Light Bulb Moment

Dealing with food…

While I was driving on Wednesday, I had a light bulb moment.

000lightbulbHere’s what I realized: Eliminating those things in life that bring me comfort in an inappropriate way leads me away from the ultimate source of comfort for me, my God.

Makes sense.

People serve all kinds of Gods in their lives.

I don’t want food to be mine.

As of today, I’m applying this new understanding to my meal plan, and I’m taking action to eliminate certain “comfort” foods.  Note: these are current comfort foods for ME, and may not represent a problem for everyone or anyone else.

Coffee: bye-bye.

Dark chocolate covered almonds: see ya around.

Artificial sweeteners: we are going to have to part ways.

I’m on a quest, and about to perform an experiment. I’m eliminating comfort foods from my diet for one week. At the end of that time I’m going to reevaluate where I’m at and apply what I have learned to a new meal plan, new exercise routine, and a new, hopefully more fulfilling relationship with the One that oversees all I do.  We’ll see how it goes and if I can do it without lopping someone’s head off.

Jim, beware.

Jack, take cover.

Joe, it may get brutal on this end, so be careful. 😉

Friends and family: PRAY!!!

Of course, I’ve known for a long time that I like comforting things. Who doesn’t?  But I’m done being satisfied with the scale teetering up and down within a three pound range.  Plus, I think I’m ready to “feel” a little discomfort in order to lose the weight.  If I plan to keep this weight off once I hit my goal (I do, I really, really do!), then I have to learn how to run my life, and not let food run it for me.

Concentrating on exercise…

I’m also thinking about working with others to organize a 5K fun run this summer.

Huge undertaking.

No experience.

Think it is a wonderful “idea”, but can it be done?

What goes into such an event?  Said while trembling just a little.

I’ve wanted to participate in one for a long time, but never did. I have a friend who used to run 5 and 10 K’s all the time. I’m reaching out to her for some advice.

Feeling not so good…

I went to the walk in clinic yesterday and got some meds for a sinus infection. While there the doctor warned me that this coming weekend in NEPA is going to be a bad one for allergy sufferers.  The combination of wind, warmer temps, and the trees in bud make for a trifecta of allergy horror that all of us are just going to have to deal with; such is spring in the great northeast.

I hope that the weather is nice where you are, and that your weekend won’t be ruined by allergens or anything else.  Enjoy the next two days, if you don’t have to work. If you do have to work, thank you for your service to the rest of us on the weekends.  I have worked the weekends a few times in my career, but not many.  I didn’t like it much.

Have you ever had a food or exercise epiphany? 


Trader Joe’s Weekend

Last weekend I visited a Trader Joe’s for the first time. We were in the Rochester area, visiting the kiddos, and wanted to pick up a few things for lunch the next day so my daughter-in-law suggested TJ’s.

000Trader Joes

I was surprised when I stepped into the store space. I had no idea that the interior of the store was going to look so different from the stores in our area, and the place was packed out.

While inside TJ’s, I felt a few folks were moving down the aisles a little faster than was safe.  It was seriously very busy, and this at about 4:00pm in the afternoon.  I felt a little overwhelmed while I was in the store, but I think my husband was seriously overwhelmed. He wanted to get out of there as quickly as he could.

My hubs doesn’t trust big city folk.

I felt like I found a few good buys at TJ’s, and if I were to shop there on a regular basis (I won’t, we live in the boondocks), I would make Trader Joe’s a part of my regular buying  routine.  The chicken was a bit pricey the day we were there, and I could not, no matter how many trips I made up and down the aisles, find seasoned bread crumbs for the recipe we wanted to try, but no matter.  We left there and headed over to Wegman’s, where I finally got my coffee and the rest of the items we needed for the next day’s lunch.  My daughter-in-law already had Saturday’s dinner in the crock pot; a combo of chicken, spices, and some kind of tasty rice.  We paired that with the red bell peppers and pears I had brought from home, and some carrots she already had, to make a yummy, nutritious, and I-would-definitely-eat-that-again meal that we thankfully consumed after a long day of shopping, walking, lingering, and waiting for each other at various commercial outlets.

I was a little worried about my trip to Rochester this weekend, because I’m still sore after the fall I took a week ago Sunday.  The practice of sitting cross-legged on the floor at my son’s house carried with it some pain.  My tailbone and my neck still hurt. I think I’m going to contact my doctor and see about having an MRI.  Maybe its just soreness and swelling, but I want to be proactive with this injury.

I felt like the food went just okay on the weekend. I’m at a plateau again, which really sucks, so I’m trying to figure out why I’m unwilling to do what it takes to get the weight moving down again.  I’ve had a few people comment on my weight lately. Just yesterday, I ran into a gal I had not seen for a while and she said, “Wow, you’re skinny.  You’ve lost a lot of weight, haven’t you?”  I’m thankful for these occurrences when I am stuck on a plateau for this long, but believe me, what I am right now could in no way be described as skinny.  Still, when I went to have my hair done tonight I was amazed at how average sized I looked in the bathroom mirror at the salon.  Must be the bike riding is firming things up, even though the scales says no weight has been lost.  I know I have to get things moving again, regardless, so I’m planning on doing some journaling to see if I can figure out where to go from here and cannot wait for spring to finally arrive.  It was 26 degrees in NE PA today.  Burrr.





Firming up the Jiggles, and Giggling

Just popping in quickly this afternoon to report the progress I am making with the bike and some weight training I am doing.


As you know, some time ago I bought a recumbent bike.  Since that time I have been using this baby to vamp up my exercise program.  Some days I do thirty minutes on the beast; some day I do more. I feel especially accomplished when I am able to do an hour on the bike, but most days it is thirty minutes for me and I’m done.

I am amazed at how quickly I have felt the rewards of my consistent workouts on the bike.  My pants are looser (I can most feel the difference in my pant legs).

What a shame.  I “might” have to buy more new clothes.  😉

Honestly, though, the bike is not enough to make my weight fluctuate much, so I have been thinking about what more I could do until the cold, harsh winds subside.

Enter:  The Female Body Breakthrough.

I had heard about this book from Lori at Finding Radiance. I was inspired by posts that show what she is doing each week.  I know that with my lower back problems I could stand to strengthen my core, and with my desire to do more kayaking this summer, I need to buff up my upper body strength. This program seemed like a naturally good place to start.

I bought the Female Body Breakthrough book on and it came in the  mail a week ago. I would have begun the program then, but I always have to have time to absorb things before jumping into the deep end of the pool, so to speak.  I read a little and planned a little, and dreamed a little, and was almost ready to begin when I fell on Sunday. Ugh!  That set my start time back a little, but last night I did my first exercises from the book.  I was amazed at what I was able to do, and yet humbled by the fact that what I thought was Phase 1 exercises turned out to be the warm-up section of the book.


If I was this winded doing the warm-ups, what would the real exercises do to me?

Today, I have been consciously aware of how different my body feels.  Really different–like everything that jiggles is now a “little” firmer.  The bad side of firming things up is that not all areas firm at the same rate or time.  Right now, I am not happy with these pockets of fat hanging off my upper thighs.  I’m hoping they will shrink soon, but until then I intend to sweat it out a couple of times a week with this set of warm-up exercises, until I can actually move on to Phase 1.

Soon–REALLY SOON, RIGHT?–it will be warm enough to walk outside.  I can’t wait!  Yesterday was the first official day of spring, and I heard birds chirping, so I am hopeful that soon, really soon, right, I can get out there and enjoy a power walkgood, down some country road.

Until then, I will keep doing what I’m doing and keep feeling good about it.

What are you doing in preparation for spring and warm weather?  Do you weight train regularly?  What is your favorite toning exercise?

Here Kitty, Kitty

000catsWe live in the country, so it’s not unusual to see stray animals wandering up and down the road on any given day. One guys cows are in the road, while someone else’s dog is running loose. It’s not a big deal, but what burns my buns is when someone drops off a cat (or rather, kittens), in the dead of winter, at the bottom of our driveway.

Mind you, we are not farmers. Yes, we do have a three-sided barn across the street road from the house, and we do allow a neighbor lady to harvest our hay, but we do not farm, either for sport or commercially. So why, then, do people drop cats off at the end of our driveway, and why do they do it in January, February, and March–the absolute coldest months of the year?

I know the answer to that question.  Because they can!

They also drop them off at our house, I suspect, because they know we are softies.  Every single cat we have ever owned since living in the country has been a cat that was dropped off at the end of our driveway.

Zigzag was a drop off.

Mama Cat–a drop off.

Jingle Bells–a drop off.  And now we have a tri-colored, long-haired, shabby, but chubby, I’m-guessing-male-but-can’t-be-sure-cuz-he-takes-off-like-a-bullet-from-a-gun-whenever-you-see-him drop off living under our pine trees.  Actually,  I think he lives in our barn with the horse and donkey, but he has darted under the pine tree any time I have seen him about.

I do not want a long-haired stray as a pet.

Let me say that again: I do not want a long-haired stray as a house pet!

Ah, that feels better.

All this to say that sometimes things happen in life that we wish did not happen.  A stray cat ends up in your pine trees, or you fall on the ice.  Sometimes you get involved with the wrong people, or you overdraw your checking account, or you forget to buy apple cider while you’re downtown (and no, you are not turning around and going back the 6.5 miles it takes to get to town from the hill for that).  Guess you will have to experiment with the ingredients you have today, Lori, instead of trying that new recipe.

Here’s the thing:  Regardless of how chaotic or unexpected life becomes, and no matter what shenanigans it pulls, WE DO NOT HAVE TO EAT OVER IT!  Period, exclamation point!

Today, we can choose to surrender to the urges we have to overeat, or we can zip the lip, find something else to do, pray until the urge passes, and drive around the neighborhood looking for whoever it is that keeps leaving those cats at the end of the driveway–but know this: Overeating is not an option!

Go find those knitting needles, or your journal, or the herbal tea you love with the peppermint in it.  The food will wait for you.  It never goes away.  Dinner will be here soon, and then you can eat free of guilt.

That’s my advice to myself and anyone else who needs it today. Don’t let food steal your joy away or run your life.  The decision is yours–choose well.

What do you do when you are frustrated?  How does food “weigh” into your thinking when you feel stressed?  What is your go-to answer for dealing with food urges?


I tried.

I really did.

I worked to keep upright all winter long, but my hopes and dreams of making it through the winter without falling came crashing to the ground this past weekend.

It was the snow, I blame. The snow that lay gently atop the treacherous ice underneath.

It was the snow that tricked me into thinking the danger of falling was past. It was that stupid, fluffy, misleading snow that tripped me up, and when I fell, I took another with me.

There we lay, us two, on the ground, the cold, wet ground. There I lay, for what seemed like a long time after he’s gotten up, brushed himself off, come to his senses. It all happened so fast.

0000girl backThat’s how life goes, isn’t it? Up one minute, and down the next.

This morning, I hurt, but I only have two bruises; both are on the same elbow. Not bad for having fallen on the hard, cold, wet ground and laying there for a bit. I still did 30 minutes on the bike, and I still went out to eat with some friends after church.

I did well at the buffet.

I ate moderately, enjoyed a smidgen of desert, and learned that coy fish actually can  sleep on their sides, looking downright dead, but then get up and play again once you’ve disturbed their watery pond.

Funny story about lunch.

Our friends asked us to join them at the Chinese buffet in town. We went to the place where “we” always go. We waited and waited, until finally Carl came walking toward the entrance. He and his wife had been waiting at the place across town. Whoopsy.

Guess we got our signals crossed. Next time we will know to communicate a bit more information before accepting an invitation to lunch.

How did the food go for you this weekend? Did you have any unexpected slips–with food or otherwise?

A Good Food Weekend

000Les Miserables

Over the weekend hubs and I went to see Les Miserables at the Mansfield University Theatre Center. I have a friend, a young lady, who was a part of the cast and crew, so naturally I had to see the show. Caytlyn performed her first formal solo on stage during the musical and I was excited to see it. She did a great job, as did all the cast, but the stand out for me was the young man who played Javert. I don’t know if that means I was impressed by Mr. Lucas Lourenco, or Mr. Matthew Levine, for depending on the performance one saw, either one of the other of them sang the role of Javert and I am not sure which it was during Sunday’s performance. This is not of great import to me, since I went to see Caytlyn perform, and enjoyed seeing her most of all.

Sadly, all photography was barred during the performance, so I don’t have a picture of them on stage to share.

I was impressed this time around with how much of the musical involves prayer and supplications to God. In difficult times, it seems we are more, not less, apt to reach out to a power greater than ourselves for the help we need. It was a good reminder that I don’t have to get healthy on my own. Even without the mentors I have found blogging in cyberspace, I have a God of my understanding I can go to for support and encouragement, along with direction and insight about what I ought to do next.  That’s a huge relief to me, since my best thinking got me to a place where I was 165 lbs overweight.  I need all the help I can get to arrive at goal weight. I still have about 50 lbs to go.

Prior to the musical, we joined my niece and nephew for the dedication of their second son at their church, then ate lunch with them and friends and family following the service.

this is Enoch, the reason for the celebration

this is Enoch, the reason for the celebration

When it was time to eat, lasagna was served with all the fixing: a cheese dip appetizer with chips, a hearty salad (my contribution), garlic bread, and fruit salad. Although I don’t usually eat pasta, I did have a small serving of the lasagna with lots of salad and a tiny bit of cheese dip (buffalo chicken with hot wing sauce). It was really too spicy for me, so I just had a taste.

DSC_1051I passed on the bread and other stuff that was there, additional desserts mostly, because they just weren’t worth the calorie load to me. Especially in light of the fact that the nutrition load was so very low.  The meal included cake and ice cream and again, I had just a taste. I felt like I handled this food occasion very well, and I enjoyed the company I was with both before and after the meal was served.

For the past two weeks I have been suffering with a lot of lower back pain. It makes me think if I should try reducing the amount of wheat I eat again.  I hate not sleeping at night because of the pain, and I have some instance of tingling down my left leg and into my foot. Maybe time to get that MRI after all.  It makes it hard to ride the bike, but I am determined to do at least 15 minutes, even on the bad days.  Then I lift weights to make up for the other 15 minutes that I don’t get on the bike. I use a pillow on the bike seat on those bad days. It helps, but it knocks off my balance a little and tends to bother my knee more.  I noticed though that yesterday, even with all the extra activity that day entailed (have you seen the campus at Mansfield University–they ought to call is Goat Climber U), my leg wasn’t feeling numb or painful.  In fact, both  my mom and I were able to stand for about an hour with no pain and no fatigue.

This picture doesn't show much of the campus, but you can get a feel for the slope of them there hills

This picture doesn’t show much of the campus, but you can get a feel for the slope of them there hills

And here, you can get a feel for that same steep slope

And here, you can get a feel for that same steep slope

Enoch’s dedication did not take place at the university, so don’t let me confuse you on that point.  During the service at a local church though, at one point I leaned over to  mom and said, “Can you imagine yourself doing this two years ago-standing this long?” [we stood for an hour before the dedication began] To which she replied, “No, I can’t.  In fact, I probably would not have stood at all.”

Bamm!  That’s what comes of eating right and losing weight, and it feels GREAT!

How was your weekend?  Did it include special people?  What have you noticed is easier to do, now that you’re eating right?

What are you having for lunch?

000bald eagle

As I was heading out for lunch yesterday, I spied a bald eagle on the river, circling, circling, circling a group of geese who had stopped by in PA to refresh themselves on their journey north.

First impression upon seeing the birds: Spring is here, yay!

Second impression: That Eagle is HUGE!

Third impression: Those geese look tiny in comparison.

Fourth impression: I wonder what Baldy is hoping to catch for lunch?

I will tell you, I was scared for those seemingly little geese. Have you ever seen the wingspan of a male Bald Eagle. They are seriously big birds, and their beak and talons are formidable.  I would not have wanted to be those geese swimming in the cold river yesterday.  The mere shadow of Baldy’s wingspan on the surface of the icy waters was enough to put fear in my heart.  Not for me, mind you, but for them.

000bald eagle 2

Watching nature in motion yesterday made me think about my own eating habits.

Am I attacking my food like I might never eat again?

Am I targeting food that is good for me and will give me the strength I need to fly high?

Am I being picky about which food items I toy with and then eat?

How hard is it for me to get the grub I want today, and once it’s gotten, will it make me strong or sick?

I’m thankful I don’t have to live in the wild and hunt on the river for my food.  I’m grateful for easy access to what I need. But I also appreciate what Baldy has to do each day to get what he needs, and how that affects everyone around him.  I may not have a beak and talons like him–powerful, masterful, and dripping with blood–but I have my own way of finding the food I need to survive.  I just hope I’m eating as well as he is (and that the geese are not his dinner).

What are you eating today?  What’s eating you?