Little Miss Muffet I’m Not! By: Steph

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ResizedImage_1367343544280Hi readers who do not include my best friend! She pointed out this weekend that she has read my blog a couple of times…which means probably once πŸ™‚ Well that’s all good and fine and well because, I don’t read her blog either. Oh wait…she doesn’t HAVE a blog! Truth is I’m here for myself so I’m ok with the fact that others may or may not read this. Woo hoo I’m selfish! Not shellfish…I hate shellfish! Although, my co-blogger has declared that shrimp tacos are pretty fantastic. I would rather eat a doughnut made out of canned spinach and topped with lima beans!

Ok so, I may or may not be in a goofy mood today but, either way you will think I am! See I’m tricky like that. I could be sitting here crying in my…Greek yogurt parfait in my bathrobe or birthday suit. You my lovely reader will never know!

The most exciting moment of my day so far? Folding laundry and jumping about a foot off the floor because, a spider crawled across my toe. As I had a mini heart attack and pondered killing it with the clean shirt in my hand, I realized it was a little piece of fuzz from a sweatshirt or something that blew across the floor when I opened the dryer πŸ˜› you never know when one of those dust bunnies could be poisonous!

So, I have major confessions to make. I suck! There I said it. Ok wait what I mean is I am struggling with everything! Life, liberty the pursuit of happiness…or at least with eating my protein and getting exercise in. I will have a couple of great days and then 5 really kinda yucky ones. What is wrong with me and why am I floundering like this? I’m not gaining weight which is a miracle considering what I am shoving in my mouth and the fact that my workouts have been nonexistent lately. I was doing great with C25K and then we got sick and I just let it fall by the wayside. I want nothing but, carbs and sleep. I wonder if those two things go hand in hand? Probably yes, would be my bet! I feel like every time I step on the scale or put on my pants, that I should be prepared to burst into tears. Yet, I’ve been lucky so far.

I’m putting myself on blast here. Letting all of you know where I’m at and that I’m not doing the right things. Any suggestions to get my head back in the game would be appreciated. Maybe just the public admission will be enough to help me overcome the mental roadblocks I’m putting in my way. I’m scared. I’m scared of reaching goal, I’m scared of being this size, I’m scared of never reaching goal, I’m scared of going back to my old size. I’m looking in the mirror and seeing a much larger woman and not knowing how to change that. This is when I want to strangle people who tell me that weight loss surgery is the easy way out! I still have to eat right, I still workout more than most of the people I know who weigh less than me. I still have struggles. There isn’t anything easy about this! It’s the same way I felt and those of you who haven’t had surgery feel when it gets hard to focus. I know I’ve said this before but, we are in this together so let’s help each other out and not judge each other’s methods.

When you all embarked on your weight loss did you think of it as a permanent relocation or did you view it as a sojourn? I went into it viewing it as a journey. But, journeys end. They either end with you at your destination and staying there or you visiting and returning home. I need a more permanent thought process. I don’t want this to be a journey, I definitely don’t want it to be a sojourn so what will it be? I want to consider myself placed in the witness protection program because, the mob is looking for me! They will never stop coming for me but, the old Steph is gone for good, never to be heard from again. She left behind her insecurities, her lack of faith in herself, her fear of the unknown, her fat safety net. I only have what I’m picking up along the way, a rebirth of sorts. Is this too much to ask for? Not really. Will I allow myself to live like this? We will see.

I think I have been in a state of melancholy the past few weeks. Tomorrow will be a big day for me. It’s the anniversary of the day things started unraveling for me last year. I lost so much in the one year period between May 1st, 2012 and today. I gained a lot too but, still the sadness from last year is hanging heavy on my mind the past few weeks. I’ve tried staying upbeat, I’ve tried putting it behind me but, it’s not easy. I’ve asked God to take it from me but, I keep leaving the strings hanging and jumping up to grab them as He pulls them away. I know He is able to take these things but, I also know I have to surrender them and that is where the problem lies. Do you ever feel fear of happiness? Like if I let go of these things I won’t know how to live and who I am. Today I am smiling and feeling good. I am light inside and enjoying the feeling. Still, the other stuff, the baggage is sitting by the door to remind me it’s there waiting.

There are lyrics from a song that fit my thought process right now thank you, Miranda Lambert:

Go & fix your make up, girl it’s just a break up
Run & hide your crazy & start actin like a lady
Cause I raised you better, gotta keep it together
Even when you fall apart
But this ain’t my mama’s broken heart

Wish I could be just a little less dramatic
Like a Kennedy when Camelot went down in flames
Leave it to me to be holdin the matches
When the fire trucks show up & there’s nobody else to blame.

It’s not a perfect fit as it’s a breakup song but, it has all the elements for me to identify with it.

I understand that this post is way up and down emotionally but, back to the lighter side πŸ™‚

I have officially developed a love for riding the Harley with Joe. It gives us time to just be together and not think about all my day to day things. We ride every chance we get and miss it when we aren’t able to go.

Tonight is the last night of softball for Evelyn so I can get back to cooking family meals and we can get back to a normal routine. That honestly should help with my eating habits. I know I’m making excuses because, it is perfectly possible to make better choices than I have been, even with a busy weeknight schedule. The girls played their little booties off and kicked some too! They won every game of the official season until last night. Last night they were allowed to decide which position they’d like and race for it! LOL it was chaos but, all the girls had a chance to play new and fun positions so it was well worth the loss. They had a great time and that is what it’s supposed to be about at this age. I’m grateful for a wonderful group of coaches, one of whom is my cousin and he’s amazing with the girls. The picture is right after their dog pile. I loved it and wanted to share. My monster is the one with the white headband.

We will be paying tuition for Jessica’s college classes this week. Seems so unbelievable still.

Joey and I had a 10 minute back and forth session over Hot Dog the Skylander. He excitedly told me, “Mommy, Grandma bought me Hot Dog!” I smiled and said, “Oh cool, I know how much you like hotdogs! Did you have mustard on it?” This turned into a hilarious conversation with my son getting extremely frustrated with me until I finally admitted that I knew what he was talking about the whole time. At which time relief flooded his face because, I guess he realized I wasn’t as dense as he was beginning to fear!

The yard is at a stall for the past two weeks so we really need to get back to it so that it’s finished sometime this summer. The kids have already enjoyed the pool a couple of times and we are hitting near 100 degrees this week. What a way to usher May in!

Bear (the dog) and I had a conversation last week that ended with me banging on the sliding glass door and yelling something along the lines of, “I hope you dehydrate, shrivel up and turn into jerky!” He refuses to leave his water barrel upright and I keep having to go fill it up because, he looks at me all soaking wet and pathetic like, “Mom how come you never give me water…I’m so thirsty!” We have currently agreed to disagree on how that water barrel actually looks better. I feel it looks quite nice sitting near his house all filled up and sparkly. He feels it looks best rolling through the backyard making mud and spewing water all over the patio and him! Btw…he’s the furry one in the pictures above and that was taken the night I hoped he’d turn into jerky!

I attended an awards dinner for my husband and ex husband and tricked my best friend into being my ex-husband’s date for it on Saturday. It was honestly a fun night and not as weird as it sounds. Have I mentioned that the two guys work together? πŸ˜‰ Caught up with a friend I haven’t seen since right after high-school who works for the same company.

Sunday, went for a motorcycle ride with two friends after church. Had some lunch in the foothills and then came home and washed/styled my hair as fast as I am capable so that I would be ready for the concert I attended Sunday evening. Went to see Chris Tomlin (Christian artist) with Lisa (a good friend and neighbor). It was a nice evening with a girlfriend. Had some dinner, grabbed a Starbucks, went to a wonderful concert and had way more fun than I expected at it. Worshiped in a great way with a few thousand other people and came home to a quiet house with a sleeping family in it. Picture is Joe and I ready for our first real ride on the new bike.

That and a couple of softball games were pretty much my week in a nutshell. Oh I also got a haircut and highlights on Wednesday…I know you are fascinated!

Hope your week is filled with love and smiles,

~Steph

Dazed & Confused

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I can’t be the only one terribly confused by nutrition. That is about the only thing I am completely positive about with regard to the subject. I suppose that has always been the case for many people and the issue has been made ridiculously worse by the internet. Thanks sweet Al Gore!

Really the only thing that I can think of that I have not seen both sides represented is that almost all white food is bad for you. So if you are a real beginner to this, as I recently was I will add, then stop eating white bread and rice. Google it. I am confident I am correct.

I suppose one other thing I can reasonably conclude is that most people are different so all things will not apply to all people. In other words there are many ways to skin a cat. Since I apparently am in a complaining mood let me also say that is a very stupid clichΓ©. (But not as dumb as you want your cake and eat it too) If you know who invented that please punch them in the face.

I wish I had a point to make other than rambling but in my experience rambling is sometimes fun and can make you feel a little better. In a weird way, it has. I am now over the fact that I worked very hard this week and lost a half of pound. Carry on friends!

Bye – Clint

Chicken Fajitas

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Chicken Fajitas

1 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
2 medium peppers sliced thin (choose two different colors for a prettier finished dish)
1 medium red or yellow onion sliced thin

Marinade:
Combine juice from one large orange and 2 medium limes with the following seasonings to taste;
Salt
Pepper
Granulated garlic or garlic powder
Cumin
Oregano
Chile powder
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 cloves fresh pressed or chopped garlic
It’s really about combining the flavors you like best so play around and try different things until you find what you like best.

Olive oil cooking spray

Combine marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over chicken in a zip top bag. Put in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes but, an hour or two is even better.

Drain marinade and pat dry chicken before adding it to a hot pan coated with olive oil cooking spray and grill 8 mins or until no longer pink. Do not overcook the chicken you want it moist. Set aside on a cutting board.

Add the sliced vegetables and a couple more sprays of cooking spray to sautee pan. Lightly salt and pepper vegetables and sautee until just tender crisp. They should still have a bit of a snap to them when bit into.

While the veggies are cooking, slice chicken thinly. When veggies are done toss chicken and juices from cutting board into the pan and combine just until chicken is heated through.

Serves 6
nutritional info per serving

147 calories, 9 carbs, 2 fat, 26 protein, 2 fiber and 5 sugars

We like to serve ours with salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce or cabbage, corn or flour tortillas and shredded cheese. The last picture is an example of a salad we had for dinner the other night, served on a tostada shell.

Last week, new thoughts, and upcoming events. By: Steph

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ResizedImage_1366521168011Can you all believe it is almost May? This year is flying by and I feel like it was just Christmas! There have been so many changes in just the past few months. We’ve had our share of hardships, joys, challenges met and balls dropped. I am blessed to be able to say that I am still here and still standing tall.
Last week in a nutshell πŸ™‚

STOMACH FLU!!! It hit us hard and fast. One of my day-care kids had a touch of it and shared it with my 8 year old, Joey. He shared it with me and I shared it with Jessica. We were sort of down for the count most of last week. So we didn’t accomplish a whole lot but, I did get to sneak upstairs during one of Ebby’s softball games and take a 2 hour hot bath with lavender scented bubbles because, I was too sick to go to the game, the shades were drawn and music was playing. It was a very relaxing experience and one I’ve missed lately with the speed of life. Evelyn (Ebby) and Joe are much more hearty than the rest of us lol so they were immune to the whole thing. They did make excellent nurturers though.

The past couple weeks I’ve been riding on the motorcycle with Joe. It’s something we both enjoyed so he decided it would be better if we found a different one that was more set up for two. On Saturday we purchased the Harley and spent most of the day dealing with that. After the Harley dealer we headed to a favorite burger place in town. It’s one of those fancy joints just north of the cemetery and just south of the hookers. Took the kids over there and had a late lunch out on the patio of this old drive in. It was a nice time and all 5 of us spent the day together so that made it even better. I ordered a kids meal and only ate less than half. Saturday evening Joe and I took our first ride on the new bike and then hung out at Starbucks, chatting and catching up with each other over an iced drink. It was a nice way to spend an evening.

Sunday we headed to church, came home and then Joe and I saddled up and went about running errands on the bike. We hit Walmart (seriously you know how you can’t leave those places for under $200? Take a motorcycle! We could only fit a limited amount in the boxes and that kept the budget down πŸ™‚ I think next time we go to Costco we are definitely taking the Harley! That should be their new marketing slogan…”Men, does your wife shop too much? Not stick to her list and throw unnecessary items into the shopping cart? Well then you need a motorcycle! Compact boxes that hold only the necessities and all for the bargain price of…” Do you think their marketing department will be dropping me a check anytime soon? Ladies, we all know that it’s only US who load up the cart with stuff we don’t need! πŸ˜‰

Anyhow, after the errands on Sunday we took a long ride up to the foothills with a good friend. I will have to be honest and say I was great the whole time. I was excited when I got my new helmet before the ride started (It’s pretty). I was having a great time and then our friend turned us onto this little one lane winding road. There were a couple of moments where I considered either screaming and jumping off the bike like I was on fire or tapping my husband on the shoulder and politely telling him to pull the heck over because, I was walking home! I didn’t do either and as I focused on the gorgeous day and the scenery I relaxed and really started enjoying the ride again. It ended up being a great afternoon/evening and I’m glad I stuck it out. I can’t wait to go again. I know it’s something that wasn’t possible a year ago because, we couldn’t have fit on the bike comfortably together. Even though it wasn’t a physical activity, it was definitely one that weight loss made possible for us.

I’m looking forward to the beginning of May and the 2 support group meetings that come along with it. I really enjoy getting to share my questions and victories with others, and getting to listen to the questions and victories that they are encountering. I am also excited about the fact that I’m able to openly talk to others who are interested in my experiences with the surgery and it’s good and bad points. I am happy that God is using me to help others make an informed decision about whether this is the choice for them or not.

My food and exercise have been off a bit and I think that has something to do with all the changes my body is going through with medication. It has nothing to do with the weight loss but, we all know that any kind of medication changes can affect how we eat and feel. I am hoping we have found the correct dosage and prescription for my anxiety issues. I really want to just feel level again without all of the unwanted side effects. C25K has been on hold the past week and also on Monday of this week. The flu threw us way off. I think we are starting back at week 3 hopefully next week. I’m kind of in a sticky situation. I want to move ahead and do this (well I intellectually want to but, my body is happy being lazy!) but, I promised Jessie I’d do it with her. So when she doesn’t do it and I get ahead of her on the schedule, she wants to go back to where she left off. At that rate I will be about 65 when I can finally 5K it! Then I’ll probably have to use one hand on my cane as I run and hold my dentures in with my other hand! This girl had better get it in gear!

In a bit over a month my Jessie will be graduating from high-school. It seems impossible but, I keep checking and yep…it’s really happening, it’s not the 1990’s anymore and she isn’t still in preschool. We are almost at the end of another softball season for Ebby and nearing the beginning of summer break for the kids. In just 4 months I will be able to say I am the mother of a college freshman, a 5th grader and a 3rd grader. I will almost just about be able to say I’m a 40 year old woman! I’m a cougar too…my husband will merely be 39 at that point πŸ™‚ So, for 4 months I will get to rave about the hot younger man I snagged! Then he’ll turn 40 too and it’ll go back to the norm.

A couple of short months ago I was hiding who I am from the world. Worried about revealing too much of myself and the judgment of people. I was afraid to tell my closest friends and family that I had weight loss surgery. I prayed and was gently nudged from my husband and Clint until I realized, that I was ready. As a matter of fact, I was more than ready to be myself and accept whatever came with that. It’s been empowering and a little scary hanging it all out there for everyone to read, hear or see. Lesson learned here? A life lived in fear is a life not fully realized. I strongly feel that God allowed me to have Gastric Sleeve surgery so that I could move forward with my life. It’s not something He wants me to hide and be ashamed of. Since pulling on my big girl panties and just opening up I have lost a couple of people I was friendly with. I get watched by others as I eat or interact with them. I have even probably had people gossiping behind my back. You know what? None of those things matter. The friends I lost weren’t truly friends and my real friends have responded with love, questions, and kindness. My God is always with me and there was never a question of that but, I have a stronger spiritual life now that I have removed that wall from my heart. If people talk behind my back, they are the kind of people who would have done it no matter what my weight loss or gain circumstances were. The best part? I feel like I can be of help to others now. When I kept this a secret and I was guarded all the time, I didn’t realize how many people in my day to day life could benefit from talking about issues that are bothering them. Sometimes it’s weight, sometimes emotions, sometimes it’s just a need to tell someone else what’s on your mind. Whatever they need, I’m more open to it.

I have some new recipes to try and if they turn out well I will definitely be sharing them with you. I hope you are rockin’ your week and keeping the scale moving in the right direction.

Please let me know if you have questions or topics you’d like to hear about and we will be glad to work with them!

~Steph

Couch25K Update

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Hello. Today I will complete day three of week three in my try to be able to run quest. This week the schedule is a 5 minute brisk walk and then the following jog/walk combinations: 90-90-90-90-180-180-180-180.

So far it has not really been hard at all. Of course when not used to running even 5 seconds there is a mental adjustment to make. Past that so far so good.

One obstacle that I have needed to overcome is feeling like a moron doing it at all. I guess I just feel too big and too awkward still, being out there running. People may or may not be looking at me with a WTF kind of deal. Inside me I am pretty sure they are. In the end though I have decided I do not care all that much.

I should be clear that when I say running I am not talking about any kind of speed at all. If we compared it to the old classic story about the tortoise and the hare that could work. The hare is not even worth discussing and the tortoise wants to know what the hell is taking me so long. Not a big deal though as my goal is simply this. On July 20th I will start a “race” running, I will travel 3.2 miles and finish it running and I will not stop in between. We will worry about speed and times later on if things go sweetly.

Now that I have acted all cocky about successfully completing three minutes of running a few times I should say this. Looking ahead on my training schedule I am almost completely overwhelmed. That thing says I need to jog five minutes three times in day one of the week and TWENTY minutes IN A ROW on day three. (Week 5) One way or the other I am going to do that. I promise you I will not be coming on here talking about how easy it was. Cheers. -Clint

Hans & Franz Think I Am a Sissy-Boy

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I Love Hans & Franz!

Over the past 18 months I have made many attempts at lifting weights. I have had a few 4 week streaks where I did OK but inevitably my cranky back flares up and I need to put that on hold.

I will hopefully someday get to the point where I can start to develop my upper body strength beyond that of a very tough nine year old.

That time is not now so I had to make the trip to “Jim” to tell the owner of “Jim” that I needed to freeze my membership yet again.

It went like this:

Clint: Hi Shane, how are you? I need to put my membership on hold again due to my back issues.

“Jim” Owner: You are a real S.O.B.

Clint: Bahahahahahaha, why is that?

“Jim” Owner: When most people tell me that I can hint that their progress in their program will be wasted if they do and then talk them out of it. Every time you come in here it looks like you lost another 50 so what the hell am I suppose to say to you?

Clint: Bahahahahahaha!

People in the business of losing weight like to discuss Non Scale Victories. (NSV) I suppose this is one of those instances. Those are kind of cool and make you feel pretty darn good.

That will need to serve as my motivation to continue on. For now I will just make sure I do not make any eye contact when walking past the local playground. Eventually however, the plan is to get pumped up!

Bye. -Clint

A Mother’s Memory, support groups, date nights and more… By:Steph

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I have to confess that I have the memory skin of an elephant. I have lost a lot of weight and I would say that the wrinkled saggy stuff and I are waging a war of stubbornness currently. It says cover me the heck up and I tell it to shut up (that is a curse word in this house by the way!) and let me wear my tank top and shorts while studiously avoiding mirrors and feeling pretty hot! πŸ˜›

Ok that was supposed to be about my memory but, since I started with that memory of an elephant thought, I got a bit off course. Now…before my children I remembered things. I could recite 50 line poems such as ‘Casey At The Bat’ and ‘The Cremation of Sam Mcgee’ from memory. In school I was that girl who actually read the material and then filled everyone else from class, in on it 10 minutes before the test. I could repeat every song on the radio word for word after hearing them twice and remember details from a conversation I had 7 years, 6 months and 11 days earlier when arguing with someone! Today, I forgot the difference between a Saturday and Sunday! About a month ago, I was invited to a concert I really wanted to go to.. I put the phone down and walked to the calendar that very day and wrote it down. Last night my husband tells me that he has a work awards ceremony coming up. I went to the calendar and guess what? SAME DAY of course. Despite my husbands “orders” not to do so, I decided I was going to ask the person who had invited me to the concert to go with someone else. When I called her I explained the situation and we talked a few minutes and then it dawned on me that she had originally said the concert was on a Sunday…the ceremony was on a Saturday…how were they possibly on the same date? Because, my lovely 10 second memory wrote the concert down on the wrong date. So, all in all it worked out but, I totally almost canceled a really cool outing for no reason at all. This isn’t an isolated incident…I can walk into the kitchen from the living room and forget why I’m in the kitchen! I have decided I am attributing all the blame to my children because, it seems that my mind doesn’t function properly unless it’s filled with the melodious refrain of, “mom, mooom, mOM, MOM, MOMMY, MOOOOOOMMMMYYYY, MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYY” everything else is zipping in one brain cell and out the other! I have nightmares dreams with those 3 lovely little voices shrieking that! I do daycare for a living. I drive my kids and some of my day-care kids to one school and then other kids to the next school. On days when I KNOW those other kids aren’t with me, I still find myself going to the second school and having to act like I meant to randomly drive through the drop-off line and not drop anyone off!

Joe (my husband) and I went to couples counseling as I have mentioned before, to deal with the changes in our relationship after my weight loss. One of the conclusions we came to was that we needed couple time. On Tuesday Ebby (our younger daughter) had a softball game and our older daughter Jessie wasn’t umpiring so she agreed to take Ebby to the game and watch Joey (our youngest) so we could go out to dinner. We went out to a new restaurant, enjoyed a pleasant meal and caught up with each other a bit. An hour and a half later we were walking out to the car and I turned the volume back up on my phone. I always turn it off in a restaurant out of courtesy and I purposely didn’t touch it during dinner because, I wanted to focus on Joe. Unfortunately he had decided to turn his ringer off as well, which is unusual. So of course we walk out to 5 texts and missed calls each. Ebby was going to catch the softball and missed. It smacked her in the eye and instantly swelled up. Why don’t these things happen when WE ARE THERE? Nope, they happen the one night we take some time for ourselves as a couple. So Jessie who is a pain in the rear to her sister most of the time is in protective mode and demanding to know why we didn’t answer when she called. I explain and we rush home after stopping off for some ice packs. Parental guilt sucks, by the way! However there was a silver lining to all of this. Jessica took charge in a big way. She went and explained the situation to another team and borrowed ice. There was a doctor on the other team who told her that Ebby may have a mild concussion but, didn’t need to go to the hospital. He told her what to watch for and sent them home with the instructions. When they got home Jess couldn’t find the things she needed (because, I apparently hid all the icepacks and Advil) so she called a neighbor and borrowed the items needed and took care of her sister. She also was concerned enough that the doctors opinion wasn’t good enough so she called her Sports Medicine teacher from school and got a “second opinion” which was the same as the first. When we get home they are sitting together on the couch and she has her sister propped up on pillows, icing her eye, already had given her the Advil and they were cuddling under a blanket. It was honestly kind of sweet seeing how much she cared and reassuring to see how well she took charge. We have raised an amazing young woman πŸ™‚ I still can’t believe she will be graduating from high-school this year.

On Wednesday we braved yet again to leave the house for my bariatric support group. This time Jess was umpiring so we hired a sitter for the 2 hours we would be gone. I have to say I am incredibly happy I attended this meeting. It’s amazing knowing how many other people are feeling the same things you are and are dealing with the same issues. My question that night was simple but, the answer was anything but, simple. I wanted to know if it’s normal to start fearing the fact that I can eat more now and fearing regaining my weight. You could see the looks on each face in that room. It’s something they’d all thought about at some point. Basically the answer seemed to be, yes it’s normal to fear the return of bigger meals and that we had to change our minds and hearts about the regain. I thought that my fear was a bad thing but, it can be a beneficial and motivating thing. If I lose that fear I could lose my drive to stay on the right path.

There were a couple of amazing points made during group as well. One lady said, “I think of food as one of two categories now. Forward foods and Backwards foods.” Meaning when she is faced with temptation she analyzes it and decides where this choice fits in her life. Is it going to move her forward in her healthy new journey or will it take her backward and back to how she lived before. She will sometimes allow a backwards food in if she can take one or two bites and then move forward and away from it. However if she feels it will lead to more backwards choices she chooses to skip it. An example would be at a party with a buffet laid out. If you can eat a sweet treat or 2 or 3 chips, and then walk away and move on to forward foods, then by all means indulge in a bite or two. If however you know that will take you off course and you will fall into a binging or poor eating path because of it, then you need to skip it for your own peace of mind.

The second thing that really resonated with me was an example the therapist who leads the group used. He said, “Take your right hand and place it over your heart. Now take your left hand and place it over your stomach. (It was at this point that my Starbucks tea almost hit the floor…that coordination thing is overrated! Luckily my husband decided to take my tea away from me so I could do the drill.) When you walk into the kitchen and open the fridge or pantry, place your hands like that and ask yourself, What am I feeding? If you are feeding your stomach, go ahead and have something. But, if you have to think too hard about that, you are probably feeding your heart. If that is the case leave the kitchen and try and find the trigger. Journal, do a few jumping jacks, whatever you need to do to clear your mind and find what led you to want to eat.”

Neither of these things seems like an “easy” thing to do but, they seem possible and they are good tools if you have a relationship with food, like I do. I hope you find some benefit in these things. I know that if I am able to focus on them and find the key to making them work, they will be great long term tools for me. WAIT….did I say “if I am able”? I meant I KNOW THAT I AM ABLE to implement these things into my life and make them tools I will use for a lifetime. One of these days I am going to knock out that crazy chick in my head that is always naysaying my good ideas and intentions! She’s a real pain. Sometimes her crazy booty hangs out in my mirror too! As if I need those kind of people in my life!

I must go now, as I have a kitchen full of teenagers who come to my house at lunch to eat our food and gossip about everyone. Maybe if I go hang out with them for a while, they’ll go back to school faster πŸ™‚

Find inspiration from the unexpected, love your saggy skin, mental lapses and moments with the ones you love.

~Steph