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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 

MWMG Pediatrics

My Stomping Grounds

5 things this fat girl will enjoy most in skinnyhood

So a few weeks ago my hubs and I began an adventure of Weight Watchers.  I wrote about it here. The first week was stellar. Between the two of us, we lost 20 pounds. I cried, I cheered, I seriously COULD NOT STOP SMILING during the entire meeting. What a grand feeling it was. 

Then Thanksgiving arrived. The turkey, the cranberry salad, the lumpy mashed potatoes, the bread, the sweets… but I digress.  We chose not to weigh-in that week. For obvious reasons. Those pilgrims knew how to throw a darn good tasty party.

We are mostly back on track (last night we went out with some co-workers for a Christmas dinner at our favorite uncle’s restaurant in Woodbridge… Uncle Julio makes the best salsa and chips, so of COURSE we had to partake… insert eyeroll).

So last night, after our Feliz Navidad Christmas Outing, I went home and created a list of the things I would enjoy the most when I arrive in my new neighborhood called, Healthyhood. (My list actually says Skinnyhood… but so many of you send me notes of “You don’t need to be skinny you need to be healthy” that I chose the softer phrase for fear of an email rebellion.)

If you are on a weight loss journey, perhaps these might make your list too. If so, we can be neighbors in our new hood… whether you call it skinny or healthy.

1. Flying on an airplane.

If you are a skinny, you don’t even know this dreaded scene.  I want to fit comfortably in an airplane seat, arm-rests down, no flopping over into the other seat and without a flight attendant running coming to my aid using their loud voice “Ma'am, would you like an extender?” I softly proclaim:  I would NOT like an extender, thank you very much, I’ll be just fine in my tourniquet over here.

During the entire flight I’m begging God for no turbulence, because the seatbelt is being held together only by a large inhaled breath and a prayer. If it should pop open, no way would it go back together. And my fear of loud-voiced-Lucy arriving to my aid in mid-flight, “Ma’am, let me get you that extender” would come true.

2. No Picture Taking Protruding Chin.

It will be lovely to not hold my chin high up in the air during a quick fun Instagram picture of a group outing.  In each photo I look like I’m staring at a skyscraper. The fear of the dreaded double or triple chin during pictures produces chin-pointing-problems in fat girls. It’s a real thing. Side Note: I always pick the tallest person to take the group photo… if they take the picture from high up, less chin protrusion is needed.

Also, no cropping will be a beautiful neighbor in my new hood. Because right now - cropping is a must... bust up only, please! 

3. Amusement Parks.

Similar to flying on a plane… but with no offering of an extender… just “Get off. You don’t fit.” I want to say the difference is that flight attendants are more adulty with their extender offerings than amusement parks teens who don’t understand how to accommodate awkward situations. However, the reality, fat people don’t fit on roller coasters. One day, I will fit on a roller coaster properly without having my insides squirting out between the tourniquet-type seatbelts. And my kids and I will squeal our heads off with happiness.

4. Hiking or Running a 5K.

I simply want to be able to go hiking or running with my family without the need of an oxygen tank strapped to my fat back.

5. Clothing Options.

Yes, I am aware that there are fat stores that sell fat girl clothes that don’t look AARPish.  However, I want to go into a store and shop in the section that doesn’t require me to go to an employee and whisper “Where is your Women’s Section?" As if I am not already standing in a section of women’s clothing… they all just happened to be size 2-10.  Really “Women’s Section” is code for “ Fat Girls' Area… where all the X’s live.”

The good news… these five things are so attainable. And with Weight Watchers, we are trying to get there day by day. The holidays were not the greatest time to start this journey because, well, holiday food is EVERYWHERE, lurking around every corner. Perhaps, though, this was the best time to begin.

On the way to the restroom there are WALLS of holiday breads and chocolates in the office break room. Those yummies are calling/squealing/cheering out and being so festive: “Seriously Susan, it’s Christmas, come partake!”

However, I want to enjoy my new digs in Skinnyhood more than I want those Yuletide Yummies! 

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The Laila Rose FoundationLailaRoseFoundationlogo

Established in 2006 in memory of Laila Rose Engh, The Laila Rose Foundation partners with Living Hope Adoptions to provide financial assistance to families adopting foreign born children with medical needs. Laila Rose, the namesake of the charity, and her mother, Lisa, lost their lives tragically in an automobile accident in 2005.