Monday, June 27, 2011

I’m Learning What to Eat, Now What?

Hi, there!  Are you finished reading my last post? 🙂  I know, I know.  Friday’s post was a bit lengthy, but it was real stuff.  I’m still not sure why I felt such a burden to share, but I’m glad I did.  Sometimes taking good care of ourselves can feel like being lost in a maze.  Anyway, I promise not to be that long this time, because I know it’s Monday and you have other things to do than spend your whole day reading my “books” (see, I’m trying to prepare you! LOL)

I didn’t stop thinking about you and that post over the weekend, either.  I thought about myself, as well.  I’m learning a bit more about what to eat, now what?  Well, Lysa Terkeurst – Author, Speaker, and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries  – published a book this January entitled Made to Crave, Satisfying Your Deepest Desire With God, Not Food.  You may have heard of it.  I will be honest.  When this book was released, I was excited for her.  When she hit the New York Times Best Seller List, I was excited for her again.  Yet the entire time I never thought this book/study was for me.  Instead I thought things like, “I already crave God” or “I don’t crave food like the people she’s probably talking to in her book”.  So, I never bothered to purchase it.

I even entered giveaways on Lysa’s blog to WIN a copy of the book, because I knew I’d like to have it in my “library”, but I didn’t think I needed it enough to actually buy a copy for myself.  Now, isn’t that something?!  Yes, I should be ashamed of myself, and YES I am.  Sorry, Lysa!  🙂

Lately, I’ve thought a little differently about this book and what it could mean for this stray hurdle that appears to have been set before me.  This could be the final tool I need to help me bring the wall tumbling down and free myself and the generation behind me to walk in better health.  It will be better health ushered in by a renewed mind.  Romans 12:2 NASB advises:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

My eating habits are pretty good, but there’s still evidence of a struggle.  Those old habits insist on dying hard, but make no mistake, they WILL die.  The only way for me to stay the course and win this battle is by renewing my mind, and Made To Crave may help me do just that.  After all, taking better care of my temple is definitely “good and acceptable and perfect” (by the power of the Holy Spirit), don’t you agree?  At the end of the day, where there is a renewed mind, there’s staying power.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to buy (yes B-U-Y) the Made to Crave study and walk through it, but I want some company (in my whiny voice).  Would anyone care to join me?  It doesn’t matter where you live.  Technology has truly overcome the obstacle of distance for us.  You can even invite or refer a friend.  If you’re not sure what it’s all about, no problem.  I have (well Lysa has) just what you need.  Click here to be taken directly to the Made To Crave website where you can read the entire book introduction FOR FREE!  When you arrive at the page, just click on the words “Read Sample Chapter” and dive right in.  Did I mention you can read the introduction for FREE? 🙂

Summer’s officially here, and we girls are always trying to get in shape for the summer.  Maybe it’s time for us to try to get in shape for all seasons, for the rest of our lives, and for the generations coming behind us.  Promise me you’ll at least consider it.  I would certainly love to have you.  I’ll give you some time to read the intro, and I’ll check back with you in a few days.  Is that fair?  Well, I sure hope so.

Completely ME,

Friday, June 24, 2011

HELP! I Have No Idea What to Eat

Ladies, is anyone out there struggling with food, weight, or weight related health issues?  UGH….  I tell you, I have never been a lover of food.  I mean, I enjoy food, but I mostly eat because it’s necessary.  The foods I enjoy most are, of course, the ones that are clearly the worst for me.  Isn’t that usually the case?

Lately, it seems I’ve been hyper sensitive to things like the food I eat and how much I weigh. I don’t know why.  Maybe it’s a side effect or prelude to turning the big 4-0 next year. Truth be told, my eating habits are a FAR cry from the mess they used to be, and I’m thankful for that.  For a person who is really a pretty nice size and who doesn’t even own a scale, I obsess over my weight and swear I can tell when I’ve gained even a fraction of a pound.

Yesterday, I sent a frantic email to a nutritionist on a wellness website offered through my employer (what a WONDERFUL benefit).  It felt good to tell someone of my struggle and begin getting some simple tips I can incorporate to complement the changes I’ve already made in my life to live better and feel better.  Looking better isn’t a bad deal, either, right ladies?!

All day long I thought about sharing my email and the reply with you all.  I have no idea why, other than I know that as women we can really have some struggles in this area.  The reply I received has some quick easy tips that may help you, as well.   Ultimately, I hope this blesses some woman out there and tells you that you are not alone.  We all struggle in some way, shape or form.  I find peace in knowing that I’m responsible for my part, but our Father in heaven is responsible for the whole picture.  Today, I hope that gives you a little peace, as well.  By the way, if you have suggestions after reading my about my health initiatives, PLEASE show the comment box (and me) some love!  I welcome your insight and ideas.  So here goes:

Good morning.  Earlier this year I was told by my PCP [primary care physician] that I am “Pre-Pre-Diabetic”, whatever that means. It had something to do with a range of numbers and where I fell in that range, according to lab work done for my annual physical. Diabetes TERRIFIES me. I’ve watched 2 grandparents succumb to the disease, and I am watching my father’s body slowly break down because of it. For as long as I can remember I’ve been afraid “I’d be next”!

I have intense carb craving sometimes; other times I have the self-control to “just say no”.   I’ve cut out most refined sugars.  My doctor advised me to follow a low-carb/low-sugar diet, but I have no idea what the measurement for “low” is.  I eat lots of fruit, but I’m concerned that it may contribute negatively to the sugar and carb end of the spectrum.  Subsequently, I’m near tears most days, worried about what I should eat and feeling like I will never enjoy eating again.

  I have started working out regularly, and for the most part I eat well.  I probably don’t eat ENOUGH food.  I’m not a big meat-eater, although I do enjoy meat.  I’m struggling to find protein alternatives and figure out how to get more protein in my diet.  I’ve started shopping at grocery stores that carry more organic and whole foods, but of course, this is quite expensive.

I used to be a HORRIBLE candy eater. These days, my vices are french fries and frozen yogurt with plain M&M’s or dark chocolate chips (been that way since I was a kid).  I would like to lose a few more pounds, but beyond weight, I just want to eat well. 

I am 39 years old, unmarried with no children yet, so I want to form better habits to pass along when the time comes and stop the spread of this crazy disease throughout my family.  Hypertension, heart disease and diabetes all run in my family.

I will be honest. I am afraid, and I just need to have a place to start with my eating. Any tips you can offer are greatly appreciated.

Message from member dietitian

Date sent 6/23/11 7:56 AM

Re: HELP! I have no idea what to eat

Making lifestyle changes now can certainly help you to avoid diabetes. However, it can certainly be daunting when you don’t know where to start. What raises your blood sugar (and leads to diabetes) is intake of simple carbohydrates. These include sugar and refined grains (white flour, white rice, etc.). Here are some good places to start.

1. Make sure that all your grains are whole grain. You don’t need to buy expensive organic foods, whole grains can be found at any grocery store. Look for “100% whole grain” on the label when buying bread. Avoid things like processed, boxed foods (macaroni and cheese, rice mixes, etc).

2. Incorporate more veggies. Your veggies can be fresh or frozen, just make sure that you don’t weigh them down with heavy sauces. These will help to fill out your meals and help you to feel more full without adding carbohydrates.

3. Make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day. When you skip meals or go for too long without eating, you get peaks and valleys in your blood sugar which is not good. Also, when we go for too long without eating we tend to make choices that are not as good.

4. Make sure that every meal and snack includes some protein. This can be in the form of dairy, meat, eggs, soy or nuts. Adding protein to every meal and snack helps regulate blood sugar and also keeps you feeling fuller between meals.

Try our diabetic meal plan on this site for some good ideas of foods to eat at meals and snacks. Diabetes is scary, but you are doing the right thing by taking steps now to avoid this.

Completely ME,

Friday, June 10, 2011

According to His Will

1John 5:14,15 NASB – This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.

Going places...

I just returned from the gym a little while ago.  An involuntary smile formed on my face as I began to gather my tools for the evening and settle down to write.  I’ve been waiting for this moment all day.

Last weekend, I posted this status update on my Facebook page:

“Just spent more $ than I ever have on new running shoes. Sure hope they’ll take me places….lol…one would think they would go ahead and run FOR me!”

Yes, friends, I finally invested in a good pair of running shoes.  Now I’m not a runner by any STTREEETCH of the imagination.  Simple walking shoes are definitely more my stride.  However, I’ve learned that you can wear running shoes for walking, but you can’t wear walking shoes for running.  So I decided what the heck!  I’m going for the running shoes.

I’ll be honest.  I’m sure my decision was at least partly fueled by the prick of envy I feel in my heart each time I see a lean jogger-person passing by.  So I went for the running shoes, hoping to maybe pour a little water on the seed of some added pep in my step that seems to have been planted somewhere within me.

I tell you, there’s nothing like getting a little older to encourage a healthy understanding (no pun intended) of the benefits of taking good care of yourself.  I do a pretty good job with the eating part, but I honestly used to think I was allergic to working out.  Honestly…

So, a few weeks before my athletic shoe shopping spree, I shared with my friend a prayer I’d prayed to God.  (He’s a total “gym rat”, and I am a total priss.  Talk about balance! :-))  I told him that I’d prayed and asked the Lord to give me a different view of working out, to help me enjoy it more, to help me to press forward sometimes when I really don’t feel like it, and to maybe even develop a fondness for the art of exercise.  This was a very sincere prayer, because I realize that I don’t get tickled over treadmills and the joy of jogging just isn’t in me.  I just don’t have it naturally like the lean jogger-people I envy.  I need some help, and I knew I could ask my Father for it.

My prayer is being answered.  I mean this week is my extra special week of the month, if you get my drift ladies, yet I’ve been in the gym or outside walking/running THREE days already this week.  Now THAT, my friends, is the power of prayer.  That’s the power of 1 John 5:14,15.  For me to do my part to take care of my body is according to God’s will for me.  I believed that if I took the time to ask, He would hear me.  And if I believe that He hears me, I should not be surprised by my periodic daydreaming about what my workout activity will be after I leave the job.  Ok, so  I went from loathing exercise to just plain corny about it!  Whatever works, Jesus!  Just keep me moving!!

So, what are you struggling with?  Have you asked the Lord for help?  If it is according to His will, it will be given to you.  Have the confidence to just ask.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Completely ME,