Monday, May 16, 2011

Fully Persuaded

My cousin Marcia wrote in her blog, Healing Waters today about being fully persuaded that what He has promised, He is able to perform (based on the scripture found in Romans 4:21). When I read that I thought about what it means to be fully persuaded. Many people profess a deep faith and belief in God, his divinity, his power and his authority. Yet they live lives of sadness, frustration, confusion and lack where he is concerned.

I've written about a double minded spirit earlier this year and I have found that my perception of God has changed in 2011. Reading Iyanla VanZant's book "Peace From Broken Pieces" and looking at and addressing the brokenness in my own life has been a real aha moment for me. I thought I was fully persuaded about who God was in my life only to find that my pain and my issues had colored my faith in God. So many people in my life had promised one thing and presented me with another that my subconscious belief was that God would fail me like so many others. Of course I never said that or had a conscious negative thought in that way, but my actions, driven by my subconscious, constantly told a different story.

I guess in order to be fully persuaded you have to be able to see God with clear eyes that are not clouded with pain and self-judgement. He doesn't change, but we are constantly changing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kirstie We Love You But Size 4-6? No Way...

I have been on every diet known to mankind. The scale has been kind to me and the scale has been the devil incarnate. And wherever I was on my 'weight-loss' journey, I always tried to at least tell myself the truth. But I also know that many times if I did not tell people how much I weighed they would have no idea. My favorite game at the county fair was 'Guess Your Weight' because I would win every time. Today on they had an article about actress/comedienne Kirstie Alley and her latest fall on Dancing With The Stars (DWTS). The story headline was "Kirstie Alley on latest mishap: 'My blood sugar had dropped.' (But hey, she's down to a size 6!)".

Let me say first that Kirstie doesn't owe me any information about her weight and/or dress size. I got my own to worry about and that is a full time job for me. But when her people put out these ridiculous statements that even Stevie Wonder could see don't add up, it demeans her real accomplishments which deserve much praise. First of all, she is a very talented actress and a comedienne who has now added dancer to her tool set and she is doing it well. At age 60! And looking great while doing it! You can stop right there for the applause.

The rest of it is meaningless theatre and I'm pretty sure that that particular storyline is being pumped up by the producers. I wish they would stop it. The facts are that she is there because she wants to be and she is doing something that is good for her health and her self-esteem. Could they please stop treating the viewing audience like we are more likely to believe their press releases than our lying eyes? My pastor used to say, “I may have been born AT night but it wasn’t LAST night”.

This kind of thing bugs me because I am in the process of losing weight, and I would be panicked if people were asking me all the time what size I am now. I’m learning to enjoy exercise and I do it because I know it is good for me. My exercise of choice is walking. I normally walk up and down Colorado Blvd. and Eagle Rock Blvd. area because I can combine the fresh air with people watching, a latte or a fruit smoothie. I am not ready for rough terrains yet (no steep inclines) but I like a lot of variety to my walks. Where do you like to walk in Eagle Rock? I mean areas that are well populated and considered safe for women by themselves. I know Pasadena has the Rose Bowl Walkers, (, and I see a lot of people out together when I go to Griffith Park, but is there a similar kind of group in Eagle Rock? Oh, I should also add that my pace is still slow, an 18 minute mile. Who is with me?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let The Weak Say I Am Strong....

Well I got through my first transfusion today and hopefully only two more weeks to go. Next step will be to finish my teaching courses so I can inspire the next generation of storytellers. And as soon as I get the strength to write again I'm going to finish my books. But now... I am definitely going to nap.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses this blog to give me a spiritual "heads up" on what is needed for a future battle. My last blog was about getting rid of fear and I was also preparing for a 7 day mini- cleanse as per the Martha's Vineyard 21 lbs in 21 Days Diet. I've learned to stay on track with what my inner voice is telling me so I completed the 7 day cleanse and lost an additional 6 lbs. My weight loss for 2011 is now holding at 30 lbs. Thank you God.

Finally I can say that I "see" a change in my appearance and clothes are fitting better. Outfits that were shamefully retired can now come back into the main rotation and that is a relief. I've been consistent with my exercise, taking my ASEA and wearing my Bodymedia Fit armband to catalogue my results.

My next battle is a health challenge that I thought I dealt with before but it has come back for another round. I'm a little angered by it because it steals my physical energy and that is what I need to exercise and prepare the life-giving healthy food that keeps me going. Today, just the act of typing makes me tired. I don't really like to put medical details on a blog because the internet is forever and your health situation is subject to change. A position of weakness today can be a position of strength tomorrow. So even as I sit here tired I recognize that this is just another chapter in my life and it has come to PASS.

But today I thank God for what he has already done in my physical body and for the complete healing that my body is undergoing. I am also going to continue to educate myself on what I can do to live an long and healthy and active life. One thing I know for sure, my body seems to respond very positively to the vegan diet. I'm not sure I want to give up fish and eggs, but chicken and beef are becoming less attractive to me. When we know better we do better. I'm still learning and I can't wait to learn more...

Peace and blessings,


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Cleaning and Getting Rid of Fear

If you are a reader of this blog then you know that I did a detox diet in January and embraced some lifestyle changes to get a better stronger physical body. Well one of the tenets of the Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet is that after you complete the 21 day cleanse, you do it again at each change of season for a 7 day period. So you do 7 days in the Spring, Summer, Fall and then do the 21 day cleanse again at the 1 year point. So this week starting Monday April 18, 2011, my family will be doing it again for 7 days.

I'm looking forward to the cleanse this time, not because I like drinking vegetable soups, but because I'm looking forward to giving my body a tune up. Since the January cleanse I have kept off 24 lbs. and added a 3 mile walk to my daily life. I walk at least 18 miles a week and even though my eating habits sometimes miss the mark, the exercise seems to be helping me to maintain the weight lost at the beginning of the year.

I've noticed that the disconnect between mind, emotions and body still exists. I have not kept a food journal (even though that is a proven way to help weight loss and correct bad eating habits). So I have some areas of my life where I clearly know better but I willfully refuse to do better. It is not a conscious motivational error - if you asked me, I would tell you I am committed to change and a healthy lifestyle and most of the actions are there but there are still things that show a subconscious disconnect. Have you seen this in your life as well? You say you are ready for change but some of your actions are in clear rebellion to that change?

I can't speak for you, but in my life that disconnect is the manifestation of fear in my life. I've spent my life afraid of many things. I did not start out that way but life has a way of beating things into you if you live a life of rebellion and for many years I did. So when it comes to weight loss and optimal health, the subconscious fear is that I won't be able to handle how others perceive and interact with the new healthy me. It is safe being big, jolly funny Dede, but a fit, strong Dede is a new scary world. Again, I can't speak for you, I can only shine the light on me. I wasn't ready to own up to the fear before, but I am ready to do it now.

I got an email from recommending things I should buy and one of them was the new Kirk Franklin CD, "Hello Fear". I listened to the music and found it articulated a desire in my heart during this season. I am ready to let go of lifelong fears. I really want to discover some "what ifs" in life. What if I lived each day like God had my back and I could not fail? What if I treated my body like a temple and trusted that it would respond and reward me with good health? What if every time the scale registered a couple of lbs gained I did not treat it as a personal failure? What if I embraced each new technological advance as a way to make work easier not harder?

My parents had differing responses to fear. My father is not a fearful man. He is ill now, but when he was well, he welcomed change and adventure and he tried to make me laugh at my fears of insects (he'd kill a bug that had me screaming and then chase me with it, laughing at my fear until I was laughing too). He'd try to teach me to swim by throwing me into the water, laughing at my tears, (that one never worked Daddy). My mom is afraid of so many things, the pain of change, new people, places. Life has also given her the pain of loss and many reasons to fear and I think it must have been so amazing for her to meet my father with his adventurous spirit and mostly positive outlook. One thing we all learned growing up was that God had sent us the Holy Spirit so we would not have to live a life of fear. But even that knowledge doesn't make you immune to the destruction of fear. You must make a conscious decision to reject fear and its power over your life.

So during this season of spring cleaning I breathe in a new spirit of change and sweep fear out of my life. I'm going to go get ready for tomorrow's 7 day cleanse. If you want to do it with me, I have an outline of the plan and the grocery list in the January 2011 blog entries. And next week when I celebrate Resurrection Sunday I look forward to my own resurrection.
Good-bye Fear.

Peace and blessings,


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where Did the Time Go?

It is hard to believe that it is already March 2, 2011. What a difference a day makes. I started the year with a mantra of change and change has indeed come. I know better so I am doing better. And I am honest enough to jack myself up when I am not being true to myself.

I have lost 21 lbs since January 5, 2011. I don't see a change in my body but I do realize that it has changed. I'm fitting into smaller clothes that were too tight 60 days ago. I can tell that I am not comfortable with this change because I am still not writing down my food logs (even though I know that is one of the best ways to make lifestyle changes and locate and isolate bad habits.) I am starting to like my daily walks now. Walking allows me the chance to clear my mind and meditate on the blessings of the day. It is such a blessing just to be able to walk and to have a safe, beautiful place to go and exercise every day. I'm able to do a 19 min mile now and I do at least three miles a day.

I think it is safe to say that using the Body Media Fit Armband and taking the ASEA redox signaling molecules every day have made a difference. The armband lets me know when I've exercised enough and even tracks my sleep. The redox signaling molecules seem to help me breathe through my workouts and recover from the muscle fatigue after the workout. I have not talked to my doctors about these changes but I will do that next month when I have my physical.

I hope that you see by now that you can make your own change if you want to and it does not have to take years to make it happen. I want to thank the family and friends that sent the encouraging words these past two months. I'm going to keep on going with this journey to see what the end will be. I'll keep you posted as I pass future milestones but I won't bore you with the day to day minutiae of the change process. Hard work pays off. I get the equation now. It is hard to believe that 2 1/2 months ago I heard someone talk about the Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet at a Gospel Concert and heard an inner voice say "You need to check that out". I listened and I feel so much healthier as a result.

My prayer for you in the month of March is that you listen to the still small voice that articulates the desires of your heart. Don't wait until you feel better, sometimes change hurts. Keep me in your prayers, I'll be doing the 5K Glendale Downtown Dash on Sunday March 14, 2011 to benefit Glendale Adventist Hospital's Stroke Services Center. This will be my first race since I had to stop training for the Half-Marathon in 2009. I'm slowly making my way back. To God Be the Glory.

Peace and blessings,


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Peace From Broken Pieces

I finished the book, Peace From Broken Pieces by Iyanla Vanzant this past weekend. Even now, I struggle to put words together to describe the experience of reading it. It is a visceral, gut-wrenching, brutally honest glimpse into a life, analyzed to the DNA level of conscious and subconscious. And if you have suffered any brokenness in your life you will see yourself in some places. Reading the book was so hard for me that some nights I had to just put it down like hot coal, knowing that if I kept reading I might see some things in myself that I was not ready to see.

Some of my church going friends felt hesitant about reading the book because of Ms. Vanzant's spiritual beliefs as a Yoruba priestess (like it might be contagious once exposed). I assure you that my belief system is intact, mainly because it is tried and tested. But the wisdom and authority from which she writes about brokenness and the road back from it has changed me and helped me on my own journey to wholeness.

The most positive thing I believe I have gained from it is that I look at myself through a more honest lens. I hate lies and if you are a liar you cannot be a close friend of mine because I think liars are dangerous. But I now recognize that there are truths about me that still remain hidden to me and personal lies that I tell myself and the Holy Spirit loves me enough that he will not allow them to be revealed until I am ready to deal with the knowledge. Some knowledge and revelation arrived at too soon can crush you before it heals you.

I think of myself as a mentally healthy, happy, whole, saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit woman but I also know that in a family where few are obese or even overweight you do not get to be over 300 lbs (without even recognizing the weight being gained) without some kind of dysfunction or brokenness at the core. I had the blood tests to check the thyroid or insulin resistance or any number of things that could cause weight gain and all levels were normal. Trust me, I hate writing those words. But really, even if I didn't write them down, was there anyone in my circle of family and friends who DIDN'T notice I was fat? I'm pretty sure they did. I know I did. And I felt embarrassed, ashamed, and tho I didn't admit it to myself, I hated myself. So I punished myself and those who dared to talk to me about the issue by eating even more of my pain. Alone, late at night. Where no one could see.

I can write that now, knowing that I'm not in that position anymore. I am not completely healed but I am in the process of healing. Some of that healing shows on the outside (I've lost a lot of weight and maintained most of it for almost 6 years now.) Relationships that were destroyed by my low self-image are coming back. I appreciate and love my family so much more now because I see them as people who love me. Some in ways that I do not like. Some in a manner that needs adjustment from time to time. But people will only treat me at the level that I tolerate and allow. I need to change so that those around me can also change.

There are some battles that I refuse to fight anymore. Weight is one of them and I will continue to write about my journey because I'm not going to visit these places again. I'm going to learn the lesson and move on. I used to think my worth was tied to my gifts. That when the Bible said in Proverbs 18:16 (New King James Version)
"A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men."
, that people wanted to be with me and work with me only because of my gifts and talents. I felt that if I no longer had those gifts then the people around me would disappear too. Some of that is true. I do have friends that have left the building because the hook up isn't there or the cash isn't flowing as readily and I can't do that free job because I have to pay to upgrade my equipment. And I've had church folk stop calling because after years of volunteering to use my gift "for the Lord", I've said "Could you maybe give a sista' a love offering from time to time?" No more. I choose to walk away from abuse, even if it comes from a church or a ministry. Those who love me, value me and recognize my self-worth includes my gifting but is not defined by it, well, they are still here. And so am I. Every day I'm walking toward my own peace from broken pieces. I'm choosing to walk toward wholeness and away from dysfunction. What about you?

Peace and blessings,


Monday, February 21, 2011

Learn Not To Give Up

"We must learn not to give up when requirements are not met or when commitments are broken. To do so is a refusal to allow mistakes to be corrected and a demonstration of an unwillingness to forgive yourself or anyone else who needs forgiveness"
Iyanla Vanzant, Peace From Broken Pieces

I read those words on Sunday afternoon and had another light bulb moment of revelation about myself. I really punish myself when I fail to meet goals that I have set for myself and many times I have told myself, "Well, I guess this is just not my time" or "this is not for me", after a public and embarrassing setback. What is worse is that I retreat from my goal because I don't want others to see and comment on my failure. So fear of laughter and ridicule would be enough to get me to back down from a dream in the past.

Last Sunday I took a day off from my daily walks and I am happy to report that I did not let that day off signal the end of my dream about daily exercise. It did not feel good mentally this week. First the weather forecasters were saying all week it was going to rain and I had to push to just go out and walk anyway. I only got caught in the rain one time and most days the sun stayed out until long after I had finished my walk. So I did not listen to the weather forecast and I got out and walked anyway. Last week I walked a total of 17 miles during the week and my husband and I walked 3 miles on Saturday and another 3 miles on Sunday. I proved to myself that you can feel like crap and still be good to yourself. Next week I will measure inches again to see of things are looking better. But I feel better, not when I'm walking, that still feels like work but I feel good when I finish and the recovery time for my muscles is so quick, now that I am taking the ASEA every day.

You would think, man, Dede must be so proud of herself, what a big change she has made since January 4! Yet all I can feel is, man, I've been doing this for almost a month and a half and I should look and feel better by now - right?

I can't make this journey based on feelings. My attitude about myself needs some real growth and change. I been angry and disappointed with myself for a long time and I punished myself by not taking care of my mind, body, and spirit. And as long as I was reaching out and working to benefit others, I convinced myself that I was okay.

If there is anyone else out there who is like me I have a word for you. Your family and friends would feel better if you took care of yourself instead of others for a change. Your body is a temple that is set up to house a divine spirit within. When you make your body into a temple where the divine can live and flourish, the Holy Spirit inside you will be free and able to speak to you about really helping and blessing others. But you will be able to do it in wholeness and not from a position of need. And the first thing that the Holy Spirit will talk to you about is you.

The world needs people who are healthy; mentally, emotionally and spiritually. A problem would never show up in the life of a believer without the ability for the believer to activate the solution. But you will never be able to meditate and see the solution if your feet hurt, your back aches and you haven't slept in days.

I am glad to say that six out of seven days last week I met all of my goals. I did not chart all of my meals but I kept a daily running total in my head. I will strive to meet all my goals every day but I am going to enjoy the lessons along the way. On a practical note, The Body Media Fit armband and Digital Wrist Display have been a big part of keeping me on track. Having a machine on your wrist that beeps when you meet your daily targets is a great way to learn to be accountable.

My prayer for my family and friends is that they be in health, with a clarity of purpose and focus. If you are happy with the way you look and feel today, I am very happy for you and pray for your continued blessings. But if there is anything that you feel dissatisfied with and feel like a change is needed - then start today. That feeling is the size of a mustard seed today but inside that feeling that 'change is needed' is the power to make it happen. Two months ago I had a feeling that it was time for a change because my body felt like it was dying. It started with listening to that voice but the process now works independent from feelings or thoughts in my head. Mistakes are being corrected and I am forgiving myself for new hurts every day. I'm learning not to give up,

Peace and blessings,


Thursday, February 17, 2011

How Bad Do You Want It?

That is a question that I ask myself often because I know that there can be a disconnect between what I say and what I do. So far in 2011, my money and my mouth have been in alignment for the most part. I've been thinking as I put food into my body and I've been exercising. I can even say that I'm liking it more too. It does not hurt as much now, (especially since I've gone back to my daily dose of ASEA. Also, my body is once again firing on all cylinders and since I've gone back to the daily ASEA regiment my weight is starting to come off again for the first time this month. I continue to wear my BodyMedia Armband and meet my calorie intake, burn and sleep targets.

Now, it's not to say that there is a big change in what I look like, though I can say I feel different. But I'm starting to get these crazy cravings out of the blue, like on Tuesday there was a good gourmet food truck on my street and I wanted to order a large order of Parmesan Truffle French Fries. Now don't get me wrong, the fries are really good and I could have split the order with my husband to mitigate the damage but it would not have been a good food choice for someone who wanted to regain her health, strength and her life. And I had to fight the desire for more than a minute which is just crazy.

Deep down in the depth of my belly, I knew what the real problem was. I was afraid of actually succeeding in this lifestyle goal. Because when the weight and the physical challenges go, many excuses that I have had about being stalled at this point in my journey will go too. No longer will I be able to say, "They don't see me, they just see my weight", or "I can't do this task because I don't have the stamina to complete it".

There are many questions I will have to come to terms with on this journey. The fact is that all my excuses are simply words that I use to take the pressure off myself to produce what God has put inside me. There are no real reasons here, simply escape valves that give me the release I crave to justify my non-productivity.

So as I deal with that fact that there will be days where my integrity will be challenged, I also have to recognize that I am not the first person to go through this type of challenge. I remember a story in the Bible where Jesus was talking to Simon Peter just before the last supper. He was explaining to him that even though he could not believe it, Peter would in fact deny ever knowing Jesus very soon.
In Luke 22:31-32 (The Message Bible):

Jesus said, "Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I've prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start."

When we think of Peter, we think of the character that was the rock that the modern day church was built on, but notice at this time, Jesus did not call him Peter, he called him Simon. I believe that Peter was still dealing with his own personal lies and his double minded nature where he could love Jesus one minute and deny him the next. To a normal rational person, those two behaviors would not go together. How can you love someone one minute and deny them the next? Or how can you exercise and feed your body good food one minute and eat garbage and stop exercising the next?

Even great people can deal with double minded behavior and make mistakes and I will make many more before I die. But I am encouraged by the fact that Jesus told Simon Peter, "When you have come through the time of testing... and not, If you come through. The act of breathing every day means we will be tested. Victory comes when we recognize negative behaviors and squash them and kill them every time they rear their ugly head. Just because I have a thought does not mean I have to act on it. So I promise you, as I come through this season I will tell you about every challenge and every victory.

How bad do I want it? Really bad. I'm tired of living a life of excuses I really want to live my best life. When I die, I want to die empty. How about you? What is keeping you from your best life? Let's squash it and kill it now...

Peace and Blessings,


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Defying Gravity

According to the Gravity Definition Page , Gravity is one of the universal forces of nature. It is an attractive force between all matter, and is very weak as compared to the other forces of nature. Isaac Newton was the first scientist to define gravity mathematically when he formulated his law of universal gravitation. One of the applications of this law is the concept of ‘escape velocity’, which is the velocity an object needs to achieve to escape the gravitational pull of another object (like the Earth).

I was thinking about this in the morning as I reflected on the week that was. I walked a total of 15 miles for the week and I felt good about that accomplishment. I was tired on Sunday so I did not do any exercise that day but took a day off. On Monday I started again doing what I said I was going to do.

It was interesting to me that there was a dialogue in my mind that said that because I did not walk on Sunday that the daily exercise experiment was over and I was a failure. Daily means every day right? And because of that, on the next day I had to pull against my flesh to go to the park and do the walk that I was growing accustomed to doing. There was an attractive force trying to propel me to stay put and not exercise, like I had done the day before.

I suppose that if I want to achieve success and walk toward purpose in my life then I must live a lifestyle of defying gravity. I am naturally pulled toward the easy and pleasurable things in life and I like to run from hard, difficult or painful things. It is so easy to say, "It's not my problem", and to check out when a task places a demand on my talent, time or integrity. It is funny what we will do for a paycheck every two weeks and what we will not do for family and friends. Or what we will not do to save our own lives.

So I will declare again that exercise is a part of my lifestyle, speaking to my subconscious mind and spirit. Get used to it body, this is just something that we do. And taking a day off is just that - a day off. What I love the most about this journey is that now that I have settled into daily life, there are no dramatic highs or lows. I have not lost any additional weight nor have I gained any. The scale fluctuates and regulates. There is no obvious reward or cookie that is given out because of my lifestyle changes. I do believe that this will happen over time, but this is not a daily or even a weekly fight. This is just what change looks like. And by doing this every day I am ramping up to my own escape velocity where my body can break free from the pull and the force of remaining the same and I will move on to my next level.
I am going on some erands and then I will go for my walk. Defying gravity...

Peace and Blessings,


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Doing Right When It Feels Wrong

I wish I could say I've got it all cranked up and operating on all four cylinders when it comes to life. One would like to imagine that by now, we've learned a few things about how the world operates. But I make mistakes all the time and I find that the good things I do, I do them because I know they are good, not because it feels good when I do them.

I've learned to do things that cause me to feel afraid and to stay away from things that make me feel confused. Sometimes the things I am most afraid of are the things that will get me to a better place. God has not given me a spirit of fear so when I see fear arrive, I'm sure it is coming from a negative place. It doesn't feel good to do things when you are afraid but experience has shown me that it is the best thing for me.

When others tell me something is good for me and it doesn't "sound right" to my internal spirit and I feel confused, I know to take a step back and to challenge the idea being presented. God is not the author of confusion, so when it comes into my life, I know it comes from a negative place. Some call it women's intuition or a sixth sense but we usually get a sense that something is not right before we dive in. I now just trust that inner voice and keep moving on.

So nine days into the month of February, I've been keeping my promise to myself and going on walks in the park every day. When I start my walk now I feel good that I am keeping a promise to myself. It is an act of love to take care of myself and I am used to performing acts of love for others and not for myself. I've come to realize that this is another of those double-minded issues or a personal lie that I've told myself. I'd tell people, 'you have to love yourself before you can love others' fully believing that I was living my life this way but then I'd treat my own body carelessly and avoid doctor's appointments until things were obviously out of control.

Self-sabotage is a symptom of a double-minded person and in order to heal it and move on you need to first recognize that it is operating in your life. Changing the lies we tell ourselves is the hardest thing to do and unless you are able to call out that behavior in yourself you can't do it alone. Until my sister Alex called my attention to the behavior, I denied that I was living this life.

Things I now know two months into 2011:

1. Remember that Product called ASEA that I started taking in January? Well after 30 days I saw a real improvement in my cardio-respiratory functions. Going up hills was still challenging but I did not get short of breath and my heart rate recovered quickly. Also my muscle soreness after exercise was much less. I stopped taking it after 30 days and within 1 week I felt more labored and stressed as I exercised. My husband noticed that I had less energy and my joints also started "giving out" on me for the first time. I called the company yesterday and asked them to send me a new order right away. I'm going to have to find things to cut back on so I can pay for adding this product to my daily supplements. So I can't speak about what it does for athletes but for a non-athlete like me? It means the difference between exercising without hurting the body and exercising to the point of injury and distress. Just one woman's personal anecdote, he or she who has an ear, let him/her hear... I don't sell the stuff and I can't even say it tastes great, it tastes okay. But my body definitely responds to it. I'll report back again after month two...

2. The scale is not my friend. Sometimes it goes up and sometimes it goes down. If I'm going to get into a tailspin every time I give my all working out and I get no love from the scale, then I'm going to quit this thing by March 1. The truth is the pair of pants I am wearing today I could not fit into two months ago. Change is going on whether my scale reflects it or not. So I'll just keep holding on and keep on moving.

That is it for now. It is time for my walk in the park. I've been listening to Marvin Sapp's song "Don't Count Me Out". I love to listen to it when doing right feels wrong. Take a listen and I hope it blesses you too. (If you don't see the embeded video then go to The Blunt Instrument and listen there.)

Peace and Blessings,



Left alone but never forgotten
Misunderstood but my future is just starting
God is molding me and making me
He's building me and shaping me
A king is being formed right in front of your eyes
So don't count me out


When you don't see what He sees
You can't tell but His glory is resting on me
I'm His choice
I'm after his heart
The unveiling is starting now
So don't count me out
[Repeat in Unison]

I'm no longer the same no more (So don't count me out)
There has been a change in me (So dona't count me out)
For there are enemies that I must defeat
It's my time
It's my time
Don't count me out
Don't count me out

There's a king in me (don't count me out)
Goliaths' to defeat (don't count me out)
Visions to decree (don't count me out)
It's my destiny (don't count me out)

There's a king in me
Goliaths' to defeat
Visions to decree
It's my destiny

Don't count me out

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My Money and My Mouth

Life will constantly provide you with opportunities to test your integrity and belief systems. I've learned to guard my words and to think before speaking because if I say it, nine times out of ten I will get an opportunity to prove that I meant it.

This morning, after writing about integrity and truth vs. facts, I went on my bathroom scale and it recorded that I weighed 2 1/2 lbs. more than I did the day before. This was the day after having a particularly trying workout in the park, meeting all my exercise, calorie burn goals for the week and denying myself extra goodies when others were indulging.

My immediate response was anger and resentment. Why does this journey have to be such a battle? Can't I just have a period of getting the reward for the work done? Can't there be some measure of consistency with the weight loss? I took a deep breath. I realized that I was looking at the facts and not the truth. The fact was that the scale recorded my weight on that morning and at that time. The truth was that my body is in a continual process of healing and building muscle back and decreasing the size of fat cells and as long as I do not quit, the scale will also reflect that truth.

The spirit of self sabotage would like me to get depressed and to stop so that I would reinforce the lie that "This is how my body is, I can only lose so much weight and then I can go no further." Another of my lies of self sabotage is "If I do take the weight off, I will just gain it back within the next five years because my body is just comfortable as a big girl".

The hard thing about the lies you tell yourself is that they live hardwired in your subconscious and you think you are ready for change and next level thinking but you find yourself acting out the lie, even while you tell yourself you are committed to truth. You say all the right things during the day but you crave all the wrong things when you are alone with your thoughts. You become double minded and in a battle between the conscious and the subconscious, the subconscious will always win if you are not even aware that you are in a fight.

So today, I have to take a deep breath, remind myself that this is a long journey and keep on moving. and I will keep away from the scale for at least a week. In order to clean out the lies in my subconscious I have to fill it with new information and do it consistently until the new thoughts replace the old lies that I used to live by.

Today I confronted just one of my personal lies but I have many more to confront as the days go by. I am not going to live a life that is less than the best that God has for me. Not any more. When I discover the truth I am going to shout it out and hope that it helps someone else. What lies do you tell yourself? Do you self sabotage?

James 1:7-8 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

A person who has doubts shouldn’t expect to receive anything from the Lord. A person who has doubts is thinking about two different things at the same time and can’t make up his mind about anything.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Truth vs. Facts

I like to remind myself about the difference between the truth and the facts so I don't get it twisted in my own life. The truth is I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are God's creative works; and that my soul knoweth right well. The fact is that some days I feel so clumsy and fat - I am not where I need to be to fulfill God's purpose in me but I am on my way.

The truth is that I have family and friends who love me and care about me. Anytime I need help it is just a phone call away. The fact is that some days I feel so alone that I question why I am still breathing. Both realities can live inside the same body.

The truth is that people can witness the same events (or grow up in the same house) and still come away from the experience with different interpretations of what actually occurred. The fact is that your personal interpretation of those events will ultimately shape your life and determine your success or failure.

The truth is that people who love you can hurt you and cut you deeply. The fact is that the pain comes from the wound with no regard as to the motive of the individual inflicting the pain. So whether they tried to help you or hurt you, the pain is still the same.

The truth is that God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. The fact is that whenever people or events come into my life and all I can feel is confused about why they are there, I know that the people and/or the event did not come from God.

Life can be very challenging when we do not know the difference between the truth and the facts. Facts are subject to change but truth is consistent and unchanging. Always hang on to the truth and don't be swayed by facts.

Do you have a truth that you know and live by? Let's discuss it in the comments...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I love the word integrity. The quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness. The state of being "all one". Having integrity means that you do what you say you are going to do and what you say and do lines up with what you believe. It means that you do not compromise yourself when it gets tight and uncomfortable.

I want my life to represent integrity. I want my belief system to be reflected in all areas of my life, including my physical being. So I will no longer say that I dislike exercise. Exercise is something I do because I am unwilling to compromise my integrity. So if I believe that my body should be a reflection of my Creator, (and I do believe that), then it should be apparent when you see me, talk to me and watch my actions. In 2011 I am seeking a body, soul and spirit that embrace good health. A being that is ALL ONE. Sometimes change hurts, but change is good.

So I will test my consistency during the month of February. I would like to walk at least 2 miles every day. Why don't you join me in doing one thing to change your patterns and change your life? Another thing I am doing is adding vegan choices into my menu for the family. One item I am trying this week is gardein. What is it?
gardein™ is a wholesome range of tasty plant-based foods with a meaty texture. it’s made from soy, wheat and pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and kamut®). gardein™ is easy to digest and free of cholesterol, trans and saturated fats. the majority of gardein™ foods are a good source of fiber and low fat too. gardein™ is also animal and dairy free.

Go to the website and see all of the tasty choices and try one for just one night of the week, like a meatless Monday. You might even fool the die hard meat-eaters in your family into loving new vegan choices in their diet.

Peace and Blessings,


Friday, January 28, 2011

The Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet Day 21 - Victory!

Just a short note to say that yesterday was Day 21 and the MVD diet has now been completed. On Monday I will post about my new lifestyle changes. I feel better than I did three weeks ago and I have dropped 15 1/2 lbs during the cleanse. I still dislike doing exercise but I am willing to continue to do it because I am getting ready for a 5K walk on March 13, 2011. My previous time for this 5K was 55 minutes and I'd like to do better this year. Right now I am still pretty slow compared to 2 years ago so this is a good transitional exercise goal for me as I try to do better in 2011. Thank you to all who sent a kind word and prayed for me, I appreciated it and many times needed it to get through.

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here is only to report my experience.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet Day 11 - 17

Wow, I can't believe it but, it is true. I am coming down the home stretch. Four more days to go on this detox cleanse diet. I feel much better than when I first started. My strength and stamina are coming back after being ill most of November - December. My husband is already planning what he will eat when he completes the fast but there is a definite way to end the fast as well as how to begin one. That porterhouse steak he is dreaming about will have to wait.

I'm in no hurry to eat meat. But when I do eat meat I'm no longer going to just buy the cheapest cuts. More than the Master Cleanse, this detox has made me cognizant that what we eat matters. It will affect how we age and how we live in the present. Maya Angelou says that when we know better we do better. May that be one of my mantras from today onward. My two mile walk in the park today was not very fast, I did a 22 minute mile. And I watched families barbecue and play in the park and I appreciated the mountains that surrounded us and I thanked God for the beauty around us.

I don't like exercise. I'm hoping that when I lose more weight that I will feel differently about it. The BodyMedia Fit Armband is a great tool because it reminds me how much more I need to do and as the day goes by I can make adjustments. I like knowing that I have done enough each day to put me in a future weight loss mode.
So far during the cleanse I have lost almost 14 lbs. I have not done anything strenuous, I've just made sure I walked twice a day. This has been a time of healing not working out.

I'll do a wrap up on day 21 and then move on. The Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet requires that you do the cleanse (for a period of 7 days), three more times in the year. It is suggested that you do it at the change of seasons. So I will do this again after my birthday in May. Anyone else want to join me?

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here is only to report my experience.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet Day 7-10

Yesterday my husband and I went out to Griffith Park and did a 2 mile walk with our dog. Well we were walking, he was sitting in his new stroller and was pushed along the route. He is old (15 years) and can't walk far any more. This way he can still come out with me when I exercise.

Well, week 1 has been completed. How does it feel? I feel more energetic now so I am exercising more. I had a come to Jesus moment with The BodyMedia FIT Armband and Display. I realized that I am wearing a tool which tells me how many calories that I take in and burn and it tells me if I have done enough to stay on track, why would I stop short of the daily goals? I was using it to record what I had done, instead of making the adjustments when I did not do enough. On day 7 I corrected my course and made the change. Now the day is not over until all the goals are met.

I believe this is only possible because of the ASEA that I've been taking for the past 11 days. Before I started taking it, I was getting winded very easily when I walked uphill and when I worked out, my muscles took a long time to stop aching (I am overweight and no athlete.) But in these past days I've found my endurance has really increased and I can tough it out thru a long workout, even while on this cleanse. I can also breathe easier when I exercise and not get as winded.

My husband commented today about the increase in stamina that he has seen in me in the last two weeks. As a non-athlete I can say that I am seeing the benefit of the cleanse and the ASEA.

Also my broths and soups continue to be tasty and filling. This liquid detox diet has meant that we have been living a vegan lifestyle for the past 9 days now. I don't miss meat, (because this has a set beginning and end). And I know that I will have more meatless days during the week (with more soups too).

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here is only to report my experience.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet Day 5 & 6

The days are becoming more routine now. As I said before, eating fruits and vegetables every day means that I am not starved. I do feel shaky if I do not have my meals at the regular intervals. If you do try this cleanse, do not miss any meals.

The author of the book, 21 LBS in 21 Days is also on Twitter so yesterday I asked Dr. Rhoni a quick question about agave nectar and whether it is suitable for the cleanse. She responded quickly and said yes, it is fine to use it in your iced tea or hot tea as long as it is the organic kind. I had thought so and I don't like stevia, even though it is another all natural sugar made from a plant. To me, it has an aftertaste like saccharine does and I don't like it.

I did not do much exercise in the first four days due to the early healing crisis and lack of energy so I made sure I did my one mile walk with my husband on Tuesday and I did a 2 mile walk on Wednesday. I will be watching to see how and if the ASEA helps me recover from the exercise. I can say that I had more stamina today than I have had since I became ill in November. It is good to feel stronger even though I am nowhere near where I was last summer. This too shall pass I believe. I plan to get on a scale on Saturday (which will be Day 8) and see where I am with energy, and possible weight loss.

I am also tracking my calorie intake, burn, sleep duration and efficiency with the BodyMedia® Fit Armband and Activity Display. This is the armband that is used on the show, The Biggest Loser to help the people on the ranch track their progress. This is another layer of accountability for me and another step to making changes that I can sustain for life.

Finally, I can say that, yes, being on a cleanse or fast does require discipline and does not feel good all the time. There are lots of food ads on billboards, newspapers, buses, and on the internet and TV. Healthy choices sometimes mean more expensive choices and steps to a better life can be taken one step at a time. I am going to keep my eyes open for bargains and deals that exist to help people who want to add better choices to their life.

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here is only to report my experience.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet Day 4

A much better day today but a very hectic one. I was out running errands most of the day and it was a good test for me on time management while cleansing. I made a few of my food items the day before so I wasn't caught without my drinks, soups and teas while running around. It feels good to be home and winding down with a cup of hot tea and a glass of filtered water with a slice of lemon. No headaches today but I drank much more water and stayed hydrated, I think that would be a key to remember if you decide to do the cleanse. Have an 8 oz. glass of water every two hours and you will be fine. I also noticed that it was much easier drinking my ASEA today, but I can't say it tasted great yet, but definitely better going down.

I decided today to get rid of time-waster's in my life, including decreasing my non-business social media presence. So if you don't see me online as much, all is well but shedding toxins makes you so much more mentally alert and it allows you to place new demands on yourself.

The last two years were tough and included a period where I really lost my sense of self. If you've reached a decision point in your life where you have to figure out where you are going next, I think a period of fasting or cleansing can be beneficial. I'm only just a few days in so we shall see what shall be revealed over time.

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here is only to report my experience.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Martha's Vineyard Diet Day 3 - Repentance

Day 3 started with me having a headache again, but not quite as bad as the day before. Every single joint in my body ached however and I was only able to walk stiffly like an arthritic old woman. I felt bad but my husband generously brought my morning filtered water, Burdock Tea and Mixed Berry smoothie to my bed and I pitifully drank them all there. It was pretty obvious that my body was releasing a lot of toxins and I was having my first "healing crisis". If you want more info about that please read the book - I want you to get the right information in its purest form and not my interpretation of what the experts said. Remember, I'm not a doctor, just a woman trying to do better since she now knows better.

After listening to a great Sunday service at my church, (online, because I was not moving well), I started preparing the vegetable broth for lunch and the pureed soup for dinner. It was Sunday so I wanted them both to be special so I started with my regular Mirepoix, (a combination of chopped carrots, celery and onions used to add flavor and aroma to stocks, sauces, soups and other foods.) It is supposed to be about 50% onion and 25% each carrots and celery. I let that lightly caramelize in 2 tablespoons of EVOO and I added 3 cloves of minced garlic and 1 diced green apple. Finally I added 1 diced turnip and 1 diced butternut squash to the mixture with 2 sliced serrano peppers (with seeds included because I like it hot). Then I added a 1 inch piece of peeled ginger root, green basil, thyme, curry powder and a cinnamon stick and 4 cups of organic vegetable stock. I let the broth simmer for 1 hour and then separated the broth and the softened vegetables. The broth we drank at lunch and the pureed veggies were the evening's soup dish. I also drank much more water today and adjusted my ASEA to 2 oz. morning and afternoon, (instead of morning and night). I also had an enema in the evening, no details needed, but if you want to know why, read the book, :-).

My joints felt better in the afternoon and I went for a 1/2 mile walk. It was up and down a grade so going down was easier than going up. I was winded so I only did the 1/2 mile and did the other half later. It is suggested to only do a mile a day while on the detox diet.

After listening to the day's sermon at church, I felt a need to repent. My belief is that all humans are made of body, soul, and spirit and I was not considering the deity inside me when I was making all those food decisions that had a negative impact on my body. If I really wanted to live a life of purpose, why would I eat foods that would kill me before I had time to complete my assigned task? I was living a life of confusion and God is not the author of confusion. I guess I had to clear my mind so I could pay attention to the fact that I needed to change, (not for 21 days), but for good. I'm hoping that during these next 3 weeks that I will get an idea of what that permanent change needs to be. I deserve a better life than the one I am living and the world deserves a better Dede than the one I am giving them. I'm going to continue with my reading assignment and call it a night. Day 3 is finished and I call it good.

Finally, I must say that drinking this combination of dense fruit smoothies, broths, pureed vegetable soups with at least 5 servings of vegetables, and 6 glasses of filtered water, it is impossible to be hungry on this detox. The fruits and vegetables I am eating are nourishing and cleaning my body without a starvation diet so the weight that comes off from this will stay off if I eat with more thought in the future. And that is the plan...

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here is only to report my experience.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet Day 2

I woke up this morning feeling like a train hit me, my head was pounding and I needed some help. I asked my husband for acetaminophen tablets and lay down. He brought me a glass of filtered water, some Burdock Root tea and a Apple Berry smoothie (which can I say was delicious). I felt better in about an hour and the rest of the day went by smoothly. I was better able to plan and prepare and kept to the schedule so that every 1-2 hours we were drinking some liquid, whether it was filtered water, hot tea, a green smoothie or a vegetable broth. For dinner we had a pureed soup made with broccoli, spinach, zucchini, carrots, white onion, basil, garlic,thyme, and cumin. David added a dollop of plain low fat Greek yogurt to his. I added a teaspoon of homemade pepper sauce to mine, (I love my hot foods)!

We went shopping at Whole Foods for more produce and water and while there I had a shot of wheat-grass juice at their juice bar. When I first drank wheat-grass juice I thought it tasted horrible but today's shot tasted like sweet green peas. The aftertaste was very 'grassy', however, I am determined to do this the proper way, and the great tasting food I used to love gave me the body I currently inhabit. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired so I will learn to love wheat-grass and a vegetarian lifestyle if my body tells me that is what it likes to maintain a healthy weight and clean organs.

All in all, a better day. I drank my ASEA and took my other supplements at the proper times. The ASEA still tastes (and smells) almost like chlorinated water and is still unpleasant. My cousin told me that when your body is toxic the ASEA will taste bad but when you become clean it will taste much better. I can't wait for that day, :-).

I am finally reading the book, "Peace from Broken Pieces" by Iyanla VanZant. It is nice to have quiet time to meditate and to read. I am reading this book slowly and savoring the prose. I recognize that people who do battle weight have to do self inventory sometimes to see what we are really eating. I am enjoying this part of the journey too.

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here is only to report my experience.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Martha's Vineyard Detox Day 1

Thank God for the day of beginnings! It is intimidating to start something that lasts 21 days. Last night I was thinking, "Am I really ready for this? 21 days is a long time. My last fast was only 10 days. Suppose I fail while writing about this and everyone will know I wasn't able to do it?" But I got up this morning with a feeling of, "This is something that you need to do in order to get to your next. Dr. Charles Phillips (my former Pastor and a great motivational speaker) once said during a lesson, "If you wonder why God hasn't spoken to you about your next assignment, then go back and see if you completed the last assignment that you believed he gave to you". I've never forgotten that and I am careful about what I say I will do because integrity means doing what you say you will do all the time. So sometimes when everyone else is volunteering, I will just be silent so I have time to assess whether this is a 'God' thing or a 'good' thing. Not every good thing is good for me.

Sooo... here I am. Day 1 has been fine. My teas today were Burdock Root Tea and Dandelion Leaf Tea. My fruit smoothie consisted of carrot, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry juice. My vegetable broth was made from mexican zucchini, garlic, carrot, italian parsley, tomato, and cabbage. After removing the liquid I pureed the rest with some added cumin, basil, rosemary, curry powder and red pepper flakes and a little almond milk. This thick creamy soup will be tonight's dinner and I'll end the day with more water and some relaxing teas and a green smoothie for an evening snack. You can add a scoop of Protein powder, (mine has 20g of protein per scoop) to the two smoothies. And of course I also took my ASEA supplement - I do 2 oz. morning and evening and I have to say, I do not like the taste. If I had to swallow more than 2 oz. at a time my gag reflex would kick in. Energy wise, I feel fine and I'm going to do a one mile walk for the fresh air.

Peace and Blessings,


Please note that I am not a doctor and this record of my detox cleanse is not an endorsement of any detox diet or product. This is something that I believe is right for me and the results will tell the tale. My goal here was to report my experience because many of my family and friends have said to me, "I could NEVER fast, I need to get my meals EVERY day". And I totally understand where they are coming from, I LOVE to cook and I do LOVE food. I can say that when I have fasted before I found that there is a clarity of thought and a spiritual connection that comes that you cannot get without the fasting experience. Starting the year with a time of meditation, prayer and fasting seems like a good idea to me. What about you? Have you ever fasted before?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Preparing For the Detox Diet

Two days and counting until I start the Martha's Vineyard Detox Diet. All the Thanksgiving and Christmas eating has made me feel sluggish, and moving is feeling more labored. I'm looking forward to this cleanse and I've come to the point where I can happily let go of some foods that I've been holding on to. Good bye Lay's Potato Chips, I'm ready to let you go.

Prepared my shopping list today for the cleanse. My intake will consist of fruit and vegetable juices and blended soups and vegetable broths. I'm glad that I have an extensive knowledge of spices and herbs for cooking so that there will be lots of flavor with the nutrition.

I will also be adding some supplements, Aloe Vera Gel tablets, 24 Hour Inner Cleanse by Garden Greens and my usual vitamins. The Inner Cleanse consists of a daytime formula of herbs and an evening formula of fiber to help keep you clean. And of course I will be having 2 oz. of Asea in the morning and 2 oz. in the evening to help combat the negative side effects of detoxing and to promote cellular healing.

I have not seen any shopping lists online so I had to create my own. We will be drinking a lot of fruit and veggie drinks and teas but I'm hoping that since I will be buying no meat, dairy or processed food that our grocery expenses should remain consistent. Please note that I am not a Doctor and before you do a cleanse or a fast you should seek your doctor's advice. I'm doing what is right for my house, you have to do what is right for yours. My shopping list was as follows:


7 - Lemons
10 - Limes
6 ea. - Grapefruit
1 bag – Oranges
Other Berries (in season)

1 - Pumpkin /Squash
4 - Sweet potatoes
4 - Potatoes
1 Bag Carrots
2 Bags - Mixed Greens - Collard, Kale, Mustard
1 Bag - Romaine lettuce –
Beet Leaves, Beets
Green Beans
Black Beans, Dried

Teas, Herbs and Spices
Rice Vinegar
Asian Chili Sauce
Teas – Barberry Root Bark, Oregon Grape Root, Beet Leaf, Dandelion Leaf and Root, Red Clover, Milk Thistle
1 - Ginger root
1 - Cinnamon Sticks,
1 pk. - Clove, Whole
Turmeric Powder
Oregano, Basil, Italian Parsley, Rosemary
Nutmeg, Whole
Vanilla Extract
VEGESPLASH Greens Drink Mix
4 - Vegetable stock 32 oz.
4 – Distilled Water Jug

This is what I needed because I had other herbs, spices and supplements in the house. For a complete list of what is proper, please read the book. Tomorrow I will clean out my cupboards and wash and wipe the cupboards and fridge so there will be no odors of food that is "off my list".

Please come on this journey with me and leave your comments here and not via email or Facebook, those of you who receive this in that form. This will be the spot I go to when I feel like giving up and this will be the spot where I will record my results and post pics and videos. Get ready, get ready, get ready!

Peace and Blessings,