A *LOT* to be thankful for... starting with being *LITTLER*

I have always loved Thanksgiving.  When I was a kid I loved it 'cause of the happiness that it brought to my family - we'd often host Thanksgiving dinner and had a house full of company which I've adored since I can remember.  And I am a sucker for traditions. 

The tradition at my home was to get up early and I would watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade while eating fruit from the fruit bowl which - in itself - was a tradition.  Thinking back on this - the ONLY time we EVER had a filled fruit bowl in my home growing up was at Thanksgiving.  It was overflowing with MacIntosh apples, clementines, grapes, and bananas.  My mother would be making stuffing and then filling the bird and the house smelled wonderful! Later at the dinner table my brother and I would playfully argue about whose chair the stuffing bowl would be placed before and my sister and I would let my Dad decide who would get to break the wishbone with my brother later in the week and make a wish! : )

This year, as the holidays sneak up on us like they do every year - I have so much to be thankful for! I am overwhelmed with gratitude for so many things in my life, but what I want to share with you is one horrifying glimpse of how heavy I was LAST YEAR at the holidays so you can understand the depth of my thankfulness this year!

The picture below is of me at the holidays last year...

How many chins can one girl have for goodness sake?  How many pounds could I have gained before that 3x sweater no longer fit me?  Even my hands were fat! I thank God I am not this same size. I was miserable. I was SO very unhealthy.  I could barely breathe walking up stairs or exerting myself physically in any way.  I was unhappy with who I was and where I was in my life.

But that was THEN and those days are long past.

The picture to the right is of me on Halloween.  Now I am HAPPY again. I am eating healthy and setting goals for myself in all areas of my life!  I have lost over 50 pounds and I am rediscovering things I like to do - finding new things that I'm enjoying like going to the YMCA, and I am getting my health back.  My asthma is still a part of my life but has diminished SO much! I no longer check to be certain I have an inhaler with me every time I leave the house. I still have a double chin, too, but - darnit! - it is 'littler'!

  On Wednesday I will make the three hour drive to my Mom's house to pick her up and bring her back to Boston with me so she can celebrate Thanksgiving with my son and I.  I am thankful she is still able to do the holidays with us at 83 years old. Many of her friends are now gone, others in nursing homes.  I'm realizing how much I'll miss her when she is no longer here and insists on telling me that frozen birds are as good as fresh! *grin* (Among other things she feels the need to say every year!)  My holiday menu will change a little bit this year but not toooo much.  I will be eating less breads and won't have gravy or butter.  I happen to love vegetables so I'll load up on squash and turnip and brussel sprouts.  I'll make all the traditional dishes my family has always made - scalloped oysters, bread stuffing, corn casserole, waldorf salad, but I'll be discriminate about what I eat and what I splurge on. 

 My brother won't be able to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with us in Boston - he'll be at his home in Seattle with his family... and I'll have the stuffing bowl purposefully placed in front of me and will think of him.  It is a tradition. : )

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Thank you for your encouragement and support.  I'm really very thankful for all of you on this journey with me! : )


Ashley November 19, 2009 at 8:58 PM  

Yay yay yay! Way to go! What a great way to enter the holiday season: feeling good about yourself and feeling in control.

Anonymous November 19, 2009 at 10:29 PM  

Wow, you look amazing since last year. Keep up the good work!

~Hope~ November 20, 2009 at 10:19 AM  

Some how, some way I came across your blog! Glad I did. Thanks for sharing your commitment to your journey. Great progress!

Alice Jones Webb November 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

Wow! You've come a long, LONG way in one year. Have a marvelous Thanksgiving!

Mary :: A Merry Life November 20, 2009 at 1:04 PM  

You've done an amazing job in one year! You definitely can be thankful for all your progress! Congrats and keep it up! :)

Anonymous November 20, 2009 at 3:07 PM  

What a wonderful post! First, when I looked at your before picture--I LOVED that red sweater!--and thought you looked nice. :) Then I saw the after picture and thought you looked astounding! I definitely saw a waist. :) Good work! And Happy Thanksgiving! :D Deb

Unknown November 20, 2009 at 10:27 PM  

What a terrific post, and what great progress you've made! You LOOK happier, and for good reason!
I hear ya on the asthma, too. I just realized today that I haven't had to use my rescue inhaler in about 3 months!!! Still have to take my Advair everyday, but like you said - it's nice being able to go out without looking for my inhaler before I leave.
Have a great holiday!

Diz November 20, 2009 at 11:01 PM  

Wow congratulations girl on a healthier, happier you! Isn't it wonderful!? Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for a wonderful post. :)

Kat November 21, 2009 at 1:28 AM  

You are doing awesome! And you look happy and healthy too. What a very powerful year you have had. I am looking forward to seeing us both meet our goals. Have a wonderful weekend. xoxo

Tom Carroll November 21, 2009 at 8:44 PM  

That's a great looking Halloween costume! Congratulations on your asthma reduction. It was feel wonderful to be be breathing easier and easier. Happy Thanksgiving to you. We're sending you love and well wishes from Texas!