Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Getting in Shape - physically & spiritually

Oh, look! A vacant blog. Guess I could make use of this space to write just some of the thoughts and happenings of my life. Yes, I still have a life...a very busy one...which explains my embarrassingly long absence.

Let me tell you about a couple of my New Year's resolutions.  First of all, if you've been around here for any length of time, you have seen my lack of commitment in action.  I start and end things on a regular basis.

In my defense, I would like to say that my blog in no way reflects the reality of my day to day life.  I have been married for almost 19 years, I have 7 kids that I haven't left or booted out of my home (yet, anyway!), I've run a homeschool co-op for 5 years with no end in site, I've home-schooled since our oldest was five, I've been a member at the same church for 14 years, and I've had the same best friend for my entire life.  Good grief, I am even committed to foods - PB&J remains my all-time favorite lunch; if I could order Grilled Cheese every time I went out to eat, I would; and chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream has been my favorite since high school (which, as we know, was FOREVER ago).

It's only my blog commitments that I drop and that's because, quite frankly, they're not a priority.

What is a priority in my life is my family, my God, and my health.  My resolutions this year (while I'm not usually big on those) involve two of those categories - my God and my health.

First, I resolved to read my Bible every single day this year.  While I have been saved for almost 34 years, I am not sure I've ever succeeded in this.  I have read my Bible through several times.  I read my Bible regularly.  But, there have been days skipped.  In all honesty, there have been WEEKS skipped in my past.  For many years, I have hoped to not miss a day, but I usually fail sometime in January.  However, by God's grace, I have not yet missed a day in the Word and I am so very happy.  I resolve to continue to meet with God each day for the rest of this year.

My next resolution was to get healthier.  By this, I mean to eat better, drink more water, exercise and lose weight.  I will be 40 years old in forty-six days.  I am in a wedding at the beginning of May.  I really feel a push to get healthy and look half-way decent.

Ladies, you always KNOW when you've gained weight, even if no one else can tell.  Your clothes don't fit right and you just feel....BLAH.  That was me.  I went to the doctor for an ankle injury back in October and I weighed 15-20 pounds more than what I weighed when I got married.  This was way above my comfort level, but I wasn't surprised at the number.  I KNEW before stepping on that scale.  (BTW - why must they weigh you if you're there for an ankle injury, anyway? REALLY?)

By January 2, I found that I had succeeded in losing about 6 of those pounds without trying too terribly hard.  But, I wanted to really focus my attention on getting healthy and in shape.  For the month of January, I abstained from sugary foods and desserts.  I started drinking water, exercising and counting calories.

I am blessed to have an elliptical here at home.  I started out the year working out 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week.  I am now up to 60-90 minutes 5 days a week and 90-120 minutes on Saturdays.  Last week, my elliptical was out of commission, so I headed to the local gym while my husband and father-in-law rebuilt the needed parts.  Yesterday I did not work-out and it was the first time since the beginning of the year that two days in a row passed without exercise (I don't work out on Sundays).  I felt horrible.  I ate horribly.  I was glad the day ended and that I could start anew today.

I use the MyPlate app from Livestrong.com.  While it can be a pain to count calories, I have found it the only successful way for me to lose weight.  I measure most things and have really begun thinking about how to make recipes healthier.  For instance, I use plain yogurt in place of sour cream for many recipes and my family doesn't notice.  When I make mashed potatoes, they get the original version in all of its buttery-milky glory while I put aside a bit and just mix in non-fat yogurt & salt.  Before putting brown sugar and butter into the family's squash, I put aside 1/2 a cup and just add a tablespoon of honey for myself.  I measure my salad dressing and my coffee creamer.  Little things make a big difference.

I also resolved to go to bed at a decent hour.  Before, midnight-1:00 was my normal bedtime.  This is not a good plan for a successful school day or for weight loss. My average bedtime is now 10:30/11:00.  The main reason for my lack of exercise yesterday was the fact that I went to bed at 1:00 a.m. Sunday night/Monday morning.  Not good - I felt awful.  As I work-out first thing in the morning, I have to guard my bedtime with my life....because it may come down to the matter of my very life.

So, what are the results of all of these changes?  I have lost 12 pounds since January 2 and have only 2 more to go to reach my ultimate goal weight.  I will be back to what I was the day I got married, but I believe I will be healthier as I am eating better and exercising a whole lot more now than I was then.  I have found that my physical health impacts my spiritual health.  By being more rested, I am more alert in my time with God.  Because I have to MAKE time to exercise, I realized I have to MAKE time to read God's Word.  I don't feel right working on the physical without working on the spiritual.  These two things go together and I am healthier in so many ways.

So, that's where I've been and where I am.  How about you...have you made any resolutions that you are sticking with?  I would love to hear about them!


Jenna said...

I'm trying to read my Bible through in 90 days. While I'm about 5 days behind over the course of 2 months, I have enjoyed it immensely and hope to catch up to read it through in 100 days. :)

Jamie Parfitt said...

Good for you! Now I have one suggestion: put your family on your diet. That may sound funny, but that is what I have done gradually over the past four years. They LOVE my new recipes. I stopped buying white sugar and white flour. We only get it at Christmas time, to make the neighborhood cookie project easier. Kids can develop good eating habits early, especially if they are girls. Maybe our daughters won't go through the weight waves like we do if they develop a taste for less sugar at an early age. It's hardest around other people. But eating with someone else can be the exception to the rule. Lots of protein, veggies, and natural sugar (honey and fruit) is good for everyone!
Congratulations on your loss!
By the way, did you know you can put cauliflower on top of shepherd pie in place of potatoes? The kids love it!