Today was a good day.
I got my ash in church. Sang a few songs and yes, made it through a day only eating about 1200 calories with less than 25g of sugar.
And I was right–to think of the Lenten commitment is what keeps me from eating candies, sugars and sweets.
I also learned that I have a bicurnate uterus, or otherwise known as a heart shaped uterus. And I was able to see that as a sign that there is room in a heart to have a child. The imagery is beautiful. Thank you God.
Wednesday-It Starts. This is when the fun begins-when the cross of ash is made. Wednesday starts new thinking, new dieting…just an overall NEW.
Staying with the theme of working towards a healthy life, I have made some guidelines for my Lenten season:
First—Fat Tuesday will receive celebration. I think a good let loose before Lent will help me understand what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I don’t plan to stuff myself so full of sugar I knock out, but I do plan on enjoying whatever I want that day. I’m going all out–Pancakes, milkshakes—whatever.
Second – This will go from Wednesday, 2/18 through Wednesday, 4/15 since that’s my follow up appointment with my fertility doctor. I need to have lost 10-15 lbs by that point, which is completely doable if I stick to this Lenten diet.
Guidelines for eating:
My goal is to eat the recommended 25g of sugar a day. It sounds small, but will actually help me eat better by A LOT. This leaves out eating massive amounts of candy, soda, unhealthy items such as milkshakes and ridiculous amounts of sugary items. It also will help keep me from eating a ton of fried, bready food because carbs eventually break down to sugars. I am also giving up soda as a whole (since diet soda isn’t that much better for you), food that is ridiculously proportioned so that you think you’re only eating 100 calories but its 100 calories of fat or sugars or starch. Also-no alcohol. This is not only good for dieting but also for kiddos.
The official theme:
MORE GREENS, LESS GOODIES, MORE GO!
Yes—there is also a goal at the end for exercising. My cholesterol did lower significantly on this last blood work review but my triglycerides are ridiculously high. And those only get better by exercising. Trust me—I’ve done all the research and reading you can do. I want to reach my step goal in my lose it app. I also want to exercise 3x a week. Before Wednesday comes, I plan on making a work out guideline.
Here are the exercising guidelines:
Ball Core—like a sit up but no strain on your neck. 10-15/rep 2x/day ; 3x/week
Planks – modified or regular—hold for 30 secs /rep ; 3-4x/week (works core)
Karate Stiff Man – it’s a workout I learned in Physical Therapy. You stand knees slightly bent, pull straight arm lifts to work on hips & core tightening. It’s great, easy to do at a gym and worth it. (Core)
10-15/rep, 2-3x/day, 3x-4x/week
Mountain Climber – 2x/day, 10-20x/rep (works core)
Cardio—30-45 minutes/day. This must be an elliptical, run, or focused walk. No “general” walking
Arms—need two types of upper arm workouts
Legs – two types of workouts, specifically working hip/thigh area as this is my weak spot.
I will probably do the push out as my physical therapist was having me do “clams.” Which is where a belt keeps your knees together and you press out.
Stretching—also need to work stretching calves and waist area. I had some work outs from physical therapy that I like. I might also see what a gym has in the way of a machine that is helpful.
So that is the plan peeps.
I prefer that those of you who work with me or are around me support and encourage me (like you always have) and please keep this in mind when I deny eating something.
As Lent fast approaches, I have continued my “search” of what to dedicate my upcoming diet to. I have weighed the pros & cons (see previous post to this). So Far, here is what I have determined:
1) No soda—this was an obvious one and the minimal goal if I couldn’t decide on anything. I have done this before and I can do it again. And personally, I am knocking out all diet drinks as well. My only exception allowed will be for Sprite-only sparingly allowed if at all. If I’m going to fail, might as well do it with a caffeine free lighter drink. But I don’t allow myself to drink it regularly.
2) No Junk food—I am currently trying to narrow this down. I was going to say no “fast” food, but since our family goes out each week to fast food because they do not want to overburden a waitress (please reserve your comments), this is next to impossible. I am considering setting a calorie/nutrition goal in relation to this. Meaning—I am only allowed to eat maximum 800 calories when I go out. That’s more than doable, allows for some flexible but also for restraint. I am also making clear no more massive amounts of pizza, of Chinese food or things we decide to order because we’re tired and don’t want to cook (that happens a lot between work & Shawn’s schooling. I’d plan meals—but then I’d feel like my life is structured like a formula (input/output) and I DO NOT want that feeling in any way. (For theological and philosophical reasons.)
3) No carbs/sugar—Okay, let me preface this with not a complete deletion. But I need to cut it down. My weakness: anything BREAD. I have eaten a whole French roll (you know-the ones you can buy all warm and tasty from the bakeries at the groceries around 3pm everyday?) by myself. And I eat carbs mindlessly. Chips at a Mexican restaurant are also my weakness. More mindless eating. This is what I need to stop. What does need to stop is the healthy grain eating. Doctor’s orders and let’s be honest—I like the taste of grain (I’m definitely not going gluten-free unless they determine I have celiac disease or a sensitivity or something.)
4) Eating breakfast—this is another one of my downfalls. Since my younger years, I have always had trouble eating breakfast. Mostly because I would feel nauseous in the morning and didn’t want to touch anything for about an hour. I have learn to adjust but need to eat something (and something HEALTHY) instead of searching for the first McDonald’s Egg McMuffin or (worse) Jack In the Box Sandwich. I need something quick (because I like to get up & go) or something I can heat up later. I love the little potato meals from SmartOnes & such. And a lot of organic lines have breakfast items that are extremely healthy. And my own doctor said I need more whole grains.
I have considered going Paleo… something I know a lot of people have done and its not that bad. I just have to focus and get prepared. Here’s go nothing
For those of you who do not know this–getting is Ph.D. in theology is not like getting a PH.D. or Doctorate in medicine. It does take years of clinicals or anything like that. But it definitely takes more than just having the right grades. You have to prove that you know everything about the dissertation you want to write and research. And unlike normal school, where you take “x” classes and they give you “x” degree, you actually study and research things, learn them so you can give that learning to others. (yeah-Knowledge is one of my spiritual gifts, so sue me 🙂 ) So here are the typical items for Ph.D. in theology:
a) studies in your specific emphasis (i.e. New testament, Old Testament, etc.) — I want to study Old Testament and especially prophets. I do well in this subject, LOVE reading Isaiah (as it jokingly state it solves all the world’s problems) and have always wanted to understand this very unique element of Jewish culture. Also, its story-telling. Which in academic terms is called “narrative theology.” I’m gradually realizing that while others were trained classical and systematically, I was trained to think story-like in my college classes. And that ties in with my love for reading, for language and using meaning with few words, or even no words. Or using words that paint a picture like Hebrew does for me. And it can be intertwined with the elements I love of church work-of liturgy/working with people and hearing their stories and maybe I am called to show how the text interweaves into people’s lives (So at least I got that narrowed down.)
b) a lot of language — I am also not threatened by this…but it is NOT easy. Those with doctorates in biblical languages have studied at least 5 languages. Greek, Hebrew, Latin, German, probably French, and their own language. They have also probably looked at Aramaic, other ancient near east languages in addition to possibly considering Chinese or Korean (since that’s where church is moving.). And you have to have this completed before your dissertation. Luckily, this is something I can work on now without leaving a job. And I love German so I’m exited about this requirement. Probably another confirmation I should be going for this degree.
C) speaking of dissertation…that’s the ending accomplishment that gets published. I actually beg to let me do this. I must be crazy. But it’s not about the title of Ph.D.but all the research and teaching I want to share with others as well as sink deeply into.
D) seeking a phD also requires studying under someone. I have struggled with this because I want to get with someone who is studying my topic but I don’t want to travel far. My husband and I just moved and I don’t want to uproot what we were trying to solidify. Or at least structure a little. Luckily I stared looking at those at Fuller and located someone I really like both as a scholar and an author. So hopefully contacts with that person will beach out into research and a degree. But contact is better than nothing.
I know I didn’t cover even a tenth of everything, but now it’s visible to see how much work and how much trying on God this is going to take. Mostly because again, I don’t know how this is going to work.
Please God help me get this done!
Sorry readers for the lack of posts lately. Holidays, Busy Schedules, you know.
some of these are personal, deep and descriptive. This is really just an outlet for me to express some of these items and I prefer that massive discussions not form around them. A private message or text will do. But for those who wonder…prayers are appreciated and kind words never lose their value.
Anyways–Shawn and I have been thinking about the next step in our marriage and relationship-kids. We actually have been trying for the past 6 months and I went off my birth control almost one year ago. Those of you who talk to me more often know this but I’ve not advertised our family planning for the world to see until now. Despite my desire to really want kids i really miss my birth control mostly because of my cystic acne. My face is a battlefield. Nevertheless, we have been trying because based on my medical history, it was possible that we would have difficulty conceiving and I had this feeing it might take longer than normal.
I finally got fed up with just waiting around despite knowing my hormone levels were all over the place so I went to a fertility doctor. He confirmed that I have PCOS-or Poly-Cystic Ovary Syndrome. Here’s a basic image of what’s going on…
My gynecologist had a test review that said things were consistent with this type of diagnosis, but no one ever actually took an ultrasound and confirm my ovaries having cysts. It was helpful to have confirmation that I could actually see (the ultrasound) and that someone was talking to me about a solution instead of leaving me to my own research-nature devices and saying birth control and time solves all. Sorry lady–I’d rather take the time to work on a solution then sitting on the probably (literally.)
Finally the doctor gave me some medicine to help. He took over my metformin medication and worked me up to a reasonable prescription instead of staying “yeah just keep taking it. “He also gave me a drug to help me with my “cycle.” Im also going through a bunch of testing (some I do not care to do) to figure out what’s going on. Prayers for that would be great…I typically freak out and run my blood pressure up the roof knowing I have that kind of stuff.
The “downside” of the whole matter is trying to lose 10 lbs by April. I meant to do this by earlier but the increasing doses of my Metformin can really do a number on my stomach. It’s nice not to starve now. My blood sugar would drop suddenly so often that i would think I was starving to death despite having had over 2100 calories in a day. Thank you hormones for control my eating and weight.
Now that I’ve controlled my portion size a little-I realized I need to burn calories. Really burn calories. We had these auditions last night and I had all the fun in the world just doing 5 minutes of dancing. Yes I’ve done Zumba at home (which I may consider now thinking about it) but doing activities with friends is better. Shawn and I try to exercise together but when we both work jobs and he is in school, we want to spend our time together not working out at a gym maybe chatting here and there.
One of the key elements for healthy eating is home cooking. This is because majority of restaurants, fast food joints, pubs and bars serve food fried, processed and covered in oil and filled with carbs and sugar. Only recently did the food industry start going back to naturally cooked and healthier food. So as stated, sometimes losing a little weight is as easy as not eating out for a week.
Today I finally managed to *cough* -clean- out the freezer. There were some foods that i unfortunately had to through out due to the timeline but most food in the freezer lasts a while. I am glad to say cooking dinner at home tonight results in me eliminated a bag of orange chicken, veggie noodles, pfchang’s egg rolls, a bag of buffalo chicken wings (went bad long time ago) and pulled out the steak to cook that later. Or cook it on the grill and cook something else from the freezer to go with it for dinner tomorrow.
Cooking at home is hard for us. Both Shawn and I work 40hr weeks, Shawn goes to school and though I graduated, I am involved in a lot of church activities now. So cooking requires a little thinking ahead. Also, once a week we do go out with his parents for a family night. I think its important-as it brings us all together once a week no matter what–but eating at fast food is sometimes difficult. And yes, I realize there are alternatives, but there are 5 of us with completely different tastes… eating out, maybe at a wendy’s or in&out is the best option.
So here’s to more fun meals at home, more fun meals-more natural meals.