Friday, May 24, 2019

What I learned this Spring

I can dream bigger dreams • I sometimes look around and I perceive people and situations trying to limit me. I learned I can dream bigger dreams. A trip to San Diego reminded me that my very being is valid. My dreams, desires and vision are worthy of being pursued, no matter what others may think of my potential. Others can limit me if they want but I dare not limit myself.

Time to close the chapter • There is a chapter in my life I refused to close for years (sorry I can't offer more details). It was over and the person closest to me (Zeke) could sense it. I had to go through an uneasy situation TWICE in order to realize it was time to close that chapter. I got to a place where I don't care what the next chapter is (okay, I do care), I'm just done reliving the old one.

My words are influential • Words matter to the people who matter the most: my immediate family. I saw that so clearly and I constantly ask God to give me wisdom to speak words of life, always.

Arrows go further • The kids participated in their first triathlon this Spring. They trained, they competed and they enjoyed themselves. It was a joy to see them doing something my husband and I are yet to do (oh yeah, I have my gaze on a triathlon but not in the next year). Our kids are our arrows and they are meant to go further, higher.

God gives grace • Instead of dwelling in guilt and frustration, I decided to ask God for grace. Grace upon grace He gave me. The Spring was only livable because of God's grace in my life. I'm telling you: don't judge my life through social media. We go through trials and God gives us grace.

Bad seasons end • This Spring, a particularly bad circumstance of life ended. Now that is over, it feels that it went by quickly. I tried not to complain. I tried to connect with God and do the best I could with what I had. I had support from key people in my life. God was a very present help. I want you to know that bad seasons end. I hope you decide to get support from a few key people and God.

Hospitality is great • I believe I am never too busy to be hospitable. Hospitality is part of our family's DNA. We had several friends over and we are looking forward to being even more hospitable this summer. We are hospitable because we love people. We also want to know our friends better. We do not practice the type of hospitality that requires perfection or the latest and greatest material things. Ours comes from the heart. It is meant to be casual and cozy. Hospitality is not practiced so that one can brag about it. The goal is to bound hearts together and bring much needed renewal through unhurried friendship.

My husband is a great forgiver • It is not easy to be married to me. Zeke is the best gift God has given me on this side of heaven. His forgiveness has meant the world to me.

What have you learned this Spring?

More in this series:
• What I learned this Summer
• What I learned this Spring
What I learned this Fall

Running Goals

When I started running, I didn't know that goals changed from year to year. Now I know. I also didn't know how to make running fit my current lifestyle, not the opposite.

• My top goal is to be sure running is for fun. If it ain't fun, I ain't doing it. 
• I also have primary and secondary pace goals that will lead me to the finish line of my choice. I'm keeping this number private because I have a small group of friends who will hold me accountable for that. 
• My training goal is connected to my training schedule. I follow my running group's training schedule. The goal is to fit that schedule into my own. I know what being busy is all about. I don't want to use that as an excuse. I
• My nutrition goal is connected to my weight loss series. The best nutrition will give me the fuel I need to start and finish the race. I've been blogging here about my weight loss. I''ve lost 20 lbs and I want to be in my goal weight by the end of this year. 
• I also have rest goals. If I don't rest, my body cannot do what I am requiring of it. Resting requires discipline. 

Crossing a finish line looks easier than it is. The real work comes when I decide I will truly commit to my running goals for the year. 

Real love won't be televised

Back in the day, there was a poem called "the revolution will not be televised." I've always loved the title because it made me think.

I decided to call this post "real love won't be televised." Enjoy!

Real love won't be televised 

You won't have a distorted view
Cause our love is so real
No curated content here
of duos perfectly posed
You won't have a false reaction
to the impression that
Real love won't be televised.

Patient, kind, sacrificial and truthful
real love is even-tempered
Self-control and hard work 
do not make it for exciting TV
Real love won't be televised
because it requires selflessly 
thinking of the other.

Protection, perseverance 
hope and trust are constantly displayed 
Real love is so strong
it won't be easily dismayed 
Day in and day out 
love honors and forgives 
It may look weak 
but stronger and stronger it gets.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

How to love the life you choose

What is the difference between the life you get and the life you choose? One is given, the other, gathered. The life you get is given by God. He formed you, He knew your life's purpose. He made you the way you are with intentionality. There were no accidents: God is brilliant in His creation.

The life you choose is gathered by you. Gathering is the act of bringing together in one group. When you gather, you collect every life circumstance that comes your way and you do something with it. You and I know there are things in life we don't choose. I didn't choose to be robbed the first day I arrived in this country for college. I had $200 dollars so I was left with $100. I gathered  that experience. I chose to rise up from despair and get a job. My mother was right: God has more to give than the devil can steal.

How do you love the life you choose? I believe you need to start by investigating the positive things happening, despite the hardships. Having your money stolen is no fun. I thought about the potential I had to earn money. I looked for a job and I found a good one.

Because we are alive, difficult situations will come our way. We can choose to pout. We can also love the life we choose.

Be grateful • being grateful is better than being hateful. True gratitude comes from a heart surrendered to God. My friend, you can write a thousand pages on your gratitude journal but unless that attitude comes from a surrendered heart, it will not work long-term.

Serve others • the purpose is not to get distracted by the things we dislike about our lives. The goal is to be like Jesus. He said He came to serve. Serving others opens the eyes to the very nature of God. He is generous and good. We must be like Him.

Eternal self • eternal beings forget they are eternal. I know I do. I try to think about my life in light of eternity. I often think about my situation through that perspective. Will this issue really matter in light of eternity?

Take action • Once you have a chance to think about what happened to you, take action. Taking action assures you that you have the power to bring about change. Action is the a physical demonstration that your situation is temporary. The change it brings will build your character.

God created you with a purpose in mind. He gave you life. It is up to you to love the life you choose.

If you are going through a difficult situation, please know that I empathize with you. Please know that it is important to feel your feelings. I am also responsible for reminding you that you have the power to bring about change. You will get back up again. You will be strong again. Things will change. Don't give up on loving the life you choose. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

My weight loss in 60 seconds: time

I've been back to WW in 6 weeks. I've lost 5 pounds, 20 total for this WW journey, which I started on 11/1/2017. This week, I maintained my weight loss.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine says that time spent on home food preparation and cooking may have implications for healthy eating.  I hope they are right cause I counted how long I do all of that!

The questions I want to answer today is, how much time do I invest in my weight loss journey? It seems that I spend time in these 8 activities:

Food shopping - we now use grocery delivery but I always visit the grocery store to grab extra fruits and veggies. I'd say this takes around 40 minutes.
Food preparation - I think I spend around 3 hours a week cooking all our food.
Packing food for the week - I would say it takes around 30 minutes to pack our food for the week.
Tracking food and connecting with the WW App - I'd say this takes around 20 minutes a week.
Listening to weight loss related Podcast - I listen to Podcasts when I'm driving. I'd say I spend 1 and a half hours a week doing that.
Exercising - 6 hours a week.
Resting - I can always sleep more. I'd say 40 hours a week.
Celebrating victories - zero but I need to do more of it.

The grand total for the week is around 51 hours.

There are shortcuts, of course. I know I can buy vegetables already chopped. I can order those meal kits. I choose to live the life I do because I believe the results will be fantastic.

Have you thought about the actual amount of time you spend in your health?

Being healthy is worth every second I invest. I have 6 short weeks until marathon training season starts. I'm hoping to lose more weight and reach my goal of being in the 140s in the beginning of the season.

Every action will lead me in the direction of my goal. Thank you for joining me in this journey friends!

WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 155 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• • First week of WW
••• WW Speak
•••• Premeditated Portion Control 
••••• Weights and Measures

Friday, May 17, 2019

How to guard your dreams

I love speaking about dreams. One of my favorite questions I ask my friends is, what is your dream? What we haven't talked about is the subject of how to guard your dreams. Assuming that you know what your dream is, here are ways to guard it.

Keep your dreams away from people who can't help you get there • bystanders, haters, professional criticizers and the occasional frenemy will not help you achieve your dreams. The internet lied to you when they told you that these people put fire in your belly to accomplish your goals. If such fire exists, it is easily extinguishable. Keep your dreams away from people who can't and won't help you get there.

Revisit your dreams • record your dreams in written form and read it often. How often? When you are discouraged, read it every day. Most dreams are bigger than we are. Most of us don't have all the pieces of the puzzle. What we do have is the dream. As guardians, we need to revisit the dream because it gives us hope. Hope that dreams come true. Hope that somehow, inside of us, we are becoming the person in that dream.

Talk to people who dream • people who dream are of a special kind. You need to find them and talk to them. They will fan the flame inside of you. If you don't know someone in real life (other than me), you should check out Bob Goff. I recently listened to several conversations between Bob in his friends on the subject of dreaming big. Dreams for community and your dreamer friends will help you stay encouraged. They will also challenge, water and nurture you when you need the most.

I am sure there are more ways to guard your dreams. I will save those for a future post or for when we go out for coffee (or for a run) and you tell me all about that big dream of yours. 

Thursday, May 16, 2019

My weight loss in 60 seconds: weights and measure

When my blog started in 2003, I used it as a food log. If you could go back, you would see that I basically talked about losing weight every day. This blog was my online food journal. I got tired of so much diet talk so the blog turned into what it is today.

Back in 2003, I didn't know I am not what I weigh. I learned this concept from Lisa Bevere who wrote a book called "You are not what you weigh." The message of freedom really changed my life. Wise advice I received from wise people in my life also helped me over the years.

I still use my weight to measure my health. I don't use it to measure my sense of worth. I think that the logical question here would be, if you are so free, why are you still on WW? Aren't you happy with who you are?

The truth is that my goal is to enjoy the best of health. Having a normal BMI will get me there. I have been talking to my doctor about it for years. WW is a vehicle to get me to my goal. I don't tie my happiness or sense of worth to a program. I do tie my quality of life to having a normal body weight.

Unlike in the year of 2003, I take care of a lot of people. They love me for who I am. I know that they can care less about weights and measures. I do know for a fact that it is easier to care for them when my health is optimal.

I am thankful that I learned to go to the doctor (I already scheduled my annual exam for next month) and talk about what I can do to improve my health. We have the family history talk at least once a year. I am aware that God has given me a second chance to take care of my health and I am determined to finish what I started 13 years ago.

My change required small steps over the years. It required accountability to the right people (my doctor, my husband). It requires the determination to do what it takes to live the life God has so graciously given me with health.

Health is wealth. I am grateful that my weight loss journey will lead me to a healthier way of living
Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Question: How do you see your measurements?

WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 155 lbs (minus 20 lbs!!!!)
First Goal: 150 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• • First week of WW
••• WW Speak
•••• Premeditated Portion Control