Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Plank

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I go to the gym and take a step and sculpt class.  It has really made a huge difference in a LOT of ways to my weight loss process.  In the beginning, it was really, really hard to go.  I found a million excuses NOT to go every day that my class rolled around.  But, I went anyway.  And, of course, I was the biggest person in the class. Great.  Most of the "sculpting" portion of the class...I could not do.  That was also where the hate portion of my LOVE/HATE relationship with the instructor comes in.  But, I still tried to do everything anyway.  Now, I can do most everything in the class.  I can't always do them as long, or maybe as many as everyone else, but I see major improvements.

What does this have to do with the plank and what is the plank, you ask?  Let me tell you what the plank is not first.  The plank is NOT what you commonly would think of as being what people walked off or were pushed off a pirate ship; although at times it has made me wish that I was being pushed off an actual plank into the ocean.  Anyway, what it IS is an exercise that has made a TREMENDOUS difference in the abdominal region of my body.  I mean a big difference.  Did I say huge?  Okay, you get the point.

Here's how it works.  Lay on the floor, flat on your stomach.  Then, push yourself up onto your elbows and your toes ONLY, keeping your head and neck relaxed.  Sounds simple right?  Okay, go ahead and try it really quickly.  BTW, the goal is to stay in that position for 30 seconds.  Okay, now try it... Go ahead while no one is looking...  Done yet??  Oh yeah...  Did your whole body start shaking after about the 10 second mark.  Mine does every time.  You are supposed to work up to 5 reps of 10 holding each for 30 seconds.  Talk about abs of steel.  If I ever make it that far.  So far I can do 3 reps of 8 holding each for 30 seconds.  But even now, every time I get the body shakes around the 10/12 second mark...on EVERY one of them.  Oh well, it's nice to have goals I guess.  Try them.  I am even starting to see where my abs are supposed to be.  They are trying to come out.  If they don't...I guess I'll just have to walk that plank after all... 

Monday, September 29, 2008


Here is this weeks dinner menu

  • MONDAY      GLAZED SIRLOIN WITH LEEKS (did not fix this before)
  •                        ASPARAGUS
  •                        MASHED POTATOES (for the kids only)

  •                        GREEN BEANS
  •                        SALAD


  •                           ROASTED BROCCOLI
  •                           SPAGHETTI SQUASH

  •                        CHICKEN QUESADILLAS
  •                        SALAD

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wednesday Weigh-In

Well, this will be short and to the point...there will be No Friday weigh-in cause I will be at the beach!!! So, I went today instead and since it has not been a week...the weight loss will not be as much.  Also, I have been sick for 2 days and not eating or drinking very much.  You would think that would help right?  Well, it doesn't.  It actually makes you gain in the short term because your body goes into survival mode and begins to store everything it has.  So, the long and the short of it is I am down 1 more pound, which brings me to a grand total of 47.5lbs.  Hopefully, I will behave myself at the beach...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Food For Thought

If I put a crouton on my ice cream sundae, can I count that as my salad????

Just asking...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Are You Waiting For?

I have to confess that before I started this journey, I just wanted to have lipo or a tummy tuck (or in my case a stomach removal)  or lap-band or something.  I wanted something that I thought would be a "quick-fix", something that wouldn't take much effort on my part. ( Now, I don't need any ugly comments about what I just said.  That's what I thought in my fat-trapped warped mind.  I know that each of those things have their own set of difficulties and hardships.)  I wanted the easy way out.

Isn't that so where we have gotten today.  Always wanting the easy road?  Whatever takes the least amount of effort?  I am pretty sure that the Word gives us some advice about this...

Here is a passage out of the Message from Matthew 7 that I love.
13-14"Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.

God never said the best would be easy.  In fact, He repeatedly tells us that it isn't.

I also had hoped that this would be a short journey.  I wanted the weight to just...well, kinda...fall off, I guess.  I don't know.  I guess I had a dream that I would just wake up one morning and all of a sudden I would be thin.  Well, you know what Frank always says?  "It's nice to have a dream"  Whatever...

Then in my Bible study, I kinda discovered why I think for me this process must take a while.  Why the wait must be so long.  See, the really mature woman(okay person) in Christ knows how to wait on the Lord.  To wait with integrity.  You really have to trust God to wait.  I have to trust God that I will make it to the finish line and make it to my goal.  I have to trust God that through the holidays and birthday parties and football games that I (we) can make good choices.  And when I don't feel like I can, I turn to Him instead of my old ways of looking to myself and my emotions.  Waiting requires so much maturity that I understand why most of us just give up.  The wait sometimes just seems way too long.  To wait on the Lord means choosing a higher road that I have not always been willing to take in the past.

But when we change the way we look at our wait...that in that period of waiting, God wants to show me and teach me and grow me,  my whole attitude takes a new form.  See instead of just kinda standing around with my arms crossed and tapping my toes and aimlessly looking around while I wait (and might I add a few huffs and puffs cause I think I have waited long enough) now I can wait with purpose.  I can spend my waiting entrusting this particular area of my life to God.  That He really does care enough about it...it IS important to Him.  And I can trust Him to see me through it.  And I can spend this waiting season committing this area to prayer.  Instead of just sitting around...

What I have come to realize is that is not really about the length of time that you wait...but how you waited that matters most.  

What are you waiting for?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Weigh-In

Well, it's that time again....went for my Friday weigh-in.  And as of today, I have lost a total of 46.5lbs.  Not a tremendous improvement over last week, but I did eat a cookie this week...
So, I will just keep at it...not the cookies, I mean.  The loosing weight part.  Well, you know!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Top 10 Things I Look Forward To About Not Being Fat

  1. Actually going shopping with other PEOPLE for a change/not having to hide when I see someone coming I know (don't lie, you've done it too)
  2. Not feeling guilty about eating dessert...occasionally
  3. Going to the beach and not feeling like Orca the Whale
  4. Not having to wear a bathing suit w/a skirt (not that there is anything wrong with that. they are cute.  but when you are fat you feel like you HAVE to wear one!)
  5. Wearing clothes without a letter behind the number
  6. My arms not waving at me while I am waving at you
  7. Being able to tuck my shirt in my pants...and it not scare you
  8. Being able to wear belts again that aren't the size of the equator
  9. Being able to share/borrow clothes with friends (well, maybe not my current friends, but maybe I can find some new ones that aren't quite sooo skinny!!)
  10. Actually WANTING to be in pictures with my friends and my family again!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Water, Water, Water

Before I started this process, I had always heard how important water was, but just kind of brushed it aside.  I liked my Dr Pepper too much.  The real Dr Pepper by the way...not the "I'm calling myself the real thing but I'm not so don't even bother picking me up" or the " I have diet in the title so I taste similar but still not good enough".  Okay.  Do you understand.  I wanted the real stuff.  You know at 160 cal a piece.  And I went through several a day.  Let's just say that I drank  A LOT of my calories!!  But, once I started this process and got really serious and actually took the time to learn the effects of it, especially in the dietary process...I was very surprised.  See, I didn't know how much of it I actually needed.  Just the average body needs 64oz per day.  But, for those of us trying to loose weight, we need more.  How much more?  Eight ounces more for every 25lbs you are overweight.  That's right.  You heard me.  However, you should never drink more than 96oz in a day.  Too much is just as bad for you as too little.  If you don't drink enough water your fat cells swell up to hold onto whatever water they have.  And, if you drink too much, they swell with the excess water.  So, it's important that you drink the right amount.

When they first told me how much water I was going to have to drink, I thought to myself "I will never be able to do that.  I won't have time to do anything else!!" (I started out at the 96oz level, by the way)  And I had to work my way up to it, that's for sure.  But when they told me that all the peeing it would make me do was one of the main ways that my body would get rid of the fat, you better believe I started downing that water like there was no tomorrow!!  The good news is, the more you loose, the less you have to drink :)  Actually, it's not so bad.  And I do have time to do other things.  And I don't ONLY drink water either.

What's been interesting has been all of the thinking this has lead me to about Jesus referring to Himself as the living water.  I mean, do you think it's an accident that He compares himself to what is essentially the most important thing to our bodies?  Water is what our bodies are primarily composed of, not bone or muscle.  And  water is the only real thirst quenching drink there is.  The others just make you more thirsty!

Here are some verses where Jesus talks about living water.  Drink and Enjoy!

JOHN 4:14(NIV)
but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. 

JOHN 7:37-39(NIV)
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."  By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.  Up tot hat time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

He said to me: "It is done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.  To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.

Saturday, September 13, 2008



MONDAY       WHOLE HERB ROASTED CHICKEN (Winn Dixie has the best)
                         GREEN BEANS

                        MASHED POTATO (for the kids only)



                          SAUTEED ZUCCHINI
                          SALAD W/ ORANGES 

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Weigh-In

On Friday's I have to go to the center and weigh in and have my food sheet checked (yes I have to keep up with it :))  They make sure that I don't have any questions about what I ate or should have eaten...  you get the picture.  And we talk about upcoming events and what will be the best choices at those times or what I can do to avoid making bad ones.  Once a month I get measured and at every 10lb loss they take my picture.  So, as of today, I have lost 44lbs and 53.5"  Yes, I have on workout clothes in both pictures because I always come straight from the gym to the center.  And yes, I have on a cap in both pics because always always I wear a cap to the gym.  Happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reasons for the Journey Part 3

Well, I was going to wait until tomorrow to do this part, but since I'm still up I figured might as well...

I am sorry to say that this part of my reason didn't come until later.  Much later.  See, I have been in this process for 16 weeks now, so it's not new.  During my quiet time and time of Bible study, the Lord began to point some things out to me that quite frankly, I just didn't really want to hear.  I basically had to accept the fact that my being overweight was, well, sin.  Ouch.  Yeah, that one hurt.  Of course, my first reaction (embarrassingly enough) was to argue my points to the Lord.  Here they are in no particular order:
I am an emotional eater
You don't know my past (duh)
I don't have time to eat right
It's too expensive to buy all the healthy food
It's in my family
You don't know my past hurts that I like to relive (again, DUH)
I..I....well, I.... I AM SOUTHERN DAWG GONE IT AND WE LIKE TO EAT!! (there I said it)

He didn't care.  So, then He showed me why.  You see, what it all boiled down to at the heart of it all, was that I had made food an idol.  Yes, food was an idol for me.  Exodus 20:3-4 says "You shall have NO other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven or on the earth beneath or in the waters below."  Yowch. (is that a word? I don't know)  I had let food replace my God for my needs.  Okay so lets take my list to prove it.
I am an emotional eater-so I turn to food instead of God?  How stupid could I have been?
Guilt from my past-instead of turning to God or the Word to be reminded of my forgiveness, I turned to food for my solace?  Time-you make time for what is important to you...you just do.  Asking God to help me prioritize my time would have been better. And so on and so on...

He didn't stop there.  God made it clear from the very beginning in Genesis 1 that we were created in His image.  He also created us body, mind/soul, and spirit.  Those are three very priceless gifts.  My mirror and scales told me that I was not treating them with the reverence and respect that they deserved.  In 1 Corinthians 6:19, He says, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"  My body isn't even my own.  I'm just supposed to take care of it.  And I wasn't doing a very good job.

So, my focus changed, shifted.  I began to commit this area of my life to prayer as well.  After all, doesn't the Word say" IN EVERYTHING, WITH PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION MAKE YOUR PETITIONS KNOWN."?  So, this too.  And, it matters.  It made a difference.  It helps me make better choices.  Sixteen weeks in, I am 41lbs lighter.  And even though I have a way to go, now I feel like I CAN DO THIS.  Not because of anything in myself, but because of Who is in me.

Reasons for the Journey Part 2

I had more reasons for beginning this journey other than just vanity.  I'm not that shallow.  I mean, there was the obvious health reasons.  Heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol.  Not to mention I had a hard time bending over to tie my shoes.  I was easily winded going up a flight of stairs or having to walk quickly anywhere, which did not bode well for me having 3 young children.  So, after seeing the success that a friend of mine had at a local weight loss center here in town, I decided to check it out.  Hey, I'm no dummy.  I knew that I couldn't do it by myself.  By myself is what got me in the shape I was in anyway.  There was no way I was doing this without some accountability.  I went and met with them and liked the way the program was set up.  Then...I had to actually get on the scales.  Wha...  Okay.  I did.  And I was HORRIFIED!!  It was even WORSE than I thought.  How is this possible??!!  I just wanted to run and hide.  I guess the sweet girl(I say girl but I mean woman) could see the look in my eyes and she just said "Honey, that's why your here".

I came home and talked it over with Frank.  He gave it some thought(prayer) and said he was willing to do whatever I thought would help me the most and he would be there to support me..as long as I stuck to it.  Okay.  Fair enough.  But I made him promise not to tell anyone what I was doing.  He kinda looked at me funny, but by now we have been together long enough that sometimes he just knows not to ask.  But, I was embarrassed.  Embarrassed that I was having to go to such an "extreme" measure.  That's the way I thought of it.  Embarrassed that I had let it get this far.  Embarrassed that I had let myself gain so much weight.  Embarrassed that I even needed help.  Why do we do that?  Why do we cut the people off that love us the most when we have situations that we can't deal with, or are too big for us?  I guess it's also that kind of mentality that I need to get in shape BEFORE I can start working out at the gym!

Anyway,  I started on the program and Frank even agreed to do it with me because he needed to loose some weight too.  Granted, not as much as I did.  My goal was 100lbs.  His around 45lbs.  I also started going to the Y, taking a step aerobics class.  Let me just say right now that I honestly thought those first few weeks of working out...I was going to die.  Literally.  It took everything I had not to get so winded that I would pass out.  But I stuck to it.  The working out and the program.  I even decided that NOT telling people was the wrong thing to do.  Because, just like I needed the centers help...I needed their help and support too.  And guess what?  No one ever looked at me like I had 3 heads or anything when I told them what I was doing to loose weight.  Everyone just encouraged me to keep going...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Reasons for the Journey Part 1

Vanity.  Pure and simple.  That's why I started.  But you have to understand, I had let myself get to the point where nothing really fit anymore.  Not even the "big girl" clothes.  One size would be huge, but the size under that would be too tight in places.  I seriously had nothing in my closet that I felt good about being in.  I was also at that place where when people would make jokes about themselves or their relatives(mostly older people) having the "arm-hangy-downy-stuff", you know that waves back at you when you are waving at people.  I would laugh, but try to hide my arms because I had it too.  Big time.  Or they would make some comment about thunder thighs or pants making noise when so & so walked by, I would chuckle with them.  But it was only to hide the fact that I was one of the ones that they were making fun of.  Basically, I was fat.  Really, really fat.

To make matters worse, none of my friends were.  I don't just mean that they were all healthy looking.  They are all "I really hate them" skinny people.  But I mean that with all the love in my heart!  Here is a real life example that I promise I am not making up.  Frank and I went on a beach trip with 2 of my very loved skinny friends and their families. ( Why I did this to myself I will never know) One of the things we did for each other while there was to take turns watching each others kids while the other couple went for a walk on the beach or a swim or whatever.  So, while M & K went for their walk, I being the good friend that I am, decided to fold K's laundry that was in the dryer for her so it would be all nice and folded when she came back.  I accomplished this goal and waited for her reaction.  I had the kids clothes on their bed and M & K's clothes on their bed.  K just smiled so big when she saw the pile of her daughters clothes.  
Ashley  Whats the matter
K            Nothing except that those aren't R's panties
Ashley Well whose panties are they then
K            They're mine *smirk and giggle out loud***

Did I casually forget to mention that not only was her daughter 4 at the time, but K was also 5mo pregnant with her 3rd baby?  I hate her...

But they are all that way really.  And you know how on TV there is always the 1 fat friend in the group?  One day while I was with some of them, I started to look around and I thought "Where are all the fat people?  Really, where are they?"  And then I realized...I was it.  I was the fat friend.  I can not tell you how I felt at that moment.  No, not one of them has ever done anything to make me feel uncomfortable (except be a size 0/2) or said anything to make me feel that way.  I just woke up that's all.

So, my reason 1st and foremost was vanity.  I just didn't want to be the fat friend anymore.  I didn't want to be self-conscious around the people that I dearly loved anymore.