About Me

Hi, my name is Angela and welcome to my blog. This is a place where I write about my life in an honest and open way.

I am 36 years old, single, and a Christian. God gave me a heart to work with children and so I spend my day teaching kindergarten. It is my fourth year teaching and although it is hard I love it. I currently go to a college for my BA in Elementary Education which keeps me busy. Between work and school there is not much time left but I enjoy serving and helping others, watching netflix, or reading a good book.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Overcoming a Craving

Right now, in this moment all I can think about is an ice cream sundae at Denny's. I want one so much. I had my Celebrate Recovery meeting tonight and I had been thinking about this sundae before I even left. On my way out the door I grabbed a text book so I had an excuse to stop. I thought about it during my group. On the way I thought about this sundae.

I have eaten this same sundae so many times at my local Denny's I think nearly every swing shift and graveyard waiter could tell you what it is; vanilla ice cream, carmel, oreo's, and whip cream. Mmmmm, I love it!

On the way home from class I am driving in the left lane and know I need to move away from the Denny's so I go into the middle lane. As I near home I remember I am supposed to go to the bank to drop off a check. My bank is in the Fry's and I know that I am way too tempted right now. I just have to get home, so I stay in the middle lane as I pass by the Denny's and the Fry's. I pull into my driveway and I am thinking about running in and getting my laptop and going out again. I take off my shoes to put myself one step further from this plot in my head. I even admitted my craving to my roommates who so wonderfully told me, "No eating. Even if you have the calories it is too close to bed." I already knew this but appreciate their support immensely. I go to my fridge and grab one of my Dole peaches and cream parfait's. I keep them in the fridge for times like these when I need a dessert. I even have the calories for it. I try to enjoy it, to savor it but it is not the sundae. The memory of this sundae is in my head. I can distinctly remember the texture of it in my mouth and how delicious each bite is.

As much as I am craving this dessert I crave God more. I will not let this memory of a food control me. I push it away further. I brush my teeth, wash my face and take my evening pills. I change clothes and crawl into bed with my laptop. On the Made to Crave video from last week the woman changed the old saying "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" to "Nothing tastes as good as peace feels." This is so much more accurate. I could go eat this food and feel ok in the few minutes it takes to eat it. But how long afterwards will I be upset that I ate it. How long will I feel guilty that I gave in to this temptation. Will lead to further temptations. So no, this sundae will not feel as good as the peace I will have in the morning.

Monday, October 8, 2012

One Week

It has been one week since I started being healthy again. I weighed in last night at 279 which means I shed 5 lbs. Most important is that I am back under the 280 that I did not want to go over. Week one wasn't bad. I was already familiar with my app and exercising. I seemed to add exercise easily into my daily schedule. I like my routine I seemed to get a lot more homework done during the day as well.

Week two is notoriously harder. The first we are surged with the power to get through and the excitement of it all. Week two is when it all becomes a little more real. When, at least for me, the cravings hit a little bit harder. This week has an extra challenge for me. For the next two weeks I am doing observations in classrooms for one of my classes. This means a chunk of time is going to be used up by that. I am trying to preplan a little bit. Be aware that time will be a little tighter and be flexible with myself because I do need to put school work first.

It is interesting to see how many calories are in things. I seem to have forgotten some stuff. I can see that my day is sometimes totally unbalanced. I think the biggest shock was seeing how many calories are in a tortilla. I was making a quesadilla with chicken, it was over 900 calories. I used to eat one of those, a frozen burrito (320 cal,) and tortilla chips. So many calories all in one meal.

Otherwise life is going ok. Only four more weeks of these classes and then I will start new ones. I am still dealing with my Made to Crave class. I was honest with the teachers about why I was leaving and they were floored. One, in e-mail, flat out said that I was wrong and imagining it. The woman in question won't be in class this week and the leaders want to talk to me in person about this so I will go this week and talk to them before class. I have gone back and forth about this a million times this week and still don't know if this is the right decision. I just need to remember to stand up for myself. I often get mousy in difficult circumstances which is why this has gone on for so long.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fighting for Me

For the last four weeks I have been attending a group at my church for the Made to Crave book. I think I mentioned it before. It is a book talking about how we were made to crave. The problem is we were made to crave God but instead we crave all these other things instead. Specifically she talk about food. My favorite part are the versus she brings to our attention. Verses and parables that I have read a million times but never saw the application toward food. The focus for the verses were always somewhere else but she brings a light to them that I have never seen before. One example is in Genesis 25:27-32. 
     "The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was    content to stay at home among the tents. Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished. He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright." "Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
      Here we see two brother Esau and Jacob. The younger brother, Jacob, wants Esau's birthright and takes advantage of Esau being in a desperate place. The author of Made to Crave, Lysa Terkeurst, asks us if we really think that Esau was on the brink of death. Or is it possible that maybe he was simply exaggerating. In your life have you ever said that? "I am starving to death." Which is then followed by why need to eat at the drive-thru or too many calories. I definitely hear myself saying this in my life and am working on changing it now. So I like the book and the bible study it is good.

The problem is that there is a woman in the bible study who, since I first met her four Wednesday's ago, has looked at me with disgust. She rolls her eyes when I talk or afterwards whispers something funny to her friend. She makes a point not to sit next to me. The first night I sat there trying to figure it out. I must be misunderstanding but the longer that I sat there I realized I was reading her exactly right. So when I got to my car I started to cry. My emotions couldn't handle the fact that I was supposed to be in this safe environment, a class at my church for people with food issues, and this woman who I have never met before hate's me. 

I went back and forth all week as to whether I would go back. I decided I wouldn't let her bother me. I had paid $30 for these books, that I couldn't afford. I wasn't going to let her determine what I did. So I went back and it didn't get any easier. I wouldn't talk during the meeting afraid of what she might do or say about me. It wasn't like she and her friend were trying to hide either. They were making it very clear to me that I was not liked. Last week I decided I needed to confront her on this. I was prepared to do so. She showed up late, not a problem I would do it after. But next week she is going in for a hysterectomy to remove cancerous cells so the last ten minutes of class was prayer for her and healing. Which I still prayed for her of course. But how do I confront her on the fact that she hates me for reason  after that?

I walk out of the class, saying goodbye to no one. I get down the hall and out the door and I burst into tears. It is so infuriating that she is taking this from me. That she is making this an unsafe place for me to be both mentally and physically. All I can think of doing is stuffing my face with food. I sat in the parking lot for ten minutes crying and being upset. I didn't want to leave with all of those unresolved emotions because all I could think of was a giant burger, fries, and a banana spit at Denny's. On my way home I struggled with the decision still. I hadn't eaten dinner like I had I planned to do and so I was starving. I made it home. It felt like such a victory. I still battled with the fact that I still needed to eat something. I stayed within my calories, another victory. 

As my 400 calorie frozen pizza was in the microwave I sat down in front of my computer. I typed out an e-mail to the two leaders of the Made to Crave bible study. I was truthful and explained how this woman did not like me and was not being polite about it. I was truthful about the stress coming to class was causing me. I was truthful as I told them I would not be attending class anymore.

Now none of this has to do with Made to Crave. I still plan to finish the bible study on my own. I asked if I could borrow the dvd when they are done with it. I don't think church is a bad place. Of the dozen women going to that class I can say all but the two are amazing women. One of the things we talked about in this class is how wounded people wound people. I had noticed both on week one and week three that when she talked about her overweight mother she had the same look of distaste she has when she looks at me. I think she is just wounded. I pray for her and her mother. I was hoping I could help her recognize what she is doing to me but I seemed to have missed my chance. I am not sure she would have admitted it anyways. 

Tonight was a fight. It was a huge battle with my past trying to pull me back. It scares me that if this is day three then what am I going to face in the future. So I try to remind myself that God is here and He wants to help me through this. God is who got me through tonight, under calories. God will get me through each day going forward. If I am just willing to ask for help.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Is 2 days enough?

I told you I need to maintain my weight I need to eat 3000 calories a day. So I cut calorie intake to 2000 calories and am attempting to exercise burning off an additional 500 calories. The last two days have definitely had their own challenges. Yesterday I really really wanted to go to Denny's. But I didn't. Then today I was hungry after my CR meeting but was out of calories. So compromised and had 90 calories of silk milk and that seems to have pleased my tummy. Not completely but some. (I realize I have to get used to the lower calories and not binge eating every evening.)

This evening, despite the fact that I knew better, I stepped on the scale. I figured the 284 was probably a fluke anyways. Plus I was great the last two days the scale has to be lower. I step on and it is like slow motion as the scale focuses on my weight. You know the way the tv shows do it where the scale bounces up and down for a full 30 seconds. Of course mine was like 3 seconds but I was so anxious to see a number that would tell me I didn't have to exercise anymore. What did it read? 283 That is right. In two days I consumed or exercised off an extra 3000 calories which is the approximate amount of a pound and there it is on the scale. 

It was like God saying, "Angela, I don't want you to do this for two days and quit. I want you to do this for the rest of your life. It is hard work but look, (he motions to the scale) you can do it." Now of course I did not actually see God but I have a pretty good imagination. So I of course I reply, "Really, forever?" "Yes" And I think about the pictures of babies I have on my vision/prayer board. How I want  to have children. Not just be healthy enough to have children but to remain healthy all of their lives and teach them to be healthy. "Ok"

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wake up Call

I don't often weigh myself. I try to maybe once a week just to know where I am at. Last night as I was getting ready for bed I thought I would step on and see what it says. 284! What! For the last month or two I have been near or at 280 but never above. Then as I step on and see 284, yikes! You know what that is close to? That is right 290. You know what that is close to? You guessed it 300. I am not going back up to 300. Nope. You can't see it but my foot is down. 

So this morning I wake and get dressed. I am still bummed about the number from last night so I figure step on the scale again, it is always lower in the morning. What did it say? 284! No technically I went down like point five or something but I don't count that. I always go down at least a pound so I am thinking God was like "Stay motivated." And so I did.

Last night after seeing the scale I moved my Lose It app for tracking food and exercise from a not so convenient hidden location back to the bottom main row on my itouch. (A fancy used iphone 4 I got from my brother with a home button that is trying to drive me mad. But that is a story for another time.) This morning I started using the app and logging my food. It is kind of a pain but I know that it is the smartest way to do it. As I was updating the app with my current information, i.e. putting in the dreaded new amount I weigh two facts hit me. One to maintain my weight I would be eating 3000 calories a day. Which means this last week, as I gained 4 lbs, I must have been eating close to 4000 calories a day. Holy Cow! Two is that if I stick with this, allowing some leniency for holidays and bad days, I could be at 245 by my birthday in March. If you have been reading with me for awhile you know that I have struggled with getting below 250. I think it is more a mental block then anything else. So that would awesome to hit.

In addition to tracking my food I also exercised. I have this treadmill and it annoys me. It is more then a decade old. I bought it my senior year and even then I bought it used from a friends mom who had upgraded to a new one. It has a sliding bar that you move up to increase the speed. There is also a digital readout that says how fast you are going, time, cal, and distance. The treadmill is also stuck at an incline. Maybe 3 inches or so. So when I get on I can handle going at what the treadmill says is 2 mph, actually I usually stick at 1.7 mph. This is slow. I walk faster anywhere else but I get so out of breath. After maybe two and a half or three minutes I can't breath. Now I know I have "exercise induced asthma" but usually it doesn't become a problem till much further in my walking. So with the incline and not sure about the speed I have no idea how many calories I am actually burning and I can't go for very long. Last week I got on it, for the first time in a long time, and could only do fifteen minutes with a three min break after the first five minutes. Today I pushed through to ten min before taking a break and although I hoped for fifteen minutes when I got back on only made it through ten. Twenty min isn't bad but it is just weird. later I did fifteen min on the Gazelle directly followed by 15 min doing steps. According to the numbers the 30 min of Gazelle and stepping burned 474 calories compared to only 90 calories for 20 min of walking. Which I guess makes sense because I don't stop walking because my legs are tired I stop because my lungs can't handle it. I don't understand why though which is extra frustrating. 

Alas I will keep it up. I will slowly build up the tolerance of my lungs till I can handle walking on the treadmill longer. I mean really I should think of it as an added bonus, improving my lung function.