Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Transformation Tuesday

Yesterday marked 8 months into our transformative journey toward Optimal Health - which is the ultimate goal of our health program. For those of you on Facebook, it might seem like the focus is on weight loss...and it is - for the first step. Most of us who need to get healthier first need to get to a healthy weight.

I thought I would mark the occasion by reflecting on things I've learned over the past few months.

Before starting this program, I thought I could work my weight off by working out. ...three times a week for 30 minutes. False. In order to effectively lose weight by working out (and not adjusting eating habits), a person needs to work out about 90 minutes/day, err-day. "Ain't nobody got time for that."

A pound is a pound is a pound. A pound of muscle weighs the same as fat which weighs the same as water. Because a pound is 16 ounces no matter what it's made up of. It's just that each of those materials take up room differently. So if you're becoming more muscular your clothes will fit differently because muscle takes up less room than fat, but you may not see a change in your weight.

Our program really works. There are 8 habits of health that we focus on during weight loss, which, when practiced (key word), not only help you lose weight - but also keep. it. off. I honestly was surprised when I went through birthday, Thanksgiving & Christmas/wedding seasons, and either lost weight/maintained - simply by practicing the habits of health. Did I enjoy a piece of pie? A slice of cake? (on multiple days?) Yes...but, the habits when practiced work. Shocking, right? :)

You will never arrive.

What do I mean by that? The key to building health into your life is to accept the fact that you will ALWAYS be working toward it. It's the same thing with holiness - you will only arrive at holiness the day Jesus welcomes you into heaven. We are not yet perfect - we are working toward it. How do we work toward it? PRACTICE.

What does practice look like? Continually setting goals, working toward them, and being gracious with yourself (but not making excuses).

Recognize that in each & every option, you have a choice.
Sometimes, my choice is to have a delicious Christmas-themed Leinenkugel's (seriously my favorite beer EVER!). Sometimes, my choice is to indulge my sweetie in a surprise dessert date. This isn't cheating - it's a choice we've made. Sometimes, my choice is to go for a walk at lunch even if it means walking alone. Sometimes, my choice is take a quiet moment and go pray twice a week. Whatever choice I make, I also choose to keep following the habits of health...and this makes all the difference.

A friend asked me once if losing all this weight is 'weird' - if I feel not myself.

I don't, actually. ...which, honestly, is weird. One of my fears in losing weight (for most of my life) was this question of, "Who is Jessica in a size blah-blah?" "I don't know what Jessica at 155 pounds is like."

Well, the truth is...I'm me. Still me. Still imperfect. My love handles didn't disappear (they are smaller, though). ;) My problem areas are still there, but smaller. I'm the same person I was 50 pounds ago - just LIGHTER...and HEALTHIER!

Now that my weight is in a good place, I am discovering other areas to grow toward health - namely, creating a healthy mind. Our transformation is never complete. We are always works in progress. :)

Two weeks ago, I decided to wear this fancy number to work. :)

Christmas 2013 & Christmas 2014 - only when I see pictures like this do I really see how different we look today!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Unanswered Prayers

True confession: Does anyone else roll their eyes when they hear this song?

I mean, I get it. Sometimes we don't know what's best for us.

Except, really, deep down, I don't believe this.

I can't be the only one, right? I'd venture to say that most of us think God has given us a strong, sturdy set of shoulders and a bright, capable, brilliant mind that can easily solve all our problems. It's the American way, isn't it? Don't we embody the "Pray for God's will & work like hell to make it so?"

I think so.

...and also, when God does answer my prayers, I think I'm doing something really right & am totally on the right track & ready for sainthood. Anyone else? Anyone else think they are a miracle worker?

So, this week is my *dawning* of the trust in God's capable hands and be *awed* by the results:

A few months ago, my friend was having a routine doctor's appointment and she mentioned 2 lumps in her neck that she'd noticed. The doctor ordered a biopsy. ...and then we waited. She asked for our prayers, and so I prayed that the tumors would shrink indicating [of course] that there was no cancer and that God is powerful and can do awesome things.

...they didn't. But, they also came back negative for cancer. So, YEA!

In meeting with her doctor a few weeks ago, it was determined that the best thing given the size of the masses and her age [which is my age! not old!] was to remove not just the lumps, but her entire thyroid.

More prayers: Operation went awesome. YEA!

...and then, before she was released, she found out that there were early signs of cancer on her thyroid. Not in the tumors. Those apparently were just a by-product...a warning sign to get my friend's attention because there was something happening undetected in her body.

Unanswered prayers. If her tumors would have shrunk, they wouldn't have been removed. If not removed, the cancerous thyroid would have remained...and who knows what we would be talking about in a year from now?

The awesome news? We don't have to wonder. In an incredible, unbelievable, un-asked for way, God provided for my friend with 3 young kids. ...because God is powerful and can do awesome things.

[so, I surrender, God. I will present my requests to you, but above all, I will seek your Presence - and believe that your silence is still a provision of your Goodness....]