Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cravings Make You Do Crazy Things

Julia Child I am not.

Truth be told, I don't cook very often. Ok, that's an overstatement. I don't really cook EVER! Thankfully, the good Lord above blessed me with a hubby who doesn't mind doing the cooking (and he's pretty darn good at it). Once in a blue moon, though, I will walk into the kitchen for more than a snack. I will (dare I say it?) COOK. Did you get chills like I just did? (probably not).

Something has come over me recently. I've wanted to do some cooking. I chalk it up to my temperamental stomach. For the most part, I have been cutting out dairy and gluten or wheat. Apparently, my stomach is not too fond of either of these. With this being said, I've been craving Italian food like CRAZY! My cravings wanted a giant pile of cheesy lasagna, but my brain said lets try something a little less painful. I began my search for something to appease my craving for 'Chelle-friendly Italian food. My criteria was simple: it had to be something that didn't make me feel like I wanted to die after eating it; it had to be simple but tasty; finally, I had to have the majority of the ingredients on hand. I opted for a baked version of my second favorite Italian dish - chicken parmesan.

Many moons ago, Chas and I were on a weight loss program that we both had very good success with...until we got lazy and stopped doing it (I'm just sayin'). But I digress...This program came with a very expensive helpful cookbook filled with a lot of great-tasting, low-fat/low-sodium alternatives to traditional recipes. I decided that this would be the perfect place to start. Fortunately, there was a chicken parmesan recipe in the book. I liked the recipe as it was in the book, but I decided to make a few changes to it. For instance, I decided to use gluten-free tortilla crumbs instead of traditional bread crumbs. I also opted not to top the dish with cheese (I know. I know).

'Chelle's Chicken Parmesan Experiment
2 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 c. gluten-free tortilla crumbs
2 eggs
1 can tomato sauce
1 (or 3) dash of garlic
1 dash of oregano
1 dash of salt

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Pour beaten eggs into a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix the tortilla crumbs, garlic, oregano, and salt. Dip chicken breasts into tortilla crumb mixture.
3. Pour tomato sauce into the bottom of baking dish. Place battered chicken in bowl. Pour remaining tomato sauce over chicken.
4. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Unfortunately, I didn't think to take the picture of this dish, but it turned out so good. The chicken stayed nice and tender, and the tomato sauce and spices definitely satisfied my cravings for Italian food. This was my first time to cook with tortilla crumbs, and overall I was happy with them. It left a little bit of a corn-y taste to the meal, but nothing that I couldn't get past (and I'm a flavor person). This dish will definitely be one that I will make again (especially since Chas liked it). On the next go around, I think that I will blend some spinach into the tomato sauce to add some veggie content. I will also add some more Italian spices (i.e. PamperedChef  Parmesan/Garlic) to the crumb mixture. I will also consider topping with almond cheese, and serving over rice pasta.

I can't believe I'm actually posting a recipe on my blog. What is this world coming to?


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weeks 4-6 of Training

A note about blogging:
I'm breaking rule number one of having a successful blog - never apologize for your lack of posting because no one wants to hear it. I find myself apologizing a lot on here, but I'll just go ahead with it. My name is 'Chelle, and I am a slacker blogger. One day, I will be a super blogger, but this just isn't that season of my life yet. If you do still read, despite my lack of regular posting, I appreciate you and thank you for stopping by.

Now on to training!

Six weeks ago, Chas and I began this journey of training for our very first 5k. It has been quite a wild ride (or walk). Our training has coincided with our busiest schedule yet. Concerts, work, C5's homeschooling, holidays, head is spinning just thinking about it. After slacking a couple of weeks in the middle of training, I'm back and focused, and it feels so good!

I am finding that I'm suffering from a problem that I've had in the past, though. When I eat on my plan, I usually am so focused on my eating that I ten to back off working out. When I'm focused on my workouts, I start eating more off my plan. I know I need to balance and focus both of these components because they really are dependent on each other. You gotta have the right fuel to perform at your best! As I realize just how close we're getting to the 5k, I'm realizing just how true this is. Like everything else in my life, I'm a work in progress.

Week 4:
Week 4 (I'm sorry to say) was one of those slacker weeks. I only trained one day, but it was that group training day that really helped to get me focused on training and jump-started the next two weeks of training. I hit a big goal for myself during that training session by finally breaking a 20-minute mile (19:41).

Weekly breakdown: 3 miles in 60 minutes

Week 5:
Week 5 of the Couch to 5k plan called for 130 minutes of training over four days. I was only able to fit in three days of training. I definitely put our treadmill to use, which helped me with evaluating distance and speed.

Weekly breakdown: 4.6 miles in 101 minutes.

Week 6:
Week 6 was my best week of training so far! Pushing myself felt so amazing. I trained 5 days this week, mostly taking advantage of the treadmill in our back room. Some days I worked on speed, and some days I worked on time/distance. My shin splints did act up one day when I started bumping up the speed, but I made sure I listened to my body. When I felt discomfort (past the point of normal working out), I would back off to a more comfortable pace. Once the discomfort subsided, I would start pushing the speed again. I went back and forth like this for a while. Each time I found that I was able to go a little faster for a little longer period of time, and I didn't have to back off as much. At the beginning of the week, my natural walking pace was 2.5 mph. By the end of the week, that pace went to about 3.1 mph.

During today's group training, I actually ran jogged shuffled for a quarter of a mile. I don't know if I'll ever be much of a runner, but it felt pretty darn good.

Weekly breakdown: 8.60 miles in 219 minutes.

So here's my final thoughts on training...
Looking back over training, I'm really pretty pleased with my progress. I wish that I hadn't slacked on training or eaten junk that made me feel lousy, because if I hadn't I feel like I would be a little farther along toward my goal. I don't want to sit here and woulda, coulda, shoulda...I want to look forward and realize that with eating better and training consistently, I will be able to do so much more. I will be able to push myself just that must farther. I can't wait! As I was huffing and puffing while I was shuffling around the track in the freezing cold (yes temperatures in the 40's is freezing cold to this Texas gal), the thought popped in my head: I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Weeks 2 and 3 of 5k Training

What an adventure 5k training has been. Mostly the adventure has been finding the time to fit it in, but I will say I have been walking in some fun places too. Week 2 training was slow and steady. Week 3 training was a big fat flop. Oh well. We have to have those to make us stronger and better competitors, right?

So here's the breakdown for Week 2:
Week 2 started off our busy fall schedule with the TTM TX Throwdown for Haiti concert. At the beginning of the week, I was focused and determined on my training plan. By the end of the week, not so focused. While I managed to train for more time than the training plan called for, I could definitely see how I let my schedule and my lack of planning impact my training and eating. By mid-week my food intake was less on the healthy side, more on the 'do you want fries with that?' side. My sleep patterns were totally off (if you stay up til 4am, you are going to have to eat a midnight snack).

Here's where I really felt the slippery slope of not planning hit me the worst. On my second training walk at the track with our church group, I was running late so I didn't have my typical walking fuel-up: a rice cake with a tbsp of peanut butter and a tbsp of dark Karo syrup (hey it's my one and only way to enjoy this Southern goodness). Because I was running late, I ran out the door without taking a bottle of water. The night before the walk, I was running around and didn't eat dinner or drink anything (no water, no nothin'). By the time I got to the track, I wasn't feeling so hot. I started up my walk, and suddenly felt like I had a massive hangover from hades. My muscles felt like mush. My mind felt foggy. Everything felt awful. Then the words went through my mind, 'I should have listened to Caitlin's wonderful post on Healthy Tipping Point about cures for sluggish runs'.

I did manage to get in a great training walk with my walking buddy and a nice hike with my guys on my days off. We all have those weeks right?

And here's the breakdown for Week 3:
BIG FAT FAIL! I trained one day, and that wasn't even very good. I did a mile in 25 minutes, and I walked a quarter of that mile backward to take the pressure off my shin splints. For some reason, my shin splints do not like walking on the high school track. I can handle walking on concrete at the park just fine. I do great walking trails, but walking on the track is down right painful. Most of the time I end up walking the grass in the middle of the track or walking backward. I can't figure it out. Why don't my shins like the cushy track? I'm rebellious by nature, perhaps my shins are too...

Have a great day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

They All Fall Eventually

Vices. Old habits. Comfort zones. They all put up a pretty good fight, and when they die (and, yes, they can die), they die hard. Some whimper out, but some go out with guns blazing, holding on to every little foothold they can hang on to - but they all fall eventually.

This week some old habits came back to rear their ugly heads. Last weekend started a downhill slide for me in my fitness and eating routines that seemed to last the whole week. I let myself get too busy to plan ahead and then too tired to put up a fight against my cravings. A week later, I'm still paying the price for my lack of planning and shall we just say laziness, but thanks to my handy-dandy food/exercise/life journal I can see how all of this "busyness" has affected me and what I need to work to correct.

Here's 5 things I've learned about myself this week by looking back at my journal:
1. As spontaneous and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants as I like to think of myself being, my body really likes and needs routine - routine exercise, regular sleep patterns, and routine eating times.
2. Chelle + pizza + fast food = not friends anymore (no matter how hard I try) :-( Sad, but true.
3. Not drinking water makes me feel like I've been frozen in carbonite (How's that for a Star Wars reference? Yes, I'm a nerd.) Seriously, though, water is necessary for things to run right.
4. Not fueling your body properly when you are training makes you feel bad, which in turn makes you more likely to skip workouts or feel really awful when you do train. (Did I mention the training walk where I felt like I had a massive hangover and hadn't been drinking?)
5. Don't beat yourself up about what happened yesterday. Recognize what happened. Put a plan in place to overcome (sometimes that's realizing you have to set more doable goals). Renew your commitment to your goals, and resolve to do better today (better, not perfect. That's a whole other post).

I used to think that keeping a food journal was quite frankly one of the most annoying and boring things to do. However, I believe it is necessary for anyone who is trying to change their eating/exercise habits. It is a great way to look back at what is working/has worked to help you make progress toward your goals. A journal is also a great way to see what might be lacking or what needs to be eliminated. Working toward a goal is hard enough, being able to see what might be stalling your progress will help the process be less frustrating. Finally, a journal is added accountability, if you are willing to be honest with it and with yourself. It's looking yourself in the proverbial mirror and being able to say, 'I'm really doing this' or 'These were not good choices, but I'm going to change that right now!' Steps toward positive change everyday is what counts. Why not keep track of it?

"In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What A Weekend

Chas, C5, and I had quite a weekend. It was fun and amazing and uber (Chas' favorite word) busy. I love being busy most of the time. I like to be out and about doing things, as long as I get to be busy with my family. I was completely off my schedule, though, with eating. My stomach didn't exactly appreciate it, but I got through it.

I kicked off the weekend on Thursday night by making a Christmas ornament to give to my aunt and her new husband. They got married on Sunday afternoon, so I thought a Christmas ornament would be something fun. I've discovered this love for making ornaments, and this was the perfect opportunity to get back into it. Here's a picture of the ornament. Please ignore the messy playroom in the background.

Friday was a busy day and night. We were all over the place getting things ready for the TTM concert on Saturday. I did get to sneak in a little fun, though. A friend of mine had a Swag Swap on Friday evening, and it was so great. Not only did I get some good finds (who doesn't love cute free clothes?), I also won an awesome doorprize. The swag bag goodies were fabulous too! One of the goodies in my swag bag was a hair bow by Flirty Flair that I am totally in love with. It is so cute, and fun, and girlie. Of course, I had to sport it all weekend (nothing like standing out with a bright pink flower at a rock concert). It also helped me dress things up for the wedding on Sunday.

Saturday was quite the busy day! I started off the morning with a 5k training walk with the group from church. It was great. I intended just to do 20 minutes, but ended up staying an hour and walking 3 miles. Not too bad. I'll talk more about my training last week in another post. I learned some very valuable lessons.

After 5k training, I ran home to send the hubby out the door to get things ready for the concert that evening, and got myself ready to go out to lunch with my mom and sister. We had such a blast. I enjoy being with my mom and sister so much. Those two ladies know how to have fun and we always have a good laugh when we're together.

Saturday afternoon and night we spent at the TTM Presents: TX Throwdown for Haiti. It was such an awesome concert! Ten bands, lots of friends, and some rockin' music. We spent the evening rockin' out for Jesus and raising money for a wonderful cause (Hands and Feet Project for Haiti). It was great. C5 had the best time of all I think. At one point he was dancing and moshing (barefoot and shirtless). The boy loves his rock music and loves to dance. He cracks me up.

No time to rest on Sunday. We had church, and then we quickly headed to the other side of Dallas to go to my aunt's wedding. It was such a wonderful time. The bride was beaming and beautiful, and I love the fact that after the wedding they went bowling! I have a crazy big (or is that big and crazy) family, so every get together is something fun!

After a fun-filled, busy weekend, I was happy to have Monday off to spend with my two favorite guys.

Friday, October 8, 2010

You Gotta Think About What You Eat

My reasons for wanting to be healthy. Our day hiking at River Legacy.
My eyes were bigger than my stomach...or my cravings were bigger than my digestive issues. Whatever it was, I'm paying for last night's indulgence today. I won't lie. That Italian meatball casserole tasted oh so good, but about halfway through my second helping of the heavenly stuff the thought ran through my head, 'You really shouldn't have done this'. And by morning I was really wishing I hadn't.

I've always been the girl with the 'delicate' stomach and food allergies. They've done tests on me, attributed most of my stomach issues to either stress or allergy issues, and then the possibility of IBS (that thing we don't like to talk about in mixed company). I love food, particularly fast food. If it comes in a paper sack out of a window and I can purchase it 24 hours a day, chances are good that I'm going to like it. Most of my life I just ate mindlessly, indulging my cravings without regard for how it was making me feel.

About 8 years ago, after going on a hospital-supervised diet program, I had a horrible attack of food allergies. In a two month period I was taken to the ER three times because of allergy attacks linked to food. I had overloaded my system so much with pre-packaged diet foods whose primary ingredients were cheese, tomato, and mushrooms, the three foods that I was most allergic too. They were also some of the ingredients to my favorite foods - pizza anyone? Another food I tested positive for having an allergy to was wheat. Did I mention my second favorite food is bread? For a year, I took allergy shots and avoided these foods as much as possible. I lost quite a bit of weight and felt much better. After the year was over, I started reintegrating these foods back into my diet. Some foods bothered me and little "allergy patches" would pop up on my skin if I ate too much, but I got to where I would sometimes ignore these (I know. I know. Not a good thing.)

While I was pregnant with C5 (was this seriously 6 years ago?), my food cravings were those allergy foods. Amazingly enough, I never once had an allergy attack while I was pregnant. My food allergy issues seemed to be over. Yes, I had uncomfortable stomach issues occasionally, but I continued to eat my way through these.

Flash forward five years, and I'm back to having stomach issues. This time it's the kind of issues that I can't just ignore or mindlessly eat my way through. For the past three weeks, I've begun tracking everything that goes in my body, comes out of my body, how I feel, how I exercise it, what my stress level is...If it happens to me or around me, I'm documenting it. This is helping me see patterns of what foods to avoid, my pattern of eating, and the progress I am making. Yes, I'm actually making progress. Some of the highlights include: going 4 weeks without soda, exercising more, trying new and healthier foods, and not be afraid to prepare vegetarian meals.

All of this is a process. Sometimes I will have moments of weakness. Sometimes my cravings will be bigger than my digestive issues. But I'm feeling better, and I'm seeing a vast improvement in my health. Rome wasn't built in a day (sorry for the cliche), and my health/weight didn't get this way over night. There's no magic quick fix, and I'm not going to let that get me down. I am going to go out there and make positive changes every day, and I know in the end that this will be better overall.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Week One of 5k Training

Week one of 5k training is in the books. Last week Chas and I decided to start training for the YMCA Turkey Trot 5k. Chas and I have talked about doing this 5k for the past couple of years, but since it's on Thanksgiving morning, it has been difficult to make the time. This year we decided was the year to tackle this challenge. Having a group of friends from church training for the same event really helps. We're generally following your basic couch to 5k plan. Because of back and health issues, I'm going to be walking. I'm really happy with this choice.

Overall, the week of training went well. I approached the training enthusiastically. I know that I'm able to walk a long distance at a rather leisurely pace without being in too much pain, but I really have wanted to kick it up a notch by training for speed. The 5k training called for 3 days of walking 20 minutes. I knew that a 20 minute walk wouldn't be overly challenging for me, but I decided that I wanted to train for speed. The first two training days, I met a friend at the park to walk, and we maintained a 20 minute mile pace. I was happy to have this as a starting point. Today, we met with friends at the local high school track for an early morning training session. Instead of sticking to the 20 minute training walk my plan called for, I decided to take a 2-mile walk instead. I walked at an 18 minute mile pace, with a few stops in there for stretching and water. I was happy with my progress and can't wait to see how the next 7 weeks of training go.

This week of training gave me a good baseline to set my goals from. My goal is to finish the 5k in 1 hour, but I would like to finish in 45 minutes. Truthfully, anything under an hour will make me happy. This morning I learned that the route for the 5k has a lot of hills. I don't know how that will affect my time, but I know now that I am going to have to train at least once a week on hills to get my back and legs acclimated to the incline. Luckily, my folks live in a neighborhood with some major hills. I'm kind of wondering how pushing C5 in the stroller is going to go on the hills. We'll see.

In addition to walking, I've also been adding some yoga to my workout routine. Four mornings this week I did yoga (either for back or abs), and I can definitely see what a difference it has made. It helps keep me loose and relaxed, and also helps me recover more quickly from walks (especially that 2 mile nature hike we did the other day).

I'm excited about training for this 5k. I've had a lot going on with me health-wise, and having this training to focus on has really kept me grounded and cut down on the number of freak outs I know I would have had (so far only numbered at 1). I'll keep you updated on my training.

Have a great weekend!

Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty. Proverbs 21:5

Do you have any training suggestions about training for my first 5k?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Jump Off The Wheel Already

There's nothing like taking a month-long break in between posts right smack in the middle of blog series. Sometimes, though, you've just got to set your priorities and do what you can do. I love the saying, "All you can do is all you can, and that's enough." I find myself having to live by this in the organized chaos that is my life. There are days I find myself looking back at what I've done or what I'm in the process of doing, and I think 'Wow! This is kind of crazy.' I can easily find myself picking up new things before I consider how they will affect what I'm already doing. That's where sitting back, taking stock, and setting your priorities comes into play. All of this is to say, perhaps I should have considered what all was happening in my life before I committed to writing a series. However, since the series was on anxiety, I didn't let it stress me out to the point of triggering an anxiety attack ;-) Sometimes you've just got to jump off the wheel already and take a step out of the rat race. It's my desire to pick up with anxiety series over the weekend, and hopefully have it completed by the end of next week.

The last month has been quite busy in our corner of the world. Chas has been busy with Ten Talents concerts. We had five concerts in one week last month. Not all of them were our concerts, but we were either hosting them, promoting them, or just being fans. It seems like we've come so far over the past 6 months since we began Ten Talents. It has been such a learning process. Looking back, I can see just how God ordered our steps. It's been tiring and fun. This ministry is dynamic and alive, and is always changing a little here and there. We've been so blessed by it as a family and have met so many amazing people.

The other thing that had us all a-buzz was that C5 started kindergarten at the beginning of September. Let me just say that I can't believe my baby started school. Starting school for C5 was a big deal. Lots of prayer and consideration went into deciding where we would be sending him to school, and what we felt would be the best educational opportunity for him. In the end, Chas and I decided that a hybrid of homeschool and private school would be the best option for not only C5 but also for our family. I'm thankful that the Lord is giving us this opportunity, and that we live in a country where we have the freedom to make this decision for our child. I'll be writing more about our adventures in homeschooling in a later post... and it has certainly been an adventure.

Until then... Blessings!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bang. Bang. Recognizing My Triggers

Sorry All. Had a little bloggy glitch yesterday. Here is yesterday’s post.

This is my second post about anxiety. Today’s post is about how I recognized the triggers of my anxiety.

The turning point for my anxiety came when I began to realize that there had to be something triggering it. After my trip to the ER at 2 am, I went to my primary care physician for a physical. Even though the doctors in the emergency room had given me a clean bill of health, I still wanted to make sure that my heart was in good order. Can you say paranoia from anxiety?

My primary care doctor was wonderful. She ran a regular battery tests, even an EKG which was perfectly normal. All of my tests came back NORMAL. For being overweight, my numbers were great. How could this be? I wasn’t sleeping. I was physically in pain from the tension. Before I left, she looked at me and said, “You’ve got to cut down on the stress. I can tell it’s eating you alive.” We talked for awhile about my stress levels and how I was managing it. I had to admit that I can be a bit of a stress junkie. I like being in the middle of things and being busy. My new job and being a wife and mom were certainly helping me with that.

But what was triggering my anxiety? It couldn’t just be stress, right? I had to find the answer, and I knew just where to find it - my journal. I had started writing in a new journal when I started my new job. Since my anxiety started around that same time, I knew there had to be some clues in there about my mood and what I was feeling around the anxiety attacks.

Another source of helping me identify my triggers was my wonderful family and friends. Some of them had suffered with anxiety and were able to help me in my quest to identify the cause, and some were just willing to listen to me talk about it. My wonderful hubby, Chas, was always there to help me.

There began to feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel. I wasn’t just suffering these anxiety attacks night after night. Now I was facing them, accepting that I had them, and trying to find out what the cause was. That in itself, helped my anxiety level come down.

As I started to think about my anxiety attacks, I recognized two things right away that were common fears and feelings that I felt during the attacks. The first thing was that the anxiety always started at night - in the dark. The second thing I realized was that my health was always one of those fears that was at the forefront of my mind. I believe the anxiety about health started with the onset of the anxiety attacks because my body just felt so out of whack.

I also found two more things during this discovery period that I felt might be triggering the anxiety attacks. One things was what I was watching right before bed. Some of the shows were less than positive and were not helping me calm down before bed. The other thing I thought might be a trigger was what I was choosing to snack on before bed. With our crazy schedule, sometimes we were eating greasy fast food before bed or fattening snacks. This choice of food right before bed was hurting my stomach which was making it difficult to sleep.

As I examined my anxiety and triggers, I could see it was a vicious cycle of crazy/stressful schedule, eating unhealthy food while watching negative tv shows, not feeling well and not being able to sleep, anxiety about my health. Now I had somewhere to begin.

Check back tomorrow as I write about how I counteracted the triggers of my anxiety.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aaahh...I'm Not Crazy, It's Just Anxiety. Right?

I'm going to write about a topic that I really haven't tackled since I started on this adventure we call blogging. It was a topic that I have written about personally in my journals and shared with some family and friends. The topic is anxiety. This week, I have felt my anxiety issues flare up a bit, and thought that instead of taking to my journal and getting through this anxiety, I would write about it on my blog. Initially, I thought this would be one post about my anxiety. As I began writing about this subject, I realized that one post would just be way too long. I have broken up the post into a series of posts for readability.

For a little over two years now, I have dealt with anxiety. When it first started, the anxiety hit me really heavy - kind of like a piano falling on my head. For weeks, I had problems sleeping because that's when my anxiety would kick up. Apparently, that little hamster running on the wheel in my head didn't like to sleep at night. Thoughts would race and race through my head. One minute I would be peacefully sleeping, the next minute I would be lying there completely paralyzed with thoughts of fear and doubt running through my mind. My anxiety seemed to be worse at night because I actually had time to slow down enough for everything to hit me and come crashing down on me.

This affected me for weeks. I couldn't sleep through the night. My muscles were cramping and tightening making me feel like I was having a heart attack or stroke. I actually had Chas take me to the hospital at 2 am because I was convinced something was wrong. The ER doc passed me with a good bill of health (except for needing to lose some weight) and treated me for a pulled muscle in my neck. The more my anxiety would bother me, the more my body would react to it. The more my body would react to the anxiety, the worse the anxiety would get. On top of all of that, the start of my new job coincided with the onset of this anxiety.

At times I thought I was going crazy. The darkness seemed to envelop me. How could my job be so high-paced and busy during the day and yet I still wasn't sleeping well enough at night to keep anxiety away? I didn't know what to do. Anxiety attacks night after night were really beginning to take their toll on me. I didn't know where to begin. Would I ever get over this anxiety? What was making me this anxious? Would I ever sleep through the night again? There had to be some sort of relief somewhere.

Check back tomorrow as I share how I recognized what triggered my anxiety.

Friday, July 23, 2010

And Your Host Is...ME!

Last night I was given a really great opportunity. I got to be guest-host of the Worship Lounge! I had so much fun with it.The Church Chix are some really talented musicians. They have a heart for serving the Lord and for leading people into an amazing place of worship. Interviewing the Chix was great because their testimony as a band just came out naturally and really added to the experience for me as someone in the audience. Which was exactly what I was hoping for. I believe that people are more apt to hear and believe in Christ when they see how He has changed and worked in the lives of someone else.

When I started preparing for my hosting duties, I started thinking about what type of questions I wanted to ask the bands and about what the audience would want to know about the band and their music. I'm one of those nerds who sits out in the audience wanting to know why the band wrote that song or how they get inspired. I'm more Behind the Music than American Bandstand. Here are the questions that I asked:
1. How did the Church Chix come to be a  band?
2. What musicians or bands have influenced your sound?
3. What is the one thing you want people to take away from hearing your music?

I wanted to keep things simple so that they actually did more of the talking than I did. It's easy for me to get caught up and do LOTS of talking (no it doesn't just happen in my writing). I wanted to make sure that they had the opportunity to share their faith and how it shapes their gifts. I thought simple questions would give the band an opportunity to elaborate without me over-directing the interview.

Not only was this my first opportunity to host the Worship Lounge, it also coincided with my first day of participating in Justin Wise's Big Ask Experiment (yes, it's a k). The experiment is about having the courage to go after the "big ask", but not just going after one "big ask" but 30 - one a day for 30 days. Some asks may be bigger than others. Some may push you out of your comfort zone and some may make your askee a little squirmy, but some of the "big asks" just might take your life in a direction that you never imagined but will love. As with everything, I think this experiment takes some faith, some boldness, and discernment.

For day one of the Big Ask Experiment, my "big ask" was my hosting duties at the Worship Lounge. This was something that was new to me and out of my comfort zone...and it was done in front of a crowd of people. I got a lot of positive feedback from the experience, and it was definitely something I would love a crack at doing again. I don't know where God is leading all these experiences I've been having lately, but I know He's leading and wherever it leads will be greater than I could have ever imagined.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

High Seas Expedition and A Few Other Things

Last week was a busy one around our household. C5 and I participated in our church's VBS and Chas was prepping for a Ten Talents Ministry concert. Initially, I had good intentions to keep up with my blog for the week and had five interesting (ok interesting in my opinion) entries planned to post. Like a lot of good intentions, it just didn't happen that way. VBS took a little more of my time than I had thought it might, which is good. Sometimes you just have to be flexible and roll the with whatever comes your way. It seemed like blogging would be a distraction from what I needed to be doing, so I decided to give it a little break. I love writing. I love blogging, but my blog is meant to be documenting what is happening in my life - not be my life.

Vacation Bible School was wonderful! Me, 35 children, and about 30 volunteers went on a High Seas Expedition for part of the week. It was so fun! For the past four summers, I have volunteered for VBS duty. Usually, I teach crafts in the preschool area. This year I decided to work with the elementary-aged children. In the past, I worked with C5's age group so that I could be there with him and all his friends to keep an eye on them and to be a familiar face for them. I decided that since this was C5's last year as a preschooler, I would work with a different age group so that he could explore and be taught by someone other than mommy. The first night he was not happy that mommy was not on his parrot team, but in the end it worked well because he really had a good time and probably listened and participated more because I wasn't there. 

On the last day of Vacation Bible School, Chas was getting ready for a TTM concert. We had such a great time. Manafest, DJ Drue Mitchell, and Planning Yesterday all had such amazing performances. It's great to get to be apart of the concert planning/ministry process. It's amazing that this has been our reality for the past 4 months. It has been quite a whirlwind, and we have learned so much through it out. It's amazing to see the groups and musicians out there just trying to find a place to play and share their love for Christ through their music. God has blessed us immensely during the process and has opened so many doors. I'm excited to see what direction this ministry is moving.

Speaking of concerts...I am the guest host of the Worship Lounge this week. Our regular host, Rev. Ryno, has decided to step back for a bit and focus on his street ministry. He did a great job hosting, so I have some big shoes to fill. I'm really excited, though, and maybe even a little nervous. Of course I love being on stage, so it will be a new and fun challenge. The Lord has really blessed me these past few months by opening doors for my writing and doing design, and by allowing me to host the concert. I have had to learn a lot and have had to get past some of my insecurities (yes, I actually have a few of those). I just have to be willing to trust that He knows what is best and follow Him through the open doors.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Varied Life, Varied Blog?

This week I'm raising the bar high for me and my blogging. I have five ideas for blog posts that have been rumbling around my brain for the past week or two. Some posts I could rattle off without even breaking a sweat. A couple of posts will require a little more thinking and research on my part, but I'm anxious to write them. Of course, I probably have chosen the craziest week to be ambitious with my writing since I've been off work for a week, I'm teaching VBS this week, and then we have a Ten Talents concert to get ready for on Saturday. It will be a busy week, but I am up for the challenge.

I have been giving a lot of thought to my blog lately. I have been thinking about where Living Life Without a A Net fits in the scheme of the blogging world. There are a lot of bloggers blogging about blogs (say that 3 times fast) and how to get more traffic and subscribers to them. They all seem to agree that too much variation in a blog pretty much relegates your blog to having your mom and your best friend to be your only readers. Basically, these bloggers suggest finding a topic that you can commit to and become an expert on that topic. As much as I understand this concept, I also realize this is not my nature. My interests and my life are so varied, wouldn't it be natural that my blog would mirror that? Don't get me wrong. There is a place for specialty (rocket science, brain surgery...just to name a few). However, my life probably fits more in the category of  'jack of all trades,  master of none'. I'm the kid who decided to chase the butterfly instead of finishing my homework just to see where it would take me. I'm the girl who couldn't choose a college major because I found them all so interesting.

I have always enjoyed writing, but I became interested in blogging when I started reading my friend, Monika's fitness blog - In Training. Her blog encouraged me to start my own blog. At the time, I was about to start a new eating and exercise program, so I jumped on the healthy living blog bandwagon (and have since fallen off that wagon more than a few times over the course of this blog's life). As I've gone back over my blog, I have come to realize that perhaps healthy living isn't actually my niche in the blogosphere. Living Life Without a Net is just that - it's a blog about living my kooky life. Sometimes I eat healthy and exercise, and sometimes I just want a hamburger or a bananasplit. Sometimes I want to write about the exercise I did today, and other times I would much rather write about the goofy things my kid did instead. I'll be honest. I just can't commit to one thing, because I'm so much more than one thing. This is just a blog about me and my varied interests. Sorry to all those blogging professionals out there.

So I'll end this post by writing that there are so many random things that will pop up on this blog from time to time. For instance, this week (if I can get all of these entries written) you will see some aspects of my job, some healthy living stuff, and probably some more stuff about my goofy kid (I just can't resist it). My blog is as varied as my life is. What can I say?

This one's for you, Mom!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend Recap

Pic of C5 with the sister and brother-in-law

This weekend was a busy one. Sometimes staying home is busier than being out and about. Our weekend busyness began on Thursday night with Worship Lounge and a goodbye dinner with the sister and brother-in-law :-( After spending some time in the states after being in England for four years, we sent them off by eating at where else??? Taco Bueno (it's the sister-in-law's fave). Now they are in Guam for four years. We never really had the opportunity to make to England, so I'm hoping we will have a chance to make it to Guam now that the dude is a little older. I know we will certainly miss having them around since we've gotten to spend quite a bit of time with them over the past two months. Until we can go visit, I'm sure we'll be doing plenty of online chatting to make up for it. In fact, I think I will surprise the hubby with a webcam this week. A belated b-day present.

Friday started with a half day of work. You can never can tell what work is going to be like on a Friday. Some days I'm doing my best not to fall asleep at the computer, and other Fridays the half day goes by quick because I'm running around doing so much. This Friday was kind of busy. I had a friend stop by to chat for awhile (that's the joy of working in a church office), and I finished up some things for Sunday morning. The afternoon was a tad more relaxed. Chas, C5, and I did a little shopping and then came home in time to take a little rest before Movies Under the Stars. During the summer months, our church shows a movie outside on the lawn on the last Friday of the month. This month we watched Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. It really was a very cute movie. It had the vocal talents of one of my favorite actors, Bruce Campbell.

Does it ever feel like staying home is actually busier than if you were out doing something instead? On Saturday, I decided to tackle some of the clutter in our house. With two pack rats and a semi-pack rat (the hubby will deny this is him), we tend to collect a lot of clutter. I won't lie. I contribute to this clutter collection quite a bit. Mostly with paper. Lets just say, I probably have a rain forest worth of paper in our house...most of it on top of my desk, in boxes under my desk, around my desk...You get the picture. C5 collects his own clutter. As a 5 year-old, everything he finds usually ends up a "treasure" to bring home. This Saturday, I tackled two of the biggest problem areas in our house - my GIGANTIC pile of laundry and C5's room. After 8 hours of cleaning, I managed to get all of my laundry done, weed out a ton of toys that the dude has outgrown, get rid of treasures that really are just junk, and take clothes out of his rotation that don't fit anymore. I had no idea that those two things would take me 8 hours (with a few breaks in there), but at the end I was pretty happy with what I had accomplished. There is so much more to be done. More rooms to go through, more clutter to be tackled, but it was a good start. It has me pumped up to keep going.

We ended the weekend with church (our usual Sunday activity), and by celebrating the 5th birthday of one of C5's friends at a local water park. The water park was fun! The birthday party was fun! The aftermath of spending 4 hours in the sun was not so much fun. Ouch! The hubby says he feels more extra crispy than original recipe. Poor guy :-( He kind of looks like a lobster. C5 just got a little pink but not too bad. Of course, I received my standard sunburn of the forehead, cheeks, chest, and shoulders. In a few days I will be good as new, and people will again be basking in my pastie white glow. Praise the Lord and pass the aloe!

That's my weekend. What did you do? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Birthday C5!

Yesterday my baby officially turned 5. I can't believe he's 5. I know. I know. Parents always say that. One day that little baby you were holding becomes that grown up having kids of their own. Okay, so C5 isn't a grown up with kids of his own yet, but it doesn't take long. As a parent, there are days that feel like they will painfully go on forever (like that day I brilliantly thought C5 would enjoy the art museum) and days that we wish would go on forever (like the the day that he conquered climbing the rocks at his park). There's the things that they say like their first words (Momma for the record), the things they say that you wished they'd never picked up from you (yes, he got what the hell? from me), and then the goofy things he says that just make me laugh like "Momma you're freaking me out like a green bean". The frustrating moments of being a parent are quickly and overwhelmingly diminished by the happy moments, and there have been so many of those.

I fell in love with that little boy the moment I heard his heartbeat and saw him on a sonogram. We were connected from the moment I knew I was carrying him in my belly. He was on my schedule from the get-go. If I was awake and moving around, he was active in my belly. If I was asleep, he was sleeping. Before he was born, he loved Johnny Cash and loud action movies - just like his momma. Then came that day that C5 came into the world to an audience of family - a daddy, a papa, a meemaw, a great aunt, a cousin- and a host of medical staff. We fought hard that day - 24 hours to be exact - but that day I realized two things about my little boy: 1.He was a fighter. 2. He was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

And in 5 years it has been an exciting adventure. There have been so many sweet memories in 5 years. I love that my kid's favorite foods are the foods I craved when I was pregnant. He is a picky eater, and it is so funny to see him make this funny face when he doesn't want to eat something. He loves Mummy movies, Indiana Jones, treasure movies, and Star Trek. C5 loves treasure hunts and doing just about anything outdoors. He loves the big kids at church and is right at home there. He loves meeting "rocket stars" aka rock bands that come perform for Ten Talents concerts. He tries to draw God and wants to know more about Jesus. The boy can move too. Watching his interpretive dance (and that's all you can call it) is so hilarious. If he isn't dancing front and center at concerts, then he making laps around the concert because he just seems to feel the music. C5 is fiercely independent and quite stubborn, but he is always curious and likes having someone around all the time to play with. He is full of life and adventure, unique and creative. He does things his own way, which as a parent can be a bit perplexing, but it's fun to see how his mind processes things. I hope that those things that make him so special don't change because they make him so much fun. I hope that they evolve and grow as he does.

Happy birthday, C5! I am so thankful for you, and I love you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Do you ever have those days when you need a little inspiration - a little encouragement to even do the things that are part of your normal routine? Today has been one of those days for me. Keeping my brain focused on a task has literally been a challenge. Couple that with a quiet day at work, and that leads to an even bigger challenge...not taking a major face plant into my keyboard or at the very least drooling all over myself. 

I've been thinking a lot today about the "c word"...No it's not that c word. The one we dread the most - CHANGE! I know there a lot of changes coming for me - mostly in our ministry and growth in general. I can feel that season coming on. And I'm pretty happy with that. The unknown always makes me a little nervous (ok maybe a lot nervous), but I'm excited to see what might be coming. God has this amazing way of bringing together pieces of a puzzle that I might not have thought to put together, but He has this way of making them fit together perfectly. I'm reminded of something I wrote a few months ago for a Lenten devotion for the church - it's great to have a heavenly Father who always has His eye on the big picture. It makes the thought of change a little easier knowing He has it all under His control.

One of the biggest changes I have experienced is the change from being just me to being C5's mom. Back then the thought of being a mom was so foreign to me. It wasn't something I ever pictured myself being. Now it's something that I couldn't imagine not being. I am so thankful that God blessed me with this rambunctious beautiful ball of energy who is a picky eater, loves rock'n'roll concerts, and dances like nobodies business. Now I get to watch him grow and change. This weekend we will be celebrating his 5th birthday. He's about to start school and every day I am amazed by all of the things that he learns and the things that he says (like "Momma, you're freaking me out like a green bean!" or the time he looked right at me and said "Momma, you are so beautiful. You're my best friend.)  I know C5 will keep growing up and one day momma won't be his best friend, but these are the times I will always cherish.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Big 3-0!

This is a picture of me with the guys from Seventh Day Slumber and Kiros. That's my hottie hubby on the end in green.

Yep! I did it. I turned 30. I have heard from many a brave lady who has gone before me into that unknown territory of having a 3 in front of your age. Each one had their own experience - some sad, hysterically tearful, or blissfully happy - so I wasn't quite sure what I thought turning 30 would be like. Age is just a number, in my opinion. Because I had older parents, they always lived out the idea that you are as young as you feel. Therefore it was no shock when my 65 year-old father came home with the kit to build an airplane, or when my mom went back to college at the age of 66. You can have adventures at any age, so I was looking forward to turning 30.

And did I turn 30 with a bang! On my birthday we had a Ten Talents concert scheduled, so I knew that I would be busy...too busy to think about getting older in case I had a mental meltdown about turning 30 (you never know what those wacky hormones are going to do). I didn't have much of a choice about wardrobe since I was going to be working with the Crew (Yes! Rock'n'roll roadie on my b-day). I decided to liven things up by painting my nails hot pink, wearing hot pink shoes, and throwing my hair up in pig tails. I had one goal in mind for the day: Not to act my age! Be careful what you mention on Facebook, it just might turn up! About half way through the day, one of my wonderful co-workers brought me a hot pink feather boa! It was fabulous! It went perfectly with the outfit. Flash forward a few hours, and I was jamming front and center like a kid listening to one of my favorite bands, Seventh Day Slumber.

Overall, the day was wonderful. I even got to have 2 more birthday celebrations after that day, but turning 30 at a rock concert was fun! The concert was great. Seventh Day Slumber, Kiros, and gravity liberation front are all bands you need to check out!

Summer Time is Here

I've been such a boring blogger lately, but it seems this is only the case on my blog. I've been contributing and maintaining the TTM blog as well as another blog. My healthy living plan took a bit of a back seat between Mother's Day and Memorial Day, and now I am really paying for it. I think I've written about it about a million times, but when it comes to health I seem to be my own worst enemy. I know what makes me sick to eat - physically ill/doubled over in pain if I eat too much of it, and here I am chowing down on it like I know it's not going to eventually catch up to me. HELLO CHELLE! I know better than this, yet I fall into that same trap of my own making. I don't saboteurs. I am my own saboteur. Arg! The positive point to all of this is even though I'm back to square one, I don't have a choice about what I eat. I really have to be careful or I'll spend months instead of a few weeks trying to get my system straightened out.

Summer is here - at least the temperatures suggest that summer is here. There is just something about summer that screams nostalgia. The start of summer for me is the first time that I see a firefly. We don't get as many since we live in the city, but I still love sitting on my parents' porch swing just as the sun is going down and watching the fireflies dance around the backyard. I used to sit on that swing for hours listening to the lake, feeling the warm summer breeze, and watching those fireflies. Now I enjoy sitting on that swing watching the dude chasing after those bugs-whose-butts-light-up.

Isn't it sad that we spend half of our lives (well half of my life at this point) looking forward to summer vacations - 3 months off to sleep in, go on vacation, have a carefree schedule and then one day you wake up and realize that summer is just another day to wake up and go to work. Oh well. I still love the warm weather and all the things about summer that let me remember my childhood. This summer is going to be a busy one with all of the Ten Talents concerts that we have planned, but I hope I can sneak in a few fun days at the pool and maybe even a road trip.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 1: 10-Day Fitness Challenge 5/7/2010

I started a 10-day fitness challenge today (technically yesterday). It started on a Friday, which at first I thought would be difficult for me since it's Mother's Day weekend. I thought about it a little more and realized Friday is just a day like any other day - BUSY - and this weekend is just the same as any other weekend - BUSY. I realized that at this point in my life, there will never be a "perfect-heaven-opening-up-angels-singing" moment for me to take on a fitness challenge. I'm going to have to just make it with I've got and do my best. If I give in to some temptations along the way, so be it. I'm not going to just quit and give up. This challenge is a great way to jump start the workouts I'm already doing. I'm excited because the bulk of this challenge is online for me. I can check in with my accountability, log my calorie intake, log my exercise - all while I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off (my normal state of being). Ember is awesome! She is really encouraging and knows great ways to fit exercise into a hectic schedule. Another plus about this challenge is that ten days from now will be 5 days away from my 30th birthday. What a great birthday present to myself - working out/getting healthy/feeling great! I can't wait.

So enough of my blabbing. Here are the details of the challenge:
  • Drink 72 oz of water everyday
  • Count every calorie that goes into your mouth
  • 10 day challenge - 10 days of working out - plan ahead!- include push ups in every workout
The hardest part of the challenge for me today was drinking the 72 oz of water. I must be part camel, because I don't drink much. It's not that I drink other things instead of water. I just don't drink much period. So getting all 72 oz was tough. I really had to think about it, and consciously make myself drink a glass of water. Will it ever not hurt my stomach to drink so much water is what I want to know? Guess it is one of those things that I need to get used to.

Counting calories was probably the next biggest challenge. Who really wants to know the calorie content of the cheese burger they just ate? We haven't been to the grocery store this week, so I'm trying to use what I've got and either making healthy dishes with what I have or reducing the serving of the not-so-healthy stuff. I stayed in my calorie window as determined by, but it really wasn't the greatest food. Breakfast and dinner were pretty good. Lunch was another thing. My girlfriend brought me lunch from McDonalds. I was in a hurry, so I just chose the hamburger Happy Meal with a diet coke. Not the greatest choice in the world, but it did keep the calories down. Someone was also kind enough to bring us some cake. Wasn't that sweet of them? I gave in and had a small piece. I'm just happy I didn't devour it like I really wanted to ;-) I did pass on one temptation, though. Chas and I went to go do a ticket giveaway for the ministry on Friday night. The church we went to had pizza for the group. It looked and smelled so good, but I passed. I opted for a plain ice snowcone instead.

While I'm on the subject of counting calories...can I just mention that there is a national chain of fast food restaurants with a meal deal that you would probably think was healthier because it's smaller portions - Ok I would think that because it's smaller portions. I went to their website and realized that that one meal from a few days ago was my entire calorie count FOR THE DAY! The moral of the story is, look before you eat.

Here are my stats for the day:
  • drank 72 oz of water
  • took in 1667 calories
  • 30 minutes of yoga (outdoors)/20 crunches/10 push ups

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

O-R-A-N-G-E Orange!

What's that fable about not pleasing people all the time. Today kind of felt like on of those days. Except like I couldn't please anyone. Oh well. Some days are like that, but pardon me if I take this little blip of blog space to rant a bit. Tune out now if you would prefer not to read my rant. Go ahead. I won't hold it against you. My lack of "pleasy-ness" began this morning with C5. Let me back up and explain that C5 is a very picky eater. It's in the genes. My dad is like the world's pickiest eater. So C5 has the usual kid favorites - chicken nuggets, spaghetti, etc.etc. This is not from lack of trying on my part, but he is Mr. Stubborn and in the end it really just turns out that I'd rather make things he is comfortable with than fight with him. However, I decided this week that I am going to add one new food for him to try once a week. My rule is that if he doesn't like it, he doesn't  have to try it again, but he does have to try at least one bite of it. If he doesn't like it and can give me a reason other than "I just don't like it because", I won't make him eat the rest. I'm ok with that. Some parents may call that giving in, but it works for me. This morning I decided a fresh orange would be our first food of the week to try. We've tried oranges in the past, but he wouldn't even put them in his mouth. I cut up 3 little cubes of orange on his plate with his waffle. He eyeballed it and about had a freak out because it was even on his plate. I got that calmed down, and told him just to worry about the waffle and then he could try one bite of the orange. Let me just tell you that this turned into a 45 minute ordeal. After much screaming and crying - mostly on my part - just kidding- he finally tried one bite. This was after gagging repeatedly because his delicate palate wasn't sure it could handle a sliver of orange the size of my thumbnail. In the end these were his words: "It tastes like orange juice, but I don't like it. It's slimy like worms." Oh well. You win some. You lose some. I'm just glad he tried it.

Speaking of trying something new...well not exactly new but something I haven't done in a long time. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to the park tonight or not, so I decided that I would find a workout video to do from home before work. Working out before work doesn't usually work for me too well, but I thought I would go ahead because I didn't want to miss a workout. I'm already two days into the week and this is my first workout of the week. I dug through my videos and found a goofy aerobic dance video done by Paula Abdul from back in her popular days. As cheesy as the video looked, I was surprised to find the workout so challenging. It was good, though. I was able to keep up with it for the most part. I could definitely tell it has been awhile since I have done any type of dance other than belly dancing. 45 minutes of dance and my legs are screaming tonight, but that's a really good feeling for me. It lets me know that I actually did something good for my body. I don't know if this video will become a regular part of my fitness rotation or not, but I'm sure I will slip it in there occasionally for a little variety.

Tomorrow is going to be quite the busy day. It is National Day of Prayer and Worship Lounge. We are joining both events at our church this year, so I'm praying that everything goes as planned and runs smoothly. We'll see tomorrow. I will probably start the day off with some yoga to help get me loose since I know I will be running all over creation. Hopefully, it will bring my stress level down a bit too. With that I say good night.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Fork in the Road

My big 3-0 birthday is right around the corner. Just a few weeks to be exact. I love birthdays! I always have. Probably because I have always been surrounded by people who made them extra special for me. I'm sure this year will be no exception to the excitement factor. From Mothers Day til the end of June, our family indulges in full-on celebration because of multiple birthdays and holidays. You just can't beat it. This year I'm pretty stoked because I get to be a runner for Christian rock band Seventh Day Slumber who will be performing as part of the Ten Talents Presents monthly concert series (insert plug here: Tickets are on sale NOW!). A pretty fun way to spend my 30th, if I do say so myself.

So you're probably asking yourself, "Self, what does this have to do with a fork in the road?" Well weight has always been a struggle for people in my family. Whether it be the high blood pressure/Type II diabetes issues, or the roller coasters of dieting, weight issues have been prevalent for the majority of  people in my family. Obviously, I am no exception. I've never been tiny, but I was healthy. Around 24 I started gaining and gaining weight - 280 at my highest. Now I'm around 240. My blood pressure is in check, and I haven't had Type II issues, but I'm sure if I keep going this way it will be lurking around the corner for me.

As I approach my 30th birthday I keep thinking about something my dad used to tell me : "Missy, if you don't lose this weight by the time your 30 it will get even harder to lose and you might not lose it at all." Well here I am, 2-1/2 weeks from my 30th birthday and 100 pounds over weight. I feel like I am standing in the middle of this road and I have a decision to make. Either I will continue down this path of being a fast food junkie, or I will take my health into my hands and get down to the business of getting healthy. Over the years, it has seemed that I will take a few steps down the healthy road, and then BAM! I'm right back on the unhealthy road because it's my comfort zone - it's the thing I fall back on because I'm busy. I don't want to live that way, and I especially don't want C5 to live that way (or worse have to live without a mom because I haven't taken care of myself).

I thought the actual eating fork in the road was appropriate for this post. My faith is a huge part of this journey, and I keep thinking about a verse from Matthew 7 that says, "The gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it." If this journey was easy, everyone would be doing it.  I am worth more than wasting away in a vat of fast food disgustingness, and my son and my husband are worth more than that. They are worth me being my best. Living my healthiest, best life. I know that in my heart and my mind knows what it takes to be healthy, so why is it so difficult to commit? Why is it so hard to turn your back on something you know is KILLING you? How many times does my logical mind have to say it before the rest of me believes it and takes a firm step (not a willie-nillie try) toward getting healthy? 100? 1,000? 1,000,000? How many times til I'm really ready to make that change?

So here I am at the fork.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

FUN is the Name of the Game

This week has been mostly spent recovering from last Sunday's concert. It was TTM's first ticketed event, so I knew it was going to be a crazy day. Even though it was crazy, it went really well. Chas kept things in good order, which meant we only had a few surprises. While we didn't sale the amount of tickets we had hoped, this concert was a learning experience for us, and propelled the ministry on to the next big event in a little less than a month.

After a long and busy day Sunday, I just didn't feel up for doing much of anything exercise-wise on Monday. My body was still sore from running around/lifting/climbing/etc, that I just felt like giving myself the day to relax. I know. I know. It's an excuse, but I'm really trying to learn to listen to my body, especially when I need rest.

Tuesday I had the day off. A day off for me usually means working at least a few hours. I know, it's a sad ailment, but it keeps me from having anxiety about whatever I forgot to do. I couldn't have picked a more beautiful day to take a day off. It was a perfect spring day. Chas, C5, and I went to the park for a walk. C5 is a great workout buddy for being 4. Dare I even say, he is sometimes more encouraging than my adult workout buddies. We tried the para-training course that the park has, and it was so much FUN! C5 tried everything with me. He did pretty well. His age and me being over weight kind of puts us on the same fitness level when it comes to that type of course. That's what made it FUN! Each station is a tenth of a mile from the next, so after we finished a station, C5 and I decided to race to the next one. It worked out really well for me because it was an easy way to jog half a mile. So I ended up jogging about a little more than half a mile and walked about a mile. Of course, after our workout, we had to do a little playing at the playground. Needless to say, C5 was sleeping good after our day of fun at the park, so was mommy.

So now that I've been working out more, I really haven't seen much budge in the scale. I'm feeling great, but I'm not really losing any weight. I think it's time to find a balance in my eating and my exercising. I think I'm probably exercising enough to keep from gaining weight, but not enough to lose weight. It's a little frustrating, but I'm happy to be feeling better. It makes me want to eat better.

I have two questions: 1. How do you find ways to eat healthy on a budget...a really slim budget?

2. Do you ever find that you've grown beyond your workout buddies? Maybe you have different goals which might be holding back what you want to do. How do you deal with it?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Spring at the Park

Howdy Friends and Neighbors! Today was just one of those days. You know...those days that all of your plans fly completely out the window? Well that was today for me. I knew when I had to unexpectedly had to take my son to work with me, and when I got to work there was someone waiting outside for the office to open that my plans were pretty much done for. That's ok. God tends to work that way in my life sometimes. Sometimes I think it is His way of letting me know that all that "busy work" that occupies life doesn't really matter if I'm not tuning in to what He wants for me to do. So all of that to say that today was a little off kilter, but in the end it turned out quite nice.

After I dealt with all of my surprises, I went to lunch with a dear member of our church who wanted to bless me with a lunch out for Secretary's Day (I personally prefer secretary over administrative professional). It was at my favorite Chinese food restaurant. I had my favorite entree. I enjoyed my "good fortune" and as soon as I got back to work, promptly got sick. Nothing wrong with the food, just a little too much for my sensitive stomach. When am I going to learn that get my cravings and my stomach on the same page? It all goes back to balance. I drudged through the rest of work and dragged myself home. I really wanted to use this as an excuse not to meet my walking buddy at the park for a walk, but I decided I didn't want to give up that easily. I met her at the park for a 2 mile walk. My legs were a little sore from last night's walk/jog/rock climb. It felt good to get those muscles loosened up. I didn't really feel up for trying much running, but I did manage to do a tenth of a mile. I still don't think running is ever going to be something that I truly enjoy, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to be able to do it ;-)

On a funny note, every night that we meet at the park, there is an ice cream truck that drives around the entire park - taunting us. It's kind of ironic for me as an ice cream lover, but now I've just learned to laugh at it. The park's beauty out weighs my desire for ice cream.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ready. Set. Go!

Today I did something that I haven't done in a long time - I RAN! Today my friend and I met at the park for one of our walking meet-ups. It's a little hard to do with two 4 year-olds, but we usually get in at least 1-2 miles in every time we walk. It might take us a little longer since we have the kiddos, but it still is a pretty good distance.

Most days the kids are willing to keep walking with the promise of playing on the playground , but today the dude just didn't seem to be able to keep his interest in our walk. So to change things up a little bit, I raced with C5. It was so much fun. Our path is about .40 of a mile, so we raced for about a .10 of a mile, walked for .10 of a mile, then raced another .10 of a mile, and so on. We did that about 5 times. For my marathon-running pals this isn't much at all, but for this 240 pound gal, it really is alot. I had fun doing it too. Playing with the dude didn't feel like exercise. It felt nice to be able to run.

I really haven't been much of a runner. Even when I was in shape, running really wasn't my thing. I prefer exercise that doesn't feel like exercise - yoga, dance, walking. Running/playing chase with the dude might just become a new addition to my workout...maybe dare I say a new running routine?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Up Next: The Amazing Balancing Act of Misschelles

Ladies and Gentleman, if you will look to the center ring, you will see a woman desperately trying to balance on a tight rope...WITHOUT A NET!

We're halfway through the 4 concerts in 2 weeks line up. We have a few days to breathe and to plan, but it is going to be such a busy week. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. This will be our first big concert. We are expecting 700-900 people. My learning curve for the concert ministry has been fairly steep, but it has been so much fun. I'm getting to do a lot of things that I never really thought that I would be doing or that I would be doing again. I am finding some things that I love doing, some things I want to get better at, and some things that I hope I get to continue doing. Whoever thinks following God is boring, they have got be out of their mind. God has been leading me on the greatest adventure. Sometimes a little wild, but always exciting.

This week I think balance is going to be my biggest challenge. I sat down with my paper (yes I still use paper for my to-do lists) and pen and started writing out what I would need to do for the week ahead. Finding balance has not exactly been my strong suit. Keeping a list will be important and maximizing my time will be imperative.

It is so easy for me to get caught up in what I'm doing that I forget about other things. I find myself living in an imperative/optional world. The things I am doing are either imperative and have to be done or optional and can be put on the back burner. At this point in my life, there is very little that falls in the middle. I learned this weekend that some of the things that I consider optional, are really kind of important to the hubby. When you live a busy life, I think it has to be important to have open communication with your family and realize what is important to each person. Your imperative/optional list is not just your own when you have a hubby and kiddo. So I'm in the process or reevaluating and adjusting my view.It's a process and a journey. I'll get there eventually.

Friday, April 16, 2010

And We're Back

Living Life Without a Net has been on a hiatus recently. Taking a little break while I'm writing for the TTM Presents blog. Truthfully, I was happy to have the TTM Presents blog come along. It was writing with a focus and purpose, and it gave me a chance to start writing again.

As much as I enjoyed writing my own blog, I just started feeling uninspired. Looking back over previous entries, it's kind of like Living Life Without a Net had multiple personality disorder. One minute it was a fitness blog. One minute it was flabby and lazy. Kinda like me I suppose - always into something but rarely settling into anything. I would find myself excited about getting healthy, and then I would get caught up in my busy schedule and the vicious cycle would begin. So when Ten Talents Ministry came along, it was a refreshing yet very busy addition to our family's life. It has allowed me to use some gifts that I never thought I would be able to put to use again. Last night at the Worship Lounge, Rev. Ryno encouraged everyone to use their gifts for the Lord. I'm excited that I am in a place where I am able to do that. My prayer now is that I am able to balance it all. I'm pretty good at juggling, I just don't want to lose my focus.

So that brings me back to my blog, and how it is a blank canvas that can go anywhere - just like life. Will I ever be a fitness goddess? Probably not. I just want to be healthy. To have the energy to chase after my kid and to do all of the fun stuff that comes along in life. Will I run a marathon? Probably not. That's not really my style. That's what I think being fit and healthy is. Finding what works for you and making it your own.

So my goals for the next week are to walk at least two miles three days a week and to not eat fast food more than one day a week. Yes, they're small, but that's what works for me.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Snow Days!

I really planned to blog more regularly. I did. Really. I did blog more...just not for my own blog. (Check out the wonderful work on the Ten Talents Presents blog. If I do say so myself.) The Ten Talents Ministry is something that my hubby, Charles, and I are passionate about and have really been throwing most of our energy into these last few weeks. We are seeing some really exciting results. God has been so good to us opening so many doors.

Now if I could just be pumped up to have this much energy for getting back on track with my eating and fitness plan. I have realized over the past weeks, that I really need to get myself exercising and eating right again because I really need the energy to keep up with everything. My back has been bothering me again, but thankfully walking, lunges, and marching have helped to keep it loose. A few laps of that every day and I'm feeling pretty good. Hopefully, I can get some pounds off and get the pressure off my back. I've found that even just a few pounds make a big difference. I know eating better would really help this...but that's for another blog.

Well last week the DFW area had record snow fall. I never thought I would tell my son stories about walking up hill in a foot of snow in TX (and it actually be true!). I happened to be working in a building that had no water because of a water leak, so I had to trek to my house next door in A FOOT OF SNOW to use the bathroom. Walking in snow really works the leg muscles. Making snow angels in the snow and throwing snow balls works the arm muscles too. Chasing Charlie in the snow really burns calories . Overall, my winter weather work out was fun and challenging.

Here are a few pictures from our Winter Wonderland!

Charlie playing in the snow. He absolutely loved it!

Charlie and Mommy being goofy for the camera.

Me walking to work in the snow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm trying blogging on the go now. It's obvious that I've been a bit behind on posting to my blog...mostly because I am constantly doing something. If it can't get done on my phone sometimes it just doesn't get done. Well this year I decided that I really wanted to make an effort to keep my blog more up to date. Thankfully, google was kind enough to add a mobile option to my blog.
To catch up from where my last entry left off... I have been working a lot at the church. While administration is mostly my area, I've had a lot of opportunities to get more involved in ministry. It's nice to work with a group of people who are willing to not only listen to my wacky ideas, but are also willing to try a few of them. More to come soon.