Thursday, December 29, 2011

6 Months and 61.3 Pounds Lighter!

Well, I'm almost two weeks late in putting up a 6-month post, but here it is!  I'm not really sure that anyone actually still reads my blog or not, seeing that my posts have become few and far between, but in any event, it will make for a good journal for myself to look back on, if nothing else.  :)

At my 6-month mark, I had lost a total of 61.3 pounds, and most of the time, I'm pretty happy about that.  Sometimes, though, when I look at how much more I still need to lose before reaching my ultimate goal, it can be very easy to get discouraged.  Isn't that how our big goals can get though?  So often, people are excited and motivated at the beginning of a journey, but then (as one pastor I heard called it) you find yourself trudging through "the valley of in-between" and things can go awry if you're not careful.  This is the place where the hard work really happens, and as a result, it's also the place that most people give up.  It's here that the new-ness of beginning the adventure has faded, but the finish line isn't yet in sight.  It's the place where I've had to stop and look and remind myself that I'll never get past the 100-pounds-lost mark if I don't make it past 60, 70, 80, and 90 first.  And that means that I have to do what I know is the best thing for my body, no matter what.

That being said, I'm happy to be able to say that the Christmas holiday season and it's selection of tempting treats has not gotten the best of me.  I purposely made the decision ahead of time that I would increase my daily calorie allowance for the last few days to put myself at a maintenance level, instead of a loss level.  It was the best way for me to be able to approach the parties, dinners, and events with a sense of balance.  I've still faithfully logged every bite I've eaten into my food journal to make sure I stay on track, and as I've stepped onto the scale each morning, I've experienced a great feeling of accomplishment.  I've eaten a couple of the cookies my boys made, enjoyed Christmas dinner and eating out with family and friends, and will have a piece of my son's birthday cake this weekend, all without guilt, and without adding any pounds.  In fact, I've still even lost a little during this time anyway!  In my opinion, that equals success!

As I prepare to return my daily caloric intake to loss levels again on Sunday, I look forward to launching into 2012 with the confidence of knowing that I will reach the 100-pounds-lost mark and beyond in this new year!  I CAN and WILL do this!

Friday, November 18, 2011

5 Months & 53 Pounds!

Well, I crossed the five month mark this week, and have lost a total of 53 pounds so far!  I'm thankful for the progress, and have set a mini-goal of losing at least another 10-12 pounds by the end of the year. 

If I'm honest about it, the past month has held its share of frustrations on this journey.  I managed to blow out a hamstring about two weeks ago, and while I'm recovering pretty well and walking without the crutches now, I'm still experiencing a great deal of pain in and behind my knee that has sidelined my aroebic exercise until it heals.  Maybe I just need to see it as a good opportunity to pull the balance ball back out and do some core strength training! 

The last few weeks have been pretty emotional for me.  I'm at the point where I've lost, what many people would say is a lot of weight.  I mean, I've lost more than my 5-year-old son weighs, and that's pretty exciting and makes me feel good about my accomplishments so far!  But at the same time, I have SO far still to go.  And that seems daunting some days.  I guess that's why I continually think of this as a journey.  There are no shortcuts.  It requires putting one foot in front of the other every single day, and one of these days, maybe even before I know it, I'll reach my goal, look back, and realize it was worth the trip!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Somebody Else's Clothes

I have officially crossed the 40 pounds lost mark!!!

While I’m excited about the progress I’m making, the interesting thing is that when I look in the mirror, I don’t really see that much of a difference yet.  I know that I’m losing well and consistently, and at a healthy rate, but I’m having a hard time visualizing it.  Where I am realizing the change, however, is in my clothes!  Everything that was tight 3 months ago, is now loose, and everything that fit well three months ago has gotten way too big.  While digging through my closet this week, I ran across a couple of shirts with the tags still on them that I bought on clearance at the end of the fall season last year and put away for this year.  They’re so big on me now that I will not be wearing them this year after all!  I think I see a trip to the consignment shop in my near future!

While my husband and I were talking about all of this last night, I told him that my clothes are getting so big on me, that I feel like I’m walking around in someone else’s clothes!  These things just don’t fit the new me!  The more I’ve thought about that, I’ve found that it bears a striking resemblance to certain aspects of a healthy, growing, spiritual walk in Christ.  Let me explain…

It’s like those areas in your life where God has spoken to you about change.  When you follow His leading, little by little, He begins to change the shape of your thoughts, dreams, and ideas.  At some point down the road, you realize that the mindsets you had before - the attitudes and actions that were comfortable like a pair of well-worn pair of jeans - just don’t fit who you are anymore.  God is helping you learn to become sharper, more focused, and more purposeful in your calling, and you may not even realize it until one day you are faced with a situation where you can either respond as the person you WERE or the person God is helping you BECOME.  To react with your old nature would be like me wearing my pants that are now too big…my hands are trying to hold them up at the waist, while they’re hanging so long I’m tripping over the hems and I’m rendered clumsy and ineffective.  To act from your new, changed place, however, is like wearing a custom-tailored garment.  It was made just for you!

“…take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you…” - Ephesians 4:22-24, The Message

Friday, September 16, 2011

33.3 in 3!

Well friends, today is the 3 month anniversary of my new, healthier lifestyle and I have officially lost 33.3 pounds in the past 3 months! 

I've been thinking a great deal lately about perseverance. As with most major changes people willingly make, there's an initial rush of excitement that fuels motivation, and although it starts you off with a bang, that warm and fuzzy feeling doesn't last forever. When the "honeymoon" phase is over, that's when you find out whether or not you truly made a committment to your decision, or whether it was merely a good thought at the time but not worth the effort to continue for the long haul.

In our early morning service at church on Sunday, I was listening to Pastor Paul talk about the Christian walk, and how it's not always about what you feel, it's about what you know to be true.  He went on to talk about how, if you just keep on doing what you know you're supposed to do, whether you feel like it or not, one day you're going to reap the reward of your faithfulness.  Although this is not a new concept to me, I had never really thought about it in terms of the decision I made to overhaul my lifestyle and strive for good health until I heard him preaching it this week.   

You see, over the last three months, I have kept a journal of EVERY SINGLE BITE of food I have eaten.  Since I am eating within a specific calorie count each day to target a healthy rate of weight loss, I use an app on my phone to log in everything I eat.  (So if you see me at a restaurant with my phone in my hand while looking through the menu, just know that I'm not THAT addicted to checking my email, I'm just trying to figure out what I can eat and get it logged!)  Even though I have a great affinity for all things numerical, organizational, and generally spreadsheet oriented, logging my food and seeing the nutritional content every time I eat is just not as "fun" as it was in the beginning. 

My commitment to logging my food and sticking to it, whether I feel like it or not, is paying off with each pound I lose.  In the process, I'm learning exactly what proper portions look like, I'm reviewing my nutritional intake on a macro level in addition to counting calories (which allows me to make sure my body is not just getting the right number of calories, but also the right balance of foods), and I'm instilling a sense of discipline in my life regarding food that I have never had before.  One day, when I reach my goal weight, I'll look back and know that it was definitely worth the time and effort I put into keeping up with my journal.  So...I'm going to keep on logging, whether I feel like it or not!

Monday, August 22, 2011

I Can't Believe I'm Saying This...

It's 9:30pm, and I've had a long, full day, involving working late, and then frustrations with my computer at home preventing me from getting all the work done here I needed to as quickly as I would have like to have finished this evening.  However, I can't go to bed yet...I actually WANT to go do my workout.  I never would have thought I would ever find myself combining the words "want" and "workout" in the same sentence, unless, of course, it began with "I do not..."! 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Good-Bye 25!

Saying "good-bye" to my first 25 pounds! Crossed it in my weigh-in this morning. Have now officially lost 25.8 pounds! So thankful!

I have set several mini-goals for myself in 25 pound increments and it feels good to have reached my first milestone in this journey. I still have a long way to go, but I believe that I'm finally on the right path.

For's time to hit my morning workout, there's a fit-boxing routine with my name on it just waiting for me! :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What a Difference Two Months Can Make!

Well, two months ago I began this journey towards a healthy lifestyle.  On June 16th I recorded my daily caloric intake without making any eating adjustments in order to get a baseline count of the way I had been eating, and on June 17th I began eating to stay within a healthy calorie count and proper nutritional values each day.  As a result, I’m so excited at the changes I’ve already been experiencing up to this point, including:

- So far, I have lost 23.4 pounds, which means I have been averaging about 2.75 pounds lost for each of the last 8.5 weeks.

- Most of my shirts are starting to get a bit billowy, and my pants are feeling baggy.  I have to wear my sweats and shorts that have ties in the waistband when I work out, or else I can’t hang onto them.

- For most people to look at me, they probably wouldn’t notice too much of a difference yet, but my husband can reach his arms around me farther when he hugs me.

- My six-year-old told me, “Mom, your arms and legs look smaller than before!”

- The space between me and the steering wheel in the car is growing wider.

- I have not had to take any acid reflux medicine in six weeks.  Every symptom of G.E.R.D. has completely disappeared!  (This is a HUGE milestone, considering the reflux had gotten so bad that I had been taking up to 2 reflux meds a day for several months, and it had even sent me to the ER on three separate occasions, one of which, the doctors thought I had been having a heart attack but it turned out to be reflux).

- The workouts I’ve been doing are helping to build my core strength and flexibility, and I seem to be experiencing a lessening of the pain I’ve had in my back for the last two years since I got hurt when I fell at the park.  I believe that the more weight I lose and the stronger I become, my back is going to be completely healed as well!

- I have not exceeded my daily calorie limit, not even once.  In fact, I am typically well under it each day.  In doing so, I’ve been able to make my new lifestyle fit within my family lifestyle, which includes eating out anywhere from 1-4 times per week and I have been eating the same meals with my family that we cook at home.  My entire family is benefitting from healthier choices at home! 

- I’ve also made it through church potlucks, holiday cookouts, birthdays, and other celebrations.  I haven’t felt deprived, but rather, have learned to use my organization and planning skills to prepare for each event ahead of time.  This isn’t a diet, it’s my new way of living.

- Through it all, I’m finding it refreshing to no longer be stuck in an unhealthy food rut, and I’m rejoicing in the strength and direction I have that can only come from God.  I’m finding a greater joy and satisfaction in Christ as I grow in this area of self-control. 

I’m so thankful to have finally moved out of just wishing and dreaming about losing weight and getting healthy, and have stepped into the realm of identifying a clear vision for the future, setting goals, and actually doing something about advancing towards those goals.

I praise God for change!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Refuse to Settle

Several years ago, back before I was married, a good friend of mine used to always tell me, “Don’t ever settle for less than God’s best for you!”  In that particular context, she was encouraging me to make sure that the man I allowed to court me was a man of honor and integrity, who exhibited godly character and actions.  I internalized her admonition, and although at times it made me seem picky in others’ eyes, it resulted in me marrying the most incredible man God could have given me.  He surpassed my wildest dreams and I in no way settled.  My husband truly is my Superman!

Recently, I’ve been reminded of that wise counsel of my friend, as I have been on this journey towards a healthy lifestyle.  I’ve just finished reading a book that really hit home for me titled “Made to Crave” by Lysa TerKeurst.  In it, the author encourages her readers to refuse to settle for less than God’s best when it comes to the way they treat their body and what they allow into it.  Wow…what an eye opening concept for me! 

Those who know me well know that I have pretty high standards in most areas.  I work hard and when I commit to something, I give it everything I’ve got.  Even though I may not always attain it, I really strive for excellence in everything I do…or so I thought.  I’ve come to realize that, for years now, I have been settling for far less than the best God has for me with my weight and health, and have not been walking in the excellence He designed me to have in this area.  As a result, I’ve found myself repenting before God for my careless, “come what may” attitude towards eating.  The beautiful thing?  God hears, forgives, and gives me the strength to change.

One of the biggest truths I have learned over the last few weeks is that, as Lysa TerKeurst put it, I am on a, “significant spiritual journey with great physical benefits.”

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about my life, and wondering why it has taken me until the age of 39 to get my act together and come to the realizations I have about my choices in regards to physical health.  In doing so, I have come to the conclusion that I've been plagued by a notorious disease that is found in our society in epic proportions.  It's called..."Excuse-itis"! 

Here is my own personal revelation on excuses:

For every 100 excuses, very few true reasons actually emerge,
and with a little bit of creativity, even most of those reasons can be overcome. 
Once overcome, I am released from what I have been
and propelled into what I am to become!

Excuses are so easy to come by.  They're free and plentiful, but they have drastic consequences.  Excuses steal motivation, breed procrastination, and prohibit progression!

These are a few of the excuses I have dealth with in the past, and my new "no excuse" list of the ways I am overcoming them:

I have no excuse to not eat right.  Even if I feel like it costs more to buy fresh fruits and vegetables than it does to buy processed foods, I can read lables, measure my portions, and choose wisely what I do purchase and consume.  In actuality, I'm spending far less now for much higher quality meats and produce, because food goes farther when I eat the correct portions, and I can actually eat for an entire day or more on what I used to spend on fast food for one meal.

I have no excuse not to exercise.  If my schedule is so hectic that I cannot find even 30 minutes a day to take care of my body, then I'm not managing my time well.  Admittedly, I have a tremendously busy schedule, I'm a wife, a mom to two young boys, a full-time employee with a 50-mile daily commute, a college student with papers to write, textbooks to read, and tests to take, a lay-pastor with responsibilities that require a fair amount of time outside of Sunday and Wednsday services, and a friend and family member to the other dear people God has given me that are close to me.  If I want to be able to successfully manage everything else in my life, I must plan time to do everything I can to help my body stay strong and healthy.  It will make me better able to accomplish everything else!

I have no excuse to feel self-conscious about exercising.  For a long time, I have been afraid of feeling of looking silly trying to exercise at my current weight.  Now, in truth, how ridiculous is that?!  At my weight I really need the exercise!  I allowed myself to believe that because I don't have anywhere in my house with enough space that I could lock myself away to exercise in complete privacy, that I couldn't do it at all.  Finally, I decided enough was enough!  I took a deep breath, ordered exercise DVDs, the Biggest Loser Challenge for our Wii, some good cross-training shoes, hand weights, a yoga mat, and a balance ball.  I pushed the big footstool out from in front of the couch in the livingroom, and told my husband this was something I had to do and the only place with enough space to do it was right there, in the middle of the house!  With tears in his eyes, he hugged me and told me how proud of me he was.  I sat my kids down and told them that mommy was going to start taking care of her body and get healthy to be there for them for a long, long time.  And now, my 6-year-old has become my workout buddy!  He loves to put on his shoes and work out right alongside of me and cheer me on.  And that makes me a very good way!

So, no more excuses! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sweet Victories

I can hardly believe that I am now five weeks and three days into this journey! As of today, I have lost 15.2 pounds simply by changing my eating patterns and am starting to notice small differences in certain areas. For instance, I find that I am sleeping better and feel more rested when I wake up, and my husband says he can see it in my eyes that I'm feeling better than I have in a long while. I keep thinking that if I'm already seeing a change just in this short amount of time, I can't imagine how great I will feel a year from now!

I believe the thing I still find most amazing, is the change in my entire outlook and perspective on food in general. Quite honestly, for the first time in my life, I'm thinking about what I eat and what type of effect it will have on my body. I can truly say that the last five weeks have been the most balanced I've ever experienced in this area, and it feels wonderful! God truly gets all of the glory, because I know that He is the one who is making these changes in me and helping me find the healing I never before realized I needed, and He is giving me the strength, day by day, to walk it out. I am so grateful that He would reach into my life in this manner and care about my life in this way.

I have just began adding exercise into my life the last few days, and although I can hardly believe I am saying this, I actually like it! Right now, I'm starting with 30 minutes a day with the Biggest Loser Challenge for the Wii, and am actually having a lot of fun with it. Don't get me wrong, it's hard work (and I must admit, sometimes I talk back back to the TV, telling the computerized "Bob" to hush, because I am giving it everything I've got while grunting and sweating and plugging along through my workout), however, the feeling of accomplishment I get from actually doing it, combined with how good my body feels when I'm done, makes it worth it.

So...these days, I'm realizing that victory is indeed sweet, but not because it's filled with sugar, but because of the sweet feeling of serving God through my choices and feeling Him working in this new area of my life!

Monday, July 4, 2011


Happy 4th of July!

There are so many things to celebrate on Independence Day...First, I must say that I am thankful for the great freedoms we experience here in the United States. With so many friends and family members who have served, or are currently serving in the military, the reality of a soldier's sacrifice is no light matter to me. I do not take for granted all they have given so that I can know the peace I enjoy.

Also, I would be remiss in not acknowledging the life of freedom I have in Christ, which is beautiful, almost beyond description, when compared to the bondage I experienced before I knew Him.

I am also celebrating another type of freedom today. The freedom from the "polyester" life I lived for so long. Have I lost all the weight I need to, in order to slide into some sleek spandex workout clothes and run with graceful, long strides down the street? One look at my progress icon on the side of my page will tell you that I've only just reached 9 pounds lost, meaning there are many, many more to go. Rather, I've been set free from the polyester mindset that has held me captive for as long as I can remember. Let me explain...

God has been dealing with me for some time about choices. The choices I make either honor God, or show Him dishonor. By eating things that are destructive to my body, I am disrespecting Him with my choice. I'm littering the landscape of His creation that He made in His own image. Does God want me to enjoy food? Absolutely! Eating was His idea in the first place, remember? But what I eat, and how much I eat, are critical factors that have been out of balance in my life for years.

You see, the polyester mindset kept me bound in unhealthy practices. It made me feel like I had no control over what happened to my body, so why bother trying to do something differently, since it wouldn't make a difference anyway. That destructive perspective fed me lies and fooled me into believing that I would always be what I had always been. This is one of the tricks Satan plays to keep people stuck in their circumstances like one who is trapped in quicksand. The more they fight and struggle to get out, the faster they sink, so the best thing to do, is nothing. Stop attempting to climb out, and make the most of the few minutes you have left, all the while knowing that you've given in to something that is stealing your life away, one inch at a time.

Almost three weeks ago, God mercifully pulled me out of the pit I was in, and I am no longer sinking into oblivion. In truth, I have a hard time putting into words the feelings of freedom I have been experiencing. It's like this area of my life has been born again! Sound a little dramatic to you? Well, I can't help it! The change that has come about in my thinking and perspective is quite unlike anything I've ever experienced, second only to salvation. The way that I look at food has changed altogether. I believe that I was addicted to food all those years, and that the changes I'm currently experiencing is the release from that addiction. The result? I'm finding a new level of dependence on God in ways I never realized I had been missing.

I have a long journey in front of me that will require work, diligence, and faith that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. God has blessed me with some incredible friends who are at different stages on their own paths, that are such an encouragement and blessing to me in this, and for that, I am most grateful.

In the end, it is through our dependence on God that we find our independence from the things that try to hold us captive, and we truly learn what freedom means.

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why Polyester? Part 2

Let’s see, where did I leave off last time?  Oh yes…

It’s not that I have anything against polyester in general, it’s what having to wear those pant-suits came to represent in my life that caused me so much anguish. 

Typically, I was relegated to wearing black, brown, and navy blue, because my mother would tell me that those colors were, “slimming and slenderizing and will make you look better.”  What 10-year-old needs to hear those words?  (Every now and then, only after much pleading, I could convince my mother to let me get another color.  I still have a photo of me at my 13th birthday party wearing a turquoise set, complete with pants and coordinating button-down top with the short sleeves, large collar, and patch pockets on the front.)

Those flared-hem pants (at just the time that “tight-rolled” jeans were all the rage), with their permanent seams sewed in down the front of the legs were my only option.  I felt that I couldn’t choose what I wanted to look like, or who I wanted to be or to become.  My clothes screamed, “You don’t fit in! You don’t belong!”  The fabric was thick and heavy, and was rough to the touch.  They were meant to hide and conceal a body that was too big for its age, but there was nothing they could do to disguise the broken heart of the child who wore them.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why Polyester?

When you're almost 40 years old, and one day you step onto the scale and the number that finally comes up (after much digital blinking and wondering if you're actually about to break the scale) causes you to shriek in horror and jump off in tears, it can make a girl start to wonder...What happened to me?

When I think back to my younger days, one of the things that stands out to me is the way my mother dressed me.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that my mom cared about me, and she always made sure I had clothes and shoes, and the things I needed, but it was her whole concept of how I should dress that leads me to the title of this blog.  You see, it all goes back to the polyester pant-suits that my mother insisted I wear...

I'm not thin, and come to mention it, I never have been even remotely close to being what most people consider a "normal weight" since shortly after I was born.  In fact, my earliest memories in regards to my weight are very vivid.  I can remember my aunt straining to pick me up as a small child, calling me a "healthy" girl, and somehow knowing she didn't mean that in the truest sense of the word.  In kindergaten, I was always the slowest one playing tag at recess.  And to my dismay, as a 3rd grader joining the Brownies, they didn't make the coveted brown jumper in a "pretty plus" size.  My mom, in her best efforts to help me fit in, bought two extra sashes, cut them apart, and used them to remake my jumper, making them into inserts down the side to widen the jumper so I could get into it. 

While I had grown somewhat accustomed to being made fun of at school on a daily basis, I specifically remember a traumatic event that came at the hands of someone who should have been there to help me.  When I was 7, our family pediatrician retired, and a new, younger physician took over his practice.  My mother had remained in the exam room while the nurse was giving my baby sister a vaccination, and the doctor took me into his office to talk to me.  I sat across the desk from him, and he said, "I bet kids make fun of you in school, don't they?"  I managed to squeak out "Yeah..." as tears began to well up in my eyes.  I remember wishing and hoping the doctor would tell me some way to make things better, instead he continued, "Well, it's no wonder.  I'll bet they call you things like "basketball," and "fatty," and "tubby" and you know what?  They're right.  You're much too fat for your age."  I ran out of his office and back to the room where my mother was just finishing.  When she asked me what was wrong, I couldn't say a thing.  I held onto the conversation with that doctor for more than 20 years before ever sharing it with anyone.

On the off-chance that you're still following my story, you may think that I've gotten side-tracked and forgotten about the pant-suits, but I haven't...The combination of my mother's disdain for blue jeans (she called them "worn-out looking old pants for men to work in), and my ever-increasing weight, made it difficult, at best, for my mother to shop for me.  As a result, most of my clothes came from a plus-sized women's shop, even when I was in elementary school.  This being in the late 1970's and early 80's, when all of the other girls at school were sporting Jordache jeans or mini-skirts with spandex leggings, my mother was buying me, yep, you guessed it...polyester pant-suits.