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My body and my weight have been an issue for me as long as I can remember.  One of my earliest memories in elementary school is looking at the other girls in my class and thinking I was bigger than them. Over the years, I have tried pretty much every diet out there, oftentimes with initial success, only to gain back the weight plus a little.

All that has changed now. In the last few years, I have lost 40+ pounds, through working out and following an eating plan that has taught me all about food and how I can eat to maximize fat loss. I can now say I have victory over my food/eating issues. I no longer worry about being overweight. It has taken a great deal of determination to get to this point and I finally feel free from the issues that have been “weighing” me down.

I have to be determined to take control of my thoughts. Those little voices in my head, my self-talk is loud and can be really harsh at times. I would never say to other people what I sometimes tell myself. I have to capture those negative thoughts when they happen and re-direct them. Lysa TerKeurst says in her book, Made to Crave, ‘I am made for more.’ That’s right. God made me in His image. I am a child of God, forgiven and set free. It helps me to remember scripture, and surround myself with people who support my goals and dreams, who will build me up and speak truth to me.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” I Corinthians 10:4-5 (emphasis added)

egoAlong those same lines, I have had to be determined in changing my perspective. I used to say “I can’t” often, particularly when it came to fitness. ‘I’m not coordinated enough’, or ‘that’s too hard.’ It took me years to try a group exercise class. I have learned to ‘check my ego’ at the door when I come to the gym. I started trying new classes and exercises and you know what I discovered: I LOVE to workout. I am in the best shape of my life. I was so self-conscious as a teenager, I never played any sports or was very active at all. I will be 40 years old this year, yet I feel younger than ever. I try new exercises regularly.  Sometimes I am successful, while other times I fall on my face, literally. But I am okay with that. I laugh at myself and enjoy learning new things.

I am so grateful to be free of this “bondage” to food and eating issues, and to be able to focus on how God wants me to live and how I can serve Him. My hope and prayer moving forward:

  • that I will be a healthy role model for my family, particularly my daughter
  • that God will use me to encourage others in their own health/fitness journeys

Related Post: The Numbers Game

shooting range picI fired a gun for the first time today, during a Basic Pistol Class at a local shooting range. I loved the class. It was for women only, taught by a female instructor. Eight other women joined me. We all shared generally the same reason for wanting to take the class: to feel more comfortable with guns and gun safety. Most of the day was spent learning about parts of the pistol and gun safety, before heading into a shooting range where we were able to practice loading and unloading live ammunition, and shooting a paper plate target.

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Highlights of my training today:

More and more women are learning to use firearms. The instructor said women are the fastest growing trend in firearms use, and this particular shooting range was built with women in mind.

There are many different ways to conceal carry, particular for a woman. I learned about a special holster that attaches to the bra strap; and holsters designed for runners, so they can protect themselves from assailants. (This class qualifies me to apply for a concealed carry permit.) My husband found this great website a few months ago: Cornered Cat – A Woman’s Guide to Concealed Carry – it has some great articles on safety, children, and much more.

I was able to shoot both revolvers and semi-automatic pistols today during the class. My accuracy was much better when I used the semi-automatic.

I see some Date Nights in the future for my husband and me. I can definitely understand why people enjoy going to the shooting range now.

My Women Only Basic Pistol Class

My Women Only Basic Pistol Class

 

Children in a swimming poolFor years I went to the gym and did the same thing: 30-45 minutes on the elliptical. Looking back, I wasted a lot of time on the cardio machines at the gym.

I always picked up the schedule for group exercise classes but felt too uncomfortable walking into a class. I had once tried a Step class in college, and it wasn’t pretty. AT ALL. I was uncoordinated and couldn’t keep up. It felt like everyone was laughing at me (they weren’t). Fast forward to my 30s. A friend invited me to try a Spin (cycling) class. At this particular gym, the lights are off during this class. I figured I knew how to ride a bike, I was in control of the resistance knob, and no one could see me in that dim cycling room. I LOVED the class, and ended up taking 3-4 cycling classes a week.

After taking “dark” group exercise classes for months, I decided to venture into the “light” and try a regular studio class. That was pretty intimidating: the lights were on the entire time and everyone could see my mistakes. I realized after taking a few classes, no one was really watching me – they were too focused on themselves, not whether or not I had perfect form.

I became a “regular” in the classes. A side benefit of group exercise: I have met many of my workout friends through group exercise classes. They say it’s good to have a workout partner to keep you accountable – I feel like I have at least a dozen workout partners now, thanks to group exercise. I currently participate regularly in Boot Camp and TRX classes. I also became a group exercise instructor last year – it’s my goal to always make new people feel welcome and as comfortable as possible, because I remember how intimidated I felt just a few years ago. Move out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to a different kind of workout.

 

 

 

Getting my body fat measured

Getting my body fat measured

For readers joining me from the Made to Crave Online Bible Study, welcome to my blog! I’m featuring this post because it focuses on how I found #peace with my weight and the scale.

I have always envisioned a certain weight where I know I would be “happy”. I’m not quite sure how I came up with that “ideal” weight, but it has been with me for as long as I can remember. Something surprising happened during the last year – I came to the realization I will NEVER reach that number on the scale, at least I hope I won’t, not if I want to be healthy. And I am happy about that.

When I told my personal trainer how much more weight I wanted to lose last spring, he flat out told me I would “shred my body” reaching that weight and would look unhealthy. At the time, I scoffed at him…but I now realize he was right. I’m happy he was honest with me, rather than just trying to help me reach an unhealthy number on the scale.

I openly share how much I weigh with friends and strangers now. Most of the time, the response I hear is, “Really? You weigh THAT MUCH. Well, it’s muscle weight, then.”

To give you some perspective, I wear sizes 4 or a small in most clothes now (depending on the brand, I may wear a size 2 or a size 6). So how much do I weigh? My weight fluctuates between 147-150 pounds right now. I rely on once-a-month body fat measurements instead of the scale.

  • The scale doesn’t tell me how my body composition has changed.
  • It doesn’t see how my clothes fit, because muscle takes up less space than fat.
  • The scale doesn’t see how fit I am.
  • And it doesn’t hear my daughter say, “Wow, mama, you are strong.”

For some of you reading this, you may look at my current weight and think how you would love to weigh that much. Each person’s journey is different. I hope by sharing my struggle with a number on the scale, it will encourage you to look beyond the scale and focus instead on eating healthy and getting stronger.

Hello, World! It’s great to be back in the blogging world. I have missed writing a blog. A few of you may remember my adoption blog – if you want to check that out, it’s still available at http://adopttaiwan.wordpress.com

This blog is going in a different direction. For the last 2-3 years, I have been on a journey to better health. I have always struggled with my weight. I would lose a few pounds, only to gain back the weight, plus a few extra pounds. I have tried most the popular weight loss plans out there, usually with initial success. The clothes in my closet ranged in size from “thin me” to “fat me”.

In 2012, I changed my focus. Instead of setting a goal weight, I committed to get to the gym three times a week. I was able to stick to that commitment, so each month thereafter, I set a new goal: one month I committed to try a new class, another month it was an attempt at learning a new fitness skill or eating “cleaner”.

By the start of 2013, I had lost about 25 pounds and was at a plateau with my weight loss. I started working with a personal trainer at the gym and I could see a difference in my fitness level. Not only that, my trainer started teaching me about nutrition, specifically macronutrients like protein, carbs, and fat. Other diets always focused on calories or points. This was different. I learned not all calories are created equal, and I was not eating enough to lose weight – I know, sounds like an oxymoron. But I actually needed to eat more to lose weight. With my new plan, I started tracking nutrients, not calories. And by May 2013, I reached my goal weight. This is an eating strategy I will likely follow for the rest of my life. It’s not a diet I go on and off. I feel at least 10 years younger and wish I had learned about eating this way much earlier.

I still set monthly fitness goals. I’m lifting weights now and I rely on body fat measurements once a month instead of the number on the scale. I became a TRX instructor in 2013, and now hope to encourage others in their own fitness journeys.

My Goal for the Well-Trained Mama blog:

I’m a mama to four sweet blessings. I want to be a strong and fit mom, and a role model for them as they grow. Not only do I want them to be healthy physically, I want them to put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I want to share my journey towards physical AND spiritual fitness through this blog. I hope you will be encouraged as you read my posts.

Below are two photos. . .I always thought that pink shirt looked flattering on me, until I saw that photo, taken in June 2011. I realized at that point how much weight I had gained. The one on the right was taken in September 2013, a ‘selfie’ taken in a dressing room buying new clothes because everything in my closet was too big.

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