Thursday, January 26, 2012

Behaving Badly

So, it is taking me some courage to write about this incident.  I acted like a total and complete idiot.  And, unfortunately, I bet a lot of you can relate.

Before I tell my tale, I want to say that I really and truly believe that ALL women are ANY size.  I believe that with all my heart.  So please don't think I am judging the rest of you for my bad behavior, I just judge myself....harshly.

It was a beautiful day in the quaint little town of Fairhope, AL.  My mother and I were shopping and stopped in to one of our favorite boutiques.  It was the perfect time of year because it was the end of the season so all the gorgeous and expensive clothes were on sale.

So, I am flipping through the 75% off rack and spot this absolutely adorable gray dress with blue polka dots complete with a thin matching belt.  I look at it and think, this is my size!  It is perfect.  Then, I looked at the tag and it went downhill from there.

The tag said it was a size 10.  For those of you who don't know me, that is not my normal size at all.  And, the employees of this store were about to get an earful about how this was absolutely not my normal size.

And so it began....diarrhea of the mouth.  It went a little something like this:

ME:  "This CANNOT be a size 10.  I mean it just can't be. Look how small it is!"
MOM: "Just try it on!  It is a $300 dress for $38!!!"
I reluctantly try it on.
ME  "This must be mis-sized.  There is NO WAY this is a size 10.  I wear a size 4!  NEVER a 10!  That is not even close to my size.  I mean, maybe I might wear a size 6 sometimes but usually a 4 but never a 10!"
This dress fits like a glove like it was made for me.
ME: "This dress is probably 75% off because it is mis-sized. I just couldn't be a a TRUE size 10."

And it went on and on and on.  How insecure could I get?  REALLY?  

Mom is probably so embarrassed by me at this point, but does convince me to get the dress. It was $38!

So, as we are checking out the saleslady gets a pair of scissors, cuts out the tag of the dress, hands it to me and says, "Here, now it is a size 4!"

I totally deserved it.

I hate to admit it, but this only happened about a year ago and as I reflect, I think.....

1.  SO WHAT?  So what if that dress wasn't labeled the size I wanted it to be? Who would EVER know?  Why do I care SO much?
2.  How did it make everyone else around me feel to be going on and on about a size 10 like it was a size 1 million?

I still struggle with having all the perfect numbers.  In my head I know it is completely ridiculous.  But, in my heart, it is a struggle.  So, how do we as mothers overcome this need for perfection?

DAILY give it to God.  God wants to bear all our insecurities and struggles...big or small.
REMIND ourselves to love and embrace the body that God created for us and USE it to glorify Him.

Ladies, you are beautiful.  I am beautiful.  We are all created in the image of our Lord and Saviour.  CLAIM that today.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Make a Lot; Share the Love

Just call me Meals on Wheels.

A name my husband gave me years ago when I kept baking, cooking, grilling and making food for everyone all the time.  New baby,  new neighbor, sickness, death in the family, or just because.

I love to work out. I love to cook.  And, best of all, I love to eat!  I am a hungry girl.  I want hearty, healthy meals for my family and to share with others.

Here's one of my favorite hearty, healthy soups from Cooking Light.  It is simmering on my stove right now.  The recipe will make enough for my family, another family that had a baby, my parents and one for my sweet friend Emily just because.

Chunky-Chicken Noodle Soup
2 t olive oil
1 C chopped onion (I used green onions....aren't they SO much easier???)
1 C diced carrots
1 C sliced celery
1 garlic clove (I cheated and used the minced garlic from a jar!)
3 T flour
1/2 t oregano
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t dried poultry seasoning (didn't have this one, didn't make a difference to me!)
3 cans fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups diced, peeled baking potato
1/2 t salt
2 cups diced roasted chicken (love to crock pot the chicken!)
1 12-ounce can fat free evaporated milk
2 cups wide egg noodles (I used whole-wheat shells)
**Note....I added a little more milk in the end
1.  Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic.  Saute' 5 minutes or until tender.  Sprinkle flour, oregano, dried thyme and poultry seasoning over veggies; cook 1 minute.
2.  Stir in broth, potato and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, 25 minutes. Add chicken, milk and noodles, and cook 10 minutes or until noodles are tender.  Yield: 8 servings......more if you ask me!

CALORIES: 240. FAT: 4.5g SODIUM: 667mg  Serving size: 1 cup.

Now, make this, enjoy it and share it with someone else.  You will brighten their day with your act of kindness.  And maybe, it will be the only kind act they see all day.

Friday, January 20, 2012

No Excuses

I'm too busy.  I'm too tired.  It's too expensive.  People will judge me.

A.  You are NOT too busy.  Are you too busy to eat? shower? catch your favorite show?  You can make time for things YOU think are important and necessary. Always remember something is better than nothing.
     *A 10-minute jog
     *A quick game of tag with your kids
     *A 20-minute video
     *10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and repeat 3x throughout the day
B. We are all tired.  Life is exhausting.  But, if you want to enjoy your life more, have more energy for your family, and be healthy, you have to move!  Yes, our bodies need to REST.  But, it doesn't need a rest seven days a week.  Get a workout buddy.  I would never have gotten up at 5:30 a.m. to go running if it weren't for my running buddy, Lindsay.  And, there is no way I would have completed a 1/2 marathon under 2 hours without her!  We were accountable to one another to be there, to keep moving and to push through the tiredness.  Find someone who has a similar schedule, similar goals and make time to go.
C.  Since when did they charge you to walk or run outside?  I haven't seen anyone taking up money in your living room to workout to that fitness DVD.  If you can't join a gym, there are many other options for fitness.
     *Look for a groupon for a local bootcamp or class
     *Start a walking/running club with other moms
     *Go hiking at a state park with your family
     *In the summer, quit sitting on the chair or the side of the pool.  Get in a SWIM with your kids!
     * Check out  They post their CrossFit workouts daily that you can   do at home!
D.  People are always going to judge us no matter what we do or where we go.  It is our sinful nature to judge others to make ourselves feel better or worse.  As one of my favorite fitness professionals have to "DIG DEEP."  Dig deep inside yourself for the confidence to get out there and try something new.  Pray that God would give you the drive and the energy to pursue a healthy lifestyle.

Moms, YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL. You really are.  Isn't it amazing what God allowed our bodies to do?  To create life? Embrace your beautiful body and get out there.  Be confident in yourself.  Don't worry about what others think.  You never know, your confidence to step out of your comfort zone may inspire someone else to get movin'.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Don't be a Skipper

So, you wouldn't NOT put fuel in your car, right?

Our bodies need fuel just like our cars need fuel.  Common sense - if we don't put gas in the tank, it doesn't run.  Period.  Same with our bodies.  You don't put food in your body, it will not function properly.

So, please don't be a skipper!  The saying "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" hasn't stuck around this long for nothing.

For all my skippers out there, here are is a list of suggestions to fuel up in the morning:
1.  Greek yogurt, granola (mind your serving size!!), and blueberries.  Full of protein to keep you full!
2.  Kashi GoLean cereal with skim milk or two Kashi whole wheat waffles (frozen!)
3.  Whole wheat toast with peanut butter (mind your serving size!!)
4.  Of course, if you have time (HA!), eggs and turkey bacon!!
**And, always a great addition to any meal....fresh fruit!

I know all you moms are movin' so make sure you are filling up your "tank" so you can have a better workout, have more energy for your kids and not be a hungry, crabby wife.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mind Your Own Workout

Betty runs 15 thousand miles a day
Sue climbed Mount Everest
Ann pays $$$ to do crossfit
Gigi does Pure Barre
Jane does bootcamp twice a day
And, Amy can hold a plank in pilates the entire hour!

Doesn't it seem like everyone else is doing it better, faster, longer? I will pass someone running and think "I should be doing that right this second like she is." Or, I will hear of a friend doing a crossfit workout and think "I bet that is a better workout than I did." Poor me. Cry me a river.

If you are competitive like me, you will understand these feelings. And, if you are into fitness and working out you know that there is so much out there to choose from to be active.

So why are we always comparing?

In my non-professional opinion, a lot of us are striving for something that is unattainable - perfection. We might feel left out of the newest fitness craze and feel defeated that our workout doesn't add up to what society views as "the best."

There have been times in my life where I was working out so much and trying to fit in so many different things that my husband said, "I want tickets to whatever it is you are training for."

For all the mothers out there, I want to encourage you to do the absolute best you can when it comes to fitness. Make time to do the right workout that fits your budget and schedule. As a mom, we are in the business of being healthy not becoming Mrs. Fitness America.

So, the next time you feel defeated when you see your neighbor completing her 13-mile run, change your thought to, I am glad God gave her that ability. And, pray, God give me the strength and stamina to reach my own goals whether it be running a mile, walking with the stroller around the neighborhood, hiking a certain mountain or just getting through an aerobics class.

Do you know that the Bible even plainly says "mind your own business" in 1 Thessalonians 4?

10 And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, 11 and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, 12 so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

Stop comparing and start moving. No excuses.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Jeans Weigh Too Much!

"How much do you think my jeans weigh?"

These. words. actually. came. out. of. my. mouth.

I was getting ready for a doctor's appointment, and I was frantically searching for the "lightest" clothes I own. I have this crazy psychological hang up with people writing down "my number." It's not that I don't know what the number is, I just don't want it written down on paper for the "world" to see. Written down for all eternity in that little file folder.

So, I put on this very summery "light" dress in the dead of winter...with flats of don't want to wear boots....that would just be devastating to "the number." And, as I am looking totally ridiculous, my very down-to-earth husband says to me...."What do you think they are going to do? Publish your weight in the Birmingham News? Nobody cares."

Aha! A voice of reason. That is why God put Colter in my life. To bring me back down to Earth, and tell me when I am acting crazy.

So, as I am thinking about this incident, I am also burdened with guilt over the fact that I actually spent time worrying about this insignificant thing. It plagues me. I think about two of my sweet friends battling cancer and how they fight everyday just to have a healthy body.

It is a daily battle to give your body image issues to the Lord. When you wake up, before you even set foot on the floor, praise Him for your healthy body. Praise Him for your number! If you don't like your number, ask for His help in changing that number or accepting that number. And, most importantly, ask God how you can use your body and all it's numbered glory to praise His name.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Somebody's Watchin' You!

Fat. Chubby. Overweight. Big-Boned. Pudgy. Chunky. Flabby.

Guess who has heard you utter these words? Yep. Your sweet, innocent children. Were you talking about yourself? Your husband? Someone on television? A complete stranger? Or worse, were you referring to your child?

Yes, we want our children above all else to be healthy. But, there is a deep dark secret most mothers are hiding. We secretly go to their doctors' visits and hope that our boys will be in the millionth percentile for height, and our little girls will be in the 25th or lower for weight. How warped are we?

Do we need to go back to Psalm 139?
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

God created us all DIFFERENTLY. Why is that so hard to grasp? We need to shed this worldly view of what our children and ourselves SHOULD look like.

My husband is close to 6 feet and 7 inches tall. I am a mere 5 foot 3. I am guilty of hoping my little girl does not grow into a giant. I am guilty of wishing my little boy were more of a giant like his daddy. At the end of the day, who cares? If they are healthy, happy, well-adjusted children, they will thrive at any height!

Our children are watching our every move. When we act like weirdos about food, they see it. Moms, we need to SHOW our children what a healthy diet looks like. Be an example. EAT FOOD....REAL FOOD.

I sit down on Sunday afternoons and plan each meal for the week. My children know that each meal will include a "healthy thing." Yes, I let them have pretzels and chips at lunch, but it is balanced with a fruit or vegetable. Every night, we sit down together as a family for dinner. I am not a short-order cook. I make a well-balanced dinner, and everyone is expected to eat. Our rule is "bites by age." My son is 6 so he is expected to take 6 bites of each food and then he can say no thank-you. My daughter is 4, and she is expected to take 4 bites of each food.

Moms, if you are running around the kitchen during dinner, not eating and snacking on some kind of protein bar.....what does this say to your child? You can't be on a crazy diet forever. Make a lifestyle choice to eat healthy food....REAL FOOD.

I could go on and on about this topic. But, I will end here because my little boy is waiting for me to come see his LEGO creation.

Friday, January 6, 2012

What's in a Number?

100. 120. 140. 160. 180. 200.

What is the number that plagues you? The number that you wish would show up when you step on that scale. The number that will make the heavens open and a ray of light shine down.

Just look at any womans' driver's license, and you will know that every woman LIES about her weight. Most of us have this twisted belief that our bodies should weigh the number that we want it to weigh, not the number that is our healthy weight for the body God specifically designed for us.

One thing we don't take in to consideration is all the factors that make us weigh a certain number. Height, muscle, fat, bones, blood, boobs! God created us all DIFFERENT. We shouldn't all weigh the same thing. This issue has been plaguing me for years. I am short, small frame, but muscular = I weigh more than someone my same size with no muscle. FRUSTRATING!! But, why?

Is a number what defines us? Absolutely not! Think about this....when we die, what would we want written on our tombstone? "Ruth....she was really skinny. Beloved at 110 pounds." CRAZY. CRAZY. CRAZY.

Yes, staying a healthy weight IS important. But we do not need to obsess over the number. It leads to worry and anxiety which is unproductive in God's kingdom. Quit obsessing about the number and start focusing on being healthy at whatever number YOUR OWN BODY decides is a healthy weight.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Fashion & Fitness

"Life is too short not to look cute."

This is a quote from my sweet and stylish mother. And, I think there is a lot of truth to this statement when it comes to fitness. Stylish outfit = more confidence = better workout.

Are you guilty of wearing an old, oversized t-shirt and ill-fitted leggings for your workout? Moms, please oh please retire the old sorority shirts. If you are 30 years old, that shirt is AT LEAST 8 years old! Cut them up and make a t-shirt quilt!

Do you keep saying, "I will buy new workout clothes when I lose a little more weight."? Seize THIS day my friends! Dress your body for what it is today. And, yes there are great workout clothes out there for every size and budget!

From Lululemon (MY FAVORITE!) to Target, you can find the right clothes for your body type. Before you purchase, try it on and see how the outfit feels when you move around. Really, do some jumping jacks, run in place, do a one is watching....and if they are, they will think you are a very serious workout woman!
* Does the shirt show your muffin top when you lift your arms?
* Does the shirt show too much cleavage when you bend down?
* Do the pants ride up when you walk around?
* Are the shorts too short? Can you see your panties when you do a leg lift?

And, ladies, INVEST in a great sports bra! It is a MUST!! My favorite brand is Moving Comfort. Get measured by a professional to determine the right size for you. In Birmingham, The Fitting Touch and the Lingerie Shoppe offer these services. You will be amazed at what a good sports bra will do for the girls!

The point is, let's present ourselves as and strive to be the Proverbs 31 woman who is clothed in fine linens, strength and dignity. When we take care of ourselves - mind, body and soul, we will be equipped to take care of our families, friends and communities.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year and New Resolutions!

How many of us have said that we are going to lose weight, stop eating sugar and just be better? How long does it last? I think about the Chris Rice song about how many times we "try" to be good, but we always fail because we are imperfect. Only God is perfect. But, not to despair! You CAN achieve your goal with the right motivation. So ask yourself, what is your motivation? To look like Suzy Cutie Booty? GIVE IT UP! You are YOU! YOU are wonderfully made in God's image. Embrace the body God gave YOU and work to make it the healthiest (NOT SKINNIEST) body you can.

Baby Steps: Think about one unhealthy habit in your life - potion control, lack of exercise, smoking, sugar, eat more veggies, etc. Pick ONE to concentrate on. When you have that under control, move to another area. My goal is to drink more water and less DIET COKE!!

Tips of the Day:
1. Fitness: Instead of watching your kids play at the playground from the bench, get moving with a game of tag, try the monkey bars, or take a ball to kick around.
2. Fact: "You are wonderfully made." Psalm 139:14 Yes, YOU MAMA! Don't just recite this verse to your was written to us all - young and old!
3. Food: A great new recipe from BH&G:
Roasted Sweets and Greens
2 Sweet Potatoes
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 garlic cloves (I use garlic already minced in the jar!)
1/4 cup hazelnuts (I have substituted chopped walnuts and pinenuts)
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup cider vinegar (I used Pomegranite vingear)

PREHEAT oven to 400 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet.
ROAST in preheated oven 15 minutes. Toss. Roast 15 more minutes. Sprinkle with garlic and nuts. Roast 5 minutes. Remove from oven ad sprinkle with arugula and cider vinegar.

Until next time....have a fabulous and fit New Year!!!