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

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.