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!