******* BE ENCOURAGED ********

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Upside Down and Back Again

The last two months have been a whirlwind for me.  I’ve been exhilarated and I have been broken.  I have been to the mountain top and then through the wringer.  I have gotten to do some things that I thought I would never do again, but I have also seen some things that broke my heart.  I was accepted then dumped.  I was praised and then trashed.

So what happened?  (I honestly have NO idea because those involved chose to NOT communicate at all. Too bad.)

However, it is too much and too personal to go into here, but perhaps it is still all just a part of trying on this new body and trying to wrap my brain around it. When someone called me “tiny” it actually made me feel scared.  Why?  I do not exactly know, but being this size has brought a lot of new feelings, thoughts, and emotions, ESPECIALLY in how I handle things. 

Just so odd.

So I am trying to turn my thoughts around.  I am actively, purposefully cleaning my "house" – I am sweeping out those things that plague my mind.  I am giving away those things that no longer fit in my life (no matter how hard I tried to alter them, pin them, and repurpose them - and I am not talking about clothes).  I am making the choices daily to keep my thoughts focused on what is constructive.  If I feel like I am being sucked into a pit, I crank up a song that I like that will make me want to dance.  If I feel sadness begin to pour over me, I text my friends – AND thank you very much Kim Eidson, Ailsa Washington, Debbie Hubbs, and dear Carb Tripper.  If I start to feel lonely, I go see my sisters – thank you, Marilyn Little and Sandy Dunn.  But most of all, I remember the man that has stayed with me for almost 20 years and never kicked me to the curb – thank you, Ron Gandy.

Somehow on my journey I lost sight of those who have remained beside me and supported me.  I confess that I was ready to turn my world upside down and take off, leaving everything behind.  I was making preparation for that. 

But suddenly … I was given a wake-up call. 

I made a conscience decision to look at what I have and NOT what I do not have.

I have a wonderful gift right in my hands – LOVE and LIFE – and I cherish them.

Merry Christmas! ... and now back to business.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Living and Breathing

It feels good to live.  It feels good to breath.  It feels good to move & stretch & learn.

I hope that all my friends who are working on themselves find this break.  Life should be enjoyed while on the journey to health and wellness.

I have learned to enjoy my choices:
-- tender, juicy beef or smooth, velvety shrimp!
-- creamy, smooth Kerrygold butter & coconut cream!
-- crispy fried bacon!
-- Ah, the flavors, textures, & recipes!
-- coffee fixed JUST right!

I have a core group of food I eat.  When I go out to eat I concentrate on ONE item - usually the protein/fat. I never indulge more than two days in a row without a "semi-fast" day.  The idea about "metabolism / small meal feedings" does not work for me.  I try to eat like a "thin" person -- eat when I am truly hungry, but skip it if I am not.  I choose to listen to my body, who has learned to breath without my assistance and meddling.  My wonderful body has all kinds of systems that run automatically.

"Hunger / Satiety" is part of that system.   For years many of us have "overridden" that system.  It starts when the baby is prompted to finish the entire bottle, or the entire jar of food.  It starts when food is given as the reward for doing good.  It is time to let that system of hunger and fullness operate.  I am NOT talking about deliberately skipping meals when hungry because AGAIN, that would be overriding that system!  I am talking about practicing the art of listening... of paying attention.  I have said this many times to myself - FOOD IS FUEL.

This means evaluating your hunger -- Is it real?  Is it emotional?  Is it boredom?  Is it a result of cravings (usually caused by a food intolerance from and earlier choice)?  I have read, and experienced, that when I allow my body to tell me when it is time to eat, it usually is about twice a day - morning, and late afternoon.  It took some experimenting and "lab" work on myself.  It took concentration and focus.  BUT once I began to allow my body to tell me when it was hungry, I learned that I could trust it to do what it is supposed to do - signal me.  Just like I get signals for thirst, elimination, pain, pleasure, etc, I have found that my body is fantastic at taking care of me if I listen and follow those signals. 

I no longer eat by the clock.  I no longer HAVE to have 5 small meals a day to "boost my metabolism".  I no longer force my body to change it's system to meet MY demands.  I trust my body.  It is healing.  The metabolism is getting in line.

This did not happen over night.  It has been a journey -- and I feel like I am at peace.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Myth of The Goal at the End of the Rainbow

Somewhere, over the rainbow, I'll be thin....

The word “Destination” is defined as “The place designated as the end (as of a race or journey).”  Other definitions include “Goal, end” and my favorite, “The state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it.”

So do the words “diet” and “end” go together?  HECK no, I certainly do not think so.  I can “terminate” bad behavior, but the fight and struggle will never end.  Just ask weight loss surgery patients.  Just ask successful diet bloggers and authors.  I will have to make dietary choices DAILY.  Some days it will be very easy.  Hooray!  Occasionally I WILL have those “white knuckle; nail biting” temptations.  Waaaa!

  ( ...psssst... one won't hurt!)

OH, and for the purists let me define the word “diet”.  It is NOT totally about “restrictions” in this context.  Our "diet" is simply WHAT we choose to eat on any given day.  EVERYONE is on some kind of “diet” because everyone eats. (except the extreme anorexics or those who are on a fast for specific reasons).  Settled?  Okay… moving forward.

I have been talking to a friend at work.  Some of the things we have been discussing are words like “Tomorrow” and “When I reach…” and “Just as soon as…”.  always waiting for that perfect “jumping off” place, as if somehow the timing plays a part in success.  I agree that you have to have your mind in the right place to proceed, but always having your mind geared towards “tomorrow” will never get you started.  Along that same lines we often think, "As soon as I reach this weight..." or "When I get to a size ...", as if that is a marker to stop or take a break.


IF we are all on some kind of diet… and especially IF weight loss and better health is our goal ... then will the diet ever end?

Absolutely not.  Certain restrictions might end, but we will certainly continue to eat SOMETHING.  The sooner we adopt this entire process as a lifestyle change the better.  As soon as we can say, “I WILL DO THIS FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.” the better off we will be during the journey.

Actually watching the scale go down and the inches get smaller can be a lot of fun and a lot of motivation.  But where does your mind go when that does not happen?  How quickly do you freak out when you hit a “stall”?  I think we sometimes freak out because we have a “goal / end” in mind and time is passing!  We are scared we will give up and never reach our "goal".

SO........ What if there was no final goal and no final end?

What if you were eating the way you are eating every single day with the one sole purpose of just feeling better?  What if food was just fuel and not entertainment?


I need to tape this to my mirror:



It has taken YEARS but I think I found that place, at least I hope I have.  I just keep eating foods that are rich in nutrients and good for my body.  Every single day I make the choice to practice good decisions (or NOT).  I almost always have a strategy or plan in the back of my mind for saboteurs and get a lot of opportunities to practice them.  For example, the other day a friend in Houston wanted me to taste this home-made bread that she brought back all the way from New York.  It was made fresh the night before.  It smelled divine!  It had been slathered in butter and was soft and a beautiful golden brown.  She was pretty adamant that I “try” it.  I could see that it meant a lot to her.  I had a choice to either get righteous and stand my ground .. “ NO!  Bread shall never toucheth thy lips and be forever on thy hips!” …. Or, simply say (which I chose to do), “Well, thanks.  I can’t eat the entire thing, but I will take a taste.”  I pinched off a crumb, put it in my mouth, and said “Yum.. that IS good.”  She left the room, I took the crumb out and put it in the trash.  All done.  

No “rejection”.  No “derailment”.  No “regret”.  No “anquish”.  No “fear”.  Easy stuff… NO EXCUSES.

Yes, modify the diet and change the behavior….

….. but just so you know, your “diet” will NEVER end.  Ever.

Never.  It is FOR .. EV.... ER!!!

From the movie, "Sandlot"

... ok, possibly when you die you can stop.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Things that make you go... wow.

(Is that not the dumbest marketing brochure??
Sugar and carbs for breakfast? yuck)

The Issues:
1.  Inflammation
2.  Yeast from Antibiotics
3.  Lack of sleep
4.  Stress

I say that mostly my diet journey is all in my head, but that is when I am battling the sugar demons.  Sometimes, however, the battle is  just due to circumstances.  All of the above stressors are a result of a recent surgery.

The cure:
Lots of Water
Yeast Cleanse diet (no vinegar products or wine)
Rest as much as possible
Organization - be prepared

I'm already feeling better and undoing the damage!

I had a very fun and eventful weekend!

I spent a couple of days with a good friend and enjoyed watching her care for and give attention to her neighbors.  I think we almost solved the problems of the world.  She is a great cook and really knows her stuff -- all things low carb!  Carb Tripper rocks!

Ground beef, Shrimp, Bacon, Roasted Peppers,
Onions, and Cauliflower -- VERY good, especially
with a shooter of butter!  Great job, Chef Anne!

My good friend Carb Tripper (Anne) and one of her sweet neighbors.

AND finally -- The wedding!
Congratulations Emily and Charlie Lay!

Then I attended a fabulous wedding of my great niece with an awesome reception with Cambodian flavors.  I was blessed to ride with my fab sister and brother-in-law which always makes for good company.

Groom's Cake and Bridal Cake (notice the brake pads in the wheels!!  They did not cut the groom's cake -- too pretty!)

My beautiful GREAT Nieces -- (photo by Snapd Photography)

As a result of my weekend however I did gain a few pounds.  It was a combination of that awesome food at the reception and the lack of sleep. hahaha  BUT the good news is, I know how to fix that.  A couple of days of very low - to zero carb meals, combined with water, bulletproof coffee, and rest and I will be back to square one in no time. -- amended -- I AM back to square one, less 1. :D

It's all down hill... or rather "down scale" from here.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What in the WORLD are you DOING?!??!?!!!

It is so natural and common to see another person losing weight and having success and want to know exactly what they are doing.  I have done that a LOT of times in my life as well.  Sometimes I attempt their list of instructions but more often than not I feel the need to put MY twist on it so that it will fit MY life, etc.  AND then I wonder why I do not get the same results.  That brings about frustration and often a little anger.. and of course, a diet backslide.

So I am about to share with you what I have been doing to lose the weight.  Be careful in making the decision to “try” it.  Any “adjustments” for YOUR life may result in NO results.  One size does not fit all.  Jimmy Moore says it – You have to find what works for YOU and then do it! (See Jimmy's website HERE.)

Back when I started this blog I was all into a popular diet of the minute – Kimkins.  I STARVED myself down to 150 pounds (and briefly saw 148 for a few days).  My hair was thin; my body was cold; my skin was dry; .. all the symptoms of malnutrition (I wrote a blog about that later - Read that post HERE)).  I was determined to lose 50 pounds before I turned 50 and ended up losing almost 75 pounds.  Thus began “The Low Carb Cruise” (story of a different blog - that I have written about these past 6 years). 

Kimkins fell apart amid scam and scandal.  I was lost.  I wandered from forum to blog trying to find my way and “what worked for me”.  I was emotional (ate).  I was angry (ate).  I was lost (ate).  I would dive in with menu plans and a stocked fridge only to dive into a pizza at first opportunity.  Up and down.  Back and forth.  In it, out of it.  I continued to organize the cruise, slowly gaining weight  and getting more complacent.  I believed in the Low Carb life, but just could not seem to get back on the “freeway”.  I was stuck on the frontage road with NO on-ramp in sight.

BUT… I kept on.  I kept reading.  I kept listening.  I kept watching.  Perhaps I was not “doing” but by golly I was learning.  I sort of developed the mentality that "it works for everyone except me".

So… along comes the pivotal cruise of 2011.  I was back up to my heaviest I had been in a while (somewhere around 180 pounds).  
(Kristen Berglund and ME)

I saw pictures of myself and remembered how sad I felt.  They brought back memories of feeling embarrassed, sad, and just miserable.  AND of course there were hateful comments posted around on the web about the “fat” organizers of the low carb cruise.  I was “caught” eating French toast in the dining room, with “real syrup”. I guess they expected me to be more than what I could be.  I was not an “example”, but rather just like everyone else in the group – I needed help too!

So getting back home from the cruise in 2011 with all the “fat” comments, did I make a vow to start again?

No.  I had to wallow in self pity and carbage for a few more months.

Finally, Christmas, 2011 was the point of change.  I saw 205 on the scale.  I am only 5 feet tall and 225 was my highest weight ever (after my mom died in 2005).  I was only 20 pounds from that weight.  Oh my.  That woke me up.  December 27th, 2011, I crawled out of the pit.

I started doing standard Atkins Low Carb.  It was a typical menu of protein first, a vegetable, and sometimes a sugar free dessert.  I drank protein shakes and tampered with sugar free dessert recipes, etc.  I ate a LOT of splenda.  I enjoyed a LOT of cream – in my coffee and for cooking.  I put cheese on everything.  I ate a handful of nuts daily. 

I did NOT count carbs.  I did NOT count calories.  I did NOT weigh or measure my food.  I did NOT lose much, but by the end of February I was down to 195.  Ten pounds was good and I was feeling better, but still it was a hard battle and a struggle every single day.  I HATED obsessing about my diet.  I HATED that every day was about what I was going to eat, when was I going to eat it, and where was I going to eat.  However, I KNEW that the only way to conquer this was to get a routine going.

I do not exactly remember how I stumbled on her, but I found Dr. Mila MacManus from The Woodlands Institute of Health and Wellness (Click here for link).  I scraped money together to go and see her.  She tested me – lol, I mean literally!!! – hormones, thyroid, blood sugar, cholesterol, etc etc.   I was put on a plan and under her supervision I did a round of hCG (lost 15 pounds – so was at 180) and after that, a “Yeast Cleanse”.  It was a relief to follow a “plan” as opposed to the flying by the seat of my pants that I had been doing.  I had lists and charts.  I had “action”!!  I attended nutrition classes by one of her Nutritionists, Nancy Mehlert.  I was thrilled and elated that they were proponents of a low carb lifestyle (and good fats) and believed just like I did.  Hope was in my heart.  In addition to adjusting my thyroid meds and my bio-identical hormones, she put me on vitamin supplements.  I felt amazing… I had almost forgotten what “good health” felt like! 

So by the time of the cruise in 2012, I was back to 170.  My good friends Debbie Hubbs, Ailsa Washington, and Kim Eidson can attest to the struggles and tears, the victories and joys of this journey.  I felt good.  My clothes fit better.  I wasn’t embarrassed to stand up in front of the group.  I got my MOJO back!!!! 

(ME and Kim Eidson)

For THE first time, I ate completely low carb and sugar free on the cruise!  It helped having a cabin mate who was also determined, Thank you, KIM!!  Because I was the travel agent and group leader, every night the cruise line would bring in a plate of desserts to our stateroom.  They were beautiful works of art, hidden in my room with no “outside eyes” to see my sin.  What did I do?  I took photos.

What became of those nightly treats will remain our secret, but let’s just say, “They slept with the fishes.”

Returning home I have continued to focus on my goals.  As of this writing I am at 155, but I have a private goal in mind for the Low Carb Cruise in 2013.  I keep in touch with my doctor's office through their newsletters and emails.  I also read a LOT of the blogs of some of the best out there -- Jimmy Moore, Carb Tripper, Vanessa Romero (http://www.healthylivinghowto.com/), and many many more.  I have a great network of Low Carb / Paleo friends from the cruise and enjoy what they share on the Low Carb Cruise Group facebook page. 

I am just a regular person and I am amazed at my friends who can do all of the scientific research on themselves.  I am in awe of those who know the ratios and the pufas and the n=1’s and the ketones and all those wonderful tools that are out there.  HOWEVER, I am an artist type and numbers just do not stick in my head. Lol.  Let me paint a food portrait rather than graph my blood sugar.  That is just me – and I need it simple, plain, and straightforward.



I start every single morning with coffee.  Most of the time it is “Bulletproof” coffee, but sometimes just plain “my way” coffee.
Coffee (ok, I confess – I’m not a purist.  I have a mini-keurig so I use kcups)
Xylitol (2 tsps)
So Delicious Coconut Creamer OR Thai brand canned coconut cream
2 tbs kerrygold butter (from grassfed beef)
2 tbs MCT oil (refined coconut oil)

I bought an “aerolatte” whizzer gadget from Bed Bath and Beyond and this concoction foams up like the best starbucks latte you can buy.  Yummmmmm

BREAKFAST – My first thought is “fat”.  Sometimes it is only fat, sometimes it is mixed with protein.  It all depends on my mood and my time.  But here is a standard breakfast:

3 strips of bacon fried in 2 TBS butter
Add to that 1 or 2 eggs, fried
(I like the yolks thick but not done, sort of like the consistency of pudding)
I pour that, butter and all, into a bowl and enjoy.  (sometimes salt and pepper, but mostly not)

Those two things – egg bowl and coffee – will carry me through to 1 or 2 o’clock.  I am just not hungry.

LUNCH – fat and protein, maybe a small salad.. maybe, if I am in the mood.  (example: Small ribeye with butter sauce)
DINNER – fat and protein, maybe a veggie… maybe, if I am in the mood. (example:  Shrimp sauteed in butter with peppers and onions)
SNACKS – Dairy free, nut free fat bombs (basically just coconut oil, cocoa powder, powdered xylitol, vanilla extract, roasted coconut mixed together and poured into mini muffin cups) OR (and this is what I save my veggies for!) Raw cucumber slices, red bell pepper rings, etc.

I eat a LOT of beef.  I bought some grass-fed beef from a Texas farmer and there IS  difference in flavor!  Yummmmm

That is my typical day, but it is subject to change according to whim and schedule. Lol.

What I DO NOT eat anymore because of sensitivity and because my doctor said “do not” is:
Carbonated sodas
And then of course NONE of the following:
Grains (NO bread.. no bread substitutes, no grains period)
Starches (no starchy vegetables, potatoes, rice, corn, etc.. NONE)

Splenda was easy to give up because I had a couple of replacements recommended by my doctor – Stevia and Xylitol.  My grocery store sells both.

Dairy – ahhhhh, beautiful dairy – that was very very very very very hard… and I confess, it still is.  I grew up drinking milk with every meal.  I had cheese on everything.  I loved cream cheese, sour cream, and of course YOGURT!!  Yummmmmm  It was easy on a low carb diet to have an entire “dairy day”.  BUT the doctor said to lay it down so I did, skeptical, but I did it. (… and I confess, I did it in phases until I was totally off.  I looked for “replacements” first.)

With those changes, my weight began to go down.  The scale became my friend again.  I will mention that I do not like to exercise.  (Hate is such a strong word).  I joined Curves for women – the ultimate diva, girly-girl, air conditioned gym for the “not so sweaty” inclined. :D  Even for the 2-3 days a week that I go, it keeps me loose and limber and doing “something” as opposed to “nothing”.  Do not dis my Curves!!!  (Because of recent bladder surgery I have not been able to go.  I still have another month of recovery.)

To be totally honest I will confess that I have eaten carby foods a few times this year.  I have not been 100% perfect …. Only 99%.  I have gone out to eat with family and eaten a few chips with my salsa.  I ate the hand-made corn tortilla on my fish taco.  I had fresh pineapple in Hawaii.  BUT those occasions do NOT turn into a weekend binge.  Those indulgences do NOT derail my focus.  They are NOT excuses to just keep plowing that ditch the next day.  I wake up, make a plan, and get right back on the freeway.  I betcha I could count on ONE hand those special occasions this year. 

I said I did not “count” what I eat, but I recently added “MyFitnessPal” app to my iphone and ipad to just SEE how I was doing.  I was curious about how I “stacked” up to what is recommended.  Was my eating “intuition” on target or not?  On a typical day, these are my stats:

(I totally ignore the 55%/30%/15% that they recommend.  They obviously don't know my body or my friends! lol)

I do not believe that MY way of eating will work for everyone.  It only works for women over 50, who are dairy sensitive, hormone depleted, thyroid deficient, sedentary emotional/boredom eaters.  If you fit that category, then this could be your answer! Hahaha

The absolute, positive, main, number ONE thing that I believe and that has followed me through all these years of this blog is this –



"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."
~ Brian Tracy

Interested in the 2013 Low Carb Cruise? 

Hear guest speakers:

Robb Wolf - author of "The Paleo Solution"

Dave Asprey - The Bulletproof Executive


Friday, July 20, 2012

"Last Meal" Mentality

From Wikipedia -- The last meal is a customary part of a condemned prisoner's last day. Often, the day of or before the appointed time of execution, the prisoner receives a last meal and religious rites, if they desire. In the United States, inmates generally may not ask for an alcoholic drink. Other countries have different traditions, such as the "little glass of rum" granted to the condemned in historical France in the minutes before execution; but no formal last meal as they were told of the impending executions only on the fatal morning, generally minutes before the actual event.

Brian Price is my good friend.  He is well acquainted with "last meal" requests because he was the Death Row Chef at the Walls Unit in Huntsville Texas.

Brian and I played in a praise band together for almost 9 years.  He is a great guy and has a restaurant called The Way Station at the Crockett Marina in Crockett, Texas.  He cooks great burgers and awesome salads, served with a side of hugs and a pitcher of smiles.

Here is the link to his book, MEALS TO DIE FOR (There is a sound bar about halfway down the page you can stop if you need to.  It is also available on Amazon.com)

So.......I'm sitting in Waikiki, on the beach and my mind wanders to food.

I am facing surgery next week that is going to be pretty rough from what I have heard.  I'm tough though, so figure it will be bad, but not intolerable.  SO... back to the food.

I started thinking about what foods I should eat before I have surgery.  I started thinking about comfort foods before I have surgery.  I started thinking about ... before I have surgery.


I started thinking about all those food I have given up.  I started thinking about all the sweets I used to eat.  The mind was reliving all those bakery moments.

Then I got a cold, chilling realization that I was planning my LAST MEAL!


Wanna know?  It is so simple.  It is typical.

It was .................................




So.... that was just so weird and so stupid and so crazeeeee.

I turned it around and went on a liquid fast instead (not to worry, a healthy one).  I'll show me what for!!  Take that, Evil Thoughts!  Clean Heart wins every time! (Also want to be "empty" before surgery)

My heart wants to feel good.  My heart and emotions want to live long.  My heart, emotions, and body want to enjoy life.

People -- YOU WILL NOT DIE IF YOU NEVER EAT _______ AGAIN!  (fill in the food of your choice!)

Now HERE'S some meals to "die" for -- (ok.. NOT really, but some really good food!)





Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Thinking Trouble

Please excuse the photo indulgence, but I thought this was funny! hahahaha

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vision - Imaginative Insight

Imaginative - Having or showing creativity or inventiveness

Insight - The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing.

I would like to think that I can sometimes understand a situation by the creativity of my mind. I rely on insight and intuition. I have strong intuition which I am very grateful for because it has kept me one step ahead many times. Oh yes, there are times when I am totally blind, but I believe those are learning experiences.

My thoughts can run wild with creativity (WILD!) and it is important to reign it in and make a list of what is MOST important so that I don't lose the vision. If I am really trying to get somewhere then it is important to keep focused.

In no particular important order.... my top 5...

1. Diet

I have a goal that I have been fighting almost my entire life to reach. I have been sidetracked more times that I would like. I have allowed this because I lose my vision.

--- I must get back to basics. I must SEE where I am going and follow that map!

2. Exercise

ONE time in my life exercise was a large part of my day. I enjoyed it then, but it was because it was fun. I had a best friend and buddy and we kept each other encouraged. I could leg press 400 pounds. I was 13% body fat. oooo, aaaahhh... and tight. Then... buddy moved away and I lost my vision.

--- Perhaps I will never leg press 400 pounds again, but I must get back to moving. I must SEE the purpose in it and pursue it.

3. Work

I have always believed that I could do ANYTHING I put my mind and heart into. I have imagined myself in so many roles. I have owned a business. I have rubbed elbows with "semi" celebrities. I have made a difference in hundreds of lives. So now I am working a "job". Not a bad job, actually a very good job. But my entrepreneurial side is crying out, "Create!" This is a vision I never lose and often feels more like a curse! My brain is always searching for outlets.

--- I must love and accept this part of me. I must allow my creative brain chart the course and quit fighting it. AND of course, don't quit my day job because it finances the creativity. lol.

4. Friends & Family

Very complicated. My vision can only extend as far as others will allow. I have good friends and a great family. I have learned that both groups are 'seasonal' and because each person is on their own journey, we are often on different paths. I cannot force others to take my road and visa versa. The best I can do is keep moving forward with my vision and be thankful for those times when our paths cross.  I must learn to love more and regret less.

--- I must realize that not everyone can walk with me on my path. I must enjoy the company, but keep moving forward. I must keep my vision on my road in front of me.

5. Trust

I have to trust God. I believe that He is the beginning and the end. I trust Him to keep the vision in front of me. This is my safety.

--- I must trust more.

I suppose it can all be summed up in this quote:

Enjoy real food, move around, create the atmosphere, stay busy, love others, and trust God.

It was prophesied to me once that I was a "butterfly".  I enter a room and flit about lightly, landing occasionally, but always causing others to observe.  I scoffed at first and thought, "Butterfly?!?  Really?" ... but then the more I thought about it the more I realized that it was a pretty good way to live.  When a butterfly is near everyone gets very still and watches.  A butterfly brings a few minutes of pleasure for the observer.  Perhaps just a few second of not stressing about life.  

I have just flitted about and lightly landed in your brain for a few minutes, and now I am off to the next flower.  Selah.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Need a new map?

Finding your diet journey can be very confusing.  You see someone having wonderful success and you want to duplicate it.  You work it, but do not have success.  You feel like, "I must be broken because this works for everyone except me."  It leaves you frustrated, sad, defeated, and hopeless.

IF you can view it as an experiment and NOT a failure, this will help you find YOUR map for YOUR journey.

A friend gives you a map of a journey that THEY took and you head off to try it.  You read the signs slightly different than they did.  You drive a different vehicle than they did.  You get a different "mpg" than they did.  You end up taking longer than they did.  You might even end up 5 or 10 miles off course than they did.  Did that work for you?  Time for a new map.

Here are the various tweaks I have tried through the years:
NO carb or low carb
No fat or high fat (a personal favorite)
Exercise or NO exercise
Dairy or NO dairy
Artificial sweeteners or natural sweeteners or NO sweeteners
Counting calories or counting carbs or no counting at all
Low carb processed snack foods or real food only
Vitamins or only natural foods
Organic or not
Grass-fed or not
CT Therapy
Yeast free, gluten free, food free....


It can make you dizzy!

A person raises their hand high and says, "HERE!  I have the solution!" and we all scramble as sheep to the trough.  We graze and think, "Hmmm.. not bad. Wonder if it could be better?"  At this point, some of the sheep are very satisfied and have found their sweet spot.  Other sheep are thinking, "Bla-ahahaha... Not working!"

Another person raises their hand and says, "HERE! Here is the answer!" and again, the unhappy sheep scramble to the next trough in search of...

OKAY... let's put this in perspective. O N E  S I Z E  D O E S  N O T  F I T  A L L !

It is not a failure when the coat does not fit.  FIND A DIFFERENT COAT or you will freeze!

I mean, seriously.  If you went shopping and tried on a pair of shoes two sizes different than your foot, would you think, "OMG! I am such a failure!  Shoes do not fit me!  There is something wrong with me!  I give up and guess I WILL BE BAREFOOT FOR-E V E R !!"

We do that with diet, don't we?

It is your life.  Pursue it.

Try it on.  If it fits, wear it.  If it does NOT fit, put it back on the rack and move to the next size.

BUT by all means do not give up.

Things to try:
Journaling or blogging
Food monitoring (for allergies)
Carb counting
Coconut oil

... and above all RESEARCH.

You are repairing the damage done to the body after years of ignorance (personal experience).  It takes a good map and a few detours to find your way.  Just don't give up on the journey.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

It's not all about the food...

Life really isn't all about the food.

Life is so much more than food, but food normally seems to consume a large part of it.

Sometimes that is necessary - because I spent too many years in "excess" living so moderation is mandatory!

But today.. it is NOT about the food.  That is my choice.  I'm not making breakfast plans.  I'm not making lunch plans or dinner plans.  (and not to worry.. I will make wise choices simply by "lifestyle")

Today is about:

Ramona Denton and the Space Center at NASA.

(Me and Ramona -- and the Space Center)

Today is about:

Coffee (coffee + xylitol + coconut cream)

(LOL.. as is every day)

And finally:


(Dad is the one on the right with the "K" on his sweater)

(Dad, Mom, and cousin Sherry)

My dad was a welder and worked shift-work, which let my mom and I lots of time for shopping and running around.  We had to be quiet, or play outside when he was sleeping.  We had to make sure he had iced tea.  Dad built our house.  Dad made his own boat trailer.  Dad could build anything.  Dad had a large garden full of fresh vegetables.  Dad would rather drive than most anything else.

My memories:
1.  Sleeping.  Specifically sleeping in the hull of the shrimp boat.  I used to follow my dad everywhere, including going shrimping with him.  I would crawl up under the hull of the boat and nap while he was dragging the shrimp net.  I would wake up while he sorted the catch, which included poking crabs with a stick.

2.  Traveling.  Dad used to work a lot of overtime and save all of that money for a vacation every year.  He took me to every state in the U.S., except 5.  (And people wonder why I like to travel)

3.  Lunch.  After my mother died in 2005, dad would pick me up every day from work and we would go out for lunch.  He loves eating out, talking to people, and traveling.

4.  Shopping.  When I was little, Dad would take me to the grocery store every time he had to go pick up items for mom.  I almost always came home with a coloring book or some cheap little trinket.  (but I was not spoiled)

5.  Bail-out.  As a single parent, struggling to raise two boys, my dad was always there to keep my lights on. He did not have a lot of money, but he was generous with what he had.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Goofus and Gallant - Approaching Food

Many years ago I got braces to correct the gap between my front teeth.  It wasn't a large gap, but it was decided that there shouldn't be a gap and it was necessary to fix it.  I had the full set of braces including "head gear" that I had to sleep in every night for two years.  MANY children were running around with a wire wrapped around their face connected to a neck brace during my pre-teen years. (Photo is NOT me, only an example.  I took NO photos with braces)

It was at the dentist that I first began reading about "Goofus and Gallant" in the Highlights magazines.

Goofus was always negative, rude, pushy, and selfish.  Gallant was perfect.. always.

So this morning I started thinking about my food choices over the weekend.  I had several challenges:  a road trip to Dallas, an outing at the movies, and dinner with family.  Except for the very salty beef jerky at the movies, I did pretty good.  In spite of my best efforts, my hands were VERY puffy this morning.

WHICH led me to thinking about choices when eating.  I see a buffet table.  What do I see first?  Do I see what I CANNOT have instead of looking at what I CAN have?  Do I see the negative foods first, or do I see the positive choices?  Think about that.

As a Goofus? or as Gallant?

Here are your choices:

Look at all that food I cannot have! This is going to be too hard!
There is so much food, it will be easy to find what I can have!
Because I have been so good, one bite won’t hurt me this time.
Because I have been so good, I’m not taking one bite of anything that will derail me.
They insisted that I eat it so I had to.
I politely declined and quickly changed the subject.

Oh well, I just had to eat what was available.
I knew there might be a problem, so I planned in advance and had some snacks with me.

I’m on vacation so I’ll start back when I get home.
I’m on vacation and want to enjoy every minute not feeling bloated and sick, so I’ll make good choices.



I think about food all the time.
I have strategies in case my mind tries to obsess about food, like going for a walk.
I don’t know what was in it, but I didn’t want to appear rude and ask.
I politely asked what was in it, explaining that I have some food intolerances.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Beefing Up


My Cow.

I bought a "side of beef".  Not just any beef, but grass-fed beef with a name.  Why grass-fed?  Because I eat more beef than any other meat and grain-fed is NOT good for anyone.

Why a "name"?  I HAVE NO IDEA.  The rancher wanted to discuss the cow with me.  I did NOT want to know the name and I did NOT want to see a photo.

So ... what an adventure.  One I will likely not EVER repeat.  12 hour trip, sorting steaks on the fly to early pick-ups, coming up short because I forgot there was "tax" on it.  It was just WAY too complicated for my household.  Other members of said household are NOT happy with me about it.  But that is stuff for a different blog. lol.

This is what 1/2 a cow looks like:

That is approximately 257 pounds o' beef.  5 coolers and 4 bags.  (The bags were a total of 100 lbs worth of meat for an early pick up).  It was supposed to be 323 pounds, but at this writing 95 pounds are missing.  We are investigating what happened -- "Where's the Beef?"

As a hard-core city girl, and proud of that, I prefer for my food to arrive in a made-made container, please.

OR better yet ... on a plate:

ON a different NOTE:
Here is the link to the LOW CARB ROAST by Tom Naughton.  This was the entertainment at the pre-cruise dinner.  Enjoy!