Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Laced with Laughter

HI...I hope all is well in your world.  I am back at work today and feeling a bit tired...all that Girl's Weekend fun, I guess! 

One of the things that I did not discuss yet that I actually love about hanging out with different people...is their stories and the perspectives that go with them.  Though putting 5 women with healthy opinions under one roof for 48+ hours has its risks...if you are brave enough to take the risk...the reward is quite wonderful! 

I can promise you that we did not all walk into that house with the same opinions either and some of us had never met!!!  So hang on to your hats...that is a whole lotta estrogen under one roof! 
But if you listen closely and keep an open mind...there are lessons to be learned, gifts to be shared and Blessings to be had! 

Now in my opinion, none of us are short on things to say and some of us (ME) talk more than others... but we all had something to contribute!  I am speaking strictly on behalf of myself...I found the conversation fascinating...and uncomfortable, and hilarious and heart warming and the list goes on...

I have always loved the dynamics of a group of people...how interactions happen, the exchange of ideas, different cultural backgrounds..where we grew up and who we grew up with definitely have an impact on the experience. 

As I said earlier we discussed a broad range of topics including parenting (yes, I even have an opinion about parenting), faith, cultural issues, food, family, etc...No surprise to any of you I am sure...but we did not all have the exact same opinions or life experiences regarding ANY of these topics...at least, not completely! 

So for those of you that have been following along closely...I truly felt like this was another one of those moments that God had specifically chosen for me...Another moment (or group of moments) that I had the opportunity to connect with people, both old and new, another Divine opportunity for me to tell the truth, to experience other people's courage and truth, to share my heart and my faith to the best of my ability!  It was another moment to consider what I know, what I don't know and how I can improve who I am becoming...AND it was laced with laughter!!! 

Intermingled with all of that...I had multiple opportunities to practice my lifestyle change...I was surrounded by food and drink... and was generally really happy with my decisions.  I must also say that I felt quite supported and that makes facing food challenges a lot easier! 

After struggling for the past couple of weeks with the emotional factors that have arisen from my weight loss Journey...this weekend was a gift and I am thankful that I had the opportunity. 

Here are a few pics:

Before I go, I would like to ask for prayers for my friend and former teacher who lost her husband suddenly yesterday.  May God give her all the strength and courage she will need to get through these next several difficult days. 


Monday, April 29, 2013

Practicing Healthy Habits!

Hello to everyone.  This girl is whipped!  I drove back from Austin today...was home for about for 30 minutes before heading out to Volleyball practice...this was all on about 5 hours sleep!!

But it was worth it!  The weekend was great...our accomodations were fantastic, the company was wonderful, the food was great and the margaritas were yummy! 

Most importantly,  I was given another opportunity to learn from a group of people...a group of funny, wise, women that are all on their own Journey!

God continues to guide this Journey...I continue to be blessed in ways that I know provide all the strength and courage it is going take to complete it!

So back to work tomorrow...back to practicing healthy habits, eating healthy food and growing a healthy Faith!

Good night to all!

Pick a Little...Talk, Talk, Talk

Hello...again, it  is late!!!  We are still having a girl's weekend!!!  Lots of fun and still laughing my hind end off...Today has been great...slept in...had breakfast, went to the lake...talked, talked some more, headed back to the house, had snacks, talked, continued to talk, ate dinner, talked some more and in between...laughed, laughed and took this photo. 

They both were able to put their hair in a top knot pony...I could NOT be left out!!!  Meet Pebbles, Teletubby and Alfalfa!  Yes...we may be having margaritas again!  These two are hilarious!!! 

For some reason as I write this...I am reminded of Pick a little Talk a little from Music Man...We have definitely picked a little and talked a LOT!!!

Pick a Little Talk a Little-Music Man

So here I sit...blogging and these two are throwing back big bites of banana pudding and I am posting about my weight loss Journey!!  No banana pudding for me...My margaritas were my splurge! 

Today's conversations varied from religion, kids, bullies, food, high school memories, and Donna's insistence that our conversations were entirely too intense...thus driving us to take the above picture!!! 

Though I am aware that we did discuss a few serious topics today...I would not trade a single minute...so much to be learned!  So freakin' cathartic!  I love my people! 

Picka little...talk a little...Goodnight Ladies!!!

That is it for tonight...I am pretty sure I will have some great God moments to share from this weekend...But I am pretty sure God would like me to go to bed now...!  :)

I am off tomorrow...So HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!!!!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Hello...It is seriously late...I am on a girl's weekend in Austin and have totally lost track of time!!!!  So I do apologize for the late hour!  So MY FIERCE HORNETS GIRLS VOLLEYBALLERS WON LAST NIGHT!!!  We won in three sets and the girls did an amazing job!!! 

It was so great to see them come together as a team and comeback from being down a game to win the last two!  Very proud of them! 

Today, I got up around 8:30..packed, gassed up the car and headed to Austin...actually Point Venture on Lake Travis...I love Lake Travis...My Aunt and Uncle lived or had a home here for many years and I loved being at the lake.  With the drought here in Texas...the lake is so low...kinda sad...however, still beautiful!!

So I am here with 4 other ladies...there is something absolutely rejuvenating about being in a room full of laughing women...and we are doing some laughing!  It reminded me that Laughter really is the best medicine. 

The last few weeks have been a challenge...lots of different challenges...continued weight loss challenges, emotional roller coaster challenges, staying motivated, trusting God's Plan...etc...But...spending time with a group of friends...talking, laughing...more laughing....really is a gift! 

I can say that there truly is not anything like laughing with a group of intelligent, kind hearted, feisty, loving women!  I grew up with 2 very strong women with big hearts and sharp minds and I love that...it is comfortable for me.  It is home for me.

Throw in a few cocktails...a good meal (healthy) and we even got in a 2.2 mile walk by the lake..makes for a great evening...If Matthew McConaughy was my roommate...it would be a perfect night! 

I love to laugh and admittedly, I love to make people laugh...It lifts my spirits and is so freeing...AND if all of those stories I have read about laughing leading to weight loss are correct...those few margaritas I had were burned off before I even sat down to write this post! 

Again, I am reminded how blessed I am...I have great people in my life and I have had the opportunity to meet and be blessed with new, great people as well.  I thank God for those gifts and thank God for the opportunity to continue to share this Journey with so many people. 

Again, I just cannot say it enough...the support, the love and the inspiration I receive from my friends, family, co-workers...is unbelievable and is sustaining me along this Journey! 

So tonight I must thank these women I am with...for their stories, their laughter, their kindness, generosity of spirit and their wisdom and a really great meal and margarita!  Thank you for letting me be the class clown...listening to my sagas and making me feel like my stories have value! 

You all have provided me with yet one more inspirational boost along this Journey!! 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Faith Flash Cards

Sometimes I think I need Faith Flashcards...you know....reminders that flash  before my eyes throughout the day...Just as a quick reminder that all is ultimately going to be fine and that all I must do is Keep the Faith!!!  I found a few...Now all I need is a group of volunteers who will follow me around all day and "flash" these at me at the appropriate time!  Who's In?  LOL!!!

So since I knew it was probably a stretch that someone would be willing to actually follow me around all day...reminding me to have Faith....I bought myself the below bracelet...which I now where EVERY day!  It is my own version of a Faith Flash card! 

I figure...this is a more effective, efficient way of reminding myself!!!  However, if any of you decide you would like to follow me around all day...reminding me to have Faith...I would not mind the company!!! HAHA!! 
So today was another weigh in and I lost the 2 lbs I gained last week...So...I am happy with that!!!  I did make a few dietary changes this week and thanks to Lindsey...I now have a couple of quick, energy boosting workouts added to my morning and mid-day routine! 
My volleyball girls (The Fierce Hornets)...a name chosen by them...will be playing tonight.  Please keep my girls in your prayers!!! 
I will be scooting away for a girls weekend in Austin (Lake Travis)...I am not 100% sure if I will be able to post...so If I am off the radar a couple of days...you know why!  But I will do my best to post...I have not missed a day...well,except one weird technology fail day!!!  Other than that...everyday!!!
My Aunt Charlotte sent me the below in an email...I really loved it and I wanted it share it with all of  you!  Thanks Char Char!
"Giving someone all your love is never an assurance that they'll love you back

Don't expect love in return; just wait for it to grow in their heart,

But, if it doesn't, be content that it grew in yours.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Will Work for Food

Hi...I was perusing through some photos and found a picture of my Mom and I a little over a  year ago...It was Easter 2012 and we both were just a few weeks away from a very rough time in both of our lives...

Here we are...one year later...Easter 2013...what a difference a year makes!

These are the some of the first pictures that I have looked at and really felt like I see a difference!  When I look at, I see less "Moon Pie" face...and more desire to live a better life!  I think we both look sick in the 1st picture...maybe that is not so obvious to others...but when I look at the 2nd picture...I see healthier, happier AND skinnier! 

 I recently was asked if I am happy with where I am at in this weight loss Journey..am I happy with my progress.  I did not answer the question immediately...I managed to talk incessantly about something else until I could provide some kind of answer. 

At the time, my answer was Yes and No.  Depending on the day!  At times, I think...I have LOST 50lbs!  and at times I think...I have ONLY lost 50lbs.  When one has 120+lbs to lose...50 can feel like just a drop in the bucket. 

But since I was asked the question...I have thought about it...Am I happy with my progress?  Here is what came to my somewhat warped mind. 

8 months ago..I kinda think this sign represented my life...

Not in the most literal sense...though at times over the past few years...I felt like I might literally need this sign..but instead...I am speaking figuratively...Food represented survival for me...It was my respite from my physical pain, from my emotional pain...It was the only way I felt like celebrating...when I was whipped physically...I could always throw back some CHOW...and when I was drained emotionally...Food was my pick me up!  Food was an excellent reward and a wonderful comforter...still is!  Truthfully though, only now do I realize this and only now can I verbalize this...It is uncomfortable.  I find myself wanting to explain to those that do not know me well...but I am not going to...Regardless of what I ate, how often I ate, how much I ate...it was not the frequency, portion size or type of food that mattered...It was the effort I put into eating and the reasons I ate that made it harmful!  
So 8 months ago, God sent me some inspiration in the form of 2 Olympic Stars..playing beach volleyball in London...a million miles away from where I was (in more ways than one).
In less than 72 hours of watching Misty May and Kerri Walsh win Olympic gold, I had decided to start this Journey...I committed...
In my mind...I would lose 120lbs in 12 months!  10lbs a month...no problem!
So here I am, 8 months later and I have lost 50lbs...that is roughly a little over 6 lbs per month.  Not ideal...I guess.  But my sign has changed. 

So am I happy with my Progress?  YES!  It is not a perfect Journey...BUT...I am moving in positive direction that allows me to share the very things that made me WORK FOR FOOD!  I have found the strength through Christ to follow my heart!  What I am experiencing has for me proven that:

I will keep praying and I ask you to do the same.  Much Love!




Wednesday, April 24, 2013

You Matter

I received this email from a very special person the other day...A person I respect greatly! 

It said in the Subject Line:

You matter

Followed by this:

I believe in the grander scheme, your Journey is significant.

 That is all it said. 

I received this on a day when I was feeling fairly insignificant, a little defeated, and not brimming with confidence....in other words...Monday!
 I sometimes think that this Journey can't be as important as it feels...at least not to anyone else but me!  I am living it...I am emotionally, physically...mind, body and spirit vested in it!!  The truth is...it probably can't be as important.  It is my life...my Journey!  Everyone has their own life and their own Journey...whatever that looks like and however that plays out in the grander scheme.  But after reading the above words...I thought...you know...we all matter...all of our "Journeys" are significant. 
I thought...how lucky and blessed I am that someone took the time to tell me that! 
The truth is...I have an entire "team" of people that tell me that!  They take the time to tell me that this Journey is important and that it matters...that my Journey matters. 

They tell me and I must learn to Believe it wholly...Live it actively and Share it readily!  There is probably always going to be someone in my periphery that will tell me I don't matter...we all have those people from time to time...but I can't let that one voice drown the voices of all of the others that tell me I do...Especially the voice of God.

So before I go...here is my message for you...all of you!
You Matter
I believe in the grander scheme, your Journey is significant!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I am Found

Hello to all...another late night...but a great night!  After having a rough Monday...having hurt feelings, feeling ashamed of those feelings and moving through all of that without EATING an emotion or two...I made it to Tuesday!

This Tuesday held some special treats though!  After posting what I did last night, I received some very supportive, funny, touching words from my family and a few friends!  All of them made me cry ( in good way) and a few made me laugh out loud!!! 

Last night's post was cathartic AND very difficult to write...but it was necessary for me...Again...this weight loss Journey and the path that I am own..is requiring me to face life honestly without using Food as a pain killer!  So even  though I may feel "overexposed" again...It is just one more God given moment of a change in behavior that I hope will lead to Habitual Healthy Living...physically, spiritually, emotionally...the whole shabang!

So today was a test...a test in Fortitude!  I started this week really knowing that I had to rededicate myself to this process...My fabulous co-worker Lindsey came up with a morning and lunchtime quick workout plan...that we are following.  This includes walking for 15 to 20 minutes at lunch...Kristen, Lindsay and I...put on our appropriate footwear and hit the streets of Bellaire for a nice walk!  These "youngsters" have no idea what their support has meant to me throughout this 7 month Journey...They support me like there life depended on it!!!  They are saving mine in the process!!!

My Aunt Charlotte and Aunt Lois...both reminded of what an amazing, supportive family I have!!! Thanks Girls!

And tonight...after work, I got to spend several hours having a conversation with 2 of my middle school coaches.  Such an amazing Blessing!  I have told you guys before...everyone should get the opportunity to sit down and have a face to face,  heart to heart conversation (as an adult) with the important teachers in your life!  It really is amazing!!  It was so much fun seeing both of them, sharing with them this Journey so far...sharing the many blessings I have experienced and knowing the whole time I was talking to them was yet another "God" moment for me...another precious, strength building moment!!!

I have said recently that I need to be in relationships with intention...First and foremost, in relationship with Christ.  I have to be willing to be IN the uncomfortable moments, stretch through the fear of being vulnerable, share what is in my heart and trust that by doing all of that with INTENTION, I will have the courage and all the strength I need to beat my food addiction, reach my weight goal, share my heart, grow my faith and live a Good and Godly life! 

So thank you to all of you that took the time to make this a great day.  Thank you for sharing your time, your hearts and reminding me again that I am surrounded by incredible love...daily!!!

I felt a little lost yesterday...Today...once again...I am Found!!! 

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone  ~ Pearson, Pearson, Holden

From the song "Home" As sung by Phillip Phillips

Monday, April 22, 2013

Thanks But No Thanks

It is MONDAY...nuff said!  There is a very real part of me that would like to just stop there! 

I think I have had a bad day...Not sure!  LOL!!!  I must confess that I have not been getting much sleep for the last couple of days...I continue to struggle with some hor"mean"al issues and I have had a very long, busy day...3 hours of which was spent in Houston traffic!  WAAAA!!!  I told you guys there would be whining...so here it is!!! 

I have a story to tell you...You do not have to read it...It is one more tale in my on-going saga of how interwoven my emotional health is with my fluff level...or should I say with my with fluffy girl food intake levels! 

You see...when I was in my 20's...I was in the music business.  A business that you might guess is NOT fluff friendly...especially for a young woman.  So...after a few years of being told I was too fat...I decided to hire a personal trainer, change my eating habits and lose weight so that I would have a shot at making it in the business...I lost 70lbs and guess what I found out...though Fluff was not acceptable in the music business...ignorance and arrogance were perfectly acceptable traits among my fellow (often male) band mates...OH WELL...I tried!!!  Regardless...I ultimately learned that without the fluff...my skin was just NOT thick enough to tolerate the "biz"...So I got a real job! 

I went to work for an Oil and Gas brokerage firm...I put all my effort and energy into that job and into my "personal growth"...Sufficed to say...I was angry, NOT eating comfort food, working 16 hours a day AND "growing" emotionally!!!  NOT a good combo.  Again, much like now, I was experiencing some fairly intense feelings that I was beyond clueless on how to deal with (in a healthy way)...So I think it would be fair to say I was pretty intense!!!  Some might use a more "descriptive"word!!!  One that I will refrain from using here...OK...I was a bit bitchy!!!! 

So...I worked and I worked and I worked out AND I EMOTED!!!  Most of my friends were my work friends...Most of them were Type A...High strung, over achieving, Oil and Gas brokers making obscene amounts of money and ALL under the age 35!  I somehow missed out on all of those characteristics except the under 35 part and the High strung part!!

So while I was in that portion of my crazy career path...I began to realize that I needed something a bit different...I needed something less crazed...I had no idea what that was but I did begin to further explore "who I was"...I came to the realization that relationships were important to me...I needed healthy friendships and I needed to work to make that happen (or at least I thought it would require work).

Now you couple that with ALL of the other crap going on with me and I was a seriously intense "feeler"...My feelings were OUT there...on full display and at the same time...I suffered from an intense case of "risk remorse" every time I decided to be honest about how I felt!  Cray Cray!!!!

Anyway...moving on...well that is exactly what I did...I decided to move on and I had a friend that I really liked...She and her husband both were a daily part of my life!  So...I am leaving the company...She is leaving the company and I tell her that it is really important to me that we stay in touch and maintain our friendship..in what, I am sure was a fairly intense manner!!!

 Then she says the following to me...I don't think I will ever forget it!!!!  She said...I really care about you and you are a great person..but I don't think I have it in me to be your friend...You are just so intense and being your friend would require so much work!!!  OK...so as you might imagine...I was hurt, mortified with embarrassment AND strangely...understood completely!    I told her I really did understand!!!  It turned out to be a gift in a weird sort of way...I never spoke to her again...I stayed embarrassed for a long time and certainly was NOT sharing my "feelings" with anyone for a while...BUT...I did learn!  One of the things I learned that is paying off today...Is that after that happened...I ate...I used food as a way to ease out of the pain and move on!  I ate my feelings for a lot of years after that...not because of that...but because of a million other hurt feelings, embarrassing moments, disappointments..celebrations, rewards...you name the feeling...I ate it!!! 

So fast forward to today...I again, am experiencing some REALLY intense feelings...new experiences that I struggle with...blah, blah, blah..So...I am intense.  I am intense here in this blog...I can crank out some deep thoughts and feelings in a flash and I think...today...I got a very different, much kinder but very reminiscent " thanks but no thanks" from a friend...and guess what...I completely understood!!!  I am still a bit hurt, still embarrassed...BUT....I am NOT eating my feelings!!! Instead,  I am sharing this long, dramatic account with you...or at least those of you that have not "nodded off", become sick to your stomach, or started watching re-runs of Friends on cable!!!

Strangely...It feels like a bit of an accomplishment...I can own that I am an intense feeler..that I may be a little more intense right now that I normally am and I can own that those facts might make being around me on a regular basis a bit tedious!!! 

My Faith is so much stronger...I am 20+ years older and gratefully can put this experience into a frame of reference that reminds me that though I may not be every one's cup of tea...I am a loyal, devoted friend who will hang around even when things are tough...that loves with my whole heart and as a bonus...can occasionally be pretty damn funny!!!  OH...and instead of eating a cheeseburger or having a Coke...I can straight up tell you how I feel and am willingly to suffer the consequences or reap the benefits!!!! :)

On that long note...I am going to bed!  All of these feelings make me tired!!!!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Unexpected Fork

Happy Sunday all...Today was a bit different...instead of our normal church followed by my "Sunday spot" hangout time...Mom and I got up early and headed up to Huntsville State Park, about an hour north of Houston.

Donna took Emily's Girl Scout troop there Fri. for a weekend camping trip.  Mom and I were the Sunday relief team.
Actually, I love going to this particular park.  I have very fond memories of going there as a child..picnics, paddleboats, swimming, camping!  Lots of good memories! 

So this Sunday was spent celebrating Faith in the glorius outdoors!  God's best church! 

I decided to hike the shore of the lake along a 2 mile long marked trail...This was to be my workout for the day AND my contemplative time for the day...my deliberate beginning of the next week of this Journey!

I walked approximately .3 miles when I came to an unexpected fork in the road....now just know...there was no indication on my map that I would be forced to make a "fork" decision!  As I stood looking  at my options, I thought this is a "blog ready" moment.

There have been quite a few "fork" moments in the past 7+ months of my life...lots of moments where I have stood looking at the different paths before me being clueless about which tine of the fork led in the "right" direction. 

Today...my thought was..."Go with your Gut"...Now I think there is some funny irony in that thought...given that my "gut" got me here in the first place AND it is the very thing I am trying to lose!!

But...for me...going with my gut...is my attempt to connect with God's voice...His Guidance.

This Journey has been about multiple paths...multiple forks, many choices...some choices...I listened to my gut...others...not so much!

I listened to my gut about taking this Journey...even when my head said it was impossible...I have trusted God's voice through the 1st 50lbs and I have to trust that voice through the next 70+!

I have chosen this fork in the road. I have put myself out there...said things in print..posted my actual weight...shared my real feelings (a lot) ...tried new things...let go of old habits...trusted new people with my old "stuff" and trusted my old friends with all kinds of new "stuff"!
I have a long way to go...and I am betting there will be Forks Galore!

I will pray for guidance...pray for a keen gut...pray that I choose the right "fork" in the road

This weekend was good...plenty of time in God's best Church!

Below is the path I chose today!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sunny Beaches!

Happy Sat Nite!  I hope all is well in your corner of the world!
Today was B-E-A-utiful!  So...Tone Tone and I packed up and headed to the Beach...I decided that a workout on the beach would be good for the soul.
I love the beach...always have!  I always feel rejuvenated and peaceful when I am near the ocean!  So...after taking a few days off from working out, I walked 2.3 miles and burned 350+ calories.
My walk was great and Tone Tone got to hang out at Murdoch's in her favorite Adirondack chairs.
We had a little fresh seafood...saw the sunset and headed home! 
It was a good day...a healthy day!
I am continuing on Journey with an open heart and a willing spirit! MAWA!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Trying to Avoid the Re-Fluff

Happy Friday and not so happy Weigh In Day!  I gained 2 dang pounds!  WTH!  Maybe Migraines make me Fluffy! 
Regardless, I am still on this Journey to De-Fluff and do my best to avoid a further Re-Fluff.

My volleyball girls played their hearts out tonight...They lost by 2 points in the 3rd game of the match!  They were heartbroken!  But they played hard!

Given the events of the past week...the tragedy, the loss of life, the extreme violence...I find myself really thinking about how  necessary it is for me to rely on God for strength...for hope and for courage. 
I have intently watched the events unfold on T.V. both in Boston and West, TX and something consistently stands out for me...the need for prayer, for unity...the undeniable need for faith in a loving God...that despite all of the mind numbing pain felt around the world...there is a Love that can conquer anything...a Power that can overcome the worst foe and a Light that can brighten the darkest moment.  I know not everyone believes...but I do...I need to.

I know that despite the insignificance of my Journey in the grander scheme...God still sees every move I make along this Journey...He has a very specific plan for me!


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Walk the Walk

Well it is Thursday...I am trying to recover from the 2 day migraine...I feel like this is a lost week.  No workout since Monday...no super charged energy in the last few days...IT is funny...how the mind works...7 months ago...I could not have said No workout since Monday...I COULD have said...No workout since Monday...1995!!!

But now...I really am feeling different BECAUSE I have not worked out...The workouts....in just 7 months...have become a vital part of my daily life.  CRAAAZYYY!!! 

So...despite all of my focus on having Faith and focus on living within that Faith...I really get a little freaked out that I am still so far away from my goal.  I told you guys...I am a slow learner!  I don't want to just talk to the talk...I must be able to walk the walk!!! 

I am definitely flawed when it comes to taking that Faith walk.  I forget so easily...it seems.  So, in this Journey...and in this place...I try to hold myself accountable in front of all of you.  My pride could keep me from admitting my fear...but that does not ever seem to work out so well for me.

So...I need to say here...I need to really focus on getting back on track this next week...starting tomorrow.  I need to walk the walk...Though I do love words...if they are not backed up by my actions...they are just that....words...

I think that this Journey has been successful up to this point because..I have been backing up my words with my actions...I have to stay on that path...I can't let all of the stuff I have been experiencing in the last few weeks...even migraines, deter me from my goal. 

This includes planning this event in August.  This is really important to me to see through to completion and it is really important for me to contribute! 

Though I am feeling tired and emotionally drained as of late...I cannot and will not let that define this Journey...So there!!! LOL!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Migraine Go Away!

Ok...so I am still migraine impaired!  I must admit that I am a little freaked out that I have a two day migraine and am heading into night #3. 
I have been so amazed at how much better I felt over the past several months...I am spoiled!
But...I am still trusting this process!
I need your prayers though...

The victory is...I am not "eating" away at the pain....I am sticking to my plan...I am fighting the triggers and am praying for strength.

Am hoping to get in a workout tomorrow! 

Pray...Pray...Pray....for the Migraine to Go Away!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Off Day

Hi Everyone,
I am really ill with a migraine today...so this is the extent of my post today.  Please keep me in your prayers...I appreciate you guys!  Jaime

Monday, April 15, 2013

New Day-New Strength

Another Monday...Here we are!!! Only today, I am working on staying out of my Monday doldrums...and focusing on a Positive Monday Outlook! 

Today is my friend Donna's Birthday...We have been friends for 18 years!  We've both been single (I still am), gone through a wedding (hers), childbirth (hers), jobs (many), trial/tribulations, lots of laughs, fights, tears, moves, life challenges galore...and we are both still alive!!!  Our friendship has withstood the test of time...well beyond the life expectancy of 3 years (inside joke), we have seen each other at our best and our not so best!  We have been through a LOT!!! 

Couldn't resist!!!  Happy Birthday my friend!!!  I hope your day is filled with the kind of Joy you deserve!  I hope this year brings you Peace, Hope and an Abundance of Blessings! 
As I was writing this...It has been brought to my attention that there has been an explosion at the Finish Line of the Boston Marathon and that there are multiple casualties.  My heart goes out to all of those that are going through the trauma and devastation of this and as always, my prayers are with all of the victims.  I will continue to keep all in my prayers.  May God Bless them and keep them. 
I will end on that note.  See you all tomorrow. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Feeling a bit Squirrely!

It is Sunday...a day that more and more becomes about really trying to put all of my daily life stuff aside, focus on my personal goals, try like crazy to be Still and listen for God's guidance and emotionally prepare myself for the next step in this Journey!  I have been saying that consistently over the last few weeks. 
Today...I would like to mainline chocolate...an I.V. of Reeses peanut butter cups.  I am so not in the mood for self analysis today..but I am following through with my Sunday ritual...church...park time...praying...
As I sit here...the only thought that is in my mind...is this...If I were a squirrel...I would want to be a "park" squirrel...Think about it...plenty of trees, grass, etc....few natural predators and picnic scraps out the wazoo!!  To heck with storing nuts for the winter...every week a whole pack of humans pile into the park with chips, cookies, burgers, hot dogs, birthday cake, etc....
All I have to do is bide my time...scurry down the nearest tree...load up my cheeks and BOOM...dinner is served. 
I just saw a park squirrel...he strolled up to my table, took a look, saw no food and casually walked away...no fear...pure arrogance...the Donald Trump of squirrels....even had the same hair...and girth!
So that is the extent of my thoughts today...just daydreaming! Praying for some clarity...praying for patience...praying for courage and praying for the peace that passes all understanding!
I am approaching this week with the attitude that I have come this far and I can and will see this Journey through to the end! 
Today I am just feeling a little squirrely!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Decluttering The Fluff

Hello and Good Saturday evening...Today has been about decluttering...mainly our garage! 

Our church is having a church wide garage sale at the end of April that supports our missions work.  Mom and I decided that we would make an effort to go through some of the MANY boxes of Stuff that we have in our garage and donate or trash as much as possible!  Just so you know...this is not my favorite thing to do...Don't get me wrong...I love donating...I just don't like cleaning! 

But as I was going through all of the stuff...I thought about Decluttering...First...I must say that I really like this word...as a word lover...there is something about Decluttering that just rolls off the tongue....I am partial to saying the word with my best British accent..."Oh my...I spent the Decluttering"  Such a lovely day! (all in British accent)...see...it is fun isn't it!!!

Secondly, I began to "think" about Decluttering...beyond the garage!  I guess it feels like I am in a Decluttering mode these days...I am, in a way, Decluttering the Fluff...and all that goes with that! 

My life can get really cluttered..I have a tendency to keep things I don't really need.  Either out of sentimentality, or sheer laziness...it depends.  When I am overwhelmed...I keep things..sounds odd, but it is true. 
When I first became ill...My Mom and Grandmother came up to school (I was in college)...they knew I had been struggling and we were all baffled..I had not been myself for quite some time and was feeling really horrible.  My Mom and Grandmother decided to surprise me for my birthday...when they arrived, my apartment was a complete mess!!!  They very kindly cleaned and "Decluttered" my apartment...I remember thinking how much lighter I felt after that process...Lighter...that is the word that comes to mind! 

I am trying to Declutter my life...my body and my mind!  I am working to feel LIGHTER....physically, emotionally, spiritually...in every way!  This is my Fight to Light!!! My fight to literally BE lighter...and to my fight to the Light that leads to a better relationship with my God, my family and my friends. 

So despite the less than thrilling hard work in the garage today...I decided it served as a literal decluttering that is just one more step in this process. 

I hope you all have a Blessed, Wonderful Sunday!  Much love to you all! 

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Big 5-0!

Well...It has happened...I officially hit the 50lb mark.  Fitty Cent!  Half a Hundred...Cincuenta Libras!  The BIG 5-0... Hallelujah!!!

I only lost one pound this week...but it was a big one!!!  So 50lbs down...70lbs to go...

I needed this..I needed something that feels a little milestonish!!!  I continue to struggle this week AND  I AM FORGING ON!! 

Even as I often as I seem to forget this...I do believe that through every challenge in this Journey there are big gifts to get...big lessons to learn and most likely, big challenges yet to come.  I also know this...I have no idea what God has in store for me on the rest of this Journey...for as long as this Journey lasts..Truthfully, that scares me on some level...AND as I have said before...I can be a slow learner...HA!  But..I am catching on and I know that with every bump in the road I have had over past 7 months...something 10X greater happens on the other side! 

I talk a lot about inspiration...Being Inspired and I AM...Inspired first, by two amazing strangers...one of which has become a very special part of this Journey.  I have been inspired by the amazing support of my family, I have been inspired by the strong women who raised me!  I have been inspired by a circle of wonderful close friends...who love me despite all of my flaws...I have been inspired by a larger network of friends that though I may not see them often...they have seriously stepped up and reached out to me during this Journey...I have been inspired by the teachers in my life, I have been inspired by total strangers that just brushed by me on my Journey but left a lasting impression and I am inspired by the entrance of new friends in my life that I hope will be with me for the long haul. 

Mostly I am inspired by the glorious guidance provided by my Great God! 

I want to give back...I want to BE inspiring and I want to share the inspiration I receive in a way that reminds those around me that despite life's challenges..that with Faith...Success is possible!  Victory is guaranteed. 

Success...it is one of those words that is widely interpreted...different meanings for different people.  Honestly, I am not sure what true success looks like for me...Not completely..not yet.  But I do know this...I am proud of the people in my life...I am proud of my relationships and though it is kinda difficult to write...I am proud of my  Journey...It is mine...It is NOT perfect but It is MINE and I am in relationship with God...

Jonathan Winters died today...for  you youngsters...he was a very funny man!  Did a lot of really funny characters over the years...even played a baby (a full grown baby) in Mork and Mindy (TV Sitcom).  He had this to say about Success!

"I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it."~ Jonathan Winters

I like that...It looks just funny on the outside...but inside the meaning is quite insightful!  

OK ...before I go...Tonight is our 1st Volleyball game of the Spring Season!  We are ready!!!  Wish us Luck!!!

Week #34 DONE...Week #35...Here I come!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Agony of DE"FEET"

Hello there...it is late Thursday evening and I am approaching the end of another week and am facing another Weigh In...I am ready for it!

I have focused more on my daily meal plans this week...tried to make healthy food choices all week..AND I have had my fair share of quality time with the Evil Elliptical and have put quite a few miles on the ole pedometer!!! The AGONY OF DE"FEET"
 Reminds me of the following famous sports narration that opened the popular weekend sports show...The Wide World of Sports when I was a kid!  Hosted by Jim McKay, one of my all time favorite sports announcers...

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport... the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition... This is ABC's Wide World of Sports!

OK...so constant variety of sport may be a slight exaggeration when describing my physical undertakings...but I have had a few victories...and I definitely have the Human Drama part down...but...with only one minor change...the Agony of DE "FEET"!

Yes...somewhere along the way over the past 46 years...I have must have done something unforgivable to my feet...MAN!!!  So...every night after I walk, or elliptilize myself...my feet SCREAM at me for what feels like the better part of the evening!!!  Really uncomfortable...Note to those of you who may be diabetic and not REALLY watching your glucose levels...YOUR FEET WILL BE DAMAGED!!!  Most of my foot pain is related to neuropathy related to my diabetes...Neuropathy pain is NO Bueno and apparently does not heal itself once the glucose levels are under control!!! 

Tonight I wore these fancy, reflexology, flip flops that are supposed to therapize the feet as you walk! Not so sure.... The Jury is still out on whether or not the shoes did anything spectacular.  Mostly it felt like I was walking on a door mat (you know the pointy, shoe scraping kind). 

Anyway...I could not pass up the opportunity to use a PUN as the title of my blog Post...

So here is to a successful weigh in...Here is hoping I get to experience the thrill of Victory....THAT will help me bear the Agony of De"Feet"!!! :)

Have a good night...May tomorrow be an excellent Friday filled with many Blessings!!!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Bad Day is all About Perspective

Hello...Happy Wednesday!  I am still on the uphill side of the hump...but am working hard to embrace all the blessings and think Happy Thoughts as this day progresses. 

I have received some really encouraging messages today and I am so very grateful for my friends and family.  You all get Gold Stars today!


A friend shared with me a story about a friend of hers that has recently lost 100lbs!  She said that the friend literally used the words "warning label" when discussing the changes a person experiences during/after significant weight loss.  It was helpful to hear that other people have experienced this...maybe I am only a little crazy!!! LOL!

So I talk about my "youngsters" here at work often...They are a good group of people...Today, I get to work and Lindsey has left a card on my desk...This is it:  Hilarious!

She reminds me that the Ups and Downs are just part of the Journey...that I am going to have good days and bad days...and that I have mostly had good days!  She is right...for a life changing Journey...the good days have far outnumbered the bad...
Thank you for the reminder Lindsey and thank YOU for taking this Journey with  me!  Really incredibly blessed by you  and your huge heart! 
The card says it all...A bad day is all about Perspective...
I started this blog about my weight loss journey...it has grown into a blog about my faith Journey...about my Journey to be patient, a blog about human flaws...mine...a documentation of my spiritual growth, relationships, fear, vulnerability...it is a blog about my introduction to middle aged issues...hormones, menopause..yipeee....It is about someone truly attempting to turn her life over to God and following the Greater Plan...it is about me striving to fulfill my potential...not counting myself out or cutting my life short...it is about my Journey to embrace a completely different lifestyle, it is about my struggle with an addiction...it is a story about my looking for and finding Hope...it is about a Journey to embrace love...cherish it.  It is a Journey about becoming unafraid, confident, about becoming brave and leaving regrets in the past and looking forward to the future.
It is a blog about a Fluffy Girl...who relies on her faith and the faith of others, her sense of humor and her willingness to be willing..to Become...to Become a Better human...truly!
It is STILL a weight loss Journey..that is the path I am on...it is the path that will lead me to where I want to be...what I want to be and who I want to be...to Become!
I had to write the above paragraph for myself...for perspective.  I shared with Donna last night that I was struggling...she suggested I go back and read some of my own blog postings...I did...I just needed a reminder.  I needed Perspective.
Another friend sent a very supportive, encouraging message to me this morning...She quoted the following Scripture...
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." ~Hebrews 11:1
I do have to rely on Faith...and I do rely on the Faith of Others...It is funny...sometimes I cannot see my Faith at all...but on this Journey, it has been the obvious Faith of others...seeing that in action, lived out before my eyes, that helps me see my own Faith...I have several people in my life that are wonderful Mirrors of Faith...reflecting images of God's Grace and Love.  I see it in their eyes, their actions, their words and it gives me hope and sheds Light on this Journey! 
For that I am eternally grateful! 
I am still HERE...Still in this and Still inspired... I will continue to need prayers...I might need to borrow your Faith at times... Hope you don't mind!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Weight Loss Warning Label

Hello to all...I hope Tuesday is treating you well!  I am super busy this week and am working hard to manage my work schedule, workout schedule, food planning,  volleyball coaching duties, blogging duties..you get the picture. 

It is funny...7 months ago (and several years in a row) my life was styled to fit the lifestyle of someone surviving...I have said that before...It was a life geared for just getting by.  I worked if I could, I took care of daily life stuff (at times), I ate...too much, and I slept...often fitfully!  I did manage to have some fun...spending time with a relatively small circle of friends..but truthfully, it almost always came at a fairly hefty physical price! 

So I have shared along this Journey that I have been a little shocked at the energy I have had...and strangely, not exactly sure what to do with myself.  Not a bad problem to have...and still a little baffling...that may be weird!!!

I guess that is why the last few days have been a little challenging...just feeling sluggish...and well, I feel like my old self and not in a good way!!!

I told a friend tonight...this weight loss thing should come with a Warning Label...It should read something like this:

WARNING:  When decreasing the intake of yummy, gooey, emotion stuffing -fattening foods coupled with a decrease in couch lounging, t.v watching along with a substantial increase of physical movement, veggie eating, water drinking, ONE could experience  the following unexpected side effects: Sudden bursts of energy, overwhelming desire to eat grapes instead of cupcakes,  unexpected emotions normally controlled with sugar and fat, uncomfortable clarity, the presence of feelings on sleeves, confusion about identity and general feelings of "what the hell is happening".  IF any of the above symptoms last longer than 72 hours...seek advice of a therapist immediately and/or pray...pray long and hard!

THIS is my warning label.  Add to that...extenuating circumstances such as advancing "MEAN-O -PAUSE and a jacked up immune system...you get me...Right NOW!!! 

So...there you have it!  So in the words of Jack Nicholson in As Good As it Gets:  Sell Crazy someplace else...we are all stocked up here!!! 

Thank God for those people that put up with me on a daily basis!!!  Seriously though...a very special friend sent me a text yesterday....a timely message from a friend plowing through her own Journey...working to defy the odds! 

She sent me the below scripture and here is what she said:

"For me that takes deliberate practice.  I hope one day it will come second nature to me.  For now I am just trying to walk by faith and I know God is holding me with every step. You will be blessed in so many ways for taking this Journey you are on and for sharing it with all of us that love you.  I see it happening."

That my friends...is why I make it through the crazy days...That is just one message I have received in the last few days...I have other brave souls supporting me in my efforts...even when I am out of sorts! 

I do ask for your continued prayers.  I always need them and I need them particularly now.  It appears I continue to travel by roller coaster and I have to keep the ups and downs in perspective and keep the Glorious view from the top in the forefront of my mind! 

I must Keep Becoming...Thinking Happy Thoughts!!! 


Monday, April 8, 2013

Dear God, This is Jaime (again)

HI there...It has been a long Monday...Another day of this Journey almost in the books!  As I write this tonight..I must admit that the last 2 days have been a struggle. 

For several reasons...I guess.  As I strive to be honest here and give an accurate, truthful account of my weight loss journey and all that goes with that...I must tell you that days like the last 2...baffle me! 

I really do work to maintain positivity and I spend time focusing on letting Go and Letting God...but some days...well, some days it just does not happen.  I admire people who have the ability to truly turn over EVERY issue to God at the time the issue happens...Unfortunately...that ain't me!!!

However, I will use this space...this time, to ask for your prayers...instead of enumerating every issue...I will ask you to pray for strength, for continued courage, for my health and for the success of this Journey...whatever that may look like!

I will tell you this...though I am fairly sure that most of you that read this blog daily or even weekly know that I have an auto-immune disease that has impacted my daily life since I was 21 years old.  This disease, over the years, has been a debilitating, pain in the butt!  Though I have always generally managed to function at relatively high levels, as you might have guessed, the older I get...the harder it has been to manage.  I guess this is why I say so frequently how amazing this Journey has been...so unbelievable..7 months ago...I was completely convinced that a Journey of this nature would not be possible for me...I believed that my life was going to be about managing this disease, maintaining good coping skills and praying that somehow, I would be able to work and take care of all that comes with living!!!

Now, I believe that I have been given an opportunity to eradicate this disease from my body...in a healthy way that does not include strong medications, Home I.V. therapy, killer antibiotics and multiple hospital stays!

I KNOW that this is a God Journey...I know that God has given me this opportunity...Sometimes I do not understand why or better said, why now...But quite frankly...who cares...I have this opportunity and I am taking it!

I think the thing I need to say...the point I am attempting to make...is that I still am learning to manage all of these changes in context to having a medical issue that still exists...for today!  Just like losing the weight..I believe that better health will take time.  Both losing weight AND growing healthy are a healing process and there are lots of moving parts to that process. 
I think that sometimes ALL of the moving parts overwhelm me...I at times, don't readily understand what the next step is or what God's plan might look like! 

As I am sure all of you must know...Life is Messy at times and for me, focusing on weight loss, healthy eating plans, work, daily life, responsibilities, finances (ugh) and you know...basic life crap...can be overwhelming...

So today...I must say my prayer...my prayer of overwhelm...Dear God, This is Jaime (again)!

Below is a song I love...sung by an artist I love...this song makes me happy and sad...all at the same time...that is how I have been feeling the last couple of days...so it was a perfect fit for tonight's post!

Eva Cassidy-What a Wonderful World

"Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong."
Ella Fitzgerald

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Inspired Act Of Kindness

Hello there! Happy Sunday!

Here I am in my "Sunday Spot"...trying to prepare my heart for the upcoming week....Week #34 of this wild Journey!
This the 4th Sunday in a row that I have focused with intent on preparing myself for being willing to hear, see, know and accept God's plans for me for next week...and beyond.  It is becoming a vital part of my week and intuitively, I know it, in and of itself, is part of the bigger plan. 

Yesterday...I did a light workout, grabbed a late lunch with Mom and then struck out on, what turned out to be, a loooong Sat. drive.  I have a thing about driving back roads...I really love it and is typically something that provides me with a bit of a respite from daily stressors!

It was a beautiful day yesterday...it is Texas Bluebonnet season...along with several other wildflowers!  One of the quirky little things I like to do is drive through towns I have never been to....Like Carlos, George, Iola, North Zulch, Hearne and Franklin...all of which I have now officially seen! 
But I must say that Franklin will always be the town that will forever have a story attached to it!

You see...Tone Tone was in need of a frozen treat! So as we pulled into the thriving metropolis of Franklin and there to Tone Tone's delight, a Dairy Queen loomed like a Beacon in the Night. 
We pulled in to the  drive thru....ordered a banana split (banana for me)....as we approached the cashier...I handed her my debit card, the cashier gave me a bit of an odd look and handed me a white envelope.  She said that the car in front us had paid for our order and had left me this note (see below). 

I hope the entire note is readable in the photo...I am posting remotely and cannot view a preview of the page...however, the crux of the note is that he ( it was a guy), was paying for our food because he wanted to and because he had heard about something similar while listening to a local Christian radio station.  He hoped it made a difference in our day!

It certainly did! That single act reminded me of the Love of Christ  A moment of inspired kindness! A Pay It Forward moment!
Inspiration is so powerful...if given in to at the moment it happens...Inspiration can be miraculous.  It can change a moment, an hour, a day...it can change a life. 

Here is another God thing for me...we just settled on a name for our event in August.  We are calling it:


I want to take all of the inspiring moments...inspiring acts kindness that I have experienced over the past 7 months and give them back to the next generation.  I want to share this Hope with "our" kids!  I want them to have the opportunity to learn to:

"Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."  Ephesians 4:32

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Brain Break for the Fluffy Girl

Hey there...I hope all of you had a wonderful day! 

I am taking a little brain break today...I will be posting tomorrow about a few interesting things that happened today!  I just need to give the ole gray matter a break today!

I do want to say Congratulations to Kerri Walsh Jennings on the birth of her daughter Scout Margery Jennings who was born this morning!  What a wonderful blessing!

I will see you guys tomorrow!  I am still Moving my feet, Sharing my Heart and Growing my Faith! 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Keep Becoming....

Happy Friday to ALL!!!  So today is Weigh In #33...and I am 49 and holding!!!  Man...it truly is so challenging not to get frustrated.  BUT...I do know that stress can lead to weight gain...so getting frustrated seems fairly pointless and possible detrimental to the de-fluffing process!!!

I guess I can be grateful that I made it through the Easter holidays without gaining any weight.  I did have a few "cheats" last weekend. 

I sometimes have the expectation that the temptation that food represents will lessen and lessen as this Journey continues!  In some ways it has and to tell the truth...in some ways it has not!  I guess like any addiction...food will always be something that I will have to manage.  I am not thinking that I am going to suddenly become someone who is disinterested in food...but it would be nice if it was not such a hot topic! 

So since I have used this blog as a place to tell my truth about my process, share my experiences and hopefully, shine a little light on the life a fluffy girl trying to de-fluff, I must admit that as this "deadline" looms (August 24th), I am finding myself having to really talk myself down off the panic ledge!!! 

As you all know...I started this blog because I needed accountability and I thought...I may as well go all out!  I knew that the competitive spirit that lives in me would REALLY not want to look like I could not accomplish this goal and that doing this daily would "encourage" me to forge on!  And it has done just that plus so much more!

AND...I have 4 months to lose as much of this fluff (in a healthy way) as possible...that makes me NERVOUS!!  I really do know that my Journey will continue beyond August 24th.  I will Forge On to lose the 120+ pounds...but man, I would really love to lose as much as possible leading up to this Event!  It literally makes me wring my hands!!!! 

BUT!!!  I must focus on staying the course...It is SO easy for me to worry and fret!  Sucks really!!!  But I am willing to prayerfully turn this over to God...Funny...I have a prayer I say when I am completely overwhelmed and without words (yes...that happens :)...I pray the following:

DEAR GOD...This is Jaime! 

That's it!!!!  Just those words...That is my prayer today...He knows what I mean!!! 

A few things before I go...I was sharing with a friend a few points about struggles with self-doubt, vulnerabilities...etc....She said the following and I really loved it...She said "So long as we are always "becoming"...I think the journey is worth it"!  She said "if you stop becoming...you just stop."

She ended the thought by saying..."Keep Becoming"

I finished that thought...my own version of that thought, with the following:

  • Keep Becoming Healthy
  • Keep Becoming Happy
  • Keep Becoming Faithful
  • Keep Becoming Truthful
  • Keep Becoming Loyal
  • Keep Becoming Strong
  • Keep Becoming Confident
  • Keep Becoming Loving
  • Keep Becoming Real
  • Keep Becoming Giving
  • Keep Becoming Better
  • Keep Becoming Skinny :)

My sweet friend Lindsey sent me the following link and I liked the info...thought I would share


I continue to be Blessed along this Journey...Blessed by God's Plan, Blessed by Other People's Wisdom and Knowledge, Blessed with Laughter, Blessed by prayers and Blessed that I God continues to provide for the me the strength to "Keep Becoming" 

Have a wonderful rest of the day! 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Fluffy Girl Hits the Town!

Holy Guacamole..It is late!  I am wiped out...so this will be a short read for all of you tonight! 

I went out with my co-workers tonight...Fluffy Girl hit the town!  One of my co-workers (Claire) is leaving so we all gathered to bid her adieu...With the exception of Claire and another of my co-workers...I am an "elder" in the group!  We Geezers held our own tonight though!  Of course, I behaved largely due to the fact that tomorrow is Weigh In #33.

We laughed a lot!!!  I decided that tonight I was going to take the phrase "laugh my butt off" literally!  You know...I posted early on in this process about how laughter can speed weight loss...if that is the case...I should meet my goal weight in the morning! 

This old girl is done though...AND, I still have to get up and work in the morning...I have a feeling I will be one of the few to actually show up in the morning...The Youngsters may have contracted a 24 hour "virus"!!

I love my Youngsters though!  They do keep me on my toes!!!! 

Ready for tomorrow and certainly ready for the weekend!!!  See you guys tomorrow!!! 

Moving my Feet, Sharing my Heart and Growing my Faith!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

CHARITIES Announced!

Hi there...Well...Here I am at the halfway point of another week in this Journey. 

My brain is busy with thoughts about the upcoming event in August...so everyday at lunch and every evening...my mind is filled with ideas, "to do" lists, concerns and of course...that crazy Doubt I spoke of yesterday. 

I like being creative and I am truly excited about this event.  It feels like what I am supposed to be doing...and I am clear that there are facets of planning this type of event that I know nothing about!  I will have to trust that I will be shown the right answers...given the tools I need and I will pray for the courage to move ahead!  Just like this weight loss Journey.

So...the decision is final on the 2 charities that will benefit from this event. 

Though I have mentioned the 2 charities at different moments in the past...Here is the official information about both of them.

As I have said, I wanted to donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity that Kerri Walsh Jennings supports and I wanted to donate in her honor as a way of acknowledging her support for me along this Journey.  She really represents for me the true role model!  She makes every effort to honor her sport, to honor her family, and she does so with great integrity.  She appears to fully accept the role with a full heart of gratitude.  I like that. 

So here is the link to The Good Tidings Foundation and here is a brief description of the organization.  This is an organization that serves the San Francisco Bay Area...Kerri's hometown.


The idea to start the Good Tidings Foundation emerged from a children's book Larry Harper, a Major League Baseball Scout at the time, wrote with Vin Scully in 1994 called It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to benefit youth charities including the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Make-A-Wish Foundation. It was the year of the baseball strike and he wanted to remind kids that baseball is all about fun. Always concerned with children's welfare especially in the most under served areas, Larry founded the Good Tidings Foundation in January of 1995. Larry and his wife, Ronette, began answering children's Dear Santa letters from the post office in their garage and many years later, the foundation has developed into projects, programs and scholarships that have impacted thousands of wonderful young people. "Some children are raised in West Oakland and others in the Oakland Hills, others in Hunter's Point and some on Nob Hill," says Founder Larry Harper. "It is our responsibility to try to level the playing field of opportunity for all children."

Good Tidings Foundation, founded in 1995, is a 501-(c)-3 children's charity that looks to equally support ARTS, EDUCATION, ATHLETICS and DREAMS for youth from communities of need in the Greater Bay Area. Good Tidings creates original projects and works in partnership with professional sports franchises, businesses and agencies throughout the Bay Area, leveraging resources in order to increase access to enriching opportunities by deserving youth. We design, fund and build projects that are maintained and programmed in perpetuity by school districts, recreation departments, or city governments. We believe that every child deserves to have the means to achieve his or her dreams regardless of financial status, ethnic background, religion, or region of living. It is the spirit of the holiday season that we were founded upon that we look to emulate all year long.

The 2nd organization is Cy-Hope.  This is an organization born out of the church I attend and it serves the community in which I live.  It too, is an organization that reaches out to under served kids within the Cypress Fairbanks Independent School District, the 3rd largest school district in the State of Texas. 

Here is a link:


Our mission at Cy-Hope is for every school in Cy-Fair ISD to earn Exemplary status by making life better for kids in our community.

Our vision at Cy-Hope is to rally our entire community: businesses, education, churches, civic organizations, hospitals, and individual volunteers to advance the goal of making life better for kids in Cy-Fair, serving the economically, spiritually and relationally disadvantaged children.

Our purpose at Cy-Hope is the main economic drivers that move people into our area are education and sports. Families live here for the children. The purpose of Cy-Hope is to rally the entire community around the goal of bringing hope and opportunity to every child in the Cy-Fair area. We will help each and every Cy-Fair school become an Exemplary School making a lasting and positive impact on the community of Cy-Fair.

The Current Reality Cy-Fair I.S.D. is the third largest in Texas, and the largest non-urban school district in the country, with 84 campuses (53 elementary, 17 middle, 11 high school, 4 special needs). Thirty-three new schools have been constructed since 2,000.

50% of the 108,000 students at Cy-Fair are labeled as at-risk, meaning a family of four makes less than $40,000/year. These children are most likely to drop out of school or not attend college. If current trends continue, by the year 2040 as many as 30% of the Texas work force will not have a high school diploma, and average income will be $6,000 less than it is today. Additionally, Cy-Fair is also known for being the home to the largest youth sports leagues in the country.

What Cy-Hope Does

Adopt-a-School ProgramsCy-Hope is committed to partnering with schools and offering ministry of sustenance, mentoring, tutoring, volunteers and empowering to long- term self-sufficiency. We've already adopted Francone and Andre Elementary and will continue to adopt more.

Backpack ProgramIn an effort to prevent childhood hunger and to provide each child the opportunity to succeed in school and life, the Backpack Program will provide food for needy school children each weekend. In each bag, children find food that will help sustain them through the weekends when school food is not accessible. We currently serve 16 schools with three pending, which includes over 700 children.Our goal is to have all 49 Title 1 schools participate in this program.

Dual Credits ProgramScholarships are given to qualified at-risk students.

Hope CentersCy-Hope has created "Hope Centers" in trailer parks and apartment complexes where kids can come for tutoring, life skills classes, Bible study, sports, games, and mentoring. These Hope Centers will provide a location to offer English and citizenship classes to adults. Our first two Hope Centers are located in the Longhorn Trailer Park and Windfern Trails Apartments.

Larry Dierker Baseball AcademyAt Dierkers Champs, not only will players receive positive baseball instruction, but they will also receive caring, positive role models.
  • Children will have the opportunity to have the best, most rewarding experience within Cy-Fair Sports Association.
  • Children will get top-level baseball instruction.
  • 20 teams played in Spring 2011 at all levels under Dierker Champs.
  • 150 kids and 100 adult volunteers participated in the first Dierker's Champs Baseball Clinic. It was a great day of fun and fundamentals with Coach Dierker leading our coaches and volunteers in gearing up for the spring baseball season.

Again the event will be help on Saturday, August 24th, 2013 (Event Hours TBD).

I hope you will prayerfully consider supporting us in our efforts to support these charities in an effort to give HOPE to and provide tools for a Healthier Happier Children. 

Thank you so much for your support. 

I will continue to work hard...Move my Feet, Share My Heart and Grow My Faith on this Journey to De-Fluff!


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Slaying Giants

Hi...Hello to all.  I hope this day finds you happy and healthy! 

So...I had a follow up visit with my nutritionist today!  She did a Metabolic Rate Test to determine my Resting Metabolic Rate.  The average Resting Metabolic Rate for someone my age, weight, etc...is 1436.  Mine is 1970...HEY...That is good people...My metabolic rate is GOOD!!!!  Who knew! 

So...she re-evaluated my caloric intake, how many calories I burn during exercise, etc...she added few more daily calories and she told me that she is happy with my current exercise program.  I just knew that I was not exercising properly or enough...and I am always worrying if I am eating too much...too little...too soon...too late!  In other words, I pretty consistently DOUBT myself! 

Which is a lovely segue into my "topic" for today...Self Doubt....I truly struggle with Self Doubt and if I am honest...I often doubt myself first...before I fully evaluate the situation! 

So here is another one of those God Moments that I so often speak of...
Just this past weekend, I had a  conversation with my Mom about my crazy doubt thing...At the time, I was discussing it in context to relationships...but it generally applies to everything I do...It is not something that I like to discuss openly..and I certainly find it difficult to admit. 
It is a nagging doubt..kinda of like having a rock in my shoe..only sometimes that irritating nuisance becomes a boulder...a GIANT!!!  

So you can imagine, given that I have admitted to a terminal case of Self-Doubt, that I struggle with this issue daily and have really had to push through that Doubt on this particular Journey. 

So today..actually first thing this morning, I get the below in an email from a friend.  She wrote a quick message...with the following as the last line in her words...followed by a forwarded message from a daily devotional by Mary Padgett Ministries:

 I just thought I’d share this one with you as I knew you’d appreciate it…in those moments of doubt when we feel like giving in to the grasshopper mentality.

From:  Mary Padgett Ministries, Inc.

A Word In Due Season



Scripture:  Numbers 13:33  "And there we saw the giants ... and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight."

God took His people out of Egypt with a mighty show of power and then provided for them miraculously while they wandered in the wilderness for forty years.  When they were near the Promised Land, Moses sent the leaders of the twelve tribes to search out Canaan.  When they returned, their report verified God's promise that the land was indeed prosperous.  Yet, their unbelief caused ten of the twelve to bring an evil report concerning God's ability to carry out His promise.  They began to compare themselves with their enemy and saw themselves as grasshoppers.  The giants in the land became bigger than God's promises in their hearts. 

After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, God's people were only one day away from their dreams being fulfilled.  They were close enough to go in and spy out the land.  And they were close enough to bring back some of the grapes, pomegranates, and figs without the fruit perishing.  Yet, their hearts were far away from receiving God's promise because they still could not believe for victory over the giants that were in the land.

This scene mirrors our own situation, for many times we come close to God's plan for our life but we allow the giants of doubt and insecurity to hold us back.  Instead of looking at God, we look at ourselves and as we do our own strength begins to shrink because of the challenge that is set before us.  If we allow it, this comparison will undermine God's plan for our individual lives.  It will destroy our faith by distorting our vision.  It will usher in a spirit of fear that will birth a negative report.  We will see ourselves as grasshoppers in the sight of our gigantic problems and reap failure because we discount God's ability to fulfill His promise.

What has God spoken to you that requires faith on your part?  To possess God's promise and complete His will, you must become aware of the strategies of the devil.  You must let God be God and you must stay off of His throne.  You must do your job and then allow God to do His.  Victory demands that you be obedient to God's voice and allow Him to work out all of the details.  When God speaks, trust Him to equip you to fulfill His will.  When you face the giants of adversity, do not give in to a spirit of fear and doubt.  Never think of yourself as being unworthy or allow yourself to focus on your inability.  Refuse to give in to the grasshopper mentality.  Instead, allow God to enhance and build your self-image.  See yourself as God sees you.  He sees you as a unique vessel that He has created and chosen for such a time as this.  So don't stay in the wilderness of defeat.  Instead, discover the will of God for your life and then possess His promise. +++

Just as a reminder....I JUST had a discussion with my Mom about this very issue...This very painful, defeating issue for me.  GOD MOMENT!  Just when I think that I have something that cannot be cured, cannot be healed...Just when I think that I am terminally unique or flawed...Just when I think that I have to figure it all out...Just when I think that I am in charge...I am reminded that this is God's World...God's Plan.  Sadly, it does take me long to forget and it feels like that I overlook reminders all the time....MORE self doubt! 

You see, I have really been working hard to embrace the risk, the vulnerability, the trust, the honesty, the willingness to "let em' see me sweat"! 

I want to overcome the Grasshopper Mentality...I want to slay my Giants with God as my rock. 

I do not think that my receiving the email above was a coincidence today...I do not think that it is a moment of serendipitous luck.  I do not think that it was a random act! I will go as far as to say that I think that there is a reason, a Divine reason, that it was sent to me and even by this particular person! 

I believe it is a moment of Faith! An Act of Faith by both the sender and the reader.  A moment of God's voice breaking through the noise in my head to remind me that I have to believe in Him.  He is the Architect! 

Here is a portion of my response to my friend who sent the email. 

I appreciate these words–I need these reminders, these words that remind me that I am protected in God’s Will.  I have all I need in my relationship with God…no need to doubt!  So…this is Me…practicing slaying my Giants of Doubt!  Ironically, I am horrified of grasshoppers…unreasonably so!!! 
I will keep practicing.  Thank God that I have people in my life on their own Journey...Who are also Willing...willing to take the risk, embrace the unknown, share their hearts and slaying their own giants....living by example!

See  you tomorrow!