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2nd Update: weight loss

Wow, it’s been several months since I last posted an update on my weight loss campaign. I am happy to report I am still at it, though life has been busy for me. I reported back in March that I achieved my first milestone (losing three pounds). Well over a month ago I passed my second milestone, losing four additional pounds making it a total of seven.

The lag in my reporting had more to do with my crazy schedule than anything else. I became embroiled in my spring chores (mowing, pruning, planting and weeding) and found less time to monitor my progress.

Here are my self-evaluation grades for the since the first milestone.

Steps on Fitbit A (I strung together 40+ days over 10,000 steps) Additional Exercise A- (6-7 days, of additional exercise per week) Portion Control B- (slipped a bit on this one) Water intake B (should drink more water) Snacking B- (still fighting this one; overall good results) Cheating C (probably why weight loss takes so long to accomplish) Devotion C+ (still room for improvement, Spring season has helped)

Morale is high. I’m looking forward to breaking through the next barrier, which is five additional pounds.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:5 NLT

Job chapter 1: A couple of thoughts

Job – the name means “hated or persecuted one.” The biggest problem in the book of Job has to do with theology, not Job’s pain and suffering. What is Job to do when God doesn’t act the way he expects him to act (the righteous will be rewarded and the wicked punished). The book showcases the unfathomable wisdom of God in times of human suffering. With God, there is a reason for everything he does.

Just because the spirit realm is unseen by us that doesn’t make it any less real. We the readers have visibility of the dialog between God and Satan. Job does not. This window into heaven is valuable to the story of Job and explains why things end up happening to him.

I have always wondered why Satan bothers to concern himself with humankind. You would think there would be more pressing, more significant things he could be doing rather than antagonizing people. Perhaps other passages of scriptures can shed some light on this.

Psalm 8:4-5 asks the question, “What is man that You [God] are mindful of him…For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.” The original Hebrew text uses the word Elohiym, (the name for God) instead of the word “angels.” So, man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and a little lower than God. The Apostle Paul in his discourse to the Corinthian church says, “do you not know that we will judge angels?” 1 Corinthians 6:3.

It’s starting to make sense now why Satan would concern himself with leading people away from God. At one time Lucifer, a.k.a Satan, occupied the highest position in heaven among the angels. He led worship in heaven, until he was found to be filled with pride concerning his own beauty and was cast out. Lucifer wanted to be worshipped. He wanted to be like God (see Ezekiel 28, Isaiah 14). But God chose to make man, not angels, in his likeness. What could be more fulfilling for Satan than to have mankind worship him instead of God. To goad man into sinning, knowing that it separates people from God.

In chapter 1, Satan believes if he can get God to remove the hedge of protection around Job, then “the most righteous human” on earth will curse God. Satan is proven wrong and Job worships God anyway.

God is not playing a game with Satan over the life of Job. God, in his wisdom, has a reason for allowing tragedy to strike him.

Which one of us can stand in the face of what Job endured and say, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Job 1:21-22

Mom’s hot chocolate

Here is a recipe that takes me back to my childhood. Growing up, we had a large Tupperware container of this mixture sitting on the kitchen counter during the cold winter months. I came from a large family (4 siblings), which means my parents had to make a lot of sacrifices. We considered this a luxury item.

Here’s the recipe:

4 cups nonfat dry milk 1.5 cups instant chocolate mix 0.5 cups non-dairy creamer 0.75 cups confectioner’s sugar

Add the dry ingredients together in a bowl and whisk thoroughly. Two batches of the above recipe makes enough to fill a two quart container. I substituted Ovaltine chocolate malt for the instant chocolate (a.k.a. Nestle’s Quick) because it’s caffeine free. I prepare my hot chocolate by putting 1/3 of a cup of this mixture into mug and adding 10 ounces of hot water using a Keurig. Stir and enjoy!

During my weight loss campaign, I have a cup of hot chocolate most evenings as my luxury item for the day. If I did the math right, each serving of hot cocoa has 165 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

1st Update: weight loss

Six days into my campaign and already I have achieved my first milestone (-3 lbs.). I celebrated by eating half a lemon-filled donut in the morning and feasting on a bowl of popcorn in the evening (light on the salt and butter). As good as that donut tasted, I stopped halfway through and imagined how much better off I’d be if I threw the other half away. Bravely, I proceeded to do so. The decision felt like a victory the next day.

Since I’m not really following a specific diet, I’ve decided to stay away from using that term for now. Here are my self-evaluation grades for the first week.

Steps on Fitbit B+ (there is still room for improvement on the weekend) Additional Exercise A- (all seven days, hoping for warmer weather soon) Portion Control B (made some good choices with salads instead of pasta) Water intake B+ (added additional 16 oz bottle daily) Snacking B- (still fighting this one; overall good result for week) Cheating C (2 notable incidents; still able to limit the damage) Devotion C (room for improvement; credit for desire to continue)

Morale is high. I’m looking forward to see what the next week brings.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:24-26) NIV

March 1: weight loss kickoff

And so it begins! Starting today I’m modifying my eating and exercise regiments. The plan is to lose 22 pounds and average at least 10,000 steps per day as recorded by my Fitbit (70,000 weekly). Included in the 10,000 steps will be at least one 20 minute walk daily to elevate my heart rate.

With great sadness I will give up diet killing snack nibbling that pads calorie intake and frustrates attempts at weight loss. I plan to increase my water intake daily to aid fat burning. I also evoke portion control on evening meals.

I endeavor my fight until this goal is accomplished. Milestone victories will include a reward (tbd). I’ve marked some milestones at -3 lbs., -7 lbs., -12, lbs., -17 lbs. and -22 lbs. As the days get warmer I intend to ramp up my exercise routine, which will increase the number of steps recorded on my Fitbit.

I decided to allow one luxury in this round of weight loss, an evening mug of hot cocoa. I’ll include the recipe for Mom’s hot chocolate mix in a future post. Since it’s a homemade recipe, I can control the amount of each ingredient added.

My spirit will focus on how fortunate I am to be healthy at this stage of my life. Using the Psalms I will meditate on the many blessings I currently enjoy and the value of my life in God’s eyes. If I have a bad day trying to maintain my regiment, I will acknowledge it, pick myself, and keep going.

Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; safe your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. Psalm 86:1-4