30 Pounds Down

Since I started this journey, I have lost 30 pounds and found more biblical truths than I ever have in that small amount of time. I have essentially changed my lifestyle and plan to continue to do so. I have some things to change to keep going forward. 

1. More intense Bible study (keeping God at the forefront)

2. More exercise 

3. More determination & focus

These are the things God has shown me in my self-evaluation. In the coming weeks, I will continue to write about my journey but I’m going to explore these 3 areas as well. 

I hope you continue to follow & share.  I have no verse to share this time but stay tuned, more will come in a few days!

Heather

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Self-evaluation

As you may have noticed, I did not post last week. I am taking this week to re-evaluate what I am doing and why. Have I lost sight of my original reason for doing this blog? I am not going to stop doing it, I just may change up the direction a little.

I found eighteen verses about self-evaluation in the Bible. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says: “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” I am going to take some time to test myself and examine my motives for doing this blog and for the weight loss journey I am on. I think this verse tells me I need to evaluate if I recognize Jesus Christ in my motives and in everything I do. If I do not, I need to bring that area back to Him so that I can recognize Him in everything I do.

For me, I have been doing enough to get by to lose 20lbs, but I don’t want to just get by. I want to excel in God’s Truths. If I never lose another pound, as long as I am living God’s Truths, I have won. I need to make sure I am truly believing that in this journey. It may be time to refine my goals, strategies, and motives.

As always, I encourage you to give me feedback. I will post again soon!

God Bless,

Heather

Happy Labor Day!

I pray you all have a fantastic Labor Day! I am taking this week off from posting about my journey. I’m still on it, just taking a break from posting!  We all need a break sometimes. 

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” Mark 6:31

Have a blessed week.

TRUTH

“I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6.

People tell me that in this day and age that truth is relative. If I am living in the world’s truth, I can see that, but if I am living in God’s truth, I can’t. In the scripture above, Jesus is telling people who He is. He is truth. When I look at His life and His ministry, I just know it.

My weight loss journey has sent me seeking truth. I have been a believer for many years, and I knew that God was the only truth that really mattered. However, I did not live out that truth. Now my eyes are wide open and I can see it for the first time in my life. I am nothing without Him, and I can do nothing of substance without Him. Also, I cannot change my lifestyle without Him. That is why all my attempts before at losing weight have never worked! I am 50+ days into my journey and I am still working on eating healthy and seeking His truths for my life. It shows, too, after 18 lbs and several inches lost!

I can no longer live like I was before. I have heard the old adage, “The truth will set you free.” And for me, that is true. God’s truths, the truths in the Bible, have set me free. I no longer have to live in bondage to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Reader, I hope you understand that this is my journey. I am no way saying this is how yours should go. I do pray for you, my reader, as often as I can. I pray you are inspired through reading my journey. Have a blessed week!

I do not seek God because I am perfect; I seek God because I need Him as I am imperfect.

Heather

Encouragement

Encourgement. It is a simple word to type, but it is not always a simple one to live out either on the giving or receiving end. I learned this week, in the Bible, encouragement is all the way through it. The verse that stuck out to me the most is: “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Thessalonians 5:11(NIV)

It stuck out to me because part of my family started a group healthy lifestyle change. We use a group texting program that helps us update each other on progress and give each other encouragement, support, and accountability. Groups have been proven to help people succeed in many different areas of life. Just look at the hundreds of different support groups on google. When I typed in “support group,” thousands came up for it.

I have found that having a support/accountability group has been particularly helpful for me on my journey to adopting a healthy lifestyle. My past successes in losing weight was increased by a support/accountability group. Reader, did you know that thus far, you have been part of that accountability group for me along this journey?

God wants us to encourage each other and build each other up, and that is what a group is for. I am really enjoying learning from them and hearing their encouragement as well as giving it.

I pray that all of you have encouragement in your life. If you do not, email me and I will encourage you! I hope this blog has been an encouragement for you as well. I know it is short this week, but I think it is a pretty simple concept, just harder to implement sometimes.

God Bless,
Heather

Armor of God

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Everyone backslides in life. You think you are going along really well, meeting goals, and then you realize that you are missing something or you realized you became sidetracked from the very thing you were trying to obtain. I am no different. This past week was a little more of a struggle than I was expecting. I thought, “I am over 30 days out, I’ve got this.”

So, what happened? I got over-confident and lax in my avid study of God’s teaching. So, I backslid a little. I have not gone over my calorie intake this week, but I have definitely let some foods creep back in that I had left out…fried potatoes, crunch wrap supreme, and McDonald’s breakfast. Each of them were only once, but they were all in the SAME week and crept into my healthy eating habit.

I then had a realization this morning that I didn’t have on the full Armor of God because I had not been studying God’s teaching as much as I had in previous weeks . “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.” Ephesians 6:11-12 NIV.

This may sound a little ominous, but it is actually very simple. If I do not put the armor of God on, which includes studying the Bible (my “feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” Eph 6:15), I am giving room for temptation and evil to come in. By being over-confidence that I have this I became lax in my study. As a result, I was not fully mindful of what I was eating. I had opened a door for temptation to creep in. I’ve let thoughts like “It’s only one breakfast and it’s not too many calories” to take over.

In getting my thoughts and actions under control, I have seen areas that I haven’t been focusing on even when I am avidly studying God’s Word. It’s time for me to put down the laziness, which is what it really boils down to for me, and put on the full Armor of God and get right back on track before I undo all the progress I have made.

Thank you for reading and I hope that this blog helps you in whatever your journey is. I would like to hear about your journey. If you do not want to write me about it in public, you can in private. I have created an email address for my blog. It is: hkesel@zoho.com

God Bless!
Heather

Overeating

Proverbs 23: 1-3 (NIV) says: When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you; and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. Do not crave his delicacies for that food is deceptive. Reader, do not worry, I am not going to put a knife to my throat. What I am concentrating on here is overeating as it pertains to me.

I have struggled with overeating. When my husband and I were dating, and early in our marriage, I noticed if I did not eat as soon as I felt hungry I would become grouchy. It was tied more to habit than something psychological or “in my mind.” I will admit there are MANY people out there that it is psychological. I will put at the end of my article where help can be found if you have an eating disorder, but that is not what this article is about.

In my studying and learning on what God has to say about each area of my life, I have learned that if I wait too long to eat, I end up eating the food too quickly. As result I eat more than I intended. Thus, I overeat. This had become a bad habit. How do I fix this? First, I pray and cling to God’s Word. Then I remember, there are healthy snacks out there that I can have with me throughout the day. Also, I remind myself it will not hurt me if I miss a meal or eat late once in awhile (Read that in the manor intended: I do not advocate missing meals or eating late-making this a habit will sabotage your goals).

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV) is a verse that helps me in many areas of life. The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. God tells us through this verse that He is with us, and He is the mighty warrior who saves us. Why would He not save me in this area, too? I am reminded that He has saved me in a lot of areas in my life many times over.

On Thursday, lunch was provided for us at work. It was Chick-Fil-A, which if you know me, I LOVE Chick-Fil-A! Also, I was very hungry for lunch. So what did I do? Overeat? No! That is a habit I am learning to get out of. First, I looked at what was available before I even took a plate. Next, I planned out what I was going to get, and what size portion I was going to take. I ended up taking LESS than I thought I would eat. This way, I could control my portions and if I was still hungry, I could control that, too. Another strategy I used to help me not overeat is I put my fork down between bites. This enabled me to keep from overeating. Is that too extreme for you? That’s okay! It works for me, though. I discovered that I actually finished the healthy items on my plate first, and then when I got to the less healthy items on my plate, I only had room for about half of what I took (Note: I took less than a serving of those).

It was a successful lunch for me. By the grace of God, I have more successful days than not. However, some days I still struggle. I have found that one thing that ALWAYS works is if I invite God into my day and my meals, I struggle less. I have been doing this for almost 30 days. I am not where I want to be yet, but I know if I still keep God first, I will succeed!

I would like to hear about your journey; whether it be in weight loss, spiritual, or something else. I pray you are reaching whatever goals you have set for yourself.
Please comment, subscribe and share!

Heather

Eating Disorder Help:
http://nationaleatingdisorder.org
http://eatingdisorderhope.com

My Nemesis?

In my last blog I stated that I was going to give you an update on my trip that I took, and how I did. I will do that at the end of the blog, but there are a few things that have come to light in this journey that I feel the prompting to focus on now. This is not a deviation, this is something God has revealed to me that could be a major stumbling block in this journey if I let it.

The weight scale has always been my nemesis. Why? It is just metal and plastic. So, I have to dig a little deeper to figure out what really is my nemesis. It is my thoughts, beliefs, and criticisms that have toward myself. The weight scale was the tool I used to measure how I was doing in the past. I had told myself at the beginning of this journey that I would not weigh myself before I was done with day 21…I even decided to wait until day 23. However, on day 14, I weighed myself, really out of curiosity. What did I find? I lost weight. Shocking, isn’t it? No, not really. I have been eating less calories and healthier foods for 14 days so of course I lost weight. Now the old familiar struggle. I want to step on the scale every day so I can gauge how I am doing.

Reader, did you know that losing 1-2 pounds a week is more successful than a fast loss? According to http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweigh/losing_weight/, “evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off.” So, in wanting to step on the scale every day, I am mentally sabotaging myself. Am I going to see that weight loss from Sunday to Monday or even Sunday to Tuesday? Probably not. A possible solution: don’t step on the scale until one week has passed. What about other solutions?

What is she talking about, you may ask yourself? What about meeting God each day in prayer and trusting Him on this journey like I originally intended? Joshua 1:9 (ESV); “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

“Be strong and courageous……the Lord your God is with you…” Have I been strong and courageous and trusting God that He is with me? If I am clinging to a human invention to chart my progress, no. If I trust God and seek Him in all that I do, the answer is yes.
I am working on using the scale to gauge my weight number only, not to gauge how I am doing. I know I am eating healthier, I feel better, and I have a better understanding of what God wants for me. He is a loving God and wants only the best. That is why I believe He revealed this to me.

A little update from this last weekend; we traveled to a conference in Louisville, Kentucky. In the past, I have let traveling be an excuse for not eating healthy. Not this time! I even ate at a pizza place and had a turkey sandwich. This may seem minor, but you don’t know how much I really like pizza! Anyway, eating healthy made me feel better, and gave me more energy for the conference.

I hope you are still enjoying this journey. Please comment, share and subscribe!
God bless,
Heather

Active doesn’t always mean exercise…

My husband, daughter, and I enjoy an active lifestyle.  We have jobs, run a business, spend time with family and friends, take our daughter to swim lessons, and playdates with her friends.  Just because our lifestyle is “active”, it doesn’t always mean we get exercise; at least the right kind of exercise.

According to  http://www.livestrong.com/article/386202-how-much-weight-can-you-lose-by-walking-30-minutes-a-day/, in order to lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than your body burns.  I had no idea how to start figuring out how many calories my body burns, but my husband had a weight loss challenge last year at work so he did know.  There are a lot of sources online to figure out how many calories my body burns.  I got my calculation formula from http://jillianmichaels.com: males: 66 + (6.3 × body weight in pounds) + (12.9 × height in inches) − (6.8 × age in years) and females: 655 + (4.3 × weight in pounds) + (4.7 × height in inches) − (4.7 × age in years).

Once I knew that, I was able to use an app to calculate how many calories that I need to consume each day in order to lose weight and still stay healthy.  I use MyFitnessPal app on my iPhone.  It tracks calories and other nutrients.  It can also track your activities, and how many calories you burn doing those activities.  I discovered that what I was doing every day was not helping my body burn many calories.  So, I decided to change up a few things.  I now walk 20-30 minutes most mornings before I go to work.  This Monday, I even started a yoga class!  This is my first week, but it is going well.  I am excited to see what next week will bring!

Reader, I must tell you that activity has been a struggle for me.  I am a couch potato by nature, but I really do not like how I feel afterwards.  I found this scripture, 1 Corinthinas 10:31; “So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  It made me think, if I am eating healthier for the glory of God, and to set a positive example for my daughter, I can also include exercising for the glory of God.  Once I realized this, it was easier to make the mind switch.

Reader, I pray you are getting some inspiration from this journey.  I would like to hear from you!  Please comment and subscribe below.  Thank you for reading!

Heather Kesel

Next week’s topic: I travelled to Louisville this weekend so I will update you on how my eating/activity went.

Continuing to learn…

I have been learning a lot this week. Much has humbled me. The scripture verse: Or do youbody-is-a-temple-free-lds-clipart-93182 not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price so glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, humbled me the most. Not because God wants me to be thin. God does not care if we are thin, fat, tall, short, average weight, average height…He loves us anyway. However, I do think He wants us to be healthy and not partake in gluttony. I am guilty of this far too many times. This is my next step in the process…learning how much of a portion I really need.

When I made the stir fry the other night, I ate too small of a portion. As a result, I was still hungry, and I ended up eating at 9pm. Wednesday, I had an evening with friends, and I ate too much. So, I had that over full feeling for part of the evening. I once heard that learning to dislike that over full feeling can be helpful, and I don’t know that I have ever really liked it. To me, it was just a minor annoyance. However, I did realize last night that it is no longer a minor annoyance, but it is a complete annoyance. I think as I learn portion control, I will no longer have this annoyance because I won’t be over full.

In learning portion control, I have learned to look at my plate a little differently. According to http:.//www.rise.us/portioncontrol/, “remember the, half/quarter/quarter rule: 1/2 plate veggies, 1/4 plate carb and 1/4 plate protein. For mixed food (spaghetti, lasagna, meatloaf, casserole), think 1/2 plate mixed food and 1/2 plate veggies.” Reader, did you know that there are normally two sizes of dinner plates in a standard set of plates? With my plates, I have a 9″ dinner plate and one that is 12″. I have learned that if I want to learn portion control, I need to use the smaller plate. According to small platehttp://smallplatemovement.org, “eat off a 9-10″ plate for your largest meal of the day for one month” and see how many calories you do not eat and how satisfied you really are with those portions. This is what I am going to start doing today!

I’ve had a couple of friends ask me if I am calorie counting, and I am. I am using an app on my phone called MyFitnessPal. It tracks calories from foods you input among other nutrients. It also keeps track of your activities (I will give an update on activity in my next article).

My 4 year old has noticed a difference in me this week. She has noticed that I stop eating after one plate of food. Her doctor told me that by age five, kids start picking up their parents eating habits. Do I want her to pick up on my past habits? The answer is a resounding NO! If I want to teach her good eating habits, I have to have good eating habits.
I want to bring this area of my life under control so that I am glorifying God with my body, and so that I am a good example for my daughter and those around me. I have never been skinny, but skinny does not necessarily mean healthy. I have been healthy before and I am becoming healthy again.

Reader, remember, what I view as good eating habits may not be what you view as good eating habits. I am in no way telling people what they should do or should not do. I am just sharing my journey.

I hope you are enjoying my journey. Please comment, subscribe and share!

Heather Kesel