Hard Testing

As I approach my 51st birthday, I feel that I want to share with you what God is speaking into my spirit instead of talking about weight loss and fitness…..
I’ve mentioned several times in the last few months that I’ve been reading the Complete Jewish Bible. Several weeks ago, I read the Lord’s Prayer  and noticed that Stern translates temptation into “hard testing.” And again, I noticed the same thing as I was reading Luke this morning.
And do not lead us into hard testing but keep us safe from the Evil One.
For kingship, power and glory are yours forever. Amen.’ (Complete Jewish Bible)

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (NIV)

When he arrived, he said to them, “Pray that you won’t be put to the test.”
On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”

For me this is powerful because I always wondered exactly what Jesus meant when he said don’t lead us into temptation. James 1:13 had taught me,

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”
For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
And yet, Jesus taught us to pray that we not be led into temptation. I had finally settled on praying that Jesus not allow me to be led into temptation or allow temptation to lead me.  But I never, ever gave any thought to praying that  times of hard testing would not come my way. I guess I just thought that I needed to prove myself over and over by passing these tests. And when I failed those tests I was absolutely convinced that I had not only failed myself but had sorely disappointed my Heavenly Father.
Now, I’m certain that I’ve taken (and failed) far many more tests than I was ever meant to take because I wasn’t wise enough to pray that those times of hard testing would not come my way.

Now, I’m learning to pray that those times of testing not come my way. And if they show up as  a pop quiz that I’m given the grace to pass them quite easily.

Change, change, change……

000-a-change-in-behaviour-quotesI ran across a study guide from a message that I preached on March 21, 2004. The title of the message was “Change” and I had broken it down to an acronym.

  • Consistent Choices
  • Heartfelt
  • Action
  • Non-negotiable
  • Genuine
  • Education/Exposure

How does this apply to our quest for wellness and physical fitness? Well, we must consistently made good choices in what we put in our mouths. The desire for change must be heartfelt which means that we must be doing it for the right reasons and not just to fit into a dress or bathing suit. We must take action by choosing at least one form of exercise each day. We can no longer negotiate with ourselves or our families about what we will eat or if we will go to the gym. Genuine change is change for the long term. That means no more losing and gaining the weight. This is a lifestyle choice not a phase. And we need to educate ourselves on what truly works when it comes to diet and exercise. We also need to expose ourselves to different foods, classes, and experiences.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:2 (Amplified Bible)

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From Jamie the Very Worst Missionary……

Jamie the Very Worst Missionary

I’m not fat. …I’m skinny-fat.

Ok, so The Very Worst Dietbet starts today! (The pot has grown to over $19,000! And it’s not too late to join us!!)

Gotta say, I’m super stoked because I know I’m going to end in the cash. I just will.

Losing weight is something I know how to do. I’m actually kind of good at it. Unfortunately, I’m also really good at gaining weight. Like, sit me down with a large pizza and a diet Coke and everybody be like “Mmm, get it girl.” when they see me pack it in! I can EAT.
Skinny-fat. It’s a thing.
I’m not saying I’m fat, I’m not fat. Actually, I am what they refer to in medical journals as a “skinny-fat person”. Pretty sure that’s the scientific term for someone like me, whose body appears to be normal, healthy, and average weight when it’s covered by clothes but, upon further inspection, is found to be made almost entirely of lard and marshmallow. I am not kidding. Once, many moons ago, I let a personal trainer at the gym pinch me with a medieval torture device to measure my percentage of body fat. Afterward, he looked at me, utterly confused, like, “How are you even holding yourself up right now?”

So anyway. My dietbet goal (and, more importantly, the goal for my ongoing overall health and wellness) is not so much to lose weight, but to shed my fluffy outer layer of flesh, and replace it with this other thing I’ve heard of called muscle. I know it seems impossible but I’ve done it before; when I was thirty I had a six-pack, you guys. And not the beer kind.

Actually, I was super trim when we moved to Costa Rica. Then I spent five years eating white rice, fried plantains, and Tronaditas®, while I sat on my ass watching it rain. When I moved back to the U.S. two years ago, I was twenty pounds heavier and squishy all over. Though I don’t think I would have been described as fat, it was the heaviest I’ve ever been. When one of my boys (yes, of course it was Dylan) poked my muffin top and his finger disappeared to the first knuckle, I knew it was time to get the squish situation under control — but in a smart, healthy, long-term, non eating disorder kind of way. That very day I made a few changes to my diet and lifestyle which made a huge different, fast. I know if I stay the course for the 28 day Dietbet challenge, I’ll easily meet the 4% weightless mark. And I thought, as part of my #39things, it might be nice to share a few of the things that are helping me tighten, smooth, shrink, tone, and strengthen this hot flabby mess.

(For the record – because you’re probably wondering – I am not a doctor, nutritionist, kinesiologist, personal trainer, life coach, Crossfit cult member, Pilates instructor, or fitness blogger. So if any of these suggestions would be bad for you to do, don’t do them. Okie dokie? Cool.)
Put down the doughnut and pick up a dumbbell. Cardio is awesome and we should all do cardio, but weight lifting builds muscle and muscle eats fat by raising your resting metabolism, or something like that. That way, when you’re laying around power watching Netflix, your body is cranking through the calories. Seriously. ADD SOME WEIGHTS TO YOUR WORKOUT!

Dump carbs like an old boyfriend who stole money from your wallet and used your car to drive to Vegas with his other girlfriend… I mean, um… Cut out carbs. If convincing yourself you’re gluten intolerant helps you choose a big salad over a sub sandwich, go for it. Don’t lie to your server, but ditch the bread. Inside of your body, bread turns into sugar and sugar makes fat fatter. That’s no bueno.

Dress the part. Working out is hard enough without the added embarrassment of having to wear your husband’s holey old gym shorts in public… or your wife’s yoga pants. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to grab a pair of running tights and a good fitting sports bra, or whatever dudes wear, so treat yourself to something you’re not mortified to be seen in. (I’ve become a big fan of Fabletics – get a whole outfit for $25! Or, for guys stuff, check out Amazon!)

Equip yourself properly. You need shoes. I know good shoes can be a bit of an investment, but when a workout gets really tough, your shoes can make or break your will to live. Shop the sales if you need to, but whatever you do, get yourself a decent pair of kicks.

Eat real food. Oddly, this is way harder than it sounds. But almost everything that comes in a package is filled with poison. … Ok, fine. Maybe I’m being a little bit over-dramatic… but POISON.

Trick a friend into suffering with you. I am one of the biggest introverts on the planet, so when my friends first invited me to work out with them, I was like “Nope.”, but eventually I relented and it’s the best thing ever! I push myself a lot harder when I work out with a friend than I do alone. And we laugh a lot, which makes us forget that we want to die.
Don’t listen to me. Do what works for you!
And that’s it. That’s all I’ve got.

To celebrate the launch of The Very Worst Dietbet, I’m giving away a $50 Fabletics gift card. WHAT?! (I’m sorry dudes, this is a total chick raffle. But you would be a HERO if you won this for your wife, girlfriend, sister, mother, auntie, neighbor, cousin, or that cutie in the corner cubical who you’ve never actually talked to except for in your head. Soooo….)
Your first outfit from Fabletics is only $25!

Alright. Let’s do this thing. READY?…SET?…. DIETBET!!!

Posted: 15 Sep 2014 05:00 AM PDT

Pinterest workouts…..

Since taking the classes in PCB this summer, I’ve tried to add more and more cardio to my workouts at Wowies.  That means each workout consists of cardio and weights or cardio and a crossfit type exercises.

I don’t want to get bored with cardio so I decided to find workouts on pinterest and do them each day.

This is one that you can do as is or modify if you would like.

You could modifiy by using your own cardio equipment such as an elliptical or bike.  Or you may choose to walk instead of run for ten minutes.

The only modification I did today was skipping the last set of burpess because I was going to work my chest and back this morning. At the end of the cardio, I had burned 400 calories! I went onto do my weights and burned another 200 calories!

So… it’s your turn to do a killer cardio workout. (Sorry, I can’t purposely misspell  cardio.)


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It’s been an illusion……

optical-illusions-52-1If I’ve learned anything during the last two years, it’s this:

Any sense of being in control during most of my lifetime has been an illusion.

The simple truth is that I have not nor will I ever control any member of my family, my church, or my community. I may know what should be done but it is always the other person’s choice on whether or not they will accept my advice…. even if that advice is taken directly from the Bible.

The only control I have is self control. And I know that I have it because the Bible tells me that God has given it to me.

Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 humility, self control. Nothing in the Torah stands against such things.

That means that I can control what goes into my mouth, what types of exercise I choose to engage in, and how much sleep I get each night. And I’ve found that practicing self-control in these areas lends it’s strength to practicing self control in other areas such as controlling my tongue, thinking positive thoughts, and choosing to keep my advice to myself.

If, like me, you have discovered that being in control is an illusion, may I suggest that you find one area in your life where you need self control and begin to practice there?

For me, developing self control in my nutrition and fitness has helped me to release the misguided and futile need to control people or circumstances. And that alone makes me feel as if I’ve lost a thousand pounds of stress and inner turmoil.

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Pancake Saturday….

I can go for weeks without eat sugar. And months without bread or pasta. But I can’t very long without syrup. I love syrup! Pure Maple Syrup. Molasses. Sorghum Syrup. Black Ribbon Syrup. I love syrup.

But syrup needs something to go with it. And nothing goes better with pure maple syrup than pancakes or waffles. So I set out to find a recipe that would allow me to be gluten free and give me the high protein that I like to eat for breakfast. I made Danica’s Oatmeal Protein Pancakes this morning and they were wonderful! I doubled the recipe for Hank and I…..
1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
1/3 cup uncooked oatmeal (quick cooking or old fashioned)
1 egg
1 egg white
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
2 tsp Agave (could use maple flakes, sucanat or brown sugar, etc)
1/4 tsp vanilla or coconut extract (sometimes I use both)
Dashes of cinnamon & salt

Blend everything together until smooth and creamy. I use my Magic Bullet and it only takes seconds.
Cook on a skillet over medium heat (use ns cooking spray or 1 tsp oil) on both sides until browned (about 5 minutes total).
Serve up with your favorite toppings – pure maple syrup, whipped butter, fruit, almond butter, etc – the options are endless.
Makes 2 medium pancakes.

I had fresh blackberries for my fruit and poured a serving size of the syrup into a measuring cup and then only ate 1/2 of that! Thank goodness for Hank Stokes who is willing to “bat cleanup” for me! So I got my syrup fix along with a great breakfast.

Using the Recipe Calculator in MyNetDiary, I discovered the nutritional information for two pancakes:

Fat: 10 grams, Carbs 27 grams, Protein 20 grams, Fiber 4 grams.

Now I’m fueled up and ready for the Run Burpee Run workout I had planned for today!

Run Burpee Run

1 mile run
20 pushups
1/2 mile run
20 air squats
1/4 mile run
20 burpees
1/4 mile run
20 air squats
1/2 mile run
20 pushups

10 Days with Liberty

I spent the last ten days with Lil’ Miss Liberty as she celebrated her very first birthday. As the old saying goes…..

she’s my fondest hello and my hardest goodbye…….

While there I realized another benefit to living a healthy and fit lifestyle. I was able to play with her all day long. While my knees couldn’t take crawling on the hardwood floors, I was able to keep up with her by doing a bear crawl. There was nothing like watching her take off across the room only to look back to see if I was keeping up and grin like a possum when she saw me coming up behind her.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar in the L’vanon. Planted in the house of Adonai, they will flourish in the courtyards of our God. Even in old age they will be vigorous, still full of sap, still bearing fruit, proclaiming that Adonai is upright, my Rock, in whom there is no wrong. Psalm 92:13-16 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Onto another subject. I’ve decided to close my facebook account for the following reasons:

  • I miss having personal relationships with people and would rather visit face to face or by having a conversation on the telephone.
  • I don’t want to spend so much time sitting in front of a computer when I could be outside playing or doing something fun.

If you have been following this blog via facebook, I would love for you to follow me  on the Strong to the Finish blog  or by having the blogs sent directly to your email.

Be blessed!