Wednesday, July 20, 2011

baby steps and organic eating

The kids are out bowling with a friend of mine, so I figured it was a perfect time for a blog post!

So much has been going on... I am officially back to work. The first day with students isn't until August 1, but we have so much professional development that I am already back in the swing of things. I am excited about the upcoming school year and blessed to still have a teaching job.

A lot of thinking and emotions have been playing out in my head about my eating and weight loss journey. I am still praying through a lot of things, and asking God for guidance. And it feels good to have "help" from that area.

After my last blog post, a few people made comments referring to my "all or nothing" attitude when it comes to dieting. One person implied that I set myself up for failure by putting so many restrictions on my eating, and suggested small changes. Exactly when I was reading that comment, I was pretty much beating myself up for having a bad day eating, and for not being able to "get it right". So I prayed. And then I thought to myself...

What if instead of making restrictions that I don't seem to be able to stay with long-term, I just made small changes every day. Small steps in the right directions. And at the same time celebrated those small victories instead of being so disappointed in myself for continuously failing at weight loss?

What if?

Over the past couple of weeks, my stomach has been uncomfortably bloated. My raging heartburn has returned to the point where I am about to start taking medication again. On Monday morning when I was getting dressed for a teacher-inservice, my capris were TIGHT. Since summer school ended I've been wearing sundresses or elastic-waist bottoms, so I just wasn't expecting that they would be TIGHT. So what did I do? I ate like crazy all day. And then at the end of the day, I had that hopeless, disappointed feeling that I hate.

Tuesday morning, I prayed for a better day. And as if God Himself were talking to me, the thought popped in my head to eat a good breakfast. So I got up and made an egg sandwich on whole wheat bread. And guess what? I was totally satisfied until lunch. For lunch, I had Subway. And guess what? I was totally satisfied until dinner. I had three solid meals, and not once was I hungry in-between. I felt like I was in control, finally.

And so I got up this morning and did the same. I have made good choices, and I feel good.

At the same time all this is going on, my entire family is going on a new path of eating. Last week, my family and I watched Food, Inc. For those of you that have watched that movie, you know EXACTLY what I mean when I say that movie is mind-changing. My kids even turned down their favorite McDonald's when someone offered to take them.

I have started buying organic milk and eggs as a start. I have not been able to buy any meat, because I keep seeing mad cows and exploding chickens. The cage-free chicken and grass-fed beef that I've priced is RIDICULOUS, so I haven't  bought any. When I empty my pantry and deep-freezer, I am going to replace it with good food. My kids are now begging for healthier food at home, so I am a fool if I don't give it to them. It benefits all of us.

With that being said, if anyone can refer me to any sites with tips or recipes for clean and organic food please let me know. I HAVE to start cooking. And with school starting, I have to start figuring out options for lunch and breakfast since my kids will NOT be eating school lunch this year. Good food is more expensive, but I am convinced that the benefits are worth it. But I have to find a way to try.

I think this all ties in. Me making good choices. My kids making good choices. One step at a time.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

All you care to eat...

Thought for the Day...Day 3: We were made for more! More than this failure . . . more than this cycle . . . more than being ruled by our taste buds, body image, rationalizations, and guilt. We were made for victory. Sometimes we just have to find our way to that truth.

Wow... I needed to hear that today. 

My bff and I took a short trip out of town on Monday and just got back yesterday. It was a girlfriends trip... just me and her. It was so nice to get away for just a few days... no kids, no responsibility. For that I am thankful.

But during that trip I ate so much that most nights I had to pop antacids just to sleep. We stayed at a casino that had a Paula Deen Buffet. Since it only $30 for 24 hours of eating, that's the only place we ate while we were there. #enoughsaid

Today I was back at work for an inservice, and opted for Subway instead of eating out at a restaurant. But I still have this full, bloated feeling that is so uncomfortable. Honestly, I am miserable.

I've literally had enough. 

So tomorrow, it's back on the wagon. No more excuses. No more vacations. No more binges. No more laziness.

I go back to work Monday for two weeks of inservice before school starts on August 1. I am definitely going to take advantage of the routine.

I might even go back to the gym...

I had to whisper that statement because I know I need to but the thought is just scary right now. I know it's gonna be brutal. But the gym is across the street from my school. It's almost too convenient to pass up.

Sooo... it's back on WW. I am cutting out sodas, since my body rejects them now and they are almost painful to drink. I am also cutting out all sugar except for fruit and oatmeal. Yes... that is also necessary. I may as well detox now before school starts.

I have also made up my mind that I will not be eating school lunch at all next year. I can't won't go into it on here, but there is not way that school lunches are going to be a problem next year, lol.

**sigh**... here I go again...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Day 2... again

Thought for the Day: God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him, and Him alone. Nothing changes until we make the choice to redirect our misguided cravings to the only One capable of satisfying them.

I stayed focused and on plan yesterday. I journaled and counted points for everything I ate. That was my goal, and it was accomplished. For that, I am happy.

I still had a few cravings, but I didn't leave the house all day so I was ok. Today will be a challenge. So far, I've been lazy all morning but me and the kids are about to hit the road. I desperately need my eyebrows done. Then I am driving into town to visit a teacher store I've heard good things about. While I'm there, I am going to take my kiddos to play at Monkey Joe's, one of those inflatable play places. I might meet up with one of my friends while I'm there, and will probably eat out. Tonight, I want to paint my girls' room before my oldest daughter gets back from camp tomorrow (surprise).

I also have an old friend from high school that is going to let me have her points calculator, since she has a high-tech phone with a WW app. Having a points calculator should help me a lot since I can take it with me wherever I go. Hopefully, I can meet up with her today, too.

So... the rest of the day will be hectic, but I plan to stay focused. My plan... stick to my points and journal everything like yesterday. I also need to make good choices and eat more fruit and veggies. When I go to Walmart for paint, I am gonna also stock up on produce.

I have prayed and read my devotional. When I start to crave food today, I will remember that I must crave God instead of food.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Peace all around me...

Thought for the Day: Eating in its proper context is not the problem. God gave us food for nourishment, strength, and even celebration. But when pleasure becomes unrestrained, there’s a problem.

Today is day one of the 21-day devotional series that goes along with the book I'm reading (Made to Crave). I woke up this morning, and I prayed for God to help me. My goal for the day is tracking and staying within my Weight Watcher points. Baby steps, yes, I know. But it is the step in the right direction. I need to be in control. I have to admit that I feel a sense of peace about my eating today. I'm not craving, or just wanting to eat because I've told myself I can't. I'm gonna make it.

Yesterday was so busy. It was my first in-service of the summer, which basically means that I will be back to work in no time at all. The floors have been waxed in my classroom, and everything is out of place. I worked on organizing some shelves yesterday, and I may go and work on my room a little today, too. I would like to get organized so I can start planning soon. I have the opportunity to really get a head-start on things so that the first few weeks of school will not be so stressful.

My teenagers went to camp on Tuesday, so I only have my two younger kids (ages 10 and 5). It is so quiet around the house... so peaceful! I have been trying to get off my butt and clean today. I also have to mow the lawn later... something that I haven't done at all this year. Hey... I have two teens that can do it for me! I was griping about it on Facebook, but someone reminded me that both cleaning and mowing are good exercise, so I'll take it!

I would love to go swimming, but I've temporarily lost my swim teacher. We are not exactly seeing eye-to-eye right now. That sucks.

Which also reminds me of something that I was thinking about while cleaning the toilet this morning... In the grand scheme of my life, my weight loss and health journey are just two of the MANY things that I have on my plate. My thoughts and emotions and priorities are all over the place. If I could just focus on what I eat every day, I would be able to go so far! But when I am constantly drowning in money issues, bills, car repairs, love life (or lack of), being a mom, worrying about MY mom, being a teacher, grocery shopping, etc, it's hard to make weight loss or even ME a main priority.

So maybe this route will work, since I am making GOD my main priority, and using my weight-loss journey as the way that I am showing my devotion to Him. I am finally seeing (again) that if I put God first in my life, everything else falls in place.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Changing the plan...

I have been avoiding my blog like the plague. My blog is where my weight-loss honesty hits me in the face. When FatHollie is hiding from SkinnyHollie, she avoids the blog. Blog = Truth.

Over the past week, I have been blogging in my head. Just now, tonight, have I decided to finally put it on the line. I am ready to change my plan... again. But this is a new plan... one I've never tried before.

A few months ago, I was given a book by a dear friend. I read the first few chapters, agreed with pretty much everything it said. Then I put it down, got busy, and forgot about it. Until about a week ago. I picked it back up, and I think it was meant for me to do so.

I rarely talk about my relationship with God on this blog. But I will today... just because my relationship with God is now going to coincide with my relationship with food and my weight loss journey.

Someone suggested this book to me in the comments section of my blog a while back, and then my friend bought it for me after I mentioned it several times. I ready the reviews, and it seemed like it would be profound. You see, my relationship with God has been an area of my life that I HAVE been working on during the past year. I am back in church, and have found a lot of friends and support there. For someone like me, having that kind of lifeline has been great. I basically have no family, and very few friends. So my church family is a big part of my life and my children's lives.

But before reading this book, I never really thought about leaning on a higher power for help with my weight loss journey. But I will now. I have officially asked the ladies in my Sunday school class to pray for me about this, and now I am putting it on here to make it official.

Chapter 6 of the book is titled, "Growing Close to God", and it really spoke to me. To the core.

"(this journey) is about learning to tell myself no and learning to make wiser choices daily. And somehow becoming a woman of self-discipline honors God and helps me live the godly characteristic of self-control."

"...when food is what Satan holds up in front of us and says, "You'll never be free from this battle. You will always bounce from feeling deprived when you're dieting to feeling guilty when you're splurging. Victory isn't possible. You aren't capable of self-control with food," we must see that its inappropriate consummation can be his lure to draw our heart into a place of defeat."

"I need power beyond what I can find on my own."

"Food can fill our stomachs but never our souls."

"...if we find that certain foods are impossible to walk away from...we can't or won't deny ourselves an unhealthy choice in order to make a healthier choice...then it's a clue we are being ruled by this food on some level."

Do you get the drift?

I have felt my brain changing, and I am already making better choices. I am not "back on plan", but I am getting there. I am ready to commit to making positive changes, even if it's just steps in the right direction. I am basically undertaking a spiritual and physical journey at the same time, and that thought is still scary to me. I now see clearly that it's Satan that tells me over and over that I can't get to my destination in either journey. But if I've learned anything, I've learned that Satan is a liar.

I can't count the people in my life that are just waiting for me to fail. Fail at being a good mom. Fail at my career. Fail at maintaining my household. Fail at being happy. Fail at being healthy. Sometimes it seems that everyone wants me to fail, and I let those thoughts play with my head. Sadly, because my own mother is one of my biggest critics, I have had a negative self-image and outlook about myself and my abilities for a long time.

I have made the decision to stop letting these people win! I fight so hard in every other aspect of my life, so now it's time to start fighting for my health. And really, it IS about health at this point. I will never have a bikini-perfect body. I don't even want to be skinny anymore. I want to be healthy, and I want to show my children that they can be healthy, too. Spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy.

It's time for me to believe in myself, and believe that God can help me get ANYWHERE I want to be. It's time for me to change the plan.