Thursday, December 09, 2010
We got our family pictures taken last night, and I was excited to compare them against our picture from last year. In the past year I've lost about 40 lbs., and I have a total loss of 80 lbs. I can really see a difference in the picture, especially in my face.
I am just SO excited about this. I feel renewed, more energetic, and I am so hopeful that I will meet my goal of a total of 120 lbs. down in 2011!
If you are feeling you haven't come so far, or are like me and halfway, or more than halfway to your goal, I highly recommend comparing pictures of yourself. You have changed, you are different, the proof is right there in the frame. Even weight loss that doesn't feel like much to you reflects in everything you do, and how you act. You can see it in your smile.
Thanks everyone for the inspiration, friendship and support!
p.s. This sweater from 2009 no longer fits me, it's gone to Goodwill a while ago!
Thursday, December 09, 2010
This morning as I was getting ready for work I started to dance in our bathroom, even without my clothes on. This is something I do often - dance out of nowhere (although I usually am clothed, lol).
I realized that the fourth thing I love about myself is that I have JOY. More so now that I've shed almost half of myself, but even before that. I have always been a pretty happy person. Yes, I can get down and depressed, I think we all can. But there's a thread of joy in everything that I do. Our breakfasts around the kitchen table I especially cherish, a moment with my family before I go off to work. We typically have music blasting, and all of us just get down. Even the baby. We dance, we sing, we are silly. We have JOY.
And I can't think of any other way I'd like to be.
Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead!"
- I Peter 1:6
I came that you may have and enjoy life and have it in abundance,
until it overflows.
- John 10:10
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I'm posting my third thing today since I have a few minutes to spare.
My first two "loves" were personality traits, or things about myself that I love. Now I'm going to head into uncharted territory - something about my appearance that I love - wha, wha?
You heard me :)
My third thing that I love about myself is my hair!
I have always loved short hair. Even when I was little I did. At one time in High School I did grow it out long, had a perm, you know the deal if you're a child of the 90's :) - Can you say Banana Clip anyone?
But without a perm in my hair, my hair is so thick that it doesn't really DO anything unless it's cut in short, layered, razor-cut locks.
Now when I began to lose weight I also started growing out my hair. I wanted to be like one of the many success stories I've seen on Spark, many of the before and after pictures where the person who looked frumpy before (and many just so happened to have short hair), and then in their after picture they had gorgeous, long strands of hair. It was a complete transformation. I wanted that, too.
But the problem was, my hair wouldn't cooperate. It grew only so long, then the ends grew brittle and broke and I felt like I had a mop of dead hair on my head. I didn't like it, but kept up with it, adding conditioners to the ends, hoping it would get better. But it never did.
And I missed my old, short hair. I would look at others with cute, short hair and get hair envy.
I could still be cute, sassy and fierce with short hair. I decided to chop it off!
And I LOVE it. I'm not looking back. No more guessing about how fabulous I could look with long hair. Short hair is for me, baby!! And I LOVE it.
Here's a comparison picture of me at my near high weight of 278 (pictures of me at 298 are hard to find) and today.
I think I look cute in both. I still love me no matter what.
But I can't help but smile at how you can see my jawline now, and my double chin that has taken a vacation from my neck!
This is me!!! And I'm ok with that!!! I love it!!!
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The second thing I love about myself is that I have faith.
I cherish this trait about myself even more so because I didn't always have faith, I wasn't always this way, so I know the difference between having faith and not having faith. Like Oscar Wilde said, “Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.” I believe that because it was my unbelief that drew me to read the word of God and to become a believer.
But faith isn't set aside just for those who believe in God. The definition of FAITH in the Merriam Webster dictionary only lists faith as the "belief and trust in and loyalty to God" in the religious sense as one of the definitions of faith. There are others:
1. Allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
2. Fidelity to one's promises
3. Sincerity of intentions
4. Complete trust
Faith is also being loyal, keeping promises and being sincere in our intentions. I believe I possess all of these traits as well, but again, I didn't used to.
For me faith in God goes hand in hand with being loyal, sincere, etc. But that's what works for me. For other people you may have faith in something working out, like a marriage or a weight loss plan. Perhaps you have faith in obtaining a job, or in your family getting along.
Faith is one of those words that is used often but hard to pin down exactly WHAT it is. HOW do you get it? It's a a wonderful present to unwrap, a mystery to unravel.
I think it's also something that can mean something else to various people depending on who you ask. That is the wonderful thing about it. Faith is something that is attainable for everyone, it is just patiently waiting for you to come and pluck it and call it your own.
With faith, the IMPOSSIBLE is POSSIBLE. All things are possible, and life is worth waking up to each morning through the gift of faith. I feel that faith is complete trust, without question, that a thing is going to work out right. And faith is also what helps us pick up the pieces if our dreams don't turn out exactly as planned.
Faith is what drives me, and what helps me to not give up. I can achieve my dreams, I have faith that I can and I will take that unknown step into the darkness and know that it will all turn out right.
And perhaps I will even be taught to FLY.
“You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.”
~ Mary Manin Morrissey
“When you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to fly”
~ Patrick Overton
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
As part of our WIN challenge this week we have to identify four things about ourselves that we love. I am a big believer in positive affirmations, so I am struggling with the fact that I find this challenge difficult. I think it's because for me I don't like to come across as boasting, or bragging about my traits. It's one thing to repeat an affirmation to one's self, but it's another to blog about it and say "look at how great I am!"
But...why? Why am I feeling this way? There's nothing wrong with being fulfilled with certain things about yourself. There are certainly enough things that we aren't happy about in our lives. Why not reveal those things that we are happy with?
Another part of this challenge is to let those in our lives who mean something to us just how much they mean. Now this is easier for me. This, I like doing and it's a good reminder to tell those we love more often and to let them know that they are making a difference in our lives. Now why can't I do that for myself, too? I think it has to do with loving ourselves and also with confidence, both things are areas in my life I need to improve on. So here goes. Enough introspection about this.
My first trait that I love about myself is that I am a GIVER. I always have been, and I believe this is my natural tendency. I won't go into too many details here, because I don't believe in "giving and telling", but when I got my first job the first thing I wanted to do was to give some of that away. As a high school student I began to sponsor an impoverished child that lived in the Philippines. While others were buying things only for themselves, I wanted to see what I could do for others. There is something so gratifying in that, in helping someone if you have the means. Now I'm not trying to say I didn't buy myself things that I didn't need, like lipstick, trendy clothes and books. I did. But there's always room to give.
Now we are a single-income family and we don't have much. But what we do have, I share. I give as much as I can and thank God that I am blessed enough to be able to give something away.
My mom still asks all of her four daughters for Christmas wish lists. And she tries to buy everything on it. She's a giver, too. But when I try to tell her this makes me uncomfortable she understands, but tells me that for her to give to me fills her heart with love. I've tried putting others on my list instead of myself. One year I wanted her to buy a goat for a town. Another year I wanted donations sent directly to the poor. But those things wouldn't fulfill her. I needed to understand that. By not giving her a list at all (which I've done in past years unsuccessfully), I am depriving her of her joy. There are all different types of givers. I bet you are a giver, too.
I'm teaching my daughters how to give now, too. And that sometimes to give means to give something away that you may want. Something that you may cherish and love. I overheard my 4 yr. old daughter with my mom the other day, she walked up to her and handed her a cherished candy cane pen that my husband had given her. She loved that pen! But I overheard her tell my mom "I want to give this to you. I love it, but I want you to have it. Mama taught me that."
I was overwhelmed with pride and also joy that my daughter would give so selflessly. Now my mom didn't take the pen, she tried to explain that it's good to keep things for yourself, too. Which it is. But it is the thought that counts, as they say, and my daughter had a giving heart that day, she was in the Christmas spirit.
I struggle with sometimes buying things for myself that I don't need. When I find myself going there, I ask myself, could someone else use this? If it's something I've already purchased I will try to give it away, unopened, and make someone's day.
I need that reminder that life is not just about ME. There are so many other people in the world, people that could use a hand. Why shouldn't it be mine?
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.
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