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~