Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dieting, Sarah, Fall, and Growing Grass

To S and E
and even to FP
or not to S, E, and FP
that is the question.

If you are a female mom who watches her weight you have heard your peers talking about Trim Healthy Mama, a 600-page book about a new and healthy way of eating.

I am cautious of diets and suspicious of any regimen with its own jargon [S??  FP???] and wary of any new idea that costs money.

But I am also gaining over a pound a year and I often feel sluggish and draggy and bloated and tired.  So I was intrigued by what I was reading on Facebook about THM.  Weight loss, more energy, balanced hormones of all kinds.

Jenny informed me that her Aunt Laura had been tossing around some of these strange terms, so I called her and she gave me a quick tutorial.  You don't eat fats and carbs at the same meal, she said.  You don't eat sugar.  You wait two or three hours between eating.  There was more, but that was what I remembered.

Well, I could try that.  I've said for a long time that I won't lose weight unless I can learn to think about what I eat.  So this seemed like a good way to start--eating every 3 hours and not snacking in between.  I should have thought of that myself a long time ago but I am a mindless nibbler.

Then I also found it fairly easy to have bacon and eggs without toast for breakfast.  Not sure if that's THM approved but it sure was fat and protein without carbs.

A student's mom from our school sent her THM book home for me to test-drive for a few days which has helped me figure out if I want a copy of my own.  (I do.)

I also spent a day with a stomach flu which involved throwing up, and the next day I didn't have any appetite.  Seriously, every weight-loss regimen should start off with a stomach virus because I lost 4 pounds in the first two weeks.

We will see how things continue.  Babysteps, people.  I don't have what it takes to switch my eating habits in a day.  And I am stubborn about buying bizarre ingredients like glucomannen and whey powder.  But I am willing to make small incremental changes.

*   *   *

We have been studying the women of the Bible in Sunday school and now we're on Sarah, back when she was still Sarai, and Hagar.

It's nice that the New Testament tells us that Sarah was a woman of faith because oh my does she bungle things up back in Genesis.

Abram gets the promise of descendants, land, and blessings.  And Sarai is his only wife.  So I imagine she and everyone else were thinking "come on come on something's gotta happen here" and they waited and WAITED for YEARS.

And so Sarai says, well, the Lord didn't come through, so it's up to me and I have this great idea.  She tells Abram to marry Hagar the slave girl and try to have a child.

Well, things go south pretty fast from there.
Hagar gets pregnant and suddenly the power balance shifts so she gets to be all na-na-na-boo-boo at Sarai.
Sarai tells Abram it's his fault.  What??!!
He doesn't know what to do and tells her to do what she wants.
She mistreats Hagar so badly she runs away.
God meets Hagar in a way that he never has yet met Sarai, and Hagar goes back to Sarai and tries to make it work.

Well, I see myself in Sarai.  I think situations are mine to fix, but they're actually not.  And if I could just WAIT they would work out just fine. 

I'll mention here that I have five adult children and some days it about kills me to wait on God to fix their situations and not leap in with all my little fancy ideas of how we can work it all out.

I really believe adult children need to be adults and we parents need to trust them to make their own decisions because then the consequences are theirs as well.

Of course if they ask me, I fall all over myself giving advice and counsel.  But I can't make decisions for them.

It is hard to watch them figure it out and it is hard to trust God to guide them without my little fingers in there, pointing, pushing, prodding, poking.

I have to remember: THIS IS NOT MINE TO FIX.

*   *   *
Fall is here.  I have to face the truth.  When I walked into my SIL Anna's house in Minnesota the other week it was all decorated in baskets and leaves and flowers in fallish orange and burgundy and yellow.

I said, "What??  Not yet, please!"

She said, "I like to get out the fall things after the first of September."  Well, it WAS pretty, but I wasn't ready to let summer go.

Now it's raining and raining.  And the calendar is past September 21.

I am not ready for this.

And I can't fix this situation, either.

*   *   *
As I may have mentioned, I was gone for ten days, to two church-related camps and a week in Minnesota.

The following week was very unproductive, but I have learned that this is just how things are when I've been around people a lot, traveling, and just giving out instead of taking in.

Emily came up with an analogy I really like.  She noticed that even though it looks like the grass fields around here are a solid green, if you look closely you see that the grass is planted in rows, with a gap of bare dirt in between.

Paul told her that the farmers have figured out the optimal concentration of seed.  The soil can support only so much grass to maximum production because there's only so much nutrition in the soil.  So if you leave some gaps where you don't try to grow seed, you actually get a better yield in the end than if you try to plant every bit of available soil full of seed.

Some of us have limited resources of energy and time, and we will have a better yield if we leave some gaps for rest.


Quote of the Day:
"I was SO tired I could hardly keep my eyes open during prayer."


  1. I laughed harder than I should have at the Quote of the Day. But it's great. Esp. to me, Mom of 4 wee ones, who we're trying to teach to keep their eyes closed during prayer.

  2. I am also wary of new ideas which require spending money. I use (free) to keep track of what I eat and how much I exercise. This daily logging really helps.

    I bought a few hand weights at the thrift store and, using books from the library and a few websites, developed a resistance training program for myself. (I used to belong to a gym--$50 a month--but it's a 70 mile round trip away and I seldom used it.)

    While cleaning (also good exercise!) I found an inexpensive pedometer I'd been given and, after checking that it accurately measured my steps, set my goal to walk at least 10,000 steps per day.

    I do eat some "strange things"-- at least strange to me. Flax seed meal and coconut oil are two--both available at Costco. I've increased the amount of fiber I eat and decreased the carbs.

    It's working. I've lost 50 pounds since April. Hope some of this is helpful.

  3. I don't follow the THM exactly. I mostly go low carbs with a day or two a week off. I've lost 45 lbs keeping my carbs under 50 a day. That may sound like a lot, but it is not. Especially when one slice of bread is 21-23 carbs and a potato can be up to 40. I try to stay away from startches and sugar, and the only sugar substitute I buy is Truvia. It's more expensive than regular sugar which goes against the frugal in me, but I don't use it except for my drinks. I have a hard time not doing sweet drinks. The THM has a lot of good advice and recipe's though and definitely recommend it. The great thing is it isn't really a fad diet so much as it is a call to be healthy in every area of our lives.

  4. I have heard of THM, but didn't realize until your post it sounds just like the old idea of "food combing" recycled again. Google Herbert Shelton.

    I did food combining in high school, involuntarily. My parents were into it, so I ate what they served :-) Other than being hungry all.the.time I liked it, as I noticed after a couple of months I had no aches or pains of any sort. It was kind of weird, you don't notice all the little quibbles until they are gone.

  5. Loved your reflections on Sarai (Sarah) and your own experience with adult children (I have three)! SO very true.

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    great weight loss program!! low price!!!!

  7. I wish you well in your weight lose effort! I have slowly lost over 50 pounds in the last two years. In 60 years, may have been one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I'd like to pass on some wisdom. #1.Don't make any changes that you aren't welling to do for the rest of your life. #2.Pray. I believe that God wants us to be healthy and will lead us there if we ask him for his assistance and go where he leads.