Thursday, February 23, 2012

{2.24}

I've been thinking all day about what to write.  What do I write to mark 2 years?  I can't think of any words.  You can read the story of 2.24.10 here, or read what I had to say on 2.24.11 here.  And since I can't think of any words to write on 2.24.12, I'll just share some pictures that make me smile.






















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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Growth vs. Perfection

Today is my "Wednesday Weigh In".  Every Wednesday morning since June, I've hopped on the scale to check my progress.  Last week, I was 0.2 pounds away from hitting the 30 pounds lost milestone.  So, this morning when I stepped on the scale I expected I would finally see that number.  But I didn't.  In fact, this week - I gained 2 pounds.  

I had 2 immediate reactions to this:
1) be really upset and then eat whatever junk food I want today because it doesn't matter
2) be really mad and "buckle down" - counting every morsel that goes into my mouth and banishing all foods that are not vegetables.

But then I started to just pray about it, and ask God to remind me why I'm on this journey and how far I've come.  I remembered this section from the book I'm reading right now (You're Already Amazing by Holley Gerth - more on this book is coming soon!)

This list exemplifies the differences between my previous attempts to lose weight and this current one.  Growth - not perfection - is the goal here.

The truth is, even if the scale had said the number I'd wanted it to this morning:  it wouldn't make God love me any more than He already does (which is already more than my earthly brain can fathom).

There are a bunch of reasons that could've caused the scale to go the wrong way this morning.  Maybe it was  too many of these amazing granola bars I couldn't stop eating yesterday, maybe it's more muscle, maybe it's stress, or water weight, or that "time of the month" or maybe it just is what it is because I'm not perfect.  

And that's okay.

My pants are now 2-3 sizes smaller.
I did all 3 sets of push-ups on my toes for the first time yesterday.
I gained 2 pounds this week, and still made my Green Monster for breakfast instead of getting an Egg McMuffin.
God still loves me.
And that is enough.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Impossible Don't Exist


No, that isn't just my poor grammar in that blog title!  It's the lyric from today's "Monday Melody" song that stood out to me.

The whole lyric is:
"I'm feeling better than I ever thought, it's possible but now I know.  Impossible don't exist."


I heard the song "Tonight is the Night" by Outasight while I was cleaning today and loved that line!


What really sparked this blog is an exercise class I took today.  My gym has started offering a new class called "Phases Fit Physique".  The class is led by the gym's owners, Brian and Mindy.  It's only offered on Monday mornings at 10:00, which is not conducive to my schedule.  But, since I had off today - I was excited to try out the class!

Did you catch that habit change?  I was excited about my day off because it meant I could go to an exercise class?  REALLY?  Yup!

So, I walk into this class and there are probably 20-25 other people there.  We're told to partner up and we'd be going through 1 minute circuits.  My first thought was "Oh man, my poor partner got stuck with the out of shape fat chick."  but then I realized - THAT'S NOT ME ANYMORE.  I'm not "the out of shape fat chick".  Sure, I'm not at my goal weight yet, and I won't be running any marathons soon - but I can really, honestly say that I'm in good shape.  In fact, I'm in the best shape I've been in EVER.  And my partner was awesome.  She was motivating, encouraging, and supportive.  I never felt like the fat chick - I felt like the FIT chick.

The class reminded me of what I see on The Biggest Loser when they do their "last chance workout".  By the end of the hour, my face was red and I was sweating like CRAZY.

And you know what?  It was FANTASTIC.
(in the car right after the workout!)
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Monday, February 13, 2012

"Better Than Take Out" Honey Sesame Chicken

Yum! This was quick, easy, and delicious!  Plus it heats up great in the microwave for leftovers!

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
Recipe from Six Sisters (via Pinterest)
Ingredients:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
Salt and pepper
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce (I used Liquid Aminos)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional - adds flavor, I used about 1/2 tsp for some heat)
4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water (if you put in 4 TABLEspoons by accident, this will turn out weird.  Trust me.)
Sesame seeds

Directions: 
  1. Season both sides of chicken with lightly with salt and pepper, put into crock pot. 
  2. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. 
  3. Pour over chicken. 
  4. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or on high 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, or just until chicken is cooked through. 
  5. Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. 
  6. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. 
  7. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. 
  8. Cut chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce before serving. 
  9. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve over rice or noodles.


*When I made this, I added the shredded chicken back into the crock pot after adding the cornstarch and let it cook for another 20ish minutes on high.*

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fit Tip Friday - Be Prepared!

One of the biggest culprits in the choice to eat poorly is lack of preparedness. It's the "I don't have anything for dinner so I'll just swing through the drive thru" or "I'm out of lunch supplies so I'll grab something from the cafeteria" choices that easily derail my healthy eating.

Being prepare with lots of easy, quick and healthy foods is essential! Typically, I make a batch of some sort of healthy soup every weekend that I can use as the main part of my lunches for the week. In the picture, you can see it already packed in portioned containers.

Along with my soup, I buy a big container of plain Greek yogurt that I also portion out. In the morning, all I do is add some frozen organic fruit and toss it in my lunch bag. A bag of mini carrots or rounds out my lunch!

Having the things ready to grab and go, pre-packed and sorted saves me time and calories. It's not as easy to think about grabbing chicken fingers from the cafeteria when I know I have lunch ready to go in the fridge!

(p.s. this is the first time I've blogged from my phone, so please excuse any typos!)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Song Inspired Craft

One of the albums I have been listening to on repeat lately is "Sigh No More" by Mumford & Sons.  They are sort of indie rock, country-ish, mellow band.

One of my favorite songs is the title track from the album.  There's a lyric in "Sigh No More" that I simply love.  It says "Love.  It will not betray, dismay or enslave you.  It will set you free."


From what I've read about it, I don't think Mumford & Sons meant this to be religious in nature, necessarily. However, I immediately connected it with Jesus.  So many times, the church is thought of as a place of condemnation, rules, and hypocrisy.  But that's not what it really is.  The church - not the building or the denomination or the religion - but the church in terms of the body of Christ...should be love.  God is love.  We love because He first loved us.  God so loved the world that He sent us His Son.  Love - is not something that will betray you.  It won't let you down.  It won't bind you in shackles.  Love...God's Love - TRUE love - will set you FREE.

I had a canvas hanging around (or...not actually hanging around yet - haha) from a 2-pack I'd used only half of.  I wanted to put this song lyric on the canvas somehow.  I saw this picture on Pinterest...

And used that design as my inspiration for my canvas!

The canvas is painted in Martha Stewart's Root Beer Float craft paint, with the edges in a dark brown (Martha's Vanilla Bean).  Painting it with just one coat gave it that sort of antiqued look.  


The letters were cut on my Cricut using some scrapbook paper that color coordinated with my living room. I edged the larger pieces in brown Sharpie to give them some definition and a little antique look too.

And there it hangs on my living room wall!

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fit Tip Friday - Read

There are a few books that I have read recently that have made a HUGE impact on my health journey.  I've share about 2 of them before, but they are so awesome that I have to share again!


by: Lysa Terkuerst
(If you are a Christian woman struggling with weight...RUN, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore and BUY THIS.  It truly changed the way I approached the journey to health. Doing it God's way is completely different and completely AWESOME.)


by: Candice Cameron Bure and Darlene Schacht
(This book is similar in message to "Made to Crave".  It shares Candace's personal journey, as well as recipes and other helpful tips.  It's packed full of Scripture!  And, it's on sale on Kindle for less than $5 right now!)


by: Tosca Reno
(this book has GREAT information on nutrition and overall healthy eating)

by: Jillian Michaels
(This is the book that convinced me to go organic.  Well, this and the documentary "Food Matters".  Jillian also has great free podcasts packed full of helpful advice!)

Magazines!
Some of my favorites are Shape, Oxygen, Health, and Women's Health.  
I love getting monthly doses of inspiration, great recipes, and fit tips. 

Anything you're reading or have read on the topic of diet/nutrition/health that you'd recommend?  
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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dear February

{the view from my evening walk/run around the fairgrounds}

2 years ago, I went into February writing a post called "Heartbreak".  Last year, I wrote about how I wished I could skip this time of year all together and have it just be Spring.

This year, 2 years after the hardest February of my life (okay, the hardest month of my life), I have a totally different attitude.

This February is a new beginning.

And I realized that today God answered the prayer I prayed this time last year:  "I'm ready for sunshine and warm breezes, driving with the windows opening and watching my daffodils bloom."

Today, despite the fact that it is still winter, it was 60+ degrees here in PA.  I drove home with the windows down.  My daffodils are poking up from the ground.  The sun was shining.  I went for a walk/jog in weather warm enough for capris.

God provided a little dose of Spring, and I pretend He did that just for me. (you're welcome, everyone)  He did that just to remind me that He is always doing a new thing, that He is making streams in the deserts and granting me a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Thank you, Lord.  Thank you for being faithful to answer prayers in YOUR perfect timing.  Thank you for glimpses of Spring, reminders of You, and NEW BEGINNINGS.