Monday, March 30

Confessions of a Dieter

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. It has been 3 weeks since I documented my last weigh in, and it isn’t pretty. I have been stuck at a particular unsightly weight for over a month now, and I got frustrated. I got irritated. I also cheated. As long as I am confessing, I have broken more than a few of the 10 commandments in the process, and I never thought dieting would cause me to sin. Oh, but is has, dear Father, it has!

It all started on Thursday of this past week. I was 6 ounces from hitting 20 pounds of weight loss. I was so excited to finally push past the plateau, and I was determined to hit that 20 pounds on Friday morning. That was when my gift from mother nature arrived, and alas, my “horror-moans” interfered. So did water retention. And a foul attitude. And I did not hit my goal. I was so doggone mad, Father, that I ate french fries for supper. And a roll with lots of butter. And a big fat piece of chicken with cheese and bacon- all of which are cardinal sins for the diet. I really blew it. And I was truly remorseful over my foodie sins, Lord.

Apparently, though, I am able to hold a grudge against myself even better than I hold onto my weight, because Saturday didn’t go much better.

Oh, it tried to start off better, just like your mercies are new every morning. I packed a lunch for my day at Lincoln, filled with school, family/friends, and even a performance of Godspell. I thought about the choices that would be good for me, as penance for my french fries. I thought of everything! And I did really good till about 3pm.

I suppose there is no need for me to mention that by 3pm, I had been awake for 14 hours straight, because I was so obsessive over my homework I got up at 1:30am on Saturday morning to work on it. So I kind of blame my utter exhaustion, Lord. I do. I wasn’t thinking in my right mind. I was running on empty, and those durn cupcakes were like well planted temptation, promising that the sugar rush would refill my empty tank.

In my defense, Father, I only had one half of the smallest cupcake in that kitchen. Although the other half was removed from my hand by my cousin, who proclaimed, “You don’t need this. Let me help you.” He was an angel from you ,Lord! I just know it! Even if it did require a little bit of brute force to pry the teeny tiny half of heaven that was clutched in my greedy paws. It took every ounce of strength not to lick the wrapper of the cupcake. But then the angel would have laughed in my face.

Then came dinner. I had been up for 16 hours at this point, and it was an all you can eat buffet. Now, for the record, I did make good choices on the salad bar. I only had a small serving of dressing on my salad, 8 pieces of pasta in the pasta salad. But it was the steak and those confounded French fries again, Lord, that did me in. I was like a dog that was savored table scraps for the first time. There was no stopping me. I even had a sliver of bread pudding, since I had already blown it. Forgive me, Father. I sinned against you, my body, and my body of readers. It was delicious, but I know it couldn’t possibly taste as good as weighing less than 200 pounds would feel.

Oh, but the temptations didn’t stop there. It was on the way home that the real storm blew in. I don’t understand how it happened, Lord! You know that my night vision is horrific. I am practically blind after the sun goes down. So how is it that I happened to spot a miniscule sign in the gas station that announced they sold Krispy Kreme donuts? And why was the delivery guy there at that exact moment, placing fresh goods in the display cabinet? That is really not fair, Lord, and if we were keeping score, I would count that as a trap; I am simply a victim of profiling. Seriously. I had then been up for 22 hours, and had not one ounce of self control left in me. My sweet husband, who has had NO problems getting to his goal weight, was just trying to make me happy. So he turned the van around and we went into the den of gasoline and calories.

I know that even in my weakness, Lord, you were watching me, because you had 2 angels inside the store, just by happenstance. They were hanging out at the counter, finishing up their purchase, and I KNEW THEM! I was over 50 miles from home, in a town with 500 people, and I KNEW the girls at the counter. I should have walked back to the van right then and there. But I was a woman on a mission, Lord, and not one sanctioned by you.

Belinda and Kathleen saw us, and I admitted that I saw the Krispy Kreme sign and was going to get one donut. Belinda said, “Oh, but only one, Charlie, because you are doing so well…you really are!”

I PROMISED her that there would only be one donut in my gullet by the end of the evening. And I was determined that would be the case. Until I realized that they had glazed donuts AND the ones filled with icing. Lord, my appetite had already been whet for icing from that half a cupcake, and I literally started to drool internally. So I just had to get 2 donuts. But that was all I was getting. Then I had to get some milk to go with them (because who can eat a donut without milk?) but I got skim. It wasn’t all bad!

As we got into the van, Matt and I should’ve driven away. It would have been the prudent thing to do. That was when I noticed that we only had a 1/4th of a tank of gas left. I was just sure that there wouldn’t be another gas station for miles. At least not one that had fresh Krispy Kremes within its walls. So we sat in the parking lot, filling our gas tank and bellies. And would you believe the fricking fracking icing donut didn’t taste nearly good as I expected! It just didn’t! And I wasn’t satisfied with only one glazed donut. I was already mentally committed to having 2 donuts. So when Matt went in to pay for the gas, I had him get me not one, but 2 more glazed donuts! I snarfed them down really fast so I wouldn’t have to think about breaking my promise to Belinda of only getting one.

When I woke up on Sunday, Lord, I was a broken woman. I was now going to have to lose 3 pounds to get to my 20 pound loss, instead of 6 ounces. So to console myself, I had French fries just one more time that night.

Sweet Jesus, I am back on the straight and narrow today. And for this weekend, I can only express to you how stupid I was to let something as small as a donut cause me such turmoil and make me fall into the depths. This week, I suppose I have a few things I need to do to make up for the wretched way I dieted this weekend.

1. I need to make sure that I mentally keep my brain in check. Exhaustion leads to poor food choices because I just don’t care what I eat if I am sleepy.

2. I need to apologize to Belinda for not keeping my word to her.

3. I need to wear the size 18 jeans when they are fresh out of the dryer so I can feel them squeeze my big butt and remind me of the price for falling into the hole. (of a donut that is) (make that 3 holes)

4. I need to figure out what it is that is keeping me from obtaining the less than 200 mark. I obviously have something internally that is holding me back, and it needs to go.

5. I need to never ever ever take my eyes off the road I am traveling on, lest I see another Krispy Kreme sign that will cause me to fall.

So there is my confession, Father. I humbly ask for your forgiveness, and pray that this week you give me the strength to apply myself and get back to being 6 ounces short. Because I really don’t deserve to hit the magical 20 this week. And, not that you need to be told what to do, but I would appreciate it if you could add an 11th commandment added to the list.

“I do-nut need donuts.”

Wednesday, March 25

Scholarships, Walls, and Tampons- A Very Charlie Message

All right, dear readers, we are going to take a little departure from the dieting escapade and get serious for a moment. But you all know that serious with me is still fun, so stick with this, OK?
There is a contest going on for a free scholarship to attend the SheSpeaks conference this summer, provided by Proverbs 31 Ministry. This is a great organization, and if you have never checked them out, you are missing out on some serious faith building. They are committed (in more ways than one, I think! ;) to helping women draw closer to God, and as I have mentioned before on OSCBB, I am a preacher in training, so they are a part of my daily routine with their devotionals. It is also confirmed that they have checked out our hidden gem of a blog, and enjoyed it (see the comments after the previous post- Why Gas Hurts the Local Economy). This scholarship is worth over $500, and that is a lot of moola! The terms of the scholarship found at
and I figured I might have a go at it. I am already planning on attending, but the cost is pretty steep when I tack on the air fare (plus all the extras I am signing up for). And the benefits of this conference would be immeasurable for me, as you will read below. This conference gives information on the nitty gritty of what I want to do, and how to do it well. I’ll even get a chance to meet with a publisher! I really don’t expect to win, but God does amazing things, so we will just wait and see what happens!
Finally, as you read this post, I will advise you that we are going to talk a little about my faith in Jesus Christ. I KNOW many of you readers are not necessarily Christian, or affiliated with any faith in general. But if you could, just for me, JUST THIS ONCE, keep reading. You all know about my hips, my boobs, my car, my diet, and my family. It’s high time that I introduced you to my main squeeze and Savior, Jesus. Our relationship is just as nutty as the rest of my life, so I promise that this will be interesting!!!
OK, hold on to your hats- cause you are in for a ride!

My Faith is a Tampon
(C’mon now, did you ever doubt my ability to make this fun?)
I have purchased over 5,000 tampons in my life. I just did the math. 17 years, a box a month, it all adds up. I have probably passed 40 or 50 under the walls of a public bathroom stall, and have had to accept just as many over the years. I even had to use one as my “something borrowed” an hour before my wedding ceremony when Matt and I got hitched! And it got me to thinking as I crunched the numbers.
Is my faith as accessible to others as my tampons are?
I keep extra tampons in my purse at all times, just in case someone needs them. There is no shame in asking a complete stranger for something so intimate and personal to a woman. In fact, this rite of passage unites us in a strange way. I still remember the first time I heard that all too familiar question from a stall 3 doors down from me. “Does anyone have a tampon?” I sure did, and I passed that to the woman next to me, who passed it to the woman next to her, who gave it to our unseen stranded friend.
But when it comes down to it, my faith gets hidden a lot. I keep it tucked away in my purse of my heart. I tend to qualify who receives the message God has placed on my heart, making sure they are ready to hear it, giving lots of disclaimers about it (“I don’t mean to offend you, but…”), and tiptoeing around feelings. I’m pretty sure that this is not what God intended when He gave the call to teach, preach, and make disciples in every nation. His Word was meant to be out in the open, for all to see, and available to all.
Part of my secretiveness is due to the utter disaster zone I have made of my life. Folks, there is not a person in the world who could have sinned more than me! And some of you know this first hand because you were right there with me! I look at the mess my life has been and think that my witness to share the gospel has been destroyed. Maybe to some of you it has, and for that- I am so sorry that you had to see me at my worst, and I am horrified that I made a mockery of the name of Christ. My most sincerest apologies cannot ever cover the scope of my sorrow over how I may have led you astray.
Another reason I am so guarded with my faith is that I am still growing and learning myself. My faith has been a lot like the diet. Loss, then a gain, then a loss, then a gain…it isn’t fair that I have to put you through that up and down.
Or is it?
Over the last year, God has been doing some pretty amazing things in my life. I am SO FAR from where I want to be with Him, but yet I can’t contain my excitement for what He is doing right now!!! There is a story in the Bible that describes exactly where I am, and it is found in Joshua 6, verses 4 through 20. I am not going to make you read it all, but I will give you the highlights. Joshua had been told by God that he needed to enter into the city of Jericho with the Israelite nation. There was a catch, though, just like there’s always a catch in my life. There was a wall around the city of Jericho. It was over a foot thick, and anywhere from 35-40 feet tall. They had to get over that huge wall, somehow. Lucky for them, God had a plan. They had to march around the city, blowing trumpets and praising God. Let’s take a quick peek at verses 12 through 14.
12 Then Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 And the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD walked on, and they blew the trumpets continually. And the armed men were walking before them, and the rear guard was walking after the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets blew continually. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. So they did for six days.
Did you see how long they had to march? 6 days without any progress that the human eye could see! I wonder how they felt as they gathered up their horns and the ark of the covenant on the morning of day 6, only to determine that nothing was really happening? I bet they felt discouraged and frustrated. Maybe even a little stupid as they had to make noise and draw attention to themselves. People are people, and people are nosy. I look out the window when I hear a siren that is maybe miles away, wondering if I will catch a glimpse of the current event. So I can imagine the scuttlebutt going on inside the walls of Jericho, talking about those crazy Israelites who were marching around the city for no reason at all. I bet they were lined up on top of the wall to see what in the world these children of God were doing!
The good news is the story ends well. On the 7th day, Joshua 6:20 tells us that the walls of the city fell down flat and the Israelites were able to overtake the city, just as God promised.
SO- what does the wall of Jericho have to do with me, my faith and tampons? Ladies and gentlemen- (those of you men brave enough to stick around after my talking about tampons, that is…) I am marching around the place that God has planned for me. Right now, I am circling it, it’s so close I can reach out and touch it, but it isn’t mine yet. Honestly, it feels like I am on day 6 of the marching. I’ve been going round and round for a while, just waiting for the walls to fall down so I can go in. I might not have the biggest faith everyday, which is the up and down of this life, but doggone it, I am still marching! And I may not have a trumpet, but my kazoo is blasting out as loud as I can get it. These walls are going to fall down!
And where, exactly, do I think God is leading me? What is it that I am marching around that is calling me day in and day out? I know, you are all on the edge of your seats!
My job is to hand out the tampons (my faith) so that everyone is prepared. I need to throw them out so women can catch them, with enough to pass out in their own bathroom stalls (their homes, workplaces, and among their friends). My goal is to help women become more confident about sharing their own faith and have fun along the way! You all know that I am a gifted writer (and thanks for all the kudos, by the way), a songwriter and singer, and now I am going to pass on the big secret. I LOVE TO TALK. Big surprise, yeah? I could stand in front of a thousand women and make them laugh, cry, and learn to love Jesus and themselves a litter deeper than they ever thought possible. It’s not because of my own talent, but because God has decided to use me, Charlie: sinner extraordinaire, with big mouth and a big butt, and a whole lot of spunk. God asked me to step up to the plate and be real and honest with women about my struggles; my past riddled with physical abuse from my dad and my ex husband, my need to be accepted at any cost and how that has really messed me up, and my redemption- spending time broken at the foot of the cross because no other place wanted me. Even about my fight with weight loss, and how that has turned out to be the hardest task yet! No wonder life has been such a journey for me- I was just getting stamps in my passport of life so I could prove I have been around the block!
So my faith really is a tampon. It’s not pretty, it’s rather embarrassing to get for the first time, it’s important to share, AND IT IS NECESSARY.
I have to share this story with you. When Tim was 2, I found him on my bathroom floor, surrounded by a box of open tampons. They were all over the place, opened and had been, um, how shall I put this? Ah, yes. SPRUNG.
I asked him what he was doing, and he took the last unopened tampon from the box, ripped it open and hit the bottom of the tampon on his palm, popping the tampon out of its applicator. He grinned and said, “Look Mama! ROCKETS!!!”
People, it’s about time that I let my faith take off like a rocket. I’ve got places to go, and I pray that you will come with me.

If anyone would like more information about the conference, please check out this link.

Tuesday, March 10

Why gas hurts the local economy

So, it has been a while since I blogged for you, my good friends. I deeply apologize for that. I really do. Some of you have been more patient than others, but those of you who are emailing me and telling me to get a new post up…well, this one is for you.
First of all, I had an email come from a fellow in Chicago. He said that he assumed that since I had not written lately, that the operation was over and the butt had won. Fellow from Chicago, let me assure you, the butt has NOT won. In fact, it has been shrinking quite a bit. Maybe not in massive quantities, but some of you know, any shrinkage is still shrinkage. 13.25 inches in 4 weeks is fantastic, even though I only lost 2 pounds. Muscle is smaller than fat, but a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat. Nevertheless, there was shrinkage!
Another email came from somewhere deep in the heart of Kentucky. Several requests from Kentucky, actually, asking me to update the blog because it was found to be very enjoyable. This lovely reader also sent me a recipe for an excruciating exercise routine, promising that it would burn far more calories than walking on the treadmill alone. This recipe, called speed intervals, required a fair amount of endurance and coordination, neither of which I possess. And I gave it a whirl, even though I couldn’t make it to the top speed of 9 MPH. I couldn’t even hit 7MPH. I did hit 6, for a whopping 60 seconds before I felt my lungs catch fire and the blood was searing through my body in an effort to restore order to my failing organs and overheated appendages. Matt looked very concerned when I was speed training, and I think until I drop a few more pounds, I need to give it a rest. The structural integrity of the treadmill was put to the test as my feet pounded the belt, and I was afraid afterwards I was going to have to call in the warranty. But she still seems to be flying, so all is well. I jokingly tell you that the speed training came from the girl who used to be my arch nemesis in elementary school. 10 years ago I would have deemed that the reason that she sent me this radical routine. However, I do not believe that to be the case today. I am going to think it is because she knows that I am a fighter, and capable of much more than I give myself credit for. Maybe that’s because I was always able to give her a run for her money in grade school. Now, she is giving me a run for mine. Thanks, Amy, and I mean that from the bottom. Of my heart, of course!
OK, so there is the old business. Now, onto new business.
For those of you out there whom I have never met face to face, I am going to let you in on a little information about me. First of all, I do not possess one ounce of grace or class. It just isn’t in me. Never has been. I am the kind of girl who trips on nothing, spills coffee on her white shirt, and just this Sunday, right before church where I was singing in front of the congregation, the water fountain exploded on my red satin shirt as I was taking a final drink and heading to the platform to begin service. I sang my praises to God with watermarks all over my boobs. I don’t try to let any of this get to me, but yesterday, my situation was a little more embarrassing than usual. Have I piqued your curiosity yet?
So, in my quest to live a healthier life, I have stopped eating 90% of the fat and processed foods that I normally do. I am eating a diet rich in natural fiber, and it has done some interesting things to my body. First of all, deodorant no longer works for me. I have always been a sweater (not the knitted kind, but the yucky kind) and I usually applied deodorant twice a day B.D. (before diet). Now, without all the crap and junk that I eat clogging up my sweat glands, I am pouring out perspiration like a geyser! And it’s not just wet. It’s foul. Adding to the complications, I have very sensitive skin. This means that I am limited to a select quantity of products. All of which would keep the stink off a toddler with no body odor at all who is wiped down with baby wipes every 3 hours. After spending over $50 on products that are clinical strength only to have them break me out (and trust me, no one likes to have what looks like chicken pox on their armpits with no deodorant when they are running speed intervals) it's annoying to have people scrunch up their noses when they walk past you. I can't help it!
The other oddity I am experiencing is another geyser function. Along with the constant moisture, there is a flow of gas that comes with it. I am usually in control of the situation, to TOOT my own horn, but yesterday was not my best day for muscle retention. Matt and I had done Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, barely made it through, (the first 15 minutes, that is) and I am not ashamed to tell you that every single muscle fiber of my body hurt on Monday. It even hurt to bend my knees to sit down!
So yesterday, I had a huge list of errands and commitments to do. I started the day by volunteering at my children’s school. My mom happens to be a teacher there, so I just work in her room to get my hours in. It’s mandatory for all parents, not just me. I went in and got straight to work, putting letters on a sign for the front window of her classroom. Now, considering that I was not in control of any of my muscles, I suffered a thigh cramp while just sitting down. And then I felt that all too familiar bloating that comes with having a severe gas bubble in your belly.
So I held it as long as I could. I mean, I was cinching my cheeks together so tight, Fort Knox would have been proud. I was waiting for the perfect moment to let ‘er rip, and I finally got to the point that I could hold it no longer. Plus, I couldn’t dare to get up and head to the bathroom to pass the gas. It was beyond the point of holding.
So I tried to squeak it out as quiet as possible. And it was pretty quiet. It was also terribly noxious. If it had only been my mom in the room, I would have let it just hit her. She has done that to me on more than one occasion while shopping, not telling me where the air bomb was laid, and just let me walk right into it. Then we have to go through the whole “OH, Mom, was that you?” Then “Margaret the Saint” would just grin and say, “Let’s move. There was another one.” She is the queen of the sneaky farts.
But my mother was not the only potential victim in the room. There was also a young student teacher in the room. Tall, young, thin, perfectly made up and perky, this poor girl was sharing the space as well. They were hanging out on the other side of the room, safe from harm’s way, until the proprietors of education decided to come over where I was to check something out. I was going to have to try to save face. I was the only other person in the room.
“Um, I am sorry guys, but I just farted, and I need to warn you to stay over there for a few more minutes.” It was the only thing I could say. Humiliating, honest, and humble.
Young student teacher girl stared at me with wide eyes for a moment, unsure of what to say. Then she finally burst out into giggles, which turned into gales of laughter. My mom, never one to pass up a good laugh, joined in and asked if I needed the air freshner spray. They both had a good laugh at my expense (rightly so) and heeded the advice, staying far on the other side of the room. When they did finally head back over, they gave the air a test sniff before marching into enemy territory.
I had to leave for an eye exam about 10ish, so I headed to the van and tried to pass as much wind as I possibly could. After all, eye exams are in dark little rooms with no ventilation and a stranger. The entire drive I had the window open and was going to town. But it worked, and I was able to contain myself for the next 45 minutes. No one went blind because of me.
My last stop was picking up cat food for Puppy. I really hate going to Walmart, so I stopped by the dollar store. I did a few “fart and walks” in the store, but nothing major. I went up to the cash register where they had put a teeny tiny sign that said the debit card machine was down, and they could only take cash or checks. I had just wasted 20 minutes. And the gas was welling up again. So I headed to Big Lots.
Now, for those of you who do not have a Big Lots in your area, you are truly missing out on the ultimate Midwest experience. You get to see it all. Rich people slumming, white trash switching price tags, and then there are the lunchers. They come to Big Lots to kill time. And to people watch, like me. You never know who or what you will see there.
So I head into the store, and I realize that there is a huge issue with the gas situation. I have no choice but to find an uninhabited spot and let it go. I walk up to the garden area in the front of the store, frankly, people, it’s Big Lots. I really don’t care what people think of me in Big Lots. So I let it go. It sounded like a machine gun firing out. “Put-put-put-put-put-put-put-put-put-PUT!” And the smell was overwhelming. It even made me think like a five year old for a minute, giggling uncontrollably.
That was about the time two of the richies, who were slumming and lunching, arrived on the scene. By this time, I had moved around the corner from the mushroom cloud of destruction, and because of the open shelves, I could hear the ladies as they walked into ground zero.
“Oh, my gosh! I didn’t know Big Lots sold fertilizer!”
“I don’t think they do!”
As I was scooting quickly away, trying not to giggle, I heard one of them say, “Someone must have passed gas. I bet they are still nearby. Let’s try to guess who it was.”
By this point, I was practically running to the back of the store, trying to stay as far away from the detective duo. I knew if they looked in my eyes, they would know that it was me.
I grabbed the items I needed and headed up to the cash register, and on the way, I saw two women pointing and laughing with tears streaming down their faces as they assumed it was the little old lady with blue hair.
My secret was safe for now. They would never find out that it was me, the incredible shrinking woman. Unless they happen to read this blog. Or you hear the story from a friend and tell them I’m the culprit. Then I’ll never be able to show my face in Big Lots again. And I spend lots of money there.
I guess the cost of gas really has risen out of control.
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