Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I'm having a real hard time keeping up with this blog.

There is so much going on recently in my life.... yeah, I know - an excuse.

My weight loss efforts have been ......let's just say I've not gained. It is hard to maintain a weight loss mind set when your mind is stretched with so many other things that are concerning. For the last couple months I've bounced between 206 and 209 - and I've not even cared. Seriously, I've had many things to deal with.

Well, this week, even though the stressors have not lessened (in fact, they've even gotten worse) I have realized that I CARE that I am not as diligent with counting my exchanges, I CARE that I am eating some of my hubby's fries (that he shouldn't be having) when we stop for lunch during our errands. I CARE that I didn't walk on my treadmill yesterday. It bothers me that I am suddenly craving foods tha I have not cared about for over a year.

Along with the lack of diligence regarding food, I am beginning to notice a regression back toward hating myself. Not a total backslide, just a bit of a regression.


Regardless of outside stressors, I do care enough about ME to take charge of what I can take charge of.

I may not be able to control sickness, the economy, or other people....I may not be able to change the past and how it affects today, but I CAN control what I do with my body, what I put into my mouth, and the 'self-talk' I allow in my mind.

I am sick today (again) but I am going to get on the treadmill for as long as my weak body will allow. I am going to eat the right amount of food and drink my water.

I am going to continue to rest in God's love for me and for my family - and in His provision and protection through whatever lies ahead.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


In the spring of 2007 my hubby and I spent a month driving through several states. We had a wonderful time, seeing and experiencing the various landscapes and sights.

At the beginning of our trip, at a lunch stop in Montana, I went into a 'Gem Store' just to look around. I was thrilled with all the different colors of stones - most of which I had never seen before - or even heard of. Color makes me happy in any circumstance, so a store full of sparkly color was a real treat! I was especially drawn to the garnets. Red is one of my favorite colors and I had always like rubies because of that. Garnets make rubies look washed out. They have the deepest, richest color I've ever seen. Luxurious....that is the word that comes to my mind when I think of a garnet.

On our way home, we stopped at an Opal mine in Idaho. (Opals are another favorite of mine) At the gift store, I found some necklaces of unfinished garnets for only $5 each. I wanted one SO BADLY, but they were quite short and I could not get it around my neck. Since I couldn't have one for myself, I bought one for each of my girls. They resemble those puma shell necklaces that were so popular a few years ago, except that instead of white 'beads' they are polished deep red beads. Very pretty.

The other day, Jim and I were looking after Seth at Vinjelu and Kathryn's house. Kathryn's garnet necklace was laying around, as if she had just taken it off. On a whim, I tried it on.
IT FIT!!! I could wear it all day, if I wanted.

Sometimes, when the scale isn't moving as quickly as we want, when things are not going as well as before, it is good to have something remind us 'from whence we've come'.

I may have a long way to go, but I'm not where I WAS! And that is something to celebrate.

Too bad I was too cheap to buy myself a necklace just to look at.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A rambling spewing of my thoughts

Do you ever feel like things are spiraling out of control? Like there are just too many crises? Like you will never get everything done? Like you never have time to do what you really WANT to do?

That is kind of where I am at these last couple months.

And it has gotten ‘worse’.

For the past 5 or 6 years I’ve lived with at least a low level of being ‘overwhelmed’ by everything I ‘should’ be doing.

Over the summer, I was able to mostly ‘shed’ that feeling because I accomplished the decluttering and cleaning of the main floor of my house. It felt good to have things simplified and in order and easier to clean.

However, I wanted to have the basement done before May. I haven’t even started. And now, it is nearing time to plant a garden, prepare the root cellar for storage, and make my deck look nice by planting flowers in the containers.

Add to those things, it is tax season (one of my most hated times of year) and I am behind. I do ‘the books’ for my husband’s company (which is him and I) but unfortunately, I do not do them regularly because I struggle so much with thinking like a bookkeeper. I just cannot make my mind work along the paths that you must take in order to do a good job as an accountant or bookkeeper. Consequently….. well, never mind. Suffice it to say that tax season is always super stressful and busy for me.

If those things weren’t enough, there have been family crises ….. one on top of the other.

The current ones involve:

one son not getting enough work to pay his bills this month…..

another son whose job does not cover all his expenses so his wife has to run a dayhome – for which they are having trouble finding ‘clients’

a daughter who had gall bladder surgery one week and began to care for a 2 year old all day the next week (on top of her own 4 children)

a grandson who has been sick for 9 weeks, had pneumonia last week and now that his lungs are clear, has an ear infection… is on the 10th percentile for weight since he’s lost weight while sick, and won’t eat much of anything

a pregnant daughter who, although at 6 months pregnant has NOT gained any weight due to intense nausea every day and who began having ‘contraction type pains’ yesterday

all on top of the ongoing issue that seems to have no good outcome, outside of God doing a miracle.

A nephew who seems bent on breaking his mother’s heart at every turn….making bad decisions, and now reaping the hard consequences (including getting kicked out of school in his graduating year)

Some days I feel like I have a houseful of little kids again, all needing me for something, except their bedrooms are a half hour apart.

I look around at my home and wonder why I cannot get a handle on a routine – so that the laundry gets done regularly, the dusting gets done weekly, etc. Really, it is not so hard to keep clean –especially when there are only 2 of us living here – and it doesn’t look messy/dirty until you look closely….but I’d like to feel like I had an hour or two every day to just do housework.

I sit by an art table daily, when I am at my computer…..wishing I had time to scrapbook or paint or draw.

I sit at my computer, enjoying the online communities I am part of, and wish I didn’t feel guilty sitting here – but knowing that this community, especially, is important to my health and well being. I would really go nuts if I couldn’t write about what is happening in my life and in my head.

There are many blessings in my life – things for which I am truly thankful and which I enjoy greatly. In fact, one of the things I do every week is write a post on Fridays about those things that blessed me during the previous 7 days. (check out my ‘other’ blog on Fridays for that post)

Mostly, I have a happy life and I feel truly blessed – but lately, it just seems that every time I turn around something is going wrong and someone needs me to be there for them.

My weight has gone up and down in the last couple months – never getting below a certain point. My efforts have been up and down, as well – some days I almost don’t care (I said almost) but most days I care enough to think before I eat. What is happening most of the time is that I am resigned to not losing for a little while – until I either get used to the current level of stress or things get back to a bit more of a ‘normal’ level.

Well, this has been a rambling spewing of my thoughts – I don’t know if they make much sense, but my time limit on the computer has come and gone so I must quit this – I need to work on taxes then everyone is coming over for a birthday celebration – our oldest son turned 31 yesterday. Lana is bringing lasagne and cake, but I am making a healthier version of lasagna for Jim and I, as well as supplying the salad and drinks for everyone – and I am out of my homemade soup – I’d like to get that made today as well. After the birthday party, we are going to pull out the slide projector and look at slides (something we haven’t done for several years but enjoy greatly)…..that is, we will if Jim gets the new curtains hung on the front window this afternoon. We love the open, non covered window which lets in all the sunlight and lets us enjoy the view across the fields, but it does not get dark enough with an uncovered window until after 9 pm to watch slides. Later in the summer, it won’t be dark enough until almost midnight. The curtains are only so we can watch slides in the summer when Dad is actually home and we get together more often. Just doesn’t seem to happen in the winter when it is dark before supper time.

OK, that was more rambling. Time to go for sure, now.

I’ve been around, BTW….reading, at least – even if I haven’t been posting or commenting.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Control....How much is too much?

Our good friend, Mizfit left a comment on my post yesterday regarding 'control' .......

"all tied up for ME with the word "control" and how black and white it gray area where you can indulge at times and not feel..."bad" about yourself."

In my post I included a list of 'uncontrolled eating' that I have indulged in of late. I assume this is where Miz's antennae went up.

I'm so glad to have a friend here in 'Blogworld' who cares enough to make a comment about a conern that she has about what I've written.

And, she is absolutely right. In fact, I totally agree with her statement as quoted above.

Being so 'in control' that there is no grace (or gray area) can result in beating yourself up, mentally - and then punishing yourself by 'sabotaging' your weight loss efforts. At least, this is true for me.

In fact, I allow myself indulgences fairly of those pieces of poppyseed cake that I listed under "out of control eating" was actually a planned - for indulgence....guess it shouldn't have been in that list.

Miz's comment reminded me of a post I wrote last September.....I include a portion of it here, but if you want to read the whole thing, go to this link to get the post From my archives.

"Because my goal is to learn to live, there is no end to this plan. I don’t want to stop living well because I reach my goal weight. Nor do I only begin to live when I reach my goal – I am learning to live NOW, the weight I am now.

In learning to live, I acknowledge that from time to time, for the rest of my life, I will be faced with: eating out, dinner parties, birthday cakes, celebrations, and a simple desire for something really sweet or fat or carbolicious. It is unreasonable to expect that I can live the rest of my life without having a piece of pie or a plate of pasta.

SO, I am learning to manage these situations by NOT totally depriving myself and by learning to be satisfied with a small serving. When faced with something I “shouldn’t” have, I do not say “You cannot have that”. I ask myself if I really want it. At this point, I calculate how it will affect the rest of my day’s eating plan. If I decide to go ahead with it, I might tell myself to just wait for a bit. Often, I’ve forgotten about it within a few minutes. If not, I allow myself a small portion.

Why can I be satisfied with a small amount? Because I am not just saying NO to myself and depriving myself “until I lose weight”….I am learning to live with the sweets and fast foods and carby comfort foods that I will be faced with for the rest of my life.

I am learning to control them rather than be controlled by them.

Also, it is good to know that now, because I am eating carefully, if I choose to have a sugary/fat filled treat, I don't have to hide it because I don't feel guilty. I am not cheating, I am living. Sweet treats will always be part of life....I need to deal with them wisely and with thought. And when I eat that treat out in the open, I am not tempted to have "just one more".

Now, to clarify…..I do not often say yes. Most of the time, I make a decision NOT to give in to a craving or opportunity. The difference is that I am making a decision based not on deprivation, resulting in feeling sorry for myself, but based on a real choice. Is this worth it, or not? Will my saying yes to this advance my goal of learning to live or not? Once in a while, it really does bring me closer to my goal."

This is what I truly believe and is the way I have been approaching my weight loss journey.

My concern with the indulgences last week was that for the most part, they were not indulgences that I thought about and made a decision to enjoy - either I was eating thoughtlessly (as in the chips in the resaurant) or I was eating voraciously (as in the cookies and candy bars at YWAM). By the time I got to the birthday party, I had indulged in enough sweets that the craving for MORE cake was quite strong. I won't say uncontrollable, because of course I could have controlled it...I could have told myself that I had already had a piece - that was enough. But I didn't.

I wanted more cake.


I didn't think about it and decide to have it, I just followed my cravings.

That is something I have not done much of since Dec 07. It bothered me, because it proved to me that this new lifestyle and way of thinking about food is not quite as solid in me as I had thought.....let my guard down a little, and the 'fat girl thinking' jumps right back in!

But I do appreciate your words of caution, Miz! And your words of advise re: journalling.

The last two days I've done well with eating 'clean' and drinking my water.

The cough has subsided but is still me a real excuse not to exercise.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weighing In

Well, my weigh in yesterday was actually good news - in spite of the fact that there was NO loss. Why was this good news? Because I expected a gain.

For the last year or so, I have had no problems with cravings and overwhelming desires to just eat.

Suddenly, beginning this past weekend, I am struggling in these areas.

It began when my man and I drove our youngest son to school in Montana (9 hour drive from our house to the YWAM base where he will be for the next 3 months....before he goes for 2 months to a 'yet to be announced' overseas destination). We stopped in a town about an hour north of the US/Canadian boarder crossing for lunch. I ordered Chicken Taco Salad - a pretty safe order, usually. I ordered extra salsa because normally the amount of salsa served with a taco salad is miniscule - and I love salsa.

I suppose because this was not a chain restaurant, the salad was not quite what is 'normally' wasn't covered in cheese, for one thing. Nor was it in one of those deep fried crunchy 'bowls' that I find annoying and never eat. And the salsa/sour cream was served in containers that were about 1/3 cup - much bigger than usual. One serving of salsa was all I needed to 'dress' my salad. All this was good - very good.

There were, however, about 15 chips on the side of the plate. They didn't look very good, but I decided to eat a couple simply so that I was using some of the 'extra' salsa that I had asked for. (guilt factor at work here - I ordered extra so felt I had to use at least some of it) My big mistake was in dipping the chip into the sour cream.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I can't remember the last time I had real sour cream. It was SO good! I ended up eating all those substandard chips just to get the sour cream. I didn't intend to eat them all, and I was surprised when they were all gone. First time I've done that in a very long time.

I felt hungry again within an hour. What was with that?

By the time we arrived at our destination, I was very hungry - and, we could see that there were people in the dining room so we headed over there to catch supper - which was homemade pizza and salad bar. The pizza slices were very large with a crust about half an inch thick. I took ONE slice and a plate of lettuce, etc, thinking that would fill me up.

No such luck.

I would have gone back for seconds - at least of the salad bar, but we had come in just as they were cleaning up - there was no food left sitting out.....all put away.

I told myself that it didn't matter - I shouldn't be hungry after that huge piece of pizza anyway.

Fast forward to after getting the boy settled in his dorm room and getting ourselves settled in our 'hospitality room'.......we watched Daniel play a game of soccer in the gym for awhile, then headed back to our room. Jim was beginning to succumb to a cold/flu and was feeling pretty rough....he crawled into bed very early.

Let me tell you about the hospitality rooms at the Lakeside YWAM base. First of all, you need to reserve a room in advance (usually) ...... A placard - creatively and beautifully made displays your name on the door of your room. Inside, the dorm room has been decorated thematically - based on one of their 'target' nations. (That is, the nations where their schools go for 'field assignments) In the past, we have stayed in "Ukraine", "Nepal" and "Thailand". This time, we were housed in "Taiwan". Seriously, the decor in each room is very welcoming and beautiful. The fabrics, wall decorations, and ornaments are all authentic. On a table, you will find a package telling you about meal times, a map of the base, general information about this YWAM base, and information about the nearby town (restaurants, churches, shopping, etc). Also, there are two books about YWAM in general - both gifts, if desired.

Each room is equipped with an electric teapot, instant coffee, tea bags, and 2 cups. As well, there will be 2 packages of 2 homemade cookies - one for each guest. And this time, the cups were stuffed full of goodies - granola bars, mini chocolate bars, fruit leather....and a couple other things I don't remember.

There is a 'lounge' about halfway down the hallway - comfy couches, a refrigerator, and two computers with internet.

Except that the only bathrooms are the 'girls' bathroom and the 'boys' bathroom - shared by all guests as well as the students that live on that floor, staying in the hospitality rooms at the base is a very pleasant experience.

So, back to my story.....Jim went straight to bed. I was hungry, still - or at least, I felt hungry. I grabbed one of the packages of cookies and headed to the computer in the lounge. Again, I don't remember the last homemade cookie I had.....they were SO good!

As I killed time on the computer, all I could think about were those other two cookies back in my room. Finally, I gave in.....but not only did I eat those other 2 cookies, I ate all four mini chocolate bars that were in the cups! I just couldn't seem to stop myself. I wasn't interested in the Fibre One bars, though - just the candy bars. Good thing there were only 4.

The next day we traveled back home. (BTW...for photos of this beautiful drive, go to my 365 blog - Days 93 & 94 ) Again, I had the growlies all day. We did not want to take the time to stop for lunch, so we got take out at A & W. I ordered a hamburger and a side salad. Jim had asked for a strawberry shake to go with his meal and while I was waiting for the burgers, I took a sip of his shake. That was a mistake. I couldn't stop myself - in fact, I didn't even want to stop myself.....I ordered one for myself - and enjoyed every bit of it, even while kicking myself for giving in.

Since then, it seems I've been struggling with 'mini binges' every day.

Last night was our granddaughter's birthday party. Jim stayed home (still quite sick) so I went by myself. Supper was not a problem for me - except that I was NOT hungry so I probably should not have had anything to eat (they served chili). The birthday cake was white cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. I accepted half a piece - with extra strawberries. Of course, the original size of the pieces was enormous, so half a piece wasn't that much of a sacrifice.

I found myself taking another small piece....then I went to take a piece home for Jim but remembered that A) he is allergic to strawberries.... and B) he has a whole poppyseed cake that I made him at home....SO I cut the piece in half and ate it myself. I was very disappointed in myself.

I'm hoping that by telling you about these bouts of uncontrolled eating I will actually get control again.

Here is the rest of my uncontrolled eating:
  • Plenty of 'fingers' of icing as I was making it - had to taste test, of be sure it wasn't too sweet and chocolatey enough.
  • a piece of the cake I made Jim - with cream (very small piece)
  • another very small piece of the cake - with cream
  • a 'bite' of the cake - 2 times
  • 5 cherry chocolates
  • 'bites' of Kraft Dinner that I made my granddaughters
So.....having the scale say the same as it did last week is encouraging, to say the least.

I'm finally beginning to feel better in the last 2 days - still coughing, but i don't feel like I'd cough a lung up if I exerted myself at all. I'm still a little nervous about bringing on a coughing fit, but I'm willing to give the treadmill a go.....if I start coughing I can always quit.

Hopefully, I can report an end to this silly eating very soon - like today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

How Sleep is Related to Obesity

In all my years of ‘dieting’ and following every program under the sun (almost) it was only last year that someone told me that going to bed at a regular time and sleeping for 8 hours every night would help with weight loss.


OK, I believed them….after all, I was paying these folks to give me good weight loss advise.

I believed them, but they could not tell me why it was true. I just assumed that it was simply that our bodies work better all around when they are properly rested.

Then I read an article in Better Homes and Garden’s “Heart Healthy Living” magazine. (Winter 08 issue) OK, obviously I’ve had this magazine around for awhile before I actually read it – or else the store was selling old copies…..I found it in a suitcase so it could be either case.

I will not (of course) copy the entire article (Change your Bedtime Story by Linda Wasmer Andrews) but I want to highlight a couple facts that are made in it…..

During normal sleep, among other things, the body increases its production of leptin, an appetite-suppressing hormone, and decreases production of ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone.

When your sleep is disturbed, your body suffers in many dangerous ways. Along with irregular heart rhythms, chronic health problems, and increased risk of stroke, “research has shown that the less people sleep, the more likely they are to be obese and prefer foods high in calories and carbohydrates. One possible reason: Lack of sleep is linked to higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone produced in the stomach and upper intestine that stimulates appetite.”

So, basically, we don’t sleep….we are hungrier…..we eat more….we get fat(ter)…..

Worse, obesity is directly related to Sleep Apnea….which disturbs our sleep several times each night…..meaning, we do not sleep….our appetite stimulating hormones are produced in greater amounts….we eat more….we get fatter….our sleep is more disturbed…..

It seems to be a vicious cycle.

This is one way that losing weight can improve the quality of our lives.

I have suffered with sleep apnea for years – long before people started talking about it – I just didn’t know why I was always so sleepy. Believe me, going through life always on the verge of nodding off is not nice!

Since I started losing weight, this aspect of my life has improved dramatically. I still have days where I can tell that I did not sleep much the night before – because in spite of spending a good 8 hours ‘asleep’, I am almost too sleepy to function. Those days have become few and far between, however.

I now know that as I continue to lose….. my sleep patterns will continue to improve…..the appetite suppressing hormones will increase…..I will want to eat less…..I will lose weight…..I will sleep better……

The cycle will continue to improve, making me a healthier person over all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Reporting In....a Day late

As of Yesterday (my weigh in day) I GAINED 2.8 pounds last week! Since I am down 1.8 today from yesterday, I am not too bummed out - also because I know that I always temporarily gain when I have a bad cold....which I've had for a week now. Just this morning I finally feel like the cough is 'loosening up'. I've not been sleeping well because of the cold - and not moving much either, when I'm awake.

So, this week's gain is not something to worry too much about....except when you look at it in relation to the last month. Since it is the end of the month, I looked back at the pattern. Overall, for the month of March, I GAINED 2.6 pounds.

I am OK with a slow rate of loss....I am NOT OK with a slow rate of GAIN. And when I look at my weight on FEB is even worse; I was 208.2 that day, meaning that in the last 2 months I have officially gained 1 pound. Not good.

Looking back in my food journal, I notice that the last few weeks I've been a little lazy in my recording and I KNOW I've not been very disciplined in weighing and measuring.

Time to get back to the basics.

Weigh and Measure.
Eat all my exchanges.
Drink all my water. (getting better there)
Move more.

Think more about what I am eating, about my goals. Don't be complacent.

To be honest, I have been so happy with the changes that have taken place in my mind and in my body that it has been a little too easy to let myself 'drift along' and lose sight of the final goal. It is good to enjoy where I am, but I need to keep looking ahead to what will be even better.

These are my jobs for this week.