Posts by: Jo Davidsmeyer

What a wonderful Christmas. Blessings to all of you.

Had a great day with family. Enjoyed the dinner without over-indulging. Best of all, I enjoyed the warmth and joy of loved ones.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And  he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”



I started my journey in July with a goal to lose 40 pounds by Christmas. The last two weeks were a scale setback, but I was patient.I had a friend kept telling me that my weight gain of the last two weeks was just water weight – that I had stressed my muscles so much that they were holding on to the water – to just be patient and keep on the plan.

Well, he was right. I had the “whoosh” before Christmas, where my body suddenly decided to let that water go. When I got on the scale this morning, I was SIX pounds lighter. And that means I reached the goal I had set for myself in July. What a great Christmas present! Now, another 40 pounds by summer??? Yes! I can do it.

Right now I’m dashing madly around the house desperately trying to get all the presents wrapped. Later tonight I’ll make chocolate covered Strawberries for my Aunt and Mom. I’m foregoing making my traditional fudge for the family. I just don’t think I can resist that temptation.

Then it will be off the church for the candlelight Christmas eve services. I’ll be singing a solo at the services. Karla found an absolutely beautiful Christmas ballad called “The Hallowed Manger Ground” for me to sing. What an absolutely haunting melody. I love it. Supposedly it’s a popular song, but I have yet to hear it on the radio. If you haven’t heard it, go to YouTube. It’s truly lovely.

May the blessings of Christmas be to you and to your families.


I am truly blessed to be working at my school. It’s a wonderful environment. And I truly appreciate the many, many student helpers I have on my “Media Crew.” The library wouldn’t run as smoothly without them. I have over 100 student helpers who regularly volunteer in the media center. They adopt their own section of the library, which bears their name – they make sure their section remains nice and in order. They also help decorate the library, process incoming books, and many other behind-the-scenes tasks needed to keep a library running.

On the last day of school, as a small thank you for all they do, I had a party running all day long in the conference room in the library. I laid out chocolates and cookies, nacho chips and salsa, and other refreshments, plus coloring and word searches and holiday videos. For the largest group (my fourth and fifth graders) I had the ever popular BINGO with prizes.

I was so pleasantly surprised to realize that as I laid out the buffet that I felt no temptation to eat any of the treats. I had one cake pop in the morning (given to me by a fellow staffer) and then had a simple lunch. After fifth period, when all my media crew had left for the day, I realized I had treats remaining. I certainly didn’t want to take the treats home with me — I already had a merry bag full of gift treats given me by many students and friends, which I was planning to ration out sensibly over the upcoming vacation. Why add to that with snacks I had bought myself. So, I opened up the conference room to all the students who came in to the media center for the rest of the day (as long as they ate it in the conference room, not in the library). It was so sweet to see high schoolers say “Oooh, can we color?’ and how much fun they had with the simple holiday word searches.

I am truly blessed. May we all enjoy the simple blessings of Christmas, and even enjoy the treats — in sweet moderation.


Happy birthday, Dona. After all these years, I still miss you.

Dona Davidsmeyer Beale,
Dec. 21, 1946 – June 7, 1980

I love this picture of the two of us (I’m on the right). This absolutely had to the be our worst hair day ever. Taken Thanksgiving 1979. Our last Thanksgiving. I know you’re singing with the angels. God rest ye merry.


‘Tis the season of family and joy. Also, it’s the season of fudge, eggnog, cookies, candy canes, cakes, and all sorts of confectionary temptation.

Last Monday, I enjoyed a wonderful tradition. I took my parents out driving and we spent hours looking at the Christmas lights. Besides going among the neighborhoods, we also went to Grace Baptist church. They have a remarkable display of a million lights. They coordinate the lights with music and animation, providing a glorious holiday presentation. I didn’t realize that it was setup as a walk-through presentation. With Dad not able to walk, I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to enjoy it, but the people at Grace Baptist had setup a handicapped area where we could park and watch most the display. Thank you, Grace Baptist, for adding to our Christmas joy.

Driving and seeing the lights is one of my earliest Christmas memories. This was something my grandmother Yost especially loved. No matter how frail grandma got, she loved doing the annual drive around. As a child, I had often sat on Grandma’s lap in the back seat and just felt her love of seeing all the lights and appreciating the great effort that people put into bringing light and joy to the season. Now, it’s my parents who are frail and I’m the one doing the driving. So glad to continue the tradition.

After viewing the lights, we’d always go home and have cookies and hot chocolate. This year, I had tea while everyone else enjoyed the cookies. You know, it didn’t spoil the tradition a bit. And it didn’t spoil my long-term goals.



Went to the orthopedic surgeon today. About two weeks ago, my left knee really started hurting. Constant pain. I had to use a cane to get around at all. My doctor referred me to this surgeon and ordered some x-rays.

I’ve been trying to be careful while exercising at the gym, and being very careful of my knees, but maybe I did something at the gym. Who know?

Alas, the surgeon said that I have no cartilage remaining in my left knee. No wonder I hurt so much, I am scraping bone on bone every time I take a step. My doctor said I probably didn’t do anything in my exercise regimen, but that some little thing turned out to be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. My knee had been bothering me for some time — that was among the reasons why I started this journey, knowing that taking the weight off would help my knee.

But with no cartilage left, there are few options. I will have to have a knee replacement eventually. The doctor wants to try some other options before then. He gave me two injections directly into the knee today: one an anesthetic and the other steroids. He said I was going to feel great for at least a day, but don’t expect that to last; it would just be the anesthetic. Then the anesthetic would wear off and it would take a day or two to tell if the steroids would have any effect. The shot could alleviate the pain for a few months or just a few days. Everyone is different. Oh, and he said absolutely nothing at the gym except upper body work for at least week. Geesh, I have been doing only upper body for the past two weeks, I am so sick of it!

But, boy, is that anesthetic wonderful! I feel great. I haven’t felt this good in years. Wow, walking without hurting, that’s the way life is supposed to be. Now, why can’t I skip the steroids and just get an anesthetic once a week?

Waiting for the Whoosh

And, today, of course, was weigh-in day. For the second week in a row, I have gained two pounds even though I have scrupulously stayed on my diet regimen. I’ve been reading that when you have an injury, the body will retain water. In addition, I have  been really stressing on the upper body work and my muscles have really been pushed. According to everything I’ve been reading, the muscles will also retain water after intensive workouts. Supposedly, at some time there will be a “whoosh” when the body lets go of that water. I’m still waiting for it. I will continue with my regular diet, I know I’m still losing fat, even though the scale shows I am not losing weight. Oh, what a lesson in patience this is!


Lately I have been feeling very sorry for myself — throwing awesome private pity parties. Part of it is that I recently hurt my knee somehow and I’ve been in a lot of pain, especially when I walk (I see a doctor tomorrow about it, but that’s another story). Also, I gained two pounds last week, even though I was true to my calorie level. Third, I certainly haven’t felt like exercising, and certainly impossible to do any cardio. And four, I’m feeling despondent that I’m walking with a cane. I hate to be seen with a cane — I feel like such an old lady.

Today, I forced my self-pity into background mode and decided that I had to get some exercise. So I went to the gym — with my cane. Boy did I feel stupid hobbling from machine to machine. I worked just my upper body (of course). As I was hobbling from the machines to the pulleys, a lady stopped me. She said that she had been following after me on the machines and wanted to compliment me on my strength — she said that she had to constantly lower the weights following after me. And then she noted that I must have been working out for years to have such upper body strength.

Huh? I started working out in July. And, yeah, I guess I must be developing muscles, somewhere under the fat rolls. I was just flabbergasted by her comments. She was about my age with a nice body. And she went on to say that *I* was an inspiration? No, I’m a fat old lady feeling sorry for herself … until this complete stranger completely made my day.

I left that gym still limping but at the same time walking on air. So glad I put my pity and my self-consciousness aside to go to the gym and be the recipient of such a lovely gift from that wonderful stranger.


i really didn’t expect on my journey that i would consistently lose week to week. i have really been blessed that since starting 150 days ago each week i have shown a loss …. until this week.

Okay, i was prepared for a plateau. But GAINED two pounds? I made it through my birthday losing weight. I made it through Thanksgiving losing weight. And, now, this week, where i stayed on track the whole week except for one meal, and i GAIN two pounds? SMACK! (The sound of my head beating against the wall.)

Intellectually, I know that i could not possibly have gained two pounds this week. That would have meant me eating 7000 calories over maintenance. That did not happen. Even with my one meal off, i was in calorie deficit all week. i know it must be water retention, or hormones, or the phase of the moon, but, THE SCALE WAS UP TWO POUNDS!!!! (*sob* *sob* weeping into my non-caloric beverage).

it’s not fair. I know, life’s not fair, but in the back of my mind i was hoping that at least my new lifestyle would be fair.

This is temptation in my path. I was one pound away from my Christmas goal weight. I was so proud that i was going to hit the goal two week before Christmas. So much for that plan! This is going to be a push to make that deadline. And, geesh, I’ve got three batches of fudge and several batches of cookies to make before Christmas. Maybe I’ll have to wear a gag while making them.

Wish me luck everybody. I am definitely going to make my Christmas goal weight. Despite cookies, despite fudge, despite my stupid scale!


I’m so glad I’ve been taking measurements! It is such a great motivator when the inches drop off. The scale doesn’t always move, so it’s great to have that other motivator in the form of a tape measure. Alas, I don’t have that third great motivator — photos!

I weigh in every Monday morning. Now, I confess, I also sneak peeks at my weight in the middle of the week. But the only weight I consider “official” is the Monday weigh in. But I only measure once a month. Well, even that’s a fib. Two months ago, I got very disappointed when my monthly measurement showed very little change even though I was losing weight. I did not want a repeat of that disappointment last month, so I skipped the measurements.

So this month, when measuring time came along, it was really a two-month measurement, not one. Oh boy! What a difference two months can make. Totaling all my measurements, I lost 15 inches. Woo-hoo! Of that I lost two inches from the waist and two inches from the hips. I even lost half an inch on my wrists! I’m also really seeing the difference in my clothes. The 24 slacks are swimming on me. I’ve already donated all my 24 blouses to GoodWill. I have to keep the 24 slacks, because I only own two 22 slacks (which even those are beginning to be a bit big!)  I have a collection of size 20 slacks and blouses that I’m just dying to get into. No, these aren’t 20’s from when I was skinnier. Frankly, I don’t even remember ever being a size 20. No, my mother has lost quite a bit of weight recently and she has boxed up her size 20’s for me. And, alas, I am at the ripe old age where my mother and me actually now share the same taste in clothes. Oh, the pain!

After the great rush of joy from losing all the inches, I rushed to try on a size 20 pants. I could not believe it! I actually could get them over my fat butt and all the way on. Granted, I looked like a stuffed sausage in them, but before I started my journey, I couldn’t even get them part way up the hips. This is a great victory.

Now, if I could just get over my fear of taking pictures of myself in front of the mirror. I bet taking monthly photos would really be an inspiration to keep going. But darn it, I hate posing in front of the mirror. Even with 15 inches gone.


It’s finally beginning to happen — friends are noticing. Even though I blog about my new lifestyle, I haven’t told any of my friends about this journey. A part of me is still not accepting that this is my new lifestyle. I remember all the other failed “diets” and the awful disappointments when I failed again. I didn’t want to go through another failure in front of my friends.

But now, it’s  hard to keep this journey out of obesity a secret. As of today I have lost 40 pounds and people are beginning to notice. At choir rehearsal, a friend said, “You look different. Good. Are you losing a little weight?” She dropped her jaw in amazement when I said I’d lost 38 pounds! Yes, at my weight, it takes a lot of weight loss for anyone to notice. Then on Sunday (yesterday) another friend came up and said, “You’ve lost weight. What’s your secret.”  Ha! A secret. Nope. No secret involved – eat less and move more.

I had another fun non-scale victory at my last Toastmasters meeting. A friend said I was looking wonderful. She asked if I had changed my skin regimen because my complexion was beautiful. Skin regimen? I don’t even have one, but maybe I should develop one to go with my beautiful new body that is slowly emerging. I didn’t tell that friend that I was losing weight. I’m going to see how long it takes before she notices it’s the weight. But it is very nice to know that eating well is making my complexion glow!

Before closing out this post, let me add that I do have two friends who have known about my journey out of obesity from the start. These are my two Cursillo friends with whom I have a weekly prayer group. They have been so wonderfully supportive. Knowing that they are behind me, and that I see them once a week, is helping my on the journey. Their prayers are lifting me up. How nice for all of us that now that I’m 40 pounds lighter, there’s less of me to lift up!

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