First blog post

This is the post excerpt.

This is how I feel these days.  I mean, not all day, every day, but most days that I spend at the gym, I get this kind of tough girl, mentality.

It’s funny, really.  Even a year and a half ago, there were days that I didn’t feel like even getting off the couch, and we’re talking like 3ish years into this!  That’s not my mindset at all anymore.  Now, I feel like I can accomplish pretty much anything that I put my mind to, and I’m bringing that with me to the weight room at the gym, which, if you’ve spent much time at most gyms, you may have noticed, is a male dominated area, and can feel pretty intimidating.  There are days when I go to lift, that I feel like I get zero respect on that weight room floor..not with my space, not when I’m checking my form in the mirror, not when I’m trying to do a set on something and someone just jumps in..it can be frustrating, trust me, but then there are days when I can really get a great workout in, no-one is stepping in front of me, everyone is nice..those days keep me from turning tail and running out of there, feeling like the old me.  The unaccepted me. The judged me. The (yes..going there!..) FAT me.

That old mentality is not easy to shake, because it’s lived with me for forty-something years, and she has been known to rear her head occasionally.  For me, I’ve learned that we have an enemy, here on earth, and he will do anything he can to make us live out our lives in a cesspool of self doubt, and self destructive behavior.  Every day, I have to be intentional with my actions.  I know me, and I know that I need my God time more than anything else..it’s like my gym time, and I have recently learned that if I go without that, I  turn into this awful, snarky person (again..human!!)  I guess my point is, don’t give up when you get a little down on yourself, or if someone doesn’t give you what you need in that moment.  Just keep swimming, keep moving forward, whatever you do, don’t stop, because trust me, (FIVE YEARS…) getting yourself started back up is so much harder than just pushing thru whatever it is you’re feeling.  You have the ability to choose to believe in you, and whatever it is you’re shooting for! Today, I’m going for Dauntless!! ( I hope you have seen the Divergent movies, otherwise this may seem odd ha!)

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Gotta love Pinterest!

Begin…again.

It’s so nuts to me, how, or, rather, WHY I would want to mess around and try a new way of eating when what I was doing was going well.  I begin to dabble in how much can I cheat and still maintain. Then, I don’t maintain, I gain, and then I question my keto life in relation to my gaining, then I say that I need more structure, balance, then I find something else, and try that..ugh.  Here we are. I just came off of a three week trial of the new weight watchers freestyle program. This goes against every thing I have learned about food and the body.  Specifically MY body. I found myself eating tons of fruit (free) and beans (also free) and then processed crap, because I had “points” and I could use them for whatever I wanted! Yay!  Not so much..I am not knocking WW, because It does work, just not well for me, because I know what it feels like when my body burns fat as fuel, and how much energy I have when that happens.  What I felt like these last three weeks, was low. Sick. Depressed. That is not how I am used to feeling and I thought I was GETTING sick.  I don’t believe that now. I believe that it was my diet.

Today is another new day.  I am taking back what I know works for me, and getting myself back to the gym, and back to a healthier mindset.  It happens. To probably everyone.  Thats maybe why God gives us a new start every 24 hours.  I’m not beating myself up, or wallowing in self pity over this…it’s going to be used as more knowledge of me…more of my path uncovered.  Part of my journey. 🙂       Judges 18:6

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Freedom

Have you ever carried something so heavy with you, that you actually begin to feel suffocated by the weight of it?  Something so heavy on your heart or your mind that it starts to consume your every move? I have.  I didn’t know it though.

Back in January, I was singing at our church, and the song was called “Break Every Chain”.  I love that song, it’s about the power in the name of Jesus that’s able to break every chain that’s holding you down. It’s pretty moving.  After service, I really questioned how I could be up there singing about this subject, when I, myself had several chains needing to be broken…mostly regarding addictive behavior patterns regarding food, what else! Upon speaking to my fabulous Christian trainers, they recommended a fast. Three days. Water only. So under their supervision, I did it. I truly felt like I had overcome.

Let’s fast forward to today.

I’m at a retreat. We break into small groups, and begin asking who needs prayer, what’s going on..and such. It’s my turn in the hot seat..I’m super emotional by nature, so I knew this was going to be heavy….the prayer I needed today, was for the heavy weight, that suffocating feeling to be lifted. I thought it was that I was selfish, and couldn’t get me off my mind (so typical), each time I’d try to pray for someone the night before, I just couldn’t do it. My mind kept flipping to me, and all my failures and shortcomings. I simply could not move forward to help anyone else.  As it turns out, those chains I thought were broken back in January, actually had been, but I’ve been standing amongst them, not ever really moving away from the pile at my feet.  Most of my life has been lived in those chains, so how do I step out of them? Where do I go?

I wonder how many others are still standing in their broken chains, frozen, and afraid to move. While standing there, the enemy used this. He did.  It’s like he knit together a cloak of all of the things released by the broken chains, and threw it onto my shoulders. So, free, but not. During my prayer time, someone had a word for me…it was that God wanted to take that cloak from me. It was far too heavy, and never mine to wear, it was His to take.  I let Him have it.

Freedom.

Open.

This week I’m away at a retreat for worship leaders (people that sing at church). A few things are happening that have me feeling so peaceful and happy that I really wanted to share..

First, I’m prepared mentally about the food. Going into this, I really wasn’t sure what it would look like, so the mental preparation, to me, is as important as the food prep part. I packed my mct oil, stevia, protein bars and chips, sunflower seeds, and some little beef sticks to get me thru just in case. As it turns out, the food is definitely able to meet my keto needs, which is great.

Next, we share a space between six people, in that space, one person is ketogenic..not “I’ve heard of keto”..but she’s actually doing it. Huge, as some people glaze over when you tell them what keto is. There’s also someone who is paleo, which is similar. Another grew up in a household similar to mine now, with protein and veggies as their core foods. I can’t tell you how present God is in this. What are the odds of me sharing space with these particular people..space that was assigned, not chosen. I’m beyond thrilled!!

There’s plenty of opportunity here for some downtime to renew and refresh the soul, and to spend time in the presence of our Creator, and also hike or run (yea, no..) to get some cardio in, which as we know, is also great for the soul.

I typically tend to withdraw myself in large social situations like this, I label myself as one that doesn’t fit in even before I meet people, and that’s not the case this week. A friend told me to be sure to stay open here..So here I am, open to whatever God has in store for me, vulnerable, and fully trusting Him with the wheel, and ready and willing to be used as well. I had no idea how amazing this would be. 🙂

Frustration

This is me at this moment. This machine is called “hack squat” and right now, using it with virtually no weight is a struggle. I have arthritis in both knees, which is essentially the reason for starting to eat better and move more. Days like today, when I simply cannot get my body to do what I want it to do without pain, is so completely frustrating that I could almost cry. I know I’m strong..I just want to be stronger. And when I have set back days, I do get pissed. Ugh.

I usually can pinpoint where I went awry..usually it’s right after a cheat, and I can accept that, but this is different and what really gets me is this: had I started this earlier in life, say in my 20’s rather than my 40’s I’d possibly be in a much different place physically, and I have no one to blame but myself and my bad habits. I’m not saying that I started too late for reasonable change, obviously that has happened, but what I AM saying, is that our habits early on in life have everything to do with how we are able to perform or at least function, as we get older.

Our bodies were not created to carry around a bunch of extra weight, or to be filled with processed junk food. We reap what we sow, so be conscious of how you treat your body..it actually IS supposed to be treated like a temple! We’re in this together, so just start somewhere, and take one small step at a time.

Sugar: the battle continues

I consider myself to be a FORMER sugar and carb addict. I think it’s important to say former, and not “I am”. I was blessed to have had two truly amazing (and Christian, which I didn’t know at the time) trainers. A now husband and wife team that are working hard at growing their brand. I thank God every day for putting these people into my life, because their life coaching along with their knowledge of a healthy way of eating and moving, have been the pinnacle of my success. They are the ones that taught me that what you speak, you become, in a sense, and I have really learned that to be true.

Yesterday, I was meandering around a store, looking for storage crates, and I ran into a display of scented wax cubes, the kind you heat up and they make your house smell good..they had all kinds of fall scents, and I, of course, gravitate towards the food smells. Pumpkin and apple everything….all I remember is waking up in the fresh baked goods area…how I got there is all a blur..I was somewhere near where pumpkin bread should be, frantically circling my cart around yet another fall display, looking for said pumpkin bread. There was none. Ok, chocolate chip muffins…none…a lemon (who am I kidding..multiple) lemon headlights..none. Now I really feel like death can’t be far..I HAVE TO EAT, I’m growing weak, my head hurts, justifiably seeking out any baked good that might save me, but also feeling the familiar mind tug-o-war that generally happens when I feel a cheat coming on. Then, off in the distance, I hear “Michele, you’re doing great!” Huh. I took that as God intervening, that along with the fact that I couldn’t find any of the specific baked goods that would have “saved my life” in that near death moment. As it turns out, a girl in the deli was also named Michele, and apparently she was doing a great job, right at exactly the same moment that I needed a little reminder that I HAVE OVERCOME so. Much. I snapped back to reality, got a bit miffed that I had almost fallen because of lies that the enemy presented, and told myself..this is just food. You can beat this! You’ve done it before! And I walked away.

It may not happen quickly, but you can recover from addictive behavior patterns, sugar can be more addictive than cocaine I’ve been told. I believe that, so be intentional every day, and cry out if you feel like you’re about to fall, but if you do fall, because we all do, don’t stay down. Get right back up, don’t beat yourself up for days, and get back at it!!