Saturday, October 25, 2008

The new plan...

Whew! What a different schedule I had this week. I had to miss 2 days of exercising and I found out that I need to be eating more calories, which I've been doing the last few days. I weighed in at 172lbs at the Fitness Center on Wednesday morning, so I'm prepared to see a higher number than I want. But, whatever flashes up at me, I'm not going to flip out. I learned so much about how my body works this week, and I can't wait to put that knowledge to work. Okay, Bekah. Suck it up and get on that scale!

So, I stepped up again, and waited those very few seconds (which always seems so much longer!) for the bright red numbers to appear. .......169lbs..... What?!?....Is that right? I'm gonna try this again. You can't lose that much weight in two days! I was told that if I follow my new exercise and calorie plan I should be able to lose a pound a week. Hmmm...169 again, huh? Well, I'll take it!

I was encouraged to see that. And I've been using my new exercise plan for 3 days and love it already! I can see that I really was working myself too hard, and I ended up burning mostly carbs, not stored fat. After my workouts on the treadmill I would be really hungry and a little sore - all signs I've now learned that I was using up all of my body's immediate energy source (carbs) but I wasn't dipping into my fat stores. I can remember days when I would breeze through my cool down time in order to get to the kitchen faster! Sometimes I'd even feel a little nauseous because I was so hungry. The past three days however, I've felt much better. I feel like I'm effectively working my body instead of beating it to death, and I've had a comfortable and normal hunger level.

Like I mentioned, I did find out that I most likely have not been eating enough calories, which my mom has been hinting at for awhile. :-) Okay, I can certainly change that! And this is where "Spirit lead eating" really comes into play for me. I've been told to eat more, but not too much and not junk. This could easily turn into a big flesh-feeding-frenzy if I'm not listening to the Spirit and paying attention to the signs my body gives me. If I'm not hungry, I don't need to eat and if I am hungry, I need to make smart choices. I'm just glad that my smart choices can include a few more calories now. :-)

We're about to enter the major time of year when people put on weight. Halloween is just a few days away, so some of you might have to fight off the craving to buy some chocolate goodies at the store simply because they're on sale. Everything in moderation.....and a bag of chocolate sitting on your counter is not going to help you achieve your goals!
Then, of course, comes Thanksgiving and Christmas where we bake enough food to feed a small army but will feel guilty for throwing any away, so we just keep eating and eating and eating. But, that's a topic for another post. :-)

With eyes turned upward ~Bekah

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My birthday present...

I woke up much earlier than normal this morning in order to make it in time for my appointment in town at 7:00am, which happened to be my birthday present from my parents. We drove into the parking lot of the Mercy Fitness Center while it was still dark, and I had to laugh as I looked into the windows and didn't see anyone under 50 years old. This was going to be interesting!

My reason in going to the Fitness Center was to take part in their Active Metabolic Training program. My mom had read an article about it a few weeks ago, and she thought it would be a great present for me. My first question was, "So....what is it?". In a nutshell, Active Metabolic Training helps you how to work your body smarter, not harder. I took part in the initial testing which determined my resting metabolic rate (the total calories burned at rest), and my active metabolic rate. This provided me with an understanding of where I stop burning fat and at what heart rate I burn fat most efficiently.

So, I first went into a room with a fitness trainer named Adam. (Yeah, I was hoping for a female, but he was great!) He asked about my reason for coming, and I explained that I felt like I'd hit a plateau in my weightloss and was hoping this would provide me with some answers on how to keep losing. He also asked if I had a goal weight, and I told him, "Sort of!". After punching some numbers on his calculater and measuring my height and weight, he agreed that 150 pounds would be a good goal for me. Hurray! I was right about something.

I was encouraged when Adam told me that I am actually in the normal range for body fat, though barely. :-) He used the little "fat pincher" (aka a calibrater) to come to that conclusion.

And then, it was time to stop the chit-chat. He explained that I was going to wear a mask which was connected to a special machine that would measure the carbon dioxide that I exhale and the oxygen that I inhale. This little machine would be able to tell me how many calories I burn while at rest and it could also tell me my "fuel mixture" - the percentages of fat and carb calories I burn while at rest. Amazing! So, I sat in the room and simply breathed - in and out - for about 30m minutes. Pretty boring.....he warned me not to fall asleep. But, it worked great! I walked away from that knowing how many calories I burn each day. And now I can figure out exactly how many calories to eat and work off through exercise. Sweet! I wish I'd known this earlier.

After my time of rest, it was on to the treadmill. I still had to wear my goofy mask and heart rate moniter while exercising. Adam kept track of my heart rate and my breathing told him what kind of calories I was burning while exercising - fat or carbs. And he pushed me hard toward the end! I was sweating and huffing, swinging my arms furiously. He asked me how I was doing, and I responded with a "thumbs up", and then he finally lowered the incline and let me cool down. I walked away with a personal exercise plan, and I was able to see at what heart rate I burn the most fat. And the most amazing part is that I burn the most fat at a mid range, not when I'm exercising my hardest. Yippee! It's actually more to my benefit to keep my heart rate at a medium intensity, which I will now be able to track with my new heart rate moniter. Yep, I bought myself a birthday present, too.

I could share lots more info, but I don't want to bore or confuse you. :-) If you want more details, send me an email! I'll gladly share. Enjoy the pictures below! Isn't my mask simply adorable?

Smiling ~ Bekah

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hello to the FLIGHT moms...

Welcome to any moms who are dropping by my little blog. It was such a pleasure sharing my testimony with you all last night! Thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. May the Lord help us to honor Him in every area of our lives.

Okay, if you've been following my journey for awhile, you know that Friday morning is "weigh in" day. And I've gotta tell you, I got on the scale and just had to laugh this morning. (Which is a testament to the fact that Jesus has been changing my heart...this would not have been funny several months ago!) The simple fact - I gained 3 pounds this week. At least, that's what the scale told me. One hundred seventy one pounds...

Now, you might be wondering why I think this is so humorous. I mean, aren't I trying to lose weight, not gain? Yes, I am. But, I just find it rather hysterical that I went and publicly shared my testimony for the first time last night, and I wake up the next morning to this. Not exactly what I was hoping for. If I was worried about my pride right now, I would have been panicking, not knowing what in the world I would say in my post. I'd feel totally embarrassed, and stress out about what other people are thinking of me. But, this blog is such a great exercise in humility. To be honest, I really don't care what y'all think! :-) This is between me and Jesus, honey. It's not the first time I've had to post about weight gain, and it probably won't be the last, because I'm not perfect and this body can be so unpredictable!

So looking back, I think there are a few things that might contribute to this weight gain, certainly not 3 pounds worth, but possibly a little. I realized that I had more salty things this week, and we all know that salt makes you retain water, which I've felt is the case with me. We made a trip to Kalona on Monday, and so I most likely ate more than I usually do at home. I didn't stuff myself, though. I am making progress! And finally, being that my birthday was on Wednesday, I had 3 bites of brownies. Hey! Your birthday only comes once a year. I wasn't going to refuse to celebrate a little bit!

Whether those things were the reason for this gain, I'm not exactly sure. Maybe it's something totally different - I don't know. I just know that I'm choosing to not be discouraged or embarrassed. I'm laughing! What a hoot...

And, I'm excited about my birthday present from my parents! But, I'm going to keep it a secret until next Wednesday, when I receive it. I'm hoping to learn a lot from it and that the knowledge I gain from it will help me as I continue on this journey. I'll be sure to write a detailed account and post pictures for you all!

*snort!* ~Bekah

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Happy Birthday To........Me!

Yes, it's true. Another year in my life has gone by. Because I turned 20 today, I've been forced out of the "still a teenager" status and thrust into the "young single adult" state of being. Isn't it exciting?

The obvious "before" picture was taken in August of 2007, about 2 months before I began my serious weight loss journey. I remember that when it was my turn to push the paddles I did great...for the first 3 minutes. Then my legs were burning, and I couldn't wait to switch with someone else - which was quite the balancing act out in the middle of the lake! But, wow. I knew that I wanted to look back and find pictures from last year around my birthday, but I wasn't prepared to see this. My flame of passion for exercising and eating healthy has been fueled again! Oh, praise the Lord! I really have come a long way. It's too easy to become discouraged along the way, especially when the weight doesn't come off nearly as fast as I'd like it to. Pictures like these keep me motivated, because I'm never going back!
The other picture was taken in the rain today. The differences between the pictures still make me stop and stare! I've gone from a size 24 jeans to a size 16 (I can squish into a 14, but let's just say it's not the most flattering look yet!) and in fact the outfit I'm wearing today is a ladies 12/14. Yeehaw! Instead of shopping for XXL sizes, I'm always on the hunt for Large clothes.
Yep, I've come a long way. I could write more, but I don't want to spend my whole birthday on the computer. :-) Rejoicing in the faithfulness of God! ~Bekah

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Whew! I had class out here yesterday, so my time was spent throwing a few last minute details together, teaching the class, and spending a little bit of time relaxing that evening with my family.

In all the busyness however, I did manage to find time to step on the scale. (But believe me, I wish I didn't have time in my schedule!) I stepped on and then saw the red numbers flash 168lbs at me. Okay, so I stayed the same this week. Not was I was hoping for, but better than going up.

I actually had fun exercising this week, and felt like I had my eating under the control of the Spirit. It was a great week all around. Life is so much more enjoyable when you yield to the Spirit! The challenging part is to make the choice to yield...I often wonder why I struggle so hard and resist the act of surrendering when I know that only by yielding and surrendering will I have genuine joy and victory. I totally understand Paul's writing in Romans 7! "I do not do what I want to do, and what I do not want to do, this I keep on doing." It's only by God's grace, Christ's victory, and the enpowerment of the Holy Spirit that we can be people who choose surrender over resistance, and victory over defeat.

I'm so grateful to the Lord for showing me that it's just not worth fighting Him! Give it up. Get out of your chair when you'd rather indulge in laziness. Put down the spoon and forget the extra helping that will make you feel uncomfortably full. Walk away from the junk food and start talking with Jesus to keep your mind off of it. What will you gain by giving all that up? A stronger body, a controlled appetite, and some sweet fellowship with your Savior. Worth the fight? I don't think so.

All to Jesus I surrender...I surrender all ~Bekah

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The promised "details"...

Looking back over the past week, I'm still in shock over losing 2 pounds. It does not make sense to me, but I'm not going to argue with my body! If it feels like surprising me again and dropping a few more pounds, I'm going to give it all the encouragement I can. =)

But, I'm thinking it must be a combination of 2 things - working harder and eating more calories. Sound like a weird combination? Let me explain.

I was so excited about all my new "toys" (namely, the pedometer and the exercise tubing) that I couldn't help but use them. I made a conscience decision to walk more, even in little things (like getting up to find what I wanted instead of asking a family member to bring it to me) simply because I was wearing my pedometer and I wanted to see a nice big number on it. Now, I wasn't necessarily working so hard that I was breaking a sweat, but I think all of those "extra" little steps added up to a huge result - weight loss.

Also, I used my exercise tubing and worked my little arms till they burned. I pushed myself even when it was uncomfortable, and even when I didn't think I could do any more, always saying to myself, "Just one more rep - do one more.". I used some new exercises from the awesome weight training book which worked the same muscles in a different way (believe me, I could tell the next day...just a little sore!). All this gave me the little boost that I needed to get over my "I can't get out of the 170's!!!" plateau.

Now as to eating more calories. I don't mean that I ate candy bars or french fries. I just realized that my meals were getting a little skimpy, so I made sure to have adequate sources of protein and carbs in with my veggies and fruit. I didn't overeat, I just ate smart. I made sure that my body had the fuel it needed. I ate every 3-4 hours to keep my metabolism running higher and to keep my hunger under control. I never came to a meal "starving", just hungry, and I didn't leave stuffed, just satisfied. That's a good feeling!

So, I think those things combined together made up for the 2 pounds lost. So, a few tips to my fellow friends on a weight loss journey:

1. Eat every 3 to 4 hours. Three meals with 2 or 3 snacks during the day.
2. Exercise! Anything is better than nothing - start small and achievable, move up from there. Keep the intensity level high in order to burn more calories.
3. Drink enough water.
4.Get enough sleep! At least 6 hours, preferably 8.
5. Read and immerse yourself in Scripture. Look up verses on freedom, self-control, victory in Christ and memorize them. I'm reading through Romans chapters 6-8 right now and slowly meditating on those chapters. I've also been encouraged through Galatians 5 recently. The Word is precious! What amazing power it has to change our lives.

Thanking Him ~ Bekah

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Fabulous Friday...

I only have a few seconds to write, but I simply had to tell you all the good news! I was so excited to find out that instead of gaining weight, (as I had mentally prepared myself to discover) I actually lost weight this week. And not just one pound, but two! Yippee! I'm down to 168lbs. I was finally able to push past the 170lbs obstacle that I couldn't seem to break through these past few weeks. Super excited and praising the Lord! More details in the next post ~ Bekah