What’s Your Motivation?

Every day I wake up and thank God I have another day to get it right, another day to be a better person. Another day to stay positive and focused, and to keep putting one foot in front of the other. But let me be honest there are some days when I feel like my get up and go, got up and went….far far away! Sometimes I can hear the call from the pantry in the kitchen. It’s like a nasty nagging evil minion. Whispering in my ear to get up and eat the kids’ snacks! I have to dig deep to find the strength to tune that pesky nag out, and not head to the kitchen. I had a slight bit of a panic attack the other day when I thought about having to attend 2 cook outs with family and friends this Memorial Day weekend. All my favorite foods! And I’m on a 21 day detox, and trying to loose weight. How am I going to do this? I am a food addict being placed in a smorgasbord of delicious and wonderful tasting food! There is always way too much food, and most of it is quite honestly not healthy. So How do I keep motivated to eat my healthy detox eating while everyone else is chomping on burgers off the grill, potato salad, chips and home made blue cheese dip? UGH!!

How am I going to do it? Just pray and pack lots of fruits and veggies along with my detox meal and eat it with the knowledge that I am determined to be successful! I need to remind myself that I have lost 19 pounds in just about 3 weeks! I’m going to do it because I know that  weekend will make me stronger mentally!

I think about my friends who are supportive. It’s nice to get a phone call or a text that says “Just thinking about you. Keep up the hard work”. “You can do this” “Said a prayer for you to be successful”. Small things like that sure boost the confidence. When I really feel I am faltering I draw my motivation from my kiddos. My oldest son, Caleb, wants to loose weight, but hasn’t hit rock bottom yet like  I did, so he is not 100% committed. So I hope when he sees me working hard on getting healthy, and sees the results it will motivate him. My daughter, Hannah,  my baby, my mini me, is another motivation. I want her to grow to be a strong healthy eater. I see a few of my eating tendencies in her and I want her to learn now while she is young the importance of eating healthy. My Middle son, Zach, is a big motivation. He is my child who does not have it in him to give up. He has always been that way. He is built like a runner, but plays football like he is a huge 250 pound lineman! He doesn’t know the word quit. This year’s track season was his second year of running distance seriously. Every meet he dropped time off of each event he ran in. Tuesday this week he ran in the conference meet. He ran another personal best. He took third in the conference. The kid who took second, was only 2 seconds ahead of Zach. This kid has beaten  Zach all season by a 1/4  lap  in every event they were both in. Zach had never been able to catch up with him. Not this week! Zach had determination that he would yet again drop time off his run. He led this kid the whole race until the very end. It was great watching  the determination and mental strength it took Zach to catch this kid and lead him the whole race, even if he lost in the end.  His two mile didn’t go as well. heading into the 2nd mile his head dropped and I could tell that he was struggling. He still ran another personal best pushing hard the whole way. But at the end of the race, he blacked out. His sugar had dropped. Zach is hypoglycemic, and just didn’t have enough  in him (even with his necessary snacks). If this 16 year old child of mine can push so hard and never give up, striving to be the best that he can be, can’t I do the same?  He sets a goal, and achieves it. If he can do that, I can too!

This is Zach in his mile race Tuesday, ahead of a kid that has always beaten him. Don’t you just love the neon socks and shoes?

 

We all can find motivation anywhere we look whether it be from books, people, art, music, nature. Where do you get your motivation from?

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Thanks But No Thanks!

 Today I had to go to the diabetic center for a check up/med refill for my diabetes. The Dr is good. I have never  had any problems. Today he rightfully fussed at me for not getting my A1C level down, and for my sugar readings being too high. Yeah yeah I get it! I’m working on it!

As we finished up my appointment, he handed me this packet for a new FDA approved weight loss pill. I kind of rolled my eyes and smiled as I took it. Annoyed at the fact that he didn’t even acknowledge the fact that I have dropped 16 pounds and have been eating better, exercising, and in general doing a lot better than I ever have on my own!

I get home sit down and read the information.

In one year the average weight loss is 22-28 pounds.

Yeah right what good will that do me?

Side effects are as follows:

Numbness or tingling in the hands, arms and feet, dizziness, loss of taste, insomnia, constipation and dry mouth.

UGH doesn’t sound good to me.

It’s not known if said drug changes your risk of heart problems or stroke or of death due to heart problems. It is not known if said drug is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over the counter, or herbal weigh loss products.

Can cause birth defects, increase in heart rate, suicidal thoughts or actions, serious eye problems.

The exact way in which said drug works is not known.

Oh Yes that sounds promising (insert sarcastic voice)

Why in the heck would I ever want to take that drug?

THANKS BUT NO THANKS! I WILL DO IT ON MY OWN!

 

Count down to D-Day

For the last two weeks I have been mentally and physically preparing myself by making small changes in my diet and by exercising (more than just walking to the fridge for more food). Preparing myself for what I am calling D-Day. The start of my detox. At first I was skeptical, unsure if I wanted to go this rout, because I have tried a detox in the past and had horrible horrible reactions! But the Bechbody Ultimate Reset is an all natural gentle food based detox. No nasty gut dumping, no starving (a big bonus for this food lover), no harsh pills to clean out your system. It is all natural, all healthy. Some of the foods are different, and not something I am accustomed to, but the great thing is I can have something else on the list that I do like.  I am super excited to start this tomorrow; Wednesday D-Day the kick off to an internally cleaner and healthier me!

This is the full set. Everything that I need to get started.  From the minerals, to the menu, it’s all here. 

These are the supplements that come in the kit. No need to go buy it from the store. They are gentle and all natural. 

These are the other tools that come in the kit. The  quick start guide at the bottom of the picture is a great resource of what I will be eating each day of the 21 day detox. Step by step, and full of recipes! 

I spent some time the other day with my lovely friend Tahny who is my accountability partner/trainer/food guru. She has gone through this program and loved it. We got together and did some meal prepping to make my first week go easier.

Here is one of the yummy dishes we made

Bean Salsa

Bean Salsa Dressing

In a small sauce pan add

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup Agave (natural sweetner)

Just under 1 cup white vinegar

1 Tbs cumin

1 tsp garlic salt

pepper to taste

Place sauce pan on stove and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down heat down to low.  Keep on stove until vegetables are  are prepped and diced

Bean Salsa ingredients

1 can corn

1 can black beans

1 can pinto beans

1 can northern beans

1 of each bell pepper (green, red and yellow)

1 red onion

4 stalks of celery

Open corn and beans, drain and rinse.  Dice all vegetables up. Put diced veggies, canned corn and beans in a mixing bowl. Pour on salsa dressing. Stir to mix.

Bean salsa can be eaten by itself, or on a bed of greens, or even on a corn tortilla shell.

YUMMY! YUM!

With food like this how can I go wrong?

Success

images 5How do we measure success? Is it by the car we drive? Is it by the house we live in or the location of our neighborhood? Is it by the jobs we have and the money we make? What about the clothes we wear? Or the jewelry we own? Is our success measured by what college we went to or even if we didn’t go to college?

Who tells us how to measure our success? Society? Family? Friends? Co-workers? Media? People at church? If we don’t measure up to the standards of others does that make us failures? At some point in time we all have to step up and decide “What makes me successful?”images (3)“Am I going to be a success or am I going to be a failure?”

Well Let me tell you my success is NOT defined by my clothes, my house, my income, society, media, friends, or anything else! I am successful because I alone decided to rise above my fears and self doubt and started to make changes to be a healthier, happier person! I am a success because I am learning to conquer my food addiction. I am a success because even though I struggle almost every day I’m learning to brush off the dirt and keep on trying!

I want to share with you my success for today. I was having a horrible sweet craving and a crunchy food craving. Two weeks ago I would have grabbed my favorite pop and a bag of chips and dip. And eaten it all!

NOT TODAY! This is what I ate instead!

Lots of yummy fresh fruit and raw almonds!

This my friends is a small success. A baby step success.  But a success indeed!

Changes

Spring is here. It’s the season for changes. The time of year when nature comes to life. One of my favorite seasons. We have a pair of Sand Hill Cranes that nest across the street. Every spring I sit and watch from my window as the mama and papa walk their baby across the street and through my yard. So very cute! I love seeing the flowers bloom, the leaves turning green. The grass under my feet is something that I look forward to.  Life just changes and transforms when it’s spring time.

  Butterflies are pretty amazing. Seeing their transformation from squirmy caterpillars to beautifully colored butterflies fluttering around flower to flower, is truly a sight to behold. It’s a change. A necessary change for their species to continue. Their transformation can’t be easy. Working so hard to make a cocoon to live in while their bodies do a complete change and be totally unrecognizable from what they started out as. Then breaking out of their cocoons and stretching their wings so they can fly off. That’s a lot of hard work 🙂

Changes are not always what we want in life. Change can often be hard to handle. Change sometimes is truly necessary for us in order to survive. Someone who comes from a violent home must decide to change. To break the cycle of violence.  An alcoholic/drug addict must change, decide that they don’t want that lifestyle any more. Change can often be overwhelming, and fill us with fear.

I am a person who does not deal with change.  I like my comfort zone. I need my life to be the same day in and day out. No curve balls, no crazy twists and turns.  I get very uncomfortable being pushed outside my comfort zone. I feel judged. It’s like I can see people whispering about me. Why is this?  Society is NOT nice to the plus sized.

Failing health has forced me to examine my life. I need to make changes. If I don’t I won’t be around to enjoy my golden years. To see my children get married and start families.

I have been making daily changes. I can’t begin to express how hard it is. I have made myself tell people about my journey back to health. I started this blog  because I need to talk about about my feelings. I need to share my success and failures.  I need accountability. THIS IS WAY OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE! Sharing puts me in the direct line of fire to those who may criticize or judge. This makes me very vulnerable. Takes me out of my hiding. UGH how I hate feeling vulnerable!

If I’m sharing my changes with the world I can’t sit back and eat a bag of chips and dip. I can’t drink my favorite soft drink. I would feel guilty if I scarfed down a  box of cookies. I would feel like I am disappointing those who are my supporters. I would be letting them down.  But worse off I would be letting myself down. I don’t want to be a failure. Failure cannot be an option. (By the way I have not had my favorite soft drink in over a week, and I have not eaten chips. I did have one cookie today… but I didn’t enjoy it… ha-ha OK I did enjoy it  just a little )

The biggest challenge I face is being optimistic. That’s a huge change. To be able to stop saying “this is impossible” and start saying “I can do this”. That has become my mantra. The words I say over and over.  The reality is that I will have difficult days. I will struggle. I will have to work hard.  The changes in my life and in my attitude will make me successful…right?

OH Come on!

My morning text from my Friend/fitness/accountability partner “today’s workout is:45-50 min on the treadmill. Keep the first 35 min high impact. The remaining 10 min slightly lower impact. Then 10 min abs”

Ok I got this! I can handle that! Piece of cake!

I plug in my headphones and turn on Pandora. And off I go. Nice speed. Just below a speed that would put me at a jog. Working my arms engaging my core, chest up. Yes I’ve got this!  This is going great! I’m working up a sweat.  Got a good rhythm, I’m feeling good. This will go by fast.

5 min? That’s all I’ve done so far? Oh Come on!  How is that possible?

Keep focused. Look ahead. Focus on the music. Music always makes things better Right? Eyes straight ahead working my arms. Focus Jen focus!

Oh Come on!  Really how am I the only person who can’t walk in a straight line on a treadmill?!?

That’s ok. I can do this. It’s all good. So what if I can’t walk straight? Who is here to see me?

15 min? Oh come on! There is no way it’s only been 15 min! I so need to get this stupid timer on this treadmill fixed!

 How can I be ready to stop now? I still have abs to do when I’m done on this treadmill! How come today it’s harder than the others? Did I make the mistake in deciding not to pursue weight loss surgery when my A1C levels drop? Wouldn’t that just be an easier option? Am I once again going to fail at loosing weight and getting healthier? Am I once again going to let myself down? Once again prove that I am a failure? Oh come on!  Why am I so self defeating? Suck it up and deal with it! I’m almost done with this treadmill today. It hasn’t really been that bad. 20 min? What the heck!? Oh come on! Why God is this so difficult? Please Lord help me! I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to quit. I want to be successful. Please please please!

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1

I love how when I pray I have a stilling comfort that comes over me. It’s easier to focus and to be positive. God Loves me. He hears my pleas, my tears and reaches out to show me that fear and frustrations don’t come from Him. He wants me to be successful. He wants me to be happy and healthy.  So come on Jen Be positive! It’s not that hard!

If you are sick of starting over, you have to stop quitting.

Never give up on yourself! Make you a priority and keep pushing yourself! You will be surprised what you can achieve!

I was successful in my work out today! I completed all that I was challenged with. I had to strike out the negative thoughts, and remember that it’s going to be hard. I finished with a positive attitude and I’m ready for the next challenge!

So come on and  bring it! I’ve got this!  

Love

We are such a diverse universe. So many diversities. Cultures are different, languages are different,  ethnicities are different. Food, art, music…the list goes on. But one thing that all humans want, need and desire is love. I do not know of any one person who says “Nah I don’t need love. That’s nothing important to me”  There are so many things that prove love is necessary, wanted and craved.  Psychologists write books on the importance of relationships, the importance of love. There are books written about the five languages of love. Movies are written around love stories. Songs are recorded with declarations of love. Poetry was written and art created. The Bible tells us over and over again about love.  Love is a vital component in our lives.

Throughout my life I often questioned the love in my life. Why did my birth mom not love me enough to keep me? Am I good enough to deserve love? Am I capable of love? Will I fail to show my kids that I love them?  I know I have people that say they love me in my life but is it genuine? Will there be strings attached? Why does love sometimes have to be so hard? Why does love have to be confusing at times?

However God is faithful, and steadfast. Time and time again He has shown me that I am worthy to love and be loved. God’s love for me, is a love that I never have to question. Never a doubt that it’s 100% genuine. Always there.  Waiting patiently for me to realize that my steps are veering the wrong way. Not judging me when I make a mistake. Not laughing when I fumble over my words. Quietly listening when i’m pouring out my fears and doubt. smiling at me when I get  things right. His gentle reminder that I am important.

One of my favorite songs is “One Thing Remains” It is a reminder that  God’s love is perfect.  His love never fails. His love never gives up. His love never runs out on me

 

Your love never fails it never gives up
It never runs out on me.
Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up
Your love
Your love

Never gives up on me

And its higher than the mountains that I face
and Its stronger than the power of the grave
and constant in the trial and the change
this one thing remains.
Yeah.
Higher

And its higher than the mountains that I face
and Its stronger than the power of the grave
and constant in the trial and the change
this one thing remains.
Your love never fails it never gives up
It never runs out on me.
Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up
Your love.
On and on! Come on!
And on and on and on it comes
Yes, it overwhelms and satisfies my soul
and I never ever have to be afraid,
this one thing remains!

This one thing remains!
Your love never fails it never gives up

It never runs out on me.
Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up
In Death! In light! We sing!
In death! In light! I’m confident and covered
by the power of Your great Love!
My debt is paid! Its nothing that can separate
my heart from Your great love.

Your love never fails it never gives up
It never runs out on me. sing it!
Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up
Your Love!
on and on and on!
and on and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
and I never ever have to be afraid
this one thing! Remains!
Your love never fails it never gives up
It never runs out on me.

Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me
Your love never fails, it never gives up
It never runs out on me!
Your Love
Its Your love! Aw yeah!
love-love-33915166-1024-768

Isn’t that how we should love? Shouldn’t we love like God loves us? Ah how simple that sounds. Sometimes in our imperfect human ways it’s hard to love like that, hard to accept love like that. My prayers are that we all strive daily to become better at loving each other.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7