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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Our Shadow

Do we try to outrun our shadow? Do we whistle past the graveyard? What is our shadow? It can be behind us like it's following or it can be in front of us where we can see it. It can be underfoot as  well. At different times of the day our shadows have a different size and orientation to us. It's always there (somewhere).

Our shadow can be our past, how we were raised, experiences good and bad, accomplishments, failures, disappointments, regrets - all of that. We cannot outrun our shadow. Even if we rewind the video, the content does not change. Looking over our shoulders only confirms that it is there. The shadow in front of us that we can see because the sun is at our backs is the one we get to shape. Will that shadow be smaller each day? We get to choose.

I have been reading some pretty self-righteous blogs about Paula Deen and her diabetes. What is interesting is that these are people who used to be obese and now have lost a lot of weight. How quickly we forget. I know I have posted about this once but this last blog I read is a very popular one and kind of got under my skin so here I am on it again. It isn't that blog author's fault that she is not diabetic as well. As I said before, I should be dead from binge eating. I should be diabetic from eating 6 - 8 large donuts at once. I should have had a heart attack from carrying around so much extra weight.

She tried to be outraged about the fact that Paula Deen had a cooking show and therefore some influence. She also tried to be outraged that Paula Deen might make some money endorsing one medication or another.
I don't think that's the problem at all. She took the opportunity to toot her own horn I think. She has forgotten what her behaviors were that got her to morbid obesity and give Paula Deen a break. She should be thankful. She also has a shadow.

How we use our past, our shadow, will be different for all of us. We can learn from it. We can be it's slave or its master.

Paula Deen may have brought on her diabetes or she may have developed it anyway. We'll never know. I can't think of anyone blogging about weight loss who has any room to feel self-righteous. We have done our level best to develop diabetes ourselves. Being at goal weight does not erase the shadow of a past full of self-destructive behavior.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Identity Crisis?

Your Identity by Mir over at Two Years to Happy Weight After has a post today that I think is very appropriate for us all.

What we do fits our self-image or we wouldn't do it. I don't tell lies because it doesn't fit my self-image. I don't steal for the same reason. When I am lazy, that is my self-image. When I overeat, that is my self-image.

She talks about  exercising and self-image. This is crucial to our success with losing weight and then maintaining our loss. If being thin doesn't fit my self-image, reaching my goal weight will be an exercise in futility. How can we change our self-image so that doesn't happen? I think we act "as if". We behave as if we were already there. How will you and I behave when we are at goal weight? Behave that way now. Will we take care of our appearance even if we are staying home all day? Will we paint our toenails in the winter? Will we exercise regularly and drink the necessary water?

We need to think long and hard about this. I have lost my weight twice. I don't intend to have to do it again. How about you?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Are We There Yet?

When we would take a trip to my Grandmother's house in southern Indiana my Dad would get really tired of hearing, "Are we there yet?" or "How much longer?" or "How many more towns do we have to go through?" When we got to "Grandma's little road" we called it we were so very excited because Grandma was the best. The goal was Grandma's house.

We didn't get part way there and decide we were tired of the trip and quit.

Our trip to goal weight and beyond never ends. There is no finish line. In fact, the closer we get to Grandma's house (our goal) the harder it seems. We were straining to see Grandma's house and the closer we got the more excited we became. We didn't get out and start walking. We wanted to go faster.

Those last few pounds are the hardest because they matter the least. We are wearing nice clothes, people are telling us it's time to quit or we will be too skinny or get sick or some other tragedy will befall us, and we are getting a little tired of it anyway.

When we got to Grandma's house we didn't turn around and go back home either. We had arrived and it was great. We didn't ever want to leave. We don't ever want to go back to weighing over 200 or 300 pounds either.

Let's treat our goal like Grandma's house. We loved being there and we didn't ever want to leave.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Behavior Blast Update/Miscellaneous

There are three of us in the Behavior Blast Challenge and all three of us are doing great and on the road to being hydrated well. PaulJill, and myself are changing the behaviors that lead to weight loss. This first week has been to drink 64 oz. of water per day, more is great, but 64 oz. is the goal and all of us have reached our goal each day. Next week we will build on this and add exercising 3 - 5 times each week to drinking the 64 oz. of water each day. The third week will be "coasting". We are going to continue with exercising 3 - 5 times that week and drinking the 64 oz. of water each day. This is to create the habit, the new normal - something we do as a part of our lives. Weight is not a part of this challenge. We feel that changing the behaviors will change our weight. Beginning with week 4 each of us will declare what behavior we will work on. Jill is going to work on tracking her food/drink intake and will report that each day. I am going to work on slowing down as I eat. I will completely chew and swallow each bite and take a drink before taking another bite. It's going to be tough. It may take me two weeks to get that behavior changed. We will continue on like that. The nice thing about this challenge is that anyone can jump in at any time. Let me know your blog address and your email address and you will be added to the spreadsheet that I email to everyone each day with the success of each of us. We aren't aiming for perfection but progress. If you want in for the next two days you will report your water intake to me and then you will be ready to start the week beginning Thursday with continuing with the water and add exercising 3 - 5 times.

On to the miscellaneous part. I have completely stopped taking my blood pressure medication. I am so tired of the side effects. The first family of meds I was prescribed (beta blockers) caused such a cough I couldn't even carry on a conversation. The second family were called calcium channel blockers and my feet and ankles swelled up. This last attempt caused me to black out and my heart would beat so hard and fast it would hurt. These episodes would last about 15 minutes. ENOUGH. I have started juicing. If you have not watched "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead", please do so - I have a link in an earlier post. I had the smoothie for breakfast today made with the Mean Green as the base and added a banana, peeled orange, green grapes, and some protein powder. I am taking an herbal formula from our local health food store for BP. I am taking zinc and CoQ10 and drinking beetroot juice. My blood pressure is much better. I am losing weight, exercising, and drinking water.

Have you ever heard of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar? It is also good for blood pressure as well as arthritis, cholesterol, and many other things. Here is my "tonic" recipe from my cousin who takes it and reports of the improvement in her arthritis. Mix on high in a blender 1 C. apple cider vinegar, 1C. honey, and 8 cloves garlic crushed for 1 min. I buy the jar of garlic in the produce area.  1/2 tsp. = 1 clove garlic so I use 4 tsp. of that. Place this in a jar in the refrigerator for 5 days to cure and then 2 tsp. in a glass of orange juice twice a day. Straight orange juice was a little much for us so we use 1/2 c. oj and 1/2 c. water and we like it better.  You can use grape juice as well. It's not bad at all. I am using it for blood pressure and my husband is using it for his arthritis.

Take care.

Monday, January 23, 2012

What To Do After a Binge


Some of you battle this. Those who binge need to know there is something to do "the day after". I used to be plagued by binge eating but I kept fighting and now I don't binge (unless I drink wine which isn't in the house anymore). My binges got less frequent and less severe and now I don't worry about them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead


I just watched this and am so inspired. I got all  misty eyed over Phil and wanted to stand up and cheer for him as well but still misty eyed. I know many of you have probably seen this but if you have not I recommend it highly. Thanks Paul and Nancy for mentioning this. I really enjoyed it.

Combination Locks

Achieving a goal is like opening a combination lock. -Gary Ryan Blair from his book, Goals.

Ever been frustrated trying to open a combination lock? I have.

Ever been frustrated trying to lose weight? (dumb question)

Getting that combination exactly right can be aggravating, don't you think? Spin it to the left to clear everything and then back to the right and stop EXACTLY at the first number; then go the other way passing the first number and stop EXACTLY at the second number; then the other way back to the third number. Or was that spin it right first? Or do you have to go past the second number as well before stopping at the third? What a feeling of accomplishment when it comes open  not to mention the drop in blood pressure.

Losing weight can be the same way - everything should eventually fall together but only after several tries and the emotional roller coaster that can be a part of the mix. That combination lock is on something we want so badly that we are willing to spin that dial and take another stab at it. We won't stop until we get those stupid numbers in the right order and we spin the right way and stop when we should.

That first spin to the left (I think) clears everything out, we can start over without any leftover entries from our last attempt. OR - maybe we learned something the last time and through the process of elimination we increase our chances of doing it correctly this time with our newfound knowledge. We for sure have to start this way - clearing out the old way that didn't get us to the desired result of an open lock and a reached goal.
It's the same lock each time - that has not changed. The goal is the same. We just have to be willing to keep trying until the attempt that lets that rod loose is the right combination and voila! We could do it all the time.

We each have our own combination locks. Some of us have tried more times than others. Some of us have given up for a time, threw the lock down, and perhaps even used an expletive or two. We want to unlock the chest with our goal in it very much so after we resign ourselves to do what we have to do we are back at it.

When it comes to weight loss, we already know the combination. Why do we want to do it a different way? The lock won't open then. Why do we try to skip some of the combination because we don't like water or we think exercise is boring? The lock still won't open. Do we enjoy failing at this or what? Is it that much fun?

The lock will come open and we do know the combination. Let's use it - k?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Paula Deen

I have read a few articles and blogs about Paula Deen. It sounds like many of them are glad she is diabetic. They don't come right out and say it but "Serves her right" is the message. There is outrage and self-righteous rants about her. She is in the public eye and is there anyone who didn't figure out that her methods of food preparation were high fat, high sugar, high calories, and all that? There is always the disclaimer that they know she can eat as she pleases and why should they care. Are there any among us who should be self-righteous? There but for the grace of God go you and I.

We all have a brain and should be able to watch Paula Deen and not lose all control and eat ourselves into a coma don't you think? There are people who eat unwisely and don't become diabetic. You know what people say if someone speaks up against pornography? Don't watch it. It is possible to eat those kinds of food in moderation or not at all. I am not ready to blame Paula Deen because I am fat. Diabetics cannot blame her for their condition. I also am not quietly gratified that she is diabetic. I guess she has known of her condition for about 3 years. She probably knew what the public reaction would be.

Behavior has consequences - for Paula Deen, for you, for me. I hope she can control her diabetes. I have always thought that she is beautiful and seems to be a very nice person.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I am going to butcher this but is this "responde sil vou plais"? I thought it meant "respond to sender very promptly". Maybe that's what it means in French? If Martha Stewart reads this blog, would you clear this up?

How much junk mail do you get? How much is in your email inbox that is spam, mass mailings, scams? We have to filter through all that don't we? Have you ever fallen for phishing? I did. It was pretty stupid of me. I got an email that was exactly like my bank's logo and everything. It said they needed some information which I gave them. You know the rest of the story. The bank corrected it and told me they never do business through email. Have you ever gotten that email where someone you know is overseas and has somehow gotten stranded and needs money? Have you ever gotten the email from someone who has money for you but needs some money in advance? At least I have not fallen for those two.

We really do have to filter through a lot of "crap" don't we? We are sent messages in our email that we never would respond to. We get junk mail we have to filter through because there might something important in there. I get credit card offers all the time. Our filter is our brains.

We go to a buffet and have to filter through everything and choose what's important, not just what's inviting. We go to the grocery and have to filter through the many choices and get what's important and not just what is inviting. At the back of my grocery store is a large rack of yesterday's baked goods marked down 40% so the more I buy, the more I save - right? I have also used this logic for buying fabric on sale, flowers on sale, clothes on sale, and other things as well.

We have to decide when to respond and how to respond. We can respond with our brains or with our emotions. That message from the baked goods with an RSVP can probably be trashed.

Just because you received the invitation doesn't mean you have to go.

Have you ever heard something described as "inviting"? Things can look pretty good. They can smell wonderful. Our senses can trick us into becoming a part of something that isn't in our best interests. I have seen some beautiful salads and fruits that look so luscious - especially peaches. Have you ever noticed how frying bacon fills the whole house with the aroma and that aroma lasts for quite some time after the bacon is gone - why is that? It's the fat. The smell of something baking is very aromatic. It's the sugar and the fat. And when those things are paired with Grandma or Mom it takes a will of iron to refuse the invitation.

And that's just one of the reasons we must be ready to refuse these things. Turning those things down is like turning down our Mom or Grandma. We have to let go of those associations but it's hard. Just keep the prize in mind.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Behavior Blast Challenge

I have been toying with the idea of a Challenge that would address behavior changes only. I ran it by Paul over at Virtual Paul and he wants to get started tomorrow (Thursday)! Another person also expressed an interest so all who would like to join us for the Behavior Blast to last for 6 weeks only is hereby invited to email me and your name will be added to the spreadsheet. This Challenge builds each week. The first week's behavior that we are addressing is drinking 8 - 10 glasses of water per day. That's 64 - 80 oz. of water. Those in the Challenge will email me their total ounces of water in the evening each day and I will enter it on the spreadsheet and then attach it to an email so we can see how everyone is doing. Coffee, tea, diet drinks do not count.

Week two will be to continue with the daily water intake AND add exercising 3 - 5 times per week. The third week will be "coasting" - we will continue with the water and exercise with the goal of making these things our normal.

I want everyone to give me suggestions for weeks 4 - 6. I was thinking for week 4 getting in 3 vegetables and 1 fruit each day or some mixture thereof. Other behaviors we might address could be not eating in the car for example. Not eating after 6 p.m. could be another. Waiting for a stomach growl before eating is a possibility. Swallowing one bite of food and taking a drink of something before the next bite is a thought.

After the first 6 weeks I thought we could coast for two weeks and continue the behaviors we have been emphasizing. We could start another blast and emphasize one behavior a week. The second blast could be each participant would let everyone know the behavior that he/she was going to work on for that week and keep us all posted. I don't know how I would keep track of that. I could just keep track of each person and the behavior that person was going to address for the week.

Let me know what you think and if you want to be added to the group. I need your email address. Mine is myrabaldwin@netzero.net

Take care.

New Dish and Another Song

If you need some comfort, listen to David Phelps - powerful voice.


I made a great dish for my supper tonight.  A couple days ago I spent quite a while chopping vegetables so they would be read for salads. In one large bowl I had a mixture of lettuce and spinach. In another bowl I cut up broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions,  and celery. I covered the bottom of a saucepan with water, brought that to a boil and added a bunch of the broccoli mixture. I then lowered the heat and covered the pan after I used some of Paula Deane's seasoning mixture she always uses (1 c. salt, 1/4 c. pepper, 1/4 c. garlic powder). The vegetables were done in about 10 minutes. While the vegetables were steaming I microwaved 2 veggie garden burgers and cut them into bite sized pieces. I poured the extra water off the veggies, added the veggie burgers, and a little butter for taste. I covered the pan for a few minutes after turning off the heat. I put this on my plate and sprinkled some shredded cheddar on it. WOW - was it good.

I like my salad vegetables to be chopped up rather small. The carrots and celery were sliced pretty thin. I sliced up some green onions tops and all. I like having all this done so that when I want a salad it doesn't take so long to get the salad together.  If you try this I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Tomorrow Never Comes

From Proverbs 31 Ministries:

I didn’t want to do or think about what needed to be done today, so I put it off until tomorrow. Then tomorrow got pushed back until the next tomorrow. When I finally did what I’d put off, I was stressed out, rushed, in a bad mood or convinced I didn’t need to do my task at all. Here are a few of my I’ll do it tomorrow’s:

I’ll start my diet…tomorrow.
I’ll read my Bible and pray…tomorrow.
I’ll clean my house…tomorrow.
I’ll call my friend…tomorrow.
I’ll have lunch with my son…tomorrow.
I’ll take brownies to my neighbor…tomorrow.

Have you ever heard the sad stories of those people who relate how when a loved one left the house to go somewhere and then never returned because of a car accident that took that loved one's life? I think we all have. We evidently think tomorrow is a sure thing.

I’ll spend quality time with my husband or my kids or my friends or my parents…tomorrow.

There was a season of my life I was so bad about putting goals and tasks off until another day that I got behind in everything. I wanted things to change, but my choices didn’t reflect that. Sleeping took precedence over getting up for quiet time. Burgers and fries filled my plate instead of healthy soup and salad. Magazines occupied my hands instead of laundry. Television was preferable to exercise. And time with friends was chosen over time with my husband.

Day after day, I had good intentions to make changes.
Day after day, I put them off until tomorrow.
Eventually, I felt like a failure.

It took a simple sentence from my then three-year-old daughter to move me from apathy to action. A few years ago we planned a family trip to Walt Disney World. I made the mistake of telling Haley Grace months in advance. Each day she’d ask, “Are we going to Disney World today?”

Repeatedly, I’d answer, “Not today. We aren’t going for three more months… five more weeks… eight more days…” The night before we left, I announced the news she’d been waiting for. “Hayley Grace, we are going to Disney World tomorrow!”

The next morning she woke early and ran into my room before I was out of bed. “Mommy, Mommy, is today tomorrow?” I was thrilled to reply, “Yes! Today is tomorrow!”

Things clicked for me and I decided then that I was going to start making today my tomorrow.
Instead of wasting precious time, I started spending it in prayer, asking God to show me what tasks He’d like me to complete that day. I prayed for strength and perseverance to accomplish what He’d given me. And I brought a few friends along with me to be encouraged and to be an encouragement to them in finishing their goals.

I put into action today what I’d been putting off till tomorrow.

What changes, goals, or intentions have you been putting off until tomorrow? Let’s make our “to-do” list our “to-day” list. Not only will we have a sense of accomplishment, but we’ll also make an impact today. Today is tomorrow!

Our "to-do" list becomes our "to-day" list which will become our "to-done" list.

From Melissa Taylor at Proverbs 31 Ministries (with a little extra from me).

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Complete Failure

There are now more obese people in the United States than there are overweight people. I think it's safe to say that after all these years, Diet Coke is a complete failure. -Jay Leno

 ***Michael Medved on why it's so popular to hate Tim Tebow. 

The NFL is generously stocked with forgiven felons, including millionaire wife beaters and dog killers. So how did a clean-living quarterback with deep commitments to charitable service and miraculous last-minute victories become the most controversial player in the league?

Swiped both of these from my sister' blog - she has some good things there today in addition to the above - why not check it out?   jensgyrations.blogspot.com

Diet Coke is a failure. I think it's another example of how we look for that "magic bullet" for weight loss. We drink fake Coke, eat fake sweets, and eat fake snacks and then rationalize all the while eating the whole package of fat free, sugar free, styrofoam concoctions. Those things do not satisfy. Eating real food in reasonable amounts - when will we ever get it?

Drinking water is life-giving, life-affirming. I may have this wrong but aren't our bodies something like 72% water? Many things are sweet and healthy - fruit  is a good dessert. Snacks? There are 100 calorie pop corn packages on the market now. Is it the amount that is our problem? If we choose the fake stuff we can eat volumes and not feel too guilty but those things don't support life. Eating volumes is the problem for so many of us. I know stopping is my biggest challenge. Working on it.

We will have taken a giant leap forward when we honor the life we have by doing what will support it rather than trying to ruin it with our poor choices. Committing suicide with food/eating as our weapon is a slow and painful way to die. Is today good enough for us to want a tomorrow that is better or do we want to be one day closer to a truly debilitating condition that will change our lives forever? Let's all consider carefully today what we put in our bodies and what we do with our bodies. It is our choice whether to affirm or destroy our health.

Let's choose life.

Powerful Video


This will cause you to think whether or not you consider yourself religious or not. We all worship something. It can be food, the earth, ourselves, money, etc. We were created with a "need" for worship.

I just finished "The Help" and watched the movie. I highly recommend it.

Also, I know some of you are reading "Made to Crave" - there is an online study of this book. Here is the link if you want to join in :


I am learning quite a bit from this. I think those of you who are interested in going a little deeper would benefit from it as well.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Disease Called Perfection


This is quite thought provoking and enlightening.

Be Well.

Table Scraps

Success is the intentional, pre-meditated use of choice and decision. Unless you choose—with certainty—what it is you want, you accept table scraps by default!

The world is plump with opportunity. With boldness and conviction, stick a fork into the goals you want by being decisive. -Gary Ryan Blair

From the book, Goals, by Gary Ryan Blair

Choosing but not deciding. I have been thinking about that. I can choose many things but if I don't decide to do what's necessary to get them I will be spinning my wheels because I probably won't ever figure out that it takes a concerted effort, a decision, to get what I have chosen. I must be bold and I must be convinced that I can do this. If I am bold and convinced, it won't matter if I am hungry but have to wait a bit to eat. I will exercise because I have made the decision to exercise. I have not battled with myself as to whether I am going to do it or not. I don't put it off; it is an important part of reaching my goal and the question of whether I want to do it or not is irrelevant. I drink the water because I have decided that it will make me healthier and I will lose weight more efficiently. It doesn't matter if I would rather not; I am the kind of person who follows through on decisions. And while I am at it, following through is another important part of the choice, then the decision, and finally the follow through.  Following through is an important part of the perfect pitch in baseball, hitting the hole in one in golf, and bowling a strike. It is also necessary to get to our goal weight. We must follow through. What is your opinion of someone who doesn't follow through with what they promise to others? We would never break a promise that we made, that is unless it is a promise we have made to ourselves. Aren't those promises important too?

No more table scraps. We want that steak that represents our goals. Let's stick our forks in it so it won't get away. Choose the steak, decide you will have it, and follow through to success.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Two Beautiful Songs



The Artist in You

I have two daily readings that I enjoy each morning. They are downloaded on my Kindle. One of them is "For Today" (OA) and the other is "Around the Year with Emmet Fox". I recommend them both. "For Today" was especially good today and I thought I would share it.

Competitions are for horses, not artists.  -Bela Bartok

The art of living is probably the highest form of personal expression:  one is not concerned with who is behind or ahead, but rather with the enjoyment of now. There is no waiting for a payoff, for that day when certain things are settled or when the ship comes in. The art of living requires that I like myself, accept what I am and stop wishing I were otherwise. There is no room for pretense. People who have developed the art of living are sweetly loving and deeply sensitive while maintaining their independence. They are as respectful of their own values and opinions as those of others.

I have read a few blogs lately where the author lamented how long it was going to take to get all the weight off. One even said it would be "forever". It does seem like that sometimes doesn't it? Things would be a lot easier if we just made today a success and stopped looking off into the future and doing all of our little calculations. Let's just resign ourselves to this and stop looking for reasons to give up which I really think is at the bottom of it. We wallow in self-pity and miss the beauty of today. We are losing today and sapping tomorrow of its strength.

You and I are artists. We are creating what we want to be a little at a time each day. It doesn't matter that your artwork is not done; it doesn't matter if someone else is ahead of you and another is behind you; it only matters that you are working on it and enjoying what you are creating. You aren't a horse anyway :-)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I've Been Tagged!

I think everyone has about been tagged so I will just do the rest without tagging others. Leigh C. at Poonapalooza tagged me first, then Michele.

Here are the rules:

  1. Post these rules.
  2. You must post 11 random things yourself.
  3. Answer the questions the tag­ger set for you in their post.
  4. Create 11 new ques­tions for the peo­ple you tag to answer.
  5. Go to their blog and tell them that you've tagged them.
  6. No stuff in the tagging sec­tion about ‘you are tagged if you are read­ing this.’ blah blah blah, you legitimately have to tag 11 peeps!
11 Random Things About Myself

1.  I am the oldest of four children.
2.  Our yard has been on two Garden Tours and may be on a third within the next year or two.
3.  I am an "Autumn" which means I have yellow based skin and the earth tones look best on me. I look good in Army green and that khaki and rusty orange of the Army. Olive green is my best color. I look terrible in stark white. Royal blue makes me look ill. I used to sell Amway products and we would color analyze people before selling them cosmetics.
4. I am not a picky eater but cannot stand liver, Brussels sprouts, and turnips.
5. I like yard art that is rustic and primitive; I have an outhouse, an old oat drill on iron wheels, and an old manure spreader that I have filled with dirt and planted flowers in it and around it.
6.  We have used old, solid wooden doors as paneling in our living room. My dad's old painting ladders serve as the end to our bar and one hangs from the ceiling over the bar for decoration.
7.  I believe that life begins at conception and the time for a woman to be in control of her body is BEFORE the pregnancy. The argument about incest and rape doesn't hold water. The parents are irresponsible so we kill the baby? It's being used as birth control. How sad for us. I agree with Mother Theresa - "A nation that will kill its children has lost its soul." (There is forgiveness if someone reading this has made this decision and now carries a burden of guilt - email me privately.) I usually lose some followers here but this is about me and I am not ashamed of my Christian beliefs.
8. I drive a car until it croaks. The Camry I am now driving has 190,000 miles on it. I had a Pontiac Bonneville that went 318,000 miles. I do the scheduled maintenance and make them last as long as possible.
9. I cannot swim.
10. I dye my hair. I do it myself. 
11. The only surgery I have ever had is gum surgery. We were short of money and I didn't get my teeth cleaned for about 2 years. When I went back, the plaque and tartar has built up, pushed my gums forward which allowed to decay underneath the gum line and I had bone loss. I had to have surgery to repair that. Believe me, we didn't save any money. Get your teeth cleaned regularly. My husband has dentures because he never went to the dentist. He didn't have a cavity or filling in his mouth and had to have all his teeth pulled because of bone loss. He even got a jaw tooth out himself because the tooth has about nothing to hold onto. Did I mention to get your teeth cleaned regularly?

11 answers to questions 

1.  What was your favorite food when you were a child?

Spaghetti - I used to beg my Mom to make it for me when I came home from school for lunch. I usually got Campbell's vegetable beef soup.

2. What is one of your favorite quotes?

I have many but one of my favorites is "We never have as much as we want, but we always have more than we need."

3. What is your favorite body part?

The eyes. Beautiful eyes are so noticeable. They also express a lot of emotion and even the person's state of health.

4. If you could stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?

I think probably about 59 years old. The boys were raised; I was retired; and we had very little debt.

5. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?

Tony Dungee maybe. He is a good, Christian example for sports people. He even worked with Michael Vick after his conviction over the dog fighting.

6. If you could meet anyone living or dead, who would it be?

Abraham Lincoln would be one of the choices. He overcame quite a lot in his life.

7. What celebrity do you get mistaken for?

I've been told I look like Ali McGraw. She hasn't been around for a while but that's the only one I can think of.. The person I get mistaken for the most is my sister, Jenny. I have had people come up and start talking to me and nothing is making sense and I have to say, "You think I'm Jenny, don't you?"

8. What would you name the autobiography of your life?

To Be Continued ----

9. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?

The first significant thing would be my college education.

10. What was the last experience that made you a better person? 

My quilt group has some service projects. One is the Linus project where we make quilts that the fire and police departments keep on hand to give to children in stressful situations. We also make birthright quilts to be given to young, single new mothers. We also make Quilts of Valor for the families of fallen soldiers or for soldiers who have come home wounded. On the last Sunday of each month another person and I take the 3 & 4 grade Sunday School class to the local nursing home.

11. What was the last movie, tv show or book that made you cry or tear up?

I don't watch T.V., books don't tear me up, and watch very few movies but "The Passion of the Christ" was quite moving.

Here are the questions I had composed for others - you can make a blog post out of them if you would like - please do!

1.  Who is your hero?
2.  If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be?
3.  What advice would you give someone who asked you about managing money?
4.  If you could be an animal, which one would it be and why?
5.  Is there a skill you wish you had developed and didn't?
6.  What is the biggest advancement during your lifetime in the area of technology?
7.  If you could live in another country other than your own, which one would it be and why?
8.  What do you want to have accomplished within the next 10 years?
9.  What is your philosophy of life?
10.  If you won the lottery what would you do with it?
11.  What is your favorite card game? Your favorite board game?

Michele also tagged me - here are her questions: I don't know why they are red????

1.    Did you play a musical instrument in school? Which one? Do you still play?

I have always regretted not continuing with piano lessons. I can't even read music now.

2.    Do you collect things? What?

Just dust.

3.    What was the last sporting event that you attended?

I think it was a Colts game in Indianapolis with some friends.

4.    Have you ever seen brilliant night sky stars? Where were you?

All the time - my back yard.

5.    What would a perfect day be for you?

A sunny day in the 60's/70's - light breeze - working in my flowers.

6.    What is one of your latest book reads? What kept you reading it?

I am reading "The Help" right now. It's very good. It's about slavery in the South.

7.    What kind of pen do you use?

Ballpoint - fine point, black ink.

8.    Apple or PC?


9.    What magazines or weeklys do you read or subscribe to?

Birds and Blooms, Better Homes and Gardens, Midwest Living

10.  What satisfies you about the work that you do?

I was a high school teacher - business department - working with teenagers can be a lot of fun. I enjoyed helping them grow up.

11.  What do you hope for yourself in one year?

Goal weight - slim, healthy, size 12.

Friday, January 13, 2012


As I watched my husband put peanut butter on his bread before making his bacon sandwich I thought it might be fun for us to tell about the weirdest combination for a sandwich that they know of. It can be a sandwich you concocted yourself or one you have witnessed. You are not limited to any number. I can't wait to read these so comment away!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Little Epiphany

Fat Girl Wearing Thin has started a Hate Loss Challenge and had this in her post. It brought up some thoughts about my own childhood.

My therapist wrote a few things down in her notebook and then began pointing things out to me that deep down, I was already aware of: when you’re young and impressionable, it’s very easy to believe the things you’re told. If you don’t have anyone telling you good things about yourself then you just continue to accept those untruths as fact. 

I do remember as a child not hearing much encouragement from my parents. My dad was the disciplinarian. I really don't remember much of a positive nature from him. He never read us a story, put us to bed, and we never sat on his lap. I think I really became indifferent to him because I never felt like he cared for me. He was ashamed of my obesity and I knew it. School brought more names and not so many friends. Kids internalize those things especially if there is nothing counteracting it at home. I don't remember Mom being openly affectionate as a child but I don't remember her being hateful. Dad had a mean temper and a hateful mouth so we just dealt with it.

I think many parents have no clue about how much damage words can do. In anger, words are used to hurt, to correct, to belittle. It's no mystery to me how food became my drug of choice - when I was eating I wasn't feeling. My two brothers learned that hateful mouth as well. My sister and I are not like Dad was. We are more like Mom. She kept things in too I am sure. Women want to keep their homes together (this is a general statement, I know there are exceptions). After we are adults we must work through those things and try to figure it out. Once our personalities are shaped they are very difficult to change. I read that a child's personality is developed by 2 years old; children learn more before they start school than they do the rest of their lives. How to give and receive love; language; how to express anger; fears are learned; stress or lack thereof (vibes) are just a few things I can think of off the top of my head.

Once there is a neural pathway in the brain for responses, it is difficult though not impossible to create another pathway. The pathway from stress to eating is a pretty well-worn path. It's hard as a rock and nothing can grow there. We have to quit using that path and make another one. It will involve catching it before we get lost in the woods on that path. Stress needs to lead us to something constructive not destructive. Stress should lead us to some relaxing techniques - warm bath, working out, or talking to a friend.

We hold our feelings in to the point of explosion. We have learned to keep it all inside because we might make someone angry, hurt someone's feelings, or face their reaction and things could escalate. That's why we need to deal with little problems before they become big ones. It helps if you can get the other person on your side first. Start out by saying, "This is really hard for me to say but I need to talk to you about something," or "There is something on my mind and I have been avoiding talking about it because I am afraid you will get mad". Children don't talk back to parents (in my house anyway - Dad was not a religious man but disrespect and dishonesty were two things he could not abide); children didn't talk back to teachers (that has also changed a lot); the world did not revolve around the kids back then as in so many homes now. Our little egos and our self-esteem were not a concern of Dad. We have come full circle haven't we? Now kids graduate thinking everything they do is wonderful. They are taught that mediocre performance is great. I wonder if people are heavy for different reasons nowadays. Probably not - there are just more reasons maybe. Younger people seem to think if they want it they should have it. They often have this "in your face" attitude. I really think my Dad's methods were preferable to some of what I see today. Parents now come to school to defend their child - "you can't touch my kid" is the attitude. There are still lots of good kids. We just don't hear much about them. We sure do see the obesity in our youth however. We would face Dad if we got in trouble at school. We would face Dad if we were disrespectful to Mom. We minded Mom (mostly) because we were afraid of Dad. He wasn't all bad, I don't want to paint too negative a picture of him - he provided and was a very hard worker. He demanded respect, honesty, and that we finish school - those were not discussable topics at our house. If he said "because I said so" that was the end of the conversation because he would start getting mad. He just did not express affection and when angry he could turn the air blue with his swearing.

Anyway - I think through my home, at school, and even at work I learned to hold things in and food helped to numb that. A different reason for the younger generation might be self-discipline has not been an expectation and as an adult it is hard to develop. If we want the food, we should have it. If we want the tattoo or the piercing, never mind that we don't have a job and are barely getting by. People are running up credit cards because they want it and they think they should have it.

Whatever our reasons, we all have to do the same things to get the weight off and keep it off. It would be nice if we could nail down the reasons for our weight but we still all have to do the same things to get the weight off. We will just have to work it out, choosing a different path instead of the ones that are hard as a rock from so much travel, and reach our goals.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Keep Peddling

Life is like riding a bicycle. You don't fall off unless you plan to stop peddling. 

 Claude Pepper

Anybody out there coasting? You know, when we work hard, get up some speed, or are going downhill and stop peddling. What happens when we stop peddling? We gradually slow down and could stop altogether if we didn't start up again.

For some reason many of us, myself included, think we deserve a break. We have exercised; we have followed our eating plan; we have been drinking water like crazy and we are just tired of it. We just can't be expected to keep on like this for crying out loud. Whenever extending the school year or the school day is mentioned there is the outcry for those poor children. It's the adults, not the children, who complain. They must have a break or something awful will happen. They deserve it. The number of paid days off is getting to be interesting to me. If the holiday falls on Sunday, then Monday is the day off. When we get that day off for Veteran's Day how many people have plans to celebrate the veterans? But we deserve that time off because if it's on the weekend we will be cheated. It wouldn't be fair. The school day in Japan is longer.The school year is longer. Guess if America is behind Japan in math and science.

We have gotten so used to "breaks" that continuity is hard to maintain. The school year is like it is because of the family farm that needed the kids home in the summer to help. Those days are long gone. We have to catch up after the summer or review and get kids peddling again.

It is a mindset. Remember when the 4 minute mile was broken? It was thought to be impossible. After it was broken for the first time, several others then broke it as well. Our "you deserve a break today" thinking can get us into trouble and put pounds back on. 

We will never be able to stop peddling or we will fall off the bike. We will never be able to eat thoughtlessly or we will fall off of our maintenance weight.  Unfortunately we will fall up our weight instead of falling down. Bummer.

Anyway, let's not stop peddling ever. We may be able to slow down some at maintenance. We never want to fall off this bike. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Rebecca sparked a thought for a topic. As she considered resolutions and needed changes she stated that she has been substituting reading for action.

I wonder how many books I have bought on the topics of health/self-improvement/weight loss, etc. I read and underline. They give me ideas for blog topics which is helpful. I have downloaded many to my Kindle. I subscribe to magazines. It's like I think having all this stuff around (my clutter) will seep into my brain. I do the same thing with quilting projects. You should see my stash of fabric and my collection of books and my started but not completed quilts. It would take 10 lifetimes to get all this done and I keep buying more and starting more projects and taking more classes.

I make myself busy with the accessories, the supplies, the good intentions, the equipment. That is where my productivity ends to some extent. I do get things done when there is an event like a wedding or a graduation looming over me but I start 3 things for every 1 that I complete.

I substitute reading for action as well, Rebecca. I also substitute what I should be doing with something I would much rather do - that's why my house always needs work - I would much rather quilt. I take on too many responsibilities and join too many activities then I am away from home too much and then when I am home I need to be working on the quilt for my cousin's retirement then I have to leave to fix an ATM and then I get back and have to get that quilt done and I would rather do that anyway.

What am I going to do with me?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Something for the Gardeners

I just did my winter sowing and thought some of you  might like to know how to do it. It is wonderful for tomatoes.

I live in east central Indiana and it's winter here though so far it has been very mild. I worked in the yard today clearing off some of the dead stuff and plan to spend some time out there each day getting some spring yard work done. It is also a great time to start tomato seeds or any other seed that will volunteer or a perennial. I also started some foxglove, super sweet 100 cherry tomatoes (my favorite), some beefheart tomatoes, and some Roma tomatoes.

You will need a 1 - gallon milk jug. Use an exacto (sp?) knife to cut  around it beginning on one side of the handle and going around the jug stopping at the handle on the other side. This will leave you a hinge to open it up. Poke some holes in the bottom for drainage and fill it with dirt. Moisten the dirt, sprinkle the seeds on top, and use clear packaging tape to seal your cut and make your little greenhouse. Leave the lid off in order for moisture to get in. I put mine on the south side of the house and put the seed package underneath it so I would remember what seed was in which milk carton. In the spring when everything is right your seeds will germinate. You may need to add some water occasionally. If there is condensation on the inside of your greenhouse there is probably enough moisture but you can water them as there is drainage. Your plants will be hardened off and ready to go when the nights are warm enough and all danger of frost is past. You can open up your greenhouses through the day and close them back up at night on warm sunny days in the spring.

At this time of year you may have to order seeds online or you may have some to play around with and see if  you like this method of starting seedlings. Something like a bell pepper would not work because the plants are so tender and seeds do not volunteer and are not a perennial. Many things will work for your little greenhouses. I used a container that a rottisserie (sp?) chicken came in from the store. I used a large jug that I got a bulk amount of dried minced onions in. Vegetable oil containers, the large vinegar containers - use your imagination.

I am always so anxious to get started in the spring and it helps to have some plants already started.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Get a Life

Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight.

Make a wish and blow out the birthday candles!

Throw a penny in the fountain and make a wish.

Wishful thinking.

How many of us are daydreamers? I doubt any of us would want to talk about our fantasy worlds. The fans of many celebrities have pretty much lost it; it's like they live their lives vicariously through Justin Bieber or Lady GaGa. Remember when girls would faint at a Beatles concert? Some of you weren't born yet but maybe you have seen a video of it :-) Have you ever told someone to get a life? Has someone ever told you to get a life?

What exactly does it mean to get a life? Don't we already have one? Does it mean to mind our own business - to stop being judgmental or critical of how others choose to live? Maybe it means we should concentrate on what we need to improve about ourselves rather than evaluating the life of someone else.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Can We Fall to the top of the Stairs?

Yellow Rose commented over at a blog I follow that she has a quote posted in one of her rooms in her house. It goes like this:

"The one who reaches the top of the stairs didn't fall there."  -Bergsma

Was there a time in your life when climbing a flight of stairs was nearly impossible? Each step was so hard. We needed the hand rail. We put one foot up, then lifted our entire weight on that leg to get the other one to the step and then we rested before repeating that until we finally made it - out of breath, winded, weak legs, etc. Some of us are still there, some of us have made progress, some of us can easily do the flight but it wasn't always so easy.

It was hard work to get to the top wasn't it? Each step has a name. Each step is an achievement and the closer we get to the top where our goal weight is, the harder it is to keep going. We are out of breath; we are tired; we are angry with ourselves, we are pouting and doing the "poor me" thing. We are glad when we get to the top but have you ever noticed how easy it is to go "down" that same flight of steps? Easy squeezy lemon peazy (where did that come from?). We can undo all of our hard work pretty easily - remember?

Have you ever stood at the bottom of the steps looking up and thought about how hard it was going to be, how much effort it would take? There are no elevators, only steps. We cannot be carried; we cannot fly. The only way to get to the top is to take one step at a time and we have to do it ourselves.

OK - this flight of steps has 7 steps in it.

Step 1 is the "why", something clicks, enough failures and we know what we have to do and have decided that this time we can endure some hunger, we can march ourselves to exercise class or the gym or whatever our chosen means of working out is. We may be diabetic or borderline; our blood pressure is too high; we are so tired of carrying around this extra weight; we want to wear nice clothes. We are tired of resenting others for their slimness and know if we want that too we have to do it for ourselves. If those slim people get fat it won't make us any slimmer. We need to watch them not other fat people. We will learn more from slim people anyway. We already know how to get fat. I saw a cute quote, "If we are what we eat then I need to eat a skinny person".

Step 2 - review step 1 and start getting in at least 64 oz. of water a day. Don't tell me you can't do that. That's ridiculous. You won't do that is the right terminology. If a doctor said each day you didn't consume that water you would break out in a flesh eating fungus would you do it? Use a straw. Keep water in the car. Do it. The reason we are not thirsty is we are not drinking enough water. What? If we don't drink enough water our bodies hold on to the water they do get. Once enough water is being taken in the body lets go of what it has been retaining.

Step 3 - review steps 1 and 2 and start exercising 3 - 5 times a week. Exercising can be a walk. Those who carry around a lot of extra weight will be slow at first and the walks will be shorter. It gets easier. Do it before the day gets in the way if at all possible. Find a buddy to walk with or go to the gym with or go to the Jazzercise or step aerobics class with you. This is a lifestyle change. It is a behavior that will become the new normal.

Step 4 - The first three steps are the basics I think. If we can get step one nailed down and make steps 2 and 3 our routine, our normal, the eating is going to start leveling out. My personal opinion is that the eating plan should be your own. We don't need to be told how much, what, and when to eat. With that said, I have lost my weight twice with Weight Watchers and I think that helped me get to this point. It is a part of the path to guilt free eating/not eating. Weight Watchers teaches what a portion looks like. Weight Watchers is very healthy but now I eat low carb (not no carb) with fruits and vegetables on my own because I want to. I starved myself in college to the point of my hair falling out. I tried to make myself throw up but thank God I wimped out - I would have been bulimic for sure. I have never tried the Nutri-system/Jenny Craig foods. I heard someone say that you can do the same thing buying the frozen Lean Cuisines/Healthy Choice/Smart Ones and do the same thing (portion control) but the goal is real food that we have at home. Use a coffee mug for the chili you make, the smaller plate thing works - buy yourself some new dishes just for you. We have all dieted long enough; we know what to do. Following someone else's rules usually leads to rebellious eating.

Step 5 - Get rid of "stinkin' thinkin' ".  Practice catching negative thoughts and immediately changing them to something positive.

"If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think a negative thought." -Peace Pilgrim.

Thoughts are things. They matter. They have power. We are all connected through thought.

Step 6 - If you haven't read about painting your toes please do so. Our appearance affects how we feel about ourselves and I know I need to be more careful about it. Have you ever stayed in your pajamas all day? I have - I felt like a slug. Duane's mother used to get all cleaned up and looking nice if she was going into town for a gallon of milk. I go in and pray I don't run into anybody I know. Save the sweats for the gym or lounging around the house; I don't know about you but I look like a bag of doorknobs in them.

Step 7 - Connect with God. There is a source of strength there. There is comfort and peace.  If you are not a Church goer I have a place for you to start. Here in Indiana at 8:30 a.m on TBN on Sunday mornings there is a pastor named James Merritt and the show is called "Touching Lives". He just wears slacks and a sweater or shirt. There isn't permed hair, jewelry, crying/stomping/wiping sweat and all the showy stuff. I am sure he has a web site.

Now we are at the top of the steps, the landing, our goal is closer each time we climb those steps without skipping any of them.  It is easier to go down the steps and stay the same or undo what we have worked for.
The steps are always there, however. We can climb them at any time and go as fast or as slowly as we are able to.

We can fall down the steps but we have to climb up them. At least if we fall forward we can get up where we are and proceed. If we start falling, we usually end up at the bottom. If we are counting on falling to the top of the stairs, it's time for a reality check.

Be well.