2016 Dilemmas : Living vs. Cyber Living

Well, it’s going to be a cold night here in my neighborhood tonight just about a week away from Christmas.  We may even have an ice storm ! I am happy to be at home with my men and my animals to keep me company. We are a contented bunch most of the time. My aim lately however,  is to get everyone off of their screens and into the soup of life, mixing it up and talking to each other. It makes me cringe when I think of our house and all the other houses out in America with their inhabitants all together but each in their own cyber happy places . I don’t like the idea of everyone looking at their phones or games or devices. Spending hours and hours being so unproductive and still! Ugh! It’s a frightful thing to realize that only a decade before , this was not the state of our home life.  I think back to our days of homeschooling and reading out loud. What  wonderful memories those were! One of the books we read then was Strawberry Girl. My now,  junior-in-highschool- son Cam, was in second grade then. It was a lovely Spring day out and we were all curled up in our bonus room together, listening , imagining … we were very peaceful and content listening to my husband read aloud. Dave and I would take turns reading till our voices got tired, which was about a chapter at a time. One of the most wonderful and satisfying things about read aloud time was that none of us ever wanted it to end! My little Cammy, struggling mightily to read  due to some learning challenges we were just finding out about, was totally enthralled! I  remember also how fast the time would go! Now, having the vastness of the internet at our fingertips , the temptation to be on our phones constantly is a real pull and one I don’t mind saying, has given me quite a bit of  guilt. I know in my heart that we must limit our time sitting and looking at our phones.  I am grateful to have had the influence of our past years homeschooling to guide me back to realizing  that we should strive to be balanced in all things. The constant struggle to be balanced! Is that a real, achievable goal to have? I believe it is. I struggle with it daily in so many areas. I know most people do. I hope to get better at this as the years go by. Looking forward to making new memories with my family this holiday. My daughter and her new husband will be here soon. I think I will do my best to orchestrate moments of real time together, not time together where we are all sitting together in the living room on our phones. But time together cooking, eating, playing games, going to church, wrapping and opening presents. Discussing and remembering a recent wedding and days gone by. Maybe even getting some exciting news?!!!!

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Fat Tuesday / Mardis Gras

Status report.  We are iced in here in South Carolina. I would never have thought this would be in my future at all. Not is sunny, S.C.! And, I doubt if I will be going to the Y to work out with my son in theses conditions so I will be creative, like one of my teammates, Linda. She did a walking dvd to get her cardio in. Good for her! I think I will do laps in my house. I would probably need to go around at least 40 times to get both distance and time accomplished. I have two sets of stairs in the house so I will be working some big muscle groups. (ha!)

What does this have to do with Mardis Gras? Well friends, my dear mother sent me and article for displaced New Orleaneans, of which I am one . I think the title of her email was King Cake Recipes. For those of you who don’t know about King Cakes, these cakes are served up during Mardis Gras season in New Orleans and the surrounding areas. Louisiana is a heavily Catholic area and they celebrate Lent. Right before the forty days of Lent begins there’s a whole lot of eating and revelry and partying. Somehow this is justified because there will be 40 days of deprivation. Catholics decide they will not be having a certain item of food during the 40 days of Lent before Easter. Still, what does this have to do with the title of my post? The fact is, my mom is very fit and has been as long as I can remember. She loves sugar like most of the women in my family. I am pretty sure she started running in her 30’s so she could eat her beloved deserts without guilt. I am her child and I totally get this line of thinking. Being the supportive mom she is you would think that she would not send me an email link with 9 king cake recipes ?!!!!! But she did. I am craving lots of things right now, and I will not be giving into  my cravings. But this email did not help. Did I read each recipes ? No. I knew that would be dumb since King Cake is not on my radar for my calorie allotment. So, I am kind of glad that I no longer live in New Orleans, land of the best food in the U.S.  I am glad that I don’t have to suffer saying no to the samplings of the area in the difficult season of Mardis Gras. I just live in another foodie paradise, Greenville, South Carolina. No matter where we live, we have temptation to overcome. There are strategies we must utilize and things we must do, not to smell or read about good food if we won’t be having any of it. With this kind of commitment and this kind of determination, by this time next year I will have to take the “Fat” out of Fat Tuesday.

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Greater Things

My pastor is talking about our new year as a church and how Greater Things is the theme for 2015. I am taking this to heart like never before. I have been a wife, mother and most recently, a caretaker for the last several years, putting my needs last. It has almost been like the first years with each new baby. Night time feedings, praying for some undisturbed sleep, feeling ragged, knowing you look as ragged as you feel. But still, what a privilege and high calling it is to care for a loved one. But I haven’t always had a good attitude about it.

I am going to be 53 this April and I have been telling myself since I turned 50 that this needs to be the year that things change. But letting food be my drug of choice has been my preferred way to handle stress. Large, huge, gigantic loads of stress. It’s hard to know when food started to be my drug. But in the last ten years, I have had disappointment after disappointment. Shattered dream after shattered dream. I am pretty sure I stopped dreaming altogether. Every time I began to hope again, another large setback would interrupt my sights. During this time of setbacks in my life I would fall into my quiet times with the Lord. I would retreat to my prayer journal, my bibles and my devotional books and write and pray and hope. Despite wanting changes to happen on the exterior of my life my interior life had to change first. But I would wrestle with God. I would say to Him, but you can’t have my food, it’s all I have left. But the Holy Spirit would gently tell me that food was my idol and I could not have victory with my heart divided. Wow. What a difficult truth it was. Food was my idol.

Now I am learning to not try to overcome my desire for food in my own strength. We have a helper. This is where I went wrong in the first place. Thinking I had to do “it” in my own strength. If I just had enough will power. If I were just a stronger person… what the Lord has shown me is surprising. I am strong. I am a winner. I am an overcomer. As long as I allow my Partner to come alongside of me I will have the victory. He is my helper.

Rob’s Big Losers is one of the best things to happen to me as long as I can remember. What an atmosphere of love, encouragement and empathy I find in this group of people. From the staff at the Y and my trainer to my co-laborers; and RBL alumni from years past. What a group of encouragers! I am so blessed to have been allowed to be part of this gang. Now that I am not intimidated by the process I plan to go full out. Thank you, Rob, thank you dear Lord. 2015 is going to be my year.

“You can’t have my food.” from Made To Crave by Lysa Terkhurst

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Getting Over Tech Issues

This is my fourth attempt to blog and have it connect to Rob’s Big Losers gang. I have prayed that there will be no more issues. After all, everything else is going so well. I have read so many of my teammates blogs and they resonated with me so completely that I have been energized by them. We are all so blessed to have this opportunity to participate in such an encouraging wellness environment!

When we first met last week with our Team Verdae trainers, Shannon and Donna we were given some tips to get us going. One that has worked for me so well so far is the myfitnesspal app. I am down five pounds since I began. How awesome is that?!!!!!!! I have enjoyed using it to track every meal and snack and my workouts too. I have also connected with my mom in San Francisco and my daughter in Raleigh. We have a little competition going. They are old pros yet here I am, just a beginner. Oh well, so glad I am here.

Tomorrow, bright and early will be our second “boot camp” led by our fearless and quite exuberant Lou. I do not look forward to it but what I do look forward to is how happy I will be with myself after it is done. To US! Cheers!

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Off To A Good Start

Well, I am finally able to get a blog done despite my technical difficulties. So far this has been a positive and thrilling experience. From our first Saturday Boot Camp at the Y I knew things were going to be different. The support and encouragement from my trainer, Shannon and my team members is outstanding. I am getting the hang of logging in ALL my food in myfitnesspal and really learning how to fit excercise into almost every day.
            My plan is to make reasonable adjustments that I can stick to for the long haul. Nothing so extreme that I will be discouraged too quickly and have a melt down and want to quit. So far this is working for me. My son, Cameron is already losing weight doing what I’m doing. God is soooooo good! We are on our way to a better life.

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