Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Changes are Finally Here!

Hello Fabulous Friends!

I'm proud to announce the brand new web site for Doing Life with the Traceys. You can find it at www.doinglifewiththetraceys.org or by going to the 91.5 WCIC site at www.wcicfm.org, clicking "on the air" and then choosing Doing Life with the Traceys in the drop-down menu. 

With the unveiling of the new site, we are combining both the Doing Life with Traceys blog on blogger and this blog into the brand new blog on the new site. So, you will no longer see updates on this blog.

I'll be chatting with you about my journey toward healthy and FABULOUS on the new blog as well as family life, show stuff like articles and interesting links, and other fun things. I really hope you'll join us on the new site so we can keep this discussion going. And, you'll find out about blog-only giveaways and other cool features!

OK, have a great rest of the summer, whatever's left of it now that the kiddos are back in school. And, I'll see you at www.doinglifewiththetraceys.org!


Friday, July 29, 2011

Changes are coming!!!!!!

Hey, my FABULOUS friends...

I'm so excited to say that change is on the way! I know the posts have been rather infrequent lately, but some big things are in the works. Please stay tuned for more updates and have a FABULOUS weekend! :)


Friday, July 15, 2011

41 and make-up free actually CAN be FABULOUS! Well, at least, PASSABLE?!?!

Spent the night at my mom's last night so I could fill in on the morning show and someone would be there for Alyssa since Jeremy's out of town. Wasn't really prepared. I brought everything Alyssa needed but not everything I needed. Borrowed a pair of jeans and a shirt from my mom. Used an extra new toothbrush my mom had on hand. Used my mom's hair dryer and products and fished into a bag of disposable razors. Don't you just love "Mom's House"? It's like your own private CVS!

But, I didn't have make-up. So, I went without. I thought, "Wow, this saves so much time. And, I look fine, I don't need no stinkin' society-imposed make-up!" That was at 5:10...in poor lighting. Fast forward to around 7 and I walk by a mirror and almost jump with fright! OK, it wasn't that bad, but it was a little shocking.

I kept telling myself, "Be free. You don't HAVE to wear make-up...let it GO!" But my shiny nose and suddenly way more obvious freckles begged to differ. I was tempted to follow my friend Catherine's example. She usually co-hosts the morning show and has resorted to using a Sharpie for eye liner!  I'm not condoning that practice and I'm not going to actually DO it, but I can understand a little more of the WHY behind the action. When you scare yourself multiple times in one morning, you tend to get a little desperate or, um, creative! 

The ever encouraging Katie Post told me she couldn't tell I wasn't wearing make-up. I really appreciated that. At 41, I'll take it. BUT...I also appreciated the offer to share some eye color and mascara. Now, before you warn me of the dangers of sharing eye products, I KNOW! But, darn it if my pride didn't win out over the principles of personal hygiene.

So, instead of make-up free, I'm going with make-up light. A little eye shadow, mascara, and some lip gloss from my purse used as cheek color. The only thing really missing is foundation and some powder. Oh, and eye liner. Still, no biggie, right? But, if you happen to see me today and I do scare you a little, just try not to show it! And, have a FABULOUS weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Made to Crave Monday ~ Chapter 19

How appropriate that Lysa TerKeurst says, "I'll admit, I'm a little sad this book is coming to an end. I have enjoyed walking with your through this journey." I feel the same way as we're finishing our study of Made to Crave. It has been a joy and pleasure to share the ups and downs with you. Thank you for taking part in this book study with me. And, congratulations for making it to the end.

I rarely make it to the end. I always have a great idea and great enthusiasm but find my determination starts to wane about 1/3 of the way through a project or process. But, this time, I did it. WE did it. We stuck through 19 chapters of teaching on how to take food out of God's place in our lives. We should pat ourselves on the back!

Well, before we get too carried away with the self-accolades, we should tackle the last set of questions for reflection...oh, and I also love Lysa's encouragement about where to go from here: "But while the book is ending, living out its message is just beginning." Are you ready? Let's keep moving forward together!

Discussion Questions for Ch 19 - Made to Crave

1. Standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, Lysa experiences a victory she attributes more to mental and spiritual changes than to physical changes. what factors have made the biggest difference in the victories you've experienced with food? Is it food planning? Spiritual disciplines like prayer and dining on the truth of god's Word? Changing your go-to scripts? What things are key to your ongoing success?
Jill's answer: Funny thing, just this morning as I was struggling through my workout in a VERY humid gym, I caught a glimpse of Kate Middleton. The thing that struck me was how stick-thin she is. I even commented to my training partner, Katie Post. But, then I followed it up with, "That's OK! I'm not SUPPOSED to look like her. She's taller, probably more athletic, and a whole lot younger than I am. Yes, I could have a few less bumps and lumps body-wise, but I'm not supposed to look like that, my body is just different!"
I do feel my self-talk is a lot more positive these days. Instead of starting a run and thinking to myself, "You can't do this! Just give it up!" I shout out to Jesus for help, sometime out loud even! :) So, yes, my go-to scripts have come a long way from the negative to the positive. This is a victory for me!

2. God's promise in Psalm 107:17-20 is that He hears our distress and He heals us with His Word. In what ways would you say God has heard your distress about your struggles with food? What role has Scripture played in helping you to experience God's healing?
Jill's answer: I feel guilty that I had half of a regular sized cinnamon roll this morning right before answering these questions. What was I thinking? But, I'm not perfect, I'm a human being, and I'm going to splurge every now and then.

However, for the most part God has really helped me crave the foods that fuel my body instead of the sugary and fatty foods. Yes, I still slip up from time to time (this morning, cinnamon roll), but I don't trash talk myself and degrade myself for hours afterward. I realize that treats are OK as long as I'm mostly eating whole grains, lean meats, fruits & veggies. He has helped me to enjoy these foods and not feel as deprived as I have in the past when attempting to eat healthy. I've realized that changing to healthy habits doesn't mean being hungry all the time. And, when I feel the temptation to splurge too much, I can ask God for help or simply remove myself (or the food) from the situation. God is GOOD!

3. "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God" ~ Revelation 2:7. This verse indicates that it's not only possible to overcome our struggles but that there is a reward for those who do -- and it involves eating! How might this promise encourage you as you continue on your healthy eating adventure?
Jill's answer: I have always said that I can't wait to get to Heaven where I can eat all the chocolate and pasta I want without ever gaining an ounce. I never realized there was a scripture to back up this fantasy. Ha ha! Just kidding. I wonder if this verse is more about our eyes being opened and receiving the promise of eternal life than it is about eating food. But, I can see the encouragement that there is a reward for standing strong in Jesus until the very end. Not just in my food choices but, and more importantly, in my life choices. Food seems to have a lot to do with this, but it is not everything that factors in to me overcoming. I need to stand strong for Jesus even when that is tough, even in talking with family members who loathe all things Christian. I need to stand strong over the coming years as an example of a godly woman for my daughter, especially when she starts to feel the pressure to give in to what "everybody else" is doing. Being disciplined with food is just one area of growth and maturity on this journey to FABULOUS - becoming the woman God wants me to be!

Thanks for being a part of this discussion. Let me know your thoughts on this final chapter of Made to Crave!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Little Things That Aren't So Little

Jeremy and I are celebrating the little things in life that can make us so happy today on Doing Life with the Traceys. Please join us after 3pm on 91.5 WCIC or at http://www.wcicfm.org/. Or, you can leave a post here with a little thing that means a lot to you.

Isn't it funny how a little thing to someone else can be a BIG thing for us? For example, a little thing that's not so little to me is the progress I'm making in this training for the 10K in September. I ran a 5K today in 38 minutes - my fastest time ever by almost 2 minutes. I know it's still about a 12:22 pace, most folks can go WAY faster, but my pace in the Jingle Bell run back in December was 12:48 or so. Little thing? NOT. TO. ME. :)

Thank you, Jesus, for the little wins along the way as I travel this long road with You!

What little thing is makin' you happy on your journey to healthy right now? Let me know so I can cheer you on!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oh-Oh, We're Half Way There!

I ran three miles this morning! That's half the distance (basically) for the big 10K in September. This is good. I'm actually beginning to believe I can do this! Of course, I could never do it on my own. But, with Jesus helping me and the support of the ever-encouraging Katie Post, I think I'm in good shape (metaphorically speaking, of course). It's still discouraging to see the body lumps and bumps in the mirror, but I'm beginning to feel some kind of a shift here. And, oh how good does it feel!

How are your summer goals coming? Let's celebrate. Or, if you need prayer to get back on track, we can do that, too. We are in this TOGETHER!!! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Made to Crave Monday - Chapter 18

Hello, my FABULOUS friend! I just wanted to say, "You are beautiful and God loves you!" Don't know why but I thought you might need that precious reminder today.

Well, we are up to chapter 18 in Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst and I have to say things are beginning to take root in me that have been choked out by the rocks and weeds of unhealthy ideas and habits in the past. I hope you're feeling the same way. This week we're revisiting a verse in the Bible that has been a go-to phrase for me during this journey toward healthy. I think it's good to revisit these words and the idea that there are some foods that simply are not the best for me to include in my general lifestyle and diet. That's not a super exciting idea, but I am starting to see the benefits of making some foods a red light for the good of myself and my family.

I'd love to hear what God is doing in your heart through this week's chapter. After reading my answers to the following questions, please take a moment to comment with your thoughts. We're in this struggle together, so let's encourage each other every change we get!

Discussion Questions for Chapter 18

1. "'Everything is permissible for me' - but not everything is beneficial. 'Everything is permissible for me' - but I will not be mastered by anything" (1 Cor 6:12). When it comes to healthy eating, what are the things that are permissible for you but not beneficial? Is there anything permissible that might nevertheless have the potential to master you? How do you feel about the idea that you may have to avoid some foods forever?
Jill's answer: As far as eating just for the sake of eating and nothing else, I don't think I could say anything should be off limits forever. Do I need to take them out of the place of God in my life and return them to their rightful spot? Yes, absolutely. But, I have seen in the past the downfalls of writing off an entire food group FOREVER. Especially if it's a GOOD food as long as it's eaten in moderation. Chemicals, poisons, and a lot of processed stuff, yes, I can see a need to say goodbye for the long run. But, a sweet treat made with pure, whole ingredients, I can see partaking in moderation and a whole lot less often. HOWEVER...I do have an issue with the pain that comes with fibromyalgia. Now that I've been allowing sugar back into my diet, I have noticed a significant increase in that pain. So, yes, sugar is permissible, but I can say it is absolutely NOT beneficial for me. It not only causes my belly to grow, but eating it too often and in too high doses can lead to an excruciating pain flare-up all over my body! I'm considering eliminating white sugar from my diet permanently. I realize there will always be those special occasions when a cupcake or cookie would be OK. But, I know the damage it does when I become too lenient. So, yes, white sugar may be one of those foods that I have to say, for the most part, simply cannot be a regular part of my lifestyle.

2. "I can" is a powerful little statement for a girl feeling deprived. In what ways might you incorporate these two very small but mighty words into your healthy eating journey?
Jill's answer: With Jesus' help, I CAN make the right choices each and every day that will not only fuel my body, but help it operate to its fullest capacity with the least amount of pain possible!

3. Think of an old-fashioned  balance scale, the kind with a pan on either side that counterbalances one weight against the other. Imagine placing in one pan all the things you need to give up and in the other pan all the things you've gained and will continue to gain. Which side holds the most weight and significance for you?
Jill's answer: Oh, definitely the pan with the things already gained and yet to be gained by a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating. Being able to get out of bed in the morning with a lot less pain. Being able to lift my five-year-old daughter for a hug and kiss. Being able to make it past 8:30pm without feeling desperately exhausted. All of this and more is a gain that can make me completely forget about the sacrifices. (If only the rest of the world would forget to tempt me as well.)

4. "We like to identify our shortcomings, form them into a club, and mentally beat the tar out of ourselves". In what ways have you identified with and punished yourself for your shortcomings? Instead of punishing yourself, can you imagine giving these things to Jesus and asking Him to chisel them away? How might the truh of His compassion help you to break free from your shortcomings in ways that self-condemnation cannot?
Jill's answer: Every time I discover a shortcoming in myself, I become determined to whip myself into shape and totally eliminate the weakness. However, like most people who try to do things in their strength, once it gets hard I give up. I talk myself into accepting that imperfect part of me and to stop beating myself up for being human. This has happened time and time and time again in my 41 years on this planet. However, in those rare situations when I've decided to ask Jesus to work in me and through me, INSTEAD of trying to make the change happen on my own, I've seen a true transformation take place. That is what I need in this struggle with food and weight. Instead of beating myself up and then deciding to just not care so much and accept myself as I am...I need to go FIRST to my God and Savior and simply ask Him to mold and shape my desires and habit into ones that please Him instead of me. I have seen this in many areas of my life, and need to trust that it will be the same with food. Why is this the one area that I continually believe will change if I just have enough determination? Why do I continually go back to relying on what I can do to make things different? Why don't I go to the One who has proven that He can and will give me the strength to break free from the prison of old habits and into the freedom of a healthy lifestyle? It's SO simple, and yet I make it so hard. Self-condemnation and self-deceit have to hit the road. It's time for a new Jill to take shape through the careful and gentle chiseling of my Creator!

Have you decided to give up some foods for good simply because they aren't beneficial for you? How's that going? Please join in the discussion with a comment!