Monday, September 20, 2010

To Everything There Is A Season

White snakeroot along the Balsam Mountain Trail - GSMNP
September 18, 2010

Nature, along with the Bible and The Byrds, are telling me that "to everything, there is a season."   When we crested a hill on the Balsam Mountain Trail Saturday, what you see in this picture spread out before us as far as the eye could see.  I can assure you this picture does not do it justice in any way, shape or form.  It was a jaw-dropping moment.  The plant is White Snakeroot and it has a very short late summer, early fall blooming season.  If you do not visit this or another high elevation trail during that season, you do not see the blooms.  You might also be interested in knowing that the plant can be toxic if eaten by animals which might explain why we saw no horseback riders on this very popular horseback riding trail yesterday. Legend says it is what killed Mary Todd Lincoln.  Hope you enjoyed that useless trivia because it has absolutely nothing to do with today's post!   LOL! 

So what does White Snakeroot have to do with Life Through Sharon's Eyes?  I try to research every trail prior to hiking it so that I'll know what I'm getting into and what to watch for.  So when I first saw this huge field of White Snakeroot in a flat area where three trails meet at a junction, I was prepared with the head knowledge of what it was, but I was not even remotely prepared for the reality of how beautiful it was in person.  And just think, if I'd hiked this trail at any other time of year, I'd have missed it.

To everything there is a season and for me, the next "season" must be a restrictive one with respect to my healthy eating plan.  I've struggled with this, prayed over this, wept over it and cursed everyone and everything because I am angry that I have to do it.  But answers come in many forms and they've come by way of my best friend aka Mr. B, my blog friends facing similar struggles and goals, a challenge that is structured with my name on it, and strength from above to just buckle down and do it.  I sense that in my frustration, I am missing the excitement of things happening in THIS season of my life and I'm tired of it.  I've got to find my way back......................

I have lost a significant amount of weight three times in my adult life.  Two of those times, in 1985 and again in 2006, I followed this plan and called it Sharon's Frugal Version of Nutrisystem, Jenny Craig or whomever.  To some of you, this would be a horrible way to lose weight, but I know that it works for me and I don't mind doing it again if I have to.  The other time, in 2000, I entered into a "challenge" with Mr. B.   I had gained a lot of weight working out of town with all expenses paid and he had picked up really poor eating habits that he wanted to change.  We challenged each other to go from October 1 until December 31 eating no white sugar, no white flour, no food containing hydrogenated oil (funny, you don't even hear that term used anymore!!) and no cokes (regular for him, diet for me).  Unbelievably, we did it.  He lost more weight than he needed to, but the change in me was astounding.  I can't remember exactly how much weight I lost during the three months, but the weight literally fell off my body and my abdomen, hip and thigh measurements decreased beyond belief.  You'd think I would've learned what sorts of products my body holds on to, but no, I couldn't bear to part with those three things again (never did pick back up the diet coke habit) so that is not the method I chose when I lost 65 pounds in 2006.  

But desperate times call for desperate measures and I can do anything for a "season."  I also know with a hunger in my soul not related to food, that I want these last 20 pounds off and I want to stop fooling around with it.  So enter, South Beach Steve's, Hot 100, a challenge focused on the last 100 days of 2010.  Yep, on September 23, we will only be 100 days from the end of 2010.  With a concentrated effort, I still believe I can reach goal by December 31, but it will have to be by a more restrictive method than I've utilized over the past several months.  Plus, I have one month of damage to undo!  But I think I'm ready.  I did this once between October and December.  By George, I can do it again.   I know that Tish at Incremental Improvements is in.   Want to join us????

Technically, I started this at 12:01 a.m. today by vowing to eat clean and healthy until Thursday, but effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning, no white sugar, no white flour and no processed foods containing trans fats until midnight on December 31, 2010.  More on the specifics tomorrow.  One thing is for sure - I plan for my focus to be very positive and revolve around what I CAN have with very little whining about what I'm giving up. 

Will this be hard?  You better believe it.   Will it be worth it?   You better believe it.   What makes me think I can do it?   To everything, there is a season.   And when you look at the rest of my life, this "season" isn't very long. 


  1. What a great challenge, Sharon! I like that it's just eliminating things that aren't really good for you anyway. You sound super-determined, so I have NO DOUBT that you will be 20 lbs. lighter in no time!

  2. I have been thinking about that challenge all day, and debating joining. I sure need something right now too Sharon!! But I did not do well on my last two challenges. Sigh.

  3. Yay! When I read your first paragraphs I was hoping you'd be joing Hot 100. I'm excited. I haven't listed my goals yet, but I'm thinking about it. We CAN do it and we WILL do it. Love your Bible verse, too. That helps. Did I miss your e-mail?

  4. I forgot to mention that I gave you a choice of blog awards today:)

  5. I'm in! No white sugar, white flour or processed foods for me.

  6. This comment is not about the challenge (which I think is good, by the way) but about the White Snakeroot. We also have this beautiful plant in MN and just as you described. In fall only and in the understory of the woods. Very, very beautiful small white clusters of composite flowers. One of my favs!

  7. Uh Oh, out with the Triscuits!

    I think your mental focus is there, and I believe you will do it!

    And I will be cheering you on!

  8. You go girl! I think you will do great!

  9. I'm doing Steve's challenge as well, but I haven't quite formed my goals yet.

    How lovely to catch something with such a short bloom time!

  10. I already eat like this for the most part and believe it's the best way to go. I'm looking forward to hearing more about it on tomorrow's post.

  11. Well, you have me considering Steve's challenge, that's for sure. Maybe it's the determination and hopefulness in this post. :) I'll decide by Wednesday if I'm in.


  12. He Sharon! Glad to meet you! And I am glad you are joining in the challenge!

    Just a side note - you sure do live in one of the prettiest parts of the country!

    Like you, I have been successful at losing weight, but also successful in regaining it. It is the goals that keep me focused now.

    The best to you - I look forward to reading more about you.

  13. Good goals, Sharon. For me, I know I could still overeat quite handily while not touching those foods!

    Thanks for sharing your hiking pictures. I love seeing them.

  14. Came over from Hot 100...I, too, have gained and lost and gained and lost and gained, and now plan to lose for the final time. I wish you the best of luck!

    Polar's Mom