Wednesday, November 5, 2008

101 Reasons I Want to be Healthy

1. I don't want to carry around 200 lbs. for the rest of my life.

2. My lower back is really beginning to hurt.

3. My joints are beginning to hurt.

4. I don't want to be old and fat (just like I never wanted to be young and fat.)

5. I no longer need it. It doesn't serve me in whatever way it used to.

6. I want to be more active.

7. I want to physically be able to handle my own house and my own yard.

8. I want to get better gas mileage--less weight equals better gas mileage.

9. I want to have babies. Lots and lots of babies.

10. I want to get married. Not that I can't at this weight, but it will be much more likely if I can lose the weight.

11. I want to develop all sides of my personality--namely all of my feminine wiles.

12. I admire Elana at If she has to eat like this and can do it so well than I can do it too.

13. I'm tired of this challenge.

14. I want to look smokin' hot in a bikini one day.

15. I want perky breasts.

16. I want to uncover my fine, fine, fine, thin body.

17. I don't want to be the fattest girl in the room any more.

18. I don't want my weight to be the first thing people notice about me.

19. I'm tired of hearing what a "pretty face" I have or what a "great personality."

20. I want to uncover the flat belly that I've always wished for.

21. I want to quit buying clothes at Lane Bryants. FOREVER.

22. I want to buy clothes at regular stores without a second thought.

23. I want to go down the slip 'n' slide at the church party on the July 24th weekend each year.

24. I want to hike the mountain peak near my house.

25. I want to have the stamina to endure at least 18 holes of golf becasue I've never played 18 holes of golf before and so many people in my family are obsessed with this sport. What is that all about?

26. I want to travel without a second thought, meaning I can go to as many art museums and sights as I want to without worrying about my feet hurting.

27. I want my feet to STOP hurting.

28. I want all sunglasses to fit me--because my face is too wide normally.

29. I want to buy cute bras.

30. I want to make more money.

31. I want to quit allowing this challenge to hold me back.

32. I want to go swimming without thinking about it.

33. I want a lovely, open lap to hold lots of babies on.

34. I want to love what I eat every day and know it is good for me.

35. I want to keep talking about food and health but I want to quit talking about my weight.

36. I want my life to feel right again. Part of that comes with my health improving.

37. I don't want little kids to ask me why I have such a big belly any more.

38. I want to do whatever I dream of physically without the limitation of obesity.

39. I want to kiss lots of boys. Or at least kiss one boy lots and lots of times.

40. I want to move on with this challenge.

41. I want my friends to not only love my insides but also to love my outsides.

42. I want to heal this wound.

43. I want to go waterskiing.

44. I want to try snowboarding.

45. I want to do yoga often.

46. I want to do Pilates often as well.

47. I want to dance beautifully.

48. I want to jump on a trampoline without worrying about breaking it.

49. I want to ride a horse without my weight being a problem.

50. I want to go snowskiing.

51. I want to run and jump and play with my nieces and nephews.

52. I want to run a marathon.

53. I want to build a strong, healthy, beautiful body.

54. I want my body to have a chance after all these years.

55. I want to be my personal best.

56. I want to rid myself of my morning kleenex-and-mucus habit.

57. I want beautiful skin that isn't marred by a bright red flush.

58. I want to heal from PCOS.

59. I want to get rid of extra body hair.

60. I want to grow better hair on my head--that happens when I'm eating better.

61. I want to stop the greasy, nasty hair thing that happens to me if I don't wash my hair every day. I think my diet will affect that.

62. I want to join a running group or fitness group with friends.

63. I want to climb ladders without worry.

64. I want to buy pretty clothes and look my best in them.

65. I want to dress with flair to highlight the best parts of my body and minimize the other areas.

66. I want to reach out to old friends and welcome new friends without allowing my weight to hold me back.

67. I want to travel without worrying about seat belt extensions in cars or airplanes.

68. I want to be the best me I can be. The most beautiful, the brightest, the happiest me I can be. I don't think I've reached my personal best.

69. I want to be pregnant.

70. I want to get my master's degree and write a book without allowing my weight and all its attendants worries, complaints and diseases to stop me from achieving those goals.

71. I want to be beautiful. Really, really beautiful.

72. I want to heal from metabolic syndrome.

73. I want to quit breaking things inadvertently because of my size.

74. I want to live up to ALL of my hopes and dreams.

75. I want to finally put to rest this one great on-going challenge in my life.

76. I want to rest from this labor for a time. Or at least not have it consume my every thought, my every free moment, my every secret wish.

77. I want people to set me up on blind dates.

78. I want to date.

79. I want to be me without this attendant trial.

80. I want to have closure on too many years of waiting for my dreams to come true.

81. I want to live up to my own ideals.

82. I want the energy to live up to those ideals.

83. I want the stamina to encourage those ideals to live and breathe in my life.

84. I don't want to be the fat cousin, fat sister, fat daughter or fat friend any more.

85. I want to be a pretty mom and a pretty wife.

86. I want to run and play with my children.

87. I want to birth healthy, beautiful children.

88. I want to never again "wait until next year" when any holiday or major event occurs, hoping against hope that once and for all I will handle this elephant of a problem in my life and be able to participate the way I want in every situation.

89. I want to have a wedding day with all of my loved ones around me.

90. I want to be a beautiful bride.

91. I want to marry a man who loves me--all of me and loves who I've become.

92. I want to spend the rest of my life looking in the eyes of my best friend.

93. I want to marshal my courage, my strength, my stamina and my hope to live my dreams.

94. I want to be admired.

95. I want to fulfill my destiny.

96. I want to live without any more regrets.

97. I want to do my best. In every aspect of my life.

98. I want something better than I have right now.

99. I don't want to miss my windows of opportunity.

100. I want to hear the voice of God. And see his light shining in my children's eyes.

101. I want my mind and heart and soul and body to be at peace and to be one. I want pure, unadulterated joy to be living in this body, in this place, in this time. No more waiting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Acid Test

Last Monday, I was out of it emotionally. Slow, indecisive, unable to get myself moving. I had taken a couple of weeks off of work because I got hit by a particularly bad stint of depression, something I've had on and off for oh, I don't know, most of my life. I'd been dropping emotionally for several months but not in the way I usually drop, or at least that is what it seemed at the time. This drop was more physical than emotional if that makes any sense. Physically this is how I felt. 
  • I did not want to move. Ever. Again. 
  • I could not decide what to wear, when to get ready, even when to go in to work. Every decision felt monumental, far-reaching, and completely overwhelming. This I knew was not normal. Major indecisiveness plagues me in this place. All I can see is an interminable number of days stretching out ahead of me with more and more and more decisions to make. This makes me want to curl into a fetal position and moan continuously. 
  • My very head felt heavy and dark. Like too much was going on in there and I needed someone to prop my eyelids open for me to be able to see.  

This feeling is not a feeling of health. I know that intellectually in that moment, but it is so hard to believe. So hard to comprehend. You get so conditioned, so habituated to feeling miserable and terrible and unhappy and full of loathing day after day after day that it is hard to comprehend that you ever felt any differently. That the world every looked brighter. That this is not normal. 

It is so hard to believe. 

When I realized how low I was feeling, how out of it, how in the dumps, I started to wonder if I should go on medication again. I thought about going to my doctor. I thought about doing anything and everything to make myself feel better. Even for just a moment. 

That is when I remembered a book I had called The Mood Cure. I love this book. As I reread the book, I suddenly remembered that one of the supplements recommended in the book--amino acids--were some of the same supplements my doctor had given me a while ago and I had not been taking them. I had been feeling fine. But I had forgotten that she told me to take them again if I noticed a dip in my mood. 

Let's just say that I had noticed a dip in my mood. More like a deep, gaping maw of a hole. Or a valley carved out of the guttural innards of a sky-touching mountain. Yes, I had finally with all of my deeply aware perceptions noticed the pumping hemorrhaging of my soul. 

So, I went immediately to my cupboard and took two of the amino acids. And then I went back to my book with my skepticism fully engaged as well as my heavy, heavy eyes, my indecision, and my utter inability to move. 

And then I woke up. 

Within a half an hour, my indecision lapsed, my eyes fully opened, and I moved. All seemingly simple, simple things. And all often easily brushed aside. But when you've been living on the planet of How-Will-I-Survive-the-Next-Hour, those are monumental, heroic, unbelievable feats of power and wonder. 

It was in a word a miracle. 

One that has not left me yet. One that I will continue to test today, tomorrow, and the day after that. 

It has become my acid test. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Unfinished Business

I've got something stuck in my throat. It is way down deep inside my gut, throbbing and beating and clutching my bowels. I'm afraid it won't let go this thing inside of me that is eating the heart out of my life. 

I will not let it win. 

I will face it. Look at it. And hold its gaze until it reveals its secrets or until it melts away in shame. 

This is my life. I am the captain of my soul. The leader of my todays. The chooser of my destiny. At least in the ways that God allows to me. 

But my is life rocky, unkept, and out of balance. And I will not inhabit this place I've been living any longer. 

I will lose 200 pounds. 

I will exercise nearly every day. 

I will eat well. 

I will center myself spiritually every day. 

I will exude energy, health and stamina. 

I will marry and have children. 

I will live the life I've been meant to live. Out from under this shadow. Out from under its paralyzing grip on my life. Out from under its tyranny. 

And I will not look back in sorrow. I will live in today. Enjoy this life. And welcome the future. 

This is MY life. And I claim it. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How I'm Just Like Gwyneth Paltrow and Other Lies

I watched the Oprah show the other day with Ms. Gwyneth Paltrow. Now, I like Ms. Paltrow and her tall self, her children's names, and her sweet performance in Emma. 

What I found really interesting on this show was this quote about why she simply can't diet. 

I love Ms. Paltrow but I also want to spit in her eye. It seems interminably easy to me for someone who is stick thin as she is to talk glibly about eating whatever they want and exercising a little more so she doesn't blow up to "300 pounds." I hurt for you. I ache for you. You need better security guards. Because right now, honey, you've put a bounty on your head--a bounty that ever sane fat girl in America is going to try to redeem.

And I am one of them. 

I like to believe I'm not bugged by people who are thin and have body issues. I recognize your body issues are real. I just am mired in mine so they feel more real at this time. I'm sorry you gain 5 pounds every time you gorge on chocolate cookies for six days. I only gain 30 pounds in such an instance. I'm sorry that hips were a bit big after childbirth. Mine are double your "fat" size and I've never given birth. I know you once wore a fat suit and were appalled at how poorly you were treated. I don't wear a fat suit and I survive that treatment every day.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Day the Diet Died

After three weeks and lots of hard work, the second (or is it third or fourth?) attempt at the allergy-free diet just died an ignominious death at the hands of carbohydrates. And dairy. And chocolate. And anything else I've been craving.

It was sad ending to the most progress I've made in that direction so far.  

Let the pity party begin and the eating subside and then let's get the hard work going again. 


Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weigh-In for Saturday, September 6, 2008

This whole weigh in thing I've really got to watch. One of my downfalls in 2004/2005 was an obsession with the scale. I would weigh every day. sometimes twice a day, in my great push to LOSE weight. I had started losing weight because I wanted to feel better but it quickly turned into "how many pounds can I lose and how quickly can I lose them?" scenario. I was constantly calculating where I would be in a month or six months or a year. It was nonstop for me.

Then came my big KABOOM experience in 2005 and I went from losing about 15 pounds a month to gaining 30 pounds in 4 weeks. It didn't stop there. Within NINE months I had gained 130 pounds and I wanted to DIE.

So, I'm only weighing once a month to mark my progress. There will be no daily weigh-ins. No nonstop tabulations. No twice-daily readings on the scale. This is the not the thing to determine my happiness or my health. It is only a marker, a note to progress, an acknowledgement of effort. It is not the sum of my existence, the reason for my smile, the last clinging hope of my faith.

It is a just a scale. And regardless of what I lose on the scale, I am more than that number. Always and forever.

Let that be my mantra, no matter the monthly weigh-in and its highs and lows.

Weight: 336.1
Waist: 51.25
Hips: 56.75

Friday, September 5, 2008

Fat Girl Moment #9,382

I went to an absolutely BEAUTIFUL garden party tonight. Lovely, lovely, lovely in every sense of the word. It was such a sweet party, everyone in dresses and hats, gorgeous flowers surrounding us, a fountain trickling in the background. And the food, too gorgeous to be believed. Seven courses: two appetizers, soup, salad, double entree of steak and chicken, and creme brulee for dessert. 

It was a perfect, delectable evening. We were housed in a secret garden, fed on china by an extraordinary chef and dear friends surrounding each table. It was all nearly too beautiful to be believed. 

Unless you are the fat girl. 

I was caught up in the moment and the evening and the fun until I caught sight of our sweet and prettily decorated tables. With tiny white chairs. 

The kind of chairs made for dolls and munchkins and gorgeously arrayed women to sit on in elegant, outdoor dinner parties. The kind of chairs that snap in two when heaving under the weight of a fat girl. This fat girl. 

This fat girl who terrified took her place last at the table and sat gingerly on the edge of a chair that barely sustained her. This fat girl who tensed every muscle in her body hoping against hope that the chair would outlast her weight and that her leg muscles would survive the two-hour, seven-course meal. This fat girl who took every excuse to arise from said chair to give it a break. Who wandered the garden with a neighbor's baby to relieve her aching thigh muscles. Who wished against wish and hoped against hope that she wouldn't have to return to the little white chair that was ruining the magic of this lovely, lovely party. 

The chair survived. So did I. 

But I don't want to live the rest of my life fearing tiny white chairs at beautiful garden parties. Because either I will quit going to parties or I will have to have every such party's loveliness marred by my desperate attempts to keep my excessive poundage from eclipsing the joy of the evening. 

And that is not the life I want to be living. 

I'm sure the tiny white chair can appreciate my resolution. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Matter of Exercise

I went walking last night. The first time in several days or weeks. I had great plans for this summer to be full of walking. Well, maybe the fall will be full walking. Or at least some kind of exercise--weights, flexibility, cardio. Something.

What I do know is that in changing my lifestyle, one of the biggest benefits I am looking for is relief and healing from insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I read a series of articles at regarding metabolic syndrome, diabetes and PCOS. They all said what I believe--that diet and exercise greatly impact these diseases and that with the right diet and exercise we can be healed from these diseases. That is what I believe as well. I loved this quote from this article,

Nutrition — our food talks to our genes. If I had to pick the gold star in preventing diabetes, it would be food. What you eat can prevent and even control type 2 diabetes.

I believe that. That is why I'm doing what I'm doing. I'm trying to get back on the train eating right and exercising for my health. I want to lose weight but I don't want to be obsessed with how I look in the process. I don't want to be obsessed with the pounds. That is such an easy, easy trap for me to fall into and what it resulted in last time was an emotional explosion. The likes of which left debris raining down on my head for months and months and months.

Another great quote from the article about how certain types of food affect our blood sugar,

Insulin control is strongly affected by the glycemic index of the foods you eat. The glycemic index of a food is a measure for how quickly insulin rises in response to the amount of glucose entering your blood stream after you eat it. Foods high in
protein tend to have a lower glycemic index than carbohydrates. Simple carbs, like white flour and sugar, have a higher glycemic index than complex carbs like whole grains and fresh fruits. Simple carbs can overload your insulin receptors
and make insulin resistance more likely to develop.

That is one of the reasons I'm so strongly persuaded to try this allergy-free diet that I'm doing. It is not only an allergy-free diet, it is also a low-glycemic diet. I'm convinced that eating this way will help me overcome my own insulin resistance and PCOS.

I've already been doing the allergy thing now for two weeks. Granted not to perfection, but I've been doing it. Some of the benefits are: my skin has improved, I've lost about 8 pounds, I've lost 2-3 inches off my waist, and I have more energy. Granted yesterday was the 3rd day of my period and I was in a pretty deep funk that day as well as Monday. I feel like I kind of popped out of it last night though.

Like I said, I went for a walk last night. I had eaten some GREAT food and I went for a walk. That entire day and the day before I could barely move. It was so hard to get going, to feed myself, to imagine doing anything other than sitting. I think that is a byproduct of the depression that accompanies PCOS and that I always feel the first few days of my period. It is the time that I think I just can't go on. My life is devoid of purpose, meaning and joy. It is a terrible, empty, awful feeling.

But then tonight after great food and after walking, my body started to hum. I love that hum. It is the hum of good health. The hum of happiness. The hum of a body working and doing and being in a state of joy and bliss. 

That's why I'm on this journey. I want that sense of nirvana every day. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Am I Doing?

The more I write on this blog, the more I'm forced to consider what I'm really doing here. 

I've felt confused, lazy and mixed up about the next step in my life. And now I want out of the confusion. I want out of this 200 lbs. that I allow to hold me back every day, every hour, every minute. I want out of the mire of muck that pulls down my energy, my light, my radiance. 

I want my tomorrows to not be enslaved by my present. I want my joys to be richer and my fuller and my life to be broader and deeper. I want avoidance out and confrontation in. I want to look life square in the eye and give NO MORE EXCUSES. 

This is my life. Now. 

Discouragement, Despair and Depression Visit Me

Today was the kind of day that I wished I could wake up and be SOMEONE ELSE. Anyone else. Someone who didn't have my life or my problems or my gaping, gigantic weaknesses. "Get me out of this life" was the thought that predominated. I didn't want to clean my house, go to work, take a shower, make my bed, or do any of the number of things that need to be done around here.

And I wanted food.

Different food. More food. Other food. Just not my food. Not anything that I had on hand.

I was late to work as usual and made myself a couple of eggs before I left. Ate them with nothing on them--that's how uninspired I was.

Then I took the time to make some coconut macaroons too. Just because I wanted a treat.

My brain was on low control today. I could not get focused. I could not produce. I could not organize. I just was a mess from the get go this morning.

That isn't to say that is how the day ended though.

I went to work and did a few things and then I started obsessing about food. Food. What I could eat. What I could not eat. What I wanted to eat. What would I ever be able to eat? And I wanted yummy, messy, delicious food. Something like nachos with loads of cheese and guacamole and sour cream and tomatoes. Or steak and bbq chicken wings. Or Thai chili chicken with messy noodles.

Something, anything different. And I wanted CHOCOLATE CAKE.

So, I called my favorite steak place and was going to order bbq chicken wings and steak tips when I suddenly realized that I had all the makings for a far better bbq sauce at home and I could make a steak just as great as anyone else can if I just bought a steak and tried it out.

But I didn't buy a steak.

On the way home, I started daydreaming about what else I could make at my house. I had cashew milk and fruit--instant smoothie. I had all the ingredients for Asian chili chicken which looked like it could be a real winner. I could make my favorite bbq sauce and grill up some chicken with it. And for a super-fast dish, I could mash up some albacore tuna with my canola mayo, and put on top of spinach, add some toasted almonds and bury it in that fabulous Green Goddess dressing I made on Sunday.

So, I drove home. Made a peach and raspberry cashew milk smoothie. Then tuna spinach salad.

And I sit here: fat, sassy, and full.

And unwilling to believe that how my day began is the way it has to end.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Laboring Over Food Choices

The downward spiral continues in my life. I could not for the life of me organize myself this morning to get anything accomplished. I tried. I wanted to get so much accomplished. I had so many plans. It was just one of those days where time passes so quickly and it is suddenly 1:00 pm and I've been in the same position for the last 6 hours and unwilling to believe that my life will ever get better than this.

It is called "depression." And it hits me particularly hard the first few days of my cycle. Or my wildly inaccurate cycle. The one that has been giving me fits and starts for a long time. Suffice it to say that when Aunt Flo comes for a visit, I'm turn into the dark. I can't believe in these moments that my life will ever improve. That I will ever hope again. That beauty and functionality will return to my life.

Fortunately, I've suffered from these same feelings long enough that I know that they will pass. That I will come out on the other side of them. That whatever truths these feelings have to teach me will be heard. They must be heard. Because I am not allowed out of the clutches of these feelings until I begin to hear them.

I know I need to get back on my fish oil and Vitamin D pills again. Especially when I am feeling this bad.

So, I did try to celebrate the holiday today. The family gathered for a light supper and movie night. We usually go swimming at the pool and have a barbecue but the weather was pretty horrific with a steady downpour and then chilly air after that. So the movie night worked out well.

But the food did not. I took a veggie platter. I even made hummus. But I knew most people wouldn't like it so I bought some organic sour cream and an organic ranch dip and made that as well. Lots of the veggies were eaten. Many of them by me. I poked my way into the sour cream dip as well (even though no dairy is allowed). I was struggling big time with the food thing. So, I ate a handful of potato chips. Then a bunch of rice crackers. Then some 7-layer Mexican dip. All of it good. None of it what I needed.

When I went home later that night I had a familiar feeling in my stomach. I felt kind of bloated. Large. Uncomfortable. My stomach hurt. But I think it is a feeling I'm so very, very used to that it was familiar. And sometimes familiar seems better than the other choice.

The other choice right now for me involves being HUNGRY. Not that I haven't bought enough food in the last five days. (Around $200 worth of food). It just seems that I have to work extra hard to make sure that this food hits all the right notes on the hunger train. And that takes time. Takes cooking. Takes planning.

None of it was what I wanted to be preoccupied with at the moment.

Eating this way, it is very, very hard to eat out. Salads are about the only thing I can eat and most of them have some kind of seasoning, preservative, or sugar either on the protein or the dressing. I can barely eat at family dinner on Sunday. Not that I want anyone making anything special for me. But I do have to make special things for myself.

I made the salad yesterday for Sunday dinner. I wanted to make it because I wanted there to be at least ONE food I could eat at Sunday dinner. And I wanted it to be a killer food. So, I filled a huge platter with romaine lettuce and I added hard-boiled eggs, crumbled bacon (nitrate-free), toasted almond slices, tomatoes and cucumbers. Then I doused it in Green Goddess dressing--made with olive oil, avocados, lemon juice, etc. It was SO GOOD. I think I might have been able to polish off the entire platter myself. Several other people liked the salad too though. Which made me very, very happy.

So, success one day and failure the next. I'm two weeks into this allergy-free diet now and I still haven't got it all down pat. I can see it is going to take time and planning. Much much more of that.

I'm learning. Slowly but surely I'm learning

This is not about deprivation. This is a short-term experiment. When the experiment is over, I will decide what foods I will include again in my diet and how often. This is certainly not about lifelong deprivation either. I have to keep reminding myself about that.

Or I just might go a bit cuckooo!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Saturday Surprise

My dining table is out getting refinished and my desk is covered in boxes right now, so I'm typing this in my big yellow chair and I gotta admit: not the most comfortable position in the world. I much preferring my typing at a desk. 

Progress on the allergy-free diet: Well, I went to Tyler and Carissa's wedding reception last night and I ate some nuts (which just made me realize--there were likely peanuts in that nut mix, so I should not have eaten them!) and I ate the tuna salad filling of a sandwich and I ate the grapes and watermelon. I did eat some grilled chicken and apples before I left, but really if I'm going to go to a reception I need to have a full, big meal beforehand. We stayed there for nearly three hours and I abstained from all the treats but I'm not a hero or anything. And I will eat those things again. Remember this is not about lifetime deprivation. It is simply about a two-month challenge. 

Then I made myself a bowl of peaches when I stopped by Mom and Dad's house later. I just felt thinner when I woke up this morning, so I weighed myself. I have one of those digital scales that I like but that is so hard to get a number to stay on the screen because it flits from number to number with the slightest shift of my weight. But I saw the numbers 336 and 337 today. Which is certainly progress. I believe I have seen the 350 numbers on that screen. And I've definitely been in the 340s for a long time. But the 330s? Uh, well, I'm clearly not sure the last time I've seen those. 

I may have hit 339 before we went to Denmark, but before that? I doubt I've been in the 330s since early 2006 or late 2005. I wanted to get down to 330 by the end of this month, so I guess I'm getting there. By October 1, I would like to be looking on the other side of 310. Then November 290, then December 270, then January 250. Wouldn't that be fun? Then let's keep this thing going strong. February 230, March 210, April 195, May 180, June 165, July 150, August 140, September 135. 

You see how I like to dream? 

(This is the THIRD post in as many days that has been severely truncated because of my terrible Internet connection recently. Let's just say, I had several more paragraphs and they are all gone now.)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Eating Through Money

I spent $72 last night on my little jaunt to the grocery store. That blew most of my grocery budget for this week. Now, I just have to come up with menus for the items I bought.

I was so hungry when I woke up this morning. I had to leave the house by 7:45AM to get gas and get to my cousin's wedding on time. But I had to make food. I made an almond milk, fresh strawberry, frozen blueberry smoothie. Yummo. A repeat of last night's smoothie and it really hit the spot. Then I also repeated the rest of last night's menu--2 fried eggs, salsa and avocado.

Then when I came home from the wedding about 11AM I had to make more food. I grilled 2 chicken breasts and ate 1 1/2 of those with salsa and smothered in guacamole. And yet another smoothie. Any thoughts about the state of my hunger?

I'm not sure all this writing about food and what I'm eating and how I'm feeling is really the best of plans. I feel self-conscious doing it. Then I wonder, if I just continue doing it will I get over the self-consciousness????? And will that in any way help me?

Signing out.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Good Food, Good Times

For whatever reason (and let's thank the gods that be), my check for the month has hit my account so I had access to my funds tonight. That made me extremely happy. I had cleaned out the last remnants of decent food today and I so wanted anything that has not been on the menu this week.

I was hungry most of the day. I ate the last of my turkey sloppy joes today. The last of the fruit. The last really of everything.

My cousin had a wedding dinner tonight in preparation for his wedding tomorrow. It was nice but I was a bit concerned about the food. It turned out fine. There was roast beef, green beans, mashed potatoes and some kind of cobbler for dessert. I ate the roast beef and green beans which was enough--for about an hour. The cobbler and mashed potatoes were not an option. I wasn't even sure about the gravy that was on the roast beef so I scraped as much of it off as I could. I'm trying to do this allergy-free thing right.

The dinner lasted three hours with the program. Then Megan, Cassie and I ran to Scera Shell to catch as much of the Boyz II Men concert as we could. They felt a lot of love from the crowd tonight and I think it shocked them how many fans they have here. They put on a GREAT show. If only I could dance like that. My body really wanted to move in different ways after watching them tonight.

So, I dropped the girls off around 10:45 pm and then I went to the grocery store. I had promised myself that I would buy something tonight. Something to feed myself better. When I figured out that I was going to be able to access my check tonight, I went a bit wild. I bought turkey, chicken, eggs, avocados, salsa, fresh raspberries, strawberries, blueberries as well as frozen raspberries and blueberries. I bought apples, peaches, nectarines, pineapple and broccoli, shallots, and garlic. Hmmmmmmmmmmm. So nice to have food to come home to.

Well, of course I had to eat something in the car on the way home, so I opened the cut pineapple. That helped. That seemed to relax me. Then when I got home I fried two eggs and topped them with salsa and avocado and made a blueberry, strawberry and almond milk smoothie.

I'm feeling very thrilled to be alive right at the moment.

Food Without Money

I've been on the no-money-no-food diet for over a week now. I'm not sure if it is going well or not. I lost another inch off my waist this morning but I'm really not sure that is something to cheer about considering that the minute I ingest food or water my waist will puff back out that inch. It may just be that I am dehydrated. 

Yes, I know there are starving people in Africa--even starving people in my own city--and they might not see my plight as all that terrible. But it has been a journey for me. 

I'm not the world's best money manager. I don't have much savings to speak of either. I want to change both of those things. I'm just grateful this month is coming to an end and my checking account will be full tomorrow. I'm going to do my best to prevent another month like this in the future. 

The only thing I can be really happy about is that I didn't borrow money to make it through the rest of this month. I realized two weeks ago that with $25 left to my name, it was going to be a long, hard road for a few weeks. 

I have plenty of family around. I would not have starved. But there is something to be said for supporting yourself and not having to go begging for food at relative's houses. There is also something to be said for my allergy diet. Which I've been on now for nearly two weeks or since I realized that I had no money left in my account to buy the food I can eat. It has been a touch and go experience since then. 

I've eaten though. In fact, I've eaten pretty well considering the lack of funds. I've also not wasted as much food as I usually do (although their is a romaine lettuce head that is still in my fridge that I feel is destined for the garbage).  I also have not had my other go-to foods to rely on. And by these foods, I mean the quick and fast foods that do the dirty job of getting me fed, but add very little to my overall nutrition--things like yogurt and cheese with crackers and my recent favorite, Barbara's cheese puffs. Do you notice the heavy assault on dairy that I've been making lately. Yeah, it was about time to get off that train. Not that dairy can't be good. I'm just not sure it is good for me. 

My skin has been reacting positively to all of this allergy-free eating. My cheeks are definitely not as red. I did cave last night though and ate some chocolate and my cheeks are much ruddier today than they have been in a week. So, no more of that. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What's Your List of Diseases?

I never used to worry about my health when I was younger. Sure, I didn't like to be fat, but for the most part, I didn't feel bad or think something might be wrong with me. (I also have been notoriously poor at paying attention to my body's signals so it took me a while to figure out when I was feeling bad.) But the last few years I have been worried about my health. I've felt a loss of muscle tone (yes, there is muscle under all this fat) and I started to notice when I just wasn't feeling well. And in that process of not feeling well, I've become aware of some health issues that I've had for a long time, that I want to do something about. 

2. Metabolic syndrome
3. Obesity

Those two diseases are enough because they come with a whole host of symptoms and side effects that I would really rather do without, thank you very much. 

They also lead to other health problems that I don't want including:
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Infertility
  • Cancer
So, I'm sending my list of health problems packing now. I'm living a new life and that life does not include them. 

Bon voyage, health problems. May you never visit these shores again. 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Small Changes at the Beginning

So, I've been on this allergy-free diet for about a week now. And as previously acknowledged I have not been perfect. Never let me give off the impression that I'm striving for perfection. It is a nasty, nasty habit and I'm want to be rid of it.

So, even though I've made nearly daily mistakes, I have noticed some hints of progress.

My cheeks are less flushed
I've always had rosy cheeks. Or really embarrassingly RED cheeks. I also have a red spot on my double chin for as long as I can remember. Some people think that rosy cheeks are healthy-looking. I have my doubts. When I lived in Pennsylvania, I knew a woman who suffered from rosacea. She was also overweight. I wondered even back then if red cheeks could actually be connected to a reaction in diet. I've also noticed a few little kids who get unnaturally flushed when they are outside too long. I've wondered if that had a connection to what they were eating as well. Let's just say that I see it as a positive sign when my cheeks are less flushed. Could flushed cheeks be an allergic reaction? Could they be a reaction either a high-glycemic diet?

Reduction in double chin
Okay, no one else will be able to tell by just looking at me, but I can tell. When you carry significant chub around your neck that restricts your windpipe and impacts how you turn your head, you too will notice when that restriction clears a bit and you are able to turn your head a few degrees more. I love it.

No more tissue brigade in the morning
I stage kleenex boxes near every major spot in my house: kitchen table, kitchen counter, reading chair, couch, desk, bedroom, bathroom. I go through kleenex like it is going out of style. I always am clearing my throat or my nose. Well, not this week. At least not as much. I've had clear nasal passages and a clear throat. It has been simply lovely.

Tummy touched my backbone
When I was trying to fall asleep last night and I was sooooooo hungry, I actually felt that my stomach was touching my backbone. That is how empty it felt down there. Now, I know this wasn't the case, but I'm not sure I've been that empty down there since 1995. At least it was a feeling I had forgotten.

My lower tummy chub is reduced
I really don't want to gross out those of you who never deal with the daily factors of serious chub, but I have what I call an upper and lower tummy. There is an indention around my tummy where my waist is--at belly button level. I pook out above my belly button and below it. The lower section is my lower tummy chub. It is always the largest, roundest part on my body. It is also the first part of my body to show any changes. Well, the lower tummy chub has decreased in size. Not so much of it. It doesn't pull on my back as much. I look a fraction of a hair smaller too. It feels better.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Late Night Eating and My Allergy-Free Diet

This allergy diet thing is going to be quite the experience. I've been doing it for a week now. Granted I'm NOWHERE near perfect at this. I've eaten tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, cheese, popcorn, corn on the cob, watermelon, cheese. I've got a lot to learn.

Today I had great plans of being prepared before I went to family dinner. Yeah, so that didn't happen so much. Not so much. I came home with the four kiddie winks (Noah, Gaby, Jamie Beth, Dallin) and made them popcorn and let them try the candy bars I made the other day. The popcorn was fine--the candy bars . . . not so much.

In the meantime, I srambled a couple of eggs for myself and adorned them with the raw tomato sauce I made the other day. I needed the protein desperately. I had eaten only my candy bars early that day. (They are from Elana's Pantry and are made out of pecans, almond butter, agave nectar and Dagoba chocolate--yummy!)

So, I was hungry when I went to dinner. I had some of the salad even though I'm sure the dressing had some sugar in it. I had the roast beef even though I knew it had been prepped with a little flour. I had watermelon even though it is high on the glycemic index, and I had corn on the cob even though I'm not sure I can have it or not.

Not a stellar day as far as the allergy-free diet goes.

Now a rocking day when it comes to eating whole, good foods. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't like I was pigging out on Dr. Pepper and deep fried dough balls.

It was progress.

So, I stayed at Mom's house and watched Dan in Real Life. I had seen it before but it depressed me the first time. This time I laughed. I sat there thinking how hungry I was through most of it. I just wanted food. Finally, I went in the storage room and dug deeply into the cashew container.

And then I came home and put myself to bed. And couldn't sleep and couldn't sleep and couldn't sleep. So, I got up, got online and realized that the gnawing pit in my stomach wasn't going to magically disappear.

The food options are a bit limited at the moment--let's say NO CASH in my account. So, I began with an apple. That merely made the yawing yawp of my hunger intensify. So, I cracked open a can of wild salmon and mixed it with my canola mayo. YUMMMY!!!! That in and of itself tells you I was in desperate need of some good food.

Then I heated up a can of black beans, smashed them really good, and mixed them with my raw tomato sauce. Not a particularly tasty dish, but oh-so-filling. I had to do a deep down hum when I consumed a bowl of this. My whole body relaxed as well. Finally, some food that my body could comprehend and utilize.

And here I sit full and tired.

I'm going to bed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Work-Day Eating Patterns

I think today is a pretty good example of the typical work day eating patterns I have fallen into and now want to expunge from my life.

I left for work late. I was hungry. I had eaten a peach before I left. I knew that my best bet to get food before I got to work was to purchase something. So, I stopped at a bakery and ordered a sausage, egg, cheese breakfast sandwich without the croissant. Ate that. Even though I'm not supposed to be eating cheese.

Late morning: I'm hungry. I want something. Like more eggs and sausage. Something filling and hot. Nothing comes to mind so I reach for some candy on a co-worker's desk. Then I eat some more.

Noon: I'm officially hungry. I want hot food. I want good food. I want food I don't have to cook because I'm so hungry. I also am out of money entirely for another week so I can't afford to buy food. There is very little at home for me to eat too. So, I put off making a decision.

1:30PM: I really should eat by now. I'm getting very, very hungry. My body needs food. I eat an apple.

2:55PM: I'm getting a bit insane with hunger. 3:00PM is my bewitching hour. Most of the time I won't eat breakfast or much lunch and then it all comes to a ahead at 3:00 PM when I must eat or I will die. I decide to spend money for lunch.

3:00PM I don't want to drive off campus or go home and contemplate the emptiness of my fridge. Nothing sounds good. When you are supposed to stay away from wheat, grains, potatoes, rice, sugar, dairy, citrus, peanuts, MSG and preservative mix, then your choices in the common every-day world begin to look a bit slimmer. I decide on salad.

3:20PM Good salad. Spinach and spring lettuce mix. Bacon bits, eggs, grilled chicken, mushrooms, red onion, tomatoes. Thousand Island Dressing (I know I've crossed several lines with this choice but it seemed better than the sugar-laden other choices). I consume the salad in seconds. Wish I had another.

3:45PM Eat another apple. Dream about what I'm going to make for dinner that night. (Grilled chicken or ground turkey, black beans, yummy salsa, lots of guacamole). Steam some zucchini, yellow squash and onions. Slather with olive oil and salt.

3:46PM Try to figure out what I can subsist on for the next week: chicken, eggs, turkey, garden veggies, apples, etc.

6:00PM The last of the candy in my office. Yuck.

7:30PM Finally leave work and head home. I stop at my parents' home and find no one there. I'm starving. I don't know what I will make at home, so I decide to make something there. I fry a couple of eggs and add what turns out to be some past-its-prime homemade salsa. That and 2 slices of Havarti cheese at least stave off the hunger pains for now.

Can't remember what I ate the rest of the day. (That would be because I'm updating this three days later). What you see above though is very typical of my pattern of randomness when it comes to the food I eat. A little too random.

If this allergy-free diet is going to work, I've got to stay on top of my game. The only question is, how do I do that?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Typical Eating Issues

I'm manning a table at a big conference today for work. So, in my down time I'm thinking and thinking. Here's what I'm thinking about today.

I'm hungry.

Very typical for me. It is nearly 4:00 pm in the afternoon and the only time I have nourished myself today has been in the last two hours. I drank 2 bottles of water, I ate an Odawalla bar (not the best choice glycemically), and now I just ate the ham, turkey and cheese from a Lunchables snack pack.

I'm doing 100% when it comes to food.

Typical, typical me.

Barely made it to work today. Full of self-loathing. Full of wretchedness, full of sadness. Out of money and two more weeks to go in the month. No idea what I'm eating for dinner tonight. I wanted to start my elimination/allergy diet on Monday but with no money, I haven't planned my food extraordinarily well. Then yesterday was an off day for me. I ate ground turkey and red sauce, nut crackers and Laughing Cow cheese, lots of pistachio nuts and made my favorite almond-flour chocolate chip cookies.

Certainly better choices than I may have made in the past. But still very, very typical for me. I'm used to not feeding myself, not nourishing myself, not doing my part.

That has got to change.


I have to be able to depend on myself. I have to trust myself to fulfill my commitments. I need to support myself.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What Am I Doing about My Food Sensitivity Test?

So, I took that IgG food sensitivity test back in May and I knew I wanted to start following the elimination diet for the test, but I convinced myself to wait until I came back from Denmark in June. Then I got a bit depressed. Then it was Katy's wedding and Amy came for a five-week visit. I didn't want to start a whole new program with Amy around. Even though she eats amazingly well. I just didn't want that stress. 

So, here I am. Amy is leaving town tomorrow and our discussions for the last few weeks have centered around food. And I'm ready to get with the program. I've actually been doing it for a few days already but I wanted to clear up a few lingering questions with my doctor. 

1. Can I take the sacrament (like communion) each week? It is just a bite of bread and I wanted to know if it would negatively affect me. She said I could give them a rice cracker and take that. Or if I don't think it is bothering me then I can just take it. I don't think it bothers me so I'm going to continue with just a bite of bread each week. 

2. Also, I didn't test negatively for brown rice or red potatoes but my doctor had said something to me about staying off both of those items. I wanted to know exactly how serious she was about those items. Well, let's just say I received my answer. She was serious. 

I had been going with the idea that I would be able to eat brown rice as well as brown rice pasta and brown rice tortillas. Nope, nada, nothing. But she did say yes to agave nectar (thank you!) and almond flour (yes!). That at least gives me a few more options like blueberry muffins, pancakes and a simple bread. I will try those out and see what I think about them as a regular part of the diet around here. 

I also need to watch food items like high-glycemic fruits, dried fruits, and beans and lentils. Those are all question marks in my mind. Do they stay or do they go? 

I really think the hardest items to give up with for these few weeks will be lemons, limes, grapefruit and oranges. Not that I eat a ton of them, but they all do add great flavorings to food. They will be the first items I will test to come back into my diet. 

So, for now, what am I eating? 
1. Chicken, turkey, fish
2. all veggies 
3. most fruits
4. beans and lentils
5. most nuts
5. olives, olive oil, avocados
6. almond flour, coconut flour, agave nectar, and Dagoba chocodrops

There will be no such thing as deprivation in my household. This is a celebration, a joy in eating. A good and great joy to eat and be happy. 

What I don't eat: 
1. Potatoes
2. Corn
3. All grains (including brown rice)
4. Soy
5. Dairy
6. Sugar
7. Peanuts
8. Limes, lemons, oranges, grapefruit

I was absolutely floored when around the time of my allergy test, I discovered Elana at and all of her excellent recipes. Yummy. 

I also could not believe when I read this entry and found that she also did not eat any grains, potatoes, corn, soy, dairy or sugar. A woman after my own heart. I've been obsessed with her website and trying out all of her recipes for most of the summer and they have proved as delicious as they look. 

I needed her site as a bit of divine intervention and to give me the belief that I could eat really, really well without ever feeling deprived. 

I'm so happy I'm doing this. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Thoughts on Salad

I've been eating salads from Kneaders all summer. It finally occurred to me today that if I'm trying to stay away from gluten and wheat that it might be a good idea to stop buying salads from a shop that primarily sells BREAD.

Today I had the Chicken Ala Mondo salad. It had grilled chicken breast (very tender), sliced almonds, bacon, spring mix greens, red onions and instead of mozzarella cheese I asked for tomatoes. Also, instead of the bread slices they give I asked for cucumbers. It was a yummy salad. I'm trying to form a standard for building a great salad and I'm beginning to think that you need at least 3 kinds of protein and 3 veggies in addition to the greens.

I've never been a great lover of salads. Mostly because the salads I've been the most exposed to look something like this: iceberg lettuce, fake cheddar cheese, heavy croutons, pale tomatoes, shredded carrots, and Ranch dressing. This type of salad is not inspired. It is disgusting. Unfortunately, these types of salads are still often what come to my mind when I think of salad.

What I need to think about are my Kneaders salads: fresh greens, tender, succulent chicken, crunchy nuts, sizzling proteins and luscious veggies. Hmmmmm. Good. That makes me want to eat salad. Every day. 

And that's saying a lot coming from this girl. 

Can I Eat This For Dinner EVERY Night?

My friend Katy hosted her first dinner party at her home since she was married last month. Katy has celiac disease which means she has to stay away from gluten. I'm supposed to be staying away from gluten as well.

  • Tamales with/ turkey, green chiles and some with black bean/refried bean mixture

  • toppings: sour cream, guacamole, great salsa

  • cucumber, tomato (garden fresh) salad--with vinegar, canola oil/olive oil, garlic salt, pepper, dab of mayo

  • garden yellow squash stir-fried with sweet onions and then steamed and garnished with olive oil and salt

  • fresh pineapple

  • fresh blueberries

  • fresh strawberries

Can I eat this way EVERY day????

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Feeling in My Stomach

So, yesterday I faced some fears, stared down some issues at my job, and tried to confront my life and what is up with me. I'm also in some weird hormonal week with my cycle. Usually the way I've been feeling the past few days signals the way I usually feel a couple of days into my period. It is after the black, dark, inside days that precede the beginning of my period and it is when my whole system feels open and magnanimous. I tend to drop weight on these days.

And that's what happened this morning. I dropped weight. Yesterday was the type of day that usually precedes my open and magnanimous days--I wasn't very hungry. Sure I felt hungry yesterday and yes, I ate yesterday. And yes, it was good. But I wasn't deeply ravenous and needing to be NOURISHED. I ate twice yesterday and I was fine with it. Those days are the kind of days in the past where I would pat myself on the back and giggle and think, "Wow, I'm finally getting this eating thing under control." I thought because I went 24 hours or so without thinking about food constantly or stuffing my face nonstop that I had somehow reached nirvana. I had no idea that it was a biochemical reaction.

So, then this morning I feel lighter. I attribute this more to an accumulation of days over the past month where I've eaten well rather than just the previous day of not eating constantly. So, I feel lighter and I weigh myself and I've dropped about six pounds (every woman knows that in the craziness of her cycle that you can drop and gain pounds in a matter of hours like this.)

And then, I fall into a trap and start thinking about how I'm not going to eat as much any more like I did yesterday and before that thought can fully formulate: POW! I'm hit with hunger.

This is good hunger. This hunger is signaling a need to my body to be nourished. And I realize that a day like today is an important day of nourishment that can set me up well for an entire month. This day it is very important to eat breakfast, eat a great lunch, and eat an afternoon snack. This day I need nourishment.

And NOURISHMENT takes time.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Craving: Hot Donuts

Ate two donuts from Krispy Kreme tonight. Contemplating doing my allergy thing for two months and worrying about feeling deprived. One of my new mottos has been to indulge all cravings, albeit with decorum. And tonight, I craved donuts. 

What makes hot donuts good? They taste like spun hot sugar. That is their sole attraction, indeed, a rather enticing one. The cold, chocolate iced donut I had tasted more like sugar overload. 

I guess I felt a bit detached last night. A bit more observational and these donuts did not seem to overwhelmingly affect me. But that could just be arrogance. They affect me. But last night they were not the ANSWER to deep, emotional longing. 

I've used food so much to self-medicate my emotions that sometimes I wonder if I have any idea of how to operate emotionally outside the boundaries of food indulgence. It feels a bit like a revelation when I can. 

I will also note that when I am hormonally better balanced, deeply emotionally satisfied by a visit from my very dear friend, and well-nourished for several days, that this kind of food does not need to answer any deep needs inside of me. (Let's be honest, this food never answers deep things inside of me, but it surely distracts me easily from those matters.)

The donuts did not live up to any expectations. 

Monday, July 7, 2008

Writing through Change

I don’t clean all day. Even though I have some kind of energy in the morning, I don’t clean. It’s been six days now that I’ve spent here in this little space. I’m just listening.

Or I’d like to think I’m just listening. Some grand, amazing, spiritual kind of thing. Mostly I flit between emotions and the predominant one state of being is: curled up on my bed or in my chair. Listening, feeling, thinking, reading. Mind you, not the best stuff either. Just stuff.

I reread my manifesto from two days ago over and over and over. How do I work through this? How do I listen to that voice, that place in my head? How do I do it? How do I act on the dreams I have in front of me?

I get angry at myself at the day wears on. I was so inspired 24 hours ago. I was so convinced I had hit on something monumental. Now I’m deflated again. Feeling stupid. Wondering if I can possibly achieve what I’ve set out to achieve.

The last part of my manifesto is what is stirring around inside of me.

I am not like you. Your story is not mine. Your story may encompass mine or sing a melody too, but your story is NOT MINE. And for my heart to sing, I must tell you and tell me that YOU ARE NOT MY STORY. And I must live mine. . . .

I AM NOT YOU. I do not have your talents or your encumbrances. But I do have mine. . . .

So, clear out, back away, stand by. You may hold my hand, you may be my friend. But you are not to come within the walls of my silent place any longer. For I’ve tried to hear her voice through you and have you sing her song. But you sing badly or not at all and I sit hoping to hear truth in places I do not honor with ears that are not mine.

I feel a bit ferocious about this last part. Like I’ve discovered a secret that I must not forget. I must remember the truth I have seen and heard here. You are not to come within the walls of my silent place any longer.

It has been an act of self-preservation to hear that voice this week. I don’t know how good/bad this week was really. I don’t know if it is right even to reflect on it morally. It just is. Good or bad. I learned something. And I think it is a lesson I will take with me forever.

I don’t know if I made a monumental mistake. I’m sure I was too selfish in the whole matter in some ways. But as the week wore on and I started listening to the screaming inside my head—I mean, really listen and take notes—I started to see that if I was going to hold this little flame and keep it burning and moving and growing in the right direction, then I needed to protect it. It isn’t so much that others are going to run in and blow out my little flame. It is that I will get distracted by them and let the flame blow out. It’s that I’ve let myself for so long hear others’ stories and listen to others’ worldviews and I’ve backed away from my own.

At my graduation ceremony from high school, they played this Garth Brooks’ song called “The River” to our high school video. And there was this one line that caught me and pounded into my heart.

Too many times we stand aside
And let the waters slip away
'Til what we put off 'til tomorrow
Has now become today
So don't you sit upon the shoreline
And say you're satisfied
Choose to chance the rapids
And dare to dance the tide

I knew sitting there, listening to that song that I was sitting on the shoreline. I wasn’t daring any rapids and I certainly wasn’t dancing any tide. And besides the couple of years that encompassed preparing for, going on and returning from my mission, I haven’t stepped in the river much.

I’ve been all about the shore.

I don’t know all the reasons. I think a huge chunk was simply trying to find my path in life. What I was good at, what my strengths were, and then having the joie de vivre to live life with zest and meaning because I was doing what I supposed to be doing on this earth. I think I’ve been wandering a long, long, long time trying to figure out what that purpose and passion was all about. I kept trying to fit my square peg into a round hole and coming up short.

That, in turn, has left me really self-focused. Trying to discover and listen and hear what was inside of me. But not even understanding that this is what I was doing. It is a journey we all have to travel some time in our lives. Mine has just been overly focused on that task.

What is clear is that I have to stake out, lay claim to, and fight like crazy for the little flame, the barest whisper that I heard this past week. There are so many voices around me. So many that I’ve listened to for so long. I’ve been hoping I think that someone will be able to HEAR MY VOICE. Listen to it, interpret it for me, and spit back what I should do and be.

Part of this depression, this sadness, this ache has been the confusion surrounding my plan. My purpose. I get it all mixed up. And I think it will get mixed up again unless I take time to give special attention to inspiration. I need to hear that voice, that whisper each day. Or I need to take the time to listen for it each day. It is such an interesting mix of quiet and deafening thunder. The stillness of the voice is in the interpretation of it. It seems though that once I’m able to catch the drift of the voice and hear the bedrock truth in it, then all of a sudden it is screaming in my mind. It seems so self-evident. So, true, so right, so unimpeachable. It rights my worldview, it opens up new paths. It shows me where and what I should be doing. Where the passion and light is in my life.

KNOWING that truth changes everything. Everything. It changes me on a level that I never expected. It is this light that I hold deep in my center and around it I build implacable truths and unerring insights that foist the foundation for my life. It is such a RELIEF to have that center. It is so peaceful. It bolts me to reality, grounds me in the commandments for my life. It gives me a laser-like sight for the path ahead. This kind of CLARITY is so refreshing simply because it stops my world from teetering. I’ve felt so unmoored, so unsure of my next step. So unwilling to start any journey.

It has been the great anxiety of my life. For a very, very, very long time.

I feel a bit vicious about protecting it. Vicious and fiercely wary of any attempts at its fledgling status as the center and source of my existence.

Stand back. You are not to come within the walls of my silent place any longer.

I think that message is so much more for me though than anyone else. I’ve allowed people into my sacred place. I’ve let anyone in who has an opinion to share and I’ve grown more miserable as I listened. What I need is to be still within and without myself. You may not come in here. You are not allowed. For I will try to accommodate you. And then in my anxiety to do so, I will draw you out with your story. Your story that allows me to escape from my own.

I’ve placed my little candle, my tiny flame in the fecund earth of my bowels, my soul-center. I’ve cleared a space and I’ve staked my claim to my truth there. My bedrock. And within the tiny circle of that light, I’ve thrust my daggers into the soil to outline the light shed by my tiny flame. I’ve built a defense around it. This is my silent place. You are not allowed. This is for me. This is my truth. I cannot share it with you. I’ve shared it with so many of you. I’ve cast my pearls before the swine who have trampled it. I won’t do that anymore. You may not listen.

Not because you are willfully seeking to destroy it, but mostly because I have not taught you to respect it, this truth that is mine. I’ve not respected it. And in order for me to ever share with you, with anyone, I must first own it. I must nurse it, care for it, and cultivate its soul-satisfying splendor.

Friday, July 4, 2008

My Manifesto

I don’t have enough ***** energy to do multiple things at once. I can’t stay there anymore. I know I’m being dramatic. I know it. But, sometimes life is dramatic. And maybe mine hasn’t been enough, so I’m going to create some.

I can do it. I can work for the rest of my life in that stinking job. But in order for that to work I have to kill some other part of myself. Shut the blinds and close the door and never look back. Take one for the team.

ONLY—pay attention—the only team I’m fighting for is my team. And taking one for the team is about to extinguish me. If that is what is necessary, then I can see that. But I don’t have kids or even a career at this point. I’m just working paycheck to paycheck. For a car, for a house, for my independence.

I don’t want to give up my independence. My car either. The job, and the house can go though for another job and another house.

I’ve got to support myself. I know that. What I also know is I can no longer stay in the place I’ve been in.

What am I going to do? I’m scared to leave but I’m scared to go. I’m scared to leave the security of everything I know. Scared to be here.

No one has been listening to me. Me, least of all. The voice I keep hearing inside my head says go, go, go, go, go.

Go far away. Leave this place. Leave these people. Leave these boxes with four walls that crouch, ready, hungry, waiting to consume you.

Leave now before you lose the courage to go. Leave now, before you quit trusting yourself totally. Leave now.

It’s time to go. It is past time to go. I’m leaving for my health. I’m leaving for me. I’m leaving because I need to leave.

I don’t want this life. I’ve been living it too long this wrong life.

YOU ARE WRONG. Every bit of you. You are wrong.

I don’t know that I have the courage to listen to what this voice keeps telling me and telling me. I’ve been living the wrong life and it is time to live another. I’m scared what taking this fork in the road will do to all my conventional, pre-conceived notions of life. But what I can tell you is I’m letting all the convention stifle me. Eat me. Kill me.

And I don’t know if I have the courage, fire, voice, or wherewithal to listen to the voice, hear it and act.

So, I’m doing. In the dark. Without a lead. All by myself. I’m doing.

I’m going to make mistakes and fall down and hurt and cry. I think I’m even scared of those steps. I feel timid and shy and unsure but I HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE VOICE THAT KEEPS whispering my name.

Go, go, go, go. Go far away.

Be in nature. Write your story. Live. Breathe. Be. Better than I am here. Better than I’ve ever been.

What I do know: Nature, green, write, help others too, hear their stories.

That is the clarity in my vision: no dead-end jobs or dead-end places. I need to hear people’s hearts every day. I need nature. I need to write.

Where can I do those things?


The break must be clean, I fear, or I will sink back into my conventional life, my conventional job, my conventionality.

I need a convent, a solstice, a quiet place. Where thoughts are cool and deep and sunlight comes with gentle rays to dry out sadness.

Be my sunshine. Be my place. Be my brightness that excludes this darkness that threatens me.

I must have courage to walk to new places and higher roads and things that will take me to the place I know I must be. To meet the future with a leaping heart and singing a song I have yet to write.

I see you there, my friend, my new home. I’ve glimpsed you through long hallways with thick shadows where the echoes confuse and elude me.

I need you, quiet. To hear the words spoken with crisp stillness. So low, so still. It takes me many months to hear the words that you send to me. Many years for the ripples to reach the words on my tongue. Sometimes, many eons, I think.

My circle of knowledge is no longer enough. Into the vast darkness I must go, feeling my way. I reach out to touch you. Please, hold my hand.


I haven't been to work in a week. Yes, avoiding. Yes.

I tried to wrap my escape as a blanket around me. And it welcomed me. The quiet and the dark. Mostly, when I thought, my thought was "leave me alone."

There is wisdom even in that. The quiet, the dark, the loss of contact. I needed to hear me. I needed to hear God. I need them to stay away. All of them with their voices and their help and their thoughts. STAY AWAY.

What came out of my thinking was this: I can’t do this any more. I can’t pick up this load. I can’t live in this place. I can’t be here. I don’t want this place or this job. I want my independence. I want my life. But I don’t want this. STAY AWAY.

I can’t answer a question or read a book or make a decision. I can’t re-engage until some work is done. Some long, dark work through echoing hallways with crashing thunder.

I see people making decisions and I think “When will I be able to do that again?” or “Will I be able to do that again?” I see people laughing and playing around and I think, “So much is going right in her life because she can do that.” I see someone pick up his or her load and start a new day and I think, “I want to pick up my day too.”

But then the stillness settles around me, the darkness closes in, and I sink for one more day in the dark oblivion that welcomes me.

She’s punctuated—my stillness—by staccato words and voluble gestures at God. I curse him for cursing me with this thing that is in me. This thing I cannot silence or avoid. This thing that must be answered as it maws and tears deeply at my bowels. It stains my days and colors my dreams with its pulsing, screaming wildness. I cover myself in its blood.

I have a pot of red geraniums that some one gave me. I place it outside my door where the sunlight engulfs it in dry June heat. Too much heat as I forget to water its thirsty roots and watch dispassionately as my red geraniums turn black from too much light.

I cannot answer their questions. I cannot talk one more day of birthdays or dinners or food or friends. I cannot be there as my screaming silence engulfs me. I live so much in their world, talking their talk. I do not honor the truth I have been given. I do not honor the words that make my heart beat with red blood. My soul is thirsty too.

I am not like you. Your story is not mine. Your story may encompass mine or sing a melody too, but your story is NOT MINE. And for my heart to sing, I must tell you and tell me that YOU ARE NOT MY STORY. And I must live mine.

You do not have to listen or even hear it. You do not. But MY STORY will be told. I will not close this shop or shutter these windows. I AM NOT YOU. I do not have your talents or your encumberances. But I do have mine.

And beautiful or ugly, timid or ferocious, they are mine. I own them. And I must build a better life with them. I cannot build with tools that are yours.

So, clear out, back away, stand by. You may hold my hand, you may be my friend. But you are not to come within the walls of my silent place any longer. For I’ve tried to hear her voice through you and have you sing her song. But you sing badly or not at all and I sit hoping to hear truth in places I do not honor with ears that are not mine.

Stand back. For I have a story to tell.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Independence Day

I can't do this thing any more. It sticks in my throat. It's too big for me. It's too small. I eat, I pray. I don't love. I hate.

I'm going far away to a cool coast. A quiet place with mountains and trees and green everywhere I look. A place to heal me. Can places heal? Or do they just hurt? I hurt. I hurt here. Right here. Who hurt me?

No more whys. No more. I can't do this thing I'm doing anymore. LEAVE ME ALONE I scream to the silence. LEAVE ME ALONE. No on hears me. No one.

I'm sick. I hurt. I ache. It is just too much for me. Too much for me.

I won't do this tomorrow or the next day or the day after that. I won't do this. I won't die in this box without walls I can see. I won't die here gasping for my last breath. I won't recover. I have to GO NOW. That is what the silence screams at me. Go NOW. This place it will eat you. With the lies, with the hurt. Even them. They love me, but they hurt me too.

And I hurt them.

I won't see their faces anymore these people that I hurt. I won't see them. I won't see what I don't want to see. No one will make me.

Chatting in the Dark

me: you there? 
I need to talk
I haven't been to work in over a week
I'm going to quit my job
Move to Oregon
Never be seen again
I can't do this anymore
I can't do this thing I'm doing any more

are you there?

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Ups and The Downs

I just couldn't take it tonight. After trying to eat only those foods that I'm not allergic to and talking to other people about what I was doing and thinking about how exciting this whole process is, I caved tonight and had a little bingeing party. Or a big one.

Okay, I'm taking a deep breath. And another one. Just because I binge doesn't mean I fail. I can do this.

So, my bingeing tonight was dark chocolate Lindt balls, milk chocolate Lindt balls, Hostess cupcakes, Twinkies, and a Twix candy bar for good measure. Oh, and a small can of Sprite.

It was like I wanted to reassure myself that no matter what, I can eat what I want and I don't beat myself up about it. Of course, none of that food was the best choice. Of course, I would have been better off eating something else. Of course.

But I'm not a bad person because I ate that food. A sick person, yes (and I mean sick in the body, not in the head people). It wasn't a moral choice I made when I ate that food. It was just a choice.
And I honored the thing that I tell myself repeatedly: "You can have that food if you want it."

And tonight I really wanted it.

Not in a craving-it-like-butter way but more in a don't-you-dare-deprive-me-I've-been-deprived-my-entire-life kind of way. I just can't bear sometimes to think I can't ever eat some foods again in my life. So, I reassure myself that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want and then I proceed to do my best to make that food healthy, whole, nourishing, fresh and now, allergy-free.

It is a continual process for me. Continual. And some days turn out better than others. And some don't turn out at all. But I'm making steps, however miniscule or repetitive, and it reminds me day after day after day that I am my own best advocate and I'm doing all of this to feel better and not to punish myself.

I'm a good girl, I am. And this journey just gets that much more interesting every day.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Allergy Testing

I had an IgG allergy test done today. My doctor (who I love and am so happy I found) has wanted me to be tested for a few months. Finally today, I had it done.

I'm allergic to several food items. Some I suspected I was allergic to and others I hoped I wasn't allergic to. The only real surprise? It says I'm allergic to grapefruit and lemons--both of which I LOVE and would never have suspected.

So here is the final list:

Blue dye
Red dye
Preservative mix (think nearly any preservative)
All cheeses
All milk
All soy
Corn syrup

So, it would be better for me to stay away from all bread products, cereals, sugars, corn syrup, artifical sugars, preservatives, peanut butter, soy milk, all milk products, oats and corn.

Can you just say, "Stay away from any packaged foods?" I think that would be a lot easier.

My doctor also wants me to also stay away from all rice and potato food items as well because of insulin reactions to those foods. In reality, it might be easier to list what I can eat rather than what I cannot eat.

I can eat:

other lean meats
all fish
every vegetable
low-glycemic fruits
good fats--olive oil, avocadoes
raw nuts and seeds

It means that when I go to my parents' house I can't grab string cheese, peanut butter, a glass of milk, a piece of cake, a cracker, a bowl of cereal. or a cookie.

It means I really should stay away from most fast food places and a lot of restaurants because MSG and preservatives are such a giant part of the menu at those places.

It means that one of the many reasons I did well on the 6WBMO plan was because I was eating food that was low-sodium, low-glycemic, and low-preservative. Fresh, whole foods seem to be a big part of this.

It means that I really shouldn't be eating those foods that for a long time I've suspected were not the best for me: wheat, corn, milk, soy.

It means that despite all I've learned about food and its effects on my body, there is still so much I can learn.

And for today, it means that I'm going home to grill some chicken and steam some vegetables and go for a walk.

No preservatives, MSG, milk, soy, sugar, wheat, oats or corn allowed.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Grains, Grains Go Away, Come Again Another Day

So, the last few weeks I've been really working on staying away from carbs. Or high-glycemic carbs. Or carbs that are particularly bad for me because they cause a high insulin reaction. That list includes:

All wheat products (crackers, bread, pastries, cake, tortillas, pancakes, cereals)
Rice (brown and white both)

That essentially is all carbs that are not fruits and vegetables. I also have been sticking to low-glycemic fruits like berries, apples, grapefruit, peaches, pears, kiwi, etc.

Because I've been trying to stay away from the carbs so much, I flirted a bit more with dairy--monterey jack cheese, mozarella cheese, yogurt, sour cream.

Now, I haven't been strict about this goal. I've just been working on it. I've eaten some of these carbs a few times a week. I just have not had them for every meal. I haven't gone out of my way to incorporate them into my diet. I've gone out of my way to stay away from them.

The result has been: I sleep better, I snore less (how do I know this? I just know. I don't wake up as tired and I've been sleeping more deeply, so I know I haven't been snoring as much), I've lost two or three inches from my waist, and I've lost about fifteen pounds.

Once again, I'm not really strict about it. I've just been experimenting. I started reading a lot about the low-carb eating a few weeks ago and it intrigued me. I think it is one of the reasons, I did so well on my 6 Week Body Makeover plan. I ate a lot less carbs than I usually did and the weight seemed to fall off of me.

But this time, I'm not as focused on the weight. I feel more focused on my health. I want to feel better. I want to be more active. I want to do more. I want better focus. I want less fatigue. And all of that seems to come about when my eating is aligned with principles of health and my genetic specificity.

And my genetic specificity seems to do a whole lot better when there are a lot less carbs in the mix.

So, here I go again. Changing my eating to change my life. Throughout my thirty plus years on this planet, I've had to be the most flexible when it comes to what I eat. I've had to be the most open, the most willing to change, the most humble, the most specific about the foods I put in my mouth and how they affect this biochemical wonder that is my body.

So, maybe I've finally found the key that unlocks the mystery of having my very own healthy body.

I hope so.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Foods I Want to Eat Weekly

I love listening to Dr. Mehmet Oz. He and Christian Northrup, Jonny Bowden and others are my favorite nutritional/health gurus.

Dr. Mehmet Oz has a great list of foods that have made his Hall of Shame and his Hall of Fame. I have looked for this list so many times that I'm going to make a permanent note of each of them.

Hall of Shame Foods
High fructose corn syrup
Enriched wheat flour (white flour)
Saturated fat (like lard that is solid at room temperature)
Hydrogenated oil

Hall of Fame Foods
Olive oil
Tomatoes (eat with a little olive oil or raw nuts to digest the lycopene better)
Raw nuts

These Hall of Fame Foods sound great to me. I want my own list of foods that I want to eat each and every week. They include what Dr. Oz has listed above along with a few others.

  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Raw nuts
  • Pomegranates
  • Blueberries
  • Ginger
  • Onions
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemons/limes
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Salmon

I think those foods would be a great start towards eating better and healthier foods each week. Now if I can just build a menu that surrounds them.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Two Nights of Sleeping Like a Baby

I've never had much of an issue with getting to sleep. In fact, most of my life has been spent wishing I could sleep more. I've easily been able to sleep 9-10 hours most nights and sometimes wished for more like 12 hours of sleep a night.

Enter two years ago. I moved out into my very own place for the first time. From that moment, my sleep began to get a bit skeewampus. No one was around going to bed, so I was the only one setting the bedtime routine. I was sleeping in a big house by myself and that made me a bit nervous. I started watching TV late in the evening to bypass some of those nerves. And thus began a rather nasty routine of going to bed late, sleeping in late, or just not getting much sleep. It has not been pretty.

One thing I did notice about my sleep when I was on the 6WBMO plan three years ago was that the better I ate and the more I exercised, the less sleep I needed. Meaning I could sleep for eight hours and I felt better than I did before when I wasn't eating well or exercising and I was getting 9-10 hours of sleep.

So, I know my sleep is affected by how much movement I get and what I am eating.

Enter the last two nights. I have slept like a baby. Meaning not only that I slept plenty of hours, but when I woke up I was alert and happy and felt gooooooooooood. There is something magical about that kind of sleep. Magical, special and appreciated.

Thank yoooooooooo, body. I'm thrilled with this latest development. Let's keep it up!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Thoughts on the State of My Diet

A few nights ago I ate that amazing meal at Thanksgiving Point. It was so, so good and I knew it was going to do something good to my body too. All the yummy veggies and the fish, shrimp and scallops just spoke to me. And I was right. About 24 hours later, I felt AMAZING.

That food--salmon, incredible veggies, good fats--does something to me that I don't acknowledge well enough sometimes. That food works with my body and its biochemistry. It works for me. That kind of food often leaves me feeling clean and good inside. Just like that night. The food is fresh and appealing and it is well-prepared with thought and care. (I need more thought and care when it comes to preparing my daily meals).

So, even though I felt amazing, I didn't keep eating that way the next few days. I had burgers and fries and a chocolate shake one day. I had a strawberry shake and a chicken taco the next day, I binged on Saturday morning at the McDonald's drive-thru and purchased their Deluxe Breakfast with pancakes, sausage, egg and biscuit, plus I got an Egg McMuffin, plus I got a cinnamon melt.

All those foods? Left me feeling tired, down, overwhelmed, and bloated. None of them made me MISERABLE, but I certainly didn't feel amazing like I did the day after the lovely, lovely meal I posted about two days ago.

You think in the future I might remember which food is which and choose accordingly.

I can hope.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Swooned at Dinner

I got to go to a corporate event with my dad the other night and the food was so scrumptious that I had to post the menu. Even the words that describe the menu are yummy! So, drool a bit with me.

Spinach salad with carmelized walnuts, dried pears, gorgonzola cheese and strawberry-balsamic vinagrette
The walnuts and pear really made this salad.

Tomato salad with torn basil leaves and a balsamic reduction with extra virgin olive oil
This doesn't even begin to describe how delicious these tomatoes looked!

Carved marinated shoulder roast with aegean vinaigrette, portabella mushrooms and veal reduction
This was good too, just a little too much on the red side for me.

Seared salmon with scallops and shrimp served with pickled ginger beurre blanc with chive straws
Yummy, yummy, yummy, yummy--I love salmon and shrimp and scallops and to have all THREE, well couldn't get any better for me.

Yukon gold gratin potatoes
This dish had some serious pungent cheese on it that made this old standby into a real star.

Fresh spring vegetable sautee
Okay, this dish to me was the star of the evening. I've very rarely had so many delicious vegetables at once--baby carrots, dark green broccoli, yellow squash, spring onions--I wanted to go back for seconds and thirds and fourths. I've got to learn how to put together a vegetable dish this yummy.

Raspberry lemonade
I almost never drink raspberry lemonade--it gives me a headache because it is so sweet. This drink though almost tasted peach to me. The flavoring was very light and the juice thicker--like they had pureed the raspberries and added them to the drink. It was the best raspberry lemonade I've ever had.

Dark chocolate banana creme brulee
Really the only disappointment of the night. My pudding was mostly banana while my dad's had a lovely layer of dark chocolate on top of the banana pudding. But I still ate all of mine!

The food wasn't the only highlight of the evening, but it sure was a star. Now, if I could only replicate all these dishes in my own kitchen. Wouldn't you want to come for dinner?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

KABOOM Learning Experience

Starting Weight in January 2004: 315 pounds

Followed a program where I ate 6 times a day with strict guidelines on protein, carbs, veggies, fruit.

Learned a lot about my body on this plan.

Weight in February 2005: 209 pounds

Total Loss for 2004: 105 pounds

The Emotional Explosion: February 2005
Began eating carbs and sugar. Swooped deeply into emotional no-man's land. Wouldn't come up for air for a very, very long time. I now have a much clearer picture of the devastation of diet mentality.

January 2006: Gained 130 pounds in 9 months.

Friday, February 15, 2008

What I'm Eating this Weekend

I just got back from a late-night haunt of the grocery store. There have been too many days in a row of subpar food in my life. How do I know this? Because I'm hungry and never filled despite what I eat. Because not one fast food or dining out option even sounds fun. Because I crave beauty with my food, not just food. Because I can sit for hours perusing a cookbook wishing I could eat this or that or that or this. Because nothing in my life is going quite right and it seems like it is time to get back to the earth, the cycle of life, the nourishing, feeding, joyous, celebration-filled reclamation of meal time. Because I'm hungry deep down to my very toes and I know this kind of hunger will never be filled by mounds of chocolate, chips, sandwiches, or semi-meals. This kind of hunger takes time, patience, and effort to really fill me up.

In that vein then, I went to the grocery store armed with a few recipes and a couple of yummy ideas. And this is what I've come away with:

My Weekend Meal List:
  • New York Breakfast--smoked salmon on toasted rye bread with cream cheese, cucumbers, tomato and dill
  • Broccoli and Cheddar Frittata--an egg and veggie quiche with the sharp tang of cheddar cheese to top it off
  • Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon and Apple Cider Dressing--it just sounds yum to me!
  • Blueberry blast--a fruit smoothie with blueberries, honey, yogurt and almond milk
  • Oven fried potatoes--red potatoes cut in strips and seasoned with paprika, salt and garlic
  • Oven baked chicken--a version of fried chicken that is more healthy than harmful and it looks and sounds simply delicious.
I think there will be some lovely meals this weekend that combine both beauty and taste and make my heart and my mouth sing. YUMMMMMMEEEEEE!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Goal Recap--February 2008

My biggest goal for the next few months is Denmark. I'm flying to Denmark at the end of May and I have some very big goals in mind for that trip. I want to be able to fit in the airplane seat, I want to fly without using a seat belt extender, and I want to have the energy to walk anywhere I want to on our vacation without holding myself back or anyone else.

Those are pretty high-minded goals and even I know it.

I think in the past I would have tried to lose 150 lbs. in three months and I would have shut my eyes to the reality of being able to achieve that goal.

I don't want to shut my eyes this time. I actually want to make some realistic goals and achieve them. Most of all I am concerned with being comfortable when I fly back and forth to Denmark and I'm concerned with being active and athletic enough to handle any of the physical demands that are placed on me by this trip.

The last time I flew to Europe in 2004 I was 240 pounds. I felt pretty good on that trip. Not excellent, but pretty good. I had lost about 75 pounds in 5 months on the Provida plan and I was completely gung-ho to lose the rest of the weight. I was very, very strict about my diet and exercise--in fact, I was way too uptight about it. I had very little sense of balance or moderation. Most of my sense had to do with desperation and exasperation. I would go off my food plan--as planned--during that 2004 trip, but what I didn't count on was how quickly the demons would come roaring back to me. I had no idea that simply by ingesting sugar and simple carbs, I would again turn on deep cravings and intense longings inside myself. I was shocked when those feelings returned. It would take more time for me to figure all those feelings out.

But on my 2004 trip, I was pushed physically. We spent several days walking in Paris and London and I had to keep a very fast pace on those days. We also climbed stairs to old castles and hurtled from one subway stop to the next. We were constantly going it seemed and I felt like I was reasonably good at keeping up. In fact, I felt pretty darn amazing because I hadn't been that low in weight or that active since my first trip to Europe in 1998.

On the 1998 trip, I went to Europe weighing 215 pounds and I came home weighing 230 pounds. After that, I quit weighing myself for several years. Essentially I gave up the fight when I came back from Europe in 1998 and I didn't try to take the reins back for several years--at least until I started staring my 30th birthday in the face.

So, this Europe trip, I know I will weigh more than I did on the last two Europe trips. But I also know that the things that will really help me and assist me are my exercise and my food. If I have a good diet--lots of veggies, good proteins, excellent fats--and plenty of exercise, I can certainly improve and alter my chances of enjoying this trip without feeling literally weighed down.

I updated all my stats on the right of my blog today (weight: 343 lbs and waist: 54 inches) and that really helped me to zone in on my goals. I haven't been focused on them at all the last week--I've been fussy and out of focus since we returned from our annual cabin trip. I think just updating the stats and staring reality in the face again for a little while has helped.

My next mini goal is to lose 10-15 pounds in the next two weeks. I'm not pushing for a miracle here. What that really means to me is I want to exercise 6 days a week and I want to plan my food each week. I think if I do those two things that at this stage in the game, I can easily lose that much weight.

I'm also not supposed to be obsessing about the pounds. Yet, that is all this post seems to be about. I guess what I mean right now about not obsessing about the pounds is to not weigh myself every day, but only once a month (or secretly once a week). I don't want my goals to revolve around the scale. I want them to revovle around--exercising daily, eating well daily, studying the scriptures and staying close to God daily, and turning my focus outward at least once a day to focus on someone else. Those are the goals that I want to inform and guide me the next few weeks. I believe if I do those things, the weight will follow.


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