January 31, 2011

Two Pertinent P's

Planning and Prioritizing

I don't know how many times I have fallen victim to my own lack of planning. Not to mention the horrific repercussions of out-of-whack priorities. And I'm not just talking about the world of weight loss! These two P's can make or break you.

Here are some things that I can (and should) always do to plan and prepare for success:

1. Plan an entire week's worth of meals before that week begins.

2. Make a grocery list from those menus and stock the house with healthy foods for the week.

3. Consider upcoming restaurant visits, parties, etc. and write down what I plan to eat. (visit restaurant websites for menus/nutritional info. if applicable)

4. Line up childcare ahead of time when needed for exercise.

5. Wash, chop, divide all produce, etc. immediately when I get home for store.

6. Prepare several meals at once and freeze or refrigerate for later in week.

7. Keep healthy snacks in purse & always in the pantry, "just in case.
8. Make sure all "danger foods are locked up, out of sight, or gone from the house and workplace.

9. Set goals and lists steps to take toward reaching those goals.

10. PRAY!

Salad is my go-to meal for busy afternoon lunches or low-key dinners. Having all the components chopped and ready to go is so helpful! I make little bags of turkey, cheese, black beans, tomatoes, etc. and keep them all together in the fridge. When it's salad time all I have to do is fix my plate! If you have access to a fridge at work this would be a great way to do lunch everyday! No lunch-packing!

Always wash and portion out fruits and veggies before putting away in the fridge.

This week I made some homemade HV Ranch dressing with olive oil mayo and skim milk. It was great and it was nice to have on hand if I didn't have time to make a vinaigrette (which is healthier).

In addition, setting new priorities is important. I say "new " priorities because in order to change an old lifestyle, the priorities of your "old" lifestyle are most likely going to need to change, drastically. You know--"If you always do what you've always done you'll always get what you've always got!" kind of thing...

For example, one of the most important parts of my day has become my morning quiet time. It is a time for me to get focused on my priorities (what i need to accomplish) for that day, study God's Word, pray and just get mentally prepared for the challenges that are ahead. I play relaxing music, sip my coffee and find my happy place ;) I have gotten to the point that if I miss it in the morning, something just feels off and usually my day is not that great. It is a relatively new PRIORITY in my life. I have to take steps to make sure it happens every single day.

Making this a #1 priority has had an impact on other parts of my life (and even members of my family) in a great way. In order to have this time, I have to wake up at least an hour before anyone else in the house. In order for this to happen, I have to get to sleep at a decent hour. In order for this to happen I have to get the kids' in bed at an even MORE decent hour. I have to have my little quiet time area (in the bathroom, ha!) ready the night before. I find that coffee makes this time even more *special* so I try to have the coffee pot all ready to go the night before also. You can see the domino effect a shift in priorites can have. This is a good thing.

When I began to purposely prepare for this time, it became so much easier. Now it's a very doable way to make my day go smoothly. I just use this as an example to encourage you to take whatever steps are necessary to do the things that help you avoid temptations and keep you going in the right direction all day. I encourage you to think of what your priorities are and how they may need to change. Even though it may not seem natural, try to honor what you realize needs to change.

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

I love this verse! God is so very faithful to provide a way out when we are faced with temptation. He has helped me out of sticky situations more times than I can count. However, I think it's important for us to remember that sometimes the "way out" is using the tools of planning and prioritizing to avoid temptation all together. We shouldn't always find ourselves knocking on temptation's door just because we think God will answer.

All the planning and prioritizing in the world won't amount to a hill of beans unless we follow-through. What are you doing to help set yourself up for success? Have your priorities changed? Do they need to?

January 29, 2011

Fashion Photos, Size 10!

Before I unload the fashion frenzy on ya'll, I feel like I should make a small disclaimer. I'm afraid someone might just be stopping by for the first time and not know what my weight loss journey has been all about. So hear this:

If you try to lose weight only to fit into smaller clothes, you will not be successful. At least not in the long run. That is not a big enough reason to sustain weight loss. There is MUCH more to it. I know some people may not agree with me or maybe you just haven't thought about it yet. All I know is that I tried to lose weight for about 20 years with a smaller size being my sole motivation. It never worked. Ever.

BUT! (I'm not a totally Debbie-Downer)

When you do figure out the key to losing weight and keeping it off you will most likely start losing weight. And keeping it off. Rewards are a great thing at this point. For me: rewards = shopping.

So, on Wednesday I landed myself into the 160s. REWARD BABY! It has been a long time coming! It just so happened to be my birthday on Wednesday, as well. So on Thursday I went shopping...boutiquing, actually! In celebration of my life, and specifically life more abundantly. (John 10:10)

It was a big deal because we went to one of those little shops where they have so many unique pieces but usually don't have a size bigger that Large and even the "Large" is more like a "Medium". I have NEVER purchased clothing from a place like this. But way down deep, these are the kind of clothes I have always dreamed of wearing.

I shopped. And I shopped. And I shopped! It was fun...because stuff fit me. Definitely one of my favorite "Things I Can Do Now" experiences to date.

So here's my loot:

Turquoise, ruffled-sleeve cardigan (TJ Maxx)

Cute Blouse (Sunny Paige),
"Jeggings" (TJ Maxx, $16.99)

Jacket (Sunny Paige)

My Valentine's Day scarf ♥ (Sunny Paige)

Whoa! Mamma! Bustier (Sunny Paige)
I will probably never wear this by itself, BTW. Just for you;)

SIZE 10 DKNY Jeans (TJ Maxx, $29.00)

I remember going shopping last February when I was just beginning to drop sizes. ((SEE PICS!)) It was SO much fun. I came home and took pictures of everything. The outfit below was my favorite.


One year later--many things have changed--but my love for shopping remains!

January 28, 2011

Voices in My Head

It's currently 11:01 pm. I should be sleeping. But I'm not. I'm having an all too common inner-argument. Have a listen...

Fat Me: You should have a snack right now. Everyone's asleep. It's okay.

[Not Fat] Me: Don't listen to that jerk.

Fat Me: No, I mean--seriously. You have done really well today. A spoonful of peanut butter will be fine. Or two, even.

[Not Fat] Me: Do NOT listen to that voice! You know it lies.

Fat Me: Maybe I do sometimes, but hey--what about the scale? You weighed just a minute ago and it wasn't very good. About the same as yesterday. I think you should eat something. It's not like you lost any weight today!

[Not Fat] Me: That is the most irrational hog -wash I have ever heard. Shut up, fatty!

Fat Me: Do NOT call me fatty. That is rude. I am just trying to be helpful and justify your desire for a snack.

[Not Fat] Me: Oh well, excuse me. Please be quiet you IDIOT.

Fat Me: Anywaaaaaays... As I was saying... Just go ahead and have something. Remember when we used to lay in bed and eat crap? Yeah, man. Those were the days. It will be so relaxing. You can watch *ah-hem* The Biggest Loser...while you enjoy some of those Wheat Thins that were brought into the house today. Oooooh, oooh! Noooooo! I know--eat the Funyuns. Yeah. You haven't had any of those in a while.

[Not Fat] Me: Hey! Remember when we used to weigh 230 pounds and couldn't even sleep on our side because the fat around our neck and chest would suffocate us?! Yeah--those were the days. Not.

Fat Me: Wow. Someone is being dramatic. Geeez.

[Not Fat] Me: Nope. No drama here. That was reality. Out of breath tying shoes, knees hurting for no reason, clothes looking bad on us, our true smile buried under layers of fat and despair. NO drama. Just the bitter truth.

Fat me: Well, that was 60 pounds ago. You can mess up every now and then. This is a marathon, not a sprint. You can take your time losing the weight. Right? That's what you always say. A few chips won't matter in the long run.

[Not Fat] Me: Stop. Be aware of what is happening right now. You are this close to being decieved by yourself. Remember how you feel in the morning after you do this? Remember how mad you are right after you finish the snack? It's not worth it. Are you really hungry? Have a glass of---

Fat Me (sticking fingers in ears): Lalalalalalalalala. I CAN'T HEAR YOU! Lalalalalalalala.......

[Not Fat]: Oh , good lord.

Fat Me: Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala.......

[Not Fat] Me: Turn on your rain noise maker and GO TO SLEEP, you fool.


The battle rages on...But the victory is WON.


January 26, 2011

Huge Weigh In & Weigh-In Extremists

So I only lost .4 lbs this week but that fraction of a pound took me into a NEW DECADE! I've been in the 170s since May ya'll! Do you understand what this means!? This means it has taken me about 9 months to lose 10 pounds! And I'm still doing this! Whoohooo!

I am SO glad that I have never let the stupid scale discourage me to the point of quitting. Yes, of course there have been instances where a weigh-in has influenced my emotions and mental state more than it should have. But somehow, I'm still here. And I'm about 10 pounds lighter than I was in May. Things could be a lot worse.

Tonight I was thinking of all the crazy power we let the scale have over us. I decided that some of us could possibly even be Weigh-In Extremists. What do you think?

You might be a Weigh-In extremist if...

1. You almost passed out during your meeting one time because you didn't eat anything all day in an attempt to lose one tenth of a pound. But you drove through McDonald's on your way home from the meeting.

2. You spend 30 minutes in the bathroom before weigh-in trying to get "everything" out that you can. Who knows how much that stuff weighs!

3. You have ever asked your leader if you can take the scale into the bathroom so you can weigh completely in the nude. You know--to get your "true" weight.

4. You need a special container like they have at airport security for all the stuff you have to take off before you weigh-in: earrings, glasses, shoes, belts, rubber bands, contacts...

5. You have ever dug nasty, dirty, stained clothes out of the hamper and put them on because that is your "weigh-in outfit."

6. You have ever brought a doctor's note to your meeting with the weight that you weighed at the Dr. office earlier in the week.

7. Before you step on the scale, you spend 15 or more minutes explaining to the person who weighs you in why you probably gained weight that week. You apologize to that person.

8.You have ever made counterfeit copies of the one "skip a weigh-in" card that comes in your new members' kit.

9. You have ever actually tried to converse with a scale, especially in a negative manner.

10. You have "put your scale away" because it is tripping you up, but you continue to climb up in a chair to get it down from the tip top of your closet 2-3 times a day. You fall, nearly break your back and think about suing the scale manufacturer.

I've never done any of those. If you have, seek help immediately.

January 24, 2011

I Could Tell Him "Yes!"

I received an email this afternoon from a member of my First Place 4 Health group regarding her 5K training progress. It literally made me cry, clap and yell all at the same time. She gave me permission to share, so here is the email:

Yesterday I did my first 20 minute jog and to tell you the truth I didn’t feel my body was ready for it. I thought the lady on my MP3 player was asking a lot of me to jump from 5 to 8 and then to 20 minutes all in one week.

I shared my feeling this with my son as I took him to baseball practice and told him I was thinking about just doing the two 8 minutes runs again. I also shared with him that scripture say’s “in our weakness he is made strong” and “that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. I dropped him off at practice and pondered what I would do all the way home.

I am so glad I chose to trust God. I went for my run and I felt so good afterwards. I really felt a sense of accomplishment and when my son asked me if I ran for 20 minutes I was so glad I could tell him YES!

I absolutely love it. Where is her focus? On Jesus. Everything else just falls into place. And that part where she could "tell him YES!"??? *Sigh* Bliss.


January 22, 2011

Stuff Fat People Like

Eating Alone

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall, did it really fall?

If something happens and you don't read about it on Facebook, did it really happen? (LOL)

If you eat food but no one sees you eat it, did you really eat it?

When I was a little kid we would eat at a restaurant called Grandy's. I still see these around from time to time. They used to be really good. The main fare, fried chicken, was always a treat.There was an older grandma-type lady (Grandy was her name) who would walk around passing out hot rolls. The brioche-esque rolls were amazing. They were served with plenty of little Country Crock butter cups and special Grandy's honey packets. In a word: awesome.

Every time I went to Grandy's I would order the nuggets, fried okra and baked beans. Of course I would have a few rolls and sweet tea. Then for dessert I would have bathroom honey. "Bathroom honey?" you ask. Yes. That's right. Bathroom honey. After the meal I would discreetly excuse myself to the restroom. On my way, I would make a detour past the honey table. As soon as a got into the bathroom stall the honey began to flow. I opened packet after packet of that golden honey and sucked it right down, in the privacy of my own gritty, if slightly smelly, retreat.


I have always liked to eat alone. Because I guess, just like when I was 7 and in the Grandy's bathroom getting high on honey, I feel like if no ones sees me then it really doesn't count. That's not rational, I know. But what part of being fat is rational?

Have you ever eaten in public at something like a buffet and as you were fixing your plate you became so self conscious that you went entirely out of your way to put a ridiculously small portion of everything on your plate? I have. Why? What is the point of this? Do we really believe that people A) are paying that much attention to what we are eating and B) really buy the fact that this is the typical way we eat when we are 50...100...200 pounds overweight? I think this a behavioral red flag. Anywhere that we are bending the truth should be a red flag.

The red flag in this case signals that if we are eating like that in public then we must be eating a dramatically different way in private. But do we allow ourselves to believe that the plate we fixed in public is a true reflection of our relationship with food? Because it's not. The true reflection of our relationship with food is the plate we fix in private. It's the one that happens at 1 o'clock in the morning or the one that happens when the kids go down for a nap. It's the one that happens as we are cleaning off the dinner table or the one that happens when we are on our way home from work.


Yesterday I just "happened" upon an interesting blog post from Her.meneutics, Christianity Today's blog for women. The article, Anorexia and the Body of Christ, by Rachel Stone, sheds light on a lesser-known family based treatment for eating disorders. While anorexia, the deadliest of all psychological disorders, is the illness highlighted in the account of a young girl in the article, I think there is something all-inclusive about Stone's insight. Read this excerpt from the post:
Maybe we all need to eat together more. Brown mentions that, pre-illness, Kitty spent three hours each evening at gymnastics practice, eating alone most nights. Somehow I wasn’t surprised, having recently read data indicating that children from families eating together have a lower incidence of eating disorders than children from families who don’t. If anorexics’ best hope is having a loved one eat with them, might eating together in general have more curative and preventative powers than we currently understand? Brown doesn’t go there, but I receive her family's story as an invitation to consider more seriously the value of eating communally.

What if eating were less about our relationship with food and more about our relationships with people? What if it was about serving and listening and being more aware? What if we made it a priority to sit down daily as a family or daily with co-workers to break bread and engage in the lives of those around us?

I encourage you to really think about this. How much time do you spend eating alone? Do you think this plays into the fact that you are overweight or obese? What are some ways that families and single people alike can engage in communal eating more often? I feel like this is a big deal. What do you think?


January 21, 2011

I'm a Mess; I Confess

The past few weeks have been what I'll call "ideal zone" in the realm of my healthy living adventure. You know what I'm talking about. I've had an unusually strong drive to exercise. Making healthy food choices has been relatively easy. Everything is just flowing.

But today. ((shakes head))

Well, today we left the ideal zone. Do you know what I wanted?

I wanted this:

Which I would have enjoyed making just as much as I would have enjoyed consuming. But I was a lazy bum. So I got out a mug and made one of my notorious chocolate microwave concoctions instead.

It had all the main players: sugar, flour, egg, butter, vanilla, cocoa...just on a smaller level. I took the thing to bed and ate it while I laid there. In the middle of the day. I laid there in the same thing I slept in (sorry flylady) and ate probably 500 calories that have absolutely no where to lay their sticky little heads on my LiveIt tracker. It didn't even taste very good. But I ate it. Every single bit of it. Am I sick or what!? Yes, I am sick. That is exactly what I am. (For the record--I've never contested that fact.)

So as I sat here today, feeling sick and bloated from all the sugar and lack of movement, I decided to do [what I think] I do best. I analyzed the situation. I asked the questions: Why am I doing this? (Specifically: laying around and eating crap.) What has changed that has moved me from the "ideal zone" into the "danger zone."

1. I have been gone from home for a couple of days and the house is out of control. It is not to the point of no return (when this happens it is not a pretty thing).

2. It is very cold outside and not conducive to my favorite way to exercise: outdoor running.

3. We were (until about 2 hours ago) completely out of quality groceries.

4. Two nights ago I stayed up until 2 in the morning and made up for it my sleeping through my quiet time this morning.

That's pretty much all I could come up with, but this is very useful information to bring to light. 3 out of the 4 insights I have control over and even the one I don't have complete control over is not a deal breaker:

1. I can spend about 15-20 (2 hours) minutes in each room of the house tonight instead of watching the movie I had planned. I will have a controlled household by morning.

2. I can not run outside but I can do a 20 minute workout right after I clean and right before I reward myself with a hot bath an book.

3. Thankfully we planned out our dinner meals for the rest of the week and hubby went to the store for me today (while I napped and read...like I said, lazy day). No more excuses!

4. If I start cleaning at 6 o'clock I should be able to do finish that, my workout, my bath and do a little more reading before a lovely lights out at 9:30 pm.

There. Nothing blocking my path back to the ideal zone.

This I know is true --I am going to continue to make mistakes for the rest of my life. In the past, a day like I have had today a might have set me back a few weeks or even months. That is not reasonable. That is not logical in any way, shape or form.

Here's a little secret for those who give "falling off the wagon" way too much power: You can have a bad day and still have a good week! I've done it before! Don't think that all is lost if you lose it for a minute and make yourself a 5-serving bowl of chocolate cake for lunch in bed. Just snap out of it as quickly as possible and do what you have to do to recover. It's pretty simple.

Sheesh. Glad that is over. I hate these confessional posts! For a second I feel like a hypocrite with no credibility. But then I realize that these posts are precisely what keep me from being a hypocrite with no credibility. (I am a hypocrite, we all are on some level, but you know what I mean).

Okay--gotta clean. Let me know what you are doing to make your immediate environment an "ideal zone" for wellness.

January 19, 2011

Weigh In: 1 lb. Loss

170 lbs.

To understand this week's NSV (non-scale victory) of mine, you must first read this post from February of last year:

My Little Black Dress

The closet is a very personal place. Some like to keep it cleaned out while others choose to save a few pieces from every size they have ever been or hope to be.

Mine is of the "keep it clean" variety. Seeing sizes that do not fit only serve as a bitter reminder of what I am not. I get rid of them. Needless to say, the face of my closet has changed quite a bit over the years--an eerie reflection of the body whose clothes it contains.

However, through all the times I have pulled, donated and trashed, one article has remained. My little black dress. I have not worn my little black dress in 10 years, but I can never bear to part with it. It hangs quietly and humbly in the very back of my closet. It has never mocked me in the way the other garments did.

You see, the little black dress represents a hope. A small but promising hope that resides deep within my heart of hearts. A hope that has never given up on ME.

The little black dress is waiting on me, cheering me on--it always has been. Today it has moved from the deep, dark recesses of my closet and mind to the very front and center of the same. I will wear this old and faithful friend again--soon. And when I do, I may never take it off.

I hope that you have a little black dress. They say everyone should.


So. You probably know where this is going...

My little black dress then:

My little black dress (size 10) today:
I told you--NSVs are a BIG deal :)

January 18, 2011

How to Stay Motivated

I know that many people are just beginning what could possibly the adventure of a lifetime--the quest for a new and healthy lifestyle. Yay, you! Over the past year, and only by the grace of God, I've been motivated to continue on a relentless path to wellness. If that is what you desire to do, I have compiled some suggestions. I have also included links to some of my earlier, relevant (and favorite*) posts to give you an idea of where I started. Here we go...

Identify the TRUTH- First and foremost--examine your heart and try to identify every single lie that you allow yourself to believe. Write them down. Then out beside those lies, write the truth. Then forget the lies and focus only on the truth. (Huge breakthrough post for me.)

Establish Accountability- Letting someone else hold you accountable for the goals you have set to tackle the problem(s). I find this type of accountability on several levels. Through my First Place group, through my blog and I find it in key individuals who I have sought out or God has placed in my life to "ask the tough questions." Being honest with myself and others is important. Draw on others experience and knowledge. Learn from their mistakes too. ;) (Friends help get you out of funks.)

Journal--I do this mainly on my blog. Sometimes I will get to typing and by the time I am done I have learned something about myself or weight loss that I had no idea I even knew. This does not have to be a blog. It can be a spiral notebook or the notepad on your phone. Keep a record of feelings and emotions. Being able to go back and read how it felt to mess up really bad or how good it felt to reach a milestone is so important. (See: entire blog)

Take Photos
--believe it or not photos have probably been the biggest motivator of all for me. It was hard to take them in the beginning because I didn't want to face the way I looked, but seeing what a huge difference even small losses make in how I look is such a motivator.I share most of my pics but you wouldn't have to. Even if the photos are for your eyes only that could still help you. The camera never lies. Another thing to keep in mind--whatever you look like in the picture is what you look like in real life.If you are overweight, it is no secret. (One of my favorite photo posts--early on! LOL!)
and another favorite: (Photos Never Lie)

Do the Impossible--Do that which you think you can NOT. In the beginning this was usually with exercise for me. I would push myself to do things: run a mile... Eventually run a 5K..now training for a 10K, possibly a Half Marathon. You have to do things drastically different than you ever have before if you expect to see drastic changes. (Losing more than 20 pounds is drastic in my book.) After you have done the thing you didn't think you could do then you know that you CAN do something you never thought possible. This breeds more of doing those types of things which means more change. (An early post about this : The one where I ran a whole mile!)

Press on-- This may sound silly since the whole purpose of this post is essentially to answer the question "How do I press on?" but its key. You just can't let anything scale-related or guilt get you down. If you mess up, literally forget about it and move on. Each time it gets easier and easier. Forget what is behind and press on to the goal. You have to believe that you can reach the goal. You can. If you just don't quit, you will succeed. It's a guarantee. (Read this if you are a QUITTER like me.) and (read this if you struggle with temptation. Okay, everyone on three--1..2..3..CLICK HERE!!!)

Prepare Yourself for "The Crossroads"-- Eventually you will have to make a decision. A big one. In the beginning, the pounds come off quickly. Inevitably, there will come a time in your journey that the scale will not provide the incentive it once did to keep you going. Eventually you will need to find the "something" that will be your main reason for doing this that has nothing to do with the scale. Indeed, if you do this long enough--and always remember, this is the goal: the scale will quit moving.

Will you?

January 17, 2011

Do Me a Favor!

Wow--two posts in one day! Can you tell I have a computer that works again along with wireless Internet access? Yes, that is correct. I have been blogging from a remote location for several months now. I have had limited amounts of time to get there, whip out a post and that's about it. That is the reason I haven't been the greatest at replying to your comments/questions. It is also the reason I have not really been able to read and comment as I like to on all of your blogs.

Well, that is about to change and this is where the favor comes in. If you have a blog focused on weight loss/healthy living and would like me to include your link on my sidebar, please leave me a comment stating why I should want you there (just for fun!) and the URL of your blog--if the title is clean. I don't really want cuss words on my blog. No offense, it's just how I roll.

Please check the sidebar as I may already have you on there. If I began following you after say, March, then you are probably not on there because I haven't updated my blog roll since then. Also, I just did some blog cleaning and erased any blogs that haven't posted in the last month. Sorry if that was you! I can add you again if you haven't quit and are about to start back in full force. Just let me know:)

Oh, one more thing! Please consider checking your blogger profile and making sure that your email address is visible to those who view your profile. Of course if you don't want others to know that, then don't. I understand that some may deliberately choose not to show the email. But if you are unaware that this is an option, you are now aware. And the benefit of doing this is that when you leave me a comment I can click on your name and reply directly back to you in email form. I LOVE doing that. I am always afraid I will answer a comment in the comment section and the person will never come back to read it. I know, who cares, right? But anyway...just please consider checking it out, would ya?

This blog has been such a huge factor in my weight loss. The support I receive on a daily basis is invaluable to me. I can not stress that enough. I am thrilled to be able to "pay it forward" (any Biggest Loser fans in the house?!) once again. Yay for blogging in the comfort of my own home!

Thanks for your help.

Motivational Speaker

A motivational speaker? Never has that been on the short list of things I hope to be/do in life. In fact, I have always hated speaking in front of groups of people. So it came as quite a shock to me when I recently accepted an invitation to share my spiritual testimony/weight loss journey with a group of women I do not know.

I think those people who know me well were a little shocked also. When I told my BFF, she replied in a text: OMG! You are totally a motivational speaker! I remember when you didn't want to make calls in college because you didn't know what to say."

She is so right! I have always been terrified to make calls or go to meet new people in person, etc., much less be able to speak to a group of people about private, personal stuff. I kind of chuckled at that, but when she used the term "motivational speaker" I cringed. The only thing I could think of was this:

* This is an SNL clip that references drug use so if you are afraid it might be offensive to you, don't click.

Oh my goodness. I don't really care for Saturday Night Live, but I saw this one when I was in high school, I think, and it really stuck with me. I kept thinking all week leading up to the event Am I a motivational speaker? Will I be crazy like Matt Foley? Will I fall and break something? What is happening here? What is God THINKING? The strange thing (to me) is that in all of my thinking, and you have probably realized by now that I do a lot of that, I never once thought about not doing it.

My husband had given me the day before to spend on my own to prepare for my First Place meeting and this speaking thing. Of course, I went to the motherland: Starbucks. I spent 5 hours there listening to Pandora Shane and Shane radio, typing, praying, and reading. It was a magnificent day. (I plan on doing it WAY more often.) What I realized by the end of that day of outlining what I wanted and needed to say to the group was quite the opposite of what I was expecting. There was not a problem coming up with the words--I have SO much to say about what God has done in my life!

I was never really scared or nervous until maybe the 5 minutes right before I was introduced. The actual speaking went much better than I expected. (Do we see a pattern here?) When I am typing up a blog post, I am actually saying the stuff in my head. So when I say something louder in my head or pause or whatever, I try to make that show up on the page. In writing terms, I believe that is called "voice." Well, it turns out that my voice on paper translates to my voice in real life. Who knew?

I had a blast with those moms. They are such a neat group of ladies. It just seemed like we were all sitting around relating to one another and having a big time, at least I was! It was my hope and earnest prayer to be an encouragement and a motivator to them but in the end I was the one who received encouragement. It was truly an amazing night and as I told my host for the day, Gina, it was a defining moment in my life. As I finished up what I had to say to the women it hit me, in a rather emotional way, that something I have always seen as possibly the greatest weakness in my life God has allowed me to face and to conquer. And it has nothing to do with my weight.

Someone shared this with me recently:

"The greatest freedom is found in being so changed by God's Spirit that you can do what you love to do and know that it conforms to the design of God and leads to life and glory." -John Piper

As I was driving home from my speaking engagement, this quote came to my mind and for the first time I really understood what it meant. The funny thing about it is that until we are changed, we may never know what it is that we truly love to do. Our own fears, the lies we tell ourselves...those are the things that keep us from being who God has planned for us to be all along.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Thank you, Jesus.

January 13, 2011

Weigh In: 1.5 lb. Loss

171 lbs.

The ball is rolling. I might be wrong but I think this is the lowest weight I have been since the beginning. I am thrilled but I'm just keeping everything in perspective. Weight going down is good, but making the right choices is even better.

NSV (Non-Scale Victories) for the week:
  • Finally fit into the lowest size of Lane Bryant "right fit" jeans. When these don't fit I will officially NOT be able to shop at the big girl stores.
  • Shared spiritual testimony with my church body and did not pass out or even shake. Glory to God!
  • Began my 4th Bible Study through First Place 4 Health: Walking in Grace. It is awesome!
  • Recently ran 5 continuous miles--furthest distance to date.

I just read this quote that @ScottyWardSmith posted on twitter:

"Repentance, not insight, is the dynamic in all real change." Dan Allender

It's so true. You can attain all the knowledge in the world but if you aren't willing to move away from that which enslaves you, change can not happen. Just do the next "right" thing. You can--His grace is enough!


January 10, 2011

Stuff Fat People Like

Acting as if every meal will be your last.

It's T-7 days till you begin your diet. Now is the time to eat anything and everything you want since you are about to give it all up until you get skinny. In this week you will gain about 7 pounds which will be the same 7 pounds you lose in the first week of your diet, thus setting you up for major disappointment the second or third week when you only lose 1 pound. (Which is a normal and respectable amount to lose in one week). But the good thing is you ate all that food because you certainly can't have it now!

You are at a top notch restaurant on vacation or for a special occasion. The outrageous portion of amazingly prepared food is served and you immediately rationalize that you will need to eat everything on your plate (and possibly your kids' and/or spouse's plate) because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You will order your own dessert and sample some from the rest of the table also. After all, you will never be able to eat this food again. By the end of the meal you need to be rolled out of the restaurant, fed Rolaids, have your pants unbuttoned and the car seat reclined so you can breathe. But it's a good thing you ate all that, because you will never have an opportunity like that again!

At your work there is a cafeteria. You loathe cafeteria food but every once in a while they offer a taco salad that is out of this world. Even though you know the meat is really not meat and the nacho cheese sauce is really not cheese, it just tastes so good. It only costs $2.00 so you can purchase two salads and enjoy eating them both because after all, this doesn't come up on the menu very often. In fact, you have heard that they might remove it from the menu all together. Better eat up while you can.

Your Grammy makes the WORLD'S best chocolate pie. Everyone knows it. The thing is, Grammy is getting on up in years and you just don't know how long she will be around. You know that one day, Grammy's chocolate pie will be a thing of the past so while she's still here and that heavenly pie is still being cranked out, you really need to keep eating it....

Does food really have this much power over us? Do we really take on the mentality of a hoarder as we sit down to eat what was never meant for anything other than fuel and nourishment? When any food becomes something that we are so emotionally connected to that we begin to fear life without it--well that's just silly. And dangerous. It has a name: Idolatry.

Here are some truths that we need to begin telling ourselves:

  • There will be another opportunity to eat
  • More food does NOT = More satisfaction
  • Misery due to overeating often ruins the enjoyment of a meal
  • Food is not entertainment
  • Food is just FOOD

And here are some questions to ask ourselves:

  • Will I be devastated if I never get to eat ______ again?
  • Will I look back in regret if I stop eating before my plate is clean?
  • Is it normal/healthy to "miss" a certain food?
  • Do I have a closer relationship with some foods than I do with some people?

Curious to see if I'm the only one who often behaves like my current meal might be my last?

For the initial explanation of "Stuff Fat People Like," read this.

January 6, 2011

Weigh In: Maintenance

172.5 lb Always remember: you are not immune to the muffin top.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17

Okay, I give in. I will discontinue my rebellion against the REAL FAT institution of weekly weigh-ins. Oh. Wait. I didn't come up with that, did I? No, I didn't. Weekly weigh-ins are part of nearly every single weight loss program known to man. It is a method used to keep track of progress and hold one accountable. Duh.

I will never forget the first time I posted my weight on this blog. Holy cow! It was hard. But it was something that I knew I had to do. For years, in my own pride, I had kept that little tidbit of information (actually a rather large tidbit, as it were) to myself. There was no way I could admit to the world and especially those closest to me just what a mockery I had made out of God's creation. Not to mention I didn't want them to realize how fat I really was.

Gently, as it often works, the Spirit of the Lord began to speak to me about pride in the area of my weight. This is obviously a stronghold in my life and by keeping it a secret I was giving it far too much control. I was allowing it to hold me captive. The Spirit also reminded me that everyone in the world struggles with embarrassing and debilitating sin, many with the same one I do, whether they are willing to admit it or not. By owning up to the depth of my sin--and for some reason the number on the scale represented this in a very tangible way--I could release it. I could say, "See this number? This is what my addiction (my sin) has done to me. I refuse to be a prisoner to it any longer!" Suddenly freedom became more important than my pride.

So I did it. It wasn't embarrassing. You see, after that number "went public" I began to realize that in reality, it had never been a secret to others that I was overweight. You know those pictures we see of ourselves and think Ahhh! I need to burn that. I don't want anyone to see me like that! Yeah, you know what I'm talking about... Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but unless you are a hermit, what you look like in those pictures is exactly what you look like in person. People see you, my friend.

But more importantly God sees you. And he sees your pain. He doesn't see the number on the scale but he does see the prison that sin creates in our lives. He is ready and waiting to fling open the prison doors! In John, chapter 8 we are told that the TRUTH will set us free. And if you don't like the Bible I think there is even an old saying: "Honesty is the best policy." It's true. We just have to be able to face the truth of what we are on the inside, confess it (blog it?) and then--and ONLY then--sweet deliverance.

I'm just curious if anyone else has had this same experience of truth=liberation. If so, leave a comment and tell us about it. And if you are afraid of being honest, what exactly is it that holds you back?

January 5, 2011

There is Hope for You

Hidey Ho, neighbors! I am in quite the chipper mood, I tell ya! Today marks the beginning of a new 12 week First Place 4 Health study session for me. We are adding members to the group by the hour, it seems. I am so excited to see what God will do with all of us crazy ladies this go-round! I have a feeling He's got something big planned! He always does...

A year ago I attended my very first meeting. A little skeptical and a lot apprehensive, I went into it not knowing what it would be like or if it would work. One of the things I most remember hearing that first night was, "Just give us a year." They said that a change in lifestyle would take way longer than any 12 week study. It would actually take even longer than 12 months to establish a long-term complete change, but that a year of never quitting was promised to equal success for me.

While the concept of sticking with anything for an entire year scared me and still does, I decided to keep myself open to the idea. (After all, nothing had worked up to that point in my life.) I am so thankful that God's grace allowed me to stay open. If you have been reading here for any length of time, you know that the days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and here I am a year later, changed. Truly changed for the better.

First Place 4 Health is a program that God used to transform me. My life was not changed because I learned how to cope with my emotions. It did not change because I got in shape. It didn't even change because I began to think about eating in an entirely different way. It certainly didn't change because I lost weight and can wear cute clothes now, although that was probably my #1 goal back then.

No, the reason my life changed was because this "program" teaches The Bible. It teaches that you put Jesus Christ in the FIRST PLACE of every single part of your life and HE WILL change it. I think Jesus knew that us women, we like things to come in neat little packages. So about 30 years ago he put it on the hearts of a few people to "package" His Word into a "program" that would aim straight at the aching heart of women everywhere who yearn to be happy, healthy and desirable. The neat little package would pull them in, but The Creator would transform them.

*FP4H is for men also! I just tend to see things from a woman's perspective. hmm, wonder why...

As many people are beginning to work toward a total life change this year, I would urge you to avoid the slippery slope of trying to accomplish it all on your own. It is a hard hill to climb anyway and God is offering a helping hand. Why not accept it and quit trying so hard to do this by yourself?

People comment on REAL FAT blog and Facebook quite often, "I wish I could have your success." You can! There are First Place groups all over the US and I think even around the world. You can join one! Here is a link to find a group near you:
First Place 4 Health Groups. If it happens that there is not a group in your area, here's a crazy thought--start one! Information on how to do that can be found at the link also. Leading a group has been one of the biggest blessings of my life. Nothing like being the leader to keep you on track;)

Okay, that's enough. FP4H is not paying me to write this by the way. I am just someone who has been changed by something that I know is truly "for everyone." I honestly "REAL-ly" love each and every one of you guys reading and want you to know that there is HOPE for you and this is the best way I know to find it. If I can be of help or encouragement to you in any way, please email me: keeliesue@live.com

Grace to you!
For more information on the First Place 4 Health program in general, click here. Don't just take my word for it, read some of the amazing testimonies on the website!

January 2, 2011

What Did You Expect?

I had envisioned this post reading somewhat differently than I'm afraid it is going to. Sadly, I did not reach my New Year goal of weighing less than I did when the holidays began. :( It's such a bummer.

This is really frustrating and honestly, I just don't think I'm cut out for this anymore. I mean, I keep setting goals and then I fail. It's is embarrassing. It makes me mad. I don't know. I just wonder if it's even worth it anymore.

I ate so many wonderful things throughout the holidays! Dripping with butter, oozing cheeses of all kinds. I dipped and dabbed, picked and piled. Sure it was all fattening and really bad for me but you know what--it tasted so. dang. good. It was worth it. I have earned the right to eat like that. A year's worth of sacrifice I felt deserved a good splurge. Yes, all my pants are tight, but it was worth it.

Looking back on the past few weeks, I realize just what all I have been missing. I'm tired of putting forth all the effort it takes to plan my meals and to exercise. Getting the heart rate up and being out of breath is SO hard. I am tired of eating stuff like fruits and veggies. So bland. I like to fry! No one should have to give up the things that they love or the things that are comforting to them.

I'm tired of prioritizing my life around taking care of my body. I really miss sleeping in. The quiet time in the morning doesn't help me THAT much. It is such a huge inconvenience to my family for me take off for an hour everyday just to "workout." They need me there to take care of them. I don't want to be selfish and take care of me all the time. What kind of mother and wife does that!?

Sometimes it's nice to wallow in delf-doubt and self-pity. Emotions are real and need to be addressed. So what if I like to address mine with food? The moment I start chewing, the emotion goes away. I like being numb and dead to my feelings. Sometimes feelings hurt and I don't want to experience pain.

Most of all I know that God loves me no matter what. He loves me even when I'm fat. So I think I'm just going to throw caution to the wind in 2011 and make it be the year that I give up!!! Then I won't have to worry about not reaching my goals anymore. Yep, I'm done.

Not! I'm ready to ATTACK this year. Come on!!! What did you expect?