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 

Sunday, May 12, 2019

That time the Torrential Texas Rain taught me Persistence

It rained a lot in Texas the night of my first Social Media for Business workshop. I heard we got 10 inches in a few hours.

I didn't know the weather was going to be that bad. I kept looking at the forecast and I honestly thought by the time we start, it will clear out. Well, it didn't.

We went on to the meeting place anyway. We set up tables for all attendees. My kids, who were assisting me that night, were all dressed up and ready to serve. We had water for everyone as well as refreshments. We plugged in the presentation, and we waited for people to show up. One friend came on time. Many were on their way so we waited a few minutes to start.

Running friends are forever. 
I started and we had class as planned. We had a great time. Everyone who was on their way had to turn around. The roads were bumper to bumper and water was rising. Thank God everyone arrived home safely.

I kept asking myself if I should have done something different. I thought that God was responsible for the weather. I honestly did not pray about that (my bad!).

I'm not a person who looks at barriers and thinks "maybe this is a sign." I'm honestly at a point where I expect things to be difficult. It is through perseverance that I learn my best life lessons. I pressed on.

I looked at the class and I was thankful that my friend and my family were there. I had a chance to do something I wanted to do. I just was not expecting to do it in layers.

I decided to teach the class again so that everyone who was not able to attend can learn about social media for business. If you are a local friend, follow me on Facebook and register please.

If you are not local but need help with your social media, contact me. I am eager to help you reach your goals.

I could have canceled the class. I chose to press on and do what I said I was going to do. I never felt the inclination to be discouraged, even in the midst of my circumstances. I don't think I was basing my resolve in the number of attendees (which was good but you know, the torrential rain) or any external circumstance. I was thankful to God for giving me a chance to do what I enjoy doing: making media simple for professionals and business owners.

Expect barriers on the way to your dreams. Expect torrential rains. Expect people not to be available. Press on any way. Barriers are a clear sign that you need to find a different route. Change the route, don't change your goal. You will certainly get there. 

Happy Mother's Day Feliz Dia das Mães

“Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates." 
Proverbs 31:29-31

Happy Mother's Day to all mothers, especially mine. 
"Muitas filhas agiram virtuosamente, mas tu a todas és superior.
Enganosa é a graça, e vaidade, a formosura, mas a mulher que teme ao Senhor, essa será louvada.
Dai-lhe do fruto das suas mãos, e louvem-na nas portas as suas obras." 
Provérbios 31:29-31 

Feliz dia das mães para todas as mães, principalmente para a minha mãe. 
Summer of 2012