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Journey to a Better You

It's easier to get up if you don't stay down for long!

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March 2016

Daily Struggles:Office Candy

Going past the candy bowl at work is a struggle, especially when I get a chocolate craving and  know I have no business eating a lot of candy. Temptation is all around with co-worker’s birthday, weddings, promotions, and any other reason that cake, candy and cookies are brought in. I see this candy bowl each day and no matter how much candy is consumed throughout the day it seems to never run out. It’s as if some one refills it every time we run low 😮

I don’t exactly vanquish the candy bowl every time by telling it “you’re not going to get me this time” some times I actually give in and have a piece of candy! We don’t stick to our healthy eating habits all the time, but I’ve seen and learned that if you’re going to give in just don’t go overboard, one piece is enough. Remember the sacrific of not eating candy all the time will pay off in the end and you will see results.

Enjoy your day 🙂

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Easter Sunday

I just wanted to take some time this Easter Sunday to speak on the meaning of Easter and the big Easter meal we typically have.

I enjoy the traditions we have of going egg hunting, dying eggs, and eating the candy, but I know we cannot forget the true meaning of what Easter is about. It’s about a sacrifice and a free gift none of us worked for, deserved, or asked for. God sent His Son Jesus into this world, and Jesus gave His life so that we all could be free from sin and enjoy eternal life through Him (John 3:16). He is the way, the true, and the life, no man can come to the Father God except through Him (John 14:6). Many times the world will forget the true meanings of holidays and traditions; I don’t want that to happen to this important holiday and I hope that we will continue to keep the true meanings of Easter, Christmas, and other Christian holidays known.

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On this Easter Sunday I know that many of us tend to have a big meal, or at least my family does. Sometimes it starts to look like Thanksgiving with the turkey, ham, desserts, dressing, beans, and many other delicious dishes. I know it’s gets hard for us to control ourselves with all the great tasting food around and we may, even though we try not to, overeat.

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A few things I can tell you to avoid it is to pray about it before you eat, limit yourself but not cut yourself off, and don’t wait until the big Easter meal to have food.

Like I said in my prayer post, prayer changes things and allows God to work on our behalf. Honestly this past Thanksgiving and Christmas I found myself putting a lot LESS on my plate while still enjoying my food and dessert. I ask God to help me to NOT overeat but to enjoy what I have. You can ask God to help you not overeat and to not go overboard with food. Some may think why ask God to help in this small area, but I say why not. God will help you in your weakness, and this is an area of weakness for me as well as many others. We tend to overeat because as they say our eyes are bigger than our plates; I imagine we set our sights on more than what our stomach can handle and hold.

Limit yourself to try small amounts of various dishes; you don’t have to have an entire plate full of desserts, dressing, or etc… If you really want to try the lemon pie and the pound cake just take a small piece of both. Yes I want to live a healthy lifestyle and eat healthy, but I still like to have a piece of pie during the holidays. I don’t have to have the whole pie but having a bite will satisfy my craving so I don’t have to go overboard. It’s like having a chocolate craving but instead of having the entire Hershey’s bar you have one or two bit size pieces. It’s enough to satisfy your craving, and you don’t eat the whole thing.

Some people get into the habit of not eating the entire day until the big meal; I have heard  reports that this is actually sabotage….. See the WebMD article (it’s in regards to Thanksgiving dinner but it will help in this place too.)

We THINK that by not eating until the big meal will allow us to save on calories and eat more food, but actually I’ve seen it do the opposite. I know personally for me that I will tend to pack more food on my plate and consume more because I’m hungry from “saving” my appetite for later (by the way we usually have Thanksgiving or Easter dinner at 5 or 6, so I’m usually “taste testing” throughout the day to get by). I say have a small breakfast; some cereal, eggs, toast, or whatever you tend to eat in the morning to help you get by. If you’re not starving before dinner you typically will not overeat at the dinner table. If you’re thinking that if you’re not hungry then you won’t get to try everything, then that’s why you should limit yourself and put small portions of what you want to eat on your plate instead of packing the plate a mile high.

Enjoy your Easter Sunday, family, friends, and thank Jesus for His sacrifice otherwise there would be no hope in this life or the life after. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Exercise

So now that we have most of the basic starter points down here’s where we can get to exercise. I know  that some of us are not into exercise and I can understand that. For me I had a problem with eating more than I did with exercise. I really enjoy going outside and walking around, it’s so nice to enjoy the sunshine, wind, and being outdoors 🙂

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring, hard, or tiring. Exercise can be anything that you do every day; walking at your job, walking around campus, dancing, doing chores around the house, walking the dog, etc…

One tip I can give you  is when you decide to go to a gym or commit to any other method of exercise that you wish to, determine ahead of time how many days a week you’ll do it. I know how we get hyped up with all these weight loss shows, magazines, and diet talk that we think we can stick to unrealistic plans. I know that I can’t workout five days a week and do it all over again the next week; and that’s completely okay. Five days is too many for me to be in the gym, but for other people five days is best and they can stick to it. I know that two to four days in the gym is my range for commitment, I know I can be committed to working out at least two days a week and four is my absolute limit. Of course I took the middle and decided three days was best.

Find out for yourself what you can commit to, don’t worry if that’s one day a week right now because everyone is different. In the future you may have the opportunity to commit to more days but that’s what you can commit to every single week right now.

  • Determine your plan then stick with it no matter what 🙂
  • This is where persistence is so important (and commitment too), you have to be persistent even in the midst of obstacles and stubborn emotions

You’ll have many opportunities during your day to turn normal activities into fun exercise. Take a break at work and walk around your building or walk on your lunch break and you’ll see how you get an extra work out into your day.

Gym/Workout Tips!

Okay so I really like going to the gym for exercise (I’ll be honest some times it’s hard to keep going because I’m tired but I do what I can).

Here are a few tips I can give you all for keeping to your exercise regime whether you go to the gym, walk in the park, go for a bike ride, or etc….

  1. Pack your work out gear in the car
    1. This way you are less likely to talk your self out of working out.
    2. Seeing the clothes or something that reminds you about the gym or working out will give a little boost to your motivation
    3. We’re human so sometimes we forget to grab it when we head out the door 🙂
  2. Bring water and a towel
    1. Water is important since we need to stay hydrated
    2. Towels are really nice when we sweat a lot; sweat getting into your eyes can be annoying
  3. Don’t forget your music!!
    1. I can’t remember the last time I left my headphones or iPod at home but I know if I did I was probably upset I did
    2. I know I need the extra push from a good beat
  4. Don’t feel embarrassed or shy that you’re in the gym
    1. If you go to the gym by yourself don’t be ashamed. We are all there to workout and get healthy to feel better/good about ourselves
  5. Make it enjoyable
    1. Don’t be miserable while working out otherwise you’ll be less likely to stick with it
    2. Everything we do doesn’t have to be fun and exciting but change up your workout so you can at least stay interestet
  6. Change it up!
    1. This goes with the note above, if you keep doing the same thing the entire time you will get bored. And may even plateau
    2. Go for a walk or jog outside, play a sport for fun, go biking, take a class at the gym, go dancing… do something different to help stay with your workout

Keep it up, just don’t give up because we’ll never see results if we do

 

Motivation – Part 2

“I still need motivation!!!”

Talk to the people around you; friends, family, or co-workers who you trust and know well. Tell them your plans if you’re comfortable. If you find yourself giving in too soon, they can be helpful to get you back on track. Who knows you may actually inspire them to start their own weight loss journey 🙂 .  Let your friends and family know you want their encouragement or ask them to say something if you get off track, even if they don’t work out with you. A lot of times others can see our problems and bad habits better than we can.

Side note – I didn’t have official accountability partners but I do know that this is an area that can be an advantage especially if you have friends and family who will tell you the truth, hold you accountable, and actually help you and not criticize you. You can let others know your plans if you want, it’s your choice but I didn’t. I did have friends who I went to the gym with during my first year starting this journey, but there was a cross road point. We began to have different schedules; they would have to work and I couldn’t wait until they were off to visit the gym since I was serious this time. That’s when I had to make a proactive decision, was I going to stop my progress so I didn’t have to work out by myself or was I going to stand up and keeping going to the gym even if it was by myself? I’m so glad and so thankful to Jesus I went to the gym by myself for the first time, because I kept going and I’m still going today, by myself.  Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone, it may actually turn into an important and key change for your life.

Use the imagination God gave you and imagine yourself on purpose done with this race. Where are you, what are the goals that you’ve reached, what did you accomplish, and what did you gain? Take a positive approach on this exercise, use this as a way to get you motivated and get you excited. You’ve already completed this journey in your mind (imagination/dreams), now just let it play out (walk it out)!! The Word of God does say in Philippians 4:8  “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate (or think) on these things.” Imagine your self overcoming, imagine getting through the treadmill, imagine on purpose giving up the bad food for the good food. Thoughts are powerful and words are a force, use both to your advantage.

Lesson For The Day

In case you ever think about giving up on your plans for the day I have a recent example of why it’s best just to keep going 🙂

I’ve been committed to working out at the gym three days a week; this is something I know I can do and I know I can stick to. A few months ago I decided that in order for me not to grow tired of going to the gym all the time and using the same machines I would take a weight lifting class three times a month just on Saturdays. Well today is Saturday of course and I was planning on going to my weightlifting class. It starts at 11:30 and usually I try to be out of the bed and dressed by 11, the gym is not far from my house. This week it’s been harder to get out of bed for work and of course this carried over into my Saturday. It was so hard getting out of bed this morning that I knew I was going to be late. It was already 11:15 and I wasn’t even dressed. Thoughts like “I might as well forget it, too many people will be there and I won’t have a spot, and I hate being late” were already flying across my mind. Thank the Lord I said aloud “No I’ll go anyway, I hope I won’t be too late” so I got dressed, grabbed a breakfast bar for fuel and darted out the door. I prayed “Lord please let me get there safely and at a good time.” 🙂 Well I got there at record time, right at 11:30 considering that I left the house right at 11:21. I run in the gym, check in, grab a towel, put my bag in a locker, and walk up the stairs. I turn to look in the classroom and to my surprise class didn’t start yet and there weren’t very many people in class that day! I was so excited that God gave me favor, that I stayed committed and stuck to my decision to workout. The reason class was late was because the instructor was trying to get the microphone to work. This gave me plenty of time to get in class, find my spot, grab my weight gear, and get set up.

It pays off to stay committed to your plan and not give up. If I didn’t go to work out God would’ve still loved me and I would’ve been okay, but I’m so glad I worked out and didn’t give in to those negative thoughts.

Lesson: even when your own mind tells you to throw in the towel because of opposition or when things don’t go as planned; you can still rise and go forward and it will pay off.

Stay encouraged!

Workout Music – Part I

Hey! Here’s some really motivational music that helps me when my workouts get tough or I need an extra push on the treadmill. They have a nice beat AND a great message.

I hope you enjoy and maybe one day add these artist/songs to your workout playlist (which is something simple but really comes in handy at the gym or when working out in general)

 

 

What The Mirror Doesn’t Show

The mirror only shows a reflection of you.

The mirror only shows you what you look like not WHO you are.

The Bible will show you who you truly are and if you’re in Christ it’s and amazing view.

King, priest, blessed, highly favored, joint heir with Christ, child of God, sheep of His pasture, justified, anointed, gifted, His masterpiece… 🙂

I know exactly how it feels to look in the mirror and not like what you see. I also know how it feels to not want to look in the mirror because you’re so ashamed of yourself and you don’t like what you look like. When you walk past the mirror in the bathroom you look down and when you walk up to glass door you don’t even look up because you’ll see your reflection.

Honestly I still have to deal with this now; I look in the mirror and see all my faults and I suspect that everyone else can see them too. I wonder if they can see that my stomach looks bigger, or judge me on the size or shape of my body; but it also seems to me that we are our own worst critics and judges. The mirror was never meant to define you, only show what you look like and I must say that the way you look does not equal your worth.

God looks at the heart of man, men on the other hand notice the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7). Every single day we are all growing older; no matter what our bodies will change right in front of us and even the plastic surgery that people get cannot fix everything. Why do we place our value in the things that change and that will mean so little in the end?

The purpose of this post: to state to everyone and to remind myself that we are not what the mirror shows. The body is like a house meant to hold all the goods on the inside or like a treasure chest, it’s what’s on the inside (the treasure on the inside) that makes the treasure CHEST worth anything at all. I’m not saying to disregard your body and that it means absolutely nothing but don’t place your value on the treasure chest when it’s the treasure on the INSIDE that makes the chest valuable. 🙂

 

 

Motivation – Part I

Motivation… honestly sometimes it’s easy to find motivation to begin a weight loss and exercise regime <chuckle> but it’s not always easy and fun to stay motivated after you’ve started and you’re in the middle of it. We start out strong remembering who laughed at us and how they’ll regret it when they see us in our dream dress looking good 🙂 Or we think about how much better we’ll feel about ourselves when we can finally fit into a certain size, look in the mirror and not be ashamed, or go to the doctor and not hear the same “you need to lose weight” lecture. Whatever our “whys” for losing weight we start out strong with good intentions. We go to the gym 3 or more times a week, give up sugar and  eating out, and make other diet changes. It seems we tend to lose steam in the middle of our efforts and we lose sight of our motivation and “why’s”.

What kept me motivated was remembering on purpose why I wanted to lose weight, what was I aiming for, what did I want to achieve. This is why I mentioned Habakkuk 2:2, write down your goals and why’s so you won’t forget and you can always look back on them for motivation.

I remember when I wanted to lose weight in college and I couldn’t seem to get started I use to come across different stories online about people losing weight and I would see them at their end. I wished I could be with them, at the end of the journey not just starting, or actually haven’t started at all. These testimonies weren’t out there to discourage me or the rest of us but to motivate us, that if they could lose the weight any one could. Look at someone else for motivation, don’t look at someone else’s success as a discouragement but see it as something that’s real and possible for you too.  Use those stories that speak on giving up things for gain like fries for the salad, chips for fruit, the first parking spot for the mid or last spot. These trade offs don’t sound appealing but when you think about what you gain; confidence, a smaller dress size, or a better outlook on life, the trade-offs don’t seem so bad.

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