Tag Archives: true confessions

My Fat Story

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Encouraged by Tabitha over at Meet Penny, I wanted to share with you my fat story.

I have been overweight my entire adult life.

I didn’t start out that way.  As a teenager I wasn’t overweight, even though I thought I was soooo fat.  {At that time I was 5ft 7in and weighed 135 pounds.}  Add in a sedentary lifestyle, some really bad emotional eating habits, little to no exercise, absolutely no will power and about ten years and guess what you get?  An overweight, unhappy person who is very much in denial about what was happening to my own body.

The denial lasted a few years.  I had gone through a divorce and had no idea what to do with my life.  Did I mention I was an emotional eater?  Yeah, I didn’t even know what that was at the time.  Denial to the bitter end, I guess.

I eventually woke up and realized I needed to make some changes in my life.  I was in my mid twenties and weighed about 215 pounds.  So I joined a gym.  My job at the time was more active as well.  I began to eat more nutritious things and watched my food portions.  I got fit.  I got remarried.  I was so proud of myself.  I didn’t get anywhere close to the 135 pounds I was from the high school years, but I was happy with the direction I was heading.  I had shed about 45 pounds and countless inches.

And then I got pregnant.

And for some reason I used that as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate ice cream was my favorite snack.  I stopped exercising as hard — what if it wasn’t good for the baby??  I’d had a miscarriage before.  I didn’t want another one.  And so I slowly stopped exercising altogether.  Unfortunately, I was still eating like I was exercising.  Oh and don’t forget, I could also use the excuse that I was eating for two!

By the time I delivered a healthy, happy 6lb little girl I had gained 60 pounds.  (If you’re doing the math, that’s 230 pounds.)  I was miserable.  I didn’t want to take any pictures of myself with my sweet little baby.  I hated that I had gotten to this point.  Oh, don’t worry, friends said.  The weight just melts off while you’re breastfeeding.

It didn’t.

I breastfed for a year didn’t lose a pound besides the weight I lost immediately postpartum.  So at this point I’m 220 pounds and in denial again.  I hated the way I looked but I didn’t do anything to change it.  I don’t know why.  I think I had a bit of PPD (I am prone to bouts of depression).  I was a full time homemaker by now.  My dream job.  What I’d always wanted to do for my whole life.

And I wasn’t happy.

I was happy on the outside.  And I did — and still do — enjoy my job very much.  I wouldn’t trade my time at home for anything.  But on the inside I was a mess.  I was so caught up in denial about what I was doing to my body.

I blamed everyone but myself for the way I was.  My parents didn’t teach me about nutritious eating and exercise.  It’s my body’s fault; I have a slow metabolism.  My husband loves me just the way I am.  I’ve tried to lose weight and I just can’t.  Why can she eat whatever she wants and not gain an ounce?  It’s just not fair.

I did exercise some.  And I did eat healthy.  Sometimes.  I did just enough so when the scale wouldn’t budge — or moved the wrong direction — I would get angry, frustrated and just give up.  Any excuse to not have to really try.

Eighteen months after giving birth the first time I was pregnant again.  This time I was sick with “morning” sickness for about five months but I still gained 25 pounds.  By the time I delivered my son I weighed 252 pounds.  The most I have ever weighed in my life.

Surely breastfeeding would work this time around! I thought.  But it didn’t, even though I breastfed even longer this time.  I’d had to have a Cesarean with my boy and used that as an excuse not to “exert” myself.  When I finally stopped breastfeeding (less than a year ago) I didn’t have any more excuses.

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I’m in my mid-thirties.  I can’t blame anyone but myself for the way I am.  I know how to eat.  I know that I need to exercise.  I know how to take care of myself.  I just make excuses why I can’t.  Yes, I’m busy.  So is everyone else on the planet.  Yes, I have a slow metabolism.  So what?  Get over it and keep moving forward.  Yes, it’s more expensive to eat healthy.  So are the medical bills if I don’t eat healthy.

I started exercising a little more.  Eating a little better.  And very, VERY slowly the weight has started coming off.

It’s now a little more than two years since I gave birth to my son and almost a year since I stopped breastfeeding.  My weight now is 212 pounds.

I set a goal this year to lose between two and three pounds a month.  No, it’s not up to Biggest Loser standards.  But it is realistic and it is doable.  And I feel good about it.

So if you’re reading this and you’re on your own weight loss journey — or if you’ve completed your journey — please let me know about it.  We all need some motivation from time to time.  I plan on sharing my progress along the way.  I hope my transparency will encourage others who may be in my shoes.

If you have been thinking about it but haven’t yet done anything about it yet, may I encourage you to just do it?  Start small.  Join a support group.  Ask a friend to go walking with you.  Give up desserts for a week.  Drink enough water for your body.  Just do something to improve your health.

losingweightishard

When You Feel Discontentment and What to Do About It

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It doesn’t seem that long ago that I posted my goals for 2013.  I’ve learned a lot in the past year about many things — parenting, God, homeschooling, blogging, marriage and definitely myself.  Just to name a few.  🙂

And while I made some great strides on my goals for last year I also failed miserably at some of them too.  (I’ll be writing an update about all of that in a few days.)

One of the most important things that I learned about myself in the past few months is that I compare myself to others entirely too much.  And while that can be a good thing (I think one should always strive to be better and do better) it can also be very, very dangerous.

And I was living dangerously.

I was beginning to live in discontent.

The Bible has a lot to say about being content in your circumstances. (See Phil. 4, Heb. 13, 1 Thes. 5)   I am to have joy and contentment in all things!

I’ve taken the past several weeks to do some soul searching and realigning my priorities with God’s.  I’ve intentionally stayed away from most of the wonderful blogs I read.  Not because these women aren’t great, Godly women, but because my selfish heart wouldn’t stop comparing my life with theirs.

I’ve intentionally stayed away from this blog.  How can I post about being a happy homemaker if I’m living with a spirit of discontent?

Thankfully, and only through God’s help, I am dealing with these issues.  I know discontent is something I’ll have to continue to guard myself against and I know it won’t always be easy.  But who said life was easy, eh? 🙂

If this is something you are dealing with right now as well then I urge you to find joy and contentment in your surroundings.  Maybe try some of these things that helped me:

— Get in God’s Word.  It’s hard to be discontent if you’re in the will of God.  Study, memorize, pray and immerse yourself in the Bible.
— Recognize your triggers and stay away from them.  In my case, I unsubscribed from some of the blogs I read until I could get myself back to the place I needed to be.
— Write down reasons you have to be thankful.  Make a list and keep adding to it.  When you feel the discontent rising, take out the list and read it again.
— Remind yourself that your situation is unlike any other.  Every family is different.  Every person is different.  Your strengths may be my weaknesses and vise versa.  You can’t compare apples to oranges.
— Realize that the real world is not Pinterest perfect.  The bloggers you read usually show the best of themselves.  The pictures and posts you see on FaceBook are usually putting their best foot forward as well.  Most people don’t show their dirty floors or less than perfectly manicured hair and face when they allow you a glimpse into their lives via social media.

So don’t beat yourself up because your family life is not like the Joneses.  Just be the best person God made you to be.

November Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

These were my goals for October:

~ 1,250 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 200 squats through the month
~ Zumba or another exercise DVD at least once per week

And this is how I did on them:

~  1,356 fitness minutes.  Woohoo!  Surpassed my goal!
~  I did not hit my ST goal.  I’d say I did about 30 mins, 2x per week.  I’ll have to refocus on that this month.
~  Cue the confetti!!  I finally hit a squats goal!!  I’m so proud of myself!
~  I have been lazy.  My cat knocked the Wii sensor on the floor behind the TV and I haven’t pulled everything out to get to it.  Yeah, I know.  Lame excuse.  So I didn’t reach this goal.  But I did hit my fitness minutes anyway, so I’m still pleased with my progress.

I surpassed two of the four goals.  Could have been better… could have been worse.  It was a really tough month for me (as I knew it would be) so I’m happy I was able to do the things I did.  I am very pleased to mention that I lost seven pounds and 1.5 inches in October.  Woohoo!  I’m doing a happy dance right now!

Goals for November

~ 1,500 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 3x week
~ 250 squats through the month
~ Walk/jog at least 100 miles (of overall activity — not just fitness minutes)

And here we go!

October Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

These were my goals for September:

~ 1,000 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 300 squats through the month (maybe I should work my way up :))
~ Zumba once per week

And this is how I did on them:

~  1,315 fitness minutes.  Woohoo!
~  Without looking back through my fitness program tracker (because I’m being lazy today) I would say that I made (or surpassed) my goal each week.
~ I tried to do this, I really did.  But I think I tried too many in one day.  I was hobbling around for three days after that!  Needless to say, I have decided to scale back again and try again.
~ I only did my Zumba routine twice during the month.  I did get a new exercise DVD (a Leslie Sansone one) and did that one several times.

I’m super pumped that I exceeded my fitness minutes goal.  I have been doing a pretty good job with ST — but I do need to find some heavier weights for some of the exercises.  This month is incredibly busy — son’s first birthday, 31 days of blog posting challenge, family visiting, new eight week fitness challenge is starting that I’m leading on Sparkpeople, and you know — all of the other things that have to be done too.  My family would probably get cranky if I don’t feed them regularly. 🙂

But anyway, that doesn’t mean that I need to stop focusing on my fitness goals either.  So here’s what I have planned:

Goals for October

~ 1,250 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 200 squats through the month
~ Zumba or another exercise DVD at least once per week

Y’all wish me luck!  I’m going to need it!

September Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

These were my goals for August:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes.
~ Vary the routine a bit:  elliptical, Zumba (on my Wii), exercise DVDs (like Walk Away the Pounds or Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred).
~ Aim for 5 – 7 servings of fruits/veggies each day.  I stink at this some days.
~ 500 squats during the month.  That’s a bit more than 30 squats per day, 4 days per week.

And this is how I did on them:

~  1,460 fitness minutes.  So close.
~ I did vary the routine a bit, but I did a lot of plain ol’ walking too… although I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either!
~ I did not get 5 – 7 servings every day but I certainly made more of an effort and did better than I have been doing recently.  And it was fun to figure out how to add more to my day!
~ To be honest I completely forgot about this goal until the last week of the month.  I had done a few as part of my strength training routine through the month, but not nearly enough to add up to 500.

Not too bad overall (except the squats).  I do feel like I’m getting a bit burned out on so much exercise every day.  I think I’m going to scale it back a bit this month just to give myself more breathing room and a chance to focus more on other things.

Goals for September

~ 1,000 fitness minutes
~ Strength training:  30 mins, 4x week
~ 300 squats through the month (maybe I should work my way up :))
~ Zumba once per week

My Journey to a More Disciplined Life

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One of my favorite bloggers, Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom, wrote an ebook last year called 21 Days To A More Disciplined Life.

I’ve had the book for a while but I hadn’t had (or made) the time to start on it.  Since recently adding homeschooling to the list of things that I have to do each day, I decided that now was probably the best time to learn to be more disciplined.

Because oh, how I need it.

Everyone has 24 hours in a day.  How I choose to use those hours is up to me.  And I don’t make very good choices sometimes.  In fact, my lack of self-discipline is sometimes quite appalling.

Making weekly goals does help me tremendously to stay on task (which is something else I learned from Money Saving Mom) but I need… more.

So the first thing I did was put a block on certain websites that seem to eat up my time without any real gain (sorry, Facebook).  I love the StayFocusd app available on Google Chrome.  I only allow myself a handful of minutes each day for these websites.  If I go over that the StayFocusd app shuts me down.  I love it.  And hate it.  But mostly love it.

And now I’m ready to actually read the book.

I know the book says it takes 21 days, but I’m giving myself more time than that.  I know  at this point in my life that it’ll be next to impossible to complete the assignments every day.  My aim is to complete five steps each week.  That way if I miss a day or two I won’t start beating myself up and just stop reading it altogether.

Yeah, that’s happened before.

Have you read the book?  How do you stay disciplined?

This post is linked at:

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To Home School or Not To Home School?

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to homeschool or not

Several weeks ago I decided to begin easing my way into homeschooling by starting with my daughter C (who just turned three) this fall.  Even though I’m a SAHM, I had never even really considered homeschooling and this was not an easy decision for me to make.

Homeschooling is for smart people.  You know, school teachers who left their career to stay at home with their children.  Children need to go to school, right?  Don’t they need the social interaction they learn from being around other children (and someone other than Mummy)?  And everyone knows that home schooled kids are just a little… weird.   A little too sheltered.  Maybe a little too smart.

Oh the lies we tell ourselves.

If I’m being completely honest, I just didn’t want to home school.  I am selfish.  I wanted the time that the kids were at school to be my time.

I still do.

There.  I said it.

However, as much as I want to be selfish I also want what is best for my children.  I want to be the Mum that God wants me to be.  This is my calling; to raise these precious babes of mine.  And while I’m sure I’ll never get a Mother Of the Year award, I do want to look back on my life and be proud of — at least most of — the choices I made concerning our children.  God entrusted them to my husband and myself.   And my husband trusts me to raise them while he is out earning a living and providing for our family.   And let’s face it, they’re only here for a short time.

So if I’m able to home school, why wouldn’t I?

It sounds like such an easy decision to make when you lay it out like that, doesn’t it?  So why am I still hesitating?

In a word:  fear.

I’m afraid that I won’t have enough patience with my little girl.  We butt heads so often already, this young independent one (totally don’t know who she got that from).   I’m afraid that I will not teach her enough and she’ll be behind.  I’m afraid I’ll try and teach her too much, too quickly and turn her off on learning.  I don’t know what the proper channels are to be government approved to home school or what goes into it.   I’m afraid of so many things.

But basically it all boils down to this:  I’m afraid I’ll fail.  That I won’t be enough.

So to get over my feelings of inadequacy I’ve come up with a homeschooling few rules:

  • Plan ahead, plan ahead, plan ahead.  I always feel more confident if I’m prepared.  And I know what’s coming up I can get help if I need it.
  • Make it fun.  If it’s fun then it’s not “learning” (even though it is).  Making it fun will hopefully help keep attitudes in check (both hers and mine).
  • Take it one year at a time.  I may find that teaching is just not for me.  Or it may get to the point that it’s better for everyone involved if we call it quits.  I just don’t want to add stress to myself by deciding right now that we’re going to home school til college.
  • Take it one day at a time.  Who says school has to happen during school hours?  The beauty of home schooling is that it can happen any time and anywhere.  Some days you just need to play “hookie”.
  • Give grace.  Give myself grace if we decide to stop homeschooling.  Give myself grace when I have those feelings of doubt or when I screw up (because it’s going to happen).  Give my children grace when they screw up (because that’s going to happen too).  In those times just remember to take a step back and give grace.  And pray.

Definitely pray.  Because that’s what holds everything together.  That’s what holds me together.

In a few weeks we will begin our home schooling adventures.  I’ve picked out the curriculum (which I love; but more on that next week) and prepared a few weeks in advance.  And I will try to blog each weekend about our week.

I think I’m ready.

Wish us luck.  And please pray.

August Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

July has already come and gone??  It’ll be Christmas before we know it!  And to be honest, I’m already ready for the cooler weather.  Outdoor activities have become more of a chore than a pleasure lately.  But y’all came to hear about how I did on my goals for July, not to hear me whine about the weather.  So here goes:

These were my goals for July:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes.
~ Strength training three days a week – arms, legs and core.
~ More time on the elliptical.
~ Lose 4 pounds.

And this is how I did on them:

~ 1,510 fitness minutes.  Woohoo!
~ Strength trained at least three days a week – and I did work on arms, legs and core each week.
~ I did spend more time on the elliptical.  I even completed a 5K on it one day!  Woohoo!
~ I didn’t lose any weight, but I didn’t gain any either.

The fitness challenge I was participating in finished during June and I was a lot more lax about my nutritional goals in July than I had been in June.  Thankfully my fitness level kept the weight off but I have no weight loss to show for it.

And when I make it a goal to lose weight I never do lose any weight.  Hmm… I’m sure there are underlying psychological issues there somewhere. :-p

I just joined a new fitness challenge (to lose 5% of my body weight in eight weeks) so I’m sure that will help get me back on track with my eating habits.

August Goals:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes.
~ Vary the routine a bit:  elliptical, Zumba (on my Wii), exercise DVDs (like Walk Away the Pounds or Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred).
~ Aim for 5 – 7 servings of fruits/veggies each day.  I stink at this some days.
~ 500 squats during the month.  That’s a bit more than 30 squats per day, 4 days per week.

July Fitness Challenge

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source: freedigitalphotos.net

source: freedigitalphotos.net

June was an interesting month.  I had several challenging goals and was determined to meet each of them.  The best laid plans and all of that.  I battled sick children, laziness, emergency medical issues with my mom and several other “excuses” that made it difficult to get things done.  You know, life.

And I failed at my goals.

But not completely.

Here were my goals for June:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes
~ Strength training at least three days a week
~ Find a better core workout and concentrate on that 2 – 3 times a week
~ More time on the elliptical — at least twice a week

And here’s how I did on them:

~ Over 1,200 fitness minutes {Nothing to sneeze at.}
~ Strength training at least three days a week {Goal!}
~ Found a better core workout.  Used it about once a week {Close to goal.}
~ I only used the elliptical a few times this month {Will have to work on this again. I bought it for a reason!}

Not too bad.  There was a time not long ago that I would have completely given up by now.  Since I didn’t do it perfectly I should just quit all together.  I still struggle with this, but I am trying to move past the negativity in my head.  Babysteps. 🙂

July goals:

~ 1,500 fitness minutes.
~ Strength training three days a week – arms, legs and core.
~ More time on the elliptical.
~ Lose 4 pounds.

How To Be A Happy Homemaker In 3 (Mostly) Easy Steps: Step 3

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how to be a happy homemaker in 3 easy steps

If you’ve missed the previous posts to this series you can find them here:
How To Be A Happy Homemaker In 3 (Mostly) Easy Steps:  Step 1
How To Be A Happy Homemaker In 3 (Mostly) Easy Steps:  Step 2

The third easy step in becoming a happier homemaker is often overlooked even by the most experienced person, but it’s a necessary step to help keep you happier and even healthier.

Make time for yourself.

I know your world revolves around your children.  And I know how hard it is sometimes to find some time for yourself.  It’s very hard.  But you have to do it.  Not only for your sake but for your family’s sake as well.

Without time to yourself you are more likely to become run down, irritable and tired.  You won’t be as patient with your babies or your spouse.  You’re also doing yourself a huge disservice by not taking time to take care of yourself.  To have a little decompression time.

Maybe the kids take a nap or have quiet time at the same time.  Instead of catching up on housework why don’t you do something for YOU?   Or maybe you are blessed to have a babysitter/family member that you can call on occasionally.  Try to find a way to sneak in a few hours (or even minutes) of quiet time for yourself.

I’m very thankful that my mother has recently retired and now comes up to see us every couple of weeks so I can have a few hours to go and do whatever I want to do.  Before that happened there were only two occasions that I had left my son (less than an hour each time) since he’s been born.  That’s only been eight months, but eight months without a break can wear you down!

So I speak from experience when I say that you need to make some time for yourself.

Also, you need to take care of yourself.  Your health — mentally, emotionally and physically — is important and you can’t put it on the back burner.

1) Get enough sleep.  The average person needs 7 – 9 hours of sleep a day.
2) Eat balanced, nutritious meals.  But don’t forget to splurge occasionally too.
3) Exercise regularly.  Whether you need to lose weight or not, everyone needs to be fit.
4) Drink your water!  Even mild dehydration causes headaches, lethargy and crankiness.
5) Have regular checkups with your doctor, dentist and eye doctor.  Don’t put it off.

Spend a little time doing things you want to do.  Maybe something that you haven’t been able to do in a while that you enjoy.  Go ice skating.  Read a book.  Go shopping.  Paint your nails.  Go out for coffee with a friend.  Do some scrapbooking.  Go to the movies.  Do some genealogy research.  Paint.  Knit.  Play the piano.  Take a nap.

I usually spend part of my alone time grocery shopping.  Many people wouldn’t think that was enjoyable but I like it, especially when I’m by myself.  I look forward to that time.

Just make some time for you to unwind and relax.  Time when you don’t have to be “Mommy” and you can just be… you.

And smile.

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So there you have it, folks.  Three relatively easy steps to become a happier you.  There are countless other ways, of course, but this should be enough to get you started.  🙂  Good luck and have fun!!