Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I tried - counting calories {weight loss journey update}

It's been a year!
Well, almost.
I "officially" started my healthy lifestyle change August 1st of 2015.   Here is the a piece of my first weight loss journey post from last year:

"My goal - which ever comes first is to lose 60 pounds or be down 4-5 dress sizes by next summer.   I am trying to keep in mind that muscle, scientifically, does weigh more than fat.  I am trying to keep in mind that this is going to be a long journey.   I am trying to keep in mind that no matter what I am loved, I am important, I am valuable.  I am trying to keep in mind that my body is not really mine.  I belong to something bigger and better than all of us. But I need to do this. I want to be healthy for my family. 
Hopefully blogging will be another tool to keep me accountable.  I have a great support system to encourage me and work out with me. I am logging my food, follow me on my fitness pal as mdjones12.  I am eating less sugary foods and limiting breads.  I got a Fitbit to monitor my steps. I have all the tools. Now to put them in place." 

Click me if you really want to read the entire post.

So, how did I do?

Started at 210 ----------> currently at 175 pounds.   I did not loose 60 pounds [YET].  
Started at size 18/20 ----------> currently at size 12. I did not loose 4-5 dress sizes [YET].

Am I healthy for my family?  Absolutely!
Did I log my food?  Every day, for a year!  See below picture.
Did I track my steps?  Every day, getting on average 12,000 steps a day.

Around March, I wanted to quit.    But I decided to keep going and set some other new goals.  Here is what I wrote from that post:
"Train for my 1/2 marathon in May.  [I have a 10k this Saturday and a 10 mile race at the end of April]

Eat better.  I really do need to limit my sugar intake.  **it's just so good**
Incorporate strength training - twice a week."

So how did I do?

I ran a 1/2 marathon *check*
I try to eat better *check*
Incorporate strength training twice a week *half check*

I am making progress.


My husband, J, and I got a year long membership to a club back in June.  Recently, we hired a personal trainer.  At first I was a little worried/consumed by the cost of it (although not a lot, I always feel bad for spending money on me/us).
But after a few sessions (that KICKED my booty) I was able to come to terms.  Tatum and Colby are helping us learn.  We are learning form and technique.  We are learning better nutrition.  We are learning what exercises to do for what we need (running faster for me and loosing weight for J).
I was also okay with it once I realized that people use wraps, powders, shakes, surgeries, and pills looking for the same results; while what we are buying is a lifestyle change a learning opportunity.  I don't want to depend on supplements or outside sources for the rest of my life. This change, depends on us.    

I've stopped counting calories.  I am still writing down what I eat so our trainer can see my log.  But I am not counting calories.  I am done with those little numbers on every package, with every bite.  I now think, do I want someone to see this.  Is it worth writing down?   I am, per our trainers advice, eating smaller more frequent meals.  From a handful of almonds to an apple.

Do I still crave ice cream (had it two times last week).
Do I still feel guilty when eating said ice cream?  NO.  Not any more.


That is my new constant reminder.
It's just a number.
Here are some more important numbers that define me.

* 3 nails that saved my life
* 8 years of marriage
* 2 boys of my own
* 4 years of teaching (about to start my 5th!)
* 516 students served, loved, cared for and challenged
* 752 miles (probably more) ran since 2012
* 546 kilometers ran during 2016, that's roughly 339 miles in 7 months
* 2761 moments captured on my phone.
* numerous women who love and support me
* countless healthy meals I have made for my children
* several hours of playing, dancing, acting silly with my children

I am worth so much more than that simple number of 175 pounds.
That could be 175 coconuts for all we know.

A year ago I decided to start a weight loss journey.  A lifestyle change.  And that's exactly what it has been. A journey.

This next year's journey is going to be a continue of the last year.  {WOW, can I just pause,  it's been a year!!!}

What am I going to continue for this year, this journey:
continue to run
continue to work out regularly
continue to eat smaller portions and health/clean food
continue to play with my kids
continue to laugh at myself
continue to love who I am and who I am becoming
continue to grow healthy friendships
continue to dig deep into my faith

I tried counting calories.  And now I am going to move on.

I will check back in, I am sure, in a few months.  But this picture always resinates with me.  So I am just going to leave it here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I tried - playing devils advocate {current society issues}

A few days ago, I tried playing devils advocate.   I am not proud of what happened, and I should have known better; but I ended up hurting ones I loved.

I don't like the wording, 'devils' advocate' because it sounds like I am working with the devil.  So, I will call myself for what I am, a teacher.  Now, some of my students would see the parallel between teacher and evil.....  *anyone laughing, anyone?*..... and maybe even some of my friends.

As a teacher my job is to educate.  Yes, I do enjoy teaching math (everyone pause for a moment and remember how much you hate math, but in reality you use it every day).   More importantly than teaching math, I like teaching about life!    I like presenting two sides of a case.   I like bringing in tough issues and challenging deep thought.  I like pushing people, to help them grow. And while doing so, also helping myself mature and grow too.

Social media can be a dangerous place.  It's not even safe to catch pokemon anymore!  I use social media for two things: to annoy people with ridiculously cute pictures of my kids and educate.  I want people {my children, my students, my friends, my family} to be able to think for themselves.

I want them to be able to form an opinion based off of facts while simultaneously sifting through their hearts and emotions.    

So when I started posting about __________________ lives matter.   I ended up hurting ones that needed my support and love more than anything.    My whole goal was to educate.  I have friends who hate muslims.  Who don't value black lives.  Who don't care for the gay community.  I have friends who have the biggest hearts, give when they have nothing themselves, and wear their passionate hearts on their sleeves.   I have stubborn friends who are this wing or that wing.   I have friends who claim a religion and then act worldly.  I have friends who are full of pride and those that are humble.  So, if at any given opportunity, if I can help teach, if I can help educate, if I can help show love, then I am going to.

However, I was everything I was fighting against.   I was fighting for love.  I was fighting for peace.  But I ended up hurting.

To those who I have hurt {be in the past, the present, or even the future}  
I truly am sorry if I had upset you by pushing to hard.  By my lack of support.  By failing communication.  By not giving enough hugs.

So, with deepest sincerity, I am sorry.
I am sorry for posting when I should have been praying and asking for guidance.
I am sorry for pushing when I needed to step back and pause and reflect.
I am sorry for talking when I should have been listening to your heart, to the stillness.
I am sorry for not being who I am wanting to be.

The topic of blue vs black lives has been on my heart and mind constantly.   I am reading articles, watching videos,  praying, searching for answers.  I have posted things on social media trying to get others to help inform me of their thoughts.   I have asked those who work in social justice ministries, cops, friends, teachers.

My mind was swinging as the wind blows.  But then I read Romans 12: 9-21.  And THAT was the reminder that I needed.  That was the moment God gave me clarity.

So here is where I stand.  Some ideas have been poured into concrete years ago.  And some ideas are in sand becoming more solid. But currently this is it:

***  I am non-violent (concrete) - I can not and will not hurt a person.    People always challenge me with "what about self-defense?"   "what about if they are going to rape or shoot your child?"   "what about if......." and on and on.       Violence is not the answer.   Let God revenge what is his.        Here is a rather long list of versus that talk about loving people and living in peace.  But do not repay evil with evil (Romans 12:21).   So, when it comes to black vs blue;   black lives matter but they also should not be violent in their efforts.   Blue lives matter (and thank you for those who serve and put their lives out there every day) but they should not be violent in their efforts.

*** I believe equality is not the same as fairness (concrete) -   I use the below image with my students.  I hear all the time "this isn't fair"  but being fair does not always mean getting the same thing.   My 12/13 year old students can tell me that if a person is hungry that they should get more food than a person who is not.     For the people who challenge me "what about working hard?"  "what about those who use the system?"   "what about......"    I still stand firm in going back to Romans 12: 9-21.   We give to people food and drink.  We take care of people.  We don't judge people and think they need something or not.     Yes, there are people who abuse gracious opportunities.  Yes, there are those who have more than plenty and cling to it while giving nothing.    It is not my place to decide.  God will provide and take care of us.  God watches our actions.

So, if a people group needs  more of something from our government, from our school system, from law enforcement, or even from our churches, than it is our job to help them in a way that meets that need.

I believe that to be equal we have to be different.  

*** I believe that our society needs a return of respect (concrete) - we don't respect each other.   Our own children struggle learning to respect in a society that demands they have what they want when they want it.    We need to respect each other.  Respect authority.  Respect the law. Respect people. Give them honor.