Monday, March 31, 2014

Break Away

Hey y'all!!!

It was a great week taking a break from social media. It was nice to not have my phone glued to my hand but I did miss me some Pinterest though.  I think I am going to continue to keep the apps off my phone but still keep them on my iPad. This way, when I am looking at them, it is for leisure and not just because I can. I really thought I was going to miss something but I didn't miss a thing! The people I wanted to know about, I did (even if it was delayed). Everyone else wasn't really needed. I do admit that it is nice to check-in on family and friends/acquaintances who aren't local, but I don't need to do it every five minutes--once a day or even every few days is fine. In fact, I wasted a good 30-45 minutes of work time this Saturday just aimlessly surfing on Facebook and Instagram. I already don't have a lot of time so that is crazy.

That being said, here are my Top 10 Benefits of Backing Away from Social Media:
  1. More phone battery life.
  2. Actually talking/texting people I love.
  3. Uninterrupted quality time with my family.
  4. More time being productive.
  5. Actually reading the news from news sites.
  6. More time to focus on tasks that need to be done.
  7. More time to read the word. Did you know in the Bible App you can listen to the Bible?!?!
  8. Phone not permanently glued to my hand.
  9. Keeping private things private.
  10. Time to read magazines. 
It's really amazing how life continues to go on even if we aren't glued to social media. I am not 100% against social media but I want to be the one in charge of it instead of it running me.

To learn more about my fasting journey this Lenten season check out the details here

Sunday, March 23, 2014

New Perspectives

I hope everyone is enjoying/enjoyed their weekend!

Fasting this Lenten season has really been a blessing to me. I have been able to reflect and really gain some new perspectives. I have also develop new appreciation for the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. I was a little irritable when fasting last Wednesday so I really needed to check my attitude and get in touch with why I was really struggling. It is so easy to get distracted and caught up. I don't want people who interact with me during my fast to think man she's rude today...must be the fasting. Fasting is only a small sacrifice that I am making and I want to represent God well while I am doing it--I will keep that in mind this Wednesday. I wanted to share part of this devotional as we head into next week:
You can download this devotional:
 Devotions for Lent From Holy Mosaic in the Holy Bible App or learn more here.
I should have way more time to reflect this week because I will be fasting from social media. *GASPS* That means no Facebook, no Instagram, no blogging or reading blogs, and no Pinterest. I know that I personally waste a ton of time on social media so I look forward to the break and new perspective. Do I really need all the access that I have? Can I set some parameters on social media so I don't waste so much time but enjoy it as a leisure activity? I personally feel like my son sees me on my phone too much anyway. I don't want him asking for a phone one day and then we are all distracted. I am hoping to gain a lot of clarity this week. I tried to get the hubbs to join in but he wasn't buying it and my mom doesn't think I can do it--I'll be showing them. Feel free to join in even if you just pick one form of social media!

I am sure I am going to have a lot to write about so stay tuned. I can't wait to see what I accomplish this week.

Have a blessed week--see you next Saturday!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mid-Week Boost: Check Your List

So I have been talking about getting into God's word so I can better hear his voice. I personally feel like I hear God the most through my devotional readings. Some days they encourage me or help me to refocus but some days, like today, they give me a little jolt of confirmation that I am headed in the right direction--as if I am hearing God's voice clearly. I often joke that some times I wish we still had signs like the burning bush but a devotional, for me, is often just as good.  
From the ReThink Life: 40 Day Devotional

"Bring you to the end of something so He can begin something new in you." WHAT?!?!?!? I'm telling you Jesus sent that message straight for me. It is so easy to keep doing what you have always done. Fear can be very real and stifling. I told you Monday that even I need a little help sometimes--by the way, if you missed Erica Campbell's new video go back and check it out. But when you can move forward through the fear, it is so liberating. I am definitely feeling freer. 

For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19 NLT)

To God be the glory for all the new things he has in store for me and you!

Week 10: Honesty is the Best Policy

Can you believe it has been 10 weeks already??? On the one hand I am kind of kicking myself for making this challenge public but on the other hand, I am glad that I did so others can see that the road to weight loss is rough but as long as you keep going you can meet your goals. If I wasn't honest about the struggle, someone make think my end results were easy and give up when they really need to just keep going.

That being said after being stuck for a few weeks, I am down 2 more pounds! That is 7 pounds total since starting in January if anyone is counting. I got on and off the scale at least 10 times to confirm it. So, even though eating only 1,500 calories a day hasn't really worked out for me everyday, I am making progress by opting for getting things right on some days instead of writing them all off as failures.

Last week, 3/7 days were under 1,500 (up from 1/7 last week). Overall though, last week, my worst day was about 2,000 calories. Not bad considering my worst day involved eating a bunch of homemade cookies and not the day I ate out on the same day as going to a fair and eating fair food. Who knew? How did I survive? I actually shared some of my desserts *gasps*. I HATE sharing desserts lol. But it worked out for the better last weekend. The weekend before got away from me so I wanted to tighten up last weekend. I can't say I'll share every dessert but last week that worked out for me.

I am also starting to look at the progress I made this time last year. If I make the same progress, I will may even surpass my initial weight loss goal for the year. I am trying to find better snacks or things to do when work and school stress start to creep in. I really love fresh popcorn popped on the stove. That has been a good save when I am home but I also need some better on the go options.

What are some things you try to manage stress eating? I'd love to hear. 

Monday, March 17, 2014


We live in a time where people are often scared to ask for help. We are embarrassed, ashamed, or just afraid that people won't help us. But the truth is, we all need help sometimes and that is actually normal. The real challenge though is asking for help, especially when we don't want to. How can I ask for help when I am suppose to be super-mom, wife, etc. Just because it looks like you have it all doesn't mean that you won't have times when you need some help. I am still working on this but I have gotten better. I am not afraid to let someone help me. I feel more comfortable asking my friends to pray for me, help me with an assignment, or give me some career advice.
But, I must admit that sometimes I don't even want to ask God to help with some things. Silly right? But with certain situations, I feel like I should be able to fix them on my own. I say things to myself like if I got myself in debt, I need to figure out how to get out of it. I may need to step out on faith but I feel like I need to have a clear plan to fall back on, etc. etc. I have been focusing my prayer life this Lenten season on asking for the very real help that I need from God right now. I am grateful for the many blessings that I have received but the reality is I need some help with a few things. There is NOTHING we can't ask God for help with. He already knows our struggles so why not allow him to really step in and help us? We all need help some times. No need to fake the funk. It gets real sometimes but God is our very present help.

What do you need to ask God to help you with today?

Check out Help by Erica Campbell (above). This song almost brings me to tears!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Beware of the Enemy

I saw this a while ago and it really stuck with me. The enemy is real and can definitely make you feel like a loser even when you are far from it. If someone has tried to bring you down today or this week be encouraged and know that everything that is happening is a part of God's plan for your life and your purpose.

You can check out more from Becky at Scissortail Silk here

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Watch Out for the Curveball

I have come to realize that I don't always think good on the spot. Maybe you have been there before, you have walked into a classroom, meeting, doctor's office, etc. prepared and ready to go and then someone hits you with a curve ball that you didn't even see coming. Well that my friends, happened to me yesterday. Y'all I got hit straight in the face! I was able to recover in the moment a little bit but it wasn't until I read the word and had a moment to think that I really felt the sting of the curve ball subside. It is extremely important to take a moment when you are thrown a curve ball. I have gotten out of the habit of always needing to respond to something right away. Usually my initial reactions aren't very Christ-like (the Lord is still working on me) so I have to go with a good ole' "let me get back to you on that". I often check in with a trusted friend to make sure that I am not losing my mind and to help me weigh the pros and cons. But the most important thing is to stay in the word because I believe that is how we really hear Gods voice. Sometimes I wish it was more like the days of the burning bush--Lord if this is what you really mean go ahead give me a sign--lol. But those days are gone and we have to keep my mind clear so that I don't miss the sign (or try to change the plan to what I think it should be). This is so hard. Especially when people are testing us. But we can over come any curve ball because we know who is in charge of the master plan. 

Therefore, my prayer for all us while we are in the middle of the week is this:   
From the ReThink Life: 40 Day Devotional
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. (Psalms 16:7 NLT)

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week 9: Progress is Progress

So I have come to terms with the fact that at this stage in the game, I am moving at snail pace. The way my schedule is set up plus the fact that I don't like the feeling of being bogged down and having to be a super perfect tracker (i.e. if my son offers me a bite of his food, I shouldn't have to second guess whether or not to take nor should I have to swat him a way when he wants a bite of my perfectly portioned meal), there are some things I just have to accept. I feel better about how I am going about this but it is making progress go...very...very slowly. However, I'll take it as long as the numbers are going down because I am headed in the right direction. Plus, it is almost spring so I will at least be able to walk around my neighborhood soon.

Happy Birthday to me!
Last week was my birthday and I fully enjoyed myself. I did track what I ate still and only went crazy over the weekend when I made cookies (they were divine!) and ate out with the hubbs. During the week though, I literally measured out pieces of cake. I was over but I didn't go crazy (a 1,581 day here 1,760 day there). Even my birthday dinner with a drink and tempura ice cream didn't put me too far over the edge. To sum up the week though, I only had 1/7 days at 1,500 (YIKES!!). But it was my birthday. A girl can celebrate right??
Overall, it is all about the right attitude and developing healthy habits. My healthy habits definitely outweigh my bad ones most of the time so that definitely counts.

Keep pressing my friends!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Meatless Friday's

Have I ever mentioned that I love bacon? Like I will get up at 5AM, sometimes even earlier, to make bacon to go with whatever I am going to make for breakfast on any given day. That being said the idea of having a meatless Friday is not on my list of things I would love to do. So, when I read about not having meat on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during Lent, I had to learn more.

Here is what I found (abbreviated):
The “why Friday?” question is pretty obvious: it is one way we commemorate the Passion and death of Our Savior Jesus Christ. But the question of “why meat?” seems to come up again and again...It is precisely because meat is so good that we are asked to give it up at certain times. It wouldn’t make a whole heck of a lot of sense if we offered something we considered bad as a sacrifice to God. More to the point, meat was singled out because it is associated with celebrations and feasts. I understand that there has been a slight cultural shift in the last number of years with more and more people eating a more vegetarian diet, but most of us still base the food we eat during celebrations around a meat entrĂ©e (Thanksgiving turkey, Easter ham, Fourth of July brat, burger and a steak). A day devoted to remembering Christ’s Passion doesn’t seem like a day to feast. Interestingly enough, the day we celebrate the Resurrection is a day for feasting (and we get one of those every single week: Sunday). On top of all of that, meat has often been a luxury in many cultures. People didn’t always have a McDonald’s Dollar Menu, and meat cost a bit more. Maintaining a spirit of simplicity, people turned to other, less expensive fare.
...So what about fish? How’d that one slide by? I mean, it seems like meat, right? The thing is, fish never really had the same status as the flesh of mammals and birds. It isn’t associated with celebrations (in fact, I happen to associate having to eat fish with those other things parents force their children to do in order to “build character”).
...But I still don’t see the point! I don’t even like meat, and I would rather eat fish! This isn’t difficult at all! I like that statement, because it strikes at the heart of why we are doing this. God doesn’t need us to give up meat. God doesn’t need us to have a filet-o-fish on Fridays. What does God want? For you to suffer? Is the point of Lent to just grit your teeth and bear it, and if you happen to like fish then you just aren’t going to get holier because holiness comes from pain? NO! The heart of holiness is love, and the way we express our love is through obedience. Abstaining from meat won’t make a person closer to God. But having a posture of obedience to the Church that Christ established will.
Wasn't that deep!?!?! You can read the full version here.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pause and Reflect

Wow I can't believe how fast March snuck up on me!! I am so blessed to have reached 29 years of age. It is the last year of my 20's and let me tell you I have NO reservations about being close to turning 30. Today is also Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. This season is a time to really do some soul searching, reflecting, and repenting. It is also a time to devote yourself to God, his purpose, and sacrifice for the world. I have mentioned before that it is a totally different experience for to live through these religious seasons as an adult and through the eyes of my son. They really have taken on a new meaning. I want to learn as much as I can so that I can teach him too. I have never given up anything for Lent so this year I decided to take my Christian walk further and participate in fasting with a friend and her church. They have a cool guide (below) that I am using along with some devotionals to really dive deeply into the Lenten season and really recognize and honor in my own way the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. What an awesome way to start of being 29 right? I will be sharing some reflections here over the next 40 days.

I hope you all have a blessed day and rest of your week and if you don't know much about Lent, I encourage you to look it up or come back here each week. You may be inspired. 

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:16-21 NLT)

*I started this a week earlier, so I will be adding an extra week of something on the end. You can get the full guide here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 8: Don't Obsess

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 NLT)

So last week I didn't lose or gain any weight--which is good considering how weeks 6-7 went. Thanks to MyFitness Pal, I did learn though that compared to this time last year, I am 13 pounds lighter! Really cool.

 I also got some new MyFitness Pal buddies who have given me some really cool tips. So this week I will focus on adding more protein into my diet. I am not a huge fan of a lot of chicken but it has a ton of protein so I will be getting my chicken fix for sure in addition to some other new additions below.

Juicing has been going okay. I have only found one combination that I love so far: carrots and apples. I will be on the hunt this week for a green juice recipe that I like. I hate to waste calories on juice so it has to be good or I'm not drinking it.

Overall, I am encouraged because even though most days I ended up being in the 1,600's calorie wise, I didn't over indulge. Usually if I have a small slice of cake I say forget it and have 2 more but last week I didn't do that so I didn't really have any bad days or days when I had to skip tracking all together because I ate too much (which is key because my birthday is coming up!). I had 2/7 days under 1,500, 3 days in the 1,600's and my Friday and Saturday with dinners out we around 2,300 (including appetizer, dessert, and drinks)--definitely feel like a winner for that.

Not perfect but better. Because I never caved in, I was able to avoid "fat talk" and didn't feel guilty. No need to obsess--monitor but not obsess.

How are you all doing? We are already in March so don't give up on your New Year's goals/resolutions.

You can do it!!

Here are some items that I am trying to ramp up the protein (aside from chicken). I will probably rotate these throughout this week.

This is my top pick! You get the most protein from a bar with this one and it is yummy!

I don't love these but they get the job done and if you want a mindless snack you get a lot for one serving.
This was also pretty tasty. I'm not big on drinking milk so I was pleasantly surprised.
This bar is my second favorite. Not as much protein as the Nature Valley bar but pretty good and has healthy ingredients.