June 2, 2017

Finally Feeling Free to Be Me

It is a good day here in sunny and warm, Phoenix. It is Friday, which is always a day to celebrate, but besides that fact, it is also a blessed day — a day the Lord has blessed — and so I give Him thanks for this good, good, good day.

I slept fairly well last night. I am getting used to the menopause night sweats, I guess. I think I woke up 3-4 times, but after a short disruption, I was able to fall back to sleep. I wish I could just sleep through the whole night, but I am sure this will happen again soon. I read that for many women, night sweats and hot flashes last for just a few years at most. Not all women suffer with hormonal fluctuations lasting years.
News and Notes

In truth, I started having peri-menopausal symptoms 7 years ago. I remember the year — my 47th — because I was working at Macy’s and I was so afraid of having incredibly heavy periods. I didn’t have the freedom to go to the bathroom when I wanted, and the thought of asking permission to go (and being denied) just sent me into a panic. I dealt with heavy periods, passing of clots, and what is known as “flooding” for 3-4 years. Then I settled into the long period (6-7 weeks) followed by no period for 6-7 weeks. This lasted another 3 years until I finally stopped having a period all together. The hot flashes started during the on-again/off-again cycle, but they were intermittent and not a regular thing. Now, that I have stopped menstruating (it has been 9 months), the hot flashes, cold flashes, and night sweats are daily. Still, they are manageable without hormones, so I am glad for that fact. I am looking forward to the day when they cease completely, but for now, I give thanks and praise that what I do contend with is mild. I digress. So while I am not sleeping well, I am getting enough solid hours of rest it seems. I feel good today. I woke up without too much pain, and frankly, I do feel well. God be praised, I do feel really well.

My diet is going — well — its going well. I am on day three of low-carb, and out of my three days, two have been solid. I blew day 2, as I normally do, when I suffered a crash and needed carbs. I simply crashed. It didn’t help that my cupboard was bare, thus my only options were to eat carbs — loads of them. Still, I rebounded well yesterday, stayed on track, and feel good today. I have made some changes to my plan, however, and I think my new approach is more moderate and easier to follow. Basically, I read up on macronutrients and how low-carb works. I decided to use MyFitnessPal.com because my macronutrients each day are detailed. I can easily see where I am off from my numbers. Right now, I realize that I am good on carbs and protein, but I am too high on fat. I  knew that my diet was high in fat, but I can see exactly what food choice sabotages me each day, and for me that food item happens to be Ranch dressing. Even though I stick to 2 TBSP as per the guideline, the amount of fat in Ranch is very high. I found a better alternative for my salads in Newman’s Own Light Italian Dressing, so today I will head to the store to purchase some better salad dressing as well as some other low-calorie/low-fat items.

Moreover, I started my walking program with Leslie Sansone yesterday. I have had her “Walk Slim” DVD for about three years, but I never really used it. I tried it a couple of times, and yes, her voice and chitter-chatter sort of annoyed me. Furthermore, I found the walk boring, so I set it aside on my shelf. I got the DVD out again when a friend mentioned that she used the program successfully and really found it helped her shed pounds. I dug it out the other day, and then yesterday, I made the decision to walk along with it instead of chilling on the bed. I thought for sure I could walk 2-miles easily, but I only made it through 1.25 miles before I had to quit. Yes, I am so out of shape! I worked up a good sweat, and so today, I plan to walk again but to push myself to 2-miles. I could have continued on, but I wasn’t ready for it. I didn’t gear up, as they say, so I was walking in “street clothes” rather than in fitness attire. Today, I will put on my shorts and tank top so I can really sweat along with the DVD. Even if I don’t last the entire session, I plan to stick with it because walking is easy for me to do, it works all the major muscles, and I can do it right in my little room.

My new approach is to walk with Leslie’s DVD every day except for Sunday. I will work my way up from 1.25 to the 4-mile mark before I switch to one of the new DVDs I purchased online. As an aside, I found all three DVDs on sale at Amazon, so I am really excited to get them in the next day or two.
My current DVD, Walk Slim, is a good one to start with since anyone can do it. I read that the Walk Off Fat and Walk It Off in 30 Days are really for more experienced walkers. I will use these for my second-third stage part of the program. The Mega Miles was on sale, as I mentioned, and it came with the fitness band. I had a fitness band but I lost it in my move back in 2013. For $6 bucks, I got that DVD and the band. I couldn’t pass it up.

My prayer is that with my low-carb, healthy diet, and walking daily with Leslie, I should be able to drop the 20 pounds I put on since 2014. I have decided that no matter how much weight I lose, I will simply be content in the matter. The DVDs will help me be healthy. They will help me deal with stress, and they will encourage me to think more about the “real me,” the me I want the world to see. The change in diet will also help me be healthy, but here is the kicker, my focus now is less on fitting into my skinny jeans and more on simply living a long and very healthy life. God is good to me!

On Tap Today

In other news, my son is having a good time in San Diego. I do miss him when he is working away from home, though. I love to hear him messing around with his studio gear in the next room. He is so amazingly creative, and God has richly blessed him with many special abilities. I am excited for his future, and I hope he will figure out the Lord’s will for his life (I believe he has).

My parents are getting ready to head to their church for an all-church meeting whereby they are meeting the new pastor (intended). The candidate is a woman, and while I am not hung up over women being preachers, I am conservative in my interpretation of Biblical guidelines that say that a Pastor is not to be a woman, but a man. No argument here from me — just know that this is my position. I wish my parent’s church well because they have been without a minister for 5-6 years, and the church has struggled to hang on. I did two studies on this church during my doctoral program, and the lack of leadership notwithstanding, was only one of a serious of problems within the organization as a whole. I pray they find someone to guide them, but I just cannot attend there regularly, despite the fact that they are across the street from my house. Yes, I know. My issue. My problem.

I’ve been doing online church the past several months, and I really like it. As soon as my son gets his own car, I will be able to return to physical church. My home church is Scottsdale Bible, and as much as I have tried to leave that church and go elsewhere, I tend to come back after a time away. I simply feel at home there, and while they are not a perfect church (what church is perfect, you ask), they are doing a wonderful job ministering and leading in the valley. It is where I feel most comfortable, so it will be my home church as long as I stay in Phoenix.

Speaking of staying in Phoenix…I am feeling more comfortable with the idea that the Lord intends for me to stay put. I have gone back and forth over this issue, and I have blogged about how my heart wants to move elsewhere, but how the Lord hasn’t really made any open doors for me to go. Thus, after my time in graduate school, I was hopeful that a job would appear in order for me to move. I have received no offers yet, and while the summer is still wide open, I simply feel that the Lord is going to provide for me in other ways. I still am hoping for a full-time faculty position, and I believe He is able to bring one to pass. I simply do not know when this will be, and with that knowledge, I can do one thing only, and that is rest in what I have been provided today. I guess I am like the children of Israel who tried to collect more manna then needed. They found that the collection of manna beyond their needs simply rotted away over night. They learned to be content with what the Lord provided daily, and they understood that they didn’t need to hoard more or panic over their future needs. I am learning this lesson as well. I am learning to trust the Lord for today’s blessing. I will trust Him for tomorrow’s blessing as well, but I won’t panic or try to manipulate today’s blessing as a means of covering myself for tomorrow. The Lord will provide for me today, tomorrow, and every day going forward. He is faithful. He will keep His word to me.
In Closing

I am getting ready for whatever the Lord has in store for me today. I am trusting in His abilities rather than relying on my own understanding. I know He has a plan, and that plan is good. I am trusting in His ability to provide for me today, but also to create a way for me to be provided for each day hereafter. My desire is to do His work, to accomplish His will, and in this way, to always be ready to go wherever He sends me. I will go, and I will do what the Lord commands me to do. I will trust Him, rely on Him, and rest in Him. He is good to me. He is so very good to me! Selah!

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