Saturday, January 13, 2018

2018 Instant Results

On the last day of  November, 2017, I was on the homepage of when my attention was caught by a story about a girl who lost over 100 pounds using something called an Instant Pot.  I vaguely remembered someone recently commenting on Facebook about an instant pot. I read the story about Brittany Williams and subscribed to her blog the next day.  I started copying her recipes for my files. My husband and I began searching for Instant Pots, he on Craigslist, me on Amazon. It took until the week after Christmas for my Amazon find to arrive.  I was in Indiana visiting my husband's family and friends. When we got home on New Year's Eve, I felt like a child on Christmas morning.  I was so happy my gift from me to me had arrived; I was thrilled that I had "discovered" Instant Loss, Brittany's blog! I planned to start eating REAL FOOD mid week around January 3-4 just as Brittany had done one year earlier. Because while the Instant Pot is a crucial tool for those of us who procrastinate and need to get dinner done in a hurry, Brittany's success didn't come from solely her cooking robot; it came from eating Real Food - protein, veggies, and fruits and cutting out processed food.

On Tuesday afternoon, January 2, I studied recipes, planned menus for the next week, made a grocery list, and went to the store.  I was a little staggered by the amount I spent but when I considered what we had been spending on fast food and my running to the grocery store every day or two in order to frantically buy what I needed for that evening's family dinner, I realized I wasn't spending much more than I do in an average week for food.  And I had purchased several staple foods which would last for weeks, not just the one week.  

Wednesday morning, January 3:  I dreaded what I had to do this morning. Due to an accident and a sinus infection over the previous month, both resulting in visits to the doctor, I knew the scales were not going to deliver good news; I had been mortified just weeks before when I was weighed by my Nurse Practitioner's nurse. Actually, weighing in at 214.6 pounds was a little of a nice surprise having weighed more on my doctor's scales.  I agreed with myself that I should weigh each morning after using the bathroom, before drinking water, while wearing only my long, tunic-type night shirt and nothing else.  I've never been one to weigh daily, NEVER! But while reading about Brittany's journey I read where she had explained how weighing daily had kept her accountability to herself more true and it helped her learn her body's patterns and reactions to what she ate. That made such good sense to me that I decided to join her in that daily practice.  

Today is Monday, January 8, 2017. This morning my number was 211 (pounds.) My family has eaten at least one dish made in our Instant Pot each day (minus one) since last Tuesday. I have shared meals made from the healthier recipes with two different families and friends.  Everyone has enjoyed the food!  I don't expect to have results anything near like Brittany's results; I'm more than old enough to be her mother. I expect my loss to be slower.  But let me say, I am thrilled with the loss achieved in less than a week.  And yes, I understand that it's probably mostly water.  I am satisfied with that also. You see, I have arthritis in many of my joints.  I have eaten copious amounts of sugary foods for years right up until last Wednesday and even a little bit since then. All that sugar and those unhealthy, processed and fast foods cause inflammation and where there is inflammation, there is fluid.  So my conclusion is that whatever the pounds lost consist of, the scales are going in the direction I had hoped. 

Along with the loss of pounds, I have had less pain in my knees while going up and down steps. I'm still dealing with a lot of pain in my feet, having bone spurs and plantar fasciitis. I'm hoping those two conditions (are they related?) will begin to lessen but I'm not sure that is possible. I have a long journey to health ahead but I am hoping to achieve a 100 pound loss also.  The last few years, I had always hoped for 75-80 pounds when I tried first one method or plan and then the other; but reading Brittany's story has encouraged me tremendously and given me hope that I can achieve a weight close to my college years once again.  If I don't, that's okay also. My main objective for 2018 is to move toward a healthier body so that I will feel better and have more energy and stamina to work towards all the other goals I have for this year.  Please check out Brittany's blog at and join me on this journey to better health.  

Blessings to you friends in your projects and plans for 2018,


Monday, January 8, 2018

When the Answer is No

Luke 16:10
Whoever can be trusted with small things can also be trusted with large things. Whoever is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in large things too.

Six months ago, I began applying for jobs with very high hopes. I felt that my six years of volunteer work one to three days per week in an after school program would help to make up for the fact that I had not had a "real job" (other than running our small family business) in over 20 years.  

I took my first rejection very hard, so hard that I refused to apply for any other jobs for several months.  I licked my wounds and told myself that the interviewer had a problem. I'm still not certain where the truth lies in my summation; I'm not sure what I did that had me dismissed so abruptly after an hour long interview.  But I FINALLY moved on and began my search again. 

In the meantime, I began a very satisfying stint as a volunteer for a second grade classroom at one of the schools our neighborhood kids attend.   I applied for a job which would in no way involve working with children; I wasn't sure at all that I was qualified for that position and wasn't surprised  when the position was filled in house by a very deserving employee who had the education and work experience to do that job very well.  I applied for three different, but similar, positions at three different elementary schools in the section of the county where I live.  I interviewed for two of those positions. After the first interview, I had a brief discussion with the principal at the school where I volunteer; I told her that I seemed to have lost my ability to interview well.  She recommended that I be myself and allow the love for children that I had expressed to her in a phone conversation days before shine through.  She seemed confident that I would get a position soon.  

I went to the second interview full of hope and enthusiasm. (Was I too enthusiastic? Maybe, probably, don't know!) The interview went very well in my opinion.  I felt like I connected solidly with the teachers and vice principal who conducted the interview. And the age level for the students was right in the zone where I had invested so much of my volunteer time. High hopes and excitement reigned in my psyche.  And then the days began to drag and I didn't get the phone call. After a week of waiting, I knew in my heart what the outcome would be.  They had said they were in a hurry to fill the position.  No one can control the home office timeline; but I knew what was going to happen.  And then there it was in my inbox, another rejection.  That was the most difficult!  That was the job I wanted more than all the others.  I had interviewed for another position with another organization on the same day as that interview and I had already heard the fateful "NO" from that interview.  I quickly got another no from the third position with the schools; that application had not even garnered an interview for me. After one more application and interview, my seventh "No" came by email yesterday. 

Down for the count and totally depressed and defeated.  Fifty-six years old and washed up!  Is that what it is? Am I too old to be working with young children; but how could I have such a desire to teach, advocate, and mentor on behalf of little children and it not be the right fit for me?!!   

A week or so after I got the rejection that hurt the most, I had lunch scheduled with a young friend whom I had met several years before; we are just becoming "real" friends through sharing experiences and time together in recent weeks. I shared with her that when I first met her, I thought God had brought us together so I could mentor her; ashamed, I admitted that God had showed me clearly that she is the mentor, I am the mentee. At the lunch table,  I began my whining about not getting any of the positions I had applied for.  She asked a couple of pointed questions.  Her questions resonated with my own thoughts. I confessed to her that the verse above, Luke 16:10, had been circulating in my head for weeks. My house is in shambles, my finances are not far behind. I'm unorganized, undisciplined, and many times uncaring in the keeping of my home and family!  I'm running around like the proverbial chicken with it's, you know the rest.

So in her kind, wise way, she told me to FOCUS (that again) on my first responsibilities: my marriage, my home, my children, my business, then all the rest.  Why is that so difficult for me?  I do not know!  I think there is the element that my husband and my sons still at home are all adults; shouldn't they be able to take care of themselves and even help take care of the house?  Well yes, yes they should!  But that doesn't mean I can flit around the neighborhood totally ignoring my people and my own mess at home.  

I have accepted that (for now,) the answer that best serves our well being is NO OTHER JOB for me. I'm using the holiday period,and most likely, beyond to get the house in order, the financial books in order and try to get a grip on myself, my energy level, and my desire to serve, teach, and advocate for children. I'm having to remind myself constantly that the things I have neglected for years cannot be totally restored to order in days.  This is a process and I will have to maintain my FOCUS and DEDICATION to my small things for quite some time, developing routines and habits geared towards my most important "jobs," wife, mother, business woman, neighbor.

Seven "nos" in six months feels like a lot of rejection and I struggle with it.  But God is opening other doors; new ideas and new projects are presenting themselves.  I am trying to stay FOCUSED on my core objectives in spite of and because of those other pressing projects.  Lord, please help me!   Amen.

Addendum to this post:  I wrote the body of this post in December.  It is now the second week of January.  I am crawling along addressing the issues right in front of me with the focus that those things deserve. It is not a fast thing to dig out of years of neglect; but it is going along steadily and mostly smoothly.   LSP