Tuesday, August 31

Tub Thumping

I wanted to wait till I survived my pap smear today before I blogged. You never know what funny things can happen while in stirrups. However, I am sad to report that the exam went off without a hitch. No problems, no issues, no French kissing like when I was at the dentist… nothing funny to turn into a great story.

Which means that I shall have to report about last night’s bath time. And YES, this has everything to do with dieting.

I am a bath lover. I take at least 3 baths a week, and enjoy soaking for as long as I can possibly get away with. I also have been known to multitask while in the tub. I have eaten dinner, read books, played cards, and even done needlepoint while enjoying a hot soak. And Matt has walked into the bathroom more than once and found me out cold- napping. I love taking baths!

Yesterday, after starting fresh on my low carb diet, I kinda overdid it on the bacon. I admit it. I have mentioned my torrid love affair with bacon numerous times on the blog, and yesterday it was like I was given the keys to pork city. I had more bacon than one person should ever consume. (Ok, not that much, but going from none to lots was a big change for me.) My stomach, used to high fiber veggies 24-7 and fruit, was ill prepared to handle the switch to high fat/low carb foods. Add to that the fact I was coffee free, which is a miracle in itself. I had a major headache.

And I started feeling nauseous.

So I decided that I needed to take a bath and soak. That usually curbs my gurgly tummy.

I got the water as hot as I could stand it, and laid down. There is something about a hot bath that relaxes me. And it relaxed the gas that was building up in my intestines. So I let it rip.

Of course, I giggled. Because you can’t let a huge fart in the bathtub without snickering. It’s impossible.

I laid in the tub and enjoyed the calm. I also love putting my head under the water so my ears are submerged. With 4 other people in the house, 3 of them being kids, it provides some well deserved sound proofing.

Pretty soon, I heard the familiar statement that always happens while I am in the tub.

“Mom, I have to poo.”

The kids never have to poop until I am a sitting duck in the tub. And while shower curtains are fantastic for privacy, they do little to stop the toxic humid smells that emerge from the backside of the kids.

So sitting in the tub, hidden behind the curtain, I decided since one kid (who shall remain nameless) was dropping a bomb on me, I had eaten enough meat that day to fight back. So I did my best to work up a good stinker and pushed.

And it was quite a loud one too. Unfortunately, noise was not the only thing this fart produced.

So there I am, sitting in the water, with a not so solid floater of my own doing popping up to the surface. Suddenly, the situation was not as funny as I thought it would be.

Jumping up as fast as I could, I stood in the water. Then I realized I should have gotten up slowly, because the floater became floaterS and now the water was moving around. I was surrounded.

I started doing a not so elegant ballet, something akin to Swamp Lake… stepping over this one, moving away from that one- trapped because nameless child was still pooing joyfully on the toilet. There was singing from the other side of the curtain, people. Nameless child was taking their sweet time.

“Honey, Mama needs to get out of the tub. Do you think you could hand me the towel?”

“There’s not a towel in here.”

“Well, where is it?”

“(Other nameless child) took it into the living room to clean up spilled milk.”


“Ok, well can you hurry please? And then go tell Daddy I need him to bring me a towel.”


I had no choice but to stand there, dodging my own brown bullets, waiting for nameless child to finish. Pretty soon they finished up, and went into the living room. I assumed to get Dad or a towel. I assumed wrong.

So I decided I could do some of the yucky work while waiting for the towel. I took a cup and started playing “Catch the floater.” This was not a game I enjoyed however, because the second I was close to catching one, the more it would break apart. Finally, Matt brought in a towel, which I made sure was handed through the curtain, and I got out and dried off.

Then I decided the best course of action was to get the fish net we used for the possibly alive but definitely dead fish. And I started swishing the water again. This method did much better, but I still had to deal with emptying the net into the toilet.

Finally I got it as good as it was going to get, and let the water out. Then I took Clorox wipes and wiped down the tub. Then I grabbed antibacterial soap and scrubbed myself down in the shower. Which was cold, as I had used all the hot water enjoying my bath. Fantastic.

Today, the tummy is doing better, but I still am taking the sage advice of my facebook buddy Marilyn.

“Never trust a fart.”

Monday, August 30

It ain't over till THIS GIRL SINGS!

(Taken yesterday at the lame-o Renaissance fair.)

If you, in the fall of 2008, had asked that girl...

“What are a few things you will never do, dieting wise?”

…she would have told you her laundry list.

“Attempt Yoga again.” (Did that)

“Walk 10 miles.” (Did that)

“Tell people my real weight.” (Did that)

“Show a picture of me at this weight in a swim suit.” (Did that)

“Do a low carb diet.” (Gonna do that.)


Yep. As much as I love my weight watchers, and have been successful with it for the first half of my journey, I am ready for a change. My body is ready for a change. And the low carb solution is exactly what I need.

Steak, hamburgers, real butter, olive oil, cheese, asparagus, eggs, big salads… I could live on these items anyway. And now, they are going to be the key to jumpstart my metabolism and lose weight.

To make things very clear, my public declaration of the evils of low carb come from an emotional stand. I had a very bad life situation at the time I tried this diet plan. I was worn out, pregnant, and in a bad relationship. And I had the low carb way of life shoved down my throat.

But: the Charlie I am today can handle it. Because THIS Charlie...

...Is arming herself with a do or diet attitude. This Charlie, who has braved the waters of weight loss for over a year and a half, is going to have eggs and bacon for breakfast without guilt. This girl is going to eat a hamburger without having a heart attack.

And this girl is going to make a music video about it. I did a demo run this weekend (when I was not warmed up, nor awake to capacity) and it was cracking me up. So this week I’m off to the studios to record (fully awake of course) and then off to shoot what I can only hope will be a video to rival Weird Al. We shall see. But here’s a sneak peek…

Finally, my high school buddy Shari is going to hook me up with the “Insanity” program. I’ve been toying with the idea for several months now, and decided it was now or never. If I want the most bang for my dieting buck, I need to start hitting this thing biggest loser style. Not working out 8 hours a day, but really pushing my body to its limits. I wanna find out what I am made of. Hopefully, it’s not moosh. I’m suspecting there’s a rockhard plus size supermodel in there somewhere, screaming to get out. But as the old saying goes, I was usually able to shut her up with cookies.

Well, no more.

So this means some big changes are in store for me. But as far as today goes, I am excited to go back to the old lady water aerobics class and get some exercise in. And my weight? I don’t know.

My back up scale weighs me at least a pound heavier than the usual scale. So I have boycotted the scale for this week. I’m just going to eat what I’m supposed to and work out like I’m supposed to. And we will see where I stand by the weekend. The suspense should be palpable.

What are YOU doing this week to get your diet kick started???

Friday, August 27

Recycling Scales

So today I can tell you that Matt has been gone ALL WEEK! He went to North Carolina on a work trip, and I have been here with the kids by my lonesome. Sniff sniff. Half my heart has been missing all week! The other half wanted to go to the pool at the Y. And it was closed this week for maintenance. Charlie has had no heart this week. No wonder I've been such a mouthy mess!

And I was so excited to weigh in and tell you how good I did on the scale. But I think it's wrong. It weighed me at 732 pounds.

Yep, I have broken another one. I even changed the funky size battery, and got bupkiss. I shudder a little at the thought of buying yet ANOTHER new scale. I am currently on #4.

In the interest of saving myself some time today, (Reduce, reuse, recycle) I thought I would introduce the new readers to an oldie but goody- one of my favorite stories about scales. It was back in the beginning when I was 217 pounds. So imagine a well rounded girl huffing and puffing through this story.

Here it is for your Friday entertainment:

How I burned 400 calories buying a scale...

Today was my official online weigh in day. It did not go well. I got on the scale this morning, my heart pounding, and wild with anticipation that I was going to magically drop 40 pounds in a week. What I got was the surprise of my life.

I GAINED 2 POUNDS!!! Surely that wasn’t right! I had followed the plan to a T, and hadn’t cheated once! Something is amiss! Hold on, was my scale in same spot on the floor as the last time? Maybe not. So I scooted the scale over. Now I was only up one pound. I scooted it another 5 inches. Now I had lost 3. What the heck is going on?

I decided it was high time to purchase a new scale. Perhaps a digital one, so the verdict wouldn’t be open for interpretation. With my faith in the diet progress partially restored, I began the preparations to head to Wally-world. And preparation it takes.

First of all, the weather is currently at 0. That is before you tack on the wind chill. When you add (or subtract) that in, it is a whopping –15 below. It’s butt freezing cold. This means I have to bundle up. In pairs. 2 pair of gloves, 2 hats, 2 sweatshirts, 2 pairs of socks. And even though I had all the extra padding on, I decided at the last minute to throw on a bra. For good measure.

Next on the list of preparation, is the 98 Windstar van, whom I have not-so-affectionately christened Neve. Her full name is Neve R. Working, but I often refer to her by other names (which are unfitting for a preacher-in-training to repeat). Neve has a laundry list of problems that may arise at any given moment. Her most recent issue has been somewhat of an emotional journey. Neve has recently proclaimed her sexual orientation to us. She only goes straight. Something is wrong with the power steering, and it takes brute force to make her veer to the left. Or the right. The past week I had to ice my elbow from attempting to driving her. Of course, they were already sore from the yoga incident, which didn’t help matters at all.

I know this vehicle isn't particularly safe, but then again, neither is letting me stew around the house wondering how much I weigh. All bundled up, I went outside to warm her up. I attempted to open the driver’s side door, but it was frozen shut. Undaunted, I pulled and pulled until I was almost out of breath. She was stuck tighter than my thighs in a pair of size B pantyhose. Finally, out of sheer frustration, I slammed my body against the door to break the invisible barrier.

Sometimes it’s handy to be overweight! The door popped open, and she started without a hitch.

I came back inside to throw on a little makeup. If I didn’t, I would see somebody I knew at the store and WISH I was wearing makeup. I ran a brush through my hair and put on a sock hat. Then another. My hair was static crazy, but the sock hats would hide it from the gazing eye of the public.

After waiting a few more minutes, I made a quick trip to the bathroom, kissed the hubby and kiddos goodbye, and hurried outside to begin my trek. Before actually driving anywhere, I had to put more power steering fluid in. Not taking a clue from the door, I assumed Neve would pop up her hood like usual, but the ice and freezing temperature made her too shy to reveal her motor. After attempting to pry and pull the hood open, I decided that my big butt could be used for more than material for blogging, and I jumped on the hood to smother Neve into submission.

However, there was ice on the hood, and I had on a slick jacket which covered my derriere. So as I sat down with gumption, there was an immediate loss of traction, and I slipped off the hood and landed on the brick street. My big butt thankfully broke the fall.

I eventually got the fluid in, and hurried back into the van. I cranked up the heat and headed out. 3 blocks later, I realized that I was still freezing. The heater was blowing cold, and there was nothing I could do. No matter! I kept on driving, shaking my head at the lunacy that is my life.
The steering wheel was stiff, but not too bad yet, and I made the first 3 turns with relative ease.

I got to Walmart just in time. I found a parking spot, close to the front, and attempted to gently guide Neve into it. She didn’t like that spot apparently, and refused to turn. I turned the wheel harder. Still nothing. Finally, I used so much force that Popeye would have been proud. Neve groaned and grunted, but was finally in agreement to park where I wanted to. It was at that moment the oil light came on.

Irritated, freezing, and irritated, I headed into Wal-mart for some retail therapy. I was determined to warm up and be happy, regardless of the Neve’s poor attitude. Plus now, I had to buy some oil. I reached down to pull out my list. If I don’t have my list, I will forget half the things I needed to get, and the hubby gave me a few extras to get, “since you are going.”Once in my pocket, I couldn’t find the list. I looked in the other pocket. Not there. I had on a hooded sweatshirt over my other sweatshirt, and it has a huge pocket. Not in there either. The list was at home on the computer desk. By this time, my tummy was feeling gurgly. But I knew I needed a scale, and that was top priority. So I decided to start with that and play the rest by ear.

Our Wal-mart had just undergone a facelift, and I didn’t know where some things were, but I knew where the scales should be- with the bathroom stuff. I hoofed it to the plumbing department, and searched for the holy grail…um…scale. It wasn’t there. So I looked in the exercise department. Still nothing. Boy, wearing my coat was a bad idea. I was getting hot! I took off my coat and gloves, and kept searching. Maybe it is with the small appliance stuff! That’s on the other side of the store. I pushed the cart over there, but still, my search was in vain. I was getting hotter by the second, and my tummy was having issues.

Shew-eee! I pulled off one of the sweatshirts and a sock hat, and kept looking. I tracked down an employee who took me right back to the plumbing department where I had started. The scales were right there. UG!

By this time, my stomach was more than gurgly. It was calling a 5 alarm emergency. I should know better than to eat so much broccoli! Leaving the employee behind with the scales, I said, “OK, thanks” as I ran with my cart down the aisle, heading for the bathroom. I made it to the bathroom in the back of the store, which was conveniently closed for cleaning. That meant I had to hurry to the front of the store. This time I ran steering the cart with one hand, holding my backside with the other in the vain attempt of keeping things together till I was safely in the bathroom. On my way, I noticed a towering display of scales in the middle of the main aisle.

I made it to the bathroom, but just barely. 5 minutes later, I was dripping buckets of sweat, and had to remove the sock hat that was hiding my static crazy hair. The sweatiness did little to tame my coif, and I looked like I had just finished touching one of those electromagnetic orbs. Meanwhile, I was soaked. I couldn’t tell if I was overheated because of the heat I had just produced, or because I was coming down with the flu.

I finally made it back to the plumbing department for a scale, cursing my plumbing the entire way, where I picked out something digital, cheap, and black. I assume that if black is slimming on me, I might weigh less on a black scale.

I then began the arduous task of remembering everything else on the list that was at home. Paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc. Once I thought I had everything on the list, I headed out to the check out. I had just put everything on the conveyer belt when I remembered. OIL! I proceeded to put everything back into the cart, headed to the automotive section, and picked up 2 quarts and a funnel. The funnel dropped out of the cart, and as I bent over, I realized the broccoli disaster wasn’t over yet. Leaving the funnel on the floor, I headed to the front of the store, only to discover that now THAT bathroom was being cleaned. I raced to the back…AGAIN…and made it to the bathroom.

I went back to auto, got my forgotten funnel, and remembered I was going to buy a measuring tape to measure myself. As if I wasn’t already miserable enough.

It was in the sewing department that I ran into a friend. She sweetly asked me how the diet was going. Me and my upright hair answered her, and we chatted for a minute or 2 while I tried to play it cool. I eventually made it to the check out, and back outside to needy Neve. I loaded up the groceries, and pulled out a roll of paper towels so I could check her oil the proper way.

I filled her with more power steering fluid, checked the oil, and low and behold, the oil was full and didn’t need refilling. I got back inside, muttering some not so nice things, started her up, and then gas light came on. Sigh. It was starting to feel ridiculous.

Now filled to the gaskets with gas, oil and power steering fluid, Neve and I made it home safely. I thought the adventure was over as I brought the groceries inside. I even smiled a little. At least I am getting good material for the blog, I thought to myself. Perking up now that I was home, I went out to get the last load. My hands were full, and I still had to shut the back of the van, so I put the paper towels in my teeth for a brief moment and slammed the hatch door closed. The door caught the corner of the paper towels, and because I had opened them earlier, 7 rolls went flying into the snow, under the van, and into the street. Sheesh.

I got inside after crawling on my belly in 15 below weather to find all the rolls, some of which were wet and ruined, and finally, it was all over. I had my new scale.I pulled it out of the packaging, stripped down buck naked in the dining room and weighed myself.

I really wasn’t surprised to find out that I weigh “Error.”

Thursday, August 26

Charlie knows Jack, another Charlie, and Meet up Thursday #2

So, we have made it to Thursday again. Whatta week!

Today is meet up day, where we meet new dieting bloggy neighbors and friends... and in my infinite bloggy amazingness, I have YET to get a cool graphic with the embed code on it for the event. Feel free to create and send me one if you understand that HTML crap that I usually pay someone else to do. HTML is lost on me. Kinda like jogging...

My weight? Hold on, gonna go strip and pee one more time (and praying that the late night attack on a box of Pizza Rolls didn't hurt me too bad...) 182.8 and it could have been worse. I was STARVING, and that sounded dee-lish. So I had a little. No harm done, and I'm not freaking out. I'll just work it off today.

Next, I want to tell you a little about a few things before we "meet up" with some stories.

I have been corresponding with a few new bloggers. And you need to go check them out. Cause they are the rare boys out there in the dieting bloggy world. And that is brave. We chicks kinda dominate this racket.

First of all, is Jack Sh*t Gettin' Fit. If you haven't taken the time to check Jack out, and you have a sense of humor, then go look at the MASSIVE following this guy has. He's a big bloggy star. And his site, while often off color, is a riot! He's lost about 80, and that is something to sneeze at. Or nothing to sneeze at. I never got that turn of phrase anyway. So go check him out. He's a hoot!

Next is my new found kindred spirit, Charlie Hills at Back to the Fridge. Charlie found me a few weeks ago in the blogosphere, and it turns out he is an author of a few books. So I ordered one. And I read:

This book is so funny, I practically peed my pants more involuntarily than I usually do! Go to Lockshire and get it, because this man has got to eat. But don't pay too much for it, cause he doesn't need a lot- he's on a diet. All I have to say about the book is this: This is the book I wanted to write for you all but haven't done yet. Without the issues of Mother Nature, of course. Yeah, folks, it's good. Really really good. And his blog "Back to the Fridge" is great too!

Now, we are moving on to Meet Ups. Today, I have the stories of 3 more women. I have NONE for next week, so please feel free to send them in at oscbb@yahoo.com and put "Meet up Thursday" in the subject line. Include a pic or 2, and use proper grammar so we all sound smart. If we can't be thin, we can be edge-u-mi-cated. Please check out their links and leave them comments of support and all the OSCBB love we share here!

And without further adieu, let's meet some new people!

ANGELA PEA - Keeping the Faith: SKINNY ME Edition (Angela Pea is on the right)

Back To School Night

I’m full of quirks, very opinionated, and I think that everyone should do things my way. Why? Because I am right 102% of the time, and have already thought through whatever it is that needs to be done, and I have already figured out the most efficient way to do it. And I know where the tools are, which is not in the toolbox where they belong.

I’m also very intelligent and well educated. I can carry on a decent conversation, speak comfortably in public, and can write a well-organized grammatically correct paper/article/technical paper without batting an eyelash. I design things, and when I drive around the Metroplex, I see things, BIG things, that I’ve had a hand in bringing to life. Convention Center? Yeah, that was me taking care of all the utilities and that spiffy courtyard with drivable pavers. Nature Center? Me again with the permeable pavement that directs rainwater to the planting areas. Airport? Uh, yeah. I’m responsible for two of those runways, as well as the FedX facility and the ginormous parking apron where your airplane sits in the wintertime for deicing.

So…why do I completely fall apart when faced with Back To School Night? Why am I totally freaked out, yelling at my dear husband on the phone when he calls to tell me that he has some sort of emergency at his office that involves classified information, congressmen and a bazillion dollars worth of fancy airplanes with guns and that I will have to wing it alone?? Why? Why does my otherwise confident and capable self just totally implode?

Because I had to go to Back To School Night and face those other mothers. The mothers who are skinny. The Moms who spend their days at the gym and the tennis court or lounging by the crystal pool in their back yard or at the country club. (Yeah, we still have them around here.) The pampered, adored wives with tans, sporting beautiful nail extensions, perfectly highlighted hair, spiffy clothes and who are driving luxury cars. These are the movers and the shakers, the ones who chair all of the committees, head up the fundraising and who prepare the teacher luncheons. These are women who have the luxury of being able to take care of themselves.

Jealous much? Just a little bit. But now I’m thinking. Why do I think taking care of myself is a luxury? Why do I think that being skinny and pretty equates to happiness? Why do I look at the world with lenses that only focus on the physical beauty and find myself inadequate? Why can’t I appreciate the amazing things I’ve done, the wonderful creation that I am? Because I’m a fool. Because this is a battle that I fight with myself every single day.

Most days I win (lots of prayer and armored with God’s Grace) but every now and then I don’t. Like on Back To School Night.

Angela emails me a lot, I email her back a lot, and I really appreciate her honesty and willingness to hold me accountable. I know I can count on my Angela Pea! She's GREAT!

Next up is Lauren at Life of LT!!!! (She's adorable!)

My story? Interesting you should ask. Because, well, it's been a roller coaster to say the least. My weight, like my life, goes up and down and twists and turns. I'm a classic case of having always been overweight and always, always struggled/struggling with it. And as a result I've always had self-esteem issues. All of the women in my family are overweight. All of us are emotional eaters. My mom used to joke about overeaters anonymous - I thought this was a fake group. Not so. It wasn't until my counselor suggested I attend a meeting that I realized these were real life people. Emotional eating is a real life problem. And for me, I literally eat for every emotion I feel! They follow the 12 steps of AA. However, I just didn't get much out of the meetings. It's like everything I've tried has failed. Well really, it's me that hasn't stuck to any program. And here I am, about to turn 27, and I have spent all of my twenties overweight. Isn't this supposed to be a fun part of my life?

And here's what I blame it on (over the course of the past 6 years):
Major, major financial problems.
Moving 6 times
The unexpected death of my mother
My grandfather's death a year later
Hubby's multiple job loss
Family drama
The demons in my head telling me I'm not good enough to be any better. Ok, now that just sounds like I need an exorcism. Just couldn't find a better way to put it!
I thought for sure that my self esteem issues would change once I became an adult, but frankly, it's only gotten worse. I find that I hate meeting new people for fear of what they would think of me because I'm overweight. This is soooo not my personality - I've always been a people person. But lately, there's just too much anxiety. My hubby is overweight too and I really get anxious when we go out together - like people are saying "look at that fat family", etc. I feel like my family judges me. My coworkers. My church. I feel like it makes me less marketable as a photographer. So, so many issues. And deep down I know about 85% of it is all in my head.
Why do I do this?
I constantly fight with myself on this.
Before we know it, I'll never leave the house.
And I desperately do not want to get to that point.

Steps to Freedom:

So lately, I've really been trying to re-organize my life to ensure that I pave the way for change. And a few major meltdowns later, I feel like I'm on the right track. I've found that cutting things out a little at a time seems to work the best so far. I'm a week and a half into a no sugar diet. I'm 3 days into no fried foods. And I don't really miss any of it. I'm also exercising - at a slow pace to start, but at least I'm moving! And in addition to all that, I am completely inspired by your blog and the relief that there is someone else out there struggling with my very same struggles.

There are so many things I want for this life. I feel trapped by my weight - like it's a ball and chain. It's time to loosen the chains and break free. It's time for a new tomorrow.

-- Lauren T

"I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High" ~Psalm 7:17

And finally, the woman who got me to give up Domino's bread bowl pastas (which was no small feat, and required serious tough love), the one and only:

LISA B. - no weight loss blog, but anyone who wants to follow my journey on FB can send a friend request with "OSCBB / WW" in the friend request message http://www.facebook.com/megaptera1969

I hit the big 4-0 in Dec 2009, and with my being vertically challenged at 5 feet and NO inches, I have been packing an extra 50-70+ lbs of weight over the healthy weight range for my height for almost my entire adult life.

I had a near fatal car accident in July 2008 which was life changing in itself, and hitting forty really made me realize, if I don't choose to make a change to get healthy now, I put myself at increased risk of heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, higher health insurance premiums, and so much more.

My parents are in their 70s, go to the gym regularly, look like they are in their 50s, and are still out water skiing, snow skiing, and traveling the world. I want to feel and look that good when I am in my 70s, so what was I going to do to change my future?

I have NEVER had will power before, but I never felt a need to really change my life before. I felt fine with my body the way it was, as it had always been that way. I had done Weight Watchers for a time in my 20s or 30s, but I had never set or gotten to goal weight. I think the lowest I ever achieved was somewhere in the 150s.

The monthly pass program is such a better deal. Weight Watchers used to cost $15 a week just for weigh ins and weekly meetings which would be $780 a year. Now, they offer a $39.95 monthly pass, so for only $480 a year, I get the weekly weigh ins and meetings, and I get access to their online tools which allow me to track every bite I eat and drink and every minute of activity I get in a day. There is also a huge database of online recipes and community message boards and online challenges.

I really wasn't eating foods that were bad for me too often before starting Weight Watchers, but I was eating portions that were far too large. With the WW system of calculating points, it is so easy to know before a meal how many points I can eat and what the foods are worth in points so I know how much to consume in advance.

I used to enjoy an occasional Dairy Queen chocolate chip cookie dough blizzard when I was on road trips, but now that I am aware the CCCD blizzard is more points than I should eat in an entire day, I have zero desire to eat one. I find alternatives to satisfy my CCCD craving, such as the Weight Watchers cookie dough sundae cup which is only 3 points. I can handle that and fulfill my CCCD cravings.

I am still very bad about making and following a commitment for additional exercise, but so far, I have been losing just by watching and tracking every single bite. It feels so good, and while I am still not obsessed with my looks, I love being able to fit into clothes that used to be too tight.

My motivation and will power don't really falter because I know with each pound I lose, I am becoming healthier and reducing my risk for so many diseases. I never use the word DIET because that implies so many negatives: (1) a temporary change, (2) restriction from many foods, and (3) the possibility of putting the weight back on once "goal" is reached. This is a permanent lifestyle change for me.

I put all of my weight loss journey out for public consumption on Facebook to share my weekly weigh in results, my before measurements and pictures, and progress pictures along the way. I am highly motivated having the weekly accountability to my online network. People have cheered my losses and offered words of advice to get through the weeks where I have done everything right but still gained weight.

I am grateful for blogs like Charlie's where those of us on this journey can relate to the ups and downs of the commitment to making a life long change, and increase our support network to help us along the way. If you are on this path, congratulations for having the courage to make a positive change in your life! If you are still contemplating whether to start your journey, there is no time like the present. You can do it, and you are not alone. We are here to help you reach for your goals!

I hope you have enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people that I have gotten to know. Want to be included in next week's edition of Meet Up Thursdays? Then send me your stories at oscbb@yahoo.com 'cause we can't WAIT to meet you!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25

This IS My Body...

As promised. My self expose.

The most painful 10 minutes were filming it. Or so I thought, until I spent an hour and a half editing it. That was even worse. (And you can thank me for cutting some of the really gross parts. Especially when I showed how my belly could swallow the freshly plucked bellybutton. That I left out with you in mind.)

Why did I do it?

For a couple of reasons.

A) I want every woman (and the few brave men that have stuck it out through the Diva Cup posts) out there struggling with weight to know that you are NORMAL. You are NEVER ALONE in this fight. Don't like your body? Neither do I. But most of all, I don't like that my fears and my emotions have held me back for so long.

B) I think we sometimes don't have a concept of what our bodies really look like in motion. And movement makes all the difference. I personally needed a reality check.

C) Flipping that switch. Remember?

So- there's no nudity, but you will see A LOT of the real me.

Kinda freaking out, because sometimes I wonder if I take this whole "Honesty in Dieting" policy too far.

Wondering through the process of video taping myself if this is going to be a disaster.

Wishing that I was showing you my "I reached my goal" video instead of my "stuck in limbo and desperate to change" video.

But this is my body. For everything it is, for everything it's not...

It's mine to have and mine to change. It's time to be brave and show the world that me and my body are ready for some hard work.

This IS my body.

Tuesday, August 24

Products I Want... or think I want!

So here we are, and it’s Tuesday already. What have I done?

Watched my portions. (Save an incident with pecans yesterday afternoon)

Moved around a little.

Caught another mouse.

Took the kids swimming.

Chickened out of filming the expose, due to the immediate need to pluck my bellybutton. SIGH…

Gained 2 pounds. (REALLY?? REALLY!!!!)

Sometimes, I really hate dieting. Othertimes (when I actually lose weight) I like it.

So, watching the season finale pt. 1 of “Dance Your A$$ Off” I saw 2 things I want.

The official DYAO Exercise DVD.


Have you seen these little boogers yet? An arm band that basically tattles on you. It says how many calories you have burned, what you need to do to hit your goal, and probably tells the world if you cheated. I wonder if it beeps as you are lifting the oreo to your mouth? Anyway, I think I might need one of these. Just to be my Jimminy Cricket. Cause I can’t step on it to break it like I crush insects and my own goals. It’s too expensive.

Sometimes, I look at the products out there and just laugh. The shake weight (which I own), deal a meal, the ab glider, that ab shocking belt… then other times I look at the new technology out there and get excited. Things like the exerspy and BodyBugg.

Have any of you out there tried a great product that you love? (No diet pills, please.) Wanna share about it? I'm listening!

Monday, August 23

I'll leave the light on for ya'...

I won't deny the truth. The dieting switch has been off for a while. A PAINFULLY long time, as a matter of fact. Not hiding it, but certainly not enjoying talking about it.

And since it appears that I am not going to be a Hilton Hotel for a baby this month, I may as well diet. (I retook a test this morning. I had one last test to burn through, anyway. I was quite startled, in my first morning stupor, to hear it beep. I did not realize it was digital. I looked, and found I wasn't pregnant. However, my pee was a balmy 98.4 degrees...)

And thus, we start YET ANOTHER DAY ONE. But this time, I'm pulling out all the stops.

I'm not even kidding about that.

For starters, I got myself a new goal dress. I picked one that was void of Lycra, stretchy nylon, and the likes. I want no mercy. The last dress I got was a cute skull dress. And it stretched. It wasn't pretty, but it fit. THIS TIME, I got something fitted and tiny. In a size 10. I would have gone smaller, but I have to stuff my blessings in a cup somewhere. And size 6 dresses are not created with the saggy boobed slightly middle aged woman in mind. So I figured a 10 would keep me plenty occupied for the time being.

Next, tonight I am filming an expose on my actual body. No nudity, as I still have a shred of modesty and a few brain cells left. But I need to grasp what my body is. I need to see what I have to work on. (The obvious being tummy, arms, waist) But the truth is, I have no idea what they actually look like. My mirror lies to me. (The scale does not.) I am not going to do this out of poor self body image. It is only out of poor self image. Because I know what I can do if I set my mind to it. And while pictures are shockingly truthful a lot of times, a video- that captures jiggles and wiggles and flops- that should trip my trigger. And FAST. I might even attempt to put on the goal dress. It will make it that much more dramatic when it fits! (Shooting for Christmas)

Hanging around at 180, which is pretty good. I am aching to see 179 again. Then I will only be 10 pounds away from all I have gained over the last year. Funny how it takes forever to lose and no time at all to put back on!

Finally, I had a fruit fiesta at the produce section of Meijers. I happened to be in another town today, and got some of the fruits I love that our local stores don't carry. I am bound and determined to stay "clean" this week. And I'm going to do it one day at a time. One bite at a time. I'll be blogging every day this week, just for the accountability, since the YMCA pool is out of commission, and there will be no water aerobics. However, I have a crapton of exercise videos to keep me busy, a treadmill (somewhere under clothes mountain), and a washer and dryer that are one flight below me as we speak. I can bust through some calories just staying home. Or having a nervous breakdown about the upcoming expose tonight. Fear makes me sweat, and sweat is classified as working out. (In my book anyway!)

So there's the scoop. I am manually flipping my diet switch. I'm going to push it until it clicks, and I get the final leg of my journey done. I will do everything in my blogging power to help your switch flip too. Cause I don't like doing things alone. I have dieting codependency.

What things have flipped your switch? What do you think it WOULD take to get you motivated again?

Saturday, August 21


In order for you to understand the utter hilarity of this story, you MUST make sure you have read about the day Tim's fish died. It's not that I am being bossy, but it makes all the difference to appreciate this story you are about to read.

Now, do you remember that game from back in the 80's, Mousetrap?

You had to get all the pieces working in just the right way or you didn't catch the mouse. Let's just say that my house had a major throw back to the "Mousetrap" last night.

I am terrified of old fashioned mousetraps- the snappy kind. I'm petrified ever since one of them almost broke my fingers when the kids and I first moved into a house we affectionately called "The Diamond House." (There were plywood diamonds as a decorative detail on the front door.) I decided at the time, having children who were 3, 2, and 1 that conventional mousetraps were unsafe- even for Mama. So my Grandpa Bush introduced me to the wonders of sticky traps.

Non toxic and with no moving parts, I learned that sticky traps (or glue traps as some of you may call them) were wonderful at catching 4 legged vermin. I caught mouse after mouse, and my grandpa would dutifully come over every couple of days and put the caught mice into a bucket of water. (The man was a farmer. He had no love for rodents that ate his corn crops. No compassion, either. Now his dogs- that's a different story. They ate steak.)

While I no longer adhere (GROAN) to the bucket of water drowning method, since I am married, I simply let Matt take the glue trap with mouse attached outside and he deals with it. I don't ask, Matt doesn't tell.

So after the mouse hiding under my skillet last week, I knew there was a little critter in the kitchen. I had tried to pinpoint where Mousey was coming and going from. And yesterday afternoon I put 2 sticky traps in the places I figured, made sure they were small enough openings that Puppy (our cat) couldn't get to them, and waited.

I didn't have to wait too long...

About 11pm, Matt and I heard a HUGE ruckus in the kitchen. Such noise that at first we thought someone had broken in to our house. Matt, as the official "Noise Checker-outer" in our house, summoned his courage and peeked around the corner of the kitchen to see what was going on. (We are all still a little gun shy about strange noises since our night in the woods. I think coyotes are busting into the city to exact their revenge on us for screaming so much that night and scaring off any potential meals they would have had.)

He started laughing the second he saw what was making the ruckus, and reported back "It's just Pup. She's... wait... what IS that?"

At that moment, Puppy went bonkers. She dashed off to her litter box, knocked over her food bowl, and came tearing into the low lit living room. And in the dim light, I saw that somehow she had managed to get the glue trap stuck on her paw.

Matt, snickering to himself, started grabbing at Puppy to try and remove the trap. I, being the loving wife that I am, turned on the main light in the living room. And that was when Matt gave a hearty little shout. The trap he was reaching for on Puppy's paw also had a mouse attached to it. Fat little sucker, too.

Then came the Trap Tango- the delicate dance of a trap, a man, and a cat- with a mouse in the middle. Mousey could still move it's head a little, and was trying to gnaw the dickens out of Matt's fingers. And Matt was doing his best do get the stuck trap off poor Pup.

After 10 minutes of failed attempts, we decided that if we could hold the trap, we could cut Puppy's fur from the glue and remove her from her predicament. So that's what we did. I grabbed the trap and pulled it down as far as I could, and Matt delicately cut the fur, trying not to hurt Pup.

We finally got the trap off, and then of course Matt is making googley eyes at the mouse. He's a sucker for animals. I- on the other hand- lean towards the Grandpa Bush stand towards animals. I have killed many a mouse in my day. But if Matt wanted to dig little Mousey out of the glue without killing it first, he had the prerogative. He stepped outside with the trap for a few minutes and then came back inside. He looked a little green in the face, so I didn't ask. I was worried about getting the glue off of Puppy. Because she had begun to lick the glue on her paw, and how had a beard of glue on her chin. Her paw was also stuck to it.

I was gently trying to coax Puppy to let me try and remove the glue, and Puppy didn't trust me at all. It was obvious in her green eyes. She was MAD MAD PISSED MAD. And when she gets like this, it's game over. She will bite your fingers off if she has the chance. So I gave up and just watched her.

Matt took the enlightened man's approach. He googled. And he discovered that if you take peanut butter and rub it on the fur, the glue will come off. So he got the peanut butter, and I- knowing how MAD MAD PISSED MAD Puppy was, I suited up like a Sumo wrestler. I put a sweat shirt over my pajamas, then a bathrobe over my sweat shirt, then Matt's heaviest winter coat over that. I also found the matching gloves in the pocket. They are too big for me, but I had to deal with putting the peanut butter on Puppy anyway. I gave the gloves to Matt, gave him a towel, and we caught Puppy. He wrapped her up like a feisty burrito, and we began the Operation Peanut Butter.

I had the good sense to put my camera on record for this event. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 19

Meetup Thursday #1

I probably should get a cool graphic thingy that links to my blog stating this is a portion of “Meetup Thursdays” like a proper blogger, but I didn’t think of that till just now. So we will just pretend for today and I’ll try to whip up something for next week.

And I am pleased to present to you the personal stories of our first 3 women. Remember, these are real women, just like us. Make your comments kind, and love the stuffings out of them just like you do with me!!! I'm just going to let each of these tales speak for themselves. And 2 of today’s girls have blogs, so check those out too!



I am 20 years old and currently weigh around 100kg (depending on the day).

All my life I have struggled with constant taunts and remarks from so called friends, family and random people. Through primary school starting from grade 3 I started to gain weight, I hadnt changed the way I was eating but still seemed to get bigger. Most of the other kids were cruel (as we all know kids say some nasty things). I was called many a name and those names have followed me all the way into adulthood. It wasn’t just the children it was teachers too (the only teacher I liked called me a fatso and tried to make up for it with a merit award), friends parents (wouldn’t let me play with their children in case they ended up like me) and even family. My own father would call me fat. It hurt like crazy, I became depressed, lacked the confidence i needed to go out in public and didn’t spend time with anyone.

I thought going to high school might be a little different, but it didn’t change except the taunts got nastier. I was in a shell, depressed and never wanted to come out of my comfort zone. I tried going to university but was put down by adults (I thought it would have changed their attitudes). I quit going after I was sitting alone in the hallway on the phone to my bf (who has been extremely supportive through thick and thin) when another student walked past and said "hey baby can I have your number" and when I turned to see who it was he made the remark of "ew what a f—kn’ fat dog don’t look at me". It hurt so much that someone I didn’t even know could make a comment about me. I sank into a deeper depression and become suicidal.

Now at the age of 20 it still hurts me inside. I have no confidence to wear different clothes because I’m afraid of what people will say to me. I can’t look at photos that I am in because I am disgusted at what I see. I feel thin in my head but look huge in photos. It makes me feel sick. My self confidence has been shot down so many times I just don’t know how to get back up again. People will still make comments to this day about my weight. I have struggled through more diets than I can count. I have tried pills, shakes, Jenny Craig and just plain old exercise and no fatty food. Nothing is helping, I’ve been told my next option is to have lap banding. I am hoping I can improve on my confidence and make myself a better person.

That’s my story if it made any sense.Thanks for letting me share.

Up next is Lee-Bird. (Her blog is Prayer Gifts)

(I have actually MET Lee in person, last year at a conference. See? I'm strengthening actual relationships here!!!)

School is back in full swing for me. In fact, my students had a big social studies test today and will have a huge math midterm tomorrow.As a special education teacher, I find myself a tad secluded on testing days, for many of my students require small group testing and other accommodations.

Today, sequestered in the media center computer lab, I facilitated testing for students sharing their newfound knowledge of the U.S. Constitution. We the people...should have studied harder!Between telling about a dozen kids what the word "impacted" means and reminding ornery boys that they had no reason to be messing with the computer keyboards, I noticed an almost life-size poster of Amare Stoudemire tacked onto the door of the lab.

A star player for the Phoenix Suns, the poster advertises Amare's dependence on milk to keep him in tip-top, ball-dunkin' shape.The poster includes a handprint, actual size, that dwarfs the hands of curious junior highers who take the time to hold their hands up against it.At the bottom of the glossy picture is a shoeprint of Amare's size-17 basketball shoes. Do you think he has ever tripped over those monsters?

Now here is where the ugly truth comes in...The poster graciously shares Amare's "dimensions."

Amare Stoudemire: Height: 6'10", Weight: 245 pounds


Lee: Height: 5'6.5", Weight 243 pounds


I remember having a similar rude revelation when I was nine months pregnant with my first son, Garrett, and heard some football player's "dimensions" on TV...it was bad then, but it's WAY WORSE now! My last baby was born almost 11 years ago, and I weigh the same as I did when I delivered my first baby.

Something MUST be done, and I am the one who has to do it!I MUST get this weight off. No more excuses and no more procrastination.I would be debt-free if I still had all the money I've invested in diet books, diet pills, and check-out stand magazines promising my belly fat will melt away while I sleep. I don't need another diet book.

I need to cut back on the CRAP food and get active.I need to drastically decrease my consumption of empty liquid calories and increase my water intake. I need to deny my spoiled-rotten cravings and make better choices for myself for my good and for God's glory.

Help me out, bloggy friends...by praying for me and by giving me your best tips to making positive health choices. For now, I'm taking my Amare-sized body upstairs to bed!

And finally for this week- bloggy designer extraordinaire- Jessica: (and Jessica, I totally apologize because I couldn't figure out how to get your other adorable picture onto piece o' crap Blogger. Feel free to send it in another email with just the pic and I will add it.)

My name is Jessica, I’m 19 years old, and I’m a foodaholic.

There has never been a time in my life where I have been thin. And to make matters worse, my two younger sisters are tall, athletic young women who have never struggled with their weight. Growing up, I was always so embarrassed and ashamed of myself for being the “fat sister.” Friends and relatives would rave about my sisters’ athletic abilities, only to pause and look at me to say “…and you’re the artistic one!” That’s not a consolation prize.

I entered high school at age 14 weighing about 160 at 5’2”. Because of the insecurities I had about my weight, I isolated myself from social situations whenever possible and threw myself many a pity party where I would eat my feelings instead of dealing with them. Because of this routine, I packed on a whopping 30 lbs in high school – the worst part is I was only vaguely aware of it happening. It wasn’t until I compared my school photos side-by-side that I came to the shocking and horrifying realization of just how out of control my weight had gotten.

It took a photo from a family vacation the summer of my junior year to hit rock bottom.

Yeah, I’m the one looking uncomfortable in my own skin. When I saw this photo, I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

My senior year, I decided to do something about it. I joined Weight Watchers. I fought a battle of epic proportions with the scale, riding an emotional roller coaster as the number bounced up and down each week. And after 8 months, I went from weighing 190 to 162. I was getting compliments regularly about how great I looked and my friends noticed a big change in the way I carried myself.

At that point, I had little to no gut to speak of, a much thinner face, and proof that I actually had a neck and collar bone. I had maybe 25 more pounds to lose, but I was definitely feeling good about myself.

…Then came my downfall: the !@#$ing holidays. Not only did I fall off the wagon, I catapulted myself off of it. Each week at weigh-in, I became more and more disgusted with myself as the number on the scale crept ever higher. I stopped going all together when I hit 167.

Fast forward through a year’s worth of “oh, I’ll start dieting again on Monday. I’ll start on the 1st of the month. After my vacation.” You name the excuse to put it off, and I used it.

That would bring us to present day. I procrastinated myself all the way to 190 – right back where I started. I could kick myself for not only quitting when I had made so much progress, but putting it all back on just as quickly as it came off.

In an attempt to keep myself accountable, I started a blog back in April at
The Skinny on my Weight-loss at 177 lbs. Did that stop me from putting on 13 lbs in the following 4 months? No. Is it even possible to put on 13 lbs in 4 months? Apparently.

Luckily, I’m slowly on the decline. My highest weight recently was 190.6. I’ve gotten down to 185, and I spend a LOT of time in between.

Looking back I could kick myself for throwing my whole diet out the window when I was up a measly 5 lbs, when I had already lost nearly 30. But I did learn a life lesson from it: I will inevitably struggle with my weight my whole life, and I will be that much stronger having learned to deal with this issue so early on.

Despite my frustrations along the way, however big they may seem at the time, I refuse to let myself give up again. I have to keep pressing forward - day by day; little by little. There will be many blunders along the way, and I’m sure some days I will fall flat on my ass. The only thing to do will be to pick myself up and keep on trekkin.’

I am officially rejoining Weight Watchers this week, so this self evaluation could not come at a better time. I can’t promise you I’ll get better at blogging, but I promise to update you on my successes and failures every once and a while along the way.

The best of luck to those of you trekkin’ along with me! Your stories inspire me to do better.

What strikes me the most about each of these girls is that I can relate to something within each of their stories. There is a chord that rings true in every word they say. I hope these stories unite us in a new way as companions on this journey to lose the fat, and that we all form new friendships today!

Tuesday, August 17

Charlie meets Charlie

First of all, I want to thank you all for the avalanche of comments, emails and facebook messages that made my inbox explode. The support found here is beyond words. Thank you all for your tender letters and prayers. Even though it wasn’t a bonafide loss, but rather a major disappointment- your concern and compassion was extraordinary. Again, thank you.

Next, I have got to share something very very very diety with you. Today, my mailman delivered an impulse purchase from my Amazon cart. (Stupid one-click buying) It’s a book by Australian born author Shauna Reid. “The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl.”

To be frank with you all, as I pulled it out of the packaging and took my first look at it I was quite shocked to see it was a beefy 400 pages. I started to read at 2pm. By 8:30pm I had finished the book and was composing a letter to Shauna in my head. Also, I was resisting the urge to go back through the book with a highlighter and color the pertinent parts.
This book spans the entire length of her 350 pound to 175 pound journey, and it is nothing short of remarkable, inspiring, and downright funny. She is quick with the profanities, abundant with the word “crap” (which secures her place in my heart as kindred spirit/hero) and her honesty is gut wrenching- pun intended. And I felt as though I was looking through my own personal journal if I had been born on the other side of the world.

No matter where we are from, the language of the fat chick is universal. We shudder at the same things (airplane seats, cafĂ© chairs, full length mirrors) and use the same excuses (I’m too fat to …fill in your blank…). We also struggle to see ourselves for who we really are behind and underneath the fat. My goodness, how my head nodded in agreement over and over again while reading her book. So much that my neck has a kink.

And it got me to thinking (which we all know means some wacky illustration is brewing).

What things in my life have I avoided doing because I thought I was too fat?

Not just the little things, like wearing a bikini. You would have to be half off your rocker to WANT to prance around in the little bits of floss they call a bikini these days. I’m talking about the big stuff. The stuff that when I think about it I snicker because it’s so ridiculous to even THINK it, let alone try it for real.

I want to be in a movie. And not as the fat friend.

I want to get married again (same husband) in a stunning dress that makes Matt faint.

I want to sit in the box seats at the Opera and not fear for the lives of those sitting under the box.

I want to get up on a stage and talk to women about life, faith, motherhood, and dieting without being afraid that they can see my backfat rolls from the nosebleed sections.

I want to learn the tango.

I want to be a real published author who isn’t afraid of rejection.

After reading Shauna’s book, I realized something brazen that I had never considered before. I use my current bodyshape as reasons not to reach out for my crazy dreams. But it’s not the fat that is holding me back.

It’s the ME that is underneath the blubber.

I stop myself short of achieving lots of things. I don’t give my best to dieting because I know eventually the new found courage will wear off and I’ll be diving into a package of double stuffed oreos and eating all 3 rows. WHY do I condemn myself before I have even tried?

I don’t dance because I consider myself clumsy and uncoordinated. That has nothing to do with being plump. I will still trip over my own feet when I am skinny. And the contestants on Dance Your a$$ off seem to not care about their size. WHY don’t I dance?

Just because I am a big girl doesn’t mean that I don’t have something encouraging and funny to say to 1000 women. To make gals laugh and feel better. And lots of them have fat rolls too. WHY don’t I speak?

Matt is completely and utterly smitten with me. (No idea why, but I’ll take it.) And I am over the moon for him. WHY do I assume I can’t take his breath away just as I am?

I’m not trying to fill this post with a bunch of psycho babble and introspective crap. My point is that I have blamed the fat all along, when it was Charlie inside who had the real problems.
Real insecurities, paralyzing fears, more phobias than a 4th year psychology textbook.
So what would happen if I stopped blaming the fat for my shortcomings and cowboyed up to the table? What would happen then?
If I stopped acting like the fat was the root of all my problems, could I start being the person I know is fighting to get out?

Can I stop obsessing about the scale? Can I stop the mental self flagellation everytime I eat a bowl of ice cream? Can I live life like it was meant to be lived if I just start living it?

Maybe it was this brush with being knocked up that has changed my perspective on things.
Maybe I realize that disappointments are never going to end- regardless of how positive I am about them- so perhaps the best thing is to put yourself out there for the world to see. They can love me or leave me. And having met the world, they will most likely do a little of both. But I can know that I experienced ever joy and every sorrow there was to experience. And that sounds like a refreshing change. I need to stop fearing the unknowns and start experiencing them.

Here’s my point. I spend hours obsessing about this blog. I hide behind my computer screen and spout out nuggets of wisdom, tell funny stories, and pour my heart out. But when it comes to interacting with others, I don’t do so good on the face to face stuff. I love the virtual relationships I have formed with many of you! These relationships mean so much! But if I met you face to face, I am sorry to say that I am NOTHING like my online persona. I get nervous. I get tongue tied. My jokes are hit and miss, with a 40% average of being worth even saying. Here on my computer, I can obsess about how each word sounds, how the sentence reads, what my message becomes. You can’t do that in real life. Not unless you memorize a script.

And I want to change. With all my heart. I want to be as outgoing as I sound. I want to talk to women face to face and learn their stories. While I can’t rack up frequent flyer miles seeing each one of you, I want to know more about you. So here’s the plan.


Every Thursday, I will post the stories of 3 women (if I even get that many stories). I want you to share about your struggles with dieting, with being confident, with being yourself- whatever the reason is you keep reading this blog. If you have a personal blog, I will link it. All I ask is that you send a picture of yourself with your story. (Please, though, send the story in with good grammar!) It doesn’t have to be a long piece, but it must be sincere. You don’t have to admit your weight or anything, but I will tell you there is a freedom in doing so- it’s like telling the biggest secret you have ever had to keep. But no pressure. This is going to be a first come, first serve kind of thing. So type fast!

Send your stories and pics to my email – oscbb@yahoo.com and in the subject line put “MEET UP THURSDAYS” so I know it’s something you want shared with my readers. Ooooh, this is making me giddy with excitement! Not to mention nervous as heck- nervous that no one sends in their stories and I will be left with a blogpost to write on Thursday.

So there it is: My feeble attempt to reach out from behind the computer screen and socialize. I’m changing things up in my life. I’m going to start living. And I’m dragging you with me. Cause that’s how I roll.

Speaking of rolls, I am at 182.6- not bad considering I have been moping on the couch since last Thursday! But tomorrow, it’s back to water aerobics and healthy eating. No more pizza and ice cream this week. I’m going to be too busy becoming the woman I’m supposed to be. I can’t wait to meet myself!

AND…I can’t wait to hear your stories!

Sunday, August 15


Before I begin this blog post, I would like to state that I am NOT a Christian Blogger. I am a blogger who happens to be a Christian. I did not start this blog to witness to the lost, or to pour out my spiritual beliefs onto unsuspecting readers who thought they were going to read about a fat girl on a diet. That being said, this post is going to deal with my faith in Jesus Christ a LOT, and for good reason. My hope is that no matter what you believe about God, the universe and spiritual things, that you will read this post through to the end- if for no other reason than you want to know what I am dealing with. It is with great humility as a believer that I share this story with you. I am not trying to minister or witness in any manner. This is simply an important story about who I am that needs to be told. Thank you for reading this post.

Wednesday evening I took note that Mother Nature was running very behind schedule. Since I track all of this with my Iphone app “Period Tracker,” I am more on top of my bodily issues than ever. Feeling rather hopeful, I took a pregnancy test about 11pm. It was negative, so I threw it away and went to bed.

To some of you who know my story, this may seem foolish. My tubes have been tied now for over 8 years. For those of you who are new readers, this was not a choice I made for myself. I actually canceled the surgery twice, but my now ex thought it was what I had to do. I was forced into this surgery, being held captive with the threats of not being allowed to see my family anymore. It devastated me 8 years ago, just as much as it devastates me now. And since Matt and I got together, I have prayed and prayed that the surgery would miraculously reverse itself, my fallopian tubes would grow back together, and I would be able to have a child without having surgery to reverse it. And even though Matt and I have taken steps toward having the reversal surgery in the near future, I prayed with all my heart that God would heal me for a decision I did not make for myself.

On Thursday morning, I got the kids off to school, got Matt off to work, and began to get ready for my day. Even though I have been fighting a sinus infection, I knew I wanted to go to water aerobics and work out. So I got my swim suit and towels packed, which were in the bathroom. And while I was in the bathroom, I noticed my forgotten negative pregnancy test in the trash can.

Only it didn’t say negative. It said positive.

The ONLY reason I even looked at it again was because when I was pregnant with Natalie (the 9 year old) I had issues with home pregnancy tests. They kept saying negative. Until 3 or 4 hours later, and then would turn positive. Having this experience, I realized something. I could really be pregnant! This is it! It was starting to look like God had FINALLY answered my prayers!

I got on the phone and called Matt. And knowing that this could be a fluke, I worded the conversation very carefully. “I can’t say that this is for real, but my test turned positive. It says that I am pregnant.”

Of course, he was delighted, but it was a guarded happiness. We both have thought I might be pregnant in the past (random symptoms, late periods), only to find out shortly afterwords with a test that I wasn’t pregnant at all.

But seeing that positive sign on my stick o’ pee, well, it filled my heart with such incredible praise for God that my joy was uncontainable!

I called Julia at work, because she is a prayer warrior and prays for me all the time. (She’s been my best friend for 20 years. She knows I need prayer constantly!) As I shared with her about the positive test, we marveled at the power God has over our lives. I was filled with such fiery faith that I could do so little but repeat over and over, “I knew it! Everyone thought I was crazy for thinking that I could get pregnant, but God heard my prayers and saw my faith! I never stopped believing, and look!”

I made a few other calls to my circle of friends, and then headed out to water aerobics. I am pretty sure that the folks who saw me there were aware of the glow I had. I couldn’t stop smiling, and felt this amazing confidence in who God is rising up in me.

All in all, it was the best morning of being pregnant I have ever had.

I went to help Margaret the Saint at school for a few hours, and was still glowing. But as I was getting ready to leave, I made a pit stop at the bathroom.

And I noticed I was spotting.

Quickly I assured myself “This is implantation bleeding!” Racing home, I discovered that it was not implantation bleeding. It was normal monthly bleeding.

I was NOT pregnant.

I didn’t have time to fall to pieces, because the kids were almost home. I kept asking God to make it stop, don’t let me lose this! In all the months before, we had NEVER had a positive test. And I was sure that God was rewarding me for never thinking it was impossible. I never gave up hope that He would heal me, so surely He finally had.

But the bleeding continued, and pretty soon there was no denying that there would be no baby. Not this month. And I left Matt a voicemail stating that. To say that it broke my heart would be an understatement. It crushed me. I wanted to fall into pieces and cry and scream. But there were still 3 children to tend too, so I had to hold broken self together and get snack, help with homework, and be the kind of Mom who shows grace under fire.

Matt came home, and we were both pretty quiet. He fixed dinner for the kids, and I zoned out for a while. The kids had to go to VBS, and I needed some time to cry. So I offered to take them. I do all my best crying out to Jesus alone in the car. I dropped them off at church, went to Kmart and walked around for a while waiting for the dam to break, but tears wouldn’t come. I went home and immersed myself in my Bible. Normally, I go to the Psalms when I am hurting this badly. But this time, I went to 2 Timothy. And this is what I read from chapter 1.

“4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also. 6 For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. ---
12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.”

So the question was this: Was it wrong for me to be so upset (and angry) with God at that moment? Because I was. I was angry. I was mad because we had a positive test that turned out to be negative. We were so close, and yet discovered that we were just as far away as we were last month.

Pretty soon, the time came to go back to church and pick up the kids. And I got in the van and turned on my ipod. And I heard a song I had written a few months back. It’s a song called “Hannah’s Heart.” I wrote it about my frustration with my infertility. But I had no idea how prophetic that song would become. Listen….

After hearing the first verse, I became a puddle of tears. I began to cry like I wanted to cry when Gma had died, but couldn’t. I poured out my sorrows vicariously through that song.

Was this experience emotionally devastating for me? YES. A hundred times over, YES.

But will it make me any less hopeful? NO. A million times over, NO.

And here’s why. If I had given up on the diet every time I experienced a setback, I would still be 237 pounds. Probably more. Instead, I used that hurt of my failure to push me towards success. And when the pounds eventually started falling off, the success tasted even sweeter because I had tasted the bitterness of failure.

If Jesus stopped loving me the first time I sinned, I would have been given over to my evil nature the afternoon after I was baptized as a believer. But He constantly picked me up, brushed me off, and cleansed me again and again.

I don’t doubt that I will become pregnant. Not for one second. In fact, this has done nothing but bolster my belief that it IS possible. Just not today. God chose for today to let me go through this experience of tasting the bitterness. And I know that when it does happen, (and it will) we will be all the more blessed because here on earth, every sign pointed to its improbability. Therefore it could only be by the scarred hands of my Savior that it could come to pass. And it will be even more of a miracle. And that will be my testimony. How it looked impossible, but HE did it anyway.

I know some of you are dealing with infertility too. Or maybe you are desperately trying to lose weight and beginning to feel like it’s impossible.

It’s not. It feels that way, I know. But there is nothing we can’t do when we call upon the Name of the Lord and let our hearts dwell in His house. We are more than conquerors. We are given the keys to the Kingdom. We are rewarded for our faith. Especially when we are faced with the mountains of impossibility and we believe anyway.

I hope that the story of what I went through this past couple of days encourages you. While it still hurts my heart, I know this was a life lesson God didn’t want me to miss.

For those of you who aren’t believers, I know this all sounds crazy. But I have been through far too much with Him to think that life should ever be ordinary.

Please, don’t give up on yourself or your journey. Seek the extraordinary. Attempt the impossible. Look deep within yourself and keep trying to win over your struggles and the things that seem impossible. And when you get to the deepest part of you that you never knew was there, I pray that He meets you there- showing He was fighting right alongside you the entire time.

Wednesday, August 11

A Fishy Game of Clue: The Big Bang and Boom Theory

First of all, I am down to 181.6 as of this morning! I think I really am back on track this time. I’m working out, eating right, and all that jazz. It’s coming off slowly, but it’s back to coming off. If I can keep an average loss of 1.5 pounds a week, I could be at 138 in 30 weeks!!! (That’s only a 7 months. I can do 7 months.) (I WILL DO 7 MONTHS!)

Second of all, I did not go to water aerobics today because I am having major sinus issues again. Our weed pollen count is through the roof here in central Illinois, and it’s driving my nose crazy. I can’t go anywhere without my trusty roll of toilet paper. Cause I’m too cheap to buy tissues.

And finally, Mother Nature has yet to hit. Of course, the one month my purse is packed and ready for her, she’s running late. What a beast she is! Until then, I am dealing with residual water retention and frantic checking of panties for her arrival. (And random keys…)

OK, so on Monday night we discovered that our 8 year old son Tim had lost his pet fish. Needless to say, the actual fish outlived the excitement and promise of responsibility of said fish at time of purchase. In otherwords, Tim usually forgot he had a fish and mom fed it and cleaned the tank.

I had moved “Sonny the Beta” and his small tank into the kitchen on Monday morning so I could give him or her fresh water. Again. Betas are nasty little fish. Their water gets mucky so fast! Anyhoo, when I went to clean the tank later that day, “Sonny” had gone belly up. I put him in a Tupperware container with some water to dump him into the toilet for his sailor’s burial without flushing those stupid teeny tiny rocks in our commode.

I went into the kids’ room and told Tim his fish had croaked. Of course, I said it a lot more sympathetic than that, because Tim takes death pretty hard. I rubbed his back as I told him, waiting for the waterworks to start flowing and the hysterics to hit of replacing Sonny immediately.

Instead, Tim wanted to see the fish body and poke at it. To make sure he was really dead and not sleeping. We went to the kitchen and looked in the plastic container. And Tim poked. And he looked.

I asked him if he wanted to flush Sonny or bury it. (Eitherway, I was already planning on having a fishy funeral. We once buried a fish outside in the frozen ground. It’s our family’s grieving process, I guess) Instead, Tim requested that we wait till morning just in case the fish comes around and starts swimming again. I told him that wasn’t likely, but that was fine. And I kept the lid off the Tupperware so that the dead fish wouldn’t suffocate. Just in case he had taken up a new hobby of swimming upside down.

The kids went to VBS, I went walking with Tricky Nikki, and Matt spent the evening on the computer. And the whole family went to bed.

But I woke up at 3am with a ferocious headache. So I grabbed some sinus medicine from the bathroom and went into the kitchen to get a drink. I didn’t think about turning on the lights, because I could see well enough.

What I couldn’t see was that Puppy (our family cat) had knocked over the “possibly living but most definitely dead” fish’s Tupperware container off the counter and on the floor. And as I stepped with my bare feet into the kitchen, I slipped and fell on my kiester.


I stood up quickly and flipped on the kitchen light, looked at the water all over the floor and figured Puppy had made a sushi meal out of Sonny. I wiped up the floor and then realized my foot was still wet. I lifted my foot to wipe it off.

And I found Sonny.

Squished on the bottom of my foot.

And in-between my toes a little.

Which made my headache worse.

And I kinda wanted to throw up.

So there I am, sitting in my nightgown on the kitchen floor, wiping fish guts off my foot at 3am. And trying to figure out how to tell Tim I had completely decimated his “possibly living but most definitely dead” fish and not have him think there was fishy murder afoot. (Groan)

I had wiped my foot clean, but once you step on a dead fish and have it pop like a zit under the weight of you, you realize the desperate need for antibacterial soap. So I headed over to the sink to grab the washcloth and some soap.

And that was when the mouse came running up from the bottom of the kitchen sink.

And I screamed. Not because I am scared of mice, but because the situation had surprised me. All of a sudden, walking through the house with residual dead fish guts to the bathroom didn’t seem like a bad idea. So I heeled it to the bathroom and cleaned up.

I think I have figured out what happened. This is exactly like the game of Clue.

The family went to bed. Puppy went into the kitchen and heard a mouse. She jumped on the counter to catch the mouse, (because otherwise she knows she is dead meat if I catch her on my counter) and the mouse hid under my skillet in the sink, which was waiting to go in the dishwasher. Meanwhile, Puppy was probably pacing on the counter, trying to figure out how to get to the mouse, and knocked Sonny and his/her Tupperware container on the floor. Which knowing Puppy, probably scared the living daylights out of her. To which she hopped down off the counter and ran to our bedroom to hide. On top of me. Which woke me up, and made me realize that I had a headache. To which I went into the kitchen to get a drink and stepped on the “possibly living but most definitely dead” Sonny with a big bang and a boom. Meanwhile the mouse was still shaking under my skillet, and realized that if it didn’t get out of there soon, the sleepy looking blonde monster was going to find it and kill it. To which it hopped out of the sink and ran for better cover and made the sleepy blonde monster scream.

I don’t make this stuff up, people. Truth is fishier than fiction.

Monday, August 9

All's quiet on the home front....

So I skipped water aerobics this morning. I had a valid reason, though.

I fell back asleep this morning after getting the kids on the bus. I was sitting in my chair matching socks, and I woke up and it was noon. I figured since I didn’t get to take a birthday nap yesterday (yes, yesterday was my birthday. I turned 25. AGAIN.) I was counting this one as a gift. Plus, I had NO BIRTHDAY CAKE, nor cupcakes, or cake batter or icing. That is a first. I did, however, have a big bowl of broccoli. (BTW- thank you all for your b-day wishes on Facebook. I appreciated all of them!)

I also am a little hesitant to go bouncing in the water. Aunt Flow should be here any day, and while I am completely open to writing about my humiliation on the blog, starting my period in the pool was one blog post I’m not willing to risk. Mostly because I ADORE water aerobics. And I want to be welcomed with open arms. Not with fear and trembling.

So the weekend went fairly well. I did bounce back up a little bit (back to 185) however, I indulged with egg salad and a birthday bread bowl. I am back on track today, and as soon as Mother Nature drops off her gift, I will start sliding down. Because I feel fantastic!

My body is starting to tighten up again. It had gotten really flabby over the last year, and just after a few weeks of water aerobics I can feel the difference. I can’t see it yet, but I can feel muscles aching that haven’t ached for a long while. And I can feel the cottage cheese on my rear moving closer together. That’s a good thing.

Just to update you all on a few other points of interest:

1. Still no word about the Crystal Light commercial contest on Poptent. Hopefully there will be an update sometime this week. I’m doing my best to be patient. And we all know how patient I am about stuff like this.

2. I am getting my volunteer hours in at the kids’ school. Each family is required to get 26 hours in per year, and I am already at 9.5 hours. So there is something productive!

3. Matt and I are working on getting our credit cleaned up so we can buy a house in the next few months. We have fallen in love with one, and we are doing our best to figure out how to get it. You may also recall about the Diet Credit Report post I wrote a while back. I had my metabolism tested a few weeks ago, and I learned that my body burns about 2000 calories per day if I moderately exercise for 30 minutes. So as long as I stay in the 1400 zone (not counting veggies unless they are starchy), I will lose weight. Unfortunately, I struggle with 5 days of the week being satisfied with 800-900 calories. It’s not because I am starving myself, but because my metabolism is so slow. I just don’t get terribly hungry most days. My goal for this week is to eat breakfast every day. That is hard, because normally I fill up on coffee until noon. I think this is a good way to start changing the way my body handles calories.

I feel like this post is nothing but information slapped together. Sorry, gang! I have nothing exciting to tell you at this time. No hiking trips gone awry, no big news, no humiliation at the Y- just a simple quiet weekend with nothing exciting.

Although Margaret the Saint and Dan the Man did give me an emergency fanny pack for the next time we go out into the woods for my birthday… that was pretty funny! And I got to hang out with my bestie on Saturday while Matt and Tim were on a fishing trip in Indiana. Basically, I had a normal, low key weekend. Sorry if you were hoping for a big hoopla or something ridiculous. I-for one- found it to be a relief!

So how did your weekends go? Anything exciting or amusing happen to you?

Friday, August 6


I use the word mental in this post several times. I know, it’s overkill, but half of my issues are all in my head. So it works. My apologies to any thesaurus lovers out there.

It all started because Tim had been playing with my combination lock I usually take to the YMCA.

I have been attending water exercising and water aerobics as faithfully as I can for the past 2 weeks. (Which equates to 5 times out of 10. Pretty good for me.) And the water aerobics have been really pushing me. I’m sore, but I keep going back. I love them. And I will go as often as I can.

But back to the lock. I couldn’t find my regular one for the locker. So I borrowed one from the Y. (which is free- you just give them your Y card and they hold that as collateral until you return the lock.) It was a regular Master Lock that comes with a key. Not a big deal.

But it soon became a big deal.

I got my locker all situated, put the borrowed lock on and secured my purse (which has nothing valuable in it, except for emergency tampons, which always seem to come out of the wrapper between one period to the next. What’s up with that?) and then had to figure out what to do with the key. Lots of times, the YMCA’s keys have one of those stretchy curly-Q bands on them so you can wear it on your wrist. This one didn’t. It was just a key. So I did what I always do with small stuff that I need to carry on my person.

I shoved the key into the bra like area of my swim suit.

I showered up, and headed out to water aerobics.

Admittedly, the teacher who leads the water aerobics is a “Jillian Michaels” in her own right. Not that she’s mean like Jillian… on the contrary. She’s smiley and nice. But she has a job to do, and that job is to whip my fat butt into shape. She is REALLY good at her job. She’s an Aqua Jillian.

So we start out by water walking, which is not tough, but you have to weave and bob around people because the class is packed. There are lots of the senior set that attend the class, because the water keeps them from wrecking their joints. I love listening to the older folks as they talk and discuss things- the weather, the pool temperature, the weather, the pool temperature- you hear the same topics coming up again and again.

There is also a group of teachers that attend 4 days a week. Some are retired, some aren’t- and I have to say they are hysterical. I like to gravitate towards them, but they are all tall gals, so they stay near the deep end. I am short with natural flotation devices, so I have to stay in the shallows or I don’t get a good workout. But any chance I have to listen in on their candid conversations, I do. Because I hear gems like this:

“I count carbs. I count them as they go right into my mouth.”

(While discussing the carb count of tortillas on wraps and suggesting using lettuce as the wrap device) “Lettuce was NEVER meant to be bread.”

“After a few months of this class, one day you will flex your arm and actually see a muscle!”

I’m telling you, these gals are a hoot.

So I enjoy the company, I enjoy the workout, and water aerobics are definitely my new exercise of choice.

Back to Aqua Jillian and the key.

We have gotten through our water walking, and we all grab our “noodles.” For those of you who don’t swim, this is a picture of noodles.

And we use the noodles for resistance training. Noodles- like hope and breasts- float and pop up to the surface. So we push them down in various fashions to work our arms, legs, and Aqua Jillian has even figured out a way to get sneaky sit ups with them. Ingenuous. Painful, but ingenuous.

We start our noodle workout and the water is splashing everywhere. Add to the splashing water that every time I go up and down, the under ridge of my boobs slap the water. They get knocked around pretty good during the workout. I am forever splashing myself in the face.

About half way through the workout, when my arms are good and worn out, it’s time to trade in the long noodles for the ones that are cut into foot long pieces. We do individual arm workouts with those. As I grab the short noodles, I did a quick pat of the chest area to make sure the key was still in place.

It was not.

In fact, I couldn’t locate the key.

Assuming it had fallen out while I was busy splashing around, I headed back to the place I had been before in the water and began doing a silent search with my foot. Feeling around on the bottom for the missing key, and scanning the water whenever 30 people weren’t splashing around, which makes the bottom hard to see.

With no key in sight (or on foot) I figured out that maybe the key had gone someplace else in my swim suit. Sometimes things fall to the under regions of my long gravity ravaged mammaries, and I find them later when I remove my bra. But the swim suit goes from my neck to my legs, so I figured it was somewhere in the torso region.

Meanwhile, Aqua Jillian is still working us with our short noodles. Bicep curls and chest flies and stuff like that. The whole time I am mentally scanning my body to feel if the key is in there.

By the end of the class my arms hurt, my abs hurt, and I felt thoroughly worked over. And the teacher group hangs out after and chit chat in the water while the old ladies shower. There are only 8 showers in the locker room, and 29 ladies in the class. So you stand a chance at getting a shower if you wait about 20 minutes.

So the teachers are talking, and I am half listening. Under the water, I look like I am rubbing my tummy and my breasts. BECAUSE I AM STILL LOOKING FOR MY KEY.

Finally I give up, and after scanning the pool floor one last time, I admit defeat and get out of the pool. Mentally I am preparing myself for walking home in nothing but a swimsuit and towel, and then realizing that I can even get into my house without my keys, which were in my purse in the locker that now had no key… well, it was going to be an interesting morning if nothing else.

As I am climbing up the ladder to get out and face my impending doom, something sharp and pointy sticks me right in the goody patch.


I raced into the shower (because I can’t go digging in my crotchal region in public) and whipped off my swim suit. And there was the key, which had slid into the little 3 inch tan panty lining that all swimsuits have.

Giggling because this is the kind of stuff that only seems to happen to me, I work the key out of the lining, and decide that it would be kind of me to wash it off. I probably spent 10 minutes scrubbing the key in the shower. Because I am considerate.

I got dried off and dressed, and headed upstairs to the main desk. Sheepishly, I handed the girl my lock and key, and asked for my Y card back. At least it was better than when the boobs demagnetized my hotel key, but secretly humiliating none the less.

And as I walked to my crappy van, I laughed some more. Because I never thought that my feminine parts would hold the key to anything but unlocking Mother Nature’s wrath.

As soon as Tim came home from school, I had him locate my lock (which does NOT require a key) and put it in my workout bag.

So that was a KEY lesson learned!

(BTW, Weight is at 182. Getting better!)
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