Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happy Surgiversary to Me!!!!

 Well, today is my 1 year surgiversary. My journey started in December of 2013. I weighed 330, my BMI was 58.5 and was in really bad shape physically. Before surgery, I lost 50 pounds and was on a variety of medications and machines. September 22, 2014 I went in for surgery. My pre-surgery weight was 280 and I measured my body. As of today: I weigh 180, my BMI is 31.9, and I have lost a total of 79.25 inches off my body. Incredible. I would like to take full credit, but I cannot. God has been my main source of strength. My awesome host of family, friends, and co-workers have been my incredible source of hope, motivation, and support. I love them all. I don't know what the future holds regarding any further loss, but I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I am still working towards my goal of 145, however I am happy to be where I am. Thanks to all who have gotten me here and praise goes to my Father in Heaven for allowing me to finish a great work.

Things to keep in mind:

1. Until you are ready to tackle your goal, you will be unable to accomplish it.

2. A support system is absolutely needed in order to make it to the finish line.

3. It is an inevitable truth that you will have set backs and obstacles that will try to bring you down and  you will beat  yourself up for it if you allow it.

4. You can achieve your goals if you continue the journey.

5. You need to love yourself before anyone but God can love you.

I still struggle with snacking issues and not going back to old habits, but each day is new and another chance to make it right. Sometimes I will allow myself something without beating myself up about it, but I know I have to not allow it to be a rule but an exception for a particular occasion. I hope that I can be of encouragement to others who are on their own journeys. Thanks for taking the time to keep up with me!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Review of "Good Things: Seeing Life Through the Lens of God's Favor"

I want to begin by saying that I am a reviewing an advance copy that was provided by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of review. I received it through the Blogging For Books website. You can purchase the book  HERE.
The author, Kevin Gerald is best known for his communication of practical, biblical principles that empower people to live successful Christian lives. He is the founder and Senior Pastor of Champions Centre, one of the largest congregations in the Pacific Northwest.

This book gives a fresh perspective on how to live believing that God's favor is always upon us. The point is made that grace and favor are intertwined and we are never without both. Despite hardships that come our way God's favor can give us a different perception in how it will affect our lives.

While I do differ in opinion about how easy it is to relish in God's favor, I found the material to be uplifting and encouraging in the Christian faith walk. I would recommend this book for personal reflection as well as for group study. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Finding the New Me - My Voice Matters

Why does what I say matter? Because it matters to me. Only you can make what you want to say significant to yourself. What it means to others falls on them in how they have been shaped by their own experiences. Everyone's voice makes a difference, whether you agree with them or not. I am shaped by my experience and by my beliefs. Because I may not agree with how you view the world or God's word does not mean that I do not love you just as much. We all have opinions and the "right" to say or express our feelings. Sometimes it is not worth saying and sometimes it is. There will NEVER be a time when our beliefs will align with everyone or when politics will simply be real and unadulterated. Why do we have to then argue about every single issue? Is it going to change anything really? This life is short. God meant for us to love and for his love to reach others through us. We are not to compare ourselves to others because we were only meant to be ourselves and not those other people who we strive to be like or who we would never choose to be like. My advice: Read God's word for yourself. Ask someone  you trust to guide to help you understand. Pray that God will give you the wisdom he so wants to give you and he will give it to you.

My experiences have been grand. Okay, nobody's life is perfect but I would say that I had a decent childhood. Our family was together and grounded in each other. We took trips and learned at home; a concept that eludes children nowadays. We had good teachers and not so good teachers, but we had great role models in our parents and our church leaders. We had pets and we had each other. Atari came out when I was about 10 and we had one, but it did not overtake our lives as children. We still played outside until the sun came down. We played with toys and let our imagination run wild. Where is that today? Even as adults, we get busy with our smart phones or fill our calendars up with so much stuff that we don't have time to spend with each other just being. Binge watching is a fad now along with reality television. When did someone else's life become more interesting than living ours? My advice: Start living life with yourself, your friends (go make some if you don't have some), and those you love. Cut electronics off for a while, even 30 minutes and just listen to the quiet sound of nothing. Enjoy what that sounds like. Take a walk and enjoy nature. Remember what it was like to be a kid and do something silly for once. Take time to do things you always wanted to do. Call someone you haven't talked to in a while. Life is short. We won't always be here. One day we will be called home to a better place. If you want to know how, just ask me and I will tell you because it does matter. What I have to say matters. I want to hear your story too, because...what you have to say matters too.

I read a blog post today and it encouraged me to write again. The writer has the following song as their mantra and I thought the words were just as encouraging so I will share it with you as well.
I Believe

"I Believe"
(feat. Michael Franti & Nahko)

I believe [4x]
No matter what you do
I believe [4x]
It will all come back to you

Stand up and find your own way
Or sit down and wait for your turn
Follow you vision blindly
Or just become the vision of someone

Remove the shackles right now
You never really fit into ‘em at all
Or keeping running with that metal
On your feet until you fall

Everything that you say
Become the things that you do
Remember what you put out there is building you
Remember everything is everything

I believe [4x]
No matter what you do
I believe [4x]
It will all come back to you

I kinda been struggling
The fire on my tongue’s been challenging
But even the wise ones be stumbling
So pick your heart up here and walk tall

Bright- eyed deliverance
Everything you say’s significant
So speak your truth, be spirited
You’re beautiful and bold, so carry one

Everything that you say
Become the things that you do
Remember what you put out there is building you
Remember everything is everything

Everything is everything, every single day
Remember this in everything you do everything you say
In everything you eat and all the people that you meet
There is life, there is light, that’s reflected back on me

I believe [4x]
No matter what you do
I believe [4x]
It will all come back to you

Turn your speakers down
And listen to the silence down below
That’s the messenger
And that’s the only one that really knows

Turn my music down
‘Cause it’s your turn now
Well it’s your turn now
Oh it’s you turn right now

Remember all that you say
It becomes all that you do
Everything that you put out there is building you up
Or it’s breaking you down to the ground
Well it’s your choice now
Yeah it’s your voice now
It’s that same sound

Everything that you say
Become the things that you do
Remember what you put out there is building you

Remember everything is everything