progress, I think so

I had a “moment” yesterday. It was one of those moments that had me thinking, “my goodness, that’s not my normal response.” A sweet woman I know, told me that she’s lost 12 pounds doing Weight Watchers… and I congratulated her. Ok, so maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it is because not only did I congratulate her with my words, I didn’t harbor jealousy over her announcement. The pre-no-dieting me would say, “I’m so happy for you”, while in my heart, it would set off a mess of obsessive thoughts about how I wish I was losing weight too. It’s not that I wouldn’t be happy for her, because truly I would be, but I would also be jealous, competitive, and thinking about what I needed to do to achieve the same results… or better. I didn’t feel any of that. Wow.

Progress? I think so.

 

shut-up!!!

Oh the trouble we would get in if we said, “shut-up” when I was a kid. Don’t tell my mom, but today that’s exactly what I told my mind to do. Quite frankly, I’m a bit tired of all of the enemy’s accusations. If I’m resting, then I feel guilty that I’m not busy doing something… anything. If I’m busy, I feel guilty that something is being missed. And God forbid I do something that might actually be beneficial for me personally – then I’m accused of being selfish or vain.

I began to ask myself some questions today. Why, after a workout, do I tend to pick it apart, pointing out all of the ways I wasn’t perfect? Why do I associate exercise almost entirely with losing weight… or as a way to punish myself for overeating or eating the “wrong” things? Why do I suddenly start thinking about how much weight I need to lose? Why can’t I eat something that will actually benefit my body without associating it with dieting? Why can’t it just be about taking care of and nourishing my body? Why? Well, I know why, because taking care of myself has never been a priority – it’s always been about “fixing” what’s wrong… which of course becomes an obsession… an addiction even. So, I run the cycle of punishment (dieting, over exercising) and numbing false “escape” (binging, crashing).

Enough! “Shut-up!”

I’ll leave you with a couple of songs from my playlist during today’s run…
The Safest Place by Thousand Foot Krutch
Inhuman by Thousand Foot Krutch

work hard today

“Everyone works hard when they want to, when they get quick results, when it’s convenient to put forth effort. The best work hard when they don’t want to, when it’s inconvenient to give it that little extra effort… and that extra effort might be just what they need to place them on top.” ~ Peter Vidmar, USA, Two-time Olympic gold medalist (1984)

 

I printed this quote for my daughter many months ago… and then it got lost in the chaos of my office. I found it when I began cleaning that room. Instead of giving it to the 12 year old, I pinned it to the cork board on the wall in front of my desk. It caught my eye today when I was trying to rationalize myself out of working on our Fall lesson plans. Ugh. Guilt.

There are so many other things I would rather work on. However, I know that if I don’t get this done, I’ll feel more stressed later. I’ll sacrifice something at some point; so, why not get it taken care of now, while I’m in a bit more control of what gets sacrificed. Prepping an entire school year for four kids does not yield quick results. I still have several weeks of work ahead of me, but I’m hopeful that the work will pay off in the long run.

Even though I really, really, really don’t want to… I intend to work hard today.

“Never put off tomorrow what you can do today” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Fast Forward a Couple of Months

I’ve been on quite the journey since my last post.  I think I’ve fully recovered from the concussion and even participated in a 10K.  On October 4th the Husband and I decided to completely alter our dietary practices after watching the documentary, Forks Over Knives.  We began moving toward a Vegan lifestyle, and by October 9th, all animal byproducts were out of our diet.  We have been eating this way for just over two months.

I’ve lost a little weight but not enough to get excited about.  My body is going through a transition period.  I wish it would respond as quickly as the Husband’s seems to be.  I guess this is part of the price I pay for all those years of dieting.  I’ve been reading about raw food lately too and leaning more in that direction.  I just began following the advice of Alison Andrews to not limit calories.  I am confident I’ve gained a few pounds since I started trying to increase my food intake.  She says that’s normal for former starve/binge dieters and that things should go the other direction.  I’m considering trying this “raw, high fruit” thing for thirty days straight.  No supplements, no processed or cooked foods.  I wonder what would happen?  I can’t afford to go have my blood drawn and a battery of tests run.  So what could I track?  Would I see any noticeable change in thirty days without those tests?

Hmm, I think I could begin on Friday.  I would like to put myself through a fitness test first (I could do that tomorrow) so I can compare the results at the end of thirty days.  Tomorrow I’ll post more details, must go brainstorm about this a bit.

addiction

Following a healthy eating plan is one thing… doing it while trying to reign in a caffeine habit is a whole other experience.  Part of me would really like to scream at something right now.  What would I scream?  Well, I think it would go something like this…

I WANT COFFEE!  RIGHT NOW!!  COFFEE! COFFEE!!  NOW!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?  I SAID I WANT COFFEE!

So that’s what my brain is saying but I keep telling it “no”.  I went to the coffee shop earlier, (yeah, kind of like a drug addict going to a crack house) but I was motivated to take down my first brick so I asked the Lord to help me order herbal tea instead.

This isn’t to say that there is anything wrong with having a cup of coffee, I had one this morning in fact.  Where the problem lies is that I’m now addicted to the stuff and that isn’t good for me.  I know that if I keep it to one cup in the morning I won’t have any issues.  However, when I begin drinking sodas, caffeinated teas and coffee during the day, I have problems like moodiness and bad headaches.  Lord knows a girl doesn’t need extra helpings of either.

On the herbal tea note: My favorite so far is Good Earth’s Sweet & Spicy.

bricks?

Usually I have some idea what I’m going to say before I say it.  Right now, I feel at a loss for words.  If you knew me, you would mark this occasion as rare and perhaps even laugh at the very suggestion that such a thing could be possible.  Still, I find it difficult to know where to begin when I haven’t fully settled on how much I would like to share about myself.  It occurs to me that it is not necessary to divulge my history but rather to dive into the present.

I have a struggle.  Perhaps we share it?  I have an unhealthy relationship with food and as a result, today I find myself overweight.  It doesn’t matter how much extra weight I have at this point.  You only need to know that it’s there. While I have approached this problem over the years from countless angles (with mixed results), I am attempting another.

Yesterday as I read a chapter of Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Made to Crave, an idea came to me.  I’m not going to state for the record that it came from God but I’m hoping that’s the case.  Anyway, here is the quote that grabbed my attention:

My tower of impossibility was food. Brick by brick, I imagined myself dismantling the food tower and using those same bricks to build a walkway of prayer, paving the way to victory.

Zondervan (2010). Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food (p. 30). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Prior to this, she described praying each time she craved something that wasn’t part of her eating plan.  If you struggle with food, you have a clear understanding of what it means to crave something.  I pictured this tower of impossibility and thought that I needed to tear down my tower as well.  That’s when the idea popped into my head.  What if I could construct a “tower” on the wall of my office?  Each time I turned to God for help, I could remove a brick from that tower.  I’m a visual person.  I love charts and graphs and reports.  This tower idea excited me.  At first I tried to over complicate things.  I wanted to use specially colored index cards (that I would have to go purchase) and sticky tack (also needed to purchase).  Before I knew it, my struggle with perfectionism put off the project until a time could be found to make a run to the office supply store.

Thankfully I realized what was happening and told myself to stop being ridiculous.  So I set to work, making use of what I already had.  I gathered several sheets of yellow construction paper (9×12).  You may be questioning my choice of color.  Well, that’s the color my kids use the least so I have more of it than any other color.  I cut the sheets into 3″x4″ rectangles.  Then I began the tedious process of taping them to a wall in my office.

In my messy office taping paper “bricks” to the wall.

This took longer than expected.

I mentioned that food isn’t my only area of struggle, as you see in the photo, my office is a disaster area.  This room is not representative of the rest of my home (thank goodness) but it is a telling barometer of what is going on inside of me.  I’m hopeful that over the weeks to come I’ll get my office back. I did have my youngest child (who took most of these pictures for me) snap a few other photos of the office to use for “before” examples later.

Yesterday I wasn’t able to get all of the “bricks” taped up so I finished the task today.  My kids came in and asked what I was doing.  I told them, “I’m building my tower of impossibility.”  Everything I have found it impossible to overcome is represented by this paper brick tower.  I don’t know that they “got it” but I’m hoping they’ll see some positive changes in their mom soon.

The “Tower”

As I remove each brick, I plan to record a prayer, or verse, or quote on it and place it into my prayer journal.  It would be fantastic to avoid adding bricks back but I know perfection isn’t a realistic goal.  So, here are my “rules”:

  • I can remove a brick when I turn to God for help with this area of struggle and as a result I make the better choice.
  • I must replace a brick if I lose the battle and misuse food (notice I said “battle” and not “war” – I can lose a battle and still win the war).

It’s as simple as that.

This post is where Brick by Brick began. I learned so much as I took down those “bricks”. Now I do “virtual” bricks by putting my posts into the “brick removed” category. The scenery of my journey has changed over the years, but my hope in the Lord has not.