Monday, September 30, 2013

These Times Are Hard, But They Will Pass!

First things first. There IS hope for you and you DO deserve to be successful AND happy!!!

Please believe me when I tell you I've been where you are, just different circumstances. I've felt really guilty for choices I've made and I've felt depression and anxiety over the way things have ended up when I never expected it to turn out the way it did. To mask the guilt I felt, I would overeat and be lazy over and over again. There were so many times I felt like I'd messed my life up so much that no one would ever want me, that I didn't deserve to have a life better than it ever was.


I'm serious. Satan wants nothing more than for you to continue beating yourself up and masking those emotions with food, which leads to health issues, unhappiness, and more depression. God has bigger things in store for you! The fact that you haven't given up means you're STILL MOVING FORWARD!!! You still want this and YOU CAN HAVE IT! It's YOUR dream and it will come true if you keep trying and never give up!

Things happened in your life that you didn't expect or plan for. It hurts. It's not fair. It's not how you ever wanted it to be. I know how that feels. But staying in that place will only keep you from your dreams! You have to forgive yourself for all the times you messed up, for all the things you wish you could do over. Look at those things and find out what you can learn from them for your future. How would you do it differently next time if you were faced with the same choices?
My dad's sermon at church yesterday was about refining. He explained how gold, when extracted from the earth, doesn't look anything like what we see in the jewelry stores and it's not always recognizable because of the impurities that mask its appearance. Yet, for the person searching for it, the ugliest lump of gold is of great value, and the potential for beauty is clear. Our lives are similar to those lumps of unrefined gold. God doesn't see us full of impurity (the way we see ourselves), but full of potential! He is the Refiner and we are the lumps of unrefined gold, full of impurity and full of potential beauty!
Many times we want, even expect, God to remove the junk from our lives, but that's not the refining process; not for gold and not for us. God loves us too much to leave us the way we are. To refine gold, heat must be applied to force the impurities to the surface. As the impurities rise, they're removed and more heat is applied. This process continues and continues, heat is applied and re-applied, until the gold is pure. The refiner knows the gold is pure when he looks into the gold and sees his clear reflection. (Isn't that SO COOL!?!?)
God works a similar process in us. Our lives are a process of God applying heat and exposing our weaknesses, our faults, our struggles and our impurities. Heat is hot and uncomfortable, but if we submit to the heat, each day we're transformed! The process is complete when we meet Jesus face to face and He sees His reflection in us!
So many times I'm tempted to blame myself or others for the adversity I'm facing. Yes, someone is responsible. I could beat myself up for it or hold a life-long grudge against someone else, but why would I want to rob my days of joy and happiness? Now, I remind myself that the heat I'm feeling will be applied by the Refiner of my soul and that heat has a specific purpose, it will get me where I want to be! Health, parenting, finances, relationships, my job, my dreams... God is working in EVERY area of our lives. He's not cruel and He hasn't left you. He's very much alive and He values you and loves you, even when you don't love yourself.
I totally get it. I know this journey is hard. I'm trying my best not to invite hard times into my life, but to find ways to embrace them when they do come. It's really difficult to do sometimes, but I keep surrounding myself with positive things, positive people, anything good! I've been shutting out so much toxic negativity from my life, including people. And some of them haven't liked it. Others may not have noticeds. Some have started to come around and are changing for the good along side me! But I refuse to allow anyone to rob me of my joy or delay my dreams! It's what I must do to overcome. 
YOU CAN DO THIS! Believe in yourself, take it easy on yourself, and don't speak negative things into your life! In the past we were self-sabotogers, but we are BREAKING THAT HABIT! That's the old us, we are SO MUCH BETTER NOW! WE CAN DO THIS!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

You Are

You are not ruined.
You are not worthless.
You are not invaluable.
You are not a lost cause.
You are not beyond repair.
You are not unlovable.
You are not abandoned.
You are not discarded.

You are human.
You make mistakes.
There's no mistake so bad that God would stop loving you.
There is hope for you.
You are valued.
You are loved.
You are worthy.
You are beautiful.
You can heal.
You can recover.
This is not the end for you.
You can move beyond this.
You can turn your mess into your message.
You can overcome.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

If You Get A Chance, Take It!

When God places something in your life that feels like a dream come true, it can be difficult to fully grasp the fact it's your new reality.  God is full of blessings with so many gifts just waiting for us if we'll humble ourselves, submit to Him, and place our trust in His plan for our lives.  I don't want to miss out on those blessings! 

Those of you who follow my blog on a regular basis are aware that things have really changed for me in the last four weeks!

  • I've completely stopped emotional eating
  • My metabolism and blood sugars are regulated
  • I'm eating only when I'm truly hungry 
  • My portions have decreased a considerable amount
  • I'm viewing food as fuel and am not focused on food all the time
  • My moods are great
  • I have so much energy
  • My will power is much stronger
  • I'm craving better foods and bad foods don't seem as appealing
  • I've lost an average of 2.5 pounds each week while eating foods of my choice and working out (doing Zumba) just once a week
  • My clothes that were just a little too tight four weeks ago are now loose

Each one of these are dreams I'm achieving!  I know without a doubt God is behind this... my life seems so different.  I feel like the chains that have kept me in bondage to food have been broken!  It's the best feeling!

Earlier this year when I was struggling with chronic pain, I received a care package of from a wonderful woman with a heart for God after hearing His voice leading her to reach out in my time of need.  She sent me several products from Plexus and I began taking them once I was able to safely work out again, on August 26.

I didn't share this on my blog because I wasn't sure how the products would work, I didn't know enough to feel comfortable leading others to it, and I'm never looking to promote things on my blog or Facebook page.  So I gave them a chance and continued in my journey.  Little did I know how effective they would be and how quickly I would see a difference!  I spent a considerable amount of time researching the products to understand more, to determine if they were safe, and read the testimonies of other real people who have experienced terrific health benefits, including weight loss.

Not only did I research, I spent a lot of time in prayer with God about it.  It was so frequently on my mind and I wanted to be sure it was God's voice I was hearing!  The more I read and prayed, the more comfortable I felt about it.  

My first concern, however, was how you would feel when I shared this with you.  I knew I couldn't, and wouldn't want to, keep this to myself, but I also never want to compromise your trust in me or make you feel as though you've been tricked somehow.  You have no idea how much I value that you take time out of your busy lives to read a word about my life; my struggles, my victories, my mishaps, and my blessings.  You are a blessing to me by caring, alone, and you support, encourage, and inspire me to keep going no matter what!  My other concern is that those who know me personally could feel as though I didn't care enough to tell them what was helping me.  I certainly wasn't keeping a secret from you, I just wanted to know more and see results firsthand before sharing!

After the first three weeks of amazing results, I followed God's lead to become a Plexus ambassador, if for no other reason than to get the products at a discounted rate.  But seeing how well it worked for me, I just can’t keep it to myself.  I don’t feel it would be fair to continue down the road to my dreams and not share with others a major factor in my success!

One thing I will vow to you is that 'Overweight... AND OVER IT!' will not become a platform for me to promote Plexus products.  I may mention it on occasion, but this blog will remain a place for me to share how I fulfill my dreams and overcome life's adversity!  I am committed to helping you overcome your struggles and want to continue to encourage you as you achieve your dreams.  We're in this together!

To share my experiences and things I learn about Plexus, I created a new blog called 'Overweight... AND LOSING IT with Plexus!'.  If you’d like to learn more about Plexus, visit my Plexus site, and I encourage you to do some research of your own!   I hope you know this about me by now, but the last thing I will ever do is try to convince anyone that something is right for them.  I believe each decision a person makes should come from their heart, without feeling pressured or tricked into it.  If you don't desire to take supplements, rock on!  If you're currently using products that are working for you, terrific!  If you want to give Plexus a try, that's fabulous, too!  No matter what you decide, I'll continue to pray God's comfort, guidance, direction, and blessings in your life.  

I hope you'll stay on this 'Overweight... AND OVER IT!' journey with me!  You mean SO much and you make me SO happy!!!

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 90
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 205 (10 pounds lost since 8/26/13, an average of 2.5 pounds per week!)
Total weight loss: 13 pounds

Last week's dream focus
Continue going to Zumba and hit the gym for regular working out as well; seek God in every opportunity that lies before me; shut that Devil down at every turn; stay; keep hustlin' to make these dreams come true; keep viewing food as fuel!

What went well: I LOST ANOTHER TWO POUNDS THIS WEEK!  YAY!!!  I've averaged 2.5 pounds per week since August 26... a total of 10 pounds lost in a month!  I'm STILL eating only when I'm truly hungry.  I'm STILL not ravenous.  I'm STILL having to remind myself to eat at times.  My moods are STILL really good!  My world is S
TILL being rocked!  

Challenges:  I wasn't able to go to Zumba last night because of conflicts, but it's not the end of the world (although I do have withdrawals and get a little grumpy when I miss my Zumba)!  My other challenge was my little fall yesterday.  I'm left with scabbed & sore knees, a tender hand, a little residual embarrassment, one less pair of pants (although at this rate, I hope they're soon way too big anyway!) and a God-inspired post!  Now THAT is overcoming!

This week's dream focus: Continue adding fitness back into my life; seek God to give me the right words to say and the best way to present them; shut that Devil down at EVERY turn; never stop hustlin' to make my dreams come true; keep viewing food as fuel!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The One Who Falls

I had one of those moments today.  You know the kind I'm referring to.  The kind of moment you absolutely dread.  The kind of moment you would refer back to when asked "What was your most embarrassing moment?". 

I was walking back from lunch downtown during the noon-time rush.  As I approached my building I noticed several landscapers working hard to make the switch from summer to fall foliage.  As I'm walking past, I step on a large chunk of mulch and roll my ankle, falling to the ground, purse contents spilling out and cell phone sliding across the concrete.  I know I made an embarrassing sound, although I can't quite recall if it was bird-like, donkey-ish or gorilla mode.  The hard-working Mexican gentlemen working right next to me came to my rescue in a heartbeat.  One spoke great English while the other was clearly fluent in Spanish.  They quickly asked if I was okay and if I needed help, which I clearly did.  

It's funny how a thousand thoughts go through your head in such a tiny moment of time.  Immediately after falling I thought "Oh no, my bad ankle.  Not again!  What about Zumba? What about my weight loss journey?  I've already had two surgery and recovery setbacks on this journey.  Do I really have to nurse this ankle again?  I don't WANT to start over!  I don't WANT to gain more weight and not be able to exercise!  I don't WANT to get up off this ground and look people I may know in the eye!  I just want to go home!!!"  I quickly snapped back to reality and asked the English-speaking gentleman if he could help me up as I reached out my hand toward him.  He grabbed my hand and helped me to my feet, then proceeded to gather my cell phone and other belongings while I contained myself.  When they saw the wood chunk that caused me to fall, they promptly moved it, and other scraps, out of the walkway to avoid another accident.  

I looked down and noticed I'd ripped a nice hole in the knee of one of two pairs of pants I wear frequently to work (because they aren't too tight and I need to wear them while I get closer to my smaller sizes).  I scraped both knees really bad and drew blood.  I cut my hand in a couple of places and my ankle was throbbing.  It was awful.  

What really upset me when I finally looked around was that no one going to or from my building rushed over to help.  I saw some of them gawking at my situation as they headed toward their destination.  I saw a couple look and then turn away quickly as to avoid getting involved.  And I saw a few give me a sympathy look like "Oh, bless your heart.  You poor thing." as they finished their smoke break.

I grabbed my belongings, thanked my rescuers, and started the walk of shame to my desk.  When I got there and told my co-worker what happened, she immediately offered to help and took me to the first aid kit, hooking me up with cleansing pads, anti-bacterial lotion, and bandages.  She helped make it all better!

When the red glow left my face and I finally got over the embarrassment, I began thinking about how awful it felt to see all those people walk past me and not feel a tug on their heart to drop everything to help someone in need.  Maybe they thought the landscapers had it covered.  Maybe they assumed others who were closer in proximity would help.  Maybe they were late to a meeting or lunch.  Regardless, it felt terrible to fall like that and watch people pass you by.  

I could have remained a victim, lying there like a bug on my back, kicking my legs until someone came to turn me right side up, without trying to help myself.  But I didn't.  I reached out my hand to a complete stranger and I asked for help to stand to my feel again.  I swallowed my pride and made myself move forward, no matter what anyone thought... no matter what stares or looks I received.  And when I got back to the place where I needed to focus and do the work I had to do to get me closer to my dreams, the right people were there to support me, help me heal and keep going.

Yes, I had an accident.  No, it wasn't planned.  It wasn't expected.  It wasn't desired.  It wasn't ideal.  But it did happen and there's nothing I can do to take it back or change it.  

Once it happened, I had choices.  I could be a victim and or an overcomer.  I could remain on the ground, wallowing in my embarrassment, insecurity, and self-pitty, or I could reach out my hand to someone who wanted to help me, I could surround myself with people who believe in me, encourage me, and lift me up, and I could keep moving towards my dreams.  I could harbor feelings of bitterness toward all those people who didn't help me and vow to "show them" by never helping anyone in the future (the old "they won't do it for me so why should I do it for them?" attitude) or I could use this as a lesson to NEVER make anyone feel as though my agenda was more important than helping someone in need.

The next time you fall down, will you choose to be a victim or an overcomer?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Punching Bag

Do you ever wonder why we beat ourselves up over things we did wrong or goals we set for ourselves that we didn't achieve?  I sometimes find it easier to forgive others for mistakes than to forgive myself.  I used to frequently replay the image of the let down and remember what I felt the moment I realized I messed up.  I would beat myself up over and over again like a punching bag until I felt worthless.  

I would never be okay with another person treating me this way, so why would I be so mean to my own precious soul?

Are we perfectionists?  
Are we constantly comparing ourselves with others?
Are we trying to live up to standards set by others?  
Are we still trying to seek our parents' approval?  
Are we hearing voices from the past telling us we're not good enough?

Each person has their reasons.  Some are listed above.  There may be a thousand other reasons they punish themselves over mistakes made.  The truth is beating ourselves up never benefits us.  It's completely negative and nothing good comes of it. 

Instead of abusing ourselves, what if we...
 -accept that it happened
 -forgive ourselves because we're human, we WILL make mistakes
 -reflect on how it made us feel
 -determine if we want to feel that way again
 -make a plan to try something different next time
 -if it doesn't work next time around, we'll repeat those steps and try something new
 -take it easy on ourselves
 -enjoy this life
 -focus on our blessings
 -keep our eyes on our dreams
 -keep moving forward
 -remember that slow progress is still progress!

I'm certain we'll see a big difference if we were to apply these daily.  It's absolutely changed my life so far, and I'm a work in progress!

Friday, September 20, 2013

My Declaration

These words spoke so loudly to me that it almost took my breath!  This is EXACTLY the way I feel about my life, my dreams, and my future!  Satan's pretty aware of that and he's made it abundantly clear with the bombardment of negativity and doubt these past two days.  

I'm not having it. 

I decide what I will and won't accept in my life, Satan doesn't decide that for me.
I decide what I will and won't pursue, Satan doesn't decide that for me.
I decide how I will and won't respond to others, Satan doesn't decide that for me.
I decide if I'll let a situation stop me or fuel me, Satan doesn't decide that for me.
I decide what I'll absorb and what I won't, Satan doesn't decide that for me.
I decide how long I'll dwell on something and when to move on, Satan doesn't decide that for me.
I decide if I'll use the past to hold me back or make me better, Satan doesn't decide that for me.
I decide if I'll accept life as it is or make it what I want it to be, Satan doesn't decide that for me.

You don't determine the outcome of my dreams, Satan.  God has this covered!  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 89
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 207 (8 pounds lost since 8/26/13)
Total weight loss: 13 pounds

Last week's dream focus: Continue easing back into fitness; shut that Devil down; seek God in every opportunity that lies before me; stay focused on Him during times of drama, dysfunction, and uncertainty; keep hustlin' to make these dreams come true; keep viewing food as fuel!

What went well: Okay seriously.  This eating thing just keeps getting better!  I’m still eating what I want, but more often than not I feel like making smart choices.  When I do eat something that’s not the healthiest for me, I still make a good choice and eat much, MUCH less than I would in the past. 

For example, THIS girl used to get a 2 cheeseburger meal with a large fry from McDonald’s and woof it down without batting an eye.  Oh, and let’s not forget to end it with a $1 hot fudge sundae.  I’m not even kidding.  I’ve had the “opportunity” (for lack of a MUCH better term) to eat McDonald’s five times since August 26 (two road trips and baseball tournaments).  Three times I made the AWESOME decision to not get anything because I wasn’t truly hungry.  (GO ME!)  I realized I didn’t NEED the food (or fuel, as my “tank” was still half full) and there was no reason to order something just because we happened to be there.  AND one time it was after 8:00 PM and I didn’t want to feel gross with non-digested food as I was lying in bed trying to sleep.  I also didn’t feel that emotional tug to embrace the food I once had a passionate relationship with.  Oh, and the other two times we went there… once I ate a double cheeseburger with no fries, and the other time I ate a cheeseburger with a medium fry and threw most of them away because they were unappealing!  This is a huge blessing from God!

My endometriosis pain has been minimal this week and my gall bladder area didn’t hurt at all during Zumba!  I’m thrilled with this improvement! My mood has been so great and I’ve felt more confident in the future of my dreams than ever before! I feel as though I’m making SO much headway!  (Okay, I just realized the exclamation marks are out of control... BUT I'M THRILLED!!!)

When I stepped on the scale on August 26, I weighed 215… just five pounds less than when I started.  I didn’t let that upsetting news keep me from continuing to make progress or pursue my dreams!  Three weeks, two days, and three Zumba classes later, I weigh 207!  That’s 8 pounds lost in three weeks and 13 pounds overall!  And all while eating what I want, eating much less of it, making better choices, and easing back into fitness.  I couldn’t be more excited with this achievement!!!

Challenges:  I’ve been battling Satan who keeps inflicting moments of doubt and fear this week.  When you pursue your dreams, he’s going to do whatever he can to keep you from it and make you fail.  But God is bigger than that and, through Him, I am stronger than Satan’s attacks!   I cannot put God in a box, nor can I allow Satan to keep me from my dreams and the blessings God has for my life.  I will continue to fight and shut that devil DOWN!

This week's dream focus: Continue going to Zumba and hit the gym for regular working out as well; seek God in every opportunity that lies before me; shut that Devil down at every turn; stay; keep hustlin' to make these dreams come true; keep viewing food as fuel!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm Fine With Refining!

Ah, the refining process!  It can be uncomfortable, slow, and unpleasant, at times, but it’s very necessary to achieving our dreams and become the best version of ourselves.  The best part of refining is when it’s over and you turn out SO much better!

Check out the true definition of "refine":
  1. To reduce to a pure state; purify.
  2. To remove by purifying.
  3. To free from coarse, unsuitable, or immoral characteristics

  1. To become free of impurities.
  2. To acquire polish or elegance.
  3. To use precise distinctions and subtlety in thought or speech.

Isn't that exciting?  Don’t you want to be free from coarse, unsuitable, and immoral characteristics?  Free from impurities?  Polished and Elegant?  

If refining is what it takes to become the best version of “me”, I’ll embrace it!  My dreams are THAT important!

Monday, September 16, 2013

We Can Do This!

God does so much more for us than we ever realize or acknowledge.  How often do we stop and thank Him?  It's usually easy to thank God after near death experiences and close calls, but those little, simple blessings He pours on us daily are often overlooked.  I'm trying to be more aware of those little things and praise God in both the sunshine and the storm.  

At times, this can seem difficult to do on the way to your dream.  While you're doing the hard work and not seeing fast results, it can be easy to sink into frustration, negativity, and victim mode.  But we CAN rise above all of that!  

-We can speak blessings into our lives and the lives of others!  
-We can trust that God is working in our situations, in our hearts, and for a greater purpose!  
-We can believe God hears us and He is moving, even when we can't see it!  
-We can look for the lessons to be learned during times of refining!
-We can surround ourselves with those who can support and encourage us as we press on!
-We can share our story with others proclaiming how great our God is!
-We can keep our relationship with God alive through prayer and reading His Word!
-We can forgive ourselves when mistakes are made and keep our eyes on our dreams!
-We can believe in ourselves and ask God to help us through those hard times!
-We can be proud of the progress we make, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem!

Now, say it with me... "WE CAN DO THIS!"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Crusin' Right Along

When I think back on the relationships I've had in my 35 years, I can see the various things I've learned from each one.  I've certainly grown emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and in confidence.  I've learned who I am, what I won't settle for, what I'll allow, why I react the way I do, the things I believe in, and why I had to go through certain situations.  I still have a long way to go and I'll never stop trying to improve who I am.

Our relationships aren't just with people.  We have relationships with our dreams, too.  They're part of us, they come from within. Fueled by our passions, we birth these visions of what could be and rehearse how much better life will become when it's finally our reality.  We have a strong emotional connection with our dreams.  We're protective of them.  We nurture them.  We invest in them.  We beam like a proud parent when we share our dreams with others.  Everything is just hunky dory in our dream world!

Sometimes those dreams come true!  Sometimes those dreams are better than we every expected!  Sometimes they take an unexpected turn.  Sometimes they fall apart right in front of us.  

It can cause our heart to break.  It can cause anger, tears, depression, and fear.  You can find yourself thinking "Why bother dreaming anymore. Nothing good ever goes my way, so what's the point?  Maybe I'm not meant to be happy."  Do you hear the victim mentality flowing from these words?  There's nothing positive in them at all.  Rehearse words like this for too long and your life will be fruitless.

When I received my "closure" this week, I didn't think words like that for a second.  I love my dream SO much that NOTHING will stand in my way!  I want this dream to become my reality and there's no WAY I could let it die!  When I received the response I was waiting for, it was clear to me my path was changing directions because it wasn't the answer I originally desired.  In a moment I knew what I'd been pursuing wasn't right for me. My dream wasn't dead, it was evolving... and that's exciting! 

I realized several months ago I'm certain about what I want for my life, it's just a matter of being patient and waiting for God to show me the when, where, with whom, and how.  Eventually, I'll understand why.  We'll face setbacks, barriers, and question marks on the road to our dreams.  We'll wish everything was moving faster.  We'll feel impatient.  We'll feel like quitting.

We can't allow that adversity to overwhelm us, break us, tear us down, victimize, or stop us from pursuing our dreams.   We must choose to focus on the future, believe in ourselves, embrace the mindset of an overcomer, be strong, be patient, trust God, and MAKE OUR DREAMS COME TRUE!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Alternative Perspectives

God's ways are incredible, humbling, and hard to fathom sometimes!  I've felt Him leading me for days, laying things on my heart, preparing me, whispering words of encouragement, helping me discover new possibilities, and closing a door I've been trying to force my way through for just over a year.

Those closest to you, and even those who barely know you, can feel something or see it for what it really is.  With a caring heart, they suggest alternative perspectives and one side of your brain receives the gesture as them trying to crush your dream, while the other side knows that's not the case.  It still hurts your heart.  This dream is precious to you.  It's your baby!  You envision it perfectly in your mind and it's all but reality at this point... so why can't they see it this way?  

Don't dismiss alternative perspectives.  Hidden beneath the hard-to-receive surface usually lies truth you may not want to acknowledge, face, or accept in the moment.  In order to get to the dream you're meant to reveal, you may have to detour from the one you see in your mind.  Dreams can change.  Sometimes it's an amazing, unexpected switch you never could have come up with on your own!  Sometimes it seems too good to be true, but that's exactly how God works!  He's simply incredible.  He's designed our lives individually, customizing them to ignite our specific passions and strengths.  It's up to us to step aside and let Him lead, trusting Him all the way.

God gave me major closure yesterday.  Although a few people in my life shared alternative perspectives with me throughout the year, I wasn't having it.  I refused to accept this gift of a different view and no one was going to change my mind.  I continued to pray for God to reveal His plan to me, in His timing, and asked for patience while I pressed on.  Time went by, the story unfolded, He revealed convictions in my life, and I found myself in a crisis of belief.  And in one moment, my mind was made up.  

I was COMPLETELY over it.  

Not only was it time to move in a different direction, God revealed to me there could be more to my dream than I ever could have imagined on my own.  I immediately realized the dream I envisioned was based out of fear, insecurity, and lack of trust.  I'll admit it.  Although I said I trusted God, I was trying to put Him in a box, doubting the great things He could REALLY do in my life.

I still don't know what's in store, but I certainly know I will be more open minded and willing to hear and process alternative perspectives going forward, even when they're difficult to accept.  I want this dream to come true, even if it's not exactly how I've originally envisioned it... even if it's uncomfortable at times.  After all, God's plans are always better that my biggest, best dreams!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 88
Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: 215 (as of 8/25/13)
Total weight loss: 5 pounds

Last week's dream focus: Continue easing back into fitness; shut that Devil down; stay focused on God during times of drama, dysfunction, and uncertainty; keep hustlin' to make these dreams come true; keep viewing food as fuel!

What went well: EVEN MORE fantastic eating results this week!  I’m consuming less, I’m eating anything I want - but much less of it now, AND I’m naturally beginning to crave healthier foods since I’ve gotten back into Zumba!  My sweet tooth is practically dormant – which is insane to me – and I’m not eating to mask emotions or because I’m bored.  I’m leaving lots of food on my plate, which I used to HATE doing because I was an honorary member of the “Clean Your Plate” club for so many years.  I’m even starting to split foods with my husband and order a sandwich only, rather than a big value meal.  AND FRENCH FRIES HAVE BEEN UNAPPEALING TO ME!  Say what???

Other good news, my endometriosis pain has decreased even more and my gall bladder area didn’t hurt as much this week during Zumba!  Any decrease in pain is music to my ears, y’all.

I determined a few weeks ago that logging everything I eat isn’t as necessary for me anymore.  Doing it for so long has helped me to become very aware of the caloric content in different foods and to get used to the amounts I should and shouldn’t be consuming.  But lately, I haven’t felt the need to log my food.  I’ve been doing really well without logging food… which has been on my dream list for some time!  Now, to maintain it and make it my new way of life!  

Challenges:  I’m struggling to think of any!  REALLY?  I LOVE THAT!

This week's dream focus: Continue easing back into fitness; shut that Devil down; seek God in every opportunity that lies before me; stay focused on Him during times of drama, dysfunction, and uncertainty; keep hustlin' to make these dreams come true; keep viewing food as fuel!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Get A Good Feeling

I just returned home from my second Zumba class in months.  Last week proved to be really difficult for me and I found myself trying to devise a plan to sneak out less than half way through!  This very scenario is why I'm always on the front row next to the instructor (besides, it helps me get comfortable in front of the class in preparation for the day I begin leading classes on my own).  It's not as easy to bail when you have to pick up your belongings and weave through a room full of hip shaking, booty poppin' dancers!

I didn't sneak out of class!  Not last week and not this week!  I endured and made it happen.  I was sweating buckets, I was wishing I'd brought a towel to wipe it off, I was chugging water, and I was loving every minute of it!  Time flew by and I couldn't believe it when I hear the cool down music begin.  Zumba is so much fun!

I was also reminded tonight how much better I feel about myself when I work out.  I've known this... it's nothing new.  But after surgery and recovery, time flew by and I eventually lost sight of all the really amazing benefits of working out.  Weight loss is the first, and most obvious, result.  But I forgot how happy and amazing I feel when I've worked out - even if it's for 15 minutes.  I feel proud of myself.  I have more self confidence.  The more I work out, the most I want to keep the momentum going.  I instantly begin to eat better and make healthier choices.  It just seems contagious.. not only to others, but to myself!  I kind of like the burn.  I kind of like being a little sore the next day.  (Crazy, I know.)  And clearly, I love getting toned, seeing the weight loss in my face and body, and watching my clothes become too big for me!

Satan tried to whisper to me reasons not to go tonight.  He tried to make me feel insecure.  He tried to bring up the past.  He tried to keep me from my dream.  But I reminded him to Whom I belong, to Whom I serve, and to Whom I answer.  

I shut him down and I went to Zumba!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hearing Voices

I posted the above picture on Facebook today after hearing of Satan attacking another person trying to better their life and pursue their dreams.  It's so obvious that Satan is aware many of us are making great progress towards the desires of our hearts, to live the life God has planned for us.  I've received several messages these past few weeks from women and men trying to get started on their weight loss journey, or to not give up on it, and are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges they face. 

I can't help but think it's a little exciting... it means we're headed for greatness!!

Satan's gonna do his thing.  It's a fact.  When you start making positive changes in your life and begin growing closer to God, Satan gets nervous.  He's a hater.  He doesn't want you to succeed.  He wants you to give up and remain a prisoner of depression and misery, and a slave to laziness, overeating, and other addictions.  He wants you to embrace the victim mentality and focus on the negative things in life.  He doesn't want you to be fruitful.  He doesn't want you to be happy.  He doesn't want you to do the things you're passionate about.  He doesn't want your God-given dreams to come true.


YOU decide if you'll be a victim or an overcomer!
YOU decide if you'll focus on the negative or the positive!
YOU decide if you'll keep watching T.V. or get up and move - even if it's for 10 minutes!
YOU decide if you'll eat until you're stuffed or be satisfied when you're politely full!
YOU decide if you'll give up or make your dreams come true!

"The devil made me do it" is a cop-out.  It's not being accountable for your actions, not taking responsibility, and not owning it.  Satan doesn't make you do a thing. You know right from wrong.  This is your life and YOU decide what you will and won't do!!!

God speaks to us.  Satan does, too.  Start paying attention to the voices you're hearing and determine who's voice it is.  The more aware you become, the easier it will be to mute the wrong one.  Trust God and let Him lead.  Our success and happiness in life depend on it!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

10 Bible Verses to Help You Overcome!

Making changes in your life can be difficult.  The best news is, making changes is NOT impossible!  It can, however, seem that way at times and we find ourselves desperate for reminders of hope.  I wanted to share 10 Bible verses I refer to during various times of struggle and adversity in my life.  The Bible is FILLED with amazing words, so don't rely on this alone! Dive in and see how God speaks to you!

10 Bible Verses to Help You Overcome!

Psalm 45:11 “The King is enthralled with your beauty. Honor Him for He is your Lord.”
When I’m feeling down about my body, looks, and self-worth, this verse helps me to remember the Lord loves me and I need to honor Him by loving myself and doing positive things that bring me closer to living the life He’s designed for me!

2 Timothy 4:17 “But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength.”
When I feel like giving up, when it seems to hard, when Satan is attacking me at every angle, this verse reminds me that God is on my side and He’s WAY bigger than Satan and any problem I'll face!

Psalm 73:26 “My health my fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.”
When I struggle with health issues and endometriosis pain, this verse reminds me that God is my strength and He will NOT fail me! Everything I go through will be used to glorify Him!

Romans 8:28 “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
When I question why things are happening the way they are, I’m reminded that everything is happening for a reason we will come to see in time. God WILL use it to help others, if we are open and willing to endure and be molded like clay in the Potter’s Hands!

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”
When I’m feeling impatient, I am reminded to pray and continue seeking God’s direction at every turn. I must keep faith that He has amazing things in store for my life!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
When I question my dreams and which direction I should go, God reminds me He’s got this covered.  His plans are much better than my most beautiful dreams.

Proverbs 9:8 “Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.”
When people question, criticize, talk behind my back, or mock me, I’m reminded that “haters gonna hate.”  Each person goes through their life making their own choices, based on their experiences, both current and past.  I can’t control how someone feels.  I can focus on helping those who want help and inspire others by sharing my story!

Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
When times get really hard and it seems I can’t take another trial, God asks me to be patient, pray, and keep a positive, blessed outlook through it all!

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
When I start feeling worried and stressed, I’m reminded that I need to chill.  Worrying robs today of its joy.  I must focus only on what I can do in the moment.  Tomorrow will take care of itself.  God is in control!