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Saturday, November 29, 2014


Some days I focus on the wrong things. Today, I saw a video of me dancing with my gbaby on Thanksgiving and immediately focused on the way I looked. I saw things I didn't like at all. Bending over causes the extra skin and still some remaining excess weight to bulge over my jeans waistband. I am not happy about that at all. 

What's worse? I lost the focus of the moment. At that moment, my gbaby, my sister and I were being super silly all excited about the little bit of snow that was falling. We were laughing and just enjoying the moment. It was good. 

And yet, I let the visual I saw change my focus!  Ugh!!  Now to do my best and not totally dwell on the visual, but instead focus on the memory of the giggles and our happy little snow dance. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

So Thankful

I try to have a thankful heart all the time, but I’d be lying if there weren’t days when I’m so consumed with all that’s happening in life and in the world that I forget to just stop and say thanks to those who have been such an important part of my life.  Though yesterday was Thanksgiving, I want this blog entry to be a thank you and a reflection of what I’m most thankful for on any given day. 

First, I am so incredibly thankful for CME.  He has been my biggest supporter – not just through this weight loss surgery, but in every day life.   He works so incredibly hard to provide for our family – taking on two jobs, working long hours (sometimes up 24+ hours with no sleep) and holidays when the rest of us are enjoying time off with family and friends.  I probably don’t tell him often enough, “Thank you.”  I probably don’t tell him often enough, “I am so proud of you.”  I probably don’t tell him often enough, “You are a great husband and father.”  I probably don’t tell him often enough how thankful I am to be his wife.  I truly am incredibly thankful to be Mrs. CME! 

I am thankful for my daughters and sons.  When I had my firstborn back in 1984, I had no idea how to be a parent.  I was just a kid myself.  I made many mistakes in how I raised my daughters, yet they have turned out to be amazing and successful young women.  They bless me with affirmation that even though I could have done things differently, I raised them to be respectful and loving adults.  I am thankful for their love and the relationships we have as mom/daughters. I'm thankful for sons-in-law that truly care about and love my daughters. I'm thankful for my g-baby and all the joy and laughter she brings to our family!  For my boys?  I’m still making mistakes, but hopefully not the same ones.  I’m thankful that I have the kind of relationship with each of them that I can have very frank conversations and know that they love me, even if they’re not too happy with me.  But as with my girls, they are kind and generous and loving.  As I guide them through this last stretch of their teen years, I pray that I can be a parent that gives them the shepherding they need while at the same time let them flourish and become their own person.  For all my children, I pray they continue to seek God’s best for their lives and that they fully understand and accept the love that Jesus has for each of them. 

I am thankful for my parents and my sister and her family along with my extended family (in-laws).  Too often I can take it too lightly that I have another day with both my parents.  As we all age, I look and see that each and every day with them is a blessing to not take lightly.  Yesterday as I was praying for our meal and time together, God spoke very clearly to me about His blessing of family.  My brother-in-law survived a massive heart attack.  My mom’s thyroid nodules were benign.  My father-in-law’s seizures weren’t caused by a cancerous brain tumor!  No major issues with my Dad or sister; though general health could be better for both.  I have a GREAT relationship with my mother-in-law, which is truly a gift from God! CME’s Grampa and Gramma are still relatively healthy and it’s great to see pictures of them even if we can’t get up to visit often.  We don’t see much of our Michigan family, but I am thankful for ALL of them (aunts/uncles/sisters/nieces/cousins included.)  We also spent the afternoon with a family friend who just buried her husband on Tuesday.  Her Thanksgiving was hard.  Her grief, though hidden most of the time, was real.  I was reminded that Jesus understands grief.  He wept when He saw the pain and sadness of Lazarus’ family and friends – even though He knew that He was going to bring Lazarus back from the dead.  He understood what the family was feeling.  He understood that the family unit is to be a blessing and a reason to give thanks.  I am thankful for family.

I am thankful for the friends (sisters and brothers in Christ) who have poured into my life and spiritual growth over the years…too many of them to name, but you know who you are!  THANK YOU!  I praise God every time I think of you! (MB – this includes you!!!) 

I am thankful for the International Students I get the honor and privilege of being around on a semi-regular basis!  They bring a new understanding to me about people and culture and family.  I feel like God has blessed me with the opportunity to see the world through their eyes!  I love them all and am thankful that I get to be a small part of their lives. 

I am thankful for the staff at bariatric center who guided me through the process - to help me not only lose weight, but to learn about taking care of my body and health.  Yesterday my oldest daughter, oldest son and I spent our morning at the Turkey Day 5K.  I like this new tradition that started last year because it is a way to keep me thankful that I can participate in these.  Three years ago, I’m not sure if I could have even finished.  But because of God giving me the courage and strength and help from bariatric center, I can…and I do.  And I am thankful for this blessing…no matter how sore my legs are the next day!

Most of all, I am thankful for what Jesus did on the cross for me.  I am not worthy of His sacrifice.  I could never do enough to earn the grace He so freely gives me.  May I NEVER forget to be thankful for that! 

So yes, I have a lot to be thankful for.  A lot to reflect on.  I will continue to have a thankful heart and I hope everyone who is a part of my life knows that you are important to me.  YOU are the blessings I am most thankful for on this earth! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's Your Sign?

No, I don't mean zodiac...I mean, what is a telltale sign that your body is full? I have an "indicator" and a full out "yep! I'm done!"

My indicator is that the more food I eat the more my nose runs. Gross? Yes. True though. And my telltale sign? A hiccup. Even if I have eaten too fast and don't feel full yet, my body will hiccup when it's had enough.  Sometimes I don't feel full, but realize that proportionally I should be done...so I wait. I wait for the inevitable hiccup. It comes!  It always does!

It's funny how God wires us, isn't it?  And then when we re-wire our bodies through RNY, He still uses His design to speak to us. I still struggle with listening some days, but I am thankful I've been able to figure out this signal. 

So, what's your sign?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Can I Claim it as a Sabbatical?

Yes, I know. It has been a long time since I've been here. I've actually had a couple of people even mentioned to me that I need to blog again…(Hi Milford!)

As with everyone, life has been extremely busy and I haven't made the time to declutter my brain.  But here's a snippet of these past three months:

- School started for our sophomore and eighth grade sons
- Went to GenCon with CME and the boys 
- Unexpected trip to Grand Rapids for a family emergency - father-in-law had major seizures due to a benign (Praise God!) brain tumor
- Side trip to Traverse City with CME
- Girls weekend in Bloomington IN/Brown County with my daughters and g-baby
- Had out of town visitors over (people we met via Instagram!)
- Got to spend time with some of my international children 
- Helped friends prepare for a moving sale
- Taught a new section of a class at church 
- Traveled to Denver for a conference
- Attended a wedding my g-baby was in
- Had family photos taken
- Moved my friends 8 hours away. (So glad CME can drive a box truck!)

Add in every day work/life events with active kids and my self-named sabbatical doesn't seem like one at all!  Just from blogging, I suppose. 

Other than all that, life is good.  I need to buy a good scale to keep my weight in perspective and under control. I am responsible for maintaining the healthy life I've been given!  Gauging my weight by how I think I look in clothes or if they seem loose/tight won't cut it. I need to see a number. End of story. 

Anyway, here's a re-start...and I'll try to do better going forward. 

Til next time...May God bless you and guide you in your journey!  He will if you let Him!!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

August Already?

I can't believe it's already August. My sons start back to school in just a few days.  I suppose when the summer is packed with activities and travel, it really does fly by, but my goodness!!!

One thing I do look forward to though is getting back into more of a routine. Routines work well for me. Including the routine of eating. Seems like such a simple concept, but truly if I don't plan I don't do well. That being said, since my last post, I do have some victories to claim:

  • I visited "31derful flavors" with my hubby and son and didn't even have the no sugar added ice cream. Best part of this victory...I didn't want it. 
  • I've not randomly grabbed a handful of anything to snack on.
  • On three separate occasions at work, I've passed on my normal 10:30 a.m. snack. Why? Because I wasn't hungry. Why eat if you're not hungry?
  • I've cooked healthier foods again for the whole family.
  • I've stopped at Sonic for a diet green tea...and only got the tea.
  • I successfully avoided having one of the No Bake cookies that were brought in to work. (my fav cookie, by the way)
  • I've got cash in my purse and I've not used it. (I'll explain below why this is a victory.)
  • One of my very best friends moved away and I didn't console myself with food.
  • I've dropped a couple of those added pounds.
  • I've sat out by our backyard fire pit and didn't have a marshmallow.
  • I shared our new hammock with CME. I've never enjoyed a hammock before...I was always too scared that I'd fall out and look like a fool. Snuggling on a hammock with the hubby is awesome!  :)

I did have to say a couple of time, "Get behind me Satan! You will NOT win this battle!"  I'm sure if someone had overheard me they would have given me a strange look.  But seriously...it is a battle that Satan wants me to lose.  He isn't happy that God is getting glory in my journey.  But God is bigger and better and victorious and therefore so am I!  YES!!!

Now to explain the victory I claimed about cash. In past, if I had cash on hand I could buy something to eat and no one would know it. I mean, if I stopped by Donut Bank (or DQ or McD's or wherever) and used my debit card then there was evidence. Paying by cash makes it so I'm not accountable, I could lie (yes...I did this) about how I spent it. This, friends, is a tale-tale sign of an addict. So for me, this is a HUGE victory! THANK YOU GOD!!!

So though I say, "Where has the time gone this summer?" I am actually looking forward to some normalcy.  Some routine.  

Next step: more intentional exercise.  (Still my nemesis!)

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

Monday, July 21, 2014

If I'm Being Completely Honest

If I'm being completely honest and transparent then I need to admit that I've let some of those bad behaviors back in my life and I need to daily surrender my addiction to God. Daily

The result of my addiction? Self-doubt, self-loathing, self-bullying and self-consciousness. Oh...and weight gain. Yup...that's happened. I've gained weight. It's not a huge amount, but 6 lbs is a big deal!

What habits have invaded my life again?  Well, here's a quick list off the top of my head:

- licking the spoon/bowl after fixing something tasty or when clearing the dinner table. 
- taking a nibble of this, a bite of that (unplanned/unconscious/unhealthy eating)
- lack of portion control
- eating too fast
- eating in the car (fast food on the go)
- lack of weighing regularly
- bread
- dessert
- chips/snacks
- taking the elevator and not the stairs
- not getting in all my water
- not walking (exercising) like I was 

So today I prayed and I asked for prayer. I have not been "cured" of my addiction like I had hoped. But that doesn't mean God isn't working in my life. For me it means He wants me to rely on Him minute by minute for every part of this. I am the branch and He is the vine...apart from Him I can do nothing. 

Friends, if you believe that weightloss surgery is the easy way out, you couldn't be more mistaken. This is hard...especially if you're addicted to food like I am.  It's a daily struggle, but one that is worth the fight! 

Before everyone gets worried about the "results" listed above, I'm at a good place. I know that the enemy wants me to believe I'm a failure. But I am not. I am redeemed. I am clay in the Potter's hand and He is Victorious!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Live Well, Evansville!

I've tried to be sensitive about posting information on my bariatric center or any of the staff.  But I've been given the thumbs up to share the blog that my awesome RD, Corey Filbert, and another dietician maintain for the hospital where I had my RNY surgery.  Again, I can't say enough positive about Corey, the other staff or the center.  I truly believe they were the exact place I was to go for this procedure.

It's a great blog and one that I'll be linking on the side.  But until I get that done, why not check them out at the link below:

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

Curried Chickpeas with Spinach and Tomatoes

I really didn't want this blog to become a recipe blog, but then I figured if someone was wondering what a gastric bypass patient eats a few recipes here and there isn't bad.  Right?!?  (C'mon...make me feel better about posting recipes here!)

This week I've ventured out in my cooking endeavors. Found this recipe and not only was it totally delicious, it's healthy!!  Win/win!!

So thanks for understanding the recipes are for me to share some fun foods I get to enjoy!


(4 servings)


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red jalapeño or Fresno chile, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 pound fresh flat-leaf spinach, tough stems trimmed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 24-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • Flatbread or steamed white rice, for serving


1 serving contains:
  • Calories (kcal) 340
  • Fat (g) 10
  • Saturated Fat (g) 1
  • Cholesterol (mg) 0
  • Carbohydrates (g) 53
  • Dietary Fiber (g) 16
  • Total Sugars (g) 14
  • Protein (g) 15
  • Sodium (mg) 1330


Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, chile, and ginger; cook until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Working in batches, add spinach by the handful, tossing to wilt between additions. Cook until fully wilted and bright green, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper; reserve. 

  • Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 5-6 minutes. Add curry powder and chili powder and cook until toasted and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas and tomatoes with juices, squeezing tomatoes with your hand as you add, and 1/2 cup water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until tomatoes are broken down and sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Fold in spinach purée. Serve with flatbread or steamed white rice.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Veggie Tales

I'm starting to rethink my food choices for today. Is it possible to have too many vegetables? 

Yes, they were quite delicious, but I am feeling mighty bloated right now! Oh, breakfast was normal – instant oatmeal. But after that? Morning snack included sugar snap peas and mini sweet bell peppers. Lunch was a yummy salad with spinach, carrots, green onion, cucumber, tomato, feta cheese, and a light vinaigrette dressing. Afternoon snack was my usual PB2 and banana. (That is never a bad idea!) Dinner tonight was some sautéed veggies in a garlic-infused EVOO: zucchini and yellow squash, more carrots, bell peppers, onions, garlic. That's it. 

Of course I know my protein is nearly non-existant today, but once in a while it's not a problem. A digestive system full of vegetables, however, could be an issue later. We'll see!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

I like to cook...Really?!

Recently, our lives have been very busy. Travel, summer schedules, etc. I found that we were eating out a lot. And by a lot I mean almost every dinner! Lots of problems with that - not only does it impact our finances, but the choices are just not as healthy. 

In talking with CME, I told him that I actually missed cooking. Really?!! Yes! I did.  

Yesterday was my son's birthday and when he asked for spaghetti squash Pad Thai I was excited! Woo hoo! My 15-year-old requesting home cooked healthy food - that is a victory!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Road Trips

I've decided that road trips are hard for me.  Road trips by myself are even harder!  Boredom sets in and my old habit of wanting to snack my way through the drive creeps back into my brain.  

Twice in 2 weeks I traveled to the metro Detroit area (about an 8 hour drive from home).  The first trip I took my son, daughter and son-in-law.  Time passed quickly going there because we had some great Jesus talk.  I didn't find myself wanting to snack at all, actually.  The trip home?  I was tired. And part of trying to rationalize my thought was that if I ate I'd stay awake. (Silly considering a lot of times food can trigger sleepiness!) I didn't necessarily do bad (didn't buy snacks of my own); but I did have a few bites of "this or that" that found its way into my car.  

So during my solo trip, I intentionally didn't buy snacks.  Did I think about it? Yes!  And that bothers me.  I wish I could get to the point where it wasn't a constant issue in my psyche.  Even if I had brought 'healthy' snacks, which some people recommend, I would be mindlessly eating because I was bored. I don't want that bad habit to be part of my life again.  I refuse to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle!

I think I've made it clear that the weightloss surgery isn't a cure for my addiction.  Every minute of every day I must make a conscious decision to choose Jesus over food.  Do I do great every day?  No.  I've had moments of weakness that happen.  Moments when I walk by something and grab a handful and pop it in my mouth before thinking.  I've even had moments when I willfully eat something that could cause me issues - and by that I mean that it could make me want more...and more...and more.  The head-work of this process is the hardest part.  Really.  But I'm so thankful that God has opened my eyes to the path that could lead to destruction for me and I quickly stop the process.  

I know He has big plans for my life and in order for me to follow His call, I must be healthy. Being strong and not buying junk food in the gas stations is an NSV for me too! Planning for things like road trips is is a must! No exception. Pay at the pump...don't go inside.  Coffee at a drive through, not in the gas station.  Those little things make a difference for me.  I'm doing what it takes to stay healthy!  God isn't done with me yet! 

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Worth It

You are worth it.”  That’s the message I wanted to send last night when I spoke at bariatric center during their informational meeting.  But I’ll get to that in a moment.

First, let me say that my two-year post op appointment went glowingly well!  My weight was within a pound of where I was 6 months ago (despite still ‘fearing’ the scales); my BP 100/60; my pulse 60.  My lab work?  Fabulous.  (Okay, that’s my word, but MD said they were exactly where they needed to be.)  Cholesterol – 130; with a good mix of LDL/HDL.  I’ve had absolutely zero issues with my new stomach since surgery and because of that, MD is weaning me off Prilosec.  I thought I’d be on it forever, but he said that if there are no medical reasons to be on a medicine, then why be on it?  Of course, if I sense something changing with my body after I’m off, I’m to let him know and I can start it up again.  But until that time, why be on a med if it’s not necessary?  I like that, actually!  Plus, he’s going to have me reduce my Vitamin D to 2,000 iu from 5,000 iu.  If, in a year when I go back my Vitamin D levels are not in sync then I can increase back to 5,000.  So yes…all is well in my body!  Praise God!  

MD was pleased and said he sees no reason that I would experience any issues going forward (health wise or regaining of weight) as long as I continue with the lifestyle I’ve adapted over these past two years.  I told him… “I have no intention of going back!” 

I also met with RD for a few minutes.  Nothing new here.  She’s been great throughout this process.  Heck, all the staff has been absolutely fantastic.  I am incredibly thankful that I chose this center.  Truly!

About that informational meeting…

Each time I speak at these meetings, I get nervous beforehand.  Will I convey the right message to the people there? (Everyone is different.)  Will they understand that this process isn’t to be taken lightly?  Will I address their concerns even if they are too shy/embarrassed to ask questions?  But mainly, will God get the glory of the work He has done in me through this journey?  

With the head nods and smiles (and a couple of tears), I’m pretty confident that I connected with the people in the room at one level or another.  

I sent around pictures of me from pre-surgery as I began my talk.  (Those pictures are still hard for me to see/share.) I gave them a brief background of my life story – of being in the third grade the first time a boy said the phrase, “fatty fatty two by four…” and how that was the start of the emotional baggage I carried along with the weight for over 30 years.  Emotional baggage that is so necessary to address, come to terms with and throw out!  

I told them I remembered sitting where they were sitting and how all the information that was coming across to me sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking because it was more than my brain could process at the time…the procedures, the costs, the number of visits, the statistics, the fees.  And I told them that one thing I wanted them to know was though they seem overwhelming, that each person in the room was worth every penny of those fees!  I proceeded to look at various people and say directly to them… “You are worth it.”  “You are worth it.”  “YOU are worth it.”  This is was where I saw the first tears.  Not often are obese people (or people in general) told, “You are worth it!”  But that’s what I want people to know.  YOU.  ARE. WORTH.  IT.  I am worth it.  It’s hard to hear when we’ve been told otherwise for so long, but it’s even harder to believe.  

I went on to tell them that if they decide this is the procedure/time/place for them – DO NOT CHEAT.  You deserve not to cheat yourself of a healthy life any more, because YouAre. Worth. It.  

I told them how my life has changed from before to after.  I shared with them the story that goes with the picture of me on the elephant in Cambodia.  How I sought out the smallest person on our team to ride with me because I felt bad for the elephant having to carry me.  (True story!)  I told them my thoughts on being afraid to ride amusement park rides with my children…when one lady finished my sentence, “…because the bar may not go down all the way to keep them safe.”  I told them how I’d assess booths at restaurants – to which two people started laughing saying that they had JUST had that conversation while they were waiting.

I told them that I did need to have 2 units of blood in the hospital and the oh-so-embarrassing fact that there is no dignity when you pass out wearing only a hospital gown.  I told them that even with that, I don’t regret having this surgery.  I told them that for whatever reason, my journey has been complication-free and smooth.  To which one lady said, “That’s because God is your crutch.”  I thanked her for saying that and turned it around saying He is definitely been my strength.  She used the word crutch which at first seemed negative, but I see it now as who I lean on…that’s the purpose of a crutch, yes?  Regardless, I was thrilled that they heard this journey is to/for His glory!!

I warned them against the “Why haven’t I lost as much as <person on forum>?”  “Why am I not losing fast?”Why me/why not me?” trap we can easily fall in.  I shared with them the quote of “Comparison is the thief of joy.”   I told them NOT to weigh every day in the beginning but to follow the guidelines and trust the plan.  I told them that now, now I *must* weigh every 2-3 days to self-monitor.  I confessed that I didn’t weigh for a month and gained 3 pounds.  And at first I was like, “well, it’s three pounds…could have been worse.”  And then realized…OH MY GOSH!  THAT’S 36 POUNDS IN A YEAR!  (I’ve since lost those 3 pounds…praise God!)  I told them that it is a life change…totally.  The thinking MUST change.

I was able to finish up with my life boat analogy and the reminder that THEY are worth it!

Yesterday was a good day for me.  It was a time to reflect on God’s goodness through this entire process.  It was good to tell people… You are worth it!  It was good for God to remind me… I am worth it!  Yes, yesterday was a good day for me!

Pictures I shared:

Healthy me:

Friday, May 9, 2014

2 Year Surgiversary

Two years ago my life changed. I had no idea how God would work in and through me as I traveled this journey. 

I found myself thinking about it a lot the last couple of weeks. I've skimmed through some of my old posts to try to remember where I was at the time. Most days, it seems, my posts were postitive. But there have been a few that were less than uplifting. And that reminds me of this life. 

Some days are hard. Life happens. Stress creeps in and I fight negative thoughts. Thinking this week has been all over the board. I've been an emotional mess at times...breaking down in tears. I've been snippy at work and with the family.  I've been stressed. But I'm going to claim this as a victory, because during this stressful time, I didn't respond with food!  That's a clear sign to me that the lifestyle needed to make this a long-term change is falling into place!  

So I'm celebrating this day!  I'm celebrating the fact that God is faithful and He's never left my side!

My follow-up appt is next week...I'm sure I'll blog then!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Read the Labels

I remember a time when I would thoroughly look forward to food days at work. Trying samples of this or that; grazing nonstop. It would not be uncommon for there to be food at my desk all day long.

I would like to think that my participation today (or lack thereof) was due to lifestyle change; I'm not sure that's the whole truth, but there is some logic to that. The change this morning happened when I actually looked at the nutritional label on cinnamon crumble muffins. I audibly gasped!! I even think the words "holy smokes!!" came out of my mouth.  I kind of felt bad for my coworker who brought them because no one ate them after that. One muffin has 650 cal, 34g (52%) fat and 47g of sugar. ONE MUFFIN!!! Unbelievable!

Then I started to wonder how many things we think are "not too bad" are really horrendous. I'm sure there are tons!   I don't even want to know what my calorie intake was this time two years ago.  So my lesson for today is to read the labels. Seriously. Take the time to know what you're putting in your body. If you have been through this surgery or are in the process, take advantage of every tool - every moment. Reading labels is worth the time!

 PS - the blueberry muffins weren't much better! 530 cal, 26g (40%) fat and 36g sugar! Read. The. Labels. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Well hello old friend!

I walked out of my house today with my midmorning snack of veggies and yogurt and my afternoon snack of PB2 and banana. What I totally forgot was lunch. So as I'm out running errands during my lunch hour I stop by Wendy's. I had forgotten how good their chili is and it's actually healthy! Did I mention it's only $2.15?!

I'm glad to have found this again!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Ahh!!!  I need this space today!  And by space, I mean the white space on this page so I can get some of the garbage out of my brain that's haunted me this past week.  Okay, maybe that's a bit dramatic, but there have been thoughts and actions that I need to "own" and get back under control.

I've mentioned before that many times I find this blog to be my accountability partner.  I really do mean that. Somehow I feel more accountable for my actions if I am honest and open about my struggles as well as sometimes just downright defiance.  Today I really need to be honest and open - so here goes!

I just got back in town after a week of visiting some dear friends in Dearborn, Michigan.  It was an amazing trip in every aspect!  However, when I'm out of town, I seem to eat more.  I don't have my normal schedule, I don't necessarily watch sugars and fats and I definitely consume more breads/doughy foods than I otherwise would.  I let old habits creep back in.  Why is that?  Part of it is because the food is YUMMY and not something we readily have available here.  But is that reason to over do it?  Do I think that food won't be available next time I'm there?  Of course it will be! So that's no excuse.  Part of it is because I now can eat more and a larger variety of foods.  But that doesn't mean I should.  THAT is the part that's hard.  Just because I can, doesn't mean I should.  (Saying it again for my own ears...just because I can, doesn't mean I should.)

I was discussing this with one of the friends who went with me and I told her that I need to get back to the place where food truly is my manna - what is needed to survive.  It's meant to sustain me, not entertain me.  My story is different than some.  I am a food addict.  (Or as Susie said, recovering food addict.)  Either way, I must constantly be aware of how I'm treating my body.  I really am not beating myself up about it, rather I am confessing.  I am laying it out there so I can move beyond this week.  God reveals to me that I am out of control again... (He does that often in other areas of my life too!) and that I don't have to wait until Monday to fix it.  Each moment of each day I can call on Him to get me through the temptation and that's what I am doing.  And on another positive note, I actually lost 0.2 pounds this week - or basically stayed the same.  Even so, I needed the reminder to get it together so I don't blow what He's doing in me!

God gifted me with this opportunity to get healthy.  Through this, I was able -  just this week - to share with the International ladies I was teaching that because of God I've regained my health.  Through Him I've been able to lose over 130 pounds.  This journey is a testimony.  I intend to keep it that way!

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

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I'm still here... I promise!

February was a VERY busy month for me.  I can't believe I only blogged once.  I'm here, things are well...and I hope to get back to some consistent blogging soon.  Yes, I know that I've said that before, but I mean it.  I like to blog.  I like getting my thoughts in the open.  I've just not been doing that.  No excuse, really...just haven't. Life has been busy...but good.  No real "issues" to report.  Just the daily grind.

Some random thoughts:

  • Ran into the wife of the guy who passed away from RNY... it happened to be exactly 6 months since his death.  Now, as you know, I don't believe in happenstance.  I truly believe that God put her in my path for a couple of reasons.  First, so that I could pray for her.  She was having a really hard time.  She needed prayer.  Secondly, I needed to think about what I've been doing the past 6 months.  Was I taking this surgery and my life for granted?  Had I fully understood that each and every day is a gift from God?  Nope, can't say that I had.  Seeing her was not happenstance.
  • I talked to a lady at work that had RNY 5 years ago.  If I hadn't seen pictures of her "before" then I would have NEVER guessed (even 5 years later) that she had ever been obese.  So I asked her to share with me her long-term success story.  The very first thing she said was, "I have a number and I will NOT go over it...heck, if I even get close to it, I figure out what I've done and I immediately fix the problem!"  Good point!  Weighing every day isn't always a good thing during the weight loss process, but in maintenance?  I'm all for it!  Seriously.  She also said, "Don't ever get your sweet tooth back!"  She had and said it's still a vice for her.  I understand that.
  • CME took me shopping for some new clothes.  Like "real" new clothes, not consignment shop clothes.  I was silly-giddy that I was shopping in stores at the mall that weren't "Plus Size" shops.  Silly, I know...
  • I need to slow back down eating.  
  • I still enjoy coffee.
  • I turned 46 on 2/28 and had "Happy Birthday" sang to me in English, Arabic, Korean, German, Turkish, Spanish and French.  THAT was fun!
  • CME is amazing.
So wish me luck in getting back to blogging.  It really is a release for me and also helps my accountability,  I pray that God is glorified through this journey and that is a HUGE reason I need to document it!  That alone should (and will be) my motivation!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My 600 Pound Life

Yesterday I had the day to myself.  The boys were with Scouts, CME was working and the dogs were satisfied as long as they had food, water and were let outside when needed.  I was up at 5am to get the boys where they needed to be, and I am (slightly) ashamed to admit that I had drank an entire pot of coffee before 9:00am!  Yikes!  However, I will claim this victory:  the boys wanted donuts for breakfast and my absolute favorite was even advertised on the Donut Bank billboard:  Chocolate Cream Filled Long John!  I will have you know that I brought CME a danish home, but I did not cave to this weakness!  Go God!

Anyway, after a lovely couple of hours spent with a dear friend of mine, I was home for the night.  I found myself flipping through channels on the TV.  Note - I don't watch that much TV, so I didn't really have any idea what I was looking for.  I'd stop on various channels and watch a few minutes and decide that nope...this show wasn't for me.  Until...until I landed on TLC.

What caught my attention?  The morbidly obese lady talking about her upcoming weight loss surgery.  I was hooked.  As I watched, I could relate to some of her words.  Her fear of possibly dying from the surgery and leaving her 9 year old daughter without her mom; the thoughts of what life would be like after surgery, etc.  She had a lot of really positive things to say about why she was having surgery and how she wanted to be a participant in her daughter's life/activities, not just a bystander.  (my paraphrase from my own emotions) What I couldn't relate to was what a complete and utter jerk her husband was toward her.  He told her that if she lost weight, that not only would she not be attractive to him, she'd be repulsive.  WHAT?  I started getting angry for her.  He didn't go to the hospital for her surgery, though he did call her the day after. When she said, "Hello" he replied, "So how much weight have you lost?" and then proceeded to tell her what he was eating.  She was smart and ended the call, but again...I was angry!  When he came to take her home (he was late) he decided to go through a drive-through (after she was with him) and order fast food and then asked her hold his burger for him.  I was angry!  (I probably would have thrown it out the window...) When she asked him (a few months later) to pick up a salad for her for dinner, he told her if she wanted to eat grass...to go outside.  I was ANGRY!  When she hired a personal trainer, he told her it was a waste of money and if she wanted to break a sweat she could vacuum the house.  I. WAS. ANGRY!!!!  I think it was around month 6 that she stopped at the golden arches for a Large Diet Dr. Pepper.  I gasped...audibly!

Seriously...as I continued watching my heart broke for Zsalynn Whitworth.  This journey is hard.  It's even harder if you don't have a support network.  Not only does this woman not have a support network (at least not one they were showing), she has a husband who is doing everything in his power to sabotage her health...physically and emotionally.  It's abuse and I pray she sees that.  Sure, I don't know what kind of counseling there might have been before/during/after the procedure.  Reality TV is usually not reality - at least not fully as the situation truly happened; editing teams have a LOT of control.  Regardless, even what was shown there is a whole slew of issues this lady is facing.

My prayer for her is that she find some good deep Christian counseling.  Her words make it clear that she truly does want a healthy life.  She wants to be around for her daughter.  My fear is that she is not going to be successful long-term because of her life situation.  I pray for a breakthrough in her marriage.  I pray for her to be surrounded by love and support!

Let me put this out there for anyone who may be contemplating this surgery.  Find a support system!!  If it's not your spouse, find family...friends...peers.  Dig deep into faith in your Creator.  When no one else is available...He will listen.  He will get you through the dark times.  His is forever faithful.  He created you...He knows your heart, your every thought.  He knows who He created you to be!  Let Him in and let Him heal you!!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Should Blog

But I don't feel like it right now.

I could tell you about another parent that I recently roomed with and her thoughts on RNY and my thoughts on her thoughts.  I could tell you about the amazingly crazy/busy past few days I had at work and home this week and how I ate during these times.  I could tell you about struggles I still have with self image and how I'm not sure how that will change.  I could tell you about something.  But I'm too tired to put it all down in words.

So until I get back to a routine in blogging, know this... Others have gone through what you're going through... hang in there and be encouraged that you're not alone! You are loved.  You are beautiful in the eyes of your Creator.  You are made with His DNA and that's pretty stinkin' awesome!  You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Hanging Up The Jersey

It's officially time to put away my new Colts jersey.  As Andrew Luck himself said, "the Patriots deserved to win."  (Ugh, that stings even typing it!!)  

No, this isn't a football blog... you're at the right place.  But what a disappointing end to a really good season!  My beloved Colts couldn't stop the run, we couldn't catch important passes and Luck had 4 interceptions!  This is a young team and I'm sure we've got many good years ahead of us, but blah!

All that brings you to my jersey reality check. See, the last jersey I had no longer fit.  Not even as a night shirt!  CME, being the awesome hubby that he his, got me a new one for Christmas!  The reality check is in the pictures below...first, me in my new jersey...the last two pictures are of me in 2008 at a Colts game. The Manning jersey was a Men's XXXL...and was snug in places. My new jersey is a Ladies' Medium!  The reality check of where I've come from happened when I compared the pictures side by side.

McAfee is awesome!

Thumbs up for Manning!
Colts fan, first and foremost; Manning fan second...so now Go Broncos!
Old pictures are hard to look at. They represent times when I was trapped. Trapped in a life that I had created. Trapped in the lies that I let the world tell me about who I was. Trapped in moments of constant pain - either physical or emotional. But they are also reminders of how God has delivered me from all of that! How He has been so faithful to guide me step by step and to heal my wounded heart. 

So even as I hang up the jersey for another year, I can be happy! Thank you Jesus for your unending faithfulness! I am blessed!
"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Hello 2014

I'm not a resolution type person.  I understand the thought behind it, but I never really made resolutions of my own.  I don't know if its because it was something else that I didn't want to fail at or if I just wasn't motivated enough to care.  Regardless, resolutions aren't for me.

What is for me?  Goals.  Life changes.  Healthy living.  Yeah, I know I could make those "resolutions" but I think I'll stick with the no resolution mindset. So what are my goals for 2014? In no particular order of importance. 

This one started today: to participate in one 5k (or more) event each month of 2014. (I need to start researching and planning those!) Today I began working toward that goal!  The boys and I ran/walked in the New Year's Day 5K.  It was chilly...it was hilly (fair grounds vs street running)...and yet, we all did better than we have in past!  (I've not edited my Jingle Bell Run entry after the sponsors re-calculated the speeds based on the shortened route...not nearly as good as I thought initially!) My oldest son set his own goal of completing in less than 30 minutes.  (He's not run a 5K in...well, hmmm... well over a year!)  He met that goal by finishing in 29:58 - a pace of 9:37!  My youngest son, who really struggled during the Jingle Bell Run, did MUCH better this time.  Really!  His pace was 13:23 and he finished in 41:34.  I'd have to go back and look at his last results (after the re-calculation) but I KNOW it's a significant improvement both physically and his attitude during the whole thing.  He even thanked me when we got home.  Why?  "For making me do this!"  I consider that an NSV!! My goal of a 12:00 pace didn't happen.  BUT I did my best pace of 13:03 - finishing in 40:30!  Hey, I didn't say I was fast...I said I'm moving.  And though I was 12/12 in my age category, I am perfectly fine with that!  This girl is out there...moving...and setting an example of my kids!  The boys placed 2nd and 3rd in their age division and each even got a trophy.  So hats off to them for starting 2014 with a bang!

Other goals?  The boys and I are starting a Scripture memory study. I know Bible stories, but to quote Scripture?  I'm weak in that area.  I don't want to be weak when it comes to the Truth.  I want to be strong and truly grounded in the Word.  So after I'm done here, we will be starting the Scripture Memory Made Easy study tool.  I'm really excited about this goal!  Another good thing to do with my boys!

Another goal... not to over use the word "love".  May sound silly, but I have a habit of saying "I love...(coffee, PB2, shrimp, snow, Colts football, etc.)" way too much. But love is so special (See my "You are Loved" post) that when I use it in excess, I think it waters down what love really is.  My mother-in-law said something this past week that I'm going to try to remember... "Don't love things, love people."  I love really like that!

Other goals could be considered resolutions I suppose... be in the Word daily (Scripture memory will help with this, but I mean truly dive in and read/listen/learn.); be more intentional about exercise...whatever that looks like for me; complain (about work) less; be more intentional in inviting the International Students over; enjoy each day and give God the glory He deserves!

So though I'm not a resolutions person, I hope these goals keep me focused and continue to help me be a healthy (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) example for my family. I look forward to what God has planned for me in the next 12 months and I say, "Here I am Lord...ready for what You have in store for me!  Thank you for bringing me to this place in my life! Thank you for carrying me when I was weak and healing this lost and broken soul!!"

Ready for our first 5K of 2014!

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