Dory: “I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy.” -Finding Nemo
As a young girl, I remember my family taking an exotic trip to a Turkish beach resort. We enjoyed days of swimming in the cobalt waves of the faraway world of the Mediterranean, even venturing deep, out to the crumbling Kizkalesi (Castle in the Sea), located on a small island. Our evenings were full of slow meals at a candlelit, wooden, farm table, over fresh caught, batter fried fish, olives straight off the tree and warm flat bread, with a bare breeze that tickled the tiny coins along the seam of my scarf. And, I recall how deeply we slept after being tenderly kissed under our eyes by the rose sun. It was at that beach that I learned the force of love. One afternoon, my sister and I were swimming near a rocky, volcanic edge of the coast. Rather suddenly, the waves seemed to be hitting harder and the choppy water forcefully licked us up onto the tip of her blue tongue. My sister was laughing, looking out towards me and the vast sea, and didn’t notice that she was moving dangerously close to where the alcove of craggy rocks were punched with water, with a force that would smash a man and spit him out again, like a dragon getting rid of the bones. She was being pulled and couldn’t swim against it. I saw it a split second before she felt it and began to swim towards her with all the strength I could muster. “Please no,” I choked out a prayer, through salty mouthfuls of sea. It was God; there was no other explanation for how this leggy, desperate 11 year old had the strength to swim to her in time, drag her away from the pulling dark currents and maneuver us both to safety.
This week, I was doing my typical household, mama duties, when I heard the far off buzz of the kids on our four wheeler, like an angry yellow jacket stuck against a glass window. After that, came the awful smack of it hitting a tree and then nothing. Again, my prayer rose to heaven in a cry, “Let them be ok!” I rushed outside to find each of them, walking up towards the house, shaken and moving slowly but ok. And, then today, I saw a friend who lost a nephew just two weeks ago through great tragedy. We don’t understand the timing, the how and why things happen. God sometimes rescues in the way we want him to, while other times, we experience great loss and it’s only years later that we see his hand in it all. All I know is that life, even for a day, is a rich blessing. And, to love fiercely is the greatest gift of all; it’s something we inherited from God himself. It occurred to me this week, complete surrender is the ultimate act of love we can give to God. It says to him, “I fully trust that you see it all, love me most and have a good reason,” like a baby flying through the air laughing, knowing his father, just underneath him, will, ultimately, catch him. Today, I am grateful… for life, that I can sit in the sunshine, that I can laugh at the silly jokes my kids make, that I can work hard all week and enjoy a fire and a beer with my husband on our weekend, and that I can watch my son, who had a muscular disease as a baby, tackle an opposing player with the strength of a bison. It’s the simple things that matter most. And, love? It is the strongest force in physics.
1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
How to Lose Body Fat
During my first time living in Turkey, a truck full of a DEET-like substance would come by every day around 6 p.m. to kill the jungle of bugs. Us U.S. Airforce kids would spot it first and one kid on his Big Wheel would yell to the 13 year old on her rainbow banana seat bike who would yell to to me with my side pony tail and on down the line, “The SPRAY TRUCK IS COOOOOMING!” Even though Gluten Free, Wheat Grass and Essential Oils weren’t something we ever thought about and an occasional Jane Fonda workout video, with her possy of permed athletes, who loved bikini cut leotards over nylons, was about as fitness oriented as the average person got back then, we knew instinctively, being sprayed with a fire hydrant of bug killer just couldn’t be good. I mean, seriously, if I could survive that nightly for years, why don’t I just order up a wheelbarrow of thick, bleached flour pizza, hot wings dripping with high fructose corn syrup, a supersized keg of Coke, smear my lips in man-eating Carmex and call it good?! 🙂 LOL.
You know that luminous, turquoise scene in Finding Nemo, when they have to dodge the Portuguese Man of War jelly fish? They were squishy and made our aquatic heroes want to reach out and poke them. That was the consistency of my body for years! How did my hug-able, jello, mama-body go from that to within the % body fat fitness range? You’re not going to like this… If someone nailed me down, like an old board to a gray and weathered barn wall, I would say the top two factors that helped me lose fat were cutting grains and sugar (except the minimal natural sugar found in 1 fruit a day). There are a lot of trainers out there, theories, and diet plans but the people I have seen be wildly successful, regarding fat loss, have cut those things. Additionally, there are significant health benefits from cutting those two foods, such as a decrease in inflammation which lowers your chance for disease, illness and negative symptoms. As far as the rich nutrients your body needs for life, sugars and modern breads are fairly nutrient deficient foods. Convinced yet? I found that to have drastic results, I had to take drastic action. Once again, most of the answer to fat loss is found in the kitchen.
7 Basics for Losing Body Fat:
(Print for your refrigerator to remind you.)
- Cut sugar and keep natural sugars very low (1 fruit a day).
- Cut grains (except 1/2 cup of oatmeal, 1/2 cup of brown rice OR 1/2 a large sweet potato. Those aren’t all grains, I know, but I have one of those a day max).
- Eat regular, lean protein (Stay strict on eating times and content).
- Good rhythm of restful sleep and some exercise.
- Drink tons of water; I aim for 14 cups a day (1 cup every waking hour).
- Take vitamins and fiber. I take a high quality multi-vitamin and a tablespoon of fiber mixed in water each morning and evening.
- Eat lots and a wide variety of vegetables, especially green leafy veggies.