The head knowledge

Do you ever find yourself coming across the same topic from numerous sources? Like it keeps coming up over and over and you get to the point that you start thinking that perhaps you should start piecing together?

For me the past few days have seen the same topic coming up. The topic involves self worth, body image, caring for and loving yourself. It’s not a new topic for me but it is something that I’ve never come to a positive conclusion on.

I didn’t lose weight the way I wanted to this week. I was annoyed. I didn’t deserve a tiny gain (and yes I can see that it is a tiny gain, but I still didn’t deserve it!) I was cross that my body doesn’t respond the way that scientifically it should. Calories in minus more calories out should scientifically equal less weight. SCIENCE SUCKS. Well that’s my current opinion! I’ll get over it, well I may get over it!

Going back to the topic of self worth and body image, the question my devotion book (Savor: Shauna Niequiest) posed to me today was:

What would it take for you to live well in your body this season?

My immediate reaction is to think along physical lines; lose weight, lose inches, get nice clothes. I move onto mental thoughts; be more confident, accept where I am, recognise my progress. However, because of the series of repeated messages my brain moved on to the idea of the renewing of my mind.

The devotional email that I had read first thing this morning was all 3 steps for renewing your mind. And so with that fresh in my mind I was prompted to back to look back to the email and I pulled out a few keys words for each of the steps:

Renewing you mind

  1. Recognise negative thoughts – Does this thought help me? Is it true? Does it steal my peace? Does it match with God’s word? – Awareness is the first step to controlling thoughts
  2. Reject negative thoughts – If you’ve decided it’s not really true, don’t allow yourself to entertain it any more. – Take control of what you’re thinking rather than letting it run rampant.
  3. Replace negative thoughtsWe have the authority and power to reject those negative thoughts and shift them to be more positive. 

Tracie Miles: Proverbs 31 Ministries

I think I probably do step one most of the time. I think I probably don’t do step two or step three! I’m an overthinker. I’m a look at the worst case scenario and then let that develop for the next 3 days thinker. I recognise this as part of my personality but I just don’t seem to be able to win. Although to be fair on myself I’m not sure how much I try and there are times when my overthinking is actually a positive part of my personality it’s just that for it to be a positive part it was to be based on step one above in particular IT IS EVEN TRUE?!?!?!

I decided to spend some time thinking about what I know (my head knowledge) of what God thinks about me. I came up with 27 “I am…..” statements.

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I was quite surprised how many I could come up with and to be fair I could probably think of more if I hadn’t filled the page with these ones. 

What I’m beginning to realise is that I have the head knowledge for a transformed heart and for the negative to stop winning, I’m just know sure I have the heart feelings to go with it. As a feeler in personality that’s a big deal! 

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Run rabbit run

Have you ever achieved something that you weren’t sure you’d ever manage?

2.5 years ago I tried running again having done couch to 5k in 2012. I couldn’t do it. It left me in serious pain and I was heartbroken. I wanted to run and I couldn’t.

Roll forward to January 2017 and I decided that being a stone lighter I’d just give it another go. And it turned out I could run. In fact I quite enjoyed it, certainly more than last time.

I did couch to 5k for a few weeks and then decided to go it alone and just get myself up to 5k bit by bit. My aim was to hit 5k in less than 40 minutes having hit 40:50 last time I’d done 5k. The first time I ran 5k this time, in February, I did it in just over 39 minutes. I sobbed that I’d managed to do it… then realised I needed a new aim! Ha!

I aimed for 5k under 35 minutes. Seemed like it would be a challenge and that it would take a fair amount of work. In May I hit 5k in just over 34 minutes. Again i cried – I hadn’t really thought it was possible.

NEW CHALLENGE REQUIRED! – I wanted to raise money for Macmillan in memory of my mum. So I combined a running challenge with a money raising challenge. I entered a 10k race on July 9th and then told everyone so I’d have no choice! (Accountability is a great thing!)

I worked out I’d need to add at least 0.7km each week to hit 9.9k the week before my 10k. Well the first week I hit 7.5k, the week after 8k and then this week 10k. I think I was a little shocked with myself when I finished running. Not excited in an odd way just shocked. See 10k seemed unachievable. I’d come from thinking I’d not be able to run again full stop to running 10k. Totally shocked.

What amazes me is the encouragement that people around me give me. From some of the least expected sources through to the friends who always have my back they have built me up and encouraged me. They’ve inspired me and told me that I inspire them which has inspired me to go even further.

And the best thing is that whilst I go through my shock, and whilst I gain all the fitness benefits, I am also aiming toward raising money for a charity who had my mum’s heart firmly behind them. A charity who helped her in her last fight. Who could want more than that?!

Like learning to ride a bike

Have you ever tried to teach someone to ride a bike? I hadn’t really until today.

We got our three year old a bike with stabilisers for giving up his dummy and so we now start the process of learning how to do it. He happily asks to have the bike out from the garage, puts on the helmet, climbs on the bike and then he just sits on with his feet on the pedals going nowhere fast, or at all to be honest!!

I tried to help. It wasn’t pretty. It was the end of a long day with the kids and my patience was low, maybe bike riding should not be a post 6pm activity! Anyway he would put his feet on the pedal and push one foot down and start to move which sounds and looks promising. He would then take his foot off the pedal that he next needed to push to keep moving. He would lose the flow and he would have to start again.

It did not matter how many times I would tell him that he needed to keep his feet on the pedal, he would still keep taking that foot off and that lead to me getting more and more frustrated with him, losing my patience, raising my voice slightly, all the usual ugly moments you wish you could go back and change.

After a little while of attempting this and repeating the phrase you need to keep your foot on the pedal to no avail, my lovely husband came outside and I exclaimed “I just need to go inside for a few moments!”

As I sat down exacerbated by really quite a short exchange I just felt God say “that’s what you do”. And as I thought about it I realised it is in so many situations. I request to do something, get all kitted out for it, get lined up to start, take a small motion towards it and then I take my foot off the pedal and God’s somewhere in the background shouting “STOP TAKING YOUR FOOT OFF THE FLIPPING PEDAL” – to be fair He probably isn’t shouting that but in my head that’s what I think he is shouting.

It’s so easy to lose momentum. Something gets hard. Something is boring. Something is frustrating, The weather changes. You get injured. People distract you. Life gets in the way. Another ‘thing’ needs our attention and it seems more important. Priorities get confused.

The thing is that I am sure that there are things in everyone’s life where we keep coming back to that very same issue, and keep making a start and then taking our feet off the pedal without even really meaning to sometimes. If you keep going round in the circle to the same situation chances are you keep starting and then stopping.

I can think of a few things where I do this but weight loss is the most obvious. It’s easily been 10 years of starting and stopping. Getting distracted, giving up, life causing issues, children. I’ve all the excuses in the world and many of them are justified but for me weight is an issue. It’s something that need to be dealt with. It’s a physical, emotional and spiritual area of my life which needs me discipline, attention and effort. I need to keep my foot on the pedal.
I’m doing better with this. I’ve got further than ever before but my mojo has disappeared a little. My discipline is lacking. My focus fuzz. My attraction to chocolate stronger. I need to spend time getting back that self control and discipline so that God doesn’t have to keep shouting to me about my feet on the pedals! I can’t do it alone but I’m so blessed to have friends and family who have my back and maybe I need to start by asking for help!

Keep your feet on the pedals because you never know just what you might achieve if you stop pulling it off at the most important moment. Just imagine the progress and then maybe gaffa tape your feet onto the pedal which I will confess was what I was tempted to do with the three year old!

What am I doing?

Someone asked me what I’m doing to lose weight. I thought I’d share my response!

I’m almost at 2.5 stone off in 6 months. There’s a few things I’ve done.

1) The biggest thing was learning that I’m worth the effort and therefore not to just give up. I’ve spent all my adult life trying to lose weight and getting nowhere because when others needed something that got in the way I’d give up.

2) I read a book called Made To Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It changed my mindset about diet towards it being a journey of discipline with God but that he’s the one who defines my worth and not the scales. SO worth reading.

3) I’m using the My Fitness Pal app on my phone to track my calories and write down everything that I eat. I’ve done slimming world and weight watchers over the years and they just don’t work for me. I find I give up and all I want is the banned food. With my fitness pal I can eat whatever I want as long as I am within my calories for the day (though I have found that I have naturally fallen into making healthier choices because it normally means fuller for longer!) and if it gets to the end of the day and I want to eat something I don’t have enough calories for I go for a walk or I pave around the house to earn the calories. If I don’t want to earn them I don’t get to eat it.

4) I got myself a Fitbit. I started by aiming to walk 5000 steps a day and I really struggled. I now manage between 10000 and 15000 a day. I pace while I read my bible or a book to gain more steps!!

5) I have friends on my fitness pal and Fitbit who keep me accountable. I also make it very open that I’m trying to lose weight including posting my weekly weight losses on my Instagram feed. It means that if I went off plan people would notice because my habits would change and so someone would ask me and bring me back in check!!

It’s a really hard journey and there are so many things that get in the way. I’ve always been a comfort eater and I’ve always been an all or nothing person so I’m either fully on plan or not at all. I’m trying to change both of those things and have seen real breakthroughs partially because of the book.

I’ve been to a BBQ and a baby shower recently where I knew if I started eating the food I wouldn’t stop. Before the BBQ I ate dinner. I wanted to go to the BBQ for the company not for the food. Before the baby shower I told both the mum to be and the friend I was going with that I wouldn’t be eating anything. The sense of achievement I had at walking away from both those events having stuck to my plan was incredible.

 Sorry to have rambled on for so long!! Any questions or anything else please do feel free to message back. It’s something I’m incredibly passionate about and empowering other people to make process in their journey is so important to me too!! So anything I can do to help just shout!

Who goes with you?

IMG_2454Community is a beautiful thing. Real community is there in good times and in bad. They stretch us and encourage us to grow and become better versions of us. They keep us accountable and they hit us with spoons when we do stupid things – normally metaphorically not literally!

I’ve found myself pondering my small group of friends and I found myself feeling sad that I have so few friends in recent days and weeks. I know a lot of people but I’m not sure I have that many friends.

I know this sounds like a sob story and truth be told for much of the time I’ve been pondering my friendships and community I probably have been looking at it as more of a sob story.

However, there’s a but, a big BUT. The friendships that I have, the people who I spend my time with, the people who spend their precious time with me and invest in me are precious and amazing friends.

They are the types of people who I want to help, invest in, build up, encourage but also to challenge to do more, different, less, change and just generally be the best that they can be. I want that because whether verbally or through their actions that what they do for me.

Who goes with you? Who challenges you to be the best person you can be? Who really wants a bunch of yes men around them who pay lip service but not heart service.

Yes my group of friends is small. Yes there are times when I wish I had a bigger pool to pull from (to be less of a burden more than anything) but this group are friends are the perfect group of friends for who I am now and where God would have me go.

I am BEYOND grateful.