09Jul

Weightloss Wednesday: Week 2 Update

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Get Healthy

Click here to start at the beginning and read about how I am trying to get myself healthier with Healthy Wage.

Another imperfect week around here. There was a holiday involved, and some high stress days, so that’s the excuse this time. I’m trying not to allow myself too many excuses, while still not completely beating myself up and getting down about the “failures.” I know all too well where that leads and it’s binge city, which I’m trying to avoid.

Victories & Setbacks this week

Eating Out. I did eat out more than I wanted to this week. It’s so ironic, because I love to cook, and I deeply desire to eat all real food, but for some reason the junk food provided by fast food is just a huge stumbling block to me–I crave it. And, eating out almost always means soda/pop with the meal, which I know is just awful.

Snacks. I usually don’t keep a lot of snacks in the house, but when I went shopping I splurged on some treats for us to include with our fourth of July picnic lunch. Having those things in the house has resulted in my eating them way too much. Especially when I didn’t go back to the store to replenish the fruits mid-week. There were a couple of days that I did better on eating the fruits and veggies.

Exercise. Still going strong on  Jillian’s 30 Day Shred video. Today was day 9 and there have been a couple of days I probably wouldn’t have done it alone, so having my hubby to help keep me accountable with this has been huge. She says we should feel more endurance by now and I really haven’t. I believe it’s because (1) I haven’t been sleeping very well lately, partly due to insomnia and partly due to not getting in bed when I should; and (2) because my eating habits haven’t been that great. When I’m still fueling myself with sugar, soda, and junkfood, it’s going to be hard to do a workout like that right now. So, I need to continue to work on those things.

Meal Planning. I have been a bit better about meal planning, but have still had some slip ups. I need to be more pro-active about planning and having healthy, real food choices available and prepared beforehand.

Not a great week, but still moving slowly in the right direction and hoping for a better update next week! 

Results Week 2

My weight tends to fluctuate a bit. I weighed 209.4 for my Healthy Wage weigh-in video, and then the very next day I weighed 211.6. So, I really have even a couple pounds more to lose than I thought.

Considering that fluctuation as best as I can, I have lost approximately 1.5 lbs this week. Not very exciting, but still moving slowly in the right direction. And, technically is on track with what I need to lose per week to meet my goal (1.5 lbs).

Starting Weight: 209.4
Current Weight: 204.8
Goal Weight on 12/22: 169.4


 
12Mar

Our Real Food Journey (Week 1)

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Follow our Real Food Journey | Serving Joyfully

Well, we survived our first week of non-processed food! I thought I’d share some general observations from our first week. But first, I will recap our “rules.”

Our Rules

(For now). We are not doing the 100 Days of Real Food pledge, but we are following similar rules as far as what constitutes “real food,” with a few exceptions.

1. We didn’t throw out everything. Though we got rid of 95% of the processed ingredients in our home, there are a few things we kept. Things that aren’t so bad, or things we eat a lot and just couldn’t bare to waste. These are things like peanut butter, cheese (with mold inhibitor and/or coloring), a loaf of whole wheat bread, and maybe 2-3 more things. We won’t be purchasing any of these again, but we didn’t throw them out yet.

2. We are making exceptions for social events. We are making exceptions for all social things. So, we will eat at church fellowship meals which is good food, but not completely whole, real food. Our kids still have treats at Sunday school and AWANA, and if we are invited to eat at a restaurant with someone, we’ll do the best we can but not stress about it. These type of things really aren’t that frequent for us, so we feel fine about these exceptions.

3. We aren’t eating all local yet. We’re working toward it, but we have a VERY tight budget, and we need to ease into some things budget wise. Eating all local meats is a goal, but not a reality just yet.

Positive Things

1. Now that we are being more conscientious about what we put into our bodies, it’s kind of hard to ignore all those yucky chemically, manufactured ingredients. One of the things we’d saved to eat until we run out and then not buy again, was some garlic bread that I had literally just purchased before we decided to start this.  The other night, we had a long day and I threw together some spaghetti and salad with garlic bread. We ate it, but it was hard for us to get past the fact that the ingredients list was a mile long.

2. Our kids are on board. For years, I have been the mom who says no to a lot of sweets, candy, etc. My oldest didn’t have his first sugary treat until he was 2. I am so thankful for that now! My younger son has my sweet tooth and he asked for candy one time and I reminded him that we’re eating healthier now, and offered him fruit. He was happy with that. Yesterday, I pulled out one of the things hubby and I decided not to throw away–homemade pancakes made with white flour, sugar, and a sprinkling of mini-chocolate chips from our freezer. Both of my children commented on how we aren’t supposed to be eating these anymore because they aren’t healthy. (I promise I’m not trying to turn them against treats all together!) I’m glad they have a base of healthy eating to make this easier for them, and glad they understand what we are doing. Though they still happily accept their processed treats at Awana and Sunday School.

3. It has been easier than I thought. I have to give God the praise here for helping me through it. It really is amazing how when I give up things during Lent it’s like a whole new outlook. It’s so interesting how much easier things get, mentally, when it’s completely off the table. Maybe one day I will try and share the extent of my food addiction, but it has been a major stronghold in my life. Obviously, there are things that each of us still miss, but overall it has been easier and without cravings.

Challenges

I’d be lying if I said everything about this is easy! It’s possible. But it hasn’t been completely easy.

1. The budget thing is super hard. We’ve always cooked with mostly real foods, but had snacks and some lunch things (lunch meat, etc.) that were processed, along with having white flour and refined sugar as staples in our cabinets. The white flour goes on sale here every few months for $1.50, and I would stock up at that time. The whole wheat isn’t even available in my town, I have to travel half an hour to the next town over to get it and pay $3.69.  A 4 lb bag of sugar which would last me 3-4 weeks usually, depending on how much I’m baking, regularly goes on sale here for $1.50. A 32 oz. jar of honey that will last us probably half that time is $9. And 16 oz. of maple syrup is $7. That is a HUGE difference! I’m trying not to be a nazi about it, but for a girl who has been conditioned to be very frugal in order to make ends meet, it’s hard. I have found myself asking my husband things like “what? You put maple syrup all over your toast this morning? Do you know how much that stuff costs?” and “How much did you put in your oatmeal?” Need some more prayers on this one because my poor hubby works very hard and has been a great support in this HUGE lifestyle change and he really doesn’t deserve to be grilled about putting maple syrup in his oatmeal in the morning by a crazy person! Also, I know God led us to make this change, and therefore, He will provide for it. I’m super thankful for our maple syrup, too!

2. Trying to keep snacks available is hard. I’ve been so used to falling back on semi-healthy processed things–store bought granola bars, storebought popsicles, graham crackers, gummies, etc. They’ve always had some better things like fruit and cheese for snacks as well, but now we’re trying to replace all of those other snacks with new things for 2 boys who have bottomless stomachs! I have found some great recipes which I’ve added to my Real Food Ideas & Recipes pinterest board. But I haven’t tried them all out yet, and I have been so busy that we’ve mostly been having fruit or triscuits for all snacks, which means that they are probably eating too much fruit (I’ve been conditioned to limit fruit because of the natural sugar content…any thoughts on this?), and I’m running to the store several times a week instead of my usual once. This week I’m planning to get a better handle on the snack thing, so hopefully I can have a better report on this next week. My kids are usually super good eaters, but they do not like any raw veggies at all.

3. We are always hungry! I’m not sure if it is a part of the sugar detox or what, but we are always hungry. All of us. My boys are begging for snacks in between meals (healthy ones, but still) even more than usual and my husband and I have felt hungry more as well. I’m hoping that as our bodies continue to adjust, this will get better. I’m having a hard time keeping up!

4. Sugar Detox. For a junkfood junkie (and sugar addict) like me, this has been rough. I have felt absolutely miserable, physically. I have had even less energy than normal, have had horrible headaches, and just felt overall yucky. But, I have ever confidence that I will feel much better after I cross this hurdle.

5. Buying Local, farm fresh! Just yesterday, I bought my first farm-fresh milk! I’m very excited about that. We’ve also been buying farm fresh eggs, which honestly we didn’t make a priority before because it is so much more convenient to just grab them at the store than it is to drive all over creation to the house with fresh eggs. But, we’re just going to start doing it, because it’s important to us. Next on the list is to find local meat suppliers if possible. We are in a tiny town, so some things are more difficult in that area.

6. It’s a ton of work. It really is a lot more work in the kitchen when you are making literally EVERYTHING from scratch! I have always made most things from scratch, but that step from most to everything is a big one. When you eat every meal at home and from scratch there is a lot of cooking, cleaning, dishes, etc. But, again, it’s just getting into a better routine and I feel like next week I’ll be able to have a better report about this.

So, that’s the report from our first week! Sorry this is so long. I apparently had more to say on the subject than I though!


 
04Mar

No Such Thing as Falling off the Wagon

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No Such Thing as Falling Off the Wagon

A few weeks ago, I shared that we have kind of “fallen off the wagon” when it comes to not eating out. My friend Stephanie left me this comment:

We have also fallen off the eating out band wagon this holiday season. Or more accurately we’ve climbed on it and ridden it to McDonald’s, On the Border, Chinese take out, Chili’s — basically anywhere our taste buds want to go…

Her comment was written in fun, but it really made me think about it.

We use the phrase a lot in our society–falling off the wagon. Obviously, I’m guilty as well, and it’s just a phrase. But, our words are powerful, and that is something the Lord is constantly convicting me of. When I use the phrase “falling off the wagon,” I am removing myself from responsibility. Falling is something that we can’t control. When I fall down, it’s not a choice. It’s just something that happens to me, and I am a victim.

But the truth is that we don’t just “fall” into those bad choices. We make one conscious decision after another leading us down the wrong path. There is no falling off the wagon, only climbing onto a different one.

As with so many topics, God’s word has something to say about this one. Many somethings, I’m sure, but I’m just going to focus on this one. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

When we are tempted, He is faithful to provide a way of escape. There is no “falling into” bad behavior. When we choose those bad behaviors, we are not only consciously making bad choices, but we are also ignoring the alternative that the Lord is faithful to provide.

Ouch.

Some of you have been reading for a while and know some of my weight struggles. It’s one of the many things in my life that I just can’t seem to follow through to completion, even though I desperately want to honor God with my body because it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. You know that, right? You were bought at a price, and your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor. 6:19-20)

I know this is important. It is important that I honor God with my body. It is important that I honor Him with my actions and not turn to food for comfort instead of him. It’s important for my physical health because I am around 80 lbs overweight, which places me firmly in the medically OBESE category. I have no energy, I can’t run and play with my kids. I’m often out of breath, and it’s ridiculous for an otherwise healthy woman my age to be feeling this badly.

It’s important for my mental health. There is a ton of research out there–both scientific and testimonials that link diet and depression. I truly believe that removing sugars and processed foods from my diet could help me regain my health and life back.

For all these reasons, I need to conquer this. Even if for no other reason than to take back what the enemy has stolen from me and to say, firmly, “NO, Satan you do not have any power or authority in my life.”

And so, here we go again. I’m not Catholic, but I do fast for Lent. I have often given up things that are detrimental to my walk with God, and/or that I feel are strongholds in my life. This year, I am giving up sugar and processed foods. This will include eating out, since it’s nearly impossible to eat out without eating processed foods. My prayer is that the change will last beyond the time of Lent.

My prayer this week (the first week is always the hardest!) is that God will reveal to me His way of escape in each circumstance I face. I will be honest. Food is a major stronghold in my life. It is an addiction in ways that only a few of you will likely understand. And I know that I will need His strength. I will need Him to deliver me and fight the battle for me, just like He promised the Israelites (Exodus 14:13-14).

But I know that He is able. Even though I have failed and failed, He is still faithful and able to help me get through it this time.

Have you gotten off track on something that you have committed to doing in your life? Wherever you are, you can turn around now and start making the changes to get back on track.


 
06Aug

Made to Crave Study (Chapters 5-8)

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Made to Crave book club

So, first of all, a bit of an apology. Last week…well, I really have no excuse, we were just kind of busy and I didn’t do a lot of blogging. And now, I have recently joined and AMAZING network of bloggers with the iHomeschool Network (Squeee!), and yesterday was the kickoff of the original {Not} Back to School Blog Hop, so you can find my curriculum post, and find lots of other great posts as well.

Now for my thoughts on the current chapters of Made to Crave.  Since there are 4 chapters, I’ll just hit some highlights instead of discussing each chapter.

Chapters 5-6

The big idea here is to remember that we were made for more. God did not create us to live in defeat. Jesus says that clearly in John 10:10. We were made for victory, and through the Holy Spirit, we are equipped for that victory. It’s time for us to start living like it! Lysa’s challenge is this:

I can’t allow myself to partake in anything that negates my true identity. (53)

And in Chapter 6 is the reminder that the ultimate goal is not to lose weight–it’s to grow closer to God through our commitment to him. She reminds us where our power comes from. Galatians 5:16 says “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” Walk. in. the. Spirit. 4 simple words, but they mean so much in our Christian walk. It’s the only way we can be effective in our lives and for Christ.

She also mentions a verse in Philippians that has always been so convicting to me: Philippians 3:19…”their god is in their belly” It goes on to say “their mind is on earthly things.”

Dear Lord, I pray your spirit would move in my life and help me to set my mind on things above and NOT on earthly things!

Chapters 7-8

In Chapter 7 she talks about how it’s “not about the numbers.” And I get it, I really do. I didn’t miss the point entirely, but since the number she mentions as being a bad weight for herself and so appalling to her work out partner is very near to my dream weight at this point…it was hard for me to get past that.

She also talks about insecurities. I am steeped in insecurities. Ones that are sometimes debilitating. And I so need to be able to fight those nasty words with the truth of the Holy Spirit. I am so fortunate that I have made a friend who will help me do that sometimes, but I need more people in my life to help me do this, and I need to gain the fight, the spirit, the Holy Spirit in me to help me fight those words on my own with His truth.

In Chapter 8, Lysa talks more in depth about honoring God independent of the numbers on the scale. I’ve said all along that my need to get this under control has nothing to do with the scale. It’s about honoring God. So I love her challenge to judge your progress by obedience and not by the numbers. Although my problem would be that I’m failing on both accounts, but that’s another issue.

 


 
15Jul

Made to Crave Study: Chapter 1 & 2

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Made to Crave book club

 

If you still need to get the book, you can get it here and the Kindle edition is still only $2.99 (affiliate link): Made to Crave at Amazon. And you can find additional resources here.

Confession. I didn’t do so well last week!  I’m clinging to this verse today:

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 3:13-14

Friends, if you messed up this morning, or yesterday, or last weekend, or like me–most of last week. Do not let that be your excuse to wallow in the failure.  Forget that.  Start fresh. Do it right now.

Chapter 1

Lysa makes an important point:  “We crave what we eat.” A very simple truth.  But oh so true.

Then she gets into the basis of the book:

You were made to crave–long for, want greatly, desire eagerly, and beg for–God. Only God. But Satan wants to do everything possible to replace our craving for God with something else…[and] he knows where we are weak. (page 21-22)

And, I love the discussion of Eve’s initial falling, because Lysa brings up something that I hadn’t focused on before.  Eve’s entire focus in that moment was on the food. She didn’t consider God’s truth. She didn’t consult God or her husband. “She focused only on the object of her obsession.” (23)

Many times, that’s the way food addiction and overeating manifest–in private. Many of us are at the point of hiding away. We don’t consult God (at least we don’t listen to him in those moments), or a friend to hold us accountable. So, it becomes increasingly important to be immersed in the word of God.

The more saturated we are with truth, the more powerful we’ll be in resisting our temptations.

And this is true across the board, not just dealing with food. It’s what Jesus did when he was tempted–He fought back with the word of God.

Chapter 2

Throughout chapter 2, Lysa kind of focuses on the concept of admitting your problem, and realizing that your problem is bigger than the number on the scale. Been there done that.  I have known this, but I still haven’t had the discipline, commitment, ability, whatever it would take…to actually do something about it.  The bigger problem is relying on food instead of God to meet our needs.  I can fully agree with Lysa when she says:  “Food was my comfort.  Food was my reward.  Food was my joy.  Food was what I turned to in times of stress, sadness, and even times of happiness.” (page 29)  Lysa describes me as well, except that I don’t have the benefit of the past tense. I’m still there, fighting to get out.

And can I just say something?  Using food as your comfort isn’t just an overweight  problem. Because it’s not about the scale, it’s a heart condition. Sometimes the scale might reflect it and sometimes it doesn’t.

I had the same problem with food when I was 18 with high metabolism and weighed 115 pounds.  And the same when I was an emotional eater all through college and gained 15 pounds up to 130.  No one could tell by looking at me, since 130 is well within a healthy range, but I had the same problem then that I do now weighing nearly 200 (yes, I broke the 200 mark on the way back down…I’m going to be happy about that today).

Lysa suggests to pray when you get a craving.   A friend of mine keeps her current memory verse in her pocket, so when she has a craving, she can pull it out.  I have a post with tips, and, my friend Holly from 300 Pounds Down shares her tips here.

I also have a pinterest board with some inspiring quotes and images. Just find something that works.

Finally, remember the sweet, sweet feeling of victory, and your goal. Every single time you defeat a craving, you are winning.  You’re one step closer to relinquishing the power that satan and food have over you.  You’re one step closer to giving it to God instead.  And as those victories add up, you’re ever closer to your end goal. In Lysa’s words, “One day of victory tasted better than any of that food I’d given up ever could.” (31)

Don’t forget to link up or comment to share your thoughts if you’re joining in.



 

 


 
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