Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Are you one of the millions of people looking forward to a nice, big meal tomorrow? All over the country, our tables will be filled with yummy traditional foods like turkey, potatoes, fresh rolls, cooked vegetables, pie, and more. This holiday meal is like no other!

So, let's say you're in the same boat that I am - trying to lose weight. What's a girl to do? You know how long it's going to take you to work off all of the calories in the food, but it looks SO good! Should you eat anything, or completely stay away from it? And, how do you balance yourself so that you don't eat too much?

This is going to be my little strategy for the day, because as I posted earlier, I'm not going to avoid the food all together. It's okay to have a "non-weight loss" day every once in awhile! I know that after tomorrow, I'm going to get right back on track. Eating different food tomorrow is not going to sidetrack me and keep from continuing onward. But, I am going to set up some boundaries for myself, as I know from personal experience that I can't be trusted. :-)

First, I'm going to eat a normal sized breakfast that's loaded with fiber and protein to keep me satisfied for longer.
Second, I'm going to drink more water than usual, which will help to flush excess calories out of my body and keep me properly hydrated.
Third, I am not going to come to the table starving! I'll snack appropriately a few hours before the big meal to ensure that I don't have the "eyes-bigger-than-the-stomach" problem.
Fourthly, I'm going to explain to my family what I feel is okay for me to eat, and have them keep me accountable. This includes telling them portion sizes, too! While not the easiest boundary to set, they have been pretty good cops for me and saved me from many a disastrous meal. :-) And fifthly, I'm going to keep perspective. My stomach is only so big, and it's not designed to be stuffed! Food is not going to satisfy me or make me feel better after eating it, so I can shut down that lie early on. Just because food is readily available and it's okay for me to eat it doesn't mean I need to. By God's grace, I'll stop eating when I'm satisfied -even if there are a few bites of pie left on my plate. (Oh, help me, Lord!)

That's my plan, and I'm sticking to it...with the help of the Holy Spirit. In family gatherings past, I've often eaten too much and left feeling less than comfortable, which makes me feel grouchy and irritable. But I'm believing that this year is going to be different! I'll look forward to leaving satisfied and not guilty, as long as I cooperate with Jesus!

This is the time of year that people put on weight, which makes it all the more difficult for someone trying to lose it! Never a thought about fruits and vegetables, our baking is dedicated to sugars and fats, carbs and more carbs. No wonder people can get so grumpy and stressed out during the holidays! If I were their body, I'd complain, too. We overload our systems with junk, and then wonder why we keep catching colds and getting sick. Or why we feel so tired and lack energy. Or why the scale keeps going up and up....... HELLO!!! I'm a blonde, but I can figure this one out.

I'll get off my little soapbox now. :-)Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the goodness of God, and give Him all of the thanks and praise we possibly can. He truly is good, and His blessings are abundant. When I think back to where I was at (physically, emotionally, and spiritually) last Thanksgiving, it makes me tear up with gratefulness to my Lord who is so faithful and patient with me. What a blessing good health is!

Are you in good health right now? Thank Him for it, and live like you're grateful for it. (Don't ask Him to bless the Cheetos you eat, okay? I don't think He can...:-)) Or, do you want to make changes so that you can enjoy good health? Then thank Him for His grace that allows you to start fresh today, and do what He tells you to do.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone! ~Bekah

Sunday, November 23, 2008

What goes up must come down!

This week, I was very determined. Very focused. Very confident. Most often, when I have a week where my weight balloons up, the following week I plummet back down. And that was the case this week! I lost 3 pounds, so I'm back to 168lbs.

But, I don't want to make it sound like I had an easy week. It wasn't easy! I pushed myself a little harder, a little longer during the 3 days I do cardio only. I ran up our stairs multiples times, did hundreds of step-ups on a stool, and did jumping jacks to keep my heart rate up. No time for relaxing during a workout! I want to make my time and effort worth it. :-)

Thanksgiving is this Thursday, so I've decided that I'll weigh in that morning, even though it is a day early. Every day counts with weightloss, so I'm not sure what will happen on Thursday, but I guess I'll just find out. I know that I don't want to weigh in the day after my "cheat meal"! That might not be pretty.

On another note, my "time of the month" began on Friday night, which always makes things interesting. I was planning to get up early on Saturday morning to exercise before we left for the day, but I wasn't feeling very well (aka cramps) and had spent several hours awake that night. I really wrestled in my mind about whether or not to get up and jump on the treadmill. I wanted to sleep!!! I spent a few minutes laying there, weighing the pros and cons and I almost made up my mind to just stay in bed and sleep. (I'm so good at making excuses and rationalizing my behavior...) But, I finally decided to roll out of bed and even though I was only able to spend about 15 minutes on the treadmill, I was able to go throughout the day without feeling guilty about skipping a workout. Hurray! I don't think I burned very many calories, but it was more than I would have sleeping. :-)

I find it rather fascinating what my body craves when it's "that time of the month". This time - it's been all about carbs!!! Oh, bummer. I already struggle with that enough...our homemade bread has been calling my name all weekend! But at least I'm not craving chocolate, seeing I can't have that right now. I'm just trying to control my carb intake and not let it get out of hand!

More later ~Bekah

Friday, November 14, 2008

Death to the scale!!!

Okay, Lord. This is getting a little ridiculous! What in the world is going on now? How is it that I put in the time to exercise and I eat healthy, and the scale again shows a gain? And not just one pound - but TWO! Here I am, back at 171 pounds...AGAIN. What am I doing wrong?

Yes, that's the latest news. This morning, I felt like throwing the scale out the window and never weighing myself again! I'll just go by how I look and feel, not weigh. Humph! I mean, seriously. The scale disappoints way more people than it pleases - so why don't we just get rid of the stupid thing! I think we should start a movement for change (since change is such a popular thing these days). Who's with me???

All joking aside, it's never easy to see weight gain. It stinks. I don't like it. Especially when it seems like I'm running around in circles and can't seem to get back on the "weight loss road". It doesn't make sense to me!

But, it doesn't have to make sense. I don't have to understand everything. In fact, while gaining weight is disappointing - it's not going to slow me down. Why? My trust is not in the scale. It's not in my appearance or even in my overall health. My trust is in the Lord! And because of that, I can keep going. I can keep pressing on. I can look discouragement and despair in the eyes and say, "You have no place or authority in my life because I am a blood-bought child of the King of Kings! Christ has paid for my freedom and I'm choosing to walk in the Spirit!".
Now, this is easier said than done. Because it's much easier to give in to defeat. It takes no work. Going back to the way I used to be wouldn't require any effort on my part. In fact, it would feel normal. By myself, I'm a sinful, fleshly person. (Surprised, aren't you?) :-) But, because of Christ - I'm different! I'm redeemed, set free, sanctified, and waging war on my flesh. Fighting a battle is work! Hard work. It's often brutal and sometimes seems like it will never end. But there is no victory gained without a fight!

But realistically, what do I do when I see a gain on the scale? First, I pray and ask the Lord to reveal to me any "obvious" things I did the past week that I may have forgotten about that would account for a gain. Then, I reevaluate and make changes where I need to. I also do my best to push a little harder in my workouts and I make sure to watch my portion sizes. Remember, just because it's healthy doesn't give you the right to pig out! And I try to remain as active as possible during the day. You burn a lot more calories when you're moving. :-)

So we'll see what this next week brings. I looked ahead at my exercise schedule and during this fourth week the intensity level goes up a notch. Maybe that will help to push me over the hump. Hoping...hoping!

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness ~ Bekah

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Another day...another weigh in...

I have been so grateful for my treadmill as the days have been getting colder. It's so nice to be able to stay in our warm house while exercising! So blessed...

My weigh in this week was encouraging. I'm back at 169lbs...again! I read a short article this week where the author was giving some advice in regard to weight loss plateaus. A summary of the article would be: Don't give up! I was reminded that they are normal, as it takes our bodies time to readjust to our new weight. It may last several weeks, or even longer. But the important thing is to not give up! Too many people give up when they feel like they've "hit a wall" and their weight doesn't drop. But it's not all about the scale! Slow and steady will win the race. I'm in this for the rest of my life, not just till I reach 150lbs. I'm hoping that my exercise program (which is slowly getting harder) will help me to keep breaking through. I don't like the idea of getting stuck for weeks! It's so easy to get impatient.

I was feasting on fresh homemade bread today. It was like candy! No, it was better than candy. Yummy!

More thoughts later ~ Bekah

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


If you live anywhere in the world today, you've heard that Barack Obama has been elected the next President of the United States. I'm not going to disguise my emotions about this but will come out directly and say, "Lord, have mercy!". This is most definitely a time to pray for our country.

The mood around our house has been a little gloomy and sometimes a bit angry and frustrated since last night, which has lead me to do a little thinking. I went on a short walk outside this morning to pray and vent some emotions to the Lord. (I asked if we could possibly move out of the country for the next 4 years, but I didn't get an affirmative on that...) After praying, I immediately felt much better. At least, I was a little more level-headed and able to reign in some "not so nice" and sarcastic comments that all too often escape my lips. Contrary to my raging emotions, the Lord gently reminded me that the world is not going to end simply because a liberal democrat was voted into office, and I don't need to fear - He's still in control!

I came back into the house feeling more calm, cool, and collected. And I began to think about my emotions and the power they can have over me if I let them. You see, in the past whenever I was feeling angry, stressed, frustrated, sad, lonely, disappointed, or a combination of all of them, I had some "comfort items" that I would run to hoping they would make me feel better. And the one item that was at the top of my list? You guessed it: food. I had convinced myself that eating would give me an emotional boost, or at least make me forget whatever was bugging me for a little while.

Emotions can be so tricky! And it's so easy to give into them. Had a bad day? Here, eat this bag of chips. Stressed with the amount of work you have to do? Why don't you just eat some cookies and forget about it for awhile? Frustrated or angry with someone? It's okay, much on a candy bar...or two. You deserve it. Caught in an uncomfortable situation? Hide behind this can of pop. These thoughts are often racing through our minds, and instead of replacing them with Scripture we head off marching to the pantry. Believe me, I know.

I mean, let's be honest. If I would go into our pantry and stuff my mouth full of junk food, what is that really going to help? It's not like the election results will change because Bekah ate a candy bar! And eating based on your emotions in not going to help you either. Don't let them control you! I chose to go on a prayer walk this morning instead of snacking away my frustration and disappointment, and I got the result I was looking for -God's peace. (And I know I burned more calories than I would have while snacking!) But believe me - there is no food in the world that can offer you peace and satisfaction. That role belongs to God alone.

So, be on the alert. Cooperate with the Holy Spirit to keep your emotions in check. And, please be in prayer! ~Bekah

Monday, November 3, 2008

Back home!

The cousins in age order: a tradition!

Last Thursday, we left for a short trip/vacation to Minnesota to visit with our family in the Twin Cities. We had a busy schedule for the 3 days we spent there, but I decided before I even began packing my suitcase that this trip was going to be totally different than my last trip. I was not going to come home and find out that all of my tiny snacking sprees and inactivity had caused me to gain several pounds!

So I prepared the best that I could. I grabbed my exercising clothes, my heart rate monitor, my exercise plan, and I packed healthy snacks (like almonds, raisins, grapes, Wasa crackers, Kashi granola bars, carrots and peppers, etc.). I spent time in prayer to get myself spiritually prepared as I realized that during our trip in July I wasn't ready, in fact I was setting myself up for defeat because though I was thinking that I'd do my best to follow my plan - I wasn't believing it. It was all in my head. I was giving myself "pep talks" instead of "Spirit talks". There was temptation around every corner, and instead of running away, I caved. In it's simplest form, my problem was trusting in myself. When the flesh rules, you lose!

I was a little upset about the fact that we left on Thursday afternoon, because I was hoping to be able to weigh in before our little trip, but alas, it didn't work out that way. I had planned to bring along my scale to use the next morning (What can I say? We have a very special and unique relationship...) but it accidentally got left behind. Rats! I ended up using my aunt's scale which is more "technical" than mine and I spent several minutes just trying to make the dumb thing tell me my weight. That's why I like my scale - it's simple! You just push a button and step on. When I finally figured out how to turn in on, it showed 171 pounds. Now I had moved from frustration to hatred of that foreign, uncooraperative scale! I was disappointed in seeing that, because I had diligently followed my exercise and eating plan last week and it didn't seem right that I had gained weight. Hmmm....

But I had to be on guard. I couldn't let that disappointment get the better of me! I couldn't settle into a defeated mindset or the weekend would have turned into another disaster. So I prayed and asked the Lord to help me press on and keep going even though this week didn't turn out how I wanted it to, and even though it didn't make sense to me. And, I'm happy to report that I was able to cooperate with Jesus and make this past weekend a success. I ate smart and exercised when it worked into our crazy schedule. Thankfully, we spent a lot of time walking! (We went to the zoo and the Mall of!) I stayed active with my younger sisters whenever possible which made us all sleep better. :-)

I'm going to finish this post with pictures of our trip and I promise to write more asap! Till then ~Bekah