Month One: Done. Victory.

 I was somewhat delusional when I thought I'd be blogging regularly.
March was, how shall I say it,
chock-a-block full of good things.
I was in the throes of missions conference planning for our church,
 (*photo cred: Frank Chao)
that backed up into a beautiful 30-hour visit by Rachel from England, 
(My former student when I taught in Indonesia. Oh how it did
my heart good to reconnect with her. A treasure that girl is.)



that backed up into Jackson's 10th birthday,
that backed up into Easter.
Our 16th anniversary was tucked in there too, 
but we put our celebration on hold until this weekend
to save our sanity!
So here we are.
Month one DONE.

And honestly, 
it's been super victorious.
I'd tell you if it wasn't.
I promise.

There have been only a couple times where I've even felt tempted to 'cheat.' 
And those times I didn't even give in.
 We had Lou Malnatti's pizza 
(Lord have mercy - my very favorite on the planet)
and I told myself ahead of time that I'd give myself 3 decent-sized bites.
And then that was it.
I ordered their thin gluten-free pizza for me.
So that felt great to not scarf down 2 pieces and then 
live, like my life depended on, 
leftovers the next day.

I do believe some of the stronghold has been broken.
I'm not craving sugar and carbs like a mad woman.
Boy howdy does that feel fanTAStic!

I'm not naive enough to think I won't slip up 
or I won't slip back into old habits,
but instead of assuming I will,
I'm livin' the "assume victory" dream.

See that subtle mindset shift?
Tricky like that, aren't I?
On Easter I did have some citrus cheesecake
Thank you very much, Becky!
[ On my deathbed you'll need to feed me a piece of that magic.]
I was okay with eating dessert on Easter. 
Was part of my 'be realistic' plan.
It's okay to have a treat on Easter.
It really is.

Where I personally have to be careful is that Easter Sunday 
doesn't slip into Easter Monday, 
tripped up by Easter Tuesday, 
times 365 days.
That's my past cycle of crazy.
I also had 2 rolls.
One at the meal, which I was totally fine with and had planned on.
And one right before bedtime.
DARN.
Wasn't fine with that one.
 
I so didn't need the one before bedtime 
but I reverted in my thinking a bit and thought,
"I've already had dessert and gluten today, 
just have that roll you're eyeing and get it over with.
Tomorrow's a new day."

I fell for my old tricks.
However, tomorrow came and I didn't slip back into old habits.
Praise Jesus.
Hallelujah.
Glory be!
The perfectionist in me didn't beat myself up.
After all, I only had TWO rolls.
That, in and of itself, is nothing short of miraculous.
I wish my love affair with rolls/carbs/bread weren't part of my story.
But the attraction is strong.

I've had SO much more energy this month.
I just feel lighter. It's weird.
I can't even begin to tell you how great that feels.
 
I've lost 6.75 inches this month.
YAY.

I did not weigh on March 1st because, quite frankly, 
I was terrified to do so.
I knew it would send me spiraling
simply because the number would be big.
HUGE.
Bigger than ever.

And so, I weighed this morning  and today's number will be my benchmark going forward.

Honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised.
While the number is big - indeed - it wasn't even
close to what I thought it was going to be.
SO THAT FELT GREAT. 

My personal coach - Karen - has been nothing short of amazing!
She's funny and she asks great questions and helps me set realistic goals each week,
and even says things like, 'Oh, you don't need to go that far. Small steps.' 
*paraphrased *

SO HERE WE GO.
On to MONTH TWO.

Excited to bounce along on this journey.
Asking God to continue to help me.

 This month I'm going to begin the long road of
tackling things like shame and perfectionism and addiction and
false guilt of 'failing' to get a handle on this part of my life
and other mental/emotional/spiritual components of this journey.
I know they're all jumbled up together.
It's pretty helpful when your bff is a Psych Doc and
your other bff is a school administrator. 
Between the three of us we can solve most of the world's problems.
Just ask us.
We've been faithfully doing so for 25+ years.
This next photo? 
One of my favorite-ever photos of us. 
Because this captures
the three of US.
No idea what Michelle's sassing about,
but I guarantee it was hilarious.
At any given time on any given day, during any given moment, 
one of us is wearing the sassy pants.
And the other two are laughing.
We think we're funny.
Repeat to infinity.

The beautiful fringe benefit of 25+ years of friendship
is that they're there. 
ALWAYS.
The first week.
The first minute I reached out to ask for prayer and help. 
FOREVER.
That's what lifelong friends do.   

They challenge. 
They know.
(In fact, they know so much, at this point I can't let them go
because the blackmail material is thick.)

They love.
They accept.

Friendship is beautiful. 
Really, I marvel at how good God was to 
put that innate desire in each of us to long to be known 
and accepted
and loved.
God's good.  

So there you have it.
Month one DONE.
Wasn't too bad, actually.
In fact, it was super encouraging.
Lots of great GREAT victory.

Would love it if you'd commit to praying for me,
if you're the praying sort.
Pretty pretty PLEASE?
I do believe this was the key to last month's success.
And, a lot of hard work, too.
But truly, I place the value of prayer at the tippy top of my list.

Grateful that I'm not on this journey alone.
So many of my friends and family have reached out this month,
asking how it's going.
They tell me they're praying.
They want me to succeed.
They love me if I don't.
They see God in this journey, as do I.

So ONWARD we go.
If you've read this far, you're a true-blue-friend.
Thanks for your encouragement 
and believing the very best about me.

Together, we really ARE better.

And so the MARATHON continues.
Cheers to month TWO.

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