Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Indulging In BLTs

I'm slow in writing this week because I haven't cared about it. It seems like everything has been put on a personal hiatus this week. I haven't gone to the YMCA because of other obligations on Monday and Tuesday. This morning I didn't go because my arm shut the alarm off and I woke up enough to reset the alarm and go back to sleep. At least I reset it early enough to get up for work and the pre-work duties I place on myself. I started this week "checking out" by seeing 5 movies in 2 days. Last week was so very frustrating to me and I am not sure why. Everything I did irritated me. Just the fact I breathed irritated me. I just sat back and struggled through it and hoped I didn't irritate those around me too much. I couldn't make myself happy and I certainly found no one else could make me happy either. I hate those weeks.

So I evaluated things. I didn't come up with any astronomical discovery. It just seemed like Tuesday I woke up in a better disposition. So I started to look at the things I'm doing, not doing, need to do, want to do, don't want to do and must do. As is most stuff in my life, it is centered on losing weight, exercising more, relating to others better, thinking of others more and trying to walk closer to God daily. All are difficult. I am strong willed and that will often get in the way of all of them. I hate to give up control.

I read one of my devotions this morning and the following hit me! I hope it will inspire me as I read it over and over and I hope it might inspire someone else by including parts of it in my blog.


Do you ever get tired of making decisions?  I do. Every day, decisions line up for my attention. I decide what I'm going to do, how I'll spend my money, and what I'm going to say.  Conversely, I make decisions about what I am NOT going to do, spend or say. 

One of the biggest challenges I face right now has to do with what I eat. 

The problem wasn't what I was eating when I sat down for a meal; it was all the bites that led up to that meal.  It was the French fry before dinner and the bite of casserole as I put away the leftovers after dinner.  It was the nibble of my son's double cheeseburger, and the extra scoop of dip with my carrots. No, it wasn't the big decisions that hurt my weight loss; it was all the little decisions.  

Unfortunately, I had minimized in my mind the potential damage of all those little bites.  Yet they added up to derail me from my goal of losing weight that week. The next week I took control of those BLTs (bites, licks, tastes and sips) and had a nice loss. 

As I've pondered this reality, I've applied it to other areas of my life.  I easily minimize the damage of daily unwise decisions.  They aren't sin issues, so I can dismiss them as unimportant.  However, when added up, they have a big impact on achieving some of my personal goals.  For example, when I make a decision to not read my Bible for one day, there's no noticeable impact.  But when I neglect this important part of my spiritual growth repeatedly, I find myself lacking in godly wisdom and discernment.   

If you find yourself on a plateau in a certain area of your life, perhaps this truth can apply to you as well.  You may be making all the right big decisions, but the little ones are having a cumulative negative impact on you.  

Not only that, but I believe God desires to do amazing things through us, and is continually testing us to see if we can handle bigger responsibilities.  It's in the arena of little responsibilities that our true dependability is revealed.  The truth is those little decisions that seem minor, and inconsequential, really do matter.  They matter to me as I pursue personal goals, and they matter to God.  

My challenge today is to make every decision count. I ask myself, "Is this decision going to get me closer to my goal, or further away from it?"  "Is this decision going to show God I can be trusted with the little things?" 

Sometimes I ask this question every hour.  Which is why I ate steamed vegetables for dinner, and my family had overstuffed burritos.  (Not that it's Thursday night and I'm weighing in Friday morning or anything.) 

So this week I am looking at the BLTs (bites, licks, tastes and sips) and looking at the actions I take or don't take and try to fine tune them. I am trying to do that without becoming so obsessed that I lose sight of the motions of life. That is a very fine line! I need to rely on God more for that discernment. I need to rely on God more for the baby steps that lead to the top of the mountain. I need to learn to be content in the moment and release the tight grip I hold on things. I often wish I could find the attitude of "it will all work out, just sit back." If I could just find a way to sit back and use the remote control at the same time. There's that control issue again!!

All the BLTs (regardless of if they are food related or any goal related) affect the final outcome. So I will be careful what bites, licks, tastes and sips I take. I will pray I find myself in a better frame of mind, better determination of goal attainment and able to prioritize my actions to match my goals.

"I'll wait on you God, but can you hurry up?" I hope your decisions are based on the best for you in the long run, but established during the short jaunt.


Adjust to changing times,

but cling to unchanging principles.

     ~Patsy Clairmont~

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Am A Success

I had my 18 month check-up this week in Junction City with my surgeon, Dr. Hachem. It was a really good appointment. My BMI went down a point. When I started this journey I had a BMI of 52.8 (Morbidly Obese). I am now at 35 (Severely Obese). I am at the lowest notch at that place. The next level down is Obese (30-34.9). So I am making progress. I lost 7 pounds in 6 months according to his scales.  I guess that is 1 pound a month.  I'm not sure what I really expect at this point.  I know my goal from my last appointment (July 2009) was 10 pounds, so I didn't make it, but he was satisfied.    My blood pressure was better than it ever was when I took medication for it.  So being off medication for 7 months says a lot.  It was 120/82 today.

He said I am a success.  I have lost 65% of my excess weight within the 1st 2 years and statistically that is a success!   That made me feel good.  He spoke on the success aspect for some time.  He asked about my exercising and what I did, which is cardio and strength training.  He was happy with that.  He said now I have my exercise down I needed to focus back on my food.  He wants me to take in less than 1200 calories a day.  He is concerned about my portion sizes.  He said he remembers my operation and he made my pouch small.  He knew my determination before surgery, my life track record for weight and knew I would need the small pouch to be successful.  He said he also knew with my determination and pre-surgery knowledge I knew what it would take to be successful.  He spoke of the types of foods I eat and the need to make good choices.  He wants me to start counting my calories because he is sure I am taking in more than 1200.  He didn't give me a number other than below 1200.  Guess what, he mentioned a log.  I thought I was over the measuring, counting, etc when I had surgery. I guess in the back of my mind I knew it would never be past. Overall I felt he was very happy with me, but concerned for the long haul if I don't get my choices and amounts in check.  As you know, I am concerned too.  I'm sure he remembers during surgery finding more fat than he anticipated. 

I asked him what he thought my ultimate weight should be.  He said by my height it should be 134, but he did not think that would be wise.  He thought I would not look or feel healthy that light. I agree.  He surprised me by saying the ultimate weight for me would be 170.  I said I was shooting for 140.  He said I would probably not make it there.  He said I would need to think about surgery in the next 6 months.  He said I am carrying 15-20 pounds in the middle and a body lift would take care of that.  Well, unless thousands of dollars fall out of the sky I doubt that will happen.  He said the excess skin in the middle is what is keeping me from making my goal.  So I guess I need to readjust my goal.  For right now I will look at 170 as the next long term goal and then we will re-goal.  I might be able to make 17 pounds in a year. I know I will have to accept less if I don't make it, but that is something to deal with January 2011. All I know at this point is I have the ability, the tools and the determination. I am already a success, so this is just the icing on the protein bar (no cake for me!!).

He said by my 6 months check-up (July) he wants me below 180 or don't come because he will be mad.  I told him if I canceled he would know I didn't make it below 180.  We laughed.  That is only 7 more pounds.  I lost 7 pounds in 6 months without being totally dedicated, so I ought to be able to make 7 pounds by July.  Once I am "Back on Track" I WILL do it!

Overall I felt good about my visit with Dr. Hachem.  There was a different feel to this visit.  I felt there was a true concern for my progress.  I felt he was happy with me, but concerned for the long haul. His voice, choice of words, eye contact, etc. were just so much more supportive.  I felt like he was behind me and wished for that success.  He already sees me as a success, but wants me to get the full benefit for my life time.  So do I! I didn't do this surgery to look good. I did it to be healthy and I am there. I don't want to lose any ground. I need to build on what I have accomplished and forge forward.

You know last year I had no problem walking away from what I shouldn't eat.  This holiday season was a struggle for me.  He talked about how this is the time when it becomes harder.  He is right!  I guess I got comfortable in my success and thought it would just keep on without me fully participating.  As Ronda has said, I need to step back and get back to the basics of eating.  So the plan is to get back on track, get back to the basics, count calories, watch portion sizes and make the best food choices I can—always! 

I am a success—thank you God!


"The secret to staying young is to live honestly,

eat slowly, and lie about your age."

     ~Lucille Ball~

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Already & The Not Yet

Yesterday is past and can't be changed. Today is the opportunity you must grab a hold of and take it for all it's worth. It is the building block for tomorrow. Those blocks are at times in the design of a mistake, a falter, a stumble or a fall. Most of the time they are the success, the progress (sometimes small) and the attainment of a goal. Regardless of the size or shape of the blocks, you are worth the effort to cement them together. Your todays are the building blocks of your future (tomorrows cemented together). You can't harvest backwards so plant forward.



You cannot change the past, you cannot live the future.  So take this moment and live it.

"I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.  

I'm okay, and I'm on my way"  

     ~Joyce Meyer~


"Your actions won't change until your mind does." 
"You will not change your behavior until you change your thoughts."
     ~Joyce Meyer~

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Auto Reply

Have you ever gotten a message through email that was an Auto Reply? I send messages and sometimes get a message that says, "Auto Reply no need to respond to this message". I also get them that are an auto reply that is informational that the person is "out of the office until…" Then I get this one that says, "you must reply to this message to verify you are not spam." Excuse me? I've been sending messages to this person for years and suddenly I have to prove I am not spam, that I am a real person, that I actually exist?


There are times when I need to learn to auto reply to life and the messages it sends. You know those messages. The ones that say, "You aren't worth…" The messages that tempt you to do that which you know you shouldn't do because… The message that says "just try a little; it won't hurt you" or "just this once." Those are the messages of life that come to us on auto pilot. We need to learn to auto reply with the best of ourselves in mind.


Saying no instead of yes when we know we can't handle it, don't have time for it, shouldn't do it. Our auto replies need to be the ones that build us up, encourage us to do our best, hope for the best, plan for the best. The auto replies that tell us we are worth it, we can do it, we should plan it.


When I think of spam I think of false, fake, unsolicited. I also think of the fake meat that is supposed to remind us of ham. Just like the definitions and pictures the word spam has conjured up, often times the thoughts we have are unsolicited, false, fake and look like something it really isn't. We have to sort through them and find the truth in the messages we get. We have to latch onto the actions that are real and what will lead us to the truth and growth of our lives.


Whether you are planning to lose weight, change jobs, enhance your life in some adventure, or whatever challenge you are facing; sometimes that is just the day to day living; remember your 2010 will only be fulfilling because of the people in it! The time and effort you invest in people are what counts. Evaluate your standards and expectations and keep plugging away.  Rewind the old tapes and weed out the spam. Use the auto reply to invest in yourself and edify yourself and others. What is most important to you is where your priorities will lie. I pray God will give you the strength, motivation and focus to keep on. 


Let 2010 be your most prosperous year, each day at a time, every step of the way. Take those steps towards those goals you wish to attain. I pray God will be at the head of your focus and through Him you will attain your goals.


"Nothing is impossible;

the word itself says,

'I'm possible!'"

~Audrey Hepburn~