Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I'm A Self Help Junkie: When Is Enough Enough?

I confess. I'm a self help junkie. Check out this stack of library books beside my recliner. Most are on dieting, some on hypothyroidism, some on improving our minds, our bodies. Please notice The Living Bible is on the very top, as it should be. But when is enough information enough? Why I could literally write my own book on the subject of weight loss. I know the basic information and have lost weight in the past, I just have a problem applying the vast knowledge to my daily living.

I liken this broad selection of self help books to trying to pick out wallpaper. How many books must one look through to decide on one wall paper pattern for a tiny powder room? Do we peruse every wall paper book available until we magically determine the ONE? Or should we use sound judgement and look at only 10 or 20 books and make our decision from those?

Please know I did not read all of these books. I browsed them and gleaned something from each one. But what good is it if I don't apply the knowledge and information I obtained? If knowledge is power, then lots of knowledge means lots of power, right? It's not that simple. I must take what I know now is true and apply it to my daily living. "Now" is the operative word. So, enough is enough! Enough said! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fashion Over 50 on Southern Hospitality

 My life long friend, Rhoda, featured me on her blog today. Every Wednesday she does Fashion Over 50 on her extremely popular blog, Southern Hospitality. Please check it out! Thanks for dropping by.http://southernhospitalityblog.com/fashion-over-50-tunics-from-vicki/

vicki hat


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Graduation Day, 1974


May 31, 1974 was the day I graduated from high school. Wow! That was 41 years ago! Each year when the day rolls around I spend a little time reflecting.

I had not been with my fellow graduates long as my family moved the summer before my junior year from the area where I went to elementary school, junior high and my first two years of high school. My junior year, we were on a split session due to overcrowding and I attended classes in the morning with the junior and senior class. My senior year, we went into a new school that received students from a much larger area. The school building was huge and new concepts were introduced, like teaching to large classes in a "pod". I was celebrated my 17th birthday in December during the school year. I was one of the youngest in the graduating class. My friend Rhoda and I are a week apart in age so she was one of the youngest too.

As I reflect back to my high school years, I regret I didn't get more involved in activities. I love to sing so why didn't I join the chorus? Fear. I was afraid of failure and never tried anything new. I never played sports as a girl, again, fear, and really regret I missed out. My parents, bless their hearts, tried to encourage me to be more involved, but I was too afraid to step out of my comfort zone.

Just yesterday I told my son who is finishing his bachelor's degree this year (at the age of 26) how I made a D the first semester in Senior English, but an A the second semester. I imagine my parents put the hammer down and told me to get with the program or else!

I hated school my entire life. I began Kindergarten in Atlanta City Schools when I was 4 years old. Hmmmm...Mom read to me daily and I imagine I was a bright and shining little star compared to my boy cousins and appeared to be "ready" for school at that young age. I recall sitting in my class room during elementary school and staring out the window wanting to be outside, feeling claustrophobic in the stuffy room, tied to a desk. I'm still this way. I've never had a desk job that restricted me to a space without the freedom to move around and interact with people.

I was a social butterfly who was much more concerned with talking and having fun than studying. My mom had been Valedictorian of her senior class and won an academic scholarship to nursing school but was unable to pursue it. She knew I had potential to make A's and pushed me to work at my full potential, but I resisted. Studying interfered with my social life!

When I began homeschooling our boys, I read about early learning vs later learning. Aha! Maybe that's what happened to me! I am a product of early learning! My brother, an academic genius and master of many talents, did not attend Kindergarten. He excelled academically in high school and college. Today he has earned certification and credentials that only 50,000 people in the entire world have attained in his specific field and just spoke at an international conference. He plays numerous instruments, has taught his 4 children piano and violin, and has a Master's Degree in Divinity! Yep, he's everything I'm not! He's a product of later learning!

Or could it be the educational system of that time just didn't work well for me? I think my own experience with traditional school influenced my homeschooling experience with our boys. I knew what it was like to be forced to sit in a classroom even after completing my assignments while I waited on the others to complete theirs. That's one of the benefits of homeschooling. Parents know their child's learning style and can work with it to keep the child engaged and interested. Teaching a child reading and math using hands on techniques and subjects the child enjoys, like Ninja Turtles or Barbie dolls, keeps the child engaged.

Well, I never finished college, but I did teach my boys how to read and the basic 4 math operations! I take full credit for their college successes, one down, one still a work in progress! And I'm happy to say I've succeeded in writing with several published works and hopefully more to come!

So as I reflect on my high school graduation, I will cherish the memories of the positive experiences and of the friendships I still enjoy from back in the day!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Unmasking Mental Illness by Vicki Davis

I'm still new to blogging. It is uncomfortable for me to talk about myself in a self promoting way. But as a writer, I have been blessed by a few published works and I want to share them with you. I believe I'm called to use my writing to encourage others. 

I wrote an article on my mother's experience with generalized anxiety disorder. It was published in a Christian magazine in September 2012. I debated whether or not to share it with her, but had decided to in an effort to honor her for her courage. Sadly, Mom had eye surgery the month the magazine article was printed. The anesthesia during surgery progressed her dementia and I decided not to share the article with her. As a writer, this is the piece I am most proud of. If just one person seeks help based on Mom's experience, then her pain will not be in vain. And...if I never write another published article, I am so grateful Mom's story has been told in hopes just one person will be helped. Mom is 83 now and lives in an assisted living facility.

http://digital.turn-page.com/i/81147-september-2012 

If you or a loved one have been touched by mental illness, my heart goes out to you. My prayer is you will seek the necessary help to live life abundantly. 

Thanks for stopping by my blog. 
HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!
V

On the Journey: Full Length Mirror: Friend or Foe?

A common phrase I've heard from my financial wizard husband I refer to as Bear, aka The Budgetmeister, is "if you can't measure it, you can't manage it". Well, that's easy to apply when managing money with a check book register, credit card receipts, piggy banks or spread sheets, whatever works for your family. 

But how about how we measure ourselves in other areas of our daily lives? What tools do we use to measure certain aspects of our health? 

I referenced Steve Arterburn in a previous post. One of the founders of the Women of Faith conferences, he has authored many books including Lose it for Life and is one of the editors of The Life Recovery Bible. I became well acquainted with his ministry on the daily radio broadcasts of New Life Live ( http://newlife.com) where they answer phone calls of people who are hurting with all sorts of life issues. This ministry has sown hope and healing into my life for more than 20+ years. If you want balanced teaching from the Bible from godly men and women who have dedicated their life's work to helping others receive grace and live the abundant life Christ died to give us all, then please check them out. 

So, back to Steve Arterburn. On one of the broadcasts he addressed weight loss and advised a caller to "face the music" by looking in a full length mirror every morning while....NAKED!!! Wow! That brought shivers down my chubby spine. I don't own a full length mirror. Well, there is one on the other side of the house that is actually a mirrored sliding door the previous owners installed. I'm not highly motivated to trek over to it, much less in all my glory! 

Isn't that how we are? We avoid what makes us uncomfortable. We avoid being in pictures because it's true, pictures do speak a thousand words. In 2012, the last time I was motivated to truly work hard at weight loss, it was a photograph of me that jolted me to change. I ran across that photograph this morning, hence this article. Last week I was undressed and looking at the back of my hair in my bathroom mirror. Horrors! The sight of my undressed back was a surprise! I had rolls! Now please understand I know I'm overweight and accept that fact. I look in the mirror every day, just not a full length mirror in the buff! I wear garments that tend to cover and flatter rather than highlight my "shortcomings". Seeing my bare back from that angle in that lighting was eye opening and rather than digressing into self pity (I just realized for the very first time that pity is based on the word "pit") I chose to face it for what it very clearly is and try harder. 

If we can't measure it, we can't manage it. The number on the scales is a strong indicator of success or failure in the battle of the bulge. But other measurements can be just as effective. What measurement tool do you use? Do you measure your waist, hips, thighs? I've received tremendous encouragement from seeing, on paper, the loss of inches at a time when I was at a plateau on the scales. Is there anything more rewarding than trying on a pair of jeans that didn't zip the last time you tried them on? Or buying a size or 2 smaller than your old normal size? Or being satisfied by eating half an entree at your favorite restaurant! I can measure my fitness level by how many miles I can walk in an hour. If you normally enjoy 2 servings of salad dressings with your salad, try just one serving. Have you measured your food portions lately? Small changes reap big rewards in the area of health.

Whatever measuring system works for you, just do it! Measure something to give you the data you need to see progress in your efforts toward health! For a greater challenge, measure something that's more difficult for you. If you've been avoiding a mirror, face it. Um, you can decide if you're naked or not!  If you've been avoiding a scale, go, now, and hop on it. It's just a tool to help you reach one of your goals. If you've been walking a track for 4 laps to equal one mile, go for 5 laps! Measure it, manage it, maximize your efforts!

Thanks for stopping by! Whatever you're facing today, it will be easier if you're healthy!
Until next time,
vicki



Monday, May 18, 2015

Grocery Store Blessing: Pass It On!

My nephew came in town and he, our son and a buddy were coming for dinner. Our son suggested spaghetti so I dashed out to our local Publix for the ingredients for an easy spaghetti dinner. I was very low on cash and counted up the dollar amount of my items as I shopped. The bowls of fresh watermelon were BOGO FREE so I grabbed one just in case I had enough money. I placed all the spaghetti specific items on the check out counter and held the bowl of watermelon back. A young man in line behind me pointed out I'd left the watermelon behind. I laughed and told him I was holding off to be sure I had enough money to pay for it. Well, I only had enough cash to pay for the necessary spaghetti ingredients! The young man pulled out his wallet and tossed a $5 bill on the counter and said "here, I want her to have that watermelon". I tried to talk him out of it but he was determined for me to have the watermelon! I was so blessed by his kindness and generosity! I asked him how old he was as he seemed about the age of our son. He's 29, the same age as our oldest son. I hugged him, of course, and told him his mama did a fine job raising him.

Have you ever paid for someone's meal in the drive thru at a fast food restaurant? Or bought someone a cup of coffee in line behind you? I haven't done either of these but I have given money to someone in front of me to help them when they ran short when paying their grocery bill. So I know how good it feels to bless someone with a random financial "gift". That young man named Mike blessed me with the watermelon and I know he was just as blessed by his generous gesture.

Kindness reaps kindness! Let's pass it on!


Monday, May 11, 2015

Thanks, Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality

 My life long friend, Rhoda of Southern Hospitality has been very gracious to feature me on her blog a few times. The link below is to the post on May 6. Check it out!

http://southernhospitalityblog.com/fashion-over-50-for-the-full-figured-woman/





Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!
My mother is 83 now and her world was rocked when we lost my daddy in 2008. Mom grew up very hard but succeeded in school and won a scholarship. She was very loyal to her family and helped provide financially for her younger brothers. During my youth she managed to work as an executive secretary while running a home. She never missed a ball game, prepared hot meals, and taught Sunday School. I learned so much from my mother. How to be a dutiful and loving wife as I care for my husband. How to be a mother and grandmother who loves unconditionally. How to serve others with a warm and loving spirit. How to love my mother-in-law (and father-in-law), as they are extensions of my husband. How to walk the Christian walk even when I'm hurting and don't feel like it. How to encourage others with the written word. Mom has always been known and appreciated for her card writing ministry. She does not see it as a ministry, but it is! I learned from her at an early age how to put my thoughts on paper. She's also known for her great home made banana pudding. I'm still working on that feat! A gracious, godly southern lady who wears a bouffant hair-do and lipstick to the mail box. That's my mommie and I love her so much. She has dementia now and lives in an assisted living facility. Tuesday we had dinner together and she took my hand and prayed the sweetest blessing/prayer. I cherish this memory as I don't know what to expect from day to day as is the case with dementia.

To all mothers, take a moment for yourself on Mother's Day! If you've lost your mother or are estranged from her, I'm so sorry for your loss! I encourage you to reflect on fond memories or reach out to an elderly lady who may need a hug on Mother's Day!

This Mother's Day, I am so grateful I've been allowed to be the mother to my sons, now men. They were my career, my life projects and I'm so thankful for the men they have grown up to be. Now I have an amazing daughter-in-law who loves us and allows us to love her. She and our older son have blessed us with 3 precious grandchildren: J, a boy age 4, A, a girl, 2 1/2, and L, a baby girl, 1. Yep, 3 under 4! We are so blessed. And to see my husband of 33 years with these babies, well, it's all about Granddaddy! They love him so! So Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and grandmothers and mothers-in-law, and step moms out there! Count your blessings and enjoy your day!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Journey Continues: Weight Loss & Water

Hello and thanks for dropping by my blog! You're most likely here to follow my weight loss journey and I welcome you.

So, how much water do you drink per day? I have a funny story about my husband drinking water for health and weight loss, or not! For years I advised him to drink more water and for years he responded that he drinks plenty of water plus all that water in the tea and coffee counts. Well, depending on what you read, that may be true, but I personally achieved greater success losing weight when I increased my water consumption in addition to all other liquids.Our livers are like filters for our bodies and when we drink a lot of water, our livers are flushed of toxins our bodies need to rid themselves of for better health. When our livers are flushed and clean they operate at full potential and our bodies respond accordingly. That's just a simple non-scientific version!

My husband had a male friend tell him how he eats whatever he wants to as long as he drinks a lot of water! So, my husband began to consume a lot more water every day and saw a loss on the scales. I somehow managed to laugh at his revelation rather than scream "I told you so!". 

Yes, there are formulas out there to provide guidelines for how much water we should consume during weight loss and for general health. If you Google this you will find different formulas but most do begin with your current weight.

When I am home and not out and about, I drink 3 quarts of our amazing well water per day, in addition to any other beverages. I keep a quart jar sitting on my kitchen counter by my sink to keep it simple. I drink 2 cups with my early morning medication before breakfast; 2 cups with breakfast; 1 quart between 10:00 & 4:00; 1 quart between 4:00 & 9:00. I usually have an 8 oz. cup of instant coffee every morning and occasional diet soft drinks or glasses of unsweetened tea.

I know several people who just can't bring themselves to down a glass of water. My 83 year old mother has never enjoyed drinking water no matter how much I encourage her to. Staying hydrated is especially important for elderly folks. I encourage you to do whatever it takes to consume more water. Buy bottled water or a filter, add flavor enhancers that are healthy, add lemons and cucumbers, something to help you stay hydrated and to keep your liver flushed. 

Thanks for listening and enjoy your day as you work toward a healthier lifestyle!
Blessings!
V

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Journey Continues: My Weight Loss Plan

The Plan

If you're dropping by my blog from Rhoda's Southern Hospitality blog, WELCOME!  I've had some inquiries about the program I've used to lose 20 pounds and want to give you some information. My plan is effortless, easy to follow. My health improved within three weeks on the program with lower cholesterol and triglyceride numbers!

I have more energy to DANCE! More energy to play with my 3 precious grandchildren! More energy to care for my 83 year old mom! More energy to walk 3 miles per day! More personal confidence! More enthusiasm for life! I'm living a life of Optimal Health. Won't you join me?

If you or a loved one is looking for health, please e-mail me at vicki@group3d.biz and I'll reply soon.


HOW MUCH DO WE THINK ABOUT FOOD?
In his book "Lose it for Life" Stephen Arterburn provides an exercise to help us determine how much time we spend on food.This was very enlightening to me. When I completed the exercise my sons were still at home and with us homeschooling and my husband working from a home office, I was responsible for 3 meals per day for 4 people. So my time spent browsing grocery store ads, making menus and grocery lists, shopping for groceries, cooking and serving meals, and cleaning up totaled approximately 40 hours per week.

Wow! This was insightful! No wonder I had such an attachment to food!

I hope this has been helpful. Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear from you!
V
 


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Road Trip 2015

Well, our 26 year old son works 2 jobs and attends the local university. So, he had a "spring break" and planned to go on a road trip. He invited us to join him and at the very last minute, we very hesitantly decided to kennel our 14 year old dog and take off. We loaded up and departed Easter Sunday morning, just my husband, our son, and me. This was a first for us. We've been to our second home in Florida together a lot but we haven't been on a traditional road trip since 2004 and that wonderful road trip included our older son. It was our last family vacation. Well, I absolutely love road trips!

When I was growing up, my parents were great about taking family vacations. My most memorable vacation was in 1968 when my parents, my younger brother and I drove from Atlanta to Wyoming (in a car without a/c) to visit Yellowstone National Park. We were gone about 2 weeks. Daddy had an Army buddy who owned a huge ranch in Wyoming with more than 1,000 acres. We visited him and his family and enjoyed a very regional experience. To visit Yellowstone, we stayed in a lodge outside the east gate near the Shoshone River. We stayed there several nights and drove into the park to tour. We saw lots of wildlife, the geysers, the lake, it was a wonderful time. I purposed in my mind when we left that amazing area of the country that I would return to the lodge, which is still in operation and owned by the same family. It's on my bucket list.

From Wyoming, we traveled to Arizona, briefly checked out the Grand Canyon, then on to a border town where my grandfather was staying with my uncle's family on an Army base. We picked him up then traveled across Texas home. I remember when we arrived back home in Georgia, we called my grandparents, Daddy's parents, and told them we were heading to their house for some home cooked vittles. We jumped out of the car and kissed the ground!

So, our 2015 road trip led us to San Antonio, TX  by way of  Mobile Bay, New Orleans and Houston. Once in San Antonio, I relaxed on the beautiful river walk. We toured the area on foot, as everything of interest, The Alamo, cathedral, market, shopping and dining were all within walking distance. Our son and I did enjoy a tour on a river gondola where he learned he history of the city and specifically the development of the River Walk. While we traveled many many miles in a very short time, we all agreed it was worth it and were glad we did it.

And...our doggie handled her kennel experience just fine. Sometimes, acting on a whim without a great deal of planning, just works. I'm thankful we had such a great get away together and will cherish the memories.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Fashion Over 50: Thrift Store Shopping

Hello and thanks for dropping by. This link is to my life long friend, Rhoda's blog. She featured the article I wrote with a post on Fashion Over 50: Thrift Store Shopping, March 18, 2015. The overwhelming positive response to the article compelled me to share my weight loss journey on my blog which had been inactive.  You might enjoy the photos so drop by and check it out.
http://southernhospitalityblog.com/fashion-over-50-thriftstore-shopping/

While browsing the clearance rack at Macy’s I struck up a conversation with a fellow shopper. Imagine that! She commented how she was shopping for her mother-in-law and she wore a size “W” for WIDE! Yes, she said that! She was totally serious. She truly thought the W meant WIDE! Well, bless her heart! I almost slapped her. How could any woman in today’s society be so uninformed about women’s clothing sizes? Granted she appeared to have never experienced any sort of weight issue and I’m happy for her. Sort of! But what about the 100 million plus sized women who wear size 14-34? Yep, that’s the figure quoted in an article by Margaret Bogenrief, December 21, 2012, Business Insider.

During my 30’s and 40’s, I took care of everyone but me and neglected my mental and physical health, resulting in obesity and a very negative body image. I just could not bring myself to spend money on fashionable clothing while so overweight. Maybe subconsciously I felt I didn’t deserve to dress better, feeding into the self loathing overweight women fight everyday. I think it was more about being wasteful not wanting to invest in larger sized clothes because surely I would lose the weight just any day. Now in my late fifties, I have finally accepted myself, my body, and want to dress fashionably for my age and weight!

My life long friend, Rhoda, has always been very fashionable and trendy and I have learned a lot from her over the years. Specifically, Rhoda introduced me to shopping at thrift stores. Now, no matter my size, I can spend very little money on clothing but enjoy dressing in name brand quality pieces for a fraction of what they would cost at original retail price. About 75% of my wardrobe  came from a thrift store. So as I lose weight and move into smaller clothing sizes, I’m confident I’m not being wasteful at all. 

Accepting and loving myself while weighing over 200 pounds has been life changing. Consequently, I have begun to lose weight and feel so much better about my appearance as I dress for my size and age. For me, forgiving myself for the damage done was necessary for change. I encourage all women, no matter your age or size, to accept your bodies and work with where you are and what you have right now. Don’t put off enjoying life until…you lose 5 or 50 pounds!

Dress to enhance your hair and eye color. Determine your best features and showcase them. One of my dear friends is about my size and age and she has great legs! She looks fabulous in shorter dresses and skirts, while I hide my knocked knees! Know your best colors, experiment with accessories or a new hair cut and color. You’ll be surprised how a new shade of lipstick can brighten your smile and your face! Spring is a great time of year to try new pieces, new styles! You are worth any time or money you spend on yourself! 

As for the “W”, it represents “Woman”! I’m not sure what that says about all those who wear sizes 0-12! Happy Spring, y’all!

Friday, March 27, 2015

My Parents: 60 Year Anniversary

My parents were married 60 years ago yesterday, March 26, 2015. Sadly my father passed away in November, 2008. But they enjoyed 53 1/2 years of a wonderful marriage of loyalty, honesty, commitment, faithfulness, mutual respect, hard work and deep love. Deep love for each other, God, my brother and I, and their family and friends. They shared a very sweet old fashioned romantic love. Daddy called Mom on his cell phone to play her one of "their" love songs from the Jeep radio. Mom always ran to the door to greet him whenever he came home. They took turns warming coffee mugs for each other. Sweet gestures.

They both worked hard to provide the opportunities for my brother and I that they never had. Mom worked as an executive secretary for a large oil company in Atlanta for a number of years, but she was also a home maker. Even when she worked outside the home she prepared a hot breakfast for us most mornings. Having been a working mother myself, I wonder how she managed to do so much, well, and with a positive attitude.

Daddy worked long and crazy hours for the railroad. During his final days with us, I tried to comfort him suggesting he rest because he had always worked so hard for us. He said he worked because he loved to work.

Mom lives at an assisted living facility now and doesn't recall the date. But she will gladly tell you she was married to an angel. She refers to him as "my angel" still. The pain of loss has been unbearable for her but I know the 53 1/2 years they shared together far outweigh the countless tears she has shed for her angel.

Thank you, Daddy and Mom, for all the personal sacrifices you both made for me and Brother to have such a stable and loving home where God was revered and unconditional love flowed freely.

Love,
Sis

The Journey Continues: Destination in Sight

Well, after dilly dallying around with my weight loss program for weeks I have maintained it enough consecutive days to lose a few more pounds. My loss to date is 18.6 pounds! I'm very encouraged and will post another pic once I've reached 20 pound mark. I have a surge of hope and motivation to take me to my immediate destination of 199 pounds!

But, I must remind myself I am not a number on a contrary contraption of a scale! I am not a clothing size, with or without a "W"! I am me, striving to be my best me!

Thank you so much for dropping by. Enjoy your weekend! Do something for yourself! I had a pedicure yesterday, an indulgence I seldom treat myself to. But I'm worth it.

God Bless you all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Journey Continues: Finding Movement with Holy Yoga

Now don't laugh! But....I was an aerobics instructor in the 1980's. I know, it's hard to believe! I wore a sweat band, like Jane Fonda! LOL! Back in the day, what can I say. But I was very thin and active. I also worked out with weights some too. Then I had a baby, returned to work full time when he was only 10 weeks old. I commuted to work 20 miles which sometimes took an hour and a half and left for home at 7:00 a.m. and returned home at 6:30 p.m. No time for exercise!

Lack of time at this stage of life is no longer an excuse for me. My preference for consistent exercise is walking outside on a track or trail while talking with a friend. I manage to walk at a local park at least once per week and hope to increase that as the weather improves. And I love to put on some dance music and dance around my house all by myself! Whatever it takes to move, right? But I also enjoy other types of exercise and recently began attending Holy Yoga. Yes, Christian HOLY Yoga! Scripture, soft Christian music and prayer are incorporated into our sessions. My instructor is an amazing young woman who is certified in Holy Yoga and has such a heart for ministering to women.Holy Yoga has been such an encouragement to me as I can work at my own pace with guidance from the instructor. I leave feeling refreshed physically and spiritually! The perfect balance for an emotional midlife grandmama, don't you think?

So, what activity do you enjoy on your healthy journey? By sharing your exercise ideas, you offer me emotional support and encourage others!

Blessings to you on your healthy journey! Together we are  strong!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Journey Continues: Finding Your "Want To"

Hello everyone and thank you so much for stopping by. I apologize my blog is somewhat lacking in eye appeal as I just began posting regularly. I promise to dress it up a bit with some photos and other information relative to my posts. I need to sit down with someone who can help me figure this tech stuff out.

Yesterday I shared a little about my personal life and how I developed a poor self image. That was then and this is now! So how do I go from here as a much older and wiser woman, and learn to love myself as I am?

I turn to resources such as this book by Lysa Terkeurst titled Made to Crave. She is President of Proverbs 31 Ministries and I love her writing. The subtitle of this book is "Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, not Food". If you're like me, you could write your own "how to lose weight" book. At this stage of life I've tried numerous plans, some worked, some didn't. But basically any plan that reduces calorie intake will work for a while if I'll just work the plan! Here's a passage from page 11 of the book.

It's not the "how to" I'm missing. It's the "want to"...really wanting to make changes and deciding that the results of those changes are worth the sacrifice.

Yes!!! I know HOW! What I wrestle with is veering from WHY I want to lose weight. My recent experiences have revealed that I must want to lose weight for reasons greater than just improving my looks or for myself. So I've made a list of my WHY's.

My health. My health affects so many areas of my life. If I am unable to take the stairs or get up off the floor, how can I feel confident physically caring for my grand babies, ages 4, 2, and 1? Not to mention providing a stable grip for my 83 year old mother when we are out and about. It's not about me!

My marriage. Well, I confess! I do not feel sexy at all weighing 200+ pounds! So how can I relate to my husband in a healthy sexual way when I "feel" like I look like an NFL player but without the muscle and the paycheck? Really!

My social life. Yes, being overweight inhibits me pursuing certain things. I'm less likely to dance at an upcoming wedding because of fear of how I'll look. I'm less likely to attend an event for fear of not being dressed appropriately. I'll admit I scope out the room and often determine I'm the oldest and the largest woman present. How shallow is that? I know, but that's just me.

My ministry. I've been a committed member of our church for 27 years! I've "grown" as it's grown! LOL! Seriously, I am the Welcome Center Director and love greeting visitors and introducing them to my church, to God! But...when I have weighed more than normal, up about 5-10 pounds, my self image is so dreadful, I can hardly force myself to show up with a welcoming joyful spirit!

These are my WHY's. They are huge motivators and I keep them written down in my Food Diary. What are your WHY's? How are you staying focused on your WHY's? Thanks for listening! God bless you on your own personal journey to reach a healthy weight! It's all about optimal health!
Vicki

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Journey Continues...Thanks to You!

Wow! All I can say is "WOW!" When Rhoda asked me a few months ago if she could feature me on her blog I was happy to oblige. Little did I know how much I would be blessed by all of your comments on the article I wrote and my fashion photo shoot. So to each of you who have visited my blog from Rhoda's, welcome and thank you for dropping by. This is embarrassing. While I am a published writer, I am a low tech gal and do not know how to reply to your comments. I mean, I typed a reply in the comment box and clicked "publish" but it doesn't work. Hmmmmm....So please bear with me as I figure out the mechanics of blogging.

Thank you for sharing your own weight loss struggles and tips that have worked for you! By doing so you have created a support system. For me to be successful in weight loss I must have support.

Here's a little about me and my personal battle with weight loss. My mother has always been very conscientious of her appearance and wanted me to always look my very best. She lives in an assisted living facility now and won't leave her apartment without applying her lipstick. I was the only girl in the 3rd grade with a bouffant hair do! Yes, I have experienced hair issues in the past! Mom maintained her weight and curves with morning sit ups and watching her diet, nothing excessive. But when I was about 10 years old, she and the pediatrician put me on a diet. No more bread and ice cream! At the age of 11 or 12 I was tall and developed for my age and that, combined with the diet forced upon me, I believe was the beginning of my negative self image.Then there was this medical doctor I saw for nothing serious and did not have a patient/doctor relationship with him at all and he asked me how much I weighed (139 lbs) and he stomped his foot and said I should weigh 120 lbs and I could be a model. He went further asking me if I had a boyfriend and did he like me at that weight! I was flabberghasted!

So on I went, striving to lose weight and I found success with Weight Watchers in the late 1970's. The class setting and group participation worked for me. I was in my twenties, still living at home and my sweet mom prepared my food according to plan while I worked and went to college. I got down to 130 and stayed around there (128-135) until I had my first child at the age of 29.



According to experts in this mufti-billion dollar industry, support is a necessary component for successful weight loss. I believe Weight Watchers was the first program to provide support and accountability. Of course today, you can be a WW member and receive all of their teaching and materials on-line. This year they began advertising one-on-one coaching which I think is a great idea and I had inquired about that years ago.

I encourage anyone who has the desire to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight to find support in someone; your best friend, your office mate; your spouse or sister. Ideally your support person should know you and your personality well enough to understand your struggles, and love you enough to hold you accountable while encouraging you to follow whatever program you choose. I presently have a health coach who is amazing.

Have you had success with a particular weight loss program? What specifically about the program worked for you? Weight Watchers worked for me in the past but as I aged, I lost enthusiasm for the program and needed a more structured approach. I also grew bored with the material taught in the classes. However, for someone new to the battle of the bulge, I think they are a great place to start.

Other key components to a successful weight loss program are portion control and keeping a food diary.
Your thoughts? Remember, you are worth any amount of time and money necessary for you to reach your optimal healthy weight! And...your optimal healthy weight may not be the same number it used to be. Example: My goal is not 135 pounds now! And if I could have just 5 minutes with that so called doctor from the 1970's......Well bless his ever lovin' heart!

Thanks for listening and God bless you as you seek a healthy weight!

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Journey Interrupted

It's very difficult to face the truth but the truth is I have fallen off my weight loss program. While I can analyze and fret over why, I don't think that will benefit me in any way. The consequence of this is weight gain. I've gained some pounds back but am beginning AGAIN today. So, after a break from the program, I desperately want to begin anew today by forgiving myself. This is very very difficult for me. I am naturally more prone to wallow around in self loathing but must move past that into action. Action today is eating my food provided by my plan and preparing a healthy dinner for me and my husband tonight.

OK. Here goes!
If you are reading this, please say a prayer for me.
Blessings!
Vicki



Friday, February 13, 2015

The Journey Continues: Day 32

Yesterday, FEB12, was Day 31 of my weight loss journey. This is a journey with the destination being Optimal Health! I equate Optimal Health to the biblical teaching of the Abundant Life that Jesus offers when we walk in His ways. So what does the Abundant Life look like? For me it is being healthy and strong for my age, able to comfortably walk 3-4 miles; being able to pick up my 30 pound grand child without fear of falling over or dropping them; being able to serve as a care giver for my mom and mother-in-law by overseeing their care, taking them to appointments, and remaining emotionally stable to face what the future holds for them. Notice I didn't mention getting into a smaller jean size! If I work the plan and follow precepts of Optimal Health, the smaller jeans will come, and they have.

Last night, Bear and I celebrated Valentine's Day. I wore a pair of pants and pretty red sweater I haven't worn in over 2 years! Let's just say I felt like a Valentine! I veered off program a bit, but nothing too drastic, and I'm right back on track this morning highly motivated by those garments that had been tucked away until I lost weight. Well, I lost 15.6 pounds in less than a month and I'm pressing toward the mark of a 20 pound loss!




Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Journey Continues: Day 30

There is more to weight loss success than the numbers on the scale! I'm so happy to report that my cholesterol is down 27 points after only 3 weeks on program. This is the lowest my cholesterol has been since I began treatment with statin drugs 8 years ago. Now on Day 2 of Week 5, I've lost 15 pounds and feel great!

Are you working to achieve a healthy life style? Feel free to share what works for you! I know my lack of exercise during winter months hinders reaching my goal. We have a not so fancy elliptical machine I've been using and it has helped. I much prefer being outside enjoying the beauty of the sky, trees, fresh air...but even here in the south, it's not always possible.

Whatever your goals for your health, may you experience a new passion to reach them. Nothing is impossible with support from others...and God!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Journey Continues: Day 25

Day 25 on plan and down 14.8 pounds! This plan works if you work it! In addition to losing pounds, I've lost inches as the "before" and "after" pics indicate. I was advised to measure myself on Day 1 and again after losing the first 10 pounds, but regrettably I didn't. I will soon. On Day 1 when I took the "before" picture, you can see mascara smears from crying. First of all to take a full shot of me in workout clothes was very uncomfortable and secondly I thought "am I signing up only to fail at weight loss again?"

Now, only 25 days later, I'm so glad I signed up! Before the plan, I was chewing antacids several times per day even though I was eating fairly well. With ongoing heartburn, my sleep was disturbed. Thankfully no more antacids and I'm enjoying sound sleep.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Journey Begins

Thank you for dropping by. As you can see my blog has been inactive. But....today I begin sharing my weight loss journey with you! I'm 58 years old now. In 1999 I had a miscarriage at the age of 42. It was physically and emotionally devastating and I turned to my old friend, food, for comfort. Since then, I have dropped below 200 pounds only twice! Once on the Daniel Fast and once on a weight loss program I did have some success with. But...LIFE kept getting in the way of my very best efforts! In 2008 my father passed away after a brief illness thrusting me into care taking mode of my mother. In 2012, my mother had surgery and became much more dependent upon me. These are not excuses, rather the emotional episodes that triggered my unhealthy eating patterns of turning to food for comfort.

It's true! A picture is worth a thousand words! So today, I want to share with you my before and after pictures with "before" taken JAN 12 and "after" JAN 31. The greatest improvements are in my belly and a saggy area around my neck/chin. These improvements are after losing only 11.2 pounds! That is why our program advises us to take a picture on Day One and again after losing 10 pounds! So glad I did because these pictures have really motivated me to work the program as it is designed to be worked! Today is Day #24 on program and my total weight loss to date is 13.2 pounds! I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my journey with you! May God bless you as you strive for a healthy lifestyle!