Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekly Check-in: September 30, 2008

Ooops! I completely forgot to check in yesterday!

I'd love to say it was innocent but I know better. Trust me, if I'd had something to crow about, I'd have checked in!

Week of September 22, 2008:
Weight Loss: +1.5 lbs.

Average water per day: 4 cups

Number of exercise days: 5

Total min exercised: 150 min (avg of 30 min per day)

Still running high in body temp, thanks to the B12 tablets, but my eating was off. First there was my Middle Son's birthday cake. Then, I found myself snacking. Not unusual for the beginning of a monthly cycle. It always sneaks up on me and then I realize I've been snacking a bit more for the last day or two than I had been.

I'm curious as to whether anyone has studied women's weight loss efforts and how they are impacted by menstruation. I'm sure someone has. Not only do I snack more, I also have to fight more to exercise. I'm just not into anything but curling up in bed, which I don't get to do, so I do what I minimally have to do, at least the first couple of days.

But now that that's over, I don't have any more excuses. I need to stop eating the cookies I baked in a moment of weakness.

And I need to rev up my exercise. I didn't do anything this morning!

But, in addition to working out Mon-Fri last week, I did walk for almost four hours on Saturday, canvassing for my favorite presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama.

Talk about tired? I could barely move on Sunday and I was still aching on Monday.

The middle-aged body just doesn't bounce back quite as quickly.

I'm claiming a good week for the remainder of this one, getting back down to last week's weight.

What about you?

Peace & Blessings,

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Another Reason I Like Sen. Obama For President

The President of the United States of America is on display, for all the world to see.

He (or she) is dissected, analyzed, and served up daily by the media, both personally and professionally, as is the first family.

If we're going to continue this trend, in our increasingly insatiable appetite for more, more, more about the lives of our politicians, leaders, celebrities, etc., then I'd like to have more of this:

Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks of The Huffington Post elaborate on why the relationship between Sen. Barack and Michell Obama is good for America here.

I agree. In addition to being qualified, thoughtful, and learned, he and his wife are good role models. We can't get enough of those.

Peace & Blessings,

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beyond Gray Skies

I'm studying about the will, that is God's will vs. man's will, to continue the discussion on will or willpower vs. discipline. Be back at you soon!


Driving into work the day after a major downpour--one that delayed us picking up all the kids and getting home by almost an hour, upsetting our daycare provider and forcing me to attend a parent's meeting looking like a drowned rat--I thought about gray skies and their ability to affect people's mindsets.

It's easy to see gray skies and take on a less than sunny disposition. Not angry or evil. Just not happy. The skies are gray, the mood is depressed. It makes it very easy to see gray all around and not to see what's beyond the clouds.

But I believe we're called to see beyond the clouds, to look beyond the gray skies in our lives, be they physical or spiritual.

For one thing, we must know what we know. Too many Christians fall apart at the first sign of trouble, as though the God that was sovereign the day before suddenly no longer is, as though He who sits on the throne has somehow fallen off.

Not so!

We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
1 John 4:13-16
When difficult times rear their heads in our lives, we must know that God is still God. He's God despite the "gray skies" that loom above our heads and seem to surround us. We must know this just as we know that the sun hangs in the sky on a cloudy day.

Oh, we may not see the sun or feel the warming rays of sunshine, but we know that it is still there, just waiting for the clouds to part even a sliver and let its light shine through.

So it must be with us. We must see the Son no matter what gray clouds hang over us.

Donald Lawrence and the Tri-City Singers have a song called "Encourage Yourself". It's one of my favorites because it speaks to this very issue:
Some-times you have to encourage your-self.
Some-times you have to speak victory during the test.
No matter how you feel, speak the Word and you may be healed.
Speak over yourself, encourage yourself,
In the Lord.
In addition to knowing God is still on His thone and still in control, we must take every sliver of opportunity to let His love and grace shine through, even in our most difficult times. It's not easy to smile or present a sunny disposition when you're going through. But someone, somewhere is experiencing an even more difficult time than you--especially if they don't know Jesus personally--and they need that ray of hope.

So the next time you see clouds in the sky, remind yourself that the sun (and the Son) still shine. See beyond the gray skies!

Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mid-week Worship: Imagine Me

Imagine me, Lord! Being free, trusting you, totally. Finally, I can imagine me!

Do you see yourself the way God sees you? Completely?

I can't say I've always been good at that, and if I'm honest, I'll say I probably still am not 100% there.

But imagine how God would feel if we ever finally saw what He sees and acted according...

Peace & Blessings,

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Help with Healthy Living

I've found two faith-oriented blogs that center around healthy living. I read them regularly now and thought I would share them:
Faith First Fitness
Faith and Health Connection

Also, this month, one of the writing blogs I frequent, is focusing on healthy living. When you can combine a couple of your passions--writing and for me, getting in shape--life just starts to sizzle! Even if you're not a writer, find some helpful tips over at The Wet Noodle Posse.

Peace & Blessings,

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekly Check-in: September 22, 2008

Week of September 15, 2008:
Weight Loss: -2 lbs. (Woo-hoo!)

Average water per day: 4 cups

Number of exercise days: 4

Total min exercised: 165 min (avg of 41 min per day)

Last week was a good week! I'm down 2 lbs. It was actually 3 lbs in the middle of the week but I ate a little more on the weekend that I probably should have.

I'll take the 2 lbs!

I was soooo hot last week. Not because the temps in FL still run in the mid-90s this time of year or because I've found a way to be fresh, chic, hip or anything faintly resembling that.

Noooo...I was a walking furnace!

Chalk it up to the B12 supplements I'm taking. 41,000% of the daily recommended dosage. Doc said it would rev up my metabolism. I think she was right. The only times I ever felt this warm internally were during pregnancy. (And I am very much not pregnant now or ever again!)

I attribute the weight loss to this and to swapping my lunch and dinner meals. By eating a bigger meal mid-day, I'm less ravenous at dinner time. By eating salad for dinner, I'm comfortable rather than stuffed at bedtime. I like the feeling and will continue eating this way.

I was soooo tired and out of sorts last Monday that I didn't start the week off with exercise. I had hoped to make it up over the weekend but that didn't happen. No big deal. I got off to a good start today.

Let's see whether I can drop another lb this week by simply continuing what I'm doing. No other major changes.

That would be really nice.

How'd you do? What are your goals for the week?

Peace & Blessings,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Really Is An Evangelical Christian?

It's tempting to get into mini-debates with people right now, especially given our overly charged political atmosphere.

In fact, that tends to be the source of the controversy, what with possibly the first ever African-American president, a unknown and arguably untested Alaskan governor as possibly the first female vice president (should the AA candidate lose), possibly the oldest ever man to be sworn in as president (should the AA candidate lose), and a highly charged media and electorate which will only get worse, in my opinion, should the AA candidate lose.

Yes, I'm voting for Sen. Barack Obama.

And I don't mind saying so.

What I do mind, which is occuring with greater frequency, is being challenged in my support of him because I'm a Christian.

Why not challenge me because I'm a woman? Should I have supported Hillary or should I now flip over to the McCain-Palin ticket?

Who says that all Christians are or should be Republicans? I'm sick to death of hearing about the religious right, the evangelical right, or whatever they're being called these days.

Don't get me started on Dr. James Dobson or a host of others who have offered so much invaluable information and comfort to believers...as long as they stay within their callings and out of the political arena. Again, just my humble opinion.

But wait! In many ways, I could be categorized as an evangelical Christian, although I am decidedly more center than most of the representatives of evangelical Christianity seen or heard regularly on the airwaves or Internet today.

Is that possible?

Well, yes it is. In my heart of hearts, I believe there are more Christians like me than like them, the people who I would call not "evangelical" but "fundamentalist". We're just less vocal and we need to start speaking up!

See evangelical Christianity has to do with having a personal relationship with Christ that begins with being "born again". I believe in that. It also has to do with "going out into the highways and by-ways" to tell of the goodness of Jesus. I believe in that too. It has to do with believing the Bible is the infallible, inspired Word of God. I believe that. And finally, it has to do with believing in the death and resurrection of Christ, and that He will come again. I believe that.

These are the things that make someone an evangelical Christian. After that, trust me, the waters get pretty muddy. Visit a Southern Baptist church vs. a Pentecostal one vs. a Lutheran vs. a non-denominational. The rest is either man-made church doctrine, which may or may not be Biblically-based, or personal interpretation of the Scriptures.

I think my pastor's wives card is about to be revoked.

Christianity has never been a religion about exclusion. Christ's grace is available to all who believe on Him as the Savior of the world, who confess that belief with their mouths, and who repent of their sins. Don't believe me? Start with the popular John 3:16,
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Then read Romans 10:5-12 Here's a portion:
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
I'm saddened by just how much foolishness is attributed to Christians and just how much some Christians try to hold their chosen brand of Christianity up as the Christian faith. The rest of us are supposedly non-believers or delusional, at best.

The Bible, that infallible source, warns us about judging others. This would include judging the faith of others.

It also says, in Romans 12:3,
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
This admonishment causes me to pray for others who seem to feel they are the arbiters of the Christian faith.

I won't win any awards for this post and I may very alienate a lot of people who I would hope one day might purchase and read my Christian fiction novels, some of whom I've gotten to know and I on the many writing-related blogs I frequent.

Now I know why my mother used to admonish us to never talk about religion, politics, or money in "polite" company. Chances are the conversation will be anything but polite.

Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mid-week Worship: Shout Joyfully

Hubby stumbled upon an artist that we'd not heard of before over the weekend. I love his sound! So this week, my featured artist is BJ Putnam.

Peace & Blessings,

Monday, September 15, 2008

Weekly Check-in: September 15, 2008

Week of September 1, 2008:
Weight Loss: 0 lbs.

Average water per day: 2-3 cups

Number of exercise days: 5

Total min exercised: 150 min (avg of 30 min per day)

Sorry I'm so late posting today but it took me this long to wake up! Never mind that I've been at work since 9.

I have a 3 yo who would not sleep thru the night this past weekend. "I'm hungry." "My stomach hurts." "I'm thirsty." Things that required actually opening my eyes and putting my feet on the floor.

Perhaps tonight I could tie him down or bribe him with an extra cookie after dinner?

Pray for us.

My third straight zero-lb-weight-loss week. But still not getting down on myself.

I think my body is adjusting. To what, I'm not sure. LOL!

Could be those B12 tablets that are (no exaggeration here) like 40,000% of the daily recommended dosage. Guess my doctor was really serious about getting a major change within a month. Good news is that the body doesn't store B12. Whatever isn't utilized is flushed out of the body.

Could be switching my lunch and dinner meals. In theory, this is a great idea. In practice? Easier said than done. Because although I kind of like finishing off the day with a salad and I'm definitely not as ravenous when I get home as I used to be, I think that overall I'm consuming more starch than I used to. For me that translates into gaining, not losing, pounds. But since I'm working out consistently, there's been no change.

Then again, could be a response to the antibiotic I'm taking for a minor sinus infection.

Who knows?

Medicine is definitely a mystery to me.

Really gotta get away from the snacks. Did very well during the week. Not so good on Saturday. Lousy on Sunday. But I'm very cognizant, even in the midst of my snack attacks, so there's hope.

How'd you do this week?

Peace & Blessings,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is Your Will Keeping You From Losing Weight?

One of the topics that's been turning over and over in my head is the notion of will or willpower vs. discipline.

All dieters at some point talk about an increased need for willpower or discipline to help them in their weight loss quest.

But I had a revelation about this recently. I've come to realize that not understanding the difference between willpower and discipline is preceisely what hems up a lot of people who sincerely want to make a change in their weight/health/fitness.

In fact, not having clarity on this difference impacts the ability of people to accomplish just about any goal in life. (Boy, I wish I'd gotten this revelation about 20 years ago!)

Roget's Thesaurus classifies "willpower" under the main topic of "decision". It defines willpower as "unwavering firmness of character, action, or will". Synonyms include determination, discipline, drive, grit, self-control, decidedness, resoluteness, resolve, toughness, will.

I love Roget's Thesaurus but on this one, they've got it only partially right.

Unfortunately, just as many of us do, Roget's is intermingling two completely different terms.

Will and willpower are not the same as discipline.

When I look up "discipline", there are all kinds of references to punishment. We'll ignore those because there's nothing healthy about perceiving activities to increase one's health and fitness as "punishment".

But other definitions include:
  • training to act in accordance with rules
  • the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.
  • behavior and order maintained by training and control
  • to train by instruction and exercise
  • to bring to a state of order and obedience by training and control
What it all boils down to is this: having the will or willpower to do something simple deals with your desire. What do I want? What would I like to have? What do I envision for myself?

The truth is most dieters have willpower, or the desire to lose weight, in leaps and bounds. We overdose on willpower. We never stop wanting to lose weight, not even when we're plunging our hands into a bag of extra large potato chips sure to add a few lbs to our hips or when we're salivating over the buffet table for our second or third plate of food despite having a full stomach or when we're laying on our butts watching exercise shows on TV and thinking about all the exercise we should be doing.

We've got will. For some folks, the will is weak and they never do more than think about what they desire. For others of us, it's strong enough to push us into action.

So we start a new diet or a new exercise program or some other activity designed to help us lose weight.

But is our willpower, our desire, strong enough to keep us doing what we know we need to do to get the job done and the pounds to come off?

Nope. It's only strong enough to keep us adding to our personal lists of "new starts". We try something for a little while. When we start out, we're excited. This time will be different! We're going to finally achieve our goal!

But then, a little while later, we take stock of ourselves and realize we've slacked off or given up all together. We still desire to lose weight but something happened to knock us off course.

Remember all those New Year's resolutions?

Because we still have a strong desire, we then decide it must have been the program or regimen we tried. Yes, it worked for others but since it didn't work for us, something must be wrong with it. It's just not the right thing for us.

So we find another program and the cycle starts all over again.

Don't get me wrong. All diet and exercise regimens are not created equal. Some are in fact dangerous while others seem to provide minimal results at best.

Bottomline, there is one thing takes us from desire to result. It's not education or knowledge. It's not the support of family and friends. It's not even the ideal environment, be that a paid-in-full gym membership, an in-home personal trainer, a personal chef, a spa retreat, or any other things that we dream about, wrongly believing "if I only had..."

That one thing is discipline.

In the next couple of days, we'll examine the concept of discipline and how to develop it in order to push our health and fitness routines over the top.


Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mid-week Worship: Lord, You Are Good

Lord, you are good and your mercy endureth forever!

I admonish my son to consider how blessed he is when I think he's behaving in a selfish, self-centered manner. At times, I have to admonish myself too. We've been through a lot as a family and it would be so easy to dwell on the negative, to focus on the things we've lost, to remember that which is no more.

But God is toooo good for that.

Israel Houghton and New Breed brought something new and fresh to the worship scene in recent years. A mix of Latin, soul, and contemporary Christian music with loads of energy and wonderful instrumentals.

If I can't get near a large body of water, the other thing that never fails to center me and refocus me on God, then an Israel song will serve me well.

Peace & Blessings,

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Go To the Doctor

Yesterday I mentioned that I had a doctor's appointment over the weekend. No major issues but I've got some things I need to address, like my weight, that are affected by things I'd never have known about with a doctor's help. Here's some of what I've learned from regular doctor visits:


After two bouts of gestational diabetes, I knew I would be at pretty high risk for developing Type II diabetes in my lifetime. After injecting myself within insulin five times a day during one of those bouts, I swore to do everything in my power to avoid or delay the onset of this disease.

I honestly can't say I've done everything in my power. That's turned out to be a lot harder than I imagined. Managing diabetes requires constant vigilance to food intake (what I eat and how much) as well as regular exercise.

I've done okay on the what I eat, not so great on the how much, and terribly on the exercise until recently. I'm definitely making strides now on all three fronts.

My doctor has me do blood tests every three months to measure my A1c level. The best description I've heard of this test is that it's like a batting average for blood sugar. It reflects the average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months. So one good day or one really bad day doesn't affect the result.

From this, I know that I'm in the prediabetic range. Not quite there but I need to be alert and take dietary precautions. I also know, from those earlier bouts, that I have to eat protein the morning and have a small protein snack before bedtime.

But on Saturday, the doctor also told me to switch my lunch and dinner. For lunch, I typically eat a salad and some type of protein. If I have any carbs, it's usually with dinner. She told me I should get my carbs earlier in the day, which will help with controlling the blood sugar as well as weight loss.


Back in January, I was tired and sluggish all the time, no matter how much sleep I got. I tried to donate blood at work and they refused me, telling me that my iron count was so low, it didn't register on the meter.

A doctor visit and another blood test confirmed this. I now take daily iron supplements. In the first three months, I was less than consistent and there was no change. The doctor threatened me with iron injections.

Say "needles" and you get my attention!

As soon as I got consistent, I felt a change in my energy levels, even before I started exercising in earnest. In the last three months, my iron levels have doubled and my energy level has skyrocketed. With that, I'm less cranky, more patient, and I hope, more fun. I'm more inclined to go outside with my family and do something active than lounge around because I'm too tired to imagine moving.


My newest discovery, this past Saturday, is that I'm also deficient in vitamin B-12. This was masked in part by my iron deficiency but now that the iron levels are up, the B-12 levels are glaring. My count is less than half of what it should be for an adult woman. To make matters worse, B-12 regulates the...metabolism! So I'm trying to lose weight and getting no where in part due to my extremely low B-12 level.

Got a booster injection and now will take daily supplements of this nutrient as well. If my levels aren't up significantly in a month, I'll have to start regular injections. The doctor says she suspects that once my B-12 level starts to rise, as I continue exercising and working on my diet, I should start to see the weight come off a bit faster.


Of course, once the B-12 level is up, she might find something else. But hey, I'd rather find these things one by one and address them, than not know and beat myself up for working hard and getting nowhere.

Every adult man and woman should get an annual checkup. However, II can tell you that I've had doctors in the past that were not quite as thorough as this lady. So my annual checkups told me nothing. If you're less than satisfied with your doctor, don't forego your exams. Get another doctor!

In addition to getting annual checkups, ask questions. Find out if there is anything detected in your blood work--high cholesterol, low or high blood sugar, vitamin deficiencies, low thyroid, etc.--that you need to be concerned about. Even if you're not in the danger zone now, are you borderline for anything?

The Lesson: Be diligent about your health.

Regular doctor visits, with the right doctor, can make a world of difference to your day to day existence. It has for me.

And anyone trying to lose weight should definitely see a doctor and ask for extensive blood work. In addition to helping you lose weight, it might also help you to live a longer, healthier life.

Peace & Blessings,

Monday, September 8, 2008

Weekly Check-in: September 8, 2008

Week of September 1, 2008:
Weight Loss: 0 lbs.

Average water per day: 4 cups

Number of exercise days: 5

Total min exercised: 150 min (avg of 30 min per day)

Another zero lb week. Aaarrrgh!

Two weeks of political party conventions definitely took its toll. Yes, although I am an Obama supporter, I watched a good portion of the Republican National Convention too. Good to hear for yourself what the other side is saying, before the pundits slice and dice and serve it to you...their way.

Anyway, I'd normally be a bit down this morning. After all, I'm working out 5 days a week consistently now. Forget that my minutes are going in the wrong direction. That's from being up too late and that's over and done with now that the conventions have ended.

But, as I was saying, I should be down but I'm not. That's because I went to the doctor over the weekend. She shed some light on what might be contributing to my weight-loss stall. I'll go into more detail tomorrow, because I think it's worth sharing. I'm just I'm thankful that even though I realize this weight-loss thing might start with me, there's so much that I don't know or control about the process and I have people like my doctor to help me.

I also didn't get in my usual longer, 45-60 min workout this weekend. Got my hair done on Friday evening. When that happens, which is every other Friday, weekend exercise is out of the question! I don't pay all that money to sweat it out the very next day. So I give myself the weekend off, resuming exercise on Monday, as I did this morning. But I'm resigned that it's more important overall to have a healthy body than beautiful hair.

Michelle Obama, as reported in the recent Ebony magazine that featured her on the cover, feels the same way. She said she had to decide that she wasn't going to let her hair dictate her health. 'Cuz you know how Black women are about their hair! It's a contributing factor to so many women in the African-American community being overweight. We don't want to do anything that might cause us to sweat, ruining our perms/weaves/braids/rolls...whatever.

But I'm with Michelle on this thing, which is why I'm keeping the hair simple and resigning myself to not winning any 'Do of the Month contests. I'll take 70 lbs lighter and toned with less than cute hair!

The focus for the week is:
Get to sleep earlier.
Get up earlier.
Exercise longer. (But not so long that the hair is totally unkempt!)

How'd you do?

Peace & Blessings,

Friday, September 5, 2008

Choosing Not

I learned one of my biggest life lessons at a women's ministry conference some ten years or more ago.

It was about choices.

Now of course the concept of making choices wasn't anything new to me. But what the speaker enlightened me about was "choosing not to".

As in choosing not to get upset or angry when someone says something you don't like.

Choosing not to be offeneded when someone does something unkind to you.

Choosing not to feel slighted when someone leaves you out, inadvertently or on purpose.

Choosing not to fly into a rage in the heat of a disagreement. (Particularly useful for married couples.)

Choosing not to be vindicative or spiteful, not to retaliate in kind when you've been hurt.

Choosing Not.

The choice is yours.

This was eye-opening and life-changing for me. I was never one to hold grudges but after a disagreement, it might take me a while to cool off.

I'd never thought about having the ability to control my emotions simply by thinking in terms of making the positive choice of choosing not.

Not to be angry.

Not to be frustrated.

Not to be fearful.

Not to be cynical.

Not to be distrustful.

Not to be hurt.

Not to be offended.


The choice is mine.

This made a huge difference in my life. Initially, I had to talk myself through situations, and occasionally I still do. I found myself saying, "Maybe she meant to hurt my feelings but I choose not to be hurt." Then I took a deep breath, exhaled...

And I'm wasn't.

Do this enough times and it starts to become second nature.

Talk about powerful. It's one of the most freeing concepts I ever learned.

If you want to know more, you can get the tapes here.

Peace & Blessings,

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Do You Value You?

So we all KNOW what we need to do, in most cases to...

Lose weight.

Get promoted at work.

Write and publish that book.

Be healthier.

Argue less.

Pray more.

Demonstrate love.

Repair and renew broken relationships.

Get closer to God.

(Fill in the blank) ____________________________

So why don't we do whatever it is we need to do?

What is willpower?

What is discipline? Are they the same?

I've been thinking on this subject and God is whispering to me. As I get clarity, I'll share what I'm learning.

In the meantime, what about valuing yourself? Do you value you?

We say we do and we certainly want to believe we value ourselves but do our actions always support our belief?

Another subject I'd like to explore. For now, let's spend some time thinking about it.

Peace & Blessings,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Mid-week Worship: I Am That I Am

This one is for the young people and anyone who can appreciate a wide variety of musical genres.

Hubby and I introduced our now teenager to Christian rap when he was still a toddler. We were determined that he would not be cut off from the musical style of his generation but that what he listened to had to be uplifting.

When we discovered Christian rap, we were all over it. Even now, Hubby and I enjoy it. In fact, we're excited to see how the genre has evolved and grown over the last decade, with more artists, better production, and more lyrical styles within the genre, from a Northeast sound to a "Dirty South" sound.

Doesn't matter to me because these guys, and a few gals, are serious about praising God in a way that speaks to their generation.

This is an early song by one of my favorite Christian rap artists, The Cross Movement. It's called "I Am That I Am".

Peace & Blessings,

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekly Check-In: September 2, 2008

Hope everyone enjoyed their Labor Day. Please continue to pray for the people of the Gulf Coast who were displaced or otherwise impacted by Hurricane Gustav. Pray for the people of Florida and the Atlantic region who are now threatened by Hurricane Hanna. And Ike is forming right behind these two!

Week of August 25, 2008:
Weight Loss: 0 lbs.

Average water per day: 4 cups (need to get up to eight)

Number of exercise days: 5

Total min exercised: 180 min (avg of 36 min per day)

Second week of school, the first full week for all of my boys. Was I tired! A couple of days I had to talk myself into getting up, going into the bathroom, putting on my workout clothes, and heading down the stairs. A few times I found myself 10-15 min into my routine before I even felt awake.

But I'm definitely getting into the swing of it. Again, I did five days of exercise. Since I work up at 5 on Labor Day, when I didn't have to, I'm thinking my body is adjusting to the new schedule, which should allow me to be less sluggish and work toward lengthening my workouts.

Eating was good until mid-week when I baked a double layer, chocolate fudge cake for Hubby's birthday. I rarely ate a whole piece but I found myself eating more slivers than I should have. Then Hubby took me out to dinner for our 17th wedding anniversary on Sunday and we ate well, including fresh baked bread dipped in seasoned olive oil and creme brulee for dessert. Not to mention that about a third of that cake is still in the cake keeper on the counter.

But I've had my fill. It's a new month and I'm really committed to continued progress. I'm more toned than I've been in a long time, even if the pounds aren't falling off just yet. If I keep my workouts going and lengthen them, then it comes down to calories ingested. And aside from my Middle Son's birthday later this month, we won't have any more celebrations involving food until Thanksgiving!

The whole family went to the track yesterday so that Hubby and I could work out, making it easier for me to keep to my 5 workouts a week minimum this week.

Bottomline, to lose weight, it's simply calories out must exceed calories in. Or, to put it another way, not even considering what kind of calories I'm eating, I'm going to have to eat less.

Knowing and doing are two different things.

Perhaps I shouldn't use words like "simply" because I find weight loss to be anything but simple.

But I'm encouraged. And I've got a buddy in this battle, my crit partner, Chicki, who is walking her way to good health on her new walking treadmill.

Peace & Blessings,