Saturday, April 30, 2016

Auntie's 2016 Bookworm Challenge 02

BookThe Dieter's Prayer Book.

Author: Heather Harpham Kopp

Info: Copyright 2000.  Colorado Springs:  Waterbrook Press

Where acquired: Gift from a friend

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 hashtags): # # # 1/2

What it's about:  Kopp uses scripture reflections and prayers to assist the reader in bringing his thinking about diet and exercise in the right direction.  She gets to the core of many common issues dieters deal with.

Favorite Quotes

"It helps to remember that your goal is bigger than inches or pounds can measure--ant it's more important than any special occasion.  Your goal is to become all that God created you to be." - p. 18

"Not only did God think up the whole idea of food, He actually intended that it be a good thing!  He wanted food not just to keep us alive, but also to 'gladden' us and to 'sustain' us.  God never intended for food to become your best friend or your path of fulfillment.  But He also never intended for food to become your enemy." - p. 58

"If your tummy seems never to be full, consider whether your life is full enough.  Invite God to 'mess' with your life.  And listen for any change of plans He might have in mind for how you spend your time." p. 128

"He [Jesus] will, again and again, choose you.  And not because He's obligated to or because you're automatically included in His Father's grand redemption plan for the whole human race.  You in particular have been chosen, loved, and pursued by Him." - p 172.

"Spiritual truths triumph over emotional woes." - p. 176

"When I am most unhappy with myself, I am most critical of others.  When I am most into self0condemnation, I am most judgmental of others."  Brennan Manning.  p. 198

What I Liked:
  • The structure of the book didn't demand that you start on January first; only "Day 1."  Also, there were only 100 entries, rather than 365, so if I took longer than 100 days to read all the entries (which I did), I wouldn't feel behind or pressured.
  • The prayers were on point with many of the issues I deal with.
  • The book was very encouraging and covered the spiritual side of health.  There were no meal or exercise plans, but spiritual plans for action.
What I didn’t like: 
  • The author is very good about telling the reader what needs to be done, but gives no indication that she is working through her own journey.  The book is very impersonal; Kopp is good about quoting others, but there's nothing of her in it--no examples from her own life and no indication that she's ever had a struggle with weight.  Reminds me of a Ted Talk I saw online of a Victoria's Secret model who thought she was giving women hope by saying the only reason she was a world class model was because she "won a genetic lottery."  That kind of impersonal bull is very insulting, not to mention ostentatious. 
  • She assumes that everyone who will read this book is a married female.  Males and singles deal with these types of issues too.

To sum up: I would recommend this book to those who are on a health quest who want spiritual biblical encouragement.  This will definitely go on my "reread" shelf.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 30

Step 30:  Be brave enough to brag.

Galatians 6:4 (King James Version) - But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

Sometimes you have to be your own best cheerleader.  There are always going to be haters, trolls, and critics who want to pee on your progress.  Even those who love and support you don't always understand what you're trying to accomplish. 

If you don't cheer yourself on, the encouragement of others will fall on deaf ears.  You must believe what God says about you and what you say about you in order to even hear the positive words of others.  The process includes some healthy bragging.

Healthy bragging?  Wait, isn't bragging the sin of pride?

It depends.

If your bragging is all about being better than someone else--making someone else look small to make you look big--it isn't healthy for you or for those you feel you must dehumanize to feel better about yourself. 

If your bragging is on what God has helped you accomplish, it gives Him glory and helps your self esteem.  It's just like what I talked about in the gratitude step, the more thankful you are, the more things you find to be thankful for.

So what can I brag about at the end of this series?
  • I lost 2 pounds. Yes I know the goal was 5, but to struggle through and lose any is a victory.  Quite honestly, I may have lost more, but this week was hormone week and I was retaining a lot of water, so I'm not sure my weigh in was correct.  Not an excuse; it is what it is.
  • I've increased the free weights I use in class from 5lbs to 8lbs.
  • I'm feeling stronger and gaining muscle.
  • I medaled for the first time in a 5k race.
  • My 5k race times have gotten slightly faster over the past 30 days.
  • I did a 20 mile bike ride and signed up for the Ladiga Cruise; my first cycling related event.
  • I got some good news from my doctor's appointment.
  • I've not had any major depressive episodes this month.
  • I finished the series and didn't quit.
So, what kind of healthy brag do you have for this month?

Lose Your Quit Quest 29

Step 29:  Use the Power of Habits

How many times have you tried to stop a bad habit only to pick it back up again?  Probably more times than you can count.

Yeah, me too.

What happens in a ball game when the primary players aren't getting the job done?  First, there's a meeting or two with the coach.  If that doesn't do the trick, the coach doesn't keep yelling "Don't do that!"  If the he has any sense, he makes a substitution.

An insightful blog post by Michael Hyatt gives a major key to dealing with bad habits.  In short, we don't get rid of bad habits by focusing on the "don't" of the bad habit; we focus on establishing a new good habit that will phase out the bad one.

What counselors and therapists call "redirection."

Is it really that simple?  Simple, yes.  Easy, no.  But we have God's word to back our efforts:
II Peter 1:5, 10 (King James Version) - And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge... Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.
Notice, the Scripture does not say, "You won't fail if you stop doing this and stop doing that."  It says to add to, not take away from.  As comedian Mike Warnke would say.
People have the idea that the Bible is a book of don'ts....  If you spend more of your time doing the do's, you ain't gonna have time to do the don'ts.  And even if you could, you wouldn't, so you can't, so it's cool.  Alright?
My mentor and I have been working on my establishing some new habits.  Currently, I'm working on:
  • Having my own bag of healthy snacks in my desk to combat my co-worker's very tempting candy bowl and any other junk food at work.
  • Drinking carbonated flavored water when I crave soda.
  • Preplanning and preparing meals ahead of time.
  • Having quick healthy meals I can grab and prepare quickly when I'm too tired or busy to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
  • Learning to say "no" without an apology.  No is a complete sentence.
What kind of substitutions can you make to put out bad habits?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 28

Step 28:  Forget a Watchman.  Go set a timer.

Years ago, I followed a website called  The site was designed to help the reader de-clutter her home and establish routines to have more time for what matters most.  Though the site morphed into something pretty much for mommies only, it started out with some great advice.

One of FlyLady's phrases is "you can do anything for 15 minutes."  It's amazing how much can get done in just 15 minutes.  Some examples of tasks I've completed in 15 minutes or less:
  • Folded and put away a basket of laundry.
  • Hand washed a sink full of dishes.
  • Wrote a blog post.
  • Showered and got dressed.
  • Threw away all the trash in my car.
  • Read a chapter in a book.
  • Read several chapters in the Bible.
  • Crocheted a granny square.
  • Vacuumed one room.
  • Cleaned the toilet and bathroom sink.
  • Walked nearly a mile.
  • Bicycled almost 3 miles.
  • Did a Fitness Blender Workout.
On step 16, I mentioned that one of the steps to getting back on track when you feel like quitting is to finish something you started.  If you can't finish it in one sitting, do it 15 minutes at a time.

In a blog post on this topic, Jon Acuff said this:
Part of our fear is that we think we have to do everything all at once. We’re afraid of the size of the dream or the magnitude of the mission. We think we have to accomplish everything in one sitting. The enormity of that expectation paralyzes us. I can’t write an entire book in one afternoon. But I can do just about anything for 60 minutes. That’s not too scary. I can handle that.
Try it.  Whether it's 15 minutes or an hour, that's 15-60 minutes closer to your goal.

BTW--no, I didn't get the part about the watchman either.  ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 27: The Weekly Hodgepodge

 Want to join the party?  Swerve on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

If you're just here for today's Lose Your Quit Quest entry, please scroll down to the "random thoughts" section.  And, as always, thanks for reading Auntie's blog!

This is the last Hodgepodge in April. Share something you learned this month.
I relearned how to use manual hedge clippers.  I used to trim the bushes at home when I was a teenager.  As an adult, since I lived in an apartment complex that barely wanted us to have flowers, much less groom our own yards, I got out of practice.  For my first trimming session since the 90's, I didn't do too badly.  Hopefully, I get another crack at it Friday.
It's National Poetry Month, and we all know you can't escape an April Hodgepodge without a little poetry. Keeping the first line as is, change the rest of the wording in this familiar rhyme to make it your own - 'Hickory Dickory Dock...
I dedicate my ode to the Alabama legislature, who, this year, again couldn't get a vote on the floor to permanently leave us on Daylight Savings Time:

Hickory Dickory Dock
I'm tired of changing the clock.
For goodness sake
Take a vote, you rake
And stop this yearly mistake. 
What were one or two rules in the home you grew up in? Growing up, did you feel your parents were strict? Looking back do you still see it that way? 
One rule was that if we asked for food or got it out of the refrigerator, we needed to eat it.  My parents didn't have money to burn, so food wasn't to be wasted.  Another rule was to be truthful.  My parents weren't strict with me because I told them the truth of where I was going and who I was going to be with--which was mostly with the marching band or the church youth group.  I got my fair share of spankings, but, save one, I deserved them all.
Tell us about a kitchen or cooking disaster or mishap you've experienced. Do you have many from which to choose?
I can honestly say that I'm not that great of a cook.  The stalling of last year's A-Z challenge is one indicator.  I'm not sure I would call this a disaster, but more of an enigma.  I can't make white biscuits and brown gravy from scratch, but I can make brown biscuits and white gravy.
My mom's white biscuits and brown gravy were a staple on our breakfast table.  I'd watch my mom mix flour, buttermilk, and lard (yes I said lard), kneed out by hand the perfect cat head biscuit (no cutters, rolling pins, or measuring).  Then she'd bake them to a perfect golden brown on the bottom, not by using a timer, but  baking them until she "thought they were done."  I don't know what kind of voo-doo mom worked when making gravy, but it was always good and never lumpy.
Then there's mine....
I get out all the tools, follow a recipe to a tee, preheat the oven to the perfect 350 degrees, and cook the biscuits not one second longer than the directions indicated.  I'd do the same for the gravy.  My results?  You could build a retaining wall complete with mortar with my biscuits and gravy.  Have me cook biscuits with white flour if you want to kill a dog that won't stay out of your garbage can.  Run out of wallpaper paste?  I can help; I'll make some brown gravy.
Give me those same tools and directions but I use brown whole wheat flour to make biscuits and white flour, milk, and butter to make white gravy, and I can get a job a Cracker Barrel. 
Yes, I know it's crazy, but it's true.  Just ask my mom who's shaken her head at my cooking on more than one occasion. 
Plant a kiss, plant doubt, plant a tree, plant yourself somewhere...which on the list have you most recently planted? 
Not exactly plant a tree, but I planted flowers in hanging pots to start prettying up the front porch.  My plan is to put out a few more this weekend.
What's your most worn item of clothing this time of year? Are you tired of it? 
Sorry fellers, but my answer is the sports bra.  They come in inexpensive packs of 3 at Wal-Mart, and they hold up things fair to middling.  But wearing them every day is getting old.  No, I don't mean for I wear them for working out every day; I mean I wear them everywhere every day.  I really need to get a couple of real bras with better support.  I know my shirts would fit better if I did. However, let's keep it in the budget.
I'm wrapping up the A-Z Blog Challenge this month and our Hodgepodge lands on letter W. What's one word beginning with W that describes you in some way? How about a word to describe your home, also beginning with W?
Me:  Weird   Home: Wry - my housemate and I are masters at humorous sarcasm. 
Insert your own random thought here

Picking up the Lose Your Quit Quest:

Step 27:  Be Grateful
Luke 16:10 in the New Living Translation says, "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities."  I believe that part of faithfulness is gratitude.
How many of you like dealing with ungrateful people?  Get that hand up.  No one, of course.  I occasionally deal with ungrateful people because I work with humans.  Although I'm to serve all with gladness, serving with gladness those who are ungrateful and feel entitled has to be done by faith and with much prayer (and sarcastic comments saved for later).
Hey, we (hopefully) teach children to be thankful early in life.  We're not very free with privileges to a thankless child, are we?
No, I'm not saying that God holds out on us unless we stroke his ego with thanks.  What I am saying is that we miss future blessings by not being thankful for the present ones.  Why?  A lack of gratitude blinds us to God's handiwork though it's right in front of our faces.  If we don't see God working in the small things, the big things will seem even more impossible, and we will mistakenly think God is holding out on us.
So where does this fit in the quest?  As much as I want to see big changes over this month, I've looked at the small ones and been content.  I'm seeing more small areas of muscle tone that weren't there a month ago.  Today, I upped the weight I use for Silver Sneakers.  Also, some numb nut left a barbell in the middle of the Free Weight room floor at work today.  Without batting an eyelash, I picked it up and racked it (someone [me] would have tripped over it if I hadn't).  A few months ago, I would need an ibuprofen or three to recover from just picking up a bar with no weights on it.  The numbers are moving down, but slower than I anticipated, but they are moving in the right direction. Plus, I'm running/walking faster and cycling further than before.  The more thankful I am for those small improvements, the more improvements I'll see.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 26

Step 26:  Look into the future if you want to change today.

Wake up sleepy Jean.
Oh, what can it mean
To a daydream believer
And a homecoming queen
- Daydream Believer by The Monkees.
Written by John Stewart
Daydreaming isn't always a bad thing,  Daydreams can wake up the dormant dreams inside of us.  Daydreams can prepare us to take those newly awakened dreams and turn them into goals.  Daydreams can help us in the midst of our goals to not give up.
The 80's group Timbuk3 said, "the future's so bright I gotta wear shades."  No, our futures won't be perfect, but they can be exciting and fulfilling if we keep the dream going.
Sometimes we have to look into the future to avoid a pitfall.  At one of the lowest points in my life when all that surrounded me was darkness, I looked at the future.  That future wasn't pleasant.  The destructive mental and physical behaviors in my life were draining me of any hope for a good future.  Jeremiah 29:11 seemed like a pipe dream--words on paper that were for those other Christians.  My health was heading into the toilet and I was having too many symptoms I wasn't pleased with.  I saw where it was going, and I had to find a way to stop it.  I knew I couldn't start getting well on my own, so I contacted some trustworthy help.  I've been on the mend for several months and I feel much better.  No, I'm not where I want to be, but I'm definitely not where I was.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 25

Step 25:  Turn the whole thing into a game.

Step 4 told us to make it fun or it won't get done.  This step says to turn the whole thing into a game. 

One of the best websites that encourage you to turn your fitness goals into a game is  You can create your own character and quests, earn points, and share your triumphs with others. 

But what if you don't want it to be that complicated?

There are simpler ways to create a fun game-type environment:
  • Play "beat the clock" with an activity.
  • Host your own fun "biggest loser" contest or other fitness challenge.
  • If you have a fitbit, there are step challenges you can do with your friends.
  • Turn weight loss into a role playing game.
  • Use fitness websites that give levels and badges for progress.
  • Add your own here.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 24

Step 24:  Drag your excuses out into the light of truth.

"Excuses are like armpits; everybody's got a couple and they stink." - Mike Warnke, Comedian

This weekend, I had a lot of chances to make excuses.  I would have missed some great times if I'd given in to them.

Last week, I signed up for a 5k I'd never done before.  The Making Tracks 5k is at Anniston Army Depot.  I almost didn't sign up because of the unfamiliarity with that area of the county. (Y'all know I hate getting lost.)  After getting about 5 different sets of directions by e-mailing someone at the depot and talking to friends in ARC who've done the race, I nervously hit the road Saturday morning.  Yes, I found it without getting lost.

The weather was perfect and the course was gorgeous.  The trees were lush and green.  Part of the course took us around a pond.  I wanted to stop and take pictures so badly.  However, I did restrain myself so I could finish the race in a respectable time (for me anyway).

Well guess what?  I've now got my first piece of hardware.  That's right, I took second in my age class.  Yes, there were a lot of "WTH?" looks when my name was called.  I didn't care.  I cheered for myself.  So what if there were only two in my age group.  I'm proud of my medal.  It gives a message which is that all the ladies in the 40-44 age bracket who stayed in bed and made excuses for not coming to the race can SUCK IT!

Sunday, I went to a ride/cookout with Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association.  When I first saw the announcement of Facebook, I started to ignore it because I figured it was just for members; it wasn't.  Well, my next excuse was "my worship leader probably won't let
me off from practice for it."  He did.  Then it was, "Well, I only know one person at this thing.  I'll most likely end up riding alone."  I did only know one person, but I met a lot of nice people and I didn't ride alone.  We rode from Germania Springs Park in Jacksonville to the Eubanks Welcome Center in Piedmont and back-- a total of almost 21 miles.  I'd not ridden that far in one sitting since last year, but we did it.

Because I didn't let excuses get in the way, I had a weekend full of fun, memories, and sore muscles.  See y'all in a couple of days.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 23

Step 23:  Make hustle a lifestyle, not an Axe body spray

Hustle - to proceed or work rapidly or energetically.

Southern equivalent - to get 'er done.

Let's see, I've already ranted about staying away from anything that says, "with little to no effort."  I've already covered resting to be more productive.  Quite honestly, I can't write on this one better than Jon Acuff, the originator of this list.  In this post he says:
“It’s too late to work on my goals this year.”
January is for resolutions and goals. It’s when we buy calendars and running sneakers and kale. That’s the only time you can really focus on changing your life.
By April, you’ve missed your chance. Too much of the year is already gone. The moment of inspiration has passed.
That’s garbage.
At this moment right now, you have 36 weeks left in 2016. Next week, you’ve got 35 weeks.  The year has barely begun.
Where does it say you can’t work on goals in April and May? Where does it say that just because the rest of the world has quit, you have to as well? 
I love January, but it’s not the best month to knock out a goal.
The best month to work on your goals is always this month.
I think one reason we let go of our goals so quickly is that we fear criticism.  Not everyone is going to agree with your goals (quite frankly, everyone doesn't need to know them either).  Those who smile in your face today will be the ones who ask you "Who do you think you are" tomorrow. Even people who say they love and support you can be your biggest detractors and worst saboteurs.

These people do not deserve a voice in your process of change.

Theodore Roosevelt said:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.
You, my friend, are that "worthy cause."

Don't quit before the miracle happens.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 22

Step 22:  Give up perfect.

One of my favorite craft shows is Quilt in a Day with Eleanor Burns.  She's taught quilting for decades and her zany antics and gentle instruction make her fun to watch.  However, one thing she says incessantly during her demonstrations is the word "perfect."  She kind of draws it out like Julie Newmar as Catwoman on Batman.  Every time she says it, I cringe.  I've struggled for years to learn to quilt without much success.  If I ever successfully finish a quilt, it most likely won't be perfect.  So, will it really be successful?

But what would be considered a successful quilt?  Does it keep someone warm?  Is it being lovingly cuddled by a wee one?  Does it bring joy to both the maker and the recipient?  In other words, does the quilt fulfill it's purpose?  If the answer is yes, then for its purpose, that quilt is perfect.

In today's society, though completely subjective, perfect is often the only thing good enough:  the perfect body, the perfect food plan, the perfect workout for this particular problem, the perfect athletic shoe.  BUT what if that which isn't perfect better suits the purpose?  What if imperfect progress is good enough?  What would our lives look like if we didn't let someone else's perfect be our perfect?  We if we found God's individual plan for us and went by that?

I'll tell you what would happen:  behaviors like eating disorders, body dysmorphia, shaming, bullying, depression, and the general dissatisfaction or hatred most of us have about our bodies would be significantly diminished and we would learn to love ourselves where we are on the way to where we're going.

Well, what are you waiting for?   It's up to us to turn it around.  As Maya Angelou said, "Do what you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better."

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 21

Step 21:  Rest or burn out.  The choice is yours.

I've been listening to my soundtrack over and over.  At present, the song that stands out to me the most is Van Halen's Right Now.  I head the song when it first came out in 1992, but didn't pay much attention to it. Now, certain lyrics are jumping out at me.  The first part of the second verse says:
Miss the beat, you lose the rhythm,
And nothing falls into place, no
Only missed by a fraction,
Slipped a little off your pace, oh,
In music, this is true for missing the beat, but also for missing the rest.  If I'm playing a piece of music and miss a rest, I lose the rhythm and a train wreck happens.

The same wreck happens in life when you miss rest.

Rest is valuable.  Rest is where energy is built.  Rest is where the mind slows down enough for great ideas to come to the forefront.  Rest is where healing and renewal of the body takes place.  Even Jesus said "come unto me and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).  Not, "come here so I can work you to death."

Resting is one of my weak points.  I feel so lazy when I rest.  However, I'm more lethargic and lazy feeling when I don't rest.  I think the problem is having to explain myself to people.  Once, someone came to visit my housemate.  She was rather loud, and my housemate gently reminded her that I was trying to sleep. Her response, "she doesn't need to be in bed this time of day anyway."  How do you figure?  This person knows that I get up at 4:00 a.m. to be at work on time, but her attitude is that anyone who sleeps that time of day is either lazy, sick, on drugs, or a college student on the weekends.  No self respecting adult under that age of 80 or over the age of four should ever take a nap right?


Hey, I understand.  I used to think that if I wasn't burning the candle at both ends (and the middle), then I wasn't doing anything worthwhile.   I still struggle with it, but I'm improving.

In this blog post, writer Michael Hyatt gives a breakdown of why naps/rest periods are important.  He does a much better job of explaining it than I do.  The only thing I disagree with him on is that the nap needs to be short (20-30 minutes).  We're not all built the same.  Power naps are just long enough to make me mad and give me a headache.  I need at the minimum one hour.

Of course, rest isn't just about sleep; it's about relaxing, slowing down, and enjoying one's surroundings.  It's like this, I can go for a walk and be so caught up in time, distance, and pace that I miss seeing the beautiful scenery, or occasionally I can slow down, not worry about the time and pace, and experience something beautiful.  Usually, I walk further when I do that.

And so goes life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 20

Step 20:  Batch, batch, batch!

This step left me scratching my head:

Let's see, how can I apply batching to a fitness program?


Let's see...

Batch cooking:  I saw a post here about batch cooking that sounds like a winner.  Batch cooking involves cooking meals or the most complicated parts of a meal ahead of time to make daily meal preparation more streamlined.  I've done some of this before, but this gives me more ideas to try.

Batching exercises:  Many of the exercises I mentioned yesterday could be considered a batched workout.
  • Silver sneakers combines cardio, strength, coordination, and balance.
  • HITT combines cardio, endurance, and flexibility.
  • Kettlebell exercises batch endurance, strength, and core training...and when I do it, possibly first aid training (or at least drywall patching).
Batching Spiritual/Mental discipline:  The Daniel Plan, Weigh Down Diet, and First Place are all good examples of combining both the mental and spiritual.  Scripture tells us that dealing with both are necessary to total health (III John 3, I Thessalonians 5:23, Romans 12:1-2).

Batching Information:  I seriously need to put all my health paperwork in one book instead of having them scattered hither and yon.

Well, maybe there is something to this batching business.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 19

Step 19:  Reach new heights with new tools.

The fitness industry is always touting some "new and improved" item;  a new wonder diet that supposed to trim inches in hours while keeping you chained to the toilet, or a new exercise regimen that's supposed to give you washboard abs while snapping you in half and making you so tired that you can't pee.  That's part of the problem, In trying to keep up with what's new, the industry neglects the "old fashioned" things that actually work.  Why?  Hard work, dedication, and permanent nutrition changes don't sell.  Quick and easy does.  The phrase "with minimal effort" comes to mind.

However, there are newer takes on standard diet and exercise that are feasible:
  • Kettlebell workouts - although kettlebells were invented hundreds of years ago, there has been a recent surge in using them in interval training and alternative weight training.
I'm practicing this with a dumbbell until I can buy a kettlebell

  • The Daniel Plan - This plan was developed by Saddleback Church as a practical biblical approach to fitness. In reading and reviewing the book that outlines the plan, I did point out that there is a little bit of "voo-doo science" in it, but for the most part, the advice is sound.  The church also has a website and online community for accountability.

  • High Intensity Interval Training (HITT) - this type of training infuses short bursts of intense cardiovascular exercise with less intense recovery periods.  I like this approach because instead of trying and failing to do dozens of repetitions, I've got an active rest that fuels me for the next set of reps.
I tend to find lower impact alternatives to many of the jumping exercises.
  • Silver Sneakers - Wait, you're not "silver."  Yes I know that, but although this workout is designed for older people, I can make this workout as hard or as easy as I want it.  It combines resistance bands, dumbbells, a rubber ball, and a chair to give you a full body workout.  Plus, the participants in the Silver Sneakers class at the YMCA are a riot!  While people my age are already picking out their nursing home, these seniors are working it and staying OUT of the nursing home.
This is from a different Y, but you get the idea.
Though there is something to be said for trying something new, don't let the "tried and true" fall by the wayside.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 18

Step 18:  Admit that balloons fly higher without anchors.

Ok, this is another one where clarification from the author would have been great, but we'll work with what we have.  I suppose this means that we should rid ourselves of anything that weigh us down and keep us from achieving our goals.  That sounds great on paper, but there are some anchors that we have no direct control over or that cannot be instantly removed.  Some anchors take time to dispose of.

Concerning this health quest, the majority of my anchors are mental rather than physical.  I've realized over the past couple of months that I'm physically stronger and more capable than I thought.  Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about my mental strength.  The things that tend to weigh me down are things like loneliness, social anxiety, depression, worrying about what others think, social media (yes, I said social media), and past hurts that just won't go away no matter what I do.  I'm doing the best I can to work out these issues, but I often wonder if I'll ever really be free and what drastic measures do I need to take for these burdens to lift.  For pitty's sake, I've been through seven years of recovery meetings, a couple of mentors, The Journey Training, a couple of Pastors, and several different books and trainings, and I'm still struggling.  What is it going to take to totally uproot these anchors, or at least lift them enough so that I can live a full life?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 17

Step 17:  Get a big soundtrack for your big adventure.

What would Rocky's on-screen workouts be without Eye of the Tiger playing in the background?  Really, what would any good movie be without an awesome soundtrack?

As I continue on my quest, these songs will be my soundtrack.

Reach for it by Danny Cahill
To hear a snippet of the song, click here.
To purchase the single, click here.
Used by permission of the artist.  Thanks, Danny.
Faith  by Hillsongs

Victory by Kool and the Gang

Eye on it  by TobyMac
Dream On by Aerosmith
Roar by Katy Perry
We Will Rock You by Queen
Ignition by TobyMac
Courage by Justin Hines
Right Now by Van Halen
Unstoppable by TobyMac
Addicted to Jesus by Carman

Livin' on a Prayer by Bon Jovi

Thunderstruck by AC/DC

Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N Roses

And for the closing credits...
Happy by Pharrel Williams

Done by The Band Perry
We are the Champions by Queen

What awesome soundtrack titles would you add?

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 16

Step 16:  Beat the dip when you want to quit.

If you've made it this far with me on this quest, you are unique.  The average person quits a goal before they finish it.  The excitement wears off, the mundane of routine sets in, life crowds in, and if we're not careful, we say "Screw it.  I'll work on this next year."  Please don't quit before the miracle happens. Trust me, next year doesn't come, or if it does, you still may quit.

I've been there.

My serious health quest started several years ago.  I'd start, then stop, then start, then stop and make no headway.  A couple of years ago, I finally made headway and was nearly halfway to my goal.  Then, all hell broke loose, life kicked me in the taint, and I found myself at square one again.  I was depressed and wanted to quit.

For a time, I did. 

One of the things that helped me come out of the fog was I found trustworthy people I could be honest with about what was going on.  They didn't coddle me, but they did listen, and they spurned me on to not quit.

Author and mentor Michael Hyatt suggests frequently reviewing your goals either keeps you from quitting or "cranks your tractor" to get you started again.

I recently heard a message by Pastor Rick Warren on this very subject.  He suggests these six things to do when you feel like quitting:
  1. Remember who's watching you.  God is watching and showing you what you need to accomplish His will.  Heaven is watching (the "great cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12:1).  People on earth are watching.  We encourage people without knowing it.
  2. Eliminate what doesn't matter or what weighs us down.  Declutter your heart from bitterness, anger, and anything that weighs you down.
  3. Run your own race, not someone else's.  Pastor Warren jokingly said "God loves you and everyone else has a wonderful plan for your life."  Other people have ideas about what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.  Life is like a running race; everyone has their own pace.  Trying to run someone else's pace is painful, frustrating, and extremely difficult. 
  4. Refocus on the Answer rather than the problem. Years ago, I was at a Bible study that discussed this very thing.  The example they gave was this:  They stood me on one end of the room, a buddy of mine at the other end, and a couple of people in the middle.  I was me,  The person on the other end was Jesus holding the answer.  Those in the middle were the problems in the way.  When I focused on the problems in the middle, I couldn't see Jesus and all I could do was hit up against the problems over and over.  When I focused on Jesus with the answer, I could easily push the problems out of the way to get to Jesus.  It was a powerful message.
  5. Don't stop planting good seeds.  Zig Ziglar said, "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."  Keep taking care of yourself and keep helping others.  Forget Karma, God's system of sowing and reaping works much better.
  6. Finish things you started but never got back to.  In his message on consistency, Jerry Savelle suggested the best way to build consistency is finish things you've started.  Even if it's a crossword puzzle, finishing something you started primes the pump for consistency and getting back on track.
So, let's get this crazy train back on the rails.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 15

Step 15:  Mark your progress or you'll never know you're making any.

The saying goes "the job's not finished until the paperwork's done."  With this quest, finding areas of progress is essential.  The number on the scale alone doesn't tell the full story.  Other indicators paint a bigger picture.
  • More reps than before.
  • Faster times in 5k races.
  • Further distances walked, ran or cycled.
  • Lifting more weight.
  • Trying new workouts and succeeding.
  • Muscle development.
  • Longer workouts.
  • More vitality and less fatigue.
  • Clothes getting looser.
  • Fitting into "progress" wear.
  • Less embarrassing photographs
I've got several ways I track my progress.  I have sheets for keeping up with workouts.  I track my walking/running mileage on both and an Excel spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet includes my cycling miles and backs up when runsignup is on the fritz and I have to reenter my data (it's happened before).  Both a Garmin GPS watch and a Fitbit were gifts that I use, plus I use the Runkeeper app on my phone when I don't have my watch. 

When I look back over the things I've tracked, it gives me hope that I am making progress.  It also shows me areas where I could improve.  It may not be the most efficient tracking system, but it works.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 14

Step 14:  Go where the knowledge is free

Getting fit can be ridiculously expensive especially when any goober can claim to be a fitness guru and sell people anything.  Heck, even Dr. Oz has had to say that everything with his picture and name isn't endorsed by him.  Most times quality costs a pretty penny.  However, I've got a list of places where fitness help and information is free (or at least really cheap. - this website and their YouTube channel has hundreds of free at home workouts, plus sound nutritional information.  They do offer products for sale, but they have a ton of free content.
 One of my favorite workouts from Fitness Blender.
BeFit's YouTube channel - like fitness blender, this channel has a plethora of various free workouts.
The local YMCA - Most Y's offer a week's trial pass for those who've never used their facilities, plus many periodically offer free classes and programs.  In fact, the YMCA of Calhoun County is planning to open up a diabetes prevention program as soon as we have enough participants.  Yes, I know it's a shameless plug for my workplace.  :) 
The public library - many libraries have books on fitness and nutrition, plus workout videos and DVD's for checkout.
Facebook groups - There are several fitness groups on Facebook that offer encouragement and fellowship.  I participate in the Anniston Runner's Club group.  I've recently joined the NEABA (a cycling group).  I'm still considering joining Black Girls Run - this website is a faith based approach to fitness.
Your doctor - yes, I know it costs money to go to the doctor, but if he is worth his salt, he'll answer your questions or direct you to someone who can. - Health pinners have a lot of good information, but BE CAREFUL.  I've seen many pins loaded with dangerous misinformation.  Have fun, but be wise. 
Online health magazines.  Reputable magazines like Prevention and Runner's World offer free articles online.
Yard Sales and Thrift stores are good places to find books, videos, and equipment for a reasonable price.  
So, what are some free or inexpensive places you've found for information and assistance in your health quest?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 13: The Weekly Hodgepodge

 Want to join the party?  Saunter on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!

What's the last thing you did that could be described as 'taxing'?
I'm on the tail end of another brief but taxing bout of depression.  Long or short, depression takes it out of you.
If you could plant a garden of anything, what would be in it?
I look forward to having a chance to plant a garden.  I love both flower and vegetable gardening.  I would like to plant a huge perennial garden of bulbs that return every year.  I'd have everything from daffodils to gladiolus, roses to hydrangeas, and lilies of every kind.  I would like to experiment in my vegetable garden to try new plants.  I might also try my hand at herb gardening.
April 10-16 is National Library Week...will you celebrate with a visit to your nearest library? When did you last make a trip to the library? What are you reading right now? What's one title on your want-to-read list?
I won't be going to the library this week.  However, I did attend an impressive lecture on Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Houston Cole Library (on JSU's campus).  Plus, I plan to partake of the bargains at Jacksonville Public Library's book sale on April 30th, and Anniston Public Library's book sale May 7th.
It's been a few months since I've travelled to the library, however, I did check an audio book out of an online library.  Currently, I'm reading several books including 3 devotionals, the New Living Translation of the Bible, books by Lewis Grizzard and Dr. Phil, and a couple of books by Beth Moore.
Share a saying or an old wives tale you heard while growing up, you believed to be true or that you paid attention to 'just in case'?
None that I can think of.
Are you a fan of onions? Garlic? Ginger? What's a dish you love that contains one, two or all three items listed?
Yes to all three.  I don't have a particular dish I use all three in, but I have taken to using a good bit of ground ginger and garlic in my chicken and vegetable stir fry.
Where does nurturing end and indulging begin? What are some skills or qualities you think a person needs to possess in order to be viewed as mature?
If someone grows up never hearing the word "no," there's a problem.  On the subject of maturity, click here.  Have fun.
What leading figure in any field would you like to hear speak, and why?
  • Financial guru Dave Ramsey - I've been a student of Financial Peace University for nearly a decade, but I've never gotten to see Dave live.  I would love to have a Q & A session with Mr. Ramsey.
  • Minister Kenneth Copeland - His message is solid, plus, he just tells it like it is. 
  • Author and Bible teacher Beth Moore - Like Joyce Meyer, she seems to read my mail.
  • Fitness Trainer Bob Harper - I need all the help I can get.
  • Food maven Paula Deen - She's made healthy alternative recipes for many of my favorite foods.  I not only want to hear her speak, but would like to take a cooking class (or two) from her.
Insert your own random thought here.
Picking up the Lose Your Quit Quest:
Step 13:  Find a who ahead of you. 
I have many inspirational people who are ahead of me on this quest.  However, they are not accessible; they are only to be admired from afar.  In checking around locally, I see many people who are ahead.  Unfortunately, they don't have time for those who are behind.  What's even more disturbing is that people who are at the same level don't have time for others in the same boat.  So, the quest for community continues.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 12

Step 12:  Grab Data as fast as you can/build a personal library.

I put these two together because a) Step 12 and step 14 on the original list seem to be pretty much the same thing, and 2) on a separate blog post from  the creator of the list, he changes step 14 to "build a personal library."

This step is important because whether for inspiration or information, we need something to refer back to.  As I'll talk about in step 14, building a personal library doesn't have to be expensive.  Many items in my collection came from library book sales, thrift stores, used book sales on, gifts from friends, and free offers from websites. 

Along with online workout videos, these DVD's are an important part of my arsenal, especially when the weather doesn't cooperate for outdoor play.

My collection of books on physical health looks small, but my personal library on mental and spiritual health fills a bookshelf and a couple of milk crates.  Many of these I have read, but I have many more to go.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 11

Step 11:  Use the two most powerful words to overcome obstacles.

Now, here's where this gets tricky.  Since Mr. Acuff never told us what those two words are, We're going to have to guess what they are.  Here's a few:
  • I can
  • I will
  • Don't quit
  • Lord, help!
  • Do it!
  • Get'er done!
  • Don't stop
  • Don't isolate
  • Keep going
  • Keep trying
  • Keep pushing
  • Why not?
  • Pray hard
  • Get help
  • Look up
  • Dream big
  • Work harder
  • Work smarter
  • Game on!
  • Try again
  • Be thankful
  • Envision it
  • Buddy system
  • Fear not
  • Trust God
What would you add to this list?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 10

Step 10:  Find Your Triggers

Trigger - anything, as an act or event, that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction or series of reactions.

Usually the word trigger is associated with something negative, but there are also positive triggers:  what we call motivators.

Some positive triggers that inspire me to make positive health choices are:
  • Prayer
  • Health success stories of others.
  • Healthy recipes I want to try.
  • Seeing the results of what making poor choices produces.
  • Encouragement from others.
  • Signing up for races and activities.
  • Good music that gets me moving (more on that on step 17).
  • Getting a new workout outfit, shoes, or equipment.

Some negative triggers the drive me to make harmful health choices are:
  • Depression and thoughts of suicide
  • PMS
  • Stress and fear
  • Being mistreated or ignored by others
  • Illness
  • Feeling out of control
  • Negative feelings in general
As I add more of the positive, it will drive out the negative.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 09

Step 9:  Cut it in half, yes half

Let's be honest, when we/I set goals, we/I set them in the context of "If everything goes perfectly, these results should happen."  We all/I know that life is NOT perfect and something will go wrong, or at least not as planned.  Scheduling conflicts, illness, saboteurs, and other aggravations will try to impede progress.  As trainer Chris Powell says, "The more you want something, the more life will test you."  Cutting your goal in half actually helps you succeed.

Do what?!  Cutting it in half sounds like giving up!

Sure, if you give up, half of nothing is still nothing.  BUT succeeding at half is better than failing at the whole thing.  For example, for years I've set the goal to lose 100 pounds, which equals approximately 2 pounds a week, which even on my best weeks, is hard to do.  On my worst weeks, not gaining any weight is the goal (BTW-- meeting that goal is a mercy from the Almighty.)  If you've seen my profile picture, you know I haven't come close to losing the whole 100.  **sigh**  So, this year, I cut my goal in half to 50 pounds, which equals around one pound a week.  If I have a bad day/week/month, I still have a good chance of meeting my goal by the end of the year.  So, instead of 10 pounds, this month's goal is lose five.

Less pressure = more success.


Stick with me here.

I'm pretty sure I read this in John C. Maxwell's book Failing Forward or another one of his writings (If I'm wrong, I'll correct it later, but I know I read it somewhere not on the internet, so I'm sure it's accurate).  During the initial construction of the Golden Gate bridge, progress was slow and many workers were injured or killed by falls.  Finally some genius figured out that they needed a safety net and proceeded to add one.  Not only were there less deaths and injuries, there were actually less falls and the work proceeded much faster.  Why?   With no safety net, fear of falling was the only thing on the workers' minds. With safety measures in place, the constructors of the bridge could peacefully concentrate on completing the work.

There is safety in grace.

Give yourself some.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Five Minute Friday: "Whole" [Lose Your Quit Quest 08]

Our Mistress of Ceremonies for the Five Minute Friday is Kate over at Heading Home.  Hope you link up with us and join the fun.


Step 8:  Create a Vision

My vision for the quest is wholeness and health.  Wholeness of body, mind, and spirit. 

Wholeness of mind - being free from debilitating depression and using coping skills that don't involve food when wrong thinking tries to creep in.

Wholeness of spirit - my spirit was completely transformed when Christ entered my life.  This world has a way of wounding the very core of a person.  I must stay spiritually strong by sticking close to my Savior.

Wholeness of body - happens when the first two are working.  A whole body isn't necessarily a skinny body, but a healthy, strong, beautiful one.

My mentor and I discussed this particular step today.  I need to have a realistic vision.  The superficiality of Hollywood is not my standard.  The standard is wholeness of the total package.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 07

Step 7:  Fight for Community

My word for this year (and maybe next year) is the word community.  From a post earlier this year:
Speaking of reminiscing, two years ago, I was asked by Annie, my sister-in-blog if I could chose one word for your coming year, what would it be?  I chose the word metamorphosis.  It is happening, but very slowly.  I think I need to chose another word: Community.  I realize that if I'm going to complete the metamorphosis and be all that I'm called to be, I'm going to need to have the help of community.  I guess realize is the wrong word.  I've known this for a long time and had tried various methods to establish community, but none of them worked.  I blogged about it here and here, so I'm not going to rehash it here.  Getting well in community is a biblical principal, but after so much chaos, I tried to go it alone.
I cant.
I wish I could, but I can't. 
Photo via ClipartPanda
I have three close leaders who are praying for me, a wonderful mentor I speak with regularly, and the encouragement of my friends from the YMCA, the Journey Training and ARC.  However, these still feel distant to me.  There's a lack of closeness and intensity that I can't seem to shake.  Something is missing.  I still feel like I'm working on a DIY project and others are sitting back watching it go horribly wrong.  That's the best way I can describe it.
I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that community is at the crux of it. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lose Your Quit Quest 06: The Weekly Hodgepodge

 Want to join the party?  Saunter on over to From This Side of the Pond  for the Hodgepodge link-up!


What does retirement mean to you? Are you planning for it, not thinking about it, looking forward to it, or dreading it?
I've not been thinking about retiring, but I have been thinking about how I'm ever going to start investing in retirement.  I'm following Dave Ramsey's baby steps.  Investing in retirement is baby step 4.  I've been stuck between baby steps one and two since I started the program nearly a decade ago.  All I can do is keep pressing on until I get to that point.  One thing I do know:  I'm not depending on Social Security to substitute for retirement.  I've seen what that looks like and want no part of it.
It's International Guitar you play? Does anyone in your family play? What's a song you especially like to hear played on the guitar or a favorite song featuring the guitar?
I've played bass guitar since I was around 18 years old.  My older brother, Marvel, plays guitar.  BTW--we've never played together, but I think I would be fun. 
OK, put this in the weird category, but other than Christmas carols, one of my favorite songs to hear on guitar is Caliente by Charo (yes, I said Charo).
One of my favorite songs to play on bass guitar is Darrell Evans' Trading My Sorrows. 
What's your comfort food?
Food.  Part of my struggle is using food as comfort instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to be my comfort.
What's one activity or area of your life where you absolutely never procrastinate?
I can't think of an "absolutely never" scenario.  I fight procrastination both on things I don't want to do and things I want to do.  Go figure.
Who does the grocery shopping in your house? Does your local store bag the groceries for you or is it a do-it-yourself kind of place? Do you like someone packing your groceries?
I do most of it.  All of our stores bag the groceries.  When Save-A-Lot first opened in our area, the prices were great and bagging was self serve.  Now, they do the bagging and they prices have risen.  I miss being about to bag my own.  That's one reason I like to use the self checkout at Wal-Mart when I can.
What's the coolest thing you've seen in nature?
It's hard to pick one thing.  I've seen everything from flowers to turtles out on the Ladiga Trail.   OK, so I haven't "seen" the turtles, but I keep passing the turtle pond in Jacksonville hope to actually see one up close. 

Share a favorite quote about home.
Insert your own random thought here.
I know that many of you are doing the A-Z challenge this month, but I'm going in a different direction (besides, I haven't finished last year's challenge yet).  For more information on my Lose Your Quit Quest, read here.  That will get you up to speed, and please join in if you'd like.  I'd be honored if you did.
Step 6:  Keep Where a Priority
My where for this health quest is anywhere.  Yes, it does help that  I work at a fitness facility and I do workout there.  BUT, like anyone else, after I've worked a few days, I tire of seeing the building.   Therefore, I try to get outside whenever the weather is favorable.  Miles of the Ladiga Trail greet me as well as the walking tracks at Elwell Park in Weaver (the place with no bathroom), Oxford Lake in Oxford, LeGarde Park across from Anniston's Natural History Museum, just to name a few.  When the weather is yucky, I can work out at home or go to the community center in Jacksonville.  Where there's a where, there's a work out.