Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It Takes a Plan

Recently I have been swamped with messages from people who want to know how we REALLY lost the weight and how are we keeping it off. When I say "swamped," it's a good thing and not negative at all...I am totally surprised by how many people face the same struggle. I wish I had known (or at least paid attention to) where to turn when I realized I had a sin issue with food/health/discipline!

Most people have strangely asked for our daily schedule, so here it is:
(keep in mind that JT works from home unless he's on a trip and we homeschool all five of our kids)

4:00 Wake up (I am not by nature a morning person...more of a 10:00 am - 2:00 pm and then again 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm kinda person. )
4:15 Eat a small bowl of instant oatmeal and 16 oz of water (this is the only thing I have found that works for my body - EVERY person is different and you may or may not need to eat prior to running. My brother eats Captain Crunch. Madison has bread with honey. JT eats nothing.)
4:15-5:00 Quiet time
5:00 Stretch and out the door for exercise. Prayer time.
7:15 Breakfast - 2 eggs, plain yogurt with fruit (we add cinnamon, vanilla and local honey to our yogurt), 16 oz of water, green tea. Every other day we have a muffin or oatmeal. We also have fruit with breakfast.
8:00 School (around 10:00, another 16 oz of water)
1:00 Lunch - grilled meat (usually chicken or fish), salad and veggies or 2 other veggies (one raw and one cooked), fruit, yogurt, 16 oz of water
3:30 Snack - protein bar or nuts with 16 oz of water
6:00 Dinner - fish/chicken/turkey (occasionally beef or pork) with at least 2 veggies, no carbs, no fruit, 16 oz of water
8:30 Green tea

Of course I am not including everything on our schedule but only the items that seem to be important to everyone. We have appointments, work, extra-curricular activities, ministry administration, etc that have to be worked into our schedule as well. Just like everyone else, we know that we prioritize our lives based on what is important. If someone invited us to an important event, we would make arrangements and adjust our schedule to be there. The same is true with exercising and health. We MUST take the extra time to address these areas.

God has shown me personally several areas where I needed to adjust in order to walk with integrity with Him: Planning, Preparation and Implementation. Here's what it meant for me:

Planning - In order to have the groceries that we need on hand and avoid eating unhealthy foods, I have to plan for our menu one to two weeks in advance. I simply use a spreadsheet on my computer and make sure that I include any appointments/special items that we have for that day. I purchase all of our groceries once a week based on this menu.
Planning doesn't just include food though. I have to plan ahead for exercise. In our house I am the first one up but am followed quickly by Madison. We both exercise before the sun rises. JT waits until an hour after breakfast and runs/bikes while the kids are working on school with me. Kaitlyn likes to exercise after lunch but changes up her schedule based on her workload. If we have a race or a long run approaching, I have to plan ahead for the younger kids as well.

Preparation - When I come in from running, I untie my shoes and put them on the shelf in my closet. I immediately take out the clothes that I will run in for the next day. When I get up in the morning, I see my outfit ready to go. I also have to make sure that my phone is charged and ready to go!

Implementation - This is the are where I struggled the most in the beginning. I would SAY that I wanted to do something differently. I was tired of clothes not fitting and not having energy and seeing my kids gaining weight, but I was NOT doing anything. What I proclaimed with my heart and mouth were NOT affecting my behavior. I would rather sleep in or eat what I wanted than to truly make the change. God has graciously extended His forgiveness and has changed my heart in this area.

Now when I wake up, I ask the Lord how to spend my time. He directs my steps. There are few times when He doesn't direct me right out the door!

I challenge you today to see where you are in life when it comes to healthy eating and exercise. How are you honoring the Lord? Does He want you to make a change? Then, what is stopping you????

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