Sinking Deep

Over 150+ calories. I finished logging yesterday’s calories today. I knew when I went to bed yesterday that I was going to bed over & tired & I just really didn’t care at that moment. I lost sight of my goal.

Philippians 3:14 states: “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of GOD in Christ JESUS” (NASB). I had took my eye off the goal. A great basketball player cannot score 30 points in a game if they spend the entire time looking at the newspaper. All goals in this life are object based. In my Christian walk, my eyes must be on Christ. Focused. Nothing else in my way. If my professional life, I must be focused on the task at hand. When I lose that focus at work (or in anything else), I fall. When I lose my focus on Christ, I fall. When I took my eyes off my weight loss yesterday, I fell.

I could blame my fall on so many things, and maybe some of them did attribute to my fall. I know that the ultimate end of the line responsibility rests with me. I put the food in my mouth, fully aware they were not healthy decisions based on many things (it was junk food). I ate the food. There was no miltant figure forcing it down my into my stomach. I chose to do it & I am to blame.

But today is another day. 60% through the day, I am doing well having 67% of my calories left for the day. I have eaten a healthy breakfast & lunch and just may indulge in a healthy snack before the end of my work day.

It has been a good day in other regards, too. The job I interviewed for earlier in the week (the one that left me feeling so defeated) – I was notified today that I will begin training for it this week. My life is changing. A Healthier body – a healthier future professionally.

I know those things are happening by Christ alone. There is nothing of myself that merits those things. I know that I have worked hard in my life – but only because Christ has blessed me with an abled body (even after surving physical therapy just 2 short years ago). I know that Christ has given my mind to learn the things I have about health as well as the things I have learned professionally. I thank GOD for HIS mercy’s on this simple country gal.

Starting Off Fighting Uphill

Yesterday began my second week in the journey to a healthier me. I started my day with a great amount of determination to work very hard this week toward a healthier week. I was glad that I had weighed in less than my starting weight, but I know that my overall health (more than just a temporary # on a scale) also matters.

I began my day with a healthy fruity smoothie. I managed my hunger well throughout the morning, and did well after eating a lower calorie sandwich than I had last week.

The HIll

In the midst of this huge health lifestyle change, I am also working through trying to plant myself into a permanent job. I have a decent job right now, but not one that could benefit me for long. For two weeks now, I have been searching & applying for various jobs that would not only meet my unique situation but also be the best for my family in the long term. I divulge this information due to the fact that I recieved a call yesterday afternoon to schedule an immediate interview.

Gasp.

Every fiber of my body went into “flight or fight” mode. I felt a temptation to eat. I was able to easily fight that off because of my fears of not looking my best (ie, food in teeth) for the interview.

The first part of the interview went very well. I felt confident in my answers to the questions asked but also was able to maintain my ethics. Following the second part of the interview, I felt defeated.

I came home & curled into the big brown chair in my livingroom. I “wanted” to go into my fridge & munch down a large portion of ice cream with fudge. My emotions were mixed and I felt as if I had done something wrong.

So I began to sing. Yip, sing. I found myself singing, “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free. His eye is on the Sparrow and I know He watches me” (song by Martin & Gabriel) I sang & I didn’t eat junk.

My fight for yesterday was won. I ended my day more than 100 calories under target. I don’t know what today may hold for me, but I do know that God does know. God isn’t just watching me as HE does that Sparrow. I know that His Holy Spirit dwells within me. I know that That Comforter will be with me, good or bad, come what may.

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I’d love to hear from more of my readers. I thank each of you for taking the time to read my blog. If you would, leave me a comment.

How did you face your Hill yesterday?

Walking in the Desert: End of Wk One & Looking Ahead at Wk Two

Give an inch & it will take a mile

I was determined more than ever to do better on Day 4 – & I did. For the first time during my journey, I ended a day Under my goal calories. Better yet, I wasn’t too hungry when I went to bed.

I managed to do so by cutting back on my carbs & increasing my protein a bit. The Carbs burned too quickly & left me feeling hungry. I knew that I needed Carbs, but I also knew that in able to give myself a little better balance of energy required foods that would keep me full longer.

Day 5: Under once again. I even allowed myself to splurge a bit by eating some chili from a local drive-in restaurant.

Day 6: Over 183 Calories. Argh!! I account this overage to giving into my hunger, which is a lack of self-discipline. I lazied around Saturday morning so by the time that I got on the road to run errands, I was incredibly hungry. I could have made various fast food choices that would have been some what healthy, but instead sunk into the comfortability of a fast food chain ham biscuit. Poof- nearly 400 calories gone for something that didn’t stick with me for all to long.

I would eat a nice salad for lunch & enjoy a bottle of water to go with it. ‘C’ & I would pack some veggies & chicken to meander out to a local park to grill some kabobs. Sounds healthy, right? Problem was that we didn’t plan all so well for the grilling of chicken & it took much longer than either of us had planned. By the time we did settle down to enjoy it, I had also consumed chips & guzzled an unhealthy soft drink. I ended the day feeling full, but completely frustrated at myself.

Day 7: One of my errands on Day 6 was to purchase some healthier food options. Sunday began with a delicious but healthy omelet & turkey bacon. I would go to church feeling quite satisfied. After church, ‘C’ & I would have a visit with the parents which meant meal time at their home. ‘C’ hadn’t spoken to the parents about our diet or why we were doing it. I began to wonder if I was forcing this upon him, but I didn’t dwell on the thought for too long. I would make careful selections & mind my portions for the meal.

Sunday evening, ‘C’ & I enjoyed baked chicken together. I cringed as I began to calculate food after food but smiled with a bit of self-pride as I ended the day at under my calorie goal

Week Two: Let’s GO, GO GO!

I’m ready for what week two brings. With an arsenal of healthier meal options in the pantry & a bit more determination than last Monday, I am ready for the challenges that this week will certainly bring. I take a deep breath & step on my scale: Lost 6.6 lbs!

I can do this! Last week was a struggle. It has been such an incredible blessing to get the encouraging messages on here as well of those in my day-to-day life that have encouraged me as well.

I’m ready. I can make smarter choices. I can walk 5 more minutes. I can drink my water, which is a necessity in my success. I can – because Christ is within me. He overcame my sins, & I know that Christ can help me as I overcome the weight (&health) challenges before me.

I’m ready.

The Great Escape: Day 2 & 3

Day 2: Grumbly in my Tumbly

127 Calories Over. Ugh

Why is this so hard?

Laziness.

It has been easy for so long to just eat what I want & not think about how many calories that I am consuming or how much weight that I am gaining. It has been easier to just “live the high life”.

I found that today the hardest part was feeling incredibly hungry.

I had eaten a healthy smoothie for breakfast, but it began to wear off by the time lunch rolled around. I limited to myself to a small lunch of rice which was very filling but since it was a white rice – the carbs soon led to me feeling increasingly hungry.

Dinner rolled around & I found myself in an angry mood. I was flat dab hungry. I had fixed sloppy joes. After eating only one & one meager scoop of veggies, I wanted more to eat because I was still hungry. I looked at my calories including exercise for the day & would find that I could have one more sloppy joe. I didn’t stop there though. I rounded off my hunger by having some hummas & chips. Hummas is fairly healthy…but combined with the salthy (unhealthy) type of corn chips that I had in my pantry, I had to have something to drink. Guzzling down two cups of juice, I found myself 127 calories over my limit.

Yes, I went to bed feeling “full” & I had walked nearly 20 minutes. As I laid my head down, I knew those 100+ calories equalled yet more lbs on the scale & sure failure for that day.

Day 3: Throwing myself under the bus

I awoke to day three not truly being in the mood to go through the torture of dieting another day. But I knew that I had to suck it up – not only to save my own life but because my weight loss partner ‘C’ was depending on me to do well.

I started the day with yet another smoothie, adding more ice to it this time to see if it would stick longer. The ice did help & I managed to be “okay” until 1/2 an hour before lunch. Lunch time came & I ate another portion of rice with a bit of steamed veggies mixed in.

I would have a snack mid afternoon. Before church ‘C’ & I would go to Subway to eat. Subway sandwiches are a great filling meal for me, but not-so-much healthy when I paired it with a fountain lemonade & baked chips. I’d leave church & feel fairly good about my diet for the day.

I would get in 10 minutes of cardio after dinner to add to the 8 minutes walking. I would “think” I was under my calorie goal as I snacked on a small bowl of frozen berries. I would check in my calorie/fitness counter (MyFitnessPal) & find..145 calories Over.

I felt defeated. I knew in my heart of hearts that my dinner beverage choice had played a huge part in that overage. I was losing the battle.

Then I did something stupid & smart: I stepped on my scale again. I rarely weight myself more than once a week, but was bound & determined to see how much damaged my overages in calories were doing to my body. I watched the numbers on the scale bounce up & down to land at 1.5 lbs gained in 3 days time.

I was angry at myself for failing. I was frustrated because I didn’t want to think about being miserably hungry again. I was upset that my diet buddy, ‘C’ was making it look all-to-easy. I was in a terrible rotten no good mood. So I did what I always do when I am in a terrible rotten no good mood: I reached into my secret stash of chocolate & popped another 60 calories into my mouth. I’d go to bed not feeling hungry, but completely defeated.

Lessons Learned:

I know that I must find ways to feel “full” without consuming empty calories. I know that to do that I am going to have to sacrifice some things in my food budget to be able to afford some healthier options.

I also know that I have to be okay with “being hungry”. My body has become a spoiled princess, which doesn’t like to be made to feel uncomfortable. I know that my spoiled princess body is uncomfortable because all it has know is 300-500 calories more a day on the low side. I need to refocus those urges to writing again, praying more, & having others pray for me too.

Thirdly, I need to learn to give myself some mercy. Dave Ramsey says it best by saying, “We need to give ourselves the grace to fall down sometimes”. I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. I knew that this was going to take time. I knew those things but yet I am angry at myself because those things are true. Endure – that is what I must do.

 

The Great Escape: Day 1

Those who knew me in grade school or high school wouldn’t have called my a “fat kid”. I was always high active plus I had high metabolism to help keep me from becoming pudgy.

Motherhood, however, would take a great toll on me. I would have trouble with pre-term labor when I was expecting my oldest son “D”, so I receieved steroid shots to help his development. I would find myself 50 lbs overweight three months after I gave birth to him. I began to struggle with depression & would soon bubble to nearly 75 lbs overweight.

2 Yrs after my son was born, I decided to “get on board” & joined Weight Watchers. In 8 months, I lost those 70 lbs & was back at my goal weight/healthy weight. One month after reaching my goal weight, I would learn that I was pregnant with baby #2, my youngest son “B”.

I managed to stay at only 20 lbs over my healthy weight after my youngest son was born until he was 5. I had gone through two layoffs with two different companies & found myself without a job. The depression became great. I quickly bubbled up to 30 lbs overweight. & learned – I was pregnant again.

I would miscarry my “Miss D”. My weight would yo-yo from 30 lbs over to 50 lbs over for the year following losing her.

18 months after losing her, I would begin my efforts to lose weight again. I was surprised to find that it came off incredibly fast. In just 6 months, I had lost 30 lbs & was the healthiest I had been since my Weight Watchers days. The quick weight loss should have been a warning sign to me, though, for I would regain and even add to weight in just an eight month window of time.

Today, I sit at close to 35 lbs overweight

June 18th: Wake up, Chick-a-dee

I would start yesterday to log my calorie intake as well as my activity. 289 Calories OVER

Wowsers.

The worst of that was that I went to bed feeling hungry.

All I could think is “What am I doing so wrong?” I had made a healthy choice at breakfast, had strayed 230 calories at lunch & found myself “hungry” after having to say no to myself at dinner.

The problem, really, was two fold: lack of activity & smarter calories. I know that to honor GOD, I must be a useful vessel. I need to be caring for my body both in how I move it & what I put into it.

Going forward

As I trudge through day #2, I know there are two struggles I will fight today: (1) Being Hungry. A LOT (2)Not allowing that hunger to effect my mood. I know that I can fight those things by focusing on God’s Word. One step closer – to escaping this unhealthy lifestyle & truly living my best for GOD’s Glory.

Daddy’s Legacy: Music

As Father’s Day approaches, I want to thank God for the things that I learned from my Daddy. One being: The Love of Music

With my ear pressed against the side of a Baldwin, I learned to ‘feel’ music. I still find myself when I walk past a piano caressing the side of an upright.

My dad studied music in college, which means the household that I was born into was filled with the sounds of piano.

And Daddy Sang. A Lot. His strong Tenor voice could bellow out “Through It All” effortlessly.

That love of music – His love – infested me.

I began singing some in churches, singing  songs like “Father Abraham” in a bubbly four-year old voice. Daddy would tirelessly teach me to read music notes and have A.L. Phipps teach me shape notes. I never learned to be an accomplished musician, but I can still read music today.

As I grew into a teenager, Daddy would begin to challenge me to sing like contemporaries,such as singing Amy Grant’s “El Shaddai”. My awkward pre-teen voice would struggle through duets with him. Many miles traveled together  would be spent singing silly camp songs, all of which I find myself singing now to my own boys. I would graduate from High School with honors, one of which would be for Music – the very same award Daddy had won some 25 years prior.

As an adult, I can hear certain hymns & still remember Daddy teaching me to sing the parts to it. I rocked my sons to sleep with songs I have heard most of my life & which I am sure that perhaps Daddy might have sung while rocking me. I have been in choirs, sung on a worship team & even recorded a track.

Most importantly, in my adult years I am learning to give my love/passion for music over to God. My singing will never win admiration, but I know that whether I am singing in my green Lumina or in the seats at church that if it is to GOD & for GOD, nothing else matters. I think that knowledge would make Daddy proud.

How about you – if you are a music lover, who installed that love in you? I would love to hear from you.

Delay on The Runway: Getting Real

Out The Window

Life is no longer a hum, but roaring. Rattling. Rumbling at a tremendous speed.

The rumble lulls away the voices of reason and responsibility. The rumble mutes the warning cries.

Flashes of the ebb of sunset waken me to the reality that my life is a total mess.

Surely Goodness & Mercy

Messy is perhaps to kind of a word. Chaos – that is a much more appropriate word. In vain, I have tried so hard to be what others think I ought to be. Those attempts to seek approval have led to me compromising my morals, my reputation and my obligations as a mother.

There is, thankfully, Mercy. Not the mercy of others. I have all to quickly found these past two years that people truly are not as merciful as we give them credit for. People hold grudges often until death. True Mercy only comes from Jesus Christ Alone.

“As You Will It”

Nationally known radio host Dave Ramsey tells this story as part of his Financial Peace University: Two young men capture a bird as an attempt to trick a Guru. They ask the Guru is the bird alive or dead. Knowing that if he says that it is alive, the boys will kill the bird & if he says dead, they will set it free, the Guru says, “It it as you will it”. (NOTE: I do not own the rights to this story or am I in any way affiliated with Dave Ramsey. I share this story, paraphrased, to make a point).

The point is this: My Life (& Your Life) will only be what we will it. I know that I have to quit pointing my blame finger, pouting like a baby & take responsibility. The problem is ME. Yes, life has happened to me. It happens to all of us that have a pulse. Good things & bad things are all a part of what life interesting. If it were all good, we wouldn’t appreciate it. If it were all bad, we wouldn’t have hope to endure. How we react to those things is OUR choice!

God knows what we are going to face. We can’t control everything that we will go through in this life. But as for me.. I will trust GOD to get me through it & mind how I react. I could very well be the life that someone else is watching.