Wednesday, August 21, 2013

My Fitness Journal Post #1

Fitness. The ultimate goal. The seemingly unreachable goal.

I have a problem. Or I should say, I had a problem. I was a wimp. If exercise got too hard, I just plain quit. Why make yourself go through pain and sweat? It wasn't fun. It wasn't enjoyable. So, I quit.

Here's the problem with my problem: it's not good for me. I know, incredibly basic, right? It's actually a bit more complicated than that. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - a condition that essentially means my hormones are out of wack and my ovaries don't do what they're supposed to. With that, I am at a significantly higher-than-average risk for the following conditions:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Cholesterol and lipid abnormalities
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Severe liver inflammation
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
Fun list, huh? :/ The first time I saw this list, I just felt totally depressed. I felt like I was doomed or something. Also, one of the symptoms of PCOS is gaining weight inexplicably, and then having a really hard time losing it. So, the odds are against me. At the same time, I have a pretty strong motivation to be healthy and take care of my body. It's just not always easy.

There are so many do's and don't's when it comes to eating for PCOS. Don't eat anything made with white flour, anything sweet, corn, dairy (so some places say), soy. Eat hardly any salt, low carbs...and so the list went on. As I really investigated this back in 2011, it just felt unachievable. All of the things I was used to eating were now big no-no's. Even many fruits were not allowed. Add in the costs of eating this way, and it just made me more depressed. I wanted to be healthy, but it felt completely out of reach.

Fast forward to now. I am at the point right now where I just feel ready to make the changes. It is not going to be easy; there will be BIG changes with food and lifestyle for us/me. I love sweet things. I love carbs. There will be a lot to give up. But, I know I have to do this. I need to take care of my body the best way I can. Maybe I won't hit the magic number on the scale. Maybe I'll always be a little overweight. But, I have to do my best.

I am also learning with food (and life, really) that there has to be balance. So yes, I love sweet things. But just because something tastes good, doesn't mean it's good for me. Just because I really want some ice cream doesn't mean I should get some. I am learning self-restraint with food. It's really hard for me, but I am determined to win this battle.

So far, I've been working out at home with a military workout DVD about four times a week. When I started a few weeks back, I felt like I was about to die, and I wimped out multiple times. Today, I finished and only wimped out once right at the end. I am proud of myself. This hasn't come easy to me but I'm sticking with it. I also plan to add in one workout a week at a Crossfit gym with a friend. I am also going to potentially start going to a local Crossfit gym a few times a week (and phase out my at-home workouts) once I get into a rhythm with school.

On the food side, I am still trying to clear out my cupboards and freezer of "bad" foods, and then I plan to start changing our diet. I am also planning to do a lot of research on more specifics of what I can and can't eat, and also how to feed Selah with all of these changes. I expect it'll probably be a month or so before we are up to starting on the new way of eating. I am so excited to take better care of myself and eat healthy.

Anyway, I know this post doesn't really fit with the usual kind of stuff that I post, but I felt like it was important for me to have this "out there" to keep me accountable to my goals. If anyone has any low GI recipes that they've tried or other healthy recipes, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lessons

Tonight I just wanted to share a little bit about my journey surrounding this deployment and a little of what I'm learning. Bear with me if I'm a little disjointed - I am tired and have a lot of school stuff on my mind.

As we approached "6 months til see you later" last fall, it just became really hard for me to accept and deal with what was happening. I wrestled a lot with God at that time...a lot of tears were shed, feeling the lonely ache that would only grow stronger, and wondering why this had to happen. My husband had been gone so much in 2012, and while I knew deployment was a possibility long before that, I guess somewhere inside of me I was trying to deny that it would actually come. But, come it did...and with it came a whirlwind of emotions that I really didn't know how to handle.

One night in September as I faced another separation from my husband - this time for a month - I just wept, and if you know me, you know that I don't cry often. But that night, I couldn't stop the tears. What if something happened to him? How would I continue on with life as normal with half of my heart on the other side of the world? How would I be mama AND daddy to our little girl? Would she miss him? How would I deal with the incredibly suffocating feeling of loneliness when it was for a year instead of just a month?

So many questions.

Then, I set foot in a Christian bookstore - a random stop on a night when Selah & I went on a little date. The guy at the front of the store greeted me on my way in; it took all my strength to mumble back a "thank you" and not burst out sobbing. I felt so very alone, like no one really knew what I was going through or appreciated the sacrifice we were making. I kinda browsed around the front of the store, really just trying to focus on anything other than the overwhelming flood of emotions that I was feeling.

It was then that I first read these words:
{Today is consecrated to our Lord. Don't be sad, because the joy of ADONAI is your strength.}                                                                  Nehemiah 8:10
In that moment, I knew I wasn't alone. I knew God was with me. I knew He was weeping with me for the loneliness that I was feeling. And I knew, more than anything, that He would be my strength when I was not strong enough.

A few months later, we attended a pre-deployment event put together by an organization called Yellow Ribbon. Many different groups presented information over the course of two days, basically just trying to show us different resources available to us as we went through deployment. To be honest, I've already forgotten a lot of that info. But, one statement has stuck with me from that weekend:
"Deployment doesn't have to be a bad thing for your marriage."
Wow. Such a simple statement, but it really made me think. I knew our marriage was wonderful. I didn't fear that changing. I just feared the unknown. I feared the separation. I feared the war. I feared what it would be like to come back together as a couple with us having spent a whole year doing totally different things, apart.

Yet, in that moment, my Father reminded me that He brought us to this. He has been faithful to us through no income at all, a good income, a little income. He's been faithful when we've lived in nice homes and in very run-down ones. He's been faithful when our car ran great and when it broke down. He's been faithful when we've had no money in the bank and when we've had plenty. He has been constant amidst every change we have experienced, and He is worthy of my trust in this season too.

And so, I went into this deployment saying, "Father, I can't do this. I'm not strong enough. I need you. I desperately need you." I still had questions. I still had fears. But, I had found my Rock. And HE is the only way that I have gotten this far.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Little "Life" Update

I keep having all these random thoughts running through my head for a blog post, and since I've been way too busy to sit down and write a blog post for each idea, I figured I'd just mash all our little news tid-bits into this one post. :)

So, here's the latest happenings...

* I took Selah for allergy testing this week after she recently broke out pretty bad from our dog. The test was, of course, not exactly fun for Selah, but she did better than I expected (in part because they didn't do a blood test like her pediatrician had said they would). The test confirmed she is definitely allergic to dogs. Sad day. But, the allergist said that we can definitely keep Honey (our golden retriever), as long as she continues to stay outside.

Also, he mentioned a few other things...Selah is more at risk now for other allergies, including dust and mite allergies. Consequently, he said a house with no carpet would be best for her. Unfortunately, that is not an option, at least for now. (And, I don't know how I would do without carpet...I do not like wood/laminate floors! I may just have to deal with it though.) She is also more susceptible to asthma, so he recommended giving her the flu shot in the fall. :/ I definitely want to do more research in general about the allergy and then see where we go from here. If at all possible, I'd like to avoid the flu shot, but at the end of the day I want to do the best thing for Selah as well.

* We are now past the one third mark of this "season" apart. I am getting sooo excited about homecoming already!

* School starts Aug 19. I am excited about getting back into school, learning a bunch, and making some progress on my degree. I am nervous too though. It will be a big adjustment to go back to school after three years of "just" being at home. I have never done this with a toddler. How will I fit in the homework and studying? I just have some fears right now. But, I know we will make it work, and it will certainly help the rest of the year fly by!

* Random...but I sent my first care package today! :) I had sent a few while Caleb was in Texas, but this was my first official "overseas" one.

Ummmm...trying to think of all those other things I was gonna write. Lost 'em I guess. Til next time!