Am I Self Defeating? ~By: Steph

Hmm…I am not sure about you but, I am indignant, self righteous, self critical,judgemental. Not really sure why. Not really sure at who or what I am these things.  However, I am indeed indignant, self righteous,self critical, and judgemental.  Sound familiar?  If you’re honest I bet it does, at least to some degree.  I mean come on…Target restrooms, who bakes a wedding cake and who doesn’t, the presidential candidates, dogs with painted toenails, teens with saggy pants. I’m a bad motger/wife/dog owner because, my Monster Boy and Big Guy need a haircut, Noodle didn’t clean her bathroom, The Wild Bee could pass out and be lost for a year in her room and there’s no way I could find her under that pile of clothes on her floor, my bad dog is trying to kill the other dogs by dehydration, need I go on???

Do you ever just wake up and instead of thinking, “THANK YOU GOD, for being my Savior, for another day with my family, for forgiving my self righteous internal rantings, for allowing me to have healthy kids, for giving us a home to raise our family in and providing work for my incredible Big Guy and I.”?  You instead think…”WATCH OUT WORLD, I’m in a mood!”

I have been in a mood quite frequently, lately.  I think it has to do with the conscious decision I have made to focus on my subconscious attitude and thoughts.  It makes me mad! I am a crotchety, grouchy, 119 year old porcupine on the inside.  I am not the sweet (okay stop laughing), thoughtful, semi proper, mostly sane, people pleaser, that I often present myself as.  Come to think of it, that sort of kind of makes me a big stinking liar. So now, I just realized that I’m an indignant, self righteous, old porcupine, liar.  Well that’s great!

The end.

 

 

Yeah…you know I have way more nonsensical, rantings before this blog is complete.

I think I’ve mentioned a couple of dozen times, that our current message series at church is about changing our thinking to change our behaviors and thus, transforming our lives.  (UGHHHHHH…the pricelessness of realizing as I type this that tonight is Thursday and I DID NOT DO MY BIBLE STUDY!  Guess what I’ll be doing next?  I really don’t mind because, it’s a good study but, I don’t enjoy being so last minute and rushed.)  Who am I kidding? It’s daycare naptime and I will not be doing anything except tending to waking babies after (possibly during) this blog. There’s always the 15 minutes of free time between when the kiddos leave and I have to leave for church.  🙂

Anyway…I’m pretty much rambling today.  I know…you hadn’t even noticed but, it’s true.

I have a very negative internal dialogue.  I have put myself down before other people could do it for me, for as long as I can remember.  I have incredibly poor self esteem and not a whole lot of faith in my own abilities.  Yet, I totally believe in Christ’s ability to do all things.  So, don’t those things cancel each other out?  I mean, if I believe that Christ can do all things, and I also believe I am without worth or ability then, how does that work?  He chose me, I did not say, “Woo hoo, I’m going to just run out and believe in Jesus, after spending my life being pretty hatefully against the idea of “religion.” Nope, He pretty much reeled me in, kicking and screaming.  I had no desire to “find God” but, apparently and I am so grateful for this, He had a desire for me. If I believe the God of the Universe chose me, then how do I think that I am so lacking? He makes all things new, He makes all things beautiful…well except for me.  Is that how this works? I’m the ONE exception to the rule?  Pretty big ego I have there. Right?

Focusing on my internal rantings is like holding a very dirty mirror up in front of myself.  I think that in some ways I want to be all of the ugly, hateful, thoughts that I have about myself.  It’s comfortable. It’s the home where I’ve lived for so long that I have become a part of the structure. I want to feel bad about things, about myself. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this.  We are surrounded with negativity. Righteous indignation. Moral indignation. Sexual orientation indignation. Racial indignation.  Short people indignation.  Fat people indignation.  Indignation at those who are not indignantly inclined. We almost feel good when we are mad at the waitress who dared forget the lemon in our water, the guy who cut us off when we are so obviously in more of a hurry than him, the parent who takes 27 extra seconds saying goodbye to their kid and holding up the drop off line at school.  Now take all of those feelings and multiply them by about 1,010. That gives you about the level of indignation I feel at myself on a regular basis.  I am fairly certain I am not alone in feeling like the person staring back at me from that toothpaste splattered mirror is not so great.  I really need to clean that mirror.

The worst part of all of this is that I cool down and I realize I’m being ridiculous for being mad or hateful to those other people.  I don’t let up on myself.  I don’t say, “Hey, she’s okay.  Maybe she was just having a bad day. Look at how hard she’s trying. There’s no reason to be angry with her. She’s pretty okay for the most part.”  I never say those things about myself.  Almost as if I am the worst of the worst people in the universe. Why do I think that my own vision of what I am is more accurate than God’s?  He knows things about me that I will never realize about myself. He created me and He loves me.  Am I a better judge of character than Him? Pretty sure I’m not.  I have demonstrated questionable judgement in the past.  Perms, big poofy bangs, acid washed jeans, 18 layers of mascara, and white high top aerobic shoes with Velcro. Oh crap…I demonstrated all of those 7 days a week for about the entire 4 years of high school!

Changing my mindset is something I’ve written about often.  It’s something I have thought about often.  I just really never took the time to pay attention to what was going on in my head.  I would lock on to one specific thing and it would get all of my attention.  At least until I forgot about it.  This time I am trying to stay vigilant and pray about the many things I catch myself thinking. My plan is to start writing down the negatives that go through my head each day.  That plan has been in place for about 2 weeks.  It’s a definite plan. I plan on implementing this plan.  That’s the plan. Well…at least I didn’t lie to those of you in Blog Land and say I already started on the plan!

Here’s an example of what I caught myself doing on Sunday morning, as I was getting ready for church.  I have had an outfit pinned on Pinterest for over a year.  I fell in love with this outfit and wanted to do my own spin on it.(If you don’t know what Pinterest is or think Pinterest is dumb then, I can find a Pin to send you that will educate you.)  Saturday night I picked out my clothes and laid them out.  I looked at my Pin again and decided that I had done “okay”. Sunday morning I got up, showered, got ready and got dressed.  Immediately I started comparing myself to the girl in the picture.  She’s gorgeous, that’s why the outfit looks good on her.  I didn’t use the right color of jeans, right color of shirt, my sweater is brighter, my jewelry is different, her shoes are cuter, her thighs are amazing, she’s taller, she’s curvier, I can’t compare to her.  I almost took the outfit off and just said, I can’t do this because, obviously everyone else has my Pin in their head and will know I totally butchered her outfit and look like a clown. Sat myself down, prayed and told myself that I was going to church.  It wasn’t about what I was wearing, how I looked, or if my outfit looked clownish. It was about God, not about me.  I needed to get downstairs so we could go.  My Big Guy who is generally not all up in my fashion or lack there of, declared the outfit a hit.  Without prompting he volunteered how much he liked it.  Then I had him take a pic for some friends on Facebook who like me have lost weight and often will recreate a look and show a side by side on our site.  They loved it.  I got, only positive responses.  I received several compliments at church and even my Noodle who had stated her hatred for my ugly yellow sweater, admitted it looked good.  Not one of these things outshined the fact that I had just shoved my negative self talk down and embraced how I looked, before walking out of the house.

My take on the Pinterest outfit :)

My take on the Pinterest outfit.  I was told that her blog is called, Curves and Confidence.   I am going to check it out 🙂

I know that many women are hard on themselves and have a negative body image.  I  know personally that it can become overwhelming if I allow it to.  We often see who we were in the mirror and not who we are now.  We see every flaw, every imperfection and we narrate every negative comment that anyone could throw our way, in our heads. Sunday’s message was about how that in itself is ego.  We are so full of ourselves that there is no room for others or most importantly God, in our head and hearts.  We are placing ourselves above all. So yes, I was in tears by the time service was over because, it went along perfectly with what I had felt while getting ready that morning.

I’m not really sure what this has to do with weight loss but, it has a lot to do with me. As stated above I obviously have a lot of ego! I hope that we can all take a moment and stop being upset by the things that don’t really matter.  Take an inventory of what should truly be important to us. Say kind things to ourselves and be thankful for what we have in our lives.  No strings, no if only’s, no I’ll be happy when’s, just be at peace with who you are, and the fact that you are loved, beautiful and not at all the most horrible person on earth.

 

 

 

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Fajitas and Zoodles and Salad, oh my! ~By: Steph

Well, I have made it to Wednesday and not killed anyone.  Laying off of the unhealthy carbs kind of makes me feel murderous…I mean less than Mary Sunshine. This shall pass and hopefully my family will survive my mood swings and they in turn do not lock me in a closet. Personally I think mood swings are awesome. My lucky husband gets a new wife each time he walks in the door. SURPRISE, BIG GUY! At least I’m not boring to live with. Hmm…anyhow, let’s move on 😉

I’m in the zone.  Not sure exactly what zone.  I am using our pantry, freezer, and fridge like a pro. Saturday’s leftover grilled steaks became, Monday’s fajitas with fresh peppers, onions, and homemade mango salsa. Wish I’d snapped a photo of it.  It was a very colorful and pretty dish.

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Zoodles w/meatballs & sauce.

Tuesday I grabbed a container of 7% ground beef/hot Italian chicken sausage meatballs and sauce out of the freezer.  Meatballs are one of my favorite foods to make. (I used to make them with 1/2 ground turkey and 1/2 lean ground beef.  I love the chicken so much more.  It has great flavor and the texture is nicer than ground turkey.) As my friend Becky would say, “SQUIRREL!” I got sidetracked with the meatballs and forgot to mention what I made with them.  I zoodlefied (yep that’s the word I’m stickin’ with.) some zucchini, julienned red pepper/onion, sautéed them with cooking spray and seasonings, then set aside.  Added a bit of garlic infused olive oil and mushrooms to the pan and sautéed until golden.  Mixed it all together, added a couple of meatballs and sauce on top. This =’d YUMMINESS.

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Taco salad with mango salsa.

Today’s meal was the leftover mango salsa over a taco salad.  My carby indulgence besides the salsa, was black beans cooked in chicken stock, with chile, cumin and onion. They were delicious on a plain little taco salad.

Simple meals, using up what’s on hand and keeping on track.  I’ve been setting aside a portion of dinner for the next day’s lunch. Making a protein shake for breakfast. Reduced fat cheese, fruit, a slice of lunchmeat, etc have been my snacks. Yay for 3 days of good choices!

Oh, I have to mention how much I love my little appetizer plates and bowls.  I have several different ones and I love eating off of something pretty 🙂 I think my next purchase is going to be little cocktail forks. It feels weird using a fork bigger than the plate.  Using bigger plates leads me to pushing past my limit. In my head I’m still a clean your plate, kinda gal.

Trying to stay accountable and lay it all out here.  It’s a struggle to reset your eating but, we have to value ourselves enough to do it.  There’s no, “good reason”, to knowingly make frequent unhealthy choices.  We can blame our circumstances but, that won’t change anything.   We have to work for what we need. That’s what I’m once again deciding to do.

 

Honesty Sucks Sometimes ~By:Steph

Reset

I think I have “reset” myself on this journey about 5016 times…this month. Okay maybe these past 4 years.  I am happy with the fact that I do indeed have the desire and the drive to reset.  I am grateful for the strength I find in the Lord, to not just chuck everything and dive into a carb filled pool of deliciousness for the rest of my life.  Sometimes I even entertain the thought of just giving up and eating what I want and quitting the healthy rollercoaster ride.  Just when I feel like I’ve got things under control and I have changed my thinking and relationship with food, ABRACADABRA…something happens.  I know this is something I need to figure out and I’m honestly trying.

bed

I definitely have always had issues with depression and anxiety.  I take medication and feel okay most of the time.  Prayer has helped immensely with this struggle.  I think that if I am going to blog, I have to blog the good and the bad.  I have to share my HONEST experience not just the healthy recipes and victories. So here goes, I fell off the wagon.  Actually, I think the wagon jerked to a stop, slung me out in front of it and then ran over me. Do wagons have reverse? If so, I may have been backed over too.  I had a family member diagnosed with cancer…again.  I thought I handled it well.  I prayed, I focused on the positive, I said all of the right things to myself.  However, on the inside I think, it hit me harder.  It brought up thoughts of another family member’s diagnosis last year, and all of the emotions of that time. Depression lessens my will to resist carbs.  For the past several weeks I have been indulging in things I hadn’t eaten in months. Things I know better than eating.  I pushed through the dumping and got to the point where sugar didn’t get to me or at least I didn’t physically feel awful when I ate it.

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On Saturday night, I realized I was really struggling. I gave myself a pep talk, I prayed and decided I had to fix this.  On Sunday I heard the best possible message preached for my state of mind.  So, guess what?  RESET…again.  Yesterday went pretty well. Today is more of a struggle but, I’m doing fine.  I do admit though, I am craving those foods I am pushing out. I know that if I can get through a couple of weeks, the worn out, headachey (yep headachey), feelings of withdrawl and cravings will go away.  I just need to actually DO THIS for 2 weeks.  I think that now that I am fully aware of what was in the back of my mind and focused on it, I will be okay.  If not, I’ll be honest about that too.

That was the bad news.  The good news is I know that my God is bigger than the problems in my head.  The other good news is that my Big Guy and I actually were able to go on a very unexpected mini getaway weekend before last.  Left Saturday morning and came home Monday afternoon.  We hit a lot of coastal towns in that short time frame. It was our first getaway without the kids in 2 years. We were in need of a little couple time.  We had beautiful weather, gorgeous beaches, antique shops (yes, I’m 80 yrs old at heart), time to relax together and reconnect.  Despite my humidty hair, it was an amazing weekend that almost didn’t happen.  First I didn’t want to ask for time off on such short notice.  Then we didn’t know what to do with the kids.  Thank you to my Noodle for being an awesome big sister and watching the Bee and the Monster Boy for us.  Last, it was our month to serve as greeter’s at church so I felt super guilty calling people last minute and asking them to cover us.  It all worked out and we had the help of some really gracious people who encouraged us to go and enjoy ourselves.

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I’ll end it with this, I’m grateful that I have an amazing Big Guy who supports me and encourages me.  I have good friends who care and listen when I need to be insane for a moment.  I have healthy, amazing, pain in the rear, kids who I love to pieces. I have a family who are a blessing. I have a God who makes ALL THINGS POSSIBLE.  Even things like helping me overcome my self defeating thoughts and internal dialogue.  I am blessed beyond measure and need to focus on that and not setbacks. 

Hope you are having a wonderful week.  If you are interested in the current message series that I have been talking about, please leave a comment or message me.  I will get you the links for our church website.  Changing our thoughts is difficult, NOT impossible.

Take one small step and focus on a way to be kind to yourself at least once a day this week.  These little steps add up.