runner girl: week 5

That’s right, we just continued right along with the schedule even though we didn’t finish week 4.

EXERCISE

We finished out week 5 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule feeling pretty good despite the walking interval times being cut in half. With this change, I decided I was stressing out way too much over hitting 10K steps per day and opted to focus on getting in the workouts and let the steps fall where they may. Eventually I’ll likely be averaging 10K per day without having to pace around my house or go for extra walks. I must be patient and not push it. It is more important to make it to the end of the training schedule than it is to rack up steps.

With the “step count pressure” put on the back burner, I decided to bring back my weekly rest day. For now, that will be Sunday. My legs have needed more rest than anticipated. So, unless I just feel like going for a walk on my rest day, I don’t plan to worry about my step count.

My IT band has been really screaming at me, so I was more intentional with the foam roller this week. I stretched and then rolled after each workout. By the end of the week I was experiencing much less pain overall. I’d like to get a more dense and longer version than the roller I have (pictured right), but I’m using what I have at the moment. The double benefit is that using this thing on your lower body works your abs and arms too.

NUTRITION

Yep, you guessed it, another week on the nutritarian diet. This brings me to 42 consecutive days. Wow, six weeks! This week felt like a breeze compared to last week. I focused a lot on comparing what is permissible to what is beneficial when renewing my mind. This is just common sense to me now… beneficial is better.

I have noticed a slight increase in hunger. I think this is due to the jogging and am trying to eat more as a result.

Because it had been two weeks since I last weighed, I was nervous about stepping on the scale. Some old feelings about it crept in and I had to take them to God. I really didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I haven’t consistently dropped weight on any plan since being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Plus, I usually swell when I travel to lower elevations and/or sit in a vehicle for extended periods of time.

I did weigh though, despite my apprehensions and my body released 3.2 more pounds since my last weigh in. Praise the Lord!! This is rather miraculous with these thyroid issues and I am so thankful for the progress. That brings me to 14.2 pounds gone in less than six weeks (weighed the morning of day 40).

I’m really glad I finally listened to God’s prompting to let go of foods which were harming me. This must be what the drug/alcohol addict feels like when they hit 42 days of sobriety. Yes, I still sometimes think about my old “friends” (harmful foods), but then I remember that they weren’t my friends at all. They were destroying my health… and for what? Momentary… fleeting… pleasure? Wow, so not worth it.

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runner girl: week 4 (grief)

Sometimes you’ve just got to survive.

EXERCISE

We did not complete the fourth week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. This was supposed to be a “recovery” week and it happened to fall while we were scheduled to be out of town. Exercise while traveling is already difficult, but I had high hopes of sticking to the plan. Unfortunately, life took a different turn.

Monday morning, the 14 year old, my mom, and I rose early and hit the road. Mom did part of the run/walk with us, which was fun. I was sweating up a storm due to the humidity, which isn’t something I’m used to since living in Colorado. Later, we played in the pool for a few hours, and while that didn’t count for many steps (not sure how it knows I’m not walking when I’m swimming or treading water), it was a good additional workout.

I thought maybe I had injured my big toe (tripped) a couple of weeks prior (I’ve broken it before), and by Monday evening it was really bothering me. So, I decided not to walk on Tuesday, but rather swim with the girls and my mom instead (the guys were working at a golf tournament). This proved to be a good thing for my body. It needed a break and I wasn’t too worried about it since I had planned to continue the schedule the rest of the week.

Well, I was awakened early Wednesday to the sound of my mom rushing through the house. My grandmother had taken a bad turn and she needed to get on the road to be with her (an almost 3 hour drive). While I helped mom get ready, she got another call… the call. My grandmother was gone.

I no longer cared about anything but helping my mom. Yes, in hindsight, going out for a run after mom left probably would have been helpful, but I just didn’t care. I ended up caring for her animals and sifting through pictures to gather some for the funeral. I spent most of Wednesday crying.

My family stayed at my parents’ house until Friday afternoon so we could care for their livestock, and then we headed over for the visitation Friday evening. Most of Saturday was funeral, more visiting with family, and the drive back to my parents’ house. This is a stark contrast to the 90th birthday party we had planned for her on Saturday.

There were moments when I thought about the run/walk schedule and wondered if I should have pressed through anyway, but I had to reach a place where I let it go. I needed brain space for other things and I chose to release the workout plan.

NUTRITION

What I refused to let go of though, was my food boundary. By the end of the week, I reached 35 days on the nutritarian diet and it was far from easy. Just being out of my normal routine is difficult, but couple that with the fact that I generally cave at some point when I’m at my parents’ house… it was already a challenge to keep my mind in the right space.

Then my grandmother died. Then more overnight traveling. Then restaurants. Emotional and temptation overload. It is only by the grace and strength of God that I didn’t cave. There were times when I had to wait hours to eat because what was available wasn’t within the nutritarian guidelines. Others were eating… the smells… oh my Lord in heaven, I prayed and prayed…. and prayed some more.

I did get emotional and cranky once, which was brought on by grief, temptation, the smell of Mexican food, and hunger. I had to apologize for my rudeness and thankfully they were understanding.

I had gone into the week with the resolve of “I will not break my boundaries… no matter what!” Of course, I also had no idea what the week had in store. Had I known, I probably would have decided to take the week off and resume next week. Coming out on the other side though, I can say with absolute certainty that sticking to my boundaries actually helped me to grieve properly. Instead of stuffing my emotions with food, I felt them, processed them, and took them to the Lord for comfort. This is new territory for me, but I feel like I’ve come away with increased confidence.

My resistance muscles were worked really hard, and with God’s help, I am stronger for it.

I didn’t take my scale out of town with me, so I don’t know if I released weight or not. I think I probably did, but it isn’t unusual for me to swell initially when I go to lower elevations. I was afraid if I had swelled due to travel, and it showed on the scale, I might not stick to the program while away. I’ll weigh again next week though.

runner girl: week 1 (take two)

My emotions have been all over the place this past week… taking its cues from the weather I guess. Crazy weather (crazier hormones), but we managed to stay the course.

EXERCISE

We got in all three scheduled workouts (The Beginning Runner’s Handbook), and added two more people to our little walk/jog group. We ran in the cold and rain this week, and decided we felt hard core for doing so. Plus, we had to work around an out of town jaunt to experience the Newsboys united tour concert.

I’ve added my daily step total to the spreadsheet. Obviously, I do more walking than what is indicated by formal workouts. Since I’m actively trying to reach my step goal now (10K/day), I thought it should be listed. Nothing super exciting to report from this week, except that attending a concert is very conducive to racking up steps.

I did earn a few more Garmin Connect Badges in the past two weeks. I think the coolest one was called “well oiled machine”, which I received for improving my running VO2Max levels.

I’m not paying attention to those numbers right now (although, eventually I will care), but it’s cool to get notified that something improved.

NUTRITION

Yes, we’re still doing that nutritarian diet thing. Even more impressive is that we were able to do it on a weekend road trip. How? We took our meals with us. That’s right, I planned ahead and packed all our food for two days.

Normally, we eat in the car, but it’s rather difficult to eat a salad while you drive, so this time we built in a little extra travel time to stop and eat lunch both days. We ended up eating outdoors in the sunshine and it was such a nice break in the drive. One of the times we even ventured off the beaten path to a quiet little park… birds chirping… breeze blowing… lovely.

I cannot tell you how badly I wanted junk food over the weekend though… oh my goodness! Clearly, snacking while on a road trip is heavily ingrained in my system. We did chew gum, which helped a bit.

After the concert, we were exhausted and my mind kept going to our normal routine of grabbing take-out on our way back to the hotel. We had eaten the Tailgate Chili I brought at the hotel before we headed to the venue, but we were so hungry after hours of worshiping with the Newsboys.

Of course, after singing about breakthroughs (Zealand) and being free (Peter Furler, Newsboys), I certainly knew I wasn’t going to cave, but I was genuinely famished… and sweating (Texas is warm). Fortunately, the 14 year old had made us a “strudel” recipe she found in my Eat to Live Cookbook. So, we had that instead instead of our usual junk feast. Yum!

Sunday, when we rolled back into town, we had to shower and head back out for the 15 year old’s piano/voice recital. I cannot even begin to describe how strong the urge for french fries was. I was whining about it to my husband, but mentioned I was afraid I’d gain weight if I ate them. He replied by asking me if french fries were good for my thyroid. Um, no, not at all. Well played, Husband!

Plus, I truly feel God has asked me to give up certain foods for now and eating french fries would certainly be acting in disobedience for me. We didn’t have french fries, but we did have a frozen fruit “dessert” that the 14 year old made in our own kitchen that night.

So, how did the scale pan out last Friday? My body released 1.2 more pounds. At first I was a bit disappointed, but then I renewed my mind about the scale and was able to thank the Lord instead of grumbling. The fact that the scale is actually moving should be a celebration when you’re working up against thyroid issues.

Another week has passed, and now it’s time to focus on the current one.

runner girl: walking resumed

Well, that illness really knocked me back a bit, but I’m thanking the Lord I was able to resume walking, plus, pay closer attention to what I stick in my pie hole… which wasn’t pie this week (more about that later in this post).

EXERCISE

I hadn’t planned to walk 7 days, but the weather was so incredibly nice after we got out of church on Sunday. The sunshine called my name and I just could not refuse.

Still not a speedy walker, but you know what, I don’t care. It felt good to move. There’s nothing like forced rest to really make you appreciate the ability to exercise. Remember, this runner girl wants to run again and our journey through The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule should start over next week… so exciting.

NUTRITION

I did a lot of praying as we resumed the nutritarian diet because I know it isn’t an easy program to adopt (I was doing this before our house flooded April 2017). The husband agrees that I’m in charge of the food… so, using this power, I’m being very picky about what I purchase. Have the kids complained? A little. Overall though, they’ve all been very supportive.

One thing I do differently, I allow for some raw honey (my parents keep bees). While sick, I began having a morning cup of hot lemon/honey water instead of decaf coffee. I needed to eliminate coffee anyway and this is a better option for me. Besides, it’s not that much honey… especially when compared to the amount of refined sugar I consumed before. If you’re thinking, but won’t that affect your weight loss, check this out…

My body released 7 pounds in the first four days. Soooo, clearly the honey wasn’t my problem. I normally weigh on Friday so I had the husband check the scale and tell me the difference. He thought it was for a week and said, “Wait, what? This is just in four days?”

We ate a lot of salad and I made two batch soups for the week (we have 4 people in the house doing this). The thing that changed from day to day was breakfast and maybe “dessert” (blended frozen fruit based stuff). Doing a salad bar prep a couple of times a week was so helpful and I will continue it.

There were a couple of times I mourned the loss of my old favorite foods, but thankfully I was able to renew my mind and move past it. Seven days off my old food drugs and feel more in control of my thoughts and actions.

Ok, another week down… moving on!

runner girl: cough, cough

I haven’t been this sick in a really long time. It’s been over a week, I’m still dealing with it, and it’s moved into my chest now. I spent most of the last week laying around, but I wasn’t completely unproductive (more about that later in this post).

Needless to say, my quest to complete The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule is off to a rocky start. At first, I was really angry about this, but it’s a good thing I’m currently going through Barb Raveling’s new Bible study, RALLY. The Taste For Truth Support Group (Facebook) is going through this and last week we were on the chapter about letting go of your “have to haves”. Realizing the reason for my anger was my death grip on my “have to haves” helped me to relax a bit and just rest.

So, as you might have guessed, my spreadsheet was rather unimpressive this week:

The plan for next week is to get some walking in and pray this nasty bug leaves soon. I’m also returning to a nutritarian diet. My immune system seems to be out of whack, so merely being vegan isn’t enough. I’ve read several of Dr. Fuhrman’s books, but recently checked out The End of Dieting as a means of reigniting my motivation. During the foggy days of illness, I’ve also been perusing Kristen’s site, Hello, Nutritarian, for added inspiration. Love her fridge photos!

In February, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and while I don’t agree with her spiritual views, I’ve been “magical tidying” my house since February 5th. It’s not a quick process, but lately I’ve been working on my “Kitchen Komono” (as she calls it).

Using Kondo’s method of “Tidying Up” (keeping only what sparks joy), Kristen’s inspiring fridge photos (which are gorgeous), and other tips gleaned from the myriad of books I’ve read, I am starting the day with a fridge full of veggie goodness:

And my dry goods “pantry” organized:

I’ve placed most of the non-nutritarian stuff out of immediate eye-sight to keep the temptations at a minimum as well. I also have a small pantry pullout with canned beans/veggies for convenience meals, but most of what I eat will come from these two places. This little bit of organization took me a week because I’d work for a few minutes and then have to rest… of course, there were whole days where I hardly got out of bed.

I had the husband record my weight this morning, but I don’t plan to look at the scale for a bit myself. My goal is to eat for health and let the weight-loss be a nice side effect. So, while I do want to know what’s happening there, I’m hoping weighing blind will lessen the scale’s impact on my life.

Well, that was last week 🙂 Hoping to get this runner girl back on the road soon!

Trial by… water?

I haven’t been online as much as usual of late because almost 11 weeks ago our home flooded (all three floors). We’ve been living in a hotel and trying desperately to find a new “normal” while we wait to move back in. It has already been such a long process and one that has had me asking God a lot of questions… of which He has yet to answer most of them.

So, I wait.

In the meantime, I reached a point where I simply could not deal with the pain I was in a moment longer. Long story short, I need chiropractic treatment for a neck and hip thing and bloodwork revealed that I am vitamin D deficient with a whopping case of Hashimoto’s disease. Lovely.

Now, I honestly don’t know how much of this has to do with all the stress we’ve been under the last few months and how much was already there. Since the flood, my diet took a downward turn to the land of fast and processed food-like stuff. I’m sure this affected the blood work and I know it affected my waistline.

The diagnosis explains a lot of course.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I got the diagnosis and I’m still in the process of researching this thing. I’ve gone through a bit of denial and of course outright anger, but I think for the most part, I’m coming to grips with the reality that my diet-style must change dramatically and permanently. No, I’m not going to start eating meat and drinking milk, but there are things I should stop eating… um, like oreos and fried tofu… and things I need to include… like lots of greens.

“Everything in moderation” is not a mantra that supports healing for someone in this condition. Prior to the flood, I had converted back to Dr. Fuhrman’s “Eat to Live” plan to help with the pain I was experiencing. It was working and I felt like I was on the road to recovery.

This came unraveled quickly under the stress and inconvenience of the situation. Almost 11 weeks later, I am finally returning to the strict version of the plan. I am also taking a Vitamin D supplement and immune boosting supplement (per my doctor). She will retest at the 3 month mark.

Other things I’m doing include: good multivitamin, getting outdoors daily for at least 15 minutes, a daily pinch of kelp granules (for iodine), exercise, and increasing water intake.

All of this is in addition to continuing to renew my mind to the mind of Christ. Without this crucial piece, I would certainly be wallowing in self-pity right now. Instead, I am hopeful.

when it’s time to change

When I typed that title, the Brady Bunch kids singing a song by the same name came to mind. In a strange 70’s way, the song touches on the transformation we’re undergoing as we renew our mind. Things sometimes get worse, like Peter’s cracking voice, before they get better. And yet, sometimes we must change our boundaries in order to grow.

boundary-line-webRecently, I felt like the Lord was telling me it was time to change my boundaries. As most of you know, I’ve been following the WW points plan since March. I truly believe WW was a good fit for me at the time because of where I was in this journey to living in victory. However, the more I renewed my mind, the convinced I became that it was time to move on.

Trust me, I know how difficult it is to decide on a set of boundaries. So, if you’re having difficulty, Barb Raveling has a wonderful post that might help titled: 13 Questions That Will Help You Choose a Weight Loss Plan

But what about when you feel like it’s time to change your boundaries?

For most people, we’ll think we need to have a different set of boundaries simply because the ones we have are difficult. Or maybe we have a friend who is having success on another plan. It’s very enticing to think the grass is greener somewhere else.

These are not reasons to change our boundaries. In those cases, we need to renew our mind about them and gain a different perspective.

However, there are legitimate reasons it might be time to consider a different set of boundaries. These are just a few:

  • You’re consistently following your boundaries but aren’t releasing weight.
  • You’re consistently following your boundaries but you don’t feel well physically.
  • Your lifestyle has changed and your boundary lines are no longer a good fit.
  • God is prompting you to change them to bring you to a deeper relationship with Him (make sure it is God, His motives will not be the world’s motives).

Not Releasing Weight

If you’ve honestly been consistently renewing your mind and following your boundaries for at least a month, but have not released weight (or have gained), it might be time to consider trying something else.

I say at “least a month” because expecting quick results is part of what has landed us in the diet rat race in the first place. Sometimes our weight loss is delayed a bit because we are actually weighed down by a lot of lies and once those begin to change, our bodies let go.

Sometimes our weight loss is delayed because we’re telling ourselves we’re keeping our boundaries when we really aren’t. It might be that your boundary lines just aren’t clear enough for you to recognize you’re breaking them. Get honest with yourself.

The point is, we don’t want to be switching boundaries every couple of weeks. It’s tempting to keep changing them in search of the “perfect” set of boundaries. Well, let me just tell you, there is no such thing. Every set of boundaries will have it’s pluses and minuses and none will be “perfect”.

If you’re frustrated because keeping your boundaries isn’t as easy as you had hoped, that’s not a good reason to switch either. Keeping boundaries is hard and requires work, determination, and a whole lot of renewing our minds to the mind of Christ. Once you’re keeping them consistently for at least a month, reevaluate things.

If you are releasing weight and you just want it gone faster, that’s not necessarily the best reason to change boundaries either (unless directed to do so by a doctor). Instead, you’ll probably need to start working on your discontentment or greed issues. I Deserve a Donut  (book or app) has some great questions and verses in the “discontentment” and “greed” sections to help you renew your mind in this area.

For me, I was still releasing weight on WW (although it had slowed down), so I wasn’t really motivated by this to change boundaries.

Not Feeling Well Physically

If you’ve been consistently following your boundaries for at least a month and you don’t feel well physically, there could be any number of things going on. My first recommendation is to check with your doctor. Tell them what you’re doing and see what they have to say. Tests might reveal a root cause that has nothing to do with your boundaries.

Lack of sleep, overeating, under eating, food allergies, wrong food combinations for your body…etc could be at play as well. If you’re following a plan where you have eliminated addictive foods, you might feel horrible for the first few weeks because you’re going through withdrawals. You could also be nutrient deficient. Check into these possibilities and tweak your boundaries as necessary.

This was one of the major reasons I felt prompted to change my boundaries. Even while following the WW plan, I began to have chest pain again just over a month ago. I haven’t had chest pain in years. I stopped sleeping well. I felt really agitated and I had general pain all the time in my joints. I had started popping Ibuprofen regularly just to function, but when the chest pain started, it freaked me out. Sure, I was still releasing weight, but what fun is it to be smaller and feel terrible physically? I had a thought growing in the back of my mind over a couple of months that I needed to up the nutritional value of what I was eating.

It’s true, I could have done this while still on WW, but there was more at play.

Lifestyle Change

This could encompass a multitude of scenarios. Some examples that come to mind are:

  • One of your children is diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy and those foods must be eliminated from your life.
  • You end up traveling across country with your truck driving husband and no longer have access to your kitchen (yes, thinking about you Barb R).
  • You move to another country with a different eating culture.
  • Your husband is laid off and you have to cancel your WW membership.
  • A diagnosis requires dietary changes.
  • You’re training for a marathon and require a different nutrition plan to fuel your workouts.

This list could go on for a while. Even if your life changes significantly enough to warrant a boundary change, we still need to keep in mind that life is going to throw us challenges no matter what our boundaries are. This is where renewing our minds comes into play.

If you experience a lifestyle change, try to keep your original set of boundaries for a couple of weeks just to make sure they aren’t still a fit. Yes, it will be challenging. If after a couple of weeks it’s clear they aren’t working with your new life, change them.

For me, this played a very small role in the boundary change, but it did influence it. We recently decided to dramatically alter our spending habits because of some financial goals we had set. In doing so, we cancelled some memberships (WW and the gym) and we tightened up our grocery budget. This is the other “renewing the mind project” I’m doing right now. I was already considering the dietary change before we decided to tighten the budget, but it definitely made it easier to take the leap. It wasn’t enough for me though. I was still afraid I was changing them for the wrong reasons. I was also afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep stricter boundaries (cause I didn’t want to). I didn’t actually change them till God prompted me to do so.

God is Prompting the Change

This one can often be confused with our own feelings and emotions if we aren’t consistently renewing our minds in the process. If you are seeking God on the matter, He won’t be vague.

Even if He is the one prompting the change, you may feel scared and even have some doubts, but God will give you peace if it is His will.

For me, it began with a thought of, “Beloved, are you willing to give up certain foods for Me?”

Yikes. I didn’t like where this was going.

He challenged my mantra of “everything in moderation”. I said, “But everything is permissible.” To which He replied, “Aye, but not everything is beneficial.”

I was primed for this message with how terrible I felt physically. Then the husband and I started working on our financial project and I asked myself what I was willing to give up to meet our goals.

I remembered a plan I had done a while back, so I got out the book (one of the few “diet” books I’ve kept) and read it again. Convinced I was supposed to change my boundaries, I stepped away from WW and switched to a “nutritarian” diet a few weeks ago. The chest pain went away immediately and I have minimal general pain now (praise the Lord).

You see, when God prompts you to change your boundaries, the timing will always be spot on. He knew exactly what I needed and knew when I would be receptive to the change. I don’t know how long I’ll be “giving up” some of my favorite foods. I don’t even know that I’ll never return to WW, but you know what, it really doesn’t matter. Food is just food. It isn’t love. It isn’t peace. It isn’t joy. I’m going to take this thing one day at a time.

Transformed By the Renewing of the Mind

Even if we decide it is time to change our boundaries, there is one crucial thing we must keep in mind:

It is not our boundaries which transform us!

swordGOD transforms us through the renewing of our minds. I challenge you, even before you settle on your boundaries, pour your time and energy into renewing your mind about food, weight, and body image. Pour in His Truth at every opportunity. This is the only way I have a remote chance of keeping any set of boundaries long-term.

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you]. ~ Romans 12:2 (AMP)