Sunday, February 22, 2009


Behind every avalanche is a snow flake. ~Max Lucado~ "Cast of Characters"

Sometimes it seems like my progress in this new life journey appears to be an avalanche. An avalanche is defined as “to overwhelm somebody or something by arriving in large numbers or quantities”. I think of all the changes my life has taken on. I have obviously lost a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. I have lost 90 pounds in 8 months. I have lost inches in every part of my body including my feet. I have decreased one to several sizes in every article of clothing from underclothes to outer clothing. All this may feel like an avalanche. But if you pull it apart in pieces it is like one snowflake at a time. 90 pounds in 8 months equals out to about 3 pounds a week. My inches have felt like it has been decreased at a slow pace at times. I am just now able to admit I see the real difference some people have commented on for some time. The clothing size has been a steady pace of finding new clothes over the 8 months. Some clothes I thought I would never get into I am wearing comfortably now. So as the snowflakes pile one on top of the other the avalanche takes place.

I had lunch with a dear friend today. We talked about the big picture (end goal) and the steps it takes to get there. We discussed how sometimes the present may be uncomfortable, but if we can keep our eyes on the big picture and take the daily steps toward the ultimate goal, anything is bearable. Sometimes we may have to take some breaks for ourselves, but if we do that in a timely manner we will steadily make it to that ultimate goal and the reward will be worth it.

I talked with another dear friend and we talked about how sometimes you have to step back and take time to be by yourself. Yet, you still have to reach out to others. People and situations can be so frustrating at times. When you give up something that used to bring you comfort, relief and at times enjoyment, it is hard to interact like you used to. Therefore you have to find some other outlet. That is not always easy to do. It is especially hard when you are tired, frustrated and feel like the outlets are gone and slim. It will take time to work through the options, to discover other options and put good habits in cement. Once again the snowflakes have to pile one on another to create the avalanche.

Now you may be saying, DeAnn, isn’t an avalanche a bad thing? Well, we all seem to view it that way. Our point of reference has to do with a sad scene of someone at the bottom getting covered by a large amount of snow weighing a huge amount of weight. But, let’s tweak our perspective. Doesn’t the avalanche in process look beautiful? Watching the snow fall over and over itself until it reaches the bottom and creates a new pile of form. Well, in this perspective the avalanche is a beautiful creation of nature. But in order to have that beautiful form one must let the avalanche fall. In order to do that the snow flakes must fall one at a time. I guess I see it like a refinement period. Over time the skills, habits, options and differences refine to a new picture.

Now I realize this may be deep, but it really is simple. How you view something will make the outcome come out in a different way. Each time something different can be viewed from the same data. I think of my favorite book. I have read it a dozen times and each time I grasp a new enlightening from it. The book is called “Love is Like An Acorn”. It speaks of love for self, others and God. My perspective on all 3 levels has changed so much over the last 8 months. God has become so much more personal to me. I see how He has always provided for me. Many of those things, I gave myself or someone else credit. I have found new perspectives when looking at other people. People I know, people I have not necessarily liked and people I don’t know anything about. We all have opinions on everything that touches our lives. Those opinions are based on our perspective. I have found by looking at things through a Christ like eye, they look a lot different. I am not perfect by any means, although I am a perfectionist. That has gotten me into trouble in many different ways and many different times. I am working on that. This brings me to loving myself. As I change physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually I find my perspective of myself changes too. I hope I am becoming a better person. I also realize how much I need a solid support of friends. God is my foundation. My family and my friends are built on that.

So as my snow flakes fall one on another and my avalanche forms and tumbles, I pray my perspective will be to look at the beauty of the scene and enjoy the new formation. I pray my life will become what God wants it to be. He has given me the tools and I must use them to form the new me. My goals are in the forefront and the steps are clear most of the time. Yes, I get frustrated and irritated with others and myself. That is the times when I have to rely on God and my support system. So I take this moment to say thank you to each of you that have been there for me. I pray I am there for you too! Keep your eye on the goal and your movement within the steps to reach that goal. Accept the avalanche (back steps) and view the new perspective as a beautiful work of art.

Shoot for the stars so if you fall you’ll land on a cloud.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blueprints of life

All things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things. You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you’ve thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. You begin with the end in mind.

~7 Habits of Highly Effective People~

This is a devotion I had for today. It is so true of weight loss. You must look upon your goals daily. Just because you did well yesterday doesn’t mean today will go as well. And just because yesterday was a struggle doesn’t mean today will be so challenging. This devotion works for any area of life. Is there something you want to do, something you want to accomplish, a new way of living, or a new way of thinking? Anything must be assessed often to make sure you are still on track, on the right track or following the right set of “rules”. If you aren’t, you might be headed towards a derailment. Sure there will be speed bumps. There might even be detours and unexpected outcomes if your blueprint isn’t consulted or is read incorrectly. The great thing about that is you can always go back to that blueprint and retrace your steps and get back on track. So if there is anything you have wanted to do and just haven’t taken the time to pursue it, sit down and draw up a “blueprint”. Map out your plan and work towards that goal, anticipation, wish, want, dream. Once you walk daily to pursue that dream, wish, or goal you will find incentive and inspiration to pursue it more passionately daily. Even the back steps will seem less frustrating when you have a plan to follow.

This week I ended up with the dreaded winter cold. It hit me hard Friday morning. By Saturday night I was having the chills, aches and was totally drained of all energy. By the time I got home at 3am from work I was bushed. Sunday was a day of total sleep. I spent about 5 hours out of bed and most of that time was spent sleeping in the chair. I ate ½ a cup of pudding and a can of chicken noodle soup. (Mom was always right that chicken noodle soup makes you feel better). I got on the scale this morning and lost 6 pounds yesterday. I do not recommend this method of weight control. I don’t look for today to be much different in the eating department. I am still feeling fairly rough. I feel like I probably have a fever so Tylenol has been a regular for yesterday and will be today. I plan to stay out of bed due to the fact every pore of my torso hurts. Some of that is from coughing and blowing my nose, but also from laying in bed for a day. I hope everyone stays healthy and on tract with whatever goals they have.

The mind may be blessed with perfect memory, but it is cursed with lousy recall.
~goals guy~

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Change is a word that encompasses many things. You can change your clothes in order to have a different appearance. You can change your appearance in order to make a different impression. You can change your impression of someone, something or some situation. You can change your outlook to change your acceptance level, to change your reactions, to change your impression on others and so much more. I think your outlook affects the way you change.

I have heard it said, “He/she doesn’t like change.” “We like to stay in the same rut we are comfortable with.” I think most of the time this is true; more so for some than for others. I know there was a time I bucked change. It was many years ago. Fourteen to fifteen years ago I knew I needed to change jobs or lose my sanity. I was very reluctant to do such. I kept rationalizing things would change, get better, etc. They didn’t and I finally got tired of being miserable, stressed and very unhappy. So 13 years ago I changed jobs and have never been happier for the change. About 3-4 years ago I was told I needed to have weight loss surgery. I once again balked at the change and put it off. I made excuses and remained in denial until Feb of 2008. I had the surgery July 2008 and now couldn’t be happier for the decision. I feel so much better physically. I can do things I haven’t been able to do in many years. I look totally different. As my mom says, “She looks like the kid from many years ago.” She is right. Some days I don’t recognize myself.

Well, I am facing so many changes at this time. Changes in my appearance, my clothing size, my mobility, my impressions, my outlook (positive versus negative), my abilities physically, my processing mentally and emotionally, etc. Through all these changes I am reassessing my life, how I live my life and what it is going to take to challenge myself. One of these changes is in my work schedule. There was a time I would have never had thought of working anything except 2:30p-10:30p. Well, about 2 years ago work circumstances were very stressful and so I decided to change to working 10:30p-6:30a. Before I was actually able to go to that time frame I was asked to work a power shift of 6:30p-2:30a. I figured, why not if I was going to change. Well, now I am getting ready to change again. I had to rethink and reassess my life. There as so many changes right now and most are positive and have given me a renewed sense of self-confidence and pride. So I will be changing my work hours to a power shift of 10:30a-6:30p. I am really looking forward to it.

We all need to look at change in a light that will allow us to be honest with ourselves. We need to make decisions based on needs and not on fears. I know change can equal the feeling of fear or at least the anticipation of uncertainty. I hope you will take the time to assess your situation, set your focus, plan your goals including the steps to those goals and take the chance. Remember you never have to accomplish the goal in one leap. If you are struggling to do something because of limitations, take a little at a time until you build up the ability to do the activity. An example is right after surgery I was unable to walk very far much less to the end of the block. So several times a day I would walk up and down the hall, around the living room, dining room, kitchen and back down the hall. Soon I was able to walk to the end of the block. Then it increased to around the block. It didn’t take me just a week, but some time. I gained distance with time and effort. I had to push myself. Now I am pushing myself to take on new work hours. It will be a different challenge with different co-workers, with different sets of circumstances. I am excited about it. Since even before surgery I had been challenging myself to change my outlook about exercise. Since surgery I have not only changed my outlook, but my attitude. I now enjoy exercising. I have found a routine in the water and in the fitness center that challenges me and excites me. The reward of feeling better is incentive enough to continue.

Sometimes change isn’t so bad. You just have to step out and give it a try. Step up to the plate and take a swing.

You are the one person you never get away from.
~Joyce Meyer~

Sunday, February 1, 2009


The word I have been contemplating this week is steadfast. The definition for steadfast is firm and unwavering in purpose, loyalty, or resolve. I have been at a steady standstill with weight the last week. I have looked at my eating and my activity. This last week I stepped up my exercising. I made it to the "Y" 5 days this week. I am hoping the "stall" is muscle instead of pound gain. My stomach is flattening out, so I think the muscles must be firming. I have been firm in my purpose to be healthier. My loyalty to exercising has become much more conscious and my resolve is to reach my goal. Resolve encompasses determination, steadfastness, tenacity, doggedness, firmness. I have developed a new routine for the water. I have focused exercises on the abs, upper arms and thighs. I have extended my workout to an hour and 15 minutes on my non-class water aerobics days (Wednesday & Friday). On Monday I have water aerobics class for an hour and then try to do some exercising on my own for 15-20 minutes. I think I have a better workout in the water than I do in the "gym". On Tuesday and Thursday I am in the "gym" working the strength training machines and the floor exercises. They also focus on the abs, upper arms and thighs. I sure feel better after the workouts. I hope I will remain firm and unwavering in my purpose and I will stay loyal to my needs and goals and my resolve will stay strong to work my program on a daily basis. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed and get the mindset of "I deserve" to take a break and that leads to getting out of the good habits I have formed. Therefore I must remain steadfast!

I am not too concerned with the weight stand still. I have anticipated it and have been surprised it didn't happen earlier. I know I have picked up some foods I would be better off not eating and I will need to eliminate them. I need to get back to salads instead of potatoes. When I eat potatoes it is a small amount (1/4 - 1/2 a cup, 1/2 a small baked, etc) but any amount is added carbs. I need to watch my snacks. I have been assessing if I am eating because the food is there versus my body telling me it needs sustenance. I fear my eating is not associated with need. I need to reassess what I take to work to eat. I wish I found a protein bar I am excited over, but I haven't. I have a couple I can tolerate. I need to keep it as a stand by in case I get hungry at work. I also need to eat when I get hungry instead of trying to hold out until a pre-decided time. That way I will be less likely to snack (AKA hold me over).

Some other challenges I am facing that fall back into the old habits are eating too fast, taking too big of bites and "unconscious eating". There are times when I am done eating and I don't remember eating it. That is what I call unconscious eating. I had an "uncomfortable episode" last week because I ate too fast and didn't chew well enough. I began to feel hot and started to sweat. I felt nauseated and overall uncomfortable. It passed in 15 minutes after sitting under a fan and sitting still. Of course this was at work. My co-workers were very sympathetic and took over any duties I needed to perform.

As you can see post-op isn't all smooth sailing. It is a challenge just like pre-op. Pre-op I tried every diet, every fad, every supplement plan, etc. Post-op I am living a healthy life plan. No more diets. It is a lifestyle that not only encompasses food, but behavior, attitude, outlook, emotions, positive choices, etc. It involves my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual realms. The whole person. A diet usually involves only the eating aspect. Post-op involves a support system if it is going to work. It is too easy to slip back into the old habits, eating the old foods, doing the old things, etc. God has certainly been the backbone of my support by placing strong encouraging people in my life. I thank those people; family, friends, co-workers, IWLS staff, church, etc.

This surgery is not a cure-all. It is a tool to work a healthy lifestyle. I must continue to assess and reassess my actions, motives, attitudes, food intake, activity, etc. Just like pre-op, I must watch what I eat, move more, stay positive, keep plugging forward, learn from the backward steps and lean toward the forward momentum. It's just easier now that I can see the rewards I have attained and the ones I have to look forward to. Count your blessings, tally your achieved goals and review your targets. Isn’t that the road to success in any area of life?

Any positive goal is worth remaining steadfast!

"Live so that you would not mind selling your pet parrot to the town gossip."
~Will Rogers~