I have been a bit introspective the last few months. I have gained weight this past year.  It’s noticeable to others and I’m settling back into my unhealthy habits – enjoying food and using it to control me. Now that I have gained weight, my husband still loves me. He still finds me just as attractive as before. No one has said anything to me. My friends are still just that, my friends. I want to be shaken, I want to be uncomfortable. But I learning that my weight doesn’t control who I am. Big or small. I am still loved by the King of the World. I’m no less and will be no better than any other person – no matter what I weigh. 

Sarah, my daughter, is obese. She is developing habits that I have with food. As a family, we have refocused for the next 100 days to live free and trust God in whatever areas we struggles to give to Him. (This is a commitment we hold with our church family) 

I say that but I struggle. I groan when I find I’m looking in the plus size section. I’m tired. A lot. How easy is it to grab the latest health or surgical trend? It’s still something I just can’t do.

I remember those moments in my life where I was at the end. Everything stripped away from me. It was those moments where Jesus was magnified. It was there that HIS strength was made perfect in my weakness. His power and strength sustained me. 

I think I forgot that. I’m strong – but not because of something I can do. 

May He be glorified. In my weakness, let HIS power shine. 

I have lost my way the last year or so. I try to get back on track but I keep losing my focus. So I did the most uncomfortable thing this week. I sent in reinforcements. Friends and family…and my husband. I can’t do this alone. I have gained 50 lbs last year after maintaining and losing 100. It’s all because I slowly ate and became relaxed. Guilt and shame crept in. So I ate some more. Depression became a little too familiar. 

What am I doing? 

I hold the key to change. I can unlock the door to my success at any time. 

I know what to do to be successful. I have been blessed with many, many tools to help guide me. So what’s a girl to do with such great accountability? 

A half marathon.

I take a big anxious breath just typing it. 13.1 miles. Again. I said I would never run another one – EVER. But that feeling was amazing. I was healthy, strong, an overcomer. I still have it in me. I just have to work to bring her out again. 

Time doesn’t mean anything to me. I will train, I will push past my guilt. I will run with the strength and determination that I know I have within me. I may finish in 4 hours, the fruit smoothies will all be gone, and the crowds already left – but I’m not doing it for anyone except me. And one important face will be there smiling for me – my best friend and husband. Because I will be running it on our 6th anniversary! 

Cheers to new starts, new goals, and forgiveness! 

It was 4 years ago that I began my journey to be healthy and strong through Healthy U. I became a better version of me from the inside out that year. 

Overall, I lost 100lbs but gained confidence, strength, and resilience. Becoming a runner, weight lifter, Zumba lover – wasn’t the hardest part.  It was all the small choices and daily struggles that were the hard. The mundane choice to watch my portions, make sure I’m getting the proper nutrition, and not eating because of emotional reasons. 

4 years later, I still carry strength and courage. I am an overcomer – until I try to button my jeans. 🙂 

Weight gain happened slowly and more quickly this last year. Half of the weight has crept up. It didn’t come out of nowhere. It is because of emotionally eating and not getting up and moving. 

I love Facebook at times. Especially the ability to look back this time of year. I literally have encouraged myself by reading all my posts 4 years ago. That girl didn’t even know she would lose 100lbs yet – in fact, she didn’t lose any weight the first 2 weeks but kept plugging  along.

Small, attainable goals. Realizing that every decision- every choice, matters. 

One week down beginning again. I’m sore from BodyPump and cardio.  I’m hungry….no, not really. I just want to fill the cravings. It feels like I am starting all over again. But I’m not. I don’t look at how far I have to go, but have far I have come. 

It’s been awhile and this post won’t be Fitness-related, but it’s easier to get the word out through this medium. 

It’s been a struggle the last 4 years searching for ways to help Sarah learn and grow in her education. The smallest achievements are rewarded and I feel so proud of her. She works hard in school, in afterschool tutoring, and at home for even the tiniest improvement. I cry for her…a lot. But I also smile for her even more. Every IEP meeting has to have tissues ready for me. My momma heart longs for her success and growth. Let’s be honest, I get frustrated with her at times. Probably more than I should, because I don’t understand sometimes.

She’s been in different therapies and schools. She’s been tested for different conditions. It’s been hard to accept and I have had her tested for different things, just to make sure – but this week, I am relieved to know that we can ease up on spending our financial resources and time on searching for answers. 

Sarah doesn’t have dyslexia like I thought. Sarah has a lower IQ than most at 68-72. Some areas as low as 40 – but most tests fell right within the 70 range. Children’s Mercy diagnosed her as “intellectually disabled.” That’s the politically correct phrase for mentally challenged. 

I’m still gathering my thoughts and researching what programs are available to her now. But in the end, I’m so glad I know for sure and can press on for her to have a healthy, happy, fulfilling life. 

Children’s Mercy said that she will even have difficulty living independently. College will probably not be an option, and in a couple years – she should learn a life skill to prepare for the workforce instead of focusing so much on academics in school. 

Eh. I know Sarah. I know her determination. I know her heart. I also know what big dreams she has for herself. She will live on her own. She will continue her education – even if it’s not at a pace as everyone else. She will be a teacher in some fashion. Maybe not in a traditional setting, but she will teach. God put that desire in her heart and she will be the best. 

What other 9 year old asks for a teacher’s desk and school supplies for Christmas? 

In the end, after sitting behind a 2 way mirror during all that IQ testing – I know even more than before, that Sarah is an overcomer. Even though it was hard, I can tell it was so hard for her, she was discouraged, she knew she didn’t have the right answers – she smiled and pushed through until the very end. 

That’s her spirit. That means the world to me. 

 5am. Stepped on the scale after 2 weeks of great nutrition and hard work. 

EXACT same weight. 

Humph. Sigh. Moan. Groan. 

I wanted to whine and throw a tantrum like my 4 year old son when he doesn’t get to watch “The Lego Movie” for the 156th time. 

No. Stop it. Stop.it. 

I’m not a newbie. I’m seasoned in how this healthy journey survives and lasts a lifetime. Putting validation in a number or a small box that I step on, is a sure fire way to stop true, lasting success, right in its tracks. 

How was I feeling before the scale?

A.m.a.z.i.n.g

The scale will eventually show the awesomeness. But for now, I learned that I still struggle with my emotions when the scale doesn’t respond how I want it to. The number not being where I think it should be, spins me into a “this doesn’t work for me, something is wrong so I should eat everything in the pantry because it doesn’t matter anyway” kind of whirlwind. I don’t want to jeopardize my journey for a few seconds of curiosity. 

I can try to think of a million usual reasons why the number didn’t move. Muscle, inflammation, hormones, cheat meal on Sunday, etc. But I won’t. Why? Because that gives the number on the scale more power. I choose to move forward….marching forward, being faithful, and doing exactly what I know I need to do in order to be a better wife, mother, leader, and friend. 

One week down. 

Nutrition is right on key and where I should be in order to take care of myself.  I feel so much better – more energy, sleeping better, and my mood is a lot nicer – just ask my family! Water intake has been right on track as well. Exercise is slowly returning. A bit of swimming, cardio machines, and a Piyo class with lots of squats (Yes, it hurts to move today! Love it!)

4lbs down this week. That’s just an added bonus. I am just so thankful to be myself again. 

I am sure not where I was when I left the Healthy U journey. I could have been frustrated seeing how much my endurance has decreased when I jumped on the elliptical. But you know what? I certainly burned more calories since I had to work harder. And I’m definitely not where I was when I began this journey a couple of years ago. 

Week 1. Successful. Still determined.

Vacation Bible School. A week of craziness while investing in the next generation. I was asked to be a part of a skit this week. I was “Sally the Runner” – I was determined, committed, and focused to finish running. My running friends pooped out on me – I still ran. My napping friends tried to make me stop – I continued on. My pizza friends tempted me with the cheesy goodness – but I stayed focused, kept my eyes ahead, and kept running. (My pizza “friends” were a bit too realistic! Ha!) 

At the end, Sally shows the kids that she stays committed because of her relationship with Christ -because  He gives her the strength. 

Yes. 

Have you ever heard the line, “Fake it until you make it?” I felt like a phony up there being “Sally.” But I know I have it in me. I have been Sally and I am a fighter. An Overcomer. That brief moment of faking it awoke that “Sally” attitude within me. 

I don’t care what the scale says. I don’t care that my clothes don’t fit. I could care less that people can tell that I have physically changed and have gained weight. It has been a battle to not care about those things. Let’s be honest, ok…I really do care. I care way too much.  But I care even more about how my choices have made me feel – who I have become.  I’m tired of being miserable with myself because of my decision to give up being healthy. I have had enough of feeling sorry for myself while eating McDonald’s or finding happiness in my next high calorie binge…thinking I will get back on it next week or after the weekend – only to keep going in the vicious cycle. 

That’s the reason why I begin once again. I don’t look back. I own up to my mistakes and my failures. God’s power has been within me all along – and I may have to dig it up again, but I bet I won’t have to look too far. 

 I am determined, I am committed, I am focused. 

Being brave isn’t beginning. It’s beginning again. Moving past the fears of failing, pushing thorugh the sense of falling short, getting courage to press through because you know how hard it really is. 

My goal? To be healthy again. Weight loss – to see 180’s again and eventually to my post Healthy U number of 154. 

What’s a bit intimidating? That there’s no end. There’s no finish line. Just a series of wins….and let’s face it, losses. It’s a fight. The fight to be healthy both inside and out will be with me a lifetime. I’m not training for a marathon that will end next year. I’m not trying to beat a certain number on the scale. I’m in a fight to live life and for me – dragging my butt to the gym every day or eating a salad when I really want that Big Mac is what keeps depression in the back seat. Silly, huh? Small decisions bringing big results of freedom. But I guess that’s with any addiction. Choosing to stay home instead of going out to party for an alcoholic. But for me, it’s choosing to leave my house instead of burying my head under the covers.

Brave. Courageous.  I’m not Superwoman, but God make my impossible – possible. 

This journey never ends. I have been in a rut the last year of comparing and being discouraged. I wear my yoga pants not to work out – but because they are comfortable…and you never know if I was at the gym or not 😉 

Overcomer is still my ring tone on my phone. I see my half marathon photo every day in my bedroom. I’m reminded every day of what I can accomplish and have accomplished. In fact, I had those yoga pants on this morning as I took Isaiah to school. Overcomer blared on the radio. Ok. I could drive my car back home and fold 7 loads of laundry. Or I could face my fear and go to the gym again. Just ask my hubby, I will do anything to find an excuse not to do laundry!

I parked far away to muster up the courage to go in. I hold my breath as I scan my membership card – hoping no red lights and alarms will flash. 

My locally-owned gyms have been more than a gym to me. They both have become friends and interested in my journey. So much, in fact, that a couple years ago – I was rewarded a lifetime membership to Brian’s Gym. I haven’t been taking advantage of that amazing blessing this year. 

I didn’t set off alarms today. My membership wasn’t revoked. In fact, I was met with many smiles, “how are you”, “what’s your new goal?”, and I even got a good size bag of powdered peanut butter from the owner. 

Why do I compare myself to others? It only spirals into depression and self pity. Why do I think others will look down at me for gaining weight? 

I started this journey for myself. I let go of the pressure of trying to “be enough” for others and start again to show myself that I am enough. For myself. For God. 

“You got the heart of a champion

Don’t you know you can do anything?

Your greatest strength will be found within

‘Cause I, I will be there always to cheer you on

You can make it, take it, keep moving on

There is nothing you can’t overcome

It ain’t over yet”

Cheer You On – Jordan Feliz