June 30, 2011

Begin Again


As I was reflecting on the session that we just completed, A New Beginning, I concluded that the most important skill I have been able to develop over the past year and a half is the ability to begin again. This is not the same as starting something new. (I have always been good at that!) No, beginning again means to simply pick up where you left off and continue on. I strongly believe that if you can do that, you have the "secret weapon" to weight loss.

Beginning again is not in my nature. At this very moment I could probably produce over 20 half-finished projects from my house. The walls in my kitchen have been half-way painted for months (pictured above). I'm really good at beginning things, but less good at beginning them again. As I told the group last night, the ability to begin again is from God, not me.

Getting to that place, or developing that skill, required letting go. I had to let go of a lot of hopes and dreams and expectations. The hope that this would be easy, the dream that it would be fast, and the expectation that I would never mess up. I was holding on to those things with all my might and as a result, I had no might to do the work that needed to be done. I couldn't do the work while I was just standing there trying to hold onto stuff. Beginning again requires letting go, and taking risk.

Weight-loss has been a life-long struggle for me. Like many who are probably reading this, I tried about a million different times to lose weight. Early on I would tell myself " Okay, this is it. This is the time. I'm going to do it." And then I would fail. Sooner or later I would get motivated again. I would think "Okay, now this is the time. I mean it. This is it." And then: boom! Fail. At some point I would scrape up a teeny bit of dignity and go again. I began to think more along the lines of, " Maybe this time will be the time? Who knows." Eventually I got to the point of starting these things and thinking, "I know this isn't going to stick. Why am I even doing this?" And as you guessed, I would fail those times, too.

Can anyone relate to this? If so, allow me to offer some hope. After years and years, painful years, of beginning again, the time has come. This time really is the time! What if I had given up? What if I had decided to never begin again? I would never have gotten to the the time that really is the time. No matter how silly or futile it feels, you have to begin again. Over and over and over.

Success for me has come in the form of a million "beginning agains".  The only way I know to be able to begin again--over and over and over--is to keep putting my hope in something bigger than myself.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Don't be afraid to let go and begin again--this time might be "the time."
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June 29, 2011

Celebration!

Tonight marks the end of another First Place 4 Health session for my group. On the last night of each session we celebrate! The celebration is a time for everyone in the group to share from their heart. It is such a special and rewarding time. Can't wait for tonight!

        Just a few of the precious ladies in my group. Love them!

     Dancin' it up on our Spa Retreat last month

I can't say enough about this program. I hate to even call it a program because it's really not. It teaches a way of life that puts Jesus right in the middle, the beginning, the end and all throughout every aspect of life. It emphasizes encouragement, accountability and relationships. It teaches you how to keep going. I have tried many different diets, pills and programs but eventually I always ended up in the same place--hopeless, and heavier than ever before. I truly believe that I will never be in that place again.

Food is such a small part of what FP4H is all about and that's what I'm most thankful for. Food has had way too much power in my life for way too long. I feel like the way I am learning to live my life now is slowly but surely taking that control away from food and placing it where it was always meant to be--In Christ.

“O LORD, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you." 2 Chronicles 20:6


None can withstand the Lord, not even food. Victory in Jesus. Now that's something to celebrate!
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June 28, 2011

Intuitive Eating (My Way)

I've read a lot about intuitive eating on blogs and such. I've never actually read a book about it which I'm sure would be helpful. But I don't think I will. Eat when you're hungry, stop when you're full. To me that's what it is all about. Is there is some huge part of it I'm missing?

I just think this is the natural next step for me. I need to become aware of these things. I have always joked that I can't do Intuitive Eating because I don't know that I'm full until my pants button has popped open and I feel like I need to puke. LOL. But this should not be!

I feel like I have enough control to focus on this now. I will use my nutritional plan (which is not a diet because technically I can eat anything I want) as a boundary. I think the idea of no boundaries is what has scared me away from intuitive eating for so long, but I think I can apply the basic principles of eating only when I am hungry and stopping when I am full, while keeping my nutritional recommendations as the cap. The goal will be to never eat more than is recommended, but some days I may eat less, if that is what my body tells me to do.

I can't wait to see how this turns out. I really hope I can do it because this is how normal eaters function. And I would really love to be a more normal eater. Up to this point I have relied completely on a chart to tell me when and how much I can eat. If the package says I can have 14 pretzels, well then by golly--I'm going to eat 14 pretzels! I never think about hunger, only what the "plan" tells me. There isn't anything wrong with that--I don't think I could have come right out of the gate and been successful with intuitive eating, I needed hard line boundaries in the beginning. I needed that structure so I could give complete focus to working through the emotional/mental issues I have with food. Now, I think I'm ready to take it to another level. We'll see...

Any input from the Intuitive Eaters out there?
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June 27, 2011

There is More

Eight days ago my family took off for a week long mission trip to a Navajo reservation in New Mexico. There would be no running water, no refrigeration, no technology for the entire week. Someone else would be preparing my meals, there would be several fast-food stops, and very few opportunities for programmed exercise. These factors considered, I decided to take the opportunity to "unplug" from all things weight loss related for an entire week.

Bold move for this girl.

What I decided is that I would eat what the Lord provided. I would not pack special food that would have to be eaten in private. (Even though I think this is a perfectly acceptable practice) I would not fill out a tracker everyday. I would not exercise but I would try to stay active throughout each day. I would not read or write blog posts. I would not even do my First Place 4 Health Bible study. Lord willing, I would shift my focus completely off of food and weight loss for an entire week.

I didn't really know why I decided on all of this except that it's what God put on my heart to do. I had to check myself several times and ask if my motives were pure. Each time, I concluded that this break was the right thing to do. The theme for our trip was "Jesus + Nothing = Everything" and I really wanted to embrace that. Even though I frequently waiver emotionally and have my slip-ups, I have never completely logged off for an entire week, nor have I wanted to, honestly. It was a scary prospect but I felt like it was what I needed to do.

The trip went pretty much as expected, regarding the food, etc. I got up really early one morning to run, but it was just too difficult considering our sleeping arrangements (about 40 people in one big room). I had more fast food in the past 8 days than I did in the entire year of 2010 and 2011 combined. I ate things like sloppy joes, packs of chips, Chips Ahoy cookies, and yes, even S'mores. I ate what everyone else ate. I ate when everyone else ate. And it was okay. It was part of fellowship. It was part of being unified, which was a goal for the trip.

Just to keep it real, I should admit that a little part of me was hoping I would return home, step on the scale and see a miraculous 10 lb loss. Mostly I knew that wouldn't happen but it was a thought in the back of my mind. In reality, when I got home I found that I had gained about 5 lbs. I had mentally prepared my self for as much as a 10 lb gain, so I handled the gain just fine.

So that pretty much catches us up. I'm here. I'm healthy. I got to taste a bit of the "normalcy" that perhaps will be my norm someday. But for now its back to the safety of what I have come to rest in. Tracking, running, blogging, focusing...In Jesus' name I will press on, with the much needed reminder and assurance that there is more to life than weight loss. I'm so thankful.


Here are a few pics from my trip:


Glory and her daddy


Bible School sweeties


Jonah and his boys


Takin' a break, scratchin' the sand fleas :/



















This hip is where Glory spent most of the week. Sweet time with my girl:-)
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June 15, 2011

20.6 To Go


    160.6 lbs.

The way I title my weigh-in posts is going to be different from now on. As of today I'm 20 lbs away (20.6, but who's really keeping track?) from my goal weight. I think it's time to count this baby down. I may be posting my titles like this for another year or two and I'm okay with that, really, not. I just had to change it up. Call me silly.


I'm going to take an everything-cation for a couple weeks now. I know I will miss ya'll!


TTYL,
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Early Bird Gets the Breeze

And the sunrise!

I decided on a whim last night to attend a local group fitness class that met at 5:30 this morning! I woke up around 3 and spent the next two hours in a half-awake/half-asleep state thinking/dreaming of how I was going to get out of going to the class. I had already told my friend, the instructor, that I would be there. I had fought it so much, that by the time my alarm went off at 5:00 I was practically wide awake so I got up and went! Yay me!

I have been wanting to add some strength training to my weekly routine but it just seems so unlikely that I can squeeze one more thing in my day. Okay, that might be a tad bit dramatic. Let's just say it would be a challenge. I have been trying to ignore the 5:30 am Total Body Toning class that is just what I need but I am glad I finally gave in.

It was really hard for me because I haven't done any type of weight training in a while. We're only talking 3 lb. weights here, but it was still a really intense workout. I followed it up with a 2 mile walk/jog home. The breeze was unexpected and very appreciated as temperatures have already been exceeding the 100 mark pretty regularly. Muy Calient√©!

My favorite moments of the morning were first, experiencing the magical beauty of a full moon on my way to the class and then watching the sun rise as I walked back home. What a way to begin the day! I completed my special time with a glass of perfect iced coffee, thanks to Pioneer Woman.


Cheers!
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June 12, 2011

Before & Now

Was looking for some pics to do comparison collages tonight and found this from exactly one year ago!


And from yesterday:

Another before and now:

This is the same top. The biggest difference is in the face. Where were my eyes before!? So crazy.

Remember to take pictures! You never know when you'll need a pick-me-up that a good "before & now" comparison can provide.

Eating today--not too great but not off the deep end. I was in bed most of the day with some issues that I'm sure everyone would rather I not discuss. I'll just say that I was in pain and did a lot of sleeping. Feeling much better now and hopefully I'll be back to normal tomorrow. Unfortunately, inactivity for an entire day almost always leads to poor eating choices for me. Not really sure what to say about my eating well challenge. Obviously I can't meet the goal of 30 days. Hmm....


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June 11, 2011

The YAY Post


I ran in the Race for the Cure 5K this morning.



Kristi (who has lost 170 lbs. by the way) is highly involved with the Susan G. Komen organization. We have a wonderful weekend every year when the race rolls around to celebrate her mom, Katie, who is a 3 time breast cancer survivor! YAY!

Here they are together! YAY!



I love this picture :) I wrote a post after last year's race, too.

I really wanted to run a 30 minute 5K (or less!) but I just couldn't do it. I pushed myself pretty hard though and finished with all I had so that is satisfactory. Have you ever done a 5K? It is really an attainable goal for anyone. Check out the Couch-to-5K training plan, sign up for a race and get started! YAY!

I started back on my tracker yesterday and have completed today's as well. YAY. I decided yesterday that I would eat at Subway after the race today. I knew from past experiences that after I complete a race I feel "entitled" to eat whatever I want but I also knew I didn't want to eat "whatever" so I did a lot of mental rehearsing yesterday. It worked; even though I thought about Corner Bakery paninis and Taco Bueno burritos on the way, I did arrive at Subway. YAY.



I am about to have a cup of joe and plan out the rest of our crazy week. To-Do lists galore! We will be leaving a week from tomorrow for a week-long road trip out of state. I have lots to do before that happens: swimming lessons, shopping, 2 concerts, birthday GNO, cleaning house and and car, packing the fam of four...more than enough to make this anxious girl just a tad bit stressed. And we all know that stressed is desserts spelled backwards :( So, prayer. Lots of prayer. YAY!

It is 6:30. I don 't think I will be asleep before 8. I am always so afraid I won't make it from dinnertime to bedtime without eating something I didn't plan on! I feel like I am a character in a video game and the food is like little bombs and obstacles everywhere. If I can just dodge them and make it to the end without getting blown up I win. (YAY! If I win.)

Weird, right?
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June 10, 2011

Momentum Realized

It's official. I have bounced back from a brief fall. It's funny. I think sometimes I just have to go back for a minute to remind myself that THIS way really is so much better. It seems like every time I do that it is a worse experience than the last, but the reassurance is that much stronger. I am thankful for that.

Today I was thinking about how different my "falling off" looks now than it used to! Wow. Big difference. And that  realization is thanks in part to some of you who left really supportive and encouraging comments to remind me, for which I am also truly grateful. Thank you! As I've said before, we can never forget where we've come from.

In my analysis of why the "falling off" looks so much different now (1 serving of ice cream when I am not hungry verses a whole gallon, for example) the word MOMENTUM came to mind. The thought of this word made me remember a post that I wrote a long time ago with the same title. I found it archived all the way back in February of 2010, right after I started.

I just read it. Can I tell you how much this made me want to cry and praise the Lord for the miracle he has done in my life!? Praise HIM, praise HIM, praise HIM!

Please, read this:

Momentum
(REAL FAT, February, 2010)

I always start a diet (Yes, a diet. Let's just call it what it is! Until I reach a goal weight, I am on a diet. I would like for it to be a lifestyle change and hopefully it will be. But for right now, its just a diet. I feel like "diet " is a dirty word these days. Well, not in my book. Diet, diet, diet) Okay, sorry. As I was saying...
I always start a diet with gusto, but look up 6 months down the road to find the momentum has taken a turn in the wrong direction. I have gained several...tens of pounds and am left thinking that if I had only kept the momentum going in the right direction I would be down that many pounds. It is frustrating.
Such a slippery slope, falling off the wagon. You have been doing amazingly well for a month or so. You pass up candy at the office, drive past the Taco Bell that is calling your name, order the grilled chicken instead of the chicken fried steak at your favorite restaurant. You're doing SO good!
But then it slowly begins to happen. About 9 o'clock one evening you are craving something sweet. Chocolate, I imagine. You try to distract yourself from the cookie dough sitting in the refrigerator. You go to sleep. 10:30 you sit up in bed. You think to yourself, If it's in the middle of the night and I eat it, there's no line to write the points down. It must not count. (Yes, this is the distorted and seriously SICK logic a food addict might use. We're crazy.) You get up and eat some dough. And then some more dough. Before you know it, you are throwing the package away and feeling really bad about the decision you just made.
You wake up the next day and start out in good spirits. You have every intention of getting "right back on track." But as you are heading to work you realize you have a few extra minutes. McDonald's is on the way. Hmm, you already messed up the night before. It's going to be a bad week anyway. Might as well drive through for breakfast.
Lunch rolls around. The stuff you packed doesn't sound good. Your buds are going to drive through somewhere. Heck, its Friday!
And then--the weekend. Well, let's just say it ain't pretty. You get discouraged. You spend a few weeks following this pattern and before you know it the hard work that you had put in during the early weeks, it's all down the tubes. You failed. Miserably.


But.


But, what if momentum were to go the other way? What if the good choices began to build on one another and the more that were made, the easier it became to make them. Eventually perhaps McDonald's didn't even catch your eye. Maybe you would actually rather have the grilled food instead of the fried. And maybe, you could teach yourself to stay on track even after you mess up.


Momentum.


I want to be so far in, that there's no turning back. Wonder what that will be like? Feel like? Look like?


I'm about to find out.



You know what I love about this post? When I typed that last line, I believed it...and the rest is history.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

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June 9, 2011

Full As a Tick

The absence of my tracker and weigh-in posts should give everyone a pretty good idea of what's been going on the past couple of days with me. I'm too tired to rehash it all tonight, but I do not want to forget how I am feeling right now as I crawl into bed. I am miserable, on the verge of being sick even. I am not happy, satisfied or "okay" with the choices I have made. No, it was not, nor will it ever be worth it. I am made for more...
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June 8, 2011

Pizza and Ice Cream



Who eats pizza and ice cream just hours before a weigh-in? Who eats pizza and ice cream when they are on a 30 day "Eating Well" challenge? Who eats pizza and ice cream while standing and scarfing and hiding?

I DO! *Hit self on forehead*

I did this. Today. Just now.

What on earth is my problem!? (Wait, I know the answer to that)

Just wanted to put it out there. It always feels better to confess, and makes it easier to move on. Weigh-in results later...
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June 7, 2011

What's Up With Blogger?

Okay, I just came up with something!!! Is it just me or is blogger having some major issues? I can not comment on anyone's posts. It is frustrating the dickens out of me. I get these long comments typed up then go to publish and it keeps sending me to "sign in" over and over again. UGH!!!! Sorry. it just happened for the 3rd time and I am mad.

Ever since there were a couple of days that we could not access blogger a few weeks ago, I have been a little nervous about the future of the site. Should I switch to another host? I don't want to lose my blog! Anyone else feeling like this???
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Major Blockage

I have been trying to write a blog post for about an hour. I got nothin'.



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June 5, 2011

The Day of the Dorito

I remember sticking my hand into a bag of Doritos one time and subsequently enduring the most heated argument that ever has taken place between 2 voices in one person's head.  It was during this argument that I realized I had a trust issue. (Okay, I realized I had issues, period. But mainly a trust issue.) For the first time it really hit me that even though I knew it would be better for me to release the chip, remove the hand and throw away the bag, I didn't trust that I would be okay without the chips. I didn't trust that life would go on for me if I didn't eat those chips. I didn't trust that the helpless feeling would pass. I didn't trust that I could be just as content without eating those chips. I didn't trust the TRUTH.

What did I trust? My flesh. My desires. My wants. Those were the things that I had placed my trust in. There was (and still is) this little voice inside my head that speaks for my fleshly desires. And dang it, that voice should be selling oceanfront property in Arizona. It's good. It's real good. It can rationalize, coax, assure and it really knows how to close a deal. The only problem with this voice? It's a LIAR.

Romans Chapter 7:

4 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.

The day of the Dorito was when I realized that part of me didn't want to eat the chips but another part of me did. Two very distinct parts. And I realized that the part of me who did want to eat the chips was winning more battles in the war than the other part.

15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

So frustrating! I thought to myself, why do I always trust the sleazy salesman voice who cares nothing about me instead of trusting the voice of truth that died for me to be free?

19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.

On this day, with that thought weighing heavily on my mind, I chose to put up the Doritos. By the grace of God, I stopped eating them. The day of the Doritos will live in infamy. It is forever etched in my mind. Because it was the day I understood that the truth really will set me free...

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

To be free. At the heart of it all, that's what we want, right? Freedom. But we first must know The Truth. We must know it so that we can recognize it and hear it. But freedom does not come when we merely know the truth and hear the truth. Freedom comes when we act upon the truth.

It seems the key to this whole thing is in the very last sentence of Romans 7:

So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Fill your mind with the truth of God's Word.

Believe the truth.

Trust the truth.

Believe it and trust it over the flesh. When the voice of the flesh begins to whisper in your ear, demolish it with the Truth. Allow the Truth to reign in your life! I refuse to be a slave to Doritos. If I'm going to be a slave to something, let it be for the cause of Christ, the only cause worth living for and the only cause worth dying for. Amen.

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June 4, 2011

My Weekend and Good Recipes

Just returned from a Girls' Getaway with my First Place 4 Health group. We had a blast. The first day was all about relaxation at the spa and today was all about adventure in the great outdoors. I chose to go canoeing for the first time ever. It was awesome. That is something I would have never dreamed of doing a  year ago.

The food part of the weekend went well. I planned all our meals and prepared them. We had plenty of fresh fruit and healthy snacks the whole time. I find it very interesting that I never stressed about food. I am going to have to go back over the details of why it was so stress free...I know the pre-planning was part of it but that I have always known.

I made a couple of recipes that were really good:

Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa
Mexican Chicken Casserole with Charred Tomato Salsa Recipe

Sausage and Cheese Breakfast Casserole Recipe
(I used whole wheat bread on this)

Everybody really seemed to like these recipes so I give them 2 thumbs up! I never make "healthy" recipes, just usually come up with my own stuff, but these impressed me. I will have to do this more! Also thinking about a Cooking Light subscription. Anyone else have one? Opinions?

Trackers for Friday and Saturday:



So, about my June 30 day challenge for "Eating Well". I have already come of short of each of the three sub goals I set for myself the ultimate goal being "Eating Well." AWESOME ME! So technically I...failed? But that doesn't make sense because even though I didn't meet all of the goals I had set for myself, I still feel that I ate well over the past three days. And that is the point, right?

Thursday was crazy, I just didn't track and frankly, I'm too tired to think back that far right now. Plus, what is the point of that? (Tracking is supposed to happen as you eat, not days after you ate, just sayin') Friday I had more than one up or down arrow on the tracker and pretty sure each day I had something that is not on the "choose often" list. So like I said, technically a failure. But actually not a failure. Because I still managed to eat well all of those days and I am still in control and making wise decisions. I guess if I can manage to eat well and not reach any of my goals and the same time then my goals weren't very good ones or maybe they were just unrealistic. Not sure. I'm going to have to think about this.

At any rate, tomorrow will be a continuation of eating well. I am still doing this challenge. To my other challenge buddies, you know that saying "Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will land among the stars"? Yeah, it's like the cheesiest thing ever but it is so true for us. Just the fact that we have goals and are going after them is a really, really big deal. If we can face falling short on a goal or two and continue going on...even bigger deal! Press on, keep the faith.

Now melatonin, come to mamma!
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June 1, 2011

Weigh-In: Point 2 lb. Loss

161.8

Down .2 more! Thrilled with that since I had dessert practically everyday. And they weren't Splenda desserts, either.

Today was the first day on the Eating Well challenge. I was a bit off guard as Wednesdays are my craziest day of the week. But tonight as I filled in my tacker I was happy to see that I had eaten just about as close to perfect as possible with the exception of too much Ranch dressing. Dang the Ranch dressing. I'm pretty sure it would make tar taste good. But, that's why I made the provision for one up or down arrow per tracker because no one is perfect. I know a few others of you are doing the challenge--best wishes! We can SO do this! Thank you Josie for doing this!

I had a great FP4H meeting tonight. I just love my girls. They always uplift me and I'm just so thankful to have that support system in place. This is the best news ever--we are having a Spa weekend Retreat and it starts TOMORROW! A whole weekend of relaxation, outdoor fun, eating well, spending time with good friends and the Lord. What could be better than that!? So I will probably be MIA for a couple days. Rest assured I will have my entire accountability team staring over my shoulder the whole time. Not likely to screw up:)

In honor of National Running Day today I tried to run a mile as fast as I could without really hurting myself. I ran it is 9:05! I was trying for a 10 minute mile and 9 is what I ended up with. Amazed at what my body can do these days...

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