A Watched Pot Never Boils


April 2019; 10 lbs down

In July, I decided to visit my first ever WW leader (coach) at one of her Friday morning workshops. When she saw me, asked how I had been doing. Over the summer, I basically maintained within a 2-3 pound range, but at the time, I was down about 15 pounds.

“So, you’re down 1 to 2 sizes?”

I wasn’t. My clothes really weren’t fitting any differently at that point. To be honest, I was a tad frustrated. After all, you always hear stories about people who are getting smaller, but not seeing progress on the scale. I was seeing progress on the scale (15 pounds in 3.5 months). I wasn’t seeing progress where it actually mattered.

However, my leader’s reaction- something about the look on her face- hurt. I felt ashamed for something I wasn’t sure how to fix.

During Brianna’s Tuesday Night Livestream a few nights ago, we were talking about body love, body postivity, and self-love. I mentioned that I was working out now, not because I felt like I needed to, but because I actually wanted to. I have gotten to the point where I actually enjoy how it makes me feel. I said that the fact that I feel better is more important than anything else.

I didn’t force myself to start exercising because I wanted to burn calories. After all, I’ve been doing this thing long enough to know that nutrition is more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss. I also didn’t force myself into it because I thought I “should” do it.

I did it because I saw how excited Brianna got when talking about her Body Pump classes. I wanted that. I had always heard that exercise was supposed to make you feel better, but it never actually happened for me. I thought it might be some kind of urban legend. Seeing Brianna’s passion for her Body Pump classes gave me hope that maybe it wasn’t some myth. (Though, I wasn’t quite convinced it would actually work for me).

So, I started working out daily beginning September 22, 2019. Every single day I did something. In mid-November, I cut back to working out 6 days (now, I do 5-6).

The first time I actually felt good after finishing a workout was on Thanksgiving Day.


October 2019- the day I started to see progress

It was sporadic. Some times, exercise made me feel great. Other times, it made me feel terrible. Often, it didn’t really do much of anything. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I actually started feeling good consistently after working out- to the point where I actually get excited to work out.

When I mentioned that I was focusing more on things like how exercise made me feel,  Brianna asked a question that I never answered, in part because I didn’t realize what the answer was until the next day:

“What is happening because of those things?”

When I did my restart in September, I switched my focus to my mental health. During my Whole30, I suspected eating sugar impacted my anxiety, so it made sense to switch from PointsPlus to SmartPoints to see if cutting back on sugar would make a difference. (I didn’t trust myself to cut back on sugar on PointsPlus). I started working out because I thought it might make me feel better (and because I realized that it might help me manage my anxiety by training my body to respond to that stress).

The number on the scale? The size of my pants? Those were secondary.

In October, I finally started to see physical changes in my body. I had only been working out for about a month at that point. I was down about 5 pounds from when I restarted; 15.4 pounds from my starting weight in March- just 0.4 pounds under where I was that morning when I was made to feel bad about my lack of progress.

I don’t think 0.4 pounds makes that big of a difference. I also don’t think 4 weeks of Leslie Sansone videos was long enough to see that kind of progress.

I think it was more than that. I think it was simply the fact that I stopped looking. My focus became my mental health. Weight loss became a side-effect of the actions I was taking to help myself manage my anxiety.


February 2020

And when I stopped focusing on what the number on the tag on my jeans said, that’s when it started to change.

I’m down just under 40 pounds from where I was a year ago (nearly 25 pounds since September). However, I still stand by what I said Tuesday night. How I feel is far more important than what the number on the scale says.

Does this mean I’m not frustrated that my losses have slowed down right when I’m so close to hitting the 25 pound mark? Of course not! I’m only human. However, despite my frustrations that I’m so close to hitting that next milestone (and not that far off from getting into the next decade) and I keep missing it, I still feel really good.

If the scale needs a little more time to catch up to how I feel, then that’s fine. Until then, I’m just going to focus on how amazing I feel.

My Whole30 Experience

The first time I attempted a Whole30 was in September 2012. At the time, I worked part to full time as an on-call teacher at a daycare center. In the evenings after work, I babysat three kids, almost 2, almost 5, and almost 8.

My first attempt at a Whole30 lasted 5 days. On day 6, one of the schools I worked at (I rotated between three locations) hosted an open house. I was there on a volunteer basis (as I had been several other times before I actually worked there). I was put on cotton candy duty. Unfortunately, the cotton candy machine was slightly defective. It still worked, but the cover was missing. This meant that on day 6 of being on a restrictive diet that eliminated many foods- including sugar- I was in a room where cotton candy  floated around my head. It was basically over at that point.

I made some other half-hearted attempts at a Whole30 after that, but it wasn’t until last year that I actually completed a full Whole30.

I started January 27, 2019 and completed my Whole30 on March 2, 2019. That’s thirty-five days without eating any sugar, grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, or alcohol. I did very well staying on top of things. In addition to following the rules about what was allowed and wasn’t allowed, I put an effort into following the meal template and suggested guidelines. I did not snack between meals. I limited my intake of fruit and pretty much avoided compliant treats like RxBars (until the last 5 days). I made sure to include protein, fat, and vegetables with every single meal.

When I stepped on the scale on March 3, 2019 I was down about 2 pounds. Now, I understand that Whole30 is not necessarily intended to be a weight loss diet, but at 194 lbs, I was hoping that cleaning up my diet would give me the nice boost I needed despite the fact that I was following Whole30 rules about not measuring or tracking my food.

I think I could’ve overlooked the lack of results on the scale if I saw any other major improvements. I didn’t have more energy or clearer skin. I didn’t discover any problematic foods. I never experienced any of the “magic” of the Whole30. I think the only potential benefit was that it clued me into the idea that sugar affects my anxiety, but my switch back to SmartPoints taught me more about that (and I still eat sugar!)

That’s not to say that the experience was completely terrible. I think the biggest thing that all of my Whole30 experiences (both the successful run and my failed attempts) did was expand my diet. Now, I’ve never exactly been a picky eater, but when your food choices are limited, creativity is a must. There were foods that are considered Whole30 staples that I either had never tried or was convinced I hated. Foods like mayo and coconut oil. Over the years, I went from gagging while making deviled eggs because I couldn’t stand the smell of mayo to enjoying foods like chicken salad to eventually enjoying roasted veggies dipped in mayo. (I also learned that Primal Kitchen mayo trumps all; I’ll even put it on my sandwiches now!).

I also learned to enjoy foods I knew I liked in a different way. When my Misfits Market box arrived with celery, instead of serving it with nut butter every time, I tried roasting it. It was absolutely amazing. Another staple in my diet were sardine salads. I mixed a can of in-water sardines (Aldi brand) with hearty vegetables (my favorite is the Chopped 8 mix from Trader Joe’s, but any chopped salad mix with cabbage, kale, and the like works as well), and some salad dressing (Primal Kitchen- either Greek or Lemon Turmeric).

I think my biggest complaint about the Whole30, for me, is that it definitely messed with my brain. I became afraid of eating fruit for fear that it would trigger my inner “sugar dragon.” I’ve gotten anxious if I have a breakfast that doesn’t include a vegetable (which doesn’t happen very often). It’s taken a lot to break some of those food rules.

That being said, I’m not opposed to giving the Whole30 another try. While I know it’s not officially a Whole30 because I’d be breaking the rules about not measuring and tracking, I’m curious to see how I’d manage a Whole30 compliant diet while on WW. I wonder if tracking my points, actually working out, and following a strict diet would prove beneficial.

I don’t have any solid plans to actually try a Whole30 again soon. For now, I’m just going to keep on doing what I’ve been doing which includes scattering in some Whole30 compliant meals into my diet.

Day 6: “But because I knew you…”

Day 6: Five people who mean a lot to you.

  1. Pam

    She started out as simply being a babysitting client, but things changed fairly quickly. Pam was absolutely instrumental in my decision to cut ties with my former best friend. Impromptu lunch and walk dates, spending time after the kids go to bed eating mango baked with butter and cinnamon, and just spending time together.

  2. Kelly

    It’s not very often that I get a text message inviting me to come over for an impromptu day of hanging out, playing board games, or even the occasional babysitting job. (And now that she’s in another state, this happens even less frequently). While I may struggle to open up with her in some ways, that doesn’t seem to matter. (And bonus: her kids are absolutely adorable).

  3. Brianna

    So, we’ve only ever communicated online- and we’ve never had a face to face conversation even through video chat. Yet, despite that, Brianna has become a really great friend of mine during the past few months. She drives me crazy with her tough love sometimes (and I’m sure I drive her crazy as well), but at the end of the day, this friendship has absolutely changed my life and is continuing to change me.

  4. Alex

    We’re no longer friends. We stopped speaking years ago and I’m pretty sure we’re never going to speak again. I’m ok with that. While we were great friends, our friendship also became toxic. Still, you can’t be best friends with someone for nearly a decade and not be changed by them.

  5. Leah

    Leah was the first one to invite me to an event with people from church that wasn’t an official church function (and I wasn’t even attending the church at the time!) That was something I had never experienced before. The idea of someone inviting me to a movie night or to stay for dinner was absolutely foreign to me. Yet, it was something as simple as including me and bonding over grocery shopping that eventually led me to going to church again after I had given up hope.

Day 5: “When it’s dark, look for stars.”

Day 5: Six things that make your day.

  1. Good morning/good night texts

    I will often initiate sending a friend a message telling them I hope they have a great day. Usually, if I get a response, it’s a simple “You too!”

    However, there are times when someone will be the first to send that message. It doesn’t even have to be a good morning/good night text. I had a friend send me a book quote once because she read it and thought of me. That was a few months ago and thinking about it still makes me smile.

  2. Consideration for my mental health

    Yesterday, I was mentioning to Brianna that I really need to try Body Pump. What can I say? As much as the idea completely terrifies me, I’m intrigued. I want to see, first-hand why she loves it so much.

    When she agreed that I do need to try it, Brianna mentioned that the music is pretty loud and that I should prepare myself. Loud music, especially in a situation that makes me uncomfortable (like working out with other people- pretty much my nightmare haha) can be a trigger for my anxiety issues.

    Now, obviously, the Queen of Tough Love won’t let me use my anxiety as an excuse to avoid things, but the fact that she knew that this could potentially be an issue for me and gave me a little warning was appreciated.

    It’s little things like that. A friend inviting me to sit with them at church despite knowing that I have panic attacks- or even offering to let me sit with them in the church’s “family room” where the volume level is lower. They never let me use my anxiety as an excuse, but they are at least considerate of the fact that I struggle with it.

  3. Spending one on one time with friends

    This almost never happens. My social life is primarily online and, for the most part, I’m ok with that. True, it would be nice to have friends I can go out to Starbucks with, but I just don’t. The few friends I have are busy with their own families and lives. I do attend a couple WW workshops each week and I’m at church every Sunday, but that’s not the same. I struggle in group conversations. It’s when I get to spend time with one person that I can actually open up and feel somewhat “normal.”

  4. Finishing my day early.

    I work as a dishwasher at a bakery. Well, actually, I wash dishes, mop floors, clean the bathroom, and take out the trash. It’s a good job. My boss is fantastic. However, the hours are a little unpredictable. my hours are, in general, based on the bakers and their workload. I pretty much work until the pans are all cleaned and put away. If the bakers are there until 5pm, then I’m likely to be there until close to 7- even if I’m scheduled to leave at 4.

    On the other hand, if there are fewer batches and/or the bakers work quickly, I can just as easily walk out of work early. I love those days where I’m able to check off all of my little boxes of daily activities early. Often, I’m sitting down for dinner at 9pm. Since I get up at 5am on work days, there are days when I’d rather be asleep around then. I don’t always go to bed early when I have a day when I finish everything I need to do earlier in the day. Sometimes, I’ll spend the time watching a show and knitting. Other times, I might sit and do absolutely nothing. However I spend that time, I can definitely feel the difference in my anxiety and energy levels when I’m able to have that time to stop and breathe.

  5. “Old Fashioned” Etiquette

    So, I’m pretty sure this one only happened once or twice, but I’m struggling with these last two things, so I’m including it. Years ago, I was driving when a police officer saw me, made eye contact, and tipped his hat. It was a tiny gesture, but it stuck with me. Little things like that can absolutely make my day.

  6. Someone (whose opinion I value) telling me they’re proud of me for a specific reason.

    Hearing “I’m proud of you” from just anyone isn’t enough for me. In fact, most of the time, I’ll roll my eyes. After all, I hear it frequently from people who are two-faced. How can I trust someone who tells me that they’re proud of me one minute, but that I’m a complete failure the next?

    However, there are some people whose opinions I do value. I don’t always agree with them, but I know that they truly care about me. Hearing “I’m proud of you” from someone like that absolutely makes my day- especially if the person knows I’ve been struggling with something.

Day 4: These are the Thoughts That Consume Me

 Day 4: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.

  1. Completely random, fictional scenarios.

    Sometimes, they can be a possible future conversation with a friend. Other times, I put myself in scenarios that are pretty much guaranteed to never happen. I will often repeat a small snippet of the scene over and over on a seemingly endless loop. It’s a habit that was somewhat useful when I wrote fiction. Nowadays, I’m pretty sure it just fuels my anxiety.

  2. Song lyrics.

    I feel like this might be a universal one, but I almost always have at least one song stuck in my head. Of course, now that I’ve said that, I realize that this is one of the rare times I don’t have a specific song stuck in my head. Figures.

  3. Meal Plans

    Ok, so I’m not really much of a meal planner. Most of the time, I throw my meals together with little planning. The fact that I have my dinner pre-tracked for tonight is actually unusual.

    However, even though I’m not much into meal planning, I still do a little. If I know I have an event coming up, I’ll come up with some ideas for light meals to fill out the rest of my day- even if I don’t decide on any specifics until the time comes. There are also times when I might decide that I’ll have a meal kit meal- even if I’m going to wait until it’s time to cook before I actually select which meal I want to eat.

  4. My Fitbit

    I’m sure I’ll be slightly less obsessive about this one in a couple of weeks. Right now, I’m in week 5 of a 6-week StepBet, so I’m constantly checking my FitBit to see where my step count is. At the moment, I am at 8,859 steps an I need to get to  12,239 steps for an Active Day, 14,798 for a Power Day. I’ll definitely be headed to the gym after I finish up my iced tea and can get a refill.

    I have gotten better about obsessing about my steps. A few weeks ago, I was on a mission to hit 10,000 steps each and every day- no exception. Now, I’m at least taking the pressure off myself for Sundays. I don’t know what my goals will be post
    StepBet, but I’m definitely going to keep Sunday as a rest day.

  5. Being good enough.

    It’s a constant struggle. I’m afraid that, at any moment, I will mess up… again. I overreact to anything that isn’t completely positive feedback. I will literally hurt myself if necessary to achieve some level of perfection that, to be honest, I’m not sure exists. In my eyes, any mistake can be the end. Clock in from lunch 20 seconds late? Fired. Get into a disagreement with a friend? No more friend.

  6. Lies

    I suppose this goes along with “being good enough,” but I think this one deserves its own category. The lie that I will never be good enough. The lie that I am stupid, ugly, worthless, unlovable. The lie that I will always be a failure.

  7. Money/Finances

    I’ve struggled with finding and maintaining employment for a while. When I am working, it’s generally for jobs at or just barely above minimum wage. Needless to say, I’m 28 and still living at home with my parents because I can’t afford to move out. In fact, there are times when I can’t afford to buy groceries for the week or put gas in my car.

    Things are getting better- slowly, but money (and more specifically worry about it) is definitely something that I think about constantly

Day 3: This List Keeps Changing; I Don’t Trust It

Day 3: Eight things you couldn’t live without.

  1. IMG_20191207_133253_314Walking/Running Shoes

    In 2007, after a trip to Six Flags with my youth group, I came home in pain- a lot of pain. That trip, quite literally, left me unable to walk. I ended up using crutches for a time because one foot couldn’t stand to bear any weight.

    A similar thing happened later that year. I was working as a cashier at a local grocery store (my first “real” job outside of babysitting). Standing in one spot for 4-6+ hours just about killed my feet. The pain got so bad that I had to take about 3 months off from work and go to physical therapy.

    Now, I technically should be wearing custom orthotics, but I don’t. I never replaced the ones I got in 2007 that wore out. I do, however, find that simply having a solid pair of walking/running shoes makes a huge difference. I’m fairly brand loyal. If I’m doing a workout or in a position where I’m going to be on my feet for an extended period of time, I wear a pair of Asics shoes. (Of course, I also have a collection of other shoes that I will wear; my feet have gotten a lot better over the years).

    More recently, I’ve become more selective of my shoe choice. A year ago, I would’ve picked the prettiest Asics off the sale rack. Now, I’m starting to stick to the GTs-2000 or Gel Kayano lines because those are the shoes designed for people with flat feet. I must say, it’s making a huge difference. My work shoes are solid black (uniform requirement) Gel Kayanos. I can be on my feet for as many as 9 hours in a work shift- plus I work out for close to a hour or longer immediately after work. Between the weight loss and shoes, I am experiencing minimal foot pain at the end of the day.

    In April, at about 20-30 pounds heavier and in different style of shoe, an 8-hour day of being on my feet left me in so much pain I needed to take twice the recommended dosage of whatever painkillers I had just to sleep.

  2. Books

    I’m not a paper book person- except for picture books. I got away from that years ago. In July 2010, I ordered a new Amazon Kindle E-Reader right before my return flight to New Jersey after I lost my nanny job in Arizona. It just made sense. I liked the idea of being able to bring all of my books with me instead of needing to select which books i wanted to pack in boxes to be shipped and which ones were worth going into my carry-on luggage for me to enjoy on the plane.

    Plus, with the limited space I have, e-books just make sense.

    I’m not just including my Kindle here though. I definitely count audiobooks as well. I spend much of my work day listening a book on Audible or Scribd. I also prefer audiobooks over music when I’m driving much of the time.

    I do wish I had time to read more- really read. I was getting into the habit of reading every night, but that slipped away a few weeks back. I kept falling asleep while reading. I definitely need to figure out how to make the time to sit down with a book. It’s hard though; it may be the one thing I can’t multitask while doing.

  3. Phone/Tablet/Computer

    To be honest, I can probably get by with only one of these items as long as that one item has internet access. However, the three are so closely intertwined that I feel like I can lump them all together as one.

    I know it seems like a fairly stereotypical “millenial” answer to include this on my list, but a connection to the internet and social media is actually pretty important to me. It takes a lot of effort for me to connect with people. Forming relationships is especially difficult. Being able to connect via text message or other social media channels actually helps me a lot. It keeps me from completely isolating myself from society. Plus, I often find that if I can spend some time chatting with someone via screen, it makes it easier to talk with them in person.

    Many of my friendships were formed by, first, chatting online.

  4. Art Projects

    I have to have some kind of art project in progress at all times. Now, I’m not always the best at actively working on it, but I have to have it there. Sometimes, it means having a collection of coloring books and art supplies. Other times, it’s a loom knitting project.

    Whatever it is, I have to have something creative available. I need to be able to keep my hands busy when I’m feeling anxious or stressed. Plus, it’s just plain fun.

  5. EFFECTS.jpgMy Cat

    Ok, technically, I have three cats. Really, they’re family pets- even though the fat one, Eddy, is totally mine. Still, anyone who knows me knows that I am a proud crazy cat lady. I’m currently writing this wearing my black cat pajama pants and my Batman cat (Batcat!) t-shirt.

    I honestly don’t know how I’d manage life without at least one cat. Not that I’m against other pets. I dog sit and I’ve had rats in the past, but cats definitely hold a special place in my heart.

  6. Food

    Well, I mean, can anyone live without food? No.

    However, for the sake of this post, I’m speaking more in terms of specifics. There are definitely a lot of staples in my diet that I don’t do well without:

    -Sugar Snap Peas
    -Frozen vegetables
    -Tuna pouches or canned sardines
    -Deli meat
    -Peanut butter
    -Cauliflower Gnocchi
    -Cauliflower Rice
    -Frozen chicken breast
    -Chicken Sausage
    -Frozen Salmon

    I’m sure there’s more, but these seem to be the things I’m constantly making sure I have available.

  7. Starbucks

    I’m not much of a coffee drinker. I do like the idea of having a cup in the morning and I will indulge in some black cold brew occasionally, but, in general, coffee and I don’t get along. I suppose it’s one of the downsides of having an anxiety disorder (or 3).

    However, I am an tea drinker. I love iced tea. Lately, I’ve been opting for green tea on Sunday mornings between weighing in at WW and going to church, but I also like the white tea quite a bit.

    I don’t go to Starbucks daily. I might stop to eat my lunch and get a drink after work if I skip my break and/or get off early. Most of the time, however, my visits are reserved for Sunday mornings.

    It’s not about the drinks anyway. It’s more about the experience. Sometimes, I go to work on a writing or knitting project. Other times, I go because being home is unbearable for some reason (heat, family issues, etc). For me, it’s an escape.

  8. img_20190827_162921_01.jpgWater Bottle

    I keep a water bottle with me at all times. Currently, I’m using a Klean Kanteen TK-Wide. The 32 oz is the perfect size for my trenta iced teas from Starbucks, but I also drink still and sparkling (unsweetened) water. I love trying the seasonal Polar Seltzer flavors twice a year.

    I’ve become more selective about my water bottles over the year. They need to be stainless steel, wide mouth, insulated bottles with a straw lid.

    I will not go anywhere without a water bottle. The fact that it gets me a 10 cent discount at Starbucks is just an added bonus.


Day 2: Sometimes, I Wish I Could Travel Back in Time

Day 2: Nine things you remember from your childhood.

  1. Obesesssions

    I went through several obsessions in elementary school. They dictated the games I played with my friends and the stories I wrote for my school assignments.

    Most notably, my obsessions included:

    First Grade: The Babysitter’s Club Little Sister series. My friends and I used to pretend we were Karen and her best friends. I was Nancy. I loved this book series so much that I was always tempted to lie during my annual eye exam because I wanted glasses. I continued to read it all through elementary school.

    Second Grade: Lisa Frank/kittens/unicorns and Pokémon. I mentioned yesterday that I wrote Pokémon fanfictions in school. I created several of my own Pokémon for these stories, but my favorite (my “Pikachu”) was Lillianda. She was somewhat of a cross between my favorite childhood stuffed animal and Bulbasaur.

    Fourth Grade: The Jewel Kingdom book series. I took on the role of Emily, the Emerald Princess. This also spawned a mild obsession with the color green and emeralds, but this phase wasn’t quite as long as my first and second grade obsessions. In fact I still love my old second grade obsessions.

  2. Tooth Fairy, Santa, Easter Bunny

    IMG_20191205_053858_199My family never really did a lot of standard traditions like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy- at least not in the traditional way. They did wrap presents labeled as being from “Santa” for me when I was around two, but I noticed that the presents from “Santa” and “Mommy and Daddy” were wrapped identically. That was the first and last year my parents bothered with presents from “Santa.”

    In a similar fashion, we did Easter baskets differently. Instead of waking up on Easter morning to baskets of candy, we went out shopping the day after. My parents taught me early on that we would get a lot more if we waited until all of the candy went on clearance. My yearly staples always included Robin’s Eggs, a white chocolate cross, and marshmallow Peeps.

    Now, we still went to see Santa and the Easter Bunny at events or the mall, but that’s only because they often handed out free goodies like candy canes or plastic eggs full of sweets. I was never one to turn down free stuff, though my sassy-self frequently demanded to see the person inside the costumes.

    My favorite was the Tooth Fairy. Obviously, I knew at the age of 5 or 6 that my parents were the ones leaving me gifts under my pillow. I never got money. Instead, I would wake up to find a new book (usually something in The Babysitter’s Club Little Sister series) or some other gift. Once, I got a bright orange VHS copy of The Rugrats Movie. I also, occasionally, would open up my lunchbox to find a surprise note, toy, or book from “the Lunchbox Fairy.”

  3. Old Country Buffet

    My family loved eating at Old Country Buffet when I was younger. We went constantly- even before I was eating solid foods (my parents gave me rib bones to teeth on). I even celebrated my Birthday there on more than one occasion. I believe I was three when one of the employees dressed up as Barney for my Birthday.  Another year, I accidentally blew out my candle with my nose while everyone sang.

    We loved going for dinner on the nights they served banana splits and/or their version of a “Blizzard.” However, the real treat was when we got to go for breakfast. There’s nothing quite like made to order omelettes and waffles topped with strawberries and ice cream.

    There was a time where two of our local OCBs had a friendly fight to win our family’s loyalty. Each time we went, we were rewarded with extra gifts. My sister and I ended up getting official name tags at one location and service pins at the other. The fight finally ended when one location gave us phony vouchers for free meals for life- valid only at the other location.

    We had a few rules we had to follow most visits (breakfast trips were an exception for one). First, we had to start every visit with a salad from the salad bar. Second, we were only allowed to drink soda after finishing a glass of milk (I always chose chocolate milk because I disliked 2% milk at the time). Third, we had to try at least three new things. We never had to finish them, but we had to at least try them. Fourth, we had to have at least one vegetable in addition to our salad.

    We still follow the salad and vegetable rules out of habit whenever we go to Golden Corral or similar buffets. Occasionally, I’ll do the three new foods rule as well, but there often isn’t anything I’ve never tried before.

  4. Missionettes

    Honor Star Crowning age 10When I was five, I joined a local Assemblies of God girl’s club called Missionettes. It was sort of like their version of Girl Scouts. I started off in the Rainbows club for a day. I was absolutely pissed. My mom told me I was going to be a Daisy, but the transitions into the new clubs weren’t going to happen for another week. I cried when I got there, but I also cried when I was going to leave.

    Fairly early on I learned about this thing called being a Honor Star. At the end of the older elementary club, girls who earned enough badges and completed additional requirements got to graduate the program with a special ceremony complete with a white dress, crown, and cape. These requirements included completing extra projects, writing an essay on Integrity, memorizing songs, and even taking a test on three years’ worth of memory verses.

    There were also special pins you could earn for the younger-level clubs for completing enough badges. I was in Daisies for kindergarten and first grades, but when I was in second grade, they revamped the entire program. Daisies became a kindergarten program. The next club, Prims, went from being for second and third graders to first and second. (Stars went from 4th-6th grades to 3rd-5th). I was determined to get the pin for completing both Daisies and Prims. So, that’s what I did. I completed two years’ worth of club requirements in one year.

    I continued Missionette’s through seventh grade. When they revamped the program, they added in groups for middle and high school girls. Unfortunately, due to a lack of interest from other girls and/or not having any adults to teach us, I was often left on my own on Wednesday nights. In fact, there were many nights when I was 12 when even my sister, who was in Prims, didn’t have a teacher.

  5. Wednesday Nights and Singing at Church

    There was a time, somewhere between 4th and 7th grades where Wednesday night was the highlight of my week. The night started off with dinner at the local First Baptist church followed by choir. After choir, we’d rush a mile down the road to Missionettes. Those nights were hectic, but I absolutely loved them.

    I loved being part of the music ministry at the Baptist church. In addition to being part of the youth choir, I was also part of their summer music camp for several years. During camp, we had one week to learn an entire musical from start to finish. Of the roughly five years I participated, I had two solos. [Two years, I was too young to audition. One, I ended up trying out for an acting role instead]. The summer after 7th grade, I worked as a youth volunteer.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to sing on stage in church since then. Despite my anxieties and stage fright, I actually miss it quite a bit.

  6. Dance Class

    Like many little girls, I took dance lessons. My dance teacher smelled like mothballs, but I absolutely loved her. One year, I performed a solo to Be our Guest from Beauty and the Beast. I also remember doing routines for Pocahontas, Men in Black, The Peppermint Twist, Happy Feet, and Singing in the Rain (complete with a Little Mermaid umbrella that I would use as a parachute when jumping off the stage before/after class).

    My sister, despite being the youngest and smallest in the class, was part of the class with me. In addition, I was frequently joined by my two childhood best friends: Gina and Grace. [Grace passed away after having heart surgery a few years ago].

  7. “I Love my Yellow Blankie in the Day or Night”

    My favorite color as a child was yellow. I was mildly obsessed with Barney until I


    was in kindergarten and was afraid that I’d be teased by my new classmates. Baby Bop’s favorite blankie was yellow. Yellow became my favorite color. At the age of 3, my favorite Power Ranger was Trini, the yellow ranger.

    My third Birthday party was a color-theme. Everyone RSVP’ed with their favorite colors. I had a cupcake with bright yellow frosting on a yellow plate with a yellow napkin. If my friend’s favorite color was pink, she would’ve been served a pink-frosted cupcake on a pink plate with a pink napkin.

  8. Toys

    me age 2
    My three favorite childhood toys were my Cabbage Patch Kids doll, Lillianda, and my Fisher Price dream dollhouse. 

    I lost my original Cabbage Patch Kids doll on vacation in Utah, but I still have the replacement. As a toddler, I named her Baby Dolly-Doll, but I switched her name to Sarah-Kathryn after a classmate of mine who moved away in kindergarten. She is back to being Baby Dolly Doll. 

    My dollhouse was one of my greatest accomplishments. I spent months saving up the $100 to buy it. One of the accessories from the dollhouse is a miniature dollhouse that is currently sitting on a shelf in my bedroom. I kind of want to have a custom tiny house with the exterior designed to look like the dollhouse one day.

  9. Beginning of my Testimony

    I became a Christian in July 1996. I was five years old at VBS. I don’t remember much about it. It was a fairly standard repeating the prayer after whatever adult led me in it. 

    At the age of five, one of the commandments was “Thou Shalt Not Peek during Prayer.” After I finished my part, the women there kept praying for me. So, I sat with hands folded, head bowed, and eyes closed for an eternity. They went on forever crying and praying. At the age of five, I was both terrified (because grown-ups weren’t supposed to cry) and just plain restless because I wasn’t even in kindergarten at that point. I wanted to go play with my friends. 

    If anyone asks when I became a Christian, I point to that day in 1996. However, my testimony has certainly been a long journey of ups and downs and the story is still being written. 

Day 1: I Actually Forgot About Several of These Random Facts Myself

Day 1: Ten things about yourself that most people don’t know.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how many of the things I’m going to list here are things that most people don’t know. Still, since this blog challenge is also a way to introduce myself to a new audience as I revamp this site, I suppose that’s fine.

Besides, it’s my blog. I make the rules.

  1. I dislike colorized movies and TV shows.

    I know. I’m starting off with something completely random. Last night, I started watching It’s a Wonderful Life for the first time on Amazon Prime. The version that showed up on my home screen was the colorized version. Despite having never seen the movie, I just couldn’t get through it. It just felt…WRONG to watch it in full color.

    Fortunately, Amazon also has the black and white version. I’ll try that. As much as I dislike colorized movies/shows, I absolutely LOVE watching things in black and white. I find it incredibly relaxing.
  2. In elementary school, many of my creative writing assignments were fanfictions. In first grade, I was mildly obsessed with The Babysitter’s Club Little Sister series and used those as a basis for many stories. In second grade, I wrote Pokémon fanfics where I created my own Pokémon.

    I was in high school before I realized that’s what I was writing.
  3. I went through a phase when I was 14 when I started to dabble in magic (spells, potions, etc). I was also mildly obsessed with the Winx Club at the time.
  4. I take a special pride in my ability to throw together meals without any planning and preparation. Not only am I able to pick out items in a kitchen (whether my own or someone else’s) and come up with a decent WW-friendly meal, but I’m also able to walk into a grocery store and put together a last-minute meal to eat there. It definitely comes in handy; I rarely resort to fast-food. I can almost always find sugar snap peas, fruit, carrots, tuna pouches, yogurt, deli meat, and/or RxBars instead. In fact, my last-minute meals are often better than ones that I’ve carefully planned. This makes it difficult for me to motivate myself to plan my meals.
  5. When I was around 11 or 12, I wanted to start a praise and worship band called “Praise O’ Matic.” That was also when my anxiety issues started. Eventually, the anxiety beat out my love of singing.
  6. I am (or was at one point) allergic/sensitive to No-AD sunscreen, freshly cut grass (it gave me nosebleeds as a child), most artificial sweeteners, and Lexapro.
  7. I love playing solitaire, but only using physical playing cards. I will often keep a deck of cards in my purse so I can play on a whim. I am not into most other card games (because I rarely have an opponent).
  8. One of my goals for 2020 is to make doing jigsaw puzzles a new hobby. I love doing quiet, crafty activities and I think doing puzzles would be perfect.
  9. I’m usually glad when I don’t have the money to buy gas for my car and I need to walk to reach my destination. While it is an inconvenience and not having the money sucks, I love distance walking. My current record is roughly 8 miles. I want to walk a marathon one day. [I have no desire to run one].
  10. If I stayed in Virginia for high school, I would have attended T.C. Williams High School (the school from Remember the Titans).

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1….

Several years ago, I followed another blogger, Emily. We met through an online forum and became friends. It’s been a while since we’ve talked, though. Last I heard of her (from her Instagram; I was following on an old account), she’s married and has a daughter.

Anyway, back when we were both actively blogging, we did a couple blog challenges. I occurred to me that finding a short challenge might be a good way to reawaken this blog as I try to figure out its direction.

I don’t know where this blog is going. At one point, this site was strictly a personal site. Diet and weight loss related content was for another page entirely (or it was clearly separate series). I feel like I need to move away from that. Lately, I’ve been coming to the realization that my personal life and mental health and diet/weight loss stuff are closely intertwined. Some posts fit just as easily in From the Mind of Lissa Kristine as they do in From the Scales of Lissa Kristine.

So, I think I’m just going to see where this takes me. Sometimes, I may focus heavily on the weight loss content. Other times, I’ll go off on some random tangent.

Besides, if this blog thing picks up again, I’m going to have a brand new set of followers, and this will be a great way to introduce myself to a new group of people.

This one is a Ten Day Challenge. My HOPE is to write the first post for it tonight (maybe I’ll write a few over the weekend and just schedule them), but there’s also a chance I’m not going to officially start until tomorrow.

10 Random Days of Me

Day 1: Ten things about yourself that most people don’t know.
Day 2: Nine things you remember from your childhood.
Day 3: Eight things you couldn’t live without.
Day 4: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
Day 5: Six things that make your day.
Day 6: Five people who mean a lot to you.
Day 7: Four photographs that you love.
Day 8: Three things you’ve learned recently.
Day 9: Two words to describe your life right now.
Day 10: One confession.

I will see you later today (or tomorrow) with Day 1.