Thursday, January 28, 2010

self control

it's at the bottom of the list. love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. and all the other ones sound so much nicer. love, joy, peace - who wouldn't want those. patience is good, kindness is great, goodness and faithfulness are wonderful qualities.

then we have self control. death of the flesh. denying ourselves. it just doesn't have the same ring, you know? but it is the fruit of the same Spirit as all the others. and i'm not saying it isn't desirable. but the process of acquiring self control doesn't sound very, um, pleasant. the path to that destination is frought with all the emotions that make it so very clear that i need some self control.

when i was a kid we had a record (not tape, not cd, a record) about the fruits of the spirit: the music machine. i didn't even like the self control song.

once i had a knot in my shoe and it would not come loose
i tried and tried and pried and pried, but it would not come loose
i got so mad i kicked the door and stubbed my little toe, oh!
if only i had learned a little bit of self control.

self control is just controlling myself
it's listening to my heart
and doing what is smart
self control is the very best way to go
so i guess that i'll control myself

as if it was that easy. "i guess i'll just control myself." oh, okay. i just will. no problem. aaack!

it's not that easy. and in my experience, the only place to get the power to control myself is to get it from the One who has all power. and it kind of reminds me of this little netbook i'm using to write (delightful machine except that every time i try to capitalize something i hit the up arrow and wind up somewhere else on the page). it only lasts a very short time without being plugged into the wall. the battery life on it (and me) is low.

i can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength. but only through Him, can i do all things. i cannot do all things if i try to do them without being connected to Him. (this is beginning to sound like geometry)

all i need to control myself is self control. just that easy. just that quick.

but i will say this. i have a little more self control today than i had yesterday. it's like a muscle. the more you use it the stronger it gets. and if i get it, i can train it into my children. my little seed can grow into a mighty crop of self controlled ness. we'll have self control sprouting up all over the place.

so i guess that i'll control myself.

Monday, January 25, 2010

talk about . . . free

the 'free' day

a few years back, my husband and i and some close friends all did the 'body for life' diet together. in it, you eat and work out in a very specific way for 6 days, and then you have a free day. after our first week, they came over and we ordered pizza and made a pan of brownies. before the evening was over, we each were in a different bathroom with a bellyache and a smell, 'celebrating' our 'free'day. we called it the free day blues.

the biggest loser book also advocates a free day or free meal once a week or so. so, the last two weeks i have had a 'free' meal. this is supposed to, in my understanding, sort of hit re-set on your body. it's as if, after a week of restricted calories, your body might think there's a famine and go into conservation mode. the free day/meal lets your body know you still live in the land of plenty and it's okay to burn all the calories you've been storing away for years.

here's the problem: i have a food addiction. i am a slave to my appetite. and every free day, i'm going back to slavery. i'm not just choosing a few select foods that i've been missing in particular. i'm choosing an occasion (like a birthday party) where i know i'll have trouble controlling what i eat, and deciding, i'm not even going to try. i'm going to eat the world. that's my plan. so i go and eat like an actual fool, and when it's over, maybe i still haven't had the kind of food i really was missing or wanting. i took in an extra DAY'S worth of calories, but i'm not satisfied.

so i need to rethink what a free day is. i need to think about what 'free' is. free means i'm not in bondage, not a slave. so, next time i'm due for a free meal, i need a plan - what do i really want to eat. maybe hitting a restaurant or even making something special at home would be better. just not a binge fest. because binging is not free. it's just not. free.

Friday, January 22, 2010


i'm lacking momentum. the will to believe that if i go in my laundry room and begin to fold, then it will look different when i'm finished. that i will have the will power to make my children put their clothes away tomorrow. the will to put the dirty dishes in the dishwashers my boys unloaded, to wipe off the table before whatever is all over it turns to cement that can only be removed with toxic chemicals or a blow torch. the will to find my way through any of the small mountains of clutter that collect when tall people put precious things where small can't reach. the will to keep eating healthy, to keep exercising, to drink water, to keep up with my eldest in reading our Bibles through.

i just want to sit down with a tub of cookie dough and a cup of coffee and play spider solitaire for about 4 hours. except that, really, i don't. because i had a good day. not fun, but good. and i do believe, unless i'm mistaken, that the satisfaction from having a good day might just possibly feel better than an evening of cookie coffee solitaire. who-da-thunk?

alright. i'll load the dishwasher and do the laundry.


Healthy food does not equal low calorie food.

Today I made pancakes. Fresh ground wheat. Honey instead of sugar. Olive oil instead of vegetable oil. Cooking spray instead of butter. Blueberries instead of chocolate chips. No butter, no syrup. Sounds great, right? Except that I ate 5. Nearly 500 calories for that healthy breakfast.

I won't eat so many next time. They were delicious, and I thought, hey, they're good for me. If 3 is good, 5 is better.

Not so.

The solution (not hard since my belly is soooo full of healthy pancakes) is a light lunch. That's a can-do good buddy (Dukes of Hazzard, ca. 1980). Maybe a cup of chili (my chili is 141 calories).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


i binged tonight. my breakfast was leftover thai curry cashew chicken, my lunch was a nice but too big for lunch italian feast at a friend's house, and my supper was appropriately conservative.

then i binged. i felt out of control and was eating for comfort. i was upset. a lyric off an iphone commercial on youtube pulled me out, of all things. but i ate (don't laugh - it's the out of control that makes it a binge) 4 or so bites of turkey, most of a turkey and cheese tortilla, two cups of hot chocolate, and about 4 bites of frozen cheese cake.

it's not a bad binge, but i didn't need any of it, none of it did me any good (except the turkey), and i felt lousy.

but! i jumped right on the treadmill, did my 390 calories (uphill both ways, and i was grateful) and i think i'm still on track to go where i want to go.

now, class, what should i have done when i was upset? yes, i should have gone to the piano or gotten out my Bible and worked it out properly. instead of trying to cover it up with comfort food, i should have prayed it out. lesson learned.

what i've learned so far . . .

it is easier to eat the right number of calories than it is to eat healthy. i ate an appropriate number of calories today, but nary a vegetable crossed my lips. i can squeeze in things i love as long as the calorie number works. now, this is still an improvement - eating a little unhealthy food is better than eating a lot of unhealthy food. self control is good. but it is not the same as building the body God gave me with nutritious food.

i know how to eat at home or at a restaurant (not buffet). i don't know how to eat at someone else's home or if someone cooks for me at my house. i'm sure that whole "support network" should come into play here, but does that mean - please, no one invite me to a birthday party, or next time i have a baby, please don't bring me any meals unless they are healthy veggies, whole grains and lean meats? maybe. i don't know.

i can do way more exercise than i would have thought. i am inspired by the biggest loser contestents. i'm not smaller than all of them, but i'm not as big as most of them. my motto is: if they can, i can. if they can do 3 mph on a 7% incline treadmill for 5 minutes, so can i.

working out at night gives me more energy the next day, not less, and takes nothing from my family (as long as i don't do it every day - not ever going to bed with my husband is not okay).

the ungodly belief that "even if i lose weight, nobody keeps weight off, it is impossible to change" is a lie from hell and it is contrary to the character and nature of God. i can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Friday, January 15, 2010

how it goes

it's been about 6 days. i have lost 8 lbs. some of that is just the first lbs of flubber getting pooped out.

i've been on the treadmill 4 or 5 times, burning between 240 and 530 calories. it was way easier last night than the first night. my blisters are gone, my feet don't hurt as much and i can go higher, faster and longer, and still feel good at the end. part of me wants to just keep going when i feel that good. after all, hours and hours of cardio is what helps the biggest losers be big losers. but i have to be wife and mom too, and sleep is required for that. (i think sleep is also required for weight loss.)

i've not started any of the strength training things. so that's my new goal. i think it is possible to have the weights with me during school and do it while i teach. is that crazy? we shall see. i AM the amazing supermom.

i'm using for monitoring what i'm eating. it doesn't make it easy to enter anything you make yourself. but it does a good job of showing how all the little things add up. i've also found that it really helps to enter what i plan on eating ahead of time, tweak it to make the calories what i want them to be, and then follow that plan, rather than trying to remember everything i ate and report that. i tend to forget things that way - like a half banana that got left on the table.

tonight i'm going out with a friend. i know where we're going, so i looked up the restaurant's menu and figured out what i will eat - so pleased that one of my favs is among the lower calorie options. french dip and fruit salad. then i sent my friend an e-mail and told her ahead of time that i won't be having dessert (sometimes we split a dessert).

saturday i'm going to a birthday party, philippino style. i will eat very conservatively during the day, and have a free night at the party. beeko, baby!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

39 by 39

that's my goal. to lose 39 lbs by my 39th birthday, roughly 5 months. here's my plan:
to walk/run off 390 calories on the treadmill every day
to strength train either 39 flights of stairs or 39 reps (3 x 13) of arm/back/chest, etc.
to drink 139 oz. water a day
to eat pretty much according to the biggest loser book (got it for Christmas)

i have blisters on my footpads, but am encouraged in my heart.
tomorrow after lunch i will give each of my kids a big spoonful of the dove unconditional chocolate ice cream i've got stashed and explain my plan to them. i'm pulling out all the stops. on the new biggest loser (which i didn't actually see) they weighed in in front of their home town crowds. i'm not in front of a tv camera in tight shorts and a sports bra (although if you've seen the show, you pretty much get the idea) but i am going on record here.

to quote misty edwards' song (one of my favs)
i pay my vows, no turning around
i burn the bridges that can't be found
i am Yours