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I wish I had wrote this…

I know it’s not my day to post, but I think we could all use this.

Replacing My Cravings

January 23, 2014

“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my king and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:1-3 (NIV 1984)

I rolled over and looked at the clock. Another day. Beyond all reason and rationality, I slid out of bed and stripped off everything that might weigh even the slightest ounce as I headed to the scale.

I thought, “Maybe today will be the day the scale will be my friend and not reveal my secrets. Maybe somehow overnight the molecular structure of my body shifted and today I will magically weigh less.”

I yanked out my ponytail holder – hey, it’s gotta weigh something – and decided to try again. But the scale didn’t change its mind the second time. It was not my friend this day.

Vowing to do better, eat healthier, and make good choices, I headed to the kitchen only to have my resolve melt like the icing on the cinnamon rolls my daughter just pulled from the oven. Oh, who cares what the scale says when this roll speaks such love and deliciousness.

Two and a half cinnamon rolls later, I decided tomorrow would be a much better day to keep my promises to eat healthier. But tomorrow wasn’t the day. Or the next. Or the next.

I knew I needed to make changes. Because this wasn’t really about the scale or what clothing size I was; it was about this battle that raged in my heart. I thought about, craved, and arranged my life too much around food. So much so, I knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to His control. Surrender to the point where I’d make changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health.

I had to get honest enough to admit it: I relied on food more than I relied on God. I craved food more than I craved God. Food was my comfort. Food was my reward. Food was my joy. Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even in times of happiness.

I knew this battle would be hard. But through it all I determined to make God, rather than food, my focus. Each time I craved something I knew wasn’t part of my healthy eating plan, I used that craving as a prompt to pray. I craved a lot. So, I found myself praying a lot.

Sometimes I wound up on the floor of my closet, praying with tears running down my face. And I gave myself permission to cry, just like the psalmist in Psalm 5:1-3, “Give ears to my word, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my king and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

And that is literally what I did each day. Laid my requests before God and waited in expectation.

Then, one morning, it finally happened. I got up and for the first time in a long while, I felt incredibly empowered. I still did the same crazy routine with the scale, no clothes, no ponytail holder. The numbers hadn’t changed much, but my heart had. One day of victory tasted better than any of that food I’d given up ever could. I had waited in expectation using prayer as my guide and I did it.

I can’t promise you there won’t be any more tears. There will. And I can’t promise the scale magically drops as quickly as you wish it would. It probably won’t. But it will be a start. A really good start.

Dear Lord, You know me so intimately. You know how much I’m struggling right now. Please help me to replace my cravings with a reliance on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Therapeutic New Year

I have been anticipating a week when I will have enough time to go to the gym, to plan our family meals, and when my kids stop needing me to mediate/entertain/prepare food for them. First it was going to be in the weeks between my semester and when the kids got out of school. Then it got pushed back to being the week after Christmas…the week of New Years…when my step-dad gets out of the hospital….when my youngest graduates college and we win the lottery.

Yesterday I took matters into my own hands.

I woke up my teenage daughter, put her in charge of the early bird 6 year old, donned my workout clothes, decided the world could wait an hour for me, and went to the gym for spin class. A setback or two later and I got to class when it was half over. I worked hard and stayed an extra 10 minutes after the class was over to make up for being late. I walked out of that room, toward the front door of the gym, out into the cold sunshine and to my car feeling relief. Stress had melted away. Guilt for not going to the gym was no longer valid. I was motivated to eat better so as not to have wasted my sweat. It was totally worth neglecting my family and finding the kids had made a mess in the kitchen with their “breakfast”. Exercise therapy.

This week…this year I will not be waiting for my to do list to be checked off, for the laundry to be finished, or for my kids to not need me (that might not ever happen – I’m pretty awesome). Instead, I will put me first…at least a few times a week. Life happens. My only goal/resolution for 2013: Stop waiting for the situation to be perfect and give myself some priority.

Wish me luck!

New Year’s Resolutions

Go in one year and out the other!

Here we are at the end of 2012. Are you thinking of your new resolutions? How did you do with the ones you made last year? I am ending the year weighing less than I started by 20 pounds and wearing a size 16 jean, and having competed in a mud run obstacle race. Not where I wanted to be at this time, but better than I was and having accomplished things I never dreamed of.

I did not start out my new birthday year with a workout. I had been fighting a sickness when I last blogged and hopeful I could beat it. Illness had other plans and I celebrated Christmas hacking up a lung without a voice. Best laid plans right. I’d like to say I will ring in the new year with a workout, but as I sit here and think of all I need to do and the plans we have I don’t think it will happen. It is still on my “To do” list though.

I do want to end this year with a huge “Thank you!” to Miss AB! Because you started this blog I have had the accountability to follow through with my goals to the best of my ability. I have surprised myself this year with what I can do. I never would have even considered a 5k let alone an obstacle course had it not been for you. And here I am starting the next year by putting race dates on the calendar!

It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.- George Sheehan

For Christmas I gave my husband a gift from his bucket list. A half day zip-line tour and surprised him again with the fact that I was going with him. I never would have done it before. There are weight limits for zip-lines and I have either exceeded them or been close enough that I was too embarrassed to try. I have avoided many things in my life due to my weight. I am on my way to enjoying life more with my husband and kids and getting off the sidelines.

You have also been a dear friend outside of this blog. Thank you for everything!

My new goals for 2013……

Lose more weight this year than I did in 2012.

Read more books than I did in 2012.

Run a 5K in under 30 minutes.

Have more dates with my husband than I did in 2012.

I hope you all begin the new year with your loved ones, ready for great blessings this new year!

Happy New Year’s Scalematters!

We all have dreams, in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.
-Jesse Owens

“But you’re here now!”

I was lying in bed this beautiful Saturday morning and thinking about how I don’t have an exam to study for, homework to think about or a presentation to work on and I suddenly realized I did have an assignment due yesterday: my blog post! I guess I was reveling in the lack of expectations yesterday and completely neglected my promise to blog. So here I am a day late…this feels familiar.

Thursday was my last exam. It is so satisfying to look at all the things crossed off of my list (below) that I haven’t erased it yet to make room for summer plans.

my little magnet reads: You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool mom.

Summer, for me, is when I tend to make those New Year’s Resolutions. You know, the  unrealistic list of goals I want to accomplish. I feel like I will have SO MUCH MORE TIME and then crash and burn as I put them off for later or find other worthy causes where I spend my time. My goal for this summer is to be more realistic about my time and think short term.

This week is my birthday. Wednesday I will be forty-one. (Why hide it?) Just celebrated that same # with Rae last week (Yes, I’m totally outing you, my friend). She looks good, doesn’t she?

Rae, Rae’s “little” girl, AB

I will not use my birthday or “celebrating” as a reason to eat unhealthy. That is a big and difficult goal. I’m really good at justifying (I’ve had a See’s gift certificate since Christmas that I have not used because I am afraid I’ll “justify” my way into eating the entire pound in a relatively short period of time). This goal is my birthday gift to myself.

My daughter and I are finished with our school year, but my two sons will be in school this whole week. Another gift! While they are at school I will get my exercise in each day. Planning family meals will be a little easier this week, too, and I want to make dinner (a healthy dinner) every night.

The last two weeks of my semester was time consuming and stressful. (I’m grateful for a super understanding & helpful family). In those two weeks I gained 3 pounds. I’ve accepted it, forgiven myself and I’m moving forward. I also only got one workout in…which I lead while Mandy was running her marathon.

Yesterday was a return to my regular Friday workouts. Hooray! I hadn’t worked out with Mandy the magnificent in quite a while. During the class some of the girls were talking about how hard the Wednesday workout was and how sore their abs were. My comment was, “I’m glad I wasn’t here!”
The ever insightful and always kind Mandy responded, “But you’re here now!” I could not believe how much of a threat it sounded like coming from my perpetually sweet and effervescent friend!
Well, Mandy, my abs and shoulders heard you. And I thank you for never taking it easy on me. I am here now and ready to make weight loss a priority this summer!
Wish me luck!

Giving In

This was last Friday’s weigh in.

Last Saturday afternoon while I was mad studying for a test I realized I hadn’t even blogged on Friday. That is how crazy the last month of school is for me. I only have 13 days left until my semester is over. Between now and then I have 5 exams, 1 project and 2 presentations. Of course, in my spare time I can wave at my children from a distance and hope they are eating more than goldfish and chicken nuggets while I ignore them. This is what the laundry looks like at my house

…and there’s another similar hamper in another room. One of my children may have turned his shorts inside out so he could wear them a second day. Heaven help me.

The last few days I’ve been thinking about how I just never got a handle on balancing my workouts & eating healthy with all the other stuff in my life.  I had pretty much decided that I won’t care for the next two weeks about what or when I’m eating and if I can get a workout in or not. I’ll pass go, collect my $200 and exchange it for a do-over when my semester is over on June 1st.

And then…

I had a really awesome workout this morning. I led the workout for a few ladies at our church building, because the Awesome Mandy is on her way to Utah to run a marathon tomorrow (which is where I’d be going to run the half marathon if my foot was healed). It was sweaty and stress relieving. I came home and stuck to my neurotic routine. When I reluctantly stepped on the scale this happened…

This is almost 2 pound less than lasts week. It is my lowest weight since starting to blog by 1/5 of a pound, too (significant to me when I am struggling). Am I ever going to break this 226?!?!?

I am.

I may only get my Friday morning workout in again this week, but I will try for at least one more workout. I am watching what I put in my mouth. I will not give in to the excuse of the end of my semester for the next two weeks.

DAGNABIT! I just want to be 225 point something next week! I can. I will.

Wish me luck!

…and wish my friends “Good luck!” who are running the Full or Half marathon in Ogden this weekend while you’re at it!

 

 

What’s the real reason?

I downloaded a free Kindle book this week not really thinking I would read it, but hey, free is FREE and I needed something new to read on the eliptical! (I haven’t managed to learn to read while running yet LOL) It’s a weight loss book. I have read a lot of diet books. A LOT! You hope maybe this one will have the magic formula. Maybe this one will make it click. Maybe! To my surprise it was not a diet book, but deals with the mental side of losing weight. What our hang-ups are to losing weight that keep us on that roller coaster of a ride with the scale. There is a good exercise in the begining that I thought I would share this week.

Why do you want to lose weight? Seems like an easy answer doesn’t it? But what is the true reason? The one that is deep down inside? The one that will keep you going when all else fails that will help you achieve your goal? Sometimes we try to lose weight for the wrong or should I say the superficial reasons.

When you are faced with that piece of cake, bag of chips, package of cookies or carton of ice cream, what is going to keep you from eating it? We all get tired, depressed, bored and hungry and what is going to compell you to stick to the program? When those items are screaming your name and every fiber of your being is trying to sway you to give in, is your reason strong enough to prevent you from caving in?

Often it is not. The candy bar or cookies or whatever, are stronger than the idea of looking good for an event or fitting into an outfit. They are right there in front of you, in plain sight and all of your goals, the reunion, the outfit- whatever it is for you- is in the background by comparison. That’s not to say you won’t ever be able to say no, it just not a switch to just turn off.

If you haven’t already realized your true purpose for losing the weight, you should find it. Stop and get clear on why you are doing this.

I want to live a long and healthy life with my husband. I want to travel and not feel restricted in what I can do. I want to go to an amusement park with my kids and not panic at the weight limits or if I can fit in the seats. I want to look in a mirror and be proud of what I see. I could go on, but how about you? Is it something deeper than a New Year’s resolution, that will keep you going to reach your purpose so that the lure of the cake won’t even come close.

The exersice of the “5 Whys” is to ask a question 5 times, at least. You may even need to go deeper than 5 to get to the route of why you are trying to lose weight. Really listen to that inner voice.

Why do I want (or need) to lose weight?

So I can feel better about myself.

Why do I need to feel better about myself?

Because my weight hurts my self confidence.

Why do I need to increase my confidence?

So I am willing and able and not afraid to do all the things my husband and kids would like me to do with them.

Why am I afraid to do the activities with my family?

Because I know I won’t have the energy to keep up or to to it correctly, fit in the seat, or I’ll be laughed at for even trying.

Why do I want to have more energy? Why do I want to lose weight?

I want to be an active participant in my own life and not a spectator.

When you know your true reasons, write them down and look at them as often. When you are faced with a temptation, count backward from 100 and think of those reasons. By the time you get to 1 that ice cream will look less appealing. When you don’t really want to hit the gym, read your reasons again.

We can do this and when we know why  we have much more motivation to endure the struggle and reach our goals!

Exerpts from Weight Loss Made Simple by Rodrick Armstrong http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005WEMCLO/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

I haven’t met you, but I appreciate you all and cheer for you everyday!

Starting to see clearly now…

Boy what a difference a day makes.  I got a call last Tuesday from my DH telling me that he was going to need emergency surgery to reattach his retina.  Wow!  That was NOT what I was expecting to hear.  I knew his eye was causing trouble, but surgery?!  When faced with those kinds of things, you really find out what matters and what doesn’t.  My husband really matters to me.  My son and daughter do too.  I love my friends to pieces and would do anything for them.  I found out they would do anything for me too.  What a comfort that is when life throws you a curveball.  I get warm just thinking about them.

It was clear to me that I had to totally re-examine my goals and put the effort into following through and not just make a list of things I’d like to do because being healthy is really important to me too.  I’ve been playing games with my weight loss and commitment to exercise.  I was looking over some medical records for my ankle – the one that’s been giving me trouble since 2005.  My weight then was the same as it is now…  I am back to the beginning again…and again…and again.  I know how hard it is to stay consistent, to stick to it when you are thin and feels much better and how sneakily (is that a word?) the weight works itself back on.  So set goals…

My goals for January:

Work out at the Y on Monday and Friday.  I will be trying to get in there on Wed too.

Move my treadmill into the living room this week.

Get on the treadmill at least twice a week for an hour.  Increase my running time every time.

Don’t eat after 9:30pm. Period.

Drink at least 6 glasses of water a day…more is better

Don’t have a DC until I’ve had a 16 oz water.

That’s it for now…I want to start with a reasonable goal.  There are more I want to implement but will do it when these are concrete.

Of course I have goals for my homeschooling and other personal areas, but these are the ones I want to be accountable to you here…

What are your goals (resolutions just don’t usually stick) for January?  We’d sure love to hear from you and help each other keep on track.

 

New Year’s tortoise

Slow and steady wins the race. Isn’t that how the saying goes? You know from the fable about the tortoise and the hare? The hare is all gung ho but easily distracted. The tortoise may be slow, but he’s consistent…and has a hard shell and he’s green. I like green.

Since starting this beautiful blog in September I have lost just over 15 pounds (latest scale picture below – happy dance!) and since I started measuring in October I’ve lost more than 6 inches!

Maybe that’s not something that would sell a miracle pill, a workout program, a gym membership or a workout DVD, but I’ve got nothing to sell. I’m just sharing my story (of course, I wouldn’t pass up big bucks to write a book, but nobody is knocking at my door). My story is about making the little changes, fixing bad habits, and sticking to it. I’m not racing to a goal weight. I haven’t even set a goal weight. I want to be a healthy weight. I know it’s less than 170 which is what I weighed when I got pregnant with my oldest. Other than that I figure I’ll recognize it when I get there.

This time of year people are making resolutions, but they seem to dissolve quickly into “Things I Wish I Had Done This Year”. So! Let’s talk about how to do it right. Like I said I don’t have a goal weight yet. My goals now have to do with changing bad habits and increasing the frequency of good ones. If you want a goal to work it needs to be specific. Rather than “eat healthier” I make specific goals to improve a good habit (or change a bad habit) one at a time. My most recent goal is to eat more vegetables.

Next you need to make a plan. Not much gets done when you just say, “I think I’ll make twice as much money this year as I did last year!” It may be positive thinking, but unless you have a plan of action to back up your goal it is not likely to come to fruition…works the same with eating more veggies (or working out more, etc). My plan includes going through the produce section EVERY TIME I hit the store, even if it’s just for one item. Keeping my refrigerator stocked with veggies I enjoy is key to making sure I’m eating them. Additionally, I add a serving (or sometimes a salad) to my lunch. I’m a lunch on the run kind of girl, so this helps me to eat more than just a turkey sandwich or reheated main dish from last night’s dinner.

If you’re making changes to your diet and exercise plan during this new year I invite you to be a tortoise. Slow and steady. I was looking back at my scale pictures and realized over a few weeks I went back and forth with the same five pounds, but I’ve beat that hurdle and am now in the 220s! Exciting!!! I suppose that’s another goal I’ve set for myself: to accept the slow and steady of 2012 and not give up when it gets hard.

Wish me luck!

Happy New Year!

I fell so far off the diet wagon I almost hit the ground so hard it shattered every hope in my body. While I was doing it I kept thinking about a sign I had read at Target that said “Christmas Calories Don’t Count.”  However, looking back now, I still didn’t do as bad as I used to. I figure I’m improving and that’s all that matters. I filled my plates as full as vegetables as I thought was fair to the others who I was supposed to share the bowl with. I still tried to only take a little of what I thought looked delicious. Desserts can be so hit and miss with me it’s ridiculous.  Either I want to eat the whole plate or I can pass completely and Christmas is one of those times I can pass on most all desserts. The desserts I did partake of I feel like I did good at limiting myself to a few bites.

Anyway, Christmas is almost in the past (my family went out-of-town for Christmas so I still have some left to celebrate on Sunday). You can’t change the past so I’m going to try to stop living in it. The present is all I can do anything about.  It’s a new year, a new start, full of promising changes and comforting traditions. Do you make resolutions? I have a hard time making them because it’s almost expected that you wont be able to keep them all year. Goals. I seem to make them weekly if not monthly. They are almost always similar too. I obviously don’t enjoy cleaning, cooking, waking up early or working out because these are the areas I am always trying to make goals in. So this year I think I will try to find ways to make these things more fun or at least easier for me to do.

My suggestion to you at this time of year is to not dwell on the things you need to change about your life. You are AWESOME, how can you make your life more awesome?

I feel like at this time of year I can feel so down on myself and come up with twenty million things to change about the way I live my life.  For example: I don’t do a schedule so well. I have friends that are AWESOME at having scheduled playtime with their kids and cleaning days and the like.  But being flexible is something I like about me. I need to figure out some other way to make sure everything gets done before bedtime and I can accomplish just as much as my super awesome friends, Right?

RIGHT?

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