Thursday, July 31, 2008

Great encouragement

One of my Starbucks buddies, who is also on this weight loss journey (she's lost 40lbs and she started about the same time as me!), had a great idea for getting encouraged by lost weight, especially when it doesn't feel like a lot. She suggested I go down to Starbucks and ask to see 4 - 5lb bags of coffee, and that's how much weight I am no longer carrying around. Sure seems like a lot when it's put that way! Yay me! Here are some images of what 20lbs looks like - very cool!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Live Well Wednesdays

So I've been mulling over the reason I get complacent and let myself slide, besides the fact I love food just a teensy bit too much. It used to be discouragement, because I wasn't seeing any results, but I have been doing much better this effort than I ever have, normally I get to 10-15lbs and then nothing. So, I'm pretty sure it's not that. I think a lot of it is wanting this to be about health and balance and not about sacrifice, so I tend to choose slack vs. sacrifice when my schedule isn't co-operating with a healthy lifestyle. I have to realize that I can sacrifice in a way that isn't so sacrificial, if that makes any sense. Like today, for my birthday, my co-workers were kind enough to avoid a cake (which is the tradition) and they brought me a tremendous fruit salad with some lower calorie icecream on the side. That tasted just as good as cake, was less filling, and much less calories (= guilt). I need to work a little harder at finding healthy foods that I can opt to have when I need that balance between slack and sacrifice. Fruit is a great place to start. I'd really love to start savoring more natural food (well food period, for someone who loves it so much I scarf it down way too fast). God gave us such good fruits and vegetables but because they don't keep very well I tend to avoid them. I love the fruit and nut picnic, and the spagetti squash mentioned, that is something I may just have to try. In my new house, where I will have room for a blender, I'm going to have to try the fake mashed potato recipe I love again.
I think the other thing I may be lacking from focusing on healthy vs. losing weight is my lack of motivators. I used to have an event I was losing weight for, or I'd start because otherwise I'd have to buy new, bigger, clothes, etc. It would push me to be disciplined, albeit for a short period of time. This time I want it to be about living healthy, taking care of my body, and the dropped weight will be an added bonus. Therefore, this time I haven't given myself any motivators. This week I'm back at having lost 19 lbs (after a 3 lb gain after my Saskatoon trip), so I'm happy, but to help along my new resolve (thanks to last week's posts) I'm trying to find new motivators and getting over that 20 lb hump is definitely one of them! I do also have a wedding in 2.5 weeks, and I'd love to once again fit into a dress I already have, or if heaven forbid that's too big, I'd have an excuse to buy something new : ) That's another one that can light a fire under my butt, for the time being. I know focusing on my health is the right way to go, but it doesn't hurt to have a few additional reasons why I want it! I'm thinking of making a list and posting it on the fridge, of all the health related reasons I want this, and then add sticky notes for the temporary motivators so I can change them as they revolve.

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I keep trying, and learning

I have mentioned briefly in this blog about the situation between myself and my ex, but just to summarize, last July I finally summoned the courage to confront him about the abuse he put me through, mostly when we dated and shortly after we broke up, but also the manipulation he continued to carry out even until then. 12 years of manipulation I was about to make him face. Since we were somewhat friends (not a true friendship, more of a close aquaintence type relationship) I actually gave him the choice to establish a real friendship by allowing us to air out our past, or he could move on and forget me and forget our past. He chose to not have a friendship. I had a little hope though that he may eventually have a change of heart, because even though he admitted he was too selfish to hear me out and go through the pain of being reminded of what he did, at least he said it pained him to know what he did to me. It wasn’t enough of an admission for me to base a friendship on but it gave me hope.

8 months later, to the day, he added me to Facebook, so I added him, expecting he had something to say, but he didn’t so I declined the ‘friend’ request and reminded him the only way I would consider us friends was if we had that talk. 2 months later he sent me a message that was essentially an attempt to guilt trip me, saying ‘I understand if you don’t want to talk to me’. That got me a little riled so I responded by saying he better not blame me for the end of our friendship, that I was more than willing to talk, he just didn’t want to hear what I had to say. 2 months later he finally responded with what sounded like a change of heart. He told me he had just about lost his mom and dad to different health issues, and that a health issue he himself had was getting worse, he had two more episodes and his lungs were now essentially a time bomb that no one can tell him when it may go off. (I know this to be true, and knew it wasn’t just an exaggerated statement to get me to change my mind). He said all this made him want to make peace and he knew he owed me an explanation.

Finally, I thought he was willing to own up to what he had done. A few people were leery, thinking I should just let him live with his original choice to stay out of my life, but I know God gives us chance after chance after chance to reconcile with Him, so as long as he was willing to do what it took to reconcile, I was willing to give him another chance. So I told him, if he was willing to hear what I had to say, and say what I needed to hear, in person and with Sean there, then he could call me to set something up. It took a few days to get a response but I was somewhat expecting that. I knew from his last response to me that he was still a little reluctant to go through with this, it seemed like a ‘if this is what I have to do to restore our friendship, I guess it’s what I have to do.’ What I didn’t, but should have, expected was the response I got. It was typical of every conversation I’ve ever had before where I have tried to make him face the hurt he’s caused me. He acted like such a martyr, ‘I’ll do this because I have nothing to lose...(unspoken ‘but’) I believe I’ve heard this before and already apologized for it.’ ‘I feel like you just want to break me further….you just want to tear a strip off me….but I just want to clear the air if this is bothering you that much.’

I don’t know why it surprised me, I guess I just have a little too much faith in his ability to redeem himself. I know it’s God who truly transforms us, that he wouldn’t be able to really change until he was right with God again, but I did have hope he could at least creep out a little from the garbage he filled his life with. But no, he could not even budge an inch, he still had to try and turn the tables on me and make me feel bad for putting him through this exercise of honesty and trust building. He is so wrapped up in his own version of what’s happened he doesn’t even know what the truth is anymore. That or he still thinks he can push my buttons and trigger the weak girl with low-self esteem who’s determination will just collapse and give in to him.

So, I finally responded without holding back anything! I poked a hole in every thing he said, proving he hasn’t done anything to earn back my trust, so how dare he act like a martyr. I reminded him that I have every right to ‘tear a strip off him’ even though that’s not what I intend to do, instead I have been nothing but loving and gracious with him, to a fault. I have done everything I can to restore a friendship, forgiveness has already been given, I am not out to make him pay, so how dare he try and make me look like the bad guy in this situation. I am making him earn a friendship. I have a right to expect trust from my friends, and since he’s the one pursuing a restored friendship at this point, then he has to agree to my terms or get lost. I told him that regardless of if he really believes his own lies, (which is that he’s done what can be reasonably expected of him and I’m just a out for vengeance), or if he’s trying to push my buttons again to get me to give in, I’m not going to stand for either of those. I am not going to apologize for what I've asked of him, I know I'm in the right. And I'm not going to let him push my buttons anymore either. Whether he admits it or not, sub-consciously or not, he manipulates people. He is always working to get the response he wants from people and I see through it now. That weak girl he used to be able to trigger, she doesn't exist anymore.I really thought he might have changed, so I put myself out there again, gave him another chance, and I feel like I just got a big slap in the face instead. I told him maybe this time he will let the truth of what I've said sink in instead of figuring out ways to use my words against me. Believe me, if he attempts to repair this friendship again, next time I'm going to need a lot more than empty words, just telling me what I want to hear. Yes I told him that, so yes I’ve implied I might be willing to give him a chance in the future. Just because he’s proved he currently hasn’t changed doesn’t mean God won’t work something in him eventually. I just hope for his sake it’s sooner rather than later at the rate his health is declining.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

30 day challenge update

Ok, I feel like I may have been a bit too ambitious with this challenge, trying to do something every day has been hard! I've resorted to things like letting him pick the new car airfreshner (he kept taking mine down when he drove because it was too girly), cutting up his dinner (because he always teases that I cut my own up but not his when it's served), and several failed favorite meal attempts (they all flopped, from being too dry to too greasy, ugh!). But I do think the important thing is that I've been conscious every day about my challenge, and trying to make him feel loved and appreciated.

However, the consciousness hasn't sunk deep enough because while packing I mentioned I wanted to replace our dishes (big no no, wasn't supposed to mention any purchases until after we moved), but he had kinda brought it up because I was packing things I wanted to get rid (I had mentioned a few months back I was considering changing dishes/kitchen decor). I mentioned that, because they were such a small item, I was considering getting rid of current dishes and buying new ones before we moved. All of a sudden he got really frustrated and exclaimed loudly, 'why do we need new dishes at all!!' Now I don't think getting new dishes is unreasonable, I've had these cheap old ones for almost 10 years, the dishes I want are less than $100 to replace what we have, and he's been talking about buying tools that aren't necessary but costly. I don't think what I want is unreasonable enough to warrant the reaction I got, but I'm pretty sure the reaction had everything to do with reminding me why this was on my list for the challenge in the first place.

On the plus side, I have been more complimentary, taking opportunities to tell him what I love about him, and 'brag' about those aspects to other people, when he's around so he knows I really appreciate him.

I have also been doing fairly well at speaking lovingly. I've been pausing before I say things that may not be recepted positively and then really think/pray about if it needs to be said and if so, how can I say it in a loving way.

I need to work on the anticipation of needs a little more, I was doing really well at first but then I went to Saskatoon and then had a difficult personal situation that we've been wrestling with, so my concentation on his needs hasn't been 100% like I wanted to be, but I'm getting back there.

One big thing I think I've done for Sean is start following God's purpose for me as his wife. The message at Church lately is the Abundant Life, which is only possible by allowing God to change us, surrendering to Him and letting Him do the work. It has changed how I view myself and how I view others, including my husband. It has allowed me to release negative feelings and hurts I have and realize those only exist because there are areas God still needs to work in, in me and in others. Not only have I stopped trying to change myself, I've stopped wishing others would change, and now I focus on allowing God to give me the abundant life, and I pray that others will receive it too.

This is a little bunny trail off topic, but I've had a little epiphany. All my life I've felt as a Christian I was called to bring God glory through my obedience, by being 'good'. In actuality, the best way I can bring God glory is by letting him live my life, and that's what people will notice. That's what people will respond to. And that's the best thing I can do for my husband, and for all my relationships.

So, yeah, that's my update. One week left, I hope to make the most of it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Live Well Wednesdays

So, my Facebook group "Biggest Loser - Winnipeg Edition" didn't quite take off like I wanted to, although it really kept me in line, so that's all I could have really asked for. But now it's fizzled out completely, after all I was the only real link between it's members, and my determination has been fizzling a little as well. But thanks to the six degrees of blogging I have come across a new blogging friend and therefore a great blog about healthy living (thanks to Tammi). It's a fairly big group of Christian women trying to balance life with health and I look forward to reading other people's struggles and successes. It's really great to feed off the observations, epiphanies, and resolutions of other people going through what I'm going through.

So today is my first "Living Well Wednesday". Part of living well to me is having an enjoyable life, enjoying the delicious food God has blessed us with, and not worrying about calories and weight all the time. I don't think fretting about each thing I put in my mouth, and how many minutes I spent exercising is how God wants me to live. BUT, on the flip side of that it is a struggle to not let myself go down the very slippery slope of treating myself just because I can. If it's still within my calorie 'allowance' I've given myself, I too often have that snack in the evening. Or if I had an exceptionally high amount of exercise one week I tend to slack a little more in the eating department.

Tammi's blog today, about not hiding from our failures but learning from them, made me realize I've been here before. Every time I lose weight I slowly let myself go down that slope and I never recover, instead I give up. So I needed that reminder, to renew my resolve, to try and restore the passion I had for my promise to myself, like when I first made it. I see now that it actually undermines my determination to lose more weight when I negotiate like that. Health is compromising between enjoyment and self-control, there needs to be balance, but as soon as I start negotiating with myself (to one extreme or the other) I know it is not what is best for my health.

That being said, how do I go about making sure I don't take unhealthy advantage of my healthy leeway? Well, the last few weeks at Church they have been speaking about how we can't do life the way it's supposed to be done without God. We can have all the good intentions we want but if we're trying on our own power it's not going to happen the way it's supposed to. It's not my responsibility to change who I am, it's my responsibility to allow God to change who I am. I'm trying to live well on my own power, it's about time I listen to the Spirit within me. You know, the one whispering "you don't need those cookies, even though you have 200 calories left in your 'allowance' ". I've been shushing that voice with self-righteousness, "I'm not breaking my rules!", instead of realizing I feel defensive because the Spirit is showing me the truth. And the truth is, my weight is the product of my attitude even more so than my eating/exercising habits.

See, I've already learned so much and it's only my first Wednesday!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

how is it already July 20th???

So, after so much house busyness I wanted to do a lot of nothing before the busyness of packing and moving then began, and then I went on a short trip to Saskatoon for work, and before I know it almost 2 weeks have flown by! It is now 4 weeks until we move, ack! I really need to get my butt in gear packing, even if it's just a little each day. I really hate packing over a long period of time, I sometimes would just prefer being able to throw it all in boxes last minute, because you don't have to debate each item to see if you'll need it in the next few weeks. But the smarter thing is to pack a little at a time so I don't get so stressed later. I'm looking forward to the unpacking though : )
By the way, the big moving day is August 16th, so if anyone is free to help please let us know, we could use all the hands we can get! There will be free food at the end of the day (and depending how long it takes, in the middle of the day too). If you are there for free food or because you just like us, doesn't matter to us, lol.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


So, update on our new house, the financing finally was completed today because it was waiting on an appraisal, for a few reasons got delayed, but Monday the appraisal was done and it was actually valued a few thousand more than we bid. Yeah! And, it's official, the house is definately ours. Double yeah!
Now it's packing time. We take possession August 16th and have to be out of our house on August 21st, so it gives us some leeway in moving in, which is always good. We were preparing for the worst case scenario before we bid on a house, that we could end up with two mortgages for awhile, or homeless, and didn't know which was worse but at least we were prepared.
The timing couldn't have worked out more perfect. I still can't believe we only saw 4 houses, and that the one we wanted most had it's bid deadline first, which ended the day before the financing was finalized for our purchaser. We even called him that night to see if he'd heard his financing was finalized, which it was and so we felt free to put on the offer. Little did we know he thought he actually had four more days, that his '25th' on the offer was actually the '29th'. If we had known that we probably wouldn't have even looked for houses as early as we did and we would never have known or bid on our dream house.
Just one more reminder we are in His hands.
As for my weight loss, I have been stagnate in that area for the last couple of weeks, due to the busyness of finalizing two house sales and also because of recent good weather and an abundance of BBQ's cropping up. This week I am back on track though and boy does my stomach think it's hungry! Of course, I tried to behave, and I did much better than I used to at BBQ's, so I'm actually shocked I didn't gain more weight when I wasn't as conscious of what I was eating (and not to mention, not exercising).
Then there is my HH challenge. I have been able to do a random act of giving every day so far and I still have a few ideas up my sleeve but I only have about half a month worth. I need to do some Googling or something. I have slipped up a little talking about plans for the new house but shut that conversation down pretty quickly after, realizing my booboo. I told him that the baby-making is on hold for now. And I think I've done a pretty good job of reading what he is needing lately and either trying to give that to him or help avoid things that are just not good timing. The two things I've struggled with a little is vocalizing why I love Sean, I'd like to be more verbal in that area, as well as implimenting what I'm learning about being the wife God wants me to be. Of course I only received my first really big insight last night and haven't really had an opportunity yet. Mostly I want to make sure this is becoming second nature and I'm definately not there yet, but catching myself right after the fact shows it's a mentality that is close to the surface and I'm getting somewhere.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July is here, and so is the 30 days of Honoring your Husband Challenge

I did this challenge last July and loved doing it so much that I wrote it on my 101 list to do again for the next 2 July's (at least). I noticed a real change in our relationship when I intentionally honored Sean for 30 days and especially since he didn't even know I was doing it! I got the idea from Pam last year and wasn't entirely sure what honoring Sean would look like, but this year I have many more ideas.
1. I want to take the idea of showing him respect a little further this year, last year I mostly tried to keep my lips shut and avoid saying things that could seem like a lack of respect, this year I want to speak with only loving words. To me this means not just zipping the lips, not just avoiding certain conversations, but being able to still discuss things honestly and lovingly.
2. Last year I picked quality time because that's what Sean had been the most verbal about needing last year, this year I want to pay close attention to his needs, spoken and unspoken and try and meet those needs as I see them, hopefully to a point I can anticipate his needs and I can meet them before he has to ask (because it still takes a while for him to ask even after he knows he needs it).
3. Sean isn't one for letting his wants be known, or to ask for things he likes (he even refuses to give lists for ideas at birthdays and Christmas). I know he likes pie so last year I made pie. This year I hope to do a random act of 'favorite' for Sean everyday. Now this is a HUGE challenge because I hope to keep this HH month a secret again and Sean isn't very forthcoming on ideas. If anyone has any please share!
4. There has been a fair amount of stress on Sean and myself, and us as a couple, in the last year. Between beginning fertility support, home renovations, and selling/purchasing a house, we've been a little tense lately. I am going to do my best to take the stress off in July. First I'm going to take a break from baby-making, no pressure to follow fertility advice, no conversations about anything baby-making related, etc. Also, I'm going to stop inundating Sean with plans for the new house, which I'm sure all he hears is 'cha-ching, cha-ching'. I will wait until we actually have possession and the money and then we'll prioritize our plans when we know what kind of shape we're in.
5. A couple of years ago Sean and I read "The Five Love Languages" so I knew Sean's love language was touch, which is why I wanted to make an effort to do that more last year. I wanted to go a little bit farther with that this year, not only making an effort to communicate my love like he needs, but to communicate why and how much I love him, appreciate him, admire him, and believe in him. Make my love for him undeniable.
6. Last year I really struggled with the prayer part of my list, partially because Sean doesn't really share what he needs prayer for, and so it was a lot of guess work, trying to feel out what needed to be prayed for. This year I want to concentrate my prayers on being the kind of wife Sean needs. I want to seek to be God's definition of a good wife, what HIS plan for our marriage is and what my role in that is. Especially in one particular aspect.
I was obviously the spiritual leader between us for the first while but once Sean became a Christian, and was beginning to feel more comfortable in his Christianity I took a step back and waited for him to take the reins. That's about the time our Church disintegrated and even though we have found a new Church home, neither of us have stepped in to take the lead and work at a closer relationship with God as a couple. I haven't wanted to because I feel the husband is called to that role, and I don't want Sean to think I feel otherwise. I haven't wanted to step on his toes in case he at that moment decides he's going to take the lead. But recently I have felt God pushing me to take the lead in ways that will encourage Sean to then take the lead from me. I found a verse that really spoke to me, confirming that. 1 Peter 3:1-6 - "Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct." So this month I am really going to focus on this subject, spending a lot of time in prayer with God to receive his guidance on being Sean's perfect wife.
So, keep me in your prayers as I work at this for the next 30 days, and don't forget to send me any helpful ideas you may have!
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