Thursday, August 18, 2016

#The Little Moments

God is good. All the time.
 Even in the midst of days I have severe anxiety. Even in the midst of dark storms.
 Because as we have seen this week with days full of rain and thunderstorms- the sun always shines again.
 I'm not in the midst of dark days, but because I have experienced them, and because anxiety and depression are a regular fight for me I appreciate the good ones so much more than I ever used to. And I recognize them more highly, too.
  It's time (overdue, as always) for #thelittlemoments post. Because these moments need recognized just as much as the hard things need exposed through vulnerability. So, here are a few from the last couple of weeks...

 1. The Library.
 Did you know you could find college text books at the library?? I have always been a fan of reading and going to the library, but I never thought of getting my college books there. Guess what? I saved $85 for my next semester by finding my book for FREE at the library! Yay for public libraries!

 2. Vegetables.
 You guys.... I never thought I would say I am glad for vegetables. But now that we are eating clean, Michael has been making some very creative dishes with vegetables. And I love it. Who knew I liked eggplant?  Who knew you could make zucchini a million different ways? I am sure people have know recipes like this for decades, but for us, it's new and we are loving it.

 3. College Tuition.
 I need to tell a story. This was not a little moment- this was a big moment. And God needs all the credit here. Last semester I had a little bit of grant money left over. So I cashed it and put it in my college funding. Guess what? This semester coming up I was short by how much...??? The exact amount that I had leftover from last semester! Come on! Only God could have arranged that. So I am blessed to be provided for once again. I love when God does that.

 4. Change is good.
  In the moment of needing a change and feeling bold, I decided to cut all my hair off like I never have before. I decided if I hated it, it would grow back. So, I did it.


 I do like it. It doesn't look as good every day as this photo does, because I can't style as well as the salon girl, but I do like it. Change feels good. Stepping out of the comfort zone feels good.

 5. Watching answered prayer
 I could write an entire blog on this right now, but some of it is so detailed and some of it more personal so it's one of those that will remain in my head for a while. But honestly, I am amazed at how God is at work. I once heard a man named Ken Rudolph preach, saying that praying for something (or someone) is like chipping away at a tree with an axe. It is a slow process, but every chip whittles away a little bit more of the tree. Every prayer makes a dent in the request. And some requests take years, others take months, etc. But eventually that tree will fall. The point is, don't give up praying. Sometimes that's easier said than done. But I am watching God answer some amazing things right now.

 -Friends who don't care how long my emails are (ahem, or my blogs..) but read every word and take time to respond to me.
 - Telling stupid jokes with Michael and the kids and laughing until our sides hurt
 - Watching the Olympics as a family
 - Talking running terminology with my son, who is running Cross Country for the first time this fall
 - Shopping with my daughter, who is going in to high school! (Yikes!)
 - Lunch at Skyline Chili with another really cool family. Making new friendships that speak volumes.
 - Time with my friend, Katie. She inspires me. I love her to pieces and she motivates me to keep pursuing my dreams.

 The list goes on (hence I should do #thelittlemoments blog more often!) God is good, my friends. And He is found in the every day little moments. Taking time to reflect on that is meaningful. Yes, hard times exist and always will. But even when those are happening, the good is still in the mix.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Ready! Reset! Go!

I have used this photo before, but it remains to be true of a motivational version of what I tell myself often times, and goes along with this blog, so here it is:

 (I never got to a blog after my birthday, so this semi-serves as that). It's a "new year" for me, entering in my 34th year, and I am going to eat cleaner, train harder, grow, learn, and keep overcoming the old me, so I can be a better, healthier me. Spiritually, Physically, Emotionally.

 The title of this blog is Ready! Reset! Go! because I am in the process of resetting my body in some ways. A few months ago, I heard Dr. Mark Cucuzzella speak as our Air Force Marathon medical consultant, and he spent much time focusing on nutrition.
 I enjoyed what he had to say, but I did not think cutting carbs out of my nutrition plan was necessary. I thought my husband, a diabetic, could benefit, but not me. (michael had no interest in giving up his ice cream and changing a diet.) As time has gone along since then, the idea has grown on me.
 I have been reading up on what Phil Maffetone has to say, as he comes as a personal recommendation from Dr. Cucuzzella. My brothers then introduced me to this plan, which not coincidentally, comes from Phil Maffetone. To make a long story short, this is what we have begun following.
 To talk about it on a blog is a little bold, because there is always a fear of failure. But we are two weeks in, as the plan suggests, and we have learned so much about our health as a family and individually. We are truly resetting our bodies.

 I thought I needed tons of carbs as a runner: FALSE.

 I thought I would miss chips and chocolate: FALSE.

 I thought I didn't need to rid myself of carbs, only Michael did: FALSE.

 I thought giving up carbs meant I could never eat them or I would gain it right back: FALSE.

 Nutrition plays just as big of a role in my physical training as a detailed training plan does. And I have to tell you, while it was a challenge in the beginning, I feel better physically than I have felt in years. I don't miss junk food. I don't miss pasta. I don't miss chips. But it also does not mean I will never eat them again. Today is Elizabeth's birthday, and I will eat pie. But the next day I'll go back to being without.
 During the two weeks of starting the new way of eating (It's NOT a diet, it's a lifestyle!) we had no carbs. When we went into a restaurant, those yeast rolls smelled amazing. But we resisted, and I felt good about that. I have discovered the power of determination, when it comes to eating. But I admit, it is so much easier to do with the whole family on board. When my son heard about this, he is the one who asked if we could do it, which is what got Michael on board.
 Now Michael's sugar levels (aka his diabetes numbers) have dropped drastically - to NORMAL! It's been years since he has seen that. And so it has caught on in our family.
This is how we buy eggs now. And yes, we go through all of these in a week. 

 So, it's our new way of life. Nutrition plays a role in physical training. I was a little worried about this, and I think I am a little slower right now ( as if I wasn't already slow!) But for one, I have been a bit lazy in my summer runs and two, my body is learning how to burn fuel on fat now instead of immediate carbs. It's fascinating in many ways.
  Michael kindly built me a box jump (Read here why I got inspired about that).
  I am working on improving my time for TRX instructor's (Steck) 3 minute plank challenge. Sounds easy, right? Nope. It's far from that... but I am determined and making progress.
   I am trying to slice some time off my runs so I can gain a new PR.
Most importantly, I'm trying to become a better, healthier version of me. And yes, it's making a difference emotionally as well.
My workout space, including my new adjustable height box jump platform. 

 Lastly, to go along with this, my friend Sharon gave me a Runner's Devotional that I have been reading. I love how my running often parallels my spiritual journey. And when I read the short pages each morning before my exercise, I love how it takes me to a place of meditating on all of that. Each week focuses on a different passage as well as my physical training.
  Many of these passages I have read multiple times in life, but that's what make scripture active and alive- I can take something away from a passage that's new even though I have read it many times. My favorite right now is this:
 "Train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come. " 1 Timothy 4: 7

 I love my physical training. I thrive on it often times. It pushes me and challenges me and when I succeed I know I am capable of anything. However, none of that matters if I don't put God into the equation of my every step and goal.
 Nutrition matters. Physical training matters. But as I enter this new year, the most important thing to me is my spiritual walk. I am being stretched there, but as I am, I draw closer to the One who has the answers. I am training to overcome the old me and continue being a better version of me. Spiritually, emotionally, physically.
 One day at a time.