Day 637: Kitchen Work Out

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I used to always say, “If I didn’t have to work, then I could lose weight and be skinny.”

And, like I said in My Story, I got my wish… sorta. I got to be a stay-at-home mom three years ago. Only to discover that it was about 8,000 times MORE difficult to lose weight in that environment.

I mean, a big chunk of my day revolves around food now: make everyone’s breakfast, make bagged lunches, preschooler’s mid morning snack, my lunch, my husband’s lunch, plan and prep dinner, afternoon snack for the kids, cook dinner, feed dinner, dessert time, plan more meals, grocery shop, etc, etc, etc.

PLUS, my “office” as a stay-at-home mom is, essentially, in the kitchen (we have one of those houses where the living room is the same room as the kitchen… a blessing and a curse.)

I just never escape food.

But… the more that I seek Him through this process,  the more I am glad that is the case. Cause I want to WORK OUT this issue. And you know what they say: practice makes perfect.

And I’m just getting in A LOT of practice.

But ya know, if a big focus of mine was to become physically strong and buff, then it would be awesome to live IN a gym because I could work out every spare second.

Well, I do live in “the gym” for this mental and emotional workout. Because I am around food all day every day, I get way more practice than I would away at work. So, even though (like on Day 623: Perfectly Prepared) I may FEEL like His work is slow… it could be that by working on this right now while I’m around food all the time, He’s chosen a time of my life during which I could learn faster.

Like, maybe this track of becoming free from food will only take a few years whereas I might have never come across the entire realization that is The Covenant Diet had I been working or it might have taken me ten years for it to click instead of just two or three.

What it boils down to people, and I know I keep saying this over and over again… is that we just have to trust that His timing is working out. Even if it seems like you have no progress… keep it up because it WILL come. Even if it seems as if you are in the MOST difficult situation to deal with your food issues (or whatever it is that is weighing your soul down)… it could be a blessing that you are getting to confront it head on instead of the pain of it lingering for years and years.

Let’s trust the slow (or fast) work of God.

He’s got this!

Day 629: I Love It When My Pants Won’t Button

if you wake up and your fat jeans wont button consider it a challenge

Okay, well, I love the effect it has on me when my pants won’t button.

Wait. False.

I love the effect on me AFTER the original response I have when my pants won’t button.

Confused?

I bet.

This morning I woke up, did the whole parenting thing, made lunches, got kids dressed, yada yada ya. And then I needed to throw on some clothes to take my son to Kindergarten (He still insists that we walk him into the school instead of car drop off, and well… I indulge him), so I ran into my closet and thought “Oh, I’ll just grab my ‘fat jeans’ and wear those.”

Now, mind you, my ‘fat jeans’ are heinously uncomfortable and actually they aren’t even a bigger size… so ‘fat jeans’ is really quite a misnomer. They are my ‘cheap jeans’ that look terrible on me so I call them my ‘fat jeans’ because they are the ones that I wear around the house.

Only, not today I didn’t.

Because they wouldn’t even button.

I looked up at myself in the mirror. And I could see the dismay on my face.

It’s happening.

I said to myself.

I’m gaining weight.

A lot of it.

I must be if these jeans won’t even BUTTON!

And cue the moment where I spiral into a depression because I am doing the VERY thing that I do not want to do: gain. I mean, it’s cool for me to maintain, but gain?!?! No.

I could feel the horrid self-talk bubbling up from deep inside me… raging to crawl up into my mind and tell me that I’m worthless. weak. stupid.

But then I looked up again… and I said to the mirror, yes, I said it outloud, by myself, in the bathroom, with my ‘fat jeans’ hanging open.

Well then, it’s on!

{Cause I really try to never miss a chance to make my life feel a little bit like a cheesy movie.}

But it was… it was ON!  I decided in that 13 seconds that I was going to go to the pool and swim that morning (even though not even an hour before I had decided to cancel my membership since I hadn’t been in three weeks… which was a post-injury sabbatical of a week that had stretched into three) and then I was going to make a meal list for the week and then I was going to go grocery shopping later today.

Okay… that is the too-much-detail-I-always-tell-too-many-irrelevant-details version of the morning. And I mean, it was cool that a moment that should have gotten me down… a moment that would have knocked every ounce of motivation out of me a couple of years ago… that moment turned into my motivation!

But it got even cooler.

So, I went to the gym (and I am currently straining myself to leave out every detail of the morning between dropping my son off at school and finally making it into the pool) and of course water aerobics were about to begin and you can’t lap swim during that time. Since I was feeling very, very tight I hopped into the hot tub to get my body warmed up. While I was in there I started doing some stretching and thought

This would be a great time to pray.

So that’s what I did… I stretched and prayed… and THEN, I started to sing.

Yep.

In the hot tub.

Which is in the same room as water aerobics.

I just couldn’t come up with a verse or a prayer that was expressing my heart right, and my mind just sorta defaulted into song (which unfortunately, try as I might… I canNOT remember which one it was)! So… I sang.

And then when water aerobics really got jumpin, I got into the small portion of the pool by the steps that they don’t use and I just did some swim-kicks (whatever you want to call it… I held on to the step and kicked my legs as if I were swimming) and I said thank you to God for everything that I could come up with.

Thank you God for this membership.
Thank you God for this pool.
Thank you God for the time to do this.
Thank you God for your grace.
Thank you God for my body.
Thank you God for where I am now.
Thank you God for where I will be.
Thank you God for where I have been.
Thank you God for this revival of my heart.
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…
Thank you God for…

And it was beautiful. And I did those leg kicks for thirty minutes. Not because I had to but because I wanted to. I wanted to stay there with God. I wanted to say thanks to Him both through my words and through my commitment to stay there and work my body. I wanted to stay there and say thanks…

Thank you God for… the fact that my ‘fat jeans’ didn’t fit this morning.

fat pants made me workout

Day 609: Keep Your Head Up

just keep swimming

You know, I’m not a huge fan of working out.

And by “not a huge fan”, I mean… I don’t like to work out.

Which sorta aggravated my hip condition because all of my hip muscles got super weak and so I’ve had to deal with some pretty hefty pain for the past two years. So, I learned my lesson: stretch and do some form of work out.

But of course, I learned that lesson, like, about a year ago… annnnnnd never got a gym membership to go work out. I did yoga at home (still love that) but I needed something to really get my heart pumping a bit more because I’m not at that point yet in yoga where I can do the cardio-type yoga.

Okay, I’m rambling.

So, I have recently started swimming at a local gym (thanks to my hubs, Mr. Chord Dice).

And I have already gotten a GOOD spiritual lesson out of it!

In swimming, just like the other sports, form can really help you get more out of the workout, and I had really been feeling sorta like something was wrong with my swim stroke. So I looked it up on what Jon Acuff calls “the internets” and found an article on Active.com that had some suggestions.

Number one tip: Keep your head up.

I totally figured that it would be something more akin to my arm position or how I kicked my legs, but no… keep your head up. The article says, “Look forward, with your hairline cresting the surface of the water in front of you” otherwise “if you bury your head into your chest, it will serve as a 25-pound form of resistance.”

Now, this post is not all about swimming position, but gosh… WHAT. A. PARALLEL. for all of us.

As I just skimmed through the water after reading that I was amazed at the different in my swim. And I think that our life is just like that. We, oftentimes, bury our face down into our SELVES and act as our own form of resistance.

I think that I’ve been doing that for MONTHS. Focusing on why I wasn’t losing weight, on what MY body looked like, how how MY clothes didn’t fit the same, on what I could or could not eat.

All of this focus was all on me. all on my weight. all on me. me. me.

I have been acting as my own form of resistance.

But when I lift my head up and focus on where I am going and Who I am following, then I practically skim through my days.

And one more parallel while we’re at it. There is also the line down the center of each swim lane. A big, thick, dark blue line that acts as a guide for me so that I don’t swim off course. Well, when I am looking straight down in the pool I just see a bit of this line and it makes the lane seem endlessssssssss… I would often think, “How LONG is this swim lane?!?!?!” But when I can look up, I see the end of the lane so much more clearly and it’s actually easier to stay on course.

Again… wow. When I look UP to Him instead of where I am at that very moment then it is easier to see that it’s not all about where I am at that very moment but where He and I are going.

Gosh, I don’t know if this will speak to anyone but it was just a huge reveleation, renewal, restart for me! I can say to myself over and over again throughout the trials and tribulations of the day, during the pull and temptation of food… Keep Your Head Up, January! Focus on Him and on where You are going! And it just… changes my persepctive. Doesn’t always change the fact that I’m only halfway down the “lane” and I’m exhausted, but it does make me remember that He is taking me somewhere… I have to, in the words of Dorrie, “just keep swimming.”

Day 338: Stop …… Temple Time.

{How about my post title… pretty awesome attempt to reference MC Hammer’s “Hammer Time”… eh?!?! Hehe!}

Soooooo I need to work out.

I hate to admit this to myself. I hate to admit it to you. And I really hate to admit it to God… cause then that means that I’ll actually be accountable to it. Ha!

And it’s not because I want to lose weight but because I am realizing that the better my body is in shape the longer it will hold out (in theory). My hip being a prime example. Not that I would be pain-free but I would at least have minimized the pain had my hips been stronger.

But I have spent several years taking care of everyone else but myself. And not that I’m switching over now for myself either.

I had this mental convo today:

Jesus Me: I really should go for a walk.

Earthly me: Yeah, but I don’t have time for a walk. There’s the dishes and the laundry and the bills and Christmas gifts and…

Jesus Me: Look, you make time aside from all those things to make sure you read the bible, but you won’t make time to take care of the temple of Christ entrusted to you?!?!

Earthly Me: Well, the only time I could go on a walk is early morning when it’s dark or late night… when it’s dark and I don’t feel safe at either time.

Jesus Me: Newsflash. Your husband works from home. You can go while the kids are asleep. God has provided a time for you.

Well, after my little Moses-moment there, I “agreed” with myself and got all geared up.

It was a) do the dishes or b) take care of the temple of God.

Hmmmmmmmmm. No brainer.

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So I went. Just twenty minutes. Just one mile. And it was beautiful. And peaceful. And it honored God.

    Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Day 139: Strong Arm

I know that I have also talked about my thoughts on working out before as well. It’s just… well, it’s just not my thing. And I chose, on purpose, not to work out during my covenant. Why? Well, I’m going to just copy-paste in part of a post where I talked about this because it’s easier than re-explaining it again!

“I am not working out because I don’t want to lose weight any other way than by my eating habits changing. That might sound ludicrous and weird, but here is my reason: I need my overeating food and addiction to food and focus on food to be eradicated from my life. If I find another way to be “skinny” (i.e. working out) instead of getting this addiction under control then it defeats the purpose of this entire covenant. My focus this year is not to change my body (although I will totally admit that I hope it changes for the smaller) but to change my heart, soul, and mind.” From Day Forty-Four

Why bring that up? Well, because I think that I am going to start working out.

Ya see, I have this thing going on with my hips… we are essentially guessing at what it is, but aren’t entirely sure (no insurance + four of us living on a teacher’s salary = no testing to find out definitively). I know that I mentioned it before… but basically, the pain sorta comes and goes. When I am having a painful day it is… well, it’s pretty excruciating. I went for about 9 days of pain-free bliss last week and then, bam… it was back.

I have learned pretty well to manage the pain with medication, stretching, and ice, ice, ice… instead of managing it with eating, eating, eating like I mentioned on Day Thirty-Eight, but lately I’m just… well, I’m just irritated with pain. It changes my patience level. It changes my outlook on life. It just… changes me. And that irritates me!

I did notice that when I really make my abdominals tight and use them as a support that it eases the pain a bit, and so I thought… well, it would be worth it to tighten those suckers up even if that alone kept the pain closer to a minimum. But I’m nervous about working out because that is what caused my hips to go all crazy in the first place (well, I think that was it). I had started trying to do that dern Couch to 5K thing and I was starting some pilates, so I’m not entirely sure which one to blame. I had even tried to be smart about it all and I had been walking for months to get my endurance up and get my body into slightly better shape so that I wouldn’t fall apart when I started running. Buttttttt, I fell apart anyway!

So, I don’t want to start trying to tighten my abs and then make my hips completely deteriorate!

But all of that was the long story to say that I am going to start working out. I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do… I’d like to be able to swim because it is just… well, it’s just such a great way to get a work out without all of the stress on the body. And, honestly, I don’t want to hurt my body anyyyyymore than I already have!

And plus, God is cool with us taking care of our bodies… even Proverbs 31 mentions it when talking about the uber perfect woman…

She does her work with energy, and her arms are strong. Proverbs 31:17

I know that the list of a Proverbs 31 woman is more of a list of guidance for what King Lemuel’s mom thought his wife should be like, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t strive to obtain a lot of those qualities. And I would love to be a woman that does my work with energy and is strong… especially strong arms! So, working out could potentially work for me in two ways: help me manage my pain and help me to become more like a Proverbs 31 woman! That’s one power-packed workout!

Day Fifty-Eight: Haters Gonna Hate

I’ll admit it. I’m a hater.

(A hater is slang for someone that isn’t happy for someone else’s successes.)

I have been hatin on skinny girls for years. Them walking around in their jeggings, high heeled riding boots, snug little top.

And oh how the assumptions have piled up about them:
• they work out everyday, multiple times a day
• they never eat anything except lettuce
• they all have maids so that they have time to work out
• most of them are secretly on speed
• because they are always starving they are mean, miserable, and judgmental (oh the irony of that one)
• they look at me and either feel sorry for me being fat or have decided that I’m disgusting and lazy

Yeah. I know. Those are nasty mean thoughts. And… they aren’t true. They are ridiculous thoughts actually. They are judgmental thoughts. They are revealing thoughts. Because they reveal a lot about me.

Those thoughts are a coping mechanism for me. Cause if the skinny girls are miserable and I’m not- then I must be better than them even if my body is less attractive.

But then as I stop and think about the pain I have felt over the years, the burden of my addiction to food, the crushing disappointment of not being chosen, of not fitting into the same kind of outfit as everyone else, of… of… of… well, of so many things… as I stop and think about the life of a food addict, then maybe the skinny girls do have it figured out. At least more than I give them credit for.

Yes, I know that oftentimes skinny girls have to fight and rail against every calorie, but I have been around my brother (not that he is a skinny girl, haha, but he is an extremely fit guy) to know that there are those that just… don’t care about food. I mean, they enjoy it, but they don’t deal with having an addiction to food, being “attracted” to food, neeeeeeeeeding food. It’s a much better deal.

Anyway, I guess my thing is, yet again with this covenant to rid myself of my addiction to food, I see how much more I need to deal with.

So, skinny girls… sorry for the judgment over the years. And if you are one of those that isn’t under the magnetic pull of food, then, well, I hope to be one of you someday.

And God helping me, I will.

Day Forty-Four: Insanity

I had a friend and blog-follower ask me the other day why I haven’t mentioned anything about working out.

Well, here’s what it boils down to: I’m just gonna come clean and let everyone know that I do not like to work out. I don’t like to run. I don’t like to lift weights. I don’t like to do aerobics, or yoga, or pilates, or zumba (well, I have never actually tried zumba… it sounds crazy enough that I might be able to at least endure it- haha). I do enjoy swimming but not for the sake of working out… I just enjoy it for it’s mere awesomeness of that floating and flying sensation.

So… all of that to say that if I’m working out, it’s only for the cause of losing weight. I just don’t get that euphoria afterwards that I’m “supposed” to get, and I’m pretty much miserable during each work out, and then there is the getting into workout clothes which are always somehow either too snug or falling off, and of course then I have to bathe again after working out, and… okay, okay. I have made myself clear. Sorry for being a grouch about it! Haha – I guess I needed to vent a little!

I say this because I am not working out because I don’t want to lose weight any other way than by my eating habits changing. That might sound ludicrous and weird, but here is my reason: I need my overeating food and addiction to food and focus on food to be eradicated from my life. If I find another way to be “skinny” (i.e. working out) instead of getting this addiction under control then it defeats the purpose of this entire covenant. My focus this year is not to change my body (although I will totally admit that I hope it changes for the smaller) but to change my heart, soul, and mind.

Hopefully, I will be so renewed by the end of the year that I will be such a new person that I will want to work out. Or maybe I’ll be smaller and pounding the pavement won’t be as gosh-darn painful. Or my heart will have such a smaller amount of strain that zumba will be fun.

But I’m pretty darn sure that I will never, ever do a workout titled INSANITY. That’s just plain crazy! Haha!