Wow, has it been 5 weeks already?? It seems like I just started this a few days ago!
The Lord has been awesome this week! He has been faithful in everything, He has encouraged when I needed (by way of Scripture and you all!). He provided for a treat or two. He also showed me where I stand now that I'm beginning week 5. Isn't God good?
This week has a been good. I started testing out workout videos. It's comical to see me try to do the jumping around and such! I also tried doing a very beginning part of pilates. That was not meant for a fat girl! But it was an interesting challenge I'll soon try again. :) I also started trying out a resistance band that came in a set with dvd and chart. It is definitely useful!
This week's adventures led me to the clothing department of our local big box store to try on commercial clothing to see where I stood. I've been in at least a 32/34 for a long while. You can't find that on the rack in your average Walmart or other like stores. These are more of a large women's catalog type size range. So, this week I tried on a pair of jeans, size 26. I'd forgotten just unforgiving jeans are, as I seldom wear pants and haven't worn jeans in many years. Anyhoo, I got them on! For a long long while I'd not been able to get them up over the thighs, let alone to the waist and actually wearable. This is how I generally have judged my hip size over the years, the size of the jeans, even if I don't wear them (they do make good jean skirts if altered!) It made my day to fit in those unforgiving, definitely not flattering pants off the rack. Yes, still a plus size, but still a victory in it's own right!
In the eating department, I'm proud to say I've beat the sugar habit. How do I know? I have no craving for sugary things. Nada. Zilch. For instance, ice cream was very unsafe to have around me--I could plow through a carton in a very short amount of time. I love ice cream. However, in the past 2 weeks that we've had it in the freezer for children's birthdays, I've had all of 2 tablespoons, and was able to walk away from it. We also give the kids a bit of ice cream after church on Sundays and Wednesdays, they look forward to it and it makes a good "carrot" for decent behavior. I don't even bother to serve myself any now. I have no desire for it. I've been able to pass up sodas and candy as well without a second thought. The cookies in the cookie jar are safe too, even though just a few weeks ago I'd eat them by the handful with a cup of hot coffee or milk. A lot has changed!
Don't get me wrong, that sugar (cane and beet) can have a strong strong hold. It is very addictive. When you have been using this for so long, in sweets and drinks and so on, it's very hard to let go. You have physical reactions as your body learns to work without the high doses of sugars. One of my favorites has been molasses, which is actually a cane sugar that has been boiled 3 times in the processing, and that boiling gives it the flavor that is unique. I love the shoofly pies that have a strong corn syrup and molasses base. Are they off limits now? No, just have to keep it to one piece instead of half the pie. I have also found in that not having the large amounts of sugar in my body, I don't have the emotional ups and downs nearly as much. Believe me my hubby appreciates that. Sugar also affects the fingers and toes in diabetics when it gets to the nerves as neuropathy, making them hurt, tingle, feel like they're constantly asleep, or even numb, and in cutting the sugar intake drastically, those symptoms have also almost completely vanished. So has the swelling in both legs and feet, and *most* of the arthritis pain in the knees and ankles, and even the pain in the shoulders I'd attributed to rotator cuff or nerve damage or both.
This is also 5 weeks using the Victoza shots to help keep blood glucose under control. In this past week the side effects of it have subsided. The lack of appetite is there, but the other more physical side effects have subsided. This makes for a more pleasant time in cooking and preparing meals, as well as enjoying what I take in. It also makes it more of my own choosing what to take in, with the knowledge it most likely will stay put, so choose wisely.
Next week is my first A1C3 since starting this challenge, and I'm ready to see it--I know it has to have lowered from the 6.9 I was at. This is pretty important, as the higher the overall number the higher the average glucose has been. With higher glucose amounts, the more damage to the body overall.
This past week I restarted some things I used to do, almost like coming out of my cocoon. I cut some bangs into my hair to get rid of the severe look I usually have. They now curl on their on, which is neat. Then, I re-pierced the ears that I pierced way back in the 3rd grade (we're talking late 80's), that I had let grow over about 4 years ago. And, I started wearing make up again on a limited basis. Not daily, but more often. I still can't bring myself to use mascara, but everything else is fine.
Now on to the recipe. I love making bone broth for a soup base. We buy chicken quarters in the 10 pound bags, and from time to time a turkey or whole chicken as well. I keep the bones and simmer them with herbs to make a broth. Then I let it cool and spoon the fat that rises to the top and make it as low fat as possible. I use quite a bit of bones to make it a rich flavor.
So use a stock pot and put in bones off of a whole chicken, turkey, a few quarters, ham, or whatever you have, cover it to within a couple inches of the top of the pot with water. Add in whatever herbs you enjoy. I put in rosemary, basil, and oregano into mine, simply because I have it on the plant and it's readily available. Use whatever you enjoy. Let this simmer for a good 2 to 3 hours, and then let it all sit and cool down. I refrigerate this all still in the stock pot after the pot has cooled to where I can sit it on the glass shelves in the fridge. Once chilled, bring it out and take the bones out and do whatever you want with them--give them to the dog, put them in the trash, etc. Then skim off the fat that has come to the top. I skim off the rosemary as well, as the flavor has infused into the broth and I'm not fond of chewing rosemary leaves.
Put this back on the stove and put in your favorite veggies. The batch I made today has fresh carrots, bell peppers, cuban beans (18 inch long green beans), celery, broccoli, fresh out of the garden tomatoes, potatoes, peas, and corn. The fresh carrots, celery, and broccoli cooked a bit longer so they went in first with the tomatoes, and then added other things in based on their density and time needed to get to a nice tender stage. I would suggest putting in your potatoes last if you use them, make sure they are cut small unless you're using the new potatoes, and keep watch on them. Let this all simmer until all your veggies are done, turn off, and enjoy. Of course you can add in or remove any veggie you want, this is a very easy soup with no "have to's".
This is great for chilly days, and goes well with a slice of my homemade sourdough bread, apple cider bread, or Cuban bread.
Shared with lovely folks at: Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, The Modest Mom, A Proverbs 31 Wife, Essential Thing Devotions, What Joy Is Mine Beauty In His Grip Cornerstone Confessions A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Juana Mikels My Daily Walk In His Grace So Much At Home
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