Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Something's starting to happen!

Good morning, FABULOUS chicas! Quick update - I am down 6.6 pounds from the day I began this new eating plan back on March 21. Sure, it's taken me over a month to get to this point but about a third of it has come off in just the past couple of days. Is this a sign that the tide is beginning to turn? Not sure. But, I'm encouraged and will keep on keeping on! How's it going for you?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 10

Hey, my friends! I'm so sorry I've been silent for several days. My daughter and I both have been sick and things have been crazy around the Tracey house. But, I didn't want to miss out on Made to Crave Monday. Sure, it's after 10pm, but better late than never, right? And, what a great topic this week. The whole "this isn't fair" dilemma has plagued me time after time after time. Sometimes, when I don't even realize it.

Today, instead of answering all of the reflection questions in succession, I want to tell you the story of the last few days. Starting last Friday, I talked myself into putting my sugar, grain, gluten, and dairy free diet on hold over the weekend and I'd like to share some of the things I've taken away from that experience.

It began while I was sick last week. The only thing I could even think of eating was Chicken Noodle Soup. Then, I didn't have much of an appetite at all and when my daughter requested popcorn for lunch on Saturday, I thought,  "You know, I've been sick. I really can't imagine anything else at all that I even would want to eat. I'm just going to share this bag of popcorn with Alyssa." Well, that turned in to having a piece of the deli pizza I threw in the oven for dinner. Wait, make that two pieces. And from there, it was all downhill.

I shared some ice cream with my hubby after Alyssa went to bed that night. "It's been such a rough time," I told myself. Alyssa was up all night with a high fever. I've had trouble sleeping due to sinus issues. I'm worn out. I'm just going to take a little "Easter Break". Well, that thought opened up the whole next day to my eating binge. An "Easter Break" had to include Easter Sunday, right? And, besides, we couldn't go to church, we were stuck in the house, and there's candy! I didn't go too overboard but it was a deliberate, conscious decision to break my promise to God and myself to stick with this eating plan for an entire three months. Sure, I was tired. Sure, I wasn't feeling well. Sure, it was Easter. But, I knew what I was doing.

In'll never guess where I was when I read Lysa's tale of facing so much temptation on her romantic getaway with her husband, Art, and deciding she was going to stand strong no matter how hard it would be. Seriously...I was sitting on a bench at Ming Shee, waiting on my lunch order to go. I had told my husband we deserved a treat and I had some extra cash on hand. We were going to go CRAZY! I went out to get us a movie to watch while Alyssa napped and and pick up some Chinese food to go with it.

Here's the funny thing. Even as I process this "failure" I think I'm growing in many ways during this spiritual and physical fast because I'm not berating and shaming myself for this latest slip. I'm not calling myself pathetic and wondering when I will ever have enough self control to really form those healthy habits. I went off course. That's it. End of story. I'm back on course today. And, I'm glad to be back on course. I'm not doing it grudgingly. I'm following this eating plan because I believe it will help me draw closer to God by learning to depend on Him instead of food. I'm following this eating plan because I want to identify and eliminate potential pain triggering foods that can cause or exacerbate a fibromyalgia flare-up. I'm following this eating plan because I want to form healthy habits for life, starting with the foods I put into my body. It's not about getting back to a size 6. It's about being obedient to something I've felt God put on my heart and following it through to the end. Even if it means picking myself up after a slip and getting right back on track.

In the past I would have been so angry at the world over the fact that I can't just eat what I want, when I want, and as much as I want. I would've thought of those friends who eat far worse things than what I'd indulged in over the holiday weekend and protested inwardly and outwardly that it simply wasn't fair that they could go on doing that indefinitely while I have to watch every bite. But, honestly, that's not how I'm feeling. So, maybe I am benefiting from this three-month experiment after all.

At any rate, I did find it very ironic that I was telling myself I deserved just one little treat weekend as I was reading about Lysa deciding that even that one little bite wasn't worth it. I'd love to tell you that after reading Lysa's story I walked up to the counter, asked for my money back, and left without my cashew chicken and fried rice. But, I didn't. I went home. I watched the movie. I ate the food. I enjoyed it. And, I also realized that if I didn't make a correction soon I would continue to sail off course to the point of no return. So, this morning I went back to the eating plan and asked God to continue to help me have victory after victory in this endeavor. Not just so I can say, "I made it," at the end of these three months. But so I can say God did an amazing work in my heart and I've learned to turn to Him - even when I'm tired, sick, and nursing a feverish preschooler - instead of egg-rolls.

Was the splurge worth it? Eh, not so much. It tasted good. But, it was just food. And, like Lysa said, I had to start getting my thoughts back on the big picture. How would I feel in a couple of days if I continued down this path? I'd be back to sluggish and back to putting weight on instead of taking it off. That's another area where I've always felt the tug of those words, "it's not fair!" I can gain 4 pounds in two days, easy. But spend two or three weeks working hard to take it back off. However, I know people who have tried everything they can to gain 4 pounds over a month's time. In high school I remember one of my best friends scarfing down whatever she could because she wanted to weigh more than 110 pounds to be able to take part in our school's blood drive. And, yes, I've felt that desire to have other people's struggles instead of this lifelong struggle with being overweight. I used to wish I was skinny like a close cousin growing up even though she struggled with issues most people couldn't even imagine. I thought she "had it made" because she wore a size 0. (Yeah, they actually make a size 0. Isn't that disgusting?) But now, I realize that what you don't know about what one of those skinny girls is enduring could make you so glad that you're issue is losing a few pounds.

So, yes, life isn't fair. And, the truth is, no one ever said it would be. Especially not God. I mean hey, what did we just celebrate? One of the most unfair actions ever; Jesus dying to pay for all of our wrongs. But, did He shout, "It's not fair!"? No, He turned to His Father. He asked that He wouldn't have to take on this impossible task. But, He also asked for God's will to be done, which included giving Him the strength to submit to His plan. And, oh what good news for us that God's plan included raising Jesus from the dead, conquering death forever, and giving us the hope of heaven!

So, yes, I can ask God to make it easy for me to lost weight. To make it easy for me to travel on this road to strength and health. But, I also need to ask for His will to be done, which includes giving me the strength to do the hard work. It's up to me to take control of MY life, MY body, and MY eating. No matter what anyone else says I should or shouldn't be doing. No matter how much I want to take a day off...just this once. And, it's also up to me to turn to God for the power to resist foods that aren't good for me and make changes not just for a couple of days or a few months, but for a lifetime of freedom!

There are my thoughts on Chapter 10. I was kind of embarrassed to admit to you that I had "failed" once again in this fast. But, I'm comforted in knowing that you realize we're all human and will have grace and compassion for me as I would have for you in the same situation.

So, what are you thoughts? Even if you haven't read the chapter, I'd love to hear from you! In the meantime, I'm wiped. Good night and have FABULOUS dreams! Oh, and if you have a free moment, could you please pray for Alyssa to get over this strep? She's going on about six weeks or so and we have another doctor appointment in the morning. Thanks and LOVE to you!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another tool in the daughter!

Found another way to make sure I stay on track. Yesterday Alyssa was offered some cookies and told that she could share them with Mommy if she wanted to. She gave me a funny look that was interpreted as "I don't know if I want to share". But, I could imagine what was going on in her sweet little brain. She knew Mommy isn't eating sugar right now and couldn't have a cookie. So, she wasn't sure what to say when it was suggested that she shared with me. Eventually she said, "Maybe I can have one and Daddy can have one!" At that point I had to step in and explain what was happening so the person who had offered the cookies wouldn't think my five-year-old doesn't want to share with her mother.

Later at home Alyssa requested some Annie's shells and cheese and for some reason as I was making it the smells were extra inviting...and tempting. "Alyssa your lunch smells SO good," I said. "Mommy might just have to have some!" I was kidding, mostly, but Alyssa thought I was serious. "You can't have that," she shouted. I told her I wasn't really going to have some but that the smell was really tempting me. Well, she must have been thinking about it some throughout lunch because as she was nearing the end of her bowl she said, "Mommy you really want some of this. Here, take a bite." I told her thank you, but no, Mommy was going to pass. At this point she decided she needed to talk me into it. "But, you really want it! Here, have some," she said as she waved a spoonful close to my face.

At this point I had a decision to make. I could give in, "OK, just one bite." Or, I could us this as an opportunity to teach Alyssa about leaning on God for strength. Thankfully, I chose the latter. "You know what Alyssa. Annie's is really good for you. It's made from whole grains and organic cheeses and milk. But, right now, it's just not a good choice for Mommy. I have promised to stay away from a lot of foods in order to get healthy. And, you know what? God is going to help me do that, even when I REALLY want to have just a few bites of your macaroni. I can pray and ask Him to help me have the strength to make the right choices for MY body!" 

I was so proud of myself at that moment. Not only did I resist the temptation to dig in and have a few heaping spoonfuls of shells and cheese, but I had used the opportunity as a spiritual lesson for my daughter!

So, how did Alyssa respond to this profound dispensing of truth from her mother? "I'm gonna go color!"

Ha ha! I guess I've also been reminded to not take myself too seriously, huh?

I hope you're having a FABULOUS day. And, hey, I'd love to know what little victories you're experiencing on this journey!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 9

Hello, my FABULOUS friends! It's another Made to Crave Monday and I'm ready to go. I have to say exercise is not my favorite topic, but really, unless your Jillian Michaels or my friend Tasha, is it anyone's? Ha! So, let's get going!

Discussion Questions for Ch 9

1. What thoughts, emotions, or images come to mind when you think about exercise? Are your associations positive, negative, or a mix? Jill's answer: Before I started dabbling in "running" (it's really slow jogging), I would say my associations with exercise were mostly negative. Like Lysa, I gave half-hearted attempts and saw half-hearted results. Now, it's still very hard for me, but I'm starting to enjoy it a little more. Or, I should say I'm enjoying the boost of energy it gives me and the idea that one day I may actually LOOK like a runner.

2. Lysa describes her experience of literally running on faith when God prompted her to keep running until He told her to stop. She ran 8.6 miles, 5.6 farther than she'd ever run. what experiences have you had that required faith you didn't think you had to see something through? What did you learn? How did it impact your relationship with God? Jill's answer: Running the two 5-K's I've run so far and running the second in less than 40 minutes! It's slow for many, but lightning fast for me. I absolutely, completely could NOT have ever done these things without God's strength. And, I highly doubted during training, BOTH TIMES, that I would make it! I've learned that He will provide. He provided the physical strength to do it. He provided the stamina. And, He definitely provided the encouragement through my wonderful husband the 1st time around and the awesome Katie Post the 2nd time around. I have grown closer to God as He has helped me reach these goals and I'm so excited to see what He will help me do next!

3. Have you ever used your strengths to help someone who was weak or didn't know as much as you did? How might such experiences give you insights into what it means to allow God's power to take over your weaknesses, especially weaknesses with food and exercise? Jill's answer: I guess my natural train of thought here goes to being a mom. I've taught and helped Alyssa with so much over the five years of her precious little life. She has depended on me (and Jeremy, of course) for everything and is still leaning on us for so much. That's a good picture, I guess, of how I should depend on God's strength in the area of exercise. Forget trying to do it on my own, but allow Him to give me the strength, stamina, and the ability to live through running!

4. Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name ~ Ps 86:11  When it comes to your body, what forces compete for your attention and loyalty? Do you feel torn between the desire to honor God and the desire to be loyal to cravings and excuses for not exercising? How do you imagine your life might be different if you had an undivided heart? Jill's answer: The forces that compete for my attention are laziness, TV, and just plain busyness! Yes, I totally feel torn between the desire to honor God and the desire to be loyal to cravings and excuses for not exercising - especially at 6am on a dreary, cold morning! If I had an undivided heart in this area I would exercise every day not for the hope of wearing a smaller size, but in order to show my thanks to God by taking care of the body He's given me!

5. When you think about your schedule and daily demands, which of the following statements comes closest to describing how you feel about your time? * Most of my time is within my control.  * Some of my time is within my control.  * Almost none of my time is within my control. - How does your response help you understand your feelings about making time to exercise? On a scale of 1-10 (one being very little and 10 being a great deal), how much effort would it take to make time in your schedule for regular exercise (3-5 times a week)? Jill's answer: Without a doubt, some of my time is within my control. It's not at all about a lack of time, it's all about a lack of motivation. On scale of 1-10 it would be about a 2-3 as far as the effort it would take to make time in my schedule. Probably less than that since I have a standing appointment at 6:30 a.m. to meet Katie at the gym three times a week! The effort is all about making myself get up and GO!

6. Lysa says about exercise, "I've learned to embrace the benefits instead of resisting the hardship." What are the hardships of exercising and what are the benefits of exercising? Which list has more influence on you? Do you feel the benefits outweigh the hardships or vice versa? Can you imagine that it might be possible for you to embrace the benefits rather than resisting the hardship? Why or why not? Jill's answer: The Hardships: Getting out of bed. It's hard. It hurts. I'm sore afterward. It takes time to drive to the gym and to put in the exercise. I don't feel good about the way I look in my workout clothes. The Benefits: More energy. Faster weight loss. The more I do it the easier it gets. The more I do it the less it hurts. The more I do it the better I'll feel about the way I look in my workout clothes. It's good for my heart. It will help me live longer. And, the longer I live, exercising will help me avoid certain health issues and avoid the loss of function, muscle, etc. It's a great time for learning and memorizing verses from the Bible. It's a great time for bonding with my friend, Katie. It feels good to be able to say, "I ran for 15 minutes this morning w/o stopping!"  - I'd have to say the benefits are far outweighing the hardships. I do think I could begin to embrace the benefits rather than resisting the hardships! Why? Because God is helping me every single step of the way!

Whew, the big E-word is finished. Well, not really, but this is never a popular discussion, is it? So, please don't run away from it. (You know the pun was intended!) You may have just the encouragement someone else needs to get started. As always, I'm really looking forward to hearing from YOU!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Either my clothes are getting bigger or I'm getting smaller!

Good news! I wore a size 14 jeans yesterday and a size 14 Capri pants on Wednesday. If this keeps up I think I'll be able to say Bye Bye to not-so-sweet-16 in the very near future! Yes! We have to celebrate the small victories along the way, don't we? And, I'm not the only one having some success here. The awesome Katie Post, my accountability partner, was so excited to tell me about her shirt today. She was wearing a beautiful, fitted navy blue blouse with a high collar. Which, I might add set off her blue eyes perfectly. This girl is godly, smart, sweet AND gorgeous. Hello? Where have all the smart men gone? The only reason she isn't married yet has to be because God has something BIG planned for her life. And, maybe it will include a tall, gorgeous, hunk of a Jesus-loving man! Anyway, I'm off track. So, Katie comes to show me that for years she's worn this blouse and it was practically skin tight in the abdomen area. Today, you can easily see she has PLENTY of room in the thing. It's actually a little loose on her. So, yeah US! We can always use a little good news on a Friday, right? Well, there ya go. Got your own to share? Please let me know so I can do a little happy dance for you!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just one slice of life!

I'm reminded today that in becoming FABULOUS, 'Understanding that healthy habits are crucial' is just one slice of the pie that is life! Oh how I wish I could move to the Biggest Loser ranch for a few months and focus completely on getting physically healthy. Well, A) That's not going to happen and B) I couldn't be away from my guy and my girl for that long and C) I really need to focus on the rest of my life WHILE I'm concentrating on losing weight. So, yesterday was a "FABULOUS absolutely cherishes her family" focus for me. My sweet five-year-old is on antibiotic #3 for strep throat and has also developed a nasty infection in her right ear. Since she hadn't been on the antibiotic for 24 hours yet, we needed to keep her home from pre-school a second day this week. At first I was frustrated. Frustrated for her...I just really want her to feel well. And, honestly, frustrated for me. I had plans for those school hours. Plans to be oh-so-productive, of course. But, they were put on hold. Instead of blogging, working, spending time preparing food I could eat, and getting some laundry done I spent my day reading books, making bead jewelry, and joining Alyssa in her 20 minutes of video game time. Even when I thought I'd get some time while she watched a Mickey Mouse DVD, the precious girl wanted Mommy to cuddle with her on the couch. How do you say "NO" to that? Well, my friend, you don't! 

As I sat there watching Mickey and Donald trying to find the cuckoo from their broken clock, I couldn't help but be thankful for the chance to be with Alyssa as she recuperates. So many moms would have given a lot to be able to nurse their kids to wellness in the comfort of their own living rooms. But, finances or workplaces that aren't quite as understanding as mine keep them from doing so. It's torture to be away from your child when you feel she really needs you. I need to remember that when my schedule gets interrupted. Also, this was a great day to speak love into Alyssa's heart. I could have set her up on the couch and carried on with my activities. And, there have been days I've had to do that. But yesterday was an opportunity to say, "Today is all about you!" Will she remember this? Maybe, maybe not. My prayer is that the impression left on her heart of a Mommy's love will remain for life!

I'm so glad I had yesterday to remind me that becoming FABULOUS is about so much more than losing weight! It's Fiercely following God, Absolutely cherishing my family, Believing I can make an impact on my world (and making it), Understanding healthy habits are crucial, and so much more! This is a journey that goes beyond my appearance and travels all the way to my heart to make lifelong changes in all the areas that matter!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Did I mention I LOATHE logging?

NOT my favorite thing!
Let the drudgery begin. I know I sound like the world's biggest whiner, but apparently I need to start logging the food I eat each day. Even with eschewing foods like sugar, grain, gluten, and dairy, I'm just eating too much of the foods I'm allowed. So, at the suggestion of the awesome Katie Post, I've finally begun using the My Plate feature on I can see this will be helpful in determining how much I'm overindulging even in the good stuff like nuts and raisins, etc. Still, I'm not super excited...yet. Maybe a few days and beginning to see some results will change my thinking. Plus, today's my awesome female day, if you know what I mean. So, that could definitely be impacting my perspective as well. In the meantime...I already only have 301 calories left for the day which kind of puts me in a sour mood. I should probably do something to take my mind off the dreaded food log. And, I need to ask God for His help in this next step in the process. Could you pray for me, too? And, let me know how to pray for you!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Made to Crave Monday - Chapter 8

Hey, guys! Can you believe we've been on this Made to Crave journey for EIGHT WEEKS already? How are you doing? How are you feeling? Are you seeing healthy changes in your life? I'd love to read your thoughts! In the meantime, let's tackles those reflection questions!

Discussion Questions for Ch 8

1. We all have at least one physical feature we wish we could change. For some it might be a facial feature like the shape of one's nose; for others it could be breast size or body shape. For Lysa, it's "tankles". What's yours? What's your first memory of feeling embarrassed or ashamed by this aspect of your appearance? Are you now more or less at peace with this part of your body or is it still a source of painful dissatisfaction?  Jill's Answer: Growing up I had a huge gap in my two top front teeth and it embarrassed me tremendously. I don't remember when I first began feeling embarrassed by it but it seems to always have been there. Kids would use that in times of teasing and many people mentioned that I should have it fixed. For whatever reason I thought the only way to fix it was with braces and the orthodontist I went to in my late teens/early twenties said braces wouldn't work because I had such small teeth that pulling them all forward to fill the gaps would leave no support in the back of my mouth. So, I told myself to just learn to live with it. I focused on my more attractive attributes like my eyes and hair. After I was married for a short while and probably around 31 years old, I was featured in a South Charlotte (in Charlotte, NC) publication during a several week emphasis on women in ministry. My face was on the front of the magazine and I thought the picture turned out great (after dozens of shots). So, imagine my disappointment and hurt when a friend called after reading the article and asked if I'd ever considered having the gap between my two front teeth fixed. Sighing, I said no, it wasn't something I could financially consider at the time. Well, she surprised me by saying her husband, a local dentist, specialized in this kind of thing and would like to take care of it for me free of charge. I was overwhelmed with so many emotions. At first I was elated and excited but then the old thoughts of, "SEE you are ugly with those spaces" came back to haunt me as well. My husband quickly helped me see those thoughts as the lies they were and we went ahead and had the procedure done. I couldn't believe the difference it made and how I felt so much more confident about my smile from that point forward. It's not perfect, I still have some spaces and one tooth that's position a little awkwardly but it's not nearly as noticeable as the huge center gap was. And, I do realize now that even that center space wasn't as noticeable to most people as I'd thought it had been. In fact, many people didn't even notice the difference after the bonding! Today I'd say the big physical feature I wish I could change is the 50 extra pounds I'm lugging around. I do believe most people notice THAT! And, although I'm learning and reminding myself it does NOT define my's the area I most want to change!

2. Karen Ehman describes how she learned to shift her motivation for the delight of seeing diminishing numbers on the scale to the delight of obedience to God. When you consider previous efforts to modify your eating habits, what experiences or accomplishments provided your greatest motivation to keep going? Did those motivations ever backfire or become de-motivators? Jill's Answer: I guess events have motivated me like getting ready for my sister's wedding but then losing motivation after the wedding and gaining back the 20 pounds and then some I'd trimmed off to wear my bridesmaid's dress. I need to say focused and realize this is going to be a lifelong event of becoming and staying healthy!

3. Karen made practical her efforts to redefine progress by asking herself the questions listed below. As you review each question and reflect back on your eating over the past week, how would you assess your progress? Are there other questions you would like to add to the list? Jill's Answer:
~ Did I overeat this week on any day? (Jill - I am not sure - need to start logging those calories, ugh)
~ Did I move more and exercise regularly? (Yes)
~ Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last week? (Yes)
~ Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? (No)
~ Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of God? (Possibly)
~ Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I'd had a successful, God-pleasing week? (For the most part)

4. Lysa describes how it's possible to park our brains in a place of dissatisfaction about our bodies or to accept our bodies and thanks God for making us just as we are. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 meaning My body is cursed with flaws and 10 meaning My body is a would you describe your current feelings about your body? Imagine for a moment that the rating number was assigned not by you but by someone you love - a child, a friend, a sister. How would the rating make you feel? What would you want to say to this person? How might your pray for them? Are these things you could say to yourself, pray for yourself? Jill's Answer: Right now, my number rating would honestly be a 3 or 4. I definitely see that my body is a gift from God, that is able to do the things it needs to do on a daily basis, relatively pain free except for the aches and pains of fibromyalgia and sinus issues. But, my view of my body is that it is more flawed that not. Too flabby, too chesty, too short. I know it's not the correct view to have, but that is the reality. Now, if my daughter had this view of herself, I would be deeply saddened. I would talk with her about loving herself for who she is. I would pray that God would help her see herself through His eyes and learn to accept her body for the gift that it is. And, yes, these are absolutely the things I should say and pray for myself!

5. Lysa describes the freedom and redemption she felt when she discovered the benefits of her larger ankles. Have you ever thought about your physical flaws from this perspective? What might be the hidden benefits to the physical features you wish you did not have? Jill's Answer: When I was younger, I was so much smaller than everyone that when the class rodent - hamster I think - got loose, I was the only one who could fit under the piano to retrieve it. That memory sticks out in my mind. And, there are benefits to being short. I never had to worry about being taller than a boy. :) And, I guess the benefit to my struggle with weight is that it makes me think about EVERYTHING I eat. It is forcing me to make those healthy choices. And, I guess if I didn't have this weight struggle I'd eat whatever I wanted all the time and forget about exercising, so I'd miss out on all the health benefits besides just losing weight!

6. If a magic genie offered to grant you one of the following wishes, which would you choose? How do you imagine your life might change as a result of either choice?
~ Instant and painless cosmetic surgery to change one thing about your physical appearance.
~ A permanent reorientation of how you think and feel about your body that would enable you to say wholeheartedly, "I've found my beautiful. And I like my beautiful."
Jill's Answer: Well, of course the right answer is to say the second choice. But, honestly, I'd be VERY tempted by the first one. To be able to get back to a healthy weight and THEN start feeling good about my body, flaws and all, would be the dream combination for me. I know I can get there with lots of sacrifice, self-control, and HARD work. But, to be able to get there instantaneously? Not gonna lie. I'd be willing to consider that option. But, yes, the second choice would be the most beneficial in the long. So, my goal, of course, is to achieve both on my own with God's strength!

YOUR TURN! I know you have great thoughts to add to this conversation! Thanks, and LOVE!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Plodding forward!

Well, I've lost another two tenths of a pound. It seems like nothing...but I'm taking it. Slow and steady wins the race, right? (Although the races I've run have seemed to have winners who were fast and furious, but it's still a good thought!)

I realize one of my main issues is consistency in working out. After running the 5K for the Jingle Bell run in December my runs have been almost non-existent and it is VERY tough to run now that I've gone so much out of the routine. Today I met Katie at the gym and made a goal for myself to run a whole mile w/o stopping, something I haven't been able to do lately. So, I started at a slower pace and ran 5 minutes. Then I gradually increased speed through the end of the mile. At the end I was running at 5.0 (which for me is really good) and was able to keep going after reaching that mile ... um ... milestone. :) I actually did a complete 15 minutes and reached a little more than a 1.1 before slowing down and then eventually walking to the end of my 20 minutes on the treadmill. I'm pleased with this but also frustrated with how I've let this area go. I know it's so much easier to run when I'm in the routine. Once I lapse, it is incredibly difficult for me to get started again. Something about the Law of Motion, I guess. It's really true. A body in motion will stay in motion and a body at rest...will stay 50 pounds overweight!

Another area I'm addressing is my eating. I hear you...aren't you already cutting out sugar, grain, gluten, and dairy? What else is there to get rid of? No, I'm not eliminating anything new from my diet. But I am going to start monitoring the amount of food I eat. Even focusing solely on lean meats, fruits, vegetables, and seeds and nuts seems to leave room for taking in too many calories. Can you say slow down on the Lara Bars, Jill? Ha ha! Starting this weekend I'm going to back to logging the foods I eat. Argh. I loathe logging. But, I also loathe wearing a size 16!

So, time to keep plodding forward. Despite the dreams of cheeseburgers and fries that are starting to wake me up in the middle of the night with ferocious cravings. Gotta work through, pray through, and live through the pain!

LOVE, my friends. And, have a FABULOUS weekend!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

So, I went to the Endocrinolgist today...

A couple of times this past year my GYN has done some tests because of our struggle with infertility. And, both times she notice a little elevation in my thyroid levels so she referred me to another Doc in Peoria. That appointment finally came today. And, I know it's wrong, but I was totally hoping he would say I have major thyroid issues. Isn't that sad? I wanted to have something to blame for my weight issues and I was even willing for it to be a major disorder! I have problems. I realize this.

But, the good news is...except for fibromyalgia and being 55 lbs overweight...I'm in great health! Also, I talked with the Doctor about my new diet - the NO sugar, grain, gluten, or dairy thing - and he said he thought it was a great idea. He also said having lost (only) 4 pounds so far is great. He said 4-5 pounds a month is an excellent rate of losing weight. Of course he mentioned that some people will lose ten a month, but some people just don't lose weight that quickly. And, he encouraged me to get more consistent with my workouts. So, there you have it!

It really comes down to eating the right foods and moving my body more. There will most likely be no magic pill for Jill to take to make it all easier. I have to keep putting in the hard work and just have patience...apparently. I know I know. How could I not be happy with this news? And, I am. REALLY! There's nothing (physically) wrong with me. That is wonderful to hear. I guess I was just hoping for someone to say, "It's not your fault. You can't lose weight when you have this type of medical issue. Here, this will help."

It's back to the treadmill for me. And, the Doctor told me that since I've been at this weight for more than five years now, it's going to be that much harder. It seems that the longer you're overweight, the more your body adapts to being so and the harder it is to kind of convince it to let go of that comfortable state. Hmmm...kind of like any bad habit, huh?

So, the take away? Keep on keeping on. And, be thankful for good health; I know it's a priceless gift!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Things are at a standstill...

OK, friends. I can't think of many things more frustrating than getting stuck in standstill traffic...but standstill weight loss has to be one of them! I'm still very proud of myself for sticking to the eating plan over my getaway weekend, but things seem to be at a plateau right now.

I probably need to eat fewer Lara bars and less nuts. Maybe concentrating more on the lean meats, fruits, and veggies is the best way to go. Hmm...will make some adjustments and see if there is a difference. Also, I need to get back to a consistent workout routine. Mental note - talk to Katie about meeting tomorrow morning at the gym.

This really is a daily, ongoing, continual, everlasting process isn't it? You can't do well one day or even one weekend at a gourmet Bed and Breakfast and feel like the job is done. Truly, it will never be done. So, my thought process needs to change completely.

Huh...kind of reminds me of a spot in the Bible - Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him. ~ Rom 12:2 (CEV)

Well, I'd better recording session with Lysa TerKeurst for the next volume of one-minute radio programs is! :) Talk to you soon! 

Monday, April 4, 2011

Made to Crave Mondays - Chapter 7 AND...How'd I do over the weekend?

Hello, my friends! I hope you had a FABULOUS weekend. I know I did. If you haven't read previous posts, I'll bring you up to speed. On March 21, I began a 13-week elimination diet. NO sugar, grain, gluten, or dairy for three months. However, this past weekend was my annual Mother/Daughter weekend getaway with my Mom, my sister, and three other families of Moms and Daughters that we've been getting together with at the same Bed and Breakfast for over 15 years. Every year we all look forward to getting together, catching up, and EATING! If you've never experienced a meal in an Amish home or a 7-course breakfast at the Flower Patch and Diamond House B&B in Arcola, IL...well, you just have to experience it to understand the levels of euphoria your taste buds will enjoy. I was a little nervous, to say the least, going into this past weekend. I didn't know if I could make it from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon without going off my eating plan. But...I'm very happy to report that I DID IT!

Well, God really did it. I just allowed him to give me the strength! No homemade pies or piping hot baked-from-scratch rolls at Edna Mae's house on Friday night. No freshly made grape juice, angel biscuits, yummy muffins, or stuffed french toast or Belgian waffle boats with homemade whipped cream at the B&B. The only way I know this could have happened is prayer. The power that comes from prayer. So, thank you if you were one of the many praying for me. I'm so empowered by this victory...even though I haven't lost any weight from last week. That's OK. I can only imagine what would have happened had I gone off plan! So, what a great way to start a Made to Crave Monday, huh? With some GOOD news. Make sure to keep me updated on your good news with a comment on the blog post, OK? We need to cheer each other on!

So, without further ado let's dig in to Chapter 7 of Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst!

Chapter 7 Discussion Questions:

1. When she felt like she didn't measure up, Lysa says she kicked into withdrawal mode or fix-it mode. What mode do you kick into when you feel like you don't measure up? Jill's answer: Usually I kick in to eating mode in these situations. OR, I kick in to to controlling drive. I try to control everyone's behavior around me, which is always a GREAT idea, right? Ha!

2. Lysa describes how God used a passage from Isaiah to encourage her and affirm how much God wants to be in communication with us. If you could clearly hear God's words to you throughout the day, what kind of things would you hope you might hear him say? What, specifically, would you like to hear him say when you are struggling with food choices or issues related to your weight? Jill's answer: I would like to hear Him say, "You're beautiful! I love you! You are doing a great job serving Me!" When I am struggling with food choices or issues related to my weight I'd like to hear Him say, "I love you just the way you are. You are exceedingly lovely and have an inner glow that makes you even more attractive. It is not that I think you need to be a model on the cover of a magazine...but I do want to help You achieve optimum health so you can continue serving Me and being the Mom and Wife I've designed You to be. And, I will never leave You to fight this battle alone. I am here just waiting for You to call on Me!"

3. In the Bible we read that God's "divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness" ~ 2 Peter 1:3. In other words, with God's power we have everything we need to experience victory in our struggles. Do you feel you have everything you need from God in order to overcome your struggles with food? Or is this one of those truths that looks good on paper but doesn't seem to impact your everyday life? How might your relationship to food change if you could fully embrace this truth? Jill's answer: Well, you may remember that a couple of days before leaving for my weekend I experienced what I felt was failure in my eating. I had gone off the plan and eaten things I shouldn't have. Even some things I didn't really like. But, after the victory God's power enabled me to achieve this past weekend with temptation after temptation after temptation after temptation after temptation presenting itself...I KNOW that this truth is real and applicable to my every day life. I had friends praying for me. I was praying for me. I was reminded of promises I'd been reading in the Bible of God's ability to help me and I asked for that help. Also, I planned ahead. I had contacted the B&B and asked for whatever help they could offer with my dietary needs. And, they were VERY accommodating. They provided fresh fruit with no sugar added for me to enjoy while everyone else was diving into their belgian waffle boats full of bananas and strawberries covered with a sugary glaze and freshly whipped cream. They ordered a plain baked sweet potato at the restaurant we went to on Saturday night instead of the potato salad or twice backed, cheesy potatoes all my friends were eating. At first I didn't even have the confidence to check ahead and see what could be done to enable me to stay on plan over the weekend. But, I felt a tug on my heart to contact them and I'm so glad I did. I have seen God's divine power all over the place over this past weekend! And it is honestly changing my relationship to food. I'm not saying I'll never go astray again. But, I certainly have the God-given power to stay the course!

4. "I'm a Jesus girl who can step on the scale and see the numbers as an indication of how much my body weighs and not as an indication of my worth". How do the numbers on the scale impact your self-worth? Is Lysa's statement one you can make with full confidence or is it something you aspire to but haven't quite reached? Jill's answer: It's definitely one I haven't quite reached, but absolutely aspire to. This is a tough one. Everywhere you turn a woman's worth seems to be equated with her physical appearance, including her weight. So...I'm praying to be able to one day truthfully make this statement; loud and proud. But, for now, it is a daily battler seeing my worth outside of my overall appearance!

5. What self-defeating thoughts or hurtful comments from others routinely run through your mind when it comes to food and weight? What insights and perspective do you gain when you scrutinize them with these questions: Are you true? Are you beneficial? Are you necessary? Jill's answer: I can totally scrutinize hurtful comments from others in this way in just about every area outside of physical appearance. If someone makes a hurtful comment about my skills, abilities, or my faith...I can and have been able to wave them off. Sometimes it's harder than other times. But, usually, in the end, I'm able to determine the truth and logically decide which comments to heed and which to forget. The same is true with self-defeating thoughts. However, when it comes to weight and appearance...this is tough. Especially when most people you meet for the first time say, "You really don't look anything like I thought you would." Being in radio, this is a common occurrence. I know in my head that people generally assign a mental picture to someone they've only heard and never seen. I do this myself and am often surprised when I meet the person and he or she looks differently from the way I'd imagined. Maybe they're smaller, bigger, lighter, darker, a red-head instead of a brunette. It's not that I'm disappointed with how they actually's just that it's different than the image my mind had conjured up for that person. But, it is very hard for my heart to remember all of this every time I work a radio station event. There have been many times I've even apologized for not being the image that my voice had created in the other person's mind. I know it's silly but I automatically assume I am much shorter, fatter, and uglier than the person or people had imagined me to be. I assume they are disappointed or even amused by how I look face to face. Even if they meant to be hurtful, and usually that's not the case, I need to ask God to help me find the truth...His truth. Even if I'm not every person's ideal beauty. I know God designed me. He thinks I'm beautiful. My husband thinks I'm beautiful. And, in my daughter's eyes right now, I'm the most beautiful woman ever. These are the truth I need to hold onto. And, I can see how Lysa's suggested questions would be really helpful at times when I'm struggling with my own thoughts or the potentially negative comments from someone else. Does it really matter that my older brother always told me he thought I was short, fat, and ugly? Of course it hurt me and left scars. But, does that make his comments true? NO! Does it really matter that a woman who came up to me at the Women's Lifestyle show in Peoria when I pregnant told me how surprised she was that I SO big, SO early? Yes, it hurt. But, no it doesn't matter what she thought. And, does it matter if I ever AM a disappointment in person to anyone who's ever heard me on the radio? It does hurt my pride. But, seriously, I know what God thinks and I know what my family thinks. And, I know these thoughts and comments are not true, beneficial, or necessary!!

Whew, these are emotionally tough questions to answer, huh? Well, it's your turn now. And, remember...I was totally open and honest with you. I really feel this is the best way for us to help each other. It's so encouraging to know we aren't alone, don't you think? So, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment on this Blog Post if ya can. And, have a FABULOUS day!!!