Friday, May 15, 2015

The Moment I Knew I Was Slowly Killing Myself

Here is the deal. I am not suicidal in any way. I believe life is beautiful, and I want to live every moment to the fullest. But I was just hit hard with a tough reality. I am slowly killing myself and causing my body harm. That may sound dramatic when you see what this post is really about, especially with self-harm and suicide such a struggle in America today, I would even say teens have idealized it as the 'cool' thing to be troubled in that way. But the facts are facts.

It started, like it usually does, with the scale. I have been sitting around for the last several months (realistically I have ALWAYS suffered body image problems ((and even had a touch of anorexia as a teen, luckily it never escalated to an uncontrollable level)) and probably always will have body image problems because of the society I live in) but the last several months have been the worst because I have actually been looking at the "overweight" for my height line. It's a few steps away from me. I'll say it, I weigh 145 at 5'5" and I'm sure it is all body fat.

Now, while the struggle started at the scale, I can't say the solution did. I don't really care what I weigh. Society is now teaching me that curves are beautiful (to an unhealthy point, but that is a different post) and luckily I have enough self confidence to never skip a meal because of weight again. Yet, food is my drug. It is my go to. I am a self-diagnosed emotional eater. And it works. Because as a working mom of a threenager who goes to school too, I have A LOT of emotions. All of that stress is not only unavoidable, I ASKED FOR IT. I want an education, I wouldn't trade my threenager for the world, and working part time feeds my soul it's independence.

Okay, enough background: the realization. I have for so long blamed my severe migraines, fatigue, irritability and all other negative symptoms I am experiencing on my stress and lack of sleep. But, I am off school and work and have been sleeping more than ever the past couple of weeks, and I still feel the same groggy foggy feeling. WHY!?

I am unhealthy. Unhealthy through and through. I don't get any cardio activity, I fill my body with preservatives and chemicals the fast food companies call food, and my water is brown and caffeinated (coffee, I only drink coffee).

In my world I have unlimited access to fresh produce, an internet to tell me 1000 different ways to cook that produce, and cool fresh water that comes out of a button on my fridge.


I am limiting myself in so many ways that it actually makes me sick to think about and try to wrap my mind around (or is that the grease covered french fries settling in my stomach from lunch?). I am stuffing my body full of the worst kind of poison, poison that tricks you into thinking it tastes good. I am ignoring all the signals my body has been sending, begging me for help.

Luckily, I am young-ish (although I wonder how many years I have lost due to chemicals and preservatives) and my body will hopefully bounce back quickly from this.

I plan on drinking a ton of water daily. My goal to do this is to finish a cup before I set it down, instead of casually sipping and forgetting I have it and reaching for something less healthy in a thirst battle. I plan on snacking healthy all day to fight the intense hunger cravings I know I'll get if I don't. And I also want to skip fast food for a whole week straight. Just a week. See if I can even do it.

Who is with me to fight the slow death of convenience?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bible Study Journal/Binder

So this is something I am incredibly new at, and really excited about all at the same time. I have always believed in Jesus, sort of. He was just this really big idea that I knew I wasn't mature enough to make a real decision about. Then, I went through some seriously lonely times, and after having Emma, I knew it was time to take my eternal soul seriously. So I started researching some religions, and the only thing that ever felt right was Jesus. Soon after, I noticed a change in my life, the one you hear people talk about all the time. Unfortunately, most people wait until after they get that feeling to find Jesus. But, it was when I found Jesus that I got that feeling of complete happiness.

So, I want to know everything I can about the Bible. It is God's love letter to us. It is our history books. And it is our guidelines on how to live a better, more Christlike life. It is everything we could ever need, when we need it. So I want to study it, and know it.

So, like any scholarly girl, I got together with a bunch of girlfriends (mostly family who have REALLY helped me on my spiritual journal and who I look up to) and we all made Bible Study binders. After pouring through Pinterest (I am SO disappointed by the amount of biblical related information available on there. Biblical quotes over a hipster sunset? Yes. But anything on the REAL Word? No.) we decided this was the best method for us. But anything works, composition notebook, stapled together construction paper, get really crazy and write it on the walls. Just PLEASE study your Bible!

Grab your binder, mine is a mini, and decorate it however you want. Flashy, plain, anything that gets you excited about opening it every day with your Bible! Some people will even ask you about it, and what a better way to witness? I used a purple mini binder, and gold glitter letters and paper strips from Hobby Lobby.

Then, you need to get your tabs. I got plain cheap tabs from OfficeMax and mod podged pretty scrapbook paper to them to make them more decorative. 

The Tabs:
Scripture: This is where I put everything I discover while I am reading my Bible. Every time I start a new book, I make a new page (with mini-binder notebook paper, also purchased at OfficeMax) and write in my favorite verses, anything I find interesting, and drawings to help me remember. I also have several pages dedicated to themes throughout the bible, where I put verses explaining different things no matter what book it is in. For example I have a baptism page where all verses about baptism go, and also an armor of God page, where I drew a suit of armor and show which meaning each piece has in the armor of God.

Sermon: I only get to go to the morning Sunday service because that is the only time a nursery is offered. So when I get to hear the sermon, I love to take notes so I can reflect on it later. After all, God put this message into our Pastor for us to hear. I take note of all the verses he mentions so I can look them up later, because sometimes there just isn't enough time to go to each one. I have found this has really helped me pay attention and not get distracted. I also hole punch the bulletin and stick it in front of each day's notes in case I need to reference dates or prayer requests!

Prayer: This one is pretty obvious, all my prayers and praises go here! I have tried list making, and also writing them out completely, and I personally prefer the list method because I feel like writing my prayers down instead of just speaking to God takes him out of it. But this is just me personally, a lot of people love writing out their whole prayer!

Sunday School: This one unfortunately does not get enough use. We have books that we are supposed to study each week, so most of my note taking goes in there. But I jot down anything extra during the lesson in this tab!

Worship: This is where I put anything extra I want to check out. Songs I hear that I want to make sure I remember, notes from Christian books, anything!

So I ran out of room for all my tabs and had to get a second set. I didn't put scrapbook paper on these, but I did put washi tape on the tab part to make them pretty! This was a lot easier and faster and leaves you room to decorate the rest of the tab with quotes and stickers!

Verse Mapping: This is another cool thing I am going to try and do. Bible memorization is really important to Christian living, to me. It allows you to witness easier, and you can also recall passages when you need them in your life. When you verse map, you pick a verse, and read/try to understand it over and over throughout the day or week. Here is an example:

Church Activities: Part of being a good Christian to me, is being active in your church. This is where I take note of any upcoming events or any ideas for things like VBS. 

Inspire: I have spent a lot of time working and discussing my faith with others. Here is where any song lyrics or quotes that inspire me and push me to our Lord go. 

Then I have a few leftover tabs in case I think of or see any other things I would like to add later! 

How do you study your Bible? Any suggestions to make my study experience more rewarding?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

House Update (2)

So over the years we have been working on our house. Completely remodeling it. When we first got married and pregnant we lived in an apartment, and my aunt moved out of Grandma's house (built in the 70's and not been redecorated since) that she pretty much destroyed because she couldn't care for herself. So we decided we would tackle the huge task of completely remodeling the house. We thought it would take a few months. I think we're going on our second year. But, the finish line is finally in sight!

So this is the bathroom. We took out two closets to enlarge it and are still in the process of drywalling this. Finding a plumber was a total pain. The sink is on the left, and then a toilet. On the right there is a huge open closet kind thing for blankets, towels and other toiletries and then the shower/tub. It is going to be great when it is all finished, I just want it there!

This is Emma's room. We painted the top blue and the bottom green because we're doing Lorax trees everywhere. We're planning on having a whole Doctor Seuss themed toddler room until she is a pre-teen. This is unfortunately one of the rooms we had to take a closet from, so that will certainly be interesting to lose the closet space.

This is my mom tearing out the paneling in this room. We had to tear it all out and drywall a lot of it ourselves. Mudding and sanding is a real pain in the butt.

This is our bedroom, nothing really special about this room. Look at that new carpet and drywall though. Fancy fancy!

Above is the extra room. This one is going to be the most trouble because I'm picturing craft room and Josh is picturing man cave. Also every time we can't think of where something belongs we decide to stick it in here. And its the smallest of the rooms. Oops.

This is the hallway, pretty self explanatory. We got the floating hardwood looking floor to put throughout here, the kitchen, the living room, and the utility room.

This is our living room! Are you loving the lamp from IKEA?

And finally our kitchen! The middle picture is what it looked like after we ripped everything out. Pretty crazy. We just have to get appliances, have the plumbing hooked up and paint the cabinets. I'm so excited! 

The only thing I didn't get a picture of was the laundry room. It completely slipped my mind. I plan on doing a lot of posts on all the processes so stay tuned!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Washi Tape Planner Inspirations

Washi tape. We all know it, we all love its incredible versatility in the organizing/crafting/generally making things prettier world. I am pretty new to the concept of it, and haven't done half the crafts I plan to do with it (I want to use it all, but I don't want to run out... its so pretty!). But, my dad Santa got me a cheapie planner for Christmas, and I haven't used it yet because it is so plain and boring. And then it hit me, time for some good old Augustus style inspirations right smack on the front of this baby. It's pretty self-explanatory but I just ripped pieces off and wrote them on there. 

It turned out exactly how I wanted it to. Messy, unorganized and perfect. I also use washi tape to organize the inside of my planner (which is why I had it out in the first place) so it is all matchy-matchy and awesome!

Now that our house is finally getting seriously close to finished, I also started working on my family binder! I had one at the apartment, but it ended up getting unused with my newborn and then loose and messed up. So it is time to get everything kicked back into gear! Posts on this soon enough!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Agency D3 | VBS 2014 Spy Camera Decoration DIY

So this year is the first year I am seriously volunteering at my church's vacation bible school. Last year I helped out in the nursery a few days, but this year I have volunteered to be an assistant in the 4-5 year old room. I couldn't teach because I wasn't a member (until next Sunday when I'll be BAPTIZED!) plus I consider myself a very new student so I just thought it would be fun to assist in a classroom.

But this year's theme is Agency D3, where we are secret agents discovering the secret messages of the bible. I love it. Its such a fun idea and a way to get kids interested in coming. What kid didn't play spy or detective when they were little?

So I am going to be doing a whole lot of homemade crafts for the classroom. Unfortunately, our budget isn't huge (a whopping $15 per classroom) which means in order for it to be a lot of fun and look really cool, it isn't just time I'll be donating. But, I don't have to break my bank because there are a lot of things that can be done with what I have around the house and dollar store items!

My first project is: a Spy Camera! 

This will be great because it looks like a surveillance camera hanging in the room and if there are a couple it can be a really cheap project that adds a little touch.

I started off with simple objects I had around the house, mostly boxes. I actually didn't have to purchase anything to do this.

The first thing was a garbage bag box. Just a simple Kroger box. But any box the size of a surveillance camera will do. I also got a toilet paper roll which makes the lens.

So, all I did at this point was cut the toilet paper roll in half and tape it onto the smallest side of the garbage bag box. I used transparent packing tape because that was the strongest stuff I had around and I am too impatient to wait for glue to dry. 

If you want to be done and skip the next steps that is a-okay. If you want to add more and can come up with even cooler designs I am jealous, but again that is the fun of this craft. You can use whatever you have laying around to make your camera look even more high-tech. I had a limited amount of time to hunt around for extra supplies (Emma's naptime was nearing an end) so I just grabbed one of the first tiny boxes I saw. Which happened to be a box of birthday candles leftover from the kids.

I taped it on the top so it looks like an extra little gadget attached to the camera. I also made it so the tape stuck out and didn't adhere to the side of the candle box. I thought it would look like a strap and I am pretty pleased with the results.

Finally, I just took it outside and gave it a good coat of silver metallic spray paint. I used my favorite Rust-oleum brand. I bought this color and gold metallic, and I know I'm going to use it over and over. It leaves a real metal looking finish!

And wa-lah! Your project is complete and you have a free (if you already have the spray paint) prop for your vacation bible school class or a secret agent themed party!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

My Week in Work Outs {Day 2-3}

Day Two
Wopwop. Day two sucked. Josh got the stomach bug we have been passing around, and therefore I was out one sitter therefore making it impossible for me to go to the gym. I had some home workouts planned, but I was exhausted from being up the night before and decided to just take a rest day. But, important workout lesson learned: life happens. There is no need to stop working out or feel down about yourself if your workout schedule doesn't go as planned. This is a lifestyle change, therefore, there will be ups and downs. Work out again another day.

Day Three

So I'm late in posting it, but yesterday I did make it to the gym. I didn't want to. I wanted to sit at home and do nothing. But I got my lazy flabby butt up, and I worked it! I felt so sore and dead and tired good when I was done too, meaning it was all worth it.

I did this baby again. The dreaded treadmill. But instead of doing the stairmaster for fifteen minutes first, I inclined this treadmill to its max (15%?) and walked uphill for ten minutes. Then I began my run again. This time I ran 6.5 for the first half mile, alternated between 7.0-7.5 for about a mile plus a quarter, and sprinted the last quarter mile at 8.0. This stank. It was hard, and I admit I stopped for one second. But when I was done I felt so victorious. I am going to try the same thing later today. I just keep thinking that I am coming to the gym to kill myself with my workout, and that mindset usually helps me get through it.

Then I did the torso rotation again. 25 on each side at 60 pounds. This hurt, but in a good way. I can definitely feel this one in my abs today.

 I also did another machine I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of because the gym was super packed and they only had one. This is a picture of the version at Planet Fitness, but this is essentially the same thing. It is this really strange thing to help assist sit ups. You sit on it with your knees above the left cushions and your feet under the right ones. Then it allows you to have more range when you do your sit ups. I also add a medicine ball so I am also working out my arms. I did 75 of these with the medicine ball, and 25 without.

I ended my workout with this machine, which you sit on, grasp the handles, and use your abs to lean forward. I did 50 of these, but I don't remember the weight.

Have you been getting your work out on with me? It is super hard, but hopefully it will be worth it in the end!

*Disclaimer: I am in no way a doctor/physical therapist/workout expert. I am simply sharing my work out experiences. Consult with a doctor before beginning any work out routine and know that what works for me may not work for you.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Week In Work Outs (1)

Starting Weight: 143 lbs
So this completely awful (does my nose really look that big?) after work-out bathroom selfie is a way for me to start off my new series on the blog! My Week in Work Outs! I have tried doing this before but ended up moving in with my mother and never working out, but now that I'm really trying to pick up my work out pace, I think this will be really fun! I want to be able to try out all kinds of different diet/workout routines and this is my way to share what I find with you guys and also have you guys hold me accountable. I'm going to do the first week in days that way it is easier to see what I mean later on, but after that this will just be a weekly post. It's possible I'll only do a few weeks but it is better than nothing!

Day One:

I started off the day by fifteen minutes on the stairmaster, level 10 incline and 100 intensity. I did this for fifteen minutes but wasn't really "feeling the burn" so I wanted to switch to something a little more high intensity cardio-ish. So, in my creative mind, I hopped on the treadmill. Wopwop. But I ran 2 miles, the first mile at 6.5, the next half mile at 7.0 and the final half mile at 7.5. I feel like this was fantastic for my first day back. My goal is to "kill myself" at the gym every day.

I made the mistake of not going to the gym with a plan, so I ended up wasting a lot of time meandering around wondering about what I wanted to do. So I ended up just doing some leg stuff. Pretty boring. But first I did this little number, the torso rotation. Blech. More like death in a fun twisty game. I did 25 of these on each side with the weight at 30. 

Then came the thigh squeezimajig (a really technical term). You sit on this bad boy, wrap your legs around the two pieces and squeeeezzzzeee. It hurts. But inner thigh gap here I come! I did 50 of these with the weight at 70.

Then the opposite of the spectrum came along. The side butt pusher (I'll look up the real names of these, I promise). 

In this exercise you basically sit in between those things and use your outer thigh/side butt muscles to push it out. This one gives me a cramp every time so there is a big possibility I'm not doing it right. But I did 50, 20 at a weight of 70 and 30 at a weight of 60 because it was really hurting. I couldn't walk for like an hour.

Working out sucks. Looking/feeling fantastic is worth it eventually though. So I am trying really hard to stick with it this time and maintain a healthy diet. Because it is up to me to be a role model to Emma, and a rockin hot wife to my husband, and an all around more confident healthy person for myself. What reason are you hitting the gym this week?

My food goal this week:
Cut out all drinks but coffee and water.

*Disclaimer: I am in no way a doctor/physical therapist/workout expert. I am simply sharing my work out experiences. Consult with a doctor before beginning any work out routine and know that what works for me may not work for you.