Saturday, November 20, 2010
The trip to Colorado didnít go quite as planned, but we had safe travels and time with friends and family so in that regard it was good. 2800 miles of driving in 10 days is just a bit too much for me.
What happened with the surgery? Well, the day after Dad had his pre-op visit where the doctor expressed concern about cuts; he got a cut on his leg while changing the tire on the car. I had healed partially, so I called the surgical center and explained the situation and the nurse told me it should be fine and to come on down. So, we headed for Albuquerque. About 150 miles from our destination, we got a call from the doctor who told us that he couldnít do the surgery. It was just too much of a risk. I thanked him for saving us 300 miles of driving and we turned around and went out to dinner! It will take at least a few months to reschedule, so I suggest to Dad that he wait until I can come back out in April when the weather should be better.
Since we were already there, we hung out at Dad and Momís for a few days and then headed north. As good fortune would have it, our friend Hunter Keller was coming to Denver to call a dance Saturday night so we picked him up at the airport and joined him along with a few other friends at a great dance. Rollin Wheels had 18 squares! It was lots of fun!
As if that werenít enough fun, we tagged along for another friendís, Ian, birthday celebration at a roller skating rink. Yes, I went roller skating, though I was thankful for Ianís arm that first time around! Yes, my ankles are still intact! Yes, Iíd probably do it again!
Sunday morning we ventured back down to Our Lady of Loreto and got to say hi to Father Ed and some other friends. There are many things I miss about that parish and the topic of our visits there might be a subject for another blog if I can get to it. Sunday evening we celebrated lots of Pingel November birthdays. All of those Valentine babies!
Since I had already had enough driving, I decided to split our trip home into two days. We made it to Lincoln, NE Monday night and then the rest of the way home on Tuesday. It made it easier on the driving, but I was sure ready to be home!
This week has been about catching up and sorting things out here. One of my classes turned out to be very different from the description and I finally decided to cut my losses and drop the class. I feel better now that Iíve made the decision. I wish I had made it sooner and I hope I still feel that way in December and January when I need to add an extra class to my schedule.
I managed to stay on track with my diet while we were traveling and still lost 5 pounds in two weeks. Iím processing through some possible changes to my diet plan and trying to figure out what is best to do moving forward. I was going to write about them but as I started to do so I realize my head still isnít clear about them, so Iím just going to wait a bit until it is clearer for me. Rest assured Iím not giving in or giving up!
Posted by Marion at 8:55 PM 0 comments
Friday, October 22, 2010
So, here I sit, finally able to relax for a few daysÖ Itís a weird feeling. My mind is all over the place right now, and Iím pretty sure that will be reflected in my writing, but perhaps it will make sense on some level.
I just finished my Sports Law final which was the last of my assignments for this cycle of classes. I begin my next set of classes on November 1st with chemistry and a class called ďAmerican Popular CultureĒ. Iím not sure what it is other than it filled my last social science requirement and was less likely to infuriate me than the Human Sexuality class!
If youíve been keeping up with my postings on Facebook you know that the weight continues to come off. Right now, Iím down 68 pounds which leaves about 47 to go to reach what I believe will be my goal. Somehow that doesnít feel like as big of a number as it used to. One of the wise ladies on the 3fatchick website says, ĎI canít lose 100 pounds, but I can lose 10 pounds, 10 times.í 47 pounds doesnít seem like very much compared to the 115 pound original goal.
Iíve been thinking about ďeyesĒ latelyóhow we look at things, how we see others, how we see ourselves and how God sees us. Someplace in the back of my head, I hear the voice of Thomas Smith, my 1st year Biblical college instructor, talking about the ĎFather eyesí and if I think to hard it mixes with the song by the same title as sung by Amy Grant. Yeah, I know, itís a little weird but I think thereís a lesson in it.
When I began writing this blog, I chose the name ďIn My Daughterís EyesĒ because I had this profound awareness of how everything I do and say is viewed through the eyes of my daughters. And it scared me! Thereís a country song out now about a little guy thatís imitating his daddy in his colorful language and the father asks Ďwhereíd you learn to talk like that?í to which the little guy replies, ĎIíve been watching youÖí Perhaps this was in some part why I felt I needed to make some changesÖ my daughters are watching and I donít want them to struggle with the things I have struggled with most of my life.
As Iíve continued on this journey, Iíve become acutely aware that other people are watching too. For a variety of reason, I felt compelled to take this particular journey of weight loss in a public way. At first, I thought it would help hold me accountableówhich it has. But lately, Iíve come to understand that Iím not doing this journey just for me. Thereís a bigger picture which I am only beginning to glimpse a corner of.
Hum, this is going in a different direction than I thought it would when I startedÖ
Maybe I should go back and explain what got me thinking about this topic most recently. I have been having a difficult time seeing my body as it is now. I know itís not where it needs to be and I do know I have lost a lot of weight and I am smaller than I was, but mentally, I just donít grasp the difference. I still see myself wearing those size 24 pants and them just being a little loose rather than being the size 18ís Iím wearing now. I have a hard time looking at another woman with similar body composition and seeing that we are the same size, or in some cases that Iím smaller than she is.
I donít really think this is due to some unhealthy body image, but rather just the results of some very quick changes. Perhaps I understand now how someone feels after having gone through a weight loss surgery. I expect that it will come into focus better as time goes on though I do find myself at a weird stage. Iím about as low in weight and small in size as I have been since before Christina. (This does exclude the time right before I got pregnant with Charlene when I had lost about 50 pounds and then, proceeded to put it and more back on after I gave birth.)
What this means for me is that I have no idea what I will look like when I reach my goal weight. Quite frankly, the dress I wore for the Autumn showcase and the way it fit was as far as my vision could take me. The only other goal I could have is to fit back into my wedding dress, but I donít know if that will ever happen because having 3 children changes your bodies in ways that donít always change back afterwards, but weíll see. Iíve even had a couple of really sweet people giving me caution about not losing too much weight! Now, I know that I still need to lose weight and I believe that the goal I have set will be a reasonable percentage of body fat, but what will that mean for my body? Thatís a good question! I guess weíll find out in about March!
All of this trying to envision what I will look like at my goal as well as how some things will work out in the future along with some close friends that are going through some major decision making times in their lives has got me thinking about how God sees us and even to a greater extent, how He sees beyond our vision.
A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend about how it was kind of nice to feel like I was getting back into doing things. Iíve got involved in some projects at church and Iím feeling a bit more like the Marion that most of my friends in California or even Colorado would know. But I said that I felt like I had enough on my plate and I shouldnít make any further commitments. Well, of course, God with his vision was laughing because it would only take a matter of hours before it was clear that I would have more on my plate.
I canít see myself wearing size 16 pants because I havenít worn them since high school and it is just out of my ability to process right now but I couldnít see living us living in Japanóor Iowa! In the summer of 2009 when Dana was unemployed, I couldnít see how drastically my life would change in a little over a year. Some days, I canít see how Iím going to accomplish everything I think I need to do or how one challenging situation or another will resolve. But, The Father sees it all! He knows how it is all going to work out.
So whatís our job in all of this? I think itís to live in the present moment and Ďdonít be afraidí. Did you know thatís the most common phrase in the Bible? And yet, how many of us are worrying or fearful about something that may or may not even happen? Moment by moment we can only choose to make the choices and take the actions to do what we know needs to be done at that moment.
To tie this back into my weight loss journey, I canít see what Iím going to look like when I get to my goal weight anymore than I can see exactly what our lives will look like in a year or two or five. Ultimately, does it matter? I can simply set goals or have pillars of where I think I need to be heading and then respond in humility as God laughs because he has the map and I just tried looking at it without my glasses and more importantly without His eyes.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Iíve said this before, but it bears repeating, I did not intend to be a walking commercial for any diet plan. I recognize now, by all the people that have seen my results that is indeed what I have become a commercial. Also, please remember, I am only half way to what I believe will be my goal weight. I have about 55 pounds more I want to lose. My goal is to be there shortly after the first of the year, but certainly by the Iowa Dancesport Classic when I want to sport a really nice dress! Because I know first-hand what a struggle it is to lose weight and how our society is dealing with a growing obesity epidemic, I am more than happy to share what I have been doing if it can help. Unlike most commercials, I donít stand to gain anything financially from this. That is not to say that at some point in the future there might not be some way I would benefit from this, but for now, that is not why I am sharing this.
Since I am posting this in a public forum, I would ask that you not share it with anyone without my personal permission.
The nuts and bolts of my programÖ
First, I had to make a mental change that I was going to take control of my eating and not let it control me. This was the hardest step and I think it took about 30 years to happen, but most of it has occurred over the last year thanks to prayer, Scripture and reading a couple of great books by Matthew Kelly called The Rhythm of Life and Perfectly Yourself: Nine Lessons to Enduring HappinessĒ. I canít recommend them strong enough and while saying they were life-changing sounds clichť those of you that know me, know I do not use that phrase likely. For those of you that donít know me as well, the visual changes you are seeing are just the tip of the iceberg.
Second, I needed some tools...
Tool #1 was hormone testing and dealing with the affects of stress, bad nutrition and other medical factors. I have been taking appropriate supplements since early March when I began to lose weight. I wonít go into those details here, but if this is a component you think you might need to deal with then, send me an email and Iíll help as I can then.
Tool #2 was implementing the things I had learned or realized through the first stepóand being consistent.
Tool #3 and what most of you want to hear about is called Ideal Protein. Ideal Protein is based on a book by a Dr. Tran that you can find here. Please donít let the picture of him on the cover turn you away! LOL
Ideal Protein is a low carbohydrate, low fat, and moderate protein diet. Because of the way it works, this diet requires a commitment that isnít always demanded in other diets. For whatever period of time or weight loss goal you want to achieve, you need to commit to the program because little cheats can cause large and expensive setbacks.
Ideal Protein is offered through various medical practitioners and it is even approved by the FDA. If you are local, I would be happy to point you to mine but if you are out of the area, you can get more information on the website I linked. There is on group that is set up to do it online called IP Togo, but I donít know a lot of the details about it. The reason it is offered through medical practitioners is so that you can be monitored on a regular basis. I believe this is the ďidealĒ situation.
I paid a fee to begin the program which covers my weekly visits until I reach my goal. All I pay for each week is my food and supplements. Supplements are needed with this diet and they donít add greatly to the cost.
My first meeting was a couple of hours long and went over lots of details of the program, my medical history as well as taking measurements and weighing. Each week I go for my weigh in and pick up the food I ordered the day before and any supplements I might need. I have an opportunity to discuss with my counselor anything that might be coming up that I need to deal with and to check my progress. That is why many of you will notice that my updates come Wednesday mornings. I have a regular commitment to that appointment because it is just easier to make it a priority. I have intentionally shared the bad with the good news of my weigh ins, but in the 13 weeks I have been using Ideal Protein, I have lost 45 pounds and that includes 2 weeks where I was stable or had a slight gain. That averages out to over 3 pounds a week. I have also dropped 3 pant sizes. In the three months prior to that, I had only managed to lose 15 pounds and believe me, I struggled to do it.
Hereís my unprofessional commentary about how this diet works and why it works. Ideal Protein is designed to give our bodies the protein we need to maintain muscle tissue and reduce the amount of carbohydrates and fat in our diet to force our body to burn the fat weíve been storing. Many diets help us lose weight but as we lose that weight we also lose muscle tissue which is what helps us burn calories and so, they can be unproductive. The way we burn fat specifically is through a state called ketosis. This is why itís critical not to cheat. When we cheat, it takes our body out of ketosis and then, we usually spend 3-4 days getting back into it. Thatís 3-4 days with no weight loss and you are still spending the money for the food packets. It just seems like a waste. It is an unbalanced diet and you would not want to live this way indefinitely; however, for me, I didnít want to live fat forever.
The program uses an engineered food or as my girls call it ďastronaut foodĒ because most of it comes in silver packets! Each personís individual protocol might vary, but in my case, I use 3 of these packets a day. With one of them, I also include 2 cups of specific vegetables. For one meal, I eat 5-7 ounces of proteins, depending on the type, and 2 additional cups of those same vegetables. I can also eat lettuce as much as I want.
Not sounding so appealing? Well, itís honestly not too bad. The variety of foods is enough such that most people can find things they enjoy. The foods range, from omelets, oatmeal, crepes, soups, puddings, gelatin, drinks and bars. The packets are basically your protein source. They give you the protein in a way that reduces the amount of fat you get with it. With the addition of spicesómost of which are allowed and some Walden Farm sauces that have no protein, carbohydrates, sugars or calories, I feel pretty good about what Iím eating. Is it gourmet? No. Do I have a variety of foods? Yes. Is it effective? Yes. Am I hungry of feeling deprived? No.
What this means from a practical standpoint is that I eat different than everyone else in my family. When I go out, I need to plan ahead what I will eat. I have managed to travel and dine with friends at restaurants, attend social events and everything, but I have to do it differently. There are a couple of restaurants where I can plan to have my meat meal and stay on the plan and then, there are others where I need to need to only eat a salad. If you decide this is something you want to do, Iím happy to help you strategize on how to get through it. Oh, I should mention, there is no alcohol on this program.
Exercise is rather an interesting subject on this diet. The first 11 weeks I was on the diet, I was dealing with my stress fracture or in a boot cast which basically meant I was getting no exercise. That obviously did not affect my weight loss. I know there are special protocols for those that are exercising in serious way, but I canít speak to the details of those. In general, when you are exercising you donít want to get your heart rate so high that you body will try to burn muscle. Remember the goal is to burn fat not muscle.
I know I have written much more here than I probably needed to, but most of this has come up in my conversations with others about what Iím doing and so Iím trying to give as much information as I can. I am doing this in this format because then, I wonít feel like I miss saying something I think is important because I get busy or distracted when I try to respond to you.
Just a couple more thoughts that I want to wrap this up with. Ideal Protein is working for me because I am committed following it very strictly and making changes in my life that will last a lifetime. If my commitment slips, or I waiver in my willingness to make those changes then I expect that my results would also slip and waiver. Being on such an Ďunbalancedí diet gives me an opportunity to break bad habits. By the time I get back to eating Ďnormallyí the habits that have plagued me from the past will be a distant memory. This was a key factor in choosing this program. I donít feel like I am struggling with this diet. I have accepted that I need to eat differently to be healthy and thatís just the way it is.
In my crazy decision to do this in such a public way, I have been given so much support. I had hoped for accountability and got so much more. I have also found a great deal of wisdom and encouragement on a message board called 3 Fat Chicks where they have a very active discussion on Ideal Protein. Itís important to have support that understand what the obstacles are for any diet you do, so whether itís traveling or the holidays, or just a place to share those before and after photos, I highly recommend checking them out.
Finally, if you are considering doing this, I would suggest you look at your calendar. We are approaching the holidays which could be rather difficult on this program. Iíve been doing it since July and I plan to stay on it through the holidays, but I know for many of you it is unthinkable to not have Christmas dinner with all the goodies. Unless you have a loss goal that can be achieved in a couple of months, I might consider waiting until after the holidays to begin. Spend the time reading, praying and preparing emotionally for what can really make a difference in your life. Donít wait forever though because thereís always going to be a major event or an excuse.
There is so much more I could say, but Iíve already said enough to scare some of you off, Iím sure. Iím okay with that because I know this isnít for everyone. We are all overweight for a variety of reasons and we have to be willing to face those reasons and commit them to the past before any program will truly work for us. Ideal Protein has just been the right too for me at the right point in my life. Whatever you decide to do, know that Iím here for you to help in whatever way I can.
Blessings and prayers,
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I cleaned out my closet today. I had actually started with Dana a couple of weeks ago but today, the girls helped me finish the deal. I had held off on getting rid of some things because I didn't have anything that fit me any better. I now have a huge garbage bag of clothes that we need to take to Goodwill.
I finally gave in and purchased a pair of jeans, a pair of dress slacks and some t-shirts that fit me. It was pretty exciting to buy clothes that were three sizes smaller than what was in my closet. I kept trying to tell the sales assistance I thought I'd need something bigger and she kept telling me she didn't think so. She was right, I was wrong! I was never so happy to be wrong! Add the new clothes to the new hair do that my favorite stylist Beverly did and I was feeling good!
I also realized this morning that I am 3 pounds short of being half-way to what I think my weight goal will be. Yeah, yeah, that sounds a little confusing, but I have calculated what I believe my goal weight is based on where I want my BMI and percent body fat to be and there are things that can change along the way that will make that number vary--but I think it's a good target. To date, I have lost 55 pounds since the beginning of March. That's not to bad for 6 months work!
The weather has begun to cool down a little here. They are doing those things to the lawn that people do in late summer/early fall. I'm reminded that we need to finish up a few chores before it gets too cool around here.
Oh and in case I didn't mention it, I have transitioned out of my boot cast. I'm not excited to be pounding concrete anytime soon, but it is nice to be back to dancing.
I guess that's it, I just wanted to share a little good news!
Thursday, September 02, 2010
I knew there would come a time when I would want to write this but it comes with some trepidation. Itís not a fear of sharing my personal story, but rather that this journey that God has led me on will somehow change if I share it. I am reminded that we are not supposed to be attached to things of this world, and my story of transformation is just one of those things that I offer it for what it is worth.
I shared back in March how God was working in my life and I had decided to embark on a new major and get my B.S. in Sports and Health Science that was about as far from the accounting or church jobs I had pursued, as anyone can get. I started to try to put into place some of the many things I have learned over the years and I made some progress. I lost about 15 or so pounds in a couple of months but it didnít take long for me to feel stagnated and frustrated. I didnít give up totally, but I didnít give in totally either. It certainly wasnít the results I hoped to see.
During this time though, God was transforming my heart. Every time I talked to people about losing weight, they always said something to the effect that they needed to something so they could lose weight and then, followed it up with excuses why they werenít. I donít mean to say that in an uncharitable way, but it stood out for me because I was one of those people. I had kept making excuses and although I was ďtryingĒ I wasnít giving it my all. God was showing me where I needed to change my heart, more precisely, where I needed to let Him change it.
Nationalís rolled around to find me with an injured foot and feeling somewhat disheartened because this was going to severely limit my ability to exercise which in my mind meant I wasnít going to lose weight. Walks were out and that elliptical in my dining roomÖ well, yeah, it has not been used much. Even dancing was taken from me. I was worried, but I also knew God had been doing something in my life because at a minimum, my habits were significantly better than they were a year ago.
I went in for a chiropractic adjustment and there was this little brochure on the counter. It said, ďThe Last Diet Youíll Ever DoĒ! My initial thought was that it was crazy and just another fad that I could fail at too, but I really respect this doctor, and so, we chatted about it briefly. He told me the bones of it but said in order to begin I would need to have an initial consultation and evaluation. I told him I wanted to think about it, but I was really thinking that there was no way I would do it and I figured Dana would be my voice of reason and say I shouldnít do it.
I was wrong! Dana said I might as well try it and on July 7th, I began. During my initial appointment I found myself answering the questions about my weight and previous diet history with a candor that surprised even me. One of the questions was ďWhy did your last diet not work?Ē My honest answer had to be ďbecause I didnít follow itĒ. That was a pretty big ďah haĒ moment for me, but it was also a moment of truth and self-knowledge. There was another moment in that appointment that stood out for me. Kerry, my healthcare assistant, said to me something to the effect that Ďyou canít cheat on this diet because it will mess up all the work youíve done and youíll take several days to just get back to where you were burning fatí or at least that is what I heard. It is particularly true of this diet, but itís really true of any diet. Cheating causes delays to success and can also lead to habits that will cause failure. I have taken those words very seriously and I have not knowingly cheated since I began.
God has been so good and gentle on my heart. Beginning to really lose weight was more than just going on a diet; I needed to be brutally honest with God, myself and those around me. I have been living with the sin of gluttony for so many years, I was numb to it. I had made excuse after excuse and failed more times that I can count. In order for this to work, I needed to lay it all out there in humility and realize that I am weak and I canít do this alone. This is something I will likely struggle with the rest of my life, but I do not need to give into it. If my faith is as I profess, ďI can accomplish all things through Christ who strengthens meĒ Philippians 4:13. This diet, this new way of life is not so much about the food Iím eatingóthough I think it is very helpful for reasons Iíll discuss later, but rather, itís about changes on the inside. Somehow I came to see that I couldnít do this and I needed God and those around me to help me do it. The things that I was attached to that were bad for me, I no longer desire. He means more and has given me so many blessings beyond those that I can overeat. Food isnít bad, but what I am capable of doing with it can be bad.
For someone that has struggled with weight as I have, I think itís imperative to find another way to be filled and satisfied. One of those moments for me was when I came out of the hair salon a few weeks agoÖ Dana was picking me up and he got out of the car and just stared at meÖ it was much like that look he gave me when I stepped out onto the aisle on our wedding day. Those are the moments that fill my heart, where I was trying to stuff a bag of chips in it before. Or thinking Iím going to wear a pair of dress pants only to have them fall off when I inhale!
I have two quotes from Matthew Kelly on my computer monitor. The first one is ďOur lives change when our habits changeĒ and the second is ďWill the choices you make now help you become a better version of yourself?Ē For me, the first reminds me that I need to develop good habits and that is in part why I believe I have had such success at this diet and believe I will have continued success throughout my life. My habits are changing every day that I choose not to cheat myself by eating the wrong food. The second reminds me that I am the one that makes the choices in my life. God gives me free will and I need to own up and take responsibility for who I am today and who I want to be tomorrow. We can blame our past or live in our future. ďOur lives change when our habits changeĒ and ďwill the choices I make today help me become a better version of myself?Ē Many times a day I see those quotes and I know how God is helping me to change. Itís not in some demanding way, He has been faithfulóeven when I have not, but itís in little ways and little choices.
So, what specifically am I using? Iím using a product called Ideal Protein that had been around for many years though longer in Europe than here. The girls say I am eating astronaut food because much of it comes in little silver packets, but despite being laid up for 10 weeks now with a bad foot and completely overwhelmed with school the last eight weeks, I feel better than I have in at least 10 years. I feel optimistic about the future and I can see myself continuing to eat healthy for the rest of my life. I have never felt that before. Some might say this is an extreme or unbalanced diet, and I would respond that being overweight is extreme, unbalanced and deadly. At least I can see this diet coming to an end. If I donít lose weight, I come to an end I donít like. I am monitored weekly and I know my body. Iím looking forward to getting back to dancing and getting some gentle cardio exercise as I can, but right now, Iím just appreciating the weight coming off and saving for the new clothes I am going to need to buy!
Since July 7th, I have lost almost 34 pounds and 22Ē in the 5 areas they measure. My percent body fat has dropped 3.2% and my BMI is down 5.2. Iíve got a long ways to go, but I can see an end in sight for the first time in my adult life. I am looking forward to the cute dress I will get to purchase in March for our big ballroom event! And I canít wait to post before and after pictures. (I hope to avoid pictures in the middle though because it makes for greater affect.)
I want to share one other thing that God has really placed on my heart in this area. If you have a friend who you know is trying to lose weight, be a friend and support them in their efforts. Donít be the person that says to them that itís okay to cheat this once. For a person who struggles with obesity, that is like telling your best friend it is okay to cheat on their husband. Itís not okay to cheat! It tears them down and helps them develop self-destroying habits. Rather, be the person in their life that says, you are right, you donít want to eat that and I wonít either. Letís go for a walk instead. Your relationship will grow beyond your belief because you will be showing them true love.
I am very thankful for the true friends I have in my life. God has blessed me so richly in this area!
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