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

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?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I know my limits. I take care not to push past them too far, if at all.

A while ago, I decided that I could not run. I was not told this by a doctor, but I just "knew" I couldn't. Unless someone was chasing me (with a weapon of some sort) and I was forced to pick up the pace, THIS girl was having none of that.

Then something changed. I wanted to run. For some ridiculous reason, it was something I wanted to do - albeit halfheartedly, at first. Most of you have read how that changed me - how doing something I myself said I could not do opened me up to a whole new world. I loved running. I became A Runner. And I ran a 5K. Key word "ran", because I told myself I would walk part of it. You know when you read a scripture, and then it comes to life for you? I love that. God showed me that yes I could do all things through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13.

Today it was a balmy 65 degrees - and yours truly happened to have the day off. After finishing an errand with a friend, I thought it might be a good day to go for a run. Especially since I was finally feeling human again after that nasty stomach virus. I craved it.

So I laced 'em up and headed out. Then I forgot something so I came back inside, and that little nagging voice (which sounds a lot like mine, cuz it is) told me to just stay home. I was tired, I injured my rib from all of my retching from previously referenced stomach bug, and I probably couldn't do it anyway.

Neverland, anyone?

So I ignored myself and went out because I was not happy with what the scale was telling me lately, and this was one way to deal with THAT. Halfway through my run, I wanted to quit. Side stitches, rib pain, boredom, you name it. I started talking to myself telling myself "Don't quit" out loud. I decided to walk for 5 minutes because I felt I had reached my limit. Any runners out there? After the Couch to 5K training is over, I am sure you can relate to how hard it is to stop and then START running again. Motivation is kind of on the low side once you realize walking doesn't take as much effort.

Well, neither does eating a Twinkie, and look where that got me.

My limit? I wasn't even close. I knew it, and I started running again, because when I am mad at myself it's kind of motivating. So I averaged a 13-minute mile which is A-OK with me, and my glass of low fat chocolate milk was better than any damn Twinkie I ever tasted. I was still feeling all sorry for myself for not being able to run straight through, but hey, I know my limits. Or do I?

I had to pick my son up from tennis tonight. The team was huddled around the coach and I noticed that there was one boy in a wheelchair. The real sporty kind that you see athletes on TV use. And he had a tennis racket and was wearing a team shirt. His legs were pencil-thin. After the huddle broke up and everyone started to scatter, I watched this boy skillfully wheel his chair around the court out onto the grass, and crawl out of it and move his way across the grass to put his leg braces on.

And right then, God spoke to me. I think we have already established that no, I do not hear voices. He spoke to my heart.

"What are your limits now?"

It was just a feeling, like a slight whisper across my heart and it touched my soul and made my eyes well up with tears. "I'm so sorry" was what I whispered back. Sorry for taking my health for granted again, sorry for not realizing I am blessed with a healthy (and yes, overweight, but basically healthy) body. No, I do not feel better about myself by seeing someone in a wheelchair and no, it does not mean that it's OK for me to be overweight and thankful just because I am not physically challenged. The real awakening came when my son got into the car, and I asked him about the boy in the wheelchair, and he explained how he has "massive" upper body strength and how he is allowed two bounces on the courts, and what a great athlete he is (#1 wheelchair basketball player as well) - so he looks up to see me with tears in my eyes and he says "Don't feel sorry for him Mom, he is really good."

Hmmmm. So maybe I shouldn't feel sorry for myself either, huh? Because here was a child who overcame much. much bigger limitations than anything I have ever had to deal with. And I had such incredible respect for this child, and his parents who obviously didn't let him fall prey to the "limits" that others might have placed on him.

My limits seem much more trivial now. As a matter of fact, I see a half-marathon on my horizon.

I won't lie and say the bling doesn't matter...
Evert now and then, we need a gentle reminder that we are blessed. And I am glad that my reminders have been gentle, because some are not so lucky. My neighbor's driveway is full of cars as they await the passing of his wife; some friends have experiences loss of loved ones this past week; another friend's Dad had a heart attack (but is home safely now); the list goes on. Those are heavy-duty reminders not to take a single moment for granted.

Joyce Meyer says "You can be pitiful, or you can be powerful, but you can't be both” 

I don't know about you, but I don't want to be known as a pitiful person. I saw a very powerful person in that young man today, and my pity party came to an end. 

What limits do you place on yourself? And I am talking about the ones you self-diagnose. Maybe you DO have limits, but take a moment to step back and ask yourself if you are using what God gave you to the best of your ability. I can't say that I am. Because at 50 pounds overweight (and holding!) I've been "pitiful" not "powerful". And that's gotta change. 

Here's hoping that our "limits" will always be JUST out of our reach. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Healthy Outlook

I've spent the past 24 hours contemplating my health. Funny how you can take it for granted until you're down for the count. There's a lot of things in life like that. I just wish I could remember the lessons I learned after the bad times are gone.

I fell victim to a nasty stomach bug that had me vomiting for 8 hours straight overnight. That, combined with the other lovely effects of a stomach bug, left me completely dehydrated (lost 5 pounds in 8 hours!) and completely exhausted. It hasn't been confirmed by my doctor yet, but I am fairly certain I bruised a rib from all my retching. At one point during the night, I thought I might die. And that's not being dramatic.

Ok, maybe it's being a LITTLE dramatic. But it was brutal.

But while I was moaning and in between trips to the bathroom (where I thought I should just bring my pillow & blanket) I thought about how I wanted to be the healthiest version of me EVER, and I was just praying to get well so I could get right on that. Most days, like most of us, I don't even think about how fairly healthy I am. And I do some pretty unhealthy things to myself, because they don't really have any immediate consequences. Those show up a little later. Just to be clear, I am talking about eating what I know I shouldn't eat.

But while I was feeling my worst (and even now as I type this, recovering from the past day) I thought about how I only wanted to be KIND to my body, because I am blessed to be pain free most days. And with no serious illness to stop me, I have no viable excuse to intentionally cause harm to my body. Right?

I am a caregiver by nature. My son had this bug a few days ago. I stroked his hair as he vomited, wiped his nose and rubbed his back as I watched my poor child suffer from the effects of this bug. I got him his Gatorade when he needed it and toasted some toast so he could try and eat something.

48 hours later, I was the one who was being ravaged by this illness. My husband was also sick and bless his heart, did his best to try and comfort me, but there was little he could do. It is sweet how we have people in our lives to take care of us when we need it. And the thought of taking care of MYSELF started to creep in. Because I haven't been doing too good of a job lately. I am a caregiver who has forgotten how to take care of herself.

Now, even if I was 125 pounds and fit, I could not have prevented getting sick of course. A bug is a bug and doesn't care what shape you're in. The fact that I got it when I'm 50 pounds overweight doesn't seem to mean much. But I am not going to lie - the unhealthy part of me was pleased to step on the scale and see a 5-pound loss, even though I know that will come back with re hydration. But if I was at my goal weight and taking care of myself like I should, I would not have had that unhealthy thought.

I want to remember how awful I felt the past 24 hours so I do not take my health for granted. Kind of like I want to remember how awful I felt when I ate two cupcakes for lunch one day so that I make healthier choices in the future. Sometimes it takes something to shake us where we are, so that we get refocused on what matters and what we need to concentrate on. I was only able to eat toast, rice & Popsicles today. I am really hungry, and afraid to eat too much (yup, that's new!)  I am looking forward to eating healthy and exercising and thanking God for this healthy body I've been blessed with. I love how this is in the Bible:

1 Corinthians 10:31

 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Have you ever thought about "eating or drinking" for the glory of God? It seems kind of odd, huh? But WHATEVER I do I should do for the glory of God, and for me, eating and drinking have been a problem. So this makes absolute, perfect, crystal-clear sense to me. I'm starting now.

It was 60 degrees today - in February! - and I thought about how it was perfect weather for a run. But here I was, weak and unable to enjoy that. But I also realized this is a temporary state of being, and in a few short days I'll be able to go and run. The feeling I had today is one that some people need to live with every day. Thank God that is not me. I need to get my healthy outlook back, and realize that I have the power to change my life for the better, and to feel good about myself is one of the greatest gifts I could ever give myself.

Stop and take a moment to think about what you've taken for granted, or made excuses for, or have 'forgotten' about in the busy-ness of life. And make a step to remedy that in whatever way you can. Me? I feel like I am starting with a 'clean slate' again and will do my best to remember my most important job.
Let's hope I don't forget it again! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


You guys know my M.O. by now. Something happens, it sparks a breakthrough, and I blog about it. So here we go. (-: 

I have a pretty good sense of direction. I don't often get lost - especially with the navigation system I've had in my car for the last 2 years or so. I've relied on "tomtom" to get me pretty much everywhere I go. And I love it when he speaks French. 

Well, tomtom brokebroke so when I went to meet a friend for lunch last week, I printed out directions the old-fashioned way from Mapquest. That was pretty annoying but at least I still knew where I was going. We decided to "meet in the middle" and each had about a 45-minute drive to an unfamiliar town. 

Well, all was fine and good until the directions instructed me to turn left, and this told me otherwise: 

Normally, I would have just kept going, and tomtom would have planned an alternate route. I stared at the Mapquest paper which did not "recalculate" anything. I had to call the restaurant, and ask for directions. So annoying. 

The girl on the line was very nice. All three times I called her. 

I was lostlost. 

She had told me to turn left on a certain street, and I turned right. 6 miles down the road I figured that out. My frustration mounting, my belly growling, my gas tank light glowing, I turned around and started over. I have a joke that I am "always late but worth the wait" but on this occasion I was set to be early. Now I was 15 minutes late and was certainly NOT going to be worth the wait, because I was not a happy camper, and once I DID make it to my destination there was absolutely, positively no where to park. Ever have one of those days? My friend called to check on me and I told her I was ready to cry as I was circling the restaurant. She gave me a hint and then I finally found a spot. Completely annoyed, I sat down and ordered. 

For lunch, I had fish tacos with sweet potatoes. 

Wait, let me correct that. I had fried haddock in a taco with lettuce and sour cream and sweet potato fries. 


Threw caution to the wind, I did. I didn't give a flying you know what and I ordered what I wanted without thinking of the consequence. The consequence came (doesn't it always?) and I left feeling bloated and miserable. 

I had the drive home to think about it all. Between calling myself names for ordering unhealthy food, I really thought about it. And it came to me, that without a GPS there's a great chance for me to get lost, and I need to get one ASAP. 

It also came to me that in life, I need a GPS to guide me, because I can get easily lost on a GOOD day, never mind the lunch date day. (and don't get me wrong, I am not crying 'poor me' because I know how lucky and blessed I am. But this was an "aha!" moment for me) 

How many times in life did I think I was going the right way, only to find a "road closed" sign with no clue where to go next? Don't make me count. I have relied on tomtom without having a back up plan, and I've done the same in my life. "Nope, I got this, I'm good" - that's me! - when I am really, truly 'lost' on the inside but too busy taking care of someone else or worrying what someone is going to think of's really no good when you don't know where you're going. Without a destination, you drive around in circles, right? And the bloated, miserable feeling I was feeling let me know that my destination was not the town of Healthy Me. And I needed to get me some direction. 

The past few weeks have been trying. But I can see now, that they have been a necessary part of me finding that direction. I have overcome a huge challenge to my character, stayed steadfast in my beliefs and was able to "be still" - not an easy task for me - when things got chaotic. It strained some relationships in my life and I had trouble seeing the 'good' that would come out of it all. But I am seeing a glimpse of it this week. I am finally moving forward again - Destination, town of Healthy Me! - and it feels good. I'm counting Weight Watchers Points again to give me direction in my food choices, and have recharged my Bodybugg to keep me accountable to the numbers. As for my life GPS? 

It has all the instructions and direction I need. I just need to put them in my heart and remember them, and seek them when I feel lost. Here are some lyrics from one of my newest most favorite songs, by Nathan Tasker: 

Love is the compass
it’ll show you what is right what is wrong, it’ll turn the light on
Love is the compass it will lead you Home, it will lead you Home

Love. It's the best compass of all. And I need to love myself and remember how beloved I am. I am worth it, even though I haven't always thought I was. I went for a run today, I made healthy food choices three days in a row. I am falling down and getting up (and repeating) but at least I am always getting back up. I am not making perfect choices every day, but I am being perfectly honest about them and moving on in the proper direction. 

It's time for me-me. And it's on-on. 

Don't get "Lost" - ask for directions!! (-: 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Finish Line

Sometimes, a finish line is obvious. Like in a race. When I did my 5K, I knew there would be an end (thanks heavens) and that kept me going. When I crossed it...well, there are few feelings in the world like THAT.

Was that the end of my running forever? No. That was a symbol of how far I had come...had trained...of how much fear I had overcome to get there.

I've been running since. It still feels great. But here's the finish line keeps moving every time I run. There's not gonna be an end (well, eventually, when I'm too old I will most likely just be running at the mouth, haha) 

As most of you know, I was in a contest to win a trip to take a health & fitness getaway. I wanted that so bad. The end of the contest was another "finish line" and I was counting down the days.

Some things happened on the way to that finish line that really tested me in so many ways. Being from New York, I usually have no trouble speaking my mind. I'll tell it like it is most times (one of my BFF's was mortified when I told a woman on the plane to turn off her cellphone please, just like the Captain announced) Anyway, during this contest, I remained silent while suddenly I was hit with a barrage of untruths while I captured first place. For some reason, people thought any mean thing said was attributed to me, just because I was "winning." I was taught that in times like this "silence is golden" so I said nothing, and went about participating in the contest in a fair way, trying to connect and get votes so I could win.

The trouble with being quiet is that by not saying anything, people can speak for you. And speak they did. With the exception of one short message to explain what was on my heart, I remained quiet. Because the words 'Be still and know that I am God' were on my heart, so my heart (and my mouth) obeyed.

But the fallout that ensued was horrendous, and took a tremendous toll on my sanity this past week. Another contestant was also insulted, and we became fast friends. And then THAT created more drama. I just felt like everywhere I turned, I couldn't catch a break. It escalated to the point that people were attacking my religious beliefs, my character, and claiming they were going to "come and find me" - completely and utterly misguided in their thoughts and not knowing the truth, that I had remained steadfast in my silence because I did not want to add fuel to the fire that was burning. I had done nothing wrong, but no one wanted to see that. I pray that in their hearts they will be spoken to and realize that life is too short to waste on trying to bring another person down. That's a whole other story.

It is obvious that I should have won, according to the rules. The finish line has come and gone, but I still don't know if I really did "win." 

Cue the epiphany. 

I do not need to wait to cross a finish line to be "done" - much like I did not stop running after my 5K. Here I was, waiting for this finish line to come so I could start my journey to a better me. Starting at a finish line is kind of a bad idea, right? Why was I waiting for tomorrow? One of my favorite songs by Mandisa describes it perfectly: 

Can't spend my whole life wastin'
Everything I know I've been given
'Cause you've made me for so much more than
Sittin' on the side lines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If good enough could've been better

Everyday's a day to start over
So, why am I waiting for tomorrow

I came home from work tonight to find my husband and son making dinner (tacos!) and all of the laundry done. I realized that I had been neglecting the things most important to me while paying attention to what I THOUGHT was most important to me - getting this chance to "fix" myself. Don't get me wrong, I need to fix myself for sure. And I love that I have a husband that will do these things,  but it made me feel bad that I had not been "mindful" of anything but this contest this past week. Ugh. I'm a busy gal, and my time is precious, and I will choose to spend it on things that are precious to me. That includes me (-: 

Well, friends, although I  have very little in common with THIS guy 
I am going to get right on that. I am making a schedule to make dates to run, to walk, to go to the gym. It's time to stay away from the computer and really get down to business (with a few time outs to check if I won, haha). As for the naysayers who are still attempting to slander me and say mean things? Well, I can tell you that we all serve the same loving God, and I for one want to be an example of that in how I conduct myself. I know someday I will have to account for everything I said & did. "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." I remarked to a few friends that I have prayed a lot more this week than ever. That's a good outcome. I had so many people rooting for me - some actually surprised me with their support! You all touched my heart and made me feel so BLESSED. I have made an amazing, lifelong friend in Sarah, which would never have happened if not for this contest. So all is not lost. As a matter of fact, it's starting to be found. 

When the REAL Finish Line of life comes, I want to say I did all that I could to honor the gift of life I was given. But until then? I'll just 

Monday, January 30, 2012


Sometimes, there is a reason for the struggle. 

This past week, I was wondering what that reason might be. Because it was not too obvious to me, and I was feeling somewhat defeated in the midst of some things that I really didn't understand. Things that were confusing, and things I did not have the energy for, and things that were bringing me down. I was struggling to make sense of it all. So I remained still, and quiet, waiting for an answer to come to me. 

Then, in discussing "enabling" family members with my sister in law, she shared this story. 

I had a lightbulb moment. Let me share the story (bear with me, you may have heard it, but it's so perfect for what I was going through myself this week that I know this was actually a lesson for me and not the enabling party I was originally discussing) 

One day, a small opening appeared in a cocoon. A man sat and watched for the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it stopped and did not appear to make any progress. It appeared it had gotten as far as it could go, and could not go much longer. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He got a pair of scissors, and he cut open the cocoon. 

The butterfly emerged easily; but it had a tiny, withered body and shriveled wings. The man watched, waiting for the wings to open and for the butterfly to take flight. It never happened. In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly. 

What the man, in sincere kindness and  goodwill, did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon. But he helped it out before it was able to complete its struggle, and it prevented the butterfly from fulfilling its purpose. 

Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in life. If God allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we would have been. We would never be able to fly

I know now that the struggles I have been facing in this contest have been preparing me to fly. I have learned things about myself that would never have been possible if someone would have cut open my "cocoon" and made it easy for me. I do not want to go ahead of God and be premature. I want to fulfill my purpose. As I watch others try to take control of their own destiny without allowing proper time for growth, I need to stay here - in my cocoon - and wait until I am ready. Because I can get out on my own, it's just gonna take some wigglin'. 

Live life without fear, confront all obstacles, be convinced that you can overcome them. The World is a gift for you, so that you, too, may spread your wings...
and FLY! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


We all have our own mountain to climb. Although they are different sizes, they are mountains nonetheless. I don't much like mountain climbing in the literal sense. But figuratively, I'm about to yodel.

I am on a mission to get back to "me." And that means taking care of my body and getting to a healthy BMI. It's been a long time coming.

I am the age my father was when he had his first (of five) heart attacks. He ended up dying of esophageal cancer, which I am sure was brought on by years of smoking and drinking.

Well, I quit smoking the day he got diagnosed with cancer, and I have been sober for over 9 years. Those were some big mountains to climb.

My latest adventure involves this whole "getting healthy" issue. And for me, that means losing 50 pounds.

To some people, being 50 pounds overweight may sound hideous. And to others, I am sure it sounds like "no big deal." But as anyone who has struggled with their weight knows, it's all relative. Just because my mountain is smaller than someone else's does NOT mean it is going to be 'easy' for me. It's still a mountain. Did I mention I do not like to climb mountains? Much cooler here in the valley....

Are there some who have to lose more weight than me? Of course. I know I find it slightly annoying when I read about someone who needs to lose "10 pounds" and I am thinking "Girl, is that IT?" and I am sure some people are thinking about that of me.

But 50 pounds is a big deal for me, and my doctor agrees. It's not only the difference from being called "obese" or not, it's so much more.

It's getting off my cholesterol medicine. 
It's avoiding knee surgery. 
It's reducing my risk of so many diseases, including the heart disease that plagued my Dad. 

It's fitting into my clothes. 
It's wearing my wedding band (I thought gold was a soft metal? Nope, it won't stretch) 
It's having confidence again. 
It's finishing something for ME, for once. 

I want the "abundant life" God has in store for me. I entered a contest trying to find that abundant life. This contest has thrown me for a loop, and there have been many obstacles, but not once has my faith wavered. I have been so encouraged by friends and family and complete strangers. Those closest to me know how much this opportunity means to me. But when someone criticizes me for "only" needing to lose 50 pounds...well, that's not fair. I don't want to judge anyone without knowing their circumstances. I said before that I do not deserve this prize MORE than anyone else....I just know I deserve it. My mountain may look easy to some, but this is my Everest. I haven't been able to do it on my own and I am reaching out for help. I will be happy for whoever wins this contest, honestly, because we ALL need it, or else we would not have entered. It won't be an easy climb, and I do not know what the outcome of this contest will be. 

But I do know I believe in this: 

if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. - Matthew 17:20