28 February 2011

Week 12.

Oops, another late blog! Technically, I am 12 weeks, 6 days along today... and tomorrow starts week 13 (second trimester)! At any rate, I am starting to notice my belly is definitely getting pudgier. Also, I've REALLY been enjoying Jelly Bellies- I think this really IS a "Baby Bean"! :D The nausea and exhaustion has been lessening slowly but surely (even though I DID end up throwing up so hard on Thursday that I went to the ER since I strained the muscle under my ribs)... Hmmm, I have had to buy new underpants, as my old ones were leaving dark lines in my belly and it was getting really uncomfortable to even get through my workday! Never thought I'd have to do that, and though it's hard to leave the past behind, I know this is the "sacrifice" I am willing to make for the beautiful child that is growing inside of me. I'm trying to stay as active as I can, though that typically just means power-walking for an hour 3 times a week, and a 30-45 minute walk/jog with my husband on Saturdays. I'm just tired after working 40 hours a week, and I really do want to be super careful, re: dehydration/nutrition. I literally have to drag myself out to the gym anymore, but I guess I just have to remember that regular exercise can help with the constipation (yikes, TMI?!) and later on, it'll help me with labour! (My biggest "want" is to be able to do a half-marathon in April or May.) I just cannot wait to go on our "babymoon" vacation! We're thinking about somewhere in Northern California for 3-4 days, just to have some grown-up romantic time to ourselves before Baby Bean comes.

Anyway, folks, that wraps it up for this week. At least... that's what I can remember to mention. :P

26 February 2011

Diets DO NOT Work. Jesus Does!

Are you contemplating dieting? Trying a "healthy" weight loss plan of 1200 calories a day with an hour of exercise, 7 days a week? (That's NOT healthy, by the way, despite what the media and magasine celebrity nutritionists might say.) Thinking that the only way that you can feel in control, feel like you are good at something is by restricting your intake or bingeing and purging? Do you feel like the only way you can fit in with your female friends or co-workers is by dieting and obsessing on what you eat... because that's just what "everyone else" seems to be doing?

Let me tell you what the Bible says about this:
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them." (Hebrews 13:8-9, NLT)

In Hebrews, they are referring to bringing animal blood and meat sacrifices to a holy altar in The Tabernacle, from which no one could eat. They thought that by giving up the tastiest and best meats, their sins would be atoned for.

If you compare this to our society today, sometimes we see certain foods as "good" or "bad," "healthy" or "unhealthy." We might try every new fad diet that comes around or trust unreliable sources if they give us the "perfect" weight loss plan. We institute crazy rules as to what we can eat, because it makes us feel like we have self-control, like we're self-disciplined. We stop trusting our God-given bodies' intuitive eating, so we eat when we are bored, lonely, angry, etc... and then restrict or purge out of guilt for breaking our self-imposed rules. We give up our favourite foods for bland "lite" versions, just so we will feel like we're being "good." We even consider rich, delicious delicacies as "sinful"!

But here's the cool part- we don't have to do these sort of animal sacrifices... or the modern day equivalent of dieting and having black-and-white thinking when it comes to our eating habits. We don't have to give up the foods we enjoy, nor do we have to worry about whether or not what we are eating is "socially correct" or not. That's because Jesus sacrificed himself for us already! He gave up all earthly comforts so that we could enjoy our freedom and relationship with God!

"So also Jesus suffered and died outside the city gates to make his people holy by means of his own blood... Let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God." (Hebrews 13:12, 15)

So remember this:
Diets DO NOT work... but JESUS DOES!

25 February 2011

What God Wants You to Know.

  • You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7)

  • Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. (Isaiah 43:4)

  • For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

  • We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)

  •  Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

  • God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out. (Ephesians 6:12-18) 

  • "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • 19 February 2011

    Week 11.

    That's right- week 11 (and 4 days, as of today)! :D This morning, I went out for my first jog/walk in awhile... and guess what?! Kevin came with me! It's the first time he's been jogging since he was a kid! He says he's only doing it to be healthy for the baby. How sweet. :)

    Anyway, I'm back at work again (started on Tuesday) after getting medical leave for 2 weeks. That morning sickness (more like "all-day sickness") was just draining me! I am doing better at work, and I keep reminding myself not to stress out too much. I've had to really start making sure I am not overeating, though, because there are always snacks, pizza, doughnuts (and more!) at work, it seems. I'm already getting hungrier, and so yeah, I'm just trying to rein it in (and yet still maintain a healthy diet). At any rate, right now, my favourite snack is string cheese! I never used to like it, but for some reason, it's the only dairy I can really enjoy without getting nauseous. :)

    My co-workers have started to ask a little bit about Baby Bean, and one of them even told me she could see a difference in my tummy. Haha, that's kinda cute, but I will be honest, I have been really fighting the enemy's lies when it comes to how big my belly already is. I've just tried to stay focussed on my job, getting back to running/walking, loving my husband (my BFF! <3), and staying away from negative or difficult situations (especially people who like giving unhealthy or irritating advice on a regular advice). It's really hard for me to hear about all my running buddies doing their long runs in preparation for the LA marathon in March... while I can barely crank out 20-30 minutes of non-stop running. But I know I just have to be gentle with myself (and Baby)! It's just tough, all the same...

    (I've really enjoyed using Tumblr to "collect" positive, spiritual, and inspirational message/photos. I follow a lot of young and on-fire-for-God Christians, so it is a real pick-me-up... It's also a good place to vent. Y'all should check it out!)

    14 February 2011

    Week 10.

    Yes, it IS week 10. Even though Baby was supposedly measuring a week "behind" according to the transvaginal ultrasound a couple weeks ago, the estimated due date (EDD) hasn't changed. So YES, I can still consider myself 10 weeks preggers.

    I have noticed that my clothes are definitely tighter around my abdomen, which is scary, but my hubby keeps reminding me over and over: "You are not fat; you are pregnant!" My nausea and vomiting are still very alive and well, though I admit, I have a bit more energy (though I'm still going to bed super early). I have to be honest, it's hard seeing all my running buddies training daily for the LA marathon in March. I miss our long runs together. :(

    I've mostly been eating a lot of carbs, and sadly, when I eat anything greasy or lots of dairy (typically cheese), my stomach goes crazy! Anyway, I can't get enough of toast, crackers, fruit, and weirdly enough... MEAT?! For the first time in YEARS (I mean, like, a decade and a half), I had a couple sausage links with syrup, and I was in heaven... that is, until my stomach flipped, and I ended up hardcore vomiting in the restaurant bathroom. Sad times. :( But man, sausage?!

    We saw Dr Hoang again on Thursday, and for the first time, we were able to see the Baby and hear the heartbeat (175 beats per minute!) via Doppler (external) ultrasound. Wow, so much growth already! I finally talked to Dr Hoang about the "getting weighed" issue, and he said that he just wants to make sure that I do not lose too much weight (since I've been throwing up, and plus, my history)- however, because he understands the issues from my past (and how much I HATE stepping on the scale, backwards or not), he said he will just have me weighed every couple months. PHEW! Okay, so yeah, I'm starting to like him now that I've seen him a few times. :)

    13 February 2011

    His Glory Appears.

    While I was at Mercy Ministries, we had praise and worship every morning for about 45 minutes. At first, I will be honest: I used this time to jump up and down and dance around and sway back and forth and, well… burn as many calories as I could. The Lord could not “maketh me lie down,” so to speak. No, I was completely controlled by fear, compulsive exercising, and anorexia nervosa.

    After being there 30 days, I was told by the programme director that if I would not stop the excessive movement, I would be on probation, and basically, would not be allowed to do anything (including receive mail and phone calls). Harsh, right? But sometimes, this is what we need.

    I went into praise and worship the next morning with a defiant and fearful heart. I knew those staff members would be watching me. I was angry and sad and terrified at the same time, and yet, I wanted to just play “perfect patient” (as I had in other “treatment centres”)… Except this wasn’t a treatment centre, and this wasn’t somewhere for being coddled. This is where God would reach my heart, and I would stop relying so much on people, and instead reach for my Abba Father for help.

    I had heard this song (“His Glory Appears” by Hillsong) many times- I think we only had three DVDs for praise and worship (the Sacramento home I was at was literally a week old when I came in), which included Jesus Culture, Hillsong, and Brian Johnson. Yeah, we had The Katinas too, but no one except for me wanted to listen to them. Haha. <3

    Anyway, this song was what brought me to my knees. It’s what made me say: “God make me Yours. Change my heart. Make me yearn for You, not for all these life-destroying issues.” I think it was the first time I stopped (even if just for these short few minutes) checking for the bones of my 85-pound body and moaning about all the physical consequences of starvation, and started kneading the carpeted floor desparately for His Strength and crying big crocodile tears for His healing.

    “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”
    (Romans 8:26, NLT)

    05 February 2011

    Week 9... erm, nope, back to Week 8!

    I went in to see Dr Hoang (my OBGYN) on Tuesday of this last week- which should have marked exactly 9 weeks. I just wanted to get some medication for this painful nausea and vomiting, and maybe a a doctor's note to get some time off work.

    But instead, Dr Hoang walked into the office and announced that I would be getting pap smear, my first ultrasound, and oh yes, some nausea medication and doctor's note. :P Woohoo! So long story made short- WE GOT TO SEE OUR BABY for the very first time! :D But during the ultrasound, he measured the crown-to-rump length of our baby... and I am only 8 weeks along instead of the 9 weeks I had thought based on my last period. Guess my ovulation was still weird/irregular, despite the hormones I took for a couple months beforehand. :\

    Kevin and I were both so excited, and now it's just that much more "real"! We also got to finally hear the fast little heartbeat; as Dr Hoang said: "Sounds like a Junior All-Star!" Awww... it did kinda look/sound like our baby was already running a marathon in there!