Just another day

Well, another day, another drop in resolve. On the menu for the day so far: 2 peanut butter balls, a glass of milk, 2 cups of coffee, 2 slices of pizza, a side salad, and a glass of Coke Zero.

We had a lunch meeting at work today, and I’m not interested in passing up free pizza.

I’m learning that to make better choices, I typically need to wait when I’d rather have or do something now and do/have something now when I would prefer to put it off. Self control and discipline are tough.

On a not so bright note, I just left the dentist and have two cavities, along with my two hole-y teeth and a wisdom tooth heading the wrong way. The dental health isn’t looking good, even though the hygenist said she could tell I take care of my teeth. I keep getting older, so there’s only so much I can do to delay the inevitable, I guess. I’m just glad I’m not trying to ignore the pain anymore.

 

The Quiet Changes

It’s been two months since my last post. My two-year anniversary of the beginning of my weight loss journey has come and gone, and it’s a new year. During that time, I’ve gone from tracking my food like crazy without losing weight to my current state of stillness.

I thought about letting my blog fall to the wayside and add to the giant pile of abandoned weight loss blogs and be on my way of weight gain and denial. Instead, I’m going to try keeping it simple. No more waiting to have a good picture of topic for my post. No more waiting for the best moment to write. Those quiet moments are rare and probably best used on other things.

So, here I go, 2017. I start the year without any fanfare or big declarations. My only health resolution is to make my health somewhere on my list of priorities. I’m a bit tired of striving for a goal and never reaching it. I know losing weight will help me, but I can’t handle making it such a huge part of my life.

For now, I’m hoping to minimize pain and be more functional. Now, I just need to work on how to make that happen. It won’t be exciting. Instead, I’m hoping for quiet changes that make up a tiny piece of the puzzle that is my life.

Weight! Don’t do it!

1028160536This is the number I saw the morning after we got back from our vacation. I intentionally went against all good logic and advice of waiting until after things return to normal to weigh myself. I wanted to watch the daily ups and downs as my body realized I was no longer going to eat whatever I happened to feel like or be around at the moment (this is also NOT prescriptive, but I have to be honest with you about how my trip went).

Armed with my inflated weight of about 250, I had my annual physical yesterday. Just as a side note, I feel I’ve achieved mature adulthood because I actually have these every year now. I also met one of my goals for 2106 by getting my blood work done. I’ll be interested to see the results.

When it comes to my weight, I feel like I’ve been stuck on the second week of the Biggest Loser. You know what I mean. The one where everyone is excited because they lost 20 pounds the week before and are shocked to see that they only lost 5 (or 1 or gained a pound). Then, after a few seasons, we would all roll our eyes and ask if the contestants had ever watched the show.

While my weight is about the same as my last physical, I am happy to report a lower resting pulse of 73. For those playing along at home, that’s average on all the charts I’ve seen. That’s right folks: Average! Seriously, this is a big deal for someone who has a long record of failed fitness tests. Click the chart to go to the website for info for both men and women, but ignore the unsettling article.

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I had a blood pressure of 125/81. This is also an improvement, even if it still is on the pre-hypertension side of things. All in all, it was an encouraging doctor visit. Perhaps, my week 3…I mean, year 3 will come with more wins on the scale.

A Healthy Vacation

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Shiprock, New Mexico

I’m writing this quickly because we are beginning a trek to the Tolman homeland today (also known as New Mexico). My mom grew up there, and, even though her family dispersed for a while, many of them have migrated back. New Mexico is also the land of green chiles, ruins, dirt, and cool rock formations. I’ve been there multiple times, but I’m excited to share a little piece of my family tree with my husband. The kiddo will be very happy to see family that he usually can only see via Skype.

It was in New Mexico that I began regaining the 70 pounds I lost in high school. Vacation is always a precarious situation for me when it comes to health. It’s a tough balance between experiencing the local cuisine and leaping into overindulgence.

My goals for this trip are to stay moving and to enjoy myself. I don’t want to stress about my food, because that leads me down a weird path. I’ll post my next weigh-in when I get back. Happy October, everyone!

It’s Not About the Flowers

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My beautiful flowers from my husband on my desk at work.

One of wonderful things I inherited from my mom is the ability to pick a great gift. She has always been a master at this. For my brother’s birthday one year, my parents bought him a Sega Genesis. My mom put Sonic 2 inside a box for Reader Rabbit 2, wrapped it up, and gave it to my brother. Imagine the look on his face when he unwrapped it…and then when he opened it! Epic.

With all of the effort that goes into picking out a gift when someone’s really invested in the process, I love how it symbolizes so much more than that. The best gift exchange says, “I care about you,” “I see you,” “I’m thinking about you.” It’s about the connection to the giver.

For instance, my husband brought me flowers at work today for my birthday. They are gorgeous and smelled amazing. But, I didn’t start sobbing because of the flowers (I know…I’m an emotional mess). It was because of how grateful I am to have a husband who loves me so much.

 

Not only that, but gifts like these point me to my Heavenly Father who is the reason I have a wonderful husband and so much more. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and the like are so good for me. I so easily take things for granted when I’m caught up in the day to day routine. I need to be reminded of the joy I have and the good gifts that surround me.

When I’m grateful, my heart is focused on my Creator instead of being distracted by His creation. Also, when I’m grateful for the body God has given me, I’m more likely to take care of it. Often, I think that healthy eating means doing my best to take all joy out of food. However, I’m free to enjoy things like my free Biggby coffee I have coming when I do so as I honor the Giver above the the gift. In the end, it’s not about the flowers or the coffee. It’s about a God who loves me more than I can imagine.

Feeling Weighed Down

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As promised, I’m here to share this morning’s weigh-in. I’ve also decided that any weigh-in post really needs to have “weigh” in the title, so be prepared to enjoy my cleverness until I run out of ideas.

I’m at either 246 or 249, depending on whether you believe the first or second time I weighed myself. I’m officially going with 249. I’m honestly feeling a bit embarrassed to share this, since this means I’ve gained about 15 pounds since mid-July. The good news is that some of this is as a result of a certain almost-7-year-old’s birthday treats. Going back to my normal eating will take away a few of these pounds pretty quickly.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat that I think is from my acid reflux. I have been feeling a bit blah lately, which means it’s even more important that I get some healthy habits in place asap.

I attempted to limit myself to one acid reflux/IBS trigger food this past week. Since caffeine is on that list, this involved singing to myself in the car about keeping my eyes open on the way to work multiple days in a row. I had 1/4 cup of coffee mixed with hot water and creamer a couple of times, and then there were the birthday treats. So, I had one…plus eight or so. I felt guilty about it, and then I felt guilty about feeling guilty since I know I shouldn’t. Oh, boy.

So, my next step is trying another week with one trigger food. Also, I signed up for a fun run with the kiddo for Friday, and it sounds like we might practice once or twice before that. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

Scale Avoidance

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“I’m sorry. Do I know you? I’m so bad with names. Scale? Hmmm…I can’t quite recall.”

 

My weight has been creeping up the last couple of months. I only know this because I’ve weighed myself once this month and three times in August. I used to weigh myself often. Not daily, but I kept an eye on what was happening. I’ve also gone through phases of not weighing myself and using other types of measurement. I’ve measured inches, I’ve tracked food, and I’ve tracked my habits. All have been associated with a fairly similar downward trend on the scale.

When there is no measurement of any kind, though, I’m on a slippery slope. If going about my business without a thought worked for me, I would not be writing this blog. I’ve been in denial, and it’s time to pay closer attention to how I’ve been taking care of myself. It might not be pretty at first, but that’s better than throwing away all my progress. I think I need to start posting my weight more. So, I guess I’ll see you all tomorrow.

“It’s nice to meet you, Scale. Let me introduce you to my friends.”

 

The Stubbornness Factor

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When you last heard from me, I said all the right things. I was honest about where I was tripping up, gave myself some grace, and said I would pick up from there and start heading in the right direction.

Well, this time the magic formula didn’t work.

Instead, I spent almost two weeks breaking promises to myself. I said I would cut back to one non-water beverage per day. This seemed reasonable since not too long ago I drank one coffee or pop per week. No dice. I made a goal to get more sleep. My Garmin yelled at me. In the last month, I averaged less sleep per night than 96% of my demographic. I don’t trust this number. Apparently, moms of very young children don’t use Garmins. Anyway, the only thing that has forced me into more sleep is my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad cold.

Why didn’t they work? Because, sometimes an adult brain works about the same as a toddler’s. I didn’t wanna. I wanted to eat and drink what I wanted, when I wanted. And, I wanted to stay up late staring at my phone and watching Netflix. Yes, the stubborn factor.

I am relearning that I have to play mind games with myself. Now, all I have to do is slow down when I’m eating and eat off dishes while sitting. And, guess what? It’s working. I’m changing way more than those two habits without even trying. Really? That’s all it took?!

I’m a little frustrated that I have to go through such a run around. For once, I would like to just cut to the chase and make a quick, painless change. Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts. I just need to hang in there with the slow and methodical tweaks until my want-to outweighs my don’t-wanna. Time to put the pouty face away and be a grown-up.

 

 

There’s something about August…

August Challenge

Apparently, August is the month for challenges. Last year, I did a month long physical activity challenge where I did 10 minutes each day. Now, I’m in the middle of a step challenge with my weight loss accountability group.

It’s pretty simple. We just track our steps using an activity tracker, pedometer, or phone app and then report how many steps we’ve taken each week to see who gets the most steps. I keep falling just short of my goal of 40,000 steps for the week, and that’s not the only area where I’m falling short.

I’m in an eating slump. While most of the summer has been a refreshing change from previous food obsessions, I’m starting to see myself reverting back to some bad habits. Habits like eating chocolate right out of the freezer and eating a thousand snacks a day. It’s taking a toll on me, too. I haven’t been at this for too long, and I’m already feeling sluggish and have that familiar burning sensation in my esophagus.

So, what am I going to do now that I realize I’m messing up? Well, for one, I’m not going to freak out. I’ve been down this road before, and I’ve lived to tell about it. Two weeks of bad choices is not going to ruin two years of effort.

tomatoNext, I’m going to start heading back in the direction of the habits that have helped me: drinking lots of water, eating lots of protein and veggies, and trying to move…any kind of moving is good at this point. Volleyball is a casualty of our full schedule due to training, paperwork, and home studies to adopt from foster care (here’s an article about some ways to avoid weight gain during the adoption process). My gardening hobby made a dramatic exit somewhere around the middle of July when I went out of town and never got back into the routine. At least my three beautiful tomato plants were spared in the latest excitement of a tree falling in my yard during as a tornado went through my neighborhood.

 

It’ll take time to ramp up, but that’s okay. I’m just glad I am working on things before I gain all the weight back and more.

My Own Little White World – A Final Letter

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Dear White American Christian friends,

Now that you know my story, I need to be honest with you. We have major work to do. Some of us are entering the conversation way too late in the game. Sure, we might have lived through the police brutality against Rodney King and the racial tension associated with the OJ trial. But, maybe we didn’t feel the weight of it. Maybe we didn’t understand the whole story or see the big picture. As a detail-focused gal, I get it.

But, if you haven’t started looking deeper into the state of racial division and injustice in our country and church, do it now. You can’t ignore it. It’s all over your Facebook feed and all over the news (if you know me personally and haven’t unfollowed me on Facebook, you’ve seen plenty about this from me).

This is not a left-wing or right-wing issue. This is a kingdom issue. This is a family issue. Our brothers and sisters in Christ who are people of color are hurting because of racism, both from individuals and from our broken system. It’s time to start listening.

Here is a great place to go for resources.

Start listening to our Black, Latino, Asian, and Native American brothers and sisters. White voices are important too, but, as a whole, we have been heard. We can’t get our entire education on race from Freedom Writers and The Help.

Spend time getting to know our nation’s history from a perspective other than those of White males. Don’t worry if you slept through history class. A lot of us are on an even playing field because this history hasn’t been taught well. We need historical context to truly understand what’s happening.

While you’re at it, learn about our God under the teaching of people who look different from you. Just to start you off, look into Soong-Chan Rah and Thabiti Anyabwile. Please don’t make the mistake of just learning about race and culture from them. Dig deeper and listen longer, and you will see the glory of God from a new perspective.

The racial divisions in the church go deep, but there are pockets of believers who are fighting hard for awareness, for justice, and for unity. As much as we need to listen, it’s also time for us to speak. Stand up for our fellow Christians and fellow humans who were made in God’s image.

Speaking up against racism can be exhausting, and we need to do whatever we can to help bear these burdens. I’ve seen God working in some of you on this issue. As you learn and listen with compassion and empathy, I pray God will use you to start softening hearts.

Sadly, there are some white Christians who may listen to you, but not listen to our brothers and sisters of other races. Please use your voice.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Becky