Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Our event planning is hot and heavy...and making me nervous..BUT...I am enjoying it...not the asking for money part so much...but the creativity involved in planning AND I love the idea that this event is a product of this Journey..and that I have the potential to SHARE the great inspiration I have received!!
I am short on time..but I wanted to mention a couple of things...Yesterday..while I was waiting to have my blood drawn...I was seated in a very small waiting area with a group of people. Two 80+ year old women, 1 80 year old gentleman, a 64 year old lady and ME...the BABY!! At least that is what they called me!
I sat with these folks...not knowing any of them...but listening to an already in progress conversation...They were discussing their lives and loves...their illnesses...and there own miracles...One lady had been married for 65 years and had just lost her husband to Alzheimer's...she talked of the fun they had...even when he his health declined rapidly...she obviously loved him dearly. Another woman spoke of her older sister...recently diagnosed with colon cancer...she was heartbroken and teared up in front of this group of strangers. Another lady discussed the loss of a dear friend and her husband's battle with diabetes...she talked of how much she loved her friend and would miss her and she told her husband (sitting with us) that if her mind "went" first...to always laugh and never cry!! She said..."I will be in God's hands...no need to weep"...
I sat and listened...not saying anything ( if you can imagine that) and noticed something in particular..all talked about pain in conjunction with great joy...the Joy of knowing that all of their trials and tribulations were manageable because they had a greater love in their life! The Love of God. They talked about Hymns...( remember, I am severely southern and live in the Bible belt...so Hymns, church songs...and the like are staples of our culture)...They spoke of Amazing Grace and I'll Fly Away..and His Eye is On the Sparrow...They spoke of the fact that they were only just "passing through" here on Earth and that someday they would be HOME!!!
So I listened and smiled...at one point..the eldest of our little spontaneous group (83 years young) took my hand and just held it!!! Finally...of course, I told my story...and shared with them how I am on Journey to reach my earthly potential!! :)....Of course...being the Baby in the group...I got a lot of God Bless you and Sweethearts...I even got a "I am a proud of you"...But at the very end...after we all began to be called in to the lab for our tests...One of them...the eldest (who walked with a cane) made the trek back to the waiting room...just to tell me that she will include me in her nightly prayers...
She said...you will know the next right thing to do...If you trust Jesus.
Made me think of a line from one of my favorite songs...
When I reach the place I'm going...I will surely know my way!!!
So I am sending out a prayerful thank you to my new friends...May God grant you peace and good health and when the time comes...may you find your way Home!!
I received this from my very funny cousin Lori...Who may not realize it...but she ALWAYS makes me smile!!! Love you Lori..
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Today I had a Dr.'s appt. An appt. to discuss my most recent blood work, meds, etc...
So the last time (4 months ago) my Blood Glucose Average (A1C) was 6.3...a significant improvement and a milestone along this Journey to a healthier me...
Today...is was even lower at 6.1 and puts me within a normal range! She officially stopped my insulin (though I have not had any in months) and she reduced my oral medication by 50% (only 5 mg daily).
Also...My blood pressure was a bit low in the Dr. office today...so she officially reduced my BP meds by 50 percent. Can I get an AMEN!!!
This feels like a big step in a much healthier direction. All of those changes in 11 MONTHS!
I am feeling like I have taken another step in overcoming the part of me that thought it would be virtually impossible to reverse the direction I was heading!!
Like I said a couple of days ago...I still have health issues to take on and have been told there is no cure..BUT...God has no limitations...therefore, neither do I...I just have to truly believe that...to the very depth of my soul!
Kerri posted the following quote on Twitter recently...I really liked it!
"Father, help me to never be afraid to pray for the impossible"
Over the course of several years, I have found myself praying for better health...praying that I don't spend the rest of my life...however long that is...depending on medications, doctors, etc... even though those can be a source of miracles and have certainly saved my life... I have prayed for a life free of that kind of burden.
I have prayed often for what felt like the impossible. I believed it was impossible. My path had been determined and I was NOT ABLE to make the changes needed.
But here I am...Living in the impossible daily!!! I put limitations on God...by thinking I could NEVER...
Never say Never...
So today is celebration of the Impossible...with a whole world of possibilities yet to be seen!!!
Thank you ALL for your amazing support...for loving me through every step of the way...Thank you for those that have seen my worst and did not give up!!! You guys deserve Gold Medals of your own!!!
And of course...thanks to my Six Feet of Inspiration!! YOU ARE RAD!!!!
Monday, July 29, 2013
So I found this quote...
"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." ~Marcus Aurellius
I read it several times..sent it to a friend...and then read it one more time. Pretty straight forward..yet can be so complicated on a Monday. However...I must remember that if I choose to give Monday up as a lost cause of a day...I lose time precious time on this Journey...Do I really want to do that???
What if I lose my 120th pound on a Monday...it could happen!!! What if I miss a God moment...would I choose to do that by dismissing those 24 hours in a Monday!!!
What if I miss meeting a new friend or hugging a loved one...because I "sat out" on a Monday!!!
This train of thought has continued in my head all day...in between working, working on Play It Forward...Would I really "give up" Mondays...as a whole.
Here is what I arrived at...again...it is about how I choose to live...how I choose to see life...It is about my attitude...
I am working really hard to reverse the destructive path I was treading on...to add days, hours to my life...to improve the quality of my life and to leave something worth having behind when my time here is done! So why would I give up on any day...even a Monday...
As I have said in many posts throughout this blog...My biggest opponent on this Journey...my biggest detractor from reaching my goal...are my own self defeating thoughts...I have to consistently to rise above the parts of me that says this is impossible...or that I am somehow not "doing it right"...
Monday is one more day to overcome a challenge, to touch a life, to be touched by God, to reach a goal, to laugh, to feel, to love and another precious 24 hours to learn what I CAN do and to practice a new voice and a new thought!!!
So what has to change about Mondays...ME!!! That's all...LOL!!!
I CAN DO IT THOUGH...I will...with God's Help!!!
OK...Volleyball Registration is OPEN...Tickets for Play It Forward Rally to Serve are for SALE!!!
$5.00 for Admission/Lunch (includes a BBQ sandwich and chips)
$15.00 to play Volleyball (includes T-Shirt).
Saturday, August 24th, 2013 1:00 PM
See our Facebook Page at Play It Forward-Rally To Serve
YOU CAN DONATE HERE:
DONATIONS-PLAY IT FORWARD
We NEED your help to make this event a success!!! Thank you in advance!!!
HAPPY MONDAY!!!! REALLY!!!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Today was yet another day on this Journey that served as example of all the ways in which my life is growing and changing...
Years ago, when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease....my life had begun to radically change...I was frequently ill, exhausted...a mono kind of exhausted, and emotionally, one giant raw nerve.
I had few coping skills. My feelings were generally worn on my sleeves and I so wanted people to really "get it"...get what I was experiencing...and not just think I was bitchy, lazy or just whacky....I was 21 years old.
The next several years...I got sicker, more exhausted...emotionally drained...but my "coping" skills improved...I discovered my humor was a great distraction and food was a great comforter...So I joked, pretended and ate through the pain...both physical and emotional.
I slept little and neatly hid my feelings inside countless fast food hamburgers, pizzas, and cases of Coca Cola...THE JUICE OF LIFE!
I still yearned for those around me to "get" it...to ask the right questions and have the right answers....
Illness continued...surgeries, chronic headaches...etc...but I was STILL funny....when I was not withdrawn...and I still would eat...eat....eat! Those around me tried to get it...but mostly I just stopped hoping...If all else fails...lower your expectations....By now...I am 36...
Then last Summer..after a lengthy illness/hospital stay...The 2012 Summer Olympics aired.
I watched intently...I cheered and cried...touched deeply but still I ate. Suddenly I realized...the food was not killing the pain or changing my circumstances....I had plenty of people in my life who wanted to get it and did their best to love me through it. I was 45 yrs old.
Then in August...I had a stroke of inspiration that blossomed out of an amazing accomplishment and relationship.. Not my accomplishment or relationship...but one that touched and inspired me to move!
I began to realize that while I waited and cried for others to "get it"...It was me that did NOT get it! I did not have the right answers or know what questions to ask...I did not get that My questions and all the answers in fact, were being patiently held by God.
He chose to revive me...to inspire that hope inside me in a way that I could hear! Sports...and in the heart and grace of one particular athlete.
I ask in prayer the question.. What do I do? I got the answer...
I am getting the answer...everyday. Not always the answer I expect or even want...and at times, the answers I get are mind blowing,exhilarating, amazing...beyond my expectations!
I get it that I can be honest and still be loved...I can be afraid and not be weak, I can be funny...but not as a way to hide! I am strong enough to navigate through the pain without clogging my arteries!
I get it...a little deeper everyday...that I know the questions and God is my answer...
I am 46 years old...it is never too late!
Getting Stronger Everday!
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Good Sat. evening...It has been a good day! Full day of baseball games and family...2 of my favorite things...My twin cousins...Wesley and Wilson..."The Men"...played within an 1.5 hr drive for me...so I was there....
They won both games...Beast! I got to hang out with my sweet Aunt Bobbie..Uncle Jimmy...my cousin Julie (JU JU) and my Carter...(C.B.)
I love these people...great hearts, lots of love and we do some laughing...Big Love for that!
PLUS...MY EMILY IS HOME! I got to see her this AM! 3 weeks is too long to be away from her....
Today was another reminder of how much God has graced my life...and a reminder of how much different my life is...how much bigger and better...
On this day I worked out, spent a little time with Donna and Em, showered, made a good luck sign and took pics for Kerri's match today (sent to her), ate a healthy lunch, drove to Brenham, watched 2 baseball games, laughed with my family, had dinner with them, am at Starbucks now...blogging...next, groceries, and home....AND I FEEL GOOD...NANANANAAA!
Here r a few pics!
Friday, July 26, 2013
Busy weekend...some baseball in the scorching heat...working on the event...church...taking more steps along the path I have been shown!!!
This event continues to be my focus...most of my focus...so as it nears...I continue to battle some anxiety and stress about it's success.
I am lousy at trying new things sometimes...just really fight any confidence issues that I have...so I have to focus on the things I am good at within context to this undertaking...One thing I am pretty comfortable doing is TALKING...duh!! The other thing I am completely comfortable about is WHY I am doing this...and I am completely comfortable with the 2 organizations for which we are raising money.
So...I am hoping that I can share the inspiration that God has given me first through, Kerri and Misty...and further inspiration through the numerous experiences I have had over the last 11 months. I want to share that inspiration with people who need it most. I want these children who may be limited in their exposure to activities such...sports, arts, education, faith, etc....that may lead them to their passion...to be inspired!!!
These organizations...CY-Hope and Good Tidings are 2 organizations that provide these kinds of opportunities to a large number of kids in 2 states. I have researched, read, and believe that the work they are doing is heart driven!
I am proud of the team we have put together to start this event. This is the first of what I hope is an annual event...a celebration of what life can be, of taking care of our kids, of striving to live in a better world and leading by example.
I know that the event is still one month away..however, we really need your help. We need cash donations, sponsorship of the event and we still need silent auction items.
If any of you have any contacts in the food service/supplier industry we could sure use some assistance in the food/service products we will need for the event.
Also, you can now donate via this link. Any amount helps. Thank you so much for your support!
It is also not uncommon to try to grit our teeth, hunch our backs, and seek to make it through by shear determination. We tell ourselves we can overcome if we just try hard enough. Isn't that what being a good Christian means?
Yet here is the mighty apostle Paul admitting that his strength does not come from himself, or from his own willpower. He is not trying to do it on his own. Rather, he is looking to Jesus Christ for the power and deliverance he needs.
Though the above discusses very specific issues that often cloud our life and lead to personal struggles...food being one of mine...I am clear that as I take on these new challenges...good ones even...that I will need all the strength I can get...from all of the sources that God provides. Please know that I will need your help.
This event can be successful and I will do whatever I can to create that...With God's Help!!!
May God Bless this weekend...for those of you in the Houston area...HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!!!
Thursday, July 25, 2013
For those of you that read often...you know that I played sand volleyball for the 1st time in the last month or so...so last night was my 2nd time and again, I LOVED IT.
It is good solid workout and fun...I lose track of time and am always tired when we finish...but strangely energized...ready for the next time.
I have learned through this process that I have to keep my physical activity interesting...mix it up a bit and not let my body get bored so to speak...
As I said last night, I am a lot more confident that I can push my body harder after my time in Cali. I just have to make sure that I continue to work on my old friend BALANCE!!
It has been a while since Balance and I went head to head...It makes sense that we would be battling these days...as I am extremely busy. However, part of that challenge for me is sleeping.
I bet I see an article a day on social media, news channels,etc...about how sleep and weight loss have a direct connection...about how not getting enough rest can lead to more difficult weight loss.
Goodness I don't need any extra obstacles...However, I have not been sleeping much...working on 3 hours today! I have been struggling with sleep for the last several days...just so much on my mind and so much to do that the moment I settle in to unwind...my brain says..."OH Wait...YOU have way too much to do to sleep...Here I have a list"!!! Then it is off to the races...the brain spews item after item...until I am AWAKE!!!
Even last night... working all day...trying to squeeze event work in at lunch..going to the Dr AND after playing 2 hours of volleyball in the sand...sweating like a piggy....covered in sand..I get home, shower start to unwind and the BAM!!! HELLO BRAIN!!!
So after last night's workout...my body needs a break...so I am going to do my best to get some rest tonight. Pray for peaceful thoughts and again...ask God to guide me in the direction I need to be going...Seeking Balance...Seeking Peace...Seeking Calm....AND...Seeking Sleep!
Here are few "sandy" pictures...I am LOVING beach volleyball!! If I were only a bit taller...thinner, faster and younger...LOL!!!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
So one of the biggest challenges that I face each day...is overcoming my own brain...my own thoughts. I kinda feel like I am doing a "how to" on overcoming negative thinking...Certainly...I am not. I am just clear that is one of my biggest obstacles to overcome.
For me, losing weight and getting healthy continue to be a Journey through all facets of my life...my thoughts, my fears, my victories...big and small. My willingness..My faith...My self confidence or at times, lack thereof..My support system...my dietary habits...my physical activity levels...etc...
As I progress through this process...I can tell you that at times I have been amazed at how quickly my body has responded to the changes...and at times...shocked at the lack of response! Just another loop on the ole roller coaster!
But...since returning from California, I have made a concerted effort to increase the intensity of my workouts. If I learned anything on that Hill...and boy, did I, I learned that I can push myself harder than I do! I think before making the trek up the Dune...I thought that if I pushed to hard...I might drop dead or something.
You see...after being ill for a long time...being in pain...the mind becomes burdened, at least that is what happened for me. I became convinced that I would spend the rest of my life battling illness. I believed that!!! Fully!! The messages in my head were that I was incapable of reversing the path that I was on...I was too sick...I was not physically ABLE to workout, walk...nada!
My body fully believed what my mind had to say!!! So...to some extent...I gave in to the sick thinking...I do want to say one thing...for everyone out there who may struggle with chronic pain, autoimmune diseases, migraines...or any other debilitating illness...I am in no way saying this is just something that exists within my head...this illness...I AM saying that I believe that what I am currently experiencing is possible for anyone. It is HOPEFUL...It is a miracle and it is for me, proof that God is working in my life...that I found inspiration that truly gave me that hope and opened my mind and my heart to the possibility that I did not have to spend the rest of my life as the sick, tired, fat, funny girl...That is my reality and I know, that every one's experience is going to be different.
Please hear me say...I did not magically become cured...I still have an autoimmune disease...I still have chronic migraine syndrome and because of those 2 things...I have pain everyday...But the hopeful part is...I am truly overcoming...I CAN workout, I CAN walk and run and climb and swim...No...it is not always comfortable and I am not breaking world records or winning races...but in the immortal words of Charles Sheen...I am WINNING....:)
What has changed...my thinking...my heart...my willingness to endure and rise above...a changing body...different mind...a growing heart. I am fighting the sick, tired and the fat and I plan on being victorious...I plan on fighting with all my might, the voice that says I Can't....I will fight the part of me that took on the idea that I was somehow less than.
TRUTH: Much of what I write here is practice...practice for the changes I am making on all levels...I write what I believe to be true...I write what I want to believe to be true and I write what I need to learn is NOT true...This blog is my reflection...from all sides...the good, the scared...the brave...the wishful...the dreamer...the realist...the cynic...the joyful...the angry...the wounded and the healed!!!
I know I am always saying this...my life is changed...overhauled...I do have a long way to go...and I know that I will continue to face the challenges that change always presents for me...but, I AM IN!!!
I will even try to better tolerate the "new" crying me...the me that seems to have traded "some" of my self-deprecating humor for tear soaked gratitude...the me that emotes profusely...unsolicited and somewhat uncensored!!! AND I will embrace the me that has spiritual epiphanies on top of a sand dune after struggling to make it just once to the top...Who cries when I look at pictures of myself and Kerri Walsh on top of that hill...EVERY DANG TIME!!!
A warning to my family though...I may no longer be the designated "reader" of any sad, sentimental, touching or otherwise emotional literature shared at birthdays...weddings...baby showers...funerals...or the like. I seem to have lost my "edge"...or my ability to use humor in sometimes...questionable ways to get through those moments that all of you always cried through...I am afraid...I am no longer a bad ass!!! I recently cried through a dog food commercial...just sayin'
So one last thing...Kerri posted this on her Facebook page...it is what started my thought process today...more Six Feet of Sunshine inspiration!!! MAWA!!!
I believe this to be true so be nice to yourself! Empower yourself to be a great as you dream to be. Fit, healthy, happy, successful, at peace ... Put it all out there, then BELIEVE & get to WORK, DAILY!
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
So...here is the deal...Bill has some serious bike hardware! I, do not even own a Huffy!!! ALSO...my people are TALL...I am NOT!!! So...Donna says to me the other day...we should start going for bike rides...you can ride Emily's bike...REALLY...Emily is 12...So here is the picture I had in my head
Monday, July 22, 2013
I was up bright and early (have an early meeting on Mondays)..another reason to LOVE Mondays! I get up...get dressed and am out the door by 7:00 AM..ish! I am carrying all my stuff...brief case, lunch, gym bag...etc...I open the car door and this HORRIBLE odor blasts me in the face!!! I mean like death bad!!! I drop all of my stuff and am thinking that I must have hit an animal or something and it MUST be stuck somewhere underneath the car...or something! HOWEVER...I cannot be late so I get in the car...drag all of my stuff into the car...and am seriously one breath away from puking..when it occurs to me that I had gone grocery shopping a couple of days before...Surely, I did not leave groceries in the CAR for 2 days in the lovely Houston heat???? OH YEA!!! An entire package of chicken...DEAD, ROTTING BIRD!!! Back seat...Floor board!!! Holey Moley!!! Seriously...it was one of the single most disgusting smells I have heard had to lay these nostrils on...AND I knew I was going to have to drive to work with that smell permeating the entire car...
Gratefully and rather strangely, I found a tiny bottle of Lysol spray in my brief case...I have no idea why...but it came in quite handy!!!
Anyway...WELCOME TO MONDAY!!! Dead Bird Monday!!!
So that is how I started my day. Good news...With the Lysol and some fresh air...the smell began to disappear after about 30 minutes...bad news...I was miserably nauseated for that 30 minutes...Good news...it only lasted 30 minutes and there is only one Monday in a week!!
So as I recently wrote, I am not exactly a glass half full kinda girl...But I like the idea that God fills my glass everyday...Even on Dead Bird Monday! I like the idea that I (with practice) can in fact, change how I see my glass everyday. I just have to keep telling my truth...believing that I am on God's path to a greater good and trust that God's Voice is wiser, stronger and truer than the voice that tells me I can't, I am not strong enough or courageous enough to overcome any obstacle.
I recently had a friend who shared with me some very kind, caring and loving words about who I am to her and what this Journey has meant for her...my Journey and how it influences her life. I sat and listened carefully...I wanted her to know how much I appreciated her being willing to share something so kind and loving with me. However, she looked at me and said (I am paraphrasing)...I don't think you really know what I am saying...I don't think you really get what I mean. I guess she was correct on some level...I do have a very difficult time truly believing that I warrant such words...that I can make such an impression...I do have a difficult time believing it! Not sure why really...But here is what I do know...I want to be confident and believe that all of the work God is doing in my life...has a purpose and that I have the ability to be an example of God's Grace...I want to be strong in the knowledge that my Glass is always Full of God's Grace and ready to share!!!
I am going to keep on keepin' on...:) I am going to keep telling the truth and hoping for the best!
I read this quote today "tweeted" by a young minister that I have spoken of before...Ben Stuart. I like it!
Honesty is the 1st step to healing: "you cannot heal what you do not 1st acknowledge" - Rohr
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Happy Sunday!! I hope today has been filled with the love of family, friends and that your hearts are filled with God's blessings!
Went to church...lunch...home to take care of a few event items...and off for my time to reflect, pray and open my heart to the ways in which God chooses to lead my life.
I have neglected to do this for a couple of weeks...though my time in Manhattan Beach with Kerri...her family and mine certainly offered me a wonderful opportunity to connect with God.
Today...I am making a specific effort to take this time...sitting still in the idea that God has a step by step plan for this week ahead...a specific set of instructions that I can follow.
I need this kind of guidance...I need to know that someone stronger, wiser and much more patient is in control!
You see..I continue to struggle while I continue to truly recognize all the amazing blessings around me...that is a very confusing place to be...just so you know.
So the only thing I know to do is practice my faith...practice, practice, practice. Fight and Fight and Fight.
I was talking to my Mom about our Cali trip and again, trying my best to give a verbal description that matched my experience and AGAIN...failing in my efforts. But
we did talk about the fact that we are not exactly a glass half full kind of people...we are more of a "waiting for the other shoe to drop" lot!
I find myself somewhat mired down in that mindset at times...I get lost in the what if's...the possibilities that I am not capable or for that matter, worthy of the half full glass.
So I am fighting against that part of my history...fighting to hear and to know that God fills my glass everyday...and I am not measured by others definitions of success, or beauty, or love...but instead offer my own unique perspectives of these ideals.
That is way easier said than done...
The sermon in church this morning was a discussion of some of Christ's miracles....particularly, the story of a man who has been ill for 38 years. Jesus approaches him at the pools in Bethesda and asks him..."Do you want to be made well". After 38 years of illness, the man is asked a simple question. He replies with a complicated answer...Not just yes...but instead lodges a complaint about his circumstances. Despite his ambiguous answer, Jesus heals him anyway.
For the past 26 years, I have battled illness...at times debilitating. For the past 11 months, my life has begun to change...a healing.
I don't remember being asked the question.. "Do you want to be made well?" I probably talked over it!!!
But...the healing has begun!
Today...my answer is a resounding YES!
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Today has been busy...busy trying to make this event successful, busy praying that I can accomplish this BIG goal, busy staying busy...so that I don't eat too much or think too much.
Truth: Still seated on my old pal the emotional roller coaster. Truth: Hanging on for dear life at times. Truth: It makes me tired! Good News: I am alright. I am not comfortable but I am alright.
I think that I thought after 11 months on this Journey...my body and my brain would be adjusted to the dietary changes I have made..but that really is not completely true for me. I still struggle with food temptations...especially when I struggle with worry and stress.
I don't like to fail. I don't like to look like I don't know what I am doing and I do not like to think about what happens if I do fail and I don't actually know what I am doing!!! HA!
I find myself really worrying about how this event is going to happen...there are a lot of moving parts, lots of me relying on others, lots of planning and lots and lots of dependence on other people's generosity and kindness.
I am in need of those daily reminders that God is walking beside me and knows what lies ahead of me.
I have to again, be reminded to trust, be reminded of all the amazing kindness and generosity I have already seen and have received. I have to be reminded that what lies ahead is in fact, God's plan. I have to keep my heart and my mind open. I have to be reminded that everything is already alright!
I have to believe that though things might not look exactly like I had in my mind's eye...that they are already perfect in God's eyes.
"Fear not I am with you, Be Not Dismayed, I am your God" Isaiah 41:10
This is one of my favorite Bible verses and one that I say to myself often!
The below is a paragraph from the note that Kerri Walsh wrote to me...I decided to post this portion again for myself...as a reminder that when I read this the first time...these words made perfect sense to me...there is great trust in these words...these words exemplify Faith for me...This Journey and how it unfolds is NOT etched in stone and I have learned so much from the fluidity of this process. Even in the pain and insecurity triggered along the way. Trust is difficult for me...true sincere trust. I believe that learning to Trust with my whole heart is a gift to be taken from this Journey. I am not there yet. Fear and insecurity can drown out my ability to trust and I am left trying desperately trying to "figure it all out"... Jaime code for panic and overwhelm...code for FEAR!!
So here are Kerri's words...a gentle reminder that Trust and Faith...mixed with some good ole hard work and tenacity...pave the way to a Blessed Life...A life that is a blessing to others and a reflection of my Faith in God.
Dreams, goals and timelines are our guidebooks and so necessary to life. They are not etched in stone but are fluid because they need to be. As long as we know where we want to go -- as long as we are willing to fight and fight and fight -- as long as we keep our faith -- we will arrive. We will achieve. And we most certainly will have lived a blessed life.
Friday, July 19, 2013
I was thinking about that last night...IT HAS ALREADY BEEN 11 MONTHS! Unbelievable really!
I can actually still remember how I felt the very first morning I put on my new Nike trainers and headed to the park at 6:00 AM to meet Donna and walk my 1st mile of this Journey!
I remember telling my Mom and my closest friends about this crazy idea I had..and trying to explain how my middle aged, sick, tired self had been suddenly and profoundly inspired by the Olympics and specifically by, two tall, young, amazing, beach volleyball players! Kinda Hilarious!!!
I remember what I looked like after my 1st 3 mile walk...GIANT TOMATO!!!
So many milestones...my 1st 5K and my awesome co-workers and friends that joined me...AND I did not finish last!!!
Each step of this Journey has taught me something...something about me, something about others, it has taught me what a crutch food is for me..It has taught that without that crutch...I may fall on my butt...but I can get back up and move forward.
One of the things that I said along this Journey is "There should be a warning label attached to the weight loss process"
Still very true for me...I think. Though if I am being perfectly honest, if I had known ALL of the experiences I was going to have...I may have been less likely to propel myself off the couch and out of the doldrums. I would hope I would have still taken this path...regardless though...it is the best thing I have ever done! Warts and ALL!!
As the Journey has unfolded, my experiences have become more and more...overwhelmingly amazing...my health has improved...my life is changing...I have grown up (yes, even though I am 46)...I have had to "stretch" outside of my comfort zone almost daily, I have laughed and cried...a lot, I have overcome some physical challenges and I have failed at some too!
I have lost and gained and lost and gained...in many ways.
I have deepened my relationship with God and I have seen Him work in my life in ways that I did not know were possible and through so many different avenues. I have literally been taken by the hand and led down this path and it has touched my heart deeply.
So for those of you that regularly read...you probably know that I have recently struggled with some of the more emotional pieces of this Journey. Again...I must stress that for me, losing weight has forced me to see parts of my life that were previously placated by food...that may sound weird...but for me, it is the most true statement I can make about this Journey.
Not having my crutch has given me the opportunity to see life in a different light...or some cases..not much light at all.
After my recent trip to California...I have had some pretty big feelings and I have spent quite a bit of time and energy trying to find words that would most accurately depict what that experience was like for me...and in some ways... I have been completely unsuccessful.
I had the opportunity to sit down with someone yesterday...someone that has been a part of my life for a long time and someone that I have shared lots of words, thoughts and feelings with..someone who has listened to me utilize just about every word in the dictionary to describe my thoughts and feelings...and trust me...I can use some WORDAGE!!!
As I was talking with her...trying to really capture my experience in words...I realized that I just don't really have the words...You see...as strange as this may sound (or not)...what happened on my trip to California..the symbolism of climbing that Sand Dune and how that happened...well it appears that it is between God and I! I SO want to have the words to share it...but they just seem so inadequate! I keep trying though!
I believe that God works through our lives to impact others lives...I believe that we all are capable of being that Conduit for God's Grace that I have spoken of throughout this last couple of weeks. I believe while I was on that Hill...God chose to provide me with an opportunity to see His Grace through the actions of another person. It was so inspiring and moving that I am forever changed.
Someone asked me what I mean when I say my life has changed. My answer: I don't know yet...but I just know it has been changed. From the inside-out!
I do know one thing...I have suddenly begun to lose weight again...hmmmmm!!!!
So...going with the whole "From the INside-OUT idea...I want to share what is happening to me on the inside...with those on the Outside...
Which brings me to another plug for our Play It Forward-Rally to Serve Event!!!! YES>>>>
TICKETS ARE ON SALE>>>> $5.00 per person....AND VOLLEYBALL REGISTRATION IS OPEN>>>>>>>$15.00 per person!!!
EMAIL US AT: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have some great auction items...Autographed volleyballs by Kerri Walsh Jennings...TEXANS Tickets (4) + parking pass, We have amazing ladies sports gear and sunglasses from OAKLEY, Coach Items and much, much more!!!
I look forward to seeing all of you!!!
Thursday, July 18, 2013
As I said last night, I feel responsible and compelled to give back to my community, the greater community around me and in honor of all of those that have supported and inspired me along this Journey.
I picked 2 charities that have meaning for me and I hope you have the time to take a few minutes and read about those charities online. Below, you will find links to both!
So I am going to try and give those of you that are new to this Journey a brief recap...For those of you that know me...You know that the word "brief" is not really in my vocabulary...but I will give it a shot.
- On August 17th, 2012 I started a Journey to lose 120lbs (in a year)...it will be more like 2 years
- I was inspired by the Olympic Champion Beach Volleyball team of Kerri Walsh Jennings and Misty May Treanor
- I decided that as a form of accountability, I would start this blog and post DAILY about my Journey
- I began eating healthier, working out and slowly began to lose weight
- I decided that another goal would be to, at the end of Year 1, play volleyball again...
- I post my weight and weigh ins...more accountability
- It did not take long to figure out that this Journey would be about so MUCH MORE than losing weight
- As a part of my program...I decided to challenge myself with mini-goals...mostly physical challenges
- I have completed 2 5Ks, Climbed Enchanted Rock in the Texas Hill Country, and taken an 8+ mile hike among other things along the way!
- Thanks to the existence of Twitter, The Grace of God, and the big heart of Kerri Walsh...(with a little of my own persistence) I have had the opportunity to meet Kerri, climb a 100 ft sand dune with her in Manhattan Beach, CA and experience what for me...turns out...was a life changing moment.
- I have received so many amazing words of kindness, comfort, love, support..that each day I am confident that this Journey is Divinely guided.
- Thanks to the sharp mind of one of my young co-workers...I decided to make my Anniversary Volleyball game a charity event.
- I chose the two charities mentioned above for reasons close to my heart. Cy Hope is an organization that started in the church my Mom and I attend and it benefits kids within the community I live in...providing resources to kids who may not have access to healthy activities including Art, music, education and of course, sports!!!
- Good Tidings Foundation is another charity I chose with a very similar mission as Cy-Hope only serving communities in the Greater San Francisco area...Kerri's hometown. This is a charity she supports...so I wanted to donate a portion of our proceeds in honor of her!
- I have shared my guts in this blog...the good, the bad and the not so pretty.
- I have learned that losing weight is not just about eating less and losing pounds...
- I have learned that food is an addiction for me...a comforter and a way to ease pain (both physical and emotional)
- I am learning that with each experience I have...good or bad, that blessings abound on the other side!!!
- I am learning that God is not quite done with me yet...
- I am learning to have patience and tolerance for myself as I navigate through what feels like a HUGE life lesson...physically, emotionally and spiritually
- I am learning that crying at inopportune moments, though awkward...is better than eating a cupcake in lieu of the tears! LOL
- I am learning that despite the sometimes menacing voice in my head that says I am not going to be successful...that each day that I complete along this Journey IS a success.
- I KNOW that I am Blessed
- I KNOW that I am surrounded by a group of amazing people who are loving me through this Journey.
- I have faith that if I stay in God's light and on His chosen path...I am good...
So when I started this Journey I said it was MAWA Inspired (MAWA..being the moniker for Misty May and Kerri Walsh)...It still is...However, I must admit that there are so many other things that inspire me on a daily basis...I have lots of kind hearts and wise souls in my life.
Many have been in my life a long time...and a few are gifts of the past year...ALL are blessings!
I know some people are not all that comfortable with I love you's...I suppose it can be a risky phrase to say...
But...I do love each and every one of you for the gifts you represent along this Journey!
There I said it!!!
On August 24th, 2013..our inaugural volleyball charity event will take place..I so hope you can be there!!!
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
I received a box today from Oakley (One of Kerri's sponsors)...She had requested that they send some cool Oakley stuff for our Silent Auction and boy did they...Awesome sunglasses (4 styles), women's sportswear...really great Oakley items...So thanks to Oakley and Kerri for the love!
Planning a charity event is very challenging...I am learning a lot as I go...My biggest wish for this 1st year is that we raise awareness for our two charities and actually are able to make a decent to donation to both. My biggest fear is that we will not!! Such a worrier!!!
So as some of you know...I have been facing my growing pains throughout this process pretty head on and have chosen to share many pieces of that with you all...Again...I believe that being honest here will help me move in a direction that is healing...and I am an experiential learner...in every aspect. So I need to see, touch, feel... and as I said a couple of days ago...
God provided an opportunity for me to feel the future...to feel strong, in the middle of weakness, to feel loved at a time of vulnerability, to feel empowered when I felt powerless. He has provided a great light that has seen me through...
I think that I am truly learning how to maneuver the changes happening on all levels...and trust me...losing weight is not a stand alone process...it is not just about eating differently, working out, stepping on a scale and watching the number reduce...At least not for me..It is a full mind, body, spirit experience for me...and I choose to believe that all of the different experiences I am having are supporting that kind of change and healing! Having said that, I certainly struggle with the extremes...from being on Cloud 9 to my more recent blubbering bouts...It is confusing to me and clearly to others...
However..God continues to gift wrap little moments of clarity that all add up and provide me with the "experience" I need to tackle this challenge.
So..as I have said...I am kind of on a big giant swing...UP and Down and UP and Down
But today...I get an email...from a friend...one of those perfectly timed emails...She was writing me about my recent Dune climb and about meeting Kerri...
She wrote a few brilliant sentences for me...I thought I would share them here.
I absolutely love the sentence...Literally having God take your hand through one of His own to encourage you to push through the pain and finish...
That is THE perfect summation of the importance of that moment for me...climbing up that hill..truly thinking that there was not a single chance that I could finish...and having someone take my hand and by doing so...giving me the strength I needed...through the Grace of God, to FINISH!!! That, my friends, is why I still cry when I think about it! I BELIEVE that God works through others...He works through ALL us...WE can provide strength for others...WE can provide inspiration...WE can share our experience, strength and hope!!! And Yes...I am feeling pretty damn special that He chose Kerri to be His Hands for me!!!
Thank you Mary for GETTING IT!!!! Makes me SMILE BIG!!!
My friend shared with me one more cool thing...a blog post about Extremes...from a blog called The Minimalist...
Here it is...
Monday, July 15, 2013
All I can hear in my head is the lyrics to that Soul II Soul song:
Back to Life Back to Reality
Back to the Here and Now
Back to Life
Back to the present time
Back from the Fantasy, yeah!!!
Ah yes...nothing like a good dose of reality...makes me feel all warm and fuzzy!!!! Back to Life...The Remix!
So...I worked, my car died 4x times on the way to work today and it appears that despite my efforts...I may still be fluffy!!! Just keepin it real!!!
However, I have an event to organize...so onward and upward! Had some really great Coach sunglasses donated today...We have signed volleyballs, we have gift cards, we have University of Texas dog gear...However, we still need tons more silent auction items...So if you know anyone in the Houston area who may be willing to sponsor our event, donate an item for the silent auction, have a service that could be donated...anything...we really need your support.
Also, we now officially have tickets to sell. Please let me know if you would like tickets. I will be sending out a flyer with all the details tomorrow. We need players for our tournament as well..Remember this is for fun...a celebration...so you do NOT need to a be world class volleyball player to sign up!!! Also, you do not need to have a team...we can put you on a team!!!
The Play It Forward Rally to Serve Event is August 24th, 2013 at 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Cost for entrance and a barbecue sandwich/chips is just $5.00!!!
Cost to play Volleyball is only $15.00 per person!!!
Remember ALL proceeds to go the Good Tidings Foundation and Cy-Hope!!! Help educate and motivate children to become the best people they can be!!!!
IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, SUGGESTIONS OR DONATIONS...PLEASE CONTACT US AT
Before I go....A Happy Birthday to Linda McEachern...You always make me smile!!! I hope the 21st anniversary of your 49th birthday was wonderful...you deserve it!!!
It was great to see all of the McEachern's, Westphal's and Westmorelands tonight!!!! Love you guys!!!!
Sunday, July 14, 2013
It has been amazing...really! Even with the difficult past few days. I look at this way. God provided an opportunity for me to feel the future...to feel strong, in the middle of weakness, to feel loved at a time of vulnerability, to feel empowered when I felt powerless. He has provided great light that has seen me through a bit of darkness. He provided just what I need to see myself through a tough physical challenge, a powerful emotional moment and even a time of grief...all in 7 days.
The Life of a Fluffy Girl...a fluffy, middle-aged, funny (if I do say so myself), hard headed, competitive, loving, honest, confused, emotional, willing, inspired, faith seeking, faith finding girl..that has decided at this time in my life...to grab on to what the future might hold instead of clinging to the past..Letting go is hard...I really don't know why...but it is...
A fluffy girl who at 46, is re-learning some behaviors, trying to overcome a big obstacle and learning to accept the kindness, goodness and the love of those around me...drowning out my own self defeating, critical voice that says I just don't have what it takes!
A fluffy girl who truly believes,but has a hard time accepting, that God has BIG plans for me! Who believes it is not too late and that the events of last week proved I have an amazing future ahead!
I have received so many amazing words of support and some many lovely thoughts about reaching the top of the DUNE!!! I love that fact that my friends and family appreciate and acknowledge the kindness shown to me my Kerri Walsh Jennings and her family. I hope you will follow her career...support her, keep her and her precious family in your daily prayers and let her know that she has tons of love from all of us!
I decided to share just a few of the wonderful comments I received last week..about my trip to Cali, about my crazy journey and about my friend, Kerri!
Kerri Walsh, I loved watching you in the Olympics but loved more seeing you support Jaime. How heartwarming it is to see others caring enough to take the time to just be encouraging. ♡♡♡-Sharlene
(written about Kerri's note to me) Beautifully written and so very true. I am truly amazed and proud of you and your undying commitment to this journey. I can't wait to see what God has in store for you.~ Donna
SO cool, Jaime! You and Kerri are ROCK STARS!~ Blake-Leigh
Your journey has just begun! What an awesome person... Kerri rocks... My friends thought this awesome! Proud of you and I was a fan of kerri's before ... Now I really am!
Love ya girl! Thanks for sharing the pics... They were awesome. ~Kathy
Did you ever dream in the beginning where this would be? How great was that experience. She is a special lady. Just like you. -Barbara
This one made me laugh...I am sure Kerri will think it funny too!!!
Super happy for my friend Jaime Patteson as she not only continues to publish her progress towards improved health and encouragement to others, but Kerri Walsh (mega volleyball champion) got to meet Jaime in California! ;)
Check out Jaime's blog and the charity volleyball game she is setting up in Houston in August. Jamie, love you and your great energy!! Keep on truck'n! ~Howard
Thanks so much for sharing all of these pictures and your comments on your blog. It is so uplifting to see such good and positive things in the world. It is just a reminder that they happen every day. And people, overall, are good. ~Kathy M.
I just love her (Kerri)! This is so cool!~ Meredith
Happy you finally met her and she you! That Dune looked painful :-/ ~Lori
What a great story and how inspirational that someone so known and busy would take the time!! ~Renee
No way!! You have manifested your dreams girl!! ~ Michelle
This is my precious friend Brigette and her daughter Jillian...
How awesome is that Jaime Patteson! Loved seeing your pics with Kerri...Brady thought it was so cool that you met someone we watched in the Olympics! Her inspiring words were so great to read:) ~Ali
Awesome and every word she says about you is so true! So glad you got to meet one of your heroes on your journey! ~ Peggy
Incredible and well deserved. This goes to show that everyday people are super heroes...well done. ~MISTY
Jaime you are an awesome woman with an infectious smile! You absolutely can do this as you rely on God's power and grace! To Him be the glory. ~tini
I received this message from a dear friend..It really is so special to me. This was written about Kerri and her words.
Every time I think about the time she took I just say...She really is an angel! I just can't believe it..And it has been such an inspiration and a blessing that I believe that this is just the beginning for miracles to come for you! Your progress, I believe, will skyrocket! This is just what the Dr. ordered. I just stutter and stammer when I talk about what she did and that she, someone famous got to meet an unbelievable person and friend. You inspired her without a doubt!! This is all truly a gift!!!! I am so glad she put into words how cool you are...and I just smile, thinking you are healthy now and going to do great things. I used to worry about you...But since this challenge, I know you are going to be okay! I am so grateful!
I got lots of "awesomes" and "wows" and not one person failed to say how impressed and touched they were by Kerri!
So...those are only a small sampling of all the love!!! But, please know that every word...from everyone who took the time to let me know they were cheering me on, to congratulate me...to remind me that I am on God's path and to praise the actions of the unbelievable Kerri Walsh...THANK YOU>>>from the very bottom of my fluffy heart! You inspire me, encourage me, and keep me on my feet!
And again to Kerri...there really are no words...though I am doing my dangdest to use as many as I can think of...LOL!!! You rock! Completely...Though 12 years my junior...I don't think I have met a wiser person! I am pretty sure that I am overstating the obvious...but I am forever grateful to you! You have no idea! You will continue to inspire me...that is one thing I am sure of...and as I have said to you (hopefully not too much)...you are in my heart! I look forward to seeing you again...maybe even playing a little volleyball ( you have to be on my team tho!)...:)
SO...Here we are...rapidly approaching the end of Year 1...I have a lot of work to do...60 more pounds to lose, a charity event to host, new mini-goals to achieve, more love to share, and I am betting a few more roller coaster rides to take! I don't know how the rest of this Journey will play out...but I am reaching for a bright future. I am reaching for some big dreams...some known...some unknown...this thought popped in to my head...it may be a tad corny...but I like it!
Here I am in the Light of God...Waiting to Shine!!!