Saturday, November 28, 2009

November 27, 2009
Dear Family and Friends,

Last January I co-led a program at Theresians based on The Cup of Our Life by Joyce Rupp. It was a lesson based on the "shadow" of your cup. I learned that we all have shadows within us that are our God-given potentials that are meant to be developed. I explored this idea through reading numerous books on the topic of the shadow, Jung’s psychological theory about the two sides of our personas. Through this process, I began thinking about what hidden sides I had in me that might need to surface in retirement, and the first one to emerge was my musical self.

I returned to the choir at First Presbyterian Church just in time to be invited to Mo Ranch last summer. I had attended the Worship and Music Conference three years ago, but this time was different. My shadow was ready to emerge. I planned and executed singing "Over the Rainbow" at the talent show in June. I sang it through twice, once sweetly and once very jazzy. I didn’t falter, and the pianist who accompanied me was excellent in following my lead. I felt like a performer that night and wondered what door God would open next.

In August I attended a workshop on Language and the Pursuit of Happiness, and the young man who sat next to me started talking about trying out for the beast in "Beauty and the Beast," an ACTS Theatre production that was about to start. He told me that I’d be a perfect Mrs. Potts, and, although I didn’t get that part, I got up the courage to sing "Over the Rainbow" a capella for the audition, and I committed to almost three months of rehearsals and 11 performances that ended on November 15th. I was a hat seller and a "plate"--singing and dancing and acting on a stage at age 58. My musical shadow had definitely emerged.

If you know the music of that show, there’s a song about being "human again." There’s a line that says, "I’ll be cookin’ again, be good lookin’ again…" Somehow through the experience of being in this play, I feel these things happening, too. More shadow is coming out. Not only am I singing again but I’m cooking again, and my hair kept getting shorter throughout the three months of commitment. I feel "good lookin’ again. I feel like I’ve gotten over some hurdle and I’m fully human again. Vitality has returned to my days. My rental business is going well. It’s a ministry, and I feel God’s presence in all that I do. I’m also reading literature again. I especially love short stories, and recently I tackled Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.

My house has been changing in the last three months. I’ve added plants, stained glass, and new light fixtures. Yesterday I cooked a meal that Julia Child would have been proud of. I outdid myself with Gerwurtztraminer Chicken with Grapes and four other complex dishes from the Fine Cooking magazine. Jigsawing it altogether reminded me of my cooking in Cairo 25 years ago. I don’t think I’ve cooked like this since then. It feels good. I feel good, and I’m wondering what other shadows will emerge in the new year. I heard about an International cooking class at Sowela Tech this coming spring, and I plan to be there. My family has planned a destination holiday this year to Fredricksburg, Texas. We leave December 27th. This is my life story in progress… I’ll let you know next year what comes next. Please let me know how you’re doing, too. Many blessings in the coming year…

Love and peace from Linda Gardner

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Still Struggling

I have been struggling since I had to stop taking my supplements. I get my blood rechecked on Oct. 22. I hope I can return to taking at least my multivitamin. I have maintained my workout schedule but have not lost any more weight. I have gained about 3. I hope it is all water weight and I can get it flushed out soon!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wish Me Luck

Yikes!! I had 3 meals out last week, lunch out today, dinner out Tuesday, and lunch out on Friday!!! I am going to need all the prayers I can get to make good choices this week and next!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Endeavors

I met my sister Debbie and our niece Hannah in Beaumont today. We enjoyed a nutritious and delicious meal at Pappadeaux's. I've added a singing and dancing routine to my days. It seems to helping with reducing my belly fat. I'm toning up and enjoying the sensation of well-being that comes from this kind of uplifting endeavor. I'm also opening another door. On Monday night, wish me well when I audition to be in Beauty and the Beast at ACTS Theater here in Lake Charles. I've been studying the shadow, and I believe one shadow in me is my potential and love of singing. It's coming out, and as it does, my desire to eat too much is diminishing. There must be a relationship. Please wish me well.... Til later, Linda

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A work in progress

I am back from Chicago and didn't gain any weight!!! I am actually 1 lb down from before Chicago! I guess I am learning how to make better choices when on the road! The guys at the gym tell me that it is easier to maintain when you lose. I had a great time and a lot of fun with my Pampered Chef friends. I also had a great time with my daughter. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful daughter!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One More Time Around...

My summer holiday at the Music and Worship Camp at Mo Ranch in West Texas with all the carbs in their cafeteria-style diet left the scales spiraled upwards. One more time around I'm taking the steps to come back down. This photo with my nieces and granddaughter in Galveston at Moody Mansion illustrates what I have to work with. Three weeks into the next diet, I'm down 8 pounds. I've now added walking the Mall circuit to my workout at Curves. Every day I'm feeling healthier and better. I hope you are, too....
'til later, Linda

Friday, July 17, 2009

Getting Back On Track

I've been in Chicago for a week! Now it is time to go home and get back on track! Wish me luck! I have had a great time shopping, going to Pampered Chef Nat'l Conf., and more shopping!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Spinning My Wheels

I feel I am spinning my wheels on the weight loss journey! I have been bouncing up and down for the past 2 months. I suppose it has something to do with not working with a trainer on a weekly basis which included writing down what I was eating every week. Also, I have had a lot of life events to attend (Mother's Day, graduation parties, end of bowling season celebration, Memorial Day weekend to name a few). I decided I need to journal my eating so I started today. I couldn't believe it! I ate almost 2000 calories! No wonder I'm spinning my wheels. It is time to rededicate myself to this journey! I will see some of you this month at our family reunion. I hope to have made some more progress!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Keep Trying

I want to encourage all of you to keep trying. I have come to realize that I should have done this a long time ago! I tried many times but always gave up before I accomplished my ultimate goal. The result was always that the weight came back. This time I don't want that to happen. All the new research shows that excess weight has so many effects on every aspect of our lives. It is time to swallow our pride and do whatever we can to be healthy. Recently I heard that dementia is a side effect of diabetics. I watched my father's health deteriorate before my eyes. I always chalked it up to a genetic connection to Alzheimer's disease. Now I wonder if it was from the up and down levels of his blood sugar. I guess I will never know but I do not want to take a chance with my own health. I want to be around for a long time and I want all of you here with me!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring in my Step

I'm just checking in to let you guys know that the struggle continues, but with this beautiful weather and spring arriving, I'm hopeful of continuing on my pathway of losing and toning up. Please wish me well. I hope all goes well with you.... Til later, Linda

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A New Month

Here we are at April 1st. I am prepared to continue on my journey. I got a new workout at the gym yesterday so I can start fresh in this new month. I did lose another 3 lbs in the last 2 weeks!! 34 and counting!! I also had my body fat remeasured and I am at 37% which is a loss of 9% since last summer. We had a great discussion at my Lose It For Life bible study last night. I really appreciate the support of those friends!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Past Year

This is a picture taken of us a year ago. The other picture was taken early Feb. after a 30 lb. loss. I hope I can add 10 to this in the next couple of months! I had to tell my trainer that I could no longer afford him. He understood and said he was sure I could do this on my own. He also said he would be watching me. I am nervous about doing this on my own!

If I can accomplish this (me, a nonexerciser!) I'm sure anybody can! Exercise has been the key that I have been missing in the past.

I also joined a bible study at church which is using the Lose It for Life program. I felt I needed an additional support system. That has been going well. We have had some good discussions about our situations.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Holding Steady

This is a recent photo of me with my birth son Will and his family. I thought I'd check with you guys today to let you know that my weight loss in December is holding steady. The ten pounds I got off are definitely off, but now I'm stuck again. I plan to up the exercise regime by going to Curves every day I can, and I'm going to try to eat at home as much as I can. Restaurant meals are the biggest enemy I have found. I don't know whether it's the portion size or the salt or the spices or just the calory count. Anyway, please wish me well that the scale starts down again soon... Til Later, Linda

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It Is A New Year!

It is a New Year! My only resolution this year is to continue on my journey of weight loss. I do have some new info to report to all of you. I went to the doctor in November to have my diabetes and cholesterol checked. My total cholesterol went from 180 in August to 163 in November. My A1c lowered and my doctor considers it under control. She no longer is asking me to take medication for my bad cholesterol. In December (right before Christmas) I had my trainer do my measurements. I did not add up all the loses but I did lose 5 inches in my waist, 2 inches in my upper arm, and 1 inch in my calf. When I started July 1 my body fat measured 45.8 and now measures 38.4. My gym is even asking me to let them use me in their brag book!

I saw some of you last Saturday and I can't tell you how much it meant to hear you tell me how good I look! My trainer asks me occasionally if my family and friends have noticed. Unfortunately I have tried to lose weight so many times and always gained it back plus more. I think they have become immune to commenting. Since I have now lost 23 (as of today) pounds, many are noticing and letting me know they notice. We all need those positive pats on the back and I hope I can do that for all of you.