One can for every pound I lose...bring it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Healthy Outlook

I've spent the past 24 hours contemplating my health. Funny how you can take it for granted until you're down for the count. There's a lot of things in life like that. I just wish I could remember the lessons I learned after the bad times are gone.

I fell victim to a nasty stomach bug that had me vomiting for 8 hours straight overnight. That, combined with the other lovely effects of a stomach bug, left me completely dehydrated (lost 5 pounds in 8 hours!) and completely exhausted. It hasn't been confirmed by my doctor yet, but I am fairly certain I bruised a rib from all my retching. At one point during the night, I thought I might die. And that's not being dramatic.

Ok, maybe it's being a LITTLE dramatic. But it was brutal.

But while I was moaning and in between trips to the bathroom (where I thought I should just bring my pillow & blanket) I thought about how I wanted to be the healthiest version of me EVER, and I was just praying to get well so I could get right on that. Most days, like most of us, I don't even think about how fairly healthy I am. And I do some pretty unhealthy things to myself, because they don't really have any immediate consequences. Those show up a little later. Just to be clear, I am talking about eating what I know I shouldn't eat.

But while I was feeling my worst (and even now as I type this, recovering from the past day) I thought about how I only wanted to be KIND to my body, because I am blessed to be pain free most days. And with no serious illness to stop me, I have no viable excuse to intentionally cause harm to my body. Right?

I am a caregiver by nature. My son had this bug a few days ago. I stroked his hair as he vomited, wiped his nose and rubbed his back as I watched my poor child suffer from the effects of this bug. I got him his Gatorade when he needed it and toasted some toast so he could try and eat something.

48 hours later, I was the one who was being ravaged by this illness. My husband was also sick and bless his heart, did his best to try and comfort me, but there was little he could do. It is sweet how we have people in our lives to take care of us when we need it. And the thought of taking care of MYSELF started to creep in. Because I haven't been doing too good of a job lately. I am a caregiver who has forgotten how to take care of herself.

Now, even if I was 125 pounds and fit, I could not have prevented getting sick of course. A bug is a bug and doesn't care what shape you're in. The fact that I got it when I'm 50 pounds overweight doesn't seem to mean much. But I am not going to lie - the unhealthy part of me was pleased to step on the scale and see a 5-pound loss, even though I know that will come back with re hydration. But if I was at my goal weight and taking care of myself like I should, I would not have had that unhealthy thought.

I want to remember how awful I felt the past 24 hours so I do not take my health for granted. Kind of like I want to remember how awful I felt when I ate two cupcakes for lunch one day so that I make healthier choices in the future. Sometimes it takes something to shake us where we are, so that we get refocused on what matters and what we need to concentrate on. I was only able to eat toast, rice & Popsicles today. I am really hungry, and afraid to eat too much (yup, that's new!)  I am looking forward to eating healthy and exercising and thanking God for this healthy body I've been blessed with. I love how this is in the Bible:

1 Corinthians 10:31

 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Have you ever thought about "eating or drinking" for the glory of God? It seems kind of odd, huh? But WHATEVER I do I should do for the glory of God, and for me, eating and drinking have been a problem. So this makes absolute, perfect, crystal-clear sense to me. I'm starting now.

It was 60 degrees today - in February! - and I thought about how it was perfect weather for a run. But here I was, weak and unable to enjoy that. But I also realized this is a temporary state of being, and in a few short days I'll be able to go and run. The feeling I had today is one that some people need to live with every day. Thank God that is not me. I need to get my healthy outlook back, and realize that I have the power to change my life for the better, and to feel good about myself is one of the greatest gifts I could ever give myself.

Stop and take a moment to think about what you've taken for granted, or made excuses for, or have 'forgotten' about in the busy-ness of life. And make a step to remedy that in whatever way you can. Me? I feel like I am starting with a 'clean slate' again and will do my best to remember my most important job.
Let's hope I don't forget it again! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


You guys know my M.O. by now. Something happens, it sparks a breakthrough, and I blog about it. So here we go. (-: 

I have a pretty good sense of direction. I don't often get lost - especially with the navigation system I've had in my car for the last 2 years or so. I've relied on "tomtom" to get me pretty much everywhere I go. And I love it when he speaks French. 

Well, tomtom brokebroke so when I went to meet a friend for lunch last week, I printed out directions the old-fashioned way from Mapquest. That was pretty annoying but at least I still knew where I was going. We decided to "meet in the middle" and each had about a 45-minute drive to an unfamiliar town. 

Well, all was fine and good until the directions instructed me to turn left, and this told me otherwise: 

Normally, I would have just kept going, and tomtom would have planned an alternate route. I stared at the Mapquest paper which did not "recalculate" anything. I had to call the restaurant, and ask for directions. So annoying. 

The girl on the line was very nice. All three times I called her. 

I was lostlost. 

She had told me to turn left on a certain street, and I turned right. 6 miles down the road I figured that out. My frustration mounting, my belly growling, my gas tank light glowing, I turned around and started over. I have a joke that I am "always late but worth the wait" but on this occasion I was set to be early. Now I was 15 minutes late and was certainly NOT going to be worth the wait, because I was not a happy camper, and once I DID make it to my destination there was absolutely, positively no where to park. Ever have one of those days? My friend called to check on me and I told her I was ready to cry as I was circling the restaurant. She gave me a hint and then I finally found a spot. Completely annoyed, I sat down and ordered. 

For lunch, I had fish tacos with sweet potatoes. 

Wait, let me correct that. I had fried haddock in a taco with lettuce and sour cream and sweet potato fries. 


Threw caution to the wind, I did. I didn't give a flying you know what and I ordered what I wanted without thinking of the consequence. The consequence came (doesn't it always?) and I left feeling bloated and miserable. 

I had the drive home to think about it all. Between calling myself names for ordering unhealthy food, I really thought about it. And it came to me, that without a GPS there's a great chance for me to get lost, and I need to get one ASAP. 

It also came to me that in life, I need a GPS to guide me, because I can get easily lost on a GOOD day, never mind the lunch date day. (and don't get me wrong, I am not crying 'poor me' because I know how lucky and blessed I am. But this was an "aha!" moment for me) 

How many times in life did I think I was going the right way, only to find a "road closed" sign with no clue where to go next? Don't make me count. I have relied on tomtom without having a back up plan, and I've done the same in my life. "Nope, I got this, I'm good" - that's me! - when I am really, truly 'lost' on the inside but too busy taking care of someone else or worrying what someone is going to think of's really no good when you don't know where you're going. Without a destination, you drive around in circles, right? And the bloated, miserable feeling I was feeling let me know that my destination was not the town of Healthy Me. And I needed to get me some direction. 

The past few weeks have been trying. But I can see now, that they have been a necessary part of me finding that direction. I have overcome a huge challenge to my character, stayed steadfast in my beliefs and was able to "be still" - not an easy task for me - when things got chaotic. It strained some relationships in my life and I had trouble seeing the 'good' that would come out of it all. But I am seeing a glimpse of it this week. I am finally moving forward again - Destination, town of Healthy Me! - and it feels good. I'm counting Weight Watchers Points again to give me direction in my food choices, and have recharged my Bodybugg to keep me accountable to the numbers. As for my life GPS? 

It has all the instructions and direction I need. I just need to put them in my heart and remember them, and seek them when I feel lost. Here are some lyrics from one of my newest most favorite songs, by Nathan Tasker: 

Love is the compass
it’ll show you what is right what is wrong, it’ll turn the light on
Love is the compass it will lead you Home, it will lead you Home

Love. It's the best compass of all. And I need to love myself and remember how beloved I am. I am worth it, even though I haven't always thought I was. I went for a run today, I made healthy food choices three days in a row. I am falling down and getting up (and repeating) but at least I am always getting back up. I am not making perfect choices every day, but I am being perfectly honest about them and moving on in the proper direction. 

It's time for me-me. And it's on-on. 

Don't get "Lost" - ask for directions!! (-: 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Finish Line

Sometimes, a finish line is obvious. Like in a race. When I did my 5K, I knew there would be an end (thanks heavens) and that kept me going. When I crossed it...well, there are few feelings in the world like THAT.

Was that the end of my running forever? No. That was a symbol of how far I had come...had trained...of how much fear I had overcome to get there.

I've been running since. It still feels great. But here's the finish line keeps moving every time I run. There's not gonna be an end (well, eventually, when I'm too old I will most likely just be running at the mouth, haha) 

As most of you know, I was in a contest to win a trip to take a health & fitness getaway. I wanted that so bad. The end of the contest was another "finish line" and I was counting down the days.

Some things happened on the way to that finish line that really tested me in so many ways. Being from New York, I usually have no trouble speaking my mind. I'll tell it like it is most times (one of my BFF's was mortified when I told a woman on the plane to turn off her cellphone please, just like the Captain announced) Anyway, during this contest, I remained silent while suddenly I was hit with a barrage of untruths while I captured first place. For some reason, people thought any mean thing said was attributed to me, just because I was "winning." I was taught that in times like this "silence is golden" so I said nothing, and went about participating in the contest in a fair way, trying to connect and get votes so I could win.

The trouble with being quiet is that by not saying anything, people can speak for you. And speak they did. With the exception of one short message to explain what was on my heart, I remained quiet. Because the words 'Be still and know that I am God' were on my heart, so my heart (and my mouth) obeyed.

But the fallout that ensued was horrendous, and took a tremendous toll on my sanity this past week. Another contestant was also insulted, and we became fast friends. And then THAT created more drama. I just felt like everywhere I turned, I couldn't catch a break. It escalated to the point that people were attacking my religious beliefs, my character, and claiming they were going to "come and find me" - completely and utterly misguided in their thoughts and not knowing the truth, that I had remained steadfast in my silence because I did not want to add fuel to the fire that was burning. I had done nothing wrong, but no one wanted to see that. I pray that in their hearts they will be spoken to and realize that life is too short to waste on trying to bring another person down. That's a whole other story.

It is obvious that I should have won, according to the rules. The finish line has come and gone, but I still don't know if I really did "win." 

Cue the epiphany. 

I do not need to wait to cross a finish line to be "done" - much like I did not stop running after my 5K. Here I was, waiting for this finish line to come so I could start my journey to a better me. Starting at a finish line is kind of a bad idea, right? Why was I waiting for tomorrow? One of my favorite songs by Mandisa describes it perfectly: 

Can't spend my whole life wastin'
Everything I know I've been given
'Cause you've made me for so much more than
Sittin' on the side lines
I don't wanna look back and wonder
If good enough could've been better

Everyday's a day to start over
So, why am I waiting for tomorrow

I came home from work tonight to find my husband and son making dinner (tacos!) and all of the laundry done. I realized that I had been neglecting the things most important to me while paying attention to what I THOUGHT was most important to me - getting this chance to "fix" myself. Don't get me wrong, I need to fix myself for sure. And I love that I have a husband that will do these things,  but it made me feel bad that I had not been "mindful" of anything but this contest this past week. Ugh. I'm a busy gal, and my time is precious, and I will choose to spend it on things that are precious to me. That includes me (-: 

Well, friends, although I  have very little in common with THIS guy 
I am going to get right on that. I am making a schedule to make dates to run, to walk, to go to the gym. It's time to stay away from the computer and really get down to business (with a few time outs to check if I won, haha). As for the naysayers who are still attempting to slander me and say mean things? Well, I can tell you that we all serve the same loving God, and I for one want to be an example of that in how I conduct myself. I know someday I will have to account for everything I said & did. "Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world." I remarked to a few friends that I have prayed a lot more this week than ever. That's a good outcome. I had so many people rooting for me - some actually surprised me with their support! You all touched my heart and made me feel so BLESSED. I have made an amazing, lifelong friend in Sarah, which would never have happened if not for this contest. So all is not lost. As a matter of fact, it's starting to be found. 

When the REAL Finish Line of life comes, I want to say I did all that I could to honor the gift of life I was given. But until then? I'll just