Looking Toward Summer

As summer comes hustling in the door, I find my self looking to make new goals. I think it’s important, even if I don’t completely achieve them, to at least have something to aspire to. Last year’s inspirations, though not completely realized, allowed me to see newness in myself. This year I’ve decided to keep it simple. My goals will be for the next six months, June through December. I can do this. Yes I can!

Goal 1. Lose 30 pounds. I lost 20 pounds last year and have kept it off. The funny thing is, I still am a very fat woman, so people say things like, “Boy you really look nice in plaid.” or “Did you get a new haircut?” What they don’t realize is that what they’re noticing is that I’ve lost 20 pounds. I think it’s kind of funny actually. Here’s my before picture for this year:

Me right now.

Me right now.

Sub-goals:
Walk following a program to get progressively better until I am beginning to get fit.
Follow the Emeals clean eating plan to eat at home nightly. (Here’s a link if you’d like to try it) Just click on this picture and you’re there. SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH EMEALS MEAL PLANS
Weigh myself daily. I’ve been going back and forth on this one, but I’ve decided that I can live with the ups and downs if it helps me to see my eating patterns. I plan to track it in an excel sheet. That should give me a nice graph of my week.

Goal 2: Fill this wall with family pictures, old and new. Here’s a picture of the wall now:
blank wall I’ll post the process as I start arranging the photos.

Goal 3: Read through the Bible looking for these things to apply to my life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness and Self Control. I think what I really need to do is devote myself to one or two of these things a week and discover what they mean in my life. I know what they mean, but what do I do and how do I show these things as belonging and constant in my personal dealings with people? Do I really show love, joy and peace? I know I’m not always patient or kind or even good. Do we even need to discuss self-control? I think not. lol

These are the goals I have made for myself. They may seem simple, but for me, they are rigorous. After all, what good would it be to attain a goal that wasn’t rigorous? Add a little rigor to your life. There’s no limit to what you can achieve!

Pilgrim’s Progress

Since today is Saturday, I figured it’s time to update you on my progress. Here are the goals for you again with an explanation of progress.

Goal 1: Lose 26 lbs by Christmas.

I lost 3 lbs this week!  Only 23 more to go.  That being said, I also binged on candy, potato chips and icecream all day after that.  Yeah, I know, self-destructive.  Plus, I felt horrible the next morning all achey and sore all over.  But, I’m getting right back to it!

Goal 2: Give the “Couch to 5K” program a shot. This will also help with goal 1. (Also inspired by Kristin by the way)

I haven’t started this program yet, but I have started walking my dog 1 mile in the morning, and one mile at night.  Baby steps for me when it comes to running, but I feel glad about the 2 miles a day.

Goal 3: Wear make-up to work everyday for a month. (I understand that this is not a problem for most, but for me, believe me, it’s a challenge.)

I haven’t really started back to work yet, so no make-up yet.  Officially I go back the third week in August.

Goal 4: Put a system in place in 1 room of the house that keeps it clean all the time. (I can add more rooms later. I want to be able to accomplish this.)

Ok, here’s where you’re going to see some pictures.  I decided to start with my bathroom.  I got out my Martha Stewart “How to Clean Your House” book–Yes I really have that thick volume–and read all about how to take care of the bathroom.  Here are the before and after pictures of my counter top. 

Counter-top Before

Countertop Now Counter-top Now

Goal 5:  Sort through my closet and get rid of clothes that don’t fit or I don’t wear anymore.

I haven’t begun this daunting task yet, but I plan to begin this week.  Ugggh!

Goal 6: Do something nice for someone every month. After Thanksgiving do something nice for someone once a week.

My friend recently lost her mother, so for my July niceity, I’d like to do something for her.  She lives several states away from me.  Any suggestions?

Goal 7: Sew 10 bags for Mill Street Coffee (my husband owns a coffee shop and he’s asked me to do this, but I’ve been putting it off.)

No progress yet.  No excuses either.  🙂

Goal 8: Read the Bible’s New Testament and keep a journal about what I’ve read.

I’ve been looking for just the right journal and haven’t found one, but soon, very soon. 

Goal 9: Begin painting again.

Not Yet

Goal 10: Take the ESL test and pass it.

I’ve taken the 2 day course, but haven’t signed up for the test yet.

All in all, I’ve felt very good about the beginnings of these goals.  Sort of like a pilgrim I guess.  I just think it’s too bad it took me 50 years to get here.  I want to reach the destination before it becomes just a dream.  After all, a dream is a wish your heart makes.  And my heart is pushing me forward.

The Roller Coaster Dieter

You’ve heard of the yo yo dieter.  My life is so up and down that I’m more like a roller coaster dieter. I go through spurts where I feel great and I don’t even like to eat sugary, syrupy things.  Guess what?  I lose weight.  Down the roller coaster I go speeding fast and enjoying the ride, then when a difficult situation arises, that hill that seems insurmountable, my momentum keeps me going a little ways up but then slowly, trudgingly, I get stuck on the hill and slide back down to where I started (maybe that’s where the term backsliding comes from).  What I have to remember in those times is that if I let myself slide too much, I’ll get stuck in that little space between the ride down and the climb up and that’s where it gets really hard to go anywhere.

So, I’ve been thinking.  On a roller coaster, the ride up has a little help behind it.  It has that little clacker thing that attaches to the car and helps it click its way up to the top of the hill again.  I need to find my little clacker in those times.  I think it could be a lot of things, but what is the one thing that could help me get to the top again so that I can enjoy another ride down?

  • encouragement from a friend
  • reading about what others have done (inspiration)
  • taking a break and doing something I enjoy
  • picturing myself as I want to be and focusing on that  http://www.myvirtualmodel.com/en/shopping/weightloss.php
  • get off the scale for awhile and just focus on life
  • find a solution to a problem I am facing

At different times in my life, it could be any one of these things, but more important, what I require is a change of focus, a little spark to ignite that memory of all that I can be and want to be, because in the end, it has to be for me, because I want to do this, because I need to take control of my life and be in charge of who I am.  I’ve maintained the weightloss I’ve had, but it’s time to trudge up that hill and get another exciting ride downward.  Come on!  Let’s Go!

A long long time ago…..

A long, long time ago there was a woman who weighed an awful lot.  Ok, so she still weighs an awful lot and constantly struggles with her weight.  I have been getting control lately and have lost 17 lbs using weight watchers.  Basically I track my points but I haven’t incorporated much else at the site.  I’ll tell you what it has done for me though.  I don’t crave sugar as much.  I lose weight every week.  I still eat the way I like to, but I don’t eat as much.

Although all of this is true, I think, in a way, I had to be ready in myself to do it.  So, how do you ready yourself.  I’m not sure.  I think you have to get to a place where  you think to yourself, “This is ridiculous.  I have to get my life back in control.”  It also helps to have someone encouraging you and monitoring your progress.  My daughter calls me periodically and says, “Are you still keeping track of your points?  Have you lost weight this week?”  Since I know she is going to do this, I stay pretty faithful to the program.

The other thing I’d have to say is, I’m pretty rebellious.  I think a part of me liked the weight because I was deciding what to eat and wasn’t letting anyone else decide for me.  How stupid is that?  That’s like cutting your nose off to spite your face.  So, in some ways, I had to let go of my own selfish ideas about who I was and what I believed about myself.  Believe me, I’m still fat, but my clothes fit better.  I’m still fat, but I’m losing weight every week.  I’m still fat, but I don’t crave things like I used to.  I’m more in control of this creature that I live in.  Isn’t that the way it ought to be?

A Bump in the Road and a Broken Wagon

Well, this bump in the road–let’s just call it my lack of commitment–caused me to not only fall off the wagon, but broke the wagon into pieces.  Maybe a wagon wasn’t the best choice in the first place.  The walk would’ve done me good.  I would’ve burned some calories and maybe lifted my spirit along the way too.  I think sometimes I spend way too much time soothing myself with things, that if I would just take time to reason through, I wouldn’t eat in the first place.  Like, for instance that lovely gas station muffin where I read on the label lately that one serving was 1/3 muffin.  Yes, that’s right, 1/3 muffin.  Seriously?  Who in the world eats 1/3 muffin?  I’d eat the whole doggone thing.  Oh, by the way, that 1/3 muffin serving is 230 calories.  That means the whole muffin is a whopping 690 calories.  You’ve got to be kidding me.  See how reason gets in the way of indulging yourself?  Needless to say I won’t be eating one of those again.

My other eye-opener was a Quiznos sandwich.  I love Quiznos and probably could eat one everyday for lunch if incentive was provided.  Until–yes, reason set in.  I decided to look up the nutritional quality of the sandwich.  At first I was pleasantly surprised, but then–dun dun dun–the sandwich was a whopping 1200 calories.  Again I say, “Seriously?”  Needless to say, I won’t be eating Quiznos any more.  Oh, I want to.  I just can’t.

This week I plan to rely on my reason instead of my self-indulgence.  I’m getting off the cart, picking myself up, dusting myself off, putting on my cross-trainers, and reasoning myself right into walking instead of riding my way to a better me.  I can do this.  I just have to be reasonable.  🙂

The Battle Continues

Some days I feel like I’m in a battle with myself. Should I eat the cookie? Should I ignore the cookie? Really I think, “Should I really have to battle with myself over a cookie?” But the fact is, I do. Change is difficult and my body is just as stubborn as my mind. My body says to my mind, “I want a cookie!” and my mind rationalizes, “So what’s one cookie? One cookie isn’t going to affect my whole life.” as my body rants on “I want a cookie!” Maybe it’s so hard because my body is so insistent and has only one thing to say. While my mind must work through all the pros and cons and make a decision when in reality, the decision has already been made. I made the decision to eat healthier.

Eating healthy can mean a lot of things depending on who you are and where you live, but we all know that if you have a weakness for cookies, you should probably avoid them. So, I’ve decided that, for the most part I need to avoid sugary foods. I have a weakness for them. We can’t give up food altogether, but we can recognize where we have the most problems and take steps toward avoiding those foods that tempt us the most.

The battle rages, but I’m charging forward knowing some things are worth the fight. My health is one of those things. My first weigh in since I started up again is Monday. Wish me luck!

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

You know it’s time to reevaluate when your husband says, “Why are you eating that?  You know it’s not good for you.”  At least when my husband does because he has never gotten after me for what I eat.  I think he knows how serious I am about this and wants to help keep me on track. 

At the time I was eating a delicious fried pie that the local Menonites make and sell in our area.  This may seem like a small thing, but when you have a sugar addiction, one small mistake can take you back down the rabbit hole like Alice looking for just the right cookie to make you big again, small again, big again.  You get the idea.  It’s that yoyo diet cycle that keeps the weight loss companies in business and me in a constant turmoil of self love and self loathing–neither of which is good in too much measure.

Don’t get too upset at those who suggest you shouldn’t be eating something.  Most likely their motives are to help, not hurt.  Turn the negative into a positive for yourself and move forward.  Besides, he was right.  I didn’t have any business eating that.  I know my state of mind better than anyone and it very likely could’ve taken me back to square one.  So, Thanks Honey!  And, thanks to the next person who reminds me that I need to be more aware of what I put into my mouth.  Remember what Walt Disney said:  “All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.”  So take courage my friends.  Pursue your dreams.  They’re out there waiting for you!