Thursday, May 31, 2012

Grace, Mercy and Peace

God loves you.

I know this because He loves me.  And He's God. 

Simplistic, yes, but I find that when it comes to God, the simple things are the most important.  He loves us.  He wants us to love Him.  He wants us to love each other.

This is what keeps me going on my "New Life Journey."  I know that when I mess up He is still there...loving me.  Wanting the best for me.  He doesn't have to be hard on me, because I do a good enough job on that all by myself. 

He created me.  He created everything!  And He has a purpose for my life.  He has a purpose for your life.  I'm pretty sure my purpose is NOT eating myself into oblivion.  Jesus said He came so that we might have abundant life.  ("The thief comes to kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10 NASB)

Today I claim life!  Eating right and exercising aren't just about losing weight; they are about taking care of myself so that I can enjoy abundant life!  To give up would be to live on the side of the thief, who only wants to kill and destroy.  I just don't want to be on that team.

So I put my trust in the Lord.  No matter what happens, I know He will be with me.  Everything about Him is good.  His grace. His mercy. His peace.  My joy!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Life on the High Plateau

Well, I'm back from our retreat.

As I mentioned last time, I felt great up in the mountains.  I ate healthy, counted my points, only dipped into the weekly points a little.  I ran up and down the stairs at the house, and even did some walking in the great outdoors.  It felt GREAT!

On the way home, I reflected on not weighing every day (because I didn't take my scale with me.)  I felt nervous.  The daily weigh-in, for me, is a constant reminder to me to stay on track.  Lately, I'll grant you, it has been a constant frustration.  But I had high hopes for my weigh-in this morning, after all the healthy activity of the previous ten days.

And the result?  I'm down about a pound from when I left, but still up a pound and a half from my lowest weigh-in in recent weeks.  Essentially, I'm still up here on the plateau.

So right now, I'm trying to think this through.  Without beating myself up.  Without going into a deep depression.  Without eating a dozen donuts.  Physically, I feel strong, energetic and healthy.  But mentally....I am losing it!  Ha..that's funny.  Losing it because I'm not losing it.  I am laughing so hard right now.

Not really.

It is time to start again.  Renew my efforts.  Go back to the basics.  I've been guesstimating my portion sizes, especially when eating out.  I've been "eating" my activity points.  That's something I didn't do when I was losing consistently.  I need to admit that this strategy is not working! 

Today is the first day of the rest of my life.  Everything that came before today may have gotten me where I am, but from today forward can be a whole new life!  I have the tools.  I have the support.  I have a God who loves me and wants the best for my life.  The only question that remains is, will I do my part?

Think I'll start by making a yummy, healthy breakfast.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Retreat Time

I haven't been around for a few days because I am on my annual retreat with my sister and a good friend.

This is our seventh year to come away and spend some quiet time alone in the mountains near Lake Tahoe, studying God's word and drawing closer to Him. 

With all the struggles I've been having with my diet and getting things done at home, I was really looking forward to this time away.  It feels good to jump out of the boiling pot for a while and catch my breath.  Right now I am listening to the wind blowing through the tall pine trees outside.  The sky is crystal blue, the air is clear, the sun is warm.  The cool breeze wafting through the screen door feels like heaven.

The food thing is going fine.  We're staying in a friend's house, so we are eating healthy as we have all the comforts of home right here.  It's a three story house and I'm sleeping on the third floor, so I'm getting some good exercise going up and down the stairs.  It's easy to get my heart rate up because our elevation is about 6,200 feet.  We stayed at this same house last year, and I really struggled with all the stairs.  This year they are No Big Deal.  I'm enjoying noticing the progress I've made, and find myself looking forward to our visit next year (if we are so blessed to come again), to see what more I will be able to do physically that I cannot do now.

Having been on this annoying plateau for the last several weeks, being here and experiencing my physical improvement is a real shot in the arm.  I am encouraged to Hang In There.  Even if I only lose a few more pounds in the coming year, and improve my physical health a small amount, I will still enjoy being able to do a bit more than I can do now.  For that matter, even if I don't lose one more pound, and my fitness level stays the same, I still have so much for which to be grateful!  Feeling better is its own reward.  While I want to keep improving, I can still enjoy the benefits of the improvements that have occured up to this point.

Of course, staying where I am also requires effort.  I still need to eat properly and exercise.  I am just feeling some relief from being so preoccupied with losing the next pound.  If I do my part, the weight loss will come.  It may not happen as quickly as I would like, but this experience is helping me get perspective on how far I've come, and what has already been accomplished.  Praise the Lord!

"When you spend one hour a day adoring your Lord
 and never do anything which you know is will be just fine."
Mother Teresa

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Life is hard...

A time or two in this here blog I've talked about wanting to get to a place where eating right is just "normal" for me.

My sweet sister gently reminded me that there's no such place.  Most everybody struggles with eating the right things (or the wrong ones, depending on how you look at it.)

And I realized that I have been tripping myself up by letting myself think that there would come a time when this being healthy thing would be easy.  The dream of wanting it to be easy can be dangerous.  It is like a little devil whispering in your ear, "This is too deserve to have it easier...eating pizza is easy." 

I've let myself get off track.  I've been lax about tracking my food.  I haven't been serious about exercising.  At the same time I've been obsessed with the numbers, frustrated that they aren't going down, playing around with them and trying to manipulate them.

M. Scott Peck wrote a book many years ago called The Road Less Traveled.  It begins like this:

          Life is difficult.
          This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Coming back to this truth in my life means that I'm back to tracking my food, I'm exercising, and I'm taking care of some other things in my life that I have let slip because I have just been so put out with how HARD everything is!  It really is true.  Once you accept that life is hard, the things you are struggling with just don't seem like such a big deal.

Because even though life is difficult, we don't have to face it alone.  God is right there with us through everything.  And, we have each other.  I'm so grateful to have you.


Monday, May 14, 2012

A poem

I saw a picture of my butt,
And cried, "Oh, dear...must calories cut!
Must join a weight loss group and pay,
Must make butt small...must find a way!"

To fattening food, I said, "Goodbye."
It was the end of last July.

I sailed through summer, then through fall,
I didn't miss that food at all!
My will was strong, I steeled my gaze
To get through all the holidays.

I stayed away from pies and cakes,
I still lost weight, did what it takes!

The new year came, and all my friends
Got back on diets, made amends
For all the parties and the pounds
That came along with food in mounds.

But I, surprised, and with a frown,
Could see my weight loss slowing down.

Friends began to let me know
That they could see that pounds did go.
They cheered me up...they cheered me on,
Through plateau weeks when hope seemed gone.

It was the best of Valentines,
to thank God for these friends of mine.

The spring was harder than I thought,
Perhaps Spring Fever had me caught
and weakened my resolve of will...
My weight loss seeming to stand still.

What didn't help, and sure got old,
Was getting, TWICE, a dreaded cold!

Frustrated, I continued forth.
I tried to muster strength or worth.
But instead of saying, "Help me, PLEASE!"
I ate some pizza, heaped with CHEESE.

My saving grace might be the pool,
as I swim laps while keeping cool.

So this is where I am today,
No weight loss seems to come my way.
I'm trying to discover cheer,
Because I weigh less than last year.

Lord, I remember, when I pray,
You grant new mercies every day.

Copyright 2012 by Cindy Ramming

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I am really struggling.

Yesterday was a real food-fest.  I was simply HUNGRY, and this time, I ate.  Two hours after breakfast...STARVING.  Two hours later, STARVING again.  By the end of the day, I was just eating everything within reach.

I did record all this eating in my iPhone Weight Watchers app.  Then after supper when I went to record my low-fat version of King Ranch Chicken, the app gave me a message, "You have not recorded any food or activity today" and my total was ZERO.  Now, that's just annoying. 

Then I read an article in a magazine last night about a study done in England.  A group of dieters was asked to do consecutive days each week of low carb (less than 50), and the rest of the week to follow their normal healthy low-calorie diet.  They lost twice as much weight as the group who was simply following the low-calorie diet!

I had already been thinking about cycling low carb days into my diet since I don't have hunger issues when I eat that way.  Maintaining a low-carb lifestyle, however, is very difficult in the real world.  Maybe eating low-carb a couple of days a week is the answer.  I don't know.  I only know I can't live with this constant stomach-growling-where's-the-food feeling!

Deliverance is what I am looking for.  Deliverance from the overwhelming struggle.  Why is it still so hard?   Why can't I find an eating lifestyle that simply nourishes me and leaves my mind and body free to accomplish something other than NOT EATING TOO MUCH each day?  I've been on this journey for ten months now..the longest I've ever managed to keep trying.  Can I keep trying now?  I want to!  I'm scared.  When I have felt like this during past efforts, this was the point where I gave up and just starting eating without boundaries again. 

I guess the bottom line is that I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep going.  If that means throwing in some low-carb days, so be it.  Pray for me, please.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weigh Day - up 2 pounds!


The perils of eating pizza? 

I choose to believe it's water weight.

As I have been eating low carb the last few weeks, I quit counting points.  It occurred to me last night that I really have no idea how much I'm eating, although (except for the pizza) it doesn't seem to be that much.  But a few months of eating well is not necessarily enough to overcome 57 years of bad habits, so maybe I need to go back to more closely monitoring myself.

Which is why I'm back to basics, counting points, and eating everything (within reason). 

I have a dream.  My dream is that one day I'll be able to normally.  That eating normally will just feel normal.  Maybe someday I'll get closer to that way of life.  But for now, I need to keep closer tabs on what I'm doing.  It's been a nice break, and I still lost weight, but I'm back to point counting.  Hey...I might even keep cooking!  Now, that's progress!


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Where did all the hunger go?

I realized today that it's been a long time since I had a hungry day.

The only thing I can attribute that to is eating low carb.  When I notice it's time to eat, sometimes I have to convince myself to actually do it, because I'm not driven by that maddening "I've got to eat something this very second!" feeling.

I've noticed this before when I cut back on sugar, flour and potatoes.  It's almost like eating those things turns on the hunger signal, and not eating them turns it off.  There's probably something scientific going on here.  If I were feeling more scientific I'd crawl into a petrie dish and take copious notes.

However, mild curiousity does not a scientist make.  I guess, in a way, I am involved in a vast experiment, trying to figure out how to live my life in a healthier way day-in and day-out from now on forever and ever amen.  When I started out, I felt overwhelmed by it all.  Now I'm just in the day-in and day-out part.  Keepin' on keepin' on.  I wish the journey could be a little more exciting, especially for my blog-followers.  But sometimes it's just not.  And I think that's part of the life lesson...hang in there when it's not exciting.  Just another day on the road to a new life.

I'm grateful, today, that I'm not hungry! 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Facing the Music...

There is, in theory, nothing wrong with eating pizza.

So, why do I feel so bad?

I guess it's because of WHY I ate the pizza.  I've been fighting this cold for over a week now.  It has wiped out all my energy.  Nothing is getting done.  And I've been getting depressed about it all.

Tonight I gave into that depression and ate pizza.  Too much pizza!  I ate out of emotion, not any other reason!  And, while the pizza tasted good, it wasn't worth it. 

The only thing to do at this point is to acknowlege what I did and move on.  Make a mental note:  eating did not help me feel any better.  I still have a cold.  I still have no energy.  I'm still not getting anything done.  I am still depressed.

But I refused to be depressed about eating.  This is a learning opportunity.  A little reminder of what doesn't work.  Probably a bit of a setback in my next weigh-in.  I can begin again.  Now.  This moment.  Every moment is a chance to start fresh.  I forgive myself.  I have weekly points.  This, too, shall pass. 

His mercies.  New.  Each morning.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Going All Zen...

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Hmmm.  I was going to say something incredibly clever about acupuncture.

How about this:  I tried it.  I liked it.  I'm going to do it again.

This is the way I see it.  Anything that might help me turn this old body around toward health is worth a shot.  And if my neck suddenly feels better also, it's all good!

So here's to clear channels and happy nerve endings and detoxing and better feeling necks!  (I'm on pins and needles!)