31 Days of Eating Paleo

I’ve been writing elsewhere this month, and I wanted to pass along an update about that. I finished my Eating Paleo for 31 Days yesterday, and I’ve written about it over at The Journey. You can read the series here.

finished-the-Whole30-FB-Cover-Photo

I promise to eventually finish the 31 Days of Being OK with Me series here, but I can’t promise when it will happen.

Thanks for reading here in my randomness! 🙂

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Acorns, Tire Swings and Work

When my seven-year-old daughter was four, she said she wanted to plant some acorns. I asked her why, and she said, “So I can have a tire swing!”

It was precious, to say the least.

She did not realize that it takes years and years for an acorn to grow into an oak tree strong enough to support a swing.  As I learned how to run, and as I’ve made small steps towards eating healthier, the lesson I’ve learned is this: I don’t realize it takes years and years for an acorn to grow into an oak tree.

This story continues over at The Journey today ...

Writing Elsewhere

This space has been fairly quiet, which is not unusual. I have, however, been writing elsewhere. I post once a week over at The Journey. Some of it is recycled material from this space, but some of it is new.

Here’s some of my posts:

Progress, Not Perfection ::

I have really had to embrace the idea of progress, not perfection. I’m a human, so I’ll never be perfect. I’m going to skip exercising some days. I’m going to give in to a craving from time to time. I’m going mess up. But it’s not an excuse to give up!

Learning to Run ::

I have to wonder how many times I have sabotaged my own progress by trying to start off too fast? I decide something like: “I’m going to get up early, exercise, cook breakfast for my family from scratch, do a load of laundry every day, reorganize the whole house and end world hunger all before 10 a.m.!” Am I the only crazy person who does this?

Giving Up :: Lessons learned from giving up sugar for periods of time. (Basically my unfinished 31 Days to Change One Habit all in one post.)

 Apple Peanut Butter Snack Bars :: Hungry? These are easy to whip up and yummy, too.

Looking Around ::

The problem with looking around is that we have a tendency to look at the best and compare to our worst.

 

 

The Journey

A friend of mine has started a new venture to encourage women in making small changes to improve their health. It’s called The Journey: Small Changes. Big Picture. There is a Facebook page and a new blog. I’ll be contributing over there once a week, likely every Thursday. (It’s new, so that could change.)

Today I’m introducing myself and sharing a little bit about my own journey to eating better and getting exercise.

I’ve spent some time writing about my own journey and what I’ve learned about making physical and spiritual changes in my life. Interestingly, they tend to go together. One of the changes I have made over the past few years has been changing how I eat. It has been an incredibly slooooow journey, and would look like a roller coaster if I could map out my progress. I’ve pretty much always been a person who did not watch what I eat. I enjoy eating. I like food. I’ve always preferred Cheetos over carrots.  Mt. Dew has been a mainstay for many years. I generally looked at people who counted every calorie or never ate dessert and thought they were missing out …

To read the rest of my post, head on over to The Journey!

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On Not Finishing 31 Days

I’ve been reading many things reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the new one, but I have some unfinished business to attend to before doing that myself. It seems my 31 Days to Change One Habit got stuck on Day 17.

I debated participating in the 31 Days series for numerous reasons. I wasn’t sure I had enough content to write for a whole month, and I was certain I would not have enough time to write. I forged ahead anyway, telling myself that I was making lame excuses.

I did carry through with my challenge of changing my online habits for the month of October. I learned a lot about how I waste time online and how to use my time better. I don’t feel as addicted to checking Facebook and reading blogs. As we climb out of the holiday season and return to our normal routines, I plan to re-establish better online habits.

I learned a lot more about myself during the month of October, though, that I wasn’t expecting. I realized I don’t enjoy writing “how-to” posts. I once envisioned this blog having more “how-to” posts, but it’s really not my thing. I much prefer to write about things that happen in life that help me understand another area of life, give me a different picture of God, or teach me some life lesson. There are hundreds of people who write about changing habits. There is only one person who can write about my life experiences.

A funny thing happened as I was attempting to write about how to change a habit: I had dozens of other things pop into my mind that I wanted to write about. But, because I was committed (at least initially) to writing on one topic for 31 days, I did not allow myself to write about those other things. It reminded me that writing begets writing. When I attempt to write daily, it is like throwing logs on the fire. When I’m random about writing, it’s like starting a fire with a piece of flint and straw. Sure, it’s possible, but it takes a lot of effort to get a fire started. Once the fire gets started, it’s time to pick up the kids from school or make dinner or go to bed. I’m still not sure how to fit writing into my daily life, but I’m making progress, and that’s encouraging.

So, while I failed to finish the 31 Day series during October, I feel like it was not a complete loss. I still learned a lot, even if it was not what I anticipated.

 

Day 14: Three Strikes

I knew changing my online habits was needed in my life, but on Tuesday of last week I got more confirmation that I was, indeed, working on the correct habit.

I’m doing Beth Moore’s Bible study on the book of James, and what do you know, but her lesson Tuesday talked about social media. She pointed out that The New International  Commentary of the New Testament translated James 2:1, “Do not try to combine faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Glory, with the worship of men’s social status.” Like me, she said that social media is not wrong, but we must be careful how we use it.

Then, later that day, my daughter brought home a book home from school. The Berenstain Bears and the Bad Habit! She probably wondered why I laughed when I saw the book.

“OK, God,” I thought to myself. “First it was Bible study, and now this book. I get it. I’m paying attention.”

The real kicker, though, was a conversation with my son who is 8. When I was writing the post about defining the details, he was looking over my shoulders and reading my words. On Tuesday, I took a picture of his name written in cursive and posted it to Instagram. He said something like, “Didn’t I read something about how you were going to quit posting stuff?” I explained that I wasn’t quitting, but I was trying to not spend as much time online so that I would do a better job of being a mom. “Yeah,” he said, shaking his head in agreement, “one time we (he and his sister) talked about how, ‘All Mom cares about is her iPod.'”

Ouch.

Certainly I care about more than my iPod. But if my kids think that’s what I care about most, then I have a major problem. This habit thing is no joke. It is essential to recognize the things that are causing issues in our lives, families and relationships. And it is even more important to not just see the problem but ACT on the problem.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. –James 1:22-25

Let’s be doers. Let’s kick our bad habits and work on good ones. It may have been a day of three strikes for me, but I am not out. We are not out. We always get the chance to start new. This is not a waste of time. This is life. It’s worth it.

Day 10: Life Happens

I am now two days behind on my posts with a crazy week ahead that includes travel (to a warmer place that has a beach)! 

Life happens.

Yet, in the midst of life happening, we need to figure out how to keep up with the things that need to be done. Habits are important, even when we get busy. In fact, the good habits we have might keep us sane when life gets really crazy.

The truth is, it seems like the crazy stuff of life is always happening. I’ve been saying to myself, “Maybe this week will be ‘normal'” since my kids started school about two months ago. So far, every week has had some sort of event or circumstances that made the week seem not normal. I think I need to realize that “normal” might just mean crazy in this season of my life. It’s a good crazy. It’s just a busy crazy.

So, as I work to change my habit, I have to consider my life circumstances and continue to evaluate what works best for me. I cannot wait for perfect timing or a more normal week. I need to figure out what works when life happens.