The Storm That Never Came

Eating dinner in a relaxed mood we start to hear runbles off in the distance.  Casually we assume it is passing by, as it didn’t seem to be getting closer.  However, suddenly the sky got dark and we were prompted to check the weather.  There it was.  A giant red cell on the map headed right for us.  Out mood switched gears and we began to ready ourselves for the storm now fast approaching.  We were tent camping and just about to start a fire.

Quickly we got in gear.  Working together as if one organism to tend to every detail.  We even got the fire wood under shelter.

The sky grew darker and the wind picked up.  The heavens werrle ready to burst open.  The rain was coming.  We were prepared.

Out of no where the dark threatening sky started to glow rose gold.  The wind quieted down.  The thunder continued to roll in the distance and we were baffled.  We ventured back out of our shelter.  A flimsy thin breathable tarp that separated us from the ravaging effects of nature.  It was a tent, a beautiful large one, but a tent none the less.

We brought up the radar and low and behold the storm wrapped around us.  It was if we were in a protected buble blocking the tumultuous weather from entering our domain.  We were spared.

How often in life do we believe so hard that something is going to happen a specific way and we male plans upon plans for it going just like that?  I’d venture that it is more often and not.  Some times it is worse, different, or much better.

The key is go roll with the punches and expect that things can’t be expected.  Time was spent making sure those around us knew the impending storm was in fact on its way towards us when the radar was telling us so.  Egg got on our faces.  You know what?  I’d rather be wrong about the weather while camping and have prepared for the worst and potentially help others than ignore it and end up getting stuck in a tough spot.

What is the ever so brief moral of my story?  Don’t be so afraid that you can’t actually live and never be so unconcerned with life that you miss half of the point of it.  Loving others and enjoying yourself as you go day by day.

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Momma

Good vrs. Best

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Uhm, they’re not the same thing?  Nope.  Nadda friend.  Some times what is good is not what is best for you.  Well, I sure dropped the point rather fast, didn’t I?  Let us consider a few things, shall we?

That chocolate cake on the counter sure is good.  Taking a slice right now and devouring it would sure feel pretty great.  The texture, the flavor, the way it feels going down your throat.  It really is good, isn’t it?  Is it what it best for you?

That glass of wine (insert any alcoholic beverage here) is calling.  The coolness coating your lips.  The deep refined flavor bursting in your mouth.  The way it smoothly runs down as you swallow.  The way it helps relax you after you’ve finished the glass or two.  It sure was good.  Was it the best for you?

One mile down and you grab the towel.  It is enough to just go for a little and stop, right?  I got my workout in.  I moved.  Sure, it was good.  It is good to move even a little.  However, was it the best?  Was that the best that you could do?  Was that the most you could move?  Did you really push yourself?

You send someone a quick text.  “Hey, just thinking about you.”  Then you continue about your busy life making no real connection.  Is that good enough?  Sure, it can be.  Is it the best way though?

You’re cleaning the floor.  It looks visibly clean and you’re tired, so you stop and put everything away.  Okay, sure, that was good right?  You did it, at least?  Was it the best, though?

Good is not always best.  Now that you have a few ideas floating around in your mind I’m certain you can come up a few of your own examples.  Just because something is good at the moment doesn’t make it the best choice for your life.  This applies in all aspects ranging from emotional, physical, spiritual, and everywhere in between.

I know what you’re thinking…  “How do I know what is BEST for me in the moment?”  That part really is the tricky bit.  The future is a general mystery for us.  We can take educated guesses.  They may even often come true!  However, there is no guarantee of this and so we continue down the road of questions.  Should I do this, should I do that.  Is this correct, or that?  When should I stop and when should I start?  The red pill or the blue pill?  Part of the great fun of life is that it is a mystery and we don’t know what is coming.  No matter how many nerves get frayed in the end we do prefer to not know.

How does that help?  Indirectly.  Understanding that in the fleeting moments we may want to know, but in the long run its better if we don’t can help aid us in making the best choices instead of just the good ones.  You say whaaaaat?  By not knowing what is going to happen and not being reassured by the choices that we make in the moment we’re allowing ourselves to grow and learn.  Even if the choice we make isn’t the best one we’ve learned something.  More than something!  We have usually learned a great deal, in fact.  Can you think of a moment where you didn’t make the best choice in the long run and instead learned countless life lessons?  That’s right, I knew it.  The beauty in this fact is that we can rest knowing that we’ve learned from it and we can move forward.  Never be afraid to make a choice.  Especially when you’re unsure of which one to make.

Some times we can tell when the best choice is staring us in the face, though.  You know when you should just clean the floor all of the way, when you shouldn’t eat the chocolate cake, when you can push out another mile, when that drink shouldn’t be an option, or when you should spend a little more time on that relationship.

So, what kind of choices are you making in your life?  Good ones, or the best ones?

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Momma

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When Good Enough Isn’t Enough

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Back aching, sweat dripping down my face, and hands cramped I worked tirelessly to prepare my cast iron patio set that we salvaged from the fire and has since been sitting derelict rusting over the past many months.  The heat caused a great deal of the enamel and paint to simply melt off.  There were also flung bits of plastic strewn down in many places from the spitting fire.  It was a literal pain.  It is one of those jobs that you think wont be too bad, until you stand bent over half way holding your fingers in the same position doing the same up and down motion for over an hour.  At that point?  It becomes too real of a difficult task, indeed.

What exactly does good enough mean?  When we reach a point of saying “It is good enough” we could be in 2 different mind sets.  Either we’re exhausted with whatever we’re giving up on, or we simply can’t do it anymore.  Either way, we’ve decided for whatever rationale that we have we’re done trying.  Finished.  Fertig.  Finito.  Fini.  I think you get the point.

Often it really is time to stop and throw in the towel.  Some times we can start to obsess over things and feel compelled to keep going when it is no longer healthy for us.  This can cover a very broad spectrum of categories.  Relationships, household chores, eating habits, hobbies, and exercise are just to name a few.  I don’t intend to really dig deep into obsession right now, but it is important to understand when you’re obsessed or just driven.  You should always been asking yourself what the difference is and where you stand.

I couldn’t take it anymore.  I had to stop.  I chipped off what I could get off and decided to just coat everything nice and thick with the rustoleum and move on.  I needed a rest.  It was good enough.  Or was it?  Moments after the paint began to dry peeling started to happen.  Much to my great surprise the paint re-hydrated the former original enamel and paint which caused flaking to occur.  Okay, so, what do I do here?  Sand it ALL once again?  Yeah, nope, not going to happy buddy.  I just picked off the flakes and added a little more paint over those places until all of the flaking stopped.  Good enough?  Well, suitable for my needs anyway.

I ended up making more work for myself in the long run and used far more paint than I intended.  My good enough really just was not enough.  I needed to press on and finish the job correctly.  However, I gave in.  Sure I was sore, tired, and hot.  The problem really boiled down to the fact that I was trying to do a two day job in one.  I should have planned better or tucked the chairs away somewhere so that they wouldn’t get wet over night.  Instead, I gave up and paid for it in other ways.

Too many times in our lives we give up too soon.  We decided it is good enough too often and too easily.  Eventually we get into the habit of giving up before we’ve actually tried to do anything at all.  Don’t get offended with me, but I’m going to use exercise as an example here.   People find a million and one reasons to not exercise.  I have asthma, I don’t have time, I don’t like to sweat, I don’t like being sore, and yadayadayada so on and so forth.  I’m sure that you’ve heard and likely said some of these and others yourself.  Am I right?  I know I’ve dropped a few of these bombs to excuse my lack of trying.

News flash – I do have asthma and my medication doesn’t suddenly make me able to move like I wish that I could, so I pace myself according to the ability I know I have.  I don’t have time, usually, to set aside for workouts.  How do I get around that?  I do popcorn exercise.  If I have a few moments here and there during the day I throw something in there just to move for the sake of it.  The more you move the easier the harder stuff is later.  I hate sweating.  I mean, I REALLY hate to sweat.  When I get sweaty I suddenly feel stressed out.  I can feel my entire body tense up with the smallest bead dripping from my brow.  What did I do for this one?  I wear headbands.  Yeap.  I went through a few brands until I found a good one and some times I even change it mid exercise.  It is all about making sure that I’m comfortable.  I also wear workout cloths religiously.  If I’m intending to move I put the right thing on.  I detest being sore.  I can’t stand when I’m so sore that I can’t function the way I want to the next day.  It actually drives me insane.  If you really look at what I’ve said you’ll see working out really stresses me out a great deal.  I have to prepare myself mentally before I can even get myself moving.  However, once I decide I’m going to do it, I give it my all.  I don’t have a “good enough” setting when it comes to exercise.  I have a “go until you’re about to die” mode and that is it.  That mindset has gotten me to some amazing personal milestones and trouble too.

I’m trying to challenge you to take a look at your life.  Is there an aspect where you’re saying that it is “good enough” and stop trying when you know you still can?  It doesn’t have to be anything I’ve even listed here.  It can be anything at all.  At the end of the day you don’t want to end up with flaking rustoleum like I did.  Things we don’t give our best and all to tend to have a way of sneaking back up on us with consequences.  Some times it looks like extra mopping when we skip parts on the floor or rewashing the laundry we gave up folding and it got dirty again.  On the other hand, it could be more serious like giving up on eating well or exercise.  Even still it could be the face of not trying to communicate with others or disregarding your own thoughts and feelings, because it is difficult.

Take the challenge and take a look at what you might be giving up on too soon.

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Momma

Just Rest

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Hang up your hammock.  Pull up your chair.  Lay flat in the grass and take in the view from above.  It is time to rest.

Rest.

I believe the burning question on many minds these days is:
“How do I rest in the midst of my chaos?”

You may not like to hear this, but chaos has been around since, well, the beginning of time itself.  It was chaos that brought forth our existence into play.  It was chaos that has always taken humanity from point A to point B.  With out chaos there would be complacency.  When we’re complacent there is no need to grow, stretch, and change.  A little bit of chaos does us all good.  You can see it actively working wonderful deeds within nature.  Chaos takes one tiny little thing and throws it out of its content position thus causing enormous change to occur.  Often, this is for the better even if we can’t see the silver lining in the clouds right away.  A little bit of patience goes a long way when we’re dealing with chaos.

Okay, I get it, not all chaos is the same.  Well, you’re right there.  Not all chaos is great or good for us.  I’ll concede that not all chaos comes in the same shape or form as another.  Some times the chaos we receive requires a little bit more from us than we expect.  It is in these times, when we feel like we can’t, that we need to find rest.  We must, at all costs, find refuge in our storms.  Shelter amidst the downpours.  A safe haven when the volcano of life erupts in our face.  Where do we run to?  Is there somewhere to turn?  How do I even take that step to find my safe place?

Step one.  Well, that sounds all kinds of official, doesn’t it?  Where do we begin…  Acceptance.  We must, at all costs, accept that whatever is going wrong in our chaos is actually happening.  It is big.  It is ugly.  We don’t like it.  However, it is very real.

Step Two.  See, I’m getting the hang of this official sounding business aren’t I?  One person’s chaos isn’t the same as another’s.  We need to pull ourselves away from comparing what we’re dealing with to others.  Each individual has gone through a series of chaotic events in their life that has shaped and molded them into the person that they are.  I’d like to say no one is the same, but I’m sure there is likely one or two other individuals out there that can totally relate to you.  None the less, it is very unlikely that you’re going to encounter that person by accident.  So, what is my point?  The only person that you can compare yourself to is the one staring back at you in the mirror.  *GASPS*  Whaaaaaaaaaat?!  Yeap.  Self reflection is the only business you have when it comes to comparison.

Step three.  Oh boy, this is starting to sound like a list.  We’ve accepted our chaos as reality, we’re not looking at other’s to gauge our validity of considering our situation chaos at all, and we’re moving forward towards finding our place of rest.  Stop.  Close your eyes.  Take a really deep breath and hold it.  Hold it.  Hooooold it.  Slowly let it go.  Do you feel that?  A teeny tiny little bit of tension released.  Do it again, if you need to.  Do it a third time.  A fourth, fifth, sixth.  Do it as many times as you need until you’re ready to continue.  No, you can’t skip this one.

Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Step four.  Forget about considering these steps and turn this into your reality.  Don’t concern yourself with getting it right.  Don’t bother with making sure you’ve done it all in perfect order.  Make this your own.  This is your chaos and your shelter, no one else’s.

Did I say five?  Your shelter is deep within.  It is a place that you can retreat to in your mind.  A place to lay your head and rest.  I’m not talking about physical rest here.  I’m writing about finding your inner peace and solitude.  The ability to be alone in a crowd of people.  You must be comfortable in your own skin.  Self acceptance is a huge key.  When you don’t care about what other people think about you then your shelter will be made known.  You’ll still be frustrated.  You will likely shed tears.  Things wont suddenly be fixed.  You will just be able to handle them better.  This is just the beginning.  The short of a long road of un-training your mind and setting it free of society’s labels and bad habits of self degradation.  It all starts with how you see yourself and where you want yourself to go.

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Momma

It Isn’t Always Sunflowers & Blue Skies

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Some times when you’re in the middle of making lemonade someone runs up, grabs one of your lemons, and squeezes it into your eyes.  Let me tell you, it stings like nothing else you’ve ever experienced.  Likely that will never happen literally, but it sure does happen figuratively more often than not.  If it happened literally I personally would question that friendship greatly.

Life often tosses out the proverbial lemon into our lap.  Something goes wrong.  A wrench falls into our gears and messes everything up.  What is it that we’re told to do with a bad situation that arises?  Make lemonade!  We’re supposed to pull up our big people pants nice and tight and if need be tighten our belts to make sure that they stay up and move forward anyway.  We’re told to look on the bright side.  Find the sunshine in the rain clouds.  Dump a half a pound of sugar into that lemon juice and drink it up with a smile.

What happens when in the midst of attempting to look on the bright side of things something else goes horribly wrong?  You’re car broke down on the way to work and its going to cost you $90/hr for the tow truck.  Then you have to rent a car for another $120/day.  On top of that you’re missing several hours of work for which you get paid, we’ll say, 15/hr.  Not only have you already spent far more unexpectedly on just getting your car to the shop, a rental, and then the repairs, but you would not have even made enough to cover it in the time you missed from your job.  You make it to work and despite the problems you’ve faced in the morning your boss is displeased with you.  Your co-workers follow suit.  You sit at your desk and just wish you had one of those sneaky flasks hidden somewhere that you could slip into your pocket and go hide in the bathroom stall for a few moments.  It has been a bad day.  You’re trying to keep it positive.  You remind yourself that it will be okay.  You can get through it.  You’re happy no one got hurt and you’ll figure out how to make the boss happy again.  You drive home and find someone has broken into your house while you were gone, because you were late leaving for work in the first place and you forgot to lock the doors.  Not only did they steal everything that actually had monetary value, they also broke much of what they left behind in their hurry.  Your nerves already shot from the day that you’ve already had you shake as you reach for you phone to attempt to call 911.  Ring, ring…they answer.  “911, what is your emergency?” a calm voice attempts to reassure you while getting directly to the point.  Shaking you try to answer, but drop the phone.  It shatters.  The 911 operator immediately pulls up the GPS from your cellphone and sends hoards of help to your last known coordinates.  Devastated.  Embarrassed.  Completely broken down, you sit on the curb in tears.  Your bad day just got so much worse.  You’ve spent the day trying your hardest to stay positive, but the phone?  The phone was your last straw.  You’re done.

We’ve all had days where we can relate to the feeling this fictitious person has had.  We know what it is like to get to our end and have no more left.  To reach the point where there is no such thing as keep pushing.  Where someone squeezes our lemons into our eyes and then for good measure rubs some salt in there too.  It may not look like this person’s bad day, but we all have our end point and our own stories.  What is a person to do when they reach here?  I can attest I’ve reached here many times.  In fact more times than I can possibly count.  I love my life.  I love my children.  However, thing go bad and often compound on each other.  When it rains it pours.

Negativity wants to breed more negativity.  It seeks for attention in every place that it can find.  It sneaks into your mind and unwittingly we allow it to curl right out on our internal sofa and stay for the night.  Slowly it widdles away at our self-confidence and our attitude.  It shifts our focus off of good things and benefiting others to ourselves.  It constantly reminds us of our failures and our short comings.  It wants to claw at our very being until there is nothing left of us.  It will beat us down until we can’t get back up again.  Then when we’re in complete and utter despair it starts to latch onto others around us and drag them right down too.  It becomes like an ivy enveloping everything it touches growing with out restraint.  Misery loves company and that is the truth.  When we’re in a bad place we often don’t feel any better unless we have someone else right along beside us suffering too.  We are feeding our own negativity through their problems.

In thought staying positive is easy.  One could take the advice of popular Disney character Dory and “just keep swimming” but what does that even look like in practice?  I’m sorry, but what I’m going to tell you isn’t going to be easy, at least at first.  If you’re used to being less than positive in most situations and seeking out others to help make you feel better in habit than you’re in for a rough ride.  Oh yeah, you read that correctly.  Seeking others to help you feel better is part of feeding into the negativity.  Some times it is very helpful to be able to just tell another person what is going through our minds and ask for advice.  It becomes a completely new animal when we start to tell 3, 4, 5, the entire world of social media, how bad things are.  At that point, we’re just seeking for someone else to come lick our wounds.  You can go ahead and take the dagger out of your back, I don’t mean to offend and I’m guilty of it too.  There are plenty of times when I’ve rushed to facebook in the past to tell the entire world about what bad thing was happening only seeking people’s attention and pity.  I wanted them on my side.  I wanted to feel empowered and important.  The problem with that is I was placing my value in the hands of social media readers.  I became obsessed with how many people liked my messages.  I was concerned with who sent me personal messages and who didn’t.  I started to form grudges against people who didn’t respond to my whines in the way that I thought they should.  I was feeding the negativity inside.  It had moved off of my internal sofa and taken up residence in a spare bedroom.  It was using my tooth brush and barging in while I was using the bathroom.  It left its dirty dishes all over the house and never closed the front door when the air was on.  You get the picture, right?  It took over.  It doesn’t happen over night, but slowly works its way in one luggage bag at a time.

First of all, consider this thought.  Was what is happening an accident and could it have been prevented by you?  If it was an accident and out of your control then it makes the next part a little easier.  If it was something you could have prevented consciously with out serious double guessing of your choices then it is important to step back and make a note of that for the future.  Not everything is our fault, but when it is we need to own it.  Acceptance of responsibility is the first step to beating negativity.  You’re putting it back into its place beneath you.

Don’t allow owning any mistakes on your part become your new identity.  You are not your mistakes.  You are not the bad situations in your life.  You are capable of overcoming hardship and moving forward.  You are not tied to them.  You can do and be better than the issues that are in front of you.

Have you learned everything that you can in this moment from what has been and is going on?  Can you actively apply what you’ve learned to your future?  Can you consider any possible way that you may not be able to overcome what is happening on your own and might need outside perspectives and encouragement?  If you think you do then I certainly suggest finding a trusted friend who is going to be completely open and honest with you.  Someone who is unafraid to tell you the truth and still love you anyway.  Someone who you can hear the hard stuff from and keep listening.  If a friend isn’t a possibility seeing a professional counselor might be the best route.  They may be able to help you discover things about yourself you’d never seen before and help you apply them to your life.

Positivity, just like negativity, needs cultivating.  It is a bit hard to till the soil and plant seeds of a positive way of thinking than it is to grow vines.  Vines don’t need tending.  They latch on and suck up whatever is around them with out much conscious influence.  Positivity is much more like growing a vegetable garden in the back yard.  You have to actively attend the weeds, water it, and shelter the plants from harsh weather.  Just like a vegetable garden the more work you put into being positive the better the fruit will be when picked.  One method I like to use is placing encouragement notes around my house.  Whatever it is I’m dealing with at the time is directly related to what I’m putting in front of my face.

When my husband dropped the bombshell that he was leaving me in the fall of 2015 I ran to one very specific quote.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.  Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you.  Plans for a hope and a future.” which is found within Jeremiah 29:11 from the Bible.  Understanding the character of the Lord I knew His will is always for the better.  His desire is always for good.  With out getting into too much theology here it is our own free will and choices that causes certain and specific negative things to happen in life.  Even a none Bible reading and none God believing individual would agree that holding onto a hope for the future is the best next step.  So, get posting.  If you can’t even bring yourself to think of positive quotes google is a fantastic search engine and you will find a great many good words to live by in your daily walk.  Put them everywhere!  Print them out and frame them on your walls.  Post them inside of cabinets.  Use glow in the dark paint and stencil them to your ceiling so at night when you sleep you can still see them.  Sew them onto towels.  Design it so that in every room no matter where you’re standing you will see something that is going to inspire you to be an over comer.  That is what you are after all, an over comer.  So, start overcoming and get posting.

Surround yourself with joyful things.  Watch silly movies or tv shows.  Listen to clean comedy – you don’t want to really get in the habit of laughing at someone else’s misfortune, that only leads down another road.  Do things that make you smile.  Take walks.  Smell the flowers.  Star gaze.  Sit by a water fall.  Listen to rain.  Remove negative music from ear shot.  Believe it or not, a good portion of the music that is listened to is not positive at all.  There are far too many musical numbers out there focusing on how bad life can be and how sad the singer is.  Pay attention to the words and sort it out.  Have fun!  Do whatever it is that you need to do to force yourself out of the funky funk funk and move forward.

Remove yourself from negative people.  We all have them in our lives.  People who tend to look on the darker side of situations.  As someone starting to change your perspective it is important to also try to surround yourself with others who are positive too.  I’m not asking you to no longer be friends with those who tend to be on the more negative side, just limit your time with them.  You can use your time with them to even notice the changes that are happening in yourself and possibly help them become more positive too.  Don’t become too noble, though.  You don’t want to burn yourself out trying to help someone else out who isn’t quite ready.

One of the biggest keys to becoming more positive and staying that way even when really bad stuff compounds on top of each other is to make sure your reasons are sound.  It is great to say “Oh yeah, I’m doing this for my kids.”  or  “I really just want to show my boss and co-workers I can be better and deserve to move up the ladder.”  or  “I want others to be proud of me.” and they’re all something to consider.  However, the main reason you want to become a more positive person should be for you.  If needs to be, because you want it for you.  There is no greater motivator than doing it for yourself.  At the end of the day being a role model for your kids, a driving force in your work place, or even an example to those around you does not make the cut.  They’re not there when you’re alone.  You are.  They don’t feel what you do.  They don’t experience the same things that you do.  They’re not inside of your mind listening to your thoughts.  They do not know exactly how easy or hard something is for you.  Only you do.  Only you can fully relate to you.  Only you can make the choice to push forward.  It has to come from you.

When I started my journey of life changes, both ones chosen for me and ones I decided to take the mantle of, I wasn’t doing it for me.  I wanted to make my children proud.  I wanted my family to see me rising from the ashes like a phoenix.  Hey, you know what?  It worked for a little while.  My mind and heart were already so numb that I could mold it into whatever I wanted it to be at the time.  After a little while, though, my senses came back.  I suddenly didn’t care what I did when I wasn’t being watched.  I got back into a lot of bad old habits.  I even noticed I was slipping back away again and I didn’t care enough to stop.  As long as I was “that person” when others saw me that is all that mattered to me.  I was living a lie.  I became depressed.  You’d never guess it on the outside, but my inward struggle was real.  I realized one night, sitting in my bed, 4am on the clock, it wasn’t working.  It wasn’t enough.  Living for others?  It was never meant to be that way.  Placing my value in how other people saw my actions was a fallacy.  One that I could no longer keep up with.  I was faced with a choice.  Do I keep trudging through the muck with my happy face on, or do I accept joy and change my perspective and motivations.

Considering that you’re reading this right now I hope that you’d suspect that I went for the joy.  It is obviously clear that I did.  Joy is that everlasting inward feeling of peace when things are not going well.  Joy is constant.  To be happy is fleeting and outward.  Happy is on the surface, but joy comes from deep within.  It is the living water to your positive veggie garden and bares the most succulent fruit at harvest.  My joy is directly related to my belief in the one true God.  My author and creator.  My comfort and sustainer.  My joy is found in His unconditional love alone.  My faith is placed in His unwavering character.  He is the only constant in this tremulous world.  I can’t say where you find your joy.  I know I’ve never been let down from where I’ve found mine.

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Momma

Love It Now, Not Later

TSM_AreYouKiddingMe

 

What a concept.  You can’t be serious, right?  I’m supposed to love my body how it is right now?  I’m supposed to look in the mirror and say “man, I look FINE” just the way I am?

The #1 problem people face when making the choice to have a healthier life style, whether that is loosing weight, looking for more energy, or being fed up with putting unnecessary chemicals inside of them, boils down to the same thing.  It is themselves.  They start the process of going more healthy, because they’re unhappy with who they’ve become.  It is wonderful to come to the realization that you don’t want to be that person anymore and you can see where things should change for the better.  Acceptance is just the start, though.

In the past have you tried to change your diet?  Exercise more?  Jumped on one of the popular fads?  Perhaps even forked out large amounts of money for meal plans, pre-packaged deals, special shakes and snacks, and only the Lord knows what else?  Let me guess, you likely failed and or struggled, didn’t you?  You hit a road block and you were unable to climb over it.  Your plateau became a gaping sinkhole in the road that you just didn’t have the strength to jump across, right?

I’m going to tell you a secret.  If you don’t love who you are now then you’re not choosing a healthier life style for the correct reasons.  You’re also setting yourself up to fail.  You’re starting out your trek only half prepared for the mountain slopes.  One of the main things a person needs when getting ready to go on a backpacking trip is endurance.  Hikers spend months, if not years, training their body to endure things it normally could never withstand.  Luckily the only thing you need to do in order to prepare yourself for this kind of trek is self-confidence.  The beautiful thing about only needing self-confidence is that you don’t have to spend years, months, weeks, or even days building it up.  It all starts with today.  Right now.  This moment.  You just have to make the choice.

Sure, it will be tough.  I wont sugar coat anything.  Just because you decide to build your self-confidence does not mean it will abound as quick as snapping your fingers.  It isn’t magic.  Although,the byproduct of starting out with the choice is fairly magical.

Do something for me, please.  Grab a mirror.  Walk yourself to the closest one.  Pick up your phone and change the setting to selfie for goodness sake.  Do whatever you need to and look at yourself.  Don’t you even start.  Stop thinking those things about yourself.  You read me correctly.  I know exactly what is going through your mind.  You’re picking out every flaw that you can see.  You’re passing unnecessary judgement on features that are quite literally skin deep.  Stop it!  Lets try this again, shall we?  Look at yourself.  Push those self deprecating thoughts away for a moment.  Stare into your eyes.  What are your eyes telling you about the person deep inside there?  What do you feel?

Stop.

Before you get wrapped up yet again with nitpicking about the bad qualities you see I need you to understand something.  You are special.  You are worthy.  You are amazing.  There is no one else who walks this earth who is exactly just like you.  No one else can be you.  You are unique.  You are treasured.  You are precious.  You are beautiful.  You are you.  You can do this.  Accept these things.  Read them out loud to yourself.  Write them down on a piece of paper and plaster them everywhere so that you can see them.  Remind yourself daily of these things.

It is only cliche to say things like “beauty comes from the heart” if you want to believe the lie that cliche means that it isn’t true.  There is nothing cliche about accepting that all you need is a good heart to be beautiful.  In fact, most of the time people belittle the phrase, because they don’t like who they are and don’t want others to realize that about them either.

Step one.  Make your plan.  Decide what it is you’re looking to do.  Grab a piece of paper and write out your main goal.  Under your main goal write smaller goals.  For example.  My goal was to reach 125lbs.  My sub goals were eat more healthy, exercise, and change my attitude.  Under my sub goals I had smaller steps.

 

TSM_Goals

 

Fun side note, I used to be extremely self conscious about my hand writing.  In general terms it is pretty horrible when it comes to legibility.  Most people have a hard time reading it and I’ll be honest, some times so do I.  Then I realized if you really pay attention to each stroke that is made with a writing implement it tells you something different about the person.  You can actually come to understand them fairly well if you know what you’re looking for.  I’ve accepted that this is who I am and my handwriting is a part of me.

After you’ve made your plan it is time to start.  I suggest beginning from the next morning.  Set yourself up in your mind that this is how it is going to be tomorrow.  Period.  Remind yourself of all of those things I mentioned earlier.  Also, you can’t climb this kind of mountain in one day.  Pick one, two, or three things to start with.  For me, I started with sugar detoxing.  That was it at first.  When I say that, I mean I cut out everything that was sugary that I could from my diet.  No coffee creamer, no cookies, brownies, ice cream, candy, marshmallows, juice, hot chocolate, and anything else that just said “I have sugar” in me.  After 2 weeks of not having extra sugar I began to cut out about half of the processed foods we ate and I continued from there.  Depending on what it is you’re trying to accomplish here the route you take will vary.  The key here is to remember that you have grand goals, but it takes steps to reach them.  Little bits at a time will get you there.  If you just focus on “the big one” you’re likely going to get overwhelmed when something stalls out and you’ll give up.  That, again, is where loving yourself comes back in.  If you love yourself, you wont want to quit, no matter what.

Each day that passes you will need to continue to remind yourself that you’re worth it and you can do this.  Every time you feel discouraged whip out your list and read it to yourself.  Believe it.  It is the truth.  When the moments come when you feel like you just can’t go any further tell yourself that you can!  Then stop thinking about it, and do it.  Throw the word “can’t” out of your vocabulary.  As my mother, and now I, always say “Can’t never did anything.” and the statement is beyond true.

You’ve got this, friend.  I believe in you.

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read! If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Momma

The Story of Me

Drastic changes require drastic measures, but within reason.

TSM_2015-2017_Difference

 

 

 

Be prepared, this is long.

There I was, sitting on my sofa, holding back my tears.  My life was about to end as I knew it.  My husband was leaving my four children and I.  There was nothing I could do about it, either.  He was finished and I was broken.  As I sat there I tried to cross my legs.  I couldn’t manage it.  For the first time I realized how overweight I had become.No one in the house was happy.  Tempers were always on the verge of exploding at any given moment.  My husband and I were being a poor example to our children on how to love.  I was hurt and he couldn’t be bothered to work on the reasons it went as far as it did.  He had given up long before he told me that he was leaving and was already spending time with another woman.

For years I was used to not being shown love by him which conditioned me to not care about myself as much.  Each time I did try to rise above our circumstances he pushed me back down into my little box, because it was an inconvenience to him.  He never wanted to eat well or exercise and belittled me when I tried.  In the effort to just make him happy I complied to his wishes.  I loved him.  I was in love with him.  I will always love him in some form.  However, I needed to wake up and put myself first, because no one else was.

That evening, trying to cross my legs, was a huge turning point for me.  It was as if I were a stained glass window that someone ran up and smashed.  Then, came back and smashed it some more.  Yet still, came back and continued to hit and grind the glass up until it was pulverized dust strewn across the cold hard ground.  You know the feeling when it is still a bit chilly outside, but you really just want to jump into the pool?  You get yourself mentally prepared and go for it.  The moment you hit the water you’re in complete shock and stunned for a moment.  That was me, only worse.  I had a choice.  I was devastated. I was lost. I was unsure of anything for my future. I was a homemaker now suddenly with out my best friend, lover, and partner in crime. Not only did I feel absolutely and utterly alone I had no job, little to no experience, and no college degree. I was, after all, a career homemaker from the start. Two of my four beautiful children were still at home with me all day as well. Going forward seemed hopeless.  I could remain depressed, oppressed, and someone else’s person, or I could take control of my life.  I could continue to allow the circumstances of the choices that I allowed my husband to make for me define who I was and guide me, or I could choose something better for myself and ultimately my children.

I’m a devoted Christian. I strive to follow after the Lord’s heart in every aspect of my life. Stop right there. What does that mean? I’m radical in my faith as it pertains to Christ-like fundamentals.

“Radical: 1. of or going to the root or origin; fundamental:
(a radical difference.)” – Dictionary.com

What are Christ-like fundamentals? The most important one I could ever mention is love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

There it is. The very basic rule of thumb. The character of God laid bare. The commission of every human being placed on this earth. Love.

1 John 3:11 ESV
“[Love One Another] For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.”

1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

Regardless of feeling like I dropped to the bottom of a 1,000 foot well with no chance of getting out I clung to that basic belief. I pulled my big girl overalls up and put on my wading boots and went to work. Nearly friendless and suffering from mild social anxiety I made myself move anyway. I said to myself “I know that God loves me. I know that He commands His children to love one another. I sure don’t feel very loved, but if I start loving others maybe I’ll at least then start to see God’s love in action through my own hands.” and I set about my business. It started with an intentional smile towards a stranger. A giggle with a small child playing at the store. Specifically waiting for someone coming to the door and holding it open when I clearly had no reason to. Responding kindly, even when treated poorly in my every day life. Each time I chose to be intentional about loving strangers loving the people close to me became easier which then made it easier to love strangers the next time. this began a work inside of me so deep I couldn’t even comprehend it at the time. The Lord was using my kindness towards others to heal my own broken heart. My self worth began to grow so much. I saw strangers as the apple of God’s eye and realized… Hey. That is how God sees me too. I’m his precious daughter. I’m His best friend.

Let that sink in, please, if you would. Say it out loud.

I’m his best friend.

Before I begin to digress into a plethora of bunny trails that lead off of this immense subject, love, I’ll get back on track. When I started to love myself again I realized I let myself go in so many ways. Before I got pregnant the first time I weighed a whopping 125lbs. I was in a size 6. I was extremely active. Even though the BMI index still said I was overweight at 4’11”&3/4in, I was right on par with my busty body. In November 2015 I weighed 220-225lbs. Granted, this was four difficult c-section pregnancies later that were very close in time frame at 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013, there still was no excuse for me to not try harder.

I set out to make drastic changes. Due to how my relationship was with my husband I had not even noticed I put the weight on. I also didn’t have a mirror in our apartment which aided in that. In my mind all I saw was the last time I saw myself in a full length mirror. 145lbs after my second pregnancy. I never stopped moving around, though I wasn’t as active as before. However, my eating choices were horrendous. Just to touch on a few things we ate fried chicken at least twice a week. I always had cookies, brownies, and cupcakes that were homemade on the counter. Lets also face it, its a lot cheaper to buy hyper processed foods that are packed with saturated fats, sugars, and sodium, and are raped of most of the goodness that was ever once part of what ever fraction of the food was actually real to begin with. That is right processed foods, I’m coming after you!

I ended up being diagnosed with salt poisoning. How on earth does THAT happen? Well, eating too much sodium, of course! But, but, but…how does one consume so much sodium that you actually get sick from it, you say? Its easier than you think when you consider how sodium works inside of your body. Once salt is ingested your body uses whatever it needs and then puts the rest somewhere else. It finds a nice neat little corner in your cells and plops it right there until it needs it. This is also how we come up with water retention. We all know our salt gets clumpy when it gets moist, right? The same thing happens in our bodies. Those little salt deposits suck up the water we ingest. When this happens we actually get dehydrated due to the water not running through our system, but instead sits in those little salt nooks in our cells. This is also what we call water weight. How on EARTH does one get rid of salt poisoning? Or too much salt in general. Stop eating it. You read that correctly. Stop. Eating. Salt. Drink plenty of water, as well. My doctor prescribed water pills to try and help me flush my system, but consider this, if you will. If I keep eating the same way and take water pills to flush my system is that actually fixing the problem? Nope. I needed my body to get rid of the salt on its own. I went for a period of three months where I added 0 salt to anything I ate. That was tough, but it worked with out the pills. I couldn’t say exactly how much of my weight was water, but I know a good portion of it was. I went from looking like a plump turkey to actually having bones again even still owning pounds and pounds of excessive fat. As my younger sister likes to say, I looked like a marshmallow.

Salt was not my only problem, of course. The rest was how much I actually ate and what I ate when I did. I filled my daily consumption with things I didn’t even like, just because they were there, cheap, and made me feel full. My next biggest goal was to remove as many processed foods as I could. I stopped buying canned goods to the best of my ability. I didn’t buy pre-boxed or frozen meals. I made as much as I could from scratch. Not wanting to stress my children out too much over the changes, I attempted to make the same meals I already gave them, just as least processed as I could. This included using items from our small yet amazing garden. When I stopped using as many processed foods I noticed a huge difference in my energy levels. I suddenly wasn’t waking up tired anymore. It is important to realize, at this point my diet was still pretty bad and I still ate fried chicken weekly, just not as processed and I already saw a marked difference.

My next step was taking out wheat gluten. I’m one of those people who likes to figure things out. I need to know what is making me feel a certain way and how I can change that, if I want to. Obviously going gluten-free became this huge fad where everyone was just buying up whatever they could gluten-free and calling it a day. They didn’t really even pay attention to what they were putting into their system or how processed it was. If it said gluten-free, they bought it. Period. While its nice to have options, I still wanted to keep myself as at least processed as I could. The market was flooded with gluten-free this and gluten-free that especially in the pasta realm. I had no idea what I was doing so I just started buying every type and style I could find and sat down and read the backs. Thank you internet for being an abundant source of information on grains. In the end I was really stuck between rice and corn flours as my new main grain product. I spent an entire month experimenting. I took two weeks and only had rice and two more weeks with only corn. What happened? I could eat corn flour to my fill and feel amazing. I ate a full plate of corn pasta and felt like I could run a marathon. I also never bloated the next day. So, corn it was for us. I still use rice and tapioca for certain things, but corn is my go to pasta. Hurray! I was trying to loose weight and I could STILL have spaghetti and mac and cheese. My life felt fairly foodie complete.

I’ll add this little important note right here. When some financial strains hit my pocket I couldn’t buy our gluten-free products for a few weeks. During that time I became extremely sick and bloated. I had to sleep 4 hours more a night on average and I still felt extremely sluggish. I attribute this to water weight, difficulty digesting wheat gluten, and the fact that it was processed. If you remove any one of these the symptoms reduced. I have eaten none-genetically modified wheat gluten products that are minimally processed in small quantities and only felt a very mild difference. I think the biggest key here is getting into the genetic changes and how its processed more than it simply being wheat gluten. Either way, corn pasta is life, for us anyway.

Moving right along once I determined those previous changes in my life style I decided to take it a step further. I wanted to get really serious about loosing weight. At this point I made some really great healthy life style changes. I even started my own “in-the-livingroom” work out for myself that I did every day while the kids napped. However, I just knew it wasn’t enough as the scale didn’t move very much. There I went, to the internet, yet again. What would we do with out you? I started to spend a great deal of time looking up diets. I went through pages and pages of all of these plans and testimonials. I looked at the price tags and I just knew I could not be a part of them. I believe most diets work, if you stick with them. I believe most simply; however, eating right and exercising is going to do it for you with out making special shakes and feeling hungry all day. While I spent time in college in nutrition classes, to which I enjoyed greatly – no big surprise right?, I was and am no professional at any of it. I whipped out my old nutrition books and went over some of those amazing concepts I learned so many years prior. The biggest importance to me was figuring out how many calories and how much protein I needed on a daily basis for a sedentary life style. Meaning, I just didn’t exercise extra at all. I also made it a priority to make sure I knew exactly what nutrients in quantity I needed too. After I got my numbers I started looking up foods.

What was the best source of protein for my calories. What gave me the nutrients I needed. How could I pick and choose what vegetables to eat daily and what would be better on occasion? Was dairy really such a bad thing? So many questions! The answers are all there, by the way, we just have to look for them. I’m never going to claim that my diet choices are perfect or that my meal plans are the end all be all. I already know that they’re not. What I do know is I like how they taste and I can still work towards weight loss goals while staying healthy and less processed and gimmicky.

Here was my plan. On days I was sedentary, meaning I didn’t exercise, I still lived, but no special exercise, I kept my calories in between 800 and 1,000 a day. GASP. I know, that is so low. I’ve had plenty of people tell me that isn’t healthy. My doctor would disagree with you, though. I’ll get to that in a moment. On the days I worked out I only ate a max of 1,200 calories. If I burned over 600 calories in a workout I ate the equal extra. So, if I burned 725 calories I’d come home and have a snack with 125. The most important part of the snack was it had to contain protein. I never ate a meal that did not have at least 22g of protein and every snack had to contain 10g or more. Why did I make that choice? When your body is not receiving fuel and it is put into ketosis (Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body’s energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides most of the energy. -wikipedia.org) where it is pulling from your body stores instead of whatever you just threw into your stomach it will try to take your muscle first instead of fat. It takes a lot of effort for your body to turn fat into energy and a lot less to take from muscles. So, if you keep protein on hand for your body to burn by consistently digesting it your body then trys to pull from fat since the proteins it needs are already there. Doing this also helps reduce muscle cramping, burning, and water gain, because instead of breaking down your muscles for energy, they’re tearing to be rebuilt making you stronger. If you’re an imagery kind of person think of your muscle…now put it through paper shredder where it turns into confetti. That is what happens when you don’t eat enough protein. When you work out with protein in your diet think of it like slicing into a juicy steak. If you don’t slice all of the way through it will try to go back together. What seems easier to heal to you, confetti or sliced muscles?

Why did my doctor disagree with other opinions? My heart rate and general blood pressure normalized. My salt problem went away. I lost tons of weight. I was able to be extremely active, yet again. While it was a quick weight change that I experienced it was done properly. I don’t recommend everyone just suddenly drop down to 800-1,200 calories in a day. That would be dangerous to your health if you don’t know what you’re doing well enough. However, you can certainly get to that point. Its also important to not have tunnel vision. Don’t say to yourself “I’m feeling really bad today, but I can’t eat more.” and forget to pay attention to what your body is saying to you. Some days you just might need more than others. What is the worse that happens? As long as you don’t binge on confectioneries you wont do much damage if any at all.  At this point in time I have changed my calorie intake.  As I lost weight my metabolism started working better and processing foods more efficiently.  Now I intake between 1,200-1,400 calories a day, but very tailored to how my body responds to different nutrients.  For example I loose more weight if I keep my healthy fats between 30-40% intake a day.  When I mention healthy fats I’m talking about equal parts of poly and mono unsaturated, not saturated.  This wont work for everyone, but it works for me.

Another important thing I’ve discovered is that if I eat a little bit of good fat and protein one hour before I sleep I tend to loose more weight as well.  Many studies out there say that we shouldn’t eat past 8pm, because your body just has no chance to really burn whatever it is you’re consuming.  Our bodies ambiently burn calories in the process of breathing, pumping our blood, creating new cells, fighting off bacteria and viruses, and even just plain old thinking.  Everything your body does passively uses the calories we intake.  When we go 10-12 hours with out eating we’re often allowing our blood sugars to drop too low.  Granted, we’re sleeping, so we don’t really feel it and we just eat when we wake up, right?  The problem is, your body already thinks you’re starving it and a portion of the calories you eat first your body will want to store instead of burn.  By eating something with a small amount of balanced fat and protein you’re insuring that while you sleep that will not happen.  I’m also willing to bet you’ll wake up happier, too.  My go to nighttime snack is a few almonds, a piece of 100% bitter chocolate, and a couple of dried apricots.  I also wait 1 hour before I go to sleep to allow some of the sugars in the apricots to get digested and then I load up with water.

Working out is wonderful, but not everyone can put in strenuous effort all of the time. For me, I got to the gym once a week. I pushed myself as hard as I could for the 1 and 1/2 – 2 hours I had away from home which included changing and driving time. The key is making sure that you’re eating properly and taking care of your body’s needs. For this I also recommend taking vitamins. Pay attention to whats going into your mouth with every bite and be certain to offset anything you’re missing with a vitamin. Your body will love you even more if you do.  That includes not overdosing on none water soluble vitamins which will cause an entirely different set of issues.  For a time I was overdosing on vitamin A which left me unable to heal my wounds quickly and instead of scabbing when I got a cut my skin would flake off.  Almost every cut would give me a scar, even with neosporin.  So, be vigilant with what you’re eating!  Track everything!

Keep a food diary. Start out with a typical week and write down everything that enters your mouth. Add notes to how you felt when you sneak a snack or choose a specific craving. Teach yourself to pay attention to what your body is saying. Make sure that you keep track of all of the nutritional value too. When I say that I mean read the entire label and copy it down.  Keep in mind also, labels are not required to tell you all of the vitamins and minerals inside of a product, so don’t be afraid to hit up google and find a good nutrient checker.  I do use one myself, especially for vegetables that don’t have any nutrition facts at all.  At the end of each day add up everything you ate. How did it match? The daily recommended value of calories for a sedentary person is on average 2,000. Did you go above it or stay under? After you spend a week or two just paying attention to what goes into your mouth then start making changes. The important thing is to understand why you choose to eat what you do when you do to help you create your own healthy diet plan. I know on certain days I’ll be more stressed out, so I’ll plan to eat cherries and chocolate to help offset my mood and keep my blood circulating which helps me keep my tempter in check and not become overwhelmed. It makes a huge difference to understand how different foods can and do effect our moods.

Don’t be discouraged. It takes time to figure out what works the best for you. It isn’t easy at all. Will power is in low stock in our lives these days and you’ll have to train yourself. In the beginning reducing calories can leave you feeling hungry until your stomach shrinks back to its proper size of your fist. It can take anywhere from two to four weeks for this to happen so don’t give up. Another tip is stop looking at the scale. Through out the day you will gain and loose weight constantly. You could even see a 5-6lb difference from in the morning time and go back and reweigh yourself and see you gained it all back 12 hours later that night. Determine to only weigh yourself once a week, wearing the same outfit, at the same time of day. This will get you the best and most accurate results to your progress. Also, drink tons of water.  When I say tons I mean 30 minutes before you eat drink 16oz and again 30 minutes after drink another 16 oz.  Then, every time you exercise, try to drink more.  Don’t make yourself sick, but do your best.  Not only does it help you feel full, but it also aids in removing fatty cells. When your body is fully hydrated it stores water in your fatty cells making them plump and ripe for the picking, or in this case the burning. Its easier for your body to go after the saturated cells just like when picking fruit from a plant. When a tomato is ripe just knocking the stem often causes it to drop. Our cells are not tomatoes and its not quite that easy, but its a pretty good image of what happens when we’re well hydrated. If you can’t stand water add some lemon to it. You can make it as intense or as light as you want. Lemons are great for your system and packed full of nutrients with no calories. Do your lemons taste a little bitter? Add a dash of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to reduce the bitterness.

Lets get back to me. In only a few months, I’m talking three to be exact, I lost 75lbs. I only needed anywhere between 4 and 6 hours of sleep. I felt absolutely astounding. I was more emotionally stable. My mind could not even keep up with my physical abilities as I blew myself away with each new physical goal I made, met, and exceeded.

Unfortunately Life happened and things changed again.  Due to a complete accident a shed sitting 10 feet from my apartment caught fire on August 28th 2016.  A chemical reaction happened within a newly opened 50lb box of chlorine tablets and caused it to super heat and turn into a toxic gas cloud.  The heat melted the container which bubbled it’s way towards everything else in the shed.  As it touched other things they instantly engulfed with flames.  Once the gooey super heated plastic reached the gas can on the other side of the shed that was the end.  The entire thing exploded shooting molten plastic everywhere, including the side of my apartment.  I narrowly got myself and my four children out mostly unscathed.  We all suffered from a little bit of the toxic cloud, but nothing else.  We lost nearly everything we owned.  If it wasn’t burned, it was destroyed by water.  Our lives where again in pieces.  Thankfully, people in the community, family, long lost friends, and the new people in our lives surrounded us with overwhelming love.  They came to our aid in the best ways that they could.  Every need we asked for was met over and above.  We were truly touched.  Truly blessed.  Truly amazed at humanity at its best.

My oldest child who was 8 reminded me of something very important as we sat in the van watching the firefighters do their very best to extinguish the blaze.  She said to me “Mommy, it is going to be okay.  Remember the bible verse?  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans for a hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11 God has a plan, Mommy.”  I began to weep.  My child, in the midst of this crisis, had the best perspective I could have ever asked for.  The Lord used her, not to remind me that He had a plan, but to show me how He was working in her life through everything we’ve been through.  I was never more certain that He had my children in His hands.

We moved in with my parents and that was a real struggle for all of us.  It was difficult transitioning into a multi-family house in such a small place.  I’m sure that you could imagine the difficult dynamics that come with parents, parenting their child, who parents four children.  That is a bit of a tongue twister, isn’t it?  Anyway, I didn’t do all of the cooking anymore, which was fine by me as I enjoyed the break, except I started to gain weight again.  I went from 145lbs and actively still loosing back up to 165lbs and gaining.  It caused me a great deal of stress.  I also no longer could get myself to the gym either.  Everything had changed.  I decided I needed to take action in February 2017.  I could no longer let it continue.  I had to take control of my diet once again.

So I did.  I started right back where I left off.  I spent more time doing in-depth research on other ways I could change my diet and become more healthy.  I already knew it would be a lot harder this time around, because the more you loose the harder it becomes to shed those compounded pounds.  I’ve spent many weeks trying new ideas and I think I’ve finally settled on what works the very best for me.  There is no true overnight method to getting healthy and fit.  Truly loosing actual fat is difficult and anyone who says that it isn’t hasn’t done it.  One fun part of this that I never read about is every time I reach a plateau point and my body is about to push through it I crave the worst foods in the worst way.  I even have literal pains in my sides and end up spending some serious time in the bathroom with an upset stomach.  I used to think there was something really wrong with me, or that I ate something that was off.  However, as long as I stuck to things when I woke up the next morning I’d be missing a few pounds and they wouldn’t come right back.

This is a process.  A journey.  A road that only you can take.  You can have people waiving at you along the side lines, but ultimately it has to be you out there doing all of the hard work.  You have to determine in your mind that you’re worth it and never stop.  Don’t allow the hardships of life to derail you.  It is only failure when you give up.  You can do this.  I have, I am, and I will continue.  So can you.

Thank you, for joining me on my journey.  I look forward to being a part of yours.

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read!  If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Momma

Thoughtful Thursday

TSM_TT_1

 

What started as necessity has become my preferred routine.  When I started attempting to move my body in the form of what some people like to call “working out” I only had 10pm or after to do it.  Being determined I took it and ran.  Not literally, though.  I drug myself to the gym once a week and walked on the treadmill.  In the beginning I could only move for about 30 minutes at no incline and maybe about 2.5 speed before I worked up a furious sweat and got sore.  A few weeks in I got a gym buddy and I was absolutely terrified of the prospect of someone else I knew seeing how out of shape I really was.  Not to mention the insecurity that came from wearing those tight gym outfits to which I wish that I could say I did not need, but lets face it, I overheated with out them.  It wasn’t so bad having strangers see me.  It wasn’t like I was going to be seeing them outside of the gym anyway.   To be honest, anyone who showed up that late felt the same way I did, anyway, and it was like there was an unspoken “you go you” between all of us that reflected in our glances.  The importance of having my gym buddy was that even if I knew that I could push myself on my own it took less conscious effort to do so.  I had a deeper subconscious drive to do more, go longer, and push harder, just because she was with me.  I wasn’t trying to do better than her.  That is comical all by itself as she absolutely astounded me in what she could do and her vocal attitude about it.  No, I wanted to keep up and I wanted to prove to her and myself that I could be more.

Over the weeks of meeting up with my friend to stress our bodies until we couldn’t move anymore at what some would consider an ungodly hour our relationship grew into something deeper.  Sharing our physical weakness lead to us talking about our emotional, and spiritual pitfalls as well.  It was full body therapy.  Life changed and both of our schedules ended up no longer syncing so our visits to the gym ended together.  It was a bittersweet moment for me.  I no longer had my accountability to make sure that I made it to the gym and a partner to keep pushing me to go further each time.  I did; however, now have a new freedom to see where I could take myself from there.  It was my duty to keep myself on track.

At first I kept myself moving.  I continued to eat properly.  I did what I could at home.  I focused on short at home work outs whenever I got 5 or 10 minutes to spare or I’d play harder with my kids during the day.  It didn’t go badly until we had our apartment fire.  Being in shock of having lost majority of all of our earthly possessions and having to move into a new place that was extremely cramped with out an end in sight really rocked all of our worlds.  I did what I could to keep up with what needed to be done.  I no longer paid attention to what I was eating as I wasn’t the one making the food anymore.   I also had no time or energy to move.  For one reason or another life pretty much kicked me in the behind and made it extremely difficult for me to rise above it.  So, I didn’t.  For a long time.  I just let it go.  All of my memories, thoughts, and plans concerning my healthier life style started to drift away until it was a fuzzy rendition of what once was in my memory.

I realized the other day that when I put my skin tight workout cloths on how I saw myself.  I didn’t like what I saw.  I felt fat.  I could see and feel the rolls.  Then I remembered how much more was there a year ago.  80 pounds prior I put the same style of workout cloths on and proudly marched myself into the gym and here I was insecure about the little tiny rolls I have now just standing in my backyard for the neighbors to see.  How absolutely absurd!  The fact is body image has 100% to do with your attitude and nothing about how you actually look.  How you look does not define the inner you.  That is just a shell to house the amazing personality inside.  It all starts with your thoughts.  If you feel beautiful, you will be beautiful.  As cliché as it all may sound to say, it really does not matter what other people think about your shell.  Embrace and accept what it is so that you can take it by the reins and command control over it for your future.

What am I trying to get at here?  Well, for one, I know first hand how difficult it is to start moving.  It is not easy to go from nothing to something.  It hurts.  Its hot.  It is even worse the next day when your arms and legs are like sand bags.  All of your body image insecurities rise up and you need to be surrounded by constant positivity.  I can attest, though, that once you get moving and start meeting goals it gets easier.  When you feel progress it makes a world of difference.  I’d say see, but most healthy life style changes don’t happen visually.  They say it takes about 8 weeks of intense working out to see a difference yourself and 12 weeks for other people to really notice.  That does not mean other amazing changes are not happening, though.  It is important to keep your short term goals obtainable and small like “This week I will do 10 jumping jacks.  Next week I’ll do 20.”  Also, don’t be afraid to adjust your goals if they’re too high as you’re going.  It isn’t failure, its evaluating your true limitations to insure success.

The next important reason I’m sharing all of this information with you is that having an accountability partner does make reaching your goals easier.  It isn’t about feeling guilty when you fail, but giving you that extra subconscious push to try a little bit harder to cross the finish line of your intentions.  Also, having a good accountability partner puts you both into a great position to keep things positive!  Take for example I shared with my gym buddy I had an extra cookie, so she said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “good for you, its important to indulge some times, but lets walk it off now.” She could not have been closer to the truth.  There is nothing wrong with an occasional indulging moment.  Often we need it since society has raise us to live off of a reward system.  The important thing is to stay accountable to what it means when you do indulge.  If you don’t have a partner, find one who you both can be completely honest with each other about your ups and downs.  Keep it positive.  Be their charge and let them be yours.

My last comment for today concerning this subject is never give up.  Even if you stop, that doesn’t mean you need to give up mentally.  Even if the world falls apart around you and you start to fall away into the fuzzy blur of crashing waves never give up on yourself.  Take a break, but never stop believing that you can do this.

Because?  Friend.

You.

Can.

Do.

This.

…and as always, thanks for dropping by and taking a read!  If you like what you’ve seen don’t forget to visit, like, follow, and share The Sedentary Momma on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, & here on WordPress!

Until next time, be blessed!

The Sedentary Mom