Friday, March 25, 2011


Change is in the air at our house!

Spring.  Pre-adolescence.  Adjusting to new jobs.  New kittens.  New blogs.


Yep.  My little blog is all grown up now.  You can find it at More

I hope you enjoy the changes, and while you're there, be sure to check out links to and The Joy Project.  Exciting goings on around here!

See you there!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

no post today... something cooking up for you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

the tenacious ten: day nine

If surrender is part of the key to freedom, then it must be determined what, exactly, is being surrendered to.

Surrendering implies a battle.  A resistance.  A fight.  So that then begs the question: What am I resisting?  And why?

These are the questions that will lead toward surrendering to the right things.  What I've determined so far is this:

Discipline. I resist discipline because I am rebellious.  Because I don't like being told what I can't do or can't have.  Because I am tired of not having what I can't have.  Because I am tired of not having. 

Reality.  I resist the reality that my body responds to certain things better than others.  Because I want to eat what I want to eat.  Because I rationalize this is practicing all things in moderation.  Because I don't like my reality, and I want a different one.

Rest.  I resist being still because I am afraid I will get fat.  I am afraid I will get lazy.  I am afraid I will get complacent.  I am afraid I will get comfortable.  I am afraid I will get lost in the silence.  And so I don't allow for it.

Leading.  I resist the promptings of the Holy Spirit because I am afraid of what he's going to ask of me.  Because I don't trust he truly has my best interests at heart.  Because I suspect he cannot, or more accurately will not, meet my deepest needs. 

Intimacy.  I resist drawing near to God, to my husband, to my own inner being.  Because I don't believe their love is unconditional.  Because I fear opening my heart to them only to be rejected.  Because I question their motives.  Because I question their hearts.

These are the battles in which I am engaged.  The entities to which I must surrender if I am ever to be captured by Freedom.  I question if I am able.  But I am told I can do all things through the strength of another more powerful than I...

There are battles we all fight.  Things we all resist.  Truths to which we must surrender.  When you feel that fear or rebellion within your own spirit, what is it you are resisting?  Feel free to tell me about it...

for the record...

...looking at Sugardaddy's brownies is not helping the carbohydrate cravings. 

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, March 21, 2011

the tenacious ten: day eight

It is probably not a coincidence, it occurs to me as I struggle to get back on track after a weekend of swerving on and off my path, hands frantically gripping the wheel, that I am currently getting ready to write the part of my book that is about surrender.

Probably not.

I suppose it might be helpful, maybe, to actually practice what I'm preaching.


Just maybe.

No matter how far I've come, no matter how much weight I've lost, no matter how long I've kept it off, it still comes down to this: I can't control it, but I can't not control it.

My weight. My body. My eating. My appetite. My will power. My desire. My thought life. My life, in general. I have no control. But I can't, for the life of me, stop trying to grasp for it.

The Word says he who seeks to save his life loses it. Does it logically follow that she who seeks to lose her weight gains it?

Surrender. Yielding control. Taking my hands off the wheel. Screaming in terror as my car heads toward a tree. Do I hit the tree? Or do I find my way through the forest?

I don't know.

It's out of my hands.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

the tenacious ten: day seven

Spent the weekend with a houseful of people and pets, thanks to our alma mater's collegiate choir being in town on their spring break tour.  Entertaining company is always a challenge for me when I'm trying to lose weight.  Or maintain.  Or any time that involves eating, which is all of my life, as I tend to eat on a daily basis.  I have the best of intentions, but once there is Mama Mimi's pizza fresh out of the oven or breakfast casserole likewise fresh, well, the intentions that were so black and white suddenly fade to gray.

One more piece of pizza won't hurt, I tell myself.  Then it's another.  And another.  Suddenly, I've had five over the course of the entire evening.  Why do I do that?  I don't know.  I wish I could figure it out.

I hate it when other people are eating things I enjoy and I can't eat them, too.  I feel punished.  It feels unfair.

I can't stand knowing there is are special foods in the house.  I cannot stop thinking about them until they are gone.  I become completely obsessed.

Here's the weird thing.  We gave up sweets for lent.  So the cookies were not even a temptation.  Why not?  I don't know.

This is what I know, and what I don't know.  The difficult truth is that this eating thing continue to be a mystery to me, despite so many, many things that should make it not a mystery.  I will think more about it tomorrow.  Tonight, I am spent.

Friday, March 18, 2011

the tenacious ten: day five

I wasn't going to weigh myself today.  Then I was.  Then I wasn't.  Then suddenly I was standing on the scale in the middle of my bedroom, holding my breath and hoping I wouldn't regret the un-decision.


I exhaled with no small amount of relief.

The weight-loss gods have smiled on me and my small, square, electronic device.  We have found favor in their eyes, and they have rewarded me with a smaller number than the last time I stepped on this cursed piece of machinery.  Five pounds.  Again.  I figure that's about 5,000 I've lost, total.  Over, and over, and over.

The next milestone is 145.  And then, The Blasted Plateau. 

There are those for whom a red flag would raise at the thought of my emotional state being dependent upon the green number at my feet.  I get it.  To them I would reply, You don't get what it's like to be me.

There is no accurate measure of success in my life with scales.  The number fluctuates.  The fit of my clothes fluctuates.  The feel of my body fluctuates.  This is what works for me.  Roughly every two to three weeks, occasionally sooner if I'm feeling particularly neurotic, I get up first thing in the morning and I go to the bathroom.  If I'm feeling brave, I head back to the bedroom, strip down to my birthday suit, pull out the scale, and step on it.  I move it several times to accommodate the inconsistencies in our 100 year old wood floor.  I take the lowest number that pops up more than once, and I let my poor, trampled little sense of hope run with it.  (Unless, of course, the number is higher than the last time.  Then, well, you know what happens then...)

Again, this is what works for me.  And that is, after all, what I tell clients they need to do.  Sort through all the advice, rules, and cautions, and find what works for them in the long run, provided it's not illegal or immoral.  Weighing myself every few weeks, and being affected by the result, is, to the best of my knowledge, not illegal or immoral.  And so I will continue in this manner until something else works better.

I'm okay with the number today.  I'm okay with how my pants fit.  I'm okay with how I feel.  Today is okay.

I won't tempt my luck again any time soon, however...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

the tenacious ten: day four

I wish someone would have reminded me that too much protein powder does not make one's stomach happy.  No reason.

Day four was uneventful.  The Kashi Go-Lean Crunch has stopped calling me, as it is no longer in the cupboard.  It can't call from within my stomach--I figured that was the safest bet for all involved.  So I am free from that temptation.  It was a tough sacrifice to have to eat it all before it drove me crazy.  But sometimes you just gotta do whatcha gotta do. 

The Zone bars, on the other hand, are very quick and easy and have CHOCOLATE on them.  They need to be gone so there are no more temptations calling me from the pantry.  Sigh.  More sacrifice.  Woe is me.

Aside from the bloatedness driving me to distraction, it has been a decent day, albeit a long one.  I will retire with a good book and try not to think about how pathetic it is that I am craving a Zone bar or about how FAT I feel after a day of IBS.  Another busy day awaits me, then another, and then another.  

But by then, the Zone bars will be GONE, and I will be home free. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

the tenacious ten: day three

I'm pretty sure exercise isn't supposed to make you cry. I'm just sayin'.

Okay, so I didn't cry. This time. But I wanted to. That and I wanted to throw up. Well, not that I wanted to throw up, but you know what I mean.

Exercise and I have never quite become BFF's. Oh, we're friendly and all—don't get me wrong. But believe me—I'd ditch working out in a heartbeat for reading a book or going out to dinner or even taking a hike, literally. The minute I get a better offer, all previous plans are considered null and void.

So it's not unusual for me to not like working out. It's also not unusual for me to avoid it for as long as possible. But what has been unusual these last two weeks has been both my sheer dread of exercising and my complete lack of energy and will power to do so. I just don't have it in me. And I don't know why.

For a month I was truckin' along with Jillian Michaels and her
30 Day Shred DVD. I was feeling strong, feeling energetic, feeling optimistic. I didn't LIKE it, but I wasn't dying. Not much, at least. But something has completely wiped me off my feet here lately, and I barely have it in me to finish my 3-4 mile walk, let alone get my butt kicked by "TV's Toughest Trainer." This doesn't bode well for trying to get Stripped, Shredded, or Slenderized.

Mostly what it does is make me feel discouraged and a little weepy, especially toward the end of a work-out, when there are still 50,000 crunches to go and I feel like I'm going to hurl already and I just want to lay on the floor and not move. But I have to move—I have no choice but to move. And that creates dissonance in my spirit.

I wish I could learn to love this path. I wish I enjoyed protein and veggies more than anything made from a grain. I wish I would rather lift weights and crank my metabolism with some interval training than stroll through the woods or read a good book. Or even a mediocre book. But I don't love these things. I've made peace with them, but that's just not the same.

I don't know yet what to do with this dissonance. I have peace, but, because I don't love it, I need discipline. I don't always have discipline. So I need motivation. I don't always have motivation, either. And frankly, what motivates me typically is FEAR, and that is in conflict with peace. In the end, I'd much rather have JOY in it all. But I'm just not there yet.

And I'm not sure what the path in that direction looks like.

I will continue ramping back up, yet again. I will fight and scratch and claw back to my previous level of fitness, only to have something else derail me, yet again. I suppose this is life. But that doesn't mean I have to like it. In the mean time, tomorrow is a rest day, by virtue of the fact that I work 13 hours. So I will give my body a rest, and then drag my fanny back in front of the TV on Friday, hopefully ready and raring to go.

And if it's not ready and raring, well, it will just have to hang in there and bear through the ride.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the tenacious ten: day two

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they are sticking to their diets.

Author Unknown


I'm hungry. Really. Not just "I think I'm hungry because I'm bored or depressed or existentially dissatisfied." I'm really, truly, HUNGRY.You would think that would not be the cause for much concern. If you're hungry, you just eat. It's just that simple. But in my world, nothing is JUST. And nothing is SIMPLE.

For the record, I am getting up to get a low-fat cheese stick. I am not so legalistic that I will not feed my body when my body says feed me. But I am also not so disciplined that I can get away with doing this at my body's every whim. And I am not so confident that I can navigate the mire of my psyche well enough to not come completely unglued with each non-sanctioned meal plan choice. So I must tread with caution.This morning was a departure. A bowl of Kashi Go-Lean Crunch instead of my "clean" oatmeal. The box was calling to me. Loudly and persistently. It needed to be emptied so it would STOP. I have no better excuse.

Dinner was a departure. A Zone bar instead of a chicken breast and broccoli. I had exactly 30 minutes to get a walk in after work before my family got home, and I needed to eat. I couldn't take broccoli for a walk. The Zone bar was convenient. It was a logical choice.The cheese stick is a departure. I'm hungry. I can eat a cheese stick. For the moment, it's "just that simple."

None of these things are particularly bad, other than the fact that they are manufactured and that the first two contain sugar, which I am trying to avoid. But they are not BAD, and, therefore, I will not feel BAD about them. Or at least I will try not to.I am sticking to my diet, even when not sticking to my diet. I can let go of the legalism and embrace the grace I am so desperately in need of.

And then, tomorrow, I can endeavor again to follow closely that which is set out for me.

Monday, March 14, 2011

the tenacious ten: day one

After a weekend of carb-loading, today began the attack on the Tenacious Ten.Two months on the "miracle diet" did not produce a miracle, unfortunately. My weight loss stalled after a five to eight pound loss and began to taunt me from there, inching up and down but never getting any lower. I decided I would switch to the lean, restricted version of eating clean, hoping it would take that last five off. But upon weighing myself the day I was to begin, I was shocked to find that the last five was really back up to the last ten. And then, I completely lost it over not losing it.

The last week, wherein I wallowed in my post-weigh-in freak out, was spent half in futile moderation, half in an all-out carb-fest. All gains that were made in the last two months are likely gone. This is what life is like in my body. I won't bore you with how incredibly demoralizing it is to keep going round and round and round with the same ten pounds. Suffice it to say it SUCKS.There was a public service announcement that ran when I was younger that pictured someone holding up an egg. This is your brain, the caption read. Then the body-less hand flung the egg into a skillet and it exploded, egg bits scattered all over the pan. This is your brain on drugs. I don't know how effective the announcement was at preventing drug use, but the phrase became a part of our lexicon. This is your brain. This is your brain on chocolate. This is your brain on milk. This is your brain on chemistry. This is your brain on homework.

My brain on a diet is a MESS. My body on carbohydrates is even worse, though not as graphic as the egg. Rest assured, you don't want to see it, nonetheless. My body on carbohydrates—a smidgen too much whole wheat bread, one too many Kashi granola bars, a bowl too many of high fiber, high protein cereal—and my middle gets squishy and soft and my pants start to cling in all the wrong places. The problem is, as you might have guessed, that I loveloveloveloveLOVE carbohydratey foods. Love. So restricting my carbs for a month, without the tradeoffs the "miracle diet" provided, well, let's just say it's not my favorite idea.At all.

Today is one day down. Egg whites with a half cup oats. A protein smoothie. An apple with two hard boiled eggs. Chicken chili with black beans and a scant amount of brown rice. WITHOUT the tortilla chips and cheese my children used to adorn their own. Sigh. A 30 minute walk, a 30 minute weight work out. I'm not full speed ahead yet, but I'm at least facing in the right direction today. That's a start.Tomorrow brings a 10 hour work day that will hopefully end in a brisk walk. Another step in the right direction.
Provided there are no homemade baked goods in the break room.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

taking on the tenacious ten

So. Here's the deal.Seven years ago, I lost 100 pounds. I kept it off easily for five years. In a random and ill-timed course of events, I gained back ten pounds two years ago. I freaked out. In trying to lose the ten, I gained another. I came completely unglued. I'm writing a book about it, so I'll leave you dying for the details, except to let you know I've lost the second ten. But here's the thing.

The Thing is this last ten pounds. I've spent two years trying to take back off a measly TEN POUNDS. I'm going insane in the process. So here is where the rubber hits the road.Now, before I go on, just so we're clear, here is what I do NOT want to hear from you, should you have the urge to say it:
  • Maybe this is just God's way of saying you should just accept this current weight. Bull-pucky. God wants me to spend my money to further his kingdom, NOT on a closet full of new Fat Girl clothes.
    • Maybe this is your set point. It wasn't five years ago. So I refuse to accept that it is now.
    •  Have you tried____________ or ____________ or ____________ or ____________? The answer is YES. All of it.
      • What worked for me is ____________. I'm not you. And my body does not respond, in ANY way, shape, or form, to formulas. But thank you for your input. Truly.

        That being said, here is what I've determined:
        • My body is not responding to gentle, moderate tactics. I'm going to have to get hard core if I want to wear my Fit Girl clothes again.
        • I do not WANT to get hard core.
        • I am going to have to do it ANYWAY.

          Tomorrow I begin Taking on The Tenacious Ten. Hard core. I am following Tosca Reno's Stripped diet, which combines Clean Eating principles with increased workouts. She promises I won't die. That is the best I can hope for. I will chronicle my efforts here, daily, for both your encouragement and amusement.

          If Tosca Reno is to be believed, I'm in for a month of hard core lean eating and intense exercising, with the desired result come the end of the month. We'll see which lasts longer here—my efforts, or her book!

          Friday, March 11, 2011

          (not) weighing in on my week

          I'm not weighing myself today, and you can't make me.

          The week has been rough. My inner pendulum is swinging again. Everything within me is rebelling against restriction. The struggle has been intense, the mood heavy, the thought life consumed. I am fighting for peace of mind. I am getting closer, but I'm not anywhere near there yet.

          I'm finding that, while the commitment to the writing is producing results in that part of my life, it is coming at a cost to other areas. Time, alas, is not a limitless resource. If I spend my time writing, I'm not spending it doing other things. Like, say, exercising. Which is a problem I've not yet determined how to remedy. My thoughts are a bit overwhelmed with it, as of late.

          I've been thinking a lot, too, about this venue, and how to best use it. There may be some changes coming to how and what I post here. I think this is a good thing. It just is not quite clear yet what that will look like.

          So between the low mood and the lack of exercise and the change of diet and the gray pallor of the day and the fear of the result, I am not weighing myself today. Which is, realistically, a victory. I have overruled the compulsion to seek comfort in the number on the scale. Today.

          As for tomorrow, well, stay tuned...

          Friday, March 4, 2011

          still waiting for the miracle

          My scale is broken. I stepped on it this morning, and it said 150.4. I moved it. Stepped on it again. 150.4. Moved it again. Stepped on it again. 150.4. Five different locations on the one hundred year old hard wood floor. Which usually render five different numbers on the scale. Five exact same readings this morning. 150.4

          Now, let's review. I've been on The Miracle Diet, which enabled me to lose 100 pounds over five years ago. I regained twenty during The Winter From Hell, two years ago. I'd lost fifteen, and was hovering at 145 for about forever. But I was sticking to The Miracle Diet. And I was going to lose that blasted Final Five and be able to wear the clothes that are hanging, lonely and forlorn, in my closet. By the end of February.

          I have deviated from The Miracle Diet Exactly three times in the last two weeks since I last weighed myself. I had a piece of cake. Singular. I had two cinnamon rolls. Plural. I had Chinese with rice. Global. If I put all of that together, it doesn't even weigh ONE pound, let alone five. I fail to understand. But then again, that's par for the course around here.

          So, here we go. Sunday starts The Diet From Hell. Because I'm sick and tired of going round and round with this last five pounds. I want my pants to fit--the pants I already fit in once before, for five years. Is that so wrong? No. It's not. Two weeks. I'm giving it two weeks.

          And if my scale doesn't say something close to 140 by then, no matter WHERE I put it on the stinkin' floor, well, then it's GONNA be broken.

          Wednesday, March 2, 2011

          giving up to gain (or to not gain, as the case may be)

          When Jesus says, "Follow me," it's not an invitation to drag our divided heart alongside us as we attempt to follow hard after God... Here's how Jesus describes it: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mark 8:34).

          With Jesus, if we want to gain, we must give up.

          If we want to be filled, we must deny ourselves.

          If we want to get truly close to God, we'll have to distance ourselves from other things.

          And if we want to conquer our cravings, we'll have to redirect them to God.

          Lysa TerKeurst, Made to Crave

          Monday, February 28, 2011

          out of my head

          You can tell when I'm frustrated with how things are going. Everything goes internal. I stop writing about it. I stop talking about it. But I certainly don't stop thinking about it.When I'm frustrated, all gets quiet on the outside and the inner rioting begins. But not tonight. Tonight, I will write.

          Tonight I will quiet the thought that the diet isn't working. Because it is. It's just not working fast enough and far enough. And that is a different issue entirely.Tonight I will squelch the voice that screams I'm never going to lose weight. Because I will. And I am.

          Tonight I will unplug the treadmill of planning and scheming what I'm going to do next when it becomes apparent this isn't working. Because my head hurts too much to follow a pattern of thought beyond the next 30 minutes. And in 30 minutes I will be in bed, so what does it matter?Tonight I will turn down the volume on the inner tapes playing a continuous loop of self-hatred and disgust. Because I don't even have the energy to complain and criticize. And I'm trying to make peace with the body that gets me where I need to go.

          Tonight I will give voice to the tiny whispers of hope. I will give voice to the questions and comments from friends about how I look. I will give voice to the fact that I can pull my favorite jeans up over my rear end. I will give voice to my efforts at sanity and moderation. I will give voice to two months of discipline and the fruit of my efforts.Tonight, I will turn on the lights and watch the scavenging roaches that are fear and control scatter back into the darkness. I will leave the light on. I will make a mental note to pull out the Raid tomorrow.

          And then, I will go to bed, in peace.

          Friday, February 18, 2011

          moderation, my fanny

          I almost didn't do it. I had been avoiding it lately--afraid of what I'd find and what I'd do once I found it. And so I went for three weeks maintaining total abstinence, in complete ignorant bliss, not knowing what the scale had to say about what my body was or wasn't doing. I'd tell you it was a peaceful, serene three weeks without this constant, subjective feedback, but that would be a lie. Feedback, alas, comes in many forms.

          Over the past three weeks, feedback has come in the form of pants that fit better one day, but then clinging exactly the same as they used to the next. It has come in the form of bloating throughout the day to the point of having to peel my pants of at night. It has come in the form of checking my reflection morning, noon, and night, to see if it looks any different. I'm unfortunately no less neurotic simply for having not stepped on my scale.

          This morning, however, I am slightly more neurotic for having stepped on the scale. All the feedback over the last few days--pants fitting better, people commenting on how I look, the image in the mirror looking a little smaller--all seemed to indicate that there should be a new number on the scale. And a lower one, to boot. So I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, and took a gamble. And was immediately reminded once again that what SHOULD be and what really IS do not often line up in my world.

          My scale blinked the same flippin' number at me today as it did three weeks ago. Three weeks ago. Are you beginning to see why my body makes me crazy? Three weeks of miracle diet, with very few exceptions, and the scale still reads 145. I don't know what... I don't know why... I don't know how... I can't even complete a sentence. There are so many possible endings to each of those beginnings.

          Eight pounds lost, five to go. And the scale is not budging. This scares the crap out of me. Why? Because it's beginning to look like I might need to do something drastic. And I'm just not sure I'm up for drastic.

          Over the past three weeks, I had two pieces of pizza and a slice of cake for my son's birthday. I cheated. Yes. I admit it. But I did so in a healthy way. I did so in moderation. I did so in order to not swing from the extreme of legalism to the extreme of anarchy. I felt okay about it. The next weekend was my women's group retreat. I went off the diet for one day--ONE DAY--and ate in moderation what everyone else was eating. And this past weekend, we had a birthday celebration for a friend, and I cheated for one meal. ONE MEAL. I did not binge. I did not go hog wild. I did not go completely off the deep end. I ate what everyone else around me was eating, and I did so in moderation.

          Here's what makes me CRAZY. Moderation is not enough. Apparently, a few slices of pizza and a couple of desserts over the course of three weeks, even done in moderation, are enough to completely derail any semblance of progress. That makes me utterly, ragingly insane. If I want to take off this last stinkin' five pounds and fit back into the rest of my "fit girl" wardrobe, I'm going to have to be completely, 100% perfect. I'm going to have to resist eating like everyone else at next week's potluck. I'm going to have to possibly go even more drastic with the diet. And I'm going to have to work out even harder. And I don't know that I have it in me to do that.

          Some days, I wish I were just okay with being fat. Some days, I wish I just didn't care. Because some days, I just don't think I have what it takes to fight this life-long battle with a body that wants to be covered in a nice, thick, warm layer of fatty flesh. I know what it takes to do that. And today, I'm sick and I'm tired and I'm just not up for it. Not for today, not for this weekend, not for the month, not for the rest of my life.

          Tomorrow will most likely look different. I will try to cling to that and put the blinking number and the swirling thoughts and the raging confusion out of my head for now. As for how I shall succeed with that attempt, well, we shall see...

          Monday, February 14, 2011


          Today was back-on-track day. Or, it was supposed to be back on track day. Instead, I somehow ended up at Panera, with a beautiful chunk of whole grain baguette on my plate next to my soup and salad. And, well, you know. I just succumbed.

          Perhaps it is this upper respiratory crud that has me in its grip that weakened my defenses. Perhaps. I just knew that I was going to end up with carbohydrates on my plate, and I didn’t have the urge to fight it this time.

          About six weeks into the miracle diet now, and I’m still not quite there yet. I had kind of thought I would be done by now, which I must admit is a bit disheartening. The results had been so immediate and impressive the last time—I expected a similar result this go-round. As usual, life does not turn out as expected. But I’m okay with that. I can slide into a pair of jeans I could not pull up past my hips before Christmas. That means, slowly but surely, something is changing. As long as it keeps moving in that direction, I will not lose hope. Yet.

          The good news is there is not a food event on the horizon for the next several weeks, enabling me to concentrate on sticking to my diet for a good three or four week stretch, hopefully getting me to my goal weight by the end of March at the latest. If I can steer clear of Panera and the magnetic pull of fresh-baked bread, I should be good.

          I hope.

          And to hope, after all, is progress for me.

          Wednesday, February 9, 2011

          coming up for air

          It never fails. I gain a new resolve to write regularly, to work out consistently, to lose weight steadily, to gain momentum on all the grand undertakings I am attempting to undertake, and then WHOOSH. I get slammed. Slammed.

          Here is a perfect example. I finally have a day to write. I got the workout out of the way, I got showered, I sat my butt in front of my computer. This was 15 minutes ago. I am only on the second paragraph. Why? Because I hit some funky key that did some funky command and then suddenly my whole computer was funky and I could type anything into it. Nothing at all. And it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to fix it. I only have five hours today within which to work on my manuscript. Add in getting lunch, and it's down to four and a half. If I check email, write on my blog too long, answer the phone, pet the cat—suddenly I'm down to four or less. Four hours, within the last four weeks, to try to write a flippin book and lose ten flippin pounds and create a birthday present for my daughter and finish the photo book from vacation plan the valentine party and…

          Sigh. 15 minutes, when you only have four hours, is extremely frustrating. And here I go again—petting the cat. But he looks so cute sitting here on top of my keyboard… And now it's suddenly been 20.

          I need to quit complaining about my lack of time to write and just write. And so I will go. In the meantime, the miracle diet is still progressing slowly but surely, in spite of a birthday party two weekends ago and a women's retreat this past weekend. I am allowing myself to be normal in these settings. To "do all things in moderation." And it is working. There is a grace on it, and I don't lose control, and I get right back on the diet when I'm finished. That, alone, is miraculous. Is this making allowances slowing down my progress? Probably a little. But I can live with that. For now. I have four hours left. I am also making allowances for school events and unforeseen crises and physical therapy appointments and birthday treats for the class. Is it slowing down my progress? Definitely. But I have no choice but to live with these allowances. And so I take a deep breath, and I make the most of my four hours.

          Here I go…

          Friday, January 28, 2011

          weighing in on weighing in

          145. A new number on the scale. Though not a very low one. I suppose after my carboholic binge at Buca di Beppo's last weekend, I should be glad it's not 147. But I'm not. I want it to be 140. Because I want to be DONE.

          Pants continue to get the tiniest bit looser. But the change seems to be happening by millimeters. I did the Big Diet because I wanted BIG CHANGE, FAST. This is not fast.

          But it is change.

          I must confess there is fear about the 145 mark. It has been a threshold, in these past two years since I regained 20 pounds and completely lost my marbles, that I have not been able to cross again. These next few weeks will be crucial, both mentally and physically. I must persevere and keep eating meat and cheese when what I really want is a bowl of cereal, eating eggs and bacon when what I really want is bread pudding, eating a chef salad when what I really want is corn chips and salsa. And I must hang on by my fingernails to the hope that this will actually work again.

          Tell me this will actually work again.

          Saturday, January 22, 2011

          a different kind of victory

          What do you say when your oldest, closest friend and her family want to try Buca di Beppo's for the first time when you're visiting them out of town, and you're on a low-carb diet?

          You smile and say, "Sure!"

          And then you don't give it another thought.

          You eat your cheesy, carby dinner, and you enjoy it.

          You eat your dessert that the husband's went back out into the frigid cold to pick up four hours later, and you enjoy that, too.

          You don't eat until you feel sick.

          You don't eat until you feel like you can't eat any more.

          And you don't obsess about it. Too much.

          Then you plan to get back on track tomorrow.

          This, too, is a victory.

          Friday, January 21, 2011


          I did it.

          I spent an entire day away from home in a foreign land and stuck to my diet.

          I sat in the car with my family as they ate bagels, and I ate veggies and protein.

          I watched my husband drink Starbucks, and I had water.

          I went to a restaurant and sat at the same table with french fries, and I ate my cobb salad and remained carb free.

          I laid in bed while my kids had candy and caramel corn, and I had a fat free bran muffin.

          For whatever it's worth, I battled temptation today and went to bed basking in the glow of victory.

          One day down, two to go.

          crazy making

          146. Today's reading on the scale. 146. In case you have forgotten, seeing that this isn't as earth-shatteringly important to you as it is to me, this is the SAME NUMBER AS LAST WEEK.

          A string of cuss words is going off in my head right about now. Just as they did each of the five times I had to step on the scale to be sure the reading was accurate. I will spare you from them. Today.

          Understanding completely eludes me. People are asking now if I'm losing weight. That's a good sign, right? The scale should reflect that, right? I should feel hopeful, right?

          Yes, I know. The scale is not the only measure. We've had this discussion before. There are other measurements to consider. The pants are a smidgen less tight. I can pull them up a smidgen further, fasten them a smidgen easier. That is a measurement. But they still don't FIT, and that is a measurement, too.

          The world of My Body is as foreign to me as life on another planet. I do not understand it. I do not have a context within which to place it. And I do not have a guidebook to assist me in navigating it. I long for consistency. Stability. Predictability. My husband has weighed the EXACT SAME WEIGHT since I met him. I have no mental file folder to put that it. I cannot wrap my brain around it.

          I know the weight will come off. Well, I hope the weight will come off. And I kind of, sort of, maybe believe that it will. But this process--this random is-it-working-I-think-it-is-but-now-maybe-it-isn't-what-am-I-doing-wrong-this-time roller coaster--makes me completely, utterly, stark-raving-mad in the meantime.

          146. Next week it will be lower and I will be sane again. Maybe. But today I am struggling to contain the freak-out welling up within me and just not get on the crazy ride in the first place.

          Or the scale either, for that matter.

          Friday, January 14, 2011

          a measure of trust

          146. Today's reading on the scale. (Well, actually, the readings were, in order, 147.6, 146, 145, and 146, depending upon at which spot on our 90-year-old hardwood floor I sat my extremely dependable and extremely expensive electronic scale. I'm going with the average, as average seems to be a theme.)

          This is good news. This means I am losing weight. At least five pounds, depending on where I topped out over Christmas. Good news. I should be jumping up and down. So why am I not ecstatic?

          We did an exercise on trust in my group this past Wednesday night which I suspect might provide me with some insight. After we took turns being led around blindfolded for five minutes by another group member, we discussed the implications of our actions and feelings when it comes to things like walking out life with The God of the Universe. One of the resounding take-aways from this exercise was the insight that, despite our best efforts and intentions, we could not rationally talk ourselves out of what we were feeling. One gentleman, for example, told of his fear that he was going to hit his head on something, which caused him to haunch over with a hand outstretched no matter how many times he forced himself to stand up straight. I shared the intense anxiety I felt once my leader had taken me up to the balcony, knowing I'd have to go back down again—and how I slowed to an almost complete stop 20 feet from the staircase despite repeated reassurances that we were close but not that close. 

          Each of us had a similar story of a similar experience. The inability to trust completely (in completely trustworthy people) because our emotion was short-circuiting our rational intellect.
          When all is said and done, I do not trust well. In this area in my life, this manifests in a multitude of irrational and illogical ways. I do not trust the scale. I do not trust the diet. I do not trust the process. I do not trust how my clothes fit. I do not trust how my body feels. I do not trust my body, period. And I don't always trust The One who made it, either.

          I may be wrong, but that strikes me as potentially being a problem.

          A lifetime of experience with scales and diets and fat wardrobes and thin wardrobes and IBS and chronic pain and healing prayer and hoping-wishing-praying for freedom has left me feeling a little anxious that there is a staircase out there somewhere, and the only way is down. I can tell myself I can trust the diet, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself I can trust the process, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself that I can trust my body, but that has not been my experience. I can tell myself that I can trust The God of the Universe, but that has not always been my experience, either.

          Despite what the scale says, I feel fat today. My jeans still don't fit right, my stomach feels bloated, and I worry incessantly that this diet is not going to work and I'm not going to get this weight back off. I tell myself the diet is, indeed, working and that it is only a matter of time until the jeans fit and the stomach deflates and the weight is off. But I've fallen down these steps before, and I just can't help but shuffle my feet a bit in apprehension.

          146. This is good news. If I can make the choice to trust it.

          Wednesday, January 12, 2011

          the morning workout

          (Subtitled: #@%$#*&%#@*#!!!!)

          While five years of working out consistently has brought about a certain amount of discipline and routine, it has never brought about any type of desire or enjoyment. EVER. I keep waiting for that moment people talk about—I just couldn't wait to get to my workout. It felt so good to workout today. This experience eludes me. I workout because I HAVE to. I workout because if I did not, I would gain 50 lbs just by breathing. Truly. Writing, I enjoy. Creating art, I enjoy. Singing, I enjoy. Hiking, I enjoy. Reading, I enjoy. Working out? I do it because I MUST.

          So this morning, because it is my writing day and I wanted to get a full six hours in, because I have to cart my kids to appointments after school, because I have a meeting at the church tonight, I got my warm, comfortable, almost pain-free body out of bed early and went down to a cold, damp basement and trudged away on the elliptical trainer for 45 minutes when I could have been still in bed. For some of you, this will make you roll your eyes in the same manner as my pre-adolescent daughter. You do this daily. Well, good for you. I do not. I have chronic pain and I don't like mornings. This is not my norm. But I did it. I drug my butt out of my comfortable bed and made myself uncomfortable so that I can now plop my butt down in front of my computer in peace, knowing that I have battled the bulge already today.

          The war is not over. But today's battle has been won, while it was still dark outside.

          You have no idea what kind of a victory that is.

          Sunday, January 9, 2011

          big as a barn

          One and a half weeks into this diet and I feel as big as a barn. One of those big red ones. Someone could paint "Ohio: The Heart of it All" across my backside and put me along I-71 north and someone would come and take my picture with some very nice cows and a split rail fence and put it in Midwest Living or something. It will make for a very nice photo spread, but it will take both pages. So be sure to check for it next time you're at the grocery. Will probably be out sometime in March. The banner will read something like: Big Ass Barns and Big as a Barn Asses. Or something like that.

          Of all the completely inane things people repeatedly tell me when they know I'm struggling with my weight, possibly the most incredibly aggravating is "Don't go by the scale. You have to go by how your body feels." Um, yeah. Right. Did I mention my body feels as big as a barn?

          The culprit today, this very moment, is the pending arrival of that which arrives for a woman every month but no one talks about in public because it's not polite. How does my body feel? Bloated and huge. The culprit yesterday was Splenda—not something I usually ingest but was without options and simply could not bear the possibility of straight tea with nothing to make it roll around on my tongue a bit. Bloated like a balloon. The culprit last week was coming down off the carbohydrate hangover from being at my mother's for Christmas. You guessed it. Bloated and huge. Daily, weekly, monthly. My body is not a reliable barometer for that which is going on in the weight department.

          Case in point: I can put on a pair of jeans in the morning that fit comfortably, and by the time I get home in the evening the waistband is cutting off circulation and I'm peeling them off. Case in point: I can step on the scale in the morning and be pleased, and step on it again in the evening (not that I do any longer) and be dismayed by the five pound difference. Case in point: I can eat the exact same thing my husband does over the weekend, portion size and all, and wake up Monday unable to get into the pants I wore comfortably on Friday while he notices no difference whatsoever. Ever. My body, and the way my clothing responds to it, are no more dependable than the scale when it comes to gauging progress.

          So, if I can't trust the scale as a measure of progress, and I can't trust how my body feels or how my clothes are fitting, then to what do I look for reassurance? For hope? For the magic marker that says, "You've succeeded?" What can I trust?

          The little voice in my head that says what I think people are going to say says You need to trust the process. I ignore it, and it says it again. This time I give the voice a dirty look. Yeah. Right. Trust the process. I'll get right on that. Two years of trying to get this weight back off. Two years of a number of various and sundry "processes," none of which have obviously been successful or I wouldn't be here writing this post about trying to lose weight. Again.

          I don't trust the process. The process doesn't work consistently. My body is fickle. My metabolism temperamental. My fat persistent. The process is no match for their tenacity. I can't trust the process. My fat out smarts it every time. So where does that leave me? I can't trust the scale. I can't trust my body. I can't trust the process.

          Pssst! Psssssst!!! The little voice in my pipes up again. You can trust that there is purpose in this. God has a purpose for this season. Death glare to the little voice. Now I'm really irritated.

          I decide not to bicker tonight. Too much already going on in my head to take up with this argument. I will consider it, but only begrudgingly. Because, to be quite frank, it really torques me off.

          My new copy of Midwest Living peers out at me from under a pile. Cupcakes on the cover this month—not a barn in sight. But rest assured, if there are cupcakes on the cover this month, the barn issue is sure to follow shortly. Especially if they're made with Splenda.

          Monday, January 3, 2011

          the first official work out of the year

          Subtitled: "10 Reasons Not to Cry While On the Elliptical Trainer"

          Despite some serious walking over the past few days and the discovery of kickboxing available to me on-demand via Netflix a week or two ago, getting my fanny back into gear for a serious workout was not my favorite thing I did today.

          I've never been one of those weird people who LIKE working out. I LOVE to walk. Provided I have company, I can hoof it at a crazy pace for hours. I like spinning. Probably because I get to sit. And because my instructor would play Joan Jett while we climbed hills. THAT I can get into. I tolerate the cardio interval class at the gym. It's kind of almost like dancing, but with a lot more equipment. But strength training? I HATE it. After 15 minutes of lifting weights, I want to cry. After a full workout, I sometimes do.

          That being said, I got back on the elliptical trainer today for 30 minutes of leg-numbing hi-lo intervals, then did an upper body workout just for kicks. And while I did not cry, I did not LIKE it, either. If I can walk tomorrow, or lift anything above my head, we'll be in good shape. Until Wednesday, when I torture myself yet AGAIN.

          Remind me why I do this?

          Saturday, January 1, 2011

          a new year, a new diet

          Subtitled, "You Know You're Desperate When You Begin The New Year's Diet on December 27th."

          Two years and still the same @$#%*@! 15 pounds clings to my midsection. Here is what I know:

          1. Dieting at my mother's house is not only an impossibility, it's insane.
          2. My body loves me some carbs. My figure does not.
          3. Eating clean and exercising regularly is not enough to overcome the carboholic fanny pack I've accumulated.
          4. Going low carb has worked for me. It has been the ONLY thing that has worked for me.
          5. I am going low carb again. For 15 pounds.
          Bought a big honkin' bottle of Benefiber at Costco, and we're good to go. Literally and figuratively.

          Cheers! Here's to getting off this crazy ride!