Baking during the holidays

I’m actually taking a break from baking right now to write this. More for my peace of mind than anything else. You see……I love to bake. Love it. It’s therapeutic, it makes people happy (usually happy, because most of the time it turns out well!) and during the holidays it’s a given to make cookies and fudge and bark and balls and cakes and rolls and……

The great thing about cooking is that my husband does 99.5% of it. He likes it for the exact reasons I mentioned above. I know it’s crazy that he is the one who goes to work, and then comes home and HE cooks. But he prefers it that way. He cooks, I clean. That’s the deal we made over 20 years ago. He does stress out about it sometimes. And sometimes he makes such a mess that I would swear he tried to dirty every pot, pan and dish in the kitchen just to make me clean it. If I could only get him to ask me to cook on the days he doesn’t feel like it, I would be more than happy to oblige. I have roughly 8 million recipes in my Pinterest folder. I’m sure I could find one that I could actually make if he gave me notice. But I’m getting off track. (As usual!)

I was making a new recipe for cookies again today for my church cookie exchange this coming weekend. I’m making 6 different types cookies that I have never made before. I figured this was a great opportunity to try new things and then give them away and keep them out of my house! I got a recipe from a friend for cookies that everyone has “had” to taste to check it out and now I’ve had to hide the rest of them because they don’t want them given away. SELFISH! I saved them HALF the recipe! But I haven’t had one. Not even a lick of the beater.

Then I made some bark. I was going to give that away to the women who are actually manning the cookie exchange table so they had something to nibble on. I gave a large baggie of it to Ryan’s girlfriend for her to share with her friends. It was a hodge podge of sweet, salty and chocolately. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. But I didn’t have any. (Ok, I might have snuck a few pretzels, but not the finished product! So it doesn’t count, right?)

But then today. Today I was making a dough that has to be refrigerated for at least 24 hours after making but before baking. I’m not sure why, but the author specifically said they don’t turn out as well if not refrigerated for that period of time. If anyone has insight to that, let me know. I get chilling the dough, but a minimum of 24 hours? Never heard such a thing. So I started whipping up the dough this morning so it could sit for the required time. I had to transfer to a bowl from my KitchenAid mixer (so I could use it for other cookies!) and there it was. A mixture of sugar, chocolate covered pomegranates, pistachios, chocolate chips and I thought, well, maybe I should taste what is sticking to this beater, ya know, just to see what this swirl of odd ingredients tasted like. It tasted pretty super fantastic! So another little scrap from the bowl (cuz there’s ALWAYS a little stuck to the bowl, right?) and as I stood in front of my kitchen sink, spatula in hand, a wave of extreme distress came over me.

WHAT WAS I DOING??????

Was a few licks of raw cookie dough what I should be doing? Hello?? I have barre class today! Would it kill me or derail my progress, I would say no. It wouldn’t. But what was I doing? WHY was I doing it? I haven’t licked a beater or bowl in months. And I bake all the time! So why today? Nothing happened? It’s not like something had happened. So I did what anyone doing something they shouldn’t be doing does. I STOPPED!!! Stopped and refocused. And I’m confessing and keeping myself honest. Not just honest to myself (which let’s face it, is the most important thing.) but honest with all of you. Because in community, having others holding you accountable and being honest and responsible helps get through a tough day of craving something you know you shouldn’t have. Being with others who know EXACTLY how you feel, no matter how you are feeling, is one of the best supports a person can have.

So I’m confessing, as well as removing myself from the temptation. Redirect! And the feeling, the impulse, has passed. If you can just hold on for a minute, an hour, a day……the feeling subsides. Then you can be proud of the fact day by day, you’re reaching your goal. YOUR goal. Whatever that goal is. Keep it front and center. Be mindful of it. TALK about it. Be willing to be held accountable for it. Be ever conscience about it. Because when you let your guard down, even for a moment, that temptation (a sugary, chocolately one) is going to be there, telling you it’s ok this once. And before you know it, the whole thing has been thrown out the window. And you have chocolate breath.

cookie dough beater

Mark it Down baby!!

I finally finally finally hit my all too elusive goal! And what’s even more astonishing is it happened the week after Thanksgiving! I have officially lost 70 pounds. 70. Seven Zero. 70 big ones. Say WHAT???

I have been hovering around the same weight for about a month. Very discouraging when I’m trying and not really doing anything different. But I stepped on that scale and my magic number came up and I was doing the happy dance in the bathroom! I know, not a visual you need in your head. Sorry.

I am transformed. Inside and out. And the questions I have received have really made me take inventory of my own life. This is MORE than just weight loss or numbers on the scale. This is truly about life altering all over internal changes, which brings about the bonus of external change.

It was soooo easy to resign myself to “this is me” and the “I’m not changing my diet/exercise” or whatever else it is that everyone tells themselves because I’m perfectly happy the way I am. So what if I have to shop in the Women’s Department? So what if everything I do revolves around what food I’m making, or someone is bringing, or what restaurant we’re going to? So what if this is my third piece of pie? No one is counting and screw ‘em if they are!

When I started blogging about my weight loss, I shared that I was in a very fragile place. I had lost my bff of 25 years and felt like I was a ship lost at sea. A boat without an anchor. (Ok, I’ll stop with the boat analogies) I said how in that loss, I turned to food even more than I did normally when I was stressed out. Which seemed like it was too often. I was turning to an external fix for internal problem. How many of us do that? Food. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Gambling. Oh, it’s fun alright, don’t get me wrong! Having a night out with friends is something I look forward to. I did it just last night and we had a blast! I’m doing it again tonight with different friends. I will be a blast too! But it will be fun because of the people I’m with and the joy that comes from being with them. Not about how much or little we drink, how much food we order and eat or don’t eat. It’s about the time together and shared memories. What happens when that last bite is gone? Or the last drop from your alcoholic beverage of choice is gone? What happens when that last quarter is dropped into the slot and it comes up a loser again? Are you satisfied and can walk away? Or are you already thinking of the next bite/drink/chance?

In my weight loss journey, I have become bolder. Yes, me. Even BOLDER than normal. If you thought I was bold before, look out baby! I have pared down my Facebook friends, I’ve cut my Christmas card list (If you haven’t sent me a card for the past few years, you’re CUT!) and I’m spending time with family and friends who in turn want to spend time with me. I no longer mourn the loss of what might have been or what I should have/could have/might have done differently. That was a monumental shift for me the perpetual people pleaser.

I truly, honestly, passionately have found inner peace. Inner happiness. I have no time for people who continually let me down, lie, make promises with no intention of keeping them, or don’t make time for me. I count just as much. No chasing, no begging to change, no fear of being alone. Because I’m quite happy with myself. When I can take a few moments to take a breath, to calm my mind and actually be present, I find things can go much smoother. My previous way of thinking was always a blur, going 100 mph, saying the first thing that came to mind. That usually got me in trouble and/or made the situation worse.

And just to clear my own conscience, I certainly don’t want this post to come across as me preaching. It is soooooo far from that. It’s the opposite of that. I have no control over anyone but me. And that’s what I’ve discovered to be the biggest key in all of this. I can control me. If you can’t control yourself, that’s no longer my concern or my problem. If you want my help, ask. I would be there for you in a New York minute. But in shedding that weight, I have come alive. I feel empowered. I feel confident. I feel healthy. I feel happy. I feel FREE!

I was telling my friends last night that I would love to lose another 10 pounds. I think they think I’m becoming anorexic now. (I love chocolate, and ice cream and yes, wine! lol) I am focusing on being healthy, on being the best me I can be. And there were still plenty of jiggles as I danced around the bathroom this morning. Perhaps “toning” would be a better choice of words. Toning and firming. And getting my arms ripped like Linda Hamilton in T2. Which is still a goal.

If anyone would like to have more information about my amazing yogi, trainer and friend Yolanda and her website, please visit http://www.strongcalmsexy.com and learn more about her program. Your body AND your mind will thank you.

meditation

What are you doing?

Lately I have been hearing rapid fire questions, sometimes with such voracity it takes me by surprise. Things like, “What are you doing?” “How did you do that?” or my personal favorite, “What’s your secret?”

Things like that freak me out. Freak. Me. Out. First of all, I’m the fat girl who is not used to being questioned about fitness. Second, I wonder how many people pay even a fraction of attention to what I put out there, almost daily, about what I do. I’m the exact opposite of being shy. I blog, I tweet, I Facebook daily. Multiple times a day.

Now, before I continue, I want to be clear that I am not angry, mad, upset, or heaven forbid, insulted. Just freaked out and shocked. I still don’t see me as others see me. I still see the flaws and lumps and the additional pounds I want gone. I know, I know, I need to work on that. Add it to the list of things to work on.

It finally dawned on me a few weeks ago that what some people were asking without asking is if I was on some NutriSystem or Weight Watchers type program. It hadn’t even occurred to me that people were inquiring about that. Michael mentioned it might be a possibility after he witnessed such an occurrence and saw me stammering and stuttering like crazy. Lightbulb moment. OH! They’re wondering if I joined Weight Watchers! Maybe I could join Marie Osmond and become a spokeswoman for NutriSystem. (I’ll only do it if I get to meet Donny!)

The short answer is no. I’m not doing any of that. No meal plan is delivered to my door. No pre-measured amount of food is planned out for my day. I eat. I drink. I Starbuck. Mmmmmm it IS peppermint mocha season, isn’t it?? I live with a chef! How could I do that even if I wanted to?

I made a commitment to myself last year to get in shape. I honor that commitment every single day. I added yoga to my very non-existent workout routine. It was hard. I was awkward. I couldn’t do half of the poses. I could barely touch my toes. On a GOOD day! I sweated. I cried. But most of all, I kept coming back. And guess what happened? My body started to respond. It started to change. And when those changes started happening, it motivated and change my eating. All by itself. Why was I working so hard and finally seeing results, and then eating a big plate of nachos? With extra cheese and sour cream? I started making better decisions.

Not everything I eat is healthy or good for me. (remember….chef.) But more is than not. I still had a piece of leftover Halloween candy. It was calling my name. So it was a mercy act. I had to put it out of its misery.

I also added a barre class to my twice weekly yoga class. It’s so funny how a year can change perspective on what is difficult. Barre is HARD! Barre is challenging. Barre is non-stop moving the entire time. I sweat like crazy. I breathe…..LOUDLY. I have a tendency to look down at what my feet are doing, but with playful reminding from my dear friend Julie, I *try* to look up more. My form is crap. But I’m doing it. My back might not be perfectly straight, but it’s straighter than last week. And one of my favorite parts of barre is that my yogi is also my barre instructor. I love her. Between her and Julie, they encourage, they cheer me on, and they never ever ever let me feel like I am less. How can I go wrong?

A friend of mine, Trisha, is doing Crossfit and is seeing the same amazing results. She is dropping weight, getting healthier and looks stunning. Not that she didn’t look amazing before, but she has that glow that naturally comes with get in shape. I admire her dedication and commitment for setting a goal and sticking with it. And she would say the same thing I am. There is no secret. It’s working hard. Every day. No cheat day. No “I’m going to splurge on milkshakes and french fries” day.

And while I’m still waiting to hit that magic number of 70, the over 65 lbs I’ve lost isn’t too shabby. I had to return a yoga top today that was too large. Actually, it was a size large. And it was too big. Say WHAT? Me who used to have to have to shop in the women’s department? This is the part that freaks me out just as much as the questions. I still have to stop myself and steer towards misses. I hold clothes up, eyeing them and think, no, this isn’t going to fit. Until I try it on and find that it does. How exceptional!

It may not be time to shop for a bikini quite yet, I have time before next summer to get me there. I know I can do it. Even if I don’t have the guts to actually wear a bikini on the beach, the fact that I could is what is my goal. I started off November revising and clarifying my goals for the month, knowing it was going to be challenging with holidays, and baking, and cold weather, and getting dark at 5:30. That small act of examining where I am and where I would like to be was huge for me. It helps ward off bad thinking and voices in my head telling I can have that one thing. On the other hand, I can still have my peppermint mocha from Starbucks. But a Tall instead of Venti. And sugar-free instead regular syrup. Oh, and hold the whip cream, but I’ll take the sprinkles.

yoga on the beach

Scaredy Pants

Since it’s Halloween time, and ghosts, goblins and haunted houses are popping up everywhere, I thought I would write about some of the most, um, memorable events of Halloween past. I hope I can easily describe it so that you can see how ridiculous I truly am 98% of the time. And let’s not even bring up clowns. Clowns are at a completely different “Freak the BLANK out” level. Let’s not go there. They ARE evil. We can leave it at that.

The very first memory I have of going to a haunted house was with my parents and my brother, Craig. It was dark and I remember feeling very nervous about what we were doing. I was sitting in the backseat with Craig, looking out the window, wondering why we were driving so far away. “One of these Nights” by The Eagles was playing on the radio and to this day, when I hear that song, it reminds me this night. (Maybe it should’ve been “Witchy Woman“, but no.) We arrived at the Haunted Train in Clintonville and my legs were shaking and I was so scared. It was dark. There were creepy noises being piped in over loud speakers, but to a little girl already terrified, I thought they were real. People were walking around but it still felt like we were alone. As we entered the first train car, I got my first glimpse of scary characters and I closed my eyes. Hard. Like Super-Glued shut. I held my Moms hand as we walked through the cars, me not looking at anything. Just letting her guide me. My brother was behind me, and I don’t know what he was doing because all I could focus on was getting the heck outta there. As we finally exited, a HUGE dude (He just HAD to be 7 feet tall!) dressed up like Frankenstein came chasing after us out of the boxcar. My little brother turned around and saw this guy and balled up his little fist and POW!!!!! He socked that huge man right in the gut. I mean, square in the stomach. “Frank” was not prepared for this assault from a little boy and let out the loudest “Oooooomph!!” that it made us laugh. Here’s this grown man (who in reality was probably just a normal sized person, just looked big to little kids) who just got leveled by a child. And that is the story of why there are signs at every haunted house now saying not to touch the actors and they won’t touch you. (Ok, that might not be THE incident that precipitated those signs, but I think we had something to do with it.)

Ever since the stupid Haunted Train that scarred me for life, I haven’t exactly been a fan of Haunted Houses. I’m actually more scared of hauntings, witchcraft, demon, devil stuff than I am of slasher type scary stuff. I can watch Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street and be perfectly fine. Put on The Exorcist or even The Blair Witch Project (the first time I saw it) and that stuff freaks me right out. The Omen? Amityviile Horror?? Um NOOOO!!! Amityville freaked me out so bad after I read that book that I refused, straight up refused, to go in our den at home because it had red carpet, it was the corner of the house and I was convinced I would go in there and discover one of the windows covered with flies. Nope. Not going in there. Problem was, I ironed my dad’s work shirts in there. I had to beg my mom to go in, get the ironing board and supplies and I would gladly iron……in the family room!!

My brother and I also watched Salem’s Lot on TV. You know, the REAL one with David Soul. C’mon, you’re old enough to remember that. There was a scene where one of the vampire’s was floating up and and down outside a bedroom window. Up and down. Up and down. I can’t remember for sure, but I think it was Craig, who said he looked like the guy from the Yoplait yogurt commercial. The one where they were ballerina’s and kind of bobbing up and down singing “Yo-plait Yo-gurt”. We still do that to this day, bob up and down singing that silly song while talking about David Soul in Salem’s Lot.

But as most of us know, in high school, every October, gangs of us would show up at a different haunted house each weekend and try to find the scariest. There’s two problems with me being a judge on that subject: A) You have to keep your eyes open and B) They’re all scary, so really, there’s nothing to discuss. But here’s where scary turns to embarrassment turns to funny turns to acceptance. And I’m ready to let you in on a little known secret about me. (Ok, not so little, as most people who know me, have known me or knew me but wish they could forget me.) I have discovered there are 3 safe ways for me to go to a haunted house. First way is to bring a change of clothes with me, in the car, so that when, not if, but when I pee my pants I have clothes I change into. Using the darkness of the parking lots, it’s very easy to slip on the new DRY clothing and then go about the night. Second would be to wear Depends and keep a pair of dry underwear in my coat pocket just in case it’s SUPER scary. Or third, “I’ll just wait out here for you guys!” The third option is not very fun, so that one is only for extreme circumstances, like squads being called for other people who have gone through or people throwing up as they’re exiting. That might not be the right place for me.

My boys have developed an unnatural fondness of haunted houses and I honestly don’t appreciate it. I used to have to take them and their friends because it was always a birthday treat. (They both have birthdays this week!) When Rob was younger, he got so scared at one haunted place he literally dug his heels into the gravel walkway and refused to budge. It was one of those places where you go from building to building and get scared inside AND out. He decided in the middle of it that he was done, dug his heels in and would not go one more step. Being in his fragile position many years previous, I asked one of the scary masked actors to please, please for the love of all things good and Holy to let me just take him out. He kindly took off his mask, walked us over the trip wires, electrical cords and assorted cables out to the safety of main lot where we waited for our friends with some hot chocolate. I didn’t need to change my clothes that night.

Ryan on the other hand has ALWAYS loved scary stuff. Movies, haunted houses, blood, gore, ickiness. A spider can cause him to scream like a girl, but the scarier the movie the better. I have been taking him to see scary movies since he was very young. Too young. He loves them. He analyzes them. Remembers details that I would like to forget. He looks forward to FrightFest on AMC every October. He scans the channels looking for the 836th airing of Jason V Freddie. He looks forward to each new scary movie that comes out. He wants to go to the Haunted Reformatory in Mansfield. I don’t know if I could do that. A friend just went there over the weekend. It looks terrifying. I think I would need a change of clothes AND Depends. And even with those two things in place, I still might choose option 3.

haunted house

Boys v Girls

I had a friend suggest this topic and as I thought about it, it fell right in line with a conversation I was having with a few other friends earlier this week and figured, sure, lets give this a whirl!

As most of my regular readers know, I have 2 boys. I’ve raised them to the best of my ability, with each of them having their own challenges. There are parents who are fortunate to have boys AND girls. My mother was blessed to have me first and then along came my brother. She had a nice balance between the two genders and we each put her through our own version of hell. The fact that she’s still alive and also NOT locked in a loony bin at this point says a lot about her character and strong will. I hope I got that from her. I think I did. My kids will say I did.

But then….

There are the mothers of only girls. They don’t have any additional testosterone flowing the house, unless they get a pet. So here’s how I see it. The doctor announces “It’s a beautiful baby GIRL!!” and the world turns pink. Pink everywhere. Pink rooms, pink clothes, pink ribbons for her hair. And then baby 2 is a girl. And just when you thought you had everything pink, you discover, oh no, there is WAY more stuff to buy! Diaper bags, and little frilly cover ups. Mounds of lace and pink! You can’t watch a Pepto commercial without thinking of the baby.

Then, as they grow up, there may be less pink, but the shopping hasn’t stopped. Dresses and shoes and make up and leggings and bows and cute little decorations for their rooms and bathroom and lockers and cars. There is crying. LOTS of crying and most of the time no one knows why. Some days it’s ok to her why she’s crying. Other days it’s waaaaaaay easier to tip toe all the way out of the house and sit outside til she’s done. Even in the rain. Or 46 below zero. PLUS wind chill.

Dads have to protect their precious little ones from the evil horrible wretched boys that will all too soon come searching for your princess. Lock and load, Dad, lock and load.

My boys have given me challenges, don’t get me wrong, but just in such a different way. They have made stupid, boneheaded decisions that make me question their IQ and their sanity. Or mine. I mean, the oldest went through an Emo phase that I never thought would end. I was starting to wonder if I should just resign myself to the fact that he would be working in some comic book or trying to go on the road with Fall Out Boy. But then, miraculously, he came out of it.

As I was thinking about all of this, I realized that worrying about an Emo phase or any of the stuff I worried about with them is nothing compared to the worries of a mom with more than one girl. She has to worry about the technology of today and what they are doing with it. Worry about boys (especially the “serious” boyfriend who, let’s be honest, only has one thing on his mind no matter how nice, upstanding, good grades, dad is a pastor, drives a BMW and always address you as “Mrs.”) and teen pregnancy, going to the Homecoming Dance or Prom, or the party that she says she’ll be home midnight and isn’t home yet. The heartbreak of the boy who said he loved her, til the next girl came along and she was dumped via text. The pimple that appeared right at the end of her nose on picture day. In the day of the life of a girl, that is traumatizing.

So even on my worst parenting feeling days, when Ryan brings that bad grade home (which so far this years he’s getting GREAT grades…..A’s even!!) or when he tells me his phone is broken AGAIN, that it’s not nearly as bad as raising more than one girl. I have the utmost sympathy and compassion for you. I truly do. God gave me two boys for a reason. Plus, I would be SOOO broke buying yet more clothes. And a mani/pedi session. And that cute bag. And did you see those shoes??????

boys v girls

2 kinds of people in this world

Yea, I stole that from Lindsey Buckingham. So shoot me. Well, don’t. Not yet anyway. You might want to after you read this. And I’ll preface the rest with this. I’m not trying to be mean. I’m trying to understand. Got it??

Something struck me last week and I decided to ponder it, look at it, exam it, and then ponder it some more. Still have no clearer understanding than I did before. So here it goes……Why do certain people seem to just suck the air (ie; joy, happiness, light, love, positivity, good vibes, etc) from everything they touch?

I know several people that rarely (I won’t say never, cuz that’s not fair) have anything good or nice or decent or happy or wonderful or anything to say/post/write about and it’s just flat out draining. It’s almost like they look for something to bitch about instead of looking at the positive side of it. Example: (photo of dinner out at a restaurant) UGH! The waiter brought my plate and it has ASPARAGUS as the side and I HATE asparagus!

REALLY????

Ok, how about being flipping grateful that you could afford to go out to dinner? How about being happy with the company you’re with? How about you eat everything on your plate except the dreaded asparagus? HMMM?????

Of course, that’s just a made up example. The list of complaints are endless. “No one fact checked that article/picture of a puppy/Bill Cosby quote.” “I hate spiders and posting that cute puppy dressed up as a huge spider freaked me right out.” On and on and on and on and ON!

Now, I have been accused of being the opposite. Too “Pollyanna-ish” for most people. I get that. I like to look at the bright side of the equation if I can. I try to look for the positive, find my inner zen. It’s not always possible because sometimes the avalanche of people who try to take me down can be overwhelming at times. But I try. And if laughter and positive attitudes and lifting up instead of tearing down is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. (Please read that last sentence like Arsenio Hall from Coming to America because that’s totally how it sounded in my head)

So why do certain people go through life like that? Do they love the attention the get when people ask what’s wrong when they post nothing but “UGH!” or how crappy their day was? Is it easier for them to be bleak than happy? I don’t mean fake happiness either. I have dear dear friends who suffer true depression. Even in that state, they don’t look for the bad. It might be harder to see the good, but they are actively looking for bad.

I will proudly go around trying to see the positive in a world that sometimes feel like it’s crumbling at my feet. Because life is better laughing than finding the bad. There’s enough bad. The good needs highlighting too. And laughter fixes almost everything. If it doesn’t fix it, it at least can make it tolerable. So I’ll sing my song, and go insane, like I always do. But I’ll be ignoring your whiny, sad, depressing posts. Cuz I’m not like you.

Lindsey buckingham

Another goal….accomplished!

So this morning I hit another milestone in my weight loss journey. I had hit a dreaded plateau where I was stuck for a few weeks. I hadn’t altered my diet, and in fact, I had added my twice weekly barre class thinking I would see even faster results. Instead, I was just maintaining. It was frustrating but I persevered.

This morning I jumped on the scale and there it was! I have officially lost 60 pounds! (60.5 to be exact!) Wooo hoooo!!!!I was so excited I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and tell everyone I saw! Instead, I enjoyed the moment to myself. I slipped on my workout clothes and headed to barre with determination and a little extra joy in my heart.

Doing barre this morning was KILLER! I was a sweaty, shaky, oh-my-God-I-don’t-think-I-can-do-one-more-rep mess. My face was red. My muscles were quivering uncontrollably. There wasn’t enough water my Venti size Starbucks water glass by a long shot. Thank God they provide towels or I might have had to use toilet paper to sop up the streams running down my face. But I did it!!

Now, the old me would seriously consider celebrating this moment with food. I know. Sabotage and counter-productive, but I still would’ve done it. A nice plate of nachos anyone? At the very least some chocolate. I was thinking about that as I was drip drying on my drive home. And how it honestly, honestly, HONESTLY just doesn’t even sound appealing to me in the least. I’ve come to that place in my journey where food doesn’t have to be the comforter, the consoler, the celebration, the momentary fix. I have become hyper-aware of what I put in my body. I log EVERYTHING! One M&M gets logged. Really. It keeps me focused and accountable to no one but myself.

And that, I think, is one of the biggest lessons learned and I believe I’ve blogged about it before, is that this is for ME! No one would know if I did eat a candy bar. But **I** would know. And as the pounds came on, I could lie to myself very easily. My family still loved me, my friends still loved me, my kids, my dog, it didn’t matter what the scale said. But I didn’t love me enough to see what I was doing to myself. Not to anyone else. I wasn’t hurting anyone with my extra large Blizzard. But I was hurting ME. I didn’t like being the fat friend, the fat wife, the fat mom. Call me what you will. But I didn’t like it. And who could fix that? No one but me.

So with the help, encouragement, support and endless praise, that same husband, children, friends and my dog (hee hee!) I was able to start this process. And look where I am today! Woooo flipping hoooooo!!!!! I have gone from “obese” to “normal” on the BMI chart. Well into normal. (Me?? Normal?? Never!!) I know a lot can be said about all those charts and graphs, both positive and negative, but it was still nice to see.

So what did I do instead of coming home to food? I cut the grass in the sweltering midday heat. I drank more water. I showered. And now, I’m going to plot out my next set of goals and have a homemade recovery smoothie. Because THAT, I deserve!

weightloss scale