Monday, November 30


So you may recall that a few weeks ago, I told you I had big news. Really big news. Life changing news.

Then I totally didn't tell you what it was.

Remember that???

Instead I posted the picture of me that woke me up and started me on this crazy journey.

Well, no more pictures instead of news. Today, I get to tell you.

Are you bursting with curiosity yet?

It turns out, about 8 months ago, I submitted an article to be considered for submission. To a real bonafide nationally subscribed to magazine. The Proverbs 31 Magazine.

And now, it turns out that you all may need to run to their site and get a subscription. Cause I'm gonna be in it!

YEP! The article I submitted is going to be published in March of next year! Which is HUGE!!! This is my first national publication. EVER. And I couldn't be more pleased that it is in the P31 Woman. Cause those girls at P31???

Freaking awesome. All of them.

Now, I'm spilling the beans that am I'm going to lie to myself. Perhaps that is a bit irrational, especially considering that I am getting published in a Christian women's magazine. But hear me out before you judge. There's a reason for my madness.

See, I have been looking for some motivation to really keep myself on my toes with the diet. Something to kick me in the seat of the diet pants. So, here's the lie I'm telling myself. Cause I already know that it isn't going to happen.

What if....(and stick with me here)... what if I worked on really losing weight because they will need someone for the cover of the issue? (Cause let's be real. Your old pal Charlie here is NOT magazine cover material.) However, if I keep that thought in the back of my head for the next 4 months, then maybe it will be just the motivation I have needed to get me down the next 15 pounds. And it might make me work extra hard. At this point, I am so desperate to finally hit the land of 160's that I will lie to myself all day long if I have to!

OK, I really need to go to bed, cause it's 2 in the morning, and I have been sewing show choir costumes for 4 days straight. That's another blog post for later this week. But I wanted you all to know that good things are still happening to those that chase their dreams.

So what are you chasing after today???

Tuesday, November 24


Dear Motivation-

(I apologize to you readers that I write so many letters to people and inanimate things. I do have a habit of it…Note to self, Mother Nature...but it really makes sense to me to write letters and put things out there. Helps me travel emotionally and leads me to breakdowns…I meant breakthroughs!!!! Ahem, I better start over.)

Dear Motivation-

Hi there, old friend. I know that you will read this when you get back, because I think you are on vacation. Ever since I got the flu a few weeks ago, you have been mysteriously absent in my life. While this was not a pre-approved vacation, I do understand. You have been working overtime for a year, putting in extra hours, standing strong in the face of French fries, sweating bullets when it should have been your day off… you’ve done a fantastic job this year. Bravo!

So I know that you needed a break. But it seems that we are right on the cusp of a break through, and I don’t think that now is the best time for you to slack off! I mean, Thanksgiving is in a few days. I know that most people will be taking a holiday then, and you deserve that day above anyone else. But here’s the thing. That is the hardest day for me. And I will need you. Because that’s when all the yummy food comes to the table and I find myself going back for seconds. And thirds. And dessert. Heaven help me, the desserts…

But in all seriousness, we have some huge hurdles to overcome in the next month. I would like to say that I ended the year at a 73 pound loss. And that means that I have got to shed a few more pounds. 73 pounds will put me midway in the land of 160’s, a land I have not seen in years. I know that once the new year arrives, I’ll be all gung ho again (simply the nature of this beast) but we have got to get moving on getting to 165. Just 6 more pounds. I am so close that I can feel it! But could we really drop 6 pounds during the holiday season?

I think that we better come prepared. And there is only one cure I know of for this predicament. Thanksgiving and Christmas. The NIBBLE holidays. The time of year people set out cookies and junk food and stuff that adds up quick. In order to make your job easier, Motivation, I will take some precautionary steps.

We are bringing our own plate to the party.

Yep. Forget the oversized platters, the chinets that are good for more than one round thru the buffet, and grandma’s special turkey plates that are 3 feet in diamater.

I am bringing a kiddie plate.

Not only is it a kiddie plate, but it is one with dividers. Yeah, that should help.

The largest portion will have any veggies that aren’t terribly overloaded with butter, cheese or extras.

The medium size portion will be for a small sampling of each of the goodies that I don’t normally get. Like green bean casserole. And mashed potatoes covered with noodles. And other fun stuff that might pop up. If I only use the medium divided section for those things, and I have to fit it ALL in that section, then that will only give me a small taste of each, and satiate any desire I may have for those high carb, low nutrition, yummy succulent dishes.

And the smallest portion of the plate will be saved for my protein of choice. Either ham or turkey. But not both. And only a serving.

The hardest part of this whole process is going to be this-


I will not go back for seconds. I will not get just one more bite. I will set the timer on my phone for 20 minutes after I have finished the allotted food on the kiddie plate, and wait before going to get some dessert. No matter how hard that will be. And no matter how much I want more on that little plate.

Truth be told, if I finish the small amount of food on the kiddie plate and wait, I will feel full. Not stuffed, but full. And I will be able to pass up 90% of the desserts offered.

As for the remaining 10% that I can’t resist?

Well, Motivation, I’m counting on you to help me stick to a small serving of sweets. So you have to come back to work. Sorry. But you had a nice break!

As for all the food that is perfect for grazing? If it ain't on the plate, it ain't going in my mouth. NO EXCEPTIONS. NONE. Unless it's naked veggies. Those are acceptable.

And once Thanksgiving is over, we are going to stick to this plan for the rest of the Holidays.

Cause we are going to hit 165 by New Year’s Eve. I pinkie promise.

Saturday, November 21

A Perfect 10

So today, I had to run to the store because Matt used the last of the coffee. And didn’t tell me we were out. Which would have been fine, except…….

I woke up this morning groggy and tired, so I reheated the leftover cuppa joe from yesterday by turning the coffee pot on, and sat down to answer an email or two while it warmed up.

Meanwhile, my darling husband woke up, went to the kitchen, saw the coffee pot was on, assumed that I had already gotten my coffee, and took the last cup that was warming up. (NOTE- He adds protein powder to his coffee. Bleeeeck!)

He sits down beside me on the couch with his steaming hot cup of coffee, takes a sip and smiles lovingly at me.

I look up and say “Was that the coffee I was warming up in the pot?”

M: “Uh,” (insert uncomfortable silence here) “maybe. I think so. You can have my cup.”

C: “Did you add protein powder to it?”

M: “Oh, gosh darn it, I did. Sorry!”

C: “That’s ok. I’ll just go make a fresh pot.”

M: “Well, I used the last of the coffee yesterday morning.”

C: “Why didn’t you tell me?”

M: “I forgot.”

C: “I see…..” (insert long uncomfortable silence here with me shooting daggers.)

M: “You can have my cup of coffee. It doesn’t taste that bad.”

C: “No thanks. I guess I’ll just run to the store.”

M: “Ok,” (insert nervous giggle here) “sorry about that babe.”

*Note the tone I shall try to convey with the phrase I say next. In your head it should sound disappointed, irritated, and with the inflection of responsibility for said disappointment and irritability. Also slightly perturbed with a heaping (empty coffee) cup full of highly annoyed.

C: “Mmmmm hmmmmm.”

Let me add that I am a PMSing monger right now.

(I got a new iphone for my job, and I downloaded an application that tells me when my next period will be. So you guys are no longer responsible for reading about it because I never remember to write it on the calendar. I now have an app for that. And unless something profoundly ridiculous happens, I won’t have to share. Except that I just did. So I suppose there is no harm in me sharing that I should be starting in 2 days. Which means that Matt is going to have a very long and frustrating 2 days. Cause I get CRANKY!!!!! )

OK, back to the story. I now had to go to the store. So I threw on a bra and shirt, and looked for a pair of jeans. And I found a pair that I had never seen before. Turns out my sister in law (Tricky Nikki) sent them home with my daughter this week for me to try. They were teeny tiny jeans. I looked at the size- it was a 9/10. I can get myself into an 11/12 no prob. But the 9/10s are still hit and miss. Sometimes they fit, sometimes they don’t even come close.

So I figured I’d at least try them on. If they didn’t fit, that would make me realize how wrong it was for me to eat a whole Butterfinger candy bar last night. (I even licked the wrapper. I think that’s why I didn’t realize till this morning that I was PMSey. Cause I ate and experienced the healing power of chocolate last night! Holy cow, it was divine!)

I pulled the jeans up one leg, and they got up past my calves and part of my thighs. Still had some room, so I inserted the other leg, and slowly pulled the jeans up over my hips. And thanks to the extremely pliable nature of my shrinking tummy, I moved some fat around to button the button fly.

And every dang button buttoned!!!

I was in complete shock! They actually fit! I mean not just “hey, look, I got these buttoned, and now I have to take them off before I pass out” but it was more like “hey, look, I got these buttoned and now I can walk and sit and breathe just like a real girl!”

What a great feeling. It helped the PMS decrease slightly. And I made Matt take pics so that I could remember this day forever. The day I didn’t have to wear a girdle to be a perfect 10. It totally made up for my severe PMS, lack of coffee, and unplanned trip to the store. (Where I bought coffee AND Midol.)

So here they are! My second pair of 9/10s that I can officially wear. In public. (As long as I lose the granny panties that cause horrible VPLs. Visible Panty Lines. I mean they are really bad. I guess I’ll be purchasing a thong for when I wear these jeans. Tricky Nikki will be so proud!!!)

See, I TOLD you they were bad! Although in my defense, they are VPLs in size 9/10 jeans, so I didn't care. I have no shame. Luckily, I do have long shirts.

And this was just to compare. I wrote to you about my size 26 jeans that I started in. I couldn't find them tonight, but I did find my 24W jean shorts. I just wanted to show them together so you can get an idea of the change that has happened and why I don't give 2 hoots about showing VPLs on a public domain like the blog. Check this out...

See? What a huge change! So today, grumpiness aside, I would have to say that over all, the day was a perfect 10.

Friday, November 20

The Turkey Trilogy

Today is the day that all my hard work and drama pays off. Today is Mary's Giving Up on a Perfect Thanksgiving. And the sole reason I made the Turkey tutorial. Next week, I will get back to talking about dieting and weight and all the usual stuff. But for today, it's all about Tom the Turkey for me.

So those of you who have linked over here from Mary's blog, you are probably interested in reading the Turkey Trilogy. Which are the 3 posts below. One is the Turkey Tutorial Video. The other 2 are well worth a read. Because stuff like that probably happens to you. I know that this is par for the course for me, but that's just fine. It's good blog fodder. So you can read the 3 posts below, in no particular order. Doesn't really matter, because it's all about the making of the Turkey Tutorial.

If you like what you are reading, make sure to become a follower, over there at the left, and come back for more. I hope you enjoy my Turkey Trilogy.

Best wishes for a Happy (and un-perfect) Thanksgiving-

Thursday, November 19

"Behind" the scenes of the Turkey Tutorial

For those of you who have come to Operation Shrink Charlie’s Big Butt to see the highly acclaimed Turkey Tutorial (stepping away from the computer momentarily to avoid the inevitable lightning strike…) let me warmly welcome you to the blog!!! I promise you that if you are on a diet, (or need to- but we don’t point fingers here) you will find OSCBB is a common gathering place for a world of dieters. Which is good, because we can’t meet at the donut shoppe anymore. Too risky.

Please explore and wander ‘round the new and improved site. (just got my blog did. Nice, huh? All the good looking credit goes to April Showers Blog Design. I would say that she is cheap and talented, but that wouldn’t be very polite!) The Turkey Tutorial is on the post below this one. But if you have a few minutes, stick around and keep reading this post. I vow on my evil scale that it’s a good and funny one.

For those of you who have been here for a while, and are now stalking me (*cough* April!) welcome back, and the post you are about to read is one you are sure to love. Classic Charlie moments below.

I want to tell you about behind the scenes of the Turkey Tutorial. You read about my Sunday preparing for the filming of my tutorial, which was a disaster. But what you don’t know is the painful torture I endured to present you with my pathetic (yet highly amusing) attempt at a cooking show. The drama of post production. Editing. The cherry on the fat free yogurt sundae. Spraying the hairspray on hair that hasn’t frizzed out yet. I hope you get it because I am stopping the analogies now.

Brace yourselves.

So Sunday evening, shortly after pulling the turkey out of the oven, my husband kindly offered to edit the video for me, since he’s the computer whiz with the theatre degree- and I accepted. Which was great. I had stuff to do. But when the video he pulled off our digital camera was not converting correctly so he could edit it (because our camera isn’t meant to be a camcorder but it works in a pinch), he got frustrated. And he got a headache. So he went to bed. And I REALLY wanted the tutorial to be done. (Turned out he had the flu and would be out of commission for the next 2 days.)

I decided that determination had worked for the diet, so it would work for editing stubborn video clips too! And I messed with it. And twiddled. And fiddled around with numerous programs promising to convert with ease. But nothing worked for 2 clips in particular… one was a commercial for the Proverbs 31 Girls Get Away Cruise and I really wanted a commercial break in the show. Before I knew it, it was 4am, and I still wasn’t done. Or even close. In fact, I was not one second closer to the finish line than I had been at 10:30 the previous night. So I laid on the couch for a moment to think. With my eyes closed.


“Mom, are we going to school today? It starts in 10 minutes…”

My daughter Amy woke me up the second after she did. Mind you, my other 2, who were seen in the tutorial, had no intention of waking me up. They were too busy playing Club Penguin on the computers. I shot them dirty looks as I ran to the kitchen to see the time. 7:51am. School starts at 8.


The next 15 minutes were a flurry of activity. I pulled wrinkled uniforms out of the overflowing clothes hamper, found 6 random socks that didn’t feel “too crunchy” for wearing, counted out $5.25 in nickels for lunches since I didn’t have time to pack any, grabbed book bags to inspect for toys and ice cream (and there is a blog for another day to explain THAT!), signed agenda books, made sure kids had a granola bars and bananas to eat in the car, and made sure the girls brought a hairbrush for the drive to school. Also gave each of them a stick of gum to chew right after eating in the van. I shoved the kids out the door and grabbed my keys.

“Mom, you will have to take us inside and sign us in since we are so late. You can’t wear your robe and slippers!”


(And yes, I have driven the kids to school before wearing that same outfit. I have no shame and I hate mornings)

SO- I grabbed sweatpants from the hamper, an exercise muscle shirt (no time for a bra), and a red zip up hoodie. (I love my sweatshirt- dit dit dit, my red hooded sweatshirt) (Sorry, I couldn't help myself!) I grabbed a generic plastic croc type shoe and looked for it’s mate. But to no avail. So I grabbed another generic croc type shoe. Both were right footed, one pink and one blue with rainbow swirls. I chucked a hat on my head and we all scrambled out the door and headed for school in the van. Oh, I should mention here that it is POURING DOWN RAIN.

If you are laughing at this point, I strongly suggest that you stop and take a quick moment to empty your bladder. You have had fair warning.

The time was 8:20 when we got to school, had parked, and the kids had all spit out their gum. The school doors were locked. As we waited outside in the rain to be buzzed in, I realized that the leg of my sweatpants was soaking wet from dragging on the ground. They are men’s sweatpants, and I am short. ‘Nuff said. I shook my leg to try and remove some of the moisture before I dripped all through the hallways of my children’s educational establishment.

We got inside and started walking towards the office. Apparently the previous shaking of my leg was just enough to launch the pair of yesterday's underwear (conveniently stored in the leg of my sweatpants) loose. They fell right out onto the floor as we entered the office. I quickly hit the deck, and tried to hide the bright blue panties in the pocket of my hoodie while laying down. I stood up and the secretary was looking at me kinda funny. Which could have been about anything, really…me dropping to the floor in her presence, the mismatched-both-right-footed shoes, the kids in wrinkled clothes, the crazy woman hair sticking out under from the hat, the pair of blue undies I thought were hidden but were really half hanging out of the pocket of my red jacket…take your pick. I was a disaster smorgasbord.

Finally the kids were signed in, and I slunk back to the van to go home where I belonged. Then I remembered that I needed to hit the bank and pick up cash to pay for the kids guitar lessons. Since the bank has a drive thru, and I was already on that side of town, well- why the heck not get it overwith?

The very nice lady at the bank offered me a free calendar. I said sure, and she showed me the options. There were two that weren’t hideous, and without coffee coursing through my veins, I was powerless to make a decision.

She smiled and whispered, “You can have two, hon!”

“Thanks! You are making my horrible Monday a little less horrible.”

“You are having a bad day? Why is that?”

(And I really did this. This is not an exaggeration in the slightest.)

I reached down, pulled off my mismatching generic "just right" crocs, and held them up for her to see. She started laughing. And I quickly gave her my schpeel about the day’s events and she took pity and I took her pity.

“I think you might need 3 calendars instead of 2 today.”

As I began to pull away, she called out, “Be thankful, it could be worse!!!”

I smiled back and said, “Good point!”

And I was genuinely thankful that things weren’t worse than they already were.

I got home without any more collateral damage, grabbed a Special K protein shake and a thermos of coffee, and set out to at least edit the video clips I could start with. My tummy was a mess, but I figured all the stress was giving me thunder down under. Not to mention I was starving. So I sucked down both the shake and coffee, and set about my editing task.

About the 3rd time that my computer locked up and crashed and I lost all the work I had done in triplicate, to say I was on edge was an understatement. And my tummy kept cramping. I thought that maybe if I simply passed a little wind, I would feel better.

So I tooted. There in my comfy computer chair (that reclines, thank you very much!) I just let one little stinker. And I felt better. But it smelled bad. We are talking “put a frat boy to shame” bad. And it kept getting stronger. And STRONGER. Then I realized I was experiencing a little extra humidity in the south regions. Yep. It was not just a fart. I had - how to put this delicately? Pooped my pants. Yes, that's pretty delicate. And it had leaked onto the upholstered computer chair.


Add an extra load of laundry to an already great day. Plus I had to clean the chair.

In total, it took me about 15 hours to get all the editing done, and it was frustrating as all get out.

But the end result was totally worth it. (although I could have lived without the pants pooping part.)

So to validate all the work, drama and (quite literally) crap I went through to get the Turkey Tutorial to you, would you be a friend and forward it to everyone you know? Maybe tell them it will make their day or make them smile? Because that would ease the pain and suffering. A little.

Who knew that this video would be such a stinker???

Tuesday, November 17


I know that the size may make my commentaries (aka smart alec remarks about myself) hard to read. The end should be fine, so I just posted the first part on Youtube, and then search for Charliegirl2490.

Have fun watching my Turkey Tutorial!!! Then go check out Giving Up on Perfect as my bloggy friend Mary prepares to "Give Up on a Perfect Thanksgiving!"

(And the video quality is not great. Can you imagine the fun I could have with an HD video camera? Santa, please leave THAT under my tree!!!)

Monday, November 16

Trashy Turkey Talk

OK, the perfect turkey video is now in the throws of editing and should be done Monday night sometime.

The turkey is made and it is DEELISH!!!!

But behind the scenes of the "Turkey Tutorial", things were not exactly going my way. At all.

Besides the fact that I didn't have time to write out and memorize a script (so I am winging it the whole way. And you can totally tell) I realized from the moment I purchased the bird that the odds were against me.

I was looking for a 15 pound turkey. Apparently that is a very popular size by way of Thanksgiving, because I couldn't find one. Searched 2 different stores, and I finally gave up and got a 12 pounder. A little puny, but it would have to do.

While purchasing the bird, I found these nifty turkey flippers that help support the turkey while lifting it up. Last year I almost scalded my hand off, so I decided the flippers were a wise investment indeed.

But when I got home, they were no where to be found. I left them at walmart. Or lost them on the way home. I have no clue where they went!

Then, being home, I got bra-less and in my comfy pants, when I realized that I had forgotten to purchase honey for my recipe. So I put off the tutorial recording from Saturday to Sunday. The family was bummed out, but they still knew they were getting a turkey soon, so they eventually settled down.

I went back to the store to purchase honey Sunday afternoon, and got everything lined up for filming. Except there was one problem. I had forgotten to pick up a disposable roasting pan. SHOOT!!!!!

Trip number 3 to the store, and of course it was raining. I had already done my hair and makeup, so the rain gave my makeup an "Alice Cooper" effect. It also gave my hair a "North Carolina in August fighting severe humidity" effect. Trying to save the last strands of hope for my hair and makeup, I ran across the parking lot in the pouring rain.

And that was when I heard something drop.

My phone. In a puddle. In 2 parts.

I bent down to pick it up, and the car that wasn't paying attention (because she was talking on her whole dry phone) screeched to a halt just moments before crushing me.

I ran into the store, mumbling, and desperately tried to put Humpty Dumpty back together while simultaneously wiping the eyeliner from my chin, which was the resting place for my soggy hair do. Or hair don't as it were. I admitted defeat, shoved the pieces in my pocket, and shopped.

I picked up the stuff I needed and started driving home. The cell phone store was on the way, so I pulled in for a minute to see if they could fix it or give me a loaner or something. I can't function without Jesus and my phone. I laid my phone on the counter and this was the conversation that followed.

Me: I broke my phone. Can you fix it?

Her (shaking the phone and a cup of water pours out): You broke your phone.

Me: I know. Can you fix it?

Her: What happened???

Me: I broke my phone.

Her: Wow, you really broke your phone.

Me (through clenched teeth): Yes. I DID. CAN YOU FIX IT?

Her: I don't know. Hey Sonja, this girl needs help.

Sonja: What happened?


Her: She broke her phone.

Sonja (coming over to inspect, shaking it and water pouring out again): Huh, you really broke your phone.

Me: Thank you. It took special training to break it like this. I'm that good.

Sonja: Hey Cliff, this girl needs your help!

Cliff: What happened?

Sonja: She broke her phone....

By this point, I am both breathing fire and laughing at how ridiculous the conversation was. Eventually, with the help of a hair dryer and a clear plastic case and some tape, we got it straightened out. It turned back on, and I dashed out of the store with a working phone. Or so I thought.

Dang it! I forgot to pick up another set of turkey flippers!

Oh well. I didn't have them last year, I could do it without them again this year.

So there was the drama. All this so you all could make a perfect turkey. And so people that call me could now sound like Charlie Brown's teacher. I hope you use the tips that are disclosed on the video we are finishing up. I hope your turkey is flawless. Cause that would make today worth it.

It was a very fowl day.

Thursday, November 12

Catching up...

I have to make this short and sweet, because I have a sick kid home with me. Again. So much for being over the flu…

Old business:

It came to my attention that in my “artificial unintelligent state” (that being my trashy bleached blonde hair) I totally forgot to announce the winner of the Sentsy Giveaway. Sigh. Sorry folks. I’m not super good at making big to-do’s unless I lost a pound or something. (172 and holding, FYI) And the winner is- drum roll please-

Rebecca!!! Also known as Cross.

Her name was drawn from a hat here at the Triple H (Happy Hester Headquarters), and I couldn’t be more pleased! She’s been with us from the beginning. Yep, the Yoga Incident was the thing that sealed our friendship forever. (Ok, possibly it was that I assisted at her ahhhhhmazing wedding with my SIL Julia, but the blog has definitely maintained the friendship.) Congrats Cross! Your stuff should be here shortly. I’ll even gift wrap it. Ok realistically it will be in a gift bag. But HOORAY!

Next order of business…folks, I have exactly $7 bucks in our joint savings account. The time has come for me to get a job. So I have found an opportunity that fits the bills. Most of them. I think. Starting next week, I’ve got to focus on that instead of blogging and facebooking first. Because I just couldn’t figure out a way to have that be a cash cow for me. If you know of some super top secret opportunity to get me enough for a down payment on a house, share it with me ASAP. I will still be around, but I may have to cut it down to a few posts less a week. I’ll still be faithfully yours, just from 8pm to 11pm. Does it suck? Yep. But am I ok with it? Amazingly I am.

Finally, in New Business... this weekend, in order to show off my turkey making skills, I will be making a “Turkey Tutorial.” In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I will share with you my secrets of making a super easy super deelish bird that will impress even the grumpiest of mother in laws. (Mine is great, BTW. I lucked out on this one.) There will be a video. So prepare for it. I should have it up early next week. I am doing this because my friend Mary over at Giving Up On Perfect is having a bloggy carnival, talking about giving up on the perfect Thanksgiving. I am all about helping a sister out. Plus if people are raving about your moist yummy turkey, they won’t complain about the cobwebs on the ceiling corners. I know ALL the tricks.

OK, my little one needs her Mommy. I’m enjoying it before she discovers boys. Cause then, it’s curtains for Mom’s snuggle time. I’ll take it while I can.

Tuesday, November 10

A Mighty Upheaval with the Ones Who Flu the Coop

A new reader, Stephanie, made this comment recently on a previous post:

"your stories aren't really the traditional, church lady devos, are they?"

I almost peed my pants with this comment. How right you are, Stephanie, how right you are!!!

And today is a perfect example of that fact. Because I'll be talking a little about my faith. And the diet. And the flu.

I promise this will not discuss puke in detail.

I may, however, address it in generalities.

As you all know, things have been mighty interesting around here. We have been dealing with flu. Not the swine kind. Just the regular ‘ole body achin, tummy quaking, intestine shakin flu. It’s not by anyone’s fault (I am not blaming my husband who works in a hospital) (or the children who sneeze on MY children at school and pass this nasty stuff) (Or the parents who send their sick kids KNOWINGLY to school because they need to go to work instead of letting their kids stay home) but regardless, with it being no one in particular’s fault, we got it.

Oh my, did we get it.

Today, everyone seems to be OK. Not great, but OK. Everyone ate a reasonable amount of food for breakfast. Everyone brushed teeth without incident. Everyone grumbled about hating mornings and asked “WHEN are we gonna homeschool?” So it seemed pretty normal. Except everyone still looks a little peckish. Just 2 shades whiter than they ought to. But the kids, who didn’t really want more makeup homework than necessary, voted to try school today.

Therefore, being the fantastic mom that I am, I let them go, with disclaimers to teachers, secretaries, and gym teachers.

There are conditions to being back at school.


1. No running. I don’t want people getting overheated. I don’t want headaches to come back with a vengeance, nor do I want tummies to start hurting.

2. If anyone, for any reason, starts acting ill, they get to come home.

3. The school is to call me if there’s any problem. I don’t care what it is, they are gonna call.

Because the flu is nothing to sneeze at. (groan) It’s something that we have to take very seriously. Which lead this attention deficited mind to thoughts about the diet.

Do we introduce conditions when we are on a diet?

Granted, dieting isn’t exactly like the flu. It’s something we choose to do. But if you have been, or are in a situation like me, you are forced to choose dieting. We have allowed ourselves to not take care of us like we should, and now we have to pay the piper. We have to get our weight under control.

So, in taking back control, what are some of the conditions while we are on a diet? What rules do we make so that we can achieve success? As I was pondering this, I couldn’t help but giggle. Here’s why.

Last night, Matt was retelling the kids about what happened when Mommy got sick on Saturday night. We are big into storytelling around here, and the kids love hearing about what happens from someone else’s point of view.

Here’s how the story went down…or came back up. For discussion.

“So your mom was lying on the couch, watching a movie. And she wasn’t feeling so hot. She was taking lots of deep breaths, telling herself ‘I’m not gonna puke..I’m not gonna puke.’ Finally, after about 30 minutes of that, she started to consider that maybe she would feel better if she didn’t fight it. Maybe if she just went with it, she would get her tummy to quit hurting.”

By this point, the kids are all wide eyed with delight and on the edge of the couch, waiting to hear what Mom would do. (Even though they already knew)

“Mommy got up off the couch and walked very slowly to the bathroom. She laid a towel down on the floor in front of the toilet. Then she got down on her knees and assumed the position. You know, when you rest your chin on the seat of the toilet and put your arms on there to hang on for dear life…anyway, I was standing behind her, making sure she was OK. I said, ‘Are you gonna be sick, babe?’ and she answered, ‘Yeah, I’m just waiting for it to star…BBBBLLLLLEEEEAAAACCCCHHHH.”

Now at this point, our kids, who have all thrown up themselves in the last 48 hours, are practically in tears, giggling with joy. Not because Mommy got sick, but because we made it OK to be sick. We found a sliver of happiness in what had happened, and the horrific moment. Matt continued on.

“I mean, your Mom, she puked so hard that she was peeing on that towel she’d laid on the floor under her. Which was very thoughtful of her to lay down. Then she kept going, and kept getting sick, and I couldn’t look away. I felt bad, but it was fascinating to watch! Mommy got so sick, it was almost violent!”

By now, our kids are on the floor, laughing. Matt makes sure we all have a good time in this house, no matter what is going on that looks bleek. Or bleck as it were.

The reason I am telling you this (somewhat gross, yet strangely fascinating) story is that we all come to a point when we know we can no longer fight the inevitable.

If you want to gain your health, you have to lose the weight.

If you are ready to drop the insecurities, you have to drop the pounds.

If you want to expand your self esteem, you have to shrink the waist.

But FIRST- it requires you to kneel down before the Throne in humility, and surrender to what lies before you.

(Yes, you all just read right. I equated a toilet to the Mercy Seat of God. If I can spiritualize a tampon and equate it to my faith, then bringing some Holiness to a toilet is a snap!)

What are your conditions to embarking on this journey?


This weight loss process, much like the flu, is filled with nasty moments. You may question yourself and your capabilities. You will get frustrated and fight with yourself to keep going. But if you are kneeling and giving it all over to your Maker, bite by bite, pound by pound, then you are going to make it. Not because of your own strength, but because the flying white flag of surrender is your banner.

Surrender makes it OK. No- this process will not be fun. Not all the time. But looking back on it, if you have surrendered yourself, then there is no shame, and no condemnation. You are making changes from this moment forward. There is no more beating yourself up for getting into this position. You say, “Ok, I’m gonna feel better after this is all said and done. I’m going to get through this. But for right now, I have to give over to this. I have to surrender.”

And you rest your chin on the seat, wrap your arms around your God, hanging on for dear life, and you let the upheaval begin.

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land- a land with streams and pools of water, with springs flowing into the valleys and hills.”

Friday, November 6

Home Sick

Today I have a little boy home with me. He’s got a temperature, he’s throwing up, and is mostly miserable, except he is well enough to appreciate that he is watching cartoons while laying on the couch and Mom is at his beck and call. (Or bucket and call.)

If you are sick, you aren’t supposed to be grinning.

Last night, as some of you may have read on facebook, Tim came up to me and said (quite jovially, I might add) “Hey mom, I think I am going to blow some chunks tonight.” Then he smiled this huge Cheshire Cat smile at me.

And to be honest, we have too many kids round here crying wolf about being sick. Someone is always hurt, or coughing, or has a booger. Someone’s legs are always growing and hurting, or someone has the hiccups. (Which is a seriously crippling condition around here. Hiccups mean that you have a valid excuse to try and get out of doing chores. It's an epidemic.)

So when Tim told me he was feeling yucky, he didn’t LOOK like he was feeling bad. He seemed pretty happy about it. Like he was excited to get flu. Or maybe it was because he wanted to stay home and watch TV all day without big sisters controlling the remote. Anyway you look at it, he knew something was wrong. But he still smiled.

So maybe I’m the one who is looking at things all wrong.

Maybe grinning is the answer.

Perhaps we need to focus on why laughter makes things better when life stinks. Like with dieting. Some of the best moments through this diet were fraught with mayhem and hilarity. Like all my yoga experiences. Or disasters with gas. And of course, when my exercise ball went flying in the air like a rocket in the packed gym at the YMCA. All of those moments, embarrassing as they may be, have spurred me on to keep going. Because they really are funny.

And laughing sure beats crying about it.

Now, I want to know what your funny experiences are. I can’t be the only one around here providing entertainment, you know. I’ve given you songs and stories. Now it’s your turn. Tell me about the stuff that you gone through on your diet. Or maybe on a date. Or at your job.

But try to make me laugh. Because I would like to grin as I am busy scrubbing the carpet on the floor where Tim missed the bucket 10 minutes ago.
I'll start you off with a story from my friend Lisa about her experiences with a road trip and a sick kid. It's a riot!

Laughter is necessary. So, what have you got?

Wednesday, November 4

The Girl and the Prison- A Fat Fairy Tail

Once upon a time there was a girl held captive. She was in a prison of her own mind, a dark lonely room with no sunshine or happiness. She was desperate to break free. Her cruel guard was a small, lying, conniving, evil metal box. It showed magical numbers that could elate her within this prison, or draw her deeper into the forgotten corners. This girl knew nothing else except that she wanted- NEEDED- to get out.

She had heard about others breaking free, but never had the courage to run for herself. It was too hard. The path wasn’t clear how far away her liberty would be, or how she could even find the way. She had encountered myths and legends about finding freedom: Grapefruits, 6 week body makeovers, some woman named Jenny (who charged lots and lots of gold for freedom), and even going on a hunger strike. All of these options might lead her away for a while, but she knew that eventually she would find herself right back in this same spot.

One day, when her prison became too much to wear…I mean bear... she decided that she would try something new. She would find her own wings, watch for the right time, and get out of this hell hole called obesity.

For the next year, she tried many different variations of the wings. Over time, and by a process of elimination, she discovered ways to lose the fat chains, get proper nutrition, and gained stamina instead of fat rolls. Her wings were finally starting to come together!

And that’s when something magical happened. A window appeared, looking out from the confined spaces of her mind. And as her wings grew stronger, the window started growing larger and larger, while she got healthier, happier, and smaller.

Pretty soon, she was ready to leave her prison for good (as she could finally fit out of the window that had appeared!).

But just as she was about to venture out for freedom, she noticed something quite peculiar.

She could see other girls, JUST LIKE HER, trying to jump to their own freedoms. And it was awful. The moment they jumped (head first), they thudded on the ground, and instantly appeared back in their own cells of confinement. Try as they might, they couldn’t break free.

And that was when this girl, ready to take off and never come back, made a decision that would change her life forever. If the wings she had fashioned worked, she would spend her life teaching others how to make a pair for themselves. She would talk to others about the fears of flying and jumping head first, and show them how they could do it. This was to be her mission. But first, it was time to test her wings.

Gathering every ounce of courage inside of her, she closed her eyes, took a deep breath and jumped. And she started sinking. Down down down to her doom. And right as she thought that the wings had failed, the wind began to lift her up. Quickly she spread her wings open wide, and touched the sky for the first time in 20 years. Her heart raced and pounded! The blood rushed within her!

"This is what life should feel like!"

She twirled and dipped in the air, shrieking with joy! She glanced over her shoulder and saw others were watching her from their prisons. And with delight in her heart, she cried out into the sky…

“I am coming back for you! YOU WILL BE FREE!!!

Monday, November 2

Note to Self...

Dear Charlie-

Yes, you are writing a letter to yourself today. This is a letter for you to read in a year.

Because if you could have written yourself a letter for beginning of this weight loss journey, standing where you are today, you would be so encouraged! I just know it!

So, I have to tell you a few things about the last leg of this diet, and why you are going to stick with it.

First of all, you are strong enough. I know that everybody teases you about being flakey, and never sticking with anything very long, especially diets-but this is a journey that you are going to walk with a quiet confidence and endurance. You have already conquered a whole year, and look at the changes you have made!

Can you believe the difference so far? And although you are over half way to your goal, the changes are only going to get better from here. (And ignore the fact that your hair was totally uncooperative last night so you threw a crappy ponytail in and gave up, even though it was sticking up and looks yucky.)

Remember that first day on the treadmill when you were huffing and puffing at walking 2 miles? And remember how proud you felt about that 2 miles? Well, sister, you kept going. You kept pushing the distance. And now you can walk 8 miles without cramps or falling over. What will you be saying in a year? Will you be able to walk 15 miles then??? Maybe. But all the flakey nature in you ceases when it comes to taking back your body. You have proven that even though it is one of the toughest things you have done, you are capable.

And remember how you could never imagine a life without 2 liters of Coke every day and Papa John’s Pizza? Now, a little over halfway to the finish line, you don’t even crave Diet Coke. You crave water! Your body has finally fallen into line with this “clean living” stuff and even though it took a while, you are on the right track. Because you have gone slowly, your body didn’t go into major shock, and you have discovered a diet you can deal with your entire life.

Today, weighing 172 and having lost 66 pounds to date- I want to encourage you to keep this up. Enjoy the feelings of accomplishment you have over the next year. Embrace putting on size 12 pants without worrying they won’t fit. Because they do fit. Nicely, and not too tight. The 10’s are still iffy and require a girdle. But you are no longer a slave to the plus side of Fashion Bug. For the first time in your life- settled in your 30’s- you are a JUNIOR.

I can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the next 6 months. The weight loss is going slower, but stick with it, junior. You survived the first year amid massive amounts of self doubt, frustrations, and a see-saw of emotions. And you never dreamed you would be sitting here today, breathing comfortable in your size 12 goal jeans, writing this letter. If I could go back in time, I’d show you where you were heading- the changes in your body, how you found yourself again and raised your voice above the crashing waves. You survived this first year, and you are going to make strides into unknown territory now. Push ahead, and never forget where you came from.

Because others are watching, waiting to see if you- the most obstinate person you have met to date- can do this. If she can walk ahead to her dreams and a new life. Your dreams are getting bigger as you are getting smaller. Pound by pound, the prison of your body is melting away.

And you are finally breaking free.

Loving God and loving yourself-
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