building muscle, and some pretty things

One thing I’m starting to enjoy on a deep level is flour grinding. There’s something so ancient and elemental about it.

I grind in our BlendTec blender and sift and regrind what doesn’t sift

I’m starting the Curves diet again. I’ve lost muscle and gained fat the last two years because I haven’t followed their maintenance plan. Life has been stressful, so I’ve been debating which is more stressful– life responsibilities/events and using eating as a support, or the stress of gaining weight. It stresses me to gain weight.

So I’m starting their eating plan. I had lovely success last time. However, this first week was a total bust– I allowed myself some high-fat but healthy foods–homemade butter in my coffee, coconut sugar in my coffee, coffeecoffeecoffee, full-fat homemade yogurt … you get the point.

So the first week I actually lost weight, but it was all muscle and I gained fat. I’m so glad for this weighing thing that actually measures what is coming and going! Sheesh. Pulling back into strict mode with the diet.

But I just wanted to say that I’m so happy to be doing this again. And I joined their food school– a nine-week group for education, support, camaraderie. It is a lot of fun!

I love cooking in certain ways. I don’t always love it. But it’s a lovely craft that I enjoy and find beautiful, when I have time to approach it that way.

Polish pottery tea cup

losing weight again, post 2

So I posted about this in Sept. and now it’s November. Just like that.

I’ve switched myself to healthy eating (no white sugar, no processed foods) for the most part, and am intermittent fasting. I love coffee, so I made that part of my routine. Coffee with coconut sugar, coconut oil, collagen, butter sometimes, and a few other healthy things. I love having that 🙂

I’ve lost 20 lbs compared to what I was when we left the States end of June. Some I just dropped from coming back to Ukraine. Some from starting regular Curves exercising, some now from eating less/better.

So, I just wanted to record this. I’m around 163 lbs right now.

I also wanted to record my thanks to God for the medical tests I had done recently– blood sugar normal, BP normal, general blood test results normal, EKG normal. Thank you, Lord.

losing weight again

So, two years ago, I had accomplished losing a lot of weight– gaining muscle, losing fat. I used the Curves eating plan and fitness center.

I actually started losing weight the year I was 39, preparing for turning 40, the year after I’d given birth to our fourth child.

I lost 18 kilograms– that’s 40 pounds.

Since then, I’ve regained 29 pounds (13kg). I actually gained a little more but then lost it in the last month or so.

Our trip to the States, February-July, 2018, I experienced great amounts of stress. Good stress, but a lot of stress– travel, meetings, constantly changing schedule, fatigue, etc. And gaining weight added a lot of stress to me, too.

So, We’ve been back to Ukraine for 7 weeks. I immediately started exercising again, and I started the Curves eating plan again. But I haven’t been sticking to it very well. But today I committed to it, did bulk cooking so I have food to eat, measured out some portions….

But what helped me re-commit was a thought I had last night: “I hate the process of losing weight, but I love having lost weight.”

This was a key thought because Vitaliy is always telling me, You have to learn to love the process. So I started thinking to myself: How can I enjoy the process of losing weight?

So I started thinking about it, and I made a list of things I love about the process of losing weight (not just the result of having lost it), though this list contains both aspects:

  1. I love organizing food
  2. I love going to Curves to exercise.
  3. I love seeing progress.
  4. I love getting into smaller and smaller clothes.
  5. I love gradually seeing more muscle definition and tone in my arms and legs.
  6. I love shopping, planning, and preparing food.
  7. I love measuring/weighing myself.
  8. I love setting and achieving goals.
  9. I love Vitaliy’s compliments.
  10. I love how clothes fit and that I have a wider choice of what to wear.
  11. I love blogging about the process.

Here is a picture of myself that inspires me

I got my first compliment today about losing weight 🙂

my personal health habits

So, around 40, it dawned upon me fairly quickly that, wow, this body’s going to go downhill pretty fast if I don’t become more humble and self-controlled in my habits. And that in order to take care of my family long-term, I need to take care of myself. The realities of my aging body taught me that taking time and money to take care of myself is not selfish, it’s necessary. I’ll pay out one end or the other, so why not pay out of the prophylactic end?

So, over the last 2-4 years, I’ve been regularly incorporating new habits into my lifestyle. Most of these habits I try to do in the morning (except exercise and Bible reading). I have the most energy, drive, and self-control in the AMs, so that’s when I try to get them done, bam,bam,bam. That’s what works for me anyways.

About healthy habits: there are slews of them. I’ve had to experiment and choose ones that fit to my life and my style 🙂 Yours may differ. Important thing is that we’re doing things to maintain our health.

Habit one: Oil pulling with coconut oil for 20 minutes. I do this very first thing. Why? Oil pulling keeps my teeth healthy, removes toxins, and a bunch of other stuff. You can google it.

Habit two: Drinking half to a whole liter of warm, lemon water. Why: To generally clean and alkalize my body.

Habit three: Body brushing. Why: to move my lymph system, which is important to health and immunity.

Habit four: I try to drink half a liter to a liter of green or pink smoothie a day. Why: easily digestible, real nutition.

Habit five: Exercise. I workout at Curves three days a week. Other days, and even on those days, I also try to do one or two Ballet Beautiful workouts (on youtube). I like Curves because it’s just a feminine atmostphere, it’s weightlifting, it’s all women, and it’s community. I like Ballet Beautiful because it’s short time periods, small space friendly, and extremely effective at shaping slender muscles. Why: Maintaining muscle mass, hormone health, overall health.

Habit six: Looking nice. The world wants us to be ever-panting after beauty yet never feeling satisfied with ourselves. On the other side, God created us with a sense of beauty, and He can give us a satisfaction with how He’s made us. I’ve found it important to learn about style and dress in a nice way, (not saying classy even) just generally nice.  I don’t wear makeup every day, but I have starte wearing jewelry a lot more. I love my perm, too. Dressing Your Truth helped me a lot with this.

Habit seven: Being alone. I am at an age with my kids where they can take care of themselves for a while, and we live close to a mall for this reason, so I can be alone and read my Bible, pray, journal, and maintain my personal relationship with God. Why: This is just as much a part of my health as my physical practices. A close relationship wth God is essential to life, especially abundant life. Also, as a heavily-introverted, home schooling SAHM, this is how I maintain myself in the marathon.

So! Those are my health practices as I “embrace” (to use an overused word) aging.

eda, zavtrak, i romantika

еда, завтрак, и романтика

Последнее время, я ищу разные способы, как “добавить” романтику в моей жизни. Для меня, утром очень романтичное время. Особенно с домашной школы– мы не куда не спишим. Можем наслаждаться в этом медленное время.

Я часто хочу фотографировать свой завтрак! Для меня, завтрак очень романтично. Я люблю это время на кухня, когда маленьких ждет свой завтрак, хотят помочь мне налить, мешать, и т.д. Мы часто делаем 2 завтрака, как хоббити (помните, когда Пиппин хотел свой второй завтрак?).

Первый завтрак– что-то украинский и молочный–манка, гречка, овсяанка. Второй, что-то Американский– обычно ваффли или пэнкейки.

Скайла очень любит готовитьь ваффли. Мне очень нравится, что она все сама делает. 

Бабушка передала нам малиновое варение, поэтому, объязательно сделала ваффли!

Малина из своего сада!!! Какие они красивые! Бог так прикрасно сотворяет фрукти и ягоды!

Я на Второй Фазе диета Кервс, и мой выбор сегодня: 2 яйца с помидорами (кстати, я их сбиваю, потом налю их на сковородке для блинчиков– очень вкусно! И овсянка с малиной.

Вот, немножко романтика

our first lice experience

I say “first” because who knows? it might happen again. In fact, it probably will.

So, apparently one or more of the girls got lice from a summer camp. I had never seen lice nor knew what it looked like. However, I have heard friends talking about it– something about combing and stuff. Combing? What special combs?

I always wondered when my time would come….

I didn’t know the girls had lice until someone at church who sat behind us noticed them and told me about it. I’m so glad she told me!

So we went home from church and it started.

We started with some shampoo from the pharmacy. In the shampoo box was The Comb. It’s just a very-small-tinned plastic comb. We did the shampooing, and Vitaliy got out the microscope that a friend had gifted us that has stayed in the shelf until the kids were a bit older.

That microscope with lice is awesome. You can see what’s dead and what’s alive. You can also crush the lice with a fingernail and see if it “pops” to know if it’s dead or alive.

I packed away the couch pillows (where the girls spend a lot of time, and most of the bedding. We slept with sheets so we could wash them daily in hot water. The laundry at first was mountainous. And it took forever, washing things in very hot water.

I also bought Tea Tree oil, poured a bunch with water into a water bottle and sprayed–couches, mattresses, hair, seats, etc. I closed up the girls couch-bed, and they can’t use it untl the appx three weeks are over.

We did the special lice shampoo. Also vinegar with water. Then a lice-spray-thing that supposedly kills everything in one blow. We got dog flea shampoo. And finally, after a week, we decided just to do either WD-40 or diesel. We went with WD-40. We did all of this on everyone Vitaliy buzzed his head, though he didn’t have it, and he buzzed Andre’s head, though he didn’t have it.

blue gloves to wear while combing, dog flea shampoo, combs/brushes in rubbing alcohol (turned blue from brush colors coming off, Para-Plus lice spray.

I honestly did not comb a lot. I did some. Una was easy–fine, short hair (I gave her a cute bob cut, too!) The girls– it was crazy. Vika has very long hair, and Skyla has an extremely sensitive head. After the WD-40, things were dead, dead, dead. Even though empty egg shells were still on their hair.

One day, the last day, we combed in the kitchen at the light, so I could see. We combed for hours. And we cut out every single strand (and a few others) of hair that had an egg on it and checked them all under the microscope. Skyla helped me do this and she was such a help! she checked them all.

see the little, white speck?

Dead, dead, dead.

So, that was our lice experience so far. I’m still being watchful as it’s only been 2-3 weeks. Still doing the dog flea shampoo sometimes, still washing sheets and pillow cases every day. Keeping things bagged up.  We’ll see if it’s over. 🙂

my growth

I’m probably changing the most in these years, in the Lord, and it happens so quickly, that I want to grab a few moments to record some things I’m learning.

This year, God led me to not have any Bible reading goals or plan but to pray for an hour a day. I added in a bit of Bible reading and some Bible studies because I sensed the need to keep that in my heart, but I mostly try to keep really focused on praying. I don’t pray an hour each day, but I’ve prayed an hour most days, and many days something less than that.

I’m pleased and thankful with what God is teaching me through this. And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that other, big-for-me life events are happening during this year. Like having to apply for a Green Card for Vitaliy. Writing a book. And taking on a debt to buy our very own! apartment. (Much more to come on that, if it really happens. It’s all in the works still, and I can’t believe it until it’s a done deal.)

God is changing me through prayer.  Partly, I think because He’s using prayer to raise in me the awareness and understanding of the issues I’m struggling with in my heart. So I can give them over to Him to be transformed.

Like, I realized that I’ve been more focused on how I’m having to give up some life dreams I’ve had. And that I’m not really thankful and grateful to God for how He’s led my life.

This is horrific, because I have a wonderful life that I wouldn’t trade for anything! And I want to be so grateful for this! And I realized that GOD is more interested than I am in me being fruitful for His Kingdom. And He knows better than I how to give me a fruitful life.

And that’s exactly what He’s doing every step of the way.

He is also changing me through Andrew Murray. I’m reading and re-reading the book Humility. I’m glad I’m sowing the seeds of this in my heart. God will make it bear fruit.

I’m also reading Murray’s book “Rasing Your Children for Christ,” and that is so convicting that I need to take motherhood and these Child-Full Years and be more set apart unto that spiritual work. This is a constant battle for moms, probably through all earth’s history.

So today, convicted to be more diligent in the ways God was leading me to be, I started cleaning the kitchen, deep cleaning. And I enrolled Vika to help, then Andre and Una got involved, too, and it was really fun!

There are other things I’m doing with them more, too, like praying with them spontaneously and in planned way. This is something God is leading.

Oh, another thing, God is leading me into greater self-discipline in my eating. Even more than the Curves diet. It’s combined with a desire to put some anti-cancer practices into my daily life. So I’ve been doing things like cutting out dairy, drinking green tea, eating less meat and more vegetables, especially more cabbage family foods. Drinking 2.5 liters of water. Some juicing of carrots with barley grass and wheat grass. Stuff like that. I got most ideas from this book I’m reading:

So that’s an update/journal of my life right now.

weight loss, 2017

So, I’m sharing the good, bad, and the ugly about weight loss.

Back in November, I stopped following Phase 3 of the Curves eating plans–that’s the maintainance-keep-adding-muscle-losing-fat phase.

I figured I’d “take a break” for the holidays–Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year. Then, I’d start back again…. You know.

Ha. It’s March and I’ve never started back again. I keep working out three times a week though.

So they offer a repeat Food School– a four-week group where we are back on the diet together and we work on motivating ourselves to keep at this discipline for life. I love doing this work in a group!

So I’m all re-excited about this. I’m back on Phase 1 for a week (1200 cal), to re-set my metabolism. The dietician who leads the class says if it’s too hard with breastfeeding (it was hard the first time–I was feeling really bad sometimes), then to move to Phase 2 (1500 cals). I’m breastfeeding a lot less now, so maybe it will be fine.

It’s not so much the calories that are important. It’s what kind of calories they are– a healthy combo of proteins, carbs and fats. (I’m not going to argue about what’s the right thing, there are just too many opinions. I’m just going to follow this diet because it’s varied  and I have great results on it and it keeps me pretty healthy.)

I’m feeling all poophead that my fat percent is back up to 36.8 (I started at 38.something, then got it down to 29.6). And my muscle is down from 31.7 to 27.9.

But I don’t stay poophead for long! It’s still a huge improvement. And on we go again.

I’m excited!

Зимнее здоровье

Мне так интересно, как Бог сотворил еду за наше здоровье.Все так дивно усторен!

В Украине– очень сезонная еда. Лето– столько фруктов, ягод, овощей! Люди ценят их за их витоминов, укрепления органов, и также их свежий вкус.

Мне труднее была придумать, что кушать зимой, именно чтобы поддержать здоровье во время сезона тяжелых болезнях? Это зима, у меня сложилось некоторые продукты, которые помогают нам со здоровьем– хочу их написать здесь, чтобы я не забыла. Я начала их использовать все время, больной, не больной. (Я тоже исклучила сахара из диета, и это огромная разница в здоровье тоже.)

Имбир с медом— я начала пить как чай. Кипела кусочки имбира на медленном огне, пью с медом.

Сырие чеснок с луком–чистила чеснок и крупно порезала маленький лук. Мы вместе их съели с хлебом, чтобы не очень горела. (Они сильно убивают микробы.) Важно, что лук не лежала открыто долго. Его надо кушать сразу, или хорошо закрыть. (Когда открыто, он ловить бактерии, которые есть в воздухе–кстати, не плохой отчиистель воздуха– резать лук по полам, положит в комнат, потом выбрасывать когда он черный.) Вот, еще информация о полезности лука.

Я думаю, что у вас тоже свои методы, как поддерживать здоровье зимой с едой— пишите внизу! Мы можем поддерживать друг друга!