Weight loss support with a spiritual element. I will keep you posted on my journey in the hopes that you will join me in becoming the person God wants you to be. Don't worry about being religious. Come as you are.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

To Learn or not to Learn that is the Question

***We've all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes,
but I think it's more important to learn from successes.
If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors. Norman Vincent Peale

This was on my sister's blog and I really liked the message.  www.jensgyrations.blogspot.com
I think I know pretty much all there is to know about making mistakes, how about you? I can't think of any new mistakes I can make while trying to lose weight; I think I've pretty much covered them all. I have even learned from the mistakes of others. I've even made the same ones over and over. Did I not learn the first time and needed to repeat the mistake? We really don't need to make them all ourselves although I probably have. When someone blogs about mistakes, many comment on how to learn from it or that they are learning experiences - I've done it myself.

So when someone is successful do we tell them it is a learning experience? Do we caution them to learn from this? Why is it more difficult to repeat successes than it is to repeat mistakes? We need to work on that.

I am working in Cincinnati again this week so haven't been blogging as much. It's all good. I have begun Christmas shopping. I bought a Kindle for son #2 and a couple of books for my husband and some shoes for myself.

Here's a little epiphany moment I had today. I usually eat a protein bar on the 1 1/2 hour drive to Cincinnati and take my pills. This is at about 5:30 - 6:00 a.m. I have been taking an apple and some peanuts to eat about 10 a.m. and then I leave a PBJ sandwich in the car to eat on the way home. This is done so I won't eat it at 10:30 a.m. (you know how it goes). TODAY I FORGOT MY PEANUTS!!! I had this momentary stab of panic when I realized that all I had to eat was that apple. I pretty quickly realized how completely dumb that was. I wonder how many fast food places, convenience stores, and vending machine areas we pass as we drive all over Cincinnati? Answer: dozens.

Hope everyone is getting geared up for the next challenge - whichever one you have chosen. Oh, and let's learn to repeat our successes and not our mistakes.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mind Games

Guess what the first thing that came to my mind when I learned my next challenge didn't start until September 18? I thought that since it was over two weeks away I could eat like I wanted up until then because that's when I start again. I am sure none of you would ever do something like that. That would be pretty stupid to undo all my accomplishments up to now. We get into that mindset that nobody's watching so it doesn't matter. We need to be absolutely miserable in order to start a challenge, right?

That was the old me. I have learned a few things. I know there is no magic. I know there is no shortcut. Being under 200 is my next goal and I was 209 at my last weigh in. In two weeks I could lose a lot toward that goal. I know that's not much to lose in 4 months. The number of pounds lost is not my biggest concern. Acting like I have some sense is my biggest concern. If When I get below 200 then I get TWO gifts. My next gift will be to get below 190. Who knows. I could really spoil myself.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Final STS Weigh-In

My final weigh-in this morning was 209 for a total loss of 14 lbs. I am very happy with that. Thanks to all the organizers, supporters, encouragers, and followers who have helped to get me on the right track. I wanted to lose 20 and still do. My next challenge is the one by Thrice Blessed which begins on September 18. There is also another one by Princess Dieter. It certainly has helped me to be more aware of what I am eating, drinking, doing by being in a challenge so pick one that suits you and sign up!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Challenge For Me

I have found a Challenge that is more "me". Here it is:

What I Really Want to Give Myself This Holiday Season

I was looking for something more in the behavior modification area and this seems to fit the bill.

Here are my statement and 7 action points:

I will give myself the gift of weighing below 200 pounds. Throughout this holiday season I will give myself the gift of self-control by waiting for true hunger and eating slowly enough to recognize that comfortable sense of being satisfied. This gift of weighing below 200 by the new year will be achieved through behavior modification. This will not be another "job" of journaling, counting calories, or planning. I will praise God each day with a time of Bible study and prayer. I will be more productive so as to accomplish what needs to be done around the house and yard without unnecessary wasted time.

7 Action Points:

1.  Daily quiet time through study and prayer.
2.  Waiting for stomach hunger.
3.  Not eating beyond comfortable.
4.  Drinking 8 - 10 glasses of water each day.
5.  Exercising 3 - 5 times per week.
6.  Taking small bites and eating slowly.
7.  Accomplishing a reasonable "To Do" list each day.

New Challenge

Swing on over to Christmas Dress Countdown Challenge if you need some motivation and companionship as you get ready for the holidays. 

I just made a swamp slushie for breakfast and WOW is it good! Here is the recipe:

2 c. spinach leaves - how in the world do you measure this? I just filled the blender loosely to the top with them. I put the other ingredients on top to weight them down a bit.
1 c. vanilla flavored coconut milk
1 small can pineapple chunks in it's own juice (that small, flat can) or 1 cup of chunks and juice
I added two packs of stevia for my sweet tooth

Blend until smooth. I think next time I will add some protein powder. Didn't think of it in time today. What a great, tasty way to get in some vegetables first thing in the morning.

I almost forgot I wanted to try this today and was thinking about food during our Quilt Show at which I am working from 10 - 5. I have a protein bar in my bag and that is what I usually have for breakfast and was dreading having two protein bar meals today when I thought of this. I will take some water to drink and an apple as well as the protein bar. I also have some almonds. I'm good to go.

I do tend to fall into a rut with my food. I am bad about waiting until I am really, really hungry and then grabbing something quick. The protein bar is such a convenient breakfast so now this swamp slushie will be a nice change. Drinking a meal is generally not too satisfying to me. Chewing provides part of the satisfaction of a meal. I used to put grape nuts in my yogurt just to get some crunch going. Now yogurt is a dessert and I have already chewed during the meal so it's all good.

I was thinking of doing a challenge that just concentrated on behavior changes and not about weight at all. Didn't I read that it takes 30 days to create a new habit? Or was it 6 weeks? I am still thinking or if someone else wants to do that I'll join up! I thought of just 1 or 2 behavior changes each 6 weeks - my first two would be small bites and eating slowly. I also need to work on waiting for the growl, drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, exercising consistently, sitting at the table to eat, not eating after 6 p.m., and others. We could all make a list of behaviors to choose from. They could be weight related, spiritually related, fitness related, life organizational skills related. Many of you are better at this than I am so think about it and let me know if you are interested in such a challenge.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Light Bulb Moment

I was just thinking earlier this morning of how easy it is to switch to healthy food and then continue to overeat. We feel great about buying sugar free this and fat free that so what's the harm in having extra of those things? It's kind of like going to clearance sales and having the mentality that the more we buy the more we save.

But who binges on apples?

I did read an author who wrote that when about to binge - go ahead but have carrots, apples, etc. It's the urge to eat that is being addressed with the binge not a food deficiency of any kind. I did some thinking about that. We are pretty indiscriminate about the food we binge on; I have eaten foods I didn't particularly like during a binge. So - open a can of beets for your next binge (or two). That would stop a binge for me.

I do think we associate an emotion with the foods we choose to binge on. Does ice cream bring back family memories? Does pizza make us think about friendship? Or are we just trying to get numb as quickly as possible? Are we just avoiding an emotion rather than experiencing it?

Food for thought (oops - poor choice of words). A thinking binge, a reading binge, a writing binge,  a friendship binge, a gardening binge - let's binge on being alive and creating health.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Part of the Problem

Have you ever sat around and tried to wait for it to be "time" to eat? Have you ever sat around and tried to fight hunger because all the planned food had been consumed? Have you ever sat around watching the clock because you really didn't want to start something right now? Have you ever just sat around? I am bad about that. Many people lament that they just don't have enough time or there's not enough hours in the day or other regrets concerning time.

We all have the same 24 hours don't we? Why are some people so productive and how do they do it? Answer:  They don't sit around much. They also don't take on more than they can realistically keep up with. I don't know when to quit with the activities, the commitments, etc. I know if I am really busy my stomach will growl and I wasn't expecting it whereas if I am sitting around I start getting an empty feeling, that hollow feeling right before the growl and I start planning to eat and get frustrated because I am ready to eat but my stomach hasn't growled yet. Is that a run on sentence or what?

If left on my own, I have very lazy tendencies. That's why I commit myself so much. It keeps me moving and going. I could never sell real estate - those people set their own schedule. I need a time frame. Someone else has to be expecting me to show up. Others have to depend on me to get things done. I have to see a reason for doing something. I also need a sense of urgency to some degree.

How about you? Are you a self-starter or do you find it easy to sit around? How does this contribute to or hinder your weight loss efforts?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Room

The Room
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save for the one wall covered with small index-card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked." I opened it and began flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.

And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.

A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed."

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read," "Lies I Have Told," "Comfort I Have Given," "Jokes I Have Laughed At." Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers." Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger," "Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents." I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped.

I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened To," I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.

When I came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts," I felt a chill run through my body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.

An almost animal rage broke on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards! No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it

Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then I saw it. The title bore "People I Have Shared the Gospel With." The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands. I could count the cards it contained on one hand.

And then the tears came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that they hurt started in my stomach and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must lock it up and hide the key.

But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.

I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes. Why did He have to read every one?

Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me. He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.

"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine. It was written with His blood.

He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."

I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door. There were still cards to be written.

By Joshua Harris.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The "B" Word

I used to binge. I don't anymore. I have read the blogs of people who really battle this. I have been trying to think of what brought me out of it. I do remember that my binges became less frequent as time passed. There was a longer time between them and they became less severe. I remember a binge would begin with that gut feeling that was not hunger but panic. I remember trying to fight it but once I got that panic feeling it was just a matter of time. Since we are here to help each other, are there any of you who have overcome this? Have you successfully fought off a binge and, if so, how did you do it?

I have been trying to think this post through for a day or two now. I think overall it is having a goal that kept me in the fight. Even though I would have a binge I picked up where I left off and went on with renewed resolve and still with that goal in mind. The years when I would still binge contributed to my present weight. It also contributed to having the right state of mind for me. I have had my weight off twice with Weight Watchers. I even lead some classes. It was part of the battle. Weight Watchers is a great way to start. It is healthy. People learn what a portion looks like. Class concerns the behavior modification segment.

I have read that young girls who have career and life goals are less likely to become unwed mothers. I know I was about 21 before I even had the opportunity to smoke pot. I was in college to become a teacher. That did not fit in with my goals so I wasn't interested. I am not passing judgment here - just saying it didn't fit in for me. I guess binging did not fit in with my goals over time and evidently didn't serve a purpose anymore.

Why do people binge? The reason is emotional, I am sure. Perhaps it is insecurity as weight comes off and people treat us differently so we run to the safety of being fat. Food is our drug of choice. We eat to be numb and not "feel" our emotions. We eat instead of expressing anger. Being fat is safe because not too much is expected of us. I have related this story before but the secretary in our WW class lost an amazing amount of weight and when she reached her goal, they threw a surprise party for her in class to celebrate. It really threw her and she quit WW and gained all her weight back.  The success was too much for her.

I still obviously need to lose weight. At least I am not binging and that will help make reaching my goal weight more attainable. Hopefully some of you will comment and if the comments seem like they would be helpful will link up for your followers and perhaps we can all help those who are troubled by the binge.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Many people are struggling right now. I have read the blogs of many who are struggling and scared. After being successful for a time for some reason we just can't seem to find what we had; can't rekindle that drive and determination; don't care like we did.

It keeps us humble doesn't it? When we are on top of our game we are full of advice and even a little condescending toward those who just can't seem to get it together. Now it's us and we feel sheepish that we now find it difficult to regain our traction. It is what it is. I have noticed that weight loss bloggers are very understanding. They know struggle. They know everyone struggles. Every day.

There is no physical explanation for these problems. We could probably dream some up. After going great guns what happened?

The feedback at the beginning was great. The pounds were coming off; others were supporting and encouraging us because of the weight losses, clothes were looser, all great stuff. Then things slowed down a bit, then a bit more. It's really not all that exciting to consistently lose just a bit each week especially considering what we had to do, what we had to forgo, what we had to endure to lose that little bit. The feedback just isn't happening. Is it worth it?

This is why permanent behavior changes are so important. I have used my Mom as an example many times. She has always maintained a healthy weight (will be 85 on Monday). She doesn't eat after 6 p.m. It doesn't matter if she is angry, or hurt, or lonely - she doesn't eat after 6 p.m. At Weigh Down Workshop behavior changes are the foundation of the whole thing. You are to wait for a stomach growl, eat what you want, stop when comfortable eating small bites slowly, then wait for the next growl. These are all behavior changes. They are behavior changes from hell if you will excuse my French. I can't do all of it. I am working on it. I can wait for the growl most of the time. Eating what I want is no problem at all :-) Stopping is my biggest problem. I would rather use a saucer and put small amounts on it but eat all of it. Leaving food on my plate is something that is very, very, very, very difficult for me. I need to start out just leaving the tiniest bit and then check to make sure I didn't die or anything awful like that.

Unmet needs are at the root of our problems too.

Whether it is being perfect enough to deserve being loved or whether it is being perfect to just feel good about ourselves—human perfection will never be enough. Get your heart to hear that you don’t have to glory in the perfection of your humanity.

For me, the problem is spiritual. Our emotional state cannot be explained through blood/tissue/muscle - there is a part of us that cannot be explained this way. Don't confuse this with religion. What is spirit? Why is liquor sometimes referred to as spirits? We talk about school spirit, team spirit, etc. What about our spirit? 

I am content with losing slowly. Others are not. I am working on behavior changes and my spiritual condition. I am practicing the presence of God. I know that my body will catch up if I get the behaviors mastered and get my spiritual house in order. I still have to be aware of food value. I still have to realize the importance of water. Healthy starts out with heal. We can follow a food plan that heals, a lifestyle that heals, and a spiritual life that heals. There's a three-legged stool for us. If all three legs are strong, the stool is strong and will stand on its own.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Quick Update

I have been working out of Cincinnati (again). They have hired some new people so maybe this will be the last week of it. I get up at 4 a.m. and drive 1.5 hours to work - put in a 10 hour day driving the armored van driving then sitting and waiting, then drive 1.5 hours home. Needless to say I am tired in the evening. I will just pick up where I left off this next week. Take care!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Banana Bread w/Splenda

I bought a big bag of Splenda quite a while ago and had not tried it until today. I tried it with my very excellent Banana Bread recipe. Here is the original recipe:

2 C. sifted flour (I never sift, do you?)
1 tsp. soda
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter (I melt a stick in the microwave)
1 c. nuts
1 c. sugar
2 eggs (I use eggs from free range chickens)
1 tsp. vanilla (I use the cap from the vodka to measure - I am assuming you got my vanilla extract recipe)
3 large or 4 small mashed bananas - bananas should be very ripe. It is hard for bananas to reach that stage around here because I don't think bananas are ready to eat until they have brown spots on them. They have to be in pretty bad shape before I won't eat them but I do have my limits and I happened to have some for this recipe.

I put the bananas and the eggs in first and use the potato masher on them. I add all the rest. Don't overmix - just get it all stirred well. I substituted whole wheat flour for the white flour and 1 c. of Splenda for the sugar. I noticed the batter was quite a bit drier but that was due to the whole wheat flour. I have heard that you can substitute applesauce for up to 1/2 of the fat which I may try next time. I'll have to get some applesauce though. I have been known to add raisins and cinnamon but did not today. This recipe usually takes an hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees but I noticed on the Splenda bag that things bake more quickly and boy do they ever! This was done 30 minutes sooner so watch it if you try this.

The loaf did not rise quite as high but wasn't too bad. The whole wheat flour made the batter heavier. I tasted it plain and it was good! It reminded me a little of corn bread consistency but was good. I tried butter on a couple of the next bites - also good. I tried peanut butter on the last couple of bites and that was good as well. I am going to cut the loaf into slices and freeze them individually first in saran wrap and then in a bread wrapper. These would make a good breakfast and the carbs and calories have been cut quite a bit! The Splenda and the whole wheat flour will not do such a job on the insulin levels so this was a thumbs up.

Just a couple other tips. Are you ever bothered with gnats? I clean so many veggies and have tomatoes and bananas around so gnats find their way in. I set out a small glass with apple cider vinegar in it and wrap one of those sticky fly tapes around it - no more gnats! Be careful with that fly tape - that's the stickiest stuff I have ever worked with.

I have always been bothered with that green inside of hard boiled eggs. A friend told me to get those eggs cooled down as quickly as possible to avoid that. Use ice cubes and cold water. Since I use fresh eggs there is the problem with tearing up the egg trying to get the shell off. Older eggs are not as likely to do this so you might want to set a dozen back to sit for a while if you want to hard boil them. One of the gals in my quilting group said that after they are boiled and you are cooling them, shake the pan back and forth so the eggs bang up against each other and the sides of the pan cracking them. This lets in some water and will help get the shell away from the egg without tearing it up so much.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thoughts on Exercising

I have stepped up the exercising a bit and have noticed something - I'M HUNGRY!

Since I have been working in Cincinnati, I have been missing my workouts - the step aerobics and Jazzercise. I decided to do something on my own to make up for that. I walked for an hour one night carrying a 5 lb. weight in each hand and while I walked I did some upper body weight lifting. Carrying the extra 10 lb. probably made quite a difference in the calories burned. On the next night I did one of "The Firm" videos - they combine weights and aerobics. I recommend those videos - I like them because you don't need a big area for the workout. You need a step and some weights and a mat.

If you read that post on my sidebar - Why Conventional Diets Don't Work - The author asks what you would tell a person to do if that person wanted to get really hungry - you would tell them to eat less and move more. Hmmmm - where have we heard that one before? He maintains that keeping insulin levels low will cause weight loss.

Since there are significant benefits to exercise, I will continue. Since I want to lose weight, I will continue to eat less. The level of hunger that is experienced during weight loss is not fatal. We do have to manage it however. I was wondering why the overweight can stand the uncomfortable feeling of too full, stuffed, get horizontal, loosen the clothes feeling but go into a panic at the experience of hunger? Reverse this for those on the other end of the spectrum - those with anorexia. How distorted is our perception of those two extremes. What do you think is the explanation?

I was reading "All is Forgiven, MOVE ON", by Janice Taylor and she has a chapter on the Hula Hoop for exercise. Remember those? The chapter is called "Hula Hoop Your Weigh Thin".

- In 1958, Hula Hoops cost $1.98 and one hundred million were sold worldwide.

- At the peak of their popularity, Wham-O manufactured twenty thousand Hula Hoops a day.

-The plastic tube used for all the Hula Hoops ever made would stretch around the earth more than 5 times.

Want to give yourself a great cardiovascular workout, increase your strength and flexibility, feel more agile, and have fun all at the same time?

Researchers have found that doing the Hula Hoop for a mere ten minutes is more effective than a fifteen-minute jog. Hula Hoop gets the energy flowing and the endorphins pumping, thereby improving your mental health.

Using a Hula Hoop helps to:

Build abs while blasting fat from your belly;

Sculpt your thighs and arms--not to mention the awesome butt you're sure to have;

Stimulate your libido;

Relieve stress; and

Release endorphins, leaving you feeling happy and energized.

It is important to have the right size Hula Hoop. A general rule of thumb is that when you place the hoop standing up on the floor, it should reach somewhere between your stomach and nipple. The bigger you are, the bigger the hoop should be. Large hoops rotate more slowly and make getting started easier. Smaller hoops are more challenging but are great for tricks!

If you were to Hula Hoop for an entire hour, you'd burn off close to 800 calories! (As if! Ten minutes--a more doable goal--will burn off 133 calories).

So, boys and girls, start out slow. Be sure to Hula Hoop in a clear space, warm up with a pleasant five-minute walk and do a bit of slow stretching.

What about 3, 10-minute sessions per day? Work up to this of course. Anybody know where to buy these things? I guess either the toy section or the exercise equipment section. Something to think about!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What's It Worth?


I have heard on the radio a couple of times what women would trade for weight loss. Of course, the validity of such surveys is questionable because it won't happen - unless we think about it. WE ARE TRADING LIFE FOR WEIGHT ALREADY. Of course these studies refer to weight loss and years of life. We are trading years of life for being overweight.

We will gain years of life for weight loss and we can do it without trading anything but moving more and eating less for our overeating and sedentary habits. How many obese 80 year old's do you know? It's not as easy as it sounds but it can be done. This mindset speaks once again to how desperate some of us are to lose weight without any effort on our part. Some will trade years of their life, promotions at work, and many other desirable things according to this article. Since it is not possible to trade a year or two of life for lost weight, we are back to square one - move more, eat less.

We always seem to be able to find an exception to the rule and use that as proof that whatever the point being made is cannot be relied upon. Take wearing seat belts, for instance. We will find one case where the person would have died had that person been strapped in and use that to refute the overwhelming evidence that the chances for survival are greater if one is not thrown from the car. We will find a person who smoked into his/her 90's and use that to refute the evidence of smoking shortening the life of the smoker. There probably is an obese 80 year old person somewhere.

Al - are you still awake?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The True Witness

I like daily devotionals if they aren't too sappy. I like to be made to think and consider. I read "Around the Year with Emmet Fox" - it's very good. Here is the August 9 reading. It's called "The True Witness".

The Ninth Commandment

Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor (Exodus 20:16).

First, the obvious meaning is very important although it is only the beginning--do not tell lies about people.

We have to apply this principle of not bearing false witness right throughout our lives. It is very important to practice because whatever you say about another person will happen to you, yourself. If you lie about another person--that is an unpleasant word but I am using it because it is the right word--someone will lie about you. Jesus says so in the seventh chapter of Matthew, verses one and two:  Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:  and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

However, the fundamental meaning of this commandment, "Thou shalt not bear false witness," is that you always express what you are. You cannot be one thing and express another. Emerson says, "What you are shouts so loudly that I cannot hear what you say." We are always witnessing to what we are. So again, "Thou shalt not" really means "You cannot"--you cannot permanently bear false witness.

The true witness is the full expression of God's man. You will be bearing true witness to your neighbor when you are regenerated in soul. What does regeneration mean? It means the building of a new soul, not correcting the old one. When you change the soul, automatically the flesh changes, the skin changes, the blood vessels and the nerves and the bones change. But regeneration must begin with a change in the soul, not with anything in the outer world. 

When we really know these things, we shall be bearing true witness.

We all need to be aware of our witness of ourselves to the world. We always express what we are - that is very convicting to me. Let's be more aware of this. Today's world has an "in your face" attitude. "If you don't like it, tough". This is how I am; it's my nature - so we pet the nature. For some reason we feel all righteous about standing up for our shortcomings.  Let's think of someone we know whom we would call good, sweet, and kind. Let's try to make that person us.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Poor Me Syndrome can be difficult. We can easily feel sorry for ourselves and cry "It's not fair!" and "Why me?" If you read Bill Gates' speech to the graduates, his first point was "Life isn't fair, get over it". Why not me? Everyone has challenges. We would like to think ours are somehow special therefore making it understandable why we overeat. I have read the blogs of some people who really do have difficult lives and I feel bad for them. I know of people in my family who have had really hard lives. I am very thankful that I have enough. "We never have all that we want but we always have more than we need". Relationships usually cause us the most heartache rather than financial situations although those two can be intertwined very tightly. Sometimes the punishment is through the children (that's from Scripture).

Our low feelings will always pass. Our high feelings will pass as well. The tide comes in; the tide goes out.

It is not unusual for people to say something and then consider it done. They forget to actually do it. Don't say, "I will plan and write down everything I eat; I will exercise 5 times this week; I will drink 8 - 10 glasses of water each day". We have to actually do these things for them to work. We do life in our heads sometimes don't we?

I live today as I want to remember my life. Don't expect anything - just live a life of love - "what goes around comes around" works for love as well. Love those who don't return it. In time your love will have an effect on them - you will plant a seed that just might grow into something beautiful. I am not telling you to be a door mat. I am telling you to be true to yourself and your values - the language we use, the jokes we tell, gossiping, what we watch and listen to - we all need to take a look at these areas of our lives and decide if there is room for improvement.

(Most of this is from my underlinings in The Pocket Sponsor, 24/7 Back to the Basics)

Monday, August 8, 2011

STS Update

I weighed 210 this morning for a .5 lb. loss and a total loss of 13 pounds. It's nice to feel in control. Being in the Challenge is always in the back of my mind and I think of that when I want to eat late at night. It has really helped knowing I am not the only one paying attention.

I will be working in Cincinnati for about the next two weeks so blogging may be sparse. I will miss my step aerobics classes but hopefully I will be able to find the energy for a walk and Jazzercise in the evenings. I found an OA meeting I would like to attend after Jazzercise on Thursday evenings. I would benefit from the spiritual development and OA recovery depends on the spiritual heavily (as it should in my opinion). Spiritual not religious if any of you are considering attending OA but do not consider yourself religious. It is not about religion.

Hope all of you had a great week with a great one to come. We are closing in on the end. It has gone fast for me.

Progress or Perfection?

Have some of us turned our journey into a pilgrimage? A pilgrimage is not a settled, lockstep type of trip but more of a meandering, winding, turning, looping, crisscrossing, and occasionally backtracking wandering essence type of a thing - more open ended as it were. We give ourselves lots of kudos for trying, for not giving up, for starting over, for not quite, almost, nearly, and whatever other ways we can dress it up because we can't feel bad or anything. Have you ever read that Bill Gates speech to a graduating class? Here it is:

Bill Gates High School Address:

Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they
did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair . . . get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping . . . they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

If you agree, pass it on.
If you can read this, Thank a teacher!
If you are reading it in English, Thank a soldier!

Bill Gates made some very good points about achievement, self-esteem, and sticking to it because that's what's necessary to achieve anything in life.
Real life - have you noticed these sit-coms? They are all promiscuous and everything is funny and people are happy - no consequences. They are vulgar and profane, disrespectful and rude. Things always turn out OK.

I know some may say, "It's not real", but does that mean it has no effect on us? How much time do we spend in fantasy? How much of that stuff do we pump into our brains through what we watch and what we listen to? Are today's young adults the ones who grew up on a steady diet of fantasy?

Are we ready for reality? The reality where behavior has consequences? Perfection isn't possible but what does progress look like?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sundays, Grandparents, Shopping

Do you like to reminisce? I guess we have to be a certain age or so before there's much to reminisce about. I remember going to Church on Sundays with Mom (Dad never went). Why is that up to Mothers in so many cases? I still think the men should be the spiritual leaders in the home and have their families in Church. They should be the head of their homes period in my opinion but look at America and where our families are headed. The family and family values have certainly taken a beating. A lot of it is our own fault.

Are you old enough to remember all the stores being closed on Sunday? I've always wondered if Christians should be eating out and shopping on Sunday which causes others to have to work. The only two stores I know of that are closed on Sundays are Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A.

We usually went to one of the Grandparent's homes for a Sunday meal and being with family. I remember dirt roads, the outhouse at Grandma's, and black and white TV's. Grandma also had one of those phones with a party line and everyone heard everyone else's ring - Grandma's was two shorts and a long. There was a mouthpiece sticking out to talk into and an earpiece on a cord to hold up to the ear. People listened in to each other's conversations. If another family on the party line was on the phone, you had to wait until they were done so you could use it. I remember being on a party line and having to butt in on someone else's conversation and ask if I could use the phone. Those were the good old days. Some might argue with that.

Remember the wringer washing machines? Grandma washed dishes in a dishpan and then poured the water down the middle of her shrubbery - it killed the pests - she had healthy shrubs. She used to bury the fish skins and guts around her roses - she had a climbing rose that covered the side of her house. We loved to watch her kill a chicken for Sunday dinner - she chopped off their heads and they flopped around for a while. It was great. We were on her heals out to the barn to get a chicken. She would then dip them in boiling water so as to be able to get the feathers off more easily. I remember taking water to Grandpa in the field and watching him stand on the drag and drive the mules to smooth out the earth.

Thanks for joining me on my walk down memory lane. Have a peaceful, restful Sunday.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Be a Champion

"Champions are willing to do the things they dislike to create something they do like. Don't let the things that matter most be at the mercy of the things that matter least."
~ Dexter Yager  ( see www.jensgyrations.blogspot.com)

What are we doing that we dislike in order to create something we like?

Does anyone enjoy any of these things?

Sore muscles
Sweating profusely (remember that's our fat crying)
Watching others eat/drink things we want to have
Getting up early to exercise
Staying up late to exercise
Planning meals
Writing everything that passes our lips down on paper
Regretting our failures

We could probably turn all of these things into things that are enjoyable if we have our goals firmly in sight and understand that these are the price to be paid to get where we want to be.

What matters least that we let keep us from reaching our goals?

Feeling hungry

Why have we let these experiences get in the way? If we have a plan and are prepared, should it really matter that we are angry with someone? Can anger be dealt with separately from eating? Would it be better to have a discussion about what is angering us or eating something? Will eating get rid of the anger? Even if we don't feel like anything will be accomplished we will have said what needs to be said and there will be release. If we are lonely, should we make a phone call, get in a class, go to the gym, or should we eat something?

We need to get this eating thing in proper perspective. As I sit here at the keyboard I feel somewhat empty. Before step aerobics this morning I ate a banana. After I got home and before doing by ATM route I had a protein bar. After my route, I had a small amount of cottage cheese with three slices of peaches and a little of the juice. That was about two hours ago. I have been doing pretty well with waiting for my stomach to growl before eating. This is really how I would like to eat for the rest of my life. Just wait for the growl, then eat what I want and what sounds good. It's not as easy as it might sound because hunger doesn't always come around when we would like for it to. 

I am not a schedule type of person. The time change doesn't really bother me because it doesn't mess with my routine because I don't really have one. Did you notice above that I wrote "just" wait for the growl.  "Just" doesn't really capture the effort that is necessary at times. I want to eat so I am all cued up for a growl and am really ready to interpret just about any body noise as a growl. OK - back to getting eating/food in the right perspective. Allan says first it is food, then it is poop. I will growl but I don't know when - that's the maddening part. There can be no schedule with this method because of the uncertainty of the growl. If you visit www.weighdown.com you can read up a little on this. We can, to some extent, be growling for some event but only the strong survive. It may be necessary to bypass a growl (horrors) so it can be used for the event that is maybe an hour or two away. Wow, we can't tear out hunks of carpet getting to the kitchen because the growl happened. It is true that the growl goes away and will return later. It is also true that just a bite or two of something will allay the hunger a bit (I don't know if I have ever done that before - a bite or two when my stomach is growling?)

OK - I have to go - my stomach just growled.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Fear of Failure?

"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"
~ Unknown

How many times have we let the fear of failure keep us from even trying? Trying out for the team or for cheerleading in our younger days would be good examples. Why are we afraid to fail?

“We now know a thousand ways not to build a light bulb.” Thomas Alva Edison

What if he had stopped after a failure or two? That's how long it took to be successful. Even as we fail occasionally it is part of the learning how to be successful. When a light bulb experiment failed to produce desired results I am sure Edison evaluated the situation and changed something to be ready to try another procedure.

When we fail at losing weight do we make a production out of it? Or do we make some behavior changes that will make the next attempt more likely to succeed? I am not one to report what I eat, when I slip up, or how I feel today as a rule.  I am a more "get on with it" type. I read the blogs of people who really benefit from these things that I don't do. I enjoy reading their blogs and since I think everyone has a right to my opinion, I comment quite often. I think behavior changes are more important - things like no second helpings, waiting for a stomach growl to eat, don't eat after supper, drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, eat on a small plate, exercise 3 - 5 times a week, always sit down at the table to eat. I do pretty well on everything but the sitting down at the table to eat.

Have you ever seen the light bulb above a person's head in a cartoon with that person's thoughts inside of it? Have you had any light bulb moments lately? What are they?

What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail? I think we are past the "attempt" stage of dieting. Our lives revolve around it for crying out loud. What would you attempt if you were not afraid to fail?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Worry Wart

Charles Spurgeon said it best. "Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength."

It's hard not to worry about things isn't it? We worry about things we cannot change. My mother-in-law used to be able to dream up more things to worry about than anyone I ever saw. I have read that highly intelligent children tend to be worriers because they understand situations, outcomes, etc., better than others. At about what age does worry begin?

We can change our weight and yet we worry about that too. It can be a sure thing that we lose weight this week; it is almost totally under our control so why should we worry? Is it a lack of faith in ourselves? Is it because past failures cloud our perception of our abilities? It's hard to explain.

Anyway - I wanted to share with you a way to make your own vanilla extract -- how's that for changing directions? Vanilla extract is very expensive. Read the label - it is mostly alcohol. Buy a fifth of vodka and two vanilla beans (spice section). Split the vanilla beans along the pods in a few places. Place the beans in the vodka and put in a dark place for about a month and you will have a fifth of extract to use, give as gifts, drink :-), whatever. When my bottle gets about half gone I add another bean and top it off with vodka. It just keeps getting better. Enjoy.

Oh - and don't worry, be happy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

When we lay down at night does sleep come easily? Are we carrying burdens? Do we have regrets? Is the extra weight a burden? Do we regret having failed again? Let's determine to lay down at night knowing we have been true to ourselves by staying with our plan for losing weight.

It's time to get out of the warm-up and get in the game. No more sticking our toes in the water to test it before diving in. Let's "flick our Bic" and start a fire burning that is a desire to be successful. We won't panic when we feel hungry. We won't stop and argue with ourselves before exercising - we just go ahead and start the walk, get on the bicycle, go to the gym. "He who hesitates is lost" - if we start second guessing and making excuses we should immediately realize what is going on - we really don't want to do this. Our lack of self-discipline has gotten us this extra weight and now our lack of self-discipline will keep it if we aren't pro-active. We have the tools to do this; let's use them.

Before that night-time binge, we need to think of our night of rest - a sweet sleep for those whose minds are clear; a fitful sleep for those who have brought trouble on themselves. How long did it take us as children not to touch a hot stove? We learned pretty fast didn't we? Why do we, as adults, keep thinking that stove isn't hot and touch it again?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Am I Lame or What?

Guess what? I lost 1 lb. this week not .5 lb. I had not entered my last weigh-in on my chart due to being so busy covering in Cincinnati and spending that week in Lexington so lost track of where I was. Cannot believe I did that. I went to step aerobics this morning - had my Quest bar first, I have had some cottage cheese with some peaches and stevia sweetener to get me through my route and then will have late lunch/early supper in the afternoon. Have a great day everyone (mine just got better). I have now lost 12.5 pounds. I need to lose 9.5 pounds to get to my goal of 20 lbs. lost. It can be done with a great effort and constant vigilance. Better go get some water.

Challenge Update

I was down 1/2 pound this morning to 210.5 which is fine with me. I am not exactly blazing a trail but I am progressing. I will get back to exercising beginning today. It seems I get in a routine and then I need to cover for someone on vacation or drive 1.5 hours each way to Cincinnati to help out - but - I am thankful for the work and OK with a slower than ideal rate of loss.

Let's all stay vigilant and remember that "the mind is used to justify what the heart wants to do".