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Earlier this week, when feeling like a pig, I wrote a post that got an unexpected amount of response, and discussion among friends (the Fat came Back).

As I read the comments, and discussed the subject of women (I cannot pretend to understand the mind of a man, on any subject, so, please do not feel terrible excluded guys) and weight, I realized it is such a common issue for most women.

I expect that it comes primarily from the reality that women are extremely conscious of our outward appearance. We are also extremely aware of the affects of the outward appearance of women on men (watch a sporting event on television, and you will wonder if you ever want your sons to be exposed to the advertising that is shown). On top of that, we women are extremely aware of how other women see, and judge us, based on our outward appearance.

If the importance of outward beauty were not in our DNA, we would definitely get the message from when we are just little girls, as our affirmation comes mainly from words such as pretty, cute, or beautiful.

We are so very insecure about how we look!

I think that we are particularly humbled and humiliated with our outward appearance when it is not due to what nature dealt us, but is instead due to overeating, and under-exercising. In a sense (and I speak only for myself here), when the scales are moving in an upwardly direction, I feel that I am wearing my sin, for all to see. For me, it is not a private failure, but a public one.

As I said in the post earlier this week, “the fat came back, not because of stress, but because I lifted my hand to my mouth. It is time for a change!”

So, rather than drown my sorrows in a big bowl of chocolate ice cream, with chocolate sauce and almonds (like I have obviously been doing for far too long), I am ready to make some changes to go from where I am (the old) to where I want to be (the new).

Earlier this week, when speaking with a friend about writing, I was telling her that writing a daily (Monday to Friday) blog, has been what I needed to get into the habit of writing regularly. As I said the words, “it makes me accountable to be consistent” I realized I might have found the way to become consistent in re-losing the fat that I have found.

Although the transparency that this requires makes me shudder in my shoes, I have decided to blog about my “Old to New” walk, every Monday.

I am not sure what form this will take, or how quickly this might bore both you and me, but my skinny jeans (that I have NEVER owned) are calling my name.

More importantly, I have three kids who I want to not just see grow up, but experience a full and active life with.

So, if you can relate to the struggle and frustration that I have shared, I challenge you to join me. I will be getting weighed today (Friday … oh yes, not just starting on a Friday, but, it is a long weekend, the first weekend of the summer, and I have dear friends coming to stay next week … why wait? This mountain of gelatinous material will not be moved all at once), and I will share my plan on Monday, along with successes, and … the rest. Maybe you would like to interact with me (and maybe others)? We can share how we are doing?

Lets turn this old sow into a sleek silk purse!

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How is it that you can look at yourself in a mirror every day and still not see what you really look like until someone takes your picture?

As I looked at that picture, containing myself, I realized that the image I have been seeing in the mirror for months has not been a true reflection. Although I saw the realities of the imperfections and flaws, my eyes had somehow missed the significance of just how much I have grown (and I’m not talking growth of character).

A year ago I was celebrating the positive changes that I had made to my daily life. I was walking regularly, I was eating more healthily, I was taking the time to fulfill a passion (that would be this blog), and I had lost over thirty pounds of dense, life-hindering fat.

But, the fat came back.

And now I am hanging my head.

I saw the photo that is the outward expression of my failure, and hung my head in shame, and disappointment.

Oh, I was aware that the fat came back, because I have stood on the torture tool that we keep in our bathrooms … the scales. Somehow, although the numbers where the scale would point were indicating that I had gained it all back, the reality of my sins had not become real for me until I saw myself in a picture.

What I saw was that my face was bigger, and my eyes were disappearing into my swollen cheeks. My normally big mamma arms had grown to look like those of a trucker (without the trucker tan). Thankfully I had worn black on black, so I did not have to see my stomach protruding beyond “the girls.” And my best asset (no I am not talking about my rear) was my legs, because I had shaved them, and they were silky smooth … of course THAT could NOT be seen in the photo.

After the tear fest into my pillow, I had a conversation with myself (if you tell anyone that I admitted that I talk to myself I will deny it completely, and I have sworn my pillow to secrecy).

My self said to me, “it’s been a stressful year, Carole. Last year your hubby was on sabbatical, and that eliminated some of the stresses in your life (and he was gone for about two months, which eliminated even more stress … just joking, hubby 😉 … and don’t tell me that you did not benefit from being away from me for two months!). Then, you worked through much of your summer break last year. Then you had two adolescents move into your home and family. Then you started a full time position, for the first time in eighteen years. Then your dad was dealing with health issues, and living too far away to help your parents just about drove you insane. Then there was the ‘normal’ stresses of life; money, work, marriage, kids. Your weight gain is just a reflection of the stresses in your life.”

And my response to myself, MALARKEY!

Oh, it would be far too easy to claim ‘stress’ as the reason for why the fat came back. The problem in doing that is that it removes your personal responsibility for your decisions. And it just does not make logical sense.

If I were to perform poorly at work, would my stressful home life excuse my negligence of my students? NOT!

If I were to have left my husband, because I could no longer handle the stress in my life, would my children be able to understand and forgive me? I DON’T THINK SO!

If I were to have killed someone, would the stresses in my life be a good rational for my crime? NO!

Stress does not dislocate my brain cells. I may have to concentrate more on the decisions I am making, and be more intentional in what I am doing, but I do still have the power to do what is right, and good, and healthy.

Sure, it has been more challenging to find the time to go for long walks. Sure it has been more difficult to force the multitude of things on my mind aside, so that I can clear and renew my mind and heart and soul. Sure, solitary has become almost an impossibility in our home. And, with house maintenance on Saturday, and hubby’s church-related committments on Sunday, there is an absence of a ‘sabbath’ in my life.

But, the fat came back, not because of stress, but because I lifted my hand to my mouth.

It is time for a change!

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