Monday, November 28, 2011

Thinkin' about the Future

I've got my annual knock-me-off-my-feet cold, and have been resting the last few days.  Eating has not been a problem because I can't taste a thing!  So I have just been eating when my stomach growls. An interesting experience.

Anyhoo, between naps I've been thinking about the future...specifically, what will my life be like this time next year?  There's no way to know.  None of us is guaranteed a next year or even a tomorrow, but it's fun to think about possible futures anyway. 

It's fun to think about shopping for clothes without having to go to a plus-size store.  It's fun to think about having more energy and feeling more trim.  It's fun to think about jumping on my bike for a ride on our local bike trail with a few of my friends. 

Yes, I'm day-dreaming.  I'm imagining a new future for my life.  Losing this weight isn't only about changing the way I eat.  I have to also change the way I think.  Actually, when I accomplish that, I'll have won the entire battle.

My life is an expression of the things I think about.  That's why I've quit watching horror movies and most of the stuff on TV.  It really helps not to see food commercials!  Controlling my thoughts is not easy, but fortunately, I have help: 
  • And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:7NIV)
It's comforting to know that God's peace, which I cannot possibly understand, is guarding my heart and mind.  I'm encouraged to know that I don't have to do all this changing all by myself on my own power.  It's exciting to know that as my thoughts are changing, I am changing!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Weigh Day - 37 pounds gone!

This is significant.  According to the goal I set originally, I now need to lose exactly 100 pounds.

Of course, I have no idea if that is a reasonable goal.  I have no idea where I'll feel comfortable, weight-wise.  I just know that in approximately four months I have accomplished approximately 25% of my original goal.

Oh, and I lost weight over Thanksgiving!  Woohoo!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Much Ado about Nothing

I enjoyed the day!

It started with a healthy brunch, mid-morning.  My husband invited our friends (who had asked us to join them for Thanksgiving) to come over for one of his famous fritattas.  We ate, we played Wii...a fun time!

Later we went over to their house for the Big Event.  The food was delicious.  I had a reasonable serving of the foods I wanted, and thanks to Jill's advice, left the things I didn't want off my plate.  As I was serving my homemade rolls to everyone, I noticed that at least two people there had less on their plate than I did...and nobody was giving them a hard time.  We ate, we talked, we laughed, and then I had a half of a piece of pumpkin pie.  When we headed home, I even had three points left for the day! 

From this perspective, all the worrying I did before yesterday seems a little silly.  Reminds me of when Jesus said,
  • 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; ... 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:27a;33-34)
I praise God for His kindness!  He loves us more than we can comprehend! I was so dreading the eating part of yesterday.  I should have remembered another thing Jesus said,
  • 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
In His strength, I can do this.  In His strength, I am doing this!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Impending Doom

It occurs to me that I'm not the only one nervous about Thanksgiving tomorrow.

At our WW meeting yesterday, our leader said it was okay to say to yourself, "I'll maintain," or "I'll gain a pound this week."

Maybe I'll get there someday.  But I'm not there now.  I still want to lose!  What I want is to keep eating healthy, stay on plan, and lose this week!  I don't even want tomorrow to be a blip on the radar screen.

Call me crazy.  I'm just not sure that a whole nation PLANNING a whole day (extended to several days because of leftovers) to throw caution to the wind and EAT with abandon...I'm just not sure that's a healthy thing for anybody.  I have spent my life making excuses for reasons to eat.  I'm hot. I'm cold. I'm happy. I'm sad.  It's cold outside.  It's hot outside.  It's my birthday.  It's Christmas.  It's Thanksgiving. It's Tuesday.   I'm alone.  I'm at a party.  I woke up today.  For me, in the past, these have all been valid reasons to eat with abandon.

And to paraphrase Dr. Phil, "How's that been workin' for me?" 

Many of my friends have advised me to just enjoy the day---meaning, eat anything I want.  That thought terrifies me, because eating anything I want is what got me over a hundred pounds overweight!  This is something I KNOW HOW TO DO.  And that's what scares me.  I'm way too good at eating anything I want.  Show me delicious food, and I guarantee I will want to eat it. I have learned that wanting it is not a valid reason for eating it.  But how will I react on National Eat Anything You Want Day, when everyone around me is eating anything they want, and encouraging me to do the same?

What I really want is to lose forever the desire to eat with abandon.  I want to look at foods that are not good for me and have my first reaction be, "Why on earth would I put THAT into my body?"  I want to be able to join friends and family around a festive table and be more focused on the fellowship than the food.  I want to be victorious tomorrow in enjoying the day without overeating so I won't spend weeks dreading the next Food Fest Event in my life.  I want to be in control of what I eat.  I want to be freed from food controlling me.

I want to turn Impending Doom into Impending Opportunity for a New Life.

I want tomorrow to be over.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Today is the Day

It came up in conversation yesterday...the whole "Diets start on Monday" thing.

That goes right along with "I blew it already today, so I think I'll keep eating like crazy the rest of the day."

...and "Well, I've blown this week, so I'll just keep eating like crazy until..."

Oh, I know it well.  I used it.  I said it.  For me the "until" was until I was 56 years old.

Having it come up again yesterday reminded me, I don't think like that any more.  I don't even think in terms of "What am I going to do today?"  It's more like, "What am I going to do in the next five minutes?"  It's never too early to get back on track.  This has been a foundational change of mind-set.  I used to crave to get in all the food I could before starting a diet, and if you extend the start for several decades that adds up to a lot of food!  Now I crave to stay on my plan.  I just have to do it for the next five minutes...continuously.  If I mess up in those minutes, I can get back on track in the next five.  It's not about tomorrow, or Monday, or the day after Thanksgiving, or January 1st.  It's about this moment.  What am I going to choose to do NEXT?

Since my stomach is growling, eating breakfast makes sense.  I think today I'll have a pancake with strawberries, a scrambled egg and maybe a piece of bacon.  It's all part of the plan!


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weigh Day - 34.6 pounds

Okay, not a big loss this week, but I thought I would post a picture from last December compared to today.  Look - I've even lost weight in my hair!

I'm a bit frustrated with the scale.  Each week I seem to hover around the same pound or two all week, and then it goes down a little and hovers at a little bit lower weight.  I'm not exactly discouraged, because I know there's a lot going on besides what shows on the scale, but the scale is...well, the measurement I'm most interested in at this present moment in history.

Be that as it may, I'm encouraged to see the difference in my face between last year and this year.  I've also gotten rid of a lot of my winter sweaters because they are just too baggy!  It's all good. 

Now on to Thanksgiving week.  I am thankful for progress!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Reflecting on God's Blessings

First of all, I need to tell you that my sister painted this.  Isn't it beautiful?

As we approach Thanksgiving, my attention turns to the blessings in my life.  Mary is one of my blessings.  She's a great support to me, always encouraging me, always ready to listen when I need to talk to someone.  It is wonderful to have a loving sister!

I used to walk around feeling, literally, like a Big Fat Victim.  I had experienced so much pain in my life and to deal with it I turned to food.  Overeating didn't really make me feel made me feel nothing.  And feeling nothing was better than feeling the pain.  Then I resented the fact that my difficulty was so VISIBLE to the world.  Other people have problems, I thought, but you don't necessarily see them so it doesn't come up in conversation.  For me, it was like (and I guess it still is) my weight was always Topic No. One.  I hated that.  So I just stacked up that resentment on top of all the stored up pain and ate a pizza or something to distract myself from it all.  If I tried to diet, I wouldn't tell anyone because I didn't want to talk about it.  Then as soon as someone would notice I had lost weight, I'd get mad all over again and quit dieting.

Doesn't make any sense, does it?  My "poor me" attitude gave me all kinds of excuses for bad behavior, toward myself and toward others.  So what is different now?  Why am I online telling the world all about my weight and making it Topic No. One? 

The only answer I can come up with is that I gave up.  I surrendered.  I gave up being mad at the world for what happened to me in the past.  I gave up trying to pretend that I wasn't so overweight and in need of a change.  I gave up turning to food for emotional reasons.  I gave up the idea that I deserved some kind of "pass" on taking care of myself because I had been through or was going through some hard times.  I gave up being mad at the world for judging me by my appearance.

And when I let go of all that...AS I am letting go of all that...God has come into my life in a very real way.  As I stop looking inward, I am able to see around me, and I see that I am not the only person in the world who has ever suffered.  I no longer feel like a victim.  I'm just a normal person trying to deal with life just like everybody else.  With God's help, I'm learning to let go of my pain, my resentment, my dependence on hurting myself with eating.  With His help, and with yours, I'm learning to eat in a way that will nourish the body he has given me.

It isn't easy.  There are days that the only thing I accomplish is that I stay on my program, and that takes all my energy and effort.  It's slow.  Sometimes I feel like I'm standing still, weight-loss-wise.  Sometimes I still want to eat a pizza.  I get frustrated, hungry, and tired.  But I don't get mad about it any more. 

It doesn't sound like I'm talking about blessings, but I am.  Letting go, giving up, a blessing!  Being able to see someone else's pain instead of just my a blessing!  Eating for health instead of a blessing!  Having a God who I can turn to when I'm bored, frustrated, or want to eat a a blessing!  So even though I'm still nervous about the impending Turkey Pig-Out Day, I will welcome it with a full heart and deep gratitude for all the blessings God has given me.  This time is different.  This time I am different! 

2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Day of Rest

I'm tired today.

It's been a fantastic week!  I've gotten a lot done at home, went to the gym twice, did a yoga video at home, and stayed on my food plan.  (Not Vegan yet!) But today, I'm just tired.

Even God rested.  Rest is good (she said as her eyes began to close.)  I must need it.  Maybe it was the hour at the gym yesterday.  Afterwards I was TURBO charged!  Felt great!  But today not so much.

So no great truths are emerging today.  No profound realizations.  No light bulbs.  Except, maybe, for the one I'm about to turn off. 

Here's to sweet dreams (and cute fat cat pictures.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Exercising My Will to Succeed

I actually went to the gym.  Twelve and a half minutes on the eliptical, six minutes on the bike, and a round of various circuit machines.  It wasn't much, but it was forty minutes of something.
Seven months ago I went to the gym and I couldn't do any of those things.  With torn meniscus in both my knees, every machine I tried hurt.  The doc said I wasn't a good candidate for surgery because..oh joy..I also have arthritis in my knees.  So physical therapy and exercise was my only avenue to recovery.  The physical therapist told me to ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes a day, so I went to the gym.  Couldn't do it.  With every pedal stroke it felt like someone was sticking needles into my knees.

I suppose I could have pushed through the pain and Done It Anyway.  But I have learned that while people give advice - even expert advice at times - with the best of intentions, they are not always correct.  This is my body.  I know what I can and can't do, and I have to take responsibility for my own recovery.  So I spent the summer walking in the pool, strengthening the muscles around my knees in a wet, sun-tanning sort of way.  The result is now I can graduate to the bike and further strengthen and tone my messed up knees. 

Many of my friends have been giving me advice about eating on Thanksgiving Day, too.  They all mean well.  I've heard everything from "Enjoy the day!" (i.e., EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT) to "Bring your own food!" (i.e., don't take any chances.)  I'd like to say I know what I can and can't do when it comes to Turkey Day, but I just don't know how I will react to All That Food layed out in front of me.  What I do know is that I have to take responsibility for what I eat that day and every day.  I have to take responsibility for my own recovery, and not let myself be pressured into eating for the sake of pleasing anyone but myself.

And if I please myself a little too much...there's always the gym!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Traveling Tracker

Went to my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday.  I haven't said it in a while, but I love my meetings!  Our group is fun and friendly and a little goofy...a perfect support group for me. I like these people, and I want them to like me.

In WW, a big part of the program is writing down what you eat and how much you exercise.  It's all about accountability.  Not everyone does it, even though it really helps in being successful on the program.  So our leader started passing around the "Traveling Tracker."  A member takes the book home for a week and brings it back to report on how they did with it.  Most people say that knowing someone was going to be able to read every morsel they put into their mouths made them more diligent about sticking to the program.

When it came time to pass the Tracker along to the next volunteer, I took it.  I figured, why not amp up my accountability?  I already keep track of my food online, so it's not like it's something new. As I started scribbling in my carrots and apples and pita and hummus, I was very aware that anyone in my group would have the ability to see everything I was writing down.  I realized that I really wanted to Do It Right this week.

Then--another realization.  There already is One who sees everything I eat, everything I do, and knows everything I am even thinking about.  If I'm so motivated to Do It Right because my WW friends will know what I'm doing, how much more should I be motivated to live my life in a way that will please God?  He's been with me all these years, watching my many failures, heartbreaks, and occasional triumphs.  He's loved me through all the ups and downs.  If I really want to be held accountable (and I will!) I should be thinking about the One who's opinion is the only one that matters.  My desire should be to please Him...with what I do, what I think about, and even what I am eating today.


Sunday, November 13, 2011


So how can you tell if God is trying to tell you something?

For me, it's kinda like looking at this picture.  You think you know what you're looking at, but you're not quite sure.  Just when you think you're focused, it starts moving on you.

The point is, over the past year or so, I keep finding myself drawn to books and documentaries that turn out to be advocating a Vegan lifestyle.  What they all have in common is a very convincing argument that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is killing us, and that by switching to eating yummy fruits and vegetables you can not only lose weight, but enjoy longer life and robust health!  That's a pretty compelling promise.

I know a handful of vegetarians and one vegan.  They are all thin.  They all appear to be healthy.  Some of them go to my church and they even seem to be able to negotiate a pot luck without too much trouble.  They are not wierdos.  Just normal people who happen to vegetables and fruits to survive.  No Big Deal.

But me?

It just keeps coming up!  I feel like God is saying, "Hey-ho!  Anybody in there?  Are you paying attention?  This is the food I designed for you!  Give it a try!" 

Sigh.  I suppose I could eat a few of His foods today.  I doubt that my head will fall off.  Now, my butt...that would okay.

Weigh Day - 34.2 pounds gone!

Okay, I haven't really had it with dieting.

But I did lose two pounds last week, after all the ups and downs!

There's this dress that I'm trying to fit into.  When I bought it, it was WAY too small.  Now it ALMOST fits.  I'm enjoying (on alternate Tuesdays) feeling smaller.  But most of the time, I'm just plodding along, taking one day at a time and trying to stay focused.

I can honestly say that I Do Not Want to go back to eating and living the way I used to.  However...sometimes the old lifestyle beckons.  It's a fading, distant voice, but it's still hanging around. I  guess this is to be expected.  You don't change 30 or 40 years of eating habits overnight, or even in a few months.

If I happen to get bored, I start thinking about eating.  Like, you know, it's something to do.  So if I find myself standing in front of an open fridge or pantry and my eyes are kinda glazed over, I know I need to get busy doing something productive. 

I calculated that if I continue to lose at the rate I've been losing (about a pound and half a week), I will reach my goal by my birthday in March of 2013!  That seems like a long time away.  But, since I'm going for a lifestyle change and not just dieting, who cares?  The plan is to keep doing what I'm doing from NOW ON.  And anyway, maybe I'll be happy at a higher weight than my current goal.  How would I know?  I haven't been anywhere close to a healthy weight for over 26 years. 

Forgive me for rambling.  I'm so grateful to not be going through this alone.  I'm so grateful to have my friends cheering me along.  I'm so grateful to know that the Lord is watching over me and guiding me.  This is not an easy road.  Fortunately, EASY is not what I'm going for.  EASY isn't the goal, or even the promise.  I'm pretty sure the promise is, "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJ)

Peace be with you, my friends.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Long Time, No Post

Okay, it's only been three days.

It's been three days of weight down, weight up, weight staying the same.  Up.  (Only a pound, but UP.)

So here's where I start talking to myself.  Life isn't a straight line.  There are ups and downs.  But sometimes the ups make me feel down.  Guess I'm feeling upside down.

And I guess this, too, is normal. 

So stay tuned.  Happier news ahead!  For now, I'm happy to still be hanging onto the wire.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Weigh Day - 32.2 pounds!

Well, I must be doing SOMETHING right!

I checked my measurements yesterday and I've lost EIGHT inches off my hips (good grief!) and three inches off my waist.  I wore a shirt to church today that I bought some time ago but it was too small.  Fit just fine today!  And a lot of people are starting to tell me they can see the changes.  Funny..,it used to bother me when people noticed I was losing weight.  But now I just say, "Thanks, I'm on Weight Watchers," and then move on with the converstaion.

One small problem...I noticed that I didn't log ANY activity points last week.  The change in the weather has kind of discombobulated me.  Guess it's just a transition thing.

I need to be more like my cat, Dusty.  Right now he's sliding all over the tile floor chasing around his favorite toy:  a twisty tie.  I need to remember that exercise doesn't have to be fancy, or complicated, or expensive...just FUN!  Maybe it's time to get a hula-hoop.

I'm grateful that God's mercies are new each morning.  No matter what kind of day I have, tomorrow is a fresh start.  Come to think of it, every moment of every day is a fresh opportunity for a "do-over."  God has blessed me in so many ways, and I know He is right there beside me as I continue on this journey to better health.  I pray that every step I take will honor Him.

Hugs.  :-)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cooking Struggles

I didn't expect this.

Up until just a couple of weeks ago, I've been getting by on Lean Cuisine and carefully eating out, with very little cooking at home.

But I know I have to start cooking!  For one thing, I'm getting tired of the frozen meals.  And eating out is expensive. 

So I made a menu.  I went to the store and bought what I needed.  And I've been cooking suppers more than not.  But the problem I'm experiencing is that it is more difficult to exercise portion control when I'm eating my own delicious home-cooked meals.  My weight is kinda plateauing out too, which I'm sure is an indication that I'm eating too much.

At least the meals I'm cooking are healthy.  But I'm just finding it harder to control the urge to go back for seconds.  Who knew I was such a good cook?  At the same time, it's gotten too cold to get in the pool and get my pool-walking in, so I'm also not exercising like I was.  Sounds like I need a new strategy for the winter.

Hopefully, these struggles will pass.  And hopefully, I'll get a handle on it before Thanksgiving!  Man, this living healthy stuff is tuff.  But worth it.  Right?  Just nod your head.  I need the affirmation!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Is watching tv part of a healthy lifestyle?

It doesn't seem to matter how many channels they give us...there's still nothing worth watching on tv.

I've gone through stages:  watching reruns, game shows, movies, dvds, reality shows, anything on HGTV, and my current craze, Netflix.  But last night I watched part of a Fox sitcom because a friend asked me to catch the show.  Maybe I'm getting old, or maybe the show was just really that bad, but I'm seriously considering turning in my cable box.

The show on Fox last night was, quite simply, disgusting.  Surely there are better things I can do with my time. Like read a book.  Take a walk.  Clean out a closet.  Change the kitty litter.  

I don't have any profound thoughts on this subject. Just raising the question. Why do we watch it?  Why do we numb ourselves in front of the box?  Why do we feel closer to some tv characters than we do to our own friends? 

I think I'm ready to go outside now and watch what's happening out there.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I know this is normal.

There are just days when I wake up in the morning and I wish it was Over.  I wish I didn't have to Do This Again Today.

The alternative isn't very attractive either:  ReBlobify myself.  Medicate myself with junky food that isn't good for me.  Become one with the recliner and watch reruns on tv all day.

So, I suppose Do This Again Today doesn't sound so bad after all.  Please know that I know I have made a lot of progress toward my goal.  Thirty-one pounds is quite an accomplishment!  But I still have over one hundred pounds to go.  Which means, by definition, I'm still a blob.  And some days that's how I feel.  Like today.

I predict that even when I reach my weight loss goal, there will be days when I feel like this.  I'll wake up and think, "I don't want to eat right today.  I don't want to exercise.  I feel fat!"  And, again, with God's help, I'll make the choice to eat right and exercise anyway.  I will keep my eyes on the prize, which isn't, by the way, being thin and fit.  No, the prize is living in obedience to the Lord God Almighty.  The prize is trusting in Him.  The prize is feeling His pleasure when I choose to follow Him instead of my own blob-ish inclinations.  This is what will get me through days like this!