I wrote the first half last July 2008:

A few weeks ago I ate 5 sugar cookies.  They weren’t small ones.  They were big fatty cookies that you can buy at Safeway.  I had looked longingly at them since mid-May, but for some reason I decided that day to go buy them.  I didn’t eat them all the same time.  I ate them intermittently through out the day. When they were gone I didn’t feel good.  I felt sick.  And I don’t want to eat those kind of cookies again for a very very long time. Five was enough, thank you very much!

I was really looking forward to summer.  I was on pins and needles waiting to not have to set my alarm, try to get the boys to school on time.  And I am really enjoying that.  I have great sleepers that will all sleep in later than my alarm, and let me sleep for ten more minutes if I really need to.  What I wasn’t prepared for was the fighting…the “I think he has more than me”…the…”Why?”…and the whining. Especially because for the first part of the summer Chris was gone.

Eugene hosted the 2008 Olympic Trials and there was a lot of overtime to be had.  Chris had warned me he wanted to sign up for a lot of extra work, but I hadn’t anticipated that he would be gone for 18 days.  He slept at home for 6-8 hours a night, but then would leave again.  It was a great opportunity.   He is amazing.  I missed him, the boys missed him. 

Maybe that’s why I ate all those cookies.  Thinking back, and cringing, it reminds me a lot of a life I used to live.  Trying to fill other things with food. I would get so excited about the excess of food. We would go places and spend great lengths later talking about the food, not the places we went, the things we saw.  It should have come as no surprise that I gained 20 pounds right after I got married.  They joined the 20 pounds I’d gained being in college.  Add that in with the “whole lotta” pounds I gained being pregnant, and you have food that left me anything but comforted.  Just full, stuffed, and oh so very guilty.  It  was a cycle that is unforgiving. I feared when I was out in public with Chris, people would later talk about his overweight wife.  I stuffed away the realizations that I was overweight.  And it was a miserable place to be. 

God has blessed me greatly.  But not in a great self esteem sort of way.  And I think that pregnancy brings out all the ugly sides of me too.  Those raw sides that I’m too prideful to admit to even my closest friends.  The fears, insecurities, and general me’ness that I was confronted with over and over again while Chris was gone.  When I was in high school I became obsessed with my weight. So much so I had to go to counseling after my sisters caught me repeatedly getting rid of food in the bathroom on a trip.  They caught that early, and I have never done that since especially after the doctor explained what that would do to my teeth…  

Today July 23 2009:

In 2001 I joined WW for the first time, I joined again, and again that year.  I would lose a few pounds and then quit.  I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around the whole I can’t eat my emotions away.  When I was pregnant with Daniel, Amy decided she wanted to join WW and we joined together after he was born.  We met this amazing woman Mary who helped us both and we  took to it.  Amy didn’t let me quit, and I took off the weight from my pregnancy’s, then from my first months of marriage, then from most of my college weight. And let me just say I lost weight slower than a snails pace, but I still lost it. I started to see that I was emotionally tied to the instant gratification that food gave me, but that I didn’t have to be.  I broke up with food, and starting dating my life. Living my life.  It sounds cheesy but I don’t care. And then I got a job there.  I love it and I love the people I work with.  And to be even more cheesy it changes people’s lives…but only when they’re ready.

I’ve gained and took the weight off after the last three pregnancies.  This time in my 30’s with Grace has been the hardest. Partially because losing the weight after Micah was so easy because I nursed him, while pumping and providing breast milk for another baby.  Slowly I am losing the weight, I enjoy food, but I am not eating every time I “feel” like it, only when I’m hungry.  I haven’t gotten to work out as much this time, getting time with 4 kids, their schedules, Chris’s schedule, and trying write/clean.  But it’ll happen.  Maybe that will be my next goal. I have about 10 lbs to go, and really all I want is to fit into my clothes again.  I think the working out will help that too.    In the next year I am doing a few 5k’s, a 10k, and a half marathon…I’ve gotta get going.

This losing weight thing is a process, but the changing the way I view myself and live in my own skin is a commitment I have to make everyday.  Especially because I have a daughter. I never ever want Grace to think of herself less than beautiful.  I don’t ever want her to think she will be defined by her body.  I don’t want my demons to influence the fragile beautiful person she should have the right to grown into.  And my weight gain and stretch marks that marked my pregnancies are the signs that I was a part of a miracle.  That is not a bad thing.

When I read back over the first part of this post I laughed. I was so hormonal, and I was crying in my sugar cookies because Chris was gone for 18 days. My sisters husband has been gone for over a year(in Iraq no less)…I’m such a wuss.  When it comes to my life and the changes I’ve wanted to make I always think of some of the women who surround and love me.  They inspire me to be the best person I can possibly be and I hope to have a little of their somethin’ somethings…

I hope to have tenderness of my Mom.  The strength of my sister Melissa.  The resilience of my sister Erin.  The dedication of my sister Hannah.  The joy of my sister Kaitlin.  The confidence of Amy. The passion of Emily.  The generosity of Renee. The frankness of Lish.  The acceptance of Angel. The character of Mandy. The hope of Jocelyn. The understanding of some EPD wives.  The laughter of my mother in law Joan.  And the faithfulness of my Grandmother Noralee. 

There are so many other women I could and should mention.  That is another reason I’m blessed.  I have had the opportunity to know amazing women…If you are one of the few people who read this please count yourself included.

 I take it day by day, week by week, and hopefully by the fall I can fit into my favorite jeans. But even if I don’t I know I’ll be okay.  I have a great God.  I have people that love me.  And even on bad days when most things don’t fit, I am blessed.  I may complain, but I do see that my cup overflows.

Last July I ate 5 sugar cookies, and it wasn’t the end of the world. Nothing can fill me like the love of Christ.  My life theme is The Joy of the Lord is strength…may you be ready for whatever changes come your way.