Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 64
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220 
Current weight: 198 (Last weigh-in 2/13/13)
Total weight loss: 22 pounds! 

Last week's dream focusStart eating better again; continue shutting the devil down when he tries to creep around me; continue giving God the praise for helping me through such difficult situations and making it worth my while to hang in there; and rock my Zumba instructor training!

What went well: Zumba instructor training was AWESOME!  I went.  I danced.  I learned.  I danced some more.  I made friends.  I bought a Zumba shirt. I danced.  AND I MADE ANOTHER DREAM COME TRUE!  
I love the fact that I burned a TON of calories.  I love knowing that someday I'll teach my first class and have fun leading people to get fit.  But the best part is thinking back to how far I've come in this journey.  I can dwell on the fact that I haven't lost a bunch of pounds or that I'm not wearing a single digit clothing size.  But I'd rather thank God for bringing me through hard times... for helping me constantly pick myself up when I stumble... for helping me overcome insecurity and inferiority!  I'd rather dwell on the good! 

Challenges:  My choices when dining out have improved and I'm starting to get my food intake back under control. I still find myself tempted to eat more than I need of foods that aren't the best for me.  I'm making progress again - and that's good!
I'm a little nervous about learning all the choreography I'll need to know to teach a class.  I have to make time to work on it, outside of Zumba class.  I CAN do this!

This week's dream focus: Keep making good food choices; continue shutting the devil down when he tries to creep around me; continue giving God the praise for helping me through such difficult situations and making it worth my while to hang in there; and make time to work on Zumba choreography!

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Crossed Another One Off!

I DID IT!  I made another dream come true!

Since I began this journey, I've tried to always seek God's will for my life.  I've asked Him to show me the right paths to take and I've believed in His plan for me, even when I couldn't see the outcome and didn't understand His timing.  Each time I found myself in the midst of hard times, I trusted Him to get me through.  He hasn't failed!

Last Friday I was able to cross another dream off my dream list.  "Become a Zumba Instructor" is now a reality!  I MADE IT HAPPEN!  Thank you, God for bringing me to this point!  Thank you for giving me the strength to withstand Satan's attacks!

Zumba instructor training day was a long and exhausting, but fun day!  There was a ton of dancing, a great deal of learning, a lot of laughter, a surprise leaky ceiling, and music galore.  The snow storm that was headed our way caused a change in barometric pressure, which caused my head to hurt like heck all day.  A low-grade migraine (just one step beyond a really bad headache) plagued me and prevented me from enjoying the experience at it's fullest.  But it didn't stop me!

After the first 45 minutes of dancing, I was sweating like crazy and as thirsty as ever!  But the cool part was how much I really wanted to learn.  When you're passionate about something, you can't help but soak it all in!  I met some amazing people and made connections I feel will be meaningful. 

I encourage all of you to create a dream list and begin pursuing them.  The more you do it, and the more dreams you make come true, the more fulfilled your life will become!  Don't settle for an ordinary life.  Don't wake up one morning and regret what you didn't do.  Now is your time... MAKE IT HAPPEN!  I'm proof that it CAN happen!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Zumba Dream is Coming True!

I remember the day I created my first dream list.  It was almost two years ago.   

""Become a Zumba Instructor" was in my top five.

I always envisioned this dream coming to life after I'd lost a bunch of weight and looked more like my image of a fitness instructor; toned, thin, and rockin' fitness clothing (as opposed to loose t-shirts and baggy sweat pants).  I never expected to be getting trained this close to my starting weight!

In deciding to become a Zumba instructor at this weight, I had to face a fear.  "What if people walk in and think I have no business leading Zumba?"  Surprisingly, I'm not that worried about what those people think anymore.  It's going to work well for some and not for others.

The point is to get off our butts, have fun, and burn some calories!  I can do that - and I can lead others to do that!  Maybe not having an "ideal" body shape will help people to feel more comfortable and take a class... to step out of their comfort zone. If so, I'm willing to take that risk!

I don't know how it's all going to work out.  But I know I'm not running from my fears.  I'm making my dream come true... and that is beautiful!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 63
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 198 (Last weigh-in 2/13/13)
Total weight loss: 22 pounds! I'm back to my pre-surgery weight!

Last week's dream focus: Continue praising God for delivering me and helping me overcome such adversity; improve my choices when dining out (a constant struggle); and work out as much as possible!
What went well: I was seriously attacked by Satan via some guy with a Facebook profile.  Yes, I did mean to put this in the "What went well" section!  It went well because I didn't let it affect me.  I didn't let it stop me from making progress towards my dreams!  I used it as fuel to make good things happen in my life.  I knew it was from the devil and I shut him down.  That rocked.
I'm absolutely LOVING the changes at work and I haven't cried in 10 days!  (That's a big deal.)  I'm living proof that if you trust God when it feels like your world is falling apart, He WILL deliver you... even if you trust Him just a little bit.  Keep your eyes on your dreams and have hope for the future.  This too shall pass and you will see better days ahead.  I'm so thankful I went through those hard times.  I didn't like going through them but I knew it was for a reason.  Did I want God to rescue me ASAP?  Of course!  But I knew He had a plan and the difficult, uncomfortable feelings were necessary.  I will soon find out why.
Challenges:  Constant dining out and eating more than I really need has been on the verge of spiraling out of control.  Y'all - we really have to be careful what we do.  Little by little a little becomes a lot.  First, it was a few more chips and salsa here and some sugary peach ring candy there.  Then, it was birthday cake.  But the next day I had another slice... WITH ICE CREAM.  Okay, seriously?  I know better!  That's the old me.  Those actions won't propel me towards my dreams.

The good news?  We can start over THIS MINUTE.  Each passing moment is another chance to turn it all around... so that's what I'm doing.  Today is new.  Today has been GREAT!

A "liker" of my Facebook page once commented on a picture and said "It's going to be waste whether it goes in your mouth or in the trash."  Wow.  That visual has stuck with me and really holds me accountable when it comes to mind. 

This week's dream focus: Start eating better again; continue shutting the devil down when he tries to creep around me; continue giving God the praise for helping me through such difficult situations and making it worth my while to hang in there; and rock my Zumba instructor training on Friday!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pray, Love, Forgive

I can't stop thinking about the random guy who said such awful, hurtful, mean things to me.  He doesn't even know me.  I don't know him.  It was totally uncalled for, abusive, and inappropriate.

The thing is I'm even not upset about the terrible comments he left on my wall.  I'm upset about this guy's life and where it's headed.  Most people would have told him off (and where to go) before banning him from their page and reporting his abusive comments to Facebook.  He certainly deserved it.  I couldn't bring myself to provide him with any feedback. 

I knew he wanted to see that he hit a nerve within me.  He wanted to know his comments hurt my feelings and possibly destroyed my dreams.  I could have told him he wasn't going to stop me and nothing can get me down.  I could've really "stuck it to him", but I just felt any response was pointless. 

The reality is that Satan was working through this guy to get at me.  The comments were so vile it was clear this was an evil attack.  Satan wants nothing more than to keep me from doing ANYTHING good.  He wants to keep my unhappy, unfruitful, and unproductive.  He wants to be sure I don't reach my goals and dreams because that would mean I'm living in the will of God. 


He doesn't call the shots in my life.  The devil does NOT make me do it.  I have a choice in everything.  I choose.  I determine how the story unfolds, not him.  Just like the random guy who posted gross things on my wall.  He went along with Satan's idea.  He thought it would be fun.  He's not living in the will of God.

Although I keep referring to this guy as "random", he's really not. He's special to God and loved unconditionally by Him. Yes, his words hurt me and hit right on the most insecure of spots. He didn't know what those spots were... he was being told exactly what to write.  I can't stop wondering about him.  Who's hurt him over the years?  What's missing in his life?  Does he believe in God?  Did he walk with the Lord at one time but turn away?  What's so bad that he has to attack other people in such a vicious manner? 

He's now banned from my page and can no longer comment while logged in from that profile.  I want to share God's love and my story with others in hopes it will help them on their journey, but I will not be abused.  In a matter of seconds, it reached a point where I had to eliminate this person from my life... and now all I can do is pray for them. 

Yes, pray for the person who attacked me.  Not "get even".  I'm trying to love as Jesus loved.  I'm trying to rise above the negativity and hostility of the world.  I'm trying to die to self.  Had this attack happened a year ago today when I was super vulnerable, I'm certain the outcome would be different.  But all these days of picking myself up when I've stumbled, then trying and trying again have conditioned me for this moment.  This "random" is loved by God, so I have to love him, too.  And if praying for him is the only love I can show, that's what I'll do.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I Won't Allow It

Satan, you're a crafty one.  I'll give you that. 

So you really thought you'd get to me by sending someone to post super-ugly, mean-spirited, hateful comments on my Facebook page?  Did you honestly believe that personal attacks about my nose, weight, family, or figure would stop me from pursuing my dreams? 

It's not gonna happen.

I'm sorry, sir.  You must have forgotten to whom I belong.  I belong to my Savior, Jesus Christ!  Let me gently remind you, once again, that you have ZERO authority over me.  I am a child of God and in His name I command you to step aside and remove yourself from blocking the path to my dreams.  I'm not going to give up.  I'm not going to allow you to walk all over me.  I'm not going to settle for an unfulfilled life.  It's just not gonna happen.  Now, get out of my way so I can keep rockin' my dreams!

Oh, and the cartoon drawing of you with a pitchfork stabbing a bleeding heart was a nice touch on that guy's Facebook profile picture.  But here's something you should know.  God has given me the gift of discernment, so I would have know you were behind this had there been no picture.  But thanks for making it obvious to everyone.

"God, I praise Your Name and thank You for giving me spiritual wisdom and the courage to withstand Satan's attacks!  I give YOU the glory and I thank You for placing these dreams in my heart!"

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 62
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 198 (Last weigh-in 2/13/13... I'll weigh again next week!)
Total weight loss: 22 pounds! I'm back to my pre-surgery weight!

Last week's dream focus: Keep my eyes on God and His plan for me, trusting that He knows what I need and when I need it; continue eating well - making smart choices when dining out (a constant struggle); work out as much as possible; and BELIEVE THAT GOD MAKES ALL THING WORK TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD!!!  (Romans 8:28) 

What went well: By now you're probably aware of adversity that's been flooding my life the past few weeks.  Well, God has delivered me from it in a mighty way!  He deserves ALL the praise and glory!  These past few days have been incredible and I've felt like my authentic self again... with NO TEARS!

Fourteen months ago I was moved to a different group working on a product I felt wasn't a good fit.  I knew I wouldn't be working within my strengths more than 70% of the time, but I took on the challenge.  It was difficult at first, but got a little better when I worked on a project that was much like what I'd done in the past.  When that project was complete, it was back to the uncomfortable. 

I endured for months.  I made the best of it.  I tried hard to shut out that inner voice telling me I couldn't do it.  But there finally came a time when I realized I don't need to struggle so hard fighting through things I'm weak at when I can soar using my strengths.  And that realization exposed how miserable I really was.  The tears began to flow.  My stomach began to hurt.  Everything felt more difficult than it ever did.

Through it all I relied on God to get me through the transition from where I was to wherever He was taking me.  I trusted His plan.  I knew He'd get me through.  And it helped... but the meltdown still occurred - and in His timing for the right reasons. 

I'm now in a new group working on a product that allows me to work with my strengths!  He delivered me so much fasted than I could've imagined and I'm so thankful!  I'm still pursuing my dreams.  I fully know my vocation - my calling - but I know I can't get there overnight.  I have to be patient and continue trusting in God.  Until then, I'm going to ROCK this new position - no matter how long that is!  YAY GOD... AND THANK YOU!!!

Challenges:  A road trip to Louisiana.  'Nuff said!  :)

This week's dream focus: Continue praising God for delivering me and helping me overcome such adversity; improve my choices when dining out (a constant struggle); and work out as much as possible!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My Jaw-Dropping Moment

I just can't believe these before and after pictures!

I seriously don't remember looking like that on December 28, 2011. 

This weekend we went to Louisiana State University to see two baseball games for the boy's 16th birthday.  I brought my new skinny jeans (still so exciting to me), boots, and the new clothes I bought (two sizes smaller than what I was wearing in the 2011 picture above)!  I felt really good in my new outfits.  Although I still fought some insecurity, I found some confidence I'd lost over the past few years. 

On the last day, my husband suggested we take some pictures.  I jumped in with the boy and my nephew... and the picture he took made my jaw drop.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing!  I noticed my weight loss more than ever!  It's the best full-length picture I've taken in years... and I still can't believe the difference. 

I've been on this journey for just over 14 months.  It's been difficult at times.  It's been full of ups and downs.  After stumbling, I've had to pick myself up over and over again.  I've wanted to quit.  I've wanted to be lazy.  I've been tempted to go back to my old, bad ways.  At times, it all just seemed too hard to keep trying. 

But I haven't quit... and this picture makes me understand how important that really is.  It makes me feel incredible!  It makes me want to keep going!  It helps me see that my dreams are coming true before my eyes... and that's worth the lessons learned, the adversity I've faced, and the things I've overcome!

Friday, March 8, 2013


I'll be taking a weekend break from blogging and will post again on Tuesday.  I'll continue engaging on my Facebook page, so be sure to check in with me there! 

~ MUAH!  xoxo

Friday Wow Factor!

Week 61
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 198 (Last weigh-in 2/13/13)
Total weight loss: 22 pounds! I'm back to my pre-surgery weight!

Last week's dream focus: Keep my eyes on my dream - doing what I must to overcome this adversity; trust in God's timing, remembering this is all happening for a reason and there's some lesson to be learned; and eat better than the week before - making good choices when dining out!
What went well: I danced an AWESOME Zumba class Tuesday and tried the new WERQ class Monday... it was SO FUN!  I really worked it out and could feel it the next day or two.  (Starting to love that!)  I walked into Zumba on Tuesday as the instructor of 'Butts & Guts' was about to leave the class.  She looked at me and said "Are you the Zumba instructor?"  I replied "Oh my gosh, no, but thank you for thinking that!  I'm going to be trained to teach Zumba in a couple of weeks!"  It made me feel great that she would even think that and it confirmed that I'm definitely supposed to make it happens.
My adversity is getting better!  God has made a way were it seemed there was no way!  I'm not completely clear of stress or hard times, but I have so much faith that He's delivering me and leading me towards my dreams.  I'm glad I continued trusting Him.  I'm glad I kept my eyes focused on Him when it felt like the ground was crumbling beneath me. 
Challenges:  Although the adversity has decreased, I must keep my focus on God and His plan.  Satan has already begun throwing darts of fear, insecurity, and inferiority at me... like INSTANTLY. 
I'm already reminding him he has NO authority over me.  I'm not going to focus on the negative.  I'm not going to worry about what might happen.  I'm not going to doubt my abilities.  I'm trusting God's plan for me because whatever does happen IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!
This week's dream focus: Keep my eyes on God and His plan for me, trusting that He knows what I need and when I need it; continue eating well - making smart choices when dining out (a constant struggle); work out as much as possible; and BELIEVE THAT GOD MAKES ALL THING WORK TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD!!!  (Romans 8:28) 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Dose of Encouragement

If you knew how much I've messed up since I started this journey, you might be surprised.

What makes me feel so great about all those mess-ups is that after a year and two months, I'm still trying.  I haven't given up! 

I'm really starting to notice my weight loss - especially in my stomach area where I need to lose it the most!  I can't believe how motivating and encouraging that is for me.  I'm so glad I haven't allowed Satan to steal my dreams and keep me trapped a prisoner of insecurity.

If you're on a similar journey I encourage you not to give up!  It really does pay off.  You will not regret making these positive changes in your life and seeing your dreams come true!  KEEP TRYING!

Monday, March 4, 2013

WERQ It Out!

The devil is not going to keep me from my dreams.

Just thought I'd throw that out there... he needs to be reminded. 

Today was overwhelming.  After five tear-free days, I was put to the test again and almost couldn't handle it.  I'm so tired of this struggle.  I'm so sick of crying about this adversity.  I'm so ready for it to be behind me. 


The only thing I wanted to do was come home and go directly to bed.  That's not good.  I knew I needed to hit the gym and, if I did, it would make me feel better.  The gym I'm a member of has multiple locations in the area, so I looked at the schedule of the newest one.  They had a class at 5:00 called WERQ.  I didn't see a description but I remember hearing it was a dance class so... of course I was in!  After checking out, I knew I couldn't miss it.

It was the first WERQ class at this gym (last week's was cancelled because of the snow storm).  Five women and the instructor danced for 50 minutes, sweating and having fun!  I'll definitely go back, especially since it doesn't conflict with Zumba.  The best part, I DID feel better after that awful day!  I WERQ'd my aggression and frustration out.  AND I could really notice my weight loss... even more exciting! 

I can't change the fact that I'm going through this crap.  But... 
I CAN change how I allow it to impact me.
I CAN change my outlook, thoughts, and actions.
I CAN remind the devil he will NOT keep me from my dreams.
I CAN repeat this...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

They Worked, By Golly!

This weekend was full of non-scale victories!  One of my most anticipated advantages of losing weight has been to wear skinny jeans... and wear them with boots.  So while trying on new clothes (because most of mine are now too big on me), I mustered up the courage to grab some Rockstar Skinny Jeans at Old Navy and give 'em a whirl.


I now have a pair of skinny jeans and they fit so well!  I ordered a new pair of boots but they haven't yet arrived.  In the meantime, I'm wearing my old barn boots... and they totally work!  They're worn and have character.  They make me feel sassy!  :)

It sounds silly but wearing these skinny jeans with boots inspires me to keep working hard and continue making good choices.  It's another dream I've crossed off my dream list and that motivates me to see what other dreams I can make come true.

I share this so you'll see that when you keep trying - even when it's hard and you totally feel like giving up - your dreams CAN come true!  Be patient and have hope.  These kinds of victories can happen for you, too!