Words of Affirmation

Tuesday is one of my busiest, yet one of my favorite days of the week.  Tuesday mornings are full of fellowship and encouragement with other moms, as well as a time of digging deeper into Scripture to find how God’s word applies to this most important job of being Mom. Then, every Tuesday night, I rush through dinner, then leave my husband and daughter at home to make cookies while I go to my weekly Mary Kay Girls NIght Out. This is when the unit I’m in gets together to talk about the previous week, pamper our guests, and get some amazing training.

Each Tuesday night, our Sales Director starts the meeting by introducing herself. She doesn’t just say “Welcome to Girls Night Out, I’m Suzy Sales Director”.  Instead, she says “I am the motivated, God-inspired, Kingdom-minded, disciplined, determined, and blessed beyond belief Suzy Sales Director”.  I once asked her how she ever came up with such an introduction.  She told me it was her personal affirmation, one way that she keeps her mind from believing the negative things we all like to think about ourselves.

What we think about becomes what we do or believe.  If I am constantly thinking about how tired I am and how much I wish I were sleeping, my body is going to respond by acting tired, craving naps, and just not being alert.  However, if I start my day thinking about how blessed I am to have woken up, the fun things I get to do that day with my little girl, and the opportunities that await, I am more likely to be excited about the day.  Will it automatically make my eyes stay open before I’ve had my morning coffee?  Maybe not…but it will make it so much easier for me to focus on the important things around me.

I have been thinking about writing my own personal affirmation.  This would be something that I would stand in front of my mirror and recite out loud every day.  Yes, that means I would be talking to myself, but I’ve found it to be so much easier to change my thinking when my ears actually hear the change.  Plus, your mind can’t shout louder than your mouth!  When I asked my Sales Director about her affirmations, she said that she simply used words that describe what she wants to be.  It may not always describe how she feels that day or the way she acted, but it is what she is striving for.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:  I am the confident, organized, motivated, God-inspired Kristal Woods.  Of course, as I grow and change, I may add to or change some of that…but I think I’ve got a pretty good start.

What about you?  What are your personal words of affirmation?

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South Beach Diet, Round 2

I’m no stranger to trying to find my healthy weight.  I’ve struggled with weight and body image for as long as I can remember.  I was a super-shy high school girl, overweight, with absolutely no self confidence.  I continued to struggle with those issues through college, and even into the early years of my teaching career.  When I was asked to be in a friend’s wedding in 2003, I decided it was time to actually do something about my weight.  I joined Weight Watchers and had immediate and amazing results!  I found that actually paying attention to what I was eating made a HUGE difference, and in the 4-6 months that I stuck with the program, I lost 30 pounds.  I was within 10 pounds of my goal weight!  But then, the money ran out.  I could no longer afford to go to the weekly meetings.  I stuck with the plan for a while, but eventually just started eating whatever and whenever I wanted.

Fast forward a few years to 2011.  I decide that one of my New Years Resolutions would be to get healthy and be a better example to my daughter.  I joined myfitnesspal and started tracking my calorie intake and my exercise.  I started doing Wii Fit, and EA Active on a regular basis.  By Easter, I had lost 10 pounds…not terrible, but not great considering that Easter was at the end of March.  The week of Easter, I started reading The South Beach Dietand by the middle of the following week, I was ready to begin.  I loved how this book actually gave me a PLAN to follow…including sample meal plans, a list of foods that I could eat and enjoy, as well as foods that I should be avoiding.  My doctor had recommended this diet to me for several years…and after reading the book I finally understood why.

As a sufferer of PCOS, I am already insulin resistant.  As a typical American, I am a self-proclaimed carb-addict.  Anyone can see those two things don’t really go together very well.  South Beach helped me get rid of my carb cravings, and then slowly reincorporate healthy carbs back into my diet.  Over the next couple of months, I lost an additional 15 pounds, and was feeling really good about myself and my size!  Then…VACATION.

Yep…we went on vacation, and I completely trashed my diet.  I gained 10 pounds in 1 week.  Did I come home and say “It’s OK, Kristal, you can just pick up where you left off.  You’ll get to your goal, but it will now take you a little longer than planned.”?  Sadly, no, I did not.  I came home and continued eating whatever I wanted.  Slowly, I let my weight creep back up.

Now, here we are in March.  For a lot of reasons that I may go into in a later post, I didn’t get to start South Beach back up at the beginning of the year.  I started just over 2 weeks ago.  I cheated a little during the first week and continued to allow myself to have a few small things that aren’t really on the diet (sugar in my coffee, creamy ranch salad dressing…), but then at the beginning of week 2, I decided that I was going to do this right.  So far, I’ve only lost about 4 pounds, but I know that I am eating better!  I am trying new recipes (I may even post a few of those here), and exposing my family to new foods that they may not have ever tried before!  I am committed to doing this, and making the South Beach Diet a lifestyle for myself.  I will be posting periodic updates letting you know how I’m doing, and I am hopeful that doing so will keep me accountable too.  So if it’s been a while and you haven’t heard an update from me, please hit the “Email me” button on the side and tell me!