Page 2 of 12

Rest & Recovery.

Do you ever have days where you want to do something, but your body actually won’t let you?

Yesterday it finally hit me. I felt like I’d been hit by a ton of bricks. I needed a break. My body was tired and I needed sleep, so I allowed it to sleep in until 11 am! Then, after feeling guilty for allowing my body to have what it needed, instead of feeling good about things, I went on to try to do a million things in attempt to make up for lost time. Have you ever done this? Allowed your feelings to take control of your mindset? Instead of being rational about things, I acted on feelings, and it made a whirlwind of a day in fighting against what was to be and what I wanted it to be.

“Act now” my devotional from yesterday said. And I attempted to take it literally. I tried to do everything under the sun, including blogging, but nothing would allow me to get things done for some reason or close to being completed. My computer completely blanked on me and the blue little swirling icon wouldn’t even allow me to restart my computer properly. I was at a loss. What would I fill my day with if not for tons of meaningful tasks…and then it occurred to me. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be. And maybe it wasn’t even that meaningful. Maybe sharing my good news meant taking a break from life for a while so I could recharge. I was then forced to have a day that though meaningful, wasn’t full completely with “stuff.” Or getting things, “done.” It was more about reflection.

Normally my days are full of mundane tasks. Do you ever feel this way? Like what you are doing isn’t important? It occurred to me yesterday, when I was actually taking a break from all of those “tasks” that they weren’t actually adding up to anything. They didn’t truly mean much other than something was completed. They didn’t include much feeling and didn’t work to uplift anyone else…they were empty. And what an awful feeling that was!

It occurred to me that because everything seemed like it was going “wrong” that maybe it was a red flag to slow down, reevaluate my habits, and to reevaluate what I wanted in my future instead of mindlessly repeating past mistakes and moving forward. That’s what would help my tomorrows and my future, by actually “living” in my present instead of rushing and racing around it, to embrace it instead. I decided to change my mindset. I forgave myself for needing time to rest and I put myself on a new track that included more down time with my son instead of routinely going about my day to day. We tend to become such creatures of habit sometimes, that life seems stuck at a standstill.

Maybe “act now” actually meant something more about relationships other than completing chores I thought.

Maybe giving proper priority to our relationships in life rather than meaningless tasks that can be checked off of a check sheet was the actual lesson to be learned. And maybe, just maybe spending more time with Jesus, was just what I needed. After changing my mindset, I began to feel more fulfilled, more loved, and more joyous.

I just went into our bedroom, which is where my son is resting and asked him if he wanted to go to the park. “No” he said. “I’m way too tired.” And for the first time, I decided to respect this response instead of pushing us forward into something that would have become more laborsome than fun. Instead I’m letting him rest, because he told me his needs and it is my responsibility as a parent to teach him that resting is not something to feel guilty for, but something that our bodies need to properly function. Sometimes resting and recharging is key to our long term success. Perhaps it is the perfect balance between resting and running that we need to win the race ahead. And Amen to that~!

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Hebrews 12: 1-2

Rest & Recovery.

Alarms.

My husband leaves for work at 6am and we get to sleep in for a bit longer before my five year old sounds off. This morning I heard him wail, and I woke up and rushed to the bathroom, brushed my teeth and put in my contacts before he had time to wail again. Off to the coffee pot I went.

I don’t need to set an alarm. Every morning my son wakes me up by hollering, “Mom is it time to wake up??”

It wouldn’t matter what I did, as soon as I hear him, I know…it is time to start a new day.

I guess you could say I’m not a morning person as before my coffee I am pretty ill to the world; for everyone’s sake though, I try to make it to the coffee pot as soon as possible.

“Mooooom! Is it time to wake up yet>?!?” He will go and sound off until I answer with a “Yes.”

Nothing else will do. Until I say, “yes” he is dedicated as ever and goes and goes just like an energizer bunny. Boom! Boom! Boom! “Mom! Mom! Mom!”

It sort of reminds me of the hounding that occurs on a trip or vacation, “Are we there yet?”

But no, I don’t ever need to set an alarm as my little man is quite devoted to waking up each day at the same approximate time. So he wakes us both up. Isn’t he considerate?

This morning…

I knew that yesterday was my last chocolate chip pancake fueling, and I was already disappointed in knowing I was going to have to eat cereal instead. When what happened, but an extra pancake packet was found in my shipment and oh, it made my morning. I actually jumped up and down with glee. Oh, another day just like my last one! To have them match! It delighted me. And it’s the littlest things (nowadays) that make me the happiest. Sound the alarm!

Having a chocolate chip pancake for breakfast, one that reinforced my program, is exactly what I needed this morning to put me in a good mood. It gave me something to be grateful for, although small, it reminded me early that the little things sometimes can be great things. It’s all in how we look at it.

Do you ever have things in the morning that you do routinely and if it gets off schedule, you yourself feel like the day is off too? I can’t tell you what a creature of habit I am, but each day I actually “enjoy” feeling the way I do in waking up. It’s what makes me, well, me. At the time, it feels like a struggle, but if it were in any other way, it would feel, “off.” I would probably sleep the day away and not have an alarm. I wouldn’t rush to the coffee pot as there would be no reason to. I wouldn’t even eat breakfast—one of the most important fuelings of the day, because there wouldn’t be a reason to be up…what I’m saying is, I’m grateful for the situation that I have going on each day as it makes me rise to an occasion of sorts. It helps me to greet the day the best way I know how to. And I always want to be ready. Ready for everything, including eternity. And Amen to that.

I may stumble each day but with the Lord on my side, nothing can be bigger. He knows what I can handle. It is my responsibility to be ready, to keep alert, and to cease the day. You never know what the day could bring…

“Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake and alert and watching when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them recline at table and will come and serve them!” Luke 12:37

alarms

Staying On Course.

I woke up yesterday and wrote a whole blog and in the middle of it, my computer decided to restart.

I decided the words must not have been meant to be and went about my day…so I didn’t blog yesterday as planned. I then went off course. And it seemed like the more off course I got, the worse off road I became…

My day, which ended in the first “failure” I’ve had since starting this new program started off as a slight misguidance, but by the end of it all ended in total mayhem. I don’t know what was wrong with me but I was hungry. And the hungry monster I became ate. And then ate some more…regardless of what happened, I simply got off track. But the “feeling” of it all made me miserable. I felt like I weighed tons, as the guilt of it all took over. (Looking back at it all now, I realized that I skipped my lean and green dinner which made me want to eat the house down). In retrospect, this became a lesson, but at the time, I was confused and misguided…and I was simply out of control and hating the feeling of it all.

My journal, which always reminds me to stay on course became a big list of food, and ones that didn’t even make sense at the end of the day. Instead of using the journal to plan and to always follow through with what I set my course on, I instead decided to “wing it.” And very unsuccessfully. So, the feelings of failure greatly outweighed any type of accomplishments I had last week and that to me was pure sadness and regret. My problem seemed like a monsoon after only one afternoon.

Have you ever gotten off track and wanted it to be over and instead of quitting were looking for a new beginning instead? Like, immediately? I think about this now that thankfully, it’s Monday and a perfect time to get back on course and tell myself that what “was” simply needs to be put into the past and left there. On to bigger and better things, new goals, and new accomplishments as I attempt to rid myself of yesterday’s guilt. With a new day and journal entry helping it to surpass, I look towards living one day at a time, and remind myself that striving for perfection to be a dead end road.

What I’ve realized in doing all this, when counting my blessings and doing my devotional with the Lord,  is the lesson that failure actually gives us. Sometimes to fail is to actually succeed, as today I’m more motivated, and stronger willed than I have been since I started this journey towards optimal health. With this new regeneration, I am transformed, renewed by God and His serenity. God has grant me a new beginning just like He does each and every day. Every day is a new day. Be glad!

I have a wonderful health coach that sent me a video this morning on plateaus, and what I learned from it was that I’m actually not on a plateau. I haven’t gained weight at all and have continued to lose, even if it is smaller this week than it has been in the past. It is a loss I’m grateful for as I continue on my journey toward a healthy weight and optimal health. My why includes reasons beyond aesthetics, as each and every day I gain more energy, and stamina to live each day to its fullest. Fueling my body being a key turning point in staying on track, over time, my harvest will be repeated as I find mini victories in each day.

I just went into my son’s room and his cookies from his snack included one last chips ahoy. “Here, eat this so I can throw it away,” I said.

“No, I’m full,” he said.

I took the bag and threw it away.

This is a perfect example of my non scale victories from last week, as even though it ended on a day that went off course, for the most part I stayed on track and threw food that was untouched away instead of insisting we all be a part of the “clean your plate” club. I must remember this as we enter into a new week, that progress, though seemingly small, adds up. Our mini harvests are something we should always been striving for, and our rewards overall will then always be many. And Amen to that!
 

“Let your eyes look right on and let your gaze be straight before you. Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. Turn not aside to the right hand or the left; remove your foot from evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27

staying on course.

Divine Guidance.

I remember when I was in college. It was a summer course, and it was poetry. All about words.

Each day the exercise was to wake up and write. Even if you had nothing to say, the exercise, or “habit” that they wanted you to not just conceptualize but to reinforce was the habit of writing.

I remember getting up each day and sitting at that green wooden desk. I would stare out the window at the traffic going by…that is when we lived on main street and the hustle and bustle of it all contrasted with the green earth always gave it some type of inspiration. The words came.

“Write the vision” my devotional was entitled today, so how could I not…?

I have been writing a lot this week, and whether this is good or bad, it has been what I have been led to do. It seems this week’s theme is doing things you don’t want to do…or at least doing the work first, before play.

Today, the scripture was Proverbs 29:18, which states, “When people don’t accept diving guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.”

So go figure, obey and it will be granted to you. Write the vision and it will become your reality. Do the work and the habit will reinforce the outcome. Just do it. And there will be joy.

I think a lot of the times God directs me through reading His word and then by reflecting upon it by writing. So, regardless of whether anyone would ever read this blog or not, it is for me…correction, it is for Him. It is my service.

Do you have anything you do that allows you to feel this way? As though you are serving the Lord through a special quality? Everyone has one. Sometimes we think too much about it all and lose our purpose, but at the end of the day, the simplest thing may be part of your call to serve.

I pray you have a great day today regardless of what is around you. People may always speculate or disappoint you but remember that the Lord is always good and always there for you. Look to Him and find divine guidance, it will not only change your day, but it will change your life over time. And Amen to that!

“Where there is no vision, the people perish; but he who keeps the law—blessed is he.” Proverbs 29:18

divine guidance

Mini Harvests.

There is some type of relief in knowing that I will never be a perfect person.

I don’t even strive for perfection (anymore). As I know this is the first factor in an escalator called, defeat. This morning I did a weigh in, and I haven’t lost any more weight this week. And at first, I was bummed, but then I remembered to count my blessings instead…instead of going and stuffing my face full of brownies and drowning in self misery. Instead, I did the opposite. I had a bottle of water instead of a third cup of coffee. In counting my blessings, I realized many things that were good, not perfect and in that way I was more than grateful and very satisfied in how far I have come in just one year of life.

Today it finally happened—the harvest.

Well, a mini harvest happened. But today, my five year old did everything he was supposed to do to “get ready for the day” without me having to HOUND him. He was then allowed to play his video games until we are about to leave for an appointment. But finally, the discipline paid off from yesterday and today we enjoyed a morning full of peace and serenity. And I am grateful for that.

I see my psychiatrist today. And every time (for reasons beyond me), that I see him I get anxious. I am on medication for anxiety. Oh, the irony, but anyways I am excited today when I look at the positives to get “weighed in.” I will have lost weight and I know for a fact it will be taken with good heed. I remember when I was pregnant not wanting to even go to the doctor appointments because I had continuously gained so much weight.

“What are you eating?” he asked me while I sat fatly draped on the so called, “bed” in the doctor’s office.

“Cereal.” I remember saying…

But either way all of that sugary cereal topped with my swollen figure did not make for an optimal ride. In fact, my pregnancy was pure misery with the sickness and weight gain…gain that I’m finally about to rip off of me like a bandaid. You just wait and see. 15 plus pounds down on this new transformation and even though I didn’t lose weight this week, I FEEL good. To strive for perfection is a losing battle and one I have lost before, many times over. But to simply thank God for feeling GOOD every day is a miracle and one that is something that I call a blessing. It starts the chain of events, from how we feel to what we do with those feelings that leads us down the narrow path to optimal health. Good choices create good habits and soon enough you find yourself going for the bottle of water instead of the coffee. Mainly because you realize…you don’t need it anymore. And Amen to that!

I pray you have a good day and even though you may feel anxious at times, that you know that God is there for you even in the midst of strain. Use faith when you can’t see how problems will be solved and you will reap that harvest that is about to come. Amen.

“For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11

mini harvests.

The Narrow Path.

It was war. Me against a five year old. And it all started with following “faith instead of feelings.”

As I write this Daniel Tiger is on and he is singing a song that says: “Stop. Think. And Choose.” It is a slogan that is catchy, but the same things I am learning on this new transformational plan that I’m on involving food and exercise that are the same: Stop. Challenge. Choose. It all adds up to healthy habits…or bad ones but it starts off at a choice.

Every morning now I wake up and have one chocolate chip pancake. Then for lunch, I have a creamy chocolate shake. I am a creature of habit so for me, making healthy habits a permanency is something I must first practice and put in place, before it becomes an every day “thang.” I have gotten this one down pat though, and the best part is, my premade “snacks” are filled with nutrients and probiotics that ensure that I’m making the healthiest choices possible. It’s a win-win. They taste good, and I am satisfied. This program is really working for me and it has been an answered prayer.

I woke up this morning and read my devotional which told me to follow my faith instead of feelings, and that this also meant doing all of the things I didn’t “want” to do, but the things I “should” do. What a bigger picture this made for my entire morning as then (somehow) I realized I was attempting to teach my five year old the same things I was learning…things about commitment and doing the things we sometimes don’t want to do first before we play. This meant making his bed before video games. And that was the war that ensued. It lasted roughly thirty minutes, but I stood strong. I went about my business and did all of the things I myself didn’t want to do which included laundry, exercise, showering, and even putting make up on today. I wasn’t “feeling” any of it, but I had faith that if I did it, things would turn out much better in the larger scheme of things. I also decided to do this blog…which I didn’t originally want to do but because I was “teaching” my son the art of patience and making good choices, I did this as well.

So, go me. One non scale victory at a time, but this morning I realized that I have a lot to learn about the simple things in life. Making healthy habits starts with making smart decisions and that is something that I must stop, think, and choose before it becomes something of consistency. The stronger I am with the Lord each day also, helps my transformation and reading my devotional today was what started my whole day moving forward, instead of backward or standing still.

Do you wake up and “choose” to devote time with God? It can change not only your day, but your life. Setting some time to read and harmonize never hurt anyone. Maybe you should try it if you aren’t already devout about it. It’s changed my life for the better and set my path on a more narrow and steady track, one in which I’ve found much success and happiness.

Until tomorrow, God bless you. Stop, think and choose. You are in control. And even though you aren’t in control of others, you are in control of yourself and your reactions and choices. Make them good ones and ones you’re proud of at the end of the day. And Amen to that! Freedom to choose. It’s such a good feeling and one that drives home faith.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it. But the gate is narrow and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

the narrow path.

Walking with God.

It’s been such a long time since I blogged, that I feel a little rusty.

I am happy to say that (after starting this transformational program that I’m on), that I have now lost over 15 lbs. It has been a very joyous time after the first few weeks and the support group that I am a part of have been out of this world. I feel as though I finally fit in somewhere, and that feels good. Living life one day at a time, and on a quest for optimal health is something I can honesty say has been life changing for me. The weight has merely been a bonus. I feel physically well. And my energy level has drastically changed. I find myself doing walking videos every day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. This all has been an answered prayer. I have a health coach that helps me keep on track and one that contacts me every single day. The accountability has been a joy. My spirit soars at even waking up each day.

Even though I have been very healthy, I still have found myself (most recently) to have some stress about my son’s school. He will be starting Kindergarten this year and out of the nest he will go…I pray and hope for him to have a great school experience as back when I was a child, I don’t always remember things being so easy. At the time there were a lot of changes that were taking place, not just within the school, but in the world. I grew up without the Internet and things were just generally…different. I remember going to a mom’s group when he was very young and expressing my concern for him even then and another veteran mom told me to “raise him with my arms wide open.” Meaning, allow the Lord in, and all will be as it should be.

It has occurred to me most recently that even though I have been spending more time walking and doing healthy habitual things, that I haven’t been spending the time I used to with the Lord in the morning. I would say that that is a major factor in my anxiety right now and it’s something that is so near and dear to my heart that it nearly breaks in thinking I could have unintentionally taken this new road without Him at my side. Blogging is a large part of my spirituality and how I can reassess where I’m at in my life but especially with God. There is no life for me without His guidance. It doesn’t work. And just as I was before, my life without Him, is nothing. From now on I must be renewed every day, and then I will continue to transform my life, healthy habits and all—and Amen to that!

I pray you have a great day and remember, as always, that God is with you. Don’t forget to reach for him each day because he is there and happy to hear from you with every second that you need Him.  Amen.

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

walking with God.

Moving Forward.

It’s occurred to me very recently, that I am not good with change.

That’s not to say I’m not going to be good with change though in the near future.

Up until last summer, I was living a life full of so much…baggage…that I simply needed help putting my bags down. Luckily, and I am blessed to say, that I have a very unique and stellar support system of people that surrounded me and got me the help that I needed at the time; but it was scary. Everything up until that point became null. I felt dead. Weakened by life and my every day became an ongoing nightmare that somehow never got to hit the snooze button. I was lifeless.

That all changed though once I got the help I needed to get back on my feet and recover from some of my life’s past. I say this because it is right now that I am having the epiphany of it all—and now that my husband and I have decided we are not going to have any more children, it has put me in a certain “category” if you will, of being someone in a new space and time in their life. I am nearly forty. My husband IS forty. And we both agreed that I would be having a tubal next month. At first, the appointment seemed easy enough to make and I felt so free in thinking I was being so responsible about it all…after all if it were up to him NOTHING would ever happen in this department, so I knew I had to do something a little more…proactive.

All of this made me reflect. It made me sad. It made me mourn; but it made me realize what stage of “stuck” and I mean, truly “stuck” I have been for the past five years.

I had an awful pregnancy full of sickness and swelling and wasn’t well. I gained so much weight that people barely recognized me anymore. And then there was the emergency caesarian to top it all off. It left me feeling cut up like a broken piece of meat. In the meantime, I had this beautiful little baby and one that I had no idea what to do with…it was a time that I put myself on the back burner. And it hasn’t been up until recently that I’ve realized that I have been burning on that back burner for five whole years now…call me charcoal grilled! Flame royaled! At least flip me! I NEED change.

It was in this new light that I began to make “choices” instead of allowing what was targeting my emotions to take complete control. I wasn’t sad, no…in fact this new “chapter” of my life is going to be freeing and much more than what stands here before you. To gain control over my own life again, my body parts and weight is something I have been working on…and God has blessed me with a wonderful health coach and team most recently that have already helped me in SO many ways. They are such a tribe and inspire me to inspire others every single day. So, it’s more than just weight loss but the goal of optimal health. And that my friend, is what I WANT. And with a passion. I want it for me AND my family. And in that way, I can live a fuller richer life for the Lord. And Amen to that!

I pray you have the greatest day and remain positive regardless of any naysayers or what others may say for you doing what you need to do to be YOU. Step forward and make things happen for yourself. Love yourself today and every day because God loves you and His love is divine. Listen for the Lord and He will provide. Amen.

“I call to remembrance my song in the night; with my heart I meditate and my spirit searches diligently.” Psalm 77:6

moving forward.

Have Some Heart.

Today was my five year old’s first day of swimming classes.

He has 6 classes total; three this week and three next week.

He was so excited to go and we told him if he did well, he would be rewarded with a new xbox game that he wants which even upped the ante.

He did quite well, although awkward at times, and listened alongside the other kids during the lesson. At the end of the class, the instructor had each child jump off of the diving board, which of course this helicopter parent filmed.

I was shocked that he even stood in line.

But up he went, hand grasping tightly against the rails as he went to the end of the board, sat down, and flipped off and into the instructor’s arms.

Maybe tomorrow we will have a full leap. Who knows. But the whole thing got me thinking about God and life and how most of us live in fear of abandonment. We hug the rails and pray our hearts out…but still hug the rails. With God, this isn’t necessary and it made me wonder if I was a Christian with my training wheels still on or if I was ready for the big dive above the clouds and alongside the Lord.

Have you ever felt this way? I’m sure you have as we are only human and at the end of the day our reflections or prayers always seem to be so forgiven. We are forgiven. And Amen to that! Sometimes, we just need to remember in we are in good hands.

I pray you had a glorious day and that your heart beams with pride as you were wonderfully and beautifully made. Jump! And every once in a while- go off of the rails!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

have some heart.

Perspective is Everything.

I woke up so tired this morning, but not tired enough to go back to sleep.

Do you know the feeling I’m talking about?

It’s like some form of autopilot, where your body parts are moving but your head gets dizzy from sleepiness. Even with the coffee (2 cups) I had this morning I still feel…relaxed.

The more I thought about it, the more I wondered if it was such a problem to begin with. Maybe “this” is my new normal? I don’t know.

The whole thing made me wonder this morning if I get “on edge” confused with “energy” and vice versa.

Have you ever felt this way?

I hope you had a great Fourth of July. We didn’t do anything here and the guys mostly played around with this virtual reality headset that my husband borrowed from work. It never did work, even with my laptop I let them borrow to try and finangle it. He said he is going to bring home a bigger more bad butt laptop next week to see if it will work then.

My five-year-old is obsessed with watching these tutorial type videos on tv that show someone else playing a video game. It baffles us but isn’t profane, so we allow him to watch them. Then, once he gets a game, he already knows how to play it and what to do…again baffling. It’s his thing, I guess.

I lost the two pounds I gained over vacation so that feels good. I am now at a steady seven pounds of weight loss since I began this program. I’m excited to see what further results it will bring as I am very conscientious about it all and staying on it pretty hard core. This just means—no cheating! The hardest parts were cutting out bread and dairy but over time it has gotten easier. I enjoy a shake everyday around noon after I have been doing my Leslie Sansone exercise tapes for some activity during the day. All in all, it hasn’t been a huge change and I have even enjoyed some of the new recipes I can cook up in the kitchen. So far we have been eating a lot of cauliflower, as cauliflower can take on (I’ve learned) many different forms—mashed, dashed and who can hashed.

I pray everyday that I can reach the goals I have of optimal health for both me and my family. It is good medicine. Eating more veggies has rubbed off on them and in their choices as well so that is good and new and inspiring. The more days that go by, the better and better I feel. So maybe feeling “tired” is just my new way of feeling “relaxed.” Perspective is everything.

Until next time, stay lean and green! And I hope you enjoy your weekend as it is supposed to be a beautiful one. Thank you, as always, for reading.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

perspective is everything.