Monday, March 26, 2012

Losing Weight part 2

You know what I love most about blogging? It's like this built-in accountability group. :) I was really blessed yesterday by two friends saying they read my blog and it was an encouragement to them, good, that is my desire in my writings. Honesty in my own life that would hopefully encourage others in their walks. I also love the fact that another friend asked me how it was going. Thank you Courtney, so good to have someone ask.

I didn't reply on Friday. Instead I kind of groaned inwardly and thought, "maybe this time I don't have to be so honest..." yeah right. First of all, I gave myself a lot of excuses. It was Friday, two of the days had been rainy, one of the days I felt like I needed to just stay home and be with Ben (mornings are more often our alone time together), another time I had a rough night getting up a few times. I was FULL of excuses. But all of that to say, it did not go well Courtney. :) Not really that well at all. I got out once and that was Monday.

Those were my thoughts on Friday.

So here's the good news: I didn't wait until the next Monday to remedy it. Why do we "professional dieters" wait for Monday? We think the weekend is some kind of wasteland of hopelessness in eating right and exercising. Well, I want to buck that thought.

By God's grace we went to a park and climbed (most of) a mountain on Saturday. On Sunday we went for a morning walk with the little ones. And now it is Monday again. Last night was a rough night getting Aria down. I didn't go to sleep until maybe 11:30 and then woke up at 1:30. I already had it in my mind that I would wake up at 5:30 so that I could have a good hour with the Lord and then be able to go around 6:30 or so. I kept stressing as I as trying to get Aria down, thinking about the fact that I would have to get up earlier than usual and I was not getting enough sleep anyways and my eyelid had been twitching and I wasn't able to nap yesterday and and and.... Finally the Lord just said, Jody, let it go. My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness. I will provide you with the energy you will need to wake up early and do the things you need to do tomorrow. Just let go and relax. Stop stressing.

Whew. Okay God. Really? I'll be okay? Even if I don't sleep enough?

I'm not saying it's good to make a pattern out of not sleeping enough, but this was just what God was speaking to me. Stop worrying. :)

Okay, another tidbit that I "learned" this weekend: sugar makes me feel ... sick. On Saturday I forgot to eat lunch so I think I ate around 3:30 or 4 (yeah...) I was satisfied but then I wanted some chocolate chips, and then some more chocolate chips... We went to my mom's for dinner and she had some cookies sitting out. So I had a few. After all, I'm a nursing mother, I need a lot to eat, of course. Then we had an awesome dinner and ice cream pie for dessert. By the time we laid down for bed I was like, Ugh, I had too much sugar today. Last night Ben and I watched the movie Forks Over Knives and it totally confirmed my thoughts that we are not eating enough fruits and vegetables and too much fats and sugars. I'm thinking that our diets need an overhaul.

So my goal for today is to make wise choices. In my food, in my exercise and in my rest.

Lord, I don't want this to be a focus in my life. I want to be healthy so that I can do the things You have called me to do. You have designed our bodies for exercise and good food. Help me to work in that. Help me to minister to my kids and pour myself out for them and my husband. I give this day to You.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Being a Mom of two

So many thoughts jumbling around in my mind today. They jumble a lot when I am walking around cleaning my house while my kids are asleep. I have no idea what I am going to do when one of them stops napping... we will cross that bridge when we come to it. :)

I just posted on my Facebook about how it is really difficult to parent when you are a natural sinner. I wanted to expound on that a bit. Levi can be very difficult to lay down for a nap sometimes. He is not a fan of bedtime either. He will keep pushing for more books to read, more songs to sing, more excuses to not have to go to bed. Lately, the one about having to go poo poo has been working the best. Mommy definitely falls for that one. I finally get him into his bed, I've read two books to him, I've sang to him, I've tucked him in and I am leaving and he starts to scream. I turn around and try to control myself as much as possible as I calmly tell him that he will be fine, just go to sleep. Then I walk out and close the door. I then go to take care of Aria. She needs her diaper changed and she will need to be laid down for nap time soon as well (Thank goodness they are starting to nap at the SAME TIME!!!). Levi then starts screaming about something else, I hear the word "blanket!" coming from his room, so I walk in and he has thrown his blanket on the floor. As calmly as I can I pick it up and tell him quietly and sternly that if he throws it out of his bed again I am not going to come in and pick it up again. (I've learned this from experience.)

As I am working to get them down all I am hoping for is a quiet house to myself. I am praying that Aria will not be difficult, that she won't keep crying and crying. I am thinking about what I will get to eat, what I will get to do... in all of this I suddenly stop and realize how selfish I am. How selfish I truly am. I just want some me time. I want to do what I want to do, eat what I want to eat and so forth. 

This is what I mean by "sin nature" I will always have this underlying desire to please myself. I will always see my kids disobeying me as an infringement on my rights, they are getting on my nerves, I am getting angry or frustrated with them.

Lord, I am thankful that You don't have a sin nature. You are never impatient with me and my disobedience. You are always gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. You don't resent me, You aren't frustrated with me. You only want my love. You are a jealous God and it breaks Your heart when I sin against You, but You are also perfect and have no need of me.

I am struck by how beyond my imagination the Lord is. He is the perfect parent.

Help me to continue to see my weaknesses and be in awe of Your strengths. I worship You because You are perfect.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Losing Weight

So, I decided to rename this series and just title it Losing Weight since sometimes I want to tag people but it's awkward to tag someone who is not or maybe should not be pregnant when "pregnancy" is in your title.


Today I want to talk about exercise. :)

I am a classic over-exerciser. I don't know if that's a term, if not, I just made it up. This is what I tend to do. Let's say I had a bad weekend of overeating, eating too many sweets or I'm just plain feeling like I'm too fat and something desperate has to be done. I go to the gym and I kill myself. I kill myself through exercise. I am not in shape, but I know that I can just push my body to the limit. I'm not talking about here and there just pushing a bit, I'm like dragging myself through the mud kind of exercise. An hour on the eliptical, thirty minutes on the stairs and I haven't even touched the weights yet... I might do the weights, but probably not since I am so fatigued. For years I did this in college. Same thing expecting different results. Sometimes I would keep this exercise up for a week, maybe two. Ususally it lasted about three days. It burned hundreds of calories but it took everything I had out of me. I wonder how much better grades I would have gotten had I just taken a twenty minute walk and used the rest of the time studying. I'm not going to think about that because the past is in the past. (Ben is always telling me that regretting things will not make them any better, just learn and move on.)

So now I am learning. Start small. Just a walk here and there. Then a walk every day. I have been trying to walk about 3-4 times a week. My problem right now is the fact that my two year old does NOT want to sit in the stroller and so he tends to slow me down. In these moments of frustration I just thank the Lord that he CAN walk and that we are able to go outside and at least I'm not inside sitting around doing nothing.

This week I'm going to try something new. I have decided to wake up at 5:45, pump (because Aria is sleeping 10-11 hours at night so I wake up hurting), have my quiet time and then go for a quick walk/run of about a mile around our neighborhood around 7-7:15 while Ben is still home with the kids and they are still asleep. We will see how well this works.

On my walk/run I just kept thinking about how much more energy I will have because I am helping my heart and lungs get into shape. My muscles will be stronger and I will be much healthier. I just kept thinking that I want this to be a healthy start to the day and I will continue to move and be active throughout the day, this is just the start.

I realized then (as I was running/walking) that the way I used to exercise was not giving me energy, but taking it away. It's interesting that I had never thought of it like this before. We need to exercise so that we have more energy, not less. Right now in this stage for me I need to just do as much as I can and then give my body the rest it needs. I don't need to try to lose 5 pounds in a week, I just need to try to get my blood flowing today. I just need to make wise choices today.

Okay, those are my thoughts on exercise. :) Not your typical thoughts, but they are thoughts none the less.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Losing pregnancy weight part 10

I am going to make an argument against "comfort food" ... this argument is me talking to myself. Just so you know.

Okay, a lot of times I go to food to feel better. Ice cream tastes good and so do cookies. Sweet or salty, whatever it is, seems to momentarily make all my problems disappear. The problem with this is that it's momentary. :) Okay, so last night I was reading, folding laundry, then listening to a podcast, doing odd jobs. Ben was playing a game with some friends that were over and they were talking about eating some ice cream. I thought, "yeah, I want some ice cream, I deserve ice cream, I have been so productive, I have been pretty good in the eating department, yeah, totally." Then I had the thought, "how would ice cream make me feel as I go to bed tonight?" Not good. I have had that feeling many many times and it has never been like, "oh, I am soooo glad I ate that." Do I want to sacrifice my sleep for this late night treat? Is it worth that much to me that I would sacrifice a good night's sleep? That would affect my day tomorrow?

I have been thinking about how much food affects my mood. I think the reason is that when we put good things into our bodies we are more able to cope with life. When we put bad things into our bodies we are more sluggish and tired. Hmmm, do I need to be sluggish when I am chasing a two year old? Also, I struggle with depression, if I eat things that are terrible for me I will often feel worse, not because I was "bad" on some diet, but just because these things are doing nothing for my body.

I want to be more conscious of what I put into my body. I want to eat things like apples and almonds instead of cookies and chips. If I am extremely hungry in the afternoon maybe I need to get a banana and see how I feel ten minutes later. Or a glass of good whole milk tends to stave off hunger during the first trimester of pregnancy. I remember I almost lived off of whole milk because everything smelled terrible to me. That was with Levi and I hardly gained any weight my first trimester with him. But with Aria I indulged a lot more and gained quite a bit more during my first trimester which resulted in a lot more overall weight gain throughout the pregnancy.

Lord, you have given good gifts in the whole foods you provide. They are good for our bodies, You know how our bodies can work perfectly. Help me to be discerning in what my body needs and not just what I think I want. You are the only source that comforts. Help me to go to You in prayer and to Your Word when I need peace, when I need comfort.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Losing pregnancy weight part 9

I should not be blogging. It's 9:30 at night which really means it's 10:30 because of DST... but I am. I am going to blog. Just a short one. :)

I am starting to count housework as exercise. When you are on your knees scrubbing your cabinets and the inside of your refrigerator, you can count that as burning calories. :)

Several times I feel like I needed a slap in the face. Do you ever just start to think about how you NEED ice cream? I just start to think, if only all these people in my house would leave and I could just sit down in front of the computer with a nice big bowl of ice cream... that would make things better for sure. Or not.

I am still reading in this book "Large Family Logistics" and I was convicted when I read in the back about "Getting by when you are exhausted" (yes, that's a chapter title) She talked about watching what you eat. When you are barely getting by it's not time to try new gourmet recipes. It's also not the time to eat a lot of processed, salty, sugary foods. It's best to go for the whole foods, the produce section. It was like I was being hit over the head with a two by four. Duh, the junk food that I was eating in no way was going to help my energy level. What the heck was I thinking? So I am trying to watch what I eat, not just for the sake of losing weight, but also just so I have enough energy. I am really tired of being tired.

I need to start getting in some kind of regular cardio workout right now just so I have that extra energy. I have been feeling far to sluggish lately and I'm tired of it.

My next goal is to start going for a walk every other day. Hopefully I can get it to be longer and longer. I need to start small and build up.

Okay, that's the end of my blog for tonight.

Good night.

Friday, March 9, 2012


I'm reading a book right now that is changing my life. It's called Large Family Logistics, the Art and Science of Managing a Large Family by a woman named Kim Brenneman.

I think maybe some people think that being a housewife is easy. Being a stay at home mom, you're not really doing that much work, you get to just hang out with your kids all day, you don't have to ever get dressed, it's not a big deal. This line of thinking could not be farther from the truth. Being a housewife is hard. Being a homemaker, a teacher, a home economist, a house cleaner, a meal planner. This stuff is difficult. It's difficult when you are your own boss in a sense. No one is checking in on you to make sure you are staying on task, you are dealing with an insolent two year old and trying to keep a newborn baby fed, changed and happy. It's difficult. Even if you are just at home with one new little baby you have quite a challenge when you are dealing with all the crying, trying to figure out nursing and naps.

Okay, that's enough complaining right? So where were we supposed to learn the skills of running a household? In school? No, not really, I learned about US History, Trigonometry, and Chemistry. Some of these subjects are used in my day to day life, but not much.

Kim Brenneman is teaching me how to organize my week. She is showing me how to streamline my days. This is exactly what I need. A lot of days go by and I think, "What in the world did I do all day?" So right now I am keeping a log of my minutes. Literally, I just look at my watch, it's 7:06 and I am blogging right now. I will be able to look back on this log at the end of the day and see that it took me 36 minutes to write a blog. So, if I want to write a blog I need to plan on at least 45 minutes of time. I railed against this idea at first. "There is no way I'm going to log my days!" She said to start right now. I was reading the chapter yesterday afternoon so I started at 3:47. I kept writing stuff down and I literally DID so much between folding and putting away two loads of laundry, doing all kinds of prep work for dinner, cleaning out the bottom of the refrigerator, straightening the master bedroom. It was like I had this little accountability partner notebook sitting there asking me if I was doing anything useful. I'm very interested to see what it will tell me to do today.

I am also beginning to write out a schedule for me and Levi. In this we will include Breakfast, Bible Time, Piano time, Snack, Building Blocks time, Reading time, Lunch. I am even planning out what we will eat. This way it's not 12:30 and I'm staring aimlessly into my pantry trying to figure out what to feed a starving two year old who is whining and asking for cereal. No way am I giving you cereal Levi, we are going to eat an actual lunch.

I am also writing down what I am eating as well. I have been getting the 3:45 sugar cravings that I tend to just give in to. Lord, help me to eat healthfully. I think that's why I have been so exhausted, because I haven't been eating as healthfully as I should. For now, I am considering my housecleaning as a workout. When you are on your hands and knees scrubbing the cabinets clean, I think that should count.

Lord, help me to work heartily as unto You. I want to glorify You through my homemaking. I don't want to do this to impress others, but just to give You the honor You deserve.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Feelings or Faith?

Today has been a "funk day" ... You know those days when nothing seems to be going right? Or maybe it's just that I have had this overarching feeling of, well, sourness. Note the word: feeling. Yeah, so I don't want to be directed by my feelings, I know that this is wrong, but today was not such a good day.

I kept thinking, I need to get away so I can figure out what I am so angry about. I kind of held onto that angry feeling. I knew I needed to be cheerful on the outside and deal with Levi in love. I knew I needed to be grateful to Ben because he is freaking taking his whole Saturday morning to do our taxes, what a diligent man I have for a husband. I kept telling him I was proud of him. But at the same time I had this anger knawing at the back of my mind. Is that weird or what? It must be hormones. They are probably playing some kind of a role. Maybe it's also fatigue. I realized yesterday that I got no breaks. No breaks. Either Levi was up or Aria was up. Chores all morning and screaming children all afternoon. Then Ben and I were to go on a date, so we dropped off Levi and took Aria with us to the restaurant. Our plans of walking across the little bridge and watching the sunset were foiled because we didn't leave the house soon enough, so we just ate in the car. Then Aria woke up and started crying. We decided to drive back to Ben's parents house, we should have taken her out and nursed her in the car (while parked of course) because she didn't stop crying until we got there. I am crying even now as I think about this and how frustrating it is to have your first free conversation/date with your husband in a while and how it just kind of falls apart.

I was so tired when we finally got home.

Sometimes you are just so exhausted that you are just numb. Trying to think is impossible. Trying to discipline is even worse.

This morning in my quiet time I was reading the scripture and just suddenly assaulted. Shame and guilt from things I have been forgiven of, freed from, came hurtling back my way. I kept thinking "Stop! Stop! Stop thinking about this stuff, it's over, it's done." And yet those stupid feelings just rise up all over again. The problem is that I didn't fight back. Ephesians says that Satan has flaming arrows that he shoots. It also says that we have a shield of faith that extinguishes them. Faith in the cross, faith in God that He has forgiven and He no longer looks at our guilt and shame.

I wasn't putting up my shield of faith. I wasn't putting on my belt of truth. I was just putting up my measly little hands and crying, stop! Closing my eyes and hoping to stop hearing.

Well, the kids are in bed, Ben went out for a bike ride and I just had to start praying. Lord, what is this heaviness in my soul? Why are you so downcast O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?

That's when I realized... all those lies that had been poured out on me this morning. My fatigue. My holding onto these feelings...

Lord, take these things. You are far greater. You say, "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy laiden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls." Matt 11:28
So here I am, coming. I lay these burdens of children and marriage and all the past guilts and shames at Your feet.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Losing Pregnancy Weight part 8

Sometimes the only chance you have to blog is at 5:30 in the morning. So here goes...

We live in an instant gratification culture. Everything is right there, right away. Technology is at our fingertips, we can know whatever we want whenever.

I think that this has ruined my ability to be patient. :)

Weight loss is slow. It takes time. I want it to be quick. I want to work really hard and lost ten pounds in a week. I want to just starve myself for a day or exercise super hard for a week and then be the size I want to be. This line of thinking is RIDICULOUS. Weight loss NEEDS to be slow. This is how our bodies were created, if we gain weight it needs to be slow, if we lose it, it needs to be slow. Just think about the nature of the body and how it would be a shock to it if we lost or gained weight quickly.

I have to get my mind around this as I'm trying to lose weight. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. It's not one quick event, but it is one small choice after another.

I'm just going to be honest here and say the past couple of days I have not been making good choices. I've been pretty tired after spending the day potty training and cleaning the house, so when the kids go down for those moments I have kind of pigged out on chocolate, thinking, "I deserve this" or "this makes me feel better" I found myself doing it again yesterday and I decided I needed to tell Ben. I needed to confess this sin to someone who could hold me accountable.

He came home last night and I told him about it. I kind of love his simple answer. "Well Jody, you know it doesn't matter to me what you eat, I still love you no matter what, but instead of going to food you probably should have cried out to the Lord."

Yep. He's often right.

You see, in my life, weight gain or loss is not so much a physical problem as a spiritual problem that manifests itself physically. Praise the Lord that when I eat too much it shows up on my body. If there were no consequences for this sin, I would probably go to food as my source of comfort and never look back. But God has a good way of keeping my heart in check.

Lord, this is a long, slow process. You are teaching me patience and perseverance. You are teaching me dependance on You, not on food. You are my strength. You are my portion. If I had it my way I would be in my "skinny" jeans tomorrow. But Your ways are far above my ways. You are not concerned with the body, You are concerned with the heart. Refine me and give me wisdom in this process.

I am Yours.