A success story-weight loss strategies too!

Ready to give up on this healthy living idea?  Frustrated because it seems to be taking too long?  Read Cecile’s story and be encouraged!

My friend lost 141 pounds and went from a size 24 to 12-14! Cecile, was a faithful member of the support group I led. She also attended Weight Watchers in the summer months. Her health journey has taken over 7 years. Cecile is still on her journey to health and well being.

Cecile has had great success and I’m really excited to interview her.





  1. When did you realize you needed to make some changes?  I realized I wasn’t taking good care of myself and I didn’t like how I felt about myself. I used to say to myself, “what’s the use? I’m doomed to be fat.”

  2. What do you think led to your weight gain? I never thought I would gain weight. It just happened over the years. Like a lot of women I ate for emotional reasons.

  3. What was your light bulb moment when you decided to lose weight? When I walked my back and hips really hurt. My Mom, (who was very loving and helpful during my life) had Alzheimer’s Disease and needed to be in a wheelchair and I didn’t ever want to be in a wheelchair. I wanted to be able to walk and take care of myself.

  4. Were you part of a support and accountability group? Yes, I had prayed and asked God for a Christian weight loss group. When Dixie invited me to join the group I was very happy. How did it help you? It was good because we exercised together and we studied the Bible, and other good books. We shared our needs and supported each other. When I left the meeting I felt good and ready to keep working.

  5. What were the most important changes you made to be healthier? I have a small plate that I use to help me with my portions.  I am getting better at saying, “no thank you” when dessert is served. I don’t feel bad about saying no.I exercise everyday.If I am hungry in the early evening I eat carrots and celery sticks.I don’t eat anything after 8 o’clock at night; I shut the kitchen light off!I had high cholesterol and so I changed the food I ate and lowered my cholesterol.I realize that God’s grace has brought me to the place I am at today!

  6. What would you say is the most important factor in your weight loss?Changed eating habits? Exercise? Changed thinking? All of them! I eat a lot less food. I like to eat 6 small meals a day. I take snacks with me in the car so I’m not tempted to eat fast food. When I choose food I think about whether it is good for me and my husband teases me because I’m always reading the labels. I exercise everyday. I also changed my thinking- now I have a positive outlook on life. I’m very thankful. There is lots to live for! God helps me everyday to appreciate my life.

  7. What keeps you motivated when you get discouraged or have a slip up? I pick myself up, talk to somebody and I often exercise. I also read my Bible and God encourages me. I have a friend that says, “keep looking up!” I read Dixie’s blog and it encourages me to keep taking little steps.

  8. Are there any foods you outright avoid and do not have in your house? I don’t have any hot chocolate, or ice cream and no chocolate bars!

  9. When it comes to eating well what are your top recommendations?  Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Eat mostly fish and chicken. Drink at least 5 glasses of water a day.

  10. What is your favourite form of exercise? I like to do exercise DVDs, I have a treadmill, and in the summer I like to walk outside. I like to try new things. This winter I went cross country skiing and skating. I signed up for a Zumba class and I loved it!

  11. Do you include weight training? Yes I use 3 and 5 pound weights and a resistance band. Why? I know that tones my body and helps me lose inches.

  12. What was the most challenging thing you had to deal with during your weight loss journey? Admitting that I needed to change and get healthy.

  13. How important has your family’s support been? My husband, son and daughter are proud of the healthy changes I have made.  I just attended a family reunion and every one commented on the changes I have made. They were happy for me. It encouraged them that they could make some changes to be healthy too.

  14. Do you have a favourite verse?  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Philippians 4:13

Thanks Cecile for sharing some of your health journey. If you were to give some last advice to anyone who is struggling to get healthy what would you say? You are at a very important place in your life. Keep taking little steps. God will never give up on you!

No matter how slow the weight loss is don’t give up! You are worth it. You are special in God’s eyes!















I hope Cecile’s story encourages you my friend!

If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends!






How will I cope with the empty nest?


Our last little chickie is leaving the nest!


Our daughter Katie will be moving out of our home. She will be working in full time ministry.

She will be the Program Director at Galilean Bible Camp.

We are pleased with the good choices she has made. God has blessed her with many gifts, which she will be using to serve Him.

This mother hen has been preparing for an empty nest.


That’s my style.  I like to be prepared. I’ve chatted with my empty nest friends and got some excellent advice.

One said, “Allow yourself time to grieve if you need to.”

Another said, “Enjoy time with your husband again, like when you were newlyweds!”

I think I already understand the vast difference in the feelings behind those statements.

I read a really good book called Barbara and Susan’s Guide To The Empty Nest, Discovering new purpose, passion and your next great adventure. These women write with experience.

They also give some exciting challenges, like don’t fill your calendar with activity.

Take a rest if you need to.

I really liked the idea of pursuing some long lost hobbies and passions.

After years of child raising and meeting their needs first, that season of my life is coming to a close. I will have my time back!

The big goal when you have children is that one day they become self-sufficient adults and move out.

So that big goal is met! Wow!

I’m 57 and ready for my new stage of life!

I’m just defining what the empty nest stage will encompass.

I do know there are two new activities that I will be pursuing.

There are some young women who are interested in having me mentor them.

I love to come along side young women especially Moms and encourage them.

I’m old enough now that I can embrace the ‘older woman’ role with ease.

I have been given opportunities to speak at Women’s meetings. It is exciting for me to share my Little Steps to Health ideas.


I also like to share encouraging messages that offer women hope and confidence in God’s love for them. I will have the time and energy needed to study and write!

Chatting with you through this blog is another activity that will continue to be a priority. I’m working on some big changes with the help of my tech. guy! Thanks Mark!

This week I’m helping Katie pack and move some stuff. I need to be involved in that process. It’s part of the letting go. You know cleaning the new place, measuring windows for curtains and helping her settle in?  It’s a Mom thing!

TODAY’S little STEP: Be fully engaged at whatever stage of parenting you are at! Time flies! Before you know it, you too will have an empty nest!



Healthy snack bar recipe!

Craving something sweet? Here’s a recipe for a healthy naturally sweet snack bar! I took some of these bars to share with my friends and everyone wanted the recipe.  That’s the best compliment!


1 ¼ cup of black figs

2 cups of nuts (your choice)

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup of coconut

2 teaspoons of hot water

12 small squares of dark chocolate




I use my little food processor for this recipe. It works great and does the chopping and mixing in just a few minutes.

Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped.





Cut stems off of the figs. Place in food processor, add vanilla and pulse on high until they are well chopped.



Add 2 teaspoons of hot water and pulse until they have the consistency of jam.



Place fig jam in a small mixing bowl. Gradually add the chopped nuts and mix well by hand.


IMG_1104Gradually add the coconut and mix well.

Line a small cake pan – 8 by 11 with foil wrap and spray with oil.

Place mixture in pan and pat down.


Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave on low heat.


Once melted, pour and spread over bars.  Place in the fridge to cool.

Once cooled, cut into small bars.


Store in a closed container in the fridge.

These are a great alternative to chocolate bars or granola bars that are loaded with sugar.

I found this recipe at cotter crunch.

Enjoy these  great  grab and go snacks.  Lots of healthy protein and natural sweetness!

TODAY’S little STEP:  Try a new recipe.  Especially one that is low in sugar and high in protein.



How to access God’s promises, presence and power!

I’ve tried to change. I can’t complete or follow through with anything permanently.

Can you relate to that statement?

There’s hope!

Accessing God’s power is the most important change we need to make on our health journey.

The God of the universe cares about you!

Parmesan Cheese

God wants to be involved in helping you become healthy. It’s important to Him.

I let my imagination go for this blog post.

I imagined what Jesus might say to us about our health journey. Remember this is imaginary but based on the character of Jesus Christ the Son of the one True God.

“Introductions are not necessary. I know everything about you, your successes, your struggles, and your stresses.

I know the details of your thoughts and dreams.

I know your secret heartaches.

“I love you more than you can imagine.

My love is not dependent on your behavior. It is a love that will never end.

“I am delighted with your commitment to get healthy.

“You are tired of failing. But, you can do this! Trust Me!

“I want you to claim My promises, My presence and My power.

“Claim My promises. I always keep my promises. ‘So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Don’t be discouraged.

I offer you My strength when you are weak. I am holding you with my right hand.

“When you pray, remind Me of these promises, and claim them.

“My presence is always with you.

When you became my child, by accepting my gift of salvation, your body became the home of my Holy Spirit.

‘Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?’ 1 Corinthians 6:19

Cry out to me, day or night. I’m with you.

“When you feel alone, remember that I made a promise to you. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5b

“As the Son of God I offer you My power.

Power to fight temptations and struggles.

I know when you are weak and tired and I can help you.

Call out to Me. ‘No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it’. 1 Corinthians 10:13

“I say, ’My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness’. 2 Corinthians 12: 9,10. Claim My power especially when you feel weak!

“As your Guide, I want you to know that together we make this journey to health and well-being.

I am holding you with my right hand.

Rest in MY promises, MY presence and MY power.

Read my Word, the Bible and I will speak to your heart through it. Learn to listen. Trust Me because I love you.”

TODAY’S little STEP: Read this imagined talk from our Guide regularly throughout this next month. We need to be reminded of His love for us and His promises, His presence and His power! Find other verses that speak to your life and your heart.

I’d love to hear how you are claiming God’s promises.




Lifestyle advice from my Mom!

healthy habits

Hey friends I’ve had a busy week.

Too busy.

Felt overwhelmed with too many tasks.

Got some good advice from my Mom.

No one loves me like my Mom!

She said slow down and take it easy!

So I listened to her wise advice.

I cancelled a few events.

I spent extra time with God.

Read for fun.

Ate nutrient rich food and got extra sleep!

All components for a healthy restored Dixie!

Some great lifestyle advice from my Mom!

Talk to you next week!

Stop that stinkin thinkin!

Why do we so often get frustrated and fail with our good intentions to get healthy? We always try to change our actions first. But I’ve learned that we need to change how we think first and then the actions follow!

Our brain and what we think and believe impacts what we do.

Is there a running dialogue going on in your mind right now?

The nasty voice that says, ”Why even try again, you always fail? You’re just doomed to be fat. You’re too old to change now. You’ve tried to lose weight before and you always fail”.

Don’t listen to those lies!

We say things to ourselves that we would never say to a friend.

I call it ‘stinkin thinkin’!

In her book Change Your Habits, Change Your Life Danna Demetre says that our brain is programmed for the most dominant thought to win.

She describes how our brains work.

Thoughts that we think all the time form a physically larger neuron pathway in our brain, like a superhighway. We aren’t even aware that we are thinking them. They have become habits.

Thoughts that are rarely experienced are like little-overgrown pathways.

But the exciting news is we can change the neuron pathways.

When we stop thinking a group of thoughts, that highway can shrink.

When we start to think a new thought, a pathway can become a highway!

Danna says:

think new thoughts


So what’s the lie cruising down your neuron superhighway?


What is that nasty voice saying to you?

Really listen especially when you are frustrated because your clothes don’t fit or when you step off that stupid bathroom scale.

Take a minute and write it down.

Then replace that lie with the truth.

Here’s head start. Here’s a healthy truth statement for you.

Taking care of me is important. I’m worth it!  Little steps are easy for me to do and they make a difference.

Next week we will focus on our spirit, the truth that comes from our Great God, and His good words.

That’s where the power to change really comes from.

TODAY’S little STEP: Listen to your stinkin thinkin. Identify a lie you believe. Replace it with the truth.

What’s your stinkin thinkin?  I’d love to hear from you!


What exercise is best for me? Quiz

Exercise doesn’t have to be something we healthy-person-woman-sportendure.

When we choose the activity…we can like exercise!

Start thinking about a fun activity that gets your body moving.

My favorite is walking.


I also like bicycling, hiking, canoeing and kayaking.


My friend has discovered water aerobics and loves it.

Another friend walks on the treadmill while watching TV.

If you have any health issues that make movement difficult it is imperative that you visit your Doctor and have a wellness checkup first.

To help you discover the activity that’s fun for you, here are some questions to get you thinking. Go ahead take the quiz!

  • Indoors or outdoors?

  • Alone or with people?

  • Do you want to spend money?

  • What did you like as a child?

  • What have you tried before and quit? Think about why it didn’t work.

  • Are you competitive?

  • Is there something you’ve always wanted to try?

  • Do you need an accountability partner?

  • What is your daily schedule like? When can you exercise?

Here are my answers to the quiz.

I hope they help you discover your activity.

I like outside exercise except in the winter.

I prefer to exercise with someone.

I don’t like to spend money. I want to exercise for free.

When I was a child I played and hiked around our little hobby farm all the time.

I bought an exercise bike and then a ski machine and found out I hate working out on machines.

I am not competitive. I don’t like organized sports. But I do like it when my Fitbit prompts me to walk 250 steps every hour. I want to win!

I would like to do an organized 5 K walk/run.

I don’t need an accountability partner. I really just love to walk.

I have lots of flexibility in my daily schedule.

Walking is my best choice! I really like it! I walk inside in the winter and outside during the other seasons. The only cost is a good pair of walking shoes.


Every little step makes a difference in your health!

My husband, Don usually walks with me. We try to walk right after work before we have dinner. (When I’m really organized I put something in the oven to cook while we walk.) On the nights we can’t walk together I often watch TV and walk on the spot or do a Leslie Sansone walking DVD.

What’s your favorite activity?

Enjoyment is vital!

It has to be fun!

Now that you found your activity – be intentional; fit it into your day. Yes, it’s that easy!

 TODAY’S little STEP: Take the quiz. Find the fun – the physical activity you like best. Make a plan to fit it into your daily schedule. Just do it!

Share your fun ideas.