everyone needs a Shoulder Coach.

treadmill. 5% incline. 3.5mph.

Shoulder Coach: “really? that’s all you got?”

Me: “6% incline. are you happy?”

Shoulder Coach: “for now.”

Me: “you’re gonna give me shin splints.”

Shoulder Coach: “your shins hurt?”

Me: “no. not yet.”

Shoulder Coach: “Then quitcherbellyachin”

I’m on a “reverse” diet.

That’s what FavoriteSon is calling it.

I’m trying to consume more calories on a daily basis. Sounds crazy. I know.

But the truth is, left on my own, I forget to eat. (CLICK HERE to read why.)

Case in point? I downloaded the “myfitnesspal” app and have been tracking my calorie intake since Wednesday, February 8th. On that day, my net intake was 820 calories.

820 calories?! I know. NOT good. I had no idea.

I say “net” intake because myfitnesspal calculates the calories expended and factors them in. Since my knee is better, I’m back to exercising every day. (My treadmill readouts actually indicate I’m burning more calories than myfitnesspal says I am, but I’m sticking with myfitnesspal or these numbers would be even worse.)

How did I even discover this? I walked 30 miles in 6 days and didn’t lose an OUNCE. Not ONE ounce.

myfitnesspal described it like this:

“Based on your total calories consumed for today, you are eating too few calories. Not only is it difficult to receive adequate nutrition at these calories levels, but you could also be putting your body into starvation mode. Starvation mode lowers your metabolism and makes weight loss more difficult. We suggest increasing your calorie consumption to 1200 calories per day minimum.”

After I injured my knee on December 2nd, I had to cut back on my exercise and I gained a few pounds. By the end of January, my knee was feeling much better so I set a challenging fitness goal for myself. I wanted to walk an average of a mile a day for the month of January. Problem is, since I didn’t set the goal until January 26th, that meant I had to walk 30 miles in 6 days.

When I didn’t lose even an OUNCE, I knew what my problem was. My brother-in-law,
a fitness trainer had already explained it to me. I just hadn’t been motivated to do anything about it.

Until I had to dig out my fat pants. I couldn’t fit comfortably in my clothes anymore and I had to move up a size in order to breathe when I sat down.

I set that freakish 30 mile goal to jumpstart a little weight loss.

THIRTY MILES and NOTHING? That just ticked me off.

So I downloaded myfitnesspal . . . and a new reminder app. I set multiple alarms on my phone and android tablet to remind me to eat. I already had an app, but its capabilities were too limited.

Here’s how my week played out:

Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1351
Exercise: -531 [Walked 3.5 (4.5% incline) miles]
Net Calories: 820

Thursday, I did better:
Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1397
Exercise: -289 [Walked 2 (4.5% incline) miles]
Net Calories: 1108

And yes, I did notice that the reason I did better is because I exercised less. That’s not going to be my long term solution to this problem. I need to eat more.

Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1588
Exercise: -651 [1 Hour Yoga, Walked 3 (4.5% incline) miles]
Net Calories: 937

Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1085
Exercise: -437 [Walked 3 incline miles (2 @ 4.5% incline 1 @ 5% incline]
Net Calories: 648

Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1152
Exercise: -367 [Walked 2.5 (4.5% incline) miles]
Net Calories: 785

Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1439
Exercise: -123 [1 Hour Yoga]
Net Calories: 1316

Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1784
Exercise: -286 [Walked 2 (4.5% incline) miles]
Net Calories: 1498

Goal Intake: 1200
Actual Intake: 1425
Exercise: -593 [1 Hour Yoga, Walked 3 (5% incline) miles]
Net Calories: 832

So how’s it working out? I started a week ago today and I’ve lost 3 pounds.

I realize my days have been pretty inconsistent, but I’m much more aware of my nutrition, so that’s progress! And although I HATE counting calories, myfitnesspal makes it pretty easy. FirstHusband joined too, so we’re tracking together. And the phone alarms are really helping. Hopefully, this new routine will develop into a habit and I won’t have to pay so much attention to all this.

I’m DETERMINED to be a good steward of this body God has blessed me with!

10am alarm just went off. I’m supposed to eat a snack now. bleh. I’ll do it, but bleh.

shhhhh. I’m listening for the voice of truth.

My pastor asked a question yesterday morning:

“Are you standing at the boundary between what you can accomplish on your own naturally and what God can accomplish THROUGH you supernaturally?”

yes. yes, I am.

Logic says, avoid risk.

Fear says, avoid change.

Above the voices of logic and fear, I can still hear God’s small, still voice saying “Trust me.”

I don’t usually have the courage to give up something good, in order to make room in my life for something better. I don’t often have the courage to say no to the immediate good in order to make room for the long term better.

(cryptic, I know. but I’m not ready to talk about the details, so this is all you’re gonna get right now.)

Of course, when I can clearly see the “better” that God has for me, it’s SO much easier to take the big step away from the old and toward the new.

The problem comes when what’s next is nowhere in my line of sight when I should be giving up the “good” thing. I tend to ignore the subtle hints God supplies me with, only to see them in hindsight.

And then there’s trying to discern if the thing that is so logically and clearly “something better” only seems like better, but is really Satan trying to derail me because I’m on actually track with what God’s equipping me to do.

It’s possible there’s a hint the size of an elephant in the room. I’m ignoring it. (Who am I kidding? Elephants might be quiet, but they tend to stink up the place.) It’s possible Satan is waving a shiny thing in my peripheral vision.

In the past, God has had to take away the “good” thing. And, in the process, pry my white knuckled fingers off of whatever it is I’m clinging to.

This is especially difficult when there weren’t any hints, or when I’ve been ignoring them. I don’t like it when I’m blindsided with change.

And then there’s the waiting for “next.”

I really hate it when that happens.

Praying for discernment. And for the Lord to provide an answer to a question in a very specific, supernatural way.

I’m trying not to place my human limitations on God. Because He can do ANYthing. And I would rather play a small part in His story that the main character of my own.

I didn’t shave my legs for nothin.

Yesterday, I went back to yoga for the first time since tearing my MCL on December 2nd. My knee has been feeling pretty good, so I intentionally put on yoga shorts that morning. As the time to leave the house got closer, I debated. I was on a writing roll. If I stopped, I would lose momentum. and the coffee was so good. (Joffrey’s Jamaican Me Crazy)

LazyMe: “I don’t wanna go. I’m comfortable.”

AnnoyingMe: “Come on. After class is over, you’ll be glad you did it.”

LazyMe: “ehhh.”

AnnoyingMe: “What is it you always say? That you’re ‘striving to be a good steward of the body God has blessed you with?'”

LazyMe: ” It’s early. I’ve got all day. I can be a good steward later.”

AnnoyingMe: “Did you shave your legs for nothing?”

LazyMe: (sigh) “alright. I’m goin.”

Last night, I was really feeling the after-effects of this pose (below).
My whole body hurt – from holding it perfectly still for a total of just a few minutes.


Tonight, I’m feeling it even more.

There’s only one thing to do. Go back tomorrow.

stumbling blocks? or stepping stones?

When I published part of my testimony in my last blog post, “I never knew that what I was missing even existed.” I was concerned that some might take it to be a negative “review” of church. I feel like I need to clarify a little bit.

Although it may sound like my experiences in church were stumbling blocks in my spiritual growth, I believe everything I experienced in the churches I attended as I grew up were stepping stones which led me to the place and person I was when abandoned my fear and compartmentalized life in exchange for an intimate relationship with Christ that tends to evidence itself in my life in a transparent, and sometimes vulnerable way.

In 2007, when I read “The Taste of New Wine” by Keith Miller, I believe I was ready to receive the messages in that book. Around that time, I also read The Practice of the Presence of God (free on Amazon & B&N).

(If you’ve been around Compendium before, you know those weren’t the only two books I was reading at the time. When I’m learning something, I collect a stack of books on the subject and saturate myself with information from as many different perspectives as I can find. I take the information that resonates with me, that I can identify with, and it becomes part of me. I discard the rest, sometimes temporarily, sometimes permanently.)

When FirstHusband and I began attending a Methodist church 12 years ago, we already had a firm theological foundation and truth be told, we still say we are Baptist when asked, because our beliefs are more in line with Baptist doctrine. We were just trying to learn more about Methodist doctrine when we first began attending. We also believe the Methodist church has Biblical and theological foundation, it was just challenging to follow the bread crumbs. Now we know where to look (Book of Discipline).

When it comes right down to it, we wish the Methodist church were more evangelical. (see? there’s that Baptist showing again.)

But even if we had continued to attend Baptist churches, I think the active, prevalent faith I live out today is something I had to find on my own. I’m so thankful for Keith Miller’s book (and Brother Lawrence’s Practice the Presence) for opening my eyes, mind and heart to the idea that a relationship with Christ could be such an integral part of my life.

My goal now is to try and let others know how an intimate relationship with Christ can become an integral part of their lives, no matter what church they attend – or don’t.

I never knew that what I was missing even existed.

When people asked me if I went to church, I said yes.

As a child, I believed all the Bible stories and I knew where to put every single felt Bible character on the flannel board. I knew all the words to “Now I lay me down to sleep” and “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our fud.” I even knew the sign language to the song “The B-I-B-L-E.” When I did go to Sunday School and we took turns reading aloud from the Bible, I knew to secretly skip ahead to “my” verse and rehearse it in my head so that when it was my turn I wouldn’t sound stupid. My family watched “The Ten Commandments” every Easter season and we never put the baby Jesus in our nativity set until Christmas Eve. I could recite the Lord’s Prayer by heart, could sing the doxology on cue and I even knew how to sing the first verse of Silent Night in German.

This is how I defined being a Christian.

When I was fifteen, I made a commitment to Christ. Looking back, I’m confident my decision was authentic, but I didn’t know how to disciple myself, so spiritual growth was inconsistent and confusing.

As a teenager and young adult trying to learn how to live out my new faith in my every day life, I found myself actively involved in fundamental Baptist churches, believing without question, everything I was told by well meaning teachers and volunteers. There was a lot of emphasis on rules. I began compiling an internal list of things “good” Christians should always do and an even longer list of things “good” Christians should never do.

Questioning religious authority was one of those “never do” things. Unacceptable. Expressed doubt equated to a lack of faith, or worse yet, evidence of sin. You might as well have sewn a big “H” on my forehead for “heretic.” I dared not ask too many questions for fear of landing on someone’s prayer list.

On the “What good Christians always do” list? All good Christians had quiet times and quiet time included Bible reading, note taking and prayer. Prayer was formulaic: the five finger method, the ACTS method. . . praying on our own was never encouraged – we might leave something out or our prayers might be too selfish. And quiet times were supposed to be first thing in the morning, preferably before sunrise.

I was consistently not a “good” Christian.

After over a decade of serving in and faithfully attending Baptist churches, my husband I walked away from the fundamental legalism – and ran from the unaccountable theocracy so prevalent in its leadership. After searching for a church for nearly 8 months, we found ourselves attending a Methodist church whose “Open minds, Open hearts, Open doors” motto meant that the answer to every theological question began with the precursor “It’s a matter of interpretation…” We found that for nearly every “set in stone” doctrinal stand the Baptist church had taken, there was a parallel “set in sand” interpretation by the Methodist church. The emphasis was on service. service. and more service. acceptance. tolerance. and more service.

Sure, I prayed. I read my Bible. I even had a prayer journal that I wrote in occasionally. I thanked God for His blessings nearly every day, asked Him for help when I needed something and engaged in the Christian “WHYne” when something bad happened in my life. I taught my kids a full CD of Bible songs, bought them Veggie Tale movies and prayed with them at the dinner table and every night as we tucked them in bed. We had family devotional books and we actually used them at bedtime and on the Sundays we skipped church. Sometimes. I was a moral person, a “good” person. When I didn’t get charged for an item at a store, I would go back inside to pay for it. Even in Christmas season when that meant waiting in line a second time. I was honest, I did good deeds, I sang solos in church and even had occasional stints attending Sunday School and Wednesday night services. I thanked God for good parking spaces and I laid fleeces for “big” decisions, not realizing that a fleece was really a big dice I was tossing in a desperate lack of faith.

But as a young married woman,
trying to learn how to relate to this guy I promised to love and live with for the rest of my life,
trying to raise responsible, happy kids who knew and loved God
trying to build a business while waiting for that moment when everyone figured out I had no idea what I was doing,
trying to fit in at church by appearing to be the person other people expected me to be,

I had compartmentalized my life, my time and even my thoughts. It was almost as if I were different people: a wife, a mother, a home manager, an entrepreneur, and church member. Not that each of those personas in my life were so vastly different from each other, it’s just that they didn’t overlap. I take that back. My home and work life overlapped. My home and church life overlapped. But my work and church life? NEVER. Church was religion and religion had no place in my work life. At least no comfortable place.

And notice I didn’t include “Christian” in that list. I said “church member.”

To make a 25 year story short, in October of 2007, I ended up with a worn copy of a book written in 1965 entitled “The Taste of New Wine” by Keith Miller and I discovered what I had been missing since the moment I accepted Christ.

I never knew that what I was missing even existed.

I realized it was possible to have an intimate, personal relationship with a living God. The kind of relationship that saturates my life, my days and my moments, regardless of where I am or who I’m with. A presence of God I’m so acutely aware of that I feel like I’m never alone. The kind of faith I can live out every day and not compromise in some cowardly attempt to make other people more comfortable. The kind of faith that leads me to intuitively consider people and situations from a bigger perspective than from my own skewed and limited vantage point. The kind of faith that has planted in me a desire to do everything I do “as unto the Lord” even when it’s as boring as loading the dishwasher or as unpleasant as interacting with a passive aggressive person. This authentic relationship doesn’t have much to do with church or religion. It’s much more intimate.

I was surprised to discover that when I began living out my faith, without condemnation of others who think and believe differently, they weren’t offended by my honesty. When they realized our differences didn’t freak me out or compel me to immediately and aggressively try and change their mind, it opened dialogs I never thought possible. I’ve been honored by the trust people have placed in me as they talk about their lives, their struggles and their faith – or lack of it. I don’t betray that trust. More and more, I find myself risking being rejected or ostracized by just being myself. I’m tearing down the walls of my compartmentalized personas and rebuilding on a foundational commitment to God that remains constant and crosses over into all areas of my life.

And it’s good. Better than good.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Keith Miller’s book, The Taste of New Wine, was the impetus for this life changing shift in my thoughts and actions. Through his authentic and vulnerable account of how God worked in his life to bring him to an authentic and bold faith, Keith taught me what living out my faith could look like in my own life. I learned it was possible to extend unconditional grace and never compromise my beliefs to make myself or others more comfortable. I learned that I could serve God every day as a missionary in my vocation and in the secular world, not just in the safety and comfort of my home and in the church where talk of God is accepted and expected.

The Taste of New Wine was one of those books that I couldn’t put down until I was finished. It’s one of those books that I can’t stop living until I’m finished.

Finished living, that is.

Keith Miller died of cancer on January 22, 2012 at the age of 84.

I’ve decided I’m tenacious. and I’m not budging on that.

Two days ago, I asked if I was tenacious or just stubborn.

You decide.

I got my miles in yesterday.

Treadmill readout showed:
6.01 miles,
4% incline,
1023 calories burned in
115 minutes and 34 seconds.

In case you are new or catching up and are wondering why anyone in their right mind would do that when they’re not training for a marathon or running from a bear, I’ve decided it’s because I’m tenacious.

Six days before the month was over, I decided I wanted to average walking 1 mile for each day of the month. Just because I can’t set reasonable goals doesn’t mean I can’t do math. That meant walking 30 miles in 6 days.

You’d think that I would walk 5 miles a day. You’d think that I would realize what taking Saturday off would to do my brilliant plan.


I walked 5 miles the first day, 5 miles the second day and ZERO miles the third day. That left 20 miles for the last three days of the month.

Here’s how it went:

Sunday: 7 Miles., 4% incline (didn’t keep track of the rest)
Monday: 7.02 miles, 4% incline, 1213 calories burned in a total of 131 minutes and 28 seconds.
Tuesday: 6.01 miles, 4% incline, 1023 calories burned in 115 minutes and 34 seconds.

I won’t lie. It was hard. I didn’t want to do it. I put it off all day. All three days.

I intentionally put my goal out on the internet – on my blog and on my facebook page, because accountability makes me stronger. Not because my prideful nature wouldn’t let me fail in front of everybody who thought my goals were crazy unreasonable. I’m tenacious, not stubborn, remember?

And for those of you who know I tore my MCL and strained my ACL on December 2nd, the knee is feeling good. I walked over 20 miles in December, now over 30 in January.

February is a new month. I need a new goal.

How about 2 miles a day? 58 miles it is. That should take me less than 40 minutes a day. Reasonable. Sustainable. Easier to make up if I want to take a Sunday off.

I’m also going to continue increasing the time on my forearm plank. I’m up to 2 minutes, 10 seconds. And I need to add some Supermans. because my back hurts. That means it’s not strong enough.

I’m DETERMINED to be a good steward of the body God has blessed me with!

Am I tenacious or just stubborn? (FirstHusband – don’t answer that)

(If you’re new to Compendium, he’s my FirstHusband, my LastHusband, my OnlyHusband. It’s a joke. He gets it.)

If anyone is wondering whether I got my miles in today, that would be YES.

Treadmill readout showed:

7.02 miles,
4% incline,
1213 calories burned,
in a total of 131 minutes and 28 seconds.

The knee is feeling good. The calves however, were burnin. I took two 20 minute breaks to do some laundry and to tuck PinkGirl in bed and pray with her.

If I can log 6 miles tomorrow, I’ll meet my goal of walking 30 miles in the last 6 days of the month to “average” a mile a day for the month.

If you’re new or just catching up, you may be wondering why, if I wanted to average a mile a day for the month, didn’t I just actually walk a mile a day instead of cramming 30 miles into the last 6 days? I’d like to say it’s because I tore my MCL and strained my ACL on December 2nd and my knee hasn’t been ready . . .

I’d like to say that. But it would be a lie. I walked over 20 miles in December. And I think I did actually walk some in the beginning of January, but it was inconsistent and since I didn’t record any of it on my fitness log, I would have been making stuff up. So I gave myself one mile and, with 6 days left in the month of January, decided to walk the remaining 30.

I needed a kick-start anyway. I was getting too comfortable. And my clothes were getting a little UNcomfortable.

I’m DETERMINED to be a good steward of the body God has blessed me with!

I wonder what kind of goals I’m going to set for myself for February.

It’s Monday. Did you tell yourself you would start eating right and exercising today?

I always did.

Monday was the mother of all starting lines. THE day to begin.


Everybody knows it’s better to start a new fitness plan on a Monday.

Even experts agree:

“We think of Monday as the January of the week. It’s a call to action built into every calendar, giving you 52 chances for success.” says Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of The Monday Campaigns, a nonprofit initiative in association with Johns Hopkins, Columbia and Syracuse Universities.

I know what I always told myself on Friday nights:
“It was a long, hard week and I deserve to take the night (and day, and night again) off.”
“It’s too hard to start on a weekend, too many other (presumably fun) things to do.”
“We’re going out and it’s too hard to eat right when we eat out.”
“I deserve this glass (or three) of wine.”
“I deserve this plate of nachos.”
“I deserve to chill out at watch TV.”
“I deserve to …

What a load of hooey. Yes, I said “hooey.”

I did NOT deserve to weigh 210 pounds. I did NOT deserve to get winded trying to play with my kids. Well. Actually, the way I was eating and taking care of my body, I did deserve it.

Because those are the lousy excuses and rationalizations I used when I had the mentality that says fitness is a goal to be achieved. Something I did for a period of time until I got to a certain weight or size. When I was finished, I could go back to my “normal” life of thoughtless eating and neglecting my body.

But if I’m striving to be a good steward of the body God has blessed me with, THERE IS NO FINISH LINE.

I’ve gone through different stages since I began incorporating fitness into daily life. Sometimes I focus on strength training – I’ve gone to a gym, I’ve gone to local fitness trails and now I work out at home. For a few years I worked with a personal trainer two to three times per week. Before I tore my MCL and strained my ACL in December, I was doing yoga and I loved it so much I know I’m going back. But my constant -through injury and weather and lapses in motivation – has always been walking, sometimes outside, sometimes on a treadmill with an incline.

How do YOU incorporate fitness into your everyday life?
If you currently don’t, here’s the thing. You don’t need to buy a gym membership. You don’t have to buy the PX90 or Shred DVDs and spend every minute “hating it” as I read on another blog last week. You don’t need to buy a BowFlex or turn your extra bedroom or garage into a home gym.

Before you spend a lot of money on the accoutrements needed to accommodate your latest exercise plan, I’ll give you the same advice I gave my sister: “Find out if you are ready for the commitment. Tests have shown it takes 21 days to make a habit. Do 10 pushups a day for 21 days. You don’t have to do them all in a row, break them up if you can’t get through the full 10. Do modified pushups on your knees if you’re a beginner. IF, after three weeks, you’ve discovered that you made it, THEN think about throwing money at this problem.

In the meantime, consider this: The SINGLE BEST thing we can do for our health only requires one thing: a good pair of shoes. I’m amazed at the measured significant improvement seen in SO many areas of our health!! Check out the statistics in this video! Short, but PACKED with info!

Here’s the deal. I don’t have to exercise every day for the rest of my life. I need to do it TODAY.
And tomorrow, I’m going to tell myself the same thing.

One day at a time. One step at a time.