Friday, March 24, 2017

160.4

I weighed in on Wednesday at 160.4.  

I'm up a bit from last week, but not by much and I'm still finding my groove.  
I had lost a good amount in the first few weeks and am not surprised that there was a change this past week.  Part of that, no doubt, had to do with delicious celebrations of St. Patty's day....so many Reubens.  :)  


I'm drooling just thinking about them.  

But I'm still working out on a daily basis and logging my food. On days that I run, I have been stretching more than I used to and have been doing a 10 minute strength/cool down routine.  I also plan on adding some simple body strength exercises after each working.  I'm thinking squats, burpees, and planks.  I'll keep you posted as to how this goes.  

I don't have much else to post today...just the numbers to keep myself accountable.  

Until next week.  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Meeting Jesus at the well? Unimaginable!

March 19, 2017
3rd Sunday in Lent

Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 95
Romans 5:1-11
John 4:5-42

Please pray with me,
Lord God, you kept Abraham and Sarah in safety throughout the days of their pilgrimage, you led the children of Israel through the midst of the sea, and by a star you led the Wise Men to the infant Jesus.  Protect and guide us now in this Lenten journey, open our eyes to see and our hearts to experience the unimaginable love you have for all your children.  In Jesus’ name we pray, amen. 

The gospel of John is all about knowing Jesus.  It’s all about knowing about Jesus through stories and the opportunity to see Jesus as the light of the world in our midst.  It’s all about knowing God’s unimaginable love for us through the relationship God has with us in Jesus Christ.

This passage is deep.  Not just because it’s at the site of a well, but because of the length of conversation, the depth of conversation, and the outcome of the conversation. 

Last week we heard the interaction between Jesus and Nicodemus.  This week we are invited to come and see the interaction between Jesus and the woman at the well.  The two stories have their similarities and differences.  Nicodemus, a man, comes to Jesus under the cover of night.  The interaction at the well is with a woman, in broad daylight at noon.  Both individuals question Jesus and take a guess as to who he is and both are a bit confused. Jesus shares more about himself and Nicodemus is still uncertain and leaves the scene quietly. 

The woman, on the other hand begins to wonder, he can’t be the messiah, can he?  And she runs into town, leaving her water jug behind and tells everyone, “Come and see!” 

Too often when this passage is heard, we get caught up in why the woman was at the well at that time of day.  Noontime would not have been the time to get water from the well.  And when Jesus says to her, “you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband.” Imagine, just imagine, Jesus speaking pure truth to you.  As he talks with this woman, he tells her that he knows her and her history.  It does not come off with a tone of judgment, but rather as understanding and just knowing. 

While we do not know the woman’s history, think about a person in our day in age who may have been married 5 times….and who knows why those marriages may have ended, death, divorce? In any event, that is 5 broken relationships, not a happy place for any man or woman to be.   So for Jesus to state this truth back to her is, for me, the deepest part of this passage.  It’s the moment when Jesus looks at her, sees her for who she is, and loves her in spite of who she is. 

That, my friends, is unimaginable. 

Her response, too, comes as a surprise.  She leaves the well, to tell others, to “come and see!”  It’s a deep awakening of faith and she cannot keep it to herself.  It’s one of those moments that can only be described at a God moment.  In that moment…her heart is transformed because of God’s love for her.  (Oh to have a moment like that…on that we can only shout about.)

It’s not a moment of confession and forgiveness, it’s a moment where God’s love breaks in and wins the day.  It’s a moment where a woman, is seen for exactly who she is and is loved anyway. 

Each week as we gather in this place, we begin with words of confession and forgiveness. I know, I just said that the meeting at the well was not a moment of confession and forgiveness, but for us, that is a time each week when we are about to see ourselves for who we are...children of God, simultaneously sinner and saint, created in God’s image, imperfect, nonetheless.  When we are able to see ourselves as who we truly are, we become aware, if just for a brief moment, how Jesus sees us. 

Jesus sees us and knows us: our past mistakes, our imperfections, the times we have been hurt and the times we have hurt others.  The times we have been ignored and the times we have ignored others.  In those moments, when we are at our weakest, when we Jesus can see us for who we really are that Jesus says, “I love you.” 

It’s unimaginable. 

The love God has for each and every one of us reaches farther than we can comprehend, deeper than we can fathom and encompasses all of God’s creation. 

It’s unimaginable. 

It’s a love that wants us to be the best that we can.  It’s a love that a parent has for a child, a love that never runs out.  It’s a love God has for us because God is in relationship with us through Jesus Christ, and wants the very best for us each and every day of our lives. 

It’s hard to put into words, hard to comprehend, it’s unimaginable. 

Let us pray,
Good and gracious God, You want for us only good things and yet sometimes we have a hard time accepting your gifts and being the people you have created us and call us to be.  Help us to let go of those things that hold us back, remind us of your unfailing love, your unimaginable acts of love and grace and create in us the hope and courage to accept that love, share it with others and live into the future you have created. and may the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and let all God’s people say, amen. 



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

159.8

The numbers continue to go down!  It's an exciting place to be.  

Again, I know it's not just about the numbers, because this past week I started to feel like I was loosing weight.  My pants have been fitting easier, which is a bonus :) 
I think I'll notice the weight loss before others, because I seem to know my body best.  At some point, others will begin to see it as well, and that will be helpful to have moral support.  

In other news, I am seeing a difference, too in my demeanor.  On days when I workout first thing in the morning, my mental focus seems sharper and I feel like I'm in a better mood in general.  That could be endorphin related and the fact that by the time I get to work, I've been up for a few hours and am caffeinated and nourished and ready to begin the work day.  

In any case, it's positive reinforcement for myself to get the workout in first thing in the morning.  

This week, with a snow storm yesterday, I was able to get a 6 mile run in Monday morning, with a headlamp and the light of the moon.  :) I played in the snow and dug out my car yesterday.  This morning, I made it to the gym.  With actual winter weather this week, I am thankful for a warm place for my morning workouts.  

Oh, and I'm still logging my food daily and that continues to help prevent late night snacking.  

For all of you working on weight loss or different eating habits, keep it up.  Small changes make a big difference over time.  

Until the next post, be well.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

162

Today was weigh-in day.  One week into March and the numbers on the scale are going down.  

I have been logging food and workouts every day.  And because I am logging my diet and exercise on a regular basis I have not been eating silly snacks at night while I watch tv or read.  I am working on eating more hearty vegetables and protein packed snacks.  

At our weekly dinners at church, we've introduced the idea of sides (instead of breads) and fruit instead of desserts.  Last week I brought a tasty kale salad and tonight I brought a Apple Brussels Sprout Salad with Brussels sprouts, apples, walnuts, cheese and an apple cider vinaigrette.  The complement of the night came from a man who does not like Brussels sprouts.  He said, "It was okay, I think I only had one bite of Brussels sprouts, the rest was lettuce."  I replied, "It was only sprouts, no lettuce."  "Oh, okay."  
I'll take it as a win.  

In other news, yesterday I added a new ending to my run.  


I heard about this DVD on a Runner's World podcast.  The 10 minutes flew by at the end of the run.  I started with the mobility workout.  It's a nice way to cool down that stretches and moves muscles and joints that I have not been giving enough attention.    I felt it a bit in my hips when I woke up this morning, in a good way.  I am actually looking forward to the end of my run tomorrow.  

Here's to week two of focus on diet and exercise.  
It's already making a difference.  

Thursday, March 2, 2017

A pep in my step.

I did NOT want to go to the gym this morning.

It wasn't that I didn't want to exercise...I did.
I was debating a bike ride, but as the wind whipped around the house and howled down the street I knew riding outside wouldn't be a smart choice.

So I got up, had some coffee and headed to the gym.

The real reason I did not want to go to the gym is because today was the day that I would have my follow up for 'New Year! New You!'  They checked my weight and body fat at the gym in January.  I knew there would be a follow up in 60 days, but I was not looking forward to it.  As I mentioned this week I have not been focusing on diet and exercise as much as I should.  Let me rephrase that.  I do exercise and I do watch what I eat.  But, since my goal is to lose weight, I need to really work on that focus.

I walked in and said I was ready for my follow up.
I hopped on the scale and weighed in at 164 (this is the closest the gym scale has been to my home scale in a while.)

I headed out to the front desk and went through the motions....and here are the results:


From 2 months ago, my weight has gone down 2 pounds and I went down .4% in body fat.  

I think this is a good start.  I didn't gain and this month this will be the area of my focus.  

I'm ready.  

Let's do this!  

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

164.2

I weighed in this morning, right before a bowl of oatmeal and a 5 mile run.

As I focus more on diet and exercise this month, I am happy to report that on day one, I got up when the alarm went off and ran before heading into the office.

Day one = check, well the exercise part at least.  I've also logged my food today using the My Fitness Pal app.  It's been a while since I've logged in, but I'm back in the game.

While the goal for this month is a healthier and stronger body, I will be checking the scale from week to week.  Weekly weigh-ins have worked for me in the past, so it will be part of my fitness journey again.

In addition to becoming healthier and stronger, I'm super excited about running again.  Another part of my goal this month is to become a more well rounded runner.  That means adding specific stretching, strength training and cross training that will be beneficial to my running days.  

After hearing about 10 Minute Cross-Training for Runners on a Runner's World podcast, I realized it would be a good purchase for me.  This DVD has 5 different 10 minute workouts to help you transition from your run to the next part of your day.  I realize that in addition to the super quick stretching and infrequent foam rolling, I need to step up my post run game.  10 minutes at the end of a run will mix things up, help with strength, flexibility and recovery time.  (I'll let you know how those 10 minutes go.)

I also registered for my first duathlon.  I did my first triathlon last summer and LOVED it!
The Life is Good Peace Valley Duathlon seems like a good race.  I'm going for the long race...5K, 11 mile ride, 5K.  I know I have those distances in me.  I am looking forward to incorporating longer rides into my workout schedule as solid cross-training days that will mix up the muscles I'm using.

I feel like there is another triathlon in my future as well, it's just not official yet.

It's 9:30ish...and I'm done for the day....tomorrow I'll take some time to reflect on worship this evening.  

Until tomorrow.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Others and their impact.

As this month winds down, I'm taking a moment to reflect upon how 'focusing on others' made an impact on me.  

I purposely listened to other voices.  Sure, that sounds weird, but hear me out.  I listened to music that I don't normally listen to and I listened to musicians whose voices speak a message I need to hear.  I listened to hip hop and rap....voices of men and women who sing/speak/chant/rap who share messages of injustice and proclaim messages of hope.  

Books that entered my reading time included Race Matters by Cornell West, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, First Ladies of Running by Amby Burfoot, and A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachael Held Evans.  Okay...truth is, I would like to spend more time reading....so I finished First Ladies of Running and will read the last chapter of A Year of Biblical Womanhood before I go to bed tonight.  I will continue to work on the others in March.  

I also have rekindled my interested in running by listening to The Runner's World podcast and the Marathon Training Academy podcast.  The stories and interviews have been filled with runners of all ages and walks of life which have both encouraged and humbled me.  

I blogged earlier in the month about my visit to the local Islamic Center.  That experience was holy and beautiful.  Praying with my Muslim and Lutheran sisters was sacred and soul feeding.  

I have been taking more time than I have in the past to read and prepare for the weekly bible study I attend with colleagues.  While I had spent time preparing in the past, I have been digging into Feasting on the Word finding helpful insights, quotes and ideas to share with my colleagues.  I have been absorbing more from our weekly get togethers as I have spent more time preparing.  

As I thought about others, I was more apt to donate to causes this past month than I normally would.  I mean, I don't know what my monthly donations to charities look like, but I took time to support local and far away friends in with different organizations for which they were raising money.  

It's been interesting to think about others and listen to how others influence, inspire and encourage me.  

As I look ahead to March.... I had a few ideas.  I'd really like to focus on getting the most out of each day. I would love to workout, read, work, get stuff done around the house and relax each day.  I will probably work on some of that in March, but more importantly, I will focus on diet and exercise.  I have slipped away from healthy eating and getting workouts in first thing in the morning.  I will incorporate cross-training into my days of running and work on getting enough sleep so morning workouts are doable.  
Starting tomorrow I will begin logging my food regularly and reducing the sweets and snacks.  

I'll keep you posted on the impact.  

Until then....be well and be kind.