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, April 30, 2012

It's A Process

The process of changing a life-style is more important than reaching a goal or measuring a performance. -Theodore Isaac Rubin

Do we have the cart before the horse?

Aren't we all about losing weight and getting to our goal?

Nope - not if we want to maintain the loss.

I would venture to guess that our life-styles cause us the problems we have to face. Things like:

Eating late at night.
Snacking in front of the TV.
Not drinking enough water.
Failing to exercise consistently.
Not enough sleep.
Celebrations (for everything).
We love to cook and bake so we cook and bake things that we can't stay out of.
Traditions like birthday cake, ice cream when it's hot outside, pancakes on Saturday morning.
Grocery shopping when hungry and without a list.
Eating too much processed food.
Halloween candy, Valentine's Day candy, Christmas candy, Birthday candy, etc.

If we partake, or take a day off, or splurge, or whatever for each event, birthday, family cook-out, baby shower, wedding shower, office party, celebration, and/or holiday festivities, can we really expect to do very well?

Changing our lifestyles will go a long way toward changing the number on the scale. How are you doing with this? What life-style change do you need to make?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Have we stood in our own sunshine so long that we are sunburned? We stand in our own way. We get between ourselves and success.  We shoot ourselves in the foot. We keep our victory in the shadow of  our emotions, our lack of commitment, and our bad habits. 
Let's get out of our own way. Let's live and make our lives revolve around our activities, the people in our lives, and so many other things.  What if God were the center of our lives and we understand that gluttony is a sin? What if our health really mattered and that was more important than the binge? What if we are just fed up with being obese and are ready to stop it?
Difficulties make some break down and others break records. 
Be careful out there. Don't get a sunburn.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

On Being Judgmental

I was in Jazzercise and thinking about things (that's when I usually mess up) and it hit me what the reason is that I find myself being judgmental and critical. It is because I grew up with criticism - whether it was spoken or unspoken, it was there. Adding to that was the fact that there were no open displays of affection and few, if any, positive words. Growing up I never felt "good enough"; I was never a part of the popular groups; I never excelled in sports or music. I did make good grades. That was how I made up for my shortcomings which I thought were many.

It bothers me how quickly I judge others based on the most unimportant things - hairstyle, the person's wealth, appearance, little behaviors, political views, religious views, any view different from my own, annoying mannerisms, not getting my way - on and on and on. If I even see a group gathering before Jazzercise starts, my brain starts into being judgmental about a clique which I am imagining. I tend to view any achievement of someone else as a measurement of my lack of achievement. Why must I always compare myself to others? How can I stop doing that? It's an automatic response. I try to immediately replace the negative with a positive.

When did the love stop? By love I mean wanting the best for other people, putting others first (not being a doormat), caring and being interested in what's going on in their lives? When has the disconnect happened? Neighbors don't even know each other on a personal level past a wave on the way somewhere else. When did we get so wrapped up in our own world and what we are doing that we are insulted if someone does it differently - of course if it's different we are threatened and don't like it.

We feel obligated to show these people that they are wrong and if they would only follow our lead, we would show them how to do things right. Maybe we are unsure of ourselves and need to prove we are in control. I can be "Mrs. Fix It Fox" - I try to manage the lives of others sometimes.

Growing up feeling inferior and left out certainly has lasting repercussions. I am working on it because it bothers me that as a Christian I can have thoughts like this about others. I should look at each person with a loving heart and a positive regard without preconditions about what they have to be like for me to regard them as I should.

Do you do this? How do you overcome it?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Make Your Own Greek Yogurt


I have been buying Greek yogurt and adding stevia, sugar free jelly, and chia seeds to it and it is YUM. I imagine cinnamon, vanilla, and stevia would be good as well. I got my chia seeds on Amazon. They help with the full feeling- they remind me of the seeds in Kiwi. Some cocoa would make it chocolate with the stevia as well. I hope they never find that stevia causes health problems because I use it a lot!


I have read that eating processed foods containing various additives such as colorings,  preservatives, artificial this and that, and things that I cannot pronounce can mess with the endocrine system. I have always been suspicious of these things and wonder if these things have contributed to many of the illnesses found in the body.

I can tell that something is different. I get truly hungry with the growl more often. I am eating whole foods for the most part. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and things such as hard boiled eggs, almonds, and low-carb/low-glycemic products have created a healthier inner me. I am still losing weight. I wore a pair of jeans the last couple of days that not too long ago were out of the question. Cravings are gone which means the emotions are under control.

I eat when I am hungry and since now it is a "normal" hunger I am eating good things all day without guilt. I feel like doing things like working in the yard or getting something done in the house - I feel like it. I am still exercising 6 times a week and I enjoy it. It's not something I have to drag myself to do. When I get hungry I don't think about cookies or junk but which fruit I will have or how about some almonds? With the refined sugar out of my system sweets have no appeal. I never eat white bread or potatoes. I do have a sweet potato with cinnamon and butter occasionally. I drink 64 oz. of water a day because I want to.

It's great to be able to eat something when I am hungry. It's great to live without a check off sheet or eating something processed and packaged that I got in the mail. It's great to live and eat by my rules. I can choose to eat or I can choose to wait. It doesn't cause me emotional pain or anxiety anymore.

Are any of you noticing any breakthroughs?

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognise a mistake when you make it again. -author unknown.

Experience should be a good teacher. Why do we keep making the same mistakes over and over again? With eating mistakes we can even see it coming. We need to lubricate our lives with food for some reason we don't understand. 

We've experienced the momentary relief that eating brings. We are eating rather than dealing with a problem; occupied and mindless. Food is our drug of choice. That momentary relief reinforces the behavior. Those tastes are so wonderful and we feel almost euphoric. We are alone with our lover. We binge alone.

We have also experienced the regret and depression that follows the binge. Negative reinforcement must not be as powerful as positive reinforcement. Being disciplined by a parent caused fear and rather than causing us not to repeat the behavior; it made us sneakier. We were more careful not to get caught because there would be the negative reinforcement again - only worse this time. I have known of children who would not stop a behavior even knowing the consequences. The consequences were not enough to stop the behavior. We cannot be sneaky and dodge the consequences of overeating however. This is different. 

The reinforcement will surely happen. Call it Karma. Call it reaping what we sow. Call it what goes around comes around - it's all the same. We overeat; we gain weight. We eat within our boundaries; we lose weight. 

We are in charge of the reinforcement. There is no parent now to punish or reward. There is only us and the behaviors we choose.

Choose wisely today.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Meals Then and Now

I was thinking about our meals when I was a child. The center of the meal was always the meat. There was almost always potatoes and bread. There was a vegetable. I don't remember desserts too much. My dad would have eaten gravy every meal of his life if Mom would have fixed it.

I suggested to one person trying to cut the carbs to replace the potatoes with another vegetable. I don't even miss the bread. There is a low carb bread in the freezer section at my store that I keep on hand if I want a peanut butter sandwich. Desserts are now fruit pretty much.

The other day for supper I had a handful of almonds, a hard boiled egg, and an orange. Is that a meal? Last night I had green beans for supper and then mixed some vanilla, cinnamon, and stevia in with some cottage cheese and that was my protein and my dessert.

What were meals then and how are they different now for you?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Got home and now I have to unpack all this stuff. I had a great time sewing for 4 days with the only interruptions being meals and going to quilt shops.

I told you about the junk food earlier. I only had some of it on Saturday evening. I had skipped supper because I wasn't hungry so that was a bad move on my part - when I was hungry the options were few. I watched the others as they ate and ate and then ate some more. The building where we ate our meals was not even 1/10 mile away. Guess which ones drove?

My friend that went with me is a registered nurse and I was telling her about low-carb and how cinnamon toast and French toast had been mentioned being served for breakfast and how I would just stay at the lodge and eat my protein bar for breakfast and she told me I could have cereal (???) instead. She told me about her allergies and how she wasn't supposed to have sugar, salt, peanuts, or dairy. Between meals she ate cookies, candy, and moon pies, whoopie pies, and more cookies. (???) She got a smoothie at McDonald's on the way home. She has a bad heart, a bad back, and has just had surgery on her shoulder. She is obese and getting obeser and obeser (I made that word up). Too bad our quilt retreat years will probably be cut short.

There were three morbidly obese women there who were really having trouble walking. They were very nice women. One talked to me about her conditions and how she wanted to get off of her prescription medicine. I told her how low-carb had worked for me. I showed her the herbal supplement I take for blood pressure, and told her how kelp had helped me clear up my thyroid problems. She then told me about cooking for her family and how they loved potatoes as though she would therefore have to eat them too. She was already defeating herself. She has fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. I forget if she was diabetic or not; I think she was. There were so many ailments among these obese women that I have lost track.

These gals ate junk, watched the clock for meal time, went to eat, came back for more junk, ate meal, ate junk, ate meal, ate more junk, went to bed. I would say of the 36 women there, maybe 8 were of normal weight.

The next retreat is in October. I am already registered for it and have paid as there is a waiting list. I really enjoyed it. In October I could very well be at my goal weight and enjoying maintenance. That's the plan.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Thanks to all of you for the congratulations and encouragement concerning my new digit achievement. I was pleasantly surprised but the muscle has to be a big part of the explanation. LIFT WEIGHTS!! I am using
10 lb. weights and 8 lb. weights in my classes.

I am here at Camp Mack in Milford, Indiana. It was a 3-hour drive; we shopped at 5 quilt shops, and I have been sewing all evening. I should be able to get a lot done on some UFO's  (unfinished objects) and take care of some PIGS (projects in grocery sacks).

Everyone was to bring snacks to share. You should see the kitchen area - sacks and sacks of the salty, greasy snacks, bowls and bowls and bags and bags of cookies and crackers. Several ladies must have cashed in on the clearance Easter candy - there is an amazing amount of empty calories here.

I am having no trouble staying out of it.

Fast and Furious Post

Just had to share that I am in a new digit - 188.5 this morning. I weighed myself because while away at the Quilt Retreat meals are provided for the most part and I just wanted to know where I was so that my goal would be to come back at the same weight or lighter.

I wasn't expecting it. I think I have built enough muscle that it is helping tremendously - that's all I can think of as the explanation for a 2 1/2 lb. loss since the last time I weighed about 2 weeks ago. I haven't been a purist with the eating but have been watching the carbs - I am such a fan of low-carb, 64 oz. water per day, and exercising 6 times a week (as much as possible) - it sure is working for me.

Be careful out there today.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Just Do It!

I am leaving for a Quilt Retreat on Thursday morning and will not be back until Sunday evening. I will be back to blogging on Monday, April 23, and will let you know how the retreat went. I am going with another lady from my quilt group, The Happy Scrappers, and we are heading north to Amish country. We don't have to check in until Thursday evening at Camp Mack in Milroy, Indiana. We are leaving early to visit some quilt shops she knows of so I can buy more material I don't need.

Try to manage until I return :-)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Read the Bold Paraphraph

Refuse To Regain

Posted: 17 Apr 2012 06:47 AM PDT
by Barbara Berkeley, MD

It has always been thus.

People wiring their jaws shut to prevent them from overeating.  Long lines at the bariatric surgeon's office, where guts are re-routed and stomachs cut in half. The usual parade of ear beads, hormone shots, B12, herbal stimulants, and electrical belts that shock muscles into painful contraction.  There has always been weight loss desperation, but we may be descending to a new and even more depressing low.

Today's online Science Daily discusses a method for quick weight loss,  an 800 calorie diet via feeding tube. It seems that some doctors (can we call them that, really?) are placing feeding tubes and giving patients the same treatment that hospital patients would do pretty much anything to avoid-- a nasty, painful plastic catheter down the nose.  Seems that this particular treatment is becoming a fad for brides who want to shed pounds quickly and has been around in Europe for awhile. See an ABC news article on the same topic, published yesterday.

Physicians take an oath to "do no harm".  It's a promise that we are not particularly good at keeping. Sometimes the calculus is difficult.  Is an invasive test more harmful than ignoring a little abnormaility you find on an x-ray, for example? But where we do a particularly poor job in my estimation is in matters of basic health counseling. Here, we err on the side of potentially harmful treatments such as multiple blood pressure meds, diabetes drugs and statins rather than exhorting and inspiring patients to make deep and meaningful dietary changes. The latter are risk free. Far from doing harm, they do immeasurable good.

The problem is misinformation, not malintent. Doctors believe what the general public does. That weight loss is pretty much impossible and weight maintenance unattainable. They also have little idea about good strategies for creating weight loss. They are loathe to exhort patients to lose weight because they have nothing to offer except the suggestion. This often causes patient resentment. Can you imagine if your doctor's entire response to your diabetes was, "You've got to get rid of your diabetes?"

Diets that lower insulin to very low levels and are higher in protein are appetite suppressants. No one needs a feeding tube to create this effect. Simply go on the Atkins diet (no carbs) or eat lean meat, fish or chicken and salads for a few days and you will have the same experience. The only thing that the feeding tube accomplishes is that it makes you squeamish about swallowing whole food while it's in. At the same time, the possiblity of irritation or ulceration of the esophagus and stomach is very real.

Weight loss requires significant calorie restriction, not cutting back 100 calories per day--another misinformed strategy we hear alot about. This technique is not only ineffective, it is impossible to do since the diet varies from day to day. Try eliminating 100 calories and keeping everything else EXACTLY the same for more than one day. The body must believe there is a food emergency if it is to have any urgency about burning stored fat. This food emergency can be accomplished by following pretty much any good diet that is low in carbohydrate (100 grams per day or less and no processed carbs, just fruits and vegetables). The trick is to find a diet which suits you so that you can be fully (as in 100%) compliant. 

Long term weight loss will continue as long as the amount of carbohydrate in the diet stays at the same level as it was during weight loss. In other words, you have to keep doing your weight loss diet but with the addition of greater volumes of none carbohydrate foods to keep weight stable. Some men and some younger women will need a small amount of additional carb to avoid continued loss. But most won't. This piece of the puzzle is the source of most misinformation.  Eating "moderately" will not keep weight off.

Ancient diets and their modern modifications (like my Primarian suggestions) are the best way to avoid regain.  They cut out not only excess carbs by eliminating grains, breads, pastas, potatoes and sweets, but they also eliminate processed foods.  The additives in processed foods, or even their packaging--who knows---may be contributing to insulin resistance and disruption of other endocrine factors that are required for weight balance.

More extreme forms of weight loss treatment reflect increasing desperation with our nation's greatest health concern.  Desperation, though, reflects misinformation... the fact that we've done a poor job of educating people about what actually works. The reason for the knowledge gap? Most doctors (and in my opinion, dieticians) are still in the dark.

I have heard people say so many times when they have lost weight that keeping the weight off was impossible when adding back carbs - the secret is above in bold - DON'T ADD BACK CARBS, add back other foods that are non- or low-carb. This was news to me - how about you?


Today for me is going to be Bible Study Fellowship at 9 a.m. I am going to skip the lecture at 10 a.m. and come home to get some final things done before my BSF group comes to my house for our own fellowship. I did a lot of cleaning yesterday. I am no housekeeper. I have Phyllis Diller's (many of you won't remember her - female comedian) attitude - doing housework is like putting beads on a string with no knot in the end of it.  I made a fruit slush and used stevia in the raw rather than the 3 c. of sugar it called for. You start out with 2 c. of water and 3 c. of sugar - bring that to a boil to dissolve the sugar than add crushed pineapple, maraschino cherries, and sliced bananas. This is frozen in those individual plastic cups. It is taken out of the freezer in time to thaw somewhat so that people can chop it into a slush. I used the stevia instead of the sugar and crushed pineapple in its own juice rather than heavy syrup. I also didn't bring it to a boil because there was no sugar to dissolve. The warmth of just barely heating it was enough to dissolve the stevia.

I am going to give each of the ladies a daylily which we will go outside and dig after our fellowship. My group leader also wants starts of some other flowers which I am more than willing to provide. There is a couple coming at 1 p.m. to get some starts, I have a hair appointment at 3:30 and Jazzercise at 5:30.

I will work in the yard this evening after Jazzercise. I am too traumatized after all this housework to do anything else :-)

Monday, April 16, 2012


This is a beautiful song with a beautiful message for all of us.


Unwritten lyrics
Songwriters: Brisebois, Danielle A; Bedingfield, Natasha Anne; Rodriques, Wayne Steven;

I am unwritten
Can't read my mind
I'm undefined

I'm just beginning
The pen's in my hand
Ending unplanned

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin

No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips

Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Oh, oh

I break tradition
Sometimes my tries
Are outside the lines

We've been conditioned
To not make mistakes
But I can't live that way, no

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin

No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
[| From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/n/natasha-bedingfield-lyrics/unwritten-lyrics.html |]

Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
To the years where your book begins
Feel the rain on your skin

No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips

Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
To the years where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you
Open up the dirty window
Let the sun illuminate the words
That you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance
So close you can almost taste it
Release your inhibitions
Feel the rain on your skin

No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips

Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
To the years where your book begins
Feel the rain on your skin

No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips

Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
To the years where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

The rest is still unwritten
The rest is still unwritten

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lift Yourself Up

Refuse to fall down.
If you cannot refuse to fall down,
refuse to stay down.
If you cannot refuse to stay down,
lift your heart toward heaven,
and like a hungry beggar,
ask that it be filled,
and it will be filled.
You may be pushed down.
You may be kept from rising.
But no one can keep you from
lifting your heart toward heaven.
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés
American Author, Poet and Psychoanalyst

Sometimes we have to dig down and find the strength to go on. This is true in so many areas not just weight loss. There are many great stories out there about people who go on. That guy who got burned so badly at war and has won on Dancing With the Stars comes to mind. Helen Keller comes to mind.  Is our situation that bad? Mine isn't. I just have to overcome myself.

Ever had a broken heart?  Remember we thought we would never get over it - but we did and here we are. Time is the great healer and many of us still need time to get over a childhood or a broken relationship. Do we just decide to act "as if" and move on because we are worn out with being worn out? As long as we have breath we have hope and the human spirit is pretty tough. Obstacles cause some to break down and some to break records. Let's break records.

Some of us have had the victim mentality too long. Circumstances, people, jobs, PMS, TOM, menopause, time, etc. We have let these things be our excuses. I know sometimes these things do get in the way but it seems we are all cued up to cry "why me?" and go on a binge. We have run to food/eating as a way to make things better. We keep repeating these behaviors because we see ourselves as the victim rather than determining to be in charge of what we do. 

Are you a victim or are you victorious today?

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Nanette and I were talking about expectations over one of my earlier posts about the obese guy with the long hair who wowed them on American Idol as did Susan Boyles. Since her career is in this area she noticed the shortcomings of both performances. I thought they were great but then I know nothing about this.

When Susan and this young man stood on the stage before their performances you see Simon Cowles and the audience doing the eye rolling thing because before these two did anything, the expectation was for a poor showing. They both were very good but were the ratings given a bump because the reality was so much more than the expectation based on appearance and nothing else? Expectations were low. The reality was impressive. There was quite a distance between the two.

Do we rely on low expectations to hold back from what we are capable of achieving? Would our reality be much richer if our expectations were better? Do others expect less from us because of our appearance? Do we count on that? The young man said he wouldn't even be on the stage were it not for the girl who was singing with him. His expectations of himself were low. She knew of his talent. She knew him. Size didn't matter. I have resented being judged by my appearance but then I judge by appearance as well and I am not proud of that.

You are the job interviewer and in walks an obese job applicant and a normal weight job applicant. Does the normal weight one get appearance points? Probably. What are the preconceived notions about the obese? It's hard to admit but sometimes they are true. Would we look like this if our self-esteem was good? On the other hand, so many of us had childhoods and other experiences that would make people wonder why we aren't more messed up than we are. How long is it going to take for us to sort it out? I read of people who get to a certain weight and then something snaps and they are gaining weight and can't understand it; they were doing so well. They have to fight so hard to overcome it. I know that helpless feeling. We are driven to do unhealthy things knowing it must stop but not being able to get the best of it. It takes years of battle to finally win. The recovery can be very fragile but it can be done.

Our reality and our expectations of ourselves can be the same. They really can.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Let's Get Physical

Often, the very most spiritual thing one can do, is get busy. Physically busy.
Hoeing, chopping, planting. Connecting, moving, grooving. Dipping, swirling, twirling.

(Especially dipping, swirling, and twirling. ;-)
Mike Dooley
Inspirational Author, Speaker and Friend

Olivia Newton John has a song by that name but her "physical" is not this "physical".

I have known so many naturally slim people who cannot sit still. Even if sitting, something is moving, tapping, changing positions, etc. These people burn lots of extra calories over the course of a day. They are the ones who are always up for moving around, going somewhere, or trying something new. They really are annoying don't you think? :-)

Sitting around is a big red flag - a big, FAT, red flag. I am so bad to eat out of boredom. If I am unoccupied, food comes to mind. Eating can be a sport for me. I have to be very careful about being sedentary. I am not naturally active. I have to take classes and pay for them in order to get my butt in gear at times.  I know I do better exercising if I am with others rather than doing something on my own at home. I know that. I do work in the yard and garden a lot now that the weather is nicer so that provides activity. 

I definitely have to be proactive about this. How about you?

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Have you ever had a small rock in your shoe?

Remember the fairy tale about the princess who couldn't sleep because of a pea underneath a pile of mattresses?

What little things get in the way of our progress? I mean those annoying things that aren't all that big of a deal it seems but make a big difference in our comfort level. We have to stop and get that rock out of our shoe because each step is painful with it there.  That little rock can slow us down and make us limp.

Emotions are probably the worst little rocks. There is anger, regret, some slight whether real or perceived, loneliness, a loss of some kind, disappointment, and so many others.

Our own determination and commitment are big as well. We want to be slim but can't seem to get it together and do what needs to be done to be slim. I have heard it said, "Games are won in the practices". I used to hear coaches tell how some of their players didn't want to practice but wanted to start in the game or at least play a significant amount of time. We would talk about how immature that was. They wanted the recognition without putting in the time and work necessary to be at a level that would deserve recognition.

Each day is showing up for practice and doing the best we can so we can be a part of a big win. We want to run to the finish line. Those who limp because they have rocks in their shoes may get there but it is a painful journey that takes a long time. Better late than never and all that but wouldn't it be great to get there ASAP? The right attitude would be a nice touch as well. We have done the crime so we are doing the time. It will take time to get all the rocks out of our shoes because some of us have several.

You tactile, right-brain, creative types might want to get some actual rocks that are big enough to make a piece of art out of and paint them with your own personal demons and use them as paper weights or place them around your home or office to remind you that they are not in your shoes anymore and will not slow your progress. There is less pain enduring some hunger or some soreness from exercise than there is with a shoe full of rocks.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. A wise person said that but I don't know who it was. Ghandi maybe? I think he was barefooted - no rocks in his shoes. He walked on and left them behind. Let's do the same. Take care.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Here is a fact: if you continue to be enslaved to food, then I promise that food will damage your body. Overeating is the number one cause of death and disease. How many eighty- or ninety-year-olds do you see who are overweight? Gorging yourself is killing your kidneys, liver, heart, and joints. It is straining your emotions, robbing you of happiness, and depressing you every day. It is enslavement, and I know you want out. We must dig deeper and find out how the God of the universe delivers and moves and thinks. Read the amazing book of Exodus and you will be moved by God’s power and His deliverance! He CAN restore your health and your body when you turn away from the enslavement of food. You do not want to miss YOUR exodus from obesity and dieting!
(Extracto del libro Rise Above, de Gwen Shamblin)

Death by knife and fork. Death by natural causes would be better. Living to old age and still being able to think and do for ourselves is a situation that we must create as best we can.

Enslavement is a terrible thing. Our situation is different however. We can end it ourselves.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Keys Again

"Don't be discouraged. It's often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock. "
~ Unknown  from jensgyrations.blogspot.com

I had an earlier post about Keys and this quote is quite relevant.

Discouragement is an emotion we all have experienced. It is becoming weary and tired of being unsuccessful and wanting to give up because we feel like the success we long for is hanging in that bunch of keys somewhere. We really don't need but a few keys. Too many times we have a set of keys that someone else used before us. And the kicker is we know why we haven't been successful. We lock ourselves into behavior patterns that work against us and then get discouraged because of the behavior patterns we keep repeating. For example, my sister and I were at the Amish store and she was considering some of the sweet items. We discussed that nobody at home had requested that something like that be brought home. We buy those things for ourselves without even realizing what we are doing at the time. We "think" we are buying it for the kids, or because hubby likes it, or whatever other reason we can come up with. If we could just see that we are the problem not people at home. Now is a great time to use the reasoning that groceries are so expensive and there just isn't room in the budget for junk food. Everything in the budget needs to go for healthy items.

Have you ever heard the saying that it is darkest before the dawn?

Do those who quit ever wonder how much longer it would have been before they had a breakthrough? They get discouraged and quit when it could have been the next day that things fell into place, the head was on straight, and they had a new enthusiasm to get their weight off. They would have found the right key had they just kept on and got it figured out. We usually have it figured out; we just don't want to buckle down and deny ourselves any of the foods we have ourselves convinced that we "love".

If you are struggling, don't quit. If we quit, it means we have to start over again. Haven't we done that enough? Take care.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday's Health Topic 2

Keep Calm and Carry On

There are times I start feeling anxious for some unknown reason and my thoughts turn to food.

When I get hungry I feel stressed and my thoughts turn to lots of food.

If I get that anxious, panic feeling trouble is looming. It's the hiss of the snake. Have we had about all the success we can stand? We haven't absorbed our success into our being yet and being obese is what we are used to; we know how that feels. We have to get used to feelings that go along with a normal weight.

We must learn to keep calm, carry on, and wait for it to pass. This is a time to reflect and try and consider why there are these feelings and get the situation in perspective. Focus on the stomach. Is there true hunger or is this head hunger or mouth hunger? Hunger feelings will pass. They certainly aren't anything to get upset about - but I do.  Keeping busy is key for me when it comes to warding off unwise eating.

Today was difficult because I didn't eat like I usually do on Easter. I ate different things; I ate more of the things I did eat; and had some wine. Today I could tell that things were going to be difficult. I didn't have the energy or the strength that I usually do. My attitude has been different. I have been sluggish. It's hard to care when I feel that way. I have kept calm and have carried on. Tomorrow will be easier.

Did your Easter eating make today difficult? Did you keep calm and carry on?

Can We Give It Up?

Have you ever noticed that many people want to lose weight but on their terms? If they don't lose weight, they "guess" it was the sweets, or the pizza, or the drinking. I think we tend to under report that topic. We try to make it sound like it wasn't so bad because there were always some extenuating circumstances that we over reported. We are quick to rationalize our indiscretions and now it's time to (you can finish the sentence).

There are no twinkie seeds. It's a good thing we can't grow our own don't you think?

The parable of the sower has a thought that goes with it - we reap what we sow; we reap more than we sow; and we reap later than we sow. 

We don't sow green beans and get radishes. We don't sow twinkies and get anything but grief. We don't sow hatefulness and get kindness.

We reap more than we sow. We plant one corn seed and we get a stalk with let's say two ears of corn full of kernels. We can sow one dish of ice cream and reap more ice cream, some oreos, and a bag of chips.

We reap later than we sow. In a few days after sowing things that have multiplied we weigh ourselves and start the self talk. We sow that talk and reap depression and perhaps a binge to punish ourselves even further. We just caused ourselves two weeks of cutting way back, craving hunger, and anxiety just to get back to where we started. 

We better leave the sowing to others who know what they are doing. Until we are willing to reap what we sow we better take some time to sow some healthy eating, some exercise, and plenty of water to we can reap the weight loss that we are after.

What have you been sowing lately?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Health Topic

I have the most meaningful conversations with myself. I am constantly "reviewing" how I think and behave. I am trying not to use the word "hate" so much. I am becoming aware of how judgmental I am and replace the judgment with something good. I talk to myself more than I talk to anybody else and am trying to make it a nice place to be. I am trying to view each person as just that and not by what they wear, or have, or their popularity, or their skills/aptitudes; I always come up short when I do that.

We are supposed to write about the best conversation we had this week.

You Are Free

You Are Free

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…
Isaiah 61:1b

Do you ever feel imprisoned by the food, the alcohol, the money, any idol? But here’s a secret about that prison… You have walked into your prison by your own free will. You are holding on to the prison bars – they are not holding you. You continue to embrace your stronghold. Do you see that your fingers are holding tight to the refrigerator door and prison pantry, and there are no armed guards forcing you and keeping you in? But know this — Satan was defeated when Jesus walked the path to the heart of the Father and willingly accepted death on a cross for our sins. The prison doors are open! There is freedom for the captives! Do you want to walk out today? Then let go of the food. LET IT GO. You can do it! Food will never love you back, so walk away today. Take your hands off the prison bars…you are free.
(Excerpt from Rise Above, by Gwen Shamblin)

How often have we wanted out of this prison of overeating and any other compulsive habits that we have? We don't realize we can just walk out. I heard a story of someone who fell into a deep, dark pit but on the way down managed to grab a limb to hang on to. He hung on until his muscles were strained and all his strength was gone. He finally lost his grip and fell about 1 foot to the floor of the pit. It was dark so he didn't know. He found his way back up the side of the pit to freedom. We hang on to our sweets thinking that they will save us from something - have we hung on long enough? Why do we refuse to let these things go that are keeping us from reaching our goals? What possible benefit is there from continuing to eat sweets?

The more I learn about refined sugars and syrups the more I think we all need a sense of urgency about getting this out of our systems. There was a 60 minutes segment on sugar and the person described sugar as toxic. It creates heat in our bodies and causes inflammation. Our bodies should be more alkaline than acid and the typical American diet is definitely acid. I read somewhere that cancer loves sugar. Do some internet research on this and make food your medicine, your healer; not the cause of disease. We can't get off this stuff quickly enough.

The sweets are not keeping us in prison; we won't let go of them and walk away. We want them too badly. We crave them. What are they giving in return?

Have a blessed Easter Sunday.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Friday's Health Topic

We are to write about whatever we want today.

I am going to write about how much longer I can work outside in the yard. I used to poop out and quit after an hour or two. I will be outside working and notice how long it has been since I started and considered going inside because of how long I had been working. I wanted to get more done and have continued until dark outside in the yard.

It feels weird to be this productive and have the endurance to continue. Yard work is not easy. I even had my Jazzercise class this morning. It's also nice not to think about food until I am physically hungry and then I choose wisely. I had one of my raisin bran muffins before Jazzercise. I had a banana with some of my almond butter that I added cinnamon and stevia to late morning. I got hungry mid-afternoon and had two hard boiled eggs and an orange. It's 8:30 now and I had a bowl of home made vegetable beef soup and a bowl of fruit. I have various things to drink today. I did not get my 64 oz. of water today. I got busy and didn't get it done.

Not carrying 40 extra pounds around is a big help!



Author Unknown  

We shall do much in the years to come,
but what have we done today?
We shall give our gold in a princely sum,
but what did we give today?
We shall lift the heart and dry the tear,
We shall plant a hope in the place of fear,
We shall speak the words of love and cheer
but what did we speak today?

We shall be so kind in the afterwhile,
but what have we been today?
We shall bring each lonely life a smile,
but what have we brought today?
We shall give to truth a grander birth,
And to steadfast faith a deeper worth,
We shall feed the hungering souls of earth,
but whom have we fed today?

We shall reap such joys in the by and by,
but what have we sown today?
We shall build us mansions in the sky,
but what have we built today?
'Tis sweet in idle dreams to bask,
but here and now do we do our task?
Yes, this is the thing our souls must ask,
"What have we done today?"

Do you daydream? Does your mind wander off to utopia, nirvana? Is there such a place?

Staying in the moment is difficult. Today is all we have and without living today there will be no tomorrow. Today is the foundation for tomorrow.

We shouldn't ask for more if we aren't thankful for what we already have. What we already have is here today - let's appreciate the opportunities we have today and take advantage of them. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

Today I was asked to do the Indiana route as I said earlier. I am always thankful for the extra money - however, I seem to think "How can I spend this extra money"? Not a problem. I stopped at a fishing place and got 4 little tubs of red worms for my compost bin. Red worms have big appetites and their "castings" (known to the rest of us as poop) is very rich and good for plants. There were just $2.65 a tub. Duane has drilled holes all over a metal trash can with a lid and I put my kitchen scraps and some shredded paper in there and the worms are happy campers eating, pooping, and reproducing.

I sent in an order yesterday for some more rose bushes and a dogwood tree. There was 20% off for orders of $125 or more so what was I to do? It seems I always lose some rose bushes over the winter so I did need to replace them. The dogwood tree I just wanted. What can I say. Don't go to waysidegardens.com unless you are very strong or fatquartershop.com for that matter (great sale area).

I was asked to drive an armored truck again next Thursday but I think I already spent that money. :-) 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Arsenic in our Chicken?


One more reason to grow our own food and buy local so we know what we are consuming.

I see this as a great opportunity for the entrepreneur - people would flock (no pun intended) to the producer who raised animals in an ethical and safe manner and grew organic fruits and vegetables.

Friday Health Questions

We are to do a health haiku with 5 syllables, then 7 syllables, then 5 syllables:

I am so in love
With a better way to live
Without fear and failure.

There is not a food
More important than my health
Or my happiness.

And now that I know
What matters and what does not
I will be truly free.

It will not be long
Until I can look back and say
It was not that bad.

I got a little carried away.


From: jensgyrations.blogspot.com

Sex Sells

Nanette has an interesting topic today. You might want to watch these videos and give this some thought.

Sound & Fury

Sound and  fury signifying nothing. (Shakespeare)

Have any of you known parents who only yelled at their kids? Did you notice those kids tuned them out because they knew it signified nothing?

It's important to follow through. We won't have to yell if we follow through on what we say. If we are to be believed we have to do what we say we are going to do. Everything is more peaceful that way. It works for weight loss too.

I had to drive an armored truck today. Eight hours sitting in a truck driving from place to place and waiting for Chris to replenish ATM's. Add to that the 1 1/2 hour drive each way and I am kind of weary. No sound and fury here. Not even much sound.

My knees have been a little sore and I couldn't figure out why. Then it hit me that I was wearing new shoes and had not gotten those insoles for athletic shoes that absorb shock. I did that when I started Jazzercise because my knees were sore from the concrete basement floor in the Church and I got those insoles and it cleared up. I got some tonight so that should take care of the situation.

It has turned cold here so we covered up the strawberries again tonight. They have a lot of blooms and no blooms, no strawberries.

Step aerobics in the morning and then run the Indiana route which is only 4 ATM's and takes 2 1/2 hours so no problem. Hopefully I will get some yard work and some quilting done as well. Have a great day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thursday Health Question

Paradise Torn


We are supposed to go to flickr, find a photo that moves us, and write something about it. This one is pretty neat. It is a poster that has been partially torn off to reveal a brick wall.

Our old, compulsive selves are pretty rough and rather ugly.  We continue to try and cover it with beauty and serenity but somehow, every now and then, the old self comes through. There is more of the beautiful than of the ugly which shows progress toward covering up that self we don't want to look at or be a part of. It is always there, however, and sometimes we cover it up better than at other times. The beautiful, lush path can grow and cover up the brick wall full of graffiti that someone else wrote there with the intention of defacing the brick wall that is hard and cold. Sometimes our new self can be peeled off easily. Sometimes not.

Before too much of our old self shows through we need to spread our new and beautiful self to cover it up. It can take a lot of time to create that new self. It can be destroyed relatively easily and quickly but we aren't going to let that happen. Very soon that old brick wall will be completely covered and it will stay that way.

Take care. (I messed up and didn't change the date to Thursday for this to be posted so it's up early - pretend you are reading it on Thursday please :-)

Body Weight Exercises


I have read that body weight exercises are the best because the muscles develop in a balanced fashion. The best part is equipment is not necessary and they can be done anywhere. Good news for the traveler in a hotel room or someone on vacation. There are 50 of them. I am going to try 5 of them a day and pick the ones I can do with relatively good form and start there. I printed it out for reference. Join me?

Wednesday Health Topic

I write about my health because --

it helps me focus on it. Writing about anything is a good way to think things through. Whenever I had to memorize anything in high school I wrote it over and over and over. It is also a good accountability tool. It makes it more real to see it in black and white on the screen.

I also write about health as a way to help others. Some weight loss bloggers have so many issues and I have found so many who are having a tougher time than I am with this. It keeps my challenges in perspective. Writing is also a way to help others. I know I have read the blogs of others and have been really helped or convicted.

Having things in common with others creates a bond. We get interested in each other and write comments for encouragement and make suggestions. Some are better with words than others but I figure it's all good. Even when we feel insulted it can cause a reaction for better efforts. It can also cause us to choose our words more carefully. We can be reminded of our goals when we are tempted to "stray" because we will have to write about it as well.

It just helps.


The hiss of a snake - warning. The rattles of a snake - warning. The growl of a dog - warning. Shortness of breath, high blood pressure, pain radiating down the arm, high blood sugar - all warnings.

During the Bible Study Fellowship lecture our leader talked about our tendency to sin and what leads up to it. She described the temptations as the hiss of a snake. The first temptation concerned food. Ironic, isn't it? Esau gave up his birthright for food. Jesus was tempted with food after 40 days in the desert. Food has been a temptation since the beginning of time.

Placing ourselves at a disadvantage through lack of resolve and neglecting to be proactive should be the hiss of the snake. Are you afraid of snakes? I am. I am also afraid of weighing over 200 again. I am afraid of losing my ability to live independently as I get older. I am afraid of not being able to drive or see well or falling and breaking a hip. It is the hiss of the snake when I overeat because I am inviting these things into my life and hastening the weakening of my body.

Are you getting any warnings that you need to heed? My blood pressure is too high. It is better but it is still too high - the hiss of the snake. I am still overweight - the hiss of the snake.

I just had a life lesson that has been on my mind. Eight years ago we gave a registered German shepherd pup to Duane's brother Bill and his wife Laura. She doesn't like crowds and values her privacy.  We not only gave them the $350 pup but have given them truck loads of starts of flowers and trees. They have a beautiful yard in the city. I help organize our local garden tour and though I knew Laura would probably not want to I thought she would return the favor by letting me add their yard to the tour. She said yes reluctantly and a while later she called me and said she was withdrawing, there was nothing in her that wanted to do that. I was in a snit for quite some time. They named that dog Diesel and she loved him so much. They came out a couple weeks ago, Diesel was 8 years old and they had found him dead. She couldn't even talk about it; Bill told us. She cried so hard and my little slight just became so unimportant because I felt so badly for them both. They just came out a couple days ago and Laura was playing with Sarge and had to leave and go over by their truck and cry. Sobs. I could only hold her and let her cry as I cried as well. That stupid garden tour wasn't important anymore and I was so glad I had not verbalized how I felt around the family. I just kept it to myself. I remember a prayer, "Lord, keep your arms around my shoulders and Your hand over my mouth". I am so glad that prayer was answered. People are more important than things.

Take care.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nothing to Do

*** "A man's real worth is determined by what he does when he has nothing to do." ~~ Author Unknown from jensgyrations.blogspot.com

First, it's hard to imagine having nothing to do.  I think one's  real worth is determined by what one does with the time one has. Is it really possible to have nothing to do?

I have wasted a lot of time in my life but it wasn't because I had nothing to do. I just didn't want to do what needed to be done. Procrastinating has always been a problem for me. I am just now getting the taxes figured because I HATE THAT JOB!

Do fat people jump out of bed and get right at the day? Are they productive all day and fall into bed exhausted from all the work that was done? Were we productive at our jobs? Are the domestic duties attended to as well as getting in regular exercise and getting some books read?


Do we sit in front of the computer too much? Watch too much TV? Those two activities are not real calorie burners. When we are at work and being paid for what we do are we cheating our employer through messing around on the internet and just appearing to be busy? Do we eat out of boredom?

My real worth is determined by me. I choose how I spend my time and what I spend that time upon. Have you ever considered how you will be remembered when you go into the beyond? I think about that every now and then, do you? - nice person who cared about others has been overused. We are all nice according to some and we all care about some others.  You can tell a lot about a person by the way that person treats children and animals and people he/she doesn't like - also by the way they deal with tangled Christmas tree lights. I can help with the Christmas tree lights - go to a fabric store and ask for the cardboard that a bolt of fabric is wrapped around. The store should have some empty ones you can have. Wrap the lights around that. It'll make you a better person at Christmas. Take care.

Tuesday's Health Topic

I think somebody had too much time on his/her hands with this one. This is a health topic? As you can tell I don't have a good attitude here.

"If you had a super power, what would it be? How would you use it?"

I decided I would like to be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and I would use it for leaping tall buildings. I guess I am just not very creative so I am asking you that question in hopes I get some ideas at which time I will just copy your comment - that's called plagiarism I think but I'm desperate. Take care.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday's Health Topic

Today we are to find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and write about it.

When everything is said and done, there is usually more said than done. -author unknown

Communicating is very important. Words carry meanings and tell others of our intentions. Words are powerful. If all wars were traced back to their beginnings, words would be the culprit.

As we get the weight off, those who follow up on their words are the successful ones. Those who just talk about it for the most part, are not so successful. This is a part of the process however. We do tire of those who go on and on, back and forth, up and down, and never really accomplish much. It's like the boy who cried wolf. After a time, nobody listened, and when there really was a wolf - bad news - still no one listened.

I do think if a blogger bothers us we just should let them go on their merry way. It doesn't take too long to determine how serious a blogger is. They are full of sound and fury signifying nothing - is that Shakespeare? I forget. Yet, I always think this is a part of their process of getting to the point of getting serious and doing rather than saying. It would seem they would get tired of blogging and not having anything positive or productive to blog about. It's no big deal to me if it's obvious they aren't serious. Whatever.

Those who are progressing inspire me the most - the ones whose struggles make them stronger when they get it together again. I like to learn from the people I follow. There's a bond among the ones who regularly visit and comment back and forth. I even learn from the "sandbox" bloggers - let's all just have fun. I learn how not to approach this. It becomes more clear to me how we can fool ourselves without much effort. If nothing else, we get a blog topic from the ones who drive us up the virtual wall.

How do you use your words? Do we consider what we say before hitting that final keystroke? I am not in this for myself only. I don't get angry when others are obviously messing around and want a circle of enablers - whatever. I am not insulted by the shortcomings of others. In my daily OA reading the other day the topic was about our friends and how we search and search for people who are perfect - no defects. Most of my friends have something annoying about them to me. I overlook those imperfections as best I can because as unlikely as it may be, I probably have a shortcoming or two myself :-) "The woods would be silent indeed if only the birds sang who sang best " - I don't think I have that exactly right but you get my point.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Some of you are so good with the pictures thing. It does make us more "real" when we know about others in a more personal way. I am going to try to give some background information on myself.

This is the flowering crab tree in our front yard. Our yard has been on two garden tours. Come visit and I will give you starts of many things - bring the truck. :-)

This is the arbor my son Isaac made for me that leads in to the rose garden.

I am all about rustic/primitive - this is my outhouse and oat drill yard art. The oat drill has a clematis planted on it and purple coneflowers around it. I also have an old manure spreader down back that I have filled with dirt and planted flowers in it and around it. I have two old hay wagons in the yard filled with large pots of flowers. I don't know when to quit.

These are the raised beds in the back yard. You can also see the long arbor Duane made out of wire mesh and railroad ties. I have climbing red roses on it. Beautiful display when they are blooming. You can also see to the right one of my wagons, the compost piles on back and the end of my clothes line. Duane used two posts and we put an old gate between them and I plant vines to climb there. Did I mention I don't know when to quit?

This is down by the road on one side of the lane. That's an old hay grabber suspended from a frame that Duane made. You can see the old iron fencing I picked up. I also love rocks in the yard to edge things. You can see the pot by the mailbox. I will be planting a vine there to vine around the mailbox.

This is the other side of the driveway. You can just barely see the other wagon I fill with large pots of flowers. I still have a lot of work to do in this area before too much longer.

This is Sergeant Major Baldwin "Sarge" - our sable registered German shepherd. 8 months old. Isn't he handsome?

This is our patio. We spend many hours here in the warm evenings. You can see the flag Duane made out of loaf pans he sprayed with Pam, filled with concrete, and then we painted them. You can see my greenhouse in the back that Duane made of recycled windows and other materials. I love it. We burn wood and you see we are ready for next winter.

This is niece Hailie's birthday present. I have talked about sewing and quilting before - my hobbies in addition to the yard/garden. Each doll dress is a pocket and it is a wall hanging for storing things. I made one for her younger sister Madison's first birthday and she wanted one as well. I have also made one for Sydney, another little girl in the family, and will have to make one for Kyra next. The one little boy, Colin, will get a coverlet that fits over a card table and makes a playhouse out of it. It will be cute - there is a door, windows, flowers along the side. I'll post a picture of it when I get it done.

This is the quilt I am making for a wedding in the family. It is one big honkin' quilt. It is sandwiched and ready to go. I do my own quilting. If you are an experienced quilter and would like the pattern, I will send it to you. It is not for beginners. It was a block of the month quilt so if you wanted to do one you could pace yourself a month at a time like I did. You would have to use your own fabrics. I would recommend choosing a line of fabrics so you would be sure the fabrics matched up but if you are an experienced quilter you could probably use your stash. It is beautiful but was difficult.

This is my brugmansia. I love house plants too.

This is just a little bit about me. I am getting better at this picture thing. Take care.

Day 1 - HAWMC

That stands for Health Activist Writer's Month Challenge - I am committed to writing about health each day for 30 days on my blog. Today's topic is "Pretend you're making a time capsule of you and your health focus that won't be opened until 2112.What's in it? What would people think of it when they found it?"

In 100 years the people who open this will never have known me personally.

I have always thought of health as a three-legged stool - without all three legs, the stool will not stand. A weak leg will cause the stool to tip over causing problems for the other two legs. The other two legs depend on the one for stability and it doesn't matter which leg is weak, the stool will fall. The stool represents life and a balanced stool means happiness, peace, and contentment.

One leg is spiritual health. I would have a well-worn, written in, and underlined Bible. In my Bibles are notes about happenings in the family. Births, deaths, weddings, Nathan's deployments to Iraq, Isaac's scenic route to learning not to drink and drive, and other things as they happened. The people reading through that Bible will learn that we are pretty much average - the ups and downs - all of that. They will also be able to tell that I read and studied the Word. "In the beginning was the Word-" I hope that they understand that I was not perfect, just forgiven. One of the misunderstandings of those outside of Christ is this concept. They love to do the "hypocrite" thing. Yes, I am a hypocrite - everyone is. I have accepted Christ as my Savior so I can be forgiven - that's the difference. There is no forgiveness otherwise.

One leg is physical health. I suppose this is the focus of this question. I have kept journals at one time or another so one of those would depict the struggles I have had. Since I am making the capsule I would probably print out my blog and enclose it. I have covered about everything there. Maybe it could show someone a better way. We can learn from the mistakes of others. We don't have to make them all ourselves. I would enclose some of my favorite inspirational books. I have "Thoughts For Today" on my kindle. It's an Overeaters Anonymous collection of daily readings - it is very good and insightful. I would get a hard copy of that and enclose it.

One leg is emotional health. A picture is worth a thousand words so I would enclose pictures of family, my yard, and quilts I have made. Emotional health is demonstrated in service to others I believe. It takes our minds off of ourselves and our own problems. I need to get some pictures of nursing home visits with Sunday School classes, Quilts of Valor made for injured soldiers or the families of fallen soldiers - quilts for Birthright and Linus quilts. I give from each paycheck. It's important not to be so attached to our money. I know bills have to be paid. Giving is important. We need to help the less fortunate.

I don't want this to sound like I am tooting my own horn. It would be in my time capsule and no one would know what is in there until it is opened.

One regret I have is not doing more time capsules with my Sunday School classes. I did that one year and had my 3/4 graders write a letter to God and then on their graduation from high school, I took it to their graduation party and gave it to them. It was great. You could use a Pringle's can and do one with your own kids or kids you work with - the neighbor's kids or the friends of your own kids. When I was teaching it was a big deal for the Seniors to go back to an elementary teacher's room to get their time capsule and open it. They had put letters, pictures, examples of their work, prices of things at the time - you could get really creative with this project.

I guess that about covers it for me.