Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Be Fighting

 Another month. Another focus. One word, one year.  My one word is be.  I have taken that one word and focused every month on a way to be, a way to live.

This month my focus is be fighting

I began writing this post last week.  I was going to have it ready to hit publish yesterday, but I didn't finish.  I had planned for September's focus to be, be rooted, but God had other plans.

When I was writing the post last week, the words coming out were originating from an emotional place.  What I was feeling and thinking could only be managed by being rooted in Christ, so much of the last few years of my life have been this way.   I know that anything I will go through in the future can only be managed by being rooted in Christ.   That is how I came up with the focus be rooted.

Here is how I started that post:
How do you live life when everything feels unsettled?  When things seem all up in the air or even shattered on the ground?  How do you live life when prayers go unanswered? When your heart breaks??

This. Life. Is. Hard!!!

Extremely Hard.

I am not going to go into details about what is hard in my life, because there is so much to it and we would be here for hours...and there is counseling for that, and yes I am in it.  My hard actually started at my last knee surgery in December of 2013 and has continued from there.....one thing after another, but since May it has escalated.

As I have gone through some of this hard stuff and continue to attempt to get through it I have seen a few things.

1.) All too often we compare ourselves with others and attempt to one up each other. Women do it with one another.  Husbands and wives.  Parents and children.   Constantly trying to out do who had a harder day, who had to serve more, who had to give more, who was stretched the most, who is going through the most.   Maybe instead of attempting to one up each other, we should really stop, listen, pray, and encourage.

2.)  Dori in Finding Nemo had it right....just keep swimming.

3.)  As you walk through the hard, you have to be rooted.

Today as I read back over these words I still think them, but now that my emotions have settled I  know that I am rooted, not that I shouldn't ever dig deeper, but I know I am rooted.  I know that because I am rooted, I can see God's hand in some of this hard stuff!!  My ground has been shaken, if I am honest even my faith.  Maybe yours has been shaken as well??    Just because my ground has been shaken and even my faith does not mean I am not rooted.  Just because your ground has been shaken does not mean your not rooted.

My husband and I saw the movie War Room over the weekend, it was all about fighting. 
Fighting through prayer.   To help me dig deeper, get water to my roots, and settle my shaky ground I need to focus on fighting.

 Fighting in prayer for my family.  Fighting in prayer for my marriage. Fighting in prayer for my children. Fighting in prayer for my health. Fighting in prayer for my weight loss journey.  Fighting in prayer for my neighbors and friends. Fighting in prayer for the things that shake my ground. Fighting in prayer for others.

I have posted some about prayer in the past, I considered myself prayerful, however this movie changed all that.  This movie challenged me to up my battle plan.  Life is challenging.  Life is hard.  I want to be fighting.

Will you join me??  If I can fight for you let me know!

Be.

Be Fighting.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Be Focused

August already??  July flew by.  I loved my focus in July, be resilient. I could camp out on that focus for a while, but it's time to face the music of a new month.

July has led to 3 different ideas about my focus for August, and as I have prayed I through the answer was be surrendered.  I practically had a post all written, when I felt Jesus tug at my heart to change it.  My focus for August is to be focused.

In July, even in June, I was focused, but it was on the wrong thing!  At a recent event with Christine Caine she said "We are so stressed about being stressed"!  This has been me lately.  The more stressed I am the more OCD I feel, increasing my focus on the problems, and my stress about being stressed!
(I  have been so focused on the stress I haven't even lost much weight, but I have faced my fear of the intimidating side of the gym....but that is another post!)

This month I need to adjust my focus. I recently finished reading Unstoppable  by Christine Caine,   she gently reminded me "Whatever I chose to focus on had my attention." 

I need to widen the lens of my perception to see a bigger picture and not zero in on the problems. 

My focal point needs to be Jesus and not the storms around me.

She continued to tug at my heart with "By looking at your circumstances through the lens of God's eternal truth rather than through the lens of your temporal circumstance, you won't allow external circumstances to steal your internal peace. Remember, the size of that dot is determined by the focus you give it, so magnify the Lord so you can see that God is bigger than the circumstance you face and is at work through it."


So this month let's be focused.  Focus not on the stresses, not on the problems, not on the obstacles, not on the scale, but on the bigger picture, on the blessings, on the good things, on non scale victories, on progress, on what your learning, on the journey....on Jesus.


All things through Christ.

Be.

Be Focused.





Sunday, July 5, 2015

Be Resilient

Last summer we slowed down, this summer feels like we have been in overdrive. How is it July 5th and I am just writing about my focus for the month??  I think its due to the busyness of my days and the hesitance to put it into words.

When I prayed about my one word, be, for 2015 and decided that I would focus on a different be every month, I never imagined the places it would take me each month.

My weight loss journey has been filled with God transforming me inside out, with the last 18 months being extremely difficult, transformation has been slow physically, but God has continued to work mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
 This kind of work is HARD!!!!!  Can't I just transform physically without dealing with the stuff???

This month's inside work has been the hardest.  I have dealt with OCD, anxiety, and at times depression type tendencies before in my life and the events, circumstances, and changes lately have come crashing down on me causing the tendencies to increase.  I feel like I am suffocating beneath the stuff.

I have made the decision to work through some of my stuff with a counselor, he gave me some homework and from the work I found my focus for July.  I was reading through the homework sheets that I felt like were pressing issues for me, including grief recovery (check out his site here, the sheet I read is from http://www.hopefortheheart.org/).  One sentence stuck out at me.... "God made you to be resilient by equipping you to adapt mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to new situations." I made a note on the paper, I don't feel that I am, therefore bringing me my focus for July....Be resilient. 

According to Merrian-Webster resilient means:
  • able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens
  • able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc
  • capable of withstanding shock without permanent deformation or rupture
  • tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change 
I love the definition!! I have dealt with a lot of bad, I am currently being pulled, stretched, pressed, there have been circumstances that have created shock, and oh so much change.  I don't feel resilient, but at the end of this month, with a little more counseling, a little heavy lifting (I am going to have to make myself go to the intimidating side of the gym, lifting helps), some coffee, and a whole lot of Jesus prayerfully I will be a bit more resilient than I am now.  
 
 
 

Be.

Be Resilient.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Be Honest

The last 3.5 weeks have been hard. Very hard.

There has been a significant loss in my family.  Loss brings with it tons of emotions, from hurt feelings, to lots of love, and everything in between.

For a girl who has turned to food to self-regulate emotions, feelings, and thoughts this has been a challenge.

While eating fairly well M-F, the weekends have suffered. My workouts have too.

I had to go out of town due to the situation with my family.  I am incredibly thankful I was able to be there.  I didn't stress about not logging my food.  I didn't stress about what I was eating.  I didn't feel guilty.  I owe this freedom from guilt to Jesus and my personal trainer.

I came back home after being gone 7 days physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted, so the  week I returned wasn't great.  I did not get back on track, but I didn't stress about this nor did my trainer.  Although the reality of the here and now was not on point, the big picture showed progress.

The next week I was celebrating my wedding anniversary and I had other plans that week too, so yet again not a great week.  I didn't track well, eat good, or workout much.  I met with my trainer on Wednesday May 27th for the last time face to face, the day after my anniversary dinner.  I was honest about it not being the best nutritionally, but didn't feel guilty.  (Real events, real life happens on this  journey.)  My last day was supposed to be today,  but with work and last week of school stuff for my kids, I had to mark something off.  I did join a gym and committed to still working out...in fact I have gone 4 out of the last 7 days.  Adam and I also made an appointment to catch up on the phone in a few weeks since I needed to lighten my load.

Although I was honest with Adam about my anniversary meal, I wasn't honest with him about how I was really doing last week. I wasn't honest with anyone at first.  I didn't track it either, but the evidence was on the scale, in my head, and in my heart.  It started with a specific craving and it grew into days of binging.  Hiding the trash of food I ate. Buying food and eating a few items out of the package, but finding a trash can on the way home to throw the rest away, so I wouldn't eat the whole box.   The food soothed some of the emotions I felt, but now I felt guilt.  I also felt physically bad. 

All of the stuff over the last 18 months came flooding over me last week and all I could seem to do was eat.

With that said as I focus on the word "be" in 2015 this month's focus is to be honest!

I don't want to lie about where I am with food and emotions. Since Monday I have gotten back on track. One day I took a picture of my fitbit numbers and myfitnesspal numbers posting them on social media. I will continue to do that on occasions this month to help me be honest. 

Tonight I have dinner plans.  This weekend I have plans.  I will track them as best I can even if I am over on my calories.  I will not feel guilty for living life, but I will also not feed my emotions.  I will remember how good a workout feels and how good I feel when I am not binging.

I listened to a podcast yesterday.  The podcast is titled Coffee with Chris.  In one that I listened to Christine Caine said "Failure is an event, not who you are." 

The last week of binge eating, was an event not who I am. 





Be

Be Honest 


All things through Christ











Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Hosea

My journey to health has many different roads. Weight loss is one of the long, twisting, winding  roads that I am traveling, but other roads exist on the journey, often times the roads intersect.  All the roads make up who I am and make up The Skinny on Shelly.  One of the roads that is vital for me on my journey to health is my faith.  Jesus has brought so much healing, forgiveness, strength, and grace to my life.  He is helping heal what causes me to "use" food, He gives me strength to press on, He gives me grace to get up, and helps me walk in forgiveness.

I love to do bible studies!  I love how Jesus speaks to me through them.  In the last few months I have wanted to do my own study, but honestly I just wasn't sure how, so I met with a wonderful pastor here in town.  She told me how she studies.  I ordered books and picked my first book to really study on my own...Hosea. In the midst of studying Hosea I also studied the word heal, along with it's friends healed, healer, healeth, healing, healings, and health.

I picked Hosea because I knew the basics of the story and I was drawn to it.  God asked Hosea to marry a woman with a past and a present and he obeyed.  I love, LOVE that God gave Gomer a husband.  It didn't matter what she was wrapped up in, He gave her someone to love her.  How much more does He do that for us?  So often we feel unworthy, unlovable.  We are a hot mess, but God loves us where we are just like Hosea did for Gomer. ( I am so glad He obeyed!)  God draws us to Himself just as we are. 

Through Hosea I also learned that sometimes God may lead us to a desert so He can speak tenderly to us. I was reminded that there are no prerequisites...we can come JUST AS WE ARE.   

There is so much more I learned, but we would be here all day, and I must get ready for work. 

To sum up my study:  God is in the business of healing and restoration! 

Whatever your dealing with He loves you and wants to bring healing and renewal to your life.
It doesn't matter who you are, what you have done, or where you come from. There is nothing, nothing that will separate you from the love of Christ!!!! (See Romans 8:39)


When you feel unworthy, unlovable, remember, He gives you worth.  He says you are worth His life!


 I wrapped up my study on  Hosea and thought I was done, but then on Friday I got an email about  someone named Jennifer Rothschild and her new study Hosea.  I purchased it and can't wait to study more. Check out her site: http://www.jenniferrothschild.com/   I can't wait to dive into this study to see what she learned and what God will show me through her.

I know to help me on my journey I need God's restoration, healing, and unconditional love.

Let's keep pressing on!!!

Be Thankful

My focus based on my one word, be, in April was be listening...defiantly something to still work on, but May has arrived in full force and its time to focus on a different be. 

My life has felt crazy lately. Things breaking and needing replaced, and not just simple things, pricey things.  One kid needs surgery, one needs an orthodontic consult and these are pricey.  Job changes, extended family sickness, family stresses, soccer, end of school year happenings, soccer, meetings, work...just life...and I need to be thankful for this life.

May's focus is to be thankful. 

Thankful for the craziness of life.

Have an attitude of gratitude.

There is so much to be thankful for.  Thankfulness shouldn't just happen in November.


Be.

One word.

One year.

Be thankful.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Well, hello Monday and hello pity party

Well, hello Monday and hello pity party.

I was a mess of emotions this morning....from feeling sorry for myself to being mad at myself, and everything in between.

This morning my trainer Adam at Lose Inches-Personal Training had to play therapist not just trainer.  (I highly recommend him for his ability to do this!!!) 

Two years ago I walked into a casting call for Extreme Weight Loss, while this day changed my life, I was pouting this morning that I am not at my goal like others that went to casting calls for this same season,  pouting because I am not where I was a year ago, and pouting because I want to be.

However, I am not at my heaviest and I am not the same girl I was on April 13, 2013. 

April 13, 2013/April 12, 2015



April 13, 2013 was not my heaviest weight (that was March of 2011) and April 12, 2015 has not been my lowest weight in the last 2 years......that is why this is a journey.  No journey is paved with a straight line.  It's paved with twists, turns, and circles.


I am thankful for the journey.  I have met some amazing fitness professional in the area where I live and had the privilege of working with them.  I have met some amazing people through social media.  I have even gotten to speak with someone who was on the show.  I have learned to ask for help.  I have learned to share more feelings, instead of wearing them. Jesus has taught me many lessons (including this one) and walked through the last year plus of health issues with me. I even have new teeth to show for it (don't wrap you car around a light pole) and thankfully a benign biopsy. I am also learning to be more balanced instead of extreme. (I struggled with this back in January of 2014 and here I am still learning) (I think I just found my focus for May?? be balanced, see here for more on that)


In my letter to Chris Powell I wrote I wanted to leave a different legacy to my kids and I am.  My kids have been learning to eat more healthy foods over the last 2 years, how to make healthier choices, how to make treats healthier, and my oldest daughter wants to run a 5k with me.


 
I may not be at my goal weight, but there is transformation. I will keep fighting.  I will not give up.  I know that my story is not finished.  Jesus and I are still writing.
 
Whatever journey your on don't quit.  Whatever you want to be in 2015, don't give up. Obstacles, detours, circles, are all part of the journey and the learning.  Keep putting one foot in front of the other.  Keep showing up!
 
 
I wrote this letter to myself in this post  in November of 2013 and wanted to remind myself again.  I hope it helps you too.
 
 
Dear Shelly,

Do you understand how far you have come?  How far God has brought you on this journey?? At your heaviest you were tired, anxious, depressed. Everything was hard...everything!!  Your emotions controlled your food choices. After losing some weight, you then had the courage to try our for a TV show and have continued to fight ever since. Did you know that no matter what you put in your mouth or how your workout went, you Shelly are fearfully and wonderfully made??  The bible tells you so!  Did you know that in any journey to see some rainbows, you have to have a little rain?? This week is just a little rain.  Don't let it drown you! God did not bring you this far to leave you! Remember when you don't eat well, you don't feel well.  How do you want to feel today? You are worth the hard work, time, and effort this journey takes! You have 2 girls snuggled in their beds that are watching your journey. You have a husband who loves you and supports your efforts.  Remember your trying to leave a different legacy, and you are.  The goals you have before you will take time to reach. You will take 2 steps forward and 4 steps back at times, but you know God has surrounded you with what you need for your journey.  Yes, you fell down this week physically(I fell during a workout this week, thus facing a fear) and with food, but that does not mean you quit.  It means you faced some fears and have some choices.  Will you get back up and not allow yourself to be tangled up in the web of old habits?  There is a great quote in the ebook "The Unwired Mom" by Sarah Mae "And when you do mess it all up, there is grace that says, "It's okay, you're covered. Get up and try again. You are not alone in this." 

You got this, all things through Christ.