Amber's Going To Make It and A Real Voyage of Discovery
The end of summer as we've known it for the past two and half months was today. Amber left us to return to college. She leaves over twenty pounds thinner than when she arrived. It wasn't the total she wanted, but I told her it was great. And it was. Over-all she's lost nearly 70 pounds. When she started last year, she was in size 26's. Today she went back to school in 18's. She's going to make it just fine. She has all of the tools she needs to continue her weight loss success away from home, right there at school. I'm going to miss our workouts together and our family dinner time when I measure out proper portions and calculate everyone's calories. I'm going to miss her beautiful face and her fiery attitude that she sometimes musters. She's not far away, only three hours, but still, she's away. I want to hold her hand and help her through the struggles I know she faces. Out of the four of us, this journey has been the hardest on her, I know that. We started a month after she moved away last year. And although she was right there with us most of the time via phone, it still wasn't the personal touch I wish we could have shared early on this road. She knows we love her, she knows that she can do this, and she always has our personal parental guidance along her way. Amber Ellen, you're a special young lady, you know that?
For a while now Amber has been wanting a particular desert. A strawberry shortcake type desert. So we had one today before her departure. Instead of short cake, we used angel food cake. With a half cup of strawberries (23 calories), two tablespoons of non-dairy whipped topping (25 calories), and a half serving of the cake (85 calories)---it came in at a very low 133 calories per desert. Not bad at all. The angel food cake had 170 in a fifth of the cake, no problem, we just cut it into tenths for 85 calorie slices. Amber was surprised and thrilled! A picture of this fabulous desert is below.
If you haven't read Day 327 of this blog, I urge you to scroll down and give it a good read. It leveled me. After I finished writing the post, I asked Irene and Courtney to let me read it to them. First of all, I have only done that with one other day—and that was Day 135 “A Thank You Letter To Morbid Obesity.” I normally just write and then post. But like Day 135, Day 327 stirred me completely. It really got to the heart of the matter. I tried to read it to them, but like my attempt on Day 135, I completely broke down before I could make it three sentences into the second paragraph. I hope I'm not sounding like I'm tooting my own horn, there's none of that around here. I was just shocked at how I completely hit myself between the eyes with that post. It was mind clearing for me to get that out and on virtual paper. A great philosopher once said: The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. I have new eyes. This blog has really opened my eyes to the mental aspects of losing weight. Getting this deep and thinking about the roots of our obesity can be very painful, but also very necessary in my opinion. I will never see 400 again, or 500...ever. Soon I'll be saying goodbye to 300, never to return. How am I so sure this time? Because I've dug deep into places I always feared, I've turned over rocks that kept the answers hidden from me. I've rendered powerless all of the mental hangups that have made every other weight loss attempt of mine fail or be temporary.
I've found that some of my blogging friends are really relating and understanding Day 327 on the same profound level. Don't allow it to scare you my friend. Understanding the mental dynamics gives you the advantage here. And it applies to many things, not just weight loss. Confronting our negative thoughts and doubts about ourselves is like standing up to a bully. Once you do, they're suddenly not a bully anymore. I honestly believe that if I would have stood up to my real childhood bullies (read all about them on Day 53 in the archives) I would have completely rendered them powerless over me. I never stood up to them and they tormented me all through my school years until my freshman year. And until now, I've never stood up to the bully inside my brain that insisted on telling me horrible untruths about myself. I just believed them and so they continued. But then I did make a stand. And three quarters of the way down this road and 201 pounds later, I'm here to tell you: Those negative thoughts are completely powerless. Be strong. Know that what you're doing is good and true. And start believing in yourself. Leave that fear behind, because this time is different. This time is completely different from any other weight loss attempt you've ever had. This time is the last time you will ever struggle with obesity. Believe it.
Tomorrow I will face some stressful situations. I already know what I'm up against. But it will not break me, it will not win. We will be victorious. It's amazing how much I allowed stress to derail me before. When things would get tough, I always ran to food and lots of it. But that way of dealing with stress only compounds my problems. It never really helped me, it just made a bad situation worse. Stress is something that will always exist in some form or another. I knew that going in, and I knew that I had to get a grip on how I let it effect me or else I would die young and obese. The stress I face now can not steal this away from me, it can try, but it's powerless to my “Iron-Clad Decision.” Nothing will take this journey and success away from me.
It's time for rest and relaxation. Day 329 was a good one. Below you'll find some pictures we snapped today along with a few “before” shots for comparison. Thank you for reading. I sincerely wish you the best along your journey. And your support of mine has been nothing short of an amazing blessing.
Oh---I almost forgot!! I fit into Amber's car today!!! Her seat lever that adjust the seat forward and backward broke a few years ago. When it did, I just knew that I would never get behind that wheel again. It busted while the seat was fairly close to the steering wheel. Amber could fit just fine, but daddy couldn't even think of fitting behind that wheel. Until today! She asked me to help her put on a new steering wheel cover and when I did, I sat right there behind the wheel. Just wonderful, completely wonderful. Goodnight and...
Before---The two of us together weighed 845 pounds!
“In-Progress”---The two of us together now weigh 510. (and it's going down from there!)
We both really like this picture.
Previously posted---but worth posting again for comparison. All of us at our heaviest! Irene at 345.
Irene “in-progress” at 210 Look at those eyes--just amazing.
At Amber's high school graduation—May of 2008
All four of us today “in progress.”
Amber and Irene today
Our fantastic low-cal strawberry angel cake desert—133 calories on that saucer!