Poor Michy

Hi there,

Its Michy’s Hubby, Marty. I’m posting to apologize on behalf of Michelle for the lack of posts this week. She has caught a nasty infection of some sort and is under the weather for a few days. Rest assured she will be back up on her feet and posting in a few days. If you would keep her in your prayers I’m sure she would appreciate it!

 

-Marty

Five for Friday VI

Previous Fridays

1. I love your sticky-note messages.

2. I love that I can’t drive you away.

3. I love knowing we can always make up.

4. I love your non-feminine face.

5. I love how much worry for my safety.

😀

Healthy Eating by Counting Calories

I would argue that counting calories is the easiest way to alter your diet. It’s not the only way! It’s not even necessarily the best way, though I’ve not found a better. I’d like to share some information with you, and some tips for how to try out calorie counting if you never have. I’m currently using Calorie Count to help me with my weight loss goals.

Setting Goals

Counting calories, in and of itself, is not going to help you lose weight or eat healthy. If you start counting without a goal, you will see how many calories you’re eating every day, but that won’t do you much good. What you need is a limit, a target, or a goal to shoot for in your daily calorie intake. There are many websites that can provide a calculator to determine this number for you, but you can also choose for yourself, using some trial-and-error. Here are some guidelines:

1. Don’t go too low. Those in the medical field generally agree that no woman – not even the skinniest – should go below 1200 calories per day. The bigger you are and the more active you are, the more calories you need. If you eat too few calories, not only do you risk malnutrition, but you also risk putting your body into starvation mode, meaning that more fat is stored (rather than burned)! For men, I think the number not to go below is 1400 per day.

2. Take off a few hundred calories. If you know that you usually eat 2400 calories every day, try cutting back only a few hundred, to about 1900-2100 per day, and see where that gets you. Try it for a week or two before deciding to lower it any more.

3. There is another way to get a daily calorie deficit. Your body burns calories all day long (metabolism!), and your goal with counting calories is to eat approximately the same number of calories as you burn to maintain your weight or to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. However, to achieve this weight-loss deficit, rather than eating less, you can also try exercising more. Eating the same amount while adding exercise to your routine will increase how many calories you burn throughout the day as well as increasing your calorie deficit.

Reaching But Not Exceeding

The tricky part of calorie counting comes in trying to reach your target without going over. If you’re limiting yourself to 1400 calories a day, for instance, you will soon see that you have to put some careful planning into play. This is the secret; this is how calorie-counting leads to healthy eating. You simply cannot pig out on unhealthy, high-calorie foods every day or you will starve!

1400 calories…

Let’s see, I could go to McDonalds and have a medium chocolate shake for 580 calories, medium fries for 380 plus of course 50 for ketchup, and a double cheeseburger for 440. Crap. I’ve now had 1450 calories (I went over my daily limit), and I can’t eat anything else today at all.

Sure, this might work out for a day or so, but pretty soon you’re going to be feeling very hungry!!

Tips:

1. Choose one meal a day to be the biggest meal. While nutritionists usually suggest this should be breakfast, most of us find it to be more realistic to say that dinner or supper will be our big meal of the day. When my husband is home, I know that we’ll be eating a full meal for dinner, so I try to “save” several hundred calories for that meal.

2. Eat tiny portions slowly. Eating slowly isn’t just a mental trick to feeling like you’ve eaten more. It actually gives your stomach time to tell your brain that you’re fuller than you thought! It takes a lot of patience, but try it out! Also, drink water to help fill your tummy when it feels like you haven’t had enough. And remember, snack time is only an hour or so away!

3. Find healthy snacks. If you only have one egg and one piece of toast for breakfast, you’ll probably find yourself hungry before lunch time. And this is okay! Many people highly recommend switching from 3 meals a day to 5 or more, and you can do this in part by snacking. If you’re a fruit or veggie person, those both make great munchie foods. You can also try individual yogurt cups, nuts, milk, and low-calorie crackers.

4. Give yourself time to get used to the change. When you’re cutting calories, it’s expected that you’ll feel hungry at first. Make sure this isn’t a sign that you’re starving yourself, first of all, but after that just give yourself some time to adjust. You’ll find your body getting used to it within a week or two, I’d say.

5. Finally, remember not to deprive yourself! Make sure you’re eating enough, and make sure you allow yourself to enjoy some high-calorie foods sometimes. As you know, I’m not one to recommend cutting things out of your diet completely. As long as you’re willing to accept the fact that the milkshake is going to fill you up a lot less than 500 calories of something else, it’s fine to indulge sometimes!

Success

If you decide to track other nutrition information, such as fat and sodium, I say more power to you. But even without that, setting and meeting a calorie goal can help you a lot in learning to make healthier food choices. Success comes not just from losing weight. It comes from becoming more healthy.

Have you ever tried counting calories? What were your goals? Did you reach them? Or do you have a better method you’d like to share?

Being a Christian Wife

This was on my brainstorming list of blog post ideas. Today, for some reason, it stood out to me. Maybe because it’s an area in my own life in which I’ve been trying to improve. What does my husband need of me, and what are my wifely responsibilities? I don’t think that wives are only around to serve their husbands, but I do believe God calls us to have a servant’s heart, whether or not one is a housewife.

Wives, Submit to Your Husbands

“Submitting to your husband doesn’t mean becoming his slave. It means recognizing his role and putting him first. After all, I believe this is the example Christ has set forth for us…”
Melissa J. on Families.com

The biggest difference between a Christian marriage and a non-Christian marriage is whether or not the wife submits to her husband. God provides an umbrella of protection by putting the husband under himself, the wife under the husband, and the children under the wife. By living with that family structure in mind, I think that we will find ourselves living the happy, fulfilling lives God intends for us. But the wife-to-husband submission is very different from the child-to-parent submission. Notice in the Bible that children are told to obey, while wives are told to submit. (Ephesians 5-6)

1. Respecting

  • The quote above touches on this, but I will re-iterate: I think that wives submit to their husbands through respect. After my husband so lovingly listens to my thoughts and suggestions, I should then strive to respectfully accept his decision as final. God has put that responsibility into my husband’s hands, and out of respect for that position, I defer to him. If a mistake is made, I should not criticize or ridicule him. I should continue treating him with the respect he deserves.
  • I should not only respect his decisions, though. I also respect his goals and dreams, his space, his person. This includes holding back sometimes on snide and sarcastic remarks! (This is something Hubby and I are BOTH working on. We recognize that sometimes taking sarcasm too far makes one or the other of us start to feel unloved.)
  • Avoiding nagging is, I think, a very big step in learning to respect your husband. Many women, including myself, have an almost uncontrollable urge to nag. (Only a slight exaggeration!) But when we nag our husbands, we end up feeling like their mothers, and they end up feeling like children. That is not respect, and, of course, we know this. It’s just hard to overcome sometimes! My friend recently suggested putting myself into the mindset of a personal secretary rather than a mom. It’s not a perfect analogy, but thinking this way helps me sometimes to remember that I should respectfully remind him of things and then trust his judgment about which to do and when to do them, rather than nagging him.
  • Also like a secretary, I should take things into my own hands when possible. For instance, at my former job, I wouldn’t have asked my boss to do much of anything I could do myself. That’s not to say that wives should slave all week while husbands become couch potatoes, but I think you get the idea.

2. Praising

  • I can no longer even count the number of sources that have told me about praising my husband. I hear it everywhere. Men respond positively to praise, and husbands respond very positively to praise from their wives in particular! It’s good to try not to criticize or nag, but it’s better to take it a step further and look for things your husband is doing that you can praise.
  • Praise and support go hand in hand. As I praise Hubby’s accomplishments, I show appreciation for what he’s done, but I can also praise his efforts to let him know I support everything he’s trying to do, whether or not things go as planned.
  • I try to put my admiration into words, so that my husband knows I see his hard work that sometimes seems unseen by everyone else. I want him to know that I notice how much hard work he puts into his job, even if he doesn’t feel he gets recognition for it at work.

3. Helping

“The Purpose of A Woman: God said, ‘I will make him a(n) ezer’ (Genesis 2:18).”
Hem of His Garment Bible Study

  • Many Christian wives work hard at doing things like cooking, housekeeping, parenting, and organizing in an effort to be a help-meet for their husbands, and I think that many non-Christians look at those women and think “servant” or, worse, “slave.” But that’s not it at all! Helping is not the same as serving, despite how it may appear from the outside. When God created Eve and said she was to be a helper, the Hebrew word used (ezer) is the same word as is found in the following verse:

“I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2

  • I can help my husband by keeping the house managed for him, so that he doesn’t have to. I can learn what his life goals are and help him to meet them. I can help by praying for him. I can help in little things, like doing a chore I know he’s dreading. I can help him relax using, among other things, this list. And I can also help him by encouraging him to be a spiritual leader.
  • The help I give my husband is something God designed me for, and it should be thought of in the same way as God’s help for us. In other words, it’s the power and strength of God working through us so we can do what he designed us to do – help our husbands. It’s not good for man to be alone! In other words, we wives are needed. It’s good to be needed.

In the Army

One other thing I was thinking about is how being a Christian wife might look different for those of us in the Army. I will probably have even more thoughts on this after we’ve gone through a deployment together.

For those of you readers who may already have a greater understanding of this, let me ask you: How is your relationship with your husband affected by deployments and long periods of “independence” followed by times of getting back into the groove of marriage? How do you respect your husband when there is so much distance between the two of you? Do you find it difficult?

Two P’s

Above all, I think that the best way to learn how to be a Christian wife is through prayer and practice. I’ve been praying for God to help me learn to be the wife he wants me to be since about a year before Hubby and I started dating, and I’ve been practicing for about a year now. I have not arrived by any means; I still struggle, but I’m still trying. My husband and my God are kind enough to lovingly forgive my shortcomings. I’m so grateful for their patience with me.

I would encourage any and all of you to begin praying now if you never have before, whether you’re single or have been married for years. God will always answer prayers that are in line with his will for your life, so if you’re asking for him to help you become the Christian wife he wants for you to be, he will definitely help you!

My New Impossible Dream

I’m not usually one for dreams. I have an imagination, and I have goals, but I’m too grounded for dreams. At least, until recently. Somehow rational Michy hasn’t been able to squash her own dreams lately. In fact, I’ve come up with some doozies that not too long ago I would have instantly dismissed because they are impossible. But I’m not complaining! In fact, I’m excited about this new ability I have to dream impossible dreams and work towards exciting goals.

So here’s the story. Hubby and I were driving, and I was looking out the window, thinking about our future. How great would it be to one day open up a store, like we’ve talked of doing? And then I saw it. The perfect land. Near the developed highway, just outside of town, along the side where an access road already exists, was a big chunk of land just waiting to be developed. I told Hubby that I want it. I want that land. I described to him that I wanted to build a store, but behind it would be our house. It would be attached, but you wouldn’t be able to access the house from the store. The house entrance would be in the back, and it would look just like a normal house. And the store would just look like a normal store front, with no hint of the house in the back. Perfect!

Realistic? Who cares?

It’s a dream.

One day, though, I do want to own a piece of land like that.

What about you? Do you have any impossible dreams that you are trying to make work?