Thursday, September 26, 2013

30 Pounds Gone!

September 2013
April 2013

I have been getting a lot of comments lately about my weight loss, so I thought an update was in order.  As of today I have now lost 30 pounds.  The first 25 pounds were quick and easy--I lost them within the first three months.  The last 5 pounds have been slow and hard--it's taken me two months to lose them.

Yet, I can't blame the diet for the slowness.  I only have myself to blame--the french fries, the cookies, the doughnut I ate yesterday, the pizza I had last week.  You get the point.  I am eating cross-overs (aka: cheat meals) way more than I did the first three months.  So losing 5 pounds in two months is actually pretty good all things considered.

I am five months into the diet.  I think five months is a sufficient amount of time to know if a plan:

1. Works for losing weight
2. Leads to other health benefits
3. Is sustainable for the rest of your life

Yes, Trim Healthy Mama works.  It works well.  It works even when you cheat.  Like a third of the time.  It's a no brainer type diet--eat protein at every meal and combine it with either fat or carbs, but not both.  And your carbs need to be from whole grain sources and do not include sugar and other sweeteners.  Thus the use of Stevia for sweetening.  It is sustainable for the rest of my life.

As to the other health benefits beyond weight loss, I have noticed a few things.

1. I went for a long walk last week.  Six months ago a long walk meant hip and outer thigh pain that lasted for a day.  It dawned on me after my walk that my legs and hips didn't hurt.  Huh.

2. I have rosacea which makes my cheeks, nose, chin and forehead red--no blush needed here as I always have a "rosy glow."  I was looking in the mirror yesterday and noticed that my face isn't as red as it usually is.  Huh.  Interesting.

3. I used to get a lot of joint pain.  The kind that requires taking tylenol before bed if you hope to be able to sleep without having to roll over every hour to ease the pain.  I only noticed the lack of joint pain when I ate a bunch of wheat thins last week and caused the pain to come back.  My arms ached.  My knees ached.  I woke up with swollen fingers.  Another huh moment.

4. Real sugar products make me feel like poo.  My eyes see a big slice of cake or a carton of delicious ice cream.  I eat some and it tastes good.  And then about an hour later I feel like yuck as my sugar goes way high and then way low.  When I am faithful to eating the THM way, I don't get the sugar crashes that used to be a daily occurrence for me.  The whole "witching hour" that happened in my house from 4-5:30 pm every day doesn't happen anymore.

5. Energy.  I have it.  In spades.  It took a while to heal my body so I didn't have a lot of energy when I first started THM, but I sure do now.  My house is clean (usually), I can leave the house and run errands all day and not come home exhausted.  My kids haven't taken a rest time in the last two months because I haven't needed one.  Rest time used to be about me needing a nap or down time.  I don't need it anymore.  I'll get to dinner time and realize I've barely sat down all day--and I'm fine!

6. My immune system is better.  I haven't been sick once since starting THM.  Seasonal allergies have kicked in big time in everyone else in my family while I only experience symptoms when I sit outside near weed-filled fields for 1.5 hours watching my kids play soccer.  And then it's just a slight runny nose that goes away within a few hours of leaving the environment.  In the past I would be sniffing the Flonase and still having allergy symptoms.

But, because I am vain and want to lose weight and all that, I have to say that while these benefits are awesome, the biggest benefit I've had so far happened last weekend.  When you drop 30 pounds, you start to notice that your clothes don't fit like they used to.  As in they don't fit at all.  Which meant I needed to go shopping.  But since I still have another 24 pounds to lose to reach my goal weight, I don't want to buy more than is necessary to keep me clothed for now--think the ultimate simplistic wardrobe and that's me.

The store I used to shop at went out of business (WAHHHHH!!!!!), so I decided to try Target to find a pair of jeans.  Understand that I have not shopped for clothes at Target in over a decade.  Their clothes never fit right.  But I desperately needed jeans and Target was on the side of town I was at, so I tried there anyway.  I walked into the store wearing my old jeans that were too tight to wear before starting THM.  I brought in two pairs of jeans with me to the fitting room--in 2 sizes smaller and in 3 sizes smaller.  I tried in the bigger pair and they were too big.  I tried on the next size down--too big.  I had to go back out and get an even smaller pair to try on.  Oh my!!!  They fit!  They were even a little too big, but that's the way I like my jeans (I hate tight waistbands).  I ended up with jeans 4 sizes smaller than what I walked into the store wearing!

While I was excited, I had this sneaking suspicion that the sizes had changed and maybe ran big.  So I waited until I got home and tried on a dress I wore on the day I got married--my "getaway" dress.  It zipped up.  It was a tad snug, but it fit!  Hot dog!  I really am this size!

I also bought four new shirts that are a lot smaller than my old ones.  So now I alter between "the girl who wears clothes that fit and look okay" to "oh my, that girl looks like a hobo in those clothes that are hanging on her in unflattering ways."  Trying to dress for church is always an adventure as it leads to the discarding of at least two shirts that are now embarrassingly way too big and the whole--what can I wear?!

I am over half way to my goal weight, currently at a weight I never thought possible to achieve again.  I feel better.  I look better (I like to think so anyway).  And I can't wait to finally hit goal weight and go out and buy all new clothes.  To look and feel even better.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

It Is Finished --Rooting Out Sin

Everyone harbors a secret sin in their heart at least once in their lives.  And then there are the rest of us who struggle with it a little more often than that.  Which is why I was excited to be given the opportunity to review It Is Finished: Finding Lasting Victory Over SIN by David Wilkerson as part of Chosen Books review program.  I love free books, I have sin in my life--a win/win situation.  Hopefully I might even learn something new from the book. I bought highlighters real cheap during the Back to School sales.  So now I can highlight to my little heart's content.  I think I highlighted nearly a quarter of the book.  True story.  The book no longer has crisp, white pages.  It is not black and white and florescent orange all over.

I really loved the book.  I saw myself everywhere in this book.  I have this big, fat, ugly, horrible, besetting sin in my life (a sin that just keeps coming back over and over despite doing everything I could think of to get rid of it).  At first I tried to pray it out.  No dice.  Then I tried praying harder.  Nu-uh.  Then I decided maybe it wasn't such a bad sin after all.  It's just a little tiny sin that no one knows about.  It's not like I shop lifted or murdered someone.  If it were something big like that then I would need to get serious about this rooting out sin thing.

So I let it go.  And by go, I mean grow.  Every now and then, God would tap on my head and say, "Lisa, you have this sin in your life.  You really should deal with it."  Oh right.  So I'd wing off a prayer and repent, but nothing changed.  Back to ignoring the blight in my heart.  After a while, God tapped me on the head again.  I prayed, repented, nothing changed.  Repeat.

About a month ago God got a little more forceful with His tapping.  In fact, I'd say it was more like clobbering me over the head.  "LISA!  YOU HAVE SIN IN YOUR LIFE!  DEAL WITH IT!"  Fine.  I will pray.  I will repent.  I will try fasting.  I will try thinking "Lalalalala" and hope that will fix the issue.  But it didn't work.

Look, God.  I'm trying here.  Don't you see that I am trying?  But I keep falling on my face.  I don't know what else I'm supposed to do.  What am I supposed to do?!

I really did try hard to get rid of the sin.  I did everything I could think of--except stand on my head.  Though I would have tried standing on my head if I thought I wouldn't end up injured.  And when nothing worked, I slumped down into despair.  What does a girl have to do to get You to answer her, God?!  Why aren't You fixing me?!

Thanks to this nifty book, I know the answer.  All this time, years, I have been trying to fix my life on my own.  I was trying to fix the sin myself.  Except no one can get rid of sin on their own.

"I don't want this iniquity to ruin my life, but I can't cast out my own sin.  I need a new heart that's beyond my ability to create." (pg 76)

"All [spiritually] dead men and women--hear the Lord.  The only way you are going to defeat the sin that has ruined your life is if God's Spirit does the work in you.  He has to enter and take dominion.  Only He can bring you to life so that you can obey God." (pg 80)

Huh.  All this time trying to do it on my own.  It is not my job to get rid of the sin in my life!  Good thing, because I stink at it.  My job is to admit I am a sinner, that I am powerless to cast out my sin, and to trust God to do the rest.  I must stand on the finished work of Jesus who died on the cross for my sins and rose again.  

How freeing is that?!  I said--How freeing is that???!!!!

"I will cause you to walk in My Ways and I will plant My fear in your heart.  I know you cannot do this for yourself, but don't worry--I will do it all for you, with your cooperation.  This work is accomplished only by faith in the finished work of the cross.  All I ask is that you trust My promises to you.  The work has already been accomplished by Me.  It is your work to accept it by faith.  That is My everlasting covenant." (pg 187)

I just finished the book tonight so I can't say yet that I am now fully free of the thorn in my side.  But I have prayed.  I have repented.  I have hit bottom and given up all control.  I have thrown myself on the mercy and power of Jesus who has already forgiven me.  I know that He has victory for me and that He will fight the battle for me.  God has promised that his Spirit will empower me to overcome sin and I hold fast to that promise.

If you have your own area of besetting sin that is plaguing you like mine plagued me, if you have no idea what you need to do to get rid of it--read this book.  If you are to your breaking point of dealing with the same sin over and over and see no way out--read this book.  It's a good one.