One can for every pound I lose...bring it!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Stop the Ride!

The Tilt-A-Hurl
I remember watching it spin around...hearing the screams of delight as the lights blinked and the smell of spun sugar and popcorn filled the air. I could not wait for my turn on this magical fun ride.

And then, I got into the half-moon seat. It didn't feel too secure, but at ten, I was not worried about that. It started and...

Oh. My. God. I quickly realized that the screams I heard were not delight but screams of terror, and now they were coming from MY mouth. I wanted off, and I wanted off now.


I needed to get off, and now. Apparently, the sounds of the other screaming people must have sounded like fun to the ride operator's ears, because he made it go faster.  


My Dad was now chiming in, because after his initial reaction of laughter at my "sensitive" side, he realized I was now in mortal danger (at least in the eyes of a ten year old I was). Finally, it was stopped...just for me. I remember hearing people being upset at the stopping of the ride, but I didn't was the greatest relief I ever felt (well, that, and throwing up when I got off).

There have been several times in my life I've wanted to "stop the ride." But, alas, it kept going. Yup, faster. Any other moms of teenagers know what I'm talking about.

So, after a grueling first day I

Dream a little dream...

This is not me. I will never look like this.
But this is how I will FEEL next Friday! 

We hear a lot about "living out our dreams." I was just talking to my brother about this the other day. His dream is to move to California "someday." He has had this dream for a little more than a year. And he's no closer than he was a year ago, because he keeps getting sidelined by this, that or the other thing. He lost his focus, and now his dream seems like an impossibility. I tried to encourage him (young and unattached, there's nothing stopping him!) but I know all about people trying to convince you to do something before you are convinced that you actually deserve it. 

I'll be living out a dream of mine next week, when I run my first 5K in Disney World with my BFF. It's literally going to be a dream come true. And I am making it happen. It feels surreal now, but I finally will be putting into action something I've dreamed about for quiet some time. And that's just the beginning of my "New Year, New Me" attitude. I may not finish it in record time, but by gosh by golly I am crossing that finish line, and I am already proud of myself. 

I recently entered a contest that if I win, may take me away from home for about a month. At first, I thought I couldn't do it. "No way", I thought. I didn't dare to DREAM I could make it happen. Because that would mean I'd have to put myself first. This kind of ties in to yesterday's post, because putting myself first would kind of take me out of my comfort zone. 

As my husband prepared to help me with the contest video, I asked him, "OK, before we go any further, do I have your blessing to do this even if it means I'm away from home for month?" Without hesitation, he answered "yes." It took me back to February 2006, to the part of our vows (which I am proud to say I wrote myself) where we promised to "support one another in our goals." 

Supportive, he was. (there goes my Yoda again!) Thanks, honey. 

As moms, our nurturing instinct almost forces us to put others before ourselves. And that is definitely OK, to an extent. It's a loving, kind thing to do. But you also have to make time to be loving and kind to yourself, too. It's kind of easy to forget. I remember a therapist friend once giving me the analogy of the airplane spiel before take-off: "Parents of young children, be sure to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting children". Make perfect sense, right? In that scenario, you have to be the one in control of yourself so that you can take care of others. 

Anyone else hear that "ah ha?" 

Me, selfish? Never. But I can also be aware that I am deserving of an opportunity to find the balance I lost a while back. I have had successes and failures (in that order) just as many of you have. And they can get discouraging. I have a few sets of 'before' and 'after' pictures. I'm kind of a 'before' again. And it's OK. Because I realized yesterday, in entering this contest, that it's OK to admit to yourself that you need a little help, a little "time out" to work on YOU, and with the support of those around you, it's possible to DREAM BIG. I went to the Biggest Loser Resort for a week over a year ago, and I allowed the stresses of life to get in the way of reaching my goal after I got back - not unlike some contestants you see that gain some (or all, or more) of their weight back. Lesson learned. I love evolving,  learning from mistakes. I also love it when I have a moment of clarity in an ordinary day, to help me with an internal struggle over doing the right thing.

Today I made my son and I an egg sandwich. One of the eggs fried up kind of funny. The yolks went all to one side, and it was a funny shape. The other egg was perfect. Guess which one my son got? My funny-looking egg sure tasted fine, and my son never even knew that I gave him the "better" egg - it never occurred to me to think twice about it, and as a mom/wife I've done a gazillion similar things over my lifetime. 

I bought myself a daily devotional as a Christmas gift to myself. It's Joyce Meyer's "Love Out Loud." If I ever needed confirmation that I was doing the right thing in putting myself first, I got it in yesterday's page. Here's an excerpt: 

Me? I'm gonna

An eggcellent day

Happy Easter! 

Today was filled with all sorts of emotions for me. It's Easter so it has special meaning for my faith; it's my Dad's birthday so I'm in New York, as I've been every year, to visit his grave; and it's a holiday surrounded by food, especially the kind in a basket wrapped with cellophane. 

And so all of these things, today, caused me to reflect on myself and my journey which is SO not over yet. 

At church this morning, amidst the singing and celebration of our risen King, 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wake Up Call

I had an appointment at my cardiologist's today. It was one I have been dreading since getting my blood work done about 2 weeks ago. I knew the numbers would not be great; I had stopped taking my simvastatin and was sure it went up a bit. 

A "bit" wound up being 60 points. 
That's SIXTY. Two syllables. Sixty. 

The doctor actually asked me if I was experiencing any chest pain. Come to think of it, I just started to in the office when he read my numbers! 

Was I shocked? Well, at first I was, yes. I just didn't expect it to be up that much. My doctor said something like "diet, diet, diet" (well, not something like that, that's exactly what he said) and I told him I agreed. He said he knows how hard it is to stay on a healthy path himself, but that at the end of the day we are all responsible for our own actions. I was totally agreeing with him. Although a part of me couldn't see what I had done to get up SIXTY points - I mean, come on! I am not eating a pound of cheese a day, for crying out loud! 

Then a warped slide show of "This is Your Life" played through my head. It went something like this: 

"Hi Diana, I am the donut you picked up on the way to work when you stopped for coffee. I made you feel good for a few minutes, but afterwards, you felt awful. But you did it again that week anyway." 

"I am the cheese you added to that healthy Subway sub- as you say, it's no fun getting a sub toasted if it doesn't have cheese!"

Hi Diana, I am the ranch dressing you added to top off your sub! I know you always tell the sandwich artist "just a teeny but of Ranch" but they squirt me in pretty generously! 

I am the whipped cream you add to your Starbucks coffee every time you get it - because it makes your drink "taste like Europe" - how exactly does Europe taste?? 

 Well, those flashbacks added up to 60 points pretty quick. And I thought about how many other "wake up calls" I have gotten over the years. The ones I hit the "snooze" button on because they came at an inconvenient time (probably while I was ordering fast food or something). 

But this one was different. Because when your motivation for losing weight goes from "I wanna fit in my size 8 jeans" to "I wanna prevent a heart attack" it's got a little more weight to it. 

A little more weight to it. Pun intended? 

What a gracious God, to not let me have the damn heart attack in order to wake up and smell the coffee (sans whipped cream). I literally went from the doctor's office to the grocery store to buy some healthy items. I was working night shift tonight and hadn't planned my dinner, so I got a pack of chicken breasts and came home and baked them. I cut up some strawberries and got a Greek organic yogurt into my lunchbox and wow, that wasn't so hard after all. 

We all know the Albert Einstein quote about insanity. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I was kind of insane lately. Only I didn't exactly expect different results. I just wanted them. Been there, done that? 

So here I am, reflecting on my past choices, with cold hard numbers as proof of their consequences. My bad. I get it. My chance to make it right. I get that too. With a history of heart disease in my family, this threat is real. My dad had the first of several heart attacks when he was 40. I will be 42 this year. 

I am not saying that food can't be an addiction that is hard to break free of; having been addicted in the past (just to cigarettes and alcohol, but still) I see that is where I have been. But man, I want to be addicted to life, and my choices aren't going to give me more of THAT unless they are the RIGHT choices. 

Diet, diet, diet. So many years of schooling for those words of wisdom which are quite profound. Not really as simple as it sounds, right? If you are struggling with weight go ahead and have a chuckle with me over those 3 "simple" words. 

I've got my oatmeal on the counter and frozen blueberries at the ready for breakfast tomorrow. I plan on making some turkey chili and quinoa to take to work. 

I just pray that this time, my wake up call "sticks." Because I seem to be the queen of starting over, and I just for once want to be the queen of gittin-er-done, so I can watch a new slide show.

Hi Diana, I'm the part of you that loves you back for the choices you have made. Thanks for taking care of me so I can take care of you back! Besides, tasting like Europe is sooooo overrated!  

Monday, June 4, 2012


The day was finally here. I had prayed for it, which to some might seem plain silly. But there it was...the box on our doorstep.

I knew immediately what was inside, and I was giddy with excitement.

My husband's running shoes. 

Huh? you might ask. Let me explain.

Since running has become my passion, I was begging my husband to join me. I knew it would be a way for us to bond since we both have such busy jobs. I know how good it made ME feel, and I wanted to share that with him. But he resisted. For the better part of a year, he just said no.

Until one day, he ordered the shoes. Oh, glorious day!

He tried them on, and I expected to run out the door with him right then and there. Until he made a funny face.

They were too small.


So, they got shipped back to get exchanged for the proper size. And unlike the speedy shipping when you BUY something, the return process is just plain slow. Like, horse & buggy slow. But I had waited and would wait some more because good things come to those who wait.

So I ran, dreaming of when the shoes in the right size would be keeping pace next to me. Me and my man, running. The thought itself made me want to run a freaking marathon.

The box reappeared two weeks later and the fit was right. It rained that night, but the next day, we would run together! Woo hoo!

I was getting ready to go to the store for I don't remember what, and it happened all of a sudden, and I screamed.

My toe. Slammed into the corner of my heavy wooden bed, with a sickening "crack" and a sharp pain that dropped me back on the bed.

Instead of running with my husband the next day, I was in the urgent care X-Ray. My little toe. The one that went "wee wee wee" all the way home. Broken was the verdict. Broken. 


If it was funny, I would laugh. Someday, I might even do that. But it sure wasn't funny then. Or now. I was like, "Really? Really? Now? I am finally getting it together and able to do this wonderful thing with my husband and I break my freaking TOE?!"

I have had my fair share of setbacks. I remember one of the earlier ones, when I joined the tennis team at school in the 9th grade. Just after the last practice, I found out I had mono. The doctor said no exercise or apparently I would be sacrificing a certain organ. Who needs a spleen, exactly? Apparently I did, and I was forbidden to play. I went to every match, and wondered why me.

Then there was my car accident in 2009. It happened shortly after I had gotten it together - I was walking 3 miles a day, had lost about 15 pounds with just 10 more to go, and was feeling great. Then an 80-year old woman decided to hit us head on and we all wound up in the trauma unit of the hospital.


By the grace of God we were all spared and with relatively minor injuries. I was on the couch for the better part of 6 weeks, unable to breathe or move or cough or LAUGH and had time to think about how this was going to affect my plans. I had big plans! Didn't God realize that? I had a lot of "woe is me" moments on that couch. I also had a lot of spiritual awakening. I have heard it said that if you want to make God laugh, go ahead and tell Him your plans. Things that make you go hmmmm....

I have heard of "setbacks" referred to as major and minor. Rain in Disney World? Minor Setback. Broken ribs after a car accident when you are on the path to get healthy? Pretty major setback.

But here's the thing. I haven't yet found a permanent setback.  My mono lingered for 3 months, but eventually went away. My little bitty toe will heal, just as my ribs did (and I thought they never would. A testament to the healing power of this body God blessed me with!) I was able to run two 5K's after having knee problems (a result of aforementioned accident). None of my setbacks have been permanent. I'll run with my husband; now just isn't the right time, for whatever reason that God knows and I don't. I have guessed it's so he can "catch up" to where I am at (-: - least that's what I tell myself.

Setbacks are just bumps in the road. An obstacle that sometimes you have to wait to clear - or take the long way around - or turn back and find another way! Are you dealing with a setback? It can be as simple as dropping the casserole 10 minutes before your new husband walks in the door (true story) to as devastating as a scary medical diagnosis. I have had setbacks in some of my personal relationships. But with faith, you can push through it and past it. This too shall pass has become something I literally say out loud the moment a setback presents itself.

My heart won't give up. I am a hopeless romantic and refuse to have less than a love story - even if that love story is just mine and mine alone. I believe, with all my heart, that I will love myself again, and that I will finally be at peace with my body and live my abundant life - my healthy, abundant life. I will take care of myself as best as I can. I can't run, but I can do water aerobics. I hurt myself lifting weights, so I will rest and know my limits when I am ready again. My setbacks won't keep me back. Can I get an Amen?

I pray that no setback will be too unsettling for you. Or me. Knowing that I have a God who has a plan to not harm me but help me prosper (Jeremiah 29:11) gets me through those dark shadowy "why me again?" times.

Just keep're closer than you think...

xo xo

Friday, May 18, 2012


I have thought about "results" a lot lately, in more ways than one. 

Last week I had some tests done after a meeting with my doctor that left me reeling. Words like "mass" and "MRI" and "surgery" were used, along with the oh-so-terrifying "oncology department"...I would get some tests and await the results. 

Although I have been known to dramatize a bit (and I've won many an Oscar bestowed by my husband for my performances) this storyline had enough drama for me - the doctor "didn't like the looks" of things and had me genuinely scared. 

Scared as in scared for my life. 

In those moments when you think something "bad" might be brewing, time changes. It goes on like normal for everyone else, but your world kind of freezes. The words rattled in my head and suddenly, my future plans were in jeopardy. Heck, my future was in jeopardy. I got the tests and the waiting game began. 

Now, all in all, I had a mere 48 hours to wait for my results. However, in those 48 hours I had plenty of time to think. And by think, I mean worry. Everything seemed different. The leaves on the trees - were they that green yesterday? I swear the air smelled fresher too. How much longer would I appreciate that? And how many times had I taken the beauty of nature for granted? I took time to stop and smell the proverbial roses. And lamented that I might not get to take that vacation I was planning later this year...might not get to see my son graduate, get married, have babies... worried that I was going to die fat. 

Wait - what? Did I really think that? How did that get in there with those meaningful "things to come" list? 

Yup. Honest to goodness, I was worried about who would carry my heavy coffin. (This is kind of where the drama kicks in, but stay with me please). I was so mad at myself for not enjoying the life I had when I had it. If this was something bad, I would feel like I "wasted" time. Wasted the chance to really "live" and be happy. By being at my goal weight. 

It wasn't until the good news came that I snapped out of this ridiculous cycle of negativity and felt, quite literally, reborn. Shallow, shallow girl. 

The phone rang, my doctor's somewhat hesitant voice saying things like "normal" and "fine" and admitting she was surprised by the findings (which came after many people prayed - just sayin'). I hung up the phone and tried to call my husband. No answer. My mom. Busy. My sister. No answer. My best friend. Nothing. 

And then it dawned on me...there was really only one person I needed to talk to right then, and that's why the other connections failed. I simply collapsed in a chair, held out my hands, and thanked God for the good results. I cried those tears that come in a moment of sheer relief and happiness. I realized that all I had worried about...all those things I wanted...well, they were now possible. I could see them...feel them. There is not greater joy than that which comes after you think you're about to lose everything and then you get it all back. 

I analyzed my thoughts and after the "you need therapy" realization I thought about other results that I had been waiting for but never came. The ones I had control over. 

I have stepped on the scale way too many times to count where I actually close my eyes shut and wish upon a star that it will say what I want it to. But the results are not good. 

That moment where I worried about dying at a heavy weight? Pathetic or trivial or shallow to some, but others will sooooooo get where I'm coming from. And the fact that I thought it at all? Well, that's saying something and I heard it loud and clear. 

I kind of have some priorities screwed up right now. And I am trying so, so hard to line them back up in the right order. By the grace of God, I have not given up. I have backslid, I have fallen off the wagon, but I always get back up. If not physically, then mentally at first. But I know that the results that I am seeing today are NOT going to be good for my future. And the scare I had showed me that there are some results I can control and some I cannot. And by gosh by golly, with this renewed zest for life and wanting to live it to the fullest, I need to make sure I do what I need to do to get the results I want. 

I had a revelation with someone close to me around this time that I was waiting for my test results. We had been discussing something from the past - something hurtful that we had kept inside for years- and while we were discussing it I realized how absolutely tiny and small this problem seemed. That I was holding onto hurt and regret from years ago when here I was waiting for my test results to find out if I had cancer or not. This thing didn't matter anymore and I was able to release it and let it go. It's the same realization I saw my Dad have, but for him it was in the hospital, on his deathbed, with no second chance at making things right. I had to free myself from the past so that I WOULDN'T have future regrets. Ding ding ding! Same thing needed to be done in my relationship with ME, too. The times I use food to comfort me when I am feeling lonely or unlovable need to be released. The anger I felt at having been hurt made me go to a place where I actually hurt myself by turning to food. Ugh. It's even hard to type it. I am someone who seemingly has it all together, and I lost it. Like, for years. 

My motto these days is "two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward." I am not crazy, I am not a complainer, I am just me and trying my best to break my cycle. I believe God allowed this test to happen to shake me where I stand and get me moving so that I can head towards my abundant life. Because I was at a stalemate with my resolve and I didn't see the green leaves or smell the fresh air and I needed to get that appreciation for life back, and not waste it on trivial things that just don't matter. I should be lovable no matter what size I am, but I simply don't love myself at this size. Time to fix that. Because when I feel truly loved, I want to be my best. 

I received an unusual gift through this experience. I was able to let something from the past go that I very well may have held onto for a few more years; I was given a new perspective on my relationships; I am now free to get my own good results without fear of impending doom. God gives us what we need to nudge us in the right direction, and I am just so grateful that He chose to show me the light. Again. 

I posted this quote on my Facebook tonight: 

Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith. ~Robert Brault

I have faith now that I can do this, and best of all, I have the gift of time. I am blessed and don't want to forget it. I still have to figure some things out, but my outlook is better now. 

As for the results? I'll keep you posted. 


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The other day, I cleaned out my cupboards in the kitchen. I stood on a step-stool, opened the garbage can next to me, and tossed away.

There went the salad dressing that expired 4 months ago. Ya know, the dressing that was supposed to go on the salad I was gonna eat (the salad which had been tossed after it turned a color that God did not intend it to turn).

Also gone was the canned turkey chili (do you know how long you have to keep canned turkey chili before it goes bad? I do...)

The frozen bananas I meant to toss into smoothies were covered in solid chunks of ice. Freezer burn does not a tasty smoothie make. The yogurts that were opposed to be my healthy snack at work were weeks past their date (and let me just admit right now that I do not eat one single solitary thing past its expiration date. I don't care what 'they' say, I simply cannot do it. Anyway, this stuff was way past its life span)

As I tossed stuff into the trash, my son remarked, "What a waste."


It was a horrible waste. And I am ashamed to say I filled a whole trash bag between my fridge, freezer and cupboards. I felt awful. Awful for wasting the food, yes...but also awful for wasting something far more precious.


There are certain things that you simply cannot get back. I have purchased new turkey chili (and it's on my menu plan for next week!) and cut up some more bananas. A smoothie is on the menu for breakfast. Time? Nope, can't buy more of that. I looked. Down every aisle. Not there.

I actually had to dust off some clothes in my closet. Size 6's and 8's that had literally gathered dust (as I type this I am still OMG-ing) from not being worn. Some still with tags, because I am the girl who buys things for "when I am thin." Can I get an amen?

Such waste, everywhere I looked. How embarrassing. Yes, the thought that there are "hungry children in the world" nagged at me. I have been living a life of excess, and the hefy-hefty-cinch-sak full of waste said it loud and clear. The clothes in the closet mocked my efforts to let this year be THE year I would wear them.

It really bothered me that I had allowed myself to become so wasteful. Good intentions drove me to purchase the healthy items. I genuinely, truly, meant to eat that stuff. Really. I just got sidetracked by the stuff that will outlast a nuclear war...the processed chips and cookies and other stuff. And I have not just wasted the good food. I wasted the junk food too. I had a friend lament to me that she wanted to start to eat healthier but didn't want to 'waste' the junk food in her house. Yup, been there. I would eat it just so it wouldn't be wasted. That's fat girl logic. Then I remembered "better to go to waste than to your WAIST!"  But I want to get to the point where it doesn't have to be wasted because it doesn't get bought in the first place. Can I get another amen?

I decided that if I am really, truly committed to my plan then I need to be really, truly committed to not wasting any more time making it happen. Because the last I checked, I am not getting any younger.

OK so you may argue that no time is really ever "wasted" because it gets you to the point you are now, where you have learned lessons, you're a better person for it,  yadda yadda yadda. But when I see the waste my non-commitment has caused...well, I will argue that point. Because my choices, made over time, have been wasting the gift that God gave to me. I am desperately seeking my abundant life - and I have had an abundance of everything else but it has not led me to the place where I feel full where it counts.

I want to share a dream that I had shortly after my cupboard episode. I was on a buffet line, and my plate was packed full of yummy things. I was looking down at the other items on the buffet, and saw stuff that I wanted, but my plate was too full to put anything else on it. I heard a man ahead of me say, "I don't want anything else, I am really not hungry" and I tore my gaze away from the treats in front of me to glance at his plate. It wasn't even half full. I thought, how silly, he is not taking all this good stuff in front of him. Then I glanced farther ahead and saw that the buffet stretched on for miles and miles ahead of me - and at the end, was Heaven (I just knew that's what it mind had conjured up the pearly gates amidst the clouds and everything.) In my dream, I was ashamed. I had been so focused on my food and putting everything I wanted on my plate that I did not realize that this was a test on the way to Heaven.  It was a test of gluttony, and yours truly was failing miserably.

Wow. Cue the revelation. I find it completely remarkable, and a little humbling, that God would choose to speak to my heart this way. It was an eye opener for sure. I can so relate that to my life, and how I have been focused on the wrong things. Things that ultimately make me feel bad about myself and my relationship with others. Food has been my source of comfort and reward. Y'all know who the REAL source for that is, right? Well, I am re-learning it all over again. I knew it, of course, but I needed a serious wake up call to remind me.

I have a friend who is reading the "Made to Crave" book with me. She's quite far from where I live so we decided to develop a little online book club. I am reading the book with a new set of eyes. I have lost two and a half pounds my first week back on Weight Watchers, which my BFF is doing along with me. I have healthy support from friends who want to run with me and check in with me via text message as to what I am eating and how I am doing.

This time, I am being a little quieter about my journey (um, expect for this here Internet blog, haha). I am not making a grandiose announcement of "Here I go again!" to my family. I am not asking anyone to be my watchdog to make sure I don't eat past a certain time (worst.idea.ever.) I am not asking my husband if he can tell I lost two and a half pounds this week.

I am doing this as a spiritual walk with God, who cares about every little thing in my life. I totally can't wait for my husband and friends to ask "Are you losing weight?" - but that's not my motivation this time.

I do not want to waste another minute. I also do not want to waste any more food. I actually served a salad with dinner (and it was still green!) and am carefully planning out my menus with the food we have on hand - and for future shopping trips, we stick to a list. Those clothes in the closet will be put to good use, and someone will be blessed with my current wardrobe when the time comes. I look at my son, who is now 15, and realize there aren't many more family vacations or board game nights left before he goes off to college. I want him to have a Mom who is focused on the "right" kind of stuff. Yesterday, he was two. Time stands still for no one.

I have been hearing a song on the radio a lot lately by a band called Revive. Here are some lyrics that relate to what I am feeling about wasting time...

Teach me to number my days
And count every moment before it slips away
Taking all the colors before they fade to gray
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
It happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

I want to answer the question, "What is it I've done with my life" with a substantial answer. A week ago, I would have struggled with this. I might have said I wasted time.

How about you? What are you wasting? Food? Time? Money? What can you do to stop the waste and start making the most of your resources?

Let's figure that out together. This is a constant up and down battle. But I just know that when I do make it here, I want to have my eyes focused on what matters - and that does not mean a plate full of food. I want to say, "I did not waste a single gift You gave me." Ah...wouldn't that be nice?