March 31, 2011

Weigh In: 3.4 lb Loss

164.6 lbs

This loss hit me when I wasn't even looking! I've just been going along, minding my own business, and BAM--A huge loss for the week! I haven't lost more than 1-point-something in a very long time. It feels great. (Yes, even though I had gained 1-point-something the week before I am still celebrating it as a 3.4lb loss. Deb said I could...and should.)

As I was leaving my FP4H group last night I was kind of bragging on myself to a couple of gals that I know I can do that with :) and I was telling them that this doesn't really seem hard anymore. It's like I'm not even trying--its just happening. And they basically said "Yeah, because it's just your way of life now. It's your norm."


Isn't that a dreamy thought? Here's another thought that seems very simple and very obvious, but I challenge you to really let it sink it:

If you don't quit--you will get there.

That's the "secret" to success. Not quitting. Falling off course? Absolutely, it happens. Get back up. Keep on going until you fall off again. Get back up again. Yes. Keep GOING. No quitting. You will get there.

That's all there is to it.

March 29, 2011

Perfect People

There's no such thing as perfect people. Realizing this does three things for me:

1. It lets me off the hook.
One of the goals of this blog is to keep it real. From the very beginning I have tried to do this. Keeping it real means being willing to admit that I am not perfect. Realizing at a heart level that no one is perfect makes it easier to be transparent. We tend to look at other people and think "They have it all together." No one has it all together. No matter how skinny they are, how big their house is or how big their smile is. We are all struggling with different vices and issues. Not everyone struggles with overeating the way I do, but I know that they are struggling with something. We are all in this together. I don't have to worry about someone else judging me for my shortcomings. They may do that, judge me, but they are only doing that to avoid dealing with their own issues. I should have compassion for that person, not let them dictate my self-worth. Truth be told, other people don't think about me near as much as I assume they do. No one sits around and ponders my failure--only I do that. And why? Why focus on failure? Perfection is not something to be attained. If we are striving for perfection we are going to fail 100% of the time. I'm not saying we shouldn't do our best. I'm just saying perfection isn't an option so we should just take it off the table. When we continually strive for perfection and continually fail we become discouraged and tend to quit. What happens when we take perfection off the table? We fail less and we don't have to quit.

2. It let's other people off the hook
How often have I tried to hold another person to a standard of perfection? That is so unfair. We have to let other people off the hook also. We will destroy every relationship that means anything to us if we expect the other person to be perfect. We will be bitter people if we are waiting for those in our lives to live up to all our expectations. It's a convenient thing to do because we can always play the blame game. We will always have an endless supply of reasons to blame someone else but what good does that do us? Why focus on other people's failure? It will always be there. It's not like people are all of a sudden going to be exactly who we want them to be if we just think about it hard enough. What a big old waste of time. We have to set everyone in our lives free and in doing so, we will find freedom as well.

3. It points to Jesus
I think we can all agree that when we expect others (parents, spouse, friends, children, pastors, bosses, the list goes on...) in our lives to be perfect it just leads to disappointment. And when we depend on ourselves to be perfect it leads to self-absorption, insanity and ultimately defeat. The good news is that we don't have to depend on ourselves to be perfect. Nor do we have to depend on others to be perfect for us. Christ is that for us. By truly accepting this and believing it with all that I am, I have found so much freedom. Freedom to love others and expect nothing in return. Freedom to love myself even in my failure--God does, why shouldn't I?

I know this is an issue for many overweight people. The bondage of perfectionism is holding us back and weighing us down. We are waiting on everything to be just right--the circumstances, our attitude, our pantry, the weather, our relationships... We are waiting on everything to align and then--THEN--we will do this (on Monday, right?). It doesn't work like that. And we know it. Even if you can get all of those things to align just right, they won't stay that way for long. We are going to fall off the wagon. We are going to go a week...a month without exercising. We ARE going to mess up. We are. Okay? Everyone knows that and everyone else is messing up, too. That is what we do. But that is not WHO we are. We are more than that.

I can't put the whole Chapter 8 of Romans in this post, but if you are struggling with what I am talking about please GO READ THIS right now.

And always remember:

There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, but are justified freely, by his grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3: 23-24

I love all you messed-up people! ;)

March 24, 2011

Weigh In & Inches Update!

Just want to make sure everyone remembers where I started.

Yesterday I weighed about 168 which is up 1.5 from 2 weeks ago. BUT! We did measurements since it was the end of 12 weeks and I was very pleased with mine! Over the past 12 weeks I went down in every category besides legs and arms. Here are my current measurements (Jan 2010 measurements in purple parenthesis):

Chest  41 (47.5) -6.5
Waist 37 (52) <---WOW! -15
Hips 42.5 (52.5) -10
Thigh 22 (25) -6 (-3 ea.)
Arm  12 (14) -4 (-2 ea.)

Everyone knows I have that "fuzzy" math so please correct me if I'm wrong but I think that is 41.5 total inches lost! I still can't believe how big my waist was to begin with. I also can't believe how my waist and hips were practically the same measurement. That is way dangerous for your heart. I was hoping to be down to a 35 inch waist because that is the "heart happy" measurement for women, but it will have to wait until next time.

I guess that covers NSVs for this week :-)

Is Fat a Faith Issue?

After reading this article today, I was challenged with a question: Is FAT a faith issue? Well, we all know my answer to that question, but I think there are some deeper questions to be answered in light of these new studies and the attention that obesity is getting in America and in the Church.

Does being overweight/obese indicate a spiritual problem?
Is food addiction viewed in the same way other addictions are?
Can someone be obese and still be "right" with God?
What does our outward appearance say about our inner souls?
Why might someone think it was wrong to abuse alcohol but okay to overeat on a regular basis?
Could Jesus have been fat?

Just wondering what you all think...Don't hold back!!!

March 20, 2011

Comparison Photos

I bought this dress to wear on Easter Sunday last year. I pulled it out to wear today and of course took some shots for comparison. I was amazed to see what a big difference there is in the shape of my body. I remember thinking how AWESOME I looked in this dress last year.

Below is the "before" and "now"

March 19, 2011

Do You Believe in Me?

On November 13, 2009, I posted a "note" on my Facebook page entitled One of My Favorite Things. Ever.  Read slowly; there is no gristle.
"But there must be a real giving up of the self. You must throw it away 'blindly' so to speak. Christ will indeed give you a real personality: but you must not go to Him for the sake of that. As long as your own personality is what you are bothering about you are not going to Him at all. The very first step is to try to forget about self all together. Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principal holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs though all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
When I read that for the first time I had not even begun this journey. I had no idea what it would actually mean to me now, over a year later. After months of moving steadily in the same direction with a repetitive, habitual choosing to "do the next right thing," I am realizing something. What I am realizing is that I have  found the thing that I had no idea I was looking for all along. 

When I let the dream of an overnight transformation die...when I let my idea of who I should be die...when I took my eyes off of myself and my failure long focus shifted.

"Your real, new self (which is Christ's and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him."
Wow. You can say that again, C.S.

I believe that we are all a creation of the Living God. That we are created in His image and that our REAL identity is in Him. I believe that He loves every last one of us so much that He wants to save us from ourselves. (We do some pretty rotten damage, do we not?) He made a way for us, through the blood of Jesus Christ, to be free and to have hope for a future-- make that an ETERNITY--of perfect peace.  I believe it because I've experienced it. No one can deny me this experience and what it has been based on--God's word. The proof is in the pages of this blog.

Let me ask you a question:

Do you BELIEVE in me?

Do you really believe I can do this, what I have set out to do? Do you believe I am strong enough? Do you believe I'm determined enough? Do you believe I'm capable enough? Do you believe that I will accomplish all my goals? Do you believe I will persevere? Do you believe I will beat the odds? Do you believe that I will finally be the person I was always meant to be?

Do you BELIEVE in me?

Don't believe in me. Believe in Him.

March 17, 2011

Skipping "The Meeting"

I was feeling really yuck last night so I missed my FP4H meeting. It was the first meeting I have missed in a year, I'm pretty sure. That is amazing to me and I think it is very significant. Anytime something stands out as being different "this time" from all the "other times" I take notice. The reason? Because this time I am succeeding and all the other times I did not. So I can safely assume that my regular attendance at these meetings is playing a role in my success.

This is not a new discovery. I've always heard that regular accountability of some sort is necessary for successful and long term weight loss. I'm sure you have, too. But that statistic isn't really on my mind the day that I need to go to a meeting and I have spend the entire week eating whatever I want. If I know I've gained, I don't want to go face that on the scale and be embarrassed in front of the person weighing me in.

I'm not really focused on the goal, but rather on my failure in that moment. Focus on failure is probably the #1 thing that causes someone to skip their meeting. Right? We'd rather not deal with what's going on and hope for better results next week. Unfortunately, if we don't deal with what's going on this week, things are likely to get worse. String a whole bunch of skipped meetings together and what do you get? A quitter. In my experience anyway...

I was listening to a lady on the radio yesterday and she was talking about the difference in acceptance and resignation. Resignation, in this instance, is knowing there are road blocks up ahead and resolving to turn away or stop. Acceptance is knowing there are road blocks up ahead but resolving to face them head-on and to keep going. We've heard the term "I've accepted the fact that _________" and we've heard the term "I've resigned to the fact that ___________" Two different things. Very different.

These two ways of thinking perfectly fit with my "this time" and my "other times" mentalities. This time, I quit focusing on the failures (road blocks) and started focusing on the goal. It's really that simple. I accepted the fact that I am going to mess up and when I do, I'm still going to my meeting. I accepted that I'm going to weigh in and see someone write a gain down in the little book, more than I'd like. I accepted the fact that I'm going to be around others that lost weight the same week I gained. I accepted the fact that I need the meeting for more than just a place to weigh in. I accepted that I need others to help me. I accepted that I still have a lifetime of learning to do. I accepted that I'm going to do this for however long it takes to get to the goal and then I'm going to do it forever after that.

Resignation or acceptance? Something to think about...

The thing about the accountability group is this: the time you want to avoid it the most is the time you need it the most. Always. It's an opportunity to lean on someone else. It's an opportunity to offer encouragement to someone else who probably needs it more than you or I do. It's an opportunity to stand right in the face of failure and shout, "I'm not afraid of you! Get out of my way!"

Go to your meeting. :-)

March 13, 2011

Biker Shorts & Renewal

A few weeks ago I announced that I now can be seen from time to time sporting biker shorts with nothing over them. There were skeptics--this should settle it.

I hope this weekend has been great for all my friends out in bloggyland. It has been pretty good for me, despite a sick kiddo and lack of sleep. Somehow she got her days and nights flip-flopped and I have had her in my bed  along with the Fresh Beat Band in my head for the past two nights.

One good thing did come out of her illness and it happened yesterday. I had to take her to the doctor. I have gone into great detail on the blog about my struggles with depression and anxiety which stem from a fear of being sick, my kids being sick, visiting doctors, etc. Because of my anxiety, taking kids to the doctor is not something I have done very much of, especially alone. Usually my husband or a grandparent will do this. I know, great mother, huh?

But yesterday my husband was on shift and the baby girl needed to go to the doctor. So I said a prayer, asked the grandparents to keep the son and we headed out. Alone. To the doctor. I was praying and I was calm. We got to the doctor, got the diagnosis, got the prescription, threw up our first dose of prescription, and then headed home. We then proceeded to do a breathing treatment, fighting against the strength of what would surely rival any WWF wrestler. We then stayed up most of the night coughing, gagging, up-chucking and, as I mentioned, watching Fresh Beat Band. I was able to stay relatively calm through all of this. Not once did I cry. Not once did I lose it (except when I yelled at the chicken nuggets that got thrown-up). I didn't even slip into emotional eating!

I hadn't thought much about it but today I was having lunch and talking with with my mom when she brought to my attention that I wouldn't have been able to do all that a year ago. Mainly taking the kid to the doctor solo, but the rest of the night would have been tough also. She is SO right!  I would have tried to get my husband to meet me or take off work or I would have asked my mom to go with me or even take her alone. I would have been eating all night long since I was up with the Kiki, Marina, Twist, Shout and Glory. But I didn't.

The reason I was able to do that yesterday is the same reason I am losing weight and keeping it off for the first time in my life. It's the same reason I hold my head up higher. It's the reason I do anything that I didn't used to be able to do. It doesn't have anything to do with food. It has everything to do with my mind.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Re-new (v.) regenerate, reestablish on a new, usually improved, basis or make new or like new; reincarnate, cause to appear in a new form, to make new again; to restore to freshness, perfection, or vigor; to give new life to; to rejuvenate; to reestablish; to recreate; to rebuild; Specifically, to substitute for (an old obligation or right) a new one of the same nature; to continue in force; to make again

Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Colossians 3: 7-10
You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.

(Mind --> Renewed) = (Me --> Transformed)


March 12, 2011

What's in Your Lunch?

This morning I was studying for the toddler class I teach at church and our lesson for tomorrow is about  Jesus feeding the 5000. I have heard the story many times, perhaps you have, too....

Jesus and his disciples need to feed a lot of people but there is no where around to get food. The disciples kind of throw their hands up in the air and say "We don't have enough for everyone..this is impossible." Someone notices the lunch of a little boy, but it only has a couple fish and 5 loaves of bread inside. The little boy gives it to Jesus and the rest is history.

I've always focused on the miracle itself when I think about that event. But this morning when I was reading, I kept going back to the little boy. He offered up what must have seemed like nothing in regards to feeding the whole group. At the same time it was actually everything that little boy had. I'm sure he didn't know what was coming in the moment he handed it over, but what an amazing thing to see what Jesus did with what little he had to offer.

Sometimes I feel like all I have to offer is just not enough, so why even bother? Why eat right this meal when I know I blew it this morning? Why clean the bathroom when the rest of the house is a wreck? Why do _______ when I know I am completely unqualified? I'm sure someone can relate to this way of thinking.

Well, today as I was running my furthest distance to date, 6 miles, I began thinking about the little boy again. I could see myself in him. When I first began running I could only do a quarter mile at a time. It wasn't much compared to the others on the treadmills around me running for what seemed like hours on end. I was tempted at times to quit because my few minutes of exercise seemed so futile. Like, what could running this little bit even do for me?

But, I did it anyway. I kept bringing my measly lunch to Jesus over and over again, week after week, day after day. Eventually the quarter turned into a whole and the whole into 2, then 3, then 4, and so on. He took my offering and multiplied it beyond my wildest dreams.

So, yeah-- The miracle still blows me away. But what blows me away even more I think, is the tiny little offering that made it possible.
P.S. On the topic of miracles...When I began training for the half marathon, I also began praying that God would miraculously heal my knee. About 2 months ago I could hardly do a 5K without being in excruciating pain from an injury in 2009. Can I tell you? I ran the entire 6 miles today without noticing knee pain even once. Don't even try to tell me God didn't do that.

March 9, 2011

Weigh In: .6 lb Loss

166.4 lbs

This is beginning to get very exciting for me. I am 20.4 lbs away from a HEALTHY weight range. Can you believe it? We are getting close, people!

(yes, I do remember that it took me 7 months to lose 5 pounds.)

It's just that 20 lbs! Well, 20 lbs just seems so normal. Such a "doable" amount to tackle. I guess because when I started out the number I was faced with was 80! 80 lbs to a "healthy" range. 80 seems a lot more intimidating than 20! Know what I mean?

Just a few other numbers...

Current BMI-28.6
Starting BMI-39.4

Current jeans size: 10 (loose)
Starting jeans size: 22 (tight)

I will be super excited to reach the healthy weight range! I do have a small to medium build, so as of now I will still be working toward my ultimate goal of weighing 129 lbs which is smack-dab in the middle of my healthy weight range. (that will be one hundred pounds lost.)

Do I believe it will happen? Uh, YEAH I do.

I have to say I've been feeding myself pretty well these days. Here are a few parting shots of my two ultimate breakfasts and a pizza I made today...

- Posted from my iPhone

March 6, 2011

Waiting for the Upswing

I remember writing a post a long time ago that said something like:
I just don't know if I can do "this" long enough to lose a substantial amount of weight.

I knew that was my problem. It wasn't that I didn't know how to lose weight, I was practically an expert at that! I just didn't know how to keep doing those things for an extended period of time.

Well, glory to GOD! I have been doing "this" for more than a year now and that's long enough to notice some patterns. One pattern that I have noticed is something I will call the upswing/downswing phenomenon.

The upswing--everything is going smoothly, the drive is there, the effort is there, the planning is take a term from the book I am reading--the "want to" is there. You are IN. THE. ZONE. (I'm there now!)

The downswing-- cravings are in full force, the couch looks much better than the tennis shoes, the food prep and planning is not top on the priority list and the "want to" is kind of asleep...hibernating. BLAH. (I've been there)

The good thing about the pattern I see in my own journey is that the upswing always comes back. Eventually. Like I said, I have been at this for over a year and the ups and downs are like night and day. They always come; you can count on it.What this means is, if you can wait long enough without totally giving up while in the downswing state, the upswing will return!

You have to know that.

You have to trust that.

Undoubtedly, it is impossible to continue on without the promise of and the belief in the upswing. If you think it's not coming back, you lose heart. Quitting seems way easier than trying to keep holding on.

But hold on you must!

Now, having said that...the same is true for the downswing. It's always coming. Be ready. Expect it. Defend your hard work. Don't let the downswing be the end of your efforts. You have to see the downswing for what it really is: passing, fleeting, momentary. Always remember:  the upswing is around the corner.

If you look at my weigh-ins you will see that at one point in my journey it took me 7 months to lose 5 pounds. Note: I've only been doing this for 14 months. That means at least half of my journey...yep! Spent it in the downswing mode! Seems unfair, no? Well, it certainly wasn't fun. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

Let's do a little exercise called re-framing. What is the downswing to me? Besides the cravings, the laziness, the temptation to quit? It's an opportunity to practice the most important skill I will ever need to perfect: maintenance. I used to dread the word 'maintenance.' As long as we are trying to lose weight, maintenance must be equated with failure. Right? That's not true. We have to learn how to maintain or this whole deal is pointless. When we get to the point we actually need to maintain our weight (and God help us--WE WILL!) I hope we know how! Don't you?

So be encouraged my downswinging friends! You labor not in vain. Hope is just around the corner. Or it may be 7 months away. But it is there. The upswing is always there.

Wait for it.

March 3, 2011

Weigh In: .8 lb Loss

167 lbs

I thought the picture of the road was appropriate for today's weigh-in post. Here's why:

1. I have lost weight 3 weeks in a row now. I have also been on a consistent work-out schedule, with this road as my partner, for about 3 weeks. Coincidence? I think not.

2. In trying to lose weight, something I have been trying to do for most of my life, it has finally been made clear to me that I must choose the narrow road. The road that is "less travelled by." The narrow road is the one that leads to where I want to go. Where I NEED to go.

3. I will forever be on the road. Never "arriving" is something I had to come to terms with, both concerning my health and life in general. This has made all the difference.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. --Robert Frost

The Narrow and Wide Gates
Enter through the narrow gate.
For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction,
and many enter through it.
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life,
and only a few find it. --Jesus Christ (Matt. 7:13-14)


Book Winner!

I just added all the email entries I got to the comment section of the 'Book Club' post and did a random drawing for the book winner:

The 16th comment wins! Jamie that is you!! Email me your address or maybe we should meet halfway for lunch!?

Let the book club begin! First discussion will be this weekend so keep an eye out on Facebook.

- Posted from my iPhone

March 1, 2011

Book Club & Giveaway

I have no idea if this will work or not but I want to try something. A REAL FAT Book Club. Omygosh, I sound like Oprah. Well, anyway, I want to have a book club. I recently downloaded a Kindle for iPhone and suddenly I am reading again! In the the waiting room...over the stove...under the covers...I love it!

There's only one problem. I like to discuss what I am reading. And my husband doesn't really like to discuss. Or read. So I need you guys!

The March book will be a trial run. I don't know exactly how or if this will work. I am thinking that the main discussion will take place on the REAL FAT Facebook Page in the 'Discussions' section. I believe you can view this page without having a Facebook account but you can not comment without an account. In other words you will be able to read everything everyone else is saying but you won't be able to participate without a Facebook account.

More uncertainty--I'm not sure what the discussion will look like just yet. I guess I'm going to wait and see if an actual club materializes before I put too much thought into it :)

The March book will be: Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeust (available in Kindle version for $9.99). I would like to give away a copy of the book to someone who is going to participate in the book club. Please leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. Anyone and everyone should be able to comment, even if you aren't a blogger. You can also email me: if you have problems commenting. The giveaway will close Wednesday (tomorrow) at midnight so spread the word! I know that is a quick giveaway but we need to get started reading!