Someone I know came up to me today and said “ I do not know if I told you, but I am on a diet.” I just shook my head and did not really go into much more, but than she said “On Weds I came to the conclusion that the mirror was not lying.”

As she continued to share her thoughts, she was saying that for a very long time when she looked in the mirror, it was not the image she believed she was. So she has been seeing herself as her mind wants her to be. But now she knows she is heavier than she wants to be, the mirror was not lying and she has come to terms with the fact she needs to reverse the trend.

Well, for anyone who has read any of my posts , or knows me.. someone saying something like this  gets the old rusty gears in my mind spinning, and than I start thinking of similarities, and of things that I can relate to.

It was a very deep subject really.

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and thought the person who took it was a poor photographer- or they got you on your bad side, or poor lighting, or they needed to get further back. It can’t be the way you look to others really. The camera is lying.

We used to go out to the Large Viewbars for karaoke night. Now the earlier you go, the better the performances…it is great when someone goes up there and is fabulous. There are some people that I remember, I was thrilled when they were up on the stage, it was like going to a concert….But as the night lingers on and more people have had a beer or two, they become braver. Some people open their mouth, and as their voice comes out they hear the artist in their heads, and believe they sound like the artist.. and even though I believe everyone can sing a song- not everyone should sing it in a bar, using a microphone.

Another area I reeled my mind into was clothing. There is a traffic person on a local station here who has told one of the female DJs more than once,, “ Just because they make it in your size, does not mean you should wear it.” This is another angle to what this person was saying to me today. Let’s say you go shopping, and the mannequin looks dynamite in an outfit. So in you go, and low and behold, they have the same outfit in your size … a 2X ! Wow this is your lucky day. . It feels great.. all the time your mind is envisioning the mannequin ( who if she was real probably would be in an inpt program for eating disorders) and when you look in the mirror- you see your eyes…. problem is the clothes are below eye level. But you do not need to look at them- as you know how good it looked on the mannequin.

Life is a deception sometimes… I think at times we focus on what we want to believe instead of how it really is. Maybe that is how a hoarder can hoard. They see the part of the environment that is open, and not all the areas that are packed full. And I believe media and government leaders also play the delusion game.. we are told what someone perceives we should be told..and that is it.

How about when a person is trying to lose weight, and they convince themselves that if no one is looking it is not that bad to eat whatever it is. A delusion that if no one sees you eat it, than it goes no where. My older sister literally carved pages out of books on our bedroom shelves, and hid those big 1 lb candy bars in them- heck she even had a book with the pages cut out for a boxes  of girl scout cookies. HMMM and than she would tell me she could not figure out why she was overweight.

What is real? What are we fooling ourselves with?

What is how we want it to be?

How can we see and be aware of what really is real?

Life in the pretend world seems better at times, I think..until we make ourselves look at life without the rose colored glasses….

HMMM>>> all this  because this person came to me and told me she was on a diet… my mind is reeling… hmmmm.

Love to all, stay focused on the real things.. Mrs Justa alias Cindy


As Christmas has come to a close almost.. I am feeling the sense of  of accomplishment in getting to today. I really feel for the past month there are to-do lists longer than the days.

I just downloaded the photos from today and yesterday and decided to look  back through the photos from 12-25-2009 and I came across this photo of Mark last year…. exactly a year ago. We were at Amanda and Jeffs house on Christmas night.

This is still 2 months before we started the weight loss journey, one that we are still on, but we have made progress.

here is Mark today>>>>>>> 100_6922_edited



As I look at these photos I am thinking the accomplishments made to get from November through Christmas are nothing compared to where he has come in 10 months.

It is a long hard journey and one we hope not to ever go through again. It takes commitment and a total change in the way we think and what we do.


I looked a little further and I came across this- here I am last Christmas. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin,so I can imagine how I made others feel. I still have a ways to go, but I am not dissatisfied with my progress either.

We are all in charge of our own lives, and  if we want to make life hard, well we can do that, but no one has anyone to blame but themselves.100_6985

So whether it be all the anxiety of gifts and preparations for Christmas, or whether it is what you are going to do in your professional life, or our personal life, journeys can be long and we need to remember that we are responsible for our actions.

As I look at the health issues and obesity, I am thankful I have not had complication that were irreversible, I am glad that I have tried to eat sensibly- I am thankful that blood pressure meds and cholesterol meds are no longer in Marks meds he takes every day. I am glad that this weekend ends the 2010 Christmas chaos and that it is not a blizzard outside.

But you know what… I am thankful for the magic I got to see in the kids eyes this Christmas. I am thankful that tomorrow the kids come out here for a few hours and we chill. 100_6845

And I am thrilled that we made it, all of us, somehow, we got through the hustle and bustle , we got through the money issues and we are on the other side. A place where more focus is on day to day living and not all the extra stuff.

Don’t get me wrong- I truly love Christmas time…. I am not doing a Grinch thing—I am just feeling the end of the 100 mile an hour feeling, I am just  looking forward to normalcy returning to life, and for the gym being opened ( it was closed today)

Tomorrow afternoon, it shall be fun… a nice way to end the long weekend.

Next weekend we are blessed to have all three grandkids over with their parents- and another time to accomplish controlling what I eat, what I do…

Be safe out there, enjoy each day and each person along your journey… but most of all— be good to YOU. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

Today was one of those days when all the work at the gym became apparent.

100_6758_edited Today felt good, today was neat…today we had the first significant snowfall for this winter. I went out to just shovel the steps and put some salt down on them. Well I got to the bottom of the steps and looked at the walkway and thought what the heck. ( Now last year I would have looked at the sidewalk and said—“Heck it is only 3 inches- it will melt.” ) Than I would have proceeded back into the house huffing and puffing.

Well I got to the end of the walkway and thought- “Why not clear around the car” ( Last year I would have left it for the plow guy , it is  20.00 for him to do it.., he appreciates the $$$$$)

But this year… I shoveled a little bit here and there, and looked at the shed and thought- aw what the heck- I will just clear the doorway to the shed area while I am out here. Well before I could talk myself out of it… poof 100_6756_edited I had the whole driveway done- no rests, no leaning on the shovel appearing to be pondering when in actuality I was trying to breathe. NOPE not today- not this gal… I made it through- NO BIG DEAL. I felt great doing it and when I was done !

I was actually kinda bumming the driveway was not big enough to fit 8 cars instead of 6 !As I headed towards the house, I realized what a testament this is to the past 9 months at the gym and all the nutritional stuff we are doing.

I think I am probably pushing 55 pound loss and 62 inches lost maybe, I am down 3 pant sizes at least, and the once impossible feat of more than 2 minutes on the elliptical is now a 30 minute go crazy feat. 

there are so many things that are not a problem that once were. Like…

I do not mind parking is East Hodunk to walk into a store,

I can see my feet,

it is not a pain to bend over and tie my shoes,

I do not have to physically  lift my leg to cross my legs,

I do not feel like I have to squeeze into a booth,

my SNUG clothes fit loosely,

I have room in armed chairs for my butt, I can use a regular length watch band, I do not have to shop in the LARGER WOMEN clothing stores any more, I no longer go through any fast food drive-thrus for a quick dinner for us, Mark and I can comfortably sleep in a Queen size bed, I do not feel a restaurant is ripping us off – when they serve an actual real serving size, a pound of dry pasta is good for 3 meals now instead of one , I love getting on the floor and playing with the grandkids, oh the list grows every day as I continue to shrink. I know I have a long way to go, and I do not get discouraged…maybe a little impatient at times, but not discouraged. Life is so much better !! 

So I am off now- I have a solo tomorrow in church, need to go practice. I hope you have a great evening. Be good to yourself… Love always, Mrs  Justa.. alias Cindy


100_2862 We need to never focus on the elephant of life and wonder how we can tackle it in one swoop.

Someone said to me once , when I was overwhelmed by life’s elephant challenges that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. Please now, don’t be going all animal activist on me- I am not eating an elephant, nor have I ever.

At any rate I think of that phrase often at work, at home and at the gym. When we are trying our darndest to save a dollar or two, or when we are attacking the snow, the lawn, whatever we are doing in life. I think of it as  I am driving to and fro.

Last evening at the gym I was reminded again of this as I pedaled a bike to nowhere- but in my mind I was soaring past life’s ugliness.  As I am pedaling as fast as my legs and hips would let me, a woman came and sat on the next bike. I recognized her from a few weeks ago, I had met her in the locker room, her locker close to mine. She was asking me about the gym, about the MP3 player, about how long I had been going to the gym, as she spoke there was an indication that she felt a little out of place… she stated her husband was a member but she had not joined, she was using a guest pass. She said she was thinking of joining but she felt she could not use the equipment because she was too large and because she has been sedentary for so many years. AS if she was not deserving of the gym.

She said her husband was not real supportive and I got the sense that perhaps she felt her husband did not think she would commit to the gym. She was worried she might not be okay to work out. We talked and I mentioned to check with her physician, get an okay to work out and try to take it slowly. She said she thought she would never be able to ride the bike for more than 5 minutes, or ever do the elliptical. I explained to her that once I knew from my doctor that there was not any reason to not do the gym, I started doing the gym. As I reflect on our first conversation100_4037 she was looking at the whole elephant- I had learned many times in life to look at one bite today, another tomorrow. I tried to encourage her, unsure if she had the inner strength to go for the goals she wanted to set. I told her I was glad for the miles I had come towards my goal, and aware that I had many many more to go to get there. I told her the first step in the gym was the toughest for me, and that I felt so out of place the first time I came in. I had to look away from the vastness of the horizon of health, and look at the next stone I has to step on. 

The world of opportunities goes on forever- just like this scenery shot.

So last evening, as she sat next to me, we had eye contact… I smiled at her through my beads of sweat dripping off my bangs and rolling down my face, she sat down , adjusted the tension and she pedaled next to me for about 15 minutes, she altered her pace and never quit. She said something to the affect of she was committed to her goals.

I noticed she had an IPOD and an arm band, and she had her earbuds on and she was moving to the sounds from the IPOD. A sign that she had made a commitment to herself. I felt good for her.

I had already biked for 10 of my 25 minutes, and I got off just before she did. I think she probably got 20 minutes in total. After I wiped down the bike I went to the elliptical and starting going gnarly on that too. She had walked behind me, than to my side, and than got onto the elliptical next to me. She was having trouble figuring out how to get the display up and looked at me with a  look of despair. I told her to just move her legs and the display will come on, she asked me what my settings were, and what the two settings were for.  I explained and told her that when I got on the elliptical the first time I barely got 2 minutes in. She smiled and said “Oh I feel better now, I see you go for a long time. I have to put everything on the lowest settings. I am not good at it.” I told her she may find in a few weeks that she too can go longer. Just take it slow, and it does get easier. I told her she was doing GREAT.

I still do not know her name, but I know her feeling of insecurity, I know her feeling of inadequacy, I know what it is like to look at the horizon and feel frustrated I will never get there, or at the elephant and be overwhelmed with the size. . I watch people doing some things at the gym and know I am not there yet. But I will get there…one step at a time, one bite at a time… and so will she. I am blessed to have my husband who supports the journey .

Believe in yourself, Be true to yourself, because at the end of the day and the beginning of the next- it is YOU you are always with. Love to all, Mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_6272 Tomorrow is a day for EVERYONE to reflect on the things that you like and do not like in this ever changing USA. And go and vote ! We need to have voter turnout high to show support for those you feel represent your beliefs, your desire for the direction of the country. Our flag flutters in the wind, proud of its colors,thankful of those who came before us to give us the freedom to vote, to live in this country.

I am not going to get on a imaginary podium and preach what I believe- but I am going to assure each person that I intend to go and vote my conscious, vote my beliefs, and to do that, it may not mean voting for one party.

There is too much apathy in this country- and we need to stand up and exercise our right , our duty, our privilege to vote. 100_3084

AS this day comes to an end and I sit here after just getting back from the gym, I realize the really scary thing about obesity and losing weight and gaining weight is that the losing is so hard and the gaining could happen too easily.

Mark and I had trick or treat candy that we knew had to leave here or it would be tempting, so I brought it into work. It would be too  tough not to eat a bunch of it ! Just cuz it was there. So I trucked it into work and left it for the 30 something people to have a little of instead of us having a lot of it.

Watching what we eat, and working out, and being so damned careful is a way of life. But I truly do not believe it will ever come easy, I think it will always be like a piece of thin ice, step on it wrong and you can slip or fall into the lake of regrets.

It is hard, … have you ever known someone who worked really hard at losing weight take the reverse turn and gain it back and more. I have personally had that happen in the past, and to make the commitment not to do that again, it is a commitment that needs to never become stale. It is something that each morning I think about , each day at work I focus on, and in the gym I imagine that Satan is on the axle of the stationery bike, on the track of the tread mill, on the grooves of the elliptical, and I get in a zone of squishing Satan . I do that because I have this imaginary image of Satan being temptation to do wrong, to break spirit, to tempt things that are not good for me. So the gym – that is where I can imagine I am beating the Hell out of Satan.. feels good…. HA… can’t wait till tomorrow for another round with that evil side. Hope you have success in your goals and do not let anything come in between you and your determination. Love to all. and remember

VOTE !!!! 

mrs Justa alias Cindy

100_6104 When was the last time you were closed in one of these?

Look at how long the cord is stretched out !, that is so you can get a pen and paper out of your car- I bet.

I spent countless hours, long ago, closed in phone booths , calling someone I had an incredible crush on. I would babysit for weekends on end, than go to the local Super Duper and trade my dollar bills for coins, just so I could call this person… who really only ever liked me as a friend, I lived for those moments. He was my rock, he was my strength, in times when giving up sounded easier than trying to do my best in a not so perfect world. I do not think we ever kissed or held hands, but this guy.. he knew me better than I knew myself at times, we –in reality— were just very best friends.

I thought about how I longed for enough money to make the call, and how the operator would interrupt every once in awhile to tell me to put some more coins in or she was ending my call, I thought about how I earned those calls, those moments of connecting to someone who I longed to hear his voice.. he made me smile.

And now… well kids seem to expect to have cell phones, maybe some do.. but not all kids earn the privilege of a cell phone— no at times I feel like some of the kids, teens and young adults feel they are entitled to have them. It is an expectation to have their parents provide this communication device—as if it goes right along with expecting to have food on the table and underwear to wear.

Recently I was in a conversation with a teen and the comment was something along the lines of  she had not gotten her phone replaced in a few months. And bragging about how many text messages she does, and never once—not one second—was there any mention of how lucky she was to have the privilege of a cell phone, or what she had done to have that cell phone.

I sound like an old crotchety lady—and maybe I am- but we earned the things we had. If I wanted an outfit – I babysat. And not waiting until I was 15 or 16, no I babysat from 12 on. If I wanted a set of Jacks… I earned them- they may not have cost much money, but I appreciated the money they did cost.

And let me tell you, I LOVED MY JACKS!!! I was pretty darn good at them.

Chalk for playing hopscotch, an ice cream from the ice cream man, a new board game, or a Chinese jump rope. The list goes on and on, and with it the pride in knowing I was brought up in a home where things were not just handed to us on a silver platter.

When the sun came up, if school was not in session that day, than we were all outside, climbing trees, playing hide and seek, flying a kite, walking around the neighborhood, riding our bikes and daring to let go of the hand bars, jump rope, hopscotch, tag, kick ball, to earn money would would be out raking leaves, mowing yards, we were moving….

Now our kids, our teens, are techy… they do not get out like we used to , entertainment is on a computer , a smart type phone, a WII, toys that all need batteries, …..we are facing a times of incredible high percentage of obese children, teens and adults…. juvenile diabetes, my goodness—- let’s slow down a bit, let’s work to move our bodies and not just some button to click… and let’s as a country have our kids earn instead of just expect the privileges they would like to have…

Okay.. I am done… soon to sign of this a get moving some… Love to all… the old crotchety woman… Mrs Justa… alias Cindy


The biggest loser is starting it’s 7th or 8th season. And it is an inspiration to see how the contestants can change their whole outlook on life as they literally beat them themselves up, through the commands of the trainers- who are merciless- and the competition for the big prize if they have the greatest percentage of weight loss.

I was amazed at the size of the contestants who are able to put one foot in front of the other and lose over 100 pounds in a short period of time.

Mark has been my Biggest Loser- up close and personal..his weight loss has been phenomenal, as he had had the challenges of his disabilities and has really tried hard to accomplish his goal compensating for his issues- and he – at his highest weight was still 100+ pounds less than some of the contestants.

It proves over and over again, that losing weight is not impossible- even for a person 500 pounds! And the surgery- ugg, I know there are many who have gone through it, and some who will swear by it, but there is a contestant on the show who actually is a person who had the surgery years ago, and she has major challenges now trying to lose it naturally. The physician for the program was telling her, that the gastric bypass surgery actually results in people with less muscle percentage, and this person has the highest percentage of body fat, because of the effects of muscle decreasing after the bariatric surgery.

As I was busting my butt at the gym today, I was thinking about the show, and about how all of us start out as babies, and our environment, our teachings from our parents, our choices and ignorance about nutrition, result in obesity. I don’t know about others, but there is a bar that I had in my mind— a bargaining chip- that kept rising. Like- I will start to diet when I am such and such size, or whatever weight I chose was the limit. So that size or that weight happens, I adjust to what ever weight I was at, and than add another 5-10 pounds before I would start to change, and the bar goes a little higher.

I bet each of these contestants understand the bar theory I am referring to. I bet not one of them ever wanted to get to 300, 350, 400, 420 pounds. It happens gradually… and it hurts…do not ever think that any one of those people have not have more days of feeling inadequate, ashamed, aware of their size, or weak in the will power area. Trapped in their own bodies. Food becomes a comfort, food becomes an addiction, food becomes life…. Look at this photo- man to some this might look yummy- to me it makes me want to throw up !! This is off of google images- food challenges…

Well this past 7 months have been very rewarding and tough, as I watch inches and pounds SLOWLY decrease- but ya know what— I threw out that imaginary bar- now there is only a direction to watch the numbers lower. And it is a LIFETIME change. There is no room for weakness, for it is a hell of a lot easier to stack on pounds than to tell them to take a hike.

I hope you have a healthy day, I hope you find will power or inspiration if you do have pounds to shed… and if I can do it….so can you.. Love to all Mrs Justa  alias Cindy

Next Page »