Ditch the Scale: 6 ways to measure your progress that doesn’t involve your weight

Focus is important. Think about archery, you will only hit what you’re aiming at, so what you’re aiming at is extremely important! If you’re looking to get healthier there are a lot of ways to measure your progress, and the scale is only one of many ways to see how you’ve progressed, and honestly It isn’t even the best resource. Being healthy is a lifelong journey, and even if you have weight you want to lose eventually you’ll lose any extra weight and if the scale going down is the only thing motivating you then you’ll have a big problem! Not to mention a scale obsession can easily lead to cutting out too many foods and eating too few calories because you “need” to see that number on the scale, and in the end all you’ll end up doing is hurting your body. That’s not healthy!  Then sometimes you’ll be losing weight and then all of a sudden your body decides it needs to rest and recharge, you stop losing weight and pretty soon you find you’ve gained everything back all because the evil little scale didn’t say what you wanted it to.

 

So, focus is important! Focus on being healthy! If you have extra weight, if you focus on getting healthy and stronger the weight will eventually take care of itself. Scale obsession doesn’t lead anywhere good!

 

Here are 6 ways to measure your progress you may not have thought about!

 

  1. What do your meals look like compared to a few months ago?

Seriously, this one is huge! If two months ago you were eating sugary cereals for breakfast but today you are eating healthier options, that is a huge measure of success! Refined carbohydrates are not a healthy breakfast options, but if you’ve moved from that to eating oatmeal with blueberries, or eggs and bacon in a wrap, you’ve definitely made some great steps in the right direction!

2.Do you spend most of your time shopping the perimeter of the store?

It’s not a secret any longer, shopping the perimeter of the store is much healthier. In the perimeter there fresh fruits and veggies, dairy and meats. The center aisles are mostly filled with sugary sodas, cookies, cakes, and a variety of other not-so-good-for-you foods. If most of your food is coming from the perimeter of the store you have made tremendous progress!

3.Do you feel more energetic?

A lot of the time people want to get healthier so they’ll have more energy, so why focus on the number on the scale when in reality energy is what you’re looking for? That’s crazy! How are you feeling? If you’re having great success with the first two ways to measure your success you are probably feeling great! Refined sugar may feel like an energy boost, but in reality it slows us down and steals our energy, if you’ve cut done just on refined sugar alone you’re probably feeling very energetic! Having more energy is a great sign of improved health!

4.How do your clothes feel?

If you’re exercising and weight lifting this is a huge one.  The scale may not budge but if you’re clothes are fitting better you are definitely losing fat even if you are not losing weight. Keep in mind weight training will help you build muscle, and for a lot of people during a period of time they will lose weight at the same rate they gain muscle, the scale shows no difference but in reality there has been a HUGE difference!

5. Is it easier to say “no” to junk food?

Don’t underestimate this one, if it is easier to say “no” to junk food your mind has truly started to think differently and you are appreciating the all of the benefits of your new, healthy lifestyle! Also, if it is easier to say “no” to junk food you’ve probably been away from it long enough to realize it never tastes as good at it looks!

6. The scale may not be going down, but are your weights going up?

If you’re weight training pay attention to your weights! Maybe you started doing bicep curls at 10 lbs, but now you’re doing them at 15lb! That’s a 50% increase in weight, you’ve gotten so much stronger! Maybe the scale is going down or maybe it isn’t, but if you’re weights are going up that is a great sign you are getting stronger and healthier!

 

There you have it, 6 ways to measure your progress on your journey to health that does not involve the scale. I hope this helps, leave a comment below if you have any questions or would like to see a specific subject in the next blog post!

 

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Having a hard time quitting sugar? This might be why!

Looks cute and harmless, right? Think again!

Unless you have been living in solitary confinement the last few decades you probably know that refined sugar isn’t healthy to consume in mass quanities. Lots of people are working on cutting down their sugar intake, and some elimating it completely from their diets. I had some huge problems with this in the past until I listened to a lecture on the Internet a few years ago. Honestly, I cannot remember who did the lecture, I wish I did know because I’d love to thank them! If anything I say sounds familiar and you know who did the lecture please let me know so I can give them credit.

The lecture said that there are three types of people who consume sugar. The first one is the “normal” person. I kind of hate calling them “normal” because no one is normal, but for the sake of respect for the person who did the lecture I will stick to the script. The first “normal” type eats sugar, finds out it is not good for them, and reduces how much they eat. They enjoy sugar in “normal” quantities and everything is great. Oh, how blessed it must be to be “normal”!

The second type of person is called an emotional eater. Probably many people can relate to that and have been in that situation at one time or another. An emotional eater will feel stress of anxiety and turn to food for relief. There is hope for the emotional eater, they can seek help from a friend or from a professional and find other ways of relieving stress that is more helpful to them and they will end up like the “normal” person; eating sugar in normal quanities. They can have some ice cream or a piece of cake every now and then and be satisfied and life is good.

Emotional eating comes from stress or anxiety, of course we don’t eat things like carrots or spinach, its more like cupcakes and candy! Try Philippians 4:4-7 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Gods got your back!

Then there is the third type of person, the addict. No one likes to hear the term addict and

When you are addicted you are pulled or drawn to something, and it usually isn’t good for you. It feels like it has a hold over you, and it is your master.

possibly when you think of addicts you’re thinking of people addicted to drugs, or gambling or other harmful acts or substances. Well, I hate to say it, but sugar can be one of those substances. Usually they start out as an emotional eater but things go one step farther and they get addicted. There are many things that take part in addiction, there is the mental aspect but there is also the physical aspect, your body craves it! When I heard about this type of person I could immediately relate. When I had sugar, I couldn’t just have one cookie, I needed all the cookies. I couldn’t have a spoonful of ice cream, I needed a pint. It felt like sugar was pulling me towards it. Cutting back never worked, and heaven forbid someone gives me a cookie it felt like I had to start all over again!

With all this bad news there is one thing I am pleased to say! There is hope! For the “normal” person and the emotional eater they can eat some sugar every now and then and he fine, they not feel deprived as long as they have their treats every now and then. For the addict it is a little bit different. The addict thrives on obstaining from sugar altogether. This made so much sense to me when I was listening to the lecture! It was like a lightbulb went off in my mind! If I had a scoop of ice cream I was not satisfied at all, in fact I felt deprived because I couldn’t have what I wanted. But if I didn’t have any at all, after a while I didn’t miss it and I didn’t even notice it. For me, or other addicts, having small amounts of sugar made me feel deprived and it would send me body into craving sugar more and more. I can remember having so many arguments with people about this, especially with my husband. In the past he thought I deprived myself too much, until one day he bought me a pastry and saw the downward spiral it caused in my eating. The entire day it was just one sugary treat after another. It was not my finest day ever, but at least I didn’t have to continually explain sugar addiction to him anymore.

In my case, the only thing that I had that reaction to was sugar. I could use stevia in a cake I’d make and not only would I be satisfied with a normal portion but I wouldn’t feel like eating everything in the house. I finally started to feel normal! One quick switch, I just changed out sugar for stevia, and that urge to eat sugar faded away. Everything I’ve heard, read or experiences about the subject says cold turkey is the best way to go. Get that sugar out of your system so it doesn’t have a hold on your anymore. This worked for me!

You’re probably wondering, do I ever eat sugar? Well, sometimes I do. I have some ground rules. First of all, I eat sugar very infrequently. I’ve done several “no sugar” clean eating challenges on the Internet and they are super easy for me because I just don’t eat the stuff that often. Also, when I do eat sugar, it is what I find satisfying. I do not find one piece of chocolate satisfying, that is ridiculous. I do not find one or two cookies satisfying, again, that is ridiculous to me. However, I can eat about 1 cup of ice cream and be okay. Sure, it’s not the ½ cup serving they recommend but it’s sure better than the 2 cups I would have eaten years ago. Also, I avoid pastries like the plague. I will have them every once in a while for special occasions but I have them at night because even a few years later having certain pastries sets me up for some sugar cravings that are very hard to fight.

I hope this article helps you! Feel free to share this with anyone. That lecture I listened to really changed the way I do so many things. I don’t deprived anymore, I feel happy. I can say no to candy and cookies! I never thought I’d ever be able to say that!

 

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My Trim Health Mama Experience: For the Crazy-Fit People

My favorite cookbook, lots of healthy comfort food recipes in here!

So, you may have heard about this new “diet” called Trim Healthy Mama. I’ve had two separate experiences with this eating plan, one was fairly unsuccessful and the other has definitely shown promise!

So, lets start at the beginning. The end of 2014 I was desperate, like, super desperate. I have a fairly modest weight goal, I’m a big girl and I’ll always be a big girl (it’s a bone structure short of thing), but I really need to lose some more weight to help me get to other physical goals. So I had lost 120lbs but I haven’t been able to get past there. I gain some, lose some, but never get past the 120lb loss.

So, at the end of 2014 I decided to buy the Trim Healthy Mama eBook. I won’t lie, it was ridiculously expensive. I mean seriously, it is an eBook, the overhead for an eBook is minimal no one is expected the pay $40 for an Ebook for goodness sake, but I was desperate, so I caved. At that point I seriously had no money, it was a bit of a struggle to buy that book, but again, I was DESPERATE. I read the book and here is the basic premise:

  1. For fat loss you must include protein at every meal and snack and you must seperate your “fuels” (AKA don’t have fat with your carbs, or carbs with your fats. There is a little lee-way here for some things but not much. Having carbs? All you get is 5 grams of fat, thats it. Having fat? All you get is 10 grams of carbs. It’s slightly more complicated but not much)
  2. Carb meals only have 45 grams or less of carbohydrates
  3. Don’t have large amounts of super sugar fruits (bananas, grapes)
  4. You really can have whatever you want as long as you make it with approved ingredients. Want cheesecake? No problem! Heck, I added Lily’s Chocolate chips to my cheesecake!
  5. Eat around every 3 hours, you have to wait AT LEAST 3 hours before going from a carb meal to a fat meal, or vice versa
  6. A meal with protein and both fat and carbs are considered “crossovers” and are not good for fat loss. Children and marathon runners need these things as well as people looking to maintain their weight.

This is a pancake recipe from their book with my own blueberry sauce recipe. Its really good! This is one of their “carb” meals, even my husband eats it and he is horrible to feed!

There are some more specifics out there, but even though I was not happy with the price of the book I bought I’m not going to spill content, thats totally not my deal. They have since come out with much more fairly priced books which I will be discussing later.

So, the first try went pretty well. I lost about 15lbs before I stopped losing weight. But then I stopped losing weight. I tried eating more food, which helped for a few weeks but I was at a stall. The 15 dropped pretty quick, but then nothing. I had joined all these Trim Healthy Mama groups on Facebook and I kept seeing everyone have these great results and it just wasn’t working for me. I was working out 5-6 days a week, doing all the right things, and NOTHING. I was frustrated, as you could imagine. I was enjoying not counting calories (calories aren’t what the diet is about), but I wanted results, which I wasn’t getting. I still tried to follow the diet losely, but losely didn’t get me anywhere either. Soon it was summer and I was spending my days bike riding and GAINING weight while following the program, so basically I just scrapped it all together. But I still was part of those Facebook groups seeing people make great progress! It was driving me crazy, I kept thinking maybe if I hadn’t quit I would have figured out a way to break that plateau.

October 2015 I decided to really make an effort towards weight lifting. I always enjoyed it but I also always quit after I started gaining muscle and wasn’t comfortable in my clothes anymore. I decided to try THM again. The holidays were coming up so I wasn’t going to make a huge fuss over everything. I was just going to do the best I could when I could and try not to overdo it on other days. To my surprise, I was actually losing weight! Not a lot like last time. Last time a bunch just fell right off and then the scale never moved. This time it was slow, turtle slow, but that was still faster than it had been before so I was pretty happy.

Mexican chicken recipe from their cookbook with cauliflower rice (I made it extra yummy and put garlic, peblano and jalapeno in it the rice), a little sprinkle of cheese and some avocado. It was so good I have it twice in one week! Yet another husband approved dish!

This time was different, I wasn’t so stuck on following the rules 100%, and honestly I think following those rules 100% was what was hurting me. I’m physically active, very physically active. I own a heating and cooling business, plus I take martial arts classes, I weight lift and I teach a dance cardio class. I’m moving, A LOT. To the point that sitting down in church for a few hours on Sunday seems weird and unnatural. So I started taking note of the things I did differently and there are some things I changed for the program to work and there are some rules I just threw out.

 

  1. I eat at least 3 “crossovers” a week (meals that include both carbs and fat with your protein)
  2. During a carby meal I refuse to eat half a banana (as suggested by the plan) and I eat as many carbohydrates as makes me full. Seriously, I’m going to burn them off anyway.
  3. I enjoy dessert almost daily. This isn’t breaking a rule, in fact it’s almost encouraged on the eating plan, but I really wasn’t taking advantage of it. Making sure I include a dessert helps me keep my calories up.
  4. I have a cheat meal, at least once a week, preferably twice. They usually consist of a slice of real pizza or a cup of frozen yogurt.
  5. EAT MORE. When I think I’m done, EAT MORE. Eating enough calories of good food is very hard for me. Eating lots of junk food is easy, but good quality food is tough. Of course this might not help everyone, but for me it was important because left to myself I only eat around 1,200 calories.

I’m not saying throw all the rules out. But if you train a lot and try the plan and are having problems these are some changes you may want to try.

I’m happy this time around its working out for me. Of course I’d like to lose weight faster, but honestly this plan is easy to follow, gives me the nutrients I need for weight lifting, and I can do it while following my crazy schedule.

Now, for the books! Yes, now they have BOOKS. Not just one expensive eBook. There are two books, one of which I have and the other I may get someday. There is the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook. I own the cookbook. Even if you hate the idea of the plan the cook book is definitely worth getting just for the amazing recipes. You get recipes for pancakes, shakes, brownies, one pot meals, crockpot meals, anything you can think of and it’s all healthy! The Big Boy Smoothie is definitely something to look at, one of my favorites! Plus the pancake our my quick go-to for super yummy Saturday breakfast! The book that describes the plan supposedly has recipes in it too, but considering I had previously spent $40 on the eBook that described the plan I’m not about to spend $15 for it to describe the plan again (although I have heard there have been a few changes).

If you are interested in any of these books and want to order from Amazon anyway please help support this page and order from the links below (believe it or not websites are not free), if you’re not interested no problem! Personally though, they have my favorite cookbook and its definitely worth the price in my opinion.

To sum up, the plan seems complicated at first but in reality it is pretty simple. Even if you have no interest at all in the plan I’d definitely recommend the cookbook (priced at $15.49 on Amazon), it is an amazing book with great recipes and a bunch of sneaky ways to get all those healthy veggies in your diet.

The plan is convenient because it doesn’t require calorie counting and if you look hard enough you can find on-plan things at restaurants and convenience stores when you’re on the go. If you’re struggling to eat better this is definitely a good plan to check out because it makes eating fun again! Even if you are a devoted calorie counter, I know from experience that counting calories gets tiresome after a while, this is a great plan if you just want skip calorie counting for a while.

So, do you like this plan? I’m contemplating posting a recipe I created for a faux Shamrock shake that fits perfectly with this plan. Are you interested in it? Comment and let me know!



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Big ‘Gal Training for StrongFirst’s Tactical Strength Challenge

Some of you know that October 2015 I competed in StrongFirst’s Tactical Strength Challenge. It was definitely an experience! I’m planning on competing again in April, but I thought I’d give write down the entire experience for you as well as my training program I’m using this time for the competition.

First of all, it was a great experience! I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous going in. Sure, I’m a big ‘gal who enjoys posting inspiring things on Facebook and Instagram, not to mention one of my favorite hashtags is #PlusSizeAthlete but still, I was nervous! Happily my husband came along to take some videos and I was doing the competition with a friend. I would definitely recommend if its possible to do the challenge with a friend, friends are awesome and help take your mind off of all the nervousness!

So, the Tactical Strength Challenge consists of 3 events. First are deadlifts, you get 3 chances to do your heaviest deadlift. Now, before I signed up for the challenge I had NEVER done a barebell deadlift. I have fooled around with kettlebell deadlifts and dumbell deadlifts but nothing too serious. Did I also mention that I signed up late and only had a month to train for it? Yeah, I’m crazy! For this I just worked on form. I did deadlifts twice a week and for the first two weeks my form was the only thing I was interested in. I didn’t lift too heavy, I did challenge myself but not very much. I’ve heard horror stories of how people had hurt their backs doing deadlifts with poor form and I was not going to be one of those people. When I started it was a huge challenge to lift 135lbs, that was the heaviest I went but I ended up practicing form at about 115lbs. After practicing form I had two more weeks to start seeing how strong I was. I ended up at around 175lbs in my last workout before the challenge. I had another workout scheduled, but it didn’t happen. What I didn’t realize at the time was that I was coming down with a cold and I just felt too tired and drained to make it to my last workout.

How did deadlifts go? I started at 155lbs, then went to 175lbs, and tried 200lbs but my

175lbs, not too bad for one month of training!

right hand ended up letting go of the bar. Being a rookie, I made a very rookie mistake. I didn’t line up on the bar correctly and a lot more weight was on my right hand and it just let go. If I had it all to do again I would have started at 175lbs, then 185, and probably 195 after that. Probably lining up in the center of the bar would be a great idea too…

Next event! Depending on what category you sign up for depends on if you do pull-ups for a flexed arm hold. I was in the Novice category so I did the flexed arm hold… but didn’t actually do it. My grip-strength isn’t exactly strong and I literally had nowhere to train for this. My husband promised to make me a bar to train on, which he eventually did, 5 days before the competition. So naturally I just didn’t work up enough strength to do it. I had to pass. Honestly going into the event I knew it was a long-shot and I may have to pass on that event so I was mentally prepared for that. I’m hoping to be able to do this in April, but I’m really not sure. Happily I have a lot more time to train now and I also have a better plan of attack!

I’m not gonna lie, these were horrible

Last event is as many kettlebell snatches as you can do in 5 minutes. My category used 12kg kettlebells which is roughly 26lbs. When I had practiced this at home I ended up at about 77. The time came for the event and I ended up at 67. I didn’t spend as much time training for this part as I could have. 1. I really don’t like kettlebell snatches so it was hard to be motivated. 2. I enjoyed deadlifts better… so why interrupt perfectly good deadlifts to do kettlebell snatches?

All-in-all I was happy with how everything went. I would have preferred to do better of course but I really didn’t know what to expect. My big goal going in was to not finish in last place, which I didn’t! Now that I know what to expect I’m really excited about the event in April!

This time around my training is going to be a lot better. First of all I have more than a month to prepare which is going to be huge. Also I’m not planning on being sick so that is a plus (not that I was planning on being sick last time either…). This time around I’m doing 3 days of strength training. 1 traditional upper body weight training day, 1 day focusing on all the movements from the strength challenge, and 1 traditional leg day workout. I’m also doing cardio 3 days a week with the hopes it will improve my endurance for the kettlebell snatches. It’s a pretty big schedule, I may not make all my workouts but at least I have a plan in place!

So, that is this big ‘gals experience with a strength competition. Of course I was only competing with myself but thats the best way to compete! If you are interested I highly encourage you to do your research, find a workout partner and go for a challenge. Whether it be the strength challenge or a 5K race, whatever you’re interested in. It will definitely be an experience to remember!

Somehow I always end up in the middle of pictures…

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Restart: Where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be

So, you may be wondering where I’ve been. Lets just say a lot has happened in the last 3 years. First, I’ve had my ups and downs but I’ve pretty much stayed the course I set many years ago towards health. 2. I accomplished a life-long dream and starting taking martial arts classes. 3. I’ve opened up my own business, which is pretty much why I have time to rededicate myself to social media and blogging.

So, I’ve officially started a restart, with a new name and a new goal. Most of you know me as Skinny 4 Jesus, which is the name I used to start my health journey. Although that is a very awesome name it really didn’t go in line with my goals. Yes, I’m doing it all for Jesus, but “skinny” isn’t really my end-game anymore. I was to be strong, capable, and yes I want to be smaller but I also want to be so much more than that. So, I prayed about it, a lot, a lot a lot a lot. What God really showed me was flashy names didn’t mean anything, He just wanted me to be what He intends. So that is what I decided to do. It’s just me, Sheerah Lise, the name I was born with. Nothing flashy, didn’t even include my last name! No more hiding past a name, its just time for me to be who God intended me to be.

So, welcome along for a ride of 100% honestly. Eek, talk about overwhelming!

 



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No Stress Allowed

Stressed out woman

Stress wasn’t meant for us to handle, so give it to God!

I just wanted to do a “traditional” type of blog today. Talk about my thoughts on life and reflect on things I’ve learned.

It’s funny, something really hit me today. Stress is bad! Yeah, we all know stress is bad, but it really hit me just HOW bad it is when applied to diet and fitness!

I find when I’m less stressed I get better results from my diet and exercise. Why? Stress releases adrenal Cortisol, which is pretty bad stuff, and can stop you from losing weight. I realized this fully a while ago. I was struggling on a weight loss plateau, and I was really stressing about it. It was frustrating, and it felt like I really couldn’t get past it (no doubt the enemy had his hand in my mental state at the time with all of the STRESS!). I would workout, eat healthy, and nothing would really happen, which made me stress even more.

This went on for a while, until one day I gave up. I was in prayer and talking to God and said “I’m sorry, but I give up, I can’t handle this anymore,” I felt God saying “Okay, if you’re going to give up, what are you going to do now?” I thought about it, and my response even surprised me “Well… I like how exercising makes me feel, so I’m not going to stop exercising. I like how my diet makes me feel and how the healthier foods effects me, so I’m not going to stop that. So I guess I’m going to keep dieting and exercise, but I’m not trying to lose weight anymore.” Finally! The stress lifted! That is when I FINALLY started to lose weight again! I shifted my focus from what was STRESSING me out to doing good things for my body and everything worked out.

This really isn’t too much of a surprise in retrospect, stress is bad!  Take a look at this Bible verse:

Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

We’re not supposed to be stressed, we’re supposed to be thankful and give our requests to God, He takes care of it! Yes, we do the best we can, but God takes care of the rest. In my case it was both physical and spiritual stress that was hindering me. Physically I was stressed because I wasn’t losing weight, which made my body release Cortisol, which stopped my weight loss! The cycle went on and on. Once I off-loaded my stress to God, He worked it all out!

So, what is the summary of this? STRESS IS BAD! Also, don’t focus on weight loss, it will only stress you out. Instead, focus on treating you body (which just so happens to be the temple of the Holy Spirit) with respect and give it the best you can.


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Bowflex Selecttech Review

I’ve been doing a pretty intense weight lifting program for the last month. Luckily, for my birthday I received a pair of Selecttech weights! I’ve used them for a while now so it’s review time!

First thing to understand about the weight is they are NOT cheap. In fact, they are the opposite of cheap, they’re quite expensive. However, they do replace several weights, so when you consider how much you’re getting they do have good value, especially if you are looking to weight train. They are VERY heavy, I got the ones they go up to 50 lbs, so each one totaled weighs over 50 lbs. But the advantage to these weights are you can “dial” the weight you want to use and when you lift the weight out of it’s holder it is what you dialed. On mine the lightest is 5 lbs, but I can do 7.5, 10, 12.5, 15, etc. This is great for me because I’m just starting out with weight training and the lower amounts go up in 2.5 lbs increments, so there I will be less likely to over-strain my my muscles and cause injury.

So, the question is, are they durable? Well, the weight say “Don’t Drop” right on them. I haven’t dropped them and I haven’t had any problems. I have set them down a little harder than I would have liked to, but they still look fabulous and I don’t have any problems with them. They still dial the weights in just fine.

So, do you need Selecttechs to do weight training? No, free weights will work just fine. However, if you are SERIOUS, and I mean SERIOUSLY SERIOUS about weight training, this is something you should consider getting. Not only are they a good value for what you get, but they are also an amazing SPACE SAVER.

I was very serious about my weight training when I started, and I still am serious. Weight training is a routine that I am adding to my exercise and I plan on doing it for life. Not only does muscle burn fat, but it has been shown that lifting weights increase bone density. Plus, muscle just looks nice, and nothing feels quite as good as doing a bicep curl at 20 lbs! Oh yeah, I can also pick my husband up, that is kinda fun too!

One last note. Ladies, don’t you be afraid that you will “bulk up” when lifting weights. The ladies that “bulk up” lifting weights do so on purpose, and have to follow a specific training and eating plan, they didn’t get that way by accident.


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Goal Setting

If you’ve been to the Skinny 4 Jesus Bible study you will know I talk about goal setting a lot, especially at the beginning. Goal setting is one of the most important things you can do for yourself because it gives you a place to go! So many times in the past I would try to lose weight but I never got very far and one of the reasons why is because I didn’t have a goal to go towards! I didn’t know where I wanted to go, so I didn’t know how to get there, so I failed.

“I want to lose weight,” I hear this a lot as a goal. It is a good goal to want to lose weight, but it is not going to get you to where you need to be. How much weight? Why do you want to lose weight? These are the questions you have to answer. I was getting closer to an early death so that was one of the reasons why I wanted to lose weight, so health was one of my goals.

If you don’t have a goal, it’s time to think about it! Think of something more meaningful than weight loss! If your only goal is weight loss then once you’ve lost the weight you’re going to meet yet another challenge in redefining your goals. If when the scale goes down is your only purpose to doing this, once you reach your goal weight and the scale stops going down you’re going to have problems keeping yourself motivated!


 

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Whole Grains: Your Friends!

Eating whole foods has become a little bit of a fad lately, which is good and bad. The good is that whole foods are GOOD for you, the bad is that everything that claims to be a whole food may not be.

Take whole grains for example. Yes, there are a lot of cereals that claim to be whole grain cereal, and for the most part they are, but does that mean they’re good for you? No. Lucky Charms and Trix are labeled as “whole grain” and they are filled with sugar and a bunch of other garbage your body doesn’t been. Kashi sells some pretty good whole grain cereal, but you really have to read the ingredients list, don’t just depend on the label “whole grain” meaning “good for losing weight.” The idea behind eating whole foods is to eat food that way God made it, not enriched or stripped of anything.

Then we have whole wheat pasta. Sounds good, right? Personally, I prefer whole wheat pasta over the other stuff. But not all “whole wheat” pasta is whole wheat. You really have to read the ingredients in the label to see if your pasta is truly whole wheat. If it says anything besides “whole grain wheat” then chances are it is a blend. Also, beware of the word “enriched.”

Again we have the same problem with bread. So much bread is made with a whole wheat blend that is half whole wheat and half enriched white flour (enriched white flour IS NOT a whole grain. It is a grain that all of the nutrients were stripped out and they left all of the fattener behind). Read the label! Read the ingredients!

So, what you can take from this blog? Don’t trust labels, trust the ingredients list. Starting to adapt a whole foods diet is a great way to live, your body will thank you for it. It’s eating foods as close to the way God made them, and that’s a good thing!


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You Are Not Fat

You are not fat. I will say it again, YOU ARE NOT FAT! Sure, you might have a big dress size, but you are not fat.

Do you believe me? I’ve been doing strength training lately and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and a great revelation came to me. I am not fat. If you know me personally, you know that I am not at my goal weight yet, I’ve still got a little while to go before I get there. I saw myself in the mirror and as I was walking away I saw my arm, and it was in the perfect position that I could see the muscle, and there was some fat hanging around. That’s when I realized I wasn’t fat, the muscle helped me realize it, but before the muscle was that spectacular (yes, I said it, SPECTACULAR!) I still wasn’t fat. Yes, I had fat, but the fat wasn’t me, it was just hiding me.

I know in my own experience so many times I would think of myself as the “fat girl,” I identified with the fat, not with who I truly was. Inside I was just a girl who could be anything, but I identified myself as being fat, and more fat came and hung off my body. It’s time to stop identifying yourself as being “fat” because fat is NOT WHAT YOU ARE. IT IS WHAT IS ATTACHED TO YOU. You are awesome and amazing, you embrace change and look for the good it will bring to your life (why else would you be reading this blog?), you are God’ wonderful child, and you are stronger than you think you are!

It’s time to stop seeing what is attached to you and to start seeing who you are. You are beautiful. Has God made anything that isn’t beautiful? Well, He made you! So you a beautiful! Stop calling yourself fat, or thinking of yourself as fat. Think of yourself as capable, beautiful and amazing. Focus on what the fat is covering. In my case the fat was covering a strong woman who loves God… why wouldn’t I want to identify with that instead?


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