Sunday, October 30, 2011

WEIGH DAY - 31 total pounds gone!

Now, I don't know this particular cat personally.  But judging by my own cats and how much they weigh, I'm guessing this one weighs in at about 31 pounds.  Wouldn't you agree?  Glad I'm not carring THAT around any more.

The Big News today is that I made a menu and went to the grocery store.  I have a very optimistic goal of cooking dinner every night this week. Tomorrow morning my new neighbor is coming over to walk with me (brilliantly asked her to come to my house so I would have to get up and be ready for her.)  We are officially on the road to getting rid of the next 30 pounds.

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


It's the morning after.

We had ten wonderful people over for dinner last night.  Pita chips, hummus, veggies for appetizers; grilled salmon, chicken ka-bobs, salad and vegetable rice pilaf for dinner; an amazing raspberry trifle for dessert.  Oh.  And wine.

The food was mostly healthy, and there was lots of it!  We laughed.  We ate.  We festivated!  I thought about my weekly points, and how in the past when I've indulged in actually using them, my weight has gone up a pound or two the next day.  It usually takes two or three days to recover.

And that's exactly what happened!  Up a pound and half this morning.  But instead of being DEVESTATED, as I have been in the past, I saw the scale and thought to myself, "Well, I expected that!"

Not that it's OKAY, but I'm starting to understand that it's NORMAL.  This is life.  We are to live it.  Festivating is allowed.  We are just not supposed to FESTIVATE every day!  And a little up and down is to be expected.  It doesn't mean that I'm a failure at dieting.  Actually, what I think this means is that I am a success at learning my new lifestyle. 

My sister just spent a few days with several fit and healthy people, and she said they all festivated like crazy the whole time they were together.  But when it was time to go home, they all went right back to eating very healthy.   So I festivated last night, and today I'm back to the straight and narrow. 

It's even Biblical, as we can see in this well known passage from Ecclesiastes Chapter 3:

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
A time to deprivate, and a time to festivate!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Don't Deserve This...

When I started this blog, I didn't know what to expect.  I didn't really expect anybody to read it. 

But there you are, reading it!  Every time one of you posts a comment I am humbled and amazed.  I am humbled and amazed when one of you sees me and says, "I've been following your blog."  Even if you don't let me know that you're out there reading, I am humbled and amazed that you are!

I want you to know it makes a difference.  Every day, when I wake up and start making decisions about what I'm going to do and think about and eat, I'm also thinking about all of you.  Your presence gives me strength, especially in those difficult moments when I might be facing, oh, a basket hot cheddar cheese biscuits at Red Lobster.  I think about you, and it's easier to push the biscuits away.  I feel your support and your encouragement all day long.

This is a new experience for me.  I've felt so alone for so long, and I've never expected anyone to care enough about my little problems to walk along with me like this.  And yet, the Bible teaches us that we are to share one another's burdens.  It makes total sense that we can't expect any help if we don't let anyone know we need help.  I shared my burden with you, and you are supporting me...thank you!  But more than that, it occurs to me that what you are doing is modeling God's love and grace.  You are living examples of the way God loves us all...we don't deserve it but He's right there anyway.  This has to be part of His Grand Plan, that we show the world who He is by how we care for each other.

Thank you for caring for me.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who'd've Thunk?

I'm starting to get used to smaller portions!

Okay, maybe not THIS small, but smaller than I used to eat.  I realized this evening that it has been a long time since I have felt panicky about food or about what I was going to eat.  I'm comfortable with eating reasonable portions and am realizing that flexibility can be a good thing. 

I can't believe it, but I am actually ENJOYING being on this diet!  I am actually LEARNING how to deal with eating!  I am actually CHANGING the way I eat and the way I think about food!

This is a HUGE deal.  HUGE.  Did I say HUGE?  I meant, GI-NORMOUS!  Either there's hope for the future or I'm about to fall into the feeding trough big-time.  I'm pulling for hope.  Did I say hope?  I meant, HOPE!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Read My Lips

It's one of my hardest things, saying no.  I hate to disappoint people.  I want them to like me.  As a result many times, I say, "Yes," when I really want to say, "No."

I'm getting better about saying no to foods I don't want to eat, but it's even harder to say no to things I don't want to do.  I think in the past, one of the reasons I ate was because it was the one thing only I controlled.  And it was like, if I couldn't DO what I wanted to do, I could at least EAT what I wanted to eat.

I still struggle with doing what I want to do, and with saying no to the things I don't want to do.  But I realize that I need to learn to say no, gracefully and with conviction.  I need to risk disappointing people, or not being liked, so I can be at peace with myself.

Of course, there are times when it's appropriate to do things we don't want to do,  Come to think of it, my goal should not be to do only the things that please myself, but to do the things that please God.  The trick is knowing what those things are!  I'm pretty sure, however, that God doesn't want me to just say YES to every request everyone makes of me. 

Sigh.  Nobody said this was going to be easy.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weigh Day - 30 pounds!

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is --his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:2

Today I was thinking about transformation, and this verse came to mind.  This dieting thing, the new-way-of-living thing, is really about renewing the mind.  It's about making room for new ways of thinking...about myself, about others, about God...and being open to the possibility of being truly transformed by Him.

People are starting to notice my weight loss.  One person even told my husband today that I was an inspiration to her, as she is also trying to lose weight.  It's humbling.  But I'm beginning to realize that as nice as it is for people to notice and compliment me on my weight loss, what I really want is to be conformed to God's will for my life.  I want to lose the unattractive attributes of my personality and replace them with God's attributes:  compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 

I still have a long way to go with my weight loss, and I have a long way to go to becoming the person God wants me to be.  It's amazing to me that He knows all about me and loves me anyway.  He wants me to be transformed...and through His love, I can be!  We all can!

Friday, October 21, 2011

On Changing ...

Many years ago I had a bizarre dieting experience.  I had lost some weight, and was driving down Ming Avenue on a beautiful day with the windows down, my left arm resting on the door.  I needed to change lanes, and that's when it happened.  I glanced over my left shoulder and caught a glimpse of this thin arm that was right next to me.  I wondered whose arm that was, then of course realized it was mine.  But it didn't feel like mine.  It didn't feel like it belonged to me.

The experience really shook me up.  My body was getting smaller but my mind hadn't made the connection.  I was out of sync.  It disturbed me so much that I naturally freaked out and started gaining weight so I would recognize my own arm again.  Smart, huh?

Since then, I've thought about this experience a lot.  First of all, it's silly to go on a diet and be surprised when your body gets smaller.  Yet, I was surprised!  Even though I wanted to change, I was accustomed to seeing myself a certain way.  We get used to things that we live with every day for years and years.  They start to feel normal.  And sometimes, when those things start to change, even for the better, it can be a little unsettling.

So I entered this adventure secure in the knowledge that my body was going to change, and it is!  My arms are getting smaller, along with the rest of me.  Sometimes I just hold up my left arm and look at it and claim it as my own.  But I am still being surprised!  I expected and was prepared for my body to change, but inside I'm changing too.  I'm starting to feel differently about the person I am, the person God created me to be.  I feel a quiet confidence I never knew before.  I used to be a couch potato, and now I WANT to MOVE and keep busy.  I am actually ENJOYING eating healthy, delicious foods, instead of seeing it as a drudgery or a punishment. 

All of which brings me to the real point of this post.  I realized this morning that I should expect more changes in the months to come, and not just physical or related to dieting.  I should be on the lookout for the changes God wants to make in my attitudes, in my awareness, in my willingness to submit myself, mind and body, to Him.  He's working on an Extreme Makeover here!  I know He has wonderful plans for me, but I have to be willing to let go of all that "stuff" I've been clinging to in order to get to His Big Reveal.  It may be a little scary from time to time, but when that happens I know He will pat my skinny arm and tell me everything is going to be okay.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feel the Love

Greetings, Blog followers!

Nothing much going on today -- if you don't count looking for my husband's wallet for the past 24 hours and finally finding it in the back of my SUV.  I think my blood pressure is almost back to normal. 

I spoke to a woman at the WW meeting who agreed with me that the stickers they give us for a five-pound loss should be sparkly!

Stayed on my plan.  Got in some exercise.  Anxiously waiting for the scale to go down one more pound so I can say I've lost 30!  Found a shirt in my closet that was too small and now fits just fine, thank you very much.  Started wearing my smaller jeans (size 16 - I started out at size 22).  Enjoying the fact that the weather is getting cooler. Actually cooked a delicious, healthy dinner.  Went to choir rehearsal.

Life is starting to settle into a nice little routine.  I don't panic about eating any more..or at least not as often as I used to.  I'm getting myself situated for the long part of this trip - the next 108 pounds.  That's too much to think about, so I'll think about that one pound that's going to get me to 30.  Then I'll work on the next one.  Then the next.  It's all good.

Remind me about that the next time I get frustrated, okay?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

All the Live-Long Day

I woke up this morning thinking, "Here comes another day of staying on my plan."

I'm not complaining!  Some days are inspirational, some days are depressing, and some days are...well...just days.  This feels like a day.  Another day in my new lifestyle.  Another step toward my goal.  No earth-shattering lessons.  No agony of defeat.  Just a normal day.

It's also meeting day, which means I get to weigh in there and they are going to give me another five-pound sticker.  (You get a sticker every time you lose five pounds.)  I love it.  Here I am, 56 years old, and getting a sticker still makes me feel good.  It's a blue star.  I'd feel even better if it was sparkly!

So here's to "just days".  We all have 'em.  We all need 'em.  They are a gift from God.  Hugs!

Monday, October 17, 2011

O, Me of Little Faith

Yes, I was a little bit whiney in my post yesterday.

This picture represents my daily weight chart...going downhill but bumpy along the way.  Yesterday's weigh-in (the one that counts) happened to hit one of the bumps.  Of course today my weight was down again, so I know I'm still making progress toward my goal.

With all my pouting, I didn't notice until later in the day that even with just the lousy .6 pound loss, I had lost 10% of my starting weight!  This is one of the big milestones in Weight Watchers, and it comes with big positive health changes.  Woohoo!

I'm dealing with a malady faced by many dieters: focusing too much on the numbers!  I think it's an aspect of the obsessive-compulsive behavior that fueled my overeating for so many years--that ALL OR NOTHING PERFECTIONISM that can be a death sentence to a healthy, well-balanced life.  I'm making great progress toward health, but I need to remember that the underlying issues that led to my mass poundage are going to crop up now and again.  This road to health and wellness inevitably involves finding and healing old wounds.  I'm so thankful the Great Physician is on this journey with me.  Even when I stumble I can keep going forward, because I know He will help me with every step along the way.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Weigh Day - Total Loss 27.6 pounds

What?  Six Tenths of a pound?

My weight was a pound less than this yesterday. 

Sigh.  Guess I should be grateful for any loss.  Next week will be better.  Etc. and so on. 

Trying to smile...

Friday, October 14, 2011


You love being with your friends.  Parties.  Dinner at someone's house. It's a powerful social force.  It takes a lot of energy to resist the "dig in" mentality.

And sometimes, you get worn down.  You know you shouldn't, but you want to.  You want to be like everybody else.  You want the pizza and beer.  You want the sugar-and-fat-laden dessert.  You get tired of saying, "No, thank you," especially when your stomach is growling.  You wish your friends wouldn't put you in that situation.  You think, "If they really loved me, they wouldn't tempt me like this."

You might even get angry.  You might resent the fact that they don't seem to appreciate how hard this is for you.  They invite you over for dinner, and serve something off-the-charts fattening.  And you eat just a little of it, even though you're still hungry, because you're trying to stay on your plan.  And then you realize, the holidays are coming.  It's going to get worse.  And you're scared.  You don't know if you're strong enough.  You want to hide out for the next three months and rejoin the world after all the food-festing is over.

Because you know what's coming.  Your favorites.  Pumpkin pie.  Mashed potatoes and turkey gravy.  Homemade rolls.  Christmas cookies.  An unending variety of yummy treats served at every social occasion between now and the end of the year.  And you'll say, "No, thank you," and they'll say, "But it's the holidays!" or,  "It's a party!" or, "I made this just for you!"

And you'll have to choose between taking care of yourself or what seems to be taking care of your friendship by eating the food you know you shouldn't eat but that you want to eat because you know it's going to taste like heaven AND save your friendship.  At least that's how you'll feel at that moment.  Because you love your friends.

But the holidays are scary.

So you steel yourself.  You vow to enjoy the holidays in a healthy way.  You stand in front of the mirror, smile, and practice saying, "No, thank you."  and "I've had enough!"  and "That looks delicious!"  You don't put the responsibility for staying on your plan on THEM.  You remember that even though you've already lost almost 30 pounds, you still have a long way to go.  You don't want to lose your momentum.  You take a deep breath.  You pray.  You forgive your friends for trying to make you eat foods you know you shouldn't eat, or to eat more than you know you should have.  You love your friends. 

You eat breakfast.  You get out your food tracker and write down what you ate.  You take your vitamins, then go outside for a morning walk.  You thank God that you have friends to love.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Three Days in the Condo

Scrubbing.  Painting.  Squatting.  Staining. 

I used this cat picture today for two reasons:  (1) I've been wanting to use this cat picture, and (2) it pretty accurately represents what I looked like--especially the hair--on my way home from the condo last night.

I devoted three entire days to the project of getting this place ready to rent out in an effort to Get It Done.  We're almost there.  My WW activity points are off the chart from all the gymnastics I've been doing over there, and every joint in my body is crying out for mercy.

Some will say that we're putting in too much effort for a rental.  It HAS been exhausting.  But I am reminded that we are to do everything as if unto the Lord.  (Col 3:23 - "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men," NIV84)  I'm guessing that applies to preparing a property for rental, as well as dieting, and--come to think of it--even blogging.  Hugs.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Adventure Continues

Had to go buy another size smaller of jeans yesterday.  I went ahead and got the next size down, too.  Optimism!

Having to keep buying smaller clothes could get expensive.  We will file this thought under "Good Problems".  But it also gives me a little mental consider the major changes that may be coming my way because of the journey I am on.

It's not just getting smaller, or learning to eat healthier and being more active.  Every journey we take in life has the potential to change who we are as we gain new perspectives and experiences.  I started this journey simply because I was disgusted with my size and wanting to lose weight.  Finally.  But as I travel down the path to a thinner body I'm noticing other, unexpected changes along the God drawing me closer to Him.  And realizing I am so blessed to have a community of friends who are willing to walk alongside me (that's you!)  I used to live an isolated, lonely life.  And now it seems, the smaller I get, the larger my world becomes.

Jesus did say you have to lose your life in order to find it.  I don't think He was talking about dieting.  Then again, the more I let go of my old securities (like eating to calm myself down) and turn instead to my Heavenly Father, the more security I find.  Makes me wonder what else I'm hanging onto that I could release into His infinte care.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

You get what you pay for...

I have three dieting friends who in as many days have said the same thing to me:  "I don't want to give up my fattening foods!"  They talk to me about how much they miss their favorite foods.  I wonder how long they will stay with their programs.  This used to be me.  I could get on a diet, but I couldn't quit thinking about wanting to eat donuts.

And consequently, I couldn't stay on the diet.

This time is different.  I truly want to change the way I eat for the rest of my life. That means giving up my eating habits from the past 56 years.  I'm trading them in for something new.  Everything has a price.  My old lifestyle purchased me an out-of-shape-overweight body.  The in-shape-normal-weight body is going to cost me, too.  It's costing learning new habits, new ways of eating, thinking and moving, and interacting with people. 

 I'm investing in a new life! 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Weigh Day - Total Loss - 27 pounds!

Okay, I lost less than a pound this week (0.8), but I lost!  Anyway, I like round numbers.  One thing I've noticed is that whenever I enjoy a glass of wine, even if it's within my daily/weekly points allowance, my weight loss slows down.  Hmmmmmmm.  Well, then there was that mac and cheese at the bad rap party.  And I didn't get in as much exercise last week as I have been.  Still, I'm happy with the downward trend.   Just probably won't be toasting this little victory with wine tonight! Maybe some Sobe 0....  :-) 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Everybody's Insecure

I've always felt "out of sync" with the rest of the world.  Not smart enough.  Not thin enough.  Not pretty enough.  Not clever enough.  Not even loved enough.  And for years I used those "out of sync" feelings to fuel my desire to eat.  Since I felt I could never attain acceptableness (much less perfection) then why even try?

I looked out at the world through the filter of my hurts and insecurities, and thought,  "Nobody understands what I've been through.  I'm all alone.  I think I'll call Domino's." 

Then, slowly, I began to see that maybe--just maybe--one or two other people also felt unloved and unacceptable to the world.  And as I got outside of my own hurt feelings enough to listen to theirs, I began to understand that we all suffer from feeling insecure in the world.  Even the best looking, thinnest, most accomplished people I know feel insecure about something.  Everybody carries a sadness around inside that is difficult to share with someone else. 

Realizing this takes away one more of my reasons to medicate myself with food.  But more important, even as I write this, I see what part of the problem is.  We feel insecure IN THE WORLD.  If we look for security there, we will never find it.  The world is a cruel and unforgiving place.  Even if we could meet what we think are the world's standards, those standards are an ever shifting, changing hodge-podge of popular opinion, designed to keep us off-balance and always questioning ourselves.

We need to look for security in a place where the standards never change.  Something we can count on.  You know what I'm going to say.  The only true security comes from God, and from coming close to Him through His Son, Jesus.  The ironic thing is that God knows we're all screwed up...that we say the wrong things, and make mistakes, and that we forget to come to Him with all our insecurities.  He knows EVERYTHING about us.  But He loves us anyway!  When I stop and think about that, the tension inside me simply melts away.  Which makes me think of a song:

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

 1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains-
      where does my help come from?
  2 My help comes from the LORD,
   the Maker of heaven and earth.
                               from Psalm 121

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Day at a Time

Wow.  I'm blown away by how different every day is.

Some days are a breeze.  Others, like today, are a struggle.  It's 10:25pm and I am HUNGRY.  But I'm also "pointless".  So no more food for me today. 

But it's never boring.  I never know what to expect from one day to the next.  I don't seem to be "settling in" to a predictable day-to-day dieting existence.  The only thing I can figure is that my body is really changing, and I'm bound to feel the effects of that. It affects how I feel physically, mentally and emotionally.  But here's the cool thing:  the roller coaster is not tripping me up.  I'm not running to food every time I feel insecure or confused.  I still can't get over that.  Oh, I'm tempted.  I've even stood in front of the pantry a few times.  But I know..I really KNOW...that eating off my plan will only make me feel worse.  It's like, I still have the habit of wanting to turn to food for comfort, but I've broken the habit of actually doing it. 

It only took 56 years.

There's really only one explanation for this major change in my life.  I'm getting help!  I must be.  I believe God has fundamentally changed how I look at food.  I am a new creation, and am becoming a new creation, thanks to Him.  To God be the Glory!  With His help, I can keep taking those little steps, day by unpredictable day. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hitting the Wall

I should have known it was coming.

For the past several weeks I have been working like a crazy person.  I've been doing great following my eating plan and making plenty of time for exercise, but I've been letting some other things slip.

Little things, really.  Like cleaning the house.  Doing the laundry.  Paying the bills.  Making sure I get enough sleep.

It's all caught up with me now, though, and I have officially CRASHED!  So now it's time to stop time for a minute, and take stock in my schedule and the expectations I have of myself. 

I've been doing a lot of Taking Care of What I Think Everybody Else Wants Me To Do and not much Taking Care of Myself and What I Need to Do.  This is nothing new.  But it's a bit humbling because I was feeling pretty good about all the weight I've lost...surely I've got a handle on life now, right?

Not quite.  Yet.  Maybe I'll never get the hang of a truly balanced life.  It occurs to me, though, that another thing I haven't found the time for is daily prayer.  This could be the real missing link in my life right now.  It doesn't make sense, but even when I'm very busy if I make time to spend with the Lord things seem to work out okay and I don't feel as stressed about it all.  It's so easy to think that I don't have time to stop and sit quietly with God for a while, when in reality I can't afford not to make the time.  Relying on my own strength and energy is probably what got me on this wall in the first place.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weigh Day - Total Loss: 26.2 pounds!

So, despite all my troubles this week, the weight keeps coming off.  I'm sticking to my points budget with foods I love and trying to get in some fun exercise at least three times a week.  It's working!  I don't really feel like I'm on a "diet", but just learning a new way to eat.  Woohoo!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Nothing More Than Feelings...

Well, I'm not sure I figured out what my "gotta eat something fattening" mood was all about the other day.

However, I did realize that emotions - in and of themselves - are not a reason to eat.  Period.  MAJOR PARADIGM SHIFT!  I have spent most of my life eating because:  I'm happy, I'm sad, I'm upset, I'm depressed, I'm partying, I don't want to hurt someone's FEELINGS.

I'm certain it's okay to enjoy food and to feel happy while you're eating it (or even to feel sad), but the reason to eat is to fuel your body. 

Wow.  What a concept.  Who knew?