eggs in a cup

September 21, 2011

Well, sorry for my absence, but I’ve been a little busy attending funerals. Seriously. Sometimes life is full of those you love leaving you. Maybe one of these days I’ll share about what I miss and loved about them. It’s all so heavy though, and I didn’t want to start back to blogging focusing on my losses!

So, on the brighter side, I thought I’d share with you a happy little comfort-food idea that’s easy and nutritious! (Yes, comfort-food is important at times like these, or plenty of tequila! But I’d recommend sticking with comfort-food! It’s cheaper, more satisfying and will keep you out of trouble!)

I was wasting inordinate amounts of time on pinterest the other day and found this great way to make scrambled eggs (or as the innovator labeled them, omelets in a mug! ) The first time I made them, I forgot to spray the mug with Pam, and forgot to lightly scramble the eggs before cooking. I must’ve been hungry!  I ate them anyway! Today I remembered to do both and it was yum!

I always do better after consuming protein in the morning instead of the easy to grab and go carbs. So, this only takes 2 minutes and you can even take it with! The eggs stay hot a lot longer than ones on a plate do too.

Let me know if you tried them and if you made any improvements!

i’ve lost a friend

August 4, 2011

When I started this blog 19 months ago, I didn’t know Nick Ryan. But as I began my quest for fitness and health, he became my trainer and eventually my friend.

Two and a half weeks ago he and some friends were hiking up in Montana. As their yearly trips went, this was not even dangerous, yet his amazing life was cut short from a fall.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around this. It’s one of those inexplicable tragedies in life that seem so absolutely wrong.

Over the last few days, my husband and I have been watching Shark Week on Discovery Channel. The people in these shows are risking life and limb, literally, to film, and yet aren’t killed by their serious risk-taking choices. Nick, on the other hand, was just out with his friends hiking one minute and gone the next.

I’ve wrestled with God and asked questions about the seeming lack of fairness of it all, yet have to quiet my heart, and say, “You are God and hold our lives and times in your hands.” My heart aches, not only for my loss, but for Nick’s wife and two little girls who have lost a terrific man, husband and father.

I wasn’t able to attend Nick’s funeral, so wrote a brief tribute to honor him and his impact on my life. Here it is:

A Tribute to Nick

I first met Nick in January of 2010.

A friend of mine had begun working out at Fitness Together in October 2009, and I saw such changes in her that it gave me my first glimmer of hope in nearly six years.

I’m a two time breast cancer survivor. The second cancer experience left me physically very weak with a serious lack of balance, in addition to 50 extra pounds due to many drugs and lack of activity. I didn’t look like myself to me and I didn’t feel like myself either. I had become so discouraged with my situation, I thought, “I fought off cancer twice to live in a body that was hi-jacked by cancer and now doesn’t even look like the me I remember before cancer?!”

Dieting and exercise didn’t effect much change for me and I lost hope that my body could ever become strong and active. My heart was damaged by the chemotherapy and my lungs were damaged from the pneumonia. My balance was off for 7 long months from some unexplained inner ear malady that left me unable to drive or look at any movement without feeling severe nausea.

My upper body lacked physical strength from lack of use, but also from my chest muscles being “messed with” due to my radical bilateral mastectomy. I was in terrible shape and I felt old and worn out and weary.

That’s the Kris Beauchamp that walked into Fitness Together seeking help in January 2010. Although looking back, I was hoping for a miracle but Nick wasn’t going to promise me one! I was hoping I could get in and outta there in 2 or 3 months. He was gracious not to laugh or roll his eyes, but he told me realistically that it was going to be a longer commitment than that.

I remember feeling embarrassed and ashamed of my fat body and horrified that he had to weigh and measure me. If it hadn’t been for my friend’s success I might never have gone back after those numbers were written down!

I’d go in, very quietly and do whatever was asked, thinking I was going to pass out from oxygen deprivation or hyperventilation, but he always pressed me just to the point I thought I couldn’t achieve and right before I’d pass out he’d let me stop! Nick got me to do more than I thought I could; more than I would have ever done on my own.

Nick was positive and encouraging. Always ready with a bright, friendly smile.

He took me where I was – didn’t make me feel ashamed for letting my body get in the situation it was in and looked at the facts and asked me where I wanted to be in 6 months or 12 or 24!

Initially I wanted to be able to enjoy life with my family. I wanted to lose some weight to feel comfortable again. I wanted to be alive for my future grandkids and be able to get down on the floor to play with them and be able to get back up again afterward too! Seriously. Once down on the floor, I couldn’t get up again by myself! That’s how weak I was!

I progressed ever so gradually, but Nick was always ready with praise for even the smallest increase of strength. I’d downplay it because of embarrassment and he’d remind me how far I’d actually come. No progress was too small to celebrate.

I’ve gone back and reread several of my blog posts about working out at Fitness Together and was reminded of just how monumental my progress actually was.

I remember telling Nick that I was out walking with my husband up a hill and I could feel a shift. All of a sudden I could breathe deeply, all the way in. I could fill my lungs and it was the best feeling ever! It was the first time in 3 or 4 years that I could completely fill my lungs with air!

I’m not sure, but I think I may be the only person who would ever leave a workout with Nick by thanking him. But I did. Yes, I paid him to work with me and it wasn’t cheap, but I still thanked him for making me a better, stronger, healthier, happier me. He’d tell me I was the one doing the work, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.

At my last workout with Nick, I told him that I’d lost three pounds since my last weigh in (which amounted to a measly half pound a week in my mind). He turned sideways and looking over his left shoulder at me from across the room he grinned, saying with exuberant conviction, “Kris! You are doing it! If you keep doing what you’re doing now, you will reach your goals!”

Nick and I would discuss things I’d blog about relating to weight loss, fitness or nutrition. He’d challenge my thinking and press me to see a different perspective.

One day I wrote about a quote by Horace Mann:

“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”

I know I’m just me, not a great person in the whole scheme of things, but I’m sure if you asked others, they’d feel the same way: Nick was a person who won a victory for me. He helped me conquer the ravaging effects of cancer in my body to become stronger, healthier and happier. His death is untimely for sure, but there is no shame in it. Nick won a huge victory for me by helping me find my way back to myself, back to even a better place of health and wellness than I ever thought I could.

Nick, I’ll do my best to carry on your legacy of winning some victory for humanity in my world. I’ll miss you, but I’ll do you proud.

Kris

chick-a-dee

June 25, 2011

We are only the second owners of the house in which we live. The people who built it put a lot of thought into some of the details, especially in the yard. Daily I’m filled with delight because of their planning!

When we moved in I remember thinking, ‘these people are really obsessed with birds!’ Now I see why! It might seem to some that I’ve become obsessed with them as well, but if so, it’s probably because I’m able to watch them and observe their behavior. Whether or not I’m obsessed, I have come to be quite fond of them.

I’ve learned that if you want to see and enjoy birds or butterflies, or whatever, you need to plant trees and flowers from which those creatures enjoy eating. The former owners did just that.

They designed a bird-haven in front of the large family room window. They built a wooden structure designed especially for hanging various bird feeders. They also planted a Serviceberry Tree in the lee of the house, a little corner off to the side of the window that is protected from the wind.

fruit of service berry tree

Fruit on the Serviceberry Tree

Over the years the tree has grown and become shelter, school and fast food stop to hundreds of birds!

Because of the former owners’ foresight, we’ve been filled with wonder and delight as we’ve discovered birds we’d never even seen before!

Over these dozen years we’ve observed male and female birds of various types:

Goldfinches, Cardinals, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, Purple House Finches, Grackles (not my favorite), Robins, Eurasian Doves, Mourning Doves, Orioles, Cedar Waxwings, a Sharp Shinned Hawk, and various assorted sparrows.

We’ve enjoyed seeing baby Robins hopping around the yard, chirping relentlessly for their parents to come rescue or feed them!

Since we moved in we’ve had to remove some large pines that were dying, so we landscaped, adding three Blue Spruce, a few Aspen trees and an Ash tree which provide more perches, more habitat for all these species.

A few years ago, we built a water feature in a corner alcove nestled beneath a towering River Birch and two Althea (Rose of Sharon) trees and have had the delight of watching cardinals and goldfinches and even a Red-Winged Blackbird come and drink and bathe in the water. The hotter the day, the more numerous are the fountain’s visitors. They perch on the fence, their beaks open as they seem to pant. Then nervously they glance side to side as they swoop down to take a few gulps of fresh water.

Somewhere along the line, we came across a small nesting box and hung it from a post built in the alcove next to the fountain. Last year I noticed a bird or two taking an interest, but sadly, they didn’t move in.

This spring we were elated to see a pair of Black-Capped Chickadees move in! They have hatched a little  family in our nesting box! My husband and I sit out there as often as we can watching the parents come  and go. At first they were carrying building supplies in their beaks, and then spelling each other as they  both took turns sitting on the eggs. Finally we noticed they were coming and going with greater  frequency, their beaks full of little inch worms and insects! We heard peeping and in a few days were  able to see tiny, featherless heads bobbing as they clamored for food!

Before much longer, those baby chickadees were figuring out that food came from the little round  opening above them and you could see them jostle to get closer. Now mom and dad cart in larger caterpillars and seeds and suet! They are sedulous! (dedicated and diligent)

Within about a week’s time, those little chirps had changed from single peeps to the clear “chick-a-dee” call these birds are named for! Such tiny, scrawny little featherless urchins are peeping, “chick-a-dee … chick-a-dee” like they’ve been at it all their lives! Oh wait, they have! Those little creatures have had us in awe! chick-a-dees

This amazing Chickadee family have been medicine to our sometimes weary souls. Their presence takes our minds off of all our preoccupations and we sit and listen with joy and wonder as new life has emerged right before us.

As I sat here yesterday morning, there were chirps being repeated from the Serviceberry tree in front of me. Baby sparrows were perched nervously, clumped close together, waiting for their parents to come deposit food into their open, expectant beaks. Their chest feathers were fuzzy-looking with fluffed-out feathers. One was bravely trying to preen and the others were hanging on for dear life! Their chirps were repetitive and persistent. It’s akin to our kids saying, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom . . .” incessantly until we answer them! I can just hear daddy sparrow’s thoughts, “Alright-already! Hang on! Don’t get your feathers in a wad, I’m coming!”

Today they are back and a bit more adventurous. They sidle up to mom and wiggle, their tail feathers all aflutter, beaks ready for their treat. I’m guessing by tomorrow their mom will be telling them, “Go get it yourself!”

Our little Black-capped Chickadee parents swoop in and out, quickly grabbing seed or suet and off they go to their nest. Back and forth, back and forth, tirelessly and devoted.

A gold finch flits in and away. A male cardinal lands in the hanging box, grabs some food and takes off. (Yesterday I sat with my mouth agape, incredulous as a male cardinal sat next to a female on a limb in this same tree, feeding her! How precious!)

This activity causes me to recall some Bible verses I learned about as a young girl.

“Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” Luke 12:6,7

What comfort. God sees them all – not just the ones in my yard, but all the sparrows and birds of all kinds all over the planet! They are precious and important enough to him to keep his eye on and Jesus said that we are more valuable than they I don’t have to be afraid. He provides for them, he will provide for me.

I want to be as eager and expectant as these little fledglings, looking to God, my Father, to care for me, even better than these feathered friends of mine look after their little ones. After all, I’m important to him, and you are too!

happy heart feasting

June 18, 2011

I was flipping through my journal and this bit caught my eye: “For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15

When our children were small, my husband and I would remind them to choose a happy heart. It was so easy for them to become frustrated and grumpy if something didn’t go their way.

The first several times I read that verse, I focused on the word ‘despondent’ and thought about what brought a person to the place of despondency. But over time, as I’ve pondered this, I’ve realized that any person has the capacity to become despondent or happy and hopeful. It is a matter of focus and choice. Not in the “let’s live in la-la land denial” sort of way, but in a very real acknowledging reality and choosing anyway sort of way.

I used to work with a woman who was a constant stream of complaints and grumbles. She whined and grumbled and complained so often that in my mind she became a grumble. No matter how I tried to point out positive things or show her the silver lining, she persisted to cling to her negative victim mindset.

These days I see this verse with new eyes. It’s as though it says: “For the person who chooses to be a victim and see life as always being against them, every day brings them trouble; but for the person who sees life as a gift from God full of surprises and challenges and new opportunities, life is a continual feast.”

The longer I live, I realize that life is hard! It is brimming with challenges and sorrows and joys and pain and loss and laughter alike. It is not life that makes us despondent. It is our mindset or perspective that influences our response to our situation and experiences.

What makes a happy heart? My perspective. My decision.

I was working out with a new trainer the other day and she asked me what I do and one thing led to another and I explained that I felt like I’d spent the better part of the last dozen years fighting or recovering from cancer.

Toward the end of our conversation she mentioned that I had a positive outlook on life which really blessed me. Her words were a gift!

With the experiences I’ve had these last 12 years, I could have easily become a grumble, but chose a happy heart. It wasn’t easy but it was the right thing to do. Consequently, I see each new day is a gracious gift from God, making every day a continual feast of beauty and joy in the midst of the speed bumps and pot holes of life!

There’s no need to be despondent and hopeless. I mean, if you want to be you can, but why would anyone want to be despondent when they can have a happy heart and a continual feast of delighting in the goodness of God?!

5K

April 30, 2011

Well, I did it! I ran the Lifegate Women’s Run/Walk today!
I don’t think I would have kept running or finished as soon if my friend Deanna hadn’t run with me! (I’m positive, in fact!) Running is mostly mind over matter . . . Deanna’s got a very strong mind, and I’ve got the matter! We made a great duo!

I haven’t run an event since this same 5K a year ago! I shortened my time probably by 10 minutes which for a 5K is significant! So my advice to you is to run with a motivated friend who is also an encourager! (My other advice is, lay off the chocolate covered caramels! lol)

Laughable Reasons Why I’m Glad I Work Out

April 29, 2011

I was talking with my husband the other day after reading my Barbie post to him. We got to laughing and came up with a list of silly reasons why I can be glad I work out, even if I never get the Barbie-results I long for. So here, my friends, is a partial list of reasons I’m glad I workout.

I don’t have to fear the chalkboard waddle, one of those things teachers all over the United States of America fear. They don’t want their underarms waving like our noble national flag, flapping and swaying on a breezy day. (Too bad I’m not a teacher anymore!)

Les said I don’t have to fear breaking my hip (as he’s keenly aware of hip issues these days!) I thought that was a nice thing to say, so I asked him why, thinking it had to be because I’ve increased my bone density from working out. The truth is, he said, those areas I’m so frustrated with that haven’t budged much are the padding that will protect my hips when I fall! He said, “Barbies break!” (Well then, I’ve got nothing to fear!)

I won’t need to rely on a “Help Rescue Necklace” when I fall. It’s not a matter of if, it’s only a matter of time! It’s a fact anyone in my family will tell you. I’ve got quite a bit of experience falling! I won’t have to howl into the carpet, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Oh, I’ll fall down for sure, but I’ll be strong enough to at least get back up on my own, thankyouverymuch!

Three times this winter alone, I’ve fallen, hard. Once on my rear, once on my hip, and once sprawled in several directions all at once – I practically did the splits! Somehow in that fall, my left big toe and right thumb hurt so bad I thought I’d broken them! I wasn’t particularly worried about my hip, (and now I know why! Padding, my friends, padding!)

Les told me he’s surprised he hasn’t had to go on heart meds as I’ve scared him so many times by falling! He should’ve known before we married. I fell on our second date, taking him with me! (And really, I’m the one who needs heart meds as he’s scared me so many times on purpose for fun – his fun, but that’s another story for another time!)

Then there’s the now infamous “Fall to Beat All Falls.” It happened the day after I came home from having double mastectomy surgery. I saw a vase of flowers that needed more water, so I walked over to pick up the vase and carry it to the kitchen. (I’m not really sure why I did that, since I was told not to lift anything over 5 pounds and besides, I couldn’t raise my hands above my navel because of the pain. I could have just taken a glass of water to dump into the vase but my mind obviously wasn’t working too well . . . must have been the oxycontin, darvoset and/or whatever else I was on!) Les was in the kitchen, about 25 feet away from me. He saw me lift the vase and begin shuffling toward the kitchen. He watched, helpless to prevent me from shuffling right into the foot stool (which I never saw) dropping me in an instant onto my chest (what was left of it) with my arms angled back straight behind me. I don’t remember what happened to the vase of flowers, but I couldn’t move my arms quickly enough, (and even if I could have, I couldn’t have caught myself! I weigh slightly more than 5 pounds!)

The angle at which I was falling, forced forward by momentum, looked like a scene from “What About Bob” as he leaned forward from the mast, hands tied behind him hollering, “I sail! I sail!” Of course in my case it would be “I fall! I fall!”

I didn’t need a ‘help necklace’ that day as Les involuntarily shouted as he sailed across the kitchen and family room in nearly a single bound, unable to prevent the fall and in a panic to know how to pick me up. Where could he put his arms around me to get me up? Not under my arms and not around my chest that was for sure! I don’t remember that part either – probably a good thing! He claims to have lost 10 years of cardiac life that day! (A little pay-back for all the scares, I say!)

I’m telling you, he should not have been surprised. I gave him fair warning by falling on our second date! We hadn’t held hands or kissed or touched in any manner – I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true! We were walking outside in the evening, talking, and somehow I unknowingly missed a shallow step and began to fall – swiftly – I always fall swiftly! I tumbled down – with him trying to rescue me – only to find him straddling me like a difficult spin in a Twister game! (He should’ve known then. And I think he should be really glad that I’ve been working out, because at least now I can pick myself up!)

My final point on this partial list of reasons I’m glad I work out is that I can have my cake and eat it too, at least some of it! You see, one of the reasons I work out is to eat. BTW, have you tried those dark chocolate-covered caramels with the coarse-ground sea salt on the top?! Ohmygosh! If eating them was the only reason I worked out, it would be worth it!

I’ve watched skinny girls all my life. The saying was and may still be, if you want to be skinny, watch a skinny woman eat [and imitate her.] Um, helloooooooo, is anyone paying attention? Skinny women don’t eat! I mean, hardly at all!

I remember when I taught Title I Reading, the teacher across the hall from me was a speech therapist. She was a bit taller than me and probably 3 sizes smaller (and I was quite thin then, but never believed it – youth and young bodies are wasted on the young! We older, wiser people would enjoy and appreciate them so much more!) Anyway, I noticed that every day she brought her lunch with her in a little paper sack. I’d see her sit at her little table with a little paper napkin and nibble her little half a sandwich. Half a sandwich! Nothing else! I’d starve! I couldn’t last a whole day on that!)

It seems to me that skinny people can’t really enjoy eating. They have to pretend they’re eating by putting a minuscule portion of something on their plate and swishing it around making it look like they are eating! They are afraid that if they eat a bite of something their body will instantly pile on the pounds. So they have to take just a little teensy tiny eensy weensy bite and exclaim, “Oh, dear me, I’m stuffed!” (Stuffed my eye!)

I’m so sure. That, my friends, is the reason I’m not skinny. Life is too short not to enjoy eating.

So, when I get discouraged that I’m not seeing the kind of progress I desire, I will return to this, my list of laughable reasons why I’m glad I work out. I’ll smile that I don’t have an arm waddle; I’ll be happy knowing that I shall never break my hip, and that when I fall, I’ll be able to get myself back up again without a medical team. Then I will go find one of those yummy dark caramels with the chunky sea salt bits on the top and chew and savor it as my mouth waters in delight from the creamy, sweet-saltiness that those skinny girls have only ever dreamed about!

aviary

April 28, 2011

the sun brightens blossoms on the Serviceberry tree

our picture window is a portal to an aviary

a host, a plethora, a spectacular group to see

our yard’s the popular place for hungry birds to be

new day

April 28, 2011

A fresh new day has come our way

My heart is glad; I hope it stays

The gloom has lifted, my spirits raise

A happy reason to give God praise!

gray

April 26, 2011

Another gray-wet day
I wish the sunshine would stay
I shouldn’t complain
I’m really tired of rain
I’ll choose to be glad anyway

Bridal-shower-Barbie-doll

April 20, 2011

Saturday I had the privilege of hosting a bridal shower for my namesake niece. She’s absolutely precious and beautiful inside and out. I had a great time and it appeared that she did as well!

That afternoon, I was looking through the pictures and was taken aback in dismay. The reason being, the way I looked in them! (Quite selfish and narcissistic I know, but I’m being honest.) My thought process was something like this . . . ‘Ohmygosh, I look awful! You mean to tell me that I’ve been working out for 16 months and I still look this big?!’ Then, ‘I definitely shouldn’t have worn that sweater…makes my arms look like a sumo wrestler! Wear dark colors, Kris, dark colors!’

I have to say that I hit the wall of discouragement. I’ve been ‘bustin it’ and really trying hard and I still look like I need to go hire a personal trainer! Oh, wait, I already did, 16 months ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Then my thoughts went this direction . . . ‘So if I look like this now, after all this work, how awful must have I looked all those years prior? Les, you let me out of the house looking like a train wreck?!

Then I remembered (because my kind, loving, wise husband has reminded me of this hundreds of times) that I’ve been through several years of hell-on-earth and I reminded myself that I barely survived and whatdidIexpectanyway?! I’m alive. I’m happily married, to my very best friend. I’ve got two amazing-fantastic-incredible kids! What does it matter anyway that I don’t have a Barbie-doll body? And who set that up as the [insert expletive here] standard in the first place?! And why do I feel like I have to continue to explain to my imaginary audience (all skinny women of course) why I don’t measure up?!

You see, if you’re anything like me, you’re busy living life, going and doing and loving, and don’t really take the time to worry about such ‘petty matters.’ Then you get in a room full of women and the temptation to play the comparison game presses in. Well, I chose not to even think about any of that, after all, I’ve been working out and am feeling better than ever!

But, there were three women there, in particular, who looked like a million bucks. (They also had bodies, like Barbie, that I’ve been longing to look like and working at becoming on and off for basically my entire life.) I noticed them. Who wouldn’t have? They were not only lovely to behold, they were loads of fun to be around! They enjoyed a friendship with one another that was special to observe and fun to be included in for the moments we were together.

Then I got home and looked at the pics. Down, down, down my spirits went. After all, it is women like these I have striven all my life to look like. And now, it’s a proven fact (the pictures show it) that I am not that, and most likely shall never be. And should this desire to be like Barbie continue to be a lifelong goal of mine? I’m not thinking so. It is not a worthwhile or noble goal (for me) to spend the amount of time and energy it would take to get to that place. Not that I should give up working out, but working out to look like a certain body type that isn’t mine, therefore it isn’t even realistic for me. Unless I worked out hours a day, daily for years to get down to almost zero body fat, I’d still need surgery on my rounder parts! I don’t think it could ever be a practical reality. And then there’s the problem, how would I maintain that?  Is it worth giving up much of the living of life in order to look a certain way? (I don’t even see myself most of the time, it’s for others that I’m trying to look that way, if I’m really being honest. Although I do have this imaginary idea of how glorious it must be to pull up a pair of jeans and not have them tight at the hips and bagged out at the waist. Ahhhhhhhh, it must feel fabulous!)

So, as I furiously picked up around the house (my therapy for dealing with difficult emotions) I worked out my solution. I went downstairs and sat near my husband and verbalized it as such:

“I’m not going to deny myself for the rest of my life to be something I can never be.”

He repeated it back to me with an addendum: “I’m not going to deny myself for the rest of my life to be something I can never be (…nor was I ever meant to be.) Hmmmm. He’s right. [insert another expletive!]

Now, I don’t want any of you to think that my trainers have failed me. I could never have gotten where I am without them. Nor am I giving up and throwing in the towel. Although, if you’d have watched me eat these last few days, you might have thought so! I’ve been eating cookies and Easter candy and chicken pot pie and all sorts of things in quantities that don’t match my fitness plan! It’s not very wise therapy, but it is yummy! But now that I’ve comforted my hurting emotions in an unhealthy way, it’s time to get back on the wagon and pump some iron and burn those calories! It’s time to get back to work, not to continue to chase after an illusive pipe dream, but to maintain my health and facilitate the accomplishment of my goals. What are they, anyway?

I need to take a good look at my reasons for working out and trying to lose weight as well as the motives behind them.

1. I want to look good for my husband. He loves the way I look. He’s not pressuring me to be Barbie.

2. I want to be strong and healthy. I’m there and am growing in strength week by week!

3. I want to be around to enjoy my grandkids someday, to be able to play with them, not just look at them.

4. I want to look like Barbie so that I can feel good about myself, look fabulous in my clothes and be happier! (ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ [alarm sound] Warning! Warning! That is a motive I need to ditch! It isn’t even true!)

I’m in this marathon (darn it, it is a marathon, not a sprint) to attain good health and to become my very best (not someone else’s) for my family and for myself. I need to train myself to enjoy the body God gave me, not to strive for achieving (or coveting) the one He’s given my neighbor.

(These are my personal and intimate thoughts from my own bumpy, rambling process. Please don’t feel badly for me or have the impression that I’m needing you to write and tell me how fabulous you think I look. You may be tempted to judge me or condemn me for my lack of spiritual maturity, and that’s ok. I’m just sharing with you, vulnerably, the inside workings of my mind and heart as they relate to the never-ending struggle with/fight against comparison, body-image, cultural values and longing.)

It would be so much simpler and far more enjoyable if I would just revel in who God made me to be. As I think about it, this is so like the issue in the Garden of Eden. I want that instead of what God said I could have. I don’t want to act that way! I want to choose contentment as I strive for good stewardship of my one and only body.

God, here I go again, comparing, longing for something that I don’t have and totally getting myself off track. Thank you for keeping me alive through a horrendous double-wide ride through cancer-hell. Thank you for keeping my marriage and family strong through trying times. Thank you for health and friends and strength to enjoy each day you’ve given me. Please help my blog-reader friends to learn and grow in this area as well, to delight in your creativity as you’ve made us all, differently, in Your image. Amen.