Author Archives: Lara

About Lara

I'm a stay-at-home Mom and run my own business. I am married to a wonderful and supportive man, who helps makes my dreams a reality. We live on a small farm and enjoy the simplicity of country life!

Lara’s Story

As Robynn said, we all have a different story which is compiled of dreams, hopes and fears. Each of us is unique, making every individual like no other…which brings you to my story…

I don’t remember how much I weighed back in late elementary school, but the way my body felt and looked is still vivid in my mind. I remember countless times staring at my reflection in the mirror and telling myself in disgust that I was–(I hate to use this word but this is how I “felt”)– fat. It pains me to this day even recalling that time in my life, because the ache it caused me was deep. I was unhappy and felt trapped in my own body.

When I hit eighth grade, I became more active in sports and hit a growth spurt. The combination of those two things allowed me to thin down, but that didn’t mean my eating habits improved. I was lucky enough to stay thin throughout high school due to being tall and active, but deep down I never had peace with food and the memories of my childhood food struggle continued to haunt me.10616916_315678088635031_903975050_n

I gained some weight when I went to college and remember trying to diet–here and there–to shed a few quick pounds. Everyone may have looked at me and thought I was thin, but I had them fooled in regards to how I felt. Food, and my obsession to have an “ideal” body, secretly controlled my life. As a college freshman I remember buying a huge bag of kettle corn from Sam’s Club. I told myself I could eat only popcorn and water, in hopes to lose five pounds. I would even pass up eating dinner with my friends because I had promised myself to stick with my plan—only  to throw my hands up in defeat a week later after a couple pound gain. Not to mention, I missed out on those fun outings I had passed up.

The saga continued after college and into my marriage. I had such a love/hate relationship with food. Loved how it tasted but hated how it made me feel after eating too much of it and the control it had over my life. I would frantically read any new diet fad on a magazine–in hopes to put an end to this madness–but it wasn’t until years later that I found the answer.

When I met Robynn, and our friendship grew, we began to openly discuss our secret struggles with food. It wasn’t until then that I realized I wasn’t alone. And the more we talked about our frustrations, the more we were determined to stop the food insanity that had taken over our lives.

That is where our peace with food journey began. And since it would be too difficult to try and share our experiences all in one post, we will share it in smaller segments as we continue to blog. We hope you’ll stay with us and invite others to join the discussion as we share how to live in PEACE with food.

More to come!

Lara

 

 

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Filed under Peace w/ Food, Self Image, SelfImprovement, You

How to Reverse Cruddy Eating in 90-Seconds

I don’t know about you, but some days I just feel cruddy. And what do I do when I feel cruddy? I eat cruddy.

It is easy to underestimate the power of how our body and surroundings make us feel. For example, some days I start my day by wearing workout gear and sneakers. The body is always firmer after a long night of rest and a new pair of clothes feels refreshing. Life is good, right?

After a morning of dropping kids off at school, then hurrying home to frantically do housework, make phone calls, fill orders, and tend to my toddler, I am back in town to pick up my son. After lunch, reading time, and tucking the kids in bed, it’s 1:00. As I debate how to spend the kids’ nap time, I walk in circles through the house realizing I am accompanied with a film of greasiness on my face. The house is warmer now since the sun is in full swing, and because I forgot to turn on the fans and adjust the temperature, there is no air movement in the room. The stillness gives me hot flashes which only contribute to making me feel “off”.  Once I realize I’m feeling sluggish, I notice the workout clothes, which once jumpstarted my day, suddenly serve a different purpose: great stretchy clothes to encourage gorging on food followed by an afternoon nap in bed.

How I spent the rest of these cruddy days is so vivid in my mind because that was my life when I became a stay-at-home mom over 7 years ago. I would wake up from that nap, feeling even worse because I wasted my kid-free time by eating and sleeping. I would feel lethargic from then on, resulting in a throw-in-the-towel mindset by eating poorly and being unproductive and moody until I rolled into bed later that night.Reverse Cruddy

So how did I fix this vicious cycle? These days, I listen to my body and no longer let my surroundings control me. If I can tell I am getting warm or feeling sluggish, I reverse these feelings by taking a 90-second shower. That’s right, I stop what I am doing, jump in the shower to cool off and wash my face (I don’t necessarily wash my hair) and I put on a fresh pair of clothes. Giving my body a quick rinse makes me feel better instantly. I am amazed how much it changes my mindset, productivity, and eating for the rest of the day.

I realize if you are not home during the day, this would be impossible to do. I encourage you to look more closely at your surroundings and see what triggers you to feel cruddy. Maybe you need to light a refreshing candle in the afternoon at work or bring a small fan for your desk if you struggle with the stillness in the air (like I do!). Whatever it is, many times it is an action that only takes a few seconds. I would consider that time well invested if it keeps me feeling better the rest of the day, wouldn’t you?

What triggers your cruddy feelings, resulting in cruddy eating? What is one small step you can make today to reverse these feelings?

Lara

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Filed under Peace w/ Food, You

Is the Halloween Candy Tormenting You?

If my kids are eating Halloween candy, then you better expect to see me eating it too. But not only will I have just one or two with them, I’ll take it a step further by secretly grabbing more and stuffing it in the front of my hoodie pocket after telling them, “You’ve had enough!” Once they leave the room, I’ll secure my comfy spot on the couch only to find myself surrounded with dozens of candy bar wrappers just a few moments later…Oh and a large, empty cup of milk of course.

Any time Halloween rolled around, that is what my days looked like in years past. Reflecting back, I would gorge myself in Halloween candy because 1) I knew if I didn’t, someone else would eat all the “good stuff” …or…2)I just let it torment me by being easily available and felt guilty for throwing it out or giving it away. So what did I do? I mindlessly ate it.

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Now that I have peace with food, this is what my relationship with Halloween candy looks like: before even looking at the mountainous options in the bowl, I think about what sounds good. Then, I approach “THE BOWL”. If I’m in luck, and find a Butterfinger or Twix, I take a couple. If I can’t find what I was looking for, I usually don’t take anything at all. I don’t want to waste my calories on something I wasn’t craving in the first place.

From there, I put the bowl away in a cabinet. I then grab my glass of milk, sit down (preferably without kids needing me at the moment—so I may have to postpone this for after they go to bed) and I savor what is in front of me. I mean, TRULY SAVOR it. And once I take that last bite, there is a great sense of satisfaction because my mind went through a start to finish process.  Yum.

On the other hand, if I were to sit in front of an endless bowl of candy, or see it staring at me across the room all day, I’ll never feel like my mission to eat and enjoy it is complete. So I’ll just keep eating it, resulting in feeling more and more sluggish with every bite. And at that point, I am not savoring anything. I’m just eating because it is available.

If it is too tempting knowing the candy is just a cabinet door away, it may be more helpful to pick out your absolute favorites and then donate the rest. I’ve also been known to even throw it away! Yes, I do. And I have to close my eyes when I see the chocolate bar go in the trash. BUT,  if I was only going to eat it because I felt guilty for throwing it out—even if it was going to make me feel sluggish later, causing me to eat more due to feeling depressed—it probably isn’t a good enough reason for me to keep it around.

So there you have it! I hope some of these ideas can help lessen the torment you may have been experiencing in the last week!

Until next time,

Lara

 

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Filed under Peace w/ Food, You

When Tragedy Strikes

This is a tough one.  No one wants to face a tragedy, yet you may encounter one in your lifetime.  How is one to handle these events?  How do we cope with the pain, suffering, and feeling of helplessness?  Not to mention, how to avoid the fear of it happening again…

First, we weren’t meant to do this alone.  Long ago, we were sent someone who would save us.  Someone who came to reassure us that we don’t have to walk our path alone.  God knew life on Earth would be difficult, and He wants to help lighten our load.  He began restoring our confidence by sending His very own son, Jesus.

Does knowing we have our faith mean it takes away all of our pain and sadness?  Unfortunately it doesn’t, but it does provide enough comfort to keep us going.  To keep praying.  To not lose sight of what God has called us to do: trust in Him and continue to live out the life set before us.Sun-through-the-clouds

Secondly, we can’t live in fear.  I know it is easier said than done. But do we really have a better option?  If we are realistic with ourselves, life will consist of steady highs and lows (regardless of how hard we try to control them). So, why not have something constant to lean on through it all?  God is here to take care of us.  At times it may not seem like it—especially on Earth—but if you keep your eyes on the eternal promise, we are assured He has a place more amazing than we can imagine, waiting specifically for us.

If you are going through a difficult time right now, remember that God is right there with you.  He wants to pick you up and carry you. Let Him.  And don’t stop there.  When He speaks, hear His voice….

“Hang with me. I know this is tough. I am here with you. Your eternal rewards will be great, I promise. Never lose sight of me. I love you. ”

I’m praying for you. Keep the faith-

Lara

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I’m Not Going There

I got up this morning with a mission to help my daughter.  As a homework assignment, she was asked to gather pictures of herself which capture her favorite things.  As I began skimming through files of photos on my computer, you would have thought I was spending most of my time smiling and reminiscing about the past.  To my surprise, recalling those days turned into feelings of discouragement as my role as MOM.

You see, after I had my first daughter, seven years ago, I did a great job taking lots of pictures and getting them into a scrapbook in a timely matter.  As life got more hectic and our family grew, I didn’t capture the same moments by photograph with my other two kids—probably because I usually had one kid on my hip and a basket of laundry in the other.

The reality is, life will always be hectic and I CaN’t Do iT ALL.  As soon as I had those sunken feelings this morning I could see how this day was going to pan out—feeling guilty ALL day about the numerous things I should be doing better.  Like how I should plan meals ahead of time instead of pulling meat from the freezer at 4:59 every afternoon…or logging our monthly expenses in a spreadsheet every month instead of staring at a pile of receipts from the last 5 months. The list is never-ending, isn’t it?

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Instead, as soon as my daughter left for school, I shut those feelings down by thinking to myself, “I’m not going there”.  I’m not going to spend the entire day beating myself up about my areas of weakness as a mother.  To help, I tried to imagine what our seven-month-old would say to me when he becomes an adult.  If he knew how terrible I felt for not taking pictures of his sweet feet when he was only a few days old, he would say, “Mom….really?  That’s what you’re worried about?  It’s not a big deal. Really.”  And then he would go on to remind me how I would play tractors with him on the living room floor and  spontaneously make him a farmyard out of old oatmeal containers and cereal boxes.  Ahh…thank you, my sweet kiddos, for loving me for my imperfect self.  And Leanne, make sure you remember this if you become a Mom some day. Don’t be so hard on yourself :)

So if this is you today, pick yourself up and start focusing on the things you do well.  You simply can’t do it allDon’t let special moments (like scanning through years of pictures and reflecting on the past with your kids) pass you by because you are beating yourself up, wishing you’d done better.

From one parent to another, I think you are doing just fine ;)

Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Life

Impeccable Timing

Every now and then I find myself focusing way too much on areas of my body that I don’t like.  Do you ever do that?  Often times it is the skin spots that keep popping up with age or the way my body has changed after having three kids. *Sigh*.

Well today I got an email that included the video I have posted below.  Talk about impeccable timing.  I am glad God put it on someone’s heart to pass it along, because I needed this reminder.  Just in case you needed it too, I decided to share it with you!

This video is an eye-opener in more ways than one.  Not only does it make me think twice about nitpicking areas of my physique, but gave me a kick in the pants for when I get down about life or complain about a task being too difficult.

Attitude is everything.  Don’t deprive yourself of a good life just because everything isn’t perfect.  And I love what Chris says, “If you are worried about how you look, you are cheating yourself out of opportunities.”  Needed to hear that. So true.

I hope this touches your heart like it did mine.  Enjoy…

~Lara

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Filed under Dream Big, Getting Real, Hard Reality, Inspire, Life

Homemade Christmas Potpourri

I know I shared this a couple of years ago, but I just had to share this again for anyone that may have missed it!  I LoVe this homemade potpourri!  It is super easy to make and will smell up your entire home for the holidays!  Try it out and let me know what you think!

3 Cinnamon Sticks

3 Bay Leaves

¼ C. Cloves

2 Lemon Wedges

1 Orange Peel

(Top 3 ingredients are found in the dry spice section of the grocery store.)

CoMbiNe all of these ingredients in a small crock-pot.  Add water to cover top of all ingredients.  Leave on low temperature.  As the smell fades, continue to add water and various ingredients to keep the mixture moist for a continuous yummy smell!  EnJoy!

*Be sure to unplug your crockpot at night because all the water will be gone by morning and the potpourri will be burnt!

*If you are ready to start a new batch, drain the water and set out the old potpourri to dry.  Even as dry potpourri it smells AWESOME!  Place the dry potpourri in a pretty bowl on a table as another way to smell up your home and extend the life of your potpourri!

Need a quick X-Mas Present idea?!  Throw the ingredients into a basket or mini-crockpot and give as a gift!  Include a printed version of the recipe by clicking here!

~Lara

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