I’m Learning What to Eat, Now What?

Hi, there!  Are you finished reading my last post? 🙂  I know, I know.  Friday’s post was a bit lengthy, but it was real stuff.  I’m still not sure why I felt such a burden to share, but I’m glad I did.  Sometimes taking good care of ourselves can feel like being lost in a maze.  Anyway, I promise not to be that long this time, because I know it’s Monday and you have other things to do than spend your whole day reading my “books” (see, I’m trying to prepare you! LOL)

I didn’t stop thinking about you and that post over the weekend, either.  I thought about myself, as well.  I’m learning a bit more about what to eat, now what?  Well, Lysa Terkeurst – Author, Speaker, and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries  – published a book this January entitled Made to Crave, Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food.  You may have heard of it.  I will be honest.  When this book was released, I was excited for her.  When she hit the New York Times Best Seller List, I was excited for her again.  Yet the entire time I never thought this book/study was for me.  Instead I thought things like, “I already crave God” or “I don’t crave food like the people she’s probably talking to in her book”.  So, I never bothered to purchase it.

I even entered giveaways on Lysa’s blog to WIN a copy of the book, because I knew I’d like to have it in my “library”, but I didn’t think I needed it enough to actually buy a copy for myself.  Now, isn’t that something?!  Yes, I should be ashamed of myself, and YES I am.  Sorry, Lysa!  🙂

Lately, I’ve thought a little differently about this book and what it could mean for this stray hurdle that appears to have been set before me.  This could be the final tool I need to help me bring the wall tumbling down and free myself and the generation behind me to walk in better health.  It will be better health ushered in by a renewed mind.  Romans 12:2 NASB advises:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

My eating habits are pretty good, but there’s still evidence of a struggle.  Those old habits insist on dying hard, but make no mistake, they WILL die.  The only way for me to stay the course and win this battle is by renewing my mind, and Made To Crave may help me do just that.  After all, taking better care of my temple is definitely “good and acceptable and perfect” (by the power of the Holy Spirit), don’t you agree?  At the end of the day, where there is a renewed mind, there’s staying power.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to buy (yes B-U-Y) the Made to Crave study and walk through it, but I want some company (in my whiny voice).  Would anyone care to join me?  It doesn’t matter where you live.  Technology has truly overcome the obstacle of distance for us.  You can even invite or refer a friend.  If you’re not sure what it’s all about, no problem.  I have (well Lysa has) just what you need.  Click here to be taken directly to the Made To Crave website where you can read the entire book introduction FOR FREE!  When you arrive at the page, just click on the words “Read Sample Chapter” and dive right in.  Did I mention you can read the introduction for FREE? 🙂

Summer’s officially here, and we girls are always trying to get in shape for the summer.  Maybe it’s time for us to try to get in shape for all seasons, for the rest of our lives, and for the generations coming behind us.  Promise me you’ll at least consider it.  I would certainly love to have you.  I’ll give you some time to read the intro, and I’ll check back with you in a few days.  Is that fair?  Well, I sure hope so.

Completely ME,

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HELP! I Have No Idea What to Eat

Ladies, is anyone out there struggling with food, weight, or weight related health issues?  UGH….  I tell you, I have never been a lover of food.  I mean, I enjoy food, but I mostly eat because it’s necessary.  The foods I enjoy most are, of course, the ones that are clearly the worst for me.  Isn’t that usually the case?

Lately, it seems I’ve been hyper sensitive to things like the food I eat and how much I weigh. I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s a side effect or prelude to turning the big 4-0 next year. Truth be told, my eating habits are a FAR cry from the mess they used to be, and I’m thankful for that.  For a person who is really a pretty nice size and who doesn’t even own a scale, I obsess over my weight and swear I can tell when I’ve gained even a fraction of a pound.

Yesterday, I sent a frantic email to a nutritionist on a wellness website offered through my employer (what a WONDERFUL benefit).  It felt good to tell someone of my struggle and begin getting some simple tips I can incorporate to complement the changes I’ve already made in my life to live better and feel better.  Looking better isn’t a bad deal, either, right ladies?!

All day long I thought about sharing my email and the reply with you all.  I have no idea why, other than I know that as women we can really have some struggles in this area.  The reply I received has some quick easy tips that may help you, as well.   Ultimately, I hope this blesses some woman out there and tells you that you are not alone.  We all struggle in some way, shape or form.  I find peace in knowing that I’m responsible for my part, but our Father in heaven is responsible for the whole picture.  Today, I hope that gives you a little peace, as well.  By the way, if you have suggestions after reading my about my health initiatives, PLEASE show the comment box (and me) some love!  I welcome your insight and ideas.  So here goes:

Good morning.  Earlier this year I was told by my PCP [primary care physician] that I am “Pre-Pre-Diabetic”, whatever that means. It had something to do with a range of numbers and where I fell in that range, according to lab work done for my annual physical. Diabetes TERRIFIES me. I’ve watched 2 grandparents succumb to the disease, and I am watching my father’s body slowly break down because of it. For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid “I’d be next”!

I have intense carb craving sometimes; other times I have the self-control to “just say no”.   I’ve cut out most refined sugars.  My doctor advised me to follow a low-carb/low-sugar diet, but I have no idea what the measurement for “low” is.  I eat lots of fruit, but I’m concerned that it may contribute negatively to the sugar and carb end of the spectrum.  Subsequently, I’m near tears most days, worried about what I should eat and feeling like I will never enjoy eating again.

  I have started working out regularly, and for the most part I eat well.  I probably don’t eat ENOUGH food.  I’m not a big meat-eater, although I do enjoy meat.  I’m struggling to find protein alternatives and figure out how to get more protein in my diet.  I’ve started shopping at grocery stores that carry more organic and whole foods, but of course, this is quite expensive.

I used to be a HORRIBLE candy eater. These days, my vices are french fries and frozen yogurt with plain M&M’s or dark chocolate chips (been that way since I was a kid).  I would like to lose a few more pounds, but beyond weight, I just want to eat well. 

I am 39 years old, unmarried with no children yet, so I want to form better habits to pass along when the time comes and stop the spread of this crazy disease throughout my family.  Hypertension, heart disease and diabetes all run in my family.

I will be honest. I am afraid, and I just need to have a place to start with my eating. Any tips you can offer are greatly appreciated.

Message from member dietitian

Date sent 6/23/11 7:56 AM

Re: HELP! I have no idea what to eat

Making lifestyle changes now can certainly help you to avoid diabetes. However, it can certainly be daunting when you don’t know where to start. What raises your blood sugar (and leads to diabetes) is intake of simple carbohydrates. These include sugar and refined grains (white flour, white rice, etc.). Here are some good places to start.

1. Make sure that all your grains are whole grain. You don’t need to buy expensive organic foods, whole grains can be found at any grocery store. Look for “100% whole grain” on the label when buying bread. Avoid things like processed, boxed foods (macaroni and cheese, rice mixes, etc).

2. Incorporate more veggies. Your veggies can be fresh or frozen, just make sure that you don’t weigh them down with heavy sauces. These will help to fill out your meals and help you to feel more full without adding carbohydrates.

3. Make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day. When you skip meals or go for too long without eating, you get peaks and valleys in your blood sugar which is not good. Also, when we go for too long without eating we tend to make choices that are not as good.

4. Make sure that every meal and snack includes some protein. This can be in the form of dairy, meat, eggs, soy or nuts. Adding protein to every meal and snack helps regulate blood sugar and also keeps you feeling fuller between meals.

Try our diabetic meal plan on this site for some good ideas of foods to eat at meals and snacks. Diabetes is scary, but you are doing the right thing by taking steps now to avoid this.

Completely ME,

A Prayer Request for Writing the Vision

I simply could not let another day pass without writing a special post to say a special hello to my soon to be new friends who are diligently preparing for the She Speaks conference that will soon be upon us.  I must say thank  you to Kimberly Jones Simpkins from Mining for Diamonds for jump starting the She Speaks blogroll on the conference attendees Facebook page.  I know that I’ve already had many visitors from the blog roll, and I look forward to visiting your blogs, as well.  Thanks to Kimberly’s brilliant idea we will all get to do some meeting, greeting and reading even before the actual event.  Pretty cool, huh?  I think so.

For those of you who have no idea what She Speaks is all about, click here to see what all the online fuss is about.

Last week, I listened in on the first of two conference calls held for the sole purpose of preparing conference attendees who are writers, wannabe writers, and all writers in between for our Publishers Appointments that will take place during the conference.  That’s right, my friends.  I will have my 15 minutes of fame – an opportunity to sit down in front of people who work for real life publishing companies and pick their brains, ask them questions and propose a book idea.

I was overwhelmed by the wealth of information and encouragement we received from Glynnis Whitwer (Author, Speaker, and Director of the Writer Team for Proverbs 31 Ministries).  To be honest, I believe I’m still overwhelmed.  Even as I type these words one week later, my knees seem to knock together (though I am seated) with excitement accompanied by that old familiar spirit of fear.  I tell you, old man fear just has to be the “who invited that guy” guest to every God party in our lives, doesn’t he?  I always have to call on my bouncer friend, 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind” – and out on his keister he goes.

As I consider the opportunity that lies before me, I am reminded of two things:

1.  There are two verses of scripture I’ve written atop the pages of so many ideas – whether for books, blog posts, or ministry organizations.  They are:

Habakkuk 2:2,3 NKJV – Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make [it] plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.
For the vision [is] yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.”

2.  The first topic of our conference call, last week, was prayer.  Glynnis gave us specific areas in which to pray leading up to the conference and wisely encouraged us to ask others to pray for us as we prepare for this event.

So, will you pray for me?  As I spend the next few weeks preparing for what I know will be a great moment in time, and at the same time toiling over the fact that I feel like I know ABSOLUTELY NADA about how to prepare, picking myself to pieces as a writer, and narrowly missing the many comparison traps that are set for me, knowing that you’re praying for me is sure to give me the strength and courage to plow forward.  No matter the outcome, I’m absolutely thrilled about the journey, the opportunity, and my traveling companions – YOU!

Bye for now!

Completely me,

Happy 2nd Anniversary to Me!

It’s that time again.  My sweet little corner of the blogosphere turns a whopping 2 years old today!!

Hanging out here has been a treat.  Sometimes, I feel like I’m still trying to find my voice and my timing around these parts.  I often feel guilty because many other bloggers I follow seem to have this thing down to a science.  They know how often they will post, on what days they will post and what they will post about week after week.  Comparison traps are so easy to fall into, and I tell you I step right in from time to time.

So far, I haven’t synchronized with a certain rhythm yet.  I’ve always been one who writes when I have something to say.  Believe me, it’s not an easy task to try to force words out when they simply don’t want to come.  I’m sure someone reading this can relate.  However, when they flow naturally it is as if they skip and sing their way onto the pages, or in this case, the blog post text box.

All in all, in two years I have seen progress.  In 2009, when I started, I posted once every other month.  In 2010 I almost, ALMOST hit my once a week goal.  There are some “behind the scenes” things happening in 2011, and I’m shifting course a bit, but I’m still here, and I have no plans to go anywhere.  As a matter of fact, you’ve heard me mention that I’m setting up a new shop, so I must be planning on sitting a spell.

So, what has been my greatest challenge in the world of blogging?  That’s easy.  My greatest challenge has been writing my words in a place where other people can read them.  I’ve spent the majority of my life in an affair with my pen and paper and writing in journals just for me and Jesus.  I certainly wasn’t used to writing for others to read, critique, like, or dislike.  That was a great challenge for me to overcome.  As a matter of fact as I sit here typing, I must say that blogging for 2 years is suddenly transforming into an entirely different level of accomplishment.

What lesson have I learned?  The most important lesson I’ve learned is to stay the course.  I can’t lie.  There’s a Monica somewhere inside of me who would have stopped doing this long time ago.  She would have become frustrated or just plain succumb to the evil that is laziness.  She would have convinced herself that it wouldn’t matter, that no one would miss her words anyway.  She would rationalize that there are so many others, far more capable than herself, whose writing will hopefully reach the hearts of those the Lord has actually assigned to her.  Then she would have given herself permission to sneak quietly back into her secret, solitary corner of the world and rest in her comfortable place of anonymity.

But, I’ve learned to stay the course.  I started this blog for a reason, and I know I’m far from finished.  This is just the foundation, and in actuality, it is truly one of my favorite places to be.  Truth be told, this is the first moment all day long that my back hasn’t been knotted with tension.  It’s because I’m doing what I love, and I’ve somehow, by the grace of God, managed to stay the course.  Eventually, maybe I’ll find a rhythm of my own, or maybe I’ve already found it and I just need to embrace it.  I’ll let you know which one was true by my next blog anniversary.  I hope you’ll still be here with me to celebrate.

Completely ME,

According to His Will

1John 5:14,15 NASB – This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

Going places...

I just returned from the gym a little while ago.  An involuntary smile formed on my face as I began to gather my tools for the evening and settle down to write.  I’ve been waiting for this moment all day.

Last weekend, I posted this status update on my Facebook page:

“Just spent more $ than I ever have on new running shoes. Sure hope they’ll take me places….lol…one would think they would go ahead and run FOR me!”

Yes, friends, I finally invested in a good pair of running shoes.  Now I’m not a runner by any STTREEETCH of the imagination.  Simple walking shoes are definitely more my stride.  However, I’ve learned that you can wear running shoes for walking, but you can’t wear walking shoes for running.  So I decided what the heck!  I’m going for the running shoes.

I’ll be honest.  I’m sure my decision was at least partly fueled by the prick of envy I feel in my heart each time I see a lean jogger-person passing by.  So I went for the running shoes, hoping to maybe pour a little water on the seed of some added pep in my step that seems to have been planted somewhere within me.

I tell you, there’s nothing like getting a little older to encourage a healthy understanding (no pun intended) of the benefits of taking good care of yourself.  I do a pretty good job with the eating part, but I honestly used to think I was allergic to working out.  Honestly…

So, a few weeks before my athletic shoe shopping spree, I shared with my friend a prayer I’d prayed to God.  (He’s a total “gym rat”, and I am a total priss.  Talk about balance! :-))  I told him that I’d prayed and asked the Lord to give me a different view of working out, to help me enjoy it more, to help me to press forward sometimes when I really don’t feel like it, and to maybe even develop a fondness for the art of exercise.  This was a very sincere prayer, because I realize that I don’t get tickled over treadmills and the joy of jogging just isn’t in me.  I just don’t have it naturally like the lean jogger-people I envy.  I need some help, and I knew I could ask my Father for it.

My prayer is being answered.  I mean this week is my extra special week of the month, if you get my drift ladies, yet I’ve been in the gym or outside walking/running THREE days already this week.  Now THAT, my friends, is the power of prayer.  That’s the power of 1 John 5:14,15.  For me to do my part to take care of my body is according to God’s will for me.  I believed that if I took the time to ask, He would hear me.  And if I believe that He hears me, I should not be surprised by my periodic daydreaming about what my workout activity will be after I leave the job.  Ok, so  I went from loathing exercise to just plain corny about it!  Whatever works, Jesus!  Just keep me moving!!

So, what are you struggling with?  Have you asked the Lord for help?  If it is according to His will, it will be given to you.  Have the confidence to just ask.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Completely ME,

Under Construction

Hey there!  I’m sure some of you have wondered what the deal is with my new blog home.  My bloggy friend Wanda (Hey Wanda!! 🙂 ) over at The Watered Soul asked me about it recently. I decided that if she is interested in what’s going on in my blog world, then maybe another one or two of you may be, as well. 🙂

So let me fill you in.

Well, my new blog space is still under construction.  The foundation has been laid, meaning I have a new domain name that is ALL MINE (no more .wordpress.com ending).  The framework has gone up, meaning there is a blog template in place that accommodates many of the elements I want – 2 columns instead of 3, a footer section, my logo in the header, freedom to play around with fonts and colors, etc.  Hopefully, this new home provides me with room to grow as I continue on my writing journey, and I hope you’ll hang in there with me.

I’m so thankful to Lisa for doing her thing – setting the structure up for me and hosting it for a full year!  What a blessing.  The only thing I need now is designer to dress it up and make it look, well, look like home!  You know, kind of like selecting wall colors and placing pictures and mirrors on the walls, sitting candles all over the place, and installing built-in CD shelves and book cases to hold my huge music collection and all of my books!  LOL…  Yeah, you get the idea.  I need a designer to help me make my new place look and feel like my blog “home”!

So, if you know a blog designer who designs for WordPress blogs (because some people only design for Blogger or other platforms) or if you know someone who can create a design template for to be installed on my blog, leave a comment and let me know.  Otherwise, I’ll continue to take my time, visit designers’ sites, and pray that I can select (and AFFORD) a great designer for my new home.

Now for the name….  Initially, I wanted the name to be a surprise, but since you’re my friends and you’ve been hanging out with me for a while, I thought I’d go ahead and share.  Besides, I just can’t hold this water much longer.  The name of my new blog home is (DRUMROLL PLEASE!!):

Completely You!  I know you want to know where the name comes from (I’ve had it for years now), but guess what.  I’m not going to tell you!  Instead, I’ll let you sit with it for a while, and I’ll share my thoughts on the name in a later post.  A girl has to save something for later, right?

So what happens in the meantime?  Good question.  I’ve been torn, actually.  You know how some people don’t want friends, family or guests coming into their home while it’s under construction due to renovation, remodeling, or simple home repair projects.  They don’t want company during that time because things are out of place or don’t quite look the way they want them to look.  Well, I’m feeling like one of those people.  I know!  I know it’s probably very superficial of me, but I’m just admitting to you where I am.  Pray for your sister!  I am praying about it, though.  I want to share my journey with you, and that probably should mean even the “under construction” part of it.  After all that’s what I’m doing with my life journey, right?  I mean, isn’t that where we all are anyway – under construction?  As long as we’re on this earth and walking with Christ, we will be a works in progress.

In many places, God’s word speak to the fact that our lives, our character, are under construction.

Philippians 1:6 NASB – For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

James 1:4 NASB – And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Our perfection comes through the Spirit of the Lord in us.  On our own, we are simply striving to build a home – a nice temple residence where He may live and be glorified through us.

So, we’ll see what happens.  I’ll keep praying for freedom from my vanity.  Help me Jesus!!  In the meantime, I’d like to know what you think.  Would you like to jump on into the new home and go ahead and continue our journey under construction there?  Let me know.

Completely ME,

I Stole Away

I stole away.

I have mountains of work to do, and I technically can’t really afford to steal away, but I did it anyway.  I’m proud of it, too.

For this entire day, I’ve been simultaneously trying to chip away at the assignments for my day job that are in fierce competition for my attention and secretly pining after this space right here.  I’ve been waiting for my official “quitting time” (even though I truly need to work far beyond that hour) to steal away so I could share with you.

I have so much I want to say.  There’s a lot going on.  It seems with each passing day, my plate gets more and more filled.  By day, I work a nine to five, as most of us do, and I’m so thankful for it!  I come home, go to the gym, and later begin my nine to five by night – working toward my personal goal of becoming a published author.

I will be attending the She Speaks conference next month, focusing on the Writer’s track.  When I registered for the conference I signed up for a publishers meeting.  What the heck was I thinking?  I have no idea!  This publishers meeting is my own “15 minutes of fame” – 15 minutes in a one on one meeting with a representative from an actual company that actually publishes books like the ones I actually hope to have on a shelf in your neighborhood Borders, Lifeway, or Barnes and Noble one day.  Yes! Your neighborhood and my neighborhood, too….  Oh and your sister’s neighborhood, your niece’s neighborhood, your mom’s, grandma’s and aunt’s neighborhood, as well.  Oh yeah, and your best girlfriend’s neighborhood, too.  I wouldn’t want to leave her out.

But I digress…

The truth is following a dream or a passion is a lot of work.  If we’re honest, the words dream and passion could very well be deceiving, when you really stop to think about it.  They both ignite a sweet sense of euphoria in our thoughts, but in real life euphoric is far from what I’m feeling today.  No, today I’m faced with mounting responsibilities, a beautiful ever-changing life, and a day job that is a MEGA blessing (especially in this economy) but sometimes just seems to get in the way.

Needless to say, in this season of expansion I’m learning a few things.  I’m learning balance.  I’ve discovered that I must learn how to manage my time OR ELSE.  “Destiny demands diligence.” I once read those words in a book by Dr. Myles Munroe, and they have been with me for years now.  I am learning that diligent hard work and balance are key to following a dream.  Last but certainly not least, I’m learning that nothing is impossible with God, and that I can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Fact is that’s pretty much the only way I’m going to get all that lies before me done.

There’s more to come.  I’m so glad I stole away. 🙂

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