Have Mercy

No! Please No!!! Not there! I want to lose weight everywhere but there!

Guess I should have been more specific in my prayers…. =)

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DIScouraged? or ENcouraged?

Awww Snap! Why did I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?!?!?! This is one of those moments when I question if this whole transparent blog thing was such a good idea…LOL Here’s the deal…. Sundays have been my weigh-in days. Up until this point, I have loooved Sunday weigh-ins.  Yesterday was different. Last week I was up 2 pounds from vacation. After I got home and got back into my routine, I got rid of those two pounds and 2 more…. Bringing my total loss to 18 pounds! WooHoo! Not sure why, but Sundays weigh-in was back to 179. Guess I have hit the dreaded plateau….yuck. I continue to feel a difference in my clothes and I believe I am still losing inches, but that was a bit discouraging.

Apparently, my “first thing in the morning” disappointment triggered a full on case of the blahs. My thoughts were flooded with negativity. I seriously felt under attack… “What a joke you are!” “No one even reads your blog, why do you bother?” “It’s not helping anyone…you’re wasting your time!”“You’re never going to be free of this bondage!” “God has bigger things to be concerned about than your silly issues!”  Needless to say, my mind was not a happy place to be yesterday.

I thought long and hard about these cruel comments that hung over my head like a grey cloud. I asked God to please replace these thoughts with His thoughts. It did not come immediately. In fact, I was still struggling even today. I really had to be still for a while….I turned off the radio in my car. I kept my phone on vibrate. I asked God to take control of all incoming and outgoing traffic in my mind. When I removed the junk and sought clarity, it was easier to put things in perspective.

I have enjoyed countless victories, big and small, since this journey began. I can’t let myself get all worked up if my progress slows down. I have to remember, it’s a marathon…not a sprint. This is not a short term decision. This truly is a meaningful change that will last a lifetime. It took me years to pack on the pain in the form of extra weight. It may take a few more months to make it disappear.

Thank you God, for being patient with me when I lose sight of the prize. Truth is………… even if I never lose another pound…..  ………I’ve already won.

Buffet? Bad idea

Last week, my fiance and I went out to dinner. We were trying to decide where to go and thought that Chinese food sounded good. I was sure that I could get some tasty veggies from the buffet, so I thought it was great. I soon learned…the buffet was a bad idea… but not for the reason you may assume….

No, I did not pile my plate and make several trips. I actually attempted to choose items that were somewhat healthy. I first went for veggies and salmon. They looked beautiful… but the flavor was lacking, to say the least. I decided maybe it was that particular dish of vegetables, so I chose a different entree. Again, bland…very, very bland.

I was confused because this is a great restaurant, one of our favorites. We have gone to this place many times over the years and I always love it. But then….I figured it out. The buffet has not changed, I have. Most of the items I usually choose from the Chinese buffet are fried. I usually pick a wide variety of different things, but my plate appears to be just one color…. fried. Brown…crisp…greasy…fried. The interesting thing that I realized is that…it is not the Chinese food that I have grown to enjoy over the years…its the sweet and sour sauce. It occurred to me as I searched for “flavor” that my routine is to fill my plate with fried everything and then smother it with sweet and sour sauce. I don’t know what real food tastes like from a Chinese buffet because all I really taste is the sauce. I have probably consumed a ridiculous amount of calories never tasting the substance under the sauce. What a waste!

This whole healthy living thing has become quite an inconvenience to my way of thinking! LOL I can no longer settle! Obviously, I am kidding. It’s all a blessing! A blessing in that I am eating better and feeling wonderful! I am choosing quality over quantity. Gone are the days that I continue to shovel in anything and everything. I choose better now. I choose health now. I enjoyed my $3.99 Subway sandwich way more than my $9.99 Chinese buffet. I think I’m going to avoid buffets for a while. It’s just not worth it. Quality has become way more important that quantity.

Just Do It!

When I first stepped onto an elliptical, my goal was to make it to 5 minutes. I was very overweight, very uncomfortable, and very out of shape. I made it to 3 minutes. When I first attempted a spin class, again, out of shape, I could only half way participate in the first 10 minutes of the 40 minute class. When I signed up to take a running class, initially, not a pretty sight. I now have the Zumba DVD’s and I can only attempt those moves when no one is around!

My point is that I am trying to switch my thinking from focusing on what I can’t do to what I can. There are people out there who would love to be able to climb stairs instead of take the elevator. Those who would love to park across the parking lot rather than the designated handicap parking. Many people would rather dance to exercise music than sit in their chair.

When there are people out there who do not have the choice to be active, how can I ignore my opportunities to move this body? How can I not swim, run, dance? I have no doubt, there are many who would love to trade places even for a day. God, thank you for this body and its capabilities. Please help me to value and appreciate all that it can do…. and just do it!… with gratitude!

A time to laugh….

In my circle of friends and family, there is a lot of laughter. We seem to always enjoy playing jokes on each other and I have to admit, I can be quite an instigator. Whether it’s Christmas, April Fool’s Day or for no reason at all, it’s an awesome feeling when I can say “Gotcha!” However….for some reason it’s not always fun to be on the other side of the joke….

Sometimes I think God created me and my goofiness for his own entertainment. He must just continually crack up at my expense! Seriously, crazy (and hysterical) things happen to me all the time…. so….What are ya gonna do? I have an idea…share it on your blog! Everyone needs a good laugh, so let me set this up for you….

I’m driving to school and decided that I needed to grab something quick for breakfast because I am in class for about 5 hours straight (summer schedules are tough). So, because I no longer choose fast food drive-thru’s, I stopped by a convenience store to buy a fruit cup. A fruit cup!!! A good choice, right? No candy bar, soda, chips, tacos, donuts…. but a fruit cup. You would think God would reward my choices huh? LOL So, I’m standing in this long line to pay for my fruit and as the cashier gave me the total of $2.15, I handed him two dollars and twelve cents, while digging in my purse for three more cents. As I mentioned, the line is long and people are waiting as I rummage through my purse. The cashier joked, “You may have to wash dishes for those three cents.” I acknowledge his attempt to lighten the moment by a half-hearted chuckle. I found the change and as I paid the cashier, the gentleman behind said, in his very soft spoken voice, “Ma’am, you dropped something.” To which I replied, in my happy go lucky high pitched voice, “Oh, thank you.” I looked down and, to my horror, saw ….yep, you guessed it. … monthy visitor paraphernalia. The realization that what was lying on the floor in front of me was the cause for this long line of strangers to be laughing out loud was enough to make me burst into laughter myself, grab my fruit cup, pick up my misplaced belongings and jet out the door!

Thanks God for reminding us not to take ourselves so serious sometimes….and to keep a change purse!

A Time for Everything– Ecclesiastes 3

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Extant Magazine

So many amazing blessings have come from writing this blog! Primarily, my relationship with God is stronger than ever before. My trust and dependence upon Him has never been so genuine. Also, I am humbled daily by my readers who have been inspired by these words. I love hearing what God is doing in your life! He is so good!

I want to share with you one of the most exciting things that has happened along this journey. A few weeks ago, I googled “extant woman” to see where my blog would show up within the search.  I was pleased to see that it came up on the first page and I was also intrigued when I saw ExtantMagazine.com. I checked out the site and saw that it is a Christian publication with an awesome mission. I commented on one of the articles I read because I could relate so well to the vision of the writer. Fast-forward to today…and I am now a Contributor for ExtantMagazine.com! What a blessing!

I want to share with you my first post to ExtantMagazine.com. Thank you so much for your support!

Let the Sunshine In

As soon as I get that call that a family member is ill, or a friend is in ICU, or that there has been a fire in the neighborhood, I immediately begin to pray for everyone that may be involved in the situation. Without hesitation, my first thought when something major is happening is to ask God for guidance, provision and protection.  It seems natural to go to God during these difficult times. But what about the small things? The daily struggles that seem petty compared to these tragedies?  Does God really want to hear about my trivial challenges?

It’s puzzling now for me to realize that’s how I used to view God. Until recently, it was as if I thought God was only concerned about the big issues and that I had to deal with my seemingly insignificant woes on my own. I struggled with believing God cared when I was lonely, stressed out, or exhausted. When we think God isn’t concerned and that we have to handle things on our own, our choices can lead us to a place that is very dark. For some, drinking alcohol is their way to escape unwanted emotions. Others may choose a chemically altered state of consciousness provided by drugs to ignore the real issues. For some, like myself, we prefer the chemical alterations we feel from food. We choose to “handle” our sadness or loneliness with something salty or something sweet. We think that we can deal with our sorrows by eating our way into numbness.

Recently, I heard a speaker say “Open the window and let the light shine in.” I immediately began to visualize myself sitting next to a window hiding my secret life in total darkness. Yet when I finally began to cry out to God asking Him to help me overcome this stronghold of binging and emotional eating to avoid pain, the window opened. The radiant Light began to illuminate my darkness. When I am upset, God says He will supply my needs. When I am lonely, God says He will supply my needs. When I am stressed, God promised to supply my needs. Whatever our challenge, big or small, God invites us to open the window and let His light shine in.

“So let the sunshine in….Open up your heart and let the sunshine in…..”

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Minutes

Minute 1 – Time to get back into the groove! You’ve got some reading to do for class, so this is the perfect time to get in a few minutes on the elliptical.

Minute 3 – Wow….I can so tell that I haven’t worked out in a week.

Minute 4 –  OK…if you want to just ease back in and only go to 10 minutes … that would be reasonable…. right?

Minute 6 –  Why am I sweating so much already!?!?!

Minute 8- Stop looking! You know that’s why you cover the display screen with a towel!! You always think you’ve gone much longer than you actually have! Stop checking the timer!

Minute 11 – So this is what they mean by muscle memory….

Minute 14 – Oh yeah…you’re gonna make it.

Minute 16 – I don’t know what chemicals are kicking in here, but this feels good! How can a “burn” feel so good?!?!

Minute 17 – “Risin’ up…. Back on the streets….Did my time… took my chances…  It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight”

Minute 19 – Heck yeah! Almost there! I can do anything!

Minute 20 – Look at choo…wich yo bad self!  Uh-huh…oh yeah…I can do this…I can do anything!!.. I can climb Mt. Everest…. I can outrun a cheetah….  I can swim across the bay…I can…I can…..  Oh, man… look at the time…guess I will have to settle for taking a shower and driving to school =)

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