Sunday, October 1, 2017

Clinging to the Good I Want to Do

I just read my last blog post, and I swear I lived that exact same scene the other night.

After dinner, the Mr. and I stopped by the mall to run an errand. Before leaving, he wanted to feed a sweet tooth. So once again, I found myself smack dab in the middle of a food court.

We started out at Cinnabon – you know the cinnamon, icing and bread place. Then we trekked across the food court to the Great American Cookie Company. I caught myself spellbound, staring at the chewy pecan supreme cookies and the double doozies (Ohhh the DOUBLE DOOZIES). After deciding he didn’t want cookies, we headed back to Cinnabon. In the meantime, people whizzed past me with Dairy Queen blizzards, cookies, Cinnabons. Y’all I thought I’d pass out. For real. My head was spinning. It was crazy.

So it was even crazier to realize my last blog post pretty much chronicled the exact same scene. Me in a food court (likely the same one) and wanting to eat ALL the junk food. ALL OF IT!

That post was written over a year ago – the longest I’ve ever gone between posts. When I first started to read it, I felt a twinge of shame. I thought to myself, “Wow, over a year later and here you are battling the same demons.” It’s true, between then and now I’ve fallen off the healthy eating wagon many times. At some point, I think I just climbed off, sat on the sidewalk and yielded myself to the “bad foods” that were a lot more fun to eat and seemed to be winning anyway. But as I continued reading, that post blessed me. It reminded me how just acknowledging the craziness of my cravings sucked a bit of life out of them. I got past it that day. And got past it this time, too.

Some of the weaknesses we encounter in our humanity are harder to tame than others and not as easy to put aside as we’d like them to be. The Apostle Paul talked about this in Romans 7:14-25. He laments in verse 19, “For the good that I want I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” Now doesn’t that sound like it could be applied to a good old fashioned healthy eating struggle? It sure has been my story. So, this summer, I tried to attack it a different way.

First, I asked for help. A few months ago after our vacation, I sat down and had a come to Jesus meeting (with just me and Jesus) in my journal. The entry started like this:

“I started this on a new page, because these words will be harsh yet truthful. I may just need to toss them after I face them.”

I needed to face the fact that I was once again off track and needed His help getting back on and staying on, because clearly my will alone isn’t quite strong enough.

Then I tried to grab support and accountability – COMMUNITY – wherever I could find it. It helps to have a loving, supportive husband (who, of course, doesn’t want to hear me complaining about my stomach feeling out of whack all the time, either). But I also use my Instagram page a lot. There I follow, chat with and am totally inspired by other #healthfoodies, and I find new recipes to make. I also share my journey through pics of meals, grocery hauls and food prep. It’s a lot of fun and somehow encourages me to keep going.

It’s been almost two months since I met with Jesus in my journal that day, and I feel good. I’m down a few pounds. I sleep harder, and I have much more energy throughout the day. I have manageable pain during “that special time of the month” and minimal bloating. That’s enough to make me dance right there.

And I cook y’all. I’m so NOT a cook. I really don’t like to. But dare I say, I’m beginning to enjoy it a little. Because I know when I cook it means another week of eating well. Those are baby steps to some, but very important steps for me. I’m not perfect, but I’m finding balance and trying to cling to the good that I want to do.

So that’s where I am today. What’s going on in your world? What is the “good” you want to do but can’t seem to cling to tight enough?

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sometimes, I just want to eat junk…

In our world, weekdays are pretty busy. So when the clock strikes quittin’ time on Friday, the Mr. and I make it a point to go kick it. Now “kickin’ it” takes on a variety of forms for us. For example, we welcomed this weekend with dinner (for us) then a little sandal shopping (for me) at one of my favorite malls.

As we walked through the mall food court, I was immediately swept away by the mixed aromas of fresh baked cookies, waffle fries and an array of other deep fried foods – the likes of which I haven’t indulged in nearly two months. Before I knew it, we were right smack through the center of it all, and y’all I thought I’d pass out. I’m not totally sure, but I think I felt heart palpitations. And even though I really enjoyed my earlier simple, yet savory meal of rotisserie chicken and grilled zucchini, I could’ve sworn my mouth began to water at the sight of a plate of orange chicken and a slice of mall cheese pizza.

Cheese pizza FROM A MALL, people…

© Robert Byron |

© Robert Byron |

So, at that moment I announced to my husband that sometimes I just want to eat junk. Junk. You know – fatty fried foods, salty snacks and oh yes REFINED sugar. Ohhh the refined sugar. Yes, occasionally, all that greasy, artery clogging, inflammation causing junk food beckons me, like a siren’s song, to come. And sometimes I want to answer the call. I want to just close my eyes and scarf down a piece of cake with really sweet frosting then wash it all away with a nice, strong, ice cold coca cola (which, by the way, I stopped drinking years ago).

I made my declaration and then, oddly enough, I felt better. I was done. Which leads me to one of the most valuable observations I’ve made while on this healthy eating journey – sharing my raw thoughts and feelings about food, cravings and such is pretty liberating. There’s something about simply acknowledging that seems to strip my cravings of their evil hypnotic powers, at least for the moment. And, for the moment, is usually all I need.

Could work for you, too. Maybe your struggle isn’t with maintaining a healthy diet. Maybe it’s something else that taunts or tempts you. Have you ever considered shining a spotlight on it and sharing it with someone else as a way of severing its annoying grip? Think about it. 

In the meantime, I continue my journey one day at a time, one meal at a time, often one moment at a time. Choosing blueberries over butterfingers isn’t always easy, but somebody’s gotta do it. Stay tuned for other valuable insights and wisdom gained from my healthy eating journey.

Oh btw, the sandal shopping came up empty that day, but the next day… #score

Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 2: Five Simple Ways to Be Healthy

Week 2_Be HealthyIt’s that time of year again. You know the drill, ladies. In January, we vow to pull out our walking shoes and pound some pavement in hopes of shaving off those extra holiday pies, cakes and cookies that suddenly showed up on our thighs and tummy. Check the list of just about anyone who makes New Year’s resolutions and you are likely to find something regarding an improvement to their physical well-being. Exercise more… Eat better… Run a marathon… etc. etc.

I turned 40 almost two years ago. This rite of passage into REAL adulthood (because of course you’re not truly grown until you hit 40, right?) came with a few unexpected surprises. The main one is the seemingly intense opposition to any attempt to lose weight. Whereas only a few years ago all I had to do was cut out sweets and that alone would annihilate any extra pounds I may have gained. Not so today, my friends. It seems I received a new metabolism when I turned 40. I can’t prove it, but I think they traded me out for a used model. Hmmm…

So, although I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I did enter this year relieved the holiday eating season was over. I’m ready to get back to basics with the better health habits that have served me well in the past. I realize not everyone has a need to resolve to lose a few pounds, but we all should have an ongoing resolve to be healthy. With that in mind, here’s a short list of five things everyone should do in an effort to be healthy.

  1. Eat right: Over the years I’ve successfully cut out many foods that I know aren’t good for me, but I still have a few to go. Fruits, veggies, whole grains and protein are always winners. Make sure you’re eating enough servings of them all.
  2. Get moving: I’ll admit this is the area that challenges me the most. It’s important to find some form of physical activity you enjoy. Actually enjoying it will increase the likelihood that you will continue to do it. Having an exercise partner helps, as well. I’m still working on finding something I truly enjoy. In the meantime, good old fashioned walking always helps.
  3. Drink water: The recommendations on daily water intake vary. I have always tried to stick to the 8-8 oz glasses a day. When I am actually able to meet that goal on a regular basis I can see and feel the difference.
  4. Get check-ups: Do you get regular check-ups from a primary care physician and/or gynecologist? If not, you should. Now is as good a time as any to start. My annual check-ups from both are coming up soon.
  5. Laugh often: Proverbs 17:22a says, “A joyful heart is good medicine.”(emphasis added) One thing that brings me great joy is any cause to belt out a hearty laugh. I can actually feel the difference, and I’ll bet you can, too. Try it. Find reasons to laugh a little more and let the joyful heart that comes with a good laugh work in you like medicine.

In closing, I’ve learned that good health is not just about skinny jeans and dress sizes. We all know how healthy one is cannot be completely determined by whether or not she’s a skinny mini or a plus size pretty. Likewise, there are some things about this life that will forever remain outside our control. However, the one thing we can do is simply resolve to do our part to take care of the bodies we’ve been given. I hope you’ll join me this week and forever and commit to be a healthier you.

What are some of your favorite “be healthy” routines?