when the scale doesn’t do what you want

For people who battle their weight, the scale often becomes a nemesis or a friend… or both in the same day. I won’t rehash all my scale woes today as you can take a trip through my previous blog posts and discover I have had a love/hate relationship with that hunk of metal in the past.

When we first begin a weight loss program, we’re usually excited and motivated by those first couple of weigh ins. Unfortunately, this rarely lasts very long, and the dailiness of sticking to our healthful boundaries begins to wear on us. We work all week to see if the scale will reward our efforts.

Some weeks it does…

… other weeks, not so much.

This morning, after not weighing for 28 days, I was cautiously optimistic about stepping on the scale. I say “cautiously” because I know I’m still dealing with the Hashimoto’s monster and sometimes it seems he plays games with me where the scale is concerned.

As weigh in day approached, I thought about how many pounds I might have released in the past 28 days sticking to my food boundaries (nutritarian). I felt like four pounds would be reasonable taking into account the thyroid craziness. Unfortunately, I guessed wrong. It said I was only down two pounds.

((grumble))

Fortunately, I’ve had three years of renewing my mind about food/weight/body image, and was ready to face it head on like a grown up.

The first thing I needed to recognize was that I still had something for which to thank God. That’s right, whether I saw 2 pounds as an accurate representation of the hard work or not…

…I still released TWO POUNDS… gone… “bye-bye, woo-hoo, see ya“.

Secondly, I needed a reminder that I’m not keeping my food boundaries just to release weight. I’m also keeping them to honor God and to change my health. I think leaning on the Lord to keep my commitment of avoiding refined sugar/flour for the past 67+ days counts for something on both fronts whatever the scale may say.

Plus, I released TWO WHOLE POUNDS!

Third, I needed to ensure I wouldn’t fall for lies like, “What’s the point of all this hard work if it isn’t going to pay off” or “I might as well eat my comfort foods because this isn’t working”. I mean really, how can one say it isn’t “paying off or working”?

Did I mention, I released TWO MORE POUNDS?!

So I pulled out my journal and my worn copy of I Deserve A Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat). I turned to the “Bad Scale Eating” questions/verses and did what I’ve done countless times before. I methodically wrote out each question, followed by my answer to it. Then, I prayed through the scriptures, praising God for His blessings and promises that hard work does matter.

And fourth, I needed to recommit to the journey for the long haul. This isn’t about one week, or even 28 days. This is about changing how I do life in regard to food/weight/body image. That doesn’t happen overnight. So, I settled down, made my fruit and greens breakfast smoothie, and continued on the journey…

…TWO POUNDS lighter.

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runner girl: week 6

I my goodness, I cannot believe I’ve made it six weeks into a running schedule without an injury!! Shocking!! Praying this trend continues!

EXERCISE

We finished week 6 of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. The kids were a bit intimidated at first with the increase in jogging time for session 1, but it turned out to be ok. Clearly, this schedule is designed to gradually prepare us for the changes, at least, I hope that’s true since we take a dramatic leap next week.

As you can see, I’ve resumed T-Tapp. I’m doing the Basic Workout Plus (BWO+) and CRT Skin Brushing. I feel stronger and more balanced when I’m doing BWO+ on a regular basis, so I’m going to make a real effort to incorporate it several times a week. It looks simple, but bless my buttons, it’s a tough workout if you’re trying to do it correctly.

The skin brushing… well, that’s because I want to exercise my skin. I’ve been much bigger than I am now (delivered 5 rather large babies), and I want to see if my skin can bounce back better than it has. I’ll tell you one thing, that brush hurts at first. I was wincing and thinking I must be crazy to do this to myself. It did get better toward the end of the week.

I noticed a difference after the second day of brushing (and first day back to T-Tapp). Later that day, when I put on my PJs… the same ones I’d worn the night before, the pants seemed noticeably roomier. I stood there and thought, “Is that even possible?” Not that I’m complaining – I’m all for shrinking my backside, even if I have to endure that stiff bristled brush for 5-7 minutes a day.

And yes, I realize I didn’t “rest” on Sunday. I actually wanted to go out for a leisurely walk. Everything was just so lovely and before I knew it, I had done four miles.

Changes In Perspective

Something I realized while reading skin brushing and T-Tapp testimonials was that I don’t care if it takes a little time for the results to really show. It seemed like most people go for the quick results, maybe even get the initial blast of inch loss, but then quit when it gets tough. The ones with the most dramatic change were the ones who stayed consistent for the long-haul. I want to be among those dynamic women!

In the past, I was always in a hurry. How fast can I reach a certain size? How fast can I reach a certain weight? But now, now I just want to take care of my body and allow it to heal.

I’m not thinking in terms of “where can I be two weeks from now” (or even at the end of a “challenge”), but rather “where could I be six months to two years from now”. Here’s the really shocking part, when thinking about reaching a healthy weight/size, I haven’t once thought, “When I get to ‘goal’, I’ll get to eat anything I want again.” On the contrary, I’m picturing a woman who enjoys exercise and nutritious food.

NUTRITION

I attribute this change in perspective on food to 1) renewing my mind regarding food/weight/body image for several years now, and 2) eliminating foods which trigger addictive behavior in me. Personally, I don’t see the way I am eating as being radical. It just feels normal and even, dare I say it, peaceful.

Yesterday, I hit 49 days on the nutritarian diet. Being off of sugar/flour for 49 days is a really big deal for me. I feel like the alcoholic in AA who can say, “It’s been 49 days since my last bite of the refined stuff”. I downloaded an app to keep track of the number of days so I wouldn’t have to constantly count back to the start date. I don’t like the ads on it though so I may look for something else.

As for weight, I’m noticing a perspective shift there too. Years ago I would say I didn’t care if the scale said I weighed 400 lbs if I still fit into my size 8 jeans. That girl is finally returning – except with a stronger mind. For years I’ve obsessed over that number. Fortunately, this too is something I’ve addressed with renewing my mind, but I’m thinking far more clearly than I have in a very long time since changing what I choose to eat.

When I realized the husband wouldn’t be available to weigh me on Friday (I don’t look at the number), I decided I didn’t care. It doesn’t matter. It’s not like I’m going to go off the rails if I don’t get scale confirmation that “it’s working”.

Simply put, I feel better (mind, body, and spirit). My clothes fit better (some reaching “too loose” status). My mind functions better. My hormones fluctuate better. My body eliminates better. I sleep better (most nights anyway).

Chocolate cake simply cannot compete with all of that.

runner girl: week 3

Now it feels like we’re beginning to make some progress. Three weeks is a significant benchmark in any habit change process.

EXERCISE

We completed the third week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. Jogging three consecutive minutes at the top of each interval was tougher than I had hoped. My body just couldn’t seem to find a groove for some reason. I tried to remind myself to go slow though. The husband stayed in the back of our little formation, which helped some, although it was somewhat stressful to hear so many foot strikes behind me.

The workout on the 18th was the most difficult. We had to go downhill, with the wind on the outbound part, and uphill into the wind on the return. The 15 year old remarked that if we jumped into the air, the wind would probably push us backward. My legs were screaming during the fight to maintain some semblance of a jog. Plus, it appears maintenance has dumped a bunch of rock/pebble/sand on the trail and it felt like we were constantly battling tripping/twisting hazards and sand pits.

So, I know this sounds totally negative, but again we felt like rock stars because we only encountered one other runner on that morning. I told the kids, “This is what makes you a runner – when you get out in these conditions and tough it out to the end.” Hopefully next week will be a little easier.

I was genuinely trying to earn a couple of available Garmin Connect Badges this week and walked away with the 20K Steps Badge, I Am The Night Badge, and Challenge Champ Badge.

I have been very sore and probably need to be more diligent about foam rolling.

NUTRITION

28 days on the nutritarian diet. I think, for the most part, the cravings have subsided. If they come, it’s a very fleeting thought. Another thing I noticed this week is that I am finally sleeping better (and through the night most nights). Thank you, Jesus!

My eyes look brighter most days, but I’m still battling “fat eyes” frequently. I struggle with the fact that all I can see is how overweight I am (I call this fat eyes). I get it no matter how big or small I am, so I must renew my mind and talk to the Lord about it frequently. The enemy and my flesh try to convince me that I’m not doing enough and I should be looking better faster. God reassures me that I am doing all I can and I need to trust Him with the results. Before I weighed Friday morning, I was convinced I had gained weight. You see, I don’t feel like I look any different than I did four weeks ago. Even though some of my clothes are clearly too big for me now, I just cannot see it yet.

My body released another 1.2 pounds this week, which is a blessing considering I’m working with a crazy thyroid. That’s 11 pounds in less than 4 weeks (weighed Friday), so clearly something must be getting smaller even if my eyes try to convince me otherwise.

runner girl: week 2

It feels like the weeks are flying by faster and faster… I sure hope not though!

EXERCISE

We completed the second week of The Beginning Runner’s Handbook run/walk schedule. I did not enjoy the third one (5/12) because I felt like I couldn’t breathe through the whole thing. We were running at a slightly higher elevation and the grade was slightly steeper, but obviously at a faster pace too. The husband pushed us a bit without realizing it, so I think he’s either going to jog at the rear of our little group or jog on his own in the future. After that workout I am dreading the next one, and I don’t need that mental hurdle right now.

I’ve been feeling really sluggish around 2 pm every afternoon and Tuesday was really bad. I can probably thank my thyroid issues for this, but normally I would go to the kitchen for some kind of “pick me up” to make it through the rest of the day. Since we’re not snacking between meals… and 2 pm is obviously not a normal mealtime… I crashed on the sofa. I didn’t know what to do about it, I just knew I felt miserable. So, I spent some time working on my Bible study and I prayed. I ended up googling thyroid stuff for a bit, but just couldn’t find anything in cyberspace to help immediately with the intense fatigue.

Then, as I lay on the sofa in lethargic frustration, the thought came to me that I haven’t done a T-Tapp workout in a while. I argued with myself that working out requires energy… energy I didn’t have. I don’t know if it was divine intervention or what, but I found myself rising and heading for the TV remote. I loaded up the 15 minute basic workout (plus). Normally, I would fast forward through the intro, but I didn’t that day. I’m sure I listened to the intro when I first got the DVD, but I didn’t remember her saying that the workout helps with autoimmune disorders… thyroid… etc. I know her book talks about those things though so it shouldn’t have been a surprise. Suddenly, my “can’t want to” changed to “I’m willing to try”.

Painfully aware that it had, in fact, been a while, I pressed through to the end, and by the time Teresa Tapp announced we were finished, I felt much better. My eyes were brighter even.

On Sunday, when the fatigue hit, I just gave in and took a nap (which I rarely do).

NUTRITION

Another week on the nutritarian diet. One thing we’re realizing is that we can celebrate without it being centered around food. We had a date night… we stuck to the plan. Our oldest daughter came home from college for the summer… we stuck to the plan. Mother’s day was Sunday… we stuck to the plan. It was actually nice not to experience a food hangover or worry about how what I ate might affect the scale.

I’m not saying off-plan foods didn’t cross our minds, certainly they did, but it really wasn’t that difficult to resist the temptation. I like feeling better more than eating those old foods. Plus, renewing my mind about why I wanted them really helped me see that the reasons were silly and fleeting.

My body released another 1.6 pounds this week, and I’m certainly happy with that. I think my clothes feel looser… at least some of them anyway.

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.

RYM 12 Week Challenge Ends

I can’t believe we’ve already come to the end of this challengeLast week we worked on treasure hunting again. It has been a really exciting 12 weeks. I’ve done many challenges over the years but I think this may have been my favorite. When I first felt like God was calling me to do this, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. What I gleaned from the last 12 weeks has been incredible. God has shown me such wonderful and very cool things through my time with Him and the willingness to step out in faith.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to complete these 84 days and to do with with such a fantastic group of women at the Taste For Truth Support Group has been beyond amazing. What a blessing!

If you missed out on the last challenge. There is a new one starting on March 31st at the Taste For Truth Support Group. Join us!

Also, for the final wrap-up video of the challenge: 12 Week Renewing the Mind – Week 12 Wrap-up

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Final Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 20 minutes 7 days, + God glorifying music 5 days, kept my food boundaries 7 days, and exercised 5 days for at least 15 minutes.
Released 0.6 lbs the twelfth week :)*
Challenge Total: -10 lbs
*for more commentary on this weigh in, join the TFTSG.
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RYM 12 Week Challenge: Week 7

We’re half-way through this challenge and no doubt, those who are pressing through are experiencing change that only comes through the power of the Holy Spirit. Last week we addressed taking inventory of outside influences which may be counteracting our renewing of the mind efforts. This week, we will be focused on the physical parts of us again with an emphasis on exercise.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (ESV)

 Your Body, A Temple

I know it seems crazy to be doing a weight-loss challenge where exercise isn’t even introduced until week 7. That’s ok, I’ve been called much worse than crazy. This doesn’t mean I haven’t exercised for the past six weeks, quite the contrary, but this week we’re going to renew our minds about it so we can think God’s thoughts on the matter.

For years I only saw exercise in terms of how it affected my weight or made me look. I treated my body like a temple alright, but I focused on the “temple of Jules” and not the “temple of the Holy Spirit”. Exercise was about making me look good, allowing me to eat whatever I wanted, or trying to regain a figure I had lost.

Exercise, fitness, workout stats, flat abs, toned arms… they were an idol in my life. I bowed to them like I bowed to food. I spent years believing lies and living in utter fear of being overweight. As so often is the case, life happened and I could no longer practice my “exercise religion”. Eventually, “that thing which I feared came upon me” (Job 3:25) and I found myself classified as “obese”.

I tried for a while to get back what I had lost, but I was still trying in my own strength and still worshipping all the wrong things. It would be many years and countless injuries later that I would discover a much healthier way to view exercise.

Most would agree physical exercise is important for the health and wellbeing of our bodies. Even the Proverbs 31 woman understood the need to be physically strong so she could endure the day ahead. (Proverbs 31:17). Exercise helps all of our bodily processes function better. It also improves our mood and lowers blood sugar. When our bodies are strong, we are less prone to injury. And yet, none of these have anything to do with fitting into a size two dress or looking great in a swimsuit.

There is a vast difference in focus when we use exercise to aid our vanity as opposed to doing it to honor and glorify the Lord. One feeds our flesh and one feeds our spirit. We are to be good stewards of what He has given us to care for. Unfortunately, so many of us end up worshipping the temple (or berating it) rather than worshipping the One Who made it.

Which leads me to the focus of this week. Yes, we are going to exercise, but we are going to ask God to keep it in proper perspective. One way to do this is to thank God after every workout for the ability to accomplish the task. I often thank God for my legs and joints after a run because I know, from my days on the injured list, that without these things, I couldn’t run.

You see, it is all about perspective. Are we grateful for the ability to move our bodies and offer our workouts to God as a form of praise? Or, are we bitterly lacing up our shoes because we ate a box of donuts the day before, and now we must pay the price? Perhaps we live in a third category of feeling guilty for not exercising. I spent years in the latter two categories and can tell you they are not the best way.

“I Can’t Want To”

When my oldest daughter was three, she would often say, “I can’t want to” when asked to do anything she was less than thrilled about. Maybe that’s how you feel about exercise. You think you “can’t want to”, but is that the truth? Doesn’t the Bible say we can do all things through Christ? (Philippians 4:13)

Sure, exercise is difficult, but a funny thing happens once you build the habit of exercising regularly for the right reasons. After a little bit, you actually want to do it. You begin to notice you feel better physically and mentally, and when you add praising God, the “want to” comes even faster.

Each day you set aside the old negative mindsets around exercise and you work-out with God, it gets easier. Now, obviously, you need to choose something that is somewhat enjoyable to you, or at a minimum something which interests you. I’ve done various forms of exercise over the years and, while figure skating and taekwondo rank pretty high on my list, I much prefer to be outside in God’s creation. This is one reason I enjoy running, walking, and hiking the most.

Maybe you think you’re too out of shape to exercise. Well, then it’s time for a trip to the doctor. If your doctor clears you for moderate activity, there are many things you can do. You don’t have to just sit on the sidelines, but you also don’t have to run hurdles in the one hundred yard dash. Pick some form of movement and get started. The most important part of whatever exercise program you choose is to do it to the glory of God.

“Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!” ~ Psalm 119:36 (ESV)

Week 7 – We’re going to add 15 minutes of exercise at least three days a week as we continue to actively renew our minds by keeping the daily 20 minute appointment with God beginning with praise/worship, confession of sins, and the “who I am in Christ” mirror exercise. Finish up your 20 minutes with any method you wish. Don’t forget to get that background music going and to renew your mind any time you are tempted to or actually do break your boundaries. Be sure to take full advantage of Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds and I Deserve a Donut by Barb Raveling.

For “day by day” suggestions, join the Taste For Truth Support Group and download this week’s PDF.

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Weekly Challenge Check-in:
Renewed my mind for at least 20 minutes a day, + God glorifying music, & kept my food boundaries.
I’m up 1.6 the sixth week :)*
Challenge Total: 4 lbs
*for more commentary on this weigh in, join the TFTSG.
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