Just Keep Swimming!

355950e0cec386ce921be46385b812b3 How many times have I restarted a new diet? It has to be in the thousands! I find a new diet, or plan, buy a new planner, make a grocery list. I get all excited about starting a new plan and start on Monday. I enjoy the anticipation of getting started, the planning is almost a high. It gives a feeling of hope. A clean slate. All the planning makes me feel like I have control. The easiest thing about weight loss, is planning a new start. The internet is full of weight loss plans and ideas. There are books galore! People have for years profited from selling a new weight loss plan or diet. Some of them work, some don’t. But the thing that we get stuck in our heads is that a new start will bring us the results we want.

I love a new beginning. The only thing fun about starting a new school year for me was buying new school supplies and new shoes for school. But the proper kind of paper and pencils were not the things that gave me the good grades. That was achieved from daily attending, and doing the work, even when I did not feel much like going.

I am not a champion dieter. I have had great success so far, but not because I am not perfect at it, or have some special will power that you don’t. I have some tough days. Days I don’t always make the best choices. I have plateaus that last painfully long. Sometimes I get discouraged. But the one thing I do that has made the difference this time is that I keep going. I do not rely on a new beginning, or a new plan to get me where I want to go. It’s the consistency that will get me there. I have failed, I will fail again, but I will not quit. Even on my worst days, there is always something I can do to move forward. I can drink a big glass of water, I can write in my blog, I can reach out to one of my weight loss buddies. I promise you, even on the worst days I have, I can always find something good to do. This is how I gain momentum.

Constantly starting over is like spinning my wheels. In fact, it’s often a way I use to delay doing the work. I am the queen of starting over. But I have started my last diet. I have mastered the art of new beginnings. I have enough diet books and food journals to last a lifetime. There is always something healthy to eat that is available. I don’t have to start over when I get to the grocery store, or wait to get paid to buy the proper food. In fact sometimes that creates more obsticals. I tend to over buy special food, that is low calorie, low fat, or sugar free. When what I really need to do is eat normal healthy one ingredient food. this may work for others, but I am a volume eater, and a one inch by one inch 90 calorie fiber one bar does not satisfy me. And frankly those special diet foods do not fit into my budget very well., they are expensive.  I would much rather spend that $3 on a fresh pineapple, cantaloupe, or some fresh Honey Crisp apples. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great low calorie products that I do use ocasionaly. I just have to watch my compulsive nature. I have eaten a whole box of Fiber one lemon bars in one day. I’ve also eaten a whole cantaloupe in one day. Same price, at the store, but the lemon bars were bigger price to pay once I got it home and binged.

The real success is to keep going. one foot in front of the other no matter how little or how big. Just doing something. It’s time to complete the journey instead of starting one. Although this journey will never be finished, it is a ride, that last a lifetime. But I am staying on this bus. Me and my fellow bozo’s are fine as long as we stay on the bus and have each other. This is how we have success.

In the world of gardening, there are perennials and annuals. Annuals perform their entire life cycle from seed to flower within a single growing season.annualsAll roots, stems and leaves of the plant die annually.

Perennials are plants that persist for many growing seasons. They stay consistent, root deep, and last for many many years sometimes a lifetime. Be a Perennial not an annual.

 

Happy Easter!

 

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Happy Easter everyone! I am not a spiritual person. Surprised? I am a follower of Christ. So Easter has a lot of meaning to me. I also do not have children around me, so Easter eggs and bunnies are not part of my Easter Sunday. But regardless of your faith, Easter is is a sign of New Beginnings. And my life, daily contains new beginnings.

I did a friend’s hair yesterday. I permed her beautiful long hair and colored it. She had about 3 gray hairs, but she wanted them gone. Doing Edie’s hair makes me look like a great hairdresser. She has gorgeous hair that responds really well to perming. I used large rods, and she got those nice beachy, waves without frizz. I have not given a perm in several years. We had to dig out my perm rods deep in a tote, in the basement. Floods of memories came back while we dug through my things I used years ago to do hair.

It was pretty amazing how my hands automatically wrapped those long locks around those “Tensive Rings” ( a special of perm rod for long hair) I was a hairdresser in the 80’s and 90’s so spiral perms and big hair was the rage. I made a good living doing this because I was quick, and could get a good curl out of any type of hair. My chubby little fingers could spiral curl waist length hair in less than 2 hours.

This made me think about how in time, repeated behavior produces great results, with little effort. I’m always concerned about falling off the wagon. But if creating precision through repeated behavior is true, I believe my good healthy habits I am developing does as well. Success will ensue. And I will have created a habit that will not be as hard to do as it is in the beginning.

If, when I was a beauty school student, I had slacked off, become careless, and put little effort in my trade, I would not have turned out to be a very good hairdresser. But now, because I have done the work, I can do it without giving it much thought. I was a good hairdresser, and made a good living because of it. And the basic ability will never leave me.

I believe losing weight, and adapting new eating habits is the same thing. If we do it right and consistently, in time all this new eating habits will just happen with little thought.

Honestly, because I had not done this in a while I questioned my ability to successfully do my friends hair. But I believed in myself, and after I once got started, it was just automatic. Wouldn’t it has been a shame if my self doubt had stopped me from doing Edie’s hair? I had such a great time with this dear friend, It brightened up my whole day.

Beauty school was one of the best times in my life. I had so much fun, and learned a life long skill as well. My swimming buddy, Diana, was one of my best friends in beauty school. Little did I know back then, she would be a huge part of my journey to health.

So, my message today is, when you doubt if you can eat healthy, lose weight and stay on track for a lifetime, remember, after we repeat behavior, soon it becomes automatic and not as hard as it once was. Also, the precision you put into your food habits, are important. They set the pace for the new healthy habits you are developing. If you Haphazardly follow your food plan, you are setting yourself up for a struggle through out your life. If you stay on track, learning how to do things right repeatedly, you will get the results your want. You have to do the work, and you have to do it mindfully. And lastly, If I had not been wiling to try to do Edie’s hair in spite of my self doubt, I would not have had such a successful day. Sometimes we have to just be willing to try, and its turns out ok. Don’t ever let self doubt stop you from trying.

So, Happy Easter, Happy Spring, and here is to new beginnings! Be blessed!

Self- Sabotage

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I use to think self-sabotage was something people consciously did. Sort of a way of stoping something they did not want to finish. Mostly because they didn’t want to do the task ahead. I feel a bit different about this these days. I listen to a lot of motivational podcasts. I listened to one today that really caused me to think about all the self-sabotaging I have done all my life. And it was all basically born out of resistance.

Resistance:
“The most toxic force on the planet. It stunts us and it makes us less than who we were born to be. “

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

It’s so much easier to talk ourselves into immediate gratification instead of choosing long term goals. It talks us into doing in the short term, what we actually want in the long term. We settle for less than we deserve.

Resistance can be a  great tool to your success. Many times when we can’t decide what is best for us, the answer lies in what we are fighting against the most. The things we have the biggest desire for is often the thing we feel the most resistance. That is the very thing, when we let go of it, makes our biggest strides!

What we feed are the things in our life that will grow. Feed the things you are resistant against, and it will grow. Starve it, and it will shrink in power. You can tell when you are doing this by what happens when you give in to instant gratification, or food. It leaves you feeling empty, and hallow. Instant gratification leaves no lasting joy. It never fills us up. Never being satisfied.

I love word pictures, so I see my weight loss journey as me, walking against the wind in a Nebraska snow storm. The most beautiful view in any journey is on top of the mountain. It takes a lot of walking against the wind to get to the top. It’s much easier to walk with the wind, but that usually leads you to the lowest ground where there is no view. I’m willing to take the resistant path to get to the top. How about you?

I got news today that I will be taking classes starting in April to become a Certified Life Coach! It has truly been a miracle how this all evolved. As you all know I am temporary struggling financially right now. So it was an amazing blessings to find out I have been awarded a full scholarship to attend these classes.

Speak your truth, and always be willing to walk against the wind, and things will happen to you that you couldn’t even dream of. Who would guess, when I was at the end of my rope, weighting 537 pounds, shut down and dying a slow death, that I would get an opportunity to not only gain my life and health back, but I will be given the opportunity to help others along the way. God will use my darkest moments to inspire others. Be Blessed everyone!

Write it in the Sky! I Busted through the Plateau!

 

 

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Finally! I lost 2 pounds this week. It’s such a relief. I was really starting to doubt myself. So many times I have gotten stuck on a plateau, then I sort of just drift away from my plan, and fall off the wagon. It’s never a concrete black and white decision. But, not this time!!!! I am 4 pounds away from being under the 400’s. The last time I was under 400 pounds was 2001! That’s a lot of years to be handicapped by obesity. I am breaking free! FREE! I have hope, and confidence, I know I will succeed. And I am doing it all myself with healthy eating and exercise.

Swimming and going to the Y is getting much better. It’s still hard to walk across the parking lot, up to the building and down that long hallway to the pool, but it’s better. Hard, will fade, there are a lot of things that you have to do that are hard to get to what you want. I don’t get quite as winded, or that urgent feeling that I need to sit down quickly.

Last night was the first night I helped facilitate the weight loss group I help lead with Gerri and Sean. We have weekly group telephone meetings and a private Facebook page we all connect on daily. I can not express how much this kind of accountability has pushed me to a new level. It’s a group of people from all parts if the country, and world! We have an Australian in our group, and she is awesome! We also have a few awesome  Canadians, and the rest of us are all over the US. But once a week, these people get together on the phone, and we share our struggles and victories. There are bonds built that are like no other. I am so grateful for this group of people, and I am so honored to be part of the leadership team.

You know my dirty secret on weight days, I get sloppy with my food, mostly the portions. I want to promise to myself, and you, that I will be meticulous of my portions especially today. I do not want to get stuck on that plateau again! Not now when I am so close to being under such a big number.

So the message I have for you all today, is believe in yourself. Be totally honest, then believe you can attain anything at any age. A lot of folks my age feel they are too old to lose weight. I am here to break that big lie! Have a good day everyone!

Joy!

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I’ve been a bit of a negative Nancy lately. And my recent blog post reflect that. I’m not saying that my post are not valid. I’m just saying it’s important to lighten up once in a while. Losing over 300 pounds is a lot of serious work. It’s about digging deep, learning things about yourself you never realized. I have certainly been doing that. Some of these discoveries are deeply personal and very serious. Sometimes as I drag those flaws in my personality out of the darkness, they can sometimes come out sideways spilling all over the people I love the most. I just need to remember to take a break once in a while and feel the joy that is welling up inside of me.

I have come to realize I’m saying one sentence frequently…..When I get my weight off I will……..WHEN, yes WHEN. I seem to be living for tomorrow, and forgetting about today. It’s true, that I am working very hard at getting healthy. This includes much more that watching what I eat. I have many long conversations with mentors, and supportive friends, I read a lot. None of it is recreational reading.630382 I read a lot of self help books, books about growing in my Christian faith, and motivation materials. I believe what a former pastor once told me, “You become like the people you spend your time with and the books you read”.

It’s ok to take a breath, and enjoy your progress mid-stream. Not just saving it for when you “arrive”. In fact, like I have said many times, “there is no arrival”. I fear backsliding so much, that I think I hold back my joy. What if I let myself feel that Joy, and I unravel again?  I forget to embrace today. It’s important to enjoy the process. Because the process will be going on until the day the Lord calls me home.

One more reason I believe I do not let myself feel joy is fear. Moving forward and actually living my life requires bravery. It involves doing new things, and things I have not done in years. It’s scary. There are so many “what if” factors. It’s humiliating to say it, but even going to a restaurant, makes me jumpy. What if they have arms on their chairs and I can’t get my butt in them? What if the parking is far away or I have to walk stairs or up a hill? There are a million “what if’s” in my head.

But it’s time to start living again. I have a strong faith in God, I have turned my life over to Him, then why don’t I trust he will work these things out? I am going to work on this right now. Baby steps, but steps non the less. My head was full of “what if’s” when I took the initiative to go to the pool 3X a week. Now, the worries I had about going swimming seem a bit silly. It’s still hard to get there, but only hard, not impossible. It gets better every week.

So tomorrow I will meet some friends for coffee. I will remember to pamper myself a bit. Give myself the care and joy I have worked so hard for. It’s time I wake up and smell that coffee!

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I AM EATNG TOO MUCH!

I did not want to write this blog today. I want to just crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head. I stepped on the scale this morning after 2 weeks of no losses, and my weight stayed the same, again. 406 pounds. I did not want to say anything to anyone. The very last thing I want to hear is;

  • are you eating enough calories?
  • are you weighing and measuring your food?
  • are you eating too much dairy?
  • maybe its the meds you are on
  • your not sleeping enough
  • you are gaining muscle, and muscle weighs more that fat
  • Did you eat enough protein?
  • Did you drink all your water?
  • maybe your body is not ready to let go of those extra pounds
  • look at all your non-scale victories
  • Did you eat ham or drink soda?
  • maybe you need to have a good poo
  • It’s probably just fluid
  • Don’t let the scale define your worth
  • Does your body think it’s starving?   
  • Are you eating enough vegtables?
  • are you eating enough fiber?    

For me all of these excuses are possibilities, but not probabilities. The fact is, I’M EATING TOO MUCH! Ok, there, I said it. Am I binging? NO.    Am I eating junk? NO.    Am I eating at night again? NO.

But I know, I’m being sloppy. I do weight and measure my food, but I’m not 100%. I nibble while I am cooking. And I rationalize it all away. The voices in my head justify when I eat too big of a portion by saying “that’s so much less than you use to eat” “you don’t need to measure you food, you can eyeball it and get pretty accurate”. I also have to confess, the morning I weigh myself (Tuesday)  I do let my guard down. On those days I pile more cheese on my sandwich, I eat an extra 100 calorie bag of snacks. I randomly eat out of the fridge, just standing in front of it. If I am gong to truly gain back my health, and talk about being honest, I have to first be honest with myself, and then be accountable.

NOTHING makes me more angry than someone who whines about a plateau, using every excuse in the book, knowing deep down in they are eating too much, yet not admitting it to themselves or their support buddies. I have no tolerance for it. The reason this angers me so much is because I see myself in them. Isn’t that so often true, when you see your own bad habits and flaws in someone else, we often judge them harshly?

This addiction to food is a powerful thing. It is very smart, and very sneeky, that addiction will desperately do anything to get food. Even though I have not had a candy bar within the last 12 months, if I did, I could rationalize eating a snicker bar if given the chance. When I feel guilt about snitching food, I remind myself of the 131 pound lost and it seems to lesson the guilt. Oh the lies we tell ourselves. I take pride in being a moral, honest, decent human being. Confessing that I am a lier, is really hard, and I feel so shameful.

I know that scale should not rule your weight loss efforts, I always hearing about non-scale victories. There is some validation to that, but I think it’s often, not always, just a big fat excuse for going off plan. Unless I have a very serious medical issue, a 400 pound woman should be losing pretty consistently on a 1400 calorie diet. I’M EATING TOO MUCH!

I would probably keep losing weight doing what I am doing, but very slowly. The fact is, the cheating I have done all along, has caught up with me. I have lost enough weight that my body does not burn up the extra calories I was hiding from myself, and everyone else. This is the point where many people quit. But I can not afford that luxury. If I quit, I will die.

I was surfing the web for plateau excuses when I made the list above. I found the most candid article about plateaus. It simply kept reminding me that I AM EATING TOO MUCH! here is a link to the article.

WHY I AM NOT LOSING WEIGHT

Because I am a creative human being, I love to cook. I have all the latest gadgets, and high end cookware in my kitchen. I have spices and ingredients in my pantry most people do not have. I watch food shows and cooking competitions on TV. I think about food way too much. When I make a meal, I do not use recipes, I just freelance it. And I am really good at it. I know all the fundamentals of cooking, so it becomes a creative outlet.  This is not good for someone who is trying to lose weight. It’s like a drunk being a bartender. It’s possible, but not probable. I see this behavior in other too. Mostly at Christmas. NO ONE needs to eat sugar. Yet, even the most dedicated dieter, will make massive amounts of cookies over the holidays, in the name of doing it for the sake of tradition or family. I rarely, if ever, see a recovering alcoholic handing out bottles of liquor at Christmas. Having it sitting on the middle of the kitchen table, and all over the counters. There are some who can do this, but it’s rare.

So, now that I have confessed, and analyzed my behavior, I need to have a plan and take action. This is what I am going to do. Get back to basics. I love how  Sean Anderson, my friend and blogger of “The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser” eats. He posts and photographs every morsel of food, and everything he drinks, including water, on his blog. Honestly, this guy never cheats. How do I know that? The scale, his weight loss has stabilized for some time now. I do not believe I need to post my food like Sean (but if this ever comes to the point I feel need to, you bet I will) But Sean has given us the privilege of being so open we can learn from him. He keeps things simple. He does not make casseroles, or gourmet food. Sean eats basic food, only food he likes, and pretty much eats the same several things over and over. I have decided to simplify my grocery list, eat only food I love, and create a rhythm to my food prep. I have been buying groceries in bulk, once a month or so. My lack of mobility was the excuse. But with grocery stores delivering for a minimum fee, I can buy fresh food more often and in smaller amounts. In time I will be able to go to the store myself. I look forward to that day. 

I knew this weight loss would be a bumpy road. But I was not prepared for this many bumps. These are potholes! But I want to heal from the inside out. I want to get the fat out of my head. I have a big life to live, and I can not afford wasting time. I am being humbled in a way I never thought I needed. I’m uncovering so many things in my character that have been buried for years. If I knew all of this ahead of time I would not have even tried to lose this weight, because I would not see any hope. But I’m too far in to turn back. As far as weight loss goes, I am burning bridges of old habits and thinking behind me. It’s one of the few things in life where burning those bridges is necessary.

I really worried about posting this, I want so badly to inspire, and be a shiny example of hope. But when I put myself in your shoes, I would rather someone be totally honest, then pretend everything is perfect. What usually happens to weight loss bloggers that fail, is their guit and dishonestly eventually causes them to fade away, post less, then they go silent. I will not fade away. These are all necessary experiences to make us stronger for the next obstacle ahead. Blessings to you all!

The Cost of Eating Healthy

I read recently a post on Facebook regarding the price of groceries these days. And how expensive it is to eat heathy. There is no doubt that grocery prices are sky rocketing. A basket of beautiful berries0715756200020_CF_hyvee_default_large at my grocery store can often be over $3 in season! A pound of grapes can often be over $6! It’s hard to spend that much at the grocery store on food.

I remember a time when my fast food addiction was well over $10 or even $20 a day. It’s not cheap to eat at McDonalds. Even the dollar menu is expensive. At 500 pus pounds, believe me one, $1 burger did not fill me up, I needed at least 2, with fries and a drink, and maybe ice cream as well.0000000040220_CL_hyvee_default_large I would drive through Starbucks or anyplace for a large Latte, plus a scone or muffin and it costing $6 to $7 bucks. That’s not a whole breakfast, that’s just coffee and a muffin. These are the secrets I am not proud of. But I know many of you can identify.

So with that in mind, that $6 pound of fresh green grapes is a bargain.  And since I am not eating as much these days, my food last much longer. I can get a good 4 portions out of one pound of grapes.

McDonalds prices, this is an example of how much fast food cost.

McDonalds prices, this is an example of how much fast food cost. Click on picture to enlarge.

(I like to wash, pluck off stems, put in individual freezer bags and eat them as a frozen snack) A pound of lean ground beef at $5 a pound is 4 meals. I am actually eating better and much cheaper. It is not self indulgent to spend money on whole, healthy food.

I have also been thinking about when I started getting serious about losing weight, about this time last year. The thought of coming this far in less than a year seemed like an impossible task. I did not know how I was going to do it. I knew at over 500 pounds I had to just start eating less. Which meant, because I was not very mobile, I had to spend a whole year, white knuckling it. I spent the last year pretty much laying in bed and in front of the TV or on the internet, watching my calories very close. That was my full time job. You do not burn many calories laying around, thats how the pounds escalated to this point in the first place. Now I had to do it without my friend food, which was the only thing I had to look forward to in my day. I had to emotionally disconnect with my best friend, food. The biggest part of my day was what I was eating. Now I had to give that up. But I do not have the luxury of just quitting, like a drug addict, I had to figure a way to limit it. Thats like putting a 12 pack of beer in the fridge, and telling the drunk they could only have 1 beer a day. It seemed impossible.

But sometimes our dreams turn into reality, if we just take one step. The thing it takes before that first step is to be complete honestly with myself. Look at things about me I never looked at or owned. Character flaws I did not even know were there. I had to walk out of that shame and take a risk at humiliating myself, and possibly failing. And that I did. I still failed. But the difference is I kept getting up. But that’s still not enough. You have to own what knocked you down, and find a way to stop it from happening over again. instead of blaming my inability or some outside excuse, I examine why I stumbled, and I refine along the way. It’s important when we finally decide to take that journey, that we keep refining our commitment. A saw does not stay sharpened when used, it has to be sharpened. And the more we use it, the more sharpening it needs.  Because few, if any, straight shoot this weight loss thing to the very end. Well, in fact, there is no end. Only continual process until the day we get to Glory. I know it sounds discouraging, but that’s why we have to enjoy the process. Do what is attainable for a lifetime.

This perspective has been a huge life lesson for me. I have found out things about myself that I did not notice, and now that I have, they seem so obvious. I also recognize it instantly when I see my old behavior and attitudes in others. I have to remind myself when I do see this, to be as gentle and kind to others like I would want to be to myself. At first I wanted to change everyone around me and point out my old flaws that  I saw in them. That backfired, I came off as judgmental, and hurt some people I really love. I need to take this moment, to say I am so sorry to anyone who may be reading this that I did that too. Please forgive me? The most effective way to spread hope to someone, is to be a loving example. Stay approachable, and respect their process and timing to find their own awarenesses. Keep taking care of myself, and keep my own side of the street clean. I am not above anyone just because of the progress I have made. That kind of arrogance will kill off my own progress. This is not a competition. This journey of mine, is deeply fragile. I have seen people who have lost hundreds of pounds, myself included, gain it all back in a heartbeat. Once I become over confident or take a break, I start to spiral downward.

So my question to you today is, what is the price you are willing to pay to improve your own health?

Blessings to all of you!

 

Breakfast Muffins

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I am always trying to find easy breakfast ideas that are not too high in calories, quick and easy. So I came up with these breakfast muffins. I made them in jumbo muffin tins. It made 9. I put the biscuit in the bottom greased (if I could have found my cupcake liners I would have used them) cooked the sausage, cut the cheese in small cubes (shreadded would work) after the biscuit I put in the cooked sausage, the red onion, red pepper, and a few of the diced cheese, I mixed the eggs with the egg whites, and a splash of milk, and some hot sauce. Baked in a pre heated oven at 375, aprox 35-40 minuites. Turned out perfectly! Here is the ingrediance I plugged Into MFP. 286 calories for a jumbo muffin,and they freeze very well, so you could just take one out of the freezer night before and microwave a few minuites. I’m having one for lunch. I don’t really have a recipe, just the above instructions and the ingredients I plugged into My Fitness Pal.

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BTW, I had an issue with my email this week. So if you are signed up for notices from me every time I write and new post, you may have to redo your request. Sorry about the inconvenience.

I’m anxious about Tuesday’s weigh in. I think I may have put too much pressure on getting to that number. (under 400) I’m very anxious to get back into the mainstream of life. The swimming is going well. I think I can tell my mobility is getting better. I can’t wait until I can walk around the mall, or the grocery store, or just pop over to a friends home and not have to consider the steps to get up to their house.

I also, am co-facilitating a weight loss group with Sean Anderson and Gerri Helms. This group has weekly phone meetings, group support, and a secret Facebook page. I joined this group last fall and it definitely took me to a new level of weight loss. Sean writes a great blog, and has lost nearly 300 pounds, and Gerri is an amazing life coach, who has lost over 100 pounds and has maintained that loss for many years. I feel so honored to be doing this with these extraordinary people whom I now call my friends. Here is the info, Monday is filling fast if not filled already, but there are spots in Tuesdays group. Here is the info. Thanks everyone! Have a great weekend! IMG_4281

 

Disappointment

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I stepped on that scale today after a stellar week, and, NOTHING. I am 6 pounds away from being under 400 pounds. I have to admit this is a HUGE let down. I can not tell you how badly I wanted to announce a nice loss today. I want to be a shiny example of suscess. I wanted to encourage and inspire all of you who read this blog. But I can only be me, and promise to always be honest. You are stuck with me, which includes my victories as well as disappointments.

I have not been under 400 pounds since I was a newlywed in 2001. I know there are some of you who can not wrap your head around being over 200 pounds, let alone 400 or 500. It’s hard to talk about it. I am ashamed I abused myself and the gift of a healthy body that God gave me.

I had a very close friend text me last week saying he believed I was very brave to be so “bare naked” honest in my blog, confessing my weight. It was a kind compliment, it meant a lot to me. I can’t begin to tell you how much my friends have supported me through this difficult journey. There are always surprises when you set out to do something life changing. My biggest suprise is some of the lifetime friends from my past, that have stepped up and really carried me through some tough times.

It’s hard to be patient, I’m getting older, and have lost a whole decade of my life being morbidly obese, staying in my bed wallowing in self pity. I am so very ashamed of that. So that is why I am so anxious to start living, I have some catching up to do.  The next 50 pounds will put me back in the mainstream of life. When I was in my 30s and 40s I could function at 400 pounds, but my body just does not hold up that much weight anymore. I can feel myself getting stronger, I can now bend over and pick something off the floor without my head feeling like it is going to blow up. I can reach and itch better. (I know, TMI, but you would not believe the torture of having an itch you can’t reach) I can tell swimming is helping my circulation. I’m grateful that I did not have a lot of circulation issues, kicking around in that pool really gets my blood flowing.

I have so much life I want to live and things I’m aching to do. So when the numbers on the scale stall, it’s discouraging. But these are the days I remember to be grateful how far I have come in less than a year. And mostly the grace God had given me. I should be dead. But I am alive. There is a purpose in my life, I know I have a task ahead. There is a reason God has helped me survive. I am anxious to give hope to those who feel hopeless. One little spark of hope can change your whole life, it did mine. So, today, I will count my blessings, be kind to myself, and Thank God for all of you who never judge, only offer support. Thank you all so much! Be blessed.

Keeping your Promises

 

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My friend Gerri said this quote yesterday when we were having a conversation. Gerry is one of those friends who is generous with sharing her wisdom. And her life experiences have earned her the title of possessing that wisdom. This generated a whole string of thoughts I have had since our conversation.

I really get upset when someone makes a promise to me and does not see it through. In fact, in my past, I took broken promises very hard and very personal. I have had broken promises cause me deep resentment, and destroyed several relationships in my life. I am not proud of this at all. But it is part of the stuff inside my head that was keeping me fat so many years. I have and am working through many of my character flaws.

I see now, how, although keeping your word is very important, I put too much stock in the promises made. Where this goes wrong is what was behind my expectation. IMG_4231Honestly, I think sometimes I held onto promises so strongly because in my insecure head, it was a way someone proved their love for me, and when it was broken it gave me the message I was not valued. I did not matter. I could then blame the transgresses for my disappointment, and wallow in self pity. I took this so personal, because I was searching for validation from anyone and anything I could grasp onto.

I want to be clear, I am not saying that breaking a promise is ever OK, and I should just let it roll off my back. Promises are very important to keep. A person’s word should always be good, it is part if having good integrity. If someone continually breaks promises, we should make sure to set boundrays and make sure not to set ourself up for disappointment.  I’m just owning my part in some of my desperate expectations. But we have no control over anyone. Almost all of my resentments (and I have had many) were based on my expectations.

Does this mean we should not expect anything? Live a life believing we don’t deserve anything good and become a doormat? NO! Exactly the opposite. When we finally come to terms with how value and lovable we are, we no longer need validation from outside forces. The disgrace of a broken promise is left to the one who broke the promise, not the “Promisee”. Listen, there will be disappointments and broken promised throughout our lives. But that is not because of our lack of value, as a friend or human. When we can get to this place, we can avoid a whole lot of resentment, and losing so much self esteem.

OK, this comes to the real point I wanted to make. The promises we do need to make, and keep are the promises we make to ourselves.  We should have expectations for them.  Keeping these promises elevate our self worth. These promises should be solid, no matter how small. It is one of the highest forms of self care. If you promise yourself you will clean the kitchen, keep that promise. If you tell yourself you are going to do volunteer work, keep that promise as well. But the promises to eat better, exercise, be kind and grow spiritually, are sacred promises. These are the ones that change our lives. It is important to honor the promises you make to yourself.

I think about how hurt and resentful I use to get when a promise was broken. Then I think about the broken promises I made to myself, And I never took them as hard as the ones others broke to me.

I have become much better at keeping my word to myself, that is part of the reason I have lost 131 pounds in the last 11 months. But I am realizing even more, how important it is. When I don’t feel like going to the pool, or eating a healthy dinner. These are life changing promises. Not keeping them could even mean death to me.

When we look at promises from this perspective we bring a whole new level of integrity to our road to good health. Blessings to all of you!