The Money Factor

I’m making some changes in my life and one of them includes moving this blog back to wordpress. I’ve been re-evaluating my finances, the way I look at money, getting older and I have to admit I got a bit scared. In two years I will celebrate being 40 years old, and on that day I also hope to celebrate being debt free. It is an ambitious goal and at this point I am not even sure how to achieve this goal.

But I am tired of living under the weight of debt, of being in survival mode and making poor decisions. It has made me feel like a failure over the years. Often leading me to comparing myself to others around me then into the dark of hole of unworthiness. Berating myself for poor decisions, becoming defensive at advice on how to get better.

I do not understand a lot about money, I try but it’s just not an area where I flourish. In reality, I find money boring. The way in how I take care of what is earned is just as much a testimony as how I take care of my health.  The money I have is only because it is money that God has allowed me to earn through work.

In continuing to make poor decisions with my finances I am not honoring God. It is the same as when I don’t care for my health, I am taking it for granted that I will always be well when life can and will throw curve balls at me.

The first step I am taking is admiting that I can do better, I don’t know exactly what I am doing and am eager to learn. I will make mistakes and hopefully will also learn from them along the way.

I also follow a blog called Every Single Dollar which is geared towards singles and I have found fairly helpful with my journey thus far. One of my first changes was forgoing paying for hosting and moving my blog back here onto to WordPress.com in order to save money. The other has been to cancel Netflix ( So, so so hard!). And the third is to forgo purchasing iced coffee, because after all I can make it at home and still get my caffiene fix.

What are some changes you’ve made in getting debt free?

 

This is my Year of Learning

 

For the past five years I have chosen a word to define my year instead of list of resolutions. Since starting this tradition, each word has revealed something new to my life. Pushing me to accomplish different things in my life, including writing this blog. Each word is more than simply a word but more so a theme for the year.

At the start of this year I did not have my word. Half heartedly, I tried out a few different words. But none of them felt right. In reality, they felt wrong, false somehow to where I am in my life.

Then it came to me. Actually it had be in front of me the whole time. Coming up several times in conversation with friends.

This is my year of learning.

Learning about myself, who I am in Christ, my community and the larger world beyond.

I need to learn.

I am willing to learn.

I want to learn.

It fits in perfectly to where I am in my life. I look forward to seeing how this word will affect this year. The adventures and experiences it will take me on.

 

 

 

Still Learning Healthy Skills

I was uncomfortable in my body when I was unhealthy and that did not change once I was healthier. My mind had to catch up with my body. What I did not know yet was that it would take time. Even though I was at my thinnest ever in my life, I became obsessive about two things. How flat other women’s stomachs seemed to me and counting my caloric intake. Seriously, the majority of my thoughts focused on that alone. I would sit in a room during Bible study and instead of paying attention, I would find myself staring at other women and their stomachs.

[Tweet “Were theirs flatter than mine? I need to sit up straighter so mine doesn’t poof out as much. If my stomach was flatter that guy would want to talk to me….”]

Were theirs flatter than mine? I need to sit up straighter so mine doesn’t poof out as much. If my stomach was flatter that guy would want to talk to me….

Then there was the constant counting of calories in my head. Constantly going over in my head and My Fitness Pay how much I ate and when I ate it. Calculating how much of my workouts negated the calories I had consumed.

I was exhausted. I had gone from binge eating to binge thinking about food. How much I ate, when I ate and what I ate. I spent more time on the food app then anything else.

A huge motivation during my journey to getting healthy was that it would lead to my believed fairy tale ending. I was blinded by the idea that it would be my turn, finally my turn and nothing was going to move me away from this idea! But (and there is always a but with God isn’t there), God was showing me something more. He placed people in my life who continue to cultivate the idea of His love in my life. People who challenge me and force me to really take a look at my motivations behind my goals.

I also had to grow comfortable with how my body. The key for me was coming to terms that my stomach will never be flat no matter how many ab work outs and sit ups I did. That no matter how much I count calories, there will be times that I am off or just don’t care enough.

I have gained weight since meeting my weight loss goal four years ago. Today, I am in a healthier place mentally and no longer desire to try to fit into some mold that doesn’t work for me. Meaning I still strive to be healthy, working out and eating well ( for the most part) but not freaking out as I once did when I do not. Accepting my body for what it is, for how God has made me has been so freeing.

I encourage those of you to strive for your goals, to be healthy and see the amazing things your body can do! Also learn to accept the reality of what your body will look like. There will be a time when the choices you make will be to not work our or to eat that “forbidden” food. Just try to be kind to yourself during those times. You are not less than because of these choices. How you come back from them is what will define you. Gaining health is not about getting it right all the time. It is learning skills in order to be healthy. To live a well rounded life.

I am still learning how to be healthy, and some lessons take longer than others. The biggest lesson I have learned is to keep going, that life can get in the way. Or like me one can just want a break for a time from the work out grind. And that is just fine…

 

 

Mid Week Motivator: Goal Setting Reboot

Setting goals is hard for me, it means I have to plan things ahead. This is skill I am still learning and have not yet mastered. I do know if I ever will in actuality. I’ve learned something crucial about goals and setting them. Here are three things that have stood out to me.

1-We romanticize them. I know I have done this, fantasing about how I would accomplish it or what life would look like once I did. I can tell you that achieving a goal looks entirely different then what I had imagined. Only to end up feeling disappointed or sad that it was or over.

2- Achieving a goals or goals often means working towards smaller goals first. This part is often overlooked, look at what steps or gains you need to achieve before getting to the main goal. When I started running, I had to first run a lap without stopping before I ran a half marathon.

3- Goals can change and that’s ok. Here is the truth, our lives, schedules and dynamics can change. A backburner goal can become your main goal. You may find you have more time for one thing and not another. This may mean pushing back a due date or rethinking your strategy.

And one last thought, January first is not a deadline to start . While it does fit in nicely, it being the first day of the new year and all. But it isn’t necessarily the right day for you to start. Perhaps the next month is better or even later in the year. But by setting January as  this arbitrary date allows for us to push back pursuing our dreams and goals. Jumping into your goal can be scary and uncomfortable. Set a date and stick to it, then go for it but  be willing to be flexible.

Mid Week Motivator: Facing Fear

I have added a new page to the website! A Hire Me page for writing services. Adding the page  in itself was a feat of bravery for me. Seriously, I wanted to reach out to my friend who designed my site for me to do it. I was worried I would click the wrong thing and that would be the end of my website.

But I wanted to learn how to do this myself and so after taking a deep breath I did. And my site did not break either. That was a victory. If you know me, you would understand how far I have come with these techy type things. Just a few years ago I would of allowed fear to prevent myself from even attempting this type of thing. I know it is just a website but it’s a victory for me.

Is fear holding you back from the attempt? I understand if it is. Trying something new or stretching your skills can be scary. Especially that first attempt, but trying is better than letting fear get in the way.

What is something scary that you have tried recently?

 

 

The Never-Ending Weight Loss Journey

This past week a few articles about the effects of metabolism can have on those who have lost weight years after their initial weight loss. While this article focused on former The Biggest Loser winners and competitors, it made a lot of sense to me. Since I lost weight four years ago, I have slowly put on weight. A lot of what I have been struggling suddenly made sense to me.

Essentially, the body is fighting to return to my previous state. While I can do my darndest to remain at that initial weight, my body it seems has other ideas. It was so used to the amount of calories and lack of exercise that it adapted to burn off these calories. Once I began to eat more mind fully and exercise, my body did not know how to process this, and so the pounds fell off. But once things settled down for with my weight and eating habits, it then began to recover. However what it was recovering was my old metabolism, having not adapted to my new lifestyle. After all I was now smaller so there-fore my metabolism slowed down.

The reality of maintaining weight loss years later is that it takes more effort than initial weight loss. Often times it means having to always to vigilant about the food I eat. Making sure I exercise at least six days a week in order to burn off those calories. And that is just not feasible for me right now. For one thing, constantly keeping track of my calories can be exhausting and stressful. It became all I thought about it. Tracking my intake with MyFitness Pal ( which is a great app by the way and very helpful!), adding and subtracting based on the amount of exercise I did that day.

I also do not have the ample amount of time to workout as I did a few years ago. There are days when I can squeeze in a quick workout. Honestly there are days where I just really do not care what I am eating, I just want it so I will eat it. The thing to remember is weight loss is unique for each person. Some go into this journey believing that by losing weight their entire life will change. Perhaps it will and perhaps only aspects will. This in itself can lead to disappoint and therefore a why bother attitude on continuing on.

[Tweet “The reality is that weight loss is a never-ending journey, one that has its highs, lows and valleys.”].

The reality is that weight loss is a never-ending journey, one that has its highs, lows and valleysThere are times when it is easier to say no to bad habits and other times when it is harder. So many factors go into getting healthy that it can be overwhelming. These studies will continue to come out, often saying the opposite of a previous study. Along with these studies will be those opinions to follow. The only ones that matter for yourself are your doctor’s and yours.

I know better today what I want for my goals, putting into practice the tools I already know to lose weight. But also not wanting to get down to a designated number. I know what works best for my frame and sanity. That being a certain number on the scale does not necessarily equal good health. Because if mentally you are constantly worried about how much you exercise and eat then it will only lead to exhaustion and burn out. Overall health is more important than maintaining an impossible weight.

Take your time in reading these kinds of articles and studies, resist jumping to some for gone conclusion. Examine what is working for you and what isn’t. Confer with your doctor and restructure your plan if need be. Keep going, keep running or dancing. Keep cooking and eating well and try not to be too hard on yourself when those days are not the greatest.

After all  starting this journey to health is about getting to enjoy this life more so than before. Remember that.

What has been your struggle with maintaining weight loss? Do you perceive the struggle is more physical or mental?

 

Washington Post article

New York Times article

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or clinician. I am a woman who lost weight a few years ago through healthy eating and exercising.

 

Mid Week Motivator: Motivation To Keep Going

I started posting these mid week motivators because at times getting through the week can be hard. Getting to Wednesday can often seem near impossible, forget about Friday or even the weekend. Or what is your Friday depending on your schedule. My hope is for you to find them helpful and encouraging.

Getting through the week, heck even a day can be rough. Just the realization that it is only ______ can be enough to suck the motivation and intention to do what we want to do right out of us. Maybe it is a packed schedule or waiting to get to a certain day because X is going to happen.

Confession time, I too need these mid week motivators. I need to remind myself to keep going in pursing my goals. No matter have tired I am or lacking confidence in where I am. So these are helpful for me and I hope they are for you too.

After all who could not use a little encouragement during the week?