Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Phenomenal Woman

I want to share something that is very special to me. It's a beautiful piece of writing by a beautiful woman, Maya Angelou. I discovered this poem almost 12 years ago while away at University. I kept a copy tacked up to the mirror in my dorm room where I saw it every day, and I can now recite it by heart. There have been many times when my self-esteem has been lacking, or I feel like I'm failing at marriage or motherhood and these verses will come to mind and pick me up. Now, more than ever, as I'm on this weight loss journey, I find the words uplifting and inspirational.

Phenomenal Woman
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

mmmm... carbs

nother Monday (without a scale. I swear I'm such a scatterbrain. I wish it were as easy to forget to eat as it is to forget to buy batteries!)... it's been a pretty good week, overall. My oldest son has Vacation Bible Camp every evening this week, so getting to the gym will be a challenge, but I should be able to get in at least a 1/2 hour between dropping him off at church and picking him up again.

I did manage to get in a good bit of activity yesterday. I was scheduled to do an engagement session on Saturday but we got rained out. Even though it's supposed to rain every day this week, yesterday we braved the drizzle, took advantage of a short lull in the rain and managed to get in some great shots before the rain forced us to quit (we'll finish up our session hopefully next weekend). The couple decided to have their session at the Irving Nature Park. It's so beautiful there, and we did a lot of walking along trails and climbing rocks looking for the perfect photo opportunities.

In other news, I discovered a very tasty treat this weekend. I've mentioned before that I have a certain, shall we say, issue, with carbs. A love-hate relationship. A not-so-secret obsession. I have PCOS with a tendency towards insulan-resistance, so it's also an unhealthy obsession. I do my best to stick with healthy carbs like the kinds found in some fruits and veggies, and in whole grain pastas and breads. But sometimes a girl just wants some junk food (or at least something that resembles junk food). My biggest vice used to be chips. Potato chips, tortilla chips, corn chips. Yummy chippy goodness. Sitting in the evenings, watching tv, my husband and I could easily devour a half bag or more.

Enter my latest discovery on the Path to Healthy Eating: Quaker Crispy Tortillaz. I apologize for the "trendeigh" spelling, but I swear I had nothing to do with it. Am I the only one insanely annoyed by the marketing profession's incessant need to misspell words in a "cutesy" way, as though we wouldn't be able to remember their product's name otherwise? /end rant

Despite its unfortunate spelling, these tasty tortilla chips are a fantastic alternative to more unhealthy alternatives. There are several flavours available, but my favourite is the Santa Fe Ranch: They remind me of the Cool Ranch Doritos my friends and I used to eat by the truckload in Jr. High, back when I had the metabolism of a gnat. Each 8-chip serving has only 60 calories, 2 grams of fat and 1 gram of fibre, for just 1 Weight Watchers point. Two servings is a perfect snack size to satisfy both hunger and the need for something to much while surfing in tv land.

Well, I guess that's it for today. Later!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Scale

I haven't had opportunity to post in a few days. It's just been crazy busy, and the baby's been crazy clingy. I had a pretty decent week, though, as far as the whole diet goes. Again, I have no idea where I am on the weight, as I keep forgetting to pick up batteries for the scale. I think I'm having scale withdrawl, actually. I'll admit that when I'm trying to lose weight I have to fight with myself to avoid stepping on the scale every day (or even multiple times a day). Even though I know that those little LCD numbers can very throughout the day, it's like a compulsion. Maybe it has to do with my lack of self-esteem, my need to constantly prove my worth to myself. Somehow, if that number goes down just a little bit, it means something profound. What, exactly? I'm not really sure. That I'm capable of accomplishing? That there really is a skinny person hiding underneath this fat person everyone sees? I think I need a scale intervention. Doyou think they'd let me have chocolate in rehab?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Our church community was devestated this week by the sudden death of a friend's baby girl, of menengitis. I'm just heartsick for this family, and thoughts of their sweet baby and the grief they're going through right now has occupied my thoughts since we got the news late Tuesday evening. It's made me more aware of my own children, more appreciative of the joys they bring me, more patient with those aspects of parenting I sometimes find frustrating, and has caused me to hug them just a little bit closer.

It's made me think, too, that I'm not on this journey of weight-loss and healthier living just for me. I'm doing it for them, too. So that they'll hopefully have a mom who's there for them well into their adulthood. So they'll have a mom who has the energy to jump in and play with them. While I think it's important to want to achieve lifestyle goals for our own well-being, it's also important to find inspiration in the people who mean the most in our lives.

So, this week's inspiration, for me, is my boys. My big kid, Josh, who turned 7 just yesterday. My little 4 year old man, Asher and my sweet baby boy Corban, who at a year old is just a few months older than little Miranda who has gone to be with Jesus this week.