Monday, November 28, 2011

What da heck?

With all of the serious stuff going on around me, I kinda feel bad writing a light hearted blog entry...but there are some questions that I feel like I need to answer. I've had the experience over the last several weeks of people that haven't seen me for a while saying "what da heck? I thought you weren't dieting. I thought you weren't using a scale" (due to my blog entry on October 18 called "I quit"). I had to go back to that blog post and reread (which I hate doing) to make sure I wasn't being a full out hypocrite. I'm pretty sure I'm only half of one.

So yes, if you haven't seen me in a bit I've lost a few pounds.  How many exactly doesn't really matter. Yes, I have been weighing myself, but I am not owned by the scale. It does not determine if I'm going to have a good day. At this point some of you may feel "hey, we were going to throw away our scales together." But because of a small health indicator that came up, I decided I needed to get to a healthier weight. Nothing big, but I knew that with my HDL's being low and the arthritis in my knees, losing a few would be beneficial. But I had tried and tried and was what to do?

Well, I did something I always said I would never do...I joined a commercial weight loss center. Ugh. Paying someone to tell me what I could tell someone else. But that in itself has been the motivating factor to keep me honest and eating healthier. It is much easier to stay on track because I'm paying someone else...I'm really frugal and hate "wasting" money, so I'm not going to pay someone for an eating plan and then go eat a cookie instead, whereas if I used my own knowledge and made an eating plan (I can make some great ones), there isn't as much incentive to stay away from the Halloween candy that is still here. I call in to the center 1 or 2 times a week...and I could totally lie about how I've been doing, but that wouldn't help.

I've always "wanted" to eat eat more fruits and vegetables, lean proteins. And I would do a fair job at it, but I'm realizing now how much I "cheated" even when I thought I was doing my best. And I haven't erased sweets from my life forever, just for a time while I'm learning some new things: like that I really like spinach but have a moral opposition to iceburg lettuce, that that there are some good vinaigrettes out there (did you know there was any dressing besides ranch? I didn't.) And no, I'm not eating just salad, but that's a dish that I didn't have in my life nearly enough so I am learning a lot.

So it's not that I've found a magic plan by any means. I kinda fell into it when I was researching some stuff for my parents and ended up being the first one to sign up (reminds me of when I got my tattoo in the summer of 99). But for me it has helped me learn new things. But ultimately I am the one in control.

And has it corrected my health concerns? I won't get another blood test for about 6 months, but I did go for a run Saturday night, and my knees were much happier.

So I have to eat crow a bit since I have engaged in a bit of the "diet industry's" antics. But it is helping my health. It isn't about looking great in a swimsuit (that's not a goal of mine by any means), its about improving my health to be around for my kids. Its about being able to run with some great friends without having my knees hate me. And its about making this a lifestyle change so that I can remain healthy.

I'm not gonna lie, it is nice that I finally fit back into my prebaby clothes, but you won't be finding me on the cover of a magazine anytime soon...and I'm okay with that.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Yesterday morning lots of thoughts raced through my mind, as I'm sure they did many of yours. "God, you can't take her! God, we need her! Please God keep her here with us. Please God." Lots of tears, hugs from friends, waiting, pleading, and one question that always lingers: Why?

I ask it in such situations not expecting an answer...and I often wonder if it is okay to ask. This morning I remembered something I learned at Hearts at Home from Rob Curry (preschool expert). Preschoolers will often as "why" over and over again to the same question. Even when we answer them, they still ask why. According to Curry, when preschoolers do this they are not asking for an explanation, they are looking for validation of their feelings. Maybe they are excited. Maybe they are scared. They just want validation from their parent that they are heard, understood, and cared for.

And that's really what I'm asking my Father God when I ask Why? I'm asking for validation, that God sees our pain and our fear. I don't really need to see the big picture, I need loving arms around me. I need to know that my time on my knees (both figuratively and literally) is being heard.

And thus far God has answered our prayers for healing for Dara. We don't know what the rest of her story will be...but we know thus far God had worked a miracle in her life. (And if you know how awesome Dara is, not only is the one of the most amazing people I've met, now she's got "miracle" under her belt too:) We don't know the end result, but we do know God has been at work in her life and so many that have been praying.

One of the scripture passages that comforts me in situations like this is John 9 and a man born blind. The disciples ask if it was the man's sin or the parents' sin that caused the blindness: "'Neither this man, nor his parents sinned,' said Jesus, 'but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.'" Sometimes the work of God is healing here on earth. Sometimes the healing means a person is called home to be with Jesus.

So why does God heal some people here on earth while others are taken from us? My highly spiritual and theological answer is: I don't know. I don't know, but I trust in the goodness of God and the promise of eternal life through Christ Jesus.

So today I am thankful for the healing so far in Dara's life...and pray for continue healing and peace for her, David, and Isabelle. I pray for other friends who are awaiting answers and healing for their loved ones or who are dealing with lifelong illness. I pray for those families who have had to say good-bye to loved ones over the past year, especially as we enter the holiday season. Below are the lyrics from Steven Curtis Chapman's "Carry You to Jesus."

I will not pretend to feel the pain you're going through
I know I cannot comprehend the hurt you've known
And I used to think it mattered if I understood
But now I just don't know

Well, I'll admit sometimes I still wish I knew what to say
And I keep looking for a way to fix it all
But we know we're at the mercy of God's higher ways
And our ways are so small

But I will carry you to Jesus
He is everything you need
I will carry you to Jesus on my knees

It's such a privilege for me to give this gift to you
All I'd ever hope you'd give me in return
Is to know that you'll be there to do the same for me
When the tables turn

And if you need to cry go on and I, I will cry along with you, yeah
I've given you what I have but still I know the best thing I can do
Is just pray for you
I'll carry you
I'll take you to Jesus on my knees

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


"Never confuse fashion and style. Fashion relies on unattainable looks on women with unrealistic bodies. Style is about utilizing the best aspects of you." -Stacy London

Uh oh. Some of you are already thinking SHE is going to write a blog on STYLE??? Rest assured you will not be getting any style (or fashion) tips from me. I'm pretty much nil in knowledge in this area. My first day of school picture from my senior year shows me in some mom-type jeans a size too small, an old t-shirt, and my dad's old red flannel shirt (probably about 4 sizes or so too big). Granted, grunge was "in" at that time, but definitely not the way I was trying to pull it off. To be honest, I never cared if what I wore was in style or even if it looked good on me.

Somewhere along the way I started caring...well, a little bit. In that post-college time when I became a "professional" I started caring about if a pair of pants fit and were flattering or if a color matched my skin tone. Note: I was not "good" at this, but it started to matter to me. But it seemed the harder I tried, I never quite pulled off what I thought I should look like. I could never pull off the latest styles. I mostly stayed safe and conservative, but its just not a knack I have...getting a polished look all together. And once I threw two kids into my getting ready routine, the ability was even less.

That's why I loved this quote from Stacy that was in Better Homes & Gardens. I used to love watching her on What Not To Wear (where I learned the value of a jacket). I did stop watching because it still left me feeling like my closet was never good enough, which is not a good place to be. We need to embrace our own personal style, wear it to the best of our ability (in the correct size, no matter what the size on the tag is), and that our own personal style is more than just the clothes we wear.

Some of you rock the "fashion" can really pull off the latest styles and can put an outfit together into some magical complete look. It's just part of how you are gifted. Some of you (like me) are bent toward casual/comfortable...and we can't allow ourselves to spend our lives in sweat pants, but have to feel confident that we can still wear clothes in that genre without looking frumpy. Some of you rock the black socks with sandals look (okay, maybe I don't have any middle-aged men reading my blog...)

So wear who you are...and remember above all that our beauty does not come from outward adornment.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I want candy!!!!

I'm sure many households look like mine today...bags of candy from trick or treating. Bags and bags of deliciously-looking-but-not-good-for-you goodness just asking to sit on the couch with me and be eaten. Who thought of this holiday anyhow?

As you know, I'm not placing my self-worth in the size of my waist, but I've also committed to getting healthier on the nutrition front. So I chose a couple of goodies on the 31st and had them and now...I'm just not going to eat them. But I've realized in the past two days of self-denial, the internal phrasing I use can make me powerful or can make me a victim.

You've probably been around that meal eating fun killer that bemoans "I can't eat that" because of a diet or whatever. The tone borders on whiny and just asking for sympathy. I've been the whiny dieter. And guess what? No one wants to hear whiny "I can't" phrases. Is there really an unseen force keeping you or I from eating skittles or snickers or the whole bag? Like if I do I may just implode? No, it's a choice. It's a choice to eat it, it's a choice to not eat it.

So I've been trying to change my internal dialog. Instead of thinking "I can't have you" like I'm waiting for it to say "yes you can" back, I say "I'm not going to eat you. You are not helping me be healthy. Yes, I could have one...but for me, one leads to 10 so I'm not even going to start." Okay, so I don't say this out loud, I'm not a total nut. But it is helping. It is moving me from victim to being the one in position of power. I am making the choice. And if tomorrow I make the choice to eat a snickers, that doesn't make me a bad person...but I also can't whine about not meeting my goals if I am making choices that aren't healthy.

I'm doing my best to get the loot out of sight so it will be out of mind, but with the haul the kids brought in, I need a better storage space:)