Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#TransformationTuesday

"But God has surely listened and has heard my prayer."  Psalm 66:19

As one who has struggled with weight all of my life, seeing the ups and downs in jean sizes became my reality.  I would lose some pounds only to face a stressor in life and see them return and bring friends along for the ride.  I spent years believing lies, yet secretly hoping for a better reality.  Lies that I am not capable of overcoming my sweet tooth and that I am just not the workout type, topped the list.  I have never really lacked self esteem or self confidence; I know who I am.  However, I know from personal experience, others define me by what they first see.  Having been a plus-size lady for years, I was treated differently, intentionally or not, when I dropped pounds.
My health journey to where I am today began back in 2010.
It is amazing that things do not happen accidentally, even if they seem to in the beginning.
Actually, as the pieces of my story have come together, this story begins way back in high school and college and can be read in this post.
In early 2010, I slipped on a patch of ice and hurt my back.  Firecrackers shooting up and down my back, kind of hurt.  I could not stand up straight, get up and down from sitting/lying without pain, or simply breathe/laugh with ease.  Everything I did or thought was first filtered through pain.
After 3 months, I decided that I could go to the doctor/physical therapist and pay them $ to tell me that I needed to lose weight and exercise more or I could just go start doing that on my own.  I joined the local Y in early May of that year.  Off and on, I would go and walk the track and use the elliptical.  After my back began to feel better on a more consistent basis, I met a wellness coach and she set me up on some weight machines.  I fell in love with lifting weights.  When I went to the Y, I also found myself drinking more water.  I enjoyed going to the Y, but the problem was the inconsistency of my going.
In January of 2011, I began a morning routine and that continued until summer.  Summer changed everything and it was hard to begin again come August.
So, I was a member of the Y and exercising more than before, but not seeing many results.  I did feel better, though.  My back was less troublesome.  This cycle kept repeating itself.  Off and on...on and off.
In April of 2013, having put on a lot of pounds again and feeling so totally controlled by sugar/carbs, I whispered a prayer for help.  Now, I am a Christian and prayer is not a new thing for me, but this prayer was a desperate plea for help.  I was under the influence of something I could not overcome on my own and I was wearing myself out trying.
The next 3 months were filled with one event after another that slowly, but surely, were an answer to that desperate plea for help.  I was learning how to eat less sugar/carbs, losing weight, and feeling better about my appearance.  It was not until August, however, that my thought processes changed and met up with what reality really was.  I saw a friend from high school post a challenge to do 100 push-ups and squats a day for 30 days.  That first day of those push ups/squats were actually easier than I thought they would be.  I had been gaining strength with my trips to the Y, but had never really put myself to the test to prove it until the challenge.
I found myself changing the way I thought about working out.
I challenged myself to do more and do it more consistently.  That 30 challenge turned into an everyday challenge.  I was making time to go work out at the Y, not trying to find some time.  I put more weight on my machines and logged more miles.  It began to pay off to the point where others were noticing the changes and commenting.  Inspiration was born from people I know personally as I saw what they were doing in spite of life's circumstances.
Amazing things.
Against the odds.
This would serve to be very important.
In October, when things were going well and I was seeing muscles in places I have never had them before, a little curveball called cancer entered the picture.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Found by a routine mammogram; stage 0 DCIS.  Treatment: surgery and radiation.
I remember meeting my surgeon for the first time. Through all her information, prognosis, and treatment suggestions, I held it together. I had not once shed a tear about my cancer diagnosis until the moment I opened my mouth to ask her if I could continue to keep on working out. It had become so meaningful to me and I had come so far.
I did not want to give cancer the opportunity to steal this from my life.
I did not want to give myself an excuse to let it.
Encouraged to keep on doing what I was doing and taking one day at a time, I left feeling confident.  Through surgery in November, recovery in December, and radiation in January-March, I fell hard into my workouts.  They were there before cancer.  I felt most like myself when at the Y.  I only missed a few days after surgery and the final week of radiation due to pain/exhaustion.  My friend from high school, a Beachbody coach, gave me great encouragement and helpful tips through my recovery.  It was so hard not doing anything, but my body needed to rest and recover.  So did my mind, but that's a story for another day.
Through the months of battling and holding on, I knew the next step was going to be big and one of faith.  The final avenue to cross in order for my prayer to be answered in full was at my feet.  I borrowed P90X from a friend and ordered a sample pack of Shakeology from my friend, now my coach, who posted the challenge back in August.  I began P90X and drinking Shakeology in April.  I have not looked back since.  In fact, I have ordered my own copy of P90X and 21 Day Fix and look forward to my next bag of Shakeology to arrive each month.
Since April of this year, I have lost over 10 inches and almost 10 pounds.  Since my prayer in April 2013, I have lost 40 pounds.  My God supplied every person and every thing I needed along my fitness journey.  Some characters were indeed characters, but played a pivotal role, nonetheless.
I can do more than I believed possible.
I can work hard, feel good, and see results.
You can too!
Knowledge is power.  Encouragement is key.  Beginning is the first step.  Take it!
I did and will never regret it.  Find something that works for you and get moving.

April 2013 Me and July 2014 Me...Praise God for answered prayer!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Noah's Ark

Last week, we drove the hour over to Locust Grove to visit the animals at Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary.  We were hoping the cooler temperatures would lend to us seeing more of the larger animals, but alas, most stayed in or near their shelters in the shade.  It has to be tough being a bear living in mid-Georgia in the summer.  The animals we did see were worth the trip.
Olive, the emu
head and shoulders above the rest
Chelsea
Peanut Butter or Jelly
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pacing
Zuri
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friends

Sunday, July 13, 2014

My Saturday in a Nutshell...

This is the first year since I began blogging in 2009 that I have totally missed posting during an entire month. What happened?  June happened.  And it was awesome...God directed...and totally on the go.  Someday I hope to catch up on posts with June's grand adventures, but today is about yesterday.
It can be summed up pretty well with a few words and a few more pics.
Early morning Walmart run to prepare for a new week...newness with the workout/healthy eating routine begins Monday.
Office runs...Atlanta and Byron. Business is going strong. God is good.
Me time: long overdue pedi for this gal while Scott was busy at the office.
Drive to and from Byron = traffic jams
Evening spent at Piedmont Park at the Atlanta Street Food Festival.
Once home, sat down to shell out freshly picked pecans from yesterday, which happens to be National Pecan Pie Day.
Which is why the final deed of my Saturday was baking a pecan pie with those newly shelled pecans.


driving into the city Atlanta Street Food Festival Best fried pickles EVER by Freckled & Blue my favorite decorated food truck The Fry Guy - voted best food truck 2014 williams bros bbq City view from Piedmont Park free food Happy Nat'l Pecan Pie Day!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Happy Birthday!

May 31st
Happy Birthday!
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Best blueberry pancakes in Atlanta @ Manuel's Tavern.
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Enjoying a surprise at Alex's baseball game.
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Birthday Pizza Pie
blue eyed gift

it's almost here

May 29th & 30th

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The daisies are showing off for my birthday.
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Cutest little towel monster ever!
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Never fails to rain when I am out shopping.
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What can I say...they had a sale.

dive in

May 28th (I cannot believe it's July and I am playing catch up from my birthday season...*sigh*)
Today was all about preparing to have our youth group over for the first dive in of the summer.  They not only dive in to God's Word, but they get to dive in to the pool and the food provided for dinner.  Seems they enjoyed all three.
I had to laugh after everyone left and I had washed all the plastic cups.
I guess I am a product of the habits of those who have gone before me. 2014-05-11 001 369

Saturday, May 31, 2014

blue eyes

Tuesday, May 27th
The gift today had for me came in the presence of an almost 5 year old and watching my boys play with him.
So much preciousness!

blue eyes