Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Trimming the Fat

It has been a while.  Life continues to clip along and I continue to fight the demons of being a single, fluffy girl trying to improve, grow and embrace this life I am living.

I felt compelled to write last night...as I walked into the YMCA for what feels like the 10,000th time in the last 3 years.  I'd like to think that was in fact, the 10,000th time.  I would like to think that I have made the decision to walk into a gym, with pep in my step and motivation to move mountains 10,000 times over in the past 3 years.  I would like to imagine that as I stepped through those gym doors...to the less than pleasant scent of other people's sweat and good intentions that mine was the prevailing scent...just by sheer volume alone and that upon entering...it would be visibly apparent that I had indeed, walked through those doors 10,000 times and have the body to prove it. 

But as I sit here and write...the reality is that I, regardless of how many times I have walked through the doors of that YMCA...the only thing I have probably done 10,000 times...is wonder if I will ever reach my goals AND insanely hum the Village People Anthem...Y-M-C-A...as I entered the building. And the body...well...it speaks for itself.

Fighting this fight is not living up to my expectations or my doubts.  It is however, seemingly, trimming the fat off all of the self-imposed defeatist ideas that I seem to have collected over the years.  That does not show up on any scale I have found and it is only visible to those who take the time to look and truly see the changes.  It is profoundly uncomfortable and a total pain in the ass AND seems to be absolutely necessary for this fluffy girl.  That has been uncomfortably apparent from the very beginning. 

My proclivity for over-analyzing and for wearing self doubt like a badge of honor, leads me to think that I must continue to do so...trim the fat...both internally and of course, the goal...externally as well. It is a necessary evil in my personal journey.

My last post in July was a statement of my battle with that inner fat and the need to just stop processing it in such a public fashion.  It quite frankly was getting old...and not helpful.  I know that I need and will continue to need, to work through all of the things that hold me back...whether I choose to do that with just a few poor souls...or with a wider audience.  Accountability still is a HUGE piece of this puzzle for me.  Being honest, owning the steps of my journey and accepting that there is no turning back are part of the process...even if participating in that stirs every shameful feeling I have ever had..."The only way out is In" (Junot Diaz).

I can say this...with complete conviction.  Trimming the internal fat is gross, ugly, revealing, embarrassing and might drive some away...but conversely, it is freeing, revitalizing, fortifying, rejuvenating and leads us down paths to those who can and are willing to embrace us...fat and all.

Lastly, I speak of faith often...how it is a must and how I can really suck at having it.  But over the past 7 months, I have connected more with the reality that God moves in my life in ways that cannot be fully comprehended until I am on the other side of them.  My struggle is to trust my experience and not launch into full scale doubt and panic when, in the process of trimming the fat, I feel like I am drowning in it.
I am aware that God has placed people in my life who have the uncanny ability to embrace faith with an optimism and a joy that I just can't do today.  As I stumble into the 1st quarter of year 4 of this journey...I can readily admit that I, in the recent past, view these strong, spiritual optimists as a reminder of all that I am not!  But I have gotten it all wrong...these people are not in my life as a reminder of my shortcomings...but instead, as a mirror to the possibilities...the promise of God's grace and an opportunity to grow.

It has been brought to my attention...many times...by some of the grounded spiritual bad asses in my life...that there is no time limit to trim the fat. It is not a year long, 4 year long or finite journey...but instead it is a lifetime of infinite possibilities.  For now, I will defer to the bad asses! For me..it is going to be about willingness...to be patient, to trust, to believe in myself and to keep trimming the fat...until I don't need to anymore. Be Brave and Forge On!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

When Only God Knows It

In the past several months....I have been uncomfortably seated on my most feared ride in life's amusement park...The roller coaster.  I have discussed that roller coaster many times here...in many different ways and in the past 3 years have not learned to fully embrace it.

I have tried...to love the uncertainty of it...the thrill of it...to embrace the unknown...but generally lately am just nauseated by it.

In the past months, my life has been one constant roller coaster filled with big changes, big growth, and a few serious butt buster moments that leave me distrusting of the process.

I, in the past 3 years, have let me myself be "seen" in a pretty public way...and have allowed myself to trust my story with others on a very personal level as well.  Some pretty amazing things have happened because of it...and some pretty painful things have happened because of it.  That's life...It happens...Thank God.
 Life has seasons...and I have recently come to realize that it may be time to turn inward...be a little more introspective, be a little more selective with my trust, limit my exclamations and dissertations, reduce my expectations of others and increase my self-reliance.  

This is no perfect journey...and I, could not be farther from being the perfect journey taker..but I am worth the continued effort...even on those days when only God knows it!

As I continue to intentionally navigate through this life journey...I am sure that there will be many seasons...many joys...many blessings...disappointments...renewed hope, lost faith, and faith found again.  I have learned so far...that you never know where the next right step will lead and that the picture I have in my head....may not be the picture God has painted in His.

So...as this Journey continues...I may find myself here writing...from time to time...for a bit of an outlet...and that dose of accountability...but after today, this blog will be here only for those that know where to look...no more posting on social media, emailing, texting...for a while.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Comfort in Words

As I progress along on this Journey...there are some days that seem longer than others...some goals that seem harder to reach and some challenges that seem too difficult to overcome.  On those days, I try to find some comfort from something other than food...or margaritas.

Today, I am finding some comfort in words...which I find soothing...but difficult to swallow if eaten (just a note from my experience).  Hopefully, I want have to eat any of these words since they belong to other people!

Below are  few favorite thoughts that I like to ponder on these long, more challenging days.

Every day I learn something on my way to the next.  Every day I am given the opportunity to overcome those mindsets, experiences and fears that hold me back...and every day I am aware that even when I feel a bit wayward...there is a guiding force that never gives up on me...and never gives in to me.  This Journey continues...even when it feels like I am standing still!

Forging ON! 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

An Intentional Reminder

So in my last post I created a list of action steps to "practice" as I move forward...as I again try to boost my momentum on this Journey. In an effort to stay on track...I am reposting...for accountabilty and for reinforcement...for a written reminder that this Journey is intentional...it is important...it is an absolute necessity!

As I re-read the below...some of the action steps feel a little lofty...a little out of reach...but I am hopeful...I am determined...and I am fighting the insecurity and fear. I will keep my eye on the prize...even when I don't see it clearly.

Here is what I know...Grace continues to meet me where I am!

Living intentionally

Praying daily that I am walking in God's will and not in nasty insecurity and fear

Taking risks that might feel scary and exposing but that in the end, lead to courage

Taking time each day to step out of my "self" and be available to others

Daily practicing trust...that I have all I need...the faith I need...the support I need... to take daily steps in the right direction.

Staying true to the course even on those days when I am feeling defeated, optional, destructible, invisible or just plain ole pitiful!

Believing EVERY day that I am  courageous, deserving, faithful, worthy and fearless enough to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk!

Lastly, BE IN ACTION.... LIVE as a priority

Monday, June 15, 2015

An Inside Job

Hello to all...I came across this quote a few days ago...even posted it on Facebook...but decided that I had a few things to say about it.

For anyone that knows me well...or for those of you that are kind enough to take time to read this blog...you know that I have experienced some significant changes over the past 3 years and that those changes have not always been so easy for me to "get". 

I won't lie...there have been many times over that past 3 years that "running away" from some of the more unexpected changes has seemed like a really viable option. 

I use the word "overwhelmed" often...to describe what for me feels like a deluge of feelings...none of which I can succinctly describe individually...so "overwhelm" becomes the catch-all word.

As I have shared...over the past several months I have experienced some significant change...on almost every front of my life....some harder to manage than others and ALL have felt overwhelming.

As I face the challenging emotional growth from some of these changes, I am continually reminded that though my own very personal, but somewhat public, weight loss journey started as a journey to "repair" my outsides...my physical appearance, it more importantly became (pretty damn quickly) about repairing my insides. It became apparent very early on that this Journey was going to be an Inside Job!

Given that every one's experience is different, I am sure one could read/watch any number of posts/articles/videos, etc about tackling weight loss and quickly determine that each person experiences this kind of change differently...that each person takes on the challenge with their own unique perspective and collection of life's experiences that see them through.

Mine has clearly been about working from the inside...out...despite my protestations!!!

No matter how hard I may try...I can't run from that!  No matter how uncomfortable, embarrassing, time-consuming and ultimately, revealing that truth may be...It is my way...my Divine path...without always feeling so divine!

My only way out of this challenge is through it...no matter how messy it may seem or is or will be...Straight through the muck..."The ONLY way OUT is IN".

Today...I find myself fighting this reality a bit.  This requires that all too difficult thing called vulnerability.  I don't like it...but can acknowledge that there are moments when I know that my willingness to be vulnerable has brought me to a new level of courage. But for me...the hallway between that door from vulnerability to the door that leads to courage can feel dark, scary as hell and quite lonely.  It has and will again, leave me dependent on the faith of others and on my own experiential blind faith.  That faith that I know exists because of the blessings I have experienced when I did not believe that Blessing would come!

So...I keep moving through it....hoping that I don't look as clumsy on the outside as I feel on the inside!  Hoping that by acting as if I am courageous, I will become courageous! 

I think the keys to my success lie in the following...

  • Living intentionally
  • Praying daily that I am walking in God's will and not in nasty insecurity and fear
  • Taking risks that might feel scary and exposing but that in the end, lead to courage
  • Taking time each day to step out of my "self" and be available to others
  • Daily practicing trust...that I have all I need...the faith I need...the support I need... to take daily steps in the right direction.
  • Staying true to the course even on those days when I am feeling defeated, optional, destructible, invisible or just plain ole pitiful!
  • Believing EVERY day that I am  courageous, deserving, faithful, worthy and fearless enough to walk-the-walk and talk-the-talk!
  • Lastly, BE IN ACTION.... LIVE as a priority.
Here's what I know...Change is in fact, necessary, and some might even offer up good.  I am a reluctant "changer" but can now, after so much change, acknowledge the "good"...even the better.  I still though, have changes to experience...and being the flawed human I am...have my reservations!

I am refocused on losing weight...have lost 12lbs in the last few weeks thank to the Standard Process 21 day detox and my body continues to heal after some of the 2014/2015 physical challenges.

I am aware that I am missing having a "mini-goal" to train for...so....I am considering setting a physical goal for myself for the Fall of 2015...And am open to suggestions!!!  Something that physically pushes me, gives me something to reach for and preferably does not kill me!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Stuck in the Middle with Me

So I am rapidly approaching my 3rd year anniversary on this, what was to be, 1 year, fluff busting, 120 lb mission to a new me or at the very minimum, greatly improved, old me.

I have filled these pages with my Journey...the good, the bad, the ugly and the some might argue, grossly over-thought...over-stated reality of what my experience has been trying to move from a sickly, fat, 45 year old to a healthier, happier...albeit...still fat...48 year old.

I have shared some of what for me have been nothing short of miraculous moments and experiences and I have shared the moments that detailed the struggle...the muck and the yuck!

Over the past year, I have found myself spending less time writing here.

Lately though...life has been chaotic...filled with tons of unsettling changes and quite a bit of muck and yuck! I find myself wading around in uncharted waters...feeling lost and highly considering painting a face on my Kerri Walsh Jennings autographed Wilson volleyball for company (movie reference)...:)

When I started this voyage...so to speak...this blog was a place for accountability...but became a life boat for me...a place where I chose to tell the whole gory story of my road to losing weight.
So tonight I find myself back in my lifeboat and absolutely clear that I am in need of the accountability .

So...as you may already know...early on I got a big dose of reality...that being that this Journey was not only about losing a few (120 to be exact) lbs...but oh so much more...layers upon layers...lots of unplanned emotions.

So...I am an emotional eater...pretty much any emotional moment makes me hungry...eating has always been my preference over feeling...still is...which is largely why this whole 1 year journey idea got tossed pretty early on.

Lately...I have been painfully aware that the weight  "loss" just isn't happening and hasn't been for quite some time. However...the emotions...they have not slowed down a bit!

Now...I have stayed the course in some aspects...physically challenging myself...allowing myself to be vulnerable with a few people...telling the truth and hoping for the best...AND praying like a mad woman.

And still here I am...feeling permanently stuck somewhere in the middle between where and who I was and where and who I am hoping to be...no sense of belonging...

I was recently reminded that I think too much...a completely accurate evaluation. It lead me to thinking that I talk to much...share too much...etc... If you are nodding your head Yes...trust  me I get it!!! I have to live with me every day!!! :)
However...It was indeed an emotional death spiral for me though...I was left wanting a cupcake and a margarita! But alas...I went to the gym instead...progress, I suppose.

But I have had to come to terms with this exfoliating of emotional dead weight as I progress on this Journey...the profound discomfort of being vulnerable as a part of the absolutely necessary need for personal accountability. 

It is not my favorite part..it translates as weakness for me...and letting that be spoken or written or SEEN...is a complete ass kicker!

But it seems that embracing the vulnerability is part of it for...as painful and uncomfortable as that is...

So...my challenge is to remember that God will not lead me into any darkness without the promise of Light...and though it may feel like I am lost...I am not...

For today...just feeling Stuck in the Middle with Me...This Too Shall Pass.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Out of the Worries...Come Wonders

Hello to all. It has been a long time since I posted here...have tried to several times in the past month...but just could not quite get the words out of my head...through these hands and into print!

Honestly...I have been living at break neck speed (at least my brain has been), dodging curveballs, managing change...well..."managing" is a strong word...feeling everything from from ecstatic to completely overwhelmed.

It has been so long since I posted...I could not possibly recount all of the events of the past several weeks...You're Welcome!

But for train of thought sake here are the ups, downs and all arounds!! A recap of sorts...

In April, and my focus was getting back on the bike and training hard for the MS150, after taking a tumble in late Jan..

Fell again on April 6th....effectively ending my training...but vowed to ride.

During 2nd week of April my Mom became very ill...very difficult time. Hospitalized for 10 days...so challenging but surrounded by some amazing, loving friends.

Despite all of the "signs" that cycling may not be my sport...I rode in the MS150...or as it were, the MS75...due to a deluge of rain...the 1st day was cancelled...I may have been the only rider that thought that was a miracle of God!

Good news...I finished...with very little Grace and few style points...but completed my longest ride to date! Better news...the people that supported, cheered, encouraged and stuck with me to the bitter but triumphant end!! You know who you are!!!!!

After MS150...literally the next week...I resigned from my job of 5 years to accept a new position that I started in late April. A move I had been trying to make for close to 1 year.

Now...as May flies by...

Mom is now officially on dialysis...We call it D'LaLa...to lighten it up a bit. She is better and she is adjusting to this life change that quite frankly, is one of those strange blessings...you know the ones...those "blessings in disguise".

I am doing my own adjusting...again with very little grace or style...but doing my best to put the focus back on the importance of this Journey...back on improving my health...growing my faith...and NOT getting sidelined by my own worry and stress...BACK to the business of DeFluffing.

As it were...my body is "Tore Up From The Floor Up" so...I am taking it very easy...light workouts...mostly just moving and about giving myself a place to release stress.

I have some obstacles to overcome...some "stuff" to work out...BUT... It is time to center my focus back on the goals of this Journey.

One of my closest friends wrote this to me in an email during one of my most difficult days...

"This too Shall Pass and out of the worries will come wonders.  All in due time".

Out of the worries will come wonders...She was right (she often is)...Out of some of my biggest worries...my deepest fears...Wonders have risen!
What a gift that she shared this insightful, loving reminder...it opened my eyes to the reality of God's grace in that moment and continues to do so...with an occasional reminder needed. ;)

Over the past several weeks...I have done my fair share of worrying...and probably everybody else's share too...But there are Wonders to be seen...to be had...to be grateful for...every day.

As this Journey continues, a Wonder in and of itself, I will keep my eyes open to the possibility...to the presence...the inevitably of Wonders.

I have some work to do...some challenges to overcome...some growing pains to stretch through...some worries to convert to Wonders...and I will...All in Due Time and by the Grace of God.

Oh...and to the uncredited author of Out of the Worries will come Wonders...You are a wonderful "Wonder"! Thank you.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Until I Can

As I write this...I am in a really tough place.  Physically and particularly emotionally.  I am looking in the face of one of those life changing moments that we know are inevitable...that we try to prepare for and that we think we know just how we will handle when it comes our way....Until it Does.

This is no small moment...no easy fix and certainly not anything that gets figured out in a day.

This is one of those moments when we rally the troops...call on our closest friends and family, take the risk and ask for help...not really knowing if we will get  it...Until We Do.

This is one of those moments when we seek God's Wisdom....His healing and His promise that we will be safe...that we will not be overcome by our own fear...hoping  beyond hope that He hears our prayers and heals our hearts...knowing that He promises He will...but not quite sure...Until He Does.

This moment for me...is about having people in my life that believe in me...that believe in my strength...that believe in my courage and that trust in God's greater plan completely....Until I Can.

Thank you!

Monday, April 6, 2015


So the MS150 is just about 2 weeks away. I knew the moment would come in preparing for this that I would begin to get the "pre-game jitters". Well...that time is now!
My level of fear is ratcheted up largely because after having a 2nd, pretty hard fall on Good Friday, I am even further behind the proverbial 8 ball.

With 2 weeks left to train...I have less than 40 to 50 percent mobility in my left knee...which makes pedaling a bike a bigger challenge than I expected at this point in my training!

It certainly feels as if I keep running into unexpected obstacles that make me question my own ability to complete this challenge.  Not the first time THAT has happened...sure it won't necessarily be the last...BUT...
I don't feel like giving up!
The reality is that I probably am a long shot for finishing...and further...most of the people that I am supposed to ride with will more than likely see me at the beginning of Day 1 for the last time until we meet at the end of each day!!
I am alright with that...
This challenge will not be about a great finish...may not even be about finishing at all...
But it IS about persistence....it IS about being a part of something that is much bigger than me...It IS about overcoming the "No You Can'ts and proving the Yes I Can's...it IS about giving back and it IS about staying true to my Journey.

Forging On Prayerfully...with Hope and a bit of a bee in my bonnet...NOT QUITTING!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Blessings

First, Happy Easter! I hope you all have had a day filled with great love and wonderful hope.

I shared with a friend today that Easter for me, is about the Ultimate Act of Love and the immeasurable hope that comes from the Promise of the Resurrection.

I am blessed to be surrounded by so much love and so much hope...so many great blessings and so many beautiful people.

Below are just a few moments...pictures...words...that remind me of how blessed I am...from the faces of my family, friends, precious gifts and moments filled with love. I love them all! 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Am Found

On some level, I have known that this Journey would take me way beyond where I expected to go from it's inception.

I did not have some psychic ability or some unique spiritual insight into what the future would hold. But I knew! Not in formed thoughts or grand words...but instead, in a quiet...strangely peaceful way...that was the perfect combination of God's Grace and my willingness to surrender.

The past few weeks I have come face to face with some old health challenges that feel uncomfortably familiar and at the same time, uncomfortably foreign.

I find myself feeling shocked but not surprised. Defiant...yet resigned...living an old behavior in a new life. Straight up confused and sadly, lost!

From a physical perspective...flattened...exhausted...sick...too pooped to pedal!
From an emotional perpspective...just a ball of worry, stress, and fear...a hot mess!

But today...God's Grace and my surrender met again.

To the naked eye...it may be hard to detect...but it happened...just as quietly as before.

Today...I had the opportunity to step out of myself...see, clearly, some of the blessings in my life. I had the opportunity to have a bird's eye view of what happens when a group of people momentarily put down their own worries and lives to be of service to others and I got to spend precious time giving back...in no grand way...but in gratitude for what I have received.

My words may not make complete sense to those reading them...but for me...these words represent a crossroads...another intersection of God's graceful guidance of my journey and my surrendering to that grace.

Some of the blessings of this day/week:

1. Working in unison with a group of volunteers who came together for a common cause.

2.  Meeting new people and seeing old friends...I am talking "back in the day"... "high school old"...friends.

3.  Spending time with family

4.  Getting to have a proud moment for one of the kids in my life...and getting to tell her how proud of her I am!

5.  Getting to hug two of my all time favorite teachers and tell them I love them!

6.  Having the honor of watching a man and his family work all day long at a fundraiser for the hospital that is helping him fight brain cancer.

7.  Having people in my life that see strength in me...even when I feel my weakest.

8.  Having those in my life who remind me I have come to far to turn back now.

9.  The spontaneous conversation with a former professional cyclist who assured me that I will finish the MS 150 :)

10.  The reminder that God provides all I need to do my best...even when my body and spirit are tired...and that doing my best is all He asks for...not perfection.

So...as always...this Journey continues  to take me one step farther than I think I can go...and in the midst of feeling Lost...I AM FOUND...

Amazing Grace.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Prayer Supported-Grace Driven

The last 2.5+ years have been nothing short of miraculous for me.  Sweeping changes in my life...better health...newfound inspiration...energy and all kinds of amazing adventures!

Many of you know most of my stories...and further know that the changes in my health have been the biggest blessing of this Journey.

Additionally, most of you know that I, by the Grace of God and the power of prayer, have been able to overcome many of those health challenges that kept me stuck...immobilized by my circumstances.

I have had the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things in the past 2.5 years...walking, running, climbing, playing volleyball, swimming...all kinds of unimaginable activities prior to this "lose the fluff" campaign!

Now...as I prepare to ride in my 1st MS150...I have hit a bit of a snag in my training.  I am experiencing a health setback that is definitely slowing my roll...so to speak.

My not so stellar immune system is not cooperating with my current  training plans...How Rude!

I'm not going to bore everyone with the details...BUT...because I so fully believe in the power of prayer...I am asking for you, one more time, to pray me through this bump in the road.
One thing I know...this Journey is and has been fully supported by the prayers and support of others...other people's grace!

I find myself relying on the courage that only comes from faith!

Thank you for reading! Thank you for your prayers and thank you for your graciousness.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Pedaling and Praying All the Way

Well...31 days until  the MS150!
Training is going better...but am still a bit behind.
Over the last few weeks, I have spent a ton of time trying to recover from my fall and convince my body that it was "merely a flesh wound"!
Spending an obscene amount of time on a bike...wearing spandex and a funny looking hat seems an odd way to spend my time....BUT...I must admit, that each time I go a little farther, pedal a little faster or manage the hills a little easier...I find myself wanting to go again...give it another shot and see if I can pull this off!

As I make this final push...I am facing  some physical challenges I had not planned on...I suppose that is not shocking...all things considered....but it is something I am having to work around.

However, even with these obstacles, I still really cannot wrap my mind around the fact that I, after so many years of lethargy, illness and severe fluffiness, get this kind of chance to live differently...it truly blows my mind...

This Journey is one hell of a "do-over".

I don't want to waste this chance...too many amazing things....amazing blessings have already happened. The thought that I might miss something...miss another amazing moment...is motivation enough to keep going.

AND...IF you have an extra prayer to spare...I could use it more than ever!

I can tell you this..I will be praying my way through the next 30 days!!!

Pedaling and Praying All the Way!!! :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Lesson in Patience

From the very beginning of this Journey I have been challenged  by patience...

Being Patient

Having Patience

Losing Patience...

I am inclined to rush...figure out...analyze...constant mental motion.

So...as a part of this generally constant  state of change I have experienced over the past 2.5 years....I must work at settling  into God's timing...embracing  stillness...so that I hear God's  plan.

It is work for  me...part of the learning and living of this Journey.

Yesterday, I did my 1st "Hills" group training ride for the MS150. The ride was to be approximately 33 miles (37 miles actually) of "rolling hills" roads in the Huntsville, TX area. 

Going in to the ride I was pretty nervous...
A.  This was only my 2nd group ride
B.   The words....Ride...Bike...Uphill...are intimidating in the world of the newbie  cyclist....
C. A+B....and an inordinate amount of Fluff!

So...something important  to note....when I am nervous...my patience is often the 1st thing to go...with myself and others!

So...the ride begins...within the 1st 2 miles I had to stop...thought my chest was going to explode!

I was horrified!

Truly thought I was done....before I even really started.

But in retrospect...here is what happened...I took on that 1st hill absent  of any patience...Bull in a China shop style and it knocked me out!

So in order to continue, I had to practice, at times battle, and ultimately embrace patience...for 37 long miles.

The entire ride was a Lesson in Patience on SO many levels. A lesson in overcoming obstacles one at a time.

I had to compartmentalize each hill...take each hill at face value...with patience...patience with the hill...with the bike I was riding up the hill on and with myself as I learned to maneuver the obstacle.

As I reached  the finish  line...I was pretty  close to tears...exhausted...mentally  as much as physically. Having Patience is exhausting...it seems. :)

So many big lessons in that ride yesterday. 

Patience gives me strength...It gives me the space I need to be imperfect but not paralyzed by those imperfections.

Patience breeds courage...because courage can take time and needs room to grow inside of us all!

Patience teaches me to see the gift in the battle...to keep moving toward each "finish line".

Patience heals the heart...allowing  me to embrace those challenges that scare me...or that feel bigger than I can handle.

There is a line from a country song (by Lone Star) that says this...

"The good Lord gives us Mountains so that we can learn how to climb".

Still here...Still learning...Just Be Patient!

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Well...it has been a bit since I posted last!!

Life is quite full! Lots and lots of bike riding mixed in with normal life stuff...makes for very busy days!

But..this weekend I participated  in my 1st group training  ride...a supported 33 mile ride that would be my 1st real test for my knee and my courage, post-crash!

I was exceptionally nervous the night  before and despite going to bed pretty early for me...I still managed to get minimal sleep! I woke up at 3:00 A.M. played out every possible  scenario in this crazy brain of mine...until...it was actually time to get up and go!

But...despite all of the nervous pondering, I was pumped  full of adrenaline and ready to go.

Now...of course, I could give all of you a blow by blow description  of the day...but instead I just want to say this...

Once again, God gave me the strength, the courage and the support  I needed to take on this challenge and finish!
My biggest  gift of the day...having 3 unexpected  guardian  angels who rode with me...despite my slow pace...encouraged me...coached  me and pushed  me to finish!

Every single time I think I CAN'T...God provides the Oh...Yes You Can. Without  Fail.

Today...after some rest, I met a friend for lunch and spent  several hours talking, laughing...truly getting a big dose of God's Grace! I left feeling Inspired...Loved...Encouraged and oh so very grateful!

Tonight, I go to bed with a full heart...a tired body, a strong desire to keep going and a voice inside my head saying Yes You Can!

Thanks to my guardian  angels...all of you...Every Day!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

True Grit

1.  Small, Loose particles of stone or sand
2.  Courage and resolve; strength of character
1.  Clench, (the teeth) especially in order to keep one's resolve when faced with an unpleasant or painful duty.
Monday night, my phone rang around 8:30 PM. Monday was a holiday for me, so I had managed to get a lot done and was resting comfortably on the couch watching a movie!
On the other end of the phone, one of my favorite sounds ever broke the silence..."Aunt Jaime, I need to talk to you about something.  Of course, I was all ears.
She proceeded  to let me know that she had a school project that had to be completed by Wed....an interview...then she paused and said, do you know what "Grit" is...or what it means to have Grit?
I gave her my best off the cuff definition of grit...much like the 2nd Noun definition above...She said...yea, that's right.
She informed me that she had to conduct an interview with someone who had "Grit" and who had accomplished a big goal because of that Grit...
Now what is important to note here is that I, over the past year or so, have worked with Emily many times on homework assignments...so getting a call about school work was not particularly unusual.  But what she said next...well...was a bit of a twist...unexpected.
She said (and I am paraphrasing)...Well, I have to do this interview with someone that has Grit and I want to interview you...cause you have Grit...You know...the whole weight loss thing, and all the challenges and meeting Ms. Kerri, having the Event (Play it Forward)...you know all the Journey stuff."
Oh my heart! 
In that moment, that singular moment...I was so reminded about how amazing this Journey is...how God graces my every step and how someone else's view of my little life can open my eyes, my heart and my mind to "big"ness of life...in ways I could have never imagined!
So...I had spent a portion of my Monday "processing" my Journey to date with someone (someone whom I adore and that is WAY smarter than I)...talking ( a long damn time) about where I had come from, where I am and where I am going.  Now I will spare all of you the gory details of that conversation but sufficed to say, as I have from the beginning, I expressed some trepidation about the direction I am going...and the admission that I in fact, at times feel a bit lost along the way and question my courage to find the way.  Having the Faith that I will have the Fortitude...is the thought that pops into my head...and though I am not fond of this cliché...noting during that conversation, that I am definitely a "work in progress".  A WIP!!!
So...back to my call with Emily...Now you gotta know I was a little caught off guard...touched deeply and rapidly flipping through my thoughts about Grit...what it really means to have it...who I know that I think has it and am I really the right girl for the job...so to speak. 
Do I really have grit?...I know I grit my teeth a lot (SEE ADDITIONAL DEFINITION ABOVE) but do I have GRIT?  I hate Grits...I know that...have my whole life despite a strange insistence from people in my life that I try to eat them...but do I HAVE Grit?
Emily thinks so....
I sat down with Emily, answered the interview questions and took the opportunity to share with her that if I do in fact, have Grit...it is by the Grace of God and because I have some pretty amazing people in my life and some pretty amazing strength that I draw from others, their inspiration, their courage and their Grit. 
It was a great experience and I had this thought...
God in his infinite care and love for me is very funny, and a little sneaky...
You see...I, in the last week alone, have had a few very specific opportunities to question my fortitude...question my ability to keep pushing through this process and trust!  I spent a portion of Monday...talking about that very thing...Talking about how I still feel SO VERY compelled to follow this path I have been on for the past 2+ years...yet, really have concerns about my ability to keep Forging ON...as I like to say. 
I was questioning my Courage and My Resolve and my Strength of Character...and then, out of the blue, and from a voice that reaches my heart faster than most...I hear this..
You have Grit...
Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky...Why do I think it was sneaky...Because I am pretty sure that God knew I would NEVER say NO to that voice...that I would do my best to HAVE Grit because she believes I do!!!  Forced Grit!
By the way...Forced Grit...is much easier to swallow that Forced Grits! 
As I close...I am again in awe of how God works in my life...the subtle nuances of His guidance to those moments when I am left speechless ( a rarity).
I have some amazing folks in my life who ooze Grit...Who exemplify great courage, resolve and strength...thank you for setting such a great example! Thanks for living with True Grit!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Best Laid Plans

Hello to all...

I hope you all had a lovely, loving Valentine's  Day. 

As I sat in church this morning, I heard this:

"We can make our plans, but God determines our steps".

I have made many plans in my lifetime...some good, some not so good.

When I decided  to start  this Journey, I made a plan...with a very specific goal and strict timeline.  Very early on, I began to feel God's refinement  of my plan.

As most of you know...my specific goal and very specific timeline have changed, morphed, mutated into something  completely different than my original plan.

That at times, has been scary  for me...but each time  I feel off plan...off course...something  happens that keeps me grounded, safe and moving forward.

As I have planned...God has clearly  determined my direction...guided my steps...changed my heart...and cushioned the reality that my plans are not perfect!

I heard one more thing in church this morning...

"Nothing  can ever separate  you from the Love of Christ"

As I proceed with my plans and as I experience this God-guided Journey...I time and time again, am reminded of the above...reminded that when my plans fail, when my courage wanes and my flaws are exposed that nothing separates me from God's abiding  love...

Thank God!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Trust The "NO"

I have a problem with the word "NO".

Hearing  it....


Saying It.

The hardest part about NO...is trusting that there will, at some point in time, be a YES...and all the No's will suddenly  make sense.

Over the past few weeks...my body has been saying  NO quite a bit...making training  for a physical  challenge  quite  complicated.

In the past several months, I have been the both the recipient and giver of the dreaded NO in both my personal and professional  life...and daily, I have to say NO to food, fear and a huge desire to just be fluffy and complacent!

My challenge  today  is to trust the NO...trust its purpose...trust the lesson and trust that with every  painful NO...comes a better, brighter...YES.

The hardest part about NO...is not believing it is permanent!

As a practice  in Faith...I am working  daily to trust that the YES will be illuminated by God's  Grace and that I have the eyes to see it, the heart to believe it and the courage to accept

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Forty Eight...Feeling Great!

Well...today I woke up 48 years old! Wow...that's a lotta years...
I suppose  I could talk about getting  old...creaky bones...achy joints...the occasional  hot flash...you know!
But instead, I am going to take these few minutes  to just let you all know that I am unbelievably  ready to pack all the fun, laughs, love, adventure, learning  and blessings I can into this year that lies ahead.

I am fully committed to this Journey...to persuing  the best me...living with the best intentions...loving with conviction and embracing every single opportunity God  puts on my path.

Somebody asked me before my birthday if this year was a milestone  birthday....For me...each year I get to live my life in the pursuit of this path...this special  opportunity to change, grow, learn and "defluff"...IS a milestone!

So...I'm gonna suit up...show up...prepare for the next big challenge...pray for a clear mind and an open heart and enjoy the ride...to the best of my ability!

So...I will be bringin' it in this 48 year old body! Creaking, popping, hot flashes and all!!!

Started this 48th year of my life off the best way possible...surrounded  by friends, family...lots of love, laughter, great hearts and some serious fun!

Thanks to all who texted, tweeted, emailed, "Facebooked", called, etc...and made me feel special. A special  thanks to my weekend ge
taway  girls! You guys Rock AND Roll!
You make this Journey  Golden!

48 is feeling GREAT!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Time Well Spent

I lost a friend today to cancer.

He fought cancer with the full armour of God. He believed that God intended for his life to have greater meaning...to make a difference in others lives. He was right.

Steve and I were co-workers. He was kind, funny and humble. We lived in the same part of town...so we often started many a conversation by commiserating about the drudgery of our lengthy morning commute.

We talked about our families and had lengthy conversations about sports...AND American Idol! Yep...deep stuff!

Funny enough, though our topics of conversation were often light...they were never superficial.

Though we no longer worked together, over the past few years, we kept in touch, emails, quick conversations, a chance meeting with he and his sweet wife at a local restaurant...

When he was diagnosed with cancer, he sent an email to several of his professional contacts. I called him immediately to let him know that he had my support and prayers...at the end of the conversation he said this...

"You know Jaime...you are one of the best friends I have that I never hang out with."

Breaks my heart!

Since his courageous battle began, we have exchanged texts, shared a few thoughts on how God has graced our lives and how much our lives can change in just a single moment.

Time is funny...it is one thing in life that is constant...never ceasing...but time can feel like it zips by...leaving me in the dust...and conversely...can feel as if it is moving at a snail's pace....mind numbingly slow.
Time can seem in short supply and hard to come by...and at times, never-ending.

But here is the single most important aspect of time...It is precious...every single moment.

Today...I find myself wishing for a little more.

In the last 2.5 years, God has given me the opportunity to see, with unprecedented clarity, the fragility, value and importance of time.

He has offered me the opportunity to reassess my definitions of quality time, timelines, wasted time and time well spent.

Today, though I find myself deeply sad, I am also eternally grateful.

Steve would tell me to ditch the sadness...embrace the the gratitude! Live Life Fully

So I think I will...

Live with great intention...Love with my whole heart...and walk bravely...Head Up...Heart In It...Walking not by sight...but instead by Faith.

My friendship with Steve was relatively short in terms of time...but was infinitely special... time well spent.

As I close...this a prayer Steve shared just a week or two ago.

May I all I do today begin with you, O Lord. Plant dreams and hopes within my soul, revive my tired spirit; be with me today..." Amen!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Brick By Brick...Day By Day

This Journey has really been a "one step at a time kind" of trip...trying daily to build a new structure to my life...brick by healthy brick.

On some days...and in a certain light...I can see that structure rising up...I can see  the progress...and on others days...well...I feel a "few bricks short of a load"!

I was back in the gym tonight...just to do some upper body work in hopes of building strength there..while I try to heal or quite possibly wallow in denial regarding how injured my left knee really is...not looking good tho!

In my denial...I got on the bike only to discover that I could not even make a full rotation...bummed!

However...brick by brick...day by day...I plan to do my best to continue to build a healthier body!
Injuries and setbacks are part of life...but so are victories...and healing!

While I may actually BE a few bricks short of a load....I am still planning on suiting up (in full on Lycra) and pedaling my way to Austin...raising some money for a wonderful cause and continuing construction on this life of mine!

Forging On...albiet with a limp....but Forging On nonetheless!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Push Me, Pull Me, Pick Me Up, Carry Me Through

My friend Brigette sent the below to me today.

Boy...I hope she is right!

It really is an amazing blessing to have people in my life who see me in such a different light than I see myself...

Keeps me going...gives me courage and strengthens my resolve!

So...one week ago...I, while training for the MS 150,  took a nasty spill....a whole lotta me hitting the hardest concrete ever!

After the shockwaves subsided....I picked myself up...got back on the bike...and pedaled home with some serious road rash and a slightly bruised ego! :)

Honestly,  it hurt like hell...but I did not feel too terribly injured...and certainly felt lucky that my skinned knee was the worst of it!

However, I may be facing a little longer recovery than I expected. 

I won't lie...I am feeling a little old and damaged...however, really still believe I can take on this challenge in April.

Oh...I have my doubts and am battling that creeping sense that I could fail...but because I am surrounded by those who remind me that stopping is highly overrated...and that God provides the strength I need in those moments when believing seems silly and courage seems thin, I'm gonna keep going.

My friend Camille said these words to me today...unrelated to riding a bike an absurdly long distance. ..but these words transcend situations....

 "We both know if it's meant to be it will be.  If not, it's just another step on the path to where you are supposed to be."

I don't know if I am unstoppable....but If I am...It is not because of my sheer will...Nope...it is because I have so many people in my life who push me, pull me, pick me up and carry me through!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Keep Moving Forward...Even If I Don't Move An Inch

So I am in the middle of Week #2 of training for my 1st MS 150...Training...really making an effort to prepare for this ride...These are just a few observations I have made so far:
  • Riding 20 miles  and not moving an inch evokes a little feeling of claustrophobia...Stationary bike problems!
  • Padded bike shorts are not adequately padded and strangely enough, neither is my ass.
  • It appears that Cycling gear companies do not believe fat people should bike seriously.  Lycra kills!
  • The inventor of the bike seat was an evil, evil, human
  • My ass is numb...but not numb enough
  • I find myself wondering if I will ever ride a bike again after this ride
A few more observations/confessions:

  • It feels good to have this goal to work towards
  • I may be just deluded enough to believe I can actually do this.
  • I truly hope I don't lose any butt fluff before this ride...padding is key.
  • While riding, I play the final race scene in the movie Breaking Away in my head for motivation..
  • Thinking that I will start a bike ride for fluffy people...Tour de Fluff

Lastly...really grateful that I can even attempt this challenge!

Really happy to have a numb butt from riding a bike instead of from being in a hospital bed too long.

Really stoked that I get to participate in an event wearing clothes that make me look like a sausage on wheels...ok...maybe not grateful for that!

Even more grateful that I, by the Grace of God, have people in my life who buy into my madness...believe in my dreams and never mention how bad I look in Lycra! 

    JUST GOTTA KEEP MOVIN' FORWARD! (Even If I never move and inch)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Holy Cow...It's Official!

So it is OFFICIAL...I have officially registered for the MS 150!


I hope the below does not happen! LOL! It's a possibility!

So...let's all bow our heads and pray that this STILL fluffy, soon to be 48 year old, more than slightly damaged body...is up for the possibly maniacal musings of a  mind that keeps challenging...keeps believing and is STILL insistent that this Journey is worth the effort and that I CAN DO THIS!

Get ready...lots of bike riding, lots of bike riding adventures....all bike...all the time...till the Cows Come Home...or at least until the Cows chase me off the road!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Story You Live

I heard the following words during a church service recently.

"The Story You Live...Is The Story You Believe"

For the past 2+ years, I have been "editing" my story...the story that I live.

I have been on a path to take my story as it were and create new chapters with intention....to not rewrite so much but rather to write from a different place with a different plot in mind.

In the process of doing so, I am learning all about Believing in my story...and more importantly, believing in the Story that has already been Divinely written for me.

Though never a big believer in New Year's resolutions, I am resolved to this daily:

Practicing, praying and willingly living and believing in My Story...the one written for me...contributing to that Story by living with intention,  believing with my whole heart and trusting without limits.

Piece of Cake! :)

So...the story continues!  Happy New Year!