the strength NOT to...

The overindulgence and underachievement of our age have created a monster 
whose brain is lazy, vision is blurred, hands are greedy, skin is thin, 
middle is round, and seat is wide. 
Color him baby blue! 

What has spawned this strange, pillowy product? 
The Greeks would say: "A serious lack of enkrateia." 
That isn't a vitamin, it's a virtue—self-control. 

The word actually means "inner power or strength." 
Expanded, it includes such things as having mastery or possession of something, 
the controlling power of the will (under the operation of the Spirit of God), 
the inner strength to resist and refrain, 
the strength not to indulge, not to act on impulse. 
The above paragraphs are lifted from a devotional by Charles Swindoll here
 Seriously good, don't you think?

maintained and sustained

June 3, 2017.
While enjoying the Fast 5 lifestyle,
health and weight are maintained and sustained.
I couldn't ask for more...
unless it be a pleasant week as we leave Monday to enjoy a few days away from home.
Meals will be provided at the Abbey of Gethsemani
where we'll enjoy the quiet beauty of the Kentucky hills.
These glass water bulbs will maintain and sustain
our potted tomato plant in our absence.
(It will be the first time we've actually put them to more than ornamental use!)

this side of 2017

Four days into 2017 find me C*O*L*D but committed to the Fast-5 lifestyle that I (re)started back in May.  I'm SO thankful for this lifestyle that allowed for enjoying the holiday desserts and candy.  I've come through Christmas and New Years at a healthy weight. I look forward to incorporating a bit more exercise - primarily walking - to maintain my hard-fought-for loss.

Just about the only allowance I've made to Fast-5 over the holidays 
was an extension of the eating "window" 
from a strict 5 hours to an occasional 6 hour one.  

Fast-5 is SO worth it.

Looking Back/Looking Forward

Mid-December finds me in a semi-hibernated state.  Many changes in and around me affect my body, soul and spirit. 

Since my father has come to live with us, I am cooking a whole lot more - and (surprisingly) enjoying it!  We are making far fewer restaurant runs.  Over all, I believe I am eating healthier.

Last week at a doctor appointment, he told me I was probably the skinniest person he would see in his office all day.  This took me by surprise since I'd be happy to lose another 5-7 pounds.

I AM happy that I am on this side of weight loss.  If I could find/make a way to be more active, I'm pretty sure those 5-7 pounds would take care of themselves...

A look back at 2016 will provide me with good incentive for making 2017 as healthy and productive as I possibly can!


This morning as I charted my 20th "non-regrettables"on Facebook
  I singled out my Fast-5 journey.
I actually couldn't remember when I started, 
so I returned to this blog to see that it was May 18th.
If I added consistent exercise to my eating habits,
I'd REALLY be in shape.
I will be exploring inside walking options for this winter
since I don't want to risk slipping and falling outdoors.
Meanwhile, I celebrate the this plan that has helped me return to a reasonable weight,
lower blood pressure and a general state of well-being.

No Longer Counting

At well over 100 days of Fast 5-ing, I've decided to quit counting the days.  I have NOT quit counting pounds lost, however!  Over the past week, I've been happy to see the scale consistently below the next-to-the-last decade poundage toward my goal.  That means I have less than ten more pounds to lose! 


Exercise on the 88th day of my Fast-5 experience included emptying the bathroom on our main floor to prepare for its remodeling.

My primary, "sit down" meal included a variety of baby tomatoes, 1/2 a croissant, left-over red beets, fresh Red Haven peaches, and hummus (plain, to which I'd added some minced garlic).

We took a break in our clearing to enjoy a glass of orange juice with crushed ice.  When finished toward evening, my husband ran to our local cafe and brought home one of their fantastic taco salads to share.

It was a productive day and another good one in the eating and exercising department.

Today - Day 89 - the demolition will begin!


I chuckle at the commercial I hear
over and over and over and over again 
going back and forth to Ohio to care for my parents.
"If you've got a big belly, you might not be fat! 
You may just be bloated!"
Fifty days ago, I may have fallen for this commercial.
Today, not so much.
Much of the "bloat" that I experienced
has disappeared as my weight has dropped 
over the past fifty days of Fast-5 lifestyle,
and I haven't spent a penny 
on the product the commercial promotes.


This morning I penned in "49" on my journal page.
49 days of practicing the Fast-5 pattern--
19 hours of fasting; a 5 hour "window" for eating.
I'd lived this pattern a few years ago,
successfully reaching and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Maybe I should look back and figure out WHY I quit it,
and maybe it doesn't matter. 
My circumstances have changed.
My husband's retirement, three surgeries between the two of us,
and stepped up care and involvement with my parents
are a few of the intervening and current challenges
calling for the best in me.
I'm thankful to have returned to the pattern that served me so well in the past.
It sustains and supports me NOW.


 I drive through this town frequently every week.
Most of the time, the stoplight turns red as I reach the intersection
giving me opportunity to observe the progress on this project.
 THIS week, the scaffolding was removed
and a blank canvas has been produced on which a mural will be painted.
The progress is there for all to see...
Likewise with my Fast-5 "re-boot".
Today (Day 45) I was able to button a skirt I haven't worn for awhile
and tuck in my shirt!
The scale registered a weight loss, too.

 I Timothy 4:15 says:
Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, 
so that all may see your progress.
(I know that "these things" doesn't refer to weight loss
and healthy habits, but the verse still encourages me in this area
as well as development of my spiritual gifts...)


I began "38" with a 20 minute walk.  The morning was cool; 
the walk made even more enjoyable as I shared it with my husband.
Later this morning, I came across this excerpt posted by a friend
from The Upper Room re. walking.
It is a wise and inspiring commentary, I think.

Christian practices that incorporate everyday gestures and actions typically involve our bodies: We speak, sing, eat, wash, or bow. We walk. By investing these gestures with new meanings, Christian practices shift our way of being in the world. …

These practices are not burdensome tasks or rules required to become “good Christians.” Instead, they are gifts from God that nurture openness and receptivity to divine love that streams continuously through the people, events, and places of our world. Walking represents one such Christian practice. …
When I walk, my life slows down. Rather than speed past the world around me, sealed in my car with the radio playing, I move slowly. Moving at the speed of my feet, I hear the sounds of birds, insects, and the wind blowing through the trees. The rhythm of my footfalls invites me into an awareness of myself and the world around me. This awareness leads me beyond creation to the Creator. … Walking, like all Christian practices, makes me more open and receptive, more mindful and aware.
– Thomas R. Hawkins
Every Step a Prayer


Scrolling back, I see I didn't say WHY I began (again) this Fast-5 lifestyle.
It was on a Wednesday--May 18th.
Thirty-five days ago.
I had a doctor's appointment, set only because I needed to have a prescription renewed.
I dreaded going.  I KNEW I had gained weight since my last visit well over a year ago.
I knew, too, that my blood pressure would be off-the-charts
(as it always is when I sit in a doctor's office).
I like my doctor.
He didn't bawl me out.
He didn't have to.
And that's the "why" of the past thirty-five days.
Tomorrow I have another appointment.
I don't expect a lot of change in my blood pressure,
but I'm expecting a change at the scale.

UPDATE:  -10 lbs


The secret of getting ahead is getting started. -Mark Twain
Really thankful I got started 31 days ago.
Fast 5 has given me freedom within boundaries,
a built-in appetite suppressor,
and a way to gauge successes.


Started my 28th consecutive day of Fast-5 
with a 15 minute walk around a few blocks near my home.
The air was cool;
the sights pleasant.
Earlier, I'd boiled some pasta, dressed it with some Zesty Italian Dressing,
and tossed in about 1/2 a bag of some chopped veggies, a diced green pepper,
and a few sliced ripe olives. 
It will be a filling and satisfying way to open my 5 hour eating "window".  
Now to fill up the intervening hours with some meaningful
and productive activity!


On Day 15 of my Fast-5 Reboot, I was cleaning a kitchen counter
and found this card.
I kind of wish I had dated it,
but it's as appropriate today, June 1, as whatever day I wrote it.