It’s too late for vanity.  If I was 30, maybe, I’d say, “Hey, that’s not a good angle.”  But there is no good angle now.  – Clint Eastwood

I don’t have many enemies in life, but my one mortal enemy is my weight! In 1998 I was at my highest weight – 250 pounds!!! That is not good on a 5’2″ frame. The year we had a photo taken with our dog was my Waterloo. I hit the proverbial brick wall – and something had to give. I did not want that something to be my health and well-being.

Emotional eaters are very sneaky. We are unhappy and find our solace in food. Not just any food, mind you – but junk food. The more junkie, the better! Candy bars and regular soda and ice cream and chips and… well, you get the idea.

My self-esteem was non-existent. I wore my hair very short and very styled in an unattractive way.  Who does that on purpose?  I don’t know, but I did.  Back then I definitely had an eating disorder – I ate everything in sight.  If it stood still long enough, it was mine!

I don’t know why I lacked the ability to control my eating back then.  All I know is that I was working a job I absolutely hated, I was not in a good place particularly with my health (I had a very bad case of deniabetes at that time). I’d love to tell you that it was my diabetes that drove me to lose the weight, but it wasn’t. It was vanity. There’s no way I was going to look like that for one more day! OK, now I try to stay healthy for health’s sake, but the first driving force was looks.

It has been a long and difficult road to travel, but those are the trips that teach us the most.  If there is an easy fix, we don’t seem to appreciate the victory as much, do we?  I assure you, I relish this victory and do not take it for granted.  Today we celebrate BEAUTIFUL DAY!!!!!!!!!!! Today I celebrate beauty – in myself and in others. Here are the lessons I learned:

  1. God does not make junk.  Not you, not me, not anybody.  If God sees me as a special person, then who am I to take that person and try to destroy her – stuff her with food?
  2. I’ll never be a super model.  I will never be six-foot tall.  I will never have legs that extend into another zip code.  My thighs will always be very close friends – they will continue to meet often when I walk.
  3. I have to save my health above all else.  Let the rest of this stuff care for itself.  Be positive about the weight loss from a health standpoint.
  4. The words “comfort” and “food” are no longer used in the same sentence by me.  If I begin to think of food as something that brings comfort – then I have given food more power than it deserves to have in my life.  Food no longer has any power over me.  Comfort comes from someone I love, not a Twinkie.
  5. I am worth saving.  I’m special to my Creator.  I know this because He says so.  He made me on purpose – and I choose this day to live the life He wants me to live and be happy in this body and put a smile on my face and embrace each new day as it happens!
  6. I will not wallow in my past and I will not fret about my uncertain future.  I will live in this present moment.  This moment is a “present”.  Drink it in!
  7. There are better ways to cope with boredom than eating.  I finally know when I’m truly hungry – Eureka!  When I’m upset by something or bored with something, I find a more constructive way to manage it, such as exercise or music.  This one lesson has made my health very happy!

One last thing: It sure feels good to wear blue jeans again! Today is BEAUTIFUL DAY!!! I’m getting there… I’m getting there. ❤




Isn’t time-lapse photography cool?

Define beauty. No doubt every person you ask would define it differently. Do you take everyday beauty for granted? It’s easy to overlook beauty because you’ve grown so accustomed to having it near. I challenge you to notice the beauty around you every day and stop on purpose to thank God for placing it in your path.

 Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here in Wichita we have a great zoo that displays pretty fields and prairie grasses and so forth. Most people make fun of the plains, Kansas in particular, but I think the plains hold a unique beauty. No matter how much we travel, I’m always happy to head back home to Kansas!

 Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike. This natural beauty-hunger is made manifest in the little window-sill gardens of the poor, though perhaps only a geranium slip in a broken cup, as well as in the carefully tended rose and lily gardens of the rich, the thousands of spacious city parks and botanical gardens, and in our magnificent National parks — the Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia, etc. — Nature’s sublime wonderlands, the admiration and joy of the world.  – John Muir, The Yosemite

What is beauty? It is anything that catches your attention and makes you stop and smile for just a moment in an otherwise normal day. Don’t be too busy or too preoccupied to notice the beauty around you – even if it’s a photograph from a friend. God bless you and have a great day!   🙂



I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks — who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering… – Henry David Thoreau

The popular phrase I used to hear in the workplace was, “Efficiency is the RULE and speed is the TOOL.” Because many of us work toward that goal every day, we find it difficult to take it down a few notches after we punch the clock at night. I want to challenge you to do something different today. When you get off work, take a few deep breaths and tell yourself you are on YOUR time now – and slow down!!! Yes – slow down!

When was the last time you took a walk along a nature trail? I’m not talking about walking for your health, but just a leisurely walk in the woods to get closer to nature? There is no better way to relax than to slowly stroll along a hiking trail and see animals in their natural habitat.

You may not think there are any nature trails close to your work or home. You might be surprised! Even if you live in a large City, as I do – there may be some spots to go relax. We have a nature trail less than five miles from our house. It’s a great place to escape from the frenzy of life for a while!

I take my camera out with me. When I’m trying to get a good shot of an animal, that forces me to walk at a slower pace yet. Animals, unlike people, do not demand to have their photo taken!

There is a time and place for power walking and getting your heart rate up – no doubt. But today I hope you will take some time to just saunter along – your camera hung around your neck – waiting for nature to come out and pose for you.

One day I hope to be sauntering along a beach, taking photos of lighthouses. It won’t be this year, but hopefully some day I’ll get to see a beach and a large body of water! It’s on my bucket list.

My friend Lucinda Berry Hill wrote a wonderful poem about sauntering.

6-19 TO REFRESH MY SOUL (USED 6-19-13) (2)

Have a great WORLD SAUNTERING DAY!!! ❤