Monday, September 30, 2013

A Look at What's Going Right

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.~~Marianne Williamson~~

I think we have to be aware of how very blessed we are. When the going gets rough it is so easy to think that things have always been hard and they won't ever not be. But, the truth is no matter how hard life is, life is good, and we need to remember to find the joy. When I used to speak to groups I can always tell which ones are thinking "But you don't know how hard my life is" I tell them "Ah, but I do.If we list your problems on one side of the blackboard and mine on the other, I guarantee I win, my list will be longer." But, my list of blessings is longer still, and I am trying make it a point to not let the troubles keep me from remembering that.

So, what is going right in my life? Well, I have been losing weight this year. Now that may not sound like a really big deal to some, but for me it is part of a lifelong struggle with weight. I was thin one day, in my life. It was a day in June way too many decades ago. i weighed 5 pounds even the day I was born, and at 23 inches long that made me a very skinny baby. Trouble was by my 3 week checkup-according to my baby book- I weighed 15 pounds.By the time I was 11 I weighed 300 pounds. So, this struggle to maintain a reasonable weight started early for me.

Now, over the years I have lost weight many times, many, many times. I then of course gained it all back and more. So, much to my surprise when I finally decided to try Weight Watchers some years ago, I managed to stop gaining all the weigh back after I lost it.

Nw that is not to say my journey on Weight Watchers has been a straight line. It has indeed had it's ups and downs. I have managed however to maintain a large weight loss.

I have taken a couple of major detours--my husband was killed by a drunk driver and I went on the Double Stuff Oreo diet for months, regained about half the weight I had lost.  Got back on track and lost it again, then I broke my leg, my son got sick, I lost my job and my home, and I spent last fall struggling with depression and regained some weight.

So, in January I got back on track.

I am struggling mightily these days with money problems, and it would be so easy to comfort myself with food. BUT, in times when everything is going wrong and out of control I have finally learned that the only thing I can control is what, when, and how much I CHOOSE to eat. And that surprisingly has been very liberating for me in my struggles with my weight.

So, this morning when I weighed in I lost another pound, and I am trying hard to find something to be happy about so this is it. I am ONE pound away from my lowest weight ever in the last 30 years.

So, I am indulging myself by looking at pictures to see if I can see a difference. Wanna see?

When I got married i weighed about 450 pounds....

My highest weight was about 490 a year or so later. Then I had some health issues-not weight related-and needed to lose some weight so I joined Weight Watchers and over the next few years lost 200+ pounds.

This is what I looked like when my husband was killed, I weighed about 300 pounds...

Then I went on that Double Stuff Oreo diet and gained 60-70 pounds, back to about 368 pounds...

That lasted for a while, and I got myself back on track again and lost those pounds and a few more, I got down to about 260 pounds...

I maintained that for a while, and then went through the health issues with my son, breaking my leg,losing my job, losing my house and last falls severe depression. Of course I gained some weight back, not all of it, but I got back up to 348 pounds (the good thing is I have managed to not gain back to where I was during any of these detours...

So in January I got back on track, and this is where I am now...252 pounds, one pound away from my lowest ever weight of 251...

So, I have lots of blessings I can think on...

I have good friends (some of whom you can see in the pictures), I have an amazing kid, and I am in control of what, when, and how much I choose to eat. I hope, no I PLAN to lose about 25-30 more pounds and work on maintaining that through thick and thin (in a manner of speaking) and whatever troubles come our way.

Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.~~Marianne Williamson

 And today I choose to recognize the things that are going right!!

Peace and Blessings,

p.s. I do have generous wonderful friends,and I am getting closer and closer to having the money to fix the car issues, if you feel led to share the paypal button is on the right.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finish Each Day

I have a bad attitude today. That is really unlike me, life is hard, but even though I struggle with depression, that is different than just being in a bad mood. So,needing an attitude adjustment I went looking through the files of things I have written, ands this one from 6 years ago spoke to me today.

So, here it is, letting go of yesterday and concentrarting on today--in other words remembering to live in the moment!!

Today's quote....
Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as
soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely
and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson~~

Well, sure seems like that was written just for those of us with weight issues learning to stick with a program. Finish each day and be done with it. Do not let the choices you made yesterday keep you from making the best choices you can today. Having weight issues is not a character flaw. We are not bad people, second class citizens because we sometimes slip up and make wrong choices when it comes to eating. So, if yesterday you slipped into some old habits, it has nothing to do with today. What we are pushing towards is progress, not perfection. All too many of us are perfectionists, all or nothing types, who if we slip off the program for a bit, throw our hands in the air and compound the mistake. We conclude that if we can't be perfect we just might as well not try. One of the most important lessons we need to learn is that when it comes to losing weight, we don't HAVE to be perfect. In fact, if we manage to stay on program three fourths of the time we still end up having lost weight in the long run. So, no matter what yesterday brought, start today with an eager anticipation, not based on "old nonsense" but based on today being a new day!!! Begin it well!!

Peace and Blessings,

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

From Tragedy comes a friendship

So, a few weeks ago I got a message from a friend. She was thinking of us and wondered if I would like to go out for lunch on Saturday. Well, of course I would-I don't get out much these days and I am always ready to have lunch with a friend! Her invitation was eagerly accepted, and her thinking of us was gratefully acknowledged. She was thinking of us because it was the anniversary of my husbands death.

So the day after the anniversary I had a lovely lunch with my friend and her family. This week, she messaged me again, and I spent a beautiful morning with my friend and her 13 month old daughter. We went to the park, we stopped for lunch, and we enjoyed each others company. It is good to have friends.

I will most likely never have grandchildren, so I don't get to spend much time in the company of babies or toddlers. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love little ones, so I am doubly grateful to my friend that she gives me the opportunity to spend time with her baby.

All of this is a good thing, but the really amazing thing is how she and I became friends.

My husband was killed by a drunk driver. I've said before,in our case the words 'drunk driver' mean a 22 year old girl. A young woman with her entire life before her. Recently graduated from college, with honors. From all reports, she was a goal oriented, studious college student.She is very close to her family, she goes to church on Sunday. After her May graduation she went to work, as an accountant and moved into her own apartment.

My friend worked with the young woman who killed my husband. She and some of her co-workers were very angry with the young woman, and they decided they wanted to know more about the man she killed. So, somehow, they tracked me down to the thread I post daily on the Weight Watchers message boards. Don't ask me how, apparently young people are way more computer savvy than me. Anyway, my friend was the one who posted a message to me on that thread.

We entered into an email correspondence, and then we met for coffee, and then we had lunch, and we kept in touch and became friends. She is a  lovely young woman with a good husband and an adorable daughter. Truth is, if you saw us together you would probably assume we are related, she has the same redhead coloring and freckles that I do. Her daughter probably looks like I could be her grandmother to people who see us together. This makes me happy.

I firmly believe we can't have too many friends in our lives, and I also believe that sometimes people are  brought to our lives for a reason. Now, I don't know why my friend needs me, but I know that she gives me the opportunity to love a new friend, and to spend time with and adore that precious daughter of hers.

It is amazing isn't it, a tragic situation steals the love of my life from me, plunges me into financial ruin that is unending,  and yet brings me a new friend with a child I can love. When I think about that I can't be untouched. In the midst of tragedy, a gift. For that I am grateful beyond words.I am reminded that precious jewels-and what is more precious than friendship-come from great adversity.

I am an indestructible fortress,
I am an unassailable rock,
I am a precious jewel.
--Ancient Irish Prayer

 I am not saying to you that I don't have days where I am nothing but a quivering mass of jello, but what I do have is an innate belief that I am indestructible. In fact, I am fond of saying, you can't kill me it's been tried.OK, so I know that is a slight exaggeration but most humor is. What I am saying is that I am strong enough to withstand what the world has to throw at me. If we believe we have the strength to take what the world is handing out, then we journey forth into the world in a much different manner. Our very presence changes. Our posture is taller, our countenance brighter. We shine like the precious jewel we are. Now where do jewels come from, with the exception of pearls, most things that we consider precious jewels come from the earth, from dirt and rock, created by great pressure.Not the most glamorous of beginnings So it would seem to me that the more the world throws at us, the more we manage to crawl our way through as more than a survivor, as a victor, the more precious jewel we become. Even pearls start out in an unglamorous place. Now as much as I enjoy an appetizer of oysters on the half shell, it isn't a pleasant thing to look at.But look at how that oyster reacted to an irritant that it couldn't get rid of, it surrounded that irritating little grain of sand, piece of debris, with beauty.And a precious jewel was created from irritation and probably a bit of pain.

So, out of the ashes a precious jewel of friendship has been created.Is there something hard in your life that you can look at and find the jewels? It is my experience they are there. And for that I am truly thankful.

Peace and Blessings,

p.s.-if you are led to share to help us get the car fixed the paypal button is always there to the right. I hate asking, but asking for help is a lesson I am trying to learn.


Saturday, September 21, 2013


Here's a quote for today:

“Dum spiro, spero.”
–Latin Proverb, meaning, “While I breathe, I hope.”

Hope is a wonderful gift, it means to desire with expectation of obtainment, to expect with confidence. It is one of those words that pretty much means the same thing as a noun or as a verb. Now we all remember what a verb is, it is a word requiring action. So, when we hope, we must also take action. In relation to our hopes for weight loss, if we are to desire with the expectation of obtainment, then we have to take the necessary steps to achieve that. We all know what those steps are, journaling, portion control(weighing and measuring if we have to), exercise, drink our water, eat our fruits and veggies, and our dairy. Now when me take those actions, we definitely have hope that we will be healthier. We CHOOSE to move towards that desired expectation of obtainment by CHOOSING to do what we know we have to do. So, while we breathe, we hope, and as we hope we make the best choices we can make. Then the desired expectation is in our reach. Pretty cool!!

Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Talk to Your Kids

I have friends with college age kids, and one of them is worried their kid is drinking and driving. So, I am sharing this again just as a reminder that our kids need to hear our stories.

My husband was killed by a drunk driver.

Quick, what picture did your mind flash when you read the words 'drunk driver'?

In our case the words 'drunk driver' mean a 22 year old girl. A lovely young woman with her entire life before her. Recently graduated from college, with honors. From all reports, she was a goal oriented, studious college student.She is very close to her family, she goes to church on Sunday. After her May graduation she went to work, as an accountant and moved into her own apartment.

After she got off work Friday night, she reportedly went out with some friends. Young people, enjoying themselves on a Friday night. Laughing, talking, drinking. Then she got into her car to drive home. Her blood alcohol level was around .118, well over the legal limit. In her intoxicated state she drove up a freeway off ramp, past the signs that said WRONG WAY and drove northbound in the southbound lanes for a couple of miles at freeway speeds until she hit my husband's car head on, killing him instantly I am told.

This is on my mind because my friends and I have children in this age group. Children that are stretching their wings. I remember reading somewhere about how a butterfly struggles to exit the cocoon. If we were to help the butterfly, the butterfly would not be able to fly and would die. It seems that the struggle to break free creates the strength necessary to fly. Those of us with growing children know the truth in this. We watch as our children struggle with the silken constraints, and we want so much to help them, but the most we can do is hope that we have taught them right from wrong, and that life is always about choice, and every choice has consequences. We watch our children stretch their wings, and hope they know that there is nothing they can do that will make us stop loving them. We hope they know that when we see them struggle, we will do our best to make sure they learn how to fly.

My husband and I were always very open with our son about our youthful struggles with drugs and alcohol. We felt that since genetics may play a role in addiction, we had a responsibility to tell him our stories. He knows about our 12 step programs, and why we attend. He knows that we celebrate 2 birthdays a year. In fact, he has been quite proud of our milestones over the years. He will tell you that we choose not to use alcohol at our house. He will tell you that we choose not to use illegal drugs at our house. He will tell you these things with pride in his voice, because he knows that in life there is always a choice, and every choice has consequences.

Being a parent is a hard job. We watch our children stretch their wings with such pride and fear. What if we see them struggling, when do we help, how do we help. Have we talked to them about the embarrassing stuff? Kids will groan when the subject turns to sex, drugs, alcohol. They will roll their eyes, but we must tell them anyway.

Do your children know your stories? Do they know that you were their age once, and that you made choices and lived with the consequences of those choices. Sometimes the consequences are benign. You are 22 years old and you choose to celebrate the end of the work week by going out with friends and laughing and talking and having a good time. Since you are choosing to have a drink, you have chosen whose turn it is to be the designated driver.

Sometimes the consequences are tragic, and you have too much too drink and you choose to drive drunk, and you drive up the off ramp past the WRONG WAY signs and you kill a man, and nothing is ever the same again.