My New Trainer!

This week I have had a new trainer step in to help me along! My 8 year old daughter has decided that she wants to be a part of this process, so she is offering advice and being my cheerleader…LOL It has been so fun watching her participate. She loves Zumba, and now she is taking up running with me. We set out to do a mile and I explained to her that I walk two minutes and run one minute. So she decides to “manage” the stopwatch and the whistle. It was so cute. She would give me updates on the seconds as we ran together and when we hit the one minute mark, she blew that whistle like she was coaching an NFL team. Too cute!

(Since we only went one mile…hey, she’s 8…. I came home and did an additional 20 minutes on the elliptical =) Trainer’s orders!

What I really loved about our run was the fact that we were spending time together, having great conversations, and she was seeing an entirely different example than she has in years… maybe even her entire life. I was always the mom that celebrated with food at every opportunity. When I thought we needed a snack…. we hit a drive-thru and got whatever we wanted..with extra salt and grease… and always a large soda. At the checkout…we got candy… cause you know, Snickers satisfies, right?  On Fridays, we always got ice-cream. Plus I was also the mom that made a dessert with almost every meals. Sugar…sugar…sugar! To top it all off, my kids have watched me sit on the couch and mindlessly eat chips and any other junk I could find for years. All habits that I do not want to pass down.

So in spite of how they have seen me live for years, I am grateful that for the past three months, they have seen a new mom… with new ways!   Gotta Run…I hear my trainer’s whistle blowing!!

Hummus

OK friends…. This is a stretch even for me…. But hear me out please! LOL

I have always thought hummus was some tree hugger mayonaise that I wanted no part of. Just the way it sounded and looked had no appeal to me. (Probably because it could not compare to the burgers and fries I was enjoying on a regular basis.) Anyway, last weekend I was at my future mother-in-laws house and she made her breakfast which was a wheat sandwich round and then she added hummus. Initially, it looked scary and weird to me, so I was getting ready to opt for toast with peanut butter when she convinced me to try it.

Shocking! It was actually really good! It was Roasted Red Pepper flavored and I discovered it was quite delicious. I was very surprised and concerned. Have I crossed over? Have I become one of them!?!?

So I had to check it out. Hummus is made primarily of chickpeas. The cool thing is you can add all kinds of different spices and flavors to make it taste exactly how you want it to. Historically, it was a staple in the Mediterranean region offering many nutritional benefits such as fiber, vitamins and iron. It is actually one of the oldest foods in the world and has been sustaining healthy bodies for centuries. Yet my ignorance kept me scared of it for years! LOL

So I guess I have crossed over. I am one of them. I am a person who likes hummus. Wow…. Gonna go hug a tree now…. Have a great day!

Freedom

I love Saturday mornings! I got up and went for a 3.7 mile walk/run this morning on the beach. It was so wonderful! I love doing it, but nothing is better than the feeling you get when it’s done!

As I ran, I took it all in. The beautiful waves, the sunlight glistening off of the water, the graceful pelicans soaring above. It is wonderful to experience the beach like this. I was usually the girl sitting on a towel watching the runners go by. For years, I watched with envy as the fit girls ran past me wearing their cute workout clothes….thinking my days for that possibility were over. Yet today, here I am. … starting my Saturday with a 3.7 mile trek on the beautiful beaches I call home. Yay!

I have never been to prison, but when I think about this process, I often feel that this struggle is similar to that of being in prison. In many ways, I feel there is a parallel between the bondage of being incarcerated and the bondage to an addiction of any kind. In the same way an inmate is bound because of his own choices, I too, have been confined by my own choices. I have spent years feeling “trapped” and wanting so desperately to have the freedom of good health and energy.  I have longed to be on the other side and made countless promises … “if only…”

I am nearing freedom. I am drawing closer and closer… my chains that have kept me in captivity are being loosened day by day. More often than not, I feel unstoppable. To God be the glory!

Let Freedom Ring!

Pomp and Circumstance

Good evening honored guests, ladies and gentlemen and fellow past and future graduates.

It has been said that Change is inevitable. As we stand on the brink of moving into life beyond obesity, change will be inevitable. It is indeed gratifying to experience a statistical transition such as this. It is inevitable that becoming more proficient in our skills will enable us to tackle this life-long learning process with vigor. It is inevitable that structures, processes and relationships will change in our day-to-day lives. It is inevitable that we will face new challenges and it is inevitable that things may be different in the years ahead. Yes, I would agree, change is inevitable.

To those of you who have supported me with your prayers and encouragement, I thank you. Many of you have been by my side every step of this journey and I am forever grateful. Thank you for being a part of such a monumental milestone in my life!

Ok, in all seriousness, I am ecstatic! Today I have turned a major corner! According to the charts, at my height, over 175 is considered obese. Once I hit 174, I am simply overweight! LOL Since I was 20 years old, I have only been under 175 one time (and it lasted for about three days). Considering that I have been as high as 229, seeing 174 is quite exciting! I have graduated from OBESE to OVERWEIGHT! I have been working toward this goal for a long time and I am excited to see that number, but I’m not stopping there!!

My speech continues…

Furthermore, I would like to thank my Heavenly Father for continued love, support, acceptance and strength. I never dreamed this journey would become what it has…all because I gave up on worldly short term solutions and asked God to be my Guide.

The future is ours to have! It is our choice what kind of future it will be! May God Bless You Extantly!

(Oh, and by the way, I actually do graduate with my BA in 10 months =) LOL


Timing

As I continue to ponder “timing” of a different kind than I referred to yesterday, I am quite amazed. I was one of those people that spent years using the same old excuse of “I don’t have time.” I have always had a plethora of excuses, but time was an excuse I wore out! A new workout plan? No, thanks… I don’t have time. Cooking in a healthier way?…No thanks…. I don’t have time.

At this point in my life, I am probably busier than I have ever been. I am a mother of two…I am going to college…. I work several part-time jobs… I am engaged and planning a wedding… I serve when possible at my church….and of course, I blog. =) How is it that when I would put in a full day before, all I had the strength and energy to do was come home, sit in front of the TV on the couch and pretty much not move until bed time? I thought I had “no time” for exercise or preparing healthy meals. As busy as I am now, I spend much more time taking care of myself than I ever did before. No, I’m not talking about trips to the spa…lol… I’m talking about making sure I work out regularly and eat clean. These daily choices allow for my life to be so much more productive! I have tons more energy and clarity in my thoughts and I love it!

So, oh yeah, I have the time…and I will use it wisely! Thank you God for each and every day!

Gratitude

What a beautiful start to my day! I went for my walk/run/walk on the beach this morning and it was amazing! I forgot my stop watch so I had to guess the time that I was running. It was more like… ok, make it to the pink condo…or… make it to the house with the green roof. Either way, it was awesome and I felt great, especially when I was finished. =)

As I ran, my heart was overflowing with gratitude. I began to think about this journey and what a difference there is in my life. Again, not that I have arrived, but wow, this is a totally different life than just a few short months ago. I am so thankful. I began to consider how blessed I feel and how I have felt God’s healing hand in my emotional and physical journey. His timing is perfect.

Timing….

Before diabetes …. before cancer…. before heart disease…. God answered my cry. He came to my rescue. He did not leave me to continue down my own, slow but sure, path to self-destruction. I could be that person that lives on medication and is limited by my own choices. However today….. before I allowed my health to be robbed and my capabilities to be diminished…. I am instead, a person who started their day with a run on the beach!

2 Corinthians 6:2
For he says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.

Financing Available? Really?

I made an unexpected quick trip to Houston this weekend and once again, those billboards have prompted another blog post! Only this time, the feelings stirred up inside are not of anger, but rather sadness. The billboard read “Change your life” with stunning before and after pictures that would make anyone struggling with weight want to pull over the car. What made my heart sink was what was written along the bottom of the sign. In bold and professional lettering, I read “Financing Available.”

To the average person, that sign is no different than any other sign along our highways. For me, not only did it ignite a thought provoking conversation with my co-pilot, but it also took me back to a darker time in my life. I feel sure I am not alone. Using my personal experiences as reflection, I wondered how many people see pictures like that or watch a late night infomercial and are led by their desperation to “finance” a hopeful change in their lives. Weight loss is a multi-billion dollar industry with an ever increasing target audience. I was that person who could be brought to tears with excitement about the possibility of THE diet, or program, or pill, or book etc. that would “change my life.” In that moment, I would have mortgaged my home for the opportunity to lose weight and change my life, so when you offer “financing available,” I feel sure many will do anything possible for the chance.

Because I am now taking a different approach by asking God to be my Guide and seeing real change without the need for “financing,” a sign like that jolts my emotions. Let me say clearly that I am not proclaiming that I have arrived, or that I have the answers. I am simply telling my story. My story that includes a time of desperation, pain, sorrow, and envy that were connected to my bank account. What I have learned is that God’s Plan is so different that what our culture is used to. God’s love has no comparison, God’s personal training skills are impeccable, His Book is the best “How to” manual available. The best part…. no financing necessary…. he offers it all as His free gift to us.

…to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.  Ephesians 1:6

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