Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Own It and Power Up.


I made a poster last night while watching Extreme Weight Loss. I have not been able to move a marble showing I have lost weight in a long time (many reasons for this),  but I am still pressing onward, getting strong, and getting fit...physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.  I may not always see it on the scale, but I can see it in pictures, in my behavior, in my choices, and this journey to transform is about total transformation...not just the scale.
So, I wanted to revisit my why and find inspiration to keep moving forward. Instead of specific goals, I went with words. Words that mean something on my journey.  I have lots of goals, but its some of these words and phrases that will help me get there and are my why.   The words we say, read, think, and believe are powerful. They can uplift or tear down.
 
"The tongue can bring death or life;..." Proverbs 18:21 
 
 I could have put so many more words and phrases on here, but this is what I went with:
 
 

 
 
I can't pick out any one word or phrase on here that are my favorites, but as I write there are 2 that stand out today. 
 
1. Own It.
I have to own the good, the bad, and the ugly. No one forces me to eat. No one forces me to workout.  No one forces me to spend time or not with Jesus.  I have to own my journey, my choices, my actions, my behaviors.
 
2. Power Up.
I have to power up with food choices and working out, but more importantly I have to power up with Jesus. He is the power behind my journey, my parenting, my marriage, my life.
 
 
 
 
What inspires you?  What is your why? 
Whatever you are discouraged by keep chasing.  Keep pressing onward. Own it and power up! 
 
Chase What Matters.  All things through Christ. 
 
 
 

Deep Sea Fishing

In July I wrote a post titled Fear and the outcome and I promised an update on deep sea fishing.


When we were discussing our trip I called Pelican Adventures,  the business that would take us on this deep sea fishing adventure.  I needed to ask questions and hear answers myself...What is the boat like?  Is it safe for my kids? (I really didn't want them going overboard!!)  Are there life jackets?  Will I feel the waves?  What about being sea sick?  Will I see land or only water all around me?  Will I feel the waves?  How long will we be on the boat?  Is it like riding an airplane, if you go out early you feel less turbulence, so if we go out early will we feel less waves? 

You get the idea. 

The lady who spoke with me was kind and patient, sweetly answering my questions and addressing my concerns. She gave me the name of this website so we could check the estimated height of the waves a few days in advance and suggested we book our fishing trip on a day that said 1-2ft. When we were looking at this site in Florida, I doubted I was reading it correctly, so I called them. A young man answered and I gave him an ear full of my concerns and the added concern of news reports about flesh eating bacteria. (which after much researching this is a naturally occurring bacteria in warm, salt water, if you do not eat oysters, you have  no open wounds while surfing the waters, shower, and pray for Jesus to calm your fears you will be fine!) He was very nice and patient and helped me decide what day would be a good for someone like me to go out.

The customer service at this place rocked!!!! 

I wasn't as nervous as I expected on the day we were going out to sea.   I am thankful that I didn't let fear win, nor did my daughter!!! We had a blast, and no one went overboard.  However, my oldest daughter did have a bad case of sea sickness on the way out, but with peppermint oil,  peppermints, rest, and staring at the horizon she was able to feel better and I got a little queasy on the way back....but it was worth it!! 


The water was beautiful!
Our captain.  I also learned that bananas are not allowed on boats!
Apparently in the boating world they are bad luck.  I didn't get a pic
 of our deck hand, but those boys worked so hard helping everyone fish!








I loved watching this flag!

Fishing with these rods was much harder
than I expected.  The weight on the line
made it pretty heavy!








They call this the emerald coast. It was amazing to see so much down in the water, it was so clear! It was beautiful!


 
 
Satan wants you to be paralyzed by fear, but when you move past the fear there is beauty, freedom,  memories, and fun to be had.
 
What are you letting fear keep you from? Are you going to choose to hold the hand of Jesus or drown??
Chase what matters.  All things through Christ.
 
 
"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." (Psalms 56:3 HCSB)
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 2013 - July 2014

Every Tuesday I can usually be found watching the newest episode of Extreme Weight Loss.  I did not get to watch last night's till this morning. If you have read my blog or seen my Facebook posts then you know I tried out for this show...this season that I am currently captivated by. As I watched the amazing transformation on the last 2 episodes my emotions were stirred, not because I didn't make it, like I felt on the first episode, but just the whole of it. Watching someone move from a place of defeat to a place of victory is emotional!!  Seeing glimpses of this in my life since I tried out is emotional.  I know that I will continue my chase.  I will continue to move from a place of defeat to a place of victory.  (Not, that there weren't a few moments that I wished I had Chris and Heidi Powell for 365 days.....but God has put some amazing people in my life for this journey and continues to do so!)

As I watched the amazing women and their husbands transform the last 2 weeks, I realized why I have loved Crossfit so much of the last year: 

Last July when I walked into my first Crossfit class strangers believed in me. I learned many lessons.
During a class surrounded by people you don't know or maybe you do, you are pushed, supported, and believed in....and that carries over to many aspects of life.

Crossfit has taken me from places of defeat to places of victory many times.



I began to feel confident enough to wear a tank top out in public.
This picture shows the transformation from July of 2013 to November of 2013.
(I am a few pounds more than this pic now, due from gaining some after my surgery in December and hitting a very long plateau that I am still in, but still down 51# total.








I went from being scared to do a handstand on the wall to holding myself up briefly in a free handstand. Even a few seconds are powerful!!






I had  an amazing date for my 3rd 5k.  I could not do this without the support of my husband.


I did my first box jump this year! 




















My journey is far from over...I have so far to go...but have come so far.  I will continue to chase transformation!  I planned on going back to crossfit after T25/summer, but my budget will not allow full time right now, however I am thrilled to have a found a box that will allow me to do a drop rate...check out Crossfit Reinvent.  I am also excited to be apart of Fit & Fierce  nutritional coaching and to participate in classes at Rhythms & Fitness.  (I did a high intensity and a hip hop class last night....and WOW, my lungs were on fire and I am sore today!!)



I did use a gym, friends, family, and 2 wonderful trainers early on in my journey as well, that helped me in many ways.  I am a fan of group fitness in general, rather it is crossfit, zumba, spin, running 5ks, ect....surrounding yourself with others tends to make you push harder. Find what you love, find what works for you, and just chase it!!!


All things through Christ!!
Transformation through exercise, nutrition, and the cross!




Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fear and the outcome

Going through the journey since trying out for Extreme Weight Loss, I have written more than I have in years.  Writing...it helps me process feelings, thoughts, circumstances, lessons, keeps me accountable, keeps me real, and it is a way I can seek and hear Jesus. (I also really like to type...I love the sound of the keyboard and keeping my fingers on the right keys! I know...I am a dork!)  I wish I could do it more, but sometimes I am wordless and often I just don't have time. Its hard wanting to write and not knowing what to say, but when the Lord impresses it upon your soul to write something, you can't help but want to get 'er done.

This post is like that!

I could easily be an emotional mess.
There I said it...out loud.(And yes, often times I am)
I am talking 24/7 I could let emotions and thoughts get the best of me.
I struggle with fear, anxiety, guilt, anger, depression, and loneliness.

That is why over the years I turned to food. In my letter to Chris Powell, I said “God created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare of drama queen, these emotions were handled with food and still are to this day. As much as I showed emotions I covered them up inside, calorie after calorie. I could never figure out how to allow Christ to fill the space that I allowed food to stuff.”

Since I started my journey, I have significantly decreased my abuse of food!! There have been moments, plenty of moments, but I am feeling more than eating....more than I ever have.  It's scary and real. I am still learning how to allow Christ to fill the space!!

So many thoughts, feelings, and emotions creep into my spirit and I have to choose, yes I choose not to use food to push them away, and I have to face them.....really face them.   THIS. IS. HARD.

Then I have to figure out what to do them.  THIS. IS. HARDER.

Emotions have always made me feel like I am drowning.  In a previous post, I said "There are days when I feel like I am drowning...and on those days I want to swim with sugar instead of holding the hand of Jesus."  When one is chasing what matters, including their health, one can not swim with sugar.   In my quest to chase Jesus I am learning to allow Him to feel the spaces and hold His hand, but I easily loose focus and began feeling suffocated and stressed.

Just like I am choosing not to use food, I have to choose not to let emotions take over.

Recently, my husband told me he wants to go deep sea fishing. When he first mentioned this adventure I was not really moved, but when I realized how serious he was, I was struck by fear . He has always wanted to do this.  This time we have more than enough planning opportunity....it could happen.  At the dinner table discussing this, even my oldest child showed fear when it was mentioned. (And that was without her knowing how I felt!!)

She got this fear thing from me. On one hand I am thankful it will help keep her safe, yet on the other hand it will keep her from amazing experiences.  I know what a spiritual, emotional, and mental battle fear is....along with many other emotions.

As far back as I remember I can recall fear being a struggle, but it was after I was married it begin to physically affect me...I had my first panic attack, it was a result of a medication interaction, but it was still a panic attack. I can recall feeling like my heart popped, my chest felt heavy.  I wanted to rush to the ER.  I called my mom, a nurse, and a person who easily brings me comfort.  We both knew my heart had in fact not popped.  For weeks after this night I felt like icy hot had been rubbed on the inside of chest.  I could not sleep and when I tried I would tuck my bible under my pillow. I was paralyzed by fear!

Around this time my OCD personality reared it's head in ways it never had.  I began checking...checking locks, checking the stove, checking lights, checking medicine, checking my jewelry...over and over again I would check things, making sure everything was in its place and things were off.  This kept me at times from just living in the moment and increased my eating.

My husband would have so much fun with my OCD.   I would have completed my nightly inspecting, crawl into my cozy, warm bed, get comfortable and he would say, "did you check your ring?".  I would lay there only for a minute, attempting to control the urge to get up and check yet again, before the pressure was too much and I would need to check once more. We have had good laughs over this memory and a sweet apology.

Fear is at the root of anxiety and OCD.  Fear has kept me from adventures, from weight loss, from doing what God has called me.  It has hindered my parenting and my role as a wife.  It has stolen joy from my moments and rest from my nights.

But, I realize too that feelings are a gift.  I love that I am a little dramatic.  I love that I am passionate. I also know that Satan wants to use that against me...he wants me to be taken over by feelings, tempted by thoughts, and paralyzed by fear.

Jesus made me fearfully and wonderfully.  He created me a little on the sensitive side with a flare of drama queen.  But, Jesus did not give me a spirit of fear.  The outcome of fear is not living. Not enjoying the fullness of life God gave us.

I want to live!  I want to chase what matters.  And I want my children to as well! 

Do I face my fear of deep sea fishing?  Do I allow the thoughts of what could happen to drown me?  Do I allow fear to win?  Do I allow fear to keep me from chasing my journey to health, my journey to chase what matters, to chase Jesus and the hearts of those I love? 


What are you letting fear keep you from? Are you going to choose to hold the hand of Jesus or drown??

Chase what matters.  All things through Christ.
 

"When I am afraid, I will trust in You." (Psalms 56:3 HCSB)

 
 
 
P.S.
Look for updates about deep sea fishing in August. 
 

Monday, June 23, 2014

Recognizing God

I am working on a new post, in the meantime here is a poem I wrote many years ago:


I recognized God today
He was in the colors of the morning sum
I recognized God today
He touched my hair with the wind
I recognized God today
He was in the smell of the rain
I recognized God today
He was in my daughter's laughter as she swung
I recognized God today
He was in the voice of my husband saying I love you
I recognized God today
He was in a picture of you
I recognized God today
Did you?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2014 Graduates, you did it!!

Back in 2007 I had the honor of performing a monologue my friend and I wrote and speaking briefly to a group of young graduates.

In honor of so many I know graduating this year I wanted to share the words I spoke:


You've done it.  You are graduating from high school in just a few days.  I remember from my high school days those last few days of school....you are so excited, talking about what your doing for graduation, what your doing for summer, what college your going too, and maybe signing a few year books. In all your plans that you are making, are you including God?  Proverbs 16:3 says "Commit to you the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."  The footnotes in my bible read: "Still others commit a task fully to the Lord, but put forth no effort themselves, and then wonder why they do not succeed.  We must maintain a delicate balance: trusting God as if everything depended on Him, while working as if everything depends on us."  As you close your senior year, have committed your future to the Lord?  Are you willing to put forth some effort?    Moms, grandmothers, friends, have you committed your loved one to the Lord?  Proverbs 16:9 says "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps."  Always remember the Lord is in control. Jeremiah 29:11 says "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 a hope and a future. Graduates of 2007 (and now today Graduates of 2014) you have a hope and a future.

When I graduated from high school most people wrote something like this...you are awesome, don't ever change in yearbooks and notes.  Does that sound familiar?  Are you writing that?  Shortly, after I graduated, I heard someone say that we should not write that.  I agree today.  If you have written those words though remember there is no condemnation in Christ!!  Change means to become transformed.  Romans 12:2 states "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will."  We are called to be changed.  Ecclesiastes 8:1 "Who is like the wise man? Who knows the explanation of things? Wisdom brightens a man's face and changes its hard appearance." Wisdom comes from God and spending time with Him.  When we spend time with the Creator, He changes us.  2 Corinthians 3:18 says "And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."  God is transforming us daily. We must allow Him.  Graduates of '07, and today, keep on changing!.







Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Season Premier of Extreme Weight Loss Season 4

I just finished watching the season premier of Extreme Weight Loss Season 4.

Such mixed emotions...this is the season I tried out for.

I wrote a letter to Chris Powell.

Yet, despite not making it, I have looked forward to this show coming on. I have wondered if anyone I attended the casting with made it??   It is always motivational and inspiring.  I am thrilled for these people!!  Honestly, I am!!!

But, I do feel a little sad for myself!  I feel so far from where I want to be.  I had hopes of being at my goal at this point...but obstacles have been in my way.  Its during these trials I would  love for Chris Powell to say to me "when you can't believe in yourself let me believe in you."  My journey is so much more than physical weight loss.  I am desperately chasing transformation.  Transformation of my mind, body, and spirit.....and sometimes, sometimes it feels so darn lonely!   I have had many people in my life the last year believe in me, but I am currently at an intersection of  doubt and stuck!!  I would really love for someone to push me and invest in me like they do on the show until I reach my goal.

The flip side of this pity party coin is gratitude.  I am so thankful that Jesus used this show as a catalyst for change in my life. I am thankful for what He has accomplished through me. I am thankful for what He has taught me.  I am thankful for what I have experienced and who I have met.  And now, now that I have tasted that change...I want more.

As I sit here struggling with words to express what I am feeling and wishing the scale would begin to descend again, I also know that Jesus believes in me.  He invests in me.  He is calling me.  I know He has not brought me this far to leave me.  I know He has a plan.  I know He wants me to just keep chasing.

Keep chasing what matters.  Keep chasing what He is calling you to.  
He invests in you and believes in you...even at the intersection of  unbelief and stuck. 
All things through Christ.