Another adventure!

WOW! I am just all over the place! Today, I went to Opryland.

First, pulled in to park….$16. YAY! Signs of things to come. So, I meet my former co-worker and she hadn’t seen me in a couple of months. It’s always nice to see the expression on people’s faces when they haven’t seen me in a little while, and I’ve lost weight, look rested, and I am smiling.

Then, when we went in, she advised that we find somewhere else to eat, since where we were going to eat was pretty pricey. Oh, the irony of this part of the trip (you’ll learn why after the pretty pics). So, we start walking around and around and around. It was pretty inside of the hotel complex.


About 40 minutes later, we ended up back at the pricey restaurant with me offering to treat. I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and my legs were hurting a bit. I was good, folks. I had a salad and a few shrimp hushpuppies , and….lots of non-alcoholic, non-carbonated beverages. I was stuffed and then we parted ways after a really nice, long conversation and her working on me to stay in the South. (We’ll see about that, maybe….maybe not.)

The fun doesn’t end there, though. I went east on 40 rather than west. No biggie, just find the next exit and turn around…BUT….of course there is a tractor trailer accident. I got off of 40 to go the right way. However, I had to go through the airport to do it. (Btw., while I’m here, if you need someone to pick you up, I now know how to navigate the airport.)

So…my relaxing day was a day of going in circles. It’s all good, though. I have nowhere to be and no one expecting me to be anywhere. Always a good thing.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll just tackle the wash and scanning the Sunday paper I bought.

I’m going to go vege. The sweet tea has me zonked.

I’m liking it here. But there is this sign that is huge and at night it is lit up all big and blue. It shines in the windows, and even through the slits in the blinds, I can see it. Yeah.

I’m sure I have some grammar errors in all of that, but I’m too tired to care. Seriously, what was in that sweet tea? Geesh. I have nothing planned until the 15th, so I should be all geared up and rested. HA!

If that didn’t entertain you enough (bwahahaha), HERE are this week’s caption contest winners.

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Final "Official" Weigh In

Six months ago, I accepted the challenge to lose weight. I had been trying really hard, but the push of competition made me try a little harder. The best part of this has been that it has forced me to really think about what I eat, the caloric intake, and why I eat more than just for nutritional reasons.

I’ve picked up some new good habits:
1. When I’m out to eat, I don’t feel the guilt to lick my plate clean.
2. I’ve proved to myself that I can set a goal, persevere, and reach that goal.
3. I’m learning to not totally hate myself. (If people don’t want to know me because of my weight, who has the bigger problem?)
4. I’m regaining some of my spunk and desire to “live.”

O.k., the final weigh-in: I’ve lost two more pounds since Saturday. That gives me a grand total of 32 for the past six months. Now, that a lot of my stress is set aside for a couple of months, I hope to take the weight-loss up a few notches (in a healthy way).

I have a little exercise room here, and I plan to use it, especially the weights. I have Zumba, can walk a good bit now, and I have a pilates abs thing.

I’m feeling so much better, and that is the best part of this. Really.

MORE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOW! My experiences here in Nashville just keep getting better and better! (Caveat: This is random and lacks any real order–I’m a giddy mess.)

Tonight, I went to see Mike Farris. He’s a blues artist with a somewhat dark past that handed his life over to God. Currently he still plays blues and music with a gospel focus. To say what it is like to see him perform in person in one word: AMAZING! Funny thing is that a lot of what when on tonight had to do with redemption and restoration, a theme of a lot of my focus lately. It is neat when things like that happen.


I don’t think he always plays with a band, but tonight he did. I recognized some of the them from a television show he did not so long ago for the Gospel Music Channel. (I think you’ll find most of them in this video.)

“Precious Lord Take My Hand”
Mike Farris

UPDATE!!!!! SOMEONE POSTED THIS FROM LAST NIGHT!!!! This is a song that makes me become a blubbering mess every time I listen to the CD. (Sam Cooke cover)

While I was sitting there, I couldn’t help but think that this is some of the best music I’ve seen and that I was/am so grateful that I have the opportunity to come down here and see it.

Music has always been something that has helped me through a lot of things and if I had the guts (and more talent), I would have been one of the fools running around the stage.

It was truly an evening that met some spiritual needs as well as the need to enjoy some really good toe-tappin’, hand clappin’ music.

********************

The club, Station Inn, was really small, which made this an even more awesome event. I forgot what it was like to sit in a small club on a warm summer evening…sauna! I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way, either. See that bright light in the picture? It was an exposed light bulb hooked to a really long string. A guy off to my left pulled that really string so that the light went out when the band began to play.


I’m gonna take my giddy butt to bed, now. Anyone ever tells you music is useless, frivolous, or not inspiring is insanely wrong. There was dancing, foot-stomping, clapping, old-fashioned testifyin’, and the most amazing soul-lifting environment that I have experienced in a really long time.

I would have stayed for the bluegrass jam afterward, but I’ve got more fun in store for tomorrow! Wooo hoooo! (Yeah, JT is gonna cuss at me for not staying for that, isn’t he?)

Sunday Song

God makes all things beautiful and new

Revelation 21:5
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

While this verse has more to do with Christ’s promise about what will happen after His return, it is also a promise in general. God restores our dreams, broken hearts, our health, our bodies, and whatever we ask of Him. He is able, and as the verse says, He is trustworthy.

When we reach out in love and forgiveness and allow God to work in situations and restore what we thought was once lost (whether it be hope, relationships, etc…or all of the above), He shows us His nature and gives us reason to keep trusting.

I heard this song on the television the day I arrived in Nashville. I found it very moving and stirring. I hope it grips your heart like it did mine.

“Moving Forward”
Ricardo Sanchez

Psalm 62:5-8
5 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.

6 He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

7 My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.
Selah

Weighin’ in

Since we last “met,” I was in the swirl of the stress bucket known as the end of the school year. When I am stressed, my thyroid goes a little nuts and it causes me to retain fluid. Not pretty, but it is something I am learning to navigate. So, those three weeks where I gained three pounds and then lost nothing were actually an encouragement to me. You see, I knew I was still eating really well for the most part, and that under the cosmetic puffiness (to use a nice term), I knew I was losing weight. Call it a little faith in myself for once–something I haven’t had in a long time. Since last Friday, I’ve lost 11 pounds. I think that is a direct reflection of what stress does to me. Since January, I’ve lost the nice round number of 30 pounds.

I’m going to trust you all with a little secret. I’m going to show you some before and after pictures. I had emailed them to some folks, but I’m feeling brave for once. Some of you may know what it is like to get the “stares” of disgust or to be treated like you don’t exist. I’m trying to get over that, so I’ll post them.

This is me at my heaviest in Sept. ’06. Reactions to medication and an unstable thyroid in addition to eating crud got me to that point. I even had to cut my hair because of what the medication was doing to it. One of the not-so-fun things about my job? The yearly picture. I cried when I saw this the first time; then, I just started praying for change.


So, that school year I tried to lose weight. However, I didn’t really start losing the weight in a more consistent way until after this picture was taken. This is Sept. ’07.


When the weight-loss challenge was made from Ssssteve to Wyatt, I quietly hoped I’d be asked to join in. I needed some people in the same boat as me. I’d been having a hard time with some stuff and my home life isn’t the best, so losing weight was something I was beginning to think I would not be able to do; it was just one more thing to deal with. Sometimes dealing with the weight is easier to ignore, especially since I’m an emotional and stress eater.

So, when I was asked if I wanted to join the challenge, I decided that it was time to not only work on just losing the weight, but that it was also time to work on the psychology behind my weight–why I eat, and the impact of specific foods on my body. I’m getting better at both. So, here is where I am at the moment. I took these with my cell phone Wednesday night before the concert.



Now, while I probably won’t look 16 again, this is my general goal. Hopefully, this time next year or (more realistically) Christmas ’09, I’ll have met my goal. I would consider that a major blessing and answer to prayer.


I will post about this one last time Monday. However, I will post monthly progress in my side bar until I reach my goal.

DAM!

So, I’ve got this nice little view in an urban area, right? Since I decided to vege out today and just watch the tube, I’ve seen lots of news. Guess what is all over the news? It seems THIS dam has issues. “Oh, there is no immediate threat.” However, you know the media…report it until people are good and skeerd. People like me, not from here, who know how to swim, but NOT IN A FREAKIN’ RUSH OF RIVER WATER THAT COULD PUT A LOT OF DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE UNDER WATER!!!!!!!!!

O.k.

Anyone got a flotation device? (*I purposely chose this station’s online report because of the poor spelling and whatnot.)