Wednesday, April 30, 2014

This Girl is on Fire!

So I was riding in the car with my 13 year old niece Emily last night (after volleyball practice)...and she says to me...(in her own words)...When I play volleyball mad..I can hit harder...but I don't seem to play better and I usually just want to quit.

Honestly...she was spending a few minutes "venting" about some issues she has with our team...I was driving home...beyond exhausted on every level, listening the best I could and giving my best "I see" and "Uh huh" and "that makes sense" kind of answers....Not really dialed into the degree of intensity she was sharing.

My own brain was filled with a million thoughts...prognostications...stresses...worries.  I knew as she talked that she was venting AND letting me (the coach) know that in her opinion, there were some issues that need to be addressed!

She let me know (in her own way) that it made her angry when people made judgments about her or underestimated her and others on the team.  It made her mad...and as much as she would like for that anger to be sucked the life out of her.

So I brief...exhausted responses...and thinking very little about the content of what she was saying...

Fast forward to this morning...when all of my wisdom and "agedness"...realized that I too...can hit harder when I am angry...but don't seem to "play" better and almost always want to quit...for the very same reasons! 

I have been given an opportunity...or at least I am trying to frame it that face other's judgments and underestimation of who I am and what I can be and honestly...I am mad! 

And because of that anger...I am taking my best swings...but not having much success...Of course, I am not talking about volleyball! 

I once had a coach who told me that if I took the anger I had and turned it into motivation..turned it into "fire"...that I could use it to my advantage...I could use it to be successful. 

That has not been my approach...and honestly...I am tired and have certainly been challenged by thoughts of quitting... in several areas of my life. 

But TODAY...something shifted for me.  I am feeling the fire...I am almost feeling cocky!!  Today I have the opportunity to take other's underestimation of what I can do...of who I am and I can build on that...I feel MOTIVATED!!! 

Truthfully...I am not a big..."Let anger be your motivator" kind of girl.  I would much rather be motivated from a place of positive inspiration...

BUT...if anger is there and I am living with it...If I have a choice between letting it deplete me or motivate me...Why Not use it my advantage!  Why not re-frame from weak to powerful...from ugly to drop dead fabulous!!! I faced underestimation I felt a surge of anger...I suddenly realized that I do have a bit of "fire" in me...and I had the thought very similar to this:

Here is the deal...I don't promote being angry!
I don't think it wise for me to live from a place of anger.

However,  I don't think it wise that I, when faced with a challenge to firmly stand by who I am and what I am capable of...even when it is interrupted by anger...not "use" that as a spark to that fire that keeps me going.

So my in fact, to rise above the anger...use it only as a way to elevate my Journey.

It is all about the Journey...and ultimately...all about how I choose to live in tandem with God's Grand Plan! 

So for today...This Girl is on Fire! (yes...and intended musical reference)

I am not life's runner up...I am not just another option!  God assures me of that!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Life's a Dance

I love this this place I can share the joys, the jolts, the ups and the downs of this amazingly wonderful Journey...

In this place...I get to share my heart...crack some incredibly bad jokes...cry my tears and practice authenticity!

I love this place because it is where this Journey is where this Journey lives and it is where this Journey thrives...

I love this place because this is often where I find God's Grace...buried underneath my fear, worry and fluff.

I love this place because this place is where I find accountability....where I embrace the beauty of God's Grace!

In this place...I have found the courage to tell the share this revealing Journey through real life weight loss and ALL that accompanies it (for me)...

But mostly I love this place because of the amazing lessons I learn from you...all of you. Those of you that comment... up when I least expect it and show up ready and charged to take on this daily battle WITH me! This place has opened my heart and mind to others...and others have opened their hearts to me...

I met my inspiration more ways than I can begin to explain.

Because of this life is changed.
After posting yesterday that this PARROT (me) no OPTIMIST... my life long friend Amy sent me the below picture....with these words...

Life's a Dance.

Yes it is Amy...yes it is....Cha Cha Cha

Thursday, April 24, 2014

When Doves Cry!

I love people...I love talking to people...I love relationships...and how "we" all function in those relationships...on every level.

So this last week I took a personality assessment test as a part of a work required communication style training session.  I answered 20 or 30 questions, sent those questions to be analyzed and then received a full print out explanation of my communication style as I see myself, as others see me and in stress situations.  As a way of identifying the personality type...We were given a style name and a type of bird to identify our personality characteristics...The bird options were:  An Eagle, An Owl, A Dove and A Parrot. 

Some of you may be familiar with this particular tool...The DISC is a personality testing system that is designed to help you communicate more effectively in all aspects of your life but is often used in corporate settings.

Here are the brief descriptors:

D: Dominant, Drive
I:  Influencing, Inspiring
S: Steady, Stable
C: Correct, Compliant

So just know...we ALL have each of these characteristics...just in varying degrees...and our Bird assignment is based on our primary personality type...while our Style type is based on the combination of primarily our top 2 communication styles. many of you know what I am? 

I am a "I" with a secondary "S" that makes me (supposedly)... A persuading, enthusiastic, entertaining, optimistic, fun loving PARROT...with a secondary good listening, oversensitive, change hating, at times, passive-aggressive, harmony needing, loyal, relationship needing, DOVE...

Seriously!!!  I answered 20 or 30 questions and this is what I got...I am Parrot with a side of Dove.  Which makes me an "Advisor"! times of Stress...My Parrot takes a back seat to my Dove..

Now...while others of my co-workers were not so thrilled at the prospect of sitting through this 8 hours of training...I knew that I would end up of loving it!  I love crap like this...personality tests...Myers Briggs, DISC...etc...

So I (along with my co-workers) get this pretty detailed assessment of who we are (in some generalized terminology) in relationship to others...from a communication style standpoint.

Of course, I answered the questions assuming that I do not have a completely distorted view of myself...these results were pretty interesting for me...some I completely agreed with...and a few things...not so much...

Like Optimism...I don't think that anyone who spends any time with me would accuse me of being a a natural optimist...and I certainly don't consider myself an optimist!!  Now...I WANT to be an optimist and even give it my best shot some days...but truthfully...I am too much of a worry be considered an least in my opinion.

In other ways...this 30 question test revealed some not so secret things about me...Like:

  • Needs people to talk to...DUH
  • Needs recognition for abilities...also a DUH
  • Needs to verbalize...REALLY!!!
  • Needs to Socialize
  • Needs to maintain trusting Friendships
This profile says that my greatest fear is Loss of social acceptance and change (especially in relationships)...sadly...that is pretty damn true...especially the latter.

Here are some pretty funny things that it says I could do differently...also very true for me!!!

  • Talk less...listen more
  • set realistic deadlines
  • Complete one task before starting another
  • Validate their own self-worth (I know a few people who are nodding their head "YES" on this one)
  • Accept that conflict can lead to better solutions
Oh...and there are others.... I read through thing kept coming to mind...I have literally LIVED in a pretty consistent state of change over the past 1.5 years....A changing body, a changing life...big changes at that!!  And though it may sound odd given ALL of the great things that have come from those changes...It is stressful for is work...

So fast forward to RIGHT NOW...I am facing some big unexpected changes...intermingled with my continued efforts to "BE" in a state of change by continuing to lose weight and embrace my changing lifestyle...and Guess What...The Parrot has kinda flown the coop...and the less positive aspects of the Dove...the change hating, passive, oversensitive, Dove is ruling the roost!! 

I have spent the last few weeks really focusing on worrying less and praying more...talking less and listening more!  It is not easy.  I like to talk and worrying is like breathing for me! 

So...I am not sure what all of the above means...mostly, I think it just provided me with the opportunity to see how I am attacking and not attacking this Journey lately.  It provided me with a fun opportunity to see myself in a not so charged, not so introspective a big, boisterous, warm, bird combo plate...who truly loves people...who truly needs people...who loves words, emotions, and that wrestles with the fear that change brings...

For those of you that read my probably see how I can be both positively and negatively impacted by change...and right now...there is not one single aspect of my life that is not in a state of change...I continue to make physical changes, behavioral changes that are impacting my life in so many different ways that I can't even begin to enumerate them here...

Some of these changes are intentional and some are the unintended product of my intentionality...and those changes...the unintentional ones...keep my feathers ruffled (totally going for every bird analogy I can muster).

Some of these changes have left me feeling isolated and without that connection to people that I truly have to have in my life...certainly an uncomfortable place for a Parrot!!  AND...I have this inner thing going on that says...KEEP GOING...PUSH through this...It will be SO worth it...That Enthusiastic Parrot who really wants to up against that protective, freaked out Dove that might just lose if you keep pushing so hard...

So I am thinking I need to find a place for my Fun loving, enthusiastic parrot to grab my inner Dove and say...C''s all good....because nobody likes it When Doves Cry (intended musical reference to Prince)...:) 

So...while this great inner Bird battle rages does the battle of the bulge...The Fight To Light...continues...

Much love!



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Praise for the Raise

Happy Easter to  you All!!  It has been a blessings filled weekend..with family, friends, fun, Easter Egg dying, hunting, galore and the reminder that Renewal, Revival, and the Replenishing of the spirit comes from the Risen Christ! 

I Love Easter....The Hope that springs from the Resurrection of Christ...The Forgiveness of a million lifetimes of transgressions and the Breath of Life we are given through this unbelievable act of Sacrifice.

Over the past few days...I have been blessed to share time, words, hugs...expressions of love, gratefulness with my family...those that I don't see often..but am blessed by their existence more than they know...
I have shared time with friends who provide daily support in my life and whose presence reminds me of the Eternal Hope found in God's Grace...
I have shared time with my Mom and Emily in a church service that refreshed my spirit and reminded of the Breath of Life...the opportunity that I have been given to have a relationship with invite Him on my Journey...the knowledge that even in the face of some overwhelming moments...I have the Promise of the Risen Christ.

Today...thanks to technology...I have had the privilege of getting to reach out and share the joy of this Easter season with those that I love that I could not share space with but that always have a place in my  heart! 

Truth a celebration of the Risen Christ...because  EVERYDAY...I am given the opportunity to live my life fully protected by His Love and Grace. 

Here are a few the Easter Blessings in my Life! 



As this week begins...I again will direct my focus on embracing all that will lead me further along on my Journey...My fully occupy my life...with intention...with love....with the genuine respect for the Breath Of Life that was breathed into me...given unto me and entrusted in me!
Lastly, I was perusing on Facebook ( I LOVE seeing everyone's Easter photos and messages) when I came upon this quote from April Ross (Kerri's VB partner)...I Loved it...
For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." John 6:40

Praise for the raise 
Happy Easter! 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fat, Forty+ and Full of Feelings

Hi there...I am on the backside of a crazy busy week and am surviving...Lots of changes going on these days...some big, some small, some possible, some improbable. All time consuming. 

I think it has been MORE than well-established that I am a worrier...and in the midst of "unsettledness" worry button gets pushed frequently. 

So I am spending as much time as I can in a very conscious effort to maintain an open dialogue with God and with those that reinforce the purpose of this Journey.

I am getting ready to make a few changes to my weight loss/exercise program (stay tuned) and am hoping that those changes push me through to the next level of this Journey.

I am seeing changes in my body just in the short amount of time that I have been playing/coaching volleyball 3 days per week.  I have been told that the body needs changes in regimen in order to keep losing order to keep refining, shaping and "leaning" out...God knows I could use some Refinement!!! :)

I played on my sand VB team last night and for the 1st time this short season, I do NOT feel like an 90 year old woman afterwards...even my knees are manageable today!!!  Miracles do happen!

As I have said many, many times...the daily process of this Journey...this challenge to revamp my Whole body...and my goal to feel Whole daunting at times.  AND...the rewards have been mind blowing at times...It requires that I constantly change and grow with each step..It requires a level of faith that I at times, don't think I have and then find that I do...which is amazing.

The daily motion of this Journey can be rough one moment and completely freeing and beautiful the next. 

I continue to ask for God's daily guidance and I am incorporating the daily prayer that I be willing to fully see and embrace the daily opportunities God provides for me to grow in my develop my strengthen my body and "lighten up".

It is no secret that I have and am...facing daily struggles in this weight loss Journey...the seemingly never-ending battle with food and the associated guilt that seems to accompany that battle.   It is no secret that I have struggled I lose not only layers of fluff but "virtual layers" of  all of the other "stuff" I have accumulated over the years...Emotionally and Spiritually.

It has been hard to write lately about this Journey for me...18 months is a REALLY long time to talk about being fat, forty+ and full of feelings!!  Trust me...

AND...I continue to know that this place is my accountability to myself and to those that take the time to read it.

As I continue...I know that the same accountability, support and motivation will be needed to finally finish this leg of my Life's Journey...the Journey within the Journey!!!

My prayer lately is that I honor God's Big Picture plan for me...That I seek out the best support and let go of the negative...sluff the fluff...and seek the me and in others. 

As always, being the external creature that I am..I will need support...I will need a fierce Army of Angels that have the time, space and inclination to continue on or join in on this Journey...

My prayer is as this Journey progresses..that I am able to give back all that I have received...a million times over!

Have a good evening. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

God-Defined Success

Happy Sunday to you all...I  hope this day finds you rested, happy and healthy.

I am heading into what looks to be an incredibly busy week. One of those weeks that could get away from me if I am not in conscious contact with God...asking for His Guidance....Seeking His Will and Knocking on His door when I need a safe, quiet place to regroup.

This week I will have the opportunity to live fully in His Will...professionally, personally...emotionally...physically and of course spiritually.

This week I have the opportunity to live with great intention...purposely...trusting that I already have everything I need before this jam-packed week even begins.
This week I have the privilege of knowing that God has a plan...beyond my imagination...a plan that will guide me down a successful path...with success already having been defined by Him. Embrace the words that are coming out of my mouth and onto this page. THAT is my job!

So...switching gears a bit.  For those of you that don't know...I am coaching 2 indoor youth girls volleyball teams AND  I  am the eldest member of a 6-man Coed Sand Volleyball team.  In other words...I spend 3 days each week playing/coaching a sport I love with people that (generally speaking) I could have given birth to....a fun...but at times, sobering experience. ..:)

Here is a harsh...yet quite humorous reality...It seems that my BRAIN thinks that I am a volleyball ROCK STAR...BUT.. I do not have buy-in from my body...

So a few observations about that...

I hear the word M'am at least 20 times a week...often followed by...Are you OK?

It takes me one FULL week to recover from 3-5 hours of playing/coaching volleyball weekly. 

It takes my body at least 1 to 2 minutes longer to respond to a physical command given by my brain...resulting in some awkward delayed responses...that leave me face down in the sand and one more opportunity to hear..."M'am. ..Are you OK?"


In my head the "rushing" sound I hear while I am on the court is the aftermath of my sheer lightning quick speed...when in is the sound of a fluffy girl  gasping for air! my minds eye..I am a lean, mean, fighting machine...but in reality

I am a leaner...hopefully not meaner...bit of dreamer...who LOVES the fact that I am getting a second chance to do the things I love!

My hope for this week...Is that I can keep an open open mind...and a willing body!

Here's to a week of God-defined Success!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Acting As IF

Happy Hump Day...

So...given the context of my last few posts...I have been feeling like I have been stuck in a state of Perpetual Hump Day!

So...I know that I have been stuck in that place...I know that it is a complete buzz kill...and I know that it is very difficult to move forward in the middle of a downward spiral...

So like I said a couple of days ago...I need refocus my efforts on the weight loss portion of this original goal...and make every effort to get my head on attitude adjusted and keep my body in motion...

So my big question is how I embrace this part of my Journey...Almost 2 years in and admittedly I am running out of creative ways to keep the pace, the motivation and the drive. first step...

Acting As If...As If...I am 100% clear about my next step on this Journey...Acting As If...I AM already clear-headed...purpose driven and fully in gear....Acting As If...I have completely surrendered to God's Will...every moment of every day...

I recently shared something a friend said to me...

Embrace ALL that God has to Give Us.

Embrace ALL those we Love.

Embrace the path that says, "I Choose..."

I Choose a Happier Life!

I Choose a Healthier Life!

I choose to EMBRACE all things that lead me down that path!

I have not been Embracing the Good lately..but instead...wallowing in the Negative...

I have NOT been Embracing the Blessings, Gifts and Grace that God has provided.

It has impacted my relationships, my job, my mind, body and spirit.

Instead, I have been allowing the circumstances of the day to dictate the direction in which I am meant to travel.

I have the power to choose. is time to Act As IF...and IT will be true. 

For those of you that have recently been directly impacted by doom and gloom...Forgive me...I lost my way...I will be better.

Still a work in progress...Still believe that this is Journey has a Divine purpose...

Acting As IF my spiritual and mental work out...everyday...Embrace the "As If" ...As If it is True!!!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Gonna be a Diamond Some Day

In the past several days...I made the decision to take a break from this near daily update on the progress of my weight loss Journey. 

The last time I posted...I just had gotten out of the hospital...was struggling with migraine headaches and as I wrote, "Fighting a feeling of defeat".

I was in the beginning of a cycle of pain that zaps me of my energy...and seemingly my courage. I was, in less than a week, thrown back into a cycle of living that I have feverishly worked to rid myself of over the past 18+ months.

I recently told someone that pain changes me...At the time, I meant physical pain...but frankly...emotional pain does, my experience, my attitude, my will, my confidence, my courage...

In the midst of that I was reminded by someone that I "think too much" (not the first time that has happened).  I certainly cannot deny that.  I don't even attempt to...But upon hearing those words from someone else...being told I Think too much translates to I talk too much...share too much...just AM too much....all the same for me.  Finding myself struggling with physical pain...feelings of inadequacy...and shame...I withdraw...shut down. Nothing like being in a place of complete reactivity to slow down a Journey...

But...I have a goal to reach...and everything that I am and want to be relies on the positive direction this of Journey..

So...why I am here today...I am here today because I still have weight to lose...and I still need the accountability this place provides...this place where I share my thoughts...and all that means as I work to accomplish something that is very important to me.

You know...Truth is...things are messy..and though some parts of my life will take longer to sort out....a healthy body is profoundly important to make this Journey.  I mean, after all, wasn't that the point from the get go!

I have a mind and a body to heal...Someone once said to me..."Get your mind straight and your body will follow"... I am...again...thinking and the middle of some of my greatest challenges...and some of what I hope will be my greatest moments.  Here I am trying to lose weight...gain strength and build faith.

I feel far from this goal today...but...I recently have had the opportunity to hear someone speak of how God "refines" us...through every facet of our lives He works to refine polish us to a high sheen (my words)...

In the words of the speaker I was listening to he says the below...paraphrased...

Refinement is a stressful process but never...not even for a God not there during that "refinement".

Honestly...this is one of those times when chaos is prevalent in my life...personally, my closest relationships and even in my physical body...but I cannot imagine stopping now...and I cannot imagine that this is not All part of God's refinement of this body...this mind and this heart.

When I think of refinement...I think of the arduous process it takes to turn a piece of  black coal into the beautiful, glistening diamond...Which sadly makes me think of a line from  an old (rather corny) country song...

"I'm just an old chunk of coal...but I'm gonna be a diamond some day"

Funny enough...I could only remember the above line of this song written by Billy Joe Shaver (recorded by John Anderson)...But upon looking up the lyrics...realized that there is some solid wisdom packed in this "corny" country song...So...I decided to share the lyrics...

Hey I'm just an old chunk of coal
But I'm gonna be a diamond some day
I'm gonna grow and glow till I'm so blue pure perfect
I'm gonna put a smile on everybody's face
I'm gonna kneel and pray every day
And last I should become vain along the way
And I'm just an old chunk of coal now Lord
But I'm gonna be a diamond some day
I'm gonna learn the best way to walk
I'm gonna search and find a better way to talk
And I'm gonna spit and polish my old rough edged self
Till I get rid of every single flaw
Yea, I'm gonna be the world's greatest friend
I'm gonna go round shaking everybody's hand
I'm gonna be the cotton pickin' rage of the age
Yea, I'm gonna be a diamond some day