Tuesday, January 31, 2012

God's Perfect Timing

Some things just can't be planned.

Like today.  I was driving to the dealership for my scheduled car maintenance when a warning light came on.  I only had a couple of miles to go so I just kept driving.  After checking everything out, found out I need a new water pump.

And it hits me.  We just got back from driving half-way across the country and back.  What if that had happened in the middle of Arizona?  Or in the California desert?  But it happened on the way to dealership, when I already had an appointment for service.  Wow.  Not only were we spared being stranded in the middle of nowhere, the whole thing is covered by our extended warranty. 

The cool thing is, even if this had happened out in the middle of nowhere, I know God would have provided for us.  I know He provides for me every day as I get up and decide to stay on my eating plan.  I may have to face challenges from time to time, but I  never have to face them alone.  And every once in a while, He gives me a little moment of unexpected joy and delight. 

I hope you find His delight in your day today!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Post-Vacation Blahs

This is a dangerous time.

You might even call it a slippery slope.

We got home on Friday, and I used the excuse of "it's the weekend" to avoid doing any real work at home.  But Monday has arrived, and I'm faced with two weeks worth of catch-up around here.

House needs to be cleaned.  Laundry needs to be laundered.  Bills need to be paid.  Tax Return needs to be started.  Volunteer activities need to be....activitied.  Car needs to be serviced.  Food plan needs to be followed.  Phone calls need to be returned.

So I decided it was a good time to write a blog post.

What I'm really concerned about is the food part.  When I feel like this, I just want to grab something easy and get busy.  But eating correctly isn't always easy.  It takes planning.  It takes time.  I can't just nuke a frozen quiche from Trader Joe's (like I used to) because they have something like 329 points.  A bowl of Cheerios doesn't last me very long so I have to boil water and cook oatmeal (I don't like instant) to make it to lunch.  Oh, please!  Don't make me BOIL WATER when I have so much TO DO!

I'm starting to realize how silly it is.  The fretting, the worrying, the post-vacation angst.  (She chuckles softly to herself.)  A good friend once told me, "Begin, and the rest is easy."  Time to get up off the recliner and put some water in a pan.  Then I'll face the mountain of chores before me, one step at a time.  It may not be fun, or even always easy, but it's life. 

Thanks for listening.  I feel better already.


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weigh Day - 44 pounds gone!

One more stick of butter.  After two weeks.

I guess the good news is that I didn't gain weight on the trip.  I had hoped for a bit more of a loss, but then I always hope for a little bit more!  A loss is a loss and things are going in the right direction.  So all is well.

The cute one on the left is my niece, Lauren. 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Near Miss

We got home just in the nick of time.

Nearly two weeks on the road proved to be very challenging, and the biggest challenges came at the end of the trip. That "I'm on vacation" mentality started to creep in.

On the road home we stopped to visit with my husband's sister.  The front door opened to the aroma of freshly baking cranberry bread, ready to come out of the oven.  "It's for breakfast," she said innocently.  And yes, it was fabulous.

Lunch that day was a reasonably safe salad with grilled chicken. I knew that dinner was going to be some kind of crock-pot chicken that involved canned soup and stove stop stuffing mix.  It was a little outside of my normal parameters, but I figured the salad and vegetables that were going along with it would balance out my nutritional needs. 

We sat down to a beautiful dinner table, complete with pre-poured wine at every place setting.  Okay, I thought.  I'm on vacation.  One glass of wine won't kill me.  Then out came the expected chicken dish.  I took half a serving.  What surprised me was the salad and the vegetables.  "The salad has mayonnaise," she said.  "And the vegetables have canned soup and mayonnaise.  Oh, and the topping is Ritz crackers and butter."

I appreciated that she told me what was in everything.  And believe me, everything was delicious.  I used those ever-handy weekly points as I enjoyed every bite of that good home cooking.  I even asked for the recipes, hoping I could tame the fat content with some savvy substitutions.  But the problem was how much I enjoyed it all!  I honestly could have sat at the table and kept eating until every bite of food had made it from the table to my tummy.  The only evidence that vegetable casserole had existed would have been the Ritz crumbs at the corners of my mouth. 

I could have kept eating.  I didn't.  But this experience showed me how close I am to edge of the abyss, and how much I depend on having control over my own eating environment.  There's a lot of good food out there, people!  I'm grateful that what I'm learning at WW helps me deal with these real-life food situations.  I'm grateful that God is watching over me and giving me strength to get through these real-life situations, and strength to keep pressing on toward my goal.

  •  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.  Philipians 4:12-13 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Greetings from Texas

We made it to Houston! The two and a half day drive across the western states was blissfully uneventful.

Eating on the road was only a little challenging. Houston is home to literally hundreds of fabulous places to eat. I have many fond memories of eating many delicious food items at many of these places. But what I'm finding, so far, is that it is just not as delicious as I remember. Now,I know that Houston is not the problem here! It must be me. I've changed. My tastes have changed. The old restaurants I used to enjoy simply do not serve the kinds of food I have come to enjoy.

 It's funny, really. Before I started this journey, I mourned in advance all the foods I would have to curtail or even quit eating altogether. Coming "back home" and wanting to eat at my old favorite places, I was determined to enjoy them as much as possible within my daily points allowance, so that's what I have been doing.  But what I have found is that I'm not enjoying those old favorite foods as much as I thought I would.  I really do prefer healthy food now!

I didn't expect this.  I thought it would be so great to enjoy those old favorites, but now I have new favorites.  It's like a glimpse of the good things to come.  "For if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17  Goodbye, old favorites!  The new favorites have arrived!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weigh Day - 43.8 pounds!

Two more sticks of butter wave goodbye.

Slow, but good.

I figured out that most of my anxiety about our trip is that it is the first time I will have gone back to my home town just for a visit since my dad died almost three years ago.

For many years, I traveled home every quarter to visit my parents and sister as our folks were failing.  Mom left us two years before our father.  Those were tough years (about seven, if I remember right.)

I'm sure I dealt with the tough emotions by eating.  There are a lot of memories - both good and bad - tied up in that place. 

Now that I understand more about why I've been feeling so anxious, I feel a bit better.  At least I know what I'm facing.  I shared the realization with my sweet husband and he was very understanding.  I realize, too, that facing my uncomfortable emotions is better than trying to eat them away. 

Life is hard.  But that's okay.  I can still smile.  I can still make good eating choices.  I don't have to face it all alone.  One foot in front of the other....

Friday, January 13, 2012

"There, there."

Busy Day.  Found myself running errands and had to go to the store.  Meandered dangerously close to the pastries.  Looked them over.  Walked away.

Walking through the grocery store, I had flashbacks to the days when I would buy something to eat on the way home--or on the way out to the car.  I wasn't exactly hungry.  Just wanted to EAT.  Not sure why.

We're getting ready to go on a trip.  I'm a little anxious about it, about the eating part.  But I also know that I will be able to get through it.  Maybe it's just the interruption of my routine that has me feeling uneasy.  After all, I only just recently got comfortable with that routine, and now I'm leaving it for a brief period of time. 

Guess my cruising airplane has hit a bit of turbulence!  Doesn't mean anybody's going to crash, though.  I have a fantastic Pilot who I know is in control. 

My mom used to say that sometimes all we need to get over a hump is to have somebody pat us on the shoulder and say, "There, there.  Everything is going to be okay."  We need that simple reassurance from another human being that we're going to make it through whatever we're dealing with.  Trouble is, we don't always have that person nearby when we need them.  When that happens I either make my husband say it (better than nothing), or I sit quietly and picture my mom giving me that reassuring pat on the shoulder. 

Since he's already gone to bed, I'm sitting quietly.  Thanks, Mom.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A question of Time

I may have mentioned one or two hundred times that losing weight is a slow process.

It's the kind of slow like...going to school.  You think you're never going to graduate and then you do.  Or raising kids.  It seems to take forever, but before you know it you're missing those days when they were still your little under-foot munchkins.

When I started this process I tried to predict how long it was going to take to reach my goal.  Forget the small detail that I wasn't sure what that final goal will be.  Nevertheless, I still wanted to KNOW.  I wanted to know when I was going to feel normal again.  I wanted to know when the pain of being overweight would be over.  I made charts:  It will take this long if I lose a pound a week, and this long if I lose a pound and a half a week, etc.  Suffice to say that every scenario was a Long Time.

And yet, the time will pass whether I'm losing or not losing.  Last July I had no idea what I would look like or feel like in January of 2012, and here I am over 40 pounds lighter.  I'm changing, and yes--it is a slow process.  But I'm starting to think that slow is good.  I'm starting to entertain the idea that it doesn't matter how long it takes to "get there", because what is really important is the journey and what I'm learning along the way. 

At some point I'll come to Graduation Day.  I will reach that illusive goal.  But for now, I think I'll just enjoy today.



For the past six months (almost), losing weight has been my number one activity, priority and mindset.  I have been obsessed with the numbers...weighing every day, calculating my average weight loss per week, estimating the number of ounces of chicken in Patsy's Famous Oriental Chicken Salad at the church potluck. 

In the meantime and along the way, I've managed to accomplish a few other things.  I finished moving into our new home, made some purses, rang handbells and sang in the choir at church.  I spent hours at the pool with my friends and enjoyed numerous social gatherings.  I worked on organizing my sewing studio and taught two teenagers how to make purses.  I went on a couple of short trips, spent three weeks doing absolutely nothing because I was sick, hosted a Christmas/Epiphany party.  I made several new friends in our new neighborhood, refurbished our previous home and became a landlord.  I wrote 110 blog posts. 

And today it hit me:  Losing weight is not what I'm doing.  It's what happening while I live my life.  The life that I am living happens to support losing weight.  I didn't have to change my everything about my life to lose weight...just parts of it.  It took a lot of mental energy to make those changes, especially in the beginning.  But now the new eating habits I'm learning are becoming a part of the fabric of my life, just as the old overeating habits were a part of my life before.

I once read that an airplane uses most of its fuel just getting off the ground.  The rest is just cruising.

I think I might finally be off the ground.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weigh Day - 43.4 and counting,

Happily, Im losing! Sadly, I can't seem to upload a picture using my iPad. Probably operator error. But good news is good news, whether or not illustrated. Hugs.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crunch Attack!

So I'm sitting here, minding my own business, a tummy full of warm oatmeal, when all of the sudden:  CRUNCH ATTACK!  I want something CRUNCHY in my mouth! 

In a flash, the possibilities race through my mind.  Popcorn.  Potato chips.  Peanuts.  I feel an almost overwhelming urge to open the pantry door and stand there with eyes glazed over until I find the Perfect Crunch.

Almost overwhelming.

I stop. I ask myself the only reasonable question I can ask myself at such a moment.


My stomach is not growling.  I need no sustenance to get me through the next few hours of my day.  I'm a little bored.  I'm putting off getting started on my chores...

It starts to make some sense.  I realize that in the past, I would have immediately obeyed the cruch urge and grazed through the kitchen until it was way more than satisfied.  I realize that I have a long history of using the activity of eating for purposes other than nourishment.  Avoidance, for example.  Boredome.  Something To Do.  Sometimes, I find I want to eat simply because I feel a little uneasy or uncomfortable.

Like right now.  The mere fact that I'm finding myself wanting to eat when I'm not hungry is making me uncomfortable.  Which makes me want to eat. 

Thankfully, I know I don't have to obey that urge any more.  I am learning that eating for reasons other than nourishment will not make me feel better about anything.  In fact, I realize that when I have fallen before the crunch attack in the past, I always felt terrible after the crunching was over. 

Disaster averted.  This time.  Praise be to God!  Must stay alert... 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Greetings from Whats-her-name

Still no great insights on the name-change idea.  So, while I do feel like a new and different person, I still haven't quite figured out who that person is!

Perhaps, for now, it's best to focus on the basics.  Write down what I eat.  Count those points.  Try to throw in some exercise now and then.  Step Away From The Haagen Dazs. 

I think the hardest part of this losing weight journey is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to do it overnight.  Every morning I wake up and I have to decide again to follow the program.  Now, I do understand that the whole overnight idea is unrealistic.  But I am not by nature a patient person.  Fortunately, I'm not relying on my nature to get me through this process!  If I were, I would have given up long ago.

Come to think of it, I have given up multiple times over the years.

This time, however, I'm relying on God to get me through.  All I have to do is cooperate with Him, which is both a relief and a struggle.  The Good News is that even when I mess up one day I get to start fresh the next!  And so do you.


Monday, January 2, 2012

What's in a Name?

My best friend from highschool was Sue.  When she got married, she switched to Kathryn, her middle name.  So I call her Jack.

I need a new name.

In the Bible, people were always getting their names changed.  Abram became Abraham.  Simon became Peter.  Saul became Paul.  In each case, their names were changed for a reason, because God had intervened in their lives in a significant way.  They were, essentially, new people. 

I did some name research.  Abram means "high father", but Abraham means "father of the multitudes." He went from being a respected elder to the father of many nations.  Simon means "he has heard", but Peter means "rock".  Jesus said that He would build His church on that "rock".  Saul means "prayed for", but Paul means "humble."  Saul went from being a high-powered Pharisee to a humble servant of Christ. 

So it occured to me, I need a new name.  God has worked so powerfully in my life and I feel like I am a different person than I was before.  I checked it out.  Cynthia comes from Greek mythology, and was the name of some mythical mountain where a couple of Greek gods were born. 

I don't want to be a mountain any more.

...To be continued...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weigh Day - Minus 41.8 pounds and Happy New Year!

It's official!  Between Turkey Day and New Years, the season where everyone expects to gain 10 pounds, I lost 7.2.  Does that put me 17 pounds ahead?

I've been doing this for 5-1/2 months now.  I got started by eating frozen diet meals and now I'm cooking!  I'm enjoying exercising, and miss it when I can't do something physically active.  Almost everything in my closet is too big, including shoes. My rings are falling off my fingers.  I put some tape on my wedding ring, but it's still flopping around.

And now it's a new year with new goals!  For the first time in my life I made it through the holidays without derailing my diet!  I think I can reasonably expect to lose between 50 and 75 pounds this year, getting me that much closer to my goal!  

But first, I have to take care of today, and then tomorrow, and then the day after that.  His mercies are new each morning!

Happy New Year!