Mid Week Motivator: Encouragement

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Credit Mua Loa Photography

Starting this blog just over two years ago, my goal was to tell my story of weight loss. Beginning over at Blogger and later moving over here at WordPress a year ago. Later this year I will make the move to my own home on the web.

Often it can feel as if my words are being sent out into a void. After all, my blog is rather small and the interwebs is so vast. I also don’t push my posts onto my fb friends, and refrain from asking them to read it.
I don’t get a lot of comments (but I have slowly gathered likes and follows here. Thank you!). So its easy for me to forget that my words are having an impact. People are reading it. This was brought home to me the other day.

A friend surprised me by complimenting my writing skills. As well as a post from earlier that week.

It was enough encouragement for me to continue on with writing this blog and other stuff.

It just goes to show you never know when you are having an impact. Your hard work is being seen. If it isn’t now, it will be.

You just never know.

Mid Week Motivator- I Want To Hear From You

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I want your feedback dear reader! I have been doing the weekly Mid Week Motivator for a few months now.

Covering topics from keeping going in eating healthy and exercising.

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Now,I want to hear from you.

Do these posts help you? Would you like me to cover anything new or revisit a topic?

I would love to hear your thoughts and my prayer that these posts are helpful for you!

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Mid Week Motivator- Believe and Amazing Things Can Happen

It takes confidence to take on new things in life. This is something that is not easy to come by. It’s not like you can pick it up at the store.

Having confidence is rather new for me. For so many years I allowed Fear to drain me of any notion of confidence.

I have discovered that confidence is gained two fold. First, you have to believe that you can do it. When I started running I did not think I could run a single lap without stopping. Thanks to a friend’s encouragement, I did it. Then one lap became two, then three and on and on. Confidence takes practice, once you know you can do it, whatever it is, it becomes easier.

The other part, the biggest part is my faith in Christ. The more I grew in my faith. The more I understood I was a beloved daughter, royalty in fact, the more confidence I gained.

I grew in my confidence not only in my physical abilities but also in my ability to write. To write well, to put my words out there either to be accepted or rejected.

Confidence cannot be bought but it can be found. For me that began when I grew in Christ and  a willingness to try new things. To keep on trying regardless of success or failure.

I truly have new life because of the work God does in me. Because I have confidence within me to live a full life. I believe the statement below.

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Tweet I sent out yesterday

How have you gained confidence?

I Failed and Lived…..

I have this problem, I doubt anyone else can relate called IMPATIENCE! I get excited about getting something done or doing something and instead of taking the time I should to complete a task I HURRY. It is something I will have to deal with throughout my life and it has gotten better over the years. But recently I dealt with something that showed me it is still very much part of my life.

This past previous week I had some technical issues posting my Mid Week Motivator. I was attempting to link to a previous post and it was just not working. The problem I realized was not the technology but me. I was hurrying to get something done and in doing so the job was short shifted. I could not wait to post so instead of waiting to do so after work that day I posted from my phone ( which I admit while it can do a lot is not the best kind of phone.) Once it was posted I did not have patience to wait for the preview to upload and instead just posted. Which lead to me having to delete the post from my Twitter and Face book accounts. 

I was anxious to post and was being lazy about getting it done. I did not want to have to change my afternoon plans in order to do so. In doing so I paid the consequence of being impatient. Over and over in my life I have encountered this and still have not learned my lesson. Sometimes taking the slow road is the best road. In doing this in a hurry I failed to present a good post for you dear readers. Freaking out over how terrible this looked on the outside did not help matters. How can I look professional when a post like that goes up?!

It also showed me I have a lot to learn about Word press and doing something as simple as linking a post. In every sense I failed this past week. That is just fine. Failing is part of life. In failing it is a chance to step back ( you can see this is something I advocate often!) and take in what went wrong. It showed me how much I need to learn and to find the resources to do so. It can be easy to get overwhelmed in starting something new from a career move to working out. No one ever achieves their dream with out failing first, how else does anyone learn? 

You know what? That is OK. You have to start somewhere and the key to anything essentially to keep moving forward. ( Again something else you will often hear me write about.) It would be easy to just give up after this week’s experience. To walk away from posting anything every again. In the past when I have run into problems in trying something I would just give up. However, I just can no longer do that to myself. One of the best things I learned on this journey is facing the failure can be tough but is worth it. There is much to learn from a bad posting experience or even a bad run. 

If you are in the middle of your weight loss journey and you are having a bad week or a bad workout, step back and think about what went wrong. Are you jumping ahead of your skill level? How has your diet and sleep schedule been. Have you been working out consistently?

Some questions I am asking myself are, what do I need to learn about Word Press. What are some of the best resources for me to seek out to learn. That is what makes a failure an opportunity. If I do not use this moment to learn only then is it truly a failure. You know what else I learned? The world did not end with this failure! My blog was not taken away from nor was I banned from ever posting again. I will fail I hope more often and in spectacular fashion. How else will my dreams ever come true?

 

Have any of you out there failed lately? What have you learned or are still learning from this experience?

 

Growing and Gaining Life

For the past few weeks I have been reposting edited and updated old posts from my Blogger account. Thank you to those who have started to follow me! Today I want to let you know where I hope the direction of this blog will be in the future. I want to continue to focus on health, not just physical health but all around health. What I have seen again and again on this journey I am on is that everything is connected. From the food that we consume, to what physical activities we do and how that impacts our overall well being.

Thinking about that and how to grow this blog, it finally came to me! First increase the amount of times I post per week. From now on I will be posting twice a week, on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. On Monday’s ( which I am toying with calling Monday’s Motivators) will include previous posts, stories from my friends about losing weight and other topics to get you going for the week! In this vein if any of you out there have a story to share please email me at LindaSharonConnelly@gmail.com for a future guest post.

Wednesday’s will be shorter posts, ones about how to buy healthy food on a tight budget ( and making it last longer!). New exercise routines I have been trying out, recipes and how to restock that empty pantry with healthy alternatives. These are just a ideas I have had. If there are any topics I am not covering or overlooking please, dear reader bring it to my attention. 

On occasion there may be a post that will be more of a one of, such as addressing mental health or even spiritual health. As I said, I feel they are all connected. Thank you dear readers as I figure out how to grow this blog without you or myself becoming bored. 

 

Learning How To Eat For My New Body

Disclaimer- I am not a dietician, doctor or therapist. This is my personal story

Note: This is a repost, it has been edited and updated. It has been two years since I began my journey to health. I have maintained my weight, eating habits and exercise routine.

The other part to getting healthy is diet. Which means food. Because this aspect of the whole thing is far more complex I am going to divide it up into two parts. The first part will be how I ate while I was losing weight and how I eat today. In part two I will touch on the more mental aspect of my relationship with food.

Food is necessary. That goes without saying. We need it to live. It gives us the energy we need to live our lives. Much of it tastes good, in fact too good. I love sugar. I love eating. Which was the problem. I needed an attitude adjustment, to understand that food has a purpose besides pleasure. 

This is another area where I thought I would need money. Again I was proved wrong. While it can sometimes cost more to buy healthier food, it is possible on a limited budget. I did not follow any commercial diet plan. What follows is the diet that worked for me.

First, I utilized a free app to help me keep track of my calorie intake, My Fitness Pal. This was so helpful in staying within my calorie goals. It also helps to calculate how much you burn off with your exercise program. I learned a lot about portion sizes and how much I should actually be eating. This was huge for me. How many times had I gulped down a bottle of soda with out realizing that it was meant for two people and not one?! Too many to count.

I stopped eating after 7pm ( when I could help it). This allowed food to digest properly before I would go to sleep. Also I was just a little bit hungry. Not because I was starving myself. I was learning how to eat for the body I wanted. Learning what was in front of me was enough.

Drastically eliminating the amount of sugar in diet helped tremendously. The only sugar in my diet was from fruits and vegetables I ate. Do not ask me how I did not eat desert. This alone was a miracle and I am not exaggerating on this. There were some nights I would sit there craving something and chewing ice with gum really helped me get through those times. When watermelon season came around, I chopped a whole watermelon and put it in the freezer (seriously, it becomes like an Italian ice!). I used to obsess about desert, having something ( usually chocolate) in the house.  Over time I have reintroduced other goodies such as frozen yogurt or cookies. I try not to have both in the house at the same time. This is something that helps me to stay on track.

This way of eating is a permanent change and not temporary. I needed to let go of bad habits
( more on that in the next post) to do this.

While I was losing weight, I was taking in 1500 calories a day and with my workouts burning much of that off. Just as with the workouts, I surprised myself by not giving in to temptation. It was not until my birthday in March that anything sweet touched my lips. Let me tell you, when I was eating my birthday cake I was in ecstasy in devouring the icing! But it was enough. I did not take the cake home with me as I usually would. I did not go out trolling for a sugar fix. This was truly from God.

The only thing I was drinking during this time was water and lots of it. I became obsessed with staying hydrated. It still is the only thing I tend to drink during the day, except for my daily cup of coffee. I may not add sugar to my coffee but that I could not cut out. I also discovered lemon flavored Vitamin Water, which I would also freeze and drink as a treat. I like cold, sweet things, can you tell?

Breakfast is usually oatmeal and over time I added things to it like a sliced banana, almonds or dried fruit. While I was in the midst of the weight loss I would have a mid morning snack. I tended to want to eat more in morning since my workouts would be later in the day. Lunch always included a yogurt or a salad or a half a sandwich. Something full of vitamins that would give me plenty of energy.

Dinner was a smaller, smarter portion of what my sister had cooked. I used smaller plates, carefully measuring out my portion. The benefit of working out so late and then eating is burning up all those calories.

It helped me to eat the same things day in and out. To not have those foods that I would be tempted to eat. It was over a year before I ever set foot down the cake mix aisle in the grocery store. Even looking at a package of low-fat cookies is a danger zone for me.

Cleaning out the cupboards and fridge of anything that can derail any attempt is key. This can be hard because so much of what we buy is stuff we enjoy and have spent a lot of money on it. I  also don’t have a husband or children to think of either, so that made it easier for me too.

It means saying no to food offered during social and work situations. This is why planning ahead is so important. The times I did not  plan well lead to not so great decisions. Another benefit to planning ahead is saving money. Carrying around a healthy alternative for that afternoon snack or bringing lunch to work.

The best part about pulling back so much from sugar? It was learning how wonderful so many things taste. I never realized how sweet carrots were and this has become my favorite thing to eat. The day I added peanut butter to my diet was such a happy day! I indulge in sweets but I’m careful to not keep it in my house. I just know I can not have it too accessible. More on this in the next post.

I understand better how to eat and that food is not just a source of pleasure but fuel. For those times that I plan to indulge, I work out harder.

It helped too that those around me were conscience of my new food choices and encouraging in their own ways. Again, you can not do this alone and having some one alongside you or cheering you on is so helpful!

What changes have you made to get away from bad unhealthy habits? Disclaimer I am not a dietician, doctor or therapist- this is my personal story.