Time, Energy, Hate, and Anger

As I get older, my time becomes more and more valuable.  I know my days, and therefore my time, on this earth are numbered.  I know that the time I have left on this earth is limited, limiting the time I have for accomplishments and spending time with my family.  I also know that at this point I am on the downhill slope, meaning that most likely more than half my time on this earth is behind me.

I also know that the amount of energy I have is limited.  I have been able to boost my energy level by changing my diet and exercising, but it’s still finite.  Most days my energy bank is full, and I can make it through without any problems.  Some days my energy bank is running on empty, and I have to make adjustments to make it through the day.

My energy has also become a valuable commodity and something that I have decided to spend carefully.  Continuing to eat a healthy diet and to exercise almost daily is something I continue because it’s like earning interest on your investment.  I might be spending some energy to do it, but it’s going to pay me back with more energy.

Just like the money I have in my pocket, I decided a long time ago that there are things I refuse to spend my energy on.  I refuse to spend my energy on hate and anger directed at other people.  Sometimes it’s a difficult thing to do, but I remind myself that it’s not worth it and what other people do is out of my control.  It’s natural to want to defend ourselves when we’re being attacked.  Often, the better course of action is to remove ourself from the situation than to spend our time and energy yelling back at someone that’s not even listening to us anyway.

Hate.  It’s just an ugly word all the way around.  Spending time and energy hating people is not a wise expenditure.  I’d much rather spend my time on actions that are going to make a difference than on inaction that is just going to wear me out.  The one thing we don’t hate enough is sin.  We would be different people and live in a completely different world if we hated sin enough to steer clear of it.

With the idea of reaping what we sow; hate, and you most likely will receive hate in return.  Love, and you most likely will receive love in return.

“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.”  Rom 12:20 NASB

I refuse to listen to nay sayers, no matter how many letters are after their name

Last week I had a trip to the emergency room for chest pains.  Thankfully, the ticker is doing fine.  However, it seems that my esophagus is having spasms.  In going over my “risk factors” with me, the doctor said the ‘O’ word.  Yes, I’m still in the “obese” category.  That stung.

What amazed me was the questions I was never asked.  I was never asked whether or not I exercised on a regular basis.  I was never asked what my diet consisted of.  I got the feeling that it was assumed that I was a junk-food-eating couch potato and that was what landed me there.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  In fact, I had just drank a green smoothie; and that is what brought on the chest pains.  I also missed my Tuesday night run with my running buddies because I was at the hospital.

This doctor, a woman, had no idea who I was or where I have been.  I am proud of what I’ve accomplished the last few years.  I’m not where I want to be yet; but I know that, so I’m going to keep working on it.  I refuse to listen to nay sayers, no matter how many letters are after their name.

Instead I will listen to the encouraging words I have heard this week.  At a conference this past weekend, I saw someone on Friday that I only see once a year or so.  She referred to me as “tiny.”  Saturday morning, I had breakfast with a former co-worker that I haven’t seen in probably 20 years.  She was flabbergasted that I’m still in the obese category.  This evening, a woman in the grocery store recognized me from the Couch to 5K program.  She stopped me and told me that I looked “great.”

This is why I never criticize anyone on their appearance.  Unless it is someone you know, you don’t know where they’ve been or what they’re thinking.  Perhaps that very large person that you just poked fun at is in the middle of a weight loss journey and has already lost a substantial amount of weight.  Or, maybe she just started her weight loss journey, is having a hard time, and really needs some encouragement right now.  Or maybe that skinny lady that you’ve been envying is on the other end of the spectrum and is desperately trying to gain a few pounds so she, too, can be at a healthy weight.

I realize this doctor was doing her job, and the majority of her patients probably are obese, junk-food-eating couch potatoes.  Still, those people need encouragement too.  Most people listen to their doctor.  Perhaps with the proper encouragement instead of negativity, they would make the changes needed in their lives.

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.  I Thessalonians 5:11

Do You Have a Corner Coach?

There is nothing like having at least one person to support you and cheer you along. Alexis Rose talks about being a corner coach and then having and needing a corner coach. She has no problem telling her friends she needs them to be her corner coach for the moment. Surrounding yourself with more than one person willing to step in and be your corner coach for the moment is a smart move. Great post.

Untangled

“You’re a hard stick.” I hear those words each time I have blood drawn. Yesterday, after four sticks, for five tubes of blood, and a very upset phlebotomist, I found myself cheering her on, telling her she can do it, she’ll have a great day once she’s found a vein, all you need is confidence. I was determined to have her shake it off and find a vein because she was the only one working yesterday; she couldn’t pass me on to a co-worker and I was not going to come back another day, to hear the same words, “You’re a hard stick.” That’s the kind of stress I prefer to only have once a year if possible, not two days in a row. She finally found a blood-giving vein and off I went, hoping to never lay eyes on her again!

I love the term corner coach. I used it…

View original post 447 more words

305 lbs. The End of a Relationship

April was jam packed with activities, so it went by very quickly.  It wasn’t long before May was here and it was time to start working again.  I looked forward to seeing and being in contact with the people I worked with.  In some ways I knew what to expect, but I didn’t know what might’ve changed while I was absent.

My first day of work went by quickly.  I was offered a cell-phone to use for work.  I decided that I wanted to keep business life and personal life separate, so I accepted.  I was told it had been Mr. G.’s phone, but that didn’t matter to me.  Charles got the phone reactivated, made a call on it to verify that it was working, and then handed it over to me.

I spent the day doing safety courses on the computer.  It was a long, tiring day; but I was glad to be done with them and know that I wouldn’t have any to do for another year.  Things were slow that night, so I was able to go home about an hour early.

I went home and decided to examine the phone I had been given.  I used my personal phone to call it to see what the ringtone was and how to answer calls.  The phone itself would never ring, but on my personal phone I would hear a ringing sound and then a message saying that the voicemail hadn’t been set up.

I was perplexed.  What was wrong with this phone?  Over the course of an hour I made several calls between the two phones with the same response.  I had come to the conclusion that I would have to take it into work the next day and let Charles know that it wasn’t working.  I decided to try one more time.  This time a woman answered, “Hello?”  Surprised and confused, I said, “I’m sorry, I must have the wrong number.”

I thought I had heard that voice before.   I checked the settings on the phone and sure enough, Mr. G. had the phone forwarded to his personal cell phone number.  I was horrified to realize that all of the calls I had been making had been going to him.  I decided at that point that I would send him an email and apologize as soon as I was in front of my computer.

However, Mr. G. beat me to the punch.  I had a phone call from him within 30 minutes, and he was hopping mad that I had called him repeatedly.  He was coaching his son’s baseball game and finally threw his phone across the field.

I apologized and explained that it was an accident.  Once he heard that I was working for the company that he walked away from, the volcano of hate and anger erupted.  Once I explained that taking this job was what I wanted to talk to him about a few weeks prior, I went into listening mode.   Just like the people of Pompeii, there was nothing I could say or do to keep this volcano from erupting and destroying everything in its path.

In the end, I was told to never contact Mr. G. again in any way, whether it be by telephone, text, or email.  I told Mr. G. that I was not upset with him and that he knew where to find me if he ever needed anything.  It was clear that this was the end of our relationship.

Shortly thereafter, I received a long text from Mr. G. explaining why I was now the enemy and how he never wanted to hear from any of “us” again.  I was hurt, but did not want to fight fire with fire so to speak.  Instead, I sent a short text back letting him know that I would always be grateful for the support he had given me the past year.

I was deeply hurt.  Not so much by the fact that our relationship had ended, but by the way it had ended.  Later, I became fearful.  I had come a long way in the past year, but I still had considerable ground to cover.  I was not convinced that I could get to my destination without Mr. G.’s support.  I was so thankful that God had brought the right people into my life at the right time.  He had done it before, so I continued to pray that He would do it again.

Some Days are Just Dark

One Saturday morning, my family was to attend a funeral. It was for an elderly woman that I had never met. My husband knew her because he had done some work for her. My young daughter knew her because she would often tag along so she could play with her kitty. I had never met her but had answered the phone a time or two when she called.

I had felt the darkness of that black cloud hovering overhead in the previous week. The cloud was getting bigger, darker, lower, and heavier. When Saturday morning arrived I told my husband that I’d like to stay home if he didn’t mind. A funeral was not something I thought I could do that day.

I believe funerals are for the living, and I believe it is important to support those that are grieving. I practice this belief enough that I have a friend that refers to it as my “ministry.” However, I knew in this case that my absence or presence would not have any significant meaning since I did not know the deceased or any of the survivors.

During the time that I would’ve been at the funeral with my phone turned off, I received a phone call from Mr. G. An actual phone call was a rarity. “I just pulled into my garage and am sitting in my car and felt like I should call you,” I heard a friendly, understanding voice say.

I explained what was going on and why my family was at a funeral and I was not. I commented that for no reason that I could explain, darkness had blotted out the light and it was getting darker with each passing day. Then I heard, “Some days are just dark.”

It was a simple statement that probably didn’t mean much to many people, but it was profound for me that day. Just like some days the weather might be sunny, cloudy, or rainy; some days can be down right dark. Just like the weather, I didn’t do anything to cause it (that I knew of), and it didn’t mean that there was something “wrong” with me. It just was. Somehow that gave me great comfort. That day was very dark and cloudy, but I knew I could look forward to bright, sunny days ahead.

Hospital Half and 5K

March’s race was an inaugural half marathon and 5K organized by our local hospital foundation.  The weather was great, the location was great, the course was great–it was all around a great race!

This race started and ended at our local community center which is just a few minutes from my house.  I drive there several times a week.  On Tuesday evenings I meet with a few friends and we take a two and a half mile run down the street and back.  You can imagine our excitement to learn that the race started at the community center and followed the same path we’ve been taking once a week for the last few months.

Anyone that’s done some running (and I’m sure this is true for a lot of other sports as well) knows that a lot of the battle is mental.  Knowing or thinking you can do it will get you there.  Doubting yourself will not get you across the finish line.  I knew the course, and knew most of it very well, so my confidence level was through the roof.

This was also the same location and almost the exact same course as my very first 5K.  I had gotten the flu and was sick the day before that race, so I was excited to run this route again, hopefully illness free.  The last hill on this course is a nasty one, and I could not run all the way up it without walking last time.  I was now conquering that hill instead of letting it conquer me.  So, for many reasons, I was pumped for this race.

There were more than 1200 people signed up for this race.  The half marathon started at 8:00 with the 5K starting at 8:30.  I was concerned about parking and traffic, so I had my husband drop me off at the race at 7:30.  There were lots of people there and lots of excitement in the air, but everything went smoothly.  This was one of the most organized races I’ve participated in.

I ran the race and everything went as expected.  I finished this race 50 seconds under my last race and 50 seconds away from my PR.  Yip, right in the middle!  My time on this last race is now second to my PR.

Afterwards we browsed the vendor booths.  Many of the local restaurants had booths and were giving out food items.  There was an old-fashioned photo booth where we got our picture taken, I got a free t-shirt, and all kinds of coupons.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day.  It was perfect running weather, I completed the race in superb time, conquered the hill, and was able to share it all with friends.

305 lbs. Entering a New Season

I never thought of my job as stressful, and most of the time it wasn’t.  I worked from home and it seemed to very easily blend in with what I was already doing.  I made Saturday my day to stay home and do laundry, prepare meals, and clean house.  It was easy to get caught up on things at home and work at the same time.  However, once I was no longer employed, it soon became apparent how much stress my job did bring into my life.

I was now footloose and fancy free.  The stress was gone.  I was no longer carrying around a burden like Christian in “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”  My heavy load had been lifted.  I was enjoying life.  I fell in love with running, weight loss became a breeze, and I was approaching a huge goal.

My weekends soon became full of all kinds of events that I would have normally skipped out on if I had been working.  By mid-March when the Commit to Get Fit program had ended, Spring was here and it was a great time to be outdoors.  I started running as much as I could.  My goal was to run three times a week, assuming that the weather cooperated.

My oldest daughter talked me into signing up for a 5K on Saturday, April 30th.  It would be the first 5K of the year, and the second 5K of my life.  I hadn’t been running regularly since the fall, so I had a lot of preparation to do for this race.

On the first Sunday in April I got a phone call from one of the drivers I used to work with.  He had nothing but bad news to tell me.  First, one of the drivers was suspended and probably was not going to come back to work.  Second, Mr. G. had quit, he thought for medical reasons.  Third, Bob, my boss who had become ill just over a year ago, had passed away.

This hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was too much bad news at once.  I went into the bathroom and wailed.  Bob was one of the good guys.  He cared about Jesus and his family.  I knew his family would miss him severely.  I really felt bad for Mr. G.  This was his baby, this was his life, and he had walked away from it.  I could not imagine what it was like for him.

On Monday I received a phone call from a nearby trucking company with a possible job opportunity.  I wasn’t looking for a job and hadn’t applied, but we knew someone who worked there, and he had given the manager my phone number as a dispatcher out of a job.  The woman I talked to said she would get back with me.

On Tuesday I went to Bob’s funeral.  I arrived a few minutes early and found a driver that I knew.  I sat with him and his family.  We chit chatted and caught up with each other before the service started.  He was in the same boat as I was–he was part-time, so he was not hired on by the new company.  He said, “Have you seen Mr. G. yet?”  I said, “He’ll be here at five after.”

Sure enough, at five minutes after Mr. G. came in and sat across the way from us.  We made eye contact and he nodded to acknowledge that he saw me.  I was glad to see that he at least looked well.

The service was beautiful.  The music was fabulous and very uplifting.  I know it sounds odd, but it was just what I needed during a time that I was feeling very down.  You don’t usually go to a funeral expecting to get anything out of it.  My belief is that funerals are for the living, and I usually go to support those that are grieving and missing their loved one.  This family was definitely grieving.  Bob’s death was sudden, and his family was feeling a great loss.  In my attempt to be a blessing for Bob’s family that day, they had been a great blessing to me.

I was hoping to talk to Mr. G. after the funeral, but he went running out the door before it was over.  I went home afterwards and within an hour had a phone call from Charles saying that they wanted to hire me.  I guess when it rains, it pours!  I confirmed that Mr. G. was no longer there.  He told me that he and another guy had been working there the last 60 days without a day off, and they wanted to get someone in there so they could get some time off.

I wasn’t sure what to think.  I now had two companies bidding for my employment.  I was really enjoying a stress-free life and being able to do things with my family whenever I wanted.  However, that came with a price–literally.  It meant no paycheck.  It wasn’t money that we relied on for our day-to-day expenses, but it had paid for things like a new washing machine, a new furnace, a new air conditioner, medical bills, running shoes, vacations, etc.  I at least wanted to consider these two offers.

In the end, I took the job Charles offered me.  We did some negotiating, and he bent over backwards to accommodate me.  The only thing he could not give me was working from home–the company wouldn’t allow it.  I was to work Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.  This would make for long days and for some big changes at home.  I knew I was entering a new season in life.

“Juicing Not Only Changed My Life, It SAVED My Life”

This week’s post is my interview with Neil Martin at Natural Juice Junkie.  This interview is about more than just juicing, so go ahead and take a look even if you’re not interested in juicing.  I hope this will be an encouragement to others that are on a health/fitness journey.  Thank you for the opportunity, Neil.

Be sure to check out Neil’s website.  He has some great resources on juicing and fitness.  I especially like his videos on our attitude or way of thinking about ourselves.  The link to my interview is below.

“I believe juicing has not only changed my life, but also has SAVED my life” says Lori, a 40-something stay-at-home-mom, in Midwest USA

Source: “Juicing Not Only Changed My Life, It SAVED My Life”

Sweetheart Run 5K

Last Saturday my daughter and I ran the Sweetheart Run 5K.  We were glad to be well prepared for this run.  We had a couple of friends that also ran this 5K with us.

This run was on the other side of town, so it was in an area that we were not well familiar with.  We had to pick up our packets the day before our race.  I went with a friend and we made an afternoon of it.  We picked up our packets, went out to lunch, and then decided to drive the course since it was nearby.  Once we saw the course, we were glad we did.

As any experienced runner knows, a big chunk of running is your mental state of mind.  If you’re convinced that you can do it, you are very likely to succeed.  Not knowing what to expect or what is around the next bend (literally) can defeat you.  Below I am inserting a course map for your visualization.  Yip, it was basically a big square.  Easy, peasy, right?

fullsizeoutput_1366
Sweetheart Run course map

Wrong.  How this is even possible, or how anyone was able to find a place in the city that is mostly uphill, I’ll never know.  We started at the top of the map where the red pinpoint is.  Our first turn was a left hand turn, then there were four right hand turns, and a final left hand turn to put us back at the start/finish line.  This is not a particularly hilly part of town, but we were surprised to find that after each turn you got to run uphill!  None of these were big, nasty hills, but gradual inclines.  We were glad to find that at the beginning of mile 3, there was a reprieve.  There was a very nice decline in which we were hoping to get a bit of a break and try to make up for lost time.

Race day was here, and it was perfect running weather.  The morning started off a bit cloudy and foggy, but it had all cleared by the start of the race.  It was 52 degrees and a nice, sunny day.  We got to the race plenty early and had time to take a look around at the running expo that was taking place that day.  We were glad to know what was ahead of us.  We weren’t expecting a PR on this course but planned to do the best we could.

The race started in waves, so I knew not to pay any attention to the clocks I saw along the route.  Knowing what to expect during the race kept me going mentally and physically.  I had my metronome tick-tocking in my ear at 180 beats per minute to keep me focused.  I looked down at my Fitbit a few times during the race and was happy with the time I saw.

I crossed the finished line completely depleted but was happy with my performance.  Once I got my official time, I was really excited to find that I had run this race in my second best time ever!  Physically I was prepared because I have continued to run and train this winter.  Mentally I was prepared by reviewing the course before the race.  If it weren’t for these two factors, the outcome would’ve been completely different.

And, my daughter did get a PR!  Woot, woot!!

Afterwards, we strolled through the running expo and picked up several freebies and registered for some give aways.  I also found a really cool headband that I had to buy.  After that was lunch with my daughter and a friend.  Another great day to be alive!

fullsizeoutput_136a
Loving this bright headband I found at the running expo.

305 lbs. The Eights Stink

I was totally unaware that the last time I would work was that meeting in January to introduce us to our potential new employer.  I was never given a termination date.  After the third consecutive week of being told that Mr. G. was going to cover my shift because of changes coming, I told him that I was going to assume that I was out of a job unless told otherwise.

My communications with Mr. G. became fewer and further between.  I told him that I knew that would happen and that eventually they would come to an end.  However, he promised me that we were friends for life.  I so wanted to believe that.  He also promised me a job as soon as he was given the reigns, so to speak.    I wanted to believe that too.

Even though I rarely actually saw the people I worked with because I worked from home, I missed them terribly.  All of our communications was through text or telephone, so I would spend time talking to each one of them while we were working.  It was my connection with the outside world.  After spending Monday-Friday homeschooling a seven year old, I was ready for some adult conversation.  Since my employment came to a blunt, unexpected end, there were no goodbyes.

I knew the drivers were not allowed to use their phones while driving and I certainly didn’t want to cause any problems, so I did not try to contact any of them.  These were men with families that needed their jobs.  I could pray for them and hope they were doing well, but I wasn’t going to do anything to jeopardize their income.

The Commit to Get Fit program had just started, so I continued with it.  My daughter had talked me into trying some boot-camp type classes.  Burn, Build, and Tone was on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and it was as tough as it sounded.  Then, she talked me into trying Metcon on Saturday mornings.  It was equally as tough, but I enjoyed it.

We had to weigh in and do our BMI each week with our trainer.  Our age was required for the BMI machine, and I had to tell Cole every week my age.  I would tell Cole, “Forty-eight.  Don’t you remember?  The eights stink.”  And that’s how it had been for me.  Every age ending in eight really did stink.

The Commit to Get Fit program was over in mid-March.  This year, there was a closing ceremony that was very nice.  We all met one evening in a room with tables and chairs at the community center.  There were healthy snacks and drinks available.  Everyone in our group sat at a table with our trainer, Cole.  Each trainer had an opportunity to say something about their group and to hand out awards if desired.  Some did more than others, but Cole definitely stood out.

Cole spoke about our group in general, and then had an award for each one of us.    Cole had very kind, yet humorous words to say about each of us as well.  We were all laughing and crying at the same time.  When Cole got to me, he mentioned that I had been with him for two years in a row, and that both times had been around very stressful events.  Until then, I had completely forgotten about the year before, but my mind immediately flashed back to Bob and his illness.  And, with that, Cole presented me with the “Veteran Award.”  We hugged, and I cried.  It’s a simple-looking award printed on white card stock, but it means the world to me because of what it represents–a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (literally) with a true friend.