People Pleasing is Way Too Hard!

I like to see people happy.  I would assume that most people do too. However, what I have discovered in this journey is that when you consistently put this first and foremost before your own needs/wants/desires, etc. it can get very unhealthy.

I’m sure a lot of my need to please people grew out of the “had to be perfect” atmosphere growing up.  The weight of always doing everything right, not wanting to make a mistake, not wanting to make waves or call attention to myself/mom/family was always there.    I remember trying to be as inconspicuous as possible in social situations, feeling like I could only speak when it was appropriate.  When I did say anything I remember always being on my guard about exactly what I said to make sure it sounded “right”.

So, with all the emphasis on outward appearances it’s no wonder I never considered any of my own needs.  There was never anything mentioned that I can recall about learning anything about who I was as a person, or who God meant for me to be.  I was told that I could do anything or be anything I wanted to be, but of course it was definitely implied it had to be appropriate (according to Mom’s view of appropriate as I now know).

Discovering who I really am inside has been so freeing in so many ways.  God made me as a loving, caring person who genuinely loves people and wants to connect with them.  However, connecting with them and living to please them are two entirely different things.  I want to connect with people as the real me and I have discovered so much about who that real me is.

I feel like I’ve lived a lie for so long, putting on false facades, wanting to say or do the right things to ensure others thought I was doing everything right.  Not being genuine not only did me a disservice but others as well by not being my true self.  The sad part is, I haven’t discovered until recently who my true self is.

There’s a line in the Kelly Clarkson song “Catch My Breath” that says “Turning my cheek for the sake of the show”.  When I first heard the song I remember I keyed in on that line.  Afterward it would periodically come to mind but I never clued in as to why.  It took my dense mind a little while, plus some gentle prodding from God, before I had the “aha” moment.

I realized for years I had been turning away from “me” and doing everything for the sake of “someone” or the situation I was in.  I was striving to please everyone, especially Mom I guess, and never genuinely expressed my own thoughts/opinions/feelings, etc. into the situation.  How sad for me.

I’ve learned so much by being my new to me true self.  I need and desire to be obedient to God and what He wants for me.  Sometimes I feel like I’m running a race and trying to catch up for all the time I spent trying to please everyone and live up to other people’s expectations.

I am not responsible for other people’s opinions and yes, not everyone will like me or my ideas.  Wow!  What a concept.  It actually took me a little while to totally grasp it but once I did I felt such a weight lift off of my shoulders.   To be honest it took me more than a little while.  The need to be perfect mindset that had been ingrained in me was very hard to get rid of.  I was so afraid inside.

Who I am is not determined by what I do, but what I am inside.  God loves me unconditionally and has not given me a spirit of fear!  Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

God loves me for me; the unique person he created me to be.  My worth is not found in conforming to anyone else’s image of me and who they want or think I should be.

I still love people and want to see them happy and enjoying life.  However, obeying and pleasing God is my primary focus; not pleasing others.  I never imagined what a difference this would make in my life.  Another step taken forward on my journey.

And so, the new-found me continues to evolve and grow.

Romans 8:37

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Affirmation – I Am Loved

The word “affirm” is a verb.  Definitions include – state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly; declare one’s support for; uphold or defend; accept or confirm the validity of; offer emotional support or encouragement.

As people we all desire to be affirmed.  To be told we’ve done a good job, we’re appreciated, or even that we look nice.  It makes us feel loved.  However, there is a problem with deriving our ultimate love from what others think of us.  Why, because humans are fickle.  Their emotions and feelings can change as rapidly as the tide.  One minute we are in their good graces and everything seems rosy; the next minute we may feel their wrath or at least displeasure and aren’t even sure what we may have done to warrant the change.

I want to mention this because the way I was raised I was taught to please people all the time.  To not make waves and have the outward appearance that everything was fine.  This has been and still is sometimes one of the hardest bad habits to let go of.  That’s not to say that I don’t care what people think because, let’s face it, we all wonder at times what people think of us.  What I did for so many years was base my worth on how I performed, how perfect I was, how many mistakes I didn’t make, and what people thought of me.

My worth as I’ve come to realize with so much gratefulness and awe is found totally in Jesus.  He loves me unconditionally.  Nothing I can do can ever change that.  I’ve had to repeat that over and over to myself.  Nothing, not one mistake, not one bad decision, not one word said in haste or unkindness.  Absolutely nothing.

Does it make God sad when I do some of those things that are outside His will or if they don’t line up with His Word?  Of course it does.  And I feel convicted by the Holy Spirit when I do sin (and that’s what anything is that is outside His will).  I can then ask for forgiveness.  Notice I said convicted, not condemned.  Conviction is from God, condemnation is from the enemy.  I spent a lot of years condemning myself for mistakes (actual or perceived) because I wasn’t living up to the expectation of being perfect.

I admit I still struggle with those condemning thoughts from time to time but I thank God I am getting better at recognizing them.  Romans 8:1 says “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”.  Amen!

What does the word affirm really mean for me now?  That I am loved by an awesome God.  Nothing I can do can change that.  No matter what any person or the world may think of me, God loves me.  Nothing can separate me from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39).  I had read these verses many times but had never truly understood how powerful they are.  John 10:10 says “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance”.  I don’t know about you, but I want that abundant life.

I am so in love with Jesus.  Psalm 37:4 says “Delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”.  I love that word delight.  Yes, I delight in the Lord.

I am affirmed.  I am loved.

psalm 37:4

Absolute Trust

Proverbs 3: 5 – 6  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

The verse above has always been one of my favorites and I memorized it a long time ago.  However, I’ve realized as of late that I’ve struggled with one of the words in it. That word is Trust.

The trust I’m talking about is the absolute trust in God to take care of everything in my life. To commit everything to Him and leave it with him and not pick it back up and try to do it on my own.  Don’t get me wrong I do love God and I do trust him but what I’ve failed to do is give him the credit that He can do anything he chooses without my help.

Sounds simple doesn’t it.  Yet its been hard for me to do.  If you’ve read some of my other posts you’ve undoubtedly read about my upbringing with a mother who molded me into who she wanted me to be, instilling in me the need to be perfect and“not rock the boat” or draw attention to yourself.  I was also brought up to be independent and to solve my own problems, again because admitting that you have any kind of problem you can’t solve means you aren’t perfect and would draw attention.

So, I’ve learned that is the reason that I hadn’t put my absolute trust in God that he can take care of any situation.  Oh sure, I prayed for a problem I have or a need and ask God for his will to be done but when things didn’t happen when I thought I should, then it was “me, myself, and I’ to the rescue to see if I couldn’t hurry things along.  Well guess what, things usually didn’t turn out how I envisioned them if anything happened at all.  Which, of course, left me frustrated.  I don’t recall ever being truly mad at God when this happened but it never occurred to me I might just want to let God take a crack at the issue or need and sit back and see what happened.

What I have learned and continue to learn is that I need to pray about an issue, problem, or whatever is on my heart and then trust God to do what needs to be done.  In His time.  Which, of course, is not necessarily in my desired time frame. I am learning to be more patient.  Once I have submitted my need to Him I don’t need to keep repeating it over and over.  I’m sure he heard me the first time.

I am also learning to listen for God as well.  There may be something He is asking me to do or to learn during this process.  The world view of “doing it myself” if I want something done wants to creep in –  I also may need to pray for more patience during the process of waiting or for peace. I’ve also learned that trusting God means that he may work through other people and if I trust God I need to trust others that may be speaking God-inspired wisdom into my life.

God knows I love him and I am trusting Him.  Romans 8:28 says “ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Words Have Power

I’ve always been stubborn. Very stubborn.  Hard headed even.  As a child when I got mad I would slam doors and say ugly things.  And what did I get in return.  I got punished, usually by my grandfather with a belt.

I don’t really remember any of the specific instances on why I got mad in the first place. What I do remember is never being coached on working through the anger and what a better response might have been.  I am working through my anger issues and I’ve shared about that in another post. What I learned about the times I got angry and said ugly things was basically that it wasn’t right and just shouldn’t happen.  There. That’s it. 

So, over time when I got angry/frustrated with something I would just stuff my emotions and go along like nothing happened.  Well stuffing like that can only go on so long and then there would be one thing that got on my last good nerve.  Then, I would explode and say some very unkind things.  I was, however, careful to explode only around family because it wasn’t proper to show such emotion elsewhere.

The words I’ve said over the years when I got mad were not nice. There was never any of the “think before you speak” initiative going on here.  I just said basically whatever popped into my head; I didn’t use curse words or take God’s name in vain but they were just as bad.  I used my words to blame others, shame myself, build up walls between myself and someone, or even bring up past hurts or annoyances I felt someone had caused me and use those things against them.

I’ve been working through a lot of stuff regarding emotions, how to deal with them and not let them control me or my reaction. When I respond to someone in a heated moment my gut reaction is just to say what and how I feel without regard for how it comes out of my mouth.  Ouch! 

What I have been keenly aware of during this process is how I need to pick and choose my words carefully in response to a situation.  Once those words are spoken there is no going back, and in a lot of instances I cause a lot of hurt.  I am ashamed to say it but I have caused the person I love the most, my wonderful husband, a lot of hurt because of my inconsiderate use of words in the midst of a heated discussion.  To see the hurt in his eyes or hear it in his voice is more than I can bear but I have done it repeatedly.  I thank God for this patient man I have!  He is such a Godly man with such wisdom and insight.  He knows God is working on me and continues to give me abundant grace in this area. 

I thank God for the progress I am making in this area.  I am learning a lot about handling my reactions to my emotions.  I am thankful for God’s grace toward me in my shortcomings as I grow. 

I am learning to not fly off the handle as the old saying goes.  I seek to try to craft the appropriate Godly woman response to a situation.  Have I achieved perfection in this?  Absolutely not.  Will I ever have it down pat? Probably not, and that’s my honest answer. 

Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

To quote a phrase from Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst “I can face things out of my control without acting out of control”.  This is my hearts desire; that I be a Godly woman who can emulate Jesus by the way I walk through the various life encounters.

Proverbs 12:18

Let it Go

“Let go and let God”

“Don’t worry, be happy”

1 Peter 5: 6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Luke 12: 22 – Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear.

Luke 12:25 – Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

I used to be a world-class worrier.  The “need to be perfect” notion I grew up with caused me to be anxious and worry about everything.  I carried a lot of stress at a young age and I remember having more tension in my neck and shoulders than anyone my age should have.  I realize now that I worried about anything and everything, big or small, regardless of how much it may or may not have affected me.

I have heard and read the sayings and scriptures listed above as I am sure a lot of people have.  There are a lot of books and studies out there on the topic of worry/stress and the negative impact it has on our lives.  I’ve read some of the articles.   I’ve had the head knowledge about the effects of stress and why I shouldn’t worry so much so why didn’t I do anything about it?

Well, basically, letting go is so much harder than I thought it would be.  It’s really easy to say but so hard to really do.  Saying the words “I just won’t worry about it”, or “it doesn’t bother me” is one thing, but where I stumbled (a lot) is deciding to think about it anyway, or even worse, stewing on it excessively and letting the emotions of the situation take control.  I then expressed those emotions in a negative way or stuffed them down deep inside.  Thus the vicious cycle.

First off, I had to realize that I was a constant worrier. I wanted to be perfect and not make mistakes so if there was even the least potential for an error or giving the wrong impression I thought and worried about it.  A LOT.

I knew I needed major help.  When I started studying and learning about who I was as a child of God I found I have a lot of layers that I’m working through.  I’ve heard these layers described as if you’re peeling an onion.  I’ve certainly shed some major tears during the process so this analogy is right on target for me!

God has revealed so much to me about how much He loves me and wants to bless me.  He desires to bless us if we only look to Him, obey His Word, and walk in faith.  I believe God speaks to us.  Now it isn’t necessarily an audible voice, although there may be some who have heard it.  I see God and feel His presence in so many instances.  I’ve felt Him telling me to surrender to him completely and I knew that I had given my heart to Him.

What I didn’t really grasp was that I needed to surrender everything to Him.  Not too long ago, when I least expected it, I clearly had that “knowing” you get deep down inside from the Holy Spirit.  That still small voice, if you will.  And what did it say?  “Let it go, let it all go”.

The all was all of the last vestiges of the need to worry about everything to make sure they were “just right” or things went according to the way I thought they should.  I had already let go of so much worry/stress and felt so free it initially shocked me.  But I knew.  I really knew there were some tiny bits that I hadn’t truly given over to God.  Those tiny bits deep down where I just had to have that little bit of control over a situation.  Basically I was playing God!   I was ashamed.

I let go alright.  I really let go this time.  I’ll be honest.  I had a major crying spell and shed some gut wrenching sobs.  But you know what, it felt so good!  To know that God is on the throne and has everything under control and all I need to do is say, God this issue is yours.  I choose not to let it wrap me up in worry and stress.  I need your help to handle it or to just let it go entirely.  I need the Holy Spirit to guide me each step of the way.  He’s been there all along but I’ve chosen to “play God” and try to do most of it on my own before asking for help.

Now, I am trying really hard to look to God first.  I’m not consistent with it yet, but I have hope.

And you know what, the saying “Don’t worry, be happy” sure sounds a lot better to me now.  God wants us to be happy and enjoy life and I think I’m on my way.

Phillipians 4:6-7

I’m Not Selfish, Am I?

‘ve shared before about my journey to a healthier me beginning in  July 2012.  I’m committed to that journey for the rest of my life and I’m doing really well and I feel great.

However, I want to share an experience I had a few weeks ago that God used as a reminder.  I had been checking my blood sugar twice a week and its doing great. Well, that particular Saturday morning when I checked my blood sugar it was higher than usual (150).  This number isn’t alarmingly high but was higher than I was used to seeing and higher than usual readings can happen for a number of reasons.  I’ll be honest though, it freaked me out.

My pulse started racing and I’m sure my blood pressure went up.  My mind started going over all of the possible things I could have done wrong to cause the spike in my blood sugar.  My husband reassured me that I was still eating right and exercising and it could have been a combination of many different things.

Once I was able to rein in some of the emotions that were running rampant in my head I did see the wisdom in what my husband had said as well as what I knew to be true.  I started to calm down.  It was during this time that I clearly heard one word from God: pride.

I thought really, pride? Me? I’ve never thought of myself as being prideful, boastful, or selfish.  I started mediating on pride and it didn’t take long for me to have clarity on what God was trying to tell me.  I had been forgetting lately to give God the praise, honor, and glory for the healthier me that I have become.  I had been developing a bit of pride and selfishness in my way of thinking about how healthy I was becoming.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that I didn’t/couldn’t do this all on my own.  God used the infection in my foot and the diabetes diagnosis as a wake up call.  He gave me the courage, determination, and resolve to be a healthier, new improved me regardless of any obstacles I would face.

I’m not saying that God caused the higher than usual blood sugar reading but He sure did use it as a learning experience.  I was saddened when I realized what I had been forgetting to do and should do each and every day especially with regards to my health.  I’ve asked God to renew in me my commitment to being healthy; to putting the right foods in my body; to exercising; to feeling great.  I’ve actually asked that he keep me just a little “freaked out” so I am ever aware of how precious my health is and how I don’t ever want to go back to being unhealthy again.

To God be the Glory for my health and every aspect of my life.

Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

JAMES 4:8

I’m Dancing for the First Time

One of the images I have in my head is of a little girl wearing a frilly dress and patent leather shoes (okay the shoes date me but they were “in” when I was little).  This little girl is twirling around with her arms wide and she’s smiling, happy, and basically dancing to whatever melody is playing in her head.  She’s free in the moment, just enjoying who she is.

Why is this important to me?  One of the things I’ve realized with all of the reflecting on the past that has occurred is that I don’t recall ever having one of those moments as a little girl.  Never being free in the moment to just be me. 

I’ve shared in other posts about the expectations to be “perfect” that were ingrained in me growing up.  What this “perfect” child was expected to not do was make waves of any kind.  As such I had to make sure that everything I did lined up with what was expected of me.  Granted I thought this was normal for a kid and didn’t know differently back then.  I do remember thinking about some of the fun things my friends were doing, especially spur of the moment.  I did wonder why I didn’t ever get to do things like that.  Did I ever ask why or if I could join in?  (I think I tried something once but was basically punished and told I shouldn’t do things like that.)  So, basically no I didn’t ask Mom because I thought she would have told me if it was okay.  I think you have probably gotten the idea that Mom was very OCD and didn’t like anything that wasn’t planned and detailed ahead of time and she expected the same from me.

When this realization of never having “free to be me” moments as a little girl came to light, yes I was sad.  Sad for the little girl in me that missed out. Sad for the little girl in me that still wants and needs those moments.  As of this writing I am 53 years old and am still learning about the little girl in me.  All women still have those little girls inside and some of those little girls carry around a lot of baggage that little girls shouldn’t have to have. 

I’ve gained so much freedom in my growth and have let go of a lot of sadness about my past.  I’m addressing a lot of the issues with my little girl inside. I can be very detail oriented and organized which is a great gift but I don’t let it control my every move.  I’m compassionate, caring, loving, and fun.  I have a great sense of humor.  I’ve also discovered I love to be spontaneous and sometimes random (okay the random part can be a little more than just sometimes).  The spontaneous and fun part has been the most freeing of anything.  I don’t have to be perfect (and believe me I’m not).

I’ve discovered life can be fun.  Its my choice on how I approach it and whatever comes into my life.  With Jesus at the center I am learning to trust Him more and more.  John 10:10 (Amplified Bible) says “ The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy.  I cam that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance”. 

As the scripture says, Jesus desires that we enjoy an abundant life and that is my desire. I am loved by an amazing God and by some pretty awesome people who He has placed in my life.  Life can and is fun and I don’t want to miss a moment that God has for me.  I don’t want to miss a single blessing.  I don’t want to miss any joy.

And yes, I have danced for the first time but not the last.  I may not be twirling for public viewing but rest assured it does happen.  And no, I don’t have the patent leather shoes.

Little Girls Dance And Twirl - $45.00

I Like Me

For a very long time I’ve realized that I didn’t like myself.  Oh, I never would admit it or I guess maybe I never even realized it.  I’ve heard Joyce Meyer speak about liking yourself and to paraphrase she says that you spend a lot of time with yourself so you really should learn to like yourself. 

Sounds simple, doesn’t it. But when you really don’t like yourself its tough to enjoy other things too, especially life at times.  Oh, I put on a good front like I was taught to do growing up, because appearance matter don’t you know.  We mustn’t let anyone see our true selves, warts and all, because they may not like us or heaven forbid form a negative opinion about us.

I formed a lot of negative opinions about myself because I felt like I had to live up to specific expectations and the bar was set very high.  But what if I made a mistake, said the wrong thing, dressed the wrong way, made a wrong decision, etc.?  Well, I would then berate myself pretty harshly about my mistake and would continue to relive the episode over and over.  I also got really good at playing out all the possible scenarios I could come with for a situation and all the possible “what ifs” that could/should/might/maybe happen.  The perfectionist tendencies instilled in me ran rampant.  Boy, talk about stressing myself out! 

I did this pattern for many years without realizing the harm I was doing to myself.  I’ve had to learn that its okay to make a mistake.  I’m human.  The world and my world is not going to come crashing down if it happens.  I don’t have to go hide in shame or avoid someone when it happens.  I even have learned to laugh about it at times. 

I’m not perfect.  Only God is perfect.  He created me to be me and I am still growing into the person He wants me to be.  I don’t ever want to stop growing and maturing spiritually  I am worthy to be God’s creation and His child. God accepts me as I am, imperfections and all, and I need to love me too.  I don’t like everything I do at times but God still loves me. That doesn’t change. 

When the full realization hit me that I don’t have to be this person who does everything perfectly it was like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I think I mean this literally as I carried a lot of stress in my shoulder growing up and even had a therapist comment on it at one time.  Go figure. 

The accusing voices of shame in my head that used to occur when I didn’t do something exactly right happen much less often now.  I’m still imperfect in this process and they will try to rear their head every now and then. But I know I am God’s child, wholly and dearly loved and He loves me unconditionally.

I like me a lot now.  I really and truly like me.  And you know what, I’m a neat person.  Not having the burden of being perfect weighing on me is amazing.

Romans 12:2 “Do not confirm to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what is God’s will – his good, pleasing, and perfect will”.

Romans 8:1

Old vs New Me

I don’t look like myself any more.  After losing 115 lbs. I guess no one should expect to, right?  I’ve thought I should post a “before” and “after” or more aptly an “old” and “new” me picture of me but hadn’t done it.  Probably for various reasons, or maybe I just wasn’t ready to I guess.  But now I am.  Ready that is.  I like how I feel and look.

I don’t ever want to go back to the unhealthy way I used to feel and look.  Truthfully I shudder now when I look at the picture of the “old” me.  I don’t like it and it makes me very sad that I allowed myself to become that way.

So, below are the pictures.  We tried to take the “new” picture in the same location and with as much of the same pose as possible.  I am hopeful this will help show the results that can be achieved with significant lifestyle and eating changes.

Old MeNew Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Praise God!  He has walked with me every step of the way, and without Him or the support of my wonderful husband I don’t know how far I would have made it on my own.

My Personal Healthier Path

As I’ve said previously I’ve been on a journey to a healthier me since July 4, 2012.  I’ve heard the words “driven”, “committed”, “consumed”, “addicted”, “determined”,  etc. to describe me during this process and I happily embrace all of them.  I’m dedicated to being as healthy as I can be.  I have no intention of changing any of my new eating habits or consistent exercise.

Just a quick update.  I have lost a total of 115 pounds.  No, I am not trying to lose to any particular goal weight.  My body has responded to my lifestyle changes by weight loss, increased muscle tone, increased fitness level, and increased overall health (lower blood pressure, less joint pain, increased “good” cholesterol, etc.).

I’ve had people ask me about what I have done to achieve all of this, so I thought I would share some of the changes I’ve made.  Mind you, this is what has worked for me and doesn’t necessarily mean it will work the same for every person.  I encourage each person to do their own research, incorporate eating and lifestyle changes, exercise, and most important be consistent with the changes they have made in order to see any progress.

When I came home from the hospital on July 4, 2012 I wasn’t physically able to do much in the way of activity other than walk in the house or a short distance to the mailbox.  But what I could do was read.  So, I read everything I could get my hands on about diabetes, food additives and preservatives, health, fitness, exercise, etc.  I wanted to be as informed as I could be about the journey I was undertaking and honestly the news about diabetes and the realization of what I had done to my body and my health all those years had really scared me.

I have basically eliminated white flour and white sugar from my diet.  I watch carbs because they impact my blood sugar and am careful about the type of carbs I eat and how quickly they may impact my blood sugar.  I have also eliminated processed food and “boxed” food.  I also monitor gluten and have eliminated as much as possible as this has turned out to be something that I am very sensitive to.  Side note regarding gluten – it is in so many things I never even thought of.    I also read labels extensively.  I have found that there is so much “added” to food that we don’t need in our bodies.

Since eliminating the processed and most artificial “stuff” from my diet my sense of taste has become so enhanced that all food tastes so much better to me.  I love vegetables so I eat lots of salads and fresh vegetables.  We steam a lot of our vegetables.  Meats include turkey, chicken, fish/seafood.  We eat some red meat but infrequently.  Pork is eaten rarely.  I love veggie burgers and love to try different kinds.  I love breakfast foods so we eat eggs regularly in various types of recipes. We eat cheeses of various kinds.  I eat probably two Greek yogurt almost every day.  I also eat peanut butter.   I’ve researched and found a good, healthy protein bar.  I make sure the grains I eat are good healthy ones.  Quinoa and buckwheat are great. Nuts are great and I try to incorporate them daily, mainly almonds (unsalted).   I love spices/seasonings but don’t use salt or ones that have salt added.   I really don’t eat rice, pasta, or regular bread or potatoes because of the rapid effect on blood sugar and the high carbs and have found totally awesome healthier substitutions such as quinoa, spaghetti squash, zucchini “noodles”, spinach/cauliflower/egg pizza crust, etc.  There are lots of different yummy options out there that I’m open to trying out.  Since removing white sugar from my diet I am so much more sensitive to the “sweetness” of food, even if it’s just naturally occurring in the food itself.  So, some things actually seem too sweet.

I also drink lots of water, and I mean a lot of water.  My goal is a minimum of 80 oz. a day.  I don’t drink soda; I actually quit at least 2 years or more ago.  I love coffee so I do drink that and enjoy my flavored coffees and creamers.  I’m not a big juice person.  I love hot tea and am trying to incorporate more of it into my routine.

Once my foot was sufficiently healed and the doctor gave the go ahead, I started exercising.  I started walking and I haven’t stopped.  Based on everything I read the minimum time frame for walking to be effective, especially for insulin resistance, is 30 minutes.  And I walk.  A lot.  I walk on any given day anywhere from 3 – 5 miles.  I prefer to walk outside but I also use the elliptical and treadmill in the gym as well at least 30 minutes when I’m there.  My goal is a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio 6 days a week.  We also go to the gym 3 days a week for weights which has really helped tone up my muscles.  I’ve also focused on adding a good stretching routine each day.  I will have completed 7 5K events (I walk them) by the time this is posted.

I am committed to maintaining my good health and hope to inspire others to a healthier lifestyle. I feel so good and have seen such positive effects in my overall health and well-being.  I feel better than I have ever felt.  I don’t have the joint pain I used to have from carrying all the weight.  My whole body moves differently so I have had to adjust to that as well.  I don’t have the desire to eat the unhealthy “stuff” I used to.  It has no appeal for me.

I am happy to share my story and the changes I have made.  To God be the glory for the new me I have!

Amen!