There’s an app for that…

Noting my choices has made a big difference for me in this past week. I have always tried food journaling on past attempts to regain a healthy weight but end up giving up on that usually after only a couple of days. I found the app Lose It, on my EVO phone and LOVE it!! This is a free app that tracks my calorie intake as easily as selecting from a list foods pre-programmed by them, or by scanning a bar code, or creating my own by entering the serving size, calories, fat, fiber, and protein. I told the app how many pounds I wanted to lose in a week and how much I am currently, as well as my height, and it calculated how many calories I should have each day in order to reach my goals. I can also input exercise with their pre-programmed list of work-outs (including housework!) and the app plugs in how many calories I burnt on that activity. (of course this is an estimate, it doesn’t know if the sun is beating down on me while I’m biking and making me work harder or if the wind is strong, etc…) Overall I highly recommend this app for anyone that knows they need to keep track of their intake better and struggles to keep it all straight. I like that I can look at my day as a whole and see my nutrients for that day and add more protein or fiber in the next day or lower my sodium intake.

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Putting plans in action

I have been continuing on with my Made To Crave book/Bible study and also listened to Bob Harper’s book, Are You Ready?, and I am excited to say that over the last 2 weeks I have lost 5 pounds! My ultimate goal is to get back down to where I was on our wedding day (150), which is still 62 lbs away, but I learned from Bob’s book that I need to set smaller goals for myself and stop being so panicked and hard on myself about my body and my food choices. So my first smaller goal for myself is to get out of the 200’s and get to 198. So far so good!  I learned I need to make deliberate choices about what we eat… because we all love simple indulgences that can be eaten mindlessly here at our home, I need to be careful even purchasing such items and then if I do partake to count out an actual serving and note my calories.

Keeping prayer and God’s promises to care for all my burdens has been a wonderful part of this journey. Yes, even struggles with weight loss is a burden He does care for and will carry for me if I surrender myself to Him. I have some friends that have joined this journey and we are all at different stages in our journey so sometimes I feel almost a justification to fall to temptation since actually taking time out to be on the phone and accountable to each other seems one of the harder parts of this process, but then I remember that it isn’t for that accountability friend that I am determined to have success in this particular study/challenge. My desire is to learn more about why I make the choices I make, whether with food or activity and how those choices affect my health here and now and also how they affect how I communicate with/depend on God. I am accountable to God first and foremost, I have asked Him to help me achieve this goal and if I don’t it won’t have been HIM that failed me, but me that failed to keep my focus on His power and authority in my life vs. foods power.

Am I willing to sacrifice what I think I need (chocolate, ice cream, fries) for what is better for me physically and what will allow me more energy and focus to be the woman God made me to be? YES! Truthfully, those Hershey Kisses we all love in this house have been less satisfying to me this week and less worth the calories too. Do I still like them? Duh, it’s chocolate! But asking myself why I want that sweet treat and what is making me grab for them as more times than not ended in me closing the cupboard door and turning to God in prayer for peace, strength, and whatever need drew me to that sweet spot in the first place. Sometimes it’s simply boredom, and that has been convicting as well, if I do have moments of quiet with nothing pressing to do, why am I not quicker to engage my hands to opening the Bible and spending more time with my Creator? THAT will always satisfy with no sugar highs or guilt for over indulging either! 🙂

The whole chapter of Matthew 19 is both encouraging and challenging to ask myself what I am willing to sacrifice to follow Christ, to be available completely for His use and Glory. It was a sacrifice that the rich young man in the passage was sad to be asked of, sacrificing his comforts financially was too much for him to cope with and he went away sad.  I know it’s wholly different to sacrifice wealth vs. sacrifice eating foods that don’t benefit, but it’s a sacrifice of this comfort food that will allow me to better know His abilities to care for me and use me more completely.

Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

So how are you doing? Don’t be discouraged, start again if stopped and we can talk from where we both are. Encouragement doesn’t have to come from someone in the same stage as you and each one on the journey can encourage the other no matter where they fall in line. (Just look at traveling Geese!)  Forgive yourself and move on, we weren’t created to live in guilt or regrets, multiple times daily I give my desires back to God and ask for help.

Blessings,

 

Thought for Food…

No, that title isn’t suppose to be Food for Thought, chapter 3 of our book study through Made to Crave is about preparing a plan of eating and action for ourselves.

This is a daily battle, not one that is a quick fix and not one that will be always fun or easy. Why bother then!?

James 1:2-4 (NASB)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Yes, my weight loss struggles, my choices to make between what is best for me and what would be fun to eat or do ARE trials that will produce perseverance and I will finish lacking in nothing, mature, and complete! THAT is the goal after all, the side effects will also be being trimmer, firmer, and able to fit into those goal jeans. Daily, I need to remind myself that choosing what is best is NOT depriving myself, but gifting myself with the JOY of self-control and health.

So make a plan, I see all sorts of different meal planning ideas out there and the key is to find one that works for each of us. Is there something that looks completely divine yet way too calorie full or fattening? See if you can find a way to cut the calories in it! This is a wonderful learning process that will encourage us that healthy eating doesn’t mean rice cakes and spoons of peanut butter as a meal. 😉

Take a few moments sometime soon to sit down and list out some meal and snack choices for the week and make your grocery list reflect anything your missing too.

Grocery store tip: Buying the low or reduced fat isn’t always best! Be a label reader. Many times in order to reduce the fat they load up the sodium and the calories remain the same. Compare labels and don’t be fooled by weight loss marketing.

 

 

An encouraging video

I hesitate to share this video only because I am not a fan of the 700 club and Pat Robinson, however, Karen Ehman was mentioned in my Made to Crave devotional this morning and a further look to her site www.karenehman.com led me to find her story in this format.

It is encouraging to see her success and to hear that it was not through a text book “diet”, but from making changes, even small ones. I feel the same way about weight issues and ministry as what she tapped on during her interview. My ministry can be so much greater if my body is healthier and showing my obedience to God even in my food and care choices. (like exercise)

http://www.cbn.com/media/index.aspx?s=/vod/SUT2_KarenEhman_090507

So, I’ll cover chapter 3 of Made to Crave tomorrow and it starts the planning process of making a plan. Have you made a plan? Remember, this is not a study about finding our how-to, but about finding our want-to.

In the Made to Crave participants guide page 12, Lysa defines the HOW-TO as diet programs and the WANT-TO as the spiritual and mental motivation to make lasting changes.

So lets talk. I will be calling those in Sisterhood of the Shrinking Pants group that personally know and setting up times with them to weekly talk and pray together as we encourage one another to continue on this journey to put food in its proper place and grow our relationship with God instead of our waistline. 😉

If I don’t know you and you would like personal accountability, I encourage you to connect with the person that referred you to this study and make a weekly appointment call.

In this call we can discuss… (the following questions are from the Made to Crave Devotional: 60 days to Craving God, Not Food, by Lysa TerKeurst page 18, which is from www.karenehman.com weight loss Wednesday blog topic)

1. Did I overeat this week on any day?

2. Did I move more and exercise regularly?

3. Did I eat in secret, or out of anger or frustration?

4. Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?

5. Before I weighed in, did I think I had a successful, God-pleasing week?

And our own personal questions:

1. Is there anything specific I can pray for you this week?

2. What verse encouraged or empowered you this week?

3. Are there any exercise tips to share?

The call doesn’t need to be a long one, but even writing the questions was convicting for me to be more pro-active in my steps to better health and shrinking pants.

Have a blessed day!

One,Two,Three, Four… I Declare a Food War!

I suppose I have never truly considered food battles to be a war for my soul. At first thought, it seems a bit of an extremist view to take, but in further looking, it is scary and true.

What’s the first thing I do when I am sad or bored or stressed out? I probably say a quick prayer but then I find myself in the kitchen searching for a fix to my moment. This action leads to indulgence followed by guilt which for me is usually translated into self-loathing and saying negative things to myself. This, is why this is a war that threatens my soul. By giving in to the “lust of my eyes” and indulging when I am probably more than not, not even hungry, I am taking control for my self and lacking in dependence on God. By self-mutilating myself mentally with harsh words thought or sometimes even said I am grieving my Creator.

This is not an impossible journey, on my own power it may be, but with God on my side nothing is impossible. This means that I must rely on HIM more to fill my spirit and give me joy than I rely on food to temporarily satisfy a need.

In Made to Crave: Satisfying Your Deepest Desire with God, Not Food,Lysa Terkeurst urges the use of scripture to defeat temptations just as Jesus used scriptures many times. There is a scripture for each and every circumstance that we may face in life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

So, using scripture to rebuke the lie that I need food to satisfy a desire for contentment or comfort is completely doable and something I must incorporate into my kitchen and heart.

No more status quo, no more excuses, or regrets or self-hatred, no more running to emptiness. I have to decide for myself, as each of us do, that God loves me as I am and desires so much more for me than I am allowing Him in my life. Letting go of reliance on food to comfort will not always be easy and I won’t always want to talk to God about it, but I must. This is the only way to truly benefit my life and the lives of those I love. To live fully craving my Creator and allowing Him to satisfy my longings and fill my spirit with a joy that bubbles over into each aspect of my life.

Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Lord, please fill me with your power and love. Help me to cling to your words, to hide them in my heart and apply them to my steps, forgive me for trying to make food meet a need that wasn’t physical but a mis-understanding of my soul crying out for your bread of life.

Give me the clarity to see these attacks and bring to mind your words to win each battle. I desire a closer communion with you so that I may be a more useful life for your kingdom. Thank you for creating me, for making me beautiful in your eyes. Help me to see me through your eyes daily, I no longer want my tainted glasses that lead me to insult your work in me. May each day that you give me be another day that I see more clearly your love for me and your desires to use me, and my family to glorify you. In Jesus precious name I pray all this, Amen.

No more excuses, rationalization, and promises for doing or being better tomorrow. I want each day to count and can’t waste moments on empty attempts to satisfy a craving that can only truly be satisfied by reaching for the one who completes me wholly, my Creator, my Savior, my Lord.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline.

 

There I went again…

So, I know I’ve said it before, I am hard on myself. Harder than anyone else ever could be, and now I have expected something of myself that I would never have asked of anyone else.

This past week I have been traveling alone with my four children and visiting family, attending a homeschool convention, visiting the national zoo and touring the memorials. In all this I somehow expected that I would keep up a rigorous blogging schedule that entailed a book study of Made to Crave.

I need to apologize, I should have never expected that much of myself, it wasn’t fair to anyone. So we’ll start again… but I’m giving myself until Monday to start it as my husband has the weekend off (something we don’t get often!) and I want to spend guilt free time with him since we’ve been missing him for a week.

Thanks for understanding. Keep reading if you already are! Feel free to share any of your thoughts about what you are learning! 🙂

Michele

Through my eyes…

I’m a little unsure of myself on this journey online,  but I have to say,  the pressure is felt and does affect me and my choices. 
Did you read chapter one? 
As with any book,  her social media examples  become more dated and less familiar,  but I do vaguely remember that orange monster trying to get the woman to eat.  I get the picture on my own too though,  night times at home can be a temptation smorgasbord of delights.  The kids are finally down and all I seem to want to do is sit and snack and completely vege out.  I’ve being doing better at either not walking in the kitchen at all,  or talking myself out of the open door to frozen dairy wonders.  😉
I love the look at Eve’s temptation versus Jesus’ temptation and the bottom line being where our sights are set.  Jesus, despite His complete manhood being in need of nourishment and escape from circumstances kept His allegiance and heart set on the Bible and God’s ultimate plan. 
Eve had a garden created flawlessly and with abundance of fruits by a God she was able to daily walk and talk with and yet she still fell to the serpents tempting.  I will fail and succumb the temptation as well, because of that one choice,  over food.  Ironic.  Even more so because I too have to ability to walk and talk with God daily, and sometimes I stand Him up in my attempts to do life my way.  In missing that connection I do believe Lysa’s premise that we are Made to Crave,  and it is indeed God Himself, our creator and king, that we are to crave. 
I’ve found myself craving a craving in life before.  Desiring to be passionate about a cause,  career,  hobby,  or anything!  What I truly need to be passionate about,  even when I’m tired from the day, the cleaning,  ironing,  children, schooling,  shopping,  or even traveling,  is my own cravings to be in a closer walk with God so that I am armed with His word when temptations of eating,  sleeping too much,  or wanting more of nothing come my way I can stand firm as Christ did and be ministered to more because of following Him, than I would be by those instances of pleasure.  Did you notice that part of Jesus’ temptation?  When He gave Satan the final no and vacate demand,  He was then cared for by angels.  God cares about our daily needs, we just need to be more in tune with need vs. desire and trust that He will minister to our needs and even delight in our desires, if our eyes and hearts are first set to crave Him. 
Have a wonderful Sunday! 

Delay at Start

I am traveling and having limited to no wireless opportunities. I wrote a note about it hours ago on my tablet on the hotels limited range WiFi and it kept timing out. I’m going to have to delay chapter one until at least Saturday night and will do my best to post about chapter 2 on Sunday as scheduled. Monday is a day off for a full family day out.
Sorry for the delay, I’m not going to peck at my phone keypad for a chapter post though. 🙂
Have a great evening!
Michele

Baby steps on a long journey

Hello again. It’s been a while since I’ve been back on the computer to let you in on what is going to be happening with our Made To Crave study and walk together.

It took until Monday for me to get my book/workbook delivered and Tuesday I traveled 8 hours with our 4 kiddos to WV. I’m here and in VA for a week, but the study MUST start no matter where I am located, because after all, that is part of life… taking trips and staying healthy at the same time.

I have the workbook, but after getting it and looking through it, we will not be able to maximize its usefulness in our online sisterhood. So much of what is filled in on the pages of that book are for notes from the study DVD session. BUT, it isn’t a waste, there are great “Between the Sessions” daily personal Bible study prompters for us to utilize. It looks like in those daily plans she lays out to cover a chapter every other day. So we’ll stick with that agenda too.

So, I will start with chapter one due Friday (just in case someone still needs the book).

Sunday the 10th we’ll talk about chapter 2.

Tuesday the 12th we’ll talk about chapter 3.

Thursday the 14th we’ll talk about chapter 4….

You get the picture. I’ll post next steps in each chapter chat.

So how are you doing? I’ve lost 3 pounds just since I started talking about this study so I am excited to see where our journey leads.

I enjoy watching Dr. Oz and so I will also be putting helpful hints from him in some of my posts as well.

One that has already helped me is when I am able to I try to eat something high in fiber about 20 minutes before I have a meal so that I feel full faster and am contented on less.

So happy reading to you, grab a notebook and have some heart to heart with yourself on her personal reflections questions at the end as well.

Getting Real

I’ll be honest, this is getting real very fast for me and I’m terrified and excited and humbled all in one!

I have a few “sisters” joining me in this journey and I am coming to the realization that this is IT, I have committed myself and am in it to finish! Wow, for a girl who chickens out sometimes at big opportunities this is a bit intimidating. Seems like it’s just what I need though! So, thank you for joining in my journey toward better health and a stronger walk with God.

My e-mail came that my workbook is on its way so in the mean time I am preparing my heart in prayer for the journey ahead.

Here’s some things I have been praying over:

  • Wisdom in my choice of words on the blog posts, that they would all glorify God, be uplifting to others and myself, and most of all always be honest even if it hurts my pride.
  • Grace to follow the path that Made to Crave will lay before me/us.
  • The ability to say no to my stomach and fill my heart instead. (after all, my stomach seems to have a contentment problem, or I suppose my brain tries to tell it so anyway.)
  • For the ladies joining me in the journey to be prepared, ready for blessings, and actively correcting my mis-steps in love.
  • Most of all for a right mindset and uplifting words to my own self. I can beat myself up verbally better than anyone and sometimes I’m downright mean.

If you are gearing up for this journey I encourage you to begin praying for the study and the outcomes now as well. Anyone is welcome,  maybe your scared to say out loud that “you’re in” too, you are welcome to read along and I pray you will feel encouraged, blessed, and maybe even inspired to step out in faith and trust.

This is meant to be a safe blog and any comments that are derogatory or just plain “not nice” will be deleted. (I haven’t had this issue, but just want to make sure all the guidelines are out there)

Can you think of anything I missed that I should be praying for as well?

Have a fabulous Wednesday! The Journey will most likely begin on Monday to enable us to get books/workbooks in hand. I’ll keep you updated.