Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lots of Blessings

Are you enjoying this long Thanksgiving weekend? I pray you are. It's sure been an unusual one around our house. Mom had her 2nd hip replacement surgery on Monday, so we celebrated our family Thanksgiving last Saturday night. Thanksgiving Day we brought Mom home in the morning and then hung out at their house most of the day. Our Thanksgiving Day meat of choice was beef roast instead of turkey. Pretty reminiscent of the day Hannah was born. Six years ago on Thanksgiving Day, we welcomed our little Hannah Banana into the world. Dave and I ate beef roast that day too before we headed to the hospital. This year Hannah's birthday was on Thanksgiving Day again. And we had beef roast again. Maybe that will be our tradition every year her birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day? Probably not. But it was worth thinking about for a second.

Would you like to hear my weight loss total? Up to 16 pounds. I should feel great about that. But instead I am feeling guilty that I haven't gotten on the treadmill in a week. The reasons are legitimate and just part of life. And sometimes "life" just happens. I may still get on the treadmill for a bit tonight. I'm just finding it interesting that I haven't been able to fully enjoy being able to mark off that 15 pound mark on my weight loss chart only because I'm laying an exercise guilt trip on myself! And because I'm still regularly struggling with doubt that this is really going to be different this time. As if I didn't already fully recognize this, it's just been SO obvious that the biggest part of this weight loss journey is dealing with the head stuff. And putting the enemy and his lies in the corner. In some ways, though, it is getting easier. However, I think the enemy has caught me with my guard down a bit lately. Not good! That's part of why I thought it was time to update the blog. It helps me to get my game face back on.

So maybe you're wondering what weight loss program I'm following (I've had a couple people ask me). Well, it's just a compilation of everything I've learned over the years and the dozens of diets I've been on. It's listening to my body and figuring out what really works for me. For the most part, the three biggest keys are: portion control (I realized I was eating WAY too much and thinking it was OK), regular exercise that makes me sweat bullets and makes my muscles burn (not taking the easy way out and thinking that just putting in some time on the treadmill is enough, whether it really pushed my limits or not), and not eating past 7PM. This last one is hard. The time of day where I most want to eat (and probably feel the hungriest) is right after the kids go to bed. Well, that's usually about two hours past the point of when I stop eating for the day. It's definitely gotten easier as I go along. But I'm telling you, breakfast is now my FAVORITE part of the day. I allow myself to eat and enjoy it and not count calories. Now, of course, I'm not pigging out on Krispy Kremes or something. A lot of times my breakfast is a Shaklee Cinch meal bar. But if I feel like eating something a little different, I give myself permission to do that at breakfast. Trying to follow that old adage of eating a big breakfast, medium size lunch, and small dinner is helping out a lot. I know that the better I eat from noon to 7PM, the faster I see the weight loss on the scale.

One more quick note on the whole not eating past 7PM thing. Do you remember a few years ago when Oprah was promoting her trainer's book and exercise program? I'll never forget what he told Oprah. She was complaining to him about how hungry she felt at night. He told her that skinny people know that's your body burning fat. Really?! Do all skinny people know this? Probably not. But, I've never forgotten that fact. So now when I feel like gnawing my arm off at about 9:30 PM, I think of those fat cells getting eaten alive. Makes me almost look forward to that feeling every night! I know if I don't have a slight sensation of hunger when I go to bed, then I ate too much too late in the day.

Which brings me to one more thing: knowing when you're hungry. If you don't have a weight issue, then you may not realize this: most overweight people have no clue when they're really hungry. Why? Because most overweight people never allow themselves to go long enough without eating to feel hungry. And, most overweight people (particularly those of the female persuasion) are huge emotional eaters. Emotional eaters don't eat because they're hungry. They eat because they're: sad, scared, lonely, excited, happy, etc. I tell you, it's a real novel idea to not eat until your stomach growls. Humph. Stomach growling, you say?! Why in the world would I want to make that happen? Because perhaps that's the internal clue God gave each of us to know when it's time to eat. Wow. News flash, huh?! God makes me smile sometimes.

You know another thing I've really been embracing? The fact that I'm not doing these changes because I'm "on a diet" or for a short period of time. I'm adopting a new way of living that is going to stick with me even after I reach my goal weight. In a lot of ways, that has made the step of feeling "empowered" and not "deprived" a whole lot easier. If I'm making good choices for my body that I'm planning to do for the rest of my life, then there's nothing to feel deprived about! I don't have to say no to all kinds of things. I can say yes, and just make sure I have a small amount and eat it earlier in the day. That's empowerment!


There are other things I try to do too (lots of water, good Shaklee vitamins, limit the unhealthy carbs, eat more raw veggies, go organic as much as is feasible)...but those first three things are the biggies that are making a difference on the scale for me. What works for you? Figure it out and do it. I think we can all agree on handling our head stuff together...but the nitty gritty program that works for one of us, might not work for someone else. Find the program you like, stick to it as best you can, and come here for some regular encouragement on the head stuff. Or, better yet, buy the book "Made to Crave" when it comes out in January and participate with me (in person or through this blog) in the six week study. You might be surprised how much God comes alongside you on this journey when you do. And that, my friends, is the ONLY way we'll ever achieve success on the scale and in our minds.
 
Have a wonderful finish to your Thanksgiving weekend! Until next time...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Truths

I have to preface this post by saying I have no time to be writing this. My to-do list is growing by the minute. My day is off to a slow start. Yet all I want to do is take a few minutes to sort out my thoughts. It has been a bit since I last blogged. All those pent up words just HAVE to come out!

Since I last wrote, Dave and I got to FINALLY have our mini-getaway. We were originally supposed to do this in May, but my Mom's first hip replacement surgery got re-scheduled (a familiar problem) and then everything happened with my Dad in July and suddenly it's November. I won't say much about the getaway, but just that it was so wonderful to be alone together and have the chance to re-connect. Can I get an Amen from other parents of young children? Who knew 10 years ago that time alone would be such a treasure?! We don't get it very often, but it was just what the doctor ordered. I came home thanking God all the more for the wonderful man He's blessed me with and for the wonderful gift of marriage. I was reminded of our wedding and how our pastor spoke about how, if our marriage would go as God intended, someday people would look at us and see that we are both better people together than we were separately. (That's the quick gist of it...it was actually much more eloquent.) Well, I can honestly say that Dave has made me a better woman. His love for me will never be the same as God's love for me...but most days it's a pretty close second. Dave makes me feel like a princess. What an amazing legacy Dave is leaving for our children to see: for Luke to know how to treat his future wife, and for our girls to know how they ought to be treated. I just LOVE that man!

Starting on Friday, life is going to get REALLY crazy around this house. Between a homeschool party, basketball pictures, Hannah's birthday sleepover with 1 friend and party with several more, early Thanksgiving at my brother's, and my Mom's (fingers crossed) surgery finally taking place on Monday...my brain is going 100 mph. My to-do lists are on overdrive, and my mind can't even seem to prioritize it all at the moment. Today and tomorrow need to be filled with school, housework, planning, grocery shopping, etc. But as I sit here watching the rain pour down outside...all I want to do is hide under the covers. Today is just kind of an emotionally "blah" day. I'm feeling lonely (even though I am so busy I don't know how I can have time to feel that way), and I am struggling with having to say goodbye to some things/people (even though I know it was a change that God 100% directed). The fact is, I have NO reason to feel lonely or sorry for myself. I am blessed with so many awesome people in my life. I guess the enemy is just trying to sidetrack me a bit today. But since I know my feelings are not what should determine my mood, I'm trying to filter my emotions through God's Truths today.

A dear friend that I was privileged to meet during the Lysa TerKeurst filming, shared with me a wonderful handout on Truth. (I'm happy to e-mail it to you if you're interested.)  It has three columns: what I feel or think about myself, what is true about me according to the scriptures, and some scripture verses to back it up. Today I'm going to pray over these truths. What a great resource to have on a rainy, blah day like today.

Oh, and as for the weight loss journey, it's going painfully slow but I am up to 14 pounds lost now. I was hoping for 20 pounds by Thanksgiving. But I am not going to let the slowness of my journey get me down. I'll just rejoice over every pound!

I'm going to pray over some Truths from God's Word and then move on to conquer the day. I pray that the Son is shining on you today even if the sun isn't shining outside. Talk to you again soon, my friends!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

In Awe!!

I just had to share my awestruck-ness with you today. (Yes, I'm sure I just made up that word.) God is knocking my socks off right now! I really shouldn't be in awe, I mean not in a surprised kind of way. But certainly a reverential awe would be perfectly acceptable. Well, you get the idea. God is awesome! And today I'm basking in His greatness.

I don't know if it's the catalyst of the "Made to Crave" experience, or the fact that I turned 39. But the fact is, my attitude towards: food, exercise, my body, my failures & struggles...has done a complete 180! God is freeing me from strongholds that I've held onto for so long I thought they were destined to stick around forever. For one thing (and, hold onto your hats here my bloggy friends), I actually ENJOY working out now! I look forward to it! Whoa. Did I just say that?! I went from having my husband occasionally remind me how much better I'd feel if I'd just get on the treadmill for a few minutes, to him telling me "you know, Jen, you really ought to give your body a break for a day or two to let your muscles repair themselves." Did you hear that?! I'm working out so much that my husband thinks I need to take a break! "OK, God. What is going on here?!"

I'll tell you what's going on: God's up to what He does best. What He's been wanting to do all along! Free me from some huge shackles. I just never took Him up on the offer before! Take a listen to this song by Mandisa:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svRqFGJ-aC0

Praise You, Lord!

Walking in new found freedom is an amazing and awe-inspiring experience. Have you experienced this recently too? I'd love to hear your "freedom stories." Please leave me a comment and share them!

Praying for each of us to accept this marvelous gift of freedom EVERY SINGLE DAY of our lives! Oh what a marvelous God we serve, friends!

Take off those shackles...and put on your dancing shoes!