December 30, 2011

Rehearsal Dinner

Goal=eat like a normal person. I'll check back in tomorrow to pat myself on the back... Or confess. In the mean time, gonna enjoy a fab night.

Yay for city lights... Again!

December 29, 2011

Workout Done, Cupcake Declined

I'm getting things together for a weekend wedding in the city! Look out Big D--here I come! As soon as I get my "matronly" (word my seamstress used :) dress hemmed up. I had to get it because it only cost me $4. But that's another story...

It's kind of hard to tell in this picture but this is a "slimming" dress. Much like the swimsuits with built-in support, this dress has some spanx built right in to it. Pretty handy! But it was a tad too long. Hence the matronly descriptor. The length paired with the criss-crossed ruching made the dress look a bit like...well, one of those slimming swimsuits (the ugly kind) only with a really long skirt on it. Matronly. Yes. Yay for alterations! And showing knees;) Hopefully with the right jewelry and shoes I can pull it off.

So I DID work out today! I did 90% of the 100 Workout.

It was a good way to come back from a ;). Tomorrow I will add the final 10 min of jogging.

Here's the photo, although there's no sweat so I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.


I was really trying to focus on being present in the moment today. This morning was tricky. I started off my day with a bowl of cereal and then a pig in a blanket from the donut shop. Whoops. I seriously had consumed it before I even realized. That's where I'm at. Then I headed to town and was drawn to a new coffee shop called Coffee and Cream. (sucker for a great name) I was excited to try "the best cup of coffee in town" but when I got in there I discovered that it was also a bakery. :-/ I quickly spotted what appeared to be the "best cupcakes in town" as well. I almost bought one. Almost. But I thought of declining as a small step in the right direction. I added some Equal and skim milk to my best cup of coffee in town and walked out the door.

December 28, 2011

Caution: This is Hard

Oh yeah. This is going to be hard.

Slowly but surely over the past few months or so I have gone completely astray from the lifestyle that I once embraced. No exercise. No tracking. No weighing. No eating healthy. And NO restraint. Apparently it was a mistake for me to think that it was going to be a piece of cake, so to speak, to return to the healthy and active way of living. It's not like riding a bicycle. At all. I am going to have to completely de-program  and then completely re-program. This is going to basically be like a nightmare.

I have just been sitting around waiting for the fire to ignite underneath me. It ain't happenin'. So. I'm going to have to work. I'm probably going to have to go to bed hungry sometimes. I'm going to have to hurt while I exercise. I'm going to have to watch people eat things I want to eat. I'm going to have to get used to getting up early again. I'm going to have to drive past my favorite drive thrus. I'm going to have to figure out how to change my scale from kilos back to pounds...

There is definitely some hard work on the horizon. But some of the best memories I have from the year I began to lose weight are of accomplishments that were a result of sweaty, teary, gritty hard work. That's exactly what's about to happen, so I know I'll be making memories. Hopefully these memories will serve as a reminder to never let myself go this far astray again!

It's all part of "the journey," right?

I'm going to post a workout update  with pics tomorrow. Someone hold me to that!

December 26, 2011

Finish Year

From Jon Acuff's blog:
I am amazing at starting things.

I start new books, new dreams, new projects, new ideas with an admirable amount of energy, enthusiasm and drive.

Finishing things?

That’s another story. Finishing is kind of a drag to me. I think it’s the hardest part of a project. It’s not nearly as fun as starting. Starting is sexy and easy and fireworks over the sky as we celebrate the possibility of where this adventure will lead us!

I hate finishing. I used to be horrible at finishing.
Unfortunately, though, I learned a secret about starting and finishing.

Starting a project doesn’t change the world. Finishing a project changes the world.
Read the full post here.

When I read this, I was thinking, "Yup, that's me." I was thinking of my weight loss goals and this blog. I was thinking about my family and the things I want for them. I was thinking about how good I am at starting things and how very, very bad I am at finishing them. I don't want to be a quitter. I want to be a finisher.

God willing, in 2012:
  • I will finish losing the weight that I set out to lose back in January of 2010. 50 down, 40 to go...
  • I will run and finish my second half marathon.
  • I will finish reading every book that I have purchased on my Kindle and only half read. 12 of them.  
  • I will finish each day in God's word and in prayer with my children.
Writing out this finish list is scary.

I'm going to share it here.

December 22, 2011

Messy Day

I finished our Christmas shopping today. Mostly. I was experiencing some anxiety due to that fact I was shopping for the majority of our gifts on Dec. 22 and my son hurt his ankle last night. I took Jonah to have his ankle x-rayed this afternoon and it turns out to be a sprain. Thank you, Lord. So instead of worrying about a broken bone in my 6 year old, I got to put bows on pretty little packages this evening.

And now for the messy. I did not think about the food that I ate today. I was kind of shocked at myself. Even as the food was going into my mouth (various fast food joints and an assortment of homemade candy),  I was so confident in my complete 180 yesterday and Tuesday, it really baffled me that the addiction took over today.

One day at a time.

I am going to focus on Emmanuel tomorrow. He came to us, He is with us.

December 21, 2011

I Forgot About NSVs

Haven't really posted about NSVs in a while. Here is one:

Yesterday was a Tuesday and I tracked my food and exercised for the first time in weeks. It was a Tuesday! This is huge. First steps never used to happen on a Tuesday. But now they do. This seems so monumental to me. I never even gave a thought to the fact that I could spend basically a whole week eating whatever I wanted and being lazy before the next Monday comes around. Not to mention a major food eating holiday would be included. These things didn't even cross my mind!

Until just a few minutes ago when fat-me thought, "Wow! What's up? You didn't consider waiting until Monday to get back on track! You wanna re-think that, right?"  But the answer is no. Because the self-discipline of the past two days has yeilded the most freedom and peace I've felt in months. At the same time, I am not freaking out about what I'm going to eat and what my strategies will be at all of the Christmas and New Year's gatherings I will attend over the next few days. Not that strategies are bad, but freaking out about them is and that's what I used to do.

As much as I may tend to think of my current state as "backslidden," the fact of the matter is that true and lasting change has taken place inside of me, inside my mind.  Thankful for this NSV!

Don't forget about NSVs!
P.S. For anyone who doesn't know, NSV stands for Non Scale Victory. :)

December 20, 2011

New Song, New Step

Today is a beautiful day. I ate oatmeal for breakfast with chopped Gala apple, apple butter and Natural peanut butter. I had coffee with skim milk. No, it wasn't quite the same as the cup I had two nights ago with the heavy cream, but it was strong and it gave me some energy. I went for a walk. Only about 3/4 a mile until I stepped into ankle deep water. Thankfully my Johnny-on-the-spot was there to pick me up within minutes. Although it is slight and only through one nostril, I am breathing. I can feel a new song being written in my heart.

I have been contemplating the comments that have been trickling in since I posted last night about how difficult is is to blog these days. Thank you. So many wonderful, thoughtful, insightful comments to uplift and inspire me. And many things for me to ponder.

"Blogging is easy or hard depending on its original purpose." Kyle's observation led me to recall why I began blogging about my weight loss, in the first place. I think there were 2 main reasons: 1)accountability 2) I love to write. Much like Kyle, I just wanted a place to journal through the process. Honestly, I didn't think it would last that long so I certainly wasn't anticipating any sort of following. It seems like I was learning so much, so rapidly in those early days. I was posting about everything I was finding out about my mentality, how emotions play into this whole thing and the ultimate high was having a huge loss to talk about every week. It was exhilarating. Like a drug. In hind sight, probably not so good. But over time, it's just not like that anymore. I can see how God has been chiseling, molding and reshaping me. So the question is, what is my purpose for this blog now? I think they are the same but with an addition of a 3rd reason--to bring glory to God. Now that I've identified that as being the only change in purpose, it is easy for me to identify the source of my confusion, frustration and lack of peace where the blog is concerned--satan.

Cheri challenged me to consider if there is something God has asked me to do that he is waiting on me to complete, for this could be holding me up. I think the answer is most certainly "yes." He has asked me to persevere no matter what my mind, body or emotions are telling me. And much like the Israelites I have been camped out at the Mt. of "I can't see where this is headed so I'm gonna stop." The calling of God is pretty simple for me at this point. Step. I am reading The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer and these words have been haunting me for several days: "Perhaps you still think you ought to think out beforehand and know what you ought to do. To that there is only one answer. You can only know and think about it by actually doing it. You can only learn what obedience is by obeying. It is no use asking questions; for it is only through obedience that you come to learn the truth." Along the same lines, a post I read last night encouraged me so much with this: "If you haven't taken your first step, take it." I love how God can weave all of this together.

I was reminded by one of the comments that I am more "me" in this medium that anywhere--even than I am with myself in my own head. There is something about it that allows me to peel and peel and peel away layers and just when I think I've gone all the way to the core--there is still more to peel. That's when the REAL happens. And the writing is what does the peeling. So just as others feel they know me more through this blog, I would say I know myself so much more because of it, as well.

Several comments made me realize that I am focused on the wrong audience. While I must keep in mind that people are reading this--after all, it is a WEB log and if I didn't want the element of readership I would just keep a private journal-- however, ultimately the audience of One I answer to is God. He always knows my heart and I trust that he will do with my words as He wishes. I trust that he is bigger than any mistake I have ever or could ever dream of making. Keeping that in mind should help avoid much of the reader-related anxiety :-) I did love the suggestion to have a spiritual mentor look over any posts that I am concerned about. Thanks, AJ T. Will do.

I just read a comment from Stacey who mentioned that as far as weight loss goes, she didn't know how she could accurately express in words all that God has done. A light bulb went off when I read that. I have mentioned several times on this blog that I struggle with perfectionism. Maybe not in the way that most people would identify perfectionism, but in terms of needing things to be "all or nothing." I agree with Stacey that God has done so much in my mind and heart that there is no way I could adequately express that in words, even if I spent the rest of my life trying. Particularly in the past few months He has done a great deal of work in me. I am so overwhelmed with His mercy and grace in my life. What if I can't get it all out? What if I can't make the world see what He has done?

But just as it is with weight loss, it can never be all or nothing. It will never be. I can never think that all of this rides on me and my ability to do it completely, perfectly. I can never think that--because it is not possible. And I can never think it is my job or ability to completely convey the greatness and vastness of God Almighty. That is the job of Christ alone.

So, in Him I will live, move, and breathe. And blog.

December 19, 2011

Blogging is Hard. Why?

SO many times I sit down and pour my heart out on this screen and then just close everything out without publishing. I have been asking myself the question, Why? Why does this not work the way it used to? I used to update my blog daily and sometimes twice daily! It was so simple. So I'm going to attempt blogging long enough to figure out why blogging has become so difficult for me...

For one thing...

I am afraid what I am sharing might be incorrect. Fear of being wrong, basically. I think it could be. The road of my weight loss has led me toward Jesus. Much of my thought processes, if not all, involve some type of theological assessment. Where is God in all of this....what does the Bible say...etc. So just about anything I am going write is going to involve these kinds of answers. Early on when this began to happen I was afraid people would quit reading because it was about God and Jesus. I worked through that and realized that I am not ashamed of the Gospel and in order to keep it real, that is just the way it would have to be, no matter what. Now I don't even think about offending in that way, but actually being a false teacher and leading someone astray. I know, and I know that everyone reading must know, that I am not a Bible scholar make lots of mistakes and there is grace for that. But what if the one time someone stopped by to read was the day I wrote about something I didn't really know about and was completely wrong about. Ah well, I guess that's already happened plenty.

And another thing...

I think about comments too much. Like right now I am predicting what comments will be left on this post and worried that people will not get what I am saying.  I am resisting the urge to close out this post and climb in to bed so I don't have to deal with that. Now I am afraid that people will read what I just typed and not comment because of how weird I am being about it. And I certainly don't want that. I love comments! ( Okay--now everyone is getting a taste of how ridiculous I am)

Huge problem...

Sometimes I think what I am writing is redundant and pointless. (ha--especially after the previous paragraph.) For instance, I have the strong urge today to write a post about gaining 20 pounds from my lowest weight and then challenging anyone else in the same boat to join me in a "getting back on track challenge." Like if I put it in a neat little package it will ensure success.  I want to come up with a fail-proof plan. But what if I fail with the failproof plan? And its on this blog for friends and family and complete strangers to see...and then I fail? And I almost always don't complete these challenges. Needless to say, I've decided to forgo a challenge for now, but then what do I write about? "Well, I'm just struggling. I'm just a mess. I'm feeling so blah. I'm eating so bad. Wah." Yeah...just can't bring myself to write posts like that, even when that is my reality. Perhaps that is exactly what I should be writing.


Maybe it's not as fun to write on your weight loss blog when you are gaining weight. Maybe? Hmm...


The state of mind I am in one day is the exact opposite the next. Sometimes it changes minute to minute. On the one hand weight loss seems so trivial to me today. I know people who are suffering, children who are dying, families who are mourning loss of loved ones...and I'm going to sit down and blog about how many calories I ate today? It just doesn't make sense. But at the same time, I'm sinking. Without the structure, the accountability, the community...all of it--I am sinking. I'm gaining. I'm fearful. I'm anxious. I'm not free.

What has happened!?

I started out 2 years ago wanting to be skinny. Then I learned that I should want to be healthy, not just skinny. Then I learned that I should want to be healthy to honor God with my body, not to be skinny. Then I began to want to honor God with my body, but I also still wanted to be skinny. Now I just want to honor God with my body and I don't care nearly as much if I'm skinny. So this is a huge shift that has taken place over the course of 2 years and I just don't really know how blogging fits into the new picture. Because in the beginning it was about being cutesy and it just gradually got more and more and more about being "real". Lately there hasn't been a lot of cute. But there hasn't been much "real" either.

Should I continue with this blog?

I have been reading the online journal of someone lately that has had a huge impact on me. She would have no idea the way that it has blessed me and I know that it must be a huge sacrifice for her every time she posts, considering her circumstances. For that sacrifice, I am so very thankful. And she has no idea. I just keep thinking that even though I don't know why I should write about this anymore or how it could possibly be beneficial, it feels like I should. Even though I don't know what He has in store, I know God is not through with me yet. The work that He does is always amazing. Right now I just feel like a big bum, but this is SO not about me.

That's it. I knew I would get to the bottom of this if I just started writing. I've allowed myself get in the way. My insecurities, my doubts, my fears, my laziness, my inadequacies, my imperfection....all of that is the cause for my writers block. If this was about me, then it woudl be pointless. But it's not about me. At least, I don't want it to be.

So now, I guess I just pray that he will move me out of the way.

I'm really tired and in an attempt to not over think things and in an effort to make sure this post actually gets posted, I'm just going to hit publish with out proofing. Please forgive the mistakes and non-sense.

December 15, 2011

I Heart NYC

Today marks 10 years of marriage for my husband and me. We spent last Friday through Tuesday in New York City to celebrate! We had so much fun. We kind of consider NYC "our city" so when we were trying to decide where to go for an anniversary trip at Christmastime, the Big Apple seemed like the perfect place. I dug up a photo of myself from the last time we were there a couple of years ago. Even with my big coat and many layers on you can see that there was much less of me this time! It's so much easier to go 90 to nothin' for 5 days straight at a healthier weight.

I had to take a mirror pick in our sweet hotel. It is a favorite place for us to stay--very cheap, clean and quiet. Here's a picture of the Chelsea Lodge:

So quaint.

We were in a restaurant in Harlem, Melba's, about to eat fried chicken and waffles. It was really good. We were a little out of control with the food we ate. Over the course of 5 days I ate: pretzel (street vendor), burger and fries (Burger Joint), nachos and hot fudge sundae (Serendipity), fried chicken & pancakes (Melba's), Pizza (Grimaldi's), Banana Walnut muffin (Murray's Bagels), 4 types of pasta, lots of bread, tiramisu (Carmines), Barbecue Potato Chips w/ bacon blue-cheese dip, Pork ribs and macaroni&cheese (Blue Smoke), Bagel w/ raisin walnut cream cheese (random bakery), Fish n' chips (A Salt & Battery), 1/2 burger and nachos (Ellen's Stardust Diner), bacon, eggs, hash browns, English muffin (Highliner Diner), 1/2 quesadilla (airport), buffalo chicken salad (Buffalo Wild Wings). The END. Needless to say I've been scared to get on the scale since we returned but I enjoyed every bite of everything I put in my mouth. So no regrets, but I am happy to return to healthy eating.

This is at the Top of the Rock (similar to view from Empire State Building but less crowded).  This was my favorite outfit of my trip. ;)

These are our travelling buddies having a hot fudge sundae at the famed Serendipity III. This summer we were sitting at the same table at a wedding reception of a mutual acquaintance. Not really knowing each other that well, we were making small talk when the topic of our upcoming anniversary came up. I'm not sure what exactly happened but before the night was over we were ready to book our trip for 4 to NYC. Our families have had fun spending lots of time together since that wedding and planning our trip. We look forward to making many more memories with them. I love the way the Lord brought our families together. You might call it "serendipitous." ;)

Lara and I drank A LOT of coffee. This was by far the prettiest Starbucks I have ever seen.

This is the new Freedom Tower being built near ground zero. It is already soaring higher than all the other buildings around it and it is only half way built! I can not imagine how tall that thing is going to be! This photo is kind of misleading--you have to realize that I took the photo from a 38th story window of another building. That is the roof of another high rise sitting at what looks like the base of the Freedom Tower.

You can see the Freedom tower in the background here as we are riding the ferry to Staten Island. It will be twice that tall when completed. Sorry to be repetitive, but WOW.

Looking forward to many more anniversaries with this guy.

A nerd eating Nerds.

I love NYC.

December 3, 2011

No Turning Back

This summer I became overwhelmingly convicted  to turn away from sinful patterns that were ruling over me. Serious. I was super-duper serious. And Satan knew it. Almost immediately after I had committed to repentance, Satan began to attack. 

He got in my head and convinced me that I could never walk in freedom over this sin of idolatry (looking to food to bring the comfort, security and joy that only God can provide.) He convinced me that I was being too legalistic in wanting to overcome this and that I didn't need to pursue putting this sin to death. (Read: "Eat whatever you want. It's fine." Sound familiar? Genesis 3, anyone?) Needless to say, Satan made a very alluring case and I bought it.

But tonight I've decided that I'm not buying it anymore. Nope. The promise of God is that He will set me free. FREE. No chains, no oppression, but freedom. I'm not trying to earn anything. I'm not hoping to please anyone. I'm not even trying to get into a pair of jeans. All I want to do, by His grace, is express the love that I have for my Savior by obeying him. If in that process I earn things or please people or fit into a size 6, then so be it. I probably will. But that is not why.

The Lord has shown me what is good for my body--what makes me feel and function my best. He has taught me how to plan and cook healthfully. He has provided money for my family to be able to buy food. He has granted me a schedule and a spouse that are both very conducive to allowing me a near-daily workout. He has blessed me with two precious bundles of energy to care for. He has given me the ability to learn scripture. He has promised to provide a way out of every temptation that I face. He sits at the right hand of the Father and prays for me without ceasing. Not only has He shown me what to do but he has explained to me why I need to do it. We all know parents don't have to do that, but He did. Grace.

There is no reason in the world that I should not walk in the ways that he has clearly made known to me. In doing so not only will I be protected and blessed, I will be loving Him. I will be abiding in Him. I look forward to the days ahead and pray that each one draws me nearer, ever nearer to my Jesus. Joy will abound.

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

*I should mention, for any new readers, that my method of weight loss is simply to exercise most days and eat a balanced diet as suggested on This is the way that I should eat for the rest of my life--its not a special diet. When I eat this way, I lose weight. I imagine when my body gets to a healthy weight I will stop losing. So far I have lost about 60 lbs and have about 30 to go.