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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Oh Good Grief

So getting my "affairs" back in order meant, 1. Cooking and blogging again 2. Resuming exercise 3. Resuming healthy eating and calculating what I ate.  So 1 was easy breezy, 2 wasn't easy at all but it is something that I can fairly easily check off my list each day, 3, well..........that takes all day discipline! What happened to my all day discipline?  I assumed I would wait until the major stressors in my life that threw me for a loop were all sorted out. Haha.  Silly lady.  They aren't getting sorted out, instead there seems to be a steady stream of obstacles one after another.  Guess I should practice jumping hurdles and I will be better conditioned to handle these things.  So if I want to take charge of my mess of a life and move forward I better do it despite the obstacles.  So here we go with #3!

I wanted to share the recipe I made for dinner, on a whim I looked up at my Favorites Bar across the top of the browser and hit the WW button!! Oh boy. Then I plugged in everything I ate today. gulp. Then I plugged in my weight. double gulp. Those admissions were brutal.  The best part was dinner.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest (of course I did!) and made it and it was delish.

Honey Soy Stir Fried Chicken
Her picture, her recipe found here.
Reading her entry made me laugh! And she was right it was super easy perfect for those days when being the CEO of your home is not so easy.  The only thing I didn't use was the sake because frankly I bought a bottle of oyster sauce just for this, I wasn't going to buy sake too! I just skipped it and it was super yummy without.  So when I plugged it in to WW guess what I discovered....5 pts a serving (I used 6 chicken thighs and measured it like that, my girls split one so it made enough for two meals!) This tasted way better than any Chinese takeout restaurant.  I made rice and bought frozen store bought egg rolls. I was going for easy! Total of 12 pts for a meal which was really pretty good.  Had I been more careful the rest of the day that would have worked out very nicely I would imagine! I may make this often considering I have a huge bottle of oyster sauce now!

So I have found that when you completely fall of the horse, you gotta get back up there one step at a time.  It isn't going to be easy to climb this mountain that I feel like I already climbed last year but slid all the way back to the bottom this winter.  Only way to get started is by taking the first step! So now I have those three hurdles tackled just need to keep pressing repeat. Cook, blog, exercise, measure, repeat.  Cook, blog, exercise, measure, repeat.  This could work.
Another thing that I take very seriously in the summer is having fun family time! Last 5-6 summers my husband taught summer school and we balanced his extra time/laid back schedule with tons of fun family activities and excursions. Just like bears store up for the winter months that they hibernate, we store up with tons of quality time for the months that teaching seems like a 100+hr/week job. Last few years we did an ever popular bucket list.  This summer I made a big one!
Isn't it pretty!? I already crossed off about a dozen!

I also got this book last year but things didn't go as planned for me to start it in January and I was thinking July 1 would be a nice time to start.  This is sort of like a half year resolution for my whole family.  Especially my kids to keep them more active.

I went ahead and made a calendar for July, also the majority of summer bucket list activities are outside so they count too!
I hope you are having a great time enjoying all the wonderful parts of summer with your families too. The title of this entry is in honor of Charlie Brown who I was sort of feeling like this week, discouraged, rejected, and well pretty much like a loser.  Oh Good Grief.  But you know what I like about dear old Chuck? Every time Lucy whips that football away right before he tries to kick it with all his might, and he lands flat on his back humiliated, every time he gets up and tries again.  Some may call that a sucker, but I rather admire his perseverance.  So I will try to dust off my bum and try this again! Easy as 1, 2, 3 right?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Chasing Birds

Return to blogging - check.  Return to exercise - - - - - - - - (anyone hear crickets?)
So in the last week I got back out to try running, twice even. It had been almost 6 months, yikes! The first time was brutal. I mean Bru-tal. And I thought it would get better, I was still collecting my thoughts and planning this blog entry and I went out running again tonight and tonight's jog made the last one look like a walk in the park.  Now I am getting over a respiratory bug and so I will cut myself a tiny little slack for that and try to convince myself that in the next 10 days if I can force myself out there at least 6 more times I will get a little better for the race on the 16th but man tonight was scary.  I got through 2 miles, I walked 1/4 of that disappointingly and cried for at least 1/3 of it.  Yup cried.  Good thing I had the track all to myself, haha, that must of looked pretty hysterical, the worlds slowest jogger going round and round and bawling like a big old baby the whole time! Ironically though this is what I love about "running" (I use that word very loosely with myself!) it is to me the epitome of an oxymoron. Love and hate all wrapped up together in a soul-confusing jumble of emotions.  Today's run was a little too heart wrenching though, it was much more on the hate side and as I sat stretching on my living room floor afterwards softly sobbing and my daughter looked at me a bit bewildered and said "Momma, why do you have tears?" I honestly couldn't explain it to her.  But I think I know how to explain it to you....
The previous run. The one I thought was horrible....until tonight, left me a little clarification. As I was huffing and puffing around that black tar oval my family walked down to the track to run and roll around on the plush football field turf and cheer me on. And the writer in my soul, ever in search of life's perfectly wrapped metaphor gifts, was struck by a perfect one.  My daughter was chasing birds.
Here is a recent pic of my girls chasing some poor duck on vacation.  The duck was feeling too lazy to fly so they almost caught him a few times! Almost.

There probably isn't a kid on the planet, who, given a stretch of sand and a couple of fat seagulls hasn't chased birds, this is a "game" that delights children the world over.   As I watched her though and was momentarily distracted from the cursed monotony of my slogging (my friend's word for slow jogging, SO what I do!) I couldn't help but think chasing birds is the perfect metaphor for what I am doing.  No kid, at least not that I can imagine and it has probably been rare or fraught with extenuating circumstances, has come away triumphant in this chase.  In this case, there were a half a dozen robins on a football field, my toddler darted toward one and it flew 20 feet a way, she darted toward another, same ending, and on and on, repeat.  They always always always have the upper hand, the speed, the quick escape, they are the victor in every way. And for a moment I felt as though I was watching myself. I too feel as though chasing improved health, quite literally while running, that it is always always always just a few steps ahead of me and out of my grasp and every step I make towards it, it seems to move further away. Exhausting, defeating, a hopelessly frustrating feeling it would seem.   But there is another very strange element that links these examples together.  Imagine in your mind's eye every similar situation you have ever witnessed of Child Chasing Birds, what is the common denominator.  JOY!!!! There is pure childlike joy in the chase.  They run with giggles and glee and when they finally give up and succumb to the bird as victor there is usually a common look of happiness and delight spreading across their face in a smile as they lay on their back and watch their opponent take easily to flight.  The joy of the chase.  Joy? Joy. Oh I feel that too.  When I run, I hate to run, I'm talking loathe.   But when I run my spirit bubbles with joy and laughter, and I love to run.  My whole body is twisted in a beautiful awful paradox.   I hate the pain in my feet.  I love the pounding of my heart.  I hate tightness of my lungs.  I love the speed of my feet. I hate doubts in my head.  I love the images of soaring on eagles wings.  I hate my failings.  I love God's enabling success.  I hate that I feeling like I have spent a decade with one foot in the grave.  I love how running makes me feel so alive.  I am chasing birds, and I have joy. 

There are times I drag myself down to the lowest gutter feeling sorry for myself.  I feel like maybe if I could walk around in a shirt that said, "I'm sorry. Please excuse me, I don't mean to be fat but I had thyroid cancer." that I would feel better. But really I would just be trading in my shame to put on pity.  I don't want to be pitiful anymore than I want to be ashamed.  I want to be free.  I want to have joy.  I want to chase birds. 

After that run I laid down and drank some water.  My husband snapped my picture with my phone.  I wanted to delete it but something very special caught my eye.  It wasn't me.  I was hot, sweaty, red faced and I partially cropped me out of the picture because of it.  Do you see it?

Do you see the look on that little girls face? I am welling with tears even now as I look at it again.  It's pride.  She is proud of her Momma.  And she is the reason I am chasing birds.  She is the Chaser of Birds.  She is my inspiration.  When she doubts, and cries, and questions, and has shame and feels pitiful some day.  I am going to pick her up and say "Honey, lets go chase some birds....you are the one who taught me how."  I love my girls so much that sometimes it physically hurts.  I don't want to pass on a legacy of pain, shame, disease and decay but of hope, faith, joy and the pursuit of righteousness.  That is why I chase birds. 

There is a passage in Romans 7 that I have been meditating on and working on memorizing, it is this:

" I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good.  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.   For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;   but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?   Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7:15-25)

If you can read through all those do's you will see that we are at war in ourselves.  We don't do things we want to do but are bent on doing the things we don't want to do and know we shouldn't do, sin.  I want to run and eat healthy.  But the easy path pulls me along on it's lazy tide I eat garbage and am inactive, sin.  Tonight's brutal run told me that I am miles away from the progress I made last year.  Literally.  Because I could run miles then.  But I am determined to chase birds.  That passage culminates so clearly at the end how can it not resound with me WHO WILL RESCUE ME FROM THIS BODY THAT IS SUBJECT TO DEATH??!!! THANKS BE TO GOD, WHO DELIVERS ME THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD!!!!! (emphasis mine) I want to lay in the grass and watch those birds fly away and yell to the heavens this scripture with my steadily beating heart thumping out internal praise.  And then I want to get up again, and chase birds.....

I'm sorry if I have ran this metaphor (ha! pun totally awesome!) into the ground. But I love me a good metaphor.  And this one made my heart soar.  Even after tonight's brutality.  Part of my tears were shed in joy because the old me would not have been out there at all.  I am not held back by my can'ts and what-ifs anymore.  I can. And who cares? I am chasing birds.....and I have Joy!!!!

Will you join the chase?