July 31, 2011

Summit & a Commitment

Oh my, my, my, my, my. The First Place 4 Health Summit was wonderful! Even though I did have to wake up at 3 am Friday morning, it was so worth it! I received so much valuable information and encouragement this weekend. I am honestly having a really hard time processing it all! The speakers were excellent. The food was great and healthy, not to mention I didn't have to think about food at all!

The sessions I went to were: Choose to Change, Emotions and Eating, Happy, Healthy Family, and Share Your Tips. Each one was (you guessed it) great! I learned so much that I could write multiple posts from each and most likely will.

My favorite part of the Summit was hearing the testimonies of the men and women who's lives have been changed. As was said of the program this weekend, its not about addition or subtraction--adding this, taking away that--it is about TRANSFORMATION. You just become a different person through First Place 4 Health. God changes you, when you are willing. Or even when you are willing to be made willing, as has been the case with me.

The hand of God has obviously been on this organization from the very beginning, which was 30 years ago--just about the time I was born. Hmm... I just wonder how many pounds have been lost in that 30 years. I wonder how many lives have been changed. God knows.

As we were leaving we had the opportunity to accept a challenge. The challenge was this:

I signed my name on a little card and turned it, but I wrote the words down in my notebook so I would remember just exactly what I said I would do. I am committed to do whatever it takes to reach my goal this year. Join me?

Once again, Lord, I come to you admitting that I am not willing. But I am honest when I say that I am willing to be made willing. I want, with all my heart, to be obedient to you. I am serious and I am committed to reaching this weight goal, so that I might serve you in the special way that you planned from the very beginning. How I long to do your work! How I long to serve you in the way that you see fit! From this service will come my deepest joy and peace. Your name will be glorified. Make me a vessel worthy of your calling; do what I can not do. Change me, Lord, always. Amen.

July 29, 2011

What a Day!

Heard testimony today from two different women who have each lost right around 200 lbs through First Place 4 Health! We're talking way more than weight loss here! Life TRANSFORMATION. That is what we all truly desire and the good news is--it's possible. Praying for surrender in the lives of all my buddies(and myself)!

So blessed. So much to share when I get back. Nighty night.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Two Things

Mom and I are headed to the FP4H Conference in Houston this early morn! I'm looking forward to learning a lot and having a great time. I'm trying not to think about the fact that I woke up at 3 am ((yawn)). Two large cups of coffee are doing the trick so far...

Thought for the weekend: There are two things that no one else in the world can do besides you:

1) take care of yourself
2) nurture your relationship with God.

No one else can do those two things. Just you. What are youdoing that someone else could be doing so that you could have more time to do the things that only you can do?

Think about it...

Have a great weekend!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

July 27, 2011

I Interrupt this Program

Everyone breathe a sigh of relief. This is going to be an upbeat post! My PMS is over. Ha ha ha.

Seriously, it was pretty dark in my head for a few days and I attribute much of that to my hormones. However, hormone-induced or not, there is purpose in darkness and the darkness always gives way to light. I have learned to trust that part of the process. The great thing is that I always emerge with a new depth of knowledge and a closer relationship with the Lord. Knowing this gives me reason to praise and thank Him even in the darkest of days.

This is what I took away from my "weird time" :

I'm not God.
I'm glad I'm not God.
God loves me.
I'm glad God loves me.

Now that we got all that figured out, I'm ready to continue on this journey. Weigh-Ins, trackers, running, blogging, picture-taking and heck, maybe even some WEIGHT LOSS! Oh yeah!

We now return to regularly scheduled program...

July 25, 2011

Open Letter to Everyone

Dearest Everyone,

At some point, I made it my chief goal in life to fix you. I've always been good at recognizing just what needs to be fixed in someone else's life (like yours). Family, friend, acquaintance, fellow blogger, the person who slaps their kid in Wal-Mart, the cashier who is rude (and seems to be on something), the person who doesn't believe in Jesus, the ungrateful, disrespectful student, the lady who wears her skirt too short, the obese person who is alone and eating a super sized combo in the food court, the person who has hurt me so deeply that the wound will not heal. All of you and more--I want to fix you. There is something wrong with you and I want to be the one who has the answer you need to be fixed. I will talk and type and think for hours...about what needs to be done to get you fixed. I will suggest, I will prod, I will remind, I will shake my head in disgust. Why can't I fix you?

Why can't I make you the way I think you should be? Why won't you listen to me? Why won't you do the right thing? Why won't you at least try to change? Why won't you make an effort? Why won't you grow up? Why won't you just get over it? Why won't you admit that you are wrong? Why won't you just get fixed so that I won't have to be bothered by your problems, imperfections and weaknesses? Why won't you get fixed so I can feel good about fixing you?

I am so tired of this. My chief purpose in life, to fix people, is hopeless. I give up. I quit focusing on everyone else and their issues and faults but what I am left with are my own. Oh yeah. I need to be fixed, too. I am broken just like everyone else in the world and I need to be fixed. It makes sense now. If I need to be fixed I can't possibly fix anyone else. That's the problem. I must fix myself so I can get to the hard work of fixing everyone else. Yeah! I need to work hard to get fixed. I need to get fixed fast because there are so many people who need me to fix them.

Mission: Fix self. There is something wrong with me and I want to be the one who has the answer I need to be fixed. I talk and type and think for hours...about what needs to be done to get me fixed. I suggest, I prod, I remind, but in the end I shake my head in disgust. Why can't I fix me?

What is wrong with me? Why can a dang french fry bring me to the brink of insanity? Why do I yell at my kids for laughing and running joyfully around the house? Why do I sit and think about something that needs to be done for 3 times as long as it would have taken me to just do it? Why have I hurt people so badly that their wounds are still gaping? Why do I still think that somehow physical beauty is going to help me? Why do I fall into the same destructive patterns over and over and over again? Why do see the worst things in others? Why do I see the worst things in myself? Why do I try and try and try but nothing changes?  What is wrong with me? Why can't I just get fixed so that I won't have to be bothered by my problems, imperfections and weaknesses? Why can't I just get fixed so I can feel good about fixing myself? Why can't I fix myself so I can get on with my life?

I need to be fixed. But I can't fix me. You need to be fixed but I can't fix you either. Ever. I think I get that and now...I must learn to stop trying. I need to truly grasp that "being fixed" is not a prerequisite to living.

I believe there is a prerequisite for living, though. It's Love. I will choose to love and receive love. No judgement, no analysis, no expectations. Just love. I will love myself and others because I know that He loved us first, even though He knew we would need to be fixed.

Love is what binds us together and we need to be bound. We need one another. Loving one another is the closest to fixed we will ever be here on earth. 

1 Corinthians 13

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

We will be fixed one day, when we see him, the Ultimate Fixer, face to face. This is our hope, this is our faith. I'm so sorry I tried to fix you when I could have been loving you. Because loving is the most important thing--the only thing--that will matter for eternity.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

So sincerely it hurts,

July 24, 2011

The Last Addiction

I'm reading this book. I'm about 1/3 of the way into it and it's good. Good for me at this point in the journey. I feel like this lady is in my head and explaining stuff that I'm thinking/feeling but don't quit get. It's helping me get it. I will do a full review when I'm done.

I don't have anything else to say or blog about at the moment. Going through a...weird time.

July 22, 2011

True Things

Trying desperately to believe! Lord Jesus, help my unbelief!

July 21, 2011

Now This is Progress!

'Before' photos from February 2010.

I take progress pics and do comparisons all the time but these have me in tears.  It's truly a miracle. Anyone who knew me before and knows me now would agree that if I can be changed, anyone can.

Only by the grace of God.

July 19, 2011


I got to go shopping today! Yesterday my mom found a sale on capris. So naturally she asked for my size and got me one in every color.(That's like, southern girl code of conduct.) Unfortunately they didn't work out and I got to exchange them for something that did. I thought this was a cute dress that will transition to fall when I add a jean jacket a brown tights. I don't know if that would actually be approved by fashion expert standards. Good thing I didn't ask. Below is a comfy, loose fitting, very forgiving top! Gotta have those when you can gain 10 pounds in a few days. ;)

Someone suggested that I get my hubby to take some pictures of me but he can't really...take a photo to save his life. So I got my 5 year old to go outside and take some pictures of me. I did some cropping, but he is a really good photographer!

I do believe I see some definition in that arm! Thank you, Jillian!

Good times.

July 18, 2011

Pie and Conversion

Pie. Last night it was pie.

I had just tucked myself into bed and breathed a sigh of relief that I had made it safely under the covers without eating something "extra" for the day. This is the battle I fight every night--will I make it or won't I? So, I had made it but there was just one little problem. I had forgotten to turn off the kitchen light. Ugh.

I seriously had a debate for about an hour whether or not I would get up and turn it off or leave it on but I knew that I wouldn't sleep well with it on (It is right next to my bedroom and we don't have a door) so I finally did what I knew I had to.  I got up and flipped the switch. Lights out, mission accomplished.

But the magnetic pull of the fridge was irresistible.

I could hear that pie whispering my name. I made it earlier in the week and even though it was sugar-free and fat-free it was still a formidable foe because you see, I don't really eat pie by the slice. I could feel the REAL me leaving the body and the FAT me taking over. "One bite of pie. It'll be okay. There's no way that will show up on the scale." I opened the door, removed the pie and I was lifting up the little aluminum seal all around the edge of the pie when a question popped in my head.

"Why didn't you do this in the beginning?" asked the REAL me. The answer came right to me and stopped me dead in my tracks. I sealed the pie back up, slid it back into the fridge and returned safely to my bed to think this through.

The answer to that question was something I had completely forgotten about. Quite frankly, in the beginning I was afraid of God and what he would do to me if I was disobedient. You may recall that I was dealing with major anxiety and depression when I began to lose weight. (Read all about it here)I think I was a little paranoid too. Basically I always thought I was dying. Anyway...

Once I began losing weight and began working on my relationship with the Lord at the same time I linked those 2 things very closely together, which is okay, but I had the connection all wrong. I thought that if I would obey, then God would help me. And I thought if I didn't obey, he would hurt me (read: allow me to get some terrible disease and die (which is kind of ironic because death is the ultimate gain if you are in Christ).

For example, one day I did something really bad like I had 25 wheat thins instead of the serving size of 13. (I know. Just go with me...) The next day my throat had a huge lump in the back of it, at least that's what it felt like. I thought I had throat cancer. Oops, that's what you get for eating that extra handful of wheat thins, Keelie. (I KNOW!!! Just keep going with me...) Actually, it was just another manifestation of anxiety in my physical body. Anxiety can cause some seriously crazy stuff!

Okay, now I know many reading are probably thinking I am an idiot right now, I would agree. God is not out to get me. The wrath of God that I deserve was absorbed in the person of Jesus Christ on the cross. On the same note, no matter how many times I eat the right amount of wheat thins, do a good deed, read my Bible or go to church, God can not possibly love me any more or less than he already does. I am forgiven. I am justified. Even knowing what a messed up, midnight-pie-eating, kid-screaming, husband-nagging, gossiping, lazy person I would be, Jesus said: "I love you anyway. I will pay the price for you. I will make a way for you to have abundant life on earth and a way for you to experience unending freedom and joy in the presence of God himself. Forever. I forgive you. I want to be friends. I want what's best for you."

I was worth it to him and so are you.

I know that now. I didn't know it then. Obviously that  fear of being struck down by God didn't last long. I think it kept me on the straight and narrow for a few months and I did lose a lot of weight, but eventually that was not enough. Fear can not change us for the better. What changes us for the better is the hope of something better.

Once I got a taste of "something better," this journey quit being so much about the extra wheat thins and more about life and living. It became more about grace. That's what life is supposed to be about. The chains of oppression were lifted when I knew that I could mess up with my eating and still keep going. When I could take my mind off of my problems long enough to see, truly see, someone else and their troubles. When I realized that we are struggling but that we can struggle victoriously. That was me--living for the first time.

I always want to write posts about how obesity kills and how bad life is when health isn't a priority, hoping to scare someone into a better life. That's just my nature. But the truth is, everyone knows that stuff. That isn't what motivates people. Fear does not motivate--it paralyzes. What motivates people are stories of LIFE! True stories of how things can be better. Knowing that it is possible. That is what changes people. That is what makes someone like me want to put up the midnight pie for good, like I did last night.

This post is really long, but there's one more thing.  When I was cleaning the other day, I found a journal entry in a notebook that I had forgotten about. I wrote it at some point over the past year about my spiritual conversion. I think the connection here is just too cool not to share:

A healthy fear of hell doesn't = conversion. True conversion comes when there is a longing for Christ. No where in the Bible does it say "Fear hell and ye shall be saved." That would not require anything from God. Who isn't scared of an eternity of burning? Believing...that is much more difficult. I couldn't do it on my own. I had to ask God to make me willing to love and draw near to him. As has been said before--God is a gentleman and he waits on us. But once the invitation was extended from me, he came. It wasn't when I repeated a prayer that I didn't understand, immediately following an "if you die tonight" sermon. He came when I had exhausted all my other options. I was spiritually, physically and mentally bankrupt. I gave God a small window through which to enter and he filled my soul. I now try to ignore that he is there but it doesn't matter. He continues to change me from the inside out. So I would ask this question: Do you want to spend eternity in hell? but I already know the answer to that. The better question is: Do you want to spend eternity with the Lover of your soul? He is waiting.

SF, FF Mocha Pudding Pie

Reduced Fat Graham Cracker Crust
1 pkg instant sf, ff, chocolate pudding
1 3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. strong brewed coffee, cooled
1 carton Cool Whip Free

Prepare pudding as directed only with the coffee too. Once it is thick, fold in the cool whip. Dump in the pie crust. Enjoy! One slice at a time :)

July 17, 2011

Chicken Shirt

I will not bring a chicken in the house, but I will wear a cute, hand-stamped chicken tee that my mom got me in Colorado! CUTE. Thanks, Mom.

Let's see, I can't just write a post about a chicken shirt. Hmmm. Well, it's Sunday afternoon. I'm just sitting here, drinking some of this stuff:

(really good but not technically healthy, 150 cal. Give it a shot)

Here's what I wore today:

I tried to pose without my hip sticking out, but I'm not really feelin' it. Won't happen again.

This is a horse I met yesterday when I was running trying not to fry. Do you know how hot it is here in Texas? HOT. Poor horse. I gave him a drink of my water.

In keeping with the randomness of this post, I guess I would like to end it by saying that this week I decided:

1) things are hardly ever about what I think they are about
2) I underestimate the power of prayer WAY too much 
3) I really wish I had been the inventor of Facebook.

Oh, and 4) this book is really awesome, IMO.

Okay, I think that covers it. Look out Monday, here I come!

July 14, 2011

32.2 lbs To Go

    172.2 lbs

The beginning of this week was not so great for me. I will admit that I have been letting the 10 lb gain get me down a bit. It is different than a pound or two here and there. This is a significant detour. I do know that I will recover but knowing that you will recover still doesn't make it fun to be in the middle of the mess. It also is a little bit scary to see how quickly this weight can come back on. Good to know...

Thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law, I had a couple hours to myself yesterday which I desperately needed. I spent the first hour lying on my bed talking/whining/crying to God. The second hour I spent in my dimly lit bathroom, from which I first removed any and all traces of childrens' toys, diapers, etc. I cranked up my praise music and took a shower, fixed my hair, and put on make-up. Then I went to my FP4H meeting which was another blessing. It was as close to a spa vacation as I'm hoping to get anytime soon!

I woke up this morning and headed out for a 4 mile run. I haven't had a good run in several weeks. It was magical. I tried a new route with lots of shade and hills. I remembered that I run not only to train and condition my body, but to clear my head as well. That time is SO important and I forgot. So I was happy for the reminder.

Happy to say that I have had a great eating day with no mindless eating or eating where I'm stuffing my face in pure rebellion to what I know is the best choice for me. I got some cardio (the running) and a Shred workout in. My hubby and I even cleaned out our closet and the utility room and I got to help my m-i-l can some fresh garden salsa. Very productive! Feels SO good.

You know what I don't understand? How I can so easily forget the feeling of satisfaction and contentment that comes with a day like today. I pray that I would quit forgetting.

Oh yeah! Benefit of cleaning--finding 'before' pictures that you forgot existed!

(Right: circa 2003, Left: June 2011)

As I mentioned on Facebook earlier today, this reminds me of Martin Short in Pure Luck...only there was no anaphylaxis involved here. Just massive amounts of food and TV ;)

July 10, 2011

Memo: Mirror Pics are Lame

So--the whole taking pictures of yourself in the mirror. I need to talk about this.

Go back to January 2010 when I began writing this blog. I was perusing around other weight loss blogs one night when I came across one that really stood out to me. The girl took pictures of herself, full length, in the mirror. Important to note: I had never seen anyone do that before. I thought it was awesome. Like, how handy is that? She doesn't even have to get someone to take her photos--she just uses a mirror! Genius!

That same night I wanted to do a post about working out and how horrible and fat I thought I looked in my workout gear. But I thought that just saying "Today I worked out and I looked so fat and horrible" would be really boring. I decided not to take myself so seriously and snap some  full length shots of myself in workout gear, instead. Here they are:

By the way, I was trying to be goofy in these poses. I don't think most people got that. But anyways...

I knew that by continuing to post the photos, even though I wasn't too thrilled by how I looked in them, it would definitely keep me real. It started out as a very humbling practice but quickly became fun. As the weight was practically melting off of me (You can see the biggest difference on my sidebar from January to April) the pics were enabling me to see the transformation in a way that I had never been able to before. It was a huge motivator. And for the first time in my life I was excited to see a picture of myself.

I have continued to take these pics to mark different milestones and so that I can compare them to older ones. It reminds me how far I've come and that I never want to go back. So that pretty much sets the stage for what I'm about to show you...

 Recently my hubby and some of his friends were sitting around talking and the topic of "those people" who take pictures of themselves in mirrors and post them on Facebook and stuff came up. A-hem. Yeah... They weren't saying it was cool either.

So, I was quietly sitting there listening and sinking lower and lower in my chair. I was thinking, #1 Surely J is not going to participate in this conversation, since he knows I do that...like...all the time and #2 Do any of these people know I do that...like...all the time? and #3 Oh my gosh, have the people who do know I do that...like..all the time been making fun of me...all this time!?

Long story short, a few days later one of them got brave and posted one of the iPhone self portraits to Facebook. And then the others followed. Including my husband.


Just easing into it

Really feeling his oats here

Self-portrait with Henrietta

I've really wanted to have my feelings hurt but I can't stop laughing long enough. People are seeking out these guys to 'friend' them on FB just to see their goofy photos! So crazy. Ironically, I think the guys are enjoying it just a little bit too much ;)

But back to me--I can't stop taking the pictures now, right? Even though apparently I'm super lame. It's kind of an integral part of the blog. But how uncool do YOU think it is? Not that being cool was ever really my intent--did you see the first pics I posted!? Lol.

Oh, mercy. Just a tad bit self-conscious now...

July 9, 2011

Encourage: Just Do It

This day has been great so far. I was so thankful for the post that poured out of me around 12:00 this morning. It was the kind of post that comes after I have been trying to write something forever but it's just not coming together then all of a sudden I click on 'new post' and before I know it something I had no idea I wanted to write is written. I know those posts come from the Lord because when I go back and read them it's like I am seeing it for the first time and it is exactly what I needed to read.

This day is also great because I have received such encouragement from my friends in the blog world! It was obvious the Lord sent y'all my way last night/today leaving comments and sending emails. What a pick-me-up! It was just the encouragement I needed to be able to make the right choices today. I have given much thanks to the Lord for all of you encouragers today! You set a great example and one thing I know I want to be is an intentional encourager. It just means so much to hear even the simplest (and often those are the best) words of love and encouragement from someone.

Once when I was teaching in an elementary school I was walking down the hallway and saw a teacher who looked just really well "put-together". I didn't know her that well and it wasn't (isn't) really in my nature to gush about other people (I know. That's bad.) but for some reason that day I just blurted it out, "Hey So-and-so, you look really terrific today!" She looked back at me with an almost shocked expression. She had been rushing back to her classroom from the copier but she stopped and came right up to me with tears in her eyes. She said, "Thank you. Thank you for saying that. I have had a really rough week and...I just needed to hear that." She gave me a big hug and then went on her way.

Wow, who knew such a simple thing for me to do would yield such a response? There was serious sadness in this woman's face when she looked back at me but she was smiling as she walked away. She definitely had a little more pep in her step :) I thank God for that moment because it made me realize that whenever I think something kind, uplifting or encouraging--I should speak it. Always. Even if it's not really someone I know that well or even if it seems awkward, etc.

One last thing I'll say is that the most important criteria for encouragement is that is should be REAL. (I had to say it, right?) Flattery is not the same as encouragement. I read a really neat book that describes 'true encouragement' as seeing God in someone and pointing it out. I like that. That's real.

Ephesians 4:29
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

10 lb. Gain and Choices

I'm quitting this. I gained 10 lbs. I can't go on. This is too difficult. It will probably take me like, 3 whole weeks to lose this. I might as well stop trying and gain the other 60 lbs. back. I mean, 10 is almost as bad as 60.

Okay, okay. You get that I'm joking. Would I rather be in the 150's right now? Heck YES. Is it pretty lame that I have gained 10 lbs in this stage of the game? Yes. Is it all salt, water weight, about to be my TOM, etc. Yes, yes, and yes... Maybe? I don't know.   Does any of that really matter? No.

What does matter is my very next choice.

When I hit publish on this post I can either stay online checking comments and Facebook and watching TV for hours, or I can go to sleep so that I will be able to get up before anyone else in my home and begin my day the way the Lord had shown me is best.

After I wake up I can either hit snooze 10 times or I can rise.

After I have my quiet time I can either sit around being lazy or I can organize the dining room shelves like I had planned on.

When we finish our cereal I can either pile the dirty bowls in the sink for later or I can deal with it right then.

When it is time to run at 9:00 am I can either make up an excuse not to: I'm too tired, one of my kids is sick, it's too hot, we have too much to do...take your pick...or I can just do it.

When it is lunchtime I can either eat all of the children's leftovers and fail to record my meal on the tracker, or I can eat a balanced meal and record it so that I will be satisfied until dinner and happy with myself.

When I go to the little birthday party we have I can either munch on chips and cake or I can remember that I am satisfied because I had a filling breakfast and lunch.

If at some point in the day I begin to have negative thoughts about a person or a situation I can either verbalize those thoughts to the nearest person or I can take my concerns to the only One who can truly help.

I can either pacify my children with the television, or video games all day or I can choose to be present in their lives.
I can choose to be the person I am made to be...or I can choose something else. All day long, I have a choice.

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

July 5, 2011

The One Where I Put on My Swimsuit, Cont.

Earlier this week I wore a 2-piece bathing suit in public. It was the 2nd time in my life and the other time I was 17. Sports Illustrated won't be calling any time soon, but it's kinda a big deal for me. Pardon the blinding white on the mid-region. It hasn't seen much sun.

Hope everyone got to enjoy some fireworks tonight! I did.