Day 36 – The Home Stretch

1 Apr

“And He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficent for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I glory rather in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in privations, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10


Well, it looks like I have almost made it through.  These last thirty-six days have been a real adventure.  I’ve cut out my processed and refined sugars and carbs and have survived a 1200 calorie/day diet.  My body is feeling clean and happy.  Without going into unnecessary details, those of you that have a clean system can appreciate the experience of everything running smoothly and efficiently.  🙂

My weight has remained fairly consistent, although, my clothes are fitting properly again.  I will be going to see my Naturopath today to discuss next steps.  I’m actually surprised at how pleased I feel without losing tons of weight – the decision to start feeding my body with better fuel makes a huge difference in my body-image.  I am ready, now, to start the weight-loss process.  I am still unsure which road I will take, but I know that these forty days of learning self-discipline through a closer dependance on God was the hardest part.  Although I didn’t particularly pray every time I sat in front of a box of Timbits, I attributed my ability to decline that sugary goodness completely to God. I know he has given me self-discipline in this area and will continue to give me the power to resist putting things into my body that are not beneficial.  36 days ago, if I had been asked if there was anything God couldn’t do, I would have answered, “He can’t control my eating.”  Now, I have nothing to say to that question.  I have tested the power and faithfulness of my Heavenly Father and, just like the Bible says, He proved Himself.  Unfortunately, the best way to increase trust and dependence is to be in a position where I am rendered helpless.  If I never put myself in this state of deprivation, I would have continued to doubt God’s strength in my weakness.  Afterall, how can the truth of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 be experienced if I refuse to let go of my control and present my weakness to Him?

As I reach the end of my journey, I am feeling simply thankful.  I felt all the prayers of both my moms and dads and everyone else who was alongside me in this and I am so thankful for the heavenly strength i was given to develop the foundation of a lifestyle of wise choices.  I’m thankful for friends who texted me and gently reminded me to blog, who sent little notes of encouragement, who made concerted efforts to apologize when bringing junk food to a party and who asked me how I was feeling along the way.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to live in Burlington where there are so many options when making good choices.  I’m thankful for Brad, who prayed with and for me almost every evening, and supported me by taking the same journey and cleaning out his eating patterns, as well as consistently reminding me that he loves me the way I am at any given time. 

I have already downloaded an extension pack of my “Zombies, Run!” app, and will be starting my yearly habit of working up to running 5km.  This will be my last blog, but I will still enjoy sharing my progress with you.  Please feel free to keep me accountable as I continue to make healthy lifestyle decisions and depend on God for strength in my weakness.  


Thank you all, again, from the bottom of my strong and efficiently-running heart!  😀 

Day Thirty- The Three-Quarters Mark

26 Mar

Sorry and thank you to those that have gently and sweetly reminded me of my lapse in consistent blogging. I may favour daily blogs as little as I favour not eating chocolate cake.

Anyway, I’m officially at the 75% mark in my journey- the home stretch!
-I’ve lost a total of three pounds in the last four weeks (so those of you worries about me losing too much, you can sleep at night).
-My clothes are definitely fitting better!
-I’m feeling really good about my self-image (which usually happens, no matter what size I’m at, if I’m taking care of myself).
-I’m *kind of* getting used to the process.

I’ve had a lot of people asking me, “What’s next?” and I’m still not sure. However, I’m sure it will involve an increase in my caloric intake and an increase in cardio.

I’be been thinking a lot lately about really re-examining my thoughts on food, after finding out (the hard way) how difficult it is to rip myself away from the assumption that ‘because there is food, I will eat it- and lots!’ I need to find a way of being able to maintain a healthy lifestyle without a constant feeling of deprivation. Some people will say, “well, you just need to choose to NEVER eat bad food again!”, but I feel that’s unrealistic. There are a lot of GOOD bad foods and the prospect of a life of salad and fruit is, quite frankly, depressing. I like the idea of having a certain time or amount of “cheat or treat” times, but am worries about fuelling my sugar cravings. I will be talking to my naturopath about this, but am interested in some other ideas as well. Am I doomed to never eat Rolo ice cream again? Must all my girls’ night outs be fruity and gluten-free?

Day Nineteen- The Den of Gluttonous Iniquity

15 Mar

Nothing to report today, except for another small win in the discipline department.

I took the kids that I babysit to the movie theatre today to see “Escape From Planet Earth”. Pretty cute. I realized that a lot (most, even??) of my excitement in going to the theatre is the thrill of justified candy. After all, I’m at the movie theatre- I can’t watch a movie without nibbles!! I’m still constantly amazed by the habits I’ve formed- habits that only appear plainly as I break them. As a treat, their mom allowed them to get lunch at the theatre, and I ended up sitting beside a half-eaten piece of pizza and a bag of candy. I quickly ate (and enjoyed) my salad that I made earlier that day and focused on the full feeling that I had afterward. I didn’t NEED to finish the pizza or eat some of those candies!

Day Eighteen- Discipline with blog-writing… Not so great.

14 Mar

Well, this is the part where I sheepishly admit that maybe a blog a day is a little ambitious. Given my busy schedule, finding the time to blog *every* day is sometimes impossible, especially since I can only effectively blog at the *end* of each day. Also- some days there’s just nothing to say…

Anyway- my last weigh-in at the beginning of this week reported me back up to the same weight that I had been too weeks ago! I had successfully gained back what I lost during my first week! Needless to say, I was frustrated. However, after I finished cleaning up the glass from the broken window that I threw the scale out of, I did some quick praying and breathing and remembered the support and love of my back-up team. With a downhearted but resolute spirit, I decided to keep going, regardless of this setback.

This week has been amazingly easier than the last two. I’m starting to gain a better attitude with eating better. Today, I got some samples of protein shakes from a friend and am looking forward to more breakfast smoothies. 🙂

The weekend is coming up and I am looking forward to finding some yummy recipes to replace the junky things that I enjoy so much. Can I possibly get frozen yogurt, and only have an amount that fits within my calorie count? Not sure if I’m there yet, but I will be halfway on Monday and have, to this point, stuck to my guns and have eaten wisely and carefully.

Still going…

Day Eleven- Daily Posts Are More Difficult Than I Anticipated

8 Mar

Well, it’s been a little while since I last blogged and look- I’m past the 1/4 mark already! The end of this week will mark the end of the first two weeks, supposedly the hardest of the journey. I’m just concerned about the weekend coming up- that’s the hardest. These past couple of days, I have been daydreaming of chocolate bunnies, ice cream and donuts. I’m not sure why this deluge of deliciousness has hit me at this point, but I guess I’m starting to look ahead to the end and visualise the maintenance of my healthy lifestyle. What’s it going to be like? Will I never be able to Ben and Jerry’s it up with my sister again? No Tim Horton’s tidbits? Only chicken breast, quinoa and veggies? The prospect is disheartening. I keep wishing that I could talk to my body and figure it out…
“So self, what the heck is the deal with your metabolism?? You know I’ve been eating clean and low-calorie, as well as exercising for almost two whole weeks now, right? Where are my results? What do I gotta do??” There are so many diets and supplements and program’s out there- books and DVDs, all telling me the “right way”. Is there really only one right way, though, or is everyone different?
On the bright side, I am enjoying a clean system- no bloating, more energy, better sleep and more consistent moods. I like the feeling of being in control of my cravings and making good decisions to take care of my “temple”. I’m loving this challenge and the rewards (both material and immaterial) of completing a week successfully.
I can hear all you out there saying, “Christa, it takes time. Nothing happens overnight. Stick to it and you’ll see results.” I know, I know… I just wish there was some pound results. Now!!! NOW, Self, THIS WEEK!!! I need to remember this isn’t about a number on the scale, but obedience. I am being obedient by eating well and moving more. I’ll just hang onto that. It always takes a few weeks with me… I just want to hang on until then. If you read this, send me a “smiley face” and I’ll know you’re behind me in this. I think I will need it next week.

Thanks!!! 😀

Day Eight – Week Two, Commencing.

4 Mar

Well, it’s the first day of week two, and I am feeling good.  I cannot tell you how thankful I am for everyone who is posting comments, emailing or texting me their advice, encouragement and support!  Seriously – you make this so much easier for me!  I was emailing a friend today and mentioned that every time I feel like giving up or cheating, I think of you guys and I’m encouraged to keep going.  I love the advice, especially, because it really makes me feel like we’re in this together – but the encouragement, love and prayers are a genuine necessity sometimes. 

I would like to announce that last week, through following my plan, I successfully shed 1.5 pounds.  I know this may not sound like much, but for a girl that’s used to gaining or seeing no results at all during the first two weeks, this is really encouraging.  I enjoyed treating myself and Brad to a used receiver that he is picking up, even as I write.  One of my treasures is a set of my dad’s speakers that he used when he was young.  I swiped them, in my usual stealthy fashion, and have told their story to everyone who doesn’t ask.  They’re SO special to me.  Unfortunately, I have had problems with the receiver (for you uneducated in electronicspeak, that’s the box with dials and switches and a power button that you hook your speakers and sound cord into) for the last few years and, despite even an overhaul by the local Wizard of Electronics *insert Audio Avenue plug here*, fuses still blow and switches still fizz and sputter.  So, hopefully a receiver that’s in “great shape” will fix our problems and once again restore the sweet audible nectar of my Dad’s speakers and my iPod to my music-starved ears.  Needless to say, I’m excited.

This afternoon, I took the proverbial plunge, and suited up to run outside.  No, the lack of calories have not led to a fat deficit that is causing my brain to think it’s starving and start sending pieces of gray matter to my stomach for necessary nutrients; I just really didn’t feel like running on a treadmill today.  The gym was only joined because it’s non-contract – only a temporary measure until it’s warm enough to run outside.  Everything was going well.  I was assigned a mission to run back to my helicopter that had crashed a week ago and salvage any tools or materials to bring back to the base.  Runner 8 came with me who, although is still suspicious of me, makes good company with her bluntness.  Then, all of the sudden, a pack of zombies came up from behind and I had to run.  That’s when my lungs started to feel the burn of the cold air.  This burn, even though it was uncomfortable, was not debilitating and I was able to keep up my sprint to successfully evade the zombies.  I walked for a bit after my sprint and then resumed a light jog, which I was able to maintain for a few minutes at a time.  Two more mobs came after me during the run, but I had the energy to outrun both of them, thankfully.  I returned home with many supplies and a little bit of wheezing, but feeling quite good!  I looked up the distance to the gym and found that it’s a mere 3.4 kilometers – a short and easy trek, and then I can cool off with a nice swim!  I’m feeling very excited about my plan!  😀

So, as week two starts, I’m excited for the opportunities that I will experience and the lessons I will continue to learn.  I don’t think I would be in this place without your accountability or God’s faithfulness in blessing obedience.  The 1.5 pounds lost is great, but I’m kinda enjoying the experience of pushing myself and trusting God in an area I thought I could never get under control.  Step by step, day by day…


P.S.  If you’re interested… 

I promise you won’t be disappointed.  🙂


Day Seven – No, Your Computer Hasn’t Eaten Days Five and Six

4 Mar

Well, if I’m going to falter on any part of my plan, I’m glad it was only missing a couple days of blogging.  To my credit, this type of blogging is difficult, because it really has to be done at the end of each day, and some days we’re just fighting to get into bed when we can.  But, for those of you hard-liners out there, I know – no excuse, and I apologize.  I cannot tell you how difficult this weekend was.  I’m finding out that, like I wrote about on Day Four, my range of justification eating is virtually innumerable. 

Friday night: “It’s been a long week, I deserve a treat tonight that doesn’t involve lots of effort and results in lots of tastiness.” 

Saturday morning: “Going out for breakfast! (BEST THING EVER!!)  Eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausage, pancakes and coffee!!! Family bonding defined.” 

Saturday afternoon: “Mmm – lunch on the run while doing errands, we just don’t have the time to go back to the house and COOK!” 

Saturday evening: “A great night of babysitting!  Running and throwing kids around has definitely burned off calories – couple pieces of pizza and cupcakes?  Yessir!  What’s that?  Eat whatever’s in the fridge, you say?  Make yourself at home, you say?  Well, you’re paying me – I’d better oblige!”

Sunday morning: “Crap!  Only 13 minutes to get ready for church!  Quick – grab something… anything!”

Sunday afternoon: “Fellowshipping Baptist style – going out for lunch together.  Also, we want to get to know other young people in the church…  Fast food it is!”

Sunday evening: “The last shot before a week of work.  We just want to relax… and eat… without doing anything… and eat GOOD food…”

I’m sure you can understand.  This weekend was difficult in that I was confronted with so many choices that I make out of habit which usually result out of laziness.  Friday night was especially painful because I have created such a concrete lifestyle choice of rewarding myself with food.  After all – it’s usually cheap, effortless, delicious and best of all, no one can judge me for materialism if all my rewards are eaten!  CHRISTA FOR THE WIN!  Unfortunately, *this* Christa is looking to lose.
I went home this weekend and was so encouraged by my parents and sister, who always make such an effort to support me.  This felt good, because I know I am fueled by the encouragement of loved ones, but I’m starting to see the bigger picture here – this is a change in lifestyle.  If I had not made a choice to start this journey, I would have never been forced to examine the automatic justifications that happen completely subconsciously.  Sometimes you have to strip yourself down naked to see what needs to be stripped away underneath.  (Awkward analogy, but uncomfortably appropriate at the same time)

Anyway, I’m going now to open my reward present from Momma Potter and am sooo thankful to my family and friends who prayed and supported me through this first week, but *especially* to my Heavenly Father, who carried me through. 

Here’s to week two!!

Day Four – Tyranny of the Craving

1 Mar

Today was a fast-paced and full day of work and socialising. Everything was going well until that terrible time of day, late afternoon/early evening when I find myself most tired and lazy. I had just returned from the gym after a great workout and relaxing sauna and shower, but very little time before my new friend, Tabitha, came over for dinner. With my new meal plan, I have very little in the house and all of it requires dicing, stirring, boiling or cooking. I had NO motivation. So, I decided to go to the grocery store to find some easy answer. On the way there, I realised all I could think of was junk food- a pizza, Chinese food, wings- anything to avoid cooking. I even began to start the justification process: “I’m having a guest over.” “I don’t have time.” “I’m exhausted after working a full day and then exercising.” Before starting this journey, only one of those would have to be said, and I would immediately give into temptation. There was no conversation, no alternatives, just justification and junk food. It takes WORK to be healthy and make the right decisions; being healthy doesn’t just happen.
So, after offering up a quick prayer, I set my mind on a baked chicken. I walked in the grocery store, beelined it to the chicken, past the pizza and paninis, and got out of there faster than a… well, you know. I ended up making a delicious (I thought so) mushroom and chicken sauce with rice (for my guests) and green beans. It was wonderful, and not THAT difficult!
Moral of the story? Easy is not always best, but great doesn’t always have to be hard. As a treat, Tabitha brought me one of the sweetest grapefruit I remember eating! And you know what? I felt pretty darn good about my decision to be healthy!
Another successful day!


Day Three – Obedience vs. Human Values

27 Feb


Today, in my devotional, Lisa TerKeurst talked about finding your success in the right accomplishments.  She encouraged her readers to find worth and value in living a healthy and balanced life as an act of obedience towards God, rather than the numbers on the scale.  This is not a new thought to me, but I was hit with the realization that this is an act of obedience.  Sure, I came up with the idea and developed the plan with my Naturopathic Doctor, but this isn’t an original idea.  To cite 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 again, God has already told me I need to take care of my temple, so this journey is just answering his call by getting my desires under control and developing discipline.  I feel so silly.  Here I am, the GREAT AND MIGHTY CHRISTA, forging ahead into land NEVER TREAD UPON BY ANOTHER FOOT to explore CHARACTER BUILDING and LIFE-STYLE CHANGING… and I see God ahead of me, smiling patiently and pointing me in the right direction that He’s known all along.  Oops.  Thankfully, my heavenly Father is both patient and gracious and I know He’s chuckling to himself at my GREAT EPIPHANY, loving my enthusiasm while shaking his head knowingly at my audacity.

Another interesting point that Lisa brought up was the second verse in James 1 that says “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind.”  She made a really solid point about the moments when you’re choosing a salad over a burger and fries as being a genuine trial.  Although this kind of trial can’t possibly be compared to the death of a loved one or a great grief like that, anyone who struggles, like me, with choosing the healthy foods over the carbtastic foods can *definitely* shout an “amen”.  Brad’s probably really thankful, because I’m avoiding restaurants as much as I can during these 40 days.  Right now, a Tim Horton’s is pretty much interchangeable with a den of iniquity, for me, and for Brad, it’s just a great way for him to save money.  Win-win, right?  Anyway, the whole point of that was to say that when I am in a moment of temptation, it’s not going to feel like joy, but I have to consider that fact that I have the opportunity to make a choice that glorifies God through my body and mind as joy.  If only my tempting moments were personified as lurching, drooling zombies and, instead of having to give up a donut, I could just defeat temptation by nailing all of those suckers, right in their grotesque, half-decayed heads.  A girl can dream…
This week feels as slow as molasses in January (inevitably, all my metaphors and similes are going to involve food, so don’t judge).  Today is going much better than yesterday, though.  I used my time this morning to clean the house and spend time catching up with some dear friends via text.  Both gave me a real sense of accomplishment.  On another bright note, the scale numbers have been consistently decreasing.  Now, just in case you think I have forgot, I’m not as proud of the numbers as thankful for the fact that your prayers and heavenly strength has brought me through three whole days of good eating and exercising.  My spirit is feeling sweetly satisfied, while my poor stomach aches every once in a while. 
I have decided to make a change in my goals.  After exercising at the gym both Monday and Tuesday, I am tired and my muscles are fatigued.  Brad mentioned he thought five times was a bit much and I agreed, especially since it’s been so long since I’ve *really* moved.  It’s not going to be good for me if I push myself too hard.  So, I am going to aim for exercising 3-4 times a week, and this will ensure I have a rest day in between workouts.  
Tonight, I am going over to my neighbour’s house for dinner and I will be bringing a salad with me.  She has kindly agreed to modify my dinner so that I have no carbs.  I feel silly having to specify these needs, but my friends and family are so sweet and sensitive and are making it easy for me.  Thank you!!! 

Day Two – Zzzzzz…

27 Feb

Today was not so easy, but I made it through! I am feeling really tired and VERY hungry and am craving chocolate fudge cake and rolo ice cream. However, I went for a walk/run and said “no” to my cravings. Tonight, Mom and Dad Potter graciously cooked us a wonderful, low calorie meal with no dessert!! Mmmmm! Thank you all for your accountability and prayers- I can’t do this without you!

So tired… To sleep, perchance to dream of chocolate and ice cream…