Well kids, today I celebrate the two year anniversary of my 'Overweight... AND OVER IT!' blog and weight loss journey! It's hard to believe how fast it's gone by. God has continued to bless me and He's carried me through even more difficult times. In the spirit of tradition, I want to reflect on some of the things God has carried me through this past year. Some serious high points and some low ones, but over all, I've kept my faith strong in Him and He has never left my side!
I've continued writing my blog which has kept me focused and motivated to not quit trying when life gets overwhelming!
My Facebook page/community has more than doubled since last year - and these amazing people have inspired, motivated, and encouraged me to keep going and never give up! They'll really never know how much their support has meant to me.
In March, I achieved my dream of becoming a licensed Zumba instructor! I still can't believe it! AND I was down close to 30 pounds and wearing skinny jeans with boots... two MORE dreams checked off my dream list!
Two weeks later, I started having severe, debilitating pain that prevented me from exercising or moving a lot. My endometriosis was back 9 months after surgery - even while being on Lupron injections with add-back therapy. In addition to endometriosis, I was also dealing with excruciating pain from adhesions. I wasn't able to exercise again from April 3 until August.
On June 10, I had my second laparoscopic surgery in less than a year. The surgeon removed more endometriosis, adhesions, and my gallbladder. Recovery was a little easier this time than last, but it was about 4 weeks until I felt like a normal person. I still struggled with the emotional aspects and gained weight again from lack of activity and increase of "comfort" foods.
I suffered another two miscarriages in 2013, bringing the total to five. Although my heart feels like it couldn't break into any more pieces, I'm trying so hard to trust God. It's brought me to a place of pure submission, being open to anything He has planned for me even if it doesn't fall in line with what I've envisioned for my life. I have to trust that His plans are are so much better than mine because He knows what's ahead. I won't lose hope, but am willing to be a vessel for Him and use my story to help others through similar heartache and pain. I know that God would never bring me to it and not help me through it!
By the end of this summer, I got back into the gym and Zumba with Kinsey! I participated in a couple of Zumbathons and started losing weight and getting healthy again!
God brought Plexus into my life in August and it helped me to lose 15 pounds in the first 6 weeks, I no longer take Metformin, my complexion has improved... AND I'm able to stop eating when I'm politely full, I'm not consumed by food at all times, and my cravings have diminished!!! BIG HUGE WIN!!!
Since becoming a Plexus ambassador, I've started bringing in additional income that has helped our finances in a big way... GOD IS SO GOOD!
While making improvements taking Plexus and getting back in shape, my pain returned in full force. I haven't been able to work out the entire month of December and the pain has really had an impact on my emotions and my weight has slowly increased. I'm not freaking out about it and I'm not giving up on this... I know it's a temporary setback, so I'm keeping myself focused on God and positive things so I don't fall into depression. I'm expecting another surgery sometime in January or February of 2014, followed by another recovery. (Nobody ever said this journey would be easy!)
The biggest victory for me again this year... I'M STILL GOING!!! I HAVEN'T GIVEN UP!!! Even when I messed up and felt like a failure, I haven't stopped desiring to see my dreams come true... and that's part of what's kept me connected on this journey. The support of family, friends, and you - the followers of this blog, has meant the WORLD to me. I can't thank y'all enough!
I still can't believe I haven't lost the amount of weight I expected to lose in two years, but I also didn't plan on three surgeries in less than that. It feels like a victory in itself that I'm still trying and I haven't quit by now. I know it's what Satan wants and that makes me want to prove him wrong even more! I WILL get rid of this excess weight and keep it off, no matter how long that takes. I'm still happy with slow progress because it means I'm moving in the direction of my dreams. If you're on a similar journey, please don't give up, even when it seems too difficult or overwhelming. Just keep trying and moving forward. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you, too.
Although the Christmas season is filled with wonder and joy and happiness for most, some find themselves struggling to share in those feelings. Some are faced with struggles and adversity and hardships. Some feel alone and abandoned and unwanted. Even though you might feel alone and as though no one understands... you are not alone. God is ALWAYS there with you and He always understands, better than anyone ever could. Today, I pray you feel God's peace in your life. I pray you feel His loving arms wrapped around you so sweetly. I pray the holes in your heart from things you're missing out on, from losses, from what might have been are filled with God's love and mercy! I pray God will help your eyes to see how much good is still in your life and how great your future can be if you just keep going and believe. Don't give up. I know it's so hard, believe me. I've been through things I never expected or wanted to go through. Life has ups and downs, some more drastic than others, but God can do amazing things... just believe in Him! Believe and trust that He'll get you through this. Believe and trust that there's more to this life. Believe and trust that He'll lead you to your dreams. Please don't give up... keep trying and keep trusting! GOD HAS THIS COVERED!!! You can and will get through this!!!
Struggle: a forceful or violent effort to break free of restraint or resist attack.
This week I've struggled. I've struggledto deal with pain from endometriosis that's increasing daily. I've struggled withthe urge to cry at all times. I've struggled with feeling heartbroken. I've struggled with feeling stuck where I am and not being able to find the "easy" path to my dream career. And in the struggle, I've battled. I've battled to see the good in everything. I've battled to focus on my blessings. I've battled hard to not fall into victim mode. I've battled feelings of resentment, jealousy, and anger. I've battled insecurity and feeling like a failure. I've battled the temptation to quit. During a battle, even a soldier gets weak. They may appear strong and put together on the outside - they sometimes have no other choice - but no one really knows what they're struggling with on the inside. In war it's not just the weak soldiers, the sensitive ones, or cowardly ones who will break down. All will break down if in combat long enough. They're human beings.
*I use this analogy not to compare my personal struggles to those of soldiers who've laid their lives on the line to defend my freedoms and rights; they're two completely different scenarios. I couldn't feel more gratitude in my heart for that kind of sacrifice from such courageous, selfless heroes.*
Our lives are a battle field, Satan is the enemy, and God is our Commander in Chief. The enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy; God has come that we may have life and have it more abundantly! (John 10:10). We aren't in this alone! God doesn't just send us into battle and expect us to figure it out by ourselves. He gives us courage, support, strength, wisdom, encouragement, shelter, endurance, and desire to fight on! We must humble ourselves and realize we're human and in need of a Savior, that all power comes through Him. And we must be easy on ourselves and forgiving when we make mistakes or long for the easy way out. Reminder: God is perfect; we are not. STOP BEING A PERFECTIONIST ALREADY! You're being attacked all day long by the enemy and his forces, so what sense does it make to attack yourself on top of that? When you find yourself in a heightened state of battle and you feel like giving up, don't. Find a place where you can let those emotions go - because they are healthy, normal emotions we're supposed to process. Give them to God. Let Him wash away the mess and help you strategize a new battle plan! You'll learn. You'll be stronger. You'll be wiser. You'll be more understanding. You'll have a victory story to tell. You'll become a great leader who can help others. You'll be an example of how to overcome. Your story will inspire and motivate and offer hope. People will remember how you made them feel. If you quit now, the enemy wins. Don't let the enemy win. YOU are a WINNER through Christ! "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, Who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5 (NIV) "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18 (NIV)
12/28/2011 Initial weight: 220 Current weight: 195 (Taking a break from the scale, 20 pounds lost
since starting Plexus on 8/26/13?) Total weight loss: 24 pounds
week's dream focus: Get
my health back to normal; stay focused on God and my dreams, forgiving myself
for mistakes made; fight Satan’s attacks and ignore his lies; and trust God in
I’m putting all my effort into focusing on God’s blessings and the good things
He has in store for me! I believe He’s
at work in my life and the things I’m going through are not to harm or
discourage me, but to refine and improve me!
I REFUSE to be a victim of this situation.
the biggest victory in my life is the fact that I haven’t quit… seriously. We should never downplay the importance of
NOT QUITTING! It’s so easy and simple to
give up. Anyone can do it. To keep pushing
through when every bone in your body is tired and doesn’t feel like continuing is
true strength. This will make you an
overcomer! This will help you turn your
dreams into your reality! This will make you successful in life, achieving
great things no matter how insignificant they may seem to someone else!
if you find you've already quit (like I have so many times in the past), you’re
in luck! You can start over again,
today, where you are with what you have!
As long as you have breath, you get another chance to pick up where you
left off and keep going, not matter how many times you've quit before!
strong people have their bad days (and weeks).
I’m emotionally worn down and am struggling to fight back tears. Each day my endometriosis pain increases more
than the day before. Every day I’m
closer to my third surgery in less than a year and a half. It will happen in the first quarter of 2014,
we’re just not sure how drastic it will be.
The pain prevents me from going to Zumba and exercising… and I’m slowly
gaining weight again. It’s not coming on
as fast as before, thanks to Plexus, but it’s happening just the same. I battle the feelings of wanting to give up. Some days I just don't want to care... but I force myself to care.
I won’t quit.
I won’t give up. I will rely on
God and His strength to get me through this!!!!
week's dream focus: Rely
on God for strength during this adversity; forgive myself when mistakes are made;
be easy on myself when things aren't happening the way I’d like them to; fight
Satan’s attacks and ignore his lies; and trust God in ALL things!
As I think of times I thought for sure I knew what I wanted, I breathe a sigh of relief that God didn't grant those requests. Some things seemed "so right" at the time, but it was in my best interest to leave it in God's hands, not trying to force something to happen that shouldn't. And I cringe when I think of the times I heard God's voice loud and clear warning me to make a different choice, yet I chose to do things "my way", only to face heartbreak and struggle because of my actions. It's easy to look back and see why certain things happened in our lives and how it brought us to where we are today. I didn't like moving from my childhood home when I was little, but I see many reasons now why it was a good thing. I never wanted to go through a divorce, financial hardships, or a health crisis, but I've helped so many people through similar situations because God brought me through those seasons. I certainly don't want to be overweight, struggling with this battle for the rest of my life, and that's why I won't give up on this dream. I can be selfish and quit. No one is forcing me to write these blogs or post on all the social media sites I use. I'm doing it in my spare time for free, so if one day I decided I was done, that's my choice. But why would I want to rob myself of the joys that breaking food addiction would bring me and those around me? Why would I want to rob others of hearing what amazing things God can do when you place your trust in Him? Why would I want to live a boring, unsatisfied life in a job that doesn't fit my personality or passions, letting my dreams die... and my soul along with them? I'm enduring a challenging season in my life right now. I'm struggling with pain again, I'm facing difficult decisions that will impact my future and the dream I've held onto longer than any other, I've plateaued in my weight loss because I'm not working out (as a result of the pain), and I'm feeling stuck where I am, unable to create or find a way to transition into my dream career. Almost every day of this month I've felt like giving up and not fighting so hard for my dreams. I'm tired and I'm worn, but I know that's right where Satan wants me and I won't allow him to keep me here. He will not win this battle. I may not have the strength to fight on my own, but I'm not alone! God is always with me, standing right beside me helping me. When I am weak, He is strong! I hear Him whisper "Chrissy, I love you. Don't give up. You can do all things because I will give you strength. I will never leave you and I will never lead you astray. I have a plan for you and it is a plan for you to prosper. You won't be harmed, you will have hope and a future. I make ALL things work together for your good. If you call to me I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not yet know. Don't worry about tomorrow, it's in My hands. Trust me, I have everything under control. Breathe and rest, focus on your blessings, and be thankful for the things I've done for you and the things I have in store for you!"
"I'm still moving forward. I haven't quit. This isn't over. This dream is important and I won't give up on it. God has reasons for His timing that I'll one day know, but right now I have to trust that this is for my good. I cannot believe Satan's lies. He wants me to give up and fail. He wants me to stay unhappy and miserable. He wants me to settle... BUT I REFUSE TO SETTLE." Welcome to my internal dialogue for the past month. My faith in God and these words are the reasons I haven't given up on my dreams, my blogs, or my weight loss journey. I'm finding myself saying these words multiple times a day because I'm constantly feeling overwhelmed. I feel weak. I don't feel like my normal self and I don't really feel like a rock star right now. But I AM a rock star and I know who's behind this insecurity and inferiority. I do not have to fall into Satan's trap of believing the lies he whispers. If you read this blog frequently I could see how you might be thinking "Can you find some new material already? You're constantly talking about Satan and shutting down his lies!" Unfortunately, he never stops attacking, so I won't stop recognizing when he does... and I won't stop working to shut him down! Sometimes the best I can do is to pray and keep moving forward, even when the only thing I can handle becomes my victory - simply not quitting. "God, please help me to find even an ounce of confidence in myself and what you have in store for me. Help me to believe in Your plan, even though I can't see the big picture. I feel so weak. I feel so tired. I don't understand why things aren't going the way I'd pictured. I feel angry. I feel frustrated. I feel impatient. I feel unsure of myself. I feel sad and broken. I know You are my Healer and the Restorer of my soul! I believe Your plans are so much bigger and better than my dreams and I need Your help to keep going. I know You'll never fail me, even when Satan twists the truth to make it appear as if You have or will. I thank You for who you are, Father, and for all you've done and will continue to do in my life! I love you, God! It's in Your name I pray, Amen."
At church, I've been leading our Sunday school class in the Soul Detox study by Craig Groeschel. It's incredible! It's so relevant, timely, and applicable to all our lives. Here's an overview from the book... "As standards of conduct continue to erode in our shock-proof world, we must fight the soul pollution threatening our health, our faith, and our witness to others. Without even knowing it, people willingly inhale second-hand toxins poisoning their relationship with God and stunting their spiritual growth. Soul Detox examines the toxins that assault us daily including: toxic influences, toxic emotions, and toxic behaviors. By examining the toxins that assault us daily, this book offers the ultimate spiritual intervention with ways to remain clean, pure, and focused on the standard of God's holiness." One thing I've started applying is training myself to categorize the words others speak to me as "Truth or Trash". By habit, I so easily absorb the words and tones of other people immediately, without stopping to rationalize the situation for what could be. Maybe they've have a really bad day... or a bad life. Maybe they're struggling with Satan's trap of inferiority or insecurity. Maybe a situation from the past triggered feelings they didn't want to face. Maybe they're dealing with some major adversity at home, school, or work. Regardless, it's just not healthy to allow those words to affect your outlook, mood, and life. Truth!When you find yourself in this situation, ask "Are these words true?", "Are they based in Scripture?", and "Are they supported by data over time?" If so, EMBRACE THEM! Allow these life-giving words to minister to your soul! Trash!If their words are untrue, mean-spirited, and critical without being constructive, then call them what they are - toxic waste. Reject those words. DON'T let them into your soul. Take out the trash and leave it by the curb. Delete toxic words and insert the truth! When you guard your heart from toxic words, you filter what other say to you or about you to distinguish truth from trash. Apply to your life these 12 Life-Giving Truths from the Soul Detox study to help you!
I am a child of God. "Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12
I am loved by God."But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5
I am free and forgiven."In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace." Ephesians 1:7
My body belongs to God."Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
God is close to me. "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." Psalms 145:18
I am attractive/beautiful from the inside out. "...the Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 b
God will never abandon me. "...God has said, “Never will I leave you;never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5 b
I am gifted by God. I can accomplish great things. "A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other." 1 Corinthians 12:7, NLT
God cares about me and my problems. "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
God gives me strength and protection. "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one." 2 Thessalonians 3:3
I have a future."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." Jeremiah 29:11
With God's help, I can change."I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." Ezekiel 36:26
May your soul be cleansed, the truth be embraced, and the trash be taken out!
12/28/11 Initial weight: 220 Current weight: 195 (20 pounds lost since starting Plexus on
8/26/13) Total weight loss: 24 pounds
week's dream focus: Get
re-focused on my dreams, leaving the past in the past; fight Satan’s attempts
to lead me back to a place of victim mentality and depression; add more workout
time to my life; HUSTLE my buns off; ignore the Devil's lies and deceit and
shut him up when he starts in on me; keep sharing my story with others; and
continue inspiring myself and others!!!
Today I'm celebrating 100 weeks of Wednesday Wow Factors! What a great journey this has been so far! So many ups and downs, peaks and valleys, and I'm still going!
Challenges:I'm really relying on God to help me endure. I'm still battling feelings of wanting to quit and just give up... but I refuse! I will not let go of how far I've come. Being busy, being really sick, and processing a lot of different emotions is contributing to my temptation to throw in the towel... but I won't. My dreams are just too important!
week's dream focus: Get my health back to normal; stay focused on God and my dreams, forgiving myself for mistakes made; fight Satan’s attacks and ignore his lies; and trust God in ALL things!
Bonus: This is a picture of my grandma when I was just two, in 1980. She was so beautiful, classy, stylish, funny, full of life and energy, and one of the most loving people I've even known. She was the queen of posing, always making my grandpa take pictures of her! I'm pretty sure she would've been a "selfie" junkie. I miss her every day and love how her timeless style is so Pin-worthy!!!
Some days I just absolutely DO NOT feel like trying or caring or dreaming. Some days it feels like too much work and effort and I don't feel like giving it. Some days I wonder why this is so hard for me and why I can't simply lose weight and maintain it and not struggle constantly with having an emotional connection to food. Some days I don't feel like fighting the Enemy.
"Stop being a victim! Keep fighting for what you want! Make your dreams come true no matter HOW log it takes you! Ignore the Enemy... you CAN do this! God has your back and He won't fail you! You KNOW this!"
My new inner dialogue is now immediately fighting off those self-sabotaging thoughts! In the past, I would have believed the lies and quit - AGAIN - because it just seemed like too much to handle during one moment of weakness. Although a part of me feels defeated by the fact that I haven't lost all, or even half, of the weight I want and need to lose after nearly two years of constant trying, it's clear in times like this how much I've grown.
I'm so much stronger and more secure than I was two years ago. I'm more forgiving of my own mistakes. I'm more positive and hopeful. I'm still focused on my dreams. I'm a fighter. I'm an overcomer. I haven't quit. I've endured many setbacks and I'm still going. I've fallen down and I keep getting back up. I've lost and gained... more than just weight. I've broken bad habits and I've created new, good ones. I've turned dreams from my dream list into reality. I'm still focused on this journey, ignoring the opinions of other people. I'm detoxing my life. I'm looking at myself in a new light. I'm loving myself. I continue to love life and it's loving me back.
I can quit if I want. No one is forcing me to be on this journey. But that's the best part... it's up to me. I can choose to keep going. I can choose to make things happen. I can choose to make the best of every situation in front of me. I can choose to love this life. I can choose to fight for my dreams.
It's never really a surprise when Satan begins attacking me. I've come to expect it. I actually try to view it as a sign I'm doing something right... a sign of better things ahead!
That's not to say these attacks don't hit me where it hurts.
I struggled with having to put in extra hours at work for a few weeks, taking my focus away from my blog and my dreams. While it's finally slowed down, it's still a bit intense. Last week I felt the makings of a sinus infection and it absolutely engulfed me when it finally arrived. I missed church Sunday morning, which only happens when I'm super sick, recovering from a surgery, or out of town... and missing church just messes me up for the week! And, this weekend my endo (endometriosis) rared its ugly head and is absolutely pouring salt on my already painful, open wounds.
Right now I'm struggling. I'm struggling to feel well, I'm struggling to keep my chin up, I'm struggling to keep my head in the game, I'm struggling to fight off feelings of just wanting to give up on some of my dreams.
Those little lies Satan whispers to you begin to seep into your mind. You absorb them as your own. You entertain them. Before you know it, you start to believe them.
You've arrived at a crucial point.
Do you keep fighting or give up?
It's easy to stop trying, to stop putting yourself in unfamiliar territory, to stop fighting for yourself, to stop believing in your dreams. Our comfort zone is known and somewhat comfortable. It's easy to keep doing what you've always done. But doing the same thing doesn't produce different results.
In this crucial moment we must decide whether or not we're really happy with where we are, with what those same old things are getting us... or aren't getting us. We must determine if our dreams are more important than this moment of weakness - this attack from the devil. He's clearly aware of the path you're on and he knows the difference it will make in your life and the lives of others if you make the choice to keep fighting. He doesn't want that but...
THE DEVIL CANNOT MAKE YOU DO ANYTHING.
John 10:10 says "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
This verse reminds me of the hope we have in our Father! Satan is a thief who wants to steal your joy, your security, your hope. He wants to destroy your dreams, your future, your relationships, your family, your life.
God is so much bigger than that!
"So Jesus said to them "Because of our unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20
Never lose hope. Please don't give up. Don't believe the lies from the devil. Have faith, even as tiny as a mustard seed, in what God can do and where He'll take you! Trust, even when you can't see a way. Keep trying when you want to quit. Believe in the power and the beauty of your dreams! Believe that God is there for you and with you. Believe that He will never leave you! Believe that when you ask Him for help, He will be by your side. Thank Him for what He's done, for what He's doing, and for what He's going to do for you. Believe that when we are weak, He is strong... and that strength will get us through!
Start date: 12/28/11 Initial weight: 220 Current weight: 195 (20 pounds lost since starting Plexus on
8/26/13) Total weight loss: 24 pounds
Last week's dream focus: Get re-focused on
my dreams, leaving the past in the past; fight Satan’s attempts to lead me back
to a place of victim mentality and depression; add more workout time to my
life; HUSTLE my buns off; ignore the Devil's lies and deceit and shut him up
when he starts in on me; keep sharing my story with others; and continue
inspiring myself and others!!!
What went well: It’s been 100 weeks
since I started this journey… AND I’M STILL GOING!!! So many times I've wanted to quit... it just seemed way too difficult and overwhelming, but I've never given up hope. December 28 will be two years... I just can't believe it! God is amazing!
Challenges: I really struggled over the holiday week(end) with wanting to eat any holiday food available. We didn't even have a big family meal, but the one I made for my husband and I was more food than we needed, meaning we had a ton of left overs... and I hate wasting food. I've eaten more than I wanted or needed several days, but I haven't completely blown it! And some days I've done fantastic! What I noticed was I still have to be aware of emotional triggers! It's a habit that is clearly hard to break, even after two years of trying. (Deep breath... I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!!!)
I'm really struggling with endometriosis pain and it's becoming more intense. Six months after my first surgery is when the pain started getting intense, leading to surgery. It's been six months since then. I'm trying not to worry or have anxiety about it all. So I'm trusting God because it's all in His hands!
Yesterday, I ended up having to work 12 hours and wasn't able to write a blog post. It was really disappointing for me because I felt so excited and ready to get back to writing, especially after Monday's post! OH, and Tuesday night is Zumba night with Kinsey... and I wasn't able to attend that either. I'm quite aware that Satan's using all these distractions to take my focus off God and my dreams... but I won't allow it! I won't stand for it!
I WILL NOT GIVE UP ON MY DREAMS!!!!
This week's dream focus: Stay focused on
my dreams; forgive myself for mistakes made and use them as continued lessons to strengthen me; fight Satan’s attempts to get me off my "A game"; add more workout time to my
life; HUSTLE my buns off; keep sharing my story with others; and continue
inspiring myself and others!!!
I have so much on my mind and heart today. I feeling really sad about the number of blog posts I've missed out on writing in the past few weeks. I know we endure various seasons in our lives and they will pass. They teach us important lessons and make us better (if we're open to learning). My reality is I faced a busy time at work in those past few weeks and my focus needed to shift for a "season". I noticed that small shift in priorities and focus caused a shift in me. I didn't like how it felt or what I saw. All those small, seemingly insignificant things I'd been doing every day that were moving me closer to my dreams were beginning to fall away. My focus was on my work tasks and it usually took more than 8 hours to complete them. By the time I was done with those, I felt mentally and physically exhausted. I even had to push myself to go to Zumba. After several days of this, I was starting to doubt myself, doubt my dreams, doubt my future, and doubt what God would do in my life. I wasn't fighting Satan's lies and attacks with the same vigor as before. I was actually entertaining his words, absorbing them and letting them impact my thoughts, my feelings, my outlook, and my actions. Each day they seemed to get a little worse. We CAN'T let our guards down! Some battles will be harder to fight than others, but we have to constantly be alert and ready to defend what we know and love. Every choice we make matters, be it a choice to do something that will get us one small step closer to our dreams, a step to keep us where we are, or a step that gets us further away from those dreams. EVERY choice matters. EVERY CHOICE. We may not see it immediately, but each choice adds up over time. I noticed a difference after one week, and during the second week it became even more evident! I look at this season as an alert, a warning, a lesson. I MUST keep my guard up against Satan's attacks, keep my faith and trust strong in God, and continue making choices that will bring me closer to my dreams. I MUST hold on to hope in my dreams no matter what is thrown my way! So, come on... let's armor up!!!!