Sunday, June 3, 2018

I can't tell my daughters I feel fat.

This is a tough post to start because there are so many entrances I could come in from.

When I had girls it didn't take long for the warnings about body image to get set in. "Never tell them you feel fat."  And such things.  "Never let them know you are human", okay not the last one, but that's how it feels."

My husband and I were incredibly conscious of how we were going to go about the "Rules of eating" with our girls.  We would never make them finish every bite on their plate and would always encourage them to make good choices.  There was more to it, but it's not the meaning of this post.

 I had slimmed down through running and I felt accomplished and wanted everyone who wanted to lose weight to feel the way I did so I became a personal trainer.

From college to now that was a five year process.

Being a personal trainer is a labor of love.  You either don't care and are just in it to make some money, or you care too much and it envelopes your whole life.  There is a very small gray area in this. It finally had taken it's toll with me.  I gave it a very honest go, and believe that I did improve over time.  By that time, burnout had set in completely.  So completely that stress accompanied the burnout.  

I've had a few upsets going in my life over the past six months that have helped this little sedentary, eat crap devil take the reigns.

Now I feel out of control, I don't know how to stop it!  Crazy has become my MO.  At least in my mind.  Just last night after a friend gave me a bunch of clothes that I barely fit into, my thoughts begin to escape my head.  "Ugh, all the weight I have gained has gone straight into my butt"  " I look 5 months pregnant!"  "I hate looking like this"  "It's my own fault"  "I feel disgusting and lazy" "I feel like you are looking at me thinking, Mom gained a lot of weight." < Yeah I said that...not my shining mom moment for sure.

All this stuff is being spoken OUT LOUD in front guessed it, my two teen age daughters.

NO, NO, NO!!!  My THOUGHTS scream in my head.  "You are giving your girls negative body images!!"  "You are ruining them!"  "You should be ashamed of yourself!"  "They are never going to think positively about their bodies now because you have ruined it!"  "All those years you kept your mouth shut and you wait until they are in the most delicate time for body image in their lives to speak out?"

I feel like now that I am out of the personal training stress and into an 8-5 job that I can have a lot more control, I mean this is the exact group of women I have been training all these years, right?!  I should know a little bit about this!

But the thought now is, my kids will see me desperately trying to get my body back into a satisfactory stage for myself, does that make them think I won't love them if they don't maintain MY ideal body image?

My hope and prayer is that they understand the truth.  That I will not judge them over their physical being, that I will not feel sorry for them if they put a little weight on (I think my mom always felt sorry for me and that bugged me), that all I want is for them to love Jesus and be good additions to the human race.  

Do any of you moms go through this?  I just needed to say something and maybe find some encouragement from other MOTDs  (moms of teenage daughters) out there!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Maybe if you didn't say bad words sometimes

I almost knew what her answer would be in the moment that I asked her.

We were in Lancaster, PA visiting Amish country.  We had a wonderful tour guide on our bus named Rachel. She told us all about her community and the Amish and Mennonites.  She also spoke about being born again and really teaching Jesus and His word in the home.  She elaborated on the importance of family and the fact that what is taught in the home is what sticks with the child.  She told a story about how her dad answered every question no matter how big or small and that one particular day she said she had a question for her dad as he was up on a ladder, and it was getting late and her mom was urging the dad to finish up with his outside work as there was still much to do inside with dinner etc.  Her dad looked at the mom and said "Okay, but I must answer Rachel's question first".

Of course that resonated with me, it did with all of us, especially the dad's I am sure.  I often wonder what impact the way that we live in our home has on our children.  I become concerned with the fact that we don't go to church every Sunday, and that we don't memorize verses as a family, or have a nightly devotion after dinner.  I read those little blog blurbs about making a good Christian family and the aforementioned things are what every single one of them says to do.  EVERY SINGLE ONE.

I realize that is their story and I realize that I cannot do it all, however I know that there are things that we, as parents, need to make special effort about more.

It's not about what you aren't doing, as much as what you are doing.

"Dear daughter, do you remember what Rachel said about modeling in the home and about parenting with Christ?"

"Yes, mom I do"

"Do you think that you have a good Christian home upbringing?  Do we model well?"

"Maybe if you didn't say bad words sometimes".

What are you, the reader thinking right now?  Are you wondering what those words I use might be?  Some of them are seemingly innocent, you know the ones like damn and such.  But shamefully (YES SHAMEFULLY) there are words that are harsher and profane that I use when speaking to my husband.  We try to keep it secret, or in a fun joking manner however I am coming to the sobering realization that no matter how much jest is put into it, it is still NOT OKAY.  If I continue to defend my profanity with my children then I am doing them a disservice.

The Holy Bible, God's inspired word teaches us that we are not to use profanity Ephesians 4:29-30 among other verses.  It says it, out loud…okay maybe not out loud, but it is a hard and fast rule.  I consider myself a rule follower and I know I cannot possibly follow every rule (this is where freedom and GRACE through Christ comes in), but seriously…that should be an easy one.  I should interject here that we are called to lift each-other up and speak words of affirmation.

So, now I vow to really watch my mouth.  I realize my home will never be this perfect model of Christ, however I will ask Him for help daily to live in His will for my family.

Deuteronomy 5:29 O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear Me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Running: It saves my sanity and my waistline

I will never forget that feeling that came over me when I took a boot camp class at the gym, and after we were done with the weights and body resistance workout the instructor put us on the treadmill.  With each bump of the speed I felt a freeing high emotion that I can barely explain.  Could it be that I got my first runners high in the 5 minutes that I was on that treadmill?  I guess anything is possible.

As I exercised my right to run more frequently I had some difficult runs, but mostly really good runs.  I had anxiety over distance, and struggled to find time.  I loved the summer and refused to run (outside) in the winter, especially after training with my daughter for a race in January of 2014.  That was almost two years ago.

Since then I have run 2 marathons after I said I wouldn't likely run even one.  The training was over the spring for one, and the summer for the next…practically back to back.

I thought I was going to get burned out, and I kind of did.  I swore I was taking the winter off and finding a new way to exercise without winter weather exposure.  But something was happening to me.

My mood and my muffin top weren't improving.

So I found myself texting my running partner quite frequently.  Suddenly the winter elements had no hold on me.

Carving out time wasn't an issue!  Not many people are busy between 4 and 6 am.

I'm not saying all problems can be solved through running, but they sure can clear an angry head.  I think my kids would say I am a nicer mommy for it.  

Thursday, September 3, 2015

An open letter to my children of how first day drop off went (for me)

Dear Emily
As I woke you up this morning I looked at your sweet face and said “Today is the first day of 8th grade”  I didn’t think much about it as I have been contemplating the 8th grade ,and you being in it, since September of last year.  You had most of your stuff packed up last night, so getting ready was a breeze for you.  We arrived to school right on time.  You got into your locker and got everything squared away quickly…this is old hat for you!  Off to your class we go.  I trail behind you, my steps slow to a crawl, finally a stop.  This time 2 feet from your door instead of opening it and walking in behind you.  I call your name, and you turn not realizing that I was stopped.  I gave you a kiss and a hug and said have a great day.  You said “Okay Mom, I love you.”  And with that you were in your classroom being an 8th grader. Earning your middle school right of passage.

I wanted so badly to go back and peek in on you.  I also know that you need your space, and even though I know I will be there for you for the rest of my life, I cannot stand over and watch your every moment.  My heart is just a little achy and proud this morning.

I love you dearly sweet child.

Love Mom.

Dear Haley,
I woke you this morning reminding you it was the first day of school.  You got out of bed rather quickly and proceeded to get ready for school.  I straightened your hair, then your sister French braided it, then I French braided it, then you wore it straight.  You were just a little nervous about today and all of the newness it might bring.  I don’t remember you being this nervous for school…ever.  So in my mommy mind it meant you were going to need me extra this morning.

As we walked into the school you went to your locker to put away your stuff.  I though for sure I was going to have to help you open your lock (with the combination still taped to the back).  You opened your lock without trouble.  Your first class was PE in the gym.  You opened the gym door after giving me a kiss goodbye and stopped in the doorway, your face softening to make sure it was I who didn’t need you.  How did you know?  I made a very confident face and told you to have a great day and that I loved you.  You went into the gym, the door closing behind you to join the ranks of middle school. 

I stood there for a while, looked at another mom and said “I don’t even need to be here, but I am just standing here.”  Then I left. 
My heart is achy and proud today. 
I love you dearly sweet child
Love, Mom

Saturday, August 8, 2015

On this, the eve of my 41st birthday I woke up very early to prepare for an 8 mile run in preparation for my second marathon.  Last year I remember looking at the marathon running schedule and debating on squeezing one in before I turned 40.  The debate didn't last long once I seen how many miles it takes to train for this type of event.

After my shower and coffee with the most important man in my life, I logged into my NASM account so I could continue studying for my Corrective Exercise Certification.  I am very involved and excited (more than I would have been two years ago upon graduation) about this type of information.  I am thrilled to have extended knowledge of what makes the body work more efficiently.

Last year I had a huge birthday party, and it was fun, but a lot of work.  I will never do that again.  The next big thing I want to plan is a graduation party, weather it's for the 8th grade, or the 12th grade.

As a personal trainer I am really coming along, learning so much!  There really is something to be said for experience, and the older I get, the more I realize that.  Some times I have to step outside of my situation to be able to see progress.

I was telling Kurt today that people in the gym now recognize me enough to ask me questions, or for advice.

This birthday is a lot lower key.  I have found an excitement for riding my bicycle.  When we went camping this year Kurt and I rode into Trinity Center from the camp ground and it was so great!  Maybe it's because when I run it's usually to train and not for leisure, but  I love the freedom of a leisurely bike ride.

I just decided that after this marathon, I will run for leisure way more!  It is possible to run for distance and make it fun.

I crossed over this year into enjoying running way more than before.  I always had an admiration for it, but it is more enjoyable now and easier.  Also I have been running with a friend which has made a huge difference.  I am so glad God brought her into my life because she has encouraged me to do things I would otherwise not even try.

So, I guess that is it for now.

Monday, June 29, 2015

The struggle

I have struggled since childhood with homosexuality being a sin according to the bible.

I remember my mom having a friend who was a lesbian and I thought she was the most greatest person I could know!  She was a girl, and fun, and lively, and she treated me so kind.  I was confused...was I not supposed to like her?

In this past couple of years I have struggled a lot more with my stance.  I had some hard hitting questions.  But they weren't for my clergyman, they weren't for my friends.  They were for Jesus.

I wanted to know, "God, aren't I just supposed to love?"  "Am I worldly if I don't put up a fight?"  "Is America going to hell in a hand basket if I be kind and befriend gay people?"  "Lord, I don't deny that you call it a sin, but how can I keep my understanding of your Word to be true, yet witness to my fellow humans that you are an amazing loving God?"  "It's like everyone wants to hear us say it is not a sin, and love is love etc.  as much as I would love to grab onto that I idea, I know this is not the way."  "So if I can't say that, Lord, what can I say?"

I can say that the only unforgivable sin is to reject Jesus Christ's free gift of Salvation and Love.  I can say that yes, you can still be a homosexual and have a relationship with Jesus.  I can say that whatever happens with you and your sexuality and salvation after you accept Jesus into your heart is YOUR and GODS business not mine.  I can relax and say I love you no matter what...okay, well if you are not nice to me I will have a harder time loving you, but I assure you I will not judge because that is too hard and that is why it is not my job.  

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The past ten months

I decided to take on a lot this year.  Every year I write myself a letter about the things that I want to accomplish in the next year, or the things that I feel are worrying me in the present year.  I do it every year at Christmas time.  It's not my idea, but I am going to take the credit for now because it's a long story of how I got started.

December 2013's letter had some specifics in it, one being that I wanted to go to church consistently.  I no longer wanted to make excuses and be lackadaisical with my spiritual growth.  I wanted my family to be able to count on going every Sunday, and to teach them that this is very essential.  So I signed up to be a teacher in the 5th grade children's ministry at my church.  It is a big commitment as we don't trade off and work only 1-2 Sundays out of the month.  We are to be there every Sunday, unless we pre arrange a substitute.  You may think this is a little overboard but I, however, do not.  The design is so that the student and teachers can develop relationships and have a trusted rapport.  I am nearing the end of a 10 month stint at this and I can say the design is exceptional.  The children can come to class knowing that at least one person they are familiar with will be there.  What a blessing!  I got growth and commitment out of it, and I hope in turn that the children's faith has grown stronger in the process, as I know mine has :)

Another commitment I took on was to host an exchange student from China.
This has been another learning experience.  I am grateful to have a glimpse of what it will be like to have had a teen age daughter before I actually had a teen age daughter (mine just turned 13!).  I have had to learn to control my temper and come away from my selfishness.  I wish I could tell you that I perfected the patience and humility thing in the last 9 months, but I don't think that is going to happen until I see St. Peter…  I have enjoyed having someone who values my advice and dare I say wisdom.  There have been plenty of ups and downs, but to participate in someones future by helping them to find their success in America has been rewarding.

Work: God has certainly blessed me with a steady flow of clients.  Right now I have a very great group of clients that have stayed with me for at least 2 months or more.  It is such a blessing to see them change, and begin to feel better!  I love engaging with each one of them, I very much look forward to my time hearing about their lives as I help them strengthen their bodies.  I love troubleshooting situations that may be stumbling blocks.  I owe a lot to my clients over the past year as I have gained so much experience and knowledge.

Running:  I have stepped up my running game to the max (in my opinion).  I signed up for two full marathons.  My client/friend Jessie has encouraged me so much more than she will ever realize, she is running her first Marathon with me in October.  My first marathon will be June 13th.  I have trained more than I ever thought possible, and in conditions that I swore off when I first started.  When I have a goal that I am bent on achieving, all my little rules go out the window.  They talk on the podcast I listen to about the big let down after you achieve your marathon and reach your goal.  That is a very real concern for me right now.  I want it to happen and be over so I can have a short break, but it's kind of like Christmas where the build up is part of the fun.  

Next year is already filling up with obligations, most of them revolving around one little (almost) 8th graders trip to D.C.

I'll keep you posted :)

Thanks for reading