Friday, September 28, 2012

Moving Right Along....

I love this graphic.  Especially the "moving beyond your past" part!

This whole gallbladder thing is turning out to be a watershed event in my life.  For one thing, it stopped me dead in my tracks and forced me to evaluate what was going on in my life.  And for another, getting rid of the pesky thing seems to have unlocked the gate to more weight loss!  Since coming home from the hospital last week, my weight has gone down almost five pounds.  I'm finally in some new territory and feel like I'm back on track with the overall health program.

My past was resigned to hopelessly being fat and miserable for the rest of my life.  But now...hope!  I truly do not feel weighed down by that old me.  This makes me think of a favorite Bible verse:

  • "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."  Romans 12:2 NIV

I feel like I am being transformed.  I pray that I am being transformed into someone who will not want to go back to those old ways which were so oppressive and miserable.  Every person who loses weight worries about that going back part.  Can we truly move beyond our old selves?  With God's help, I believe we can.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Challenges ... and Opportunities

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure nobody every said life was supposed to be easy.

So, now, just because I've decided my life is about health and not about weight loss, I shouldn't expect everything to be...well...a piece of cake from here on out!

And let's be very clear, here.  I'm still interested in weight loss.  My hope is that by focusing on health, my weight will eventually normalize to a level that is healthy for me.  I don't know if that will be a level congruent with Weight Watcher's goal charts or not.  We'll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I still expect to face many challenges.  Church potlucks are not going away.  Well-meaning friends and relatives with mayo-loaded vegetable dishes are still in my future.  But a little thought entered my feeble brain this morning.  What if...WHAT IF?...I could somehow turn these upcoming challenges into opportunities?  Hey...what if every challenge I face is an opportunity to do something extraordinary, special, and positive?

It's an interesting thought.  If I'm invited to someone's home for dinner, do I have an opportunity to offer to bring something I know I can eat?  If I have a really frustrating day, do I have an opportunity to enjoy a healthy dinner instead of trying to eat my frustrations away?  If I'm around someone who I find particularly annoying, is that an opportunity to show kindness?

I think the key to finding the opportunities in life's challenges lies in looking beyond the moment.  Usually, when I'm facing challenges, all I can see is how I feel right that very second.  That's when I am most vulnerable to do something I will later regret.  I'm intrigued by the idea of learning to do something other than my normal knee-jerk reaction to a challenge.  I'm intrigued that learning to see these moments as opportunities might also bring unexpected rewards along the way.

BTW, thank you, Vicki, for getting me started in this line of thinking!


Monday, September 24, 2012

Redefining Success

I was watching re-runs of "Extreme Makeover-Weight Loss Edition" the other day.  In this program they work with an overweight person for a year, awarding prizes along the way for meeting weight loss goals.

A woman was given a 90 day goal of losing 85 pounds.  85 pounds in 90 days, my friends!  She didn't make it.  She "only" lost 77 pounds in 90 days.  And she was depressed about that.


But this is what happens when weight loss is the goal.  You define your worth based on "that number."  If you happen to reach "that number", you are done. But we all know that you are never done.  It's never over.  Even if you reach "that number" it's just the beginning of a new battle to stay there.  And who wants to live their life always battling the desire to eat unhealthy foods?  So many of us ultimately decide that the struggle just isn't worth it, because we are miserable and can't maintain "that number"  anyway.

I look at it this way.  I can either make weight loss my goal, and be forever frustrated when the numbers don't go the way I want, OR I can change my perspective.  What if, instead, I make a HEALTHY LIFESTYLE my goal?  Then, my diet, instead of being a burden that limits the enjoyment I have in life, becomes a tool that supports what I'm going for!  My weight, instead of being the focus of all my attention, becomes merely a by-product of the life choices I make.

Maybe this way of thinking seems obvious to you.  But to me, this is HUGE.  It is a complete paradigm shift.  Suddenly, instead of looking at what I'm going to eat in terms of "what I can get away with and still lose weight", I see my food choices as building blocks for a healthy future.  Is that too corny? I don't think so.  I think...maybe...this may be the secret to real success.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Did I Do That?

Along this journey, I have experienced a few "aha" moments.

Other realizations have been slower to emerge.  They begin as nagging suspicions, which often I turn away from and choose to ignore.  But then, something happens that brings something to the surface.

Something like, for example, thinking you are having a heart attack and ending up having gallbladder surgery.

As I recover from the surgery two days ago, I'm realizing that being able to overcome my eating issues means coming face to face with who I am...really.  It means accepting my faults, and becoming willing to make improvements where I can.  It also means, somehow, learning to love myself in spite of those obvious or not-so-obvious shortcomings I find in my own nature.

The thing that has been bubbling to the surface in these recent days is how impatient I am...have always been.  Impatient with myself.  Impatient with others.  With the world.  I am always looking for the "quick fix".  The get-it-over-with thing to do.  I'm the person who prays for patience and follows up with, "..and I want it right now!"

I'm feeling impatient right now because, even though I have been faithfully counting my points and eating correctly, my weight has gone up a couple of pounds.  I'm not thinking about all that my body has been through in the past week, and frankly, I am way out of line.  Instead of being grateful that my problem was diagnosed and dealt with, I'm stomping my foot and pouting about a couple of temporary pounds.

So, this is a picture of me telling myself to take it easy.  Be patient.  Take responsibility and move on. I know in the past I have given up on healthy eating because I didn't see the results when I wanted to see them.  I need to learn that healthy eating is a worthy goal all by itself, with or without accompanying weight loss.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Second Guessing

It's hard to concentrate on my diet right now.

I've overcome a lot of challenges since starting this journey, but this is the toughest yet.  Start with a two-month plateau, and add to that a trip to the ER and life-threatening blood clots lurking somewhere in my's hard to concentrate on my diet right now.

The hardest part is feeling helpless and at the mercy of doctor's schedules and insurance approvals.  Then there is being hypersensitive to every little ache and pain I feel in my leg, my arm, my chest, my neck.  Waiting.  For the piercing pain I felt Saturday, the shortness of breath, the fear.  Okay, I don't have to wait for the fear.  It's nuzzling right up next to me.

Anyway, the diet doesn't seem like such a big deal right now.  I can't exercise (don't want to increase blood flow and move the clot from its present location) but I have to move so as not to form more clots.  How much do I move?  How much do I rest?  I'm running out of diet-friendly groceries and my husband is busy catching up at work after taking off to be with me during the crisis.  Is it safe to drive?  When I'm alone, I'm making sure the front door is unlocked and the phone is at my side, in case I have to call 911 again.

So it's hard to concentrate on my diet right now.

These are the moments in life when everyone wants to help but nobody knows what to do...including me.  I wrote a song recently about trusting God, and one line is, "I will trust You through the stormy seas."  I know He loves me.  And even if the worst does happen, I'll be good because I'll be with Him.  But in the's still scary.

Here's the whole lyric of my song, I Will Trust:

I will trust in You when skies are grey,
I will trust You hear me when I pray.
I will trust You'll be with me through my darkest night,
I will trust in You because You are the Light.

I will trust You when I feel the rain,
I will trust You when I am in pain,
I will trust You when sunset ends the perfect day,
I will trust in You because You are the Way.

And I'm trusting that Your promises are true,
There's a place for me in Heaven, made by you.
And one day I'll stand before You in Your glory and Your grace,
And I'll finally see you face to face!

I will trust You through the stormy seas.
I will trust You in the gentle breeze.
I will trust that I'm part of Your eternal plan.
I will trust in You because You are the Lamb.
I will trust because You are the great I Am.


Monday, September 17, 2012


Saturday afternoon I had to call 911.

I thought I was having a heart attack, but it turned out to be something else.  Anyway, I have spent the last three days in the Heart Hospital getting everything checked out!

The good news is that they did an angiogram and my arteries were "wide open."  I must attribute that to Weight Watchers, because I have had this test done before and they weren't so clear.  I found this to be very encouraging, and a good reason to stay the course on my dieting efforts.

Life is so very precious.  I have come home from the hospital today with a renewed resolve to continue working toward adopting a healthy lifestyle.  It isn't easy, as we all know.  But the alternative is Not Worth It!  I want to do everything in my power to avoid being rushed to the hospital again!  And I want to encourage everyone I know to do the same.

Even through this ordeal, God has blessed me.  Many prayers were sent to Him on my behalf, and I felt those prayers.  So, boring or not, I'm sticking to my plan. I don't want to squander the time He has given me.  Every moment is a gift from Him, and I don't think He's asking too much for me to take care of myself with healthy eating and moderate exercise, or even taking a few pills (which I hate to do) for a while.

BTW, I'm going to have to have my gallbladder removed.  I wonder how much it weighs?


Monday, September 10, 2012

Starting Over . . . Again!

Those of you who have seen my new hairdo will appreciate this picture!

As you know, I have been struggling, messing around, name it...for the past couple of months.  My weight loss has stopped.  My resolve has weakened.  I've been looking for the strength to carry on with this whole dieting thing!

And  That's the way it happens.  Something clicks and you're ready.  You understand.  It all makes sense and you know what you have to do.

I don't know if I can even describe what clicked.  A year ago, it happened after seeing those pictures from Vacation Bible School.  Now, I just kept hanging in there until the click chimed into my brain.

A year ago, I didn't really believe that I could stick with this plan for very long.  Now, I have changed so much that it has been hard for me to see where to go from here!  I think I was uncomfortable with changing even more that I already had.

A year ago, I couldn't really see myself getting to goal.  I could see myself losing some weight...but not going the distance...even though I really wanted to finally get there.  Now, I can actually imagine what it might be like not to be overweight.

The best part is that I feel calm.  Not anxious.  Not doubting.  Just ready to take the next step.  I still have a lot to learn.  Hope you'll hang in there with me!


Sunday, September 9, 2012


Yesterday, I attended the memorial service of a dear friend who passed away last month.

The service was held at a church where I was a member for over 10 years.  Many of my old friends were there honoring Carol's memory, and I found myself tearing up just because it was so good to see those familiar faces again.

It made me realize that I never want to take any of my friends for granted.  Some of them I get to see on a regular basis, and others I may not have seen for years, but that doesn't make them any less precious to me.

I've said it before, but let me take this opportunity again to say how much I appreciate and love you, my friends!  My life is rich because of you.  I can never feel lonely because of you.  I believe, because I have your loving support, that I can achieve this life-long dream of losing all this extra weight!  

God bless you!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

People will talk.

Don't get me wrong.

I love that people are always saying something to me about my weight loss.  Their comments are encouraging, as I am sure they are meant to be.

It's odd, though.  Lately when someone says something to me about how GREAT I look, I find myself wishing we could talk about something else.  And then I want to eat a pizza or something.

This is obviously something I need to work on.  I need to be able to deal with all the attention.  I need to realize that when I achieve my goal, in many ways that accomplishment will define me.  For the rest of my life.  And people will talk about it.

Duh, you might say.  What else did I expect?  Why would such a thing bother me?  Wouldn't everyone love to be the center of such positive attention?

All I can say is that if I had all my emotional cupcakes in a row, I wouldn't have gained all that weight in the first place.  Or maybe sometimes the attention bothers me because I still have a long way to go to reach my goal, and I don't want to start the party just yet.  Or, maybe, I get nervous about having to keep up the good job of losing weight (especially when it has been so tough lately.)


Note to self:  Step AWAY from the pizza!

Anyway, thanks for listening.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

..and the Truth shall set you free!

This quote is the story of my life!

One thing I have been miserable about is facing the truth about my eating:  how much I eat, what I eat, why I eat.

The truth is, I have resented the idea of having to limit how much food I eat.  But the truth also is, eating without limits is what got me 130 pounds overweight in the first place.  The truth is, my body will respond to the amount of food I put into it.  Period. 

I have defiantly refused to quit eating foods that aren't healthy, because...well...I just don't want to!  But the truth is, there are some foods that I should stay away from for my own good.  The truth is, I can eat anything in moderation and still lose weight, but to experience the benefits of having a healthy body I need to pay attention to the quality of what I'm eating. 

I have not wanted to let go of using food as my pacifier when I am sad, lonely, depressed, upset, etc.  But, the truth is, food is not a pacifier. It's food. Fuel. We have to eat it to live. God, in all His glorious generosity, also made it enjoyable. The truth is, I have been consoling myself with the gift instead of the Giver.

The truth is, when I make reasonable and healthy choices about what I eat, I feel better.  I look better.  I am more content with my life overall.  The truth is, I still am going to struggle with wanting to go back to those old ways of thinking.  The truth is, that's life.  The truth is, the choice is mine:  bondage to food and fat, or FREEDOM!

I choose freedom.  And that's the truth.