Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 25, Day 5

Calories eaten yesterday: 1239
Fat: 32g (24%)
Carbs: 89g (30%)
Protein: 131g (44%)
Weight this morning: 135 (One week ago: 137.8)
Calories burned in exercise today: 222

First, a quick victory. When my size 6 stretch WalMart jeans (the painter's jeans that are like a large size 8 anywhere else) are stretched out, I can now pull them off without unzipping them. I did that a day or two ago and forgot to write about it here. So the weight and the bloat are going down. I think I will add the soy cereal back in next week on my gym days, and do eggs and yogurt other than that. I'll see how that goes and if the bloat comes back.

I did the rowing machine for 20 minutes at the gym today before getting on an elliptical for the last 10 minutes of my cardio. I don't need the steps, so I figured this was a good time to do it. Man, the rowing machine really does work your back! My shoulders are all tense now. However, rowing doesn't burn many calories though (unless you are going really hard), so my "calories burned" are lower today than usual. I didn't even burn off my protein shake which has 240 calories!

Laundry tonight, and then Xena goes to the vet tomorrow. Bwahaha! After that Brad and I are picking up my $20 at Safeway and then going hiking.

Ok, I'll be back on Sunday with my weigh-in and a full report on Friday (with photos I hope - the trail is beautiful!) and how my cheat day went with my 10 Commandments in place.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Week 25, Day 4

Calories eaten yesterday: 1239
Fat: 21g (17%)
Carbs: 100g (35%)
Protein: 140g (49%)
Weight this morning: 136.2 (One week ago: 137.8)
Calories burned in exercise today: 102

Lost 2.2 pounds since yesterday! I'm back to seeing my goal weight again. :) That's good. The bloat is going down. I hope it's not because I cut out the soy cereal! I love that stuff!

Went grocery shopping. Got tons of fresh veggies and salad stuff. Brad and I have decided on Saturday's dinner - Dreamfield's pasta (it's low-GI) with low-carb pasta sauce and ground turkey breast. Stir-fry veggies on the side. Probably no-sugar-added ice cream for dessert.

I printed out my 10 commandments for "cheats" and will tape it above the stove when I get home.

When I went shopping they didn't give me my $20 cash back!!! I called the store and they called me back and found my money. I don't have a car so I can't just run down there, so I will have to go back Friday. Argh! What a pain in the ass!

I hit my step goal for the month yesterday, so I don't need any more steps, but I walked the last 1.5 miles to work today for the exercise. It was SO HOT! Damn it was hot. I stopped off at Pac N Save and bought a liter bottle of Calistoga and drank that as I walked.

I use the Our Daily Bread devotional put out by RBC Ministries (a great organization!). Yesterday's topic was about pedometers! It make the point that as a pedometer is a visible reminder to take more steps, we should have visible reminders around us about the Lord and His word each day - a memory verse on a card taped by our desks, or a Scripture calendar. Something to help us focus on Him.

I love the new little bear icons on the NS Website. I have the purple one (20 lbs.) in my sig right now saying, "I will get here." That means getting to 134 pounds - not realistic for a Sunday, but I would like to see that weight a few days a week - wiggle room and all that.

Let's see, upcoming plans. Xena goes to the vet this Friday, then we have to swing by Safeway. I asked for $20 cash back when I bought groceries today and they forgot to give it to me! I called them, and, using the receipt, I found out the register number. They pulled that drawer and counted it and called me back. They are holding it at the customer service desk. I said I could come by Friday afternoon.

After we pick up my money Brad and I are hiking out the same trail as last week, but we are turning off at the Big Trees Trail and seeing what's up that way.

Friday after next I scheduled a dental cleaning since it's been over 6 months. Since my dentist is close to the lake I asked Brad if we could just walk that.

September 13 (a Thursday) we have a staff dinner at El Torito Mexican restaurant. I've been through this before so I will probably order the fajitas, sub out the rice and beans for extra grilled veggies, skip the tortillas, and just eat the meat and veggies with a fork. I'll take a bag of NS Nacho Crisps with me to keep me out of the tortilla chips. I'll probably also need an NS dessert - maybe order after dinner coffee and bring a biscotti.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Week 25, Day 3

Calories eaten yesterday: 1215
Fat: 27g (21%)
Carbs: 104g (36%)
Protein: 123g (43%)
Weight this morning: 138.4 (One week ago: 138.8)
Calories burned in exercise today: 248

Finally back into the 130s today.

Today I did the stationary bike workout described in the magazine. I've done the treadmill one twice and wanted to try this one out. The article said to use 5, 8, or 10 lb. dumbbells and that this program is for the arms.

First, I couldn't get my heart rate up to the target ranges they suggest. I suspect I'd have to put it on some incredibly high level and really push at the pedals. So I just pedaled at a modest level and speed as usual. It still made me sweat.

Second, all the arm exercises were easy except for the lateral raise. After straining for the 5 lb. weights through two sets of that I ditched the dumbbells and just did it without weights. I'll get an 8 lb. weight for the other exercises next time.

In case anyone wonders about my workout schedule, here's an ideal week. I can't always follow this pattern, but I try.

Sunday - 90 minutes at gym (1 hr. weights/30 min. cardio)
Monday - walk 1.5 miles from train station to work
Tuesday - 90 minutes at gym (1 hr. weights/30 min. cardio)
Wednesday - walk 1.5 miles from train station to work
Thursday - 90 minutes at gym (1 hr. weights/30 min. cardio)
Friday - walk 4-6 miles exploring local trails with a friend
Saturday - rest

Found a cool weight link today. You plug in some basic info and it tells you how your weight compares with other people your age, gender, and height. I'm female, 36-years-old, 5'7", roughly 140 pounds, and I fall into the 20th percentile, meaning that 80% of Americans like me weigh more.

The doctor said I was 5'6.5" and plugging in 5'6" for height I am in the 24th percentile - 76% of Americans like me weigh more. It was a nice ego boost to find this site. With all my recent weight gains I have felt really down. By the way, if I ever hit my goal weight I will be in the 17th percentile for 5'7" and 21st percentile for 5'6". Check it out!

Tomorrow is groceries. I'm going to get salad, veggies, eggs, Dannon fat free yogurt, and cottage cheese. I'm stocked up on meat between my NS meals and the chicken Brad bought for me.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Week 25, Day 2

Calories eaten yesterday: 1189
Fat: 27g (22%)
Carbs: 80g (29%)
Protein: 136g (49%)
Weight this morning: 140 (One week ago: 142)
Calories burned in exercise today: 88

I did some research yesterday and it seems that soy may cause bloating. I wonder if that it my problem. I really like the Nutlettes soy cereal. One article I found gave three dietary changes to make, two of which I am already doing - eat more fiber, cut back on refined carbohydrates, and take a probiotic to increase good bacteria. Part of the Candistroy program I started yesterday includes a probiotic component, so we will see how that works out. I also need to find a way to cut back on soy for a while.

I wonder if my goal of 137 isn't too low. I've hit it once and come darn near another time and always bounce back within a very short time and gain a lot. My body just doesn't want to be there, even though I feel and look great at that weight. I need to lose weight because my body fat of 27% is far too high.

My medication refill came today. I take a generic form of Celexa. I've been on it since December of 2004 and it's still working great for me. :) I get it from Canada much cheaper than the U.S. One bottle lasts 3 months and costs about $80. My employer reimburses me 80% of the costs after I turn in the receipt.

I'm starting to get the hang of the treadmill workout in the latest issue of Muscle & Fitness Hers. I gave it another shot yesterday and had an easier time doing the left and right side step, but I still had to go slower than the plan calls for and hang onto the rails for dear life. And it's hard to kick my legs back to target my glutes when I'm walking 3.5 mph. My legs are too short.

No exercise today. I went into the City to check my mail and just walked the last 1.5 miles to work. Tomorrow I will hit the gym again.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The 10 Commandments of Saturday "Cheats"

Since I seem to mess up worst on Saturday and am steadily gaining fat, I present these rules as a pledge. My "cheat" days are closer to being binge days, and I must rein them in. I have had this problem before, but what I used to do will no longer work. My metabolism is way slower. As I asked myself before, why do I feel I deserve a cheat? Well, why do I?

I reserve the right to revise this as needed.

The 10 Commandments of Saturday "Cheats"

YOU ARE FAT! Therefore -

At church:
No snacking before church. There will be plenty of time to snack afterwards. If this is a temptation, chew sugar-free gum until the service is over.
2) Two mini cups of peanuts and 1 mini cup of Cheese-Its during break. One mini cup of vanilla animal crackers if they are out. No dipping into bowls or bags. No dried fruit, M&Ms, or Reese's cups. They will make you FAT and you are already fat enough!
3) No snacking on breaded foods or desserts. Three bite maximum to taste.

At home:
Eat only until full at breakfast. Brush teeth after eating.
5) Only one sweet treat per day. If you have a chocolate bar, you cannot have ice cream. If you have ice cream, you cannot have a chocolate bar. Period.
6) Absolutely no seconds on dinner or desserts! One plate of food, one bowl of ice cream, period. The ice cream will still be there next week. This is not the last chance you'll have to eat it.
7) Three drink maximum and no alcohol until you have drunk at least 32 oz. of water.
8) No Atkins bars on Saturday. They have too much fiber and too many calories.
9) If you are not hungry, don't eat! Period! Brush your teeth, chew sugar-free gum, or stick a whitening strip in your mouth.
10) No Starbucks, even if the item is "skim" or "light." Coffee or tea with a little skim milk and sugar-free sweetener is okay.

As an addendum, I won't buy more ice cream after the current supply is gone. The only exception is Carb Smart Rocky Road, which I don't think is being made anymore anyway. I also need to stop buying the sugar-free chocolate chips.

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Week 24 Weigh-In

Start: 154
Week 1: 150 (-4) - Week 2: 148.6 (-1.4)
Week 3: 146 (-2.6) - Week 4: 147.2 (+1.2)
Week 5: 145.6 (-1.6) - Week 6: 144 (-1.6)
Week 7: 143 (-1) - Week 8: 142.8 (-0.2)
Week 9: 143.6 (+0.8) - Week 10: 141.2 (-2.4)
Week 11: 143.8 (+2.6) (carbed up for the race)
Week 12: 142.4 (-1.4) - Week 13: 142.4 (-0)
Week 14: 141.6 (-0.8) - Week 15: 139.4 (-2.2)
Week 16: 140 (+0.6) - Week 17: 139.2 (-0.8)
Week 18: 139 (-0.2) - Week 19: 138 (-1)
Week 20: 135.4 (-2.6) - Week 21: 137.2 (+1.8)
Week 22: 139.6 (+2.4) - Week 23: 143.2 (+3.6)
Week 24: 143.6 (+0.4)
Total loss: -10.4

Ok, now to catch up on other numbers.
Calories eaten Thursday: 1310
Fat: 20g (14%)
Carbs: 85g (27%)
Protein: 144g (46%)
Weight Thursday morning: 137.8 (One week ago: 137.4)
Calories burned in exercise Thursday: 262

Calories eaten Friday: 1407
Fat: 27g (17%)
Carbs: 71g (20%)
Protein: 150g (42%)
Weight Friday morning: 137.2 (One week ago: 138)
Calories burned in exercise Friday: 344

Weight Saturday morning: 137.2 (One week ago: 137.8)
Calories burned in exercise Saturday: 0

Calories burned in exercise today: 267

Crap. The fourth weigh-in in a row showing a gain. This week I added another half a pound. :-( I suck and my body hates me and wants to be fat. That GNC total body cleanse did no good. I am still fat and bloated. What is bloating me?

I'm starting the Candistroy today, but instead of doing one tablet from each bottle a day for a week, then two tablets from each bottle the second week, and then going to three a day, I am just starting at three. So I took three of the morning tablets this morning, and will take three of the probiotic rebuilders tonight.

Due to four straight weigh-ins (and five straight weeks) of gaining, I am laying down "the 10 Commandments of Saturday "Cheats." Look for that post coming soon.

Brad and I took the Sequoia Bayview Trail to the West Ridge Trail (photos below), then walked a way along the West Ridge Trail. It was long (6+ miles) and we missed a turn at one point causing us to have to walk along the road, but not too hard in terms of steep ups and downs. Next week we will take the Sequoia Bayview Trail to the Big Trees Trail and see where that goes.

Lots of pictures taken this weekend. Click any of the thumbnails to enlarge.


me after hiking the Sequoia Bayview Trail me after hiking the Sequoia Bayview Trail (close-up)

me with Merlot me with Riesling & NutriSystem bear


me with Riesling wine me with Riesling wine & fat tummy

Xena preens me Xena & I me with a low-carb margarita

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

8 Interesting Things About Myself

I was blog tagged by Breadless Ms. B to blog about 8 interesting things about me. (She was tagged by Jimmy, who by the way, has a great blog about low-carbing the healthy way!)

This meme seems similar to the 5 Little Known Facts About Me I did last year, but I guess this one should be more focused on recent events, rather than little known facts from the ancient past.

1) Ever since Conference earlier this month, God has been taking more of a role in my life. You will recall I came home from Conference to find both my computer and satellite receiver broken. With no way to kill time at home, I sensed God was asking me to spend more time with Him. While I have not been perfect in talking to Him as much as I should, things have improved. It was a huge wake up call for me. (post 1 / post 2)

2) My weight loss is totally stalled ever since vacation. I came back from vacation and my tummy pooched out, the weight had piled on, and no matter what I do it will not come off.

3) I have been at the same job for several years (check the date of the check in kitchen). I never thought I'd be able to find something that I could do for so long, especially without hating it. I won't say I love my job, but at least I don't dread getting up and going to work each day. At least I have a fast computer there!

4) I have ow insuin levels, but normal blood sugar. This means that my cells are very sensitive to the effects of insulin so it takes less to keep my blood sugar in line. This is actually a good thing. In this high-carb world where most people have high insulin levels trying to keep their blood sugar in line, the low-carb diet has shown its healthful power again.

5) I take a medication that makes me hungry all the time. If I simply eat to satiety I actually gain weight because it takes a HUGE amount of food to make me feel full. Most people report that after being on a low-calorie diet for a while they can no longer eat as much as they used to. But the med I take messes with the hunger center in my brain. I am doomed to either feeling hungry 24/7 or being fat. Some choice.

6) I am a carbohydrate addict, an addiction that will never be cured. Like alcoholism, it can only be managed. But the addiction is always there, looming. I believe most people in the US are carb addicts and don't even know that it is a real addiction. I need to start a CAA group - Carbohydrate Addicts Annonymous.

7) I love animals and had dogs as pets growing up. I have also had pet rats and currently have two tabby cats.

8) I am a Christian Sabbath-keeper, believing in the so-called "Jewish" Sabbath on Saturday and holding it as sacred time. Instead of giving us a sacred place we have to travel to, God gave us sacred time that happens every week and cannot be stopped or destoyed by man as sacred places can be.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

New workout, muscle gain, & menses

Calories eaten yesterday: 1300
Fat: 35g (26%)
Carbs: 100g (33%)
Protein: 121g (40%)
Weight this morning: 137.8 (One week ago: 137.4)
Calories burned in exercise today: 262

A lot happened since my last post, so this is going to be rather long.

I went to the gym today and after my hour of weight training I tried out the treadmill workout in the new Muscle & Fitness Hers issue. Some part were easy and some part (okay, just the left and right sidestep) were exceedingly hard and I would lower the speed and/or cheat on the movement. I had to hold onto the treadmill to ever stay on my feet.

My 30 minutes of cardio flew by on this program and I felt great afterwords. I wasn't exhausted like I usually am after a workout, but I was sweating.

The magazine also suggested a high-GI carb after a workout. It raises insulin, which helps shuttle protein into cells. I don't expect it would have to be much, and as long as I kept my carbs in check the rest of the day it shouldn't make my total carbs go too high.

I wouldn't trust myself with a lot of high-GI carbs such as Cheese-It's or saltines, and sugar gives me acne so I want to stay away from that. I'm considering a slice of white bread with some sugar-free jam to make it more palatable, folded in half to make it more portable. It would only be on workout days. Insulin helps to shuttle protein into muscle cells and a high-GI carbs give a nice insulin spike.

I think a lack of insulin in my system might be keeping me from progressing (I have low insulin levels). At any rate, I'll think about it more and take a look at the carbs and calories in white bread the next time I am at the store. I'll also look at other high-GI foods that would be portable.

I had a cool NSV (non-scale victory) at the gym! After my workout I got dressed and this one woman walked into the dressing room and used a locker not far from mine. She asked me if I was drinking a Slimfast in my shaker container. I said no; it was an EAS shake with a scoop of whey powder mixed into it. I later added that I also threw in some BCAAs since it's supposed to help with muscle gain. She asked me if I was training for anything specific and I said no, I just wanted to get a bit buff and showed her one of my biceps. She seemed impressed.

She said that she's seen me for at least the last year at the gym. I said I've been coming for 2 1/2 years - 3 years this fall. She said I looked good. I said I started at Curves at over 200 pounds and came to 24 Hour Fitness when I was about 170. I've lost about 65 pounds. She was shocked and said that she just figured I was one of those women who could lose weight easily. I said no, it's been a real struggle and she asked me what the most important thing was. I said the single biggest factor has been diet, and that I cut out the starches and sugars - sugar in fact makes me break out. She said she has a hard time eating well. (She didn't look overweight to me. Her weight was good, her physique was good.)

My Parastroy and Candistroy came today. That was fast since I just ordered them online on Sunday! I'll cut out bread and start the Candistroy on Sunday. The GNC Complete Body Cleansing Program I am currently doing ends on Saturday.

Weekend plans: Hike with Brad Friday afternoon down the trail we did last week, but continue all the way to the West Ridge Trail. This involves a lot of down (and therefore a lot of up). I was too tired last week from giving blood but I am up for a challenge this week!

Saturday: Church and then Brad will cook dinner. I requested ham & cheese omlets (I'll have mostly whites in mine), with a side dish of sauteed veggies since Brad had a bunch left over that need to be used. The ham is turkey ham and the cheese is low-fat.

Today's Daily Dose on the NutriSystem site had this challenge:
* Make a list of 10 activities you will do from September 1st - December 1st that will help your weight loss.

For starters, how about the "fall cleaning" that many of us do around the house this time of year. That would count!

Or how about other activities that are unique to this time of year like apple picking, raking leaves or gardening. Also, note that yes, both Halloween and Thanksgiving are fair game here—so you can add "to-don’t" things ("I won’t eat the Halloween candy!") to your ten, too.

Ok, I can't do 10, but here's a few:
1) I won't eat Halloween candy. (Not hard since I'll be working that night and there won't be any candy in my house, lol.)

2) I'll continue going to the gym and walk to work on non-gym days unless it's raining.

3) I'll keep my calories below 1300 Sunday-Wednesday, and try not to let it get out of control on the other days (I drink alcohol on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and that tends to drive my calories up.

4) I will stick closely to my diet and eat healthier on my cheat days.

5) I'll try to eat about 140g of protein a day.

6) I'll fully clean one room, either the kitchen or bathroom and scrub down all surfaces.

Ok, skip the rest of this post if discussion of female issues will offend you. Don't make fun of me because you have been warned! Proceed at your own risk!

As many of you know, my periods have been strange. I started skipping late last year and would menstruate about every other month. In March of this year it just stopped completely and I haven't had one since then - until yesterday. Yesterday, out of the blue for no apparent reason, I started again. I'm going to monitor myself closely, but so far it appears to be a very typical period.

This period may explain a bunch of things - binging last Saturday. I think giving blood the day before combined with PMS cravings for carbs was just too much. I was also really grumpy yesterday and snapped at Brad for no real reason. I guess it was PMS. :)

By the way, working out really does help with menstrual issues. I popped three Advil this morning to head off any cramps before I got them (at that time there was a feeling of pressure and slight pain), and dragged myself off to the gym. By the time I finished my weights and new treadmill workout I was energized and felt great! Endorphins really does kick butt with the blah feeling that menstruation gives. You don't want to work out, but the pay off is worth it.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Week 24, Day 4

Calories eaten yesterday: 1280
Fat: 26g (19%)
Carbs: 95g (32%)
Protein: 140g (47%)
Weight this morning: 137.8 (One week ago: 138.4)
Calories burned in exercise today: 93

I still feel fat and bloated today. Need to keep working hard, keep calories low, and get this weight off! Come on, Whoosh Fairy! I need you!

I'm back into my size 8s today, but they are super tight and my belly hangs over. *sigh*

I picked up the new issues of Muscle & Fitness Hers today. It had an interesting article on nutrition, saying that for "strength athletes" (anyone engaged in a serious weight training program) the 0.8g of protein per pound of bodyweight may not be enough. The magazine recommend 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

I have not been eating enough protein. Even at 0.8g per pound I should be at 112g a day. I usually hit that, but not always, and I often don't get up to 1g per pound. I think I need to be eating more meat and soy (and fewer carbs to keep the calories the same). For example, if I cut out the bread on my burger (whether an NS burger or soy patty), I can have TWO burgers for nearly the same calories. :)

My minimum protein goal before this was 100g a day. My new minimum is 112g.

The inside of my thighs hurt today. It's that dang adductor machine at the gym. Oh well, a little pain means it's doing me some good! :)

I am tired. Bone deep tired. I just feel lazy. I didn't want to do anything that involved more than flat walking, but I walked to work anyway, even though there's a couple overpasses I have to get over. Thank God tomorrow is my Friday. I think the lower calories i am eating this week might be a factor.

I have another opportunity for some overtime. Brad is being kidnapped for some off site work so I was asked to do 12 hours that day. I forget the exact day, but it will be a Thursday (so I'll miss a workout) sometime next month. Maybe I can go to the gym Monday (usually an "off" day) to make up the missing day. That would mean going three days in a row, but sometimes that can't be helped.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Week 24, Day 3

Calories eaten yesterday: 1296
Fat: 34g (25%)
Carbs: 91g (30%)
Protein: 134g (44%)
Weight this morning: 138.8 (One week ago: 139)
Calories burned in exercise today: 263

I'm depressed that as of yesterday morning I was still 5 pounds above goal (142), but then I realized that that is my old goal and there was a time when that would have thrilled me. So I have to give myself some credit at least.

Where is my Whoosh Fairy, Grace? Except for the unfortunate incidents last Saturday, I've been pretty good since getting back from vacation, and she seems to have abandoned me. Come back, Grace, and give me whooshes!

I finally broke back into the 130s today. Maybe if I work really hard I might see an unofficial goal weight this week. Last week I didn't see it even one day, though I was at or below goal three days the previous week.

Everyone is telling me to eat more for my activity level. Hello? That's how I regained so much weight and ended up on NutriSystem to begin with! My metabolism is really slow.

I know my blood pressure is on the low side. Last Friday at the Red Cross it was 108/69. Low-blood pressure can cause a person to feel cold all the time, which I do, and being cold all the time surely is a sign of slow metabolism - I can't even keep myself warm. I know there are other causes of being cold - thyroid issues and iron deficiency to name two, but I have had both of these tested and they are fine. At any rate, I think my low blood pressure contributes to my feeling cold and likely to my slow metabolism. I should get a free T3 and T4 thyroid test, though. Need to ask my doctor about that.

Regarding God and weight loss, doesn't it all come down to gluttony? Yesterday I found this on the official NutriSystem forums, written by a lady named Sophia who started her weight loss at 294 pounds. She is currently 223 and wants to get down to 160.

To act as though I can walk around on this earth 134 pounds overweight at one point - stuffing myself with fatty foods and mis-treating the body that God created for my soul to live in - and then look down on ANY other sin as it being worse than me - that's just not the case. God loves us as a Father - and those of us who are parents can attest to the fact that when our children do something wrong - it hurts. Whether it's REALLY bad or KINDA bad or OMG- CAN'T BELIEVE THEY DID THAT - it hurts. And I believe our heavenly Father feels the same pain when we sin. So whether one particular thing is sin or not is NOT the issue for me. The issue is that I am NOT the judge. God is. And I've got this big ol' piece of lumber I gotta get out of my eye before I go peering into your eye for that little ol' speck that might or might not be there.

How many of us mistreat the bodies God gave us? We are stewards of the earth, and stewards of our own bodies. God expects us to take care of ourselves just as much as the rest of His creation. Crash diets and those poor in nutrition dishonor Him.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Week 24, Day 2

Calories eaten yesterday: 1240
Fat: 24g (19%)
Carbs: 94g (33%)
Protein: 132g (46%)
Weight this morning: 142 (One week ago: 139.8)
Calories burned in exercise today: 94

Why does my body want to be fat? Diets work for a while and then my body just slows down my metabolism until everything I eat gets stored as fat. My body truly hates me and wants to be fat and ugly. :-p I'm wearing my "fat" jeans again - size 8 WalMart which is like a size 10 anywhere else.

I'm working 12 hours today, 11 am to 11 pm. I need the money and was planning on "just" sleeping in. I say "just" because I really looked forward to it - but the money comes first. I still owe $425 on NutriSystem food and need all the money I can get. At least I didn't have to sacrifice a gym session for it this time.

To address the comment two posts back, the reason I pray for weight loss is an attempt to bring God into all aspects of my life. If He cares about the things that are important to us (as I believe He does), then He cares about my weight loss and fitness goals and I want to bring Him into that. I know He's not going to instantly make me slim and I'm not asking for that. I'm basically asking that my efforts at diet and fitness be fruitful.

Not much else going on. No exercise today except the walk from the BART station. Calorie-wise I may be over my 1300 goal tomorrow and will be over on Wednesday barring a miracle.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Week 23 Weigh-In

Start: 154
Week 1: 150 (-4) - Week 2: 148.6 (-1.4)
Week 3: 146 (-2.6) - Week 4: 147.2 (+1.2)
Week 5: 145.6 (-1.6) - Week 6: 144 (-1.6)
Week 7: 143 (-1) - Week 8: 142.8 (-0.2)
Week 9: 143.6 (+0.8) - Week 10: 141.2 (-2.4)
Week 11: 143.8 (+2.6) (carbed up for the race)
Week 12: 142.4 (-1.4) - Week 13: 142.4 (-0)
Week 14: 141.6 (-0.8) - Week 15: 139.4 (-2.2)
Week 16: 140 (+0.6) - Week 17: 139.2 (-0.8)
Week 18: 139 (-0.2) - Week 19: 138 (-1)
Week 20: 135.4 (-2.6) - Week 21: 137.2 (+1.8)
Week 22: 139.6 (+2.4) - Week 23: 143.2 (+3.6)
Total loss: -10.8

Ok, now to catch up on other numbers.
Calories eaten Thursday: 1304
Fat: 25g (18%)
Carbs: 65g (21%)
Protein: 151g (48%)
Weight Thursday morning: 137.4 (One week ago: 136.6)
Calories burned in exercise Thursday: 262

Calories eaten Friday: 1414
Fat: 28g (18%)
Carbs: 79g (23%)
Protein: 127g (37%)
Weight Friday morning: 138 (One week ago: 135.6)
Calories burned in exercise Friday: 219

Weight Saturday morning: 137.8 (One week ago: 136.4)
Calories burned in exercise Saturday: 0

Calories burned in exercise today: 350

Over 140! Eek! So here I am gaining again - three weigh-ins in a row of gaining, and a 3.4 pound gain over last week! Admittedly, I was so depressed yesterday that even though I didn't intend it, the day turned into a carb binge. Also, I gave blood on Friday so I think my body was cravings lots of extra food.

Today I am back on the straight and narrow with a goal of keeping my calories to less than 1300 each day. Also, since so much of my gain seems to be in my stomach (bloating), I am doing the GNC Complete Body Cleansing Program, a 1 week program of various supplements. I also ordered Candistroy and Parastroy and will use those when I finish with the GNC cleanse. I might follow that with a colon cleanse just for good measure, although with the amount of fiber I eat and the magnesium I take I doubt I need it.

I am desperate to find out how much of my weight gain is real and how much is just bloating. I'm not sure the cause of the bloat except that the BCAAs I was using may have gone bad. I threw out what little was left and opened a new canister.

As for exercise, I went to the gym today, AND then I also walked the last 1.5 miles to work from BART.

Brad decided he needed tomorrow off, so I'll be coming in 4 hours early and getting overtime. I planned on sleeping in tomorrow, so I guess I have the time. I really could have used the sleep, though.

As I mentioned above, I gave blood on Friday. This was my sixth time and I didn't get lightheaded at all (I usually do due to the drop in blood pressure). Here's the small size of the photos I took. Click on any of them to enlarge.

the blood donation room
the blood donation room


me giving blood
me giving blood (#6)

the snack room - carbohydrate nightmare
the snack area at the Red Cross

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm being good, but still gaining :(

Calories eaten yesterday: 1245
Fat: 28g (22%)
Carbs: 95g (32%)
Protein: 125g (42%)

Weight this morning: 137.8 (One week ago: 136.6)
Calories burned in exercise today: 262

Today is stress city here at work! The translator issues we've been having are still with us according to Marie Camping and Brad is not here to fix it, so I have been muddling though and talking to (and getting talked to) by a bunch of people so I can't get anything else done! Argh! And the stress is making me hungry.

I went to the gym. Felt good when I was working out, but as soon as I finished and got dressed I could see how fat I am and that depressed me. I haven't hit goal all week, so I am actually fatter than I was last week (!). My body hates me and is turning everything I eat into fat. I really do have a totally non-existent metabolism.

I've even prayed for weight loss and that isn't helping either.

The Zantrex-3 pills do give me energy, but don't help me lose. I bought more of the NanoSlim. I did lose weight while taking it, though that could just be due to diet.

I bought Magnesium and Omega-3 fish oil from Lupe downstairs at work since I am running low on those. And I need ZMA and more soy milk from the health food store.

I've been stalled since getting back from vacation. Why is my body doing this to me?!? I think I am doomed to be fat no matter how little I eat. :( Maybe giving blood tomorrow will help? (Yeah right!) :(

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Week 23, Day 4

Calories eaten yesterday: 1298
Fat: 30g (22%)
Carbs: 92g (30%)
Protein: 142g (47%)

Weight this morning: 138.4 (One week ago: 138)
Calories burned in exercise today: 88

There was a 3.2 earthquake last night at 12:13 a.m.! Kinda cool, but short. Just a few short jolts and that was it. Scared the cats when the shaking started, but at least they didn't run under the bed. Poor babies! I was sitting at my computer when it happened. The quake appears to have been on the Hayward Fault and very close to where I live in the East Bay.

There was also one on July 20. It was a 4.2 at 4:42 a.m. Woke me up and took me an hour to get back to sleep. There was a smaller 2.8 later than day that I didn't feel. I'll bet anything that this one was also on the Hayward Fault.

I'm officially stalled. I used to lose all week and gain on the weekends. Now I am still gaining on the weekends but I no longer lose during the week. My tummy is sticking out and hanging over my jeans so I am officially fat. I'm sticking to NS and eating only about 1300 calories a day and even with all my exercise it isn't helping. It's like my body takes every calorie I eat and stores it as fat.

No gym today since it was grocery day, but I did walk the last 1.5 miles to work from the BART station.

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Basil Chicken Breast with Tomato Sauce dinner - I don't know why I didn't discover this entree earlier. The carbs are fairly low and the protein high. But really, it's just an NS chicken breast with tomato sauce. I could do it myself for a whole lot fewer calories/carbs than NS does. Stick with the plain chicken breast dinner entree (160 calories) and dress it up yourself. You'll save calories over NS's way of doing it. 260 calories, 17g net carbs, 28g protein.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Week 23, Day 3

Calories eaten yesterday: 1284
Fat: 24g (18%)
Carbs: 131g (43%)
Protein: 115g (38%)

Weight this morning: 139 (One week ago: 140.4)
Calories burned in exercise today: 263

We got a new monitor on my work computer yesterday. It's so big that I was able to change the resolution without straining my eyes. I'm still SOL on my home computer, but at least I can now see the NS Website better - no more having screens running off the page because their IT department is too stupid to fix it. At least they are now saying they will fix it; that in itself is an improvement.

This is somewhat off topic, but if you are interested in the twisted beliefs of Scientology, there are some great videos on YouTube exposing them. Check it out!

Got a late start at the gym. On the bus I was so engrossed in my word puzzle that I missed my stop. I get to get off and wait for the bus going the other direction, walk a block to the transfer point (darn one-way streets) and wait for the bus down Broadway to the health club. I got started a good 20+ minutes late, but stayed late to get my whole 90 minute workout in. I worked out like a mad woman on the elliptical and am TOTALLY BEAT! Whew!

The gym was overrun with people today. I couldn't get a spot in the stretching area and had to do some of my ball exercises over near the ball rack and just try to stay out of the way. The lunch crowd left by 1 and then things were much more wide open. Maybe it was the class in the aerobics room. Any day there are noontime classes bring in more people than usual, and not all of them are there for the classes. I can avoid some of the crowds because the spinning class is M/W/F and I try to work out on S/T/Th.

Alright, onward and upward to lose all this fat I regained!

More NutriSystem food reviews:
Vegetarian Chili dinner - I used this as a lunch. It tasted okay, but it would be much better with meat instead of garbanzo beans (???). The Chili with Beans is much better. 210 calories, 23g net carbs, 19g protein.

Stroganoff Sauce with Beef and Noodles dinner - I liked this. It was rich and creamy. Too bad the calories and carbs are so high. 270 calories, 23g net carbs, 19g protein.

More reviews - and photos - coming! Stay tuned.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Week 23, Day 2

Calories eaten yesterday: 1349
Fat: 29g (20%)
Carbs: 98g (31%)
Protein: 152g (48%)

Weight this morning: 139.8 (One week ago: 145.6 - just got back from vacation and had a binge the day before)
Calories burned in exercise today: 94

Crap. I gained since yesterday. How did that happen? :( I guess I need to eat even less. Holy crap I am fat. And the free food someone sent me arrived today so my calories are going to be high. I was also craving a Subway sandwich and gave into a 6 inch turkey sub. No mayo or oil, just some mustard, and I added my own fat free cheese. I used it in place of my Atkins meal bar. But at 42g of carbs, plus all the extra carbs in the free carbs are really high today. My calories aren't much better and I need to get them down because I have a non-existent metabolism. I swear my body takes every calorie I eat and turns it into fat.

My butt is sore. I think it was a combo of the toe touch exercises yesterday plus 30 minutes on the Treadclimber.

Been thinking about the Scripture memory program this year. I think I will do the newest option of a whole chapter instead of just a verse or two per month (for only 8 months). This year the chapter is Isaiah 55. I read it this morning and I think it's doable. I'll also learn it better. With one verse a month I learn it well enough to repeat it, then promptly forget. A whole chapter will be harder to learn and drill into my head better. We can learn it in any version so I will of course choose NASB.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Week 22 Weigh-In

Start: 154
Week 1: 150 (-4) - Week 2: 148.6 (-1.4)
Week 3: 146 (-2.6) - Week 4: 147.2 (+1.2)
Week 5: 145.6 (-1.6) - Week 6: 144 (-1.6)
Week 7: 143 (-1) - Week 8: 142.8 (-0.2)
Week 9: 143.6 (+0.8) - Week 10: 141.2 (-2.4)
Week 11: 143.8 (+2.6) (carbed up for the race)
Week 12: 142.4 (-1.4) - Week 13: 142.4 (-0)
Week 14: 141.6 (-0.8) - Week 15: 139.4 (-2.2)
Week 16: 140 (+0.6) - Week 17: 139.2 (-0.8)
Week 18: 139 (-0.2) - Week 19: 138 (-1)
Week 20: 135.4 (-2.6) - Week 21: 137.2 (+1.8)
Week 22: 139.6 (+2.4)
Total loss: -14.4

Ok, now to catch up on other numbers.
Calories eaten Thursday: 1412
Fat: 28g (18%)
Carbs: 98g (29%)
Protein: 138g (40%)
Weight Thursday morning: 136.6
Calories burned in exercise Thursday: 261

Calories eaten Friday: 1344
Fat: 32g (21%)
Carbs: 85g (26%)
Protein: 132g (40%)
Weight Friday morning: 135.6
Calories burned in exercise Friday: 253

Weight Saturday morning: 136.4
Calories burned in exercise Saturday: 0

Calories burned in exercise today: 264

So, I gained 2 1/2 pounds on vacation. *sigh* My body really hates me. At least I'm under 140.

Well, praise God I am back online from home! I got a call from the computer guy Friday saying that he could fix it and that it would be ready Saturday. So Saturday afternoon Brad drove me over there and I paid him and picked up the computer. I've decided that the next time it dies I am buying a new one. The computer guy said he could transfer all my programs over from this computer to the new one, so I will probably have him do that.

Thank You God for "ungrounding" me and giving me my "toys" back! :)

With my computer back I was finally able to get my vacation photos off my camera. They are all up and can be seen here: General Conference 2007. Click on each thumbnail to enlarge it.

Friday Brad and I went hiking. We went to Robert's Park and hiked around, even running into the French Trail at one point, but we hiked another portion of the trail that we hadn't covered before. Next week I am supposed to give blood, so I told Brad that I'd need an easy hike.

Saturday Brad and I made popcorn and watched Pan's Labyrinth on Pay-Per-View. It was a good movie but Rated R and it was every bit of that "R." It's a Spanish film so is in Spanish with English subtitles. The Spanish title is El Laberinto del Fauno: "Faun's Labyrinth."

Brad still wants to see Ghost Rider. I told him we could Pay-Per-View it next week maybe.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Week 22, Day 5

Weight Monday morning: 145.6
Calories burned in exercise Monday: 90
Calories eaten Monday: 617 (no, that's not a typo)
Fat: 13g (18%)
Carbs: 13g (8%)
Protein: 119g (73%)
This was an all-meat day to detox from the carbs.

Weight Tuesday morning: 140.4
Calories burned in exercise Tuesday: 88
Calories eaten Tuesday: 1090
Fat: 30g (25%)
Carbs: 77g (29%)
Protein: 118g (84%)

Weight Wednesday morning: 138
Calories burned in exercise Wednesday: 87
Calories eaten Wednesday: 1070
Fat: 31g (27%)
Carbs: 76g (30%)
Protein: 104g (41%)

Weight this morning: 136.6
Calories burned in exercise today: 262

Since last week doesn't count, we pick up at week 22. There was no weigh-in Sunday of course since I was still gone.

Binged on Sunday - a planned binge since it has become tradition to binge the day I fly back from vacation. Got back in dieting mode Monday with an all-meat day to detox myself from the carbs.

Next Sunday I'll take an official weight and see the true damage done last week. I've been back to dieting since Monday this week.

My computer is still broken. I called the guy today and he is still trying to figure out what's wrong. It's not the hard drive, which is good. He said it could be the processor in which case it's a lost cause and has to be junked. He's going to try to replace the CD ROM drive next (it's been broken for ages) to see if he can run some diagnostics. Pray for me and my computer please.

I checked the history of Mac online yesterday, and my iMac was released in 1998, so my computer is about 9 years old. Mighty little computer to be so faithful for so long.

While trying to apply for a Juniper Visa card to possibly buy a MacBook with, I noticed they also had the Bill Me Later option. Bill Me Later is what I used to buy my NutriSystem food, so I am already signed up with them. If I have to buy a new computer I could just use them. Each transaction is approved separately, so I called and asked about my changes of getting a $2000 computer and they looked and my history and said a little over $2000 is fine, but not much higher than that. The lower end MacBook Pro would cost about $2,235 with the modem option and taxes. That is the one I am hoping to get if my computer proved unfixable.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Thoughts on God from Conference

This is long, and written more for myself than others. Feel free to skip this post. There may be more religious posts coming as God works with me to walk closer with Him.

Church is not about food; it is about worship. It's not about me; it's about God. I spend the whole service thinking about the snacks afterward when I should be living in the moment and worshipping God. There is a time for everything, and I have been mixing those up and letting them bleed into one another.

Joshua 24:19 - God is a jealous God. He must be first in our lives. I wonder, have I let my interest in diet and fitness become my God? There is nothing wrong with these interests unless they take the place of God in my life. Have I let this happen?

One night during worship at Conference I remembered the ring I wear on my wedding finger. It is a commitment I made to God, in His sight, to follow Him and be "married" to him. Where has that commitment gone?

While praying one night at Conference I told God that I have lost my first love! I was reminded of the messages to the seven churches in Revelation. One was told they had left their first love. I got up and got my Bible, found the passage and read it. In it were simple instructions - remember from where you have fallen, repent, and do the things you did at first.

My focus at Conference was on how fat and thin people were - I thought about it a lot, and there were a LOT of overweight and obese Baptists there. I don't believe we are any more fat than the rest of the U.S. We are just a microcosm of the country. But whatever happened to being in the world but not of it? We eat like the world, so we are overweight like the world.

You don't see this as much in the Adventist church. They eat a healthier diet. I don't believe they live longer because they are vegetarian; they live longer simply because they stay away from those high-carb (all refined), high-fat (lots of trans-fat) foods that are killing the rest of America. Don't Baptist owe themselves and God the same courtesy? The theme of Thursday's conference was the Holy Spirit. One speaker mentioned that we are temples of the Spirit. Shouldn't we be taking care of our temples better than we have?

Anyway, fat and thin and diet and such was my focus at Conference and that isn't right.

And then I come home to the computer and satellite TV being broken. There's a couple layers to this, too.

1) Last time I got money from my Dad and the property in Oregon God reminded me to tithe on it. I didn't. I've forgotten to tithe before, but this time God actually reminded me and I still didn't. It seems every time I don't tithe when I should, something bad happens to me dealing with money. One time my purse was snatched, and now I have a computer problem that is going to cost a lot of money to fix. It would have been easier just to tithe the $40 to start with because the computer repair will cost much more than that.

2) The computer and satellite TV are my two main distractions at home. I think God got rid of both of them so I can spend more time with Him. He wants me, He wants my devotion, He wants me to talk to Him, for He knows that my highest joy is in Him. Nothing on earth can fill that void.

I'm holding on to that "rope of hope" given to me at Sabbath School. Right now my only hope is in God. He hurts, but also promises to heal. All I can do is wait quietly for my healing.

It was a great help to me to study Lamentations in Sabbath School the day before all hell broke loose. Quoting from Andrew Samuel's comments on Lamentations (Helping Hand quarterly):

(Jeremiah) was somehow able to recognize that everything that was happening...was part of God's plan to discipline his people...He was acknowledging that since God allowed them to be suffering as they were, he was also the ticket to their redemption.

It takes good times and bad to make a mature person...Our Christian walk does not exempt us from the realities of life. It is a sobering thought to realize that just about every human experience that the non-Christian has, it is also possible for the Christian to have...Every tragedy that can befall an ungodly person, can also befall the godly individual. Christians can suffer from depression, mental illness, anxiety attacks, as well as psychological and emotional trauma.

Maybe your walls are falling in and the inner sanctuary of your life is being looted and burned...Maybe you feel like God is mad at you.

You can choose to stay in your pain and believe that you can't help how you're feeling. You can cave into the lies of the enemy and park in that place of desolation and ruin. You can focus on the problems and allow your outward affliction and your inner turmoil to so consume you you you fall apart.

It is okay to be honest with God. It is okay to express your true feelings to the Almighty like Jeremiah did. But, it is not okay to stay there.

Sometimes we become so self-focused that we have forgotten what God says about the valleys of life and that others have been there before and been victorious...We must engage our will. We must force ourselves to remember truth...Push God's faithfulness to the forefront of your mind, even when you don't feel like doing it.

The Father's correcting of his son is not a disinheriting of him. Whatever sorrow we are in, his hand is in it, and therefore we may be assured, it is but for a season.

Let's focus on God's love, mercy, and faithfulness. He does not promise to prevent problems from coming into our lives, but he does promise to go through them with us.

We can count on God's faithfulness when we mess up. Would you be ashamed for others to know everything you've said, done, or thought in the last seven days?...I know how much I've messed up and stand in desperate need of God's mercy.

Losing my first love is an issue God tried to get me to deal with a year ago. I didn't, and the problem has only gotten bigger in that time. So this year I am being forced to deal with it through the loss of my "toys." I feel like I'm grounded - "No computer or TV for you, young lady!" And the financial burden of the broken computer is weighing heavily on me, too. I simply don't have that kind of money. :( God, will you help me with this bill and the others that will be neglected because of this?

The title of this blog used to be "Stumbling To Bethlehem." This can still be seen in the URL ( That is me. Stumbling, barely staying upright, trying to get the a baby in a manger in Bethlehem.

As I got ready to post this entry, two things happened. First, my Direct TV receiver came and I got it set up and activated, so I now have TV again! Yay!

Second, my devotional reading the morning was very timely. It was all about how God comforts us in trouble and will someday make all things right.

August 8, 2007
The Sound Of Sirens

READ: Revelation 21:1-5

He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." —Revelation 21:5

I was enjoying my son’s high school soccer game when the relative calm and normalcy of that warm September afternoon was shattered by a sound both distinctive and alarming—the sound of sirens. The shrill whine seemed out of place at such a pleasant moment, and it demanded my attention. According to singer Don Henley, a siren usually means that "somebody’s going to emergency" or "somebody’s going to jail." He’s right. In either case, someone’s day, perhaps including the law enforcement or rescue personnel, just took a turn for the worse.

As I lost my attention on the game and thought about the siren fading into the distance, it occurred to me that sirens are a reminder of a powerful reality: Our world is sadly broken. Whether the siren tells us of criminal activity or personal tragedy, it reminds us that something is desperately wrong and needs to be made right.

At such times, it helps to remember that God sees our world in its brokenness and has pledged that one day He will wipe away the old and "make all things new" (Rev. 21:5). That promise encourages us in the hardships of life, and it provides the whisper of His comfort—a whisper that can drown out even the sound of sirens. —Bill Crowder

He is coming! "Star of Morning,"
All the faithful caught away,
When the trumpet, in a moment,
Ushers in the glad new day. —Dimmock

God’s whisper of comfort quiets the noise of our trials.

-From Our Daily Bread for August 8.

My computer may or may not be fixable. Brad told me that I could buy a MacBook on credit. I looked at it and it looks like I could get what I need for about $50 a month. I tried to apply for the credit today, but it said there was a problem so I have to wait and check back later.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Conference Journal, Day 8

Day 8
Sunday, August 5

I woke up just before my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. By 5 I had dressed and was on my way out the door, my luggage loaded on a golf cart for transport to the bus loading zone.

I ate my carbatious breakfast on the bus - a small chocolate muffin, one Pop Tart, a monster chocolate chip cookie, a blondie bar, and the last of my bread and peanut butter.

My plane left on time and the short flight was uneventful. Brad met me at the airport with the McGriddle I asked for. It was yummy! We then proceeded to McDonald's for lunch. I had a Quarter Pounder meal and a chocolate shake. Brad and I shared a McFlurry dessert. Then we went to my apartment and hauled my luggage upstairs.

I went to turn on the computer and...nothing. It dinged, a gray screen with a dark gray apple came up, and it just hung there! I couldn't turn it off either, except by unplugging it! I called the computer fix it guy I use and he tried to talk me through a couple fixes. It didn't help. He said to bring the computer over. Brad drove me and computer over there, he tried a couple things in person (also failures), and said if I wanted I could leave the computer there and he'd see what he could do. I said to go ahead and do it.

After that Brad and I headed for groceries, but I mentioned how much I was hoping for a Cinnabun, so he drove me all the way out to Concord to Sunvalley mall to get one! We shared a Cinnabun there, and on the way out I saw Hagen Dauz ice cream. I haven't had an ice cream cone in ages so I can a chocolate dipped cone (just the top had been dipped) with one scoop of Rocky Road ice cream. Yummy!

Then we went to Safeway for groceries, mostly veggies and cottage cheese, food I will need for the coming week that wouldn't have kept while I was gone. Then we went home.

I tried to eject a disk from my external CD reader, but I made the mistake of trying to eject it when it was upside down. This resulted in the disk getting stuff inside. I tried to take it apart, but couldn't get to the disk. Brad tried to take it apart and also couldn't get to the disk. So now that it broken, too.

Then I tried to turn off the Direct TV to have that as background noise while I unpacked my luggage and the groceries, and prepped all the veggies. It wouldn't turn on. I got the remote control. It still wouldn't turn on! The remote control worked on the TV and VCR, but not the Direct TV receiver.

At this point I broke down in tears. A person can only take so much.

After pulling myself together I called Direct TV and eventually got through the automated system to a real person. They said they would send out a new receiver at no cost (I have their protection plan). Unfortunately, they will only send it to my house, where it is much more likely to be stolen. They refused to send it to my work. I threw the phone across the room and broke down in tears again. I couldn't pull myself together for a while except that I knew I had so much to do. I finally got myself together, unpacked, and prepped the veggies. I got the laundry started and then Brad and I went out to dinner at Applebees.

I ordered a Mudslide and diet Pepsi to drink, and the quesadilla burger with fries for my meal. After finishing the Mudslide I ordered a glass of Riesling wine. We finished dinner by sharing a dessert of warm brownies and vanilla ice cream. It was all very yummy.

When we got home from that Brad took my "rope of hope" and tied a knot at the bottom. He says that when you get to the end of your rope you need to tie a knot and hang on!

Anyway, with my computer out of commission, pictures from Conference are on indefinate hold.

I have a lot more thoughts on God to share, but they deserve their own post. Watch for that coming.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

Conference Journal, Day 7

Low-Carb Hell
Day 7
Sabbath, August 4

Settle in. This is a long post.

Breakfast was a half hour later than usual - 7:30 a.m. - followed by Sabbath School. I chose one using the Helping Hand lesson because it was from Lamentations and I didn't want to miss it. We played a sort of "Wheel of Fortune" kind of game where we had to pick letters and try to guess a phrase. The phrase turned out to be "God gives us a rope of hope to help us cope." At the end our teacher handed out short lengths of braided rope to remind us of hope.

After this was morning worship. Once again there was no communion. I don't suppose that will ever be brought back, even though it's so important. Conference is the only time all year that SDBs as a group come together, and what better way to picture out unity as a people than through communion - comm-union.

Worship was followed by lunch. Everything was starches and sugars. The two meats dishes - ham and chicken - were drowned in sugary sauces. There were only two dressings available for the salad - ranch, which is too high in fat and calories, and pesto, which I dislike.

I started with a big plate of veggies, then found some vinegar at the empty salad bar and got a big plate of salad. My only protein? The peanut butter sandwich I brought.

I then went to my room to begin packing for my flight home. I also ate some turkey pepperoni I brought from home.

Next I went to the Awards and Recognitions ceremony at the auditorium. After they handed out the packets of certificates for the Scripture memorization program I checked my church's packet and I didn't have one. I talked to the head of the Board of Christian Education. He said he thinks he was handed my name at Conference. Anyway, I should receive one eventually.

And now, dinner and a rant about something that happened at dinner. The dinner choices were much better than lunch. There were french dip sandwiches (I just asked for the beef in a bowl), chicken (no sugary sauce!), and tofu. The tofu has a sweet sauce, but it was easy to scrape off.

During dinner an SDB lady came over and began talking to the two people I was sitting with. The topic turned to food and diet and how good the food has been at the college. There were vegetarian choices, and they even accommodated a - one - vegan SDB at the woman's banquet where none of the choices were friendly to her.

After listening to all this I finally spoke up and said that the one choice they didn't accommodate was low-carb. The lady said that they couldn't accommodate everyone and the low-carbers would just have to "suck it up," that one week wouldn't hurt them. She didn't seem happy when I told her that the last time I tried that (for my glucose tolerance test) I gained 10 lbs. that did not come off.

So let me get this straight. The college is willing and able to accommodate vegetarians and even vegans, but low-carbers aren't even thought of? Doesn't it seem odd that vegans are considered normal and catered to, but low-carbers are expected to betray their beliefs (the only group that is asked - even expected - to do so) and stuff their faces with carbohydrates because - as everyone knows - carbs are good for you. If you are a low-carber I hope this outrages you as much as it does me.

There were very few hot food I could eat at Conference, so what did I eat? Lots of vegetables and salads. I found plain tuna in the salad bar and loaded my salad with with it for protein. There was also cottage cheese, so I would often have a big bowl of that.

After dinner was the new president installation. This is really a worship service where instead of the sermon, the new president gives a speech and announces the Conference theme for next year. The president of the Conference this coming year is Andrew Samuels from Miami, Florida.

Then there was fellowship and snacks. I went back to my room first and brushed my teeth, then checked the snacks and grabbed a couple of high-calorie, high-carb goodies for breakfast Sunday. Then I turned in my key and went to bed.

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Conference Journal, Day 6

Free Friday
Day 6
Friday, August 3

Had breakfast, then cut morning worship to get a shower. I barely made it to the morning Bible study at 9:15. The study was about the sheep and goats and how the lost really are lost (the theme for today is "The Lost Really Are Lost"). I took lots of notes. After Bible study I had only one blank sheet in my current sermon notebook. Good thing I brought another one with me.

After Bible study was business with the Reference and Counsel stuff brought back and passed. There was also other business and then the official business of the conference was declared closed! Yay! I came to the computer lab to post a blog entry, then had lunch.

After lunch there was literally nothing to do until dinner. I called Brad on my cell and chatted with him as I explored the campus and its trails. Then I did some shopping at the campus bookstore and bought some blank journals (two for me, one for my sister) and some pens.

I came back to the computer lab again and then went to dinner.

After dinner was Sabbath Vespers with the men's choir. This was followed by evening worship. The sermon was entitled, "Hell Is Real: Help Someone Escape."

After worship was fellowship time and bed.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

Conference Journal, Day 5

Spirit and Truth
Day 5
Thursday, August 2

There was french toast at breakfast, all sugary and delicious. I love french toast so had a little cheat and had one piece. I have to be on the 4 a.m. bus to the airport, so there will be no regular breakfast, and there will likely be no bag breakfasts on Sunday, so I'll have to swipe stuff Saturday during the day so I have something to eat Sunday.

Morning worship was a hymn sing, so I went to that because I really like hymns. Then there was morning Bible study on the topic of "The Spirit Indwells." Then another boring report and committee time. I skipped listening to the reports and came to the computer lab to post my blog post. (Speaking of which, there will be no post Saturday or Sunday since I will not have computer access on Saturday and will be too tired on Sunday. So after Friday I will see you all Monday and catch up.)

Eventually lunch came. There was no hot food I could eat so I had the peanut butter and bread I brought, plus a large salad and a bowl of cottage cheese.

After lunch we had seminars. I went to the second half of the Sabbath history seminar.

Then it was time for business and the reading of the Reference and Counsel committee's report (among others, including adding four churches to the General Conference and dropping one church which had disbanded - a net gain of three churches). One issue was bounced back to Reference and Counsel and they met right after the business session, but I left before they met to get in 45 minutes on the treadmill at the fitness center.

Then dinner and evening worship. The topic was "Results of the Indwelling of the Spirit." The speaker was Stan Fox, the pastor from one of the churches that had officially been welcomed in earlier. As usual, worship was followed by fellowship and then bed.

I have the dates and whereabouts of next year's General Conference. It will be held at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin from August 3-9. 2008.

Re: the BJC - For anyone who cares, the final vote tally was 234 votes for leaving and 279 for staying. That a margin of just 45 votes - close indeed.

I see a theme this week. Tuesday's Bible study and evening worship focused on God and His word, Wednesday focused on Jesus, and Thursday focused on the Holy Spirit.

Ok, see you all Monday and have a great weekend all!

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Conference Journal, Day 4

The BJC Issue - Still With Us
Day 4
Wednesday, August 1

I sure am sleeping better with no roommate this year. I love it! :)

After breakfast was morning worship. After it was finished, while waiting for morning Bible study to begin, I saw an announcement about checking airport transportation at registration. I walked to registration and I was not on the list! I wrote my name and airline down, along with the day and approximate time. I'll go back later and give them my flight number and exact time.

The morning Bible study was on Christ being Divine. Pretty basic stuff that all SDBs would believe. Then came the Tract Counsel presentation. They always present their information in a funny skit. They get great attendance! I skipped the next presentations and took some time to post here, then went to lunch.

At lunch they finally had something I could eat - burgers! I got two without the bun, and used my low-carb bread on one to make a proper burger. But there was no cheese! :( I also had a heaping serving of hot veggies (various squashes), and a large salad from the salad bar. No-sugar-added hot cocoa (brought from home) was "dessert."

After lunch was more business in the auditorium with the reading and adoption of various reports. My committee had a couple of issues referred to us, one of them involving the Baptist Joint Committee and that we should send them a letter asking for dialogue. Someone broke down the numbers to percentages and 54% of the votes were to stay and 46% were to leave. That's a close vote. Of course, the BJC had to spin it in their favor:

Strengthening The Baptist Coalition

Word on the street is that Seventh-Day Baptists have voted to remain affiliated with the Baptist Joint Committee at their General Conference. That's fabulous news! Baptists everywhere are reclaiming our heritage of religious liberty for all, a cause best served through a strong commitment to the separation of church and state: that means a robust Establishment Clause and an equally healthy Free Exercise protection. In my view, simply put, there is no more effective religious voice in Washington, D.C. for that principle than Brent Walker, Holly Hollman and the Baptist Joint Committee, a Baptist institution that has been educating and advocating on Capitol Hill for more than 70 years.

They hail this as a victory when it was in fact a very close vote, and I know for a fact that some people voted to stay in the BJC simply because no dialogue with them had occurred, no attempt to work our the concerns we have. I think once this dialogue takes place (and accomplishes nothing), then another vote some time in the future will have very different results. It won't happen anytime soon, but I believe SDBs will eventually leave the BJC.

At any rate, our committee hammered out a proposal relatively painlessly of who should write a letter to the BJC and the kinds of things it should say (express our concerns and open dialogue). With that, my committee's work was done for the week and I can now more fully enjoy vacation.

When we finished it was still an hour until dinner time, so I went to the fitness center and walked on the treadmill for a while. Then I had dinner and relaxed a bit before evening worship. The theme for evening worship was "God with us." After the service was the usual - fellowship time with some snacks and then bed.

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