Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chiseled In Stone

2010's 10 commandments: As defined by Webster and Cornwell (newest version)

1.  I shall be Optimistic about where I want to go and getting there.  Optimism - to anticipate the best possible positive outcome. 

2.  I shall be
Realistic - seeking what is achievable or possible, based on known facts.  Realism - practical understanding of life: a practical understanding and acceptance of the actual nature of the world, rather than an idealized or romantic view of it. Honestly evaluating a situation or facts. 

3.  I shall have
.  Courage - the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action. I shall have courage even through the uncertain and difficult situations and decisions.

4.  I shall be
.  Proactive - taking the initiative by acting rather than reacting to events.  Going after something, not waiting for it to happen.

5.  I shall have the
character or attitude of Humor
.  Humor - mood or state of mind with the ability to see something as funny, or the enjoyment of things that are funny.  Have the quality or content of something that elicits amusement and laughter.  To lightheartedly accept difficult situations.   Lighthearted - happy and relaxed: not weighed down with worries or troubles.  Enjoyable: entertaining in an amusing carefree way.

6.  I shall have a
sense of Freedom
.  Freedom - the ability to exercise free will and make choices independently of any external determining force or fear.  To not be inhibited by something unpleasant or unwanted. An openness to possibilities.

7.  I shall put my
in God.  Security - the state or feeling of being safe and protected. Freedom from worries of loss or the assurance that something of value will not be taken away.  A sense of protection against loss, attack, or harm. 

8.  I shall devote time to my
.  Spirituality - the quality or condition of being spiritual.  Relying on God and trusting his plans and timing.  Not relying on material things, but on Godly things.  Growing in closeness to God.  Building an intimate relationship with God on a daily basis; minute by minute.

9.  I shall live
.  Healthy - in good physical or mental condition.  Encouraging moral or psychological soundness.  Being prosperous or thriving in such things as habits. Being strong spiritually.  Accepting emotions and feelings for what they are and dealing with them positively.

10.  I shall
myself and others.  Love - to feel and show kindness and charity to somebody.  An intense feeling of tender affection and compassion, mercy, grace, and politeness to humanity.  Showing love through striving for the best in myself.  Accepting and having a positive perspective of self.

My 2010 purpose is to set goals.  I am determined to attain them through detailed steps to attain those goals and a time frame to get there.  I will do this by following my own set of 10 commandments.  I hope you will do the same.


"The mind is the leader of all actions."

     ~Joyce Meyer~



Sunday, December 20, 2009


Be – be where you are; be present in the moment.

Hold – grasp what you are going to hear and see because it is important.

Behold – see or observe something or somebody, where you are, at this moment.

Christmas can be such a hard time for anyone. It is especially so for a gastric bypasser or lap-bander. We really have to watch what we eat, how much we eat and why we eat. We have to be aware of what is going on around us and within us. This is true for anyone. We have to behold. We have to be in touch with our emotions and feelings. We have to measure our actions. Think about how our actions at this moment will affect the next moment; not the next day or week or month or year, but the next moment. Much of the time we try to live on our own, but in reality we need others to assist us. We have to fully access those around us and know what we need.

I've heard so many people say it is so hard this time of year. Family and friends just don't understand. If you need something – ask. People cannot read your heart or your mind. They can't know what you need. Yet, you do need others. We can lose our hope if we don't find our voice and ask. Sometimes this is just letting someone know you don't need the temptations or you do need the encouragements. Sometimes this need is fulfilled in giving to others; helping them find their voice and filling their needs.

The temptations are great right now. Remember to live this moment. You may blow this meal, this bite, or this second. That doesn't mean you have blown the entire day or week. Pick yourself up and start anew, right now, this moment. Behold---

Figuring out what you need can be the hard part. Sometimes what you think you want, is not, what you need. Sometimes you just don't "get it", but just keep thinking it and believing it and living it and you will "get it". Keep striving for that goal.

I wish you the best this Christmas. Behold—live this moment and find your voice. Let yourself and others know what you need to succeed.

"You will spend your time doing something,

so it may as well be going forward and

not staying in the same mess for the rest of your life.

     ~Joyce Meyer~

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wise Holiday Options

This month's support meeting at Innovative Weight Loss Solutions was a Christmas party. Ronda, Pam and Jennifer outdid themselves. They had a sampling buffet. Now buffets are usually a quick downhill slope for bariatric surgery patients. It is so easy to over indulge. So you ask, why would they tempt their clients that way? Well, buffets are also a staple of life, especially at Christmas. This is a fact no matter if you have had gastric surgery or not. We all tend to approach the table(s) of food and "load up"; only to find out 30 minutes later you seriously over ate. It takes our bodies about 20 minutes to register with our brain that it is full, so stop eating. That is why most of us wear elastic waist pants at Christmas. If your pants get too tight you have to stop eating, so we wear something that will stretch and allow one more bite.

The intent behind IWS' buffet was to help us see there are good foods to eat. All the dishes were high in protein and fiber and low in carbs and had wonderful flavor. The smells alone in the room were overly inviting. I felt sorry for anyone who was at the liquid diet phase and could only smell and dream of "sugar plums dancing in their heads". No, we didn't have sugar plums, but what we had was heavenly. We had meatballs stroganoff, braised pork with onions and apples, healthy joes (sloppy joes and ours were w/out buns) and lettuce tacos with chicken. There were raw vegetables and dip, black bean and pablano dip with pita chips, some kind of wheat chip and another kind of cracker type item to dip in the bean dip. It looked a little nasty as you can imagine made with black beans but it was wonderful! We had pumpkin loaf with nuts and raisins. There was broccoli and mozzarella cheese salad, a homemade Munch Mix. They served (illegally means we technically shouldn't eat and drink at the same time) a punch that was wonderful. It was made with either cranberry or raspberry Crystal Light and de-fizzed 7up. I'm making this for my own Christmas!!

Most of this food was prepared by Ronda, Jennifer and Pam. Their support goes beyond the normal everyday encouragement. They wanted us to be able to see you can go to a buffet and take a sample of different foods and still eat healthily and not overstuff yourself. This is possible for anyone, not just us patients. Most of the foods were served in small sample cups so as not to over indulge yet still get a sampling of a variety of things. Of course you will not find that at a regular buffet, but you can limit yourself in the same manner. Sometimes you have to choose what you want to eat and what you will leave behind. A good rule of thumb is if you could eat it on a regular day, skip it and try something that is less common to you.

They also wanted us to try some different foods prepared with healthy ingredients and excellent flavor. They provided all the recipes that were served and many others in a cookbook for us to take home. There are several in it I am going to try. For the most part I am a picky eater and not very adventuresome, but I stepped outside of my "reality box", grabbed the wire trapeze and swung with some different foods. I am more adventuresome since surgery, but still reserved by some standards. Who would have thought at one point I would eat sauerkraut and tuna for supper? Yes, mixed together. Okay, maybe my tastes have gone a little astray occasionally. But it is actually good (warmed).

As my body shrinks I hope to continue to stretch my food preferences and try new things. Thank you to Ronda, Pam and Jennifer for putting so much energy into showing us (patients) and non-patients that you can eat wisely in a tempting situation. A little at a time.

The Christmas party was a blast. It was a time for us to support each other, mingle, talk and share. We shared gifts through a prize number drawing. The gifts were provided by the patients (volunteering). You didn't have to bring to get. That is how everything should be. We should be willing to give support, direction through experience and kindness to each other every day. So thank you to IWLS staff for being there all year to lend that support.

"Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines."

~Robert H. Schuller~

Monday, December 7, 2009


Xl-----XL-----XL-----XL I never thought I would put these 2 letter together again. It has been an X-tra L-ong time since I have used those 2 letters together to signify a size. For years I had to put a number and a letter together to signify a size. Numbers such as 3, 4 and 5 ---3x, 4x and 5x. Those were the sizes I found on my shirts and my pants. People have asked me “What size pants are you in, 18, 20, etc.?” I never knew because for so long I didn’t wear sizes like that. I wore pants with a waist size 2x, 3x, 4x, 44, 46, 48, 50... I think the largest size was 50, but now I am down to 44 and 42. I am told my pants are too big and I need to get smaller ones. Well, I am not financially ready to get smaller, so I hitch my belt up another notch and hope for the best. I have even given mom permission to put my pants in the dryer now instead of hang drying them. They need to shrink a little if they will. I never thought there would come a day I would say, “Let’s try and shrink these a little.” I went to the store and saw a Christmas/winter shirt I really liked. It only came in the largest size of XL. I thought, that isn’t going to fit. I haven’t worn an XL since I was an X-tra young person (20+ years ago.) Guess what? To my surprise the XL fit. I got another shirt from the Pound Plunge this week. I had to order it 11 weeks ago. I thought, “I’ll get an XL and hope I will fit into it at some point in the future.” Well, the future is already here!!! I can actually once again wear an XL. Wow! I realize some shirts are still fitting better in a 1X because of the cut, but even that is better than what I wore for years.

It appears things are looking up in my world. A goal I had hoped to reach in the future has arrived. I guess you might say I am “Back to the Future”. I still have a ways to go, but I am taking it a pound at a time now instead of frustrated with not losing 5-10 pounds at a time. I had hoped to lose 10 pounds a month, but that hasn’t happened. I have had to reassess and have come to realize a realistic goal is 4-5 pounds a month. I’ve lost 107 pounds in this journey. 28 of them in 2009. I have 45 more to go. It took me 16 months to lose that 107. I realistically think it will take me at least 2 years to lose the next 45 --- one pound at a time. All is well as long as I am trying to live a healthy lifestyle and being honest with myself about that life style. I have to remember that lifestyle doesn’t just include what I eat. It includes what I do (exercise) and how I look at life as a whole. God help me along this journey!!

So until I shrink out of the XL and into the L, I will be joyful in the accomplishments. Who knows, I may never get to the “L” on the label, but it sure feels good to look at it and see the “XL”. God is X-tra L-oving!

Yesterday is experience.

Tomorrow is hope.

Today is getting from one to the other as best we can.

~John M Henry~

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Be Good To Yourself

This week I have nothing deep to talk about. Last week was kind of a comparison to a fun event in my life. This week I began re-reading my blog from the onset. I started reading some stuff that I wrote about 6 months before surgery. Some of it was 2-3 months before I even decided to have the surgery. It was inspiring to see how far I have come in my thinking. I also was able to get some inspiration for eating better. I got some ideas of things to eat that go back to the basics. I think as a gastric bypass patient we tend to forget the basics. I guess that is the way it is for anyone actually. We all know what is good for us to eat, what is good for us to do and we still struggle with eating the right stuff and doing the right things. Re-reading my blogs has reminded me how far I have strayed over the last few months. Yet, at the same time it has spurred a desire to get back to square one and work hard. Sometimes self motivation is really hard.

I still have about 2/3 of the blog yet to read and I intend to do it this week. I want to “relive” the progress including the back stepping. I think I can learn some lessons from looking honestly at myself, my actions and my motivations. I need to reassess and recharge and I think this will help me to do that. Overall I am in a better place than I have been in some time. It feels good.

I wrote the following to a friend of mine and I need to remember this for myself. I am such a feeling person and I feel deeply. I have known that for many years. I also have known for many years, feelings are not the basis of anything real. I analyze everything until it is mush. I beat myself up until I can flog no longer. That is the feeling me that kicks in so strongly. That is the perfectionist in me. None of this is new to me, but all of it is something I routinely forget or to be more honest, ignore. So I am struggling in many areas of my life right now. I know God allows those struggles in order to mature me. But there again, that doesn’t make it any less painful or any easier to accept. So at this point, time is the answer. Time to feel, ponder, dig in and grab God and time to give up of myself. Not an easy thing to do. I have to be content in the knowledge that God is there and not rely on the feeling that God is there. I have to depend on him to lead me through the hard times, decision making and every step of this journey.

So bear with me as I struggle through this. I knew having this surgery was not going to lead to a life paved in gold. I knew it would not be a cure all. I knew it would be a daily decision to live differently than I had ever lived. I can confidently say I am not sorry for having this surgery and having to live differently and having to make wise decisions daily instead of just gliding through life. This surgery is the best thing I’ve ever done for me. I know God is behind everything I have done and he will be there beside me through everything I need to do to remain healthy and on track. I just have to get out of the way. There lies the problem.

I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was healthy. I pray you were able to find and name the blessings of the last year. As we prepare for the Christmas season I pray you will continue to remember you are worth the effort to do what you need to do to take care of you. It is easy to put yourself on the back burner and that leads to the unhealthy things we do. Remember, you are no good to anyone else if you are too tired, too frustrated and too unfocused to take care of yourself. As we walk, we some times stumble, but as the child knows, you must get back up and try again. It is never too late to start fresh. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do to take care of youself now!

Until next time---be good to yourself.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:
the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”
~Viktor Frankl~

Monday, November 23, 2009

Under The Big Top

Life is a circus. There is so much to see and often all at the same time. As a kid I found the circus in a tent. There was a variety of acts and sights. There was something to enthrall and interest every age and gender.

There was the ring master. His duty was to hold the circus together, make it run smoothly and make sure you were focused on what was being done between the acts. He kept your attention on “center ring” so everyone else could get where they needed to be in order to do what needed to be done. He was a grand man. He dressed in fashions to be envied; a big top hat, a long tailed coat and carrying a scepter. He was the leader of the circus, the master of the ceremony. He is often the most visible and most important performer of the circus. He took pride in introducing the flow of the circus and assuring the adults it was okay to let the little child within escape and enjoy the thrills to follow.

There were the clowns. They were there for the laughs. They were there to relive some of the suspense of the other acts. They were kind of like the intermission that made you laugh and feel warm and bubbly all over. They painted their faces and wore goofy clothes, big shoes and had a large nose. They didn’t just appeal to the young, but to the young at heart. They solidified the crowd.

You had your hoopers and your jugglers. The hoopers would get that big ole’ ring around their waists, arms, necks, shoulders, legs or whatever part of their bodies and keep it spinning and keep it from touching the ground. Many times it was more than one hoop. The plate spinners were along the same line as the hoopers. The thrill was in the anticipation it would fall, but hoping it would stay afloat. Then there were the jugglers. How can one person keep so many balls, swords, rings, clubs, beanbags, bouncing balls, etc in the air and not get all tangled up in the movements. It wasn’t a matter of tossing them up, but to toss them around, over, under, beside or anyway they could. The skill was admirable and kept one in awe.

There were the acrobats. They ran and tumbled from one end to the other. The moves they inserted in their graceful movements made you wonder how it could be done. The balance, agility, flexibility and coordination were unreal. The concession vendors’ pretzels couldn’t compare to the positions these skilled actors performed. They were supreme dancers. The flow of their movements and their speed were intriguing.

Speaking of pretzels, the food at a circus was unique. It was the one time we could eat cotton candy, popcorn, hot dogs and sip a soda and not feel guilty. It was all part of the experience.

Then you had your “death defying acts”. The trapeze performers kept the tension as high as their bars could swing. The thrills were often verbally heard; ooh’s and ah’s and wow’s. They would let go, fly through the air and latch onto the next bar. Sometimes it was from one bar to another and other times it was from one person to another person. Your heart would stop between the letting go and the grasping again. The strength in the hands and arms and legs were more than one could imagine. The tight rope walkers were in this category of anticipation graspers. Sometimes they used a pole to balance or an umbrella or they just used themselves as the balancing factor. They might have a net, but then they might not. The wire might be tight or it might be slack. Regardless, both looked impossible. Once again the anticipation and thrill would have you holding your breath.

One of my favorites was the unicyclists. They would motor around and turn and swing and move backwards and forwards. Of course this probably had something to do with someday my wanting to ride a unicycle. I got one for Christmas when I was in 6th grade. I couldn’t wait to ride it. Little did I know it wasn’t a matter of sitting on the seat and taking off. It took hours of practice, many falls and many failures. Dedication and some bull headedness made it possible to one day ride it down the road, across the playground and around the basketball court, while playing basketball. I could never do the amazing tricks these performers were able to do, but my dedication to practice was on a much smaller scale.

The animals were just as much a part of the circus. There were lion tamers, elephant handlers and dog trainers. They were able to make fierce lions and tigers lay and roll, standup and take notice. The elephants were so large and heavy yet the handlers were able to make them kneel with the tap of a stick. The dog trainers had the dogs running and jumping through hoops and climbing stairs and sailing from one stand to another. It must be from the circus the Alpo people got their idea for their dog food commercials.

You ask what this has to do with my journey in weight loss and my lifestyle as a gastric bypass surgery patient? Well, much like the circus, life is full of variety. It is full of thrills and anticipations. It is full of tension, oh’s and ah’s. You must juggle the wants and the needs of this lifestyle. A gastric bypass patient is no different than the everyday person. We must look at food as a nutrient. As we get caught up in the thrills of everyday life we must be mindful of the temptations around us. We have to make decisions and perform moves that are split second “death defying” decisions. It is the death of our progress or the life of our progress. We have to be the plate spinner, the hooper and the juggler and keep the choices afloat and life in the air. At times it feels like we are on a trapeze reaching for the next bar, the next hand, the next leg. It can take our breath away.

We must be the animal handlers. We must tame the demons, the bad habits and old behaviors. We must train our wants and needs. We must direct our actions. We must take control of our emotions and work with them to our benefit not our demise. The lion is dangerous, the elephant is large and heavy and the dogs are willful. We must work with them daily in order to get them to do what we need for them to do. They must perform to enhance the show. Our emotions can grow fierce and we must keep them in line and not eat because of them. Our actions, desires and will power must work together to perform in a healthy manner.

We must be the ring master. We have to keep all the acts moving and the current act must be the main focus. Sometimes we have to “hype” up the process and make it more thrilling than it really is. We also have to accept when there is a glitch and go with the flow and make it as flawless as possible. We have to improvise and fill in the dead time in order to make the circus look smooth. We have to keep intrigued and focused.

The best times are when we get to be the clowns. We may have a sad face, but we must keep the journey uplifting. We must look out and see what needs to be done and do what it takes to be successful. We have to laugh at ourselves and encourage others to laugh with us. We must keep our eyes focused beyond the big red nose. Sometimes our pants are too big, our shoes too floppy and our hair is a mess. We learn to deal with those times.

There will be different people coming in and out of our lives at different times. We must learn to use them as a support and at times be a support to them. The best support we can rely on is the love and peace of God. He is the real ringmaster. We can take grand lessons from him as we allow him to stand in the center ring and direct us and keep us focused at the task at hand. When we take our eyes off him and begin to watch the other areas of the big tent we see the tearing down of one act and the preparing of the next act. By keeping our eye on the ringmaster we live life as it happens. We get to be “in on” the thrills, the anticipations, the laughs and the tears. We get to walk the tightrope. If we fall, He will be the net below. We can fall off the unicycle and get back up and try again. It is never the end, but always the next step on the path. Whatever our goal, He is there to direct us to it.

There is never a dead end.
There is always a way out.
Sometimes you have to back up
or make a sharp turn and redirect.
~DeAnn Cornwell~

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Goodbye My Good Friend

Goodbye my good friend. You have been a constant companion, a dependable comforter and a reliable relief. When I was bored, you were there to fill my time. When I was lonely, you were there by my side. You encouraged me to go on. You filled the void. You never failed to be available for me when I needed you, no matter what I needed you for. You always accepted me as I was. You always encouraged me to carry on; to continue on the comfortable path you laid before me. When I cried out in pain, you healed. When I rejoiced in happiness, you helped me celebrate. When I lacked confidence, you were there to boost me. When I was sad, you were there to console me. I could always depend on you. Actually I depended on you too much. I depended on you so much I lost myself. I wandered blindly in denial of what was really needed; believing your lies and accepting your comfort. With you I could do whatever I wanted and not think about it. It wasn’t healthy, but it was comforting and easy.

It is time I look at myself. I must ask, “Do I see myself as I am now or do I see myself as I’ve always known myself to be?” I can’t answer those questions with you as the focal point. I have to give you up in order to do that. I must say goodbye to you my good friend. I can’t allow you to control my life any longer. Yes, I need you in my life, but not as my constant companion, my dependable comforter or my reliable relief. You will still play a part in my life, but you will not be my life. So goodbye my good friend. I can no longer allow you to control my thoughts, my emotions or my actions. I must control you and limit your influence on my decisions and actions. So goodbye my good friend. Goodbye to the role you have played in my life. Goodbye food, as I have known you.

The difference between being inspired and struggling with inspiration is one simple thing... ACTION.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Next Step

I went to a convention this weekend that was very challenging to me. I think someone clued in the speakers and singers I was on the way. They patterned their topics and presentations specifically to my frame of mind. Actually I am not that self-centered. I know the conference wasn’t specifically for me. So this thought tells me there are many people that are in the same place as I am. I do believe God made sure I was there though. It was a very challenging weekend as well as a very inspiring one.

One thing I picked up from the weekend is the need to take the next step instead of trying to take the whole trip at one time. My great loving friend said it best when she said to take it one pound at a time. Yes I have to have an ultimate goal, but I can’t obtain that goal all at once, in a week or even in a month. I have to obtain that goal one step at a time. They have to be small baby steps. I have to take the 1st step before I take the 2nd. It is only then can I take the 3rd then the 4th—ONE step at a time. No leaps. I have a lifetime to live this life. I don’t have to try and do it all at once. I don’t have to do it in a year or two years or three years. I can only do it one day, one step at a time.

I have to push the limits and face the excuses. I use so many excuses and forget to search for the solutions. I can only obtain the solution by working the steps to that solution. I was reminded it is all in the attitude. Anything can look good or anything can look bad. The perspective of the beholder is what makes it. So I have taken on a new perspective and attitude towards this journey. It is a life time deal. I knew that going into surgery and I think I have lost that perspective. I have to make the lifestyle I want to live with. I can’t do it alone and I can’t do it in one step. I am a baby in this journey so the steps must be small. They will sometimes be unsteady and I will fall. But what does a baby do? Get back up and try it again until it is steady, smooth and 2nd nature. They don’t walk in one try, but repeated tries by learning from each step, each fall and each retry. Even once the kid learns to walk and grows up to be an adult, they still get off balance once in awhile. So it is time to get back on my feet and steady myself—one small step at a time.

On to the next step.

"The brick walls are there for a reason. They're not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." ~"The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch~

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NEED to Want

Apathy = A passive force that lulls you to sleep. It can be an aggressive force that works to prevent you from keeping what is most meaningful and important. Apathy causes you to lose what you want most.

The fire within dies as the actions without die.

Sometimes our GREATEST weakness is our success. We get comfortable and settled. We rely on our success to pull us through our future goals. We rest on our laurels.

Comfort over sacrifice. I’m healthy so let’s just stop working it. We stop working it because our surgery has been doing the work. How long will that work propel us to success in the future?

As the success slows down and slowly dies we must refocus. We must stoke the actions to reignite the fire. What actions am I talking about?
Healthy eating
Wise food choices
64 oz of water
Proper amounts of protein
Proper amounts of carbs
Proper amounts of calories
Proper portion sizes
Pouch rules

Stoke those actions and the fire to success in order to meet the goals will be flamed and ablaze once again.

I NEED to have a WANT. I need to want to succeed. I need to want to work it. I need to want to be honest with myself. I need to want to reach new goals. I need to want all these more than I want what I think I need. I need to figure out what is a need for my body and what is a want for my mind. I have started emotional eating more as time passes. It is so easy to get lax in my success and think it will continue without the effort it took to get there.

Live the new lifestyle. Embrace it as a way of life and not another diet I must follow in order to succeed. Allow food to become a means to life, but not as a life of it own. I have become so consumed with food thoughts I have forgotten to live. I worry about what I should eat, what I have eaten, what I need to eat, when I will eat next, should I eat next and so much more. I feel like I am back to square one before surgery. I hate the counting and measuring, but I have to realize this is just the process of life for anyone. Once you become proficient with it you don’t have to count and measure, but you look and know. Getting to that point is frustrating, but I have to remember it is part of the process.

I have struggled for many months now. When I had surgery and for the 1st nine months it was easy to be motivated, inspired and enthusiastic. As time goes by and the comfortableness of success settles in the laxness and laziness of life creeps back in as well. The old habits become comfortable again. The alertness fades and the mindfulness is taken over by the mindless. My actions are often performed before I realize they have been. So for another week my goal is to become more mindful of what I think, feel and do. I will focus on the goals at hand and remember it took me months to get here and it won’t be overnight I will get back to where I want to be.

First I have to figure out what my need is and make it my want. I know where I need to be headed. Now to figure out how to make that need more of a want than the want of the moment.

I apologize to you who have looked to me for inspiration. The last few months haven’t been inspiring to you or me. I am struggling just to remain above water-to remain afloat. I have watched my weight decrease and increase within the same 3-5 pounds for months. I have been frustrated with my progress or lack thereof. I have been frustrated with not being able to get a grip on my cravings, my actions, me choices, my wants. I have felt like a failure. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was supposed to continue to reign on the top and fly with the eagles. Instead I am walking the walk of the ordinary and I must face the choices I have to make and make them for the best I can be. Hang with me and I pray I will figure out what the want needs to be and make it a need I want to achieve. I pray it becomes more of a desire than the desire to eat the wrong thing, not exercise hard enough, make the wrong choices, and become apathetic to the goals. I will try to stoke the fire and bring the desires ablaze and work for success to become more important than the instant gratification of the moment. I will work towards “eating to live and not living to eat.”

“Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age.” Proverbs 20:29

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Warmer Weather Warmer Outlook

Warmer weather has brought warmer thoughts. I have spent the last 2 weeks fairly sick. I have not been able to exercise due to no energy and trying to get in a little extra sleep. I don’t look for that to change much this week. I am on my 2nd round of antibiotics and they do seem to be helping. It is just the normal fall cold, but in my case it kicked me hard. The first week I missed 3 days of work. I never miss work, so I had to be very sick. The second week I struggled to make it through the full days of work, but there are several of us out sick, so I felt if I could do the job I needed to be there. Now this week is a 4 day week then I start vacation, so if I can just plug through until the end! Coughing is still the biggest factor and it can wear you out.

I placed 3rd in the top 5 females at the Salina YMCA Pound Plunge. Of course I feel a little guilty because I lost the 8 pounds because I was sick and ate chicken and noodle soup 3 days. I won a certificate for a premium salad at McDonalds. At least the prize is something healthy. Maybe I’ll check out a grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side. I weighed this week thinking I would gain 4-5 pounds because I ate “normal” food this week. I must have been intelligent about it because I only gained 2 pounds. So I will plug along and strive to lose and get back on top.

The warmer weather is encouraging! It makes one want to get out and walk, rock in the rocker on the front porch, throw a football, move about, rake leaves (okay, maybe I’m going overboard there), but it does encourage some positive desires to a healthier movement. I just hate that the cold is just around the corner. I doubt I find the same enthusiasm for shoveling show, walking in the snow, rocking in the snow, etc. The “Y” will have to be my exercise base.

I am still doing a better job of listening to my pouch and it’s signaling me that I am getting full. I seem to be back on track to know when to stop, even if all the food isn’t off my plate yet. That had become a big issue for me in the last few months. I feel like I am back at step one in some ways with the new lifestyle. I guess that is all part of life, starting over and gaining strength again and again. I have been making better food choices and portion choices the last week. I still have a long way to go to get back to my original enthusiasm and consciousness of eating healthy, but I am walking in the right direction again.

Thank you to everyone for your support. When one gets down and frustrated it is hard to get back over the hump. In the last few months I am sure you have noticed that frustration and lack of positive outlook. I know I have and have hated it! I hope I am finally pointed back in the right direction and getting on the right track. Thank you for hanging in there for me! I know I have a long way to go, but one step at a time. This week found a small gain in weight, but also a small leap in reserve and momentum. I just have to remember to look up and rely on the one that can do it-God!

When I say "No way." God says, "My way".

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Vision

Wow, it’s been 2 weeks since I have blogged. I just hadn’t felt like it 2 weeks ago. I had no inspiration for anyone. The week before that was a simple “No words of wisdom, inspirations or enlightment this week. Just breathing in and breathing out.” At that point that was all I was able to do. Then the next week I was computer-less due to switching internet providers and major difficulty in getting both computers hooked up and working. I was ready to declare defeat and be a computer-less family. We have finally gotten both computers up and running (once a computer tech came out and “counseled” the router and modem. They refused to communicate with each other. They have been set straight.).

This week was plagued with poor health. I got the famous “knock you on your butt common cold”. No H1N1 flu bug. Just an old fashioned in your nose on your chest common cold. I am not one to take off work. If I can do my job, I am there. Well, this week ended with my last 3 workdays in bed. I even had to miss my IWLS support meeting in Junction City. I hated that! This is the 1st day I have been up all day and feel fairly good. I would say “normal”, but just what is normal? There is an up side to being sick---lose weight. I lost 10 pounds in the last 3 days. It is amazing what a straight diet of chicken & noodle soup will do. I don’t recommend it as a way of life, but when it is the only thing that sounds good and tastes great, it is the way to go. Just imagine if I had had the strength to exercise! I still don’t have the energy to exercise and will play it day by day. I’m anxious to get back to the “Y”, but won’t push myself backwards.

Now to get back in the routine of eating and eating healthy. I feel a little better and think I may be on a roll. I don’t want to disrupt the momentum by eating unintelligently. Maybe I need to plan a week of liquid diet every so often. It gives my pouch a rest. I ate “regular” food tonight and found I felt full with less food and listened to the pouch much more intently than I have been in some time. Old habits had been sneaking in. I pray I will continue to call the old habits on the carpet and walk the other way. I pray I will continue to listen to my pouch before it screams abuse. I only have 12 pounds to lose by January now. This week will be the test now that I feel like eating something beside soup. God lead me. “Jesus, Take The Wheel”.

I think I have realized when I get into a rut or routine that is unhealthy I need to stop, take a step back and reevaluate immediately. It is so easy to procrastinate. It is especially easy for a perfectionist because there is the fear of failing “again”. See I failed when I reverted to the old habits, so to try to change them and fail at changing back to the good habits is a double fail. The mind is a crazy thing. If I just was strong enough to turn it over to God and let him…..Maybe this small health set back was the only way He was able to say, “Yo, DeAnn, I’m here. I’m in control. Let it go and let me.”

Surgery is the most positive thing I have done in my life behind accepting Christ. To throw it all away for old bad habits and think it made me feel better is my 1st mistake. Feelings are momentary and situational. The healthy eating, healthy lifestyle filled with exercise, good food, positive thinking and positive momentum is the only way. Being led by God in that journey is where I made my progress for a year. I chose to take it all back to my own doing. I guess I didn’t take care of it myself too well, huh? So today we start a new journey. I will pick up where I left off—holding tight to God and letting him lead me. “Jesus, take the wheel. Take it from my hands. Cause I can't do this on my own”

It will require from me to keep my calories in correct amount, keeping my carbs at 30g a meal (not an item), my protein at 70-85 a day. The protein is not a problem for me. Yes I can tolerate sugar, but I can’t eat it. Therefore 6g or less of sugar. It is up to me to rely on God by asking him to keep my emotional eating and my emotional warfare (guilt, rationalizing, giving in, etc) in tact. Only he can do it! Control by my own means is only an illusion. I lose every time.

I am at step one again. Clean slate, clear goals, clean plate! A smaller plate with real portions and purer foods.

Let the journey reconvene.

I never encountered it.
All I ever met were temporary setbacks.
~Dottie Walters~

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Words of Wisdom

No words of wisdom, inspirations or enlightment this week. Just breathing in and breathing out.

I never encountered it.
All I ever met were temporary setbacks.
~Dottie Walters~

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This week I enrolled in the Pound Plunge 2009 for Salina. This is a 12 week concentrated effort of a group of people to lose weight and begin a healthier lifestyle. They had their 1st Pound Plunge last year. The main sponsor is the YMCA. Last year they had 1,828 participants register with 1,275 of them being active and 871 of them actually completing the 12 weeks and losing 9,581 pounds total for those 871 people. Wow!!! What an accomplishment! This year there is approximately 1,800 people registered. It will be great to see what we can do!

Last year it was based on teams. I did not participate last year. I felt I was at an unfair advantage to the other participants. Just having surgery I felt I had a tool that would enhance my abilities to lose weight and that would be unfair. Also I am a very solo type person. I did not want to be part of a team. I don't like to rely on others and I hate to have others rely on me in this type of situation. I would hate to let anyone down.

Well this year they have the team enrollment, but they also have an individual enrollment. So I thought it through and I know I no longer have the unfair advantage. The surgery has run its course and I am now just like the "normal" weight loss person. I have to work it all on my own using the tool of my pouch and the tools IWLS has provided me via knowledge. As has been evident in the last month or so I have needed some type of inspiration. I am hoping this year's Pound Plunge is the ticket to that inspiration. I can challenge myself and work the program with the weekly weigh-ins. There is also the incentive of prizes with the Pound Plunge itself. My employer is also providing some prize incentives as well. For me all the prizes are just an added benefit. I want to use the weigh-ins as an official monitor to keep me in check and keep me focused. Something has got to kick in. I need to use a new motto: “When I stumble I will forgive myself and try again.” “Begin again right now. Don’t wait for tomorrow.”

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer."
~Albert Camus~

This saying is what I am concentrating on. My winter has been the last few months of being frustrated and letting my motivation get stagnant. I am moving into the invincible summer. I am ready to move forward and get back into the healthy mind frame. I am trying to find and establish a “garden” of safety within my being. I need to reconnect with God and give him the control of my self, my actions, my thoughts and my motives. I need to be able to close my eyes and transport myself to that special place I have built with God. A spot I can go to and harmonize with Jesus and get the strength I need to face the demons of old habits, old tapes and old comforts that are not healthy or in my best interest. I need to rely on him to pass up the urge to eat the sweets and the carbs and the too large food portions. I need to reach for his hand to pull me out of bed to exercise, guide me to the other side of the room when I want to stand next to the temptations of the past and the comforts of the emotions I know and understand. I have to grasp his hand as I try to handle the things I can’t overcome; the cravings, the emotional eating, the negative thoughts and negative attitudes of daily life. I need to see the sunshine of every situation. I need to harmonize!

So I will plunge into the 12 week program of Pound Plunge and plunge into the personal program of becoming reliant on God and not on myself. I will train myself to remember the only person who has control of me is me. I pray to give that control to God and allow him to lead me from this day forward. I pray you look into your life and figure out what you need to plunge into. “If you’re breathing, there is still hope.”

The difference between being inspired and struggling with inspiration is one simple thing... ACTION.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Lie In My Pocket

This week has been a week of reflections. I’m sure if I were to go back and read the last few months of my blog I would see a progressive decline in inspiration; at least on a personal level. I try to be positive and optimistic and inspirational to everyone else. Sometimes I fall short on the personal level. I tried to think of what I could do to get myself back on track. I have had a goal since July to lose 20 pounds by January 10th. That would average to just over 3 pounds a month. Well, in the last month I lost 1 pound. Not a positive inspirational moment by any means. So I thought about what I’ve been doing. To be honest, nothing! I can’t seem to get into counting the calories, decreasing the calories, counting the carbs, decreasing the carbs or making the wisest choices. I still am doing very well with the exercising. Well until the last 2 weeks. I pinched a nerve 2 weeks ago while at the “Y”. I was doing my normal routine with my normal weights. I must have been in poor form and turned my head at the wrong time because I pulled a muscle and pinched a nerve in my upper back (right shoulder blade area). I go to the chiropractor once a week for maintenance, but the last 2 weeks I have been there 7 times. I have been fairly miserable physically. I have not been able to exercise due to pain and time restraints in order to go to the chiropractor, get to work and fit in some quality sleeping hours. I miss exercising so bad I can almost taste sweat. Now that is scary coming from someone who classified the word exercise as profanity B.S. (before surgery). So my positive-ness has been on the low side for a few weeks. So I decided last week I needed to do something to kick myself back into the game. I brain stormed. I realized (like I didn’t already know this) that I can’t measure my success by pounds alone. So I set my sights on a project to view my progress by another means. I gathered some pictures I have been keeping since 1994. I put them in an “album” to try and show myself some progress. In 1994 I was actually fairly healthy looking and at a weight I’m sure I will never be down to again. It is beyond my target weight. In 1994 I really wasn’t all that healthy, but at least I looked it!

This project is a pictorial of me. I have driver’s license photos and we all know they do not lie! I have pictures specifically taken to show my front view and profile as I have been on this journey. I have looked at these pictures individually a million times. It wasn’t until this last week when I put it together in an album in succession that I can see the progress and success of my daily journey. I am still struggling with the fact I am not losing pounds. I am still frustrated with myself that I can’t seem to get motivated to live this new lifestyle to the best of my ability. I am still kicking myself daily for the poor daily choices I make in regards to foods. Foods I know I shouldn’t have, shouldn’t have that portion size, shouldn’t eat that fast, shouldn’t, shouldn’t, shouldn’t. I need to find a way to get motivated on a positive view. It seems I am stuck on the negative “shouldn’t” view. How do you do that? How do you jump to the positive side of thinking when the negative is so strong? I don’t have the answers but I intend to find out. I know the most important way is to rely on God and allow him to lead, guide and support. This involves giving up control. Giving up control of decisions when the choice you want to make is obvious, even to you, to be the wrong choice. That is when I need to rely on him the most. I know He will love me regardless of what I am because of whose I am. That must be my focus!

I guess we all go through the same processes and waves of inspiration regardless of the goals or situations in our lives. I guess I really am not any different than the next person. I just have a higher standard of expectations for myself than I do for the next person. Therefore it is easier to say the right things, encourage with inspiration and support others. I now need to turn that around and inspire myself. I need to say the right things and back it up with the right moves, the right decisions and the right choices. I need to kick myself in the butt and jump the hurdles of frustration. In all honesty, I know that is easier said on paper than done in reality. But I am going to give it the full sportsman try. Now to keep myself accountable—that is the tough job.

Actually this week I lost 3 pounds. I am at the lowest weight I have been since before I can remember. This brings me to the fact I no longer carry a lie in my pocket. I actually weigh what my driver’s license says I weigh. It hasn’t been truth for over 20 years!! Now to keep it there and keep the momentum going. I have to find the inspiration to stay away from the wrong foods and the wrong amounts. I have to find the will power to eat just when I am hungry and not because I am bored or because it is there. I have to view food as a sustainer instead of an entertainer. As Ronda says, I need to eat to live, not live to eat. That is a hard one to tackle and take down. I have often said I no longer find the joy in eating that I used to have. Nothing taste as good as it used to, so why do I find it so hard to give it up? I know, I know—emotional attachment; emotional eating.

So as I start a new chronological year, I will pray I find and use a new will power and inspiration. I pray I get back to the level of enthusiasm, dedication and focus of a year ago! As my friend Ronda says, “It is a new day and there is no room for yesterday in it.” As Katie Jay of says, “Because the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing. We have a choice” My choice is to give myself credit for what I have done, focus on what I need to do and give myself permission to make the mistakes, but learn from them and move on. In the last year I have made some good choices and I have also begun to return to some bad habits. The old scripts are singing loudly on some days. I just need to hum a different tune.

In the course of life, you can’t do it alone.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Random thoughts pieced together

Thoughts to Ponder

The doorway of success is often entered through the hallway of failure. So if at first you don't succeed, relax. You are just like the rest of us.
Just show up. Day after day. This moment in the day is never too late to start again.
Life is filled with 2 Flavors - Sweet & Salty
Me against me (comparing me against anyone else is a setup for failure). I find myself at support meetings sometimes looking at someone who has lost more weight in a shorter period of time and wondering how they did it and why have I not been as successful. The how’s and why’s of life are individual. Live the best you can and use the others’ success as inspiration instead of self-frustration.
Joni Erickson Tada is a quadriplegic who has glorified God despite her disability, which was the result of a diving accident in her youth.In her book Heaven: Your Real Home, she writes about the new bodies God has for us: "No more bulging middles or balding tops. No varicose veins or crow's feet. No more cellulite or support hose. Forget the 'thunder thighs' and highway hips. Just a quick leapfrog over the tombstone and it's the body you've always dreamed of. Fit and trim, smooth and sleek."
“Confidence comes from developing skills and achieving goals which may involve sacrifice and delayed gratification."
Be patient with your body. It will take time for it to respond to the healthy changes you make. You would think after a year it would have become accustom to these changes. Continue to make smart decisions and keep up your healthy lifestyle - even after reaching your goals. It is too easy to fall back into the old habits that got you where you were before you made the changes. Persevere and proceed upward!
Change is an emotional process. We are all creatures of habit who usually resist it, and welcome routine. Uncharted waters are scary! But it is the key that unlocks the doors to growth and excitement.
~Mac Anderson ~
"When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge."
~Tuli Kupferburg~
“Change is good…You go first”
Put yourself first and your new ways will last. This is a means of taking care of you and by taking care of you, others are taken care of too.
“Determination is the key to success.”
Can we learn from our mistakes? Only if we admit them and carry on.
We all will have our failures but do not fall into the same trap again. When given second chances, FAIL FORWARD
There are two keys to success: acting on something and being passionate.
Thought programming – under the hood
Sometimes I feel I take three steps forward in my pursuit of my dreams and goals, only to fall two and a half steps back. However, if I only concentrated on that half step forward which stood strong, striving to learn from those backward steps, I could become centered and focused more on the positive motion. Even if the positive was miniscule, it was still progress.
“He knew that he knew that he knew” I often beat myself up because I knew better, but still did that which I shouldn’t have.
Work today to take steps forward toward your dreams and never quit pursuing them.
Relize that "Oopsie." is an okay word. It allows you to make mistakes and carry on to a better place through lessons learned.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
~Thomas Edison~

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Who Has The Wheel?

Nothing dictates our lives like our desires.
Nothing moves us like what we want.
People do what they want to do.
We need to begin to want what we need.
Instead of need what we want.

What are your heart’s desires?

Don’t get so fixated on the end result you stop working to get it.
Our heart’s desires are meant to be appreciated and worked for.
We are an instant society and we have come to expect the end result now without putting in the effort to get that result.
We do not work for the desires with our whole heart.

Are you willing to do what it takes to get what your heart desires?

Beneath the desires of our heart is the heart of our desires.

All of these thought provoking thoughts were brought on by a 2 day live telecast I attended this weekend. It was centered on the desires of our hearts and how God knows them and wants to give them to us. Yet our desires must be pure. They must be worked for. We must be committed.

You see I know my desire for a long time has been to be healthy and “thin”. Actually to be non-fat because I doubt I will ever be “thin”. I don’t know that I have ever really been thin. At least not as far back as I can remember. I suppose I can look at pictures and say at some point in my life I was thin, but my self concept has not been in that realm for over 30+ years. So by definition: “A true heart’s desire is something that is a sustained longing and is unaffected by mood or surroundings. It necessitates a time of wait and builds over time.”

I think I can safely say one of my true heart’s desires is to be non-fat.

Now back to the thinking at hand. Nothing dictates our lives like our desires. Nothing moves us like what we want. People do what they want to do. We need to begin to want what we need. Instead of need what we want. I need to be healthy and in order to be that, I must have the want to invest in the process to be healthy. I have struggled for a month now at 100 pounds lost. I have only half heartedly invested in my journey to do what I needed to do to get to my goals. I have obtained many of my goals and I have failed to set new goals. Sure I know I want to lose 20 pounds by January 2010, but have I whole heartedly invested in that goal? NO! Daily I sabotage my efforts with bad food choices and/or too much food. I need to get back on track and can’t figure out how. How do you get the motivation, the desire to work the process to attain the goals?

Well, I have discovered I can’t do it alone. So I have embarked on a new way of thinking. I must reevaluate the following: What do I want more than anything? What is beneath my desires? What motivates me more than anything?

I must figure out what I desire from life. What I desire in life. What I am willing to do to get what I desire. I have fallen into the mind set that what I desire should materialize in an instant just because I want it. I have failed to work for what I desire. To take the steps necessary to attain those desire. Well, I can’t do it alone. So I steal the chorus of a song by Carrie Underwood to try to help me refocus my desires and reenergize my motivation.

“Jesus take the wheel.Take it from my hands.Cause I can't do this on my own.I'm letting go.So give me one more chance.Save me from this road I'm on.Jesus take the wheel.”

*Some thoughts contained in this are from Beth Moore; Christian motivational speaker.

What you do everyday matters more than what you do every once in awhile.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What does that spell?

This weekend I went to a church women’s group brunch. We watched a conference DVD. One of the speakers used the word diet in her presentation. She talked about rearranging the letters in the word diet and realized it also was the word edit. I got to thinking about the word edit in relation to the word diet. When we think of a diet we often have negative connotations. Well I decided to look at the word edit.

We can edit what we eat. In order to eat healthy we often have to edit certain foods and/or ingredients out of our food choices. By looking at editing them it is less threatening than diet. I have leaned to edit certain food groups (sugar, soda, fruit juices, pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, etc). Sometimes editing is just a matter of limiting the amount, limiting the frequency and sometimes even editing it all together. But whichever it might be, it feels more acceptable to edit it than to “diet it”.

Now, let’s look at other areas of editing.

Attitude: I edit my attitude every day. I have to edit my attitude at the first opening of my eyes in the morning. Do I have a positive attitude or a negative attitude? Do I want to get up or do I want to slam the alarm clock and roll over and bury my head under the pillow? Usually the latter choice brings on a negative attitude, so I have to edit that choice and crawl out of bed and shuffle to the bathroom and into the routine of the day. If I edit it correctly the first time around it will take less red ink to edit the rest of the day.

Perspective: My perspective of the day, my actions, the people around me, the job at hand, etc. will affect the amount of editing I have to do. If I have a perspective that “this is the day the Lord has made and I will be glad in it”, then the editing is fairly easy. If I have a keen perspective of my actions I will do my best in anything I attempt. If I am doing my best then there is usually no need to edit anything. Doing my best is all I can do. This perspective influences my actions. I pray my actions reflect God’s presence in my life. My perspective of the people around me is a tough one. It is so easy to be influenced by their attitude, perspective and actions; just as mine influences them. I edit mine so hopefully theirs can be the best. I know I can not control anyone but myself, but I can influence others. I also hope the job I do (profession as well as personal) is top notch. I pray my actions please God.

Expectations: Wow, this is a tough one. I am editing my expectations constantly. I’ve often in the past found myself expecting more from people than they can give. This is an editing process I hate. Being a perfectionist, I tend to have high standards for myself. I have to constantly remind myself that no one is perfect and what I expect from myself isn’t always best to expect from others. I have to edit my expectations about life, events, wants, needs, etc. My expectation of goals is another big editing project. As I reach certain goals I have to develop other goals in order to continue to grow. Sometimes my expectations of certain goals have to be edited in order to be able to actually accomplish them. As an example; the expectation to loose 10 pounds in a month will definitely have to be edited in order to be realistic.

Acceptance: How many times have you had to edit what you were willing to accept? Sometimes this means lowering standards. Standards have to be realistic, just like goals. At the same time they need to be so they cause you to stretch. Accepting others isn’t always easy. Sometimes I have to edit my thoughts about and my actions towards others in order to accept them. If it happens to be someone that does something I don’t agree with, don’t like or isn’t up to my standards it is really hard to edit my acceptance of them, but God directs us to accept them anyway. Sometimes acceptance is hard when it involves myself. I have to accept I will stumble, fall and fall short of my expectations. Sometimes I have to edit what I accept and what I won’t accept. I can learn from the positive and negatives of life and my choices. Regardless, I have to accept the final outcome and move on.

Habits: I am finding editing my habits is one of the toughest jobs. I thought I had some old habits whipped and now I find some of them sneaking back into my life and my routines. As I get farther out from surgery and become more comfortable with my body and my life, I find some habits I focused on in the beginning and thought I had eliminated are becoming habits again. Just how do you snuff out old habits you don’t want any more? It’s not like you can take them to the junk yard, bury them in the back yard or disguise them. You have to face them, evaluate them, edit them and eliminate them. It is a challenge I hate, but must accept and work on daily. I have to find a plan that will work and then work at the plan. One of my habits that have slipped back into my life is what the community of weight loss surgery calls grazing. I like to call them planned snacks, but if I am honest with myself, it is plain and simple - grazing! I have allowed certain food habits to take over my good common sense. I have discovered my body will accept snack size dark chocolate, Twix, Tootsie Rolls, just to name a few. It is time I nip this in the bud. I write about it in order to make myself face what I have to do. I also write about it to encourage other WLS patients to face that habit that feels so comfortable and is so comforting. You don’t have to be a WLS patient to acknowledge this feeling. All of us have habits, foods, actions, temperaments, etc that need to be placed back in the past. We need to accept the process of editing them and crossing them off our active list.

Habitat: This one falls in with the last category. If my habitat is not filled with the things I shouldn’t indulge in then I will not create that bad habit. I must take inventory of what my habitat houses. This doesn’t just include food, but every aspect of my life. My habitat is my surroundings, my environment, my thoughts and my actions. If I surround myself with the positives and act on my needs and not my wants I am more likely to be successful. I can edit the concept of what is need and what is want. I often think I need that food, that candy, that taste, that comfort; when in actuality it is a want. If I were to edit my thought process and edit my evaluation of the situation, I will 99% of the time not do what I want to do, but do what I need to do. The first step to success is to assess my habitat and edit what needs to be changed to be successful.

So I have discovered not all editing is bad. Many times editing is good. It allows me to grow, change, accept and reject certain things. Now dieting, that’s a frustration we all have endured at one point or another in our life. Some of us more so than others. It became a way of life for me before surgery. Now I just need to edit. I find it is easier to be a well rounded person (no pun intended) if I am editing. From the beginning I said I have to have the perspective that “I don’t need that” versus the perspective “I can’t have that”. It’s time I get back to that thought. It all comes down to the spelling: diet/edit. It comes down to want/need, healthy/heavy.

A very special friend of mine told me, "today is a new day and there is no room for yesterday in it." I think I will make that my focus this week. I will stop beating myself up for the choices I’ve made that don’t measure up. I will form healthy habits a step at a time. I will edit my thoughts and actions to conform to my needs and goals. I will work on it today and not focus on the mistakes of yesterday. I can do it! So can you!

"Believe in your dreams and they may come true;
believe in yourself and they will come true"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Success Available - Inquire Within

This week I want to encourage you to think of 3 things you love to do.

Are they as easy to do now as they were before? This is regardless of if it is physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually doable.

As I progress in life I look back many times and compare my life in terms of “before” WLS and “after” WLS. Before there were so many things I couldn’t do. Before I had weight loss surgery I made a list of things I wanted to be able to do that skinny people take for granted. I have shared that list before so I won’t again, but I do constantly go back and look at it. I have accomplished almost everything on that list. I keep going back and looking at it again and again.

In our monthly support meeting this last week one gal had just had her 5th year anniversary. She said she looked back and assessed. She should be proud of her success. She had taken pictures throughout the journey. She was able to see how far she has come. I guess this is what I am doing with my skinny people list.

I was talking to another gal at the support meeting before the meeting began. She had just had surgery. I encouraged her to make a wish list and keep track of when she accomplished each thing. Down the road this will help her to remember where she has been, where she wanted to be, and where she has come. The list should always be growing. Each new goal is added and each accomplishment noted. I think everyone should do this for anything in life, not just weight loss. Unless we have a way to measure ourselves how can we see where we were, where we are headed and when we arrive?

I think of a saying I found some time ago: "Progress involves risks; you can't steal second with your foot on first." ~Fred Wilcox~ But you also can’t steal 2nd without getting in the game and having a plan. You have to know where you are going to get there. So I encourage you to make that want/wish list and make that plan. Make your flight plans and test your wings.

I read this somewhere and have paraphrased it: A daily recommitment is not to ensure that we’ll never fail, but to help us develop the mentality that every single day is a new day—a new chance to succeed. This lifestyle is not some diet we suddenly blow. It is something to which we recommit every single day, no matter how we blew it the day before. This philosophy can relate to anything you are facing at any time, any day and any place. It doesn’t have to just be about weight loss, but about life in general. Find your wings and fly!

Success is available----just inquire within!

"Yesterday is experience.
Tomorrow is hope.
Today is getting from one to the other as best we can."

~John M. Henry~

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sows, Whales and Rude Awakenings

As you know, last week I started Pilates class at the YMCA. I stumbled upon the sow syndrome. I found Pilates is not an "easy go" stretching routine. I sweat like an ole sow. Well, I certainly didn't get past the sow syndrome this week. I am still sweating away, but it sure feels good. Makes me think I am working out hard. Well, this week I did not go to Pilates Wednesday night because my back kept giving out on me all day. It was due to overworking the weights on Tuesday. Talk about a rude awakening. So I left from work, bypassed the "Y" and went home to cozy up to Mr. Ben Gay. Well, Friday morning I did return to Pilates and was introduced to the beached whale world. The instructor was a different one from the other two I have had. He is a very good instructor! Anyway, means I do not have a nice flat smooth tummy, some of the exercises made me feel like a beached whale. You know how you are laying on your tummy moving about without falling over. I just felt like a whale wallowing around on the beach on a nice hot sunny day sweating my tushie off. I was certainly the poster child for the weeble that wobbles. I know it will get better with time. Until then I will have to accept there are certain moves I can not perform in perfect form. I do it at the level I can and wait for the form to progress to a recognizable level. When my stomach flattens out and I gain strength in the abdomen muscles I will be able to sit from a laying position. For now I will raise my shoulders up "high" and wait for the rest of me to slithering behind. Getting over the lump around the middle will require patience on my part. Surely at some point in my life I had a flat tummy and a nimble body. Actually I have a picture of me in a bathing suit at 3-4 years old and even then I had a protruding stomach. I know it wasn't from lack of nourishment. Back then it was called baby fat. Wonder when I will grow out of that!

My rude awakenings don’t just encompass physical pain, but emotional frustration and disappointment. I have been concerned for a good month now about my slow down with losing weight. Yes, I knew it was coming with my year mark. I knew the “honeymoon” phase was coming to an end. I knew I would have to begin to concentrate and work harder. The surgery’s work has ended and now I am a “regular” person with the same struggles of the non-surgical weight loss fighter. Only I have an added tool-my pouch! So I began to talk to Ronda about my concern. She encouraged me to keep a food log. Boy, I sure didn’t want to do that. That meant I had to face the truth of my eating habits, food quantity and food quality. Well, once I decided that was what I needed to do, Ronda encouraged me to give my food log to Jennifer (dietician) and let her see what I needed to do. I think both Ronda and I knew what I needed to do; count calories! I knew and Ronda picked up in our conversations that what I was eating was too caloric. So I gave the log to Jennifer and braced for the worst. I knew there wouldn’t be any judgment, but open honest assessment. It was determined I am taking in too many calories. So this week I am once again going to start the food log and begin measuring/weighing and counting my food/calories. I hate to think that is what I need to do, but I am determined to get back on track. I have habits to lose again and habits to restart. I guess life is just that way-start, stop, assess and readjust. I am just very appreciative I have 2 people who care enough to spot me, encourage me, make me accountable to myself and guide me in the steps I need to take. Thank you Ronda and Jennifer!

To have our best health and dessert too we need to re-think what dessert is.
Every once in awhile you have to stop and ask, “Where am I heading?”

I am still working out through water aerobics twice a week, strength weight training and cardio 2-3 times a week. I have now added the sow/whale training (Pilates) twice a week. I can’t think of anything else I can do exercise wise. I’m sure there is something, but there are only so many hours in a day. I really do enjoy my “Y” time and I am glad I have the schedule to be able to do it. I am also glad God has given me the attitude about exercise I never had before. Much of my “Y” time is also an addition to my “God” time. I look forward to going to Pilates. I’m sure as I get better at range of motion and balance, reduction in size and an increase in muscle tone I will enjoy it more. It can be tough seeing everyone else doing the moves so fully and easily and me struggling to move an inch from a laying position to a sitting position. But as I know, it will get better. Everything I have done so far has gotten better and easier. This will too! Who knows, maybe some day I will graduate to Yoga. I just don’t see a body should be in some of those contorted positions. Why would one need to see the world from that perspective?

"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself."
~Ethel Barrymore~

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The humor of exercise and living the gastric lifestyle

OMGoodness! Pilates! My YMCA trainer Hope didn’t tell me I would sweat like an ‘ole sow giving birth to her 1st born. OMGoodness! That exercise ball can be a bucking horse for all I know! Actually I didn’t do so badly. Yes, I had my 1st Pilates class this week after work (6:40-7:30). I got out of my comfort zone. I went to a class knowing no one. I walked in and found the instructor. I deduced she was the one in the front of the class. That was my 1st good move. Speaking of moves. I had no clue what all one can do with an exercise ball. I mean mine at home had been totally used for the purpose of sitting on it so I could make my bed without having to bend over due to back problems. Anyway, I knew I had fought the war with the little round air filled warrior. I ached in places I didn’t know existed on this reduced fat body. The next day I didn’t feel as bad as I anticipated after class. After class the instructor said she would have thought I had done Pilates before. I told her I hadn’t, but had been doing some of the moves just on the mat on my own with Hope’s instructions. She said she could tell I knew what I was doing. Oh how convincing I must have been! Anyway, I am ready to go back next week. I will do one thing differently though. For lunch I will NOT have any type of raw vegetable. Not thinking, I had raw cauliflower, raw cucumber, and raw carrots for lunch. You have NO idea how tough it is to be in a Pilates class (working the abs) with 7 women you do not know and try not to fart with any sound and pray no smell. So next week it is no vegetables and maybe an extra Gut Buddies in the afternoon! (The downfall of gastric bypass surgery is increased gas and increased smell.)

Well, the day after my 1st class I went back to the torture chambers. aka/YMCA to do some stretching, biking and light strength weight lifting. No Pilates type moves for me. I wanted to stretch though so I didn’t suffer more than I needed too for the rest of the day.

My 1st Pilates class was on Wednesday night. My 2nd Pilates class was on Friday morning. Talk about sacrifice! I had class from 8:30am-9:15am. I rushed home (within the speed limit) and hopped in the shower so I could leave the house by 10am to be to work and in my work position by 10:30am. Breakfast was at work and consisted of 10 slices of deli turkey and 10 slices of deli ham, 6 cherry tomatoes and 3 pickle size cucumbers in red wine vinegar. Then about 2 hours or so later I had 2 oz of cheese with 10 baked crackers. Guess I better get used to this routine on Fridays.

Anyway my 2nd Pilates class was supposed to be (according to Hope) more like a beginner’s class. Excuse me, beginners for whom? I once again became that sow and pushed out the 1st born with sweat dripping off the end of my nose, down the nape of my neck and between areas no one should have to imagine. Sorry for placing that visual in you mind! Shake your head and move on to the next vision. The instructor said, “Lay on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Wrap you arms around you knees and rock to a sitting position.” A what? I haven’t had the ability to sit from a laying position since I was a toddler. Needless to say this out of shape body only rocked her chest to an elevated position. I figured I am doing more than I did a week ago and it will only get better with practice. I’m not even shooting for perfection here, just improvement! Now that is a stretched concept for a perfectionist.

Hope was correct in the fact Wednesday’s class was more advanced than Friday’s (beginner’s level). Wednesday’s class involved time on the exercise ball. Friday’s class was on the floor. We also used some light weight barbells. I used 4 pounds. They were relatively comfortable until the last exercise that challenged the shoulders. Wow! I do have muscles in areas I didn’t know there were cells; other than fat cells. As the saying goes, “Brain cells die, but fat cells live forever.”

I knew balancing on the ball would be challenging. It was too. I never thought balancing on the floor would be a challenge. I almost fell off the floor several times. Imagine the sight of someone balancing on knees and hands in a cat position with one leg straight out in back and the opposite arm straight out in front. Now imagine the thunder of someone falling over on the floor. Yes, that would be me (almost) a few times. Ronda and I discussed the fact when someone loses weight their balance is affected. It changes the center of gravity. Well, I have been noticing that often lately. I just figured it was the ear problem I have been battling for over a month now, but I think it has been going on longer than that when I think about it. Therefore, Pilates is an extra challenge for the balance issues. Welcome to the comedy world of the weeble that wobbles but doesn’t fall down. Let’s hope it remains that way. But if by chance I fall off my ball or off my floor mat, I will get back up and try again.

I’ll do what I can at the level I am at. I just hope no one in these classes thinks, “Wow, she is a klutz.” Some day I will be as “graceful” as they are. Okay, maybe not. I’ve never been called graceful. In Junior high I was talented for volleyball and basketball, but graceful wasn’t at the top of the list of requirements there.

A few hours after Friday’s class while at work, sitting and minding my own business, doing my job, and a darn good job if I have to say so myself. I got up to get something across the room and whooaaah! Someone put clamps on my butt, my thighs, my abs and my hips. Talk about a rude awakening of the muscles. They said, “Hey! Hellooooo! I am here and you have definitely abused me. You have awakened me before my prime and I will let you know I don’t like this.” Well, I said back to them, “Tough! Yes, that is what I will be, is tough! We will do this again on Wednesday night and Friday morning. More so, we will do some exercising on the days prior to that. Now granted I am not a total hard cold- hearted person. I will do some relaxing on Saturday and Sunday, but don’t get too comfortable.” As the saying goes, “no pain, no gain.” Well it isn’t really pain but it certainly is uncomfortable and maybe a little achy. I will survive and so will my muscles. As they grow and strengthen they will be thanking me! I think!

I just pray the results of this “venture” in the world of Pilates will be a visual one from the decreasing in the size of the tire around my middle and the reduction of the flapping wings below my biceps and the slapping of skin on my thighs. Some day may I walk/run and not cause a fire from the thighs rubbing together. May I lift my arms and not knock myself out from the loose skin in my upper arms. May I lose enough flab around the middle to actually be able to lie on my back and bring my knees to my chest; then be able to wrap my arms around my knees and rock to a sitting position. Yes, all this is a result of weight loss.

Hope you have a good one!

Any day I'm vertical is a good day"
~B.J. Gallagher~

Sunday, July 26, 2009


What is a gift? Well according to my friends Marriam and Webster is it “something given”. Okay, I begin to think what this is confined to. I set out and listed a few words that I relate to a gift. Here is what I came up with:

*Present – this one is obvious in the fact we are used to giving presents and we assimilate it to physical items.
*Talent – this is something we are good at usually naturally or by gained skills in order to accomplish something. It is done by physical, mental or creative abilities.
*Thought – this is the process of thinking, making serious consideration, an idea, bringing the unconscious to the conscious level.
*Attitude – this is a feeling, opinion, mood; a posture of position (according to the dictionary). To me it is a presentation of one self.

You ask, “DeAnn, what does this have to do with your life journey since weight loss surgery? Well, I’m glad you asked. I have been thinking lately about gifts and how God has given me so much since surgery. Sure he provided for me before surgery, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt it was his blessing to me when he provided a way for me to afford a surgery my insurance company would not recognize as a covered item. I faced not having surgery because of it, but through my determination to be well and have improved health I asked him to lead me. Lead me he did! He dropped avenues in my lap via snail mail, email and creative thinking on my part. After many prayers, much footwork and a step of faith, I secured the funds. Yes, the price is, I have to pay it off over time, but even there God provides.

I give myself a present every day when I choose to eat healthy, exercise wisely and work at this new lifestyle. It isn’t always easy. That chocolate cake donut or that light fluffy brownie make this present to me exceptionally tough some days. The desire to sleep in and skip the “Y” rationalizing the “skipping” part could constitute “working out” is tough to detour some mornings at 5:45am. So every time I bypass the urge to eat that delicious (as I remember them) brownie or I roll out of bed and drag my butt to the “Y”; only finding once I am there it is the best feeling in the world, I give myself a present. The progress of making these good decisions in itself is a gift.

My talent is often times done mentally. I try to be creative and mentally rely on my talent to be encouraging. I try to continuously encourage myself and others. By encouraging myself to take care of myself I hope it encourages others to take care of themselves. I am trying to be more conscious of using my talent in the physical realm of life. By this I mean letting other people know when I appreciate them, give them encouragement to keep on keeping on and pat themselves on the back. This has got to be the hardest thing in daily living. By encouraging others I encourage myself. It is a full circle. The gift of giving is a talent we all possess once we get outside ourselves and rely on God.

This leads me to the next thought. That being thoughts. So often I think of someone and forget to tell them. I am a firm believer that if you don’t let someone know you are thinking about them, they have no way to know you are thinking about them. So is the thought actually valid or just a fleeting moment in time? Wow, some deep thinking huh? Well, I think the gift of letting others know they are being thought about is important. I also think our thoughts construct who we are. If we have a positive thought and have positive anticipations we are more likely to be positive. By being positive I am more likely to progress in the right direction. As I think positive about my weight loss journey, I do a better job of making choices that assist my daily life and not hinder my daily life. So the gift of positive thoughts and acting on those thoughts lead to growth in strength, will power, good decision making and so much more.

This leads me to the next point - attitude. Have you ever been unlucky enough to be in the same room as someone with a bad attitude? It seems like everything they say, do or exude is negative. I have. It is miserable. I hate the days when that person is me. I can’t imagine how anyone else can stand to be around me when I am at that place in my attitude. The decisions I make are influenced by my attitude. So I have the option each morning to sit up in bed and decide what my attitude will be for the day. If I get off track at any time in the day, only I can change that attitude. The gift of a positive attitude is a gift I give to those around me. I hope my attitude will incite inspiration to those I come in contact with. This is in regards not only to my food choices, activity choices, but my outlook on everything around me. I pray my presentation of myself is positive and makes an impressive impression on others.

All of these gifts are an individual aspect of my lifestyle. A new lifestyle I choose to live since weight loss surgery. I have been a fairly positive person all my life, but I truly believe God’s gift to me since surgery has been a more positive outlook. He has provided the gift of financial means to have the surgery and the financial means to live a gastric bypass lifestyle. It isn’t cheap to eat healthier. It amazes me how this world is so bent on eating healthier, but the market makes it difficult to do such. God has provided the support of others to encourage me and in return he has given me the talent to try to encourage others. God has given me the thoughts I need to make good decisions. He brings the unconscious to the conscious level so I can reason things out. Sometimes I reason wrongly, but at least I know I’ve done it. I do make bad decisions at times, but through his grace I am able to forgive myself, pick myself back up and trod the path to a healthier, happier day. Lastly, God gives me the attitude to implement all these gifts for the betterment of my life. In the end I pray it will benefit those around me.

In a nut shell? The gifts we are given are to be used to encourage others. I hope this blog over the last year has encouraged you at least once. I hope it will continue to inspire as long as God provides me with the thoughts to write it. Together we can all live a better life, whether it is through the weight loss journey I have chosen or the day to day journey you have chosen. We all need each other and the gifts we bring to the table.

Dead ends don't exist. Back up, turn around and take a different road. You may become completely lost for awhile, but you will find the way. There is always another way. ~L'Tanya Gail Durante~

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Happy Girth-day!!

Girth: the distance around something thick and cylindrical such as a tree trunk or somebody's waist - I was a person of ample girth.

This week I am looking at the last year of my journey and lifestyle since surgery. Actually my weight loss count started June 20, 2008. My goals and accomplishments had been set and driven towards since March 2008. I thought I would show you my progress and share some findings and random thoughts I've had over the last year. My Girth-day is July 21, 2009. Some people call it a surg-aversary.

I read somewhere recently: T.D. Jakes was talking about the need to celebrate small victories. He encouraged people with sicknesses to acknowledge “I’m not well, but I’m better.” I think often we are waiting for our ultimate success to show up all at once. I encourage you to celebrate the small steps that take you toward your goals. If you are better than yesterday, celebrate the fact that you are better.

This is a list I made last year as I thought about having surgery. I titled it:

Things I want to be able to do that skinny people take for granted.


*Bending over to tie my shoe with the bow on top not cocked to one side or the other.
*Never having to worry about sitting in a folding chair.
*Picking up loose change off the floor without having to bend my whole body in half with my leg in the air like a golfer.
*Going through a turnstile by walking straight instead of sideways standing on my tippy-toes to get my big belly over the top.
*Crossing my legs.
*Riding a roller coaster without the fear of not being able to get the safety bar latched.
*Sitting in a booth in a restaurant instead of a table.
*Being able to look straight down and see my toes.
*Walking for more than five minutes without being out of breath.
*Standing without my back aching.
*Having a lengthy conversation without being out of breath.
*Sitting close enough to the table to be able and eat without spilling on my shirt.
*Being able to reach over the stove to get something out of the cabinet without my belly crushing the oven handle.
*Reaching up without being conscious of my belly being exposed.
*Being able to walk through a restaurant or meeting room without strategically planning your route. (in order to fit between the tables and chairs)
*Not having to plan your seating arrangement to make sure you will have enough room to sit comfortably.
*Sitting down and having a lap.
*Clipping your toe nails without being in a million contortions.
*Driving without having to suck in your belly to turn the corner.
*Not having a “ledge” to rest your arms, plate, glass, papers, book, etc.
*Bending over and breathing at the same time.

I have accomplished all of these. One I have no idea if I have, but would bet I have is the roller coaster one. I haven't been on a roller coaster for so long I don't know that my heart can take the thrill--old age ya know! Some I want to accomplish a little more thoroughly (such as a smaller belly/larger lap area).

Next are my stats for the last year:

6/30/08 7/7/09 Difference

Arms 19 3/4 16 1/2 3 1/4

Chest 59 47 3/4 11 1/4

Waist 59 45 1/2 13 1/2

Hips 61 45 3/4 15 1/4

Thigh 27 3/4 22 1/2 5 1/4

Weight 292 192 100


Shirts 4x-5x (30-32W) XL-1x

Shorts 3X L

Pants (elastic Waist) 26-28 Petite 18

Pants 50" 40"

Sweats 3X L-1x

Underwear 13 9

Bra 52D 46C

Shoes 8 1/2 7 1/2

Here is my grateful list. It is comprised of my accomplishments based off my goals I set from last year:

Grateful List

*No acidy feeling or upper discomfort after eating since surgery (off Nexium 12/08)
*Getting off the C-PAP machine (10/08)
*Exercising consistently (and actually enjoying it)
*No back pain/little stiffness
*Only occasional joint pain
*Positive attitude developed since surgery
*More positive outlook since surgery
*Depression is less and less every day.
*Renewed sparkle in my eyes
*Joy on my face
*Making wise food decisions
*Doing healthy activities
*Eating small portions
*Cross legs
*Tying my shoes with the bows on the top and center.
*Walked through the turnstile square forward instead of to the side to get my belly over the top
*Getting on the floor to play with great niece and nephew
*Being able to sit in a booth at a restaurant instead of having to have a table
*Walking for more than 5 minutes without being out of breath
*Clipping my toenails without being in a million contortions
*Driving without having to suck in my belly to turn the corner
*Crossing my arms comfortably
*Reaching the middle of my back to scratch an itch
*Getting on the floor to exercise
*Zip my winter coat (and in a smaller size)
*Walk farther distance
*Bike farther
*Sit in the movie theatre more comfortably
*Getting off all but 3 medications (still on Nexium for a different reason)
*Reduce Blood Pressure medication and Depression medication (May 2009)
*Getting off Blood Pressure Medication (6/11/09)
*Lost 100 pounds (6/13/09)
*Will get off depression medication 08/2009

So as you can see, I have accomplished a lot over the last year. This journey started February 14, 2008 when I made the decision to have Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery. I had my consultation with Innovative Weight Loss Solutions (IWLS), through Geary Community Hospital; Junction City, Ks on April 23, 2008. I had my consultation with Dr Hachem the same day. I have blogged my journey via file:// and file:// The two blogs are identical, but reach larger audiences. My blogspot blog is linked with the IWLS program and I am proud to salute that program and all the support from Ronda, Pam and Jennifer. They are a great caring trio. My year would not be as successful as it is if it weren't for them, their insights, suggestions and support. I also MUST thank all the other people in my life that have been my support along this journey; family, friends, co-workers, swim group, Bible study girlfriends, church members and new acquaintances. Mostly I thank whole heartedly my parents. They have been the strongest supporters and encouragers since I surprised them with my decision for surgery on the evening of February 14, 2008.

I have struggled the last month or so with losing the same pounds and somehow them finding me again. I have begun to keep a food log and will sit down with Jennifer (IWLS dietician) and see what we can tweak to get things started again. I know the surgery has done most of the work so far and I am at a place I will have to take over a more intense role. I have worked with my "trainer" Hope at the YMCA and we have focused on new circuits and specialized areas to assist me in reducing. I am recognizing my slips and downfalls in eating. Now it is a matter of addressing them, tackling them and winning the battle!

More importantly is focusing my whole being on the one that sustains me and leads me--God. My relationship with him has to be the most important and I work on that daily. Just like any relationship, time must be invested in order to maintain an active and healthy relationship. I need to focus my requests for willpower and growth to Him. I can't do it alone. This is a hard principle to remember for someone who has problems giving up control and is a perfectionist.

Now, to set goals for the next year. I haven't designed many yet. This week I plan to sit down and focus on my needs and desires in the next year. I could plan for farther down the road, but means I can only work on something one day at a time and one step at a time, I think I will keep them short term for now. Of course my long term goal is to maintain once I reach the "ultimate" goal-weight. I still want to lose 50 pounds and know it won't get done in the next 6 months, but I'm shooting for 20 of it. It's a steep goal, but I'll give it my best!!

Now, to look at the full picture. I have looked at my consult picture from April 23, 2008 and taken pictures of current day. I have kept one outfit from my "bigger" days and it is my consult clothes. They are the largest I was ever in. The comparison is hilarious, exciting, encouraging and on some level sickening. How I ever got that big and never realized it for so long is a boggle to my mind. I have given away all my clothes as I grew out of them (in a good way). The only ones I kept are these and they hang in my closet. If I ever start to gain weight I will pull them out, hang them on the wall as a reminder.

I am 100 pounds lighter, many inches smaller, more energetic, happier and healthier. So as year 2 begins, I say, "Let's saddle up and ride"!!

Because the pain of staying the same is worse than the pain of changing -- we have a choice.
~Katie Jay