After we had a baby, a recreational activity for me and my husband was going to Walmart together. That was about it. Maybe you know the feeling! Yet doing fun things together, maybe something you did before baby, is important to strengthen your marriage. Your spouse can feel forgotten when diapers and onesies take front and center.

This week on my Losing Weight After Baby podcast, I talk about one thing your husband needs: recreational companionship. And guess what? When you bike, hike, swim, play tennis, etc. with your husband, you'll be burning calories at the same time. And you're having fun while communicating how much you enjoy your man. That's multitasking at its finest!

On my website, I have a list of activities to jog your brain about things you can do together with your spouse and even a few you can do with baby. Right now, we love to hike with our 3 & 1 year old. Ethan loves running in the dirt and Noelle is all about being outdoors. Summers approaching...take out your calendar and plan a little family fun! When you keep active, the pounds will come off much faster.

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not
obey the word, they without a word, may be won by the conduct of their
wives. I Peter 3:1

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My youngest has suffered with allergies for his entire short life.  I can't remember the last day we didn't blow his nose twenty times.  It's literally been three years of nonstop blowing his nose.  I've learned to be an advocate for myself and my children.  I just got back from the pediatrician's office.  She is wonderful and I am going to dearly miss her taking care of my kids.  I was totally honest with her today, "The Allegra isn't helping and he needs help."  So now we are going to see an ENT and an allergist.  Why is that important?  I have watched this baby suffer and it's been long enough.  I was nothing but kind today to our doctor but I was straight forward with her, "Enough's enough."  He's so little and there doesn't seem to be much else she can do to help.  So she was honest with me and said we need to see some specialists.  

How are you an advocate for your child?  Is there some area of their lives where you need to be more assertive?  Is there a situation you've avoided dealing with out of fear?  Or are you on the opposite end of the spectrum?  I've known people over the years that acted like maniacs when it came to their children.  Ask God to reveal to you where you need to stand up for them and when you need to maybe hush a bit.  He'll show you if you're genuine with him.  

I'm mad at myself for letting my boy suffer for 2 3/4 years.  It's hard to know when to trust the doctor and when to question things.  Ask God for wisdom and understanding concerning your child.  Remember, he loves them even more than we do.  Surely  he wants the best for them just like we do!

Isaiah 65:24
Before they call I will answer; while they are speaking I will hear.

Be lifted!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Too Busy for Fun?

Hey Everybody!

Boy, this is a busy week for me! I'm getting ready to head to Orlando for the FPEA Conference. Maybe I'll see some of you there! I've got a list of things to do before I leave, and "wash the van" was one of them, so my son Derek and I headed out to get that done this morning.

Cleaning the van never fails to remind me of the precious cargo it carries, so I can't get too upset when I find the cups, hats, shirts, and dried-up french fries they leave behind! In spite of the busy day I have, it was good to take the time to laugh with Derek when the hoses got tangled up, spray each other just a little, and debate over which "fragrance" to use on the car seats (He wanted wild cherry; I wanted pina colada. Finally, we agreed to save the quarters and use Febreze when we got home!).

I don't know what kind of day you have planned, but don't forget to take some time out to have fun and ENJOY your kids! They are each so precious; they are one-of-a-kind creations that we have the great privilege to parent!


Friday, May 16, 2008

What Do Socks Have to Do With Losing Weight?

My 3 year old son Ethan has been in desperate need of socks. Some of his have holes, others are too small, you get the picture. I bought a pack last week but when we got home, they were too small.

Now Ethan is really into Lightning McQueen from the movie Cars. He really wanted socks with Lightning McQueen or some kind of racecar. Of course what I ending up buying today was a standard pack of gold toe white socks.

So when I gave them to Ethan, God gave me a great idea: "Ethan, look at the yellow stripe around the toes. It's a racetrack!" Ethan responded with a big smile, "Wow! That is so cool! I love these socks mommy!"

Marketing. It's all about marketing.

Do you need to lose a few (or more) pregnancy pounds? It all boils down to marketing. What are you going to tell yourself? If you say, "This is going to be fun! I'm going to eat healthy and feel great" - you will be on your way to saying bye bye to all that baby fat. On the other hand, if the commercials running through your mind say, "I'll never get this weight off. Why bother trying? I just want to eat junk food!" - most likely you'll keep the pounds and pack on a few extra each passing year.

So, make a decision to look for the positives! Like Ethan seeing a racetrack in socks, you see the silver lining in eating healthy, cutting back portion sizes and exercising regularly!

"Finally brethren, whatever things are true...if there is any virtue and if
there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things."
Philippians 4:8


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who is watching YOU?

From the time your kids are newborns, they are watching you. They learn so much from us that it's pretty scary! They are learning how to interact with others, especially how to treat them. They are learning how to love by how you love them. They notice how good manners make others feel special. They develop thankfulness and gratitude based on whether or not you have such attitudes. They get their sense of God's importance in their lives from you. They get their significance from they know that you love them? Do they know that God will never leave them? Or is there world total chaos? What is your foundation? That will be your child's foundation whether or not you like it. Can they stray from it? Sure. But I totally with all my heart believe that verse in Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when his old he will not turn from it." I think every investment we make in training our children will yield results...eventually. God doesn't promise anywhere in scripture that it will be easy or that we will see results in our own lifetime. But if you are teaching your kids the Word, it will make a difference in their lives. Pray for your kids. Read your Bible with your kids. Teach them verses. Post scripture around your home. But don't forget to watch yourself. What are you saying to them? Do you believe it or do you just say it? When times are tough do you turn to the chips or the phone or do you call on your Father? How you walk with God in every and all circumstances...whew...they are watching you! And they are learning. What about your tongue? That's my biggest problem. I have one kid that makes me crazy. I've said things I never thought I'd say. God's had to discipline me for my anger and silliness. Some personalities are sooooo difficult to handle. But God is patient and kind. He's allowed me to keep my tongue and now it's better handled. So I've had to ask my kids for forgiveness from time to time. Not that I advocate sinning in order to teach your kids...but it has been great for my kids to see me ask God to do better and also to ask them for forgiveness. Today, look at your life. What are you doing with your kids? How do you spend your time? What do you do and what do you say? And who do you depend on? These are wonderful things to contemplate. We're investing in eternity ladies!

And another thing, have you thought about the other moms who might be watching you and how you treat your kiddos? Just a thought....

Hebrews 12:1-2, 12-13 (NLT)
Since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with the endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. Mark out a straight path for your feet. Then those who follow you, though they are weak and lame, will not stumble and fall but will become strong.

Be lifted!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Quick! Before You Forget Your First Mother's Day!

I hope you had a lovely Mother's Day yesterday! I was so blessed to spend the afternoon with my dear mom, my sister, and our families. How precious! I remembered my very first Mother's Day as I thanked my daughter and sons for giving me seventeen Mother's Days! My very first one was spent in Charlotte, North Carolina, dedicating Danya in our church, Carmel Baptist.

There were close to twenty babies being dedicated that day. The baby next to Danya screamed through the ENTIRE thing! To this day, I do not know why those parents continued to stand there instead of taking their baby out! I mean, really, those screams are immortalized on many videotapes and will be around for a loooong time! What irked me the most was that several people afterwards came up and asked me why I didn't take Danya out! They thought she was the one who was making all the fuss! Not my baby!

I encourage you today to jot down somewhere what you did yesterday, especially if it was your very first Mother's Day. Write down this special memory. Record where you went, how you dressed your baby, and what you did. All "first's" are special! Don't let time slip away without making sure you write down a few details. See how fast they grow?


Friday, May 9, 2008

Losing Weight While on Vacation?

The summer months are approaching which means you may be headed for vacation soon. How do vacations usually impact moms who are trying to lose weight? You usually end up coming home a week later with 5 extra pounds to shed after all the dinners and desserts add up!

My family has just returned from our first roadtrip to Yosemite with my in-laws. I'm happy to report we all did great on the 8 hour trip (except for one hour on the last day when our baby Noelle had enough and wanted out of the car!).

When you're on vacation, it's a bit ambitious to say you're going to lose weight, so I think MAINTENANCE is a worthy goal. Here's what I have found to work:

Be active on your vacation. Take walks together, swim, bike, hike - be outdoors and keep moving! No sitting around watching TV on vacation!

Bring healthy snacks along. This way, you won't fall prey to the vending machine or fast food place when you're starving in between meals.

Practice moderation. Enjoy your splurges (after all, you are on vacation!) but don't have a big splurge for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

With a little planning, vacation can be a wonderful time of togetherness, enjoying great food while not gaining any weight in the process.

May this Mother's Day be extra special for you! God has done a new thing in your life by giving you a precious treasure. Enjoy your little baby and the privilege and high calling of motherhood. You are doing a wonderful job nurturing your family! Happy Mother's Day!

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my
petition which I asked of Him." - 1 Samuel 1:27

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Bloody noses

We are in the midst of getting ready to move.  We are leaving the tundra of Minneapolis and headed somewhat south to Indianapolis.  We just found out Saturday that it's all a go and we'll be leaving in a month.  That being said, we have a lot to do.  I have a lot to do.  Stuff my husband won't ever care or know out closets, sorting through 400 papers my daughter has kept for almost ten years, deciding which pants I might wear again etc.  So this morning when I woke up  I was dreading the incoming contractors (we have a thirty year old house with at least a dozen pending projects...) and all the piles of stuff I started yesterday.  But I know we're on a tight schedule from here on out.  We've got to get the house listed ASAP.  It's tough to sell a house here and I'm feeling a bit of pressure.  Instead of hitting the ground running on all these chores, I started the day with my toddler and his umpeenth bloody nose.  He has been bleeding a LOT for about a week.  I feel so bad for the guy.  At first I wasn't sure what my reaction would be...Would it be frustration? I have to clean three spots on the carpet, clean his clothes, soak my clothes, and wash his bedding for the fourth time this week.  There's so much to do already!  And there's a flooring guy coming in less than two hours.  What's my point?  Sometimes it is very natural for us to comfort and love our kids.  Other times they are another thing on our to-do list and that frustrates us.  More often than not I have to plead with God to make me slow down and just love the kiddos, whatever that means for them.  Today, my little boy just needed calming down.  He needed reassurance and for mom to just physically be there.  I was pleased that my reaction was compassion, not frustration.  But I'm confessing to you that this hasn't always  happened in the past.  It's been a long haul and a result of a lot of prayer.  

Back to the bloody nose.  Now he's happily playing in the tub, it's like it all never happened.  He's got Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Big Bird lined up on the edge of the tub.  He's given them all "popcorn and juice boxes."  It thrills me to see him completely over his bloody nose and happy again.  There's nothing that makes me grin like watching and hearing him play make believe.  So yes, I still have a ton of cleaning to do.  But I have a happy boy and that makes it all worth while.   

No matter what you have on your list you have room in your heart for a bloody nose?A gabillion times now my kids have taken precedence over  my chores.  Is my house perfect like my mother's always was?  Not even close.  But my kids know I love them.  I ask my kids a dozen times a week, "Who loves you?"  I'm relieved to know that Mommy, Daddy, and God are always on the list.  So I feel like I'm doing at least one thing "right."  Even though Mommy doesn't always react (initially) well to additional daily stresses, they've heard me ask God to do better.  And I can say (honestly) that nine times out of ten now I concern myself with them and what they need and not how it affects me.  Maybe that's easy for you but it hasn't always been for me.  Ask God for what you need.  Believe me, he wants you to have time and love for your kids bloody noses.  He wants us to be perfect and complete.  Holy cow, is that daunting or what?  That's why we're given love and grace.  I challenge you to give your kids some too!  

Off to clean up carpets...

Ephesians 4:32
Be kind and compassionate to one another...

Monday, May 5, 2008


It seems like the words "tired" and "mom" somehow go together! Is it because we have so much to do or is it because we do too much? Hmmm. That's worth thinking about.
What are some of the things in your life that could possibly be delegated to another person? Your spouse wants to be involved but is not sure how to go about it. Your baby's grandma is always asking you what she can do. Have you ever thought about actually taking these folks up on their offers to help you? Or do you insist on doing it all yourself? Or, and I say this just as delicately as I know how, could it be that when others have tried to pitch in, they have not done it YOUR WAY--and after getting fussed at and watching you re-do it, they vowed never to offer to help you again? Ouch!
Go to the Lord and ask Him to help you see the places in your life where you need help and the people who are waiting to help you! Motherhood is not a one-woman show! And when you accept the help of another, remember: That person is blessing you. Let that person bless you in his/her own way. There is more than one way to load a dishwasher, change a diaper, and vacuum the floor.
There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters
God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from His. (Hebrews 4:9-10)
Get some rest!

Friday, May 2, 2008


"There she goes!" Those were the delighted words of this proud mom when my baby girl went toddling across the floor for the first time. Oh, those first steps! It was an exciting moment, and I admit, I got a little misty-eyed as my sentimental nature realized those first steps were the beginning of a newfound freedom and independence that would continue to evolve as my daughter grew up and away.

It happens fast.

Last week, those words were uttered again: "There she goes!" And this time, she was behind the wheel of the car, driving away from me. Again, first steps--but this time, they are taken in a vehicle on a crowded roadway rather than within the gaze of her loving parents on a cushy, carpeted floor.

The truth of the matter, however, is that no matter what stage your child is in, "the righteous walk by faith." We live and drive and fly by faith as well. My children are not always going to be within my eyesight, but they will live in full view of the Lord. So whether we're talking about first steps or first drives or even the first experience with mean kids (like Sue talked about in her post), where Momma lets go, God holds on. Forever.

I am praising Him with a heart full of gratitude today, knowing He is faithful to keep His Eye on my kids.