Thursday, February 24, 2011

Loving My Pretty Food

So one of my co-workers is friends with a nutritionist, which got me a free hour long session to discuss my eating habits. I have lost 20 pounds, but it is going slower than I would like. As long as the scale keeps moving backwards, this is good. But I would like to see that scale moving a little quicker. I have been really good about my workouts, so I know it was my eating. She was fairly pleased with my portions, but I was eating Lean Cuisine's and Smart Ones which kept my portions and calories in check, but I was also loading myself up on processed food, chemicals and sodium. So I am taking the time to prepare healthy lunches.

I am kind of digging it because I enjoy pretty food. Oh c'mon, admit it, you probably do too! Pretty food is appealing and satisfying. I spent $30 at a CSA for a ton of fresh organic veggies and fruits and a little under $70 at Trader Joes for the rest.

Yes, eating healthier can be a little expensive, but what is the cost to my health of continuing to eat crap? I choose to spend on nutritious food and invest in myself.

I am eating more often to keep myself from binging. I eat breakfast at 7:30-7:45a.m. Today was Chobani greek yogurt with fresh blueberries and blackberries thrown in.
Then have a snack around 10:30 - 11a.m. today was some dried Turkish apricots and baby carrots.
I eat lunch at 1p.m., today was 7 triscuits with some laughing cow cheese, a Spinach salad with fresh strawberries and some shelled edamame with some balsamic vinegar and 5oz. of tuna, skim milk and some fresh fruit.
Then I have another snack at 4 so that I have a little fuel before my after work workouts. Orowheat Healthful 10 bread with a little Nutella and banana. YUM!

I took pictures of my pretty food today to give you a sampling of what your missing! All of this food was only about 1100 calories. So I can still have a decent dinner and maybe a pudding cup for dessert when I get home :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Time Flies...When Your Not Being Intentional

Jim, his Mom & I drove up to Camarillo yesterday to visit with old friends. I hadn't seen Andy since I aided for his sophomore Science class for Mrs. Schultz back in 1990! It had been 7 years since Jim's Mom had seen them and I am not sure how long it's been for Jim.

My was kind of embarrassing to realize how long it had been since we had all seen each other or talked. We had a wonderful day, and caught up with each other. Tears were shed by my MIL and Andy's Mom and promises were made to make sure it's not so long next time.

Time flies when your not paying attention. Jim doesn't have any siblings, and our friend Scott Semrau and the Haden kids are probably the closest to siblings he's ever had. But we get so caught up in 'life' that before you know it years have gone by. It's easy to let happen.

It made me realize that I need to be more intentional about making the time to spend with the people I care for. To make the time for phone calls, get togethers, camping trips, memory making, etc.

So glad that we were able to get together yesterday and have such a nice day. I hope we can do it more often and possibly make a trip out to Tennessee to visit in the future.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Lifter of My Head

I teach a group of 3rd thru 6th grade girls in an AWANA class at my church. I have discovered that apparently, eight years old is when the way others see you begins to trump everything else.

I'm hearing a lot of words lately from these girls regarding their developing awareness that other people may not think they are as amazing as their family does and that I think they are.

Suddenly, she's hearing a lot of junk from the world. No more double ponytails for her, since she was told she looks like she has puppy ears. No more wearing certain clothes because she has been told they are "babyish". One of her “best” friends likes to point out that she is last in completing her math every day. I can see the wheels turning; thinking that must say something about who she is. She's never before been self-conscious or afraid of being unique before. Overnight, it seems, everyone else's perception of her really, really matters. And by everyone else, I mean lots of other small children who are starting to uproot everything their parents and religious instructors have tried to plant for the last eight years in her tender self-image.

I sometimes get tired of it all. Tired of her feeling the fight to determine who she is and “whose” she is. I want to take her face with both my palms, lift up her head to mine and firmly say, "You don't have to be anything but yourself. You were created to be exactly who you are, and God is so proud of what He's created. Don't ever forget that."

You and I are assaulted by the same junk from the world every day. But we're more immune to it. Right? Now that we're grown ups? You and I would never be swayed by the opinions of handfuls of people who don't really even know us. Who cares what the neighbor says, or the annoyed cashier, or the mother of the wild child, or the aloof teacher. Nothing they could say or do could tear us away from believing how beautiful and unique we really are. Right?

Yeah, right. We don't do half the fighting we should to protect truth in our hearts about ourselves. The world kicks me around, and most of the time, I'm too busy or distracted to kick back. "You haven’t lost any weight yet?" "You don't know about Prop such and such?" "You aren't going to the fundraiser?" "You didn't finish your Bible Study this week?" And the negativity starts to seep in around my unprotected heart. I can start to reel, feeling like a bad mother, a bad homemaker, a bad wife, a bad anything! Some days, a bad EVERYTHING.

But then God gently speaks to me in the form of an old hymn…

“Thou, O Lord,
are a shield about me.
You're my glory.
You're the lifter of my head.”

It reminded me what Jesus does. He is the good parent who gets tired of watching me lose the battle for my identity. He grabs my face in His gentle, scarred palms. He lifts my head to look me in the eyes, and says, "You don't have to be anything but yourself. You were created to be exactly who you are, and I'm so proud of you. Don't ever forget that." His kindness sucks me in. His kindness is what makes me want to follow, and grow, and follow some more.

I love who I am when I let Jesus define me. But it takes a stopping and a listening. He is the lifter of my head, and I let Him see me. Then I listen in my heart to what He sees. His love for me is the shield about me, my glory, and the only thing that will protect me the next time I walk out the door.

But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
Psalm 3:3