The Graceful Skinny

A homeschool mom of one sharing my thoughts, curriculum reviews, organization techniques, and planning ideas with others in the homeschool community.

The No Brainers, The Should have Known’s, & The Strange! November 29, 2010

 

 

 

 

 

The most common question I have gotten since starting my diet has been, “What is so different about your diet?” The quick answer is that it is less of a diet to lose weight and more of a complete and permanent dietary revamp to get me healthier and to cut down on the nausea and other health issues.

It is important to remember that while I have been seeing rather drastic results, I most certainly am not taking drastic measures to get there.  This is a slow and steady wins the race type of game. No two people will ever lose weight the same way, especially when you factor in medical issues. Issues like a hiatal hernia and Hashimotos thyroiditis bring their own brand of fun to the game and change EVERYTHING.  When you have hypothyroidism [this means your thyroid levels are lower than they should be, aka you under produce, and this is usually indicated by your TSH levels coming back high (generally 4 or greater from my experience)] your metabolism gets lowered and adding insult to injury it also can make you rather lethargic and bring on some serious food cravings.   A hiatal hernia is where part of your stomach is pushed up into your esophagus. This brings on issues with acid build up and nausea.

So what does my diet look like? Well, there is the obvious stuff you would expect any decent diet to have such as portion control and choosing the right foods.  There is the stuff that some may already know but still may surprise people, for instance, making sure to eat your bigger meals first and smaller meals at dinner. Then there is the downright strange and surprising like the instructions to avoid drinking any fluid (yes, this includes water) 30 minutes before through 30 minutes after you eat. {Apparently liquids interfere with the proper breakdown of the nutrients in our food. When we drink liquids with our meals the initial and crucial breakdown points get skipped and our bodies only absorb the fat.}

Here is the basic rundown of the details to my diet:

  • Portion Control! Like any good diet, I to need to make sure that when I eat I am getting proper portions of every meal.
  • No Water with meals
  • Eat organic as possible
  • Stay away from the artificial junk
  • Remember to eat 3 meals a day. (I am terribly bad about forgetting to eat!)
  • Make sure to eat well rounded meals. This means at every meal I must have:

o    *A Starch {*except at dinner.}

o    A Vegetable (Yes, even at breakfast!}

o    A Protein/Dairy

o    A Fat {that’s right folks! I have to make sure I get a healthy fat at every meal}

 

Now that I have given you the basics, what about the diet I was given is surprising to you? What part of this would be the most challenging to stick with? What do you think might work for you?

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What A Twisted World! November 18, 2010

Body image issues. I don’t know a single woman who hasn’t struggled with them at least once in their life. For most, it is a chronic poison that seeps into our every thought and action. Why is it that we ladies find it so easy to forget the beauty in the form that God gave us?

We are so surrounded by poisonous images that we have almost become numb to their effects. I love the Dove commercial because in a few quick seconds it brings to light how twisted our culture is. The images we are surrounded by have been edited to the point that most of the time the images we see can get so extreme that the images aren’t even possible in a healthy body.

To make matters worse, the plague of body image issues and warped senses of reality is getting younger and younger. This past week I was working with the 3rd grade girls that I disciple, and it was uncovered that even they have issues with their bodies. Third grade! It breaks my heart.

But those who are surrounded by the eyes of girls beware! It is not just the media that infect our girls. Those young minds look up to you and see you as their example of beauty. They watch us stare into the mirror and find faults with ourselves.  They watch us beat ourselves up and convince ourselves we are fat. They take that and reflect that back on themselves.

Another danger for them is our diets.  Impressionable minds make it even more important to not only eat right but to eat right for the right reasons.  In losing weight it is so easy to slip into the weight game.  But let me tell you, focusing on the pounds and the dress sizes gets dangerous. If you focus on only on where you need to go next and not the achievement in how far you have come so far, you will lose sight of the positive and it will eat you alive.

Before I could successfully go on this diet I had to stop and find the beauty in my body the way it was.  I had to come to terms with the fact that I was beautiful the way God made me no matter the size that I am.  And while I may be enjoying the fact that I am slimming down, by no means is that my focus for what I am doing.

I have been asked so many times what I am doing different. My response, I am not on a diet. I made a lifestyle change to help control the symptoms of my hiatal hernia and my thyroid issues. The weight loss is just a pleasant side effect of the change.  The difference is I am focusing on my health. I want to get healthy. I want to put a stop to the nausea and other symptoms that have been making my life unlivable.  I am not losing weight to improve my image. I am beautiful the way I am now.

When I forget that I turn back to the bible, and I remember what I am always telling my girls, “You are a creation of God. The bible tells us that God sees all of his creations as beautiful.  God never makes mistakes, so who are we to argue against God?”

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”

Palms 139:14-15

 

“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”

Genesis 1:27

For those out there who struggle for one reason or another with the beauty in themselves,  I send out a reminder. You are not alone.  And for those trying to lose weight, whatever you do, don’t go on a diet.  Diets are temporary. Eventually you will go off of it and go back to the habits that caused you to gain the weight in the first place and before you know it you will be back at the starting point.  So I challenge you, don’t diet, change your lifestyle! Step up and make a permanent change. And WHATEVER you do, don’t lose weight for the sake of getting skinny or looking better. Lose weight for your health, not beauty because you are beautiful just the way you are!

 

A Small Aha Moment November 9, 2010

Filed under: Revalations along the way — The Graceful Skinny @ 1:56 am
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While losing weight it is so easy to trivialize the significance of the weight you have already lost. I realized yesterday that this has been happening with me.  With so much weight to loose, twenty pounds seems to be only scratching the surface.  That is until yesterday morning when I sat down to teach my third grade discipleship group.

While walking to our classroom, the girls and I were talking about many different things. Somehow, the girls got on to the topic of how much they weigh. A few of them started to announce that they weigh between 44-47 pounds. Without truly realizing the significance of my statement I told them how in the two months I have been on my diet I have lost half their body weight.

It took me a moment but, when the girls looked back at me with awed surprise I realized the significance of what I just said.  That’s right folks! In the two months I have been dieting I have lost half of an eight- nine year old child! I am not sure what made that moment better, my revelation or their adorable reaction to it. Some of them actually decided to break out into applause. Needless to say, I won’t be thinking of twenty pounds as a small amount again.

So tell me, what are things that you know of that are twenty pounds?

 

The baby steps will get you down the tracks of Life! November 4, 2010

Filed under: Revalations along the way — The Graceful Skinny @ 5:47 pm
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Standing at the starting line, staring out across the vast distance with your finish line just barely within your sight, that is if it’s in your sight at all, can be a terrifying experience.  If you are anything like me, you often find yourself at that line scratching your head so lost you don’t know where to begin.

I have found in my experiences that the best thing to do in these situations is to call in the guard so to speak.  Find that person who can stand by your side with the right knowledge to point you in the right direction. Find what you need so you can recognize the end result.

Once you have the finish line clearly drawn break that down in to much smaller check points.  For instance, I have been told by my doctors that my total weight loss needs to be in the range of 70-90 pounds.  If that is all I focused on I would get overwhelmed quickly. Instead I focused on smaller goals. 20 pound check points. By focusing just on the 20 pounds, I feel more encouraged that the goal is within my grasp.

The most important part is to always remember that life’s hardest challenges are best dealt with in large groups. You need to surround yourself with cheerleaders who know what you are going through and can walk alongside you.  These are the people who can cheer you on through the good times and bad. They pick you up off the floor when you feel you have nothing left, and they are the first ones to celebrate when you make progress.

One last thing, never forget to laugh. There will be moments in life where everything has gone kaput at the same time.  In these times you have only two choices; let the stress overwhelm you and drive you towards defeat, or take a moment and find the humor in the moment and laugh at it. Did you know that the bible says the words “do not worry” at least fifteen times? It goes on to mention the command “do not fret” at least another four.  Call me crazy, but I get the feeling that God is trying to remind us that he has things under his control.  So next time life gets you down, throw away the worry and just laugh. God is always there to help to see you through any situation.

Dealing with any overwhelming task can be difficult, be it conquering that disorganized closet, getting a resume complete, or losing 90 pounds. You just have to remember, everybody starts by crawling, and that crawling can get you surprisingly far! The baby steps might take a bit longer, but we stay on track and reach the end all the same.