Friday, January 31, 2014

Making tracks in the snow

Good morning:  This  morning's post is a video clip that I made with my thoughts about "making tracks in the snow."   Click the icon below to hear my thoughts today about journey to wellness.

Here's the link to the Youtube clip or you can watch it below:

Theresa Borawski - Weight loss motivation - Tracks in the snow

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Good morning!

Hello my friends..... 
Hopefully you get to do something today that you love.......but if not, do what you have to do WITH love!

Mostly.... start the day by loving yourself......warts....rolls of flab....extra pounds.....excess skin....wrinkles......failings......shortcomings.....temptations.....and all!

The only way you will be able to love others...and allow them to love you in return.... is by first loving yourself. You are worthwhile. You are beautiful. You are worth the effort you are putting into becoming healthier and happier. You DO DESERVE to treat yourself well and take care of yourself.   Even when we fail....even when we struggle....even when we give into temptation and disappoint yourselves....WE ARE CREATED in GOD's IMAGE....and He thinks we are beautiful in spite of our reflection in the mirror.

Make it a good day today....and keep your eyes open for all the ways that love is present in your life.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Things are not always what they appear!

Have you ever noticed that things are not always as they appear? I was so happy yesterday when I left work because the sun was shining. Even though the temperature hadn’t risen above zero all day, the presence of the sun made it appear warmer and was a promise of warmer days to come in a few months. Even the fact that it was actually still daylight when I was leaving the office was something to smile about. We are turning the corner and the days are getting longer.
I walked out to the car and even marveled that the pavement on the sidewalk was visible in spots; something I hadn’t seen in weeks.  I headed home, enjoying the sight of the snow glistening in the sunlight, when Bam…out of nowhere….the scene changed instantly. Suddenly, just about 3 miles into my journey, I found myself in the middle of a snow squaw that was literally like a blizzard. It was snowing and blowing so hard that I could hardly see the end of my hood. The road was snow covered with drifts a foot or more deep. I had to slow to a crawl, turn on my headlights, and inch my way along. It was almost unbelievable; like a scene out of a movie or something. After all, the sun was still shining in my rear-view mirror.
I focused all my attention to the road and worked my way home. After about 8 miles of these treacherous conditions, I was back in sunshine! So weird, but yet I’ve encountered the same type of thing in the spring and fall with fog or the blinding sun while traveling on due east-west roads. One minute the day was bright and happy and I could see for miles; the next I could see no way out of the situation; then again, all was well. 
Once out of danger, I began to ponder the experience and wondered what sort of lesson was waiting for me in that moment. God speaks to me in all sorts of ways and I’m a firm believer that we can learn something from just about everything that happens to us in the course of the day.  I began to reflect on the notion that “Things are not always how they appear.”
 Earlier in the day, I spoke with a student that had received a letter from the Financial Aid Office informing her that she was being given a “Warning semester” and that she was in danger of losing her financial aid eligibility. I deal with students like this on a daily basis. Some are placed on warning because they have dropped or failed too many classes. Others have very low grades and don’t meet the gpa standard required to remain eligible. Some have just taken too many credits without graduating. Often students on warning get these letters and immediately go into “panic mode.” This student was no different. She was concerned, upset, and confused, and immediately thought the worst.  While sorting out the situation with her, I discovered that “things are not what they appear” and that her situation was not because of poor performance, but simply because her Program of Study was incorrect in the college database system. A simple data change form took care of the problem and put her back in good standing with the Financial Aid department. It was not nearly as bad as it first appeared and her anxiety and distress was relieved.
How often do we do the same thing?  We get news from the doctor or a test comes back showing something unusual and we immediately jump to the wrong conclusion that we are dying.  We get called into the boss’s office and immediately assume we are in trouble or are losing our job. We have tense words with a friend or loved one and we immediately think the relationship is over.  SO many examples of this……… but in reality….THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT THEY APPEAR!  One failed test or poor grade doesn’t mean we are stupid and are going to fail the class. One harsh word or argument doesn’t mean that reconciliation isn’t possible. One pound or two gained doesn’t mean we are out of control. One bad day….one bad performance… moment of weakness or temptation doesn’t mean that we are not going to be successful. Even more serious things like unemployment, grief, loss, depression, or illness doesn’t mean that we are doomed to a life of unhappiness forever.  It’s just a temporary period of darkness on our journey through life.  Things are not always as bad as they first appear. The sun will be shining again….just give it time.
On the other hand….Things that appear to be “too good to be true” likely are! Not many people get rich quick by buying lottery tickets. Advertisements that promote “get quick investments” often prey on vulnerable people and end up bankrupting them. I’ve yet to meet the “perfect man or woman.” Likewise, there is no quick fix for lasting weight loss.  There is no easy way to magically get thin, even though the media, TV infomercials, and magazines promise that their product will painlessly melt away fat. There is no magic pill. Even bariatric surgery requires serious lifestyle changes on the part of the patient.  Sure, some of these gimmicks might work in the beginning, and perhaps there are some people that have found success using them, but I don’t know any of them personally.  Do you?  Lasting weight loss requires hard work….and a commitment for life. Don’t fall for the notion that you just have to take this supplement, drink this shake, do this plan, or take this pill for a little while and then you will lose weight and can go back to eating normally. 
The lesson I learned from my blinding snowstorm drive is simple:  Things are not always as BAD as they first appear, nor are they always as GOOD as they appear.  Life is all about good and bad; light and darkness; trials and triumphs.  The thing that gives me hope and comfort is realizing that I didn’t travel that road home alone yesterday; I didn’t face that storm by myself; and I don’t travel this journey through life alone either.  It’s much easier face those temporary moments of darkness, temptation, or struggle, when I’m aware that God is with me…promising never to leave me….promising that better days are ahead.  When times get tough…..just slow down, breathe, get through it a mile or an hour at a time, and trust that soon enough, you’ll be back in the sunshine of life. Don’t give up on your journey just because you encountered rough roads for a time. Keep going...the sun is shining at the end!

Make it a good day today!

Monday, January 27, 2014

What has made you go, "OH YEAH" so far today?

So earlier today I encouraged myself and you as well to think positive make the best of Monday. It's amazing how many things that happen throughout the day that are blessings...if we only look for them.'s still very early...and I just arrived at work....and here is my list so far of things that made me say, "Oh is good!"

I had a hot shower, a warm breakfast, and accomplished some things before I had to leave for work.

My car started even though the temperature is below zero.

I was able to walk away and resist that protein bar that was calling my name.....when I really wanted to eat it, even though I had already finished my breakfast.

The days are getting longer and by the time I got to work, I could see the sun beginning to rise over the horizon.

The Lake George postmaster, Paul E. Headworth, opened the office early for me so that I could mail the dozen or so packages of things I sold on EBay this weekend.

I saw 3 Road Commission trucks out working on the roads so I know that my drive home will be much less treacherous than this morning's drive.

Even though I was the first car in the parking lot at the college this morning (I'm always WAY TOO EARLY), the maintenance crew had the drive all plowed and the sidewalks all shoveled so I could easily get into the building.

The list will go on and on today.... WHY? Simply because I am looking for those blessings...those things to be grateful for....those little joys that surround us.

Let's see how big we can make our list today. What has made you go..."OH,'s great to be alive" so far today????

Happy Monday!

It's Monday! Too often we dread Monday mornings because we think of it as the END of the weekend....rather than the BEGINNING of a new week. Today, I am going to think about the possibilities of what this week may hold....of the progress I will make in my journey....of the people I may meet or get a chance to help....of the chances I'll have to prove that I am stronger than I think. I encourage you today to face Monday with a positive attitude, as an opportunity to start ove...r if you've struggled or slipped this the opportunity to grow and challenge yourself.

Just so you know... I'd absolutely rather be sitting in my pajamas on the lazyboy looking out at the below zero weather and snow than getting ready to face the elements and go to work.....BUT.... I can't do I'm going to make the best of it. You likely would rather be doing others things today....but you have responsibilities and obligations. Why not make the best of the day anyway???

Stay positive...and stay on track! it's a new day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

If only it was this easy.......

Good morning!  I saw this posted on another group I belong to and just had to swipe it. It is so appropriate for this cold weather we've been having in the north. Sigh....if only it were that easy!
It reminded me of a futile attempt to lose weight in my younger years with a new type of exercise that involved machines that was supposed to just "shake the fat off."  I can't recall the name of the place, but when I lived back in South Rockwood, a new business moved into the old fire hall. The room was filled with all sorts of exercise machines that required no work on the part of the participant. On one of the machines, you had to lay down and the machine would shake the table and it moved your body for you. Another moved your legs and arms. I can't recall all the different types of machines but people would go there and let the machines do the exercise for you. It was supposed to work, but I don't see how it could. It certainly didn't for me, my sister, or my mom.  Of course, we're talking more than 25 years ago so I likely have forgot a lot about that place. I was only reminded of it today when I saw this clip about shivering. Does anyone else remember a fad like that?
Oh...the crazy ideas....the easy solutions.....the quick fixes.....we all wish we could find....and likely, we've all tried at one time or another.....the lies and false advertising we've all bought into.....just to lose weight.  The advertisers are counting on us to "fall for the gimmicks" believe that just taking this one pill....or drinking this one cleansing concoction.... or buying this one particular piece of exercise equipment will painlessly and magically make us thin.   Well, my friends... if it were easy....and if there were such miraculous inventions out there that really worked.....well, then....would any of us, including myself, continually fight the battle of the bulge?  The truth is.... it's NOT EASY. There is no magic pill. There is no fool-proof, guaranteed diet or supplement. There is no easy, pain-free, work-free, way to exercise. It's tough work....BUT....IT CAN BE DONE....and it is WORTH EVERY BIT OF EFFORT!
What are some of the crazy ideas that you've fallen for?  How have they worked for you?  Were you able to maintain the success after you lost the weight? 
Don't fall for the gimmicks.....put your trust in your higher power. Surrender your situation. Find a plan that you can live with forever and find some sort of activity that you enjoy doing.  We all can do it....if we're willing to do what it takes.   Have a good day today, my friends!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I hate FEAR! It is crippling and sabotaging.

As I mentioned in a post a week or so ago, I have begun the process of getting rid of the clothing that I can no longer wear by selling some items on EBay. I knew that this was going to be a lot of work. The time it takes to launder, describe, photograph, list, and mail the packages sometimes makes me wonder if it’s worth it, but I know that it is time to let these things go.  What I didn’t know is how emotionally difficult this would be. For several days now, I’ve been struggling and dealing with emotions that I didn’t expect. 

It was easier with the first batch of things I listed and sold because I didn’t have any emotional connection with them. Many of the items were things that I only wore a few times or things that I never wore at all.  Last weekend I brought a few bags of the largest items, 5X 6X and beyond, and began to sort through the items. As I inspected each garment, it seemed like there were so many memories attached to them. I admit that I am WAY TOO emotional about things. I remembered times I wore the item, especially the nicer things that I wore to work. I remembered the pain, the sadness, and the difficulty that I buried deep inside. I remember how hard it was for me to go to work, to get around, to attend meetings, to be seen by my peers in that motorized wheelchair, wondering how many of them were casting judgment on me.
Today I went through a bag of more casual clothes; things that I remember vividly wearing to the college when I was an unemployed student. I remembered the struggle of school and unemployment. I remember how hard and embarrassing it was to be the biggest student in the room, mostly likely the entire student body. Not all the memories of those days were bad; in fact, many were great, happy moments, especially those around my time as a student at MMCC. I smile now when I remember how the “fat old lady” in the class scored the highest grade on the test. I remember how that “old Theresa in advising” felt when she was able to help a student succeed. I remembered the times that I wore the dresses and skirts that are now listed on EBay and the happy occasions that were celebrated.  I know that I am way to emotional....but certainly writing about and facing those emotions in this venue is a lot healthier than “feeding them” as I used to.
The biggest emotion I am dealing with this week, and especially today, is FEAR. That ugly, horrible, emotion that can (and for me, did…..literally) cripple us.  Fear was my stumbling block then. I lived in fear…of failure, of rejection, of trying something new. It kept me from trying to lose weight. It kept me from dealing with grief.  It kept me from making commitments to things….and relationships. It kept me isolated and alone.  I hate FEAR! I don’t think anyone likes it.  
Today, as I sort through these clothes, I’m not afraid of exactly the same things as I used to be, but still I am afraid.  Mostly, I am afraid of letting go of these clothes because I remember how difficult it was to find them, and I’m afraid I am going to need them again someday.  That horrible fear of failure….what if I gain my weight back?  What if I let you all….and myself…. down? What if I’m like the 95% of people that  can’t keep the weight  off?  What if I can’t do it?  What if…what if….what if…..  Absolutely, positively TERRIBLE, thoughts to even think!!!  I must get rid of those thoughts very soon.
As I was trying to talk some common sense into myself a while ago, Oprah came on. She was doing a special episode called “where are they now” and one of her guests lost more than half of his size (about 250 pounds). He appeared on the show in 2009 or 2010.  Today, they brought him back and interviewed him, and he has gained every pound and then some back. He said that he now weighs more than 500 pounds but he doesn’t know his exact weight because his scale only goes to 500 pounds. This was not what I expected …..and certainly NOT WHAT I NEEDED TO HEAR!!!! 
SO…… How am I going to deal with this?  How am I going to process this ‘garbage” in my mind that is threatening to sabotage me?  Well…certainly not the way “Old Theresa” would.  She would have taken the bags back out to the garage and just “not dealt with the emotion at all.” She would have denied them, hid them, and ultimately drowned them out with an entire bag of potato chips, a 2 liter bottle of Faygo Peach Soda, and a half of pack of chocolate chip cookies.  Geez….no wonder I weighed 428 pounds!     New Theresa is dealing with it a little differently. 
The first thing I am doing differently is that I’m acknowledging the feelings. I’m being vulnerable and sharing them even as irrational and foolish as they sound. I’m accepting the emotions as part of me, and not being too hard on myself for feeling them. Remember what I said before…..feelings are neither right nor wrong; they just are. It’s what we do and how we act on those feelings is what can be damaging or freeing. 
Secondly, I am realizing that my fear is unfounded.  Yes, I know that people gain weight back. Yes, I know that it’s going to be hard. Yes, I know that is QUITE POSSIBLE that I might need those 6X clothes again. It is POSSIBLE….but It’s NOT going to be my reality.  Why?  Because I am NOT “old Theresa” anymore and in three years there has not been even one slip-up, not one bite of ice-cream, not one potato chip.  There is not any evidence that should make me even think that I will fail. I don’t live in that world anymore.  I have been set free by God.   I  have changed my way of life; I didn’t go on a diet.  I also know how to do it; I know how to make good choices; I know what I need to do to maintain this lifestyle; I know that with God’s help, I can be successful.  I also know that I am a miracle….and the choice is mine each day….each hour….each meal whether I want to live like this…… or like Old Theresa. The best thing….is that all of this is POSSIBLE for you too!
TODAY….I am making a decision that I’ve had enough of the fear.  Enough of the doubt. Enough of the excuses about why I need to keep this stuff. Enough of the “what if’s” and “I might.”  Enough of the shame.  I don’t want to carry these thoughts in my head any longer; I’m letting them go.
I shared this “stuff” today because I wanted you see how easily our thoughts and feelings can sabotage our efforts to change our life; how easily we can talk ourselves into failure; how easily we can slip into our old ways.  I also wanted you to see how “human” I am and to realize that I’m just like you in many ways and I struggle with some of the same things that you might. I wanted you to see that “stuff” doesn’t go away when you hit your goal. I wanted you to see WHY I am so adamant that you spend more time being concerned about changing your mind and heart because that is the place where true transformation begins.  
I know that I will get through this day without binging and I know that you can get through whatever it is that might be troubling you today.  Not by ourselves….but by the Grace of God.  Don’t give in to the emotions. Don’t give in to the Fear. Don’t’ give in to the doubt.   I CAN…and I WILL continue to walk in victory and freedom….and YOU CAN TOO! 
Thanks for letting me vent and be vulnerable!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Things don't happen overnight

What a great reminder for us this morning that we must be patient and realize that true, lasting change isn't going to happen overnight. When we totally surrender something to God....and admit that we can't do it on our own and ask for help, then we must trust that IN TIME, it will happen. Even when the scale doesn't seem to budge, even when we get turned down time and t...ime again for a job interview, or our relationships and/or attitude doesn't seem to be getting any better, it's important to realize that not all positive change is Visible on the outside. There are changes taking place in your your your heart that sometimes don't show up on the outside, but they are oh so important. Don't lose heart; you are making progress. Keep up the good work and make it a wonderful day.....regardless of the circumstances!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I'm watching the words I tell myself

The words we speak have power over how we act and what we do. I needed to remind myself today to watch the messages that I tell myself.  Click the video below to hear my thoughts on watching what I say.

Theresa Borawski - Watching what we say

Don't give up what you want most.....for a donut...or cigarette....or drink

Good Morning!  I was out way past my bedtime last night so I'm really sleepy this morning. I've noticed that I experience more temptation to stray off track when I'm tired.....or stressed, or sad, or know that emotional eating, binging, drinking thing.   In any case, I'd really like a stack of pancakes and sausage this morning, and I'm glad that I don't keep that stuff in the house anymore, but I stuck to my plan and just finished 2 eggs and 2 pieces of low-calorie toast.
 This clip art certainly hit home today.  Sure, I would have enjoyed the pancakes and sausage but how long would that enjoyment last?  How long before the sweet taste of syrup turned into the sour taste of guilt and defeat?  How long before I would have regretted giving in?  Likely not long enough for the calories to be burned off.
Such a good reminder this morning.....Don't give up what you want most.....for what you want right now. It just isn't worth it. Be can do it!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Have you noticed the icicles lately?

Good morning from cold Michigan! It’s early….still dark….and only 4 degrees…..but as I sit here enjoying my last cup of coffee before leaving for work, I can’t help but be grateful for the day.  I spent a great deal of time this morning looking out the window and enjoying the view from my lazy boy. Today it wasn’t deer or falling snow that captured my interest, but rather the icicles and the beautiful display that was created on the butterfly bush by the melting of the snow and its transformation into ice.  The view is breathtakingly beautiful because my bright LED security light is situated in such a way that it shines on the icicles hanging from the eave and also on the many icicles that have formed on the branches below, causing them to shimmer and glow against the darkness.
Have you ever taken a few minutes to notice the icicles?  Each one of different shape….some longer…some shorter….some wider…..essentially created out of the same process of melting and refreezing, but each taking on its own uniqueness.  If they were all the same, then even though they would likely still be nice to look at, they certainly would not be quite so interesting and majestic. It’s their “differences” in size, shape, texture, etc., when grouped together, that makes a sight to behold.
 Sort of like us……each different….some bigger, some smaller….some older, some younger…..some who appear to have it “all together”, and some, like me, who are trying daily to “figure it out”.  Some of us have been subjected to more of life’s trials or “heat” and we look, act, and think different than others. Some have been on a journey for a longer time….some are new to this “change” process.   The amazing thing is that… “It doesn’t matter!”  When we all come together….with all of our baggage, our trials, our joys, and our successes…..then God will use us to bring beauty into the world.  There isn’t one of those icicles that is more beautiful than another, in spite of its size. Nor is any of us any better than another, regardless of our size, our bank account, our educational level, years of sobriety or pounds lost.  One icicle hanging on an eave is just a chunk of melting ice….but together…..WELL….Take a look the next time you see a beautiful display of them, and see if you see what I see.  (Sorry those of you in warm weather!)
One final thought…… This gorgeous display of brilliance and light would not have been possible without a MELT-DOWN!  The combination of precipitation and sun; of warmth and cold; night and day; of CHANGE….essentially a Melt-down is what created these icicles. Have you had a melt-down lately?  Have you slipped or fell of track?  Have you already abandoned your new year’s resolutions?  Have you given up?  If so…don’t fret….it’s not over. It’s not too late. You haven’t lost the war.  God can use this melt-down to make something beautiful for the world to see. Surrender it…allow him to help you….get back on track and start over.  Melt-downs are part of life; don’t let it cause you to give up! Make something beautiful of your day today.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Worry is just a waste of time!

I don't know about you....but I have too much to do today to spend time worrying about stuff that I cannot change or control. I'm a worry-wart by nature, so my word for the day is in a God that has things under control; trust in my ability to handle whatever comes my way; trust that deep down inside, there is goodness in every person, even when it's hard to recognize; and trust that even though there are many things about myself and my life that I don't particularly like, that God is patient and loving and will be with me every moment of this day. 
If you are finding yourself weighed down by worry, as hard as it is to do, I encourage you to surrender it......lay it down....and try to find something to smile about.  Make it a good day today!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Hope....Faith....Courage: The keys to successfully changing our life!


I’m not sure how I came across this quote, but it certainly provided me with a lot of food for thought this morning. I’ve heard and used those words, Faith…Hope…Courage…multiple times in my life. These same words have been even more meaningful to me on my journey to better health and mobility, but I’ve never really thought much about them until I saw this quote.

Hope is wishing something would happen.
Faith is believing something will happen.
Courage is making something happen.

As I reflect on my journey these past few years, I can certainly see that Faith, Hope, and Courage played a significant role. Many times in life, we put our hope and our faith in things that we cannot control and then when things don’t turn out, we become disappointed and lose trust in ourselves and others. For example….we cannot control ‘things” like weather and time. We might say, “ I hope the sun shines for our picnic.” We might even involve God and say things like, “I claim a sunny day…or I have faith that God will make the sun shine,” but even if it rains, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t exist or that He didn’t hear our prayer. It simply means that the sky was full of moisture and the clouds couldn’t contain it anymore. It has nothing to do with whether or not God loves us or hears our prayers. We simply cannot control the weather.

Sometimes our hope involves other people. “I hope that he changes his behavior and stops hurting me.” “I hope the new guy at work likes me.” “I hope that the Tigers win the World Series next year.” Certainly we can “Hope” or wish that things were different; that people were different; that the weather was favorable; that we win the lottery……whatever, but ultimately, we cannot do anything to make those things happen. All we can do is control ourselves….make ourselves as likeable as possible; set expectations for how we want to be treated; be prepared for whatever happens and whatever the weather may be.

Faith is similar. As the quote says, “Faith is believing that something will happen.” I am a woman of faith, but I’ve learned over the years that misplaced faith leads to heartache and disappointment. So many times I was sure that something would happen, that life would be different, that I’d have the perfect job, that I’d make a home with the perfect man, that I’d one day wake up and discover that I had the body of Bo Derek. (stop laughing! ) Over the years, through many heartaches and trials, I’ve learned that FAITH in anything or anyone other than God is misplaced. Over and over again throughout my life….even in the hardest times of grief and sadness….even when I wanted to just give up and die…..even when I found it difficult to even get up in the morning…..I have learned that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS….God will never leave me and He will always give me what I need to deal with whatever comes my way. These days I don’t have “faith or believe” that I’m going to win the lottery, that I’ll become a millionaire, or become president of the United States, but I have faith that God can do…and will do… great things in my life, if I surrender and trust and DO MY PART!

In terms of my weight loss, I can see where Faith, Hope, and Courage were significant. It wasn’t until all three of these things came together that I was able to begin to change. I used to say, “ I hope that I lose weight someday.” “I hope that I can pass my classes in college.” “I hope I get the job I applied for.” Hope is the first step, but if we sit there with a bag of chips in our laps, never open up a text book or study, or fill out a job application, hope is futile. If we didn’t hope and wish that things were different, we’d never do something to help us reach our fullest potential.

Next comes faith. I could have HOPED for the rest of my life that I would lose weight, but until I had truly had FAITH and believed that not only COULD it happen but that it WOULD happen; that I could do it, not on my own, but with God’s grace, nothing would have happened. This step…BELIEVING…that things can change…is the hardest step because it involves the most trust, both in ourselves, our ability, our potential, and in a higher power that we may or may not have a loving relationship with. If you have been disappointed over and over again in life; if you feel that God has let you down in the past or dealt you a losing hand, then it will be hard to put your trust in Him. If you’ve tried repeatedly to lose weight, quit smoking or drinking, or commit to a plan of exercise, then it will be hard to believe that THIS TIME will be different. You need to work through it. You need to let those past failures go. You need to realize that you cannot do anything alone, but with God, you can do all things! If you trust Him….if you surrender your will…if you admit your powerlessness….you CAN AND YOU WILL….change your life. It all begins in your mind, though, and then your body cooperates. You must believe that it will happen, even when you don’t see progress…even when you give in to temptation….even when you, GASP….gain a pound or two (or more). When you truly believe…when you have faith in your partnership with God….then you will be strong and you will succeed.

Finally, comes COURAGE…..MAKING it happen. You can hope all you want. You can believe all you want, but until you let go of the fear of failing, of giving up, of hard work, and do SOMETHING…. then NOTHING will happen. I used to be consumed by fear; it controlled my thoughts. I was afraid of dying alone; I was afraid of losing my home because I couldn’t pay the bills and because we had an arsonist living in my neighborhood; I was afraid of losing my independence (heck, I couldn’t walk or stand up as it were) and having to move into a nursing home; I was afraid of being alone because I had pushed everyone away; and I was afraid to trust or love because I could not bear to lose another person to death. Mostly I was afraid of failing….at school….at work….and in my weight loss journey (that’s why I didn’t tell anyone I was trying to lose weight for several weeks.) Finding the courage to even TRY….was the hardest part of this journey. Being willing to say that it was ok if I faltered and realizing that nothing was ever going to change if I didn’t make an attempt, was a turning point.

None of these things….hope, faith, and courage….come easy, and none of us will ever practice them perfectly. I struggle daily with them, especially when I’m weary. In times of weakness, I doubt that I will be able to continue this journey. I lose faith in my OWN ability and forget that I cannot do ANYTHING alone. I fear that I will slip; that I will gain weight; that I will disappoint myself and others. Don’t think that even after you lose weight or successfully give up a habit that it will become easy. It doesn’t. It’s a daily choice. Just like yours. Every day I must continue to hope….and pray….and be grateful…..and have the faith and courage to keep going. You all help me do that, in much the same way that I hope that I help you.
So…today….wherever you are in your thinking….remember this…..if you haven’t yet come to the point of having hope, faith, or courage for yourself…. I have it for you.

This is my sincere wish for all of you:

I HOPE that things will be different and better for those of you that are hurting, sad, or struggling in any way, and desire to make a change.

I have FAITH that if you cooperate with your higher power and put for the effort, that things CAN and WILL change.

And I make the sincere promise that I will do anything I can to support you….to encourage you….to inspire you… help you find the COURAGE to make it happen!
None of us are ever alone on this journey.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Don't lose hope!

It's Sunday.....a day to rest, a day to celebrate, a day to enjoy the blessings of friends and family, but mostly a day to be grateful. Don't lose hope today...keep on believing that your miracle is possible. Have a wonderful, peaceful, day and try to recognize the good things that happen, even if you find that your day is filled with struggles and pain. Don't lose Hope. All things are possible!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A busy Saturday planned

Happy Saturday! I’m so glad I made it through this crazy busy week. Actually it has been a crazy busy month. I am really tired and running on fumes, but I have a list of things that I must do today so there is no time to rest. I’m off town (45 minute drive each way) this morning for a hair appointment, grocery shopping, and other miscellaneous errands. This will last until mid-afternoon. The rest of the day and weekend will be filled with laundry, homework (for my classes, not house work which is certainly needed but unlikely to happen), trying to make a dent in my overflowing email box, and some other miscellaneous projects that I really need to get done. Tomorrow I will go to mass, cook dinner for my friend, and continue working on my ‘stuff.”
As if I don’t already have enough to do, I’ve started to list some of the plus size clothing that I no longer can wear on EBay with the hopes of starting a fund to use as “seed money” for the book I hope someday to write. Writing it won’t be easy, but it is likely easier to write a book than afford to get it published, so getting stuff back into my EBay store is a great way to start saving for that….and to get rid of some of the bags and boxes of clothes (numbering at least 100, no kidding....) that are currently in my garage. A very big task indeed, but a few items at a time and I’ll be making progress.  Just like weight loss….or recovery….or sobriety….a few pounds, a few days, a few hours at a time…..and a month, or a year from now, there will be progress!
I brought a bag of 5X stuff in from the garage last night and opened it up to see if there was anything worth keeping or selling and I must admit, IT WAS VERY DIFFICULT emotionally for me to look at that bag. I didn’t expect that reaction or those feelings to surface; after all, I carry a pair of size 40W jeans and a 5X blouse with me to my speaking engagements, so I’m often faced with the reality of “where I came from”, but opening this bag caught me off guard, perhaps because I am so emotionally, physically, and mentally fatigued from these past two weeks of late nights and stressful registration at the college.
 As I looked at those items, mostly summer clothing in this bag, all sorts of memories came flooding back to what my life was like three summers ago when I wore those things. First of all, I couldn’t believe that I allowed myself to get that big. Second, I couldn’t believe that I used to wear clothes that looked like that, but I had no choice: I had to wear whatever I could find that fit me, regardless of the style or whether it flattered me. I was just grateful to be able to find things to cover my 400+ pound body. Most of the time, it was the largest size available in the catalog.  Many of the things were given to me by a friend who had successful weight loss surgery back then, but has since gained the weight back. It was a true blessing to get those clothes back then because at the time I was unemployed, in college, and unable to afford to buy new ones.  As I pulled items out of the bag, I began to recall certain events or times when I wore a particular shirt or top and I remembered the struggle and pain, and all the emotion, I felt on that day and hard my life was then. So many painful memories and emotions attached to those clothes. I went to bed very grateful that God set me free from that life, but also with lingering sadness for the years I spent being trapped in that body. I also prayed for all those people in the world that are currently experiencing that reality and are hurting. I pray that one day, they too, will be sorting through reminders of an old life.
As difficult and time consuming as it will be for me to sort, launder, photograph and list those items on EBay, and as reluctant as I’ve been to get rid of them, (just in case I gain the weight….GOSH, THAT UGLY FEAR TAKING OVER), it is time in my journey to deal with the reality…to embrace the pain, shame, embarrassment of those years…and to GET RID OF IT……not just the physical clothing…but the emotions attached to them. It’s time to LET IT GO…piece by piece….day by day. Not easy…but worth it, I hop
So…what do you have planned this weekend?  Whatever you do be safe….and stay motivated….and be happy!

Friday, January 17, 2014

How is driving in the snow like my journey?

Good morning my friends! I’m sitting here in the dark looking out the window at the gently falling snow. It’s beautiful, but I must admit, when I first woke up and looked out to see it snowing AGAIN, my first reaction was, “UGH! SNOW….AGAIN….Will it ever stop snowing?”  Compared to many parts of the country, and even Michigan, we really don’t have that much snow on the ground, but it just seems like we get snow almost every day.  It’s not the snow I mind, it’s the driving in it that makes me groan.

Once I reminded myself that there isn’t anything I can do to control the weather, I poured myself  a cup of coffee and just watched it fall. It really is lovely when it hangs on the trees and covers the brown dormant lawn and plants. Perhaps its beauty is part of God’s way of making the cold temperatures more bearable????

I started thinking about my drive to work and decided that I would need to leave earlier than usual because the roads will likely be slippery. I’ll admit, that even though I live in rural northern Michigan, I do not like to drive in the snow. In fact, it is always an anxious drive for me and I worry terribly when others in my life are driving in bad conditions. The recent death of my cousin in an auto accident on snowy roads only makes it worse, but yet, unless I locked myself in my house for 5 months of the year, it’s something that I need to deal with. SO… I’ll do what I need to do: slow down, leave early, allow extra time to stop, etc.

Two months ago, under these same conditions, my stress level would have been much higher, not because there was less snow, but because I was “out of practice” and hadn’t done it in several months.  Today, after two months of traveling on snow-covered roads on an almost daily basis, arriving safely at my destination, dealing with the conditions, figuring out “how to do it again”, gaining confidence in my ability to control the vehicle, making adjustments in my driving habits,  it is easier and less stressful. Still not fun, but sort of a way of life….at least for a few more months.

Sort of like our journey to a better us, isn’t it? 

I remember at the beginning of my personal journey I was so afraid: afraid that I would fail; afraid that it would be too hard; afraid that I would give up.  I was anxious: I don’t know how to do this healthy stuff; I don’t like to exercise; I don’t really know anything about nutrition. I was dreading it:  I don’t like vegetables that much; I can’t afford healthy food; I don’t have the willpower to do this; I just want to go to bed and eat a bag of chips; this is WAY TOO HARD!  I didn’t want to do it: So what, I’m fat, who cares, I’ve always been fat; Who cares that I can’t go out to dinner because I can’t walk or fit in the booth at the restaurant; I’m just going to die soon anyway, I might as well eat what I want.   So much anxiety. So much apprehension. So much fear. So much, that I put it off for years, until I finally couldn’t  walk or put it off any more.  I finally had to face my fears, face the reality of my life, face the scale and the mirror, and admit that I was out of control and that my life literally was a mess.  And so…. I began this incredible journey; this journey that has changed my life; this journey that has allowed our paths to cross via this group, my blog, or other media; this journey that is nothing short of a miracle. 

It wasn’t easy in the beginning and it isn’t easy now, but it is easier and less stressful now than it was, not because sticking to the plan is easier, but because I’ve practiced it and lived it for almost 3 years now. It has become a way of life. It has become something that I just ‘do” almost without thinking. I’ve made adjustments. I’ve avoided situations that could cause me to slip up. I’ve learned how to deal with it. Did the fear go away? Nope! I still worry if I will be able to keep the weight off. Did the anxiety go away? Nope! I still wonder if I will be strong enough to resist temptation, if I will have the courage to share my story, if I will run out of things to say.  Do I like following this eating plan? Not really! I’d really like to eat a cheeseburger and fries (been almost 3 years since I’ve had either) instead of grilled chicken and broccoli. It’s not easy at all, but the choice is mine to make each day: either I continue on this journey or I don’t.

Just like driving in the snow.  I have a choice to make.  I can just sit here and choose to stay home and compromise my job security. I could turn down every invitation that comes during the winter months and isolate myself from the world. I could choose to only venture out when the sun is shining and the roads are dry (likely not until April). OR… I could choose to make adjustments. I could get up out of this lazy boy chair and get dressed for work. I could drive as slow as I need to in order to be safe. I could embrace the challenge and enjoy the beauty of this winter wonderland. I could be grateful that winter only lasts about 5 months and spring will be here before I know it.   I think I’ll put on my boots and head to work! I have a choice….but with every choice comes consequences.


You have a choice about your journey too.  Are you going to do it?  Are you going to embrace the challenges?  Are you going to face your fear and anxiety? Are you willing to make the adjustments and sacrifices needed to get to your destination? Are you going to go as slow as you need to?   OR….are you going to just sit there and do what you’ve been doing? Are you going to wait for some magic pill to be invented that will make you thin without any effort? Are you going to pray that you just wake up one day and all your desires/addictions/problems are just gone?  Or are you going to get up….get a plan….face the challenge….and DO IT??

 All I can say is this: It won’t be easy….you’ll make mistakes and slip up (maybe end up in a ditch or go off the road)….you’ll want to quit (turn around and go home)…you’ll wonder why you even tried in the first place (why didn’t I just stay home)…..BUT…..YOU WILL NEVER GET TO WHERE YOU WANT TO GO….. if you don’t  at least try!

One word of wisdom….be wise and be prudent in your choices. It would be absolutely foolish….and unnecessary….for me to venture out in a blizzard or a foot of snow. It would be crazy for me to attempt to travel and disregard the “stay off the roads” warnings issued by the experts. It would be silly for me to think that I can handle impassable or completely unsafe road conditions. Short of a death in the family or emergency health crisis, there’s no need to make foolish choices and put my safety at risk.  Likewise, it would be foolish for me to go on one of those crazy fad diets or take unsafe diet pills or do disregard the health warnings of the experts. There is no need for me to do that. You need to make the best choices for your personal health, but please be safe in doing so. Sometimes, it’s just not worth the risk.

A final thought….My first words when I enter in my vehicle are always similar to this, “Be with me, God, as I begin this journey. Keep me safe, protect me, help me reach my destination,” etc.  I wouldn’t even think about going anywhere, let alone in treacherous conditions, without God at my side.  My first words each morning are similar, “Be with me God as I begin this day…keep me safe…keep me focused…keep me motivated”….etc.  I wouldn’t even think; in fact, it isn’t possible for me to be where I am today without God’s grace.  Take Him with you on your physical journey. Make him part of your emotional journey. Trust him to guide you in your personal journey to better health. Don’t try to do it without your higher power.
You have a choice to make today. I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to go to work. I’m going to eat healthy. I am going to stick with the plan. And mostly, I am going to be grateful that I don’t have to make the drive…or go through this journey….ALONE!

What are you going to do?
Make it a good day today!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Just a tad different

Here's the new picture they took at the college for my department's page of the college website. The other one is the first one they took for the same page, back in March 2011. Just a little bit of a difference.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Do you have the courage to start to change your life?

It's lunch time!  We're now 2 weeks into the New Year. How are you doing with your resolutions?  Still trying to keep them, or still trying to get motivated to START doing them????  It's not too late. You can start today. You can start right now. Don't fret if you already 'blew it" (whatever it is). Start all over. Like the picture take COURAGE to start. You've got this. You can do it. Ready.....Set....GO!

Make a difference

I hope you decide today to make a difference in someone's life. It doesn't matter how big or small the deed or whether the person is a friend or stranger. Choose today to be be kind and loving....and take watch how day-by-day you begin to transform your life and you find yourself empowered to reach your goals, whatever they may be. Change someone else's life for the better today....and in turn, you will be changed. Have a good day. I'll post again later as time allows.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How do you define success?

Many times the world tells us to that success can be defined in "numbers."  How much money do you have in the bank; what's the square footage of your house; how much do you weigh; how much do you make, etc.  I define success a bit differently.  Click my video below to hear my thoughts on SUCCESS! 

Here is the Youtube link if you can't view the video.

Don't get discouraged

Good morning my friends. Gosh, I'm in the midst of ANOTHER incredibly busy week. Even though I get up before 4 am each day, some days it seems like there still isn't enough hours in the day to do all the things that need to be done. The semester began this week so the college is buzzing with students and my docket has been beyond full with appointments, each with their own crisis or issues. Lots of stress on both sides of my desk this week!   It will all level out next week, but in the meantime, please be patient with me as my postings will be minimal this week because of overtime hours. I’ve also started my two classes this week, so it will take a bit of adjustment to get a schedule down to manage all these responsibilities.


BY now, many of you are into the 2nd week of your journey. Congratulations on making it this far. The beginning is always the hardest.  I want to caution you that this week could test your resolve. It's not unusual to lose a large amount of weight in the first week....sometimes even 5-7 pounds....but that is mostly water weight. This initial loss can be thrilling and give us the burst of motivation to keep with it; but it’s unrealistic to expect to lose that much each week. One or two pounds a week is a good pace, but sometimes it might even be less than that. Those of you that have a large amount to lose (say 100 pounds or more) might lose at a much faster pace. I was losing about 4 pounds a week in the beginning.  But…that eventually levels off and as I continued to lose, the pace slowed down significantly.  Don’t get discouraged….don’t lose hope if you go to your weigh-in and find that you’ve stayed the same or lost just a little bit.  Even 1 pound a week is 50 pounds a year and that is one less pound that you have to lose. PROGRESS Is PROGRESS regardless of how slow!

Make it a good day today. Remember, you can’t control the weather; you can’t control the people around you or your co-workers; you can’t control the things that will happen to you this day, but you can control how you react to them and the choice is yours whether today will be a good day or not! I hope you choose to make it a good one!

Monday, January 13, 2014

God is great, regardless of our situation!

It's Monday....The roads are icy....I have to (no, I GET to) work late pants feel tight...I[m sleepy.....BUT... in spite of this, GOD IS GREAT, and TODAY is going to be a great day. Regardless of what your life is like today; regardless of what the scale says; regardless of the difficulties; and BECAUSE you have been blessed with a new day, God is great. This video was the best 5 minutes I spent this morning. Hope you take the time to listen to this rendition of one of my favorite songs, and it blesses you on your journey today. Have a good one!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

From night to day

One of the things I like about the weekend is that I actually get to see Daylight. During these winter months, it is dark when I go to work and it is dark when I get home so I rarely get to see the sun shine. Fortunately, the days are getting a bit longer each day and in just a few months, it will be light enough in the mornings to enjoy my coffee outdoors and in the evenings to take a walk or a bike ride. Sometime we have to endure periods of darkness so that we truly appreciate the light. Until then, I’ll just enjoy what little daylight I get to experience.

I have a big spotlight that shines outside the back window, so even in the wee hours of the night, I get to see the deer and other critters feeding in the yard and/or watch the gently falling snow. This is dusk-to-dawn spotlight that is bright enough to light up the entire yard. Yesterday morning, I was camped out on my lazy boy chair enjoying a cup of coffee and watching the night turn into day. As the dawn crept in, the birds soon followed, and were feeding even before daylight. They must be very hungry these days as food is scarce. In any case, as I was looking out the window, I watched as the spotlight went from “on” to “off” signaling the end of night and beginning of a new day. It didn’t do it gradually, but just in an instant, the day was bright enough to shine on its own and the light went out.

I pondered that moment throughout the day yesterday and thought about all of the times in my life when I experienced that “light going out” and “the light going on”, sometimes without any warning.  The light went out in my life that August night in 1991 when I was in my 20’s and I received a knock on the door in the middle of the night telling me that my mother had died unexpectedly. The light went out when I came back from Christmas vacation in 2003 and was told that my job at the church would end in June, again completely unexpected. The light went out when I got the diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and was told that there is no cure but it could be managed with medication. Over and over throughout our life, we get news, encounter troubles, experience tragedy, hardship, weather, illness….you name it….. where the “light” in our world just goes out without warning. In a blink of an eye, we can go from light to dark and vice-versa.  Fortunately, in those times of darkness, I have a God that carries me through and lights the way.

Likewise, there have been multiple occasions when the “light just went on”; again sometimes instantaneously. In the classroom, I experienced it multiple times when a student would suddenly just “get it” and finally understood a concept I was trying to teach. As a student myself, I experienced the same thing. In my relationships and friendships, I experienced it when I, or others, finally understood that “when I/you do this….I/you feel that….” ­­and the relationship was saved or improved by a change in behavior. ­­­­Each time I experience the death of a loved one or friend, the “light goes  out and then on” when I remind myself that Life is so incredibly short and I need/want to cherish each day as a gift from God.  I’m sure that you can think of dozens of other times, professionally and personally, when the light went on, and suddenly “you could see” the situation as it was and knew what needed to be done.

Often times, there is a “light bulb” moment that prompts a major life change. In terms of addiction, it could be a DUI arrest, a job loss, or a broken relationship that finally prompts the person to change.  Perhaps it is a health scare, a cancer diagnosis, a death of a loved one that leads someone to give up smoking. Often a heart attack, diabetes, or another serious medical issue  launches one on a weight loss journey. For each person, that moment when the “light goes on” is different and occurs only when the person is truly ready for a change.

I’m often asked what prompted me to begin my journey; what was my “aha moment” if you will. Unlike many, it wasn’t a health scare; it wasn’t a doctor’s warning that I could die; it wasn’t a moment of life or death.  In fact, I can’t even truly understand WHAT it was, which is primarily why I call this entire journey a miracle. It’s true that my life sucked; that I was in complete physical and emotional pain; that I was  unable to walk or stand up long enough to brush my teeth.  Yes, it’s true that I was at rock-bottom and was completely miserable. But I had been that way for months, even years.  I wish I knew EXACTLY what it was that clicked in my head at about 6 pm on March 1, 2011. I don’t know, but I do know that in an instant….just like that….without warning, without thought, without an explanation, after a rather tense conversation with my sister,  I changed my life….just like that!

Over the course of this journey, I spent a lot of time thinking about that moment and I’ve shared before on multiple occasions, that there were a series of events and conversations that happened in the six weeks prior to my “light bulb” moment. My grandmother’s death, the loss of two teeth, a conversation with a new hair stylist and my rheumatologist, and seeing the number on the scale for the first time in years, all planted the seeds, that would finally take root when I had that tense conversation with my sister about her pending bariatric surgery. No one particular moment; no planned diet or weight loss plan; no ideas or hopes of losing weight; no intention to change……nothing dramatic…..but yet, God used each of those moments to shed a little more light into my dark world, and like the dawn each morning, it finally became bright enough so that I COULD SEE that there was a different way to live. The Light went on…..And in that moment….I knew that I did not want….nor did I have to….live in the darkness of obesity, compulsive eating, immobility any more. (Plus, I wanted to show my sister that I could do it!!!!) 

You know, this is why I truly believe that I am a miracle; that God turned my darkness to day.  This is why I am so grateful each day to have life, even when the ‘dark, difficult times” threaten to rob me of my joy. Even when I experience grief and loss (gosh, so many times this past year); even when I experience temptation (gosh, I’m constantly hungry these days); even when I experience pain (RA sucks and will never go away and my toes/feet are numb 24 hours a day).  Just like in nature; there is darkness followed by day followed by darkness and so forth. But, just like my back yard light; when it gets too dark, the road gets too long; the burden gets too heavy, my faith, my God, my friends (you) shed light in the darkness so that I may “see.”  I want to do that for you as well. I want to help you in any way to find your way out of darkness, to shed light on your path, to help you “see” that there is always hope and that life will not always be like it is today.

And so today….as I sit here on this early Sunday morning, waiting for the sun to rise, I think of you and I pray for you on your journey, and I hope this day that “the light goes on” and you begin to see things in a new way.

 I ask you today…….what was your “light bulb” aha moment? Please share it with us so that we, too, may see; that your story may brighten our way; that we may have hope.  Make it a good day everyone and SHINE BRIGHTLY!!!!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Which side of the bus were you on today?

If you didn't like the "view" in your world today, resolve to sit on the other side of the bus tomorrow! Remember....out outlook on life go hand and hand with the choices we make.  What do you want your day to be like tomorrow?

Friday, January 10, 2014

We are companions on the journey

Good Morning Friends!
Tomorrow is the start of a new semester at Mid Michigan Community College. Call me crazy, but I have enrolled in two courses this semester, primarily “just for fun.” One of my New Year’s resolutions was to ‘learn something new each day’ and taking classes is certainly a way to learn new things. I’m taking a course in Proofreading (certainly needed considering all the typos I make in my posts) and another in Business Communications. Each of these courses should help me improve my writing skills and learn more about the technology out there used in modern-day communication (what is twitter, Instagram, and tumbler anyway? J) Also, it might give me the confidence I need to begin that book!
One other, and very important, reason for taking classes is that it connects me with the students that I serve. It keeps me ‘in the loop” and allows me to experience the stress and struggles that sometimes comes along with balancing family, work, personal, and school responsibilities. At least for a semester, I become “one of them” and can commiserate and celebrate with them. Students tend to put more faith in someone who “knows what it is like” and is walking the same road. There’s comfort in being with someone who is sharing the same journey. It ought to be fun!
In my own personal journey in life, I gather my strength from my relationship with my God. After, all, He became “one of us” so that he could share in our life, struggles, joys, and temptations. Although I get support and encouragement from those around me, I don’t have many people in my immediate circle of family and friends who are daily fighting a fight against weight, and who really  know what it’s like to be the only person in the room not eating a piece of birthday cake. But God….in the person of Jesus….knows. He was tempted in the dessert when he fasted for 40 days. There aren’t many people in my life who know what it’s like to be criticized or insulted by the occasional insults and rude comments in the media, but God knows. There are not many people in my life that know how much I wish that all those who suffer, all who are sad, all who are hopeless would be set free, but God does; He gave his life for us. He experienced pain, frustration, hurt… and ultimately victory at the Resurrection. I would not have reached this point in my journey without Him and the realization that I am not alone; God knows exactly how hard it is and has never….not even for a minute….not even when I was at rock-bottom…..not ever left me or given up on me. You too can draw your strength from Him or your higher power because He has not given upon you either! Nor have I.
Likewise, you are not alone in your journey.  You may not share my faith (that’s perfectly fine with me), but nonetheless, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  I am one of you and I KNOW what it’s like to walk this walk.  I do it ….every single minute…..of every single day! Your journey will have no end; you will always have to walk this walk.  I don’t know what it’s like to struggle with drugs, alcohol, or some other addiction or what it’s like to want a cigarette or drink so bad that my hands shake, but I do know what it’s like to be tempted. I’ve been there….and I am there…..frequently. I  know what it’s like to doubt that it is even possible to change. I’ve been there and sometimes I still struggle as I wonder if I am going to be able to keep this weight off for life. I know what it’s like to live in fear….of failing, of dying, of being alone. I know what it’s like to sit by and watch someone I love suffer…and die…and I know the grief of loss. I know what it’s like to lose a job and struggle with finances. I know what it’s like to be disabled and in physical pain. I know what it’s like to want to give up… say, ‘what’s the use”… want to sit on the floor and cry because nothing fits anymore and you feel ugly, fat, depressed. I know what it’s like to be stared at, to be pitied, to be insulted.  I share your pain, I share your struggles, I share your temptations……just like you share them with me, and God shares them with us.   I share in your journey and hope to offer support and inspiration to you, but I also draw support and inspiration FROM YOU.  I am as dependent on you as you are on me. You are for me what I am to you!   We are ALL in this…..whatever THIS….. might be for you…..We are ALL in this together!   This means when one fails, we all step up and encourage and support, and when one succeeds, we all rejoice and celebrate!  Isn’t it great???????
So….with that being said…… Does anyone have any good news to report?????   Did anyone lose any weight this week?  Has anyone made it all week without a cigarette or try something new?  Is anyone struggling today?  Talk to me….talk to us.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Are you a procrastinator?

Are you a procrastinator?  This week has been very busy at the college because classes for the new semester begins on Saturday. As a result, my calendar has been filled to overflowing with students who have procrastinated and waited to schedule their classes. They arrive at my office somewhat stressed, and often leave disappointed because many of the classes they wanted have already filled. Some haven’t applied for their Financial Aid yet and are upset because they do not have the funds to pay their tuition and will need to wait until next semester to begin college. Most of this stress could have been alleviated by scheduling an appointment a few months ago when registration opened, but nonetheless, I do my best to help them, because like them, I too, sometimes “put things off.”

For the most part, I’m a responsible person, but there are many times when my procrastination has caused me undue anxiety. Like most procrastinators, I can come up with a number of excuses and rationalizations ranging from “I forgot” to “I’m just so busy” and everything in between. Nonetheless, there is always a consequence to procrastination.  Procrastination can result in a “late fee” if we fail to pay a bill on time. Sometimes it leads to unnecessary and very costly repair bills if we ignore a small problem that later grows into a bigger problem. Sometimes it can be physically dangerous if we ignore a warning sign or symptom in our bodies and fail to seek medical help.  It is especially devastating if we put off calling a friend, visiting an elderly relative, saying “I’m sorry” or “I love you”, and one day we discover that it is too late because the person has passed.  The “would have, could have, should have’s” in life often leave us sad and depressed.

In a recent interview, I was asked:  “So Theresa, if you could, what would you change about your journey?” My response was simple: I would have started it years ago. I wasted a lot of my life being trapped in that body, hiding behind the weight.  Most of the time I tend to “overthink” things, and this time it was no exception because after the interview I began to ponder my answer.  Certainly, I wish that I would have lost this weight in my younger years. Certainly, I wish I could go back and get a “do-over’ on those years of pain and compulsive eating. Certainly, I wish my 40’s would have been different, and yet, I wonder, “Isn’t this the way God wanted it?”  I don’t think God ever wants us to be unhappy, nor do I believe He wants us to be sick, sad, depressed, etc.., but I do believe that He has a plan for each of us and going through those 10 years of struggles has made me into the woman I am today and certainly helped prepare me for this incredible journey I am now on. There is no doubt that God was then…and is now…in control and is paving the way.  I am just grateful that I have been blessed with this new life, period, and I don’t have time to wonder if I could have, would have, should have started this long ago. Today is all we have; no point worrying about yesterday, or putting off until tomorrow. 

My mother always told me that “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger” and “Struggles build character.” I wonder….would my life be the way it is today had I NOT endured those years of obesity, pain, struggles, unemployment? Would I be as patient and helpful to students had I not known what it was like to go back to school in my 40’s?   Would I be the compassionate, caring person I strive to be today had I not “walked that walk?”  Would I have these wonderful opportunities to help others and share my story?  Would I have even tried to lose weight in the first place had I not hit rock bottom, physically and emotionally?  I don’t know, but I certainly doubt it.  Like many of you, I tried to lose weight in the past but didn’t have much success and I didn’t stick with it long enough to reach my goal?  Why?  Why THIS time and not then, I wonder?

 My faith tells me that God makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11) and God is always on-time. Apparently, this was His time for me and I think it is His Time for YOU, too! Otherwise, why would you be reading this?  Why would you be seeking a change?  Why would you have found this group?  Hmmm…..  If you are ready for a change….don’t be a procrastinator, start today. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come.  IF you are not ready, then stick around….share in our journey, tag along for the ride, and ask God to help get you ready; just don’t leave us or put it off.  Trust that your miracle will happen IN HIS TIME!

One last thought…If you are going to continue to be a procrastinator, in my opinion it is ok to do procrastinate on these things:  Put off speaking words in anger: count to 10, take a walk, get some air. Put off spreading gossip. Put off impulse shopping. Wait 15 minutes before making that snack or smoking that cigarette; chances are the urge will pass.  Put off pettiness, jealousy, bitterness.

Don’t put off loving….forgiving….caring….saying “Thank You”….apologizing….sharing……helping others……taking care of yourself…..and trying to be a better person. Do those things today, starting right….this….very….minute!

Make it a good day today my friends….and trust that God has a plan for you and He is always on time. Just don’t put off  doing your part if you feel that now is your time.  Life is too short to waste.