The honeymoon is over

I can officially say that the honeymoon is over, in regards to my healthy eating plan. The initial excitement and motivation have worn down. NOW is when it is hard. NOW is when I need to rely on God’s strength.

April hasn’t been the greatest for me, but it hasn’t been a total failure either. I stopped recording what I was eating for a few reasons, but I won’t whine about it, I’ll just say the main reason: laziness. I had quite an emotional day about 10 days ago. Something happened that really hurt my heart. All I wanted to do was find the closest chocolate and stuff my face. But I stayed strong. I repeated over and over again Psalm 63:5: “You satisfy me more than the richest feast.” I was lacking something that day (and the days that followed) and instead of filling it with food, I prayed over and over again to God to give me strength to get past the temptations. And He did. God is faithful.

While I am glad to say that just yesterday I have started to record my food again (thanks to a new app I downloaded, My Fitness Pal. Its a lot easier now), I am feeling the temptations more now than I did at first. I just like to eat! Ugh. I wish that eating wasn’t one of my favorite things to do, but sadly it is. So now is my test. The temptations are coming every day, so we will see if I rely on God’s strength to get me through these temptations. Because I KNOW I cannot do it on my own

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Eating at Restaurants

When you are trying to eat healthier, eating out at restaurants can be tricky. But, it can be done successfully.  I went to lunch with a friend today at Scrambler Marie’s, but I didn’t let that bother me.

You need to choose your meal before you go. Go online, look up the menu, and look up the nutrition info. Granted, not every restaurant offers up that information, but more and more places are doing that.  I would encourage anyone trying to eat healthier to at least dine at a restaurant who offers the nutritional information.

I picked out a salad for my lunch, the Crunchy Orchard Salad, and it was QUITE tasty too!

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It has both lettuce and spinach, grilled chicken, apples, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, pecans, almonds, and my favorite dressing – raspberry vinaigrette. Sadly, I often forget to take my own photos, so this photo from Scrambler Marie’s will have to do. But this was a delicious and filling salad for under 400 calories!

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Time for some exercise

Ah. That dreaded “E” word. Exercise. I know that, once I get started, I like it. Starting it is the hardest part. And I’ve been avoiding it, blaming it on the cold & snowy weather we’ve had here in Michigan. I mean, I have made an effort to walk more and just get moving more in general, but really, I need exercise. Enter my old pal, Wii Fit.

ImageSo much for my excuse about the weather, huh? I CAN exercise at home. I can do this, and I WILL do this!

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You are what you eat. So true.

So, writing on my blog isn’t my top priority. It was a busy week, and blog-writing fell to the wayside. But sometimes, even if I have a spare minute or two, I don’t always know what to write. My journey to a healthier life – physically and spiritually – probably isn’t incredibly interesting to anyone other than myself, and it isn’t even interesting to myself sometimes. But, a couple of interesting things happened this past week.

First of all, I messed up. For work purposes, I attended “The Art of Food” show by GFS at the Novi expo center. Lots of tasty things. Last year, I totally stuffed myself. As in, I think I literally rolled out of there. This year, I was determined to not do the same, nor to mess up my healthier eating habits. At first, I snapped a photo of everything I was putting into my mouth. But, that got old really quick. You see, every 5 feet is another set of food samples for tasting. I didn’t taste everything. And at first, I was being very careful about what foods I chose to sample. But, as time went on, I started making justifications for tasting other things that I know aren’t very good. (Fried Macaroni & Cheese bites, anyone?)  I still didn’t stuff myself like I had originally planned, but I sure ate some things that I shouldn’t have, even if it was just a taste.

The next day arrives. I kind of felt blah in the morning, but I attributed that to the fact that I had done a lot of physical work the night before (moving around boxes of food leftover from the show that was donated to the Salvation Army). But around noon, I thought to myself, why do I feel so crummy today?Then it dawned on me. “You are what you eat.” I ate crappy food the day before, and now I was paying for it, because I certainly felt like crap last Thursday. Let me tell you, its a motivation factor, having experienced that. When you can feel what a difference that crap food makes, it makes you want to stop eating it. A couple of small bites of some fried food and sugary treats made me feel icky all the next day. That’s not worth it. There are plenty of healthier food choices out there that I ENJOY eating that won’t make me feel that way.

The other interesting thing that happened this week, is that I got excited about my meal plan. Okay, maybe that isn’t incredibly interesting, but hear me out. About 2 months ago, I stumbled across a website Shrinking on a Budget. It’s meal plans that are advertised as healthy, quick & easy, kid-approved, budget friendly, and delicious. Too good to be true, I thought, but for only $10 for the year, and each week I would get dinner ideas, lunch ideas, dessert ideas & a grocery list already made, I decided it was worth a try. I admit I wasn’t too into it at first. Between the 4 of us and our food preferences, I think we’re all quite the picky eaters. But I tried a few things, and they were pretty good. The month of March though, I have returned to the idea of meal planning. When meals are planned in advance, you are less tempted to run to fast food or a quick-prep meal with all kinds of preservatives and junk when you think about what’s for dinner. So I plan out meals, and when I’m grocery shopping, I only buy what I need for those meals.

So here’s what I think about Shrinking on a Budget so far. The information I get every week is simple & organized. The meals ARE usually very quick & easy. Even though I am just tracking calories on Sparkpeople and not doing Weight watchers, the WW points are provided, as well as calorie/fat/carb info on everything. And I love that even though every meal might not be considered picky-eater friendly the way it is written, they provide tips for how to quickly adjust it for the picky eaters in your family. I can’t say that I’m spending less than I was before, but that’s because healthy eating does cost a little bit more than buying strictly from the canned & boxed food sections of the grocery store. Thankfully though, the grocery list provided makes grocery shopping a LOT easier for me, and it does still help me from over-spending at the store. I’d recommend Shrinking on a Budget to anyone looking for meal plans! It’s worth the low cost.

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A little Scripture to keep me going…

There certainly are some powerful verses packed inside that B – I – B – L – E.  Here are some that provide me with inspiration and hope:

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This journey doesn’t have an end

Twice this past week, the pants that I wore felt a little big. That’s such an awesome feeling. Success tastes so sweet. I still don’t know how much I’ve lost. I am going to the doctor tomorrow, so I’ll have an idea, although I can’t know exactly, since I didn’t know my starting weight. I know my weight from several months ago, but then the holiday season happened, and well I am sure extra pounds went on at that time. But I keep telling myself, “I am not defined by a number.” Regardless of what the number says on the scale tomorrow, it will not make or break my day, because I KNOW in my heart already, that I have tasted success.

I have been chugging along on this journey, maybe getting a little too familiar, as I’ve set down my Made to Crave book for almost a whole week. I should have been done reading it by now, but I haven’t. So I picked it up again yesterday. Again, I continue to be amazed by the words that I read….as it is always seemingly what I need to hear.

When people think about the various diets out there, they ask questions such as, what do I have to give up on this plan? We do I have to sacrifice? Ugh. We don’t like that word, sacrifice, do we? I think that is why Weight Watchers is so popular. They advertise that you don’t have to give up all your favorite tasty treats, you just have to count your points and allow yourself room for those tasty things that you don’t want to give up.

But another question we may think to ourselves, “if I make that sacrifice for a season, can I eventually go back to eating whatever I want without regaining the weight?” You see, sacrifice for just a short time seems doable to us. So we hop on that fad diet. But sacrificing until we no longer crave what we gave up? Eek. That takes discipline on a whole new playing field! Is this even possible? On my own strength? No way. I am weak. I am human.  But God’s power revels in our weaknesses!!! I can do ALL things through Jesus Christ who gives me STRENGTH.  Yes, I can, with God’s help, stay on this journey for the rest of my life.

This morning I got caught up on my “Jesus Calling” desk calendar. I really should have kept up, because February 27th entry was surely for me:

“Keep your eyes on Me! Waves of adversity are washing over you, and you feel tempted to give up. As your circumstances consume more and more of your attention, you are losing sight of Me. Yet I am with you always, holding you by your right hand. I am fully aware of your situation, and I will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to bear.”

Oh yes, tasty temptations have certainly come my way. And its not at all that I’ve been contemplating giving up altogether…but I do experience moments of weakness where I want to eat something and NOT write it down in my online food journal. The hardest part I suppose is trying to justify a tasty treat, because I still have enough calories in my range for the day. It goes back to what I read about in Made to Crave.  I need to get to a point that I am not feeling that I’m sacrificing, that I don’t WANT to eat those things, because I crave a healthy lifestyle and closer relationship with God than some tasty treat.

I cannot wait for that day of victory when I can say that I am at my goal weight. But my journey doesn’t end there. Like Lysa Terkeurst writes in Made to Crave, I cannot wait to be at a place that is not wrought with sacrifice but rather a place where I see healthy choices as overflowing blessings so pure and rich, I’d never trade them.

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Success is measured in different ways

I have no clue how much weight I have lost, if any.  But I have been successful. Here’s a few ways that I know:

  • I have not ran (oh man, is that proper English?) to any fridge or cabinet during times of heightened emotions in the past 6 weeks.
  • I have been recording what I’m eating and tracking calories for the past 6 weeks. (And, with the exception of 2 or 3 days, I have stayed within my target calorie range)
  • I have not had heartburn at all in the past 6 weeks, and it used to be a near daily thing for me. Eating better = feeling better.
  • A few days ago, Chocolate Cheesecake was right in front of me, and I DID NOT indulge.
  • Last week someone told me, “I can tell you are losing weight. I can see it in your face.” Awesome. It’s stuff like that that keeps me going.

Admittedly, while I have been continuing to read Made to Crave, I haven’t been keeping up with the online Bible Study. I gave it a try, but I realized it was simply the book that I was enjoying, not necessarily the online part of it. So, I’m just doing it at my own pace, whenever I get a chance to go online.

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