Thursday, March 31, 2011


Guys, I am so discouraged and disappointed with myself. Maybe you read yesterday's post about my hard day. Well, I thought I had done so well making it through that day without going off the plan. THEN came the evening. Alyssa and I were still struggling a bit because she just isn't feeling herself. Jeremy ended up having to work late and I had to miss my weekly Bible Study. None of these things are big deals at all. But, after the day I'd already had...things were falling into place for a major stray. And, the thing is, I KNEW IT. I should have called my friend, Katie. I should have called Jeremy. I should have prayed. But, I did none of those things.
This is the kind of thing I say to myself after a failure. But, I'd eat this cake!  
Alyssa requested Tyson Chicken Nuggets for dinner. And, I knew she wouldn't eat six of them. But, how many did I make? SIX! argh. Then, she asked for some tortilla chips. And, again, I put more in her bowl than I knew she'd eat. Well, long story short...I ended up finishing Alyssa's nuggets (probably half of least!) and her chips. Then I went to put away the bag and just opened it up and ate some more. In the end I probably had 8-10 chips before I finally said, "STOP!" and closed up the bag.

Oh, man, I was doing so well. Over a week and a half and I had not strayed one little bite from the NO sugar, gluten, grain, or dairy diet. Can't say that now. And, I tell you, I was tempted at that point to just give up and eat some more. Maybe even pour myself a big glass of Coke, with lots of ice. Somehow, though, I realized at that moment I had a choice. I could continue to slide into the abyss or I could NOW call someone who would hold me accountable. I called Jeremy. He encouraged me and suggested I also call Katie. I was embarrassed. But, I knew it had to be done. So...I texted her. Yes, I texted her. Didn't even have the guts to say it out loud. When Katie got the text she called me and spoke truth to my heart. She read scripture and told me not to be embarrassed. She reminded me of how well I'd been doing and promised she wasn't going to let me throw it all away. WHY oh WHY didn't I call her before eating those nuggets?

The thing is; I don't even like Tyson nuggets. I do like chips...but I don't like the nuggets! So, why? At this point the questions, the self-blame, the shame, they're all useless. What I need to do is get back on the wagon and determine to learn from this mistake.

What have I learned? To call for help BEFORE eating those unhealthy foods. To pray. To read words from the Bible that will give me strength. And to NOT GIVE UP, even when I've messed up. And, so far today, I'm back on track. I carefully measured my almonds, walnuts, and raisins for breakfast and I feel have a renewed determination. But, I'm also aware of the fact that there are going to be times when it seems impossible to refuse those temptations. I can't do this relying on my own strength...obviously. So, I need to keep those tools in place that will keep me on the right path.

Now, I know that misery loves company. And, believe me, I don't ask this just to make myself feel better. But, can you tell me about a time when you failed in this area and how you handled it? I'm sure someone else could benefit from reading your encouragement. And, I KNOW I will! Thanks so much and I'm glad I finally got this post out. I've been putting it off all morning. I just didn't want to tell you all about my failure. So, thanks for hearing me out and loving me anyway! LOVE to you!!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hard Day

Friends, today's been tough. I know...whiner! But, I just need some support. It's been ONE OF THOSE DAYS! It all started with a miscommunication between Jeremy and me. It continued with another miscommunication. Then, later in the day, Alyssa had a blow out. No, I'm not talking about a baby blowout. I'm talking about a five-year-old blowout. The poor thing was going for the toilet and just didn't make it. I believe she's having a side affect from the new antibiotic. Anywho, after wiping her off, carrying her up to the bathtub, showering her off, cleaning the bathtub, getting her into a bubble bath, and then tackling the huge mess left behind...I was worn out! But, the day wasn't over. Alyssa proceeded to demand that she didn't want to go to child care and we had to work through that for about 45 minutes. Then, I was faced with a situation with some friends that left me feeling kind of cast aside. It hasn't been the best day ever. And, boy, I tell ya the old cravings for chips, french fries, ANYTHING greasy and salty have been banging quite loudly on the door of my heart. Why is it that when I'm stressed food always seems to be the answer? Even after cleaning up that mess earlier?! Well, I didn't swing through a drive-through on the way to work. I seriously wanted to. But, I didn't. However, I did look for something that would allow me to feel like I was making a bad choice. What could I choose. Ah!! We had sodas left from Sharathon a couple weeks ago. So, yes, I went for my first Diet Pepsi since beginning my new eating plan. No sugar, grains, gluten, or dairy! But, I know, it's not good for me either! So, there was my compromise. ARGH! Why is this so hard? Oh, how I need to remember this: The world and its desires are passing away. But those who do what God wants them to do live forever. ~ 1 Jn 2:17

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

OK, this normal? (Not for the faint of heart)

I'm starting week two of my healthy eating plan. NO sugar, grains, gluten, or dairy. And, well, let's just say...things are running a little too smoothly and A LOT! Is this normal? Last night I probably spent two hours in the restroom. My stays in there seemed to get longer and longer, too. I was a little afraid that I'd dehydrate right there on the toilet. (I know - YUCK- that's the most detail I'll go into, I promise!) So, my question is...have you done an eating plan similar to mine? AND, did you experience a period like this as well? It's been a few days with last night being the worst so far. Is it all the fruit? Am I expelling toxins that my body had been holding on to? If you know...please fill me in. THANK YOU. And now...back to regular life and potty-free conversation. :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 6

Let's Discuss Chapter 6
Hello, friend! Thanks for traveling with me on this journey! We're hyper-focusing lately on the fact that the FABULOUS woman Believes Healthy Habits are Crucial! Why so many weeks devoted to this one facet? BECAUSE IT'S SO HARD TO GET THERE!!! I think healthy habits are crucial. I think it's good to put food in my body that will fuel it in the proper way and to move my body on a regular basis. But, if I truly believe it...then my lifestyle will change. Honestly, I've been struggling in this area big time. And, I've found I absolutely 100% cannot do it on my own. I need help! So, I've been very thankful for the latest book by my friend Lysa TerKeurst, the President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. This New York Times bestseller has been kicking me in the a good way. I hope it's been doing the same for you. And, I'm really looking forward to what you have to say as we dive in to the reflection questions for this next chapter. Please join in on the discussion. If you haven't read chapter 6, that's OK. Heck, if you don't even have the book will definitely have something to add to this conversation. And, who knows, you may say the one thing that will be THE ONE THING someone needs to hear this week. And, that someone will probably be me. So, without further ado...let's get to it!

Discussion Questions for Chapter 6

1. What is your response to the idea that we grow closer to God when we deny ourselves something that is permissible but not beneficial? Have you ever had an experience of denying yourself that helped you to grow closer to God? Do you believe this could be true for you in your battle with food? Jill's answer: I totally agree with this. When we give up something that we've relied on, we find that we have to rely on God more in order to go without the thing we've let go of. As we rely on Him more, we're drawn more into Who He is and drawn closer to Him in general. When I was living on my own as a single woman, I sold my TV and lived for about 8 months w/o television. Well, I did go to a friend's apartment on Thursday nights for Seinfeld and Friends, but the other six days of the week, I was TV free. And, whoa, did I find myself with a LOT of free time. So, I read my Bible, prayed, listened to classical radio, and checked out inspirational tapes from the library. As I lived this way I noticed big changes in almost every area of my life. I was spending less money, eating out less, reading more, exercising more, and worrying less about my self image, the way I looked and the clothes I wore. Without TV influencing my actions in all of these areas, it was incredible to see the changes in my life! The most important difference was in the depth of my relationship with God. So, yes, I do believe this could be true in my battle with food. In fact, I'm expecting it!

2. The apostle Paul lists self-control among the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Are there areas of life in which you experience self-control and feel that your self-discipline and wise choices honor God? For example, in your spending decisions or how you manage your time? What insights about your strengths in this area might help you to honor God and grow in self-control with your food choices? Jill's answer: I think the area of my own life in which I experience self-control in is parenting my 5-year-old daughter. I pray every day for patience and grace and I love experiencing the ability to exhibit self-control even in those few moments of the day when my last nerve has been stepped on and I want to let loose and scream. That is God's spirit at work, that is for sure! So, of course praying for strength and power to make right choices with food has been giving me a lot of help with self-control in this area too. I have a long way to go, but it is already making a difference every day!
3. Have you ever had the experience of the Holy Spirit nudging you in connection with your food choices? If so, what was that like? If not, how do you hope the Holy Spirit might help you now? Jill's answer: YES! I've been feeling that tug on my heart for several weeks if not a couple of months to take this drastic step that I've taken starting last Monday. This decision to go Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Grain-Free has been there for a while, just waiting for me to make it. I believe this has been the work of the Holy Spirit nudging me and now I believe it will also be the Holy Spirit enabling me to exercise self-control through these remaining 12 weeks.

4. As Christians, our calling - and our source of spiritual nourishment - is to do God's will and finish his work (Jn 4:34). To what degree have consuming thoughts about food impacted your ability to pursue your calling and receive spiritual nourishment? Jill's answer: Hoo boy, how long do I have to answer this one? Obviously, the hold food has had on my left has held me back in many areas. I don't believe I will be able to truly fulfill whatever work God has for me until I am at a much healthier weight and in much better health overall!

5. Would you say you are spiritually well fed, spiritually malnourished, or somewhere in between? Have you ever tried to use food to satisfy your feelings of spiritual hunger? What was the result? Jill's answer: Well, in connection with my answer to Question 1, I'd say that again, as I'm giving up something material in my food choices, I'm finding that my spiritual nourishment is improving as well. Definitely I have become quite malnourished at times and even recently. But, I'm beginning to see positive changes here as I lean on God more and more for my daily strength to travel along this path!

6. If we find certain foods impossible to walk away from, this is a clue that we are being ruled by food on some level. Are there foods you can't or won't deny yourself in order to make a healthier choice? Why are these foods especially important to you? What thoughts and feelings arise when you think about potentially giving them up? Jill's answer: There definitely have been foods I've refused to deny myself! I'm especially thinking of a special annual mother/daughter weekend I attend with my Mom and step-sister, Jill. (Yes, we have the same name!) Well, this Bed and Breakfast we go to every year has the best food ever. And, there are certain things I always look forward to. Fresh corn and fried chicken at an Amish woman's house on Friday night. Angel biscuits and pear muffins in the mornings - with lots of butter and whipped honey. (SIGH) I even entertained the thought of taking the weekend off from my fast during this year's mother/daughter weekend which is this coming weekend, by the way. But, I've decided this journey is more important than the foods I will go without in Arcola this year. Besides, it's all about seeing the friends we've grown close to for the 15+ years we've been attending this same weekend event. It's about spending time with my family and finding some downtown for my Mommy me and work me. These are the true benefits of the weekend, not the indulgent foods. Besides, I usually end up spending a lot of time in the restroom because of the rich foods I eat way too much of anyway. So, maybe this year I'll have even more time to spend with the people who are important to me. And, knowing that these foods don't control me is so important. That God is my God, not homemade grape juice or Belgian waffles with fresh whipped cream! OK, it's not going to be easy. But, it IS going to be empowering!!!! (please pray for strength!)

So, there you have my answer for chapter 6! I am really looking forward to what you will add to this discussion. Thanks for reading my blog and for taking time to comment! And, have a FABULOUS Monday!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Just a lazy Sunday...NOT!

This is one of those Sundays where everything we'd planned for...didn't happen. I mean, does it really ever happen the way we plan it? NAH! But this one was a little more stressful than others. Alyssa, our five-year-old, went to bed last night with a 102.2 temp. She woke in the middle of the night to throw up. Jeremy sent me back to bed so I could get up for Call to Worship at the radio station. He and Alyssa went downstairs and spent the rest of the night/morning watching movies and hovering near a garbage can so she could vomit again when needed. Thankfully that only happened one other time, but her temperature has continued to be in the fever range, and as high as 102.4. Not only that, but her legs and arms were very achy as well. I think because of the fever. Looks like we'll be visiting the good old doctor's office yet again for this winter/spring season. It's been a doozy. I know we're not alone. So many friends have been through much worse. But, man, it really super stinks when your child is sick. To see them so lethargic, whiny, and wiped out can make you feel well...lethargic, whiny, and wiped out. Alyssa's resting peacefully now, but we're praying for healing and a quick recovery for her and for Mom and Dad!

But, at the end of the day, I have to say something kind of strange: I'm proud of myself and thankful for the supernatural strength God has provided in the area of my eating. I know it sounds so selfish to say this. My child is sick. Why would I be proud of myself and even concerned with eating at a time like this? BECAUSE, normally on a day like this I would have found ample reason to throw all eating rules out the window so that I could concentrate fully and solely on my child. You know how it is. When your child is sick, you're emotionally a wreck. Your only focus is making him or her feel better, whatever that entails. Normally on a day like today, I would have just grabbed whatever quick thing I could grab for myself whenever she was sleeping. I would have taken absolutely NO time to think about what's best or healthy for me, because MY CHILD IS SICK. But, today was different. I told myself it was important to continue taking care of me even as my husband and I were taking care of our daughter. And, I'm so glad I did. She's been well-loved, well-fed, well-hydrated, and now she's becoming well-rested. We'll get to the bottom of this sinus infection or whatever is hanging on after her double-strength-dose round of antibiotics last week. She's going to be just fine. And, I'm not left feeling like I have to start all over again in this sugar, grain, gluten, and dairy fast.

Oh, ho, ho, it would have been so easy to look at Jeremy and say, "You know, it's been a stressful day. Why don't you go grab some Chinese take-out while I get Alyssa ready for bed. We'll eat what we want and veg in front of the TV for a little while. We deserve it!" In fact, there were several times those words came into my mouth, found the edge of my tongue, and almost popped out. But today, I didn't speak them!

So, what's the difference? Friends are praying for me. I'M praying for me. I've been reading encouragement from the Bible and Made to Crave, by Lysa TerKeurst. And, I'm learning that food does not win over me unless I let it! Slowly, but surely, the Titanic is getting turned back around. And only I can allow it to stay on the right course this time! Well, with God's help. He's a much better cruise director than I could ever dream of being. Ah...a cruise...that sounds really nice, doesn't it? So does having my whole family healthy for more than a few days. Well, one thing at a time, right?

I hope you've had a FABULOUS weekend. And, I'd love to hear what positive changes you're seeing take place even amidst the craziness of real life. Oh, and please join me tomorrow for Made to Crave Monday!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Weekends Seem to be Tougher...

Hello, FABULOUS friend! Just checking in to say things are still going well. In fact, without sharing TMI, things seem to be MOVING really well, if you know what I mean. I guess my body's cleaning out the old junk I was putting in it before last week? Who knows. (Sorry if that's too much of a mental picture! Let's move on.) So, anyway, it's going OK so far. But, Saturday seems to be a lot tougher than Monday through Friday. There's something about the weekend that says, "Let loose, have fun, eat what ya want!" Been there? Well, I'm praying for strength and sticking to the plan but it would be SO easy to ask my hubby and daughter if they want to go for a cheeseburger, fries, and ice cream at the Spotted Cow right about now. AAAAH! Please pray if you have a moment. And, let me know how I can pray for you. We absolutely CANNOT do this thing alone. In the meantime, I'd better go make myself a salad!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Some ups and some downs

So, it's day five of the new eating plan and I've experienced some highs and some lows. It's to be expected, I know. But, I think it's good for us to be honest about this. Because, it's not always all bad or all great. It's usually quite a bit of both. So, here are a few of my ups and my downs in the past 24 hours:

UP - Last night I attended the Peoria Area Servant Leader Awards banquet hosted by The Christian Center. I was a little nervous the night before, wondering how I would overcome temptation when it's plated right in front of me. I prayed for strength and as we got closer to the event I experienced peace. By the time we arrived I was ready for anything. Salad dressings that looked delectable? Not a problem. I ate my salad plain, with no dressing. Something I'd never even thought of doing before. And guess what? I liked it. Ate the whole thing.  Desserts that looked divine and were sitting in front of us THE WHOLE TIME? Not an issue. I simply slid my German Chocolate cake over next to Jeremy's Cheesecake and he was overjoyed. BBQ sauce for the brisket that somehow just looked as if it would be both tangy and sweet at the same time? Skipped. Cheesy au-gratin potatoes that usually are my weakness? Walk in the park; Jeremy was down to his mixed veggies, which he didn't want and I was down to my potatoes which I wanted but decided I wouldn't eat. So, tacky as it sounds, we switched plates. I ate his veggies and he ate my potatoes. Talk about teamwork! And you know what? I experienced some of what Lysa TerKeurst talks about in Made to Crave. I felt empowered to make the choices that were best for my body and I made them! Besides, the reason we were there, celebrating men, women, and students in central Illinois who make a difference by being like Jesus...THAT was sweeter than any dessert imaginable!

DOWN - Got to bed late, woke up this morning feeling kind of yucky and exhausted. I knew I wouldn't make it to my workout so I had to text Katie and tell her I wouldn't be at the gym this morning. Felt ashamed. But, it is what it is.

UP - Weighed myself today and, since starting the Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free Diet on Monday...I've lost THREE pounds! Yes!!! That an "up" I'm still flying on! 

DOWN - Later this morning my five-year-old came to snuggle with me and, while that is always a joy beyond words, she said something that definitely touched a nerve. The sweet girl certainly didn't mean to hurt me, she was simply trying to be funny when she said, "Does your tummy hurt?" I said, "Not anymore, why?" And she said, "Then why is it so fat?" OUCH! We had a little talk about being sensitive to other peoples' feelings. I also informed her that most people with a fat tummy KNOW they have a fat tummy. They don't need it to be pointed out to them. She seemed to understand and apologized. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, so we moved on. But, honestly, deep inside, I was crushed. I know she's only a child. But, my tummy is pretty fat! It was an honest question. This is the kind of silly little thing that can become huge enough to threaten my confidence and encourage me to quit.


What kind of ups and downs are you experiencing? Come on, out with it! We're in this together!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My dreams are getting creepy...I mean SUGARY!

Last night I was shocked at myself. I went completely off grid and started eating cookies, cakes, anything sweet I could get my hands on. I simply couldn't BELIEVE how far I strayed from my new sugar-free, grain-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free my dreams!

Yes, I was dreaming of binging on sweet stuff. You know things are serious when your dreams are impacted, right? Well, in this particular dream I was gnoshing on treat after treat and the person who told me to stop was my 85-year-old Grandmother. At least I think it was her. In my dream she was African-American instead of Caucasian, but I'm still pretty sure it was her. Grandma Smith started screaming at me to stop and told me I had to get back on track and that I needed to sign a contract with everyone I've told about my new eating plan to show I was committed to following through with it. Funny thing is, I haven't talked to my Grandma since New Year's. (I know, I'm a bad granddaughter.) And, I don't think she would ever be the one telling me to sign a contract. But, that didn't seem to matter in dreamland. I got indignant with her. "It's none of your business, Grandma. And, I don't need to sign a contract...this is between me and God!" Yeah, I told her.

When I woke up it took a few moments to realize it had all actually been a dream. I hadn't gone rogue with my eating. My grandmother is still safe in Decatur with my Aunt Debbie (and still Caucasian last time I checked). And, I wasn't really telling her to get her nose out of my beeswax, so to speak. But, it had felt so real. I felt guilty for "cheating" and for being disrespectful to Grandma Smith. Shew, I'm so glad it didn't happen in the real world.

What do you think? More signs of sugar withdrawal? Or, is it that I'm taking this so seriously even my dreams are getting in on the action? I'll probably never know. But, at least I got a kick out of it. That is, once I realized it truly had all been just a dream. Hopefully tonight I'll dream of being on a tropical vacation. And, it will seem as real as last night's dream!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I wish I could talk to Rulon!

Boy, this journey toward healthy is one that takes people to some dark places, huh? Watching Biggest Loser Season 11 last night my heart was wrenched in two for Rulon Gardner. Here was this massive Olympic wrestling champion who had been on the top physically and then had sunk to the bottom. Trainer Jillian Michaels was chatting with him, trying to get to the bottom of why he'd allowed himself to go so low. He couldn't answer. All he could say was he was still seeking, still searching for something, even though he had it all (career, beautiful wife, etc.). Jillian pushed a little more and finally he said he was still looking for "true love", even though he'd found what he thought was true love in his new bride. He admitted to eating healthy during the day and then binging at night after she had gone to bed. (And unfortunately, from the trailer for next week's episode it appears that habit is one that's dying hard for this big guy! Been there, done that, my friend!)

Jillian, of course, tried helping Rulon find what he was looking for within himself. And, for a trainer, I guess those are the words you would expect to come from her. But, I was shouting at the TV, "JESUS! Rulon, you need JESUS!" Whoa, there, Jill! Gettin' a little worked up about a reality TV show, aren't you? I was. I truly was. But something in the desperate look in Rulon's eyes sparked an urge inside of me that I've never felt before while watching someone on television. I knew what he was searching for because I recognized that look. He was searching for JESUS.

Now, I know that sounds so cliche. But, when I say that I mean, he was searching for the significance, the sense of self-worth, the TRUE LOVE that only comes from knowing the One who created you in the first place. Rulon is desperately seeking Jesus, and he doesn't even seem to know it. I wished I could share some of Jesus' truth and love with Rulon last night sitting on my couch next to my husband. I had this earnest desire to reach out to him. My heart ACHED to let Rulon know that Jesus is what he's looking for and He's so easy to find. I wished I could've shared with Rulon the words that my good friend and accountability partner shared with me today. She even had it written out on an index card for me to read and meditate on while I walked/ran on the treadmill. Psalm 9:10: Those who know Your name will trust in You, for You, GOD, have never forsaken those who seek You. It's right there! If Rulon would turn his heart toward God, He will not forsake him, He will allow Himself to be found.

It kind of reminds me of playing Hide-and-Seek with my 5-year-old. She loves to hide, but she really loves to be found! She'll hide in the easiest to find spots and giggle until I give up my "search". If it takes more than a few seconds she'll start giving me clues such as hooting like an owl. She's hiding, but not really. What she truly wants and revels in is to be found! Isn't that how God is with us?! We think He's so hard to find but he's giggling, shouting, and leaving clues. He loves for us to find Him. He makes it so easy to find Him. The only reason we can't find Him is if we're not looking for Him. As I'm beginning my journey in seriousness, I'm facing a lot of truths about myself. Like Rulon, I've spent a lot of time trying to find acceptance, peace, and love in a lot of things besides God. And, I KNOW Him.

This is such a reminder for me that I have a powerful tool to aid me in my endeavor. I have the love, the strength, and the power of God to get me through. Jesus loves me unconditionally regardless of my success or failure. He is my reason for getting rid of unhealthy habits and adopting new ones. And, He is my helper. Another verse my friend, Katie, gave me this morning was Psalm 54:4 which says, "Surely God is my help; the LORD is the One who sustains me." In Jesus we find everything we're looking for: true, unconditional love; peace; acceptance; and even help to make it through our toughest battles. When I finally realize and believe this, then I can, like Ben Ward said to his wife Olivia on the same show last night, walk up to whatever wall I'm facing and say, "You are not going to win over me!" My prayer today is that Rulon and I will both learn to seek Jesus instead of food!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Sugar Free, Grain Free, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free journey begins!

OK, today was a little strange. I woke up feeling SO dizzy. At first I was afraid I'd come down with vertigo again. I suffered through two months of vertigo back at the end of 2009 and that is something I would NEVER care to go through again. So, I prayed, "PLEASE GOD, don't let me have vertigo again. I don't know if I could take it!!!" I know, pretty wimpy, huh? But, I'm not proud. I remember those two months all too well. Well, I got out of bed and into the shower when it dawned on me. "Maybe I'm going through sugar withdrawal!" It happens, right? And, as I was lathering up, I did start to feel better. I cannot begin to describe to you the enormous sense of relief that flooded through my soul at that very moment. "The DT's...YEAH!!!" I felt like doing a little dance right there under the shower head. I didn't though, I was still a little dizzy! 

So far, so good. God is really giving me strength and so are many friends who have responded to yesterday's blog post on Facebook or to my status about beginning this three month SGGD-Free diet. Actually, I've already lost 1.4 pounds. In ONE day. I'm sure that rate of weight loss will not continue for the next 13 weeks. But, could you imagine if it DID? I'd lose more than 91 pounds in 91 days!! I'd be OK with anywhere between 60 and even 80, but 91 might put me in a dangerous place. Hee hee. Oh, to dream. But, also to know I have the POWER to be successful here. The One who created me is powerful enough to help me see this goal achieved. He is my strength, my reward, my joy, my EVERYTHING! And, it is important to Him. I SO often forget that my desires to grow (or shrink!) are even more important to Him than my own daughter's desires are to me. Thank YOU, Father!

One more thing...some friends have been asking WHAT diet I'm following. I'm not really following a specific, published diet. Instead, I'm eliminating all sugar, grain, gluten, and dairy on my own. But, a friend did recommend a web site published by a female doctor in Canada that might be helpful if you're looking for some research and information on starting something similar. Of course, I would caution that you do the research, talk with a Dr. or nutritionist, and find what will work best for YOU. This is simply a journey I'm taking. But, if you decide to go this route, OH PLEASE let me know. It would be great to encourage each other along the way. Here's the link to Elaine Gottschall's Specific Carbohydrate Diet:

OK, that's all for now. Have a FABULOUS day, my fabulous friend. And, let's keep the discussion going. We can't do this alone! LOVE!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 5

I WAS MADE FOR MORE!!!! This is my major take away from Chapter 5 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. Also, I loved the unpacking of the Eph 1:17-19 passage. I don't know about you but going through Made to Crave is really starting to help me understand that I have the power to make the choices I know are right for my body. I have the power to get out of bed in the early hours of the morning and get myself moving. I have the power to ask for God's strength to mold my body into what it was MADE to be instead of the roly poly lump I've allowed it to become. Hear me out, I'm not simply trying to degrade myself here. I just want to be honest about where my choices have brought me and where they can take me, IF my power and strength comes from God!

Oh, one more thing before we jump in to the discussion questions for Ch. 5...I have made a choice to do something similar to what Lysa started for herself a few years ago. Starting today I'm embarking on a three-month journey where my eating plan will be grain-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free foods. I will also work toward being able to participate in the Steamboat Classic in downtown Peoria this June. The classic is a 4-mile race. I've never run 4 miles. I've never done a race in the summer. But, I have three months to train. I've done two 5-K's. And, I have Jesus on my side. Guess who else I have on my side? My good friend, Katie Post! I blogged last week about how I was fearful I'd thrown away that valuable accountability relationship. But, we talked this morning and, long story short, she was all ready to get started again. Yeah, grace! And, yeah, Katie! So, as I'm looking down the barrel of a long, tough, three months, I really need this book more than ever. Thank you so much for traveling this road with me. Are you ready to discuss Chapter 5? Let's do it!

Discussion Questions for Chapter 5

1. "I was made for more" is a spiritual truth that unlocks great power for Christians. When you think of your past failures and your current struggles with food, how do you hope this truth might help you? Jill's Answer: In the past I have always given up at some point and started to believe that this is just the way things are going to be. I'm always going to be the short, chubby one. So, at least I'm smart, can speak well, and sometimes even have a quick wit. :) But, it's not true. I was made for more than surrendering my body to unhealthy choices, severe fatigue, and a sedentary lifestyle. I was made to glorify God in every area, including with my physical health!

2. When you introduce yourself to someone you don't know, how do you define yourself? By your family relationships (as a wife, mother, daughter, aunt)? By a professional title, or lack of one? By where you live or go to church? What might your introduction reveal about how you understand your own identity? Jill's Answer: This is always hard because I don't really think that the way I introduce myself to someone is a good indication of how I define myself. I may say, "Hi, I'm Alyssa's mom" to another parent at pre-school, because it helps everyone figure out who goes with which child. Or, at a concert from stage, I would introduce myself at Jill Tracey from Doing Life with the Traceys on 91.5 WCIC. That just helps people know that the station is welcoming the event and that I actually work for the station. I.e., I didn't sneak back stage and snag a microphone; I really should be here. Although, sometimes I wonder about that. ;) Or, at a family reunion I'm usually saying, "I'm Alice's daughter", although I don't usually have to do that because I look just like my Mom did when she was my age. These are all just helpful indicators to new friends. They help give reference and tell a little about who we are, without telling the entire story. However, I do see the tendency to find my worth in what I do, in being a Mom, and that kind of thing. It is very easy to believe our worth comes from these things and it is something I have to do a heart-check for all the time! Usually, I just introduce myself as "Jill".

3. Lysa describes how she once defined her identity by her circumstances: Lysa, the broken girl from the broken home; Lysa, the girl rejected by her father, etc. Have you ever felt your identity was defined by your circumstances? If you were to describe your identity as Lysa did, what would be on your list?  Jill's Answer: Absolutely! Growing up, I was Jill, the Sheriff's daughter, then Jill, the one who's parents just got divorced. In college I was Jill, Dan's girlfriend, for a couple of years, then Jill, the one with the long, pretty hair (I can't believe how much worth I found in that long, thick mane - ugh - it's such a pain to dry!). After starting my career I became Jill, the radio girl. That one is hard to shed at times. It was difficult in the early years to find friends who didn't freak out about the fact that I had struggles, that I sinned, and that I felt lonely and frustrated at times. Things are easier today. I think radio folks in general are more open with their own real lives. And, I've made it my goal to live my life genuinely on the air. So, most people who listen aren't surprised by my human issues any more. And, now, I'm also Jill, Jeremy's wife and Jill, Alyssa's mommy. These are two circumstances I don't mind being somewhat defined by. But, I never want them to take over the fact that I am Jill, the daughter of God and Jill, the fierce follower of Jesus! (***For more on how I falsely defined myself, see my answer to part two of Question 5!***)

4. Insert your name in the list of statements below. How does this understanding of how God sees you impact the circumstance-based view of your identity you listed in response to question 3? Jill's Answer: Jill, the forgiven child of God (Rom 3:24); Jill, the set-free child of God. (Rom 8:1-2); Jill, the accepted child of God (1 Cor 1:2); Jill, the holy child of God (1 Cor 1:30); Jill, the made-new child of God (2 Cor 5:17); Jill, the loved child of God (Eph 1:4); Jill, the close child of God (Eph 2:13); Jill, the confident child of God (Eph 3:12); Jill, the victorious child of God (Rom 8:37). What a great reminder that all of those statements above (in the answer to question 3) are part of who I am or the decisions and journeys I've gone through to become this woman right now in 2011. But, they are not WHO I am. I am God's girl. I am God's woman. I am a creation of and follower of Jesus! I saw a movie recently where a grandmother told her granddaughter something along the lines of "our past experiences and choices are what make us who we are". I used to subscribe to that way of thinking. And, yes, these things do play a part. But GOD makes us who we are. And GOD uses our past mistakes, successes and experience as well as so much more to mold us into the person HE wants us to be. Sometimes we resist this shaping of our character, but He is the one who makes us who we are! Such good news!!!

5. Reflect on the key themes of Ephesians 1:17-20: I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms.

~ Be persistent: "I keep asking." Do you have any reservations about asking God for wisdom and power each day to help you on this journey? How do you hope persistent prayer might help you?  Jill's Answer: NO - no reservations, I just need to remember to ask daily for wisdom and power. And, the hope is that persistent prayer will give me the strength to get through each day!

~ Embrace a true identity: "Glorious Father." With what untruths about your identity have you struggled? How might your life change if you could embrace the truth of your identity as a child of God? Jill's Answer: I think the untruth I've struggle most with is that I am Jill, the short, fat girl who is a good Mom and wife and works in radio. I've been trying to find happiness in the areas where I see success and "come to terms" with the areas in which I tend to fail time and time again! I've forgotten that God provides the power for me to have success in being healthy as well as in any area, because He is my Glorious Father who wants to give me good things in every area of my life!

~ Find the deeper reason: "So that you may know Him better." How might God use your journey toward healthy eating as a way to help you get to know Him better? Jill's Answer: My prayer is that as I remove the foods on which I have relied for comfort, joy, reward, etc, for so much of my life...I will begin learning more to rely on God. To turn to Him for comfort, joy, reward, peace, strength...for everything...instead of FOOD! I can imagine my prayer life with blossom and part of my regime will include reading scripture during my workouts on treadmill days. So, this will help me find that strength in Him as well. But, more importantly, I will find freedom from the bondage of addiction to food and freedom to live freely in His Grace!

~ Discover a hope and power like no other: That the eyes of your heart might be enlightened." To what degree do you feel like everything depends on you - your willpower and determination? A little, a lot? To what degree do you believe that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is also available to help you? A little, a lot? As you reflect back on each day, how will you know whether you relied on your own strength or leaned into God's strength? Jill's Answer: In the past the answer to the first question would have been, "ENTIRELY"! And, the answer to the second question would have been "a little" or "NONE"! I saw God's power in huge things like healing a friend of cancer or providing the funds for the radio station through Sharathon or feeding children around the world through organizations like Compassion. But, in my "little" struggle with food, sometimes I felt guilty for even asking. How many people in the world hope to have one meager meal of rice a day with maybe some beans or chicken? And, here I am dealing with 60 lbs of excess weight. How gross! So many are starving and I can't keep myself from eating all the wrong things? There's a lot of guilt and shame involved in this struggle and it often kept me from asking for God's help. So, there I was trying to do it all on my own. By my own willpower or strength, which is quite limited at best. But, there is a power available to me that will help me defeat this burden. There is a power I can turn to for help on the tough days and grace on the days when I feel like I just can't go on. I would turn to God for just about any other struggle in life...why not this one? It's time to stop feeling shame and start turning on the power through prayer, reading the Bible, and reminding myself daily that GOD is the power, HE is the strength, HE is the answer to this lifelong problem with weight! Thank you JESUS for being the answer, yet again. Please help me not to forget! Please change my thinking and my habits. Please remind me every morning that I was made for MORE than this. I was made for a healthy life!!! Amen!!!

OK, I'm wiped.'re it. I can't wait to read your comments! Thanks and LOVE to you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 4

FIRST, some exciting news from author, Lysa TerKeurst. I received an email from Lysa this weekend that said, "I'm so honored you are working through Made to Crave. We just got word it's on the New York Times list for the 9th straight week. Amazing. Humbling. Exciting to see a God message on the list." Lysa, congratulations. It is so exciting to see what God is doing through Made to Crave!!

NOW, here comes the A word - Accountability. I love it but I also really HATE it. Accountability works for me, but it's also annoying to me. There, I said it. And, it's the deep, honest, raw truth that hides in my heart. I need friends who are strong enough to stick with me even when I start (sometimes without realizing it) concocting schemes to avoid them or the opportunity to be real with them about my eating habits and exercise routine. I don't know why it is this way when it comes to developing these healthy habits. When I'm trying to show more patience toward my husband or daughter, I have no problem with accountability. In fact, I welcome it. When I'm trying to spend more time with God, I join a Bible study group so I can be held accountable for what I've read and the reflecting I've done. This doesn't bother me. Yes, sometimes I fess up about not getting through the whole thing this week. But, I'm always glad that I've been able to finish what I've finished and to share with my friends what God's putting on my heart and how He is refining me. But, when it comes to food and exercise...I RESIST! Why? I'm not sure except that this area is so hard for me and I hate admitting defeat time after time after time after time after...well, you get the picture. But, we've reached the Accountability chapter in Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. And, I must dive in. So, will you hold me accountable by answering the questions too? Maybe together we can face the daunting phase that is ACCOUNTABILITY! :)

Made to Crave Reflection Questions for Chapter Four:

1. When a friend experiences success with healthy food choices and losing weight, do you feel encouraged and inspired by her example, or do you feel discouraged and envious? Do you communicate your feelings to your friend or keep them to yourself?  Jill's Answer: I guess I feel a little bit of both. Like most people, I have a lot of friends who have become really serious about their eating and exercise habits and have made a tremendous change in their appearance and overall health (Lysa TerKeurst being one of them, ha!). And I'm always so excited and happy for these friends. At the same time, though, I remember when I lost 60 lbs before getting pregnant with Alyssa. I remember feeling so much better physically, mentally, and emotionally. I remember having more energy and being able to find things to wear without a big ordeal. And, I feel shame and anger with myself for having gained it ALL back...every last pound! I feel frustrated over the MANY times I've started up again in this getting healthy department only to fail, majorly. Maybe I lose 5, 10, or even 20 pounds, but I always end up right back at the same place on the scale. I feel defeated! I'm happy for my friends who have success but a little bit of me feels like their success is another slap in the face for me. I know that's not true. But it can feel that way! Am I alone here?

2. Complete this sentence: I do/do not want to invite a friend to help me on my journey to healthy eating because....
Jill's Answer: OK, how about both? Ha ha! I DO want to invite a friend to help me on my journey to healthy eating because I know I will have more success when I am being honest with another person who is traveling this road with me. I know I will be more likely to work out if a friend is waiting for me at the gym. I know I will make healthier food choices if I have to fess up to a friend every time I make the wrong choice. I KNOW this would be a good thing for me!
I DO NOT want to invite a friend to help me on my journey to healthy eating because I really LOVE being lazy and eating yummy junk. There, I said it. Popping a candy bar or a handful of chips in my mouth can be done quickly, quietly, and secretly. No one has to know...unless I'm being held accountable by a friend. I can have good intentions to go for a run but when the alarm goes off I can quickly, quietly, and secretly tell myself that I didn't sleep well, I don't feel well, or I'm just plain TOO tired to go right now. The best thing for my body is to rest. friend is waiting at the gym for me. 
I guess I'm realizing this is a war going on within me. A desperate desire to make changes but a desperate clinging to the unhealthy changes that brought me to this place where I find myself at 40 years old!

3. If accountability is crucial, what is the biggest challenge you face in making accountability part of your healthy eating plan? Jill's answer: I have to be completely honest here and say maybe I don't want to change my lifestyle to become healthier AS MUCH as I want to continue eating chips and salsa, Chinese take-out, and an easy frozen pizza that I just popped in the oven for an effortless family dinner. I think I really need to take a look at my desires and motivations. Isn't being healthy and modeling healthy habits for my daughter enough reason to let go of these temporary indulgences? Wouldn't a longer, more vibrant life WITH the ones I love be worth committing to an agreement with someone who will truly hold me accountable and challenge me to stick with the changes I really do want to make? I believe I'm coming upon a fork in the road (no pun intended with the fork, ha!) and the time for me to choose which path to take is here. OH, how I want to choose that right path. But, the other one is so YUMMY and tempting. I'm really in need of a total mind transformation, here! Jesus help me!!!!

4. If you were to imagine a life-giving experience of accountability, one that empowers you and helps you to feel "companioned" rather than alone in your struggles, how would you describe that experience? What kind of person would you want to be accountable to? What do you hope this person would do for you? What do you hope they would NOT do? How would you determine whether or not the relationship is providing effective accountability? Jill's answer: I have already found this person and this relationship. My friend, Katie, helped me train for a 5-K this past fall and for the most part, our relationship was one of trainer-trainee. But, as we continued, we became more along the lines of true accountability partners in this area. She is much further along in her weight loss goals and has much more ambitious running goals (she's training for a half-marathon), but she has always been very patient with my level of training and my own need for encouragement and accountability. HOWEVER, I have begun the evading process. As I have experienced failure I have failed to talk with Katie about running and setting up times for us to run together. I've avoided conversations about healthy eating or tried to focus on what's going on with her instead of me. I've put Katie at a safe distance and it's time to ask her to forgive me and to see if she would be willing to give it another shot. She really is the ideal companion for this type of journey. She's always encouraging me with smiles, cheers, and verses that are so helpful. She's willing to check in with me as much as I want her to and is never condemning when I admit failure. I just hope I haven't ruined the friendship. I don't think I have...but I will need to talk with her ASAP. Well, as soon as I get my voice back that is! (In case you haven't seen my Facebook and Twitter posts, I've lost my voice due to a sinus virus and infection. Not fun for a woman whose life is all about verbal communication. Thank God for the internet, though!) It's time to renew this accountability and for it be a whole lot more of a two-way process than it has been in the past. Katie is one of those rare gems that you don't want to ever lose once you've found her as a friend. I want to be the kind of friend to her that she has been to me. I hope I will have that opportunity! And, maybe God will open new opportunities as well.

And, I hope YOU will find your own Katie. Someone who will provide the right amount of accountability that will encourage to make those important life changes that need to be made. Oh, and I'd love to have a cyber-accountability-partnership with you. As we continue to work through Lysa's book, we can be honest with each other on how we're doing and encourage each other to keep going even when it is OH SO HARD! What do you think? I can't wait to read what you have to say this week!

LOVE to you!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 3

OK, we're at chapter three and I believe this is where I'm going to be kicked into gear. No more's time for action. Well, there may still be theorizing and self-introspection...but the action has to be part of it as well at this point! Are you ready? I really don't know if I'm ready...but for my health, for my family, for so many's time. Let's dig in to chapter three of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Even if you haven't read the chapter, I know you will have so much to add to this discussion! And, you can find out more about the book at!


1. What thoughts, images, or emotions do you associate with the word plan? Are you the kind of person who says, "I love it when a plan comes together!" or are you more likely to say, "Plan-schman, can't we all just go with the flow?"
Jill's answer: Of course I'm a Plan-Schman girl. One thing that really hit home for me in this particular chapter is when Lysa says "I wanted to eat what I wanted, when I wanted, in the quantities I wanted."That is so me. I hate planning and journaling and being so careful with what I eat. I KNOW it works, but I HATE doing it. And, what really frustrates me is that I have so many friends who can eat what they want, when they want, and in the quantities they want. In the past I have found myself shaking my fist at the unfairness of it all. Why do I have to be so short, why do I have to gain weight so easily...why why why! What a whiner!!!! So, needless to say, a plan may not be what I want, but it is what I so desperately NEED!
2. Are there areas of your life in which having a plan works well for you? For example, in your finances, for vacation trips, accomplishing daily tasks, reaching professional goals, reading the the Bible in a year. In these areas of your life, does having a plan feel empowering or restrictive? Do your feelings change when the plan is about food, what you will eat and not eat?
Jill's answer: A few years back Jeremy and I had worked extremely hard to get debt free and set up realistic plans for our finances, vacations, family goals, etc. But lately, we've strayed way off course in just about every area. Now we're beginning the long process of turning the Titanic back around. It's going to take time, but we remember how well the plans worked and want to get back to them AFTER cleaning up the mess that's left in the wake of living life on a whim. I desire planning and goals in these ares. But, I do not desire then with my eating. Like Lysa says, it's an acceptable drug of choice for a Christian woman. I work in full-time ministry so sometimes having even just one drink out in public is frowned upon. And, Jeremy and I try to be careful with what movies we choose to attend. We don't want to give the wrong impression or lead anyone astray by our poor judgment. But, FOOD! Everybody loves eating yummy food. It's accepted and encouraged, even in excess. So, when I look at the one "drug" that is socially accepted in just about every circle...I don't want to think of monitoring and restricting myself, especially when everyone else is indulging. But, a plan in place will be necessary!

3. "My changing body revealed all my secrets...Poor choices with food will rat me out every time". What is the relationship between food and secrets? What secrets do you think your body reveals? Jill's answer: I guess when you're trying to hide what you're eating you are in fact keeping secrets from your spouse, your friends and family, and even yourself. If I eat something quickly, quietly, and all by myself so I'm the only one who knows...I'm often tempted not to count it during a time when I actually am trying to keep track of calories or points, etc. I will also fail to mention it. I am not proud of it, but there have been times when Jeremy has asked me what I had for lunch that I have said, "A salad". Really? Well, I did eat a salad, but maybe I also had some fries off of Alyssa's plate and half of her ice cream for dessert. But, I did eat a salad. Maybe that salad was topped with crispy chicken and fatty dressing and croutons. But, it's not a LIE to say I had a salad. However, it always winds up feeling like a deception because, well, it is. And, why? It's not like Jeremy's going to be upset with me for my food choices. I just don't want him or anyone to KNOW the extent of my poor choices. But, like Lysa, my poor food choices rat me out every time. The bulges and lumps and tight "big" jeans...well, they reveal the truth about that "salad" and all the other half truths I've admitted to eating.

4. Choosing a healthy eating plan that works for you may require research, experimentation, and consultation with your doctor or other health care professionals. How does the prospect of doing these things make you feel? Does it energize you and help you to feel equipped or does it overwhelm you and make you feel discouraged? Jill's answer: It does give me a little hope because I've seen results from following a plan in the past. However, I also remember the tedious journaling and counting of calories. One thing that I think might help is that I've downloaded a calorie counter on the home page of my PC. That should make it a little easier to record what I've eaten and let it do the counting and the math. I'd say I'm starting the PROCESS of turning the corner here, but I'm not completely giddy about it! :)

5. Lysa described her food plan but emphasized the importance of choosing a healthy plan that works for you. What words or phrases would you use to describe the kind of plan you think would be realistic for you over the long term? On a scale of one to ten, how hopeful are you that you can find a realistic food plan, one that you can grow to love just as Lysa grew to love her food plan? Jill's answer: I think a simple food list works best. I know if what I'm about to put in my mouth is not a whole grain, fruit, veggie, lean meat, low fat yogurt, or organic milk, or nuts...then it isn't something that will be beneficial for my body and my overall well-being. So, I will continue quoting I Cor 10:23 over and over to myself. "Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial!" 

So, I've begun this road today. Also, I'm starting to keep track of my calories. I've given myself an average of 500 calories per meal for 1500 per day. This may be too many to get me to my goal weight, but I know it's way better than what I've been doing otherwise. And, I will leave room for adjusting down as I move forward in this process. So, from here on out, everything that goes into my mouth will be entered into that calorie counter. This will also help me think before popping a handful of peanut m&m's in there. They are Yum-O - but they're also 'Oh MY' when it comes to calories and the total lack of nutrition beneficial to my body.

Will there be an occasional splurge for a special occasion? Sure! But, I'm going to be VERY picky about what constitutes a special occasion. A special dinner out with Jeremy to celebrate our 10th anniversary = special occasion. Alyssa gets invited to yet another 5-y.o. birthday party where they're serving pizza, cake and ice cream, and they offer it to the parents as well = NOT a special occasion (for me, that is)!

OK - so it's getting real, now. No more just talking about needing to make healthy changes. The changes are here and ready to be MADE! Are you on board with me? Let me know with your comments below. Maybe you have some ideas for the anti-journalers like me. Or, maybe you have other questions, comments, concerns, encouragement. Whatever you have to say, I can't wait to read it! Have a FABULOUS Made to Crave Monday!

Friday, March 4, 2011

It's been a freaky Friday, and I'm not talkin' freakin' FABULOUS!

First, a FABULOUS quote for a Friday: Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ~ George Bernard Shaw 

OK, so this has not been a great day as far as healthy choices go. We had a birthday in the office. And, without thinking, I had not one but TWO chocolate-coffee brownies WITH icing. Oh, and don't forget the scoop of cookies-n-cream ice cream. Then, Alyssa and I went to my mom's for lunch for her famous chili. SO good. Also good but not good for you, a grilled cheese (or a cheese toastie for Decatur, IL natives). THEN...after taking a quick snooze while Alyssa had computer time (gee I wonder why I was low on energy today, hmmm) I awakened to a yummy surprise. My mom had baked a chocolate cake and topped it with creamy vanilla icing. I couldn't resist after all her hard work, right? RIGHT! Ugh.

I tell ya, I had been doing really well with making those healthier choices and repeating scripture to myself before making a bad choice. Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial!!! Today I failed to make a plan and prepare myself with healthy choices. But, it's more than that. I also had let it all go into auto pilot and slipped back into relying on my own strength instead of God's. Amazing how QUICKLY it can happen!!! In fact, it can happen so fast that it's truly FREAKY!

I guess if life is about creating myself as Mr. Shaw suggests in today's quote, then I want to create a woman who automatically turns to God for strength. Who thinks before she eats. Who prepares healthy alternatives for herself and makes wise choices regarding the body God has given her. But, alas, it's all a process. I'm not going to beat myself up all weekend over today. But, hopefully, I'm also not going to give myself cart blanche to eat whatever I want because, hey, I've already messed up...I'll just start over on Monday! ;) And, you know, when it comes down to's really more about God creating me to be that woman I want to be instead of me doing the creating anyway. So, I need to do some heavy duty praying!

Happy Weekend! And, may you make healthy choices!