Moving in the Right Direction

After last week’s brief stall, I am pleased to report that I shed 4 pounds this week, bringing my total to 107 (27 before surgery, 80 since surgery February 1).

Following my resolve to memorize Psalms based on my current “favorite number,” this week my focus will be Psalm 107. As I read through this and surrounding psalms, I began to wonder if this was the best decision. Quite honestly, I wish I had lost 5 pounds this week because Psalm 108 has only 13 verses. Psalm 107, however, has 43! Eek! I know that I cannot realistically memorize all those verses in the next several days, especially since I have Annual Conference this week. (For my non-United Methodist friends, Annual Conference is a time when clergy and lay leadership from local congregations in our region gather for several days of worship, celebrations of ministry, and to tend to the business of the church). So I am going to memorize the first stanza of Psalm 107 – nine verses. That’s certainly manageable.

I continue to give thanks to God for renewed health and energy, and for God’s grace, mercy and steadfast love in all things.

Until next time, peace …

Psalm 107: 1 – 9

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
    those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
    from the east and from the west,
    from the north and from the south.

Some wandered in desert wastes,
    finding no way to an inhabited town;
hungry and thirsty,
    their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress;
he led them by a straight way,
    until they reached an inhabited town.
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
    for his wonderful works to humankind.
For he satisfies the thirsty,
    and the hungry he fills with good things.

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No Loss, No Gain

So this is the first week since my surgery on February 1 that I did not lose any weight. The good news is that I didn’t gain any weight either! So, as of Friday, June 1, my weight loss remains at 103 pounds. Still not too shabby for four months post op!

Last week was no ordinary week for me. I have the privilege of serving as the Dean of the East Ohio Conference UMC Clergy Licensing School and our school was in session at the University of Mount Union last week. Our schedule during Licensing School is pretty intense with our days starting at 7:00 a.m. and not ending until after 9:00 p.m. It was a great week with a wonderful new class of gifted clergy! Of course, being away, though, my routine was altered. I didn’t get to the pool and the menu for the week was not completely within my control. The food at Mount Union is always very good, but I needed to supplement with protein bars and shakes. And admittedly, I snacked a bit more on protein bars (particularly late at night to stay awake!) than I probably should have. All in all, though, I think I did pretty well.

Another positive aspect of staying at 103 pounds is that it gave me more time to memorize Psalm 103. During the busy week I didn’t have as much time to devote to that discipline as I had planned.

I am back at the pool this week and anticipate a new “favorite number” on Friday.

Until then, peace …

100 pound ribbon

Wearing the 100-pound ribbon given to my by my dear friend, Elizabeth

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Singing Praises

Over the last week as I anticipated hitting the 100-pound mark on this weight loss journey, I’ve been meditating on Psalm 100. It is a psalm I memorized as a child in Bible Club and I found myself reciting it again and again in the last several days (in the King James Version I learned, of course!).

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.

Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

This Spring I led a short-term Disciple class on the Psalms at my church, so the psalms have been a focus in recent weeks. One of my personal take-aways from the class was that I need to memorize more psalms. Over the last few days as I reflected on ways to mark my potential 100-pound loss, I decided that each week I will memorize the psalm that correlates with my current weight loss until I get to 150 pounds. Now those who are familiar with scripture may wonder what I will do if there is a weekly weigh-in that reveals my weight loss as 119 pounds! That would be quite an undertaking as there are 176 verses in that psalm! But I am committed to memorizing the psalms and I’ll take it as it comes … and maybe pray that my weekly weigh-ins go from 118 to 120!

So this coming week I am memorizing Psalm 103 (from the New Revised Standard Version instead of King James now).

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and do not forget all his benefits—
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good as long as you live
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works vindication
and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion for his children,
so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him.
14 For he knows how we were made;
he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.

19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
obedient to his spoken word.
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers that do his will.
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.

This psalm is a thanksgiving for God’s goodness and I am indeed singing praises that my weight loss total is now 103!

Until next time, peace …

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Ninety-nine and Counting …

The title says it all. As of my official weigh-in on Friday, my new favorite number is 99. It’s a bit surreal, quite honestly. When I stepped onto the scale on Friday morning, I knew I would be close to the 100-pound mark, but I was actually somewhat relieved that it wasn’t 100. I wasn’t quite ready for that, emotionally anyway. I’m doing a lot of reflection and introspection this week to give my emotions some time to catch up with my body.

I continue to work at my water exercise regimen with both cardio and strength training most mornings. Last week I was in the pool six days! I love the water! I want to go every day and I am generally awake and ready before the alarm goes off. It seems so odd for me to say that. Until a few months ago, I was not a morning person; the snooze button and I were very good friends! But I am committed to health and wholeness and I am amazed at the transformation that is taking place. My medical team was quite pleased with my progress, too, when I went to my 3-month post-op appointment on May 8.

Each day I log my workouts on my fitbit app and at the end of the week I get a report. The report for last week said, “You worked out 7 hours, 37 minutes this week.” I held my phone in my hand, dumbfounded. Who IS this person?!?!

So I am preparing for the century mark. I haven’t quite decided how I will celebrate. I plan to create a mosaic piece of art to mark this milestone. I thought about making a list of 100 things for which I am grateful, but that seems tedious. And I will surely do another picture with 100 pounds of something; I’m just not sure yet what that will be. I am open to suggestions, dear blog readers. Leave a comment or e-mail me your thoughts.

Ninety-nine and counting … Until next time, peace …

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Three-month post-op

Today is the three-month anniversary of my surgery so I thought I would share a few pictures. The first two pictures are me with 91 pounds of dog food. This visual was really helpful for me to recognize just how far I have come. I continue to thank God each day for this tool and the opportunity to focus on wholeness – a healthy mind, body and spirit. And speaking of that … I am currently enjoying a few days away at Lakeside, a place that nourishes my spirit. I received the Lakeside Ohio Clergy Renewal Scholarship and I am grateful for the opportunity for some time away to reconnect with the One who has called me to my vocation. For any of my Ohio UM clergy friends who do not know about this, you can check it out here.

Until next time, peace …

91 pounds of dogfood91 pounds of dogfood 2

3 month post-op, 4-30-18

3 month post-op side, 4-30-18

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Goal-oriented or God-oriented?

So it’s been nearly three weeks since my last post … and on my previous weight loss journey, silence often meant struggle; that I had not lost any weight (or I had even gained) and I was trying to process it all before writing publicly again. That is not the case this time. I’ve just been busy. Busy working and busy taking care of myself. Since the beginning of March when I was released to go back to work after surgery, I have been exercising regularly. I go to the pool in the wee hours of the morning for at least an hour, four (or more!) days a week. I love the water!

One of my goals has been to shed 90 pounds by my 3-month post-op appointment on May 8. I am excited to say that as of my official Friday weigh-in yesterday, I have shed 91 pounds! (27 prior to surgery, 64 since).

While achieving one’s goals is important, I must admit that I have been a bit obsessed with the numbers. Though Fridays are my official weigh-in day – the day on which I record my weight in my tracker – I can’t help but weigh myself every day, sometimes several times a day. I’m a numbers gal. I like charts and graphs. I like to track data and look for trends. And while numbers are important, this journey is so much more than that. It’s about health. It’s about wellness. It’s about wholeness of mind, body and spirit. I don’t want to get caught in the trap again of measuring my success and my worth as a human being solely by the number on the scale. Our worth is so much greater than that. Our human value comes from our nature of being created in the image of God.

So while I will continue to be goal-oriented on this journey, I must keep praying and reminding myself that being God-oriented is the better priority.

Until next time, peace …

Scale - you are beautiful

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Wardrobes and Weight Loss

One of the challenges on this weight loss journey is having clothes that fit. I am down three sizes – a good problem to have!  But I don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothing I will wear for only a short time. The idea of weeding through the racks at Goodwill and other thrift stores is daunting. I’ve done it, but it takes time and energy that I would much rather expend in other ways. Besides, those searches are not always fruitful.

I feel very blessed to have a friend who has given me some lovely, good-quality clothing in varying sizes that I can both wear now and as I continue to shrink. I also have another friend who gifted me with a trial subscription to Gwynnie Bee. Gwynnie Bee is an online clothing subscription that allows women access to an unlimited wardrobe. There are over 150 brands of clothing and over 3,000 styles in sizes 0 – 32. I regularly add items to my virtual closet and can prioritize which I’d like in my next shipment. They send the items to me, I wear them, and I don’t have to launder them! A bonus! A subscriber can purchase the items at a discount from the retail cost or ship them back in a pre-paid bag. And then a few days later, the next shipment arrives. I’m enjoying the opportunity to try clothing I might not ordinarily choose and, as I shed more pounds, I can get clothing in smaller sizes. It’s a perfect solution to having clothes that fit. On Saturday evening I attended a fundraiser for Medina Creative Housing and I wore a Gwynnie Bee top I had selected especially the event. It’s great! Here’s a link if you’d like to give it a try. Gwynnie Bee.

And now to give you the latest numbers … last week I shed 3 pounds, so as of Friday’s weigh-in, I have shed a total of 79 pounds (52 since surgery).

Until next time, peace …

Robin - Gwynnie Bee

 

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