Into Her Clothes and into Her Head

I was standing in line at Bio Life yesterday afternoon, waiting to get my finger pricked and my blood pressure and temperature taken, when my eyes landed on a young miss who was probably five foot nothing with a tiny frame. I glanced around at the other attendants and determined that her lab coat was a mere fraction of the size of the others. Was it a small or maybe even an extra small? I wouldn’t have been surprised. Her slender body made the perfect clothes hanger for the lab coat that hung crisply down the sides of her body, unlike some of the wrinkled lab coats of her coworkers that tucked into fat rolls and stretched across girthy backs and bosoms.

Every woman in there would probably love to be able to get into her clothes, but, at that moment in time, there at Bio Life on that Saturday afternoon, I wanted to be able to get into her head. What did she think about? What was her relationship with food?

When ten or ten-thirty rolled around, did she start thinking about what she was going to have for lunch? Was she counting the minutes until her lunch break or was she one of those that others had to prompt to head back to the break room because food was the last thing on her mind?

What would she think if someone told her that a coworker had brought in a box of Lamar’s donuts for the rest of the employees? Would her mind wander to that box of donuts all morning long until she was finally able to partake of one? Would she worry that all the chocolate ones or coconut ones or glazed ones would be gone by the time she got to them?

What would be her first thought if coworkers asked her to join them for Blizzards at Dairy Queen after work to beat the summer heat? Would she relish in the thought or would she politely decline because she had determined not to fill her body with junk like that or would she go and order something else without even being tempted?

I can’t help but wonder if there are people in the world who contemplate what the bare minimum is that they have to eat to still be able to sustain life. Are there people like that? Are there people who don’t enjoy eating or, at the very least, don’t spend as much time thinking about it as I do?

I once had a skinny cousin who would forget to eat. How is it possible to forget to eat? For most of my life, my thoughts have been consumed with food. My whole family was that way, and probably my parents’ families were, too. It’s a cycle that’s difficult to break.

When you’re raised by a mom or dad who equates food with love, you carry that with you your whole life. I’m not saying that my parents didn’t tell me they loved me or that they didn’t give me kisses and hugs and spend time and play games with me because they did, but food was such a big part of our lives and when my dad made a big freezer full of burnt sugar ice cream or a triple-layer German chocolate cake with coconut and pecan frosting I felt love.

My parents were excellent cooks, and mostly our meals were wonderfully nutritious–except for the rolls, biscuits and potatoes and the eight or nine varieties of pies we had for Thanksgiving and Christmas–not to mention the cakes, bread and rice puddings and Jell-o salads.

My parents were reared in a different era. While they were growing up, there wasn’t money for extras. During my mom’s childhood, even a common food like an orange was a rare treat for her. I think my mom vowed that that would never be the case for us. Whenever there was a trip to the grocery store, there was always a treat in the sack for us kids: Slow Pokes, Black Cows, Snickers, Reese’s or Sweet Tarts.

My parents raised a big garden. They canned lots of stuff: green beans, tomatoes, carrots, beets, chili sauce, pear honey, and I don’t even know what else. In the summer, we had a salad with every meal with lots of veggies cut up in there: green onions, radishes, tomatoes, celery and cucumbers. We had fried green tomatoes and fried okra. We had okra and tomatoes. We also had big bowls of cucumbers and onions with a vinegar marinade.

We didn’t have meat at every meal, but we never starved. Sometimes we had beans and cornbread with the homemade chili sauce they had canned. Sometimes we had fried potatoes on homemade biscuits with Velveeta cheese and Miracle Whip and sliced tomatoes, but always there was a big fresh garden salad to go along with it.

I don’t remember there ever being a shortage of apples or other fruit in our house, and we had every sugary cereal imaginable: Quisp, Quake, Sugar Smacks, Cap’n Crunch, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops. When we were little, Dad also made us lots of hot cereal, too: Ralston Purina, Malto-Meal, Cream of Wheat, oatmeal and big bowls of steaming white rice with milk and sugar. We were well-cared for. I mean, we really were well-cared for, but probably my parents weren’t as educated about nutrition as I am becoming right now.

We always had potatoes, pasta, and bread in the house and we always had milk. Now, I have none of those–except for Ezekiel bread and almond milk, and my family insists that those are not the same thing. I also keep plenty of our new bread, Santa Fe flax tortillas in the house. My husband takes those to work with his tuna salad, and I use them for our sirloin burgers and personal thin-crust pizzas.

We are getting by quite nicely without milk and bread and hotdog buns and hamburger buns.

I remember the spread my parents used to put out for our Fourth of July cookouts: big, thick BBQ burgers with hamburger buns and hotdogs with grill marks on hotdog buns, huge bowls of my mom’s potato salad and macaroni salad, a big plate of sliced homegrown tomatoes and onions, a couple of bags of potato chips and nacho cheese Doritos, a freezer of homemade banana ice cream and a cooler of pop, none of it diet.

I get a little discouraged sometimes because I know I can’t replicate what that meal looked like, smelled like, tasted like and felt like. I feel like it would take too much effort on my part to try to find good THM substitutes for all the comfort foods with which I grew up. There’s a definite learning curve, and I am a lazy person. I’m not using the term lightly. I really am lazy and, for the most part, hugely unmotivated.

Unlike many other ladies, I hate the time it takes to look through cookbooks and Pinterest files. I find it boring and time-consuming.

That being confessed, I am happy with the small changes we have made in our diets: no chips, no white bread or buns, no potatoes, no milk, but I feel that I’m limited now with what I make for dinner. When I was growing up, dinner was colorful and balanced. My mom would plan for some type of meat, generally (except for when we had beans and cornbread or fried potatoes and biscuits), some type of starch (either some type of potato or pasta), but she would also try to offer as many different colored veggies and other foods as she could to make meal time pleasantly appealing to the eye.

I can do that now with our pizzas, omelets and salads. I put as many colored peppers and other veggies as I can in them, but I am limited by my husband’s reluctant acceptance of veggies like celery, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower. To be frank, he doesn’t like most vegetables, but I hope he will grow to appreciate them more and more as I have over the course of the past couple of years. I didn’t like Brussels sprouts and wouldn’t have wasted my time on cooked zucchini at buffets, but now those are the foods that I seek out and I pass by my old favorites of mashed potatoes and brown gravy, mac and cheese and fluffy, buttery, yeasty rolls without so much as blinking an eye or even looking in that direction.

As of late, after reading the section in the Trim Healthy Mama Plan book about okra–two or three times!–okra has become the new additive to my shakes (and hubby’s shakes, but–shhh!–don’t tell him!).  I don’t think it’s my imagination that the okra seems to make the shakes more creamy. The cottage cheese also helps, but don’t mention that to my husband, either. He would insist that nothing belongs in shakes except ice cream.

Sometimes I miss my old life and the foods I used to eat, but mostly I think it’s the childhood memories I had that just happened to revolve around the foods we ate.

I can say with 100% certainty that I don’t miss hamburger buns or white bread. I don’t miss milk. I don’t miss mashed potatoes or french fries or baked potatoes or hash browns.

If little by little by little we can become accustomed to doing without those things that are poison to our bodies, not only may we live longer but the quality of the years we have left will be significantly improved.

If we have more energy, if we can sleep better at night, if our joints feel better, those are all good things. If I put hamburger buns on one side of the scale and all the health benefits I get from not eating them on the other side, I know which side of the scale I would choose. Every time.

Are those the kinds of things that Miss Skinny Minny at Bio Life thinks about? Maybe she had a different upbringing than I did, or maybe she knows the same struggles I do. It would be interesting to get inside her head–and wonderful beyond my wildest imagination to be able to fit inside her clothes!

Thank you for coming by for a chat and thank you for supporting my blog by using my affiliate link to order all your Trim Healthy Mama supplies!  God bless!  My THM affiliate link –>https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

Retrain Your Brain

The other day there was a marathon of My 600-lb. Life. There were also a few episodes of My 600-lb. Life: Where Are They Now? One show featured the most successful weight-loss story from that show. She had gone from 600 something to only 137 pounds. She became a motivational speaker for others who were about to embark on the journey she had taken. Because of her obesity she had been unable to conceive, but, after her weight loss, she became pregnant four times, although the first pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage: the baby had no heartbeat after just a few months.

As happens many times with these weight loss stories, the process took a toll on her marriage. A lot of times, the spouse/caregiver feels less and less needed as his wife becomes thinner and more independent. There are times even when the spouse has some kind of fetish for heavy women, as in the case of one woman in particular, and her husband said that if she were to lose a lot of weight, not only would he lose his attraction to her, but she would actually be repulsive to him–and he wasn’t just talking about loose skin.

The loose skin makes me a little fearful that I may become less attractive to my husband, although he assures me that will not be an issue, but it’s hard to wrap my head around men being repulsed by women who are within the normal range for weight.

The lady I mentioned in the first paragraph gained over a hundred pounds of her weight back. She had two toddlers to care for and had just found out at forty years of age that she was pregnant again. She began going to a support group, the same type of support group that she had led at one point when she had gotten down to 137 pounds.

What I got from that program was something she told the members of the group. She was explaining how it was that she had started gaining her weight back after finding success with Dr. Now’s program. She placed her hand on her stomach and said, “The problem is that I had surgery here”–and then moving her hand up to her head she said–“not here.”

There is no magic pill, no magic surgery, no magic plan or program. You still have to do the work and you still have to guard yourself against old mindsets and old destructive patterns. You’ve lived a whole lifetime with negative self-talk and bad coping mechanisms. It won’t change overnight. Finding a little success with whatever program or plan you use does not mean you won’t ever feel yourself slipping back to what you knew for so many years.

You have to “retrain your brain.” Just keep doing what you’ve been doing over and over and over and over again, and never say “die.” Never quit. Never, never, never. Take it from me. I watch these shows and I see what happens. A little laxity here, a little negligence there, and you’re right back where you started, and it’s harder to put the brakes on once you’ve lost your momentum.

The same goes with exercise. You can’t just stop. It’s just as easy to slip back into old sedentary habits as it was to build healthy habits of using the treadmill everyday.

If you feel yourself slipping, just do five minutes of walking. Then in an hour do five more minutes. Do three things before you sit down: clear a counter, empty the dishwasher, clean your mirrors in your bathroom or dust above your door frames. Little things like this will not only keep you off your bottom for a few more minutes, but they will also make you feel better about yourself and kick-start your metabolism.

Get out your THM book. Re-read another chapter. Review your food lists. It doesn’t hurt to review. It never hurts to review. Get your passion back.

The same kind of self-destructive behaviors that got you into the mess you were in with your weight can get you headed back in the same direction if you’re not diligent in keeping it from happening. Take a lesson from My 600-lb. Life.

Ask for support from your family. One young lady on Extreme Weight Loss came home from boot camp to find sugar-laden Easter treats on the counter and sugary cereals in the cupboard. She pulled her family aside and said, “This isn’t going to work. I can’t have things like this in the house. I know you can eat cereal, but, if I eat cereal like this, I’ll have half a box.” Boy, have I been there! I can’t even count the times I’ve had two or three bowls of Cocoa Crispies or Cap’n Crunch. When you’re an addict, that’s what you do. You can’t find it within yourself to just say no.

Today is a day that God has given you to make healthful choices for your body and family. You owe it to God, and you owe it to your family. Only God knows how many years you have left on this earth. Don’t you want your remaining time to be filled with mobility and good health? I do. Retrain your brain.

Today another photo memory came across my Facebook news feed. There was a time when I was so ashamed of my fat face and neck that I used only my eye as a profile picture. One of my political like-minded friends thought my profile photo was some kind of profound political statement that he applauded wholeheartedly. Nope, I just didn’t want anyone seeing my fat face and neck.

One of my very favorite bonuses from eating the Trim Healthy Mama way has been losing my neck and being able to see my ears from the front view. I don’t ever want to go back to that sad individual that I was before when I was so ashamed of who I was that I didn’t even want a profile picture.

I’m ordering THM Collagen today! It’s on sale, and I’ve heard lots of ladies raving about its health benefits!  If you want to take advantage of the sale, please consider using my affiliate link! It won’t cost you a penny more, but it will bless me tremendously!  Thank you!  https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

After THM Don't lose heart

Sweet Words Last a Lifetime

I couldn’t sleep last night because I was freezing. I couldn’t understand how it could be so cold in our room. I mean, it felt like our bedroom in the summertime–back when we first moved into our house and kept our thermostat at sixty-nine, since it was our first time with central air. Back then our bedroom was like the Arctic Circle, but it was a welcome change after suffering through sweltering summers with nothing but window fans. (Of course, that changed in a big hurry, just as soon as we got our first electric bill! Hi-yah!)

Chuck had told me before bed that he had turned on the heat, but he said he only set the thermostat to sixty-six. Okay, then why did our bedroom feel like a walk-in cooler? It felt more like forty-six, not sixty-six!

After shivering and shuddering under the blankets for fifteen minutes or so, I finally mustered the courage to expose my bare shoulders to the frigid air outside our comforter and jumped up to put on some warm, fuzzy socks. As I walked past the window to the dresser I discovered my window was open! I quickly shut the window and scurried back to the bed.

I put on my socks and scrambled back under the covers, still shaking and shivering. “No w-wonder it’s so c-c-c-cold!” I said to Chuck who had turned toward me to put his arm around me as he felt me get back into bed. “D-d-did you know you had th-th-the window open?” He was half-asleep and merely muttered something incoherent in response.

You would have thought that closing the window would have helped, but, no, I had trouble getting warm all night! Yet, I found if I covered my head, I got too warm and felt suffocated, so I arranged the cover over my face so that I would breathe in cool air through my nose and exhale warm air through my mouth under the covers.

When I got up this morning, I hurriedly turned off the fan (I know, I know, why did I have the fan on if I was so cold, right? The simple answer is because I can’t sleep without the noise now. I’ve become accustomed to it and if the fan isn’t running it’s too quiet to sleep–if that makes any sense! Ha!) I went to the bathroom and weighed myself.

Then, as I was standing in front of my closet to select something to wear, I heard the birds chirping outside Chuck’s window!!! And that, my friends, is why I was still cold even after shutting my window last night! His window had been open all night! Can you imagine the cross breeze we must have had blowing through that room before I shut my window?  Yikes!  B-b-b-brr-rrrr-rrrr!!

On to good news: after stringing together several good, on-plan days in a row I stepped on the scale this morning to discover that I have lost seven pounds in the course of the last two weeks! Yes! That makes me more determined than ever to keep doing as I’ve been doing. Part of that has been just drinking more water.

I am ‘fessing up right now, though, that I’ve been slacking off on my treadmill. That makes me wonder how much I would have lost had I been doing my treadmill every day!

Chuck is working this weekend, so I went to BioLife by myself to donate plasma this morning. When I’m driving by myself, I get a chance to think about all kinds of things. Today I was thinking about words of affirmation and compliments. It turns out that words of affirmation is one of my love languages. It’s my son’s, too. My husband’s love language is acts of service.

Let me just interject right here that there is no right or wrong love language: God made us all different, and we all came from different backgrounds.

Even though I’m a person who craves verbal affirmation, that’s not the kind of thing my husband is comfortable giving. He does all kinds of stuff for me (everything from cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, washing my car, getting any little problem that I happen to mention taken care of)–and he buys me stuff, too–but he’s not a gushy poetic kind of guy and he feels uncomfortable holding my hand–if anyone is looking–and kissing me or putting his arm around me in public is out of the question. You can understand how that would be a problem when one spouse is always reaching for the hand of the other spouse or trying to put her/his arms around her/his spouse’s waist when she/he’s in line at the checkout, while the other spouse squirms uncomfortably and tries to wriggle away. It bothers him that I do these things, and it bothers me that he doesn’t.

I was thinking, on my solo journey to the city today, about how timely, sincere compliments do a heart good. Every so often I will think of something someone said to me months or even years ago and marvel that I have always held those words close to my heart and revisit them time and time again over the years. And then I feel good, affirmed, all over again.

Do you know what I’m talking about? How many of you do this same thing? I have even saved special thank-you cards so that I may find them, tucked away in a drawer or in a book or in a box of Christmas decorations, and read them year after year after year. It makes me feel good.

Examples of things I have saved in my heart through the years: Once a girl I sat by in study hall told me if she had a smile like mine she would smile all the time.

Can you think of a cooler compliment than this? That’s the kind of compliment that songs are made of. It completely made my day. Well, it did more than make my day because thirty-seven or thirty-eight years later I still remember it!

I corresponded by snail mail with a coworker who was in my brother’s class while I was going to college. She told me that I wrote just like I talked. That may not sound like a compliment, but, to me, it was. I was reading Dr. Phil’s book, 20/20 Diet, and the thought struck me that he writes like he talks! When I was reading his book, I felt like I was sitting in a chair right up beside him on stage during one of his shows. He’s an entertaining writer. He engages his readers and makes them feel like he’s right there having a conversation with them. Granted, it’s kind of a one-way conversation (haha!), but you know what I mean.

When I was in college, on one of our many walks across campus, my roommate told me I had more natural beauty than any of the rest of them could ever hope to get from any bottle. Now that is almost poetic. What a great compliment to give to a young woman! I don’t even know what possessed her to say such a thing–it seemed so out-of-the-blue and took me completely by surprise–but I’m glad she did because I have kept it in my heart, even all these years later, and I pull it out to affirm myself when I’m not feeling very lovely.

Another one came from a boy (now a man) that I graduated with. Just recently we connected again through Facebook. He wrote (and I quote), “I swear Dirinda! You just keep getting better and brighter like a third generation rose!” I don’t even know what a third-generation rose is, but it was music to my soul to hear it (or read it, rather)! Now, where was he with that compliment when I had a crush on him back in the fourth grade?!!  Haha!

If ever you are prompted in your spirit to compliment someone–a genuine, heartfelt compliment–do it! It may be something that she (or he) will carry with her for the rest of her life! It may be something that she holds in her heart and pulls out to comfort her when she’s having trouble even making it through the day. Words have more power than we may think, and we want to use our words for good and not evil. As unfortunate as it may be, people will also carry the ugly things we say to the end of their lives, too. May we endeavor to build up with our words and not destroy.

Hey! I made something pretty good last night. As you know, I’m not much of a Betty Crocker, so generally my rule of thumb is “make it fast and make it easy.”

I had those magnificent low-carb Santa Fe wraps (otherwise known as “our new bread”) from Sam’s Club  on hand and wondered what new spin I could put on dinner that would incorporate using those.

I remembered Vicki Cogan, a high school classmate, saying that she enjoyed the pre-made pesto about as much as the homemade so I picked some up in the produce section, right where she said it would be, when I was in Piggly Wiggly yesterday afternoon.

My first thought was to make pizzas, but we’ve been having a lot of those lately, so I started thinking outside the box a little. I had also bought three packages of deli meat: ham, roast beef, and roast turkey, and I wondered if I could make “pizza” out of those–or, really, they would be open-faced hoagies, made out of wraps instead of bread.

I put my wraps in the oven at 425 for a few minutes on each side, so that they would be more crispy than floppy. Then I spread a thin layer of pesto on each wrap and laid two slices of roast beef across the top to cover the whole surface of the wrap. Then I put the ham and roast turkey on top of the roast beef. I covered the top with mozzarella cheese, a sprinkle of sharp cheddar, mushrooms and sliced grape tomatoes (I saw this pesto-instead-of-pizza-sauce-and-sliced-tomato-topping pizza thing on Extreme Weight Loss). 

When they came out of the oven I loaded the tops with shredded lettuce. Chelsea and I split one, but Chuck ate a whole one by himself. They weren’t bad at all, and–you know what?–I liked the pesto! It was the first time I had ever tasted it!

Chuck commented that if he’s going to have pizza he would like hamburger on his pizza, thank you very much, but he didn’t even mention the pesto, so either he liked it or he didn’t even notice the difference. It was my first time ever making “pizza” without pizza sauce. It was also my first time ever making “pizza” with roast beef, ham and turkey, and, even though it was out of the ordinary, it was a nice change.

Tonight we’re having taco salad wraps, instead of having those very-very-bad-for-you tortilla chips. I know that I could make my own chips with lavash, but I have yet to find it! I’ve looked in Super Center, and we don’t have any health food stores or Trader Joe’s around here.

Tomorrow we’re having an international dinner at church. I know this isn’t really an international dish, but I’m taking the Fakertot Casserole from the Coers family (Amanda Coers…thank you, Amanda!!). I’ve made this a couple of times already, and Chelsea and I just love it.

One thing I do, though, is use fresh cauliflower, instead of the frozen, and I steam it first to make sure it will be fully tender when it comes out of the oven. I also salt and pepper the cauliflower before I put all the toppings on. This dish is just as good a day or two or three after it is first served.

Thanks for dropping by for a visit! Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Remember, if you need Trim Healthy Mama supplies, I would appreciate your considering using my affiliate link! It won’t cost you even a penny more, and I get a little commission from your purchase! Thank you! https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

 

Nobody Makes Fruits and Vegetables Like God

I’m having another fantastic, on-plan week. My fatigue seems to have gone by the wayside, although I never did get around to trying the Singing Canary. I’m too lazy to make a special trip to get the ingredients; then, when I am at the store, I forget. Story of my life.

I have been making me a mocha frappe every morning, however. Maybe it’s the instant coffee in that that is giving me that extra kick to get through my day.

Something else I’ve been doing is tossing in three large globe grapes that I picked up at Sam’s Club last week, not realizing that they had seeds in them. My kids turn their noses up at grapes with seeds–and they’re not my favorite, either–so I thought, “Why not pop a few of them into my shakes and smoothies?” They add natural sweetness without bumping up the carb count too much.

To go with my mocha frappe I have been eating an orange every morning before my route. I have to give a shout out to the Florida Sun Pacific people because their oranges were at least 75% juicier and more flavorful than the box of Sunkist I had picked up the time before. I think they were cheaper, too. I wonder how much of the Sunkist price went toward the sturdy cardboard box in which they were packed. The plastic bag with the Sun Pacific oranges was probably more economical, and it worked for me.

I went to Sam’s Club last week, hoping to get more Sun Pacific oranges, but the only ones I could find were California navel oranges. I don’t even think there was a brand name on the bag. I was skeptical, but they were almost as good as Florida’s.

Sunkist really surprised me because I always associated that name with the best there is in oranges. Apparently that is not always the case. As with everything else, I’m sure there are good batches and bad batches.

I’m glad I came up with the grape idea for my shakes and smoothies because they have been out-of-this-world delicious. Don’t get me wrong, I still put in my ten packets of Truvia, but I think the grapes make the shakes extra-tasty!

You may think that coffee and grapes don’t sound like they would go together, but, guess what, you can’t really taste the grapes–just like you can’t taste the spinach leaves in shamrock shakes!

I was thinking this morning, as I made my mocha frappe, just how thankful I am for my Piping Rock whey protein isolate. I feel like I’m cheating every time I drink a frappe, shake or smoothie. Who says I can’t have ice cream for breakfast–every day if I want it?

I’m glad I bought so many of the Piping Rock the last time I ordered it! It appears it has gone up considerably–five dollars a tub! If this keeps up, it may be more economical to buy the Trim Healthy Mama brand! You get 1/5 of a pound more with the Piping Rock, but right now it costs two dollars more than THM’s. I guess you just have to do the math.

I’ve been eating lots of those low-carb wraps from Sam’s Club for lunch when I make my very own “personal size pDSCF3206izzas.” They’re only five carbs per wrap, but they do contain a little soy. I’ve seen mamas say they are not on-plan, but then I’ve seen other mamas say that they are. My suggestion is to grab an admin in the THM Beginners  group and ask her.  I will say one thing, though, they surely are delicious!

DSCF3223

I’m building my inventory for my new Paparazzi jewelry side business and preparing to start throwing jewelry parties! I am having the time of my life! I’m snagging up pieces for myself, too, and really enhancing my new wardrobe with lots of glitz and glamour! You can’t beat the five-dollar price! Yay!

We’re gearing up for a three-day weekend here due to parent-teacher conferences. I’m excited about finishing the week strong and on-plan! Be blessed, friends!

 

What Goes Up Must Come Down

What goes up must come down. Amen and hallelujah. Last Sunday, as you know, my son urged me to weigh and I discovered, much to my chagrin, that I had gained twenty pounds since–whenever it was that I got down to my lowest Trim Healthy Mama weight.

That prompted me to eat clean for the whole past week. Even though I was dragging a couple of those days and didn’t hit the treadmill, I got my exercise in the rest of the days. Yesterday I even walked to Walmart and back with Chelsea. I wasn’t nearly as red in the face as I was the last time I walked to Walmart with Chuck. The more I make that trek, the easier it will become.

This morning I stepped on the scale and found that I had lost over five pounds since last Sunday! I told Chuck last night, “I better have lost at least two pounds or I’m not going to be happy. If I step on that scale and find out I have gained, I don’t even know what I will do. I have done so well this week: I had to have lost weight.”

Maybe it was the coffee shake I had for breakfast yesterday morning–or maybe it was the excitement of my new business–but I was buzzing all day long. Not once did I feel sleepy.Paparazzi kit

I’ve sold a lot of Paparazzi jewelry over the past couple of days! Never did I imagine I would become a consultant–for anything!–but here I am, having the time of my life. I have been impressed with the pieces I’ve seen so far, and the jewelry basically sells itself and–did I mention?–it’s only five dollars!

 

 

I still have lots to learn, but there are training videos to watch, when I’m not so tired from being in the city all day!

I saw something on Extreme Weight Loss a couple of weeks ago that made sense. In truth, I see quite a bit on there that makes sense, but sometimes I actually retain some of it! Ha! The client was a guy who had a weakness for pizza. The nutritionist taught him to make pizza with pesto, instead of tomato sauce; then she put on some fresh, sliced tomatoes and then slices of low-fat buffalo mozzarella cheese on top of the tomatoes. She said that stuff like sausage and pepperoni and other cured meats have been directly linked to heart disease. She told him he didn’t need to put meat on the pizza at all because there is enough protein in just the cheese. We all knew that, didn’t we?  But the pesto was an interesting idea. The client gave the pizza two-thumbs up: he said it was delicious.

Here’s just one example I found on YouTube that shows how to make pesto sauce.

There are others, too, but this is one example. You can learn to do anything by watching YouTube videos. My sister had a couple of friends who taught themselves how to crochet by watching YouTube videos. Chuck learned how to repair our garbage disposal by watching YouTube videos. He saved us the cost of a new garbage disposal and the cost of having a repairman come out to the house.

Thank you for your kind notes of support on my last post. Sometimes I think we all need a friendly reminder or a swift kick in the rear. This weight loss business isn’t for the weak and wimpy!

I had to share with you, though. Five pounds!!  Yay!  Here’s to kicking off another good week tomorrow!

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It Wasn’t Heaven

A couple of nights ago I had a dream. While it wasn’t exactly a nightmare, it wasn’t heaven, either. In my dream I was eating a big open-faced sandwich of big steak fries on white bread. It wasn’t just a sandwich, either; they were spilling off the sides. It was a steak fry sandwich with a side of steak fries. Yuck.

I remember looking at it in bewilderment. It was not any kind of source of enjoyment. It was something almost completely foreign to me. I don’t remember in my dream if I actually took a bite or was getting ready to take a bite, but, really, what does it matter? It was only a dream so it wouldn’t have hurt me if I had eaten the whole thing! I wonder if I would have woken up feeling sick.  Ha!

My son coaxed me into getting on the scale yesterday morning. I figured I hadn’t been doing too badly sticking to plan, so, even if I wasn’t back down to my lowest weight on Trim Healthy Mama, maybe I would have at least lost five of the eleven that I gained during the holidays. I would be happy with that.

I’m glad I weighed, but not in a good way. Not only had I not lost any of the eleven pounds I had gained, but I have gained nine more!  WHAT?!!! How is that even possible? I know how it is possible; who am I fooling? It’s by not doing my treadmill every day or any outside walking. It’s by having a couple of butter mints from my nightstand at bedtime or a couple of Dove dark chocolate or a ring pop or two while watching TV with Chuck or by eating half of a bag of cheddar popcorn that he brings me when he buys himself one.

I strongly believe that part of my weight gain has to do with the fact that I haven’t been trying as hard to actively lose weight. After watching several episodes of Skin Tight, I told Chuck I would be happy just to maintain where I was because I did not want to have lots of hanging skin and I also did not want to have skin removal surgery. The surgery is not only very expensive–even if insurance will pay for most of it–it’s also a difficult surgery from which to rebound. Recovery is very painful and takes months. I don’t know if I’m up for that.

Before I continue, let me just interject here that I know a lot of you are going to recommend dry brushing to me. I even bought one and used it a few times, but I’m not disciplined enough to make it part of my daily routine, especially since I’m not convinced it will totally do the trick. The doctors on Skin Tight said it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to lose your weight or the method by which you lose it or the muscle-toning workouts you put yourself through: if you have a substantial amount of weight to lose, there will be loose skin at the end of your journey, especially if you’ve carried that extra weight around as long as I have (my late twenties).

Although I’ll be quite content if I never see “one-der-land” (because of the skin thing) I don’t want to regress, either. There’s a difference in maintaining and backsliding.

Today all that changes. My husband is going to help me. Hopefully he will not only stop bringing me a bags of popcorn, but stop getting himself any, too. He’s going to encourage me to do my treadmill every day and go walking with me outside. It will get even better when Chelsea gets her motors replaced on her power chair (her left one has almost gone completely out and her right one has to compensate for it, so it’s on the way to needing to be replaced also) so she can go with me, too, when Chuck doesn’t.

He’s also going to buy us both bicycles, after Chelsea gets her motors, so that we can go riding in Confederate Park.

I’m back on track today. I got my treadmill out of the way before I left for my morning route, and I did more inclines. Instead of doing 2, 3, 5, 7, 5, 3, 2, I did 2, 5, 5, 7, 5, 3, 3. When I accidentally hit the “5” button instead of the “3” button after my first five minutes at “2,” I decided to just go for it and bypass “3” altogether on my way up. Then I stayed on “3” for my last five minutes, instead of bumping it back down to “2.” And I feel good. So good.

Chuck wants me to go back to weighing every week so I can see my progress, and he’s convinced I’ll see progress. “We know you can do it,” he said, “because you did it before.”

I’ll be so happy to get this winter over and done. Bright, sunny days are bound to do wonders for my spirits.

Watching Fit to Fat to Fit may help me in my particular situation, too. I’ve seen how easy it is for these trainers to pack on forty extra pounds just so they are able to empathize better with their clients: going out with their friends and doing bacon cheeseburger challenges, pizza fests, lounging around like a couch potatoes. One of the trainers went to an almost entirely sedentary lifestyle, after having worked out for eight hours a day.  Can you even imagine that?  Working out for eight hours a day?

After a while, the push to gain weight starts taking an emotional toll, however. They miss their workouts. They get used to the taste of sugar and probably even start craving it–because that’s the kind of monster that sugar is–but they hate that they can’t exercise. See, that’s the point that I want to get to. Again. Remember when I hurt my knee and walking on the treadmill was painful? I had tried a few times to walk on the treadmill, but had given up after only a minute or so because I didn’t want to hurt my knee even more. I knew that being out of commission would hurt me in the long run, and it did.

Getting back to any kind of exercise after a long sabbatical is just short of torture. Of course, the trainers on Fit to Fat to Fit feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven because they missed it so much. “Oh, this feels so good,” moaned one trainer, as she started doing her push-ups or crunches or whatever it was she was doing. It definitely isn’t heaven to me, but I’m hoping it will eventually feel like it.

Today is going to be a good day. I can feel it. By 6:00 I already had a mile in. With any luck, I’ll be able to do another one at some point. Maybe I’ll go to the walking track with Chuck later. The weather is perfect. It’s a little windy, but I left for my morning route without so much as a jacket.

My friend, Rachel, is starting Trim Healthy Mama today, after having a heart attack and even a mini stroke or two, I think. She’s hoping to get her A1c down with THM. Her books are due to arrive today, so, if you think of it, please pray that she will be able to latch on to this plan, that she doesn’t get overwhelmed and that she will find success. Thank you!

Woo hoo!  Post edit* Chelsea just called and her new motors have been approved by her insurance and she should be getting them on Thursday, the 10th!  Happy, happy news!

Stats for today:
Exercise: a mile on the treadmill
Breakfast (6:00) E: an orange and a Triple Zero yogurt
Mid-morning snack (9:00) E: chocolate peanut butter shake and two pieces of Ezekiel toast with Happy Farms cheese and Polaner all-fruit
Lunch (12:15) S: hamburger pizza with onions, peppers and mushrooms on flax tortilla
Afternoon snack (4:00) E: Fuji apple and Triple Zero yogurt
Dinner (7:30) S: zucchini spaghetti with meat sauce and a garden salad with Italian dressing

As always, I appreciate so much those of you who order your Trim Healthy Mama supplies through my affiliate link!  Thank you!  https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df

Fight or Flight

“Fight or flight” is a phrase I’ve become familiar with on Extreme Weight Loss. It’s generally that one-week period of time right after the initial weigh-in when the client hits the gym floor for the first time. Having quite a few extra pounds to carry, the workouts are quite intense, and many times the client feels that he just can’t go on. He’s ready to quit. Chris Powell, the show’s professional trainer, calls this the “fight-or-flight” moment.

As I watch the show, I wonder often what I would do. Actually, I know what I would probably do because it’s basically the pattern of my life. I don’t “do” hard. I don’t like sweating, and these workouts Chris puts his clients through are not just leisurely strolls on the treadmill. They are running! And they are squatting and rising and throwing a weighted ball up in the air and squatting again.

The only thing that would keep me going is the fear of completely embarrassing myself on national TV by being a quitter. Being half-naked in my sports bra and yoga pants would be quite enough embarrassment for me without adding being a quitter on top of that. In fact, they couldn’t pay me enough to show that much skin in public. Ain’t nobody gonna see me in my sports bra!

Chris Powell seems to have a 100% success rate with his clients, so I have to think that it’s a pretty thorough retraining of not only the body, but the mind, as well. He’s with them 24/7 for the whole first week, and there’s only so much of that time they can show on a two-hour TV show. I come away from the show, completely awestruck at the people’s transformations and feeling that I must not be able to measure up, that surely I’m lacking some of what they have, because I’m still pretty sure I couldn’t do what they are doing.

Fight or flight? Just watch me run for the door. I don’t want my muscles to hurt–or even feel tired! I hate sweating, I hate breathing hard, I hate being red in the face, I hate my side hurting. As you can tell I’m pretty much of a wimp.

When I do my treadmill I start out promising myself that if it seems too hard I don’t do the hills today. It’s almost like I’m telling myself, “It’s okay. I promise I won’t be the drill sergeant that I have been in the past. If you want to stop at five minutes, we can do that.” But then, when I get on there, I change my mind and refuse to cut myself any slack. Having said that, never do I break into a run–or anything like that–so I’m not nearly as strict on myself as Chris Powell is on his clients. That could be how they’re losing over a hundred pounds in one year and I’m not.

One of the aides on my bus said she’s been watching Fit to Fat to Fit. I watched my first episode of that yesterday. It’s a program where the personal trainer gains weight to gain some insight to how the unfit person feels when they are working out and how difficult it is for them.

My aide said that one trainer said that he now had a fatty liver and the kidneys of an alcoholic. She said, “I didn’t like that. I mean, I’m obese, but I don’t feel like I have the liver of an alcoholic.”

I thought about that for a little while and remembered something I had read in The Sugar Solution. Do you know what happens to strawberries when you dump a bunch of sugar on them and then stick them in the fridge to marinate in that for a while? The strawberries begin to break down. What they do is turn into sheer heaven. But let’s get back to the point. What that sugar does to the strawberries is the same thing that sugar does to your internal organs. You can imagine, then, that diabetics have all kinds of breakdown going on with their internal organs. It doesn’t matter that the strawberries turn to mush, but our bodies are another story.

Chelsea and I got to go shopping today. We had a wonderful time and added several pieces to our wardrobes.

Oh! Before I forget, I have to tell you that this was our first time shopping with our new color charts. This is based on the Color Me Beautiful book from back in the 80s. I’m a winter, and this is my color fan. Chelsea is an autumn, and this one is hers. They are so handy to go shopping with! We had an absolute blast.

Also, let me tell you about my new side business. Today wPaparazzi profile pictureas my first day: that’s how new it is.  I haven’t even received my starter kit, yet, but I’m excited. Meet your new Paparazzi jewelry consultant!  Yep, that’s me! I’ve been to a couple of Facebook parties and picked up several pieces of jewelry. I decided that I love this stuff, and each piece is only five dollars!! So I’m giving you the link to my Facebook Paparazzi page in case you want to check it out. Here I am, with some of my Paparazzi jewelry and a new Maggie Barnes jacket/tunic that I found on Ebay! It goes perfectly with the Old Navy shimmery blouse that I also found on Ebay! What did we do without the Internet?

One of the things I like about Paparazzi is, if you want to look for a specific color to match an outfit you have, you can click on the corresponding color circle on the web site and it will show you everything they have available in that color. You can also click on necklaces or bracelets or earrings and they will show you just what they have available in that category. They add new stuff daily, so it never gets boring.

I have a page –>HERE<– that has a “shop now” button that takes you directly to my web site and a group –>HERE<– where I will also post photos of pieces as I get them and offer games and giveaways, etc. You can choose to “like” the page and get notifications or “join” the group and get notifications. I like the idea of the page just because it has the handy “shop now” button.

Chelsea and I have had so much fun today, putting together what we’re wearing to church tomorrow, from our new outfits to our new jewelry that we just got in the mail from our last Paparazzi party!

We ate at Corner Cafe today, and I could have done better. We hadn’t eaten there, though, since the day before Chelsea was admitted to Kindred over a year ago, I think, so she and I both ordered something we wouldn’t normally consider. The great thing about Trim Healthy Mama is that we can have special occasions like today without completely blowing our “diet” out of the water. Hey, it’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle, amen? I did a lot of walking today and drank a lot of water, and I’m actually pretty proud of the day I had other than my one indiscretion.

I donated at BioLife today to help pay for my shopping trip. All in all, it was a fantastic Saturday, complete with outstanding weather!

 

Cupcake Catastrophe

I’ve been watching Extreme Weight Loss the last few weeks. I learned something last week that I didn’t know and, actually, have a hard time believing; yet, it must be true or Chris Powell, the professional trainer who hosts the show, wouldn’t have said it. A professional trainer should know, after all, right?

The applicant who got chosen for the show was about ten years younger than I am, but she was about my height: at least she was the same height I used to be.

She was walking on the treadmill and Chris told her that a grade of 1% mimicked walking outside. He went on to say that a 0% grade didn’t do anything for you: that’s basically the belt walking itself. I found that hard to swallow since I’ve been spending most of my time on the treadmill at a 0% incline!

I don’t know what to make of that. Obviously, walking a mile at a 0% incline is better than not walking at all, right?

Think of all those months when I only walked on a 0% grade, though. I know I was not just wasting my time. If nothing else it helped me build up my stamina and got me to where I am now: I’m able to walk faster than I did when I first started out and I’m able to do hills, too.

“It ain’t a dead end if it takes you where you need to go.”

I heard this on a Netflix movie the other night and wrote it down just because I thought it sounded profound. Who knew it would actually apply to a concept I would write about in my blog?

All those months of walking at a 0% grade were not a dead end. It got my legs moving and my heart pumping. Hey, it’s a far cry better than sitting on the couch and eating coconut bonbons, can I get an amen?

After watching that episode I decided that a 1% grade was barely steeper than a 0% and surely I could start doing that for my first five and last five minutes–and then I discovered, to my dismay, that my Nordic Trac doesn’t have a 1% incline! It goes directly from zero to two. Well, crap.

I wasn’t sure I could handle a 2% grade, but I just proved a couple of days ago that I could. It isn’t fun and I don’t enjoy it, but I don’t get off until my twenty minutes are up. I do my other hills, too, just as I normally did when I started out at 0%. I can feel my thighs burning more than normal, but I suspect I’ll get used to it if I keep at it.

We went out to eat at Red Robin tonight to celebrate Cameron’s birthday, which was yesterday. I ordered the Whiskey River BBQ burger and bottomless salad. I did eat three of the chocolate truffles that Chuck ordered for dessert, though, so my dinner wasn’t as on-plan as I had planned for it to be!

Despite the truffles, Chuck is making some real strides in making more healthful choices. For his appetizer he ordered the wedge salad. I still can’t get him to stop ordering french fries, though. And he wonders why his blood sugar was 234 when he checked it later. I have told him and told him and told him, “You cannot eat potatoes! They’re horrible for you!” Do you think he listens to his wife? Ha!

To his credit, we don’t have potatoes at home, anymore, and he doesn’t bellyache about it. It may take him a while to get where I am, but he is trying. He is starting to contemplate which things are good for him to eat and which would probably not be good choices, and the word “carbs” is now in his vocabulary. He is even eating the few broccoli florets I put on his dinner plate sometimes.

For Cameron’s birthday, Chelsea ordered Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes. They don’t exactly sound like the dessert of choice for a Baptist Trim Healthy Mama, but, let me just say, these are in the running for the best cupcakes I have ever tasted.

The first time I had them, she had ordered them for my birthday. Then we had them again for Chuck’s birthday. Are you beginning to see a pattern here?  Guess what Chelsea wants for her birthday. Yep, you guessed it. Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes. Karmin, the owner of the salon where Chelsea works, has a mother-in-law who makes these delectable treats. I just can’t leave them alone.

Chelsea always orders two dozen of them. That means everyone in our family gets six cupcakes each. It took me two days to eat all of mine. In fact, everyone has eaten all theirs except Chuck, Mr. 234 Blood Sugar. He has decided to give Cameron his remaining three cupcakes, since A.) he doesn’t need them (and Chelsea and I don’t, either) and B.) it was Cameron’s birthday.

In the area of cupcakes, apparently Chuck has more willpower than I do. I can turn down bread and potatoes all day long, but Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes? Not so much.

Here’s the best way to handle cupcakes: just say, “No, thank you. I don’t want them. They’re not good for me. I can live without them.” Okay, easier said than done.

The other options are to eat one and quickly give away all the others or eat one per day until they are gone or two per day until they are gone or six all in one day so that you won’t have any left to call your name the next day. Don’t think I didn’t deliberate about that one for more than a minute or two. I mean, once I tasted that sugary goodness I did not want to stop.

I would love it if I could THM-ify these cupcakes and also make them Baptist-approved. I told Ann Marie, my afternoon aide, that I was looking for a vodka-free version of Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes, and she said, “But isn’t that why they’re called ‘Harvey Wallbanger’ cupcakes?” Good point. But still … Boy, I love these cupcakes.

Thankfully, we each only have one birthday per year. The rest of the year we don’t have to think about or look at Harvey Wallbanger cupcakes at all. Now that Cameron’s birthday is over, we’re home-free until July.

Cameron and me out for his birthdayHere’s me and the birthday boy tonight on our way to Red Robin in the city. Cameron said it’s his new favorite restaurant. That’s fine with me: I just get their burgers without a bun, and they are just as good. Tonight that’s even how Chelsea ordered hers, and she said she thought she liked it better without the bun.

Affiliate link alert:  If you’re running low on Trim Healthy Mama supplies, please consider using my link: https://store.trimhealthymama.com/#_l_df.  It won’t cost you a penny more and it helps me a little, too!  Thanks!

 

 

Attitude Adjustment

I had a good day yesterday, doing my treadmill when I first got up and staying on-plan all day. So far I’m having another on-plan day, although I haven’t done my treadmill, yet.

I’m going to make a concerted effort to pray more about my diet. My prayer will be for God to change my attitude about food, to make me satisfied with less, and to change my attitude about water, to make me crave more.

I know I don’t drink enough water, and it’s a no-brainer that the more I fill my stomach with water, particularly before meals, the less food it will take to satiate me. If it’s such a “no-brainer,” why don’t I do that?

I don’t have to wonder too hard: I already know why. It’s because I don’t want to be filled up with water.

The fact is I love to eat! It’s a curse, a sickness, a lust of the flesh. Of course, it’s also a physical need and a gift that God has given us to be enjoyed, but my relationship with food goes far beyond what God intended.

In Dr. Phil’s 20/20 Diet book, he says that we need to wait four hours in between meals for two reasons: 1) the more often we eat, the more opportunity there is to overeat and 2) we need to learn what legitimate hunger feels like, not just eating because we’re bored or because it sounds good or because we’re angry, upset, happy or whatever else we may be feeling at the time or even because the clock says it’s time to eat. Dr. Phil thinks it’s necessary to give your body time to distinguish true physical hunger from the vast number of other emotional triggers that can be disguised as hunger.

I donated plasma yesterday, and, to pass the time during my 35-minute donation, I read some more of the Trim Healthy Mama Plan. I noticed something new. I had thought, from reading the first book, that we were supposed to eat every three hours; at the very least no sooner than every two and a half hours, but, right there in black and white, the new book says that we are to eat every three to four hours. Wow. How had I not seen that before?

So, yesterday, I ate my chocolate peanut butter shake and Ezekiel toast before I left for the city. I finished my last bite of toast about 9:00 a.m. By the time I donated plasma, went shopping at Costco, dropped by Gordman’s to shop for Cameron’s birthday and stopped by Ross’s to look for a jewelry box for Chelsea, it was well after 1:00. It may have been almost 2:00 (which was closer to five hours than four, I realize), but still I don’t think I was experiencing true physical hunger. I was getting there–don’t get me wrong–but I probably could have shopped for another hour or so without getting a hunger headache or any tummy rumblings. Ha! That should tell you what an adequate job the Piping Rock whey protein isolate does of filling up my tummy!

After struggling with staying on plan for a little while, I think I’ll do myself a favor and rely on God to renew my mind, regarding how much food I eat and how much water I drink. I should be seeking first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, and the other things, like food and water, will be added unto me.

In addition to being thankful, I need to focus more on God and less on my physical wants and desires; so, to continue with the mindset of a recent post: spotlight on blessings instead of problems (being thankful for all God has given me) . . . and spotlight on God instead of me (praying more, giving God the power over my life).

Dear God, increase my desire for You and decrease my desire for food.

As always, let me say how much I appreciate you, dear reader, for stopping by to share part of my day with me, and how grateful I am to you for considering using my affiliate link to order your Trim Healthy Mama supplies! Thank you! May God bless you in your journey, whether you’ve been at this for a while or whether you’re just starting out. We can do this, with God as our strength.

Telling Moments

There are telling moments in our lives, moments that prove to us that our lives have changed so much that our “new normal” is ingrained in the minds of our families and can be brought out instantly, in a moment’s notice.

One of these moments came last week when we had game night. We were playing Catch Phrase, I think. It was my turn and Chelsea was my partner.

“Breakfast.”

“Eggs. . . bacon . . . sausage . . . biscuits and gravy . . . hash browns . . . pancakes . . .”

My breakfast.”

“Oatmeal.”

Ding, ding, ding! That’s the word I was looking for!

What an important role that possessive pronoun played in that clue! It makes me wonder why that wasn’t in my original clue–unless we were playing 25 Words or Less where every word not said is critical.

Telling moments are when you manage to walk out of the store with only the things on your list.

Telling moments are when you can sit through an entire safety meeting without consuming even one donut.

Telling moments are when you climb onto that treadmill every morning, even when your feet are begging you not to.

Telling moments are when you begin to connect the dots in your lifetime of food addiction and see things for how they really were. Some of these things in my past are coming to light as I watch My 600-lb Life.

I’m learning new things all the time. For instance, food is not love. One of the patients on the program grew up with a mother who believed that food was love. It’s how she showed love to her children. He said whenever he ate anything out of the refrigerator it would be replenished the next day.

That’s a vicious cycle. How many of us grew up in a family where food was love? I still struggle with that. Even now, I’m tempted to bring sugary treats home for my kids–just because I love them–but food is not love!

When my little sister was born, the rest of us kids spoiled her rotten. We couldn’t wait to get home from school so we could all gather around her blanket on my parents’ king-size bed and adore her like a baby had never been adored before. We would talk to her and play with her and try to get her to laugh and kick her feet with excitement.

We were all old enough to have jobs when she was still small, so we spoiled her at Christmas, and we couldn’t go downtown to buy gas without bringing something back for her. Usually the things we brought back were shakes or candy bars or Cokes. We did that because we thought we were showing our love by bringing her those surprises from town. We each played a role in my sister’s food addiction.

Others have addictions for other reasons, whether the addiction is derived from poverty or personal childhood trauma, such as the loss of a parent or parents’ divorce or sexual abuse.

Everyone on My 600-lb. Life has a story, and they’re not all the same. Sometimes they were raised by single moms and food was scarce. Sometimes they had alcoholic fathers who physically and verbally abused their families.

Many, many times food is used as a coping mechanism. One patient blamed the death of his grandma for his relapsing into bad eating habits. One patient blamed her son’s being in the hospital for her not being able to keep up with her weight-loss program.

As Dr. Nowzaradan says, stress is a part of life. It just is. Life is full of problems: sickness, death, divorce, abandonment, abuse, etc. Whatever it is, unless the patient can find some other way, besides eating, to cope with whatever life throws at him, no weight-loss program or even surgical intervention will be successful.

Just as we need to unlearn destructive patterns, we need to learn new coping mechanisms. Exercise is a good one. It doesn’t cost anything, it burns calories and it releases endorphins which reduce the sensation of pain and stress and trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine, if you can believe that! Exercise brightens the mood.

I’m thankful for my treadmill and for every day that I have the wherewithal to persevere. I may fight it some days, but, when it’s over, it’s a weight off my shoulders. Nothing is worse than having something hang over my head. It’s better to do it than to live with regret later.

Speaking of being thankful, that’s another good coping mechanism. If I can be thankful for every blessing in my life, the spotlight is on the blessings and the problems are downplayed. So it is with everyone. It’s so important to have an attitude of gratitude.

1 Thessalonians 5:: 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Chronicles 16:34: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

exercise