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!

After THM Don't lose heart

I Got a Feeling

“I got a feeling. Woo hoo. That today’s gonna be a good day.” The song actually says “tonight’s gonna be a good night,” but I tweaked it to fit my own circumstances.

I never get eight hours of sleep, but today I did. I was able to sleep in until just after 8:00.

I fixed myself a good Trim Healthy Mama E breakfast, consisting of a banana shake and two pieces of Ezekiel toast.

I worked on the customer spreadsheet for my new Paparazzi business, ordered some new rings and earrings for upcoming parties, got a few pieces of jewelry ready to go out the door, and made plans to go walking to Walmart later with Chelsea.

We’re also going to see the Higginsville youth perform “Peter Pan” tonight. Chelsea’s boss at Uptown Style is directing it, and Chelsea wanted to go to show her support.

The highlight of my day, though, I think, is getting My Luci bagmy new Luci bag delivered that my Paparazzi sponsor shipped to me. It has big clear pockets on the front, so I can carry a few pieces of jewelry with me at all times. A good saleswoman is always ready! Just a few weeks ago in Dollar General this purse would have really come in handy. I had a couple of interested potential customers right in front of me who were oohing and aahing over my earrings and bracelet. “Five dollars, ladies!” I said. Sadly, I didn’t have any other pieces with me that I could sell them. After today that may never be an issue, again.

What My Business CardI really love about my new bag is that, not only does it represent the colors of Paparazzi very well, it really matches the colors of my new business cards which are set to arrive on April 20. I was afraid that the jewelry may scuff up the insides of the clear, plastic pockets and obscure the contents after a while, but Lauren, my sponsor, suggested that I put cell phone screen protectors on the insides of the pockets. What a great idea!

I ordered my business cards from Vista Print after a colleague showed me her new ones in a private message. I adored them so much that I used the same design, only changing my font styles and colors. Don’t you just love them? They even have my Facebook jewelry page, Dirinda’s Dazzling $5 Jewelry, and my website,, on them, too! I am so excited to get them that I just can’t stand it! I can carry those in the front pockets of my new bag, too!

I hope I never lose this zeal for my new business. It gives me something in my life to look forward to besides food. I’ve seen this pattern, not only in my own life, but in the lives of those on Extreme Weight Loss, where we turn to food when we are depressed or bored or tired or angry or a whole host of other things. Chris Powell trains his clients to turn to exercise instead. See, that is the kind of relationship I want with exercise! I could never see myself working out for two or three, let alone eight, hours a day, but, yes, I could amp it up a little. Still, looming in the back of my mind are those horrifying images of hanging, loose skin that I will have if I ever reach my pre-marriage weight. I think those images have played at least a small part in my weight stall. I can be happy right where I’m at–as long as I can maintain and not ever gain back.

Well, I’m excited to get on with the rest of my day! Enjoy your weekend, and make it a Trim and Healthy one!

Can You See God?

Can you see God?
That may sound like something you’ve heard one of your children ask at one time—or maybe a grandchild. There are many opinions about where to “find” God. Some people say that God is in nature, or they think that God is somewhere deep within themselves. But what does the Bible say about finding God?
According to the Bible, God has been revealed to us in the Person of Jesus Christ. For instance, in John, chapter one, we learn that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Verse fourteen tells us that the Word became flesh and dwelled among us. In other words, God became a man and lived right here on earth. The Bible declares that Man to be Jesus Christ. It was to Jesus that the Father said, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever” (Heb. 1:8). This truth is also borne out in Isaiah 9:6-7, which prophesies of the birth of Jesus and repeats the promise of His eternal kingdom.
In Genesis we read that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Then we read in the New Testament in John 1, Hebrews 1, and Colossians 1, that it was actually Jesus who created all things. How can this be? The answer is a very simple one. As John 1 says, “The Word (Jesus) WAS God.”
Jesus Himself told His disciples, “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). And again in John 10:30 He says, “I and my father are one.”
We read in Acts 20:28 that God has purchased His church with His own blood. When did God shed His blood?
In Isaiah we learn that “the First and the Last” is one of God’s titles (Isaiah 41:4; Is. 44:6; Is. 48:12). In Revelation 1:17 we read these words from “the First and the Last”: “I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” When did God die?
The answers to these questions are that God shed His blood on the cross and He died on Calvary to pay for the sins of His people. His very name “Emanuel” means “God with us.”
Matthew 1:21 says, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” The name “Jesus” means literally “Jehovah saves.”
Only God could pay such a price. The blood of any other would not have the power to cleanse us of our sin. God is the only one who could live such a life, perfect and pure. Jesus had no sin of His own for which to pay. That is why He was able to pay for ours.
The Bible says in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death, but Jesus had no sin—so death could not hold Him. He rose victoriously from the dead on the third day, as the Scripture says. We read in Hebrews that Jesus “tasted death for every man,” yet death has no dominion over the God-man.
Because He rose from the dead, we can be confident that His sacrifice was sufficient to pay for our sins. If we place our salvation squarely in His nail-pierced hands, no one can separate us from the love and forgiveness of God.
It is not by good works that we are saved. It is not by baptism that we are saved. It is by God’s grace alone through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son. Jesus cried, “It is finished!” Believe in HIS work on the cross. Revelation tells us that He washed us from our sins in His own blood. Salvation is not found in anything but the blood of Jesus.
This Easter season, my prayer is that you find God in the Person of Jesus Christ. In Him, you will see God. In His resurrection, you will find victory over sin and death. Turn from your sin and seek after Jesus.
2 Corinthians 4:6: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Cara Cara

A couple of weeks ago I learned something frightening on the prescription warnings that accompany my Lipitor bottle. I found out I must never, ever eat grapefruit while taking Lipitor!  What?! I don’t know how important this is, but if it is of utmost importance why wasn’t I verbally warned when I was given the prescription? I mean, grapefruit is a fairly common food, right? Thankfully, I haven’t had a grapefruit for several years, but . . .  I wonder what would happen. Would it be life-threatening if I were to eat a grapefruit?

I thought about this yesterday and again today as I ate my breakfast (or pre-route snack, whichever you want to call it). For the last two mornings I’ve eaten about a third of a cup or so of 1% cottage cheese and an orange.

These aren’t just any oranges, mind you: these are Cara Cara oranges. When I first picked them up in Costco on Saturday, I thought Cara Cara was the company; you know, like Sunkist or Sun Pacific (which, by the way, are about the best oranges I’ve had to date. I wish I could find some more!). As I examined the bag, however, I discovered that Cara Cara wasn’t a company at all, but a variety.  Sunkist is the company.

“What is Cara Cara?” I wondered. Just now, I re-examined the package and, apparently, Cara Cara is the “power orange.” I don’t even know what that means. I’ve eaten them two days in a row and haven’t experienced any kind of super powers–or even regular powers, that I’m aware of.

I’ve been thinking about my Lipitor warnings, however, because the inside of a Cara Cara orange looks just like a red grapefruit. It’s sweeter, but the appearance is nearly identical. The orange, of course, is smaller than a grapefruit, but never in my life had I seen a red orange like this! As a matter of fact, that’s even a contradiction in terms! Aren’t oranges supposed to be, well, orange? Isn’t that, in fact, why they are called “oranges”?

What do I think of the Cara Cara Power Orange, you may well want to know. Meh, I could take it or leave it. There’s nothing really extraordinary about the taste. It’s drier than the Sun Pacific oranges I had last month and not as sweet. I guess that doesn’t mean all Cara Cara oranges are drier and not as sweet, but that pretty much sums up the bag I got.

I can’t get past the color. If it’s going to be red like that, I think it should taste like a grapefruit. In fact, the color makes me miss the taste of grapefruit, and normally I don’t think about grapefruit much at all.

I had more grapefruit as a child than I’ve had in my adult life. We used to cut the grapefruit in half and then run a pairing knife around the perimeter of each section, freeing the meat inside the fruit. Then we would dig out each bite with a spoon. Does everyone else eat them this way? Is this the standard way of eating a grapefruit? It’s the way we were taught, at least. I don’t know why we weren’t taught to just peel them and eat them like an orange. Like a red Cara Cara orange.

I’ve heard of people putting sugar on their grapefruits, but Mom and Dad always put salt on theirs (and ours) so I grew up liking salt on my grapefruit. It doesn’t stop there, however: I like salt on all my fruit: cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, oranges, pineapple. There is something about salt that just wakes up the taste of fruit! People may think I’m odd, but I can’t help it: I like salt on fruit.

*After morning-route edit: Maybe I need to rethink that whole super power thing. This morning, when I got to the preschool, I pivoted in my seat so that I could stand up and walk to the back of the bus to push my child-check button. I do this every morning; then I turn off my bus and wait for one of the teachers to come out and get Bentley off my bus.

Well, this morning, apparently when I pivoted to get out of my seat my earring must have caught on my jacket. After I turned back toward the front of the bus after pushing the child-check button, I heard something hit the floor. I looked down to see my large Paparazzi Glitz by Association earring, lying near the aisle.

“Oh, no, I lost the back of my earring, Bentley,” I said. I scanned the floor of my bus, but knew finding that clear rubber back would be like finding a needle in a haystack.

I went back and sat in the driver’s seat. Then I took out my other earring to show Bentley what the back looked like and how tiny it was. To my surprise it wasn’t clear at all. It was gunmetal, like the rest of the earring.

I stood back up and went to the back of the bus again.

“Can I come back there, too?” Bentley asked.

“Oh, you want to help me find the back to my earring?” I asked. “Sure!”

So, together, he and I scanned the charcoal-gray floor of my bus for the tiny back of my gunmetal earring. It was useless.

“It may have fallen in one of these holes,” Bentley said. I have tracks on the floor of my bus, and, when I first got my bus, one of the teachers had spilled her peanuts on the floor. Some of those peanuts are still stuck in the tracks on the floor of my bus! The only way to get those out would be with a pair of tweezers or a high-powered vacuum!

“I hope it didn’t fall into one of those holes!” I replied. “We’d never get it out of there!”

It was a lost cause. There was no finding that tiny earring back. “Oh, well,” I told Bentley. “At least I have other earring backs at home. I’ll just use one of those.”

I returned to my driver’s seat. I started thinking that if my earring had gotten caught on my coat, then possDSCF3296ibly the earring back had fallen off before I got out of my seat. I felt around the collar of my jacket and down the front of my blouse. Then I started studying the floor in front of my seat. I thought I saw a shiny glint of something by the accelerator. Was it a screw or a shiny pebble? I reached down and picked it up.

“Look, Bentley! I found it!” I said. “Wow, look how tiny it is. I can’t believe I found it!”

“Me, either,” Bentley said.

Perhaps those Cara Cara Power Oranges gave me some mighty powerful eyesight this morning! I wasn’t even wearing glasses! How I saw that teensy-weensy gunmetal earring back against a charcoal-gray floor with pebbles and dust around the accelerator is mind-blowing!

Maybe I’ll have another Cara Cara Power Orange before my morning route again tomorrow, too.



Kick in the Rear

Yesterday Chelsea and I walked at Confederate Park. My body could tell that it hadn’t been taken out walking in a while. No, I take that back: in recent days I have been to Walmart and back at least twice, but apparently walking at Confederate State Park on April 2, 2016Confederate Park is a whole ‘nuther animal.

We made it back before Chuck got home from work to watch March Madness, but he could tell by the pictures on Facebook where we had been.

Chelsea decided early this morning that we should go again since this afternoon was supposed to be pretty, but, after church and lunch, I sat down to check Facebook and felt my eyes getting heavy.

“If we go,” I said, “it will have to be after my nap because I am tired.”

I got up and fixed my chocolate muffin in a mug for my afternoon snack, after I completely blew the plan with–well, I won’t tell you, but it started with a “whoopie” and enConfederate 5ded with a “pieConfederate 3” and it was plural. I don’t know if I had ever had one before or not, but I can tell you right now it wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth it, not one little bit. In fact, just thinking about it now makes me almost ill (or that could be the 1.9 miles at Confederate Park talking. That kind of made me ill, too!  “Water! I need water!” Not only did we walk Confederate Park, we went the “extra mile” and trudged up the hill to the Confederate Chapel and cemetery. Three years ago, I could not have done that!)

Am I insane? How can I do so well and then completely blow it in an unguarded instant in Jim’s Country Mart? I need professional help, I think. Chris Powell, where are you? I’m joking. I’m not dedicated enough to want him to pick me to turn my life around. “Fight or flight”? Find me an airplane, baby, because I am out of here.

I’m still watching all those shows: Fit to Fat to Fit, Extreme Weight Loss Makeover and, of course, My 600lb. Life (Skin Tight is over for the season). I look at the screen with horror and pity, and both of those emotions can be directed right back at myself. Before Trim Healthy Mama, I was on a fast track to out-of-control obesity. I may not have been 600 pounds, but I was still morbidly obese, medically speaking. Even still I’m in that category, but now I’m fighting an internal battle with myself about how much weight I really want to lose. Yes, I want to be healthy, but, no, I do not want hanging skin and triple no, I do not want skin removal surgery. You can say all you want about dry brushing and working out to tone sagging skin, but I’ve watched those shows. I’ve seen those people work out. There is no amount of toning that will get rid of years of abuse to your body in respect to how far you’ve stretched your skin. It can’t be done, and, if it could be done, one of the doctors on those shows would have mentioned it.

When I step in and out of the shower in front of the full-length mirror in our bathroom, I am repulsed by all the dimpled, jiggling skin on my thighs, and I know that the more I lose the worse it will be. Then I’ll have to get those compression garments to tuck all my folds of skin in before I get dressed. So I find myself at a crossroads. No, I don’t want to be fat. I want to be thinner than I am now, but, on the other hand, I can’t imagine what I would look like at 200 pounds. How would I hide all that hanging skin?

When I was going through a storage box/book on the dresser in our bedroom I ran across one of my old driver’s licenses. I do not want to go back to being the person in thaDSCF3288t photo! (I have to confess that I weighed more than is recorded on my license. Oh, the shame. There was no reason to lie, and it wasn’t a lie so much as just neglecting to update the previously recorded information. Call it what you want, but it was still deceitful. And why? Those people don’t even know me, yet how could I tell anyone how much I really weighed? I felt like the lady on that comedian’s tape that my parents gave me for my birthday once. They told her they had to know her weight so they would know how much fuel to put in the airplane. She was thinking, “I’d rather die than let them know my real weight!” Meanwhile, the comedian was saying, “Fill it up!”) So now I find myself in a balancing act, but it’s a balancing act that gives me license to abuse my body further with poor food choices. Am I using my repulsion to loose skin as an excuse to eat more sugar? Again, I think I need professional help!  Dr. Phil, where are you?

I had a good on-plan morning, a rough noon, a nice two-mile walk and a good on-plan dinner. It could have been better, yes, but, oh, it could have been much, much worse.

I’m glad my daughter was here to kick my rear into action. Had she not come into the family room and taken the initiative to go walking, I may never have mentioned it. And now I have 1.9 miles under my belt for today! Thank you, Chelsea!

Confederate 2