Monday, August 16, 2010

3 Years Ago... Again

I decided to delete this post just in case somebody read it that I wasn't aware of. Additionally, it looks as though she may be miscarrying.

Friday, August 13, 2010


There is a season for everything, so Solomon says. I certainly wish we could avoid the seasons of heartbreak, mourning, grief. They say things happen in threes. Lately, it hasn't been in threes, it has just been one right after the other and progressing from "no big deal really" to "how much more can I take."

Please just pray.

I will post more in time.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I am sorry it has been so long since I have posted. It's been hard to be motivated since I THOUGHT that only one or two of you were reading my posts anyway. But... then I find out that some of you read in silence, and that's not nice. It's like peeking into the windows of my home at night. If you read, you comment. I mean, I think that's fair. Deal?

My weight has been fluctuating somewhere between my start weight and my last posted weight. So, no real news there. Lately, I've been taking Gabe over to my mother's house while I go to the Y to exercise. It's just too hot to take my baby to a facility without any air conditioning while he plays with kids 3 times his age and gets sick all the time. School starts in a couple of weeks, and then the Y will be a better place. Additionally, I talked with the Director and it sounds like the Y will for sure be on Owasso's upcoming bond vote, which would provide a new facility for the Y daycare, including air conditioning!!! Since I try not to take advantage of my mother's flexibility, I try to do a quick 30-minute gig on the eliptical and then pick Gabe up. However, I've no problem taking advantage of my sister:-) and she's wanting to watch Gabe tomorrow while I go exercise. I plan to do my eliptical and then take a water kickboxing class!!!! Now, that's a step in the right direction.

I feel that I've done well not eating on an emotional basis lately, which I'm pretty proud of. Does that mean I'm eating better? No. One thing that helps to keep my stress down and then lessen my emotional eating... eating out!! Lately, we've been eating out a lot. Part of the reason, and I know this makes NO SENSE, is that we start our new, incredibly reduced salary tomorrow. Don't get me wrong. We are soooo grateful for the permanent employment, but the amount that our salary is decreasing is... shocking! We know that this is God's will. But I think we sort of felt like we needed to eat out frequently while we CAN, since the days of budgeting and limiting our spending are upon us. I'll be skinny by winter! :-)

My stress will be increasing soon as I prepare to get food and prize donations for my Bunco Bash fundraiser that will be on September 16th. Ugh!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post-Vacation Blues, Weight, Tiredness

This morning was the first I've exercised since last Wednesday. That's almost a week. I had hoped to take advantage of the hotel fitness room, but it didn't happen. Our trip to Beaumont, TX to visit family was truly chaotic, as is our family structure!

You see, my family is originally from Arkansas. Though it is hurtful about all the Arkansas jokes regarding inbreeding, my family does not help any of their cases. First, my mom and her cousin married brothers. Therefore, they were not only cousins but sisters-in-law. Then, my grandmother passed away, the mother to my father and to my uncle. So, my grandfather married my mom's aunt, who was the mother to her cousin, sister to her father, and had been the mother-in-law to my uncle, but this now made her also his stepmom. Though no blood ever crossed the proverbial line, it's all a little bit... well... Arkansas! So, going to visit this family is really a treat because where else will I ever find somebody who understands my family tree?

Beaumont is a 9 hour drive from Tulsa. And Gabe just turned 18 months. We took two days coming and going. Hours before we left town, I knew I was getting a bad UTI. Upon first sign of getting one, I have to go to the doctor because, for some reason, my body just skips steps and goes straight into "sick" (which I found out is a family traight.) So, once we arrived to Beaumont, my cousin took me to a clinic. My husband had dropped me off at my aunt and uncle's house when we realized that we had left his diapers, sippee cups, food, and toys all at the hotel that we had just checked into, which was about 20 minutes away. And, that's how the stay remained until we left. Chaos! Gabe acted sick the whole time, until I finally gave him his first dose of Benadryl. He perked up just in time for us to start the long trek home. I barely got to visit with anybody in my family.

One thing I did do... eat. It is so hard to be "good" when you are traveling and then when you are eating at other peoples' homes. And, my uncle treated us to all-you-can-eat FRIED seafood. Ugh! And, it wasn't a buffet... they bring out a huge plate of everything and put it in front of you.

So, needless-to-say, I've not weighed since I've been home. Truly, I had tried to watch my portions, and then I closed my eyes.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sabotage City of Stress

I'm guessing that by today's blog title, you know where this is going. Don't worry. I've no idea what I weigh, but I did wear some pants today to church that I hadn't ever been able to zip up. Though they'd been in my closet for a couple of years, they still had the tags on them. I won't tell you that I ripped out a seam when I sat down at lunch!! Probably should have waited to lose a few more pounds before wearing those puppies.

My husband will tell you that the happiest day of his life was when he married me. I'm not bragging. It's just a fact. I will tell you that the day I married him was the beginning of ALL my happy days.

After we were first married, I remember Doug's sister came into town from Dallas. He was so excited. Since his family doesn't really plan, Doug "planned" his whole weekend to be available to see his sister. Friday night came and went. Knowing she'd leave on Sunday, he anticipated time with her on Saturday. He really wanted her to go to a movie with us since they both love movies. We waited at home all day for her to call and let us know when she could see us. When Doug finally got to talk to her on the phone and told her about the movie, she said to call her when we got to the theater. When he did, she didn't feel like going. In our first year of marriage, we spent many weekends like this, or so it seems. If you're going on a cruise, you plan. Italy... plan. Singing in a musical... plan. Work projects... plan. Dr. Phil says that a failure to plan is a plan to fail. I think it goes deeper. You plan for what matters to you.

I truly am a failure as a Christian. I hold grudges. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Not Biblical, but unfortunately, this is how I tend to be. My mom says I get it from her dad. Anyway, how the saying TRULY goes for me is hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. Hurt my husband, and you'll wish shame is all you had to deal with because IT'S ON, sista!!!!

Why do I tell you all of this? My sweet husband agreed for us to take a LONG journey down to Beaumont, TX to see my aunt, uncle, cousins this next week. I thought it only fair to stop to spend time with his sister on the way home, spend the night with her in Dallas. Though she opted to miss Gabe's first birthday so she could accomodate her boyfriend of 13 years, I truly thought she'd be looking forward to seeing him regardless of how she might feel about her brother or me. Visiting her... not my favorite thing to do, but that's the least I can do after he spends several days with MY side of the family. But, yesterday she calls and cancelled our visit because her friends wanted to come into town and stay with her. At first, she initially called to see if we'd be okay to ALL cram into her small home, but she made it clear what our options were and none included asking her friends to come another time. These are her friends. I've never met them, and I can't tell you if my husband has seen them any in the past 10 years. Awkward! She knew the answer when she called.

The saddest part is that my husband has been treated like this so much, he acts like it is all okay, says he is "use to it." For me, it's like being used to a beating every night. Just because it's always that way, doesn't mean it hurts any less.

So, for Father's Day, we went to Mazzio's. Actually, we go there every Sunday but always get salads and thin crust canadian bacon pizza. (Believe it or not, this is very low points.) Today I ordered the Artisan pizza with sausage and had a coupon for a free dessert pizza. But I'm still angry. And I mean SEETHING. The pizza did not work any magic. The Bible says to be angry but sin not. (I wish I could reference this verse, but I can't at this time.) Anger is not a sin. It's how we manage it that determines if we're sinning. Let me just say, I'm sinning! I need prayer. It hurts to the core of my being.

Sometimes "not forgetting" is just a way of protection from those who might harm us. But, my current frame of mind is mostly in Grudgeville, which somehow adds to my anger towards her for making me feel this way. Ugh! Please pray for me. I was so hurt when she opted to miss Gabe's first birthday. Every time she hurts us, I think it can't get any worse than this. I think it's all building up. Again, please pray for me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


First, let me just say that I haven't weighed, because I've backslidden or something like that. Over the weekend I fixed fresh bruschetta. The bruschetta itself is QUITE good for me with fresh onion, tomatoes, basil, garlic, a little oil and vinegar. The bread... not so much. Of course, it is sliced very thinly but then covered with olive oil. Not the worse thing, but enough to sabotage a diet. It all counts as calories, no matter how good for you it is. Then, I had to make a pie for a Sunday School party. Why I signed up to make pie, I'm not sure. I seem to have a thing with wanting to make something that I think everybody will rave about. My oldest sister does that too. After all, she's the one who originally made the dang bruschetta for me! I make a mean german chocolate pie. But, here's what happened. There were only three of us who signed up for dessert, so I would have bet that the whole pie would have been gone by the time the party was over. But, one of the dessert-bringers bought a Marie Callendar's chocolate pie. The meringue was around 12 inches thick. So, everybody ate her pie without even touching my homemade pie. I did give most of the leftovers to my mom who shared it with my nieces. Yes, they raved, but it just wasn't the same. And, of course, I ate a small piece. Sounds fairly harmless, but when combined with bruschetta...

Last night was M.E.N.D., my support ministry for women who lost babies. I'm in charge of bringing snacks. Marlita used to do it but she quit a year ago. So, I just do it and can do it quite affordably when I find cookie and brownie mixes/dough on sale. So, on the third Tuesday of every month, when I have the support group meeting, I have NO self-control and end up eating cookies or brownies. Yesterday I ate three. Sometimes I hate myself! The good news is that I shared my challenge with a few of the girls from the Advisory Board, and they volunteered to bring the snacks over the next month or two. We decided that if we each took a turn, then the cost to bring fruit would not be so problematic. I am grateful for them. So, hopefully by next month I will have lost the weight that I've gained and can continue on instead of getting pushed back by Cookie Tuesday!

Another confession: I looked up all the symptoms for hypothyroidism and had all of them! Well, almost all. Truly, my ob/gyn can confirm that I complained about quite a few of them at my last appointment, so she agreed to get my thyroid tested, especially since it runs in the family. Does it sound weird for me to say that I am disappointed to find out that I'm perfectly healthy?

Nothing spiritual today or terribly insightful. Just the confessions of a fellow food-lover who is not adjusting well to aging!

Oh, and one more thing... For those of you who follow me because you have your own blog, I PROMISE I am going to become your follower too. Truly I tried already and somehow managed to join my OWN blog, which was great because then I looked like I had 5 whole followers... I am going to try to figure out how to become your followers very soon. I have visited your blogsites though! (How do you do that fancy stuff?!?!?)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Very Personal Story of Loss

215.2! Now we're cooking with oil! (Olive oil, that is!)

As I was exercising on the eliptical at the Y this morning, I heard a song by my utmost favorite Christian artist Bebo Norman. The song is called "The Way We Mend," and it's not his best... nor do I like it because it has the name of my ministry in it... but I happened to hear it on my MP3 player. Some of the words go:

But sometimes my shadows surround me
And you take me in your arms and say
It’s the way we mend
We tear it all down and we’ll start it again
And I don’t know how but you find me where we begin
And that’s just the way, the way that we mend

As a therapist, I get it. Sometimes we have to revisit issues in our lives that hurt us in order to move past them... move past them for now. Healing isn't a one-time event. This is why in M.E.N.D., the ministry I run in Tulsa for people who have lost babies, we always talk about commemorating our babies, doing something on anniversary dates or holidays to recognize them. In essence, we revisit our pain.

How does this pertain to dieting? It certainly pertains to emotional eating, that's for sure. Preparing to have another baby for me is scary. I've had a lot of life experience, much of yet I haven't even touched on in this blog, but some of the most significant pain was when I had my miscarriages. The first d&c didn't go so well, and I still ended up having to miscarry at home for WEEKS after the d&c. It was physically painful. Then one morning I woke up and decided I was sick and tired of being strong, and I just broke down. My doctor was giving me so much information about my body that I didn't understand, and all I could think of was this baby just didn't want to leave me. I had a second miscarriage several months later. I was then convinced that something was so wrong with my body, confirming what I had thought my whole life... that something's wrong with me. Most women who lose a child feel shame. They wonder if they did something wrong, if they had done something differently would that baby have lived, if they hadn't eaten that piece of pizza or exercised too hard or taken an OTC pain reliever or thought poorly towards another person or.... I had all this on my shoulders. On top of it all, I felt like nobody understood. I was so lonely.

Third time was a charm but oh so scary and full of drama. Some of my heartbreak came when I found out my niece was pregnant. My niece... I love her despite the fact that she works hard at giving us all reason not to. I had always assumed I'd be the next one to bring a baby into the family. It had been 10 years since the last grandchild was born. Never did I think that my niece would beat me to it. On top of it, she was having a boy. My mom had 3 daughters and 4 granddaughters. I was supposed to be bringing a boy into the family who would be doted on and get all the attention. Now, he'd have to share it with his cousin's son. Twenty months later, I must say that my niece's son is such a blessing, but at the time, it all felt so tragic.

During the whole pregnancy, I counseled women whose babies had died. I never relaxed. Then I went to one of those places that does 4D ultrasounds. It is supposed to be for fun, so they can't tell you if they notice anything wrong with the baby. I saw Gabe's cord around his neck. Having WAY too much faith in the gal doing the ultrasound, who was also a doula, I listened to her explain that babies will often play with their umbilical cords and that it just looked like it was around his neck because he was holding it up to his face. I relaxed... told her about my ministry and how that might make me a little more nervous than their average customer. She called me at home the next morning. She explained that a fellow doula's customer had lost her baby a day after it was due to be born and requested some brochures about M.E.N.D. She then said she'd be praying for my baby. Now, she hadn't struck me as a very spiritual person. Combined with the way she said it, I was unsettled. I talked myself out of my panic, knowing that I was way too nervous.

Seems like my whole church was praying for me, Doug, and Gabe during my pregnancy. I had shared about my miscarriages with several people as I sought out support. Little did I know how much I would need their prayers.

Doug got laid off from his job of 8 years just 2 weeks before Gabe was born. Two days later, I was put in the hospital for high blood pressure and to be tested for preclampsia. What a time. When it rains, it pours. I did have mild preclampsia, but we were able to manage it with rest. I wanted a vaginal childbirth so bad. I would prove that I was a real woman. But, in talking with the doctor about my issues that caused the first d&c to go badly, combined with the preclampsia, she encouraged us to go with a c-section.

I don't know if my ob/gyn is a Christian. As a matter of fact, I sorta think she's not. I've spoken openly about my faith with her. She listens but shares nothing of hers. It was so important to me to reflect the Lord to her. So, on the day of Gabe's birth, he was born with the cord wrapped around his neck not once, but twice, AND a true knot in his cord. You don't even want to know how many people I've talked with who have lost babies due to cord accidents and knots. Had I not made the decision to have a c-section, Gabe likely would not have survived labor. Out loud, before my doctor, nurses, and anyone who could hear, I cried and praised the Lord when my ob had given me the news about his cord and that he was just fine. I know my doctor had to wonder about my God that day.

It doesn't make sense, does it? How a girl who God protected so much could be scared to get pregnant again? When will I get it... be the woman of faith I long to be?

To top it all off, toward the end of my pregnancy I received a call from a girl in pain. She had lost her baby just one day after it was due to be born. She came to a M.E.N.D. meeting and told me how a doula had been scheduled to deliver her beautiful boy Samuel. Yes, it was the girl that the ultrasound tech had called me about. And, no, she hadn't received any M.E.N.D. brochure from any doula. She found M.E.N.D. another way. God wanted her to find M.E.N.D.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Always a Price to Pay

215.6 I'm not sure if I really lost a pound or if I just lost water weight since the weather is so much cooler outside today than usual, but... hey... I'll take what I can get.

Weight loss is fun, but doing all the work to get the weight off... not so fun. My mom wanted us to go out to breakfast today and then shopping. Initially, I thought it was doable. We were going to go to Mimi's, where they are known for trying to cook things fairly healthily and offer fruit and other options. But, Mimi's didn't work out, and we ended up at IHOP. Now, I've got to say, pancakes are not the worse things in the world you can eat when dieting. It's the butter, syrup, sausage, and bacon that will kill you. We split an order of pancakes, and I went extra light on the butter. (Fortunately it hadn't all melted into the pancakes yet.) Then I ate part of a sausage link. It's hard to judge how much syrup I used, but all-in-all I'm going to say that I probably ate about 13 points worth of food. The price I must pay for this fun: Now I only have 7 points of food left. So, I had a mini bag of light popcorn for lunch (1 pnt). Tonight I will fix hamburger patties made of 94% fat free meat with zucchini, corn, and green beans! I think I'll make it through this day without blowing it. Just 8 more hours until this day is through. If you could hear my son screaming right now, you'd know that I am saying this not JUST because I'm trying to get through the diet! He fell asleep on the way home from shopping, so he had a 30 minute power nap, prohibiting him from taking his regular two-hour nap. I had thought that going somewhere with his grandmother in the morning would make the day go by faster. The price I'm paying: No free time today.

There is a price to pay for everything!

Monday, June 7, 2010

You are Stronger

I maintained my weight and managed to not blow this whole effort through the weekend. I must admit that I am amazed at how much work goes into losing 3 lbs. I do aerobic exercise 4 times a week, track what I eat while trying to make allowances for mistakes, don't use any of the extra points that Weight Watchers gives everyone, which is a whole days worth of food or more, and after two weeks I am still only at a 3 lb weight loss. I'd understand better if I only had about 20 lbs to lose, but come on, people! I weigh 216!!! If I'm keeping my Weight Watchers points at 20, not giving myself extra points for exercise, and am still having such slow progress, then something seems off. I decided that maybe it's not JUST about caloric intake but the source of my calories. So, Friday night I went to the store and bought all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Quite honestly, I'm expecting to have some good news on the scale tomorrow. If I don't, I just don't know if I'll endure.

I am doing this blog out of desperation. I really need help to get this weight off, because I really want to try for another baby and be as healthy as possible. However, since my husband was laid off from his job toward the end of 2008, he's been doing contract work while our Cobra benefits expired a couple of days ago. We decided that I would have plenty of time to try to get fit since having a baby wasn't a good idea under these circumstances. Can I just point out one thing... maybe two? Please notice that I said WE DECIDED. Yes, we prayed about it, but sometimes I think I am too practical to make for a very good Christian. Let me explain... We found out last week that the company that my husband has been doing contract work for is going to hire us on permanently. Though no paperwork has yet been signed, the official announcement has been made at his work place. Papers will be signed likely this week. I really anticipated that this would not happen until next year. So, in my mind, I had months to get serious about dieting. Can somebody tell me where my faith is? Had I been more a woman of faith and worked on my health in the more desperate manner like I am now, I may feel fit enough today to have a baby. Who knows. I just know that God came through with a job, but I'm still too overweight to consider getting pregnant! I decided that He wouldn't provide until NEXT YEAR, but He knew differently.

You are stronger. You are stronger. Sin is broken. You have saved me. It is written, Christ is Risen. Jesus, You are Lord of All.

We've been singing the above anthem at church on a fairly regular basis now. I love it. I can't help but raise my hands and praise Him for being stronger than my sin, for saving me from not only Satan but myself. He is stronger!

Friday, June 4, 2010

On Wednesday morning I weighed only to find out that I somehow had gained 3 lbs. There I was, back at the beginning again. I wanted to go back to bed. I've had better nightmares than this. As a coping mechanism, I convinced myself I needed to go to the doctor. Surely there is something dreadfully wrong with me if I can't lose weight any better than this. Haven't you heard about those women who go to the doctor to find out they have tumors the size of globes growing inside of them? I'm convinced mine is just beneath my belly button. I shouldn't joke. But, sometimes I feel if I don't find some humor somewhere, I'll cry.

A lot of people will blame weight gain on hormones. I do know that women swell before, and sometimes during, their cycle. However, if it's not THAT time, I'm always very careful about blaming anything on my hormones. What if they hear me? I mean, I NEED them not to pack up and go home. I'm turning 40 and want another baby. This means, I must be very kind to my hormones. So, if I gain 3 lbs and it's NOT the beginning of my cycle, or in the middle of ovulation, my hormones are innocent. HEAR ME? Innocent!

Fortunately, this morning I had again lost my 3 lbs. I'm tracking every bite like crazy in an attempt to take full responsibility for those 3 lbs by perhaps having not been as precise in my tracking as I should have. So, just a minute ago I shared a frozen peach treat with my son. This stuff is sold in the canned fruit section of my grocery store. Tasted and smelled like peaches. Seemed fairly harmless. Then, I needed to figure out how many points I had if I only ate half. I was seriously thinking it would be half a point, maybe one full point. But, it was TWO points! What a scam! Live and learn, people. I could have had TWO Oreo cookies.

Last night we went to a Tulsa Drillers game in a suite with free food provided. Amazingly, they had burgers, chips, hot dogs, chips/dip, cookies, pop, and all sorts of other yum. BUT, they also had grilled chicken, beans, and a veggie tray. I was pretty satisfied with the choices I made to eat right.

Here's what I've eaten so far today:

1 1/4 c. Kix cereal (2 pnts)
1 c skim milk (2 pnts)
fat free dog with bun, mustard (1 pnt)
1 oz potato chips made with Olestra (1 pnt)
1 Oreo (1 pnt)
1 small apple (1 pnt)

Not too bad! Boogied in Zumba this morning and did circuit training with skinny Amy yesterday!

A special thanks to Sweet Sara for commenting on my last post. It encourages me!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tips to Dieting Sanely

Didn't weight this morning. No real reason.

Weekends can be so difficult for me to diet! Add to it a holiday weekend, and typically it is Sabotage City. So, I feel pretty good about how things went over the weekend. Last night got a little rough as I was pouring chocolate sauce onto my Weight Watchers popsicle... Oh well!

For my first week on this journey, I guess we can agree that I lost 3 lbs. While this is good, we will really start cooking with oil when I reach 214. (I was just 214 a few weeks ago before backsliding.) I haven't been less than 214 in over 5 years.

Here are some tips that tend to work for me when losing weight:

1. Cooking can be laborious. I never know what to do with chicken, pork chops, etc to make it enjoyable. So, yesterday we grilled out a bunch of meat. Since there's just two adults here, grilling out is a waste if you're only doing two or four items. We put out pork chops, pork ribs, chicken, and fat free hot dogs. We ate some of the ribs last night for dinner, while my hubby took the rest to work for lunch today. Tonight I will use the grilled chicken to make a grilled chicken salad with lots of veggies! For lunch today I ate one of the hot dogs in a White Wheat bun by Nature's Own with some of those Lay's potato chips made with O'Lean, or something like that... the stuff that makes you sick if you eat too much. Fat free hot dogs are around 25 calories. You don't even have to count ONE point for that, and when grilled outside, they are tasty. The bun... ONE point. The chips... ONE point! Not completely healthy, but not gonna kill me either! A two point lunch! (We froze the pork chops.)

2. My husband and son love bananas, banana pie, banana ice cream, banana pudding, you get the picture. So, last night I made instant sugar-free vanilla pudding, put in some banana slices, then topped it with a few vanilla wafers and fat free cool whip. Very satisfying and a good alternative to the kind my mother makes, the good old-fashioned banana pudding that gets baked and has all sorts of sugar and yum in it.

3. Snacking is my favorite thing to do when I'm bored. Not the kind of snacking where you really cut something up or sit down to eat it, but the kind where you shove a cracker in your mouth and walk away... forgetting all about it when tracking your food input, though you've done it five times that day. So, here's what I do. First, I lower the amount of points I'm allowed to have a day by one or two and definitely do not count my exercise to allow for the extra points. This way I'm mostly safe.

Okay, that's all I have for now. More to come. Do you have any tips or favorite foods for dieting sanely? Please share.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Much More Than a Feeling

216.6 lbs A Work in Progress!

Sunday mornings can be stressful. They always were growing up, and that was with both parents at home. I get me and my son ready for church alone, since my husband has to be there early to rehearse with the band. As I was thinking of all that I had to do today, including a visit with in-laws, Chocolate Cheerios seemed like the logical choice for breakfast. Boy, I really am conquering this emotional eating issue!

At church we sang a song called "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." No, it's not the traditional hymn most of us know. It is a beautiful song by Christy Nockels. I've tried over and over to post it on this webpage to no avail, so I'm just going to give you the YouTube link here:

So, while I sing this song in church, I feel that God is consuming me, truly consuming me, filling that empty hole that I try to patch with food, and I doubt I'll ever eat again. Why can't that feeling last? I know, I know. Sin. Argh! To feel that close to God when I'm not in front of a full band with a congregation full of people... this would cure me. Feelings are overrated. Truth is, God is with me even when I don't feel so spiritual. I can hear Him even in the quietest of places. The key is in me seeking Him.

When I was 15 years old, all I knew was that I wanted to serve God. I naturally thought this meant that I had to go into missions. I had been taught about missions my whole life. After doing short-term mission trips to Africa, Venezuela, and Mexico, in 2001, I left the US for a two-year mission term in the Philippines. I didn't do this because of my "calling" as a 15-year-old but because I felt a calling as an adult. A few months before I arrived, some missionaries in the Philippines had been taken hostage by Abu Sayaf, a semi-organized terrorist group. Additionally, my dad had been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, which I knew nothing about, but he was placed on oxygen immediately. My whole family took MONTHS to catch up mentally with Dad's condition. Nobody thought twice about me going to the Philippines... until after I left. A few months after my arrival to the Philippines, 9/11 happened and I was confined to my home for 3 days while folks in my mission assessed the danger, since the Philippines has a history of terrorism. I was so lonely. I don't EVER want to be that alone again. I felt like the world had forgotten about me. I felt like God had forgotten about me, and I was angry. I feel the cortisol rising in me just thinking about all of this. There's much more that I don't even have the energy to write about. Not to mention that my mission team was pure nuts. Since my background was in counseling, they had thought it would be great to have a counselor come and try to fix them. I think they confused me for God, because that's the only One who could help these folks! I had to fight very hard to stay a size 12 during this time in my life. Mango, pineapple, and bananas were the order for the day.

God had never left me. He knew that He wasn't going to let my dad die until after I returned home. He knew that, had I not been on the other side of the world when Doug's dad passed away, I might not have felt such a need to be with him and eventually fall in love with him. He knew. It was my need for control that kept me from feeling the peace that He wanted to provide me. I wanted to know what He knew instead of trusting Him. I knew about trusting God, but I trusted my feelings more... not my knowledge. Romans 12:2 says that we should be transformed by the renewing of our minds, not emotions. Whether I am surrounded by a song about my God being a mighty fortress or whether it's painfully quiet, God is much more than a feeling.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Power of a Compliment!

This morning the scales were unkind, but I don't have the heart to change my "Today's Weight" scale. I am going to give it a day or two and see what happens. Since my husband's birthday was last weekend, we received many coupons for free food at restaurants, since we're in various e-clubs. Eating out is something I cannot give up. I just have to do it smart. Did I do great at Ruby Tuesday's last night? I wouldn't say great. Doug and I split the bacon cheeseburger, fries, and I had a salad with light dressing and just a bite of the bad-for-you pasta. The salt alone could be the reason for the weight gain, or it could be just the timing of the month. I hope I am being honest with myself and with you. Truth is, I really wanted to bathe myself in fries, shove some into my bra for later, open my purse and pour them in.

After the bad news from the scales, I went to Zumba at the Y. In case you're not familiar with Zumba, it is Latin Hip Hop exercise. I love it. Who says fat people can't dance? Oh, I've paid my dues... pulled my leg muscle so bad that it turned all shades of black and I couldn't walk for days without a major limp. That leg STILL talks to me on rainy days, and the injury occured 9 weeks ago. But I shake it with the rest of them. Actually, Zumba is what inspired me. In my attempt to lie to myself, I decided that I fit in just fine with everybody in the class... when the class was in the big gymnasium. But, when we moved the class into the aerobics room with all of the mirrors, I could see myself. People, mirrors don't lie. It hurt. I was the largest person in the room. So, I found myself a spot in the one place in the room where I can't see the mirrors, and they can't see me. This way, I can continue my Zumba!

On Wednesday, at my exercise class with skinny Amy, a Brazilian woman recognized me from the Zumba class the day before. She told me that she always stays in the back of the class and can see everybody. At this point in the conversaion, my heart wasn't beating quite normal. I've known a lot of Latin folk. They tend to speak their mind, and she was small. And, Latin folk can boogie! She then says, "You're good at Zumba!" I now walk a little taller. So, this morning, I danced for her! I gave my all, shaked it all... and I mean ALL... and sometimes things shook that I didn't meant to shake, and sometimes things just couldn't stop shaking after I got them started, if ya' know what I mean. But, I was proud. Thanks, my new Brazilian friend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Initially this morning I weighed 219.4. I felt like a cow! But, I knew I didn't usually weigh at this time and that I hadn't "done my business" yet. Just keepin' it real and honest. Since I ate about a pound of lettuce at last night's dinner, I knew that this was an important factor. So, I'm proud to say that I dropped to 217.4 lbs once I... um... released some tension. Okay, this information may be a bit more real and honest than what you really wanted, but it leads very well into what I want to write about today... honesty.

Yesterday I posted on my Facebook page that I was doing this blog. I didn't post my blogsite, but I just asked for feedback on the idea. Someone told me how brave I was. No, I'm not brave. Complacent, maybe, but not brave. Desperate, perhaps, while basically scared to death. What if I fail? What if someone judges me? First, if you judge me for the number on my scale, you've got just as big of problems as an obese person. Your problems just look different. They may manifest themselves in a problem child or unhappy marriage. So... BACK OFF, she said in a sweet Christian tone! The truth is, weight is only a number. You can look at me and know that I need to lose weight. If you know the number on the scale, this does not change the way I look. I, like most everybody, have always been shy to reveal my weight. Believe it or not, it's a form of dishonesty, in my opinion. It parallels our country's economic crisis. So many people lived outside of their means, spending more than they made, all so that they could APPEAR to be something they're not. Suze Orman taught me this. I love her. It's called "living a lie." Those folks lie to themselves and others. I'm guilty of the same thing when it comes to my weight. That's why I sometimes go for weeks, maybe even months, without weighing. It's the same as people who don't keep track of their expenses or balance their check book. All a lie. So, now you know what I weigh. Do I look fatter to you? Does it make you feel better about yourself? Do you look at your weight and think "But I don't look as fat as her" when you're hovering over the 200 mark? Let's get honest.

Lieing to myself is not ALL my fault. My mind plays tricks on me, and I know that I'm not alone in this. You see, I haven't always been big and obese. Now, chubby has been an appropriate descriptor of me since birth. (Today I prefer to refer to myself as puffy, but that's only true if we redefine puffy as big and obese.) When I was in college, I had a summer where I took classes, ate right, and exercised. Traded in chubby for thin and tone. The attention was addicting. Boys... oh the boys. Good times! (Just enjoyed the attention... nothing else!) Now, where was I? In my mind, I was still chubby. I was a size 6. When my good friend Lisa, the girl that every boy dreamed of... aerobics instructor, cheerleader, homecoming queen type of girl, looked at me and asked if I thought she was fat, it started to dawn on me that we might be a little messed up. I didn't stay a size 6 for long, but I did manage to stay between an 8 and 10 for many years. Eventually my mind caught up that I wasn't chubby anymore. Why can't my mind just be honest with me?

The reverse phenomenon is true as well. When I started to get into the size 16/18 range, I didn't notice. It was the craziest thing. My washer just kept shrinking all of my clothes. And, THEN, they started making sizes SMALLER when I'd go shopping! And, every photographer would mess up pictures by getting the angle all wrong and making me look... puffy. Get the picture?

The Bible says that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). I need to be honest with God, myself, and you before I can get this weight off.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Relationship with Food... all around the world!

Today I'm 218.2 lbs. You know, I've actually been around 245 lbs. When you're this size and lose 25 lbs, nobody notices... especially with how slow I lose weight! But, I'm very glad not to be 245 anymore. I can tell the difference.

I worked out really hard today at the Y. On Wednesdays, I have this teeny tiny aerobics instructor named Amy who has to bring her knees all the way to her chin before she can squeeze ANYTHING on her stomach. I like her, though. One thing I like most about her is that she LIVES it... exercise, sports, activity are her life. She's competed in the collegiate Ironman. I think that I want to be like her in one way; exercise and fitness are her drugs!

My mom has always been thin as well. Not fit, like Amy, but thin. Heck, I'd trade thin and unfit for fat any day! Mom's sorta typical... eats what she wants in moderation and then diets for a few days if she gains anything. I'm not going to tell you her size, because I don't know how she'd feel about it, but just trust me when I say that she looks good and always has.

Mom and I both told each other on Monday that we had to cut back this week on the calories. Yesterday, when she was babysitting for me, she told me about all the vegetables she was going to eat for lunch. Then, today she calls to see if I would like for her to bring over two cranberry/walnut cookies that she would bake in my oven while we visit. I declined!!! Yeah for me!!! Later, on the phone, she was eating the cookies and then told me about the fried chicken she got at a nearby restaurant for lunch. Now, to my Mom's credit, she is going to eat just veggies for dinner. But, when you're ME, you can't do the cookies and fried chicken and call it "cutting back." Oh, this road is lonely!

Back to Amy: Amy talked today about how tv will sabbotage a diet. She's right. She went on to talk about how events and celebrations need to be about activity and not food. Right, again. For New Year's, she and her friends celebrate by doing a run. While I know she's right, I told her I'd have to give up my family, probably even my husband, if I took food away from our celebrations. Oh, and tv... I've had a love/hate relationship with tv my whole life. I have some of my best memories involving food and television... quality family time! I remember having warm fuzzies on a cold winter evening when Dad cooked a pot of spicy chili, aroma lingering in the air, while I watched The Carol Burnett Show once my homework was complete. Of course, those types of memories are abundant.

This type of relationship with food is everywhere, even on the other side of the world. I lived in the Philippines for two years as a missionary. Of course, traditionally, Filipinos are very thin because of the poverty. In the past 10 years, the economy there has gotten better, so not everyone is as skinny as they once were. A woman with meat on her bones is considered "sexy." Think about how freaked out I was when, as a solid size 12/14, I was told how sexy I was all the time. Of course, I just heard "fat." In my mind, I would have traded bodies with any of them.

Well, I better go now. I'm wondering if anybody wants me to post what I'm eating. Hmmm.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why "Eat The Faith"?

I titled my blog "Eat The Faith" because it is a play on the phrase that I've heard so many times to "Keep The Faith." You see, I'm a Christian, and I do believe in the role of faith in Christ for my life. Christ is my Savior. But, I'm a miserable failure at letting my faith deliver me from my horrible tendency to turn to food for comfort. So, I guess you could say I'm a hypocrite. While I believe that God knows all my problems and can comfort me through the Holy Spirit, I turn to an immediate comfort found in a sugar rush or carb-overload. Here's how it goes: My son is sick, fussing, can't be consoled; I snack all day on all the 100-calorie packs of cookies or crackers I can find in my pantry. If I'm "lucky," I will have chocolate chips in the house or some ice cream left from a recent birthday party. It actually goes deeper than this. It's a viscious cycle. I'm fat. Every time somebody is rude to me or I get bad treatment at the local market, I think it is because I'm fat. And, because I don't feel good about being fat, I need comforting, so I may choose to take my son to McDonald's for lunch rather than eating at home. And the cycle continues.

No matter how many episodes Oprah does on emotional eating, I just don't feel like anybody gets it. I was a chubby kid. My mother put me on Weight Watchers when I was 10, back in the day when you had to have so many servings of fish and liver. When my 5th grade class won a pizza party, my teacher made sure to bring me a can of diet cola while the other kids had regular. I don't remember any kid making fun of me due to my weight before the 5th grade. I had low self-esteem regardless of my weight. When I lost weight on Weight Watchers, I don't remember my friends telling me how good I looked. I don't even remember feeling more confidant. I mean, I was in the 5th grade. Back then, 10-year-olds weren't even allowed to have opinions!

I'm turning 40 this year, and I want another baby. I have a 17-month-old son who is the joy of my life. Before I get pregnant again, I want to lose weight. So, I have four months. Yesterday, Monday, I was 220 lbs. Today I'm 218.6 lbs, because I did pretty good yesterday and we partied over the weekend with chips, dip and cake as my husband turned 45! My first goal is to get down to 200. But it is a daily struggle, and I will share my struggle on this blog! I'm exercising at my local YMCA, which is a mix of frustration and rewards, but that's another day of blogging. I am also going to keep track of my points. Points are the Weight Watchers system of tracking what you eat. But, most importantly, I am going to blog about how this goes. We'll see where I'm at in 4 months!

Oh... I'll post pics at some point. Be patient. Today's just day #1 for my blog!