Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Promise Renewed

2015 fades and a new year arises. Welcome to 2016. Each day we are blessed to receive bares a promise renewed. God does not go back on His word. His promises are true. It is but for you to receive and believe.

Psalm 84:11-12 (NKJV)
"11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly."

I sit and stare out at a starry sky,
Thinking of the many days and nights that molded this past year.
A year met with much trembling and fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of loss.
Hope defunct.
Numb on the outside,
Spirit bludgeoned.
Broken and hollow.
I can't feel You,
But I know You are here.
Through tears, 
A silent prayer for respite.
"Set your affections on the things above,"
Wrench away the corruption of fleshly mind.
Lay me in spiritual garments.
A new day is here,
And so it come,
A promise renewed.
I rise out of ash,
To receive the promise.
I see through different eyes.
I wear a different skin.
The old life passes away.
A new life begins.
In the days and nights to come,
A promise renews,
You don't have to ask.
For it has already been given.
Many Blessings to you and the newness of life. 
Happy New Year!


Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Heaviness of Numbers

Wow! I'm actually at my computer during the light of day. This is great! Hey, I hope I wasn't too preachy last night or should I say early this morning. I wasn't trying to preach, I just needed to purge. Usually when I ramble on like that I am speaking to myself. Saying things out loud helps to make them tangible to me. I also get very exited when I'm blessed to see the changes that are manifesting in me. Changes that I could only have hoped for in the past are now coming into the light. With each day I become a little more free.

I'm still exploring this thing called freedom and I'm still discovering how deep freedom is. I don't think I've even begun to scratch the surface, but what has been revealed to me sure feels good. Freedom does not come easy. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I've written a post on the subject before. Perhaps I should have read it before writing this post. Forgive me if I am being redundant.

Sometimes it feels like my posts are jumping all over the place. I don't think I'm able to write like some in a beautiful, gradual succession. I'm more in the moment with my writing. This is something I've just recently become aware of. I tend to write whatever is on my mind in the present. Doesn't matter if it relates to previous posts or not. And then there are times when I am able to write on a subject and work my way into a tandem style format. Okay, I've finished rambling.

I'm still doing well with my exercise. I'm not fully committed to the additional exercise, but I do get to it as my energy and time allow. Which means I will need to make more time to accomplish this goal. I will have to make it a priority just like my nighttime workout.

I discovered something new about myself during one of my workouts. When I'm most at peace I don't count reps or anything. I just move and I think and I meditate on things. What matters most are the freeness of thought, quiet of mind and time. Counting limits me. It seems when I get to a certain number I'm more inclined to stop, however, on a good night I push to reach higher numbers. Workouts like this usually last about 25 minutes or so. When counting is left out of the equation and mindfulness enters my workouts last much longer, sometimes as much as an hour or more. Amazing isn't it. Do you count when you work out or do you just move? Do you think it would make a difference to you? Hmmm, pretty significant if you ask me. Makes me want to explore the heaviness of numbers and why numbers and counting don't always serve me well.

I wonder if anyone else has thought of this. I've noticed in some ED groups numbers are not allowed. You are not to discuss weight, food measurements, body measurements or anything of the kind. So what is it about numbers that weighs so heavily with us? Maybe numbers add extra pressure. I don't know. Like the pressure to do better, lose more weight, or eat less food.

Maybe numbers lend themselves to future obsessions like being extreme about cutting back on the number of calories or increasing the number of reps to maximize fat burning at an unhealthy rate or constantly checking the scale. How do numbers make you feel? Do you feel pressure when or if you focus on numbers as part of your process to healing from ED?

Numbers can discourage. There have been times when I've exercised rigorously for months only to step on the scale and see little to no change.

Anyway, if you find numbers to be heavy in your process, maybe focus on them less and focus on you more...your thoughts...your feelings and how good it feels just to move. Get lost in time if you can and allow the quiet stillness of your mind to take over. See how you feel afterwards. You may like it or you may not. Give it try. Explore. There will be days when I chose to count and there will be days when I allow myself to drift into mental stillness while moving. I like having the variations.

As always, onward and upward.

Company will be arriving soon. Better get ready. Take care my lovelies. Talk to you soon.

Spiritual Surrender

Psalm 118:5 (NIV) "In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free."
What a wonderful day it has been. Last night was wonderful too. I did not eat, not even my snack and I didn't miss it. I felt so much peace. Peace be still...yes.

There are so many things going on in my head right now. I want to write about it all, but it's just to much to put into one post. Not to mention my thoughts are going so fast I can hardly keep up. I hope I don't bounce around to much in tonight's post. I'll try to stay focused so my thoughts don't wander off and drag me with them.

Did you listen to the guided mediation in last night's post? The relaxed feeling I got while listening to the video lingered into the rest of the night. After completing my post and closing out my day, I sat down to have a glass of wine and watch a little tv before bed. I finish one glass and pour another, which is still in the glass from last night. Sleep came upon me so fast and so hard that I had no choice but to surrender to it. All was still. No anxiety. No worries. No cravings. There was only blessed peace and sleep. It was wonderful. I can't remember having a night so peaceful. I hope to have many more nights like this.

I've been in a zen like mood all day today. It could be because I've surrendered...not talking about surrendering to sleep, even though that helps. I have surrendered all of my worries to Christ that I be more open and receptive to the grace God has given me through Christ. There are always things going on that are out of my control. As a Christian I'm supposed to know that I have a wonderful source who is God that I can go to anytime day or night. How many times have I read Psalm 55:22 (NIV) "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken." I've read this verse many times and for a very long time I thought I was casting my cares on the Lord. I realized earlier this year that I wasn't. I was asking Him for help and continuing to worry because I needed to see some sort of solution. I needed to know that my problems would be solved and I needed to figure out how that was going to happen. I didn't trust God. I thought I did. There was no need to search for solutions when God already had solutions in place. I simply needed to trust Him, focus on the things of heaven, do what I am able to do and believe He will not forsake me.

Where do we go to learn how to trust God? Sure, we can go to church and attend all the bible studies. We can talk to fellow Christians who seem to have all the answers, but they still can't tell you how to trust God. They can only tell you to trust Him.

I learned the only way I could. I learned how to trust God by falling flat on my face, having no place else to go. I learned to hear His voice in the midst of deafening silence and fear. It took me learning how to take my mind off my problems without burying or abandoning them. It took me turning to God to say, I can't do it.

When I was first told to let go of my problems, I thought they meant for me to ignore them. I thought I was supposed to try focusing on other things like lessor problems or sit around licking my wounds while warding off ghosts of problems past. I was released from those notions when I read and meditated on Colossians 3:2 (NIV) Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. I read this verse everyday for several days until it stuck. Now when a problem arises, I pray about it and turn it over to God. To keep my focus on the things above I give thanks all through the day, everyday and I ask God to guide my steps throughout the day so my actions are fruitful and I accomplish what He has set for me to accomplish. It takes all of my energy to accomplish what needs to be done. That includes writing in my blogs. I don't have time to focus on problems as much anymore. Nor do I find myself stewing about something someone has said or done to hurt my feelings. I'm far to busy discovering the beautiful plan God has for me and releasing the rest. I am better able to see that my prayers are being answered now that my mind is not cluttered with problems and problematic situations. When things get real rough, I turn to God and I declare that I trust Him because He knows just what I need and He promised that He would take care of me.

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
First Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

It's amazing how God can work in our lives if we just let Him. I no longer select problems to turn over to Him. I give them all. I'm glad it finally sunk in to let go and to let God.

While perusing Youtube videos I came across The Ecstasy of Surrender - Dr. Judith Orloff. I heard about the book, but have not purchased it yet. I found her talk interesting. I like how she has an inclusive approach to the subject, meaning she applies more than just science. There are several talks with Dr. Judith Orloff. I chose this one because it was short, but still good. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday Talk: The Ecstasy of Surrender - Dr. Judith Orloff at CSLseattle

We enjoyed eating leftovers today. There's still enough for tomorrow. This is great! Not having to cook is like being on a mini vacation. After tomorrow, it's back to the old grind. No need to get to used to having so many leftovers. I'm just happy that I'm doing as well as I am this season. 
I wish I didn't make the rhubarb and apple crisp. We're not eating it. It's a little sweet for my taste and my son was not thrilled with it. We have company coming over tomorrow. Hopefully they will eat it up and if not maybe take the rest home.
I'm going to bed now. It's 3:56am. Goodnight. Talk to you soon.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Two Down One to Go

It's 12:12am. I've just finished cleaning the kitchen. There are leftovers which are all packaged and put away. My snack is waiting in the wings. So far I don't feel triggered by anything. Maybe it's because I'm still full from dinner. I'll do my workout and head to bed. I hope sleep takes over soon.

Made it through the second major holiday of the season. One more to go. It's been good so far. Nothing overwhelming. Looking forward to an outing tomorrow evening if all goes according to plan. We've been invited to go to a story telling and healing drum session. I've not been to a healing drum session before. I looked up healing drums on Youtube and found several videos on the subject. Some were okay and others left much to be desired. There was one that I found to be interesting. I didn't like it at first, but the longer I listened the more relaxed I became. Let me see if I can find it again and if so, I'll share it with you.

Well I couldn't find the video I was looking for, but I did come across another interesting video. As I listened to it I became very relaxed and fell right off to sleep. Not a deep sleep, because I'm sitting at my desk trying to finish this post. If I were in my bed I'd probably still be sleeping. 

This video is a guided Christian meditation for deep relaxation. It's supposed to help with anxiety also. I'm not sure if it does, because I'm not having any issues with anxiety tonight. If any of you are feeling anxious or you just want to relax and get some sleep, give this video a try. It's best if you listen with headphones. If you are lying down while listening to this video, position the cord of your headphones in a safe position in case you fall asleep.


Well I'm off to carry on with my nightly routine. You know...the usual. I hope your day went well. Try to get some rest. I'll check in tomorrow.


The Gift of Giving


I wasn't sure if I'd get a chance to take a break and write a little something. It's 3:12am. I've just finished cleaning the kitchen and ready to settle down for the night.

Today has been a very good day. I spent most of the day reflecting, which is something that I do a lot this time of year. For me, the holiday season is not about all the fanfare. It's a time to regroup and reflect on the things accomplished this year and the things I want to accomplish next year. I don't mean New Year's resolutions. I don't do those. I'm just holding on to hope and planning to stay on track making progress in my spiritual walk and healthy life changes.

How are you? I know I ask often. Maybe one day you will answer me. I hope you are doing well and I hope have many wonderful, enjoyable experiences to focus on. We are having a few guests over and an outing. Today we had a lovely visit with a couple friends. Whenever we get together there's always a lot of laughter.

I cooked a little something for them to take home. Which they greatly appreciated. It's been a long time since they've had my cooking. You's sweet little experiences like the ones we had today that set the tone for the season. I don't buy gifts or hang decorations. There's no tree twinkling or carolers singing. There's no endless list of things to do and most of all there's no stress. However, we spent a great portion of our day sharing a surplus of items with those in need. In turn they blessed my son with a new used office chair. It came right on time. His old chair was falling apart.

What's your favorite kind of gift? I like the kind of gift that keeps on giving. It doesn't require money. You don't have to hunt around for the perfect box to put it in. You don't need any giftwrap and it doesn't cost any money. And it's a gift that is suitable for all ages. What is it? Love. We give the gift of love and anything else that may accompany it is given out of love. That's it. That's what it's all about. The gift of giving is the giving of love. While we are in the gift giving mood, don't forget to give a little love to yourself.

I've finished cooking most of my dinner for tomorrow. We are continuing on the healthy track. We will be serving turkey, greens, turkey ham, potato salad, green beans w/tomatoes (spicy), acorn squash, stuffing, quinoa and cheese bake and maybe a small rhubarb and apple crumble. The jury is still out on desert. I cooked more this go round than last holiday because we are expecting more guests than originally planned. Like last holiday I put together a menu that has no triggers for me. Even though there is a strong possibility I may make a desert, if I do, it will indeed be very small. Just enough to get a taste or the equivalent of 3 small servings.

I'm tired, but I feel exhilarated. It's that bewitching time and I don't feel an urge to feed. My snack is in place and I am ready to go work out a little before falling into my bed.

I'll be thinking of you all and as always wishing you well. Stay focused on the positives and be sure to do something very nice for yourself. Happy Holidays to you! Good night.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Trusting God: Seeing the Positives

I typically get very anxious when things change suddenly, especially when the changes interrupt routine for a considerable amount of time.
Last Thursday night I was sitting at my computer working on a couple blog posts and eating a bowl of soup. The soup was delicious I might add, even though my son may beg to differ. I'd been accomplishing many good things and handling negatives better than usual. I'd been uploading transcription software and defragging my computer so it could run a little faster. Everything was moving right along. I decide to reboot my computer and get another bowl of soup. When I returned to my computer the monitor was black. I turned it off, waited 10 seconds and turned it back on. Nothing. I reach over to press the "On" key on my computer. Nothing. I check power connections and tried again...still nothing. Oh no, my computer is dead. All I could think about was the work I would not be able to finish before deadline.
Crap! What am I supposed to do now? I call my computer guru, hoping he'd answer. He didn't. I left my desperate plea and hoped to hear from him soon. Rather than continuing to sit at my desk stewing about the loss of my computer, I decided to close up shop and do some housework. It was pretty early in the evening which meant I was going to get a good head start on my nightly routine. Before getting deep into my housework I stopped for a moment to pray. There's something about spending time with God that seems to make everything be okay. I like spending time with God. I like telling Him about my day. I know He already knows, but I like telling to Him anyway. I started off telling Him about my computer and then I stopped...and began to give thanks. I don't like starting a conversation with complaints. Several minutes go by, you would have thought I'd found enough things to be thankful for, but I the more I thanked Him for the more gratitude I felt. Before I knew it, I was thanking God for shutting down my computer, a thing which would have rattled me to my core in the past. Instead of being rattled, I was joyful. I felt free.
Later on as my chores came to a close, I found myself thinking about the peace that I felt and how odd it was for me to feel that way. Odd indeed. How could I rejoice over the loss of my computer? Am I going mad? I let the dog out and went into my room to exercise. While exercising I began thinking of the many things that I've wanted to accomplish, but have not because I was at my computer. Hmm, I don't have that excuse right now. Guess I'd better get to getting it... Before I knew it I had plans on deep cleaning my house, activities with my son, outings with friends and so on. My goodness, I didn't realize there were so many other things I've let slip through the cracks because I'm always working on the next project. I wound never have figure that out without the loss of my computer.
God answers prayers. It wasn't a week ago when I asked God to help me be able to accomplish more in my day. I also asked Him to help me live a better quality life. Seems I was always working. I can't rest for thinking of things that I think will make our lives better. I wasn't accomplishing enough and frankly speaking I don't feel like I have the energy to do much more. I'm thankful for what I've been able to accomplish, but it's short lived by the guilt I feel for not doing more when I know there is more to be done. More than I sometimes care to think about. Could it be that this turn of events was an answer to my prayers? All evidence seems to point to that. Time to be still so I can receive God's grace.
I am super stoked that I was able to find the part I needed for my computer and able to install it myself. Now that my computer is up and running, I can't help but recognize that I have been freed from the chains that bind. I will continue working on my various projects, however, I have learned to see and embrace the bigger picture. I'm looking forward to living a new life having the ability to be apart from my computer without anxiety and guilt tagging along.  
The best computer being down did not send me spiraling into depression. I did not have an urge to self-sooth by way of binging. My life is really taking a turn for the better as my trust in God and my ability to see positives in adversity grow stronger.
One more thing...
I apologize to my patient son who simply smiles as he closes his bedroom door to muffle the sounds of me clicking away on my keyboard. You have been more than kind. You even taught me how to lovingly deal with that which makes me uncomfortable. I thank you for that. I stand in awe as I become more aware of the wisdom that dwells within your silence. Love you Boo-boo. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Making Progress

Wow! Time is really getting away from me. I can't believe Christmas is next week and the week after we are looking at a brand new year. I'm not going to ask about New Year's resolutions because I don't believe in them. I refuse to start a new year like that. I prefer easing into my year being thankful and hopeful.

How have you been? I'm doing well. My son is doing well also. We've been busy. I came across an acting class for people having disabilities in our local area. How cool is that?! I called the person who is giving the class to find out a few details. After talking it seemed that the class is a very nice class, but not quite what my son needs. That's cool, he's got some other stuff going that is working well for him. I'm actually excited to get him ready for day school which he will start when he's 18. What a relief it is to have a plan for him while he transitions into adulthood. There are so many parents that do not have a concrete plan for their children once they graduate or age out of high school. Fortunately we are involved with a wonderful service provider that created their day school a couple years ago and it is really taking off. They've just recently added yoga classes in addition to all of their other classes. We have two years before he begins and looking forward to it.

Back to calling about the acting class. Even though it was not a perfect fit for my son, there is still some general interest. I also had a very exiting conversation with the instructor and ended up sharing some of my poetry with her. She loved it! I'm so stoked. Shortly after Christmas my son and I are going to see her and one of her friends performing at a local coffee house. I can't tell you the last time we've done that. Wait, let me son might have been 7 or 8...maybe... It's been a long time. I'm exited and looking forward do getting back into the arts and artsy culture. Time to get out of my shell and embrace life again.

Speaking of time. Some days I look at my son and I can't believe how fast the time has gone. One minute I'm worrying about having a healthy pregnancy and the next I'm helping my baby transition into adulthood. Okay, enough of that before I start getting emotional.

Things are going very well with my planned snack attack. Yes indeed! Let's see it is the 16th. I started preparing premeasured snacks on the 7th/8th. I sort of started on the 7th, but was better prepared by the 8th. Had to get some apples and come up with a food plan that did not have triggers in case I wanted to use some of the leftovers for my snack.

So for so good, folks! The first couple night I ate my prepared snack and wanted a little bit more. I didn't fret about it because I was satisfied and contented by the fact that I was not stressing anymore about food intake at night. The next couple nights I ate my prepared snack and was satisfied with just that. I'm doing good and looking forward to doing better. On the 4th, 5th and 6th night I did not eat my prepared snack. Nights 5 and 6 I actually had a snack prepared and on the counter, instantly ready if needed. I did my normal nightly activities of straightening up the house, giving meds, letting out the dog, prayer time, exercise and so on. As the bewitching hour came I noticed that I was not craving food of any kind. As a matter of fact I waiting an additional 30 minutes or so just to see if I would have a craving. Silly I know, but I had to see for myself. I never had the craving and I was getting sleepy which is difficult for me to do unless I've eaten something or I stay up until exhausted (yet another way of trying to combat the need to feed at night). Needless to say on those nights I put my snacks back and gladly ate them for lunch the following day.

I'm feeling pretty confident, but I'm not letting my guard all the way down because we are fast approaching Christmas which is another holiday filled with tempting triggers. I'm going to stick to my guns and plan another healthy meal. A few simple and delicious items should do. I don't think I will make a desert this time. We really didn't miss having desert Thanksgiving. I doubt we will miss it for Christmas. Besides, I can purchase a couple candy canes and leave it at that. Hard candy has never been a trigger for me. Chocolate on the other hand... I'll just leave that alone.

It feels good to be much more comfortable at night. For the last two nights I've been going to bed unusually late. I mean almost at the crack of dawn late. Monday I went to bed around 5:30 am and Tuesday 6:40 something. I'm not sure why I'm not able to fall asleep. I do not feel sad or depressed. I did have a crazy anxiety filled dream a few mornings ago. It kind of messed with me, but I've since gotten over it. I think I have. And I also have a few more memories creeping in from may past, but I am quickly purging those memories into poetry. So I don't know. I feel good and I hope I can get to sleep earlier tonight.

Oh, I almost forgot. I have started exercising an additional 10-15 minutes during the day, not everyday yet, but soon. I really enjoyed it today and will work harder to carve that time out during the day more consistently. Of course, I will have my workout tonight since that is my special treat.

Okay that's pretty much it for me. Tonight for dinner I made a quick stove top version of tuna casserole with a little extra tuna and sweet peas and a simple salad. It was delicious.  

Hugs to you all. Goodnight.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Quick Note: I'm liking The Change

Hey! I just wanted to check-in after last night. I continue to feel a great since of relief. Everything went well. I put a pre-measured snack in the fridge and went on with my night. I even smiled the entire time I worked out.

I did get hungry and I ate my snack, but the great thing is I didn't feel the need to go back and get more. I don't know why it is, but my mind seems to be satisfied knowing there's a little treat available. Typically during late night hours my mind roams the kitchen cabinets and pantry looking for comforting foods to eat like chips, pasta or something sweet. My cravings for sweets can be specific at times, however my bodies need for sugar is relentless. What does that mean? My body cravings for sugar is not always specific to something sweet, rather my body is looking for empty carbs which quickly break down into sugars. It's a great help not having these types of foods readily available late night. I do cook pasta and rice dishes occasionally. When I do, I know not to cook anymore than what will be consumed for the meal or else it becomes a strong trigger later on that night.

I tell yah, last night was a real wake up call for me. I didn't realize how much the stress of avoiding food late night was affecting me in other ways. I've been consistently exercising for at least 30 minutes at the end of my day which is usually around 2-3AM. About a week ago I started toying with the idea of increasing exercise by adding an additional 15 minutes during the day. I wasn't able to implement it because I'd lost heart. I could not muster up the energy to eve attempt to increase my exercise because I was stressing so much about eating at night. I had gotten to the point of having to avoid walking through the kitchen at night or seeing food items on TV. I could hardly stand to see my son's goldfish snack that he loves so much. I was a mess. Every effort to do right was becoming a form of imprisonment. It wasn't good.

Are some of you wondering why I exercise so late at night? It's simple. In the course of learning to love myself and becoming more committed to self and the goal of getting healthier, exercise became somewhat of a treat. I would even go so far as to say a reward. I like to feel accomplished at the end of the day. Whether my day is a little lack luster or filled with satisfying accomplishments, exercise has become the cherry on top so to speak. It relaxes me and I feel even better about myself when I'm done. It's a win-win situation.

Increasing my exercise during the day is another step towards fulfilling one of my main goals which is to increase my metabolism. I believe increasing my exercise regimen will help me to increase metabolism especially since I'm trying to increase muscle mass. I use 2 lb. weights during cardio routine. I will increase reps and weights over time. I'm also elongating and sculpting as I go with palates. I have a piece of equipment called supreme palates that I use. It has resistance coils that work well for me. Slow and steady wins the race.

Initially I was under the false impression that I would have to be a certain size before beginning to sculpt my body. Another false notion my mind talked me into. It really doesn't make sense to wait, so I'm electing to start now. Scales aren't everything and they're definitely not the go to when documenting results. At least while I'm elongating muscle and sculpting my body I'll be able to reap some of the benefits of exercise quicker than by measuring loss of lbs. I'm a big girl and I'm already starting to see some definition, especially in my arms and shoulders. There's nothing like gaining a little inspiration when looking in the mirror.

The other night, when I was having my little rant about my friend losing weight quicker than I was, I neglected to think about the fact that I am increasing muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat, so when I get on a scale my weight loss will look less because fat loss and muscle gain will kind of even out...duh. So more props to me for having lost weight knowing that I'm gaining muscle. Hey, the more I talk the better I feel.

I lift my glass of water to toast myself on a good global effort. Keep up the good work!

Note to self: remember this is a global effort. Stay focused, continue eating healthy foods in healthy portions, slowly increase exercise routine and relax. Learn to enjoy life a little, especially now that you are doing so many wonderful things for yourself.

Onward and Upward!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Snack Attack Is Back

Yep! I'm having some difficulty getting away from having a late night snack. I've been getting very anxious about this. I guess you can tell by my last post. I was looking into some sort of appetite suppressant. I didn't find anything suitable. I like the idea of having healthy snacks that can naturally suppress my appetite. As a matter of fact, I'm particularly interested in the idea of apples being one of those healthy snacks. Rice bran draws some interest as well. I'll have to check into it as I am fiber sensitive and I have to be careful. No need to add adverse affects to an already existing situation.

Natural appetite suppressants do offer some sense of relief, I guess. It's...well...I wanted to be able to stop late night snacking all together. I'm really having a lot of difficulty with this and I'm not sure how I'm going to tackle this hurdle. The main thing is not to freak out about it. Yeah, I was on the cusp of doing that also. I worked myself into borderline desperation. Glad it was short lived or else the potential for a host of other issues could easily develop if I didn't get a grip on the situation. I never gave thought to how easy it would be to develop other bad habits or dare I say obsessions if desperation gets thrown into the mix. Better be sure to steer clear of that. I don't need any additional problems.

I could look at this situation two ways. I could say that I'm expending almost all my energy trying to gnaw my way out of the binging chains that bind. Or I could have a more positive view and say, for me, not binging takes considerable effort and there has been great improvement. So what am I worrying about? Well, I worry about my inability to get past the desire to eat something almost every night. I also worry about the occasion when a snack could so easily lead to another snack and yet another...

I have had some really good nights where I didn't binge or snack on anything. And of course there have been those nights when I've planned a pre-measured snack and was quite successful with it. That's it! Maybe I should go back to having planned pre-measured snacks available for a while. It wasn't so stressful for me. As a matter of fact, soon as I got comfortable with having a pre-measured snack available I jumped right into trying to stop the snacks all together. Ever since I made that decision it's been nothing but stressful. Wow! I am so glad I wrote this post. I had not thought about my original reason for implementing pre-measured snack to begin with. Yeah, time for me to get off this hellish track and back to something more doable, until I'm stronger. I'm pushing myself to fast? And making too big of a deal out of it. After all, how long should it take to completely drop the habit of eating at night, a habit that I've spent  more than 4 decades developing?

Okay, I feel so much better. I was really worried about the snacking and how stressful it's been to not allow myself anything. It shouldn't come down to praying, crying and trying to rock myself to sleep every night to keep from eating. In all of this I didn't even think of the fact that I am losing weight. I just have to keep the snacks small, healthy and most of all planned. So far this has been my biggest defense against binging. Man...I've really worn myself out with this one. That's okay. Like I said in a previous post. Peaks and valleys are necessary. Instead of trying to avoid them...which I can't do...I face them and look for the lessons that they possess. There it is... I'm going back to taking baby steps again.

I'm free! I don't have to suffer the crying and carrying on tonight. I'm going to prepare a little snack and stick it in the fridge...just in case. This I can do.

Tomorrow I'm going to the store and I'm purchasing some apples. You know what they apple a day...

Please Lord, let this be the answer I've been looking for.

Whew...what a relief. Once again, the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders. Thank you, Lord.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

5 Natural Ways to Suppress Your Appetite

Greetings everyone! I know it's late. I've been surfing the web looking for appetite suppressants. Sad to say most of what I'm seeing leaves much to be desired. I am caffeine sensitive, plus I have some issues with my heart after so many years of starving, binging, stress, obesity and smoking. Needless to say, I have to be careful with my choices. That being said, I've decided to take a more natural approach to suppressing my appetite.

The most vulnerable time for me are the early morning hours, just before I go to bed. Did I mention my insomnia? Most appetite suppressants increase your energy. No one I know wants a burst of energy before going to bed and being an insomniac...can you I imagine?

I visited Dr. Oz's website and found 5 natural ways to suppress appetite, key word being natural. There are even a couple items that would work well before bedtime which is when I most need them. Here they are... I'm listing the links separately so you can visit what is most interesting to you without having to flip through virtual pages.

5 Natural Ways To Suppress Your Appetite

Crush Your Cravings Item #1 - Apples
Crush Your Cravings Item #2 - Fiber (Wheat or Rice Bran)

Crush Your Cravings Item #3 - Green Tea

Crush Your Cravings Item #4 - Red Wine Vinegar (Drinking red wine does not count ladies)

Crush Your Cravings Item #5 - Pine Nuts

A delicious sounding recipe. I love pesto. I think I'll try making this for the weekend. Weekends are another hard time for me because I love to snack and what's a weekend without fun finger foods.

Pine Nut and Kale Pesto Recipe

That's it for me tonight. I've set aside a small snack for later. It's sort of calming to know that I do have something in the wings. I hope one day to not want to snack late night. In the meantime, if I small "planned" snack can give some relieve, I'll take it. It's better than the alternative of not allowing any snack and suffering through until sleep finally comes. Hopefully these natural appetite suppressing ideas will help me with that.

Take care all and good night!

Peaks and Valleys

A new dawn arises and the journey begins again. As with most things there are peaks and valleys. I've certainly had my share on this journey. There is much growth and many blessings along the way. I muddle through the days, weeks and sometimes months when I cannot fully identify my feelings let alone put them into words. Silent screams are skillfully etching their way into existence through scared flesh and failing health. I scarcely allow myself to believe these days will soon pass. It is in moments like this when I thank God for gifting me the ability to give voice to that which lies deep within. 

I am grateful, I am humbled, I am hopeful, and I am not alone.

A few months ago I was talking to a dear friend. One who like me struggles with her weight. She's not had a lifelong struggle with food addiction though the struggle she does have feels like a lifetime. Many changes have happened over the years. Her health has take a turn for the worse, so now she finds herself in a fight for her life. She teeter totters between lifestyle changes and surgery. I encourage her to take on lifestyle changes. A quick fix like surgery where a large amount of weight is lost in an fairly short amount of time is not the way to go for someone who has not developed the ability to make the necessary healthy choices to get to and maintain a healthy weight.

I've spent the past few months encouraging my friend to take steps, even baby steps towards a healthier lifestyle. She pretty much fought me ever step of the way. I pull back and try again later. Finally something changes. She calls me to tell me that God has spoken to her. He told her it was time to let go and let Him do His will for her. Through tears she apologizes for giving me such a hard time and vows to do better as she continues to listens for the voice of God. I could not have been prouder, giving God praise and thanksgiving throughout the day.

It wasn't long, maybe a few weeks, before she calls to tell me about her doctor's appointment and her weight loss. Wow! She's doing really well. Keep up the good work, I say. A couple more weeks after that conversation she calls again to tell me of an even more significant drop in weight. Hmmm, I am happy for her, but not as happy as I should be. Self doubt creeps in as I question my own efforts. Yeah, I'm loosing weight, but not nearly at the rate she is. The green eyes of envy are present and accounted for. I sink into depression.

It's times like this that make me really hate being human.

Why do I feel this way? She has every right to be happy about her progress. She deserves it just like I deserve being happy about my progress. So, why am I not so happy anymore? I'm feeling defeated compounded by guilt for feeling defeated when I should be celebrating triumph with my friend. At a loss, I crawl into my hole and begin to lick my wounds. Silence has taken over again.

I emerge feeling somewhat better yet still bitter and I begin to write. As I write, I pray for passion though I'm loosing what little passion I have for the cause. I ask God to take away the heaviness of my heart having no intention of ever sharing what I really feel. Funny, God had something else in mind. He lessoned the heaviness in my heart and He rekindled my passion for writing, but He will not allow the screams to be silenced. No matter what I write, how upbeat I want to be, or how much I try to encourage, it is all for naught until I come clean; sharing my truth in it's entirety.

Here it is... I'm a little pissed off that my friend is loosing weight faster than I am and she seems to be doing it so effortlessly now that she's making some effort. I on the other hand have been fighting this fight for almost 4 years and have not lost as much as she has in a few weeks. Am I jealous...YES. I know I shouldn't be nor do I want to be. I just am. This too shall pass like every other negative thing in my way. I'm always waiting for something to pass. My life is filled with stop and goes...yes and no's, please and thank you and whatever else get's me through the day.

I look in the mirror to see only a little change, though I'm exercising nearly everyday. My pantry is filled with  healthy foods and fresh veggies that I prepare daily. They are accompanied by lean meats, whole grains, fresh fruits, a little healthy fat and of course my daily vitamin. I pray every morning, every night and throughout the day for strength to keep it up. And then... She makes it look so easy.


I needed to get that off my chest. Now that I've had my rant I also want to say that I realize my journey is a long journey. I am 50 and have been suffering with an eating disorder for over 40 years. It's not going to change overnight. I know this.


My metabolism is nearly dead, well very low. The fact that I have been able to and continue to lose weight is nothing short of a miracle. At my worse, I gained 100 pound in less than a year because the binging was so severe. Most of that weight is gone. I'm several pounds away from the weight I was before that dreadful year. I have been blessed beyond and back.

So what if I feel a little stupid for being jealous. I'll get over that. Just like I've gotten over so many other things. The truth is, no matter what my truth is in that moment I need to own it and move past it. The lesson I learned today was to never allow a momentary blur take away all of the progress I have made. Nor will I allow it to stop me from encouraging a loved one who needs it.

I recognize my blessings and I move forward in them. One step at a time, one day at a time, one triumph at a time.

Peaks and valleys will always come and go. What's most important? Not so much the fight it takes to get from one point to the other as it is to recognize what the peaks and valleys offer. They offer vital information and the growth needed to sustain us. Peaks and valleys force us to take pause, make mental check lists, reflect and deflect, regroup and get prepared for the next phase of our journey.

Galatians 5:22 (KJV) - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)
Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.

I release the jealousy and envy I once had regarding the weight loss of my dear friend. I will celebrate her triumphs and mine.

I pray for the strength to continue and the ability to endure.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Sweet Treat Without Defeat

I've been struggling with craving sweets since a few days before Thanksgiving and I've been good about not having sweets in the house. That is no sweets that I'd really want. So I applaud myself for not making all kinds of excuses to have sweets because it's the season. Question, what do you do when you just want a little something sweet? How do you know if or when you can give in to a craving and stop at one serving? Well, you don't least I didn't.

Last night the cravings were unbearable, almost to the point of debilitating. I couldn't focus on anything. It was a miserable time. Against my better judgment, I printed a recipe for rice pudding and made it. It was a simple recipe for a small amount. I'm praying really hard to be able to eat a little and stop. I'm scared... Something has to give.

I'm not recommending that any of you doing this. This is my story. 

As the pudding bakes I notice that I'm feeling less agitated. Calm, but still on guard. The timer goes off. It' done. Now for the moment of truth. Will I or won't I. I placed the pudding on the counter to cool for a few minutes. As it cools I continue piddling, praying and hoping for the best. Either way, I need relief.

With plate and spoon in tow, I gently carve out the freshly backed morsels. It looks good...smells good. I serve myself a small portion of about 4 tablespoons. I eat. It tastes good. I wait, giving my body time to communicate with my mind. More importantly, time for my mind to realize that I am satisfied. I just hope my mind agrees with the rest of me. I continue to wait.

Time for a glass of water and to wash my dishes. I don't feel the craving for sweets anymore, but there is a small mental suggestion to get a little more. I take down a plastic container and a table spoon and begin preparing the dish for the fridge. All the while, there's still a small suggestion to get a little more.  I continue spooning the pudding into the plastic container until there was only 1 tablespoon left in the baking dish. Quick...get the lid on the container and put this pudding away. Don't waist any time and don't look back. Done.

The baking dish still sits on the counter with one spoon of pudding left behind. I'll eat that and my mind will have to be satisfied. Please...let my mind be satisfied.

As the evening went on, I got ready for bed. There's still the slightest desire to get a little more pudding. I think to myself. "No way! I'm more food until tomorrow." Off to bed... Another good night under my belt. Well done.

Pleasant dreams. 

By the way, today I had a serving of rice pudding after dinner tonight. My son didn't like the pudding so that leaves one last serving for tomorrow. I'll have a quiet celebration then. In the meantime, moving forward. Onward and Upward!