Monday, September 3, 2012 more excuses

I am SOOOO thankful Week 7 is over! I'm not sure how it happened or why I allowed it to happen but that is a week I don't want to do over.....ever. Nutrition was a struggle and wow...I did not work out ALL week! What was that about? As I've reflected on it, I have come up with a list of excuses. A couple of them pretty valid reasons, but in my opinion, excuses nonetheless. So I spent the week in the midst of my 'comfort zone' of a few fall back foods, not working out and feeling grossly guilty about it all. Have I learned nothing? Really?

Routines are going to change, challenges are going to come up, I'm not always going to 'feel' 100%.  Last week it was like I let every little thing get in the way. For example, I have struggled with getting out in the early morning in the dark for aerobics. So, I told myself, I'll do it in the evening. Well, the evening didn't work cause by the time I get home from work, dinner, etc, its dark again. Hmmm. That turned out to be not so great a plan. Bootcamp....alarm didn't get set? turned off the snooze? who knows for sure. Did I do the strength workout in the evening then, since I overslept in the a.m.? NO. I didn't push through any of it last week. Grrrrrrrrrr!

So now I going to allow that really crappy week to derail me completely? NO. Because I can't. I've come too far in this journey this time. Am I going to figure out how to use it to motivate me forward? Absolutely. Thankfully I met with my fellow BTWGers for our Saturday session. I found it interesting that several of us had struggled last week. All for different reasons, but maybe the same. But that's a huge part of this program is the community aspect of it so it was good to connect with everyone.  The topic this week was about being mindful. Don't just go through the automatic motions of our daily life. Think about it. Consider it. Ponder its origin, its value. It's funny. I've read about this teaching. I've been trying to practice it throughout the program but have certainly not given it the full time and attention it deserves. As Chris walked us through the exercises, I admitted to myself that I had not invested fully in this aspect of the program at all. Probably part of it is because its outside my comfort zone. Hmmmmmm....comfort zone. Hasn't served me too well so why I do I keep going back there?

I believe that nothing happens by accident so as I walk through this gift from God, it's times like these that I think is all exactly what I need to hear & experience, at this point in time. I know the behaviors of old that I fell into last week all too thankful for being back and track and moving forward!

My goals this week include: 1) disregard Week 8 recovery week (with Chris' blessing) to get my workouts back on track. Obviously my 'recovery' occured last week. :-)   2) practice being mindful more intentionally  3) eat clean...all week.  4) embrace pushing myself outside my comfort zone -- I'm certain its way better on the other side! :-)

Philippians 3:12-14 (ESV)
"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Victories only please.....

I can hardly believe its been two weeks since I've been here, and an interesting couple of weeks it has been.  Much has happened, but I won't bore you with the details.....just the victories!

A spontaneous 4 day getaway with my honey to celebrate our 17th anniversary and to visit dear friends was really great! Nutrition challenges arose the first couple of days because we ate every meal in a restaurant & we were in a celebratory mode so some emotional eating for sure. Victories were: I didn't order the fried chicken that kept passing by on the server's trays; we packed some healthy snacks that were life-savers; I did my 1 hour aerobic workout at the B&B near the banks of the Ohio -- beautiful but HILLY! Old me would have said "let's go back to sleep"; new me said "I'll be back in an hour, honey!"  Once we arrived at our friends home though, the nutrition challenges were no more! They were so kind and supportive to plan meals that fit into our choices, they even invited my honey to prepare his quinoa concoction for dinner--and they loved it! yay!!! 

Our Danny had knee surgery 3 days later so our challenges there were planning meals for a 3 yr old and 9 yr old over the weekend. I have a new respect for you BTWGer moms trying to manage all this with kiddos in mind. We got through it, but it was a little rough on the choices. OH but wait...we're only talking about victories here honey blessed me with 3 hrs to step away from the kiddos to go to our BTWG Saturday workout/meeting.  And might I say.....those were the most amazing 3 hours I've had in awhile! Some of my teammates labeled it a 'breakthrough' workout. All I know is I ended up in tears at the end of the final mile walk/run, which came after a mile trail walk/run that brought up my fear of falling and then intervals up and down a long slow hill that almost kicked my butt. Almost, but it didn't! I know by calling out names I'm at risk of missing somone or embarrassing others but for this one time, I hit some milestones on Saturday that were quite emotional for me that I don't believe I would have accomplished on my own so....I'm taking the risk. Nicole, Kyle, Carrie, Sonia, Kelly, Sherri, Jenna, Joe -- your tips about breathing; your cheering and encouragement as I pushed up that hill; your return to finish with me when I lagged behind on the 1st mile, your smiling cheering faces as Pam and I emerged from the trail.  Blew my socks off!  And then there's Pam. She wasn't even going to work out with us on Saturday but .... she adopted me during intervals, passed along some wisdom and training tips, moved through that last mile around the lake with me that, by the way, we did in silence. Talk about powerful! Whoa....thank you Pam! I learned that I CAN do it, I CAN get thru it without falling, I CAN if I don't give up! Wow...all I can say is WOW. And this 'no man left behind' phylosophy? I gotta say...I am still overwhelmed & humbled by it 4 days later.

I have such a long way to go, but I am soo excited about how far I've come in such a short time!  I think for this post, I will leave it at that! FEELING BLESSED!!!

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Eccl 4:9-10)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Transformation in progress....

I came across this poster tonite on Facebook. For me, it is a beautiful expression of the journey I'm on. I have to remind myself each day why this journey is so important because in those moment of weakness and cravings, it would be so easy to revert to my old ways for a few moments of perceived pleasure. But not this time. Not today. and not tomorrow. There are no.more.excuses.

Stay tuned. Transformation in progress!

1 Cor 10:23  "Everything is permissable, but not everything is beneficial."

Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Who is this person and what have you done with my wife?"

As I rolled out of bed Friday morning at 5:30 a.m. to go out for my morning walk/jog (yes, I'm doing a little jogging between mailboxes), the question from John was (as he snuggled down into the covers a little more): "Who are you and what have they done with my wife?"  We both laughed hysterically!

Legitimate question I'm a little embarrassed to admit. He's used to me hitting the snooze on the alarm for WELL over an hour. I am NOT a morning all!! I 'snooze' usually until the absolute last minute I know I have to get up. We call that .... drop dead, feet on the floor wake up time! I get mad at him if he sets the alarm for the actual time I need to get up! lolol  Alway always ALWAYS I have to have at LEAST 30 min snooze time minimum.  :-)  So the fact that I've been up so early consistently these past two weeks is shocking to us both!

So week 2 of 12 is finished. On to week 3! This past week's highlights involved new things that push me out of my comfort zone. You know, that place where we feel 'safe' and are uncomfortable stepping out of? Well, I've been there a couple of times this week. 1) writing this blog, 2) dipping my toe into practice of meditation. My Zafu (google it) is comfortable but interesting trying to balance and sit on it properly. Trying not to overthink it (quiet the mind) so if there's a way to shut off this constant to-do list running in my head? I'm all for it.  3) Each week John & I have agreed to try at least one new food or recipe. This week was jicama and beets!! Jicama? yummmmm  Beets? not so much.  We'll definitely keep working on different ways to enjoy jicama. Beets? I think we're done with. hahaha

As I'm writing this, its 11:50 pm and the Women's Gymnastics event is on the tele (as they say in the UK) so, since I'm having a little trouble concentrating, I'll leave you with this short and sweet post.

By the way, John is incredibly supportive! I think he's enjoying the transformation that has begun for us both!

Philippians 1:6  "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I got here how??

I got here how?? Only by the Grace of God I'm certain. It doesn't seem right to launch into this blog without giving you just a glimpse of my journey leading into BTWG so here goes.  I am a Christian believer serving the God of the Universe, and I’m married to an amazing man, John, who is my biggest fan and awesome encourager. He brought into my life 2 wonderful sons who have wives (that I consider daughters) they adore, which gives me the privilege of being Grammy to 4 of the most adorable, precious grandkids!  I am 52, I work full time, sitting at a computer 9-10-11 hours a day. I am at least 60 lbs overweight and not in great shape at all.

Many have tried to encourage me over the years to get healthy, but rarely was my head in the game to push myself enough to make any kind of commitment to permanent change.  Over the years I would find myself in, what felt like, an endless cycle of ‘dieting’. I would commit, I would be good for a short time until I started failing with choices, and then that little voice over my shoulder started in with the head games reminding me I’d messed up again so....I would give up. I would then eat what I wanted, when I wanted it, and gain weight, usually more than I lost....all the while beating myself up for failing yet again.

I have struggled with weight and fitness since I was a teenager into all of my adult life. I was really athletic through school years, but by my late 20's, I'd had some sports injuries & clutsy moments that put me in several casts. Mid-30’s brought marriage and freedom from a 15 year smoking habit (which were both awesome events!) but....that’s when the pounds really packed on! I've tried, what feels like, just about everything over the years to lose weight. 

That describes who I was. Now let me try to describe what has happened in the recent past few months to help you understand why I really feel like it’s my time to embrace the change!! In early 2012, I found myself again at that point of my usual cycle of being fed up, tired of the extra weight/feeling crappy about myself, “must get some of this weight off again” mode so I again decided to jump back into a popular weightloss program. “I can do this online” I told myself. Well I signed up, paid the money and I was good for about only 3 weeks this time. Then I started the all too familiar sliiiiiide. In the midst of all this, though, my husband and I were searching for a new physician. We found Dr. Miller (led there really we believe by the Holy Spirit) and since then our lives have been impacted in such an amazing way! She practices a blend of traditional medicine with whole health focus. Through what Dr Miller considers routine blood work, we both learned that we have several IGG food allergies, which has completely turned our food choices upside down. But in a very positive way! We have embraced our allergies to wheat, oat, peanut, casein and egg whites by totally eliminating these foods from our diet. By no means has that been an easy process of change, but another glimmer of the Holy Spirit’s involvement is that John received this diagnosis a few weeks ahead of me. While we both committed to it fairly quickly, John was truly the leader. He embraced it the 1st day…while I dragged my feet a bit longer. It was by John’s example though and my own diagnosis that has been a key to my early success. Since April we have worked together to discover new choices and recipes, and believe it or not, it has almost been fun!  

Funny anecdote, I heard myself telling someone the other day how I’m sometimes shocked that, as a carb addict, going gluten free hasn’t really been all that difficult!  Lolol  A year ago? Even 6 months ago....I NEVER would have believed I would be eating celery and almond butter for lunch! :-) and enjoying it!  I have felt remarkably better since eliminating these foods.  I’ve dropped almost 30 lbs and I’m really feeling strong in all of this. The gap for me though has been the fitness aspect which was my initial draw to BTWG.

Now here's the really cool part.....when my friend Sonia posted on her FB wall that BTWG was open for enrollment in June, I was intrigued. I poured over all of the information that was available that very night and when I was finished reading through it all, I looked up at my husband teary eyed to explain I truly felt this was a gift from God! HE knows me inside and out, knows exactly what I need and when (His timing is perfect!). I am confident God’s fingerprints are all over this experience. So I guess I do know what is different about this journey.:-) BTWG is the next step for me to now be able to focus on all aspects of my wellness, and I thank God for placing it in my path!

A friend recently posted Psalm 139 as a guiding force on her journey to wellness and thru that I was reminded of how God cares about and is in the midst of the details of each of us.

Psalm 139:1-6  You have searched me, Lordand you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Monday, July 23, 2012

And so it begins.....

On June 13, 2012, I took a leap of faith. I submitted an essay to BTWG (aka Bridging the Wellness Gap) and I was accepted into the 12 week program with 16 other 'recruits'. There's no turning back....I choose not to turn back! On Monday July 15, I began a journey into a new way of living. The 12 week journey to wellness has begun and I'm so stinkin' excited! I feel good about the commitment I've made to focus on my food choices, my physical fitness, and my spiritual wellness. For 12 weeks I'm trusting. Trusting the knowledge and years of experience that have been poured into this program by Chris. Trusting that this is exactly the place that God what's me to be right now. He's mapped it out so clearly, how could I say no? (more about that later). Trusting myself that I will stay commited and see this through to whatever measure of success is accomplished. And trusting that at the end of these 12 weeks I am equipped to carry this balanced, new way of living on for my lifetime!

I'll be coming here to journal my experience as best I can. I am not a writer and never claimed to be. Writing this blog is part of the BTWG program and for sure is a whole new experience in itself so you may have to put up with some crazy writing styles, some soul searching, some victories,  maybe a little moodiness, and I'm certain some failures. But I intend to celebrate each step along the way. Naive? maybe. But all I know is something has gotta change! I'm so tired of my obesity (yes, I can say it outloud but its tough). Tired of feeling like #$^& . Tired of it always getting in the way by consuming my thoughts and those all too familar insecurities rearing their ugliness from time to time. I desire to put this all behind me so I can move forward in such a way that will allow me to really focus on what's important...serving Christ and my husband, my family and beyond in a way that I cannot even fathom right now. How can I not step into the change?  And so it begins.......

Phillippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". And I certainly can't do any of this without Him.