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 …

Posted in Spirituality, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

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 …

Posted in Wellness | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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

Posted in Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

 

Posted in Wellness | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Resurrection and Transformation

It’s Easter! A day we celebrate the joy of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of the resurrection, I firmly believe in God’s power to redeem and transform the dark and difficult places in our lives – even death – and bring Light and new life, not in some far-off time and place, but abundant life in the here and now.

Today I am grateful for the life that has been given to me through Jesus Christ and for the opportunity for more abundant living since having my gastric bypass. Today is the two-month anniversary of my surgery. Today I get to expand my menu. For the last two months I have been primarily nourished by high protein, low-fat and low-carb foods and non-carbonated, decaffeinated, and no- or low-calorie beverages. I honestly have rarely felt hunger or cravings for other foods, but I am excited that today I get to add soft, cooked vegetables. It’s Easter and I can have green bean casserole! Talk about a celebration!

In the two months since my surgery, I have SHED 49 pounds, bringing the total to 76 pounds shed since enrolling in the Cleveland Clinic’s bariatric program. Below are some before and after pictures, as well as a fun picture from my church’s Easter Egg Hunt yesterday.

Easter blessings to all. May you experience the joy of the resurrection today!

2 mo post-op, 3-30-182 mo post-op side, 3-30-18

Robin and the Bunny 2018

Posted in Spirituality, Wellness | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Choose Your Words Wisely

My mother always taught me to choose and use my words wisely. When talking with others, our words can encourage or discourage; they can either build up or tear down.  The same can be true for the ways we talk to ourselves. Our language toward ourselves and others shapes who we are. Sometimes this is intentional and sometimes it’s just embedded in our culture and, unless we stop to reflect on our words, we may not realize their impact.

While meeting with my spiritual director two weeks ago, I was sharing about my weight loss journey and she said something that gave me pause. When discussing weight loss, she said she prefers to use the word shed. I’ve spent some time pondering that distinction and it does indeed make a difference. When we hear that something is lost, we instinctively want it to be found. Consider the “Lost” parables in Luke 15, especially the parable of the lost coin. The woman in this story loses a coin and she searches diligently – sweeping the whole house, scouring every nook and cranny – until she finds it. When something is lost, we want to find it.

Except weight, that is. I really do not want to find those 69 pounds that I have lost!

Shedding, however, means to cast off or to release; to let go. This is a much better framework for considering one’s weight and journey toward health and wholeness. And so, as of last Friday, March 23, I have SHED 69 pounds (27 prior to surgery, 42 since surgery). I have happily released them and let them go!

Until next time, peace …

Posted in Wellness | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments