My Big Life Change!

Picture taken by Abby Austin of 1000 Miles on my own two feet.


To transform my life, with God's help of course, one step at a time.

1. Get healthy & honor God with my body

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

2.Become at least 50% sustainable with emphasis on doing our part to take care of God's planet.

3. Live life as an adventure, experiencing new places, things & people.
18 out of 150 bucket list goals accomplished

4. Become debt free & build security for my family, so we can then bless others financially also.

5. Continue to grow closer to God, building My family's faith & sharing the Gospel with those we meet, by using the talents and gifts God has provided us.

6.Continue to make money by creating and sharing my thoughts and beliefs through artistic expression: all the while hoping that my art will impact others. "Holly Kennedy

: All I know is, if you don't figure out this something, you'll just stay ordinary, and it doesn't matter if it's a work of art, or a taco, or a pair of socks! Just create something... new, and there it is, and it's you, out in the world, outside of you, and you can look at it, or hear it, or read it, or feel it... and you know a little more about... you. A little bit more than anyone else does... Does that make any sense at all?" Quote from PS I LOVE YOU

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happily Ever After!

John and I 2011
"For to share a life of endless bliss, just find who you love and true love's kiss!" (sung by Giselle in Enchanted).

"Everyone wants to live happily ever after!" That is true Giselle, we all do want to live happily ever after. But is it possible? During the movie Enchanted, Robert played by the divine Patrick Dempsey, wonders this too. He is skeptical of the idea of happily ever after because he trusted and got hurt. And after a journey of discovery and trials, he was able to find it. I think this is a lot like our lives.

When I was 20 I was taking college classes and working at Chick-Fil-A. I remember coming home one day from work, smelling of chicken and feeling  icky. I just got off the bus and walked across the street to my house. I noticed the boy next door working on his motorcycle and he stopped to talk to me. We were chatting about our likes and dislikes and he asked me if I would like to go play pool with him the next day. I was stunned, he quickly added just as friends, so I said yes. You see I had a very bad view of guys. After all my dad had abandoned my family, so I assumed that every guy was like that. I also had very bad self esteem. I had been overweight since I hit puberty, so any attention I got from a guy had to be suspect. Why would anyone really want to love me? In fact in school any guy that paid me true attention were the ones I had crushes on. I never dreamed or crushed on the cutest guys in school like everyone else. But I would dream and write our names in hearts for the guys that were my friends. Guys that saw me as a person not a fat girl. But it was one thing to dream and pretend that we were true loves, it was another thing to live it out. Anytime a guy would actually get close to me and want something more than friendship, I would get so scared! I ran! Everytime! One time I actually dropped my books and ran away after a guy asked me out by my locker, leaving my books and his heart on the floor. I was so ashamed, but my fear was bigger than my pride. I couldn't risk my broken heart to broken more.

John on his motorcycle with my nephew Lucian
So when John asked me on a date I was grinning from ear to ear, but my mind was already thinking how I could get out of it. My sister asked why I was so happy in a smug little voice, and I said "the boy next door asked me out on a date". She said "there is a boy next door?" I felt the same way, we had actually lived at this house for about a year and I had never noticed him before. You see we moved every year sometimes twice a year and I was used to not getting to know the neighbors. I rarely made friends because I was too used to having to leave my friends behind! So when I told my mom about the boy next door she encouraged me to go, after all it was just as friends. So I went and really had a good time. We went to Coach's and I was hoping that he would put his arms around me and "teach me" to play pool. But he was a perfect gentleman! After the date he offered a ride on his motorcycle and I accepted after much debate. But I was shaking like a leaf and I don't know if it was from being on a bike or having my arms around him. We went back to our separate homes without a goodnight kiss though. So I didn't know what to think. We he asked me to hang out with him and some of his friends a couple days later I was even more confused. His friends weren't very friendly. He was a gamer and his friends were all gamers too. I wonder if they had even seen a girl before. They were busy playing games like D&D and World of Warcraft. This was a new world to me, and I felt really out of place. After all I had been taught that D&D was a devil game like ouija boards.

 So the second date was bad and I was ready to stop playing around. I had decided that if he were to ask me out again that I would break it off. I was going away for the summer to work at a girl scout camp in Illinois and that was a week away. So he asked me out to see a movie and we went to see Godzilla. Wow that was so long ago! And during the movie he held my hand. When he dropped me off he tried to kiss me and I turned away. I told him that I was leaving for Illinois in a few days and gave him the address. I told him that I would love for him to write me. I never expected he would.

John's senior picture
I wasn't at camp long before I got my first  letter. He had typed it on his computer. I was shocked! So I wrote back and we continued writing. At first the letters were small talk, but after awhile we started to talk about the deeper things in our lives. Like how we both had been hurt before and that if we were ever to get married it would be for life. I love putting stickers on my letters and I would cover the letters with stickers that matched the topic and sometimes I would sneak in a heart sticker. Then he started adding clip art to his letters  and when he put the first heart on his letter my heart swooned! One magical night after watching Hope Floats with the girls, I got up the nerve to call him. It was really late like 1 o'clock in the morning. He groggily answered and after I made small talk as long as I could, I stumbled out I love you bye! He told me later that he did a double take through the phone. I love you's came easier after that and when I finally got home our first date ended with the most magical kiss. It is history after that.

So is it Happily ever after? Well yes and no! No because every day is not always happy. we have bad days and good days. Great days and horrible days. But life together is happy. I believe that only is a result of our dedication to each other and my dedication to God. He helps us work through the hurt and the pain so we can see the beauty of the life He has given us. One day in heaven there will be a for sure happily ever after but  right now we can enjoy the journey of the love He gives us everyday and the people He has put in our lives. I have found my prince and that is only because of my King!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Post: Adventure, Spirit & Fitness

Today is my first guest post ever by one of my dearest friends Abigail Austin! She continues everyday to be a major inspiration for me to lose this weight and gain life!  I have grown to love her more and more with every post. Please take a moment to read about how we came to know one another and help each other on this road called life! Teresa

Adventure, Spirit & Fitness

This backcountry I am in is part of God’s glory. And along with increasing my stamina, these hikes are a time to feel spiritual, reflect and pray. When I hike, it’s impossible not to recognize the beautiful, three-dimensional work of art that is our world. I have always been faithful, but while finding myself along these mountains, I have found God. I started talking to Him as if He was hiking with me—and He is.

North Franklin Mountain looked over El Paso as I ran. The sun had just risen, and the mountain’s brown rock had a pink shade. I felt blessed to have such beauty around me. I wasn’t excited to begin normal life again after such a wonderful vacation camping, but I was refreshed and ready to get moving.

While I ran, I thought about my blessings. Just three years ago, I entered a negative, depressed state of life. I thought I had it all—career, home, lifestyle—and suddenly the carpet was yanked out from underneath me when we made a military transfer. Oklahoma was a wonderful, wholesome place, but I didn’t give it a chance until it was almost too late. When we moved again, this time to El Paso, I went with my arms wide open. What was different? I surrendered. God had a plan for me, and when I didn’t block Him, I was given trails to follow that would take me to where I needed to be.

This concept of surrendering came from my dear friend, Teresa Ellifritt (I know her as “Brown”). In her blog entry “Here Comes the Whale,” Brown wrote, “God is leading us through a drought and teaching us valuable lessons of his grace and providence along the way.” Even in times of hardship, her faith never wobbles. She watches for His sign and learns from His lessons and follows Him even when the road looks uncertain.

I met Brown for the first time in 2003 when she came to the graduation of our mutual friend. During that short weekend, Brown and I shared a lot of laughs and memories, but it took five more years before we really became friends when my husband and I moved to Lawton, just seventy miles south of her Oklahoma City home.

At the end of 2009, Brown gave birth to her first child, Joslyn. Brown had full determination to take on motherhood. She started an adventure list of exciting things to do in order to be a fun, open minded mom. Several of these adventures I did with Brown. For example, she had never ridden a four wheeler. Trustingly, she’d climbed onto the back of mine, and I had sped out of the driveway—we’d had ridden it like we stole it! Eventually, Brown had sat in the drivers’ seat and rode through the field. A huge, childish grin had covered her face the whole time. Later, Brown had hosted a food fight, another adventure I got the check off her list with her. I’d smeared garlic stuffing on her while she dumped a bowl of chili over my head. It had been a wild, hilarious day.

                                                 Abby and Brown, 2010

When I was with Brown, happiness and peace were contagious. She has a calm, nurturing, loving soul, and she showed me the beauty and will of a relationship with God. In these last three years since I sang beside her in worship during our reintroduction, Brown has been my spiritual inspiration. Although we’re no longer neighbors on Tornado Alley, her musings and her faith continue to inspire me. She writes My Big Life Change, a blog about improving quality of life. She is a chef, and the Bible is her recipe book.

And it turns out that inspiration is contagious. As I came out of my despair, I found fitness and lost almost fifty pounds. In a recent phone call, she told me I was her fitness inspiration. In ways friends don’t always notice, we are each other’s inspiration. Brown is beginning her own weight loss story. Although she has apprehension, she has tools, the guts and the ability to do it, and with God on her side, anything is possible.

As I run Mile 468, I feel strong and fast and able. I want this energy to reach Brown, too, in the same way that her words, spirit and kindness have reached me.

                                                  Abby and Brown, 2009

Abigail Austin
El Paso, Texas

Abby grew up hiking the rounded, forested mountains of Western Maine. She has trekked all over the nation documenting the American Wild. This year, with a pen and notebook, her camera and plenty of water in her pack, she’s hiking the 1,000 Mile Challenge, a test of stamina, spirit and fitness. Follow her blog 1,000 Miles on My Own Two Feet

Monday, August 29, 2011

Wanting More

"I've got gadgets and gizmo's a plenty. I've got whose-its and whats-its galore. You want thing-a-mabobs? I've got 20! But who cares, no big deal, I want more!" (sung by the Little Mermaid)

It's true! Wanting more is an everyday part of my life. Heck I have a toddler in the house! More is a word I hear very often. More Barney, more Bear in the Big Blue House, more tookies (cookies)! When I think about how much she wants more of, I am reminded of my own wants.

More Food!

I guess it started when I was 11, my dad left and suddenly my wants were increased. I wanted more time with my dad, he was off on one of his absences. I wanted more time with my mom, she was busy working 2 jobs to support us. I wanted more play time, I was now responsible for cooking cleaning and taking care off my brother and sister. So instead of getting what I wanted I settled for food. We were poor, but between food stamps and church assistance, we always had food in the house. Usually junk food, I did most of the shopping. Or what I like to call poor people food. Hot-dogs, mac-n-cheese, hamburger helper, and other processed goodies. So I would eat to calm my nerves and satisfy that craving that wasn't getting fulfilled. I have kept up the poor mans diet, my whole life because it was comforting. It was cheap and it was easy. Now that I am learning about my food addiction, I am wanting to change this habit of wanting more food. I remember panicking if I didn't have money for lunch. Literally crying and breaking down at the thought of missing a meal. I know that is emotional and spiritual damage that has to be repaired.

 The sermon on Sunday was about the crippled man at the well found in John 5: 1-5. Jesus asks the man "Do you want to get well?"
This has always been revealing to me, because when we want to change something enough, we find a way to do it. And if we haven't changed something yet, we probably don't want to really change. This is true for me too! Someone once said, "I am living in hell, but I know the streets here." Changing your life can been scarier then actually living in your pain. We are afraid of the unknown. Anyways, the pastor outlined some ways to help us change.

1. Believe in yourself
 I believe in the Power of God to help me make my change. I believe in the programs God gave me to help me stay on His Godly track, Celebrate Recovery and Overeaters Anonymus. I believe that my accountability partners and sponsors are only doing good when they support me, sometimes saying things that I don't like. I believe in myself, God made me beautiful and wonderful, talented and smart, I can do this!

2. Take the initiative
I will finish my food plan this week and have a menu finished. I will make a detailed shopping list with the healthy items on it. I will make an appointment with a nutritionist in my church and find out ways to amp up my workout and healthy eating plan. I will put it out on Facebook looking for women to workout with me during the days. I will post prayers and Bible verses around the house to keep me motivated.

3. Take Action
I will workout twice a week at least whether or not I have someone to workout with. I will maintain a loose schedule to help me stay on track. I will call someone everyday, for the first 2 weeks of my plan and have them hold me accountable for my daily eating. I will commit to read my Bible or listen to my Audio bible everyday.

4. Stay Humble
I will remember that God is the one making the change in me and that only with His help will I succeed. I will take time to write in my journal and blog about the wonderful things He is doing in my life.

So there is one more thing I wanted to mention about wanting more. I believe that God has given me this feeling for a good reason. I just need to want more of the right stuff. I want more opportunities to share His Love. I want more adventures. I want more blog followers! So I have taken the initiative to invite a dear friend to guest post on my blog. We should have the post up soon so keep checking back because I know you will love her as much as I do!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Toddlerhood! The Helpers

So I haven't posted about my child in awhile so I guess I will update my blogging friends about my princess. Right now we are dealing with a little thing I like to call toddlerhood! It's like an alternate universe where my precious little angel turns into a manipulating little devil! Lol, Okay it isn't really that bad. I hear my friends say oh I miss this stage and I look at them like they are crazy. Yes she is smart and learning at an amazing rate. She is curious and sassy, which I guess can be amusing to outsiders. But it is the testing of limits, the tantrums, the teething, the temperatures. Ultimately its about control! Or lack of it.

This is a stage in her life that I was hoping to feel more in control of my daughter. But if there is one thing I am learning about my walk with the Lord also known as my recovery of my sinful nature, that God wants me to surrender control. Control of her life and control of mine. If I could teach her anything I would want it to be that. When I am feeling completely out of control of a situation, God always finds a way to remind me of the wonderful people and tools he has surrounded me with to help. Some of those people are:
Whether they are my blood relatives, or God appointed moms, I couldn't be more grateful for them. My real mom is the best of course! She is amazing and wonderful wrapped up with a side of perfect. She is literally my spiritual mentor. I know that if I have a question about God or the Bible or everyday life, she always has a godly answer. Everyone needs one of those. My MIL=Mother in Law is also amazing. She is sweet and smart and bold. She gives practical advise and she challenges me to do the parenting things that I am afraid to do. She takes Joslyn for overnights and makes John and I have date nights so that we stay sane. My Marcie is a God appointed mom to me. She is my solace. My peace giver, I can go to Marcie and rest in her arms. Something that I would also do with my real mom, if mom were closer. She helps me with the mundane and tiresome things in life. Like laundry and when I am sick she is someone I can always count on. I am so grateful for her help. All of these moms are the best example of God's gifts. They are unique in their perspectives and wisdom. Thank you God for the wise women you have put in mine and Joslyn's lives.

Okay I know that sometimes they are more trouble then they are a help. But I wouldn't be half the woman I am without the men in my life. My dad and I have had a rough go at this life thing, but I have to give him props. He has taught me a lot about tough love and if it weren't for him I wouldn't have experienced the freedom and wisdom that forgiveness brings. And sometimes he is just plain funny! My husband. Caring, loving, tender are words that none of my friends would use to describe him. On the outside my husband is bold, gruff and sometimes harsh. But when he holds his daughter or deals with me we see the beauty that God gave him, his heart. This world has been tough on my men, burdening them with sorrows and pain. The world lashes at them and makes them carry too much. It is never okay in the world for them to release the pain or drop the burden at someone else's feet. They are content to carry their burdens and ours. I will be forever grateful for their daily sacrifices.

How do I describe some of these people? Well I will start with my greatest friend. Her real name is Tanya but  I know her by Greenie. She has been a light in my life that has never wavered. We have known each other for 13 years and I can say for that whole time, not once have I ever questioned our friendship. She is the most intelligent person I know. She has a heart of gold and I can not compare anyone else to her. She is so unique! Beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside. I can clearly say that she is my soul mate. She has always known what I was needing or thinking. We are like twins in the soul. She is Joslyn's godmother and is the one person outside of John or my family that I would trust with Joslyn's well being.  Abby is a friend that I have made through Greenie. She was someone who God brought into my life whom I thought I needed to help, but turns out that she helped me. When she moved to Oklahoma I was glad to have a connection to Greenie through her. But it turned out that we had so much in common, yet we were so different. She made me think about life differently. She has such a passion for life and a sense of adventure. She has helped me come up with many of my adventures on my list. My sister Deb is a true friend in every since of the word. I have fought and struggled, laughed and loved her since she was born. I am older, but she is more street wise. She would have been vote the most likely to survive in my yearbook. She has always been very bold and smart yet she has a tender heart and is a great mom. I love watching her with my nephew and my daughter. Beth is another woman that God has placed in mine and Joslyn's life that is a true wonder. I could never have thought that there would be a perfect person for my brother, or a perfect addition to our family. Beth personifies both. Her humor and outlook on life is so beautiful. She is a wonderful aunt to her nephew and niece and a wonderful wife to my brother. I enjoy her blogs and she made me realize that blogging can be fun and exciting! I am super excited to announce that I am going to be an aunt again. My brother and his lovely wife are expecting!!! So please stop by her blog and send her well wishes!

These are just some of the wonderful people that God has put in my life to help me see the good side of the toddler years! Who has God put into your life, through the difficult times in your life?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pride! Watch out I am on my soapbox again!

Pride! That words shivers through my body when I say it. It is something that I have struggled with and it is something that most people struggle with. In fact I will go out on a limb and say that I think every person struggles with it. Pride for your school is good, pride in your soul is another thing. The worst thing about pride is it hides inside where you can't see it and when it does show up, it rarely comes out without doing vast amount of damage. To you to others and to your relationship with God. How can we follow in Christ's footsteps when we have pride in our hearts? Well Christ is the key to evicting pride out of your life.
The biggest place pride is evident to me is when I talk about Celebrate Recovery. Oh you go out and hang with those people? No one says that to my face, but sometimes it is evident on their face. When I first heard about Celebrate Recovery I thought things like: I don't have any problems like that!  Isn't that for addicts? I am too busy! On and on excuses! Please don't get me wrong, I am not judging anyone out there, whether they go to CR or not. But I want to explain how CR opened my eyes to a whole new side of God's love. I want everyone to feel that love and acceptance that I do when I go there. I want everyone to know how good it can feel to hang out with other believers despite their background. I want everyone to cry when they hear the testimonies of people who have been through hell on earth and have not only survived but have triumphed because of God's grace. I want everyone to see what being on the otherside of the fence looks like. How ex convicts are reaching others still in prison. How people who have been addicted are now helping others stay sober. How those who have grieved for years are seeing the Son shine again and are experiencing joy. How people that have been angry and bitter for a long time feel the freedom of forgiveness. And how those who struggle with pride are brought down to their knees in humility in the presence of God's grace. His loving grace! That is how I feel when I am there. I cry, I laugh, I share, I open up, I recieve, every time! Don't you want to feel like that?
Did you know that Jesus held recovery meetings all the time? He was the one eating with the sinners. He was washing the feet of some prideful people. He ate with people who were unbearable to others. He touched the lepers. Oh to be in His presence! What a feeling it must have been. But i feel like I am with Him when I am there. I have been to many churches and I have felt like that many times. but sometimes that feeling can be drowned out by all the rules and regulations. By all the standards you hold yourself and others too. By expectations! What do you expect out of church? What do you expect out of God? What do you expect from your family? From your job? From your friends? From yourself? What happens when these expectations are not met? Your reactions to life are a good compass to see how you are doing spiritually. Especially for those stubborn hard to see sins. Sloth, gluttony, envy, pride, anger, wrath, lust. Those aren't as evident as some of the sins we hold others accountable to. Murder, stealing, homosexuality, adultery, pornography. The world is very judgemental to those with "the big sins", but it is accepting and forgiving for those "little sins". Well God sees all sins as the same. And we should too. All sins keep us from God. From feeling His love as deep, from hearing His voice as loud, and from doing His will as well as we were meant to. But God also gave us a way to be free from our sins. I have found that any hurt, habit or hang up can be overcome with God! And Celebrate Recovery is one of the places that can help you do that. It is also a way you can use your God given talents and share your story to help others. Our job is to spread the good news to others. This is so easy to do when you are on God's path. Is Celebrate Recovery for you? I hope so. I love you so much and I would love for us to walk this path together!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Changing your playmates and playthings

When I first stepped into CR I heard a saying " You've got to change your playground, playmates and play things". I was confused, what did this mean? As kids we love new playgrounds. New places to explore and new friends to meet. My daughter is at this stage right now, she knows no stranger. She loves new kids to play with and enjoys new places to explore. But often as adults we lean towards the familiar. The same church every week, the same friends to sit by and the same seat. This is not just in church. We go towards goals that we are comfortable with, making decisions with our subconscious sometimes without knowing that this is what our parents did with us. We are designed that way.

But there is true freedom in branching out unto the unknown, as long as our feet are grounded. That is what God does for us, he gave us true freedom with Jesus's death and Resurrection.  He asks us to burden Him with our troubles and He will lift us up. He is the rock we are to stand upon. And because we have His power  in us we have the freedom to walk with faith. We can try new things and do the impossible without fear. God does a lot with our little faith. What would it be like if we woke up one day knowing that we couldn't be harmed. Would you test it? Would you have faith? Or would you stay in the house and huddle with fear? This is the kind of faith that God wants us to have.

This same reasoning should be applied to our hurts hang-ups and habits. We have the power to stay away from that addiction, we have the power to walk away from an abusive relationship. The question is do we walk away, or do we stay in our rotting house or in our fear. Changing playmates playgrounds and playthings are hard. Walking away from the familiar is not easy. That is why when you do this you still need to have your feet grounded. A relationship with the Lord, accountability partners, and sponsors can give you truth in a world full of lies. This is the only way to change your habits, otherwise you will end up back where you started from.

I found this was true when I realized my codependent nature for serving. I was serving in my church because I needed to feel needed, I yearned for that feeling that serving others gave me. I enjoyed serving so much that I did it at every opportunity, disregarding my physical, mental and even spiritual health. So after I finished my 12 step study I thought that I had it nipped in the bud. but didn't consult my accountability partners, sponsor or even God, before I jumped into another serving commitment. When I realized I was not supposed to be doing that job, it was very hard and embarrassing to quit.

I am also learning slowly that I have to do this with my food addiction too. Consulting my sponsor and accountability partners and God, I am slowly able to make changes in my food plan and know that these are the right decisions. I am going to change from eating white rice to eating brown rice and buy whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta. And I am doing this because the other kinds of carbs I can eat and eat and eat. And abstaining from them is too difficult for me right now. My sponsor also said to cook only one serving at a time so that I am not tempted to eat more and I agree with this statement. I also am going to have to buy some medicine to counteract the effects of certain veggies, if you get my drift.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Following God's direction

Following God's direction is sometimes hard. Have you ever heard that voice inside and wondered is that God or is that me? I do this all the time. And usually I hear God after I made the wrong choice and heard myself disguised as Him. The big man upstairs is always talking to us, the question is are we listening. OHHH! Sore subject I know. Listening? Does that mean listening to the radio and hearing God's word jump out of you in a country song? LOL, sometimes but I don't think often. I had a friend who used to do that. She would ask God for advice, usually about a new guy she wanted to date and then go back to life as normal and look for a sign. Usually it was a sign that lead her to what she wanted to do and not what God wanted her to do. I laugh because I do it too. No I don't wait for God to speak to me through the radio, but I would pray for something and wonder why God wouldn't answer me. Then I would talk to my mom and she would say have you gotten into God's word and listened to Him? Well no, I didn't think of that. Can't I just do it the easy way? Wait and wait and get frustrated and then just make up my own mind for God since he was otherwise occupied?

LOL, The easy way sure is hard. I don't know why I would fight against Him. He mapped it out so easily. Gave us His son to make our way to Him. Gave us prayer so we could have direct communication with Him. And gave us His word so that way we could have a manual on how to live. I guess I must have too much testosterone in me because I don't like reading directions either.  But I have learned a lot in the last couple of years. The biggest lesson is that listening to God is a lot easier when you are on your knees.

I don't mean on your knees literally, although it doesn't hurt. I mean at your lowest, completely giving up and looking know where else. When things are so out of your control that you don't know where to turn and you finally turn to God and say, I give up Lord you are going to have to handle it. The question is not why do we feel this way when the chips are down, the question is why don't we stay this way? When things are starting to look back up, we tend to say thank you God, I have it under control now. Can you say control freak?

I just have to say though that when we do turn our wills completely over to God and listen, beautiful things happen. I saw a 70 year old woman get baptized today, who was listening to God's voice tell her it was time. She had been walking God's path for 50 years and God say that now was the time to do it. Well I guarantee there were few dry eyes in that room after that, and God used that moment to bless many but I guarantee to reach at least one if not more. I have also been blessed enough to be in the presence of many friends that have gone from skeptic about church and God to accepting Christ or taking that first scary step to walk into a church alone. God is moving and working every minute of the day. He is communicating with you and me right now. Are we listening? Or are we too busy living our good lives. Are we too busy making our homes that perfect private sanctuary for us, or do we take in account that God might have given us this place to use as a tool to witness to others. Our house, our cars, our lives are built specifically in mind for God's glory, are we using them that way? These are just some of the thoughts I ponder and I wonder if anyone else thinks about this too? Where is God leading you? What has He given you to use for his glory?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

All kinds of foodie thoughts

So today I went to my second OA meeting and I am very happy there. OA is different then CR because is specifically focused on food. It feels freeing to be in a place where everyone is dealing with what you are dealing with. I will never give up CR but I am loving the accountability I get here. Not to mention all the tips and tricks to change my bad eating habits. I was concerned that God wouldn't be a main focus in OA but he is! This is good! You cannot grow as a person until you accept God into your life. I believe that you will always feel that void in your life that only he can fill. I have been learning about my food addiction in the last few weeks. For example:

My Trigger Foods
Carbs. Rice is a good for you carb, in moderation. But something in my body triggers a reaction when I eat rice that tells my body not to stop. I am finding that this is normal in food addiction. The body will react differently to certain foods and cause a chain reaction from an instant crave for more to a feeling of euphoria or a fogginess in the brain. Sounds like a drug doesn't it? Certain foods for us are like a drug. I have talked with people who think clearer and feel like a completely different person when they abstain from their trigger foods. This may be one food, or many or it might be an ingredient like sugar. Some people react strangely to fake sugars or processed sugars. What does this mean for me? Well I can't abstain from all carbs. But I bet that if I go to lower carb foods and abstain from pasta and rice, which are definite trigger foods I will feel less lethargic and foggy.

My hubby and I were talking about food stereotypes today and I wanted to share a couple of them with you. These are things that we hear people say or say ourselves that have a whole new meaning from a food addicts point of view. For example: the type of food you eat depends on what money class you are in. If you are upper class you usually are expected to eat fancier foods like caviar and fresh seafood. lower class people tend to eat the cheaper foods that will feed many people. Hot-dogs and mac-n-cheese. These are the foods I grew up on. They were cost effective for the 4 people in my family. They kept us full longer. You should eat everything on your plate. As Americans a lot of us feel that we work hard and deserve a full plate of food. Sometimes we feel deprived if we look at an empty plate. Sometimes we feel like we are splurging on certain foods and don't get to eat it often, so we should over indulge. This is what places like buffets count on. For a food addict, eating with our eyes is how we get into trouble. We see small portions or foods that we know we shouldn't have or can't afford and we think that we can indulge just this once and not get into trouble. That is completely not true. A little bit of sugar can't hurt anyone. That is a lie. I have heard that it was normal for our parents generation to have kyro syrup in there bottles of milk, to make it more appealing. When we add sugar to a babies system that young we are almost certainly giving them an addiction to sugar. I believe that this is a huge cause of diabeties in this country, because we are depriving our kiddos if we don't give them juice, or let them have that cookie. All of the processed foods that we buy or that come from fast food restaurants are counting on us not caring to look at the sugar or sodium content. This is just some of the things I have been realizing this week. Food for thought if you will.

My goals for this week
So this next week starting tomorrow, I am going to try and go one week without Rice or pasta. I will talk with you next week and see if I feel a difference. I will be eating potatoes as my main carbs and small amounts of bread. Oh and did I tell you that today makes one whole week without soda? I am so proud of myself. I am not even craving a soda very often anymore. We drink tea and some juice. But we really are trying to increase  our water.

I have 2 reasons to celebrate this week. One I can not tell you about until I get permission too, so sorry for the tease. And 2 I realized that I never celebrated the fact that I have been blogging over a year now. This is a huge accomplishment for me. Although I am not completely consistent yet, I am getting better. I started the blog with one friend and have seen my followers grow a little along the way. My blog had no direction and slowly God changed my thought to align with His purpose in my life. I also have seen friends start blogs and become successful with them. And we get to grow together in this journey. I am going to work on a little blog surprise to come and I have a challenge for you. If you read my blog or other peoples blogs and don't follow them, would you consider following. I can't tell you how overjoyed it makes me feel to see my friend list  grow even by that one person. Also if you have a blog that I don't follow, will you let me know about it. Leave the URL on my comment screen and I will add you. Lets support each other in the things we go through. Don't forget I promised my sister that I would get a tattoo if I got 100 followers. So I will get working on that surprise and leav you now. Have a great day and God Bless!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Overeaters Anonymous

So I went to my first meeting on Saturday! I was excited about somethings and disappointed about others. Let me start by telling you what I learned about myself.

What is Compulsive Eating?

"Compulsion" is defined as an irresistible desire to take an often irrational action. The word "irresistible" means we are unable to resist the urge, no matter how many promises we have made to ourselves or others. In our case, we have the compulsion of being unable to control our eating behaviors. In OA we believe compulsive overeating is a disease with physical, emotional and spiritual components. A disease causes some aspect of the body to malfunction. In our case, it's the complex system that governs food behavior. The body mechanisms  that allow normal eaters to push the plate away, or otherwise control their food behaviors, don't function properly for us. For some, the disease acts much like an alcohol or drug addiction; except in our case, certain foods or overeating itself stimulate an insatiable craving for more. The OA definition of compulsive eating covers all facets of unhealthy eating behaviors. It's not only how much we eat or how much we weigh, but the ways in which we try to control our food. Some of us hide our food and eat in secret. Some binge and purge, while others alternate between overeating and starvation. All compulsive eaters have one thing in common: no matter whether we're struggling with overeating, undereating, bingeing, purging, or starving ourselves, we are driven by forces we don't understand to deal with food in irrational and self-destructive ways. Once compulsive eating as an illness has taken hold, an individual's willpower cannot stop it. The power of choice over food is gone. (This paragraph was taken straight from the Overeaters Anonymous Question and Answers guide)

So this shouldn't be news to me, but it was. In the back of my mind I was ready for God to deliver me from this addiction. Don't get me wrong I know he has the power to do anything. But I now look at my addiction like my sinful nature. I will always have the sinful flesh in my body, but God has given me the power to not be sinful. I think it is the same way. I will always have this compulsion, but God can give me the power to abstain from overeating. In OA the times that we do control our overeating is time of abstinence.

So I know that this is a process and that I will with God's help overcome these periods of non-abstinence. But until then I will continue to quote the motto, One step at a time, one moment at a time! Every minute I choose God's way in this is a minute more of peace and understanding. That is true with everything in life, we can fight God or we can walk with Him in the garden.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Food Plan!

Gonna half to come up with a food plan! Fun huh! The good thing is that I know where to start. I just don't know how to finish. LOL, now that I think about it I have never known how to finish anything. The forever challenge of creativity is stickability. OK so that isn't a real word. I know! But being able to finish something. That is hard to do! I have millions of brilliant ideas that never come to fruition. I start projects and leave them half done. Maybe just maybe this is the project I finish! I need to finish this. For Joslyn's sake and mine. I am tired of being fat and lazy. I have a skinny girl in me that wants to get out and live! My adventure list, my dreams, my hopes all depend on me being healthy!
Okay enough soapbox!

Food plan Ideas:

eat six times a day (6 week body makeover proved to me that this changes my metabolism)
eat protein with every meal (another metabolism increasing trick)
eat carbs that are good for my body (potatoes and rice are good carbs, breads and pasta are bad carbs)
eat fruits 3 times a day ( this is hard because I am not a natural fruit lover)
eat veggies all day ( good veggies like squash, spinach, cucumbers, broccoli, and stay away from starchy veggies which are the only ones I like right now)
drink water (sadly I don't drink much of anything)
limit sodium ( if I fix all of my meals this is easy to do)
set rewards for goals lost ( making sure that they are not food)
focus on my long term goals ( why I want to lose weight and get healthy)
keep a food journal ( I wonder if OA will make me do this too)
keep in touch with accountability partners and sponsor
Go to meetings and be honest.
try and accomplish new workout goals each month
workout starting 2 days a week and adding to that when ready

Do any of you have a food plan? Any tips?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

What is God doing in your life?

I want to know! REALLY!! I have been on a writing hiatus way to long. I was trying to deal with a mass load of emotions coming at me and instead of writing it out I hide. But, I haven't been hiding from God and that is new. I actually have been digging deeper into God's Word and listening. Finally, HE says! Let me tell you a little about what I have been dealing with emotionally and then I will tell you what God is doing in my life. But I expect you to tell me what God is doing in yours!!!
Emotion 1: Grief
My brother in law almost died on July 5th this year. Him and his son were in a motorcycle wreck and my brother  Jimmy is still in ICU in critical condition. It has been a roller coaster of emotions of sadness and hope, anger and excitement. They were talking that he will never wake up and now they are saying when he wakes up, he may have no mental capacity. All I know is that God is at work in this situation and He is working miracles. I want to personally thank you for your prayers. Those of you that have know about this have been lifting up our family to God and we feel it! John also lost his uncle last month to cancer. So grieving I would say so!
Emotion 2: Failure
I thought by putting my weight loss goals and progress on my blog that it would help me work harder at weight loss. It wasn't, it was just making it harder for me to deal with failure. I realize now that it was another attempt at me fixing my life. I know that if I am going to change that it has to be God working in me. His power, not my own. Sometimes, I have trouble distinguishing the difference until it is too late. That is okay though. I learn the hard way and every failure is one step closer to success. Like a song quote from one of my favorite movies says "Up from the ashes, grow the roses of success"! Anyone know which movie that is from?
I will let you stew on that a little bit!
Emotion 3: ????????
Okay, have you ever felt an emotion that you can't place? There is no word for it? Last month I got a call from my dad's apartment complex. The moment I heard her name and where she was calling from my pulse quickened. I knew it was going to be not good. Tracy proceeded to tell me that she was concerned for my dad because he was giving her documented letters saying that the person in the apartment upstairs was trying to microwave his brain. He also had foil on his walls and ceiling. I should have been shocked, but I wasn't. You see when my dad worked in the Air Force, he was around a lot of toxic chemicals. He built missiles! One day when I was 2 there was an explosion in his area of the plant and because of faulty suits, my dad's team was exposed to a very dangerous mixture of toxins. Most of his friends ended up being vegetables or dying. My dad however started getting funny symptoms. Sensitivity to sounds and smells. Angry bursts of emotions. Ticks and headaches. Blackouts and random pain. This is just to name a few. Because of the classified nature of this work, he did not get benefits. In fact he had to fight the veteran's board for 17 years to get any disabled status. He didn't get enough, but he settled on some. Dad has seemed mostly normal to outsiders. He can hide mot of his issues. But his disability has isolated him from mostly everyone. His angry and sometimes unexcusable moods led him to divorcing my mom. Instead of him turning for help, he ran away and decided that a life alone would be better. Living alone can turn anyone crazy. But it has made my dad paranoid. He really thinks that people are trying to kill him. God granted me forgiveness towards my dad
for the crazy life he has put us through. Celebrate Recovery has led me to have compassion for him. And God's grace has led my dad to trust me. There is no one else in this world that he does trust. And I am ever grateful of that gift. But during that fateful call, I had to explain the madness my dad goes through, to a STRANGER! I had never told a complete stranger my part of his story before. It was awakening and sad and indescribable. It left me vulnerable and exposed, knowing that this woman had the power to get him kicked out. It also left me feeling very out of control. I couldn't do anything!!! I can't explain to my dad why it is crazy for him to write people like the apartment complex or the Attorney General or even the governor. They don't care about his non-existent problems. They don't but they should. It was a very tough situation, but it has led to great things. Tracy said that she would keep in touch with me on the situation. I have been able to make peace with the fact that I cannot change dad's situation or fix it and that GOD will handle it. I also have been able to talk with others in CR that give me great insight on how to deal with mentally challenged people. MENTALLY CHALLENGED, that is hard to say. I got a glimpse into my future and realized that this was another weaving into my tapestry and that God was going to use this strand to bring Him glory. The most difficult of situations brings out the most beautiful parts of our stories.
Emotion 4: Excitement 
During this hiatus I have been searching my heart about this food addiction of mine. I want it gone and over with. I want to be free from the bondage of food. But, I also have been looking at this the wrong way. God doesn't allow us to go through pain so that we can get over it. He wants us to triumph over it but always remember it. To use it for His Glory! If I could just get over it, I would forget about it. No that is not acceptable. I have never met anyone who has triumphed over a food addiction. This is very discouraging! But I also have realized that I am not allowing God to lead me to the people who might have had success. So God is leading me to go to Overeaters Anonymous. I really think that this is God's will. I need to get tips and tricks on how to change my habits with food. I really believe that God is going to help me triumph over this. I am very excited on this new development and will keep you up to date on this. VERY EXCITED! Please pray that I listen to God's cues and not mine on this and that I stay strong. So this is what is happening in my life and know it is time for you tell me what is happening in yours. Need help? Check out the blessings that are helping in some of my other friends lives!
Tanya, Leigh, Megan, Beth, Layla and Abby!