A Plan for Health and Wellness!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past few days.

Of course I have.

I’ve really been thinking a lot about what I wrote on Friday and I think I’ve come up with a plan! I wrote about making small changes, doing workouts that I enjoy, eating real food, etc. There seemed to be a consistent theme of doing a little at a time and not trying to revamp my life and my diet and my exercise habits all at once.

Honestly, this is all very funny to me today because yesterday I had a mini-meltdown about how I felt like things were not changing fast enough…

…that I wasn’t changing fast enough.

Thankfully, I have a husband who loves me despite the fact that I have no patience and want to do everything immediately!

Seriously, people. If I had it my way I would drop 40 pounds, become a nutritionist and  homeopathic superwoman, clean my entire apartment with vinegar and lemon, and sew 50 handbags and pillows by Monday morning. 

Anyway…

After I posted on Friday, I thought back to before I found out I was pregnant with Charlie and I remembered that my weight-loss goal back then was 40 pounds.

Wow. That seems like a lot. Where did it all come from?

When I started college, I had a weight loss goal of 5 pounds! I was determined to go to the gym (that I paid for through my tuition whether I wanted to or not) and “get in shape!” Well, my weight fluctuated a lot in college–as I’m sure it does for a lot of people–so instead of losing 5 pounds, I gained about 10-15.

My total goal is now about 20 pounds.

After college, I taught 7th grade for one year and let’s just say that my weight fluctuated upward a lot that year. I did lose some of that weight before Dave and I got hitched so I’ll say I gained another 10 pounds altogether.

Total goal: 30 pounds.

After 1 1/2 years of marriage, Dave and I had been through some pretty great times together and we had also gone through some sad times–add on 10 more pounds.

Total goal: 40 pounds.

Do you see a trend? Yes. I’m a stress eater. Can you relate? 

So, when the moment came and we found out that Charlie was on his way, I had 40 pounds that I just had to hold onto for a little while longer (while I gained 65 more)! I haven’t quite lost all 65 pounds of baby weight yet, as explained in Friday’s post, but I’m just going to round off my total goal to 40 pounds.

Get to the plan already!

Well, I was thinking about how I just need to lose a little at a time and keep it off. I don’t need to lose all of it by Monday, nor should I–I would just gain it all back and then some.

But…

…if I commit to losing 3-4 pounds a month for one year I’ll lose all 40 pounds!

Ok…so I know that weight all by itself is no indication of health, it’s just the easiest thing for most people to track. Because I know that weight alone doesn’t indicate health, I’m going to go a few steps further and track a few other things.

What I’m going to track:

  1. Weight (quantitative)
  2. Measurements (quantitative)
  3. Energy levels (qualitative)
  4. Overall physical wellness (qualitative)
  5. Overall mental wellness (qualitative)

At the end of each month I’ll update you all on my progress and at the beginning of the next month I’ll let you in on my new 30 day “wellness” goals. As I wrote this, I realized that I can’t separate my physical and mental health from my spiritual health so add on number 6. A Bible reading update! (quantitative AND qualitative)

So that’s the plan! It’s not set in stone. I’ve never done something like this before so I don’t know how it’s all going to work but I’m very optimistic!

On Friday the 14th, I’m going to give you my first update complete with weight, measurements, my completely honest overall health assessment and…pictures! Yikes! I’m also going to give you a challenge! You’ll have to come back on Friday for all the details!

Posted in Goals, Health, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Doing Something Right

See this little dude?

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Well, I love him very much.

Something I don’t love?

All of the “baby-weight” that came with him.

Don’t get me wrong, he was well worth all of the unpleasantries–baby-weight, swollen feet, sleepless nights, carpel tunnel just to name a few! However, I am now at a point, seven months out, where I really want to be back to my pre-pregnancy self. I know that it takes time (for some of us it takes a little more time than for others) but I honestly believe that I could have lost all of my baby-weight a lot sooner, and moved on to some other health/weight goals that I had pre-pregnancy, if I had tried a little harder.

Hmm…this seems to be a common theme in my life: I just need to try a little harder. Do you ever feel that way?

How could I have tried a little harder? Exercise. Ugh. I don’t even want to talk about it. It’s not that I don’t like exercise, it’s that I generally choose activities that I DO NOT like: running and strenuous workout DVDs, for example. Needless to say, my commitment to these activities wanes very quickly. Can you relate to this?

But you’ve been walking a lot, right?

Well, yes, but I don’t walk every day and I usually don’t walk like it’s work.

So I need to do two things:

  1. Walk like it’s a little bit of work (because I still like walking even when I’m intentionally putting some “work” into it).
  2. Do some strength training: a) I like strength training and b) strength training is good for several reasons that you can read about here.

I have to be brutally honest about something. It’s not just a lack of exercise that has kept me from losing all my baby weight thus far. For whatever reason, whether it’s genetics, the food I ate and the amount–pregnant and postpartum–or a combo of all these things (which I think is likely) I gained far more weight than is “recommended” by doctors. I actually don’t put much stock into modern obstetrics (for another post, someday soon) therefore I was not overly concerned when I gained 65 pounds! Ok…there…I said it!

But really…my doctor was 200% more concerned about my weight than I was.

But now I’m 200% more concerned about my weight than I was.

Here’s me, early in my pregnancy:

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Cute, huh?!

Here’s me again at 35 weeks. Yes, that’s right, 35 weeks.

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If you know me, you’ll also know that I went another 6 weeks after this picture before Charlie was born. I was far too uncomfortable to take pictures after this so no one will ever get to see me in all of my 65 extra pounds of glory in the future which I am ok with.

Despite everything I’ve already said–how I gained a lot of baby weight, how I’m not exercising like I should, and I’m still not back to pre-pregnancy weight–I’m actually doing two very significant things right that have, as of this morning, helped me lose 61 pounds without really trying!

–Number One: I’m breastfeeding. I’ve become a passionista about breastfeeding. I can’t stress enough how important it is for mother’s health and baby’s health and development. If you are able to breastfeed, do it! But don’t take my word for it. Here is my favorite website for breastfeeding, KellyMom, and another site that I don’t really use but maybe I should! La Leche League International.

–Number Two: Dave and I are committed to changing our diet into a “real-food” diet that does not include processed foods (almost anything that is pre-packaged or bottled), 99% of wheat products (including things that say 100% whole wheat!), pasteurized dairy products, white sugar and other high glycemic sweeteners (like high fructose corn syrup), GMOs, pesticides, and animal products that are raised on unnatural diets and in unnatural conditions.

–Number Three: Yes, I know I said two things but this is really important and I almost forgot about it. All of those things we took out of our diet need to be replaced by other things, nutrient dense foods and beverages that have been forgotten over the last century of processed and pre-packaged mania!

Numbers two and three seem like impossibilities, right? Well, it is impossible to make all of these changes at once but we’ve been making changes here and there over the last seven months and we’ve been reading and researching…

and reading…

and reading.

What is overwhelming is that I learn faster than I can implement. But if we keep making little changes here and there, eventually we’ll have our own farm! Ha! Most days I feel like that is the only way we’ll be able to completely eat the way we want to.

There is a lot o’ stuff in this post: all things I want to elaborate on in future posts. However, if you have questions for me about anything, please ask! I love questions!

P. S. Along with changing our diets, we are also replacing the products we use (cleaners, toiletries, detergents) with non-toxic versions–some are even homemade!

Posted in Charlie, Goals, Health, Pregnancy, Weight Loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Garden Scavenger

Remember these pictures of my “garden?”

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Well, I turned all of that into…

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I found these little plants around the corner and rescued them. Do you think they will survive?

DSC06206     DSC06211 DSC06204{Do you see the little friend I found? He was hiding around the corner too.}

I took the three little plants out of their tiny pots and planted them somewhere.

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And then I gave them a large drink of water! It will be interesting to see what grows and what it looks like a month from now.

In the rest of the space, I planted some flower seeds.

P. S. In future gardens, I want to get my seeds from here or here!

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Failure, Meet Perspective

FAILURE

Ok. *Sigh* Here goes…

I’ve been avoiding writing this post all week.

I started the week avoiding my project and that pocket. I didn’t want to face it. I didn’t want to attempt it. Mostly, I didn’t want to fail again.

But you gave yourself such a great pep talk after the last failure!

I know. I know! But that fear of failure was still there, poking fun at me and telling me I’m no good! All week long I just tried to pretend the project was not there. I just decided that I would be busy with other things this week and I avoided my poor, innocent sewing machine once again. She didn’t do anything to deserve the cold shoulder.

I’m sorry little Singer. It’s not you–it’s me.

Well, last night I decided I could avoid it no longer so I charged headfirst into welted pocket land. I measured oh so carefully! Every little detail was checked and double checked! I sewed the pieces together with precision.

I reached for the scissors…

Time to cut open the pocket…

So far, so good…

Snip. *Gasp!* Nooo!

And with that one teeny, tiny little snip, I had failed. Again.

I’ve learned so much about welted pockets over the last week or two and one thing I know is that it has to be sewn and cut perfectly or it is no good. The smallest error will ruin it. So there was no fixing it. As soon as I cut a little too far, I put my scissors down, cleaned up my little make-shift “craft table” (a.k.a. the ironing board) and I walked away.

I had failed again but I didn’t want it to ruin my night. It could have and almost did (after the forth and final failure I’m surprised it didn’t).  Going in to this forth attempt I knew that it was my last shot. I would be out of fabric after this so as soon as it happened, I knew the project I was working on was over. The fabric is out of stock–I can’t get more. Do I really want to get more of that fabric a this point? No, not really.

Tonight, I looked it over, tried to save it, and came to the conclusion that it really couldn’t be saved. My only option now is to use the fabric to make something else–something smaller than my original idea–no idea what it will be yet.

PERSPECTIVE

And then, at some point, my little sleeping bear woke up and started to fuss and cry. I put down what I was doing to go snuggle him back to sleep. Most nights he goes to sleep around 8:00–and then wakes up ready to jabber and play about an hour later!–but tonight I could tell that he was very sleepy.

He smiled his great big smile when I walked into the room and picked him up from his bed. As soon as I laid him next to me he was calm and quiet; his eyes were just half open. He turned his whole, little body toward me once or twice, to snuggle. He was a little restless too, so I sang to him.

And then he was very still.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,

Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;

Streams of mercy, never ceasing,

Call for songs of loudest praise…

…He, to rescue me from danger

Interposed His precious blood

He loves to listen when mommy or daddy sings to him. Pespective. What a precious, precious moment, making all other moments seem so unimportant. What a blessing and a crazy reality that I get to sing this little one to sleep. He doesn’t care about my successes or failures–just that I’m there. He just wants to know that I’m here and I love him. He drifted off to sleep knowing that.

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P.S. I would go take a picture of him sleeping right now but I don’t want to wake him up. So here’s a picture of him sleeping when he was brand new :)

 

Posted in Charlie, Failure, Fear, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Coconut Butter Flop

I just reread my post from yesterday and was encouraged once again! I hope that my posts are encouraging to you as well. I feel certain that they are since you keep coming back for more! Thank you for reading!

***

The weather around here (and half the nation) has been not so nice lately making it difficult for me and Charlie to go for long walks. Instead, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen!

OH!

MY!

All of this learning about healthy eating and living has me a little overwhelmed. There is so much on my mental list of things to try, different foods that I want us to include in our diet…my head is spinning! It might help if I were to make a list on paper instead of in my head! (I don’t know why I haven’t been making to-do lists recently. I know very well that I function better when I do.)

My experiment this morning did not go well. About a week ago, maybe longer, I bought a coconut not knowing what I was going to do with it. Yesterday I realized that if I didn’t do something with it soon it would go bad–if it had not already. So I decided to make coconut milk. CHECK! It worked and it’s delicious; it makes my morning smoothie taste a little more tropical!

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I used this recipe from the Nourished Kitchen! I did not take off the brown skin because I had a really hard time getting the coconut meat out of the shell and by the time I got it all out it was in a lot of tiny little pieces!

After making the milk, I had leftover shredded coconut which I dehydrated in the oven last night.

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My goal this morning was to turn it into coconut butter using this recipe from Nom Eat Nom, but it looks more like oily coconut flakes–very unlike Nom Eat Nom’s delicious looking picture of coconut butter!

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The bright side is I can still use the coconut flakes (and the oily coconut flakes) to bake something. I’m just not sure what I’m going to bake yet. Any ideas?

So why did my coconut butter fail? I have a feeling that I just don’t have a powerful enough blender or food processor (I tried both). I also think that maybe making coconut milk and butter from the same coconut is not possible–I used another recipe along with the two above that said I could.

Hmmm…

Have any of you ever tried to make coconut butter? If you did (and you were successful) what was you method? I would love to hear any and all suggestions!

Posted in Food, Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Every Thought Captive

Failure is so discouraging sometimes.

Ok, all the time.

Recently, I thought I was having some kind of break through with the way I viewed personal failure.

I kept a good attitude.

If at first…

second…

third I don’t succeed…

Try, try again!

I was, after all, learning more and more with every failure so it was fine! Right? Well, not this morning. You see, I got up this morning with the full intention of finally defeating that silly welted pocket that has been giving me a run for my sanity. It finally got the better of me this morning.

I failed again.

Here’s the kicker; it wasn’t even because I cut the fabric wrong or sewed the pieces on wrong or because the pocket flap wasn’t big enough. Nope. Yesterday, I had just finished sewing the perfect pocket flap (the third attempt, by the way), I mean it was just the most beautiful pocket flap I had ever seen! I was about to sew it on to my little project, and then…

DISASTER!

I spilled something on the pocket flap and ruined it. All that hard work…

Down.

The.

Tubes!

***

Now, I have to let you in on a little bit of my personality that I don’t like very much. I’m incredibly good at self-sabotage, and sometimes I have a really hard time pulling myself up by the bootstraps and carrying on after giving in to discouraging thoughts. Whether the problem is big or small, real or imaginary, once I’ve let defeat take over in my mind it has a heyday!

I get down.

I stay down.

I have probably dragged a few people down with me on occasion. (Sorry, husband.)

***

Now that you know my secret, I also want you to know:

-My struggles, great or small, are not with self or any person.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12

-The devil is looking for any opportunity to ruin me.

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10a

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

-I have access to some very powerful weapons. I don’t have to allow the Enemy to infiltrate my mind and build strong holds; I can pull them down, take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ. 

4For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

-I have the mind of Christ.

16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16

***

What does all this mean? In the situation with the pocket, it means that when I fail, I need to be alert and ready for the Enemy to attack my mind with negative thoughts:

“Well, I failed again. I guess I’m not as good at this as a thought. Maybe I should find a new hobby. This looks terrible. No one would want to be seen carrying this out in public! I should never have even picked up a scissors or a piece of fabric. Wow! I can’t believe I ever thought I could do this…”

I have to take those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. I failed, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t mean I should stop sewing altogether; I need to stop with the self-sabotage.

Why does this matter? It’s just a silly pocket?

That is true. It’s just a pocket. Life will go on.

However, “just a silly pocket” might one day be a bigger issue and if I’m not practicing taking every thought captive with “silly pockets,” I won’t be prepared for the bigger things that come. I won’t be ready to pull down strong holds and fight off the negative, mind-destroying thoughts that the devil tries to ruin me with.

And he will try.

I can’t let him.

I have to stop those thoughts as soon as they enter my mind because an attacked mind is susceptible to anger, depression, sadness, jealousy, family problems/fighting, suicide, etc.–nothing good. Even though a pocket seems like a small thing, imagine allowing the devil to attack after every little failure. He will if I let him, so I won’t let him.

Instead, I will “16 Rejoice always.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16

I will rejoice when I fail.

I will rejoice when I succeed.

I will rejoice in every little situation so that I am prepared for bigger things to come.

Posted in Bible, Failure, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Charlie, Daniel and Pockets!

Wow! I suddenly feel very busy all the time and I have no time to write! Maybe that’s because I’ve been sewing like a mad seamstress, or because Charlie has been working on his “two front teeth!” Teething means more snuggles, shorter naps on the painful days, fussier evenings–poor baby! Teething babies have it rough!

Well, right now Charlie is fine. He’s happily playing with his toys (and chewing on them) in his pack and play. I love watching him go from one toy to the next, inspecting it, chewing on it, jabbering to it…he’s so entertaining! Here he is:

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Isn’t he cute?

Update on the Daniel sermons!

I’m a little behind. Things got crazy when we moved and I haven’t caught up yet. Yesterday I listened to the two sermons called The Ancient of Days. They were great! I think it is so amazing and encouraging to know and be reminded that God was, is and always will be God. He is in control and will ultimately give all the kingdoms of the world to his son, Jesus, to rule forever! Amazing!

Update on my current sewing project:

Sewing a welted pocket is not for the faint of heart. I’ve already attempted it twice now and failed. But I think I’ve finally figured it out and I will conquer it!

I have so much more to say but I’m going to go snuggle my teething baby for a while and then defeat that pocket!

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