Freedom in Health and Wellness

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image by mossholder

Yesterday we talked about the freedom I’ve found in my thoughts around my work. Today I want to share the freedom I’ve found around food and exercise as the 4th part of this series.

In the past weeks, I finally read Lysa TerKeurst’s Made to Crave.  I’d read tweets about it, blog posts about it, even watched webinars about it.  I had it on my Kindle since it came out, but just read it this month.  Again, the timing was perfect.

I have struggled on and off for years with an addiction to sugar, some unhealthy body image issues and difficulty committing to exercise. I’d get off it for a time, but then was right back to it.

Lysa gave me several insights that have really changed my thinking around this and truly think this time the changes are here to stay.  And listen, I’ve heard many of these things before, but since being freed, it’s like so many things are actually “sticking” now where they weren’t before.

The first is Lysa suggests getting some accountability.  I’ve done that in my exercise first with a Facebook group this month.  Knowing they are expecting me to stay on task and are checking in on me totally changes the game for me.  God made us to connect to others, so it’s no surprise this is helping.  Also, Scott is waking up with me when he’s not working and doing the exercises with me.  It’s been great having him beside me.

I’m in my 4th and final week of T25 and have seen amazing results.  And it’s not just physical.  It’s my thoughts towards exercising now. I truly enjoy it and look forward to it in the morning.  For the first time in my life, I’m getting up 30 minutes early to do it.  March is usually my most active of the year, but I’m praying that this “sticks” this time.  I think it will.

The second is that we should measure our progress not by a number on the scale, but by our obedience.  I have weighed myself every single day as an adult and much of the thoughts towards myself were based on whether the scale displayed a lower number or a higher number than the day before.  Lysa suggests that the number can’t tell you many things like how much salt you had, what time of the month it was or most importantly, how obedient you were.  Did you make good decisions that day?  If so good, then that’s the measure of success.  Turning food and exercise into an obedience issue instead of a numbers issue was a revelation for me.  My body is a temple and I am to take good care of it.

The third and final idea that brought me great freedom in this is the idea of temptation during difficult or celebratory times.  Basically, we use food to celebrate everything and to get through everything.  There was always an excuse to why I needed a bowl of ice cream—I had a great day, let’s celebrate or I had a horrible day, let the chocolate fix it or even, I’m bored, let’s eat some ice cream.  If we were at the mall, I’d get Starbucks because it was a “special” day out with the family.  I’d grab some extra dessert at work because I’d been working hard.  Or it was Christmas, or Easter, or Valentine’s Day, or someone’s birthday. There was always a reason to eat something I didn’t need.  And while I truly believe in special moments, I was using them as an excuse to not take care of my body.  In the book, Lysa shares truths from God’s word we can use in times like these.  For me, this was freeing.

I can feel old thoughts already creeping in as I write this—this won’t last, you’re just on a lucky streak, you can’t eat this way forever.  But no, we are more than a conquerors through Christ and we can have lasting freedom in His strength.

 

As we wrap this unexpected series on freedom in our thought life, I can’t help but encourage you to take stock of your thought life.  Are you constantly discouraged, negative, cynical and defeated?  It’s not supposed to be that way!  Seek the Lord with your concerns, read Scripture we’ve talked about and pick up the books that have helped me if you’re not sure where to start.  God wants more for you and so do I. And let me know if there’s a specific area I can pray about with you.

What I’m Into – October 2013

Welcome to November!  This is our craziest month as a family.  Both the girls’ birthdays are in November as well as other family members and friends, Thanksgiving hits and then holiday shopping starts and work tends to be busy too.  I’m not one to celebrate busy, so I’m taking a deep breath in as I type.

I really wanted to share some things that were making me happy in October. I skipped September because really?  I was into chocolate ice cream and cookies and that’s not helping anyone.

 

AdvoCare

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Whether you saw my results post last week or not, it bears repeating.  AdvoCare totally dug me out of my funk and I feel GREAT.  In fact, I’ve lost a few more pounds since posting and I’m still feeling terrific.

I can’t get enough of the Fruit Punch Spark energy drink in the mornings. I get just as excited about that as I did my coffee.  Seriously.

 

Pure Protein Bars

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One way that I’ve been able to handle the high protein/low carb diet is protein bars in the afternoon.  I’ve tried several of them and BY FAR the best one is Pure Protein in chocolate peanut butter.  It’s like eating a Snickers.  Like, without the caramel and nuts and yummy goodness but, you know, close when you’re eating low carb.  Buy them by the box at Walmart.

 

30 Day Shred

 

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30 Day Shred is an oldie but I keep returning to it over and over.  It’s a solid work-out and I completed the 30 days in October.  You can’t beat just 20 minutes of working out in your living room with just a set of hand weights.

 

BIC Velocity Pen

 

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If you’re a pen freak, you probably already know about this pen but seriously? The BIC Velocity is the smoothest pen EVER.  Love.

 

New Girl

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I decided to check out New Girl on Netflix and I’m a fan–not like, I can’t live without this fan, but fill in the Friday night nothing to do fan.  It has quite a bit of adult humor and the morals/lifestyles are atrocious, but it’s funny.  Scott and I watch it together and I spend most of it punching his shoulder across the bed laughing.  I finally get the Zooey love.

 

David Walker Band

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I mentioned this band in my Allume recap but since I’ve been home, I’ve been listening to David Walker’s music and oh my word, they are GOOD.  If you want some good worship music you can leave on repeat, go check it out on Spotify.  Fragrance and Only You are my favorites.

 

What I’m Reading

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Based on our reader survey, I think I’m going to bow out from Twitterature each month but I think this is a good spot for it to land.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh turned out to be one of my favorite novel EVER. 

I did a full post of Jesus > Religion but it only scratched the surface of the book.  It’s really fantastic. I really, really hope you check it out if you’re a Jesus follower.

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman was like a long poem—beautiful writing.  The Type A side of me wanted it to be more practical but it’s really more about a perspective shift.  From the site it says, “Do you desperately fear you have nothing to offer the world but secretly hope you’re wrong?” This book is definitely an encouragement when you feel you have nothing to offer.  We ALL do.

Me Before You was a fantastic novel with great characters and interesting storyline but darn it, why couldn’t it have a better ending??

I also read Tina Fey’s Bossypants which I found hilarious but not necessarily up my alley.

Anything by Jennie Allen was good but not great. I wish I would have read this after hearing her live.

Jodi Picoult’s Keeping Faith made me frustrated and mad–I threw it on the floor when I was done.

 

BONUS!

I have a copy of A Million Little Ways to give away!  Just leave me a comment—tell me something from the list you’d like to check out or something you were into in October!  I’ll draw a name next Monday!

 

Linked to October 2013 What I’m Into

Our Weekend and the Start of Something New

Please skip to the end for a question if you’re skimming :)

 

After my post on Friday, I’m glad to report that this weekend was just what I needed.

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Friday night Scott and I were able to have a quick, last-minute date night at one of our favorite restaurants in Charlotte to use up an expiring LivingSocial deal.  We ate fast and didn’t stay long but the food was scrumptious and it was just nice to get dressed up and do something different.

Saturday we spent most of the day with my friend Dani and her family who just moved over an hour away.  The kids totally disappeared for the day to play dress up and choreograph dance routines. We got to catch up the entire afternoon after all our missed coffee dates and enjoy a yummy dinner together.

 

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The sugar-laden kids couldn’t help but photobomb our picture at Sonic

 

Among other things, I think they’ve helped us find just the thing that’s going to snap me out of my poor eating and exercise habits I talked about on Friday.

Scott and I both signed up for 24-Day Challenge (and as distributors) with AdvoCare.

Now, don’t worry, I’m not here to sell you on anything (although I will) but I do want to share this journey with you.

So what is AdvoCare? Basically, it’s a nutritional company.  The idea is to add things like probiotics, Omega3 fatty acids and cleansing products to make your body function properly.  For some, it’s a weight loss program, but for many, it’s simply a way to make your body perform at its highest level.

While I am concerned I’ve gained a few pounds, I’m mostly concerned I’m addicted to sugar and I know I’m not feeding my body the proper nutrients.  If I never lose a pound, I NEED to eat better. 

My family is wrought with cancer and diabetes and strokes and heart problems.  I’m not getting younger over here and I need to be smart about the choices I make.

Plus, I know a lot of this brain fog and memory problems are likely due to the sugar as well.  I just know if I can kick that and add in these products, I’ll be feeling 100% better.

What is the 24-Day Challenge? The 24-Day Challenge is a sort of kick-off to the AdvoCare program.  You can get products and use them without doing the challenge.  The challenge puts a set of products together for you in two phases that puts everything in to high-gear (forgive me, this is my newbie explanation).  The first is a 10 day cleansing cycle and then the second is called the Max Phase where it really ramps up your metabolism.

Can I do this without AdvoCare? Absolutely.  I’ve eaten clean before and stayed on a good exercise routine.  However, this time I need help.  I can’t seem to kick it on my own.  This will put me on a regimen that will keep me accountable and give me extra tools to be successful. 

Scott is doing this with me and I’m really excited to have something to do together.

We ordered all the products this weekend and plan to start later in the week.

 

Here’s my question:

I’ve thought about sharing frequent video updates from both of us as we go on the Facebook page and doing intermittent blog posts to share any progress.  I even wanted to see if anyone wanted to do the 24 day challenge with us.  I know it’s perfect timing for me as I head to Allume next month. We could wait and all start together if so? 

Or, I can just update you at the end and let you know how it went.  I really don’t want to sound sales pitchy and feel like I’m taking advantage of your time.  Although, believe me, if this helps, I will sing its praises.

So, tell me.  Do you want all the nitty gritty details from us as we go or just an update at the end?

Gluten Free Q&A

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I’m over at KatrinaRyder.com today answering all kinds of questions about why and how we eat gluten free. Come read, ask your questions and if you’re gluten-free, chime in with your experiences. See you there!

Stand Up for Yourself

My friend posted this article the other day about the long-term effects of sitting most of your day. 

Research is showing that sitting for extended periods of time is worse for you than smoking. 

Even for people that exercise regularly.

Yikes.

I can’t tell you how much my life expectancy has changed but I can tell you that after 13 years of sitting at a desk for 30-40 hours a week, it takes a toll.  Often, I can feel my legs begging to be moved.  I have a really bad habit of slouching AND curling my legs up into the chair.  It just can’t be good for me.

I’ve seen the treadmill desks and such but that just isn’t happening for us.  This article though really sparked a need for change.

What did I do?

For now, I’ve stuck a laundry basket under my laptop.  Oddly, it’s the perfect height.

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Hopefully Scott will feel motivated for something more permanent soon.

But can I tell you?  I. love. it. 

I find myself fidgeting and even, gasp, dancing to my music [read: burning more calories].

While I wholeheartedly believe that my time has already been measured, this has made my work time more enjoyable. 

And really, I’ll take all I can get.