Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lessons From an Infant

This morning I came to a heart wrenching conclusion. My husband and I have spent a lot of time stressing about work. As we begin to take steps on a path that we are certain God placed us on, we got focused on the numbers. I was reading a book by a friend this morning, and through it realized just how far away I was from God. I couldn't believe it! Just two weeks ago I was wrapped up in Him, but today I could see he was about a mile away.

How could this happen? We have been trying so hard, and working so diligently on the plans He placed in our hearts. Oh...I guess that's how it happened. We got caught up in the plans and goals that we forgot to focus on the planner!

Later in the morning Aria demonstrated how easy that was. Aria was following me from room to room. She had followed me through the dining room, into a hallway, then back through the dining room into the kitchen, and finally back through the dining room to the living room. I could tell she was getting tired from the chase so I sat down in the living room and cheered her on, so she could see how far she had left to go.

At my cheering her fatigue seemed to disappear and she smiled with determination as she began to crawl faster. She got about three crawls away from me, and she spotted her toy beside her. She stopped, distracted by the immediate fun, turned and grabbed the toy.

At seeing this I realized it was exactly what I had done. I started after God, following Him in my health and our family's future, but I got tired while chasing after Him. I got distracted by immediate satisfaction, money and food/laziness...maybe not laziness exactly, but at least using exercise time to take care of other things.

So today I cast aside the temporary fun and focus on the only giver of true joy! I am fixing my eyes on him and beginning to walk His direction.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Everything's Falling

So I’m back as I promised. I won’t lie; this post is much easier than I anticipated. Last night was incredible. Our anniversary dinner was INCREDIBLE, and I stayed on point. We didn’t have a big celebration, but our night was perfect (at least I felt like it was).
This morning I was hesitant to step on the scale, but I did it. I probably wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for the blog. I looked at the number, and had to re-weigh myself 3 times before I believed it. I lost 3.5 pounds this week. I’m only 2.8 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, and I’m over half way to goal!!!!!
 I guess my body needed a little break to continue losing. I don’t know. I know I feel mentally better today, and like I am recharged for this. I don’t feel like I’m constantly depriving myself anymore. Maybe every three months or so I need to have a few days when I’m not so strict on my diet/exercise regimen…maybe not.
Okay, now I’m going to steal a little of your time to talk about something I’m getting really excited about. Most of the schools in the area have begun, and my semester officially begins on Monday. This is a big deal to me because a new school year signals the beginning of my favorite season: fall.
I LOVE fall! The temperatures become cooler, which is even more delightful after the extreme heat this summer.  I love to watch the leaves change colors and begin to fall, and this year it is even more beautiful as we’re now surrounded by more beautiful scenery than I’ve ever been (NWA is incredible beautiful). Fall also brings some of my favorite foods. All things warm, spicy, and comforting belong in the fall…and not just food wise, but clothing too. I can’t wait to sink into the comfort of my favorite hoody and jeans (which I’ll be back in VERY soon…if I’m not already).
All of these things are part of why I love fall, but my favorite part is the marriage enrichment program my husband and I enter: football season!!! Okay, many of you may be wondering how this is marriage enrichment, when for many couples it means hubby spends all his time in front of the tv and the wife had better not interrupt him…but it’s not that way for us. When we started dating my husband took me to my first University of Oklahoma football game. It was INCREDIBLE! I not only fell in love with the school, but I fell in love with sports. I could go on forever about it, but I won’t. Since then our weekends in the fall are spent watching football…non-stop.
This year we have a new person to route for on the professional level. My husband’s boss’s son is a highly skilled football player, and we are excited to watch him play on Sundays (or Mondays, Thursdays…whenever he plays and it’s televised).
Stick with me for one more paragraph. I have to brag on my husband for a moment. My husband was a very skilled football player in high school as well…and would have been in college if he wasn’t injured his senior year. Because of his experience he is very knowledgeable about the sport. It is amazing to watch him explain why a play broke down, and what a player could have done better, without being a jerk about it. He explains it so I can learn. I love how he teaches me more about his passion. I love learning about the sport and the positions, and I love that he can teach me. THIS combined with our extra dates for games, is why football season is marriage enrichment for us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Confessions and Celebrations

This week has been really crazy. We spent the weekend visiting my mother in Tulsa. Needless to say, I didn’t stay on track with my diet. I ate way more than I should have, but  I tracked and new what I was doing. I just figured I would use most of my weekly points on Saturday, and then do well the rest of the week.
Saturday night we went swimming, and it was BEAUTIFUL outside. The breeze actually made us feel a little cool in the pool. When Aria was finished swimming (meaning we felt she was getting cool), my husband, sister and I spent some time chatting in the hot tub. It was the first time I was in a hot tub in nearly TWO YEARS!!! It was WONDERFUL!
Then came Sunday. I stayed on track points wise on Sunday, but it started a spiral that I wasn’t prepared for. Aria was a little grumpy Sunday morning, and we thought it was just her gums (we are right on the verge of her first tooth). We tried to give her something for the pain in the afternoon, and she got sick…like REALLY sick. To make an incredibly long story shorter, Aria was sick all night, and all day Monday. And, my husband wasn’t feeling well Monday as well (completely unrelated illnesses). This meant I was running around the house trying to take care of two people.
Through all of the madness I stayed on track, until Tuesday. As my husband left for work he remembered that he had a monthly meeting that night, which meant he wouldn’t be home until very late. I was exhausted from taking care of the sickies the day before and getting very little sleep, so this news left me sad. I am so proud of my husband for working so diligently to provide for our family and prepare for our future, and it was completely selfish of me to be anything but proud of him for going to the meeting.
After he left for work things got a little better as Aria was nearly back to normal. Her illness was just a bad case of allergies, thankfully. But, by the end of the day her allergies were bothering her, as well as her gums. She didn’t nap well through the day, and was VERY fussy because she hadn’t seen her father all day, so when she fell asleep that evening I was very quick to cook myself dinner. I measured out exactly what I was supposed to have…ate it…and then went back to finish what I made! UGH!!!!
 I don’t think I can make an emoticon as sad, or embarrassed as I feel. I nearly cried when I realized what I had done! I know better than to turn to food for emotional validation. I felt so guilty. I confessed later to my husband, nearly crying. So, this is my confession. This week has not really been that successful. I guess, overall I didn’t eat many more than my weekly points, but I am still disappointed in myself.
I guess I knew that I would eventually go off track, and I am proud that I realized it, and can correct it. Yesterday I stayed on point, and today I will to. I am prepared for whatever the scale says tomorrow, and am not very optimistic. I promise to post whether I lose or gain tomorrow just as I usually would, despite how embarrassing it may be.
Now, to some good news: today is a VERY special day for me. Four years ago today I married my best friend. I am SO blessed to have an incredible husband. He is not only an amazing husband, but a wonderful provider, and an amazing father. I grow more in love with him every day, and am excited to spend many, MANY more years with him.
As a celebration of our anniversary we will be eating at the restaurant we ate at on our first date, our wedding day, and most of our anniversaries (our first anniversary we were in Mexico): Outback. I’ve already picked exactly what I’m having and am working around that to stay on point today. We’re even bringing the meal home to eat it, rather than eating in the restaurant, so I don’t have to be tempted by unlimited bread or an appetizer that I don’t want or need.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Weigh In!!!

So, today was weigh in, and I lost 2.7 pounds this week!!! YAY! That is really incredible, all things considered.
I’ve started thinking that I’m too focused on my weight loss lately, so this post is going to be a little different. Many people don’t really know much about me, so I thought I may give you a little insight into who I am.

First and foremost, I am a God follower. I am a disciple of Christ, and I am NOT perfect. I think part of discipleship is that I’m always learning. And, I’m almost always messing up. I am extremely grateful for God’s grace and forgiveness, and I experience it every day.
Next, I am a wife. Next week I get to celebrate four years of marriage to my best friend. He is the most amazing man I have ever met. I had begun to doubt whether or not any man would strive to follow God’s standards for a husband and father when I met him. My husband is not perfect, but he sure tries. The fact that he puts God first is the most amazing thing in the world, and I am so blessed to be his wife.
I also have a six month old daughter. This you all know, but I can’t seem to stop talking about her. She is the most precious little girl, and I praise God for her every day!
I am a stay-at-home mom. I found a letter I wrote to God when my husband and I first got married, and in it I gave God my future. I had big plans of being a sports writer back then (excuse me while I wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes). I don’t remember writing this letter to God, but it makes it very clear that I felt the call to be a homemaker, and I didn’t like it, but I submitted to that in the letter. Today, I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is the best job in the world, and I want to be a mommy to several little ones.
I plan to homeschool our little ones. The Bible tells us to train our children in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6), and that we shall teach our children the commandments of the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:5-9). We believe that public schools are overcrowded and so harshly regulated about what the teach, that they are not where we want our children. We do NOT believe public schools are evil (we both got excellent educations through public school systems), but we believe it is our duty to ensure our children are learning what we want them to. There is nothing that will change our mind on this…don’t bother trying.
Probably next on the list is that I’m a sports fanatic. I love to watch all sorts of sports, and I admire the skills athletes have. Sports seem so physically and mentally challenging and I am in awe of those that excel at them (and even those that don’t). We are huge University of Oklahoma Sooners fans (BOOMER SOONER)!!! My husband is an alum and I will graduate with my bachelor’s from there in May. We attend many of the football games, and look forward to football season from the moment our bowl game ends in January. Yes, we’re a little fanatical, but it is what we do as a couple. It brings us closer together, and we both thoroughly enjoy it.
In a nutshell that’s me. I’m a disciple, a wife, a mom, a future teacher, and a fan. I’m not perfect by any means, but I love my life and I’m grateful God has blessed me with it.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Question For You

I can’t explain why it is so much harder to update now that I’m between semesters, than it was when I was in the thick of the semester. For some reason I don’t seem to have time to hop on the computer for anything.
This week has been an interesting week. I injured a muscle in my leg Sunday, and haven’t been able to do crunches because of it all week. I started the 60-minute running program on the elliptical Monday, and did pretty well. Tuesday my leg was not at all healthy enough for impact running, so I asked my husband if we could wait two weeks to start running outside. The highs here in two weeks are predicted to be in the 80s, which sounds so much better than the upper 90s for running. Then last night by the time I got Aria into bed I was exhausted and didn’t get on the elliptical, though I will get on it tonight to make up for missing last night.
Despite all of these issues, I peeked on the scale this morning (wanting to be prepared for the damage before tomorrow) and I’ve lost nearly 4 pounds this week. Seriously!! It took me a moment to realize why, but once I did everything made sense. My little girl learned a new trick Saturday. She learned to crawl! At first it was just a scoot, almost like an army crawl, with her pulling herself with her arms, but now she crawls like a pro.
I have to credit this new skill to some friends of ours. We had dinner Friday night with a wonderful couple and their beautiful 2-year-old daughter. We asked her to crawl in front of Aria so she could see how to do it. The very next day Aria started crawling. It may be a coincidence, but I seriously doubt it. I have seen my daughter learn new things after going into the nursery at church and seeing babies there doing them. She is very observant (talk about pressure for mommy and daddy to try to always be a good example).
Anyway, with her crawling around I have had very little time to rest. During her naps I’m usually cleaning (big reason why I’m not able to post like I want to). I used to be able to clean with her playing contentedly in the living room, but now I have to have my eyes on her or else she’s into something she shouldn’t be. It seems like I’m always scooting across the floor to keep her from hurting herself. Strangely, I love it. I don’t think I’ve been happier as a mom. It is incredible to see her becoming independent, and to see the look of pride on her face when she does something new and we cheer and clap for her. She loves to be cheered on. She is SO beautiful!! I LOOOOVE being a mommy.
Sometimes I feel that I really need to post more, because when I do it seems to renew my passion for reaching this goal. I want to have many babies (okay, so some people won’t think 4 babies is many, some people will…for us, it is). I would honestly have as many babies as God and my husband allowed us to. I know that the best thing for any baby is for me to be in better shape.
This goes for if God allows me to become pregnant with another child or not. Of course my health is very important during pregnancy, but even if I don’t get that blessing again (I pray that won’t be an issue, and I’m not worried about it because of how easy it was the first time), I know my health is important to Aria. It is important to be an example to her of how we are to treat God’s temple. I can’t just call my body His temple; I have to beautify it as I would a physical temple. I’m working on the inside, and I have to work on the outside as well.
Anyway, I need your help. Have you ever had to overcome a slump time? If so, how did you do it? I will run on the elliptical tonight, and will have a renewed focus on Monday.  

Friday, August 3, 2012

Physical And Spiritual Weigh In

Another 1.6 pounds gone!!! I’m only 9 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight, and 4 pounds from halfway to goal!!!
I was a little surprised that I had a loss, as this week hasn’t been the best for activity. I worked out hard on Wednesday, doing both my elliptical training and running outside for the first time. The outdoors run was something else, and I am still sore from it today.
I did my ab work Monday, Wednesday, and will be doing it this afternoon. Last night it was still 101 at 7:45, so we decided to wait until 8:00 before we ran. It wasn’t as much for us, but I don’t want Aria to be burning up in her stroller for 40 minutes. Around 7:55 we heard thunder and by 8:00 we were witnessing a beautiful lightning show. That meant we weren’t running. In a way I was disappointed, but in another way I felt blessed. If it hadn’t been so hot, we would have been nearly half way around the track when it began to thunder and lightning. I don’t think a metal stroller is the best place for a little girl during a lightning storm.
Needless to say, this week’s activity was a FAR cry from the activity of the past few weeks, but it was my only week off. Monday I will begin the 60 minute running program, and then Tuesday we will be out on the track again. I am excited for next week.
Today I have been thinking a lot about sin. I guess the topic has been everywhere, and I want to say that I don’t like sin. I believe everything the bible says is a sin, is a sin. I don’t believe that any sin is more evil than any other. I do believe that some sins have bigger earthly consequences than others, but that is that.
What I want to talk about today doesn’t involve sexual sin…it doesn’t involve any else’s sin either, it is a confession of my sin. I have dealt with gluttony most of my life. Eating is not a sin, splurging occasionally on an unhealthy food (sweets or chips, etc.) is not a sin, but the lack of self-control is a sin. According to Galatians 5:22-23 self-control is one of the fruits of the spirit.  I had NO self-control when it came to food. Proverbs speaks of the woes of gluttony several times.
I ignored that part of the bible. Food made me happy. I liked feeling full. Well, now I realize I was really making myself a fool of myself. I was not practicing any self-control, and it was an issue that was coming between me and God, because I was willingly sinning.
Something I realized through the complications I had while pregnant was that God’s laws are there to protect us. If I had not sinned, and had had the self-control over food, I would most likely not dealt with preeclampsia, and I probably would have been able to breastfeed my daughter. Being overweight caused many problems, and as I lose weight I am discovering I was robbing myself of things that I didn’t even know about…I was so big I couldn’t cross my legs in a seat. Yup, that’s a problem. Now I feel victorious every time I cross my legs.
Now that I’m almost half way to goal, I realize I need to continue exhibiting self-control over food and to exercise.  I am also going to have to let God build patience in me. I hope God allows the wait for graduation, hitting my goal weight, and our first family vacation (all happening in May) to be patience building enough.
Overall, in this journey, I know I am strengthening my relationship with Christ. I want His will to be mine, and I want others to know that I love Him just by viewing my actions. For Him I will not give up. For Him I will not go back to the way I was. And for Him I will demonstrate to my children how God intended us to live. That he does not want us to be lazy gluttons, but that our bodies are His temple, and that we need to take care of His temple, beautifying it physically and spiritually.