Saturday, June 2, 2007


Yogurt covered raisins are very good! They have more calories than I though they would, but at least it is better than candy!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A New Month

Tomorrow is the first day of a new month. Which means payday for us! ;)

It is a big grocery shopping day. I plan to make good healthy choices. I also plan to be more moderate then usual with the sweets and junk food, although probably not as moderate as most people. I'm working on the gradual changes.

One of the tricks I have learned is to get used to healthy things to the point that you actually like them and want to have them before you start taking away the unhealthy things. That way you are not going from something you love to something you hate.

My physical health changes I want to work toward this month are healthy breakfasts and walking daily.

I picked the breakfast because it is an easy one for me. I already enjoy healthy breakfasts foods, as well as some unhealthy ones. But since I like healthy cereal and I enjoy eating fruit, I think it will be easy to make healthy breakfast a habit. I want to start with what I think will not be as difficult. If I can have success in the small things, then I think it will encourage me to work up to the larger changes.

The walking is not going to be a big deal either, because I'm not going to make it a big deal. I'm starting with five minutes. That's it. Five measly little minutes. If I miss a day, so what? I'm not gonna make it up (unless I just happen to want to). I'm just going to try my five minutes the next day. Each day is new and fresh, no hang overs from the days before.

I'm through with beating myself up for not meeting some standard (I Hope). If I start doing that again, I would love for someone to gently point that out to me. Remind me of my resolve to not hang on to unnecessary guilt (is any guilt necessary?).

As far as spiritual changes to work on, I'm taking a New Testament Survey course at college to count toward my Humanities credit. It's really cool. I think that is enough for right now, with the exception of beefing up my prayer life.

Somethings been bugging me. I have not been kneeling before the Lord in prayer. I still pray a lot, but it has become very informal. It has been continuous, as in frequently through out my day, including sporadic prayers lifted for people when I learn of a need. However, most of my praying has been happening while I have been laying in bed, and in my car driving down the road.

I have a history of not being able to focus during prayer. I think that is why I developed the short, frequent prayers. If I keep it short and simple, then there is not much time to get mentally off track. It has been heart breaking and spiritually discouraging to not be able to pray without loosing focus. I question my sincerity and my devotion to the Lord. Yet, I honestly can't help it. My heart wants to draw close to Him, and have a super close connection. However, my faulty brain and my flesh get in the way. I love a line from one of Chris Rice's songs, "Freedom from myself will be the sweetest rest I've even known."

I also have a problem with becoming intimately close to the Lord which has a connection to kneeling in prayer. It is a deep rooted problem, which is a major deal in my life. It effects many areas, and the worst is my relationship with the Lord.

So, my prayer goal is to spend a short amount of time on my knees in prayer. I want to physically show respect and admiration to the Lord. I plan to use the time praising Him and thanking Him. Other than gratitude and admiration, I want to keep whatever I pray about very short (and hopefully sweet), that way I won't get bogged down with frustration and discouragement if my mind starts to wonder. Then I will continue as I usually do as far as the rest of my praying goes. Eventually I hope that I am able to grow in this area. Another thing about the walking is that I want to use that time to pray as well. Some of my most effective prayer times has been while I have been taking walks. I know five minutes is not long, but my goal is baby steps, so that's OK.

If I am unable to because of the emotional problems I have, then I don't know what to do. I don't know how to proceed if some of my junk rears its ugly head.

For housekeeping, I struggle with this so much, I think that small changes will be of more benefit in the long run as well. I have a bad habit of letting my dish washing wait until the next day. This makes it difficult because so many times I have to wash dishes before I can cook. This adds to my cooking frustration (I really don't enjoy cooking). So, my goal is to have all the dishes washed before I go to bed each night. Again, this probably seems petty and really small, but I think this is going to be a major confidence booster. I'm hoping to draw encouragement from reaching this goal.

I intend to spend the whole month working on these things. If it does not come right away, that's going to be OK. I'll continue to try until I have changed my habits, little by little.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Did everyone think I abandoned my quest?

I have spent quite a bit of time thinking things through. I have collected opinions and I've been doing some reading about diets, weight loss, and exercising. I've also been searching my heart and seeking the Lord's will in this matter.

I'm not going to continue in the First Place weight loss program. There is some healthy things to learn from in their material. However, I believe it is going to be impossible to follow the program and the commitments. After time spent reflecting and praying, I don't believe God is going to hold me to those commitments.

I am still wanting to try Weight Watchers. They hold meeting right up the road from where I live in a community center which also hold a gym, weight room, and indoor swimming pool. They offer water aerobics and a water walking class. There is also a basket ball gym and aerobic and yoga classes. Many people, especially elderly people, walk inside the upstairs area. They have a really wide hallway. People use it like many who walk the malls for exercise.

I had not joined WW earlier because the meetings that were being held during the time I had someone to watch my children was on the same night as a college course I was taking. The class is over, so I'm thinking of going up there now.

There is also the option of joining online. I am interested in that as well, but I think I may do better if I join an "in person" group. The draw back to joining on line is that it has to be paid whether you are using it or not. If you join a group for meetings you only have to pay when you attend the meetings. If I needed to hold off on spending money for this, then it would be easier if I went to meetings instead of doing the program online.

I have not gotten the membership for the fitness place (the same place in which the WW meetings are held) because of some financial drawbacks. We've had car repairs to take care of two months in a row. I am still wanting to do this, though.

In the reading I've been doing, I've found some very encouraging tips. Frequent short and moderate forms of exercise are just as beneficial as hard workouts. A short walk, briskly picking things up around the house, mopping, or a dance with a partner are all easy ways to fit little bits of exercise into your life. These things count.

Also, an interesting fact is that if you reduce your diet by 100 calories a day, you can loose 10 pounds in one year. If you burn an extra 100 calories a day in addition to cutting back 100 calories, you can loose 20 pounds in one year. That does not seem like a major undertaking, but it will carve out 20 pounds of excess weight. It makes it seem easy when you consider doing small things instead of looking at it like "hard work."

I think part of my problem is also that I think in terms of the whole problem and the whole amount of weight that I need to loose. If I could just think in terms of today, or one change at a time, then I think that would help me out a lot.

In the past it has been helpful for me to make one or two healthy changes at a time. For example I switched to 2% milk, then 1%. I'm working on skim now, but I still prefer the 1%. I've switch from ground beef to ground turkey. I've slowly cut back the amount of sugar we use in our tea. I've switched to sugar free chocolate for our milk. I'm trying to switch from candy bars to granola bars.

I think if I pick one change each month, then I may have more success. I'm thinking of posting the change I'm wanting to make. I want to include things besides diet and exercise. I think I will add things like housekeeping and spiritual issues. I want to keep them small and simple. It may be best if I aim for lower than I want to go. That way I will have a better chance of success. As time goes, I can build on the changes.

I don't want what I am doing to be set in stone. I need flexibility and I need to feel that if I drop the ball, it's no big deal because I can just try again, or choose to try something else. For now, I believe this is the best way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What to do

My mind is a bit muddled about this weight loss program now. I've been considering Weight Watchers again.

Let me explain why I chose the one I did. Years ago I started doing the First Place program. It contains 9 commitments that you are supposed to make. I could not do one of the them because I did not have a group to do it in, and that commitment was to attend the meetings. Another one was to encourage others (presumably others in the group). I could encourage other people, although it was not exactly like the program intended. So, two out of the nine were impossible/difficult for me to do.

The other commitments were difficult to follow. Think about this. If you struggle with weight, then chances are that means you lack self-control, self-discipline, and the self-respect needed to feed your body in a healthy way. You also lack all of these things needed to exercise and use your body the way God intended. So, agreeing to a list of commitments is really kind of foolish. It is kind like setting yourself up for failure.

But, I foolishly made the commitments anyway. I did it because I wanted to change, I want to be healthy and look good. I thought that once I got started the changes would begin to come. I thought the Scripture and the prayer would make it more meaningful and easier, somehow. It didn't. It made it harder. It made the guilt more intense. It made my failure more significant.

I also think that the Bible Study, motivational Cd's, and Scripture memory Cd's (applied to the topic of weight loss) make the focus on weight loss, instead of Christ like it is supposed to. When I tried everything that they want, all day long, everyday, my thoughts were consumed with what to eat, what not to eat, have I exercised, how have I exercised, did I do the Bible study, did I read the chunk of Scripture, did I pray enough, is eating this piece of chocolate a sin, did I have enough servings of veggies, is my lack of fruit a sin, how do I count the sugar in my tea, should I ask for forgiveness because I only did five minutes on the exercise bike instead of ten...

So then I had this list of commitments I had broken, in addition to the weight and poor body condition. I think that God expects us to keep our commitments, especially if they are made to Him. I had failed to do that. So what if I did not know that it would be that hard? Does that make a difference? I'm not sure it does.

That is the reason I chose to try the First Place program again, instead of trying Weight Watcher, like I had wanted. I was (am?) trying to fulfill the commitments I had made before. I am failing to meet those commitments again. Now, in light of learning the program's view on mental illness, I'm not feeling all that cozy with this.

I'm thinking of sending an e-mail to the people who work for this program and asking some questions. I want to get their perspective. But I'm afraid of what they might say. I'm also afraid of feeling spiritually bullied into doing the program.

I'm wondering if the broken commitments are something that I should continue to try fulfilling again and again until I am able to do it, or if I should just admit my weakness, ask for forgiveness and move on. I could just do some of the commitments (the dieting and exercise portion is good), hoping that someday I will be stronger and be able to fulfill it all. I could attempt a less demanding weight loss and fitness program.

Isn't funny how something that seems so simple can become so complicated?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Slightly disillusioned


I was just listening to the motivational CD that came with the bible based weight loss kit. The first motivational topic was mental health. Near the beginning, the speaker said that the world addresses mental health with counseling and medication, implying that is not the right thing to do. She then proceeded to talk about how the Bible addresses mental health: be thankful, the joy of the Lord is your strength...

Now, I believe all these things that were mentioned are good things, and they do come right out of the Bible. If a person is mentally healthy, then these things should work, if they have their faith in the Lord. However, I don't believe the Bible addresses mental illness any more than it addresses cancer. Illness is illness. You can't fix it with Scripture.

It is like people forget that the brain is an organ. It is biological and chemical. Sometimes it gets sick. Sometimes it can have a life long illness. That does not mean weak faith or sin. It just means illness.

I don't know what to make of this Bible study now. I guess I could overlook this particular teaching they have. I know the truth for my own life. I guess I need to stay on my toes to make sure I'm not influenced to change my treatment based on the opinions of people who are not mental health professionals.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Well, it did not end well

The rest of the day fell apart. Partly it was because I was not prepared. Partly it was because there was too much temptation around me.

The good news is that most of the temptation is gone now. More good news is that I am supposed to be grocery shopping tomorrow. I intend to get foods that are appropriate.

I never did exercise today. At least I began the day correctly. That is a step up, even if it is a little step.

Tomorrow is new! I can start again tomorrow.

So far so good...

I got started this morning. I made a healthy breakfast choice. My stomach has not been feeling quit right for a few days, so I don't know how well the rest of my diet will go for the rest of today.

I have not exercised yet today, but it is still early. Mondays are busy days for me, and they are usually not very fun. I hope to have a chance to post what my eating plan is supposed to be.