Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I'm thankful that Thanksgiving is no longer about the food for me.  Crazy huh???  For many years all I could think of was the large, happy meal that I would be ingesting.  Oh, and the rest of the other "thankful" stuff was mixed in there somewhere.

Praise be to God that He captured my heart AND my stomach and that now I can live a life, a I Thes. 5:18 life, of continual gratitude.

Don't get me wrong.  I will enjoy my MUCH smaller portions of turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and a roll tomorrow.  I'm just glad that it no longer has a hold on me.  I am hoping to start my day with a nice "Turkey Trot" with my friend Leslie.  We are hoping to get in at least 5 miles and start off our day on a positive note.

I'm up 2.5 pounds.  The scales are saying 186.5 and my goal is for them to say 150 by May 20, 2013.
Let's replace all of the weight I have lost (negative baggage) with happy, grateful thoughts.  Here are 101 things that I am ever so grateful and not only tomorrow.

My Gratitude List:

  1. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ.  My life is different because the Holy Spirit drew me to Him and I have given my life to God through Christ.
  2. A loving husband, Nathan, of 17 years.  Marriage hasn't been easy, but it is OH so worth it.
  3. Five amazing, unique, fun, challenging and inspiring children.
  4. Four boys that are rough, tumble, and someday WILL eat me out of house and home.
  5. A precocious tomboy named JoyAnn who is at the brink of young womanhood.  One day she wants to wear her favorite football jersey, the next, her dresses and cowgirl boots.  I love that girlie!
  6. Living in America.  As screwed up as our country is, it is in many ways SO wonderful.
  7. A faith family at Mountain View Church.  God called us away for a brief time, but I am so grateful to have returned there.  In the last 9 months my family has been immersed in the Word in a way that has impacted and changed our lives forever.  Our hearts have been stirred and there's NO GOING BACK!
  8. The experience of being introduced to inductive Bible study and having the opportunity to become a Precept Ministries trained leader.  I am falling in love with the Word of God afresh and anew on a daily basis.
  9. The gift of a humbling journey to empty myself of pride and anger and do the work to lose 101 pounds.  Although I am embarrassed to have allowed myself to become so morbidly obese, I am so glad to have been given the chance to live again!!!
  10. Good hair and good teeth.  I'm almost 38 and have never had a cavity.  I'm also blessed with thick hair.
  11. Having grown up in a military family.  By being exposed to diversity, multiculturalism and very good academic opportunities, I feel more rounded than some of my friends.
  12. A college degree (even though I really didn't want to finish).  I'm so glad I had the chance.
  13. A sense of humor.  Although I have learned the hard way quite often about my sarcasm and it's hurtful tendencies, my dry wit has come in handy over the years.
  14. Good skin.  My complexion usually doesn't give me any trouble.  
  15. The gift of growing up in a home with TWO parents.  So many people I know come from broken homes.  I love and appreciate my Dad and Mom.
  16. Qualified, patient and loving therapists to work with my son Joseph, who is on the autism spectrum.  Machelle, Bernie, Darren, Karen, Martha, and Mindy have all played a role in Joseph's improvements over the last years.
  17. Peanut Butter
  18. Movie theater popcorn with extra butter
  19. Learning to move more and eat less.  So grateful to have learned to jog and really enjoy it.
  20. Music that stirs my soul and causes me to weep with joy, pain, contemplation, desire, etc.
  21. Thick milkshakes that leave a mustache after you drink them.
  22. A wonderful woman named Nell Williams, my Nannie, that loved me gently and completely for 33 years of my life.
  23. Pizza.  Even bad pizza is still good pizza.
  24. Chiropractic adjustments.
  25. A warm cup of coffee with half and half.
  26. Laughing until your sides hurt.
  27. Watching my children sleep and knowing that they are safe in the care of their Creator.
  28. Celebrate Recovery.  The ministry of God's Word, the 8 principles and the 12 steps has reconciled my marriage, changed my heart and allowed me to say for the first time in my life (at the age of 33) "I like myself".
  29. Duct tape
  30. The feeling of slipping on a pair of jeans in a smaller size and being able to pull them up, and zip them comfortably.
  31. Picnics
  32. The variety of colors God created.  Especially when visible in the covenant rainbow.  Double rainbows are the BEST!!
  33. Warm bubble baths
  34. Feeling the sand between your toes during a walk on the beach.
  35. Having the ability to read, study and memorize the Word of God.
  36. Snow
  37. The majesty of sunrises and sunsets.  The creativity, beauty and unique splendor of each new day.
  38. Books.  Reading is such fun and a gift to be able to obtain knowledge in that way.
  39. Friendship
  40. Christmas music.  I could listen to it everyday, all year long!
  41. Date night!  I'm so blessed that my husband still makes time to be with me and counts it joy.  I love our moments together, if even brief.
  42. The opportunity to have helped lead/facilitate worship for the women's Bible study at the Cove for 9 years!!!
  43. Having had the chance to live on the East Coast and to live in the West.  I've seen lots of the country and have loved the unique qualities of each climate.
  44. The absolute gift of being a part of Elah Moriah Massey's birth.  Totally different experience than giving birth.  I LOVED it!
  45. The ability to type.
  46. Clean water to drink, cook, bathe, prepare food.
  47. The knowledge and talent to read music, create music and appreciate music!!!
  48. Flannel sheets
  49. Live Christmas trees
  50. The chance to start all over again.  No matter what the situation.
  51. Nathan's homemade apple pie.
  52. The crispness of the air in Fall and the splendid color of the leaves in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
  53. Warm summer evenings filled with nostalgia.
  54. Pictures that help to restore, relive and revive memories.
  55. Lifting heavy weights and putting them down....a LOT, and in repeated succession.  ;-)
  56. A mother and father-in-law that genuinely love and respect me.  They pray for me and help me in ANY way possible.  Oh how fortunate and blessed I am.
  57. Smoothies
  58. The BRIEF moment when your house is clean.  Granted when the children wake up or return from their outing that will change.  Yet, there is that brief moment when all is well.  ;-)
  59. Big breakfasts.  Biscuits, gravy, eggs, fruit, bacon and/or sausage. Maybe hash browns, cheese grits, and cinnamon rolls or other pastries.  Coffee, milk and juice top it all off with a glazed over smile.
  60. Butter.  Real butter.  Not this margarine crap.
  61. Men of God that have taught me and brought me into the TRUTH over the course of my life.  Praise God for pastors, teachers and counselors.
  62. Unexpected blessings
  63. Learning from my mistakes and the gift of trying to help my children not make the same ones.  
  64. Singing/playing at countless weddings and funerals and being a part of such sacred moments.
  65. The fact that my husband can SING!!!  His voice still moves me, after all of these years.
  66. The gift of home educating, although incredibly trying at times.
  67. Blogging and journaling.
  68. Good food accompanied by fabulous company, preferably topped off with great music.  That's my idea of an evening well spent!
  69. Fresh strawberry, spinach salad with stinky cheese and a poppy seed dressing.
  70. Gingerale and Saltine crackers during/after a stomach yuck.
  71. The feeling of having your teeth cleaned by the dentist.
  72. Having the privilege of a nice uninterrupted day at the hair salon.  A wash, cut, set/style and wax does a girl's heart good.
  73. Receiving/partaking in communion with fellow believers.
  74. The joy of encouraging another.
  75. Giving AND receiving love.
  76. That moment where you feel brave enough to do something that you've never done before.
  77. Sleeping outside.
  78. Sharing life with a small group of people that love you, encourage you and hold you accountable.  Conversations that challenge, inspire and lead you back to the cross are a true treasure.
  79. Having had the chance to worship in a variety of settings/denominations.
  80. Kisses.  Long, short, passionate, flirty, gentle.  Kisses.  All kinds ;-)
  81. The internet
  82. Raw cookie dough.  Oh and baked cookies too I guess!!!
  83. A good back scratch.
  84. Obsessive list making ;-)
  85. The fact that my children have a GREAT relationship with BOTH sets of grandparents!
  86. Three brothers.  All different.  All wonderful!
  87. Cheesecake.  Red Velvet cake.  Pumpkin pie.
  88. People that are gifted in different areas.  For instance my trainer, Leslie Raper, who knew exactly how to inspire, challenge, encourage me to enter the race to life, health, wholeness and healing.  I'm 100+ pounds lighter today because of her care/concern/knowledge.
  89. Prayer!!!!
  90. When someone sends you flowers or surprises you by bringing them over to your house.
  91. Late night phone conversations that last into the wee hours of the morning.
  92. Krispy Kreme donut runs at crazy hours of the night.
  93. Learning to "accept hardship as a pathway to peace".
  94. The smell of soup or chili simmering on the stove or in the crockpot.  Knowing that you are going to top it with cheese, pair it with fritos, crackers, bread and feel full, happy and blessed!!!
  95. Smiling
  96. Knowing that there is a difference between "first" love and "lasting" love!!!
  97. Crossword puzzles, word searches and other brain testing fun activities
  98. Hugs!!!
  99. Good movies.  Good books.  Good music. Good art.  Good poetry.  I LOVE the fine arts and am grateful for each genre.
  100. Grilled cheese sandwiches with high quality bread and cheese selections.  These are especially fabulous paired with tomato basil soup!
  101. Looking "girly", feeling "girly" and being noticed by your husband for being HIS "girly"!!!!
Thank YOU for taking the time to read my list.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving and keep practicing gratitude!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My Anniversary

Today is the two year anniversary of my day of reckoning.  

October 31, 2010 the scales tipped at 285.6.  My heart was crushed and I was desperate.  The reflection in the mirror showed a woman who had lost all control and was trying to hide behind this mask of fat she had created.  

Today I can fit into ONE leg of those jeans, those jeans that were size 28.  Yesterday I wore my brand new 14's ;-).  I'm almost to the point to where I can shop in a "normal" store.  Oh for the day when I don't have a letter attached to my size or have to pay a few dollars extra because I'm considered "plus".  I digress....

Today I'm going to be POSITIVE.  I'm gonna brag on God.  I'm gonna brag on myself.  I'm gonna brag on my family.  I'm gonna brag on Leslie Raper (my friend and trainer). Today is a day of celebration and joy.  I will revel in two years of crying, struggling, learning, growing and changing.  730 days of ups and downs, relapses and progress, lifting, sweating, running, stretching, swinging, lunging, and pressing.  That's what today is about.  Two revolutions around the sun while I cried, prayed, memorized, blogged, talked, shared, hoped, dreamed of relief, release, freedom.

I've been vulnerable, honest and transparent in this blog.  Continuing to do so is crucial for my further success.  You see, this journey isn't over.  I would like to be 140-150 pounds.  Today the scales revealed..... drum-roll please............the number 186.  If you'll indulge me the .4 pounds, that is a loss of.....

pounds!!!  Isn't God good???

  So what does 100 pounds of fat look like?  Here's a gross disgusting picture for you.

No folks, those aren't mandarin oranges....hehehehe.  Sheesh, that's a LOT of fat!  I'm so glad to be rid of that excess grossness.  Please hear me though, there is still flab, extra skin, cellulite, wrinkles, dimples, and stretch marks.  However, I'm healthier, more free, happier, more confident and that's worth ALL of the other.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.  Thanks for encouraging comments, words and thoughts and prayers.  Have a good day friends.  Celebrate YOUR accomplishment today, whatever it might be, no matter how BIG or SMALL!!!  Today is OUR day ;-)  Oh and I'm still hoping to have a 100 pound party!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

When There Aren't Any Words

It's been FAR too long since I've posted in this blog.  I could go on and on about all of the reasons and bore you with details about my life.  I won't.  I'll just say that this blog has not been a priority.  

That's a word for you.  Priority.  What are my priorities?  Which things in my life hold places of prominence?  Which relationships?  Which goals, dreams and hopes?  How do I organize my life?  Is my time managed wisely?  These are questions that I have been pondering for months.  The loving, gracious and patient Holy Spirit has been prompting me in these last weeks to focus in on what is important.  My version of important and His are very different.  Micah 6:8 says "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Also Phil. 4:8 reminds me that I am to "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

Admitting to you that my perspective has been skewed isn't easy.  Publicly admitting that I'm not the person I want to be or should be is humbling.  None of my relationships are getting the attention they deserve.  This home is a wreck.  Spiritually, my life is weak.  The 17 year marriage is holding on because of all the work I've invested in the past, but isn't getting current attention.  Sweet children are surviving.  The home school that meets here is barely educating.   Eating habits are sliding.  Weight is fluctuating.  Goals are not getting met.  Dreams are fading.     

"In my hurt, at my worst, when my world falls down.  Not for a moment will You forsake me.  Not for a moment will you forsake me."  The Lord is constant and His mercies are new every morning.  I don't deserve ONE of them, yet He lovingly and willingly pours them out on me moment by moment.  

Today there are words.  Today I say "Lord, with your help I will try AGAIN.".  Today I cry out "I need you to fix me and restore to me the joy of YOUR salvation.".  Today there are words that relate my pain, hurt, grief, sorrow, fear, doubt, uncertainty, joy and willingness.  Today my heart, mind and mouth unite in speaking the beauty, grace, majesty, mercy, forgiveness, holiness and justice of my Lord.  My heart desires to be a DOER of the Word and not a hearer only.  I will keep going, growing, changing, trying, living, laughing, loving, breathing, dreaming, hoping, forgiving and pursuing.  Today I will BE in the moment what I was called to be and I will walk ONE step at a time with my God.  Today.  That's all I have.

Monday, August 27, 2012

On the way down....

The scales are moving again ever so slowly and I'm grateful!  This morning 196 ;-)

Friday, August 24, 2012

New Incentive

I have an anniversary coming up soon.  No, not a wedding anniversary.  That was on May 20, 2012 and Nathan and I celebrated 17 years.  This anniversary marks the point that I said "I'm done being fat".  October 31, 2012 will mark two years of being a pilgrim on the road to health, wholeness and seeing my feet (hehehehehe).  So to mark this day I would LOVE to celebrate by stepping on the scales and seeing 185.  That would be my first 100 pounds GONE!!!  The scales today said 198.  This number has been fluctuating due to apathy, PMS and this dreaded cold I have right now, but I'm not bummed.  I'm back on track and that's exciting.  So by Oct. 31, 2012 (68 days) I need to lose 13 pounds.  Two years, 100 pounds and countless inches.  What a glorious day that would be for my entire family. Oh and my 20 year high school reunion is on Oct. 13, 2012.  I can't decide if I should go or not go, but I'm leaning towards going and looking fabulous ;-).

Monday, August 13, 2012

Get Your Head in the Game

So I've got to get my head back in the game.  Being on autopilot too long is placing me dangerously at the brink of becoming sloppy, apathetic and unfocused.  The last month, although mostly productive in both weight loss and fitness goals, has been "off". 

Confession time...I must admit that I have allowed certain thing to slip back into my life that have somewhat sabotaged me and my progress.  Nathan makes EXCELLENT bread and I have allowed myself to have the occasional slice.  Then it was a slice with butter.  Then it was a slice with butter AND jelly.  Also I've made some "comfort" foods for Nathan and the kids that I've indulged in (i.e. lasagna, zucchini pie, things that are cheesy, bready and full of "casserolish goodness").  Oh, I can't forget the peanut butter pie, key lime pie and ice cream I've had this last month.'s a miracle I crossed below 200 pounds.   

Social eating, mindless eating, snacking, skipping meals, overeating, making bad choices, these are all things I've done in the last month.  It's time to STOP!  Now is the time to take control again, get my head straightened out, figure out why I've been coping/acting this way.

Grateful that I can isolate things, see patterns and become present enough in the moment, in my life to make necessary changes.  I'm not where I want to be, but I'm not where I used to be, either.  I have a goal to be at my 100 pounds lost by 10/31/2012.  That's 100 pounds in 2 years.  Then I am going to strive to lose the LAST 50 in another year. 38 1/2 years old I'll be my goal weight.  I think that's attainable. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

My 100th Post

How fitting that for my 100th post I can announce that my 100's "place" has FINALLY changed.  That's right ladies and gentlemen, drum roll please.......the scale this morning said 198.  I now live and reside in one-derland!  I didn't want to announce my achievement prematurely so I waited to be sure.  Two days consecutively it said 199.5.  The next day it said 198.5 and then this morning 198.5.  I guess it's REAL!!!  Here's a pic to prove it.

To celebrate this accomplishment I went for a ten mile trail run with Leslie and Wendy.  3 hours and 40 minutes running/walking/hiking.  It was intense, challenging and FUN!!!  I'm not as sore today as I thought I would be, and I'm grateful for that.  I also celebrated that challenge with a nice, juicy burger and salad last night on date night.  It was YUMMO!!!

Thanks for all of your support, encouragement and love along the way.  I've crossed a line and I'm NOT going back.  With God's help I will NEVER be over 200 pounds.  Thanks for reading.  Leave me some love if you don't mind.  Have a great weekend. 

Oh and I guess now I can start spending my $199.  I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

What Defines Me?

So the scales today said 200.0.  I'm about to be below 200 for the first time in 11 years.  I've been working toward this goal since 10/31/2010.  It isn't my final goal, but it is the1st of many.  As excited as I am about this I've really been thinking lately.  Does a number define me? 

I am struggling to find center, balance, and my place in it all.  Some days I'm "on top of the world".  Lately though I've been off balance.  The chaos of my life has caused an emotional vertigo.  Spiraling out of control are my wants, plans, dreams, feelings, fears, doubts and what I know to be true in my heart.  It's a battle of wills.  Mine against God's, and I wonder why I'm having such a time of letting go of the last shreds of my will.  I question myself as to why I am afraid.  What could REALLY be better than living the abundant life in Christ?  Nothing!  So why do I hold back?

July has been a difficult month.  A feeling of disconnect from my family and my God has left me all but paralyzed emotionally.  My mojo has been missing in regards to jogging regularly and I have been weaker in workouts than I would like.  Weight loss has been slow and I am fighting discouragement and doubt more than in months.  Unkind words, deeds and actions have been my norm and I've hurt myself and others regularly.  Tears have been plenty, hurts have framed my thinking and my feelings have taken too big a part on the stage of my life. 

I need a breath of fresh air.  Longing for newness of purpose and passion I keep doing what is comfortable but struggling with the pinching pains of change.  I feel weary to the core and thoughts of quitting are taunting me.  I long for the promised land, but have dreams of Egypt.  Who am I?  What defines me?  What makes me?

Sara Groves has a song that speaks to me.  I want to share it with you all. I really want to press on to victory.  Revelation, understanding and true humility and my desires.  The sand is worth it IF it brings me closer to Jesus.   

Thanks for reading fellow pilgrims.  This journey is hard, but let's make the most of it!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crunchy Knees and Divided Hearts

Snap, crackle pop.  Remember that old Rice Krispies commercial?  Well lately that's been the sound that resonates from me.  My right knee has become increasingly more and more "crunchy".  There hasn't been much pain until recently.  I was adjusted last week by my chiropractor and my teacher/trainer has given me some exercises to isolate my knee and to strengthen hips etc.  So I'm praying that the pain/crunch will get better.  Also, I'm going to buy a support and keep on keeping on with my training program.  Learning to listen to my body and know when to rest is hard for me, but it's a skill I'm developing.  Ice, rest, modifying exercises...this is all a part of my life right now and I'm having to deal with it. 
Even more troubling though is my newest condition.  Accompanying my "crunchy" knee is a divided heart.  I must admit that I have been struggling with fear, worry and the "what ifs".  What if I can't run anymore?  What if I put weight back on and I come to a stand still in my progress?  No more lunges?  No more squats?  What will I do for cardio?  I've come too far to go back.  Morbid obesity is just NOT an option for me.  My life is different.  I've changed.  I'm grateful!  Because of this fear and anxiety I've back off not only on training, but I haven't been as diligent/careful in my eating.  Apathy and laziness are lurking and it's frightening!!!

It's more than that.  Even in the midst of one of the most encouraging times of my life, I'm struggling with doubt.  This is in life, not just in my weight loss journey.  The ugly monsters of fear, doubt, apathy, confusion, instability, laziness are lurking on the horizon.  It's as if they are waiting in hopes to destroy, steal, ruin. 

I'm feeling double minded and a bit divided these days.  God's Word talks about this.  James 1:5-8 says "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (ESV) I don't want to be unstable in my life.  I want wisdom.  I NEED wisdom to know how to eat, how to work out, how to live my life, how to parent, how to school, etc. James 4:7-9 (NLT) says "7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.".  Am I truly sorrowful and repentant in regards to my food addiction, compulsive eating, lack of discipline?  I don't want my loyalties to be divided between God and the world.  I want God to have my WHOLE heart, mind and soul.  Romans 12:1-2 says that the transformation starts by presenting my body and then allowing God to renew/transform my mind.  These are the ways I WANT to live, the ways I STRIVE to live, the ways I'm LEARNING to live. 

I'm also struggling with comparison.  The green-eyed monster of envy holds me captive sometime and all I can see are beautiful, thin, talented, creative, debt free, "together" people.  My life seems boring, normal, out of control, hopeless and pointless when it's up against the lives of those kinds of people.  This is such a pointless, self-defeating, displeasing to God kind of attitude, mindset.  It's stinkin' thinkin' and I fall prey to it FAR TOO OFTEN.  The glass half empty mindset has been my m.o. for years and I'm ready for a paradigm shift. 

Gotta kick start my heart.  Gonna rest my knee.  Gotta cleanse my body and mind.  Gonna take control again of my eating.  Gotta lift heavier weights.  Gotta run a little longer.  Gonna get more rest.  Gotta drink more water.  Gonna pray for wisdom.  Gotta keep presenting myself to God and live my life with short accounts, clean hands and a pure heart.  Gonna keep on fighting the good fight!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Pic of the Day

Here are some pics my trainer/instructor took today after class.  I'm down 82.6 pounds at this point.  Just a mere 3.5 pounds from my first digit changing.  I can feel the "happy dance" about to start.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


For the most part I have my overeating/compulsive eating under control.  I no longer have ANY desire to eat too much, or to push myself to the point of "no return".  Feeling bloated, uncomfortable and gross just isn't for me anymore.  There isn't any food that tastes good enough to endure that kind of feeling.

YET.....there are a few days each month when all common sense and true knowledge/growth seem to escape me.  I'm writing because I'm in those dreaded days known as PMS.  As a matter of fact I'm five days late, and I'm miserable.  Mentally, physically, emotionally I'm struggling.  I ate a salad for lunch BUT it had too much chicken.  Chicken I might add from Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Yes I took the skin off the chicken, but still...sheesh that stuff is nasty, greasy.  I ate too quickly, I ate too much.  I even tasted some of the skin.  GROSS!!! 

Why do I feel so out of control?  By keeping good track of my cycle I am aware of when I'm to start.  That's why I'm wondering why I still do STUPID things like allowing myself to get too hungry, thus the overeating.  I also will eat "just a bit of this" or a "bit of that" to try and "satisfy" me and it always creates an urge, a longing for more.  Is this beast ever going to die??? When will there be a day when food has no more power over me?  It's just food for crying out loud.  It's like a fire.  I just need to STOP, DROP and ROLL.  If I could just take a moment, a deep breath, walk away and realize what I'm about to do.  I'm so close to my first goal and yet it feels like I'm a million miles away on days like today when I make such foolish choices.  These foolish, rash choices undo hard work that's been done.  It's a cycle of insanity and I'm ready to get off the hamster wheel. 

Picking myself up, putting on the armor of God, realizing all of the progress I HAVE made, I'm gonna keep on keeping on and fight this good fight.  It IS a good fight.  Being humbled in the last year and a half of my life has been the best experience.  Coming into the majesty that I was created IN and created FOR has been powerfully freeing and glorious.  My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and when I abuse it I in turn grieve Him.  It's not just about overeating, eating junk, it's a spiritual battle for me.  Integrity, honor, truth and justice...that's what I'm after.  I'm finding it by sharing with others.  Today's lunch = minor fail.  Believe me I've had failures of more epic proportions.  Once again I'm so grateful that I'm not measured by successes and failures.  I'm not measured by the scale.  I'm not measured by a tape measure.  My worth is in JESUS!!! 

Jesus made me, fearfully and wonderfully, a woman.  PMS isn't a curse.  It's a gift.  I just have to learn to handle it, take account of it, work with it not against it.  Each month is a chance to learn, grow and try it again.  For just a brief minute today I laughed out loud and said..."what if I'm pregnant".  Oh boy....that's for another post. 

Thanks as always for reading my ramblings. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Results of the Cleanse

Overall I'm glad that I did the Summer cleanse.  A weight loss of 7.5 pounds in ten days.  It helped me get some water weight/bloating taken care of and my tummy back on track.  It did NOT get me below 200 pounds.  The hardest part was the first day.  I was HUNGRY.  Also not having any protein for 5 days was a bummer.  I had two cheats (Day 5, Day 7).  Returning back to the "real" world of eating has been difficult.  My tummy hasn't been very happy with the amount of food I'm in taking now and I feel even more bloated than before I started the cleanse.  I have some ideas about food/fasting/choices that I'm going to experiment with.  The scales keep teetering between 201 and 203. my first digit EVER going to change????

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's GOOD to NOT be Noticed

When you are morbidly obese people notice.  They stare.  They laugh.  They look away, hoping you didn't seem them gawking at you.  How could people NOT notice when you can't fit into booths, amusement park rides or movie theater seats?  Ironically I thought that when I was fat(ter) I was hiding.  Let me tell you that my cushion of flab certainly hasn't protected me from hurt and sadness.  In fact it's multiplied my pain and sorrow.

Well lately the opposite is happening and I'm absolutely THRILLED.  I have people look at me in the eye, smile in acknowledgement, walk past me and THEN's me.  They come back to speak and inevitably say something like "I didn't even recognize you".  I've had other people say "I didn't know it was you until I heard you speak.".  People have been very supportive in this journey and quick to complement, encourage and praise me.  I am learning to say thank you and quickly turn back all of the praise to where it's due.  Sure, I've worked my butt off, literally.  Yet, there are other factors, people, things that have helped.  I give credit to God for helping me by sustaining me and loving me gently as He breaks my will and I turn it over to Him bit by bit.  Leslie is ALWAYS mentioned.  I jokingly say "If people stand still long enough I'm gonna tell them about Jesus and Leslie.".  My family gets mentioned.  I want others to know I haven't walked this road alone.  Also I let people know I'm still walking this journey.  Realistically I have 50-60 more pounds I would like to lose.

This morning the scales said 201.5.  I'm on day seven of my cleanse and overall I would say it's been successful.  Cravings have been broken.  I have been reminded of what my body really NEEDS and how much less food I eat these days.  I need to get back to some sort of regular walking/running schedule.  I'm so close to my first goal I can TASTE it.

Thanks for reading.  Please leave me some love and have a nice day.   

Thursday, July 5, 2012


So true to my life of integrity I must admit that yesterday didn't go as planned.  I started well.  Grapes for breakfast.  Grapes for snack and then it hit me again..."Why did you start a cleanse on a holiday?".  Nathan suggested that I postpone the cleanse a day if I could do it without guilt.  Assuring him that I could do that I ate lunch.  I found it extremely ironic that I was on the Maker's Diet cleanse and experiencing guilt and condemnation (completely opposite from Rom. 8:1) I ate lunch.  Well let me continue the honesty...I OVERATE lunch.  I hadn't set myself up very well for this experience.  Tuesday I wasn't feeling stellar in the tummy department so I all but fasted.  A light lunch, smoothie for snack and a piece of banana bread for dinner.  Needless to say I was ravenous by Wednesday lunchtime.  Bad combo, deprived + hungry + PMS = epic fail.

After lunch I took a nap and had a wonderful conversation with Nathan.  He helped me to realize it's just food.  Desperately wanting to not be controlled by food either positively OR negatively I keep pressing on in this journey.  The evening finished on a highlight.  We had dinner with friends in which I ate lots of yummy fruit and felt better about participating.  Fireworks, friends and freedom capped off our festivities and TODAY I started my cleanse.

Breakfast, snack, lunch...CHECK!  I've enjoyed my grapes and had plenty of water.  This is doable!  Oh and did I mention that Nathan decided to do this cleanse with me to encourage me and to help me succeed?!!!

I'll keep you posted as to my progress.  Thanks for letting me be REAL!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Free to Celebrate

A ten day journey starts today.  I've decided to try the Summer cleanse that Jordan S. Rubin recommends in the Maker's Diet for Weight Loss.  It isn't going to be too difficult.  Full of fruits and veggies that I LOVE, I should be just fine.  Before I embark on my cleanse though I must say aloha, shalom, goodbye to my dear sweet Java.  Our reunion in 10 days will be a sweet time of dark, aromatic goodness. 

Throughout the next week and a half I will be eating strawberries, grapes, pineapple, peaches, cherries, blueberries, papaya, mango, watermelon, raspberries, apples and salads with fresh veggies and raw seeds.  Also further into the journey I will eat whole milk plain yogurt (if I can find some).  I am using this route, path, journey to help me navigate my way to ONEDERLAND!!! 

Lately I've been feeling stuck where I am.  Bloated, frustrated and ready for the next level, I'm excited to see how this journey will end.  The scales said 207.5 this morning.  Prayerfully in the month of July the scales will say 199.

For my American reading friends have a Happy 4th of July.  Today I'm celebrating our country's independence, AND my freedom from food.  I no longer feel addicted, completely dependent upon and consumed by thoughts of my next meal.  Food is just fuel and for that I'm so grateful. many of you will be eating hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, I will be celebrating alongside of you with my GRAPES.  Today, that's all I get to eat, grapes.  Yes, I could have waited until tomorrow to start, but what if tomorrow turned into the day after tomorrow, and then the day after.....I want to lose weight today AND tomorrow AND the next day.  Too much ground has been covered to turn back now.  As the saying goes "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".  Skinny isn't a possibility for me, but healthy IS!!!

Thanks as always for reading.  Leave me a comment, and today enjoy your FREEDOM!  

Monday, July 2, 2012

What Other People See

So today I went into Lane Bryant to just browse and maybe try on a dress or two.  My friend Joy was with me.  As I was greeted by the clerk at the front door she said "Have you lost weight?".  I don't even know her name, and I don't consider myself to be a frequent shopper at this store.  However, I was THRILLED that she noticed. 

This is happening more and more frequently these days.  I'm humbled, thrilled, overjoyed and concerned all at the same time.  With so much farther to go I have doubts such as "Will I be able to make it?".    Thoughts often cross my mind as to what will people say as I keep on keeping on this journey.  I pray that helpful encouragement will greet me and not naysayers.  I really would like to lose 50-70 more.  Sheesh...that's another year to year and a half away.  I am having doubts, and so days like today when someone notices are important. 

Each encounter, each opportunity to answer "How much weight have you lost?  How did you do this?"  is unique.  Sometimes I feel completely free to share my journey.  Included in my details are diet, exercise and if appropriate the spiritual aspect of my journey.  Other times it's just a simple response "Diet and exercise".  I have heard countless tells of people who have lost weight, had gastric bypass or lap band surgery.  I've heard all the "coulda, shoulda, woulda's".  People feel free to give me tips, advice and help.  There have been some humorous questions such as "Do you really run?"  or "Do you like to sweat?".  Statements such as "It must be hard to exercise while being so fat." or "How do you do it?"  Truly I really enjoy hearing it all.  Losing weight has given me opportunity to share by speaking AND listening and I'm grateful. 

There was a purchase made today at Lane Bryant.  One I'm thinking of wearing at my 100 pound party...that is IF it fits me then ;-).  Maybe I'll have a chance to say to the clerk in my NEW store, what a blessing it is to get to shop there.  Soon it will be "Bye Bye" Lane Bryant and although your clerks have been kind and your clothes have covered up a multitude of cellulite with contemporary fashion, I won't be sad to part ways. 

Peace out...I'm signing off to try my new recipe-Sugar Snap Pea and Parmesean Risotto.  It will be made with fresh snap peas from our weekly CSA box.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Balancing Act

So I'm learning more and more throughout this journey called life about balance.  To me living a life of balance means taking all things into consideration and prayerfully making conscious choice.  True balance is the abililty to live in the moment.  Being flexible and available are character qualities of someone who lives within his/her center of balance. 

I have spent most of my adult life in a state of agitation.  Chaos has been a norm for me.  The past and the future are the two places my heart, soul and mind have often resided.  Well for the past few years I have made a steady, strong effort to be intentional in my living.  Being present is powerful. 

I have a normal Saturday routine.  I like it.  It works for me.  My family has adjusted.  Life flows and goes around my plans.  Well last night I had this feeling of unrest.  Thoughts were swirling around in my head as to what I should do/what choices I should really make.  You see, I had several things I wanted to do today.  There were several things I could have done today.  Probably there were several things I should have done today.  As my head hit the pillow, there was still a debate in my heart and mind as to what my priorities would be for Saturday. 

Well I was allowed by my children to sleep later than usual.  8:15 a.m. is what the clock said when I rolled out of bed to go retrieve a screaming two year old.  My open gym time starts at 9 a.m.  I knew I wasn't going to make that start time.  As the morning unfolded it was apparent that I wasn't going to make my workout.  This was both troubling and freeing to me.  Someone had already offered to take four of the kids for a few hours so that Nathan and I could have some time with our eldest son, Joseph.  However, my father and brother Tyler, decided to join the Barkers and so Joseph decided he wanted to tag along.  After helping to get everyone situated and saying goodbye to the two car fulls of folks I enjoyed an unhurried shower.  Nathan and I went to the tailgate market to pick up our CSA (community supported agriculture) veggies and we had sushi for lunch at Green Tea in Asheville.  There was also a stop by Sisters McMullen in downtown for a cupcake.  We since have watched a movie (only mostly interupted by our returning children) and plan on watching a documentary tonight after the kids are in bed.  My house is a wreck.  I didn't do any exercise today.  To-do lists are highly overrated and mine was completely ignored today.  All in all it's been an incredible day.  There has been no shame, no guilt, no condemnation for not running ALL week, not exercising today and even eating an entire fattening cupcake myself.  I rested, I made choices intentionally and I was available, completely available for Nathan.  I feel as if today I understood balance. 

No this doesn't mean cupcakes and no running tomorrow.  It just means that for TODAY I was able to make these choices and know that my life is still moving forward.  By standing still and resting I was able to make progress.  Pretty neat.  This has been a tough week (maybe I'll blog about that sometime) and I have been struggling for sanity/serenity.  Well I really feel as if I was balanced today and brought honor to God by enjoying Him and myself and my surroundings.  I accepted help.  I released myself of expectation and I allowed change to shape my day not ruin it. 

Peace.  Balance.  Freedom.  Serenity.  Today this was me! 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Little of This and a Little of That

That seems to be what I'm eating lately.  I can't keep my face out of food.  At dinner last night I overate.  Yesterday's lunch was less than "clean".  Three EXTREMELY stressful days and unfortunately I have reverted back to old coping skills.  Monday and Tuesday weren't as bad as yesterday.  I also did not do any exercise on Sunday, Monday or Wednesday. 

My dear friend Leslie even warned me about "post race" patterns that I have developed.  This go around though hasn't been nearly as unsettling or counterproductive as the previous two times.  The emotional stability in our home is volatile at best.  Our oldest son Joseph is going through a rough time right now and we are all on edge.  Even though I haven't really undone progress I've made the troubling part is I haven't been proactive in making good decisions or even trying to exercise.  When fear and stress enter into the picture I find myself becoming increasingly apathetic when it comes to clean eating/exercise.  This is troubling to me because those two things, clean eating and exercise, should be weapons to fight off stress and pain.  So...yeah that I didn't binge/pig out/make stupid decisions. the fact that I didn't fight hard enough. 

Note to self....a reminder of sorts-when eating out, go ahead and get that "to go" box at the start of your meal and make half of it go bye-bye immediately!  Another note to self....when you have already made a choice in your brain that helps you avoid a "bad" eating situation...FOLLOW THROUGH AT ALL COSTS!!!

Have a good day.  Thanks for reading. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

So Great a Cloud of Witnesses

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)

Today I was surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  No they weren't the saints that had gone on before literally, as in death, but they were the saints cheering me on at the finish line.  They were the saints running the race in front of me, beside me, and behind me.  They were the saints that prayed for me to beat my personal "best". 

"Let me run the race that is set before me, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of my faith.." (my emphasis added).  Today I was running my race.  I am ever so grateful for my friend and sister in Christ, Andi Stewart.  She was my help today.  When I wanted to give up, just walk, not push myself, or stop she was there.  At one point (the last half mile, after Andi had pushed on ahead) I literally felt as if I was going to cry.  Several times throughout the race I felt really overwhelmed and then I was reminded that as I was fighting through my pain, my issues, my nausea, why I was even running today.  I had/have nothing to prove.  Today's run was for a cause greater than me.  It was to support a woman named Melanie.  Melanie, a single mom of two girls, just fought and BEAT a very aggressive form of breast cancer.  At the moment she is cancer free.  She is going to have reconstructive surgery in the fall and the medical bills are piling higher than her head.  Today's race was to support her. crunchy knee, my stitch in my side, my feeling sorry that I'm still too fat to run as fast as I want...NONE of that was as dramatic, or as life changing as Melanie literally fighting for her life.  As I pressed through the selfishness I was able to sprint to the finish line and hear people calling my name.  What a blessing.  What a joy.  What a feeling.  

Jesus is the reason that Melanie has been able to navigate cancer with grace, faith and beauty.  Jesus is the reason I'm 81 pounds lighter.  My faith in my loving God has given me the power, will, commitment to walk this journey.  The perfecter of my faith was working on me, even today, during the race.  My faith was being made stronger as I realized the beauty of the body of Christ, the church, in action.  As people shared in Melanie's burdens we were made lighter.  Praise be to God for sending Jesus.  Praise be to Him for his loving mercy and grace.  Praise be to the Holy Spirit for his guidance and teaching me more about the character of Christ daily.  Today I prayed that they didn't see me run the race, or cross the line.  Once again I prayed that Jesus would be evident, if even for a moment, through my pain, panting and sweat ;-).  His strength is being perfected in my continued weakness.  What a DAY!!!   

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

3rd Time's the Charm??? third race is Sat. morning. I'm hoping I can break the 40 minute time barrier. I've run the course once and I didn't time myself. The course has a few hills that are well...hilly ;). I'm also dealing with a "crunchy" knee. At this time it isn't painful, but it sure is noisy. My husband and children ask me to stop bending around them. I probably should have it looked at soon, just to avoid injury and confirm that all is well.

Wish I had more to say/report, but at the moment I'm at a stand still again. I can't wait for the day I can type...199. That day is getting closer. I did have an exciting workout last night. Leslie timed my circuits. My first round was 5:06. My second was 4 something...Third was 4:07 and last was just under four minutes. It was fun to push myself. I'm not sure of my consistency because my partner and I were sharing kettle bells. So some rounds I did exercises with the 20s and others the 25s. was fun and I'm sore today.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Replacing the Lies!!!

"It's hopeless!"
"You'll never be able to lose weight!"
"Nathan would be able to love you better/more if you didn't look like a slob."
"God would love you more if you were skinny."
"This wasn't the life you were meant to have."
"You are second-class."
"Your friends left you because you are fat."

These are some of the lies that the voices have told me for years.  I've believed them whole-heartedly for years and attached them to myself.  Almost two years ago I started trying to break through this lies and replace them with TRUTH.  It's been a very hard process.  Precious people in my life, my husband, Leslie Raper, my mother and mother-in-law, Angie Barker, Laura Crockett and others have encouraged me.  Along this path they have shared truth, love, a listening ear, tough love, encouragement, tears, laughter and other blessings.  Daily I face the old, faulty perspective I've developed/adopted.  Even 77 pounds lighter I still see myself as a tired, obese, washed up woman.  I used to refer to myself as "Jabba the Hutt". 

One way recently that I felt led to replace the lies with the TRUTH is to memorize Scripture.  I am going to memorize a verse for every pound lost.  Preparing myself spiritually is every bit as important as having plans in place physically and mentally to keep this weight off once it's gone.  The first passage I'm working on is Phil. 3:7-14 (NASB) "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

A specific number on the scale isn't the end of my journey.  My prize is knowing Jesus and sharing life with Him for eternity.  That's my prize.  I keep doing what I'm doing, striving for health and wholeness because I want to know Him.  I want to be more like Him and losing myself to find Him is an honor. 

These are the other passages I'm memorizing....
  • Psalm 46
  • Romans 12:1-3
  • Proverbs 29:25
  • Psalm 118:6
  • Psalm 143
  • Psalm 37:1-11
  • I Peter 1:13-16
  • Phil. 4:4-9, 11-13
  • Eph. 6:10-18
  • Gal. 5:22-26
  • Psalm 107:8-9
  • Phil. 1:6
  • Phil. 2:12-16
  • Psalm 1
  • Heb. 12:1-3
  • I. Cor. 6:19-20
I've got a long way to journey yet, but I can see myself now as a woman who is learning, growing, changing and resting in the truth.  I still see all the cellulite, flab, wrinkles, spider veins, etc., but I also see a more healthy, whole, blessed woman of God.  I'm a better person, wife, mother and friend because of this journey. NO MORE LIES!!!

Goal-Reaching Rewards

Here are some things I've considered doing with my "miracle money" when I hit 199.  Please hear that it is just my 1st goal...not THE goal.  I do think my benefactor meant 199 since he/she included $199.  I'm sure I'll add/take away things on this list, but here's a start (not in any order).  I'm also sure that $199 won't cover all of this, so what I can't do I'll save for NEXT goal!!!  ***This goal was acheived on 8/3/2012
  • Bungee jump at the mall with my kiddos!  I will gladly get on the scale and look at the man's face as he's waiting to see the number creep up past 200.  When it stops on One Ninety Whatever...I'll see that as a victory.  I won't care how much I bounce, flop or jiggle.  I won't care that it's silly.  I won't be embarrassed.  It's gonna be fun!
  • Buy flip-flops
  • Get a mani/pedi
  • Have a chiro adjustment
  • A new journal (to record/write down all the Scriptures I've been memorizing.  One per pound.  Also to include spiritual insights.) *Purchased from Tobey Bechle.  A beautiful handmade, leather journal.  I transcribed my Scripture list into it while on my getaway with Nathan (8/17-20).
  • Put a group together for a hike to High Windy or Mt. Mitchell
  • Have a massage
  • Do 87 squats
  • Register for a race (an 8 or 9K, maybe even a half marathon)
  • Treat myself to one day/night away from hubby AND kiddos.  Nothing too dramatic or far away, it could be a B&B or even a friend's house.
  • A new book (any suggestions???)
  • A nice clean, fresh healthy meal from Early Girl or Sunny Pointe or Morning catch the drift.  Once again open to suggestions.
  • A new water bottle
  • A new sports bra
  • Buy the first piece of lingerie since 1996 (I know TMI)
  • A roller
  • An armband for my android phone so I can use it while I run.
  • A food processor *My friend Jan Allison found an old one she had and shared it with me.  Works great for now.  One blade is still MIA and she's looking for it.  So this can wait for a while.  
  • Take a cooking class
  • Run 5 miles *This was achieved with Leslie Raper and Wendy Moseley.  A ten-miler (run/hike) in Montreat/Ridgecrest on 8/2/2012
  • A new purse/bag
  • A new pair of boots (dressy/cowgirl)
  • A new pair of trail shoes/hiking shoes
  • Treat myself to a facial
  • The Eat-Clean Books by Tosca Reno
  • A heart rate monitor/GPS watch
  • Dentist appt.
  • New haircut/color
  • Some new running tunes
  • A "100" charm bracelet or some piece of custom designed jewelry
I know this probably seems extensive.  This is the longest "want list" I've ever made.  I feel completely selfish even typing it, but I must admit that 100 pounds is quite an accomplishment.  It's humbling to think that I really was just doing the RIGHT thing (taking care of my body) and that it feels so celebratory.  There is still shame, guilt and sadness connected to this process.  For years I was living in a state of denial, false reality and security.  There is forgiveness and healing in this process too. So what I'm really celebrating is true repentance, submission and freedom.  Good stuff, huh???

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Miracle

Yesterday I received a miracle via "snail mail".  I hardly ever get anything in the mail that isn't junk or a bill, so I almost didn't open the envelope that had no return address.  It had a blurry postmark that I think said Asheville, NC.  I opened up the envelope to find a typed letter.  This is what it said.....

"Dear Janelle,
     I believe you WILL make it to 199...I know you WANT to make it to 199...
     So here is a little incentive for you and the funds for all you wanted to do for yourself when you made it!
     But you can't spend it 'til you have reached your goal!
     With lots of love and encouragement,

Me ;-)"

Who the heck is Me????  I am still stumped.  The letter was also accompanied by 199 dollars!!!  WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW!!!  I just stood in my kitchen and cried.  What a blessing.  So now to ponder, pray and consider what I'm going to do with my blessing. 

By the way, if my "angel" is reading my post...199 is just my 1st goal.  The next goal will be 185.6 (100 pounds lost) and then my final goal is 145-150. 

I shared this not to try and reveal the secret identity of my benefactor, but to share that God THROUGH me has inspired, encouraged and touched others.  Someone heard and saw Jesus at work in my weight loss.  That's the best gift of all.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Food" for Thought

Sobering as it is a quote from my newest read "The Maker's Diet" for Weight Loss by Jordan S. Rubin. 

Here are "Seven Truths to Think About" by Gus Prosch Jr., MD (obesity specialist in Birmingham, AL-deceased in 2005). 
  1. If you're obese, you have a lifetime disease.
  2. Your metabolic processes will always tend to be abnormal.
  3. You cannot eat what others eat and stay thin.
  4. Anyone can lose weight and stay slim provided the causes of weight gain are determined, addressed, and corrected.
  5. Understanding insulin metabolism is the key to losing weight intelligently.
  6. There is absolutely no physiological requirement for sugar or processed foods in your diet.
  7. You must address all the contributing factors causing obesity.
WOW!  Whether or not you agree with all of these statements they are still worth really considering.  Think of each one in order before you move on to the next.  Really ponder and ask yourself if these might be true to you and your situation.  I have learned so much since the start of this journey, but I have so much more to learn. 

I'm looking forward to reading this book (I'm just in chapter 1).  I'm also looking forward to finally getting below 200 pounds and staying there the REST of my life.  I'm so close....this morning the scale said 208.5.  YEAH!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The New "Normal"

My "Old" Saturday
  • Scrambled eggs, biscuits, gravy or pancakes and bacon
  • Watching the kids play Wii
  • Taking a nice long bath and an after breakfast "nap"
  • Cleaning the house
  • More sitting around
  • Fixing lunch for the kids
  • Taking a nap
  • Laundry
  • Playing the "what's for dinner" game
  • Putting the kids to bed early and watching tv with Nathan
My "New" Saturday
  • Up at 5:30am and 6 am to spend an hour (at least) in the Word (Bible) with coffee in hand
  • Breakfast for the family- and then 1st meal for ME *this now means usually a protein shake/smoothie
  • After breakfast dishes I head out for a walk, jog, hike (try to start by 7-7:30am)
  • 9am Circuit Training class with Leslie and my "posse".  I'm so grateful for these ladies!!!
  • Home to shower and have Meal #2 or my new breakfast obsession "Baked eggs with veggies" (a recipe from Whole Living) or a fritatta/ crust less quiche. I also am enjoying a slice of Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel bread with a little butter.
  • Laundry
  • Reading lots of books with the "Bubbies"
  • Possibly an afternoon nap with Nathan
  • *Renewed energy*
  • A trip to the grocery store (possibly)
  • Cooking a nice dinner for the family.  Eating outside/watching the kids play.
  • Watching tv with Nathan (usually a documentary or we are just now watching "24")
My "normal" is so different now and I really enjoy this new pace of life.  Finding a new rhythm has been helpful and my body and soul are craving peace, stability, movement and REAL food (the Word and physically).  I post this not to brag, but to show as always that change is possible (if you really want it).  I'm hoping to incorporate the local tailgate market some this summer and other local activities. 


Saturday, May 26, 2012


So here I am, only five-six pounds lighter than when I started the "challenge".  Disgusted and extremely frustrated with myself, I'm feeling a bit stuck and in desperate need of a change.  72 pounds and it seems I can't lose an ounce more. The ball and chain of the scales feels tied to the scales heavy today.

I have added a third day of weight training/circuit class and I'm hoping to up my cardio.  Possibly food intake is the issue this time?  Regardless, I'm quite frustrated.  Yet, another goal passed unmet.  I was "supposed" to be below 200 pounds as of the 20th.  I'm 210.5 on one scale and 214 on another.  Maybe that's an issue in itself that I have two scales?????   

Also I just gotta get it out there.  I'm feeling a bit jealous of people going on vacation.  Don't think the fam and I are going  to have that opportunity this year.  Finances are a bit tight.  The house purchase still hasn't been completed and I'm just plain old grumpy.  Think I'm gonna go for a run and get my sweat on at a 9 o'clock open gym time.  Have a great holiday weekend.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

MIA from the "Challenge"

I've been participating in the "Ready for Summer Challenge" and I haven't reported my progress or set new goals in two weeks.  I'm not quite as "ready" as I would like to be, but am glad to have taken the challenge.  I'm hoping that there will be another one soon to keep my motivated.  I've stumbled across some really neat blogs.  It's been a good opportunity/experience.

So here it is May 20th.  I'm almost finished with week 8 of the challenge.  I have two more weeks to go and am no where near the weight loss goal I originally set for myself.  I had hoped to lose 18 pounds.  I started the challenge at 220 and today the scales said 214.5.  Sheesh....not too good, huh?  I have had some non-scale victories though and am feeling more toned and fit.  I've become aware of some things in the last few weeks and hope to finish strong!

I will finish on Thursday and then I'll post my progress/new goals.  Just wanted to let anyone reading know...I'm still here ;-)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Amazing Race

I'm not talking about the reality show.  I'm talking about the 5K that I participated in yesterday.  It was amazing for many reasons.  It was a race celebrating adoption.  I am so grateful that my family was blessed to foster 27 children in 8+ years with Bethany Christian Services.  This was a learning experience that I value as a person, Christian, wife and mother.  My youngest brother Tyler was adopted on his first birthday.  It's been a difficult journey for him and there might be times that he wishes his life had turned out differently (many 19 year olds do), but I do think overall he's very glad to have been adopted into the Morgan family.  Yesterday was also powerful for me as I contemplated, meditated upon the promise and joy of having been adopted into the family of God.  Jew and Gentile alike have a place in His heart.  Forever I will be in awe of His grace to me.

There was another reason that yesterday was so special.  As my mother, husband and some of the dearest friends a gal can have waited at the finish line for me to cross I also knew that somewhere on that course was my sister-in-law, Nathalie, my oldest brother, Greg, my father, and my three oldest children.  How is it that I could be so blessed?  Although I did not make my personal goal of 38 minutes I did beat the time from my first race in February.  I completed my 5K in 40 minutes 32 seconds.  This picture is of me running back to get Jesse and JoyAnn as they finished the race with their Uncle Greg in an hour!!!

Joseph and my Dad were the VERY last people to cross the line.  The clock had already been stopped and awards were being given.  However, it didn't matter to me.  I ran back to help him across the line.  No cameras were present but my heart will always remember that moment.  This was a BIG deal for a kid on the autism spectrum who abhors physical exertion.  He finished something he started and did it without complaining.  What a trooper.  I am so thankful that my Dad stayed steady with him and helped him see this through until the finish. 

I ran across that line confidently, knowing I had done my best.  I kept a steady pace at 160bpm.  It wasn't until later that day that my sis-in-law, Nat, noticed that a friend of hers that had participated in the race posted using "Map My Run".  Her GPS on her smart phone actually mapped the course at 3.42 miles.  Interesting.....huh????  Regardless, I enjoyed myself and am completely hooked on running.  Although my newly "crunchy" knee might need some Biofreeze and a support when running. 

It was a peaceful, rewarding day and I was completely blessed by my husband and children.  My entire family really overwhelmed me with love.  Spending time with my nephews, friends, family was a joy.  Praise be to God that gives me the grace to run the truly AMAZING race mentioned in Phil. 3:12-14 "Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Happy Mother's Day to anyone reading this that falls into that category :-).

Blessings to you ALL! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finding Time Vs. Making Time

So I'm struggling once again with the old ways of thinking. I'm finding myself having a really hard time exercising more than 2X-3X/week. Please hear me, I'm so grateful that I can move my body and that I have the opportunity to workout 2X a week in a class and often run once a week. However, I understand to keep melting this fat and sculpting my body to what I want it to become I simply HAVE TO MOVE MORE. This means 5-6X/week.

I am up by 5:30 am. Nathan and I have coffee and we talk briefly. Then we each have a time of individual Bible study. I'm currently doing a precept study on I and II Thessalonians. I just finished Lord, I'm Torn Between Two Masters. This is a study on the Sermon on the Mount. It was my second time going through this book and I enjoyed it while being challenged afresh and anew. After our time of study we wake the kiddos up at 6:30 (actually they are already awake, we just let them come out of their rooms). Then we eat breakfast together. After that we read Jesus Calling for kids. We all take turns reading that day's devotions ("oceans" as the bubs call it). Then Nathan blesses us. I fix his lunch and he kisses us all goodbye. Then our day starts in a FLASH. Tues./Thurs. I already have carved out a chunk of my day to make it to my 8:30 am circuit training class with Leslie. The class lasts 1 hour and with driving time and "chat time" I'm usually gone 2 hours. Then it's shower, feed the kiddos lunch and try to get some schooling and chores done that day. Tuesdays are full because of our involvement in Celebrate Recovery. So the issue is I need to find a time to get some movement in on Mon./Wed./Friday. I have been attending a Wed. night exercise class, but the last several weeks I have been unable to make it. Saturdays I usually trail run. It is tough to find or MAKE even 20 minutes on these days. Between school, doctor's appts, therapy, naps, baths, meals, etc.

I'm open to suggestions. I'm open to help. I guess it boils down to that saying that "you make time for things that are important". I'm gonna have to discipline myself to MAKE time to move 5-6X/week. What a struggle. Just wanted to put this "out there". If I write about it, maybe I can process it more effectively and get over the fence of apathy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Updated Pics

So I put some new pics on my pics page.  I found some from vacation a year ago.  WOW!  I finally can see the difference.  Go check them out.  Here's one called "Stages" that my trainer Leslie put together.  What do you think?

The scales said 213 today!!!  I'm so close.  I think when I get to 190 pounds I'm gonna celebrate with the kiddos by going to the mall and jumping on those bungee cord things.  I don't care how silly I look.  I don't care how much my fat will jiggle.  I'm gonna have fun!!!  I also think when I hit 199 I'm gonna buy me a "below 200 pounds" outfit.  Any suggestions?  Maybe a dress?  Some new strappy sandals.  Maybe I'll get my nails and hair done???  I'm gonna keep looking for pics to show how far I've come.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmm.....

So today is Cinco De Mayo.  This is a holiday that has to do with the Mexicans unlikely victory over the French army in the Battle of Puebla.  It is NOT the Mexican Independence day.  Why do we as Americans celebrate this day?  I think it's because people are looking for a justification to eat their weight in chips and salsa and wash it all down with a margarita or two.

Why do "we" ok...I, often feel the need to celebrate life's experiences with food?  Good, bad, happy, sad it's food related.  When did I cross the line from moderation to excess?  A taste of birthday cake isn't wrong, but a plate fully loaded with carbs and THEN a piece of cake with ice cream-SHEESH.....that's gluttony, plain and simple.

Mother's Day is coming up and I will be celebrating it by running my second 5K on Sat. the 12th with my brother, sis-in-law, dad, and three oldest kids.  I want to start celebrating life with LIFE, not with sugary food that make you feel bloated and yucky. 

One year using Wii Fit Plus.  I'm down 57.4 pounds.  Since I started this journey I'm down 69.8 pounds.  I'm losing myself and loving it!!!

Words that have more meaning to me these days....moderation, balance, control, pace and peace. 

Have a blessed day and thanks for reading my random thoughts.  I'm gonna celebrate Cinco De Mayo by doing 30 minutes of steps and going for a short run (granted the rain holds off for a bit).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Week 5 Check-in/Week 6 Goals

So today ended Wk. 5 for me in the "Ready for Summer Challenge". I feel as if I am making some progress but really had hoped to have seen a dramatic difference by now. I'm halfway through the challenge and not to my half way point pound wise. Oh well....I've got more time to keep on keeping on :-).

1. Weight Loss Goal: I had hoped that the scale would say 215 and this morning it said 216.3. Sheesh. Oh well. I will give myself grace because I am on my period this week. Hoping to see a little more gone by next Thursday. So since the challenge started I've lost 3.7 pounds. That's a little depressing to type, but hey at least I didn't gain 3.7 pounds.
2. NSV: I registered for my 5K race on May 12th. I'm going to be participating in this race with my brother, nephew and sis-in-law. So fun! Hoping to cut my time by at least 5 minutes.
I'll keep you posted.
3. Nutrition Goal: I didn't get the quinoa or flaxseed oil as I had hoped because I was waiting for payday and then I've had a sick girl. I did use Bragg's Liquid Aminos though in a stirfry and WOW!!! It was wonderful. I had never used them before and I prefer them now to soy sauce. So grateful to have tried something new. Also I've become a huge fan of raw sweet potatoes and
brussels sprouts in my salad.
4. Exercise Goal: I DID manage to get my 3X workouts in this week. I ran for 56 minutes on Sat. I did a very tough hill repeat workout on Sunday and I worked out with my class/trainer on Tues. and Wed. YEAH ME!!!

Week 6 Goals:
1. Weight Loss Goal: I'm on it and my mojo is BACK!!! Period or not I'm gonna press through and see those numbers go down, down, down. Thursday 5/11 my scale is gonna say 213!!!
2. Non-Scale Goal: Finish my 5K race in 38 minutes or less. Color my hair. This gray has to GO!!!
3. Nutrition Goal: Continue to eat 5 small meals daily. Keep my 3 Liter of water a day habit and get that flaxseed oil and quinoa!! I want to re-visit meal planning.
4. Exercise Goal: I ordered the Kettleworx DVD system and have only done one workout. I want to start it on 5/13. So that means a completion date June 23rd.
I'm so grateful to have found this challenge. I'm enjoying the challenge and the accountability. I'm proud of everyone who is participating and grateful for all of the encouragement.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Getting Realistic/Weekly Check-In

I really AM enjoying this challenge.  Although I'm not meeting goals and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all at the moment.  I think I'm really setting my bar too high (is that possible???).  After watching the motivational video about "exhaustion" I'm feeling a bit embarrassed about my post.

Here's my check in for Week 4....

1.  Weight Loss Goal: I was able to get those excess pounds off and see the number 217.5 this morning on the scale.  I'll take it!!!

2.  NSV:  Sheesh.  How hard is it to make a couple of phone calls???  For me very hard.  I can't get enough alone time to make a phone call to the chiro, massage therapist, doctor etc.  I AM going to do this tomorrow.  This must be a priority.  I'm hurting and I NEED some down time. 

3.  Ahhhh....another goal I didn't meet.  This weight loss journey is teaching me so much about myself.  What are the real priorities in my life?  How can I gently adjust/change them?   Learning to live my life in peace and balance.  All things I'm working on even IF I don't meet my "goals" for this challenge.  I'm gonna try again :-)

4.  Exercise Goal:  So what's that old thing..."best 3 out of 5"???  Wait that would mean I would have had to actually DO five of anything....ehehehehe.  I only got the three part.  Hey, but at least I'm not a couch potato anymore (more justification).

HELP!!!  All you people out there.  Anybody hear me????  Please give me some encouragement and motivation.  I need it!

Goals for Week 5:

1.  Weight Loss Goal:  I'm SICK of being in the 200's.  I HAVE to get through the teens and get closer to "one-derland".  So by Thursday May 4th I wanna see 215.  That would be 5 pounds since the start of the challenge (March 29th).  That would leave me 13 more to go in 5 weeks.  Is it possible????  Only time will tell. 

2.  NS Goal:  Register for 5K race in May (5/12) and order a new sports bra.

3.  Nutrition Goal:  Buy flax seed oil and quinoa.  Try at least one new recipe.

4.  Exercise Goal:  Ok I'm going to be realistic here.  I am hoping to run on Sat. (for an hour), and will have my regular Tue. workout, but I need to do at LEAST one more day of something.  Why am I finding it hard to get 3X/wk in these days?  So...this week 3X workout. 

On a more positive note here is an updated pic of me (taken today).  On the left is what I looked like in January of this year.  I'm still having trouble noticing a difference, but maybe others can????!!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Game On

So I'm starting my first round of "Game On" tomorrow.  I was introduced to this book/game/concept by a friend of mine named Drew.  For those of you who like Grey's Anatomy you will like this book because it's by the same writer.  It's a humorous book and has some great concepts.  Now I must say that it has some language that isn't my normal, but I was able to get past it and the humor is quite witty and dry at times.  If you are interested check it out at 

I'll try and keep you posted as to my progress and how I'm gonna whoop up on my opponents (see I'm starting the smack already).  I'm looking forward to adding good habits, eliminating negative, losing weight, getting fit, eating healthy and winning some CASHOLA!!! 

Subsequently if any readers find this intriguing next go around maybe you could join the play.  I would be more than happy to talk to Drew about starting another group.  It could be a local group or one with online play. 

I think that "Game On" in combination with my "Ready for Summer Challenge" is going to help me get to onder-land.  I'm so weary of being 200+.  My soul actually aches.  I've had some really challenging days.  I have fought discouragement and being completely overwhelmed.  This has displayed itself in my making poor nutritional choices and feeling an increased amount of guilt.  I finished read two of "Made to Crave" and I'm still enjoying my second read of "7:  An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess".  Studying Matthew chapters 5-7 for the last few weeks has reminded me of my spiritual poverty and caused me to pray for the revealing of habitual patterns/sins that keep me from my ultimate prize. 

Have a great day.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Week Three Check-In/Week Four Goals

So sorry that I'm behind the game.  I should have written this post on Thursday April 19th.  Instead I was trying diligently to prepare for a brief weekend get-away.  Packing, washing, cleaning, preparing for seven people isn't easy.  This was our first trip to a motel with all five kids.  Sheesh...I could write an entire post on that.  We did have a great trip, but back to reality. 

Success in some areas.  Complete failure in others.  That's life though and the reality of learning to be comfortable in my own skin.  So I'm going to try and share openly and honestly.  Thanks as always for reading/supporting.

1.  Weight Loss Goal:  Desired number....216.  Actual number.....217.  A one pound loss.  I'll take it!  This was a miracle considering that I started eating like a pig on Wednesday and didn't stop until last night.  Oh what a struggle I've been having.  So I'm really frightened to see what the scales will say on Thursday 4/26/2012.

2.  Non-scale Goal:  I didn't do ANYTHING that I set out to do and feel ever so badly about it.  Why can't I do things that involve taking care of ME????  I'm gonna try again this week.  If any of you get a chance, why not send me an email this week to ask if I've followed up on this goal.

3.  Nutrition Goal:  BLEW IT!!!  Didn't even make an attempt.  I ate out on Tues. afternoon.  I made a very healthy choice, but then on Wed.-Sat.  I ate ENTIRELY too much.  I can't even begin to tell you how bad I felt physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually because of my overindulgence.  I literally have been stuffed with food, drink, emotion, guilt and conviction. 

4.  Exercise Goal:  I did manage to achieve this.  On Saturday 4/14/2012 I ran the 5K course that I completed in February using the "Tribal 5K" Motiontraxx mix.  My stride is still a little short so I ran 3.1 miles in 37 minutes.  I'm guessing because I didn't have a watch.  I however was able to keep the pace with the music and found it very challenging and fun to keep up with the drums.  I am so hoping to be able to invest in something that can help me map my runs, keep track of time, distance, calories etc.  IF this time was accurate that means I cut over 5 minutes off of my Feb. time.  YEAH ME!!!

I think most of my overeating stems from poor choices and being faced with what seems impossible odds at restaurants.  I am really going to have to plan better in these cases.  Such a learning experience.

Week 4 Goals:

1.  Weight Loss Goal:  After eating like an OINKER off and on for MANY days I will be happy to see a maintaining or a one pound loss by 4/26.  So this means 216-217.  Gotta love uncontrollable cravings due to PMS.

2.  Non-scale Goal:  Repeat from Week 3

3.  Nutrition Goal:  Repeat from Week 4

4.  Exercise Goal:  I want to do SOMETHING, anything 5X this week.  This could look like 2X class (Tue./Thur.), running 1-2X and a Zumba class.  It could look like jogging 3X, class 2X.  Maybe I'll do stairs one day???  I just have to do SOMETHING more often.  My body needs to move more.  It's craving it.  My spirit longs to move, fly, be free.

I haven't checked the "mini challenge".  I'm still working on the "mini challenge" from wk. 3.  So I'll see you all again on 4/26/2012 for a recap.  Have a GREAT day.