Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sometimes Life Hurts

I love dogs.  There was one on the freeway yesterday.  A beautiful Golden Retriever who ran in front of the six cars (which swerved to miss it) in the lanes to my right, and then right in front of my car.  I hit the brakes.  I swerved.  But I still hit the beautiful dog. 

I looked in the rearview mirror.  The dog was in the median, licking its obviously hurting hind legs.  It was obvious to me that his legs were hurting because I knew I had run over them. 

I felt sick.  My friend got on her cell phone and called the appropriate authorities to come pick the dog up.  I prayed that they would come quickly, and either be able to treat him or put him out of his misery. 

My friend started to reassure me.  I didn't lose control of the car.  There could have been a terrible accident involving several cars and we needed to be grateful that didn't happen.  We couldn't stop on the freeway to help the dog because that also would not be safe and could have caused an accident.

All the things she said were true, but I was still heartbroken.  I went through the motions of my day, but wasn't functioning very well.  I couldn't concentrate.  I kept replaying the incident in my mind.  When I got home I sat on the couch and cried.

The one thing I didn't do was eat inappropriately.  It didn't occur to me until later that I had not reacted to this terrible incident with an overwhelming desire to eat away my sad and uncomfortable feelings.  This is something new.  One small pinpoint of light in the midst of a truly dark day.

I'll never forget what happened yesterday.  Those memories will always hurt.  But I hope I will also remember that I didn't react to the hurt with eating, which would have caused further hurt and which couldn't have helped that dog, or me, or anyone else.  Sometimes all we can do is cry.

You said You'd come and share all my sorrows,
You said You'd be there for all my tomorrows;
I came so close to sending You away,
But just like You promised You came there to stay;
I just had to pray!

And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied;
I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."

Your goodness so great I can't understand,
And, dear Lord, I know that all this was planned;
I know You're here now, and always will be,
Your love loosed my chains and in You I'm free;
But Jesus, why me?

And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied;
I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."

Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul,
I know that without God I'd never be whole;
Savior, You opened all the right doors,
And I thank You and praise You from earth's humble shores;
Take me, I'm Yours.

And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied;
I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."
(For Those Tears I Died by Marsha Stevens) 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fear . . . and Hope

This morning I woke up thinking about all the times I've failed at trying to lose weight in the past.  They say that yo-yo dieting makes it harder for your body to lose weight.  I think it also makes it harder for your mind and your spirit to be willing to even try again.  I can remember so many times I felt a small stirring of wanting to try again, but the fear of yet another failure was enough to keep me from trying too hard.

It was only seeing the pictures of myself from this summer's Vacation Bible School that gave me the resolve to DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS WEIGHT PROBLEM.  Because I've failed so many times in the past, for so many years, I knew that this time had to be different.  I knew that this time I had to resolve myself to a real lifestyle change, and not just another diet that I would go off of someday.  My history with diets is that I can usually, through sheer power of the will, stay on one for about three months.  I went six months with one program, but for one reason or another (tragedy, stress, holidays, hot weather, cold weather, waking up in the morning, breathing) I have always fallen off the wagon and returned to my well established habit patterns of eating.

I've been doing so great this time.  Then I woke up this morning thinking, "Well, sure.  I haven't hit the three month mark yet!"  And the fear rises within me.  Another failure skulking behind the bushes, just waiting for me to hit That One Thing that will throw me off track.

This time HAS TO BE DIFFERENT!  So far, it has felt different to me and I have felt real hope that I can make this lifestyle change and lose this extra weight.  But I can't do it on my own.  I need help.  I need help from the people in my life, which thankfully, I have.  I need help from my Lord and Savior, who promises to walk with me through all the trials of my life.  And this is where I place my hope---in Him.  Because on my own power, I can't do it.  I've proven that time and again.  I can only get myself so far, but His resolve never waivers.

So, Lord, here is my fear.  I give it to You with open hands.  I trust You to keep it from devouring me.  Thank you for loving me, fat or thin.  Amen.

Monday, August 29, 2011


"Everything is permissible," but not everything is helpful. "Everything is permissible,"  but not everything builds up.                 1 Corinthians 10:23 (HCS)

This is one of my favorite Bible verses.  I consider it often when it comes to food.  One of the things I really like about Weight Watchers is that I really can eat anything I want to eat, as long as I own up to how many points it is.  But lately I've been thinking about the quality of what I actually choose to put in my mouth.

I do have the choice to eat pizza, doughnuts, name it.  And, I've been eating "lighter" versions of these things in the past several weeks.  But something strange is happening.  I'm starting to be particular about eating food that will help me, food that will build up my body in a healthy way.  I think it started when we went on that road trip, and I wasn't even tempted to eat a Danish pastry.  Instead of seeing the pastries as "forbidden fruit" which makes them even more desirable, I saw them as something I could have if I wanted, but I just didn't want any!

This might be recordable as a miracle.  I choose health!  Freedom is cool.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weigh Day - Total Loss: 15.2 Pounds!

Scale: Friend or Foe?  Well, obviously--today anyway--Friend.  Even though I weigh every day and I have been very faithfully sticking to my program, I still feel a little anxious each official "Weigh Day" before I step on the scale.  During the week, things may go up or down, but today It Counts.  There's a part of me that feels like it's not such a good thing that I am obsessed with weighing every day.  But I know, from past experience, that the first day I don't get on the scale (because I don't want to due to consuming mass quantities of food)--I'm in trouble.  What I have to convince myself of is that the scale is Friend no matter which way the results go, because it's not about the weight.  It's about accountability.  It's good to be accountable to others...such as posting my results on this blog or going to Weight Watchers meetings...but it is even more important to learn to be accountable to myself.  I need to be willing to take responsibility for my own choices.  No excuses.  No passing the buck.  Ultimately, I am responsible to God for how I take care of this body He has given me.  So here's to weighing every day and sharing that weekly on this here Blog.  Amen. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thoughts on Weighing and Measuring . . .

I've been weighing and measuring my food.  I've been weighing and measuring myself.  I tried to weigh and measure the cats, but they rebelled.

I can't blame them.  I know how they feel.  For all of my life up to this point, I also squirmed and hissed and ran away whenever weighing and measuring was brought up.  Who wants the hassle of doing this to your food?  Who wants the potential distress of doing this to yourself?

The funny thing is, it doesn't bother me any more.  I keep the digital food scale out on the kitchen counter.  It's always ready.  I don't have to guess how much I'm supposed to eat...I know.  Surprisingly, it's usually more than I think it's going to be.  And as for myself, I weigh every day and measure once a week.

Yeah, I know.  You're not "supposed" to weigh every day.  But I find it works for me.  My weight naturally goes up and down during the week, but I can see the trend.  If my official weigh day happens to be an up day, knowing it'll probably go down again in a day or two keeps me going.  The measuring shows me the physical changes that are happening, even if my weight is standing still. 

Surrendering my resistance to weighing and measuring has made my life much easier.  It's like surrending my will to God.  If I can just quit kicking and screaming for 30 seconds, He might be able to show me which direction He wants me to go.

I don't think the cats will be surrendering any time soon. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I started out this adventure with Weight Watchers Online and Jenny Craig food.  A couple of weeks ago, I went to a Weight Watchers meeting with my neighbor (just so she wouldn't have to go alone)... and I liked it!  So today was my third meeting.  
It's kinda ironic that I was determined to do this ALL ON MY OWN AND I DON'T NEED ANYONE TO HELP ME THANK YOU VERY MUCH, and now I'm going to meetings with my neighbor and appreciating the support I'm getting there.

I've been to meetings before, and didn't like them.  But also, before, I wasn't really committed to following whatever program I was meeting with.  My rules are simple:

1.  If I eat something, write it down.
2.  If  Weight Watchers gives me something to read, I'm going to actually read it.

There is hope for a thinner future. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

And the answer is...NO!

I did not lose weight this week.  In fact, I gained two tenths of a pound.

However, I did lose and inch and a half off my hips!

I'll take it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What, exactly, is the point?

Okay.  It's the eve of finishing my 5th week following Weight Watchers PointsPlus program.  The way the program works, you get a certain number of points for each day, a certain number of points you can use anytime during the week, and activity points which are earned by exercising.  Typically, I try to stay within the daily points and haven't ventured much into the weekly "extra" allowance.  Heaven FORBID I ever touch my activity points!  But this week I am doing an experiment, and I used most of my weekly points allowance.  (That just means I ate more than I have been, but totally within the "rules" of this diet.)

So the big question is:  Will I lose weight when I weigh in tomorrow?  Makes me think of a song:

(Looking at the gingerbread I ate for dessert tonight)
Tonight you're mine, completely.
You give your taste so sweetly!
Tonight, the light of love is in these bites,
But will I lose weight...tomorrow?

Is this a lasting treasure? (I mean, getting to eat gingerbread if I have the points!  Back to song...)
Or just a moment's pleasure?
Can I believe the magic of weekly points (okay, it doesn't rhyme!)
And will I lose weight...tomorrow?

Tonight with points uneaten,
I think that I just cannot fail,
But will my joy be beaten,
When my feet hit the morning scale?

I'd like to know that your points
Are points I can enjoy.
So tell me now, and I won't ask again,
Will I still lose weight...tomorrow?
Will I still lose weight...tomorrow?
Will I still lose weight...tomorrow?

Guess I had to ask three times since I promised not to ask again!

We'll see how things go...tomorrow.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

What's For Dinner?

I don't know what the deal is, but somewhere along the line I forgot how to cook.  I have all the ingredients:  cook books, good intentions, a kitchen, appliances, pots and pans, food.  But so many times I go into the kitchen and just stand there, or open the pantry or refrigerator door and stare inside like I'm looking at Mars or something. 

My love/hate relationship with food may be part of the problem.  So many different diets.  So much confusion over the years about what I should eat.  So many things to think about regarding food that at some point I must have thrown up my hands in resignation and thrown in the cooking towel on my way to the nearest drive-thru.

I guess it's time to go find that towel and pick it up again.  Hopefully it will have some pretty embroidery on it which outlines several good ideas for what to cook for dinner.  Otherwise I'm going to be spending a lot of time practicing my catatonic stare in front of the fridge.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Keeping on Keeping On. . .

You know, every day just can't be filled with new and different things.  I mean, we have those mountaintop experiences, like the one pictured here, and then there are the days when you don't get to wear the three-cow-costume.  Just another day.  No excitement.  No thrill of victory or even agony of defeat.

For me these dull days are very dangerous.  Eating is something I did for years just to fill the time. It's a habit that knocks on my door when I'm not busy. 

I need down time, though.  Just have to be careful not to take that literally, and let myself feel down on those days.  That's why I posted this picture.  How can a person feel down when gazing upon such a sight?  I can't help but smile when I see my sister tap dancing in a three-cow-costume.  So here's to you, Mary, for all the joy you bring into my life...the Laugh Everlasting!  I may need my quiet time to regenerate, but I need the love and interaction of my family and friends even more.  Hugs.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Weigh Day - Total Loss: 12 pounds!

Another week.  Another pound.  The real story this week, however, is inches.  I lost several of those...must have left them in Solvang where I walked blisters into my feet on Saturday. 

I had a strange and unusual thought on the way home, after eating all those delicious meals I posted pictures of last night.  Food is not the enemy!  For so many years I've had this love/hate relationship with food.  But this weekend showed me that I can enjoy really delicious and wonderfully healthy foods if I just make the choice to eat them.  Sounds basic, I know.  This trip was the first time I was travelling and felt in control of my food.  AND, I didn't eat any of those famous Danishes--I didn't even WANT to eat one.  I did have one Danish pancake, but I counted the points (as best I could).

And maybe "as best I can" is the key.  There are still challenges to be faced:  eating dinner at a friend's house (no choices), church pot lucks, parties...THE HOLIDAYS!  Normally, such thoughts would make me go crazy with Despair and Anxiety, but I don't feel panicky at all.  That's new.  And that's good.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Home Again

Wow!  We had a wonderful time on our weekend trip to the Coast.  The good news is that I really enjoyed eating delicious and healthy foods while we were gone.

The bad news is that eating healthy items at some of those coastal restaurants can be very expensive!  In Santa Barbara, my lunch was $30.  I ordered the Harbor Salad (picture No. 2) and a fruit plate  (picture No. 4).  But, my oh my, it was delicious!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Road Trip!

Today is my husband's birthday, and we are going to pack a few things (and I do mean a FEW), hop into the Miata and head for the California coast.  Normally, I wouldn't want to take a road trip in the Miata.  Being overweight, it's a bit snug, and as the car is low to the ground, it's a bit bumpy.  But the idea of being able to toodle along Highway 1 next to the ocean with the top down is we're going to go for it!
Of course my real worry is the diet.  There will be no handy Jenny Craig meals on this trip.  I'm going to have to face real life food in real life restaurants and make real life decisions about what I'm going to eat.  On the many diets I have been on in the past, this type of challenge always had me shaking in my boots.  Usually I would spend half the trip being miserable that I couldn't eat what everyone else was eating, and the other half eating eating everything and anything I wanted!  And then, of course, I would lose the mindset of getting back on plan, and the plan would pfffsssttt! disappear while all the pounds I had lost would mysteriously come home to roost.

This time, however, I'm not shaking.  I'm not worried (well...not VERY worried.)  I feel calm.  I have my points allowance.  I have my iPhone with my WeightWatchers Mobile app.  I have the understanding that this way of eating is not cruel and unusual punishment, but simply a way of eating I have chosen to follow from now on.  I understand that making healthy eating choices is normal (normal weight people have to do that too) and I don't have to let anxiety over food keep me from having a great time on this little trip.

How am I doing on my pep talk?

Now I'll tell you that we are going to a place famous for their Danish pastries!  I'll let you know how it went when I get back.  Blessings to you all!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baggy Pants and Other Signs of Hope

I did something fun the other day.  I went to my favorite store to buy pants and bought a size smaller than I have been wearing.  Also got a dress that is TOO small, but it's a style I already own and I know when the weight comes off it will fit.  In fact, I might take a picture in it now and post that for future reference.

Yeah, I know.  I need to post some more fat pictures.  Even though that's important to have around to show where I started....YUCK!  It is way more fun to do that AFTER you've lost weight!  Then you can say, "Look what I accomplished!"  Now all I can say is "Look where I am," while I'm thinking "Don't look at me at all!"

We all suffer from that problem.  Yesterday I went swimming and a very trim, normal-weight friend came along.  But she wouldn't put on a bathing suit.  She was simply not comfortable enough about her body to wear a bathing suit in public.  Boy, do I know how she feels.  I have gone years and years without swimming for the same reason.  This summer, though, I decided to just do it anyway...and it has been a blast.  If anyone else is bothered by my unshapely shape they haven't said anything.  And anyway, my only really anxious moments are the few steps I have to take from the table (where I take off my cover-up) to the pool (where I feel relatively invisible in the water.)

I pray that we can all give ourselves permission to simply live our lives and do the things we enjoy, without worrying about what other people think.  The ironic truth is, most other people aren't thinking about us at all...because they're worried about what we are thinking about them!  In other words, we are most of us focused on ourselves.  It's time to quit living my life subject to the Mental Mirror of Judgment that I carry around with me all the time, and start looking, with compassion, at someone else for a change.  I guess a little compassion for myself is not a bad idea either.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Ode to the End of a Crummy Day

O, Glorious Night!  Watch thou, as I
do tell this Crummy Day, "Goodbye."
'Twas fraught with fears, and anxious thoughts,
and hunger pangs, which hence were fought.

I learned today, what fate has shown
to me in years since I've been grown,
That stress can drive me to the brink
To want to eat so not to think!

Alas, alack, and, yes...ahah!
I've also learned to say, "Oh, Bah!
I will not eat to soothe my fears!
My troubles are between my ears!

Consuming food with zeal unfettered
will never make me feel, well, bettered!"
So, I resisted, sure enough,
from plunging in the feeding trough.

And still, the Crummy Day wore on,
While Crummy Stuff from here and yon
Accumulated with its kind
and threatened to consume my mind.

So, now, approaching end of Day,
To all that Crummy Stuff I say,
"Though weariness doth fill my joints,
I stayed within my daily points!"

Copyright 2011 by Cindy Ramming

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weigh Day -11 lbs, actually!

So, I actually lost 2.4 pounds this week, but when added to what I already lost and those four "misplaced" pounds since May, I'm down a total of 11!

It's so weird.  My clothes feel more comfortable and I feel stronger.  It's almost a surprise when I look in the mirror and see that I AM STILL FAT!  But, I am encouraged.  So far, following the points program has been no big deal, and having the convenience of the Jenny Craig food is helping a lot.  Today, however, I actually sat down and made a menu for the entire week, including actually cooking a couple of evening meals, which means I'm going to actually have to go the grocery store and actually buy groceries.  Then I'm going to have to actually cook.'s a start.

I think I may actually be making progress!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Thanks, Abby

Just finished reading Abby Rike's book, Working it Out, pictured here.  Abby lost 100 pounds on THE BIGGEST LOSER, a show which I have not watched very much over the years.  Abby's story is very inspiring on many levels, only one of which is losing weight.  I think it's impossible to feel sorry for myself in any way after reading her story.

Toward the end of the book. Abby talks about how she used to want a quick fix to her weight problem.  It made me think about how many times in my life, especially when I was younger, did I sit and wish that I could go to sleep one night and wake up skinny the next day?  Abby goes on to say, "But a life truth that has proven itself to me time and time again is that anything worthwhile takes hard work. . . . This process is not about being perfect.  It's about making good choices the majority of the time, knowing that I will make mistakes.  I'm human."

Reading this reminded me that I have chosen something that is hard work!  That may seem obvious, but sometimes we need these little reminders.  My job..and it IS a job! to do my part every day, following my eating plan and developing an active lifestyle.    I'm grateful Abby took the time to write her story down for me.  She must have known I'd need to read it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Mary....

Who could ask for a better sister?  I just want to thank you for being the only person who reads my blog every day.  Your support means so much to me.  I am blessed to have you in my life.  I love you!

About some pounds I misplaced...

One cool thing about belonging to Weight Watchers Online is that they keep your stats forever.  Evidently, back in May I toyed with dieting (I only recorded my weight twice!) and back then my weight was four pounds higher than when I started this journey.  So I'm upping my total weight loss to 8.6 pounds.  It's only fair!

It's only a drop in the 100+ pound bucket, but I am starting to notice the change in my clothes and how I feel.  I can't put my finger on it, but something about this effort feels different than other times I've gone on a diet.  Not so much that I am more resolved, but more like I have accepted...really accepted...that it is a good thing to live within the boundaries of limits on how much I eat.  But enough of that for now.  I really just wanted to claim my four extra pounds today!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Everything is a Test

My day got blown off track this morning when I had a tire blow out on the way to a Weight Watcher's meeting.  It was one of those "whatever can go wrong will go wrong" days.  Eight hours later, I'm finally home, several hundred dollars poorer (bought all new tires), and exhausted!

All I can think of is, "I want to eat!"  I've been trying to count my blessings, like being grateful that I didn't lose control of the car and have an accident.  I was able to get everything fixed.  We have the money to cover the expense.  I had a friend with me, and even though it wasn't a very fun day, we did get to spend a lot of time talking...and I didn't have to go through this alone!  And, even though I have wanted to smother my anxieties with cream gravy, I chose to eat steamed broccoli and grilled chicken for lunch.  Come to think of it, we were fortunate to even get lunch.  The service manager at the dealership dropped us off at a nearby restaurant at lunchtime.

So, maybe it wasn't such a bad day after all.  And I know eating something fattening at this point isn't going to make me feel any better.  It occurs to me (after the fact, of course) that when something stressful happens, I need to learn to turn to something other than food to calm me down.  Hmmmmm.....I feel another song coming on...

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his marvelous face,
and the things of this world will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace."

Thank you, Lord, for getting me safely through this day.