Tuesday, September 17, 2019

MWLISS: this is easy

We are moving homes and hometowns! I decided a long time ago, the move would not influence my weight loss journey. Have I succeeded thus far? I'm going to say yes. How?

I have been working on managing stress without the need to overeat. I'm using a mix of things to make this work.

1. Tracking my food on the WW App. I know that if I track, I lose weight. Sometimes, I haven't been able to track that's when I go to my plan B.

2. Track the best I can. Some days, I tracked two meals. I tracked one meal for fewer days. The goal was to stay in control so that my energy level would stay up. If this does not work, I go to plan C.

3. Think before you eat. I have to say this has been the secret weapon. When I think before I eat, I realize that food might not be the answer. Rest might be needed. Exercise might be needed. Thinking before I eat has made me really successful during this transition.

I've been giving a lot of thought about why I don't just coast and let go of my health goals during this transition. I heard someone say an interesting quote that summarizes what I feel. The quote says, "It's easier to succeed than to fail."

I know what failing feels like. I enjoy succeeding way better. It is easier to succeed than to fail.

In order to guarantee that my nutrition is great during this transition, I am making sure to get plenty veggies, fish and I bought a great protein shake. I add beet powder, green powder, banana, strawberries and almond milk to it. It is not my favorite way to live but for now, it is better than eating inferior foods. I have been blessed to keep up with my running routine. Running has helped me manage stress and stay sharp.

Next time, I will write about managing hunger during this transition. Thank you for reading!

WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 154 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• First week of WW
WW Speak
• Premeditated Portion Control 
• Weights and Measures
• Time
• Carbs & WW
• Proof of Weight Loss
• Why I started
• Fear
• Daily Choices

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Moving to a new Community

The Houston area has been our home for the past 8 years. We had our third child here. We bought a home. We found our passion for distance running here. We planted roots. We reaped lemons, tangerines, pomelo, pomegranates, figs, and other fruits.

We were fruitful in more ways than one. There will always be a special place for the friends we made here. There's so much to love about our community. The people we met will always be my favorite thing about the Houston area.

Yes, we are moving to a new community. So, where in the world are you going? I'm including the world because with us, you really never know!

We are moving to Longview, Texas! 

We are excited about joining a great church there as well as the community. Of course I already knew someone who lives in Longview! These days, I know people everywhere (thanks internet!). I appreciate our family and friends who encouraged us and prayed with us during this transition. We have known God long enough to be sure that where He leads, He provides. What God originates, He orchestrates.

Join me as I journey through this move! I will be writing periodically about transitioning to a new community and the adaptation phase we go through. Thanks for praying for us and for reading!

More posts in this series:

Moving to Texas in 2011
Hope during transition
Making Friends and Singing (video)
How my roots grew deeper
Unintentional Church Hopper
Transition and the dorm room
Transitioning from stay-at-home mom to working mom

Sunday Seven

1. Self-care matters. Last summer I took a deep course on self-care. I incorporated it into my everyday schedule. This week, I practiced quite a bit of self-care. I know that caring for myself is a great idea and it pays off.

2. Marriage matters. It takes a lot of intention. I am a believer that my marriage has a 100% chance to succeed if I do it God's way. Marriage matters and it is worth all the investment.

3. Courage matters. I've had to step out of my comfort zone and do some new things. I recognized that it feels uncomfortable. I also recognized that courage matters. Doing it afraid and facing new situations with all the grit God has given me matters.

4. Friendship matters. My friends have been so kind to me. I have a few folks who make time for me. They listen to me. They make room in their schedule, on a regular day, to communicate with me face-to-face. Those relationships matter and I am incredibly blessed to have them.

5. Self-assurance matters. I define it as "knowing what are the gifts and talents God has given me and being able to verbalize them so the other person knows how I can help them." I had to practice this quite a bit lately. It is always interesting to explain yourself to others. They can read insecurity as well as the opposite. Self-assurance guarantees that the need of the person can be met. You can be the solution to their problem.

6. Listening matters. I stepped out of my own head the other day and I listened to a stranger tell me about his late father. My daughter and I could have said, "we're too busy for chitchat." We decided to listen. We thanked the gentleman for sharing that story and we told him he was blessed to have such an honorable man as a father. Listening matters. We felt that we honored the person and the person who was. Listening is a great way to empathize with the pain that someway will turn into joy.

7. Methods matter. Instead of being overwhelmed about a personal project I have, I decided to be methodical about it. It's a pretty big project and it does require help. Still, my organization method has helped me conquer every little task in my long to-do list. Methods matter. They work if I decide to use them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

My Morning Routine

I love mornings.
They represent new beginnings.
As a teenager, I would wake up and think, "I have a new chance to succeed." My habits made those chances worth pursuing.
As a wife and mother, I am productive in the morning.
I accomplish a lot in the early hours. My morning routine is not about a list of things I do but specific habits that lead to success.

Instead of thinking of routine as a series of robotic activities, I think of the habits that propel me towards a happier day. Here they are:

Habit 1 • Phone Downtime. The digital age has given us quite a bit of control of our uncontrolled urge to check our phones all the time. A great solution to this problem is to utilize the "downtime" setting of my iPhone. This setting locks almost all my Apps from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. The only things not clocked are my Bible App and my camera. The act of not checking my phone when I wake up helps me to be more purposeful, peaceful and productive.

Habit 2 • Rest. The fuel to the best morning routines is resting well the night A good morning requires a restful night. Rest is the most underutilized productivity tool. After a night of rest, I feel refreshed and ready to be productive.

Habit 3 • Prepare. It's been said that "by failing to prepare you are preparing to fail." I prepare everything I need the night before. I set aside my running clothes, shoes and I make sure the coffee maker is ready to go. I also pack any lunches the kids need the night before. Preparation makes my morning routine easier. I can simply sit with my Bible and coffee knowing that everything I need to do later is already ready to go.

Habit 4 • Focus. Distraction is the chief thief of productivity. I've had days when I wake up early and I waste precious minutes by browsing the internet mindlessly. Focusing on my actual routine is very important. When I wake up, I get dressed, I wash my face, brush my teeth and I get the coffee maker started. I get on my knees and pray for a while. Then I read my Bible. After that, it's time to go for a run. I only have a set amount of time to do all of that, so focusing on starting and finishing each activity on time is very important. Decide what you want to do and focus on each activity.

Please know that these suggestions might not work for you. I also need to tell you that I'm very much a work in progress. Every now and then I need to recalibrate and do these very things anew.

Other tips:

• Keep your phone out of reach. Put it in a room adjacent to yours. You will sleep better, and if you need to hear the alarm, you'll get up to turn it off. I always remind myself that I am not an E.R. doctor on call. I can live without my phone if need be. Remember, technology is a great servant but a terrible master.

• Plan for Downtime - When my phone is about to shut down, it gives me a 5-minute warning. It is a mental reminder that I need to go to bed. My phone is not part of my bedtime routine, so I need a plan for my own downtime. Will I read a book? Will I join my husband and watch a show? Will I prep for the next morning? Planning ahead is a great way to succeed.

I would love to hear about some ways you keep your morning routine popping.

Friday, September 6, 2019

MWLISS: a loss is a loss

I looked down at the scale. The number went down a little. My immediate thought was, "a loss is a loss."
We had a busy week (well, they're all busy) and we threw some travel there just for good measure.

The loss didn't happen by accident:
I worked on staying within my points - If I track everything I eat, I easily stay within the points WW gives me for the day. It takes some thought but the results are worth the effort.
I also made some choices that would lead to the change I wanted to see - A few months ago, I identify one of my barriers to losing weight. My barrier is called "snacking after dinner." I would hit the pantry and eat until it was time to sleep. Last week, I worked on overcoming this barrier and it worked. Every time I stop eating after dinner, I win.

If I make the choices that lead to the change I want to see, I win.

I can apply this to other areas of life, such as rest. If I go to bed early (choice) I will get more rest (change I want to see). If I follow my marathon training plan (choice) I will finish my race (change I want to see).

This week is not over yet, but I keep thinking about these small changes I am making. I know they will lead me to the change I want to see.

WW start weight: 175 lbs
Current: 156 lbs
First Goal: 150 lbs
Second Goal: 146 lbs
Third Goal: 136 lbs

Previously in this Series:
• First week of WW
WW Speak
• Premeditated Portion Control 
• Weights and Measures
• Time
• Carbs & WW
• Proof of Weight Loss
• Why I started

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Love is what matters most

Every Spring was the same thing. My kids would burst out in tears because they did not win a certain  competition. How could they? We were all newbies to that culture. There were kids with two generations behind their preschool selves making sure they would win. And they did.

I was too exhausted to do all the work they needed to win that certain competition.

I remember a teacher asking me with guilt behind her voice:

"Do you want her to lose?"

I didn't answer. I exhausted.

Not much has changed since then. The scenario is the same but the competition is now digital.

Parents have the right to be proud of their kids. The digital space is a great place to display that parental rite of passage.

As I try to find meaning in my own parenting journey, I remember that love is what matters most.

We all hear the stories behind the lives of high achievers. Nature, nurture or otherwise, not everyone will get the A. Not everyone will be in the Dean's list.

These temporary achievements are of importance, but love matters most.

I decided to let go of the good and hold on to the great.

When I stare a low grades, I ask myself: Does my kid have a good heart? Do they display compassion for others? Do I need to beg them to be thankful or polite?

Instead of thinking of a digitally social acceptable post. I think of my kid as they age and have my grandchildren. Will the grades matter then? Maybe. Yet, love will matter most.

At the end of the day, God gives grace to every parent. We all want to do our best for our children.

I am determined not to be caught competing with others as far as the achievements I display. I want to love my children well.

This journey of love, can't be displayed online. It is a private, slow process and the fruits will be ripped decades from now.

Loving well matters. Let's love our children well in private and let's watch them bloom.