Monday, May 30, 2011

the secret to weight loss

This is the really the first time I've experienced SUCCESS in weight loss. And I've discovered the secret. You probably won't find it in Redbook magazine, so put away your $3.95 plus tax and simply read these words....

That's it! That is the secret! Maybe this is bad news to you. At first it was to me. I thought...You mean I have to exercise regularly? I have to eat smaller portions and healthy foods consistently? And after all that work I might only lose a pound or two a week?! YUP! But are you sure there isn't some exotic diet that has been discovered by a remote village that will elliminate the fat in my body? Maybe there is an herb or leaf I can just rub on my belly or the juice of some plant that will flush all the fat out? NOPE! Slow & steady wins the race!

Here is some better news if you're still feeling like this secret is bad news. The slow and steady race is actually really FREEING! I don't have a deadline. I don't have the pressure to lose 10 lbs in 10 days, or 3 pants sizes in 3 months. I don't have to survive with no carbs, no sugar, no taste. The pressure is off. And along the way, I'm changing not only on the outside but also the inside. I can guarentee you - you will not be changed on the inside on a 15 day diet. And you probably won't keep off any of the weight you lose. You definitely won't learn new habits or learn to love health and wellness. You'll dread, loathe, despise it. And you know what the equals....DEFEAT. Which, in case you're wondering, is pretty much the opposite of FREEDOM.

So this is my advice for you to get started on your slow & steady race...Start ONE healthy habit and do it for a few weeks or even a couple months. Just pick one thing. I think the first thing I did was cut out caffeine. You don't have to cut out anything completely. I chose to because it was causing other health issues but you could just cut down. Or maybe if exercise is completely foreign to you, try exercising just 1 day a week....or just 10 minutes a day. Whatever you do, make it small. I think that's why I've failed so many times...I set completely unrealistic, unattainable expectations that I could not meet and I felt DEFEATed and gave up. Set yourself up to succeed! And then when you feel like you're getting the hang of that one thing add something else or add some intensity to what you're already doing.

That is the secret...and it didn't cost a thing!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

man voice

This past week has been crazy for Michael. For those of you who don't know...he is a Staff Writer for Student Life (a Christian events/curriculum company). So as they have been gearing up for summer camps, he has been super busy. Last Saturday I decided to join him at work and watch some rehearsals. (He also directs.) As I was watching one particular drama play out I realized this story was quite familiar. One of the characters was recalling a horrid event that happened to her as a child on the bus. And as she began telling it I knew exactly where it was going because this horrid event happened to me! Some kids in the back of the bus made fun of her (me) yelling "man voice, man voice, (meredith) has a man voice!" You see Michael had written this and he neglected to tell me that he used my story as inspiration for this character. So you can imagine I was a bit shocked as this started playing out on stage. It didn't bother me that Michael had used this. It was just a weird moment to see this acted out by someone who didn't know me, know that it was a real story, and that the real girl was sitting in the audience! Then I thought about how thousands of kids will watch it on stage this summer and I began to feel a bit vulnerable. Obviously no one knows it's me (except now that I'm sharing it for all to know!) and it really wasn't the worse thing that happened to me as a child. But it evidently made a lasting impression on me as I have remembered it ever since. I guess those kids thought my voice was too low and naturally coined the extremely witty name, "man voice." And since then I have had this little part of me that has been self-conscious about my voice.

My sister recently wrote a post about the power of words...more specifically the power of speaking truth into her kids lives. My nephew is 3 and struggles with fear, especially darkness. Nathalie shares that Asher was afraid to go down a dark hallway and instead of telling him he didn't have to be afraid, she simply said, "Asher you are BRAVE." And Asher believed it. He believed that he was brave and he did it. And when he returned he shouted "I did it, I did it! I'm BRAVE mommy!" Nathalie tells the story much better but I just wanted to give the gist because there is such an important message here. I can wake up tomorrow and choose to believe that I am "man voice Meredith" and let my life reflect that (un)truth about me....or I can choose to believe His truth that I am "made in the image of God Meredith" and let my life reflect that truth about me. There are a lot of things that I choose to believe other than THE TRUTH and my life definitely reflects it. It might be - I'm not pretty, I'm not interesting, I'm not smart enough, my life is purposeless, I have nothing to offer, I'm afraid...or it might be as silly as "My bangs are too short." I got a haircut the other day and the stylist cut my bangs way too short and I seriously let my day be controlled by that.

I love that Asher just believed it. He didn't argue with Nathalie. He didn't refuse to believe it. He just claimed it. And then he lived it. I need that in my life. As a deep thinker and seminary grad I've been trained to dissect, study, examine, and explore the Word. Which are wonderful things but because of this I really struggle with just believing what God says about me and trusting His promises. Sometimes it just feels easier to believe those kids in the back of the bus. Sometimes it just feels like less work, more real, tangible, less abstract. Do you ever feel like that? OR maybe in those instances it's because I'm not listening to anything else....I don't have His Word close to my heart, I've not meditated on it, I'm not speaking it, I'm not believing the truth that God has spoken to me, like a mother tells her child he is brave. Because God's Word IS real and tangible and speaks the truth about me and you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

beyond maintaining

So I haven't been blogging all that much...even after I said I was getting back into it after my trip. I have to be honest...lately I haven't had much interest in this whole weight loss journey. I haven't given up by any means. I've been treking along. I continue to watch what I eat and have a goal to exercise 3-5 times a week. But I haven't been giving it my all. I haven't been excited about it. Just been MAINTAINING. I saw a commercial today for some kind of weight loss company and the testimonial said "I've maintained my weight for 3 years!" Maintaining isn't lazy. There is work involved in maintaining. Some say they maintain their lawn. That is not easy work. Mowing, weeding, edging, watering. That's a lot of "ings." And as long as you maintain it, your lawn will always look like it always looks. Now, lets say you decide to plant some flowers, or grow an herb garden. Maybe you add a water feature. Then maybe you plant different flowers or add fruits and veggies to your garden. Then later you change the landscaping features. You're not just maintaining anymore, you're creating. And as long as you continue to create, your lawn will look differently, change, enhance, improve. Now, you can have a beautiful yard by maintaining it. BUT you won't experience the benefits of creativity, vision, and inspiration. You miss out on that thrill, delight, and satisfaction. Back to the weight thing. Yes, at some point you might reach your weight goal and you just want to work on maintaining it. But I still think there can be more to it. You could continue to educate yourself about food and exercise. You could mentor others. Work on other aspects of your health besides weight, like your blood pressure or cholesterol, or your emotional health and spiritual health (which very much affects your physical health). There is always more than just maintaining. do you move from maintaining to creating? I think creativity requires inspiration. BUT...I don't think it always begins with inspiration. Sometimes it takes some work before the inspiration comes. Take for example this blog post. I could have waited until I got some inspiration before writing but I didn't. I just started writing some sentences about how I was feeling and from there the inspiration came. So...what do I need to do next? I need to put in the work. I need to write blog posts, I need educate myself, I need to exercise harder, I need to talk to others who are doing the same, I need to work on other aspects of my health. And as I put in the work, I'll be inspired to do more and be more, to CREATE! That's kind of exciting. I'm even getting inspired as I write this! So go! Work! Move beyond maintaining to creating!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

did you know: 3 raw nuts

"The American Heart Association recommends consuming four servings of nuts per week for the best health benefits." -

Here are 3 nuts that contain great nutrients and natural remedies!

Rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. An energy boost. Contain heart healthy fats which can help lower cholesterol. Good source of calcium and magnesium. Good source of fiber (which is great for weight loss!). Also eating a few after meals can help reduce heartburn.

Contain heart healthy fats which can help lower cholesterol. High in copper, which promotes good brain health (2 handfuls can have the same affect as a dose of Prozac!), healthy hair, skin, eyes, connective tissue, and can reduce symptoms of arthritis. Also good source of magnesium, which promotes healthy bones, and regulates calcium, muscles, and nerves.

High in protein and fiber. Good source of zinc, which is essential for wound healing, sense of smell, and the immune system. Contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which promotes healthy brain function and memory. A deficiency can result in poor memory, dry skin, depression, and fatigue.

Monday, May 9, 2011

back in the groove!

I got back to Birmingham last night after being away for 10 days. I was really worried that gained weight while I was away because I only got in 1 workout and I didn't pay close attention to what I was eating. Even snuck in a couple bowls of ice cream and a few cups of sweet tea! Uh oh! We also ate out a few times celebrating my sister's bday and Mother's Day. So I nervously got on the scale this morning...but I'm exactly where I'm suppose to be! Increased metabolism?? I think/hope so!

I got back on the elliptical tonight and it felt great! However...this week I'm starting a temp job so the biggest obstacle I face is continuing my workouts with a full-time job! It's easy to squeeze in a 30-45 min workout when you have nothing to do all day. I may need to revisit my 30 min blog post several times for some perspective! And if anybody has some tips please pass them on!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

i'm still here!

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know I'm still here! I've been sick the past few days and just now on the mend. I'm now in Nashville visiting fam and hope to get in a few walks these next few days. One plus of visiting the doctor (Friday) was being weighed. I always seem to weigh more I was a bit worried. Do you have that problem? BUT I was actually down 2.5 more pounds! Yay!

Hope to do some more blogging in the next few days!