Friday, August 26, 2011

A prayer for those in the line of the hurricane

This is a prayer I stumbled upon today while looking for something else.  I don't believe in coincidences so I am sharing it here and will continue to say it for all who are in the path of this storm.

Lord, your world is a mighty thing.
The winds can blow
The rain can come down in torrents,
The land can flood.
To know you, Lord, is to know your power
And to remember your love
Which is more powerful.

We watch for the approaching storm.
We look at the images on TV, the web, the news.
We tune into experts who tell us when to go
Or where to stay.

We dash out to buy.
We empty supermarket shelves.
We board up, we batten down.
We want to be prepared
Even if we’re not sure for what.

We wonder if our fears have gotten the worst of us.
We know the alarmists have had a field day
But maybe they were right.
Unless there’s something bigger than fear
And bigger than winds and rain.

Finally all we can do is wait
Because to wait is to trust
And to trust is to know that in this world
There is no power that can separate us
From the power that is greater than us.
All will be well, we pray.
All will be well.

By Rick Hamlin, August 25, 2011 

Thursday, August 25, 2011


This week's topic at Weight Watchers was all about plateaus.  I opened my meeting with a flip that said , "Are you stuck?" and this cartoon:

The cartoon made me smile which is why I used it but it is also all to often true for those of us who have an ongoing war with our weight.  I hope I offered the members in the group that evening some things to evaluate when (not if) they hit a plateau (because they will) and I hope they understand it is normal to feel angry and frustrated.  What I really wanted to tell them was the positive side of a plateau but I stuck to the lesson plan.

Here is what I wanted them to know; want you to know!  If you are waging a war with your weight and you are losing weight even if it is an ounce at a time you are a winner.  Visualize yourself standing at the base of a very tall mountain with your weight loss goal represented  by the top of the mountain.  Your weight loss becomes the climb up the mountain.  Sometimes the climb is relatively easy and you get higher on the mountain quickly.  Sometimes the climb is very slow because the mountain is so steep but you continue inch by inch, tenth of a pound by tenth of a pound until one day you have made significant progress up that mountain.  You look back and are surprised by how much progress you have made, how far up the side of the mountain you are, you look up and the goal doesn't seem so unattainable any longer and you are excited!!  You might even do the happy dance and even take a longer look in the mirror and if you are brave enough, you might even look at yourself in that same mirror naked!  You climb on towards the mountain top and then suddenly and often without warning your climb and your weight loss comes to a halt.  Day after day you try and sometimes you gain a bit on the mountain and other times you slip backwards.  You become frustrated, angry and maybe even feel like a failure; once again you "can't do it.  Many quit at this point, discouraged and beaten by the mountain and the weight loss still needed to get to the top.  You find yourself standing on the dreaded plateau, a level place of no weight loss week after week.  

What if you chose to look at that plateau differently?  Consider this; you have accomplished a lot, you are thinner and stronger.  You feel better about yourself than you have in a long time.  You move easier and  climbing a flight of stairs does not cause you to become out of breath.  You have climbed part of that mountain, successfully.  You have put your body through a lot and now it is simply asking you for, or telling you, that it needs a rest, a chance to gather the energy and resources to get to the top.  Doesn't that sound better?  If you have stick with your weight loss plan, evaluate what you have been doing, and perhaps even get back to the basics that worked so well when you first began you will see the weight come off and you will continue up the mountain eventually standing at the top successful and at goal.  You have a choice.  Are you going to continue the climb understanding the plateau is simply a resting, regathering, reflecting place or are you going to turn around and go down the mountain you worked so hard to climb?  The choice is yours!

During my 15 year war with my weight I had many plateaus and I can assure you I was frustrated and on occasion screaming mad but I continued (often grumbling under my breath) knowing I was worth the effort.

The view from the top of the mountain is breathtaking!  I hope to see you there someday soon!  Look for me: I will be the one with my hand outstretched ready to help you if you start to slip.

“At any given moment YOU have the power to say this is NOT how the story is going to end!”                                                                -unknown-

Friday, August 19, 2011

A truely inspiring evening

Last night I was privileged to be part of a panel of Weight Watcher members sharing our weight loss stories with 136 other Weight Watcher members who had come to hear how each of us had managed to lose 100 lbs or more.  Many of the members attending were fighting the same battles we had fought.  It was a most amazing experience.  I came away from the meeting inspired, awestruck and proud; not just of the weight loss but of the program that each of us had chosen to help us with our journey.  As I listened to each of the nine other participants share their stories I heard  many similarities.  The smiles on their faces and the occasional crack in their voices and the fight to hold back the tears spoke volumes!  I knew that each and every one of them understood what the other participants had experienced to get to where we were sitting last evening.  We didn't have to apologize for the emotions. We all understood.

So here are just some of the similarities I heard last night;
  • Every one of us had an "ah ha" moment of realization that something needed to change and change dramatically.
  • We chose the best program around and we persevered even when it was hard (and it was hard at times).
  • We never expected to be perfect because we are humans and we all have short comings.
  • We came to our meetings and we stayed for our meetings even if we had a bad week. (Especially when we had a bad week.)
  • We realized if we were going to be successful we needed to follow the plan in its entirety and understand that our own version of the plan does not work well.  ( Some, like me, were slow learners on this one)
  • We found an exercise program we liked (tolerated at first) stuck with it and now love to exercise.  Many of us have done some distance competitions either walking or running.
  • We recognized we can't do this alone and learned to ask for help and then listen when help is given.
  • We learned that we are stronger and more determined than we ever imagined.
  • We learned that losing weight is a constant process and when you have more than 100 ponds to lose it will be a like running a marathon rather than a sprint.
  • We learned that everyone of us came up short on occasion but kept on trying.
  • Not one of us gave up.
  • Almost all of us struggled to lose the last 10 pounds and thought it would never come off.
and finally each of us in our own way spoke the following words:  I AM WORTH THE EFFORT and we knew beyond any shadow of a doubt we are.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


If you read my blog, thank you!  I have been very busy and therefore have been lax in posting.  My daughter is pregnant with our first grandchild and there was a baby shower to give.  I began leading my own Weight Watchers group and school will start on Monday so I have been getting my room ready and attending too many meetings.  I am not a teacher, I am a school nurse.

I work with amazing people who have chosen or rather been chosen to teach elementary school children.  I stand in awe of them.  My thoughts of late have all come back to them and so this blog is for them.  Thank you for doing what you do.  My children have been blessed to have wonderful teachers who were passionate about their jobs and it showed.  They are the products you molded and developed and they are remarkable.  I came across the following piece just the other day and it has gone round and round in my head.  I dedicate it to each of you. 

His Teacher's Hand

At first it sounded like a thanksgiving story, but the more I reflected on it, the more appropriate it seemed for any time of the year. The way I heard it, the story went like this:

Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment—to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.  Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student's art. And they were.  But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher's true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.  Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.  His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went—until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.  When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas' desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was. The little boy looked away and murmured, "It's yours, teacher."

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, "Take my hand, Douglas, we'll go outside." Or, "Let me show you how to hold your pencil." Or, "Let's do this together." Douglas was most thankful for his teacher's hand.  Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they'll remember the hand that reaches out.
© 2001 Steve Goodier

Don't EVER doubt the difference you make!  I am thankful and blessed to work with each of you!  I pray you have a rewarding and fulfilling year.