Monday, May 31, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
“Ok, take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Just keep remembering to breathe and maintain good form.” This is what I had to tell myself yesterday; and it had nothing to do with working out. I was trying desperately to be calm, composed, and steady in my breathing. That’s because I finished the first phase of ChaLean Extreme and my results are nothing like what I expected.
This month, I only ended up losing a total of 1.6 pounds. Yep, that’s it…..for the MONTH! My measurements have also remained the same and I couldn’t be more agitated. I’m especially perturbed because I actually did really well this week (and it looked like I had a loss earlier in the week). Aside from Sunday, I didn’t royally screw up my calories and was a “good girl”. I even worked out on Friday (one of my rest days). Yet, what do I have to show for it this week (and this month)? Yet, I know that really blowing it Sunday (especially since Mondays are my weigh-ins) isn’t smart. So, that’s my own fault.
I would be particularly furious, and tempted to throw in the towel completely, if it weren’t for the fact that I KNOW that progress isn’t confined to the scale and measuring tape. In my heart, I KNOW that I have made a lot of improvements; many of which are still in their infancy and might take another week or two to show their fruit. The first one being is that I am more focused and concentrated on the spiritual aspect of this whole journey; which is why I did much better (for the most part) nutritionally. I’m still working hard physically, and have just started the second phase of the program. The new change in exercises will be a big help because I know that I was reaching a bit of a plateau and was ready for the change. Furthermore, I hadn’t had heavy enough weights until now. I just got my new adjustable ones this past Friday and worked out with them for the first time on Saturday (and am truly feeling the soreness now). So, this is a good thing. If I had had adequate weights to begin with, this past month’s progress could have been a lot better.
Additionally, I know (and have been told) that sometimes you gain before you lose. That’s the whole “muscle weighs more than fat” stuff. So, that’s ok with me. I can honestly tell you that after a month of doing this intense training (and sweating like I’ve never sweat in my life!!) that I feel stronger and my endurance is improved. I’m a lot stronger than I thought I was and can lift more than what I used to! Whether the scale says so or not, I feel that I am starting to look leaner. My body fat is down by like 0.4% this month (better than nothing). I know that I can (and will) continue to improve as I continue to have the kind of “good weeks” that I have had this past week.
As some of you may now, I have also been drinking Shakeology for a week now (and I’m loving it!). I look forward to drinking it every day and it’s just as fun to drink as it is to think of new concoctions in order to enjoy a variety of different tastes. As I continue to drink it, I think that I will continue seeing even more improvements. It really does taste good and with all that’s packed into it, it seriously does keep me satisfied until the next meal. I was skeptical about how it says it can help reduce food cravings, but I can now vouch for the fact that it does. Anyone that knows me knows how I have an impossibly bad sweet tooth. However, I have been craving sweets a LOT less (I‘m not kidding! It‘s a miracle lol!). It is becoming easier to say “no” to overeating when the Holy Spirit tells me to “stop” because the “sugar monster” has been tamed a little more. ;) Praise God for that!
My level of fatigue has also decreased. I feel that my energy level is starting to improve. While the amazing vitamins, fruit/veggie powders, enzymes, anti-oxidants, and pro-biotics from Shakeology do factor into that, I attribute all my success to Christ and the fact that I am really focusing on renewing my mind in His Word. After all, you could be doing everything “right” (as I have been doing for the most part) and still have poor results if your spiritual self isn’t in check. That’s why I have seriously refocused on that core aspect (and it‘s truly helping!). In fact , my small group is reading “Battlefield of the Mind”, by Joyce Meyer. I read it in High School and it helped me greatly! Once again, re-reading it is helping me to be more aware of my thought life and helping me to choose different thoughts and behaviors in order to overcome my bad habits and choose better ones. Your life is the product of your thoughts. If you’re expecting positive things, it has to start in your mind. You can’t have positive results if all you have are negative thoughts.
So, despite the disappointments, I remain hopeful and optimistic. I’m learning and improving and I will be patient with myself. Everyone loves rapid progress and immediate gratification, but it doesn‘t always work that way. I will celebrate every victory; even if it doesn‘t look the way I think it should. This next week (and month) will be better. All three aspects (spiritual, nutritional, and fitness) have been, and will continue to be, improving. I don’t care what the scale says right now because I know that I have much to be proud of! Every recent investment that I have made to further my progress has been a worthwhile one because I am a good investment. Whatever the cost, it is worth it because it not only benefits me, but will benefit my family in the long run. I am a better me when I’m taking care of myself and I also have the confidence of knowing that the kind of battle I’m fighting won’t be passed on to my kids. My kids see me eat my salads, measure my portions, drink my water, take my vitamins, and drink my Shakeology (though, of course, they think it’s a “milkshake” and are constantly asking me for one). They also see me workout and Gianna often mentions the word “healthy” and “taking care of my body” (though, I think some of that is due to “Sid the Science Kid” lol). Both of them already have a good head-start, and have always been at the right weight for their age (and actually lean towards the skinny side). This is good because they have a lesser chance of being an overweight adult if they aren’t an overweight child. I will continue to make sure that this stays true for them and that they learn how to take care of themselves as they continue to grow.
I can’t even begin to tell you the relief I feel that I’m going to be the one to break the cycle in my family! My battle will NOT be theirs! My children will have better habits and choose good things for themselves because I’m trying to live the example and teach them to do the same. Food isn’t always on their brain. They aren’t eating constantly. They eat when they’re hungry and stop when they feel full (and when they do, they say that the doctor needs to help their tummy because there’s too much food in there lol. So, they don’t fill it up too full very often because they don’t like that feeling). They are a big inspiration to me because, like Jesus said, we need to be like little children. I want to be like them; eating when I’m hungry and stopping before I’m full. I want to be self-controlled and not have food on my mind. I notice that my kids usually only mention food when they’re actually hungry. Apparently, they already understand the simple fact that there are better things to do than to think about food and your next meal all the time (especially when there are starving people who really are forced to think about it all the time. We are so blessed to not have to worry!). I heard someone say once (can’t remember what country they were from) but they were talking about how Americans don’t savor and enjoy their foods. We are thinking about our next bite and not even enjoying the one we are working on or we’re already planning in advance when and where we’re going to have our next meal. So much of our lives revolve around food and we don’t even know it. Then, we wonder why we are the fattest nation in the world.
Grace and peace to all of you! Thank you for your support! Thanks for celebrating every victory with me and encouraging me (especially in these “slow” moments of progress). Accomplishment isn’t future tense; accomplishment is NOW! Through Christ, I am accomplishing things RIGHT NOW (Philippians 4:13)! HE is my immediate gratification and He will continue to see this through to completion (Philippians 1:6)! Amen!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Every Sunday, I used to come home from church service and immediately blog what was preached. I did this because not only do I love to write, but I often feel overwhelmingly compelled to share absolutely everything. Even though it’s good to blog the things that I learn, sometimes it puts more pressure on myself. I overwhelm my mind when I feel that I am “responsible” for putting everything out there; feeling that I am screwing up or making Him unhappy if I don‘t do His “will“ for me by writing every time I have the notion. I was scared that I was being wasteful of my gift; burying it in the sand like the wicked servant.
I am well aware of the fact that I struggle with being “all or nothing”. Therefore, I have been a little “low-key” for a while. I still blog, but not as much as I used to. It’s taken a load off my shoulders as I’ve learned to just “be” a little more and blog when I’m overwhelming moved to do so; instead of blogging overwhelmingly because I feel that I always have to move! ;) Having balance and “going gray” is a good thing! Unless it’s a clear cut and absolute “thou shalt not” that God has laid out in His Word, you don’t have to be stressed about every little thing being right and wrong. Sometimes, things really aren’t that black and white.
This is why I’m blogging the sermon today. I truly felt the undeniable nudge to share this time because David Shepherd’s sermon was about this very concept. He talked about the fact that we get so caught up in God’s “will” that we stress out about everything and become so indecisive. I can totally relate to that! In fact, that was closely tied into my legalism/perfectionism problem that I was in heavy bondage to for many years. Every now and then, that kind of thinking still creeps up on me and I have to renew my mind (Romans 12:2) and remind myself that I don’t have to do everything “right”. David reminded us that our life and our outlook is directly determined by the kind of thoughts we think (I highly recommend “Battlefield of the Mind” , by Joyce Meyer. It’s a big help in dealing with transforming your mind and learning to have positive and Christ-like thinking. I read it in High School and am now reading it again).
We put way too much stress on ourselves by over-thinking or thinking negatively. Our lives are the product of our thoughts. Most things are fairly basic and trivial decisions that don’t have to be agonized over, but we get so worried about correctness (or beating ourselves up over the “wrong” things) that we get too caught up in deciding rather than just living and being. That’s how it becomes all about “us” and we truly miss out on the fellowship and relationship we are meant to have with God. It becomes all about “law” and not grace. It’s like a sermon I once heard about being human beings rather than human doings. As David said, God didn’t say to seek His will, He said to seek HIM:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matthew 6:33 (KJV)
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. - Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. - John 6:29 (KJV)
When I was living in “right” world, I was stressed, fearful, and miserable because I was consumed with doing everything correctly and was scared that God would disapprove and be disappointed in me if I didn’t do exactly what I thought He wanted me to do. I totally missed the fact that He is a loving Father and not a stern dictator with a yardstick in His hand; ready to slap my wrist every time I screw up. The previous verses had been quoted to me many times before by people who cared about me and saw that I was exhausting myself with my legalism. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times people would pray over me and tell me “you are trying too hard” and I couldn’t understand what they meant because I thought I was supposed to give my all to please God and figure out His “will“ for me. Though, the simple truth is exactly what Jesus said: Love God; love others. Believe in the One He sent. Simple faith. Or, as I read in the book “Walking With Arthur”, just find the good that lies nearest and do it (It‘s an EXCELLENT book! Click here to read the review I posted a few years ago). If you’re so consumed with God’s “will” and your ultimate destiny, you will totally miss the “right now”. After all, each moment you live in the present is a stepping stone to where you will be in the future. It’s like a little card I have that says that God isn’t “I was” or “will be”. He is “I AM” for a reason.
As simple as it may seem, it took me a long time before any of this truly stuck. I lived in a persistent state of perfectionism and condemnation for many years. In fact, it took me 3-4 years for this particular verse, that someone spoke over me, to truly sink in:
To whom he said, "This is the resting place, let the weary rest"; and, "This is the place of repose"—but they would not listen. So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there—so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured. - Isaiah 28:12-13 (NIV)
By doing and doing, I was falling backward rather than moving forward. I was doing more harm than good to myself and being held captive in my own prison. How miserably exhausting! I didn’t realize that I was trying to live without grace and that it was for freedom that Christ had set me free so that I would never again be in bondage to another yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1). Without realizing it, I was trying to earn my right to be saved when in all actuality, it had NOTHING to do with me and EVERYTHING to do with Christ and the price He already paid!
So, what is “God’s Will” and what does it really mean to us anyways? David said it’s pretty simple. There’s His Will of decree; which are the things that are ordained, absolute, and cannot be changed. It cannot be undone and it is what it is. That is, His creation of the world, the plan of salvation, the fact that He is holy and just, etc. Then, there’s His Will of desire; which are the commands that He gives us. He gives us His Word and His Holy Spirit to show us how to live, but our own free-will can obey or disregard it. Then, there’s God’s Will of direction. It’s the character of our lives, His plan and purpose for us (which is usually pretty general; we don’t always know the specific details at every given moment), and who we truly are. Who we are and what we are meant to be isn’t narrowed down by our location, occupation, education, etc. The essence of who we are is hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3) and depends on the character that the Holy Spirit cultivates in us (Romans 5:3-5, Galatians 5:22-23). Money, status, and stuff doesn’t define you or give you character. Furthermore, you don’t have to be wealthy in order to be rich. True riches are in wisdom (Job 18:18, Proverbs 8:11). James 1:5 says that God will freely and generously give wisdom to those that ask. Though, as David pointed out, we truly need to have prayers of faith because the next two verses of James say that we won’t receive if we don’t believe. As David said, “We need to stop pleading with God to show us the future and start living like we understand that He holds the future.” Amen to that! It’s like a poster I once seen that said, “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
The bottom line is, quit worrying and start living! Trust and believe in the One God sent! Love God and love others. When you do that, you are truly doing the Will of God and abiding in Him (John 15:5)! There’s no need to “hyper-spiritualize”, as David put it. Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Stay connected to Christ on a daily basis by renewing your mind with His Word and keeping the prayer flow going! Then, you will make good decisions (more often than not) that are in agreement with the Holy Spirit, as you live moment to moment. Live in the “now” and trust that He holds your tomorrows! Each day is a gift; which is why it is called the “present”. Don’t miss out on the good you can do TODAY because you are wondering about your ultimate purpose. Those little things make up the bigger picture. Don’t waste those “little” opportunities to make a difference because sometimes, those are the ones that matter the most!
Grace and peace to all of you!! God bless you!!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I wasn't expecting a loss this week anyways. It's that "time" again, plus I figure I'm at a plateau. Though, that is about ready to change as well because I am finishing up the first phase of ChaLean Extreme and will be starting the next one soon. So, the change in exercise will get me going again. Plus, I just ordered some new weights. All I've had to work with are 5's and 10's, which aren't heavy enough for many of the exercises. Even though I still sweat (and feel it) decently enough, I KNOW I am capable of more (which would give me better results too).
At this point, I'm content with the fact that I'm a little stagnant because I know that I've got momentum and that the new changes will payoff as soon as I start the new phase and get the weights that I need. Add to the fact that I've also started drinking Shakeology on a daily basis and I'm absolutely SURE that I will start seeing more changes (I will blog about Shakeology in more detail a little later).
I feel like I'm on the right track and that I'm making the "extreme" changes that I need to make in order to get results. The one thing I am still lacking is the fact that I'm always needing to pay more attention to the spiritual aspect. As I've always said, if that part isn't doing well, then nothing is going to go well. Have Christ; have success. If that's lacking, then your success will be lacking. It doesn't matter how much you "will" it or want it. If you're doing it all on your own, you aren't going to get very far (and if you do, it won't be for very long). I need to constantly remind myself of this because I know that without Christ, I am nothing and can accomplish nothing (John 15:5). I NEED to stay attached to the vine if I'm going to bear good fruit! Otherwise, all I can expect is up and down progress and lots of frustration!
Christ is the key to consistency!! Even if my exercise, nutrition, and everything else is spot on, I know after YEARS of doing this that Christ is the only thing that is 100% effective and the source of any true success (the best part being that He truly wants you to succeed and all that He offers is FREE! No cost, no shipping and handling, nothing! He already paid the price!). Satan would like nothing more than to distract me and help me forget that (and sometimes, he succeeds). However, my spirit knows what works and if I'm led by my spirit, it will conquer the flesh that says "I can do this myself" every time! If at any point I'm not doing well, I should examine my heart and face the glaringly obvious reality that I'm slacking spiritually and then pump up my spiritual muscles like I would my physical ones. The spiritual strength I get from Christ will give me the strength for everything else. The Holy Spirit is the one that nudges me when I'm about to make a bad food choice, ignore a workout, or get prideful in myself. If I listen, I can prevent any mistakes I might make. If I ignore it and go with my flesh, thinking that I'm somehow "above the law" and that I can escape any negative consequences, then I deceive myself.
Christ keeps me balanced and I desperately need Him if I'm going to succeed! My progress would be a LOT better (and I would get to my goal quicker) if I stayed completely dependent on Him! I am forever praying that I would better understand what it means to be reliant on Him. I could stand to review the stuff I learned in "The Lord's Table", that's for sure!
God bless you all! Thank you to all my family, friends, sparkpeople peeps, and my new Beachbody family for all the encouragement and support that you offer! I appreciate it! Thanks for walking with me on this journey!! Grace and peace to you!
Monday, May 10, 2010
It's all paying off, though! Even though I'm not progressing as well as I think I should (or maybe I am, I just don't realize it) I did lose 1.6 pounds this week. All total, I've lost almost 3 pounds since starting ChaLean Extreme 2-3 weeks ago! I'm also inching closer to the 180's (I'm at 194.6 right now). Praise God!
I would probably have a little bit better number if I didn't have a few days, here and there, where I have really blown it. Last Saturday was one of those days. I had a day out with my kids and we had a blast! We went to Chuck E. Cheese because we had a ton of unspent tokens from Casey's birthday party and some coupons from the management for free pizza and drinks (there were a few glitches in his party and they were more than happy to make it up to us!). So, I had pizza.......um...quite a bit of pizza. Good thing I decided to ditch my rest day the day before and hit the Greenway instead! ;)
Oh and it didn't stop there! We went several other places; including Toys "R" Us (which the kids call "Toy Rugs" for some reason lol). I even took them to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream and then to the mall where they rode the carousel, shopped with me (and behaved relatively well), and we all shared an Auntie Anne's pretzel. Yeah, I know. To quote my friend Jama: "carbalicious." All things considered, it was a miracle that I lost anything at all this week! I guess the strength training really does pay off because muscle is a fat-burning/metabolism boosting powerhouse! Not that I should be eating like that anyways (at least not often or to that extent) but it's obvious that maybe my body is starting to be less harsh on me when I DO mess up! ;) Thank-you, Lord!
That's my update for now! I'm doing pretty well! How about all of you? Are you reading this and thinking/wishing that you could be kickin' some butt right now? Well, you can! Trust me, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it!! I push through it even when I don't want to and somehow, God gives me the endurance to give it my all even on the days where my back/neck is hurting more than normal. You can do it too, and I'm here for you!! Click on my link to shop for ChaLean Extreme (or P90X, Turbo Jam, Slim in 6, etc.); whichever program fits your needs best! If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Check out Shakeology too (oh my gosh, I gotta get me some more of that! It's awesome!). God bless you everyone!! :)
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Even though I worked as hard as I could and was sweating buckets, I didn't see any change on the scale this week. I probably would have had I not gone way over my calories this weekend one too many times. So, it's my own fault. It's ok, though. I am just happy I didn't gain anything! I will do better this week and I am knowing and feeling that I'm getting stronger!
Aside from working out, I had a busy weekend! I had a garage sale to do (which paid off - big time!). I made a nice chunk of change; enough to take care of the spa package that I plan to book at the end of this month for a special day with my sis/friend April (a birthday gift to ourselves in July!). I can hardly wait for that!!
The other big thing I've got going on is that I finally decided to become a Beachbody coach! I'm just learning the ropes right now, but hopefully, it will turn out to be a smart choice as well as a profitable venture! Not only do I get a generous Beachbody discount on their products, but I get to encourage others if they pick me as their coach (or sign up as a coach under me). Plus, I can earn off of what people buy if they shop through my link. So, if you're following my blogs and thinking you would like to do ChaLean Extreme right along with me, feel free to visit my page and click "shop". You will LOVE ChaLean Extreme! I am so excited to see my end results because I know I am building muscle!
I also have a Shakeology link too! My own coach, Dana, gave me a free sample of it and oh my gosh.... let me tell you, it's not your typical protein shake! Anyone who has tried a protein shake knows how chalky, gritty, and sometimes nasty tasting they can be. Shakeology doesn't taste like that AT ALL! In fact, the second I opened it, I could just smell the chocolate! Sometimes, the flavorings can be so subtle that it barely tastes like anything, but I gotta tell you, it was a rich and delicious taste (girls, if you like brownie batter, I could almost compare it to that! It's that good!). It was also nice that I could mix it BY HAND with a spoon and it dissolved very well without clumps or chalkiness (would have used my blender, but I had no ice at the time to make a shake so I just mixed it with some milk). The best part of it all is, Shakeology is FULL of essential nutrition (not to mention a great blend of other nutrients that other drinks/supplements don't have). I'm definitely going to have to get more of it! If you want some too, check out my link!!
Ok, sorry for sounding like a commercial. Ya'll know how excited I get about stuff that I'm passionate about; regardless of what it is. At the very least, please visit my link and sign up for a Team Beachbody account (it's FREE!). That way, I can at least be your coach! ;) You all are here for me and you KNOW I'm here for you!! We're all in this together!!
God bless you all! Thanks for your support! I appreciate it!!