Monthly Archives: January 2012

Six months in…..

Six months ago, I started a journey to get healthy. I finally came to a decision that it was time to stop making excuses for my weight and my health. It was time to change.

I didn’t want to go on another diet.

I didn’t want to drop weight quickly, only to gain it back within a few months.

I no longer wanted to continue on the yoyo cycle that I’ve been on for years.

I wanted to learn how to be healthy.

Six months later, I have made significant progress. I am down more than two sizes, and am in better shape than I have been in a long time. I have lost weight, inches, and have so much more energy.

While the progress is important in order to help continue to motivate me, I am not focused on it. I am focused on making healthy changes. Eating better, working out consistently, and being more active are the main goals. For me, it’s the consistent small changes that make a big impact in the long run. I don’t feel deprived. I don’t feel like I can’t wait until this over. This is how I live now. And I feel stronger and more alive than I have in a long time. I feel like I am myself again.

I am convinced that each person needs to find what works for them. For me, these are the things that have been working.

I read Lysa Terkheurst’s Made to Crave book – it helped me view food differently

I listened to podcasts called Inside Out Weight Loss– it was like having your own personal counselor

I joined a kettlebell studio– This has become a habit (and somewhat of an addiction). I workout 4-5 times per week consistently. And I have an amazing support group of people who are also trying to get healthy. I also have a trainer who pushes us to do more than we would ever do alone. This has helped me remember how strong I am and that I can do whatever I put my mind to.

I stay off the scale – This works for me, as I am muscular and get frustrated by the numbers. I am also working to be healthy and stronger. My weight is not the most important factor in whether I feel healthy or not. I know this does not work for everyone, but it works for me.

I drink a ton of water – I drink water all day long. I also drink a big glass of water when I am hungry. It helps curb the cravings.

I forgive myself quicker and move on – If I have a bad day, don’t eat well, or don’t workout, I don’t continue beating myself up. I forgive myself and move on. Tomorrow is a better day. I was stuck in the cycle of giving up so quickly when I had a bad day. I refuse to do that anymore.

I have multiple support systems – I think this is so important. I have my workout friends, and I have several others who have lost weight and kept it off that I check in with. I share my progress and struggles. They’ve agreed to help motivate me and cheer me on when I need it. I think this is one of the biggest pieces that people sometime miss. Doing it on your own is not nearly as much fun and rewarding as having people help support you.

I am very excited to be starting a new year having already made significant progress. I know that I can continue with this lifestyle, as I’ve already been doing it for six months. The confidence and sense of accomplishment that I feel is so satisfying. I feel smaller, stronger, healthier, and more aware of who I am. I don’t ever want to go back to feeling how I did before this.

So, what works for you? I love hearing stories of how you are getting healthier.


Filed under Getting Healthy, Motivation

We weren’t always like this

Last week was my 40th birthday. My sweet husband made this incredible video for me. It was a surprise, and I loved it! We have received so many amazing comments about it. They range from “Wow, you can just feel how much he loves you” to “he must have scored some big points with that one” to “tell him thanks for raising the bar too high for the rest of us”. That one cracked me up.

My husband is awesome. He continually shows me all the time that he loves me. Our marriage is in a great place right now. We have learned to appreciate each other, and we openly show each other, and let others around us know how much we mean to each other.

But what most people don’t know is that we weren’t always like this. We have been together for a long time. Next month, it will be 22 years since we went on our first date. Wow! If you’ve been married for more than a few years, you certainly know that there will be patches of good and bad in your marriage. If you’re not married, let me tell you that it is very common. However, after many years of drifting apart and taking each other for granted, we hit a major bad spot in our marriage a few years ago. Bad enough that the thought of divorce came up for the first time ever in my life.

It was bad. We were living in the same house, but completely lonely and unhappy. And, we weren’t even sure how we really got there. We had kids, and we just drifted apart. We stopped appreciating each other, and no longer made time for each other. We neglected our marriage.

That time was pivotal for us. We had a decision to make. We were either going to work like crazy to make it better, or we were going to give up on it. Luckily, neither of us gave the second option more than a moment’s thought. We both realized that although there were big circumstances that we had to overcome, we had both been responsible for neglecting our marriage up to that point.

We went to counseling. We started communicating again. We got raw and real and honest for the first time in a very long time. We started dating each other again.

What we did not do was say that it wasn’t worth it. I’m thankful for that. I know that there are so many situations where people can’t say that. They have been put in a position where the other person wasn’t willing to try. And, I can’t imagine what that would have been like if he had not been willing to put the effort in to make it better. I know that I am truly blessed.

My hope in sharing this is that you will realize that it’s never too late for your marriage. You can’t change the past, but you can significantly change the future.

You can start trying again. You can respect your spouse. You can date your spouse. You can learn to appreciate your spouse more. You can make it better.

Will it be easy? Most likely not. But will it be worth it? Absolutely!

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Filed under Authenticity, Marriage

How do you feel it?

How do you feel God’s love? I often feel it most during church. Sometimes, I can’t help crying. Other times, I am totally overwhelmed by it. I feel completely thankful and totally secure in the arms of God. It is an awesome feeling.

I didn’t always feel like this in church. In fact, for many years, I felt extreme conflict. I felt the tug at my heart from God, but I continually pushed back. I fought it. Over and over again. I couldn’t wrap my arms (or mind) around the fact that He loves me just as I am. Not how I think I should be or how others think I should be. He loves me. Period.

I will never forget the first time I heard Taylor Phelan sing the song “How He Loves”. I had never heard it before. I literally cried like a baby as he sang it. Because I finally understood it. He really does love me that much. It didn’t hurt that Taylor has an absolutely amazing voice, either!

I have realized that music is a very big way that God speaks to me. It is partly because I am a musician, but also partly because the words and the music together are something that resonate deeply with me. That’s why I can sometimes cry continuously through the worship portion of the service. It’s also why I have not yet gotten involved in our worship team. I am fearful that I would never be able to control my emotions!!

I have also realized that God speaks to me in many different ways. I just need to slow down long enough to pay attention. He surrounds me with His love continuously throughout the day, and not just in church. However, I do think that there is always something special about gathering with so many other believers and worshiping together. The intensity seems stronger sometimes.

I also feel so close to God on an airplane. Very strange, I know. There’s just something about seeing the earth from the air and taking in its beauty that draws me in and makes me incredibly grateful.

So how does God speak to you?

Through art?

Through nature?

Through poetry?

Through words?

I would love to hear from you.


Filed under Beauty, Belief

See ya ’30s!

It’s here.

The day I turn 40.

And I’m not as freaked out as I thought I would be.

In fact, I feel ready to take on this decade!

This past decade has been filled with blessings and challenges.

Some of the highlights:

Moving to Kansas and experiencing life away from family and friends for the first time

The birth of our first child, a ruptured ectopic pregnancy scare, and our surprise second child

New jobs

Births of four nephews

Buying our first house

A new Stepfather and step-family

Moving back to Illinois

Rediscovering my faith

Getting baptized

A renewed commitment and strength in our marriage

Finding an amazing church family

New friends

A new brother-in-law

A renewed desire to get healthy and workout

See ya ’30s!!

40 – I am ready for you. Bring it on.

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Filed under 40

A sweet video

My husband made this sweet birthday video for me.

I am so thankful for him!

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Filed under Uncategorized

Prayers of Blessing for 2012

It was really neat to be able to attend church on New Year’s Day. I don’t recall having done that in a very long time. It was a perfect way to pause after the holidays, reflect on the past year, and focus on the new one.

We went through the process of choosing three words that reflected our family in 2011, and three words that we hope will be reflective of ourselves and our family in 2012. Then, we were given the opportunity to have prayers of blessing prayed over us by a pastor or staff member. It was beautiful and a great way to start the new year.

Here are my three words for 2012.

1. Focus

2. Intentional

3. Trust

I look forward to writing more about these words in the months to come. They also compliment my #FinishYear goals as well. Happy New Year!



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Filed under #FinishYear, Faith, Motivation