Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Auntie's Rules of Fitness: Part 1

Some great rules I've learned along my road to recovery and fitness:
  1. Pee first.  Always.
  2. Beware of all-or-nothing thinking.  We didn't get this way overnight; we're not going to get healthy overnight either.
  3. Any eating plan that demands (or shames you into) leaving out entire food groups is unhealthy. Unless you've got a medical condition or allergy, there's no reason for that kind of restriction.  There are vital nutrients in all the food groups.  Remember, we are going for clean and healthy, not emaciated and sickly.  I'm talking real food here, and y'all know it.
  4. Carry tissues or a paper towel with you to workouts.  The one day you don't have one will be the day you need it.
  5. Have fun and smile while you work out.  It throws people off.  :)
  6. In a shared gym situation, always clean up after yourself.  Reminds me of a sign my painting teacher had in her shop: "Clean up after yourself; your mother doesn't work here!"
  7. Listen to uplifting things while you exercise (music, comedy, speeches).  How anyone can get in a good workout listening to ANY news channel is beyond me.
  8. Don't do the same thing all the time.  Jazz it up.
Well, that's all for now.  There shall be more later...

What are some rules you've learned in your fitness journey?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

True Ecstacy: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Sunday, February 24, 2013

Outside my window … Aye, and a foggy Scottish morning to you. 

I am thinking...
 about my recovery and how to keep the momentum going.

I am thankful...
for open doors and new opportunities.

In the kitchen...
  I don’t know yet.

I am wearing...
I’m still in my robe, but getting ready to dress for church.

I am creating...
Still working on a crochet project for a friend.  Got another floral painting in mind.  I’m thinking Easter lilies….
I am going... to church, to the store, then to relax at home for a bit before worship team practice.

I am wondering...
why do I have a headache?  I’ve had one since yesterday.  I think it’s STILL hormones.

I am reading...
the Lent devotions I found online and fitness articles (did I say that? J ). 

I am hoping...
that the birds are really signaling the end of winter and the beginning of spring.

I am looking forward to...
having my own house.

I am learning… that life really is better if it is not lived in solitary confinement.  I’ve seen in my own life that when I have people around who truly care, the ride through life is a LOT smoother.

Around the house... nothing!  I’m going to rest.

I am pondering...   on body art (tattoos).  No, not now, maybe in a year or two….
A favorite quote for today...You can put me in a room full of all the alcohol, all the dope, all the pills, all the cocaine you want and I won’t touch it.  Not because I’m Sister SuperChristian.  That’s just not my D.O.C. (drug of choice).  But if you open up a box of powdered sugar and cut me some lines of that on the table, I’m liable to snort that up my nose.  Give me a bag of peanut butter M&M’s and THAT’S my Ecstacy right there!” - Me

One of my favorite things... good music. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  two church services, practice, Sav-A-Life on Monday.  I’m not sure what the rest of the week holds.

A peek into my day...


(Added this one to my running playlist.  Yes, I DID say RUNNING.) 

If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook ( . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Winter's Last Gasp: The Simple Woman's Datebook for Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Outside my window … The dreich Scottish winter is back YET AGAIN. 

I am thinking...
 about how far I’ve come and how far I still have to go.

I am thankful...
that God is a faithful provider.

In the kitchen...
  Cereal for breakfast.  Nice big salad for lunch.  Light dinner.  I really want a cup of coffee (or two) right now, but I’d have to go to the store to get the makings for it.

I am wearing...
Long sleeved shirt and sweat pants.

I am creating...
Still working on a crochet project for a friend.  Got another floral painting in mind.  I’m thinking Easter lilies….

I am going... to choir practice to practice meowing and looking like deer in headlights.  J

I am wondering... why am I so freakin’ cold!  I’ve got the big heater on (you’re welcome, Alabama Power), and I’m under my electric blanket, but I’m still freezing.  I may have to venture out and get that coffee after all.  I think it’s hormones (oh JOY).

I am reading...
the Lent devotions I found online.  They are wonderful. 

I am hoping... to find meaningful work soon...very soon.

I am looking forward to... a string of warm days.

I am learning… that God does not expect me to earn everything.  I certainly can’t buy His blessings; why should I think that I have to earn them?

Around the house... warming up to start, then putting away laundry.

I am pondering...   on how to be a more effective witness for Christ.

A favorite quote for today...If you can dream it, then you can achieve it. You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

One of my favorite things... good humor.  I love to laugh. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  choir practice tonight (meow), doctor’s appointment tomorrow (**roll eyes here**), CR Friday (WWF baby!), and sharing my testimony at Meadowbrook in Oxford on Saturday.

A peek into my day...

(I'd love to be here right now.)
If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook ( . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Am I a Hoarder?

I had the fun privilege of house/dog sitting for some friends of mine a while back.  Along with wifi access, I was able to watch TV shows that I had only heard about (I don’t have cable at home).  One of those shows was Hoarding: Buried Alive on The Learning Channel (TLC).  They had a show marathon, and I watched as much as I could stand.

Hoarding is a reality show about people who cannot stop collecting and storing items.  Their homes slowly deteriorate from piles of items in one room, to multiple rooms being used as storage closets, and ultimately ending up a dump that houses mounds and mounds of debris, some valuable, some filthy junk.  By the time the camera crews show up, the homes have become unlivable, and some have literally become dangerous health hazards.

I saw many similar character traits in each hoarder:
  • Fear – They were all afraid to let go of anything.  They felt like their stuff was a cocoon that protected them, when in fact, it imprisoned them.
  • Isolation – They did not let anyone come to their houses and many did not go out in public unless absolutely necessary. 
  • Shame – They went to great lengths to protect their secret from their loved ones.
  • Despair and Depression - Most of the hoarders I saw were depressed; some were even suicidal.

After watching these shows, I had to ask myself the question:  Am I a hoarder?  Not a hoarder of material things (no, my apartment does not look like that, thank God), but a hoarder of body clutter.  I saw my excess weight and self-destructive thinking were parallel with the mentality of the hoarders on the TV show.

I was fearful.  I didn’t want to let go of the weight for a while because I thought it was a cocoon that protected me from other people’s bad feelings and lecherous men’s unwanted advances.  I didn’t want to let go of the negative thinking either.  I believed that if I could  think and say it about myself first, it wouldn’t hurt to hear it from anyone else.  First John 4:18 says that “perfect love casts out fear.”  The reverse is also true; fear casts out love.  Pastor Rick Warren said, “Any barrier you build around your heart to protect it from pain also blocks out love.”  I saw this in my own life.  My fearful heart had no room to love anyone, especially myself.

My fearful heart isolated me.  I thought being away from people made me safe, but there is more safety in numbers.  I Peter 1:8 says that satan “as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  What kind of prey do lions seek?  Prey that is injured or alone because they are easy pickings, won’t put up much of fight, and are unprotected.  In Ecclesiastes 4, King Solomon points out that life is better when not lived in isolation.

Being isolated lead to feelings of shame.  I was ashamed to be around anyone, ashamed of what I looked like, and ashamed of the failure that I had become.  I didn’t want my hoard of pain to be seen anymore.  My days consisted of going to work, going home, and going to church and that was it.  If I had to leave the house to shop for groceries or anything necessary, I went during off peak hours to avoid running into anyone who knew me.  I stopped wearing makeup, doing my hair, and considered any extra care I took of myself a waste.  I was a mess…a hot mess.

Well, at the worst of it, this hot mess was so depressed and so full of despair that she didn’t want to live anymore.  I wasn’t really living anyway.  I was just existing; surviving from one crappy moment to the next.  What difference did my body dying make?  I didn’t have the balls to just off myself, just to slowly disappear from life and hope to die alone in my sleep.  After all, that was the death I felt I deserved. 

So how do any of us hoarders get free?  One statement I heard from one of the hoarding/OCD experts on the show was, Clear the clutter inside or risk losing your home forever.”  Some got the message; some didn’t.  Whether it was the psychologist who made them make quick decisions about what to keep and what to throw away, or a moving crew with a semi to pick up the items and hall them away, each person who got the message had lots of people to help. 

Wow, I think God was talking to me.  I got the message and started doing the same things to clear my life’s clutter because I wasn't ready to give up my home—my body, mind, and spirit.  I got a lot of help.  I’ve talked about accountability before, but I also had to clear some clutter through talking about it and dealing with it through prayer, hearing God’s Word, and confessing my faults and sorting them out with someone I trust.  I’ve been an active member of a Celebrate Recovery support group for several years, which is also a big help.  I’ve chosen to let go of some junky things to gain something better.  I now have people in my life who keep me on the path of clearing out the hoard and not letting me collect new junk…none on my body and none in my mind.  It has been a tedious process, but my “cleaning teams” are very patient with me, even when I am not patient with myself.  I never want to be a hoarder again!

Are you a hoarder?
Who can you get to help you clean up?

Friday, February 15, 2013

T-shirt Friday: The Simple Woman's Daybook for Friday, February 15, 2013

Outside my window … A sunny sky and the twitter of birds trying to sing in spring (I hear ya!  Keep it up!)

I am thinking...
 About the meaning of the Lent and Easter season.

I am thankful...
for God’s love and Christ’s sacrifice.  I’m thankful for God’s provision.  I’m thankful for healing inside and out.

In the kitchen...
  Cereal for breakfast.  Not sure about lunch yet.  Going to eat at the $3.00 diner at CR tonight.

I am wearing...
T-shirt and workout pants.

I am creating...
Working on a crochet project for a friend.

I am going... to take mom to run some errands, to workout, and hopefully to the grocery store.

I am wondering... why am I so tired and draggy this week?

I am reading... Found some wonderful devotions for Lent.  I am reading and reflecting on them.  I had been working on a project so now I can get back to finishing the prayer book by Myles Monroe. 

I am hoping...
to find a solution to a couple of problems I’m dealing with.  Nothing major, just things that are important to me.

I am looking forward to... SPRING!

I am learning… that cabin fever is a real disease.

Around the house... getting chores done today so that I don’t have to do any this weekend.

I am pondering...   the love of God.  It’s so big that I can’t fathom it all.

A favorite quote for today...I do have an hourglass figure…the hourglass just has too much sand in it right now.”  Me

One of my favorite things... printed T-shirts. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Celebrate Recovery tonight, two church services Sunday, workouts, hopefully something fun will come along.

A peek into my day...

(One of the printed T-shirts on my wish list:  If you're a musician, you get the joke.)
If you would like to join in and post your own Daybook, please head on over to visit Peggy at The Simple Woman's Daybook ( . Thanks for stopping by. Y'all come back now, ya' hear. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I Can Eat it All.

I Corinthians 10:23 - Everything is permissible (allowable and lawful) for me; but not all things are helpful (good for me to do, expedient and profitable when considered with other things). Everything is lawful for me, but I will not become the slave of anything or be brought under its power. (AMP)

I can eat it all; whatever I desire.
It’s fat that I require.
‘Cuz I’m a butter ball;
I’m wider than I’m tall.
I’m pure cholesterol.
I can eat it all.
--Mark Lowry, Comedian

The above song lyrics are funny, but did you know that God had given us the free will to chose what we put into our bodies? In Mark 7:19, Jesus declared all foods "clean." In First Corinthians 6:12, the Apostle Paul re-emphasizes that freedom, however, he asks us to stop and think of our relationship with food. If we are binging on things that are "permissible" but not "helpful," we can become a slave to that particular food. If we have a poor self image and see food as the enemy, we may deny ourselves what is "permissible" and "helpful." Also, what is "permissible" and "helpful" is different for different people, despite what the health gurus say.

God has called us to have a healthy view of food. Jesus said in John 10:10 that He "...came that they may have and enjoy life..." We can enjoy eating, but we must stop and think about what we eat and why we eat it.

What situations or emotions lead you to choose foods that are "permissible" but not "helpful"?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

11 Questions from Jhona O.

I was issued a writing challenge by fellow blogger Jhona O over at her awesome blog We Weirdos Need to Stick Together.  I met Jhona three years ago at my 20 year class reunion.  She’s married to my classmate, Doug.  Our friendship has grown despite the miles (she's in Colorado and I'm in Alabama) and I’m honored to be among her many friends.

11 Facts about me (in no particular order):

  1. I’m wigged out by clowns.  I know that clowns are supposed to represent fun and wackiness, but not to me.  Clowns depress me and creep me out.  The only clown I can deal with is Caesar Romero as the Joker on Batman.
  2. I can’t drive on the interstate.  The thought of it scares the living pee pee out of me.  Every time I’ve ever been on I-20, I was lost. I need a navigator to brave teaching me how to drive on the interstate and work the exits.  I’m serious, I threatened my sister with murder the time she got me lost in Oxford, AL and we ended up in Heflin, AL before we could turn around (my bladder’s filling up just thinking about it, so let’s move on).
  3. Some things I’ve always wanted to learn (other than drive on the interstate J ):
a.                   To play tennis.

b.                  To work a hula-hoop.

c.                   To do cartwheels.

d.                  To scuba dive.

e.               To play snare drum with the traditional grip.  I learned matched grip.

f.                   To do chin ups.

g.               To dance (I know it’s ethnically impossible, but I can’t dance).

  1. I would love to travel to every state in the U.S.  I would also like to travel abroad.  I would love to go to the U.K (especially Scotland), Africa (especially Kitale, Kenya), and China.  I would also like to go on a foreign missions trip.
  2. I’m probably the only woman on the planet who truly hates to buy shoes.
  3. I look forward to a day when I can buy socks that aren’t white.
  4. I love being an auntie.  I want to be a mommy someday, but I really love being an auntie.
  5. I kept the baby doll I got my first Christmas in Jacksonville until I was 30 years old.  She looked a hot mess when I finally threw her away, but I kept her.
  6. This may sound very selfish, but one thing I want out of life is an awesome birthday party with good presents.  The only problem is that it’s tacky to throw oneself a birthday party (plus, I tried it when I was 15 and it was a disaster) and I’m not arrogant enough to think that someone else would throw me one.
  7. I’ve been a bass guitarist and drummer for more than 20 years.
  8. I’ve been a crafter since the early 90’s.  I crochet, paint, cross stitch, stitch plastic canvas, sew (a little) and knit (even less than I sew).
Now, the 11 questions:

  1. What year did you accept Jesus into your heart? 1986.  I was 14.
  2. What was the turning point for you to accept Jesus in your heart?  Ever since I was kid, I knew that there was a God, but didn’t understand Him at all.  I started going to church when I was 9, but although I was baptized into membership to that church, there was no Bible teaching, no explanation of salvation, and, scary as it sounds, no mention of Jesus Christ, not even at Christmas or Easter.  I left there when I was 12.  At age 14, a friend invited me to her church and I went.  It was first time I saw a minister open the Bible and actually explain who this Jesus was and His loving sacrifice for me.  I gave my heart to Christ that day as best I understood it.  Although I had a LOT of learning and growing to do, it’s a decision I’ve never regretted. 
  3. What is one thing you learned from 2012 and are taking it with into 2013?  That when someone constantly shows you that your health and safety don’t matter, it’s time to let them go, no matter how much you love them.  I also learned that the hopes and dreams God has given me should mean more than other people’s BS.  Sure, I can try to please everyone else, but if God isn’t pleased, it doesn’t amount to anything.  Plus, I just don’t have any more time, energy, and nerves to waste!  My theme for this year is “Don’t Go Out Like a Punk.”  I’ve had some pretty crappy things happen to me the past few years and I’m ready for change.  I’ve already made several changes and am working on several more.
  4. Coffee or Tea?  It depends.  I love coffee with flavored creamers in the mornings and when I’m feeling sluggish and need a pick me up.  But, when I was in undergraduate school, a couple of exchange students from Russia turned me on to Earl Grey tea (plus, I really liked Star Trek:  the Next Generation).  So, I like “tea, Earl Grey, hot” with cream and sugar (not a lot).  Now do you see why I want to go to Great Britain?
  5. What are your hopes for your blog this year? To have more consistent posts.  To have more people reading it.  To have more interaction from those who read the blog.  I really want to see that what I’m saying is helping someone else and I’m not just rambling.  J
  6. What's your favorite Bible verse?  Psalm 51:12-13 - Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.13Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
  7. What's your favorite story in the Bible?  The story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.  We’ve all been the prodigal at one time or another and it’s awesome that Father God is waiting on the porch looking for us to come home so that he can love and restore us..
  8. What is your favorite home decor style?  I don’t know.  I don’t yet own a house, but have been decorating one in my mind.  I like a traditional livingroom and bedroom (I like stuff that matches), but want to do crazy stuff in my bathrooms, office, and basement.  Well, when I get the house, we’ll see how it pans out.
  9. What is your greatest passion in life? To take all the life lessons I've learned from the Lord and share them with everyone who wants to hear.  I don’t want anyone to make the same mistakes I made. 
  10. What is your favorite color for this year in regards to fashion and or home? For fashion, I like black and red, and as stated earlier, to buy socks that aren’t white.  My home?  I’m not doing much because I hope to get out of my apartment and move somewhere else.
  11. What is your favorite dessert?  Ice cream, especially vanilla and butter pecan.
Well, Jhona, what do you think?  ;)