It’s No Wonder…

I know exactly why most of us struggle to eat healthy. IT’S A LOT OF WORK! I am spending way more time in the kitchen. That’s a good thing, of course, but I have to admit…it’s work. It’s no wonder most people (myself included) would rather buy the quick and easy stuff! There’s no doubt the quick and easy stuff makes our days less grueling, but it comes at a cost. Not just to us individually, also to our families, and to our nation. There’s so much junk in convenience foods by way of preservatives and added chemicals, and it can really do a number on our health. It takes major effort to choose real food. It takes time to plan and prepare. And for me, right now, it takes continual reminders that it’s worth it. But in just these few days, I already feel better. I’m almost past the withdrawal headaches =). This time it wasn’t too bad because I have been drinking way more water than usual. I think that has really helped. One of the books that I have read recently is The Maker’s Diet by Jordan Rubin. It’s full of great information about eating the way God intended. I am loosely following his plan for a detox/cleanse. (I prefer to call it a Reset.) I say “loosely” because there are supplements and products that he suggests that I am not using. I am mostly just taking my prenatals with an additional folic acid vitamin as well as eating clean and walking.  

Can you imagine what the women before us did? Think back about your grandmothers and great grandmothers. They mostly ate clean because they had to grow their own food. It was quite a treat to go out and eat a meal prepared by others. Yet, we can eat out three times a day and think nothing of it. Most of the ladies before us wore belts most of the time. Think about it. They were much thinner and stronger than the majority of American women today. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s a trade off. We don’t stay home all day (most of us) to cook those three meals. And if we do stay home, our modern lives are so full of other things that we find the quick and easy to be…well, quick and easy. I have really made a lot of excuses to pick up dinner and grab something convenient at the cost of nutrition. I’m really going to try to think more like the women before us and find a balance in this fast paced world so that my health and that of my family is not traded for convenience.   

So yeah, it’s no wonder we have a more difficult time choosing healthy foods. Yes, it is work, but nothing that can’t be managed. I guess when they say “lifestyle change,” this is part of it =).

Bright, Shiny Objects

Today I taught a Children’s Church lesson that was probably way more powerful to me than it was to the kids….LOL We talked about keeping our eyes on Jesus and not being distracted. The story was in Matthew 14 when Jesus walked on water. He invited Peter to step out of the boat and walk to Him. As Peter began walking toward Jesus on the water, he was focused… and he was fine. However, once he allowed the distraction of the winds to deter his attention, he lost sight of Jesus and began to sink.
I don’t know about you, but I am a person who easily gets distracted. Seriously, my family continually jokes about the “bright, shiny objects” that seem to keep me from finishing things….even sentences…LOL I am that person who absolutely has to have a list and somewhat of a structure or I will wonder about aimlessly without reaching my goals.
This weight loss journey is no different. When I am focused, and my eyes are fixed on Jesus and what I know He wants to do with my life, I am fiercely determined. And the enemy knows this. So this is precisely when he allows stress to make me think I need chocolate, or convenience to make me think fast food will help, or a well-intentioned project to keep me occupied instead of working out. If I am not centering my focus, day by day and sometimes moment by moment, I will become distracted from the plans that I know my Heavenly Father has for me.
God, please help me to not lose focus and not get…. Umm, umm, oh yeah….distracted!

I wonder…

Sunday morning weigh-in! Down 4.4 pounds this week! Woo Hoo! I had a pretty good week and I feel it was a good restart. I got in several good work outs, both cardio and strength training. I downloaded a free pedometer app for my phone and was able to track my time and distance while I walked the track at my daughters softball practice. That coupled with some strength training and I could really see a spark in my energy level. As far as food, I made healthy choices for the most part. I did have several not-so-healthy meals (pizza, hot dogs at a cook out, and Mexican food for a special lunch celebration), but I was very careful to choose smaller portions. I made a conscious effort to have “just one” instead of the usual. I mean, seriously, how many pieces of pizza do we usually eat? And hot dogs? Just one? Forget about it. Especially roasted over the fire pit in the back yard…lol Fun and yummy, but I just had one =).

So I was thinking… If I lost 4.4 pounds just doing “OK,” I wonder what kind of week I could have if I did it right. What would happen if I did not make excuses to skip work outs? What would happen if I did not partake in any of those not-so-healthy foods? I would love to see some of those “Biggest Loser” style results. Hmmm?!?

I am still loving my Made to Crave book. I love recognizing the connection to food as a spiritual issue. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and I am looking forward to a week of reliance on God to help me reach a healthier me. Have a blessed week, my friends!

“I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me.” Phil.4:13

Happy Blogiversary!!!

Wow! One year ago today I started my get real journey… and my blog! I have had my share of highs and lows over this past year and I would love to share with you just a few of the many things I’ve learned:

God is faithful!
I don’t have to do this alone.
Many people struggle with food, weather visibly or not.
Numbers aren’t everything.
Clothes for thinner people are way more fun!
God answers prayers.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot make celery sticks taste like KitKats.
Running is not for the weak at heart.
When you avoid what you know to be true, there will be consequences.
Support from family and friends make a huge difference.
I can do way more than I think I can.
God will never leave me nor forsake me!
God provides.
It is mind boggling that you can know the right things, but still make the wrong choices.
People do not see me as negatively as I see myself.
Constant searching for answers in the wrong places wears you down.
There is no quick fix.
Weight struggles are more of a spiritual and emotional battle than physical.
Hummus is not so bad… Who knew?
Life is much simpler when you do not focus every second of your day on food.
Just when you think you can’t do one more rep, you can.
You can’t fake success.
Our light shines extraordinarily bright, when we step aside and let God work.
There is strength in accountability.
Victory tastes way sweeter than any cupcake!
God is more concerned with my heart’s desire than my caloric intake.
Excuses are worthless and self-destructive.
There is nothing more peaceful than knowing you are pleasing God with your life and choices.
There is nothing more agonizing than knowing you are not pleasing God with your life and your choices.
The torment of a food issue can take you to a very dark place.
We all make mistakes, we’re human.
It is healthy to sometimes challenge our thoughts and beliefs.
“I just did” feels so much better than “I’m going to.”
There is power in transparency.
The Bible is Way more than a History book, it’s our Owner’s Manuel with answers to every question we have.
An all or nothing approach is destructive.
We never stop learning.

Extant still means the same. By the grace of God, I am not destroyed or lost. One year later, I am still an Extant Woman. 

Cautiously Optimistic

Cautiously optimistic, I opened my new book and began searching for my “missing link.” Because I am a student, teacher and a researcher, I read with intensity. I highlight, circle, underline, make notes and turn page corners down to revisit when I feel spoken to. Let me just say, within the first chapter, I had marked up my new book quite a bit. Some of the information I am reading, I have known for a while. Some of what the author is talking about, I feel God has has revealed to me over the past year. However, there is definitely something missing in my quest, because I still continue to struggle with this issue. So I continue searching and I continue reading.

As I turned each page, I immediately noticed something was definitely missing. There was no diet plan. No list of do’s and don’ts. How is that supposed to work? What I find is quite unique. This author is not telling you what you should do or even how you should do it. Rather, she is explaining the spiritual aspect of the battle with food. She even starts back at the beginning with the first struggle between a woman and food. Eve gives us the perfect example of what it is like to be tempted to eat when we know it is not what is best for us. Satan knew then and he knows now that women struggle with the desires of the flesh. How very interesting.

I am purposely taking my time reading this book because I want to absorb every word. One thing I know to be true, and that is also suggested in chapter 4, is that a journey such as this is always better with a buddy. No doubt, there is strength in having an accountability partner. To be honest, I have probably maxed out the patience of my accountability partners over the years. There are a few friends and family members that I know will continue this next step with me, but I have decided to add a extra dimension to this study. I am going to use this blog as additional accountability. I will be posting my insights as I continue to read and learn and I will share with you how God is directing my thoughts and decisions.

If you are interested in taking these steps with me, I would love to have your company. The book is called Made to Crave by Lisa Terkeurst. I knew very little about the author before last week. However, since I was so attracted to the title (I absolutely know that I was made to crave… something? anything? everything?) I found her website, her blog, and her facebook page. She is a very inspiring author and an amazing human being. It is evident that God has used her life to minister to so many. So, if you are interest, check it out: http://madetocrave.org/.

Great Conversations

Wow! Last weeks post about pork prompted some great conversations! Clearly, the subject of whether to eat pork or not is quite controversial. As I stated before, this is my own personal conviction based on my studies. You will never see me telling anyone what they should or should not do. This is simply another step in my journey to better health.

One of the things I love about researching the Old Testament is that I feel I am understanding God better and I feel stronger in my Christian walk. It has been so cool to read about the beginning. How it was meant to be early on. Yes, many people say that the New Testament changed all of those initial “laws”. And maybe that is true. But I am fascinated by how God gave us such detailed instructions on how to live and how to take care of our bodies. I am a strong believer that we could benefit from going back to the beginning. Sometimes “progress” is not all it’s cracked up to be. Consider this thought….

Supposes all animals are clean. Knowing what we know about pigs, just because we CAN eat them….should we? Does this animal, in any way, draw us closer to good health? Is it smart to eat meat that reportedly takes 4 days to digest in the bowel instead of 2 days for “clean”meats? I guess for me, it has become more about the negative effects that I have learned about rather than the legalistic ideas of “Old” and “New,” “right” and “wrong,” “clean” and “unclean.”

Again, these are reasons for my decision, but this journey of rediscovering God’s plan for our health, then and now, has sparked a whole new way of thinking for me. If God said it in the Old Testament, then I want to understand. If Muslim dietary laws and Jewish dietary laws still believe eating pork is prohibited, then it makes me want to know why.

At the end of the day, what I have to think about is this: God blessed me with this body, imperfect as it may be, and He asked me to be a good steward of what He gave me. For years, I have failed at this task. I have mistreated my body and I have not respected my temple. The good news….He’s not finished with me yet!

1-1-11

In the spirit of my new blogging approach of only writing about what I’ve done rather than what I am going to do, I would like to share my week with you.

Over the past week or so, I have continued my study of researching God’s Health Plan and I have loved what I am learning. I must admit, studying the Bible for specific issues like food can be challenging. However, it has also been very enlightening. The biggest thing I have learned so far is that most of what we consume in our modern day diets…is not really food. Furthermore…this “non-food” stuff is making us very sick and in many cases, killing us. I am struggling with this somewhat because I happen to really enjoy many of these non-foods. LOL I am still learning and plan to dig deeper and make peace with this monster as I learn about real foods.

Another unsettling aspect of my journey became apparent to me this past week. I am beginning to feel how unhealthy I am. For the first time, my knees have been continually aching each day. It is obvious to me that my body is letting me know…painfully… that I am not meant to carry this extra weight around. Ouch.

As if I needed more motivation …. tonight at dinner, my jeans began to unravel! Yes, you read that right. My jeans (granted they are forever old and super thin and worn out) seperated along the back pocket while I was out to dinner with my family!! No one saw it (I think LOL) and when I told my husband about it, all I could do was bust up laughing. Seriously?!?! Wow…What could be more motivating?!?! LOL

On a an encouraging note, I haven’t had a soda ALL year!!! WooHoo!!

Happy New Year, my friends!! May God richly bless you with the abundant and HEALTHY life He has planned for you and your family!

Faithful

I love it when I jot down inspirational things during a sermon and then leave them in my Bible to find months later. It’s like a little surprise reminder when I need it most. God’s pretty cool that way. This morning I was reading my Bible and found a notecard that I had written on over a year ago when I was at a church in League City, Texas. It was like a new blessing all over again to read the words that inspired me once before. What I had written, blocked out, and underlined then is what I needed to hear this morning: Faithful means to remain steadfast. God is the perfect example of steadfast. He does not waver in his love, his support, his encouragement, or his parenting =)

I want to be more faithful. I want to be steadfast and consistent in my life. I want to hold on to the most important things even when everything seems chaotic and I am pulled in different directions. Sometimes I get side tracked. Not on purpose, but I am a very spontaneous, free spirit that can easily get off course. I need God to pull me back in sometimes…. and He does =) I am grateful for His gentle reminders. At times, I am totally like a wondering child…No wonder He calls us His children! Thank you, Father for being faithful and steadfast…and patient!

On the second day of juicing….

My day started off great. I slept amazing and woke up feeling very rested and energetic. For breakfast, I juiced apples, strawberries and blackberries. It was good but a little bit tart for my taste. My daughter thought it was perfect and absolutely loved it! I took my V-8 juices with me and enjoyed one around mid morning. I had a very busy day, I was running errands, going to class and studying…. when all of a sudden I did not feel so well. It may have been partially my fault, but I hit a weird feeling that slowed me down and almost made me ditch the juice. When I was at the mall, I decided that a natural juice from Frulatti sounded good, so I ordered a fresh squeezed strawberry lemonade with splenda. Well, I was loving it until about 1/3 into it, when the acids hit my empty stomach. I felt horrible. By the time I got home, I felt even worse and wouldn’t you know it… I got home at 5:15 and my kids reminded me that we had to be at Back to School Night at 6:00. Whahhh… all I wanted to do was lay down. Since I was feeling yuck and knew I needed something quick to soothe my stomach, I made a peanut butter fold over sandwich. I looked at it laying on the counter and thought “Now, how can I go on to my blog and admit that I bailed on Day TWO of my juice fast?!?! So, I left the sandwich there……… and quickly made a veggie juice that I heated up and enjoyed as a soup. I juiced carrots, celery, bell peppers and a slice of onion. It was actually pretty good. I poured my heated soup into a mug and out the door we ran to the school. By the time we got there, I was feeling much better. I guess my levels just dipped and I wasn’t prepared. I am so glad that I didn’t give up!

Since my muscles were sore from yesterdays workout and I was feeling such unpleasant effects of the detox, I did not work out. I went to bed early and a enjoyed yet another amazing nights sleep. Today, I feel great again! Looking forward to Day 3!

Have a wonderful day, my friends!

Blame it on the kids!

Have you ever used your kids as an excuse for your unhealthy eating habits? I can think back to many occasions that we made stops because …..”the kids are hungry, so we need to stop at McDonald’s….. The kids need a drink, so let’s go to Sonic….” Whatever “the kids” need, right? Wrong. It was usually whatever I wanted that directed our outings. I was also one of those parents who would say things like “I can’t cook healthier meals, the kids won’t eat that stuff!” Wow, now I can’t believe I used those excuses for so many years.

Let me tell you why…..

My kids have been going through these gradual healthy lifestyle changes with me and I am amazed! As I have shared recently, I am realizing how much they follow my lead when it comes to food choices. As I have continued to make healthy changes, so have they and I love it! Last night, we made pizza from scratch. We’re talking homemade dough and homemade pizza sauce. It was so fun and they loved it! It was piled with veggies, so other than the cheese, it was basically a vegan meal. Then, this morning before school, I made Apple Spice muffins with fresh apple juice and the pulp from using my new juicer. Again, they loved it!

There was a time when you could not make me believe that my children would ever eat these types of foods. Yet as they have witnessed changes in me, they too are making healthy changes! Amazing!

So now, what can I blame on my kids? I can blame them for motivating me to want to live healthier! I can blame them for giving me a reason every day to stay on track and to eat clean and move! I can blame them for showing me love and for inspiring me to be my best so that I can teach them better choices! What an honor and a blessing!

Thank you Father God for loving our family enough to lead us to better health!

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