Faithful Finish Lines: Michele’s Journey – Week 6 – 90/10

I feel like there is not anything to report about for week 6 as life seems so normal. However, prior to Faithful Finish Lines I was always working on making BIG changes (e.g. eliminate sugar) instead of small changes (e.g. cut back on the amount of sugar). Small changes are what makes for long lasting success.

This weeks challenge was the 90/10 principle.

90/10 means 90% clean foods and 10% treat foods.

Here is a partial list of clean foods.

  • Turkey, Chicken
  • Steak, Lean
  • Ground Beef, Lean
  • All Fruits
  • All Vegetable
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Oatmeal

Last week I mentioned using dates to deal with the sweet cravings. Dates are on the “Use Sparingly List” but I maybe had no more than 6 a day and some days not even that many. Honey and dark chocolate are also on the “Use Sparingly List.” (UGH!)

I have followed the complete list Sara sent out towards the program’s beginning. I have not been perfect, but as Sara reminded us, it is not about perfection but about progress.

If you are eating 80% processed foods, then try cutting back to 70% processed foods and 30% clean foods. Then cut back on the processed foods a little more each week. If you fail in your plans rest knowing God’ grace will catch you.

Holiday Obstacle Course

Well that’s about all I have to report for Week 6. As I write this, I am in the middle of week 7 and the post for this week will be published on Friday 12/19 – after I finish my Holiday Obstacle Course. What is a Holiday Obstacle Course?  It is walking the mall and dodging in and around or leaping over people with a single bound.     ;-)

So come back Friday for the Week 7 post which will also serve as a wrap up post as this is the last week of the program.

Live! From Colorado – It’s Faithful Finish Lines! 

Speaking of the program – Faithful Finish Lines website went live this week. The next program starts January 5th, 2015. Registration closes January 3rd 2015.

  • Use the code FFLJan2015 and get $10 off your registration. 
  • Also put my name or JoyReturns in the “Friend Who Referred You” box and I will receive 1 month free membership in the FFL Community Forum ($5.00 value).

You have the choice of several online programs. The one I am a part of is now known as the Faithful Finish Lines: Stepping Forward. 

I encourage you to sign up for one of the programs. Where else are you going to find a program that is filled with lots of grace and encourages you to move forward even if it is at a snails pace?

*Disclaimer: I was given free access to the Faithful Finish Lines program with the promise of blogging about my experience. I am not receiving payment of any other form and the opinions are mine alone.


Holiday Post: Decorating The Corner Cupboard

I have been lax in posting about the decorating that went on a couple weeks ago after resurrecting Elvis. So here is an update.

Corner Cupboard

There is a corner cupboard in my living room and an old railroad lantern sits on top of it. The lantern came from Dad’s estate and the cupboard came from Mom’s family. Over the years the top was decorated with poinsettias, a fibre optic snowman, and a fiber optic angel. This year’s theme is Rustic Christmas and the lantern became the center of the display.

Nothing says rustic like Spanish Moss, also nothing says mess like Spanish Moss.

A Mess Of Spanish Moss

A Mess Of Spanish Moss

Once I got the Spanish Moss into place on the edge of the corner cupboard, I added in a touch of artificial snow. Then added 2 Santa’s I got when Mom cleaned out her basement. I also have a vase of green, yellow, orange with a touch of burgundy next to the lantern. This vase is affectionately known as “Uncle Odie” as it came from his estate.


Work In Progress

Work In Progress

Getting “Uncle Odie” in the Christmas mood required wrapping him in Christmas paper. Then I found a red candle I wanted to put in him but had to figure out how to get it to fit.  I found a travel mug and it fits inside “Uncle Odie” with the candle nestled inside the top of the travel mug lid.

"Uncle Odie" All Wrapped Up

“Uncle Odie” All Wrapped Up

For the finishing touch I added some ornaments with Christmas scenes I also got from Mom’s house.They bring out the colors in the wrapping paper and go nicely with the Santa’s.

Here are pictures of the corner cupboard in all it’s rustic glory. All items are what I had on hand or got from Mom. Nothing was purchased for this project.

Corner Cupboard Rustic Christmas

Corner Cupboard Rustic Christmas

Rustic Christmas Part 2

Rustic Christmas Part 2

Also check out a scenic Christmas picture on, my photography blog.

Faithful Finish Lines: Michele’s Journey – Week 5 – Fresh

Week 5 of the Faithful Finish Lines program brought about a much needed fresh start after a week of overdosing on turkey and other Thanksgiving fare.

I was ready for a start fresh and looked forward to week 5 until it was announced in our weekly Facebook Chat that this week was a no sugar week.  UGH!  Say it ain’t so! I inherited my sweet tooth from both parents. However, this is where Sara’s program differs from other diet and fitness programs – adopt this and every weeks goal to your life. 

So instead of going cold turkey on sugar, just reduce it.

It’s a good thing this program is flexible because last week there was cheesecake – turtle cheesecake at the grief support group meeting.

Yes, I ate it and followed it with a cup of decaf coffee (without sugar). Both were heaven and a lovely way to end the day, a day spent back at the call center because the phone lines were busy.

I was at the call center both Monday and Tuesday and made it through both days with just cucumber water – no Pepsi (sugar).

I Had Dreams There Was Sugar In My Coffee

Wednesday morning I fixed a cup of decaf coffee and went to put sugar in it and remembered it was “no sugar” week so I put the sugar back in the container.Then I put the spoon in the mug and stirred the coffee as if I had put sugar in it. Yes, I played games with my mind. However, my taste buds were not fooled and could tell the coffee was plain black.

My taste buds and I reached a compromise – no more than 1/4 teaspoon of sugar in the coffee. Gone is the 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Instead Of Sugar

I once heard or read somewhere that when you have a craving for sugar you should eat a date instead. A packaged of Sun Maid Pitted Dates just happened to be in my kitchen cupboard. When I got a craving for something sweet, I ate 3 dates instead. By doing this I accomplished adding in more fruit to my diet in addition to not eating something sugary.

The dates did help with the sweet tooth, plus the fiber is beneficial as well.   ;-)

Now it is on to week 6 of this 7 week journey. Time is racing on by as it seems like just last week I started this journey. Stay tuned for week # 6 adventures and the 90/10 principle.

*Disclaimer: I was given free access to the Faithful Finish Lines program with the promise of blogging about my experience. I am not receiving payment of any other form and the opinions are mine alone.





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