Monthly Archives: January 2012

The Un-Invite – Invite

You’ve maybe had one of these before…

Someone invites you to something…  knowing you either can’t, or won’t… due to circumstances beyond your control, or perhaps against your beliefs, convictions or otherwise.

They think they’re being polite – and perhaps, their intentions are good…  But sometimes it feels really rotten.

You’d almost wish they hadn’t mentioned it at all…  because you know that option isn’t possible for you.  Not now.  Maybe never…

Examples would be something like this… You’re a mom of a young nursing baby, you can’t leave that child for the entire day – and your friends invite you on an “adult only” week-end get away.

Obviously you can’t go.  It’s not that you didn’t want to go (although, sometimes you don’t!)…  but you realize the short-term “cost” to go – outweighs the long-term effects on your decisions – and they’re not worth it to you.

Need some more examples?

People make plans and invite you to come over on a night they know you have a set weekly engagement on…  or they make sure you know how much work they have to go to make room for “such a big group”…   Sometimes people do this at weddings – inviting only the adults, and excluding the rest of your children…. family.  Now granted, all people have reasons for why they do things, and they may sincerely NOT be trying to be selfish hurtful – but you can bet it sometimes FEELS hurtful, when you’re often the ones left out or made to feel “over the limit”.  [side note to say that our friends have always been good about inviting our WHOLE family if they invite us…  these are just fictional situations combined with examples I’ve put together over the years]

At any rate, I like to call this, “The Un-invite-Invite”.

Do you know what is great about our God?

He never does that.

When you’re one of His, He never makes you feel un-included.  He welcomes us… regardless of the mistakes we’ve made…  There are no specific requirements on your family’s size – big OR small… nor on your body – big or small and He loves His children equally.  We don’t have to work extra hard to try to prove to Him we’re great.  He designed us, and He knows it.

There is some serious peace in that.  We just need to acknowledge that we are worth it.  Our health is worth it.

This not only brings peace… but that makes me want to be a light for Him all the more.  To show others what He has done for me… in me…   I know for certain it wasn’t just “in me” the way my life has come together, nor the direction it’s going.

Praise Him today for our acceptance, and love…  that only HE can give.  Praise Him even for our struggles that help us to see Him all the more clearly.

Stop looking elsewhere!  (Especially not in FOOD for comfort or settling for good enough.)  He’s all the motivation you need to make the changes to be healthy.

So, while people may continue to do and say (unknowingly) hurtful things…  forgive them for not realizing the impact of their words…  either on yourself, OR your family.  Focus on what you can do to bring God glory in the darkness – give to others in need – food, prayers, time…  and give the hurt to the One who can take it away.

“But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”  Matthew 5:39

Worth It or NOT?

Whoa.... crazy image of what these are worth in "workout" calories.

My friend Kori shared this picture image with me yesterday. (Thanks Kori!) It’s a great picture of what we should have in our minds as we consider our non-necessity foods…

Yes, I know… donuts are NOT a necessity.  Who knew?

I looked at a few of those and thought – NO WAY is that worth it.  Now… there are plenty of things out there that are worth it – just make sure it IS worth it to you.

Just a shout out to Kori – who has been on an “Insanity” challenge.  Way to go!  For those of you who have done some of the Insanity workouts, they’re not for the faint of heart.  Kori was an encourager to me years ago to try out Jillian Michaels and the 30 Day Shred.  I never did it as a 30 day workout challenge – but I kept improving, and working at it.

I still go back to Jillian now and then for a quick workout that works – but God has allowed me to be able to tackle much longer, and more difficult workouts…  and for that, I’m thankful.

What workouts are you enjoying right now?

“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.”

Psalm 86:5

The Opposite of Easy

My last two sons LOVED these potties. I've already discovered my daughter is not a fan...

Often times, main reason people don’t make changes in how they eat, is because they don’t have the incentive to change.  We make excuses, and justify them.

At least… I do.

This was brought to my mind this week… as we’ve begun to potty train our youngest.

A girl.

My 8th child to potty train, this should be a cinch!

Should be.

*God laughs*

God made us all uniquely and perfectly for His purpose….anyone with more than 2-3 children can tell you just how different 2 children from the same two parents can be…  In fact, the more children you have, the more diverse you learn God’s design can be… from the SAME two people.  Raising children is similar to working on a marriage in that it’s a sanctification process… and we sometimes don’t realize the lessons we’re learning until afterwards.

It turns out my daughter’s strong personality and fighting spirit… the same spirit that probably helped her fight to live after being born at 36 weeks…

continues to be the fighting spirit that I’m battling each day right now.

Is she too young?  Too little?

No.  The girl knows what to do…

With 7 other cheerleaders in the house, I thought this might be the quickest one yet – but definitely not our earliest or latest.

She’s been showing signs for awhile… and I had been putting it off.

*I* wasn’t ready…

It’s too cold, and I’m too busy… and with school and the kids…

Boy – this was starting to sound like EVERY OTHER excuse I can come up with when I don’t want to do something, {and end up regretting it later}.

Like…. exercising… or making small changes in my eating habits that add up.

So amidst a painter having our main living area in a jumbled mess this week… and  my husband in between his two big business trips of the year… we both have lots of deadlines and stress and school and…

I thought this was a good time to start?

YES.  It was a good time to start…

There is never a great time to start.  If you wait for that “GREAT TIME” that “perfect time” to start we would NEVER do it.  We can always make excuses on why not to do the hard things.  They’re the opposite of easy for a reason…  they take work!  Commitment!  Incentive!

So make any day your Monday this week and start where you are.  If you’ve gotten off track – get BACK on track to be healthy for Him.

Mistakes are part of life.  We must learn from them and move on!

“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” – Philippians 2:12-13

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Out Eat Your Work Out

Do you really need tips on how to gain weight?  Probably not.

Most of us could figure out a way to gain weight….   add in more of our favorite fatty foods and desserts…  take about a month hiatus off of working out.

Seems easy enough.  It can actually happen more simply, and quietly than that, even when you’re working so hard for the opposite effect.

As our metabolism naturally slows as we age, we need few calories.

It’s a bummer.  I know.

The shorter you are, the fewer calories you need.

AGAIN … can be a bummer, and why a lot of women get frustrated with the husbands.  It’s true, if we’re built differently, and most of us are… our caloric needs are different too.

I look at my kids devouring things and burning calories like the pros.  Their heart rates are also going about twice as fast as mine while resting.  They’re growing… they NEED those additional calories from good nutrition.

I just WANT the extra calories.  My body certainly doesn’t need as many as I’d love to squeeze in on any given day…  especially the types of calories I’m prone to desire.

We hit on hidden sugar this week… a nice little eye opener on where things can get way off track quickly, but a great reality check.

Nothing burns me more than seeing a “balanced” breakfast portrayed with 2 eggs, 2 pieces of a “wheat toast” (Not even WHOLE wheat – but just to make it sound healthy!) and then a TALL glass of Orange Juice (worth 2 servings)…  all the while – people think they’re making good choices because this is what has been shown to us.

If you’ve just started your day off in the red like that – overloaded on carbs, don’t wonder why you’re crashing at your desk at 10am.  Unless you’re super physically active at your job – you probably don’t need that many calories, or carbs…  you can still make better choices.

If you’re going to be realistic with what your body NEEDS…  you’d be better off having a 1/4 to 1/2 of an orange, cutting out a piece of toast and skipping the added sugar in that juice!  Some might even suggest taking those eggs back to just egg whites… but for me, I need that protein, AND… I don’t fight cholesterol issues.

Here are just a few more examples on how small changes in your diet can subtract OR … add up!  (these are estimates!)

Apple = 130 calories, Banana = 170… a serving size is HALF that – so 65 calories. vs.  85.  Might not seem like much right?  But if you only chose banana servings vs. apples – after 7 days that’s  140 additional calories, and after 1 month, that’s 560 additional calories, and after ONE YEAR… that’s 6750 additional calories.. {and if not worked off} – over a pound of FAT without even trying!

That’s fruit people.  Yes, it’s something we need, but that’s why portion size, and calorie intake are so important.  Just because we’re eating real food, that is good for us… doesn’t mean there still isn’t knowledge to be had!  Be energized and aware!  Ask God to put a new song in your heart.

Let’s take a look at some others…

Green bean serving?  40 calories, Corn?  140 calories…. Hmmm….  YES, corn is more of a fruit, and fruits ARE higher in natural sugar.  Natural sugar… is still sugar.  Keeps your wits about you.  Personally I *love* my green veggies.  I love corn too – but we often mix a little corn in with our green veggies, for added color.  We can get our fix without having so much sugar (for what we consider our veggie serving!)

Bran flakes… good for you – right?  about 200 calories per serving.  Now let’s compare with granola… of course this can vary – but MOST people would consider granola a great choice.  I used to top it onto my yogurt and it is very tasty.  While it can be good for you – just like fruit, moderation is the key.  A full serving of some granola can load up to 780 calories!  Whoa!!!!   I won’t do the math for you… but you can imagine the difference in a year…  So while many people are working out, and consuming a bunch of “healthy foods” – you can see how easy it is to out-eat your work-out!

How about drinks?  Cooking with milk vs. water is always going to add in calories…. juices – as you saw on that website yesterday, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be.  While again you can have a “good thing” – sometimes it can be way too much of a good thing.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth,  a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him.” – Psalm 40:1-3

 

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How Do You Stack Up?

Isn't Vitamin water healthy for you?  How much is enough?

Found this great little informational site on how much sugar are in some common “to go” foods and drinks!

It was fun/interesting to look though.  Let me know if you found any surprises!  I always like to consider what I used to eat, and remember how I used to feel.  Nothing like a good push on why NOT to go back there.

I also enjoyed the pictures because put they put the content into perspective through pictures – a serving vs. the entire portion MOST people are consuming.  It reminded me of my college nutrition courses with the videos of sugar…  nothing like that “pile” of sugar to slow you down or turn you off completely!!

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds,

and the one who knocks it will be opened.”  Matthew 7:7-8

Eat More! Lose Weight!

Excuse me?
Yes… that isn’t a typo. I said – Eat MORE and lose weight…

I don’t actually mean QUANTITY of food – I’m talking QUALITY of food in regards to nutrition power.

Fueling your body, and keeping your metabolism going, is your best defense against gaining weight, and your biggest help in losing weight.

Snacks – very important. DO NOT miss your snacks. When you leave the house, make sure you have access to snacks. Not having good snack choices can lead you into a world of BAD choices. Plan ahead!

Don’t just stop eating things you love… because you’ll crave them ALL the more.

Before I thought you had to diet to lose weight… I always deprived myself of things I really loved. Then I couldn’t stop thinking about them… because in my mind, all I could think of was… I don’t think if I can do this if I can’t ever have ___________ again. (fill in the blank with… birthday cake, cheese cake, what have you…)

You know what? I’m fine with not ever having icing on cake, it’s not my thing… and I easily put cheesecake where it belonged. But there are things that ARE worth those extra workouts for me… and I enjoy them dearly – and make sure to keep all things in balance. I’m no longer ignorant to what I’m doing to my body – I treat it as the machine God designed it to be.

Honestly, if you can’t do whatever you’re doing for the rest of your life – why bother? There are plenty of people I know that can lose weight… is that success? How about taking it off – and keeping it off… to live a normal, healthy, satisfied life? Isn’t that what we truly desire? A lifestyle transformation that lasts?

As far as changes go… Start by eating less of those things you struggle with, and more of the things that are good for you… closer to the earth things (not processed junk!)

Be purposeful in looking at what an actual serving is… BEFORE you consume it. You might be shocked at first {sometimes I still am!}… but getting in-line with that first step is the type of education that is key to helping YOU be empowered to making better choices for His glory… and look at what your body REALLY needs as far as calorie intake.

Don’t be afraid of actually eating the things that you love or enjoy… when you make it YOUR choice to give them up – it’s much easier than feeling like you’re on some restricted diet and “have to” give them up. I like to give my “bonus food” an exercise value (as in, it takes XX amount of time to burn this off…)

No one likes to be told what they can do… so realize that isn’t what is going on here. YOU are making educated choices. You’re either choosing to take charge, or let those extra calories… that excess fat, carbs and sugar turn into fat.

When I had gestational diabetes, the nutritionists said that older men fought change the most. Followed by older women. SO, the younger we are, the more of an opportunity we have with training our children in the right way, correct portions, etc… that will hopefully help the next generation even more!!

That said, God can do anything… and no matter what your age, or your past – He can transform you. Body, soul and spirit. Don’t put yourself and your past experiences in a box and don’t give up on your loved ones either. Keep lovingly trying to guide them towards healthier choices. Encourage them when they DO make better choices! We all started somewhere… and I’m sure plenty of times I was labeled a “lost cause”.

Thankfully… God never saw me that way.

If He can transform this body after 8 kids, and this mind following all of my bad habits… He can do the same for you!

“Praise the Lord in song, for He has done excellent things…” – Isa. 12:5

Discovering Your Health Monster

With all of the hub-bub about Paula Dean’s hidden Type II diabetes announcement… I thought I’d say, we need not be in fear of desserts and other things that seem to stress people out.  Is her announcement REALLY any surprise?  No.  Common sense can tell you if you ate what she cooks 365 days a year … you’re going to feel and look like a tank.  That said, diet isn’t the only thing going on with diabetes… but eating right is 80% of the equation in losing excess weight, so it’s important to know how to eat right.

The keys are self-control {a fruit of the Spirit}, and moderation.  IF you lack self-control, you’re probably going to REALLY lack moderation ability…  and that’s where you’re going to need the Holy Spirit.  That said, you will find strength in finding new ways to enjoy LESS the things you love.  Don’t do it with the mindset that you’re depriving yourself.  Remember that you’re filling your mind with Truth, and education so that you’ll WANT to make choices that help you to feel well and function at your best for His glory.  Do NOT live in fear over food.  Make better choices.

How about a healthified monster cookie recipe?  YUM!  These are some of our favorites:

Some of the softest, yummy cookies!

HEALTHIER MONSTER COOKIES 

1 1/4 cups organic sucanot

2/3 cup light agave

3 eggs

1/2 cup butter or 1 cup natural applesauce

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp. baking soda

4 cups of oatmeal (or often I use 3 cups, and one cup of whole wheat/white flour so they have a little rise)

1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks

1/2 cup dark choc. M & Ms

** any other extra you might like to add… white chocolate chips or health toffee bits… 🙂 🙂  I said healthier.  NOT perfect.

 

Preheat over to 350 degrees

In large bowl beat together butter/applesauce, peanut butter, sucanot, agave, eggs, and vanilla.  Combine well, then add in oatmeal/flour as directed.   Lastly, add in chocolates, and the goodies.  Place heaping teaspoon blobs onto pan and heat for 10-12 minutes.

 

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,

but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.” – 1 Cor. 10:13

Get Your Drink On!

I love being able to home school my kids.  I appreciate the freedoms we have in our country…  I honestly can’t imagine anything else for our family.

That’s pretty ironic to say, given I was certain (as in stomp my foot down, NO WAY – NO HOW) was I ever going to home school.

I wasn’t sure how things would go with schooling, when we first started having children… I didn’t really think about it.  Mindless?  Perhaps… but usually people just do what their sister is doing, or our their family or friends did…  that seems NORMAL.  I did the same…

Thankfully no one I was close to – was doing something THAT weird home schooled.

Suddenly I found myself with 2 children in preschool under the age of 5, and 2 non-walking  babies at home… and I was throwing up all day and night (and trying to hide it) because I was pregnant again with #5.

When my husband suggested his convictions on homeschooling – I thought for sure he had lost his mind or was was trying to send me away, assuring that I would lose mine!

Couldn’t he SEE what I was already dealing with?

Oh me of little faith.

Never doubt the Lord’s power and conviction.

Every time I do, He shows me how much bigger and more powerful HE IS than my small dreams and desires for my life.

Well one of the biggest blessings with home schooling is in their lessons, God is often teaching ME.

Not just math, or language arts (although I’m getting REALLY good at those subjects!)… but MY purpose and His desires for me each day.

Today while reviewing penmanship with my second daughter, we came to the point where she explains the parable and what it meant to her.  She was a little off base… so I got the opportunity to share my 2nd grade artistry skills with her once again.  (Pictures always help me anyway… and you’re welcome for me sharing that same drawing with you!)

Which tree are you?

The verses were from Luke 8:11-13, and the point of the parable was – if we aren’t rooted in God’s word (the seed), then when the “wind” comes [trouble or hardship comes – aka Satan] … we’re going to blow over, or fail, or NOT be as strong as God desires for our faith in Him to be.  We are to stay close (in His word) so that we can be well rooted…

Why do you desire to be healthy?  Why make good food choices and why bother working out???

I know for me it’s to fulfill God’s desires for me… because otherwise I’d be eating 3-4 brownies again with no care in the world.  But I remember how that felt – and I never want to go there again.

What happens when we begin ignoring God’s Truth about our bodies, our health… our daily choices?

We begin slipping.

I know, because it happens to me too…  and it’s not hard to go there.  Even changing my 90 calorie snack to 130 calories – could really add up…   Remember that you body is a perfect accountant, and doesn’t lie.  Every calorie counts.

I need that consistent reminder, encouragement… that PUSH.  I need my Christian friends, accountability….  but MOST importantly – I need God and HIS WORD.

I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit to call during those times – to realign me back with God – His Truth – and His plans for me.

So what about you?  Are you thirsty for God’s word today?  Are your convictions strong and are you continuing on being healthy for Him?  Remember, this isn’t about you anymore.  It’s all about Him.

Get your drink on!

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away.” – Luke 8:11-13

 

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Be Mindful…

Mindful…  Thoughtful.

To actually think through what you’re doing.

Since I’m always encouraging you to move.  Today I’m going to tell you to:

SIT.

Yep, that’s right… SIT DOWN.

Do you ever eat … standing up?  While you’re fixing food… in a hurry…

Is that very MINDFUL?

Because when I’m not sitting… and mindlessly eating…  I’m often eating things I don’t realize…

Think of when you cook.

POP!  In goes a little of this, a nibble of that… we need to make sure it tastes good. (ahem)

*Crunch* … a few extra chips … (they don’t count if I’m standing right?)

Pretty soon, we’ve had an extra serving of something we didn’t intent to.

That wasn’t very purposeful – was it?  I didn’t even ENJOY it.

Focus on eating MINDFULLY – not mindlessly.  Sit down… and after giving thanks to God – chew your food slowly so you can actually taste and savor it.

Again – I know this is super difficult … we’re in a hurry – someone is always needing something.  I often laugh at the comedy routine at our table…. BUT really…

TRY.

All it takes is a bit more effort.

By doing so, I bet it will help you eat just little less… and a little less – everyday, REALLY DOES add up!

Plus you’ll be just as satisfied!

So… go sit down!!!

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” – Psalm 8:4

Don’t Fall! Eyes Up!

I love asparagus and made this tonight - BIG HIT! Thank-you pinterest!

 

The new year is in full swing…  and you’ve probably noticed the barrage of ads with diet tricks and tips, not to mention it seems every retail outlet is now carrying some form of workout wear.  It’s almost comical how quickly everyone jumps on board in January…

Our entire nation is one big health nut.

Not quite.

At any rate…  most of us feel encouraged this time of year.

We have our new goals…  You may even have some new shoes or gear to get you started on the right track.  (Love me some new shoes… I’m all about it!)

But…

EVERY. YEAR?

This gaining, and losing weight…

This type of weight gain and loss… is really hard on your body too – and NOT healthy for your heart.

I’m not talking about numbers as in, we have to be a certain size.  I’m talking what those extra pounds make you FEEL like…

So, WHY do you need to get this weight off, and HOW are you going to do it FOR GOOD?

The answer is…

Safely and effectively transform.

So, beyond your goals of a number you have in mind to lose…  Try thinking about how you’re going to STAY with your goals.  Stay on that narrow path for life, vs. falling off the road again and again, and again.

THIS YEAR IS going to be different.

How SO?

With the exception of Weight Watchers, [who actually trains you how to get a caloric value and eat in real life] – many of these systems, and gimmicks are HOPING you fail.

Sad, but true.  They actually want to keep selling you stuff.  So, with the exception of personal trainers, and real-life people who are hoping to invest in your life for the long haul – most of the stuff out there, isn’t to help you better yourself for your lifetime.  They may not even want you to know the truth of how your body works.

Unfortunately, most people are just SO DESPERATE to get the weight off.  They think, the quicker the better – and they’ll do about anything someone says WORKS.  From hormones, to shakes and pills and NOT eating…  almost everything is available for the choosing.

But, that’s NOT Truth.  Losing weight quicker isn’t better, nor is it longer lasting.  If it was, a majority of people in this country wouldn’t look and feel the way they do.

{If you need to review – I remind you to go back to June 2011 of this blog – seek out some answers on the basics of true transformation.  God designed our bodies in a specific way, and it’s really easy to decode with some simple math and His word!}

Try thinking beyond your person goal – and pray for a goal God might give you this year… one that you can work on with His strength – throughout your life.  Pray about what those might be, and seek His will for you.

It’s a lifestyle – NOT a diet that’s going to be true transformation and benefit to you!

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.” – Matthew 7:13

 

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