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I hope you all enjoy my efforts here!

Nov 29, 2008

Giants Among Us

Have you even had the experience of going to a funeral, and after it's over you think to yourself, I didn't know all these wonderful things about the person I cared about who just passed. I had no idea they had so many of theseparticular strengths. Why didn't I learn from them while they were here? Why didn't I notice who they were inside? Why didn't I appreciate them and learn from them?

I think so many times in our lives, we are so short-sighted and focused on our lives, we don't open our eyes and see, nor value what is around us. Sometimes we are so used to looking at the negatives about people, looking at what irritates us, their faults, their appearances and various other criteria we use to judge others that we never realize we might be living with someone who is truly a giant, in some way.

I drove to visit family members in Idaho this weekend. As I drove, I thought about my brother. Nine years ago he suffered a heart attack. He sustained permanent brain damage as a result. During the first few weeks after the heart attack, I remember hearing so many wonderful things about him from so many of the people that reached out to all of us at that time. Here I had grown up with him, loved him dearly, but truly didn't know some of wonderful strengths he possessed as a husband, father, colleague, neighbor and etc. nor did I know how many lives he had touched. I could clearly remember his faults, as only a sibling could. I knew many of his strengths, as I could tell stories of some awesome things he did. However, I fully failed to value all that he was and all that he contributed to life.

For those of you that have been following my blog since I started, you may remember me talking about my brother-in-law who died of Lou Gehrig's disease. His influence is the one that sent me on the "self-renovation" journey these last three years. He was a member of my family for over 30 years. True, he lived far away, so it was hard to get to really know him well. However, for many of the 30 years, I focused sometimes on things I "blindly perceived as faults". The fault turns out to have been in me. I never knew anything about the true giant in my own family. I began to get to know him better, during some visits to Utah to help take care of my mother, before she passed. Not too long after that, he received the diagnosis of the disease that took his life. As I watched him fully live his live with such courage, strength and joy, in the face of death no less, I learned a little tiny bit about who he really was. As my eyes began to open, I began to look at other things I should have seen, that could have alerted me to who he was.

He was raising 5 sons to be the most honorable young men. As many of them married and began having families, I saw the dedicated, patient and loving fathers and husbands they were. Through looking at his legacy, I began to see the giant soul who had a hand in shaping their futures. Why did it take me so many years and tragedies to see?

Why do we so often wait for tragedies to really appreciate what we have in life? I'm making a vow to look closely at the lives of those who cross my path for the good in them. I plan to conscientiously focus on the positives and the good of those people. I also want to let them know how much I see their strengths and value their contributions, whether to me, to their families, to their neighbors, colleagues and etc. I hope that by opening my eyes to the giants among us, I can learn from their examples, grow as a person and maybe, just maybe make a positive contribution to the lives of others.

Nov 26, 2008


Today was the day I had planned to get a little dolled up and get a picture taken to send to Jenny Craig, for use in submitting to People. As we know, that won't happen, but I went ahead and took the pictures. What do you guys think?

Nov 24, 2008

If You Want to Change Your Life, Change Your Thinking

Several months ago, I came across the thought, "If you want to change your life, change your thinking." I've worked consistently to do just that. In the beginning, the effort was just to change the negative thoughts to positive thoughts. However, as I've read/listened to Eckhart Tolle's books "A New Earth" and "The Power of Now", I've begun to have a whole new perspective on things. I can't even explain a lot of what I've learned, as it is not only deep, but it seems like a whole new terminology has been created, that can't be easily explained.

Today several things went wrong, and there were several setbacks as well. On top of that, there was an interaction with a "friend" that pushed some old buttons and just for a brief moment in time, sent me jumping off a cliff and spiraling off into negativity in my mind. It's almost breath taking the way I was spiraling downward and the thoughts, old tapes of negativity that rushed out at me. However, you know what was even more breath taking? Within the minute, I recognized what was happening in my mind! I immediately put the brakes on, and then I asked myself how to reverse that and toss out all the negative garbage that had just come flying out. I ended up using some of what I learned from recently, and within minutes, I was feeling peace. Within a few more moments, I was feeling joy again. Amazing!

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! My thinking is indeed changing, and my life changes with it. Three years ago, I couldn't have foreseen the miracle that is my life today. Three years from today, I expect to see more miracles that maybe I haven't dreamed of yet. My life is changing, and it's a joyous process. Dare to dream, dare to change!

Magazine Update

I thought that I'd better drop a quick line in my blog and let you know that the People magazine article isn't going to happen after all. It appears that we are too late to get anything submitted in the annual "Half their Size" issue.

While I'm a little disappointed to miss this opportunity, I'm ok with it not happening. At least PR at Jenny Craig knows about me. Who knows what opportunities might show up in the future. I still have a dream to inspire and share my journey. I have faith that whatever needs to happen to live my dream, will happen!

Nov 19, 2008


Just a brief note to tell you all, something great just MAY be happening, as the result of my keeping this blog.

I got an email today from a PR person at Jenny Craig who found my blog through some "daily googling". She's talking about some possibilities of things in the future with Jenny Craig. Maybe even something in PEOPLE (the magazine)! I don't want to say more, because I don't want to jinx anything! I need to be patient and see this through and what develops! Meanwhile, I'm so excited at the possibilities that may around the next corner! Keep your fingers crossed for me! :)

Nov 15, 2008

Weight Loss Update

It's been such a long time since I've talked about my weight loss process. I've learned that when you are smaller, it is harder to lose weight! Sometimes I feel like I yo-yo a little going up and down the scales within a small few pounds. I've tried hard to stick to the program. My strategy the last three years of tasting and sampling things, so the desire to eat the whole thing or binge would go away has been a great one for me and kept me going and sticking with the program.

However, as I get smaller, my body doesn't need as many calories, and those little samples and tastes, as well as some of the meals out (as long as they're not more than once or twice a week at most), also will work well as strategies for for maintenance of the weight loss, but not for weight loss itself at this size. What I've been doing the last few months, going up and down within a small few pounds is what I've learned a typical "thin" person does. The frustration has been that I wanted to reach goal weight by the middle of December, which was my 3 year anniversary with Jenny Craig.

However, I've learned that I can't put myself through that kind of frustration right now. I want to enjoy my social life, which includes meals out with my friends. I want to sample, taste, and share the goodies that are at home, at birthday celebrations and yes, even the holidays coming up I'm sure. After three years of dogged effort, I'm ready to live life just a little more. Life is a marathon, and I'm in for the long haul. If it takes me another 6 months or longer to get to goal weight, I've decided I'm perfectly OK with that!

However, having said all that, I have to update you all and tell you, I am "officially" 11 lbs from goal! :) I was almost there before my birthday (11.5 lbs from goal the week before my birthday), then had a birthday, back to back conferences last 3 full days, staying out of town, followed with more celabratory dinners and wonderful pizza with friends, family and former students and etc. to where I ate out something like 9 times in a week. I realized early in that week that trying to be so strict so I wouldn't gain was causing me to be miserable, at a time that I wanted to celebrate, enjoy being alive, enjoy my friends and etc. I wanted to acknowledge the joy I have in being alive at 51, and excited for the next year. For so many years, I wanted to be dead by 50, so I feel like reveling in the joy of a new year and the possibilities of more joyous days and years to come. Living with stress and worry about all those meals out was taking away the joy. So I "gave up" for the rest of the week and just enjoyed the week, the people, the food, and the celebrations! When I went in to weigh in after that week, I kept my back to the scale and instructed the woman to not say a word about how I'd done. I didn't want to know if I gained. In the week or two that followed, I still didn't want to know if I still hadn't lost everything. I just wanted to focus on getting my mind set back to where I was willing to be back on program.

After three years, my Jenny Craig counselor knows me enough that yesterday she told me, you want to turn around and see this weight. So with trepidation I turned around and looked. Whatever weight I gained, I lost, and I lost new weight; an extra half a pound! Eleven pounds from goal is awesome. I've now lost a total of 219 lbs everyone. It may be slow, it may take me as long to lose the last 10 pounds as it took me to lose the first 60, but it's all ok. The journey is the important thing, living life, making progress and being happy! And I am!!!! ;) I'm living in joy.

Nov 8, 2008

Latest Label :)

I attended an all day conference in Orem today that AG Bell, Utah chapter (I'm on the board of this group), put on. It was a good day, but nothing really exciting, as conferences generally are. However, I just had to share the something that was so funny to me! I loved it!

In our conference, we have something called CART. I can't remember what all the acronyms mean, but essentially, it's a way to caption in real time, what is being said. It's similar to the captioning done on the TV during the news. In fact the same people that provide my CART services in the conferences I attend, do the captioning for the locals news station, the Jazz games and other local events on TV. The captioning is done using the same equipment that court reporters use. My understanding is that they type "phonetically", which allows them to go faster, that our standard typing.

During one session today, the CART transcriptionist made a typo. She ended up going back and correct it, but myself and my hard of hearing and deaf friends got the biggest laugh out of the typo, so I had to share. The speaker was saying "hearing impaired". She typed out "marrying impaired". We laughed and laughed and joked amongst ourselves about who was marrying impaired. I told them I finally had a new title/label for what I am that I can fit!!! I'm marrying impaired! Of course the hearing audience had no idea why all the hearing impaired people started giggling and laughing hilariously amongst ourselves!

Anyone that wants to help me out with my marrying impaired status is welcome to try! Got an eligible awesome man out there for me? :) Hahaha! I wonder what kind of accommodations the "marrying impaired" get. Hearing impaired get interpreters, CART and front row seats. What do marrying impaired get! I figure the accommodations ought to be good! ;) I would just love to put that down on some form somewhere, that I'm marrying impaired and need accommodations. Maybe they'll provide me with dates with the town's most eligible bachelors? :) Anyone want to help me fix this latest disability?

Nov 2, 2008

Halloween Pictures

Thought I'd share some adorable pictures of the little ones. I thought they looked adorable. Dalia was a princess and Mackie a fireman. Their cousin Tommy joined them in one picture.

I loved the poses I got with Mackie who never holds still. The first picture is adorable, the 2nd one shows how much he wanted to try out parts of his sister's costume. I loved this one two.

I like these pictures of Dalia, as she was so excited, she was flapping her hands! Then the 2nd picture that was a close-up shows how beautiful she is.

I wish I had better pictures of Tommy. This was the best of the ones I got, and it was all three of them.