Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I'm So Done With Making Excuses About My Body

A bit of a preface.

  This post is one of those monthly what-I-learned / what-I'm-into offerings.  

Please know that I am keenly aware that any conversation concerning those ominous numbers on our bathroom scales involves a very sensitive, delicate subject.  The following personal observations and calls to action are about my own specific health concerns, and are in no way a commentary on where you may or may not be.

We offer each other grace ...
  and maybe a nutritious smoothie.




In recent years, tending to the needs of my body has taken a bit of a back seat behind other seemingly more pressing concerns.  A string of major life-altering decisions, a huge relocation from New York to New England immediately followed by the deaths of my dad and my grandson, and a seemingly endless period of transition have crowded out thoughts of much else.

Yes, life happens.

I'm been the master of excuses as to why a low level neglect has become my reality, but recent days have found me done with my endless rationalizations and feeble half-baked efforts.  After too many months, I've begun to make more positive choices to take better care of the skin I'm in.  I don't want to look back and regret that I refused to follow the healthier direction that God had been nudging me toward.

Bottom line?  I want to be the healthiest woman I can be in this season.  I want to live a pro-active, no-regrets lifestyle.  I want to honor God with all that defines who I am ... soul, mind, and body.

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3 REALIZATIONS & ACTION PLANS

#1
Food shouldn't call the shots.
  I need to own what I put on my plate.



The past few years have seen my weight slowly creep up.  Up. Up.  I ate what I pleased, all the while inwardly making lame excuses and vowing that some day I'd get back to where I knew I needed to be.

I'm so done with that.  I'm back on Weight Watchers after a long season of emotional dining, aimless grazing, and mindless noshing.  I'm relearning to pay attention to my body's genuine feed-me signals, thoughtfully working on choosing to eat something decent just before hunger pangs arrive full force.  

I'm loving that the program is all online ... no more driving 40 minutes each way to weigh in.  Easy tracking, more flexibility {and points!} and heaps of videos, recipes, and all kinds of online support make embracing a long-term healthy relationship with food possible.

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#2
Lounging around is overrated.
  Soon after I wake, I need to grab my sneakers and head out the door.



I've never had an athletic bone in my body.  Growing up, I was usually the 2nd to last person chosen for any kind of team in gym.  I'm a born and bred curled up on the sofa / sitting at my laptop kinda woman.  Blogging hasn't done me any favors in this area.  

But recently, I'm up and out more days than not, hitting the pavement before heat and humidity lend more excuses for why I shouldn't be walking.  Every jaunt offers a different path, another bend around the road, a bit of a different vista.  I breathe gratefulness that my body still works ... and these minutes are when I have some of my most meaningful conversations with God.  And where future blog posts birth and morph into being.

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#3
I'm at a bit of a higher risk for some medical concerns. 
Neglecting checkups and followup is not a brilliant idea.



One of the big challenges of moving to a new area is that you have to find new caregivers.  So far, I like my dentist {even though I've seen her probably 13 times since last fall}, primary care doctor, gynecologist, and massage therapist.  I'm lining up the tests that need to be taken care of.  I'd much rather be anywhere else than in some strange examining room, but there's relief and gratitude when each visit is completed, knowing I've done what I needed to do.

And there's a sweet peace in knowing that absolutely every part of me rests in His capable hands.  

let's talk about self-care

what mid-summer challenges are you facing?

what's working for you ... and not so much?



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sharing summertime's discoveries with
Emily  .  Leigh  .  Holley

48 comments:

  1. So my challenge has become that it's so grievously hot and humid it makes it that much harder to walk outside- which this year has become my favorite go to exercise after last years epic bout with sciatica almost did me in.(I think due to too many high impact aerobics videos...apparently I'm not a spring-y chicken anymore...) Plus fresh air always does me good. High five to lacing up our shoes and just doing it Linda! Cheering you on from VA!

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    1. I hear you about way too much heat and humidity, Heather! On those days I don't even bother ... if the air conditioning is humming along I might do a bit extra housework to burn off some calories, but I'm not getting fanatical about this.

      Sorry to hear about that sciatica. I ended up with some kind of damage to a ligament in my back after some over-enthusiastic stretching in a weekly class.

      I think I'll stick to walking ...

      ;-}

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  2. Way to go Linda! While taking care of our bodies should never take precedence over our relationship with Jesus, they can go hand in hand. I am 63 and have tried for years to take care of myself. I realize the aging process has and will happen but if I can continue being productive into my later years, then I want to honor God with that. Glad you are taking it seriously. I commend you.

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    1. You've been The Cycle Guy for as long as our online paths have crossed, Bill! You've set a great example for the rest of us who haven't been so inclined. And I thank you.

      Faith and care of the body going hand in hand. I'm so resonating with you on this.

      So glad you're in on this conversation ...

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  3. I have jumped on and fallen off this train more times than I care to count. Bottom line is I ALWAYS feel better physically and especially emotionally if I exercise. SO WHY NOT??

    I've missed you, My Friend!

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    1. You've surely modeled for me and for others what it looks like to be an adventurer, to get out there and enjoy God's creation. I so admire your energy and zest for life, Lulu!

      And I'm glad you're here today!

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  4. Yes ... it is good and right to look after one's body and weight. I used to see my weight increase every time I stood on the weighing scale in the bathroom. No matter what I wore, or not wore, my weight still increased. So I resolved to do something about it. I stopped weighing myself.

    I then relented and bought a treadmill so I can exercise at home whilst watching TV; even if it is raining. I took it easy at first and only walked on it side ways rather than length ways because it is a shorter distance. But I kept falling off as I could not reach the button to stop the treadmill moving. I have now installed a small tray on the handle bar so I can have a sandwich, French fries and milkshake whilst exercising (with the machine switched off of course).

    God bless.

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    1. {LOL!}

      Oh yeah, that would work ... french fries and a milkshake on the treadmill! Crank up the speed, pal!

      ;-}

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  5. "I'm a born and bred curled up on the sofa / sitting at my laptop kinda woman." What? You, too???

    I'm attempting since March to do something about the creeping weight gain. It's a slow journey ... but one that makes me feel much better about myself.

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    1. 'It's a slow journey.'

      Yes, yes, yes, Jerralea! I want the pounds to all just come tumbling off in a week, even though they took a few years to arrive.

      Ain't gonna happen.

      It's all about patience. And that is a fruit of the Spirit that's always been in short supply for me. God always seems to have some invitations in store for us, doesn't He!

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  6. Thanks for keeping me motivated!

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    1. You're doing the same for me! Think we might go running together sometime?

      :-O

      x

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  7. I bought grapes this week so I'd have a healthy snack on hand when I just *have* to snack. I'll go a few days eating healthy, and then I think that earns me the right to eat junk. Crazy thinking. ha. Blessings on your journey to be the healthiest Linda you can be!

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    1. Ain't that the truth, Lisa! I've always felt like I deserve the junk, like it's a special treat because it tastes so good.

      Well ... because it IS yummy! But only for a few minutes ...

      {sigh}

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  8. Good for you, Linda! Eating right (I still like ice cream and Cheez-its) and getting exercise, not to mention keeping those check-ups regular, are all so important. I know on the days I get to the gym, I have so much more energy and I think more clearly. Really helps with the writing, as you can imagine. With God's help, I know you'll keep it up!
    Blessings!

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    1. I LOVE a bowl of ice cream in the evening ...

      Still do, just not too often ... and yes, you're right, Martha, I'm not as tired as I was.

      ;-}

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  9. Congrats, my friend! I think it can be especially easy for those of us who care for others pretty much continuously to not pay attention to ourselves. I plead guilty as well to that. Heat and humidity are not something I endure well so times away from my personal trainer and the gym a couple of times a week can begin to take their toll.

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    1. I hear ya', Pam ... this humidity is a killer, isn't it ...

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  10. Sounds like you're doing well in working towards your goals. I also find that time spent out walking is great for thinking and praying.

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    1. Absolutely! And the minutes fly by when we're considering something beside minutes or miles ...

      ;-}

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  11. Good for you, Linda. I love how you are being so intentional about each of these areas. I run on the treadmill--not because I like it, but because I like how I feel when I'm done. If I skip a few days for some reason, I can tell--and so can everyone else around here. :-) Keep on keepin' on, my friend. I'm loving these blog posts that are morphing into being on those early morning walks!

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    1. I like that 'I' word, Lois. Intentional can be a very forward-propelling motivation ...

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  12. This is a timely post. I have been on a healthy journey since January. My biggest success is consistently working out almost everyday and losing some inches. When it comes to a number on the scale, though, it hasn't changed much. As I watch my dad struggle and still persevere (even though he is losing steam quickly now) I realize how precious life is and the gift that God has given us. There is too much life ahead of me and too many things God has in my future not to be faithful to taking care of this body He has blessed me with (for better or worse ;)) So I am with you in this journey and love knowing that you are on the path too. Isn't God good to keep us both heading the same direction so we can support each other???

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    1. I'm so sorry that your Dad is struggling so, Mary. I pray that each sweet little memory you make with him will give you comfort in the bittersweet days ahead. Watching our dads fade is truly a difficult pivotal season in life. I hear your heart ...

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  13. You go, girlfriend! I'm right there with you wishing my 50 something body would work and cooperate like my 40 something body (or even 30 something body) worked! ;) But the fact is, it is harder and I'm like you, I've not always been as vigilant as I needed/need to be. I was just thinking about that very fact this morning as I can still slip into my clothes but they look noticeably more, shall we say, "puffy" on me now! ha! Got to stop this runaway train! Love your honesty, Linda! You rock--especially in those cute tennies!

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    1. Puffy!!!

      {LOL}

      That's too funny ... although I do believe you've shared some very cute pics on your site recently and you were still looking about 26 or so ...
      ;-}

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  14. Yes. I think moderation is the key. And determination is the drive to do it. :)

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    1. I like that, Lux! Moderation + Determination = Victory

      ;-}

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  15. Oh, my does this resonate, my friend. The body begins making demands after a certain age, does it not? I'm learning it's best to pay attention. :)

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    1. Yeah, paying attention makes alot of sense. The other option is too unsettling ...

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  16. Dear Linda,
    Cheering for you! Yes! I was usually the last or the second to last picked when it came to teams in elementary school so I can relate :-) What helps me in the eating department is to chop up veggies ahead of time. Keep going! Praying God blesses you richly as you care for your body :-)

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    1. Oh, I wasn't the only one with gym-induced trauma?

      ;-{

      I like what you said about chopping ahead of time, Dolly. There's much less spur of the moment noshing these days. And that turns out to be a very good thing ...

      ;-}

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  17. Linda, keep it up girl! It's a constant struggle for most of us. So glad to connect through Holley's place today!

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    1. 'Mornin', neighbor! Lovely to have you join us!

      ;-}

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  18. What a beautifully honest post. We just moved this summer after months of craziness and I'm feeling that overwhelm from being so far off track, I don't know how to even find it, much less start circling it :) It kinda feels like your words were here for me to find. Thank you for leaving a cheerio trail back to them ;-)

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    1. Oh Christi, I hear you! There's months of craziness before ... and then after a move! Such a transition coming and going, isn't there? I hope you find some sense of peaceful, soothing continuity in your writing that will help you continue to navigate the path.

      Blessings to you!

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  19. Hello Linda!
    I applaud all that you're doing to refresh your life and health! The cherries look so delicious, by the way, and is that red bowl part of a set? My mother got them for a wedding gift and I've always baked from them so she let me have them when I moved out! Those bowls are 50 years old and I love them! But anyway, back to you and your lovely words!

    I can so relate about blog posts beginning when you're out walking -- me too! The evening sunsets on my walk inspire my talks with God that inspire a blog post and I can't think of a better way to align our hearts and souls than when we're out talking to God! Love these thoughts here, my friend! xo I"m cheering you on!

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    1. Valerie, yes! Don't you just love that set of Pyrex bowls! My mom had a set she used when I was little ... and I dug these out of a big ol' Rubbermaid bin after we moved here. They weren't of much use hidden away, were they!

      ;-{

      And my heart beats with yours as our walks continue to unfurl conversations with God ... and then with others. Your agreement warms my heart!

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  20. I found myself nodding along to your post so much. I often struggle with walking that invisible line between making good choices and feeling like those choices (good or bad) make me. Learning to appreciate exactly where I am right now has been a huge help. I even (gulp) wrote a love letter to my body on My Ink Dance. That was scary and so freeing! Keep moving forward and remember exactly who you are in this moment is beautiful!

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    1. Let's hear it for freedom! Yes, let's work through the fear and the apprehension and do the next right thing in embracing healthy self-care.

      Becky - you're a breath of fresh air!

      Welcome!

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  21. No athletic bones in this body, either! My friend and I have started walking for an hour after the kids go to bed. It is great for us physically and mentally!

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    1. Yep, my daughter's been running her legs off after she tucks her kiddos in for the night. It's a young mama's best time of day, isn't it!

      :-}

      ;-}

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  22. Linda, I can't tell you how on target God was back in November when He clearly told me, "YOUR WORD FOR 2016 IS DISCIPLINE." Yes, Lord. And, then He graciously gave me the three areas of focus: Read Pray Move(as in exercise)- thus, RPM was born. My journal entries hold me accountable - there's actually a picture of a journal page in my blog today. YOU CAN DO THIS.

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    1. Your timing, your encouragement is just perfect this afternoon, Susan! Don't you love when God speaks so incredibly clearly that you just KNOW what your next steps should be?!

      I'm heading over to check out your post right now.

      And it's so good to see you again!

      ;-}

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  23. Sorry this visit is so late! The lazy days of summer are nowhere to be found around here, but we are enjoying every moment that we can! I agree that trying to keep tabs on weight is always a challenge, and kudos to you for getting back on track!! I find that walking is my most enjoyable way to manage my weight! Hugs to you today, and hope that your summer is full of sweet blessings :)

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    1. Yep, I'm with you, friend ... walking WORKS for me! No gym, no machines, no equipment, nothing but my feet.

      I love it!

      ;-}

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  24. Hi Linda! In all honesty, I identify with your journey here! I've been on a fitness/ wellness path for more than two years and the results have been slooooow and at times, barely leaning towards improvement. It can be frustrating but any movement in the right direction is to be celebrated. Thanks for sharing your heart transparently here.

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    1. I'm glad you're here, Cynthia! And I love this you said -->'any movement in the right direction is to be celebrated.'

      Slow and steady wins the race. I think!

      ;-}

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda