Posted in Loosing Weight, resolutions

2017 Resolutions

Happy New Year!

2017-new-yearFor many, a new year is a chance to start over. Get things right. Do things better than before. Improve oneself.

Most people don’t keep the resolutions they make. Perhaps we’re not motivated enough, or too lazy. Most likely, we just don’t want to change.

I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve quit beating myself up over failing to live up to my resolutions. Maybe it’s because I’ve finally kept a few resolutions, and I know I’m actually capable of changing. Or maybe I just don’t care to make myself feel bad.

That doesn’t keep me from making resolutions like everyone else.

I’m hoping to do this year differently from last year. Not because I did things wrong last year. But because I already know this year will be fraught with different challenges. My health has changed. So has my financial and spiritual status. This requires different resolutions.

2017 Resolutions: Health

Last year, I resolved to lose 20 pounds. To that end–and to my surprise–I lost 25. This year, I want to get healthier.

It may sound like the same thing, but not necessarily. Sure, I’ll continue to exercise (and hopefully lose more weight). But in the middle of losing all that weight, I developed some strange problems with my knees. They started hurting for no good reason. As did other parts of me. As you can imagine, this makes enjoying my weight loss difficult.

Now, since I’m 30 years old and the problem has not gone away, this means something is wrong. This year, in addition to limiting fast foods, sodas, chocolate and ice cream, I hope to get to the bottom of whatever it is, treat it–if not cure it–and get healthier.

2017 Resolutions: Finances

If you’ve been following me, you know we have been trying to acquire some land outside of town. About a month ago, we finally achieved that goal. Now my husband and I are in the most debt we’ve ever been. We’re excited and worried, but mostly excited.

Our goal? To pay as much of that loan off in a year as we possibly can. Also, make improvements on the land. The more we pay off and improve, the more equity we build, the more we can get for our future home loan. A home we hope to move into late next year.

It’s going to be a lot of hard work, and we’ll have to keep an eye on our spending (not that we spend that much, really), but if we succeed, it’ll be worth it.

2017 Resolutions: Spiritual

This next year, I really want to work on my spiritual life. I’m a Christian, but I feel I’ve been a little lazy with my spiritual upkeep. While I’ve been diligent in going to church, I haven’t had a habit of reading my Bible every day since I was a teen. I’ve never had a very good prayer life (outside of giving thanks for the food, and really, how much does that count?). And as for sharing the gospel? Well.

In case you can’t tell, my face is red and I’m practically hiding in shame.

Up until now, my strategy has been to be a good example. And while that’s good and fine, what do people see? I go to church regularly, and I don’t cuss. That describes a lot of people, including “Sunday Only” Christians. I want to be better than that. This world doesn’t need good people. It needs God.

So this year, my aim is to develop a healthier spiritual life. I want to get into the habit of studying the Bible and praying every day. I want to develop a ministry, whether it be teaching or otherwise, so that other people will see God in me. And not just a Sunday Only Christian.

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Posted in daily life, Loosing Weight

I admire fit people

I admire fit people.

dsc_0224-1Not just fit people, but healthy people. Hard working folks. The kind of people who put in a full day’s work building houses, fixing cars, and installing electrical or plumbing. Or soldiers and firemen, who need to keep their bodies in shape so they can do their jobs.

I think I can blame this admiration on my father and grandfather. Both were mechanics by trade, but when they were home, they were farmers. They never stopped moving, never stopped working. Between the two of them, they built the home I grew up in. They chase cows, build fences, bail and haul hay. They could figure out how anything worked and fixed it.

I think if I hadn’t been so afraid of getting hurt growing up, I might have followed in their footsteps. As it was, I distinctly remember being driven to work hard as a teen. Not just so I wouldn’t get fired. But to prove that I could work as hard as any of the grown men around me.

Then I graduated college and I changed. I lost some of my drive. I became more and more lazy, more and more depressed, until I stepped on the scale one day and discovered I’d gained first 40, then 60, pounds since college. To my detriment, I fear.

Since the start of the year, I have lost almost 25 pounds. I’m thirty, but my body doesn’t work like it used to. Pain tags along with me like a naughty puppy, affecting my knees, shoulders and other joints. Scary words like “arthritis” are being thrown around, and I’m not sure who’s to blame for the pain. Was it me, my laziness, or my early drive to keep up with and outshine the hardworking men around me?

Only God knows for sure how much damage I did to myself through my own recklessness and laziness. Only He knows the truth. It may not be my fault. But it also may be.

One thing has not changed about me, though. I still admire fit people. And no matter what the future holds for me, no matter what the doctors say or what more challenges God sends my way, I need to dig out that drive I used to have, dust it off, and apply it to the future.

I may have to adjust my view of the definition of the words, but with God’s help and blessing, I will be healthy and strong again.

Posted in daily life, gardening, Loosing Weight

How Has my New Years Resolution Fared the Year?

help-not-loosing

State of my Weight

So, at the start of the year, I made a New Years Resolution. Like many Americans, my resolution included losing weight. My goal was 20 lbs by Christmas.

At the start of the year, I was 200 lbs. As of last Friday morning, I was 182 lbs.

I’m so close I’m starting to wonder whether I set my goals too low. Maybe I should shoot for 175 instead.

I can’t tell you how excited I am. I haven’t had this easy a time losing weight since I was 19. Then I lost 17 lbs in five months. This year, I’ve lost almost 20 in almost six. (I was last 200 lbs in March.) Three of those pounds I dropped in the last week. I wasn’t going to count those pounds, but they stayed off, so I guess I can!

I’m going to attribute my success to well, number one, God. Without His support, I wouldn’t have had the hope to persist. The next person I’m going to thank is my husband, for being such a good, competitive sport. Thirdly, to the wonderful trainers at Gold’s Gym. They’ve helped and encouraged me, listened and given advice, and help me find exercises that are easy on my sore knees.

And I have no idea why I have sore knees. But they’ve been hurting all summer, and the people at Gold’s Gym have been great about working around it.

Our Finances and Garden

Money wise, we’re good. God’s blessed us so much it still boggles my mind. We’re in the middle of trying to buy some land, and we’re waiting on the loan to go through. I tell you, never has waiting been so hard!

My garden is still alive. I pulled up my tomato plants a long time ago (they didn’t fare very well through the summer), but my okra plants are thriving and giving me more okra then I can use. I’ve frozen almost a gallon Ziploc back full, and the plants show no signs of slowing down any time soon!

I did plant green bean plants at the end of August. They’re about a foot tall now, still growing and green. Not as leafy or bushy as I like, but I also planted a different breed then I’m used to. I have no idea how these guys will turn out or how they will be different than Blue Lake, but I’m eager to see. Hopefully they’ll continue to grow, and here in a month I’ll have some fresh green beans to enjoy.

Posted in daily life, Loosing Weight

How I lost 10 pounds

It’s Official: I’ve Lost 10 Pounds!

help-not-loosingLike most Americans, I’ve been trying to lose weight for years, with not much success. I’ve made numerous New Years Resolutions, started and quit exercising more times than I can count, and stopped dieting more times than I’ve started. All without seeing a single pound drop.

The closest I got was 5lbs about two years ago, when I worked as a housekeeper for a hotel for a month. I gained that weight back the week I quit. I’m pretty sure the only reason I lost weight then is because I basically exercised non-stop 5 days a week for 6 hours a day. Anyone who’s done housekeeping knows what I’m talking about.

Anyway–where was I? Sorry, I got sidetracked . . .

I’ve lost weight! Ten pounds, and I’ll tell you how I did it, too. Hopefully this will help some of you.

Set time aside to be healthy

Chances are, you aren’t me. God has blessed me with the chance to be a housewife and let my husband support me. I have plenty of time to exercise and watch what I eat. (Or the opposite–eat because I get bored)

You probably don’t have time to sleep, much less cook or exercise. But believe me, if you want to lose weight, you will probably have to. And if you are so busy you physically can’t schedule twenty minutes to cook something healthy, you might have to get creative.

For example: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. What floor do you work on? 7th? Oh, lucky you. You just got your exercise in for the day.

Keep in mind, making time doesn’t just cover cooking and exercising. It also covers shopping. If you make room in your brain to shop better, eat out less, stop going to Starbucks, etc., then your also making room in your life to be healthier.

No more soda, snacks, or fast food

You’ve heard it once, and I’ll say it again. You want to lose weight? Eat healthier. 

What does that mean? That means no more candy. No more desserts. No more soda. At all. Not diet coke, not coke with fake/substitute sugar. Maybe carbonated water, but even then I’d draw the line. Just do yourself a favor and stop drinking it. Sugar aside, it’s full of chemicals that aren’t good for your body.

I know you’re addicted to Dr. Pepper (my husband is), but instead of spending the $20 a week on sugary drinks you’ll down in a single setting (if your like my husband, he can drink an entire liter of Dr. Pepper. By himself. In one setting. Now you know why it got banished from the house), spend it on fresh fruits and vegetables or lean meats instead.

Meat isn’t cheep. How much can you buy if you aren’t spending it on food that would go straight to your thighs?

For me, eating healthier also meant no more fast food. Now, I didn’t eat fast food necessarily because I liked the taste. We ate out a lot because we were lazy, it was convenient, and our fast food joint of choice was literally two blocks away.

Getting off my lazy butt and cooking not only gave me something to do, but it allowed me to control what went into my body. And it saved me about $80 a week I could spend on healthy foods that I wasn’t spending on fast food. And just so you know, it’s just the two of us. I don’t have kids yet. I can’t imagine how hard this would be if I did.

Can’t go cold turkey? You might need to do what I did and give yourself a treat once in a while. For us, this meant we allowed ourselves to go out to eat on the weekends. Note: this did not mean fast food. So, yes, go eat in that expensive Mexican restaurant. Just not Taco Bell.

I don’t count calories on the weekend. Yes, this means I don’t lose weight on those days. In fact, I usually gained 2 or 3–or even 5–pounds on the weekend.

Oh, and don’t forget to stop snacking and eat less. Eating healthier doesn’t mean squat if you can’t control how much you eat. Or eating between meals all the time.

The idea is to retrain your metabolism and your taste buds. If you aren’t constantly craving ice cream (me), it’s a whole lot easier to eat less. This isn’t a quick fix. It will take a while. So make sure to develop your patience, too, while your at it.

Get to know your body

Everyone’s body is different. You don’t have my body (be glad). I don’t have yours. And you definitely don’t have that magazine model cover’s body. She don’t even have it. Ever heard of a thing called photo shopping?

Your body will respond to different exercises and diets better than others. Find out what it responds to best. For me, this meant I needed to eat more protein and less anything my body thinks is a sugar. Which included starchy foods like pasta and vegetables.

I didn’t eliminate it from my diet–if I did, my husband would protest and then buy it behind my back just so he can sweet talk me into making my homemade meatballs. But you can bet I reduced it. If I eat too much of it, I get just as tired as I would have on a bad night of sleep. Instead of eating macaroni every day of the week, I had it only two nights a week.

This also meant I got out of the house and into the sun. Sorry, honey, but I need my daylight to wake up. Right now, it’s cloudy and noon: I’m yawning and fighting to not eat something sugary.

If you have any kind of health issue, you will already be on some kind of restricted diet. Like if you had diabetes, for example. Work with your health issues. Stick to the diet that will help you get better best. Atkins? Paleo? Vegitarian? Whatever your problem is, what you eat will either make you healthier or not. Don’t make yourself sicker by doing an exercise or a diet that will exasperate your problems.

Find an exercise you like

It’s a basic truth of the human condition: if we don’t like something, we don’t do it.

Why do you think we stop exercising? Because we hate it. Because its a hassle to put on exercise clothes and go to someplace and get sweaty for an hour and feel exhausted for the rest of the day. Because no one really likes how sore muscles feel (not unless your already in shape). Because people like having energy, and exercising can take what little you have away.

But if your overweight, you need to exercise. So find an exercise you like and do it. You aren’t going to exercise if you don’t like it.

For me, I like biking. I live in an apartment at the edge of your typical, suburban neighborhood. I’ve got a one-mile route that goes through that neighborhood and yet never takes me more than a half mile away from home. This way if I crash and fall off my bike, I can walk home. Or limp to someone’s house to use their phone.

Do you like to run? Good for you. I hate it. Need something less harmful on your joints? Try swimming. Can’t leave home? Exercise videos are your new best friend.

Whatever it is, find something you like to do. Don’t do what so-and-so is doing because he swears by it. Don’t do the newest exercise craze. You’ll get burned out and bored of those things in a week. Do something you like to do. As long as it gets you off the couch.

Get off the birth control

Now, so far, I’ve given you a lot of advice. Every one of these things I have done, and I honest believe they have helped me lose 10 lbs (since March, if your curious). They have certainly helped me be healthier. I feel better now than I did this time last year.

But you want to know why I really was finally able to lose weight? I got off birth control.

That’s right ladies. That little pill that allows you to have as much sex as you want and yet not get pregnant? That’s the thing I’m talking about.

Everything I looked up on the internet said that weight gain is not a side effect of birth control. Personally, I think they lied. Because the instant I started taking that little pill, I gained 5 pounds. And it didn’t stop there. In the 2.5 years I was on birth control, I gained 25 pounds. That’s right. 25. My previous average was about 5 lbs a year, not 10. I shudder to think how much more I would have gained if I’d stayed on it.

Here’s the thing about birth control, ladies: it is designed to mess with your bodies. 

Medical science likes to believe they know everything about our bodies. That they know exactly what’s going on in there, and that they have all the answers for why such and such happens. They don’t. And they don’t know near as much about the female reproductive system as we would like for them.

The female body is full of all kinds of hormones. Maybe they were in balance to begin with, maybe they weren’t. Maybe your ideal balance isn’t the same as someone else’s. Maybe it doesn’t look anything like the textbooks. Maybe it shouldn’t. Who knows what good or bad that little pill is actually doing you?

I’m not saying birth control is bad, ladies. Don’t think that. If you actually need your birth control for very good reasons that have nothing to do with controlling the population of little people in your home, then by all means take it.

But for me, birth control was not that great. Sure, it gave me regular, pain-free periods. And it made sure I didn’t get pregnant. But that was it.

For me, birth control increased my appetite and decreased my metabolism. I was always hungry–especially for the wrong things–and I had no energy to burn off the extra calories. Not to mention, I was depressed more times than not.

You know how hard it is to lose weight when you’re depressed, hungry, and have no energy? Of course you do. You probably feel like that right now.

Now that I’m off the pill, I have energy, I’m not nearly as depressed as I was, and I can more easily control how much and what I eat. Coincidence? I think not.


I hope some of this helps you. Feel free to leave a comment. But please, consult your doctor if you have questions. I have an English degree, not medical.

Posted in Uncategorized

Bathroom Scales are Evil

Me, like every other woman on the planet, have been fighting a war against the bathroom scale for several years now. I try to eat healthy, hide the snacks so I forget about them and don’t eat them, and try to keep eating out for special occasions (like Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sundays).

bathroom scaleI drag myself out of bed and exercise–walk 2 miles along windy and exhaust-fume laden quiet neighborhood streets– three to five days a week.

I keep the tiny apartment clean, take out the trash and empty the litter box.

I play my violin and drive places.

I work out.

And yet the scale will not tell me what I want to hear: “You have lost thirty pounds! Congratulations and good luck with your next thirty!” If I’m lucky it will say: “your weight has not changed since the last time you stepped on me.”  If I’m even unluckier?

Now, take my husband. He is a male, and that immediately gives him a leg up. He has way more natural energy than I do, which gives him another leg up–which he doesn’t need, since he already towers over me.

Michael doesn’t have to do much to lose weight. He can exercise for twenty minutes three times a week, and after two months will have lost twenty pounds. In the mean time, he can find and eat all of those snacks I have hidden, have about five servings of chicken Parmesan and half a liter of Dr. Pepper for every meal.

Over the Christmas holiday he exercised maybe three times in one week, and then ate half an anglefood cake in one night–and still lost two pounds in one night.

(It was a very good angelfood cake, and homemade to boot. If we hadn’t eaten it we would have had to throw it away, and that would have been a shame.)

Two pounds! And he ate half an angelfood cake? How did that happen? And why can’t it happen to me???

This is why scales are evil. I hate them. They should all be nuked and thrown away and never be made again.


 

Enjoy that? Join me next time when I talk about, “My Husband Speaks a Different Language Than Me.”