Losing Weight

I’ve been debating whether to talk about this on my blog or not for a few days and finally decided I should just go for it!

As a kid I always thought I was fat – my brother told me I was. While I was in college my foot started hurting and my grandfather told me that if I lost 10 lbs it wouldn’t hurt (yes, it would because it had a stress fracture that was left untreated and then shattered – to this day it has not healed). I thought I was fat. But, looking back many years later, this does not look fat!Thailand

But now, as my kids are that age, I have gained a lot of weight. And, much as I really hate to say it, I am fat! I want to eat way more than this middle-aged body can burn off! But it is not healthy for me to be at this weight – feet problems, diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are just a few of the potential difficulties I’ll have as long as I don’t lose weight, not to mention needing new, bigger clothes.  Yet, I have no will power and eat just a few (many) chips, some really good chocolate, a yummy donut, a free sample of anything, or ______ (you fill in the blank)! And at the end of the day I’m disappointed in myself, again.

So why am I sharing all this? Recently I heard about a company called Healthy Wage. I was fascinated by their claim – This challenge lets you make a personal weight loss bet. You can experiment with different bets and prizes – just plug in your goal, time frame and the amount of cash you’re willing to put on the line. I could decide how many pounds I want to lose, how long it would take me to lose it and gasp – how much money I was willing to bet I could do it.

If you know me, you know that I love free and I HATE losing money! With a passion! If I bet this money I would not want to lose it for anything! (The bonus is that if I lose the weight in the time I set, I get money from them.)  I did a quick check on-line of the company and it appears to be legit – no red flags there. I talked to a couple of people who told me that this is really my language – I am way too cheap to let someone I don’t even know have my money (yes, my daughter offered to have me give her money if I couldn’t lose weight but I give her money all the time so what’s the incentive there?).  Even my Dad said it sounded like something that would hold me accountable.

On March 5 I bravely stepped on the scale while my daughter videotaped me, the scale and a newspaper (to verify the date) so I could begin the challenge.  Yes, I am betting real money that I can lose 30lbs in 9 months.  I can reweigh between Nov 21 and Dec 5 but I lose my money if I am not down 30lbs (or more) by then!

Every time I want to eat something now, I think, is this worth that money?? No, I’m not starving myself. I have read enough about diets and know enough to know that yes, I need some fat and protein and carbs in my diet. I need fiber and calcium. Avocados are good and so are nuts and seeds – all in moderation. But is that cakepop worth losing my money? Is that piece of bread so fabulous that I’m out my money? Will that pie make me happy in December when I don’t get the prize?  Do I really need that sugary sweet that will just make me want more?

At 20 days into this – remember I have 8 months before I can do my weighout – I have lost 11 lbs. I am motivated and I even want to exercise – a little – to help the progress along! I’m even sharing this now so others will know about my goal, which is hard because what if I fail?

Obviously this isn’t for everyone – if losing money or gaining money doesn’t motivate you it’s not for you. But, if this intrigues you, like it did me, check it out! I would love to have others join me in this challenge – to have someone who gets it when I say I want to eat so bad!!! Here’s the link and I think if you join with this link you get an extra prize as do I.

http://www.healthywage.com/referral/healthywager/name-your-own-prize/82032012300057

So, check back with me in a few months and see how I am doing!

(Here’s a photo taken just 4 days into the challenge – taken at Magic Kingdom with Rapunzel)

Rapunzel

Can Biblical characters come to life?

9781601426017

At eighty-six, Miriam has devoted her entire life to loving El Shaddai and serving His people as both midwife and messenger. Yet when her brother Moses returns to Egypt from exile, he brings a disruptive message. God as a new name – Yahweh – and has declared a radical deliverance for the Israelites.

Miriam and her beloved family face an impossible choice: cling to familiar bondage or embrace uncharted freedom at an unimaginable cost. Even if the Hebrews survive the plagues set to turn the Nile to blood and unleash a maelstrom of frogs and locusts, can they weather the resulting fury of Pharaoh?

Enter an exotic land where thousands of pagan deities are worshiped. Pharaohs rule, and the Israelites cry out to a God they only think they understand.

 

Wow! What a powerful retelling of the story of Moses through the eyes of Miriam, his sister! Miriam is eighty-six and has a special relationship with God – El Shaddai. But when Moses comes back to Egypt, God stops using Miriam and starts speaking to Moses. Miriam is realistically jealous. Therefore, through the novel as I gained insight to ancient Egypt, the Hebrews and the plagues, I also read a story about jealousy and learning to forgive. And then, to make the novel even more appealing to me, there are also some love stories woven through the story, one of which is about a man who is totally immersed in his work yet learns to love.

The fictionalization of the account also allows the author to expand a single verse to make it so much more noteworthy to me and I understood better why things happened – or could have happened – the way they did. In Exodus 9:10 it says, “So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on men and animals.” In this book it expands the beginning of the verse to this –

Moses and Abba Aaron had gained entry through the armory gates and were headed toward Eleazar.

The metal worker leaned close and chuckled. “Aren’t they the Hebrew magicians? Maybe they’ll set the Hittites free too.”

Eleazar rushed to meet them, hoping to send them on their way before Prince Ram arrived for their sparring session. “What are you doing here?”

Moses kept walking. “Yahweh told us to collect ashes from a furnace.” … He stepped around him and walked directly to the central Hittite furnace and greeted the chief iron worker. “I’ll need some soot to take to the throne hall.”

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down! Although the setting is ancient and much history is revealed, there is nothing new under the sun. The verbal exchanges were real and engaging. At one point Eleazar is angry at Miriam so he ‘crouched beside Miriam, spewing his anger less than a handbreadth from her face. “And why would you risk my wife’s life to save a man (Moses) who’s had more military training than I have and won more battles than the reigning King of Egypt?” Miriam turned away. “Well, when you put it that way, it sounds ridiculous, but I was worried about my broth—”‘

This novel makes me remember that the characters in the Bible were real people with real feelings and emotions and challenges. I highly recommend this book as it not only is a fascinating story, it also brings a story in the Bible to life.I received this book from Blogging for Books in return for my honest opinion.

 

Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes and numerous other novels including The Pharaoh’s Daughter. Her deep understanding of–and love for– God’s Word brings the biblical world alive for readers. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy and enjoys traveling to visit her growing tribe of grandchildren.