Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Struggle...

  So I haven’t shared a lot on this blog about my weight loss journey.  When I first started blogging several years ago, that was basically all I blogged about.  Then slowly it switched to something more about my spiritual journey.  And now on this blog, I often times find I struggle to even write because I don’t want to write for an audience (filtering what I do and don’t say), and yet I do.
   I guess that’s why I haven’t really shared much about weight loss on here.  It’s a hard thing to admit that you are overweight….even if everyone around you (or anyone who knows you) can obviously tell.  It’s even harder to admit your weight struggles when you’ve been a “success” story in the past.  Somehow telling the world that you have a problem after blogging about how you’ve overcome said problem, feels a bit like admitting you’re a failure.  But the truth is that I am not a failure.  I may have put weight back on…but…the fact that I am working it all off again speaks way more volumes about the person I am becoming than the person I use to be.  I am not a failure, I am human.  And in all actuality, the fact that I haven’t given up on the struggle, makes me a fighter.  
  Anyway, in January I made the choice that this would be the year that I work through my weight issues and once and for all work off the weight.  I made that decision because I know there are so many things that God is leading me to do or calling me out into, but I am too scared to do said things because of my weight.  I basically feel like if I were to try to step out into these things at my current weight I would automatically fail because either others would judge me for being overweight or I would feel to insecure about my weight to really go for it and put myself out there where everyone can see me! Plus if my body is the “temple” of God, what am I saying about my relationship with Him by not taking care of myself?!?!
   However, I would be lying if I tried to say this was just a spiritual choice.  It’s also a health thing too.  Obesity runs in my family, along with a host of other diseases, and if I don’t care for my body then I am risking years of my life and tempting fate in getting any or all of these issues.  Plus, who doesn’t want to feel and look good?!?!  I will humbly admit that I do!
  So basically for the past  six weeks I’ve been working on eating healthier and working out consistently and dealing with some of the emotional reasons behind my weight.  I’ve even lost 24lbs!  I feel like I am finally getting back to that confident, strong girl I use to be and I am really excited about it!  But I’m still nowhere near what is considered a “healthy” range for my body type.  And even though I am celebrating every victory along the way, I know that this is only the beginning for me.  This will probably be a life long struggle for me but it’s one that I’m not ashamed to focus on anymore.  And even though this is a hard road and often times lonely, I know that what I am doing is honoring to God and myself, so I keep pressing forward and I will keep fighting.  So here's to becoming a healthier me!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Why I Love Mondays...and Reading....And Reading on This Monday...

  I love Mondays!  I know for the majority of the world, Monday is actually a day of dread....the first day of a new week of hard work (which I guess says a lot about the kind of world we live in)...but for me, Mondays are my day off...a time to relax, rest, re-center.  I LOVE it!  This Monday in particular has been really nice as I've gotten to do something I haven't spent a lot of time doing in the past year.  Today I read...and read... and read some more.  I use to love to read....after I left school and could choose what to read for myself, that is!  There was even one year I challenged myself to read 52 books because I saw the importance in learning from other peoples life stories (of course I only got thru 48 books that year...but hey, it was a personal challenge so who really cares)!
  One of my favorite authors is Don Miller.  I first heard about Him when I was living in California about ten years ago!  I had been living in this rooming house and the floor I was staying on with one other person got robbed, so the boys living in the apartment above us, graciously invited me to move in with them (I think it helped that I was a girl and that one of the boys was dating my former housemate, at the time).  Anyway, I got to know those boys pretty quickly and it was the older one who introduced me to Don Miller.
  For weeks this particular roommate kept commenting on the book "Blue Like Jazz" and how it was the first Christian book he'd read that didn't make him feel like he was "doing it wrong".  In a way that book had connected him back to God and he wanted to share it with everyone.  So I finally gave in and borrowed the book.  I read the whole thing in one night...then a few nights later I read the whole thing all over again.  After that I read "Searching for God knows What" and "Through Painted Desserts".  Then a few years ago I read "A Million Miles in a thousand Years".  So to say I am a fan, might be putting it lightly!
  Then the other day I saw on another authors blog that Don has a new book out.  Now I try to make it a rule of thumb that I don't start a new book without finishing the current one I am reading (otherwise I might never finish a book!) and so, although I already broke that rule on Friday by starting a second book on the bus to Loja (cause who wants to take an Ipad on a bus to go grocery shopping), I decided I couldn't start Don's new book without finishing the other two.  I finished both other books in the last 24 hours just so I could start this new one by Don Miller!
  The funny thing is, the second I started reading it, and shared that I was reading it on Goodreads, I started freaking out about it because I didn't realize this was a "relationship" book (thankfully the more into it I've gotten, the more I've discovered it's so much more than that)!  The thing is, over the years I have successfully warded off the fear that I may never get married, by telling people and myself that I don't want to.  Whether or not that is actually true (which more and more in my life it's proving to be a lie), I immediately worried that reading a book about "intimacy" would automatically make people assume that I'm all of a sudden "looking for something more".  I started worrying that maybe I was putting a big target on my back that says, "I have issues....and here's what they are"!
  The awesome thing about Don Miller's writing style though is that he seems to be so authentic.  Even though throughout this book he talks about himself being an "actor" and "putting on a show" to "entertain" people, I have often felt so comfortable reading his works because of the honesty he pours out in them.  I'll sit down and read something he's written and feel like I've sat down to chat with a friend.  And then, just like I normally feel like when I'm talking with a good friend, I try to keep the conversation going (or in this case I keep reading) cause I don't want that feeling of being understood and not alone to ever end.  So as I started his book today (a book that I might quite possibly finish before I go to bed tonight), I started to relax...remembering and resting in the comfort of an old friend that gets it.
  The funny thing is, one of the other two books I've finished in the past 24 hours was all about grace and how the ability to love people unconditionally comes from the overflow of understanding how loved we already are by God.  Here I had been thinking for the past week or so as I've been reading it, that yes!  I FINALLY get it!  I don't have to live up to other peoples standards or be anything other than who I am because who I am is already acceptable!  And then no less than 2 hours later I start worrying about what people will think of me because of my enjoyment of this new book!
  I guess that just goes to show how much more growing I still have to do and how much more I need to understand God's undying love for me.  I guess in part that's why I enjoy reading though...it reminds me just how much I don't have it all figured out...and that I'm not alone in that! So yeah, maybe this blog post doesn't make a whole lot of sense....in some ways I am way more of a reader than I am a writer...but it's days like today, when I get to sit alone and be myself, doing something I love...that allow me to see who I am and how much more growing I have left to do.  I know that may sound like a bad thing, but for me it's encouraging....it means I've got a lot more life left to live and much more of this journey to discover....and that makes me want to get out there and live it! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

There's No Where Else That I'd Rather Be...

  The past few days I have been the worlds laziest bum!  Sunday morning I woke up feeling so rundown I wasn't even sure I would have the energy to walk from my bed to the bathroom down the hall.  So I ended up taking a mental health day and relaxing in bed while listening to Jason Upton and a sermon. It was exactly what I needed....to just sit, listen and soak in God.
  I feel like God's been teaching me so much lately.  It's like the more time I take to really sit at His feet, the more I feel like I am learning His heart!  I'd like to say that it's all sinking in and that I understand Him and myself so much better now....but let's be real.....I'm thick headed and sometimes a little hard hearted and I live in a world that's constantly trying to pull me in a million different directions. And so every time I think I've got it all figured out, I find myself running back to the feet of my Father asking Him to explain it all over again to me one more time!
  The thing is, I use to think that God would be mad at me for this.  That like a parent whose finally come to the point of exasperation because their child has asked them for the nineteenth-hundred time, "But Why?", I always had this fear that at some point God would just turn to me in annoyance and ask me to shut up already!  But He doesn't do that...that's not His heart...and I'm so grateful I am learning that!
  I'm also learning that when Jesus tells us to come to Him and cast our cares on Him because He cares about us, He really means it!  The yoke of Christ really is easy and His burden truly is light!  That doesn't mean that life is all of a sudden easy and things start to go exactly how you want them to all the time....in fact the opposite might even be true....but, I guess the more I'm leaning into Him the more I am realizing that my only job in the world is to love Him and follow His lead.  Of course there's so much to unpack in that statement, but there's also the freedom in knowing how unbelievably loved by Christ we are, that makes all the other "stuff" involved in following Him so much easier!
  Originally, as I started writing this post I planned to share all those things that God is showing me....but I've changed my mind  I guess in a way I feel like their me and God's little secret....something special that unites just the two of us together!  Plus, I think it's much better I learn to walk those lessons out and that you see the fruit of them in my life, than for me to claim something that has no baring on how I live.
  So for now I leave you with this piece of encouragement.....PRESS into God!  Seek HIM!  Give yourself Fully to Him and see if He will not throw open the flood gates of Heaven and reveal to you so much about Himself and this World, that you won't know what to do with it all!