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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Winter Wonderland NSVs

First and foremost, what a glorious celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ! CHRISTmas Eve services at church were fantastic (seriously....you want to hear amazing teaching on the Holy Spirit?  Click the link to watch!  Christmas Eve Service); our family get together at my parents' with the boys reading the Christmas Story from the Bible was extra special; all my kids were in town and a Saudi student joined in the celebration as well.  CHRISTmas day was spent relaxing and then visiting my daughter, son-in-law and g-baby for Chinese food for dinner.  Yes, it was a glorious celebration indeed!

This year I had the added bonus of getting to spend time in Michigan with my in-laws. I know, I know...most people are like...what..you want to spend time with your in-laws without your husband?!? (CME had to work.) But seriously...I love my mother-in-law!  And all our Michigan family!  What was even better was the fact that there was a beautiful blanket of snow covering the ground! Have I ever mentioned how much I enjoy snow?  No?  Well, let's just say that it is right up there with coffee and PB2!  :)  I truly felt like I was in a Winter Wonderland!

And the NSVs that went with it?  Well, for starters?  I can't remember the last time I actually got out and played in the snow.  Not only did I make a snow angel this year, I actually ran a (very) few times up and down the (slight) hill in my in-laws' yard.  AND I wrestled with the boys...finally taking down my 14-year-old.  So he was already on his knees from taking down his brother...I still finished the job!  NSVs all around!

On top of that, I did something I haven't done since I was a teenager... I went ice skating!!!  Was I graceful?  No.  I could blame the hockey skates that had shoe laces too short to even begin to tie, but I'll not do that.  I'll say it's for a lack of skating in over 30 years!  Oh. My. Gosh!  It was so fun!  Bonus...it was outside! In past, I not only would have worried about falling, but I would have worried about the possible humiliation of trying to get back up after falling. Was I afraid of falling? Yes. Did I? No! Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY!  Another NSV!!   Plus, we visited the Grand Rapids Public Museum (which was totally decked out for Christmas!) where I rode a carousel; walked up 3 flights of stairs without being out of breath; yeah...the whole day was full of NSVs!

Another NSV happened when I met up with CME's Aunt, Uncle, Cousin and his family. Before having dinner at The Corner Bar, we stopped at a The Rockford Footwear Depot.  I didn't need shoes, but they also had 30% off all their apparel. I found the cutest Merrell sweater dress that was already on sale.  I got a $90 dress for $20!!! Size aside (Medium)...seriously, that's an NSV...being able to walk into a store and buy something off the rack!

But the very best part of the trip was the time I got to spend with the family. My boys...my mother-in-law...and every member of CME's family in MI.  The only way this trip could have been better is if CME had been with me.  It was a GREAT time. The boys thanked me repeatedly and they even put up with my silliness.  Oh how blessed I truly am!

So that's how my time has been spent recently.  Two years ago (12/28/11) I began this blog.  My life has changed so much in these two years!!! Tomorrow, the boys and I are running in a New Year's Day 5K...expect a blog post after that too!

Until that time, here's a glimpse of my life recently... I thank God for this life He's blessed me with and pray that I can use it to bring Him the glory He deserves!

Love this man so very much!  My best friend and support!
All 4 of my kiddos! <3
Youngest Daughter!
First Born!!!
My Momma!
CME, my kiddos and g-baby!
My kiddos...and my Saudi "son"
Coffee anyone?
Love my boys!!
I think I've about got him...or vice versa??
I really did get him down...before they piled on their Mom!
Ice Skating with my sister-in-law and nieces!
Busha and her Grandkids
Take 2
Great time with my sons!
Ha ha ha!
My youngest...who knows WHAT he's telling his Busha!?!
Oldest son and my nieces on the carousel.
Busha and my youngest.

Selfie with Santa!

Picture for his daddy...the geography major!  Maps are cool!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

You are Loved

I've been trying to figure out what to post for such a joyous occasion.  I don't think I've ever concealed the fact that I am a follower of Jesus and it's through His strength I've been able to walk this weightloss journey.  But that is just a minuscule fact in comparison to the true celebration of who He is.

Last night, as I was sitting in a quiet house only lit by the lights on our Christmas tree, I was thinking about how much God loves us.  How He longs for us to know Him intimately and to spend eternity with Him.  But our God is a holy God and cannot be with unholy people.  So what did He do to solve this issue?  He sent Jesus!  Jesus was perfect.  He never sinned and He was sent to be the holy bridge between man and God.  What kind of love is that?!  That is the most beautiful love ever possible.  Jesus came to sanctify us and to reunite us with God for all eternity!  He loves us that much!!!  That is the biggest reason to celebrate...especially this season! 

The prophet Isaiah foretold of this event.  In Isaiah 9:6, he said, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."  Seven hundred years before Jesus was born, God was planning for us...for you and for me...to be part of his family.  Yes, this is the true celebration.  The celebration of the Lord, Jesus Christ!  

I'm thankful today that God loves us so much; thankful that He sent His Son to this world; that we may be made pure through His unselfish sacrifice.  

May you enjoy the celebration of the King of kings, and Lord of lords during this CHRISTmas season!

PS - You're invited to the celebration too!  Click here for your invitation:  You're Invited

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Stop Being a Bully

I ran across this "commercial" earlier today totally by accident; though I don't believe in coincidences.  LCSW would refer to this kind of thing as "stinkin' thinkin'" but Kellogg's just puts it out there with the term "fat talk." 93% of women fat talk.  93%!  That's a staggering statistic!  

One line REALLY resonated with me and it was something like this, "I didn't realize how bad it was; it's like you're bullying yourself."  You are!  Now stop it!  You'd never say that to someone else! 

No matter where you are in your journey - or even if you're not on a weight loss journey - I pray that everyone (female OR male) who watches this video sees how damaging words can be... especially when we say them to ourselves.  Stop being a bully!!  Shut down fat talk!  You are fearfully and wonderfully made! NEVER forget that!

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I Love Those J.I.N.G.L.E. Bells

Is that little tune stuck in your head now?  I guess that's better than what's been stuck in my head all day! Picture the tune of "America" from West Side Story, but change the words, to "Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jin-gle. Bell. Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jin-gle. Bell"  over and over again! Yeah, that's what I was singing and humming and making the bells on my shoes dance to! CME even said, "Really dear?  West Side Story?" and then later said, "I wish I could have videoed that!"  LoL

Anyway, for whatever reason, I was really happy to be up and getting ready for the Jingle Bell Run 5K this morning.  Maybe it was the festive CHRISTmas socks I picked up at Target last night, or maybe it was that both my first born and my baby were both joining me for this race. It definitely wasn't the 37 degree rainy weather, that's for sure! No matter the reason, I truly was excited for today.  

The crowd wasn't as large as last year...I'm sure the weather had a lot to do with it, but I'm truly glad we participated.  I saw a couple of the kids there who are stricken with this horrible disease.  It's hard, you know.  To look at these kids and not "see" anything wrong with them, but know that every single morning is a struggle to get out of bed for these young ones... literally...they need assistance to get out of bed... to warm up their joints and become mobile.  That not a day goes by that they're not in pain of some sort. So the rain and cold weather didn't bother me at all; my life is good!  

Due to the weather we've had the past week, they did have to re-route part of the race which in turn shortened it by 1/2 mile.  Not complaining about that either.  Just had to go back to see what my pace time was from the last two races to get a good comparison.  Know what?  It was awesome!  Not meaning to brag, but my pace was my fastest yet...take a look for yourself!

Toulouse-Lautrekkin' (Evansville Museum 5K) - pace: 13:59

Turkey Day 5K - pace: 14:40
Jingle Bell Run - pace: 11:35!!!

Yeah, I'm stoked about that!!  I'm also proud of my daughter and son who joined in on the fun.  My son hasn't run since last Jingle Bell Run - and I think he could tell.  I'm hoping this is the start of some good healthy family activities...now to get CME and our oldest son to run these too... Hmmm...

Early morning!

Aren't my socks cute?!

With "Biggest" and "Littlest" as they call each other.

Finish Line!!!

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Friday, December 6, 2013

Survival Mode

Survival is a really strong word, but when you're on this journey, it truly feels like were in survival mode some days.

Thanksgiving...CHRISTmas...all the office carry-ins.  It really can be a struggle if you're not prepared.  Take for instance our office carry-in on Tuesday.  There are nine of us in our area.  When the sign-up sheet got posted, I watched as people were signing up for what they were bringing.  Our boss was going to treat us all to pizza for lunch.  I knew without a doubt...that if I didn't plan, I would fall prey to trying little bits of this or that.  So what did I bring?  A veggie tray.  Seems like a no-brainer, right?  But really I had to plan, and that's okay.  Everything else was so unhealthy!  Our "banquet" choices:  Veggies with a ranch dip; donuts, bagels and cream cheese, potato chips with dips, cheeseball and crackers, a "dessert platter" that was filled with: cannoli, cheesecake, petite cakes, chocolate covered strawberries, coconut macaroons, raspberry filled cake, flans, three different types of fudge... yeah, sugar coma waiting to happen! (Or dumping syndrome for someone like me!)

So what did I eat on Tuesday?  Breakfast - part of an English muffin there at home.  Snack (at my scheduled snack time so not to "graze" all day) - veggies with a spoonful of the ranch dip that came with it.  Lunch - 4 squares of sausage/pepperoni pizza (well, the toppings off of it.  I still don't eat the crust) with carrots and grape tomatoes.  I did have one coconut macaroon from the "sweets" tray.  And honestly, I planned it when I saw the selection.  I didn't just walk by and grab it.  That's something different for me.  My afternoon snack - grape tomatoes and carrots.  I did eye another macaroon, but chose not to have it. (does that count as an NSV??)

The thing is this:  Gastric Bypass Surgery has been a GREAT tool for me and a blessing for my life.  Every single day I must make good choices.  I must plan in advance.  I must modify recipes to make them healthier.  And yes, I must walk away at times.  All of that is key to long-term success.  That's part of the survival - choices to enhance LONG TERM success.

(Here's another Sesame Street reference for you all!)

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

This is the "evil" one for sure!!!!!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Today is Brought to You by the Letters, T, F and NSV and the Number 5

I sometimes revert back to childhood and can't help the Sesame Street reference!  

Anyway, wow!  What a day to be thankful for!  Not that I'm not thankful most days, but there really is something about taking a day out of the year to truly think about all the blessings God has bestowed upon us.  So that's the T - Thankful.

F is for friends.  I have said it before, but I really do have the most amazing friends ever!  Though God is moving some of my closest friends to other parts of the country (oh, I'll be a blubbering idiot when they move!) he is bringing new people into my life.  People who have commonalities with me and the heart God has given me.

Such is the case of "C".  Long story short is that she and her husband signed up for a class that I was teaching at church...we just connected.  Quickly. God has wired us similarly and our friendship is blossoming.  She texted me yesterday and said, "Are you still running tomorrow?  It's suppose to be cold!  Do you want to borrow my warm gear?"  To which I replied, "What is warm gear???"  Seriously!  I'm not a runner - I have no clue!  

Which leads me to the letters NS and V (Non Scale Victory).  Do you know how lucky I am to have someone that I can borrow clothes from?!?  I've NEVER had that luxury before.  I've never had someone that can loan me something to wear.  But today?  Today I was warm and cozy in the 18 degree weather!  That is a HUGE NSV!  

The 5 - yes, you guessed it - the Turkey Day 5K.  Today's 5K was sponsored by Goodwill Industries and the proceeds were to benefit the homeless people in Evansville.  It. was. cold.  But can you imagine how the homeless feel during this time of the year?  It makes me reflect on how we take some things for granted - like a warm place to rest.  So thankful for the reminder.  My oldest daughter and I participated together and though it wasn't my best time (45 minutes 31 seconds), we walked/ran it together!  I'm hoping this becomes a new tradition for our family.  It's a healthy start to the day!  

Other Thanksgiving blessings... my youngest daughter and her husband decided to come into town.  That's always nice.  One of the international students joined us as well.  He misses his family and was glad to be able spend a celebration with an American family.  I was glad too!  One weird thing...I put WAY too much food on my plate.  WAY too much.  I didn't eat it... I couldn't (and didn't want to).  But that old habit happened.  I need to watch that!  Regardless, the food wasn't the main part of the day... Thank you God!

So yes, what a day God has given us! What a glorious day!
Oh...just hanging out with this turkey.

Before the race at the starting line.

We did it!

Love this little one!  I think she might like me a little too!

We're *that* family!  (Love that all my kids were together!)
My Family!  (minus Martin who totally missed the photo op!)

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Attitude of Gratitude

I haven't been to a support group for several months.  Either I've been out of town, or the boys have had something on the schedule, or I just didn't feel up to it.  I find that I need those meetings.  It may seem silly, but to be able to talk with others who are going through what I've gone through, well, it's just good.

Since it's November, the topic was "gratitude".  We took a few minutes to write out some things we're thankful for and then we shared with the group.  But before we did that, I took a quick video of the group saying hi to my friend "M" whom God connected me with through this blog.  She moved a few months back and well, she's still on our hearts and I texted her the video so she knew how much she's loved and missed!

Anyway, here are the things I listed in the quick few minutes we had to jot down our thoughts.

  • I'm thankful that I am not defined by what the scale says...either at my highest or my lowest...but that my identity is that I am a child of God!
  • I'm thankful for God giving me the courage for RNY.
  • I'm thankful for the NSVs I've experienced along the way.
  • I'm thankful for the staff at bariatric center who have been great from day one!
  • I'm thankful that I can say no to food.
  • I'm thankful for good health!
  • I'm thankful for a job even when I'd rather not work.
  • I'm thankful for my friends...both old and new.
  • I'm thankful for a loving and supportive family.
  • I'm thankful for the opportunity to share my story, either through speaking at informational meetings or through my blog.
  • I'm thankful for technology to stay in contact with others (like M in OK!)
  • I'm thankful for gloves...and coats.
  • I'm thankful for PB2 and bananas.
  • I'm thankful for CME!!!!!

Yes, the list is random and yes it is only a small glimpse of what I'm truly thankful for.  God is so good and faithful in His promises.  I'm thankful that He is the center of my life and that through Christ Jesus, I can do all things!

I hope that you have a support group that encourages you.  Maybe it's not an "official" group through your bariatric center, but at least a group of people who are in the same boat as you are - who are there to comfort you when you cry and rejoice with you when you're celebrating!

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kansas City, Here I Come

Missouri, that is.  

In a couple of hours I'll be heading out of town with some of my dearest friends.  (I'll miss those who couldn't make it though!)  We're attending a conference in Kansas City and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I'm looking forward to it!!

Last year was the first time I had gone to this conference and its where I realized how much God was doing in my life; how I had more energy; how I was the errand runner; how I was doing something that I knew God wanted me to be doing.  This year, I hope to have some of those same revelations. But even more than that, I am praying for this time to be one that is refreshing and one that refuels me.  Life gets so busy sometimes that I don't stop to do the things that I enjoy.  Yes, I enjoy doing things with my family, please do not think otherwise.  But to learn more and more about God's heart for the Nations...yeah...THAT I enjoy!  I want to have the ears to hear how God plans to use this new healthy me!  

I am planning in advance on how to eat at the conference. I know we're going to stop at a grocery store (food at conference centers is UNHEALTHY and EXPENSIVE!) and I'll buy stuff for breakfasts and lunches so I'm not in that, "oh no!  what am I going to eat!?" panic.  Planning is essential for success.  Really. Eating one meal a day out won't be bad and there are plenty of healthy options on menus now.  It's all good! 

I've got to figure out some exercise while there as well.  The thighs are feeling better, but I've got another run on Thanksgiving and I don't want to be sore like I am this time!  And as I keep reminding myself...it is a must for long term success.  Like it or not.

And as always... thanks to CME (as well as my parents and daughter) for taking care of things here on the homefront.  I really am blessed by the support I get! 143 CME!!

So yeah... here's to the next few days!  May God be glorified and may He fill me up to overflowing!

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Proof Is In The...


It's been two days since my 5k and I am still walking like someone kicked the living daylights out of me!  My legs, specifically outer thighs, are still horribly sore!  I stretched before running...here and at the race.  But I guess stretching isn't good enough when you've not run in almost a year!

That, my friends, is proof that I've not been as physically active as I need to be.  I mean, I knew I wasn't exercising much.  Heck, I've even blogged about it.  Even if I had been more consistently walking (at a decent pace) the pain wouldn't be here.  At least not as much as it is now. So, though I'm whining a bit about being in pain, I take it as a reminder that I need to keep moving!  I won't let it stop me.  If nothing else, it's another challenge that God's going to help me overcome!

The proof is in the pain, indeed!

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Saturday, November 9, 2013

18 Month Celebration

Eighteen months ago today I underwent gastric bypass surgery.  It was the beginning of a new era of my life.  Today I celebrated. I ran/walked in the Toulouse-Lautrekkin 5K for the Evansville Museum.  It's been nearly a year since I participated in a 5K and to be honest, I didn't train at all.  As I mentioned in my last post, I decided to use these races as the motivation to get moving again.  Since I didn't prepare, I wasn't quite as ready as I wanted to be, and I didn't finish as fast I as I had hoped.  But you know what?  I finished!  I was off my fastest time by 20 seconds.  I finished the race in 43:26.5.  I could "blame" the strong wind (yes, really...it was WAY windy) for the time, but there's nothing to blame.  I did it and doggone it I'm proud of it! So that's how I spent my 18-month surgiversary!

In other celebrations, my 18-month post-op was good!  Some things, though, never change.  I even told nurse that the scale still intimidates me.  I still hate getting on the scale.  It's been so mean to me in the past, and though I weigh at home, to step on the scale in front of someone makes me nervous.  What if I had gained weight?  What if I failed?  What if....?  Yeah...ugly stinkin' thinkin' again!  But my fear was irrational (no surprise); though I'm "slightly" up from my lowest weight, I was still 2 pounds less than I was at my 12 month check up. My BP was 96/60 and all medically appears to be really good!  MD was very pleased and even said I was like the poster child for RNY!  I laughed.  Really.  I don't see me as a poster child.  I see that God has continued to bless me and that even though it's harder every day, He keeps me in line. To God be the glory for the success that I've had!  

The time has gone fast and 'm so thankful that God gave me the courage to go through this process 18 months ago!  I feel great and I can only hope and pray that God uses the healthier me in ways that I cannot even begin to imagine!

After the race with the daughter of a friend of mine.  She's absolutely precious!!!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Exercise and I still aren't the best of friends.  Yes, I walk more now, but I'm not consistent.  I "run" the stairs (aka walk up them briskly when I need to go from floor to floor) at work.  But I've just not been as faithful in exercising as I know I need to be.  I could list all the reasons...busy schedule, too tired, boys' schedule etc. etc. etc.  But the truth of the matter is, I still don't like it. Period.  Yes, I liked Body Pump, but after the dizziness issue, I stopped going.  I really should try it again...I've only had dizziness issues occasionally now.  :::makes note to try to get back to a BP class:::

I need some motivation.  So here's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to participate in three 5K races in the next two months!  I'm contemplating whether to walk the first and walk/run the next two or just walk them all and work on increasing my time each race.  Regardless, I'm going to do them. One of my by goals was to participate in a half marathon...which I've not done either. I was so proud of my oldest daughter...she finished her first half marathon earlier this month.  I'm ashamed to admit that I was too chicken to try.  I was afraid that I'd fail.  That I'd not finish or that I'd puke or something.  Yet, my daughter, who hadn't trained at all, did it!  Proud and inspiring moment! Still keeping that on my "must do" list.

Anyway, for some accountability, I'm going to list the 5Ks that I'm doing.  I'll post after each one and let you know how I did.

Turkey Day 5K
Jingle Bell Run

Here's to being able to walk 5Ks even though I complain about exercise! Thank you God for giving me the health to do this!  

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Thursday, October 17, 2013

If People Just Understood

I've often mentioned how the emotional part of this journey is the hardest. Years of listening to lies and falling prey to the insecurities that obesity causes is really difficult to overcome.  Sometimes I wish I could really verbalize how my brain has functioned in the past.  And though I've exposed bits and pieces of it during various posts, I know that I've not adequately described the thought process of a food addict.  Unless you experience it, I'm not sure that you really can fully understand.

That being said, CME ran across this article in one of the "junk mail" newspapers we get.  I found it on the web and thought I'd share it.  Though it still doesn't do justice to those of us who fight this addiction, it is from the perspective of a psychologist and expert in weight management.  She touches not only on obesity, but anorexics and bulimics as well.  I could actually relate to the person on the plane she mentions in the article.

I really hope you'll click the link below and read on...

Food Issues Often Misunderstood

My hope in posting this is to help others understand.  To help people realize that the old cliche that "you can't judge a book by its cover" is more than cliche.  I never really thought about my comments when I'd say that the "skinny" person should eat a twinkie (or two)!  As far as I know they could have been bulimic or anorexic.  God constantly humbles me with the reminder that I, too, can be judgmental.  I'm thankful for his promise in Lamentations 3:22-23:  "The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness" (ESV)
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Friday, October 11, 2013

Good for Me

This past Tuesday, I was able to speak at  bariatric center about my experience with gastric bypass surgery.  It’s not the first time…as a matter of fact, I think this was the 3rd time I’ve spoken at an informational meeting.  And you know what?  It’s good for me.  Here’s why: it helps me to remember how far I’ve come.

As I looked around the room, I saw “me” in another person’s body.  The old me, that is.  I started my talk and could tell when I said something that touched on the emotions of the people there.  I remember, very vividly, sitting where they were sitting just two years ago.  I remember the feelings I had at that time.  Feelings of fear and sadness and the thought that I’d never get to eat again if I had this surgery.  I remember the emotional baggage that was attached to my life then…to the weight.  And as I continued to talk, I was able to get some laughter from a few people.  I saw a lot of head nods.  I saw a lot of what I interpreted to be hope from some that they too could experience life the way I’ve been blessed to experience it.

Same questions are usually asked – Why RNY?  What about extra skin?  What about people who aren’t supportive?  Why this facility?  What do you get to eat?  How much?  And so on and so on…But this question was new this time, “Sure you were motivated at the beginning because you HAD to be or you’d get sick.  What keeps you motivated now that you’re 17 months out from surgery?”  Wow!  What a good question.  The first part of my response was the confession that I’m still a food addict, but I went on to tell them that I start every morning with the simple prayer to Jesus that I choose Him over food.  I then let them know that I also refuse to be unhealthy again.  I’ve got too much to do to treat my body like a garbage can.  I’ve got too much life to live to be 300lbs!  I added the fact that it’s fun to buy cute clothes. :-) Hey…what can I say? It’s the truth.

Anyway, I’m glad I was able to share some of my story again.  It was a blessing to be reminded how far God has brought me.  It was a blessing to remember the sadness that I felt back then and know that I will not go back to that life!  Yes, this was good for me!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Change of Seasons

Yes, it's that time of year... the time when the season changes... the time when the leaves start to turn and the air gets crisp.  It's my favorite season.  Its time for sweatshirts and bonfires and football!  I must admit, I absolutely love Pumpkin Season....err... Fall!

Seriously though pumpkin flavored everything is upon us!  Everything from pumpkin spice latte's to pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup, pumpkin shakes... everywhere I look there's pumpkin something!  And it's a weakness of mine.  I did find some pumpkin English muffins which aren't so bad for you...even have decent protein.  Add a small amount (I mean small!) of the pumpkin cream cheese... and yeah, a good mid-day snack.  Less calories than a protein bar I was having and only 2 grams less protein. I will have pumpkin foods...I will just be sure to pick those that are healthy!  I've also been trying this little trick... I bought some pumpkin spice coffee (grounds) and I'm using it like my sweet-tooth satisfier.  I start craving something sweet, I have pumpkin flavored coffee... with splenda and sugar free Italian sweet cream.  The flavor is fine and the calories are a whole lot less than any of the other aforementioned pumpkin goodies.  I have had a Starbucks pumpkin spice late with skim milk / no whip... twice since they've become available.  They're mighty good.  I am, however, intentionally avoiding Culver's Pumpkin Shakes!  CME almost stopped there tonight while we were out, but he passed up the opportunity.  YAY!  :)

As far as the stinkin' thinkin' I had going on... I'm going to sum it up as a "funk" and say that it's getting better.  Still starting every morning choosing Jesus over food, and it seems to be setting my brain in the right mood.  Not that I'm surprised by that.  Still have some self-image issues, but as one of my internet/blog friends (Deniz) reminded me, the extra skin and all that goes with it is a mark of success.  Thanks for those words of encouragement, dear one!

Okay...off to pick up my boys and drive right past that Culver's marquee advertising those disgusting, nasty, oh-so-bad for you pumpkin shakes!  Thank God for seasons!  Thank God for pumpkin!  And thank God for His strength when I'm weak!

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14