Inspired

There are many many people who inspire me in my day to day life but today I am particularly inspired by my amazing friend Jo. 

She pushed herself beyond what she thought she could do and at times beyond what she wanted to do to achieve running a half marathon yesterday. She is quite frankly amazing. 

She inspires me with her perservance at work, her commitment to her family, her passion for life and her heart to see everyone achieve their potential. I love her energy, her excitement, her passion, her big heart and her striving to do better. 

Joanna you inspire me in ways I don’t have the words to describe. You encourage me for the future and you push me to do and be a better version of myself without putting my current self down. 

My mum would have been SO proud and impressed. She’d have thought you were nuts for doing it in the first place, mind you, but she’d have been so impressed! 

I do not doubt the same would have been of your mum. What a spectacular young woman she created. 

#shedefinitelycanshedefinitelydid

Advertisements

Kids and food

What was your experience of food as you were growing up? Your parents approach to healthy eating? Your parents thoughts about dieting? I hope it was a positive one.

For me I grew up in a house where we ate the same foods each week and we weren’t very adventurous although to be fair much of this was because my dad worked a more than full time job and cooked because my mum was well enough to. When I had concerns about my weight in my teenage years my mum exclaimed she wasn’t having me getting worried about weight things at my age. Our food was not unhealthy but my weight certainly was.

So since my early teenage years I have been unhappy with my weight and have tried different ways of losing weight including several years of Weight Watchers and Slimming World. In those years I learnt that somethings you shouldn’t eat and somethings you should. The ‘shouldn’t eats’ became more appealing, FAR more appealing. The ‘shouldn’t eats’ were things you only had a treat or on special occasions and when you did have them it was GOOD.

So in the times of losing focus, losing motivation, losing heart, feeling overwhelmed, useless, a failure, fat, lonely and not worth the effort, I would turn to the shouldn’t eats, the treats, the things you only have on special occassions, and eat them without care.

Problem is that I would come back from those times of lost focus or come out of my overwhelmed state to find myself more overweight that I was and so having further to go to fix it.

It frustrates me and annoys me that I have made my journey longer and harder but at the same time I know there’s nothing I can about it. Except learn to not lose heart when things are tough. I can also learn from the experience and I can share that with others.

I already wrote a post on things being permissible but not always being beneficial which is certainly on of the big things I have learnt BUT it’s also taught me a lot about the treats and special occasions food mindset. (See that post here)

If we teach our children that sweets and chocolates are a treat and only for special occasions we do not teach them moderation and we make them more appealing and tempting. If we teach our children that we can have these things whenever BUT we have to have them in moderation we teach our children that these things are just another type of food but to be wise with how much we have of them. When something is BANNED I want to have it more.

Maybe that’s my mindset but I have seen it with my biggest boy, Zachary.  I have never had bans on when Zac can have certain food because of how I viewed food and knowing the impact that it had for me. Zac can have a little bit of chocolate or some sweets when he asks nicely, sees someone else with something or when I need to blackmail him with something (!). He knows he can only have a little (often saying ‘just a bit’) but actually rarely asks for them despite knowing where in the cupboard they are.

Don’t get me wrong I know he’s not yet 3 and he’s not a scientific study but at the moment he has a healthy approach to ‘treat’ like foods that we will continue to instil in him in the hopes that as he becomes old he will have ingrained in him a healthy mindset, even if it’s something he forgets for a few years in between when he first starts buying his own foods.

I guess it’s similar to a friends experience of alcohol. His parents didn’t allow him any alcohol at all as he was growing up so when he hit 18 he spent much of his time drinking too much, being irresponsible and not recognising the impacts of alcohol on his system. This in comparison to someone who has tried alcohol at home with their parents in a safe environment, recognising when they’ve had enough that it perhaps is changing they response is less likely to binge because alcohol is a new experience but more likely to do just it just because they want to. Hmmm perhaps that argument is a little light but hopefully you get the gist of what I mean!

Anyway, the whole of my post is just to encourage you based on my experience to not make foods banned, shouldn’t have, special occasions food but rather to make them everyday, normal, in moderation food.

Focus

I’ve been a bit slack with getting round to writing blog posts. My head has written many and I’ve half written a few but this is the first time in a while I’ve been able to sit and write. Even then this is the second time I’ve started this particular post. But it seems important so I shall try to carry on.

I’ve noticed a couple of times that God uses the time I’m changing Sully’s nappy to speak to me. When I’m changing Sully’s nappy he has this habit of trying to pull the cables that are up by his head. If he were to manage it he would pull his baby monitor or his light down onto his head. He should ask his brother because Zac did it once; missed him but there’s still a dint in the wall to show for it!

Anyway I digress a little. Sully often spends his time on the mat staring at the cables and his hand twitches towards them. If I can distract him away from the cable his hand doesn’t twitch and he forgets all about them.

Bear with me here!

What I felt God saying to me was that it’s where your eyes focus that you see. Obvious huh? But where you are looking makes a difference to what you are tempted by. Your eyes are what your brain is focused on. When I spend my time focused on something I want and can’t have I make myself want it more. When I turn my eyes from that things I want it less.

If I spend my days focused on the wrong things there’s a high chance I’ll make the wrong choices.
Food is a battle
For me food is a battle. For as long as I can remember I’ve tried to lose weight but willpower has lost out to temptation of eating ‘fun’ things, more appealing things, having less restrictions on my life, choosing the free path. Problem is that eating what you want isn’t the free path when you need to lose weight. It’s just you being trapped by the food that tempts you. I’ve created a mindset in me that somethings are banned and that then leads to me wanting the banned food. To be fair that probably comes from years of following different dieting plans! But actually I am finding freedom in the idea that everything is permissible, all the foods are like (or rather appeal more!) are permissible BUT not everything is beneficial.

The bible says that very thing in 1 Corinthians 6:12 “”Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything.” I cannot eat whatever I want whenever I want because it is not beneficial to me. By using calorie counting instead of weight watchers or Slimming World I can see the science of calorie in and calorie out. If I’ve eaten all my calories today eating on more chocolate bar, even if it’s smaller, will not allow me to lose weight – it’s not beneficial. However if I want that chocolate bar and am willing to go for a 30 minute walk to gain it then that’s a different ball game. My head is full of thoughts about kids and food at this point but I will write that somewhere else and link it when i do! (See that post here)

More than that…
It goes further what I eat though. Focus comes all the way down to the wanting to lose weight in the first place. When I am so wrapped up in the scales and the calories I fail and falter when I don’t achieve my calorie goal that day or I don’t lose the weight I want to. If my focus is on God and the journey that losing weight takes me on with him; a journey of discipline, obedience, refinement and transformation IN HIM, then when the scales don’t do what I want them to do or I eat too many calories that one day then I can’t define myself as a failure. When we define ourselves as failures we are more inclined to give up. When we see ourselves as on a journey we are more inclined to keep pushing on and see where God can take us in this journey.

Don’t get me wrong I still desperately want the scales to go down. The weight loss part of my journey still seems so long but it’s easier to pull myself back and remind myself this is a journey that it has ever been before.

I can’t recommend enough the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. She speaks more eloquently than I ever will about the journey that weight loss can take you on with God.