My dieting experience over the years has been varied and seemingly never ending. The differences this time are numerous. Maybe I should start back at the beginning. I don't plan to make this War and Peace, but there is quite a bit to get through, so hang on!

I think I was about 14 years old, five feet four inches tall, and 112 pounds, when my mother first informed me that she thought my "bum was getting square." Hello, that hurt! Never having known her to lie to me, I instantly believed her and decided that I should go on a diet. She told me that dieting might also help my fat ankles. Incidently, it didn't! There's no help for my "cankles" which have been inherited by quite a few of the females and a few of the males in my family! So, I went on a liquid diet called Cambridge and lost about 7 pounds and nearly starved to death. Fortunately I knew exactly what to do for hunger and eventually gave in and ate food. I look back at pictures of me then and I was teeny. What was my mom thinking? Unfortunately this started a lifelong dissatisfaction with the way I looked. I was never thin enough for me or my mom. Maybe she wanted me to disappear?

I never was overweight though until I started having children. By then I had 10 years of yo-yo dieting experience under my belt. Through my teens and then my child bearing years I did many diet regimens. Low fat, low carb, cabbage soup, food combining, Mayo clinic diet, grapefruit diet, Weight Watchers, Overeater's Anonymous, fasting, Up Day Down Day, Natural Hygiene, vegetarianism, and many more. The key for me always seemed to be to exercise myself into oblivion and then I'd finally feel attractive enough to leave the house. I've jogged and walked a million miles, stepped up and down in Aerobics class 8 million times, and lifted a trillion pounds in weights. I've done aerobic breathing, Tae-Bo, rebounding, Jane Fonda Videos, The Firm, Callanetics, Beach body, and Turbo Jam to name a few! I'm nothing if not an optimist!

As I look back on all this frenzied effort to look like a perfect model, I'm forced to question why was it so important and why did I devote so much time, thought, effort, money, blood, sweat, and tears to such a cause? Who was I trying to please? I remember the day about 4 years ago when I finally shouted STOP! I promised myself I didn't have to diet ever again. I was 40 years old and didn't want to wake up even one more morning wondering what I was going to do that day to get skinny. They say that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of crazy. By the way, that promise to myself got me about 30 pounds heavier!

Much prayer, introspection and intelligent discussion with my beloved sisters, soul sisters, and Swami brought about a realization that this girl was looking for love, affection, acceptance, and joy. After being dumped by my husband of 24 years, there was nowhere to hide from myself anymore. I went to Heavenly Father begging him to tell me what I was doing wrong, how I could change and make my husband love me, and to please tell me what was wrong with me. Well, He answered me by wrapping me in His arms and carrying me through a difficult divorce, through all the rejection, tears, fear, and pain. He told me He loved me and that I was His child and being such, was of royal parentage, magnificent and more glorious than I could imagine. He healed my broken heart, and showed me who I really am. And guess what? after all this I'm still over 200 pounds.

How can it be possible that a white woman in America who is over 40 and over 200 pounds is still valuable, lovable, and of infinite worth? Well, I am! God told me and He never lies. Then He sent me a wonderful and loving man to prove to me all he'd been teaching me about myself. Did you know it is possible for a 200 pound woman over 40 to be loved deeply, and passionately, and to be thought beautiful? Such love is a transforming experience. I feel the fear fading away. I find myself experiencing little and big gushes of joy at unexpected moments. I am finding the real me again. I'm no longer forced to walk on eggshells, trying to please someone who refuses to be pleased. Spontaneous laughter, a feeling of belonging, more love for everyone around me, and more respect for myself are just a few of the benefits of being loved.

I could go on and on, and probably will later, but the upshot of this is a burning desire to be healthy and enjoy a long and active life with my honey. I'm beginning to understand that it is not about perfection, it's not all or nothing, but it's a gradual, but steady move to greater physical and mental health. As I've pondered, and prayed about my options for losing my excess weight, I've realized that I listen to far too many voices. It is important to get down to the basics of what really works, for ME. Most of us have an intuitive knowledge of ourselves if we'd just have the courage to follow it. I've asked God many times over the years for help, inspiration, and guidance for this specific thing. He's given me a lot of answers, but they can't be permanent unless I write them down, reread them often, and shut out all the "expert" voices that tell me to do other things. I am not falling for their B.S. ANYMORE! Six small meals a day is the VERY WORST thing for me. How many times have I been suckered into that trap? No offense to those of you who this works for, but for an insulin resistant carb addict it is diet suicide. This is just one example of a widely held "truth" that is a lie for me.

This past week I've been going over in my mind the things that always work for me and today I actually had a conversation with my sista and she lovingly reminded me to WRITE THEM DOWN! I did it folks! I started writing them down, and as I get more revelation and inspiration, I'll write that down too! Drinking lemon juice in water throughout the day takes away my arthritis aches in my fingers, toes and feet. Eating low carb takes away my food obsession. A good thermogenic capsule gives me the energy to stay on a low carb diet. A good carb free protein shake fills me up and keeps me satisfied for hours. Chewing sugar free gum helps to quell the desire for candy. Diet pop makes me hungry and gain weight so don't drink it even though it is zero calorie. Prolief, which is the natural progesterone cream from helps me in tons of ways. It balances out my hormones, I don't get P.M.S., my periods are less severe and the cramps are much lighter, it makes me have numerous and more intense orgasms, It helps me sleep better, lifts brain fog, eliminates depression and facilitates weight loss to name just a few. So, I will remember to use it every day! L-Glutamin powder relieves sugar cravings. A good quality colon cleanser is a girl's best friend. There's a really good and inexpensive one at Wal-Mart. Praying outside in the sunlight and inviting that light to fill my body brings me instant joy. Reading scriptures gives me strength and direction for my day.

Well, this was a long post! What a wonderful thing journaling is. No wonder the prophet tells us to write in a journal everyday!