with a little help from my friends (or how I lost 20 lbs)

I’ve been having so much fun doing strive for five with you guys! It almost makes me not want to stop blogging about it on Tuesdays in October when we’ll shift our focus to a spiritual challenge! I was thinking about possibly continuing to blog about food/eating/recipes/being healthy on another day because I’ve personally enjoyed it & have loved hearing from many of you how strive for five has been going & the creative things you’ve been doing to challenge yourself to eat healthier.  So what do you think- keep blogging about food stuff on another day besides Tuesdays? In October we’ll focus on the challenge of integrating prayer into our daily routine but I’d love to help keep us encouraged to continue healthy eating habits. Let me know what you think!

My sweet friend Michelle sent me this email recently & I asked her if I could post it in my blog today to encourage others:

Hi Jessica,

I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated your blog about striving for five. I’ve been taking your challenge seriously for over a week now, and lost 2.8 pounds last week! I’ve been following Weight Watchers, but never really paid attention to their suggestion to get 5 servings in each day. I can’t believe the difference… especially in my mindset. Instead of thinking about what I should be avoiding, I’m thinking about when I’m going to eat my servings. It really has made a massive change in me… hopefully to stay. Anyway, just thought you’d like to hear it!

Thanks, girl!
Michelle

words of affirmation are one of the ways I feel most loved so this meant a lot to me! I hope it encourages you too- to either start doing strive for five or to keep at it! With women, so much can be about competition and comparison especially when it comes to our bodies. I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t struggle with this at times especially when I see how cute skinny jeans look on other people but am horrified that they seemingly magnify the size of my thighs so that I look like a giant pair of thighs with a head floating above them.

Michelle’s email was particularly encouraging for me both because it’s nice to know that what I’m writing isn’t just floating out there into blog abyss. But it was also encouraging because Michelle is a writer, and the author of this awesome book Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets that Victoria Won’t Tell You.

we are bombarded with images that make us dissatisfied with ourselves.

we are bombarded with images that make us dissatisfied with ourselves.

I’m thankful that many of the women I interact with encourage each other to make healthy choices rather than make those offhand digs that you often find in conversations. You know what I’m talking about- “wow, those jeans look great on you! you must eat nothing besides celery!” “I could never get away with a dress like that!” ugh. I hate comments like this- is there any diplomatic way to respond?

A few of the biggest encouragements for me have been the women who love to eat and to enjoy life while doing so in moderation.  That’s the key right? Yet it is so rare to find.  The women in my book club love to eat and try new foods- we’re meeting this Wednesday to discuss “The Memory Keepers Daughter” (awesome book!). I can’t wait to see  what everyone brings for us to snack on! My mom and sister have also been a great encouragement too- both of them love to cook and are really creative in the kitchen- I am amazed at the stuff my sister can just whip up!  We have all had our struggles with a healthy perspective on weight in some way or another but it’s been great to have family members that try to balance the enjoyment of pecan pie at Thanksgiving with a healthy serving of asparagus during the meal. Lastly, I stumbled upon a blog called Carrots n’ Cake– a food blog devoted to healthy balance when I was looking for a Real Simple recipe a few months ago.  Tina, the blogger simply writes about her daily food & exercise choices & for whatever reason it is so motivating to see what this is like in the life of a regular person- not in the pages of a slick magazine or on the latest episode of Access Hollywood. I read Tina’s blog regularly & it’s been a fun way to see different ways to eat oatmeal (who knew there could be so many possibilities!) and learn about new foods or workouts.  When I found this site I forwarded the link to all my girlfriends because I enjoyed it so much!

Who are people in your life that help you to make healthy choices?  One of the biggest struggles can feel like you’re doing it alone- without the help of people at your gym, workplace, family or friends. So let’s keep encouraging each other!


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