On Becoming a Trim Healthy Mama

It’s Saturday morning.  It’s raining.  It’s a good day to lay on the couch under a blanket and overdo Netflix and searching the internet for all kinds of things you had no idea were so important or that you needed. 😉 At least that’s how my day seems to be starting out.

The transitions in my life seem to be smoothing out a bit although there’s still a bump here or there.  At least as far as being employed is concerned.  The bottom line is I’m very high maintenance for myself.  That really makes no sense unless you’re also a type A personality with OCD.  I’m working through it with God’s grace and strength and I know the outcome will be for my good and His glory.

There’s been another pretty big change going on in my life personally that’s also been tough to handle at times.  My battle with weight, body image, and food.  I know I’m not alone in this.  Just look at the diet industry and the billions they make on selling the perfect plan to get you perfectly healthy and the perfect body.  Most of it is garbage and not worth a second glance.  I only became sold on what I’m about to share with you because my friend, Sarah, had this book and I saw the difference I was making for her.

I went to visit my PA People (that would be my friends and family near Philly where I’m originally from) and stayed with Sarah and her family.  She had a book called Trim Healthy Mama and one night I read a couple chapters and decided it was worth it to buy that book and read the whole thing.  I fully intended to order the book when I got back from that trip well over a year ago.  I didn’t.  Totally forgot.

This summer we went on vacation with 4 other families to the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Best vacation so far!  Sarah brought her Trim Healthy Mama book and let me taste some of the things she was making and eating on this “diet.”  I saw that it was working for her and since I’ve been gluten free for years and dairy free for about 6 months, I thought I could manage it too.

After vacation I ordered the book from Amazon.  That was the beginning of July, and I’ve been messing around with this eating plan since.  I’ve not been what the book calls “on plan” 100% of the time but I’ve definitely lost inches and a few pounds.  Mostly because this plan shuns sugar and works to keep your levels, well, level.  I’ve not used sugar in things in a long time.  I switched to stevia a few years ago, but when I realized how sugar is in nearly EVERY processed or packaged food, it was alarming.  And kind of annoying.  Now I have to read labels for sugar as well as gluten!   I’d had some weird symptons lately and the doctor did a blood panel.  I was concerned diabetes could be the problem.  Nope.  I’m fine.  I want to stay fine, so I’ve been following this Trim Healthy Mama way of eating for over a month now.

I’ve seen huge benefits in how I feel (I have much more energy), and my pain level (arthritis is definitely better), but it’s been hard too.  The best thing about THM (Trim Healthy Mama) is that it is biblibally based!  There’s a whole chapter on food and what God says about it in the Bible.  There are no food groups excluded!  I love dairy and was blaming it for a lot of my digestive and pain problems.  Turns out the culprite was sugar.  Now I’m back on dairy and loving my eggs with cheese!  Cheese is my friend!

I will say the science behind the eating plan is tough to comprehend sometimes, especially if you’ve been a yo-yo dieter your whole life.  It’s amazingly sound though and can make sense if you give it time.  The two most important things:  read the WHOLE book before you start and make use of the online facebook community and helps they’ve come up with.  That part is the only reason I’ve had any success!   This is not something I’m doing to get skinny.  I just want to be healthy.  This is how I’ll be eating the rest of my life.  I’m ok with that.  It’ll be something I talk about it.  A lot.  If you want to see the original mamas who put this plan together, check them out here.  Some of you old school, Christian music fans may recognize them.

Happy Saturday, friends!  I challenge you to make at least one healthy choice for yourselves today 🙂

*Off topic, but I need to make one other book recommendation!  My friend, Jenny Simmons, book was released this past week: The Road to Becoming.  It is SO good!  I read it way back when it was just a document emailed to me and it helped me recognize God in some big life hurdles.  Now I’m so excited to have it in hand, bound and with a really cool cover.  If you pair it with her CD (you can get it on itunes), you will be so ministered to!  Check them both out and be blessed in the becoming!

Grace in the Transition

That was a really long sabbatical from writing!  It’s both nice to find this space still here, but also goes to show once you put something out there on the net it’s always out there.  That part’s a little scary.

“So, what’s been going on, Mongold?”  I’m so glad you asked!  Life has happened in all it’s glory.  A quick update on the fam…Marissa is almost 21 (in less than two weeks!)  That’s just crazy.  She’s in her junior year at Valparaiso University for Elementary Education and loving it.  You can also find her at the mall working at Build-a-Bear on the weekends.   Bekah is 19 and a sophomore at Indiana University Northwest for musical theater, involved in community theater, and being a princess at A Spoonful of Magic Princess Parties.  Both girls still live at home and commute to school.  Alisha is a junior in high school and in advanced orchestra this year while taking five AP/dual credit classes.  She’s 16 and trying to accumulate her 50 hours of driving time so she can get her license.  I will rejoice when that day comes as my ferrying days will be over! Phil is good. He doesn’t change.  Solid and dependable as they come.  I thank God for him and his character daily!

Now comes the lengthy part.  All the change that’s been happening in my life.  There’s been a lot!  The biggest change is my job.  We went to the same church for 18 years, then six years ago felt it was time to move on.  We landed at Bethel Church and have grown in our walk with God since.  For 13 years I was part of the daycare/school of our former church.  See the overlap? Yeah…it was stressful at times during those 5 years, but God walked me through it and I learned a lot about myself, about Him and His grace in that time. The 2014/2015 school year was my last there.  It was so hard to make that decision.  Going from what’s known, even if it’s become a place of pain, to the unknown is really hard for me.  Through much prayer, Bible study, the support of Celebrate Recovery, and a good therapist I’m finding God’s grace in this time of transition.

I’m a type A personality all the way.  I want to do things perfectly right the first time.  Think Mary Poppins.  I’d like to be “practically perfect in every way” even if that’s not a realistic goal.  If I don’t…well, it can get ugly in my brain and sadly, sometimes spill out onto others in not so nice or encouraging ways. I do NOT have a poker face, even if I have disciplined myself to keep my words in.

At the end of the school year I started looking for other teaching positions right away.  I came to find out that even if you have taught and managed daycare classrooms from newborn to middle school, taught Pre-Kindergarten for almost a decade, taught full day Kindergarten for two years, and many children to read and read well, if you didn’t go to college and you don’t have a degree you are not qualified for more than monitoring kids at lunch and recess.  Even in private, Christian schools, and some preschools.  I get it.  I really do.  They want people with the skills and knowledge needed to teach children correctly and professionally.  It doesn’t matter that I know I have these skills, or that I could easily get hundreds of signatures saying I do…it means nothing.

That was a hard hit to take.  I had an inkling that this would be the case when I left my former position, I just hoped I would the exception to their rules.  One thing I’ve learned over this last summer is to trust God and walk in humility.  I tutored preschool through elementary aged kids all summer (first summer I’ve had to work in 13 years!) and that was challenging.  I really enjoyed it though and should those clients or new ones call, I will continue to tutor.  I was offered four jobs: a less-than-part-time preschool position, a less-than-part-time, private school 3rd grade aide position (but in the school I most wanted to work in), subbing in a local public school district, and a part-time PreK position.  I accepted the PreK position at Thornridge Preschool. The director of the school and I immediately hit it off and I felt it was more important for me to work with encouraging, positive people than anything else.

I’ve officially been there two weeks, and have had four days with my new class of 23 students.  The changes between what I’ve known for 13 years and what I need to do now are like sunrise, and sunset.  They are the same, but different.  Both beautiful, but one ends a day and one begins.  I really thought going from a 4 minute commute to a 25 minute commute would be the hardest part.  That’s been something I actually enjoy!  The time in my car, by myself, with MY music choices and nothing other than paying attention to driving is kind of cool.  I have an aide, Ms. Michelle, and parent volunteers EVERY DAY.  That’s ridiculously amazing!  It’s only a preschool/PreK program, not daycare, and there are a lot of benefits that come with that, and a few down sides.  Still it’s different.  Very different from what I’ve been doing for a long time.

Change is inevitable, but in reality I’ve worked very hard to control what changes took place in my life all the while praying and asking God to change me and my circumstances.  Type A control freak…that’s me.  I own it and am working to change that too.  Now that change is happening, I’m fighting it in my heart and my mind!   What a woman of inconsistencies I am!  Much like Peter as Pastor Steve spoke about last week.  It’s a great message if you have time to listen or watch.  The more I think about the changes in my heart and in my life over the past year, I realize that a lot of what I prayed for has happened.  God answered, but in ways that are stretching me.  The good kind of stretching.  This is where I’m finding grace in the transition.

I hope you can see that He offers you that same grace through your life transitions!

*Next time I plan on telling you all about an awesome change that’s taken place!  Keep watch 😉