Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 31

Can you believe we are at the end of January???? This has been a crazy busy month and I am just coming off an especially crazy week. I think of you often and you are not far from my thoughts as I am running around trying to maintain some kind of order in my life. Even if I don't get a chance to post I am thinking of you and hoping I am not disappointing you or letting anyone down.

Not only was I blessed to have the opportunity to speak last Sunday but I also spoke on Wednesday in Marysville to a wonderful group of women. Thank you ladies. With that and Bible study that started up again, basketball practices and games, softball practice, appointments for my grandma, school, co-op, drums, etc....My feet hit the ground running every morning. I'm not complaining. I do love the craziness of it all. I am praying though. I read a devotional on being too busy. I felt a twinge of conviction and may have to have a meeting with the Big Guy(God) sometime soon to make sure I am doing what He desires for me.

But until I feel Him telling me otherwise...here I am. I actually am sitting at a Starbucks. My wonderful hubby let me have the evening to work on a training I am helping put together with the Eastern District Women's Ministry team. So I really must get to work on that because I have a deadline staring me in the face right now but I just wanted to take a few minutes to let you know I am thinking of you all.

It has been a tough topic we have been on this month and whew! I am glad it is coming to an end although I hope you are able to take what you learned and apply it for a lifetime. I thought I would just quickly sum up some things we have talked about so far and maybe add a few new things for you to process this week. So here goes:

1. Move more.

2. Eat less.

3. Drink more water.

4. Set realistic goals and be sure your motives are right. Evaluate, evaluate, evaluate. It is an ongoing process that doesn't stop tonight. Did you figure out what your triggers are? If not keep looking and praying to get to the root of your bad habits.

5. Always eat breakfast. I don't think I touched on this before but it is a proven fact that thin people and people who maintain weight loss often eat a healthy breakfast.

6. Eat foods in the most natural state possible. The less processed the better. I am not saying you need to go on a raw diet but when we eat food the way that God created it we will see many health benefits.

7. Keep a food journal if you need to. If you can't lose any weight and you can't seem to figure out why start writing everything down. I am often blown away when it stares me right in the face and usually all the excuses I had go right in the toilet when I see how much I have been eating.

8. Reward yourself.....Not with food though and remember to weigh yourself regularly. Once you reach your goals it is much easier to catch a 5 pound weight gain than a 20.

9. Remember that we battle things on 3 fronts. Our flesh, the world, and the Evil one. This just like anything else is a battle and it can be won. You need to wield the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Keep memorizing His word. That will be key to any victory over any stronghold not just your weight.

10. Once you have lost your weight get rid of your dang "big" clothes. Don't give yourself the opportunity to wear them again. My wardrobe is very limited in size. I used to keep everything and then I would yo-yo. Now when things get tight I need to do something about it because I don't have my fat clothes to fall back on.

I hope I was able to help and encourage you all in some way. I know it is not easy and I don't want to minimize how great a struggle it can be in our life but I know that through the power of Jesus Christ we can experience victory in any area of our life.

I love you all. Keep journaling and keep memorizing scripture. I hope you have a blessed night.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Watch This!

I promise you I will get back to my regularly scheduled weight loss posts this evening but my hubby sent me this link and I watched it and I was very sad. This poor woman DOES NOT fully understand the ramifications that come along with the "choice" to abort an unborn child. I do. I wish I didn't. But I do and I believe that God wants me to be a voice for the unborn child and for the woman caught in an unexpected pregnancy. There was a time in my life that I would have been outraged at this woman and her uneducated opinion. Not anymore. I see her as a person who was fearfully and wonderfully made by God and is lost in total darkness. Today I will pray for her. Please watch this and pray and support CBS in their obvious choice to air this commercial.



Tuesday, January 26, 2010

January 26

Started a new Bible study this morning. There isn't anything like getting together with those ladies and studying God's word. We are doing the revised edition of Beth Moore's Breaking Free. I have done this study once and I have led it once but it has been revised and God has already been talking to me about some things that I need to be "breaking free" from. If we are going to continue in the process of growing deeper with God it will always be a continual process of letting other things go.

Our weight is no different. If we are going to make this a permanent lifestyle change and not just a passing diet then some things will need to go. We have talked about a lot of them so far. We need to get into our minds that we are not on a diet but on a journey to be healthy.

New verse for you to memorize. It is the first we are memorizing this week in Bible study:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. ~ Galatians 5:1

Once you get through all the steps to a new healthier you be determined to not become a slave again to your old ways. We don't need to be in bondage to our weight or to food or to anything else. It is for freedom that Christ set us free!

In your journal think about what freedom means. What would freedom in the area of weight loss look like to you. What about freedom from the bondage of food? What if we just saw it as a means to be healthy and didn't constantly need to fixate on it. Turn your thoughts into a prayer to God asking Him to set your free once and for all when it comes to dieting and weight.

Have a blessed night!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me today. The service I spoke at went well and they gave a generous offering to SVPS. I pray that God was glorified through today's service and that He would continue to bless SVPS.

On another totally unrelated note......I eat a lot when I am bored. Do you??? When you were keeping your food journal did you notice that you ate when you were bored???? One way to combat this is to do something that makes it difficult to eat while you are doing it i.e. paint your nails, read, etc...

It is very hard to eat chips and read a good book. You don't want to get the pages all greasy and you definitely can't eat with wet nails:) The point is you need to direct your attention to something other than food.

If you think you want to eat something ask yourself the following questions:

Am I thirsty??? Drink a glass of water and then reevaluate your hunger.

When did I eat last?

Am I bored or stressed?

If you ask yourself those questions and realize you really shouldn't be hungry then find an activity. And make it one that you can't eat easily. Not TV watching:)

In your journal ask God to fill you with His spirit. Ask Him to continue to reveal to you the reasons for your eating habits.

Have a blessed night!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

January 23

Did I say I would post everyday in January???? I don't know if I said it but it was my goal. I am falling a bit short though. I realized I didn't post yesterday and I know I took a few days off last week. Part of me feels like a failure and thinks maybe I should give up on the goal but the other part of me knows the importance of determination.

I guess that would be a good tip for today. If you have a bad day or few days it doesn't mean your a failure and you should give up totally on your weight loss goals. Just get back up. Don't give up. We are so quick after we eat that piece of cake to say I messed up I might as well eat the whole cake. It is a bad mentality to have. One bad choice doesn't make a failure out of you.

You will have a bad day or days depending on the time of the month. That's ok just try to learn from it but keep going. You don't have to throw in the towel. You can make better choices tomorrow. You are not doomed. Satan would love to have you believe all these lies but remember we are combating lies with the truth of God's word.

Today in your journal talk to God about your feelings of failure in the past. Ask Him to help you to see yourself as He sees you through eyes of grace.

Please pray for me. Tomorrow in Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I am speaking at a church on behalf of our local pregnancy center. If ever there was a topic that I was passionate about and that I want to do well with it is this. It is my heart to convey the importance of supporting our local pregnancy center so that more woman in our area choose life.

Have a blessed night!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21

Did you get a chance to read Lysa's blog post from yesterday???? And did you discover any lies you have been believing??? If you haven't had a chance to do so go back to yesterday and do this. This part will be vital in weight loss success and keeping the weight off.

We can be so bound up in lies of the enemy that we may live our whole life and miss out on the abundant life God has for us. What lies are you believing?????

Today I also want you to think about simple substitutions. I substituted all sorts of things when I started losing weight. I swapped a "100 calorie" pack of cookies for the Oreos I love. I swapped Skinny Cow ice cream for Ben and Jerry's. I went to baked pita chips instead of regular chips.

Now more than ever there are plenty of things you can find to substitute for things you like. The key to making this work though is once again...moderation. You can only eat one pack of the cookies not 5. You can have one serving of the ice cream not 3 and for pity sakes don't sit down and eat the whole bag of pita chips.

This doesn't mean that I don't ever eat real Oreos. It just means for the most part I can find things to swap and save a bunch of calories and still enjoy what I am eating.

In your journal ask God to help you to crave healthy things. Give your cravings over to Him. Ask Him once again to help you to learn self-control. We have the Holy Spirit ladies. We are not alone in this.

Have a blessed night!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

January 20

I read this great post on Lysa TerKeurst's blog today. Well worth the read. So my asignement today for you.....Read it.

After you read it grab your journal and start writing down the lies you have been believing. Once you have a list written pray over it. Pray for God's truth and power to invade your heart. Ask Him to show you the areas you have been believing lies and don't even realize it yet. If He reveals anything to you add it to your list. Then write down all the truths to combat those lies!

Keep memorizing scripture and have a blessed night!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

January 19

Are you writing what you are eating down???? I know it is a pain but you will learn a lot about what and when you eat. Today is a fun challenge. It's sorta like dangling a carrot in front of the rabbit. Sometimes I need a "prize" or reward when I have been working hard. It often motivates me. If housework needs done I will time myself and then "reward" myself with a half hour of reading or something like that.

When you are working hard to lose weight we often think about rewarding ourselves when we reach our goal but I think its good to also reward ourselves along the way. Do something for every 5 pounds lost like buy yourself that book you have been wanting or a new scarf. At 10 pounds think about finding an article of clothing on sale and get it. Do not reward yourself with food(that's a big mistake) and do not buy something 10 sizes smaller and think in 10 pounds you will be able to wear it. Be realistic and have fun. There is nothing wrong with little rewards along the way. It gives you something to look forward to. Another idea is to buy the thing ahead of time but do not allow yourself to read it, wear it, etc. until the goal is reached.

New verse to memorize:

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.~Psalm 37:4


Get it written on a card and start memorizing it. It is a simple one and it shouldn't take you long.

Today journal about what it means to delight yourself in the Lord. Tell Him what the desires of your heart are. Ask Him if they line up with what He wants for your life. I know that being healthy would be a desire He would also want for us.

Have a blessed night!

Monday, January 18, 2010

January 18

Yes, I am back. No, I didn't get the pictures scanned on(computer issues sorry) and yes, it has taken me a while to get back here. Prone to extremes. The way I see it people probably take this Haiti thing one of two ways. They either think it is too big and there is nothing that they really could do that would mean a hill of beans so they turn off the TV and do nothing or they become obsessed by it and block out all else. Either way is probably unhealthy. I chose the latter. I become obsessed with the media coverage and became depressed. Not good. So that is why it has taken me so long to get back on here. I determined today that I will do what I can but leave the rest to God is mighty and able to perform miracles. I can not.

I take things to extreme when it comes to eating also. I noticed patterns when I was in my weight loss journey. I wanted my cake and I wanted to eat ALL of it or I didn't want any and I was going to be miserable. It really doesn't work that way.

My tip for today is take a few days and write some things down. For the next three days write down everything you put in your mouth. After those three days think about where things would go wrong. What were you doing at the time? Where you bored or stressed?

This is a bit of a pain but one of two things will happen. You will either be very good about what you eat because you know it will be written down or you will eat like you honestly have been lately and you will begin to see patterns or maybe places where you were prone to extremes. Either way it will benefit you. You will either get to the root of why your eating gets messed up or you will eat really well for three days and you will see that you can do it and you won't starve to death:
)

Often when we eat during the day we don't really realize how much we are eating. It is a bite here and a handful of something there. When its written down we see it in black and white and we can often learn to catch those bad habits.

In your journal ask God to help you with this discipline over the next few days. Ask Him to help you see where you are prone to extremes.

Keep memorizing scripture and have a blessed night!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti

Sorry girls I will not have anything "weight loss" related running today. Today my heart is heavy. I struggled all day yesterday trying to make sense of the events that took place in Haiti. This post is a bit long but I hope by writing it I will be able to process some of what I am feeling.

I don't think I ever shared on the blog that in 2003 I went to Haiti. It is part of the "lost files" of my life I guess you could say. I don't talk about it much. I can't remember exactly what started things but the beginning of the summer of 2003 I found myself on the Internet looking into the face of a baby boy that was in an orphanage in Haiti.

I fell in love with him and for some reason I felt like I had to go see the country and specifically that baby. I thought maybe we should adopt. At the time we already had 6. Little did I know that before I would leave for the trip I would pregnant with baby no. 7.

I know that the trip was around a major growth time in my life. I had started Bible study. I had come clean about my past. I was busy homeschooling the kids but yet for some reason I felt like I needed to experience something more. Something bigger than myself. I often get restless and have a longing for something like this. Sometimes I try to fill it with stupid things and I end up empty handed and a life spinning out of control. But sometimes He gently leads me to a place where He fills that longing inside of me. And He teaches me something that I never could have learned any other way.

So in September 2003 I found myself on a plane to Haiti with my oldest daughter and pregnant with my youngest. My journal entry for that day said:

"We landed in Port Au Prince. The heat just about knocked me over and the stench of body odor is unbelievable. A man who went by the name "big" escorted us out of the airport. We went to the hotel. Nice by Haiti's standards....but Haiti's standards are not our standards. I immediately began feeling ill."

I ended up being sick most of the week. The one or two phone calls home panicked my poor husband. There was an indescribable oppression there. It took along time after I got home just to forget that feeling and all the smells. It was overwhelming. I was pregnant, sick, and on emotional overload.

I did find that baby. He was beautiful. He was not meant to be mine. I got an e-mail from someone who was there when he was brought into the orphanage. This is what it said:

I was in Haiti and Samantha and I are the ones that took Wildennse in. He was the most beautiful little boy I had ever seen. The orphanage staff manager had told us that we didn't have room and couldn't bring him in. I held him and knew we had to find a way to make room for him.

Samantha and I got a ride and rushed over to the Visa Lodge and used the computer to ask Annette how many babies under 12 months we could take into the orphanage. She gave us the number and we went to the baby orphanage to count babies. We were so sad because we had just the amount she had told us. We weren't going to be able to take anymore. Then we looked at some birthdates and realized that one of our babies was two days over twelve months and we did have room for one more.

We rushed back to the other orphanage where the birth mom and her aunt were waiting for us to return. We told Pierre that we did have room and he interpreted and told the mom and aunt. We watched as she said goodbye to her baby. I thought my heart would fall on the floor right there. She was about to leave and then stopped. She asked if she could hold him one last time. She sat in a chair, looked over at me, and smiled. Then she nursed him one last time. It was her final act of love for that little boy.

I knew in that moment that God had such a perfect plan for him. God desires to take Wildennse from one mother of love, to another mother of love. I know that whoever adopts him will be so blessed by him.


I'll never fully understand why I had been drawn there. Or why I would end up pregnant and know that I was not supposed to adopt that child. I also don't know why it is buried so deep within my heart and why to this day I struggle to process the emotions. I came home very sick for a few months. I lost weight and eventually found out I had picked up a parasite. A small price to pay to have your life changed forever.

I have read my journal over and over from the trip. I have looked at the pictures. I have cried and I have prayed. That country is very special to me. I will never know if Wildense ever made it out. I do know that the night he spent with me back at the hotel that I prayed over him. I do know that I serve a God that heard that prayer and He is faithful even when something comes along that just has us shaking our heads. his ways are not our ways. he loves those people more than we can imagine. I remember thinking as we were flying in and looking down at the immense poverty that God looks down everyday and I know He weeps for these people.

There are many ways to help. I am praying for what way my family should help. My first instinct is to get on a plane. You know that it is the poorest country on the Western Hemisphere and it is only a few hundred miles from the coast of Florida. Just a bit away from a country that is free and prosperous. It is also a country that has been plagued with trouble from the very beginning. Witchcraft and Voodoo abound. When I got back from Haiti we ate at an Isaacs and they had some sandwich called the Voodoo something or other and it brought me to tears. We don't even realize that it Voodoo is a real thing and that people there are in bondage.

Please pray for Haiti today. I may try to scan some of pictures and a few of my journal entries tonight.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

January 13

Slow and steady girls. That is our goal. I know we live in a society that is "instant" but if you haven't figured it out yet weight loss is not. 1 to 2 pounds a week should be your goal and that means if you lose 2 pounds one week it is not the end of the world if you don't lose any the next.

The slower and more steady it comes off the better chance you will have at keeping it off. I love Biggest Loser. It is probably my favorite TV show but it IS NOT realistic. A 15-20 pound weight loss in a week is insane and hard to maintain.

So the next time you feel like you are frustrated because this is taking longer than you wanted it to remember this way it can be a permanent weight loss. You can stop being a yo-yo.

New verse:

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
~Isaiah 40:29-31


Now get it onto an index card and then get it into your heart. Do not stop memorizing scripture until it penetrates down into the marrow of your bone. It is life giving and life transforming.

Journal tonight about the times you feel most discouraged. Especially when the weight doesn't feel like its coming off nearly as fast as it came on. Thank Him that He will give you strength. We will run and not grow weary!

Have a blessed night!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 12

I will get right to the point today. Get yourself a decent scale and weigh yourself regularly. Now I don't mean to become obsessive about it but you really need to know. It is much easier to catch a five pound weight gain than a 15 or 20 pound weight gain. Skinny people know what they weigh and how their clothes fit.

After you have a scale you need to figure out your healthy weight. Notice I said healthy weight. Not dream weight. Not what you weighed when you were 10. Not the number that would cause you to become crazy and obsessed and unhappy. But the number that has you healthy and the number God has for you so that you can concentrate on Him and the plans He has not being distracted by some unachievable number.

Once you reach your number. Notice again I said YOUR number not your neighbors number and not the number of the chic on the cover of the magazine but your number. Once you have that give yourself 5 pounds either way. If you dip under know that in order to stay healthy you need to eat. If you go over it is time to be a bit more careful.

Get a good scale not the one that used to be in your grandmas bathroom. They are fairly inexpensive. And put it in a place where you will remember to get on. At first you may feel discouraged at the number and not want to get on but as you start making healthy changes and the number starts to go down it will be exciting.

I get on a few times a week first thing in the morning. I don't suggest you wait until later in the day after you've eaten at the local all you can eat buffet. Does anyone out there besides Lancaster County have smorgasbords?????? Who came up with that anyway???

Today in your journal turn your writing into a prayer for God to help you know your number. Ask Him to give you the strength to keep going even when you don't like what you see. Thank Him that He loves you just where you're at right now.

More tomorrow...maybe a new scripture! Have a blessed day!

Monday, January 11, 2010

January 11

Sometimes I post early. Sometimes I post late. You just never can tell, can you???? No pattern. No organization. Just the typical me. I did spend the day doing school, preparing to leave for the night, sitting at our local community college with my son trying desperately to get the classes we need(don't you just love how I said "we need" yeah right...he needs), and then traveling 2 hours to my destination where I speak tomorrow breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Ugh! It makes me tired thinking about it. But now here I sit in a quiet hotel room and somehow I feel lonely. I miss the craziness of my life. And guess what? I ate at Dunkin Donuts for supper. I guess that is what I want to talk to you about tonight. Life is crazy. Sometimes we are traveling and we need a quick option for a meal. Don't beat yourself up or starve yourself. Eat the dang food for pity sakes.

It is not a once in a while trip through the drive through window that makes us overweight. It is the daily choices we make. When I do eat fast food I do try to make better choices. Like when I go to McDonalds with my kids I get a happy meal and I am fully satisfied when I am finished. I don't feel deprived by eating it and I don't deprive myself by not eating anything.

Moderation. Everything in moderation. I think Paul said it best:

"Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything. ~1 Corinthians 6:12

Just don't be mastered by the thing!!!!!

Tonight in your journal ask God to help you clearly distinguish between what is beneficial and what is not. Ask Him to help you that you are not mastered by anything.

Tomorrow will be a crazy day. After I speak 3 times I will head back home and will probably get in very late. I will try to post at one of my breaks during the day but if not I will be back on Wednesday. Keep memorizing scripture and have a blessed night!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January 10

I read this article today and I could not begin to say what she says in this article better. Read it. It is well worth it.

I love where she says "Looking back down the path, I got it. For the first time in 30years, I understood. It's not about the scale, looking good on the beach, or my right to eat as many desserts from the all-you-can-eat buffet as I can keep down. It's about the physical manifestation of my relationship with God. I realized that the desire to achieve a certain look and the lust for food are both idols that keep my focus away from God and the person he designed me to be. He picked a body for me, and I'm to honor him by caring for it."

Journal today about this article and what part of it spoke to you the most. Also how did it make you feel? Do you agree with the above statement? Lift that up to Him in prayer.

Keep memorizing your scripture and have a blessed day!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

January 9

Tonight I have one word for you: SLEEP! And do it for at least 7 to 8 hours every night. I know it can be tempting to stay up late after you put the kiddos to bed but it has many adverse effects on our bodies including our overall health and immune system, our strength, our ability to think clearly, and you guessed it our weight.

There have been plenty of studies done linking lack of sleep and unhealthy weight gain. I go to bed by 10:00 almost every night. Rest has many benefits and you can find plenty in the Bible on this topic. We all need some down time. Now if you have a newborn or some other circumstance that inhibits you from proper sleep other than t.v, books, and hobbies then just know it is just a season and a season of rest will be coming soon.

Here is a little acrostic I came up with to help you remember the benefits:

R - Restores Us
E - Energizes Us
S - Soothes Us
T - Teaches Us

So grab yourself a new 3x5 card and start memorizing this verse:

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. ~Psalm 62:1-2

In your journal thank Him that in Him our souls find rest. Ask Him to help you prioritize and organize your life in a way that you get the rest you need. Thank Him that in Him you will NEVER be shaken!

Pray scripture. Journal Scripture. Speak scripture out loud. It is powerful!

Have a blessed night!

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 8

Don't have but a second to post today. We are down to one computer and getting my turn is quite the challenge which is funny because it is my laptop. It was a present from Greg for Mother's day. It is pink of course and I love it. When I got it I said that no one was going to use it but me. Yeah right! Who was I kidding. I just sit back and wait my turn. I think that's what we call motherhood.

Anyway, it is family movie night here and my kids are asking me to hurry. All I want to say today is (for the most part) no more eating after dinner. Now I am just sharing what worked for me. I stopped snacking after dinner. Nothing went in my mouth except for water after I was done with that last meal. Unless we went out or it was holiday or something. I usually wasn't hungry and it helped me greatly with my acid reflux. Most of your digestion should be well on its way before you lay down at night. Eating late at night is not good for you.

Today journal and ask God to fill you with His love and peace when the evenings come and you feel the urge to eat a container of Ben and Jerry's. If you have the urge to splurge on something unhealthy spend the time in prayer and ask Him to remove the craving.

Keep memorizing scripture and have a blessed night!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 7

Before I get started on my post today I would love to thank all the ladies from Grace Bible Church Hawk Mountain. I enjoyed my time with them this morning.

I also have to share one more thing. Carla came down to walk today and she came with a gift. I had complained to her a few weeks ago that I had papers and stuff everywhere and I needed to get organized. Well look what she showed up with....




Is it not the cutest filing thingy you ever did see??? I absolutely love it! Thank you friend. Now if you could only get Greg organized......

Now on to the regularly scheduled program. I was thinking about that moderation thing again. I think part of the problem is we have become such an instant society and we want it now and if a little is good we want a lot. I love the verse in Lamentations that says:

I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him."

Everything doesn't have to be instant. We can wait. The weight may take us a month or even a year to lose. That is ok. We don't need to become discouraged and start stuffing ourselves. The only thing you should ever be stuffed to overflowing with is God himself. He is our portion. When we have eaten our sensible portion of food we just need to walk away and say "God thank you that you are my portion and that you have provided me with what I need to live and be healthy".

Today in your journal thank Him for that very thing. Ask Him for patience in this weight loss walk. Ask Him for total surrender to the whole food thing or whatever else you feel you are in bondage to.

Keep memorizing His word! I will be back tomorrow. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6

Time is ticking away....Once again the day is almost past and here I am just sitting down for a moment to write. I hope you are staying warm, I know I can barely stand it and it is only January.

I am going to be quick but I want to challenge you to something over the next few days. Get yourself some baggies. That's what I call 'em maybe you call 'em Ziplocs. Either way get some. Now I know what I am going to ask you to do will be a bit of a pain and a little more time consuming but well worth the effort.

I lost my weight using Weight Watchers. I got all the info and implemented it at home. I never did attend any meetings although I would have if I could have. I have often said some days I am so stir crazy I would probably attend a seminar on small gas engines if I had the opportunity.

Anyway.....back to the baggies. Weight Watchers uses a point system. Every food is worth so many points and you only get to eat so many a day. Even though it was a bit time consuming I learned to measure everything. I had to memorize it but after a while it just became a lifestyle. So take a baggie and just start counting out whatever you are going to eat into a serving size. Now obviously I am talking about snacks, cereal, etc....I don't expect you to put your chicken and rice into a baggie.

I promise you will be amazed at what one serving looks like. We aren't going to be counting points here(if you want to do that check out Weight Watchers) but we are going to become more aware of what a portion is. It blew me away that I would sit down and easily consume 4 or 5 servings of something when I ate it out of the package. If you live in a house like mine you can take all your baggies of food and put them into a container with a sign that says, "Mom's snacks - DO NOT TOUCH!".

The point is we mindlessly consume way to much and we are going to learn a little thing that isn't so popular today and that is moderation. I don't believe you should ever have to give anything up but it should never master you. Eat one serving of chips and one serving of cereal in your bowl.

Well, I need to go but I will talk more about the moderation thing another time. Who knows maybe it will be midnight tomorrow night since I keep getting later and later. Please keep me in your prayers tomorrow I will be speaking at Hawk Mountain Bible Church and next Tuesday I speak morning, noon, and night in Lewisburg!

Keep memorizing your scripture and journal today about the "new thing" God is doing in your life, maybe it will be teaching us about moderation. Pour out your heart to Him and let Him know your desires but also that you know that His ways are higher than your ways and you look forward to the divine plans He has for your life.

Have a blessed night.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5

Has the day gone by already???? Time flies when your having fun(and even if your not)! Sorry it has taken me so long today to get this up.

Well we talked about motives, water, and slowing down. How's it going so far??? I hope it hasn't been too painful. Today we are going to start moving. When I lost weight I started walking. It was that simple. No gym membership or expensive equipment just my own two feet and the open road. I eventually worked up to some running but walking is still my favorite. I never did get that runner's high.

I know it sounds simple but this whole weight thing isn't that complicated. Move more, eat less. I keep repeating that to myself everyday. Move more and eat less! Set an exercise goal today. I suggest you get an pedometer. They are fairly inexpensive. See how many steps you take each day and try increasing it little by little.

Find a walking partner if you can and when you do go alone or if you don't have a partner spend the time in prayer or download some good praise music or the Bible on your Ipod.

We will talk a little about other exercises later but for now start moving more even if it is only a 1 mile walk. You should be able to do that easily in 15-20 minutes.

In your journal thank God that He created you so perfectly. Thank Him for the ability to move. Pray that He helps you find time to move more this week!

We don't have to do any of this alone. We do have His help!

And did you memorize Romans 12:2???? I hope so. His Word is alive and active. It is our life and breath. This week start working on this one:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. ~Isaiah 43:18-19

We are going to stop dwelling on past failures and challenges. We are going to start looking for the "new thing" God wants to do in us and through us!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4

Ok. Let's review:

1. Set goals and pray about them. Why do you want to achieve the goal you want to achieve????

2. Drink, Drink, and Drink more water.....aim for half your body weight in ounces

3. Slow down and take time to smell the roses and decide if you are full or not

This is what we are aiming for so far. I will introduce another step as well as another memory verse tomorrow so keep working on Romans 12:2 until you can say it in your sleep.

Today journal about what has been the most difficult so far. Turn it into a prayer for God to help you overcome the struggle.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

January 3

I'm sitting here eating my turkey sandwich and some baked pita chips. I am very hungry as I always am after church. When I sat down I realized I was eating it so fast. Like it was my last meal or I had to catch a train or something. It was then that I thought about how much I take for granted. All the food I have and I don't take a lot of time to enjoy it and be thankful for it.

Often times we eat fast and we keep eating because we haven't given our body a chance to realize we are full. Today we are going to choose to SLOW DOWN! Take some time and ask yourself before you get more "am I still hungry?".

I know this is tough especially because we spend so much of our time on the go. But I promise you that you will eat less and your body will thank you because the slower you eat and the more you chew the easier it is on your digestive system.

And if food is not your issue what is the thing you are stuffing in at a rapid pace??? Is it your quiet time or time invested in a relationship??? Or are you trying to "fill" up on material things that you think will satisfy?

Today we are going to journal and thank God that He is the only one who truly satisfies. Also, ask Him to help you to slow down and realize when you are full. Praise Him that He has provided you with so much and ask Him to help you be content when you have had enough.

Remember Romans 12:2 and have a blessed afternoon!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Jan. 2

It's the second day of January. Did you set any goals???? Are they the same as last year or different? Did you pray about those goals and try to get to the bottom of why you want to achieve those things?

I've set my goals and now I need to come up with a reasonable plan. Today I am going to evaluate my water intake lately. I know I want to eat my calories not drink them. Most drinks are nothing but empty calories. Just keeping ourselves hydrated by drinking pure water can combat many health and weight issues.

So how much water are we going to drink???? Take your weight and divide it by 2. That number is the number of ounces of water you should take in each day. Sometimes I cut up lemon wedges and add to my water for a bit of flavor but other than that I drink just plain old water.

It may seem like a lot if you aren't used to drinking that much but you can get used to it and you will feel a whole lot better. Try to drink most of it by late afternoon so you aren't up all night going to the bathroom:)

Today in your journal write a prayer of praise thanking Him that we are fearfully and wonderfully made(Psalm 139) and also asking for Him to help you in your quest to drink the amount of water you need in order to keep yourself as healthy as possible. Also thank Him for His provision of good, safe, clean drinking water and pray for those who struggle to have this very basic need.

Keep memorizing Romans 12:2 and have a blessed night!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year friends! After ringing in the New Year with some of our dearest friends from church last night(a tradition) we came home and I don't think I went to sleep until 1:30. I woke up early out of habit and I know I will regret it later. Today Greg is making brunch for our dear friends and neighbors the Turners(actually only Carla this year because Mark works) and my brother and his wife(this is also another tradition).

We will, of course, eat pork and sauerkraut as any good Lancaster Countian does. We want the good luck you know:) Traditions are a funny thing aren't they???? Creatures of habit most of us are.

So here we are. 2010. Oh the possibilities.....a clean slate. The perfect time to make all kinds of resolutions for how we want this year to be different. The problem is we make them and then by about January 10th we fall back into our old ways. Traditions. Creatures of habit. Feeling like failures but also not feeling we can be different.

Well, 2010 CAN be different if we approach it correctly with our God-goggles on not just viewing it through our own eyes. Over the next month I am going to post everyday about change. You know by the title of the blog I am all about "choices" but with each small choice can come permanent change. That can be for the good or bad that is why we are going to be intentional to be sure we are choosing for the good.

Even though there will be an emphasis on weight loss this can apply to almost any area of our life because I believe rooted in any need for weight loss is the root of some sort of stronghold. And even if your struggle doesn't involve food it is rooted in a stronghold somewhere.

So, I want you to get you a journal(a plain old notebook is just fine) and some index cards. I prefer the spiral index cards to keep them together but loose ones can work just fine. Now if you don't have these things around the house DO NOT do what I would have done and wait to get started next week sometime after I went out and got a cute journal and pastel index cards to match. Then I would feel behind and before you know it January 10th would roll around and I would give up. No giving up here. Just hang in here with me for a month. I know you can do it.

Today in our journal we are going to set some goals but we are not going to stop there. We are then going to spend some time praying and asking ourselves why. Why is this my goal? What do I think it will bring me? If our goals are way off(and God will let us know if they are) we are setting ourselves up to fail. These need to be realistic God-given goals. We also need to discover the "why" behind our choices. So ask God honestly why you make the goals you make if your not sure. When I started on my weight loss journey a few years ago my goal was to be a size 2. That's what I was in high school and I saw no reason I couldn't be there again. The problem was this goal was not realistic. I could be a size 2 if all I did was think about it. Exercise constantly. Eat next to nothing. Be miserable. That doesn't work. And here's the thing I have been a size 2 and I have been a size 12 and everything in between and there is no more happiness when I am almost killing myself at size 2 then there is when I am hating how I look and feel at size 12.

Hear me out on this. If you think loosing a certain amount of weight is your answer to all your problems you are DEAD WRONG. It will not do a thing for you if you are still battling the stronghold of food or a stronghold of something else. Yes at a size 2 food is just as much a stronghold when you are depriving yourself as when your are stuffing yourself at a bigger size you just get a different result on the outside but misery still takes up residence in your heart either way. If you think a certain amount of weight loss will make you happier, be more fulfilling, or make someone love you more you need to just stop right now. That would be the reason you failed before because you were looking for something out of it that it just can not provide. Only God will fill those empty space and longings.

So what is a good goal for you? Do you know the number on the scale that is good and healthy for you? The one you can maintain without obsessing. I know mine and it's not a size 2:) If you don't know then pray for God to help you set the goal that is right for you. The idea here is optimum health not to be a picture of what society has sold us. That is all a lie rooted in the father of lies himself. If he gets us focusing on that unrealistic goal he gets our focus off God. We will not allow that to happen!

Also today take one of your index cards and write the following verse on it:

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ~Romans 12:2

Start memorizing it! We are not going to conform any longer to the world and what it says we should look like but we are going to find God's will for our bodies and our life. Much of this battle will happen in our minds and we will fight the good fight by scripture memorization. This part WILL BE CRUCIAL. We will not succeed without it at least not long term.

Remember today to journal and pray. Start memorizing your scripture and I will check in with you tomorrow. Have a blessed day!