Posted in Christianity, Lifestyle, Religion

Spiritually Speaking: Round and Round We Go

This morning started like many Sunday mornings. My husband, Kevin and son, Nate lay sleeping while I walk around our home assessing all that didn’t get done on Saturday. Folded clothes that need to be put away. Clutter from the week spread across the dining room table. And finally my favorite place–the kitchen, which seems to never be free from something I need to do.

You should stay home and get all of this together, is usually the first thought. Honestly, if I wasn’t on duty in my church’s trustee office, I’d be very likely to follow that suggestion.

Now last night our family had a trip to the emergency room. Kevin, who suffers with a lung disease has a cold and feared it was becoming the pneumonia, which could turn deadly for him. We left our home at 8 p.m. and didn’t get home until nearly 11 p.m.

Late night, right? Another excuse to skip out on church.

You need to look after your husband. Never mind that he’s sleep and will probably be sleep until I get home. Then my mind travels to Nate, who hung out with us in the emergency room. He was resting so peacefully.

Maybe you should let him stay home.  That way Kevin won’t be alone and he can start on this cleaning up and finish him homework.

On the surface that seemed like a good idea. After all, I wouldn’t be sitting in the sanctuary with Nate. I would be in the trustee office, working. And, it would be very helpful if he got started on the ample housework that needed to be done.

Interestingly, though, I didn’t consider these option on Saturday when he had a bowling match to get to. Not one time did the thought cross my mind to skip the bowling match so that he could finish homework  or clean up the house. I promise you…not one time. So what makes Sundays so darn tempting to want to relax, sleep in, or catch up on housework instead of going to church?

Actually, whether it’s Saturday, Wednesday, or any other day that you are choosing to be pleasing to God, the enemy will swiftly begin whispering all of the other things that you could be doing. And they’ll be spot on. But scripture indicates that the flesh and spirit are in constant conflict.

“The spirt indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38 NKJV)

None of us are immune. Throughout the week, my car radio is tuned to Christian programming. I listen to preachments and Christian centered talk shows throughout the day. I read Christian books, and of course, my bible. All of this to feed my spirit, my longing to know more about God, and grow deeper in my relationship with Him.

Some may think that on Sunday mornings, I’m one of the first ones at the church doors. I have my times when my flesh is working overtime against my spirit.

But the more I seek God, the more the enemy and my flesh try to interfere. It’s  a cycle that won’t end until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. Reminds me of an old school gospel song, “I’m on the battle field for my Lord.”

That’s exactly what it is…a battle. One in which we already have the victory! Now, that’s comforting. Nevertheless, choosing to follow Jesus Christ is a daily requirement.

I’m glad to report that I followed the willingness of my spirit and went to church. And I dragged my son out of the bed to go, too. “Train up a child in the way that he should go.” Right? When I came home, my husband was sleeping peaceably. Within a few short hours, we enjoyed brunch,  Nate finished his homework, and some of that housework got done.

I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday. Hope you enjoyed yours too.

Spiritually Speaking,

L.A.

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday–Putting the Brakes on Insanity

Doing the same thing the same way and expecting different results is one of the definitions of insanity, right?

So I guess I can’t expect to keep dabbling in such treats as these and think I’m going to see results of the exercises I’ve been engaging in with my Fit at Work project.

I’ll be honest. I added three of these treats to my breakfast of a hard boiled egg and fruit bowl this morning. These other two were intended to be an afternoon snack. Normally, I’d convince myself that, “It’s only two. And they’re mini cinnamon rolls, for heavens sake!”

This time, though, another thought occurred to me. “You’ve been rationalizing like this all of your adult life. But forty-one year old you can’t keep this up and keep this weight from piling on.” With that in mind, I dumped these little delectable delights in the garbage can!

Yay me! Gotta start somewhere, right?

What changes are you making to live a healthier lifestyle? Lose weight?

Posted in Fitness, Health, Lifestyle

Happy New Year!

Welcome back the Wellness Wednesday. I’m so excited to be here at the start of this new year 2017. Not only because it’s good to be in the land of the living, as the senior pastor of my church used to say, but because I’ve got a plan to shed these unwanted pounds.

A realistic plan. Not like that frivolous plan too lose weight at the start of the holiday season knowing good and well I was going to be baking….and enjoying those delicious deserts. 

Yes, that’s why you didn’t see an update on that journey. I didn’t want to leave you on a gloomy note for 2016.

But on to better things. The new plan is to implement my strategy of getting fit at work. Even more exciting than that is that the journey will double as material for a 2018 book project. Lord help me!

The jury is still out on whether or bot I’ll be posting  weekly entries about my progress. However, I will give periodic updates about that endeavor while talking about a variety of health and wellness topics. 

I’m not going to rag on 2016 for being an ineffective weight loss year for. Instead, I’m pushing hard not to let 2017 be a repeat!

What are your health and wellness goal for 2017. Share in the comments below. 

Posted in Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday–Year End Weight Loss Update #4

Either I’m dreaming or crusty sleep is blurring my vision. It must be one of those because this scale couldn’t possibly be reading a 3 lb decrease from last week.

Don’t get me wrong…I’ll take it like a passing a test that you didn’t study for.

Besides  one or two times hula hooping at work and walking down a flight of stairs or two, I didn’t spend any significant time exercising. To my credit, I didn’t have any delectable deserts in my kitchen either.  That was probably my biggest advantage. Thank God, Christmas is about giving and not eating.

Speaking of Christmas…OMG! Two days away! I can’t believe it. Seems like it was just a week ago that I was talking about the weight I’d gained from Thanksgiving. And now I’ve got less than 24 hours to get the rest of my Christmas stuff, including dinner items.

Stressed? Not at all. My son couldn’t have made this Christmas easier for me. Twelve years old, he didn’t want much that wasn’t related to his video game or cell phone. One stop at Game Stop and any place that sells iTunes gift cards and I’ll be finished with him and my four nephews.

That’ll be easy enough.

I hope your last 30 or so hours before Christmas are easy too. Stress isn’t good for anybody.

Happy Shopping!

Naturally L.A.

Posted in Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday–Year End Weight Loss Update #3

I guess weight loss and homemade chocolate chip cookies don’t go together.

It’s Monday morning. A snow day in the Midwest. No school for my son. He’s happily sleeping in. My husband, the night owl, is just now sleeping as I’m awake at my normal time of 7 am.

It’s the day to check my weight. Though I didn’t over indulge in my delicious cookies, I suspected that they would still effect my efforts for the week.  But not this much!

+3 lbs !

If I gave in to the spirit of depression, I’d definitely would be depressed today. I am beyond aggravated though.

Clearly I’m a glutton for punishment. How many times have I lost two pounds one week then gained them right back the next? All three times that I tried the Weight Watchers program. By the end of the 12 weeks, I’d have lost only 5lbs because of the yo-yo effect.

I only have myself to blame. No matter how much I exercise, I can’t get this food thing together.  My environment and level of willpower can’t seem to coexist.

I mean, seriously, on Thursday when my husband ordered pizza, pasta, and breadsticks from Pizza Hut, how was I supposed to NOT eat that? Well…I didn’t eat the pizza but the pasta and breadsticks were obviously enough.

Now the question is how will I move on from here? Will I buckle down this week, lose a couple pounds, and then mess up the next? If history is any indication, that’s exactly what will happen.

Or do I throw the scale out the window (not literally, of course) and keep doing my best?

I’m open to your suggestions. Leave them in the comments below.

 

Posted in Fitness, Health

Wellness Wednesday–Year End Weight Loss Update #2

Down 2 lbs!

I’m so happy to announce that. Ramping up my exercise game to include 2-3 days of power walking has done the trick. Enlisting the help of my neighbor has made a difference too. This past Saturday I was laying in bed considering my options for the morning:

1. Go walking by myself (my neighbor had a personal training session scheduled that morning–more on that in a minute)

2. Go to my coffee spot to write, walking afterwards

3. Get up and enjoy the quiet of the house while my husband and son remained asleep

Before I reached a decision I received a text from my neighbor:

Are we walking this morning?

I’d like to say that if she hadn’t texted my I might have decided on one of the last two options and ended up missing my walking opportunity as the rest of my day was pretty busy.

Awesome exercise buddy, right? Well… unless she goes rogue. Lol!

Apparently I re-lit the fitness fire of my neighbor friend and she’s just jumping feet first into her own fitness program. Since we started walking together, she’s contacted her personal trainer and started back this week.  Already she bailed on me for one of our walks because she was meeting her trainer the next morning.

But to her credit, she hasn’t completely bailed. She still hits me up for a walk in between her sessions. Plus, she’s invited me to go with her. I doubt I will, though. I’m not one for personal training sessions. Especially those that cost per month because I wouldn’t be going that frequently. Not to mention I already pay a monthly gym membership (albeit $10).

Anyway, I expect we’ll still keep each other going. And if things continue as they have been, we’ll walk together once or twice a week. That works for me. Plus, I’ll always be grateful for her showing me just how fast I can walk around my apartment complex. In the cold too!

Considering myself on target with a good exercise regimen, my next challenge is baking for the next and last holiday of 2016–Christmas. In 10 years, at least, no holiday has been void of one of my homemade deserts (cream cheese pound cake being the favored). But after the pounds my daughter and I packed on during Thanksgiving, I have to decide on a healthy alternative. This should be interesting…

Stay tuned! Looking forward to more lost pounds. Oh yeah!

Naturally Yours,

L.A.

P.S. Follow me on Instagram @naturallylajeff

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fitness, Health, Uncategorized

Wellness Wednesday: End of Year Weight Loss Journey Update #1

Dum dum da dum…

thanksgivingfitness

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving and I have…news to report. Can’t quite call it good or bad news. More like smack dab in the middle news.

The week before the holiday I sent out an SOS of sorts to my neighbor friend to buddy up with me on exercising. She jumped at the offer. Within minutes of my text, she responded with, “Sure, do you want to start tomorrow?”

No, I thought to myself, but I texted back. “Sure!”

We’ve been on it ever since. That first day we did 20 mins of Tae Bo with Billy Blanks. Whew! Hadn’t done that in about 15 yrs. But I had to make it through. Couldn’t let my neighbor, who is at least 10 years my senior show me up.

For the rest of that week we walked a lap around our apartment complex and increased it to two laps the next week.

According to my analog scale, I dropped 1-2 lbs. That’s the good news!

Then came the holiday: dressing, crescent rolls, and the cake. Really, it was the cake that did me in.

The Saturday after the holiday I decided to check out the damage. If not for the walking that I did with my neighbor over that weekend, I would have surely gained more than the few pounds that I’d lost the previous week.

That’s the bad news. I’m right back to where I started two weeks ago.

Could be worse, though. Right?

What’s awesome is that today is Monday–me and my neighbor’s regular walking day. I’m looking forward to walking those 2 laps (maybe 3) around the complex.

What’s even BETTER??? There’s no more cake!

First shot at pineapple layered cake 


My perfect cream cheese pound cake.
P.S. I need some healthy desert alternatives. Please post ideas in the comments below.

Til Next time…

Naturally Yours,

L.A.