Week Fifty-Two.


Starting Weight: 228lbs
Weight Week Fifty-two: 171lbs
Total Weight Lost: 57lbs

Current Measurements:
Hip: 40.5″
Abdomen/Belly: 38″
Waist: 32.5″
Bust: 39″
Upper Arm: 12″
Thigh: 23.5

Total Inches Lost: 40″

September 21, 2010—September 21, 2011

Holy Toledo, Batman! It’s been a year!

Can you believe it!? I can’t half believe it myself.
I used to look at testimonies of other people’s weight loss and cringe at the thought that it took them years to accomplish their goal. Now that it’s been a year for me, I can see how fast a year flies by. It actually slipped up on me. I had just laid down to go to sleep and was thinking about my weight loss and it dawned on me that I started it in the end of September and it’s the end of September now! I got up the next morning and checked the dates only to find that the next day marked a year. Of course that warrants a blog post, right?

All of that said, I must apologize for never having offered you an explanation as to why I stopped writing posts about six months ago. I can assure you that I did try multiple times to post one and just never finished it and soon forgot about it. So yeah, laziness. But I can also assure you that I didn’t once fail to do what I set out to do.
Sure, there were times of doubt when I felt myself being dragged by the heels into the mouth of the sweet tooth monster, but it was never long before I picked myself up, dusted the crumbs off my shirt, and started on my merry way again.

This being a mile stone for me, I wanted to share with you what I feel is on the road ahead for me when it comes to health.

I was reading my first post yesterday, This Is It, where I had spoken of some things I wanted my more fit self to be able to do, and then realized that some of those goals have been reached and some have not. One in particular talked of going on a hike, toting my own gear in a backpack.
This was a big dream at the time. In the back of my mind rested the thought of going on the big daddy of all hikes: A thru-hike of  The Appalachian Trail. It was so unobtainable and so ridiculous of a goal that I often put it away as something I will never be able to do. Over the past year, along with my brother who has also lost 50 some odd pounds, we began picking up the pieces of our hiking dreams again.
I know what you’re thinking, “THE  A.T.!? You’re insane.” And yes, you might be right. We are not being naive about this. We know how insane of a goal this is, but what the last year has brought us is a confidence that we can actually do this. Can we do it tomorrow? Heck no. THAT’S insane. Can we set realistic goals and plan until we’re brain dead and do this in the next couple of years? Absolutely.
It requires relentless amounts of training and planning and training and planning and training and planning…. but having seen what we can set our minds to and accomplish in a year has showed us how truly obtainable this goal is. The next problem is freeing up the 6 months required to do it in. 😉

Which brings me to my next point for the future.
Exercise regimen!  If you know me personally, or have read my past posts, you know that finding my exercising niche has been the toughest part for me. To start off the next year of health betterment, and preparing myself for the training I will need for the A.T. … I will be doing something I didn’t think I would ever want to do. P90X.
My other brother has been doing this on and off for about a year as well, and I’ve even done a few of the videos with him. I used to think that I could never do the entire workout regimen of 90 days and pull it off, but once again, my confidence levels for my entire life have been given a huge boost and I can look at it and realistically know that I could, in fact, pull it off.
This is not an easy goal, but I think it’s necessary for the level of fitness I need to achieve for the A.T.. And now that I’m 50 something pounds lighter, my body can handle the stress a whole lot better.
You’d better believe when this starts I will be blogging more results posts. I promise. =)
Looking back a year ago, if you had told me that in a year I would have these ridiculous goals in my head, I would’ve laughed in your face. My image of ‘what I wanted’ was just to be more healthy. When people would ask me what my weight loss goal was or what size clothes I wanted to wear, I didn’t have an answer. I could only say that I would know when I got there.
Bottom line is: I am still not there yet.  I have never had it in my head to look like a supermodel, or never wanted to have bulging muscles, because frankly, I think both of those images are extremely disgusting.

Now, I have a clearer image in my head of what I want out of my health. It was never what I wanted to look like, but what I wanted to accomplish with having a healthier lifestyle.
I don’t know exactly what the future holds for me, but I know that whenever I think of all that is possible for me now, I get the most relentless fire-breathing dragons flapping around in my stomach.

God has undoubtedly helped me through all of this last year, and I know that he will continue to help me reach these goals I have laid before him. That’s another post I have planned to write though. 😉

Thanks for reading and for being such a huge support for me. I love you all!

Twenty Eleven.

I think of this year as a boat being tossed in a storm.
It came in a whirlwind of forced responsibility and stressful scheduling… but as a new year always does, I had a hopeful outlook. I experienced many things in the past year, the most important one is that of desperation. I have never felt so desperate in my life, only it wasn’t always a bad thing. It started my health journey and kept me fighting. However, the one sentence that comes to mind when I think about my spiritual walk is this: I’ve never truly been angry at God before this year. It hurts to know I was there, it hurts to know that I neglected my relationship because of my surroundings and situations.
There are times when we must stop trying to fix things… That is, we must stop trying to stop leaks from springing and the boards of the deck from peeling back. There’s a time when even the sail can’t be saved from being torn into shreds. There was a point in the storm when I had to put all of my effort into holding on for dear life. I had to forget about what was falling apart around me. I had to make sure I stayed alive.
But I knew within those dark moments that I wasn’t going to give up. I made a decision a long time ago that no matter what happened, I wasn’t ever going back to living my life without Christ guiding me. I had to give myself some time to step back and look at my life, look at what I was doing and where I was going to go if I continued to let my life run me. One of the only things that kept me going was a small hope for a better future. In fact, I found myself dwelling so much on the future, I ended up finding the one thing I needed most for the future… A renewed desire to seek God. I held on to the tattered rags of promises I had managed to keep with me and finally began to put my life back into action 9/12 (nine-twelveths) of the way through the year.

    As I said before, it hasn’t been all bad.

I created this blog in 2010, which has helped my writing and become a major outlet to emotions.
This year I graduated from college. What was a source of a lot of stress during the process turned into an amazing feeling of accomplishment and good memories.
I also went to Washington D.C. on a much-needed vacation after graduation. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the awesome time I spent with my Dad and brother. It sounds so small, but when you dreamed of running away from life so many times in one year, a small vacation becomes a lifeline of sanity.
Of course, you can’t ignore what I started in the beginning of October. My health improvement. That in itself has changed me more than I could ask for. I am so thankful for that jump-start.
Then there was December… I was in charge of conceptualizing, directing, and finalizing the Christmas Eve service at church. It was the first time I’d ever been given such a great responsibility or trusted that much by any leaders in my life. I learned so much about myself and feel it’s the beginning of things to come. I loved doing it, and I loved being done with it. Haha.

    So what’s going to happen in 2011, you ask?

I have no idea! To tell the truth, I’ve been quite apprehensive about it. I wouldn’t call it scared, but I would call it gun-shy. Even with the last few month’s success, I can’t help but look at the year ahead and think, “What trial is coming next? Why was this past year so hard? Could it be that it was only in preparation of the even bigger storm around the corner?”
My boat is still sailing, but the repairs from the last storm aren’t finished yet. I don’t think I’ll ever have this boat looking the way it did prior to the storm and I don’t really want it to be. I want it to leave evidence of my journey so I never forget the lessons I learned, but I know that my boat is going to come out looking better than it did before.
Even though I don’t have any of my questions answered, I do have this feeling in the pit of my stomach.
This year will change my life.
I’ve already committed myself to more work for His Kingdom than I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve already received a word from the Lord that my main focus this year needs to be on ministry and not on furthering my career or finding a job. I feel a deep conviction every time I send in a job application… it says: “A 9 to 5 job will never work for what I have for you.” …I have student loans to pay off and a bill from the State of TN for damaging the guard rail that saved my life two years ago. These things need money. For my future to get started off on the right foot, I can’t take these debts lightly. It makes tears well up in my eyes to think about it. But I know God will help me make these payments. I know because he has already shown me through different situations that he’s got my back.
Also, this year our new church will be finished and I will say goodbye to the only building I’ve ever described as being ‘my home church’. It’s bittersweet, and entirely exciting. I can’t wait to see what God is holding for us there and what he’ll do in our lives to get us there!
I can only tell you one thing: This year will take everything I have and push it to the brink of greatness and beyond.

    With all of that said, Here are my 2011 resolutions:

I will reach my weight loss goal. I can’t tell you exactly what that goal is, but I know that I’ll know when I get there. For me, it’s not about pounds, inches, or dress sizes. Those are all relative factors. I am already happy with myself, I don’t need a number to tell me when I’m finished.

I will give everything I have to God. Spiritual increase has always been on my list, but this year is going to be different. The goal this year in our church is about spreading the gospel, and I’ve come to realize that a passion for souls has been lying dormant in my spirit since about 15 and only now am I letting it rise up in me. I am going to give everything I have to this and push myself further in other ministries I am passionate about as well. I also plan to amp up my prayer, fasting, and studying life. I do these things, but a step up is never a bad thing.

• I will not ask God for anything in the category of relationships. This one is kind of hard to explain, but I feel it’s another time when I should stop focusing on fixing the boat and focus on keeping myself alive. This isn’t one of those typical ‘I’m focusing on me’ times. This is about is focusing on what God is doing through me instead of what God is doing for me. Oddly enough, I see this one as the most challenging one. You really don’t realize how often you ask God for something until you make it a point not to ask anymore. I do pray that God honors this covenant.

All in all, This year promises to be the most challenging, most fruitful, and most change-filled year I’ve had yet. May your 2011 be the same for you.

Thanks for reading!

Week Thirteen/Fourteen.

December 14th — December 28th

Sorry, no bells and whistles this time around, guys.
Couple of days late already, and I really just wanted to write, with it being the end of the year and all, about what I’ve learned so far.
It’s been a crazy wonderful couple of weeks. Christmas came in a wonderland of snow and stress and left with lovely chocolate turtles and exhaustingly fun family time. I know what you’re thinking… “She flopped.”
And you could be right. 😉
I am so thankful for the boost phentermine has given me to get back into action with my health, It has helped open my mind and gotten me to start seriously considering what I’m doing with my life. For that, I am grateful.
Here’s the deal… I haven’t taken phentermine for over a week. Why? I don’t know… I just haven’t felt like taking it. I still have the month’s supply to finish out, but I’m pretty over it right now. I know now what it’s going to be like without the medicine as a crutch, and let me tell ya, it’s hard. What an epiphany, right? Who knew that weight loss required so much dedication? Haha. Totally joking, folks. I promise.
This little rebellion against putting chemicals in my body has shown me what it’s going to take and that I can say ‘no’ to the wrong foods without the help of an appetite suppressant. Yes, I do grow hungry more often and have to swallow back carb cravings more often… BUT… I’m not sweating out of every shirt I put on and I don’t have extreme, constant dry mouth. I also don’t have amplified emotions that cause me to snap and get irritable very easily. I’d say, on the whole, I’m pretty sure I’m done taking phentermine.

With all of that said, I gained one pound over Christmas. Darn those left-overs. That’s what got me. Why can’t people take the desserts they brought to our dinner home with them? Haha.

And tomorrow is New Years Eve… More parties! But I’m getting back on track now. I’ve learned how crummy it makes you feel to be lazy and to eat junk food constantly. I ate a delicious and perfectly healthy meal on Sunday and I immediately felt a change in my attitude, it made me want to go home and exercise… No joke! It amazes me how my mind and body reacts in such a positive way when I treat them with respect.

So here’s to the beginning of a new year, a year filled with health and happiness. This Is It!

Thanks for reading!

(P.S. This isn’t my New Years blog… That one is coming soon. :))

It’s Foolishness, I Know.

You were sitting next to me at our wedding reception.
The band was playing, people tapped their feet and joyfully conversed.
You leaned towards me and smiled.
“I feel like dancing.” I whispered.
“Me too.” a smirk in return. “You ready?”
Seriously? my expression asked.
Of course. Your eyes sparkled in confirmation.
Rising to your feet, you offered me a strong hand.
“We aren’t allowed, are we?” I said nervously.
“We didn’t plan it. We can’t control what we haven’t planned.” you teased, raising an eyebrow.
Strong hands pulled me into awaiting arms.
You led me calmly to the center of the room.
Suddenly you broke out into a tap dance, a silly grin crawling across your face.
I followed with meringue, swinging hips and puckering lips.
The Twist. The Sprinkler. The Copy Machine.
Every white man’s dance was covered.
People started watching and laughing. Shock grew into hilarity.
The wedding party joined in.
The crowd joined in.

Dancing. Some call it foolishness.
Life. Some take it too seriously.
How can there be life without dancing?
How can there be seriousness without foolishness?

We didn’t plan it.
We can’t control what we haven’t planned.

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.

Dreams.
Not about a REM sleep cycle, but about plans.
Mine and others.
How they are coming true.
How they are stagnant.
How they are crushed.
How they are delayed.
How they are unclear.
Every dream has a place in someone’s being.
Some are ridiculous and selfish.
Others are genuine and selfless.
But all are dreams.

You can pick it apart all you want, but when it comes down to it, you have a dream for your life.
You may be afraid of it, in my case, because you feel it might not be the plans of a certain Author and Finisher of all things. Or you may run towards it, with reckless abandon to what anyone else thinks…
Whatever your lot… Please continue to dream.
It makes my insides twist and reel at the thought of someone throwing away their dreams for something more obtainable and safe.

So, you’re crawling through a maze. A rat in a cage, trying desperately to get that holy grail of a cube of cheese. You’ve hit dead end after dead end, knocking your nose into other things… and slowly you find that you don’t even know what cheese smells like anymore. That what used to be the only thing that mattered suddenly isn’t important and well… You might as well give up now. You’re never going to reach that cheese.

Can I ask you why they call it a dream?
Why it’s called pursuing your dreams?

Maybe it’s because no one ever catches them.
Or maybe it’s because it’s not actually about catching them at all.
Maybe we’re looking at it all wrong.

The lessons we learn and the tragedies we overcome are not found it reaching our dreams.
They are found within the pursuit of our dreams.
Maybe we should start by dreaming a little about the pursuit of our dreams. Instead of dreaming about the big picture, “how great things would be if…” we should start by understanding that dreams are formed and achieved by having to endure through unimaginable things to receive an unimaginable result.
Start dreaming about how you’ll get there and not just about getting there. Sure, this dream isn’t as intoxicating… in fact, it’s undoubtedly not going to be pleasant in the least… Just remember that these nightmares are building up to one fantastical, magical dream.

What if it never happens? You learned something in the pursuit.
What if this dream isn’t the right one? You learned something in the pursuit.
What if it comes true? Then you most certainly learned something in the pursuit.

So go on dreaming.
Dream big or dream small.
Just don’t find yourself not dreaming at all. ❤