Monday, September 26, 2005

Living in the Extremes

I have realized over the last few days how "extreme" I am. And, I don't mean that I am sky diving, cliff jumping, or anything like that. What I mean is, that I tend to have an "all or nothing" attitude and view on life. I am either succeeding or failing, life is either great or terrible, and on and on. I am, to quote a friend, the "queen of extremes."

This way of thinking for me really hit home for me at the end of the week last week. Someone I have been interested in is not interested in me. I did not lose any weight last week at my Weight Watchers meeting. Those two things, to me, equaled utter and complete failure. Or, at least that's how I saw them.

Now, I know sometimes an all or nothing attitude can be a real strength. I tend to sell out and commit myself whole-heartedly to people and things. When I love, I love deeply. When I care, I care passionately. When I do something, I do it with abandonment. But, when I apply that mentality to evaluating my success or failure at something, that's when it goes all awry. I can see how the enemy would twist a strength of my character and turn it into something ungodly.

After all, God created me to be this way, it is His design that I would be a zealous and determined person. I can also see how a blanket application of that way of thinking is leading me down a road I am not meant to go. After all, when I judge myself as failing, whose standards am I using? Certainly not the Lord's as it is clear in the Word that He uses all things for the good of those called according to His purpose. I am called, and so there is no such thing as failure in the Lord's economy. And, if I succeed, is it by my own strength that I have acheived success? It is not within my own abilities to make anything good happen. Anything within me that is good is only from the Lord.

And so, I have lived for thirty years now going back and forth between despairing over my failure, or pride in my own success. Believing that if I have failed, I have failed the Lord, if I have succeeded, then the Lord is pleased with me. The realization that life is not always black and white has become an even deeper revelation to me. And, if I am honest, I think I actually like black and white! Oh, that old religious Erin creeps in again; the Erin who would rather it be about doing right instead of growing closer to the Lord. In the gray where life really is (or in the middle instead of the extreme ends) I am forced to trust and believe that the Lord IS pleased with me, I AM acceptable to Him, and I can do NOTHING to earn His love nor LOSE His love. Life is not always an all or nothing prospect. What a concept.

Is it any wonder I strive so hard to succeed? Is it any wonder that I don't attempt things that I might fail at? Or give up at the first sign of struggle? Because that is where I was at this weekend. If you could have been a little cell in my brain you would have heard the enemy whispering this: "Why try when you are only going to fail? Just give up, it is easier this way."

But, in Jesus' name I am NOT a failure! I will NOT give up!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I feel good, so good....

Feeling better today than last week. I seem to be getting over the cold
that has been lingering. Although, I have been really tired the last
few days. Not really sure why that is.

We are having a beautiful fall here this year so far. I know, I know,
fall doesn't offically start until tomorrow. But, just like with a lot
of seasons, things seem to start a few weeks before the "offical"
beginning. For example, in the "spring" I start noticing plants coming
into bloom as early as the end of February. Like the cherry trees and
crocuses. I am particularly enjoying this fall because I planted a
bunch of stuff around my house this spring purposefully for its fall
colors. My Burning Bush is starting to turn orange. My Red Twig
Dogwood is also showing hints of orange, as are my Lilacs. Even some of
the deciduous trees at my house and neighborhood are starting to show
hints and signs of fall. I have abandoned all thoughts of wearing
shorts, have "closed shop" on leaving windows open, and the heater is
starting to kick in most mornings. Fall is definately here!

Had another good weigh-in at WW this week. I am now down 6.5 pounds
after just two weeks. And, if the work scale is correct, I will
probably be down a few more by the time Saturday comes. I am starting
to notice more and more the change based on how clothes are fitting (or
not fitting).

Some "new" lessons learned about weight loss this last week:

1. Being hungry is OK. I will not die if my stomach growls.
2. Going too long between meals can lead to eating too much when it is
time to eat. Eating a healthy snack is a good way to bridge the time
between meals.
3. If I cook enough, a dinner can become tomorrow's lunch, and maybe a
lunch or two after that.
4. The extra points per week are there for a reason. Use them if
needed. Don't feel guilty for using the points I am given.

That's it for today! 33.6 pounds to go!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I THINK I figured out how to publish via email. This is a test.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Under the Weather

Feeling a little "under the weather" the last few days. I even missed a day of work yesterday. Probably nothing more than a nasty cold, but sill not feeling well today. I wonder where the term "feeling under the weather" comes from? Have you ever thought about random phrases that we use and ever wondered where they come from?

I spent some time a while ago looking for the origins of "got a bead on it." Never did figure out where that one came from. I got an email once that had the origins of the phrases "bottoms up" and "mind your ps and qs." Interestingly, they both have to do with drinking! Kind of funny how we don't think about stuff like that and just say them. Even when I was in London there were some phrases that we used and they used that didn't translate, or were used here. Like "spot on." Such a British phrase! It would be the equivalent to our phrase "right on."

Weigh-in number two tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. I have not worked out as much this week as last (see first paragraph....). But I also haven't eaten as many points worth of food (again, see first paragraph....). So, we'll have to see how it goes.

Also had our first night back of mid-week church last night after a break of over a month. Such fun to get to know my new group of small group gals. Some testimonies of the gals in my group are just amazing. What I am also excited about is that our group will also be doing some work with the high school team. We will not be leading any high schoolers, in a small group sense, but will be helping to build relationships, and attending functions at the high school and just generally assisting with things. Something I am looking forward to. It is interesting because all four of us who went to London are now in one capacity or another working with the high school group at Newsong. None of the four of us worked with the group before, but now we are.

Anyway, off for the day! Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Only 36 more to go.....

So, had my first weigh-in at Weight Watchers on Sat. I lost four pounds! Only 14 more to my first goal and 36 more to my final goal. It is funny, though, that while I have lost weight, and continue to do so, I went to church on Sunday and felt bigger than ever. How is that? I think in some ways it has been easy to "forget" how chubby I really am, and then when presented with the facts of it, my eyes have been opened. Kind of strange.

It is getting easier, though, to eat the WW way. I don't have to think so much about it as I did the first week, and some things are starting to become habit. As Martha Stewart would say: that's a good thing.

I am also struggling a little with breakthrough this week on my fear of failure. As I am moving into things that are not as easy for me, I am realizing just how utterly and completely terrified of messing up, failing, not being good at, not being liked, etc. etc. I am. Of course, for you regular readers, you'll know that this is not a new revelation for me. I think as I am pressed into new things, it just continues to come up again and again. I need to just continue to see this as a way to be more victorious over this issue in my life rather than being disappointed that I still struggle with this.

I have such an "all or nothing" mentality about my life. I tend to see things either as a success or a failure. I am either succeeding or failing. And, of course, I see failing as a reflection on who I am.

Just some thoughts and reflections over this past weekend.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Profound thought, not

What I am about to say, for most people, will probably not come as a surprise. But, for me, it is a new concept: losing weight takes work. And, I don't just mean working out, though that is important too. What I have realized in this last week is that I have been looking for the last few years for an easy way to lose weight. There is no such thing. It takes dedication, hard work, and perseverance.

One, to write down EVERYTHING that goes into my mouth so that I can truly see just how much I have been eating.

Two, to recognize that just because I can eat something in one meal does not make that amount a correct portion size.

Three, planning ahead for all meals and snacks makes sticking with things so much easier. "Unintentional" eating happens when I don't plan ahead.

Four, saying no to a piece of cheesecake when it is right in front of you can take a lot of willpower. It helps to remember that cheesecake takes up half my daily points in one sitting and I'll be hungry again in two hours.

Five, I really don't like vegetables that much. I am going to have to learn to like them. They fill me up, are good for me, and help me not to eat so much crap.

That's the profound lessons of this week. I am doing well, and am sticking with the program. I am so thankful to have told so many people about it, though, as it makes the stakes so much higher. I am hoping for a couple of pounds lost at tomorrow's weigh in.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

WW here I come

Had my first Weight Watchers meeting this weekend. I am going to do a plan called flex points. Basically, based on weight you are given a certain number of points each day. Every food you eat has is worth a certain amount of points and your goal is to stay within the points each day. As you lose weight, your total points are adjusted downward. Some foods are worth zero points, and you can eat as much of them as you wish (mostly vegetables). So, for the last three days, I have been munching on more vegetables than I ever thought I would. I feel pretty good. Not too hungry, but hungry enough that I need to eat every few hours. I am just being forced to plan ahead a lot more and think "do I really want to waste X points on THAT?" But, if I did want to waste points on something, I could.

What I like about this plan is that nothing is off limits. You just have to stay within your points limit. They also give you 35 "bonus" points each week. This can be used a couple of ways. On days when you are extra hungry, you can dip into these points if you've already gotten to your points limit. OR, if something special is coming up (a holiday, birthday etc.) you can use the points to splurge on something you wouldn't normally be able to have (piece of cake, cookies, etc). So far, I have been dipping into those points for daily extras like a snack at night. It has been my life saver. If I didn't have those extra points, I would surely not be able to stay on this. I'd be hungry all the time. Or, I'd be starving at night when I'd used up my points. Anyway. Only 39 more pounds to go :0()

Thursday, September 01, 2005

School has Started

Well, School has officially started around here today. I live about a mile from Foss High School in Tacoma and leave for work around the same time school is starting. I was a bit confused at all the traffic at first, and then I starts today. Anyway, off to another year.

I also went to TOP foods last night and got a bunch of stuff to try to eat healthier. For example, no more McDonalds for breakfast. I never did this super often anyway, but now, I have to eliminate it. There are two of them on my way to work and on mornings I have been running late, I have been known to swing through the drivethrough to grab an Egg McMuffin. So, I have a plan. It is always best to have a plan. The place Weight Watchers meets at around here is actually just past the grocery store. So, if I go to my meeting on Saturday mornings, I'll stop by TOP foods on my way home. That way I always have time for grocery shopping. My typical excuse for not eating well is always that I don't have time to properly grocery shop. So, if I drag myself out of bed for the meeting, I can just shop when it's over. Anyway, that is the plan.

I LOVE TOP Foods. Anyone else agree? Their produce section ROCKS! Is that even a word anymore? It's filthy good. There, that is my attempt at being hip. They also have four other things I like a lot: Cascade Fresh Yogurt, Powdered Sugar Free Coffee Creamer, Nile Spice Soup, and individually packed meat, for us single peeps. Anyway, more expensive than Fred Meyers, but better. I think I am switching to them.
Have a great day!