Sunday, October 28, 2007
Okay -- I just finished typing, and this is long. And ugly. And probably somewhat difficult to follow. Don't say I didn't warn you!!
Soooooooooooo...another week has come and gone. Another week -- annnnnnnnnnnd, I blew it again.
I gained another .5 lb this week. I know that doesn't sound so bad, and in the big scheme of things, I know -- it's not. I know exactly what happened, and I also know exactly what didn't happen this past week to get to this point, and let's just say I was in clearly in charge of both. I feel badly for the sweet co-leader of my 1st Place group. I hopped up on the scale (after arriving late to the meeting) and when it went back over, I asked if it was a gain. She said "Yeah, a half pound."
*Dramatic pause while those words echo around the room.*
As I stepped off of the scale, I let out a big "UGHHHHHH, WHY????!!!!" and basically threw a big-girl tantrum over the whole thing as I stormed out of the room. (I know, pretty mature.)
I know she gets it. I know she does. Heck, anyone who's ever had a weight issue gets it, I'm sure. The thing is -- what an idiot. I mean, first of all -- I have the nerve to ask "Why???" Come on, Tara...you KNOW why. Then, to just flip out like that and act like a total brat??? Nice, real nice. So, yeah...not the best week for me. I did apologize to her and of course she was sweet and understanding and not feeling the need to be apologized to, but still. So lame of me.
So. Lame. Of. Me.
Ever since Thursday night, I've had time to think. Think. About what really happened. And not even so much as what happened, but more about why it happened. (And I also realize that right about now, there are probably some "Does she realize she's talking about half a pound here?" thoughts going on, but really - it's just so much more than that.)
See, here's the thing.
I was so excited about joining 1st Place because I knew it was what I needed. A nudge not only for my actual weight, but also for every thing that's caused my weight to actually be a problem. I was so excited because it was finally a structured, concrete way for me to combine my faith with my weight loss efforts. The more I learned about it, the more excited I became. The first two weeks were great.
Uh, yeah -- honeymoon, anyone??
After that, back to the same old bad habits. Weekends killing me. Stress killing me. Emotions killing me. One slip up leading to the next. And the next. And excusing it all with the same excuses. Hoping to make up for it here, make up for it there. All the while never truly acknowledging what's going on.
What's. Going. On!!!!
Here's what's going on. Until Thursday, until after my little tantrum -- I wasn't doing any of this for me. I wasn't doing it for my kids. I wasn't doing it for my husband. I certainly wasn't doing it for God. I was doing it because I just kind of felt like I should. Like it was the way into some skinny jeans. Into a better looking, better feeling me.
After Thursday, I got real honest with myself in a hurry. I looked back over the first 4 CR's that I'd turned in and gotten back from my group leaders. (The CR is the Commitment Record - it's basically a daily journal of my eating, exercise, prayer, etc.) I started really looking at what I was doing.
I found that after those first two weeks, I started creeping over the limits for the food exchanges with my eating. Not by a lot, just a little. Then on the weekends, I'd not just creep over -- I'd march across the line and pitch a tent on the other side. Any victories during the weeks were wiped out by the weekend behaviors -- and then some.
Once that started to falter, my exercise started to wane a bit as well. I went from working out 4 and 5 times a week to 2 and 3 times a week. Still exercising, just ehhhh - half-heartedly and not as often.
What came next? A day here, a day there - no prayer time, no Bible study time, no scripture memorization, no time in the Word. Two weeks went by without me reaching out to encourage other group members.
Basically, one by one, I started to loosen my grip on the 9 commitments of the 1st Place group I'd so tightly held when I first agreed to follow them. As I read through my CR's and watched it all unfold, I realized that I hadn't done any of this for the right reasons. Truthfully, the only reason, and I mean the ONLY reason I filled them out at all the last two weeks is because I knew we had to turn them in, and I'm sort of anal about that kind of task completion. Basically, I was doing it because I knew someone would be asking for them and I didn't want to turn them in blank or say I hadn't done it. So, I did.
(By the way, I know I'm rambling now, but it's my blog, so I'm gonna keep doing just that.)
By the time Thursday night rolled around, I was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for Chris to get home so I could leave for my meeting. The kids had just finished eating dinner and were watching whatever TV show I turned on for them so that I could finish my homework. We had 3 things to read in the big 1st Place book, and I also needed to complete the week's Bible study.
Yes, that's right. All of it. That night. Because I hadn't done ANY of it. Nope. Not one day's worth. And to make it worse -- I was only doing it because we would be discussing it at the meeting. Oh -- and as for my memory verse for the week...I learned it that day. In the car as I was driving between my appointments with my clients. And only because I have to recite it as I get weighed in each week. Not for any other reason.
After I looked through my CR's, I got out my prayer journal and was ashamed to see that I hadn't written in it in almost a week. I had said prayers in between that time, but I hadn't taken a serious chunk of time and committed it to prayer.
What. Was. I. Doing?!?!
Humble pie -- at least it's calorie free, right? Goodness, goodness...I think that I have lived off of it this week. Something finally clicked. All of that reflection on the past 5 weeks was like a huge slap upside the head for me. (One that I desperately needed, I might add.) As I considered all of the things I'd done and not done, my thoughts were actually brought back to something I myself had *just* said.
While we were driving on our date last weekend, my husband and I were talking about our faith lives and especially about the changes that I've made in the past year or so. I said these exact words to him: "I finally figured out that I can't do it by myself. I just can't. I need help. And the only place I can find enough strength, joy, comfort, peace, and determination to do things better and over and over and over again is through the Lord."
My own words rang out in my mind -- when I spoke them, I was talking about myself as a mother, wife, friend, daughter, woman, etc. I wasn't at all speaking about my weight loss efforts and everything that goes along with that journey -- yet, here I was -- at the same place and feeling and thinking the very same thing.
I can't do it by myself. I just can't. I need help. And the only place I can find enough strength, joy, comfort, peace and determination to do things better and over and over and over again is through the Lord.
And now I'm talking about my weight loss efforts. It's finally time to do this the right way. It's time to do this for me, through Him.
Ever since Thursday, I've had a great week. It hasn't been a struggle to do what I need to do. What I NEED to do. The biggest change is that I *want* to do it now. For me. Not because I'm turning my CR in. Not because I have to recite that verse as I step on the scale.
I want to do this because I know I can. I want to do this because I know He wants me to. I want to do this to glorify Him.
Here's a verse I found this morning as I was doing some reading. I put it on an index card and taped it to the fridge. It's basically what happened to me after Thursday night. I love it when the Word speaks right to me. To me. What a gift; what a treasure.
I Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)
"But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different than what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it."
Monday Morning P.S. - I wrote this last night before going to bed. I just finished my Bible study for the day. Here is word-for-word the prayer at the end of the lesson (which was pretty much ALL about this exact topic): "Heavenly Father, help me to make a fresh commitment to my efforts in the First Place program so that I may reap a harvest. Holy Lord, help me to make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with You."
I guess I'm really in the right place, wouldn't you say?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Okay- so here's an oldie, but a goodie. Yes -- that's right, we are Red Sox fans smack dab in the middle of Rockies country. (FYI for all of you out there that may not be married to baseball fanatics like my man -- the World Series starts tonight.)
Oh, and p.s. - that one sock of hers was missing for that ENTIRE season.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Red Sox!!!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Okay, so back to the mini-me part of things. One of the comments on my CR (the thing I turn in at meetings that says what I ate, etc.) one of my leaders wrote to me was to try and not lose control on the weekends. Ummmm, yeah. Maybe next weekend I'll work on that one. Baby steps. I'm taking baby steps. It's still a problem.
Maybe that will be my goal - to keep this coming weekend under control. Okay - there ya go. I have a goal. Well, that - and to tip the scales in the right direction again.
On a good note - this past week I used my weights for the entire workout for my hardest dvd - AND I did each and every situp, and all of the pushups. To do ALL of that - was a good step. I'm getting in better shape, apparently. Hooray!
How's it going for you ladies, my other mini-me'ers?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
My friend, Jennifer, is someone that I've recently come to know pretty well through the bloggy world. We've bonded over our Starbucks from a world away, and it all started because I don't like McD's french fries. (Apparently they are quite amazing in Japan!) She is such a sweet woman, and you don't have to guess how she feels about things. I love that about her, and I especially love how her heart for the Lord just shines. I am blessed each and every day that I read her blog. She passed this award onto me, which sort of blew me away, by the way -- and I'm excited to pass it on. (I love little "happies" like this!)
This award was designed to honor people who walk the walk with regards to what they "preach" (though I personally don't like to think that I preach -- just talk, really) in their blogs, and who are trying to start in their own homes with making the changes they'd like to see in the world. (Um, see why I'm surprised I came to mind? LOL)
So, now I am happily passing this along to Earen , Heather and Beth Anne because they all hit home runs in the change starting at home department. Every time I visit their blogs, I'm always blessed and challenged by what I read, and they all have an obvious heart for the Lord. They are just regular moms trying to figure out how to make each day better than the next, and how to grow closer to Him in the process. I think that maybe that's what this little award is all about.
Moving right along, back to things on the homefront...I really don't like it when my kids are sick. I know that no mom does. It just stinks to have to watch them be all yucky and not be able to to fix it. Thankfully, this go-around they both just have nasty colds -- actually I think G's is more of a sinus infection so we went to the ped yesterday and left with meds for her. I hope they kick in quickly - she is so congested that it's just nasty.
Yesterday was Mitchell's day to bring snack at preschool and it just about killed him that he wouldn't get to be the line leader and snack passer because I kept him home. (He probably could have gone, but in addition to making sure he wasn't contagious anymore - just a cold, but still - they are having a harvest party on Friday and he would really be sad if he missed that one.) I took the snack down to my neighbor so that she could take it to school for me and he said "Does Ela get to be the snack passer instead of me??" He was so worried about it.
It made me think about myself and how sometimes I'm still guilty of that same mentality as an adult -- I don't want to miss anything and it will just about kill me if someone else has to do one of my jobs. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson with leaving my job at school. The building didn't fall down. The school didn't get sued. No children fell ill. The world moved on, even without me. I know that in Mitchell's case, he just didn't want to miss being a part of things and to have his moment in the spotlight, but for me -- I think it's that whole needing to be needed thing. I have a few people in my life that this is their "thing," it's actually what they are known for, so it makes me cringe a bit to think that I have some of that myself. I am working on it and hope that I don't wear it as a badge as I have seen others in my life do.
Last night I was getting the kids out of their clothes and into their pajamas. I was busy cleaning up a pretty icky diaper for Miss G and sort of half-paying attention to Mitchell, who is completely able to change his own clothes at this point. Out of my half an ear I had turned in his direction, I heard something that sounded like "both of my underwears" so I decided to actually turn my head in that direction. Would you believe that my silly little boy wore two pair of underwear all day yesterday because he loves his new Spiderman undies that much?! Here's how our conversation on the subject went:
Me: How in the world did you end up with two pair of underwear on?
M: Well, I love my new Spiderman underwear and I just couldn't choose.
Me: Wasn't one pair dirty?
M: No, I put them on after my bath last night so I was really clean.
Me: Oh, I see.
M: Which pair do you like the best, Mommy?
Me: Ummmm, whichever one you leave on.
M: I like them both just the same. I wonder what kind of underwear Spiderman wears?
Me: Probably Spiderman undies.
M: No, I think he likes Thomas.
I really should have taken a picture of this, but my cranky girl yesterday cracked me up. At one point in the day, the only thing that made her happy was wearing her birthday crown, the thick, blue doctor's kit glasses, a string of fake pearls, my tennis shoes, and she had to tote around her plush, pink purse. She was so dang proud of herself.
Okay, so I actually read the paper yesterday morning. As in, I sat at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and read the newspaper. Cover to cover. That simply doesn't happen in my life anymore.
Here's an article that I read that really made me upset. I can't STAND this sort of thing. (I also couldn't get the paper's website to load, so I copied this from another blog, but it's the actual article and that link works, just not for me apparently.)
Suggesting church for students gets district suedBy SARA BURNETT
CHERRY CREEK, Colo. — The Freedom from Religion Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit against Cherry Creek Schools, saying a project aimed at helping students reach their full potential illegally encourages going to church.
The complaint, filed on behalf of two parents who have children in Cherry Creek schools, accuses the district of violating laws regarding the separation of church and state.
Tustin Amole, spokeswoman for the district, said Tuesday the district is confident the project is not illegal because it does not mandate participation in any religious activity.
Known as the 40 Developmental Assets, the project is promoted as a way to help students grow into “responsible, confident and healthy young people,” according to a newsletter sent to parents.
Among the assets is having family support and telling the truth, “even when it’s not easy.”
Recommendation number 19 is “religious community.” It suggests young people spend time each week in activities at a religious institution.
The project, which is used nationally, has been in the Cherry Creek district for 18 years, -Amole said.
The complaint asks the court to order the district to stop endorsing Developmental Asset 19. It does not specifically seek damages, but asks for any other relief the court deems proper.
The bolded part actually made me laugh because I immediately thought about how these parents seem to be doing the complete opposite of what the whole project is supposed to be doing for their children. How about telling your kids that although you don't like these recommendations and that although they upset you, simply recommending these activities is not illegal. How about telling your kids that if they had required such participation, then you bet - scratch that itch and file your lawsuit. How in the world is filing this lawsuit teaching those children to be healthy, confident and responsible? If you ask me - it's teaching them to be ultra-defensive, catered to, complainers.
I can only say that if our kids went to that school and it was recommended that they not be involved in religious activities, you bet your bippy that it is we, as parents who would be addressing that with our children. We wouldn't go running to the courts to file a lawsuit because the school system recommended something that was in contrast with our beliefs as parents, and we DEFINITELY wouldn't claim we'd had our rights violated. We would make it clear that no matter what the school recommends about that area of their lives, this is where we stand as a family. And if the recommendation meant that much to us, I doubt that we'd be sending them to school there.
That, to me, is taking a stand. Not claiming that they are having their rights mowed down. I think that they are coming off as whiners, personally. I also want to say that I'm completely open to other opinions on this subject, but since it's my blog...
I just thought about what I wrote, and my husband will probably be so excited about it when I tell him. He loves it when I get fired up about stuff like that. I'm so much more lukewarm than he is on things so much of the time, I bet he'll be all jazzed to see me with my feathers ruffled. What a nerd. Also, he'll probably get a good chuckle out of the little award thing because (a) he doesn't really get this whole blog thing and (b) because he more than anyone else sees my warts. I think he'd chuckle, and then say he's proud of me. We'll see.
Okay - so now for the recipe. I found this one in the paper on Sunday, so we had it on Monday and it was yummy. Here are my own personal notes -- can you tell I rarely follow a recipe as it's written?
I used the bones from a whole chicken I'd cooked the day before, and I also used a cooked chicken breast I had leftover. I just chopped it up and threw it in. Seeing as how I try to use the crockpot instead of the stove whenever possible, I threw it in there and it was fine. I think next time I'll not cook it quite so long because it reduced quite a bit -- I'd do maybe 2-3 hours on low instead of my normal 5-6. It was a nice change of pace and we both really liked it. I think next time I'm going to add shredded cabbage and lots of stir fry-type veggies. I forgot to add the veggies even though I thought of it this time, and I also forgot that I was going to serve it over ramen noodles. Whoops. Welcome to a day in my brain.
Oriental Chicken Soup
1 lb - cubed, boneless chicken breast (mine was already cooked)
4 - minced scallions (my hubby hates onions of any kind so I left them out)
2/3 cup of orzo (I left it out)
4 cups - chicken broth (I used low sodium)
2 tbsp - soy sauce (I used low sodium)
2 tbsp - rice wine or cider vinegar (I used rice wine)
1 tbsp - fresh, minced ginger (I only had powdered and just sprinkled, I didn't measure)
2 tsp - sesame oil
4 oz - trimmed/julienned snow peas
In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients except snow peas. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes. Add snow peas. Cook 5 minutes more, or until orzo is tender and chicken cooked. Makes about 4 servings.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Fashionistas take a little longer to put down for a nap. Lots to take off, you know.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Maybe it's because the only sound in my house right now are the tapping of the computer keys and the breathing of my husband and kids as they sleep.
Maybe it's because I am just having a moment.
Whatever the reason, I've been spending some time in the past this morning. Revisiting big, swollen, pregnant bellies. Sighing with bittersweet adoration at tiny fingers, toes, noses, and mouths drawn into little "o's". Giggling at silly moments and goofy expressions.
I am extraordinarily blessed. To have this love, these smiles, such cherished times to reflect on...what a privilege. Prayers of gratitude for His love and grace were intertwined with my memories tonight. (This morning??)
Here are some of the pictures that I treasure the most. They are in no particular order (mainly because my photobucket is 45 pages big and in very random order) and I wonder if you can spot the completely unintentional Austin Powers-esque photo? Once someone pointed it out to me I was like "Oh, WOW!!" Would have never noticed it otherwise, but now I can't look at it without laughing. I know there are a ton, but trust me - -this is a small sampling!!
Thanks for indulging my sense of nostalgia, and I am SO sorry if you have dial-up. I have probably ruined your day with this one.