Friday, March 30, 2012

No More Trading Stamps

Do you remember trading stamps?

Stores used to give them out based on how much you spent there.  You had a little book to stick them in, and when the book was filled up you could cash it in on gifts like a toaster or a set of napkin rings.  If you wanted something really big you could cash in several books and get a radio or a punch bowl set.

My mom once told me that unforgiven anger is like keeping a trading stamp book.  Say somebody does something that irritates you a little.  It's not enough, maybe, to confront them about, but you take note of it.  You hold onto it.  You stick it into your trading stamp book with that person's name on the front.

After a while, and after many minor infractions and subsequent trading stamps, that person does one more "thing".  You stick the final stamp into your book, then you CASH IT IN ON THEM!!!!  Meanwhile, they are confused as to why you got so upset over something so trivial!

I've always remembered her little illustration.  Anger is one of my eating issues.  I tend to stick the stamp in the book AND eat a box of donuts!  Well, I used to.  Recently I realized that while I'm no longer trying to eat my anger away, I still have a hefty collection of trading stamp books with various names on them, including my own.

  • "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. " 1Corinthians 13:4-7

I am not proud to admit that I still keep those books.  It's time to throw them away!  And I'm realizing that it's not enough to just get rid of them.  I need to replace my "record of wrongs" with protecting, trusting, hoping and persevering.  Getting thin, by itself, is never going to make me happy.  But learning to love, God's way....with that there's a chance.

Anyway, as far as I know, no one does trading stamps any more!



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lost and Confused

Giving up meat has proved to be more complicated than I expected.
I've been doing a lot of reading on vegetarian and vegan eating, and most of it makes a lot of sense.  When you look at the overall stats (such as in The China Study) plant-based eating is associated with good health, normal weight, and absence of the diseases that plague our societing like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Who wouldn't want that? 

So why is my weight now up 2 pounds? 

This feels like very dangerous territory.  In the past, such a situation would have caused me to throw in the towel and give up on this whole Trying To Eat Right thing.  I truly desire to live a healthy lifestyle and normalize my weight.  But I must be doing something wrong. 

I have felt this before.  There's so much information out there about losing weight and being healthy, and it can get confusing.  It's frustrating.  I don't know who to believe.  I'm afraid of ending up back where I started.

But then I'm reminded that two steps foward and one step back is still one step forward.  I need to do what I know works:  Counting Points.  Living with Limits.  Exercising.  I need to hang in there until this confusion and frustration pass.  I need to believe there are better days ahead if I will just keep focused and stay on course.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Not So Simple After All

My weight is still up a pound.  Therefore, I am saying goodbye to the "Simply Filling" plan.

It was fun while it lasted.  Too fun.  Obviously.  I guess I took a little diet vacation--with restraints.

Also, this week is going to be challenging.  Today is my son's birthday.  Tomorrow is our 29th anniversary.  Wednesday is (please!) another fattening meal at church.  Saturday is my birthday.  Big week of celebrations.  I need to go back to the safety net of counting points and enjoying my food life within those constraints. 

I have to admit, I'm struggling.  This is the longest I've ever stayed on a diet.  Yea!  I have to remember now that what I'm doing is NOT a diet, but a new way of life.  The constant barrage of FOOD in our society, however, WEARS A PERSON DOWN.  I hate to say it, but church is the worst place for me to be regarding my eating.  Yesterday we welcomed new members with a giant cake which happened to be my favorite kind of cake in the whole world.  When I saw it, I said out loud, "Step away from the cake!" and walked past it and directly to the car.  Didn't even stay and visit.   I've already decided I'm not going to attend the meal on Wednesday.  There won't be anything there I can eat, or that I even want to eat. 

I'm sitting here, writing, and it's dawning on me that this new way of life has the potential to separate me from some of my friends.  Nothing simple about that realization!  I'm just tired.  Tired of saying no.  Tired of constantly being in situations where I have to say no.  Oh, yeah.  "No, thank you." 

Change...real not simple.  It's reasonable to expect that I'm going to mourn a bit along the way.  So, I'm not discouraged by my sad mood this morning.  In a way, I'm encouraged that I'm willing to endure the pain of these changes so that I can look forward to a healthier life.   It's time to tell myself that everything is going to be okay.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pain...but no gain...

I am sore!

Guess it's kind of an exercise hangover.  What a reminder that I need to keep moving!  I have really gotten lazy over the winter.  No wonder the weight loss has slowed down so much!

This, too, shall pass.  Until then, I'll be hobbling around and not lifting my arms above my knees. 

I think I also have a bit of Spring Fever.  Sitting here in my favorite recliner (unable to get out of it, really) I can hear the birds singing outside.  They seem to be saying, "Relax!  Take a nap! Unconsciousness is your friend!" 

I guess we all need a "resting day" every now and again.  What I'm struggling with is that I feel like resting A LOT lately.  I keep waiting for that SURGE OF ENERGY all the TV commercials promise will come when you are losing weight.  In the last eight months, I've had about three energy-filled days.  I see them as glimpses into a hopeful future which hasn't arrived yet.  I have to remind myself that even after losing 50 pounds, I'm still obese according to the charts.  I still have a ways to go. 

On the positive side, I am learning the discipline of delayed gratification.  At least, I hope I am learning.  I hope that gratification will eventually arrive.  In the meantime, it's the meantime.  Trying to resist the urge to cry, "Are we there yet?" and instead, enjoy the journey.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I'm calling it official!  50 pounds!

This is a major milestone.  200 sticks of butter.  One stick at a time.

I celebrated by going to the gym and working out...something I haven't done in quite a while.  And you know what?  I could FEEL the difference in my body from the last time I was there!  Woohoo!

I would like to thank all those who have helped make this day possible:  my Lord, my husband, my sister, my Weight Watchers buds (you know who you are!), my Facebook friends, and of course, blog followers.  Thank you for cheering me on and helping me out and walking alongside me and laughing at my jokes and feeling my pain.  I could not have gotten this far without you!

So, are you ready for another 50?  I know I am. 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Weigh Day - It's about God's Grace!

Yes, I'm up a bit this week.  Actually saw 50.4 pounds lost the other day at my daily weigh-in, but now it's under 50 again...a bit.

I tell myself it's temporary, and not because I have been eating non-stop on the Simply Filling plan (because I haven't.)  But, it has been more challenging to limit myself without the restraint of daily points.  So, maybe this is a real gain.  While I claim my losses at every opportunity, I like to give the little gains a chance to disappear before I acknowledge them whole-heartedly.

That's why there are no numbers in the title line!

I'm giving myself another week.  If I don't lose weight this week, then I'm back to counting points. Maybe I'm not ready for the relative freedom of Simply Filling.  Or maybe it was the food I ate at the all-day Handbell festival I attended Saturday.  While they had fruit available (which was great), lunch was an adventure in cheese, mayo and oil...three things I normally avoid.  ....sigh....

I'm almost amazed that I am not panicking.  I'm not beating myself up.  The thought came to mind, as I knew I was way off program on Saturday, that this is just the way it is sometimes.  You do the best you can with what you have.  It's like canoeing down the river.  Sometimes you have to paddle to keep moving forward, but other times you just pull in the paddles and hang on for dear life as you ride the waves, hoping you don't fall out or hit a rock!  I'm riding down life's river, and sometimes I just have to ride the current to the next calm spot.

In it all, I am learning to continue to trust God.  He's not going to draw a line through my name when I mess up.  He's my Life raft!  He's holding my head above water!  He's pointing me to the safety of the shore!  I am so very grateful.

Come to think of it, He might be pointing me to the safety of counting points.  We'll see!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Aches and Pains

The hunger issue is improving with the "Simply Filling" plan.  I don't think I'm eating too much, but am still a little nervous.

My friends at Weight Watchers and I were realizing the other day that we are struggling with similar things right now.  We've all been on the program 8-9 months now.  And while we've all experienced varying degrees of success, many of us are finding our resolve weakening a bit at this point.

I frankly found this to be encouraging.  It means that it's normal to feel a little shaky from time to time.  Hopefully, we'll get through it.  I keep reminding myself this is a lifestyle change and not a diet.  If I want to stay on the healthy road, I can never go back to the way I used to eat. 

That Bible verse keeps echoing in my mind:  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)  In so many ways, I am new.  But there are some old resistant pockets that aren't so willing to GO.  This is where the trust comes in.  I musn't be impatient.  I musn't expect perfection.  I still need to take one day at a time, and be open to what He wants to teach me today.  It's not a matter of "hanging on" until I reach my goal weight.  It's about being gentle with myself as I learn how to live this new life. 

Maybe my true goal is to become that new person.  Losing weight will just be a by-product of that achievement!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Power Foods!

Okay.  I've been SO HUNGRY since I gave up eating meat!  I thought I would have points out the wazoo since veggies are pointless (so to speak), but rice, tofu and the oatmeal are not!

So today I am embarking on a new adventure:  Weight Watcher's "Simply Filling" plan.  You don't have to count all the points, but you are limited to what you can eat.  Mostly it's whole, natural foods.  You eat until satisfied (not stuffed) and limit your oils to two teaspoons a day. 

Yes, I know.  DANGER!  DANGER!!  Can I survive without the limits of 30 points a day?  All I can say is, we're going to find out.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Weigh Day - 49.8 pounds...sort of

It's like this.  I weigh every day.  And the other day, this is where I was...two tenths of a pound, one lousy stick of butter away from having lost 50 pounds!

Then, as often happens, the number on the scale jumped up a bit.  It's like its own little trampoline.  When I wake up in the morning  and my rings are tight, I know the scale and I will not be friends that day.

So I'm not totally claiming this weight loss, but I DID SEE the number and I KNOW it is coming back and in the meantime I am STICKING to my plan (and my story.)

Just FYI, when I found this picture I saved it in my folder as "cheat."  Onward and downward...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Tough Day...

Some days, losing weight is a bit like growing out your hair.  You go through that "awkward" stage.

This morning nothing I put on looked or felt right on me.  It's not so much that my clothes are too big...they just don't fit right any more.  And after years of being content with sloppy jeans and t-shirts, I'm now finding that I want to dress a little bit nicer...but nothing in my closet wants to work on my body right now.

This is a minor inconvenience.  I've been telling myself to count my blessings and just keep doing all the things that work.  I wish every day could be one where I felt happy and confident and not hungry.  That's just not the way life works.

So this is me hanging in there.  Not giving up.  Knowing that this, too, shall pass.  I love that what I'm doing will still work even if I don't feel like doing long as I keep doing it!  It's nice knowing that on days when I feel a bit "off", something positive can still come my way eventually. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Turning on the Fire

I love a bowl of hot, old fashioned rolled oats cooked on the stove.  So this morning I went through my usual routine:  measure the water, put in a few raisins, put it on the stove.  It usually takes a few  minutes for the water to begin to boil so I sat down at the kitchen table to read a bit while I waited.

At what seemed the appropriate amount of waiting, I went back to the stove to add the oats, but the water wasn't boiling.  The raisins, instead of doing their little, "Oooh, it's hot in here!" dance, were just sitting in the water.  That was when I realized that I hadn't turned on the fire under the pan.


I laughed and said to myself, "If I want to eat this today, I'd better turn on the fire."  My big little boo-boo made me think about past times I've tried to lose weight without "turning on the fire."  I would buy books about weight loss but I wouldn't read them.  I would join programs but I wouldn't really follow them.  I would buy exercise videos but I wouldn't even take off the shrink wrap, much less watch and do them!

I've come to understand that successful weight loss doesn't require an inferno of enthusiasm, determination and all-or-nothing dedication.  What it does take is turning on the fire.  A low setting is fine.  Be willing to make healthy food choices Today.  Try to move a bit more Today.  Work on learning a little something new Today.  Take the shrink wrap off the exercise DVD and put it in the player...Today.  Pretty soon you're cookin'!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


For years, people have told me I don't look my age.  I have always laughed and said, "It's all that fat!  It stretches out the wrinkles!"

Well, guess what?  The wrinkles are showing up.  Evidently when you let some of the air out of the baloon things don't just bounce back to what they were like forty years ago.  Sigh.

So I've been researching.  Can anything be done, short of taking my cheeks and tying them behind my head?

Massage shows some promise.  Did you know that your skin is the largest organ in your body? Well, I guess it's kind of ON your body.  But anyway, it's one of the elimination systems of your body.  Massage stimulates blood flow which helps everything work better.  (I'm very scientific.)  Dry brushing your skin with a special brush also helps, so they say.  So I do.

I accidently cleaned out some of the inside stuff when I drank four glasses of iced green tea at PF Chang the other day.  Who knew that would cleanse me from the inside out?  I was just thirsty.  It did get me to thinking, though, that there are probably lots of things I can do which can help my body on its journey.  But I'll bet the most effective are the basics:  exercise and drinking water. 

It would be nice to detox my mind while I'm at it.  I'd like to wash out all the stupid movies I've ever seen and all the ugly thoughts I've ever thought.  I suppose there's no way to get rid of all the pollution we accumulate over the years, both through what we've been exposed to by others and what we willingly jumped into head-first (I'm thinking about donuts here.)   The good news is, and it is Good News, that we have the gift of grace.  It's the basics.  God loves us.  He sees us as we are, and loves us anyway.  Through His grace, we can become new!  If that's not detox, I don't know what is.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weigh Day - 48.6 pounds!

Do I hear 50?  Not yet...but getting there!

After weeks of cold winter weather, the temperature actually climbed to 81 today and we went for a bike ride.  It's the first time I've been on my bicycle in several years, and it was fun! Also, my hip was bothering me this morning at church, but after 20 minutes riding my bike around the neighborhood it feels better. 

It's all good.  Hugs!

Friday, March 2, 2012

What if....

So I started thinking yesterday morning....

What if:
- I could walk around every day without this anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach?
- my chores didn't feel like heavy burdens but just stuff that was enjoyable to do?
- I never worried about what I was going to eat because I simply enjoyed eating healthy food within reason?
- I looked forward to going for a walk, both for the exercise and the enjoyment of being outdoors?
- I quit trying to please other people and concentrated instead on pleasing God?

What if all those things became realities in my life?  In time, I would be a healthy, fit, contented person.  All the energy I currently spend on worrying about myself and feeling sorry for myself could be spent on more productive pursuits.

Even as I considered these possibilities, I felt some of the anxiety melt away.  I must have read that verse in the Bible about not being anxious a thousand times, but never really considered that it might be something I could actually do.  I mean really.  Not be anxious.  Think about it!  It'll blow your mind.