Hey everyone, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written. Honestly, I’ve missed it. But life happens and you know how that is. And to be real, I just needed a break from a lot of things. I needed to step back and reevaluate where I was and where I’m going.
I love the picture below. I took it the other day while I was taking a walk. The sky was beautiful, the day was warm with a light breeze and I felt the weight of the world sitting pretty squarely on my shoulders. I think the problem lies with the way I was looking at the many issues I was facing. I didn’t see a clear way out and I felt like I had to fix everything.
I can’t fix everything. I can’t fix much of anything.
Shocker, right? Why do I do that every single time? Why do I look at the situations and pray about them and give them to God and then pick them right back up and tell Him what I need from Him? As if the God of the universe can’t handle things without my not-so-subtle suggestions.
If you are like me then today you are facing some challenges. Some of those challenges may just be simple changes that are taking place in your life and you’re struggling with the adjustment. Others may be devastating and you are struggling to even breath.
I want to encourage you today. I also want to encourage me today. I want us both to look outside the chains that lock us in and look to Jesus. He is the only one who can walk us through this crazy world. He is the one who will walk us beside the still waters even though we walk through the valley of death.
I love that. I receive that today. I hope you do too.
As summer has come and gone life has gotten extremely busy. We started off this summer by going on a cruise. Oh what a wonderful trip it was. We relaxed, we played hard, we enjoyed time with friends, and we ate. If you have ever been on a cruise then you know how easy it is to go way overboard with meals… and snacks… and buffets.
I’m not going to lie. We loved every single minute of it and when we came back from the cruise we jumped right back into our healthy eating plan and all was going so well. I have to be honest, I was even a bit smug about it to myself. NOT GOOD.
Pride comes before the fall.
I admit I’m laughing while I type this because soon after my smug little attitude had me feeling like I had this whole healthy lifestyle thing in the bag, I took another trip. An amazing trip that was filled with family, food and tons of fun. Did I mention the food? I ate at some really great restaurants, experienced some of the most amazing food trucks, and really just ate myself to utter bliss.
Honestly I don’t think that my couple weeks of gluttony really were the problem. After both of my trips, I came home and got back to business and began to eat right again. BUT, and it’s a big BUT (pun slightly intended) when I came home from the second trip, I started slipping back into my old ways. I ate good, then not so good, then good again. The scale wasn’t moving a ton and I wasn’t very concerned about it. My husband was also slipping so we weren’t holding each other accountable like we had in the past either. (I guess this is all his fault then right?)
Finally we began talking about getting back on our plan. We talked a lot. We would tell each other that after this next picnic we would get serious about it again. I never realized how many next picnics there are in one single summer.
Do you know how fast the weeks fly when you’re making excuses?
Finally, we sat down and came up with a date and stuck to it and I’m so glad we did. Now I’m going to be completely honest with you- the thing that really made us realize how much we missed eating better was how we were beginning to feel. The weight loss was nice, but how we felt was so much better. By the end of a summer of bad food choices, all that extra energy was starting to diminish. I noticed that I was weighed down, tired, my stomach was off, I just wasn’t feeling like myself and neither was my husband.
We’ve been back on our healthy plan now for a couple weeks and I can’t believe the difference. Why did we ever go backwards in the first place? As for a quick update- when summer started both my husband and I had lost approximately 23 pounds. As fall quickly approaches we have both gained back around 7 pounds. What I realize is this- we didn’t ruin what we started. We just had a setback.
Can we have a vacation and let loose a bit? SURE. But there has to be accountability too. Our choices today really do affect our tomorrow and we need to not lose sight of that. I’m also very proud to say that those pounds didn’t upset me in the least. They are a reflection of some not so great choices but they are not any indication that our goals will not be met. In fact, they are motivation for me to get back on the wagon and start again. I’m making progress in this journey even if I take a wrong turn from time to time. You can do the same. Don’t give up, don’t give in, just keep going. Sometimes the journey is more important than the results at the end anyway.
Just one week after I finished writing our month one health blog- I gain two pounds. Two pounds!! I didn’t go off plan once, not even once! Incidentally, I’ve learned a few things- #1. You can gain weight eating healthy foods. #2. Delicious grapes dipped in straight cream cheese needs to be eaten within reason. Now, for those of you who have never tried this delight, don’t knock it till you give it a chance. Month 2 started out with me craving sugar, bread and every single thing we had eliminated from our diet. In order to fight these cravings I decided to have a little bit of the aforementioned treats. I love them, in hindsight though- you can’t tell yourself that you can eat the entire package of cream cheese over a 2 day period along with some extra fried chicken wings and think that you won’t gain a pound.
I did know better, and although every item I ate was on the list of allowable foods, I fully realized that they were not the best choices. (Insert deep frustrated breath).
In my yo yo dieting days, I would feel wonderful as the
weight was coming off, then the minute a pound came back on failure set in and
giving up would follow. The old mantra would always begin with “I knew I
couldn’t do this. It’s impossible”. “Look at all the people who have failed
trying to lose weight and get healthy, if they can’t do it I certainly can’t”.
It never ends.
Today, I welcomed that garbage in like I welcome those Klondike bars in the freezer section of my supermarket. I chewed those thoughts up, swirled them around in my head and feasted on them. As I did, that old failure mentality came crushing back until I slapped it square in the face.
Sometimes you just have to take a stand.
I stood. (And you may stop reading after you hear this, but in my head a battle raged that I needed to win) So, I pictured myself with a knockout punch to the head of that horrible hate filled monster that was hijacking my thoughts. Hey, I’m a pretty good fighter and I didn’t even know it.
Seriously though, in the past this set back was my excuse to quit. Those thoughts dragged me right to the kitchen, where I would follow them with a binge like you have not experienced before. I can whip up a mug cake faster than you can read this paragraph and that’s just the appetizer. The chips and dip, the cookies, cheesecake, chocolate covered cherries, the Klondike bars- these are items straight from heaven itself. And because I had “failed” I would eat these things at first to comfort myself but that comfort would soon be replaced by an even greater failure and because I had failed again, I would begin to believe that I didn’t deserve success. (Insert more bad food choices here) Unchecked emotions always lead to another step in the wrong direction. Always.
Can I be honest? I’m embarrassed just reading this back to
However, the truth is the truth, and how can we move forward if we are not honest with ourselves first and then others?
At this point, I needed to figure out how to move forward. One word came to mind and I tried to sucker punch it too but it wouldn’t go away. (Can you see my grumpy face in your head?)
I don’t have time for this. There must be another way. We were already making time for Ryan to go in to work early a few days a week to exercise with a friend. So that meant me carrying the weight of the morning routine on my shoulders which made for an awesome excuse for me. I mean I didn’t need the exercise as much as him right? And It’s not that I hate it, I just don’t like it. I do on the other hand, hate sports bras, sweat, soar muscles and the time it takes on top of all of the other chores and mom duties that I have on my plate.
This time has to be different, this time I can’t commit to
hard core cardio every day, I can’t commit to weight training for hours, I need
something doable for me personally. Something that I can measure every day and
work within my schedule. Just like fad diets don’t work for me, fad workouts don’t
Years ago, I had a cheap watch with a pedometer in it. I
loved seeing how many steps I could get in a day. It broke after about 6 months and I never
replaced it. This is where I decided to start so I got on the internet and
bought myself a new sports watch. Nothing fancy just something to allow me to
monitor my steps each day and to set goals for myself. Will I add some other
workouts to the mix? Sure, but this
would allow me to set daily goals that are attainable, can be worked right into
my job (what’s an extra trip or two around the building if I am not making my
step goal that day?), and it’s something I enjoy. I actually like setting those
step goals and trying to see what it takes to beat them.
I am winning, not because the scale is turning around, not because I look the way I want to, (neither of these is true at this moment) but I’m winning because today, I broke the pattern. Today I chose a different path, I chose to take the one less traveled, the one with a different script that leads to a different destination. Instead of the cake, I chose the stepper.
So goodbye embarrassment, I refuse to think twice about the crazy in my head. Instead, I’m going to concentrate on the gold medal around my neck. The one that says that I am God’s girl, beautiful, redeemed, hopeful, and thankful.
2 Timothy Says “I fought the good fight, I finished the race, I kept the faith.” That is my new mantra. That is my new script.
Tomorrow I’ll take another step forward and one day I will
win this race.