Running the Race Before Me

On January 2, 2020 I made a decision that has changed my life. It actually all started on November 9 when my sister told me about a podcast she had been listening to that she thought I would like. The podcast is “Losing 100 lbs. with Phit-n-Phat”.

Before my sister told me about this podcast, I had never before listened to a podcast. Since that day, I have become a huge follower of Corinne Crabtree, who is the host of “Losing 100 lbs. with Phit-N-Phat”. Corinne is a tell-it-like-it-is kind of person. She cuts through the junk people believe regarding their ability, or inability, to lose weight.

The decision I made on January 2 was to join the PNP Tribe, which is a private group that shows you had to lose weight by getting your head on straight about why you eat when you are not hungry. Over the past month and a half, I have learned so much and have gotten to where I don’t feel the need to eat my feelings anymore and I don’t eat near as much food as I used to.

One of the podcasts that I listened to focused on those interested in taking up running. Corinne talked about another podcaster, Jill Angie, whose podcast is entitled “Not Your Average Runner”. She talks about being a runner who is overweight and how to begin running. She focuses on interval running as the best way to run, especially when you first start running.

At the beginning of the year, I started walking four days a week for my physical and mental health. Exercise has always helped give me a clearer mind. A couple of weeks ago I started running for about 20 minutes at a time. While watching a movie, I just kept running and in 37 minutes I ran 3.1 miles. Holy crap! I couldn’t believe that I had run a 5k without even thinking about it. Now my goal is to run 3-4 days a week and do strength training the other two days.

It would be easy for me to say that I have done all of this on my own. However, I know better than that. I know that God brought me to Corinne’s podcast and then Jill’s podcast in His time. He also gave me a way to pay for the PNP Tribe membership when I couldn’t see a way to do it. I know it is God who has given me the strength and ability to run like I do and He will continue to give me strength to do all things in my life.

My next goal is to run a 5k. After that, who knows, maybe I will run a 10k. I will leave my goals up to God and let Him guide me where I need to go.

Here’s to 2020 and a Fresh Start

My word for 2019 was intentional. I began the year with good intentions wanting to write more, lose weight, spend time with family, etc. Somewhere along the line, my good intentions fell by the wayside. I lost my way because I think I had too many goals/ideas to focus on and not enough direction.

I have chosen my word for 2020 and it is focused. I plan to spend 2020 being more focused. I am going to plan my life more instead of letting it just happen. While there is nothing wrong with letting life just happen, doing so does not get specific things done. For instance, if I want to lose weight, I have to plan what I’m going to eat and plan to exercise regularly. I have to work on why I am eating and what I am eating.

Also in 2020, I plan to focus on asking for God’s guidance in everything I do. So much of the time I do what I think is right or what I want to do without asking for His guidance first. It’s time that I began to follow God more closely.

Weekend With the Kittens

This weekend has been a wild ride. It started off when I was watering my backyard garden Saturday morning. I was outside, enjoying my plants and looking for the frogs that like to hang out in some of my pots. My youngest daughter, Becca, came out to be with me because she, too, enjoys nature and being with me in the garden. When she came outside, she got spooked by a cat on our porch that she thought was a squirrel.

After watering a few plants on our deck, I started hearing mewling. It freaked me out because it was unexpected. I looked down in the planter box where I was watering and it turned out there were newborn kittens down in the box that had gotten dripped on when I was watering. Of course, I stopped watering because I didn’t want to risk getting them wet again, plus I wanted to see how many kittens there were and see how big/old they were. It appeared there were only three kittens, but it was hard to tell because they were all cuddled together.

A bit later, my older daughter, Liz, came out to see the kittens and immediately fell in love. First, she loves cats and second, the kittens looked very much like our cat, Buddy, who is a gray tabby cat. I texted a picture of the kittens to my sister who also loves cats and rescued and adopted two newborn kittens herself back in March. She asked me what I was going to do and I told her that I would let nature take its course. I figured that since we had seen a cat on our porch near the kittens that she would return to care for them so we simply kept an eye on the kittens to make sure they were faring well and waited for her return.

Later that evening, after being gone all day at my dad’s house swimming, we checked on the kittens and they were still all there and moving around a lot. That is when I discovered we had four kittens instead of three. Three kittens were tabby cats and one was mostly black and white.

kittens

The next morning I checked on the kittens and they were still doing well. However, when we returned from church later that morning, one of the four kittens was missing. We had no idea where it went. We thought maybe the momma cat had come back to move the kittens or that something had gotten it. Throughout the day I continued to watch the kittens to make sure they were doing okay and waiting to see if the momma cat would return. I even put down some flour around the box to see if she made any paw prints, as suggested by a website I read. I also reached out via social media and to the Houston SPCA to see if anyone would be able to nurse some newborn kittens as we did not have the ability to do so. The momma cat was still MIA on Sunday evening.

Monday morning arrived with thunder rolling so I checked on the kittens and planned to move them into a cardboard box to a more sheltered area. That is when I found that one of the kittens had died overnight. After rescuing the remaining two kittens and getting them into a sheltered area, I proceeded to bury the dead kitten in our backyard. After a while, I decided to sit outside with the two kittens to keep an eye on them as they did not look well themselves. While I was out there, another of the kittens died so I took the last kitten whom I called Simba because he/she seemed to be the strongest of the kittens. I pet the kitten and held it close and talked to it constantly while rocking in our porch rocking chair. Sadly though, it too died. I buried the two kittens and went inside sad that they were unable to survive.

Throughout the weekend I had prayed for their survival and prayed for the momma cat’s return. I had also talked with God about what to do. Several times I considered bottle feeding them, but I knew that I would not be able to keep up the schedule once Tuesday arrived because my husband and I work full time and our girls go to school. I have doubted myself many times for how I handled things, but in the end, I know that God was in control the whole time and that He guided me along telling me what to do. I even talked with my mom, who is in heaven, as she was a vet tech before she got sick to make sure I was doing the right thing. It’s sad how the weekend ended regarding the kittens, but in the end, I know that I did the right thing.

 

 

Family Fitness

Recently I joined the fitness revolution and started with Camp Gladiator for their 4-week Total Transformation. After the first class, it took two days of constant stretching to get my legs to stop hurting as they had been pushed in ways they were not accustomed and for longer periods than ever (each workout session is one hour).

When I went to my next workout session, my husband decided to join me as he wanted to see what all the excitement was about, plus he had been wanting to get more physically fit himself. This meant the kids got to come with us as we couldn’t very well leave them at home. Our oldest, who is 11 years old, wanted to join in the exercises and was very jealous that she couldn’t because she was too young.

After each workout session, my husband and I would leave completely wiped out and drenched in sweat. However, we know that we gave the workout our all. We did everything would could to the best of our ability. For myself, I prayed my way through many of the exercises that I didn’t think I could do because I knew it was going to take God’s strength to get me through the exercises.

Once the 4-week Total Transformation course was over, we had a decision to make. Did we want to become members of Camp Gladiator or not? We loved our trainer and the community we workout with 2-3 times a week. However, we were trying to decide if it made financial sense to join something from which only my husband and I could benefit.

After much research, we have decided to join the local YMCA so that the whole family can participate in family fitness. We are grateful for the Total Transformation exercise has made on our family and pray that it continues to have a positive effect on our family.

Keto for Life

Almost two months ago I started the keto diet. When I first thought about going “keto” I thought it would be very restrictive. That is actually not the case though. Instead, several of the foods that I was unable to eat due to a perceived dairy intolerance or the food being high in fat I can now eat.

I have to admit, though, the first two weeks were awful. I literally felt horrible. It turned out that that I had what they call keto flu. Keto flu comes from starting a diet that consists of very few carbohydrates. I also had a feeling of missing out on desserts and other foods that my family was eating.

Once I got the hang of the keto diet, I started slimming down. I am still not friends with the scale as it does not always show weight loss even when I feel lighter/trimmer. I do have to say, though, that I feel healthier, don’t feel bloated and most days have more energy.

Sometimes my challenge is finding a variety of foods to eat or not being able to eat all of what I cook for my family, e.g., not eating rice. I have learned to like pork rinds and, of course, bacon cheesy eggs. Most days I don’t miss eating loads of carbs. I just have to remember how I feel when I eat them to keep me from sabotaging myself.

The best part of keto is heavy whipping cream in my coffee. Yum!!! Adding fat into my diet is pretty easy to do, though I don’t go as extreme as I could because I simply will not eat fatty meats.

For me, the key to the keto diet is to listen to what your body needs when it comes to protein and fat and stay hydrated.

 

Springtime in the South

It is springtime in south Texas and plants have been blooming for a couple of months now. I have had the gardening bug since January and was excited when I could finally start tending to my plants and working to get them to grow better.

I recently wanted to find a way to recycle my coffee grounds instead of throwing them away so I read up on what to do with them. I found that many acid-loving plants grow well with coffee grounds sprinkled on their soil. I started with my azalea bush. It loved the acid infusion. I then added a little coffee grounds to my roses and they began to perk up (no pun intended). The most miraculous change was when I put coffee grounds on my poinsettia plants. They went from looking puny to looking very healthy. I decided to sprinkle a little coffee grounds on all of my plants. They seem to truly enjoy it.

We have done a lot of cleaning up in our yard with picking up branches, cutting back bushes, raking leaves, etc. To some, it sounds like a lot of work, but yard work is one of my favorite types of exercise. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from planting and tending to a well-kept yard.

I recently discovered that we have two jasmine plants growing on trellises on the side of our house. The smell is heavenly and I truly love training the vines to grow through the trellis. I did have to clear out some poison oak but managed not to get any on me thanks to using gloves and being very careful.

The funniest experience this spring was when I was pulling on a vine attached to this tree trying to get it to come down. I pulled and pulled and pulled and it wouldn’t let go. I did this several times. The last time I pulled, though, the vine released and I fell flat on my butt. I popped up quickly and started dancing so no one would notice what happened. Unfortunately, the vine I was pulling on was poison oak. Even though I had gloves on, I got the dust and oils from the poison oak on my skin. I ended up having to get a steroid shot to relieve the itch.

The moral of the story is that yard work can be fun, but you have to be careful with what you handle. You also have to be careful how hard you pull on a vine and make sure you don’t lose your balance.

Walking on Sunshine

My oldest daughter and I were taking a walk through our neighborhood a couple of weeks ago on the first sunny day after a long bout of gray and rainy days. We started off to take our normal route, but like my youngest daughter, I was attracted by a dog and decided to change our direction. That change in direction, I believe, changed our entire walk.

What started with one person walking their dog, turned into two people walking their dogs. Then we met a couple of friendly loose dogs that followed us a couple of houses down. Next, we saw a family outside enjoying the sunshine and their three dogs, plus a stray came to greet us.

Our walk became more interesting when the stray dog decided to join us in our walk. As we wound through our neighborhood, my daughter started adding up the dogs we were seeing. It became a game to listen for and look for more dogs as we walked. In a few cases, dogs would escape their yards to come to check out the stray dog that was with us. Just when we thought the dog had decided to stop off somewhere, she would come running back to us determined to follow us on our journey.

During our journey, we discovered our neighborhood has lots of chickens, has some goats, donkeys, ducks and LOTS of dogs. At the end of an hour walk, and we didn’t even cover the entire neighborhood, we counted 45 dogs. Of course, we could only count those dogs that were outside. We had no idea how many more dogs in the neighborhood that lived inside.