Seasons of Joy Weekly Journal

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

What a glorious week to restart my seasons of joy posts!  The sun is shining brightly, I have just spent a whole week with my family out of the house and we are all looking forward to beginning our next term.  It was so good to be away from the computer and away from anything school related, and so good to spend every day with Gary.  We are all refreshed and eager to begin work once more.

I even bought some jogging shoes 🙂  Which leads me on nicely to this week’s wibbly wobbly news….

Wibbly Wobbly Weightloss

I’m thinking I set myself up for failure using that title right from the start.  Maybe if I’d called it ‘100% fail safe weight loss’ that’s what I would have seen.  But no, the actual weight loss really is very wibbly wobbly.  That said, there are some really good things going on behind the scenes, and whilst weight loss is still very sloooow, it is happening.

I was reading ‘I deserve a doughnut’, which was a book a reader recommended to me, when something struck me.  One of the things the author said was to figure out the boundaries you wish to put around yourself.  I know this is basic, but honestly the boundaries I had always tried to follow did not come from me but some weight-loss group or diet.  I had never sat down and thought through the boundaries that I needed for myself.  By this I mean boundaries that were more Claire-focused, taking into consideration my strengths and my weaknesses.  I began to think of what I have learnt so far.  I know I have spent forty years eating overnight, to enable me to make the most of my insomnia and be productive during that time.  Now I sleep I do not do that anymore.  However, I do still feel hungriest at night-time and have no appetite in the morning.  I wondered, if I forced myself to eat breakfast, would I feel less hungry at night-time?   I knew that curbing my night-time eating may well be the key to actually losing all the weight.  So after much thought and prayer, these are the boundaries I placed around myself:

  • Eat four meals a day.  No snacks
  • Split the calories equally between the four meals
  • Make sure lots of fruit and vegetables are eaten at each meal
  • One day a week I can eat whatever I want

I did this a few weeks before Easter, deciding I would cover the whole process in prayer and wouldn’t weigh myself until Easter.  I was excited.  Surely God would bless my efforts and those ten pounds which seem to enjoy hanging around would be banished from me forever.  Not so.  I had lost two measly pounds!  Two!  An average of half a pound a week.  Going at this pace it would take me over three years to lose the weight I needed to lose to be healthy.  I wanted to stamp my feet, throw myself on the floor and scream, much like a toddler does when they do not get their own way.  Gary then reminded me of all I had gained.  I was much more energetic, my skin was better, my hair was better and I was sleeping longer.  I sighed.  Three years it is then.

It’s funny though, once I had started to make small changes which were completely doable, I felt empowered to make a few more.  Over the past couple of weeks I have been working out the calorie value of all I eat.  Never having done this before, it was quite an eye opener as I realised why I was losing weight so slowly.  So I am changing a few more things:

  • Cutting down on bread
  • Decreasing portion size
  • Moving towards a more vegetarian diet
  • Exercising

The biggest surprise is that I have more than halved my portion size (apart from the one day I eat whatever I want) and I have not noticed any difference in my hunger levels.

To see what God has been doing in my life with regards to my weight and self perception please do check out these posts:

Addiction But No Cold Turkey

All things are possible…

All things are possible…. Part 2

Living a God fashioned life

My testimony 

Warning!  Earthquake alert!!

Yes, I am going jogging.  Any tremors you may feel are the likely result of Claire going for a run collapsing under the effect of too much strain on her poor under-trained heart.

Seasons of Joy 1

I will be going with my daughters and we will be following the NHS couch to 5K plan  although, frankly, if I manage to move anywhere past the couch I will be doing well.

Do you remember the scene in the second Brigid Jones’ diary when she come down the fire pole, her knickers plainly in sight through some see through tights?  Well this is what came to mind when I tried on my new ‘kit’.  The trousers are so see through, I’m really will be surprised if I move off the couch.  I am fairly certain the world is not ready to see my backside 🙂

Mummy and Daughter Time

One of my twins guards her time with me with a fierceness which is very unlike her.  She seems to need to be alone with me a lot as she navigates her way through the tumultuous teen years.  L is becoming more and more like me in terms of her artistic and creative side, as well as her desire to be at home and among people she knows and loves.  We very much enjoy each other’s company, and are currently doing some art scrap booking together.  On Monday we took a trip to Hobby Craft and I bought some new scrap-book paper which will be perfect to use during our crafty times together:

Seasons of Joy 2

Using The Evenings

Because we are using the same scrap books as we used for our Proverbs 31 study, I was flicking through the past studies and came a cross this page:

Seasons of Joy 3

I have decided (now I am not spending my evenings eating the whole time) I will try to utilise them more profitably.  I guess it won’t hurt my eating goals to keep my hands as busy as possible 😉

I have a few things I want to do:

  • I need to make some curtains to go up in our living room to shield the table from the sun.  I have already bought some very inexpensive material from Ikea and am all set to start.
  • I will be learning to crochet dish cloths in preparation for my home-made Christmas gift giving this year:

Seasons of Joy 4

  • I also want to make some knitting bags to pop the knitting needles and wool for the little two (also a home-made Christmas present).  I will also add a simple booklet explaining how to knit:

Seasons of Joy 5

Very Special Reading

Seasons of Joy 6

I am reading such a lovely book at the moment and can’t wait to begin putting all I am learning into practice.  This is one of the few books I have read which have lived up to my expectation of it.  I am only half way through, but have many, many ideas which I shall endeavour to put into practice over the next few years.

It feels lovely to be sharing a little bit of my own heart rather than just my home school heart.  Thank you, as ever, for all your encouragement to write these posts.  And thank you for all your emails and comments.  I promise I will reply very soon….just as soon as I finish school planning for the coming term which begins on Monday (help!).  I hope you are all having a wonderful time this sunny weekend xx


  1. I know how you feel. I am in the same sort of boat. It is hard, but you will be victorious in the end!

  2. I spit a little coffee down my pyjamas at your Brigid Jones description! I always feel like that in my running gear too! I fear for anyone behind me as I’m sure the view causes much hilarity. Good thing there isn’t much traffic on our road.

    We eat a mostly vegetarian diet and it is helping….slowly. You might want to take a look at The Fresh 20’s vegetarian menu – I think they have a free week you can try. We’re on year 2 of their weekly plans and have yet to come across a meal that everyone hated. I haven’t lost much weight (hormones) but my skin and outlook are healthier 🙂

    Claire, I can’t tell you how happy I am that you’re back to sharing your Seasons of Joy. I always find it so inspiring! And I appreciate your honesty about the challenges, too.

    1. Aww, thanks Erin, that is good to hear! I will definitely look into the vegetarian meals you suggested. Oh, and sorry for making you spill your coffee 🙂

  3. So glad to see you back! I missed your posts, but am happy you had a wonderful week with the family! Thanks for these Seasons of Joy pieces as well- you always give me plenty to reflect on as we are sharing some similarities in our lives at the moment.

  4. Another one delighted to see the return of Seasons of Joy here. 🙂 This was such an uplifting (and hilarious) read. (You know if you ever wanted to you could write for a national magazine, don’t you?) Love your trainers. I’m sure just looking at them will make you fitter. And Hobbycraft – swoon!

    We’re well into teen girl territory in our house too (and she doesn’t turn 13 for another 7 months!). Hats off to you dealing with all those hormones at once!!

    1. Yes the teen years hit here much earlier as well. Actually I find the teens much easier than the preteens 🙂
      Thanks Lucinda for the lovely comment – you are always so encouraging 🙂

  5. You made me giggle this morning. Good for you taking up running ~ or maybe I should say better you than me, HA! I am glad you are doing these posts again.
    Blessings, Dawn

    1. Yes, I am trying to get myself motivated to go jogging right now! Motivation for exercise in see through trousers is hard to come by these days! 🙂

  6. Well done to you Claire for your new determination and commitment 🙂 It is nice that you are also using your jogging time for time with your girls. I was vegetarian from age 11 until my mid-30s, and enjoyed all the yummy vegetarian dishes there are. I am interested to hear more about the book you are reading!

  7. You are so precious in the ways you share your struggles. A weight loss journey is wibbly wobbly — both physically & emotionally. Your determination is beautiful. Love your Proverbs 31 scrapbooking page 🙂 …and the Hope Chest Legacy is a wonderful book. We actually were part of her umbrella school school years ago and have many of her handiwork kits from when she had an online store. She wrote books that went along with the kits. — Thank you for the reminder to put them on our upcoming school year plan. I forgot that I had saved a set for my little girls (they were too young). So blessed how God shares ideas through others 🙂

  8. I started with Couch to 5k and ended up running a half marathon (and losing 12kg) so… beware!

    Seriously though, half a pound a week is a healthy and sustainable rate of loss which suggests that you’re losing weight through long-term behaviour change rather than quick-fix diets. Anyone can lose a large amount of weight very fast: just amputate a limb. You’re not actually aiming for weight loss, you’re aiming for health increase, and that’s what you’re getting!

    I’ve just restarted reading through a book called Beginning Again: Benedictine Wisdom for Living with Illness. I first read it about a year ago after I left midwifery. Last weekend a friend mentioned it after I told her I’ve lost my job, and she’s posted it to me so I can read it again. You reminded me of this because one of the exercises in the book had me re-reading Proverbs 31 in a very different light than I had before. I will have to revisit your project on that.

      1. Oh boy I only ran a half marathon. The line between “wow, that was quite an undertaking” and “oh my goodness, you are completely out of your league here” is definitely in the space between 13.1 miles and 26.2 miles, and I am not about to find out precisely where.

  9. Ugg. I cleaned out my closet yesterday, found the scales, stepped on, stepped off, and took them out to the garage. Ugg.:))
    You know I love these posts. Can’t wait to see how your Christmas gifts turn out. I have had The Hope Chest in my Amazon cart for awhile. I am thinking of using it next school year.

  10. I have discovered I have an astonishing lack of self control with regards to certain types of food, in particular chips and salsa. I love them so much, but if they are present I will eat them. Not a good habit, and reading this has given me the impetus to get off my computer and be good and go walking with my dog, who likes that anyways.

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