Saturday, June 23, 2012

JUNE 23rd Tweakin Insanity!

By now we've all heard the definition of insanity, accredited to Albert Einstein... "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."

When I got slapped in the face by Mr Reality on Monday (for that little melodrama, click HERE) I had to do some honest evaluating.  And I decided it was a time for some changes. Time to try some tweaks here and there.

Tweak Number One: for the duration of the summer, I am sending my daily calorie totals to a friend. Accountability. And a little peer pressure doesn't help, either. Just KNOWING that I'd have to report in has saved my hide several times this week. "Nuh uh... not eating that. I'd go over my limit, and I wouldn't want to have to fess up!" So far, it's been a helpful tweak.

Tweak Number Two: I am investing a lot of money (gulp) in buying and installing a little pool for my backyard. Can we say... EXCITED!?!?!?!  

It's dinky sized, and called a therapy pool. I was originally going to get a simple cheapie from Wallyworld, but my sweetie pie husband decided that wouldn't work here in Oregon. I wouldn't get to use it most of the year. So, he orderd me this little therapy pool with a HEATER, and is going to build a pool hut around it to hold in some of the solar heat. He's going to insulate under it and around the pool, and build a little ramp so I can park my wheelchair at the bottom, and be able to get up and in (with a little corresponding step on the inside). 

It's called an iPool 2, and it's 54 inches deep (about 50" of actual water). Deep enough for all kinds of exercise. Also, it has a gadget that you wear around your waist that attaches by cord to the edge, and you can swim and swim... not going anywhere. :-D

Wanna see it? Here's a picture, with a link below:

For as many years as I can remember, I've tried sooo many different kinds of exercise. And no matter how careful I am, or how slow I start, I have always ended up injured. EXCEPT FOR THE WATER. And there is now no place around here for me to go to a pool that doesn't use chlorine, to which I am allergic. I can use a salt filter for my little iPool2. 

This little pool is a big deal to me! We aren't rolling in dough, and also just had car repairs. So for my hubby to tap our savings and pay out for this little pool, the hut, and to install it... well, he's earned Brownie Points FAR into the future! :-D

I'm positive that doing these things DIFFERENTLY will give me different and better results. It's time to do whatever it takes... and for me that means making some changes. 

My book quote for today: "Joy is not a distant destination at which you arrive; rather, it's a path you choose to travel each day." --Tommy Newberry, The 4:8 Principle

My verse for today: "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

My quote for today: "Every day of our lives we are on the verge of making those slight changes that would make all the difference." --Mignon McLaughlin

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 1035

Monday, June 18, 2012

JUNE 18th No! No! No!

I've been thoroughly enjoying my recent "good times", when all of lifes dramas seemed to have calmed, and things were going smoother. 

It was nice while it lasted... but now, the drama is back. Sigh... Lesson: enjoy and appreciate the good times while they last! 

Life seems like the tides... events come and go, up and down, good and bad, in and out... low tide, high tide. 

It's funny... I had JUST been reading about joy. How true joy is not dependent upon circumstances. It comes from within, from our relationship with our God, from the eternal not the temporal.

Uh huh... I should have KNOWN there would be a pop quiz. :-}

Anyway, lots of disappointing stuff going on, and big hits to the budget. Big hits to plans I had (past tense) to get stuff done while Hubby and The Barker were SUPPOSED to be off camping. 

And big hits to my "optimism". I had been doing so well on this journey to get healthier, having finally seemed to turn a corner not that long ago. 

Recently a tool I use died... The Scale. No biggee, I'll just get a new battery, right? By the time I got said battery and installed it, and did the Monday weigh-in ritual,

I was S.T.U.N.N.E.D - A.G.H.A.S.T - H.O.R.R.I.F.I.E.D!!!!

I just don't get it. I know I haven't been counting calories for awhile until just recently, but come on... no way! My newly batterized scale says that since May 1st, I have GAINED 27 pounds!!!! Two Seven. Twenty-seven. 

I'm having a hard time believing that. I double and triple checked, and it's the same each time. 

I can't begin to describe the crushing disappointment... how deflating, discouraging, frustrating and even angering that is. 

Please, do NOT post a comment telling me not to let "the scale" dictate my mood, etc etc. The scale is a tool, and I  get sick to death of people whining about how mean "it" is to them. It is simply a tool I totally appreciate having. Without it, I would not know I was on this wrong trend!!! 

I just didn't know. I can't tell from my clothes at my size. I can't tell by how I "feel", since I always feel "heavy" and have pain in my joints. So the scale is a helpful tool to give me some indication of how my plan is working... or NOT working, as the case may be.

My upset is not in the scale's reading. It is in ME. In my apparent obliviousness to how I've really been doing. I truly thought I was making progress, doing better than this. Uh... can we say REALITY CHECK??

So... now what?

I don't believe in coincidence, so I have to take note of the post I read just this morning from Coach Dayne at Coach Your Mind (HERE). 

Bottomline, there is no point in dragging out my crummy feelings about this crummy news. I saw it, I processed it, I felt it. And boy howdy, did I feel it!

In my past, I most likely would have wallowed in it for a while before moving past it. But really, there's just no point in doing that. 

So, time to move right into the DOING phase. 

Time to just get on with it, to do what I know to do. I'll count the dang calories, I'll move more, I'll just never quit. I don't know what else to do... but to just keep on, and trust that the hard work will pay off. 

I admit, I'm hoping against hope that part of this is water retention.  

My book quote for today: "...Behind everything you do is a thought, and each individual thought contributes to your overall character... No area of your life is untouched by your thoughts." --Tommy Newberry, The 4:8 Principle

My verse for today: "The Lord hears the needy..."

My quote for today: "You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings!" --Pear S Buck

Enjoy the Journey, and if you're not then at least don't quit!


DAY 1030

Thursday, June 14, 2012

JUNE 14th Pluggin Along with Optimism

Yesterday I finished up a 7 part series on my art blog (HERE) that kept me busy and happy. But... that's not the main reason I've been quiet here.

All Tiny Food photos today
credited to: Shay Aaron

Recently I sort of made a decision that I just wasn't going to post if I didn't feel I had anything to say. I finally let go of that feeling of "obligation", or the "supposed to" thoughts, or even guilt. 

Guilt?? Well, because I've received so much support over the last 3 years, and made friends and benefited from the online wt loss community. So I sort of felt it was only fair to give back, ya know? 

But at this point in my journey, I feel the best way to support others from my blog is to only post when I honestly feel like it! To be genuine, and not force it. 

So, today all I want to share about is a smidge of progress, and a feeling of optimism. 

Over the last 3 years I've gone round and round with this counting calories thing. Sooo many opinions on that topic! So many different approaches. What works for one, doesn't work for another, yadda yadda yadda. 

I do low carb. That works for ME. I know it's not for everyone, but I love it. Yet I get sooo annoyed with low carbers who INSIST you don't need to count calories. 

"Eating low carb will naturally limit your hunger, and you'll automatically eat less, your blood sugars will be lowered causing less insulin release, hence the weight loss." 

Uh huh.... right. That IS true... for PHYSICAL hunger.

But my achilles heel has always been: my overeating was not caused by physical hunger. 

I love eating low carb. I ate my last sugar and white flour in March of 2009. Best decision I ever made! Yet... I still struggle to lose weight. 


Plain and simple. Portion control has always been my nemesis. Well, that and age and menopausal hormones and inability to vigorously exercise... but that's another post. ;-)

I finally admitted to myself that my resistance to consistently counting calories was mostly rebellion on my part. Why me? Why should *I* have to, when others don't? It's not fair... and other such childish thoughts. 

I've learned so much regarding health and nutrition from listening to podcasts, especially from Jimmy Moore at Livin La Vida Low Carb (HERE).  But I had almost stopped listening recently, because I was sooo tired of the "experts" who insist that if you eat low carb it's like the end-all, be-all panacea for whatever ails the world! 

Don't get me wrong...I totally believe it's healthy, but I also acknowledge some people don't take to it, for a variety of reasons, and I don't criticize them.

Well, a couple of days ago I listened to just one more podcast. And I am sooo glad I did! Jimmy interviewed diabetes expert Jenny Ruhl, from  

Finally, someone who tells it like it is! The title of the free podcast is "The Truth About Low Carb Diets"(HERE).   I might not agree with 100% of what she said (sorry, I don't know about you, but my ancestors weren't amoebae) but she DID address this thing about calories, along with a lot of other interesting info. If you're on low carb and struggling, you might consider giving it a listen.

Regardless of what "diet" you choose, and regardless of what the promoters of said diet say... calories DO matter in the end. 

So... all that jabbering to say: I'm finally okay with having to count the calories! Maybe someday I won't need to... but for now, it's a tool that will help me stay within healthy limits. 

I discovered that for me, when all is going smoothly in my life, I can "hear" when to stop, and can do my own limiting naturally. 

But when stress amps up, my "hearing" gets clogged, or maybe I just don't WANT to hear it. Either way, it doesn't work under stressful conditions.

So for now, I count. Until I get closer to goal, until I get better at this, until I just don't need to any more: I count. 

I think a lot of us "know" there is a thing we need to do. A thing we don't WANT to do. A thing we fight, we resist, we justify NOT doing. A thing we might even resent doing. Yet deep down, we know it would be beneficial. My prayer for all of us is: to have the grace to DO it. 

Not talk about it. Not hope about it. Not whine about it. Not think about it. Not read about it. But... to DO it. To add action to the equation. That's what I'm working on.

Pretty boring stuff, nothing new really... but it's just where I'm at. :-D

My book quote for today:  "By the grace of God, each moment is a new beginning, a new dawn for your potential.  Your thoughts can become totally different, and as a result, your character can change and your life can be transformed. God wants you to be completely alive, full of passion, and bursting with joy." --Tommy Newberry, The 4:8 Principle

My verse for today: "Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me."

My quote for today: "If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." --Martin Luther King Jr

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 1026

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

JUNE 6th Aftermath

This morning, I briefly thought about writing a post. That's what you DO on a blog, right? But I didn't. All I could think of was: I got nuthin to say.

Well... now I do.

Jim is doing his civic duty today, for Jury Duty. I'm baby sitting The Pup. She has Barkarrhea today. That's like diarrhea... only with noise instead of... well, you know.

My thumb is infected. Hurts. Has hurt for the last 8 months actually. Some days I get frustrated and start whining and feeling sorry for myself. Some days it feels like my "pain cup" is already full, and the least little thing will make it overflow. The old "I can't take any more" crapola thinking.

So, for the umpteenth time, I bumped said thumb. That was IT. That was all it took... I let out a scream, more in frustration than the pain. Then I felt bad because Joey came running, all worried that something was wrong. She wanted to lick me, to make it better. Sigh... then of course, I felt silly, and my pride wondered if the neighbors heard my meltdown. Double sigh...

THEN... I thought of all the stuff others are going through. Not in the  big world; you could overwhelm yourself if you went there. No, just my own little world... the people I know, my family and friends. And then I really DID feel silly. 

It's not life threatening, or crippling, or even life altering. It just hurts a lot. And sooner or later, it will get better. And I started thinking of all I really DO have to feel thankful about... and it's a lot. 

Yesterday I watched a PBS special: Yanni Live in El Morrow. I've always loved to paint to Yanni music. It's instrumental mostly, and relaxing and uplifting to me. During the special, he said that he doesn't write his music when he is in the middle of hard times. He waits... and writes it after he's gone through the healing/learning process. Ahhh... I could relate. I realized that's the way I like to write my blog, and that's even the way I paint.

So here I am, done with the screaming, and shifting my focus to gratitude.

Thank you, Joey, for interrupting my pity party.

My book quote for today: "I've observed that all lasting change is preceded by changed thinking. Any other type of change will be only temporary. The place to begin, then, is with your thought life, with a revival of your mind." --Tommy Newberry, The 4:8 Principle

My verse for today: "When I said, 'My foot is slipping', your unfailing love, Lord, supported me."

My quote for today: "If you wait for circumstances to be perfect before moving forward, you'll do much more waiting than achieving. If, instead, you make the most of what you have here and now, life will be full indeed. You are here, in this place at this time. There's something unique and wonderful that you can do with it all." --Ralph Marston

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 1018

Friday, June 1, 2012

JUNE 1st An Exciting Announcement!

As I sat down to write this post, I was amazed when I realized how many writers I've met along this weight/health journey. Not only bloggers, but book authors.  

Today I'm excited to tell you about one writer that is about to have a long held dream of hers come true: she is courageously announcing the launch of her new book today, due out this summer! 

She is our very own Jules aka Big Girl Bombshell, Here.

Her book is titled:

 Click 3 Times 
Beyond the Flying Monkeys

Jules Joyce

And yes, she loves that great old movie The Wizard of Oz. The metaphors in her book are based upon the rich symbolism from The Wizard of Oz.

Why am I involved with her book launch?? Because I had the honor to be asked to do the cover art for her book! 

I've followed Jules' blog for sometime now, and connected with her heart and vision of learning, changing and growing from the inside out, and with her courage to share that process with the world. Here is the cover for her new book (can click to enlarge):

For all the details and links, please visit Jules (HERE)  . Her book is honest and rich in imagery. The questions she asks  along her "yellow brick road", her personal journey, will open up your thinking to all sorts of new possibilities! I think you'll enjoy a peek behind the curtain of Big Girl Bombshell. 

For those interested in peeking behind the curtain of how the art was created... I'll be doing a series on my art blog (HERE)  as to how it was made. 

I'll bare it all:
from the ratty looking preliminary sketches 
to playing with color schemes (some were ghastly!) 
to what all the symbolism on the cover means
to tips on how to create your own cover for that e-book you know you want to write
to the finished book cover 

I took lots of photos, so it'll take several posts to cover it all. It should be fun... if you're into that kind of thing, LOL! Join me over at Art by Retta  for it, starting later today.

Congratulations Jules, on the birth announcement of your new book!

My book quote for today:  "It's not until you risk it all and go for the thing you really want that life becomes unlimited." --Richard Machowicz, Unleash The Warrior Within

My verse for today:  "He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way."

My quote for today: "Sometime in your life you will go on a journey. It will be the longest journey you have ever taken. It is the journey to find yourself." --Katherine Sharp

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 1019

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