December 31, 2010

Giving God My Year

"Where did the year go?" How many times have you heard that said this week! I am baffled by the question more than ever this year. I can't even explain to myself what just happened in 2010. My life was changed forever and I didn't see it coming at all!

When I look back on the past 365 days, what I see is a series of falls. Which is not much different from any other year in my life. What is different about 2010 is that right after the falls, I see my strength being renewed time after time. I see myself being raised up on wings like eagles. I was able to run and not grow weary.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I just know that at the beginning of 2010 I was at the end of me. I was tired, scared, and desperate so I let go of everyting I was holding onto and reached out for Hope. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

The comparison photos are quite dramatic proof of my physical transformation. If I could only show you a before and after of my heart...

Dear Lord,

I know there is someone out there who is just like I was. They might be reading this right now. Will you just let them know that you are here? Will you let them know that you see them? I know that you can make something out of absolutely nothing; my life is proof. So it is my prayer that this person who feels like nothing can believe that you want to make them into SOMETHING for your glory.

You know everything about each one of us and you give us permission to come to you with our guard down and our hearts completely torn open. Indeed, this is how you most desire to receive us. Take our hands, our hearts, our every thought captive now. Conform them to your will. Take our lives that we, on our own, can not willingly give. Lord we are not willing, but make us willing to BE willing. Help us overcome our disbelief.

I thank you for your unmatched grace and mercy in my life. I don't know why you do the things you do. But I trust you. I trust you with my 2011. I trust you with my days and even my moments. I love you, Lord.


December 21, 2010


This is a verse from one of my favorite "newer" Christmas songs:

Follow the star to a place unexpected
Would you believe, after all we've projected,
A child in a manger?
Lowly and small, the weakest of all
Unlikeliest hero, wrapped in his mother's shawl
Just a child --Is this who we've waited for?

How Many Kings, Down Here

I find myself focused on the "unlikeliness" of God's plans this Christmas. It's hard to ignore. Today my 5 year old son even asked me, "Mommy, how can a baby be a King?" Hmm.


CS Lewis said that "The Son of God became man so that men could become the sons of God." There is a song that describes this as "a strange way to save the world." That song has always made me a little defensive. Someone calling my God's plans strange? No you didn't...

But the truth of the matter is--it is strange. Strange to us because His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts.

Last year at this time I was on the brink of an emotional meltdown. I was in the deepest pit I have ever been in. For that darkness to be made light seemed very unlikely to me. It seemed very unlikely that I would ever be who am now. And I certainly wouldn't have chosen the path God did to get me out of the pit. All of it was...unlikely, to say the least.

What is amazing is that when His plans and purpose are revealed to us, we see the Glory of God. We gain some small understanding of His infinite wisdom and we know that it is okay to trust Him. Because even though they may seem strange, His ways are impossibly perfect. Time after time.

God's ways are not mine. They are the unlikeliest ways and He is the unlikeliest hero. But he is MY hero and I take comfort in knowing that He is in control and I am not. I celebrate His presence! I celebrate The Word becoming flesh, knowing suffering and dying so that I could be set free. (He didn't stay in the manger, ya know!)

He has given me so much, taught me so much, healed me so much, loved me SO much. He sacrificed everything...for you and me. What do I possibly have to offer as a gift to this Savior? What do you have to offer? For that answer we need only look in the mirror.

John 1:4-5
In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Merry Christmas!

December 14, 2010

Should I Stay or Should I Go

This is the song my pounds 172-177 are singing right now. It's been pretty confusing on all of us. I get rid of 'em, I bring 'em back. One day I wake up ready to run a marathon, the next I wake up thinking of Chick-fil-a and my old usual: 12 nuggets, a CFA sandwich, large fries and large sweet tea. YES! That is what I used to order at Chick-fil-a.

Thankfully I have not done that in the year 2010 and do not plan on it. For11 months I haven't even considered ordering that meal and the fact that I have now scares the living waffle fry out of me.

I set a goal for myself right before Thanksgiving. I want to weigh less on January 1 than I did at that point (172.5). So far, it's not looking too optimistic. There is always hope, though. I've been doing a lot of analyzing and contemplating and I was able to pinpoint the moment I lost sight of my goal.

It was the afternoon I got back from a trip to New Mexico. I was so proud of myself for how wonderfully I had prepared meals and stuck to eating them. I just knew I had lost 5 pounds in 3 days. What in the world?

Much to my dismay, when I stepped on the scale that afternoon and saw that I had not lost one single pound (in fact I was up one) it just ticked me off. And to be honest, I've been ticked off ever since.

So what have I done to rectify the situation? I have eaten. And look where it has gotten me. The rational part of my brain, if I had chosen to use it, would have reminded me that by the next morning the scale might have shown a significant drop. I let emotions take over and when I do that they multiply until that rational part of the brain? Well, it's all covered in a big WAD of emotion and thoughts of fast food and chips, etc.

I've got 17 days to turn this ship around. I know that the power I have been given is greater than any emotion or feeling of defeat that I have:

1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

Another fitting verse to remember this season:

1 Corinthians 15:57
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

The Baby that came to earth is the very REASON I will celebrate and I will succeed.

So, YES! 177, 176, 175, 174, 173 and 172: you can definitely go now. Not to be rude, but I am SO over you.

December 8, 2010

Out of the Closet

Confession: Last night at midnight I went in the kitchen and ate a bunch of food. I didn't want to but I did. It felt gross and strange. Like an out of body experience. It happened super fast. When I was done I was so disgusted with myself.

After I went back to bed something clicked in my head and I began to wonder... I grabbed my phone and Googled "binge eating." The first link was to the Mayo Clinic website and I clicked on it. This is what I read:

"Binge-eating disorder is a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food. Almost everyone overeats on occasion, such as having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal. But for some people, overeating crosses the line to binge-eating disorder and it becomes a regular occurrence, shrouded in secrecy."

Boom. I'm a binge eater.

You're not going to believe this, but I never thought of myself as "a binge eater." In the past, I recall describing some of my eating experiences as "a binge," but I didn't consider myself a person with a disorder. Why has it taken me 30 years to find this out when I've been doing it since I was about 7 or 8 years old? Because I'm ready to deal with it now? Because I'm ignorant? Probably a combination of both.

I went on reading this article. Here are some of the symptoms they listed for Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Eating large amounts of food

  • Eating even when you're full

  • Eating rapidly during binge episodes

  • Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control

  • Eating a lot even though you're not hungry

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Frequent dieting, possibly without weight loss

  • Frequently eating alone

  • Feeling depressed, disgusted or upset about your eating

So I could be the poster child for binge eating disorder, apparently. I guess I never really thought about it before. Because I used to eat so much all the time, episodes of frantic, mindless eating didn't seem too out of the ordinary. But last night when I was perfectly full and for the life of me I COULD NOT STOP MYSELF from eating I felt completely out of control. My mind and heart were both screaming for me to stop, but in all honesty--I couldn't stop.

At some point it may be necessary for me to receive some cognitive behavioral therapy. I am not opposed to that. I would like to keep trusting in the Lord to deliver me from this very disturbing disorder, but at some point we may decide together that a little therapy could help. Until then, I am going to really examine the circumstances and times that the binges are happening and try to prevent it as much as possible.

For instance, last night my binge was at midnight. I should have been asleep for several hours when it happened. Something as simple as turning off the TV at a decent hour would have very likely prevented what happened. That is definitely something I can do.

Here are the Mayo Clinic's suggestions for binge eaters (My thoughts in parentheses):

Stick to your treatment. Don't skip therapy sessions. If you have meal plans, do your best to stick to them and don't let setbacks derail your overall efforts. (For now I will equate this to my First Place 4 Health meeting, which I can't skip because I lead. Although it has crossed my mind a couple of times when I have had a bad week to call in sick. I haven't though.)

Avoid dieting. Trying to diet can trigger more binge episodes, leading to a vicious cycle that's hard to break. (I do not consider what I am doing a diet. My goal is simply eating a healthy, balanced diet. I think this means don't do something extreme like eat 500 calories a day, etc.)

Eat breakfast. Many people with binge-eating disorder skip breakfast. But, if you eat breakfast, you may be less prone to eating higher calorie meals later in the day.

Don't stock up. Keep less food in your home than you normally do. That may mean more-frequent trips to the grocery store, but it may also take away the temptation and ability to binge eat. (Love it! Although I am pretty creative and can usually come up with something if I get to the point of a binge--no matter how bare the pantry is.)

Get the right nutrients. Just because you may be eating a lot during binges doesn't mean you're eating the kinds of food that supply all of your essential nutrients. Talk to your doctor about vitamin and mineral supplements. (I have had a couple of mineral supplements suggested to me to help with cravings. I may try them. I need to start taking a multi-vitamin again.)

Stay connected. Don't isolate yourself from caring family members and friends who want to see you get healthy. Understand that they have your best interests at heart. (This one is SO important!)

Get active. Talk to your health care providers about what kind of exercise is appropriate for you, especially if you have health problems related to being overweight. (I am hoping this is really going to help me. Setting physical goals and achieving them has been one of the most uplifting things I have done. I just have to remember that on the days I'd rather gnaw my arm off than exercise.)

I absolutely did not want to do this post. It is embarrassing!! I know ya'll are all picturing me sitting at a table eating a big cold turkey leg right now. Ughh. That's not what I ate but it just seems like something a binge eater would eat. And I'm not going to tell you what I actually did eat because the last time I did it just made people hungry. ((Sigh))

I didn't want to post this, but I had to. Once this truth was revealed to me, and I definitely believe it was revealed to me last night for a specific reason, I had to come clean with it.

John 8:32
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

This is the verse that has been at the heart of any point of major deliverance in my life. When I am in doubt or confused or worried or discouraged or even hopeless--this is the one. The truth is what sets us free. We were not made to hold on to dirty little secrets. We were not made to bear our burdens alone. That is why this entire blog is based on being "real." It's the only thing that's ever worked for me.

So I just had to tell you, I'm a binge eater and I'm not ashamed. The Lord did not bring me this far only to put an unmovable road block in my way. There is purpose in it and I'll be danged if I am going to let such a disgusting thing keep me from moving closer to where I am meant to be. Photobucket

December 6, 2010

Funky, A Bunch

I loathe this picture, but I can't stop using it

Do you see this misfit? This was a 216 lb. person who had not done any physical activity in about 10 years, aside from lifting fork to mouth pretty religiously. But something began to happen to this person. Her body was not working so well.

Do you know what happens to the body when you don't exercise? (And by exercise, I do not mean parking a little farther away at the grocery store or taking the stairs a couple of times a week.) When you don't exercise, your body gets decrepit, for lack of a better word.

I believed that I was so big and my joints and everything hurt so much that I could not do much exercise. But one day it hit me that there were near 500 pound people on the Biggest Loser and they were running miles and not dying. You know the other neat thing about them? They were losing weight.


I started off slowly. I didn't have any big plans. Just walked a mile at first. Added a little jogging here and there. Then one day, about a month into working out, I decided to attempt jogging a mile. It was very difficult, but I did it.

The next time I went back and tried again. This time it seemed harder and I really wanted to quit. As my hand reached for the stop button, I had one of my key "aha moments." That right there was what I always did. I never pushed myself beyond me and my assumed capabilities. So that day, I did what seemed very unnatural and was very painful. I kept going.

211 lbs--Ran my first mile

A few weeks later, I put the treadmill on the 5K setting and went for it. The taste of achieving what seemed so far out of reach was addictive. I ran 5K without stopping for the first time when I weighed 203 lbs.

I continue to exercise and push for new goals. Some days are easier than others. Some days I don't feel like doing anything and to be honest, I might not. It takes a lot of prayer, focus and accountability to continue on.

My buddy Norma, whom I have mentioned before, recently had to drag me out of my house to exercise. It was last Saturday, the day before I was to run the longest distance I have ever run in a Marathon Relay. It was after dark, in the freezing cold and she did it because we had made a pact to exercise 6 out of 7 days a week and she knew I wasn't. I made several excuses, and really each of them was extremely legit, but she wasn't taking no for an answer. She met me up there, walked with me in her regular clothes while her family was waiting on her to get home from a long day--just to make sure I did it. Now that's true blue.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, everybody needs a Norma. You have to have someone to help snap you out of the funk. The funk is one thing that I can always count on. It's like death and taxes. (Isn't that what they say?) It creeps into my mind and it doesn't want to leave. I try not to always be a downer on the blog and I hate to say that because the last thing I want to do is discourage anyone. It's true though. The longer you stick with it, the funkier it gets. (Someone quote me on that, please!?) The only thing is, once I get through a funk, I come out stronger. So I am even more prepared to get through it the next time

Good news--I think I am out of my latest funk. I ran yesterday in a 5-person marathon relay. It was really COLD and a lot of waiting, but all day today I can not stop thinking of how much fun it was! Here I am after I finished my leg of the race (4.5 miles):

Okay, so maybe I'm still a misfit but at least I'm a FIT misfit.
Shoot for a Half in 2011, perhaps? I mean, I gotta keep going--it's what I do.

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Successes

Just so you know I wasn't a complete turkey during the Thanksgiving holiday, I thought I'd share some of what was great about it...

We spent the weekend before Thanksgiving on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. Our church has a special friendship with a Navajo church on the reservation there. Several trips are made throughout the year to visit with our Navajo friends and serve with them in various ways. On this trip we delivered fire wood to families in the surrounding areas and served Thanksgiving lunch after the service on Sunday.

Pine Hill Baptist Church

3 days in with no shower. Not a problem for me, really.

The trip was a blast and such a blessing! When we got back I decided to do a home project. I have been wanting to paint the front of my kitchen cabinets with chalkboard paint for a while now. I ran across an almost full can of paint, had a little time and decided to go for it.

A little tape (thank you Norma), a few squirts of paint and wha-la!

Before I began to focus on my weight loss and "lifestyle change" (Can't believe I actually use that term in a serious manner now!) I did a LOT of home projects. It is something that I love to do but I think I began to throw myself into projects so that I wouldn't have to deal with how miserable I had become. I have had to focus so hard the past year on my health in order to be successful that I haven't done much "crafting" around the house at all. It was nice to do something like this just because and I love how my cabinets turned out!!!

Thanksgiving Day was a full day spent with family! I enjoyed getting ready and not having to worry about being uncomfortable in my clothes. I was able to focus on more important things...

My target dress...I wore a blue jean jacket with it most of the day.

Me and my main squeeze ♥ Yes, he's a HOTTIE.

I enjoyed taking pictures with my family rather than dodging the camera. That was a holiday first!

We had super exciting Saturday after Thanksgiving. My dad is a high school football coach and his team is in the playoffs. They pulled out an underdog win and are now only two games away from the Texas state championship game! I have been watching my dad coach football since before I can remember and nothing would make me happier than for him to be able to claim a state championship!We'll see. Still a few wins to go...

Mom and Dad after the big win. Go Tigers!

We finished up the week at our family cabin. Lots of chaos (with 5 kiddos under the age of 5, 4 of them boys) but lots of good memories made. It was the perfect end to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Kiddos working on ornaments for the cabin tree

Even though I did not stick to my plan 100% as I mentioned yesterday, I realize that I have made huge strides in the way that I approach the holidays. Anxiety was at bay for the most part and food was not the focus. It felt good.

And finally a random picture:

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! My son found this in my car floorboard today. It is my ID badge from when I was a teacher a couple of years ago. This just scared me at first. And then it made my day.


November 29, 2010

Progress Report

Thanksgiving: B+

I did pretty good on Thursday. I drank a lot of coffee in the morning. I drank an equal amount of water before the big meal. I chewed gum as I prepared food and waited to eat. I ate turkey and a small spoonful of 3 different casseroles plus gravy. It was just enough. I was not stuffed. I did not have dessert. We then moved on to a second meal. As I was loading my food up for this meal I had a bite of a chocolate brownie. I had another large coffee but did not eat anything at the meal. I was not hungry and decided that I had enough calories for the day with the meal I ate at noon. I went to bed feeling great. I give myself a "B" for not exercising, and only eating one meal.

Weekend at Cabin: D-

I have had much worse experiences with staying on track at the cabin in the past, but I am very disappointed with how I did at this point in the game. I continued to not exercise all weekend, which at the time seems like I am doing something nice for myself, but in reality I feel SO much better when I exercise. I don't know when this is really going to SINK IN. I pretty much ate whatever I wanted in moderation. WHAT!? My plan is not to eat whatever I want in moderation through the holidays. It is to stick relentlessly to my FP4H eating plan. My plan is to do my plan. I did not do my plan at the cabin. I kind-of tried and that is the only reason I am not giving myself an F.


All is not lost. I now know that I can successfully make it through a major holiday with two family meals and not go overboard. I know that I need to work on a couple of things:

1. Exercising EVERYDAY. I have to do this everyday. I will tweet and facebook it when I do. I just figured out how to link my facebook and twitter accounts so please follow along on either.

2. Using my tracker. I have not used my tracker in two weeks. The scale is showing it.

So far I am not really where I wanted to be, but I still have confidence that I can reach my goal by New Year's. I am not glad that I haven't exercised and I do not feel good about the way I've been eating so I will think about that when I need to make a decision to do the "next right thing." Pressing on...

November 24, 2010

Real Thankful

I am so thankful for the past year. It has been full of ups and downs, accomplishments and humbling moments. What I have learned and how I have changed...I will never fully understand how it all happened.

As I sat in a doctor's office last December, having an anxiety attack and believing that I was dying, I remember thinking I need to give thanks right now. I didn't understand why I was compelled to give thanks and to tell the truth I'm not so sure I was 100% sincere in my thanks-giving, but I did try to.

The Bible says to give thanks IN all circumstances, not FOR all circumstances.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

It was out of a lot of pain and darkness that restoration and healing came in my life. I didn't even know it, but THAT is what I was giving thanks for nearly a year ago. I can't explain why bad things happen to good people and I won't try to figure God out, but through it all I've learned this: I can trust my Savior. He is faithful and for that I am really, really thankful.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

November 23, 2010

Starving Self

Day 4: On the shower

Last night I returned home from a trip to New Mexico. It was a unique trip because we left on Friday, arrived at destination on Saturday, and returned home on Sunday and Monday. Without going into the details of the trip, the purpose was to serve others.

I thought it was so fitting that as I was stressing last week about what I would eat on this trip and how I would "make it" that I got this comment on one of my posts:

When I stop thinking about me, me, me and start thinking about the person who is still suffering and what I can do to assist them on their journey, I am doing God's will. And well? That keeps it all in perspective.

This is a perfect example of why your comments of encouragement mean so much to me! God used that little bit of wisdom to help me throughout my whole trip. Every time my thoughts wandered to food I remembered Kate's comment. Thanks, friend.

The anecdote for overeating or an obsession with food (both extreme forms of selfishness) is to think of someone else. There is always someone struggling more than me. There is always someone hungrier than me. There is always someone giving up WAY more than me.

There are so many people in need. They may be in need of friend? The needs are many, but the servants are few. Why is that? God always has our best interests in mind as he guides us and commands us. When He tells us to love others as we love ourselves, I think He knows just how much we will be blessed--always more than the ones we are trying to "help" and always beyond our expectations.

In the spirit of the season, I want to encourage all of us to seek out ways to serve, love and focus on others. This may in the form of volunteering, forgiving, accepting or it may simply be taking enough time away from basting the turkey (or counting your points) to focus on your loved ones who are living, breathing reasons to forget self. "Self" is what got us all into the hefty shape we are in. Most times it takes starving self to feed a soul...I know my self could stand to starve for a while.

Romans 12:9-13 NIV
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Romans 12:9-10 The Message
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Much love,

November 16, 2010

Tomorrow is Another Day

Tomorrow I'll think of some way...after all, tomorrow is another day. -Scarlett O'Hara

In all of my planning and preparation for the season that is upon us, I would be remiss if I did not give adequate consideration to the underdog. This is the seemingly non-threatening element that could easily be my downfall. I can make up strategies to get through a meal or party...and I can come up with cute little acronyms and checklists for special events. But if I don't keep my "tomorrows" in check, I will surely fail.

The "tomorrows" are the days after and before and in between the big events. While the special occasions will be many, the tomorrows will be more and they are HARD too, as I was reminded today. Cravings. Fatigue. Just the normal stuff--but it really got to me. I spent all day battling the chips in the pantry and the rear that wanted to be on the couch. As the day went on and I didn't exactly make the best decisions, it hit me just how much I will need to focus on the day-to-day throughout the holidays.

I will need to make double sure that I am tracking everything I eat, every day. I will need to make triple sure I have a well stocked pantry and fridge at all times. I will most certainly need to make sure I keep me head buried in the best book I ever read for helping me to persevere and succeed. You guessed it--The Holy Bible. This is a plan I know like the back of my hand. I've been doing it for nearly a year! Just gotta keep it up.

I was thinking today about how long I've been at this and even after all this time, the fact that I still have days like today baffles me. It was a BAD day. I can't even remember all the different foods I ate to be able to make a list here. I feel yucky physically, mentally and emotionally right now. I started my day only having a problem in one of those areas--emotionally. Dealing with my emotions in an improper and ineffective way--with mindless eating--only led to more difficulties. Duh! I knew that would happen, but I was on cruise control for binge eating. :(

The good news? As Scarlett so optimistically put it...

Tomorrow is another day! The Lord's mercy is new for us every morning. If I had to pinpoint the one thing that I personally have done differently this time, than all the other times before, it's that I have really learned how to accept the new mercy in the morning. I still need just as much mercy as I ever have. But I have learned, through faith, how to let that mercy pick me up and carry me on along. That's the only way to "not stop" and to "not stop" is the only way to get there.

Lamentations 3:22-24
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion, therefor I will wait for him."

He has been SO faithful to me. Everything I don't deserve, he has lavished upon me in His unmatched grace. As my buddy posted earlier today, "Why me? Why did you bestow Grace upon me? Well...who am I to argue with the one true God? To God be the Glory! It's for you too-ya know!"

Love it.

This is a pic from another day...

November 14, 2010

Meet My Plan, Sara

This is the #2 part of the All In Holiday Challenge--The Plan. I'm calling my plan SARA.


What? So I like acronyms...


  • Specific plan for each event. Blog about each specific event before it happens. Events include but are not limited to: Mission Trip, Thanksgivings A and B, Holiday Cabin Getaway #1, anniversary overnight shopping trip, Cookie Baking Party, family Girl's Christmas Party, Christmas Eves A and B, Christmas Day, Holiday Cabin Getaway #2, and New Year's Eve. I have learned that anything that throws off my "routine" is going to make things hard on me...and it seems that my routine is about to be a non-routine for the next 6 weeks. By having a plan of attack for each out of the ordinary event/meal I am hoping to stop the madness before it ever happens. I want to treat each event as an individual.
  • Pre-Event routine: Eat an apple, drink at least one bottle of water, get gloss on and gum in.
  • Exercise before the event. Exercise EVERY DAY.
  • Carry my verses from previous Bible studies and a small list of motivations for sticking to my goals at all times. In moments of weakness, slip into bathroom and re-focus using said tools.
  • I'm sure I will think of more...

I plan to journal or blog about each event after it occurs. This will help make sure I am staying on track, evaluate which strategies are working and not working, and it will be a great way to acknowledge success and the feeling of success. I will also assess each day by recording food intake, exercise and spiritual activity in my Live It Tracker.

I really want to go to The Dallas Symphony Orchestra during the holidays...maybe for a mid-point reward. I would love to do a girl's weekend to Hot Springs if I reach my ultimate goal on January 1. Honestly, all the reward I am going to need is waking up in 2011 knowing that I did something I have never done before. I will feel great and that is going to be awesome. Can't wait!

I am committed to reaching my goal of weighing less than 172 pounds on January 1, 2010. I am accountable to all who read this blog, my First Place Group, myself and God. There is no reason that upon reliance of HIS strength I can not reach this goal. IN my strength--absolute failure, in His--Victory!

So that's my plan so far. It's a work in progress but I'm just glad I have one. I this point. Anyone else ready to tackle the All In Challenge? Details here...

P.S. Just in case anyone is really obsessive and wondering about my lack of a weekly weigh-in post this week...I have decided to start posting a monthly weigh-in. I will do it on the first Wednesday of every month.

November 11, 2010

All In

Oh. Boy. Who watched The Biggest Loser this week? What a show! Some of those boys need a good whoopin' if you ask me. I know, I know--"Game play... Don't take it personal." Yada, yada, yada. I am not really interested in the game play, except when contestants start throwin'-down. Now that's pretty entertaining.

The reason I really love watching the show is because it motivates me. It gets me FIRED UP. Last night it happened when Bob was talking to Lisa. Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. *sigh* Poor thing. She is really starting to GET ON MY NERVES! Ugh!

If you don't watch, let me explain. Lisa created the most drama this week with her "60/40" principle. Not sure which percentage is which, but part of her wants to be there and part of her doesn't. I have decided she's not the smartest cookie in the package since she continues to say this over and over again to people who are 110% sure they want to be there and could be sent home every week. They are not happy with her, neither am I and neither was Bob.


I like it when Bob gets mad. Except when he starts cussing violently as if his vocabulary only consists of 4 letter words. (My 5 year old likes to watch this show--come ON, man!) After hearing Lisa say that she was "honestly about 60/40" for the umpteenth time, Bob lost it. He said a whole bunch of stuff but the bottom line was brilliant. He told her that if she's only part-way in she just wouldn't make it. He said, "You have to be all in."

I really needed to hear this. I've heard it before but it's a truth easily forgotten. Dedication is a tricky thing. Especially when it seems like there is so much to be dedicated to. But really, we make it more complicated than it has to be. When it comes right down to it, we're either in or were out.

At some point, we all use Lisa's logic. She went on to claim that even though part of her did want to go home, she would still give it all she had. She said she couldn't quit. "It's just not in me," she assured her partner. Hmmm, Lisa. Not sure I buy that, deary...

So I mentioned in my last post that I have been thinking about my course of action for the Holiday feeding frenzy that is about to ensue. While I had been tempted to take a 60/40 approach, I have definitely decided against that now. I will share more details later but I have decided on a basic plan/challenge. Here it is:

"ALL IN" Holiday Challenge

1) Set a clear and realistic, yet challenging goal. I will weigh less on January 1, 2011 than I do today. Can't be something like, "I want to do good." Be specific.

2) Formulate a detailed plan of action. Include strategies and assessment tools. Share plan with someone of accountability or blog it before the first holiday eating experience.

3) Be relentless and 100% committed to reaching the goal. None of this 60/40 crap business! No "Lisa's" allowed. You're either in or you're out.

If you want to take on this challenge, and I hope you do, simply follow steps 1-3 and keep us posted on your progress. Feel free to email me anytime:

Whatever you do, don't go into the holiday season thinking you are just going to "wing it." As I told my First Place group last night, I don't care what your plan is--but you better have one! By golly.

On a slightly different note, this week I have found inspiration in these verses calling me to be "all in" as a follower of Christ.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15, 16

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

I want to be all in, Lord. Help me. Amen.


November 8, 2010

Holiday Game Plan

The holidays are upon us. I knew this was coming. I have been leery of this season finally getting here because I haven't quite decided what my approach to holiday eating is going to be. Let's hash it out...

Part of me says it is a special time of year and I should just throw caution to the wind. Eating right does not have to be my focus and as soon as the New Year arrives I will get back on track. After all, I love food and what better time to enjoy it in all it's fattening glory? (This is the part that I am trying hard to ignore.)

There is this other part of me that says to just treat it as any other normal time in my life and eat the right foods in the right amounts. This is not that big a deal, don't over-dramatize it, etc. (This is the part that I wish was right because this seems like the most normal approach.)

Then there is the part that thinks this is the time to kick it into high gear. Turbo-discipline mode. (This is the part that is screaming the loudest right now.)

I received a helpful email from a good friend of mine the other day. She is really fit and eats a very healthful, balanced diet. I don't think she has ever had a weight "problem," but she definitely works hard to maintain the shape she is in. This is what her email said:

...I just want to say that you can totally make your way through the holidays without any serious disaster and if you want to know what I do I will tell you…

Somehow…I just go in the zone. I know I am going to be overwhelmed with all kinds of amazing foods and choices at a ridiculously abnormal speed and pace. Everywhere I go there will be something. You just can’t go there--it will not feel good and when you get done giving in there will be another temptation!

As for the actual holiday meals I pick my favorites and focus on them. For me it is mashed potatoes with butter, bread with butter and turkey. I don’t care about gravy or many of the other things. I would rather have more potatoes. And I pick a green vegetable too. If there is one without all kinds of soup etc mixed in. If not, just a little bit.

I am so happy after all of that and the reward is I didn’t gain weight after the entire festival was over.

Does that help???

YES! It does help me, amazing friend who will remain anonymous!

She is so right about the crazy amount of temptations at a ridiculous pace. And when she said "You can't go there" I'm pretty sure she didn't mean "don't attend" but rather "Girl--Don't GO there!" Not even once--don't go there. Giving in to just one temptation is like letting your guard down...and we all know what happens when you let your guard down--Hips! Big booties! Chins and more chins!

And then I love how she approaches the big meal. Just because there may be 50 casseroles and desserts to choose from, doesn't mean we have to eat it all. Focus on your absolute favorite things and try to have something that is good for you. Simplicity. The payoff--feeling good in your own skin when you wake up in 2011.


Going into "The ZONE" for the holidays...I really like this concept. I am still letting all my "parts" get their opinions out in the open, but I think I know what my strategy is going to be. I will finalize my decision in the next couple of days.

Anyone interested in an "In the ZONE" pact for the holidays???

November 4, 2010

Weigh In: Maintenance

172.5--Hey, I'll take it! I should not have gotten away with the very bad behavior that I exhibited over the past weekend. We went on a little getaway during which I abandoned everything that I have come to believe in, health-wise. I spent three days eating the worst crap imaginable, did no exercise and topped it off with the creme de la creme of my kids Halloween candy, aka: chocolate or "the good stuff."

When I returned from the weekend of chili, chips, burgers, dips, more chips, brownies, gravy, and many, many more chips, I knew it would not be pretty on the scale. Nevertheless, I did the Monday morning "step of shame." I was shocked to see a 177.5. That is 5 whole pounds in 5 days!

The punishment did not stop there. I have been SICK as a dog ever since we got back. Headaches, nausea, fatigue. I have not eaten like that, for that many days in a row, in nearly a year. So you can imagine the shock to my digestive system. Not fun. At all. :( The crazy thing is, this is how I used to eat all the time. My poor body! I can't believe what I put it through on a daily basis!

But I am glad this happened. It was a mini-scale example of what could happen if I let myself get out of control throughout the holiday season. The bottom line--IT'S. NOT. WORTH. IT. Period. The food is not worth it. It's just food, someone reminded me recently. For all the grief the abuse of food can and will cause, it's simply not worth it.

This was my fastest screw-up recovery to date. Immediately on Monday I got back on track eating-wise. Tuesday I got back on track with exercise and by today I weighed 172.5 again. The same as I did one week ago. Of course ideally I would not have screw-ups but while I'm still having them, as in: while I'm still human, my goal is to continue to improve on the speed of my recoveries.

This 2-day bounce back was quite a feat for me. It is so exciting to see the changes not only in my physical appearance but in how my mind works differently now and how my emotions take a back seat to reality. These are the changes that are going to matter most in the long run.

Speaking of long run...I have a marathon relay coming up in one month. I have to be able to run 5 MILES! 3 is the most I've done at one time. Yikes!

October 27, 2010

Weigh In: 2 lb. Loss

172.5 lbs. Me and Norma, my workout buddy. Everybody needs a Norma :)

It feels so good to have the scale moving again!

For those who may be new to this blog, it has been a while since I have had steady losses. Like 6 months!!! In May I reached the 50 lb. lost mark. I was averaging about 7 lbs. a month leading up to that milestone. Since then I have only lost 7 pounds! (Which averages about 1 pound per month.) However--the over all average is about 4 pounds per month which equals to about 1 pound per week. That is super and right on target.

It is so hard to look at the big picture when we are in the middle of a really difficult time or if we are not getting the immediate gratification that our human nature desires. But looking at the big picture is mandatory! Although I whined and had a few melt-downs, I knew that if I kept moving in the right direction, it was inevitable that I would make progress...and I was right!

There did come a point where I realized I needed to change it up a bit, in addition to keeping steady on my course. That is when I evaluated what I had been doing, asked for help, figured out a plan and then executed it. For me that was adding 20 minutes of a different type of exercise daily (The Shred) and eating 100-200 calories less per day.

Pic on left is before starting The Shred, pic on right is 7 workouts later.

If you are losing heart and thinking this is not worth it--STOP! It is worth it and you can do it. Stay the course! Reevaluate if needed, but stay the course. The best advice I can give is to let go of the idea that there is a finish line. There is no finish line for healthy living. You just keeping living this way, everyday, for the rest of your life. The results will come.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23.

October 25, 2010

Alive at 30

When I was little, I remember thinking that I would surely not live past the age of 30. I know that is weird. I was. I am. Weird, that is. But I really thought that something horrible would happen to me and that I would never make it into adulthood. I lived in fear all the time.

Switching gears for a minute...

Housekeeping has never been my strong suit and I will blame that fact on many of the same traits that contributed to my former obesity--perfectionism, anxiety, laziness. And then there's the pure hatred for cleaning in general. But the Lord has been working on me.

This morning as I was doing a seemingly menial task--putting clothes in the washer--I had an "aha" moment. I had already made a bed, washed a toilet and sink, loaded a dishwasher, done my Bible Study and dressed down to the shoes (Thank you, Fly Lady!)

Standing in front of my washer, I began to sort through dirty and torn little-boy clothes, pink and ruffled little-girl clothes, the work gear of my firefighter husband and my stinky workout clothes. I realized that each of these things represented something huge that was a direct result of God's mighty hand of protection and provision in my life.

With tears streaming down my face, I tossed clothes in the wash and found myself perfectly happy and content to be doing what I was doing. I felt like I was engaged in the most important task in the world simply because it is what I know I am purposed to do. I felt more alive than ever in my tiny, cramped utility room that used to be too small for me to even fit inside (No, really!)

I stood there and thought... Now THIS! This is living.

How interesting that I spent my first 30 years believing that life was about to end. When God knew all along that my life was really just about to begin! Leave it to the witty and eloquent Author of Life to write me a story like this. The attention to detail is impeccable.

He truly does give us the desires of our heart, if we are willing to first lay them at His feet.

Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4,5

Feeling mighty blessed today! My cup runneth over...

October 23, 2010

The Great Escape

Before I began to learn about health I had no idea how scary obesity really is. It causes all of the major diseases that have the potential to kill people. Once I became aware of that, I felt a very strong sense of urgency. I felt like I needed to escape.

Me, last year. This is what obesity looks like. Scary.

Drum roll please......................................................

As of today, I can officially say that I have made the great escape from obesity!

What an emotional milestone this is! Up to this point I have been able to see and feel the changes but this seems so monumental. I am relieved, I am proud, and I am humble all at the same time...if that is possible. My BMI is now below 30 which moves me into the overweight bracket and out of the obese bracket. I know I still have a ways to go. I mean, I'm not going to stay overweight forever, but today, being "overweight" seems pretty okay to me.

A while back, a reader asked if I had ever thought about the question Where Would I Be? As in, where would I be right now if I had not made all of these positive changes in my life. I mentioned that I hadn't given the question much thought, and yet it as I began writing about it I realized that the question actually seemed very familiar to me.

The reason is because I actually have thought about that question a lot in my life. Where would I be? Only when I was thinking about it, I was OBESE and being held captive by my previous failures and defeat. Wallowing in the aftermath of diet after diet, I was always left asking myself...

Where would I be if I had just kept going?

Where would I be if I hadn't let the scale get me down?

Where would I be if I had relied on God more and myself less?

Where would I be if I had chosen to do what seemed impossible?

Where would I be if I hadn't given up?"

Where would I be?

This is it, BABY! I'm here.