Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Addiction

Confession time: My name is Dee Ann, and I have an addiction.  It started long ago.  I have been addicted for as long as I can remember.  I have successfully given up my addiction for different lengths of time, but I have always fallen off the wagon.  I think the longest I have been clean is 3 months. 

I am addicted to sugary, buttery, cakey, creamy desserts.  I love them, crave them, lose control to them.  If sugar was illegal, I would be a strung-out junkie stealing TV's and GPS's so I could get my next fix. By no means am I poking fun at addictions, or making light of the horrible addictions of crack, cocaine, meth, alcohol, cigarettes or any other substance.  I am not saying that my love for sugar is as devastating, life-threatening, life-ruining or has the same result as addiction to alcohol, cigarettes, etc.  I am just saying that addiction is addiction; and kicking any addiction is very difficult.  And the more you give in to your addiction and indulge, the more it gains power over you. 

That 'gaining power over me' is my problem.  I want to be solely dedicated to Jesus.  But when I am craving sugar, or dessert, or cookies, (or dry, crumbly peanut butter fudge), I am not sold out to Him.  I am sold out to my fleshy lusts.  Ouch.  That is NOT where I want to be.

The catch with an addiction is the powerful pull it has on you.  To choose to NOT follow the addiction is like being caught in the undertow of a tsunami!  Just picture trying to swim to the surface after you have been smacked 10 feet deep in a tumbling torrent of boat-crushing water.  You might even catch a fleeting glimpse of the life preserver floating on the surface - but it is such a long way away and the water is swirling you around and out of control!  Someone may be able to say, "I want to give up sugar, or alcohol, or cigarettes," when the urge is not pressing; but when the craving has reared its ugly head, all resolve is toyingly washed out to sea.

It would indeed be hopeless if not for the grace of God;  He is my only hope! He is the anchor of my soul.  So I am going to go dessert-free.  I would rather be dessert-free than a slave to dessert!  It will be hard. 
A change of scenery tomorrow may help - new places, new faces, new distractions. After the first 5 days or so, it does get easier - the power over me gets broken.

Ready, Set, GO!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Little Fun

Tonight was our Homeschooling Mom's Christmas Party.  What a lot of fun with some quirky ladies!  Sadly, I don't have any pictures to show you. We played some games, ate some yummy food, ate lots of desserts, brought gifts for a single mom and her children, and had a White Elephant gift game. I had a very successful white elephant game. By successful I mean that I got to steal two presents! And the one I ended up with is now my token Christmas decoration for the year.  I stole a handmade Pennington treasure (much like Restoration Hardware!) It will probably be a collectible in a few years.  It will be very easy to put decorations away this year!

The gift I brought was not as successful - in that nobody was fighting over it.  Come to think of it, my dessert was not very successful either - hardly any was eaten.  But I can't blame them.  I tried my hand at Peanut Butter Fudge. Yes, even though my very honest daughter told me that only Grandma can make it right (which means mine is NOT right), and she was right again.  When I got home from the party, I called my Mom, who is awake and ready to chat at 11 pm, and asked her, "Why is my peanut butter fudge dry and crumbly??"  She promptly replied, "I don't know!  I just made it today and mine is too gooey!"  Finally we decided that I must be cooking it too fast and at too high of a temperature. 

In spite of my personal un-successes, I thoroughly enjoyed these ladies. It is great fun to be with this amazing group of women.  Each one is unique and beautiful.  The only problem with these get-togethers is that there is never enough time to get to visit with everyone. 

I hope that each one present had as much fun, as many laughs, and received as much love as I did!

A little Patience

I have an awesome computer.  It plays music, makes CD’s, plays the radio, plays movies, lets me type, organizes stuff into charts, tells me what is going on in the world, connects me with my friends, invites me to parties, does my taxes, stores all 8,534 digital pictures. It does so much more than I could ever understand.  But one thing my computer excels at is teaching me patience!
You see, to turn my computer on is a major undertaking.  Not just because it takes a full 12 minutes to become ready and waiting to fulfill my every command, but because the monitor has a mind of its own.  A mind very resistant to becoming active!  I literally have to coax the monitor to light up.  I have to squeeze the frame of the monitor, and squeeze the back of the monitor, and press on the screen so hard that I am sure the “Secret Monitor Police” are going to burst through my door and arrest me for Monitor Harassment. I have to use both hands, squeeze at the top, bottom, sides, diagonal edges with rhythm and consistency and patience.  I squeeze until my arms are actually tired and I am hot! Once the flicker of life comes to the squeeze, I wait expectantly for the picture to follow.  Usually it does, for about 45 seconds, then flashes off.  Back to squeezing I go.  I am the only one in my family with this talent of coercing the monitor to work.  I don’t even know how I figured out this technique.  I feel confident that IF I read the monitor manual, there would be no information suggesting squeezing the monitor repeatedly and firmly for at least 5 minutes.  Probably you would get this sort of helpful advice:

Troubleshooting: Is the device plugged in securely?
Is the power turned on?
Log into for live help (where they will ask you to make sure your device is plugged in, then ask you to unplug it, wait 10 seconds and plug it back in).

I seriously doubt that squeezing the device shows up in any tech manual for any product ever – except those toys that make noise and have a button clearly labeled  “Squeeze Here.”  Boy, if only my monitor had that label!
It is such a victory when the monitor comes on and stays on!  We cheer and I wipe the sweat off my forehead!
Now you can see the great spiritual wisdom of my computer – teaching me Galatians 5!  Just don’t get me started on my printer,…..or ipod!
What teaches you patience???

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Little Process

"A little hormonal today," - did you ever have that feeling?  Well, that is how I am feeling today, so I am going to work it out in this post!  What fun for you!  Step by ugly-glorious step!

 ~Is anything (anything as in events, situations, relationships) really wrong? No.
~Is anything drastically different from yesterday? No.
~Is anything sorta different than yesterday? No.
~So, house hasn't burned down?  No one has attacked me? Relationships are intact? Nothing is really different from yesterday when everything seemed fine? No major uprisings have occurred?

Okay, if the answer to all of this is no - in reality, not in feelings, it is safe to assume that hormones have come out to play like wild monkeys that have been kept in small cages for one month and then suddenly set free in a jungle.

Praise God - He is bigger than hormones!  So let's get on with the truth.  See, you can't just try to empty out those hormones (read 'hormones' as the feelings that hormones bring - doubt, anger, frustration, irritability, fear, confusion, hurt).  If you do try to just 'overcome' them, or ignore them, or avoid them, or wish them away, you are really attempting to empty a place that those feelings had been filling.  But that is much like the greek god Sisyphus - if you are trying to roll a rock up a hill, you are fighting the whole time - because it just wants to roll back down to its resting place.   So you can try to push the hormonal feelings up the hill, but if you don't fill that hole, guess what is going to keep rolling right back to its resting place????

Time to stop fighting, fill that hole and change that resting place! Fill it with love and truth!

~God is always good, and He always loves me.
       Thank you Father for your great, overwhelming, all-encompassing, everlasting love.  Thank you for always watching over me.  Thank you for knowing me - knowing my heart, knowing my needs, knowing my desires. knowing my hurts.  Thank you that I KNOW that You are always good.  There is no shadow of turning in You.  You never turn your back on me! You, the Almighty Creator, full of power, beauty, life and love, delight when I turn to You! Rejoice when I bring my cares to You! Receive me in my humble state!
~ God is bigger than my heart - 1 John 3:20
For if our heart condemn us , God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
            Hallelujah!  I am not left with or stuck with what comes in my heart!!! My heart is not the truth! My feelings are not the truth!  He that is bigger, and better is greater than anything - whether in my feelings, heart, or head!!

~He has not left me as I was! - 1 Peter 1:23
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever!        Ohh, AMEN!
~ He has even given me a hope and consolation for these times - Hebrews 6: 18-20
That by two immutable (unchangeable) things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil, where our forerunner has entered, even Jesus,...
       Oh yes, that hope is an anchor of my soul!  My eyes are on things incorruptible and everlasting!

~He is ready for me - for whatever I bring to Him. He is not surprised, shocked, or unprepared. Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
Praise you Lord - the anchor of my soul, making a way for me to come to You, glad when I do, ready to show mercy and give grace.

NOW, these things can fill that hole to keep the rock of hormonal feelings from rolling back over me and crushing me like a writhing pathetic bug!  Different days, different situations, different hormones and different prayers, different scriptures, may show up; but this little process turns my heart from my poor pathetic state and helps me set my eyes on WHO really matters.

God is always good, and He always loves you!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Comfort vs. Style

Greetings! I discover more and more that I am rather picky about certain things.  But there are different kinds of picky.  There is the kind of picky that can't order off a menu without making 10 substitutions.  There is the kind of picky that demands that everyone around me (strangers in the grocery store, or other drivers, desk clerks at the drivers license office) live up to my standards. There is the kind of picky that feels compelled to instruct everyone on everything.  Now, I am not immune to bouts of these kinds of pickiness, but that is not usually the focus of my pickiness.

It seems that my brand of pickiness focuses mainly on what is touching my body - as in clothes, shoes, mattresses, temperature.  I can't wear polyester.  I won't wear acrylic. (Isn't that a paint? How is it also clothing?) Shoes hurt my feet.  Mattresses have to be very firm, but not too firm!  Temperature needs to range between 60-80 - no higher, not really much lower or only lower in short spells.  Certain style shoes can only be worn with certain outfits, but comfort still has to fit in somewhere.  And here is the dilemma -

                                                     Comfort vs. Style

My freshman year roommate went to a Homecoming Football game dressed in tights, loafers, corduroy skirt, long sleeve shirt, wool sweater on top.  She looked adorable.  The only catch - it was 90 degrees outside with the sun glaring down!  She told me - in all sincerity - "Fashion knows no temperature."
Wow!  I was standing there in shorts, short sleeves and sandals!

Probably you can guess which way I lean in the dilemma - COMFORT.  Which brings out the pickiness - a shirt has to be cotton, shouldn't have to be ironed, has to be seasonally appropriate, but also temperature appropriate (which means that it can't make me hot or let me get cold), can't be a dark color on a sunny hot day or a spring color in the fall, and match my shoes and pants which have their own set of requirements! Somedays it is surprising that I can get dressed at all!  Especially after having to sleep in a bed that causes me pain in a room that is either too hot or too cold!!!!

Anyway, I just had to fill you in on some background so that you can understand why I would let my child wear this:

Or even this:

It is kind of like those screaming 3 year olds in Wal-mart.  You can't really blame the kids - you have to blame the parents.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dieting De-Bunked

I have lost a total of 7 pounds since the beginning of October! Pretty awesome. I have really benefitted from the Sparkpeople ( website. Just getting to see what I am really eating, being honest with myself, and learning some of my eating pitfalls has been instrumental.

Also, some of the mystery of losing weight has been de-bunked for me. My whole dieting life (since 15?) has been basically yo-yo, hit-or-miss, mostly unsuccessful attempts at losing weight. Which left me (not to sound like a commercial), discouraged, hungry, frustrated, disheartened, broke, frustrated and hungry! I didn't mention thinner because that was not one of the side-effects of all my dieting, pill-popping, or wishful thinking. Failure was the standard result of any weight-loss I attempted. I could cry or scream just from reading this paragraph!!!!!

But that is not my experience today. The de-bunking of the magical mystery of weight loss has been freeing. Honestly, I would focus focus focus and deprive myself, and go off sugar or desserts, or carbs, or whatever. Possibly I would lose a few pounds. Then the weight loss would mysteriously stop. Even if I continued in whatever program I was attempting religliously. Or maybe, suddently I would gain some weight - while still doing the same thing that caused me to lose weight 2 weeks earlier! Argh.

But now I learned from some friends a simple theoretical formula. One pound of body weight is equal to 3500 calories. Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the amount of calories your body needs to just lie in bed all day. So if you consume a total of 3500 calories more or less than your BMR, you gain or lose weight. Our bodies are able to keep a running total. So if you ate 100 calories less than your BMR requirement everyday, then in 35 days you will lose a pound. If you eat 200 less/day, then you will lose a pound in 18 days. If you burn calories while exercising, those calories get added to the total. Example: If for one week, you consumed 200 calories/day less than your BMR, AND exercised so that you burned a total of 1000 calories, you would have 'spent' 2400 calories, resulting in a 1/2 pound weight loss. If you do the same thing the following week, you will have a 2-week weight loss of about 1 1/2 pounds!

Some online computer programs suggested my BMR is about 2000 calories/day. (Sparkpeople figured my BMR at 1800 calories/day.) SO - if you combine the amount of calories burned during exercise, and the amount of calories under 2000/day and add them up - when they reach 3500 calories, you have essentially lost a pound. Does that make sense?

So Sparkpeople tracks calories eaten, and calories burned during exercise. So I can have a real count. And the theory is pretty much working. I have lost 7 pounds in about 7 weeks.


Do you know your BMR?  Find it here!

Edit Blog Entry | Delete Blog Entry