Monthly Archives: May 2013

Spirit Seeker Sunday 7

mountain image“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts . . .”

I have to stop right there and pray.

Lord,

I’m not sure how to do that.

Be still and know I am God.

KNOW you are God. Believe you are bigger than my struggles and my worries. Stop the questioning, the whirling tizzy. And KNOW you are God. Bigger than me. Almighty One. All Powerful. Caring.

And You, God of the universe see.

See Me.

“You were called to peace. And be thankful.”

CALLED to peace. Wow.

Lord,
Help me (and all of us) to walk forward in peace this day.

Author’s note:

Found these rambling thoughts as I looked through my devotional journal. They seemed appropriate, all that talk about peace and being still for Sarah and David balloonstoday my baby girl marries her sweetheart. Weddings aren’t exactly know for quiet or stillness. I pray this one will be about knowing HIM as God, though. I scheduled this post way ahead, of course. Today I’m all about my girl. The celebration. Welcoming a son. Staring into my husband’s eyes and sharing this wedding day as no one but husband and wife–the MOM and DAD–can when their little girl proves once again she is all grown up and takes another plunge of maturity. If you’re reading this, think of us today. Cheer my baby on.  Say a prayer that our celebration will be powerful, our shared love deep, and that the sun will shine on our party!

Battling the Deadline

Maybe you, like me, have chosen a career that is in direct conflict with a toned, healthy body. When I started writing seriously I gained 3-5 pounds a year. It kept creeping on and “suddenly” I was obese.

work

Work can be never ending . . .

The sedentary aspect of the job is only part of the issue. The other issues are probably similar to things you deal with in your job, things like deadlines that make you work long hours, stress that makes you crave chocolate, projects that are so overwhelming you don’t take a lunch break or have enough time in your day for exercise.

Chances are you don’t get to work in your jammies like I often do, but we share a lot of the same struggles I wrote about in my weight loss journal:

Day 121 Crazy day! When my first guests arrived for the wrap party hosted by my friend and fellow author, Alison Strobel Morrow, I was still in my gown! Seriously! Since I needed to get a proposal to my agent I figured I’d get up early and start working. When I finished I would work-out, clean the house, shower, and be gorgeous for the wrap party.

Right.

I hit send on my proposal as the doorbell rang about 6:30 that night, let the first two people in, then rushed off to brush my hair and put clothes on. Sheesh! No exercise, no decent food. . . and  here I was, house not so clean and me not so clean. But we had fun at the wrap party anyway—and I lost ¼ inch around my waist in the first 45 minutes. ~Feb. 21

Day 122 ~ How have I let this happen? I haven’t exercised since Monday, and it’s Friday! Thought I might make a strong focus of exercise this morning until I opened my email and found that my agent wanted several things in the proposal that I hadn’t put it. Next thing you know I’m reliving Thursday and working all day in my gown. But this deadline pretty much trumps everything.

I eventually got frustrated with my lack of creative progress and wanted to reach for snacks. I was proud of myself when I took a break and did 40 minutes of Pilates instead! Then it was back to the grindstone.

I never did get my work being as perfect as I wanted it to be–or maybe I did and didn’t know it. I called a writer friend and read it to her before I could hit the send key. She assured me I’d done good work. Her words gave me enough courage to call it finished  When I finally sent it off to my agent it was with the plea that if I was stupid instead of clever she would let me know. Sometimes I just can’t tell. ~ Feb. 22

As I’ve said before, life rarely looks like I’ve planned it. It’s easy to get thrown off track in the weight loss journey, but every step forward moves us toward our goal. Even when things aren’t perfect, like in these two journal entries, we can make a single decision we wouldn’t have made before–like when I did Pilates instead of snacking–and still be moving in the right direction. We can choose strong nutritional support that helps carry us through the stress times.

My career–and maybe yours–doesn’t lend itself to a healthy body. But I’m not powerless. Sometimes the deadline battle trumps everything else in the short-term. I just can’t let that be for the long-term. Because I am important, not just my responsibilities. If I don’t take care of me eventually I can’t take care of my responsibilities.

To ponder and share:

A single right decision keeps us moving forward.

Some careers work against a healthy body, but we aren’t powerless.

If I don’t take care of myself eventually I can’t take care of anything else.

Skinny Jeans and Starbucks (Day 120)

Read this journal entry at your own risk!

Day 120 It was a drive Sam around and then wait kind of day–and uh, so I played.skinny jeans

When I took Sam to physical therapy I chose to shop rather than workout. How could I not? I happened to know that Target had a major clearance and, hey, I’ve lost enough weight I need some clothes! I bought  skinny jeans for $6.88. When I showed them to Sam, he snickered and said, “I guess you’re ready for Bingo.”

Huh? Then it dawned on me that he thought my super cool, flowered skinny jeans were for the older crowd who frequent his baseball team’s Bingo fundraisers.

Not a problem. I’ll just wear them in front of his friends if he continues to tease me.

I wanted a new coat I don’t swim in, but I didn’t find anything on clearance that I loved. I don’t want to buy just because it is inexpensive, which is my temptation. I want to buy because it looks fantastic.

Later it was off to Driver’s Ed with Sam. I had a wonderful time working at Starbucks while I waited for him for three hours. I wrote a scene about snow as I stared out the plate glass window at the big, fluffy flakes waltzing to the ground. (Pretty cool my WIP (Work In Progress) needed a snow scene!)

Of course snow means coffee. I did it. I ordered a yummy Starbucks. Do you have any idea how many calories are in those things?? Shocking! My favorites have more calories than I eat most meals now! I did modify what I would have bought in the past and ordered something with less calories, but I also bought one of those tiny cake pops.

I guess when a girl can fit into new skinny jeans she can handle a little Starbucks.

But when Sam and I finally made it home through the storm, I ate only a small bowl of low calorie taco soup for supper! ~ Feb. 20

Real Time:

Okay, okay. I hope that post wasn’t too risky for you. If you suddenly skip exercise to shop or can’t resist a Starbucks run, just remember yesterday’s post and make your NEXT choice to return to the path of perseverance.

Seriously, I didn’t feel badly about my choices that day. I was mindful at Starbucks. (The old me would have had a 500 calorie white chocolate peppermint!) And my NEXT CHOICE  was to eat light and healthy after my three hours with the snow and doctored up coffee.

Now that I’m a normal weight and working only to refine what I’m already comfortable with in my body, I stand by what I’ve said all along. I want this journey to be something I do long-term. I want life-change, not just weight loss.

I’m not going to deprive myself of special Starbucks moments for the rest of my life. On the other hand, the new me plans to be mindful for the rest of my life about how I treat my body. My norm will be healthy choices. My norm will be intentionality about a lifestyle that includes movement, exercise, and sunshine.

My goal is a healthier future, not just a skinnier today. (Which is why I LOVE the nutritional value of my BENew products!)

For me, the weight loss journey must be sustainable. And I can sustain an occasional Starbucks, just not a daily one.

How About You? How do you move toward your goals of a healthier you in a way you can sustain?

Share with your Twitter Buddies:

The goal is a healthier future, not just a skinnier today.

The weight loss journey must be sustainable.

Embrace a New Day (Days 118 and 119)

Every morning is a new day to embrace. The sun may set on a day of disappointments, but it rises to possibilities for success!sunset 2

Real life rarely looks like you planned it–at least not at my house.

Earlier this week I blogged about determination and discipline. The posts I found in my journal for today show my reality–some days you’re determined and disciplined and feel close to God, the world, and yourself. Others? Not so much.

Day 118 ~ Worked for the morning. Did 30 minutes of Pilates. Worked for the afternoon. Took a walk just before sunset. I felt drawn to a nearby middle school and circled it several times. Found myself praying a lot for the kids there. A bunch of guys played soccer in a field nearby, and I prayed God would raise a leader who would keep those kids engaged in healthy things, like that soccer game, and away from damaging choices. ~ Feb. 18

Day 119 ~ Another Tuesday without exercise. With my back to back appointments every Tuesday I don’t get it in unless I am very focused.. I am so proud of myself when I get up in time to go outside or do Pilates before my morning appointment, but I didn’t today. I didn’t even try. It was really cold, and I just couldn’t bring myself to face the outside temperatures. And I was in a bad mood, so no alternative exercise. Ugh. Someone with a bit more determination might come home and worked out late in the evening, but by the time I got home it was about 7:30, and I was starving and exhausted and done! ~  Feb. 19

And here we in May. Today was one of those determined/disciplined days when all feels right with the world and my heart. I’ve exercised, made healthy choices, been productive at my work, and enjoyed time with my God, my husband, and my best friend. Had a great conversation with the bride-to-be who, like her mother, seems to be having an all is right with the world day.

You probably wouldn’t have wanted to talk with either of us a couple of days ago, though, when we were still working on wedding stuff at 10 p.m., sitting at Village Inn, stuffing our faces, and trying not to cry . . .

If I were to search for take-away value for today’s blog I guess I’d say that snapshots of real life just aren’t picture perfect. They are . . . real. Some days the sun sets on disappointments. Some days when it sets we feel successful.

The question is what do we do with life’s ups and downs? What I’m hanging onto more every day is that whole idea that perseverance is only one choice away. Success on the weight loss journey, as well as in real life, is not about doing everything perfectly. It’s about getting up each morning and making the choices that lead to your goals. It’s about forgiving yourself when you think you don’t measure up and not letting the down days steal away the successful ones.

His mercies are new every morning.

So . . . let’s take THIS day, THIS choice, and use it to empower us toward success!

Encourage your friends:

His mercies are new every morning.

Real life isn’t perfect, but it is full of perfectly wonderful moments.

Don’t let a bad yesterday steal the promise of a successful today.

Top it with Cholula Sauce!

salad chicken, salsa, cholula

Ever need a salad with a kick? My great discovery is: Top it with Cholula sauce!

The salad pictured here is spring lettuce, ground chicken, salsa and Cholula sauce.

I LOVE it. Easy. Healthy. Low calories. Filling.

But most of all? TASTY

Share the flavor:

Top it with Cholula Sauce

Low calorie doesn’t have to be bland

Determination and Discipline (Day 116)

Stephen wins tournament 6

MMA takes determination and disciple. My son Stephen is NOT a free spirit. He thrives on schedules. Free spirit or not, determination and discipline pays off!

Determination and discipline. How intimidating!

As I processed the next journal entry in my weight loss saga, I keyed in on the phrase: I guess it comes back to determination and discipline.

Here’s the thing. Unlike my determined and disciplined son in the picture to the right, I’m a free spirit. I like flowing streams, flowing skirts (which are more fun to wear without that extra weight, just sayin’), and free-flowing days.

I do NOT appreciate rigid schedules, rigid routines, rigid relationships, rigid clothes . . .

Of course these two concepts something collide in the area of disciplined exercise. I tell myself, “you should schedule in your exercise time so you can be sure it will happen.”

Self replies, “I’ll schedule a space for it, but I’ll decide when that space is when I get there.”

Whether you thrive in structure or in days that flow, getting and staying healthy takes discipline and determination.

I have learned that the days I am scheduled away from home I HAVE to have a plan, or I’m doing what the old adage says, “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Work days at home, however, can be a little more free-flow, but they still require discipline. I can choose to walk when I need a break or the birds are singing the most sweetly or the sunshine peeks in the window and calls my name. But I must choose to walk.

Even us free spirits have to have the discipline and determination to follow through when we get the call.   It helps me to determine in my heart that taking care of my body is a priority. When the work piles up or I’m lost in a focused, creative moment, I have to remember that I am a priority, not just my responsibilities. I must remember I have a goal to be stronger and healthier; not just a goal to finish my work. And if I choose the work pile or the creative focus, then I need to treat my health goal like I would treat a work deadline and make exercise happen later.

Day 116 ~ Jerry actually walked with me! The hills hurt his back injury, so we ended up at the track. He still has to walk slowly, so I tried jogging around the track to lap him. I almost ran two laps to his one walking. I can’t believe I even tried it. It’s so not me. But it felt good.

I had an amazing writing day. I think breaking to walk helped me work out a couple of places where I stalled out. It’s hard to know how to manage work and exercise. It seems like if I don’t do exercise first thing in the day it is hard to make myself stop working to exercise. On the other hand it feels more beneficial to my work if I break partway through.

I guess it comes back to determination and discipline. If I don’t exercise before I start working, then I have to make myself stop later.  ~ Feb. 16, 2013

Encouragement to share:

Determination + Discipline = Success

Free spirits can be determined and disciplined, too!

I’m a priority, not just my responsibilities!

Be Empowered (Day 115)

blancePrioritizing my health goals is empowering! It’s a beautiful May day here in Colorado. I took a break from my work for a nice, long walk with my sweetheart, then did shaping exercises here at home. When I hit the computer again my head was clearer, my attitude better, and I felt empowered!

Looking back at my weight loss journey, empowered is how I felt last Feb. when I quit letting the weather block my exercising and did something different:

Day 115 ~ I told Jerry this morning that I don’t think I’ve gained or look heavier, but I FEEL heavier since I haven’t exercised much this week. I also told him I think it is easier to blow it off without the accountability of the Fitness app. When you don’t have to see the bar turn red when you go over calorie count, you don’t have to think about your choices as much. Exercise kept that bar from going red even when I ate a little more.

Funny. When I took a break from My Fitness Pal I thought I’d struggle with food, but I think I’m struggling more with exercise. I’m not sure if this is going to work for me, but I want to give myself a few more days to see.

It’s still really cold outside, but since I only exercised on Tuesday of this week, I HAD to figure something out. I did Pilates for the first time since December 2011!! (I quit after my January accident in 2012 due to whiplash, and just when my PT released me to do them again I had another car accident!) I am sore now, mostly in my neck, but it felt like a major step forward to pull that DVD out! AND, I feel empowered that I did SOMETHING physical even though I have a huge pile of work waiting for my attention. ~ Feb. 15

Real Time Update:

I think I’m having mother-of-bride syndrome! Today at the bank there was this precious three year old on her mom’s hip. She was all dressed in a pink dress, and had sleepy eyes. Her mom had to awaken her to bring her in. I about burst into tear then and there! How can my baby girl be getting married??

Tweetables:

Exercise clears your head so you can be more productive.

Finding a way to meet your goals when they seem blocked is empowering!

Be empowered. Meet a blocked goal.

How About You?

How can you enjoy the sunshine? Meet a blocked goal?