Friday, January 30, 2015

The First Fitness Friday

Ever since I was 16 and placed on a specific type of medication I have struggled with my weight. The medication caused me to gain a large amount of weight in a very short amount of time. During my senior year of high-school I had the medication changed and I was able to become a bit more active, with dancing, cheer-leading. and playing softball. However, shortly after that I graduated and went to college. It was during this time that I saw what is commonly known as "The Freshman 15" except for me it was more like "The Freshman 25-30"

I became less active and I had a lot on my plate. I am also a huge stress eater. Oh, did I mention I worked in the cafeteria on campus...Yeah, that did not help matters one bit.

As time went on I tried various exercising programs, fad diets, the works. Then I got married and had 2 beautiful children. Taking off the extra weight I already had plus the baby weight has not been an easy process at all.

As I have been spending time here at seminary I have been studying a lot about biblical womanhood and what that really means. I am learning A LOT about what it means to truly serve God through my place in my home and within my community.

One thing that I have come to realize is that one of the main reasons that I am not able to effectively serve God and my family is because I am not living at my best. I know that I am overweight, and have been for some time. But I never really too into account what that meant when it came to my family. I realized that I am not giving them my very best because I am not at my very best. I know that weight is really just a number and the important thing is to be strong and healthy but I can't help but feel that the two truly have to go hand in hand.

Romans 12:1 says to "present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God"  If I am continuing to allow myself to not be at my very best an I really presenting my body as a holy and pleasing living sacrifice to God?  I don't think so.

So that leads me to the real point of this particular post.

I HAVE to do something to get myself to a point where I really am a "holy and pleasing, living sacrifice.'

The plan is this:

For the next 20 days I will be following the "21 Day Fix" work out program (I started yesterday so that is why I have 20 days left)

This work out comes from the Beachbody company. I bought it in November and I have started it a few times to only get a week and a half or so in and then just quit. I am counting on anyone that reads this to help keep me accountable to this program. 

The program comes with a complete set up of workouts, each only about 30 minutes long. Food containers to help with portion control, a drink cup, and a guide book. The program suggests you also add in a daily dose of their super food protein dring, Shakeology

Now the food containers don't really work with our particular life style and I am much better with counting calories and such so I will do that part for the food aspect. And the shake drink is really just to expensive for us to continue to buy so I will have to back out on that. 

And lastly, for the hard truth:

Here are my starting stats for this program:
Weight 240 LBS
Chest: 41.5 inches
Waist: 34.5 inches
Hips: 50.5 inches
Thighs: 25.5 inches
Arms: 13.5 inches

I will be updating my progress each Friday but I won't officially weigh and measure until the last day of the program.

Wish me luck!

What are your go-to exercise plans? How do you keep yourself on track? Do you have a cheap and easy healthy snack that you like to share? Post it in the comments! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


The Spring 2015 semester began on Thursday fast and furious. The first class I had for the semester was Biblical Theology of Womanhood II. Last semester I took the first section which focused on womanhood in the Old Testament. This semester the focus will be on womanhood in the New Testament.

One of the things that was discussed during this first lecture was the presuppositions that we all bring with us. We all have presuppositions about pretty much everything. The beliefs we hold about a specific topic before any information is shared. This is the case of politics, perceptions of people, and of religion.

When it comes to the content of the Bible we all have our own presuppositions, the things we believe about the Bible before we ever crack open the spine. 

As my professor began to walk us through the list of things she personally, as well as the administration at the school I attend bring to the table I was able to check off each one as she when through them. Here is the basic presupposition list she went through, with a bit of my own commentary added in.

For me I believe the Bible it 100%  true  It is the absolute, complete standard of truth.

I also believe that the Bible is completely inerrant and infallible. Yes, there are some places that make me say, "Hey, that can't be right" but mostly that is just me wanting things to be a bit easier and go my way more.

I believe the Bible is understandable. Again, there are some areas that leave me scratching my head for a time, but I believe that you do not have to have any level of seminary education to be able to understand what God is telling us in His word. 

And lastly, I believe the Bible is sufficient and authoritative. The Bible holds everything I need to know about this life I have been given and gives me that information with full authority. There have been some that have said that BIBLE could stand for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth and I think that is a great way to describe it. 

Those are the core beliefs that I hold when it comes to the Bible. Luckily I am able to study under professors not only hold the same principle beliefs but strive to live them out on a daily basis. 

There are many other things that I "believe" about the Bible. Things that I believe the Bible is teaching me personally, things that I believe apply to marriage and family, things that I believe apply to social relationships and how to conduct ourselves, and even things that I believe apply to government and politics. But ultimately the number one question that has to be asked is this; "Can I support this position from Scripture?"

As I make my way through this semester I hope to unravel some more of what I believe and how it pertains to home, family, and life in general. I hope to challenge others as I have been challenged, to make decisions and know why you believe what you do. With conviction and passion be able to defend those beliefs with solid evidence and a firm foundation.

Chicken and Bean Cassoulet

One of the things I like to do is try at least one new recipe each week.

We like to try new foods and we like to introduce the kids to new things as well.

 Recently, while we were out I found a cookbook titled : The $7 A Meal Slow Cooker Cookbook

 The cover claims there are 301 inexpensive meals the whole family will love. Each recipe consists of several items that would normally be found in the average pantry. The rest of the ingredients are fairly inexpensive. Each recipe page consists of the ingredients and directions for preparing the meals. However, they also consist of a nutrition break down and a general estimate of how much each meal should cost. No meal carries a price point higher than $7.00

 Monday's are really busy days for us here at the Marshall household. Dusty and I are both in class from 12-6 PM and the kids are at a sitters house. One 2 Monday nights a month I have meetings at 6:30 and 7:00 and Dusty needs all the extra time to study that he can get.

 This means that Monday nights are cock pot nights. This week I decided to try a new meal and it actually turned out really good.

 Here is the recipe:

  Chicken and Bean Cassoulet
 1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken things, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 (15 ounce) can navy beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 bay leaf

 1.) Heat butter in large sauce pan over medium heat. Add chicken; cook and stir until browned, but not cooked through. Remove chicken to plate.
 2.) Add onions and garlic to sauce pan; cook and stir to loosen drippings. Place onions and garlic in 3 1/2 quart slow cooker along with chicken and remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine.
 3.) Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until chicken is cooked and vegetables are tender.
Remove bay leave and serve.

 I had basically everything on the ingredient list in my pantry. We didn't have any navy beans but I did have a can of Great Northern White beans, so I just substituted that in. I also didn't have any tomato sauce so I substituted spaghetti sauce and it worked perfectly. The only ingredients I had to shop for this week was the chicken and onion! This meal is a definite keeper in the Marshall household! I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Spring 2015

It's that time again. School will be starting up in just one week. This semester I will be taking New Testament II, Biblical Theology of Womanhood II and The Christian Home. I am really excited about the courses I am signed up for this semester because they will all be focusing on my favorite parts of the Bible.

I am also really excited because this semester Dusty and I will be taking a class together. When we were in undergrad we were in the same major and that meant that our degree plans were almost identical. That also meant that we took almost all of our classes together. Basically the only classes we didn't take together were our electives and the ones required for our minors. I loved being in class right along with him learning the same things and being able to have someone to talk to about lectures and assignments. (Granted it did get frustrating when he didn't do his homework like I "thought" he should be.)

I managed to finish last semester with an A-, B+, and B+. That means I ended the semester for a 3.4 GPA. My goal is to try and push that up to at least a 3.5 GPA. One of the main things that I did was get a head start on my assignments this semester.

Like last semester I am required to read 2 different types of books for my Biblical Theology of Womanhood course and write book reviews on them. While I like being stretched and learning new things, I am learning more about myself and my personal beliefs more than I realized I would during this process. While working on my undergrad degree I only remember reading one book that just made me 100% angry. And that book was a fiction book that was required for one of my literature classes.

The books that I am reading now are non-fiction, informational books. And while I accept and appreciate the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinions on various subject matters, I get angry when I feel things are being taken out of context to outrageously.

I know that the purpose of this type of assignment it to help us to know what view points are out there and for us to be able to make decisions on out own. However, I am going to say, I just don't like it.

I have a major goal of not complaining about my work load on Facebook this semester as well. I realize just how whiny I sound and I am going to do my very best to not be that person anymore. Along those same lines I am going to do my best to actually stay ahead of my assignments so I won't have any reason to become that person.

Here's to a great new semester!