Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Ask Myself...

How is it a person you know and love, say, like your husband, just as an example, can encourage you and tell you something repeatedly, like something specific to do, but then when a stranger, say, like a professional counselor, just as an example, tells you the exact same thing, it's profound and motivating and just what your heart's been seeking?

I mean, just as an example, of course...

So, when I've gone to counseling before (with this same lady almost 2 years ago, now...) I have a sense of time, money and urgency driving what I say and what I leave out.  I know we are on the clock and that clock's ticking so I'd better cut through the crap and get to the good stuff...or it's cut through the good stuff and get to the crap?  They both work...

Anyway, after filling out my intake "tattle tale" sheet which has a column on the left of symptoms, behaviors, or problemos and then columns to the right labeled for "Self, Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Mother's Mother, Mother's Father, Father's Mother, Father's Father," I was trying to get a game plan in mind as to what all I should vomit all over share with the counselor.

I started with a brief overview of being a closet eater starting at a young age, family dynamics throughout the years, my more recent triggers, what I do in the face of stress, and how I feel passionate about my non-profit but don't know if I'll ever get to do anything with it...

Before I knew it time was up and she said, "I have an assignment for you."

I anxiously awaited.  Oh boy, an assignment!  This'll be good...I'm going to get a game plan for not eating out of stress...

She said:  When we meet again in two weeks, have your business plan ready to share with me regarding your non-profit.

I said:  Sweet, that sounds awesome!  Totally!  (Or something enthusiastic like this...)

I said:  Wait. One. Minute.  How come my husband can tell me I need to do this for several months but you tell me one time and I'm all motivated to go for it?!

I don't have an assignment for food...but I think she's onto something.  Like encouraging me to dream and focus on something positive, something about which I am passionate and I know God's called me to, rather than continue the cycle of beating the crap out of myself and spiraling down, down, down.

Next appointment, December 29th, 10 a.m.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not Soon Enough...

Seriously, my counseling appointment tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Ironically, one of my favorite books is "One Minute of Margin," however I do not have one minute of margin to even read the thing to find out how to create more margin.  You see, I leave it in the bathroom where, before I had a toddler, I had more than a minute of margin to sit and unwind and take care of business.  Now, I hold "having to go potty" until I can hold it no longer and then run to the bathroom, get in and out quick, and run back out to monitor any toddler damage.

Today I am overwhelmed and just want chocolate.  This is annoying.  This overwhelm was triggered by a parent/teacher conference last night, but I don't feel like getting into it right now...

I need to cut things out of my life.  I need to cut people out of my life.  I need to scale back.  I need to say "no" and realize that if "no" received by someone else is fatal for them, that's their deal, not mine. 

Random thought here:  Maybe "scaling back" is manifested in my life by getting rid of excess fat through dieting?  Results.  Like how I love to purge closets and drawers in my house...hmmmm?

Anyway, who knows but what I do know is there isn't a clean surface in my kitchen, the dog follows me around all day doing upward/downward dog motions, I can't pee in privacy anymore and next to having a non-profit that is my passion and dream, the ideas and half-finished docs for a book, having a jewelry business that is a creative outlet for my frenzied mind, and being a wife and mom, it seems like I have to cut something out.

Let's can't be wife.  It can't be mom.  I can cut out my jewelry/creative outlet, but then I'll retain stress.  (Retained stress = large consumption of chocolate)  And so, it seems like the very thing I've been designed to do, my passion and dream to encourage women and really get my non-profit rolling is the thing I have to put on the back burner, again, and that makes me sick to my stomach and causes my throat to tighten just thinking about it.  I can't even see the screen right now b/c my eyes are all juicy.

I need to go take a deep breath and throw something, anything, away...

Question:  Have you ever felt like you were made for something but that very thing is the thing you have to keep putting on hold? 

Monday, December 5, 2011


Besides last Friday, I haven't weighed myself in the mornings for the last week and a half.  This, surprisingly, isn't necessarily good or bad.  It's kind of neutral...kinda.  And by "kinda" I mean, it's neutral in my head because I haven't been obsessed with numbers lately, but as a way to track something tangible, I'm not ready to pitch the scale just yet.

I know some people don't own scales and go simply by how their clothes fit, or if they fit.  I didn't own a scale for over 15 years and went by that method...the only problem was I would just go buy new clothes when the other ones didn't fit.  And by "new clothes" and "didn't fit" I mean a bigger size. 

For me, one size on the label can span a good 10 lbs, easily.  Just because I can still zip the jeans doesn't mean they fit, per se.  Hello, muffin top!

And, another change that has likely occurred because I've been busier than busy is I haven't written anything down in my food journal in over a month.  This mode of tracking health, weight loss, food sensitivities and such is one thing I need to revisit.

Here's a link to another blog, Healthful Pursuit by Leanne Vogel, where the girl designed her own food journal entry form.  I am going to use it as a guide, but not all of the components work for me and I'm also not a fan that one print out equals one day...I like to save paper and am a bit of a minimalist when it comes to this, so I'll be tweaking this.  However, either way, it's a great resource to track food sensitivities and how my body feels after consuming certain foods.  And, it'll be a good way to track the reason why I ate...

I already know, for a fact, that if I even look at a grain, I puff up, like a hot popcorn kernel, a puffed piece of rice cereal, or like this guy...Okay, maybe not exactly like him, but I do retain fluids, feel bloated, have achy joints (especially my left knee, wrists and fingers), ringing in my ears, have dark circles under my eyes and plump sausage fingers upon waking, and feel groggy in the morning when I've eaten too many grains (any simple sugars) in a day. 

When I don't eat grains or literally eat them once a week, I have tons of energy, can spring out of bed, my skin clears, my joints feel fine, and overall, I'm a nicer person and just feel healthy. 

Everyone is different and what works for you may not work for me, and vice versa.

But, let me ask you this:  If you never eliminate a potential culprit, how would you even know if you have a sensitivity or not? 

You wouldn't.

As a mom to a one year old, this time around, I actually followed the doc's advice and introduced one food at a time to my baby.  Oh the novelty!  Sheer brilliance, I say!  This concept can be practiced with older kids and adults, as well, when trying to figure out food sensitivities and culprits, but instead of introducing foods, you are eliminating foods.  And though it's a little harder, it's not impossible! (My 9 year old is allergic to wheat and dairy but has eaten them since toddlerhood...guess how fun it is to eliminate cheesy-dillas?!)  Just find great alternatives, continue to serve them, and they'll either hate the new option and skip it altogether, or develop their palate for the new taste.  No one needs quesadillas, so it's really not the end of the world, for Pete's sake :)

The Elimination Diet isn't hard unless you are addicted to starches and sugars, dairy or your particular allergen. There's a lot of information on the website "The World's Healthiest Foods" linked in the previous sentence, but it's scientific and medically based, so take their advice, not mine, and above all else, listen to your own body and how you feel!  If you feel crummy, listen!  If you feel fantastic, that's your body saying, "More of that good stuff, please!"

I'm digressing!  My point is, I'm going to start tracking my food throughout the day again so I'm more conscious of what I'm eating and why, and then also track how I feel each day.  In the past I've written down my food intake for a number of reasons, but mostly just to track weight loss or gain.  Honestly, I am comfortable with that number on the scale from last week, but I'm more interested right now in knowing how I feel and which foods help me feel my best and which ones take me down dark alleys.  I've always been told to avoid dark alleys...

Counseling countdown:  3 days.  I'm looking forward to December 8th at 11:00 am when I head to counseling to talk about this more in depth with a professional.  If you are putting off that appointment, ask yourself why?  Why would you put off something that offers potential healing and freedom?  Maybe you don't need it, maybe just I do...but one thing I know is I am looking forward to this next season of my life...

...the season where I'm finally free to be me!

Friday, December 2, 2011


I love Merriam Webster!  And, I'm so thankful for the Internet where I can just jump over to the Merriam Webster website at any given moment and do word searches and studies.  I'm a nerd that way.

Anyway, I've been pondering the word formula recently.

Everybody wants one.  Many people and companies boast they have one...the "one", the magic formula that will cure:  input list of maladies and, by golly, the formula will clean it up, get 'er done, cure all, make you rich and then some.

I've bought into the formula mentality.  Believe me, I've bought a few things after watching info-mercials...just sayin'.

I've bought into it in more ways than just weight loss or fitness.  As a young Christian, I bought into the formula for behavior which was expected from a good church goer rather than believing the bottom line:  God's in love with me just the way I am because His love is unconditional.  His grace is called grace for a reason.  Forgiveness was a gift extended to us...not that I could earn.  Anyway, unknowingly I built walls between me and people I loved because in my ignorance, my love was conditional...formulaic. 

"If you act like this + think like this = good Christian girl"

I understand, *ironically, that in chemistry formulas are important, especially exact ones.  We tried to explain this to our daughter last night who wants to "blow things up" but doesn't want to do her math homework.

Math + Diligent Studying = Potential Chemist or scientist of some sort...

I've especially bought into the formula mentality when it comes to weight loss.  A trainer told me once, "Calories in have to be less than calories out, that's the only way you can lose weight."  I've believed this for umpteen years!  This is not entirely true nor is it the only formula that works across the board.  That's what Timothy Ferriss' book, "The 4-Hour Body" is all about.  He totally bucks the system and formula mentality by experimenting on himself, just to prove these theories or formulas, wrong, or inadequate at best.

I've been a Christian now for almost 25 years.  Over that time I've learned a lot more about God's character, who He says He is instead of who we say He is.  While resting at His feet I have learned a lot and had my eyes opened to my naive enthusiasm that was completely self-driven in my earlier years.  We've stayed the course.  He and I.  We have a relationship, not a formula of religious behavior.

As far as health and wellness goes, I'm trying to break free from the formula mentality.  And, when it comes to my body, eating and fitness, that's tough when I function well within structure.  I mean, obviously eating a Big Mac everyday with a side of fries is a formula, for sure, for malnourishment and disease.  Hello.  I haven't eaten at McDonald's since I was pregnant with Emily back in 2001, so this isn't a problem for me.  But a pan of brownie edges or a tray of chocolate chip cookies is another story... 

I know enough now that eating as closely to the way God designed food is optimal for me.  Limiting sugar and carb intake helps me feel my best.  Exercising and being outdoors always feels good, even if I didn't feel like it initially.  And, keeping myself busy keeps me away from the grazing mentality that is linked to stress and boredom.  I know these things.  I think I've been trying to figure out how to neatly fit them into a formula so I can wrap my brain around them, have it work and fit nicely into my lifestyle, and be on my merry way.

...except life doesn't fit neatly into a little box so I'm learning how to operate within something called "grace."  I understand grace extended to me from God.

Now I just need to learn how to extend it to myself...Do you?

*I failed chemistry in college...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Permissible Sin

Oh man, I know I'm going to offend some people with this, though that's not my heart, intention, or motivation for writing out my thoughts here tonight.  I'm not saying I know it all or that since I'm in the midst of this I'm the queen of all wisdom.  Just sharing some thoughts...

It's just that I've been in circles where it's not talked about and truly, from experience, more promoted than anything. 

It's sad, too, because there could be a balance.  There could be so much healing and freedom.  Yet it's that elephant in the room no one speaks of, that booger in a person's nose you don't know if you should point out, the risk of sounding judgmental instead of genuinely caring.


I'm calling it out because God called me out on it years ago.  He told me I was a glutton, gave me a dream about it, and smack-dab I opened the Bible flippantly one day to what I thought was just a scripture reference in my head, and ta-da, there it was, God's perspective on gluttony.

I've heard preachers talk about adultery and fornication.  Some have focused on it more than others.  Interestingly enough, they were struggling with those sins secretly, but now not so secretly...

I've heard preachers talk about money, tithing, giving, prosperity.  Some have focused on it more than others.  Again, strangest thing but they were struggling with the love of money, and to the naked eye, really not that secretly, ie gold plated jet, $2000 suits, mansions.

I've only heard one, count 'em, one preacher talk about gluttony.  I know him personally.  He is open with his love of food and how it can drive him to egg and cheese topped burgers with a side o'fries chased by a large chocolate shake at times.  He's the first preacher I've ever heard or known who has kept it real, been honest and truthful about his struggle and his pursuit of God in spite of himself.

I wish there were more preachers like him.  I wish I was more like him.  (Not the egg on the burger part...barf in my mouth a little...)

Maybe it's easier as a guy to admit your faults?  I'm not sure since I'm not a guy, but being me, and I'm a girl, it's hard to admit and air my wrongs, failures, shortcomings...sins.

I've basically grown up within a church setting, if you will.  I went to public schools but on Sundays and some Wednesdays since I was little I was involved in one way or another in church.  I saw A LOT of stuff go down over those many years, let me just say.  A LOT.  Nothing different than what you see go down on Desperate Housewives or Modern Family, or even Jerry Springer...because churches are not made up of perfect people, contrary to what we try to portray or what people outside of the church walls want to think that we think...

But one thing I haven't heard at any church pizza night, pancake feed, or ladies potluck, is that within the church walls, gluttony is not permissible.  I haven't heard it, but I also haven't heard otherwise.

No Smoking.
No Drinking.
No Drugs.
No Gambling.
No Dancing (a little Footloose, here...)
No Sex Outside Marriage.
No Skirts Above the Knee.
No you fill in the blank.

I've never heard a rant or even a peep saying, "No Seconds or Thirds."

Obviously everyone doesn't have a problem with the love of food.  Everyone isn't addicted to porn, either, but we hear that message a lot.  My point is that I think within the church, gluttony has become the permissible sin, because it's not as bad as sleeping with someone else's wife, toking the Mary Jane, or having that fourth glass of wine.  That's what we'd like to tell ourselves, but in Scripture, Jesus doesn't compare sin.  Sin is just sin.  It is what it is.

It's just food so eating too much of it or thinking about it all the time can't be that bad for us, right?

I'm sorry.  I just don't buy it.

My body was made by the Holiest of Holies.  God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.  He told me my body is a temple and that I am to worship Him with all of me. 

So, being the idealist, realist that I am, for me, part of this journey to freedom from food addiction, aka gluttony, is to confess my sin (He already knows, but wants us to admit it...), receive forgiveness and walk as a person who is healed, drawing on God's strength to view food as it should be:  a gift for strength, healing and sustenance, something that is good, from God, and mine to enjoy in health and moderation.

Isn't it interesting that the very first offense against God by man was eating something that wasn't good for them?  Profound...

Monday, November 21, 2011

T-t-t-t-t-trigger, of course!

(Isn't that a line in a song or something?!)  Oh yeah, it is, here's the link...hilarious!

ANYWAY, the last week has been pretty good food wise.  I have kept myself very, very, very, very, very, very busy, as I said I would.  I tell you, when busyness is productive and not just busyness for the sake of being busy, well, those big item tickets start getting marked off the "To Do" list and....drum roll....there's not a lot of time for snacking out of boredom.

Some of those big ticket items entailed painting a bathroom and the dining room, changing the chandelier in the said dining room, and hanging crown molding.  I was going to sew curtains but my mom told me to create a little margin in my life, so I took her advice and realized we don't need curtains before Thanksgiving.  Do we ever really need them?  No.  No one needs curtains, unless your shower is glass and faces your neighbor...we need food, water, shelter and some clothes, but that's another post.

So, I'm not going to lie.  I mean, just painting a bathroom doesn't sound stressful or like it could trigger stress eating, but I'm anal.  I hand cut in my edging because I like clean, straight lines.  That in and of itself isn't necessarily stressful, but wrapping my body around the toilet with my head in a precarious position, much like this, it can become stressful.  Painting the dining room wasn't stressful, though I had to stand like this most of the time trying to paint the cove ceiling so as a result my neck had a kink in it which earned me a neck rub, so, the stress didn't stick around too long.

Last week I ate Paleo style, eliminating high glycemic starchy foods, eating tons of salads and meat, raw veggies and pretty much an apple each day.  Besides the fact that my 15 month old cut 6 teeth and didn't sleep amazingly, I felt great, didn't have gas and wasn't hungry between meals.  I got this great book from the library called Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso.  I'm thinking Paleo will be my first choice round of the 4 month eating plan when I start officially.  

ANYWAY, where the stress, or trigger, came in was when Jason started cutting and hanging the crown molding.  THAT is NOT a simple thing, I tell you!  It looks beautiful now, but baby there's some wood putty, let's just say...

The tipping point, or real trigger that drove me to pour a large glass of wine and consume a heavy dose of chocolate was the hanging of the chandelier.  Hoochie mama, was that super fun?!  #$%^&*  Our marriage is happily still in tact but standing on a chair holding a chandelier while your hubby stands on a bar stool twisting wires, your arms shaking because you did the extra long version of Jackie Warner's workout earlier, and the little stinking bolts that are supposed to secure the mighty piece to the ceiling keep falling to the floor...well, like I said, it was a large glass of wine.

For reals, my husband is an engineer and even he said the chandelier, at least how it is secured to the ceiling, was designed poorly.  I hadn't even added the weight of the glass candle covers, and to be honest, all I could imagine was the whole thing falling to the table during Thanksgiving causing senior citizens, and even junior senior citizens, to have heart failure.  Jason added two extra screws, secured in sheet rock anchors, and literally, the stress lifted.  No one will die at the dinner table!  WHEW!

Anyway, house projects can trigger me even though I enjoy doing them.  And, as I asked myself that question last week about being angry, I learned a few more of my triggers.  Now I just have to figure out what I should do when I'm around a trigger or something or someone triggers me. 

I think awareness is half the battle.  Do you have triggers?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


(This post I drafted last November 17th...I realize I never posted it and in light of the post I just wrote, thought I should post it so you could see what I'm talking about, in addition to the "Diet Reviews")

Not sure what all occurred in my heart, mind, and body over the 24-hour time frame from some time on Sunday to when I woke up on Monday morning, but I feel like asking myself that question from the previous post helped me get my head on straight...or at least looking in the right direction.

It's just the beginning, but I am hopeful about my future, and, if this doesn't sound so very weird, I'm really excited for counseling :)  Who says that?! 

Anyway, I'd like to take you back about a year so some of this makes a little more sense...the beginning of last October, 2010, one of the girls on my street invited a few other neighbors to join in a "Biggest Loser" contest.  How does one respond to such an invitation?  How are you supposed to feel if you are invited by someone who hardly knows you to lose weight?  Anyway, my son was born August 28th and because of emotional reasons from losing one son, I was done nursing at this time so it was okay to start losing the baby weight.

There really were no rules as to how we went about the 6-week weight loss, just that everyone pitched in either $10 or $15 bucks, I can't remember, and that results would be judged on percent weight lost instead of just pounds.  We all wrote our checks, hopped on the scale for our first weigh in and were on our way.

Well, I had some very close friends who experienced amazing results with hCG.  I didn't know what that was, but I knew if two Naturopathic doctors whom I respect were willing to endorse and sell it, I felt comfortable trying it out.  (I did a short review of it on my "Diet Reviews" page, near the bottom.)

Anyway, the promises hCG makes are true.  You lose anywhere between a 1/2 lb to a pound or two a day.  It was a no brainer, at least for the contest, so I did the research, put my mind to it and did the hard work as far as following the program.  I lost 15 lbs and won the $160 dollar pot.

I absolutely loved the structure of it!  You cannot cheat on hCG.  You have to follow it to a T, so once I got that in my head, it was easy to do.  And, I had plenty of energy, wasn't tired, had clear skin, no aches or pains and I was seeing daily results, so that is motivation in itself.

After I completed my first round of homeopathic hCG drops, I took a few weeks off between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then started another round of hCG because I had a Mexican beach vacation on the horizon.  The second round of the diet I focused on as more of a cleanse/detox so that when I did introduce starchier foods or potential allergens later in the protocol, I would know which ones were culprits.  I also did allergy testing during this time so knew which foods to avoid when I was done.  I completed this round the day before I headed to Mexico with Jason.  I was down 15 more pounds and felt good.  I ate chips and guacamole and drank margaritas on the beach all week.  I gained 5 pounds, all worth it :)

When we returned from Mexico I was up a few pounds but not freaked out about it.  Jason and I started doing P90X in the mornings so I had a routine to help me stay focused.  I leveled out around 145 lbs but even after P90X I could still grab some meat on my thighs, gut and I still had batwings.

In August of this year I decided to do one final round of hCG to tackle those "last 10 lbs" I've always known I could lose.  The minimum amount of days for a round of hCG is 23.  After that you are on what is called "maintenance" for 3 or 4 weeks which only introduces fats, but no starches.  Then you slowly intro carbs.  Anyway, I lost 15 lbs easily and when I came off it, I didn't eat my allergens and felt great!

One thing I loved about hCG is the results.  I feel so healthy and strong, I'm able to play on the floor with my baby and chase my daughter around the yard.

One thing I've hated about it is it opened the door to my closet where I've hid my skeletons all these years.  It has made me face my food addiction and start this journey of making peace with myself.

Even though I hate that part, I'm thankful I did hCG because it's caused me to realize that the last 30 years haven't been about a number on a scale, but about my heart and aspirations, and never really feeling like I was free to dream out loud...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Ask Myself?

So, as a result of yesterday's post I received some encouraging emails, texts, calls, prayers offered up for my crazy self.  Thank you!  Seriously!  Thank you all so much for your encouragement!  I promise I wasn't fishing, but I will say your love and support has lifted me!  (I linked yesterday's post to's what I said along with it: 
"To be real honest with you, I don't like sharing this particular blog with's easier to share it with strangers who don't know me from Adam, don't care about me, and won't ever hold me accountable. So, please forward this to "other people" and let's just keep pretending I have my act together..."
One friend emailed me the questions, "YIKES!  This has nothing to do with 10 lbs on the scale.  You are absolutely being tyrannical and why?"; "You would never approach your Emily with this kind of perfectionist rant.  But it's okay to treat yourself this way.  Why?"; and finally, "I think I would want you to ask yourself - for the next 24 hours - to prayerfully seek out what you are so angry about. I had a counsellor spring this on me once and I was in shock and considerable denial. What? Me angry? No way!"

So, I asked myself...

Am I angry about something?  I don't think I'm angry, but am I, indeed angry?

WHOA!  I tell you what, all you have to do is pick up the phone and call the counseling don't even have to make an appointment, just the act of it can set digging up the past and healing for the future in motion!   And, of course, asking yourself if you are angry about something...but DO actually make the appointment since the can of worms is open and not meant to be tackled alone.  (Unfortunately for you, I don't feel like it's appropriate to go into all my anger issues here either ever, or, at least until I speak to a counselor who can help me maybe put it into words that can encourage you on your own journey.)

My friend is partly right.  It isn't about 10 lbs up or down on the scale.  And, it is.  I feel like I've lived the last 20ish years of my life wishing I could just lose those last "10 lbs."  And I DID lose those last 10 lbs, just a few months ago, and about 10 lbs ago

And inside, and outside, I was happy!


But it had been a goal for so long that when I reached it, I really didn't know what to do with it.  It sounds so strange, I realize, but it's almost like I didn't know how to be the 10 lb lighter me.  (THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN AN IDEAL TIME TO HAVE BEEN IN COUNSELING...NOTE TO SELF...) 

I did it for me and only for me, so I wasn't ready or even thinking about what others would say.  I mean, when we watch "The Biggest Loser" we cheer them on, even shed tears we are so happy for them, but when I finally break through a physical stronghold that has symbolically been a spiritual and mental battlefield, there was no party held or overall congratulatory sentiment.  Instead, with wrinkled brow one person said I was too skinny.  Someone else said they weren't used to me being thin.  "You're not eating enough," spoken to me as I was eating an extra large salad with meat, veggies, oil and nuts on top...

Don't get me wrong, there were plenty that celebrated with me.  They told me "Great Job!" and "Tell me what you did?!"  I was encouraged and shared my story, encouraged them they could do it too, that I hadn't felt healthier inside or out in years, that I was so glad I finally felt clean and healthy.  It helped my heart to know I could encourage someone else on a similar journey.

So then why were those few negative comments so detrimental to my mindset?  Why did I listen to their words, digest them, and instead of allowing them to leave my body as waste, keep those negative sentiments (disguised as concern) stored up in me?  (*Did you know that fat cells store toxins?  Do you see the symbolism here?)

Anyway, the big bold letters up top tell a lot of the story...

I'm glad my friend posed the questions that she did.  It gives me some homework to do over the next few weeks as I prepare for counseling.  Poor counselor better hold on tight and bring a napkin because I think I may just puke all over her...symbolically, of course!

Monday, November 14, 2011


As I stepped out of the shower yesterday morning, I wished Jason hadn't been there, brushing his teeth.  I felt frumpy.  Squishy.  Not svelte.  The last few days I have felt like I am spinning out of control, like some toy top with no destination.  My head has been jacked up.  Jacked.  In High School when we all had to shower and change in an open setting for PE, I was the girl strategically holding my towel with my teeth, backside up against the open locker, maneuvering my clothes so no one would see my parts.  I'm NOT that way with my husband, but I will say that when I feel fat or ugly, I wish for his own good he didn't have to see me.

Perspective.  It's all about perspective, though.  What my eye sees and what my husband sees are apparently two different things.  I wish I could see what he sees 100% of the time instead of seeing through the foggy battleground that is my mind!

Me:  Sweetheart, let's just talk about the elephant in the pun intended, ironically...

He stared at me blankly.

Me:  Sweetheart, obviously I've gained 10 lbs in the last month...I feel out of control with food and I just need to figure out how to get my head on straight!  I'm sorry I'm such a freak!

Him:  Adrienne, I think you are gorgeous!  I just wish you would go to counseling like you said you wanted to for a while, and get some help.  I know your mom or my sister would be glad to watch Ry while you go to an appointment, or you could go on a Friday when I work from home.  I just want you to be okay...

Me:  You are right.  I'll call tomorrow.

I have gone to counseling off and on in the past for grief.  Several months back I called to make an appointment to talk about body image but they didn't have an opening for a month and feeling as desperate as I did at the time, a month was too far out, so I just never made an appointment.  I must have gotten my act together for a time because life just went on.

Well, this past weekend was a horrible, no good, very bad weekend in my food arena.  Not only did I eat out of boredom and stress (it's not that I am ever's that my plate gets so full I'm not able to get a clear picture of priority vs. busyness and I want to accomplish SOMETHING so then I just multi-task piddly things that don't leave me feeling like I did anything right!) but I unknowingly ate a hearty helping of really yummy turkey meatballs that were likely made with egg and gluten, two of my allergens.  I'm NOT exaggerating when I tell you that my stomach was so distended yesterday and last night I looked 7 months pregnant...and I'm not kidding!  That's just how I I felt was like a pregnant lady in her first trimester but with 2nd and 3rd trimester cravings!  Confession:  I tried a new gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free chocolate chip cookie recipe and ate a dozen.  I sent the rest to Em's class.   

This morning at 8:30 I called the counseling office.  December 8th is the first opening.  Tears rimmed my eyes because it seems so far out there!  I secured the time slot and breathed calmly not letting the receptionist hear the choke in my throat that was tightening from the tears that were now flowing.  I even smiled as I finished up the call so as to mask my now shaky voice.

It took a lot for me to make that call.  The funny thing is, just the act of making the call helped the spinning in my head at least slow down a bit.   

I know I have problems.  That's why I have this stupid blog.  Why I feel out of control lately, I'm not sure?!  One thing I do know is until December 8th at 11:00 I'm going to keep myself very, very, very, very, very, very busy.  When I am busy I don't graze nor do I have time to think about food.  There is a scripture in Titus that talks about the young wives being busy at home.  God put it on my heart the other day.  I've translated my mile-long task and to-do list to actually being busy when in reality, I've been doing the fight or flight approach.  All the things that are left undone in my home are so overwhelming and seem daunting that I blow them off and survive in the day to day, accomplishing things that are daily tasks, therefore never checking off the big ticket items...

No point to this post and no eloquent way to end it.  I'm spinning.  I'd like to stop spinning and just be.  I want to be free to finally be me.

More thoughts tomorrow...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Documentation: Ladies Only!

It's Friday which means I updated my weekly weigh-in.  I'm up 3 pounds from last week, but I also want to be scientific and document my circumstances, so I have to take into account that I started my period this morning so have been eating large volumes for the last 3 days!  I'm thinking that's likely why I am up a little. (Ya think?!)  I want to learn how to listen to my body and not be ruled or driven by a number on a scale, so, on the weigh-in page next to my entry it says, "menses" for my own record.

Over the last several years I have experimented with eating and avoiding certain foods around my period or during the two weeks prior to its arrival.  First of all, let me say my brother-in-law is a Naturopathic doctor and Acupuncturist.  He studied at Bastyr University and knows a lot about women's health.  It was from him that I first learned this information...putting it into practice, though, was another story!

I'm not sure about you, but way back when in Junior and Senior High, and in college, there were days I'd skip class or school altogether because I had such horrible cramps and bloating surrounding that time of month.  Now, when you are in Junior High and this happens, there's an element of "cool" because, well, you have your period.  But let's be honest, as a grown up, there's nothing cool about wasting a day away, or even two, laying on the couch because you are in so much pain.  It just plain old sucks and isn't practical as a parent, in my case!

So, I decided to experiment and put Dr. Graves' wisdom into practice.  How "wise" could it possibly be to avoid chocolate EH-VER, let alone prior to when I wanted it most?!  I guess we would see...
For the two weeks leading up to my period, this would be from the time you ovulate, I took out all caffeine.  This helped a little with breast lumpiness and tenderness, but it didn't eliminate my bloating, pain or cramps.  I was still eating whatever I wanted, thinking coffee and chocolate (the only 2 things I really wanted) were the only culprits.  They weren't.

The next month for those two weeks leading up to my period I eliminated caffeine and refined and processed foods like: sugar, flour, crackers, cookies, muffins, etc. and really focused on eating whole foods, including meat, veggies, and fruit.  (*Don't ask, "Is there anything I can eat, then?!"  Yes, there is!  I ate salads with grilled chicken, steak, sweet potatoes and asparagus, huge spinach salads with salmon, grapes, pecans, balsamic dressing, stir-fry with tons of veggies and meat minus the rice, etc.  You can eat a ton!)  Anyway, at this point I was still eating yogurt and eggs, not knowing I had sensitivities to them at the time (I just figured I was "farty" for life...yes, I just wrote "farty"...).  Regardless of the sensitivities, I was blown away by the results!  My period, which historically for me was always heavy and lasted one full week, was a piece of cake!  At least according to my standards!  Three days and no cramps!  Cha-ching!

When I finally found out my allergies and sensitivities and combined that knowledge with eliminating bloating/inflammatory foods the two weeks prior to my period, I hardly even knew I had a period, it was just that non-monumental!  (Would that be nonumental?)  And I wasn't farty, to boot!

So do I eat this way all the time, given I KNOW it works and my body loves me when I treat it nicely?  Nope.  Like I said yesterday, in the last month I've recently had some tough food weeks (damn Halloween).  And by "tough" I mean I've knowingly hosted my own carb-fests, knowing it'd pack on a pound or two or more the next day, but also knowing how to lose it rather easily by cutting them out...unfortunately, it's gradually stayed on going from 132ish to 138ish..

What the heck is my point?!  Not totally sure here but I will say this, if you are of the opinion that food and disease or autoimmunity or fatigue and cramps, aches and pains are not related, if you have not actually experimented by eliminating culprits out of your life (and replaced them with whole foods) and spent time documenting the results and how you feel, then your opinion isn't scientifically-based but rather craving-based...and that just doesn't hold weight in this discussion.  This is why America is so hooked on medication!  We don't want to do the work to eliminate the culprits...we want drugs to cover up the symptoms!

Don't get me started...that's another post, altogether!

In the meantime, have a great weekend!  See you Monday!

Ade xoxox

p.s.  I'm having some problems with the "Labels" so will hopefully be able to add them later for your navigating convenience :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Time vs. Goals

So, I had a thought this occurred to me that even though I've had a goal or number in mind to reach over the years, I have functioned more within time frames, or dates of completion.

I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to explain my thought process, but let me try...

For sake of example, officially P90X is a 90 day program.  What you end the program with after 90 days is the result of the workout and discipline, but what if it's not your goal weight?  Of course, if you stuck with it, you'll be happy with the results regardless if you reached your goal because it's a great program, and if you didn't, you'd sign up for another round until you did.

For me, I think no, I know, I've been looking at certain dates or frames of time in order to accomplish my goal so when that date or event rolls around and I didn't lose those specific pounds or whatever, I get discouraged...and then I usually temporarily give up and self-sabotage.

Is this even making sense?

This is all the more reason why I need to get a lifestyle plan that works for me! 

Also, the way my mind works, I need to set small, attainable goals that are not time-sensitive or time-restrictive, and work towards those.  It's really semantics.  It might take 3 weeks to lose 10 lbs, for example.  And, it's possible that you could lose 10 lbs in 3 weeks.  Same thing, but maybe thinking about it differently?  Glass half-full/half-empty type of thing?  However, if your goal is to lose 10 lbs and it takes 4 weeks or 7 weeks, your goal is still the same, it's not a race against time, it's a journey towards a final outcome or result.

Man, this is freeing for my head to write this out! 

Maybe you've known this all along, but for me, it's been more about a race against the clock...not my biological clock but clocks like: beach vacation coming up in 4 wks, summer break/have to take kids to pool in 6 wks, shorts season approaching in 3 wks.  Does anyone know what the freak I am talking about, here?!

Speaking of biological clocks, I turn 40 in two months.  I'm really excited about it!  I think it's kind of cool, like coming of age, finally being a grown-up :)  Anyway, I was telling myself in my head that I wanted to be steady at 132 lbs by January 8th, mine and Elvis' birthday.

BUT INSTEAD!!!!  I am setting a goal of 132 lbs.  Today I am not there but I was just a month ago.  I had a couple of rough weeks with food between then and now.  But, all my new jeans fit nicely at 132 (and I can't afford to go buy the next size up and I got rid of all my old and I'm not totally flat chested like I was when I was down at 128 or even 130...I like a little bosom on me :) so 132 works for me.  Anyway, when January 8th rolls around, I will weigh myself that day because it's part of my morning routine, but if I haven't reached my goal by then it won't throw me off, because my goal is not on a time frame, it doesn't have a deadline, but it's still motivating nonetheless.

You may be thoroughly confused, but I'm glad I figured this out!  Another step towards freedom!

(FYI, I posted a fall breakfast recipe under the recipe tab...check it!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Made for Greatness!

One reason I am so passionate about conquering this addiction is the time and energy that is spent on any one given day. 

I have wasted so many years of my life wishing I was skinnier or had thighs like her or a flat belly!  It's frustrating and I'm not going to let it run my thoughts anymore!

I know that when God designed me, and when He designed you, He had greatness in mind.   
And, He designed us in a way, like Himself, in His image, to live and love BIG!  

He intended for our hearts to be consumed with love, our minds to enjoy peaceful thoughts and our bodies to move and function in total health.  And, this not only for ourselves but so that we could encourage others.  Imbalance and stress or overemphasis in one area or another causes us to get out of whack.  Random examples:  instead of love we hold onto offense, allowing bitterness and resentment to build up in our hearts...then our minds follow suit and it's all we can think about, how so and so hurt us and we'll never let them forget it...and then, that offense hardens our hearts and literally builds up in our bodies manifesting itself in so many different ways, ie. over-eating or eating junk, addiction, not taking care of ourselves, even obsessing about weight loss/management or exercise, etc...all things that can lead to disease...all things that are self, self, selfish.

No.  Nope.  Nosiree.  When God made me I know He made me for greater things than food addiction and self-loathing!  It's so interesting, see, I believe we are tempted or slyly lured away by the Devil by things that are the opposite of what we were made for or how we are meant to impact our world.  Example:  My name is Adrienne.  It means "Rich, Bold and Confident" however, looking back at different seasons in my life, I have struggled with insecurity, poverty of heart, and never feeling like I am good or pretty enough.

If you ask any one of my closest friends what my passion in life is they would answer, "Adrienne LOVES women and wants to see them know just how in love God is with them!"  If you don't believe me, call this number:  867-5309.  Just kidding.  Not so sure my friends want their cell numbers posted in the blogosphere.  Anyway.

But seriously. 

I believe that if I keep on allowing myself to be side-tracked with food addiction and its effects, I will be side-tracked from doing what I was meant to do and what I love to do most:  ENCOURAGE WOMEN!

Now, I love the guys, too, don't get me wrong, but High School is the earliest memory of really wanting to encourage and inspire women to be who God made them to be.  So, I go with it.  I know there's someone else out there wired with the same passion to encourage and challenge men towards greatness, so I'm not worried about them missing out :)

So, there you have it...the driving force behind my desire to be healed and free!  I've pissed enough of this life away on this topic!  It's like I'm Eve, stuck at that damn tree with the frigging apple dangling in her face! 

Move away from the tree, Adrienne...and move on to bigger and better things!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Searching for the Right Fit

There is a method to my madness.  I'm sure in your heart and mind you have a method, too.  It makes sense to you, but to onlookers, well, they just may not get it.

If you looked at my "Diet Reviews" you may have come away overwhelmed with all the ways of eating I have tried.

I feel for you.

How do you think I feel?

In trying out different "diets" over the years or ways of eating, if you will, I know that at the beginning I was looking for the quick fix for fat and weight loss, even if that meant compromise.

Now I am looking for what makes my machine run optimally.  I want to know, and practice, the way of eating and stewardship that helps me spring out of bed in the morning to meet the day, utilize the nutrients in food for energy and health, and eliminate and halt the autoimmune responses that are already occurring in my young body.  I'll talk about these in another post...

I have figured out some of my allergies, but I know that sometimes I eat something that seems like it should be a "safe" food and I bloat up or almost kill my family with noxious gas.  (Why lie?  This is an "honest" blog site...right?!) *This almost ALWAYS occurs for me when too many sugars/starches/grains/dairy have been consumed, fyi.

The point is, I need to listen to my body, love it, take care of it and give it nourishing, healthy, whole foods a majority of the time.

I take the time to feed my spirit and my soul through reading and prayer, but my body has been neglected and abused.

It's time in my journey to listen to my body and stop just watching numbers on a scale!

So, I am searching for the right fit...that is, the right fit for me.  And, I'm not talking about jeans or a number on the scale.  I am talking about a healthy way of eating, every day, not just a week here or a week there, but a lifestyle, that will have me feeling my best to face each day.

Every book I've read on diet and health allows for a "cheat day" or a "day off" where anything goes, or two cheat meals in a week.  So, with that understanding, I know I can make healthy changes and once in a while still have beloved chocolate or a plate of yummy gluten free pancakes.

As a result, I have done some research over the last several months.  There are three ways of eating, three different approaches according to style, but all with similar theories, I am going to test on myself over the next several months to a year to find what works for me.  My idea is to give each "program" or lifestyle 4 months.

Feel free to join me if you'd like, or try your own thing and share.  However, the criteria is this:  the program must have whole foodsWhat are whole foods?  Whole foods are foods found closer to the original design of how God made them.  So, for instance:  an apple is a whole food, whereas an apple cinnamon sugar cereal with Red Lake#40 is not.  Therefore, if you try a system that is based upon processed boxed foods, powders and artificial sweeteners, and still lose weight, that's fine to share your celebration with those of us reading here, but as far as health goes, I won't ever recommend or encourage another person to go down that road, as well.  God didn't make Red Lake#40...He made red apples, red tomatoes, red peppers, red onions, red beets, red strawberries, red get the idea :)

So, here are the plans:

I haven't decided in which order to begin, because they all seem pretty solid, but if you have one in particular you'd like me to try out first, by all means, let me know and put it in the comments.

If you have a friend that you know is struggling with similar issues, just wants to learn about a new way of eating and health, wants a fresh blog to read, or just wants to gawk at a lady on her search for freedom from addiction, feel free to share this journey with them as I share my own.

Maybe I'll even give away a copy of the book I'm following to a blog reader, just to make it fun for everybody :)  Details to come...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Just a head's up...

Hey, I just wanted you to know that I don't necessarily endorse or support all those ads on my blog.  I am cleaning that up as soon as possible with the help of my techy hubby, so don't judge me :)

Friday Weigh-In

So, if anyone knows how to change my "Weekly Weigh-In" page format so it can be in blog entry form, please shoot me an email at or comment here.  Thanks!

This morning I got on the scale after I emptied my bladder and it said 142.8.  I thought, "Okay, that's weird, but maybe that's what it is."  And I didn't even freak out or go into a tailspin.  My head was on straight, but because of the previous day's number, I wasn't totally convinced.  Then Jason hopped on and he said it was off by quite a bit.

We have a 14 month old who likes buttons.  He likes to push buttons.  He likes to push buttons on mommy's scale.  I'm sure as he gets older he'll learn how to push some of mommy's other buttons...

After my husband with 10+ years of education in engineering played around with it, it finally balanced.  Also, I knew it could not be right since yesterday my journal entry was 136.4 and yesterday was not my "day off" or "cheat day." 

Tim Ferriss, the 4-Hour Body Guy is how I'll refer to him here, says that a cheat day can pack on between 1 and 8 pounds, but it comes off within a day of eating healthy and clean again because it's mostly water weight hanging on in our fat cells.  So, I don't freak out about numbers all that much anymore.  But, like I said, yesterday was not my cheat day.

Anyway, I can't believe I'm putting this out there.  There you have it.

Have a great weekend!

Ade xoxox

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cha, cha, cha, cha, changes!

So, I made some changes to this blog...this blog that I've neglected...on purpose...because I haven't wanted to face my demons...and because life's been busy and I haven't made it a priority. 

The problem is, I keep getting emails encouraging me to actually write on this blog.  I'm not one for crowd pleasing or peer pressure, but I do give into my gut.  (Ha, no pun intended since a lot of times I do give into my gut which is kind of what this blog is all about.) 

I mean, my gut has been telling me what I've known for a while...I thrive with consistency.  Writing here, journaling my thoughts and sharing this journey is one way for me to have consistency and structure or routine in my life.

So, as you can see up at the top of the blog, I've added some tabs, or pages.  Go check them out.  I'd love some feedback if these are helpful pages or not...and I suppose if I should add another one, what should it be?

The page I'm not super excited about but it will be a good motivator is titled "Weigh-In."  I know, it's ballsy...and at this point, I'm at a healthy weight and not even trying to lose fat but build muscle so it's not like I want the number to go down necessarily.  The page is more of an accountability check for me to maintain.  With the holidays coming up, it'll be interesting to see the numbers...anyway, I'll update it every Friday as long as I have access to a scale. 

It's also for you, if you'd like.  But, if you don't want to share, you don't have to....but, it'd be nice if you did :)

There you have it.  I need freedom.  Total freedom!  I am ready to live my life healed and this is part of the process.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day 1, number 8 billion and 36...

...or something like that.

In my new food/weight loss journal, I am on page 11.

Of the 11 page entries, 3 of those pages are titled, "Day 1."

Today is the third of those days...

I'm not sure why I have the need to start over each time I make a mistake and don't stick with an eating plan. (I just changed the "don't" in the previous sentence from "can't" which I had initially typed...because, let's be honest, I can stick to an eating plan and so can you. We are able. It's that I don't make the choice to, at times.) As I was just out on the hammock enjoying 5 minutes of quiet on this beautiful summer day, I think I actually figured out WHY I keep drafting "Day 1's."

It's my own self-driven desire for perfection. Why do I think I need to be perfect? No one is perfect. I'm not even sure anyone is expecting perfection from me. There is no such thing as perfect, anyway. Even models are airbrushed!

Maybe it's my innate desire to be as I was intended to be, like God created us to be way back when?

Nope. That's not it.

I'm not going to pretend it's that spiritual. Not in a good spiritual way, anyway. Actually, as I just grabbed a slice of my apple, (that's ironic...) and was about to type out a different thought, this one came to mind, "The pursuit of perfectionism is the original sin. Like original, when Satan wanted to be just like God. Perfectionism makes you your own worst enemy."




So then do I give up my pursuit? I mean, losing 10 lbs is not so I can look like God, it's so I don't have bat wings or a roll when I sit down.

No. I don't think I need to give up the pursuit of losing 10 lbs and being healthy. I just need to change my mind, my thinking, my perspective and come to the realization that even when I do lose 10 lbs, I won't. Be. Perfect.

So, on a practical note, I also think I've had lots of "Day 1's" because many of the eating plans I've followed are 3 or 4 phases of 2 to 3 weeks a piece, and they build on the success and adherence of the previous phase. But, I think my head has become too legalistic, so, starting today, on this "Day 1" of the next 8 weeks, I will write the rest of the days in my journal in sequential order.

And, if I have a day that is less than satisfactory, I will journal it. I will simply just write it down.

I know. It seems like this should be obvious, nothing near rocket science, but for me, it's like a brand new discovery. I'm only on "Day 1" yet this revelation to write out the good, the bad and the ugly, but without making a new "Day 1" each time I mess up is kind of exciting! You see, I'm a really good starter, but the follow through is touch and go sometimes, especially if something seems to be dragging on or has lost my interest. And, I imagine with my unhealthy drive for perfection, writing down something that "outs" my failures isn't something I want to see in writing. But I think it will be good for me. Part of the journey...

You know the weird part? This is all relative. I mean, for me losing 10 lbs will help me feel healthy and strong. It's not like I'm going to go send in pictures of myself to some agency, because, one, I would have to lose 30 for them, two, I don't want to be a model, and three, it's not for the recognition of anyone else.

Nope. Those 10 lbs are for me. And I know I can do this.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Triple C's

Last week was a roller coaster. I was doing splendidly, eating all the right foods (lots of green stuff and colored veggies, good proteins), felt fantastic, physically and mentally, and then WHAM-O! I was hit like a ton of bricks with strep throat. At first I thought it was just sinus stuff because that can affect your throat, but then I got a text from my friend whose little girl had spent the night over the weekend reporting that she had it.

After two days of tolerating the pain, I woke up as the main act in the sword swallowing act at the circus. I will be on antibiotics for two weeks! Arghhhhhh!

The crazy thing, which isn't crazy b/c I know what drugs can do, but I had lost 4.5 lbs in 3 days last week by eating so healthily and taking out all my allergens. And then WHAM-O! As soon as I started taking the antibiotics and sucking on sugary throat drops, the scale said I had gained 5 lbs. Seriously?! But yeah, even though antibiotics kill bad bugs, they also kill the good ones that we need in our bodies, so, it's obvious that I'd retain lots of excess fluids in my cells while I'm on the drugs.

Anyway, yesterday I needed chocolate chip cookies. I was even so desperate that I entertained the thought of making them with gluten-y wheat flour, knowing I'd stink for a few days. Actually, I wanted them so badly that I even thought of asking Jason to bring one home from the grocery store bakery...and let me tell ya, that's gotta be desperate because, really, how good can those waxy things actually be?!

Yeah, I thought about them.

I tried to ward off the evil thoughts.

I thought about them again and again and assured myself just a few chocolate chips would suffice...they didn't...not even a couple dozen chocolate chips sufficed...

I finally decided I just needed to go ahead and whip up a batch, eat some, and be done with the pestering thoughts, already.

So, that's what I did.

And I made them super big. They were so stinking delicious! I ate 5, as well as dough while I scooped them up. I'd show you pictures, you know, all fancy blog style, like, "Here's me cracking an egg if you've never cracked a stinking egg ever in your life", "This is my batter in my fancy mixer" and "This is me scooping dough onto parchment paper like a real chef." But, I ate them up too fast, then gave them to Em and Jason, then bagged them and shipped them off to work with Jason so I didn't have to look at them that's why I don't have visual aids.

And guess what?! It worked.

Making the cookies, eating some up, enjoying them, but not wanting to eat another and then getting them out of my house totally worked.

I don't need cookies anymore. Today I enjoyed my eggs and spinach and didn't want cookies. I'll eat them again one day, but now I know how I need to do it.

I need to make them as a batch for other people or events where many people are involved, not only the people who live in my house, then give some to Jason and Em, you know, the hot fresh ones, then ship the rest off for the enjoyment of others, as well.

How do you get the cravings out of your house?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Testing, testing...

So, not too long ago I would have freaked out if the scale read a pound or two more than the previous day.

I'm not exaggerating
. For reals.

And by "freaked out" I mean, I would have obsessed, thought I was a failure, given up for that particular day, and thought, "Oh well, I'm destined to suck at losing weight!" And thought it was darned near the end of the world...except we all know that already came and went :)

Previously I said on here that I wouldn't recommend weighing on a scale each day. I would like to retract that statement...I said it when I was mad at the scale. I have a better relationship with it now.

It's my scientific friend.

Let me give you an idea of what the scale has shown me in the last week:
  • Monday: 148.6 (Had just come off a weekend of eating whatever the heck I wanted...I guess I'll need to define what that means at some point because my "whatever the heck I wanted" is different from the next guys...)
  • Tuesday: 147.4 (Monday I made some simple changes, got rid of the processed carbs but ate lots of veggies, some fruit, chicken and steak...)
  • Wednesday: 144.4 (On Tuesday I had lots of veggies, meat and fruit, some red wine with dinner and then a cupcake for dessert...I was at a going away party, what can I say? But, either way, I still lost a boatload of lbs. from the previous day.)
  • Thursday: 144.2 (On Wednesday I had a second gluten-free chocolate cupcake with butter cream frosting b/c if it's around, I want to eat them, and, I had paid good money for those cupcakes, so wasn't going to allow "no-carbs" to get in my way. Why lie, right?)
  • Friday: 145.2 (So, Thursday I had eaten Greek yogurt. I ate it in lieu of taking my normal daily pro-biotic supplements. I wanted to see what getting my pro-biotics through dairy would do to me because I have a dairy allergy. Well, apparently it encourages my body to retain fluids, aka toxins in my fat. I also had a yummy pina colada that my hubby made me...I'm pretty sure that was a culprit, as well, but after the week we've had, you would have had one, too!)
Now, could it have been that the 2 cupcakes caught up with me? After the first one I ate, I had lost 3 pounds from the previous day. So, I don't think it was that. Honestly, I've approached this last week as an experimental one so I could see what foods were culprits, journaling my food intake, how I've felt in the mornings...basically testing food and its effect on me.

Now, obviously, if I'm trying to cut out high-glycemic carbohydrates and sugars for a time, eating two cupcakes and having a pina colada won't help. But, they showed me that my body is sensitive to sugars, that is for sure.

Here were my constants each day, these things never changed:
  • 3 servings of lean proteins (eggs, chicken, fish, beef - I have low iron so need the beef)
  • 4-5 servings of veggies
  • 1-2 servings of fruit, ie; apples or strawberries
  • Organic lemon detox tea w/lemon each morning
  • Organic green tea
  • RAW Green powder drink each day
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Flax Oil
  • Supplements: my multi-vitamin w/pro-biotics and omega fish oil
  • At least ten 8oz glasses of water throughout the day
So there you go. I am not freaked that I gained a pound because it's more intriguing to know what foods bother me. Today, Friday, I have eaten just like listed above, minus any sweets. I did have the remainder of the Greek yogurt with Stevia and cinnamon in it. Usually I eat coconut yogurt, but it doesn't have ANY protein in it, which is part of the point of consuming pro-biotic yogurt. My friend, however, just told me about a good trick to change that: add a scoop of protein powder (I buy "Garden of Life" RAW protein b/c it doesn't contain any of my can buy something yummier like whey, pea, or egg protein) to the coconut yogurt and, voila, I have yogurt that contains both pro-biotics and protein! I will try that soon.

It will be interesting to see what the scale says tomorrow.

Even after the week we have had, I didn't eat emotionally, nor did I obsess about the scale or what foods I was consuming. My goal is still between 135 and 140, but I feel like I've got my head on my shoulders, presently.

And I'm on this journey, one day at a time.

Monday, May 23, 2011


This is going to be quick because my heated blankie is upstairs waiting for me. And by "heated blankie" I don't mean Jason. I mean an actual blanket, the best Christmas present I have ever received, and it was something I had put away for the season, but, it's been pulled back out since Spring won't spring!

Anyway, I do know this is all trivial in light of what people throughout the Midwest and South are experiencing. I really am praying for them and asking God to show me a practical way to be of assistance from this far away. I have driven through Joplin probably 50 times in my life from AZ to MI and then in college from OK up to SD and MN. I have family and many friends that live in Minneapolis. I have heard stories. I have seen pictures. I have watched the news. I am praying.

I don't feel much about writing on the topic of food today. I have written my food entries and my weight in my food journal. I picked up another book at the library yesterday that I've been on the wait list for now for 2 months. It's called The 17 Day Diet by Dr. Mike Moreno. I had researched it while I was on the wait list and from what I have gathered, it's similar in approach to The Fat Flush Plan. It also incorporates some of what is in The 4-Hour Body...and basically that is, eat lean proteins, lots of veggies, eat or take probiotics, eat low-glycemic fruits before 2pm, good fats like olive oil and omegas, and low amounts of carbs, carbs coming from legumes or veggies.

This is all stuff I know. And it works. And I know that, too. Don't eat white stuff...

This book, as well as the wired guy from The 4-Hour Body book, said that in order to really stick to your plan and get results, you had to journal or document with pictures and writing, and you had to make your journey known. Either with a buddy who would do it along with you, or an online journal, or something. I haven't wanted to tell you that stuff. Not sure if I will, yet, or ever. Just writing has been a baby step for me. But if I could do this with somebody else, it might work better? I don't know. When I have worked out with friends in the past, at some point, we have mutually brought each other down, or cheated and not really been tough on the other. Not sure what I want. Not a lot of people want to go public with their struggles, let alone their weight and measurements...

Anyway, I want to be done with this blog, that I know. Not because it's vulnerable but because it's lame that I have to even "go there" in order to be free from it.

The forgiveness part has been huge for me. My eye surgery has been huge, too, for some reason. One of my biggest driving points is my daughter. She is the age I was when this whole stupid journey began. More than anything, I want her to live a life free of this struggle. I have kept it on the DL as much as possible, from her. I watched people I loved yo-yo diet and it's not what I want to model to my kids at all. We don't even use that word...

I am on a search for balance. I know my body is different from yours and the guy's next door. So, my journey will be different. But the balance part, my view of food and view of myself, those are things that are coming closer to center than being way out in left field. I just don't want to spend a whole lot more time actually caring about my weight when there are far more important things to care about in the real people, with real hearts, that long to tell their stories...

Friday, May 20, 2011



Jesus said some hard stuff.

Like the one about forgiving 7 x 7o times. At least we can stop forgiving the culprit at offense number gets me through sometimes...just kidding.

So what does that mean? Let someone keep treating me like crappola? That is not what forgiveness means. It's not what Jesus meant. I think it went more like this:

  • In junior high a boy told me I was fat in my bikini. I wasn't. He was just an ego-maniac and I was a 7th grader who had hit puberty. At the time I just thought he was an idiot. Over time he's proven it. After some time I forgave him. And since then, as I can still remember the kid and remember the conversation, I have had to forgive him as the offense creeps up into my heart, even as a 30+ year old.
  • My freshman year of high school, a sophomore boy I thought was cute, who flirted with me even, told me I was built like a football center. I wasn't. He was. But, over the years as I've looked in the mirror his words of pure ignorance have come to mind, even though that has never been the reflection at all. I have had to forgive him, even though he has no place in my life as a grown up, because those words, those lies, come to mind even now.
  • Someone I was hesitant about anyway recently went off on me cat-fight style. I was shocked. The person is younger than me, so part of me wrote it off as that, but the words the person chose were so targeted, hurtful, direct and calculated that, even after extending forgiveness, the conversation and nasty emails still creep up into the forefront of my mind sometimes, causing me to be offended by that other person...and defensive in my heart and mind. But, as their face flashes through my mind and I encounter their insincere greetings or gestures, I remember what Jesus said and say in my heart, "I forgive that person...I forgive that person...I forgive that person." I may be nearing 490 for that particular person...but maybe that's why Jesus said that number, because He knew no one would really want to keep track...
  • There are more, and you could name a few, too, I would venture to guess?
The point is, it's not that the person continually offends me, it's that I have allowed those lies and hurtful thoughts to linger...I have held onto them. I have held them close in order to justify the walls I have built around my heart.

Jesus didn't encourage us to, "Say you are sorry 7 x 7o times." But, sometimes that's what we expect...we want the offender to be sorry. Of course that's a good thing to want, but we can't make another person feel badly about treating us like crappola. Not even holding onto unforgiveness can do that...that only makes us feel like crappola...

Instead, Jesus equipped the one whose heart would be hurt with the tool to be free, the tool of forgiveness, letting us know we will likely have to forgive that person on several occasions, perhaps for the same offense, perhaps for the repeated memories, but as we do, we will gradually know real freedom, real life, real living.

For years I have hidden and eaten for comfort...because people have said dumb things. No, because I believed their lies and tried to protect myself. Any excuse, every excuse.

I know now what they spoke were hurtful lies, not truth. And I let myself believe them.

But using food as a comfort because another hurt my feelings just lets them get the best of me...and no one but God can have that anymore!

Yes, it was their fault for opening their big mouths. We need to choose kind words.

Yes, it is up to me to forgive them. I need to choose love.

And, it's also up to me NOT to believe them but to believe what God says about me.

He doesn't think I'm fat in my bikini and He doesn't think I'm built like a football center...

...He thinks a lot more of me than either of those two really lame sentiments. Actually, God thinks the WORLD of me...which He demonstrated for me years ago on a cross...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Research Geek in me

I'm a research geek.

Ironically I wasn't when it was assigned in school, but in real life, I enjoy it thoroughly and am fascinated by what I find.

I'm mostly talking about the human body: disease, health, nutrition, exercise, natural/organic solutions. You won't find me researching the NASA website, though it's amazing, but on a whim, I ran over there as I was typing that, looked at the pretty pictures of the vast Universe, then got an email from a friend, remembered I need to order some cupcakes for a party next week, headed to their website and just stared for 17 minutes at the delicious menu and pictures...

BUT, I'm back to whatever my train of thought was here...what was it? Oh yeah. Research.

I am not a doctor.

I actually failed chemistry, so that would be why. Anyway, the reason I am telling you this is because *this in no way is an endorsement or prescription for medical help or advice of any kind. I am a wife and mom and researcher for self. I am a seeker of pure health and I am not giving you unsolicited advice. I am just sharing my journey and the things I have researched over the last 12 to 15 years in the area of those things I mentioned above.

Pain, lack of sleep/energy, bloating and gut pain, puffy fingers and dark circles under my eyes each morning, short-term memory loss, irritability/crankiness, desired weight loss, among other things are some of the reasons I have sought out the following books/authors/doctors/websites/recipes/programs. Here is just a random sampling in no particular order:

  • The Fat Flush Plan (and her cookbook) by Ann Louise Gittleman
  • Eat Right for Your Blood Type (and his one for pregnancy/baby) by Dr. Peter J. D'Adamo
  • 40-30-30 concept, mid-90's
  • The G-Free Diet by Elisabeth Hasselbeck
  • Power90 and P90X with Tony Horton
  • Walking/Swimming/Biking/Lifting/Gym membership
  • The Weight Loss Cure by Kevin Trudeau
  • Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
  • Cooking Light magazine
  • Nutrition Almanac by Kirschmann and Kirschmann
  • Feeding the Whole Family and Feeding the Young Athlete by Cynthia Lair
  • The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss
  • Lyme's Disease sites and all related diseases/ailments
  • The Mayo Clinic website
  • The CDC website
  • Food allergy testing
  • Fasting/Cleansing/hCG
  • My brother-in-law, ND, LAc
  • My good friend, DC, FIAMA
  • And more I am forgetting...
The 4-Hour Body is my most recent find. The guy is so random that I can easily track with him. Here's a quote I personally love from his book, "Fortunately you don't have to be a human guinea pig to benefit from one." He was referring to himself since he's allowed himself to be the subject of many a science experiment to defy theories and long-believed trains of thought, faulty ones, at that.

Anyway, the reason I am sharing all this is because these, among other things, have encouraged me on my journey toward health. I don't believe every single word in every single book. I do not follow one book as if it were the formula to the fountain of youth. That is not my pursuit. Over the years my journey towards being skinny has changed into one of being a healthy person. I now know that entails body, mind and spirit. Sounds cheesy, but it's true.

Part of the problem with me lies with the reality that I think I know too much and I am an idealist.

As my friend says, I need balance. Moderation. 'Tis true. A bit of moderation is good. But, from my idealistic side, a moderate portion of toxic waste isn't something I want to whip up for dinner one night or swing through the drive-thru to consume. I know one margarita is good, 3 might be over the top. I know that a dozen tortilla chips is a fine serving, but 2 baskets before dinner comes is out of control unnecessary. I don't judge you if you think eating monkey brains, red dye #40, artificial/chemical sweeteners or waxy cheap chocolate is okay. We all have our vices. But I'm just trying to figure out when it comes to food, healthy choices, and treats once in a while, what does "moderation" look like for me?

The idealistic side of me then goes, "I can't have any chips...they are the devil...I won't have any: blah, blah, blah, because it's bad for me."

The researcher in me, however, has found that I am unable to breakdown and process or utilize gluten...and, as I've eliminated it, I realize I am not missing anything, really. And I feel better. I also have a heck of a time with dairy. It's okay. I'd rather eat a hunk of goat cheese anyway and I haven't chugged milk since high school. Kinda gross to think about...And, knowing what I do about fake foods that are uber-processed, I just can't get myself to munch on them, even if it is in "moderation."

Where am I going with this? Not really sure, but even if you are walking this journey because I've decided to walk it plainly, publicly, doesn't mean that all the right answers for me will be all the right answers for you.

You have an addiction to food for different reasons than I do.

You look in the mirror and see a different person than I do.

We are different on this journey, but doing it together can bring encouragement along the way, to both of us.

Meanwhile, I'll keep writing. Tomorrow, it's about forgiveness. Yuck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A blur of a week...

No excuses, life just got too busy, hectic, and crazy and so, I haven't been embracing the blogging world. I've been eating both healthily and like a kid in a candy store. But, I've also been praying, reading, and researching, so, at least in my mind, I am moving forward. I'll share some of that tomorrow...

My nephew got croup last week and was admitted to the ICU at Children's in Denver for the week. He was on a ventilator and had some really rough sessions. My sister and her hubby were champs and tag-teamed the whole week. I was up there some. It's a different facility than where Noah was for his hospital adventure...but the smells are the same, the machines still all make the same sounds, and the nurses still rock! He is out and home and on the road to full healing, but the turkey came down with croup on Mother's Day...not cool, mister!

The week threw me off as far as knowing what day of the week it was. As my nephew was stable, I decided to look into redeeming my Mother's Day present...Lasik eye surgery. I had already done the research and initial appointments and had determined the clinic where I wanted the procedure done, so gave them a call regarding dates and times available.

Me: Do you have any appointments for Lasik in the coming weeks, preferably on a Friday? (Jason works from home on most Fridays...)
Him: Let's see...we have an opening at 10 am on Friday, May 13th, on the 20th at 10, as well, and another on the 27th.
Me, quickly running thru the upcoming weekends in my mind: How about the 13th...I don't have plans that weekend so would be able to rest and recover.
Him: The 13th at 10 am, that sounds great. I have you down.
Me: Blah, blah, blah.
Him: Blah, blah, blah.
Him: So, we'll see you tomorrow morning, then.
Me, shocked that the day I was calling to simply inquire about an appt was Thursday, May 12th, and indeed, I would be seeing clearly in less than 24 hours: Shut up! That's TOMORROW!
Him, not rocked by my "Shut Up!": Yes, that's tomorrow. See you a little before 10.

So, yeah, that was last week. And I can see! It's fascinating! I keep reaching for my glasses on my face and next to my bedside table...but they aren't there! They've been on the kitchen counter ever since last Friday. Apparently I don't need them anymore! Apparently I don't clean my kitchen counter that often...A friend, much more spiritual than I, told me he's waiting for God to miraculously heal his eyes...(he said with a wink). Honestly, as I was lying there, lasers doing their thing, I was thanking God that He created the human brain, designed intelligence, provided synapse responses in some smart people at one point that realized there is a way to heal the eye and I was in the middle of that beautiful miracle!

And as my eyes have been literally opened, I can see more clearly the girl in the mirror. I have seen her through glasses and contacts for years. But over the past couple of weeks, can't really put my finger on it, but I can see the girl in the mirror...and I don't hate her guts. I haven't fallen madly, deeply, head over heels in love with her either, but I think she and I are getting to know each other a little least I am finally giving her a chance.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Making Out

So, it's been a busy week! I think when I'm really busy, active, not around the house in close proximity to the pantry, I don't really think about food as much. Maybe I should get a job out of the house? No. My non-profit and my jewelry business can both be done from home, and the thought of leaving Ryan makes me nauseous, so I can't escape the house, just need to find the balance.

So, the other day, Monday morning, I was 151.2, then the next day I was 150. Yesterday I was 148. Today I am 148.2. All in a week. I've eaten well and not grazed in the kitchen. When I wanted "crunchy" I have chosen apples and almonds and ants on a log. And the ".2" came literally after just having some rice and beans with my dinner last night. I also had a dozen corn chips, thinking, "It's just a shouldn't throw me off..." I guess I'm just that sensitive when it comes to carbs. I'm not concerned about the numbers...just reporting them because it helps me keep my head in the game.

HJ, it's not that I'm not having any carbs. It's that I'm trying to make the right carb choices. The closer any food is to the way God made it, the better it is for our bodies. For instance, our bodies recognize a whole grain better than once it's ground into a fine flour. It was designed to process it and use it to its fullest potential. The more we eat the foods that are processed and refined, the slower our bodies are to know what to do with them, thus storing them...It's not that I think I can't ever have these, it's that I know these things can't be the majority of my food intake.

Anyway, so, the other night while I was praying about this whole journey, something came to mind that I've never related to my eating patterns. When I was somewhere between 2nd grade and the beginning of 3rd grade, I was asked to play a game. It was in a friend's fort in his back yard and the game included me, two neighbor boys who were in either 3rd or 4th grade and another friend. The boys wanted to pretend they were Santa Claus and we had to sit on their laps and tell them what we wanted for Christmas. They told us we had to ask for French kisses. I didn't know what a French kiss was but I was soon to find out. I'm not sure how long this Christmas extravaganza went on that day, but what I do know looking back on it, is that I remember not liking it at the time. I remember thinking it wasn't something I wanted to be doing. I remember feeling like it was something I wouldn't want to tell my parents because I thought I would get in trouble. I knew it was something I wanted to hide.

I know now that my parents wouldn't have punished me.

Now, as an adult, I am mad that Satan is such a freaking pervert! I am ticked that he lies to our hearts and minds to believe that something that is supposed to be beautiful should be hidden.

I love making out with my husband. I didn't love making out with boys in a fort in Mesa, Arizona. That's too grown up for an 8 year old. Heck, it's too grown up for some college kids I've met.

Anyway, I've never really thought of that fort experience as anything other than kids being stupid. I've never related it to anything in my life as far as habits or behaviors go, because I have a healthy and beautiful relationship with my husband. But, as I trace my steps, this all happened around the same time that I began eating secretively. And, looking back at relationships I had with guys in junior high and high school, I can see that I was secretive with my behaviors with them, hiding make out sessions from my parents, not communicating with them about things, looking back, I could have saved my heart from.

I forgive those boys. One of them died while I was in 3rd grade, about a half hour after we walked home from the bus together. If I didn't forgive them then, I have already at some point, I know that for sure. I don't think the make out session with the Santa's was the reason I started eating secretly. It may be one of the key ingredients, but either way, I'm grateful God brought it to my remembrance as I am retracing these steps so I can go there, forgive again if I have to, and walk away from it knowing that I'm not a bad or unworthy girl just because I played in a fort one day in 1980. And my body doesn't have to keep taking that abuse...

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Beginning, take 2, or 3, maybe 4...

Has that ever been the case with you?

Okay, today is a new day. I'm going to start TODAY. Today is THE day, the beginning of all my carefree tomorrows...

And then, by 10 am you've browsed the fridge 12 times and the empty carbs in the pantry have wooed their way into mind, heart, and watering mouth...and then the day is shot and it's a crap shoot and, "Oh well...I messed up...too late for today, maybe I'll try again tomorrow..."

Yeah. You aren't alone. I've been there. I've done that. I'll probably do it again at some point. The reality is, upon discovering or realizing that we've fallen off the wagon, that moment is when we can say, "Okay, NOW I am starting doesn't have to be tomorrow...there's still time in TODAY!"

But, today was a new day. For reals.

As far as eating goes, I know what makes me fat. I know what foods cause me to retain fluids, get puckery, grow bat wings, dimply thighs and a nice thick ring around my waist. I know that sugars and carbs make me puffy, cranky, wrinkly and groggy, and that eating them just makes me want them more.

So, today I boycotted them.

Carbs, YOU SUCK!

No, I'm not going all Atkins or something. But what I am doing is eating 2-3 lean proteins, 3-5 veggies, a little quinoa or brown rice here and there and 2 low glycemic index fruits each day for the next month. I'm also doing a combo of P90X and INSANITY and walking. If I can't lose my excess weight by eating healthy like that and exercising, then I guess I'm just meant to be coated in this extra layer of fat that I hate. No, but really, if for some reason I can't get on top of this by June 1st then I'm going back to something I know works, and I'll share that part of the journey soon, but this isn't a place where I'm promo-ing, just fyi. Just sharing the journey.

So, yeah. I gained 6.5 lbs last week. Yep. I ate a crap load of Easter candy. Candy has nothing to do with Jesus. Just sayin'.

So, if I'm gonna be totally straight up and honest on this blog that I hate, then I guess I have to reveal all my guts and start sharing the raw stuff. Believe me, I've got some. Like how I went from 144 to 151 in a week because I wanted sugar and I didn't care. Speaking of not caring, I totally blew off my food journal when I was doing this because writing:
  • Emily's Easter candy
in your food journal just isn't cool at all. I also had blown off weighing in every day. Probably should not have done that since the scale didn't just creep, it leaped!

So, like a good/bad mommy, today I made Emily choose 10 of her favorite candy treats from her left over Easter basket and throw the rest away. She had already eaten plenty and doesn't need more, so really, I didn't feel badly and she really didn't seem to care.

And, for some reason, her candy didn't tempt me today. Maybe it was because I had already decided last night that May is a new month and that my body is my temple and I have to stop abusing it by letting it consume crap that doesn't give it life...

...or maybe the reality that the pool is opening in a month and I don't want to keep giving Emily excuses as to why her daddy is taking her to the pool and why I don't want to go...I want to sit at the pool this summer and laugh and play with my kids...and not care!!!!