December 27, 2013

Back to Square One (With Hope)

I wonder if anyone out there feels like I have been feeling...

Here we are. Again. The starting line. Again? Really?


"Oh my gosh. This is so ridiculous. So cliche! The beginning of a new year, a new outlook on life and losing weight. Gag! How many times have you done this, Keelie? No one believes you can do it. You are pitiful. Why are you even doing this again? You never succeed. You never stay the course. You are going to make an idiot of yourself. Don't bother. No one even cares if you are "healthy" or not. It's pointless. You have never been able to stop yourself from quitting. You are weak. You are addicted to food. Food! How gross is that? Why can't you just control yourself? ugh! Disgusting. Even if you do good for a while you'll slip. You'll fall hard. You always do. And then you'll feel sorry for yourself. You'll eat. And eat. And eat. And then you'll get so fat that your clothes will look horrible and won't fit. You'll have to wear the same outfit over and over again when you go in public because it's the only thing that buttons. Oh but that's right, you aren't giving up. You're going to "try again," again. It's cute. It really is. But you are a lost cause. A joke. Give it up. Just do us all a favor and stop.


This is shame. The shame of the enemy.

I have to make a choice right now.The shame of Satan or the God of Hope?

In our failure, in our fatness, in our weakness and in our shame, Jesus came for us. He said "I love you." with his life and death. He takes that very Love and pours it into our hearts. If we confess our weakness of character, the undeniable urge to serve only ourselves and if we believe He loves us anyway then we become children of God. To each of us who is a sinner and believes we need saving, God adopts us as his beloved. He sees a heart made beautiful by the blood of his Son. The shame, in reality, is gone as far as the east is from the west. If Someone can love me in spite of me--and He does-- then there is hope. And Hope will not put us to shame. Never.

So I've decided that I'm not going to be ashamed of starting again and believing that I'll be successful.This is the confidence I have, that He who began a good work in me will finish what He started. That's His plan, and who am I to argue? Not only is beginning again possible, it's necessary. I'm done with shame.

And Satan...well he can just go to hell.


December 15, 2013

Baby Bundt for the Soul

Yesterday after hours of Christmas shopping I finally waved my white flag in the battle of "I Want Sweets." Reluctantly I entered the Corner Bakery and sheepishly ordered a chocolate baby bundt cake. I rendered my coffee the perfect shade of creamy caramel and de-layered into a cozy booth for one. My eyes began to wander around, taking in all the people as I carefully cut and ate each section of my chocolatey, seemingly comforting cake, assuring myself this would be the last sugar I'd have in 2013.

The hustly, bustly holiday people were packed into this joint. Some talking, some texting. The awkward girlfriend eating her sandwich with one hand covering her mouth as she alternated chewing and nervously giggling uncontrollably while her aloof companion scarfed down his food. There was the 50-something-year-old man with a newspaper under his arm waiting impatiently for his to-go order to be brought out. Two cute older ladies splitting a sandwich and a muffin. A mom trying to feed her 4 kids under the age of 6. Methodically...a well oiled machine. Likely soaking up every last minute of "getting out" before returning to what we mom's affectionately refer to as "Home."

And then there was me. 

The overweight girl in a corner booth eating her big-enough-for-3-or-4 "baby" bundt cake. Every last bite of it. Peering out from behind a book wondering if anyone was reading me the way I was reading them. 

My thoughts were jolted when an annoyingly symmetrical, upside-down-heart-shaped, hard-as-a-rock, perky little booty covered in black tights (which are apparently the same thing as pants now) pranced past me.

Wow. Just wow. I'm sure my eyes were bugging out of my head. So much flooding my mind, If in the world...stop STARING!... 

As she sat down in the booth just in front of me,  wondered what it would be like to have that bum (what Glory would call it) as I used my fork to smash and lift up the surviving micro-crumbs of my baby bundt. Guess I'll never know. Ha. 

My daydreaming was once again interrupted when I over-heard a server ask the table behind me if they had ordered a cup of chicken noodle soup. 

Chicken noodle soup? 

Who comes to a place like Corner Bakery and orders a CUP of chicken noodle soup? Do they not KNOW about the Club Panini? The combos that include salad, soup, and a sandwich? The Maple Pecan Squares or the Monster Cookies? Do they not fear they will be stark-raving HUNGRY when they leave if they only have a cup of chicken noodle soup? No coffee? Really? I feel kind of sorry for that person. Who does that?

No one was claiming it. I assumed a mistake had been made. It was surely an add-on to the mom of 4's order. Sometimes the kids eat more than you think they will, ya know? 

But no. The server moved past me, glanced to the left and stopped. 

Booty Girl. 

Seeing that her plastic number was a match to the singular cup of brothy nothingness the server gently slid said nothingness in front of little black bum lady. I couldn't contain myself as I actually let out a brief Lol.Of course! This is exactly who orders a cup of chicken noodle soup at Corner Bakery. 

In all seriousness. I know better than to judge a book by its cover. Or a lady by her bum. For all I know she could have had a virus. And for all those people who were reading me at the Corner Bakery know, I could have eaten like a tight-booty gal today.

August 15, 2013

Precious Memory

I think it's funny that I decided if I didn't have anything to write about I would do a "gratitude post." As if that is something less important that what I have to say about...whatever. How self-absorbed. Duh.

Anyway...Today's gratitude post is about memory. I realized last night at a prayer meeting when we were directed to pray in thanksgiving for memories what a magnificent thing our memory is. I've never really thought about how unique the memory is. The ability to replay something in our mind. A decade, a year, a season, a day, a moment--we can recall because of memory. And attached to the mental picture comes sound, feeling, smell, emotion. A memory has the potential to engage the whole person, physically, mentally, emotionally and definitely spiritually. The more that I think about it, I believe our memory could be one of the most spiritual things about us. God certainly has purpose in everything He creates. I am overwhelmed as I begin to think of all the ways and reasons our memory is needed in our relationship with God...

So we can remember where we've been. Yes, even the most disgusting, deplorable pit imaginable can be turned to glorify God when we remember. And when we are in the bottom of the same pit  looking up we can remember that He's pulled us out before. We can remember His promises. The remarkable, miraculous ability He's given us to permanently engrave His words on our heart and in our minds and souls so that we might stay in the safety of His ways. We can remember. 

And for just sheer grace. Memories of happy times. The moment the doors flung open and the groom saw his bride. The time the family loaded up and headed to Six Flags on a Sunday morning whim. The time the test finally had two pink lines. The time the light was finally at the end of the tunnel. Hope, joy and happiness are just a thought away because of memory.

There is a song by Ginny Owens called If You Want Me To that is one of my very favorites. There are a couple of lines at the end that always bring that big lump up in the back of my throat. She talks about remembering:
So when the whole world turns against me and I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the darkness if You want me to 
When I cross over Jordan, I'm gonna sing, gonna shout
I'm gonna look into Your eyes and see, You never let me down
So take me on the pathway that will lead me home to You

I'm gonna look into Your eyes and see, You never let me down. Wow. God will one day redeem our memory. We will be able to remember our whole lives with full knowledge of Who He is. We will remember in a new way. I think this will give us the ability to worship in Spirit and in Truth unlike we ever have before. Just something cool to think about. Basically, and ultimately we have a memory so we can glorify God. 

August 13, 2013

Cheeseburgers, Scales & Expectations

You know what I hate? I hate when I get on the scale with an expectation and the number that appears is NOT low enough to make all of my sacrifice worth it. What has happened in that moment so many times in the past is that I decide right then and there that cheeseburgers are a more dependable way to be satisfied than losing weight. So I go spend the rest of the day stuffing my face with cheeseburgers.

The problem with this is that it's stupid. Because cheeseburgers are not dependable. Neither is a scale. I mean, they are dependable for the thing that they were meant to deliver. A tasty meal. A tool to measure weight. But neither is dependable to satisfy me.

Expectations are a dangerous thing if they do not consider the primary purpose of the object of expectation. The primary job of a cheeseburger is to taste good, not to make me feel good. The primary job of a scale is to measure weight, not to make me feel good.

But still, I am dying to be satisfied. Good news: The primary purpose of Christ is to satisfy me.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:6-8 

And the primary purpose of me is to glorify God. Love how it all comes together in these words from John Piper:
“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” John Piper 

August 11, 2013

On Coffee

Continuing on with my efforts to blog even when I have nothing to say, here is another gratitude entry:

I have been so thankful for coffee lately. I mean it really is such a perfectly delightful thing. I am sad that there are some people who do not like coffee. Really, I am. When I meet people one of the standard questions I ask them is in regards to their stance on coffee. "Hi, nice to meet you, _____. Where do you live?  Ahh. What do you do? Mmmm, that's cool. And do you drink coffee?..." The last person I asked said no and I think I actually apologized to her without thinking...I'm sorry. That's just how much I love coffee.

And it's such a simple thing that I wonder how someone even came up with it. To take some green little beans, roast them, grind them up, then steep with water and drink? Genius...but I would have never thought of that. Every morning when I am pouring in the cream and measuring out the spoon-fuls of sugar I give thanks to God for the grace that is coffee. It gives me so much joy! And I know I could live without it because I have before. But I'd just rather not. I wonder if part of my love for coffee has to with the fact that when I was little my grandmother used to serve me milk and sugar with a splash of coffee in the most beautiful and dainty tea cups with saucers. I still like to drink coffee in a tea cup. It's all about quality over quantity for me and coffee. Well, the quantity of the cream and sugar do matter. But I'd rather have a tiny cup of perfectly brewed coffee than gallons of gross coffee.

This is gonna sound really weird but I think of coffee as a friend sometimes. Probably not a great thing. But when I am stressed or lonely or fighting temptation coffee is my go-to companion. And coffee reminds me of God's great gifts that are so simple and yet so amazing! Coffee brings people together. It forces you to slow down. It helps you think...sometimes the most brilliant ideas come between sips. It can really be an art if you so choose for it to be. Coffee is one of the rare things that smells so irresistibly delicious and then actually delivers on taste to the same degree.(You know there are some food smells that really beat the food's actual taste by a long shot. Coffee is not in that camp.) Coffee makes me think of people I love, it makes me think of warmth when all my surroundings seem cold. It makes me think of home, stability, and simplicity. If I could learn to drink it black it is like zero calories and supposedly has great health benefits in moderate quantities. I doubt that will happen, but you never know.

Coffee is just so, so, so GOOD. Thank You, God for coffee. The end.


August 10, 2013

Choosing Tomorrow's Moments

Yesterday was one of those days that seem to drag on and on as you are fighting to live in the moment but in every moment you are just wanting to eat a big bag of chips. So it's kinda hard, living in the moment. That was yesterday.

I never ate a huge bag of chips. I did live in the moment for the most part. Feeling how that feels when you want something so bad and you could have it but you know you shouldn't so you just sit there and let God hold you down--that actually is painful. Or the way it feels when you want to say something so bad and you could but you know you shouldn't so you just sit there and let God put a hand over your mouth. Excruciating in that moment. And you breathe deep breaths through your nose and you try to remember why you are being silent. Or why you aren't going to Dollar General for the chips. Thinking it through. Pacing. Remembering. Feeling the burn of surrender. This is living in the moment for me, at the moment.

It felt pretty uncomfortable yesterday but today it feels right and satisfactory. Today I don't have to live in the moments of regret and discouragement. I can live in moments of praise and amazement at the grace that held me down and covered me. And in moments of believing that He will do it again. And again and again.

Today's surrender is tomorrow's freedom.

August 7, 2013

Who's the Boss?

Eating Disorder. Disordered eating. What about "ordered eating"?  As in, not eating too much. Not eating too little. Not obsessing over eating. Eating normally...What is eating normally? Just eating to live? No, I don't think that's all there is to it. Eating is closely associated with celebration and I believe that is okay. Eating is closely associated with comfort and I believe that is also okay. Eating is closely associated with Christ in many ways, namely that he tells us to eat and drink in remembrance of Him. So that one must be okay.

He tells us to eat to remind us of our need for Him and how easily do we forget about that? We think we only need ourselves. This is precisely what leads to disordered eating. This is precisely what leads to disordered...anything! In Genesis 3 disorder began. Eve forgot who God was. She put herself in the place of God. She ate in a disordered way. She did not eat to live. She did not eat to celebrate. She did not eat for comfort. She did not eat as a way to remember and give thanks for the blessings of God. She ate because she forgot to remember who God is.

A good friend recently observed, God is the Boss of us. He really is.

I'm just wondering if it really could be as simple as remembering that. Remembering that God created. Remembering that what God created was good. Remembering that like Adam and Eve we are slaves to disorder and sin apart from the perfect life and unfathomable death of Jesus. Remembering that He demonstrates his love by coming for us. Again and again and again. Remembering that we need Him and we need the food that He provides to sustain us for another day. Remembering that He is boss and He knows best.

What if a meal became a time to remember rather than a time to freak out, pig out or hide out? We can choose to remember. We can choose to allow Him to order every part of our lives, including our relationship with food. In Genesis 1 there was order. There was normalcy. In the beginning, there was blessing and there was peace; there was order. The good news is that Christ took away the curse of sin, yet He did not take away the blessings of obedience. That is so cool to me. So gracious! Following Jesus... remembering who He is and what He's done, believing it and acting on it...puts us on the pathway that leads back to the way things were in the beginning. When He goes first, everything else somehow gets put back in order. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

I'm going to pray for God to reveal ways to remember who He is as I struggle through temptation associated with food. How awesome would it be if the very thing (food) that has inflicted so much pain, heartache and so much disorder in my life, God would turn to a thing that would always and forever be reminding me who He is instead? That sounds just like something He would do. I'm asking for it.

August 2, 2013

Life or Death

This day I call the heavens and the 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

I feel the weight of this truth so profoundly today.

Last night I was told about a morbidly obese man who died in a fast food drive-thru line. Right in his car. CPR was administered but it was too late. God rest his soul. I can't imagine the heartache that follows a tragedy like that for his family and friends. I'm most definitely not writing about this to impose judgement. For all I know this man was trying hard to become healthy and I don't know for a fact that his obesity was the direct cause of death.  But it just made me think of how many times I have pulled into a drive-thru line to order something that I know I shouldn't. I have felt so shameful, so frustrated and so helpless and so hopeless. I pray that was not the condition of this man and that he was just happily driving through for a quick lunch. 

The fact remains that over-eating and obesity is a serious problem. It causes death. It causes pain, heartache, sadness, depression, disease and ultimately it causes death. Do we understand the seriousness of this? Or are we winking and chuckling as we reach for the 3rd brownie at a party or heading to the fast food restaurant for the 5th time this week? People die of drug and alcohol abuse. We shake our heads. So sad. Serious issue. 

Well, I am serious. If I do not make a turn in my life, the path I am on leads to death. I might as well take up drinking or crack cocaine. People may say, that's not the same thing. Food addiction doesn't affect your daily life. You can still be functional. Well, maybe you can but I can't. At least not the way God intends for me to function. And if it's not the way He intends then it's not life to me. Not real life. And if it's not real life then its just as good as death.

On the other hand, this week I experienced the death of a close friend of mine. She was exactly 40 years older than me; we shared the same birthday. Miss Fairry was a member of my First Place 4 Health group and for the past 5 years or so I saw in her an example of what it means to truly live. Choosing life for herself each day as she took care of others, encouraged others and made her health a priority, she did the latter so that she could do the former. Taking care of her body was not about looking cute or impressing people. It was not about getting to a certain number on the scale or being perfect. It was about being able to truly live for her. To be able to fully serve God in any and every way that He would lead her. And it was about joy. It was about discipline for 6 days of the week so she could enjoy a plate of fried catfish with her husband on Friday nights before they went dancing! Yes, dancing. Miss Fairry died peacefully in her sleep earlier this week. She chose life so that she could live. Right up until she went home.

One of the things that I will always think of when I think about her is scripture memory. She spent most of her life believing that she could not memorize scripture. Somewhere along the way during her time spent in the FP4H program she began memorizing scripture. Lots of it. I loved hearing the enthusiasm in her 70-something voice as she spoke of the ways the Lord was still changing her. What an encouragement she was to me. As I've thought so much about her this week, the verse from Deuteronomy keeps coming back to me. It is one we all memorized together and I know the Spirit of the Lord is still encouraging me through the life of this remarkable woman as He whispers: You have a choice... Now choose life.

Miss Fairry is on bottom right. Love that joyful smile. She always looked just like this.


August 1, 2013


I am basically having to force myself to write here. I think it's important because God is nudging me to do so, and I will, but I'm just saying...I don't really have much to say. At least regarding food, weight and the like. That's probably for the best. So what I'm going to do is record a couple of things I am grateful for today.

First of all I think, if my math is correct, I did 3 loads of laundry today. I know that's not a big deal for 99% of people but for that minute remainder, aren't you proud of me? I'm grateful that I remembered to change out the loads and restart our dying dryer at the right intervals so that I got in three loads of clothes! Amazing. Grateful of course that we have that many clothes, even. Now if I can just get them off of my bed and into their homes before I fall asleep on top of them...

Second I'm grateful that I had plenty of groceries to make 3 semi-healthy meals for both me and the kids today. That is not always the case, but only because I forget to go to the grocery store (or put it off), certainly not for lack of provision...

Which leads me to the third thing I am grateful for and that is my husband. He is just a jewel. And I love him.

Fourth, I am thankful for the peace of God that has kept me calm today and allowed me to focus on things I need to focus on even during the midst of sadness from the passing of a dear friend. I am so thankful for all the memories I have of this woman, for each and every one of them directs my thoughts to Abba Father.

Okay! That was fun.

P.S. I just went and tucked the kids into bed and my son had a total bad attitude. So I thought, "I will have them tell me what they are thankful for today!" So I asked. Daughter answered sweetly. Son answered two things he is "hateful" for. Then I stepped on two pieces of hard plastic toys with my bare feet. So I guess to put in Jonah's terms, I'm kinda hateful for that last part of the day but trying to find the good in it. G'night.

July 29, 2013

Freedom and Taquitos

Most of the truth I've learned about God through the years has been surprising to me. Perhaps that observation is surprising but it shouldn't be. His thoughts are not my thoughts, neither are His ways my ways. Pretty much, if I think it's going to go down a certain way, it's not.

This line of thinking brings to mind taquitos. I was eating at a really good, authentic Mexican food restaurant the other day and one of the girls with me ordered Taquitos. When our order came out, however, the food on her plate was not taquitos.

You know what I'm talking about, the little yellow sticks filled with some kind of mystery meat concoction that you buy in the freezer section and serve at parties to to dip in fake cheese and salsa. Yeah, those.

But that's not what was on her plate.

She politely pushed her food around for a while until the waitress came by and noticed she wasn't eating. I heard some of their exchange...long story short the waitress said that in fact those were taquitos. They were just real-deal taquitos. But you see, my friend likes impostor taquitos. She's so used to the fake thing that when the real deal came along she didn't even recognize it, much less want it. What can I say? The girl craves fake, frozen taquitos.

I couldn't really empathize with her. That plate of food looked dang good to me. But while I would gladly gobble up a big plate of authentically prepared taquitos, I'm thinking that all this time I've been looking for freedom and its been right in front of me...I just haven't recognized it because it's not what I though it would be. I've been looking for the worldly idea of what freedom is. The all-about-me kind of freedom. Feel-good freedom. Indulgent freedom. Overnight freedom. Fake, frozen, impostor freedom.

His ways are not the same as mine. His freedom is not going to be the way I envision it. Authentic freedom has never come without a fight. It's never come without pain or payment of a high price. Never without sacrifice. And surprisingly, but truly, never without boundaries.

It may be time to put my big-girl panties on and go with authenticity. I think I'm ready to sacrifice my expectations and put faith in a plan that is not going to be 100% pleasant for me. Commitment. Drastic Measures. Relentlessness. Obedience. Complete dependence on Another Way...

Real-deal freedom is going to be surprising, right? It's going to be nothing I thought it would be. But I believe it will be everything I never knew I wanted it to be and more.

Invitation to the Thirsty

All that said, I'm about to fire up the blog again. My goal is 2 to 3 times per week so be on the look-out.

February 8, 2013


rotting yellow househouse
(Country Living photos)

Several years ago we sold our house. We had lived there for a while; long enough to put a few holes in the walls, break a faucet, see some wear and tear on doors, walls, carpets, etc. So when it came time to sell we had to "fix it up." Little things here and there were taken care of over the course of a week or so and by the time we were ready to go on the market I felt like I was living a new home! It was wonderful. The walls and floors looked so nice! There were no squeaks...the water came out of the kitchen faucet in a nice steady stream...the carpet was back to it's original color. I was asking myself (and my husband) why had we not done all of these things sooner! It wasn't too difficult, it didn't cost that much and the results were terrific.

What the HECK!?

I think this is a good analogy for the way we are with our bodies--the home God has given us to live in for the time being. He made us in an awesome and wonderful way. But the things that we have put into our bodies, the neglect that happens over time can make it a not-so-fun place to be. It can almost feel like we're trapped in a terrible place.

But we have the power to change that! Small repairs make a huge difference. Breaking one habit and replacing it with another. Getting out for a few minutes each day to move. Spending some extra time at the grocery store to pick out items that will benefit the body rather than harm it. It only takes a few small changes to begin to see that if we care for our bodies the way they were made to be cared for we will be happy to live inside them!

I don't want to wait for depression to set in again or a dire health diagnosis to decide to change. That's just like waiting until we were about to sell the house to make the improvements. We could have had the fixed-up version all those years if we'd just taken the time for repairs and up-keep. Like I said, it really wasn't that big a deal. It always seems more difficult in our minds to fix something than it really is.

This body is the only "home" we will ever have as long as we are here on earth. It's never too late to make changes. And doesn't everyone just love a good "fixer-upper"!?


January 28, 2013

Weigh-In: 1.3 lb. Loss

197 lbs.

Another week moving in the right direction...progress.


January 23, 2013

80 Calorie Cupcakes

This recipe is easy as a piece of cake. Or cupcake in this instance.

Box cake mix (I used strawberry)
Can of soda (I used regular Sprite, use caramel colored drinks for chocolate cake)
Beat together. Pour in cupcake pan. Bake according to box directions.

Box of jello pudding (I used strawberries and cream)
Carton Cool Whip Free
Splash of milk
Beat together. Let sit in bowl in fridge until grittiness from pudding mix is gone. About 5 minutes.
Frost cupcakes. Optional: Top with sprinkles  (adds 15 calories)

These were gobbled up by my hubby, children and some students at church tonight. No one was complaining about taste and hubby said they were good. (He is usually honest about this type of thing). Of course you could reduce the calories even more by using a sugar-free"Splenda" Cake mix, a diet drink and sugar free-fat free pudding mix. But I thought 80 calories was pretty good. :)

The flavor combos with the cake, pudding and sodas are endless. Have fun and let me know what you come up with!


January 20, 2013

17 Things

Just a few things I have been re-learning over the past few weeks:
  • I have to go to bed hungry sometimes.
  • I always need to measure/weigh my food.
  • Eating out is too much trouble to be worth it, 85% of the time.
  • I'm not always excited about what I am about to eat--because it's what my body needs, not necessarily what it wants.
  • Drinking a lot of water does help tremendously.
  • I can survive temptation moments (and they often come in bulk over the course of an entire day.)
  • Finding motivation and actually working out is HARD.

A few things I am learning for the first time:
  • There are still plenty of lies I am believing that need to be up-rooted and replaced with the truth of God's word.
  • This is a lifetime process. This is a lifetime process. This is a lifetime process.
  • Falling off the wagon was not such a bad thing, though I wish to never fall that far or that hard again.
  • It is pretty clear to my inner-me when it is okay to eat something and when it is not okay, as long as I am sober-minded.
  • I have trigger foods that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, under any circumstances, will cause problems if I consume them. I MUST NOT eat these items. Regardless of situation or circumstance.
  • If there is a question in my mind as to whether or not I should eat an item, I MUST NOT eat the item.
  • I still believe that I will be free in this area of bondage eventually, Lord willing, but freedom will most likely not look like what I imagined.
  • This is more a spiritual issue than a physical/mental/emotional one, though it encompasses all of those. This is a SIN problem.
  • Sin can not be taken lightly. It is okay to fight with everything I have against it. In fact, I am commanded to and my life depends on it. (Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live)
  • The battle plan I have settled on might seem too harsh or like deprivation. However, deprivation is exactly my intent. To deprive my sinful nature, in effect starving it so that it no longer has power over me.

"Do you mortify? Do you make it your daily work? Be always at it whilst you live; cease not a day from this work; be killing sin or it will be killing you." John Owen

Yes, I am a compulsive over-eater with an addiction...but God has rescued me by his grace. He has forgiven me and given me His Spirit with which to put sin to death in my life. I'm not helpless. I'm not hopeless. The fact that I have the ability to fight effectively through Christ--It's such good news.

Love to all!

January 17, 2013

My Chuck E. Cheese Moment

I literally felt convulsions pulsing through my body this afternoon as we sat at Chuck E. Cheese and the pizza arrived. Immediately I was afraid of what I might do. I think Chuck E. Cheese pizza is nasty, but that smell was so intoxicating. This was the moment. The moment of truth...

I have been thinking about this moment for several days now. I knew it would come sooner than later. There is always this honeymoon period when I get serious about eating well, etc. and then, dang if  "that old feeling" doesn't hit me. And I mean it hits hard. The one that just. won't. quit. Not until I make it go away with some chocolaty concoction or crunchy salty carb. I despise that feeling.

But I didn't want to be afraid of it this time--I wanted to be ready. So I made a decision a few days ago that I'm going to be brutally honest with myself and admit that under no circumstances can I budge from what I have planned to eat. That leads down a road I no longer wish to travel. And, if I have doubts about eating a certain food, under no circumstances, will I eat it. NO matter how rude, illogical, or strange it may seem to myself or others, this is the decision I made. Seems a little extreme, yes I concede to that. But as I have said before (&conveniently tend to forget) extreme problems like mine call for extreme measures.

Although my defensive plan may seem extreme, it really isn't and this is why: What I am choosing to put to death through hardcore, relentless denial is just a feeling. A feeling that, for me, can easily lead to sinful actions. When I feel all fidgety and panicky and it seems like eating a package of...anything is the only thing that will help, then I know. When I am not hungry at all and the minute I turn on the TV the Pavlovian craving for a big bowl unbearable, then I know. When a pizza that I consider to be nasty is placed before me and the smell alone is sending me into convulsions, then I know. It's like a trick my mind is playing on me. It's just a feeling. Nothing bad will happen if I don't eat the pizza or...whatever. I just won't have eaten it.

Sometimes I will give-in to the feeling. I didn't today, thank you Jesus, but I might. And then I will be tempted to dream up an excuse cleverly disguised as logic or self-forgiveness. See, I know that pizza is not a "bad" food. Well, actually, it is kinda a bad food but anyways...I realize that a person could ingest C.C. pizza in moderation from time to time (although I know not why you would actually want to do this) and still be an extremely healthy and fit individual. The reason it was so important for me to not eat the pizza today was completely an issue of the mind. Not an issue of being flexible or living in the moment or being able to forgive myself because I had a slip-up. It's really not about any of that now. I've learned all of those lessons--in the most difficult of ways. But now I know how to forgive myself and move on. Perhaps even now a bit too quickly, too frequently. And I've learned how to be flexible. With meal planning and changing things last minute because of certain situations, I can do that and still stay afloat. I've also learned that being in the moment with my family has nearly nothing to do with eating food with them and everything about just being there. Really being there.

What I'm saying is that in the past I might have just eaten a piece or two of that pizza (even though I knew I was about to go eat a salad at Chick-fil-a) and chalked it up to living in the moment with my kids, or because I can be flexible and just track that instead of what was planned. Or because "tomorrow is a new day."

I can't keep doing that. I can't use any of those handy little ideas as a scape goat anymore. I had a plan for the day in place. I had made a decision. And I needed to stick to it. THE END.

Was it easy? No. Will it be easier next time? Yes. And am I wishing I had eaten the pizza as I sit here writing that I didn't eat it? All together now: "NO!"

This moment will come again all too soon. For me and for you. We have to be ready and we have to be honest. We have to do the hard work of resisting and saying no--over and over and over again. If we really want to change, that's just the way it is. That's the cold hard truth.


January 14, 2013

Weigh-In: 2.6 Loss

199.8 lbs

Yay for a loss!

Book excerpt taken from Love to Eat, Hate to Eat, by Elyse Fitzpatrick.

January 12, 2013


It's been a rough week. I'm reminded that just because I have decided to make changes, and have said I am going to make changes and I have even made PLANS to make changes...all that doesn't necessarily mean changes are going to happen. Doing hard stuff is hard. I guess I was kinda hoping since I've been through all of this once before it would be easier this time. No such luck.

It took me a really long time to get to a place where healthy living was the norm. It didn't happen overnight. I am being constantly reminded of that along with the fact that I'm back to square one. It's almost painful. No, actually it is painful. I hope that I will never forget the way I feel right now and that feeling will keep me from straying away from healthy habits. Even a little bit. How exactly am I feeling? I am frustrated, and somewhat angry. A little bit lost. I was feeling sorry for myself but now I have moved out of that and into fight mode. That's a good thing.

Just a few minutes ago I came face to face with a ginormous pack of Cheez Its (not on my eating plan). You couldn't find a more tempting food for me to want to OD on. I ate two and then I glared at the sack. I was infuriated. It was almost as if I was looking at Satan himself. (I know that is dramatic.) I thought about throwing them away. Instead I folded the sack over a couple of times and placed it back on the table. Then I started muttering to myself, between clinched teeth, something like "No! I'm not doing this. I'm ready to fight. I'm not falling for this..." My kids just looked at me like I was a weirdo. Which I am. I think this was the defining moment of my week. I remembered that doing this requires fighting. It's also a process of learning when and how to be still. My prayer is for God to hold me up safely in the tension of those two things. He alone can do that.

Last week I came up with a plan that included several new recipes and different meals everyday. That was not a good route for me. Several of the recipes were not my favorite and that just led to feeling deprived. Feeling deprived + feeling sorry for myself = binge. One night I ended up in an ugly crunchy carb fiasco. I did not post a tracker that day. Disdain toward tracking and sharing what is going on in my head is never a good sign for me. But like I said, I am now in fight mode...

I have a new plan for the upcoming week. Goal is to basically eat the same meals everyday. There is room for some variation especially at dinner, but for the most part I want to keep a tight ship. The idea is for me to not have to think about food every waking moment and hopefully shift focus to other important matters such as exercise. I feel like this is a pretty good tracker as far as quality of food. The quantity is appropriate considering my activity has been hit or miss. Hoping to get that regulated soon and when I do I may add more calories.

That's all for now.


January 9, 2013

"Life happened..."

When we talk about why we gain weight sometimes we say that "life happened."  I've said it before, to others and to myself. I've heard lots of people use the term. It's a very common explanation.  What does this really mean though?

Life happened...

Honestly, this is a way of saying things didn't go according to my plan. Right?

About a year and a half ago, life happened to me. It wasn't anything bad, per-se. but it was change. Huge change. Some of the major planning I had done, some major protective walls that had been built in my life to keep me on track were basically removed. Indeed, life happened. I spent a while pouting about this and then I spent some time being scared. Ultimately, I ditched everything that I had learned about staying healthy simply because it didn't look the same way it had before. And because it was going to be really difficult.

This happens on a micro level as well. Take for instance, a stressful evening at home. The kids aren't doing their homework, the husband is going to be home later than expected, you have a headache, the meal you prepared was not well-received. Finally everyone is asleep so you sit down to watch your favorite show only to find out the President is speaking or something like that. Not really what you had in mind. Things did not go as planned tonight. Can I salvage it? No, but maybe that poorly hidden pack of powdered donuts can.

This is life happening on the most basic level. And there's not a darn thing you, me or a powdered donut can do about it. There is no question that life is going to happen to me this year. It will happen to you. What are we going to do about it? Are we going to toss the goals we are so focused on right now? Are we going to wrap our arms around the refrigerator and expect it to comforts us? I know better than that. It stabs me in the back every time. Are we going to believe the lie that healthy living is optional and something that must take a backseat when "life happens?"

In an earlier post I talked about planning. Planning is so hugely important.  For long-term success, I think planning has to go beyond what we are eating and when we exercise. What I'm saying is that need a plan for when life happens. Because I know it will. Life happening is a constant in our lives. Another constant is me. I am always part of my life. The only variable is my reaction to life and it happening to me.

Choosing a correct posture for how we live when "life happens"...well that could be a game changer. For the long haul. It sounds absurd to say, "Hey, if life just never happens to me, then this plan will work!" Ridiculous! But isn't that what we are banking on most of the time? We have to dig deeper than that.

Life happens. Yes. It happens when I am living. Thank God I am alive. Unexpected illness, new commitments, job stress, conflict, over-full schedule, getting pregnant, the holidays....these are the things that equal "life happening" and when we experience them that simply means that we are alive. That we feel pain, frustration, anger, fear--all of that points to the fact that we are living, breathing. Life is happening to us. Life happening to us should be, even when it is difficult, an encouragement to keep going. Not a green light to lay down.

I want to quit giving up on things because it gets too hard...because life happens. It's a cop out, plain and simple.

I think a better way of looking at this life happened thing is to expect it, anticipate it and plan for it. Continuing to live healthfully through the nitty-gritty--can we plan for this? I think so. I think we have to.

January 8, 2013

Meal Planning & New Recipes

I designated this morning as official meal planning time. I did some searching on Cooking Light to come up with a few new recipes. Also went to Pinterest and plan to actually prepare some of the healthy recipes I have pinned! What a novel idea.

Trying new recipes is something I hope will help me not get bored with the foods that I am eating. I know that portion control will be super important for me to enjoy some of these casseroles and potatoes cooked with real butter. (slurp) And I will have to exercise much restraint in "sprinkling the cheese on top of them before baking. The recipe never seems like it calls for enough cheese on top to me. :)

Here are some of the new things I'm going to try. Looks like a major carb-fest but I will be eating these things with lots of leafy greens. I think I can...I think I can....

Baked Pasta w/ Spinach & Lemon 

Ham & Gruyere Gratin 

Baked Cheese Sticks

BBQ Potatoes  Super excited to try these!
Potatoes baked in Chicken Broth, Garlic and Butter, SO GOOD! They get crispy on the bottom but stay fluffy inside. Chocked full of flavor.
Baked Chicken Tacos 
Baked Chicken Taquitos with Guacamole

Here's my tentative meal plan for the rest of the week. Hope this helps me stay on track. I'm headed to the grocery store today. Planning, planning, planning!

grilled chicken salad
bbq pork on wheat bun, cowboy potatoes

bbq pork pizza/salad

egg muffin
baked pasta with spinach/grilled chicken

leftover pasta
Ham Gruyere Gratin/salad

egg muffin
lettuce wraps
grilled chicken, salad, baked cheese sticks

Au Gratin/salad
chicken taquitos/chili (take to Lifeline group)

lettuce wraps (leftover)
grilled chicken salad

This is the week to return to my beloved tracker. I haven't decided if I am going to post it on my blog or in Facebook page yet, but posting it somewhere everyday will definitely keep me accountable.

That's all for now...


January 7, 2013

Weigh-In: .6 lb. Loss


Honestly, I expected to be out of the twos today but, alas, it wasn't to be.

No. What I weigh does not define me. But it is important for my health and well being. At this point, my weight needs to be moving in a downward direction. No need for analysis, no "buts" about it. It is what it is. I've had to learn the hard way that having expectations about weigh-in is a bad idea. I have tried so many different approaches with weighing-in:

-have someone else write it down but I don't look (denial)
-weigh-in every day (obsession)
-get rid of my scale (avoidance)

A weigh-in, if we allow it to, can be one of those dramatic mountain top or valley experiences. But a weigh-in shouldn't be that. It is more of a mundane little moment that we can learn from. We can simply take what it gives us, accept it for what it is...not much. But something.

One weigh in on it's own never really amounted to much. But a whole bunch of them together is what amounts to something. And I've never heard of it being weight gain.

On we go...


January 6, 2013

Come Awake

This video is pretty poor quality--I didn't know what I was doing.


I always thought I would make a something kind of like this when I got to my "goal weight" but today just seemed like as good a day as any. Warning: there is music.


Banana-Nut Pancakes

My mom and I LOVE the Harvest Grain N' Nut pancakes from I Hop. When I saw this recipe it seemed like it could be a tremendous help in getting me close to a recreation. I was right! A couple of additions and tweaks produced a deliciously similar representation of the popular pancake house version. While they are not low calorie, I feel good about the ingredients and as with anything, moderation is key. Each pancake is approximately 150 calories. Bonus: they are gluten free.

Banana-Oat-Nut Pancakes 

  • 3 small bananas (9.5 ounces), mashed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 small lemon, juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup oat flour*
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans

  1. In a small-ish bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, butter, lemon juice and honey and vanilla. Beat in the eggs.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add pecans.
  3. Form a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. With a big spoon, stir just until the dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened. Do not overmix or you’ll get tough pancakes!
  4. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes. 
  5. Heat a heavy cast iron skillet (or nonstick griddle) over medium-low heat. If necessary, lightly oil the surface with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
  6. Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour 1/4 cup of batter onto the pan. Batter is thick, so you may have to gently spread out around edges for desired thickness. Let the pancake cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the cake.
  7. When the pan is just beginning to set, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point.
  8. Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven if you like. I topped with sliced banana, drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of pecans.
  • Adapted from Cookie + Kate recipe
  • Yields about 8 pancakes.
  • These pancakes are gluten-free, so long as you buy oat flour or old-fashioned oats that have not been contaminated with wheat.
  • *To make oat flour out of old-fashioned oats, simply pour one cup of oats into a food processor and process until it is ground well. One cup before and after grinding measures just about the same.
  • This whole grain batter is thicker than most, so it’s more difficult to gauge when the pancakes are ready to flip. Set timer for for 3 minutes for the first side, then flip and wait another 90 seconds for the other side to finish. The time will vary depending on your temperature setting, but that’s about the time it should take for pancakes that are fully cooked and golden on each side.


January 3, 2013

Therapy Thursday

Why are you overweight?
What a loaded question! The obvious answer is that I eat too much food. I am a compulsive over-eater. I actually worship food. (Hard to think of that way but it's true) Food is the thing I turn to when I am...anything. Emotions play a part, messed-up mentality plays a part and lack of self-discipline plays a part. The REAL reason I am overweight is that I have a worship disorder. I put food in the place of God. As the popular book title suggests, I have been made to crave. But nothing in this world can satisfy the craving that I have. Not money, not beauty, not love and certainly not food. For some reason, all to often, I believe the lie that food can.

Why do you want to lose weight?
So I can sleep better, so I can tie my shoes without grunting, so I can feel confident, so I look "normal", so I will have more energy, because it gives me a sense of accomplishment, it makes me feel alive and like the "real me," for my family, so that I can serve the Lord and others with all that I am meant to be, so getting dressed to go somewhere isn't dreadful. I want my body to look and function as the Lord intended it to.

Losing weight is actually only a bi-product of the thing that I really want which is sobriety. For me that means, at first, yielding to self-control by God's grace. What I want most, eventually, is to get to a place of self-control that is not so hard-fought. Self-control that feels almost natural. I know what that feels like and it is so good.  It hasn't always, but at this point sobriety means even more to me than losing weight. Redemption from this addiction just happens to mean weight loss.

Why have you regained weight lost?
Because I'm a rebel, I'm selfish and I just plain quit. I turned away from a perfectly wonderful way of life  because I thought I could come up with a better plan.  I had grown weary. I wanted a break.  I wanted to be free.

What I didn't realize or perhaps forgot is that I was free.

January 2, 2013

Weigh-In & Planning

I wish we could talk about this over coffee. (Sigh). I weighed in yesterday at 203. It's kind of weird to think about how long ago it was that I was writing about making it into "Onederland." I vowed to never go back. Never say never, huh?

There is a verse of scripture from the book of James: But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. (James 5:12 ESV) 

Interestingly, the few verses before this instruct believers to be patient, establish our hearts before the Lord,  not grumble, to be steadfast... compassionate... merciful. I have lost patience many times with this process. Usually when I realize I'm not in control or when things aren't going the way I think they should be. Then I think that if I make new promises, bigger vows that will somehow put me back in control. But really it just sets me up for condemnation--from myself.

How many of us have condemned ourselves for not keeping our vows, for not reaching the lofty goals that we set? And then what happens? Well, I get grouchy. A real pain in the butt, I tell ya. I might even begin to compare myself to others and look for anything in someone else that could make me feel better about me. Enter the grumbling. Exit mercy and compassion. It's such an ugly cycle.

But above all, says James, just let your yes be yes. And your no be no. Just do what you know is right. Don't talk about it all day and night--of which I am guilty--but just do it. Just DO IT. If we get this part right, then everything else sort of falls into place. We are content, free to think of ourselves much, much less. Now that's the way to truly live.

So I know what to do. And I know that if I do what I know I need to do the result is generally really good. So what's the problem?

 I think the problem is that there is an oft overlooked key element between the recognition of what must be done and the doing of what must be done. And that, my friends, we call planning. These are some things that I know I must PLAN for or they will not happen in a good way:

*Weekly meal & snack planning
*Semi-weekly Grocery Store trip
*Quiet/Bible study time
*Prayer time

Know what to do > Make plans to do it > Do it >Keep doing it, steadfastly

Need breakfast plans? Here's a great idea!

"Many good things do not happen in our lives for the simple lack of planning." John Piper

January 1, 2013

New Day's Resolutions

I don't think there is anything at all wrong with resolutions. To resolve to do a thing is perfectly respectable and people do it successfully all the time. But one thing I've observed is that it is much more easy, fun and exciting to make a resolution than it is to keep it.

At the heart of most resolution making, I believe, is the hope that this time we will find a solution. To whatever things we struggle with, whatever bothers us about ourselves, whatever is wrong with us...don't we just want to be fixed?

And so we run the risk, with resolution making, of finding out that in fact there is no amount of resolve in all of the world to fix finally, once and for all, correct the problem of us. This fact has found me. But grace has found me more.

I find myself wanting more than ever to resolve to work hard and devote myself fully to each day that will lie before me in the coming year. I've never been able to handle a collective 365. Perhaps just one?

First resolution of many in 2013--laundry. Lots of laundry.

Happy New Year, dear friends!

"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time." Abraham Lincoln