Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Reminder to Self


Okay, we JUST talked about this...

...about not continuing to worry about it after you've prayed about it.

I realize it's second nature for you.  So really, this is another one of those habits that will take time to change. 

Don't expect it to happen overnight. 

Just keep trying. 

Surround yourself with uplifting reminders and people who can help you focus on the One in control. 

Listen to music that's filled with Gods promises and words of praise.

Whatever you do, just don't give up. 

Don't stop trying to hand it over.

Ask for forgiveness when you start worrying again (because you will), thank God for His patience and grace, then move forward trusting that everything will unfold according to His plan and greater purpose!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Be Anxious For Nothing


Worry.

It comes so naturally to us. 

And doesn't usually seem easier to worry than to hand it over to God?

Today, someone put it like this: you can't pray about something and then turn around and worry about it.  If you do, you're not fully trusting that God knows what He's doing... you don't fully believe it's in His hands.  You just can't do both.  You either pray and believe God is in control or you worry and empty today of it's strength, joy, and beauty. 

This is the perfect reminder for me this week.  My surgery is Wednesday and it just can't get here fast enough.  The pain has increased, making normal things really difficult, sometimes unbearable.  I pray for God to be my pain relief.  I pray for the outcome of this surgery.  I know it's all in His hands. 

The pain I've been dealing with is caused by endometriosis.  I'm having five surgical procedures Wednesday to help with the condition and try to discover more about some other problems I've been dealing with.  It's been an emotional ride and a challenge at times, but I feel at peace knowing God is in control of it all.

Today I realized that I've been praying, then worrying about what's in store.  Even the smallest amount of anxiety, fear, worry, and uncertainty is robbing my peace.  It causes division and separation in my relationship with God.  That's something I certainly don't want.  I lay it all down and lift my heart to Him now...

"Thank you, God, for opening my eyes to help me see this revelation!  Help me trust and fully rely on You.  I know your plans are bigger and better than my dreams... please help me to hold onto that as I go through this surgery and the recovery process.  You know I'm scared and feeling nervous about what the future holds, but I don't want to worry about the things I can't control.  When those feelings creep in Lord, please remind me that YOU hold my future and that NOTHING and NO ONE can stand in the way of Your will!  In Your name I pray, Amen."


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rear View



Glance in your rear view, but keep your eyes on the road ahead. 

What's your rear view showing you? 

Have you been somewhere you don't want to return?

Were you once somewhere you'd like to be again?

What do you need to alter in your life to get you to your dream?





Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Already Inside


Did you dig deep to discover your soul resolutions and dreams after reading my ‘You’ve Got to Really Want This’ post?  If so, were you able to determine what you care enough about to apply the hard work it will take to get you there? 
I went on a serious treasure hunt within and if felt great to remember exactly why I continue making my way through this quick sand I’m in!  Some things I determined for myself are:

* I’m not trying to get “skinny”.  My dream is to be healthy!

* I don’t need my weight to be in the “double digits” or even under 120 pounds.  My dream is to find myself in the healthy weight range for my height!

* I don’t want attention.  My dream is to share my story with others who experience the same struggles so I can support, inspire, and motivate them to turn their dreams into their reality!

* I don’t want to attempt taking control over my life.  My dream is to fully rely on God for everything, turning to Him to fill the emotional needs I once masked with food!

* I’m not seeking the approval of others.  My dream is to be secure and confident in myself!

* I’m not looking for a perfect bill of health.  My dream is that my weight and eating habits won’t be the cause of health issues!

* I’m not looking to run a marathon or be perfectly toned.  My dream is to feel good in the clothes I wear and not get out of breath when I walk or dance!


So now I’m focused on what I REALLY want!  I’m motivated, inspired, and ready to take over my little world!  But what happens when the weekend rolls around and I’m tempted by sugary sweets or I’m faced with a stressful situation that could lead me to fall into those old habits of emotional eating?  What if that high I’m feeling now goes right out the window in a heartbeat?

I think I’ve found a way focus so I’ll be less likely to lose all control and fall back into those old habits.  If you’ve written down a list of your personal advantages for losing weight, it’s time to get them out and take another look.  If you haven’t made a list, I encourage you to make one.  Reading this list needs to become a habit, even on days we’re feeling unmotivated.  That’s when we’ll want to spend a little more time with it.

I have a list of advantages I’ve defined for myself.  I entered them in my iPhone calendar with an alarm that goes off three times a day (around typical eating times).  My commitment is to read them before I eat to help me focus.  But let's be honest... it can only work if you actually read them.  It does no good to ignore the alarm and tell yourself you can handle this one on your own.  We’re still a work in progress… and that’s okay!  (NOTE TO SELF!)

But I’m finding after eight months even those advantages aren’t always enough to push me into making the right decisions, so I want to improve my list. 
Before I tell you what that is, let me make it clear that I’m not a fan of living in the past.  I fully believe we can be driven towards our dreams by reflecting on where we’ve been, where we are, and where we want to go.  So to improve my list, I want to add disadvantages to it.  This is not to beat myself up, but to help deliver the same message in a different way.  Please be sure you’re emotionally ready before you follow my lead.  If you’ve never tried listing your advantages, start there.  If you have and it’s no longer as effective as it once was, you might find this beneficial.

Now I’ve been known to talk myself into doing what I want because the advantages I defined look too far off in the moment.  My old habits take over and I talk myself out of doing what’s right and into doing what I want to do.  Frankly, I want what I want (Mexican food, continuing shovel food in my mouth after I’m politely full, being lazy and not exercising) when I want it – in that moment.  After all, I’m free to decide what I do with my life, right? 

The idea is to add an alternate view of where making a poor decision will lead me (away from my dream and back into the miserable, unhappy person I once was… remembering I’m no longer that person and I surely don’t want to go there again).  The choice is still mine, but now there’s an additional level of accountability I’ve set for myself.


Here’s an example of three advantages I’ve previously defined and the disadvantage I added today:
Advantage:  I will lower my cholesterol!
Disadvantage:  Having high cholesterol can cause additional health issues such as angina, coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and cancer.  I’ll feel embarrassed and depressed every time my doctor checks my cholesterol levels and finds they are continuously high, suggesting I take medication to correct it.  Taking the medication isn’t good for my body and could cause side additional effects.

Advantage:  I will like myself more!
Disadvantage:  I will beat myself up for failing at yet another attempt to lose weight, sinking into feelings of depression and defeat.  My unhappiness will affect those around me, including my spouse, family, friends, co-workers, and strangers.  I won’t be an encouragement and inspiration to myself or others if I don’t make my dream of losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle come true.

Advantage:  My back and body won't hurt as much!
Disadvantage:  Having back pain can be debilitating, causing me to become less active and more embarrassed about myself and what I’m able to do.  A sore body makes me crabby and cranky and it can suck the joy right out of my soul.  I will feel like being more sedentary, setting me up to gain additional weight, and getting further away from my dream.



These advantages and disadvantages came from my heart.  They aren't a list of rules made up by some diet company or a skinny doctor who doesn't know what it's like to be an emotional eater. 

The ball is in my court.  I can move towards my dream, stay right where I am, or go back to the person I once was.  No one can decide for me.  It's up to me. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!



Week 30
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
218
Current weight:
198
This week's loss
:
?  (On break from weigh-ins)
Total weight loss:
20 pounds


Last week's dream focus
: Stop beating myself up about going over my caloric intake; make healthier choices; decrease the portions of the foods I eat; continue fighting off the urges to mask my emotions with food; find ways to move that won't aggravate my pain, KEEP MY CHIN UP!!!!!!

What went well:  I haven’t given up.  I picked up an inspirational book I bought earlier in the year (and barely started but never finished) and started reading it again for motivation 

Challenges:  Pain; serious anger and rage (partially from being in pain and being unable to relieve it, the other part… maybe hormones?  It’s a mystery at this point); trying with all my might not to fall into depression because I don’t like feeling this way inside – it’s not at ALL who I am; the tendency to fall into old habits of emotional eating; going over my caloric goal every day; keeping my head above water

I need emotional support!

This week's dream focus:  Spend time evaluating my true soul dream - that powerful driving force in my heart that keeps me coming back to this journey of losing weight.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You've Got To Really Want This



Earlier this year I bought a book called 'This Year I Will' by M.J. Ryan.  (See my earlier post entitled This Year I Will.) 

This little book is so great!

I want to share a personal story M.J. shared in the book.  She described how she learned of a scientifically proven best way to do laundry; to fill with water first, then soap, then clothes.  She'd been doing it backwards for almost fifty years!  She decided to start doing it right.  Six years later she still hasn't done it "correctly"... not even once.  She'd always forget until after she'd loaded the clothes and was pouring in the detergent. 

This laundry story shows how difficult it can be to change a habit, even a small one.  If she were to really change how she does laundry, she'd need to post reminders on the washer.  When she caught herself doing it the old way, she'd want to stop, take the clothes out, and put the water in first.  She'd ask her husband to remind her as he saw her walking toward the laundry room.  Eventually, if she did it enough times, it would become her new routine.  As M.J. put it, she just doesn't care enough to put in the effort.

That's the crucial point - how important motivation is.  It takes work, often a lot of work and sacrifice.  You have to REALLY want to bring something into being.  Deeply, truly, honestly.  Otherwise it's too easy to slide back into the same old habits.


In the past when I've wanted to lose weight, save more money, or be more organized - but haven't done it - I've failed to pass the "I really, really want it" test.  If I really wanted it, I would keep at it no matter what setbacks, interruptions, or sidetracks I encountered.  And, no matter how long I stayed off course, I'd eventually return.

What if we dug deeper to discover our soul resolutions and dreams - based on saying yes to our deepest longings.  The goals rooted in what really matters are far easier to keep than flighty resolutions.  Rather than resolving to "lose 10 pounds in a month", I might tap into my soul dream of "nurture my body to continue feeling the happiness of being fit and engaged in life!"  This is something I'm more likely to care about and work toward!

What do you care enough about to apply the necessary hard work?

What do you want badly enough to keep front and center in your life?


Monday, July 23, 2012

Dr. Seuss Quotes That Can Change Your Life!

Here are thirty Dr. Seuss quotes that can change your life.  I had NO idea how deep and motivational Dr. Seuss books were when I was a kid!  I should've read more of them.  Heck, I should read them now!

My favorite from this list is number 25.  Talk about accountability!

What's your favorite?



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Prayer Changes Everything



My dad's sermon at church this morning impacted me in such a mighty way.  He studied and prepared all week for the message he planned to deliver.  Then, during the middle of our praise team practice, God changed his direction.  And I understand why!  If it didn't speak to anyone else, it spoke to me. 

We opened to Matthew 6 and began reflecting on how we come to understand God's will through prayer and a relationship with Him.   When we pray or ask others to pray with us - or on our behalf, we should never do it to gain attention but to earnestly seek God's voice. 

When we come to Him alone in prayer, God wants us humbled and in a quiet place, free from distractions.  It is then our focus will shift from ourselves to God, and we'll begin to sense His grace.  We should never tell Him what we need, but instead ask Him to show us His will and ask Him to be the light to guide our path.  After all, He knows better than us what we need!  It's a relationship that involves constant communication, patience, understanding, honesty, love, and commitment. 

When you call, He will answer.



Prayers don't have to be extravagant in wording.  Rather, they can be simple and should always be from the heart.  The Lord's Prayer (Matthew 9-13) is a model prayer for us. 

If I'm being honest, The Lord's Prayer never meant much to me before I heard the song 'Manifesto' from The City Harmonic.  It melted my heart.  It broke me down.  It drew me into God's presence and brought me to His thrown, the way The Lord's Prayer was meant to be lifted.  It totally means something different to me now.


Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

I want to stop being so anxious about things I can't control and instead hand them over to God without question.  I want to forgive others the way God continuously forgives me when I fail Him.  I want to ask Him to help me resist the temptations I face daily in my journey and instead do things which will bring honor and glory to Him. 

"I lift these desires to You tonight, Father, and thank You for changing Dad's prepared message to the one you knew I needed to hear to help me become closer to You.  In Your name I pray, amen."

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Motivate Ya


So there's a song someone told me about called "Let's Go" by Calvin Harris.  I hadn't heard of the artist but thought I'd check it out. 

MOTIVATING! 

I dig the words.  It makes me want to get off my buns and burn some calories!  Now I really can't wait to get back to the gym!  I've started a new workout playlist for when I finally get there, post surgery. 


"Let's Go" is now on that playlist. 

Check it out!


"Let's Go"(Calvin Harris feat. Ne-Yo)
Let’s go!
Make no excuses now
I’m talking here and now
I’m talking here and now

Let’s go!
Your time is running out
I’m talking here and now
I’m talking here and now

It’s not about what you’ve done
It’s about what you're doing
It’s all about where you're going
No matter where you’ve been
Let’s go!

There ain’t no better time
I’m talking here and now
I’m talking here and now

Let’s go!
Right now is where you shine
I’m talking here and now
I’m talking here and now

...

Let’s make it happen
Let’s make it happen tonight


(Source)
 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Fun!


Do you ever just feel like having fun instead of being serious?  Well that's me today. 

Woke up.  Felt like bein' awesome in spite of pain and a rough night's sleep. 

Everyone should have those days!

So this post is lighthearted because it's that kind of day for me.  I hope it's contagious!


First: A fun collage!  (Thanks to Pam @ It's My Life for the inspiration.  BIG HUGS!)

  1. Dying in traffic on the way to praise team practice Thursday night.  Cranked some tunes to warm up my voice and get outta the funk.  It worked, thanks to this song.  IT CHANGED MY DAY!
  2. I read a kudos card I received from my manager.  It made me smile and feel really good!  She's so great and I'm super thankful for how good I have it now compared to the past.  I'm really thankful for my job.
  3. This is a sad face from being the only person in my group to stay in the office until 4:00, missing the afternoon team picnic.  Only 12 days until the surgery and pain medicine.  I CAN MAKE IT!

video

Next, I wanted to share a video four co-workers and I did for an internal contest on why we like working at our company.  The videos were posted on the company's Facebook page and the "Likes" were tallied, accounting for half the votes.  I'm not sure who's voting on the other half (probably executive management), but our video was in close competition with one other.  MANY THANKS to those of you who went to the DST Careers page to "Like" it and cast your vote!!!

An awards ceremony will be held in August announcing the winners, so I'll be sure to keep you updated.  1st place winners receive Kindle Fires!   SO COOL!  I really hope we win!

* * * *

Finally, some basic kindness reminders!  Sometimes we're so deep in our feelings that these go right out the door and it affects others in a negative way.  Don't be that person.  Be someone other people want to be around!  Happy Friday!



Thursday, July 19, 2012

Follow Your Dreams




At the beginning of the year I purchased a calendar called "Dream Big, Stay Positive, and Believe in Yourself".  I also bought one for my supervisor!  It looked like a great way to keep dreaming and positivity on the forefront in our work place.  A few months into the year we moved from a floor full of cubicles and walls to an open floor plan with a lot less space.  I like it a lot but was crushed that I had more than a year left to enjoy my calendar and no place to hang it.  It now sits on the little shelf behind me and I make the extra effort to get it out and read it.    


* I love this calendar *

I realized yesterday I hadn't looked at it this month.  The words I read blew me away.  It was like God knew what I needed to hear at this point in my journey (imagine God knowing that, right)?   I love Him!  

I wanted to share this with you in hopes it speaks to you the way it did me.  I pray it gives you hope and helps you to keep going and never give up.  If you'd like to grab one of these calendars they're still available online at half the cost!


"There comes a time in your life when you realize that if you stand still, you will remain at this point forever.  You realize that it you fall and stay down, life will pass you by.

Life's circumstance are not always what you might wish them to be.  The pattern of life does not necessarily go as you plan.  Beyond any understanding, you may at times be led in different directions that you never imagined, dreamed, or designed.  Yet if you had never put any effort into choosing a path or tried to carry out your dream, then perhaps you would have no direction at all.

Rather than wondering about or questioning the direction your life has taken, accept the fact that there is a path before you now.  Shake off the "whys" and "what ifs," and rid yourself of confusion.  Whatever was - is in the past.  Whatever is - is what's important.  The past is a brief reflection.  The future is yet to be realized.  Today is here.

Walk your path one step at a time - with courage, faith, and determination.  Keep you head up and cast your dreams to the stars.  Soon your steps will become firm and your footing will be solid again.  A path that you never imagined will become the most comfortable direction you could have ever hoped to follow.

Keep your belief in yourself (and God) and walk into your new journey.  You will find it magnificent, spectacular, and beyond your wildest imaginings."

~ Vicki Silvers

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!



Week 29
Start date
: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
218
Current weight:
198
This week's loss
: ?
Total weight loss:
20 pounds


Last week's dream focus
: Make healthier choices; decrease the portions of the foods I eat; continue fighting off the urges to mask my emotions with food; find ways to move that won't aggravate my pain

What went well:  I didn’t give up!  I prayed!  I handed it over and laid it down!  I leaned on my support system.  I rested.  I surrounded myself with positivity and encouragement.  I soaked it all in.  I kept moving forward.   

Challenges:  Pain; the tendency to fall into old habits of emotional eating; going way over my caloric goal for the week, the temptation to lie to myself and say “this one time doesn’t matter” or “I’m fine the way I am… I’ll still be loved by others”.  Those stupid lies… 

The truth is EVERY time matters.  EVERY good choice gets me closer to my dream faster!  EVERY bad choice slows me down.  This pain is slowing me down enough so why add to it?  Am I fine the way I am (miserable in a body that doesn’t match how I feel inside, overweight, unfit, inactive, wearing plus-size clothes, uncomfortable in my skin, feeling insecure and inferior)?  No ma’am/sir.  Not at all.  Will I still be loved?  Absolutely. 


This week's dream focus:  Stop beating myself up about going over my caloric intake; make healthier choices; decrease the portions of the foods I eat; continue fighting off the urges to mask my emotions with food; find ways to move that won't aggravate my pain, KEEP MY CHIN UP!!!!!!




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Prayer For My Journey



Tonight, Father, I ask You to cleanse me of all doubt, fear, insecurity, inferiority, selfishness, pitty, and hopelessness.  I pray You will replace them with trust, confidence, hope, and strength.  Forgive me for when I've failed You and questioned Your plan for me.  Please cleanse me from my sins and forgive me for the times I've hurt You. 

Thank You for allowing me to come to Your thrown, humbled and hurting.  Thank You for taking care of me and never leaving my side through every trial.  Thank You for every blessing You've poured out, no matter how small.  Fill me, Father, with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and goodness.  Help me to be a comfort to others and to reach out to those who will support me when I struggle.  Please help me to be okay with this process and to enjoy the entire journey, both the ups and downs. 

I love you, Father, and it's in Your name I pray.  Amen.

Monday, July 16, 2012

When You Share From Your Heart


It's great to be back after a weekend break from blogging!  With a busy schedule and a lot of pain, I just felt too overwhelmed to spend time posting.  With the little down time I had, I rested.  I woke up this morning as dizzy as a pet coon (side note: I have no idea what that really means.  My mom has always said it and it rolls RIGHT off my tongue now.  Does the coon have distemper?  I have no idea... we may never know.)... anyway, the dizziness has improved throughout the day.  The pain is still there.

Friday evening at the boy's baseball tournament, I had the pleasure of running into, not one, but two special friends who also happen to be "Overweight... AND OVER IT!" followers, accountability partners, support systems, baseball moms, and fellow weight loss journey travelers right along side me!  It blessed me beyond belief to hear in their words how sharing my stories of struggles, heartache and victory has helped in their journey.


To hear that I'm really impacting the lives of others in such a positive way by sharing the beautiful and ugly truths we face in this world just humbles me.  It strikes a chord of emotion in my soul that makes me want to dance and sing and cry and hug necks and thank God for these blessings!

And it drives me...
To keep fighting through the struggles when I wanna give up. 
To get up and dust it off when "I blew it again". 
To ask for support and prayers when I really need it.
To be an example.
To talk myself out of temptation.
To form new, good habits.
To reach out and be there for others when they need me.
To be a reminder of hope.
To believe that God's plan is ALWAYS better than mine, no matter how His plan unfolds.
To trust that, with God's help, I can make it through any hardship.
To be okay with the process, no matter how long it takes to reach my dreams.
To surround myself with people who are ONLY going to lift me higher.

To those of you in my life who lift me higher (whether you're aware of it or not), from the bottom of my heart, "Thank You".  You motivate me as much as I motivate you. 

Let's keep going forward and never give up.  Together, we're about to do some seriously AMAZING THINGS!  We are awesome, inspiring, mind-blowing people with so much to give!  Let's ignore the lies from our haters, lock arms, and march towards our dreams together.  They will come true if we believe and never give up!