WIW: No More School, Back to Basics





I feel like I am possibly a little more excited about this fact than the man-child. I think it’s because he got out of school a few weeks before any of his buddies and is therefore a little “bored”. We did however get outside today in the GORGEOUS weather to tackle some yard work. IT WAS FABULOUS!

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Behold The Yard

With the official start of summer right around the corner, it seems like a great time to “Re-Vamp” my Weigh-In Wednesday posts.
My friend Kim started the #wiwgals, and I have continued using it as a way to connect with and encourage others of the Weigh-In Wednesday Community. So for updates during the week, you can often find me that way. I also still feel that “weigh-in” is about so much more than a number on a scale. It’s about the whole journey, sharing and encouraging one another on towards our goals. In three simple words for me, it’s about Faith, Friends, and Fitness.

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In addition to the Limitless Life study, I am going to revisit something I said earlier in the year I was going to do (and then didn’t) – each Wednesday I am going to re-read one chapter of Made To Crave. There was so much in that study and it went by so quickly, that I just feel it would be beneficial for me to go through it again at my own pace and much slower.

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Especially because in my quest for health and fitness, I don’t want to replace the idol of food with an idol of fitness. I honesty want this part of my life to be dependent on God and to bring Glory to Him.

This week as I’m heading back to basics with things like meal planning, food prepping, and water drinking – the following verse is the one I find myself meditating on to be focused on His strength and not my own.

“But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” ~1 Corinthians 9:27



In addition to using #wiwgals to join a great community of women, I also reached out to an online friend who has inspired me over the last year with her discipline and dedication towards health and fitness. Amy is first an online friend whom I hope to get to know better, and secondly a Beachbody coach.  With my husband’s continued support and Amy holding me accountable and helping me to think of some plans and goals, I am feeling supported and ready to tackle the fitness program I picked out. (Thanks Amy for the recommendations!)



For those who have been around awhile, you know that Power90 has historically been my program of choice for fitness and exercise. That and the few attempts of 30 Day Shred.
I needed something different. Something that would be short term and help me to get back to the basics on fitness and nutrition. After looking over a few recommendations, I decided to go with the 21 Day Fix.

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 I am going to go ahead and say for the record – If Tony Horton and Jillian Michaels had a baby, it would be Autumn Calabrese. THIS I am convinced of. 

Yesterday was Day One. You might be able to tell I had some fear going into that first workout.  photo Day1d_zps476ad993.jpgIt was TOUGH. No joke. By the end, I felt GREAT. I could tell I’d really gotten in some good exercise. This morning I woke up and I was sore. Not so sore that I can’t continue, just the kind of sore that says “whew…haven’t worked THAT muscle out in awhile”. It’s very cardio focused. Which I’m OK with, especially since I’ve had to pause my C25K training due to my running shoes blowing out. I have a feeling it will be very much like 30 Day Shred in soreness. Meaning that it’ll get worse before it starts to go away. We’ll see.

The nutrition part is EASY. I need easy. Easy helps me to get on track. After sitting down and doing a minimal amount of math, I made myself some cheat sheets and cleared off a prepping area in the kitchen.

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I have made an effort to pre-plan and prepare my meals in advance. The hubs is also following the nutritional plan for the 21 days with me. (THANK YOU SUPPORTIVE HUBS!). I even made one of the salad dressings from Autumn’s recipes in the back of the book. IT IS DELICIOUS.

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Day One meals were tasty, filling, and easy to make. Every day for me is going to look pretty much the same. I personally find that it’s much easier to stick to healthy eating when you’re not trying to “make something new” every single day. The other thing I like about this plan, is that it will be MUCH easier to eat out when needed. Such as family gatherings and potlucks. I don’t have a ton coming up, however, I do have a few. Being able to navigate them while staying on target with my goals is the key.

It’s really about self-control and discipline. Qualities I want to grow in because I find they are valuable. There is a reason scripture touches on these two things repeatedly. I’m hoping through this refocused journey and prayer, the Lord will not only grow me in the area of food and exercise, that He will reveal to me other areas of my life I also need to apply this too as well.

How are your goals? On track? Time to re-evaluate or start over? Share in the comments or provide your WIW blog link in the comments so we can encourage one another. Also remember to #wiwgals if you are looking for a community to tap into during the week.


Weigh In Wednesday: Sometimes It’s About What’s On The Fridge

I have successfully completed my first full week of tracking my calories, sticking to my meal plans, and exercising. Each daily victory fuels me for a new day, and each victory has become a prompt to give praises to God.

Every week since starting the Made To Crave Bible study I have been putting a sign on my fridge. (The signs are free to print from the MTC Website) During the study we had weekly Bible Verses to focus on. I wrote my verse on my sign and hung it on the fridge at eye level.

I have to say, having Truth on my fridge has been INCREDIBLE. I encourage EVERYONE to do this. You will find yourself drawn to old habits, a fridge that whispers lies of fulfillment during times of stress, boredom, and worry. As you reach for the handle and your eyes finally look up from whatever they have been “fixed” on (the stress, the boredom, the worry) they will then be confronted with words of TRUTH. Oh what a blessing in a moment of weakness to behold that truth!

When I began the Action Plan study, new weekly versus were also given. I am now going back through my fridge signs to add a new verse to each one. I’ve decided that this will be part of MY Action Plan – every week to have a sign on my fridge with a verse I can cling to in times of temptation. This week’s verse has been wonderful in the face of some temptations I have had this week. Especially the chocolate kind.


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Speaking of chocolate, I did have one day where I indulged in a few extra pieces. The temptation was to grab another handful. Instead, I logged into MyFitnessPal and added in my chocolate candies. Just like that, 200 calories was quickly added to my daily nutrition. Seeing the numbers was a convicting reality of my old habits already attempting to resurface. It prompted me to ask myself these questions:

Why am I craving this chocolate? Because I’m tired, I’m slightly grumpy, and somewhere inside I am believing the lie that that chocolate is what will make it all better.
What is the truth about my craving? It won’t make it all better. It won’t change anything and the pleasure the candy will provide will be fleeting at best. The two minutes it took to eat the first handful of chocolate didn’t make the issue better, a second handful won’t either.
What do I truly need right now? God. The love and care of a God who wants me wanting Him more than candy. A God who is WORTHY of my love and my cravings far more than any piece of candy. I also need to tell someone about THIS specific temptation, to bring it out into the open, to pour light on it and let the light unveil it for what it is.

I didn’t get that second handful of candy. Instead, I closed my eyes and whispered “Lord, help me to say no. Help me to capture these thoughts of candy and instead rest securely in You. Help me to be focused on You, not on me.” Then, I told my husband as soon as he came home. I told him because sometimes, just saying it out-loud makes it all the more real. A real battle. A real struggle. A real victory. My husband hugged me and encouraged me. In that moment, that hug was what I needed more than candy. That assurance. The love from God poured out through my husband. All of which I would not have received had I just “kept quiet” and tried to move on without a word.

I spoke last week about accountability. Maybe that’s what “saying it out-loud” is really about. Continuing to hold myself accountable to others. Continuing to check in with my mom and my husband.

This week has been a great week. This week I also discovered a very easy and DELICIOUS soup. 2 cartons of vegetable broth, 2 chicken breast boiled in water until almost completely cooked, then shredded up, a bag of frozen broccoli, a bag of frozen Normandy blend vegetables, and 1 3/4 cups of barley. All in one pot, all cooked up. DELICIOUS. I determined that there were 15 servings (1 serving = 1 Cup). Per serving 165 calories/ 5g of fiber/ 22g of protein/ and 21g of carbs. I WILL be cooking this up again.

Moving forward, I also want to focus on “feeding” my mind. Why? Because I’m realizing that what goes into my mind affects so many things, and it’s right in line with my “power verse” for my health journey this year (1 Timothy 4:8). Today I created a playlist of music for my workouts. Some great lyrics and some great bands, I’m going to try and find a way and share that with ya’ll next week.

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My goals this week? Continue my previous weeks goals. I’m choosing to not add anything new at this point. I’m happy with my progress thus far and I’m looking forward to the week ahead.

How are you doing on your goals this week? If you’d like to connect on MyFitnessPal, then please send me a request and let’s encourage one another through the week as we strive to better our health.

Created by MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

In Love & Faith,

Weigh In Wednesday: The Reality of Accountability

A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step according to a Chinese proverb, and while I certainly agree with this, all of those steps can turn pretty lonely when we find ourselves walking up-hill through mud in a rain storm.

I’m discovering people, like me, who come again and again to a cycle of frustration and failure when it comes to a healthier lifestyle do so because it is their struggle. Some people struggle with lying. Some struggle with anger. Some struggle with pornography. I struggle with a lack of discipline to limit my over-indulgent desires on sugary/cheesy/unhealthy foods and developing a stop-being-lazy-and-get-up-and-exercise attitude.

I know God has the power and ability to “flip a switch” and instantly set me free from any struggle. He is the Almighty and All-Powerful God, so of COURSE He CAN do this.

He is just choosing not to.

2 Corinthians 12 9

I’m beginning to see beauty in a struggle.
The beauty is I keep coming back to Him. I am depending on Him, trusting Him to help me through it, and turning to Him multiple times through-out the day as I find myself battling between an old me and a new me. As I learn to be thankful for this process, realizing without I would lose my need to fall before Him again and again, I’m also acutely aware of a need to share some of these difficult steps with others. On a deep down gut wrenching brutally honest level.

So I reached out to two people this week. To one I said “Hey, I need encouragement. Encouragement to not fall into the same self-defeating patterns of self-condemnation and self-ridicule on my less-than-stellar days because they WILL come.” To another I said, “I need accountability to DO what I say I am going to DO. To develop the self-discipline I’ve been struggling with as of late and do the things that I know are going to be beneficial for me.

The one is my mom. We send each other a daily email and/or text. I ask her if she met her goals and she asks me if I met mine. When we don’t meet a goal, we share why we didn’t meet it, and what we LEARNED from not meeting it. Then we focus on MOVING forward.

The other is my husband. He got the down-and-dirty job of being an accountability partner with exercise. Some may think this a dangerous move for a happy marriage. So I share with you a little story.

Yesterday I had a great day with my son and his school mates on a class trip. I was gone from home all day, and so by the time we got back, I went straight to the couch. I love my couch. The right side of the couch, next to the window, is MY side. The pillow knows my shape and curves around me in a wonderful way as I sink down into the depths of the couch. Legs tucked up underneath, leaned onto the big side arm supporting my laptop, THIS is my picture perfect lazy space.

Cue ringing phone.

It’s the hubs calling to ask about my day and share about his on his way home from work. After a few minutes of light happy conversation comes the dreaded question… “Did you exercise yet today honey?”
For the next five minutes my husband with all gentleness (and firmness of not backing down) encourages me to exercise. For all five minutes I respond with turning him down. Every. Single. Time.

“I’m really tired right now.”
“I’m just not feeling it.”
“I’ll do it tomorrow.”

Those are just a few examples of the many responses I came up with in five minutes. So, my darling hubs pulled out the big guns.

“Sweetheart, you told me to help keep you accountable, what can I do to help you do your exercise today?”

Drat. He threw in the term of endearment and reminded me that this was all my idea to begin with. So I relent ever so slightly with a “OK, I’ll do a LIGHT workout on the elliptical. Just enough to maybe count as cardio”. He cheers me on, and I get off the phone.
And before I know it, I’m sucked right back into my comfy spot, laptop screen burning into my eyes with the sound of a TV in the background. Did I mention the discipline struggle I’m having lately?
Cue phone ringing.
It’s hubs.

“You’re still on the couch aren’t you? Did you change? Got your workout shoes on yet?”

My response. I laughed. I mean LAUGHED. I laughed so hard I couldn’t speak, tears nearly rolling down my face. The big deep belly laughter that comes from within and just keeps pouring out. I laughed at my own ridiculous self. I laughed at the sweetness of a hubs who knows me better than I know myself at the moment. When I was done laughing, I got up, changed into my workout clothes, laced up my workout shoes (all on the phone mind you, because hubs was NOT letting me off a second time until I was actually ON the elliptical) and did my exercise for the day.

It was beneficial. For my heart. For my mind. For my body. Not only did it give me some time to think about myself, praying to the Lord again for my weaknesses and thanking Him for His strength, it also allowed me some time to reflect on the blessing of my mother and husband. The blessing of the online friends I’ve made as we share our journeys. The blessings the Lord is pouring around me so that these steps I’m taking, I’m taking with Him, and with others.

The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step. The journey is precious because it is a journey that leads to dependence on God, and is shared in life with others.

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My focus this week is exercise! I’m accomplishing this focus with accountability and prayer. I also am continuing my other goals (fiber intake, water, and fish!). The fish part is the most difficult for me as it’s not an item I’m overly familiar with. I actually know maybe one or two recipes with fish total, and that will get old fast. So that class trip I told you about? Well it was to the Maine State Library, where I got a card and checked out this gem.
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I’ll be going through this bad boy this week and writing down some of the most delicious sounding recipes to try with upcoming fish meals.

How are you doing on your health journey? Do you have some goals this week? If so, how do you plan to keep yourself accountable to those goals? Let’s share with one another so we can encourage one another on this journey together.

In Love & Faith,

Made To Crave Action Plan participants, join me on the Facebook page for weekly quotes and FB cover photos you can use as you go through the plan. Remember once the study is over, it doesn’t mean our journey ends. Let’s continue to check in with one another every Wednesday so we don’t lose the valuable information we’ve learned these last 9 weeks together! You can also join me at Kim’s every Wednesday for WIW!