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

Saturday, December 31, 2011


As the New Year draws near, a lot of people are taking about (insert collective groan here) resolutions. 

I got a funny text cartoon today - one dog asked another "What exactly IS a New Year's Resolution?" The other dog answered, "It's a 
'To Do' list for the first week of January."

It's funny 'cuz it's true, right? 

I don't want to set myself up for failure by making promises I can only halfheartedly keep. Today, out of the blue, I decided I was going to add a "because" to the end of each resolution. I had to choose wisely. A "because" means there's a reason for it. 

Old resolution: I want to lose weight. 

New resolution: I want to lose weight because I am concerned about my health and want to feel better, and get off my cholesterol medicine. 

I know you're supposed to be specific too - like, "I want to lose 40 pounds". That doesn't work for me though - because it sounds too big and I can't keep up with the bigness of it. I'll stick with my "becauses." They help me focus on the feeling. 

I want to pack my lunch for work because if I don't pack, I make unhealthy choices that make me feel bad. I also want to pack for my husband and son because I want them to eat healthier too. 

I want to exercise more because when I do, it helps improve my mood and will help me reach my weight loss goal. 

I want to make a date night every month because it helps me feel closer to my husband. 

I want to dress nicer for work because it helps me feel more confident. 

Yup, I have a few resolutions. And I will certainly try to resolve to keep them. I will also resolve to forgive myself when I don't - because when I do, I am being kind to myself, and I can get back on track easier when I am kind to myself. 

Try to add your "becauses" - it helps make your resolutions more emotionally attached and may make them more than just a "TO DO" list. I know it made me think harder about why I was picking the things I did. A New Year can be full of hope, and the last thing we want to do is have our resolutions making us feel hopeless! 

Here's a favorite quote to leave you with: 

"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day." - Edith Lovejoy Pierce. 

Blank pages! Woo hoo! What story will YOU write in 2012? 
Happy New Year everyone! 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

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?" 

When you don't take care of yourself, you really can't 100% take care of others. Not for an extended period of time. I get cranky and grumpy and am just kind of unhappy when I don't feel right about myself. But I push that down and ignore it, because that's who I am. Most days. But not today. I'm dreaming of a chance to change my life...

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 yolk 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'll do more. That's who I am. I give the best to those I love, and take what's kept over for myself. As I ate my funny-looking egg, I reflected on that. Do I regret it? No way. But I realized that maybe, once in a while, it's OK to do something just for me, because of all the little sacrifices I make every day (and I am not talking about the egg. It's not that big of a deal- but Moms out there will relate to what I'm getting at). 

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: 

"We all need and want to believe that the future will be better than the past for us. ...some people are afraid to believe. They think believing will set them up for disappointment. They need to realize they will be perpetually disappointed if they don't believe. I feel that if I believe for a lot and get even half of it, I am better off than I would be to believe for nothing and get all of it. I challenge you all to start believing for good things in your life. ...dream big dreams and believe they can come true - because nothing is impossible with God!" 

Here's hoping you can do something just for you - soon. 
Put yourself first! Dream a little dream. 

As for me, I'm gonna

Monday, December 26, 2011


What's your definition of comfort? 

For most people, it's the image at left. A soft fuzzy blanket, a soft fuzzy kitten...warm & fuzzies, that's for sure. 

For some people, it's in a bottle, and the "morning after" is anything BUT comfortable. 

For me? Well, on most days, comfort looks something like this: 

 Seriously...doesn't she look COMFORTABLE? Um....OK, maybe I have a little problem. And by little, I mean big. I often seek comfort from food instead of where I should find it (more on that later). If you're like me, some days you can be totally oblivious to chocolate drops calling your name. But one bad day at misunderstanding with a fight with someone you love, and BAM! You seek the comfort zone. And it's smooth and velvety on oh yes, there is scientific evidence that it releases endorphins that just make you "feel good" - at least for a little while. Until you're in what I call the Reality Zone, and you're face to face with this: 

 I've had a love-hate relationship with my scale. I love when it doesn't show what i haven't done. And I hate when it does. 

Over the past few months, I have written about my new adventure in running. I am the girl who said she could not run. Now, my first 5K is 11 short days away. And I am running for my life. I am running to show that I CAN commit to and finish something. Because this blog has been a run-on sentence for me, and I just want to add a period somewhere. No, make that an exclamation point! And I will, because slowly, but surely, I am finding my way. And I try and I fail, but I keep trying, and that's what is important. 

Today's run was tough. With the realization that we just have 4 more runs together before we leave for Florida, my BFF and I kicked it up a notch. It was a big notch to kick. Guess what? 

I was out of my comfort zone. Way out.

Oh I know, been there, done that, plenty of times. But this time was a little different. Because after the run (during which I was sure some part of my body would fail and I would be carried home on a sleigh which had to be nearby because yesterday was Christmas and all) I realized that I was indeed QUITE comfortable with what I just accomplished. And maybe my "comfort zone" needed to be reassessed, because I have spent an awful lot of time being uncomfortable there. 

When we dare to push ourselves beyond our self-imposed limits, we realize that we are more than what we (or perhaps someone else) gives us credit for. Tonight, I had other sources of comfort. Ones that won't make me feel bad in the morning. Ones that inspired, instead of tired, me. Warm & fuzzy? You bet.

Here's hoping YOUR comfort zone is indeed a true source of comfort! 


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Sometimes it takes a while for something to "click". Especially for me.

Sometimes it takes something bad to happen. Like, my doctor prescribes me a pill that rhymes with "fatten" in order to control my cholesterol. That sure scared me into paying better attention to what I ate.

Sometimes it's prayer that helps something to click. Like when God revealed to me that I had a serious problem with chocolate, and led me to fast from it. I set myself a date of Christmas as my goal to refrain from eating chocolate bars. And like the promise I made during Lent, this one was to God, and I sure ain't breaking that! I've been "chocolate free" for over 2 months, and it has really helped me focus on sacrifice.

Last week, something else clicked. A month ago I joined Weight Watchers - in person. I've been a member online for longer than I can remember, and it was simply time to get back to the meetings. I found one I could attend on my lunch break. I needed the accountability at the weigh-ins.

                                           Week one. Weigh in.
                                           Week two.  I stayed the same.
                                           Week three, I lost .2 (thank God I peed before I weighed in)

When I left after week 3, having lost .2 in 3 weeks, it clicked.

I wasn't doing what I should have been doing and the numbers did not lie. In order to have a good weigh in, I had to eat less and exercise more (news flash!)

So, I got on it. Ran three times, walked twice, counted every BLT (for those of you not on WW it's an affectionate term for bites, lick and tastes)

Week four. Down 2.2

It's not rocket science. It just has to "click" at the right time. A series of events helped it click for me, and everyone is different. My circumstances are different than yours. All I know is that once I gave over control, and let God lead the way, it clicked.

When I ran this past week, I crossed a barrier that for me was a big deal. Week 5 of my Couch 5K.It was the longest I'd ever run without stopping, and by the end of the run, I felt so unbelievably pround of myself. For those who know-me know me, that's new.

I set myself a goal of 5 pounds before Disney, which is in 2 weeks. I know something may come along to throw a dent in that, but I also know that when I plan and commit, I feel better about myself and everything in my life, and nothing is an excuse to eat. No emotion that stems from other people's actions is going to make me make an unhealthy choice for my body.


I would eventually love to get off my statin. I wish it would have clicked before I ever had to take it in the first place...but then I wouldn't be writing this right now and potentially help it click for someone else. (-:

It may or not be audible but you'll feel it when it "clicks" for you!

Sunday, November 6, 2011


There are so many things I wish I had a remote control for. Unfortunately, life doesn't come with one. My "rewind" and "fast forward" buttons would have gotten some serious action.

Rewind to when I was thin. Fast forward past the bad times, so I know what my future holds (to where I was thin again without having to do the work..that would help too)

Hmmmm...would I want that?

There are many things in life we cannot control. The weather, the way other people treat us, other people to name a few.

Oh, I thought I could control things. How many times have you said, "I got this!" but then you really didn't? How many times did I think I had complete and utter control over this weight loss journey, only to find myself back at square one again. (go ahead, read back through my blogs for the past year, that'll give you a sense of my control).

Nope, not in control. Realizing that I am able to manage by the grace of God, I am. Making plans and doing my best to stick to them, I am. Um, ok, I sound like Yoda, so moving on... 

Anyway, the issue of control has come up in my life a lot lately. I have tried to control so many things...thinking if I just did this or said that or acted this way, I could get someone to do something or be something for me...or that if I treated someone with kindness I could get them to be my friend...or if I explained to someone my side of the story, a truly compelling tale, I could win them over. Then, the realization that people have their own agenda or opinions or their own wants and needs and there's nothing I could do to control anything they said or did was a big wake up call that I'm still waking up from.

It's in our nature to want to have control. We want to know what's going on, right? It's where my fear of flying originates. I don't even like being the passenger in a car.

So, you can see how this whole "give it to God, let it go" thing has gone for me. I've had to unclench my sweaty fists that were holding on to my "stuff" finger by clenched finger, to finally be able to open my hands and say "Here - it's all yours!" and man oh man, it's still a work in progress.

I was listening to Dr. Tony Evans the other day on my way to work. It was one of those days that I made a decision to stop for gas on my way TO work instead of on my way home FROM work. And lo and behold, it gave me just enough time to hear Dr. Evans' message (thanks, God)

Dr. Evans said something that I really needed to hear. He spoke about trying to control what our bodies do, and what we do to our bodies, without fixing what's on the inside first. About how it don't matter what we do to the outside - the inside's still gonna be broke if it was broke.

Love me some Tony Evans.

I really searched my heart to see if I was indeed "broke" on the inside. And the answer that came to me was that I was trying to take control of things myself, without asking God for help, because this was "my problem."  I had the whole world in my hands, and I wasn't gonna let anyone touch it.

My heart asked,
"How's that working out for ya?" and the answer was, "not so good."

When I leave control in my hands, I am uncontrollable. Odd how that works. But here's the good stuff: When I turn it over, I feel in control, and suddenly instead of concentrating on the grains of sand I can see a beach and the beauty in what is right in front of me, and has been all along, I just was looking at things from the wrong view. I am set free.

I saw the movie "Courageous" tonight. Friends, it is positively heartbreaking, and a reminder of what we need to surrender to God, even when we are not willing. The message was so powerful, I could cry just thinking about it. I had one of those "now I remember what's so important in my life" moments. And eating a bowl of chocolate mousse was not on that list. I've put so much importance on trivial things. It's good to have the soul shaken up some times to get us back on the right track.

I have relationships in my life that need some serious healing. And the hardest thing for me is to try and NOT to control that process...but my heart is being led to let go and let God take control, because He will work it out for good, and I will most certainly mess it up more by trying to control it. I have to believe that He has control of the situation, and sees the beautiful outcome long before I could even imagine it.

For me, too, and this journey I am on. I'm on my way. I have a promise to "prosper and not be harmed...plans for hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11) and that's the promise I am holding to.

Day by day, meal by meal, choice by choice. I can make my own decisions, yes. But I am done trying to control things which I can't. It goes back to my most favorite prayer in the world, and on most days, the only one I need, and a great reminder for those of us who like control:


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Best Laid Plans...

Did you ever hear the saying "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry"? Here's the definition:

No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.

Story of my life.

I've had plans - big plans, big plans - for most of my life. Not too long ago I made a plan to be "Fit & 40, not Fat & 40" - but at 41, I weigh more than I did a year ago.


And, a year before that, I recall being on a real "health kick" - I vividly remember one particular day in October 2009, walking in the park, marveling at God's beauty in the colored leaves falling at my feet while I walked in the crisp fall air - I remember giving thanks for my healthy body and the beautiful nature God gave me to enjoy. I was using my gym membership on a regular basis and I was on my way to  weight loss of 20 pounds or so.

And then this:
I was laid up on the couch with broken ribs and torn knees and a neck brace that robbed me of sleep for weeks. My 20 pounds joined me rather quickly on that couch. The fact is, I needed to slow down, and perhaps this is the lesson I needed to learn that. To clarify, I don't mean literally - the accident was not our fault - I needed to slow down mentally. And that accident shaped my appreciation for life a hundred-fold. I am still marvelling at how my body has healed and is capable of moving again. When I was running today and wanted to quit, this is the picture that came to mind.

This picture brings me full circle to a year ago when I was ready to embark on my Biggest Loser journey - a year ago on this date, I was packing my cool-max socks and Ryjka aqua shoes and I had BIG PLANS to start my once-and-for-all-I'm-gonna-do-it-I'll-prove-it-to-everyone adventure of a lifetime. Those plans worked great for a few months. Then, life happened, and my plans grew less important as I grew busier. Funny how when you put something on the back burner, you don't see it as much, right?

I remember at one of the Women of Faith conferences I attended, Thelma Wells spoke of her day planner, and how every square of the month was filled in with things she had planned...and then, she fell ill. I remember how she said God "laughs" at our plans...because as we try to control the things in our lives and lose focus of giving our lives over to Him, we learn we are NOT in control at all. Now, don't get me have to pay the bills, go to work, etc. But the point is, in spite of all our planning, we have to realize that things won't always go as planned.

I am sure all the married people can attest to that. I was no Bridezilla, but I sure was "picky" about what music could be played at my wedding. And by picky, I mean controlling. (-: I gave a list to the DJ and FORBID him to play any chicken dance, electric slide, or other goofy tune (my apologies if you like those, it's just not my cup of tea.) I gave him enough songs to be able to last the whole reception.

So, you can imagine my horror when I heard "Save a horse, ride a cowboy" playing on my perfectly planned, elegant day. He had indulged a Guest's request and ignored my instructions. O. M. G. It sure is funny now, but it sure was soooo not funny at the time. In spite of all my careful planning, I was not in control after all. We have friends who are on their way to get married in Hawaii today. I am sure they were not expecting a Nor'easter to dump 10 inches of snow in our area in October, but it happened. And they had to adapt their plans.

Lesson learned. After many years of trying to control things, I am adapting. It's part of letting go and letting God, and it's part of giving up this "I've got the whole world in my hands" attitude. Today I woke up ready for a run. I am on my way to Disney in January for my 1st 5K with my BFF, and I woke up absolutely ITCHING to run. I put on my Nike cold weather gear (with the sleeves that have finger pockets and everything) and I headed out. A few steps from the house, the aforementioned snowstorm had made the road I wanted to run on more appropriate for ice skates. So I turned around,tip toed my way home, and then I did something that was very unusual for me.

I got in my car, and drove to the gym.

Refusing to be defeated, I adapted my strategy. It was rather inconvenient for me to get in that car and drive today - I am sure staying home and saying "there goes THAT plan" would have fit my previous modus operandi...but this is how I know that I am not "done yet", and that that he who began a good work in (me) will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6)

 As the daughter of a man who found sobriety in AA, I know all about "One Day at a Time"...and I am applying it to my life. Am I looking forward to my 5K in Disney in January? You betcha. I won't stop planning my life, but I will do so prayerfully, knowing there will be times when things don't work out quite the way I want.

But when my plans go awry, I still know that I have a goal, and to accept any less than the best for myself is selling myself short. With some friends losing loved ones this year, the fact that we are not guaranteed tomorrow is something I know all too well. I want to live my life to the fullest and if that means being flexible so be it. It's less "laissez-faire" and more "go with the flow" and it's something I need to practice every day. This life is the only one I got, and I just refuse to quit. Murphy's Law will not stop me. So there.

I'm planning on running again on Tuesday...anyone know what the weather's gonna be? (-:

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Question of Character

This past week a few things happened to make me stop and question myself.


Like, who am I?

Some people that I thought I was friendly with made some less than flattering remarks about me. I found out and it took me by surprise. After the hurt wore off, I reflected on the comments. And by reflected, I mean obsessed.

I didn't understand. I try to be good to everyone I know, and I like to think that I am overall a pleasant person. I know that sometimes "perception" can be misleading, but I'm never able to completely dismiss a "diss". It's not the first time it's happened, and I'm sure it won't be the last. That knowledge doesn't make it any easier.

I came across a quote from John Wooden:

"Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Love me some John Wooden!

Anyway, I memorized this one rather quickly and used it as comfort. Yup, who cares about reputation? I remember in the 9th grade I sure did when I caught mono, and everyone said it was from kissing a certain boy, when in fact I believe I got it from the water fountain. True Story. Reputation? Don't get me started.  

Then I started thinking about my character. And by thinking, I mean doubting.

What was my character? Who was I trying to be? Who was I, really?

I am someone who is trying to lose weight and be healthy, who is struggling with aligning my motivation with perspiration.

I am someone who loves to write, who has been too embarrassed to blog about setbacks.

I am a good person who cares about everyone's feelings. Sometimes too much.

I am someone who tries to live life by The Golden Rule.

I want to be a small part of the light in a dark world.

I'm all these things, and more. So to have someone doubt this "character" of mine was confusing, to say the least.

When I talked with my Mom about these things people said, she put it this way: "It doesn't matter as long as you know who you are in Christ."

Hmmm. That was food for thought. These scriptures came to mind:

“Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” – 1 Corinthians 3:16

“You are the salt of the earth… You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Matthew 5:13-14

 Romans 8 says
 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..."

I love that everything I need to face life's obstacles is in my Bible. The sting of the comments made this past week can be dulled with a good shot of The Word. The same was true of the betrayal I faced last year by a so-called friend. I still need to forgive her every day, but it doesn't hurt as much.

Not everyone will "get" me. I have a handful of good, solid, "salt of the Earth" friends and a committed, strong and caring husband to lean on when my character is questioned. 

One good thing? I haven't let this set me back from my goals. I am concerned with my journey, not my pace, and I am still on my way. I celebrate small victories (like, not consoling myself with junk just because someone was mean to me) and I surround myself with friends who lift me up. I am almost halfway through my 5K program (for those of you who are concerned with my timeline yes, I started over again) and will be "Running Disney" in January.

I am a believer in things happening for a reason. I needed the reminder that I am loved beyond comprehension. I needed to be reminded about the importance of forgiveness and show those who hurt me a spirit of Love (that was tough, but I did it.)

Without trials, the victories are not as sweet. I needed to remember that too. If it were easy to get back in a size 6, I wouldn't appreciate it as much. (Dear God, it doesn't have to be too hard either) (-:

What people think of me is none of my business. This was a light bulb moment for me this week. I hope you have yours, and that your "character" isn't questioned by the person that counts the!

Friday, September 9, 2011


It's all a matter of how you look at it, right? Isn't that what "perspective" is?

I'm usually a "glass half full" kinda gal. I try to look on the bright side of things, having been through plenty of trials and tribulations. I try to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I want to have a grateful heart, and to realize I'm blessed.

Sometimes, though, that's hard to do. Really hard. Like, impossible.

We've had some ridiculous flooding here the past few days. Our basement had water literally pouring into it. I shop vac-ed it for over 4 hours while my husband was stuck at work. It was not fun. Thankfully, we had nothing down there that could get "ruined" - it was a space to be finished off 'someday.' But I was still so mad it was happening. The shop vac was way more than half full, but my glass was half empty, BIG TIME.

Today as I drove around, I passed at least half a dozen houses whose driveways were LITTERED with debris, trash, furniture, toys, etc. - evidence, I am sure, of feet as opposed to inches of water in their basement. One of my employees had FIVE FEET of water in her 1st floor apartment - her belongings all floated away. She lost everything. Everything.

Perspective. Gee, my few inches of water on concrete didn't seem that bad now.

I can remember back, early in my weight loss journey, when I would be feeling sorry for myself (usually when coming out of a dressing room) and then see someone in a wheelchair. I would immediately think to myself, "At least you're able to walk!"

But, when you put it in perspective, that person being in a wheelchair does not make it OK for me to be overweight. It makes me grateful for my healthy legs, yes, but I can't use it to excuse away MY problem. And yes, friends, it's a problem. Most of you who struggle with weight loss have been educated on the health risks of being overweight so you know what I'm talking about. I've used "unhealthy" perspective against me - for example, I have a faint memory of getting some ice cream to celebrate my healthy legs after the above incident. Absurd and not really sure I wanted to share it, but there it is.

I can use a healthy dose of perspective to snap me back to reality. We all can! I am grateful I have food to put on my table - and find it hard to imagine mothers who have no choice but to put  their children to bed hungry. Putting THAT in perspective helps me not take food for granted (I do try to remember to say Grace wherever I am) - and to try not to take more than what my body needs. That's hard to do too. I can be a little too grateful sometimes. (-:

With the recent loss of our beloved Peter, I have been at times drowning in my sorrow. I know there is worse loss, and I have experienced that too. However, this was truly heartbreaking for me, bringing back memories of my Dad, and causing me to have doubt in my heart about "letting him go." It doesn't seem real, and it doesn't seem fair, since he was an innocent party in our decision, and I just couldn't even bear the thought of what happened. Friends, you know I am a tee-totaler, so instead of drinking, I turn to food. I am somewhat proud to say that I ate just a few cookies and got just one "mini blizzard" to "comfort me" (unhealthy perspective told me it would make me feel better and that I deserved it cuz I was so sad.)

But, when I relayed Peter's story and my raw grief to a friend, she said, "Wow - 17 years old! What an awesome gift that God gave him to you for so long."

Ah, sweet perspective. I needed that. It made my heart hurt a little less. I was having a pity party, party of one, and not realizing that he was a glass-half-full gift for his entire existence.

I've been having some conflict with someone close to me. We just can't seem to see eye to eye on something. I have my perspective; they have theirs. I believe there's a lot of love in between that space of discord too. It's hard to feel when there's not harmony, but it's there. I can think of plenty of things that make our problem seem trivial; the recent events in the surrounding area, the painful anniversary of 9/11 this weekend that widows and parents and children have to bear; sickness and war and abuse and death. Healthy Perspective tells me just because it's not those things, doesn't make it less important to figure out and come to terms and have peace with. I understand it's a work in progress and when you love someone you have to be willing to look at things from their perspective. What a tough thing to do. But necessary, and I'm learning it's an act of love. You just have to be willing to see things from another's perspective to start the healing process.

When I was first starting my hotel career, I remember getting a banner made up, with bright pink and aqua letters, that read: "Customer Perception IS Reality!!" It was a way to remind my staff that what the Guests thought was real, was real to THEM. We might not understand it or believe in it, but it was their truth. It's so hard to apply that to life. My perception is MY reality. Your perception is YOUR reality. And then there is perspective that comes when you need it most. On a particularly gloomy day (inside and out) I asked my Facebook friends to "tell me something good." I was overwhelmed with responses - one friend even brought me muffins within the hour! - a far away friend was having twins! - another friend was expecting her 2nd any day now (hi Megan) and people reminded me that yes, Jesus loves me. Putting it into perspective, I realized there's plenty of GOOD in this world - and in MY world - and that it's all a matter of perspective. I'm still struggling with my healthy choices and finding time to run (which I have found to be nature's therapy). I still think how lucky I am that my child is healthy when I see a friend's child struggling to walk and talk at the age of 5. I will always take God's examples that He puts in front of me as a way to cultivate my attitude of gratitude. But what I can't (and by His grace, won't) do is allow perspective to skew my view on what "I" still need to do for "ME." Think about that the next time you're tempted to excuse away bad behavior because of someone else's misfortune, and try to maintain a healthy perspective on life.

Raise your glass - Cheers! What do YOU see?

Still looks half-full to me (-:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Letting go...

Today brought to light just how hard it is to let go. I think we are all reminded of that in some way or another.

Over the past few years, I've let go of a lot. My Dad, 7 years ago, was the hardest. Our beloved Doberman Kobie was another devastating loss. These losses still linger, and always will. 

I've learned to let go of bitterness and resentment over a friend's betrayal, and learned to let go of quite a few fears that were holding me back from truth, honesty, and being myself. I've let go of bad habits and negative thoughts that were hindering my weight loss and I let go of my idea that I had to be a certain number on the scale to be happy.

Today, it was time to let go of Peter.

17 years ago, I bought Peter as a gift for my then 11-year old brother. I knew my Dad would appreciate having a dog in the house again, and I knew that a Bichon was one of the dogs my mom would allow in the house, since our neighbors had bought 2 of them from the same litter and she thought they were sooo cute.

This is what Peter looked like when we brought him home:
A little white furball who was instantly lovable, he worked his way into my family's hearts. My Dad, who at first called him a "little white rat", soon began taking Peter everywhere he went. He became my Dad's best friend, and was in the passenger seat for almost every car ride. He even served as a sort of "mascot" for AA meetings, as my father would go and set up the coffee. Peter was in many a prayer circle at those meetings. I like to think he helped my Dad stay sober.

A few months before my Dad died, he was coming out of anesthesia from a procedure, and was calling for Peter. The nurse asked if that was his son, so he said "Yes" - I will never forget the laugh we had when he told me to say Peter was my brother if anyone asked. Months later, as my Dad struggled with letting go, I will forever be grateful to the ICU staff at the Hershey Med Center for allowing Peter to be brought into my dad's hospital room; it was an amazing grace gift for my Dad. He couldn't speak, so mouthed the words "good boy" over and over as Peter obediently kept vigil in his lap, not wanting to leave his Master's side. We had to peel him away, crying and whining, when it was time to go.

After 17 years, it was time to let Peter go. As much as we want to hold onto something for "us" it's a matter of mercy to know when we have to let go and "let God" - I've been struggling with this a lot lately. Letting go of Peter was tough, because he was the last piece of my Dad we had with us. We wanted him for us, but we knew it was time for him to go. As my brother held him, and my family surrounded him with love and caring words and tearful goodbyes and sorrowful hearts, we let Peter go. I like to think that God allowed him to be a little perfect white puppy and run into my father's waiting arms in Heaven. As a matter of fact, I believe that's exactly what happened.

So we'll remember the little white furball who ran like a rocket after his baths, and be grateful for the gift of 17 years of his life, and somehow navigate the waters of grief again with loved ones and memories. I know there are many tragedies in life; today my husband told of a colleague's brother's wife who had a stroke and died at the age of 32. My friends and family still grieve the loss of a special young man on New Year's Day this year. There can be so much sorrow, and letting go...well, letting go is one of the toughest calls we'll answer. Without my faith, it wouldn't even be a possibility. But I believe in a merciful God, and I believe that He will allow the sun to rise in the morning after this dark night. I believe His promise that

"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
-Psalm 30:5

Life is short, and I for one still have some "letting go" to do. By the grace of God I'll continue to count my blessings while I have them in front of me, not take any day for granted, and not miss an opportunity to take care of myself and others, for this is the only ride we get. This is it, and there are so many beautiful moments to treasure. Peter was one of those moments, and he'll live in our hearts forever.

Go Peter Go...

Monday, August 22, 2011


My day today started out in an awful way. As I was leaving the charming New England B&B in Bar Harbor Maine, following 2 glorious days in one of the most beautiful places on earth...I smashed into a rock wall in the parking lot.

I can't even tell you how it happened. I was looking, I backed up slowly, and then the horrible "CRUNCH" sound. I immediately started to panic.

My new car.

My brand new car.

My DREAM car.

My beautiful brand new white dream car.


I didn't want to get out, but I did, and it was not pretty. Bumper all scratched, tail light smashed. I was afraid I ruined the trip for my 79-year old mother in law (this was on her bucket list). I was afraid of what my husband would say (I have been known in the past to 'crunch' a car - he joked with me as we drove this new car off the lot to BE CAREFUL). I was just upset that I had let this happen somehow. And I could. not. stop. crying. To the point I could hardly breathe.

Words like "it's ok", "it was an accident", "you didn't do it on purpose", "it's just a car, it can be fixed" started to float their way through my tears. All true, but I was inconsolable over my new car, which I got in such perfect condition, and now was damaged. My perfect car. My most prized possession.

It took a few hours of somber thought to let it all sink in. YES, it could be fixed. It was going to be fixed. It was my fault somehow, but it could be fixed. And as usual, in one of my darkest times, the grace of God found me in the form of a scripture that came into my head and interrupted my negative thinking.

Behold, I make all things new.

It's a scripture I had engraved on my Dad's gravestone. "The old has gone, the new has come."

Yes, this too shall pass. And I know that when things are broken they can be fixed.

Including me.

I came out in perfect condition too. Not from a factory, couldn't be bought, and certainly not without sin, but I was in pretty good shape. And today's events got me thinking that even though I'm "broken" in many ways, I can be fixed too. And even though it wasn't by accident that all that chocolate fell in my mouth and put me in less than perfect form, I could still be fixed. I am fixing myself by making better choices day by day (hour by hour, minute by minute...)

Yup, it may take a bit longer than a deductible and a few days  in the shop, but I'm getting fixed too. And I'm certainly grateful that's "all" that's broken on me and my car. (-:

We'll be just fine, thanks, and I will enjoy the rest of my journey literally and figuratively and not let it ruin my day, my life.

My husband (who seemed to take the news well as far as I could tell from 700 miles away) always says, "It is what it is."


Material things can be replaced. Time with loved ones, and memories, cannot. So, in spite of my grieving over my perfect car, I realize it's just a "thing" and maybe I needed to put that in perspective to apply the principle of fixing what's broken to my life.

Here's hoping you can too.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wake Up Call

It is really hard for me to wake up in the morning. (my husband would call that an understatement) I snooze and snooze until the absolute last minute. I'm just so TIRED.  I would love to be one of those "early morning runners" but that ain't ever gonna happen. At least in that respect, I'm a realist.

So it comes as no surprise that it's taken me a while to wake up and smell the coffee when it comes to taking care of myself on a consistent basis. Emphasis on consistent.

I've had several wake up calls over the past few years. My car accident in 2009. That was a big one, and it definitely shaped my desire to live life to the fullest and not take any day for granted. It also made me grateful, albeit in spurts, for my body that was healed in what I consider to be a miraculous manner.

My doctor's diagnosis of "obesity" was another one. As a matter of fact, that's the one that inspired this blog.

My cardiologist's prescription for Zocor was another one. The fact that I had to take a pill to correct my LDL was a bit embarrassing. Boy was I on a health kick after that.

Here's the thing. I kept hitting "snooze" when those alarms went off. Oh, I acknowledged them, but then got complacent. You know the drill. 

I saw a sign on a dentist's office once. It said "ignore your teeth and they'll go away." That's about the only thing, right? Cuz my weight didn't go away when I ignored it. Neither did my cholesterol. Nope, they stuck around.

Over the past few weeks, my proverbial wake up calls have been getting harder to ignore. I've slowly been "waking up" to things I've chosen to ignore. You've read about most of them in my posts.

Tonight, I feel like I had a huge wake up call. I have been struggling with my Couch to 5K program. Not physically so much, but mentally. I just finished Week 3 last week. And when I ran on Tuesday, I did the last day of Week 3 again, just in case. Ya know, to make sure I "had it down." I had kind of a bad day on Tuesday and I actually went for a run to make myself feel better. THAT's new. Usually I'd do this to make myself feel better:

This is NOT me, just a model who exemplifies how I feel. LOL.

I struggled, internally, with so many feelings this week. Letting go of what's familiar is scary. Even if it means you're doing something good for you. It's still scary. Not everyone will understand that. I wanted to hang out in my comfort zone. They know me there. I KNOW some of you are feeling me now.

So, about tonight. I laced up my sneakers and headed out. And I wasn't even sure what I was going to do. I just wanted to run, but a nagging little voice whispered that I was gonna hurt myself if I tried the new week. But I slid the ticker to Week 4, Day 1, and I started off. And when that hunky guy in my phone said "run" I ran. I just did it without thinking, and when my time came to run more than I ever have before (5 whole minutes) I ran. I remembered when I first ran for 60 seconds and I cried. I was sure, 100% sure, that I would not be able to run for 5 minutes straight. I was waiting for my knees to start screaming or something. I was thinking I wouldn't be able to catch my breath. I was counting the seconds (um, no, minutes) for Captain Handsome to tell me to "walk" again.

Something in me made me go (is that you, God?) and keep going. I pushed myself beyond what I thought I could do. And guess what...I had to do it 2 more times.

And I did it. Ha.


The streets were awful quiet tonight when I was running (not sure if that's because the heavy breathing and funny noises I was making scared away the small animals and neighborhood children?) and I was able to reflect on the past few weeks. I recalled my small victories along the way, and acknowledged my small failures as well. I gave myself props for not staying down when I got down. I thought about the different challenges I made it through. I'm in a state of mind where I need a lot of encouragement, and when life gets crazy and I can't regulate my emotions and I feel fragile and alone and I don't get the encouragement I need, I am finding a way to slowly, slowly, realize that I am worthy of feeling good regardless of external influences. It's so hard, and it can be lonely, but at least I am no longer relying on food to be my comfort.

When I walked in the house tonight after my run, my husband asked, "Well? Did you do it?" and I said "Yes- week 4". He asked me if I cheated (know me well, he does) and I said "Nope" and then I cried. I cried because I was proud of myself. And that's new. I cried because I realized that I woke up on the first alarm tonight. I didn't snooze. I made it past my own self- and I believed for the first time, truly believed, that I was "fearfully and wonderfully made". I cried because I was so happy and relieved and joyous. I have been sad about a few things this week, and none of it mattered when I realized that I took control of myself tonight and accomplished something I never thought I could.

Wake up call - I'm 40, not 20. I get it. But it's not too late for me to be the Best Me I can be, and I'm slowly waking up to that fact. I'm sure there will be more days when I "sleep in" but overall, it's been a refreshing few weeks.

How many wake up calls have YOU ignored? What are you hitting the snooze button on?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

No Parking

My Couch to 5K program has these neat little quotes at the bottom of the screen each day I run. And they're all very motivational. Things like:

"The key to any training program is a gentle progression in difficulty"
~ Hal Higdon

That one was really useful when I was upset that I went from 90 seconds to 3 whole minutes. Didn't feel too gentle to me. But made me realize I was on the right program.

And one of my all time favorites:

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." ~ Walt Disney

That one was when running was feeling more impossible than fun. But I wanted to keep running cuz no one tells ME it's impossible (except me haha)

So yesterday, I decided to go for a run. I hadn't gone since Saturday, and I felt like my groove had been shaken. I was on a roll there for a while, and the Old Me started getting afraid. Afraid that I wasn't going to be able to pick up where I left off (um, 4 whole days ago) and afraid that I wasn't going to be able to make Week 3 a reality this week. So I started thinking about doing Week 2 over again, and then doing every week twice thereafter. Yup, that's what I would do.

I was exhausted yesterday, but I had the urge to run when I saw my new shoes had arrived! They just begged to be worn.

Nike Lunarglide +3. Best. Shoes. Ever
So I laced 'em up and headed out. As I tapped on my app and it opened, I started to move it back to Week 2.

And then I stopped. Literally. And the slowly evolving New Me fought against the Old Me. Because I realized I was sliding the little bar on the bottom of the app to the right instead of to the left. And I realized that was going backwards. And what progress can be made by going backwards? My experience shows not so much.

I got this surge of (anger? confidence?) something that made me slide the little thingy to Week 3 Day 2 which is where I had made it to thus far, gosh darnit. And so I started.

It was tough, no lie. And I kept thinking of Isaiah 40:31, which is the verse I said over and over and over as I was painfully recovering from my car accident back in 2009.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Especially the "run and not be weary" part. I double emphasized that. It helped. (-:

About halfway through the workout I looked at the app (to see how many painful minutes were left!) and I noticed the quote for that day.

"The road to success is lined with many tempting parking spaces"

Made me LOL.

How apropos.

I was so tempted to "park it" back to my comfort zone. But I overcame it. And when I was done with Day 2 of Week 3, I felt awesome. Powerful. In control. Those feelings are kind of new.

I'm not saying repeating something is bad. Some people, I am sure, need to take it a little slower to succeed. And I am not saying I won't do a day of Week 3 over. But no way, no how, am I doing any LESS than what I know I can do. It's tempting to "park it"  but lemme tell ya, I've been parking my butt for too long.

It's time to run!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Who Ya Gonna Call?

I had a pretty bad day last week. It was close to awful. Mostly from things that happened at work; suffice it to say that firing people is the worst part of my job.  I came home much much later than expected, and didn't have a chance to make dinner, and that just added to my frustration. And oh yeah, I skipped lunch and was starving and if anything gets me cranky, it's being hungry and tired.

To top it off I was then fighting with a loved one. I decided to head out and grab something to eat. As I drove off in the direction that would have led me to McDonald's, I had a moment.

I knew where my car was headed and I knew what I was going to do. I was going to get some fast food to make me feel better.

Yes, that's right, I said it. To make me feel better.

A cheeseburger would make me feel better about what, exactly? That's the thought that popped into my head. And that's when I knew that I was headed in the right direction. Not literally, cuz my car was still driving the road to Ronald's place. But mentally, I checked myself before I wrecked myself.

I was feeling pretty alone up to this point. When you're at odds with those closest to you, it's impossible to vent to them, and it just makes you feel more alone. And so the me that had gotten comfort from food did what it knew to do. It went out for food.

Who DO you call when there's no one to talk to? I tried a few friends and they couldn't be reached. So I went to visit an old friend. He was at quite a few birthday parties when I was younger, and I kind of learned to depend on him in times of trouble. Ya know, for comfort.

Look how happy he is.
But before I got to his place, I said a quick prayer. Didn't really say it, it was more like I felt it. My heart reached out to God and kind of just gave up. I didn't want to do this to myself again, taking comfort in food, so I guess I just kind of begged Him with my heart to help me.

I turned into my Mom's development (yes it's on the way to McDonald's) and it turned out she had some leftovers from dinner. And it was just about 4 ounces of meat and some veggies and it was great. I ate healthily and I was really proud of myself and it was a sign that I was on the right path.

There is a twist here - I did visit the Golden Arches after dinner with my brother, and we both got a lowfat vanilla cone. The moral of the story is that I was completely in control at that point, and it felt good. The victory was sweeter than my cone and I knew that by calling on God in my time of need rather than Ronald McDonald I was letting Philippians 4:13 come to life for me:

 I can do all things through Christ  who strengthens me.

I had the cone, and it fit in my plan. But I didn't precede it with a greasy double cheeseburger and fries that would have made me feel awful afterwards. Funny how the things that look comforting to you actually aren't so comfortable afterwards. That's how temptation works, right?

This no good, horrible day was on a Sunday, and that Friday was my weigh day, and I was down 3.4 pounds in two weeks. I'm halfway through Week 3 of my Couch to 5K program. I kind of had a bad day the other day too, and I did visit Mr. Hershey on that one. 

Old habits die hard

Friends, I'm not letting my one bad day here or there turn into a bad week. And that, to me, is victory. I'll take it one day at a time, thank you, and I know who to call when it seems like no one is there. Do you?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Time Flies...

So the first thing that comes to mind is "...when you're having fun", right? That's true. Nothing goes faster than a great vacation.

It flies other times too. Like at work, when I'm so busy and it's 3pm and all of a sudden I realize I haven't eaten lunch yet. And in life in general, when "all of a sudden" I'm a 40-year old mother of a teenager who is taller than me and about to start high school. Yikes.

I'll tell you when it doesn't fly.

When I'm running.

I am painfully aware of how many seconds there are until my phone vibrates and that really cute guy says, "Walk." (OK I have no idea what he looks like, but it's nice to imagine he's cute, that way I won't get mad when he says "Run" again.)

Don't get me wrong; I loooove running. I do believe I have found me a new (healthy!) habit. But it kind of only feels good at the end when I can say "I did it!". Because at this point when everything is new, it's still kind of hard. Hard not to think about how my knee hurts and how I can't breathe.

Time goes really, really slow when you're doing something you don't want to do, or doing something that is hard. That takes work. Even if it's good for you.

There is a phrase I used to tell myself many years ago (because my dieting days go back to age 12). It's "The time is going to pass anyway; might as well be doing something good for yourself." Maybe I heard that from somewhere. Anyway, I would get so frustrated that it was taking SO LONG to lose weight. And that's when I would pull out that line. What the heck else was I gonna do with the time? Get fatter? No thanks. It didn't go on overnight, right? So it's not gonna come off overnight...RIGHT? (-: Somehow when it was coming ON I wasn't worried about the time. Hmmmmm.

So, here I am, up to 90 seconds of jogging at a time, and those darn seconds sure are long! (The absurdity of that comment does not escape me). But I keep telling myself that I can do ANYTHING for 90 seconds. Just like I told myself last week, except that was 60 seconds. And what else would I be doing with those seconds? I went to Zumba today (yay!) and I loved every second of it. It was tough and I was sweaty and I kept looking at the clock to see when it was over. But I realized if I wasn't at Zumba I'd probably be sleeping in and I surely would not have burned 600 calories or racked up over 5,000 steps in my sleep! And when I left...well, I was a warrior.

So yeah, the time will pass anyway. And here I am at 9:30 p.m. and I am proud of the way I chose to spend my time today. And this past week, my Week 1 of a new journey again.

Last Friday, my "Day 1" when "righteous anger" caused me to finally use the Couch to 5K app that I bought, I had an epiphany. While I was getting ready for bed, and thinking how HARD this was going to be (again), a thought came to mind. "Don't step on the scale for 2 weeks." Those of you who know me know I am not crazy and I do not hear voices. This was just kind of a thought that popped into my head, and not one that I would choose on my own, so I really knew it was God leading my heart.

I am somewhat of a scale addict. And by somewhat I mean I am seriously addicted. Every morning and night, I would weigh myself. And the number would determine my entire outlook on life. That is not me being dramatic. I would let it affect my everything. There was a point in my life, my "thin" time, when I would actually pack my scale when I went on vacation! Ah! Who was that girl?

Anyway I still had a bit of a problem. And by a bit, I mean big. And so when I had this thought, I wanted to fight it, but instead I went with it and actually committed right then in my heart, to God, that I would let Him lead me. I did that when I gave up my most favorite thing for Lent - Starbucks. And a promise to God is the biggest pinky swear EVER and it scares me to think of breaking it. Not because I don't think He is merciful and forgiving; I know He is. But because He is GOD for crying out loud and when He leads me to do something I want to try and do it.

So the scale is in my bathroom, and it's gathering a bit of dust. And I have not stepped on it in 8 days. A new record! And guess what? I am more focused on ME and my CHOICES, which I am in control of. If I had seen a "bad" number it may have led me to think "What the heck am I trying so hard for?" and led me back to my coconut clustered ways.

I'm not saying that will work for everyone. But it's working for me. And next Friday I'll weight myself and see what my hard work has done for me.

I know someone who thinks "the day and time I am going to die is pre-determined; nothing I do is going to change that" and they use that as an excuse to eat bad things and not exercise and not make an effort to be healthy. (and if you are reading this, I love you dearly). Do I believe that? Well, the first part, yes. I do believe our "time" is already determined. But I also believe John 10:10:

...I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Yup, someday I am going to die. It's the one thing I have in common with everyone I have and haven't met. But I also know that God wants us to have a full life; a rich life; an abundant life - and I want to make good use of the time I have by treating my body well. Because when I do, I am a better person not only to myself but to those around me. I am not as cranky (read: I still can be cranky. Just not as often and not over stupid things) I want to live and not feel sorry for myself for something I DID to myself and have complete power to change. I'm lucky to have a problem I can change. Blessed, even. I saw a woman crossing the street in a motorized wheelchair that she operated with her mouth and I counted that blessing over and over again.

Time is passing, and I do not want to look back with any "what ifs" on this time in my life. I want to take charge now while the gift of time is still mine. I want to have an abundant life and being overweight and not liking myself is not part of that plan. I have been sooo busy these past few weeks and did not make good use of my time. I worked too long, I didn't take time to make a meal plan, I lost touch with friends. Thank goodness for "do-overs". (-;

As a birthday gift, I gave my sister in law (and me) a registration to the Disney 5K run in January. Completing a 5K is on both of our bucket lists and we both started the Couch to 5K app together. So there, I am committed. And it's something to look forward to. And it will be here before I know it, since this time is flying by.

For those of you thinking you don't have the time to lose weight or exercise, think about it. The time is going to pass anyway. So what is the alternative? Do nothing? Guess what, it will still be "tomorrow" tomorrow so make your choices.

I choose to run.