Thursday, September 30, 2010

♥ you ♥ blessed ♥ my ♥ heart ♥

You know, when you go through something difficult - something you know you MUST do but you are scared to death to go through it - the scariest part can be learning who your true friends are through it. I read in a blog post recently about someone who actually lost friends as they were losing weight - the closer they got to meeting their goal, the more jealous some of their friends became, offering every temptation they could to get off track. I don't think that's truly that uncommon. People act out when they feel insecure and having someone that used to make them feel secure suddenly make them feel insecure can be that way.

I've been through some tough stuff in the last few years and long story short, I felt like I'd lost a lot of friends along the way. Often I felt that my very presence created a divide. Very few that actually "turned" on me so-to-speak but there were several that I felt awkward around. I didn't want to and I don't think that they wanted to but there the uneasiness sat in the room, as if it were an invited guest. I hated that guest. Seemed for a while that he followed me everywhere...

Things have really mellowed out though over the summer. A lot of people tell me they notice a change in me - that I've got my smile back. Some people that, I think, thought that I was just jumping off the deep end have had their fears calmed as it's been over a year now and I'm still sane; I still love Jesus as much (I'd actually say more) than I did before; and it's undeniable that I'm just plain happy again. Still, I've been hesitant to be around some folks because I just never knew if that crazy guest would crash my party again.

Tonight I felt like he got the message that he's an unwanted guest - by all parties. Surrounded by some of my most favorite friends who've been in my life for a decade this month, I felt a warmth in their friendship, a depth to their smiles, such an intense was an incredibly wonderful time. It was simple, no fanfare to the evening. In fact it was just practicing a song to perform for a wedding but being able to feel "normal" around them and to not have the weight of what's happened overshadowing the moment meant the world to me.

I'm grateful for them and for all of those who have loved me through this time. I'm grateful for those who sought me out to ask the tough questions rather than making assumptions. I'm grateful for those who have had the grace to understand that God does not fit all things into a cookie-cutter plan. (Side thought - if he did, we'd probably be able to figure him out and I don't believe I serve a god that I can fathom in my very finite human mind...but that's for another blog post!) I'm grateful for those who worked through the times that I brought my unwanted guest along. I'm especially grateful for the very few that I let in deep enough to see the whole picture and who treated me with the utmost love & respect and that I've shared the deepest relationships with that I've ever known. I feel very blessed.


Good Choices - even with pizza!!

Yesterday was a GREAT day on the weight loss front! First, not only did I do my daily 10 minutes of exercises but I also broke out the Yoga & Pilates DVD - felt great! :) The second one I'm even more excited about. When trying to figure out what to do for dinner, it'd been a long day and no one felt like cooking so the "p" word came up - PIZZA. I remembered from my previous dieting days that I'd order pizza with peppers & onions, a thin crust, extra sauce & half the cheese. Our local pizza joint offers coupons that if you buy a large you get a medium for free so the boys got pepperoni on the large and I ordered my specialty on the medium.

When it came I couldn't find the nutrition info, I was hungry so I just gave up looking for it and ate what seemed a reasonable amount (about 1/4 of the pizza cut in squares; the equivalent of 2 triangle slices). I kinda wanted more but since I couldn't easily figure out the calories, thought I better stop there. After I ate, it finally dawned on me where I came up with the idea to order the pizza like that - Pizza Hut does a Fit n' Delicious menu. So I quickly search the calories on there thinking I'd probably at least gone to the top end of my calorie intake for the day if not over altogether. Well, I thought, at least it got my veggie intake up there between the sauce & the toppings.

Low and behold - I was fine!! Not only that but I still had about 200 calories to go before I'd hit the top range of my daily calories! I could've had more but by that point I'd been away from the food enough to realize I was actually full. Hmmmm...go figure! :)

Everyday there's a chance to make choices. Really every moment there is. It seems to me that the key is just getting the good to outweigh the bad. To choose the better over the good. The best over the better. Looking at it like that, out of bad, good, better and best I've got a 75% shot of picking a choice that puts me in the right direction. I like those odds. I'll shoot for best but when better & good are still chose over bad, I'll count it a success.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Memorable Life

It's amazing the power a little cartoon can have. It wasn't all that long ago that a memorable life seemed to be overshadowed by the day-to-day.

Reaching for whatever I wanted to acheive seemed out of the question. So many ways I felt held back. This picture would've brought me to tears not too long ago. Not only did I feel like I chose the average road in a lot of ways but that I was stuck there with no say in what was to come.

Today I look at it though and I am happy, knowing I've chosen the path to the right. No longer at a crossroads or constantly feeling like I need to jump out of the car on the other road. I've also seen that I can make a choice in this...I don't have to stay on the road that's leading me to a place of unrest. I can chose the path of peace.

Yep...right where I am, today, is good. Tomorrow is gonna be better. And the prospects of the future are endless.


I believe

I stayed within my calories yesterday!! Yahoo! I know I should really only weigh myself once a week but having done this before, I know that the first week or 2 you actually see a lot come off. Soooo...against sound advice I did a weigh-in and am down 4 pounds at this point!! I'm so excited! Which really tells me that my eating was out of control before b/c I really don't feel like I've done much. I'm certainly not exercising like a mad woman or anything. I've met my 10 minute goal each day but come on...that's no marathon or anything.

I really do believe that I can do this. In a way that I have never believed in myself before. I have a mindset that I didn't before. Before I had always felt that there were some things that were just meant to be as they are - I have no control over them or their outcomes and I really let that thinking carry over to my thoughts on weight loss. Now having made some changes that I thought I couldn't before in other areas of my life, I can see my flawed thinking more clearly. I could get on that initial "weight loss high" before and be successful but once that wore off and it became more like work, it fell apart every time. I see now that I can't go there. This has to be something that I can make a lasting change with, not the "go cold turkey" method. I'm not wired that way because once I'd slip up, it was all over. No, now I see it needs to be gradual. I read somewhere that I need to not just accept my mistakes but to enjoy them because that's what makes me me. That thought really had an impact on me. I am accountable for the good choices I make and the bad ones. And one bad mistake doesn't take away from the good choices I can make afterwards.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

D-Day is here (Down-A-Couple-Dress-Sizes Day!)

Yesterday was Day 1 for me with this healthier lifestyle. The caption I found with this picture was: Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal. I am determined to find glory and to reach my goal!!

I found this incredible website: to help me out and I was amazed when I went to enter in the foods I ate - all the nutritional info was calculated for me! Wahoo!! That's been my least favorite part of tracking the foods I eat in the past and here it's all done for me!

I stayed close to my goal though I did go a little bit over. Not as far over as I think I would have gone had I not been tracking all day. And I've learned that my Mickey D's sweet tea has got to go. :( If I hadn't had that and had water instead, I would've not only reached my water goal but would've reached my calorie goal for the day too.

I did stick with my 10 minutes of exercise both yesterday and today. Actually, yesterday was 15 and today I plan to get out and do some exercise later on. If the rain ever stops, it'll be an outside journey. If not, I'll break out a yoga/pilates DVD. Maybe I can get the boys to do it with me? Ha!

So all in all, I feel like it's been a good start. Here's to another beautifully lived day! :)  


Monday, September 27, 2010

Slowing down

I just read the headline of an article about the goal to curb childhood obesity by 2015. This stream of consciousness followed:
  • How do they plan to do that?
  • Probably a bunch of marketing techniques...
  • Get all of America on board with it; get everyone to stop eating fast food so much.
  • Yeah right...that'll happen; not with the stories I hear of so many people being expected to work insane hours at their jobs.
  • Til that stops, people won't stop chosing the convenience over health.
  • people used to be healthier b/c you HAD to go home and make dinner. America stopped at dinnertime.
  • You can see it in the movies. Miracle on 34th Street - great example. Mr. Macy himself is having a big meeting with his executives and one taps his watch and Mr. Macy says, "oh, yes, we all need to get home for dinner." Not today...
  • I wish our culture would swing back that way...I hate the go-go-go mindset.
In the past couple years, I've slowed down a LOT. It started out as a way to isolate myself some because of all that I was going through but once the pace lessened I realized that I really liked it. Slowing down means a lot more than what it can seem to an over-booked outsider (ah-hem, that was me). On the outside to me it looked like giving up my involvment with different groups and different people which seemed like it meant giving up friends. What I've learned is that it means giving up acquaintences - people I had previously given way too much of myself. It also means that I have gained the right to keep 3-4 of my weeknights free because I WANT to be home with my family and I don't need any more reason than that. It means that my time is free to be more available to spend time with those that truly mean the most to me. My inner circle is tighter and so much deeper as a result.

So here's to taking a little time to slow down, to free up the calendar, to just enjoy life at the pace it was taken by nearly every generation before us. And in the process we just might find a little more time to eat healthier, exercise more and sleep better.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Quick update

Today's been a weird day. It's been so long and I feel like I've done about a zillion things with nothing to show for it. The house has toys strung all over it (AGAIN), the dishes need done (AGAIN) and the kids are winning the no-sleep award (AGAIN) despite the fact that the adults are losing miserably. It's not been a bad day though; just one of those where you wonder how in the world you crammed so much in and then wonder how it can look like you did nothing. ;)

I am pretty excited about 2 things that happened today in the weight-loss front. One - I rode a bike today for the first time in YEARS! I was a little shaky (especially given my knee injury from June) but I rode it! The actual riding felt great for my knees; the putting-my-foot-down-if-I'm-getting-off-balance thing kinda hurt a lot. Might be a while before I feel confident on it but I think in time I'd really enjoy it. Either way - it got me up and moving! While the bike ride got cut short, it made it a lot easier to go take a walk to the park with the kids. So 25 min of cardio altogether - not bad for an early start!

The other thing is this great website I found called Wow! To think that I was considering spending money on a not-anywhere-close-to-comparable website for support. This site has so much stuff in it! You can track just about anything you want and there's the community support that I was looking for too. I'm so excited about it!

Well, it's late and I'm ready to crash so just a quick update for tonight. Here's to a great start this week!

♥ Meg

Friday, September 24, 2010

Beautifully Lived and Loved

In spring of 2009, I took my first trip down to Nashville, TN. I'd had friends years ago that took a family vacation there come home and tell me, "you HAVE to go there's your town!" Little did I know how incredibly spot-on they were. I've done some traveling through the years but I'd never visited a place that I felt so instantaneously at home than when I've been in Nashville. I could (and just may someday!) definitely live there which is saying a lot for this home-body girl. Something transformational took place within me when I first went and I knew that I had been forever changed.

A big part of that was my experiences at the Bluebird Cafe. It's nothing spectacular to look at but the music that happens there is so authentic. Every show is for singer/songwriters only. You're not supposed to talk during the shows, it's all acoustic, everyone's crammed together about as tight as can be on these crappy chairs & itty-bitty tables and I LOVE it!! I came across it when I was trying to decide where to go hear some good music but knowing that the bar scene just wasn't for me - especially since I was there by myself. I happened across a despription that basically said if you're looking for a place to be loud - don't bother coming! Ahhhh...the place for me! ♥

So I showed up having no clue about the reservation system and lucked out to be seated in THE best seat in the house! (Knowing how it works now, I cannot believe I got seated there without a reservation!! God knew that I needed to be there - that's the only explanation I can come up with!) The gentleman I was seated with offered for me to sit with him at the tables he'd reserved the next night as well (being alone as well, if they couldn't find another single, they'd boot him out to a different section so they could fill all the seats; but if I came, we'd both get great seats!). Of course I went. Our seats were so close to the artists that I had to watch how I crossed my legs so that I wouldn't knock over the guitar. All of the artists were friendly and genuine. They do 2 shows each night: the first one with lesser-knows songwriters and the second one with people with more "hits". Now having been to 6 nights at the Bluebird, nearly all of my favorites have been the earlier shows (though, I should say I've never seen a show that I didn't like there). I don't know...they've all just had this down-to-earth quality that made the music just that much better.

One of my favorite artists that's come out of my Bluebird experiences has been Marcia Ramirez. Her music is exactly what I love - kinda country, kinda folksy, a teensy twinge of pop. She was so genuine - like you could actually have a conversation with her. When she sang, you felt like you were in her living room rather than a cafe.I highly recommend listening to her:

One of the songs she did that night is called Beautifully Lived. You know, when you're in the midst of making some life-changing decisions and feel like the world around you is crashing, sometimes a song can hit you like a ton of bricks...there were several songs like that for me in those first few nights at the Bluebird from all of the artists. But then there are songs that catch your attention and slowly work their way into your don't even realize they're affecting you as much as they do and then one day you realize it's become your mantra. That's what this song was like for me. I heard her sing it one time and it stuck in my mind. Here's the words to the chorus:

Beautifully lived, beautifully loved
Look at my life and say, "well done"
Everyday a beautiful gift
Hoping something that I did
Made somebody's day, made somebody say,
"She had a life beautifully lived."
 As I've been working my way back to a healthier place mentally, this song rings in my mind. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone focused on having a life that was "beautifully lived"? With the experiences I've had in recent years to learn from, the support I have now and the much healthier mindset, I have been able to offer more grace to people, be more understanding, realize that I cannot guess or assume all facets of any situation because there is always more to it than I will ever know. It's a work in progress but it's definitely progressing - and I feel like a better person for it. I feel like I'm learning how to show more love, to be a better friend, to strive for authenticity. I'm working toward a "beautifullly lived" life.

It's not been easy. I've had to give up trying to please everyone around me in order to be able to do this. I've had to make some hard choices to be here but I'd do it 1,000 times over again to be in this place I am right now. For the first time in my life, it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks all the time. I let the approval of others rule my world - I spoke of following God (it was certainly my heart's intent) but I greatly confused that with the approval of His people. I have learned that those can oftentimes be two VERY different things. Now I try to let love rule and not worry about the rest.  Forget the details that people get so caught up in. The endless debates, the all take away from what God wants us to do the most. The two greatest commandments are to LOVE God and to LOVE people.That sounds like a life beautifully lived to me. That sounds like the life for me.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

So many changes...

Life has been full of so many big changes over the last several years. I'm at a place now where I feel more content than I have in...well, I'd say a long time but I'm not so sure I've ever felt quite like this. I know a confidence and peace that I didn't even know I was missing. Times before I thought I was strong - now I realize I just knew how to project being strong. I thought I understood what it meant to feel at peace but now I feel like I really get it. I feel like I really GET a lot of things now that I didn't before (or at least didn't get how much I was missing): love, contentment, confidence, a true relationship with God. I've got a new start and, Lord help me, I have every intention of making the most of it.

So that's what this blog is about. I'd gone incognito with my blogging the last few years b/c that's what I needed then. I never stopped writing - I just took some time to write for my eyes only. And they're still there where no one can see them - a place for me & God to talk things out without a web's worth of opinions to weigh in on them. But I've missed sharing thoughts with others. I love writing...really I just plain love being creative but it's not the same to be creative if you don't share it with others. I love this quote by Lucy MacDonald:

"Use your talent (everybody has one) any way you can. Don't keep it for yourself like a miser - spend it like a millionare!"
Isn't that a great thought?!? Whether anyone considers it a talent of mine or not, I do love writing and don't like the idea of being a miser so I'm here to spend, spend, spend!! And really, anything that feels like shopping without the loss of actual money - I'm in! :)

So why now? Well, partly the timing just seems right but it's also that I'm also using this for a little accountability. I've given the whole weight loss thing a shot a couple times before and been successful but I always gained the weight back. With this new mindset, I've realized that before I wasn't content or happy with myself before losing the weight. I always saw it as something that would bring happiness to me. When the weight came off, I'd drop jean sizes, have more energy, etc. but it didn't change the happiness level like I'd expected. What solidified this for me is that a little less than 2 years ago when I was in THE darkest moments of my life, I lost weight without thinking about it. Yet, I felt miserable.

Fast-forward to today. I'm pretty content. I feel good about myself. I feel beautiful and desirable just as I am. I have amazing people in my inner circle that have encouraged to love me for me EXACTLY as I am no matter what the scale says. And lately it's been clicking - I finally love myself. That thing I've heard people say you need to do but I could never quite get it right - I get it now! And because of that, I'm ready to get healthy for me. Not to look a certain way or have people tell me I'm looking great or to say I can fit into a size, this is because I want to take care of me. I've got too many dreams not yet acheived to do anything else.

So Monday is D-day (giving myself time to get to the grocery store!). Exercise & healthy eating - here I come!! Exercise - the goal is to do something at least 5 days per week even if it's just 10 minutes and increase as it becomes a part of my routine. Healthy eating - that's a bit more complicated. I know a lot about general nutrition from doing this before (calories, fat, etc.)but I'd really like to try to minimize the processed foods that are part of my diet. There's a LOT of processed, synthetic foods out there that come in easy 100-calorie packs. So while the goal is to get to a more whole foods, natural diet, I may fall back on some old low-cal, low-fat standbys that don't fit into that category to get me started. In the meantime, I'll be studying up on what's healthier in general so that trips to the grocery store don't have to take me hours on end! I've got a journal to keep track of what I'm doing - that was CRUCIAL each time I had any significant, healthy weight loss in the past. Complete with gem stickers to give myself for meeting my eating & exercise goals each day! They're so sparkly & fun...;)

If you're still reading this, I hope I've inspired you in some way (or at least entertained you - ha!). I'd love to know if you're keeping up with me - please sign up as a follower. :) There will be more pictures to come and some music on here as well. I'm excited to share a little bit about the title of this blog and the artist behind it that I met in Nashville but that'll have to be for another day. For now, I'm off to work.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...