Bountieful Baskets

This morning I woke at 6 AM. That may not be a big deal to some of you but it is to me. I use to spend my whole morning in bed. Walking to the bathroom was hard. Going into the kitchen, siting on a stool and making a piece of toast or a sandwich was difficult. But I can feel my life slowly changing.

Last Monday I ordered a Bountiful Basket. Bountiful Baskets is a non-profit food coop based out of Arizona that makes fresh fruits and vegetables available year round at a minimal cost. A friend told me about it a while back, and I was thrilled when they came to my area. You order on-line between Monday at noon to Midnight Tuesday, and on Saturday you go pick up your fresh produce that you ordered. It is $15, plus a one time fee (that varies from $3 to $6, depending where you are located) They are found in 16 states. You get 6 kinds of vegetables and 6 kinds of fruits. BasketYou don’t know what you are getting, so it’s a fun surprise, and an opportunity to try new things you may not have otherwise. You can read all about it in the above link, and see if they come to your town.

My friend Jenny came by this morning to get our baskets together. I drove and we stopped for coffee along the way. We left about 7:15. I have not been out and about on a Saturday morning like that in ages. It felt so good! I mean, really good! In the past Jenny has picked up my basket for me.But I wanted to go this time. I can tell I am really getting healthier. I know losing 100 pounds should be a huge life changer. But the reality is, I have a very long way to go yet, and, I really don’t feel that different. Not like you might think. I breathe, and sleep better. It does not hurt as bad to get out of bed. But I’m really starting to feel the big stuff. When I did shuffle myself around the house, I went from one chair or seat to another, with NO stopping! I sat on a stool with rollers and wheeled my way around my kitchen. from the stove to the fridge, I never just stood up and walked around my kitchen.

But it’s like a baby learning to walk, suddenly I’m up and moving around more. It’s beginning to be easier to get up and walk to the fridge if I need something instead of scooting my stool. You know how a baby starts walking and as long as they don’t think about it, they walk. That is whats happening to me. I get up and walk somewhere, or go get something and suddenly I realize I’m up and moving. Now these are little burst of changes I am seeing, probably things none else would notice, but I am changing! I have been out of the house every day last week. Grant it, sometimes I just drive to Starbucks for a cup of coffee, but I’m out. There were months that went by in my past that I did not go out of the house. I am kind of embarrassed admitting to this. But it is my truth, and like I say, shame only paralyzes us and keeps up from success.

I have a few friends who have gotten BB (Bountiful Baskets) and quit because the food goes to waste. We have all done it, purchased those healthy fruits and veggies at the store, because they look so pretty all shinny and lined up. We get it home, and it never gets used. It takes time to eat healthy. Washing those veggies, or taking the time to prepare and cook them is hard when you are working all day and come home famished. I use to live spontaneously, I acted on my first thought.  I still have to check myself. But next time you come home from work, and don’t feel like cooking, instead of grabbing the phone and ordering food, think it through. Instead of thinking of what a drag it is to fix that beautiful produce, think of how good you will feel. Think about in the morning when you wake up, you won’t be beating yourself up mentally about the crap you ate the day before. Healthy food taste good when cooked properly. Its pretty hard to ruin a vegetable unless you cook it to death.

I did Jenny’s hair before she left. I miss doing hair. I miss the creative things I use to do. I love doing long hair, updo’s, braiding, corn rows, french braiding, all of it. I use to do all the girls for prom. It was fun when I was allowed to do what I wanted. Jenny was going to a T ball game this morning, so I corn rowed her hair for her.  It is a great way to get your hair out-of-the-way and up if you are going to be outdoors. A852743E-9AE6-4185-9D4B-F446166EEF33

So my new thing I am going to finally try is kale chips. I keep hearing how good they are. I just couldn’t  imagine baking a green ugly piece of kale until crispy could be tasty. But I am going to try it. For all of your visual learners like me out there here is a link to make kale chips from Martha Stewart’s website. Enjoy your Saturday! I’ll be making kale chips and watching the Nebraska Corn Huskers. Go Big Red!

ANEB4480-01_medium

……….a few hours later…… I tried the kale chips, I’d give them a B-, Can’t say I would crave them, but they were OK. I will use less salt and oil next time. But whoever said they were like Potato Chips were wrong! Ha! But Lily loved them! FullSizeRender 23

 

 

Numbers

Ever since I hit that 100 pounds lost mark, I have gotten a lot of really great feedback. It felt nice. It’s nice to inspire others, but sometimes I feel I am not qualified to inspire others because I have so far to go. I find it interisting that at my current weight, people want my secret to success. I am still over 400 pounds. How could I inspire anyone who has 10, 20, or 50 pounds to lose? But the most powerful motivation comes not from the most qualified, but the one most willing to.  I am willing to take anyone who wants to walk this journey with me. We all have something to offer each other at any size. God uses broken people like you and me, to rescue broken people like you and me. 

I am a strong proponent of using the scale and knowing what your numbers are.  I really believe we need to have some tangable measure of our success. images-2There are many who don’t feel this way. I respect that, we all have to do what works for us. Some measure how their clothing fits, some a new hole in their belts. Once I had not weighed for a good year or so, I thought I was doing pretty good. I weighed nearly 100 pounds more than I believed. I just don’t have a good grip on judging my weight by how I feel. Still, that number has nothing to do with my self worth, my value as a human, or how lovable I am. But It does show us what direction we are heading. If what is stopping you from stepping on that scale is the fear of facing your number, just remember it is not a reflection of your character or value. You will be glad you have a starting number when your start to lose.

I remember in my past, when I had lost weight and was used as a  testimonial for Richard Simmons weight loss products, I still weighed in the 200s. I has lost 200 pounds, yet according to what is considered healthy, I was still morbidly obese. I felt so good. I was full of confidence, I felt good about how I looked, and people responded to that. But the first informational I did, I was still over 300 pounds.  Confidence is a very attractive  thing.

When I started to gain it back, I remember the numbers climbing up, each pound made me feel worse and worse about myself. I remember the day I stepped on the scale and saw I weighed 300 pounds, I felt so bad, I wanted to hide. I felt like a failure.

I remember the day I was losing, and stepped on the scale, and weighed 300 pounds. I was giddy! Excited I was about to weight in the 200s. I felt confident and successful. The same number, two different feelings.

Thats is why being fat is only a health issue. It is not a measure of anything other than that. But, when you see your value and you  respect yourself, you will want to get healthy. Only when you see you have value, can you truly take care of yourself.

I’ve had people contact me recently that are desperate. Asking for help to lose weight because they are so ashamed and miserable. Some of these people weight less than I did in high school. Yet, they are just as miserable as I, at my highest weight. joy2

Do you really think your happiness will begin when that magic number appears on your scale? If you do, you will be terribly disappointed. My joy started when I realized I am worth taking care of. The day I took personal responsibility for myself and believed if I did all I could, I would have success. The day I quit saying “I will try” and started saying I will do it, was the day my life changed.  You are capable of much more than you think. Your brain is capable of telling yourself when you don’t need that piece of cake. You are in control of what you put in your mouth. No one is responsible for you, but you. My joy started the moment I decided to take care of Kathy. Every time I face a challenge and succeed, I am giving more value and respect to myself. When you do that, it spills over in other relationships. People will start to respect you. Your confidence will blossom, and you will be able to live a productive life with no regrets. You will be able to love deeper, you will have more than happiness, you will feel joy and contentment.

Once you get to this place, that cheeseburger or that chocolate cake just does not have the same grip on you. The struggles that seemed so impossible will be clearer. We will still be tempted, but it won’t have quit the power it once had. This opens a whole world of possibilities you never thought you could ever have.

One Hundred Pounds Down!

I did it! 100 pounds down! I can’t find the words to express how wonderful this feels. But more than what it might mean to you, it’s a bit different for me. Losing 100 pounds says, that I’m really serious about this. It tells me, I can really do this. It boosts  my confidence.

I have successfully lost and gained a lot of weight in my life. I lost 100 pounds in my mid 20s, and gained it back. I lost 100 pounds in my early 30s, and gained it back. Then, in the mid 90s, I lost 200 pounds, and sadly gained it back.  Every time I let the numbers on the scale  be my identity, and soon after, I lost myself. Every time I thought weight loss was the answer to my happiness. It never was. Honestly, losing weight is not the key to happiness. It does not make your a better person, it does not even make you more lovable. But, it does make you healthy.

Being healthy helps you to enjoy your life, your friends, and you can love easier. It  allows you to be, comfortable,  mobile, and you can wrap your arms around someone you love, closer. It frees you up to demonstrate your love, and enjoy receiving it.  It gives you a lap to hold a baby or a child. You can be more spontaneous. Being healthy is a tool to love more, and enjoy life.  But it still is not happiness.

When you find yourself at the bottom, all alone. When you have hit bottom and keep bouncing around, down there. That’s when you see who you truly are. Things become very clear.

Actually happiness is overrated. It comes and goes. Contentment and peace is everlasting. I could not lost 100 pounds until I first found peace and contentment.  I needed to find in that dark pit, I was already a lovable, successful, beautiful human, who deserves good health, and to enjoy life.  God made me perfect, just as I am. Even at 537 pounds.  Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of OZ, I always had the power.Tumblr_maktcq5bci1r7qhgbo1_500-2 For me, the power comes from my faith in God. I had the ruby slippers all along. I just didn’t use them. I Kept looking for a ladder, when the answer was right under my nose.

But the will power does not usually just appears out of nowhere. I see so many  memes on Facebook these days posted by well meaning Christians regarding God’s faithfulness, waiting on the Lord, resting in His arms.  I agree, God is absolutely faithful!  But he wants us to use the resources we already have, the ones He gave us that we don’t always  see.  so we can take action in those times we don’t feel that safety net. That’s when the miracles start.  He wants us to do every thing in our power, he wants us to take personal responsibility. I’m sorry to tell you, God does not go around zapping everyone. he could, but that is not how he usually does things. You have to own it and take charge. You have to realize no one is going to rescue you. When you do, that’s when the miracles happen.

Sometimes you don’t even realize the miracle is happening until you get a few steps away from it and look back. And when you do, it takes your breath away. old_rag_view_near_top

 

 

 

 

The wind blows harder the closer you get to the top of the mountain

Last night I went to a woman’s church event. It’s no secret that I have been isolating for several years. I was ashamed at how I let myself go, when I did go out it took so much effort to just get ready and get to my car, it just was not worth it.

It felt so good to be out last night. I am one of those people who needs people. I got that from my Mom. She loved everybody. I really never understood those who say they don’t liked people. I need people in my life. It was almost a high I got when I got there and saw all the people I loved so much, after several years of isolation. I took lots of selfies. I was in tears much of the night feeling so grateful to be loved so much and to be out for the evening. IMG_3477

My beautiful friend, Linda, came over to my house and went with me. She has been so faithful through the years, never once walking away from our friendship, or got angry at me for letting myself get so fat again and wallow in self pity. And believe me I wallowed!

This was a yearly fund raiser our woman’s group does to raise money for missions. A dinner then an auction. The ladies bring their things, be it gift baskets, hand made items, or special dinners and parties they would bid on to attend. There were a lot of women there, and lots and lots of items to auction off. This went on for hours. I’m just not use to sitting that long, and honestly, I’m in pain after I have gone anywhere and walked a bit. The walking itself is painful, but afterwards the nerve and joint pain is overwhelming.

When Linda and I finally walked out to my car after sitting for 4-5 hours, I just broke down in tears. I was sobbing, all while I was trying to catch my breath. This turned into a little panic attack. Linda was so concerned, and I was embarrassed for her to see me this way. So there we sat, in my car in a dark parking lot, after a wonderful evening and I was a blubbering mess. Linda asked what she could do for me, she felt so helpless and wondered if I did the right thing attending this event. After I gained some composure we talked about how hard it was to start my life back up again. I told her everything is hard right now, and there is no avoiding it, I just have to push through it to get to the other side. Right now, at this point, it mostly feels  like climbing a tall mountain against the wind.11093010_633312400133126_1244827092_n

 

There is no escaping the wind. We have no control over it. It will come and go in our lives forever. Sometimes it blows harder than other times. The wind was blowing pretty hard last night. I crawled in my bed, after taking a few ibuprofen, I thanked God for the beautiful evening filled with loving friend. I pretty much laid there in pain most of the night. It hurt too much to fall asleep.

The only thing we can do when the wind blows, is hold on. We only have control over how we react to it. So many people quit when life gets difficult and the wind blows, becoming a victim to something that often appears out of no where. I will not quit just because the wind blows and it’s hard. Because I know, when I get to the top of that mountain, the view is glorious!mountain

Excuses are like feet, everyone has them and they all stink

I have been thinking a lot about excuses lately. Mostly because this 2 pounds I need to lose to hit that 100 mark seems to be taking it’s time. I want it so bad I can taste it. This has caused me to evaluate what and how much I’m eating. And to really dig in and see if I am being honest with myself. I have plateaued for 2 weeks, and it is making me very anxious. There is pressure since I am so public about this, but the primary reason is I am very anxious to get on with my life.

Let’s be honest here, the perfect dieter is not perfect all the time. That crossover line is not thin, but wide. We eyeball things, like how much milk we use in our coffee, the size of that chicken breast, those BLT’s (bites, licks and tastes). BLT  Or that tiny bite we take off our loved ones plate. Life would be crazy and it would take too much time to always weigh and measure every single thing we put in our mouths. It would be a good idea ever so often to measure and weight for a few days to get a grasp on reality. I have been doing that this week just to sharpen my eyeballing skills.

Have you ever had a weight loss buddy that has consecutive plateaus and small gains frequently? Ok, I’m gonna ask something very sensitive here; Does it cross your mind that they could possible be cheating, and either lying or in denial? Im not shaming anyone, just trying to be real. First of all, let me fess up. I have totally done that. A couple of years ago I was working with some trainers from the YMCA for months, and lost only a couple of pounds. They knew I was not staying true to my food plan and called me on it. Boy! Did I ever get defensive. In fact, this is the first time I have made this confession. I actually had myself convinced that I was not cheating “very much” and it was water retention or “muscle weighing more that fat”. A very common thing said by and to someone who is trying to lose weight. Looking back, it was not. I was just plain eating too much.

I do want to add, sometimes we actually do plateau sometimes. I think every dieter will experience this. Sometimes it is water retention, or something out of our control. It is to be expected from time to time.

I have noticed when we do fess up, we use adjectives to excuse our behavior. “I have a tiny sprinkle of cheese on my salad” (when in reality, it was 1/4 of a cup)  ” I had a small bagel” (when it was really a 400 plus calorie bagel from Panaras) I had a small Pumpkin Spice coffee at Starbucks (380 calories). I can not call you out on this stuff unless I admit I do it myself.

We all do crazy things that are obviously ridiculous. Like having treats in the house for your kids and husband. Come on, if you weight 350 pounds, and sincerly want to lose weight, you would not allow those things in your house. And, if your family wants to support you and have you around into your old age, they would not bring it in the house. I think sometimes we don’t ask food to be allowed because we secretly want it around to sneak eat. Its gives us some sort of security. Even though we would never admit it, even to ourselves.

Another think I have noticed is how our fellow weight loss buddies or family  tell us these lies. We all know it is very hard to confess a gain, and we want to say something to make our friend feel better. We flood them with excuses to get them off the hook. I looked up the Muscle weight more than fat  myth. The article I read said that it’s possible but not common. images-2Unless of course you are a body builder. We all mean well. It’s awkward to find something to say to a friend who has had a disappointment at the scale. I think we can be kind, and still not add to the list of excuses. Like I said in a past post, its shame that prevents us from being honest and moveing forward. There is no shame in struggling. We all struggle. But lets just look at if for what it truly is, and figure out how we can change.

So if you don’t have a loss or if you have a gain this week, what will you do different to change it?  Some people think they just have to repeat what they previously did, and the next weigh in will produce different results.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.”

 

Plateaus

I stepped on the scale this morning, and was the same as I was last week. I hate this part of weight loss. Thankfully, since I have been on the wagon I have not experienced a gain. But I still hate Plateaus! I know all the standard things we tell each other and ourselves. Yes,  some of them are true. But honestly, I can still do better. For me, it is portions. I think losing weight is not about getting in the zone and doing perfect all the way through, it is about refining ourselves as we go. Here are some of the excuses I tell myself.

  • It’s water retention, from sodium or ham I had last night.
  • Muscle weights more than fat.
  • I need to Poo
  • I eat so little???I have not cheated once (but I have filled my plate so full food is falling off or it)

So, what am I going to do about this? Well, here is my list of things I will improve on this coming week.

  • weight and measure everything, EVERYTHING!
  • keep drinking my water and add another 24 ounces. (I normally drink 3, 24 ounce bottles every day, That’s 72 ounces, I will up it to 96 ounces)
  • allow myself only 2 exchanged of carbohydrates regardless what my calories are.
  • Stay in the 1200 calorie range instead of spilling over into 1400.

I love Steven Coveys book, “7 habits of Highly Suscessful People”. If you have not read it, you should. Even though it is not a diet book, it has a lot of great motivational advice. The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People

Steven speaks about sharpening the saw. No matter what you are working on in your life, we can always sharpen the saw. In Christian circles we call it Refining. What ever you call it, we can all tweak up our efforts to get better results.

I am terrified of falling off the wagon. The thing is, when you fall off, you don’t realize it until you crash and see that wagon driving off with our you. I want to recognize it when the ride gets bumpy and prepare my self to hang on more tightly.  I truly believe we can do this. But as I always say, we need to recognize it first. Not until we see we have a problem, admit to it, can we deal with it.

Accountability is a very valuable tool when you feel you are in a plateau. Share your disappointment with a trusted friend. What kind of changes you will make. Don’t obsess, just trust the process.  Most real live plateaus you have to climb a ways to get up to it. So be grateful for the climbing you have already achieved.

 

Coffee and a Muffin

This morning I got in my Tahoe drove to Starbucks for a cup of coffee. I occasionally allow myself a treat from Starbucks to go with my coffee. I got a pumpkin muffin. The Skinny Vanilla latte was 160 calories, and the muffin was 350. Even when I splurge, I count the calories. I know some people take splurge day or meal, and cast their cares to the wind for a short time.  But I’m in a hurry to get healthy. I want to start living a normal life as soon as possible in the healthiest way, of course. I try to make most of my calories healthy choices.

I am starting to feel so good my days at home get very long and boring. When I was 98 pounds heavier, all I wanted to do was lay on my bed and sleep. Sometimes just the walk to the bathroom was pretty tough.

But today, I just didn’t want to go home. I am sure in the near future I will start to go to church on Sunday again. It was so miserable sitting in a pew weight over 500 pounds I just couldn’t stand it. Plus I was so full of shame.  Could not stand to have people see me.  This probably sounds really weird but I took my coffee and muffin and sat in my car in front of Walmart. It was the best way I could think of to be with people, and, needless to say, interesting.

Then I drove to Wendy’s, after checking what the healthiest choices were on the menu and got a cup of chili and a small Diet Coke. It was 170 calories. Then drove to Hy Vee’s parking lot. Watched people again and ate my chili. I feel so pathetic talking about this but I do have a point to make.wendys-chili

So my little trip cost me 680 calories. My total for the day is 1200, a few days a week I go up to 1400 calories. Today I consumed over half the calories for the whole day in a latte, a muffin, and a small cup of chili. I was use to consuming probably 4000 calories on up, less than a year ago. It makes me wonder about naturally thin people’s eating habits, and their thoughts.

Its hard to believe some of these people never give it a though what or how much they consume in a day.  Let alone struggle to eat under a calorie amount. I think about what I am eating and how much ALL THE TIME! And I bet a lot of you do too. I am trying my hardest to make food something that is not the center of my life and thoughts. The funny thing is, in order to do that, I have to track and THINK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME! I journal, read, pray, scour the internet for motivation and an answer. I network with anyone and everyone with success that will talk to me. The best I have come up with is taking one day at a time.One meal at a time, and staying positive. So far no magic answers.  I’m sure as my life takes on more activity, I will have more to think about and thinking about what and how much I’m eating will no longer be the biggest thought of the day. I pray that to be true.

It’s a funny thing, in order to quit obsessing about my addiction to food, I have to obsess about what I’m eating, or not eating and how much I eat. It’s no surprise that the odds of successful losing weight are so low.

I am not writing this post to sound hopeless. In fact, I think these thoughts bring hope. Looking at the reality of things, is probably the best way to have success. It’s the denial that breaks you. And denying your in denial really breaks you. I have planned what I will be eating the rest of the day. You really need to have a road map and a plan to get where you need to go. All these naturally thin people are already where they need to go, so I guess a road map or plan is not necessary. Lucky them!  Happy Sunday!

Shame

I am grumpy today. I never use to recognize this. In my past, I would get cynical, or sarcastic, judge the people around me or eat. I don’t really know why I am grumpy, but at least I recognize it.
I think part of it is the fact that it is Friday, and I’m feeling that weekend fever. I feel good enough to want to get out and live again. But I’m just not quite there. I can’t wait for the day I feel really good and comfortable enough to call and friend and go to a movie. Or visit a friend and not have to think how many steps it is up to their house and if their furniture would hold me. Let alone having to shower, and drip dry (I could not dry all of myself with a towel) Then get dressed, and shuffle myself out to my Tahoe, where I would squeeze my body behind the steering wheel. I was so miserable, all I wanted was days of laying in my bed and no one coming over. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing people. But having company was a huge event. Just walking from the bathroom to the living room, and having to answer the front door was exhausting. Plus I had to fake being happy. I was so ashamed of how I was living, I hated letting anyone see. Very few fat people talk about these things. It just too shameful. But my new mantra is “We hide behind lies, because we are ashamed.  Until we open wide the doors of shame it will continue to paralyze our lives.”

Some fat people hide behind being overly sweet, so no one will have the nerve to say hurtful things. A lot of fat religious people do this. Some are very opinionated and judgmental.  Some crack jokes when the subject gets serious, (a lot of fat men do this)  some obsess about anything but themselves. We become experts at special interests and things so we show the world we have value. The list is long.  I am guilty of all of them. What are you guilty of doing to hide the shame of obesity?  In fact, you don’t have to be fat to hide something behind the shame.

We can not escape the grip of shame until we become truly honest. I did not realize I was not being honest. I only acted on feelings. It took some deep soul searching and total transparency to recognize it. I am sure I still have monsters I still have hidden too ashamed to expose or even look at myself. But God had a way of opening the door we need to walk through in His time.

I was ashamed of the following: (keep in mind, these are MY truths, not real truth)

  • I was not lovable enough for a man to fall in love with me
  • I was not smart (thus I never tried to go to collage when I was young)
  • My value was only in what I gave out to others
  • I did not deserve to have a family
  • I was too fat to dress nice
  • my friends were embarrassed to be seen with me
  • I was a misfit
  • I needed to give away things and do things for people to be loved

These are some of the lies I believed about myself that I hide behind my shame for years. That shame stopped me from happiness.

On a positive note, I am feeling so much better. The changes are tiny, but over time they become huge. I don’t breath as heavy when I walk across the room. Showering is not the aerobic experience it once was. Sitting is more comfortable. I sleep better. I can actually pick things up off the floor without feeling like my head will explode!

One really funny think I have noticed is I have a house full of food! I mean its crazy! I don’t eat even 1/2 of what I use to and I still shop for a 500 pound woman.   I am evaluating this. I’m cutting way back.  I think this will help with my finances. Its funny how things are just lining up in a positive way. I predict in about 6 months, I will be out and about, a lot. I am hoping to finish my associate degree at WIT. I miss the campus and my friends there. They were my lifeline after my husband died. People were so kind. So if you are a praying person, please pray I have patients. That is the hardest part. Now that I have woken up, I see everyone living their lives and I want to get out there again!