Saturday, December 31, 2011


Words.  They are powerful things.  Once spoken, they cannot be "un-uttered."  They hang there--in the air--FOREVER--over the heads of those they were spoken to.  They play like recordings in our minds, especially the words that hurt.  
I have some words hanging over me.  "You're the best employee I ever had in this job, but you need to lose weight."  "I like everything about you...except your body."    "I'm not going to tell you you're pretty.  I don't lie."  "You're not good enough for me."  My ex-hubby told me he wouldn't hold my hand in public because he didn't want people (strangers, even) to know we were together. Emphasis on the "ex".

Many of these things were said to me when I was 100 pounds lighter than I am now.  I distinctly remember coming to a point in my life where I believed I could never be good enough for anyone because of my weight, so why bother?  I believed that even if I lost as much weight as I possibly could, I would still not be good enough because I have a less-than-perfect body type to begin with.

I guess today I'm just curious..wondering why any of us think it's our job in the first place to point out what is wrong with someone else.  I'm paraphrasing, but the Bible tells us to first remove the LOG from our own eye before we try to take out the splinter from someone else's eye.  I have to consider that some of the hurtful things said to me about my weight were said in the spirit of "helping" me.  I just believe there are better ways of helping people than giving them a laundry list of their physical faults.

The bottom line is that words matter.  Words can tear people down or build them up.  They can hurt, or they can heal.  It has taken me a long time to get past the hurts of the words spoken to me over the years about my weight.  And now I am grateful for the encouraging words that are coming my way as I work toward taking better care of myself.  Hugs.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Joy of Restraint

"There is a limit to enjoyment, though the sources of wealth be boundless; and the choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation."  --Martin Farquhar Tupper, Proverbial Philosophy

Only two days left.  It's been a most memorable holiday season.  I learned some things.  I think the most important lesson was the realizing that I could enjoy the holidays, including special foods (in moderation) and being with people I love, WITHOUT eating too much and regretting it later. 

It's a new concept for me.  I have heard this idea bantered about in years past (usually by well-meaning diet counselors) but never had the urge, until this year, to actually put the idea to the test.  It hasn't been easy, and I didn't do it perfectly, but it was totally worth the effort. 

The hardest part of it all has been bucking the "eat 'till you explode" system of our holiday traditions.  Part of the struggle was peer pressure, but a good portion of the struggle was within my own mind.  I'm just like everyone else.  I wanted to eat the cookies and the pies and all the other yummies that were available at every opportunity.  And I did enjoy a cookie here and a bite of pie there.  Oh yeah...and the Haagen Dazs! 

Now that it's almost over, I've been thinking about how I can handle it next year--hopefully with a little more grace and a little less panic.  At least now I know it's possible to face a bowl of stuffing without stuffing my face.  I know it's possible to lose weight over the holidays instead of gaining it (grand total coming soon!)  I've learned the joy that results from restraint!  Who knew that NOT indulging my every eating whim would be so....satisfying? 

An aside . . . I went to the year-end inventory clearance at my favorite plus-size store and guess what?  Most everything they had was too big for me!  I need some smaller jeans, but I already own the smallest size they carry.  Amazing.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The feasting continues

We were invited to a post Christmas brunch yesterday. I admit, I've been worried about it. But when we got there I was relieved to see a big platter of fresh fruit and even a spinach salad with no dressing to go with the quiche and croissants. The quiche was crustless--another bonus. So after eating a modest portion of quiche with a half of a croissant and generous helpings of spinach and fruit, I felt confident, in control, and yes...I'll say it...downright pleased with myself. That's why, when our host passed around a plate of cookies for dessert to go with a very small serving if ice cream, I said to myself, Why not?

After brunch I noticed the empty ice cream container in the kitchen. Haagen Dazs. Still, I didn't panic. How many points could it be? It was only a small serving.

How many points?  How about EIGHT? I have had entire meals that were less than eight points! The grand points total for brunch: twenty-one. The ice cream tasted good, but it wasn't worth it. That one tiny serving of ice cream accounted for more than one third of the calories for the entire meal. Looking at it anther way, that one little scoop of ice cream was 25% of my calories for the entire day!

It blows my mind. WW is not about deprivation, but about enjoying food.  But I have learned that it is much easier to enjoy food when you know that what you are eating is not only delicious, but good for you. And now I have learned that innocent-looking little servings of "something" may not be so innocent.

I'm grateful that we had healthy choices at the brunch to offset the more fattening offerings. I'm grateful that throughout this holiday season I have continued to lose weight, even if it has been slow going. I'm grateful that the New Years Eve party we are going to is a potluck, and I will be able to bring something healthy and delicious to share. I'm grateful that the season of feasting is almost over!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weigh Day - Minus 41.4 pounds..and Merry Christmas!

My Christmas present to myself - absent inches!

I've lost 4.5" off my chest, 5" off my waist, 9" off my hips, and even 3/4" off my wrist and 3/4" off my forearm!

I wore a lovely red dress to Christmas Eve service last night that six months ago didn't even begin to fit.  I had to wear it, because next year it's going to be too big.

God willing.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.  I couldn't do this without you!  I'm sure you'll understand if I skip the cake.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Rude Awakenings

It figures.  Just when I think I've got a handle on this, and that my body has adjusted to eating less...BAM!  HUNGRY DAY!  Yesterday was absolutely miserable.  Every time I ate something, it was like dropping food into a black hole.  I felt even more hungry than before I ate!

Every morsel of food in the house that I am so careful about weighing and measuring started calling my name.  I am not talking about the apples and bananas here, which have no WW points value.  No.  I'm talking little red potatoes.  "Mash us!  Put butter on us!  Make some gravy!"  Tortilla chips.  "We're yummy.  We're salty.  Look...there's some picante sauce."  Pasta.  "We'll be ready in just a few minutes.  Boil some water.  There's a can of marinara behind us.  Come on!"

Thank God I didn't have any little powdered sugar donuts.

I decided to eat, but made a bargain with myself that I had to record every bite.  I had an extra Lean Cuisine.  I made some mashed potatoes (without butter).  By the time my husband got home after work, I only had 5 points left for the day.  I usually have 12-17.  It's possible to eat a 5-point meal, but that wouldn't do!  I dipped into the seldom-touched Weekly Points and just had my normal dinner.  What a day!

The whole thing was a little scary.  But in a strange way, it was also a little comforting.  I'm normal.  I'm not a super-hero dieting genius.  What I'm doing here isn't easy.  I'm going to have days that are harder than others...from Now On.  Everybody has them.

I've been so focused on negotiating around the Christmas feasting, I had forgotten some of these truths.  Today my appetite has settled down, and my morning bowl of oatmeal has left a nice, full feeling in my tummy.  I hope I don't have another Hungry Day for a long time!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'm Flying!

For my entire adult life, I have longed to have a comfortable, clean and organized home. I just never seemed to be able to translate that longing into reality.   If you stopped by my house, I would probably let you in, but spend most of the time you were here apologizing for the mess.

I've known about this great website:  It's a fantastic resource for helping yourself to get organized and lead a more productive life. Even though I first learned about the site several years ago, I hadn't managed to follow the suggestions...until this week! And you know what?  It's EASY!  I can easily see a future for our home of organized cleanliness, and more time for me.

And this relates to  For me, it seems like two sides of the same coin.  I have lived a life of self-indulgence.  Eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted even if it wasn't good me, and doing whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, even if it meant neglecting my housework.  Let's face it, chores are not always fun.  And we sometimes look at eating right the same way.  I mean, why go to the trouble to make a giant healthy salad when you'd rather drive through McD's?  Why bother tidying up the living room when you'd rather sit and watch TV?  Eating right.  Keeping your house clean.  Same mindset.

It'll be a while before my house is in tip-top condition, but I can finally see the light.  I know I'm on the right path to get to where I want to be, both with my eating and my organization.  I used to rebel against following rules (in dieting and in life), but now I understand that the right rules can truly bring us freedom.  I see a brighter future ahead!

From Psalm 119 (NIV)

 33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.[b]
38 Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
39 Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
40 How I long for your precepts!
Preserve my life in your righteousness.

. . .
 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Skinny Little Christmas

I go to WW with my friend and neighbor, who is also Cindy.  At our meeting yesterday she brought this little song (sung to the tune of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas) and we all sang it together.  It was so much fun, I thought you might want to sing along:

Have yourself a skinny little Christmas,
Let your plate be light.
From now on your troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a skinny little Christmas,
Give your weight the boot.
Fill your plate with veggies, turkey and some fruit.

Here we learn of a better way,
We'll have better days real soon.
No sad songs anymore for us,
We'll be singing happy tunes!

With our friends we'll fight our fat together,
If the fates allow.
When we look into the mirror, we'll say "WOW!"
So have yourself a skinny little Christmas now.

Hugs.  (By the way, this is my 100th post!)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Self Examination...

When I started this whole process, I knew it wasn't going to be easy.

I didn't know that writing a blog would prove to be as challenging, if not more so, than changing the way I eat!

A blog is by its nature self indulgent.  It's casual.  It catches me where I am.  Like the life I'm recording here, it's sometimes boring, sometimes funny, and every once in a while profound. 

To those of you hanging in there with me through this journey, thanks.  Thank you for walking beside me through my daily struggles and occasional triumphs, my rants and raves and my glimpses of clarity.  The very act of writing my thoughts down during all this has helped me work some things out, but it's a little like walking around in a bikini when you'd rather be in full body armor.  Being open about my struggles, I believe, has been a key element to my success thus far.  It still makes me a little nervous though.  When we show people who we really are, we're bound to lose a few along the way.  On the other hand, the Bible teaches us to share our burdens and to help each other get through this thing we call life.   I'm grateful for all of you who are helping me and sharing my burdens here.  Thank you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Weigh Day - Another stick of butter - 40.4!

Another week, another stick of butter gone.


To God be the glory!  (He gets the glory; I get the smaller pants.  I call that win-win.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Envisioning the future

This is Jane.  I saved her picture because she is the same height as me, and she lost about the same amount of weight I'm trying to lose.  Seeing this picture helps me visualize how I might look when I reach my goal sometime in the distant future.

I spend a lot of time online looking at before and after weight loss pictures.  I've been overweight for so long and looking at these success stories helps me focus on what's coming instead of getting bogged down in how I used to be.  It's so encouraging to see people who have actually lost over a hundred pounds!  It encourages me because if they did it, I can do it too. 

I also love seeing how different people look after they've lost a lot of weight.  It's like they unwrapped the package of who God made them to be!  Sometimes, I've noticed, overweight people look similar.  But when they lose weight they look more, well, distinct.  I love that. 

Just musing tonight.  Hugs.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just Checking In...

So this is what I look like 40 pounds lighter than when I started.  It will be interesting to see what I look like again 40 more pounds from now.

I have to admit that seeing the physical changes inspires me to keep going.  There is hope.  And we're almost through the whole Christmas food-fest season!  It will be a relief to have that over. 

Some new folks showed up at our WW meeting last Tuesday.  I say woohoo to those who are willing start eating right in the midst of party season! 


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Accidentally Changing on Purpose

I started this whole process because I wanted to change.

Now, I'm changing....and it surprises me!

At the beginning, I suppose I was just focused on getting rid of all the extra layers of fat on my body.  It wasn't so much that I wanted to be thin, I just didn't want to be fat any more.  161 sticks of butter later, I'm achieving that goal.  But along the way other things--unexpected things--are changing.  For example:

I want to exercise, and get frustrated when I can't.

I actually enjoy eating fresh, healthy food instead of donuts and cakes and cheeseburgers.

I no longer feel out of control around food.

I'm learning to live life in gratitude toward my loving Lord instead of feeling angry and afraid most of the time.

For the first time in my life and in all my dieting efforts, I believe I can reach my goal weight!

The thought occurs to me...what other changes are in store for me on this journey?  What other surprises am I going to find along the way?  It's kind of exciting!  It makes me want to seek out more changes, to pursue them more purposefully.  It's like for so many years I was just in limbo, waiting for my life to start.  Now I'm living my life and enjoying the process..even the sick days and set-backs. 

Can't wait to see what happens next!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weigh Day - Minus 40.2 Pounds!

Losing weight is a little like watching your hair grow.

It takes a long time, and you have to go through that Awkward Stage. But every once in a while you have a Good Hair Day.  That's what today feels like!  40.2 Pounds! 

I was thinking about how my eating habits have changed.  It has been a long time since I wanted to eat for emotional reasons.  I no longer stuff myself until I'm sick.  In fact, I'm happy with small amounts of foods.  My tastes are changing.  I really enjoy eating fresh fruits over sweets, and I'm starting to notice how salty most processed foods taste (because I've quit using salt so much.)

This encourages me, because I realize that even though I don't SEE the changes happening from day to day, they are surely happening.  I'm on the right path...just gotta keep on moving those feet!

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  Phil 3:12-14 NIV

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Sunny Side of Being Sick

Two weeks. 

At first it was "just a cold".  It was easy to stay on my program because I couldn't taste a thing.  My husband would ask me what I wanted to eat and I would say, "What difference does it make?  Give me something healthy."

Then just when I thought I was getting over it...BAM!!!!  The real thing hit me and I'm on my annual Z-pack of antibiotics. 

The sunny side is...I've been losing weight like crazy!  In fact, I'm at 40 pounds!  Used to be, when this happened, I would use being sick as an excuse to eat a lot of "comfort food."  But this time I've just been counting my points and eating lots of salads and vegetable soups.  And resting. 

While being sick is REALLY boring, it also feels like God patting me on the shoulder and telling me to slow down.  All this sitting around gives a person time to reflect and contemplate life.  Guess I needed a break.  I keep thinking that tomorrow I'm going to feel better.  But in the meantime, I'm staying on program.  It's hard to feel a bit helpless and somewhat vulnerable.  I know, however, that I have a big God to lean on, and He wants me to remember that He's there for me, even in this shadowy valley.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Time for another Poem

See the fun and festive food - Christmas food!
What a world of tasty joy their visages protrude!
How the sugars twinkle, twinkle,
In the party table light!
While the cookies under sprinkles
Bid the tastebuds to slurp-tinkle
With delectable delight;
As we graze, graze, graze,
In a sweet caloric haze,
Wiping fat that dribbles, dribbles
Down our chins with many nibbles
Of the food, food, food, food, food, food, food--
From the feasting and the eating of the food.

See the fun and festive food - Healthy food!
Such delightful presentation cannot be counted rude!
Ah, the fruit, fruit, fruit,
Fresh and juicy in its shell,
Can make the pie's voice mute
And the cookies' horns won't toot,
And also will not make your innards swell,
As we munch, munch, munch
On celery's sweet crunch,
Dipped in fat-free yogurt dressing
Such delights are but a blessing
Of the food, food, food, food, food, food, food--
From the feasting on the yummy healthy food!

(Paid for by a grant from PARTI - People Against Rationalizing Toomuch Ingesting)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Weigh Day - Minus 37.2 pounds!

So, just a one-stick-of-butter loss this week.  But that's good!

I picked this scale picture this week because I'm still weighing the pros and cons of changing to a vegetarian lifestyle.  While I know that eating that way is very healthy, I'm not ready to make a full commitment.  But I have been eating lots more veggies and have even enjoyed a couple of non-meat days.  Today the only "meat" I had was grilled shrimp on my salad at lunch.

I suppose this food would look more appetizing if it wasn't on the same surface where people normally put their feet.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Answering the Common Question

As my journey continues and more people notice that I'm changing, often someone will ask me, "What are you doing to lose weight?"  "It's a two-part program," I tell them with a wink.  "No. 1, I joined Weight Watchers, and No. 2, I'm doing it."  This is a true answer, but it's not a complete answer.  After someone brought up the question again recently, I reflected that where I am today, five months into the process, is not where I began last July.

Back then, I was just desperate to give the weight loss thing One More Try.  I chose Weight Watchers Online because I knew it was a healthy program, I could track it on my iPhone, and I didn't have to go to any stupid meetings.  I started this blog in the hopes of getting some online support and accountability.  I ordered a month's supply of Jenny Craig food because I didn't want to cook and I knew I liked Jenny Craig food.  In other words, I made my own program.  I looked back on all the attempts to lose weight in the past, and chose elements that had worked for me before.  I was determined to make it work in my own way.

It was only through Divine Intervention that I started going to the meetings, and then was pleasantly surprised at what I found...a real support group!  There have been other changes along the way.  I got tired of Jenny Craig food and switched to Lean Cuisine.  I got tired of that and started cooking, but by then I was used to eating smaller portions.  I started exercising, but at my own pace to accomodate my bad knees.  I was learning to trust myself.

You see, in the past when I would go on a diet--any diet--I would try to follow it to the letter from Day One, making all kinds of changes all of the sudden to my lifestyle and my eating style.  And I always ended up resenting "living by someone else's rules".  That's why, this time, I made my own rules...rules I knew I could live with.  I'm sort of morphing into doing WW the way "you're supposed to", but I'm getting there in my own sweet time.

It's fun to give people my Two Part Program answer above, but the real honest-to-goodness answer starts with, "I finally took responsibility for my own self,"  and ends with, "I finally surrendered."  But that's a blog for another day.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Stuck on the Butter

I woke up today still thinking about that stick of butter.  This is forever going to change how I view my incremental weight losses. 

In fact, the scale showed I lost another stick today!

To date, I have shed 149 sticks of butter from my body! And to this, I say...


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fighting for the next pound

 Sometimes my weight loss seems so slow...maybe .2 pounds, or .4 pounds a week.  I step on the scale and I feel disappointed.  Even a 1.8 pound loss can be a let-down if I was expecting a 2 pound loss. 

Is it just me, or is that a little bit crazy?

To help me appreciate every little bit of weight loss that comes my way, I found these pictures.  Each picture represents something that weighs one pound:  a pound of dice, a pound of simulated fat, a pound of butter (real fat.)  I can see that losing a pound is a bigger deal than I thought!

I just went to the fridge and picked up a stick of butter.  That's a quarter pound of fat.  Even losing that small amount is something wonderful!

So I'm going to try very hard to remember this and the next time the scale shows what may seem to be a too-small number, I'm going to celebrate!  Well, try to celebrate.  Weight loss is hard, it's boring and it takes too long.  But as one of my favorite authors said (Patsy Clairmont), I have just described life.  Here's to LIFE!