Thursday, May 15, 2008

Diet Update: Day 8

Starting weight: 226.6 on 5/5/08
Current weight: 220.7
Loss so far: 5.9 lbs

I'd love to tell you that the change in how we're eating is going along without a hitch. But I can't. I am no longer having physical cravings for carbs, however the habit to eat them (it's not breakfast without toast, a bagel, oatmeal, or something like that) still hasn't been broken. It's amazing to me how much of our diet was filled with carbs. We have six days left to go on the first phase of the diet before we can begin to reintroduce "good carbs" and "whole fruits" to our diets.

Hubby has lost almost 10 lbs so far. Sigh....must be nice...his brand new jeans are starting to sag off his hips!

Today's going to be warm and sunny, but not hot. So I think baby and I will have a walking date. Watch out park! Here we come!


"I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to each other."
--Romans 1:12 NLT

Once upon a time, what seems long, long, long ago, I was married with three beautiful children and stayed home fulltime to raise them. Initially, the decision to stay home came out of necessity because daycare for two infants was too expensive to justify me working outside of the home. But then, as I sought my degree and grew into the mothering role, it became the place I wanted to be until my children all started school.

Then life happened. My world fell apart as my marriage crumbled and my definition of family was augmented. I no longer had the option of staying home with my children.

My re-entry to the workforce as a single mom happened six years ago.

But today, my life is in a much different place! Because of God's blessing and grace, I have found a wonderful Godly man who loves God first, then me, then "our" children (his two, my three, plus our one). And in celebration of that kind of life and love, we have had our first child together. I have been on maternity leave for almost 10 weeks now.

When I decided to take 12 weeks of maternity leave, I had reservations. I knew what having a new baby meant. I knew that there would be nights with no sleep, days with no awake hours, and lots of little moments that I would not want to miss. But I decided to take the FMLA leave because I didn't know if I would want to return to work for sure or not.

But now, as my leave is drawing to an end, I have faced a struggle many mothers have faced before me. I look at my baby girl, my three older children, and the lifestyle we are leading right now--walking to the elementary school each afternoon to meet the older kids, napping with the baby in my arms when I need to--and I struggle to let go of it and return to work.

Perhaps where the story is a little different than some is that I don't "have" to go back to work for our family to survive financially. Since we wed, my husband and I who both fully embrace the idea of Biblical finances have been steadily paying down and paying off our debts (most incurred when we were younger, in our previous marriages). We have tithed faithfully and avoided new debt.

But yesterday, I took the baby out to my office to show her off. (I'm a very proud mama!!) And while I was there, I knew that I had to make a decision. The end of my protected leave is drawing near, and that meant that I had to come to a decision about returning to work.

My husband and I have talked about this exact scenario over and over. Yesterday, I asked him exactly what God was laying on his heart about it. I knew what I felt God was telling me, but I also wanted to test it. I know that when God speaks, He doesn't contradict Himself. If my husband was hearing the same thing that I was, that would confirm that the voices we were hearing were truly God's voice.

"Don't close the door if they make you an offer that is better (i.e. telecommuting, part-time, pay increase). However, I feel that you should stay home. It's where your heart is, it's what I want for you, and I feel like it is where God is leading us."

And my only concern was that I had this small, niggling fear that with the economy what it is right now, closing the door completely could be disastrous for our family financially. I immediately added to that concern that it could be Satan raising this concern. I know how motivated he is to raise questions about God's faithfulness to take care of us. Satan knows that he can only pull us down when he causes us to question our faith and God's ability and desire to do what He has promised us He's going to do.

"Listen to how they respond. If they don't seem concerned that you want to walk away, if they don't try to dissuade you at all, we'll know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you should not go back. If they make you an offer, listen and ask for time to think it over. Then we'll pray about the offer to see how God speaks to us."

I know that God is faithful to take care of us. I have seen God's hand be shown mighty and powerful. I have experienced victory at His hands too many times to really doubt. And yet, I do. At moments that seem too big for me, I struggle over and over with letting go and letting God. My faith needs to grow. I need to get back to a place where I have resided before in the arms of God.

"Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come fearlessly into God's presence, assured of his glad welcome."
--Ephesians 3:12 NLT

I won't go into all of the details of the conversation, but the results were amazing! I decided to leave it to God, although I was afraid of the possible outcomes. However, my employer was sympathetic to my desire to stay home beside my children. They had anticipated (with the help of one of God's angels) that I would struggle with this decision and had already begun discussion about a way that I could continue working for them, but in a different capacity. Several different scenarios were given if I should decide to continue working, including the option that I had in my heart as being the only way I would decide to work without much struggle (and that was a scenario that I was sure existed only in my head and heart and not in a tangible "real" possibility). I asked that they firm up how they felt they could use me best and to get back with me.

I was forced to make no rash decisions. No doors were closed. And a possibility (which could lead to an additional source of income later) was presented.

Although this story is not over, it is a testament to what God will do when we have faith in Him and let Him work in our lives. Only God knows for sure what offer I will ultimately receive. And only He knows what I will decide to do, although I do know that it is my heart's desire to do only what He leads me to do.

But more than what this has proven to me about God and faith, is what it can show you.
"These older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to take care of their homes, to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands. Then they will not bring shame on the word of God."
--Titus 2:4-5 NLT

Father, each day that I have been given by you is a day that I can learn to be more like you, to walk more closely in faith to you, and to be blessed by you so that I can give those blessings forward to others through you. Continue to give me wisdom in this situation as well in each decision I have to make. And continue to make me submissive to your will in my life, to my husband, and to the lessons of faith that you will teach me in my life and through the witness of my fellow sisters in Christ. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Other verses to consider:
  • Matthew 18:6
  • Matthew 21:21
  • Acts 14:22
  • Romans 1:8

Please remember to share your stories of faith and faith-development with all your sisters in Christ. It should never be tiresome to them to hear them, or for you to share them!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Update: Diet, Day One

So we survived the day without carbs so far. I am craving sweets, I'll be honest. I want to grab a brownie fudge sundae and inhale it, although I know that this sacrifice is really worth it. My body is just needing to break the old, bad habit. Withdrawal is no fun.

Although we walked for an hour yesterday, we did not do as well today. The baby got us up at 5am and the older kids were up and moving around by 7am. At 9am, when the older kids were off to school, I went back to bed (I had sent my husband in at 7am since he has to work all night tonight). We got about an hour and a half catch-up sleep but neither of us seemed super-motivated to go walking or to the gym. Bad, I know...but I did have a baby less than a month ago...

Overall, I feel very good about my day. There are still foods in the house that we cannot partake of, but I did not eat any of those (and neither did my hubby). I didn't put anything in my coffee that wasn't on the "okay" list...and I have to be honest with you, it wasn't the same. And I'm a huge coffee having it taste different wasn't a plus.

Here is where I failed miserably: I did not get my water in. I drank two glasses early this afternoon, but then because I was craving something sugary, I made some Crystal Light. I've only had two cups of that, but I had lots of coffee this morning. So my goal tomorrow is to drink more water.

That's it. I'm going to have a "No sugar added Fudgesicle" as my evening snack/dessert, and drink some more water. I can do this, and I know that in a few days, the cravings will subside...I know it.

First smile

Okay, there is nothing to say this time.
The pictures say everything that needs to be said.

Diet, Day One

So...we are doing it. We got up and fought off the urge to shove pancakes, english muffins, bacon, or sugary cereal in our mouths. We used fat-free half and half with sugar-free vanilla syrup in our coffee instead of regular French vanilla creamer and artificial sweetener (for me) instead of white sugar.

We ate scrambled eggs with onions, bell peppers, and fresh salsa in it and melted reduced-fat cheese. It was yummy, I must say, although I think next time I will add some black beans.

The day is still young...but I think we/I can do this. More later!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Weight Loss, Day -2

So...we had planned with the best of intentions to start our lifestyle change/diet today. We got up, we weighed, we recorded our horrifyingly high weights, and went to lunch at an Italian restaurant (on Cinco de Mayo...there's a reason; we aren't boycotting the Mexican restaurants...LOL...really!). Tomorrow night we are having dinner with BIL and his family. These first two days aren't really friendly to starting such a strict diet and exercise program. So today is day -2 (negative two).

After battling with a mindset today that I can't do two weeks without carbohydrates (including fruit and fruit juices), I have sat down and looked at what is allowed for the first two weeks. It's only two weeks, after all (as my wonderful husband keeps reminding me). It's only two's only two's only two weeks.

Okay, I think I've got a handle on the worst part being only for two weeks now.

So, I sat down and addressed a doable diet plan to survive the first two weeks. We know that there are lots of "diet evils" still in the house. Tomorrow, we will be going through the fridge, the cupboard, and anywhere else food may be hiding in the house. All those bad foods will be making their way out of the house (most of them aren't necessary really), and then we will head off to the grocery store to restock with the proper foods.

We are using the South Beach diet, and have purchased the NEW! South Beach Diet Supercharged book at Costco for only $14.99. When I lost weight a little over two years ago, I dropped almost $800 for a diet program. (I was successful and kept the weight off until I got pregnant!) The purchase of that book and the knowledge I have gained from the past--nutrition, anatomy and physiology classes and the previous weight loss program--have armed us with everything we need to be successful.

So, here it is...
Weight: 226

Goals for the week:
1. drink 8 glasses of water each day
2. eat only the prescribed foods (no carbs :( )
3. walk at least 45 minutes/day
4. spend 30 minutes on the elliptical 3x/wk there it is. As embarassing as it is for me to put it on paper (or on screen as it is in this case), I know that there is great accountability in putting it there where everyone can see it and I can't hide from it. I'll weigh in again next Monday!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Nothing and Everything to Lose

Some of you have known me for eons. Some have only gotten to know me via this blog over the last couple of months. But what you need to know is that back in 2006, I took my tax return money and entered a weight loss program. Over a period of eight months, I shed 60 pounds and lost tons of inches. I began to eat right, workout, and actually "do" stuff with my kids. (It's terribly tough to run and kick a soccer ball when you're massively overweight!)

I did well maintaining my weight loss until I got pregnant late last summer. Since then, I've put on every single pound I'd lost, plus a few more. I am down 15 pounds since giving birth from my heaviest pregnancy weight (and this is exciting because I've had at least two pregnancies where I never did do that...for MONTHS!). But I have at least 70 pounds to lose. I need to start eating the way I used to, workout more like I used to, and feel great all over again.

Will it make a difference??? Here is my after picture (at 155) taken in November 2006....
This was just about two months 9 months pregnant with my hubby. Note the nice double chin...proof that I can look far better than I do now!

So, on Monday, hubby and I are making a new start. We are changing the way we eat, making regular daily exercise a part of our lives, and heading for a lighter existence. The way I look at it...we have nothing and everything to lose!

Pray for us as we start this together. I know that I can do this and be successful, but I also know how many people start and quit or give up before they make their goal, or go back to the old bad habits after they've reached their goal. I don't want either one of us to do that.