Emotions are a Part of the Journey

000emotionsThis week has been a mixed bag of emotion for me:  frustration, relief, concern and confirmation.

I’ve been frustrated with my goals, choosing to not exercise in the morning since Sunday.  It’s just too painful!  I don’t know what I am doing wrong, but I cannot continue to do these same exercises day after day and be miserable and in pain all week long.  Life is too short to do that to myself.  I am thinking about other options and will make a decision about the new exercise routine sometime soon. Right now, I’m resting my back and leg, and I’m encouraged by the lack of pain I’m feeling. Earlier this week I felt my feet going cold. Not good. Pinched nerve or inflammation in the nerve back there, I’m guessing. I really do need to make that appointment with the neurologist. Ugh!

Relief has come my way this week in the form of less physical pain and a greater degree of satisfaction with my eating.  I’ve been watching what I put in my pie hole and I’ve been doing well with my food planning and calorie counting goals.  I’ve been eating intentionally.  Yay, me!  Its looking good for my 3 Goals Thursday update this week. That update will be posted late, though, because I’m speaking to a group of moms tomorrow morning about self-confidence.  I will be sharing about my goal setting experiment with them. Pray it goes well and they feel heard and encouraged.

I’ve felt concern this week for my son, who has been increasingly uncomfortable and frustrated in his work as a graphic designer.  His company was recently purchased by another company, so he is going through some of the growing pains my own company is experiencing at this time.  I have confidence that if my son jumps off this ship and on to another that is waiting in the harbor for him, everything will be okay.  But change is always hard and he’s my son, so I’m naturally concerned.  I think he is underpaid, but was appreciated in his current position (by the old ownership). The way things are looking for the future, his type of work will change to less creative, and more cookie cutter in scope with this new company.  If it does, that’s a deal-breaker for him.

I’m thankful for confirmation in response to our prayers for life concerns this week.  You know I believe change is possible, and you know I believe in God’s provision for my life. I don’t talk about it a lot, but I have a strong faith that I think comes across in my postings here.  This week, that strong faith has been rewarded with several confirmations that me and mine are moving in right directions as we are making choices that will most certainly affect us now and in the future.

Change is good.

Change is certainly possible!

Change challenges us to be better than we are now.

Change keeps us on our toes.

Change is to be embraced for its changiness and it’s potential.

I’m glad I’m facing all these changes with a strong faith in a Power greater than I to get us through.  Sure makes things easier when I know I’m not in this alone.

Have you had some concerns for the future this week?  When, if ever, have you had a strong confirmation of your faith appear when you needed it most?

A Lil Good News Today

Remember that song by Anne Murray: A Little Good News?  The guy who wrote that song attends my church. Imagine, a famous song writer rubbin’ elbows with me, right here in NEPA.  Imagine.

A lil good news today–that’s what many of us yearn for, and some of us work for it.  We amass our talents, humble as they may be, and we put them to work in the world with the hopes of making a dent in all the bad news we hear every day.  Most of the time our good efforts go unnoticed by the major media outlets in this country, but every once in a while we hear something that gives us hope.

Every once in a while we turn our heads to the Master of Hope, that lil babe that started life in a simple manger among the cattle.

This past Sunday I had a gentleman bring a clipping from the newspapers to the lil corner room where we weekly change the world through self-change. I wanted to share that clipping today, in the hopes of passing along to you a lil good news to you, my readers.  I hope you can see this well enough to read it. I know it scanned darker than I would have liked, but if you persist, despite the variants of gray that might make reading this clip troublesome, I think you’ll feel more encouraged when you’re done. At least that is my hope.  Enjoy!

000dont worry

What do you do when you’re tempted to worry, but don’t want to give in to that temptation?  What good news do you have to share with the world today?

Owning My Lifestyle

000lifestyle

Random House Dictionary defines “lifestyle” as the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that one of my readers recently suggested that what I’d been calling a weight loss plateau might not be a plateau at all, but rather, a lifestyle. That got me thinking…

What choices have I made in the last two years that might indicate I’m living a lifestyle, instead of dealing with a temporary plateau in my weight loss journey?

To the extent that I am able to properly assess myself, here is what I think:

Faith matters when you make a choice to lose more than half your body weight.  The process does not happen overnight, which means I have had to adapt a long-haul mentality in order to get the weight off. I’ve had to make plans and consistently stick to them in order to meet my goals.  My moral compass pivots on the decision I made to invite God into the process, but faith is not all I need to get ‘er done.  I also need strategic planning, confidence in the goal, and a willingness to listen to the community around me that has already done what I am trying to do.  Faith is necessary at each phase of the process.  God is a habit I never want to break.

With regards to taste and attitude I will say two things: I like tasty foods–maybe more than I should–and I can have an “attitude” from time to time. Looking deeper into my current lifestyle and attitudes, though, I would guess that most folks who know me well would label me eclectic and say I appreciate diversity. Debate intrigues me, but I don’t like to fight about things. I’m not big on vulgarities. If foul language is needed to make a point, then make it quickly or you’ll lose my attention.  I like civility, well-scripted plots, conversation, and listening to others explain their passions, especially when they’re “onto something”.  Seeing the spark in others eyes when they realize a new truth for the first time fills me with joy.

Best move quickly on from here, this is beginning to sound like a profile for a dating site.

No, I am not registered on Ashley Madison.  😉

As for the work I do to fight off the effects of T2D through diet and exercise, I think that after considering whether my current efforts amount to progress, a plateau, or a settled lifestyle, I have to admit I’ve built a lifestyle that is keeping me from my goal weight.  This news isn’t particularly encouraging, but thinking about this for a while now I have to say that I am seeing more clearly why I’m struggling at my present weight.

It is so hard to see one’s self clearly, don’t you think?

Below, I have listed the choices I’ve made over the past two years that have contributed to my foggy thinking about my present lifestyle and explains my frustrations with not being able to lose more weight:

I have chosen to become obsessed with my weight.

I have chosen to eat more than 1500 calories a day.

I have chosen to continue eating sugar, even though I know I’m addicted to the heinous substance.

I have chosen to put off starting exercise routines that intimidate me or make me fearful that my pain levels will shoot up after working out.

I have chosen to discontinue a gym membership.

I have chosen to rest at my present weight, even though I could be exploring new ways of getting healthy.

I have chosen to accept where I find myself now.

I have chosen to be harder on myself that I needed to be, sometimes.

What have I discovered about myself while creating this list?

I have fashioned a lifestyle for myself, and am not experiencing a weight loss plateau.  Ugh!

My choices clearly need to change.

I don’t want to change everything about my life, but some things…some things, I do. So, what is the solution?

Riddle:  How do you eat an elephant?

Answer:  One bite at a time.

Over the next few weeks I will be tackling my list of faulty choices and working to change them, one choice at a time.

Don’t be surprised if you see some lifestyle changes show up in my Three Goal Thursday list in the next month.  I need to change how I am approaching life if I want to see real change take place in my life!

How have you so patterned your life that it’s made achieving different outcomes possible?  Is change all about will power, or is there something more to it?

Grampa Love

When I was a kid, my grandparents were everything to me. My parents divorced at an early age and there was a lot of chaos in my home for a few years while the dust was settling.  My grandparents on both sides stepped up and took me and my sister under their strong wings. They loved on us and shared a sense of stability we needed at that time.    They were my rocks, my love, my heart.  I miss them!!!

Did you grow up close to your grandparents? What traits did they have that you want for yourself?

Three Goals ThursdayThis week has been a crazy one for me–amazing in some ways, difficult in others. I have had a lot of pain this week, so my goal re: exercise, has been a challenge. I have done my five minutes every morning with the exception of this morning. I skipped today, hoping I would not hurt so bad if I laid off one time. I feel good about the fact that I did the exercise every other day this week.

Baby steps, right? Right!

The oatmeal for breakfast I ate five days out of seven this week, so I feel good about that, too.

The reading has not gone well. I have had hardly any time to be alone with my thoughts this week, let alone read. I will try to do better this weekend, but if the time doesn’t present itself then it doesn’t. I’m not going to let that ruin what I feel was a very productive week.

I have done so much this week that I didn’t know was on the agenda when the week began. So much! I’m thankful I could keep up with it all.

My Three Goals for this week are as follows:

1. Eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning.

2. Contact my PCP about an appointment.

3. Get blood work done before end of week.

It has been a while since I have checked in with my doctor, or had a blood draw. It’s time. I have a few issues that need to be addressed and I have procrastinated too long in getting it done. That’s why I have decided to include reaching out to the doc and doing my blood draw as my goals this week. They are not teeny, tiny goals in my opinion, but things that definitely need to be addressed.

My biggest “YES!” moment of the week came today when my sister, who was seeing a new PCP and needed that appointment/placement badly, reported to me at lunch that she felt “heard and respected” during the appointment and that she had “clicked” with this doctor she saw for the first time. I had prayed specifically that she might.  She has a new PCP as of today. Yay!!!

Prayer Changes Things!

When has faith brought positive outcomes for you or someone you loved? Do you pray for direction with regards to your food?

Old Wounds Dealt With

000woundsI will not get so bogged down in dealing with old wounds that I forget about new growth.   –Courage to Change

I read this quote over the weekend and could not stop thinking about it.

I’ve allowed myself to get bogged down lately, dealing with the wounds I inflicted on myself during my years of food abuse.  I’ve been fixating on the scars those wounds have left on my body and my soul.  I’ve been tired.  I’ve been frustrated.  I’ve been wondering how to escape the funk, without losing my mind.  Today, I feel better and have been reminded of the source of my sanity–my God.

God found me when I was without passion, without parent, without plan, and without partner.  Since that time I have found all these and more.

God is the face of hope for me.

I try not to share too much about my faith here, because this is the place where I share about my fat, and while that involves my faith, it also involves my fellows, my food, my failings, and those changes to “the plan” I make over time.

That’s a lot to write about.

Sometimes I think its grit alone that keeps me moving forward, but it’s not.

Other times I think it’s habit, but it’s not.

What keeps me encouraged on the tough days is faith, hope, and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.

I believe with all my heart that God can restore what the locust have eaten, which is why I keep hoping, keep striving, and keep chasing the kind of change that matters most to me–that change that will eventually make me a different person.

What one change have you made that made all the difference in your life? 

On Being Willing

000willingLast night I read these words:  We can be willing to do something we do not want to do…

I agree.

I can be willing without wanting, but it takes a lot to get me there.  A whole lot.

A lot of prayer.

A lot of meditating.

A lot of conversation with others about that need that I am not yet willing to fill.

A lot of consideration about the motive for asking me, the abilities and skills I might be able to contribute, and whether or not I choose to work for this cause, these people, and on this project.

It’s a lot to think about.

What will be accomplished as I join forces with others?

Does this match my skill set?

Could someone else do it as well, or better?

What is the time line for this work, and how much will it tax me to get involved?

I can be willing to do something I don’t want to do, but this time around I think I’m not. 

I feel like there is some manipulation going on in the situation I am facing this week, and frankly I am turned off by it.

I’m blessed to be involved in a program of recovery that asks me to stretch myself, but also to protect myself from others that would ask me to make up a deficit for them when it would cost me a great deal to do it and I would gain little from the experience.  On the other hand, I sometimes say YES to offers that I feel will stretch my faith and pull me way out of my comfort zone, but greatly benefit others.  The difference between the two situations:  One feels like God is asking me to stretch. The other feels like desperation and futility or great discomfort.

I don’t like being the answer for desperate people, but I will when it is appropriate.

My experience in the past has taught me that sometimes projects need to be 86’d or greatly altered in scope, but humans don’t have the courage to do it.  Getting involved then often ends up with me feeling like I have walked through a stink bog and will forever have the faint smell of stench on me. I am often exhausted in my efforts to help on these campaigns, because I feel stressed the whole time.

I pray I’ve made the right decision in saying NO this time.  Experience tells me I have, but man, I hate not knowing and the taste of regret.  One I cannot avoid. The other, hopefully, I can.

What do you do when you’re asked to work outside of your skill set?  What service work do you do that heartily feeds your soul?