To have to do more reading, studying, learning, measuring, weighing, and focusing on this Weight Loss Thing. Yet again.
Do. Not. Want. To.
Well... that's life. We don't always get what we want.
Having gone through a crummy year, healthwise, has forced me to look for answers. I suppose if I wanted to be Chirpy Positive, I could call that the silver lining. Or as Michael Beckwith calls it, the Blessing (from his teaching of Looking for the Blessin or the Lesson in all of Life's Circumstances).
So. I haven't given up, I was just tired of writing about it. Had no answers, just questions and problems.
And then some kind soul (sorry, can't give credit since I didn't write down the name) suggested a link to a Facebook group that was "different".
And they were. And they were incredibly supportive and helpful. And I think I just might be, finally, coming out of the "sick" tunnel and into the light... soon, very soon. :-}
Background: sick for months last winter; some of the food and medications advised to eat had sugar; craving monster awakened; then heart trouble; then tests; horrible sleep; more tests; massive infection in teeth; dental surgery, all remaining teeth removed; complications, 2 more dental surgeries scheduled; no "teeth" til next spring; hard to get adequate nutrition; finally oxygen added to cpap at night; yay, better sleep.
Repeat: better sleep. I can't begin to describe how much better just getting that made me feel. Half of my heart is not able to do it's job now while I sleep, and the oxygen is giving it relief, so I am getting deep, restorative sleep now. Blessed sleep!
I finally wanted to "try" again. I cared again. I didn't feel despair, but hope started to glow again. Like a tiny ember you carefully blow on to get going again, until the fire is finally burning stronger and stronger.
Back to the new Facebook group that was "different".
Again, background needed for this to make sense: I've been doing low carb now for years; read the science; believed it; it worked; I lost weight; kept it off - mostly - for the first time in life. But kept getting stuck. Things shifted in the low carb community, and Fat became king, over protein. Low carb/high fat was promoted as THE way. People started promoting Fat Bomb recipes and bragging as to how they would drown their meal in sticks of butter. I had red flags, sure. But I figured they were the experts, and surely knew more than ME.
And it DID work. In the short run. And especially for those younger, healthier, and more physically active.
But I'm ME. I am NOT younger, healthier, and physically active. So when all that Stuff hit me earlier this year, I tanked. I started gaining at a ridiculous rate, and the only answer the high fat crowd had was "eat more fat".
Eating more healthy fat took away hunger, yes, absolutely. But at the cost of eating enough protein to heal my broken body. At the cost of healthy nutrition. And you can lose weight, especially at first. But was it fat loss? Or was it fat AND muscle loss?
I had so many questions.
So in desperation, I clicked on that suggested link to the "different" low carb group. The one that believes that the body needs protein to repair and be healthy, to lose weight and build muscle and support thyroid. All that jazz. And that if you still have your own "supply of body fat" you wish to lose, then you don't need to be going crazy with smothering your meals with sticks of butter.
"Fat burning is turned on by carbohydrate restriction. And eating Optimal Protein is a KEY to build health and metabolism."
Yes, they believe in eating healthy fats. But they teach how to moderate that according to your goals:
Lots to lose = eat less healthy fat.
Want to maintain = eat moderate healthy fats.
Want to gain = eat healthy fats at the high end of the chart.
But ALWAYS eat the right amount of protein for YOU, to be healthy, protect metabolism and build muscle.
They have an easy reference chart to help get you started. And they were/are incredibly patient with all my newbie questions... which are ongoing! (not claiming to have any answers here, so please don't ask ME nuthin... am still learning myself).
The focus of this group is to be HEALTHY, not lose the weight at a record pace. Weight loss can be achieved many ways, but losing fat and keeping your muscle mass - or even growing it - is a whole different animal.
It was encouraging to have a few answers, and a path to follow. It's taken months to get this de-railed train back on the tracks! My progress is slow, but at least it's in the right direction once again. Finally.
So... I am a student. Again.
But I also have hope. I have not given up. Came close, yes indeedy. So I'm grateful for a few answers to my prayers.
And for anyone else who is struggling, who finds their current way of eating has conked out on them and no longer works, may I suggest at least considering another stab at it, with a shift in emphasis?
From weight loss first TO Health first, and then the weight loss will follow. From high fat/moderate protein, TO moderate fat/high protein.
And yes, this group will answer all your questions. The same ones I had, such as "what about gluconeogenesis?" (too much protein turning to glucose) and "but so-and-so-the-expert says to lose fat you need to eat MORE fat?", etc etc.
If you decided to join, just put in a request to join; it's a closed group, which is good. It keeps out the riff raff (spammers, trolls and argue-ers).
I don't claim they are perfect, but if you go there with a teachable heart, I believe they will fall all over themselves to help you. Really, they've been very kind and encouraging to me. Be ready to do some reading, to at least re-consider some stuff.
And please DO read the links they offer, to assure yourself of the hard science behind it. Well, as far as we can know for now, that is. We are always learning and discovering. At the top of the site is a "pinned" post, with tons of info. You've got nuthin else to do, right?? ;-)
I know this is long and dense, and not "entertaining". But I felt it's important, and if it helps someone else, then I'm happy with that. :-)
And if you got this far, I applaud you! And thank you for visiting me, even though I rarely post now.
Today, I write what I know. Not what I've read. Not what I've heard others say. But what I KNOW.
Here's what I know:
I know there are times I am too hard on myself.
I know there are other times I am too easy on myself.
And I know I vacillate all along that spectrum, from too easy to too hard, depending on what outcome I want to get. Yep... I manipulate the system! I tend to think that's kinda normal for most of us, actually.
But I'll speak for myself. It's time I stopped being too easy on myself. I mean, poor me, it's been so hard. A painful surgery, where the novocaine and versed wouldn't take. They finally dumped in valium to the mix just to get me out. Fine with me, I was tired of the pain. I was supposed to be "out" and yet I'm hearing them and feeling it... aarrgghh!
When I woke up, I had no more teeth and 2 new implant posts. The first week was torture. I'm okay now, physically.
But I was surprised at how devastating it was to look into a mirror. "But that's not me!!" It will be months before all is finished, and my new "teeth" are finished. My dentist and surgeon said my case was "complicated", and wanted me to heal awhile before impressions and dentures were made. Sigh... okay, whatever.
Ha ha, little did I know. This has ripped at the heart of who I thought I was. Inside, I don't feel like I look. Jim has been so kind. He took off work for a week to help out, and has been emotionally supportive. Even when I bit his head off! Poor guy...
I finally realized why I was feeling so resentful and frustrated. It had to do with food. Naturally. I eat low carb. I LIKE the way I eat. It's nutritious and delicious, and has allowed me, for the first time in my life, to keep off (with some bumps along the way) the weight I lose. And now, even that diet is out the window. It's got to be all liquid/soft/melt in your mouth stuff. And this is it for quite awhile. Oh sure, liquids can be low carb. I'm talking steak, or a hamburger, or crunchy veggies... all the good stuff is out.
I'm working hard to get in adequate nutrition, but it's hard to keep it balanced. And I resented it!!!
I felt sorry for myself.
I was too easy on myself. "Oh poor me" was my excuse. Between the hunger, the pain and the self-pity, I was a mess!
So I endulged. If you could blend it up, I did. Oh, not sugar, I've learned my lesson there. But too much "on plan" food is still gonna get you fat!! Oh the games we play in our heads.
Time to require more of myself. Time to go forward. Time to keep going.
Recently I read again that quote from Winston Churchill:
"If you're going through hell,
I'm going. I'm going.
I'm off the heavy duty painkillers. I'm playing again with my art. I'm making future plans. I even, once in a while, think of someone else besides myself. (ha ha, you think I'm joking...)
Whether you are on the Up side or the Down side of life.... keep going.
Sounds like an infomercial, right? But here's the thing... the blog writer, Bryan Ganey, has lost nearly 400 pounds, no surgery.
You read that right: LOST 400 lbs. So, I have to give the man some respect, and at least be open to new ideas.
But that was the problem. What he went on to say was NOT a new idea to me. Ouch... it was all too familiar, in fact.
I looked up from the computer screen, and saw the little yellow sticky note I had stuck where I could see it every day. It was slightly curling at the edges, and dated 7/30/12. I felt rather... I don't know... foolish feels about right... as I read it:
Make a Schedule... and FOLLOW IT!
Make a Menu.........and FOLLOW IT!
Yep, it was exactly what Bryan Ganey had posted about. Exactly. Have a routine, and then follow it. Sigh...
The problem is, without the "doing" part, having a cute little sticky note with good advice doesn't do a bit of good. If I had taken CONSISTANT ACTION when following the instructions on that sticky note, I would have been at my goal weight now, and a lot healthier.
Consistent Action. That sounds familiar to me, too, as I type it out. Must've done a post about that, too. :-}
I've kept a daily "to do" list for decades.
Planned my projects.
And here I sit, admitting it is just wasted ink without the follow through.
I can do better.
I can follow through. Like Mr Ganey writes, if we do that day after day after day... we will eventually see results. It will add up.
I know I've written about this before. I've even "tried" before. But I think we must learn in layers... in levels. Hard to explain. But maybe we just have to ready for that next step. Be willing for that next step.
I'm not going to get all jazzed up and write out yet another plan or list or program. I've done all that. I'm just going to DO the part I haven't been consistent in doing:
I highly recommend Mr Ganey's post. Very good kick in the tush if you are struggling.
Sitting here shaking my head at myself. Not with disgust, but more with a sort of compassionate amusement. Hope that makes sense. I'm a lot more kinder to myself these days than I used to be. People around me should be glad... cuz I also tend to be kinder towards THEM now, too. :-)
Anyway, it all started with a comment I read yesterday in a Facebook group I belong to (won't say which one). A new guy pulled out his "MD" credentials, and proceeded to say snarky mean stuff about someone I highly respect in the low carb world.
He made his harsh judgment based SOLELY on a photo of said person. A photo!! He proceeded to defend his expert ability to make such evaluations based upon scant evidence because he was a medical doctor. Say what??!!
I admit it... I fumed. I fussed. I talked to my computer. MyGuy said he was a troll, and don't give him the attention he wanted and he would go away.
But the next day, the conversation was still on, and I gave in and joined it. Here's what I wrote, minus the names involved:
"Have to admit I was really pissed off at [******'s] arrogant and harsh judgmental comment re [*****]. And THEN to justify it by claiming to be an expert at analysis with little information??? I wanted to box his ears in defense of [*****].
I am sooo tired of that kind of attitude. I started out at a higher weight myself. Years later, and doing LCHF, I've LOST 159 lbs, with more to go. But if someone like [******], who claims to be an MD, looked at my photo, I would still get the same harsh judgement, based soley on looks, as [*****] did!! He would still call me "substantially overweight, poorly muscled... with metabolic dysfunction." Well, DUH??!!
One who started out very large WILL have more challenges. Come on, applaud [*****] for being physically active, continuing to learn and experiment at what could work for him, and for generously sharing his info with us. [*****] is a class act. [******].... not so much. Ban him? Not my call. I'd say let [*****] decide!"
(A little weird with names blanked out, but that's out of respect for privacy)
I could have said a lot more, but it's Facebook, ya know? Short and sweet. I was still thinking of the whole attack earlier today, as I was thumbing through an old journal I used to keep. And guess what I read, from 1996.
That's 18 years ago.
I had been making a "must do" list that I felt I had to learn to do in order to be successful at this weight loss thing. Further down on the page I wrote:
1) Decide you are willing to do whatever is necessary to change your life, no matter what, no excuses.
2) Decide how hard you are willing to work, which will determine how long it will take you to reach your goal.
Blush.... did I mention that was 18 years ago?
I'm still here, plugging away. I know I believed that when I wrote it. But I didn't have a clue HOW to do it. How to implement those great ideas. Obviously "just do it" didn't work for me. So, here I am, still learning. Still working on it.
I don't think I realized how deep I'd have to go, how deep I needed to change. Or maybe how hard it was going to be to change from the INSIDE out. Oh, I'd lost weight before, and regained it back and then some. But I knew I wanted true and permanent change this time.
The above "MD" guy on Facebook who slammed my low carb friend doesn't have a clue how hard it can be for an exceptionally large person. I mean, you don't get REALLY large without having really large inner problems that need addressing.
WAIT, let me say that differently. Because it's not about the numbers. I've learned that ANYONE who finds it a real struggle to change must have really large inner problems. And that can take time. Sometimes lots of time.
Falling down on our face and getting up Time.
Getting discouraged and having to gather up our courage to try again Time.
Making mistakes until we find the right way for US Time.
Learning to treat ourselves with respect, love and kindness Time.
Just... lots of Time.
So please, be patient with yourself and never give up.
Is it awful of me to be glad that others in that Facebook group came out swinging in defense of their low carb buddy at the unfair judgment?? (I don't think so... )
It's been a long time since I've been so overwhelmed with temptation that I took something out of the garbage and ate it.
Oh... you've never done that?? Then you don't understand true food addiction. Addiction to the way eating something can make you feel.
The temporary lift
The temporary escape
The temporary hit to the pleasure center in the brain
I didn't do it this time, but the urge was powerful and I came close. Too close.
You see I, myself, opened the door to be set up for it. A relative came into town and brought dinner. Included was some "crack cocaine"... aka... fresh baguette bread.
I had two responses: red flag warning, since in my past I have literally eaten a whole loaf with a stick of butter over the course of one day. And... rationalization. Telling myself it's no big deal, it's family, it's a special occasion, I'll just have a little and be done with it.
Uh huh. Yep. That's the worst kind of lie, the kind we tell ourself.
For some people, they could handle "a little bit". But I know my history. And I never should have listened to the lie.
After they left, I had "just one more slice". Then another. Then another... MyGuy came home and caught me having "just one slice". I didn't explain it was just one AFTER ten other "just ones". In other word, I lied by omission. Sigh... that's a classic sign of an addict hiding their behavior, right??
So, I made sure he saw me throw the rest of the loaf, in it's bag, into the trash can. As if I was oh-so-in-control. Riiiggghhtttt...
The next day I was under more stress from other issues, and was hit with the image of that baguette bread, in the trash but "protected" by it's plastic bag. And for a fleeting second I seriously considered pulling it out and eating it.
I was aghast at myself! I was disgusted, disappointed, and embarrassed that I actually considered doing that.
After all these years. After all those pounds lost so far. And I'm STILL even entertaining doing something like that??!!!!!
Even now, it makes me cry. I wonder if I have changed at all. I wonder if I am just following a "program", yet inside there is no true change.
I once wrote a post (HERE) trying to articulate the differences, as I saw it, in the weight loss experiences of a "smaller" overweight person and a super-sized person (jumbo jet vs cessna). Sure, some things are the same. But some feel different to me.
I started at 460 pounds. The canyons seemed deeper, the mountains seemed higher. Temptation seemed so powerful and hope seemed farther away. Success always felt right around the corner, but just out of reach.
The road, for the super-sized person, can seem soooo long. It's easy to get so very tired of it all. To start thinking compromise. Couched in a "positive" way, of course, like "look how far you've come".
But it's still settling.
Still stopping short.
Still giving up.
Still buying into the lie that I've come as far as I can, and it's time to get "realistic" and accept that this is IT.
I'm not sure why I'm feeling so raw today. I am successfully, finally, back on track, after a few days of struggle. I think it's a deep and powerful response to a blog post I read from Holly, HERE.
After reading what Holly wrote, I cried, and I felt understood. She's lost 240 pounds and KNOWS the long struggle. Also the pitfalls along the way and even after. The pull of that addiction. The way we rationalize our behavior. The guilt over making selfish choices instead of following our faith, and going to God instead of food. All that.
So... I'm not giving up. I pray for help. I pray for mercy. I pray for encouragement. And I feel grateful that HOPE is real and powerful.
I'm writing this to anyone who is younger than I am.
I am now 63 years old. I have been fighting this weight loss battle ALL. MY. LIFE.
Well, almost. I was put on my first diet at age 10. Given "horse urine" shots from the doctor. Didn't work.
After that it was one attempt after another, off and on, for the rest of my life.
My weight was up and down, up and down. As a teen and early twenty-something, I "almost" got down to a normal weight, for a nano second.
I won't go into all the stuff I've tried. Literally dozen of types of attempts to lose weight.
Thousands of dollars.
Buckets of tears.
My message today isn't what I've tried, or even the fact that they all eventually failed for lots of different reasons.
My message to you "young uns" is simple: DON'T WAIT.
PLEASE DON'T WAIT.
I can distinctly remember being 30 years old. I was once again whining about wishing I knew how
to play the guitar. Suddenly, I felt slapped up side the head with a vision: I blinked and I was 40, and still didn't know how to play the guitar, and was still whining about it. I felt jarred, the inner vision was so real. So... I went out, bought a guitar and taught myself to play.
Oh how I wish I had been slapped up side the head with the same kind of vision in regards to losing weight!! To pay the piper back then, whatever the cost.
To do it sooner, rather than later.
If you think this post is all about regrets, then you miss my point, and I haven't made it clear. Oh sure, I have regrets. But that's not my point here.
I am trying to point out to you HOW FAST LIFE FLIES BY.
And imploring you to get as healthy as you can, as soon as you can.
LIFE IS SHORT.
I really can't believe I am 63. Honestly, inside the REAL ME, I feel about... oh... I'd say about 39.
Sounds weird, I know. But inside I am not 63. Nu-uh, nope.
Inside, my hair is not falling out at an alarming rate by the globfuls.
Inside, my knees don't scream in protest every time I get up from my wheelchair.
Inside, I am strong and full of energy and enthusiasm, regardless of what my body says to the contrary.
This next Saturday I'm going in for a new sleep study to determine how much oxygen they need to add to my CPAP machine. My congestive heart failure is acting up.
What's that?? No no no,but I'm only 39!? I'm not losing the last of my teeth soon, being fitted with dentures and being put on oxygen!?
I'm not a fat, graying, balding, toothless, crippled old woman who dearly wishes she had done exactly what she is pleading with YOU to do, and lost that weight while younger.
Do it now, my friends. Your older self will thank your younger self!!
Yeah, I know... it's never too late. And I am making progress now.
But trust me, it's better to do it sooner.
This is from my heart, hoping it reaches someone else's heart to spare them from going through what I am...
"I didn't have any desire to shake things up, or make huge dramatic changes."
That's from my last post, back in January. All I have to say about that is:
What a winter I've had! Seven different medical conditions, one piled on top of the other... good griefus! I'm better now, and truly thankful.
But honestly, when in the middle of all that, it's hard not to get discouraged and start feeling sorry for yourself. At least, that's what I struggled with.
One of the conditions caused me to have severe... ahem ... diarrhea FOR 75 DAYS!! Yes, you read that right. 2 1/2 months. I almost ended up hospitalized. We never did discover what set it off, but they had me trying everything to stop it.
From the BRAT diet, to heavy duty prescriptions. NOTHING WORKED. I honestly wondered if this was the way I going to go out... cr**ping myself to death. :-O
I finally said phooey to all the doctor's guesses, did some research, and put myself on a special, extremely strict elimination type diet designed by a doctor, for people with intestinal issues.
Tough to follow?? Not if you are desperate enough and facing medical complications. The dehydration and electrolyte imbalance played havoc with my congestive heart failure, and it was dicey for awhile. So yeah... I was willing to get extreme.
The program is for people who struggle with Crohns, Ulcerative colitis, Diverticulitits, Celiac disease, and more. I don't have those, but it DID help me stop the cycle, and heal.
I have to admit, though, that I was ticked off for awhile. You see... I was originally ordered to go on the BRAT diet, which is TOTALLY HIGH CARB stuff. Um... I have been extremelly low carb for 5 years!! That was so hard for me to do. And I was even surprised to find that some of the stuff I secretly expected to enjoy (like potatoes, white rice, toast, juice, pudding, etc) didn't even taste good to me anymore. Yet the high starch diet, which turns to sugar in my system, set me up once again for powerful cravings that I'd been free from for 5 years. Soooo frustrating.
Moral of story: I can't ever say I am "cured" of being susceptible to cravings, if I am once again exposed to the sugar and starches. I had to go through actual withdrawal again. And yes, it was very hard. My mind played all kinds of games with me, just like the first time. sigh... And I STILL am struggling a bit with it, even now. Like a lingering scent, catching your attention when you aren't expecting it, and triggering memories and longings. Don't know if that makes sense, but... it's a powerful thing.
Another thing I thought about during all this: that super strict diet was difficult and exacting to follow. To start out you only eat about 4 simple, plain items, plus homemade electrolyte solution. But I was totally willing, because I was desperate and ready to try anything.
Which made me I think about all the times over the years I had thought "Oh I am so desperate to lose weight", yet I was NOT willing to try something.
I was willing to try SOME-things, but not ANY-thing.
Case in point: about 20 years ago when I first heard about the idea of not eating sugar and starches, I was NOT willing. I made all kinds of excuses, and argued that it should be "moderation in all things." Yeah, right. Tell that one to an alcoholic. It might work for some people, but not for me. But I wasn't yet willing to admit that.
It wasn't until I got desperate enough, and nothing that I tried had worked, that I was finally willing to even consider giving up sugar and starches. I spent 3 months reading, studying, learning about it. I had to be convinced it would be healthy, for me. That this was what would be the healthiest way for MY body. I mean, it was the opposite of what had been pounded into my head for decades... so yeah, I was a little skeered.
I figured I would use my old "all or nothing" tendencies TO my advantage. So once I was fully convinced, I plunged totally in.
Against my husbands preferences.
Against the preferences of anyone I knew.
Against most of society's preferences.
I was determined, I was committed, I was willing.
It's not been easy. Heck, at times it's been VERY HARD. There have been times I was so discouraged, and wanted to give up.
But I didn't.
I'm convinced God had mercy on me, and brought this information to help me.
I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to see the 2 hundreds getting close. My highest weight a few years ago was a humiliating 460 lbs.
When I weighed in on April 1st, I was 304 lbs.
That's a total loss of 156 lbs!!! I still find it hard to relate to that... it doesn't seem real. It's still hard to stand, to move, and still a lot of pain. Sometimes I wonder if I am imagining it??
But it's real.
And on the journey goes. Day after day. Just doing the little daily stuff. Not perfect... not by a long shot. But just continuing on, no matter what.
Enjoy the journey,
Updated to add:since some have asked about the diet that helped me recover, I thought I'd put it here.
The book I bought is "Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet", by Elaine Gottschall, B.A, M.S. It gives her story (the amazing recovery of her young daughter, who the doctors basically gave up on), the science behind the diet, and recipes. It's on Amazon, and for me, was totally worth the price.
And I finally have something to say. So... here I iz.
The one advantage of being sick ALL of December is that I had no energy or desire to get all philosophical and analytical, and make up a bunch of optimistic and high-flying New Year's Resolutions. Nope, not this year. Not interested.
They're great if they help you. But I discovered something as the new year rolled around, and I noticed all the pro and con resolution talk: that was I was content. I didn't have any desire this year to shake things up, or make huge dramatic changes.
What I've been doing seems to be "okay". There is no drama, no angst. Me and my Lord are just truckin' along, with Him leading and me trying to stay on the right path. When I wander off into the weeds now and then, He lovingly helps me scramble back on track. It's the no drama part I'm enjoying... the peaceful part.
Okay, the weight thing for 2013?? My highest during 2013 was 366, my lowest is currently 340. So, net loss of 26 pounds for the year. Better than a gain... I'll take it. End of story.
"Detail from Moonlight Rendezvous"
More than that, I've found Peace on this journey. And had one big eye opening revelation a few months ago that rocked me. Okay, if you are one of those that roll your eyes when the fat person talks about "aha" moments that are obvious to all around her... well tune out now, cuz here it comes. ;-)
It's this: I REALLY saw that I've believed a LIE all my life. I've thought about it before, but now I SEE it, know it. I get it. I don't know how to put it into one tiny sentence, so here is how the LIE worked out into my life:
I felt had to lose weight to be taken seriously, to deserve respect, both personally and in my art business
until I lost the weight, which is how I believed "mature/responsible" people behaved, I felt I was not good enough
this LIE side-tracked me all my life, invading all areas, and holding me back from being who I was meant to be
I kept thinking "as soon as I lose the weight" I can <fill in the blank>
I allowed this Quest To Lose Weight to be number one, to get too much continuing focus
There's more, but you get the idea. The Weight Loss Thing sat on the throne. Got all the attention, all the energy, and drained me.
"Uphill, Peruvian Style"
These last few months when I've pulled back from the weight loss focus have so... NICE. I've already paid my dues to learn the physical/nutritional parts of what I need to do. I spent the time and effort to ask hard questions of myself, to look inside and do the Heart work. So to finally NOT make weight loss the Number One Thing all the time has been refreshing!
I asked God to help me see how to better spend my time; how to be who He meant me to be; how to not waste this gift of time; to learn to Love better.
"Time, Our Companion"
So, no big weight loss to brag about this year.
But there is one thing that I AM excited about, and proud of myself in a goofy way. At the beginning of the year I joined an online art group, the Virtual Paintout. I wanted to participate for the entire year. Each month we virtually traveled to a new place in the world, via google street view, and painted from a location there. And even though I was sick as a DOG all December, I finished December's painting in Venice, Italy!
"Are You Here, My Love?"
That was a big deal for me. It's as though something in me that I almost lost, that got buried and kicked to the side, and I almost gave up on, has come alive again. I have no allusions as to being some kind of "great painter", and changing the world or anything like that. But I do want to be who I was meant to be. To paint joy, and hope, and beauty, and put my Heart onto the canvas with that paint. I almost lost that due to the LIE, believing that I had to do the weight loss thing first.
But the Lie has been exposed now.
If I never lost another ounce, I will still paint. If I never sold another painting, I will still paint. I will paint with love, with joy, with passion and with hope. And with much gratitude, hoping that it can be a blessing to others.
May you all be blessed with a most wonderful and peaceful New Year!
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