10.16.2018

Trim Healthy Man




I started the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan in January of 2016, and (as you saw here) celebrated my one year Trimiversary, with sixty-eight pounds gone! My husband, Matt, supported me being on plan. He supported me not buying off plan food, but he wasn't on plan himself. He was eating dinner on plan because I was making on plan dinner (he would add things to his meals to make them crossovers often), but when we went to other people's houses or church functions or out to eat, he would go off plan, no second thought. He would also buy junk food sometimes at work and drink sugar filled drinks.

He was seeing a little bit of weight loss, just from being occasionally on plan, but he was watching my consistent weight loss, and after I had been on plan for three months (and lost twenty-seven pounds), he decided to join me on this journey to weight loss and improved health. It's funny, looking at the pictures, because if you have asked me if Matt needed to lose weight, I hadn't thought about it. But seeing the pictures, he was overweight. It was a needed change for both of us!

After nine months on plan, he was twenty-eight and a half pounds down! He's hovering less than two pounds above his goal weight and looks fantastic. I'm so proud of his faithfulness to this way of eating!

Some of Matt's favorite on plan foods are:

10.11.2018

Easy Summer Dinner



Lately we've been doing a lot of cast-iron meals or mixing bowl meals. These meals are meals you wouldn't necessarily serve to guests, because the presentation isn't exciting, but they're on plan and easy, which we are all about.


S Meal- Fat Meal

Cast Iron. Dice the veggies and cook in butter with meat. Add the spices to taste. I could never be a food blogger because we just eyeball measurements to make sense for our little family, but this one is good. We make it for breakfast sometimes or dinner!

  • Shredded Turkey (leftover from a whole turkey)
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Butter
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Paprika
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

E Meal- Carb Meal 

Eaten cold. This is similar to an on plan salsa, and could be eaten with on plan blue corn chips. We make a huge mixing bowl of this stuff after dicing the tomatoes, peppers, and onions. You could also throw cilantro and lemon juice in here, but we were keeping it super easy. If you're making this for dinner, you'l need a couple of bowls full to fill you up (breastfeeding mamas are hungry!), but it also makes a great snack at the three hour mark between meals.
  • Kidney Beans (can)
  • Sweet corn (can)
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Salt
When I'm hungry, and ready to eat, these meals are easy to throw together. Before I begin dicing, if I need something to hold me over, I'll grab an on-plan bite. Typically, I grab a handful of nuts or a chunk of cheese for an S (fat) meal, and a clementine or other small piece of fruit for an E meal. This certainly isn't every day, but if I'm needing something to hold me over while dinner is cooking (or being chopped) those are my go-tos. 

10.09.2018

Your Mortgage is Debt


We are paying off our mortgage with full-hustle, and none of the communities we are a part of advocate for that.... So, why are we doing it?

Group Number One: Financial Independence Retire Early

This group is all about budgeting, saving, and investing. I love having a space where I can gain advice and learn about tax laws and life optimization. These people are purely logical. Mmm. My kind of humans.

People in the Financial Independence Retire Early crowd would not recommend paying off your mortgage aggressively because you make more money in the stock market than you save in mortgage interest.

Group Number Two: Dave Ramsey

You thought we had camaraderie here? Nope. Yes, Dave Ramsey recommends paying off your mortgage, but he recommends slowing down after you get your other debts paid off. His advice would encourage us to allow vacations etc. and put "left-over" money towards the mortgage. "Take your foot off the gas."

The Dave Ramsey crowd would not recommend that you pay off your mortgage aggressively, so you can "Start to live" or "Lighten up a bit" instead, while you continue to put some money towards your mortgage.

Group Number Three: Friends and Family

We are loved by hundreds and hundreds of people, but the general response we get from people about our passion to pay off our mortgage debt is: "Why?" "What's the hurry?" "Are you making this an idol?" "You're working too much." "I wish I made as much money as y'all do." "I'll never get my house paid off."




So, why are we paying off our mortgage like our hair is on fire? Why are we working extra jobs, making more money than we've ever made, and throwing every penny of it at our mortgage at the end of each month? Why are we ignoring the logic of paying it off at regular speed while investing the difference? Why?

Matt and I believe that the Bible is God's Word, given to us to light our path. Some of the Bible is easy, direct commands. Do this. Don't do this. 

Here is what God says to us at the beginning of Proverbs 6.

My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,
Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.
Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.
Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.
Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

The word "surety" in verse one is an old English word, and it simple means "One who enters into a bond for payment of debt." Easy enough. So, if you've received money from someone and agreed to pay it back (this is the difference between debt and bills), this applies to you.

In verse one it mentions friends and strangers. No matter who you owe the money to, this applies.

Verse two just says, "You promised." When they gave you money you gave them your word.

Verses four and five are the ones we can't ignore. Those two verses fuel this journey. Don't sleep. Don't rest. Run, like you are being hunted.

If I told you there was a man hunting you with a gun, how fast would you run?

That's all that happened. We read these verses and couldn't pretend we hadn't seen them.

The fact that passionately paying off the mortgage isn't popular, doesn't change what those verses say. The fact that some people think mortgage debt is "different," doesn't change what those verses say. So, we're hustling out of mortgage debt with all the speed we can muster, because we believe that God's Word is a lamp for our feet.

9.26.2018

Escaping




If there's a down side to owning your own business, we haven't found it yet. I'll give you an update after tax time, cause that unknown-first-time bit is the only daunting obstacle left to tackle.

Because Matt works for himself, when Hurricane Florence threatened our area, we had the flexibility to pick up our little family and visit Matt's siblings for a couple of days. Even though Hampton Roads didn't end up getting much of a hit from the hurricane, this man's desire for the safety of his family is priceless.

While we were away we saw three aunts and three uncles, spent time with a brand-new baby cousin (You can officially call me Aunt Amanda), visited Ikea twice (Norfolk's Ikea is big and blue in case you haven't driven by recently! Coming soon!), and generally enjoyed just being. Being a family. Being slow. Charlotte roasted marshmallows over a fire pit for the first time, Portia ate basil straight from a patio plant, and we spent some time in Philadelphia's city center, mostly people watching.

Matt's sister got us signed up for an indoor playplace one morning, free to first time visitors, and it was the most adorable space. Norfolk, please step up your play space game.

It was refreshing to take some time off and breathe, and there's something so beautiful about the freedom to just walk away from everything and have the world keep spinning. God is doing big things in our family, and He's using Matt's window cleaning business as a piece of that liberty. I can feel generosity brewing inside of my husband, and I love to watch him stretch and grow.

First things, first.

God specifically wrote in His letter to us that we should hustle out of debt like our life depends on it. I blogged about that here -------> http://ahelpmeetforhim.blogspot.com/2018/01/why-mortgage.html

As He hands us money, we are throwing it towards our debt as fast as we can, but someday soon, we are going to have no debt left, and I'm excited to find out what God has next for us. What would you do if you didn't have a mortgage payment?


9.18.2018

Perfectionist




We're elbows deep in potty-training, over here, mixed with everything else. The perfectionist in me had hoped to come to you with a simple potty-training plan that worked like a charm, but we've muddled through it in the most human way possible, failing and learning and bathing and managing to go most days accident-free.

Before Portia, I never struggled to juggle the day-to-day life activities... but lately all I do is struggle. That's one of the reasons why you haven't heard from me in a month. At the end of each day, when I get into bed, it's with tabs still open in my head of things that should have been finished but weren't.

You know the story of Abraham and Isaac? Abraham was an old man when God promised him a son. Abraham didn't even think it was possible, but then God gave them a miracle: Isaac. Later, when Isaac was older, God asked Abraham to take Isaac up a mountain and sacrifice him there. Literally, God asked Abraham to kill Isaac as a sacrifice to Him.

God didn't promise Abraham a line larger than the stars in the heaven only to snuff out his promised son. No. When God asked Abraham for Isaac, really, God was asking Abraham to choose God over his son.

"Do you love the God who created and gifted you your child more than you love your child?"

When God asks Abraham to prove his love, and Abraham is willing to kill his son to obey his Creator, God is quick to stop him. He wants Isaac to live, not die! God didn't want Isaac. He wanted Abraham.

What is it that you value more than your Creator and Savior?

For me, I think it is the previously mentioned "perfectionist in me." The idea that I could have a perfect life if I work hard enough at keeping all of my balls in the air perfectly. But no one in my life is perfect. Not my husband. Not my children. Not my favorite Instagram mom. Certainly, not me.

Only in Jesus Christ have I ever seen perfection, and so to value that unattainable goal more than I value my perfect Savior, is nothing short of idolatry smothered in irony.

O to be like Thee! Blessed Redeemer; This is my constant longing and prayer; Gladly I'll forfeit all of earth's treasures. Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

8.17.2018

142.3


My Trim Healthy Mama journey began postpartum. I lost 76 pounds, and made it to my goal weight before God gifted us with a second daughter. Now, four months postpartum again, I'm finishing my journey back to goal weight with fourteen more pounds to lose.

As a society, we thrive on instant results. If I pay a bill, I want my confirmation email to arrive before I click on my email application to check for it. That's part of the reason why this journey back to goal weight is so much harder the second time around. As my body heals and trims and thrives, the changes feel slower. I know how it feels to want bigger numbers and faster results.

This is the second time I've made the journey. The first time I made it to goal weight on Trim Healthy Mama, watching the scale drop and my body shrink was motivation enough. But losing the baby weight this second time, after giving birth to Portia, the body changes feel like old hat, "Yes, I've been here before. Last summer I was smaller than I am this summer."

It's easy to be impatient in this in-between stage! My goal weight clothes are too small, and my maternity clothes are too big! So as a treat to celebrate being below 145 again (142.3!), I got myself this classy, modest, beautiful dress. It's got this great structure, and it gives me a confidence that I lack when my clothes don't fit well. Structure and stretch, as beautiful a pairing as trim and healthy! 

But I KNOW I'm going to make it to goal weight again.

How do I know? Because this plan works.

I wanted to round up all of my Healthy Helpmeet Posts so that you had a one-stop spot to read about my journey, my victories, and my tips. Click on the titles below to view the blog posts.


Mama Friend's Testimonial : Bethany G.
Mama Friend's Testimonial : Leah A.
Mama Friend's Testimonial : Candace C.
Mama Friend's Testimonial : Rachel S.
Mama Friend's Testimonial : Jackie K.

I am a Trim Healthy Mama Certified coach, and I have a couple of spots left in my September Healthy Helpmeet Jumpstart Group Class. Click on the link "Healthy Helpmeet" in my header to send me an email and reserve your spot. Keep your victories in front of you and keep on trimming, ladies!!!


8.05.2018

Personalities



They're still too young to tell.

This past year, my group of friends stumbled (ok, I forced them) into the Myers-Briggs personality test. My favorite version is this one.

My personality is called ENTJ-T. If you read the article I linked there, you'll be getting a full peek into the way I see the world. Honestly, some bits of that article are shocking to me. It's EXACTLY how I think but would never have thought to (or been willing to) say out loud.

...Their ability to think strategically and hold a long-term focus while executing each step of their plans with determination and precision...
...If there’s anyone Commanders respect, it’s someone who is able to stand up to them intellectually, who is able to act with a precision and quality equal to their own...
...Friendships of circumstance, built on things like shared routines, are not Commanders’ preferred method – rather, they pursue their friends, seek out individuals who share their passion for deep, meaningful discussions, and who enjoy learning and development as much as they do... 

Recently, Matt and I have been thinking about how your child's individual personalities should affect how you parent them. In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul talks about how he is all things to all people. He changes how he relates to people in order to better reach them, and it's a beautiful example of how we should relate to others. When I know someone's Myers-Briggs personality type, it helps me to know how they'll react and, often, what they need from me.

We don't yet know what personalities our daughters have. If I had to guess on Charlotte's personality type, going simply off what each letter stands for, I would guess ESTJ, but it's still too early to actually know. For Portia, I'd be guessing completely blindly, so I won't even bother.

It's fascinating to me how God made so many beautiful variations in how we think, feel, and react, while making us similar to each other, and also creating us in His own image.

Just a conversation worth having. Have you considered that your children, spouse, and friends need different things from you, depending on their God-given personality? Matt is an ISFJ , someone completely different from me. If I'm not yielding to the Holy Spirit, I can walk up and down our marriage in selfishness. These are a couple of excerpts from Matt's personality type.

...They have a tendency to underplay their accomplishments, and while their kindness is often respected, more cynical and selfish people are likely to take advantage of Defenders’ dedication and humbleness...
...Defenders are meticulous and careful, taking a steady approach and bending with the needs of the situation just enough to accomplish their end goals. Defenders not only ensure that things are done to the highest standard, but often go well beyond what is required...
What about you? Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type? Have you thought about how the personalities of those you love should affect the way you interact with them?