Sophrosyne

Last week I managed to exercise five out of seven days…not so bad. The first two days I got up early and had exercised and showered before the kids were out of bed. Those were good and productive days. The rest of the week I walked in the evenings with my husband or during lunch time. I like walking with my husband. Unfortunately he thinks the walking may be aggravating his hip and is going back to using the stationary bike for a while. So back to early mornings for me…hopefully. I used to be a morning person…not sure what happened to change that. Anyway to ensure that I will get up in the mornings to get my exercise in I am gong to drink a big glass of water before going to bed…that WILL get me up and out of bed in the morning!!!

I’ve concentrated on lowering my cholesterol and have been preparing meals for my entire family based on those needs. My husband started having some problems and eventually went to the doctor and discovered his B vitamins (6 & 12 I think) are low. I need less red meat but he needs more! Some of the foods I had cut back on he actually needs. I’ve gone back to making a high fiber bread for him and a separate loaf of bread for the kids. As much as I enjoy making bread I rarely eat it anymore. I used to have toast every morning but now have either a bowl of high fiber cereal or a green smoothie. I put my husbands pre-sliced loaf of bread in the freezer so it will last him all month. Homemade bread does not have all the preservatives of store-bought and will mold very quickly. The kids still get their loaf of white bread but I have started adding chia seeds, wheat germ and bran, and ground flax-seed to their bread.

I went back and read the chapter in Ellie’s book (Life’s too Short to Eat Bad Cheese) about B vitamins today. She says B vitamins need to be consumed with vitamin C (which should be combined with iron). Oi! This stuff gets complicated! So he should have his B vitamin supplement with a salad and some steak (sounds yummy to me!). I once looked into getting a vitamin supplement for us to take but gave up. There are so many choices and different brands. Also, some articles I’ve read say that vitamins are not beneficial unless your body can digest them and taking supplements is a waste of time. I just gave up on taking any supplements. Ellie pointed out in her book that I can test vitamins by placing a tablet in a little cup of white vinegar. If it dissolves within thirty minutes then the vitamin will most likely be helpful. If it has grit on top then it isn’t worth the money. She also advises liquids and capsules as better supplement choices. I’m going to test my husband’s vitamins right after this post is published. I’ll tell the kids it is a science experiment and we’ll have some fun!

My goal for the next few weeks is to get up early and exercise since my days are so much better when I do. Prepare fish once a week for dinner and have tuna with my salad a couple of times a week for lunch. So far I have about four fish recipes my family will eat. Maybe I can find one or two more to add. I also hope to stay at exercising five days a week for now and turn that into a regular habit.

 

Sophrosyne

Sophrosyne [suh-fros-uh-nee] is my new word for the year (with fandabbydosy coming in a close second…love the feel of those syllables!)  I know it is March…nearly April and I should have chosen my word for the year in January. For the past few months I have toyed with the word “nourished” because I thought it filled my current need for seeking spiritual and physical…want or need. I can’t find the right word for this…loss of true harmony. Turns out there is an amazing ancient Greek word that embodies all I lack and seek…sophrosyne.

I found this word while skimming some of the works of Plato (Charmides if you want to read for yourself). In my little spare time I am reading about the influence of humanism from the ancient Greek philosophers on Thomas Aquinas and how this affected the course of the Christian church and Western history (yeah, I need a hobby). Since I am not all that clever I have to look up many words I stumble on in my readings…Anyway, one of the words I encountered was sophrosyne. A word with no clear equivalent English translation. In my quest for physical, spiritual, and mental (that one may be a lost cause!) health this word…sophrosyne…is what I seek!

Sophrosyne is expressed by an abiding awareness of one’s true worth, a healthy state of being dominated by orderly behavior leading to harmony within one’s self and with the Divine. Isn’t that an amazing word! I want to be healthy both within my spirit and within my physical being. I truly believe there is a connection in how I care for this earthy home of the Hold Spirit and my relationship with Christ. I cherish this gift of life and I believe that if I honor this gift then I will find a deeper connection with my Lord. This word expresses my belief in how to achieve this harmony.  It is a continuous process of self-knowledge and self-restraint leading to spiritual harmony.

It means eating healthy foods in healthy proportions is something to rejoice in not feel miserable about. Overindulgence (in food or things) leads to guilt and bondage (a lack of health from over-eating and an unhealthy life-style) and self-discipline (proper and healthy food and activity) points to freedom and joy. If I quit abusing this body and seek the Lord with all my heart then sophrosyne is my way of life…true harmony is mine. Perusing a healthy lifestyle is part of achieving sophrosyne.

My wibbly-wobbly posts about achieving fitness and a healthy lifestyle are now under the name of sophrosyne.

Wibbly Wobbly: Just Plodding Along

I think it might be easier to understand theoretical particle physics than to lose weight. I’m not giving up but simply acknowledging this process is going to take a wee bit longer to see measurable progress. I was down about hitting this plateau a couple of weeks ago. Instead of turning to a box or two of chocolate I’ve kept trudging along. No fun, but I know if I just persevere I will succeed. So, oddly enough, I was rather amused to discover this week’s chapter (Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese by Ellie Marrandette) was all about persevering!

So the scale and body measurements haven’t moved much. Once I quit beating myself up I realized that I am not in a race to lose weight. It is okay for this process to take time. Also, I do feel better. Since I started exercising my hip doesn’t hurt as much. My aching hip no longer wakes me up at night (wish I could say the same about my four-year old!). Turns out I am making progress…just not the measurements I considered to be successful. Honestly, I’ll take less pain and better sleep over pounds lost any day.

I’ll just keep plodding along at my slow pace. Eventually the progress I want will manifest.

I need to get past this plateau so I need to change a few things. I’ve added some weight lifting to my workout. I’ve only gone through the routine twice but I plan to use weights three times per week. I also plan to increase my workouts to six times a week instead of just four. Now that the weather is getting better I will most likely walk in the evenings outside with my husband. So some days I will get two workout sessions. Maybe I’ll even be able to keep up with him one of these days! I’ve added a few dances and workouts to my YouTube page. I always start out with Good Morning, Do Life Big, and Gerinomo from Refit Revolution. After those three songs I am ready to grab life by the horns and win! Sometimes I even repeat! Toward the bottom of my list is a Jessica Smith walking workout with weights that I like and plan to use three times a week for now.

The next change I plan to make is with my diet. I think I will do better fighting cravings throughout the day if I begin with a big breakfast. I like my smoothies but I do not love them. So I am going to have a yummy big breakfast, my premade soups for lunch and a very small dinner. I have always envisioned that we should have a huge yummy dinner in the evenings but really I think a small supper would be better. So I am going to try out the old saying of eating like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for supper. I’ll let you know how that goes the next week…

Wibbly-Wobbly: Bye-bye February!

Snow!

Snow!

February. Not a good month for me. I did not lose any weight but I didn’t gain any either. I lost all motivation to exercise or eat properly when arctic temperatures and snow hit our area. Sadly, another system is moving in later today and turning into sleet and snow by morning. Anyway, I may have lost nearly all of my motivation but since I didn’t gain any weight I did not lose my will power. For the most part I controlled what I ate. On the really cold and depressing days I just strived to control how much I ate of comforting foods.

Over the past three weeks it has been warmer on occasion in Alaska than Kentucky! In my book that is reason enough to devour all the chocolate in the house. I didn’t…of course I may have stood in the kitchen and stared at the chocolate.

I didn’t blog one word on these Wibbly-Wobbly posts for two weeks. The first week I missed I just didn’t realize it was Tuesday until I went to bed that night. All the bad weather shut everything around here down as well as my daily routines. Last week…well…I was having a bad day and would not have been able to post anything positive.

However, I wasn’t idle over the past two weeks. I solved a major hurdle in getting exercise time. I get up early to exercise and get showered before the rest of the family gets moving. Yesterday, I even had muffins baking in the over for the kids before getting them up for the day. I’m only exercising every other day at the moment but plan to start doing do more often next week. On the days I do not exercise I still get up and enjoy some quiet reading. I’ve learned that I am more consistent with getting up to exercise if I also get up at the same time on my non-exercise days. The other issue I was having in getting to exercise was washing-up without waking the rest of the household. Once the littlest one is up a lovely shower is not a possibility. We have a full bathroom downstairs in the basement and it had never occurred to me to use it! So I moved all of my things into the basement bath. Everyone sleeps while I exercise and get my day started.

I mentioned last time that I was thinking about trying out a detox. No. No. That is not going to happen. I’m not sure that I could handle the side effects and headaches and homeschool. We will shut down school for two weeks in July when two of the boys are attending Lego camp. Maybe I will consider one then but…maybe not. But why not a gentler approach to detox? I already have a smoothie most mornings. So why not some detox soups for lunch! Several of them looked tasty to me. I’ve pinned a few on Pinterest and this weekend made a large pot of the Anti-inflammatory vegetarian soup. The only thing I did differently from the recipe was add a tablespoon of turmeric. So far this week I’ve loved having a bowl of soup with some crackers for lunch. If I make this soup again I will just cut the squash in half and bake it…those are not easy to peel! I also have the ingredients on hand to make the creamy spiced cauliflower soup. Now that I have smoothies and soup everyday I think I am getting the required amount of vegetables and fruit for the first time in my life.

Chapter ten in Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese is on willpower. I liked this chapter. Ellie gives several examples of how to handle some diet killing food related scenarios without hurting someone’s feelings. She also gives advise on getting the body’s metabolism running and dealing with weight-loss plateaus. I’m going to add a cup or two of ice water each day to help get my body revved up each day.

I’m glad February is over. I’m a bit down that I did not lose at least one pound. However, I am glad that I’ve solved the problem of getting in my exercise for the day and having a sensible lunch already made for busy school days.

Please consider sharing any good soup recipes!

 

Wibbly-Wobbly: Detoxify?

My thoughts while exercising

My thoughts while exercising

This week’s chapter in Ellie’s book (Life’s Too Short to Eat bad Cheese) is about detoxifying the body and mind. I learned a few truths about the aging of the gut that I’d rather not know…yuck. Food, especially processed and unhealthy food build up in our digestive system and prevent our bodies from absorbing necessary and essential nutrients. In order to keep our bodies in optimal condition and to prevent gut rot (eeewww!) we need to eat the right foods and drink plenty of water. I learned in this chapter I need to take care of my digestive system and liver and also listen to my thyroid.

I’ve had my thyroid levels checked in the past and the doctor always says things are fine…or “operating within normal parameters” may have been his actual words. But every time I read about thyroid problems I can relate to some of the symptoms. So now I am thinking I should try one of these detox regimens but…research first. I’ll look into it and let you know what I decide to do. I will not put myself (or my family) through some crazy juice fast or whatever the fad is these days for detoxification. I’m fairly certain that I already know the answer…eat healthy, exercise and drink plenty of water.

I wish I enjoyed exercising…but I really do not. I haven’t exercised this week. Maybe tomorrow I will find the motivation…but it is February…the most depressing month of the year. Motivation is hard to find…but spring is right around the corner!

 

Wibbly-Wobbly: Weigh In

February 1st

February 1st

January has come and gone and I weigh three ponds less…not the five I wanted. I’m a little disappointed but not upset. I began and ended the month with a cold so I wasn’t always feeling motivated. All of my measurements are still the same so I’m not sure where the weight was lost!

Part way through the month I switched my smoothies to lunch time. I was constantly craving something “real” to eat all morning and would end up in the kitchen looking for a salty snack. On the mornings I have a good breakfast full of proteins and healthy carbohydrates I will not snack. I also changed up my smoothie a little bit. I ran out of the nut or coconut milks I usually use for the liquid so I substituted regular milk. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference in the taste. Boy, was I surprised! My smoothie was creamy…almost like a milkshake! I no longer buy the special milks anymore because I am much more satisfied with the creamier texture.

This week in Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese Ellie talks about the importance of setting good eating habits with our children. Since I have started really trying to eat healthy my kids have taken an interest too. They still love Oreos and goldfish crackers but they are also very willing to go along when I want to add healthier options to our snacks. I’m teaching them to read labels and make healthy meals. We are learning to make homemade versions of our favorite foods like pizza. I am also sharing with them the destruction of a lifetime of unhealthy habits is wrecking on my body. They can see my pinky that is beginning to change shape and how much it hurts me. We are learning together.

Wibbly-Wobbly…Slow Going

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yours truly, after a workout

This week’s chapter in Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese is about examining why I am not taking care of myself. Ellie‘s primary focus in this chapter is on emotional eating and discovering the root cause so we can all take proper care of the body God gave us. Another point she makes is that when I do not value and care for this body that God created and gave to me…I am living in disobedience. Really sobering thought…puts that extra serving of chips into place.

When I sat down to write this post last week I just couldn’t find anything to say. I have no words of wisdom or help for emotional eating. I struggle with it so much! The book Made To Crave by Lisa TerKeurst helped me to uncover why I struggle with emotional eating. I could honestly go through the book again…I think it would help. (All of my posts about the book and what I learned about emotional eating are under the Healthy Living menu at the top and then just click on the Made To Crave sub-heading…you’ll learn more about me than you ever wanted to know.) Knowing why I am an emotional eater has helped me to get it a bit under control. But on weak, hard days I feel helpless. Anxiety and stress are the hardest for me to handle. Especially if the stress comes from feeling judged by the people around me…people I love. I just crumble. Sometimes I get anxious and feel like the worst wife and mother ever created. I know this fact isn’t true but feelings are often irrational and not based on truth. Only dependence on God has carried me through those times…

Some days I can beat these feelings. Now that I understand why I succumb to emotional eating it isn’t as hard for me to deal with intellectually. The emotions are still there…the wound is forever a part of me but it no longer owns me. I’ve noticed that if I make my priority on prayer and seeking time with Jesus then I am stronger. However, if I let other things (even good things) take priority over my relationship with the Holy Trinity then I fail in all things including emotional eating. I admit that I haven’t been faithful lately to prayer and seeking Him everywhere. So much pulls at me but the past few weeks I have been making changes to my schedule. Time in prayer and with Jesus is my priority and still everything that is important manages to get done. I have a greater peace in my responsibilities as a wife, home maker and homeschooling mother.

Clarity is a better word. I have clarity. I listen to the Spirit and know what to let go and just…be. Well, sometime anyway.

I’m down three pounds so far this month. I won’t make my five-pound goal and I’m okay with it. Next month will be better but I will continue. I’ve added a few new workouts to my playlist on YouTube. My favorite workouts are from FitnessBlender and jessicasmithtv.