Raw and Honest…A Call to ACTION and why we can’t just “rest” in everything

Happy Friday Guys!

I have been thinking about writing this post for a while and after reading this article by Shelia at To Love Honor and Vacuum I felt like today was the day to say what is on my heart.  In the linked article Shelia talks about how we must get to the point where we love our bodies and see our body is our friend and something we want to take care of.  I SOOOO agree!  For far to many years I saw my body as my enemy.  I would try a diet or some advice that someone had shared (aka a pat answer or suggestion)  or I had read and of course it didn’t work and I never changed.  I never developed lifestyle habits to truly change by doing that. However, I’m going to go a step father in my post today.  As I said it is raw and honest.  Throughout my  20s I spent a good 6 to 8 years intentionally praying on things I wanted and needed to change in my life, including my weight, but if I am really honest I was not doing anything to actually change these things. I was doing life the way I had always done life but yet I wanted different results.  HORRIBLE COMBO and thankfully once I realized it with my weight God opened my eyes to many different ways I was doing the same thing yet wanting different results. It was a harsh reality to realize I was not taking action with things in my life.   I thought I was “resting in God”, which of course can be important, but I really honestly was not taking any ACTION steps to change my life. Many times true trust and faith requires us to do our part and take steps to change.  I  I had become comfortable in my misery without realizing it. My cop out became just leaving something  “at the feet of Jesus” and “just trusting  him to work it out”.  He was actually calling me to take ACTION steps to change those things in my life that were making me miserable.  Sometimes, he calls us to do things that aren’t comfortable if we truly want change.  Once I truly realized this and was able to see my own faults and areas I could take action on, I finally felt TRUE FREEDOM!!  I finally felt like I was coming alive.  My husband and I started talking about the things we wanted for our life, marriage, family  not just what we had always known and seen and thought we should do “just because that is expected and what everyone else was doing”.   Yes, we absolutely must trust in his timing on things we can’t control, but also if we are miserable or just living life out life the way we’ve always known or done, not truly what God has intended for us, we are making excuses not to change.  For instance, my husband and I had always longed for seasons and living in the mountains.  We strongly dislike the heat and humidity where we are from, but for many many years we just talked about it and how nice it would be to one day change.  We were miserable, but yet we weren’t taking any action steps other than praying to one day move.  However, once we truly said God has laid upon our hearts to move, we are going to trust him, but we are going to actively seek this out it happened and we are so thankful it did!  We realized what home was to us and that we were just different that all we had ever known.  It was NOT completely easy and did indeed require action on our part, but my point is had we never taken steps to actually pursue it we NEVER would have and would still be talking about it.  (full disclosure—we do live back in that same area for a small season until fall but it is totally different this time as the reasons we are here are different and we are moving on) However, on the flip sometimes we must do our part but yet rest in God’s timing.  I was ready to be back in the mountains from almost the day we arrived back here, but it wasn’t God’s timing.  It was hard to come to grips with that and that moving back here was a mistake, but we had 2 options continue living here and stay miserable and dwell on it or make plans, while heading to The Lord, and move on.  This is my raw honest heart today and hope that we all take ACTION when needed (no matter if it weight or healthy lifestyle or something completly different) and know how awesome The Lord is.  He is so patient as he had to be patient with me for many many years and I so wished I had reconized it sooner, yet I’m so thankful for his grace, love, and understanding when it took me so long to “get it”. Happy Friday Friends!

Keep on Moving even when it is hard

Good Afternoon Guys!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday.  I want to encourage myself and hopefully others today.  As I mentioned yesterday, I live in an area, that for me, is hard for me to lead  the type active lifestyle I have become accustomed to.  I love to cycle, run, and hike.  I enjoy it for exercise but also because it is enjoyable time to be outside.  However, right now that is not the case!  It is very hot and humid and summer is already in full bloom here in the Deep South.  If you aren’t familiar with the Deep South it is very hot and humid and it affects me the way the winter can sometimes effect others.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the summers of about the mids 70s to 80 and cooling off in the evenings.  (mountain summers) and mountain life living in general.  However, for this short season I am here.  I may not be able to ENJOY the outdoors and activity as much as I’d like but it is still important to me and my overall goals.  I sometimes dread my runs, but with that said, that isn’t an excuse NOT to run or be active.  I feel SO MUCH better when I am active on a daily basis and I also believe in continuing to take care of myself and make it a priority (as we do anything else important to us) even when it is a season that is less enjoyable. Here is a great article which list some benefits of making exercise or an active lifestyle part of your routine.  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10798/6-reasons-why-exercise-makes-you-happy.html  For you, maybe you enjoy the heat, but you are short on time so exercise can seem hard to plan at this time.  Maybe it is hard to gain the courage to truly start a routine to change your life. Maybe you have tried and quit and don’t want that to happen again.  Or maybe you are actually enjoying your current season of being active which is so awesome!  Regardless where we are with our lives let us all be  #noexcuses people who make being active and healthy a part of our life no matter the season 🙂 I will leave on that note and a picture, since I’m a huge fan of keeping it real!  This is how I look after a run down here.  SO very hot and sticky and I have to take a few minutes to cool off.  Yes I know I look ridiculous 😉  However, it is what works in this season.  I am having to change my plan but not my overall goal.  Have a wonderful evening guys!IMG_8552

An update….

Hello Blogging World!

I am so sorry I have not blogged in so long.  I have missed it!  Life has been very busy for my family.  We moved out from out west back south to be near family in the past few months.  However, we have decided we are certainly a mountain family and miss the life we have become accustomed to so very much , so with that said, we are making plans to move back to the mountains in September!!! SO THANKFUL!!!!   I plan on starting to include some post on cycling and running on the blog along with some challenges so we can all hold each other accountable.  I also plan on including some ways to keep active in crazy heat and humidity. For me, to be honest it is a struggle some days. I enjoy being active but I don’t enjoy it in crazy heat and humidity.   I lost almost all my weight in The Deep South, when we lived here before, and was super dedicated to exercising but overall I was not as active of a person back. Since then I have realized I don’t just enjoy exercising I enjoy an active lifestyle. My family’s favorite thing to do is to explore outdoors.  Our favorite activities include hiking, cycling, running, and snowboarding. We are struggling with ENJOYING being active in the heat. We are also missing the daily activities we became accustomed to in the mountains.   However, that is NO EXCUSE not to remain active so we are  still remaining active in this season 🙂  So all this to say, I’m still here and I plan to be more consistent in my blogging and hope to encourage some of you along the way.  If you have questions, as always, please feel free to contact me. I hope you all have a wonderful week!!

More than just exercise……

Hey guys!

I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting regularly. I plan to change all of that. Thank you for bearing with me. 🙂 We made a cross country move and we have been trying to adjust into our new normal.

My last post I told you guys that in December of 2013 I knew it had to change. I had decided to do daily cardio and exercise no matter what the scales said. My “fat” clothes were getting tight and I wasn’t going to go up anymore sizes. After finally realizing I WAS WORTH it to The Lord, my husband, and myself I had the momentum to actually accomplish weight loss. I had told myself that I wasn’t allowing quitting to be an option even on days it was super hard.

The exercise was great and I was feeling MUCH better. I was slow as I hadn’t consistently exercised in a very long time but I was sticking with it. I was feeling proud and ready to tackle more. That’s when I decided I really needed to look at what I was eating. We were the family that dabbled in whole foods and I knew I didn’t want to feed my kids things I couldn’t pronounce but that was about the extent of it. I decided to really look at what I was eating. I would have told you I thought I was eating okay. I don’t like fried chicken and burger king so I mean I wasn’t eating horrible I thought. This mentality can be a TRAP!! I downloaded a calorie counter and knew I needed to stay at around 1500-1600 calories a day with burring about 400-450 calories a day through exercise. I started calorie counting foods and was blown away! Some of the “good” foods I was eating were very calorie dense. I am a FIRM believer you can not out train bad nutrition. Now, the formula is simple. Simply put to loose weight you need to burn more calories that you take in. However, I believe our body processes some foods better than others and I’m huge believer in preservatives and additives are very bad for us and very addicting. I also believe once we detox from all the “main stream” foods we crave healthier foods and I know from personal experience I feel SO much better when I eat healthier. With that said, I’m a HUGE advocate of making lifestyle changes. I HATE the word diet as we use it in modern terms. Sure, diet defined is simply what you eat. However in our culture diet means some funky way of eating that will make you loose weight. That’s a TERRIBLE way to approach health and nutrition. If I hadn’t made lifestyle changes I wouldn’t be able to maintain my weight. I also now MUCH prefer to eat healthier and in time your body craves it! With that said, we are all human. I DO eat what I want in moderation. Yes, I still enjoy pizza and foods that aren’t great for us from time to time. While, I don’t have to count calories excessively anymore as I’m pretty experienced with what I’m eating, I would say I follow a balance of 90-10. 90% of the time I eat very healthy but 10% of the time (weekend out to eat meals, date nights, vacations or whatever) I do splurge. I also must say in full disclosure I am HUGE latte fan. That is something my husband and I enjoy picking up each evening. Its our little treat and time to enjoy something special together. I FULLY realize I’m drinking away 300 calories but to me its worth it! I have always accounted for it even in my loosing weight phase because that’s something I knew I personally couldn’t (or didn’t want to) give up. I think its fine to have something like that you enjoy as long as you account for it. Now, if your splurge daily is pizza you prob need to rethink that one 😉 But you get my point—IT IS a lifestyle change! I also believe while you can’t out train bad nutrition you can account for things when you know you are going to be eating bad for the occasional meal or special occasion. This can be especially beneficial if you are in a loosing phase.
In the next week or so I will address how to account for weekends or special occasions while loosing weight, some of what I ate a lot and still eat, and how weight training can greatly benefit you loosing weight and toning your body.

Have a great weekend friends and I do promise to be more consistent. 🙂

I knew it had to change….

Hey guys! Happy Friday!! Today I am continuing on my series with what prompted me to finally realize something had to give. As mentioned in my post “trapped in survival mode” I told you guys I was just going through the motions and I realized I had come to have a roommate marriage. However, my husband and I started working on that and took our marriage from BLAH to AMAZING through the strength of The Lord and some very good teaching. My man has always been a source of strength and encouragement for me, but its so different when you are true teammates and partners the way God intends. As our marriage strengthened I also realized I was starting to LIVE again. I was finding myself in The Lord, seeing myself as a valued wife and with these changes I realized I wanted to be healthy for myself and for my husband. I had vowed to love my man through sickness and health and good times and in bad. I came to realize that I wanted to be the best version of me I could be. I wanted to keep myself up for myself but also for my husband. Have you guys ever noticed that when we tend to live in survival mode we don’t care how we look until we go out with friends or an outing? We decide to look cute for church or when we are meeting friends yet we don’t care too much about fixing up for our husbands? Also notice when someone gets divorced what’s the first thing they do? Usually they start taking “me” time getting in shape, dieting, and etc. Why is human nature to want to fix yourself when you get out of your relationship instead of being the best you you can be for your spouse? I think its another form of deception. I do realize many of us women are home with our littles and we don’t need to be dressed to the hills each day. If I’m honest most days I’m in workout attire but I do brush my hair, my teeth, and put on a little make up 😉 My husband personally likes workout attire but with that said I don’t put on my most ragged clothes and look like I just rolled out of bed when he gets home. I want to give him the best version of me to come home to and to be honest it also makes me feel better about myself as well.
I don’t think we should overly focus on looks but think there is a level of accountability for spouses keeping their selves up for each other and I had became so lost I just stopped caring. I just was stuck. I didn’t care about ever being cute (and this is coming from a girl that used to love being put together) I didn’t ever want to be in pictures because I was so down and depressed. Guys that’s just not healthy and I was so overwhelmed. However, once I first and foremost realized my worth in The Lord and then my worth as a wife and a person I realized there is a healthy balance to caring. The Lord had been showing me I was indeed worthy and I could do this with his strength and I had a light bulb moment.
I went to the doctor in December 2013 and I was bigger than I had ever been. My DR didn’t say anything to me but there was that still small voice telling me I WAS worth it and it was time to make some changes. I came home and told my husband I wanted to get healthy and exercise daily. He was very supportive but at this point I had no idea how that was going to look! I just knew I had resolved to exercise each day no matter how I felt and what the scale said. I even made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t weigh for the first month as to not get discouraged and I was going to stick it out no matter what this time! I think you have to come to the point where you realize your worth and you are willing to push through with the strength of The Lord even when you get discouraged. Now, at this point I didn’t really have a plan in place for eating which is SOOOOO important as no amount of exercise will ever out train bad nutrition you simply can’t out train bad nutrition!!! So for the first month until about mid Jan of 2014 I just did 30 minutes of some form of cardio each day. However, mid Jan 2014 I had a revelation and I will share that on Monday. Happy weekend friends!

Keep On Moving…..

Today I had plans of getting into my story and how it all started, but I decided to take a pit stop for encouragement. I will be honest this encouragement is as much for myself as it is for anyone reading this because lately sometimes I REALLY have to push myself through my workouts. I do, however, hope it encourages someone reading 🙂

About a month ago my family picked up and moved to Colorado for my husband’s job. We all love mountains and winter sports, but still this move has been very hard and challenging in a multitude of ways. Things are very different in lots of ways, my hubs is building a department that needs major restructuring so he has to be gone a lot, and well we miss our family and things of the south. We are adjusting but it’s certainly been an adjustment. These things called “life” always seem to dampen our workout routines or at least mine. You have to get your motivation when you mind is clearly on other things that at the moment are more pressing. Add to that layer the fact I live about 8000 feet above sea level and you have a real disaster for workout motivation. (The reason 8000 feet above sea level makes a difference is because of altitude adjustments. I’m thankfully not too terribly altitude sensitive but it still makes a HUGE difference when you workout and you FEEL it. Its harder to get oxygen so therefore it makes running and physical activity much harder because 1- you are out of breath 2- your muscles tire much faster. The only positive is its suppose to make you in much better shape if you do train at higher altitudes I guess time will tell on that one! kidding— well sort of 😉 )

See somedays I feel like giving up. Yes even now after all this time. Certainly with life right now it would seem easier, however, one thing I know differently than I did when I started my fitness journey is the end results are worth the effort! I will also add when I push through (even though I feel like I’m DYING and just starting out again) I ALWAYS feel better and I’m grateful I pushed through. I’m certainly not the fastest runner or even a great runner –I’m NOT!! ((CONFESSION– I don’t even just love running but I do LOVE the way it makes me FEEL so its worth it.)) However, consistency has worked to my advantage. For the past 18 months I have through the grace of God remained very consistent with my workout routines no matter how I feel. (Please note I am not saying you don’t need rest days you totally do and I will discuss that more later however lots of times we can find 1000 excuses and even some decent reasons as to why we can’t exercise today or why we don’t have the time.) This is especially true when life is crazy, but truthfully when life is crazy and busy I NEED the exercise and “me” time even more! My relationship with Christ is the same way. He loves me regardless but I certainly grow in my relationship with him when I spend time daily with him. The point of this post is to keep moving LITERALLY! Or for some of you to start moving!! You will make progress if you stick with it and are consistent. I’m living proof of that. You may be slow and out of shape ( I was severely out of shape when I started) but be consistent moving and you will be glad. It WILL be worth it. I promise!!
Have a great evening friends!

Trapped in survival mode….

I should preface this post and let you guys know its highly personal to my life circumstances but after talking to numerous women I know the way I was feeling isn’t that uncommon.  I should also add some of these post will be hard to write, but as I said, I want to help people if I can, and please note there is NO WAY I can share all the details of the events in blog post.  You will get a general overview of my specific situation.

I had the normal life or so I thought.  Yes, we struggled sometimes.  We fought sometimes, but at the end of the day I had a healthy family, who loved The Lord and loved each other.  I loved my children fiercely and thought I was loving my husband.  We were surviving, but is that the life I really wanted? What that truly all I was called to do?  I was clearly stuck in survival mode!!  For years before I started getting serious about loosing weight, I had tried numerous eating and exercise  plans, and had well meaning people tell me what they thought may help.  They would never really work for a few reasons–

1-  I would try ((sometimes)) their ideas but never stuck to them.  At the time i really couldn’t understand why I couldn’t stick to any of the suggestions.  I mean I wanted to loose weight I really did (but truth be told I didn’t always want to put in the effort and sometimes I was just overwhelmed.

2-  I also wasn’t putting myself and my health as something super important.  It was about me and I didn’t have time to invest in me and be “selfish” so it could wait ((I will address this misconception later))

However, after a time of praying and some life circumstances, which included a move to Georgia, I realized my life was kind of crazy. I was literally stuck in survival mode.  My whole world revolved around my children.  Please understand I LOVE my children dearly, but their needs, wants, and preferences. came before EVERYTHING in our family. Please note I realize children take lots of time and they should.  I’m not suggesting not meeting their needs as I believe that’s part of our calling as moms and I know raising children takes work—lots and lots of work but the rewards and joys are also great.  I homeschool so I am with my children 95% of the time and I wouldn’t change it but the order of my life  and my thinking had to change.   My husband worked a lot and I was at home with my children so naturally I was attached to them. I think as moms we all struggle with this however I became so attached to them I LOST myself! My husband has a high stress job that he excels at but  for years he couldn’t be very involved so I just retreated to my children.  I no longer could think of myself as much of anything but a mom. This made me depressed without even realizing it.  My husband was gone a lot and I was home a lot so I just sucked myself into my children.  ((Please note I think being a mom is a WONDERFUL thing and a gift and children are most certainly a gift from The Lord, but I was WAYYYY out of balance) ) Sure, I thought I was a good wife, but the truth is my husband and I never dated, and while we got along just fine as roommates, we were just that, roommates. I thought a good marriage was equal to not arguing with my husband and being able to get along.  That’s what the world tells us right?  As life gets busy and our marriage goes on we just sort of evolve and its quite “normal”.  I mean no one has time to take time for marriage.  It takes work and it is just what is it.  Sure, that may be what the traditional american marriage is and how our culture views marriage, but its deception, and a LIE!  Marriage is meant to be treasured and enjoyed!  Please note I’m not saying marriage is a fairytale.  It isn’t and it takes work but I believe it should and can be one of our most treasured relationships and I can honestly say that when your marriage is in the right priority that life and your family run smoother, because its the way God intends it to run.

So once I realized I was more of a robot than a person and through the prompting of The Lord that I needed to take my marriage seriously I started getting nudges in my heart to get serious about my marriage, then after a season of that and becoming a true wife again God started working on my heart about my weight and health…..That’s where the weight loss journey begins to shape in effect in december of 2013—-stay tuned tomorrow as I start sharing how God changed my heart to get serious about my weight and health and why this time would be prove to be different.