Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dreams Don't Work Unless You Do

Howdy everyone!  I’m back and so excited to fill you in on the last four months of my life.  (Has it REALLY been that long?)

First, I want to thank you for sticking by my side to support me as I pursue my dreams!  Your patience means the world to me and I want you to know how much it’s helped in arriving where I am today. 

This year has been a challenging one, to say the least.  Kicking off February with a third surgery and recovery slowed my progress in several areas.  Overwhelmed, I took a much-needed break from blogging and social media to process my feelings, revisit my dreams, and determine where I wanted my life to go.  I've had a very difficult time with the outcome of this surgery and those feelings were more difficult to process than I could have imagined.  For a while, it felt as though every commercial, movie, Facebook post, and overheard conversation was about someone’s pregnancy or new baby.  I struggled with feelings of anger, hurt, and sadness, yet I still felt hopeful.  But one thing was certain, I needed to disconnect and focus on what God was saying, what I was feeling, and make a plan of how I would pick myself up and keep moving forward.

For three years I've dreamt of becoming a life coach.  Although I’ve been certified since 2011, I’ve found it difficult to bring this dream to life.  In the beginning, I believed the self-defeating lies that I couldn't do it, that my health would prevent me from ever being effective, and a thousand other fears that held me back.  I pursued a local health care establishment, a corporation, and have explored a few other possibilities to make it happen, but none of them seemed to fit into God’s plan for me.  Instead of giving up or getting angry, I chose to continue praying and being patient.  In the months since my surgery, God has revealed so many things to me.  He’s led me exactly where I want to be… and I’m so glad I followed Him!

My dream is now a reality!   

I’m excited to announce that my new life coaching website,, is live!  

For anyone who isn't sure what a life coach is, they’re someone who helps you get from where you are in life to where you want to be.  A life coach supports and motivates you, holding you accountable to achieving your vision and dreams.  They help you define what you really want, uncover what’s holding you back from achieving it, and make a plan to move toward it.  

We all face difficult situations and emotional barriers that make it tough to keep going.  It helps to have someone by your side encouraging you to push past those.  Just as a sports coach empowers athletes to become driven competitors, a life coach helps people from all personal and professional backgrounds improve their strengths and use their struggles to make them better.

This is who I am and who I want to be!  

My new chapter has begun and with it comes transition.  I will create blog posts on my new site, sharing the inspirational and motivational posts of encouragement you've come to expect from me.  My ‘Overweight… AND OVER IT!’ site will remain active and you can access by going directly to or from my new site by clicking 'Blogger Feed' from the menu. I may continue posting at 'Overweight... AND OVER IT!' from time to time.  I certainly won't delete it.  You might be surprised how much I refer to the posts I've written over the last three years for my own personal support and reminding that I've overcome before and I can overcome again!

This new chapter of my life confirms that there's power in:
  • writing down your dreams
  • starting where you are with what you have & what you know (even when you don't know everything)
  • shutting down fears & self-sabotaging thoughts, replacing them with positive ones
  • spending less time with toxic people & more time surrounding yourself with those who believe in you and your dreams
  • believing in yourself & asking God to lead you
  • making mistakes, forgiving yourself, & moving on
  • picking yourself up when you fall


(Yep.  That's me!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Bustin' Moves

It probably seems as though I've been totally flaking out lately.  For the lack of updating, I'm very sorry!  Since returning to work, I've been busy getting back into the daily grind and hustlin' on one of my long-time dreams.  It's actually pretty exciting and I'm so thrilled for what's in store!  

There comes a time in your life where you have to put it into high gear and bust moves to make things happen.  For me, that time presented itself a few weeks ago and there was no denying or resisting it!  It was clear that my focus needed to shift for a bit and I need to put in a great deal of effort towards my future and where I want it to go.

Sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, whining and crying about our situation, won't do us ANY good! It only keeps us stuck in "Victimville"... and that's not a good place to reside.  It's time to pack up and MOVE!  

If we want different results, we must do something different.  

Having goals and dreams is fabulous and VERY needed if we want to achieve great things. But it's not enough to have goals and dreams... we must work on them.  We have to put in the effort to see them through and not allow Satan to keep us stuck where we are; unhappy, miserable, unfruitful, and unproductive.  

Stepping out of our uncomfortable "comfort" zone can be scary... heck, downright terrifying!  To make things happen, it's necessary.  And it's always worth it.  Even when you give it a shot and it doesn't go as planned, there are things to learn from and growth happens. As humans, we'll make mistakes... it's proof that we're out there trying new things!  The bottom line: we just can't give up.

For a while longer, I'll focus most of my extra time on bringing this dream to life.  I'll continue engaging on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, so please know I haven't abandoned you!  I hope to be able to share more specifics about this dream soon.  Until then, here's to getting up, dusting it off, and trying new things!

Monday, March 31, 2014

A Slight Change of (My) Plans

The next chapter of "Chrissy" has begun... only much different than I expected when writing my last post in February.

The night before surgery we drove an hour north to avoid a super-early wake-up call and the extreme snow storm on its way.  My parents followed us there and we all enjoyed dinner as best we could, feeling at peace with the plan.  We spent the night in our hotel rooms and before I knew it, the alarm was going off.  

It was surgery day.  

We woke up to a delayed snow storm, with barely any accumulation; always a nice surprise for my husband who despises driving in snow!  [After surgery, the snow certainly arrived, over 10 inches that required another overnight stay.  Not your ideal recovery situation, but we were blessed!]   I arrived at the hospital to find a Caribou Coffee smack-dab in the lobby entrance (super unfair as Caribou Coffee is my fave)!  The nurse checked us in and took us back to Room 1.  We did some routine blood work and I took what I thought would be my last and final pregnancy test.  Until this moment, I'd held on to the last bit of hope that God might work a God-sized miracle and make the test positive.  It was negative.  I took the deepest breath and released it, knowing I was doing the right thing by surrendering my life in His hands.

A delay with the first patient's surgery caused my surgery to be delayed by almost two hours, leading to little talks and World's Dumbest Criminals (I have no idea why we would watch that).  Finally, it was my turn.  I hugged and kissed my husband goodbye and it was go time.

I awoke to nausea and confusion.  My doctor came in to tell me that during the laparoscopy she removed endometriosis... and nothing else.  She didn't do a hysterectomy after all!  Apparently, my female organs looked too good for someone with my history and illnesses and she wouldn't have been able to sleep at night knowing she'd removed them.  During our pre-op visit, we made a plan to leave everything we possibly could, and she did just that.  

With the pain I'd endured and my history of female struggles, there was no WAY I expected her to say this.  I was certain a hysterectomy was going to happen.  I was ready for it to happen.  And part of me wanted it to happen.  So while most people initially felt ecstatic and overjoyed by this amazing turn of events, I did not.  I instantly cried and felt overwhelmed with emotion.  I wanted to beg her to wheel me back into that icy-cold operating room and remove it all.

To anyone who's never felt the terrible pain and heartache of endometriosis, PCOS, and/or multiple miscarriages, I can understand how you would think "Wow. You cried for months that your dream of having a baby was coming to an end.  Now, God prevented the hysterectomy from happening and you still aren't happy?"  

Don't get me wrong, the outcome is incredible and amazing and there's definitely a reason for it  My husband said it's clearly a sign that God's not done working and He has something else in store for us.  I fully believe it!

Before surgery, I began a deep grieving process.  I came to a place of total surrender and acceptance.  I'll be honest, I even felt a little relieved at the thought of pain relief and the certainty of never having to lose another baby.  When I heard the doctor's words, I felt as though I was no better off than before they put me under.  

Tomorrow, I turn thirty-six years old and I still don't know if I'll ever have a baby.  The pain is likely to return, prompting additional surgeries.  And my biggest fear of facing another miscarriage is still a possibility. I never want to endure it again... any of it.  I'd accepted that having a baby of my own wasn't meant for me and I felt so much peace about it.  The change of (my) plans really caught me off guard.

This was never a change in God's plan; just mine... and what I thought was His.  

Here's what I know: I serve a GREAT BIG GOD who works unbelievable miracles... clearly!  I still don't understand why it's happening this way but, as before, I'll continue to trust Him.  My dream could still come to life someday or maybe this happened to make a future hysterectomy decision easier, to help me know that we tried everything we could.  I don't really know and it's exhausting trying to speculate!  

I will process these emotions because it's healthy, but I won't be held a prisoner of fear! I'm easing back into life and not rushing a thing.  I will continue talking with God and seeking His direction.  I will hold on to faith and see where He leads. 

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  Isaiah 41:10

Monday, February 3, 2014

Time to Rest

Tomorrow is the day... the last day I can hold tight to this dream.  Until I take the final pregnancy test before surgery, I will keep that one last flicker of hope alive that someway, somehow it doesn't have to end this way.  

I'm realistic and know the chances of that are almost non-existent.  I know that God's plan will prevail, whatever it may be... and I want it to!  But I'm also a dreamer who doesn't go down without a fight, so I'll hold onto hope while preparing for the long road ahead of me.

During times like these, it feels so good to be comforted and supported by amazing people.  Most aren't sure what to say or do, which is understandable.  It's okay when words fail and all you can offer is "I'm so sorry."  Anyone who hasn't been through this really can't empathize with exactly what I'm having to process, but we've all endured some kind of loss.  Loss is something people can understand.  Losses connect us and losses have to be grieved.  

The prayers, the hugs, the tears, the outpouring of love, the meals, the spa day, the care packages, and the sweet words on Facebook and in cards... they've ALL comforted my grieving heart. These things have touched my life and have helped make this process a little easier! 

My church family has been amazing with their unending prayers for us, believing that God's plan would prevail, whatever it may be.  They came together and took care of us with more food than we could fit into the back of our Acadia.  That alone removes SO much pressure knowing we'll be fed and won't need to rely on fast food or pizza!  

Saturday I was treated to a spa day and special time of bonding with my bonus son's mom. I needed the relief I felt while soaking in those warm, healing waters and the moments of pampering during a time when I've struggled to feel good about myself at all.  My godmother sent me a big bag of goodies for post-op recovery filled with little things a girl might want or need after such a surgery.  These, and other things, have warmed my heart so much more than they know.  I'm so blessed and grateful!

And today, some amazing girls in my office threw me a surgery shower to lift my spirits!  They gave me a bag filled with bottles of lotion, a blanket, a candle, and other fun goodies AND they brought a full sheet cake... and I got a corner piece!  ;)  I'm surrounded by so much love and support.  It really helps me get through this.

So tonight we'll drive an hour north to stay in a hotel and avoid driving in the upcoming winter storm, expected to begin tomorrow morning.  We'll arrive at the hospital at 6:45 and surgery is set to begin at 8:45.  Both the surgeon and I should be able to make it in without having to reschedule.  I will be admitted for at least an overnight stay, depending on how things go and what's removed.  We're expecting to get between 8 to 10 inches of snow in 24 hours... God's timing is amazing!

This will be my last blog post for a few weeks to allow time to recover and heal, both physically and emotionally.  I also need to take a break from social media, so I won't be posting there for a few weeks either.  Thank you so much for the prayers and sweet wishes!  I'm excited to see what God has in store during this next chapter of "Chrissy"!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Visual Overload

I fully believe when a woman who's never had a child of her own is about to undergo a hysterectomy, she should be able to visit her doctor at a separate, neutral location, as opposed to a 'women's health' clinic.  If it weren't for God's grace and the peace He's poured on my life, I'm not sure how I would have handled what I experienced yesterday during my pre-op appointment.

We rode up the elevator with a very young pregnant woman.  I closed my eyes and thought "How am I going to deal with this"?  While sitting in the waiting room, we watched two beautiful little girls playing while five other pregnant woman arrived for their appointments.  Two couples with newborn babies came in after that. We were surrounded by brochures and posters about pregnancies, the 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' book, and the Baby Derby, listing the doctors with the most amount of babies delivered each year, as far back as 1975.  I could tell my husband felt just as uncomfortable as I was, probably wondering when my meltdown would begin.  

My name was called and we were taken to another waiting room.  The walls of this area were absolutely lined with thousands of pictures of babies and baby announcements from parents of newborns delivered by my doctor.  I chose to sit with our backs against the wall that contained the most pictures.  We still faced a great big bulletin board covered with pictures.  

We tried not to look.  We turned to the left but saw a big, black and white poster of six babies with some silly saying that I can't remember.  No matter where our eyes landed, there were pictures of babies. 

My stomach turned.  

This picture doesn't do it justice.  Imagine what you see here times ten.

Finally, a nurse called my name.  We entered the exam room with, you guessed it, more pictures!  At least there weren't as many and I was able to sit on the exam table with my back to one of the couple holding each other with the wife showing her pregnant belly. Was this some kind of cruel joke?  Being in this environment certainly wasn't making things easier.  

I felt feelings of anger, jealousy, resentment, insecurity, inferiority, comparison, and confusion rise up within me.  I'll be very honest with you, when I thought about some of the pregnant women I saw in the clinic, I asked God "Why them and not me?  She smelled like an ashtray, yet I've never even smoked.  And that one couple didn't even look old enough to be out of high school... they probably didn't even want or plan this.  HOW IS THIS FAIR?"  

Immediately, God reminded me that everything I'm seeing and experiencing is part of His plan.  I won't understand it... not now, anyway.  Maybe I'll never understand parts of it. The babies in those mother's womb have a purpose, just like me.  I don't know what those mothers have been through.  I don't know their stories and they don't know mine.  We could have more in common than I realize.  It was not okay to judge them by what I was seeing on the outside. Those judgments had nothing to do with these people I don't even know... they had everything to do with me.  

They had to do with my grieving heart trying to process what I'm losing, the dream that's fading away.  My senses were overwhelmed with visual stimulants and I was in full-on fight mode, still fighting for my dream.  I wrestled with it internally until my husband reached over and took my hand.  

Immediately, I felt comfort.  

I was reminded I'm not alone in this.  He's here with me and God is with us.  Soon after, my husband said something to make me laugh, in his usual way, and I forgot all about those pictures and people.  I focused on us.  We passed the time until my doctor came in and we made a plan for Tuesday and our future.  As our souls connected, I knew we would get through this. 

It wasn't until the ride home that I realized I hadn't cried all day.  I never broke down, even with Satan using all those distractions to try and draw me into "victim mode".  I was weak for a few minutes but God helped me become strong!  I saw just how powerful and perfect God's peace was during this adversity.  I feel so blessed to have His arms around me.  I don't want to imagine how different thing would be without Him.

Monday, January 27, 2014

In My Heart Forever

Miscarriage is more than a death... it brings a dream into question.

For a couple to suffer a miscarriage is difficult.  For it to happen multiple times is a living nightmare.  

I don't understand it, I didn't expect it, I didn't want it.  This isn't how it was supposed to go. I NEVER wanted to be that girl... the one who could never carry a baby.  Then again, I also never expected to be divorced or suffer financial struggles and health struggles and weight struggles.

But here I am, faced with those realities. 

I was married to my previous husband when I had my first miscarriage.  At first, I wasn't sure what was happening or why I was bleeding so much.  A co-worker suggested I may have been suffering a miscarriage.  I later learned this was the case.  

After getting re-married to my best friend and man of my dreams, I found myself mourning the loss of four more babies.  The pain, the bleeding, the heartache, the confusion, the questions. Only now, it was so much more difficult.  Each miscarriage hurt more than the last. Waiting to see the results of each pregnancy test made me sick to my stomach, unsure if I would experience another let down or what seemed to be the set-up for one.  I wanted it so badly but it just wasn't happening.

The night of my third miscarriage I had one of the most realistic dreams of my life.  I remember every detail as though I'd watched the movie a thousand times... and I've replayed it a million times in my head.  I dreamt my husband and I attended an end of the season baseball team party with the boy (my bonus son).  We were at the home of a teammate's family enjoying the standard summer barbecue foods, swimming in the pool, and sharing fun stories of the baseball season.  I spent the entire afternoon playing with a precious, sweet little blonde-haired boy.  I felt such a strong connection to him and couldn't believe how the minutes flew as we played and laughed together.  It was so fun!

When it was time to leave I knelt down to his level and told him it was time for me to go.  With tears in his eyes and a sad look on his face, he said to me "But I want you to stay and be my momma."  I replied "Awe, that's so sweet!  I would LOVE to stay and be your momma but I just can't.  I'll definitely see you again, though!  Is that okay?"  I leaned in and gave him a hug.  I won't soon forget the feeling of those tiny little arms hugging my neck.  As I began to let go of him, he hugged me tighter.  It took me by surprise and I remember feeling so loved.  I hung on to him as long as I could.  

As I pulled away, I looked into his eyes and said "I'll see you again really soon, okay?"  With a sad look, he shook his head in agreement.  I stood to my feet, took a deep breath, held my husband's hand, and we headed east towards our car to go home.  I remember thinking "Do not turn around, do not look back, whatever you do just keep moving forward".  Yet as I walked forward I could see that sweet boy watching us walk away, tears streaming down his face.  

I awoke to blood soaked sheets and the realization I'd lost another baby.

The connection I felt in that dream made me feel as though I actually spent time with my son.  My pregnancies never lasted long enough to give my babies names, with the exception of the one I met in my dreams... I call him Beaux.  Of all the baby names I considered throughout my life, it's the one name I was absolutely set on.  I can't wait to see Beaux and my other four babies in heaven one day.  Until that day, I know they're in amazing hands.

I may have only carried you for a moment, but you will live in my heart forever.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Beyond the Obvious

Less than twenty-four hours after sharing with the world my decision to undergo a hysterectomy, I saw four pregnancy announcements on Facebook and observed a team on my floor throwing a baby shower for a co-worker.  Although I am truly happy for these friends and acquaintances, it hit me pretty hard.  It felt like Satan was throwing it in my face, tempting me to be bitter, resentful, and jealous.  

I refuse to be bitter, resentful, and jealous.

Life is a gift and we are so blessed to be living it!  

God has His good reasons for preventing me from carrying a child.  Some day I may know and understand those reasons.  Maybe I'll never know.  Regardless, when I can't see the end, I have to trust.  

There are so many little losses encompassed in the loss of my dream to have a baby of my own.  Friday night, I came across my secret 'Maybe' board on Pinterest (Pinterest is a website that lets you organize links and pictures of things you like, such as recipes, DIY ideas, decorating, inspiration, and so on... simply, it's an online bulletin boards that helps you "pin" things that interest you).  I created my "Maybe" board over two years ago to pin maternity, baby, and parenting ideas I came across that I might one day need or want... maybe... if it ever happened for me.  I didn't pin a lot to it, but every now and then I came across something I didn't want to miss out on.  I made it a secret board so no one would see me pinning those things and ask me questions... I didn't want to "go there".  It hurt too much.  

Friday, I deleted my "Maybe" board.  I felt it would be easier to delete it before my surgery because I certainly didn't want to come across it after.  It wasn't easy.  Pressing "Delete" broke my heart.

Yesterday, I began cleaning as best I could while in pain.  I seem to "nest" before every surgery since I know how awful it is to be unable to clean and take care of those household duties!  While cleaning the bathroom, I decided to do some purging.  I emptied the trash and began reorganizing the cabinet when I noticed my last home pregnancy test. It had a light coating of dust on it.  I just sat there for a minute or two, staring at it, trying to figure out what to do.  Those sticks represented a sense of hope and possibility, yet held such bad memories at the same time.  I took a deep breath, grabbed the box, and laid it to rest in the bag with the other trash.

Later that evening, I noticed we were running low on allergy medicine.  As I grabbed the bottle to add it to our grocery list, I noticed my birth control pills sitting there.  I realized I will no longer need them.  Having secondary amenorrhea, my body hasn't produced a cycle on its own since I was eighteen.  I relied on taking birth control pills for the "benefits" of having a monthly cycle (yes, ladies, apparently there are benefits)!  Birth control pills are also known to slightly reduce endometriosis pain, so when I wasn't trying to get pregnant I would take them, although I never noticed much relief.  I also went through times when I took these pills simply because I felt my heart couldn't endure a sixth miscarriage.  I'm not sure if I'll ever have to take them going forward, to help with pain or for another reason.  I just know I will never again take them to prevent a pregnancy or the loss of one.

I realize I'm just in the beginning stages of grieving this loss and it's going to get harder before it gets better.  Some days I can talk about it without shedding a tear, almost feeling excitement just knowing there's finally an answer I can process, allowing me to move forward.  Other days, I'm a bawling mess.  I've actually found myself feeling guilty knowing others are observing me living as though "everything's great" while my heart is heavy and shattered inside.  The thing is, God has poured peace on my spirit... it's a peace I can't explain!  This peace will help me endure the next eight days until surgery, and the thousands of days following.  

Until my heart heals, my tear-filled eyes will remain focused on Him as I hold onto hope for what He has in store for my life!  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Death of a Dream

It's the dream I've had for as long as I can remember.

I haven't thought about anything in my life as much as I've thought about this dream.  I never questioned "if" it would happen, only "when".  I talked about it with friends and family.  People said I'd be good at it... and I believed I would!  I watched other people do it and tried to be patient as I waited my turn.  I thought about how it would look, feel, and what it would sound like.  I had ideas about how I would do things and what I'd try hard not to do.  I pictured it a million times and for thirty-four years it never occurred to me that it wouldn't happen.  

But here I am, at thirty-five years young, accepting that I'll never have a baby of my own.

I've struggled with so much pain from aggressive endometriosis, PCOS, and adhesions.  There seems to be a pattern of it getting worse six months after each surgery and it's completely impacting my life.  It grows back so quickly, despite various treatments (such as Lupron injections) and failed attempts to minimize the pain. I also have secondary amenorrhea, I’ve had pre-cancerous cells removed from my uterus, and I’ve endured five miscarriages.  We’ve tried several options and have considered alternatives, but after much prayer and a lot of conversations, I feel this is the path I'm meant to take.  

In less than two weeks I'll be having a hysterectomy. 

I’m not yet sure how much will be removed and the doctor won’t know until surgery what should stay and go.  That will determine my recovery time, anticipating anywhere from six to twelve weeks. 

For almost two years, I've done research about my female struggles.  I've learned about different options and I've read about people who've had similar experiences and have made similar decisions.  It's been a fabulous thing for some and a disaster for others.  I know there is no cure for endometriosis.  I know that in order for the endometriosis not to cause me problems going forward, the surgeon must find every implant and remove it, and remove both ovaries to prevent it from returning. I know that having a hysterectomy does not guarantee I won't have future pain or struggles. I know there's a possibility for another surgery at some point.  

I am heartbroken and devastated, yet by the grace of God I feel so much peace... the kind only He can give. This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to process and, while my heart is absolutely shattered, I feel this is the path I'm meant to take.  God has reasons we may never know, but I fully trust Him... I just wish it were easier.  

Don't be mistaken... I never gave up.  I simply humbled myself and submitted my life to God and His direction!  I'm a fighter, I'm strong, and I'm an overcomer!  Many people have offered advice and shared stories of how others have gotten through similar situations.  It's helped me to get to this place.  But ultimately, I choose to follow God's lead and trust He'll be here to carry me through this.  I will use this story to help others who face similar situations, who try to make sense of it all.  I fully believe He's going to replace this emptiness with something new.

We don't know what the future holds, but I trust it's gonna be amazing!  When I begin to question my dreams or which direction I should go, God never fails to remind me He’s got it covered.  His plans are much better than my most beautiful dreams.  

“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

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 105
Start date: 12/28/2011
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: Taking a break from the scale, I've lost at least 20 pounds lost since starting Plexus on 8/26/13
Total weight loss: 24 pounds

Last week's dream focusRely 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!

What went well: It's been fabulous to be back on Plexus!  I'm free from cravings, I'm eating smaller portions again, and I'm not thinking about food all the time.  I'm satisfied and not tempted to eat to fulfill an emotional need.  I almost forgot how great this stuff really is!  (Thanks, God, for the perspective!)

When I visited my gynecologist on Thursday, December 5, we began talking about next steps in helping my pain and multiple female struggles.  Before we would consider a more final approach, we agreed a couple of additional procedures should take place first.  My doctor wanted me to see a urologist to ensure I didn't have IC (interstitial cystitis), as some of the symptoms can feel similar to female pain.  She also felt it was necessary to have a colonoscopy to confirm there were no gastrointestinal problems that can also mimic female pain.  I've completed both and no issues were found!  The best news is I shouldn't need another colonoscopy again until I'm 50 (15 years away - YAY)!  HOLLA!!  

P.S.  It really wasn't as bad as we all fear.  The "worst part" is the prep and fasting... it's a total blast, let me tell ya!!  (Weeeeeeeeeee!!!!)   :)

Challenges:  Clearly, the day of prep was a challenge in itself, but I thank God that everything went well!  Although the internal view of the colon looked fine, there's still a possibility of endometrial implants or adhesions on the outside.  The only way to confirm is to have another laparoscopy, which will certainly happen soon.  The unknown is how drastic the outcome will be.  

My follow-up appointment is tomorrow morning and we'll begin making plans.  If you're a praying person, I'd be very grateful if you lifted me up for strength and clarity as I prepare to make incredibly difficult decisions.

This week's dream focus: Manage this pain; hold on to hope and trust God's plan for me; rely on Him for strength; take it easy on myself when things aren't happening the way I’d like them to; and fight Satan’s attacks and ignore his lies!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

With Brave Wings She Flies

God is good at shifting our perspective just when we need it.

I'm facing some pretty difficult times ahead and my heart is breaking.  I'm nervous and scared and unsure.  But this evening I checked my Facebook to find a post about a high school friend facing an even bigger challenge.  

In 2007, my friend Jaime was diagnosed with Medullary Sponge Kidney Disease. This past July, she learned the disease was genetic and had progressed into the last stages of renal failure.  She almost died.  It was clear the process of getting on the kidney transplant donor list needed to begin quickly.  She made it by November 3rd.

Her husband George wanted to give his kidney to the love of his life, but the chances of him being a match were 1 in 30,000.  As it turns out, HE IS A MATCH!  Isn't God incredible? 

With George donating his kidney, they will both be off work and will need a lot of help.  The recovery period will be 6 to 8 weeks, with his taking longer as his body will adjust to functioning with one kidney.  Jaime will have to take anti-rejection medication for the new kidney for the rest of her life, costing $1,825.05 a month after insurance.  Her transplant date is set for February 5!

Although my upcoming life change will be a very difficult adjustment, I'm going to get through it.  I'm not going to face some of the struggles Jaime will face, but I do believe we'll both be blessed and loved and will see many other dreams come true!  AND we can use our stories to help others endure and overcome similar challenges!  

Paying it forward feels good.  If you would like to donate towards raising funds to help offset Jaime and George's medical expenses, visit the GoFundMe link set up by Jaime's sister Dawn!  Every amount adds up and it's truly a wonderful feeling to help!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Message in the Mess

Life can be messy, there's no doubt about it.  We struggle, we get knocked down, we get beat up, and we fight to keep going.  It's no fun and sometimes it's just not fair.  

When I endured my divorce 11 years ago, I remember feeling so humiliated, embarrassed, ashamed, scared, anxious, angry, heartbroken, and like a total failure.  My life seemed to be falling apart.  Things weren't turning out like I'd ever dreamed or planned.  I never in a million years saw this coming.  I certainly never thought I would be a divorcee. 

How would I get through it?  How could I face the world, my family, my church, my friends?  What would my co-workers think or say when word began to spread around the office?  What about kids who looked up to me... what message was this sending?  How will I ever recover from this?   Will I ever be the same?  Who will want me now?  Will I ever be able to trust someone else?  Can I let my guard down and risk getting my heart broken?  What if I'm single for the rest of my life?  

How could God ever use me now?

All of those questions are valid and normal when going through a difficult situation such as this.  But let me assure you, God can and will use you if you're a willing vessel!  I held on to faith believing that God would somehow turn my mess into a message that could help others get through similar situations.  Although I couldn't see it at the time, God was going to answer all my questions better than expected.  

I did get through it!  I was able to face the world, my family, my church, and my friends.  They all loved me and supported me through it.  My co-workers didn't turn their backs on me or treat me any differently than before.  I was even able to connect with a few people who were going through, or had been through, divorces.  Those kids who looked up to me then still look up to me now.  I became an example of how to pick yourself up, overcome adversity, and keep moving forward.  I did recover from it.  I'm not the same; I'm stronger and better.  I've learned A LOT.  I've grown.  And God placed in my path the man I'm meant to be with!  He helped me tear down the walls around my heart and begin to trust again.  None of it was easy and it took time and patience, but I trusted God and He didn't fail me.

God can use you.  And He won't fail you, either.  Have faith!

"The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior Who saves!  He will rejoice over you with joy: He will rest in silent satisfaction and in His love He will be silent and make no mention of past sins or even recall them; He will exult over you with singing."  Zephaniah 3:17 (Amp)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 104
Start date: 12/28/2011
Initial weight: 220
Current weight: Taking a break from the scale, lost at least 20 pounds lost since starting Plexus on 8/26/13
Total weight loss: 24 pounds

Last week's dream focusRely 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!

What went well: It's been three weeks since my last Wednesday Wow Factor (weeks 102 and 103 fell on Christmas and New Years Day) and I'm STILL HERE!  I haven't given up, although some days it's crossed my mind.  The holidays were a little difficult and it seems like Satan was working extra hard to bring me down.  I struggled emotionally, I struggled physically, and I struggled to keep holding on to my dreams.  That's life.  We struggle.  The fact that I didn't say "the heck with it" tells me I'm on the path to great things!

At one point, I thought I was going to have to tell my husband I just wouldn't be able to handle going on the trip we'd been planning for an entire year.  My endometriosis and adhesion pain was getting so bad I felt like I just couldn't take it some days.  But finding those Lidoderm patches from earlier in the year changed all that.  It helped me handle life a little easier and we enjoyed a week of fun, a little rest, and some much needed rejuvenation!

Challenges:  After experiencing what Plexus had done in my life, I began losing focus in all the pain, the tears, and the lack of activity.  I started feeling like it wasn't working as well as it used to and even entertained Satan's lies that maybe I should stop trying to lose weight altogether.  But God quickly reminded me that I've been in a similar place before when the pain would get bad... and this, too, would pass.  

He also brought to mind a conversation I had a few months ago.  A fellow ambassador shared with me that she stopped taking her Plexus products for a few weeks to "reset" her system and help her move beyond her plateau.  It did amazing things for her and she told me to at least consider it as a future possibility.  We all know the holidays are the least ideal time to do something like that, not to mention an out-of-town trip a week later.  But, I felt a strong urging to give Plexus Slim and Accelerator a rest for just over two weeks.  

I cannot BELIEVE I’d forgotten what my life was like before taking it.  It wasn’t long before I started craving anything and everything again.  I found myself at the pantry and fridge just “dying” for something to eat, knowing I wasn’t truly hungry at all.  I was eating everything on my plate AND getting seconds.  I was stuffing myself until I felt sick and gross.  I began consuming sugary drinks I hadn’t desired in years, like juices and sweet tea.  I was thinking about food almost every waking hour.  I was wasting money on crap foods I didn’t need at every convenience store stop.  I was ordering “old Chrissy” portions at McDonald’s and other eateries.   Instead of turning to God during the days I struggled with pain and heartache, I found myself turning to “comfort” foods that left me feeling even worse about myself and my situation. Some days it felt like I would NEVER break free from the chains of my addiction to food!  

This Monday, I began taking Plexus Slim and Accelerator again.  I watched as those same chains that bound me the day before began to quickly fade away.  The feelings of addiction to food aren’t nearly as strong as they were and I’ve felt drawn back into my relationship with God.  The pain and heartache I struggle with is easily comforted by Him and His Word.  I’m so excited to feel that weight and burden lifted from me!  I have no desire to eat until I’m truly hungry.  I’ve been eating a half to a third of what I’d been consuming and I’m leaving food on my plate!  I haven’t been tempted to buy food I don’t need AND I’m not craving sweets!

Please know I do NOT consider ANY product to be a replacement for God or what He can do.  I believe He placed Plexus in my life to help improve my health, my finances, and make it easier for me to work on my daily habits and strengthen my relationship with Him.  I also believe Plexus is helping me bring several dreams to life!  The bottom line is it all takes time, effort, and TONS of patience – with or without the help of a product.

I’m so thankful God gave me this perspective!  I feel like my hope is strengthened and my spirit is renewed!  Clearly, the pain is preventing me from being as active as I’d like or need to be, so this will impact the speed of my weight loss.  However, it’s not a reason to give up or feel like a failure.  I will keep fighting for my dreams, getting closer to the incredible plans God has in store for me!

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!

Monday, January 6, 2014



God is SO good!  Sometimes I don't understand His ways, but that's okay.  I don't need to. 

What I need to do is...
to trust.  
to be calm.  
to be patient.  
to slow down.  
to be focused.
to be present.
to be positive.
to have faith.
to smile.
to share my story.
to help others.
to believe.
to be forgiving.
to be accepting.
to be understanding.
to ignore Satan's lies.
to embrace God's truths.
to shut down fear.
to make my courage roar.
(have I said this one before?) to TRUST.

I don't know what's ahead.  I don't know if I'll like it at first.  But I do know that God has my future covered and everything is going be amazing!  

Jeremiah 29:11 tells us  "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."  

So I will not lose hope.  I will have faith.  I will continue to trust God!