Saturday, July 31, 2010

Time for the Fat Lady to SING!

Maybe I eat too much Mexican food. Is that possible? Mexican food is awesome. Last night my husband and I went to a Mexican restaurant. It’s hard to find wheat/milk/soy free food. Avoiding soy is pretty easy, but avoiding wheat and milk is harder. Everything is smothered in yummy cheeses and sour cream. And most of my favorites are wrapped in wheat tortillas. But I was able to find something on the menu that I can control what I ate. I enjoyed chicken fajitas and a few bites of my husband’s tamale. My down fall is always the chips they leave on the table while you wait for the “real” food to be brought to the table. It’s so easy to go “calorie overboard”! When we got home and I added it all up I realized that this was a problem. I really need to get this favorite eating pass time under control. Maybe the next time we eat Mexican I’ll ask them to only bring ½ of the chips… or better yet, ask them not to bring them at all.

I’ve spent the past week with an aching ankle and foot. It has put a major cramp on my exercise. And it’s increased my desire to actually get off my butt and exercise. It’s true that you don’t know what you are missing until it’s gone. I was dragging my feet about exercise and frankly had been doing a lousy job get exercise into every day. But pain and a decided lack of exercise has made me appreciate the fact that I can move and I’m looking forward being able to back to a walk here and there and an occasional evening bike ride.

As a lifetime “fat lady”, I understand the role I sometimes unknowingly play as the center of local entertainment. I admit it. I am rather paranoid and self conscious of others watching me squeeze into small spaces (like the table at the Mexican restaurant that my husband had to move so I could squeeze in – yes I noticed he moved it nonchalantly before I tried to sit). I'm the fat lady trying to tie my shoes (using a chair or a stool to assist me in getting to my laces), or the fat lady trying to squeeze through the turnstile (Now that is embarrassing needing to lift up your girth to get through one of those blasted things)!

Well, the fat lady is ready to sing!

I’m tired of wondering if being the fat lady provides some humor to strangers around me. The real humor is that these naive people seem to think that “fat lady” doesn't know they're getting a kick out of watching her try to pick up that pencil she just dropped. Hello?! Trust me. The “fat lady” knows she's providing entertainment on some low level. What’s worse are the few “fat ladies” who really don't care what anyone thinks. The evidence? They like to squeeze themselves into mini-skirts and tank tops or wear clothes four sizes too small. Not me! The looser and comfier the better!

I've always been aware of eyes that might stare. I need to care enough to do anything about it. I am working on it. Definitely a work in progress. I've spent my entire “fat lady” career trying to avoid situations where I'm the spontaneous circus side show. I even avoid the stage because although I have pipes I really don’t like being the center of attention due to the rolls.

So I decided to get on my bike more often. In fact, I am making a goal to take my bike for a spin every day next week. Please feel free to check up on me. I figure a bike may help me get exercise while my ankle is hurting me. While riding my bike I am really out of my comfort zone. A “fat lady” on a bike is unscripted comedy waiting to happen between the tipping over and rear end folding over the bike seat. As I remember, I’ve never been very good at riding a bike and I have the scars to prove it.

Besides, I really don't think that bike seats were designed with me in mind. I fear that within five minutes of pedaling I will feel the burn in my legs. (Remember, I hate pain).

So tomorrow I will go for a slow family ride and Monday I will blast “I Gotta Feelin’” in my earbuds and enjoy the burn and I try to keep up with my 7 year old! I will envision fat cell melting away from that burn, magically dissolving ounce by ounce… “like butta”.

I guess I am realizing something. I'm not saying that people don't get a laugh at a struggling lady every now and then. I know they do. But maybe, just maybe I have always amplified that laughter in my own mind, making it feel ten times worse than it ever is. I guess what we perceive to be the most embarrassing circumstances most often blown way out of proportion after they're filtered through our insecurities. Most likely I’m not making any sense, but that is ok. The lesson was for me anyway.

As for today… I ate watermelon and a few nuts for breakfast… visited an elderly lady and massaged her feet… cleaned house… worked on Seminary… ate 3 turkey dogs (no bun) and ketchup for lunch ( not good, but it was all I had in the house)… made a shopping list… went to the store (my ankle was feeling real good since I whacked it getting into the car last night until my daughter ran into it at the store with the full grocery cart)… nursed my foot while my daughter and her boyfriend made a burger dinner for my son’s birthday… snacked on a few Smarties and Reese’s (I know… I caved)… ate a burger on tapioca bread with a few potato chips and a little potato salad… skipped ice cream and cake in loo of a homemade Italian sugar free vanilla soda… and then spent the evening blogging. Not a stellar day… but not dismal either. I’m hoping I really do get my act together soon because I’m ready to SING!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Battle of Wounded Ankle

"When your feet hurt, your whole body hurts." -Socrates.

If you have experienced foot pain in your lifetime, you know this statement to be true. The human foot is complex. What an amazing structure the human foot is. Made up of 26 relatively small bones and held together by a network of ligaments, muscles and skin, our feet take tortuous punishment every day. They sustain the burden of our entire weight; they are shoved into dark, cramped and often damp "containers," or forced to teeter precariously on tiny spike heels. Foot ailments are among the most common of all health problems. Although some can be traced to heredity, many occur from the cumulative effect of years of abuse and neglect. The average person walks 115,000 miles (the equivalent of more than 4 times around the world) during their lifetime. I wonder so many believe that foot pain is a normal part of life. Pain typically is a sign that body is telling us that there is something wrong, and therefore, should not be ignored.

For the last few days I’ve been entrenched in the Battle of Wounded Ankle. Can’t really tell what is wrong. I don’t remember tripping and slipping or turning my ankle. My chiropractor says the bones in my leg were twisted and that caused the ligaments in my ankle to be stressed. It’s not that I’m ignoring it; it’s just that I’m not sure what to do. As a result I’m laying low and trying my best to stay off it (as diligent as a mom of 5 busy kids can be at staying off a hurt foot).

Forget "no pain--no gain." Feet that hurt interfere with every aspect of life.

Perhaps my problems are complicated by the fact that I have flat feet. Flat feet can be hereditary. My feet could really be that. I’ve had flat feet forever! ... And so do two of my kids. However, I think my problems came as a result of mis-treating my feet – for example wearing bad shoes all day Wednesday when I painted my family room and kitchen.

The pain can be a result of weakened muscles in the foot due to aging; weakened muscles in the foot due to injury; weakened muscles due to heavy strain placed on the feet. Okay, weakened muscles in the foot I can buy as a cause of my pain.

I need some way of exercising and RESTING at the same time.

Oh well… I’ll live to BATTLE the BULGE another day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

To be a Pioneer

Saturday was Pioneer Day in Utah and some wards throughout the LDS church celebrate the completion of the treacherous thousand-mile exodus of early saints and the arrival in Utah’s Great Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. The Mormon pioneers viewed their arrival as the founding of a Mormon homeland, hence Pioneer Day.

When I was a little girl, we'd don pioneer costumes and have a parade. One of the most vivid memories I have of my life before age 8 is a Pioneer Day Celebration out at Shetlin Park. It was an all day party. Picnicking, softball for the adults, egg toss, 3-legged race, sack race, watermelon eating contest, pie eating contest, crafts and plenty of time to play in the creek catching crawdads. The point was to experience a small taste of the sacrifices others made for our religious freedom.

I wanted my kids to have this kind of memories I hold dear. With my older kids I was good about organizing parties and learning experiences. However, between keeping up with my teenagers and just plain old being too tired, my youngest daughter is getting ripped off! Poor thing. So, when I saw that the ward wasn’t planning a Pioneer Day celebration, I asked my friends if they wanted to throw a party with me. Then activities committee chair wanted to join us and it turned into an “official” Pioneer Day party. We planned it to be a “pot luck” (tough to navigate through those tables with all the complications of my diet) and planned games for the kids. I loved watching grown men racing the kids in pillow cases for the sack race. Kids tried hard to master the 3-legged race. My personal favorites were the jello slurping, watermelon eating and pie contests. The giggles were nearly uncontrollable. My friend Shar won the watermelon contest. After the pie contest she got into a pie slinging fight with my son… who doesn’t have an off button.

My foot was hurting me so I didn’t walk the ½ mile to the party… I rode in my air conditioned car. I didn’t cook my hot wings over the fire… I baked them in the oven. I didn’t gather wood or “chips” for the fire… I turned a knob. I didn’t wear thick long dress… I wore my caprices, a t-shirt and sandals. I didn’t milk the cow for the butter we made by shaking jars or for the ice cream we made in plastic bags… I bought the cream from the store. I’m not really sure if I gave my youngest child a “pioneer” experience. Truthfully, I have walked for mile before… in the heat. I have cooked for weeks over a fire. I have gathered wood for that fire. I have milked a cow and I have made butter from that cow. That was all part of my youth. I may not have given my youngest that “pioneer” experience, but I did give her good memories. I do help her to learn about how thing “used” to be in a way she will remember because it was fun. I do tell her the stories of my youth, my parents, and grandparents. I am teaching her about “pioneers” in my life experience and she is better for it.

I’ve noticed that many people no longer see the need to honor the courageous efforts of the these early pioneers. People who live outside of Utah view it as a “Utah only” celebration. This saddens my heart.

I am proud of and humbled by the actions of my ancestors and many more I’m not actually related to. They abandoned the familiar and strode bravely into the unknown, confident that doing so would enable a better future. They gave up possessions, relationships that no longer nurtured them, ideologies they had outgrown. They did the hardest thing they could, both because they could and because they had no other choice. I give tribute to those pioneers who blazed a trail across the United States to the West… allowing many people to follow their trail… to settle the west.

I wonder where my testimony and my worship would be without the sacrifice and testimony of those early church pioneers. I wonder if my family would have settled in the NW without the trail to the west blazed by men, women, and children of courage who walked thousands of miles to settle lands in the west braving weather, Indians and beasts and the unknown. I wonder if my dad, a pioneer in his own time would have met missionaries who taught him the gospel.

It is important to remember that while we honor the sacrifice of the pioneers of the early church, that we have modern day pioneers among us now. People are still making sacrifices when it comes to family, lifestyle and possible persecution to live their convictions.

I honor my dad who joined the church and broke a cycle of abuse and alcohol consumption. He worked hard and provided for 7 kids. He saved many lives through his work as a fireman and one of the first paramedics in the Bend area. My dad is a pioneer.

I honor my mom who was a stay at home mom in a world that was screaming women’s lib. She taught me to can, sew, quilt, love kids, teach, and far too many other skills to list here. My mom is a pioneer.

I honor my sister-in-law’s parents who courageously joined the church as a few of the first black members of the church. I should check my facts, but I think they got baptized before the priesthood was a blessing for all worthy members of the church. Now that is the spirit of a true pioneer.

I honor my siblings and my friends that stand for truth and righteousness against the tide of sadness and chaos that rages around us.

I honor the people that I know who courageously work toward better health and who work to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Whatever the circumstances, we should be pioneers in our own lives. In our modern world there are still many frontiers to explore and to conquer. I say we should party on! Without “pioneers” forging the way for the mass real progress comes to a stand still.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Fresh Paint

As a kid, I remember organizing M&Ms by color and eating the “best” ones first – usually the brightest ones. To this day, I reach for green, yellow, and red peanut M&Ms first, believing that they’re far superior to all other varieties without really understanding why. Then I read about a study that showed these colors to be appetite stimulants. Suddenly, my preference—and that rumor about green M&Ms being aphrodisiacs—didn’t seem so crazy. LOL.

There is this great bit on “Laughing With Samoans” where the two comedians are discussing the color of the day. The one says he likes “orange” because it not only was a color, it was a food. Then he says that was a kid he always wanted to have the color “hamburger” and that he would make every room in his house “hamburger”. It’s hard to show the humor of the piece when you can’t see the size of the guy, or hear his accent, but it is hilarious! I started thinking about what “color” I’d like to paint things if I could have the “color’ of my favorite things… I’d like the color “mom’s fresh baked bread”. Well that won’t do. I’ll just be hungry for something I can’t eat. Maybe I should have the color “chocolate chip cookies”. I can’t eat those either and I really don’t need any more reminder.

I started thinking about what color the foods were that I can’t get enough of: watermelon… red, raspberries… red, bananas… yellow, potato chips… yellow, candies… multiple bright colors. Why is it that I can’t seem to stop myself when eating these kinds of foods, even if I feel full?

An interesting article on how colors affect the brain in the May 2009 issue of Mind, Mood & Memory (published by Massachusetts General Hospital) might help tweak my eating habits for the better. Scientists concluded that certain colors stimulate creativity, focus, attention to detail, problem-solving, and relaxation. Armed with new information and a great desire for some change, I enlisted my kids and my friends, choose some colors and changes the kitchen, dining area and family room to colors that might stimulate a new mood around the house making my kitchen and dining area the most supportive it can be for “normal” eating.

RED is stimulating, increases blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate; energizes, increases attention and vigilance; promotes anxiety, improves memory; promotes interest in food and sex. I have to say all of those don’t really go well together. LOL. I realized that McDonald’s, Burger King, and even Taco Bell all use red as their dominate color. No wonder it’s hard to avoid eating too much at those places! Thank goodness I didn’t choose a red color! I’m not interested in INCREASING my appetite.

ORANGE increases blood pressure, respiration, heart rate; increases appetite, reduces fatigue, fosters sociability. No wonder I didn’t really like my Salmon colored kitchen of before. It was making me hungry.

GREEN is soothing, relaxing, calming; reduces anxiety; fosters feelings of self-control. My bedroom is a little green and I love it. I write there too and it is relaxing and productive all in one.

YELLOW stimulates memory, awareness, and perception; engenders hope and optimism. Yellow is a great Feng Shui color which lifts the spirit, raises energy levels and dispels negativity. You can use yellow in kitchens, hallways, living rooms, play rooms and offices but again avoid bedrooms as it may prove too energetic and intense. Yellow is particularly good for focusing the mind and encouraging intellectual progress. Normally I shy away from yellow. Since I home school and we do all our work in the kitchen dining room area, it makes sense to have some kind of yellow.

BLUE is calming; increases happiness and boosts confidence and creativity; promotes risk-taking; has a cooling effect; lowers pulse and respiration rate; reduces blood pressure.

Purple is known as the psychic color linked with activities such as meditation and healing. Purple can have a calming and restorative effect so mixing it with blue ought to be a winning combination in a room that I want to reduce stress eating.

The hard part in a project like this is “picking the right color.” I am the first to admit that I am not good at “decorating” my house. Frankly, I just don’t care much. I like my house to be reasonably clean, livable and functional. To begin with I did what every non-Martha Stewart homemaker would do… I consulted my friend Shar as to what color I should pick. She is very artsy and I knew that she would have just the right suggestion… besides, I know she is always up for a big project. LOL. After a few weeks of stewing we settled on Woodland Blue and Goldenrod. We picked our day. Wednesday. We invited friends to come help. We got up early and took apart the house… cover plates, pictures, shelves, furniture. We worked in teams. Some people cleaned and taped. Some painted with rollers. Some painted the edges. As the walls dried, some people began to clean up and put the house back together. The goal was to completely paint and reorganize my kitchen/dining/family room (an area that is roughly 40 feet by 20 feet with a vaulted ceiling) before my husband got home at 6:30 pm. I know. I sound impossible, but we were up for the challenge. We made it! With 10 minutes to spare.

He was shocked! And even likes it! I love it! My walls with windows is the sunny Goldenrod and the inside walls are the Woodland Blue (my kids like to argue that it’s not blue… it’s lavender, but the can says WOODLAND BLUE).

It’s only Friday and I can tell that the color is affecting the mood in the house already. I learned so much about how colors affect the mood. I’m so glad I choose these two colors. I can feel a difference already!

In college I studied theater and took several classes in lighting and set design. We spent one whole semester on just color and the effects of color on an audience. I learned that colored light is absorbed by the eyes, then converted into electrical impulses that affect the brain’s hypothalamus gland—a brain structure which regulates temperature, blood pressure, respiration, and other functions, and stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands to secrete hormones that help control the body’s internal environment. Colors have varying affects on the autonomic nervous system which is usually out of our control but still regulates our moods. That is why it is so effective in theater.

All the activity on Wednesday wiped us all out. Luckily I got to have a massage (thanks Julie) and my house stayed clean. Today I spent the day shopping for my daughter’s new business. Color. More color. She paints original designs onto t-shirts. They are amazing! She is selling the shirts for $15 a shirt to earn money for college. If anyone wants a cool idea as a present or even something that is one of kind to wear for them I’ve got the perfect idea! Painted Skin – it’s her logo. We can ship it to you for $5 extra dollars. Not bad for something no one else will have. I’ll post pictures of her work tomorrow and there are a few posted on FaceBook too.

I’ve been too busy to pay attention to my eating and I haven’t counted my exercise minutes. Thankfully I haven’t gone nuts with calories and I have been getting some exercise. I will have to see what tomorrow brings because my foot hurts. I had my chiropractor adjust it. It’s better now but it is still very tender when I walk. I will have to play it by ear.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stressed - OUT... and dealing with it

Staying focused is sometimes a very difficult thing to do. Most of us know what our triggers are. Triggers are situations and circumstances that put us at our weakest point in terms of staying on track. I have to admit my greatest trigger is stress… any and all stress: job stress, financial stress, teen stress, other family stress, and friend stress. It all adds up to a big mess of stress.

The past couple of weeks have been STRESSFUL!!!! STRESS is out of control! In fact, life is out of control! The more stressed I get, the more I eat, and lately I’ve started to feel out-of-control when it comes to my emotions and the food that I consume. To be honest, it hasn’t been pretty.

Yesterday was particularly hard. I was involved with helping a friend get the help she needed… we just had to convince her. It was so HARD. By the end of the day I dove into stress eating big time! Fish sticks. I think I ate 20. Really, I wasn’t keeping track. Until then I had kept things under control and had only had oatmeal and fruit for breakfast… a salad for lunch… and a little trail mix as a snack. Thankfully my calorie count was lower by the time I went crazy with the fish sticks. At least I got in a walk too.

Today I started the day as a fresh start… and it’s been great. I’ve controlled myself… I still need to get to the end of the day… LOL. Today I had an omelet from one of my chicken’s eggs, spinach from the garden and a little feta. Yummy. I had Thai Lemon Chile Soup and some turkey for lunch. For a snack I ate a hand full of almonds. I made potato salad and BBQ chicken for dinner. After dinner I plan on having a few chocolate chips as a snack.

Normally, I would have gone nuts snarfing every morsel in sight with the kind of stress I’m experiencing.

Stress is like dark chocolate. A little of it won’t kill you. This week has helped me to see that a little stress can help me be stronger. (Although, I would gladly take a break if God offered it!)

I've heard people say...”I'm an emotional eater”...aren't most of us? For a while there I was an emotional eater in DE-NILE (that is in Egypt). Truth is, I'm not just an emotional eater I'm also a celebratory eater and a spur of the moment craving eater. I'm a “ah, the heck with it, give me a large bowl of death by chocolate ice cream with a chaser of hot chocolate” eater. I’m a “there’s nothing else to do” eater. I’m a “I’m just testing” eater.

Identifying my triggers is important. What makes me feel the urge to eat a couple thousand calories in extra helpings and chocolate chip cookies? What makes me eat an entire bag of chips? Stress. For the longest time stress has been a convenient excuse not to get busy with this journey toward better health.

“I'm just too stressed out to get started right now.”

Yesterday I asked myself: If I'm waiting to have a stress free life before I start losing this weight, will I ever start? The answer was no. Everybody has stress, just like everybody breathes air. Stress is part of daily life. Stress can be so many different things. I realized that if I were waiting for my world to be completely perfect and stress free, then I would never, ever, ever finish this journey. I have to adjust my strategy in the face of my triggers. Time to ask myself, will eating this really improve my situation? What can I do besides over-eat that will help me deal with this issue? I've turned to food for comfort for so long, that I know how incredibly difficult this can be. Just take one day at a time. One day at a time I deal with cravings; one day at a time I deal with triggers; one day at a time I succeed. Maybe… eventually all of those “one day at a time”s will add up to an amazing result.

I know that everyday will not be perfect. I know that I need to face everything that life throws my way and still maintaining my focus. It's crucial because I'm not doing this just to lose the weight. I'm doing this to change the way I handle food and exercise everyday for the rest of my life. I’m doing this to be a healthier me. I’m doing this for my kids and for my future grandkids. I’m doing this to teach myself and my family along the way how to to to be healthier. I'm changing old habits into new positive habits. Constructive habits will be what get me through many days and week like the last few days and weeks. I know how I normally handle things. I've always turned to food. Not today. Not tomorrow.

Here is the stress-management plan:

• Step away from the refrigerator: Go for a walk, clean a room in my house, and paint my nails (Hey! I can start a new habit). Do something besides going into the kitchen.

• Take a deep breath: Close my eyes, take a deep breath, and meditate for a minute or two. The slow breathing will help relax me... or so my yoga tapes say.

• Drink some water: Sometimes I mistake thirst for hunger, so chugging down some H20 sometimes does the trick. I’ve been drink tons in the last two days and it helps!

• Chomp on veggies: If I want “mouth satisfaction,” eat veggie crudites. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anyone gain too much weight from eating too many vegetables!

• Be more conscious: Pay attention to what I am doing and it will help me put on the brakes when I feel stressed and out-of-control with what I am putting into my mouth.

So that’s it. I’m surviving. I hope I can hang on to my momentum despite the never ending stress in my life.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

D is for DILIGENCE...

D is for DILIGENCE…. earnest and persistent application to an undertaking; steady effort; assiduity.

Maybe D is for DISCIPLINE…

This morning at church the dad in the row in front of me teased his son that I “keep him in line”. He then made a gesture of pinching the kid’s ear. It reminded me of watching moms or grandmas grabbing unruly kids by the ear and dragging them to a corner to stay staring at the cobwebs for eternity. Discipline. Some people believe that disciple is a reason to feel gladness. I think they are right. Discipline and disciple come from the same root word. Discipline leads us to our goals, our intentions, and our greatest desires. What keeps me from true discipline, and thus true discipleship is the same thing that keeps me from recognizing the purity and the wholeness of which I truly am… a beloved daughter of God. This lack of discipline is really a lack of DILIGENCE.

D is for DILIGENCE… attentive care; heedfulness.

If I use diligence, I will certainly achieve my goals.

What is it inside me that motivates me like nothing else to achieve my goals?

It is simply this: I want to be healthy and beautiful inside and out more than anything else. I want to live the life that is meant for me. And I will not live any other way.

I have spent years seeking for the beauty inside and the wholeness of who I really am. It is a work in progress. I am confronting my fear that fat protects me. I am releasing it.

Hebrews 6:11-12… “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end: that ye do not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

I need faith and patience to obtain the promises of God.

“For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD;” (Jeremiah 30:17).

To strengthen my faith, I must create and keep a picture in my mind of what health looks like to me. Write it down. Review it regularly.

Can I see my life without a food and couch potato addiction as part of it? It is time to be free of that picture.

I think there is a reason why God told Abraham that he would number his descendants as greater than the stars of heaven and the sand as the seashore. He gave Abraham an image to hold on to of the promise, one that would encourage and comfort him during the long years of waiting.

Abraham knew that God would not lie to him. When he pictured the number of his descendants as the stars and sand, his heart would be filled with joy because he knew that it was good as done. The joy of the Lord is strength!

Patience is simply the ability to wait and watch. It sounds so easy. Alas, it is not!

When God promises something good, I want it right now! It is like my seven year old on a road trip asking, “Are we there yet?” every 10 minutes.

I must be just as DILIGENT and determined!

Without a doubt, keeping the weight off takes diligence for life. ...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Joy in the Game

I so enjoy the Sabbath! I can’t wait for tomorrow! It is a glorious opportunity to change the pace of the work I do. It is an opportunity to contemplate the week and make sense out of all the experiences, lessons, interactions, and successes of the week. It is a busy day. In some ways, far busier than a regular week day, but the mood is different. I can truly focus on the Savior and on changing my will to the Father’s will. This week has been a long drama filled week. I need a Sabbath change of pace.

Luke 10:22 says, “… and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.”

This week I had prayed to know the Father and His feelings for me and His feelings for those I love. I have prayed for others to feel the love of God specifically for them. I am slowly receiving my answer – in beautiful, simple ways. I have learned that as the Father is approachable, so is the Savior. They are both quite personable. This week I was reminded that the invitation is, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavey laden…. And I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28).

So many people need His rest.

Today I realized that the invitation is from both the Father and the Son. God’s desires and purpose is to save, to rescue, and to relieve. After all, he has declared that, “… this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39). He, or rather they, will relieve me of my heavy burdens. They will take on the hard thing of those I love.

His rest is not merely a pause from work, for his work is eternal, and it will always require effort. I’ve come to further understand that this applies to all aspects of my life. I will always need to work at understanding gospel principles. I will always be working to better myself. I will always need to work at seeking Him and His peace in my heart. I will always be working toward a healthier me. However, by coming to the Lord the work will not be burdensome or painful or uncomfortable. I can learn to enjoy exercise by turning to the Lord for help. I can learn to enjoy all healthy choice by taking refuge in the nourishing word of God. After all, “… men are that they might have joy.” ( 2 Nephi 2:25). His purpose is for me to have Joy – to be happy! When I am one with Him in heart and in mind the work will become delightsome, even joyful.

All this happens through the Savior and through the Savior I get to know the Father. This week I was reminded of “yoking” myself to the Savior. By “yoking” myself to the Savior I am “yoking” myself to the Father! I am “yoking” myself to others. Animals that are yoked together harness their energy, and strength and increase their productivity. I am in need of increased energy. I gain it through the Savior. I gain it from my friend and from my family. I am in need of strength – physically and spiritually. I can gain it by strengthening my “yoke” to the Savior. I gain it through helping and being helped by others. I am in need of an increase of productivity – in my healthy efforts and in increasing my faith. I am most productive when I place spiritual things first. Think of the power that is mine to harness when I am “yoked” to the Father; “yoked” to the creator of the universe; “yoked” to a loving Father who is all powerful, all knowing, master of compassion and creativity! The “yoke” is not a burden; it is a useful, positive, desirable thing. In a real sense the “yoke” brings me freedom.

“My burden is light,” declares the Savior. Light is the opposite of heavy, and it is the opposite of dark. This week I’ve discovered that as I emulate Christ my journey has not been wearisome. In fact, my journey has become joyful. All day I am focused on the Savior. All day I think about what I will record in my blog as my thoughts and feelings of the journey. Each moment I am looking for the lessons that the Lord is trying to teach me. Every object in my life becomes a symbol of a gospel principle or a parable teaching my soul the mysteries of God. Looking for the deep meanings in the scriptures has enlightened my soul. I find it easy to avoid tempting chocolate. I find water refreshing. I even find walks enjoyable. I am receiving my reward.

President Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “We are prone to complain, frequently at home, often in public. Turn your thinking around.” His point was that we need to be happy. God intends for us to find joy in the journey. Even the rough patches of life can be overcome. My Grandpa White was an avid golfer. He was great at directing the ball anywhere he wanted it to go on a course. Yet he knew, and I know, most putts don’t drop. This may seem odd to bring up now, but anyone who believes that bliss is normal in life will run around thinking they have been robbed. Sometimes, things aren’t as smooth as they can be. My Grandpa found joy in the game, even when the putt didn’t sink. I can find joy, even when the journey is tough, the walk is long, the cookie is calling, or the pound returns. The trick is to thank the Lord for the game.

Friday, July 16, 2010

life lessons from baseball

Yesterday was a road trip. I drove 3 hours to watch a baseball game for a couple hours. My brother and his family live in Australia and my nephew plays for an Australian youth all star team and they came to tour the NW. We only get to see them once every 4 years so we had to go. After a quick lunch at my parents’ house I drove the 3 hours back. Along the way I tried hard to see if I could find a way to compare my quest for better health to baseball. I was hard. I really don’t watch much baseball and I don’t remember how it all works. Thankfully, my siblings could explain what was going on. Maybe I can come up with a comparison that makes since.

I noticed boys are programmed to work in teams, to accept personal differences for the sake of the goal. They learn early-on about healthy competition, strategy, and teamwork - things that will help them in school, career, and relationships.

Still, rules are the rules and it doesn't really matter what game you are playing.

I played softball once. I’d hear, "You have to keep your eye on the ball.”

First lesson: When you lose site of the target you get off mark. I need to focus on health as my end result. It will make success easier to achieve. I learned something in geometry class once about drawing lines. If you look at the end of your pencil instead of the end target your line will be crooked. Keeping your focus on the end point will help keep the line straight. It's like this with all of the sports.


Keeping my eye on the target is important no matter what the game may be… most importantly the game of LIFE. Spending my time looking behind me or even looking at where I am almost always gets me off track for getting to where I want to be. Reflection can help me get better but it can't be the focus of my day.

Lesson 2: I can only do what I can do. There is nothing that I can do to make thing “fair”… sometimes fat cells win. My goal each day has to be to do the best that I can do and to enjoy the experience.

Lesson 3: my encouragement of others affects my own progress. Cheering on others and lifting them up when they are down helps me play a better game. Saying negative things only brings down my level of play… my own commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

Lesson 4: focusing on yesterday's game will NOT win today's game. I screw up yesterday doesn’t make today a failure too. I have to continue to improve in my own habits.

Lesson 5: practice is the only way to improve. My life will not get better without putting my goals to action through regular, consistent practice.

I know it’s a bit lame. My main problem is that I don’t know baseball well. Still, I loved seeing family and watching my nephew pitched 8 innings. He was awesome… and even won the game.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Child-like or child-ish... that is the question

The past two days have been a little stressful. Part of the stress is how one of my children feels about themselves. It breaks my heart to hear words that they don’t deserve happiness or good things to happen to them. Because of these feelings progress is being stalled. It reminds me of ME and my progress or rather, my lack of progress.

I needed a balm for my aching heart. I needed a balm for my child’s aching heart. Then I remembered something I learned from Matt. 18:3. I think I've read this scripture a million times before, but I once learned a new way to look at it. It may be the ticket to healing the aching soul

Matt. 18:3 ... “Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as a little child...”

What does it mean to become as a little child. Mosiah 3:19 teaches how to become childlike as opposed to childish. To become childlike, I need to rid myself of pride. In fact, pride impedes spiritual growth the most. To be childlike is to focus on the positive (including uplifting self talk); to focus on the Light (Christ and the good that comes from following His way). It is to seek charity (pure love, real love); seek patience (the ability to suppress annoyance or irritation with quiet perseverance); seek kindness (sympathy, compassion and tenderness); seek meekness (humble, teachable and submissive) and gentleness; seek to be humble of mind and lowly of heart. It includes long-suffering and slow to anger. To be childlike is to avoid being upset; to avoid negative thinking patterns and sarcasm; to think before speaking and acting. I need to ask for more help to be more childlike - for I know that God answers all righteous prayers. Nothing could be more righteous. Right?

Who qualifies as a “little” child? The usual answers include “little kids, kids under the age of eight; babies”. It is important to remember that we are all God's children. Ah-ha! We are all God's “little” children! We are “little” in faith. We are “beginners” in understanding the great power of He who created us.

vs. 6 “ … But whoso shall offend one of these little ones...”

My mind was spinning now.

Some principles seem obvious. No one should hurt children. No one should holler at, or, punch, or abuse children in any degree, or they will face the judgment of God. At the bottom of the page, the footnote says that the Greek for this word meant “to cause to stumble”. With this added meaning it seems that "offending" a child would include causing a child to sin; giving reason for the opposite of all that we had learned in vs. 3 in the heart and mind of a child.

Wow! Whenever I have a negative thought about myself I am offending one of God's “little” children. Whenever I lose patience with myself and my progress toward the Light I am offending one of God's “little” children. When I allow pride to reign supreme in my heart I am offending one of God's “little” children. When I criticize myself, when I am slow to forgive, I am only hurting myself.

All this time I never thought I could apply this scripture to me. I love children - that's why I home school. I would never dream of intentionally hurting a small child, yet I am so free to hurt myself.

I hereby resolve to seek charity in all its forms - including charity for myself. I will seek patience, kindness, meekness, and gentleness - not only for others whom I love and serve, but for myself. I will seek to be slow to anger and to avoid negative thinking concerning my journey toward health and spirituality. I will seek obedience in all things. I will focus on the Light.

The Savior loves the “little” children. The Savior loves my children. The Savior loves me.

What's more, we all desire His love and the love of others... no matter what happens in life.

Monday, July 12, 2010

D is for DESTINY...

D is for DESTINY… a predetermined course of events.

Winston Churchill once said our destiny is not a matter of chance, it is more a matter of choice. And our destiny isn't something we wait for to happen, it is something to be achieved. Therefore, what I make of my life isn't accidental. It's a result of my choices, my intentions and my actions. I have full control over where I am heading.

Since my destiny is in my hands, where am I taking it?

I recall many conversations with friends who "wanted to be doing", "going to be doing", "have been thinking about doing", but when asked what progress they have made, the answer always plays out like this:

"It's not the right time....."

"I've been so busy....."

"It's not in the cards....."

"Know one seems to want to....."

"Still waiting on....."

And my favorite, "Still thinking about it."

Wait! Those are my excuses. LOL.

If I truly and really want to Achieve something, then I've got to start right where I stand. Stop waiting for a perfect moment! There is not a more perfect moment for me to start, and re-start, than right now. If you are passionate about it, then you'll put aside everything to achieve it. Don't get ready to get ready. And who cares what others might think or say. This is MY destiny.

D is for DESTINY…

I am capable, deserving, and worthy of all achievements. I am destined for success.

Believe it, Commit to it, Decide on it, Take Action, Have Passion and Achieve it!

If I have trouble making my DESTINY I just need to remember that rich, fatty foods are like DESTINY: they too, shape my ends. ...

“It is not in the stars to hold

our destiny but in ourselves.”

- William Shakespeare

I can do it!!! Go me!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Yoke is Easy...

I had a thought occur to me while studying Matt. 11:28-29. Why did I ever think I could learn to bridle all my passions without the Lord? OK… I’ve known this before, but I continue to forget. The Lord continues to repeat lessons for me because I continue to forgetful… sheesh… at least He is patient.

For years I thought if I counted enough calories, forced myself to move far enough, and lived a life of denying myself life's pleasures, that I would miraculously become skinny. Silly me! This past roadside table experience is the perfect example of my repeated habits of striking out on my own without a thought of inviting the most important element in my quest… God. What little success I've had in the past was when I fully relied on the infinite strength of the Lord and not on my own "little" strength.

Those past 90 lbs. I got rid of 8 years ago was a blessing needed to allow for the arrival of my much wanted and prayed for daughter. I prayed and fasted with real intent as I worked hard to count steps, calories, and lost inches or pounds. The 50 lbs. I released last year I did with constant prayer and faith in the Lord coupled with eating right and exercise.

But I forgot. I began to be lazy. I stopped asking for His help and concentrated on my own efforts expecting results. Oops. My bad.

vs. 28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden...” The invitation is to me (along with all man kind) to come to Christ with what is my personal burden. My 350 pounds were a burden. My 292 pounds still feel burdensome. I feel heavy laden when I walk on the treadmill or for a stroll with my husband. I labor to work around my beloved yard and garden. I feel heavy on my knees, still causing great pain, as I pray. I believe this qualifies as "labour and heavy laden". I see a new spectrum of "labour"; work at home, work in callings, work toward perfection, work in repentance, problem solving; and now adding work toward a healthy body. I'm not sure why I never noticed it before. I am shocked that I forgot the lesson was there! I guess I'm ready now to try again to place this burden on Him.

vs. 28 “...and I will give you rest.” That sounds like a promise to me. It doesn't say "I might give you rest". It says he WILL! What a wonderful promise! Peace WILL come. Pain will flee. Freedom will be mine! I’ve waited this long I’m sure I can wait longer. In the BIG picture my waiting is but a minute. It is worth it to wait.

vs. 29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn or me...” Now that is a picture. Me, pulling a load, and the Savior "yoked" to me. The footnote mentions that the "yoke" is his name. I'm shocked to realize that I am already "yoked" to the Savior through baptism and the blessing of the Sacrament. I'm "yoked" to the Savior when I repent; when I humble myself and realize that I need him every hour. All this time I've been "yoked" to the Savior, but I must have been pulling in a different direction or sitting on the job, or ignoring the fact that he can truly help me with achieving health. I understand even better, "oh ye of little faith". I have little faith - not a bad thing because it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to move mountains, but beginning faith. More like toddler faith. LOL. I’d like to move on to adolescent faith.

Then, there is the command to "learn of me". Before a couple of years ago I had never considered gospel learning to be a part of the burden lifting equation, but in reflection, I see that it has been all along. The degree to which I study the scriptures, serve others, and practice virtue is directly related to my ability to resist temptation - even chocolate chip cookies. There is a direct relationship with study and gratitude to physical movement and appreciation for my body. I've spent years loathing the very thing I fought for in the pre-mortal life! What was I thinking!?! No matter the size, this body is great! This body is needed to become more God-like! In fact, a body gives me the greatest potential to becoming Godly of all the gifts I've been given, with the exception of the atonement. Oh praise be to a loving Father and the Lord and Savior for the opportunity to learn self control, respect, and charity for my body!

vs. 29 “... for I am meek, and lowly of heart...” Meek= humble, gentle, teachable, servable, loving, forgiving. The process of forgiving is healing. The more I forgive and let the Lord handle my burdens, the lighter I feel; the quicker I recover; the happier I exist. Lowly of heart= a pure heart; a heart willing to leave all behind for something better. A lowly heart is a heart such as the king in the Book of Mormon that said he would give up all that he had to know God. I am finally in a place where my desire is to give up all I have; all temptations, all vices, all worries, all pains, all sins to know and be like the Savior. What's more, I believe it - at least for today.

vs. 30 “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Easy. I like easy. Interesting that the way has always been easy.

Look at the symbolism in the story of the children of Israel being attacked by unhealthy poisonous snakes and all they had to do was look. They needed to shift their eyes from the dangerous snakes to a snake on a stick held up for all to see by the prophet. Think of the simplicity. The prophet holds up the scriptures (the stick) to show the people the healing power of the Savior (the snake on the stick) and all the people need to do to be saved from the cares, woes, and temptations of the adversary that plague them (the powerful and deadly snakes) is look.

Peter is another example of Look! While he was focused on the Savior he could walk on water. It was easy. When he took his gaze off the safety of Jesus, he sank. Amazingly, the Savior was right there to help the focus of Peter return and saved him. So it is with me. Keep the gaze upward. Focus on Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world and I will come off triumphant - eventually.

Light! Light is also the promise! What's more, I love light! More light in my soul. More light in my countenance. More light on the scale. More light in my heart. More light in my life. Truly, the Lord is my Light!

The promise of rest is repeated again in these vs. It must be true! He promises it more than once. Freedom will come. The way is easy - if I just look! The way is Light if I but see. Freedom is mine, through and in the only name were salvation is found, even in the burden of concurring weight and health issues; freedom from the bonds that bind. Free.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ease On Down the Road... Get Off the Roadside Table

I’ve been missing from the blog world for the past month. I think I just got into a “I don’t wanna” mood. This seemingly "simple" and healthy road to weight loss is actually an arduous and long-term process. I find there is too much information available, not to mention, far too many choices of the “right” road to take. Which freeway exit will get me to my intended destination? Every road sign claims to be “the easiest road to weight loss”. Lies! All Lies! The fact is we live in a world where we are bombarded by advertising for mega-burger deals and chocolate bars; diet pills and exercise plans to counter balance mega deals. We see world class sports stars promoting the virtues of high fat & sugar products, and at some level in our sub-conscious we associate their magnificent physiques with those products. On the other hand, we see celebrities hocking the latest and greatest discoveries in looking thin, slimming down, and cutting away the pounds and years. It’s almost more than my pea-sized brain can handle!

I’m tired. I’m tired of the constant bombardment of media opinions of beauty, health, and goodness. I’m tired of a constant diet of veggies. I’m tired of feeling “forced” to exercise. I’m tired of trying to find the elevator off this plateau (and you better believe I’m not free basing jumping off anything!)

This journey is far from easy. As a result I decided to sit… at a roadside table. I first encountered roadside tables many years ago on a road trip through Oklahoma on the way to my brother’s wedding. My family members would joke about these tables sitting at the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere, but I decided I was done… and sat down. Trouble is… I’m still in the middle of nowhere.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.”

-Winston Churchill

I set a goal to “release” my weight. The plan that I laid out for myself was foolproof, or so I thought. Then one day, it happened. I was tired and I sat down. I didn’t exactly “fall off the wagon”. I just got off the road and sat down at a roadside table. I didn’t make a point of exercising. I didn’t measure what I ate. I didn’t record anything.

Stand still. Hey! This is the real plateau! Weight doesn’t matter as much as habit.

Time to go down memory lane. Once I so excited - full of motivation and great expectations. I had a plan and I was sticking to it! I didn’t do so badly on that plan. 50#’s is nothing to be ashamed of. The point is to remember the reasons I started this. There will be days when I just want to go home, hit the couch and grab the Oreos (too bad they have wheat in them… or is that lucky me? I would have caved to swimming with the Oreos so long ago!). However, when I look back at my goals which state that I want to feel more comfortable in my own skin; be more active with my kids; and walk and not be weary, then I will be more likely to exchange the Oreos for a nice bowl of salad… I can only hope.

Time to get accountable again. Blog… record… blog… Accountability is the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for my actions. A few of my blog followers on SparkPeople reminded me that I need to show my face and own up to being me again. (Thanks guys). I decided to “step it up” and add blogging in a new venue as well. The more people there are to remind me to stay on the path, the better! However, wouldn’t it be nice if I had a personal trainer? With a trainer I would be forced to keep my scheduled walking times and if I missed they could “get me”. Any volunteers?

Alas, I am not Oprah. My most important source of accountability is ME. To keep ME on track, I WILL a daily journal and set weekly goals. Simple goals such as “I will eat breakfast every day this week,” may seem small, but these are the stepping stones that will ultimately lead to the “big” goals. Accountability is the obligation, not just the willingness to take responsibility for my actions. There will always be a consequence for every action.

Time to take a deep breath and smile… be happy that I have found my way back to my weight loss road. Most people who “cheat” on their health plan end up depressed that they made a mistake. I don’t have time for that. Be happy that today is a new day and that I will release those perky fat cells. This happiness will me succeed where others fail when it comes to healthy habits and reduced waist size.

Sooner or later everyone needs to look past motivation and depend on perseverance. Thankfully, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts. Keep heart. I can do this! Now stand up. Move away from the table and get moving down the road! Dorothy didn’t have roadside tables. I don’t need them either. Watch me dance… “Ease on down, ease on down the road”. So long roadside table.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

WARNING: May cause an outbreak of FAT cells

Warning: Please keep out of children. -- On a butcher knife.

Really? Did we need to print that?

How about this one?

Warning: May irritate eyes. -- On a can of self-defense pepper spray.

Today I read the following at

Warning: May cause confusion

“In a groundbreaking lawsuit, Dewey, Cheatem & Howe, is filing a suit against a well-known food manufacturer, claiming that the fine print on their boxes was not fine enough.

“Our client has suffered a great deal from the fact that she now weighs 300 pounds—she used to weight a mere 220– after going on a 12-month diet which consisted of mainly the food products of the defendant,” said the attorney representing Mrs. Pamela L. Umpire.

The suit claims that the fine print on the box of the diet foods Mrs. Umpire was consuming was not ‘fine’ enough to be considered fine print.

“Per my husband’s recommendation, I always look for the fine print, whether it’s on advertisements or product packaging. But I completely missed the supposed fine print in this case because the font was simply too large to be considered ‘fine’—it is at least a size 12 font. I gained all this weight because I didn’t realize I was supposed to also exercise and only eat the recommended portions on the box,” said, Mrs. Umpire.”

Seriously!!!!????!!!! I know this story is tongue in cheek, but I swear I know people who are genuinely surprised when their diet of Snackwell’s and Diet Coke has actually enlarged their weight problem.

Warning: Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you. -- On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror.

Some people really need to get a clue. I may not be the thinnest person I know, but I do know that the print doesn’t need to be microscopic for me to KNOW the EXERCISE and PORTION SIZE matter.

Warning: has been found to cause cancer in laboratory mice. -- On a box of rat poison.

For the ever so observant Mrs. Umpire and others like her I have created the following warning to be placed on all FOOD PRODUCTS. I hope it clears up ALL misunderstandings.

Warning: Consuming supersized portions of this product without an increase in exercise may lead increased pants size, not to mention increasing your risk of (take a deep breath and read really fast like that guy on commercials hocking prescription drugs) heart disease, stroke, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, gastro esophageal reflux disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, infertility, gall stones, asthma, and depression. Further some studies have shown an increase of cancer in consumers who abuse this product. The producer of said product is doing its best to provide users with accurate information. However, neither this blog, food manufactures nor the USDA is responsible for any information which may be incorrect. It is the responsibility of the consumer to seek out good advice and then to follow it. Finally, eating this food product cause a serious outbreak of FAT cells. (take a deep breath).

WARNING! WARNING: May Cause Addiction

So far as I can tell there are studies that indicated that being overweight in middle age will kill you, or a lack of physical activity can increase your odds of breast cancer, or red meat will give you colon cancer, or alcohol can lead to pancreatic cancer or fruits and vegetables may or may not protect against lung cancer …

Since that is the case you might as well assume that nothing is safe when consumed in excess. Moderation (otherwise known as portion sizes) is really the key to health living. I may not be at my ideal weight, but my blood pressure is down, my blood sugars are reasonable, and I feel pretty darn good. If I continue to remember “moderation” in all things I will be successful in kicking my butt off this darn plateau!

Losing Me and Gaining ME!!!

I've started the journey of “losing me” in September of 2008 and to date I have been successful in “releasing” 50 lbs. At first it was a journey to discover freedom; freedom from the health demons that stock me; freedom from negative and despairing thoughts of me; freedom from obsessions with food; freedom from worry; freedom from a hard heart. I am succeeding in finding freedom and along the way I’ve discovered that I’m really finding me as I lose me.

People look at my life and ask, “How do you have time for all that?” I don’t know. I just do. When I REALLY want something I do MAKE the time. I love that I am busy. I love my life. I love that I choose to home school my children. I love teaching voice and making a joyful noise with my students. I love that I teach Seminary and find great energy and power in my study of the scriptures. I believe that my scripture study and increasing understanding of gospel principles is what is motivating me to get back onto the "healthy lifestyle" horse and is keeping me there.

I've always struggled with my own self worth. As a teen, I didn't date and often compared myself to my thin, attractive, and exciting younger sister. In college I tried out unhealthy habits to gain a thin look, but my efforts added to the dis-harmony in my personal health. After my graduation from BYU, I met and married my best friend. However, I struggled to believe that my husband found me attractive. Many misunderstandings, trials, and painful experiences kept me trapped in the web of self loathing that was created by the Father of all Lies.

However, over the past couple of years I have been blessed with renewed hope; hope for myself, my husband, our marriage, my family and my health. I was brought out of darkness into the Light through a very uncomfortable situation that has reminded me that all things are possible with God; that I am a beloved daughter of God; that I can stand up and say enough.

About 8 years ago, I was successful in losing 90 lbs. that provided the opportunity to have my 5th and final baby. Recent events have reminded me that I have the power within me to be triumphant again. I have the tools. I have the wisdom to become healthy. I have the skills to be healthy. I can have the virtue to follow thru with my goals and win. The past successes have come because I have a righteous goal; I took responsibility for my actions and my health. I had a support group and a good friend to encourage me and that would lift the tired heart when I could not lift it for myself. I shared my knowledge and experiences and testimony of God's love with others. We depended on each other. I need to continue to renew these same tools.

I am aware that this journey will be hard. I don't find exercise fun. It hurts - at my size. I like food and it likes my middle. But I can do this. It is a righteous desire to be healthy and to learn to bridle all my passions. I have hope. Perhaps, in reporting to the masses on line, humbling myself and boldly admitting my weaknesses, I will make those weaknesses into strengths through the power and the love of the Savior.

I haven’t shrunk all that much compared to the mass that must go, but my soul feels lighter and that counts for everything. Well… I guess 50# is nothing to be disappointed in. My goal here is to reach out to an even greater support group as I share with the world my ups and downs; my failures and successes; my discoveries along the way to better health… body, mind, and soul… so here I go again, freeing my voice by taking responsibility for who I am… Hello blogging world!!!!!