Friends

Some friends are forever,
and some are not;
some friends are free,
while some are bought.

Some bring joy,
others bring pain;
some will do it,
over and over again.

Can you afford to pay the price?
Lonely days and sleepless nights.

Some friends are forever
and some are not,
but a departed friend
is never forgot.

copyright (C) Lori Camper

Advertisements

Could You Outrun Goliath?

At “six cubits and a span,” Goliath stood over nine feet tall, using a conservative 18-inch cubit. Scripture demonstrates his strength by cataloging the weight of his armaments, including a 5,000-shekel (125-pound) coat of mail.1 No wonder he was the champion of Gath! He was big and strong, but was he fast?

Source: Could You Outrun Goliath? | The Institute for Creation Research

As a (slow) runner, I found this interesting.  There is no doubt in my mind that I could not outrun Goliath.  Every race I run, there’s the mom pushing the double stroller that passes me somewhere along the way.

As scripture demonstrates time and time again, it’s not always speed or even the biggest, strongest army that wins the battle.  In the end, God wins.  This is what gives me hope and keeps me going day after day.

but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;  1 Peter 3:15

2018: Faith, Food, and Freedom

As we often do this time of year, I have spent some time reflecting on last year in order to look ahead for 2018.  Last year, I created a list of things to work on, and went at it.  I made it a point to look at my list each month to see how I was doing.  I thought I was doing pretty well until the last quarter of the year.

When I cross off the things I was able to accomplish, one thing stands out:  I have the exercise part down.  When I look deeper, there’s one more thing that comes to the surface:  I can maintain my weight.  I ended this year at about the same weight as last year.  I spent this past year losing the same 10 pounds over and over.

So, what am I aggravated the most about?  Not getting to my goal weight.  What am I going to do about it?  I’m going to concentrate on getting my food under control.  This year’s overall theme is “freedom.”

I actually started working on this the middle of last year.  I spent the summer going through closets and drawers getting rid of things.  It has been so freeing to get rid of things.  I still have a room that has been used as a family room, office, and school room that needs a deep cleaning and decluttering.  I started using paper plates when we have people over for dinner, and I put everything I can in the dishwasher so I’m not spending time washing dishes by hand.

I’m not going to try to read everything nutrition and exercise and put myself in information overload.  Instead, I’m working on unsubscribing from groups and emails that I’m really not that interested in.  I’ll still run and exercise, but that is not going to be my main focus.

I know you’re thinking that I have to have a plan.  Yes, I do.  I know the focus this time of year is exercise, exercise, exercise.  But mine is not. I’ve found a journal that focuses on food and faith (instead of food and exercise) that I should receive in the next day or two.  My plan is to implement that using a sensible food plan.  I’ve been doing Bright Line Eating this week and that has gone well.  Jason Vale also has a Super Blend Me! program that I am looking into.  Both of these plans are simple and freeing.

So, this year I don’t have a long list of things I want to accomplish.  Instead, it’s going to be the year of not doing and getting rid of.  It’s going to be the year of freedom and freeing myself up.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

Christmas Blessings

No matter how you celebrate, I hope you had a merry Christmas.  I have tried to sit back, relax, and let things go.  One thing I did this year in order to try to make things simpler was that I bought a little four-foot artificial Christmas tree.  Cinderella has only known going out and buying a real tree every year, so this was a bit of a disappointment to her.  When I brought the tree home and pulled it out of the box, she took one look at it and proclaimed, “It looks horrible.  You ruined Christmas!”

She was right.  It did look horrible.  But, after some fluffing and decorating it didn’t look too bad.  Then I put it on top of the end table and that gave it the illusion that it was bigger than it really was.  Christmas had been salvaged!

Christmas Eve morning, we were blessed with snow.  Cinderella was also blessed with sickness, so I ended up staying home with her Sunday morning.  We did end up going out that evening for a bit of celebrating.

Christmas morning is always stocking time.  There was a bit of confusion this year as Cinderella could not find her stocking.  So, I ended up putting her stocking stuffers in her boots.  It worked.

Christmas day was family time at our house.  We still had some snow on the ground, and it was enough for it to be considered a white Christmas!  It’s been a while since we’ve had one of those.

As always, we had much more food than we needed and probably all ate more than we should.  After we were all stuffed, we exchanged some gifts.  I think everyone had a good time.

But, the most important thing of all is that we were all together.  It didn’t matter how big the tree was, whether or not the table was set perfectly, or that we used paper plates.  The important thing was that we were together.

Christmas

Grandchildren are the crown of old men, And the glory of sons is their fathers.
Proverbs 17:6

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I’m trying to remember that, I really am.

I’m trying to ignore that my stress levels are through the roof, my eating is completely out of control, and I’ve gained a few pounds.

I want to believe that we will find the answers for Cinderella that we’re so desperately looking for.  I want to believe that one day things will be “normal” for us.  A few weeks ago I had completely lost hope.

But now there is a glimmer–a glimmer of hope.  And, after all, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

 


May you accept the greatest gift of all this Christmas season–the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  Romans 15:13

Christmas Light 5K 2017

Last Saturday was the Christmas Light 5K. Proceeds for this race go to benefit a local YMCA and their learn to swim program. I ran this race last year, so I knew what to expect. Last year’s race was a PR and is still my best 5K time yet.

This is more than a race, it’s an event! Runners are encouraged to dress up, and there is a costume contest before the race. Winners are chosen by audience participation (cheering). In other words, you’re judged by your fellow runners. You can also get your picture taken with Santa before the race. The race begins at 5:30 pm, which is right about the time it gets dark this time of year. The idea is for you to take a look at the Christmas lights along the route. Many of the homes are actually in a Christmas lighting contest with hefty prizes involved.

I was better prepared for this race than last year. Last year I got caught up in the dressing up, and had too much garb to deal with while I ran. This year I focused on doing well during the race, and that was a help. I wore less garb, so that gave me less to deal with while trying to run. The temperature was about the same as last year, so I knew that I needed layers–two pairs of pants, a long sleeved shirt and a jacket, ear muffs, gloves, and something to cover my face. I also knew that it was very likely that most of this was going to come off during the race and that it needed to go in my pockets and that I needed to be able to zip my pockets up. I did not zip my pockets last year and ended up losing a glove.

I met up with some friends before the race. We were busy gabbing, so when it came time to line up for the race, we ended up towards the back of the pack. Once race time came, the Christmas music stopped long enough for the National Anthem. Then the gun went off. It would be a full minute and nine seconds before we actually crossed the start line.

I am still dealing with my ankle injury, and I’m convinced it will be spring or even summer before it is completely healed. My endurance was also way down after not running for nearly three weeks. I am continuing with the run/walk/run method using a 60 second run/60 second walk. I was hoping to change to a 60 second run/30 second walk for this race, but I knew I was not physically ready for that yet.

The course was the same or nearly the same as last year. It is in a part of the city that is flat as a pancake. Some people like that, some people don’t. At least with the hills, you get to go downhill at some point.

About half way through the race, I started feeling tired and fatigued. My third mile was my slowest, and there were a lot of people that left me behind. I finished right at two minutes slower than last year. I’m ok with that, because I know that’s where I am right now. It’s still far from my slowest time.

Afterwards there was hot chocolate and healthy snacks provided by Natural Grocers. But the best part of all was the time spent with friends.

Up and Over

Life can be overwhelming.  After the Grub Run, I did not run or exercise for three weeks.  On top of that, I caught a terrible cold that is still with me today.   It did not take long before I was feeling like garbage in more ways than one.  Not only did I feel horrible physically, but I could also see that my spirits were down as well.

Knowing that I had a race coming up in a few weeks gave me the motivation to get back on track again.  In fact, I went out for a run the weekend after Thanksgiving for the first time in a while.  I was thinking I had three weeks before my next race but soon realized that I only had two!

To get back on track, I have had to purposefully take the time to get some exercise in.  I’ve found that the best way to do this is to schedule it and put it on the calendar.  So, I’ve committed to run with a group that meets locally on Wednesday nights.  I’ve put out the call for a Monday night run and am running with a friend.  On Saturdays I’m running solo.

I am still nursing my injury which I am convinced will not be fully healed until spring.  Considering that and the fact that my endurance level is way down, I am still using the run/walk/run method.  I was elated to find that using this method I was able to go up and over the Flyover for a 4-mile run!  This is something I hadn’t done since my injury.

Last Saturday was unseasonably warm and sunny.  I decided to go for a run through the park while the trail was dry and clear of debris.  It felt great to be outside.  The animals were enjoying the unseasonably warm and sunny weather as well.  We haven’t had any rain for a while, so all of the leaves are very dry and crunchy.  The squirrels were having a great time playing.  I could hear them running and chasing each other through the crunchy leaves.  At one point I had to slow down and even stop to watch the squirrels play.  Oh, what a life they must have!

At this time in my life it would be very easy to say, “I don’t have time right now,” with the intention of coming back to running later.  However, the benefits of making myself get out there a few times a week are so great that I can’t pass them up.  There have been plenty of times that I didn’t want to go out there, and I spent a lot of time talking myself into going.  However, I’ve never regretted going.  There have been times that I’ve not been pleased with my performance or the way things went, but in the end the feeling of accomplishment was well worth it.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  “Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?  Matthew 6:25-26

 

Thankful

With Thanksgiving approaching we often take time to pause and think about what we are thankful for.  It’s easy to think of material things such as our home, food, clothing, etc.  We also are thankful for our family, friends, and relationships, but there is so much more to be thankful for.

I am thankful for the free gift of salvation by grace through faith.  I am thankful that salvation is not something that is earned.  I don’t have to worry about whether I’m working hard enough to obtain it and/or keep it.  It is a free gift from God that all I have to do is accept.

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;  Ephesians 2:8

Jesus will go to great lengths to retrieve His lost sheep.  He knows His sheep and they know His voice.  He will do what it takes to find His lost sheep and carry it home.  He rejoices when He finds the lost sheep and organizes a party once He’s home.

“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ Luke 15: 4-6.

He hears my cries.  We know that we will have trials.  It is comforting to know that we have someone to cry out to and that our cries will be heard and acted upon.

In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.  Psalm 18:6

The righteous cry, and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.  Psalm 34:17

As for me, I said in my alarm, “I am cut off from before Your eyes”; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried to You.  Psalm 31:22

A Song of Ascents. In my trouble I cried to the LORD, And He answered me.  Psalm 120:1

He is my rock and my fortress.  I don’t have to be strong, I don’t have to be anything at all.  All I need is Him.

The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalm 18:2

But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress.  Psalm 59:16

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.  Psalm 62:2

What are you thankful for?

 

Grub Run 5K

November’s race was the Grub Run 5K.  This is the third year for this race which goes to benefit a food pantry at a local church.  The church also has a silent auction in conjunction with the race.  This event is about as close to home as it gets–literally less than a mile the way the crow flies.  It’s always nice to support something local, and especially nice when it’s right in your own town and/or neighborhood.

Within the last couple of weeks, the winds have turned around to the north, and it has cooled off.  This makes for perfect running weather; however, I’m not used to the cooler weather quite yet.  I’ve been drinking lots of warm drinks and trying to stay warm.

At start time, it was about 45 degrees.  Again, perfect running weather.  I always start out with gloves, a jacket, and something to cover my ears in this type of weather, but it never stays on for long.

Since I’m still recovering from my ankle sprain, I’m using the run/walk/run method.  I had decided to go with a pace of running for one minute then walking for one minute which would mean that I would run half of the race.  I use a tabata timer on my phone to tell me when to run and when to walk.  “Walk” in this instance means to walk at a swift pace, not to walk like it’s an afternoon stroll in the park.  My ankle was pretty sore Thursday and Friday after running Wednesday night.  I tried to take it easy Thursday and Friday, and I was relieved to have my ankle feeling pretty good Saturday morning.

This race had a lot of hills and wouldn’t you know that it worked out that I had to run up every one of them!  But, with the one minute walks, the hills didn’t seem bad at all.  For the first two miles, I pretty well kept pace with the same people.  Some of them I’d pass, then they’d pass me, and we kept playing the passing game.  However at mile three, I started leaving people behind.

I was expecting my time on this race to be one of my slowest.  However, once I saw the clock, I knew it wasn’t!  I was even more surprised to be first in my age group.

After the race, there was a pancake breakfast and silent auction that could be enjoyed during the award ceremony.  I did great in the award ceremony, but struck out in the silent auction.

Once I got home, I decided to compare my time with my other races.  Out of 18 races that I’ve participated in so far, my time on this race came in fourth.  When looking at my one mile splits, my pace got faster with each mile.  I am sold on the run/walk/run method!

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.  John 6:35

An Invitation

This week’s post is a thank you, to you, the reader.  Thank you for reading my posts and liking and commenting.  You don’t know how much of an ecouragement your likes and comments are to me.

The purpose of my “305 lbs.” posts was to chronicle my fitness and weight loss journey.  I wanted to back track and to catch you up to modern-day events.  That has been accomplished, but I still plan to continue to write about my journey.

The reason for chronicling my journey was to be an encouragement to you, the reader.  Unexpectedly, it has been very therapeutic to me as well.  Bottom line is, if I can do it, anyone can.  I am not anyone special.  I am not pretty.  I am not wealthy.  I am not athletic.  I am not any smarter than the average Joe.  However, I am stubborn and a hard worker.  And, believe me, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

My journey continues.  I don’t know that it will ever truly be over.  I invite you to come along.

But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.  Hebrews 3:13