Sunday, February 24, 2013

NewYou Version 2.0 is available for download, would you like to proceed?

I just watched a rather heartbreaking and realistic movie about the addiction of overeating called "lbs".  To say it disturbed me to watch it would be an understatement, partially because I honestly thought it was a documentary that one man set out to film about his own journey.  It was not touted as a Documentary but for some reason I had the impression that it was.

This movie captured the essence of the addiction of overeating.  This movie had me cheering and crying and confused and happy, in no particular order because I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone.

It put a very human face on a very misunderstood issue.

Not that I needed a human face for this misunderstood issue, after all I have a mirror and I have confronted my own issues as regards this area and found much freedom with this plan and Take Shape For Life.

I rather feel like one day I received a message pop-up on my computer that said "NewYou Version 2.0 is available for download, would you like to install?" and I did.  I hit the "install" button, knowing that it would take work, and blood, and sweat, and tears, much as this gentleman in this movie had to face. 

NOT hitting that "install now" button I would have received this warning "failure to download will cause Stacy to revert back to her default settings...." and that is the choice I make every day.  Rebooting and installing the daily updates to my program.  Because failure to do this may cause me to revert back to my original settings, which caused me to weigh 272 pounds and walk with a cane at 40 years of age.

Every single day I make the conscious choice to install the updated NewYou Version 2.0.  How do I do this?  By consciously continuing on in the Habits of Health.  By taking my temperature and finding out what I need to do THIS DAY, TODAY, to attain and maintain a healthy weight.  Because today is all I've got to worry about.  Which doesn't mean I don't worry.  MY worry is that one morning I'll wake up and decide not to care that day.  MY worry is that I'll revert to my default settings for too many days in a row and NOT CARE.

MY worry is that I won't be vigilant ENOUGH, catch myself after a slip up and DECIDE to orient myself again towards health.  MY worry is that I'll run out of reasons to care.

So, every day I take stock.  I remember my blessings.  I remember my family.  I remember the reasons to care.  Because for me, apathy is a sure fire way of reverting to my original morbid class 4 Super Obese status.  And THAT is my only worry.  That one day I won't care enough.

But that day is not today.  And Lord willing it will not be tomorrow.  And that is really all we can ask for, isn't it?  Taking every day as it comes, deciding TODAY which direction we will point our toes, and then take the steps to get us where we need and desire to go?

Where do YOU desire to go today?  Are you apathetic and in danger of defaulting to your original settings?  Or are you hitting that "install now" button and actively taking a part in your own health destiny?

Because they guy in "Lbs" did that.  Until he didn't.  And I never want to be "that guy" again.

A little introspective tonight, a little shaken up by that movie.  I highly recommend it but it is NOT kid friendly so wait until the little ones are in bed and even then use earphones.  It is available for FREE on demand streaming video if you are an Amazon prime member.

Our health is a gift we give to ourselves, and I never EVER want to take that for granted.

And as a side note, I used to operate solely in the realm of fear and worry.  I find that I don't do that much anymore because hope and optimism have worked out much better for me, (sorry to my Irish ancestors, I realize you are rolling in your graves right now....LOL), so to hear me talk about "worrying" that something will happen means it is a big deal. 

Do I REALLY "worry" that I will revert to my default settings?  No, deep down I do not because I am building my life and organizing my life around what matters most to me.  But one day at a time, right?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Where is your Focus?

Part of the challenge of attaining and maintaining a healthy weight is dealing with your thought life.

The first time I did Medifast, back in 06/07 and lost 140 pounds, I white knuckled it all the way to goal.  I was rigid and disciplined.  HOWEVER, I was still OBSESSED with food.  I would buy cookbooks.  I would watch the cooking channel.  I would prepare tasty treats for everyone else, then sit back and admire my own self-discipline. 

I remained FOOD FOCUSED for the entire journey. 

It was a massive lesson in DEPRIVATION.  And I learned that lesson well.  That lesson was that I could not eat what everyone else could eat, and probably never would be able to.  That I could NOT partake in the movie theater popcorn.  That I could NOT have a piece of my own birthday cake.  That I could NOT have that signature piece of cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory.  Until, maybe, maintenance and THEN what excited me about maintenance was that I WOULD be able to have an occasional piece of SOMETHING or other.  And THAT would make me happy.

Food.  Centric.  To. The. Core.

The first time I did the plan, those were my thoughts.  And guess what? 

I gained ALL of my 140 pounds back within 12 months of reaching my goal.

Does that scare you?  I don't mean it to, what I DO mean to do is to juxtapose my mentality the FIRST time with my mentality my SECOND AND LAST TIME, because my thought life was SO DIFFERENT the second time around.

How so?  Health.  The first time I did the plan I was focused on food.  The second time I did the plan, I did it with Take Shape For Life and I was focused on HEALTH.

I trained myself INTENTIONALLY to focus on what I wanted to CREATE with this process the second time, NOT what I was having to DEPRIVE myself of.

I did it mindfully.  I did it by reading Dr. A's Habits of Health.  I maintain my weight by CONTINUING to read Dr. A's Habits of Health, and staying connected with my Health Coach.  Yes, I call her every single week.  I did it by deciding NOT to watch the Food Network or the Cooking Channel anymore.  I gave away all my cookbooks that were not health-oriented.  Yes I did.  Even my "Cake Bible".  Extreme?  No, it was a lightening of my load.  I was unloading that life.  I didn't need it anymore.  I didn't need the "Ben & Jerry Ice Cream Cookbook" anymore, or the "International Cookie Cookbook".  I didn't need "Southern Cooking" or "A course in Candy Making". 
What I am saying is this:
If we don't take the time to develop a fit and healthy  mind then this will be just an exercise in futility that we will likely have to repeat.  Again, and again, and again.  But there IS hope to break that oscillating pattern.  But you don't just "fall" into it, you develop it.

So what are YOU creating with this process?  What healthy habits are YOU introducing into your life incrementally, then MASTERING them?  Do you even HAVE Dr. A's Habits of Health?  Or are you "doin' fine, don't need it?" 

Where is your focus?  Because where your heart is, there your treasure is.

Is food your treasure?  Is your stomach the most important organ in your body?  Are all of your thoughts guided by your stomach? 

Or is health your treasure?  Is your most important organ your brain?  Who is driving the bus?  Who is in control?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Five Stages of Grief

DENIAL-I don't have a problem. I'll start tomorrow. I'll start after the party next week. I'll start after my birthday. I'm not really THAT big. I'm not getting on a scale.  Eating off plan over the weekend and on plan during the week really should still work a LITTLE.  This BLT shouldn't hurt anything. 

ANGER-I'm so angry I have to deal with this every day! "Normal" people don't have to watch every single little thing that goes into their mouth! Why do I have to do this? I'm sick of it! I'm sick of the soup. I hate the shakes. How can they expect me to succeed if they can't get this website fixed?!  I can't stomach the chili.

BARGAINING- I am sure that more than 3 condiments is totally fine.  I know what 6 ounces of chicken looks like, I don't need to weigh it.  I'll drink this green machine juice smoothie and call it my green for the day.  This 100-calorie pack of oreos can be 1 of my Optavia Fuelings today. 
It's just a little taste. How 'bout if I just have this and get right back on track tomorrow.  It's such a small piece, I'm sure it won't hurt anything.  But this is such a special dinner for (anniversary, birthday, child's birthday, Ash Wednesday) I really just want to relax and enjoy it.

DEPRESSION-I can't believe I did that. I'll never lose this weight. I'll be fat my whole life, I may as well deal with that fact. I can't understand how I got this way. Why am I this big? What did I do to deserve this? I can't see a way out. Why me? I'll never do this. I'm hopeless.  I'm useless.  I'll never change my life so I might as well eat this Samosa.

ACCEPTANCE-I will do the Optimal Weight 5&1 Program using the Optavia Fuelings (or Medifast Meals) as written, and enjoy the success that I deserve and that so many people who have stuck to this program are enjoying every day.  I will check in with my Optavia Health Coach once a week and I'll thoughtfully read Dr. A's Habits of Health and begin implementing those habits into my life, and mastering them.  My body has caloric limitations that perhaps other people don't have, but I will not view this as a reason to think life is not fair, I will simply find out what those limitations are once I reach goal and transition to maintenance, and then organize my eating around those limitations.  I will do this. I can do this. I am doing this.

I think the emotions we go through on this program, although unique to us, are indicative of the same pattern in the 5 stages of grief. After all, we are "losing" something. Our weight. Some of us have had a relationship with our weight our whole lives. The fat has been a friend, just as food has been a friend. It has made decisions for us. It has dictated what we wear, where we go, whether we sit in a booth or a regular table, what rides we go on Disneyland, whether we can go through the turnstiles at Disneyland or have to go through the gate, how many seats we need to buy on an airplane (you know your fat is like a person to you if you need to buy an extra seat for it...what an appropriate analogy). Our fat tells us whether or not we can go to the beach or wear a bathing suit (NOT!), what section of what store we can buy our clothes in. Our fat dictates whether or not we can buy life insurance, or health insurance, and eventually, our fat dictates when we die. Many of the adult diseases that become fatal are more likely to happen to fat people. Diabetes. Heart disease, and certain cancers are closely tied to weight. So our fat dictates how and when we will die. It may be our friend or our closest companion for years, but it is a treacherous one with your ruin in mind. Get rid of it. It's not worth keeping. Some of us are as comfortable with our fat, and unwilling to get rid of it, as someone in a physically or emotionally abusive relationship. Our identities are so wrapped up in us being fat, we can't see life without it.

We have also lost a relationship, the relationship with food.  This relationship was nurtured by us, and we put a lot of time and effort into it.  How much of our day was spent thinking about, planning to eat, shopping for, preparing, and then eating, food?  It took a lot of emotional investment and likely to the detriment of other things or people in our lives who got the short end of the stick as regards our attention and care.  Food was our savior.  Food was our friend.  Food celebrated with us when we were happy, mourned with us when we were sad, cheered us up when we'd had a bad day, and gave us a distraction from our otherwise too stressful lives.  So, the fact that this relationship has GOT to, necessarily, CHANGE, can definitely bring with it a sense of great loss, of grieving, of mourning.

Please, please, do this for you. Do it for your health. Mourn the fat, mourn the food, yes, maybe, but get through it and get rid of it. You'll be better off, I promise!

Head into the ACCEPTANCE stage and stay there.  Have a great week!

I need your advice....

I have a friend who has recently gotten out of an abusive and co-dependent relationship.

She made a clean break.

This relationship caused her physical harm.  Threatened her health.  She had clarity of mind when she realized it had to end, and took steps to sever the bonds and enter in to more healthy relationships.

In fact, she is now IN a healthy relationship, but at times she gets lonely for the guy who abused her.  She has asked me my opinion, whether or not I think that she should have a "cheat day" and go back into the arms of that abusive and co-dependent state, just for one day, or maybe once per week or once per month. 
She knows that she can always go back to her healthy relationship the next day, so she sees no problem with the occasional "cheat day".
After all, we have to learn how to HANDLE unhealthy relationships, right?  If we have ONLY healthy relationships, then how in the world will we learn?

What should I tell her?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Healthy Rocks!

Can I just tell you how much being healthy ROCKS? 

I wish I could really show you what taking the opportunity to choose optimal health can mean in a life.  But you will have to discover what it means in YOUR life, one day at a time. 

For me, it means being able to trail-run with a 500 ft elevation for 3 miles round-trip today in the Arizona sunshine on South Mountain.

For me, it means going in the Caribbean ocean last week IN A SWIMSUIT and SWIMMING.  It meant being comfortable in the hot tub later on.  It meant dancing in a strapless dress and only being a LITTLE bit afraid the dress was going to have a wardrobe malfunction LOL.

It means hiking in the rainforest.

It means being able to sea kayak without giving a second thought to whether I will sink the boat or not.

It means smiling about 95% of my day instead of only 5% of my day.

It means sharing my story and the hope that can be ANYONE'S if only they will reach out and do the work, one day at a time.

It truly is a transformative journey that is very worth taking in my book.  And I cannot imagine what my life would be like today if I had not chosen to take this road.

Is it hard?

Yeah, but WAAAAAAAAAAAAA so what?  Anything worth doing is hard.  Raising my son to be a little man is hard does that mean I'm not going to do it?  Getting monthly labs to check on his kidney transplant is hard but does that mean I'm not going to do it?  Getting my running shoes on and heading out the door is sometimes hard.  But really, so what.  Honestly.  Since when did "it is hard" become a reason NOT to do something? 

So onward with our goals, with our struggle.  As Freya says, "Dieting is hard.  Being fat is hard.  Choose your hard."

I would change that to "Choosing health is easy.  Being fat is hard.  No brainer."

Victims or Victors?

A victim waits for something to happen "to" him/her (or claims something DID happen "to" him/her).
A victim complains constantly about what happened and sees no way out.
A victim lets life happen UPON him/her.
A victim feels like they have been wronged, life is unfair.

A victor MAKES something happen.
A victor is part of the SOLUTION instead of lamenting constantly about the perceived PROBLEM.
A victor happens on LIFE, does not allow LIFE to dictate the terms upon THEM.
A victor takes his/her current situation and PLOTS and EXECUTES a course of action to affect real change.

Which are you?

Which am I?

I used to be a victim as regards my health.  I was convinced that bad genes, life stress, heck, maybe even a full moon the day I was born caused me to struggle with my weight my whole life.  I lost weight on some "diet".  I gained it back because "life happened" on me and I handled it poorly.  It was like, as Dave Ramsay puts it, I was a toddler sitting in a soiled diaper, saying "I know my diaper is poopy, but it's warm and it's mine....."

And honestly?  That is no way to live.  Sitting in a mess of our own making and shouting out at anyone who will listen how unfair it is that we are sitting there. 

We did it, and we can change it.

But not if we are a victim.

One day I decided I wasn't going to be a victim anymore.  I decided that there was not ONE PERSON more vested in my health and my life than.....myself.

And I also realized something that I understand is a big concept in AA, which is "Life Doesn't Change.  People do."

And how true is that?

When I decided to become a victor, is when I realized that my habits are completely mine.  And was I going to continue sitting in my poopy "Habits of Disease" diaper?  Or was I going to make a change?

I decided I would incrementally introduce Habits of Health into my life, as described by Dr. A in his book, and I decided that my life was FULLY mine to live, and was FULLY my responsibility.

It wasn't Medifast's responsibility to make yummier and cheaper food so that I could adhere better.  It wasn't my boss's responsibility to pay me more so I could afford to do the plan.  It wasn't my Coach's responsibility to hold my feet to the fire and continue to reach out when I wouldn't answer the phone.  It wasn't ANYONE else's responsibility to change MY life.  The responsibility was mine.

So I got to work.  I put my nose to the grindstone and DID THE WORK.

While I was DOING the work, I adopted a "Can-Do" attitude instead of a "Poor-Me" attitude.

And I am SO glad I did.

So, today, will you be a victim or a victor?  Because as always, the choice is yours.

Sea Kayaking, Wave Running, Swimming in the Caribbean, Sitting in the Hottub!

Hiking up a tower. 

These are all things I would not have drempt of doing 2 years ago, at my high weight.  But I have done them ALL this week.  I went Sea Kayaking at night in a bioluminescent bay.  I went wave running on a jet ski with my niece, IN A SWIMSUIT.  In public.  I went swimming in the Caribbean.  IN A SWIMSUIT.  In public.  I went in a resort jacuzzi, with a bunch of people I don't know very well, IN A SWIMSUIT.  In public.

Life is grand, but it wasn't handed to me like this.  I had to make my choices to choose optimal health, so that is what I did.  I chose it.  I made it happen.  It didn't "happen" to me. 

Life doesn't change.  People do.

Do you ever just wish that life WOULD change?  That you WOULDN'T have that colossal struggle every day just to make the right choices?

Well, I am here to tell you that IF you DO make those RIGHT choices, and you DO CHANGE, your life has the chance to be exactly what you make it.

Are you huffing and puffing when you walk up 1 flight of stairs?  Are you not able to fit behind your steering wheel without becoming "one" with the steering wheel so to speak?  Does your car seatbelt not fit anymore?  Do you eye chairs to make sure they are wide enough before you sit down in them?

I used to do that too.  But I can tell you this:

IF you will choose to stay ON PLAN today, JUST today, you can have all the health you can handle.  Honest.  That has been my experience.

If you will choose to stay ON PLAN today, then the only thing separating you from your goal is just a little bit of time.

So what will it be today?  On plan or not?

This has been a blog written from the beautiful Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  =)

I'm leaving on a jet plane....but I had a blast packing!

Today was SUCH a fun day, I packed for my trip to Puerto Rico!

It seems like only yesterday that every trip I took began with the dreaded hunt in the closet for something, anything, maybe even a FEW items that would still fit me, that I could still wear and wouldn't me look too fat.  Packing used to be so traumatic I ended up crying sometimes because I didn't have anything I could wear. 

That was then.

Fast forward to now, and I have an abundance of beautiful clothing that FITS ME!  And that I look GREAT IN!  From size 2-6 dresses, and size 4-6 jeans.  I waltzed around my closet deciding what I WANTED to wear and what was appropriate for sitting in the sun under a palapa on the beach.  Oh yes, that would be my SMALL one-piece bathing suit I bought from Costco last year.  Tied about the waist with a beautiful sarong

Oh my goodness.  If I could bottle this happiness and give it to all of you who are JUST beginning this exciting and amazing transformative journey, I would be even MORE happy than I am as I type this.

And I am SO excited about all the activities I'm going to be doing there!  I will be hiking in the El Yaunque Rainforest, I will be Sea Kayaking in the Bioluminescent Bay at sunset, I will be going out for an all-day shopping/sightseeing excursion and ALL of this while keeping up with my 18 year old niece who has super-long legs!  I'm a shortie, but I WILL keep up. 

What am I NOT doing?  Plotting and planning about all the YUMMIES I'm going to eat.  Because I already know what the yummies I WILL eat are.  Grilled shrimp by the bucketfull.  Ceviche.  And I'm sure the resort can scare up some grilled veggies for me.  =)  I'm not daydreaming about the flan or the pastries or anything else they might try to throw my way, I can wave it away with one hand and say "no thanks, that's not my food".

And that ISN'T my food, because this IS my life.

Real life in progress.  And loving it!

Be on plan this week!  The blogs will still come but they may be every OTHER day while I'm in Puerto Rico.  Remember your goals.

Playing at Medifast or Changing Your Life?

I don't want you to read the title of my blog and feel badly in any way.  If you have been "playing at Medifast" for the last month or two or 8 or 10, the point of this blog is not to publicly scourge you or call you out or shame you.

What I DO want to do is offer hope. 

Firstly, playing at Medifast gets us nowhere.  It renders the program completely ineffective and keeps us in a state of denial.

Let me ask you, any of you who have been "on Medifast" now for more than a couple of months.....are you shrinking?

Are your clothes getting loose and are you dropping sizes?  Because that is a FOR SURE side effect to doing this program honestly and accurately.  You see all the success stories day after day, and you say "I wish that were me, why can't that be me...." and to that I give you a quote from Alexander Graham Bell:

"When one door closes another door opens, but we often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."

Are you looking at the closed door of "mindless eating whatever I want when I want it" and wishing that door was open again?  Are you sitting by that door and hoping that you can at least get a thumbnail in it?  Are you wistfully longing for the days when you could eat a double double and milkshake without remorse or guilt?  Are you mad at your body for storing extra calories as fat?  Are you discontent?

Because discontentment really breeds non-adherence to the plan, and non-adherence to the plan, no matter how small, effects your results.

Are you content with this process of getting healthy?

If the scale hasn't moved, and the clothes are not getting looser, then take a good long look at your plan.  Have you modified it?  In any way?  Do you know better than the experts who developed the plan?  Are you responding to a little bit of extra hunger with "a couple of ounces of protein" every day or two?  Are you grabbing a "handful of nuts" on your way to bed because you are afraid of having an empty feeling in your stomach as you go to sleep?  (And then you grab another handful in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom). 

Is this you?

I want to offer hope.  Hope that if you will STOP looking longingly at that closed door which only leads to the fat room you came from (where you felt miserable all the time but ate whatever you wanted), and START looking towards that door of health which IS open and available to you if you will just WALK THROUGH IT and leave the longing discontentment BEHIND, you will "get it".

What will you "get?"

You will "get" that health is a process.  That the results ARE important, but the PROCESS is even more important.  Everyone wants the results, no one wants the process.

What is the process?  Get some accountability and support.  Get Dr. A's Habits of Health and start reading it thoughtfully (with a pen and a journal to write down your thoughts as you go).  And while you are doing this, stay on the plan which is outlined in the Quick Start Guide.  No one ever went wrong following that to a "T".  Don't add stuff.  Don't miss meals.  Drink you water.  Keep your exercise to 45 minutes per day, and don't START exercising until you've been on the plan for 2-3 weeks already (unless you were exercising regularly before the plan, in which case cut the time and intensity in half for 2-3 weeks). 

Is your mind already drifting to the things you will have to give up and "looking longingly" at them?  Until you are really ready to let these things go, you are NOT ready to walk towards health. 

So are you ready?  Are you ready to live life for more than just your stomach?  Or is your stomach in total control of every aspect of your life?

I say there is a different way available to you.  But YOU have to decide to grab onto it and commit to the process.


Simplify Simplify Simplify!

Are you food-centric or health-centric?

Most of us begin this process with a highly developed sense of foodcentricity.  I know that isn't a word, but it describes how I was to a "T".

How much of our day, prior to beginning the plan, was spent plotting what our next feeding was going to be?  Plotting and planning, salivating, driving out of our way to get our extra-special ooey gooey cinnamon bun.  Texting girlfriends about where we could meet for lunch that would really "hit the spot".  Planning our after-work get togethers around which place had the yummiest food.  Driving by Ben and Jerry's and feeling that tug, and turning around.  THEN getting a Fro-Yo a half an hour later.  THEN a churro at Costco.  THEN deciding which BBQ place we would pick up for dinner.

I remember that life.  And it is exhausting just thinking about it. 

Life is so simple on the 5&1, if you allow it to be.  If you stop obsessing over what you can't have. 

You see, if you remain food-centric, it is hard to turn your attention ON to health.  You may still be admiring the shiny shiny things in the window and wishing you didn't "have" to be on a "diet".

There IS a way to turn your attitude around, but it will take being mindful and intentional about it. 

Focus on health.  Think about the things you WILL be able to do when you get to "healthy!".  Think about what your life has the potential to be like, if you will just get your eyes off the food.

Practice the Habits of Health by deciding what you want to create with this whole process, and focusing on THAT.  Focusing on THAT and looking FORWARD means you can't be focusing on the yummy food and looking BACKWARD.  Where we LOOK is the direction we HEAD.

Where are YOU headed?  Towards health?  Or towards the yummy food?  Because we often get what we want.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

One Day, Three Extremes

Today was a cathartic day.  I ended up crying my eyes out for part of it, jumping for joy for part of it, and saying "Wha?........" for part of it.

This morning I went to Jerome for the day.  I love Jerome, Arizona.  Such a fun little town, so many memories.  My husband and I used to own a Bed and Breakfast there, so it is always a good time and good memories to head up there if even for a few hours.  I stopped in on some old friends in the shops, I bought a KILLER pink dress at the House of Joy for my Puerto Rico trip next week (we have a Valentine Dinner of sorts on a beach on an island on our last night), and a little silver jewelled kaleidascope necklace at Nellie Bly.  I peeked in the Spirit Room and listened to the live band that was playing, and spent about an hour journalling over a cup of espresso at the Flatiron Cafe.  I went for a hike a few miles up the dirt road past the Gold Hill Mine towards Perkinsville, and it was coming back to my truck on this road that the "Wha?....." happened.

But first, the crying my eyes out. 

Before I turned around to walk back down the road to my truck, I sat for awhile out there in the stillness that is Northern Arizona in February on an old non-maintained dirt road.  I thought about my life, and I thought about all the blessings that I have been given, including and at most my 8 year old son who received a (successful!) kidney transplant almost 4 years ago now.  Every day I give him back to God with an open hand, but I retain the fear that God will take me up on that, so you can see what a tug-of-war goes on in my soul daily.

My husband resigned his job and has been home-schooling our boy since September 1st, and we have been doing fine, but I spent some time today just asking God to keep me continue on with my goals and to "keep my on my feet" so to speak.

Sometimes you just feel like you're THIS close to being knocked out, as if in a round of boxing.  Life can just throw jabs at you, and sometimes it is all you can do to stay on your feet.  Not stumble.  Not fall.  I said some very heart felt prayers today asking God to keep me on my feet.  For my family.  For my boy.

You see, I have lived most of my adult life as an obese woman.  I have now NOT been that for over a year, as I am maintaining and even furthering my health goals, and have been for over a year now, and in my heart I KNOW this is a permanent change and a lifestyle since implementing the Habits of Health which override my Habits of Disease daily. 

However, comma, I never want to take that for granted.  And my husband and I have designed our lives around what matters most to us, our son.  Spending time with him,  Making sure he is safe.  Making sure he knows he is loved and accepted and "enough" even though he has some huge medical challenges to live with for the rest of his life.  We want to give him that gift.  And so we are.

So I pray God continues to keep me "on my feet" and daily making the choices that I need to make to maintain my weight, my health, and my lifestyle.  Yes, the tears flowed during that prayer out there in the Arizona Wilderness.

The "Wha?....." moment cam while I was walking BACK to my truck.  Up on that desolate road I only saw one vehicle pass me.  That was an old beat up Ford truck, with three guys in cowboy hats riding in the front bench seat.  As the truck passed me, I heard a "moo" sound come from the back of the truck, and without looking back, my brain immediately assumed that there was someone riding in the back of the truck and they were making fun of me.  Why?  Because my brain defaulted to "fat me" brain.  My brain defaulted to thinking that those men were seeing a 5'3" woman walking the back road who weighed 272 pounds and was almost as wide as she was tall.  Or so she felt when she was 272.  It took a full 10 seconds for my brain to rationalize that:

#1)  I don't weigh that anymore, as evidenced by my running my hands down my thighs to make sure they had not, indeed, grown in circumference while I had been walking....honest I did that!

#2)  Realizing when I heard the "moo" the second time about 15 seconds later that it was NOT a "moo" but a "baaaaa", and that they were ranchers who had a SHEEP in the back of their truck. 

Now that's funny right there.  But very poignant in that this new healthy life is still so new to me that my brain can still play tricks on me like that.  But that is still funny.  I spent the rest of the walk laughing at myself.  =)

Jumping for joy came a little while later, when while walking past the Haunted Hamburger I met the owner of another Bed and Breakfast in town, who had been there when my husband and I were there way back when.  She did not recognize me.  I had to explain to her who I was, and we had a very good conversation in which she called me "an itty bitty thing."  Now she is pretty itty bitty herself, so for HER to call ME itty bitty, well, I jumped for joy all the way down the concrete stairs back to my parking spot after talking with her for 10 minutes. 

So one day, three extremes, and I feel like I have been put through the paces today.  Joy.  Grief.  Confusion.  All of it.

And not ONCE did I "feel" like answering ANY of those emotions with a big ole piece of cheesecake.  Not ONCE.  Not ONCE did I feel like stuffing my grief down with a pizza.  I didn't want to celebrate with Ben & Jerry's, nor did I want to ponder at the confusion I felt over a warm plate of brownies.  Not once did I even THINK about food as a drug.  In fact, come to think of it, it has been a LONG time since I HAVE thought of food in that way.

I'm telling you what, this time is different.  This time I have embraced the Habits of Health and if I can do it, anyone can.  Honest.  This is NOT a DIET to white-knuckle your way through and hope for the best at the end of it.  We MUST develop fit and healthy minds to go along with our fit and healthy body or this whole thing is an exercise in futility.  Please take if from someone who knows by experience.  It's NOT all about the size of your jeans.  It's NOT all about the numbers on the scale.  It IS about what you do, what you think about, when life happens.  When grief happens.  When joy happens.  When all of it comes at you like a freight train, and you just have to stay on your feet.

Adopting Habits of Health will allow you a chance of succeeding when that happens.  I've lived that, and I stand by it.

Have a great Sunday everyone.  Go Ravens.