The Indulger

Who is the Indulger?  He’s that little voice inside of your head telling you that you “deserve” something.  He likes to hang out with the Rationalizer who will tell you that it’s ok–that little bite won’t matter.

My Indulger is alive and well.  He likes to talk to me when I step into the grocery store.  One day last week I ran into the grocery store to pick up one thing after running with friends.  We ran right at dinner time, so I was hungry and ready to eat.  I also knew that my dinner was at home waiting for me.

As soon as I stepped into the store, my Indulger started talking to me.  “You’re hungry.  You deserve it!”  Then the Rationalizer spoke up too, “You just ran four miles.  That candy bar won’t matter.  No one will know.”  I went to the produce department, grabbed the vegetables I came in for, and then headed for the checkout.  Since I only had one item, I went through the express checkout which also has less candy.  I turned my back to the candy shelf.  I kept thinking about how I would feel afterwards if I did get that candy bar.  I checked out quickly and made it through unscathed.

During another trip to the grocery store I had a cart full of things to pick up.  I was doing ok until the end of my trip.  The last aisle in my grocery store is the dairy section.  I picked up a few things and was ready to head to the checkout.

There it was.  That little shelf of tasty morsels that have been strategically placed as you’re leaving the dairy aisle.  And there’s the sign, saying that they’re 10 for $10, so at $1 each you know it’s a bargain.  And within reach, there they were–Sno Balls.  Pink Sno Balls.  Nostalgia and memories kicked in, and my Indulger started to go wild.

As a kid, Sno Balls were my favorite junk food.  They were always prominently displayed at the checkout counter.  I would beg my mother for them every time we would go to the grocery store.  She didn’t always give in, but I had them often enough.  One great thing about them is that there are two!  You can have one now and one later–that is if you can manage to put the second one away for safe keeping.

My Indulger was telling me that it would be ok.  I had just gone for a run.  The calories wouldn’t matter.  My Rationalizer was telling me that I could have one today and one tomorrow.  I stood there, I stared, I contemplated.  I knew that once I opened the package that I could not eat just one.

Finally, I walked away.  I felt a strong desire to go back and grab that package, but I didn’t.

It’s taken a while, but I’ve learned how to deal with the Indulger and his buddy the Rationalizer.  The first and most important step is to not give in right away–to delay that decision and to put them off for a few minutes.  If I can stop to think about how I’ll feel afterwards and how eating this “treat” is going to make me feel the next day (usually lots of inflammation), then I can make a better decision based on ALL the facts.  The truth is, it’s not worth how I’m going to feel the next day.  It’s not worth watching the scale go up overnight, and then taking the rest of the week to go back to where it was.  It’s not worth the cravings it’s going to put into motion.  It’s not worth taking two or three days to get completely back on track.

We were made to crave, and the food manufacturers know this.  Scientifically, they have figured out how to create food that we will crave and become addicted to.  Breaking the addiction and the craving cycle is very difficult.  However, we have more knowledge now about this than ever before, and it can be done.  This is what Bright Line Eating (BLE) is all about.

As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God.  Psalm 42:1b

 

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Falling in Love with Running Again

Traditionally, I have found April to be the busiest month of the year as far as activities go, and this April was no exception.

This is normally a time that my food choices go down the tube and I tend to eat out and eat whatever is quick and easy to throw on a plate and heat up in the microwave.  Everyday meals can be quick and easy to fix if you’re prepared.  The planning that BLE requires you to do is all it takes for you to make good food choices.

I’ve found a BLE compliant lunch that is easy to fix ahead of time and take with me places if needed.  It consists of a boiled egg, hummus, raw vegetables, a piece of fruit, and an ounce of cheese.  If there’s even a chance that I won’t be home to eat it, it goes with me.  Then, if I end up being home, I can eat it at home.  I have an insulated lunch bag that is stored in the freezer to keep my food cold.

A few days ago, I discovered that my breakfast is easy to take with me as well.  I fixed it in a small glass storage container, popped the lid on it, and took it with me.  It consists of shredded wheat, blueberries with cinnamon sprinkled on them, Greek yogurt, and nut butter.  For the first time in my life, I actually like breakfast and look forward to eating it every morning.

Despite getting more rain than anyone can imagine, we’ve been fortunate that none of our scheduled runs have been rained out.  Last year, I did not love running.  I got lackadaisical with my running which was a huge mistake.  This year I’m working at keeping my pace up and paying attention, and I am loving it again.  Loving it makes you want to work harder and get better at it.  My number one person to beat is myself, and it’s energizing to see the improvement with every run.

Not that I have already obtained [it] or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of [it] yet; but one thing [I do:] forgetting what [lies] behind and reaching forward to what [lies] ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 3:12-14.

First Quarter Update and My First Running Injury

I haven’t posted an update on running for a while, so I thought I would do that for this week’s post.

Running outdoors is very weather dependent.  And once you start enjoying running outdoors, the thought of running indoors, especially on a treadmill, is almost crippling.  I’d almost rather do anything else but run on a treadmill.

That said, we had a very snowy and icy winter this year.  Our Sunday church services were cancelled three Sundays this past winter.  Most of the schools in the area have started taking away holidays and days off to make up for the days the schools were closed this winter.  So, even on days where it was unfit to run outside, it was also too treacherous to drive to a gym or to the caves to run.  There were lots of days that we opted to stay home for safety.

For January, I again registered for the Battle of the Bean 5K.  This race was early Saturday morning, and we had a snow storm predicted for Friday night into Saturday morning.  At packet pickup, everyone was being asked if they were planning on attending the race.  If not, you were not given a timing chip.  I went to packet pickup with full intention of running the race on Saturday morning.  We all got a nice mug like last year except that they were blue this year.

As predicted, the snow and the blowing wind came.  The race was still on, but my friends and I decided that it was not worth the risk to drive across town and then run on a major thoroughfare and risk getting hit by a car.  And, after seeing photos from the race, it was clear that we made the right decision.

For February, I again registered for the Sweetheart Run 5K.  This was my third time to run this race.  We had had lots of snow and ice a few days before the race, so I did go check out the route when I went for packet pickup.  I was glad I did, as the parking lot was literally a sheet of ice since it was at a place that has closed and is no longer in use.  The route had lots of snow and slush on it, but I saw a snowplow working on it, so I was hoping it would be in better condition by race time.

Race time came.  It was cold, and crunchy.  All the snow and slush was now frozen into ice.  It was a whopping 14 degrees with a 13 mph wind.  The emcee was telling people that if they didn’t want to run that they could hand in their timing chip in exchange for their medal.  Most people were taking him up on his offer.  I thought about it, but decided that I knew I would get warmed up once I got started.

The race was slow-going but doable.  Everyone had slowed down to where it was pretty well one big pack.  It was cool, but I did get warmed up once we got going.  Then at the mile two marker I stepped on a ball of ice from the snow plow and rolled my ankle.  It was excruciating, but I did not think it was as bad as the last time I rolled my ankle.  I tried running after that, but couldn’t.  I had to walk the rest of the way, but I finished.  This was the coldest, crunchiest, iciest, and most treacherous race I’ve ever run.   This was also my first running injury.

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March’s race was again the Hospital Half and 5K.  Actually, I believe they gave it another name this year, but we’ll go with this one.  This is my third year for this race as well.  I was still recovering from my ankle sprain and had done some walking but no running at all.  I had a friend that injured her knee a few days before the race, so we decided to walk the race together.

It was cold, and the wind was blowing.  The race also started and ended at a different location with a whole new route.  The vendor expo was inside, which was probably a good thing with the cold and wind.  The new route was extremely hilly.  I’ve heard that there were enough complaints that it will be a different route next year.

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Once I saw the finish line, I couldn’t walk any more.  I ran across the finish line, which ended up being a wise decision.  This little sprint made me second to the last in my age group by two seconds!

This will give you a summary for the first quarter of 2019.   I will write more on what has been happening in my next post.

A plan in the heart of a man is [like] deep water, But a man of understanding draws it out. Proverbs 20:5

 

Where Does the Weight Go?

Have you ever wondered where the weight goes when you lose it?  Have you ever wondered how you lose weight?  Below is a video that explains it in detail.  I think it goes a little too far in explaining it, but hold on, it’s worth watching the whole video.  My understanding is that most of it is exhaled during the last two hours of your sleep cycle.  That’s why it’s so important to get the proper amount of sleep each night.

It would be nice to hear the science on how people gain weight.  How is it that eating a few ounces of something equals gaining a few pounds?  Where does it come from?  There are lots of videos on how to gain weight.  I don’t need help with that!  It would be nice to hear the science behind it.

 

My Weird Non-Scale Victory

What is a non-scale victory (nsv)?  Non-scale victories are the benefits of your new, healthier lifestyle.  There are other things to look forward to besides stepping on the scale and seeing the numbers go down.  Anyone that’s been on a weight-loss journey knows that the scales don’t always go in the direction or at the pace you would like.  This is where nsv’s come in.  It gives you something positive to look at and think about.

There are a lot of nsv’s that people experience in general once adopting a healthier lifestyle such as:

  • Clearer skin
  • Feeling better overall
  • Easier to move around
  • Sleeping better
  • More energy
  • Clothes fitting better
  • and more.

For me, the clothes are definitely fitting better. Yeah!  Being in uncomfortable clothing all day is something that can definitely put you in a fowl mood.  I am feeling better overall without having the ups and downs of feeling good one day and not so good the next.  Most days I have plenty of energy.  On the days that I’m feeling fatigued, I’m finding that taking some electrolytes seems to be the answer.

result-3236280_640So, here’s the weird nsv.  I have a thumbnail that has been split for probably five years or more.  It has been ugly and at times painful and even bleeding.  I have no idea what caused it, but I’m assuming some kind of injury or damage.  I have tried all kinds of things to fix it and get it to heal.  I have tried super glue.  I have tried having my nails professionally done.  I have tried doing my nails myself.  I finally gave up.

However, with Bright Line Eating, not only am I eating good, healthy food all of the time, but I am also taking my vitamins every single day.  Remember my bujo?  I have a nightly checklist in there of things I want to be sure to do on a daily basis.  One of the things I added to my checklist is to take my vitamins every day.  That alone is prompting me to take my vitamins regularly.  So, I’m not sure if it’s because I’m eating much better or because I’m taking my vitamins every single day now, or perhaps it’s a combination of the two; but my nails are now a whole lot better than they ever have been my entire life.  In fact, my thumbnail is now healed!

I know it seems like such a small, trivial thing; but it really isn’t.  This thing has been a thorn in my side thumb for several years now.  It has been painful, ugly, and sometimes bloody.  I am so excited to see new growth on my nail and so far it is not splitting.  I keep looking and feeling and running my finger over it, but I can’t find any trace of it splitting whatsoever!  Not only am I excited, I am awed!

What are some of your non-scale victories?

. . .”for I, the LORD, am your healer.”  Exodus 15:26b

BLE and Bullet Journaling — Katie’s Bright Kitchen

Have you tried bullet journaling?  I wanted to, but it seemed so complicated.  I read articles and even a book on how it MUST be done.  The thought of being so organized sounded wonderful, but it also sounded so complicated that my perfectionist self wouldn’t even try it in fear of doing it “wrong.”

Once I read this post on Katie’s Bright Kitchen, I ordered a simple bullet journal and a couple of fine-point pens from Amazon and I’ve been loving it.  The first week I did mine in pencil because I felt like I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or what I wanted.  It’s been pen and ink ever since and I’ve learned that you can always use white-out or you can choose to live with your mistakes.

I’ve been able to put a week’s worth of meal plans, gratitudes, lists, and reminders all on a two-page spread.  I’m not the artist that Katie is, but it is working for me.  If I continue as I’ve been doing, this one journal will last me over a year.

I encourage you to click on over to Katie’s post.  You’ll be amazed at how simple bullet journaling can be.  It doesn’t have to be done any certain way.  It doesn’t have to be done the way the “experts” say it must be done.  It only has to be done in a way that works for you.  It only has to be done your way.

I posted this picture of my bullet journal on instagram yesterday, and everybody kept commenting that they wanted to buy it, which tells me that those people don’t understand the basic concept of a bullet journal. That’s ok, neither did I once. The beautiful thing about a bullet journal is that it doesn’t have a […]

via BLE and Bullet Journaling — Katie’s Bright Kitchen

Self-Care

Last summer I did participate in the Couch to 5K program except that our coach also offered a 5K to 10K program.  The race we’ve traditionally run at the end of the program offers a 5K or a 10K option, so it was an easy addition to the program.  I registered for the 10K program.

I ran more miles last summer than ever before, but I made a huge mistake.  The school year before had been stressful and difficult, so I really felt like I just needed to rest and relax.  So, I decided to relax and have fun with my running.  Instead of listening to a metronome to keep my pace on track, I toyed with listening to music.  I tried different genres and different tempos, but never found a tempo to keep my pace where it should be.  I know a lot of people listen to music or podcasts while running.  It just doesn’t work for me.

I naturally want to run slow and with a long stride, so that’s what happened.  My stride got longer and I got slower which makes for more work on the body.  By the time I realized this, it was so late in the program that I decided to not try to correct it at that time.

I did complete the program and ran my first 10K!  It was a great feeling of accomplishment.  Cinderella participated in the Couch to 5K program for the first time and did a great job as well. By this time, I was the heaviest I had been for a few years.

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I’ve learned that relaxation can come in the form of self-care.  That has been my focus in 2019, which is why I’ve shared with you some of the new things I’ve been doing this year–like journaling and Bright Line Eating.  Little things like this add up quickly and can give us the energy we need to do other things well.

If you’re feeling tired, exhausted, discouraged, or burned out, I encourage you to find some things that you can do regularly to take care of yourself.  Think of it as maintenance just like you would maintain your car to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.  Filling it up with gas, keeping the oil changed, keeping the tires aired up, giving it a wash and wax every now and then are all important in keeping your car running smoothly so it will perform the way you want it to.  We must do the same for ourselves, not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28