Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Choosing Wellness: Do what you can with what you have

Excuses.  They get the best of us every time!

I was full of excuses as to why I was not making the changes I needed to make.

  • I have no time to exercise (I didn't want to)
  • We couldn't afford to buy real food. (processed food is always more expensive)
  • My juicer is in storage (yes it was until recently, but that still was no excuse)
  • I can't read my Bible or pray while Charlie is awake.
There were many more, but those were the biggest ones.  

I wanted all of my ducks to be in a row before I did anything.

I had to get over that because if I didn't I would just continue to gain weight and be depressed. My ducks would never be in a row all at the same time and if they were they wouldn't stay that like that very long.

We started making changes slowly. The first thing we had to do was throw out all the excuses. 

We looked at our diet first.  What were we eating that we could replace with something better?

That is the key! If you are removing things from your diet, make sure you replace them with something else.  I'm really good at removing things, but not replacing them. So after time, I'm craving the bad stuff.

Snacks for example. At one time, we kept a lot of chips, microwave popcorn and crackers as snacks. It was easy to pull out a bag of chips to snack on or throw a bag of popcorn in the microwave. Now, our snacks are raw fruits of veggies, nuts, popcorn popped on the stove and healthy granola & nut bars. If I can't fit the already made healthy snacks into the budget then I find something I can make.

Exercise was a no brainer. I just needed to dust off my tennis shoes and walk. No gym memberships. No trainer hired to kick my butt everyday. Just get out of the house & put my shoes to the pavement. 30 minutes a day was our goal.  Surely I could walk for 30 minutes. 

My point of all this is just to say that we had to get rid of our excuses and just do what we could with what we had. We didn't have the money to shop at the farmers market. But we could begin buying healthier food that our body actually recognized as food at our neighborhood stores.

We didn't have to go to the gym to exercise, we could do it at our house..for FREE! 

It really all boiled down to what we decided was important. Until we understood the importance of taking better care of ourselves we would not do anything. It is a process. It takes time. The benefits far out weigh any excuse we ever had. 

You know where I learned this from?  Jesus.  He takes us the way we are and helps us grow and become more like him. He doesn't have a list of what we need to do before we can become his. We don't have to have our ducks in a row. We believe. I love that!! 

Just do it!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Choosing Wellness is Choosing Life

There was a time, many years ago when our daily schedule was one that was intentional about our health. I was really careful about our food, choosing organic real food, limiting our processed food. Our lifestyle was active. Our emotions were healthy & my walk with the Lord was growing and deepening.

Then 2006 happened. Pregnant with our 10th child, we found ourselves in the midst of a terrible financial crisis. The end result was losing our house and having to move.  Our finances didn't improve and we struggled for many years. As a result I went into survival mode and our healthy lifestyle was not a priority anymore.

Things happened that had not happened in years.

  1. We all began to get sick. 
  2. I gained a ridiculous amount of weight.
  3. My emotions were really out of whack.
  4. My spiritual life declined. 
In 2011 we had to move again, this time not into our own home, but in with our parents. I went to my parents with our youngest 4 and Scott went to his parents with our oldest 4 while 2 of our girls moved in with a friend. Survival mode was not even enough at this point. At this point a healthy choice was choosing sweet tea over Dr.Pepper.

Fast forward to 2013. Scott & I knew we had to make some changes or we would be in big trouble. We knew we needed to return to the lifestyle we once made a priority.  It was about more than food. It was about our whole life. Living with his parents was not easy, but it could no longer be an excuse for not being well.

Today.  We eat a lot of raw produce. We juice every day again. We walk at least 30 minutes 6 days a week (about 2 miles). We rarely eat out, especially fast food. We have reduced our sugar intake drastically. We have reduced the "white" foods we eat (white rice, bread, sugar, flour). We take essential oil based supplements and we use our essential oils to support our health and maintain the wellness we have worked so hard to achieve.  We have not arrived by any means. We still have a long way to go!

The result. Scott & I have both lost a considerable amount of weight. Our energy levels are high. My emotions are much more even and my hormones are happy for the first time in years. 

We made the decision to do this in 2013, but it has taken 2 years to finally make enough changes to really see a difference. Our changes were slow. We worked to replace foods, not just remove them.  We are diligent to make time to be active, to get our 30 minutes of walking or working out into our day. That is not easy! 

I had stopped blogging because I just didn't feel that I had much to say anymore. But the Lord has really helped me to see that living is more than just reading our Bible and prayer. That is critical. That is most important. But if we ignore the physical body he has given us we are truly missing out on the life he really wants us to live.  Not only does he desire that our spiritual life be healthy, but that our emotional and physical life as well to be healthy. And I think he wants me to share this part of our journey with you. It's not pretty. I still fail...many days. I still love Dr.Pepper. But, the Lord is really working on me. He is helping me to stay true to my convictions and choose wisely.

Choosing overall good health has really convicted me lately. Neglecting my physical health is just as bad as neglecting my spiritual health. According to 1 Corinthians 6 my body is not my own, it belongs to God. My body is a gift! We should honor God with our body.  It is the only one he gives us!

I'm working to create a series of simple blog posts that better explain what we have been doing and how anybody can do the same. Scott and I are not health experts by any means. We are not certified in nutrition. We are simply working to make better choices in all area's of our life.  These blog posts will not all be on nutrition. There is more to life than food. But, more on that later.

Stay tuned. More is on it's way!