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Meal Plan (Sunday-Saturday)

Sunday

Breakfast: scrambled eggs and toast, oranges

Lunch: potluck at church (bringing frozen mixed veggies)

Supper: tuna salad sandwiches, carrot sticks

Monday

Breakfast: cinnamon buns, nectarines

Lunch: grilled cheese sandwiches, strawberries

Supper: Greek salad

Tuesday

Breakfast: cinnamon buns, bananas

Lunch: Greek salad

Supper: spicy chicken with rice

Wednesday

Breakfast: blueberry pancakes, bananas

Lunch: spicy chicken with rice

Supper: spaghetti, side salad

Thursday

Breakfast: left-over pancakes, oranges

Lunch: spaghetti, veggies and dip

Dinner: hamburgers and fries 

Friday 

Breakfast: cereal, nectarines

Lunch: salad

Supper: OUT 

Saturday 

Breakfast: oatmeal

Lunch: banana bread with peanut butter, strawberry-kiwi shakes

Supper: left-overs

 

Grocery Shopping

So, I went grocery shopping today and it was more than I would have hoped and definately more than I have been spending this month.  Part of this has to do with the fact that I had run out of some staples like sugar and salad dressing.  I thought maybe all the fruits and veggies I got might have inflated my bill a bit as well, but I went in for closer inspection.   

Fruits and Veggies--28.76

Meats and Alternatives--13.04

Milk and Alternatives--12.96

Breads and Grains--9.67

Other food--22.15

Total food bill--86.58

I also had to buy diapers for the little guy which cost me another 30 bucks.  Anyways, I am aiming more towards a total grocery bill (including sundries) of 60-80 dollars.  I think this would have been tough this week anyways with the diapers, but perhaps some more careful planning could have made it happen.

Ways I could possibly save more money in the future:

-make my own salad dressing

-made all my own bread (I am making most, I just bought one loaf)

-gone meatless one more night

-carefully planned fruit and veggie consumption instead of getting everything that appealed to me (this could reduce waste of these items as well)

-switch to skim milk for the kids

-shopped at the whole sale club

-waited for discount Tuesday this coming week to shop

-taken a full inventory at home beforehand and planned meals that use the older items primarily (this is getting tougher since I've pretty much depleted reserves the last few weeks by doing exactly this)

-shopped without my husband and kids, the more rushed I feel in the store the more I seem to purchase

-written out my list and gone through the possible prices (I usually do this but was pressed for time today) 

Rely on God for the Exam

2 Test me, LORD, and try me, 
   examine my heart and my mind; 
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love 
   and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness. (Psalm 26:2-3)

Yesterday I tried a couple of times to post but it just didn't happen.  We were busy doing a quick renovation project in the kitchen and keeping the kids entertained.  I did read this passage though a few times and thought about it.  I thought that this was a very bold and dangerous prayer--to ask God to test and try you.  I know already of my many faults and I am not so confident as the psalmist.  I like though that a cheat sheet is sort of provided for this test: in order to be right you need to be mindful of His love and rely on Him.  So, yesterday I tried to rely on God more and prayed alot because we were doing renovations and I know that tempers (mine in particular) and stress levels tend to run high.  I prayed that we would all get along and that there would be very few hiccups so to speak in the renovation process and that they would be resolved quickly.  At the end of the day we were finisheed (woohoo).   It was then that I was at the end of my rope from sheer exhaustion and my hubby did something that would irritate me (even on a day not so utterly long and tiring), I actually held my tongue--and this my friends is proof of answered prayer.  I guess I passed that little test. Today is a new day and I'd like a better grade so I'm going to try to rely on God just a little bit more.

For the sake of your name

11 For the sake of your name, LORD, 
   forgive my iniquity, though it is great. (Psalm 25:11)

I mess up on a regular basis and I certainly need forgiveness and not because of my goodness or faithfulness but because He is.  Forgiveness of sin is based on His character, not  mine.  Yesterday I freaked out over a parking ticket and I also feel that I could have been a better witness to my friends.  Everyday I am reminded that I need grace and mercy.   

King of Glory

10 Who is he, this King of glory? 
   The LORD Almighty— 
   he is the King of glory. (Psalm 24:10)

I read this psalm today and was reminded of a song, so I looked it up and thought I'd share it with you.  King of Glory by Third Day.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GWFPY0fduc0&feature=fvsr

The psalms have inspired so many creative works and this is just one example that blessed me and brought a smile to my face :) 

Happily Married and Checked Out NSV

I'm not even sure I should admit this on my blog because someone could totally call me out for being just plain silly.  Today at the gym I started chatting up the guy next to me on the elliptical and his friend.   The guy next to me was obviously a gym newbie and I just wanted to give him a hand with his equipment.  It turned into a conversation though and one that was quite enjoyable.  Most of the time at the gym I don't interact with people at all--mostly because everyone is so completely absorbed in the televisions on the cardio machines and they are literally plugged in.  It's like some weird code of silence that I broke.  We chatted and when the workout was done I went off to hit the pool for a cool down and some lap swim.

After my laps I went to the hot tub and who should I see but my new buddies!  Great, so we get to chatting again.  We talked about our families (I talked about my hubby and kids) and our jobs and about losing weight.  I totally suggested the guy who was trying to lose weight check out this website because it is awesome.  Anyways, as we are talking I come to find out that both of them are single and that one of them is having a divorce party pretty soon.  Anyways, the one guy says, very casually "I can't help myself, I'm checking you out".  It made me smile.  I'm still smiling.  Not because I want to date him or anything (he was cute and if I was mormon and single he'd be just my type) but because it was nice to be noticed.  I'm happily married and he knew that--it was just a compliment but it made me feel like I still had "it".  When I told my hubby about it afterwards he responded with "You always had it.  You never lost it."  Because you see--he loved me at my heaviest and he loves me still.  I am totally devoted to him but it didn't hurt my self-esteem to get noticed. Just made me feel good. 

Shepherd

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
he leads me beside quiet waters, 
 3 he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths 
   for his name’s sake. 
4 Even though I walk 
   through the darkest valley,[a] 
I will fear no evil, 
   for you are with me; 
your rod and your staff, 
   they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me 
   in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil; 
   my cup overflows. 
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me 
   all the days of my life, 
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD 
   forever. (Psalm 23)

A few days ago I realized that this psalm was coming up.  It is probably one of the most famour passages in Scripture and for good reason: it reveals God's character and his important role in our day to day lives as Shepherd.  Whatever struggle you are facing, He is there in to lead and guide you. 

Trouble & Burning Off a Big Mac

 11 Do not be far from me, 
   for trouble is near 
   and there is no one to help. (Psalm 22:11)

This verse stuck out to me this morning because I've had a rough start today.  I'm alone all day with my kids and I was left with a "situation" this morning.  Other parents out there know what I'm talking about but suffice it to say it was less than pleasant.  Anyways, this verse just sort of spoke to me because of that and I encouraged me that God is near as well.

The last few days have been better exercise wise and I've gone to the gym twice.  Yesterday I splurged and had  Big Mac.  While consuming this monstrosity of a burger I decided that I would go to the gym afterwards and burn it off---all 540 calories.  It was an hour on the elliptical trainer.  I didn't do it because I felt guilty about the burger but just out of curiosity.  That burger felt a little less fantastic when I had to consider the consequences.  It maybe took 5 minutes to eat but it took 60 to burn it off and I was working hard!  I'll have to remember that leson today when faced with tempting treats :)

Praise and Exercise

13 Be exalted in your strength, LORD; 
   we will sing and praise your might. (Psalm 21:13)

I have the great priviledge of helping to lead worship at my church every week.  Sometimes there is a temptation to see this as a chore, another duty to fulfill.  However, it is a great joy to exalt God and sing his praises.

Lately, I've been rethinking my workouts.  With no race in my immediate future and all the weight and inches lost, there is very real temptation to just relax and let it slide a bit.  That, coupled with the fact that I have not been blogging about my exercise exploits lately and I came dangerously close to a disaster and a gradual gain back.  

So far, the scale has been kind but I've been realizing that exercise is really important to me in other ways:

-it is stress relief and character building

-it gives me time to think and be alone with God

-it helps me have a sense of routine and order in my chaotic life

-I sleep better

-I have more energy and patience for my husband and children 

I've also realized: 

-I actually enjoy exercise, especially when I am not trying to push the intensity level too much

-even when it's not possible to go the gym, there are still opportunities to get in some physical activity and that is worthwhile as well (like watersliding with the kids the other day and going for walks)

-blogging about it seems to be motivating for me as I can then look back at my progress 

So, what's my plan?

-exercise formally at least three times a week (ie. go to the gym or run or bike or swim laps)

-blog about my physical activities, including those that are not formal workouts

-aim to enjoy exercise more and not be so "results" focused for the time being 

-try some strength training to switch it up a bit

-get outside as much as possible to enjoy the weather while it lasts 

Not my chariots

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, 
   but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.  (Psalm 20:7)

I think in this life I often rely on my own efforts and resources rather that on God.  I see this when I stress over finances or how to discipline my kids or even when it comes to my health.  This isn't to say that I don't have some personal responsibility in these matters but I often try to solve them with my own wisdom and logic instead of turning to God.  I need to start seeking what He would have me do more frequently because it can be quite different than my ideas.  I need to stop hopping into my own chariot to fight with my own strength when there is something far more powerful only a prayer away.

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