Monday, November 27, 2017


With a .2 lb drop from last week (including Thanksgiving) and I'll take it!  

At this point, there are two goals out there for me.  I am still aiming to lose another 6-7 pounds.  I am, however, very aware of how eating changes during the holidays. Often there are cookies around, or a gathering with tasty treats that wouldn't normally be part of my daily diet.  With that in mind the most prominent goal between now and New Year's Day is Maintain Not Gain.  

I've jumped on this before with a program through my gym and it's a good one.  It takes into account the increased food options and gatherings and the reality that I do not need to strictly stay away from all things celebratory, but it does help me continue working toward my goal.  Would I love to lose a few pounds before the new year begins?  Sure, I would, but I'm not going to stress out over it.  

As a Pastor, the season of Advent brings its own busyness.  I don't need to add the worry of weight loss to it as well.  But speaking of Advent, a season where we prepare our hearts and our homes for the coming of the Christ child, I can think about preparing my body for the upcoming year.  My body, a gift from God, needs proper nutrition and care to function at it's best.  After hearing that I was in the process of losing weight, several folks have come up to me to say that it isn't necessary.  I appreciate the positive comments, but I know how my body feels.  A few pounds lighter and running and fitness classes just feel better to me.  

We now move into phase two of South Beach....which means fruits are back!  Also, carbs are reintroduced in the form of whole grains and in moderation.   Billy and I have already been eating well over the last two weeks.  We are looking forward to Taco (salad) Tuesday, but also the Christmas trip to Chocolate World and Hotel Hershey on Thursday.  We'll do our best and continue to eat as best as we can, especially when we are in charge of our own meals.  When the meals are out of our hands, we will enjoy in moderation.  

In the spirit of a post Thanksgiving post, I'm thankful for this space to share this journey with all of its ups and downs.  

Be well, friends.  

Monday, November 20, 2017


And week 2 of following South Beach phase one begins.  
Monday may not be my favorite day.  In fact as the alarm went off this morning, I snoozed and procrastinated knowing that the first thing I would do would be weighing in.   I'm up, weighed in and now on with the rest of the day.  

I'm super pumped about the crazy weight loss this week.  It is pretty serious, but that is to be expected with the first phase of South Beach.  Not only have I cut out carbs, sugars and alcohol, I'm regularly logging my food.  When I do that, I hold myself more accountable.  (Side note, I get that logging food isn't 100% accurate and most people - myself included - underestimate food amounts and calories, but this process has worked for me, so I'm sticking to it.)  

A few things I noticed/experienced this week: 
1) It's tough going to an all you can eat pizza, pasta & salad buffet and just having the salad.  But, as a treat for a small group at church the date had already been set.  So I told them I'd eat all the salad and they should eat all the rest.  All in all it worked.  I'm thankful for my willpower and support of those girls.  

2) Because sugars were off the table, I didn't eat 2 or 3 or 5 pieces of Halloween candy as I was watching tv in the evening, we (my husband and I) either splurged with sugar-free pudding, to feed our sweet tooth or I would have a cup of herbal tea.  I guess I like to eat or snack while watching tv, so I just need to make sure when that happens at the end of the day that it's healthy and that I don't go overboard.  

3) Having a partner going through this process makes a world of difference!  As Billy and I looked at our dinner options - pasta with meatballs, pasta with sausage, salad and desserts - at a church event this week we buckled down and made huge plates of salad topped with meatballs and sausage.   It was easier as we encouraged one another to stick to the plan.  

4) We ate like champs this past week.  From roasted veggie omelets to several new recipes, we felt full each day and that is always a good feeling.  

A new recipe from the Runner's World Cookbook - shrimp with white beans and tomatoes - was a hit.  We will make this again...and have another pound of shrimp in the freezer so we are good to go.  

Zucchini lasagna...or as Billy calls it veggie lasagna with meat. I used the mandolin to make zucchini noodles and layered them with ricotta cheese, homemade meat sauce and sliced meatballs.  I could eat that almost every day.  

And thanks to, I found a tasty way to make buffalo tender strips without butter or deep frying.  They tasted great on top of a salad with some blue cheese dressing.  

All in all it's been a good week.  Going into week two I already know it will be tricker than week one.  In the back of my head I know the weight loss will not be as drastic as week one, but that's okay.  

I also know that with Thursday being Thanksgiving, that day will be tricky.  
I've set a few goals for myself.  First of all, I'm starting the day with a good 4.748 mile run in Manchester.  I'll be moving that day before the feasting begins.  
I will also enjoy time with family and the delicious homemade food that I get to eat that day.  
I will go light on the carbs, but will have a bit of dessert.  I will not have too many drinks or apps or desserts that I will not be happy about later.  Also the treat of eating with the family who raised the turkey is a joy and a blessing in itself.  

Cheers to you all this week.  
If Thursday will be tough for you, set up a few guidelines to help get you through the day and when it's all said and done, Friday is a new day.  

Be well.

Monday, November 13, 2017


You may recognize the numbers.  

I have noticed over the past few months that as I have weighed myself (semi-regularly) that the numbers have been slowly going up.  I have not been eating in a very healthy fashion as of late and I have been using half marathon training as an excuse to not work on my weight.  I will not give myself a hard time about it...I will look forward and make a change in my focus.  I know that working on healthier eating will help me drop the weight and, when I do, my running pace and fitness will improve because I will not be lugging around an extra 15 pounds.  

My race on Saturday went really well.  I used a Runner's World training plan and listened to my body throughout the training.  I took extra rest days, and even shortened some training runs because I was experiencing pain or feeling more tired than normal.  I will say that sleep played a much more prominent role in this fall's training.  That was definitely helpful in so many ways.  Now to add in the importance of healthy eating and I should see a few more changes.  

As I shared my race experience with a friend I shared how I ran faster than I expected....which was a good thing, my body was ready.  I guess I was surprised because I thought I would take the 5K easy and then slowly speed up during the 10 miler.  Well the pace of race day got me off to a quicker start than I had anticipated, but it felt good.  When I hit the starting line for the 10 miler I was warmed up and ready to run.  I held my 5K pace for the first few miles, slowed down on the hilly section (but kept running) and then caught up to the 5K pace as it flattened out in the last 5 miles.  

And then I ran the steps....because it was the Rocky Balboa Run.  

At some point during the 5K, I did feel some heel pain.  Because of that, I will not run until that has totally gone away.  I was a bit achy yesterday in my legs (primarily my quads) and will embrace the recovery time this week.  

Those recovery days will be filled with reading, stretching and some easy cross training when my body feels up for it.  

I'll be working on a menu that fits in with South Beach Phase 1, since that has worked well in the past to make a healthy eating shift and to shed some pounds right away.  

I know weight loss isn't a quick thing and I also know that it is an ongoing challenge for me.  So here I am, recommitting to focusing on watching what I eat, logging what I eat, and working on making sure I'm taking in healthy meals that feed my muscles and strengthen them for future training.  

I have several cookbooks to help with the healthy meal planning and prep.  

I'll be blogging my weigh ins on a weekly basis because that helps me keep accountability.  

If this is an ongoing struggle or challenge for you know that you have support and that you are not going through this alone.  

Until the next post...

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Blessings abound.

November 8, 2017

Please pray with me,
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be acceptable in your sight, O God, our rock, our strength and our redeemer.  Amen. 

I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 

As we gathered in the social hall for dinner and a craft this evening, the underlying theme was blessing.  Seeing the middle table filled with food - from tacos to pork and sauerkraut - and other tables filled with people, it’s hard to miss the blessings in this place.  Then as we painted cornucopias, we were reminded, yet again, that they overflow with food and blessings in our lives. 

In a day and age where the daily news lifts up messages of violence and scarcity, it is good for us to gather together and be reminded of the abundant blessings that God has given us. 

It is good for us to be reminded that we, too, are all called by God, just like Abram and Sarai.  We are called and when that call comes, we are to respond with action. 

We may be called to leave places of comfort and find voices that are new to us. 
We may be called to listen more deeply to others and share our own vulnerability.

As individuals we are called, and as the Body of Christ. 

We are continually called to see how we, together, continue to live as a community of faith and how that impacts our country and our world. 

And the good news is that this passage from Genesis speaks a powerful word today in those instances when we are called to leave all that is known behind, when we let go of our comforts and securities and go on a journey – where God leads us – even without having our own map. 

Just this week, last night actually, Billy and I were talking about how long I’ve been in Robesonia.  I said, seven years.  To which I pondered…huh, seven years, that’s the longest I’ve lived in one place – aside from the house where I grew up.  Seven years, that’s the longest I’ve been in one job.  Seven years….and what a journey it has been. 

Just after arriving in Robesonia, my friend Connie said to me, I’m not sure how you did it…you know, moving halfway across the country all by yourself.  I said, I didn’t. 

Held in the thoughts and prayers of the people of Trinity, I began the journey.  But in addition to the way you carried my spiritually, you also physically were present with me.  You send people from Trinity to drive out and bring my stuff, my cat and myself safely to Robesonia. 

Upon my arrival, I was welcomed into a home for dinner and a place to rest while all my stuff was unloaded into the parsonage which was already filled with a pantry of food. 

I did not make the journey alone…I couldn’t have made the journey alone. 
I, we, continue on this journey.
I continue on this journey, called by God, guided by the Spirit and serving the people of Trinity - you all – our community and our world. 

And so the journey, our journey continues. 

The journey may be long, often times, longer than we expect.  It will have ups and downs, joys and sorrows. But it is a journey filled with many, many promises – the most important being the promise of God’s presence to show us the way.  (Juliana Claassens)

May each of you continue to be open to hearing God’s call in your lives, a call that may surprise you, excite you, make you worry a bit, bring you out of your comfort zone or all of the above. 

Know that as you answer that call, as individuals and as a community of faith, we do so guided and guarded by the promises of God.  We will share those abundant blessings through love and care of our neighbor and our world.  We will see the blessings of love and grace and forgiveness multiply as we share all that God has blessed us with and continues to bless us with.  And in the midst of those blessings, God will be there. 

God will go before us, to show us the way.

God will go with us, in the presence of one another, so we do not journey alone.

And God will continue after us, through the generations to come, so that God’s message of love, forgiveness, grace and abundance will be proclaimed throughout the world and throughout the generations. 

And now may the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus and let all God’s people say, amen.