Wednesday, December 08, 2010
"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The second thing I love about myself is that I have faith.
I cherish this trait about myself even more so because I didn't always have faith, I wasn't always this way, so I know the difference between having faith and not having faith. Like Oscar Wilde said, ďSkepticism is the beginning of Faith.Ē I believe that because it was my unbelief that drew me to read the word of God and to become a believer.
But faith isn't set aside just for those who believe in God. The definition of FAITH in the Merriam Webster dictionary only lists faith as the "belief and trust in and loyalty to God" in the religious sense as one of the definitions of faith. There are others:
1. Allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
2. Fidelity to one's promises
3. Sincerity of intentions
4. Complete trust
Faith is also being loyal, keeping promises and being sincere in our intentions. I believe I possess all of these traits as well, but again, I didn't used to.
For me faith in God goes hand in hand with being loyal, sincere, etc. But that's what works for me. For other people you may have faith in something working out, like a marriage or a weight loss plan. Perhaps you have faith in obtaining a job, or in your family getting along.
Faith is one of those words that is used often but hard to pin down exactly WHAT it is. HOW do you get it? It's a a wonderful present to unwrap, a mystery to unravel.
I think it's also something that can mean something else to various people depending on who you ask. That is the wonderful thing about it. Faith is something that is attainable for everyone, it is just patiently waiting for you to come and pluck it and call it your own.
With faith, the IMPOSSIBLE is POSSIBLE. All things are possible, and life is worth waking up to each morning through the gift of faith. I feel that faith is complete trust, without question, that a thing is going to work out right. And faith is also what helps us pick up the pieces if our dreams don't turn out exactly as planned.
Faith is what drives me, and what helps me to not give up. I can achieve my dreams, I have faith that I can and I will take that unknown step into the darkness and know that it will all turn out right.
And perhaps I will even be taught to FLY.
ďYou block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith.Ē
~ Mary Manin Morrissey
ďWhen you have come to the edge Of all light that you know And are about to drop off into the darkness Of the unknown, Faith is knowing One of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or You will be taught to flyĒ
~ Patrick Overton
Tuesday, December 07, 2010
As part of our WIN challenge this week we have to identify four things about ourselves that we love. I am a big believer in positive affirmations, so I am struggling with the fact that I find this challenge difficult. I think it's because for me I don't like to come across as boasting, or bragging about my traits. It's one thing to repeat an affirmation to one's self, but it's another to blog about it and say "look at how great I am!"
But...why? Why am I feeling this way? There's nothing wrong with being fulfilled with certain things about yourself. There are certainly enough things that we aren't happy about in our lives. Why not reveal those things that we are happy with?
Another part of this challenge is to let those in our lives who mean something to us just how much they mean. Now this is easier for me. This, I like doing and it's a good reminder to tell those we love more often and to let them know that they are making a difference in our lives. Now why can't I do that for myself, too? I think it has to do with loving ourselves and also with confidence, both things are areas in my life I need to improve on. So here goes. Enough introspection about this.
My first trait that I love about myself is that I am a GIVER. I always have been, and I believe this is my natural tendency. I won't go into too many details here, because I don't believe in "giving and telling", but when I got my first job the first thing I wanted to do was to give some of that away. As a high school student I began to sponsor an impoverished child that lived in the Philippines. While others were buying things only for themselves, I wanted to see what I could do for others. There is something so gratifying in that, in helping someone if you have the means. Now I'm not trying to say I didn't buy myself things that I didn't need, like lipstick, trendy clothes and books. I did. But there's always room to give.
Now we are a single-income family and we don't have much. But what we do have, I share. I give as much as I can and thank God that I am blessed enough to be able to give something away.
My mom still asks all of her four daughters for Christmas wish lists. And she tries to buy everything on it. She's a giver, too. But when I try to tell her this makes me uncomfortable she understands, but tells me that for her to give to me fills her heart with love. I've tried putting others on my list instead of myself. One year I wanted her to buy a goat for a town. Another year I wanted donations sent directly to the poor. But those things wouldn't fulfill her. I needed to understand that. By not giving her a list at all (which I've done in past years unsuccessfully), I am depriving her of her joy. There are all different types of givers. I bet you are a giver, too.
I'm teaching my daughters how to give now, too. And that sometimes to give means to give something away that you may want. Something that you may cherish and love. I overheard my 4 yr. old daughter with my mom the other day, she walked up to her and handed her a cherished candy cane pen that my husband had given her. She loved that pen! But I overheard her tell my mom "I want to give this to you. I love it, but I want you to have it. Mama taught me that."
I was overwhelmed with pride and also joy that my daughter would give so selflessly. Now my mom didn't take the pen, she tried to explain that it's good to keep things for yourself, too. Which it is. But it is the thought that counts, as they say, and my daughter had a giving heart that day, she was in the Christmas spirit.
I struggle with sometimes buying things for myself that I don't need. When I find myself going there, I ask myself, could someone else use this? If it's something I've already purchased I will try to give it away, unopened, and make someone's day.
I need that reminder that life is not just about ME. There are so many other people in the world, people that could use a hand. Why shouldn't it be mine?
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Start weight: 218
End weight: 218
Weight lost: 0 lbs.
Weight lost since the beginning of the year: 39.5 lbs.
Total weight lost: 80 lbs.
It was my goal to lose 5 lbs. this month to bring me to my wedding weight of 213, which was almost 12 yrs. ago.
I didnít lose any weight.
I know this was a month with a lot of celebrations, for me not only Thanksgiving but a date night away and also a weekend away with family. I honestly can say that I did the best I could in these situations and Iím not going to beat myself up about not losing any weight this month. I was going to, believe me. But itís just not productive.
I've lost 80 lbs. and I think my body, and mind, need to reconcile that fact. I'm going to keep doing what feels good to me, what is working for me, and eventually the scale will reconcile that.
Iím also doing away with my ďGrade for the monthĒ as going by weight loss I would have to give myself an ďFĒ this month. But itís about more than that, isnít it? I mean, I did some pretty awesome things this month, including running two 5ks. Compare that to where I was at this time last year and itís just such an accomplishment and ďgradingĒ myself on just one area isnít really fair. Overall I am doing great, and I am on the path to a new me and we are all winners in this journey. After all, it isnít a race and as they say, itís about the journey, not the destination.
I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k and met some great spark friends, KITHKINCAID, JENNJESS48 and FARLEYGIRL even though my back was hurting me and I was nursing a cold.
I ran ANOTHER 5k this month Ė this time by myself! It was awesome. Cold, but awesome. 2 5ks in one month? Woot, woot!
I was told that I inspired two people to RUN!!! KITHKINCAID ran her first 5k at the Hot Chocolate 5k, and my best friend ran her first 5k with me at the Elvis run back in August and she has now run an 8k!!!
I saw my butt in the mirror and liked it.
More ab definition.
My husband said each day my butt gets tighter and tighter.
My comfy pregnancy camisoles now actually make me LOOK pregnant (when Iím not) whereas before they fit me just right Ė pregnant or not.
Iím having an affairÖwith my track.
I decided that Iím worth the cost of my health club membership!
I planned out a pizza dinner out by preparing for it by making healthy choices during the day, like instead of having a Nutrigrain bar for my afternoon snack at work I went to the baby carrots instead to save 140 calories.
My bras are getting too bigÖagainÖ
I ran in the rain and liked it.
I was able to buy oh, so CUTE pjs OFF THE RACK at a discount store. Unheard of in my life ďbeforeĒ.
I turned down Bakers Square French Silk pie and ate my Luna Bar instead.
A ring that hasnít fit me in forever finally fitsÖ.
...And then that same ring was too big in the same dayÖ.had to take it off to type!
I kept a food blog while in Michigan and also worked out every day there.
I prepared a healthy pie for Thanksgiving and gave my husband a Spark recipe to replace his usual butter-laden sweet potatoes.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED:
If I workout first thing in the morning, even for just 20 minutes it makes my day better and I have more energy. Combine that with a workout at night and itís like a fitness sandwich!
Low sodium soy sauce tastes the same as the high sodium stuff.
Homemade pad thai is much more filling, and less greasy, than the takeout version. And cheaper, too!
Friends are essential. Accountability buddies are priceless.
Goals are a chart to where you want to be and aiming high gets you there quicker. If not on time, eventually, rather than never.
Itís easy to fit in strength training with a band in the ladiesí room at work.
No one knows if I sleep in my work out clothes.
Itís not about the food.
I was overeating although I may have been in my calorie range.
Focusing on a certain weight to lose each month isnít working for me.
Beating myself up isnít working for me either.
Time to love myself.
Monday, November 29, 2010
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
~ Anais Nin
As you can imagine, running in place doesnít get you very far. Itís like being on a treadmill looking out of a tall glass window and the view is nice, but you never really get there. Youíre always inside, looking out.
Thatís how Iíve felt since losing 80 lbs. Iíve come to a crossroads and Iím just running in place. Itís like there is an invisible fence that I canít cross and that fence is built out of fear. Itís not a palpable fear. Itís more like this fear that is buried deep within and it is almost a nameless fear. What could I possibly be afraid of? This is what I wanted, what Iíve worked for. Iím more than halfway to goal and I can admit it now. Iím scared out of my mind. And I donít know why.
Iíve never lost this much weight. Ever. Maybe itís a fear of the unknown. Maybe itís a fear that I wonít recognize myself in the mirror without all of these layers. Or, maybe, and I think this is closer to the truth, maybe Iím afraid of shedding these layers because theyíve protected me for so long.
Theyíve protected me from getting close to anyone, including my husband of almost 12 years. Theyíve protected me from being social and putting myself in situations where I could get rejected. Theyíve protected me from being hurt. I have a past, and Iíve been hurt. And I donít want to go there again. So now that Iím more than halfway along this journey I have to face this fear. And this fear is important, because it is what has caused me to get here, to this place of being 120 lbs. overweight, obese, in fact. I ate myself to death to comfort myself. Now I feel naked and exposed. Iíve been through some dark things that I wonít write about here. But dark enough that I wanted to turn off the light, pull the covers over my head and sleep my life away. To forget about life. No ďdo oversĒ for me, just a curtain call.
Until I woke up. And similar to someone suffocating under blankets, now I am fighting for air.
And I AM a fighter.
I need to come to terms with who I am on the inside, and that yes, I may get hurt. But isnít that worth it?
Part of it is that maybe I donít think I can. Maybe this is it for me, the most weight Iíll lose. Iím healthier, yes, but Iím still overweight. For me it isnít how I look but how I feel and I donít feel like Iím out of the woods yet. I still want to continue on this journey. Want to become the person I was meant to be.
Lately I'll find that I'll have a great day with food and exercise, and then I calculate in my head how many calories more I can have and still stay within my range. And then I almost always go over that. And to be honest, Iím not really hungry. I feel like Iím just sabotaging myself and it needs to stop.
A person very close to me, so close that I wonít reveal who it was, and this person didnít mean to be hurtful when they said this, well this person compared me to a person on TV, a person who was fat. They thought they were complimenting me, and saying I had a nice butt and hips, like this person. But this person was obese and I am no longer as big as this person was. So I got upset. I felt like it was a subtle insult. And this person who loves me told me ďCome on, youíre never going to be ďthatĒ woman, that thin sort of person. Youíre always going to be bigger, and thatís fine.Ē
I canít tell you that hearing this didnít bother me or hurt me. It did. I canít tell you that hearing this didnít stall me even further, because now I have that voice in my head and I keep hearing that. I look at myself in the mirror, naked, and pinch my fat. My belly fat is the worst. And I hear that voice saying that I will never be more, I will always have this. This person that is supposed to believe in me. This person that loves me no matter what, loves the fat and the curves. But who is anyone to tell me I canít be more? I know that I wonít ever be a size 6 super model, and I think thatís what this person was trying to tell me. I donít want to be that. But donít continue to put me in a box labeled ďfatĒ, because baby, Iím breaking out of that. Iím done with that. I am up to HERE with THAT.
I watched Bee Movie the other night and loved the quote in the beginning.
ďAccording to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway; because bees don't care what humans think is impossible.Ē
I am going to do what some of my loved ones may think is impossible. Starting NOW.
Iím done with the excuses of Thanksgiving, a date night out and a weekend away. So far in November Iíve broke even with my weight. Iím right back where I started and if things go like this I wonít have lost one lousy pound this month. I ran two 5ks this month, but I have nothing on the scale to show for it.
Iím going to eat mindfully. If Iím not hungry, Iím not going to eat. Iím going to stop playing games with my mind, body and scale of letís see how much I can eat and still lose weight. Iím DONE with a capital ďDĒ.
And if you know anything about me, I hate it when people try to tell me that Iím not something, or I canít do something. I will break this plateau and I will get to the weight Iím meant to be and Iím not going to let anyone tell me different.
My WIN Wish is to reach Onederland by New Yearís Eve. Now that is looking bleak, but Iím still going to go for it, and eventually I will get there.
Itís fun proving people wrong, isnít it?
"if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come."
Become what you already are,
find Him who is already yours,
listen to Him who never ceases speaking to you,
own Him who already owns youí.
~ St Gregory of Sinai (13th Century)
Monday, November 22, 2010
So, my plan was to stay on track this weekend at the cottage and Iím happy to report I did just that!
Hereís what I said I was going to do:
Run/walk along the Kal-Haven trail Ė DONE!
Use resistance bands and strength train Ė DONE!
Backup Leslie Sansone mini miles DVD Ė DIDNíT NEED TO USE, GOT SO MANY WORKOUTS IN!
Eat healthy cereal for breakfast, eat healthy snacks like grapes, carrots, unsalted sunflower seeds and granola. Ė DONE!
Buy a water bottle and refill it often Ė DONE!
I'm only going to allow myself ONE glass of wine per day. Ė DONE Ė ALMOST!
I am not going to eat ANY crackers, chips, or cheese. One just leads to another. Ė 98% DONE!
I will bring my vitamins and eat them. Ė DONE!
NO fast food. Period. DONE!
Here's a run down of my weekend.
Thatís how the afternoon started. I left my yummy red grapes in my desk fridge at work. Oh well, I would have to continue without them. Then at the store all of the cute water bottles were gone, all that was left was a plain white or blue one. Ok, I went for blue. Then I went home and made a yummy veggie burger. No batteries in the camera yet or I would have taken a picture; I also packed my bag.
Morning Star Bacon
Goddess dressing one tb
Car ride snacks:
Half gingerbread latte w/ non-fat milk (70 cal)
Half of a brown rice krispy treat
Sunflower seeds unsalted two tb
Once into Michigan, my husband wanted to get McDonalds at the Wal Mart, but I told him my mom had made some heathy Chicken Tettrizini and it was waiting at the cottage.
Hereís what else was waiting at the cottage:
Yogurt covered pretzels
Keebler Fudge stipe cookies
Did I say wine?
I had 1 glass of wine, and then drank my water.
Then I had 5 yogurt pretzels.
Then I had another glass of wine. Now I put a stop to it, I went over my limit but I could stop it now.
I had ĺ laughing cow cheese wedge
I had 1 serving terra chips (yes, I broke my own rule wonít happen again)
1 cup of the low-fat chicken tettrazini. A second dinner, but we were up late, well past midnight.
Also at the cottage my sister, Kris (Stemmefatale) pointed out that I AM a runner because who else wears running shoes for casual wear? I looked down and it was true, I was wearing the Asics that I had bought but my feet like NB better for running, so I wore them casually now.
Picture Kris took with her cell phone.
TOTAL CALORIES FOR THE DAY: 1,941. (About 300 calories over my range.)
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED: 41
I woke up feeling good. It was 6:30 a.m. Chicago time and I'm up. Jim had taken the girls to Wal-Mart as the rest of the house was sleeping. I wanted to take advantage of this ďno kidsĒ time.
Time to run!
There was a mist over the lake. I thought it would be nice to take a walk. I got my gear on and after walking for 5 minutes I wanted to run. So I ran about 2 miles around the lake, then walked the last 5 minutes home. It was 20 min. running and 10 minutes walking for warming up and cooling down, about 2 miles total. It felt great. I burned 320 calories.
I get back for breakfast, and here's a bit of conversation from breakfast:
ďSomethingís burning.Ē (One of my sisterís boyfriends)
ďOh, thatís just the grease on the burner.Ē (My dad)
A true conversation. I love my family to death, but do you see what Iím dealing with here? LOL.
I had the following for breakfast:
2 cups coffee
1 mini blueberry muffin
ĺ cup Kashi Sunshine Puffs
ľ cup milk
Then, as promised, I had brought my resistance bands and plenty to share Ė and I did Leslie Sansoneís 30 min. firming video with my sister Missy and our kids.
Then all the girls went into town for crafts show and shopping. We ate at Clementineís and I had a healthy spinach salad with apples, walnuts, a little bit of brie and a light raspberry vinaigrette. We did order a stack of onion rings, and I wasnít going to have any but I did have 1 Ĺ
The girls at Clementine's.
Back at the cottage I had:
.5 oz. cheese its
Some terra chips
1 bowl of Smart Popcorn.
1 glass of low alcohol white wine.
Dinner: chili w/ bacon bits, .25 cup shredded cheese, Ĺ tsp. ranch dressing, a handful of oyster crackers.
After dinner I got a little stressed with a family situation involving my daughter, Lucy. Usually I would have poured a glass of wine, eaten some snacks. But this time was different. I just wanted to get out and so I put on my running shoes and took a walk with my sister, Kris. We walked for about 30 minutes, probably 2 miles. She listened to me and gave me good advice and also reaffirmed that I am a good mother. When we got back I felt so much better and I didnít eat anything else for the night other than water. I also read some verses from my bible for times of trouble. Much better than food!
TOTAL CALORIES IN FOR THE DAY: 1,666 (only 40 calories over my range)
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED: 495
I made scrambled eggs with light laughing cow cheese and a handful of bacon bits. I made enough for 6 people and had 1 serving.
I had 1 cup of coffee.
1 mini blueberry muffin
Then I went on a walk with my sister Kara, the same path I ran the morning before. It was cold and hazy out, but a perfect day for a walk. We came back feeling invigorated and she was happy she had gotten some exercise in, too.
That served as my warm-up for Zumba! My sister Kris took a class to be an instructor and she brought her DVDs. We did the cardio party and it was a blast! The kids got into it too! I only made it 35 minutes through. But I burned 250 calories, not too bad.
For lunch I had the vegetarian version of my Dadís chili, so it was a little healthier. I did add one hot dog and .25 cup of mac and cheese to it. Plus a handful of oyster crackers.
We also celebrated my sister Missy announcing she was going to have another baby, her third, and so we chilled some sparkling juice and I had a cup of that to toast.
Later we played Yahtzee and I had a glass of low alcohol wine.
Then we went walking on the Kal-Haven trail. I walked and didnít run it, but I had my daughter w/ me and we had a great time. My husband trailed us with Marlo in the car. It was nice, we walked maybe 1 mile.
Lucy running the trail.
Me and Lucy
Then we were on the road back home to Chicago. We stopped at Wendyís but I didnít order anything, instead I snacked on a Clementine orange, a cup of grapes and a Fiber One bar. I also kept drinking my water.
Do you know what itís like to sit in a car full of the smell of burgers, fries and grease? It is pure torture. But I survived, and I didnít have one fry.
On the way home we passed a billboard that said ďGet Used to MoreĒ. It was for a car.
(This is the car, but I couldn't find the actual ad and the car was moving too fast to get a pic).
I am not the sort of person who wants more, at least not with materialistic things (or at least I try not to). But I canít help but think that last year at this time, I was wanting more. More of LIFE. And my lifeÖwellÖit didnít feel worth living. I was going through the motions, and not just because of my weight, or what it held me back from, limited me to, but moreover, how it made me FEEL. I didnít feel full of life, didnít feel positive, and didnít feel like I had anything to offer anyone. I wasnít in a good place.
In this past year I have transformed.
I have been given the gift of encouragement and many Spark friends have told me that I inspire them to change, too. This is nothing short of a miracle. I thank God for this day and for the spirit inside of me to keep on moving, keep on changing, and keep on trusting. I have truly been blessed, especially in this past year. With Thanksgiving coming up this week I canít help but thinking of all that I have. And I want to pass it on, spared it around, and also take in what others here have inspired me to do.
My sister, Kris (STEMMEFATALE) inspired me to run. Kristina (KARVY09) taught me that I could be a runner and amazed me with her own running feats, the most recent running 1/2 marathon. The C25K team inspired me to train to run a 5k. Jenn (KITHKINCAID) inspired me to try Zumba. My friend Kimmah (FITNESSMISTRESS) inspired me to strength train. My faith based teams inspire me to BE more. The co-leaders of the "Women Wanting to Follow the Lord" team, Leah (PEPPERLEAH), Jewell (WCATAP) and Judith (JUDITH316) support me with encouraging others and also support me with their encouragement and friendship. Fellow members of that team, especially Paula (PAULACOLLINS) AND Deb (COLT2008). The leaders on the ďCanít Do This on my OwnĒ team; Shelly (GLITTERGIRL69) and Missy (YATMAMA) inspire me to put Jesus first. ALL of the strong, supportive women on the Sunny Gals team on the WIN Challenge spark team inspire me to push myself. The DONE girls have inspired me to be myself and love this journey and to laugh along the way. Leona (MOMFAN) inspired me with her own 100+ weight loss. The team "Christians with 100 lbs. to Lose" helps me with its seasonal challenges. And I have so many more friends that cheer me on that aren't named here. If you are one of my spark friends, you are one of those people and I thank you so very much. In my life, I have so much to be thankful for.
At home I had a snack of pita chips from Trader Joeís (110 cal) and 1 tbsp. cream cheese (40 cal), while we waited for the pizza to cook. I was starving!
For dinner we had frozen Ginoís East stuffed pizza Ė 290 cal. per slice. Then a side salad and TJís goddess dressing (60 cal) and 1 cup of 1% milk.
After the kids went to bed my husband made popcorn and I would like to tell you that I resisted. But I didnít. I didnít add any salt, however, and only had 1 serving.
TOTAL CALORIES IN: 2,175 (over by 555)
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED: 430
Iíd say I did pretty darn good this weekend. I feel that I maybe inspired some of my family to also work out during our vacation, and I shared my healthy food with anyone who wanted some. And no matter what happens on the scale, whether itís maintain, loss, or God forbid, a gain, I know that eventually the scale will show my great work this weekend.
This morning when I stepped on the scale it showed a 2 lb. gain. But you know what? I donít care. I know I did the best I could this weekend. I couldnít control the amount of sodium in the chili or the tetrazzini, I had already brought my prepared foods for breakfasts and snacks, I wasnít about to bring a cooler worth of food and not share meals with my family. I did the best with what I could. Yes, I could have said ďnoĒ to that onion ring and Ĺ. Yes, I could have only had 1 glass of wine on Friday. I could have avoided all chips. After inputting my nutrition into the tracker I realized that two of the three days I went over my calories by 300 Ė 500, despite not eating out at fast food joints, etc. This was disappointing, but also a learning experience.
Last year at this time I would have had at least 4 glasses of wine. Would have had more than 3 servings of chips. Would have eaten many slices of cheese. And I wouldnít have exercised or tracked my food all weekend. I'm learning, and even reading over my notes from the weekend I realize I could have done things a little differently, perhaps added more veggies.
But Iíd say I did my body GOOD, like the old milk ads used to say.
And I know this gain is just water weight and water retention from the sodium. It will be released when I step on the scale ďfor realĒ.
One funny and cool thing that happened this weekend was that my daughter Lucy is picking up on my habits. She was so excited to run along the Kal-Haven trail. And she saw me taking pictures of my food for my blog posts, and how I was trying to make good choices. So she came up to me on Sunday with a meal she had assembled just for me.
Here's a picture of it:
I burst out laughing. I think the dirty whale did it. But it shows that she's grasping the concepts of healthy living and eating. And that's awesome.
Also it served as a good reminder to laugh along this journey as well.
Now I'm looking forward to the challenge of Thanksgiving. And yes, there will be pictures of that, too.
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