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Susan Wanderer has worked with families in kids ministry for 20 years, with the last ten years serving as Kids Minister at Mount Ararat Church in Stafford. Susan and her husband Ed reside in Fredericksburg and have three amazing kids who joined their family in 2011 and who fill their days with adventure. Come join the conversation over at 

My Stomping Grounds

I had such high hopes. I truly thought If I could just lose the weight I would be a better mom, better wife, better employee, better daughter, better in law, better adventurer, better roller coaster rider, better lover, better booth-sitter, better hiker, better yoga-pant-wearer, better Loft-dresser, better everything…

And once I had lost my weight, I would have arrived.  And then food, exercise and weight would no longer be an issue and I would move onto the next shortcoming and stronghold.

I dreamed of waking up in the mornings and not thinking about how fat I felt.  I obsessed over not obsessing about wise eating. 

I lost close to 70 pounds. Through diet, exercise and an incredible trainer, my butt was sufficiently kicked, my actions held accountable and the weight came off. My local trainer and friend, Clarence Stokes showed more compassion, patience and kindness to me than I deserved.  

For 12 months the weight-loss journey was a glorious gift. I look back at the pictures from a year ago and I was so excited for the first time in my adult life to be a part of the Summer Season. It felt as if I had received a special membership card only given to healthy people and I was allowed in every pool and amusement park without a shame placard around my neck.

Then menopause arrived early. And my body revolted. The hormonal rollercoaster of life allowed for over half of those pounds to arrive back on my already over-weight hips. With each pound came guilt, shame and tears. I can blame half the weight gain on hormones and my body acting like a rebellious-middle-aged-woman throwing a temper tantrum. But the other half, that is just me allowing poor choices to overtake. Admitting that last part makes my soul hurt.

So here I sit at the beginning of the new Summer Season.

Today I S Q U E E Z E D myself into last years’ little gem of a swimsuit and stared in the mirror at how differently it looked. As my daughters knocked on the bathroom door with anticipation for the first day of pool season, I bit my lip, pushed back the hot tears and went off into the sun with my kids as they blissfully kissed summer hello.

The cycle of weight loss and weight gain is complex. The ones of you that do not know this journey do not understand its burden. 

Most people (who I affectionately call ‘Skinnies’) think: Seriously, just stop eating, start exercising, do something about your current circumstance.

And while yes, the simplicity of that seems obvious, weight-loss is a bit more tangled than that. It’s a stronghold.  It holds your heart and your thoughts stronger than you ever anticipated. 

My current goal is small, but attainable: More Move. Less Food. Hold Tight.

It’s not about being skinny or even 70 pounds lighter.  Its about not being consumed. A fat person’s thoughts are normally dwelling on one phrase: I am so fat.

We wake up thinking it, ponder it throughout the day and go to bed beating ourselves up over it.

For each person, More Move, Less Food, Hold Tight may look differently.

But this is what I want it to look like for me. 

  1. Move each day for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Eat Less. (Less poor choices and more wise choices; think more protein and veggies)
  3. I’ve grabbed a few key scriptures to hold tight to during times of difficulty that will help my mind and heart stay on course.

And Today! Today, I CAN attain that. Then I will celebrate that success like a crazy woman.

I will wildly dance around my living room, sing way too loud and squeal with delight over one day of More Move, Less Food, Hold Tight!

Then I’ll get up and try it again tomorrow.

Taking it 24 hours at a time makes the guilt not heap up so high. It makes the shame not so overwhelming. It makes the tears not choke me. 

Twenty-four hours gives me an ending point to my day and the ability to celebrate a win like a wild woman. 

Over-weight Moms, we can do this. We can prove to ourselves that One-Day is attainable. And if one day is attainable, then two days might be doable as well.

So, let’s do this.  We can move more… eat less food… and place our thoughts on better things.

Let’s encourage each other and be community for each other to make wins possible each day.

 I am flapping my mom-wings over here and going hoarse in cheering all of us on to victory!

Let’s unite and become healthy Moms, healthy wives, healthy employees, healthy friends…

I’m cheering you on!


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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.