Tuesday, December 17, 2013

“Stop! Only love today." - Hands Free Mama

I read a blog post last week and I cannot quit thinking about the writer's words. Every time she writes, she speaks directly to my heart.  She inspires me on my quest to transform.  As I walk this weight loss journey, I believe the changes that take place emotionally, mentally, and spiritually hold the key to the success I will have on the scale.

Rachel Stafford is the founder of Hands Free Mama, and a vessel God is using to touch the hearts of moms every where. Her post titled "The Bully Too Close To Home" convicted me like no other.

In the post, Rachel states "Calling all the shots was a mean voice in my head. My internal drill sergeant was continually pushing me to make everything sound better, look better, and taste better. My body, my house, and my achievements were never good enough. Holding myself to such unattainable standards weighed heavily on my soul and my inner turmoil eventually spilled out at people I loved the most."

Numerous times I have devoured food over this inner turmoil.  The guilt, the voices, the thoughts seem to only soften with just one more bite.

As I pondered this post this past week my busy life continued.

The author writes,   "Sadly, there was one person in particular who bore the brunt of my discontent: my first-born daughter".

I hate to confess it, but this is also true in my home. I am happy to say I am making progress as I stumble along the path of transformation, however during the week this discontent roared again.   My oldest child's eyes burned with tears as she sobbed, because her mama was too busy to listen, to busy to trust, and to busy to choose better words. I over reacted to a situation she was in, because of some discontent within myself.

My youngest child asked me to play and I responded with maybe after we get things done.  I say no , not right now, or in a minute more often than I say yes.  I did not realize how those words were affecting my daughter...the same day I said we would do something tomorrow and her words were "you'll be too busy."

I had some emotional eating moments this week, which then led to me bullying myself. 

Hands Free Mama says:
 " It’s hard to love yourself with a bully breathing down your neck.
   It’s hard to love yourself when the one person who’s supposed love you         unconditionally doesn’t.
   It’s hard to become the person you’re supposed to be when you aren’t allowed to fall down and get back up."

Yes!!!  Yes, it is. 

In the post she suggest we “Stop! Only love today."

So I tried it with my oldest first. We used to cuddle before school for a few minutes, but it seemed we never got ready on time...so we stopped. She and I love these moments, so I gave them back to her this week.  I had to “Stop!" many times as the voices in my head told me we don't have time, and I had to choose to “Only love today".

My youngest child, as I was tucking her in bed, asked if I had anything to do...she wanted me to lay with her for a few minutes.  Wow, I come across so busy that she has to ask. I choose to respond with the author's suggestion of “Stop! Only love today."  It was a beautiful few moments.  I laid there holding her in my arms and said "Do you know that you are more important than the busy stuff?"  She shook her head telling me no and I told her she was. 

When I left her room, I proceeded into my oldest child's room and told her as well.

I love how Rachel Stafford taught me this simple, effective technique this week. “Stop! Only love today."

I was able to love myself on this night as well.  It was a non scale victory....with the weight loss I have had...I was able to lay comfortably on that small twin size bed filled with stuffed animals and a small child. I pray I continue to use this technique with myself. In the journey to health, I will fall down, its not a journey of perfection.  I want to allow myself and those around me the grace to learn from mistakes and as Hands Free Mams says “Stop! Only love today."

Thank you to the Hands Free Mama for speaking to me. I pray that God will continue to help me apply this to myself, my children, my husband, and others.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Redemption and Encouragement

Recently, I had the privilege of sharing with my women's bible study group about redemption and encouragement. Today I get to share with you as well.

In Junior High School, I was made to run the 800m.  That is 2 laps around the track. I have mentioned this in  a previous post titled.....Athlete.  I was dead last. I was embarrassed.

My Senior year I was in a car wreck, not just a fender bender.  I wrapped my Buick Skyhawk around a light pole. You can read more about that here.  This wreck occurred in March, my boyfriend broke up with me in April, and my senior prom was in May. 


In  bible study, I learned more about redemption.  Redemption means the act of redeeming or the condition of having been redeemed. Redeemed means to free from what harms or to help over come something.

I had a humiliating run in Jr. high and a disappointment in not going to prom, but God over came that.

On Friday 11-1-13 I went to prom.  It was a Bad Prom 5K.  My husband was my date.  I remember the day I asked him to go....yep I asked him....and I was shocked and thrilled he said yes.  We got all dressed up in a fun and silly way.  He got to do his 1st 5k and I got to do my 3rd. 

I was even given the title of Prom Queen by my man.  Talk about redemption.  I no longer feel like that little girl on the track who was so humiliated and God blessed me with a prom do over. 
In this same bible study we also discussed encouragement. If you have ever run a race, the group of encouragers along the way pushes you and keeps you going.
Hebrews 12:1
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. "
God has given us all different races:
  • everyday life is a race
  • marriage struggles
  • kids
  • work issues
  • depression
  • struggling with an answer to prayer or wrestling with spiritual matters
  • health
  • weight loss
Whatever your 5k is, I pray that you find encouragement from others and from Jesus.
He has you in His righteous right hand. 
In closing I want to end with words to encourage you and push you on your race:

"You weren't an accident. You weren't mass produced. You aren't an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on the earth by the Master Craftsman.”
Max Lucado, The Christmas Candle    
You got this! All things through Christ!


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Progress and Set Backs

I recently participated in the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge.  I was hesitant about taking the challenge, because I had a plan that was working, however this challenge would also include some workout challenges at Kodiak Crossfit.  I was intrigued.  I wanted to know if I could do it, so I did. 

Thankfully, I had several friends participate as well. There is strength in numbers!!! Those workout challenges were no joke! The food part was not so bad, once I realized how simple and similar it was to my current plan. 

My improvements in 8 weeks:
  •  Workout 1 - I improved my time by 3:04
  •  Workout 2- I did 55 reps total of kettle bell swings and burpees the 1st time and 145 reps the 2nd, improving my time by 1:40
  •  Workout 3- I improved my time by 29 seconds
  •   I lost a total of 14 inches
  •   I lost 14.7 lbs, bringing my total to 66 lbs lost
September 14, 2013 & November 10,2013

When the challenge was over I had not made a decision about what I was going to continue to do. Did I want to go back to carb cycling or continue on a paleo path?  I had no plan and looked forward to a cheat, which turned into a day, and into a few days with some binge eating.  This is the first week I have struggled with food since May. Just when you think your drug of choice is not a problem you realize it still is. I have seen a glimpse of the habits that have weighed me down for so long. In the midst of transformation, remembering where you came from and why you want to change are vital, therefore I wanted to write myself a letter.

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.

Look again at how far He has brought you:

March 2011, April 2013, November 2013
If you read this today, I pray that whatever journey you are on, whatever goals you have, that you know if He can bring me this far, then He can bring you as well.
Hang in there.  Fight with me. Lets get up and try again. We are not alone!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So I had a bad day.....

Recently, my post have been on successes at the den and what those have taught me.  Today is a different tale!

The day began with a run that I could not complete. My left hamstring was not having it.  (I blame the stretching of said hamstring and sprints the day before.)

So, I rowed.

This was followed by stretching and some core strengthening.

And this, this was followed by the WOD a 10 minute AMRAP(as many rounds as possible):
5 HSPU  (hand stand push ups) modified using a box for me
20 meter sliders - you slide with your arms only for 20 meters.

And this was followed by another 10 minute AMRAP....and I am not sure what it was!?!?!  I ended up doing something different due to what occurred in WOD 1.  I did 10 sit-ups and 10 lunges.

I attempted a real HSPU before we started....just not quit there yet...I got the hand stand, just not the push up. 

So, I got set up on my box and knocked out 5.  I headed over to began my 20 meters of sliders, thus beginning the longest 20 meters of my life!!!

I quickly realized how physically, emotionally, and mentally hard this was.  I had many thoughts and emotions wash over me.  I thought about people who have suffered a spinal cord injury and how hard it must be for them to learn how to move using their arms.  As I attempted to maneuver across the floor, I became angry.  It was all I could do not to quit and walk out the door!!  I was feeling humiliated and defeated!!  I was mad at myself.  Mad for all the years I did not take care of my body.  Mad for all the times I have tried before just to quit.  Mad that I could not get across that floor any faster.  I grew even more mad when tears welled up in my eyes.

I also began hurting. I have been dealing with some muscle discomfort (not from working out!!)  and it tightened up. Now, I was mad for all the above reasons plus for the circumstances surrounding the physical pain. I finished those 20 meters and attempted another hand stand push up on the box, the pain was too much.  In 10 minutes time, I completed 1 round.  That 1 round pretty much took  the whole 10 minutes.   My Coach knew something was wrong...at that moment as bad as the pain was physically, it was worse emotionally, and mentally. 

I needed/wanted a good ole fashion cry session.

I did the 2nd AMRAP.  I have no idea how many rounds I did. It was hard to count and get through the pain, however doing it helped me feel slightly better about the failure I had just endured during the first AMRAP.

So I had a bad day.....

There have been times during the last few months that I worked out sooner than I should have....out of fear. 

Fear that if I if I don't go, I will give myself too much time off.

Fear that sickness or injury will lead me back to old habits.

Fear that I will not show a loss on the scale that week.

Fear that taking time off will put me back too many steps.  (And yes intellectually I know that if I hurt myself that will put me back more.)

But here is what I know:

Fear is a feeling, not a fact. 

Christ did not give me a Spirit of fear. (see 2 Timothy 1:7)

I have a pack of bears that will not let me stay gone.

My kids and my husband are in my corner.

I have family and friends that are supporting me.

Bad days happen and I am learning how to deal with them in healthier ways.  (The ones that happen in a workout and outside of one.)

That facing the emotions and mental things that wash up in a workout are sometimes the WOD.

Jesus did not bring me this far to leave me.

I love the lyrics to this song written by by Jessi Alexander and Jon Mabe:

"The Climb"

I can almost see it
That dream I am dreaming
But there's a voice inside my head saying
You'll never reach it
Every step I'm taking
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction
My faith is shaking
But I gotta keep trying
Gotta keep my head held high
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb
The struggles I'm facing
The chances I'm taking
Sometimes might knock me down
But no, I'm not breaking
I may not know it
But these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep going
And I, I got to be strong
Just keep pushing on
'Cause there's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be a uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
There's always gonna be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody's gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb, yeah!
Keep on moving, keep climbing
Keep the faith, baby
It's all about, it's all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa

Saturday, October 19, 2013

What are you looking at??

I was discussing Psalm 123 a few weeks ago with a group of ladies and was reminded of how important vision is!!!

Verse 1 says "I lift my eyes to You, the One enthroned in heaven."

As babies vision is vital to the development of strength, balance, perception, and many other skills.  As we continue into adulthood vision is just as important for these skills and many others.

In various areas of our lives we must look in a million different directions, however there are things that require focus. 

In crossfit my coach will say "look straight", the minute I don't focus I loose form, strength, and balance.

In parenting the minute I don't focus on what matters I loose my strength to remain calm and gentle.

In my marriage if I focus on the wrong things it creates tension.

In my walk with Jesus if I take my focus off of Him, I will sink like Peter. (see Matthew 14)

I have attempted this weight loss journey so many times, but my vision was always downcast.  I never lifted my eyes in belief or trust that God would answer my prayers.
I would get distracted or discouraged and loose my vision.  My vision has always been on "I can't".  I had to make a choice to change my vision and my belief to "I can", and trust Jesus in this area.  

There is a story in the bible about a king who gives his servants money. He asks them to put the money to work until he returns.  They all receive the same amount of money but what they did with it varied. One servant earned double the amount, one earned half the amount, and the last servant buried his money to keep it safe.  (see Luke 19)  Those two servants who earned more than what they were given took a risk, that third one played it safe.

What risks are you taking in your life?  What are you doing with what Jesus has given you until He returns???

I started my crossfit journey at the end of July with Kodiak Crossfit. Since the first day I have been blessed with a group of people who push me and who believe in me. When my vision looks down they tell me to look up.  Together some of us are doing a challenge.  In some of the workouts I am not successful, I get frustrated and discouraged, but I am making progress physically, mentally, and spiritually.   My head may look down for a moment, but my focus is still up.

There was a day recently that the workout involved one thing I doubted I could do.  I had only attempted this once before without success and as a kid.  However, where I lacked belief, others made up for it.  I took a risk, even in my unbelief, kept my vision up, and tired. 

I understand keeping your head down, but I have learned:
Where you set your gaze affects your outcome!

 Jesus is the lifter of your head. If you do one thing to give yourself success, you will start to believe, and begin holding your head in belief. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Transformation Tuesday Part 2

I went to the park after I worked out today.  This was a place as a child that took me away.  I felt God on those swings as I sang songs from my favorite records.  Some of favorites were Annie, Down by the Creek Bank, Smurfs, and The Oak Ridge Boys. I could belt out some "Elvira".  These were moments that the anxiety of life never touched.

You wanna know how I know Jesus is changing me, not just in numbers on the scale, but inside out???
I went there today, no I was called there!!!
  I was a little hesitant when I arrived, because there were people.  So, at first I walked, then, I talked to the people, and then I swung.  (of course I knew I needed to take a pic for this, because God had already laid it on my heart, so I told them I was there to take a picture for something I was doing)  I did not want them to think I was some crazy woman! ;)

I have swung before this day, but this was different.  Not only physically do I fit better in the swing, but emotionally and mentally. It was a moment that the anxiety of life could not touch.  I am having more and more of these moments.  The more I conquer physically the more God is showing me to let go emotionally and mentally, and allow His peace in. 

I am a planner.  I plan dinner., I plan laundry day. I plan cleaning day. I plan grocery store day.  Guess what? 

Yep!  I don't have a plan this week...I have not been to the store yet...and we are OK!!!!  I am not stressing about it. That is transformation!

Just like with the numbers on the scale, I have so far to go in this area. But,  I am thankful God made me with a bit of OCD and I will continue to plan, but I will allow the myself to continue to learn to let go.  I will go back to being a kid sometimes and create moments for me, my children, and my husband that the anxieties of life can't touch, but God can! 

Happy Transformation Tuesday!  
All things through Christ! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

The same cadence

I was sweating on the elliptical trainer a few weeks ago when I noticed what appeared to be two strangers running side by side on the treadmills.  I was mesmerized by them.  They ran with the same cadence. I was in awe of their rhythmic sequence.  Two complete strangers running with the same beat.

I allowed my mind to wander as I continued my not so rhythmic dance with the elliptical trainer and I had a few thoughts: 

1. I am thankful for the people who do life beside me at my pace.

2. I am thankful for the people who run ahead inspiring me to push myself and for the lessons they teach.

3. I am thankful for the ones who run behind, reminding me to slow down and enjoy the moments life gives.

4. I am thankful that God puts strangers, acquaintances, friends in our lives to run the race with.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Another Crossfit Lesson

Kodiak CrossFit  provided me with another lesson last Wednesday.

 This was our workout.  I saw it posted the previous night.   I was a little anxious. Oh, my aching knees.  I am so slow...and this....this workout was for time.  And burpees......they are just all sorts of wrong.  

We will all be faced with challenges.  Are we going to face them and show up??

I prayed on the drive to the den (what we Kodiak's call our box).  I asked for strength, protection, and that I would make it through. I arrived mentally shaken, but I showed up.

I completed the warm-up and those burpees (mine are modified).  Who's idea was it to buy into September with burpees??  Then it was time to focus on the rounds...400m run, 10 burpee box jumps (mine were step ups), and 10 split snatches....all for 5 rounds for time.  I had a goal in mind for my time....40 minutes!

When faced with a trial start moving.

I grew "weaker" focusing on the to do list, but I began to take action.  I moved my body physically, focused on one task at time, and prayed more.  

My goal as I began was to run was at least 3 whole rounds, then I could run/walk if needed. 

Pay attention to your Breathing

Sometimes when are looking at a Goliath, all we can do is breath in and breath out.

Are you showing integrity during a challenge??

As I  made it through the rounds,  I wanted to quit. I remember running behind a building,  knowing I could walk and no one would see.  (a run/walk would have been acceptable to me here, I was past round 3, but I was learning a lesson).  I could also allow myself to become anxious over what I was pushing through, but I have heard that integrity is who you are when no one is looking?

Don't Quit!!! There are blessing on the other side!!

I completed round 4 and was given an out.  I could stop.  I had "permission" to not finish.  I did not want to feel like I gave up. My knees where "ok".  If I took the out, I knew I would regret it.   The clock had not reached my goal yet...there was hope.  My coach said you can finish, but you need to hurry....or something like that....so I went.  Round 5....I ran/walked it and completed the other exercises......in 39 minutes and 35 seconds. 

The blessings on the other side:  answered prayers, reminders that I can face and conquer Goliath's in my life, finishing what I started, my mind, my body, my emotions, my spirit all grew stronger.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The First Day of School


I was being a bit sulky about it, but was fine as we were getting ready for the day. The first day of school.   The excitement in their faces was priceless.  We took the famous back to school pictures and we were off. We dropped the kindergartner off first. She was ready, I walked out and the tears just came.  I just left my baby.  She would now be in school 5 days a week for roughly 160 something days for the next 13 years.  There is apart of my life that is over.  I have so much to look forward to, yet feel so sad at the season I am leaving behind. My 4th grader did not understand....at all....I am sure her eyes rolled a time or two.  She said I could walk her in but gave me plenty of boundaries.  Really??  My child is old enough to need space in social situations.  It really does seem like she was born yesterday.

I had such grandiose ideas for our summer.  I pinned so many fun activities that just sat in the world of Pinterest, untouched. I had this fantasy of one last summer, but reality was different.  Our summer was busy and it flew by.  We did accomplish some much needed fun, family time, and relaxation.  We also had growing pains, fighting between siblings, and mama losing her patience a time or two or three. And now its over.  I can't change a thing.  I can't change how I over reacted.  I can't change what we did or did not do. However, I can look back on the summer of 2013 as the summer that God answered prayers.  I had prayed for one last summer and He gave that to me.  I prayed about the weight loss show and what that could mean for my family and He answered that too.  I can remember the moments my kids cheered for me as I worked out.   I can remember the time my 9 year old faced her fear and rode the Superman. I can remember them getting a new puppy. I can remember them holding hands and jumping in the pool.  I am so thankful for the many memories and moments and what I can learn from them.

I had to go to Target yesterday and I watched several moms with their preschoolers and I cried.  It hurt my heart. How fast it goes!!!

Now I confess I think I will be fine all to quickly.  Going to the store alone is much easier.  Working out without them gives me one less worry as I attempt to maintain form and push through mentally.  Having these school days when I don't have to work, will give me time to accomplish things, renew, and will help me be a better mom.

But,  I pray that I can hold onto the ache in my heart as the managed chaos of the school year begins. I pray that I can remember this feeling so that when I want to react in anger or impatience that I instead choose gentleness and peace.   I pray that I hold on to the emotions so that I can soak up the moments of the next season. It too will be gone in the blink of an eye.

Who knows what God will do??

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

90 Day Goal, did I meet it or not??

Let me go back to the beginning before I tell you if I met my goal.  If you have read my past post I have dieted my whole life, but its been within the last few years that I have been working on doing things the right way.  Eating right, working out, allowing God to heal me and change me from the inside out. Its been a long few years and there have been so many people who have supported me, encouraged me, and cheered me on.  ( Thank you to all of you!!)
This is my starting pic from March 2011 at my heaviest
I made many efforts to gain health since this picture, but it was a a battle!  Some progress was made.  It was trying out for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition that really gave me the push to fight again after my knee surgery.  I have now been fighting since May 20.  August 17 marked 90 days. The goal I had set for myself was 36lbs.  I did not make my goal,but I did loose 19.2, bringing my overall total to 45lbs!!! Happy, Happy, Happy.
Giving myself a visual

Even though it took me a few years to get in gear, the journey since April has been a blessing and God is transforming me.   Even though I did not meet the goal, there is change.

May 2013, July 2013, August 2013

March 2011, April 2013, August 2013

July 2013

All things through Christ!!!

Oh and today I did 100 jump ups, 100 push ups(not on my knees), 100 sit ups (still have to do 15 for my August ab challenge), 100 squats....all in 34:05!!!

If God can do the impossible in me, He can in you!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Workout brings me to tears

Sunday:  Rest day. Family fun day. Hurricane Harbor day.  Lots of standing, walking, swimming.

Monday: Cleaning day. Laundry day.  Grocery shopping day.  Lots of standing and walking.  All members of family on cranky side.  Stressful day. Wanted PJs and bed. BUT MUST GET IN WORKOUT!!  ( I have come to far to skip a day) Crossfit day.

Did you catch all the standing and walking accomplished in 2 days??

The WOD(workout of the day) for Monday contained lots of squatting.  My legs felt a little like jello, so did my arms!  I met new people that night who encouraged and inspired me! I walked in cranky and stressed.  I walked out happier and less tense.

I awoke Tuesday very sore, however ready to take on the day.  I met with my trainer who did not feel sorry for me about my soreness and he pushed me.  He made me dribble a basketball around the court!  Apparently, he is unaware of my poor motor planning and coordination! ( In junior high I was the basketball book keeper or something.  I was not on the court!) The ab work we accomplished makes me think there is a 12 pack under there! (this helped with my August ab challenge for the day)  Oh, and he made me do ropes, which involve squatting on my already sore legs!

And somehow afterwards I am still smiling!
Thanks Bryan!

Then comes Wednesday.

This means I ran 800m
Did  weighted lunges, hang cleans, and push presses each with reps of 21,18,15,12,9,6, and 3
Then ran 800m again!!!

I was able to run the first 800m. I did all the reps, however had to put down the weight(35#) for lunges due to my knee during the process. I would look at what rep set I was on and think there is no way I can do this.  I would see the clock thinking I could not finish.  I would wonder how I could possibly wrap it all up with another run.  I just kept fighting.  I stared each number in the face and kept moving.  My whole body wanted to stop, but my heart wanted to finish.  I ran/walked that last 800m.  My kids ran with me the first lap, spurring me onward.  Coach Tim and Coach Shaun encouraged me. My kids went inside the second lap, but I could hear them cheering for me.  I finished in 30:45.  The intensity of this day was so much more than the 5ks I have ran, but finishing was similar.  I cried crossing the finish line of my 1st race and I cried finishing this WOD.   

I never thought I was strong enough!!!  Because of the one who made me I am!!!! Knowing I can conquer this physical challenge, gives me hope I can conquer the craziness of the upcoming school year, parenting, and weight loss. 

"I can do all things through Him who gives me strength"  Philippians 4:13

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lessons from Day 1 at Crossfit

I am apart of a facebook group and many of the folks do crossfit....so I decided I wanted to try it.  I learned a lot on my first day!!!!

I researched several locations, asked around, and finally got the nerve to call 2 and ask questions.  I had to pick up a friend next door to one of the locations and briefly observed and quickly doubted my desire to try it.

 One of the guys I spoke with, Eric, was very personable. He made an excellent first impression on the phone.  I was concerned about participating due to my knee, weight, and ability.  He was very confident that I could do it.  His belief in me before I stepped through his door was encouraging, so I choose his place: http://www.kodiakcrossfit.com/

I made a post or 2 wondering if I should be scared or excited, I was both, my internet research of the word crossfit did not help much, but boy did I learn alot........

Lessons from Kodiak CrossFit

  • Be on time!!!!  I was a nervous wreck pulling up to the door in my swagger wagon, running a few minutes late.  I thought we left in plenty of time, but I did not allow for time finding the place. Eeeekkk! I was called out for that in a very gentle, yet authoritative manner (I had thought the in charge guy, Eric, was out of town.. he was back.  Although he was very nice on the phone, I did not want to make a fool of myself on my first day with the guy in charge there.)  This is a good lesson for me, I am always running late.
  • I can still jump rope. Due to my tardiness I missed the warm up, so I had to jump rope. I was so scared.  I was afraid my body and my knee could not do that 1x much less 200x.  Eric has a very nice padded floor, so it was easier on my joints and I pulled it off.  My lungs were on fire, they might still be today.  
  • If being easy on me is using no weights and making me do 5 rounds of 6 burpees, 8 over head walking lunges, and sit ups I am not sure I want to see or do hard.  That is 30 burpees!!!!!  Who does that?? 
  • That the people are nice!!!  It is much different than a gym atmosphere! When I walked in, late, all I saw were guys. Very intimidating....very. These guys were so welcoming!!  Not judging. As much as I was questioning myself for being there , I never once felt like anyone in that room questioned me being there. Eric was so encouraging every step of the way and the guys were as well.  
  • This is not a place to say I can't.  Its a place to give effort! And there is no doubt in my mind that if I ended up not doing something, that I would be encouraged and would be able to do it at some point.
  • I can complete a crossfit WOD!  When a room of people are working hard you don't want to quit! I thought I would compare myself to others, but I didn't. It's not about that. It's about where I have come from and where I am going.   It was about me doing the best I could, giving it my all, and doing better the next time.
  • Its a challenge worth taking and I loved it. I did not expect to like it as much as I did.  I have done spin classes which are fun. Zumba classes which remind me I am not a dancer, but I enjoy it.  But there is something amazing about the hard challenge of crossfit, I guess you could compare it to the runner's high.  
I like being pushed. That is one of the many reasons I tired out for a TV show.....to have someone push me.  I  love that God has placed people and places in my life to do just that!  

I plan on going back  for the next month.  I am sure there will be lessons learned, tears cried, and strength built, and maybe, just maybe a few pounds lost.

Visit my new friends at Kodiak CrossFit!  

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!"  Philippians 4:13


What does being radical mean to you?? 

Recently, I got to share what God has been teaching me after reading the book Radical by David Platt.

I looked up the word radical in my bible app and found the message version has several verses about being radical.  They speak of a radical life-change, a radical new kind of law, a radical turn to God, and a radical trust.  (please see Acts 19:4, Mark 6:12, Acts 20:17, Acts 17:30, Acts 26:19, Hebrews 7:11, and Romans 2:3 in the Message).  I want this!

The Lord showed me 3 areas to improve in:

1. Being radical in my relationship with Jesus:
     Did you read the definition to radical ?   We can be become more radical by growing from our root, and our root is Jesus!  The definition that really struck me was "designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue".  This is what happens when we spend time with Jesus- He is our greatest physician.  He is our root we need to grow from and as we spend time with Him, He removes the bad root of our disease.

How can we be radical in this area?:  memorizing scripture, praising, prayer, raising hands in worship or maybe clapping, being in relationship with Jesus (just as we spend time with our family, spouses, friends, we must spend time Him), being loving, not judging. One of my favorite places to worship and pray it all out- and I do mean all, is the gym.  A lot of wrestling life out happens on the elliptical!!!

2. Being radical in our relationships with others:
  • our spouses - forgiving them, stop nagging, lifting them up not tearing them down, respecting them, for me maybe I quit complaining about the jelly I find after a midnight snack or maybe when I am frustrated I quit taking it out on him.
  • our kids -put aside cleaning the house to play, putting down our phones to actually watch when they say "mom watch this", teaching them scripture, making a PB&J, saying no or maybe saying yes, being calmer
  • others - listening, preferring others, praying with them and for them, spending time, being honest, holding each other accountable, putting our phones down,  laughing

Family fun at Six Flags.  We  met up with some good friends there.
Putting aside the to do list and my phone - just being in the presence of people.  
3. Being radical with ourselves:
  • forgiving ourselves
  • loving ourselves
  • taking time for ourselves
  • not talking bad about ourselves
  • not being too hard on ourselves
Our love for ourselves grows our of our root- Jesus.  How rooted are you?  How rooted am I? Do we really believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made?

Being radical with myself is hard.  I have talked bad about myself most of my life.  However, the journey through the casting call of Extreme Makeover provided so much healing.  God created me.  I am precious in His sight.  I may have made mistakes in the past, I know I will make some today, and maybe even tomorrow, but there is no condemnation in Him.  There is a difference in knowing where we are weak and putting ourselves down. 

I had a friend tell me, after someone told her, dress like you love yourself.  This has become a huge statement and has helped me step out of my box. I don't like to wear sleeveless shirts, but I have over the last month. My friend bought me a tank top and I love it. I am so thankful for the work He is doing in me.  He is growing me, molding me, and making me stronger physically, spiritually, and emotionally.

We have to reframe our minds.  I heard someone say at bible study "God's Word is truer than how I feel!" His word says I am wonderfully made!

Deuteronomy 12:18 (message version) says "You are to celebrate in the Presence of God, all the things you've been able to accomplish"

At the end of the day instead of beating yourself up with could haves, would haves, should haves, celebrate in the Presence of God, all the things you've have been able to accomplish.

Which of the 3 areas of being radical spoke to you?  Do you have any suggestions on how to be more radical?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Transformation Tuesday!!!!


Although the scale is not where my validation comes from (there is a post about that) I needed to see some progress. So welcome to transformation Tuesday!!!! The picture in the black shirt was taken on April 13, 2013 (the day of the casting call for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition), the blue shirt was June 30, 2013, and the green shirt was July 7, 2013 ( I wanted one in the same skirt).  Since May 20, 2013 I have lost 14lbs.  My total weight loss since March 2011 is 40lbs. Its been a long road, but there is true transformation this time, from the inside out!


I have been working so hard at the gym, I wanted to see if I could flip a tire…… I did it once to see if I could, I then had  a friend take a picture of me doing it.  My goal was to do it 2x in a row.  I did!!!! That second time was a struggle, but, the transformation is worth the struggle!!! 

I am thankful for the transformation Jesus is doing in my life and wanted to share some of the tools I am using!  Here are a few of my favorite things:

fitbit pic

My fitbit flex!  I love this thing and it integrates with myfitnesspal!

  http://www.fitbit.com/    http://www.myfitnesspal.com/



I saw someone post about Quest bars and wanted to try them.  I am so glad I did.  They are delicious!!!!


I also use these shakes daily! http://www.vemma.com/ 


The final tool  is  this :  bible

Jesus gives me strength!

Monday, June 24, 2013


When I am at the gym, I feel like there is an inner athlete working her way out. God and her push me to keep going. When I feel like I can't put one foot in front of the other,  I pray and thank God for giving me strength.  A song by Plumb that frequently plays in my ear  says  "I can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this by myself, I can't do this, I can't do this, Oh God I need Your help". He helps!!!  I finish my workout!! Who can plank for a full minute?? I CAN!!!!  Who can do a burpee??  I CAN!

I wonder where that inner athlete was all those years ago??  I was the last girl on the track running, I believe I was doing the 800 meter run, everyone had finished and I still had half a lap to go. I think I walked it.  Embarrassed and feeling like a failure I crossed the finish line in physical and emotional pain.  I do not have to be embarrassed now. 

fixing to run 2nd 5k

I can run 5ks. I can push myself.  I can eat healthy.  I can have cheat days and get right back on track.  I am thankful that I went to that casting call and went through that process.  I know that He who began a good work in me, will carry it on.  (See Philippians 1:6)


Just like I have discovered that I can be strong physically, God continues to teach me that I can be strong emotionally and spiritually. The link below is a song that is fitting in my journey and I think it will always be.  We are never finished this side of eternity.


If I keep allowing God to clean this ole house then I am on the right track and there is peace in that. 

Athlete is defined according to Webster as a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina.

Daily life requires this as well. Allowing God to clean our houses requires this.

I hope you let your inner athlete out!   

Just breath and put on foot in front of the other.

Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (NKJV)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Frustations....but Joy comes in the morning

I have felt a little frustrated. 

The scale is not giving me the pat on the back I feel I deserve (its a fingertip tap, not a pat).  I know its not just about the number....really I do.   I am experiencing many positive things but a little validation would be great.

So yes, I confess my frustration and impatience. I want to push the quick start button on my weight loss like I can on my microwave.

God has given me many journeys that require patience.  My school years, college, waiting for my wedding day, 9 months of anticipating holding my baby. If I would have rushed through any of these I would have missed lessons, friends, memories, a healthy child. 

The scale may not show me the number every week, but there is a journey here I don't want to miss. 

There might will be moments of frustration but joy come in the morning. 

So when I am feeling frustrated I am going to remember how far I have come!

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!!

You can do all things through Christ who gives strength!!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Video Clips

Here are a few video clips from the videos I turned in for the show:
*warning videos contain a little silliness. So thankful God has a sense of humor!!

Diets I have tried, I forgot to include OA:

Learning about red light, green light, yellow light foods:

Do you know the muffin man song:

Mini Van Mama and her rap:

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Now What???

Now What??


The day I received that email stating I did not make it as a finalist for the show I got a package I have been waiting on, it was a blessing in that moment. 
I can!!! I can do all things through Christ.  I can ask for help and support from others.  I can get up at 4 AM 3 days a week and get to the gym 3 other times. (yep that is 6 days per week....so thankful I have a workout buddy and a supportive family!!!)

I read Chris Powell's book.  You can find more info at http://chrispowell.com/.  I ordered the protein shakes he endorses (YUM!!!) and I am CHOOSING to follow his eating plan for 4 weeks. I will then reassess and see how it is working for me. 
I also made the difficult decision to change from a fabulous personal trainer who is unable to train me at my gym to one at my gym. (If you want to train outside of a gym contact http://countrifiedpersonaltraining.webstarts.com/)
Here is my new trainer.  I will be training with him and doing the boot camp the gym offers.
10. Encourage me.
  9. Check in on me.
  8. Do not offer me just one bite. (unless its my "cheat" day)
  7.  If you invite me to lunch or over for dinner don't take it personal if I bring my  food.
   6. Workout with me. 
   5. Help me come up with new recipes for protein and veggies.
   4. If I sell something on one of those garage sell sites...buy it...its helping me pay for my protein shakes, trainer, and new clothes.
   3.  Hold me accountable.
   2.  Laugh with me.
   1.  Pray for me.
Thank you!!!!! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Letter to Chris Powell

Dear Chris,

Webster defines legacy as something transmitted by or received from an ancestor. Through the years many things were transmitted to me. I was blessed growing up. I was surrounded by my parents, my brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and numerous cousins. This family shared Jesus with me, shared a love for music with me, taught me the importance of family, laughing, and loving. I have taken great pride in my family over the years. When one of us hurt all of us hurt.

I also received a love of food from this clan. Many of my fondest memories have food in them. In the earliest one, my grandfather took me to the county fair every year for corn on the cob. We had 3 years of this before he died. I celebrated his memory every year, with a buttery corn on the cob, until 1995 when I was unable to eat it, but that is another story.

I remember being smaller, but in my mind's eye its because I was younger. I always seemed to be bigger than my peers. I am not sure at what point I became fat, but I can recall being made fun of as early as 3rd grade. As I look back at pictures, it does not look like I am that different, bigger yes, but not necessarily fat. Maybe, just maybe my friends and I were harder on that little girl than we should have been.

The death of my grandfather changed my dad, changed my family. My parents began fighting. I think it was during this time I subconsciously began using food. I think that just like that corn on the cob comforted me after my grandfather died, that food began comforting me. I was as a young girl whose family dynamics were wavering. I don't blame my parents for this. I know how hard marriage is. I chose to eat.

My parents separated when I was in 6th grade. This is a vital time in a little girls life to be loved, acknowledged, and validated by her father. Mine was gone. There was no weekend or holiday visitation. Our time together was sporadic to say the least. My amazing mom raised my brother and I. The strength, hard work, and perseverance that she displayed is inspiring. She is my hero. She always told us “Your dad loves you the best he knows how.” I did not understand that then, but I do now. I fed my hurt, rejection, loneliness, and disappointment frequently. I can remember lying about a piece of candy and the spanking that resulted from that lie. My mom attempted to help me loose weight for the first time in elementary school thus beginning my yo-yo dieting career. She saw my unhappiness with my body and wanted to help. I love her for that. She passed down her passionate caring about others to me.

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.

In 1995, I had to quit eating my memorable corn on the cob. I told you it was another story. I was a senior in high school, I finally had a boyfriend. Life was on the upswing for this plus size girl, until a beautiful March day, when I wrapped my Buick Skyhawk around a light pole. I had just washed my car and was on my way to get gas. I was driving on a curve when I looked over my left shoulder to change lanes and overturned my steering wheel, wrapping my car around a light pole. Thankfully no one was with me, they would have been killed instantly per the doctors. We took pictures of the car, however they did not develop. As the story goes, the front of the car was wrapped around the pole, the engine was in the passenger seat, the driver's seat was turned toward the passenger seat, the steering wheel was bent bottom to top from my face hitting it, the front tires and back tires were smashed together. Praise the Lord, I undid my seat belt and opened the car door. I can remember a tooth falling out of my mouth and blood pouring like a fountain. I was in surgery for about 13 hours. I lost 3.5 top teeth, one was shoved in the roof of my mouth, and some pierced through my bottom lip. Every bone in the roof of my mouth had to be pieced back together. I had an imprint from the seat belt across my body, this saved my life. If I had not been using it I would have been killed instantly. Seventeen years later, I can eat corn on the cob with my bridge, but I am reminded daily about this moment. My bridge is on the verge of needing to be replaced. I have a scar on my chin, people used to say “you have lipstick on your chin” and I would respond with a simple “thank you”. After the emotional and physical pain decreased, I ended up having some fun with my false teeth I had before my bridge. I had to wait a few months to get it so my mouth could heal. I hope to get the chance to make you laugh with my stories.

My boyfriend broke up with me roughly 2 weeks later, not due to the accident, but what another jab to my spirit.

After my parents divorced my mom had met a wonderful man who would become my step-dad, however I was a hurt, emotional teen who had a hard time adjusting to this, and I still only occasional saw my Dad.

Teenager, car wreck, blended families, break ups, insecurities add up to lot of eating.

The wreck matured me a bit and I went to college, got married, moved a way from home, bought my first house and had my first panic attack. Food helped, but I knew I needed more and told my husband I needed to get back in church.

Almost 12 years later, 2 kids, pets, and a lot of life. I have continued to use food instead of my faith. I have attempted many diets and OA.

There are many whys to me wanting your help. I have recurring ovarian cyst that would improve with weight loss. I have tried and failed too many times. I have found a love for running and I hope to run again one day. I ran and completed 2 5ks, but tore my meniscus training for another in September. My first one took my 59 minutes, my second 50 minutes. I found stress relief in running. My weight while running was too much for my knee. Losing weight will save my knees and provide me with an emotional outlet.

But my main reason is upstairs watching a movie. They are 9 and 5. I want to practice what I preach to them. I can see in my oldest daughter symptoms of a poor relationship with food. I have seen her cry over it. I have seen her eat to much and be sick from it. This is heart breaking. She got her love of all things sugar from me. I need your help learning what is best for my body, how to menu plan for busy families, and how to make those meals that benefit my body and the bodies of those I love.

My 9 year old is a vibrant, passionate, soccer playing young girl. My 5 year old is full of energy, songs, smiles, and is in gymnastics. I want to teach them to stay this way. I do not want to pass down a legacy of bad food choices, dependence on food, or an unhealthy body weight or image to these precious gifts. God chose me to be their mother and I need your help being the best mother I can be.

I have had healing in many areas in my life. I have broken free from many strongholds.

I have forgiven my real Dad and we have relationship, the best way he knows how. I also talk to my sisters that I have from his 2nd marriage. I have grown to love Richard, my Step-Dad. He is my Dad, I call him Dad and his daughter is my sister. How blessed am I.

There is freedom in forgiveness. I now need your help to break free from this stronghold of weight. Its time to get rid of the excess that is left after years of abusing food. There is a song and it says “You can't run if your holding suitcases.” I am ready to leave mine behind. Will you help me?

In one year, I want to sing “My chains are gone, I have been set free. My God, my Savior has rescued me.”

Help me leave a different legacy.

Thank you

Shelly Jones.

The Scoop with EMWLE Part 2

The call back came on April 18th at 11PM, I was fast asleep. When the phone rang I saw it was a blocked number, pushed the talk button, and hung up.  The phone rang again and I answered. I was shocked, somewhat speechless, and unsure if I could workout what they asked of me.  I was asked to drive to Oklahoma City for an on camera interview. They apologized for not being able to do this while in Dallas.  I can't remember exactly why I ended up getting that golden ticket...I think I was an alternate or something?? 

Oklahoma City is about a 3.5 hour drive from my house.  Who would keep my youngest daughter? Who would pick my older daughter up from school?  I could not do this by myself, who would go with me?  We agreed that I would call back in the morning and let them know if I could make it.

Who can sleep after that call??  Thankfully I had a friend up I could call and my husband woke up. I tossed and turned most of the night.  Impatiently, I waited for 4:40 AM for my ride to the gym.  I could not wait to tell them and ask them to help me figure out the logistics.  One even dropped everything she had going on for a road trip.  I am so grateful for this little town we live in and the friends that God has put in my life.  I got a friend to take care of my kids and pray for me.  (you all are awesome, thank you)

Road Trip Selfies

Lobby couch was awesome
Lovin' the green couch


We had so much fun on this road trip.  I completed my on camera interview and we headed back.  I was completely overwhelmed.  This was crazy, unexpected, and a lot to process.  I had a lot of homework to do. I had to dig deeper into my story and although I have told bits an pieces before, putting it all together was very therapeutic. I got it all turned in waited and prayed. 

I had to make a lot of videos and in one of them I voiced these words:

"The journey of unpacking my story and telling my story has taught me greatly. I heard Beth Moore say "There is beauty in the process” and she is right."
In my next blog I will include the letter I wrote to the host of this show.  (which begins its next season on Tuesday!!)
I received an email on Wednesday that I did not make it to the finals. Very bittersweet.  I had some plans for my summer with my girls!!! Who knows what would have happened had I got picked???
I still don't know where God is taking me, but I know He is in control.


The Scoop with EMWLE

I have been working out, counting calories, and trying fad diets forever....with little long term success, so I decided to attend a casting call for Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition.  What did I have to lose?  What is the worst that could happen?

 Jesus has healed me in so many areas, with many more to go (I am a kid adult under construction), and I know He has called me to have victory with my weight. So.....

On April 13, 2013 I did just that.  I had just a few minutes to charm the 2 wonderful casting ladies. I met a handful of people in line, and prayed with 2 wonderful young people. I thought to myself, maybe that was the reason I was there.  I also submitted my story via video, some of which I have blogged about in the past (When I learn to post a video I will post some snippets).  I heard so many stories and amazing reasons to fight for a spot on the show. I shared my story and my main reasons why I need help and then rushed to my daughter's soccer game and waited for a call back.  That call back never came. I was disappointed.  Where was God leading me to overcome this obstacle?
Day of Casting

It frustrates me that insurance would help cover weight loss surgery, but not help cover someone getting support to do it without surgery.  I felt like my chance of help was gone.  It's not in our budget to hire personal training 1X1.  I had a pity party, that included some FOOD, and moved on.  A week later my husband and I confessed to our kids that we have not done a good job teaching them nutrition and we introduced a fun way to teach our kids about nutrition and I continued to count calories and workout.
Here is the link to what we are doing with our kids:


Then I got a call back......



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

James in 2013

I love how God works in my life.  He breaks through walls I build, gives me glimpses of why His timing is best, and weaves people into the fabric of my life to show me more of Himself. 

In my unworthiness, in my sin, He still chooses to use me. I find when Jesus wants to use me its usually to teach me something, help me  apply a lesson to my life, or to just show me He is in fact right where I am.

I have been attending a fabulous women’s community group at my church.  When I first attended, I was just trying it out. This is where God knocked down the first brick, and began His work in me, yet again. 

I don’t really make New Year’s resolutions, but I know that in 2013 God wants to teach me through James.  The book in the Bible and the study by Beth Moore. 

I was asked to write a monologue in regards to James and I know these are the goals for 2013,  based on what God taught me through  choosing to use me to pen some words on page:

1. Remember His faithfulness – this encourages me onward.

2. Let go, Prioritize His way-  life is full of precious moments, enjoy them, don’t rush past.  Read an extra story, do the extra bible study with my kids, play the game, and yes even let the bed go unmade. (Letting go of my to do list and is HARD!)

3. Fight with Him - When David picked up the stones to fight his giant, someone once told me they stood for God-Is-All-I-Need. When I face a giant in my life, He is all I need.

4. Instead of getting overwhelmed by life’s trials, breath through and allow them to produce perseverance.

5.  Let my faith have action. I want to demonstrate my faith through active obedience.

6. Work on taming my tongue.  I wrote this in the monologue:  “God uses my kids daily to mold me, teach me, and clean me up. Everyday being a mom is a God moment. I pray that for 2013 my tongue is more tame. That I am more gentle with my kids, more respectful of my husband. That I will not quench their spirits with my words, but will uplift them.”

7. To fill myself with Him.

When I wrote this monologue, it was based loosely on my life, not all parts are things I struggle with. But food has always been a battle and God gave me these words: “ Last night my flesh won over my desire to submit to God. Pleasure in the moment instead of pleasing God and saying no to a sinful desire. I wonder sometimes what other women struggle with. Are they like me and let a binge moment with food win over taking care of the temple that is their body? What desires do they wrestle with, that win over submitting to God? I know sometimes TV shows are a struggle, or books, movies. Maybe even too much wine or ex-boyfriends on face book. I know You created me with a desire and that desire is only filled through daily submission to you. You reminded me with this moment to fill myself with you and not anything else.”

8. Prayer. I believe in its power and its comfort. I love the peace praying brings.  I want to start a prayer journal for 2013.


No matter how many stones I pick up to fight giants this year, the first one is ALWAYS GOD!

God is all I need.