I don’t put much emphasis on the scale; instead, I use the way my clothes fit as a better guide. Recently, I noticed my clothes feeling a little tighter. So I took my measurements this morning and the news is *not* good. I have gained a little bit in each area I measure (from 1/4 inch to as much as 2 inches).

There are three factors that have contributed to my gaining back some body fat:

  • I haven’t been tracking my macronutrients and staying within my plan for the last couple of months.
  • With the “I Quit Sugar” detox, I allowed myself more fat (in particular, peanut butter!). I noticed about 1/2 way through the detox I was gaining weight.
  • I haven’t been working out as much. I’m still lifting weights but my cardio component has decreased significantly. I think less cardio has probably helped my efforts to build muscle, but it’s time to tighten up my nutrition and get back on plan.

In the past, I would have just been discouraged and let the weight gain continue. Not this time. I want to catch it early while my new, smaller clothes still fit (albeit, snugly). Here is my plan going forward:

  • Be more diligent about tracking my food on MyFitnessPal, with a daily goal of sticking to my Atomic Weight Loss plan. I had my plan recalibrated last week based on my current activity level, so I know how much protein, fiber, carbs and fat I need each day.
  • One of my favorite fitness bloggers, Kate at BeyondFitPhysiques, is hosting a ‘7-day jump start’ challenge that starts today. I joined the challenge with the hopes of getting back on track and learning some new ideas for my workouts and menu plan. (Want to join the challenge? It’s free. Go here and click the link in the sidebar.)
  • Peanut Butter: As much as I love it, I need to eliminate it completely for right now, until I get back on track.
  • Water and sleep: I need more of both! I’ve started using the Water Your Body app to remind me to drink water throughout the day. And I am going to start setting an alarm to go to bed earlier each night.

 

Losing weight is hard. I get it. My weight has gone up and down and up again for as long as I can remember. It’s only been in the last couple of years I have been able to break that cycle of yo-yo dieting and finally understand how to feed my body the right balance of nutrients. As I look around, most Americans haven’t yet figured out how to break that cycle:

“Americans are fatter and sicker than people in other comparable countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) finds… Americans are fatter, die younger and don’t get particularly good treatment for many diseases, with the exception of strokes and cancer.

“The OECD survey compares the 34 member countries to one another on a range of measures, from lifespan and spending on drugs to infant mortality. It shows the health of Americans is worsening even as other countries improve things for their citizens.

“While life expectancy in the United States used to be one year above the OECD average in 1970, it is now more than one year below the average,” the report reads. The U.S. ranks at 26th in life expectancy out of 34 OECD countries.” – NBC News

That NBC News report goes on to say Americans eat more, are “by far the fattest” with an obesity rate of 36.5 in 2011, and are near the head of the pack with the rate of diabetes.

Dr. Chris Perrin spoke at the homeschool convention I attended this weekend. He talked about vices that “disorder” us.

“To be disordered is to not be right with God – distracted, irritated, out of sorts.”- Dr. Chris Perrin

He said disorder is not supposed to be our “default” state. He was talking about areas like sloth, sensuality, pride, and envy. But his definition explains perfectly the state I lived in for so long with eating, yo-yo dieting, and an obsession over the number on the scale. As Americans, we are living in a disordered state when it comes to food and nutrition. It’s not the way God intended us to live. Not only are we making poor food choices, our food supply is getting further and further away from “real” food, if you consider how much processed food we consume on a regular basis.

The Bible talks about the importance of controlling one’s appetite. Look at Exodus 16, where God rained down manna for the Israelites. They were instructed by God to collect just enough for that day for each family member, an “omer” or about three pounds per person. When they collected more than they needed and kept it for the next day, it became filled with maggots and began to smell.

We are instructed to avoid gluttony, the act of overeating or drinking in excess. The Bible calls us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. Gluttony is not often emphasized as a sin, but it is a desire of the flesh and distracts us from worshiping and serving God.

“Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” – Proverbs 23:20-21

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

If food or your appetite is an issue for you, I urge you to ask God for help. God wants us to desire Him more than anything in this world. He can transform you from the inside out. By taking care of ourselves, we are better able to serve God. Afterall, the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

07. June 2014 · 1 comment · Categories: God, Uncategorized · Tags: ,

God has a way of speaking to me each year through the workshops and speakers at the Virginia Homeschool Convention. The message I heard repeatedly this year centered on expectations:

  • my expectations of my children and myself;
  • expectations for how our homeschool day should run;
  • the impact of unmet expectations;
  • redefining expectations.

Author and keynote speaker Gary Thomas used an analogy with cars to highlight the way our expectations may impact our attitude: a Geo Prism vs. a Mercedes-Benz. For someone who has been walking for miles, a Geo Prism is going to look pretty appealing. But someone else may be very disappointed, if they were expecting a Mercedes-Benz. In another instance, he was surprised to find a rental car agent had upgraded him to another (much cooler) vehicle at no additional charge. The agent had asked him if he wanted to upgrade. He reluctantly declined because of the extra charge it would place on the organization paying for his trip. When he went out to pick up his car, he found the agent had upgraded him anyway and it made his day. His expectations affected his attitude.

In another session, the speaker spoke of cultivating an environment that sets the tone for learning: starting the day by reading Proverbs 2 or calling on God to open our minds to learn, enjoying beautiful classical music at the start of our day, or lighting a candle to signify God’s presence with us as we learn. I know I often feel like I am already behind before we even start our school work and put more emphasis on getting through the next chapter or unit.

WIth homeschooling, things don’t always run according to plan: the kids don’t learn as quickly; my house is messy; our day gets off schedule; we hit a wall with a particular subject; mom (aka the teacher) gets sick or doesn’t feel well, etc. This has been one of my most frustrating years of homeschooling and I will tell you there have been moments when I have been ready to give up. But God has called us to homeschool, and I know He will carry us through this season.

Looking ahead, I am going to spend some time redefining my expectations. I received some great ideas and resources this weekend:

  • Plan for interruptions. Just as I would tell someone looking to eat healthier, figure out how you are going to handle interruptions and plan for them. Life happens. Learn to make adjustments so you can stay on track. For our family, we school year-round and take breaks when we need.
  • Determine the goal (for the day, for the school year). One speaker suggested having a full plan and an abbreviated plan: know what you want to accomplish for a particular day, and if you have to break it into smaller chunks, do it. For instance, divide the math problems and take several breaks if your child can’t focus on the task all at once. Or if a chapter has 10 pages, read two pages and take a break; read two more and take another break. Learn what works best for your child and work with them. I want my kids to develop a love of learning, and that’s not going to happen if I’m just acting as a “task master.”
  • Consider how my expectations are affecting my kids. One speaker used this graphic in her presentation. My children learn differently and I need to recognize those differences. Each of my children has special God-given talents and abilities.

quote1I plan to consider whether my expectations are realistic, God-centered, and necessary. Am I setting my expectations too high, especially for myself, but also for my kids? I am grateful for the ability to homeschool. It’s a journey of learning for our whole family. As tough as this journey may be some days, it’s worth it. As this year’s convention comes to a close, I’m reminded (and so grateful) for all the resources I have through the Home Educators Association of Virginia, my homeschool moms’ group and friends who are on this journey with me.