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.

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.


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!

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.