Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cold Toes, Paper Clothes, and the Indisposed

Monday afternoon, I had the annually dreaded lady exam.  As my husband dropped me off at the office and headed to the mall with the children, I reminded myself it could be worse.  Last year, I'd had to take all three of them with me, and they were all behind the curtain pretending not to watch the pap smear--which the doctor couldn't do until she'd gotten sterile instruments, because my kids had used them for light sabers while I'd watched helplessly from the cold, vinyl table--afraid to move because I was dressed in nothing but those awful paper clothes.

Breathe.  Forgive the terribly long sentence, but some things you just have to get out before horror and embarrassment re-encapsulate them forever.  Speaking of horror and embarrassment, here I was a year later, dressed in the paper clothes again.  At least the Navy seems to have upgraded the situation a little.  At this office I get a paper gown AND a paper sheet to lay on my lap.  I couldn't figure out which way the gown was supposed to go, so I just put it on in the way that felt most awkward and figured that was right.  Yep.  Good intuition.

Oh yeah.  I was styling.  The nurse had said I could leave my socks on (how generous of her), and so there I was, swathed in paper, sporting my purple and teal leopard print knee socks.  Carefully I stepped up to the examination table, situated my behind between the stirrups, and RIIIP! Apparently, Le Thick Madame had wrapped the paper gown too snugly about her full-bodied glory, and now the gown was open in the front and in the back.

I think they do it on purpose--the Medical Mission Mafia (MMM), that is--they absolutely make those gown a small size on purpose.  That way, if you don't get the hint about your weight by standing on their little scale in the hallway, you have to get the point when you're gown don't fit.  All right MMM, why don't you just put little pointy white hoods on your lab coats while your at it.  They'd look great with your purple nitrile.

All right, I know I'm probably being over dramatic (who me?), as I actually really like my doctor.  She's about my mom's age and has raised four kids of her own.  She's a believer and we have similar values, which makes her a great sounding board.  She's also the only doctor I've ever had who hums a happy tune during a pap smear.  It takes a truly, um, special, person to SING while wrapping an index finger around  a chick's collar bone and scraping her tonsils.
 She even complimented my socks.

So why am I writing about all of this?  Well, cruelly, the scale at the doctor's office said 187.5.  That was a full 6.5 pounds HEAVIER than my scale at home.  I've been doing really well with my eating, which I discussed with Doc Happy (I can't tell you her real name, or EVERYONE will want her to sing during their pap smear!).  And "I've been TRYING to exercise," I told her.

She hit me with a Yoda.  "Do, or do not.  There is no try."

Arg.  I had gotten into such terrific shape before my last pregnancy, I'd forgotten about all the hard and painful work it took to get there--all the grunting, and sweating, and aching, and hurting.  I've been out running a few times over the past couple of weeks, but I can barely keep it up for 20 minutes.  The next day I feel like I've been run over by a Zamboni.  The day after that, I feel like I've been run over by a space shuttle.  Call me crazy, but I think it's a natural human inclination not to seek out that kind of pain again.

I know, I know.  No pain, no gain.  This week, I'm trying to shake a head cold, but as soon as I don't feel like I have brick between my eyes, I'll get it together.  I'll suck it up.  I'll put on my big girl pants.  With my knee socks.  And next year, my paper clothes will fit.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Kumbayuck, my Lord, Kumbayuck;
Kumbayuck, my Lord, Kumbayuck;
Kumbayuck, my Lord, Kumbayuck;
Oh Lord, Kumbayuck.

It's a mess here, Lord, won't pass the buck,
Looks like the trash man came and dumped his truck
Could call the maid in, but I'd press my luck--
So I'm sitting down Lord, Kumbayuck.

I found myself singing this modified tune, as I shoved the dry laundry into a clean pillow case, the wet laundry into the dryer, the dirty perma-press into the washer,  and the newly accumulated pile of perma-press in the clothes basket.  All that happened after I cleaned copious amounts of dirt off my little farmers and tossed them into bed.

It's March already!  How in the world did it get to be March?  But it is.  And my kids with the elephant brains would not let me forget that I told them, "In March, we will plant a garden."  Well, I actually was thinking the latter half of March, but rather than have my daughter ask me 10 times everyday for the next 25 days if it was "March enough" for us to plant our garden, I just gave in and took my son shopping for seeds and Jiffy Greenhouses.

That was a week ago.  All of the seed packets we had selected had germination times of at least 7 to 10 days.  I figured that would buy me nearly two weeks before I needed to worry about buying potting soil and transplanting things into bigger containers.  Well.  The feisty little lettuce seeds popped up in less than twenty-four hours, and everything except the green peppers paraded right behind.  Apparently no one had told them about what was printed on their seed packets.

Long story short--tonight, Farmer Wade and Farmer Maggie (aged 6 and 4), plunged eagerly into a bag of garden soil that was  taller than both of them.  As it is 38 degrees outside, they were farming in the dining room. There was dirt up to their elbows.  There was dirt on the table.  There was dirt in the carpet (Curse the apartment planner that put carpet in a DINING ROOM!).  Before it was all done, there was dirt--mercifully--in the many containers in which they planned on planting their baby plants.

It is quiet now.  My window ledges are filled to the max with transplanted lettuce, carrots, peppers, oregano, rosemary, chives, poppies, tomatoes, and pumpkins.  My vacuum bag is probably filled to the max with all the dirt that missed.  But the kids went to bed so happy and excited, and I was reminded that it takes getting dirty to grow things.

Or shrink, in the case of present company.  Losing weight can be a dirty business.  You try things that don't work, and nothing feels dirtier than failure--except maybe sweat--which you get to experience when you exercise.  You have to face the true thoughts and motivations about what you eat and why.  You have to face the real thoughts you have about yourself and self-image.

You also have these moments--the moments when you experience that green thing, breaking earth inside you; when you feel success push it's way to the light; when new understandings make the little plant that is you stand taller, and suck in that gut.  Sometimes, you just grow because you suddenly realize that the Sun shining down on you, made you and loves you no matter what size you are.

About half way through tonight's adventures, there was a catastrophe.  We had planted all of our delicate little oregano plants in an empty ice cream container (I plead the 5th), and Farmer Maggie was in charge of "raining" on it.  In other words, she was supposed to stand over the plants with the spritzer bottle and spray.  Not one to do anything without finesse, Maggie was soon spraying the plants and the kitchen linoleum while dancing about the container like a faun 'round a campfire.

That's when she slipped.  In the next moment, her feet went out from under her and overturned the oregano.  Her head hit the floor, and a wail ensued.  I waded through dirt and water to get to her, and in a minute or two she settled down . . . until she saw the oregano.  Her eyes filled with tears, and she said, "Mommy, I huwted the plant babies!  I am SORRY!" More wailing.

And then there was the smile--the smile I will never forget--when I hugged her and told her, "But Maggie, you are MY BABY, and I'm just glad you are o.k.  You are more important than oregano."

Remember friends, on your fat days, your bloated days, the days you know you overate, or that the scale wasn't on your side--God looks down from heaven and says, "But you are my creation--and you are more than a dress size, or a mistake, or a failure, or a number."  On those days, you can sing,

"Someone's crying, Lord, Kumbayuck,
How I feel today really sucks,
I'm so down, Lord, pick me up,
So tomorrow won't be Kumbayuck."

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Forgetting Where I Parked

Last week on Wednesday, I made a fatal error.  My daughter had a doctor's appointment, and we were running late.  Even though I started pressing for the door more than an hour before our appointment time, we had to run a gambit of fashion choices.  Should she wear the pink or the red or the silver sparkly shoes?  God forbid I should suggest she wear a pair that did not sparkle at all!  And then there were the bow choices--the purple or the green or the yellow?  But where was her RED bow?  That was the one she REALLY wanted, and it was nowhere to be found.

"And where is it we're going, mommy?" she wanted to know.  I told her we were going to see the doctor.  Now she was worried about "pokes," and though I insisted to her, that this was not THAT KIND of appointment, she now needed moral support, so we had to bring her dolly and the dolly's stroller.  Then her shoes went on with no socks,  then her shoes went on the wrong feet, then her coat went on upside down, then we had to go potty AGAIN, and then we were finally on our way.

When we arrived, we had only 15 minutes until our appointment, and they like you to be there 20 minutes early. SO, when I pulled into the first available space in the parking garage, I failed to make a mental note of WHERE that convenient space was.  I, my bags, my Margaret, Margaret's dolly, and dolly's stroller, just high tailed it into the doctor's office as fast as our legs and wheels could go.

When we emerged three hours later from Maggie's ADHD evaluation and corresponding trip to the pharmacy for the medication that keeps her semi-focused and me semi-sane--can you see this coming?--I couldn't remember where I'd parked.  Up and down the elevator we went, up and down the parking ramps we walked, looking ridiculous while looking for our van. 

A nice looking man in a large pickup pulled by.  "Ma'am," he said, "Do you need some help?" 

I was so embarrassed.  "I lost my car," I admitted.

"Do you want a ride?"  he offered.

My feet hurt, but good upbringing took over.  I could hear the mingled voices of my own grandmother and several others shouting, "Don't do it!  He's probably a mass murderer or a pervert!"  I thanked the man, but declined putting myself, my daughter, and my daughter's dolly into a strange man's vehicle.

My emotion's must have registered on my face, because the man asked what my vehicle looked like and offered to drive around looking for it.  I told him that much and kept retracing my steps.  FINALLY, I spotted my van on the other side of ramp rail and down a half level.  I was so tired I opted to lift Margaret, and Margaret's dolly, and Margaret's dolly's stroller over the rail.  Then I proceeded to climb over the rail myself.  It was higher than I thought.  About the time I managed to hoist myself halfway, and had my leg stuck in an extremely awkward position, the man in the truck also found my van.  So there I was, hung up in the rail, clinging to my purse.

"Is that it?" said the guy.

"Yeah, thanks," I answered, hanging there.

He drove off, his emotions now registered on his face.  I believe he was thinking something to the effect of--"that woman was crazy! I'm really glad I didn't give her a ride!"

Anyway.  I do have a point.  For the last six weeks, I have been trying to accomplish a goal without setting any specific goals.  I think that's because I just needed to get into the MINDSET of what needed to be done (i.e. I am having commitment issues).  Well, I'm in the mindset now, but I'm just wandering around in the parking lot.  I'm never going to get on the scale, though, and find that I'm consistently LOSING, if I don't set some goals and tenaciously keep after them!

Last week, I indicated that I wanted to set some specific and reasonable eating goals, make myself accountable, and talk to my doc.  I have done all three of these things, and I want to share them with you now.

First of all, as you might have guessed from reading this blog entry, my life is clotted with some interesting challenges and distractions right now.  Keeping up with points last month proved difficult and making a meeting is going to be impossible.  Besides, WW is only going to work for me (like it did last time) if I commit to portion control, so I need to get back to that basic.  Hence, here are my eating  and life style commitments.
1.I will eat when I'm hungry, but only ever a portion of anything at a time.
2.I will eat an extra portion of protein each day, but two of my portions will be nuts or beans.
3. I will try to make my grains as close to nature as possible (whole wheat, oats, whole grains)
4. I will not eat more than one small piece of candy per day, no more than 3 dessert a week.
5. I will take a calcium supplement and increase omega-3s to decrease high fat cravings and meet my need for calcium while cutting back on higher fat dairy products.
6. When eating out, I will make the healthiest choice available.  No hamburgs or fries.
7. I will eat at least 6 portions of fruits and veggies each day.
8. I will get at least 6 (2 cup) glasses of water daily and take my vitamin.
9. I will exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week.
10. I will go to bed by 11:00 pm.

I started these last Thursday, and I lost 2.5 pounds.  They have helped me to navigate life wisely, but without taxing my already taxed brain overmuch.  I am committing myself to these through the spring months.

Secondly, I have arranged a Thursday morning accountability meeting with a friend of mine who has already succeeded in losing 19 pounds since the new year (go Connie!).  She is also seeking accountability.  We hope to invite others to join us, but for now, we're going to encourage one another to do right.  I will take my commitments with me to our first meeting tomorrow.

Finally, I went to the doctor yesterday and discussed my medications with her.  I learned that my current low dose should not interfere with weight loss, if I am eating right and exercising regularly.  Therefore, I am setting a weight loss goal of four pounds a month for the rest of the year. 

So here I am.  I have parked in the weight loss parking lot.  I have clearly made a mental reference of my space.  If I get lost along the way, I'll know right where to look to get on track again.  What goals are you making?  I would love to know where you've parked, and what you are doing that's working for you!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Conquering the Curb

I once flunked tennis.  At the time, I just assumed that I really was hopeless at P.E.; however, a later trip to an optimologist identified some severe depth perception issues.  Even with my very strong eye glass prescription, I still misjudge distances, especially when I am walking up and down stairs or other elevated surfaces--CURBS, for instance.

On October 4 of this year, I and the curb near my dumpster had the ultimate showdown, and I lost. The morning dawned lovely and brisk at the Hunkey-Dorey coral, and shortly after seven I had all my little cowboys and cowgirls out for a walk.  We returned from our stroll near 8, and upon getting everyone back inside the door, I thought to myself, "Well as long as I have my shoes on, I'll take out the trash and save myself a trip later."

In the weeks that followed, it often occurred to me, that if I had just been a slacker, none of my sad story would have happened.  But it did, so I digress.  I left the baby securely fastened in his stroller, told his sister to sit with him, and asked my six year old to carry a couple of small boxes for me, while I carried the big trash bag.  After picking up my keys, and locking the little ones in the apartment, we were off.  It should have taken two minutes, but it changed the next two months.

It happened so fast, I'm still not sure what exactly transpired.  All I know is that I had just heaved the trashbag into the dumpster, when I felt my right food slip off the curb and roll. On my way to the ground, something snapped, and pain sparkled in front of my eyes.  When I stopped rolling around on the asphalt, I could see that my foot had already double in size.

Little Wade was my hero that day.  He stayed cool, calm, and collected; and off he trotted to tell our upstairs neighbor that I needed help.  My neighbor had to carry me back to our apartment on his back, and that was only the first in a parade of indignities.  I couldn't walk without crutches, couldn't go potty or put my pants on without help, and had to ride in the little driveable carts at Walmart.  I also couldn't carry my baby (who still didn't crawl or walk), couldn't cook, or do laundry, or drive.  And then there were the pain pills that made me drool.

Not cool.  Not cool at all.  And then, of course, there were the kindly meant questions.  "Oh, what did you do, dear?!"  Do you know how stupid it sounds to say, "Well, I was taking out the trash when I fell off the curb . . . "  This response also horrified my poor grandma, who had kindly come to stay.  "Dear," she would whisper to me, "Don't tell people you fell off the curb!  They'll think you were DRINKING!"

So I suppose I ought to get to the point.  In 2010, much to my surprise, I discovered that I love running.  When I heard that ominous snap, I really thought that part of my life was over.  I was afraid of what kind of consequence I was going to carry with me into future years, that's for sure.  I faced surgery, and now I have a pin in my foot; but last week--four months after my fall--I ran my first mile.  I had no pain.  I ran two more times later in the week, and still had no ill affects.  With thanks to God in my heart, I say, "I conquered the curb!"

Of course, all that running and no multi-vitamin may have been why that ham on Wednesday night looked so, so good.   However, even though I ate all that ham, the Lord still saw fit to send me a miracle.  For the last three weeks, I have had consistent anxiety related chest pain.  We have been in the midst of some decisions and I have been over-tired due to some insomnia.  Off the cuff, in the presence of some church friends, I said, "I need some laying on of hands or something; I feel just awful."  I was half joking, but also a little serious.

My friend Cecilia didn't need further prompting.  She waved over some of the other ladies nearby, set her warm hands on my shoulders, and started to pray a deeply heartfelt prayer for my strength and well-being.  In that moment, I really believed, that if He wanted to, God could make me stop hurting right then.

Anxiety related pain is not mind over matter.  In fact, you can get your mind and heart in order and still have residual pain for a week.  It's like a shot of poison that takes a while to work its way out of your body.  But on Thursday morning, my pain was gone.  It hasn't come back either.  I've experienced restored energy and mental clarity.  I am so thankful to God for his healing!

And finally, the positive change I mentioned, is the young lady who has started to help me for a couple hours on my husbands long work days.  She chases my monkeys for me, and does some light housework--while I get some writing done.  Hopefully, this means you'll be hearing from me on a regular basis!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Conquering the Curb and Falling Off the Wagon, Part 1

Life, it seems, is a sweet and salty mixture of victory and defeat.  How ironically like trail mix.  Mmm.  That would actually be good right now.  Focus, Sarah.  Focus.

As I write this morning, I unhappily burden the bed with all 184.5 pounds of myself.  Again. In regards to the number on the scale, I am right back to square one.  Last week I had done everything right, got on the scale, and nothing had changed.  I let it discourage me, and when challenges arose, I threw my hands up in dismay.  When candy and cookies happened to fall into my hands, I didn't resist the temptations.

I also made the mistake of running out of my multi-vitamin. You would not believe the effect this has had on my hunger level.  On Weight Watchers, I tend to become a little anemic on just 2 servings of meat a day.  My vitamin helps with the iron deficiency.  Well, after a week without, I had a very low emotional day, at the end of which, I found myself at a church dinner where ham was the evening's entre. 

The kids hardly touched their food, and off they went to their programs.  There I sat with their mostly full plates of ham, biscuit, sweet potato, and creamed corn.  I had been so busy cutting up food and buttering biscuits that I was no longer even sure which plate was mine any more.  So I ate all of them.  It was not pretty.  I am not proud, but this is the honest truth, and you read this because I tell the honest truth, so there it is.

I am bearing my shamed soul in the interests of non-hypocrisy. This weekend, I told my Sunday School class that the difference between a struggle and a failure was whether or not you decided to give up.  I am not interested in giving up, but I won't lie about a certain degree of discouragement.  Going to a Weight Watchers meeting is not going to work out because the only meetings near me happen right at the time my husband is either coming or going from work.  I am not going to pay $40 a month and not be able to go to meetings.

In addition, I think my medication is making weight loss harder, and though I think I can still do it with persistence, I think I can expect a much slower rate of progress than I experienced in 2010.  Let's face it, none of us like SLOW weight loss--let alone SUPER SLOW!

Finally, when I fall off the wagon, I fall off bad every time, because at the root of my weightloss struggles, is my food addiction.  I need to deal with this root problem, or I am going to return to square one again and again. 

Fortunately, my fellow Pioneers of Good Health--YOU are the bungy cord that keeps me attached to the wagon when I have weeks like this.  I may be bouncing along behind the wagon, ignoring the road rash because of the cupcake in my hand, but I'm still there!  There's still frosting on my face, but I can see that 3 things need to happen this week, and I'm making myself accountable to you to do them.

1) I need to settle on an eating agenda, and stick with it.
2) I need to find an accountability group that meets once a week, even if it's not WW.
3) I need to discuss my weight and medication with my doctor, and make a reasonable goal for weight loss this year, even on the medication.

Sigh. So that's the bad news from last week, and I am glad to say that the news is not all bad!  Last week, I also had a significant victory, a positive change, and a huge lesson in gratitude. I fell off the wagon, yes siree, but I also conquered the curb!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Speak to the Hand!

Quiet.  I'm not sure what the dictionary definition is, but the mother's definition is as follows: 1) the condition of a home during which children take their nocturnal repast, which often ends as soon as maternal unit has decided to begin her nocturnal repast. 2) an eerie state which often drives the maternal unit to a state of suspicion and paranoia. 3) The alarming state in which a game of cops and robbers has inspired one child to bind and gag the others. 4) The glorious occasion which finds offspring across town at mother-in-law's house--until Sunday.

As you may have surmised, I am enjoying the latter definition.  I love my children, but the wee sea-monkeys have been driving me crazy.  Granted, my personal struggles over the past couple of weeks have only been exacerbated by their youthful energies, but I am thankful for a day and a half of stillness and tranquility to try to get myself back on track for next week.

Last night, I watched them drive away, did the Mad-Hatter jig in the living room, and promptly cranked on the hot water for a shower.   I can't remember the last time I enjoyed an hour quite so utopian.  The steam from a late cup of coffee, twisted into the the shower's vapor and and the soulful crooning of a Billy Holiday CD.  By 7:00 the stage was well set for some peaceful self-evaluation.

Re-evaluation of life is an important part of everyone's mental well-being.  Unfortunately, when your mind is already in a state of high alert, problem solving or re-arranging your life's spinning set of circumstances can be just another reason to go and hide under your covers. 

Add to that, a busy toddler who has just learned to walk and who finds great pleasure in disassembling every organization device on the bottom two feet of your home; a four year old who asks the same question ten times before lunch when she's ON her pill; and a six year old who could really use a back yard instead of a 20 square foot balcony; and you may as well call the men in white and report the frazzled, un-showered woman who just ran down the sidewalk screaming.

Realizing this about myself, a while back I came up with an easy re-evaluation tool.  This tool is always attached to me.  This tool is familiar and will not change unless I have a severe accident while making salad.  This tool is my hand.

We all need priorities.  I'm the kind of person who thinks I should be able to do a little bit of everything, but I have learned that I JUST CAN'T.  For me, LIMITING my priorities has been a key factor in keeping myself healthy and focused.  Usually when I struggle with anxiety, I need to revisit the priorities.  I have to speak to the hand.

The idea is never to have more priorities than you can account for on one hand--that's right, FIVE priorities.  For me, the priorities are as follows--God, my husband, myself, my children, and a ministry.  When I first came up with these priorities, MYSELF used to come at the end of the list, because I had always been taught that Jesus, Others, and You equals JOY.  I still believe this whole-heartedly, but though unselfishness definitely has its place, I have discovered, if I don't take care of ME, I don't have anything left to offer the other people on the list.

Consequently, I got bumped up.  My personal care priorities are my health--so diet, exercise, and rest--and my writing.  These two areas are very key to me be the well, fulfilled person who tries to care for everyone around me.

In regards to the other priorities, God has to stay first.  His Word offers answers to anything I'm going through.  Talking to Him in prayer guarantees that I always have someone to talk to about what I'm going through and what I'm feeling.  My personal relationship with Him will outlast everything else in my life.

My husband is my best friend and my next priority.  I put him before myself, not only because my Bible tells me that should be the order of things, but also because it's healthy for everyone of us to have at least one person on this earth we put before ourselves.  This exercise in unselfishness reminds us that though we are valuable before God, we are also not the center of the universe.  Herein lies an important life system of checks and balances.

After myself, my kids are my priority.  They are the next generation, the one's who will look out for me when I'm old (I hope), and all I can take with me into the next life.  Their smiles are my joy in the morning.  Their awe at the world keeps me young.  Their unconditional love and trust challenge me to walk the line.  And oh yeah, they make sure I never go to the bathroom and wonder if I'm alone in the world. 

Finally, I enjoy being involved with my local church.  I sing in the choir, I'm on the children's council, and I teach Sunday school.  These interactions keep me connected with the big picture and constantly remind me of the world outside of my 3 bedroom apartment.  They are the catalyst for fulfilling activities, relationships, and friendships.

So what are your priorities?  Some of yours might be different from mine.  Maybe you enjoy your church but can't get as involved as you'd like because your fifth priority is your full-time job.  But maybe you don't have a husband and kids right now, and while you do have that full time job, you are feeling busy, but not bettered.  Why not consider a church ministry, a charity, or mentoring a child?

Or maybe you're swamped.  Maybe you've got more going on than you can count on two hands.  My challenge to you would be to start prioritizing.  Keep the essentials.  Choose what's important.  Don't be afraid to move yourself up on the list.  Don't be afraid to say "NO."  And when the world starts guilting you (or you start guilting yourself) for you new set of priorities, look life straight in the eye and say,

"Speak to the Hand!"

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pied Pigeon of Walmart

This morning, there was a pigeon in Walmart at 6 am.  How do I know this?  Because I was there.  Every other Tuesday morning, destiny calls me to witness a digital phantasm at my bedside that looks uncannily like 4:45.  Bi-weekly, the math of circumstance does it's evil dance.  Addend: my daughter has a ballet lesson at 4:00 pm. Addend: my husband starts his twelve hour shift at 6:30 am.  Addend: We have one car.  Sum: Must get whole family up at God-awful early hour to take daddy to work.

I can only imagine what the guard at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth gate thinks when my husband shows my I.D.  Well, actually, I can imagine, but I'm really glad he doesn't articulate, that the woman in my I.D. looks nothing like the woman in her fuzzy fleece pajamas, with nappy head, and only half of yesterday's 24 hour lipstick.  Usually, the guard at the gate is the only one who sees us--still half conscious and pajama clad.

But this morning, I'd had enough coffee to know that we were out of apple juice, bread, Bunny Milk (what my kids call Nesquick), bananas, and diapers.  The absence of these items could signal the end of the world before lunchtime, so I decided to suck it up and stop at Walmart on the way home.  At 6:05, I stumbled through the door with my band of scruffy-looking nerf herders, and I prayed desperately that there was no one about with a video camera developing one of those "Only at Walmart" youtube sensations.

We started our sleepy meanderings in the produce department, and after a near knock-down-drag-out over who was going to put the bananas in a bag, I thought about walking straight back to the car.  That's when my son yelled, "Look mom!  There's a bird in Walmart!"  They forgot about the grocery list, and suddenly the Pied Pigeon was the sole object of their attention. 

"But what about the bananas, kiddos?" I would say.

"But mom there's a bird in Walmart!  He flew over there!" said my son.  He ran in whatever general direction the bird was going--which had nothing to do with the location of the bread.

"But what about the bread, kiddos?"

"De burd went dat way!" said my daughter. "And I dike dat dwess.  Can I have dat dwess mommy?"

"No Margaret, you cannot have that dress.  Bread.  The bread is that way."

"But mommy, da burd might poop on my dwess if we don't get it!"

"It's not your dwess--I mean DRESS--Margaret.  We're here for bread.  And juice.  And diapers.  And they are THAT WAY.  Come on you loonies."

The baby sees the bird. "WOW!" he says.

It took us an hour to get bananas, bread, juice, Bunny Milk, and diapers.  If I had stopped in sporting goods and test driven a bee-bee gun, we might have cut 30 minutes off the trip.  I was ready to make pie of the Pied Pigeon.

However, as most ridiculous adventures do, our adventure yielded a blog-able moral.  It's almost the end of January.  Many of us are probably ready to ditch the New Year's diet and either give up or try something new because "this just isn't working!"

Truth be told, it is way too early to determine whether or not your new commitments are paying off.  Studies show that a new habit takes six to eight weeks to form.  The worst thing you can do right now is give up or shift gears drastically.  Unless your diet or resolution is having a negative impact on your health, carry on!

Don't follow the Pied Pigeon! 

Monday, January 28, 2013


Last week, I was snowed.  I'm not talking about the pretty stuff that fell from the sky on Friday all up and down the eastern seaboard.  I'm talking about the dictionary definition of the verb phrase which means "to overwhelm with a larger amount of something than can be conveniently dealt with." 

At the beginning of last week, I had a great victory.  On Monday morning, when I weighed in, I had lost 4.5 pounds!  I was very excited, despite the fact that I was weighing in at 5:00 in the morning.  It was the third morning I had been up that early, because my 14 month old kept waking up earlier and earlier.  I was starting to get the sense that something was wrong.  The poor kid has been congested all month.

If it had just been sleep deprivation, I might have overcome, but there was the daily grind of the kids' school work, the housework I was behind on, the letters and notes that really needed to be written and sent, the Sunday School materials that needed to be prepared, and oh yeah, this blog.  If there were four of me, I might have had a chance, or at the very least, a thrilling case of multiple personality disorder.

On Tuesday morning, the baby woke up at 4.  He had huge lumps behind his ears, so off to the doctor we went that day, and a chest x-ray showed he had early pneumonia.  The lumps behind his ears were his very swollen lymph nodes.  The doctor prescribed an antibiotic for him, but there wasn't anything the doc could do for me.  I had descended into a place that I dread.  I was exhausted, my chest hurt, and feelings of hopeless behind-ness started to create static in my brain.

Anyone who has known me for a while, knows that this is a reoccurring part of my life.  I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, and I do take a bit of medication for it.  It is a limitation for me, but not a handicap.  Let's face it.  We all have limitations, and that's what I want to address today.

What's your limitation?  What's that thing in your life that effects your health and weight loss that you don't have a whole lot of control over.  My anxiety effects my ability to stay active and focused.  Also, the medication I take can make it harder for my body to drop weight.  If you are in a similar situation, I want you to remember (as I do) the sage words of a family member of mine, who also battles anxiety:  "It is better to be HAPPY, than SKINNY." 

I'm a member of a weightloss group on facebook, and I am encouraged by reading the posts of fellow health-seekers.  I am also bolstered up by posts that signify to me that I am not alone in my struggle to shed the pounds.  Other limitations that have been shared by my sisters-against-adiposity are as follows: I've exercised all month, and I've gained weight; I'm recovering from an injury and can't get my heart-rate up like I need to when I exercise; I'm in a job situation that makes it hard to exercise; my budget is limited so I can't buy as much high health food as I'd like; I'm so frustrated, I'm AFRAID to try again; I don't have any support at home . . . "

And so on, and so forth.  We ALL have limitations.  The question is not so much how we are going to beat them, or when, or whether they will reoccur--the question is, are we willing to persevere? We will likely face set-backs, failures, and multiple frustrations, but at the end of the day; do we take our flabby saddlesore behinds back to the hitching post and remount the horse?

That is success.  Not the number on the scale, but the decision to keep trying.  Last week was a really difficult ride for me.  I had to take days off of my kids' school schedule.  I had to cancel activities.  I had to rest when my to-do list was miles long.  I had to deal with terminal brain constipation.

If you are not familiar with this malady, it happens when you start to find your mayonnaise in the panty, your peanut butter in the freezer, your ice cream in the fridge, your socks in the trash, and your trash in the laundry.  I very nearly took it to an all-time catastrophic level, when I took the letters to the mailbox when I walked the dog, and found myself within moments of dropping the dog doo-doo in the big blue box instead of the mail. I think that might be a criminal offense!

In any case, when I weighed in this morning, I had gained 2 pounds.  I am choosing not to be discouraged, because here is what went well last week.  For the most part, I made good choices.  I can only think of two times that I ate over portion.  I chose fish and salads and light dressings when I ate out.  I didn't binge on candy or cookies.  I drank lots of tea when I thought I wanted to overeat.  Early in the week, I knew I was not going to be the model Weight Watchers poster child, but I didn't use it as an excuse to eat like crazy until the next weigh-in day. 

So yes, I did gain two pounds, but I didn't gain back the whole four-and-a-half!  I also got to know a new friend and visit with an old friend.  Being with them, helped me gain perspective.  Perspective is defined as "the state of ones ideas," and I'm inclined to believe that nothing makes one's pants fit better than a healthy dose of perspective!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Shoo Fry, Don't Bother Me

Happy Saturday to all my fellow New Year's Resolution keepers out there.  My apologies for a few days of silence.  I actually intended to blog on Thursday, but I didn't do it for your own good.  You see, Thursday was "National Forget Your New Year's Resolutions Day."  Even though, I was determined not to throw my efforts to the wind, I was severely tempted by the mere mental suggestion that such a day existed.  Had I given in, I think my whole week would have capsized.

Knowing how conflicted I was that day, I didn't want to introduce this damaging suggestion to other struggling minds and stomachs out there.  But guess what, that was Thursday; the big day's over, ya' missed your chance, so read it, weep, and move on!

This week has been fraught with temptations, but I am encouraged to report victory.  I started on the old weight watchers program (the one I know well) on Monday.  I get 26 points and 35 flex points.  Thus far, I have minded my P(eas) and Q(uick oat)s, and I have 6 flex points left for the doughnut I intend to eat before Sunday School tomorrow.  I have resisted my kids' left over french fries, the huge tin of specialty cookies that came home from a well-intentioned church member, the half gallon of frozen chocolate goodness that came home with my husband from Walmart, and the ad on TV that has repeatedly announced copious amounts of shrimp and cheese biscuits for a very reasonable price.

My commitment for the week was to walk every week day.  I have walked four times, despite extremely rainy and cold conditions, and I'm going to try to fit one more jaunt about the block in today.  I have to find time to take my walk separately from the children's walk, as walking forward to chase the baby's tike bike, backwards to chase my son's remote control car, and sideways to chase my daughter who's chasing a (insert whatever animal we happen to encounter on given day), and the whole expedition provides less fat-burning benefit than this sentence implies.

In my last blog, I discussed "rest", which turned out to be a valuable self-talk session as I really was preaching to the choir.  Getting over my cold ended up requiring a couple of ten hour nights, and having written about the topic on Monday helped me to go easy on myself in that department.

Overall this week, I felt I gained momentum through a series of good choices.  My first real challenge was Tuesday night, when I knew we were going to have to pull through McDonald's and I knew I needed to deal with my chain french fry problem.  If ever something should be delegated to the controlled substance category, it is the french fry.  They are cholesterol and sodium enablers that taste just maaaaavalous.  They encourage chocolate consumption, because they taste oh so good dipped in a chocolate milkshake; and finally they are a carbohydrate which induce a false high and a hangover low.  Hmm.  French fries.  Sounds like a drug to me.

Tuesday night, when I got in the drive-thru line, I slapped on my fry patch, but the little band that's supposed to show up on my dashboard and play me a congratulatory song never showed up.  All on my own, I ordered the grilled chicken salad, which does not come with french fries.  Later, when my kids didn't finish their fries, I gave them a long, longing look; shoved them into the bottom of the bag with the trash, and pitched them.   I may need to find a 13 steps meeting to keep it up, but at least for Tuesday, I was victor of the day.

So next week, I need to keep up the walking, the point counting, and start thinking about what mental changes I need to make in my life, aside from giving place to regulated rest in my daily routines.  Stay tuned for the Monday weigh-in, a treatise on leftovers and third-world hunger, a break from the big piece, and the low-down on personal limitations.  I hope you did well this week, and if you didn't, don't give up.

And you.  You know who you are.  Put down the french fry.  PUT. IT. DOWN.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Seventh Floor Snores

Three weeks in counting until my first weight watchers meeting, and I suppose it's a good sign that I am counting down.  Truly, I am tired of my knees and back aching when I stand up.  I am tired of my pants being tight.  I am tired of sitting on the washer eating chocolate and pretending that no one sees me, when I know full well that the eyes of heaven are boring holes right through me and the washing machine.  That's probably where all my missing socks go.

This morning, I weighed in at 184.5.  I am thoroughly disgusted with myself and primed for action.  I started on the old Weight Watchers program just to give me a sense of direction until I get back to a meeting.  The "Law of One" isn't working for me.  It's supposed to help me eat just a serving; however, in the past weeks, I think I've been interpreting it as "The Law of One MORE." 

But this is only January, and confession is good for the soul.  In the next few weeks, I want to identify some important changes and attitudes that I want to make a part of my journey.  The first subject I would like to address is REST.  We covet it, we neglect it, we squander it.  However, rest is really very important to us.  Rest keeps us motivated to do what needs to be done.  Rest helps keep our moods positive.  Rest regulates our body's clock and metabolism.  Rest makes other people like us better. 

My family can usually tell when I'm resting well when the sound of my REM cycle resonates down the hallway. That is to say, I snore like the 1500 SLT Hemi on a Dodge Ram.
If you need a witness to this beyond our four walls, just ask my grandmother, who got stranded with me and my snores a year and a half ago at my brother's wedding. 

The happy occasion took place in Florida.  I was almost eight months pregnant with my third child, but my pregnancy had been healthy, so I decided to make the trip from South Carolina with my grandma and my folks.  Dad was the best man, and he planned to spend most of the time with my brothers; so we girls were looking forward to some great times in our shared hotel suite.  There was a big bed in the bedroom and a fold-out in the front room.  Plenty of room for the three of us.  But what we hadn't taken into account  was the snoring.

If it had only been me, we might have worked it out, but alas 2/3rds of the vacationers were proficient nighttime noisemakers.  My mom hasn't always snored.  It just kind of started in the last few years, but she has honed the unconscious art to perfection.  Hence the Hemi and the chainsaw joined forces, and it's a wonder the police didn't show up and accuse us of disturbing the peace.  We certainly did disturb poor Grandma though, who spent the night playing musical beds, and trying to figure out which one of us might be most tolerable to sleep in the same room with.  She required a double dose of coffee the next morning.

The next night, she started out in the king sized bed with me.  Apparently, I was exhausted and moved quickly into the land of nod, sucking the walls in with me.  Mom had driven dad to my brother's hotel, so grandma moved to the fold-out in the living room.  This still wasn't far enough away, and she knew my mom's return was inevitable, so she went to plan C.  She made herself a little bed on the balcony.  It was nice outside and she fell asleep quickly.

My mom came back and got herself ready for bed.  She assumed grandma was in bed with me, so she went through her nightly ritual of pills and door-locking, and she went to bed.  About three in the morning, grandma woke up and had to go potty.  That's when she discovered she was locked on the balcony.  Mom and I were both snoring so loudly, it took us awhile to hear her banging on the balcony door.  Groggy and confused, we both started looking for grandma and looking through the peephole on the front door.  That's when we realized all at once, "oh my gosh! Grandma's locked on the porch."

As you can imagine, we haven't lived it down yet, and Grandma was very happy to get home and sleep in the peace and quiet.  I don't know how my husband sleeps, but he does.  I've heard it said that sleep deprivation and stress can make snoring worse, as can sleep apnea.  If you think you've got sleep apnea, you should see a doctor, but if you're just not getting enough sleep (most of us), you can work toward a solution.  That's one of my commitments in the next few weeks.  I need to get at least 8 hours of sleep.  That means getting in bed at 11 and getting up at 7 for me.

Life wants to burn the candle at both ends, it true, but if we're honest, we make decisions that eat into our sleep time.  We stay on the computer too late.  We watch an extra hour of TV, when we know we aught to get to bed.  If you're a mom, bad kid karma often eats into your sleep time.  Somebody is sick and wakes you up in the middle of the night.  Somebody wakes up at 5 a.m.  In that case, quit giving yourself the guilt trip about the mid-day power nap.  Let your body make up what it lost.  Rest does not  translate "SLOTH"; it translates to a healthier you.

Commitment #1 for this week: I'm going to get my sleep.  I'm not going to be a mombie zombie.  I'm going to raise the roof with a good old fashioned snore-down! 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


So here I am, and the Nyquil is about to do its worst, so if this blog spirals into oblivion, you will know why.  I intended to start some serious exercising this week; however, the annual winter cold dictated otherwise.  I managed to make it through teaching Sunday school this Sunday, but when I woke up from my Sabbath rest, alas, my voice was entirely gone.  Since then, its been a viscous cycle of Nyquil, Dayquil, Mucinex, Psuedefedrine, and coffee.  The coffee happens everyday regardless, but I digress.

I got on the scale this morning, and though I have not lost any weight, I feel like some healthy brain-changes are setting in, and I have been making SOME better choices--not as many as I need to--but SOME.  Thus far, I realize my entire approach has been rather laissez-faire.  There really has been no plan, and I suppose without knowing it, I've been humming "Hakuna Matata" through my half-hearted efforts.

How does this happy jingle from Disney's "The Lion King" play into the week, you wonder?  Well, as luck would have it, I came down with the crud less than 24 hours before our happy home-schoolers were to resume their post-holiday lessons.  I'm a stickler about lesson days (especially after nearly a month off for Christmas), so frog-princess voice and all, we were going to start back to school.  By this morning, the cycle of medication left me with a nasty Nyquil hangover, and I made the foggy decision to do lessons in the afternoon.  Therefore, I gave into the short people's pleas to watch "The Lion King" on Disney channel. 

My decision bought me two hours of quiet and an entire day of laughter.  Everyone sang "Hakuna Matata" for the rest of the day.  Wikipedia says that this Swahili phrase translates, "No worries,"  which is great information, since I'm not sure how my kids' versions translate.  My son's version is rated X.  He hopped around happily chanting, "Hakuna-mamas-tatas!" all afternoon.  Of course, he thought he had it absolutely right.  His father was under the table, (laughing) and I told him he was no help at all.

My daughter's version was a bit less scandalous.  She just sang, "Mama-matada!" while setting the table and not worrying a bit about where any of the silverware was actually supposed to go.  I think she has pointed out my recent mantra, "Mama-matada!"  No worries about this diet and exercise and weight-loss thing.  It will all come together.  You lost it before; you'll lose it again.  All very glib for a person who knows very well that she tried 15 years to lose her weight before she finally lost it."

So a plan is in order.  There is now far too much Nyquil in my system for the presentation of anything meticulous, but I'm giving you all, my brave readers, the bare bones.  Next week, from the 12th to the 18th, I will be walking for 30 minutes every weekday morning and going to the gym at least three times.  I will continue attempting to obey the "law of one."  From the 19th to the 25th, I will identify at least five lifestyle or thought changes that need to be concrete in the next year's journey.  From the 25th to the 1st, I will apply those changes.  On February 2nd, I will get me to a weight watchers meeting.

Now Mama-matada is going to bed.  Hopefully, a little bit of worry will inspire a year full of actions that result in a smaller, healthier me.  In any case, I hope that if some old monkey walks to the end of a stone runway at the end of 2013 and heaves me over his head, the poor chimp won't get a hernia.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Being Baked Alaska

Just leave it to dieters to blog using food metaphors, but let's face it, most of us, when we start out on a diet (lifestyle change, walk of doom, valley of the shadow of death--whatever you choose to call your current calorie counting endeavor) we find ourselves constantly thinking about food.

Two days ago, I didn't even know what Baked Alaska was.  For Christmas, my husband and I got the family this calendar that has assigns a funky holiday for everyday of the year.  January 3rd was the Anniversary of Alaska's statehood, and as an activity, the calendar suggested that the family enjoy some "Baked Alaska."  Of course, "what's Baked Alaska?" the family wanted to know, so off I rocketed to search my cook book index for some explanation.

It had to be a dessert, didn't it?  Just what I need around the house: dessert.  "So, don't make the dessert," you say.  BUT I HAVE TO!  "Why?" you ask.  Because the calendar said so.  It's like an assignment.  I spent money on the calendar.  I got everyone all excited about the calendar.  Now I must obey the calendar, right?  I simply have to make this mystery dessert.  It is my destiny.  Bake it and they will come.  Bake long and prosper.  At times, I am such a sad, sad human being.

So what is Baked Alaska?  As it turns out, Baked Alaska is sponge cake, covered in ice cream, covered in meringue, and then baked at high heat for about 6 minutes until the meringue browns.  The closest thing I could find to sponge cake at Walmart was sugar free Angel Food cake, so that's what got slathered in all the other ingredients.  The fireworks were cancelled.

My son didn't eat enough of his dinner to be included in the experiment.  My daughter ate a couple of bites and pushed it away; she thought separating the yolks from the egg whites to make the meringue was much more exciting than eating the actual dessert.  The best descriptive term that my husband and I could assign to the sugary concoction was "interesting," so if stickiness is any indicator of approval, the baby was the most enthusiastic fan of the dessert.

So here I am, meditating on the deeper meaning of my dessert--pensively considering the tragedy of wasted calories.  Alas poor waistline, I knew thee well!  Parting from the melodrama, I realize that most of us who are on the verge of a lifestyle change are one big Baked Alaska. 

First ingredient: sugar free angel food cake.  We are mostly made up of these lightly considered, empty calories.  We are not fat--we're fluffy.  "And besides," we protest, "we're sugar free!"  The angel food cake is all the lies we tell ourselves in order to back away from true commitments.  "Well I use fat free salad dressing, and whole wheat pasta, and 1% milk, and 93/7 hamburger.  And I only had one piece of cake."

Insert your own fallacies, but inside the fluff, there are usually hidden contingencies--such as the 1/4 cup of fat free dressing that drowned your salad, or the mega plateful of whole wheat spaghetti that left you in a carb coma, or the cocoa puffs that floated in your 1% milk.  Nobody knows it but you, but you ate the whole pound of 93/7 and you scoped the cake out and created a strategy to get the biggest piece of cake with the most frosting without anyone noticing.

Second ingredient: Ice cream.  So maybe you think the angel food cake bit was a little harsh.  Am I pointing fingers?  Absolutely not.  I'm being brave enough to be honest.  I didn't write anything up there that I haven't done myself, and I'm telling you.  Most of us are scared to death for people to really know how we think about ourselves and about the food we feed--not to our bodies--but to our minds and emotions.  The ice cream is fear--cold, creamy, brain-freezing fear.  I've never met a dieter who wasn't just a little bit afraid of failing.  Most are more than a little afraid; most are almost frozen into solid inaction.

Third ingredient: meringue.  Meringue is made by separating egg whites from egg yolks, and beating just the egg whites with sugar.  You beat them and beat them and beat them until they become something else entirely--thick, sweet, meringue.  Our meringue happens, when we choose to let the little white lies we've been telling ourselves stick around.  Then we mix them with a nice sugar coating, so we don't take them seriously.  Then we go to the gym and beat ourselves up a couple times and week and use that as justification for our next overdone meal.

And there you have it.  Next thing you know, it's swimsuit season, and you haven't changed a bit.  You and your angel food abs, your ice cream thighs, and your meringues mamacitas are out on the beach in the hot sunshine.  One more year as Baked Alaska.  Not this year ladies.  This is the year of the Tiramisu.  This is the year of the Lady Fingers.  We're going to be honest with ourselves, we're going to be brave, and we're going to make our exercise count for something.  When swimsuit season comes, we're gonna be ready, and we're gonna be oh, so much more than "interesting"!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Casualty of Candy

And January 1st started out so promising!  And then.  Well, you knew there had to be a "and then" or you wouldn't be reading would you?  The day started as follows: get up, stumble toward coffee pot, pop in TWO pieces of toast.  When my coffee cup and I returned to the toaster 30 minutes later to retrieve said hard-as-a-rock toast, I realized my first error.

You see, I've had a while to think about changes that need to be happening--but there are so many!  Being my oger-achieving, obsessive, compulsive, slightly manic self; I cleansed my mind with a list.  Fortunately, as I am lightly medicated for the afformentioned issues, I knew better than to attempt them all on January 1st.  Baby steps, I tell myself.

Consequently, the only change I had planned for the first of the year, was being more conscious of my portions.  The "law of one" as I call it, is a basic guideline to limit Hiroshimom to a proper serving.  You see, food is my drug of choice.  Hi.  My name's Sarah, and I love to eat.  I have heard many other "substances" demonized in my lifetime, but food was not one of them.  I grew up Baptist after all, and the potluck was practically the third ordinance.

But my eating problem is nobody's fault but my mine.  I'll own it--just like I'll own to what happened on  January 1st, 2013.  It wasn't even 8:00, and I'd already made a sub-conscious violation of "the law."  I made a choice--a good choice--and I only ate one piece of the toast with some peanut butter and a glass of milk.  Mid-morning, I had a glass of water instead of more coffee and a cookie.  For lunch, I had an open-faced sandwich instead of my usual dagwood.  I resisted the left over stocking candy that seemed to be strewn everywhere.

When the mid-afternoon munchies hit, I started a deep-clean of the kitchen to avoid idle eating.  Unfortunately, my medication is not especially designed to keep me from doing certain things I do--like cleaning clockwise.  This particular cleaning style led me to clean the refrigerator first--from top to bottom.  On top of the refrigerator, I keep the candy--from Halloween, from Easter, from Valentines, from Sunday School parties, and from Christmas.  Every time I opened the freezer, it rained candy.  Something had to be done.

And it was thus I found myself seated on the living room floor with all of 2012's leftover, sugar-laden treasure.  I put the chocolate in one ziplock, the lollipops in another, followed by the tootsie rolls, the Startbursts, the taffy, and the hard candy.  They were all so appetizing--so organized.  The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by wrappers.  I wish I could say that I was a black-out eater, but with crystal clarity, I remember the Heath Bar, and the Twix, and the Milky Way, and the Hershey Kiss, and the Gummy eyeball.

So, on the first day of the year, I was a casualty of candy.  Unlike failures of the past however, I did not let one (or seven or eight, who's counting wrappers?) ruin my entire day.  We ate dinner out, and I cut my meal in half and brought part of it home.  I rationed out my evening snack. 

2013 will be a series of battles that culminates in a war of the will.  Yesterday, I may have been a casualty of candy, but today, the candy is safely secluded in a box atop the refrigerator that I CANNOT see through.  Yesterday, it was Candy-1, Sarah-0.  Today I intend to even the score.


I call 2010 the year I found my waist, but nearly lost my mind.  Truly, it was both the best year and the worst year of my life all rolled into one.  I started out at 210 pounds, making a last ditch effort to lose the weight I'd been trying to get rid of my entire life.  When I succeeded in "the journey to my skinny jeans" I was absolutely shocked.

What floored me even more was that one could have a nervous breakdown in one's skinny jeans.  Apparently, being thin did not make life that much easier.  Imagine the let down.  I had been somewhat overweight for most of my life, and all that time, I attributed many of my fears in life to the size of my skirt--that is--what people thought of me.  Without really knowing it, I worried about it all the time.

In 2010, I set out to change my outside in order to fix my insides.  In 2010, I learned the inside has to be well in order for the outside to be remade.  True, I lost 60 pounds, but I also lost fears, doubt, anger, bitterness, and to a degree, certain inhibitions.  The scale that monitored my emotional and spiritual well being said I gained forgiveness, courage, boldness, purpose, and peace.

Alas, one must not rest on one's laurels.  It is 2013, and this morning I weighed in at 182 pounds.  I really am not tragically unhappy with that number.  After all, let's be reasonable!  I had a baby, moved to another state and broke my foot, so a certain level of pudginess is to be expected, right?  Wait, don't answer that . . .

It's gone beyond pudginess I suppose.  Teenagers nowadays call it "mushroom-top."  This phenomenon occurrs when girls of whatever size purposely buy low rider jeans that are, at the very least two sizes too small for them.  Then, whatever flesh pours over the top of the jeans like so much lava from a volcano, is called their "mushroom top."

The reslutls of these clothing exposions vary in seriousness and destructive power.  While some incidents result in tongue clucking from seniors and sentiments such as--"Poor dear! Her mother must be blind!"--other incidents are far more severe,.  These upscale clothing crisis usually do involve more full figured consumers, and result in shrieks of horror, covering of the eyes, and permanent mental scaring.  Combine a mushroom top with a thong sighting at the a mall, and an entire city population may need therapy for years!

And now, oh friends, it has happened to me! From the holiday feasting, Hiroshimom has emerged!  January 1st, I went to put on my pants, and my ankle fat rolled into my knee fat, and my knee fat rolled into my thigh fat, and my thigh fat rolled into my waist fat, until it all rolled over at once.  What a sight I must have been with my ankles and knees all hanging around my pockets!

If 2010 was the year I found my waist and lost my mind, than what follows must surely be known and Sarah's-Waist-Lost and Sarah's-Sanity-Regained.  It will be another year of great changes, but this time I'll start on the inside and work my way out!