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Blog, Faith, Fitness, foodie, prayer, Stress

Know your worth: A self-care day

Today is Sunday, the day that the American church typically celebrates the Sabbath, the one day of rest which God commanded in Exodus 20:8-11, although Jews observe¬† Shabbat from Friday evening to Saturday evening. I believe what’s most important is that we set aside one day a week to rest and not work. This is good for our bodies, soul, and spirit. Some people work on Sunday (or Friday or Saturday), so they have to take another day to rest. Generally, I observe both days! The weekend is my time to “unwind” from my week’s work.

Thankfully I was able to sleep in this morning, cook a cheese/onion/green olive omelette, and enjoy my morning cup of creamy coffee–my Coffee with God time. Then although there is plenty of work to do around the house and in my biz today, I decided to take a relaxed, self-care day.¬†

‚ÄúKnow your worth, hold your own power, be you.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄďMorgan Harper Nichols, American Christian musician, songwriter, mixed media artist, and writer

Morgan Harper Nichols

Image: Morgan Harper Nichols

Part of my goals for 2021 are focused on my health and fitness. Years ago, I stopped drinking Cokes because I felt like God told me to do this (a miracle because I was addicted to them and had drank them almost all my life!). I started eating healthier (such as salads) and began walking at the track. I was able to lose 29 pounds doing this. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I felt so much better. You can see how much thinner I was in this pic below, on the back steps of our house.

me after losing weight

me after losing weight

Then Missouri’s winter came with its snow and ice, so I stopped walking. As we all experience sometimes, bad habits aren’t easy to break and I began drinking sodas again–this time, Dr. Pepper. God is not fooled. It is just Coke–with pepper! I started eating unhealthy and the pounds which I had lost piled back on—and then some! It has been very discouraging.

But it’s never too late to start over. The Bible says in Lamentations 3:22-23, NKJV, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.” I’m so glad that with each new sunrise, we get a brand, new start with God!

It starts with a decision of our will, a choice. And I’ve decided that I want to be fit and healthy again. When Ray gets home from work, I drive to either the track in town or a walking path in town that has blooming cherry-blossom trees. It is so pretty and peaceful.

cherry tree

cherry blossom tree

path

path

I carry my iPhone with me to listen to music and to pray and think about my life and my business as I walk. This week I saw a cute bunny rabbit hopping in the grass. The robins and other birds feed in the grass and sing. There is a blue sky and puffy white clouds, giving testimony to God the Creator.

robin

robin

clouds and blue sky

clouds and blue sky

My goal for now is simply to re-establish a walking routine, 3 to 4 times a week at least. I’m not trying for a marathon here, or even a 5K (at least not right now! I have done two 5K’s in the past and hope to do this again one day!). It has been a long time since I’ve walked, so I have to pace myself.

Any time you begin something new, there is resistance, whether that’s exercising, eating healthy, managing your finances better, improving a relationship, developing a daily quiet time with God, or taking a new class or training. I noticed on the 3rd day of walking, that my right knee felt sore. So I’m resting this weekend, and will begin again tomorrow.

my Nikes

my Nikes

I’m aware of this resistance, so I’m already praying about it and for God to give me self-discipline again. If I did it before, I can do it again! Please pray for me—and for my body to cooperate!

trail

trail

I can do this with self-discipline and through faith in Christ. I love how The Passion Translation in this verse puts it, “Christ’s explosive power infuses me.”

“I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.” (Philippians 4:13, The Passion Translation)

I’m trying to get my husband Ray on the bandwagon with me to eat healthier. He is very much a “meat and potatoes” man, so it won’t be easy. But he’s willing, for the sake of his own health. We’re not spring chickens any more, so taking care of ourselves physically is important. And our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so we need to honor them. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

rooster & chicken

rooster & chicken
Image: Unsplash

This week when I went to the grocery store, I bought as much organic, fresh fruit and veggies as I could.

fresh fruit & veggies

fresh fruit & veggies

Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids, and are high in potassium and vitamin C.  They lower your risk of heart disease and cancer, and are anti-inflammatory. They are known by doctors as a superfood. Frozen blueberries are healthy, too.

You can make fruit smoothies with them. I use almond milk in mine. I bought Ray some coconut milk to make his smoothies. I also bought a package of frozen mixed fruit with mango, pineapples, strawberries, and peaches.

I also add blueberries to plain yogurt, mixing in a teaspoon or two of raw organic honey and cinnamon to sweeten it and for flavor. This has much less sugar (unhealthy and causes weight gain!) than regular yogurts. I’m still getting used to this, as I love yogurt!

blueberries

blueberries

almond milk & frozen fruit

almond milk & frozen fruit

coconut milk

coconut milk

I love finding things on sale at the store.  I saw these discounted mushrooms and grabbed them. They taste so good, sauteed in butter with sea salt on them. Yum!

lettuce and mushrooms on sale

lettuce and mushrooms on sale

For greens, I usually buy Romaine lettuce and spinach and kale combined. You can use these in a salad or a smoothie. I’m still trying to figure out how to keep lettuce and other greens “fresh.” Since it’s just Ray and me here at home (empty nesters), if we don’t use it quickly, the salad fixings can wilt and go bad fast, which I hate. It’s a waste of food and money. If you have any tips for this, please let me know!

Of course, God never intended for food to be stored in a cold box (a fridge), but to be eaten fresh out of a garden! I recently bought some Romaine lettuce and cilantro, and I’m going to try to grow it in my sunroom. I admire people who have big gardens, but I don’t think I have the patience for it!

I do drive to a local Amish market, which sells fresh produce in the summer and love it! I encourage you to take advantage of your local farmers’ markets.¬†

spinach & kale

spinach & kale

Besides putting good things inside my body, I’m also trying to take care of the outside. Last year on my friend Dana Arcuri’s recommendation, I started using Mineral Fusion mineral skin care and makeup. It is healthier skin care and makeup, and has natural ingredients. They make their products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates. They don’t do animal testing, either. I love both the skin care and the makeup! Yes, it is more expensive than most makeup you can buy at Walmart, CVS, Kohl’s, or other places, but I believe it’s worth the investment in you!

Mineral Fusion skin care

Mineral Fusion skin care

Last week I bought a Dead Sea Mud Mask product. My cat Natalya always stares at me when I apply it, as if I am the Creature from the Black Lagoon. You can buy it here at Amazon. It is enhanced with collagen, which can improve your skin’s hydration and elasticity, making it look younger. (Don’t we all wish for the fountain of youth as we age and those wrinkles and grey hair start?!)

Mostly I bought it because I want to reduce the size of my pores, which look like the size of craters! This aging thing is for the birds! I figure the mud mask can’t hurt. Today I put it on, painted my fingernails, washed it off with a washcloth and warm water, and then came into my office to blog.

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Dead Sea Mud Mask

Something that is good for both your insides and outside is water. Most people walk around dehydrated. It has 7 benefits:

  • Maximizes your physical performance;
  • Affects your energy level and brain function;
  • May help and prevent headaches;
  • May help relieve constipation;
  • May help treat kidney stones;
  • Helps prevent hangovers;
  • and most importantly, it can aid weight loss!

This year I bought a water tumbler to help me drink more water. I paid my daughter Heather and her fiance Andy to paint it in a beautiful blue color (the color of my branding here) and put the letters of my website, BethJones.net on it. This is a great way to promote your biz when you’re out and about.

Andy has a painting business. They did a beautiful job on it and I love it! You can follow Andy on Instagram @andysuniquecoatings

Our daughter Leah just graduated from college with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Graphic Design. She designed the logo for Andy. Great job, Leah! You can find Leah’s website at¬†https://lemeraedesigns.wordpress.com/

water tumbler

water tumbler

Finally for self-care, I surround myself with beauty. I enjoy being in nature–God’s beautiful art. One thing I love is fresh flowers. Sometimes my husband Ray surprises me with a bouquet. While I normally like roses just for Valentine’s Day and prefer large sunflowers, daisies, or a variety of flowers for everyday “appreciation,” I do love this bouquet with the orange lilies and white and pink roses in them, as well as the white flowers (not sure what they are called! If you know, tell me).

If you don’t have a spouse or a significant other, buy yourself flowers! You deserve it!

flower bouquet from Ray

flower bouquet from Ray

lilies

lilies and roses

What day of the week do you honor the Sabbath/take a much-needed break and relax?

How do you do self-care? Leave your comments below. 

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Blog, Faith

A single action

This is a  long post. So much to tell you.

So many times at the beginning of the new year, you make goals and resolutions and dream big dreams. Then by the end of January, you haven’t accomplished them ~ and you feel defeated. Ikr?

Today I received an ezine which had these inspiring, motivating words that I shared with my Coaching clients:

“Welcome to the turning point of your life

If you did not have a great year in 2014…

If you have already broken your New Year Resolutions,…

And, if you are not as prosperous and fulfilled as you would like, you need to do something differently, and you need to do it now.

Why? Because all change, all progress begins with a single decision‚Ķ a single action, a single YES!”

Gary Ryan Clair, 100 Day Challenge

I decided that this is the year for me to lose the weight and get fit and healthy.

Yeah, I know a lot of people say that. I’ve said it before ~ how many times?

¬†And actually, I have done it before…then gained the weight again.

Although I HAVE maintained the 20 pounds I lost last year with Speaker/Author Donna Partow’s 90 Day Renewal program.

But I made  a choice this year to stop the excuses and just do it.

To get to the real issue, the root…Cokes and food have been an idol in my life (stepping on toes here!). I’ve craved them instead of God and His best plan for my life.

I’ve repented and asked for His forgiveness and mercy.

Lisa Terkeurst writes in her book Made to Crave: “When we are stuffed full of other things and never allow ourselves to be in a place of longing, we don’t recognize the deeper spiritual battle going on…So, I’m not on a diet. I’m on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness.‚ÄĚ

This is not a DIET. I’ve made a radical LIFESTYLE change.

success

success

I’m trying not to whine. It’s hard to make the change. So. very. hard.

Why do I think about Cokes and food all the time?

But it’s not as hard as being overweight (which discourages you and causes low self-esteem, makes you at risk for heart disease and other unhealthy things, and – let’s get honest here – unattractive).¬†

fat woman/thin woman

fat woman/skinny woman

I’m going to track¬†my progress here at BethJones.net, and I’d love your prayers and encouragement. You can leave me comments below the posts and/or on my Facebook page. Being publicly accountable brings this to a whole new level!

And I’d love to hear your story, your goals, your dreams for this year!¬†Let’s partner together to make 2015 an awesome year so we can glorify Jesus!!!

dreams

dreams

I was inspired to include my progress (and when I mess up!) by Linda M. Brown’s amazing blog, Lose The Weight.

I love, love, love her website! I love the header…her realness…her anointed writing. She’s also hilarious. I truly believe God brought her into my life at this time to encourage and motivate me to keep going.¬†

Because it’s easier to start (sometimes)…than to finish.

For the first time in over a year, I’ve started walking every day.

No small feat, considering that today it was 14 degrees.

It’s been colder this week than it has been…Missouri has actually had an extremely mild winter, with temps in the 60’s! (My husband is cheering; he hates snow and the cold, and wants to retire on an ¬†exotic island .) It’s been more like fall weather here.

But just in case you¬†want¬†to suddenly pack up and move to Kansas City, MO, remember the expression: “If you don’t like the weather (or do like it) in Missouri, wait a minute.” It can change in a second.

Like the last few days. FOURTEEN DEGREES! OMGosh.

Walking outside¬†is still doable, though. Today I bundled up in my coat, hat, gloves, and beautiful fake-fur scarf Ray bought me (it’s so warm!), and headed to the track. Despite the cold and icy weather, the beautifully shining sun was out.

Me at the track

Me at the track

My nose is what was so cold, as my face was exposed. I tried covering it with the fake-fur, which worked…sorta’.

But my nose was freezing and I looked like Rudolph.

Rudolph

Rudolph

After I walked, I went to Walmart and the closest thing I could find to a hat covering¬†the nose was a headband and neck cover, which I’ll buy later this week. I tried it on there and it will work great. No excuses this year!

THE BIGGIE!!!

I’ve stopped drinking Coke¬ģ, which is absolutely God’s grace. I LOVE Coke!!!

I’m addicted to it.¬†Not physically, but emotionally, like comfort foods such as ice cream, chips, chocolate, bread, and fast food, are to some people.

I visited Sonic’s Happy Hour – half price drinks -in the morning and afternoon EVERY DAY! Part of the reason I am overweight! But it was one of the highlights of my day!

Now I’m having to establish a replacement habit…walking! NOT as fun!

Coke

Coke

¬†I’ve quit drinking it several times, but go back to it. This time I’m making a ¬†choice not to.

I’ve replaced the Coke¬ģ¬†with water.¬†I don’t drink nearly enough water. I’m not drinking any other beverages but hot green tea.¬†

According to the Mayo Clinic, for your body to function properly, you have to replenish its water supply through beverages and foods that contain water. “The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.

I’m using this water bottle that Ray (a paramedic) brought home from the hospital one day. It holds a lot (but not too much), it’s thin (not too bulky and fits nicely on my office desk), and it’s a pretty royal blue. ūüôā

water bottle

water bottle

I’ve been refilling it several times throughout the day. I measured the water today and it holds 20 ounces. I figure if I drink 3 to 4 water bottles a day, I’ll be getting sufficient water. Maybe more.¬†

You may be wondering what I’m eating.¬†Low carb, low to no sugar meals. Not to the extreme of Paleo, though…but challenging enough.

Yeah…I really miss chips and salsa, cheeseburgers and fries, Pizza Hut, Baby Ruth’s and Butterfingers!

For so long, I’ve eaten too much and eaten unhealthy and forget to eat when I’m busy working, that I don’t think I even know when I’m hungry -or if it’s just boredom, emotional eating, a habit, etc.

I’m now much more aware of my body and its needs. Listening to its signals that I’m hungry, thirsty, tired, energetic, need a stretch, etc. And it’s working.

The new energy I have now is, amazingly, coming from just a change in diet and exercise! No caffeine. No energy drinks. No pills. Just good-old fashioned healthy food, water, and moving my butt!

Every day I’m eating lots of salads with fresh veggies.¬†

salad

salad

 The ingredients vary, and I prepare them raw, not cooked:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • spinach
  • broccoli
  • onion
  • garlic
  • celery
  • tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • cucumbers
  • flaxseed
  • avocado
  • and sometimes chicken or turkey added.

I use a tablespoon of Ranch salad dressing. If you use the right amount, it’s okay, not fattening. I didn’t realize until this year how much I DROWN my salads in dressing!

Last year I began adding more salads to my diet, but now I eat them daily. Comment and leave me your fave salad recipes!

I’m still cooking Wildtree healthy crockpot meals for my family, which I started doing the last quarter of 2014.

They have no GMO’s, additives, chemicals, etc. Some nights we have taco night or Ray cooks his spaghetti that he and Leah enjoy. I don’t like spaghetti so I opt for something else.

prayer

prayer

I’m spending time with God each day, praying, reading the Bible, and worshipping.

Asking Him for GRACE and self-discipline – a fruit of the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Please pray this for me!

Because apart from Jesus, I can do nothing. 

Like Meg Ryan’s alcoholic wife character Alice said to her husband Michael in the movie When A Man Loves A Woman, “Ask me how bad I want a drink right now.”

Ask me right now how bad I want a Coke¬ģ or a slice of pepperoni pizza!

pizza

pepperoni pizza

 
But I want to be fit and healthy more. tt’s not about the weight loss. It’s about health and wellness.

The life more abundant that Jesus promised. (John 10:10)

*Able to fulfill God’s purpose for my life – without sickness and suffering.*

Vibrant. Healthy. Feeling good. Energetic.

Being able to live a good life, enjoying God, my family, and friends.

Traveling internationally and nationally to speak, write, minister, do short-term missions, for pleasure.

Do you want to “eat the good of the land” as God promised? (Isaiah 1:19)

 Join me to make 2015 a healthier year.  We can do it! Tips (reminding me!):

  • God helping us through daily quiet time in prayer, meditating on God’s word, worship (doesn’t have to be a long period of time – can you do 10 to 15 minutes?). The more we seek God, the less we will look to other things in this world (or people) to fill that empty, black hole inside. It is a God void that His love and presence only can satisfy.
  • accountability
  • lots of water – helps with cravings
  • journaling
  • weigh first thing in the morning before eating, the same time each day
  • Buy as ‘close to the earth as possible” – no or limited processed foods, fast foods, sugar, salt, etc. Fresh is best for our bodies!
  • Ask for prayer.
  • When we mess up, we get back up. God’s mercies are new each morning.¬†

February is also Heart Awareness Month – Make a Change.

Go Red Heart Awareness Month

Go Red
Heart Awareness Month

Here’s my “before” picture below.

My goal is to lose 45 pounds. I’ve already lost 6 lbs total JUST from not drinking Coke, changing my diet, and walking 40 minutes a day at the track!

In the afternoon, I also do 20 to 30 jumping jacks, 10 sit-ups, 10 modified push-ups, 25 leg lifts (each and various kinds).

I know to take it easy and slow to avoid injuring myself and overdoing it. 

Here’s a scripture I’m meditating on for this radical lifestyle change.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; ¬†you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV

Beth Jones, January 2015

Me , January 2015

 

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