Monday, November 21, 2011

Sweet Things

So I'm not eating sugar, or even sweet things very much right now. Sometimes fruit, sometimes a tiny bit of sweetener on ricotta cheese. But not much.

And yet, my life is full of sweetness. Here is some of it.

Baby girl calling me Mama
Hugs and "uggles" from the 2 year old
Eldest daughter and second son sitting at the piano singing together while one of them plays
Any of my Bigs reading to any of my Littles
The moment my husband comes home
Having a laundry basket full of 100+ pairs of matched socks
The big brown eyes of my fifth son
My children dancing
Realizing that 4th daughter and 5th son, who normally fight, have been playing together for hours
Eldest son leaning down and kissing me and asking if I'm okay
Second daughter's smile
Third daughter's dimples
Squishy baby boy that fits just right in my arms
Third son's bedtime need for my hug, in his bed, and telling me I am the supermom
Fourth son's eyes, so blue I want to go swimming in them
Freckles on their faces
Phrases like, "Can I help you mom?" and "What can I carry?"
The moment at night when all is silent and I am done being Mom for the night (or at least for a little while)
Knowing what is for dinner (or breakfast, or whatever) and having everything I need to make it and time to get it made
Getting out the door on time with socks and shoes and clean clothing on 14 clean bodies (at least I imagine that would be sweet)
Having time with Jesus on a fairly regular basis
Knowing that He is with me all the time, near when I am broken hearted, and waiting on high to show compassion to me
Knowing He delights in me, in my weak "yes", in my bumbling sporadic obedience
Pleasing my mother in law
When my dad says I'm doing a good job
Laying down at night next to the man of my dreams and knowing he feels the same way about me

Things I've learned

So I hope that in 5 or 10 years I will begin my blog with the sentence, "It's been this many years since I lost all that weight and I am still doing well."

Of course, that is not today. Today I can say that since Mother's Day I have lost nearly 50 lbs, one fifth of my body weight. And so, I am not yet an expert on living healthy long term. But I am here and not there, so I can only speak to this. And in this place, here are the things I have learned.

Everything tastes better when you do not have refined sugar in your life.

Even small amounts of sugar or white flour wake up my food-craving engine, and in a matter of minutes I can go from perfectly-content-with-an-appropriate-portion-of-whatever to ravenously-starving-need-to-eat-the-world. It is like the scene from Finding Nemo, when Bruce the teetotaling shark gets a whif of Dori's nose bleed. That's how I feel.

I feel completely different internally about myself and life when I am not controlled by my appetite. I feel smaller and more serious, and yet full of joy and freedom.

A big (24 oz) drink of water picks me up just like a cup of coffee.

I feel very full and satisfied when I eat a meal of good protein, healthy veggies, and a small amount of cheese.

When I have grains, even really incredibly healthy grains, it is hard to stop.

There is a limit to my good decision making capacity. I cannot continue to say no forever in a difficult situation.

I am firmer in my committment to others, be it the Lord, my sister, my husband, than I am to myself.

Being thinner means being colder.

That's what I have so far.

My new goal is to lose another 25 lbs by Valentine's Day, and another 25 by Mother's Day, which would be 100 pounds in a year. And I still won't be at my desired healthy weight, but I will be ever so much nearer than I have been in nearly 20 years. I may be unrecognizable. Hard to imagine. I guess I'll just look like my mom. A good thing.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Here I am, your personal Biggest Loser meets The Duggars, fat mom with a lot of kids trying to become healthier/smaller/more disciplined.

I have now lost nearly 50 lbs. That puts me at hovering just above 200, just above my husband, just above the least I've weighed in memorable history. I weighed something like 154 when I got married 18+ years ago. And I'm pretty sure we didn't have a scale for the first year or two of our marriage. So, although I am sure I knew I was gaining weight, gaining girth, clothes getting smaller, I didn't really know what the damage was, probably until pregnant with our first child.

I don't remember what I weighed at the beginning of that first pregnancy, but I remember I was fat enough to ask another, fatter woman if people would even be able to tell I was pregnant. I weighed 238 the day my daughter was born.

I lost a lot of weight before becoming pregnant again, and got down to either 198 or 189, can't remember which. But that was the last time I was under 200.

And now, here I am, tottering on the brink. I can reach the other side. I will. But then I'm not sure what happens.

What happens when I weigh less than I have in nearly 15 years? What happens when I finally weigh less than my husband? What is my next milestone to shoot for? I have a lofty goal, to weigh 132 lbs. But that is a very long weigh off (pun intended).

I don't know. It's something to think about.

For now, I'm just trying to stop eating crap long enough to get to the first marker.

To weigh less than 200 lbs, at 5 foot 1 inch, would put me in the category of Way More Normal.

To weigh less than my husband, well, would make me feel like a woman. Desirable. I can't wait and never, ever want to go back.

To weigh in the 180's might mean buying normal clothes at normal stores, in sizes without X's.

To weigh in the 160's would put me nearer to my lovely sisters.

To weigh in the 150's I could fit in my wedding dress.

To weigh much less and I could share clothing with my daughters conceivably, someday.

I could be healthy enough to not have high blood pressure, healthy enough to sustain healthy pregnancies.

And yet.

I have come so far, lost so much, and yet, I can blow it all in a day, seemingly. It seems that this many miles into success, that failure ought not be just behind me. But pigging out is so tempting. My daughter looking through her new cookbook frankly depresses me. Thinking about the holidays scares the crap out of me.

I'm afraid to fail, and just as afraid to succeed. So much better to have stayed fat than to get fat again.

And so I find myself again in desperate need of the One who doesn't change.

He said to me, you don't need sugar, you don't need caffeine. So, every so often, I will have a little of those. But mostly, I need protein, I need veggies, I need water, I need to move my body around. I need Jesus. That's my plan.

So help me God.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

somebody else wrote this

But I'm reposting it here, because, well, it's better than anything I could say.

Real Life Adoption Story For National Adoption Month-
By Kim Green

Our daughter Selah was born last year with only a brain stem (no brain) and only lived 55 days. She was conceived in rape and placed for adoption with our family at 2 days old. 11 days after she was born, her birth mom (a life long muslim) called me and said she wanted to become a Christian- she wanted the Jesus we had. She died on my chest 4 days after the court finalized her adoption. The below is a post I wrote that I thought I'd share on fb too:
I'm sitting here bawling right now. I just had the most amazing conversation with Selah's birth mom. I hadn't talked to her since May despite my trying to call/text her, I got nothing back. The last time I spoke to her, there were some family issues, and sadly, I had thought that maybe she left the state. Then out of the blue, I got an envelope from her. In it was a card made by her other two kids and a bill re: Selah I had told her to send me way back in April (said we'd pay- back when we had money! lol!). On the outside of the envelope, was a note saying she missed me so much, so much had happened, and to call her at her new number.

I called her today and instantly, I knew something had changed just by the sound of her voice. It turns out LOTS has happened in the last five months. She had gotten in a car accident and her phone had broken... explains why I couldn't get a hold of her. The good news though: Her other two kid's dad got out of jail, she got married to him, AND she is now pregnant with a healthy little boy. Here is the best part - that part that makes me weep- when S. got out of jail, she told him that she loved Jesus now and had given her life to Him and he needed Him as well. He now too is a Christian and as she put it, they are "all on fire for the Lord" now. She told me that she needed more worship cds because they had worn the others out - lol!

Serious tears.

This is why I am pro-life no matter the life circumstances, the circumstance of the conception, or whatever "impairment" may be detected prenatally. GOOD ALWAYS COMES FROM TRUSTING GOD.

Yes, she was raped - horrible.
Yes, she is poor - horrible.
Yes, the baby was not "compatible with life"- horrible.

(Rom 8:28)


Even rape.
Even disabilities.
Even poverty.


This entire family, 4 members (soon to be 5), came to Christ through a little girl who never said a word and our family who loved her and her birth family for who they were. Unconditionally. I wish you could have heard her voice- you'd believe too.

Genesis 50:20, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive."