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What is Healthy?

The other day, I was thinking… What is healthy?  What’s a good, broad definition?  And I didn’t come up with a medically defined term, but I did come up with a definition of healthy that has seemed to work for me and the lifestyle I live.

So here goes… This definitely isn’t a perspective of a perfect girl, but of a girl who desires to glorify God in blending her spiritual and physical endeavors.

What is Healthy

What is healthy?  A lot of people have different definitions, formulas, books, websites, and guidelines that define healthy.  People have various ways to become healthy.  There are many diet formulas such as South Beach Diet, Weight Watcher’s, Atkins, the Zone diet, and of course your good selection of detox diets.

It kind of puzzles me why there are so many diets.  Dieting has always seemed fairly simple to me.  Most people that go on diets will sooner or later fall off of the bandwagon.  They shave off the 50 pounds, but then go back onto their regular eating happens, and  the 50 pounds creep back up, along with 10 pounds more.

Healthy living is not a constant regime of strict dieting.  Healthy living is a lifestyle.  It’s something that becomes the part of the way you live.  It’s a habit.  You get into the habit of eating healthily, when your mom makes a pot of oatmeal every morning with all the fixins’.  You grow up enjoying healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and learn to eat moderately just by eating till you aren’t hungry anymore.

Being healthy is not just counting your 1200 calories per day and losing 1 pound per week.  It’s something you can do and maintain in vitality and strength.  You could be eating 1, 1200 calorie happy meal at McDonald’s every day and lose weight.  You could be a normal weight or even skinny after your Mcdonald’s diet, but what about your cholesterol levels, your blood sugar, blood pressure, blood flow, and the accumulation of fat in place of muscle in your body?

Skinny does not equal healthy.  Girls may get the perception that models are healthy because they are skinny.  However,  many models aren’t healthy.  In fact many are quite the opposite.  Many of them feel an intense pressure to be thin, because the culture says, “Thin is in.”  God didn’t create everyone to look exactly alike.  Some people are naturally thin.  Some people aren’t.  And we need to learn to be content like Paul.  Philippians 4:11-12  11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. ”  

This post is definitely not done… It will be continued.

Marathon Recap – ADT Marathon – 4:17:01

I woke up scared, apprehensive, and yet trusting of what God would do through this marathon… 🙂 Would my body hold up?  Would I hit the wall? Would I take in enough fuel? Had I done enough long runs?  Then the final thought that ran through my head was, “Aw, stop worrying and get out there and do it for the Lord!”

I’ll insert pictures and my comments in and around to give you a general idea of the fun time that was had by all! This was my first marathon… And I’m not sure if it was my last.  But, it all happened on September 5th, 2011…

This is one of my best friends, Ceira!  She encouraged me through training with her constant steady perseverance…
She was always willing to push me through a run, or give me written encouragement over an email when I didn’t feel like doing a
20 mile long run… 🙂 Shared hugs at the end were da best!

Running with Ceira is another great race supporter and fellow runner, Hana!  She was a great encouragement at the end of the race!

Hana at one of the many stops so ready to cheer…   We saw her and her brother along with my bro at miles 7, 10, 14, 17, 20, and 22…
Hannah ran the last 4.2 miles with Ceira! Thanks friend!

This was at mile 20.  At this point, I had just come off a bridge and up from the bridge, popped someone I knew, E.R… I was surprised and happy… I wasn’t sure what my time was at this point, but Ceira and I had passed the 4:30 pacer after starting out with him at around mile 7.2.  David was great race support! High five!

Walking into that finish was one of the most relieving runs I had ever finished… It was so shocking to realize that it was over,

and so thankful that the Lord pulled my body through 26.2 miles! I did it through His strength alone!

“Little secret… I really came for the cute hugs at the end.  Awww… Abby, I love you, and Mrs. C.  The C. family came and supported

at the end!

My bro Dan,  who did the marathon last year in a blazing time of 3:36:42 came along for the last 10K!  He was
a great race supporter!  He sure knows how to do it!  He stopped at miles 4, 7, 10, 14, 17, and 20 and ran the last 6.2!  It was so encouraging, and he pushed me to the end! Thanks for your example of self-sacrifice and love Dan! I LOOOVEEE YOU!

Yep, that was after E.R. in the background took me by surprise under the bridge…  I just had to smile!

Here we go!   Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho!  To finish this marathon, we go!  I followed the guy in front of me for the last 3-4 miles… He was an incredible motivation at the end as he pushed me with encouraging and inspiring words! Praise the Lord for those unknown blessings!

 That morning I had woken up and ate some sandwich thins with nutella… I ate gels, jelly beans, and drank gatorade throughout the race.  Although I never hit a mental wall, there was a point around mile 22 that every joint started to ache… And I could barely walk at the end… Ahhh! It was a beautiful trail, and very peaceful… There were probably about 300-400 runners in all which made it relaxing.  It was also very cool the whole time.  The start was probably in the high 30s or low 40s… Chilly!  But we warmed up after we started moving.  At mile 7, I thought I needed to use the facilities, but saw the 4:30 pacer sail by! I knew I couldn’t let him out of my sight, so I followed…  I passed him and hoped I hadn’t gone out too fast… Well they ticked by, and mile 20 appeared.. The last 10k was a time of focusing on gettin ‘er done and pumping up the music… Ahhhh! The feeling of being sore!  After 250-300 miles of training, I had come to  the finish, and I praised and continue to praise the Lord for His marvelous works!  Isaiah 40:31


This is a very prevalent problem into today’s world.  All over, especially in America/Western Society, girls are trying to measure up to unrealistic and even (dare I say) ugly standards imposed by supermodels imposed on a magazine front.  They are thin. ” They are pretty. ” Every girl wants to be thin and pretty.  In fact pretty = thin for most of today’s society.

These girls are insecure.  They have not found security, ultimate security, in the love of God, our Heavenly Father.   Girls naturally crave affection and love, and therefore think that the outward appearance will garner that love.  The outward appearance is what matters most to them.  In reality, it’s not.  It doesn’t matter whether _____ wears makeup or doesn’t wear make up, wears earings or not, is thin or average, a big eater or a little eater.  God does not judge by the outward appearance, but the state of the heart.    He does not love us because of anything in us, but because He loves us with the unconditional love of a father.

It destroys so many girl’s lives, and what seems to be the answer to the eating disorders?  Oh.  “Send her to a counselor. Let her pour out her woes, and see if that helps her.”  It’s not that counselors are bad, but if there isn’t a digging deep to the core of the problem, it all seems to continually snowball.  The girls go to a counselor and come home to the same insecurity that they are trying to leave behind, trying to resolve.

The problem of anorexia continues to haunt many girls for years afterwards.  It comes up again and again, and it’s a constant battle for them.  They are destroying themselves and the bodies they have been given, and it’s utterly sad to watch.

What is the answer to this wide spread problem?  Is it external bandaids?  Is it giving 5 quick and easy steps as a sure fire way for recovery?  No, the problem goes far deeper.  It roots deeply in the fact that as human beings, we are created in the image of God, but we are ignoring that and attempting to be our own gods.  From the very beginning, God made and designed man and woman in His image.  They are precious to Him, and because we are created in His image, we are not to destroy the functional amazing bodies He has given to everyone.

What if you believed in evolution?  What if you believed in random chance or the fact that we are just little dust molecules bumping up against one another?  Would it matter that much if someone was in perpetual starvation mode, literally killing themselves?  Well, no, it wouldn’t, because that person is just a piece of dust, floating around with no aim or ultimate purpose.  What does it matter if they live or die?

What if someone told you that you were created by an Almighty God, Lord of Heaven and Earth and that He created you with a divine purpose?  As a Christian, I take comfort in the fact that I know and rest in my Heavenly Father’s love and His purpose and direction for my life.  I know that I am here for a purpose.  I know that He has given me a body to do His work.  I know He has given me the abilities I have, and if I attempted to, in the interest of incuring the praises of men, starve that body, I would be destroying the very gift He gave me here on this earth.  Proverbs 31 I can’t think of myself or be self-absorbed in my own appearance.  Of course, I want to glorify God with a tidy, neat appearance, but I don’t want to desire for what the world calls pretty or beautiful. 1 Peter 3:3-5  3Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  I want to be beautiful and sanctified in God’s eyes, by His Holy Spirit.  Genesis 1:27-31  27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

I pray more and more girls would see that they are made in God’s image, with love and care, and turn to Him for ultimate satisfaction! Our hope can only be found in Him! Psalm 42:11 11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.



Yummy… Gluten free

I’m at my aunt’s home here in London, and we have been eating gluten free baking as she is gluten free… I used to think gluten free was not very good, but I’ve learned that there are better alternatives, and it can actually be pretty tasty…

Soup for tonight-Veggie chowder… Mmm… It’s filled with cauliflower, broccoli, onions, carrots, potatoes, and

wait… the best part… milk and cheddar cheese 🙂

A gluten free Apple cinnamon breakfast coffee cake muffin… That was part of my breakfast of a muffin

with pb and yogurt.

A piece of maple fudge from a fudge kitchen in Bath… Hey I was hungry and it needs to be finished

And of course any foodies knows that you can’t go without the contents in this jar – Peanut Butter!  Although I have devoured it at

an alarming rate… I’m not sure whether I should go back and get another jar… This one was gone in a week, or less than.

This is in honor of the strawberry and apples that I just  devoured… However I will probably end up having one of these later in the day…

What are you all doing this spring? Got any big plans?  I plan to graduate, Lord willing, and

hope to start training for my first marathon.

Training: 4 mile run today… Almost check.

Getting into this blogging thing…

Well maybe I won’t be as much of an avid blogger as:






But I think I’m kind of getting into it… So I thought I’d post some of my daily eats for today..  Soon I’ll get to the point of actually remembering to take pictures of my food… It’s not a habit for me yet, so hopefully soon… 🙂


Breakfast for today was a delicious what bloggers call a yogurt mess…

It was some cascade farms orange cream yogurt with a sprinkle of chocolate peanut butter granola and some other cereal… I also added a muffin with pb on top! Yum yum…


Snack would have been a homemade ww healthy chocolate chip cookie right before lunch . . . Lunch was fairly simple as it consisted of a slice of bread with honey and peanut butter, a nice pile of veggies, pita chips, and another 2 small cookies… No white sugar, so no guilt, right?  😛


Snack #2 – piece of our demolished gingerbread house and some bing cherry m&m’s… I know my snacks need to be more veggie oriented or something like that, don’t they?

Dinner is yet to be eaten.. 😀

My workout for today will probably be inside on our stationary on a long ride with some intervals thrown in of about 2-2 1/2 hours, if I have the time… Since I’m trying to tone up the core muscles, I’ll be adding in some P90x core, pilates, etc…



Winter Fitness

Winter is one of the hardest times of the year to keep fit.  Thankfully, we have what I like to call our own “home gym.”  We own a stationary bike, treadmill, bench press, and an assortment of exercise videos including 30 day Shred and P90x.  All that said, it’s still very tempting to skip a workout every day.  You shiver at the cold outside, and imagine yourself rather sitting inside sipping a cup of hot cocoa, instead of pulling on your running shoes, tights, jacket, and gloves to glide out onto the frozen roads to pound out a 5 mile run in below freezing temps.

There are so many ways to make winter running much more enjoyable.  First of all, wear the right gear.  It’s miserable to go out in a cotton shirt and one layer of cotton sweats, come back soaked in sweat and chilled to the bone.  That doesn’t sound pleasant, does that?  Polyester is the way to go.  Cotton is commonly called by survival experts, “death cloth.”  It’s called that for a reason as it can very easily promote hypothermia by causing your body to cool very quickly instead of wicking all the sweat from your body.  Get a good pair of running tights.  I would recommend getting them at Walmart as that is the cheapest.  I got a pretty good quality pair from there.  They were comparable to Sports Authority and much cheaper.  Also getting some sort of undearmor shirt and a light but warm running jacket will definitely pay off.    Layer up on the socks and even the gloves.  I will very often wear thick Thinsulate gloves.   They are always easy to strip off and stuff into your pants pocket.

Go out prepared.  Brave the wind.  Set the alarm.  Take a buddy.  Talk.  Share what you’re reading in your bible.  I find that talking to someone makes a run pass by so much faster than listening to an ipod or running in silence.   It helps to relate to each other and challenge each other.  If you don’t have someone else to motivate you, it’s a lot harder to get out the door and a lot easier to make the excuses.

Second, don’t go out with any particular training plan in mind.  Listen to your body.  Go out for 20 minutes or 60 minutes if you feel like it.  Add a couple sprints, strides (100 meters, 200 meters).  Mix it up.  Tone down your running.  Dabble in other exercise like bicycling, strength training, swimming, spinning, core training, etc… Make it fun.  Shovel snow.  Go sledding.  It doesn’t have to be regimented.

Remember, in the end, bodily exercise profiteth little.  If you mix a work out, you’ll survive.  The most important thing is meditating and being in God’s Word everyday, not getting in your daily run.  I’m always too hypocritical in that.  It’s easy to tell others to do it but applying it to yourself is the hardest but the best thing you could ever do.  1 Timothy 4:8 8For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.


Happy Running or Biking or Swimming! 🙂

A Christian’s View on Body Image

This is something that is a sensitive subject for many girls today.  Girls don’t like to talk about their bodies, because they are already so wrapped up in their bodies. Their bodies are their obsessions.  They want their bodies to look a certain way, feel a certain way, and they want their self-esteem to always be around a 9.5 out of 10.

But as a Christian where does Christ come into the picture?  As a Christian, it’s not about our body image.  It’s not about positive self-talk.  It’s not about saying,  “You’re so beautiful, I just can’t stand it.”  It’s about glorifying Christ, not ourselves.  It’s about making ourselves a lower priority then the glorification and love of our almighty God and Savior.

The American culture tips to either side of the scale.  One scale is the anorexic, over exerciser, obsessive compulsive sort of person.  The other side of the scale is being part of overeater’s anonymous, stuffing mouths with countless bags of chips, oreos, ritz crackers, gulping down quarts of soda and beer, and generally not observing any law of moderation whatsoever.

There are always those striving to find a happy medium.  But, sadly, many a time this medium does not include Christ and the standards that He lays out for us in His word.  Instead it includes our own standards of self-esteem and loving ourselves.  Ephesians 5:29 29For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  However, in the end one always continues to yo-yo between feeling good about their body between placing guilt trips on themselves for eating unhealthy food or eating too much.

Ever since I was little there have been rules that I have followed that have always helped me to keep a positive outlook on the way I eat and drink to glorify God.  “1 Corinthians 10:31: 31Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”  When we don’t find our satisfaction in eating healthy, or eating food, or exercising, but in Christ, we will find peace because He is not temporal.  He will last forever and is able to fulfill all of our needs.

It won’t ever help to always be looking at yourself in the mirror, watching the number on the scale, or trying to satisfy your desire to be beautiful or shapely or athletically beautiful looking.  Look to Christ.  He will fulfill every part of our needs.

Races – Thanksgiving

He was pretty focused here!

On Thanksgiving 5 of the members of my family and I did a 8 mile/2 mile turkey trot.  3 of us did the 8 miler.  2 of us did the 2 miler.  My pace for the 8 miler was a 8:36 m/m pace.  I was very happy with it.  Going from high altitude to low altitude in Medford, Oregon makes a huge difference.  I was really struggling at the end trying to give it everything I had!  Thanks be to God I finished strong!

Here comes in uncle Scott pumping along at a 7 something pace…

Bekah was pretty much airborne at this point, flying towards the finish line

Here I am coming around the corner to the finish line…  I had to pass that guy.

My fitness journey to Hope and Health in Christ

Just wanted to share….

Where has my journey to fitness taken me? It’s taken me to so many places. I can’t even begin to describe the lessons I have learned. Through the 17 years of my life, I’ve climbed mountains, ran, biked, swam, and learned to appreciate God’s creation so much more. I realize how much the beauty that man tries to create will never match God’s beauty. I’ve run through many small towns, and made so many memories together with my running buddies, Bekah, Dan, and Beth. It’s been fun. It’s been challenging.

There have been so many times I wanted to sit down and give up. There have been so many times when I was gasping for air, and I just didn’t want to go any further. There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to just cry and not stop. There have been times when the sun is beating down so hard, I feel like I could just melt into the sidewalk and not have to go through any more misery.

I’ve run many distances. I used to want to do it to boast about how “fast” I was or how “far” I’d run. Not any more. I still have a goal to improve but not to boast, not to “wow” everybody. Exercise has humbled me, especially when my 19 year old brother is about ½ a mile ahead of me and I’m going the fastest I can. It’s been a wonderful experience in growing closer to both my brother and sisters.

It’s a discipline that’s also taught me how important physical and spiritual exercise are and how much I suffer without them, especially spiritual exercise. I’ve overcome the desire to idolize my body and not take care of it. I’ve become more thankful for God’s wonderful gifts

I am so thankful that God has seen fit to give my a body that has taken me 1000s of miles on my legs and 1000s of miles on my bike. I’ve learned the balance

A lot of fitness today centers around yourself, around the Greek idea of the “gumnasium” where naked men and women flaunted their bodies to each other. We’re no longer sensitive to the principles of modesty and not stumbling each other. Running professionals say to “love” yourself and to “pamper” yourself.

I take the opposite view on this. Instead of loving yourself, which eventually makes people more depressed because they find no fulfillment in themselves.

Weight is not an issue and shouldn’t be an issue. Christian’s issues should be coupled with desires to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, and to tell you the truth, weight will follow. If we strive to eat what God intended for us to eat, in moderation, thankfulness, and a happy heart for what God has given us, I believe that God would bless us in helping us to be healthy and happy in Him.

For most of my child life I wasn’t worried at all about weight. I just kind of ate. I was never overweight, never thin, just average. I’ve always had a more muscular frame so I’ve always weighed more than what I should “weigh” on the boxy charts they give everyone like 5’0 – 100 pounds and add 5 pounds for every inch after that for women. I was 4’10” and 100 pounds at 12, but I still didn’t ever look fat.

Around 14, I became more convinced of exercising regularly. Our family got a stationary bicycle on December 2007. I rode it everyday consistently for 20 minutes. I don’t really remember how much I weighed then. I was 5’2” and something “pounds.” I don’t know, and I didn’t really care. My guess was I was around 115-117? I could be wrong.

I don’t remember exactly how and I’m sure I don’t really mind that I don’t remember. But I got or rather fell into the ditch of calorie counting. I started to scrutinize every calorie. I figure I was probably eating about 2000 a day at that time. That’s when I lost weight and hit my lowest weight at around 103, 104? That’s when I finally realized that I needed to stop caring and be more thankful to God and glorify Him with my body instead of trying to glorify my body to glorify myself.

I think the reason this kind of hit me was that I had lost my period for about 6 months and was getting concerned. So I started eating more and leaving calories behind. In July of 2008 I was now about 108-110 pounds. I was going up but still wasn’t there yet. I was always hungry and just ate and ate.

I remember it almost like it was yesterday. My parents sat me down in my brother’s room in our basement. I knew something was the matter. I was thinking, “What did I do?” They confronted me gently about searching for calorie counts online, saying how I wanted to lose weight on forums online, etc.. At this point I was closer to 113-114 pounds. They encouraged me to maybe try to gain some more pounds to see if my period would return. I listened and boy did I listen. In about 5 weeks I was now at around 119 pounds, happier, healthier, and just had finished my first 25K at a 10:26 pace.

I continued to focus on glorifying God, reading my bible, focusing on His Word, meditating, and adding in exercise on the side. Exercise became less of a “must-do” and more of a fun thing, and it still is! I added in various races and PR’d in my 5Ks with my best PR at 23:38. I’m still hoping to shave that down to 21 at a 5k in about a month. I’m probably too hopeful, but I’m hoping.

My status now. I have my period back. I feel better. I don’t really calorie count anymore. I’m 5’3”. Yes I grew another inch. And I’m 127-130 pounds. Yeah, I’m not “normal” for my weight, but I don’t care, because it’s normal for me, and I’m learning to use my body to the utmost to give the utmost praise to my Lord, Savior, and King who has truly given me salvation from all my sins and bore the weight of my iniquities on the cross. I desire to place all my thoughts on Him and take all thoughts of self off me and love Him with all my heart. My fitness desire is to stay and remain healthy for my whole life so that I may always love and glorify my Savior and King!

My Brother’s First Marathon

It was just over 2 years ago when we first started running…. Since then we have both motivated each other to run when it hurts most.  He has motivated me to surmount mountains and hills in running and in other circumstances.  He is such a blessing and such a treasure to me.  I love him so much, and it made me so happy yesterday to see him pull through the pain and the challenge and finish his very first marathon.  He’s only 19 and has gone from running 3 miles 2 years ago to 26.2 miles in 3:36:34 seconds.

It was a beautiful course, and we tried to be the most supportive cheerleaders on the course.  We stopped at mile 6, mile 10, mile 17, and mile 24.  We tried to stop at mile 15, but that didn’t work out, so we went on to mile 17.  He was still doing well at mile 17, right behind the 3:30 pacer.

He told us that mile 20 or 21 was when it started to get hard.  (I was so impressed.  I couldn’t have sustained less than a 9:00 minute pace for 26 miles, but he did through Christ who strengthens us.) We went down to mile 24, and my 15 year old sister and I ran for a little while and met him at the last mile.  I saw him come around the last corner, and I knew this last mile would take all that he had.  We followed him down the course till the finish line and dropped off.  He went into the gate, and then sat down over on the grass, stretching out his sore muscles.  That was the sorest I’ve ever seen him.  He got a massage, took an ice bath when we got home, and is still pretty sore today.  But hey, he ran 26.2 miles.  He definitely should be sore… 🙂  I’m so happy for him! It was great to see him surmount this mountain and come down!

The finish – He’s flyin’… We were just the cheerleaders, and no, we didn’t run all 26.2 miles with him, only 1…

Receiving the age group award for First place

After his massage

He’s a happier runner now…

Stretchin’ those hip muscles out

Recounting his marathon struggles!

The End: I hope to do this marathon next year…