Thursday, June 11, 2015

Transformation Testimony


Wow. What a journey this has been and it is far from over. God has brought me so far since moving to Pennsylvania in November of 2013. I remember before we moved, I was in terrible shape. I remember praying the song "Revelation" by Third Day to God on an almost daily basis because I really didn't know what direction to go. So many mistakes, so many moves, going back to college in later years and then only to graduate with no prospects of a job. For over a year I wondered what would I become and how I could get out of the prison that I had made my body over the years. I was trapped. This body was taken over by high blood pressure, asthma, sleep apnea, and 185 pounds overweight. I have been carrying this for over 20 years. I went to my doctor and she told me I was not a candidate for weight loss surgery because I would just go back to my old habits and never be successful. I was depressed. 

We had not applied to any ministries because honestly, they never call you back and when they do we didn't have enough experience. Mind you, we have been serving in youth minister capacity for many years in our church and in professional capacity in several churches throughout Bible college and have been on multiple praise teams, and even served as interim pastor/wife in not only one church, but in a church plant as well. Finally, one day, Lee said he would look just one more time. So he sent out several resumes. He got a call back to Pennsylvania. We said we would take a look, so we came for a trial sermon and just felt "at home" with everyone and the area. We came back to North Carolina and waited, and then received a call back. They wanted us! We made preparations for Lee to go ahead and move into the parsonage and the children and I decided to wait until school was on a break. I then proceeded to apply for several jobs in the area just to see what would happen. I waited upon God to make the next move. Within a week I got a call back for an interview. I got the children up and we drove like mad for my interview. Within a couple of days they offered me a job. This HAD to be God's timing because there is no other way to describe it. After Thanksgiving, we moved permanently to Pennsylvania. My prayers had been heard. What I wasn't expecting was what God had planned for me once I moved here. 

In the first month, I had a severe sinus infection but I figured I would wait it out. I had a dear friend tell me to get my butt to the doctor quickly so off I went. I met the most amazing doctor that weekend. She told me that she was going to help me get better, not only with antibiotics but with other medications. I was put on blood pressure medicine, given a breathing treatment and she was able to get me an at home nebulizer. She then encouraged me to go to the weight loss center here and signed me up for a sleep study and had me go for a mammogram. It was a lot to process, but I was feeling a little better. At the time of our move, I weighed 330 pounds. How had I gotten to this point, I will never truly know. A friend who was leaving my new job, encouraged me also to go to an information session at the weight loss center. She had weight loss surgery in the year before we moved here. I checked it out. I got more information that night than I ever had before. I had known success and failure stories from friends that had had the surgery. I met someone at the meeting and we seemed to be on the same schedule so we started talking back and forth about our upcoming surgeries. I was put on a plan to lose some weight prior to surgery and was hopeful for a summer surgery. I had a couple of set backs, but I was able to lose 50 pounds prior to surgery and was scheduled for a September surgery. My friend was scheduled for her surgery the week before me so I had an example of what to expect. My doctor and his staff have been more than amazing. He is more than a doctor, he has made it his mission to connect with every patient and is so caring and treats you like a friend rather than a patient. He understands each case so deeply and cares what happens to each individual. Anyways, he proceeded with the surgery on September 22, 2014. I weighed in at 280. It was like a dream and I knew it was far from over. 

Over the next couple of months, I steadily lost weight and it was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Hair loss has been hard for me. I had to borrow clothes and buy things here and there to get me through each phase. Now it is June 11, 2015. Let me tell you how far God has brought me through my journey. I am now 187 pounds and have lost 74.25 inches off of my body since September. I have lost 143 pounds since the move and have been taken off ALL medication and machines. I have 42 pounds till my goal weight and honestly if I don't make it all the way there I am sure I will be just fine. I will continue pushing myself to do more as time goes on. I have completed a 5K, I can now walk without trouble and I feel GREAT!!! I know this isn't a big deal to most people, but it kind of is to me - I can now walk without my legs touching! It's the little things that make us happy. 

I am blessed with a job full of co-workers who have been so kind and supportive. I enjoy my work and the clients I serve. My family and friends (NC and PA) have been true rocks for me and continue to be. I love them all. Most of all, I wish to thank my dear Savior to whom I pledge my allegiance and devotion. He is the Master and knows me completely. He sustains me every day, even when I have down days. I feel like a new person. I am almost half the person I was when I moved. What a joy it is to live my life. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

A New Attitude

How do you readjust your attitude? I would like some feedback on this because I would be interested in seeing some of the techniques you use on a sometimes daily basis to change your outlook on life. For me..this time..I am choosing to focus on how God wants me to act and react. Today for example, as I was reading Romans, I came upon verses that apply to my job. Romans 12:7, "If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well." and Romans 12:16, "Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all!"

I haven't really considered myself a teacher because I have few clients, but in all actuality I should look at this daily to see how I can be a better teacher to them. I am also a mother and I need to look at how I can better teach them no matter what age they are. God has called me to use my abilities and if I have a negative attitude, I am of no use to Him who created me as such. God created me to serve well. He created me to teach well. He created me to be humble. So that is how I am adjusting my attitude today.

Personally, I am training myself to be the body that God created me to be. He created me in my mother's womb to be strong, to be a mighty warrior for Him, to be healthy, and to live my life for Him in service to others. If I am not striving for these, then I am of no use to Him who created me as such. So how am I accomplishing this?

  1. His Word (It lifts me up and gets me ready for battle)
  2. Prayer (It lifts others up and deepens my communication with Him)
  3. Water (Pressing myself to get the water needed for my body)
  4. Food (Eating like I should and not how I am tempted to eat-snacking IS a problem, so eliminate the problem)(Eat the foods I am supposed to eat and not looking back to the way I ate before this process)
  5. Walking (Bringing my tennis shoes with me every where I go so I have NO excuse for not walking on a break or lunch or to whatever activity my children are involved in at the time)
  6. Strength training (Because this excess flab is going nowhere unless I do it!!)
  7. Getting rid of ALL reasons for me to be lazy. Just because I have time off does not mean I have the luxury of taking time off. Rewarding myself for the small steps and giving myself a small amount of time for me is okay, but not the whole day. 

I hope you are adjusting your attitude today as well and my prayers are always with all of you.