Thursday, March 31, 2011

funny faces

When I was in fifth grade my teacher, Mrs. Bell, had a meeting with my parents. She said I was doing great except I always seemed sad. My parents were surprised by this because I was the family clown. I always made everyone laugh - especially if there was unhappiness looming around the house for whatever reason. I was the first to break the tension and cheer everyone up. I guess when I was at school I felt uncomfortable, shy, wanted to hide and not draw attention. Even then I wasn't happy with my body. But when my parents told me my teacher thought I was always sad, it changed something in me. My self-consciousness was translating sadness and I did not like that one bit. I wanted people to see on the outside what I felt on the inside. So, I really did change. By the end of the year, Mrs. Bell said she saw a 180 in me. I was a happy child, full of energy, and attracting many more friends....and even got into a little trouble for my chattiness.

The other night I was skyping with my family and my mom commented on my humor and funny faces. Apparently I make funny faces. And I realized once again I rarely show that side me to anyone else but my closest of friends (maybe a 2 or 3 people) and my immediate family. SO - today I was taking a couple pictures to add to my progress page and I decided to do a few funny faces to share with the blogosphere. Hopefully I'll start breaking out of my shell more and more along this journey. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This is my "been playing outside for an hour and a half" look.

Today I was feeling uninspired, bored, unmotivated. Not really about my weightloss journey...just about life in general. I recently accepted a job offer but it doesn't start until mid-May. So until then I'm continuing my unemployed lifestyle. In addition, finances are a little tight right now so I felt a bit trapped at the house. I'm a creative person and can usually find something to do whether write, paint or just brainstorm ideas for creativity. But today, really the past few days, I've lacked some enthusiasm.

I started thinking about what I did as a kid when I was bored or needed a boost. And I remembered - I played outside! I loved being outside. I was actually a bit of a tomboy. LOVED every kind of sport (which is kind of funny because I have no interest in them today - at least not in watching them or following them). Sometimes I would play with every ball we had in the garage in one afternoon. First I'd start with the basketball. Now, we didn't have a goal or hoop, so I just pretended. Our driveway looped around the back of our house, with the garage underneath the main floor, level with the basement. So I'd bounce the ball off the side of a cement wall that lined part of the driveway, pretending it was a teammate and shoot at the back of our house, just above the garage, pretending it was the hoop. (My parents did NOT like this. Worried about the siding or paint or something silly like that.) I'd create entire games and of course I always won the game with the winning shot just before the buzzer. Next, I'd pull out the baseball bat, ball, and glove. I'd pretend playing the hitter, then pretend catching it, then pretend pitching it. You get the picture. Next, the football. I'd throw it in the air a few feet ahead of me, run and reach for the catch, dodge opponents and barely reach the endzone before I went down. Lastly, I'd pull out the tennis racket and ball. I went back to the driveway and used that same cement wall as my opponent. I would do this for hours. I'd run drills, simulate games, just play!

You might be wondering where all my friends were. I had them, I promise. I was just content playing on my own. Pretending. Enjoying the outdoors and moving my body! Well, today I did just that. I went outside and just enjoyed playing. I played basketball and ran drills. It was amazing how many memories flooded in from backyard games, basketball camps, and practices. (I played on a team from 3rd to 8th grade). I pulled out my bike and rode back and forth up and down the streets of our neighborhood. Even no hands. It was amazing feeling the wind blow through my hair, no destination in mind, no distance, or timed exercise, just play. I'm sure the neighbors wondered what this ridiculous 27 year old woman was doing but I didn't care. It was too much fun being ridiculous. And I plan to do this more often!

Monday, March 28, 2011

did you know: spirulina

Spirulina is a blue-green algea. It has numerous nutrients, including protein, all eight essential amino acids, vitamns B, C, and E. Because it is so high in nutrients it can help reduce hunger and cravings. It is very high in protein, but 4 times more digestable than beef. It's very low in calories, containing only 3.9 calories per gram while beef has 65 calories per gram. It can also help regulate blood sugar and and control insulin levels.

You can get Spirulina in capsule, tablet, or powder form. I've only had it in powder form. I love to add it to smoothies! (and it makes your smoothie a fun green color!) You can also find it in the popular juice (found at grocery stores or Starbucks) - Green Machine Naked Juice - which is super yummy and has many other wonderful nutrients I will have to highlight in another post.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Truth # 3: I am not defined by my body... (continuation of Funerals, Full House & Vanity)

Earlier this week I wrote a post called Funerals, Full House, & Vanity. If you haven't yet, read it first. This post is a continuation of that discussion. Today's truth "I am not defined by my body" was threaded throughout that post and today I want to briefly look at some Scripture to anchor this truth.

"I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

1 Corinthians 15:50-54

Things that end, die, perish will do just that...they will end, die, and perish. Nothing on this earth will last forever. One day it will die. So, how can it be that I will experience everlasting life? How can this body of mine last an eternity if it is perishable? It can't. "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." Can't be done. IMPOSSIBLE. That's why we have cemeteries and crematories and tombstones and caskets. That's why we stand in lines and say goodbye to dead people in open caskets. Their bodies are gone. Papa's thin, disease afflicted, bald headed, wrinkled, lifeless body is buried in the ground and seen no more.

So again I ask - how is it that I believe I'll live eternally? Because my body will be made new. My body today has been made to endure an earthly life. It has limitations, it has weaknesses, it has imperfections. No matter how much I work to perfect it - whether it be lose weight, gain muscle, whiten my teeth, dress it in stylish clothes, dye my hair, etc. - it will one day perish and be no more. It will never be perfect enough to endure a heavenly life...only an earthly one. Therefore - my body, my appearance can't be what defines who I am. It is perishable. I'll leave it behind in the ground one day. I cannot depend on my body for anything. I can't find satisfaction and fulfillment in a trimmer waistline. Only in Christ can I experience satisfaction and fulfillment. Only by my character, my attributes, my adoption by Christ can I be defined. Meredith, follower and lover of Christ, will inherit the kingdom of God.

In Funerals, Full House, and Vanity, I ended by asking how I can live in a way that I'm not focused on my appearance, in which I believe I'm not define by my appearance. I said what I need is my mind to be transformed. I need to think differently. I need to stop conforming to the world's way. I need to be transformed by a renewed mind. A mind that thinks kingdom thoughts. A mind that focuses on Christ's love for me and who I am. A mind that hopes for a new body. A mind that believes I am defined by adoption in Christ and not the scale and my jeans size. With a transformed mind - How then would I live my day? How then would I serve others? How then would I love my husband?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

did you know: lemon water

I recently watched a documentary called Food Matters. You may have seen this or heard about it. It talks about how our bodies are designed to fight disease and illness. They are designed to help us through physical AND mental health issues. They just need the right nutrition to do the job! I'm convinced if we ate the right things we wouldn't have half the health problems we do today. and then I'm going to share tidbits of information I'm learning about certain foods and how they give our body what it needs to heal and thrive.

First up: LEMON WATER...

Drinking a warm glass of lemon water in the morning and the evening helps cleanse out your system. Dr. Gillian McKeith states, "A warm cup of water first thing in the morning (and even better with a squeeze of lemon) goes right through the bowels and cleans mucus out from the day before. Drink another cup in the evening too." Many detoxes suggest drinking lemon water throughout the day to also boost weight loss. Lemon water can also relieve heartburn, gas, cramping, and help regulate excessive menstruation!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

funerals, full house, & vanity

Isn't it strange that at funerals we stand in lines to see someone who is no longer there? A body lays in an open box. We put on their best blue suit and dress them with jewelry and make up. A body that is lifeless and empty. A body that once housed a person. But is now just empty. We stare and we say, "He looks so good." Or "They really did a good job capturing her." What does that even mean? We touch a hand. Shed a tear. And say goodbye. We say goodbye to a body. A BODY. The person that once lived inside that body is already gone. Maybe we didn't get to say goodbye to them. Maybe they left without notice. So this is our chance. This is our last opportunity to say goodbye. But really...we're saying goodbye to a body. That body isn't really that person anymore. Everything that we loved about that person is gone. If that person was that body, we wouldn't be burying it. Of course the body is a part of who we are. We obviously wouldn't survive without our bodies! But once the body dies, we move on. We leave it behind. It's of no use to us.

Now, if you're like me you're in a weird place now. You're in this philosophical cloud and need to touch something tangible, do something mindless, or go put your hands in the grass outside. Bear with me. This is a strange thing to think about. It's just strange. Life is weird! Isn't it?! Well, that's a whole other subject to discuss. Right now I'm more interested in discussing our bodies. OUR BODIES AREN'T WHAT DEFINE US. My body doesn't define me. My appearance doesn't define who I am. It's simple and we're told this all our lives. I can just see the closing clip on Full House now... The music chimes in and Danny has a heart to heart with DJ. "It's not what's on the outside that counts, it's what's on the inside." But then we don't really live like that, do we? We have beauty contests and two hundred dollar jeans. We attach our best photo to our college applications and social media sites. We see magazines covered in models. Fashion police at the Oscars. Makeup. Hair salons. Teeth whitener. Braces. Nail polish. De-wrinklers. Face-lifts. Boob jobs. Fashion trends. Make-up on dead people. Our culture spends a lot of money on and pays a lot of attention to our bodies. And I would say it's no different in the Christian community. Do you see a difference? Besides words? Unfortunately...I don't see a difference.

How do we teach our kids not to focus on appearance if we're so wrapped up in it ourselves? I'm not a parent (yet) but I wonder about this for when we do have kids. How will I show them that their appearance doesn't define them? How do I live in a way in which my words become action? How do I stress less? How do I have more confidence in who I am and what I can offer? Let me just add this....yes our bodies are important and we need to take care of them. Obviously I believe this or I wouldn't be on this journey. That's not what I'm talking about here. I'm talking about having a healthy confidence in our bodies and our whole beings. I'm talking about living less in vanity. We call people who are a little too confident in their looks vain. However, I think I can be just as vain because of my lack of confidence. I probably spend just as much time worrying about my body (if not more) than the person who worships theirs. I want to live in a way in which I don't not go to gatherings because I don't have something cool to wear or I worry that I'm heavier or not as pretty as all the people there. I want to stop holding back my thoughts and opinions because I don't want people to look at me when I'm talking. I want to wear a swimsuit and go to the beach with my husband. I want to worry less about getting my hair just right or finding the perfect outfit after making piles (that I know my husband so appreciates) all over our bedroom floor. Really what I need is a transformation of my mind.

Lord, help me no longer conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of my mind so that I might know more of who You are and what you want for me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

15lbs I'll never see again!

I've reached my next 5lb goal! So that puts me at a loss of 15lbs so far! Exercise and healthier eating really does work. It's that simple! When I'm at the bookstore or library I usually end up in the health and fitness section at some point. I've seen just about every diet you can think of - from blood type diets to non-dairy or non-sugar or non-carbs or non-(insert food) diets. I begin to feel overwhelmed and wonder if I'm doing it all wrong. And maybe there is a better way but I've really found the easiest and non-overwhelming diet (for me) is just eating better and eating less. I don't get burnt out. It's achievable. It doesn't feel like a diet. It's a lifestyle change not a temporary fix. AND IT WORKS!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring is here!

For the past week I've been sick with some sort of allergy/sinus junk. It was one of the worst colds I've had. Thus, I had to put exercise on hold. I still kept my eating under control (for the most part). I did slip in a rootbeer float one afternoon with my sister. :) I've still managed to weigh a few pounds less consistently for the past week. I will weigh in tomorrow morning to get my official weight loss thus far.

Other than the attack of allergies I'm so glad Spring is finally here! I'm excited about more walks and other outdoor fun. I've been trying to think of some outdoor activities for my husband and I to do together. Exercise is always more fun with others! Here's a list of what I've come up with...
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Biking (although we only have one bike so we'll have to work on that)
  • Volleyball
  • Hiking
  • Canoeing
  • Paddle boating
Do you have any other ideas?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

favorite inspiring websites

Here are a few favorite websites that inspire me along my journey...

Learn about diet and nutrition. Track your calories. Learn about exercise and fitness. Look up restaurant nutritional info. Get inspired by others on the same journey.

Follow Mary, a 24 yr old who blogs about her weightloss journey. She's been on the journey since spring of 09 and has already accomplished a lot. (She also met her future hubby through the journey. He has a blog of his own and has already met his goal. See below.)

He's already met his original goal but he's still working hard and blogs about his journey. He started at over 500lbs and is now a little over 200. Such an inspiring story. Check out the before and after photos and video! Amazing!

21 day fast inspired by Scripture. I did this several months ago. It was very challenging but made me feel refreshed...both physically and spiritually. I will probably do it again soon now that I'm on this new journey.

These are the main ones I visit regularly. If you have some please comment and share them with me and the rest of the readers!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

PB & J Smoothie

PB & J Smoothie

This is about 300 calories. It's great for breakfast!

(I discovered this yummy smoothie while I worked in the juice bar at Earth Fare)

What ya need:

no sugar added frozen strawberries

sliced frozen bananas

skim milk

apple juice

natural peanut butter


How ya make it:

I use a mason jar to make about a 12 oz smoothie but of course you can use any cup

Using the 10oz mark as the top, I fill it halfway w/ strawberries and halfway w/ bananas

I then fill it halfway w/ apple juice and halfway w/ skim milk

After I pour it into the blender, I drop about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter in

Then I blend it to smoothie goodness!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Truth #2: The work is just (if not more) important than the results.

In the movie, Life as a House, George Monroe (played by Kevin Kline) is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Without anyone's knowledge of his illness, he takes custody of his son, Sam (played by Hayden Christensen) for the summer. Sam is a rebellious, unenthusiastic, cynical young man and bitter and angry with his father. In hopes to repair their relationship, he recruits him to help finish building his dream house. Throughout the summer George and Sam slowly repair their relationship. At one point George shares with Sam about his own father, an alcoholic, abusive man, who killed George's mom and injured a young girl while driving drunk. Before finishing the house, George dies. In honor of his father, Sam, finishes the house and gives it away to the injured young girl now grown up with two kids of her own.

This story beautifully displays the very thing I'm learning right now. The work is just (if not more) important than the results. As I've been putting in all these hours of workouts and being mindful of what I eat and just everything involved in this journey, I have been thinking a lot about results....seeing the fruition of all my hard work. And really, this has been a huge theme in my life this past year. This month marks a year since I graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary. Since then I have been eagerly awaiting a fulfilling job, a title, a meaningful purpose for my life. I have struggled with finding purpose in the everyday life. I want so much to make a mark. To do something worthwhile. To have a job or title that reflects my education, my "status," my thousands of borrowed dollars that keep my husband and I from living comfortably. I want to be recognized, known, appreciated, admired. I want to see the fruition of all my hard work.

While watching Life as a House, the viewer is rooting for George to finish this house he's been working on on and off for decades. It's his dream house. He picked the exact spot with a beautiful view of the ocean. He designed it, selected all the materials, and started building it with his own two hands. This is his life's work. So much sweat and tears. He finally sets out to finish it...but he dies just a few short months, maybe weeks before its completed.

Abraham did not receive the Promise land, his offspring did. David did not build the temple, his son did. Paul did not experience Jesus’ return, even though he preached it and believed he would. More recently, Martin Luther King Jr. did not experience the fruition of his work and desire for civil unity, however his offspring and generations passed have. Why does God work like this? What does this mean for my life? How does this affect the work I do? My purpose?

A verse comes to mind...

...he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ. -Philippians 1:6

We hear this and think - Ok, there is hope. One day I'll get that job. One day my relationship will be mended. One day I'll be in better shape. Be recognized. Be able to trust more. Fear less. Be free of disease or depression. See my friend come to know the Lord. And so on and so on. God has begun this thing in me so I will see the results I'm hoping for. But that's not really what it says and it's definitely not we see throughout Scripture. I know without a doubt God's work in Paul transformed Paul. And God did complete his work in Paul. But the work God was doing through Paul wasn't complete. And Paul didn't see the completion...none of us have. The work God began in Paul continued after Paul. God is still using that work today in my life...and millions of others past, present, and future. And he will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ! It was the work that God did in Paul that transformed Paul, not results. It was the work of George and Sam that transformed them, not results. Put it another way - the transformation IS the results, not a house. In the end it was just a house. Wood, nails, and cement. Sam even gave the house away! The work was never about building the house, it was about building a relationship, a life worthwhile.

So, on my journey, both with my fitness track and my vocational track and everything in between, I'm learning to focus less on the results I desire so much and more on the work. The workouts and healthy eating will produce weightloss results. I've already seen them! But also, how is this work transforming me in other ways? What am I gaining that is so much more valuable than a trimmer waist? Discipline. Determination. Confidence. Joy. I'm learning to love myself and to more fully receive God's love.

*This is the 2nd in a series called Truth for Movers. It is a weekly series dedicated to discussing biblical truths that will hopefully provide encouragement for our journey and insight into our human struggle with body image. To find more posts in this series click here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Highlights of my first month!

I hit the month mark a couple days ago so I thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of my victories thus far!
  • Exercised 19 out of 31 days
  • Ate around 1400 calories daily
  • Stuck with the plan after getting out of my routine a couple times
  • Cut out caffeine
  • Cut out sodas & sweet tea
  • Lowered my blood pressure
  • Drank approx. 30-40 oz of water a day
  • Introduced more whole grains, veggies, and fruits into my diet
  • LOST 10 lbs!!!!