Friday, January 18, 2008

5 more to Halfway

Several of you have been bugging me for a photo of the progress - something I'm NOT very excited to do - but I thought it might be encouraging to those of you that are also on this quest to lose a "few" pounds and improve your health.

So far I'm down 45 of the 101 pounds - about 5 pounds away from the halfway mark. I've, by no means, "arrived" but, I'm definitely on the way.

I'll confess - I've been slightly discouraged lately. After 5 months and two days of this different lifestyle I was hoping to at least need to buy some new clothes. I can STILL wear the clothes I started out in - they are most assuredly looser, baggier, roomier, whatever. I can take off my jeans without unbuttoning them - but I can still wear them even if I have to hitch them up now and then.

When I started back at the gym, they asked me to write down my goals - what size I was at the time and what size I'd like to be. I can't believe I'm going to tell you this - but I have to "own it" as Dr. Phil would say, and not saying it doesn't make it "not so". And - it might encourage you somehow. I put down that I started at a size 20 and would like to end up a size 8 or 10. If you're a man - you may not know that women's dress sizes go in even numbers - except for some of the manufacturers that are making up new sizes so that our brains are more comfortable with it. (I once bought a size 12 skirt when I was wearing a size 14 in everything else. Just the fact that it said 12 was enough of reason to buy it to me.) Anyhow - women's sizes are 2, 4, 6, 8, up to 18, 20, 22 and beyond.

Well, that makes it discouraging to still be able to wear the same size after 5 months!

So I was thumbing through a catalog the other day and decided to compare my measurements with the size chart in the catalog - and it pegged me at a size 26 to begin with! So I checked another size chart and found about the same thing - size 24 or 26. How disappointing - I'm where I thought I started!!!

So, anyhow - I got my DH to take a couple of photos and then found an old one to compare with.

The "before" photo was taken at my cousin's wedding rehearsal on September 13th, I had already lost 10 pounds at that point:

  • 1 1/2 from my bust
  • 3 1/2 from my waist
  • 1 1/2 from my low abs
  • 3 inches from my hips

In the "after" photo (taken last night before I hit the gym) I'm down 45 pounds:

  • 5 1/2 from my bust
  • 8 from my waist
  • 7 from my low abs
  • 5 3/4 from my hips

That's not nuthin' - so I'm encouraged again when I see proof positive.

I've still got a long way to go - but I'm well on my way and actually enjoying the trip!

I hope you realize how difficult it was for me to post such embarrassing information - especially that photo! But - it's good for me :0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Bad Things to Good People

I have a cousin that was told a little over a week ago that she has lymphoma. We now know that it's non-Hodgkin type B and rapidly growing - but very treatable.

Scripture tells us that nothing comes to us that hasn’t gotten God’s stamp of approval and also that nothing will come to us that we can’t handle if we call on Him. It’s not my job to make any assumptions for why what's happening is happening, but my job is to minister where I can. I know that right now, this minute, I can pray for Margie, her doctors, her new husband of only four months, and her parents.

It sounds trite, but I’m reminded of the quote, “that which doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger.” That strength lies in Jesus and our relationship with Him.

Be careful what you ask for - ask the Lord to bring you closer to Him and you may end up in a situation where the only place you have to turn is to Him. You'll be so much better for it, but the lesson in the meanwhile may be very hard to take. But be assured - you'll be closer to Him.

Prayer should be the first thing we do - every day, every hour, every minute - to pray without stopping (1Thessalonians. 5:17). Prayer that just second naturedly falls from our lips or weaves in and out of our thoughts all day. Conversations with God that start when we wake and sometimes don't end until we lay our head back on the pillow at night.

Why on earth do we tend to save prayer for when we've exhausted all of our own puny efforts? It doesn't matter what we do anyway. God' is in charge!

And so, I can take comfort in Margie's diagnosis - that our Heavenly Father knows exactly what's going on here. He approved this affliction before it ever befell her and He'll bring her through it. And if it all goes the way that it should - bad or good - HE will be glorified.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I'm At A Loss

Finally moving again! Seems like I sat at the same weight (only I WASN'T sittin') for quite some time. I do believe I have "the holidays" to blame for that. The good news is, I didn't gain over the holidays - although I did enjoy the many flavors of the season. I think it helps that, A) I've successfully raised my metabolism by adding more muscle, and 2) I made adjustments to my daily intake when I indulged in something that was less than healthy. For example - if I ate a gallon of homemade caramel corn for breakfast (milk optional) that should have been shipped in a gift... then I made sure I only had salad and fresh veggies for other meals that day. And C) I was a good girl at the gym in December. I logged 14 visits and they were only open 21 days. I never go on Sabbath - so that left 18 possible days. So 14 of 18 is pretty good for a busy month like December!

Yesterday I picked up a new scale at Costco with a $10 off coupon. It's a nice scale with big digital numbers and measures to the tenth of a pound. I like to jump on before I go to the bathroom and then again after - just to see... you know... Probably too much information there - but I bet you'd do it too...

I've finally lost about 5 more pounds and I'm just over 9 pounds to my first GOAL! (which is 51 pounds lost - or just over the half way mark...) Yeah - I probably should have set the first goal a little more in reach, but I didn't. Don't worry - I've been rewarding myself for a job well done all along...

People keep asking me how I'm doing this - telling me of their "juicing", "points" or "magic soup". I'm not doing anything like that. I firmly believe in the LIFESTYLE CHANGE. I'm not going to make any changes now that I'm not willing to maintain for the rest of my life. For example, I refuse to live a life without REAL chocolate, ice cream, cheesecake, and pizza! I just need to control my portions and frequency.

Here's what I believe:
  • It's OK to have a big 'ol piece of cheesecake - but not more than once a month or so
  • Dessert isn't necessary every day
  • Chocolate isn't a dessert
  • It's OK to not clean your plate (but don't take so much next time)
  • Restaurants serve portions that are way too large - that's two meals, not one
  • Turns out there really are 4 servings in a pint of B&J ice cream...
  • Diet foods are a rip off - the real thing is better for you
  • You can lower your cholesterol without drugs - mine dropped 81 points in 4 months
  • Oatmeal (when properly prepared) is yummy
  • God knew what He was doing when He gave us taste buds
  • Keep your "lite" stuff - I prefer flavor over portion size
  • "Low Fat" means "more carbs" which equals more fat in the long run anyway
  • Regular salad dressing is fine - just measure it
  • Water is a lifesaver - you probably aren't hungry - you're thirsty!
  • The elliptical machine can be overcome!!!
  • 1 pound of fat = 3,500 calories - that's not so much really (coming or going...)
  • Cottage cheese was never meant to actually be consumed
  • Bread is good for you - Whole grains really taste better
  • "no carbs" is crap... and bad nutrition
  • It's more fun to chew calories rather than drink them
  • Exercise isn't all bad (especially if your gym doesn't allow children)
  • No pain - no pain
  • Working hard feels good - but sweat still suques
  • Moderation in all things - yes, including chocolate
  • Prayer is probably the least utilized weight loss tool - and it WORKS the best!

One last thing - I've moved my weight loss "ticker" up where it can be a better motivation to any of you that want to join me on my last 59 pounds. (See right...)

It's not too late to start for this year... Who's with me???

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Way To Start A Year

There have certainly been worse starts - but this seems to be right up there for me...

There is something unexplainable that happens to a woman's brain with each child she has. Actually - it's really not all that unexplainable - my theory is that the little buggers STEAL from you.

Brain cells - I'm talking about brain cells. Try to keep up and guess what I'm thinking, OK? They're are either stealing the brain cells from us, or they're being replaced with fat cells! I don't believe I was always this dumb - it's those little people - they sucked the 'smart' right outta me! This is why you're advised to go to college BEFORE you have children.

Last night I did something I'd rail on my ten year old for at LEAST until the next century begins...

I washed my brand new MP3 player that Santa put in my stocking.

I thought I'd do just one more thing before leaving for the gym and move the clothes from the washer to the dryer. Imagine my shock and horror when I pulled out a dark wad of cold wet clothes and realized that my hot pink MP3 earphones were wrapped around them like packing string.

There wasn't even a kid to blame it all on - it had been me that grabbed those exercise pants and throw them at the last second into the wash. It had been ME that left that sweet little device in the pocket of those pants.

It was so purdy - cute little white one that even played video clips and showed photos. I'm taking the word of the instruction manual here - never actually used those features - I'd only used it three, (count them - one, two, THREE,) times at the gym - and then only used the FM radio to listen to Fox News while I was on the elliptical machine. What a sad, short, little life.

So I cried out to my techie husband to FIX IT, but he didn't seem to have a lot of answers... So he baked it. Actually put the thing in the oven on the "warm" setting. You must understand the "warm" on the oven is really like a spring day here in Texas and certainly not as hot as the interior of our car in the summer.

I also prayed over it. It wasn't a very expensive MP3 player - I happen to know that Santa got it on a good "Black Friday" sale at 5 a.m. and there was a $20 rebate coming too - but still, there's not money in the budget to replace it right now and how on earth will I know who to vote for in November if I don't listen to Fox News at the gym every week until then???

I got home late from the gym last night and finally, at about 1 a.m., I went in to put the poor, dead (yet warm) little MP3 on to charge while I took a hot shower before falling into bed.

When I got out of the shower you'll never guess what I discovered - the little bugger actually powered up!!! I couldn't believe it! Praise the Lord - it was a laundering miracle!

I turned it off quickly and said, "no way Lord... no way! If you saved this little MP3 player I'll have to tell everyone! And even write to the Delstar company!" I may not be able to understand all of the Engrish in the operations manual but that little sucker sure is tough!

Well - the ending isn't entirely happy - it does power up AND the JVC jelly soft stereo headphones (in an adorable pink) still work as well, but it only works when it's plugged into the charge.

BUT - this just might be something that the marvelous Delstar company could fix for me. Sure can't hurt to ask.

Just wanted to share that little New Year miracle with you! Now, I realize with sick children and dying parents, war in the world and scrapbook hall-of-fame winners being dethroned that this just is NOT a big deal - but our Heavenly Father wants to give us the "desires of our hearts" and we are of more importance to Him than we even give ourselves. These two verses in Luke 12 don't necessarily apply to my little MP3 miracle - but I wanted to share them anyhow:

6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
8 “I tell you the truth, everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, the Son of Man will also acknowledge in the presence of God’s angels.

How awesome to be asknowledged in presence of God's angels by Jesus Himself! Go get yourself acknowledged too!

UPDATE: My little Delstar MP3 player that I washed in warm with a cold rinse is not only static free - BUT TOTALLY WORKS now... even OFF the power cord! It either needed a longer charge or God just wasn't done with it yet - much like me... Praise God for His excellent greatness!
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